If there is one word I could use for the past week, thankful. Nate & I feel so incredibly amazed & thankful that we are pregnant. There have been so many months & years that we have felt such sorrow & heartbreak from not being able to get pregnant. So many tears & difficult days when it was hard to get out of bed & so hard to be at work acting like everything was ok. I think back to a year ago, when we did our 3rd IUI & were so hopeful that it would be successful & felt so good. It was unsuccessful & that was one of the hardest days of my life.
Now I think of how completely happy we feel & blessed & thankful our hearts feel. I know that we were given our struggles with infertility for a reason. It is much easier to say that now but I also knew it at the time. Even when I was in my lowest times, I was able to pray while sobbing & feel my Savior's love for me. I knew that someday, it would all be worth it.
After finding out we were pregnant from 2 positive pregnancy tests on Wednesday, I had my blood tested on Thursday, 2/1/18. We got a call from our doctor's office Friday morning to tell us that my HCG level was good (114) & I was definitely pregnant! It was such a relief to hear those words. Even though I had gotten the positive pregnancy tests, I was still nervous to make sure it was real! We were out of town, so when we got back, I had my blood tested a 2nd time to make sure the levels were still rising (requested by my doctor before we would schedule an ultrasound). Once again I was nervous, wondering what the results would be. I had that blood test taken on Monday, 2/5/18, & it took until Tuesday night for the results to come in & Wednesday morning for Dr. Amols' office to call me. I was able to see the results from the lab Tuesday night though & they looked high, so I was so happy & relieved! Then I got the call this morning & they said my HCG levels were outstanding (822) & that that was great! I am 5 weeks & 2 days today! I made an appointment for Nate & I to go in for an ultrasound on Monday & I am beyond excited! It still feels unreal but so happy & wonderful!
Every day now, I just can't stop thinking about how I am pregnant & how excited I am. I have woken up at exactly 4am the past few morning & cannot get back to sleep because I am just too excited! I used to always touch my stomach & wonder what it would be like to be pregnant & now I put my hand on my stomach & think how excited I am that there is a little baby (or babies) in there! I can't wait for our ultrasound & am just loving this time of feeling so excited & happy! I know that it feels so much more special & amazing because of all we went through to get to this point. I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father for helping Nate & I to get to this point & to never lose faith or hope. We feel so blessed.
The most amazing thing happened yesterday. I knew that it was the day that I was able to take a pregnancy test. I have felt very hopeful this past month but I also feel like I guard myself so that I don't anticipate the results because it is too hard. Yesterday morning I woke up at 5 am & took a pregnancy test. I used a cheap one from Walmart that only cost a dollar. I set it above the toilet & then went to brush my teeth. About 2 minutes later I went to look at the test & felt my heart drop a little as it looked negative. Then I looked closer & there was the faintest little line. I could barely see it though & didn't know if I was imagining it or if it was too faint. Then it started to get a little bit darker, but still pretty faint. I woke Nate up saying, "I don't know what this is but there might be a little line.." He was all out of it since I woke him up. Then I looked again & there was definitely a distinct 2nd line. I started jumping up & down & the feeling was just unreal. Nate was excited but still a little out of it, trying to wake up & I think he also didn't want to get too excited in case it was a false positive. We said a prayer of thankfulness & then I had to get ready & go to work but I just couldn't help but smiling so big the whole morning & day. It just didn't feel real! After 3 1/2 years of heartache, about a hundred negative pregnancy tests, 3 IUI's, 2 surgeries, thousands & thousands of dollars that are all worth it now, & many, many doctor's appointments, blood draws, & shots, we are finally pregnant!!! We never lost hope but there were some incredibly sad & difficult times.
After work, I stopped at the store to get a more expensive pregnancy test just to make sure it was real. The lady at the check out said, "do you want it to be?" & I didn't understand what she meant so she repeated it again, "do you want it to be?", pointing to the pregnancy test. I said "Yes!!!" so happily & she just smiled really big & asked if it would be my first child, which I said yes. I was just so happy to be buying a pregnancy test that would actually come back positive. I have gone through so many checkouts buying pregnancy tests only to have them bring so much sorrow but this was different.
