"For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord..." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, November 30, 2012

Time to make lemonade...

"When life hands you lemons, make lemonade."

Well I now have about 38 months worth of lemons, so I hope you're all thirsty!

I tested this morning, which was actually the 2nd time this week. I caved on Wednesday and tested for the first time that morning. Both resulted in what I believe to be the harshest negative result I've ever seen. I really believe there was more of a hint of a line before I took the test than after. If those stupid plastic pregnancy tests could talk, I imagined they would be saying "Not a chance honey. You can't get any less pregnant than you.". At which point I fed the tests to my dogs. Just kidding, that would not only be incedibly inhumane but also absolutely disgusting. I burned them instead... Also kidding.

I took the results after Wednesday's test a lot harder than this morning. I actually really knew, Tuesday night, that this would be failed attempt #3. Something just hit me, that all too familiar feeling of emptiness. To which I reacted by watching Parenthood and crying myself to sleep, only to wake up before my alarm to confirm my fears. Which then lead to taking 3 hours to get ready for work. Apply make-up, cry it off; apply make-up, cry it off; apply make-up, cry it off. You get the idea. I guess I've had a couple days to process and also prepare for what I knew I would see this morning. So, although it still stings, I managed to apply my make-up only once this morning, and it's still not completely running down my face.

Our original plan was to give ourselves 3 or 4 solid attempts at IUI and go from there should they not work. I, myself, have done a tremendous amount of thinking about other options. I'm a planner. I like to know that I have a safety net, something to fall back on. Cozart believe(d)s discussing plan B prior to a failed plan A is willing plan A to do just that, fail. He also strongly believes, no matter how hard you try, you can't manipulate God's plan. If it's not "meant to be" no matter what you do, it just won't happen. Although I believe that God's plan is the right way, I believe it can be manipulated but the result usually comes with a great deal of unintended struggle. That's not to say, God's plan is void of struggle. The best analogy I can think of for this, of course, is my yoga practice. If I attempted to push myself into full hanumanasana (monkey pose or splits) the first time I stepped on my mat, I may make it into the pose but I would likely injure myself and possibly permanently (unintended struggle). If I gradually ease myself into the pose, little by little every day, it may come with some mild soreness (struggle) but eventually, with patience and practice, I will get there.

Not only am I a planner, I'm also a control freak. I can live according to God's plan, I just want to control when and how it happens. I want to step on my mat for the first time and drop down into full hanumanasana. This is not a good thing and something I have been and will continue to try to work on. And because I have been so blinded by what I want and how I want this child of ours to arrive here on earth, I have ignored what I think God has been trying to tell me for sometime.

After I tested this morning, Cozart asked what I would like to do next. He then asked if we should explore adoption. My knee jerk reaction was to blurt out things like, "so and so told me their experience was horrible.", "it's more expensive than IVF and so and so said there is no such thing as an 'adopotion loan'", "Do you realize so and so paid $27k for their baby?" and so on. Cozart reacted with frustration and I can't blame him. I have taken some time to reflect, pray and be in God's word and do a little more research. As I reflected on the adoption idea I have found myself shaking my head at the many many times I can recall God pointing me in this direction yet I chose to look away and look toward my own plan. Funny how things work...

Now this is really just the very early stages of an idea and it's still not decided that we will not move forward with another IUI treatment. Cozart and I haven't spoken anymore than my brief ranting about this but leave it to me to take the ball and run with it. My next post may be about how horrible of an idea adoption is or maybe even telling you about yet another cycle day 1 ultrasound. But for now, I will listen to my heart and what God is trying to tell me, not try to control any part of this (if I can help myself) and put it in God's hands and by doing just that hopefully some of these lemons will become sweet lemonade.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

Monday, November 26, 2012

So much to be Thankful for...

I really can not believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is just a very short 29 days away! Yikes!!!

We spent Thanksgiving here in Florida with Cozart's family. I started my day with a gratitude filled yoga practice with some of my favorite yogis. After my yummy practice I left for the airport to pick up my Mom. This was the first weekend my Mom and I have spent just the 2 of us (sans my siblings and step-dad) since we went to NYC to pick out fabric for my wedding dress more than 6 years ago. We celebrated with copious amounts of delicious food, friends and family. Aside from Cozart almost choking to death at the beginning of dinner, the day couldn't have been better. No need to worry, Cozart is feeling just fine. He had, what felt like, a muscle spasm in his throat and wasn't able to swallow. A family Holiday wouldn't be the same without a little drama, right?

Although, I had every intention of avoiding Black Friday craziness at all costs, my darling husband and lovely mother had other plans. Cozart found a TV that he absolutely had to have. After several days of him lobbying for said TV, I exercised my right to veto this large, unnecessary purchase. We have a TV, it may not be as large and may not have all the features, but it works just fine. Better than fine. In fact the TV on sale would be too big, in my opinion. NO TV, end of story... or so I thought... I'm really not sure how it happened but sometime late afternoon it was determined Mom would contribute to the purchase price of the TV as Cozart's Christmas present. At 10pm, I would begrudgingly accompany the 2 of them to the place I least like to shop... WAL-MART... UGH!!

After battling through the ridiculous number of people, most of which were your stereotypical "people of Wal-Mart", and to my satisfaction, there were only 16 TVs available and we would be close to the 50th, 51st and 52nd in line. Unnecessary large purchase diverted until.... Mom pipes up with: "Isn't there another Wal-Mart close by?" I love my Mother but she was clearly not picking up on my disapproval of this entire escapade, especially her large contribution to us even being out at that hour amongst the crazies. So we set off for yet another crazy people infested Wal-Mart. The 2nd store was the same story: more people than TVs. With Cozart's head hanging low in disappointment and me trying to hide my Cheshire Cat-like, grin we headed home to bed, where I should have been 2 hours prior.

On Friday we picked out our Christmas tree and Mom treated us to her homemade cashew chicken and beef and pea pods. After trying her chinese, you would understand why I don't like take out from anywhere. Amaze! Saturday, Mom and I went to lunch with Cozart's Aunts, Grandmother and a friend of the family and her daughter. We did a little shopping and ended our day at home watching my High School's football team lose the state finals game (they still played well despite not winning. Go Huskies!) and we made a tree skirt for our Christmas tree. Sunday morning we went to church and then it was off to the airport to send Mom back home.

Our Christmas Tree with Tree Skirt made by me and Mom

It was a great weekend, although it went by too quickly, packed with so many things to be thankful for: One on one time with my Mom, her great cooking and sharing of her sewing skills. Fun with family and friends. Good food. Beautiful weather. My puppies and kitty who are missing Grandma terribly already. My wonderful and persistant [in his pursuit to make an unnecessary purchase] husband. And finally, I am thankful for the people of Wal-mart, for if it weren't for them I would be blinded by a television too big for my living room and a large chunk of cash missing from my bank account.

