Monday, July 6, 2009

36th Month

That's right. July marks our 36th month of trying to conceive. Let's just stop and let that sink in for a minute. Thirty-Six months. That's a freaking lot of months.

I really don't know how some of you have done this for longer. FJIEJ, AYWH, Sew, JB, LIM... I know I'm forgetting a bunch... but seriously, HOW do you survive? I remember the 2-Year mark feeling like death itself. I guess death will be re-visited at the 3-Year mark.

DH and I have now shifted focus and are putting a lot of energy into our TTC efforts. I had been looking forward to working on our adoption Profile Book this summer, but now instead I am exploring every last avenue that has yet to be explored in our infertility journey. If, after 3 months of Lovenox there is no pregnancy, I will most likely go see Dr. Kwak-Kim in Chicago. I've been hearing such wonderful things about her, and I do think she can help, if Lovenox alone does not.

Most likely we'll continue fertility treatment at least until the Home Study picks up again. The original plan was to stop in September, but I will not be able to NOT work on becoming a mommy in any capacity for 3 or more months, so that's not gonna happen now.

Everyone's comments on my last post were very much appreciated, and I want you to know I read them several times and have taken them to heart. My biggest hurdle right now is trying to understand WHY this happened. I was pretty stable in my infertility, and have been trying my best to embrace that cross for a long time, now. This year I've experienced a true appreciation of the cross, in that it was the vehicle that lead me and DH into adoption. Once we realized that God had intended us to adopt NOW, and not our youngest child (which was what we had planned), we were truly excited and thrilled to get our hearts and homes ready for OUR BABY through adoption.
But now? I just cannot understand why God would slam that door in our face. Our infertility had a greater purpose; it had become a beautiful thing. Now, once again, it is meaningless, bears no fruit, and is only there to cause us more suffering.

At least, this is how it FEELS to us at the moment. I know it's not for us to know or understand God's motives, but I simply cannot figure this one out. If, by some unlikely miracle, we are to achieve pregnancy in the next 6 months, then a) why did God make us wait so long for it, and b) why did He call us to adopt?
And if instead He does intend for us to become parents through adoption, then why make us wait over a year to get approved when everyone else does it in 3-4 months? The final scenario, of course, is the one that seems most likely, since it's the easiest to explain. If God did not intend for us to become parents at all. Clearly, handing us infertility and inability to adopt would be the way for Him to accomplish that one. Then the only question remaining is the biggest one. WHY? Why, God, why?

As usual, when I feel completely hopeless, the Mass readings speak to me. This week it was the 2nd reading, from St. Paul. He begged God to deliver him from the "thorn in his flesh" (some kind of physical ailment that St. Paul suffered from, many believe it was epilepsy), and God told him that it was through the thorn that His power was made perfect. St. Paul learns that in his weakness, he is strong.

It is difficult for me in this current situation to learn how God's power is being made perfect in my infertility. I would much easier accept the idea of a new human life being brought into a loving, Christian home as a manifestation of God's perfection. I am really, truly, struggling in my understanding right now. But what I know is that the reading this week is for all of us. No one is excluded from any of God's words in the Bible, and there is a way for each and every one of us to take those words and apply them to our lives. So, while I may not understand it right now, I know that God was letting me know that there IS INDEED a purpose for my infertility. A purpose which makes his power grow to perfection, and a purpose in making me stronger through my weakness. Since the adoption mishap made me MOST upset because it stripped my infertility of meaning and purpose, I was comforted at Mass to listen to that reading and know that it does still have meaning.

Just don't ask me what that meaning is.


E said...

I LOVE the second reading this week. I remember perfectly when I really heard it for the first time, at the chapel in the state park near our house, and also knowing that my younger sister was pg at the time and not telling me. I knew that HE was talking to me. I am/was so weak in my faith. It was right before I made my Cursillo. Everytime I hear it, it moves me. It keeps me humble and thankful that I don't have more suffering, but the suffering that I DO have, is to be closer to Him. Amazing.

I don't know how I keep on going. This summer is practicly 5 years for us. It sucks. I really hate thinking about how long it has been, but each year we get more information, and healthier. I also feel like each year of IF, brings us closer to being the parents that we are being called to be.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading each post. Today I understand this post very much. I also feel hopeless. Too bad we don't live closer to each other as misery loves company and we can comiserate together.