At home I took the Clearblue test & it quickly came back with a + sign for positive. I am never throwing those test away! Then I went to the kitchen to cut some bibs for my sister (she donates them to a hospital). Nate got home about an hour later & was all panicked. He had texted to ask if I had taken the 2nd test & I hadn't answered back since my phone was in the bedroom. He was so stressed thinking it must have come back negative & that I was probably crying by myself. I quickly showed him the 2nd positive test & he was so happy! We were both so excited & happy & it just felt unreal to finally have this happen to us! We made a Plated dinner together that was fun to make & turned out sooo good! It was roasted chicken with a lemon sauce, parsnips & onion, & roasted potatoes. Nate had picked up a bottle of French Berry Lemonade at Trader Joe's so we had a fancy dinner to celebrate.
We had thought about if we should wait to tell family members of just tell everyone. Nate said he was too excited to wait & I was too, so we decided to tell all of my family that night & then to surprise his family when we see them in Utah this Friday. His mom doesn't have any grandchildren & has been wishing for some for sooo long so she is going to be sooo excited! I called my sister, Brittany, first. She has been trying to get pregnant for about 2 or 2 1/2 years & I just wanted her to be the first one to know so she wouldn't feel sad if everyone else knew. I was so nervous to tell her because I didn't want her to feel sad, but she was so sweet & so excited. The first thing she asked was if she can film my labor & make a video for me, haha! She is the sweetest! I was so happy that she was happy for us & I have always felt like we would both have kids at the same time so I hope she will be pregnant really soon! Then Nate & I went to drop the bibs off at my sister, Brooke's house. When I was setting them down on the table she showed my this super cute little pink bib she had made & I said, "I'm going to have to have you make one of these for me.." She looked at me all funny, trying to figure out what I was saying & then I told her, "I'm pregnant!!" She started screaming & jumping up & down & then we yelled & told Cody & the boys! It was so surreal! I always imagined how I would tell everyone & how I would let Nate know & I thought of all these creative ideas but we have been trying for so long that I was just too excited & just wanted to tell everyone the news!
Next we called Ryan & Christina, Nate's brother & his wife, & told them. They have been trying to get pregnant for about a year so Nate wanted to let them know before the rest of his family ( we will surprise his sisters & mom & dad on Friday). They were really happy too! Then my mom finally called back, I had been trying to call her for like 2 hours! I said that I wanted to Facetime & she didn't want to because she didn't have any makeup on, but I called her on Facetime anyways & she got my dad. Then we told my mom & dad & they were sooo excited! My mom started working at the temple about a month ago & she had felt prompted that we would be blessed because of that & that we would be able to have children. What a miracle for us to get pregnant just a month later! We feel so blessed! Then we called Ally & Zach & told them! It was so fun telling everyone & having everyone so excited for us! It still just felt so surreal!!!
We went to bed so excited & both woke up at about 4am, not able to fall back asleep! I just feel so happy & so incredibly blessed. My heart goes out to all those who are dealing with infertility because at the time it is so incredibly difficult & you want nothing more than to get pregnant. One of the hardest parts is not knowing when or if you will get that positive test. There is no way to know the feeling unless you are going through it. I am thankful that I never gave up hope & that I had faith, even though at times it was incredibly hard. I am thankful for my Heavenly Father for watching out for me, helping me through the hardest of times, & for blessing Nate & I to get pregnant against all odds. I feel so loved.
I am a user of Instagram. I don't post often because I mainly like to post pictures from holidays or when we are traveling. Yesterday I noticed a movement on Instagram where a lot of people were posting very real, raw videos & opening up on Instagram. People were talking about how detrimental it is to show & see everything so perfect on Instagram & social media. No one has a perfect life & we all have our struggles. It really made me think a lot seeing videos of others opening up.
