Friday, July 8, 2011

NaPro Appt #5,782

Yesterday my NaPro Dr (#1) squeezed me in for an appointment at the end of a very long week for her, as she prepares to leave for the AAFCP Annual Meeting. This is the first time I won't be attending in 3 years. I'm bummed.

Basically, I just needed to talk to someone other than myself (in my head... just to clarify. I do not go around mumbling things aloud to myself) about the state of my infertility and inadoption, and basically my WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW????? mentality.

The way I put it is that we (DH and I) are no longer in the aggressive mode in terms of treatments. We lack the energy and strength to keep going at that pace (the pace of not-too-long-ago driving into the city for Intralipid injections, flying to Chicago for biophysical uterine profiles, traveling all over the State to finally find a hematologist to prescribe Lovenox, injecting myself with said Lovenox daily, trying Follistim, trigger shots, steroids, getting shingles from said steroids, and basically flooding my body head to toe with so much that it hardly had time to react). Yeah. That pace wasn't fun.

But right now we find ourselves at a crossroads. It's not like we're going to "just give up," because, really, what does that even mean?? In my opinion, to truly "give up" trying to conceive means you are no longer having intercourse on fertile days (in essence, using NFP to avoid a pregnancy) or, contracepting. Because, if you ARE continuing to use fertile days, then you are well-aware that there is always the possibility of a pregnancy resulting. And in that case, there's always going to be the two-week wait - the cyclical "could I be" which is, if you ask me, the very worst part of infertility.

I told this to the Dr, too, and she agreed with me. The NOT KNOWING is the very worst part of this cross. And it's not just the not knowing each cycle if you could be pregnant, it's also the indefinite future - will I ever be pregnant, adopt, have children at all? I would feel 100 times better if someone would just tell me right now if I ever will become a physical mother in this world. And I would feel 100 times better if, after each Peak Day, someone whispered in my ear, "Nope, didn't catch that egg this cycle." At least then I could move on with my life and not live it in constant wondering and worry.

And the stress. Oh, the stress. My NaPro Dr is one of a handful of people in our lives who knows about ALL of our stress factors. And she's the one who said to me that the past two years specifically have been incredibly stressful, and stress can really wreak havoc on the body. She went on to say (and I LOVE her for this), "I am not telling you this because I expect you to DO something about the stress. But I want you to be aware that you have done everything you possibly can to make yourself healthier, and there are outside factors at play right now that you have no control over. I think now is a good time to hand all of that stress back over to God."

Yes. Hand it to God. I would thoroughly enjoy removing this stress from my life and giving it to God... now, how do I do that exactly???

I asked her if she has ever had a patient in our position - who has literally done everything AND cannot (for one reason or another) adopt, and if so, WHAT do they do? And that is when I told her that we don't want to be so aggressive anymore, but at the same time, our desire is still there (and if possible, is getting stronger and stronger every day). What are we to do with that?

She admitted that she never had patients our age who have come to a place where they decided to give up trying to conceive. Usually, it is the older premenopausal patients who try a few years of NaPro infertility treatment and then transition into menopause and into a place of acceptance of not having children. She said she doesn't think I need to "go there." She said I should put trying to conceive on the backburner, and not put myself in the position of, "OK, now what should I try next? Should I take Femara this month? Should I try this or that med next month?" Instead, I should just live my daily life, trying to enjoy the things I used to enjoy, and continue taking anything that I think is helping me to feel better on a daily basis (namely, Naltrexone, progesterone, Trental, and my supplements). At one point during the appointment, I lost my control and started to cry. It was then that I looked up to apologize about losing it, and saw that my Dr had tears in her eyes for us.

I am not giving up. I'm just not racing to a finish line that may or may not be there. More like a brisk walk.

It's a wonderful plan. In theory. But I just don't know how to let all of it go.