Bentley, Deuce and Winnie missing Grandma

For those wondering how the 2 week wait is going... (Let me add, that I am also thankful for a holiday and a visitor to land right in the middle of this 2 weeks. Both have made the time go by much quicker.) I am 10 days past IUI but I don't think I ovulated until the day after IUI so I'm choosing to use the ovulation date vs IUI date. Symptom wise, I feel completely normal. Not even the symptoms I would typically feel during this period of time. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing so in an effort to be positive, I am going to say this is a good thing. Emotionally, I have been extremely hopeful until this morning. I woke up with my first feeling of doubt. Maybe due to the lack of symptoms, maybe due to the pressure I have put on myself for this month to work, maybe it's just hormones. I really don't know but I feel better now as my day has progressed. I am going to try my hardest to wait until at least Friday to test. We greatly greatly greatly appreciate your continued prayers and support. I can't think of a better Christmas present than to, after 3 long years, see 2 lines on that pregnancy test.

Happy Holidays to you all!!! I encourage you all to enjoy every moment of this wonderful season!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Today's the day... (I hope!)

5 days on letrizole (with no side effects. PRAISE! CHECK!), 3 rounds of follistim injections (also without side effects. PRAISE! CHECK!), an ultrasound showing 3 follicles on each side with the dominant on the left (HALLELUJAH!!! CHECK CHECK CHECK!) and an Ovidrel injection (CHECK) brings us to today. Our 3rd IUI is scheduled for 11:30a and it's at the office right near our house (I like this office so much more!). AND... it just so happens to be one of the only days Cozart has off this week. Could this be stars aligning? I sure hope so!!!

I leave you with one of my favorite verses from the bible and the one that has given me so much comfort throughout this journey...

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

Friday, November 9, 2012


The common intro theme of my recent posts has been me apologizing for not being very diligent about updating my blog. Someone who apologizes repeatedly for doing the same thing over and over again is a character flaw I detest, and will therefore NOT begin this post by apologizing for not keeping my blog more up to date. The truth is, life gets busy and with the holidays fast approaching, it's only going to get busier. And with that said, I give you our October Recap...

October is a very busy month for the Lawrences and one of my favorites. (November and December are a close tie for 2nd!) On Octover 6th, we celebrated the 1st Birthday of our Little Winnie, although she didn't come into our lives until December. As crazy about our fur babies as we are, and contrary to what you may think, we don't go all out with a doggie birthday cake, party hats and invites sent to all the nearby doggie friends to join us for a party at the nearest dog park. We did however, shower her with a few more hugs, kisses and snuggles, an extra treat or 2 and an extra, special, yummy dinner. Winnie is such a sweet girl and we are so blessed to have her in our lives! Happy Birthday, Winnie Pooper!!!

On October 20th, Cozart and I celebrated our 5th Year Wedding Anniversary. I really can not believe it has been 5 years. Where does time go?? As I think back over the last 5 years, I'm reminded of all we have been through. A long year of medic school for Cozart, work and multiple change in career paths for me, testing for multiple fire departments for Cozart, pregnancy, miscarriage and 3 long years of unsuccessful baby making, me working away from home for months on end and the losses of both our grandfathers; any combination of these events would drive many couples apart. I feel so incredibly blessed to say that we are closer than we have ever been and I couldn't imagine any other person I would rather experience this life with, good or bad. Here's to hoping the next 5 years brings lots of good things and even more love and happiness!

"I got my toes in the water, a$$ in the sand; Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today..." The last weekend of October and kind of an extended anniversary/early birthday present, Cozart and I and his cousins Keith and Heather and Heather's boyfriend Dave went to the Zac Brown Band concert. It was so good and we had such a good time. I love love love live music so it is unbelievable to me to say this but this was the very first concert that Cozart and I have ever attended together. Crazy! We started the evening with dinner at Heather and Dave's who conveniently live about 5 minutes from the arena; and we finished the night walking through downtown (in search for a cab, immediately following the concert) observing all the crazies dressed up for Halloween. We are definitely not the party-all-night-20-somethings we once were. I think we were in bed before midnight.

Cozart is a Halloween baby but once again had to work on his birthday. Bummer! We opened presents at home the night before and had dinner with his family the evening following. I always struggle with what to do for his birthday. Cozart "acts" like the type of person that really doesn't care and wouldn't even be the slight bit disappointed if the day just passed by without any acknowledgement what-so-ever. But, I can't imagine not doing something even if it's just getting his family together but I also don't want to take it too far and throw big party and have him get annoyed because it's just not what he wants. (kind of like Bethenny Frankl did at her 40th surprise party on her reality show Bethenny Ever After. Although, I highly doubt Cozart would pull me in the bathroom at his party to throw a crying fit about how he just can't be around all these people...) Well, it's been a couple years since his surprise party so I'm sure I can sneak in another big celebration in the next couple years. (wink wink) Happy Happy Birthday Babe!!! I love you to pieces!!!

The weekend following Halloween I (Minnie Mouse) attended a Halloween party at our friends', Andy & Amy's. Cozart was once again working and I (once again) had to go solo. But it was still a good time. I was so impressed by the creativity put into everyone's costumes and our friend Angi, did a great job with all the decorations! Hard to believe Halloween has come and gone and before we know it we'll be packing up the Christmas decorations and getting ready for the Easter bunny. When did life start moving so fast?

I couldn't possibly end a post before mentioning where we are in the baby making process. So... last Thursday I was given the ok to stop taking the birth control pills. (thank goodness... they made me feel awful, my skin looked like I was just going through puberty, I seemed to have an extra layer of peach fuzz on my face, I felt nauseous and I gained about 5lbs. No thank you!) The ultrasound showed no signs of cysts and my blood work came back a-ok. I stopped the birth control and Flo promptly made her arrival 2 days later. I started the Letrozole/Femara on Tuesday which I will continue to take once a day until tomorrow and I gave myself my first injection of Follistim tonight. The next injection will be Sunday and the 3rd on Tuesday. I have my cycle day 11 ultrasound and blood work scheduled for Wednesday morning, bright and early. If the u/s indicates ovulation on the left side, we will wait for the blood work results to determine when to administer the trigger shot and 36 hours following the shot the insemination will occur. By now you should know the drill...

I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful fall weather, pumpkin spice lattes, football and NO MORE POLITICAL ADS!!! YAY!!! Until next time...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The roller coaster ride continues...

