Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Back to normal

          The hardest part of going through all the fertility treatments, in the past, was how the medicines effected me. Many may not know, but I have the paradoxical effect to most substances. Caffeine puts me to sleep, my Magnesium supplement wakes me up (it puts most people to sleep), and some vitamins can make me really hyper. So when we were told about the side effects of the fertility drugs, we knew I would either experience them all or I would experience the reverse. Lucky for me I had both experiences on different cycles! Yay! Oh wait...

         When I was in grad school I took a class on psychopharmocology (the study of medicines) and learned about the half life in medicines. The half life is how long the medicine stays in your body after you've finished taking it, as it works it's way out. It's important to know the half life because if a drug is in your system, but you think it's not, you can overdose or do more harm than help to your body. So about a month ago we learned that Clomid has a half life of 6-8 weeks!! No wonder I was going insane. Letrozol on the other hand, has a half life of a couple days. Either way, though, just like the side effects I had from birth control, I continued to have side effects from both Clomid and Letrozol for quite some time.

         So when talking to my mom yesterday it was really nice to hear how she feels I'm back to normal. We talked about how I lost myself through all those medical trials, but how now things are so much better. I know there will be hardships with the adoption process and I know it won't always be easy, but I don't have any paradoxical effects to love! No matter when our baby comes to us, the love I have for them already will just continue to grow and grow! Love also doesn't have a half life! We are in this 100% and can't wait to share that love with a baby and a birth mother some day!

Monday, September 29, 2014

"Maternity" Pictures

         Yesterday we took our adoption "maternity" pictures! It was so much fun, and to top it off our photographer is one of my friends from high school who is also a champion for adoption. We had the best weather and our fur child, Magic, got to wear his new bandana that says, "Can I be Your Big Brother?" It's so nice to finally have something positive to look forward to!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

What about IVF and surrogacy?

         When we announced that we were pursuing adoption most people were very excited for us. But there have been some who don't understand exactly why we're going with adoption instead of pursuing IVF or surrogacy. So here's my attempt to explain why we aren't going down those roads.

         Ever since I was diagnosed with PCOS I kinda knew that we would have to do infertility treatments just because that's the nature of the beast so to speak. I knew IVF was always an option, but for some reason I never felt pulled to pursue it. I knew it cost a ton of money and that results were never guaranteed. No matter how many times our doctors recommended that we look into it, we never did. Luckily Skyler feels the same way. After all the reactions to the medications I've had, I'm honestly terrified to see how my body would react to that procedure. I'm happy that IVF works for some families, but I know God has been shielding me from that pain because I couldn't handle it. Simply put, we're not pursuing IVF because we don't want to.

         When it comes to surrogacy, I didn't start looking into that until a few months ago. I don't really know that much about it, but I do know it would make my husband extremely uncomfortable to have another woman carry our baby. And frankly I would be totally jealous that she could carry my biological child, but I couldn't. Surrogacy reminds me that I'm broken. Again, I'm extremely happy it works for some people because they are the experts in their own lives. But for us, surrogacy feels strange and emotionally more painful.

         I know my perspectives on these topics are just that, mine. I don't want to impose my beliefs on anyone else, but I would also like people to just accept my decision. Once I go through the above explanation with people I then tell them that we are adopting because I know, without a doubt, that I can love an adopted child the same as a biological child. One of my friends who is also looking into adoption said this week, "my son/ daughter is going to be exactly who they are meant to be, they'll just be coming to me in a slightly different way." And I couldn't agree more! I feel God has blessed Skyler and my heart's with the ability to love a baby no matter how they come into our lives- an ability I'm proud to have!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Adoption and Humanity

         As part of our adoption journey we've joined the Adoption Love Link-Up, which can be found at Adoption Love.
        This month, Kristen asked, " How, if at all, has adoption changed your view of humanity (for good or bad)?" This question definitely holds a lot of emotion in it, and has taken me quite some time to think about.
         When I first read this question, I instantly reverted to the hormonal 15 year old who had to learn how to live with a younger adopted sibling with RAD.  If I'm answering as that 15 year old, then my response would be focused on how money driven some adoption agencies seem to be. Research has shown that if a child doesn't have a consistent caregiver for the first six months of their life then they are more likely to have an attachment order. If this is well known information, then why would national and international agencies withhold that information from families? (I know, now, that many agencies provide education on attachment disorders, but when I was 15 I felt that no one wanted to give us the real information my family needed to help my younger sister.) From this perspective, I would say that my view of humanity was negatively impacted. I felt like information was being withheld so that children would be adopted, no matter what the impact would be.
         Now fast forward ten years, and my view of humanity, as it relates to adoption, has definitely changed for the positive. Every night on the news we hear about all these horrible things that happen in our society, but when we decided to share our story, the out pouring of love was simply amazing! The support we've received has shown me how no matter what happens in this crazy world, if we continue to show God's love in all we do, only good things can happen!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

When you close one door...