I also explained to my Dr about the Creighton Model follow-up I had two nights ago that really upset me. One of my clients had emailed me frantically to meet because she and her husband (who came to me while breastfeeding their first baby, and have been using the system to avoid pregnancy while he secured work... for two years), because she had had two dry cycles in a row and they had decided to try to achieve a pregnancy last month. Surprise- it didn't work immediately this time!! Omgosh, you mean, it may not happen when I snap my fingers??!! So I calmed her down and had her come in for a follow-up to get her lack of mucus figured out (backstory, by the way, is that she had been diagnosed with Stage III endometriosis as a teenager, and it was never removed, and yet she achieved very easily when trying for her first). She was lamenting the fact that they wanted an April baby and planned on trying last month because it would have been the PERFECT timing for a baby, what with her maternity leave, and his summer vacation, etc. etc. Then she said, "And my sister and some of my friends have been trying for a long time, and I kept telling them 'Just be at peace,' but now that I'm in the midst of it, I can't seem to find the peace..." IN THE MIDST OF WHAT, EXACTLY?!?!?!, I wanted to yell at her! Instead, I smiled politely and said, "At the risk of sounding offensive... when we try to make plans for ourselves, God laughs." She nodded and said she totally got it, but was so confused and yada yada...

The whole time I wanted to hit her over the head with her chart and say, "Listen, Fertile Endo Girl, one failed attempt on a DRY CYCLE does not an infertile make. Go home, take B6, and you'll be pregnant next month!!! An April Baby????!!!! An APRIL BABY??!!!! Yeah, I would have liked a baby before I turned 30, I'll take one any day of any month of any year!!!"

But I sucked it up, counseled her, and she and her hubby and adorable 2 year old all went home feeling much better.

And just when I was starting to feel like a great Practitioner, I head to work yesterday morning (at the other NaPro facility) to hear from my colleague that one of my new clients called to cancel her first follow-up with me. And when asked why, she explained to my colleague that she felt very judged during the Intro, and that she took some issue with the fact that I suggested abstaining for the first cycle of charting (every.single.client is given the exact same suggestion at the Intro Session, as all you charters know). She was not an infertility client, rather a mother of 6 who had very recently had a miscarriage. My colleague talked to her about how the Intro is meant to be scientific in nature, and by no means was I telling her what to do that would be best for her marriage, etc. but I can't say that I still wasn't very hurt by that. I go above and beyond in my work as a Practitioner of this system, and for someone to feel judged by me presenting a powerpoint presentation to them is just icing on the crap cake I've been eating all month.

So, I've been down in the dumps lately.

Then, today, I have a phone texting exchange with another charting client of mine that lifted my spirits. She also had a miscarriage earlier this year, and has been a difficult client for a variety of reasons - I had her come in for a follow-up after the miscarriage to discuss it with her and to see how she was doing, and she told me later how much she appreciated it. Today, this was our exchange:

Me: How are you doing today? I've been thinking about you.

C: I'm encouraged... and you? Last time I saw you, you looked so refreshed and renewed. I feel God is doing something brand new in your life!

Me: :) You have no idea how much I needed to hear that right now. I am feeling very overwhelmed with infertility and my 30th birthday this month.

She: Mmmmm I had a feeling... but remember something... the life of a seed has to die before it births into a new creation and it seems like forever until you see it burst forth above the dirt. But underneath what looks like stillness is action we cannot see. THAT my dear friend, is where God does His best work: in secret.

Me: You are a beautiful child of God :) Thank you.

She: And PS, 30 is a beautiful age! I sure am glad for the day of your birth. You have been a great encouragement to me! Allow the people around you to celebrate the YOU that you are! It's a beautiful you! And please don't allow the enemy to take away your joy! Fight him with Praise to Jesus (the devil hates that!) and fight him by encouraging yourself aloud (repeat after me now): Right now my God is thinking loving thoughts towards me... right now my God is making the impossible POSSIBLE... right now my God is more than enough for me, He will supply all my needs. He is my Elshaddi. He always looks out for my best interests!
And REMEMBER THIS: When you're about to become greatly blessed, the devil will greatly try your faith and thus try to steal away your blessing. FIGHT HIM and ask for His angels to surround you as you do so.

Honestly, I have not ever seen this girl socially outside of follow-ups. She is merely a client. I really believe God prompted me to text her today so that He could respond to me through her words. They helped me so much that I thought I'd share them with you, too.

I can't say I'm feeling much better, but at least my soul is doing ok right now. I told my DH that I can literally feel my skin crawling because I'm just so stressed, and he promised me a nice, relaxing evening. On that note, I just heard him walk in the door, so I'm off to relax...


[email protected] said...

Whoa. Got chills reading that last lady's prophetic words. Oh, my.

Also, I can't help but thinking as I read your posts… TCIE is being shaped and formed into a saint.

What plans does God have for you? I want to be here to watch and see. Because it's big.

Meanwhile, I love your NaPro practitioner's advice and thoughts. Nodding as I read.

Bless you, hon!

mrsblondies said...