One of my favorite commercials, and Cozart's least favorite, is the Geico commercial with the little pig saying "weeeeeee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" with little pinwheels in his little hoofs (or is it hooves?). That is how I like to envision myself on a roller coaster (weeeeeee weeeeeeeeee weeeeeeeeeeee). This roller coaster is nothing like the little pig and sounds more like Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Ugh, expletive, expletive, expletive.

When I left you last, we were so very excited about attending the IVF seminar (there's that sarcasm again) and I was patiently awaiting Flo's arrival. She was due a week ago today.

The IVF seminar was everything we thought it to be and more. By that, I mean it seemed very much like a sales pitch as anticipated but by more, it was very informative and rather interesting. I did have a minor meltdown as we waited for the meeting to get started. I think I was just overcome with frustration and, I do believe in my heart, that given the opportunity to try IVF, it would work. I just don't know that we will be given the opportunity, hopefully we won't need it. That is definitely not to say that I don't believe IUI, with a medicated cycle, will not work. Now that we have attended the seminar we have earned clearance to move forward with the medication.

Wednesday of last week came and went without even a single hint of Flo's arrival. Thursday and Friday were much of the same. I also didn't have a single symptom that would indicate, by some miracle, I was pregnant either. That didn't stop my mind from daydreaming about that miraculous possibility and it also didn't stop my fingers from browsing sites like projectnursery.com. For someone who can all but predict the hour of Flo's arrival, most months, the hours creeped by over the course of those 3 days. I wasn't sleeping, I couldn't focus and the only reason I was forcing myself to eat was for the very very very slim possibility I may need to provide nourishment to a tiny little cluster of cells inside me. By late Saturday afternoon, reality set in and Flo arrived with a bang. Her funny way of being fashionably late, I guess. I personally didn't find it too humorous.

Monday morning I called the doctor to schedule my cycle day 1 ultra sound (which was actually day 3). They were able to get me in right away and at the office most convenient for me. The ultra sound indicated Flo's tardiness may have been due to the fact that there is a good possibility I didn't ovulate. My right ovary still had 2 rather large follicles which are considered cysts after your cycle has started. Exactly what we didn't want to see before starting a medicated cycle as the medication can cause the cysts to rupture. After the ultra sound, I was sent to have blood drawn to determine whether or not the cysts are estrogen producing.

Late Monday afternoon, I received a call from Dr. D's nurse letting me know the cyst is definitely estrogen producing (Grrrrrr) and also, to give me our options. Those options are: We can either skip this month all together, which would mean having to miss a left side month (possibly) and then having to wait next month as well if it is a right side month. Unless of course, I break my every other ovary every other month pattern. Option 2 is to start birth control immediately and continue taking it for approximately 2.5 weeks to give the cysts time to dissolve. If the cysts have dissolved after 2.5 weeks, I will discontinue taking the BC, wait for Flo's arrival again and start the Femara (much like Clomid) on Cycle day 3-7 and Folistim on days 6, 8 and 10 and so on...

I think the choice is pretty obvious, we went with option 2. Why prolong this any longer if we don't have to, right? RIGHT!!! I started birth control yesterday which gives me a horrible headache. Ugh! I have an ultra sound scheduled for November 1st to determine whether or not the cysts have dissolved. (for the record, I can not wait to have an ultra sound that actually involves showing something other than ovaries and an empty uterus!!!) Fingers crossed and lots of prayers for no cysts and a left side cycle!!

In other news, Cozart had his first day on shift (no more training) yesterday and let's just say, I haven't seen anyone this happy about going to work, well, probably ever! I drove by a little pre-school on my way to work yesterday and there was a fire truck sitting out front. As I got closer I noticed it was LFD and Engine #15. "HEY! That's Cozart's truck!!" And sure enough, there he was standing outside and I'm pretty sure there were actual beams shining off of him of pure joy! He was placed on this earth to help people and for this job. Praise God for giving him this opportunity and making his dream come true!!!

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


In case you were wondering, yes I was a cheerleader. So very many years ago. :)

I'm, once again, falling behind on my blog updates. I'm sorry for any of you who may have been waiting on the edge of your seat for my next ever-so-riveting post. (I hope you can sense my sarcasm.) ;)

I had my follow up visit with Dr. D last Friday. This visit was initiated by myself in hopes I would better understand his conservative approach to our treatments and maybe persuade him to be a bit more aggressive. Unfortunately, Cozart wasn't able to be there. Inevitably there were things I didn't mention that he wished I would have and questions he also wished I would have asked.

Dr. D began our discussion by once again going over my test results and offered some empathy when it came to my frustrations. He made a good point in reminding me that when we look all the way back to our first visit, he seems like such a long time ago but in reality I have only gone through 2 treatments. Most people don't have to skip months like we do, the process for us just feels twice as long because we do have to skip months that I am ovulating on my right side and, well, it IS taking twice as long. He then offered the option of doing what they call a Modified Natural Cycle or Mini-IVF when I am ovulating on the right side. The abbreviated explanation to this procedure is basically IVF without all the drugs. They only retrieve one or two eggs and only transfer one. It is cheaper than a normal IVF treatment but still a pretty hefty chunk of change with only a 15% chance of take home baby. (IUI has between a 10-12% chance of take home baby and my doctor has a 52% chance of take home baby with regular IVF, just to give you a comparison.) For the amount of money you have to pay with those odds, it just doesn't really seem worth it. I told him I appreciated the suggestion but I have actually welcomed the months off. It gives my nerves and my mind a little break.

After discussing the Mini-IVF option we moved on to what we would be doing differently with our next IUI cycle. He agreed it was time to be a bit more aggressive (huge sigh of relief) and agreed Follistim (the drug my cousin's wife sent me) would be the way to go. YAY! YAY! YAY! He gave me instructions to call his office the first day of my cycle, which should be any day now, to schedule an ultrasound for that day as well as one for cycle day 11. The first ultrasound will again be to check for cysts. If it is clear I will again, take clomid on cycle days 3-7 but this time add a follistim injection on days 6, 8 and 10. If the cycle day 11 ultrasound shows I am ovulating on the left side and I don't have too many follicles, I will be given instructions to administer the Ovidrel shot and schedule insemination (and Cozart's deposit) for 36 hours following the shot. The reason we would have to forego this cycle if there are too many follicles is due to the increased chance in multiples. I did explain that twins would be a blessing in our opinion. He explained that it's not so much twins he worries about, it's triplets, quadruplets, quints, etc... This is where Cozart and I don't exactly see eye to eye. He still would consider triplets or even quadruplets a blessing, I think it would be too risky for me and the babies. Not that I wouldn't be overjoyed with having that many babies at once, I would also be terrified. Not only because of the health risks but also the obvious reasons like cost!!! Ummm... HELLO!!!!