        This week we officially closed the door on infertility treatments. We are no longer living in both the infertility and adoption worlds simultaneously. We're all in for adoption, and we decided to make it FB official! Recently, Skyler and I have taken a break from social media to reevaluate everything. When we fully committed to our adoption journey, though, we wanted to get the word out to as many people as possible. And the outpouring of love and support has been amazing! Finally, we have made a decision that works for us!

If you want more information about #MicroblogMonday's visit Mel at Stirrup Queens.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Let's have fun!

          In our last post I talked about how we are going to really start pursuing adoption, but not for a couple of weeks. When I had my latest breakdown in the parking lot of our RE's office, Skyler insisted that we take a break for a couple of weeks and take some time for ourselves. So that's what we're doing :-) When going through everything that comes with infertility treatments it can be easy to push the needs of your relationship aside because of the focus on trying to have a baby. Skyler has always been my rock and also my protector. He knows when I've reached my limits before I usually do. So to thank him and to get our minds off of having a baby/ adopting a baby for a couple of weeks, we're going to really get into Halloween this year!

         Halloween is Skyler's favorite holiday and he is so excited to decorate this year! Watching him plan his decorations and have fun thinking about how he's going to play with the neighborhood kids is simply adorable! He loves to have fun and I am so excited to see how he passes that fun loving nature down to our kids.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Listen to your heart

          This past week I had all the signs and symptoms of ovulating! I had that twinge of pain on one side, I had some spotting, and my ovulation test was positive! So on Saturday we went in for a confirmation ultrasound thinking that things were actually happening this time... but they weren't. I had no mature follicles, my lining had actually gotten thinner (for which they had no answer), and they didn't know why I had all those symptoms. What it came down to, like it usually does, is that I'm the hard case. Our RE talked about how the next step would be injections and then went on and on about other treatments and IUI'S and IVF, but I didn't really listen. But then I had a revelation... It was okay to stop listening to society- something I should've done long ago. It was time to listen my heart. A heart that has kept saying (as you can read from the beginning of the blog) to begin a family through adoption :-)


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Selfless love

         Most guys like cars. My guy loves cars! Skyler has always had a fascination with cars, can fix pretty much anything with wheels given enough time, and is what some may refer to as a gear head. A couple of months ago Skyler bought a really awesome sports car that he has always wanted. I told him if we bought this car it would be his birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, anniversary, and anything else present for the next 5 years! I also thought he deserved it since he'll be getting his degree this year after working very hard to get it for the past few years. Even though I might have not seen the awesomeness of this car like he did, we still bought it and he was super excited!

         Well a couple of months go by and we're now paying our RE (reproductive endocrinologist or infertility doctor) hundreds of dollars each visit. Anyone who has gone through this knows how expensive infertility treatments can be. So as we were waiting for my ultrasound technician to come in yesterday, Skyler explained that he was thinking of selling his new car. He talked about how he sees the impracticality of it, how it will be a project car because it is older, and how at this time we don't really need another car. Needless to say I was shocked that he said this since this was his dream car!

         We talked more about it today and he said, "I don't need this kind of car right now. We have more important things to worry about and to put our money towards." This is the exact reason why I love this man so much. Skyler loves me just as Jesus loved the church. I know it might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people that he's selling a car, but it's so much more than that. By selling this car he's putting a dream on hold for me so that we can work towards our dream of beginning a family. Skyler's selfless love never ceases to amaze me.

         So thank you baby, from the bottom of my heart. You mean the world to me and I hope you know how much I love you. I promise to get you that sports car again some day, and hopefully when that day comes you'll have a little buddy who can help you work on it :-)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Poked and prodded

         Today begins another round of procedures to find out what exactly my body is doing. Today we'll find out if my body is doing what it's "supposed" to be doing. The question that comes to mind, though, is what if this is what my body is supposed to be doing? What if this is the normal for me? Isn't that good enough?