Wow, the client who didn't conceive after a month of trying for child #2 now thinks she understands infertility...not so much. She's lucky that you are able keep you mouth shut.

I definitely understand you just going into maintenance mode on the treatment front. You've done so much and with all the other stress in your life, you need a break.

Love what that last client said.

Hebrews 11:1 said...

Your client and your doc sound like great people.

I agree with are bound for great things! I've always believed that when we see what God has been working on in your life, we'll be astounded. :)

JellyBelly said...

I have goosebumps! The Lord was speaking to you through your client!!!!

What a blessing you received!

Catholic Mutt said...

What an awesome thing for your client to say! Wishing you a relaxing, stress free weekend.

Second Chances said...

You are awesome. I know I've said that before, but wow. Your constant courage and openness to life is so beautiful. I just wrote a post about how hard it is to be open to life, and you emulate my words in that post. Not that you want to! I love your client's words too and I do think they are prophetic. Hoping you have a relaxing night :)

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

Love your last client!

"The whole time I wanted to hit her over the head with her chart and say, "Listen, Fertile Endo Girl""

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Seriously...give me a break! She is INSANE!!!

You were amazing to keep your wits about you. A-MAZ-ING!!!

Julie said...

I understand you pain, although I have not been in your shoes exactly. We were childless for the first 9 years of marriage and I wanted the same thing "to just know if I would ever be a mother". God NEVER revealed that to me and that hurt more than the pain of childlessness. I felt like if I just knew, then I could move on with my life.
I pray for you daily! You are in the hardest years of your marriage and life. I have no idea (God doesn't seem to want to tell me other's future's either) what His plans are for you, but I know that He is shaping you into a saint and that YOU are bringing more people into HIS Kingdom by your witness!

I love your clients words too. I might use them on facebook!!

barbie said...

Wow it sounds like you were sent a message from alive! Amazing!

St. Rita's Roses said...

I know we chatted about this already, but wanted to agree with the others...great things are happening tcie! I feel it! Now, pray to St. Michael to protect you during this major formation time!!!

I love Dr. J! She is so kind! I could see her saying all of that! She is a wonderful lady!

That client is wacky, do not even freight over her- she obviously was not ready for the Creighton message.

Made For Another World said...

This post is going in my 'save and print' file. Wow- that client of yours gave you quite a gift! I'm not referring to the fertile endo gal- haha! As most have said before, you are being shaped into a saint and your witness is a powerful one.

E said...

Oh dear, A. I am so sorry you are hurting and in depair. I completely agree with your client, Praise God admist all the hurt, that is when those prayers mean the most.

You are on the cusp of acceptance. With that, there will be peace. You are almost there, keep striving towards the Lord and he won't disappoint.

Those clients that don't get what they what right away, annoy me, too. But, this might be the first time this has ever happened to her. I am sure your consolation meant a lot to her.

Waiting is the most excrutiating part of IF. It is so painful to live in the "what if." I don't do well there. But, I am getting better by thanking Jesus for each painful thing and moving on. But, it is still hard. Prayers always for you, my friend.

the misfit said...

I have often thought that, while marrying young is supposed to be a virtue in Catholic circles (an opportunity to have a bigger family; spending more of your life in your vocation...), for infertiles it's a curse. When I married I had 29 years until the average onset age for menopause. That's well over half the years since BIRTH - by the time I hit menopause (if I did so on time - I expect to go early, which will be a small mercy), I would have spent considerably more than half my life wondering EVERY MONTH whether I could get pregnant. They say the Chinese water torture will drive a person insane in just a few days. What about 29 years? If I had married at 40, or contracepted for the first 10-15 years of marriage, as so many do, I would have been spared so much of this pain. It doesn't seem like crosses should bring us pain and then obedience should make the pain worse.

Also, it was obvious before, but this is final confirmation that I could NOT do what you do. I occasionally have regrets that I did not sufficiently give someone a piece of my mind, but rarely. As a general rule I do a lot of Telling People Things, and Fertile Endo Girl would have gotten an EARFUL. But I know you totally can't do that in your job. ("Judged" girl was probably ready to feel judged by anybody she passed on the street - she's probably still freaked out by her miscarriage and oversensitive. I don't know anything about being oversensitive PERSONALLY, of course, I'm just speculating here.)