So now we wait. Wait for Flo's arrival. It seems she always shows when you least want her to and never arrives in a timely fashion when you need her to. Who does she think she is anyway??

Oh! I almost forgot, we have to attend an IVF seminar this evening. Woo Hoo! The reason we have to attend is not because we are venturing down the very expensive road to IVF but because the injection I will be giving myself is also used for IVF patients. They have to inform you, as a patient, of the risks of the drug prior to using it. Apparently, taking 10 minutes to run through these risks in the doctor's office wouldn't be sufficient. Instead we get to sit through I nice, long, informative seminar on a procedure we will likely never be able to afford to hear about one little drug and the very slight chance it may cause hyper-ovarian stimulation or something of the sort. Can you sense my excitement?? My overly analytical and extremely skeptical mind goes places I wish it wouldn't like, perhaps Dr. D is thinking IUI will never work for us and is getting us to come to the seminar as some type of slimey sales tactic. Kind of like those multi-level marketing scams. 'We'll convince them they have to come for some ridiculous reason and bait them into thinking this is the only way they will ever have a child of their own.' [insert evil laugh] For all intent and purpose I am going to do my best to suppress those thoughts and try my best to be positive. :) Operation Baby Lawrence, full steam ahead!!

Until next time... Happy Hump Day!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Good things DO come to those who wait...

It feels so good to finally report some GOOD news!! As many of you know, Cozart has been pursuing a career with a fire department (any department, not one specifically) for several years. He originally went through the fire academy and EMT school back in 1999 (I may be a little off with some of my dates, so I apologize, Babe!). At the time, they would not hire anyone unless they had a perfect driving record for a minimum of 24 months. And let's just say, Cozart hasn't always been the great driver he is today. Knowing he wouldn't be eligible he pursued other avenues and worked on letting up on the lead foot a bit. He started working for a local pool builder and advanced his way up "the ladder" until he agreed to leave the company and follow me to South Florida where, a then, recent promotion would take me. After my company closed due to the "mortgage meltdown" we moved back to Central Florida where he would once again begin his quest to work for a fire department. 

He went through his re-certification process for both fire and EMT and got a job with a local ambulance company. (separate from the fire dept or hospital) He began applying to different fire departments as positions became available, only to get turned down time and time again because they were "only hiring paramedics".  Instead of throwing in the towel at that point, and being the strong-willed person Cozart is, he decided to enroll in paramedic school. (boy was that fun! Ugh!) After a very long year of juggling school full-time, a full-time job with the ambulance company and fitting in clinical hours when ever he could (he went many-a-days with little to no sleep at all) he graduated as a paramedic in the fall of 2010. 

Since graduation he has applied and tested for several departments, often with no explanation whatsoever as to why he wasn't selected. (Other than the fact that 250 people were applying/testing for 4 or 5 positions.)  I think we can all agree, there comes a point where you start to question why you keep trying. Cozart would come to that point and move right past it and apply for the next opportunity that presented itself. Always with the same mentality and mantra "God has a plan for me.". 

At the beginning of this summer, Cozart spoke to a few people at local hospitals about working as a paramedic in the hospital's ER. He was hired, in August, to be just that, an ER paramedic, for a hospital close to our house. He began a brutal schedule of working 7pm-7am Monday-Wednesday at the hospital and Thursday 9am-9pm for the ambulance company (yes you read that correct, he would work 2 jobs, each 12 hour shifts over the course of 26 hours) and Friday 6am-10pm. Horrible and so unhealthy! Not only would I not see him because of the crazy hours he was working, when he was home, he was sleeping. Always sleeping!!! And not feeling all that great, as you can imagine.

A month, or so, into his new, crazy schedule someone (I can't remember who) told him the Longwood Fire Department was hiring. That evening, we completed his application which required a 2X2 photo of himself and a few other things that were not typical. Believe me, we've done enough of these to know what is normally needed. After scanning and printing, cropping photos, typing and re-typing answers to questions on this application it was finished and he would turn it in the next day. The day after he turned in his application and as I was walking out the door, the house phone rang. I never, and I repeat NEVER answer the house phone. There are 2 people that use our house phone that we actually know and want to talk to (Cozart's Aunt and his Grandmother) and this number was neither of theirs. However, Cozart had just gotten home and gone to sleep and the last thing I wanted was for a darn telemarketer to wake him up. So, on this rare occasion, I answered it. Let me also note that, if I don't answer the phone, it goes to voicemail, I check the house voicemail about ever 3 months and 99.9% of the time it's a politician, some recording telling me I have won a cruise or someone from India and I can't understand what they're saying anyway. 

The person on the other end of the phone was Lt. W from the Longwood Fire Department calling to see if it was at all possible for Cozart to come in for an interview the following day. It was imperative that he come the next day as it was their final day for interviews. In fact, he almost didn't make the application cut off time. Yikes! I left Cozart a message and he would interview the following afternoon. 

Following the interview, he felt pretty confident but didn't want to be overly confident as he had felt really good many times before. He was called to meet with the Chief the following week and was sent home a conditional offer, contingent upon a background check, driving record, drug test, physical, etc... At this point, we were feeling pretty good but still nervous this opportunity would somehow slip through his fingers. The following week he was fitted for his dress uniform and the rest of his gear. We were getting even more excited, but not ready to crack the champagne just yet. 

I am so happy to say, today was his first day as a Fire Fighter/Paramedic for the Longwood Fire Department. I can not put into words how over the moon I am for him. His persistance, tenacity, patience and over all faith that God does have a plan are not only paying off but something I need to learn from. I have so much respect and love for him and couldn't be more proud to call this God-fearing, faithful, devoted man, my husband. God is good!!! ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fabulous Fall...

It may still be almost 90° here in Central Florida, but I can smell fall in the air. My favorite time of year. Cooler weather, football, being able to open the windows, apple pie and pumpkin everything! Our dogs even get more frisky. It's clearly their most favorite time of year too.

