The Whole Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10-17

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes for the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

As I just read these words a few minutes ago, they really spoke to me.  For J and I, we are in one of the biggest battles of our life.  J actually has 2 huge battles going on in his life at this moment and you can bet I will be sharing these verses with him today.  I like write them on post its and put them on our bathroom mirror to help him to stay encouraged.  Infertility feels like war…each cycle is a new battle.  We may get knocked down over and over but it will not kill us…Ultimately, we will not lose this war.

I feel like the only way we can truly lose this war is if we let it destroy our marriage and our lives.  I believe God can heal me.  I believe that God’s will may be that we become parents through adoption.  Adoption is not for everyone but J and I have been talking about adopting since we met and we both have the hearts for it.  I believe that no matter how our children come to us, God meant for those children to be ours.

In the meantime, we have many children who’s lives we are apart of.  We have 11 nieces and nephews between us.  We have cousins and best friends that consider us to be Auntie and Uncle to their children.  J has his students and I have numerous daycare kids who’s lives I get to be a part of.  I have my kids (okay, 2 of them are adults now, but they’ll always be my kids) that I nannied for 10 years and played a huge part in raising them and helping to teach them values.   No matter what happens, no matter where God’s plan takes us, we will be okay as long as we stay strong in our marriage and have each other.

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VACATION!!!!!

We all know everyone’s favorite advice for an infertile is to “just relax, take a vacation”!  Well Folks, I’m doing it!  Friday was my last day of daycare for a month.  A MONTH!!!!  The last time I had a full month off was probably when I was 15, maybe even younger.  There were a couple of times as a nanny that I had 3 weeks off, but the last time I did, I got a barthilyn cyst shortly after arriving home and had to have surgery with a very long and painful recovery that took up all my time off plus some.  Anywho…a month…one month of no babies to care for.  One month of no spit up on my floor.   One month of no crying babies.  One month of no cuddles and kisses (not that I get much cuddling anymore, they’re all on the move now).  I am going to miss them, in fact, I already do.  I got a little weepy saying goodbye to them on their last days.  One won’t be back next year (Mom’s due right before school starts so she’s taking the year off.  One is gone for the whole summer and will start back in fall (I know you’re not supposed to play favorites but he’s J and I’s favorite because J’s been friends with his Dad since college) and one will be back July 14th (she is a total cutie and I LOVE her parents).  I also have a new guy starting July 14th so hopefully, that will go well.  But until then, all I have to do is relax!  🙂

So, first up, we are headed to Devil’s Lake in Baraboo, WI.  It’s a State Park that has amazing hiking trails and a lake in the shape of a foot.  It’s like Paul Bunyan just stepped down and it filled with water.  J’s Birthday was this past Thursday (the big 35) and we found a great deal on a boat on Craigslist.  We both know we shouldn’t be spending the money but like I told him, we’ve spent the last 2.5 years ttc with more bad then good happening so you know what, we deserve to have a little fun and we both LOVE being on the water.  My MIL and FIL are going to so it’s a celebration of J’s Bday and Father’s Day.  We head out tomorrow morning and we’ll come back Wednesday.  Then Wednesday night we have J’s and my nieces bday party with my family and then hopefully on Thursday (if we get done everything we need to get done) we head out to CT.  

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but I spent 12 years out in CT being a nanny.  10 of those years were with the same family and that is who we will be staying with.  I am very close with them (their daughter was a bridesmaid in our wedding) and haven’t made it out there since July of (2012), right before we got engaged.  They have 3 kids that I cared for.  The oldest is turning 24 on the 24th and is making a name for himself writing and producing music for some pretty famous people.  I’m so proud of him for following his dreams.  He was 8 when I started.  H, the only girl, is turning 21 on Sunday, she was 5, people, 5 when I started.  She goes to Tulane and makes movies and one of them just won Best Drama at the UCLA film festival.  Again, so proud!  D, who was unable to make my wedding (along with his Dad) because Hurricane Sandy hit right before my wedding and they had no power (Jane barely made it here, had to be an act of God that she got a flight out) turned 13 last Sunday.  He wasn’t even a twinkle in their eyes when I started, lol.  So, we’ll land in CT on Friday or Saturday and that first week is already filled with plans that Jane has for us.  Sat. night is dinner in NYC for H’s bday and the Sunday is her actual birthday.  The 24th is a bbq for her J’s bday and the 25th is a cocktail/appetizer reception for everyone to come see J, H, D, J and I.  We may or may not get a break after that, lol.