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tears, fears, and years

          Hormones make you cry. Or at least they make me cry. Luckily, though, this round of the prometrium (progesterone) has been much easier to handle then previous cycles. I've only cried a few times, but mostly I've just been sleepy. The same is true for the letrezol (medicine that makes me ovulate). I haven't had very many emotional outbursts and luckily a nap fixes any side effects I might be having. So that's the good news. That's what has gone well this cycle. But... like everything else, we did have quite a few hiccups through this whole new process.

          Like I said in my last post, every day has basically been scheduled out for me. I take the progesterone for so many days, should start my period on a certain day, should have a period for a certain amount of time, then I take the letrezol for a certain amount of days, and during all that I go in for two procedures to see how everything looks on the inside. Well, just like everything else we have done on our infertility journey, that schedule didn't exactly work out. I did take the progesterone and I was supposed to start my period two weeks after taking it... instead I started a week into taking it and had to continue taking it, which resulted in the heaviest and longest period I have ever had! I'm pretty sure there were a couple days where Skyler and Magic thought I might die from blood loss! The good thing from this, though, is I have had a lot of steak lately! Anyway... once I started my period I then had to schedule my procedures for cycle days 5-12 because I had to have finished my period but not have started to ovulate yet. So I scheduled my procedures for yesterday, cycle day 9, because in the past my periods were completely done by cycle day 7... but not this one! On Tuesday, which was cycle day 8, I was still bleeding, so I called my doctor to see what I should do. I probably called ten times throughout the day talking to different nurses who all said different things. Some said the amount of bleeding I had wouldn't interfere with the procedures and others said that I missed my window for this cycle and would have to reschedule for my next cycle cause they didn't have any openings for the rest of the week.

         Getting conflicting information was hard enough, but hearing people say I would just have to wait for my next cycle was heart breaking. One because that's what I've been doing my whole life... waiting for my first natural cycle! Two because the nurses didn't seem to get it. I explained that it takes so much for me to do a cycle and waiting for another one could take a while, but there wasn't very much sympathy or empathy. So I cried. I cried with Skyler, with my best friend, and with my boss. I just kept wondering why nothing ever seems to work out. Why everything always has some hiccup in it that totally throws off our game plan.

         Through my break down with my boss, she encouraged me to still go to the appointment because the worst they could say is that I would have to reschedule, but the best thing they could say was that they could do the procedure. Well long story short, Skyler and I kept my appointment and went in for the procedures yesterday. When we were taken back to the ultrasound room I told the nurse who checked us in that I was still bleeding and she explained that the doctor should be able to still do the procedures- phew! Then our doctor came in and I told him the same thing and he felt he could still do the procedure- thank goodness. His nursing assistant then came in and explained to the doctor how she was one of the nurses who told me that I would have to reschedule for my next cycle since I was still bleeding. Luckily our doctor stood up to her and said, "Kate has to go through a lot to have another cycle, it just doesn't happen for her. We're going the procedures today." The nurse wasn't very happy about that, but Skyler and I were.

         So we did the first procedure to see how my uterus looked and if I had any polyps or cysts and thankfully everything looked great! Then we started to do the second procedure where they put a saline and air solution through my fallopian tubes to see if I have blockages or anything like that. Well that procedure hurt so bad and the nurse wasn't going as slow as she should've been, but in the end everything checked out good there too. After all of that our doctor took us back to his office and asked about chromosomal testing. He said usually if a girl hasn't menstruated by age 16 they do a chromosomal test to see if fragile x syndrome is a contributor at all. Our doctor then had me go get my blood drawn to have the genetic tests done and sent Skyler and I home. Well like most people nowadays, as soon as we could we both stayed researching fragile x syndrome as much as possible and found some very interesting things.

         Basically, fragile x syndrome is a mutation on the x chromosome that is highly correlated to autism, learning disabilities, and behavioral disturbances. Individuals can be carriers without having signs or symptoms, but some women who are carriers have infertility issues and a lot of the same signs and symptoms of PCOS. We also found out that when passed from father to child the gene doesn't mutate further, it'll just give the child a greater likelihood of being a carrier as well. If a mother passes the gene to the child, though, the chance of the gene mutating into fragile x syndrome is very high.

         So now we wait for our results. Depending on what the answer is will result in what path we pursue next. And as we've been telling people what has been happening, most say how sorry they are, but I'm not. I finally have a doctor who after ten years is trying to truly help me. I might get an answer that for ten years no one has wanted to give me and for all of that I am overjoyed! I finally have a sense of peace knowing that everything isn't totally my fault and that there is always a new path to go down :-)