I think the only thing TO do is keep going somehow. The pain of being childless for life is worse than monthly failure. I don't know what's up with your home study situation....if you want to talk about it please email me. My email is one sweet world 67 at gmail dot com (push all of that together to make my email).

I don't know what to do either....and I HATE it.

Karey said...

So of course as soon as I read how many months it has been for you I just had to figure it out for myself.. and it's been a whopping 59 months!! Holy crap!

How do I do it? I guess the answer to that is that I don't. My constant cry when I break down is "I can't do this anymore!" But, guess what.. I have to! God has picked me up a thousand times over and will continue to do so. That's the only way I get through this at all.

I also LOVED that reading. I couldn't believe I'd never heard it before, at least not since I've been dealing with infertility. I seriously don't think another reading speaks to me more about our struggle than this one. And, for me, the reading the Sunday before last was tough to hear because I have a difficult time with the healing stories. Like, sure, that's great.. but what about those of us who God chooses not to heal? Well, this reading answered that question for me completely.

Just Another Day In Paradise said...

Where are you located? Check into SIRM, thats who Im dealing with now. They have offices throughout the US in each geographical area. They offer free consultations which Dr. Kwak or Coulam do not. Check my blog for more info about that. Ive been quite happy with my dealings with them so far- I go to NYC tomorrow for intralipids and havent paid a dime for any of their services yet. Very helpful since everything else is money money money!

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

I did SIRM a few months ago, here in NJ. They ran the immunological testing for me, and then sent me on my way... I was hoping to qualify for Intralipids, as sick as that sounds(!!)- I really just wanted a new and different treatment, but they weren't able to find anything worth treating.

I don't think they take the clotting issues as seriously as Kwak-Kim, but then again, not many Drs do, there are only a handful out there who feel it is a big contributor to implantation failure for INFERTILE couples (not just those with repeat m/cs).

Thank you for the suggestion, though, and keep me posted on your Intralipid treatment! That is exciting!

mrsblondies said...

I hadn't thought about that reading with regards to IF and I read it twice yesterday. I definitely understand feeling hopeless and I haven't been doing this as long as you have (24 months soon).

I'm glad that you found a new avenue to look at with regard to TTC, but I'm sorry that it came at the cost of your plans to adopt soon.

prayerfuljourney said...

I had to think about how many months my dh and I have been trying to TTC *****73 months**** 6 years sounds better. Yikes. I don't know how I've done it but I guess I just put the past behind me and kept looking forward. I'm actually on the 3rd dr helping me with IF. This dr seems to know what he is doing and he's aggressive. The other two took baby steps. I'm hoping this doesn't continue for too many months. 73 sounds like enough. God Bless!

LifeHopes said...

Wow we ARE on the same page.

I do NOT understand the WHY of any of this is happening to you, much less any of us.

But I did want to say something, for what it is worth, and even though there is a chance that I might have to eat my words and you will hate me.

AND realizing that it really does not usually behoove us to ask "why" of God ....

BUT with all those disclaimers out there, I really and truly believe that, perhaps, you ARE meant to conceive. It is possible that you are very close to treating all the causes of your fertility and that the child you are meant to parent is the one you will conceive through the treatment you are meant to find. I do NOT believe for one second that you are NOT meant to be a mother. That option truly does not make sense so I cannot even go there in my mind for you.

When I heard the news about your adoption plans getting blocked right now, my first and most clear thought was that "TCIE is going to conceive. It's settled."

I only hope that in saying this it might be a beautiful possibility that you could challenge yourself to ponder. I am praying so much for you. I know how much you long to be a mother, how hard you have fought to treat your infertility AND how much you are helping others as a practitioner, which, by the way, takes so much courage.

Life In Mazes said...

Oh, honey! You made me do the math too :( We have been open to life for 108 months! By the grace of God, we have been able to celebrate 9 years of marriage and not let the stress of IF isolate us and drive us apart! I think that is what I am celebrating every year now. I sometimes think of celebrating our anniversary as a timeline to recognize how we have failed to be fruitful, but God really pulled out all the punches this year in showering me with his grace and knowledge that we are fruitful in the way he is calling us to be at this time.
I am lifting you up in prayer right now. Hugs going out to you, too!