The thing I love most about being in CT (besides being with this wonderful family and my other friends that I miss so much) is the FOOD!!!!  Sakura, Colony Pizza, Barcelona….I’m drooling at the thought of all that amazing food.  I CANNOT WAIT!!!!  2 years without any of that food is just way too long IMO.  I also love that we’re only an hour from NYC and couple of hours from Boston so we get to go and enjoy those places too.

It won’t be a total break.  I will be bringing the opk’s and the preseed along.  We need to give this natural cycle our best effort.  She dilated my cervix during the surgery so that should help with the stenosis.  I’m trying to remember to take the fertile cm to help with my non existent mucas and I want to try and find those soft cups I’ve heard about.  Walmart didn’t have them when I looked.   So, I will be relaxed in a still trying kind of way, lol.

Recovery is almost complete.  I spent the day yesterday cleaning like crazy and shampooing carpets.  I definitely felt it today.  I was pretty crampy this morning but for the most part, the scabs are just itchy and starting to fall off.  I hope you are all well and enjoying your summer!  

Hugs,

Dawn

How did I do it?!

Birth control pills.  I was on them for 15-16 years and never had a problem.  I went off them when I moved home 6 years ago this weekend because I didn’t have health insurance.  My cycle had regulated itself and I no longer needed them for that reason.  They put me on them so we wouldn’t take a chance at getting pregnant before my surgery on the 6th.  I have acne, breast tenderness, cramping and nausea off and on.  I cannot wait to get off these stupid little pills!!!

Beat up

My acupuncturist told me Sat. morning that it looks like someone’s been beating me up the past couple of days.  That someone is “life”.  About 2:30 Friday afternoon, I started having pain on my left side, went to the bathroom and I was spotting.  By a little after 4 (and 1 daycare kid left to be picked up) the pain was strong and constant.  I kept it together until little one was picked up and then immediately called my Mom bawling.  J was at the bank and cleaning my car out because the guy that bought it was coming to pick it up at 5:30.

I have to say my Mom is the most wonderful, supportive and empathetic Mom I could have ever asked for.  I hate, hate, hate living even 30 minutes away from her.  I don’t know how I managed spending 12 years 1100 miles away from her.   My Sister, Mom and I were supposed to be teaching a Young Living class Fri. night at my Mom’s house and instead of hanging out with 2 of my favorite people I was doubled over in pain with what I can only assume from past experience, was an ovarian cyst bursting.  If J hadn’t been due home soon, she would have jumped in her truck and come to my house to take care of me.  Who cares that people were due at her house in a couple hours!  I absolutely Love that Woman!!! 🙂

Instead, J got home and we decided not to go into urgent care as I am still paying on my ER bill from the last time I had a cyst burst almost 2 years ago before I had insurance.  And really, all they ever tell me is that I had an ovarian cyst and it burst.  No sense giving them money for that.  Instead, hubby brought my oils in, layered pan away and deep relief, and put a heating pad on top of that.  It helped, especially if I stayed laying down.  By this morning, my stomach was still a bit tender all over, but the intense pain was gone.