I am a little behind on my updates and for that, I apologize. Although, there hasn't been a great deal to report. I had my cycle day 10 ultrasound and blood work on Saturday. As anticipated, this is a right ovary month, so we sit this one out. One of the other doctor's nurses did my ultrasound. She had skimmed over my chart prior to me entering the exam room and I found it quite interesting that the first question out of her mouth was 'why is it that you are only taking 1/2 a tablet of clomid? I've never heard of anyone taking that small of a dose.'. I think she could sense my frustration, because after I told her I wasn't exactly sure but I feel Dr. D is a bit more conservative with his treatment than other doctors, she said "that can be extremely frustrating from a patient perspective." (um... heck yeah it is!!) She then suggested I schedule a follow up before I left the office, which was my plan and is what I did. My follow-up appointment is set for October 5th. That should be right before my next cycle starts so I am very happy with that day and I am hopeful I will feel a restored confidence in this entire process.

Aside from the ultrasound identifying this as a right ovary month, it also indicated that, as anticipated, the clomid did nothing. I had one follicle on the right measuring 14mm and one on the left that wasn't even worth measuring. Nothing more, not even a bunch of little guys. The ever-so-understanding nurse told me she would note in my chart that we had a conversation about the clomid and the low dosage and that I am 100% on board with upping the dosage or using an alternative follicular stimulator. Yes PLEASE, and thank you!

In case you're unable to sense it through my writing, I am feeling pretty beat up and emotionally drained about this entire process. My mind goes to places I wish it wouldn't; like, what if this NEVER happens. What if I never experience what it feels like to have a life growing inside of me? What if we never have a little boy to watch play pop-warner football on Saturday mornings, or a little girl to pass my first pair of ballet slippers on to? What did I/we do to deserve this? Who will take care of us when we're old? As each month passes, I can't help but do the math: I will be 36 when the baby is born (should any of this actually work anytime in the next few months) which would make me 54 when he/she graduates high school, 58 when he/she graduates college (provided they finish in 4 years) and if they decide to wait as long as we did or have a similar experience, I could be 80 before I have grandchildren. By that time, they probably won't want kids because they'll be taking care of us! I know there is nothing I can do about any of this and I shouldn't waste my thoughts on this nonsense but if I am committed to being completely honest and open, this is it and it's not pretty. In fact, it sucks and it doesn't make any sense and it scares the heck out of me. I wouldn't wish any of this on anyone.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, 
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit, 
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow-- 
You may succeed with another blow. 

Often the goal is nearer than,
 It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown. 

 Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

 - Author unknown 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Intuition - 1. Medical Professional Results - 0.

Well hello there weekend! So glad to finally see you again. I wish I could say the same for my frequent, unwelcome visitor, who happened to grace me with her presence Thursday. Yes, I'm referring to non-other than the b*@^h herself, Flo... ugh! (excuse my language) Not only does this mean the obvious, I'm not pregnant. This also confirms the suspicions I had in regard to my actual ovulation date. Allow me to refresh your memory, according to the ridiculously expensive medical testing (although covered by insurance... one of the only things that is) and their results, I ovulated the day of IUI, Cycle Day 17 and 11 days prior to Flo's arrival. Hmmm... that's 2 days earlier than when she should have arrived and while on progesterone, which is said to keep her away. I have also never had a luteal phase that short. (luteal phase is the period of time between ovulation and Flo's arrival.) According to MY calculations/feelings (non-scientific, nor medically confirmed, although...FREE) I ovulated on or about Cycle Day 15-ish (2 days prior to IUI) which would have given Flo an estimated arrival date of... oh... right about THURSDAY! Have I mentioned the chances of getting pregnant AFTER ovulation are slim to none and 2 days post ovulation is basically impossible. Well, in case I didn't, now you know.  And have you ever had one of those moments when you think, "if ever there was a time I didn't want to be right, let it be now"?  Well, I'm having one of those moments. Darn intuition.

Seeing as there is nothing I can do about changing the outcome of this cycle, but learn from it for future cycles, there is no point in dwelling on the negative. Right? Right! In fact, as you all know, I wasn't feeling too confident about this cycle anyway, so I'm chalking up Flo's early arrival as a blessing. At least I didn't have to wait for her for 14 days past IUI plus an additional 5 after stopping the progesterone.

I called Dr. D's office, (we're talking about the fertility doc this time, not the vet. It's a good thing I don't have them both in my phone as Dr. D. That might be a little embarrassing should I call the wrong one.) yesterday to schedule my cycle day 10 ultrasound and blood work and to ask about doing a medicated cycle this go around. My cycle day 10 U/S and BW is scheduled for next Saturday at 8:15am and I had to leave a message for Dr. D's nurse to discuss the rest. When his nurse called back she asked that I come into the office yesterday before 1pm for another ultrasound. That wasn't happening. I was working an hour away from their office and it was already noon. She was able to schedule me at 9am this morning. I'm kind of over spending my Saturday mornings at a doctor's office. At least I was out of there before my 10:30am yoga class. This ultrasound was needed to clear me for follicle stimulating medication. If any cysts showed, I would not be allowed to take anything for fear that the meds would cause the cysts to rupture. I was all clear and left with a script for meds. Don't go getting all excited now, the dosage is a joke and the drug is one I tried before without a positive result. He is putting me on Clomid, cycle days 3-7 at 25mg. I honestly, have never heard of anyone taking such a small dose. My OB/GYN put me on the same drug for 4 cycles at 50mg and an additional 2 cycles at 100mg. It did nothing, which is why I moved on to an RE to begin with.

As you probably already guessed, I'm a bit annoyed and frustrated, but not as annoyed and frustrated as I would be if this was a left ovary cycle. I don't know, yet, that it's not but it would appear I switch sides every other month pretty consistently. Last cycle was left, so this cycle should be right. This will give me a chance to schedule a follow-up consultation with Dr. D himself to find out why he is so apprehensive about being just a little more aggressive. It should also show that I need more than 25mg of a drug that did nothing for me before, to help generate more than just one follicle every cycle.  I sound like a crazy drug addict begging the doc for MORE! I can assure you, the side effects of "more" can make PMS look like a cake walk so it's truly not something I'm looking forward to. Aside from the chances of the desired outcome being a bit better.

While on the subject of meds, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my cousin's wife for reaching out to me this week, probably when I needed her the most to prevent me from going completely insane. Unbeknownst to me, she and my cousin went through something similar to our experience not long ago. They now have a beautiful baby!!! YAY!!!! She offered to send me the left over meds she had from her last cycle (which was successful, obviously) and they arrived yesterday. Should Dr. D finally agree to me taking this medication, my cousin's wife's donation will have saved us about $500. Praise God!!! Now just as a disclaimer, people donate unused fertility drugs all the time. It's not illegal or dangerous or anything like that. We're not sharing needles or taking something without doctor's orders. A great big, huge, thank you to my cousin's wife (not sure she wants to be named so I would like to protect her anonymity). You are such a blessing, not only for the meds but also for your wealth of knowledge! You comforted me when I needed it most!