It's so easy to look at Instagram & look at our favorite bloggers & think that their life looks perfect. A lot of times they look like they have perfect children, a perfect relationship with their husband, a beautiful house, go on trips around the world all the time, & have beautiful designer clothes. But that is not real. It is just such a small part of their lives & it is extremely curated & edited. Most of the time, hundreds of pictures were taken, then the pictures were edited with filters & a lot of time was spent on the whole process. I used to think it seemed like a perfect life to have a popular blog. That it seemed perfect to be able to travel with your spouse & get paid for it. But in reality, I think it would be a lot of fun but it would bring it's own stress. I love having pictures to remember my trips from, but when I take a picture I want to just snap one quickly & I don't want to always have my camera or phone with me. Traveling & time with my husband is my time when I can really relax & not have to worry about work or anything else. When I really think about it, having to take pictures for work would be really hard & take the fun out of a lot of situations. Not to mention having to edit, think captions that will get a lot of likes, etc. I am not slamming Instagrammers or bloggers, I really like looking at blogs especially but I think that it can be something that can be detrimental at times to see this fake reality & fake perfection. I really like how others who post picture perfect Instagrams are coming out & showing that their real life is not perfect & that their pictures do not show reality. I don't think there is anything wrong with taking pretty pictures & looking for pictures for inspiration but their is a very thin line between looking at pictures for inspiration & comparing your life to them. It is so easy to cross & I do this often.
For me, the hard things is seeing people who have "perfect children". Now I know that they are not really perfect children, but I think because I want children of mine own so badly, it is just something that kind of hurts me to look at. The hardest thing is actually seeing women who are pregnant & posting pictures & videos all the time. Or people complaining about having children in a joking way. Those are the hardest for me & when I am feeling hurt by that, I just delete them. So sorry if you are pregnant right now or just had a baby but I need to delete you from my instagram because their is no way it is good for me to see your stories & pictures every day!
Anyways, I think it is a great thing for people to show a more real side & to keep in mind the dangers of a fake reality. I also think it is important for people to encourage others when they show a real & vulnerable side instead of to criticize, judge, or post hateful comments. That will just make people feel like they can only post a fake/perfect side to themselves.
Anyways, those are my thoughts. I don't know if anyone else even reads this blog, but if you do, please comment what your thoughts are on instagram vs. reality.
& to end, one of my favorite quotes, "comparison is the thief of joy".
Sometimes I feel so ashamed that I am not able to get pregnant. Ashamed that my body is not able to get pregnant. Ashamed that my body is the problem that causes our infertility. Ashamed when people ask me how many children I have or when I want to have children, as if it that simple. Ashamed when other mothers talk about how they can plan out when to get pregnant to avoid giving birth in the summer or planning a special trip to get pregnant. Ashamed when others (& there have been many) tell me that I just need to relax & everything will work out. Ashamed when my friends have 3 or more children. Ashamed that I don't fit in with friends with kids. Ashamed that I can't relate to them & they can't relate to me. Ashamed at the thousands & thousands of dollars that we have spend & years & years with no success. Ashamed thinking, should we have saved that money & used it to adopt? Ashamed at the sadness & despair I fear & the many times I have sobbed to myself alone.
But I know that I am never really alone. I have nothing to be ashamed about. I am a beautiful daughter of God & He has a wonderful plan for me, much greater than I could ever imagine. I know that one day I will look back on my blog posts & realize that going through these hard years has made me stronger. I will have children some day, some way, of that I am sure & this trial will make me a better mother. It will make me appreciate my children more that I ever possibly could if I wasn't praying for them so much & wanting them so much now. My husband & I have prayed hundreds & hundreds of prayers both together & on our own, praying that we can have children & praying for our future children. I know that some day we will be parents & we will never take that for granted.
Sometimes you start crying over something dumb, like a change in schedule at work. For some reason, I couldn't make myself not cry. & then my husband called me & I cried on the phone to him. & now I feel mostly better. But I think it's good to be able to cry, even if it's just something dumb. It just feels better to get the tears out. & most of the time & a lot of times I think the tears come from a bigger issue.