JellyBelly said...

i'm scared to count the months, but our fourth wedding anniversary is coming up on the 16th, so you can do the math.

i've been having a more difficult time since my first surgery. honestly, it was almost easier when i had no idea what was going on with my insides. it was also easier to be infertile while i was working. at school i don't have time to think about anything, but now that it's summer vacation i've been thinking, a lot.

as i look at the children of my friends and family members i feel such a deep jealousy that it's almost embarrassing. why do i have to be infertile? why do i have to feel this jealousy? what am i supposed to learn from this experience?

but every time i want to give up and just accept our childlessness, i see the faith that my husband has in the fact that we will be parents. every time i ask him if he thinks that we'll be parents he gives me a certain yes. he keeps me going. i also know that if i told him that i didn't want to continue treatments and surgeries that he would support me 100%.

regardless of what IF has done to my body and my psyche, it has brought me a solid marriage. and soon enough, i will have a healthier body. i have to focus on these things or else i would go mad.

Praying for Hope said...

I haven't been trying for nearly as long as most - it will be two years in September - but it feels much, much longer, probably because we waited for several years before that until DH could overcome his fear of having children. That, and the age factor makes ever month feel twice as long.

Anyway, three years isn't a nice anniversary, but what's amazing is that you've continued trying all of this time. You didn't throw in the towel or give into procedures you felt were wrong for you. You've kept your faith that you're on the right path in spite of the seeming failures. That's amazing. You may not know the why of it, but I don't believe God would abandon that sort of faith. Somehow, your answer is coming, whatever that is.

the misfit said...

Almost 45 months. I did at least 24 months of denial (as a coping mechanism, this works about the same way as "serenity now"). In better months, the answer is not to get through the forty-sixth month or whatever - it's to have a good DAY. And sometimes I do. My marriage is SO MUCH STRONGER than it was four years ago - not because of the IF (hah!), but because in that time we've grown and healed so much. I increasingly think that we're not going to have kids ever. Four years is an especially long time from the point of view of how long it's taking me to get the message. But that's not my perspective with regard to other infertile people, just us.

When I read that reading, I thought, "Very funny, God. I know what you're doing." I don't want to be weak. But it's not my call...

Sew said...

I remember post a blog post that said 36th negative pregnancy test! hahahahahaha

The sad thing is that to an outsider 36 six negative pregnancy test doesn't sound like a lot, when really it only takes one test to find out if your pregnant or not! :)

I actually explain that to non-IFs. That is how I say it. We have had xx amount of negative pregnancy test, too bad you can only take one a month. :)

Fertile Thoughts said...

Are you really considering going to see Dr. Kwa-Kim? If so, that is so AWESOME! I am dying to get out there and see her but we just can't manage that expess. I am so jealous your even considering this trip. I am sure you'ed probably get a lot of answers from the trip. As you know I have heard tons about her from Joe Fuge. So I am very curious about this route.

I am praying for you...

Mrs. Mike said...

Roughly 137 cycles of actively TTC over the past 10+ years--give or take. The 3 year mark was probably the most difficult. I felt like I was straddling being IF and trying to open my heart up to adoption. It was a truly dark, unproductive time for me.

Not that it really gets any easier, but after the 4th and 5th year, I came to accept IF as really a part of who I was (not necessarily WHAT I was, mind you) and started seeing the God's design behind it all. I was then that we got serious about the idea of adoption and the ball just started rolling from there.

I know it sounds trite, but this is--ironically--a potentially very fruitful time for you. I firmly believe you're meant to be a mother and that God *is* hearing your prayer and will answer His own time of course. But when that day comes, you'll be able to look back on this difficult time of waiting with at least some degree of pride (the good kind of pride) that you didn't give up or give in. That you kept the faith. That you really did trust in Him and His perfect will.

I hope that you won't have to wait much longer to see the fruits of all your efforts in patience and faithfulness come into (a bouncing, lovable, cute little) being.

Joy said...

I am revisiting your blog after being away for a while. I'm sorry that I missed what the glitches are in the adoption process. My dh and I started the adoption process in November 08 and we were holding our daughter in January 09. If this can happen for us, I am totally in amazement that it can't happen for you or at least within a year. (My husband is 50 and so expected we would have issues)

We were truly blessed by the adoption process and I have no doubts this was our calling. Please email me if there is anything I can do to help or information you would like.

[email protected]

Beth said...

We had exactly 48 months before we conceived Madeleine. AND, although I never would have said this during that time, now I can say that I wouldn't trade it. I love my life now, even more than I would have if it had come easy. I feel like I'm a better mother, I appreciate all the time I get with my kids. God does have a plan AND He has perfect timing!!