Another great big, huge thank you to every one who has sent their love and prayers. You have helped me get through some extremely tough days and I don't know how much more we could take, if it wasn't for your support! There is a lot of love in this house for each and every one of you!!! We're eternally grateful!

That's all I've got for now.

Until next Saturday, if not before...

Enjoy your weekend! And GO BUCS!!!!!! (and Vikes too, but shhhh... don't tell Cozart I said that!)

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51: 10-12

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I love Saturdays...

Aaaahhhh.... There is nothing like waking up and having no place to go. I love Saturdays and even more so after a week full of working with a new, number crunching sales manager, doggie knee surgeries and... What else? Oh yeah, the first 7 days of 14, also known as the two week wait. No big deal.

Thankfully, the vet let Winnie come home yesterday. Not only were Cozart and I very happy to have her home, her brothers (Deuce and Bentley) were too. Deuce spent about 45 minutes Thursday night searching the entire house for her. Poor guy missed his baby sister. Her surgery went well. Dr. D replaced her ligaments with wires that will remain in her knee for her entire life. He did not have to deepen the groove the patella slides in. Praise God! She is getting around ok but would prefer to curl up next to you and just sleep. There is 7 staples in her knee that will have to removed in 2 weeks. I am hoping that by that time she will be putting some weight on her leg. Thank you all so very much for your thoughts and prayers! We have a ways to go as far as recovery goes and having her go back to being a 4 legged fur baby but the scary part is behind us.

I get asked, as early as the first day past IUI, how I am feeling. Whether it works or not, I am not going to "feel" anything this early on and anything I do feel isn't related to actually being pregnant. In my many hours of perusing the internet, over the last few years I came across another blog belonging to a woman also struggling with baby making issues. Ironaically the excerpt below is something she wrote when she was 7dpiui as well. I am using her words instead of my own because, I couldn't have said it better myself. She is extremely knowledgable when it comes to fertility treatments, her body and what it is doing and she tells it like it is. I love that! If you would like to follow her blog, you can find it here.
For the first week of the 2ww, I obviously can't obsess over anything. And I'm surprised over the people who do obsess about it. What I'm more surprised is when people pay attention to the obsessing. It's one thing to keep track of your "symptoms" from 1-6dpo/dpIUI, but to publish them? 
This is why I cannot go to that crazy website twoweekwait.com. I'll admit that I love their hpt gallery and I have gone there quite often. But those are concrete things to look at. HPTs. Hard evidence. The rest of the site? For me, not one word is credible. Seriously - they devote an entire section to women listing out their "symptoms from 0-6dpo". Like I said, it's one thing to think of them yourself, it's another thing to publish them - and it's quite another thing for a website listing them out like they are possibilities. If ~I~ was the owner of the website, I wouldn't list a damn thing about 0-6dpo because, well, it's simply impossible for your body to know it if you were pregnant! 
One of my pet peeves I guess. Those women who say "oh, I knew I was pregnant at conception". Oh shut up. You did not. It is physiologically impossible for your body to "know" it's pregnant until implantation. A non-conceived egg and a conceived egg both have to float it's way through the fallopian tubes before it has a chance to implant. And a conceived egg, while maybe bigger by micrometers, isn't big enough for a tube to notice the difference. Until implantation, when your body goes "oh! there's an egg here, let's start making hCG" it's I.M.P.O.S.S.I.B.L.E. to know. 
On the same subject, has anyone ever heard of a coincidence? Just because someone says "my left nipple tingled for an hour at 3dpo" and they ended up pregnant, does not mean nipple tingling at 3dpo means jack shit. But I can't tell you the number of times I read crap like this! It's usually from a newly pregnant girl listing out her symptoms and the things "worked to get me pregnant!". No hunny, I'm sorry, but the fact you hung yourself from the ceiling during sex is not what got you pregnant. The luck of timing got you pregnant. It wasn't because you drank a glass of tea before you had sex. It wasn't because you had a bath before sex. It wasn't because you propped your hips up. It wasn't because you relaxed. Those things are not ways to get pregnant every time. If they were, everyone in the world would try those "tricks" and there would be no such thing as "unexplained infertility". If the woman had accessible eggs and the man had good sperm, every single person in the world would get pregnant by just doing what you think got you pregnant.

Again, I couldn't have said it better myself. Although, I do love hearing the stories of how people struggled and eventually their prayers were answered. It gives me that little bit of hope to get me through another day. I do also love hearing what worked for someone else, just because it may be something I have never heard of and who knows, it may also work for me.

Nancy, the blogger quoted above, goes on to state that at 7dpiui she begins to pay attention to the twinges, cramping, sore breasts and bloating a bit more. For me, I won't consider any feeling I have a true symptom until at least 10 to 12dpiui. That's typically when all progesterone symptoms seize (for me) and Flo is on her way. If the "progesterone" symptoms continue past Thursday or Friday, I may allow myself to start getting a little bit excited. Not until then though! ;)

7 days down, 7 to go before I know if my negative intuition was once again accurate or if this is our turn for a surprise blessing.

Have a great weekend!!
G xo

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Prayers for Winnie...

About a month and a half ago, the newest member of our brood, Winnie, was tearing around the front yard like the Tasmanian Devil. (onc of her favorite things to do) Just as she was rounding the tree in our neighbors front yard she yelped and looked down at her leg. She only stood there for a moment or two and began to run around again. As Cozart and I called the 3 crazies inside, we noticed Winnie was limping. We both assumed she had just stepped wrong, tweaked her little foot and would be back to normal in a couple of days. A few days passed, then a week and she was still hopping around like a 3 legged dog. Clearly, this was something more than just a twisted foot or knee.

Cozart brought her in to the vet, while I was in Minnesota for my Grandfather's funeral. After examining our sweet baby girl, he determined that she was suffering from something called patellar tendon luxation (PTL). Basically, her patella is slipping in and out of place and apparently, it is very common in Boston Terriers. He told Cozart that they Grade them 1 through 4, 4 being the most severe. He wasn't sure if Winnie's PTL was a 2 or 3. Grades 1 and 2 typically correct themselves with minimal issues in the future. Grades 3 and 4 must be corrected surgically. Dr. D (the vet, not the fertility doctor. just to clarify) sent Cozart and Winnie home with an anti-inflammatory to give her every day for 7 to 10 days, to see if it corrects itself and she stops limping.

After 10 days on the anti-inflammatory, she had made a considerable amount of improvement but she still wasn't 100%. She walks normal about 60% of the time and hops like a 3 legged dog the other 40%. When it pops out, she kicks her leg straight back and it pops back in. Very strange. We brought her back in to see Dr. D and as we feared, it looks like she is a Grade 3.