This Saturday was good. Nate had to work from the morning to afternoon & I went hiking with some people from church. Then I went to a sale for the Shine Project. It is a organization I found about through instagram. The founder used to volunteer tutoring in downtown Phoenix & realized the need to help the kids there be able to earn money for college. They had a big sale on Saturday & part of the money goes towards college scholarships for students. I thought that was such a great idea & was happy to be able to go & buy a few skirts. Then I did a little more shopping (got the softest blanket & pillow & a cute shirt) & picked up some new dining chairs from World Market. I feel grown up having 2 fancy dining chairs. I grabbed a burger & fries at Shake Shack on my way home & it just felt so nice to not have things I needed to do.
When I got home Nate & I went on a hike with Blitzen. The hike was perfect! The weather was so nice & on the way down we were the only people left hiking. It just feels so cool being in nature & being the only ones there. We let Blitzen run free & he was in heaven. Then it started raining really hard all of the sudden. The rain felt so hard & we realized it had turned into sleet! We zipped up our jackets & ran down the rest of the trail. Blitzen kept running so fast & then looking back at us & whining like "why can't you speed up?" haha!
Hiking in the rain reminded us of when we lived in Washington & went camping our first month there. We had been planning on camping 2 nights but there was a huge rainstorm. It poured the whole first night & everything was so wet. It was supposed to keep pouring the whole next day & night so Nate thought we should leave. I was so sad because it was our first time camping there & I thought if we cancelled our plans because of rain then we would have to do that everytime since it rains so much there. (We later found out that was considered way more rain than usual there though). We had wanted to do a little hike before we left, so we rain along a trail wearing soaking clothes & rainboots & it was so fun! Something we will always remember from our time in Washington & Oregon!
After hiking we went home, made salad, homemade pizza, & pizzokies & watched Victoria & Abdul in our pajamas. It was such a fun night & I just felt so thankful to have my sweet husband & cuddly dog. (Blitzen is obsessed with the new blanket I got & has taken it over, the second I put it on the couch he runs over & jumps on it!) I am thankful for the fun adventures we get to have, even if they are simple, it makes life much more fun & makes it a little easier to forget about infertility problems for a night!
Sometimes I find myself feeling so discouraged. I get tired of having to time everything, saving money that is used so quickly on doctor's bills for treatments that have not worked, & just the feeling of wanting & hoping & dreaming of something so badly for so many years & it seems like nothing has changed. People that I remember saying they wanted to get pregnant now have children that are a few years old or several children & here I am still in the same place.
Yesterday I was feeling so stressed & discouraged. I got to work & my whole body just felt heavy & tired & thoughts of giving up on trying to get pregnant crowded my head. After work I went to watch the Bachelor with my little sister & was able to vent to her a little bit & then I got home & my sweet husband was home. We talked & I was able to feel a lot more peace about everything. Then he went to play basketball & I had a relaxing evening, watching The Profit & eating nachos & peanut butter cups. It was just what I needed.
There have been a few times where I have felt like giving up, but then I am blessed with a feeling of peace & a hope & a will to go on with this process. So for now, I will keep doing what I'm doing & keep praying to be guided to do what is right for our family.
Well, I did it, I set an appointment to meet with my fertility doctor again. It has been 3 1/2 months since my surgery. I have had one month of hoping that I would be able to get pregnant, but not. I set my appointment for the middle of March, so I will have 2 more chances of getting pregnant, hopefully, before meeting with my doctor. He wanted me to do and HSG test to make sure my fallopian tubes are clear & if they are, I am hoping to be able to do Femara for 2-3 months before going on to IUI's again. It is so weird thinking of going through all of these same things again but I am thankful that the surgery went so good & that we now have a chance to hopefully get pregnant! Lately I have been praying so much that Nate & I will be guided in our decisions & knowing what decisions to make with trying to get pregnant. I just want to make sure that if we are supposed to do something like become foster parents or look into adoption, it is not something that I have my mind closed of too. I really want to be able to have children & in which ever way God has in store for me. I know that no matter what, I will be a mother one day & I want to make sure that I am open to in what ways that can happen. Right now this is what I am feeling is right but that can always change in a moment:
try to get pregnant without fertility treatments
try to get pregnant without fertility treatments
do HSG test & get prescribed Femara (if my doctor approves) to start that month
use Femara (if doctor approves)
use Femara (if doctor approves)
look into/get prepped for IVF
I feel pretty strongly right now that this is the last year I can go through fertility treatments. So far, I have been going through fertility treatments for 4 years, so another year of treatments would be 5 years. (see below) I feel like my body can only handle so much & by doing everything that we have possibly been able to for the last year & for 2018, I feel like that is the most that I can do & the rest is in God's hands. I have had many, many people ask me why we don't just adopt or if that is something we are interested in. That is such an enormous decision & also a very expensive one. It's funny because when people ask about that, they ask it like it's just something so simple, "why don't you just adopt?" For my husband & I we feel good about pursing the fertility route for another year first. We have been praying & pondering about this for the past 4 years so it is not like it is something we haven't thought about. I feel like with adoption, it is something that both my husband & I would need to feel prompted to start the process & both be 100% on board & right now that is just not what we are feeling is right for us at this time. That could definitely change though & it is something that I have thought about a lot lately. Going through fertility treatments is something that is so emotional, time consuming, & expensive & I feel like we need to commit 100% to that route for another year. Anyways, those are just my thought right now.