I am looking forward to (not with enjoyment exactly) a 30th birthday too. I know the culture sees it as a huge milestone in general, but it ain't nothing for them like it is for us. However...I agree with the sentiment of your interlocutor there. I am grateful for your life! And while I would wish that you'd had a houseful of adopted and biological children before now, if you had to carry this cross for a piece, I'm glad I got to know you on this part of the journey.

E said...

Oh, and I forgot your your big BD coming up. My 30th was awful. My husband didn't plan anything, I made the reservations for dinner. He bought be crocs and gave them to me in the store bag. My sister and mom bailed at the last minute and didn't come to visit. I was in the depths of despair. Four years into our marriage and no fruit. It was so sad. I have hope that your hubby will do something really nice for you.
Also, there is hope that you will have a baby in your 30's, I did. :)

The Skirts said...

Thanks for posting this. On CD1 for me (which was a couple of days late), no less! I really needed to read it.

"Right now my God is thinking loving thoughts towards me..."

Wow. I've been thinking it over and over since yesterday. Shame on me for ever forgetting. You are a rock star, and you have a super cool guardian angel! (duh)

I am sad for you, but I can't wait to see your heavenly crown! That baby's gonna shine.

All in His Perfect Timing said...

I love the part as your friend tells about the seed. It is something I'm glad you shared. And ... I cannot believe what you put up with for clients! Wow. ALL kinds. What I think is nice is when people realize they just can't snap their fingers and become pregnant ... As before, they were taking their fertility for granted. I hope you had a wonderful evening with your hubby. De-stressing is easier said than done! Keeping you in my prayers.

All in His Perfect Timing said...

Also, love your new blog design! So pretty!!!

Being Refined said...

I like the new look of your blog. :)

I hope the life stress decreases VERY soon! That will be so good for you and your DH-just on a mental and relational level.

I'm sorry about the challenging NaPro clients! But the last one (texting) was a hug from God!! Praise God for her and her words!

You continue to be in my prayers!

Praying for Hope said...

The not knowing is the worst part. If you could know one way or the other . . . But that's not the way it is. I'm wish it were otherwise. I love you last client. The other one with the endo, you just want to roll your eyes with someone like that.

Ashley said...

I agree with Leila, you being sanctified with each acquiescence to and cross you bear. You are very strong, and he is using you in the ways that stretch and pain you the most. I am in awe of your professional career in the midst of your own IF, a VERY hard place to constantly be. The yoke you bear right now will be released, I think you are indeed on the 'cusp'. Prayers for your.

And PS: I love your new design for the blog!

Anonymous said...

Just a thought...and I am not trying to minimize the pain you are going through...but have you thought about not charting, not completing treatments, and not having sex for a few months to a year just to try to sacrifice your pain and desire for children for let go of your fertility and trust He knows better than you or your husband do? The reason I am saying this is that during the 7.5 years I was married, I wanted children, but due to my husband's mental health and struggles, we couldn't have sex for over the last 3.5 years. I had to come to terms with our marriage and unfortunately, he ended up leaving me earlier this now, at the age of 34 almost 35...I am divorced (which I don't believe in) and single again and the chances of me ever having children is minimal to none. I have accepted this to be so and I may never marry again. I just sent out my petition in the mail for my annulment last week and the process witll take about a year and a half to complete. However, I have found a lot of joy and peace in Christ through this experience of suffering. I know that even though I still desire to be married and have children that it may not be His will for my life and I have accepted it...I was just thinking if you could offer and sacrifice your fertility to Christ and lay it down completely to Him...then he may bring you to a greater joy than you could imagine possible for you and your husband. In scripture, it speaks that at the end of great suffering, joy can be experienced.

God bless,


Little JoAnn said...

I woke up in the middle of the night with these thoughts in my head so forgive me...

1) can't you guys do a private adoption forget an agency their crazy

2) this is gonna shock you...but there is something called innnocent spouse when it comes to tax troubles...what about a legal separation (for a time) that would then allow YOU to adopt on your own a child (from an agency) and then of course when you DH's record is clear he later adopts the baby and you cancel the legal separation) after all it is the CHURCH'S marriage that makes you guys ONE BODY, its the sacrament that matters...

Think about the legalization of gay marriage--its a civil thing...the Church can not conduct gay marriages even though legally folks can get same sex marriages. The Church is going to have to stand up to this civil law or opt out...

What I mean to say is if the civil law is preventing you guys from havning a child time to opt out of it!

Am I crazy?

YOU ADOPT that child (in the eyes of the state) alone but of course it would be BOTH OF YOU!!