Now, here we are, 2 days later, Mother’s Day, and I feel pretty much normal again.  Sad and hurt that another IUI went bust, but happy to not be in pain.  As I sit here, waiting for J’s family to show up for a bbq that we’ll apparently be having in pouring rain now, I know that I am very Blessed in certain areas of my life.  I just wish that God would answer this prayer.  Our next step is waiting to hear from the clinic on Monday.  The nurse wanted to get me in for an ultrasound late this coming week but I guess the Dr. is out of town so she needs to check with her and see if she wants to squeeze me in on Tuesday or wait for the 19th.  I’m hoping she wants to squeeze me in.  I’d like to start figuring out if I have endometriosis or not and what our next steps will be.  J is all for IVF, I’m not so sure.  If any of you out there reading this have been through it, would you mind sharing your story with me?

Happy Mother’s Day to each and every one of you!  We may not physically have our babies yet, but they are already in our hearts!

Feeling Defeated

I don’t know why, but I just can’t get rid of this feeling today.  I’m feeling defeated financially, I’m feeling like I will never be pregnant (never mind that fact that I could be right now, yet I still feel this way), and just in other things that J (DH) and I have been dealing with.

We decided to sell my car, posted it on craigslist awhile ago and finally had a guy come look at it on Sunday.  He only wanted to do $8500, I mistakenly said $8750 (we’re already going to be taking a loss so I don’t know why I went any lower than $9000).  He said he couldn’t do it so I thought that was the end.  He ended up calling a couple days ago and said he’d go up to my price.  I started panicking yesterday and so wanted J to call him and tell him I changed my mind.  This is the first car I’ve really been attached to.  It’s a red kia soul and J and I have been on some pretty spectacular road trips in this car.  However, if we’re pregnant (testing in 2 days) it’s not big enough for a baby and the pup.

I hate feeling like this.  I’m a worrier by nature and have the hardest time giving these things over to God like I should.  I have been praying though and I’ve rubbed some release essential oil on so hopefully this feeling will lift soon.

3rd time’s the Charm….Right?

I hope and pray that it will be true in this case.  I had my mid cycle ultrasound this past Thursday and unfortunately, didn’t get a lot of answers while there so needless to say, I came home in tears.  I’d love to blame it on the hormones but in reality, I’m one of those people that just cries…a lot.  No matter what I’m feeling, it tends to come out in tears and I cannot stop them.  Anyways, back to the US…only one mature follie again…I had one more at 15 (and I’m really hoping it matured by the time of the IUI) both on my left side.  Right side did nothing again but the same cyst like sac from last month was still there.  After adding injectables this month, I was pretty disappointed with not having more.  On top of that, my lining was only 5.6 and they want it to be at 7.   The PA also mentioned something about a small solid mass and she wasn’t sure if we’d be able to go through with this cycle.  She needed to talk to the Dr. and would call me with the plan.  Thank God she called within a half hour of being home.  We were good to go, they added estrogen pills which I had to take Thursday morning and night to help with the lining and then finished off the follistim that was left (turned out to be 125iu) to hopefully mature that 2nd follie.  Instructed to trigger at 6am Friday morning, earlier if we could, and then IUI Saturday morning.  Since our black lab, Rocky, decided to wake us a 3am to go out, we just went ahead and did the trigger then.  Unfortunately, I instructed my DH to put it in a little to far to the right on my thigh and man, did it hurt!!  I’ve never felt the shot before so we definitely did the wrong spot for a pain free shot, lol.  My leg always hurts the day after the shot but by the end of the afternoon on Friday, getting up and down and walking were pretty painful (not good when my job is taking care of babies).  Saturday morning we did the IUI…I wish they would’ve done another US so I could see if that 2nd one matured and to see where my lining was at, but they didn’t.  DH had another Rockstar sample….83 million post wash and 76% motility.  He is certainly doing his part so I really hope that my body will finally do its part.