Fertility Journey so far 2014-2018
2014-tried to get pregnant but were unsuccessful
2015-met with obgyn, tried clomid for 4 months, met with fertility specialist
2016- tried femara, had hsg test-was told my fallopian tubes were completely blocked, had surgery to unblock them, was told they were unblocked (was told by my new doctor & surgeon they were not even in my fallopian tubes because they were blocked by a septum) then did 3 IUI's- all unsuccessful, with femara
2017- IUI's, switched to new fertility doctor, surgery to remove septum
2018-this year, see plan above, hopefully this is our year!!!
Well, another month down & still not pregnant. This past month we hoped again to be pregnant. We knew we wouldn't be able to find out until after Christmas is I was pregnant, but I still had a little hope in my heart that maybe I was pregnant at Christmas but just wouldn't know it until after. Most of my family was staying until New Years Day so I pictured surprising them at our New Years Eve fondue party if we were pregnant. All of my sisters have been praying for me & hoping so badly that I could get pregnant the past 4 years. I took a pregnancy test on December 29th & it was not positive. Even though we were hoping so much it would be positive, I didn't let myself get as disappointed as I have been in the past because it just gets to hard. The hardest time for me was after our 3rd IUI because we both felt so much like it would work. I just couldn't let myself feel that sad again. Another really hard month was when we found out that we qualified for an IVF study where it would cost $1,600 instead of $16,000 but the study had just barely filled up. Both of those days & weeks & months were sooo hard & I remember just sobbing & sobbing uncontrollably. Sometimes you just need to cry but I remember those days & how hopeless & completely devastated I felt. I was able to pray for comfort & peace & feel that, but there was the complete sadness before that that just hurts me to think about.
The doctor who did my surgery has prescribed me metformin to regulate my cycle (I have been on it the past 3 years, but haven't been going to my fertility doctor since right before my surgery). They said they will give 2 months more to try to get pregnant naturally & if I don't get pregnant, they would like me to go to my fertility doctor so that is our plan. 2 more month hoping & praying that we will get pregnant without treatments. I am going to set up my appointment for 2 months from now so that if we aren't pregnant, we can have our appointment set & not have to worry about waiting for an appointment to open up. I am hoping so much that everything will work out.
We continue to have faith & feel hope about our future & I really do feel like this is our year!
Last month was what we thought would be the first chance we had to get pregnant. Unfortunately, I didn't have my period & I don't think I ovulated. I took about 7 tests to see if I did, but after they were all negative, I saved my pregnancy tests for the next month. Nate & I were disappointed to not even feel like we had a chance but luckily it was so busy with Thanksgiving & Christmas prep that the next few months went by pretty quickly. It was hard realizing that we wouldn't have a chance to be pregnant by Christmas though. We had been so excited thinking that it was possible we could be pregnant by Christmas & could surprise both of our families with the news. But I know there is a reason for everything. Maybe it is so that my sister who is trying to get pregnant won't feel sad because she isn't pregnant yet. We will see what the next month brings. I keep noticing nativity sets & pictures of Joseph & Mary with baby Jesus & that gives me comfort & peace.