Her surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. She's only 11 months old and I worry this will cause her more issues in the future. Poor baby! The surgery will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The plan is to go in and tighten the ligaments above, below and behind her knee. If he finds that the groove the patella slides in is too shallow, he will cut a deeper groove. Lots of prayers he doesn't have to do the 2nd part. If he does have to deepen the groove, she will have to be under longer and it will take 10 months for her to fully recover. That's literally, an entire lifetime for her! And there would also be a pretty good chance she would have to have the other knee done as well.

We would greatly appreciate any thoughts and prayers you could send her way tomorrow. And a few prayers for Mom too! :) I already can't wait to pick her up Friday or Saturday and I haven't even dropped her off yet!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Negative Nancy, Debbie Downer, Pessimistic Patty......

... or you can just call me Genny.

Round 2: Cozart ended up not working on Thursday so he was home to give me the Ovidrel shot. Thank goodness. Much like the first IUI, I had no side effects from the hormone. Thank goodness again. And there was no retrieving the shot from a bush outside my doctor's office. It was ready and waiting for me all cold and safe in my fridge. THANK GOODNESS! Cozart went in at 7am on Saturday to make his deposit and we both returned at 10am for the insemination. Cozart's numbers weren't quite as impressive as the last time but still very good and well above what they want to see. The insemination was performed by one of the other docs, as Dr. D was not scheduled to be in this past weekend. He seemed nice from what I could gather in the 15 minutes we spent together. His nurse, on the other hand, seemed as if there were about a million different places she would rather be. Understandable when working on a holiday weekend, I guess. The procedure was, once again, quick and painless. When the doctor was finished I was again, left to lie on the table for about 30 minutes allowing for a smooth, direct journey for the little spermies. Before leaving the office we met with Dr. D's nurse to answer any questions, discuss next steps, be sure I had my progesterone suppositories, etc... We left the office and went about our Saturday like we normally would.

We are now 3dpiui and I think the title of this post is a pretty good indication of how I am feeling. I am trying very hard to remain hopeful and positive but am failing miserably. I am a firm believer in the "whatever you believe, you will receive" mentality and from what I believe to be true right now, I anticipate Flo's arrival sometime in the next 7-10 days. I know I should be speaking positively and "by putting negativity out into the universe, I will only get negativity in return" but, I am also not going lie to you about how I am truly feeling. I'm not going to blow sunshine where it doesn't and pretend to be uber confident in this round of treatment when, quite frankly, I'm anything but.

As I mentioned, I have really been trying to be more positive about this round (although it may not sound like it) and I am still giving this one to God 100%. Don't confuse my thoughts/feelings on the outcome of this round with worry, I have the least amount of anxiety I have had in 3 years when it comes to this process. I credit that to finally being able to give this one to Him. With that being said, I am a realist. I have searched for anything and everything that point the odds in our favor, unfortunately I just can't find much. Allow me to explain where I am coming from...

As I stated in my last post I only had one dominant follicle. I also stated you really only need one, so I wasn't going to consider it an issue. After consulting Dr. Internet (I know I know but I just can't help myself and it isn't all misinformation or just opinion, he often brings me much needed comfort), I ran across several women stating their doctors forego any month that they have less than 2 dominant follicles. Their doctors have told them the chances are just too slim and it would be a waste. Now, this is not the first time I have heard this, which is why I had Dr. D's nurse ask him, when the last round didn't take, if we should try a medicated cycle. His response, was no. He felt my body was responding just fine naturally. I accepted that but still didn't feel all that great about it. I would understand had I had 2 or 3 dominant follicles but just one? Why not just give it a try? A little kick start if you will? But, again, he is the doctor and I the patient, he knows best. Right???

In the brief meeting following the insemination, one of the questions Cozart asked (and I am so glad he did) was: "If this round doesn't work, what will we try different next time?". Her response was: "We typically don't change anything until you have done 3 or 4 rounds.". Whoa whoa whoa... wait a minute. That would imply we were here to do an infinite amount of treatments. That couldn't be further from the truth. We have budgeted for 3, maybe (if unmedicated) 4 IUI treatments. That's it, after that, we go back to trying on our own and saving for whatever option we can save enough money for before we're just too old to even consider having kids. (that may sound extreme, but it's true and the reality we live with every day.) I continued on, asking her about possibly trying a medicated cycle. (a medicated cycle means you are injecting a drug that stimulates follicle growth. Yielding 3, 5, 7 follicles vs 1. It also takes the cost of each treatment from approx $600 to $1000 or more.) She stated the reason Dr. D would be against a medicated cycle is due to the risk of having multiples. Cozart, nicely, asked her if we could be the ones to assess that risk. Unless I had some life threatening, pre-existing condition that could potentially kill me if I had more than one baby, we feel 2 is much better than none at all. We quite possibly could be eating our words should twins be in our future but we'll cross that bridge if we come to it. She was very sweet and said she would make a note in our chart but hopes we don't even get to that point. We hope so too. In short, I can't help but feel we could have improved our chances (for this round) had we just had a a conversation with Dr. D about whether or not having multiples is a concern for us. I guess, at least now he will know for next time.

My 2nd reason for being down on this round is timing. After 3 years of "trying" to get pregnant, charting every twinge, ache, pain, pinch, pull, temperature fluctuation, mucous consistency, cervix positioning (that was short lived. I will never figure it out. Not to mention it's gross.), peeing on sticks to track ovulation, I have gotten pretty in tune with my body. Although, I can't tell you the exact moment I ovulate, like some say they can, I think I can identify it within a 12-24 hour window. Not bad, huh? Yeah, you'd think I'd be pregnant by now, wouldn't you? Me too. Insemination, was not within that 12-24 hour window. In fact, after looking back through my charts (35 months worth), I have only ovulated (according to my non-medical professional calculations) past Cycle Day 14 or 15, twice. Insemination was Cycle Day 17. I also start feeling progesterone symptoms approximately 3-6dpo, which is normal. This month they started the day after IUI, before I started the progesterone supplements. All signs point to being a day (or 3) late and dollar (or 600) short. I know I should trust the medical professionals and all their fancy testing and it's true, my charting and relying on my "feelings" hasn't gotten me pregnant thus far but I can't shake what I believe intuition is telling me.

With all that said, I refuse to end this post as the Polly Pissy Pants I started it as. The truth is God performs miracles every single day. I may not be confident about this round but I believe in a God that does great things. Things that I could never dream of explaining and go against all realms of possibility. Our God is an awesome God and for that I am eternally blessed and thankful whether be it with or without child. His will be done, in His time, not ours.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's all up to the Man upstairs...