On top of adding the injectables this cycle, I also decided to add pineapple core.  If you haven’t heard of this, you take a fresh pineapple, core it, cut the core into 5 pieces and eat one each day starting the day of your IUI.  It’s supposed to help with implantation.  I don’t know if it will work, but it certainly can’t hurt.  And, the taste isn’t terrible.  The worst part for me is that it gets stuck in my teeth.  I also cut out coffee this cycle but did not give up all caffeine the first half…I tried but had a heck of a time.  I do plan on not having any this second half though.  

The rest of the day was spent cleaning and watching DH tear our back yard up.  The people that previously lived here put a rock garden right in the middle of the yard.  We finally rented a bobcat yesterday and removed it but in the process, it tore our yard all up.  And it’s supposed to rain for the next week at least so that will be a lovely muddy mess by the time the rain stops.  Good thing my daycare kiddos are old enough to play out in the yard yet!  

I just want to end this post with a prayer.

Heavenly Father,

First off, I would just like to Thank you for all the Blessings you’ve given me.  A wonderful Husband, supportive family and friends, adorable pets, food and a house to live in and jobs that we enjoy.  You’ve given us so much but there’s just one more thing that we ask for and that is for the Bless of a Baby.  We have so much love to give and so much family history, joy, and Love for You that we want to pass on to our child.  I know that you have a plan, and that it is only for good.  I don’t necessarily understand it or the timing, but I have faith that one day we will get our take home baby.  I just pray that this is it.  I pray that we will find comfort, peace and strength during these next 2 weeks as we wait to find out.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

It’s nothing like the movies…

I’ve always had a bad feeling that I was going to have a hard time getting pregnant.  However, never did I expect to be getting shots to increase my chances of an IUI working.  My RE did not want me to go to clomid.  Something about it messing with lining and apparently mine isn’t great enough that it can take the chance of being messed with (surprise, surprise).  So cd 3-7 we did letrozole at 7.5mg and cd 7-9 is 100iu’s of follistim.  We did the first injection yesterday afternoon.  It wasn’t too bad.  We read the instructions, talked to the nurse, and watched a youtube video before we actually got around to doing it.  DH gave me the shot.  I could probably do it myself but he seemed to want to do it.  I think because it makes him feel more a part of things.  It didn’t hurt going in, but a couple minutes after, it started to hurt.  Luckily, it didn’t last too long.  This week is National Infertility A.  Even though I thought I’d have a hard time getting pregnant, I never realized what it would actually entail.  I didn’t realize the science behind it.  I didn’t realize how difficult it is and now that I do know, it amazes me that all these people “accidentally” get pregnant.  It amazes me that my own Sister got pregnant with her 5th child while having an IUD in.  I thought infertility would be more like the movies where the single woman decided she wants to get pregnant, does an IUI and boom, she’s pregnant.  Was I ever wrong!!  Of course, they’re not infertile, they just haven’t found the right mate.   The dr. appts, the tests, the meds, the injections, the pain both physical and emotional, the financial side of it and we haven’t even moved onto IVF or Adoption yet.  Children are already expensive, but us infertiles have to spend a fortune just to get that child to begin with.   And then there is the guilt…oh boy is there guilt.  What if I would have had a better diet?  Exercised more?  What if I had stayed a virgin until I met my husband?   What if?  What if?  What if?  Most days I don’t let myself get bogged down with the What if?’s.   But some days, I can’t help myself.   And I still haven’t gotten control of my diet…I love sugar and carbs, I do not love veggies.  I love caffeine.  I finally managed to get away from my coffee every morning this last week, but I still have had 1 soda almost every day.  I have a love/hate relationship with exercise.  I will say one thing about infertility…it teaches you how strong you are, how resilient you can be.   I’ thankful that has only brought my husband and I closer and has not torn us apart.  It’s taught me to have more faith in God then I have ever had before.  And it’s taught me patience…something I don’t have a ton of.  I pray that by this time next year…we are all either holding our miracles or are carrying them in utero.  Thank you to all of you out there that understand exactly what I go through.  I don’t wish this on anyone, but it’s nice to know that there are others who understand.