Wow, wow, wow! You guys, I have SO MUCH to update you about! It appears as though I took an accidental hiatus for a short time because so very much has been happening across many aspects of our lives. I’m really looking forward to updating y’all!
I’ll start with the reason many of you are reading: IVF! Where are we? What’s been happening? DO WE HAVE A COUNTDOWN YET!?
First, I start birth control today!
Birth control? Wait a minute. On the surface, that seems a little counter intuitive, right? Let me just tell you, despite Daisy’s quizzical stare, I am SO EXCITED about finally starting birth control! This very first actual clinical step (because y’all know I’ve already taken a million other preparatory steps) in IVF is very important to the overall mission success. Birth control is often prescribed one to two menstrual cycles before the beginning of an ovarian stimulation cycle, the thing you have to do before an egg collection. While on it’s surface (probably because of it’s more often used purpose) this step may seem less than in support of the desired outcome. However, birth control is used for IVF as more of a “cycle control”. After all, birth control pills are just hormones at the end of the day. I will take active pills only (and I am happy to skip the sugar or iron pills, btw) starting today and overlapping with my “down regulating” injections (more on that later, I promise to use my gladiator analogy when the time is right) and ending with my “stimulation” injections. Birth control pills assist in preparing my ovaries to be stimulated by controlling my pituitary glands’ release of both follicle stimulating hormone and lutenizing hormone. It will also help to regulate my menstrual cycle as a whole because, as we know, timing is key. It’s all very confusing, but the take away for me is that:
1. I have reached my next small goal
2. I am actually DOING something that is in direct support of preparing my body for a child
3. Hormones, like actual ingested hormones, have entered the game. So if you see me from this day forward and I have acne, mood swings, nausea, headaches, or am crying for no reason just pat me on the back and say “congratulations!” Because NEXT STEP IS HERE!!!
Also, know that I am not sabotaging our IVF cycle, birth control is just part of the game!
Other GOOD news directly related to our IVF cycle, I have amazing friends. Yeah, I’m talking about you. My friends who read this blog and laugh and cry with me. Check this out:
I just have so much to say about this. First, this was such a welcomed surprise. I had no idea Katie was brewing up this plan just for Tim and me. When she showed me this shirt, we were attending a military fundraiser and were being honored as blue start families by the Olive Branch Country Club and it was all I could do to hold it together. If you truly don’t believe in divine providence, this fundraiser was directly benefitting Walter Reed. I really was debating going to the event and I am so glad I did, but more on this later. I seriously was very close to an ugly crying outburst when i saw the design she had made. On many occasions, I have spoken with with moms, moms-in-waiting and other women battling infertility. So often I hear, “I was too afraid to try IVF” or “I was so scared it wouldn’t work, so we chose not to walk that path”. While I don’t think mine and Tim’s choice was brave, I can’t really describe how much i truly understand the fear that surrounds this decision. I can’t tell you how valid that reason is for not pursuing this very invasive option. I am constantly in fear of all the money we have and will spend, of the huge chance that all of this that we have done very publicly will fail and I will fall, of my body not being capable of the one thing it should be as a woman and disappointing Tim, and even the crippling fear of the unknown (for me) of actually succeeding and being pregnant and the fact that we have done it so intentionally. I possess SO much fear, the same logical and illogical fears that prevent others from pursuing this. I mean, how did Katie know that? I really feel like it’s my dirty little secret. Have I overcome all those fears? No way. They are all still there. They just aren’t even nearly as powerful as this faith I have. I know that God created me perfectly. He put parents and people on my path that would make me who I was meant to be. Strong, independent, nurturing and persistent as all hell. There is no way I could have done any of this if it weren’t for who God made me to be. He made me persistent and gave me the drive to walk through open doors in front of me (and even jimmy the lock on a window just within reach). It is truly my faith in who I am that has brought me to this point today and will serve me beyond.
To me, it means the power to believe in ME because I was perfectly made by HIM.
This experience has changed me in many ways. I think this exact moment of change has been one of the most profound. As hard as it is for me to admit when I am wrong, I am happy to do it when it means I am growing. Two weeks ago, I would be the first person to tell you that just like any group of women, the Army and military wives community can be a volatile and sometimes hostile one. It makes sense, we are all under an extreme amount of pressure, many if not most of us are raising children, managing a household, carting everything at home to and from all the time. I think that I was quick to see the bad with no concern about why. What a smack in the face for me to be lifted up by a group of women, that are going through many hardships of their own, without a humble heart. I am so very grateful that I am just not always right and that they are still by my side and going above and beyond when I know it would be easier for them to just deal with their own struggles. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and change and see the good in more things around me. I’m not sure I would have without this experience. Military wives have supported this fundraiser in droves, women i have never even met have shared this image and included their own struggles with infertility and every post i have read brings tears to my eyes. I am so thankful for you and i am thankful this has softened my heart.
If you love this shirt and want one, just click on the picture and it will take you to the post. While our treatment and flights have been paid for, i am still working on financing our accommodations for the long stay in DC, compensating my house sitters and filling in the large gap of missing work for nearly a month.
Ok, the last bit of update on our cycle! Many of you have heard my absolute BATTLE with the long term sperm storage facility. Long story short (haha, i know that’s rich coming from me) the facility was putting me in legal limbo about releasing Tim’s sperm to Walter Reed because “they didn’t like” my military POA. After many calls to JAG, the freezing clinic, Walter Reed and an extrication of Tim from the field for some paper signing, i received the call today that TIMS SPERM HAS OFFICIALLY SHIPPED TO WALTER REED!!! I was so very relieved.
If you have read any of my prior posts, you will be acutely aware of my many living situation stresses. Of course, at this very pivotal time, this issue has come to an extreme head. While I haven’t done anything wrong, I am being forced to find a new living arrangement in the next 30 days, because… it’s me! If it were going to be easy, it wouldn’t be for me! If you know the first thing about the Hernando rental market, you will know that it is extremely difficult to find something affordable (for us) that also allows my fur kids. It is with much deliberation and discussion about the feasibility of this plan that we have decided to pursue purchasing a home prior to my departure to Walter Reed. There are many things that need to happen to make this an achievable goal and i just can’t tell you how lucky i am to have people in my life that i can call with this news that will immediately tell me “don’t worry about anything, we will do whatever it takes to make this happen, even if you are in DC”. And I’m not talking about just one person, i am talking about many people organizing many moving parts to help Tim and me achieve this! With that said, i am very excited about this next phase in our life. I feel like we are rapidly approaching several huge milestones all at once! The reality is that the gamble we are making with IVF is the biggest we have made in our entire life and the thought of risking the possible success of that procedure with the continual stress of my current housing is just not an option. The next few weeks are sure to be some of the most stressful, sleepless, busy, and trying of my entire life and I am absolutely committed to doing this and bettering our chance of IVF success BEFORE I leave for my cycle at the end of this month. I still need a whole lot of support to pull this crazy endeavor off. Currently, I need some minor repairs done at my current house, your recommendations for fast acting accountants, and lots of prayers. I know that in the long run, this is the best decision for our family and i am looking forward to coming home, possibly pregnant, with zero stress about what crazy thing will happen at our rental next. I feel like i need a thousand things all at once and am incapable of articulating but a few. So, if i call you in the next week frazzled and randomly, just know I’m loosely grasping sanity until I head off to DC. It’s times like this that really make me miss Tim. He really is my rock. He is so good at making sure my wind-up toy brain has a clearly defined lane for progress. Some days i feel like i am not capable of tackling these hurdles, how can i possibly accomplish all of this is so little time? All i know is that I will need a lot of people to temporarily fill the giant void left by my husband. Bear with me in the coming weeks and remind me my head is still attached to my body!
Now, it’s time for bed. I know this was a long update but i was not kidding when i said there was A LOT i needed to catch you up on!!
Until next time!