Good News! As presumed, I am ovulating on my left side this time around. Yay!! There is only one dominant follicle measuring just over 18mm. Although, I would have liked to have seen more than one, one is really all you need. My E2 level was still a little on the low side so they have suggested we wait until Thursday evening for the trigger shot and Saturday for the insemination, in hopes that my estrogen will continue to increase over the next 4 days.

I am really trying to do my best to give this one to God 100%. No worries, no anxiety, whatever happens happens according to the plan He had already set for me long before I was even a glimmer in my Mama's eye. Whatever will be, will be.

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day, is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Writer's Block... Ugh!

Hello again... It is probably a good thing that I don't rely on my writing as a source of income. My lack of posting in the past couple weeks is a direct reflection of my lack of intriguing topics in which to discuss, which would, if this blog were my source of income, result in 6 very hungry bellies. Not good.

For the most part, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I like to discuss both, the peaks and the pits of my life and typically have no problem just coming out and saying what's on my mind. There are a few exceptions. 1. When in a disagreement with my darling husband. I tend to crawl into my shell a little. Or I just need time with my own thoughts, he often doesn't understand this part. 2. When the "pit" I'm in has me feeling like I just need some me time, I also tend to crawl in my shell. And, 3. When I don't have anything nice to say. (don't say anything at all, right?) Apparently, I'm adding a forth: lack of writing inspiration.

Every time I have picked up the computer the past few weeks I have felt pangs of guilt, for not posting, and a little avoidance when it comes to my blog. Kind of like that daunting task that you try to pretend doesn't exist, in hopes that it will just miraculously check itself off the list. Perhaps these feelings are due to the lack of action on the baby making front. Possible partial blame could be placed on Cozart's change in schedule which has caused us both lack of sleep. (I don't sleep well when he's not home) Or maybe my own work stress, which has consumed most of my thoughts over the last couple weeks. Whatever the reason, I hope this is the end of my writer's block.

Aside from the writer's block, Cozart's new position at the hospital and our disrupted sleep pattern and my work drama; I have rather enjoyed our month off from all things baby. Of course, it's never completely turned off in my mind. Everywhere I turn, someone is pregnant, having a baby or asking me about my kids (thinking I have something other than that of the four-legged, furry variety). I think this was the first month in almost 3 years that I can say I had absolutely no expectation of seeing a positive pregnancy test. It has been a welcome break and I am ready to, hopefully, try again this month.

My cycle day 10 ultrasound and blood work appointment was yesterday morning. I arrived at Dr. D's office at 8:15am with absolutely no pre-conceived thoughts. The last 2 appointments just like this one, I was either nervous and apprehensive or feeling like this just isn't our month. This time I was relaxed and, as hard as a tried, I couldn't get a feel for what my gut was trying to tell me. I am chalking this up as a good thing and hope it continues. The ultrasound showed that, although it appears I will be ovulating on my left side this month, there was only one dominant follicle and it was far from ready, measuring only 11.92mm. (they like to see between 18-20mm before they will have you administer the trigger shot) They called later in the day, which I didn't realize until this afternoon because they called my work phone, to tell me my E2 level (estrogen) was at 90. (also too low for triggering) So, I have a 2nd ultrasound and blood draw scheduled for Tuesday morning. Typically, the follicles grow between 2-3mm per 24 hours which should put me right at 18-20mm at the time of that appointment. If all looks good, I will trigger Tuesday evening, come back Thursday morning for Cozart's deposit and later in the day for insemination.

Until Tuesday...

 "Forget all the reasons why it won't work and BELIEVE the one reason it will." - Unknown

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy Sunday!!!

Hello again... I know it's been quite a few days since I have posted anything. After the roller coaster ride that was the month of July, I just haven't had much to say.

I had a nice trip home to Minnesota, although not for reasons I would like to be making said trip; it's still always nice to go home. The celebration of my Grandfather's life was wonderful. I saw so many people I hadn't seen in years. I think I heard "I haven't seen you since you were this big..." more in 2 days than I have my entire life. The service was followed by a luncheon and then we laid him to rest at the cemetery right in between my Grandmother and my Dad. I know I said it before but I am just so overcome with joy and peace knowing they are together once again. We wrapped up the service with each grandchild releasing a balloon into the sky. It still gives me chills just thinking about it.

I had my cycle day 10 ultrasound scheduled for this past Tuesday. And just as I had suspected, I am ovulating on the right side so we will wait this month out. I would be lying if I said I wasn't even just a little bit disappointed. Although, I am a little relieved to have a month to not have to have every waking (and some sleeping) thought consumed by baby making. I suppose it is still possible that we could get pregnant this month on our own, so I'm sure I'll have a thought of hope run through my mind a few times in the next 2 weeks. The chances are so slim, I won't be holding my breath.

I anticipate Flo's arrival sometime the last week of August, at which time I will again call to schedule the 10 day ultrasound and blood work and we start the process all over again. It appears that my body is pretty text book as far as my cycles. (ie every 28 days, alternating ovaries, etc.) However, it is not uncommon for a woman to have 1 or 2 annovulatory cycles a year. An annovulatory cycle is when you just don't ovulate. With that being said, I am hopeful next month cycle will be on the left but it is also possible it will repeat the right or I may not ovulate at all. Until then, fingers crossed and more waiting...

In other news, Cozart started his job at the hospital this past week. Much as I had suspected, it is going to be quite an adjustment. Not only for him, but for me as well. For at least the first month, he will primarily be working nights (7pm-7am), as well as working a couple days for the ambulance company. Although, we have both come accustom to him working 24 hour shifts with 48 hours off in between, this work all night, sleep during the day thing is for the birds. But something we both will need to get used to. Between both companies, he's been gone pretty much all weekend and next weekend will be much of the same. It's nice to have the house to yourself for the first day, the 2nd day is when it starts to get to me. On the bright side, I can spend a lot more time at yoga, without having to listen to his grumblings about me being gone. :)

Happy Sunday!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The results are in...

Well, it comes as no surprise to me that this round did not take. Even though I wasn't as confident about this go round as I could have been; it still doesn't make a negative result any easier to take.

I went in last Friday for blood work, as I had previously mentioned. They were testing my progesterone levels; looking for a result higher than 17.  Last month my P4 result was 10.7 (not great) and the month before it was 17. Neither month was I taking progesterone suppositories. Just so you know what these numbers all mean; the higher the number the greater the likelihood ovulation did in fact occur. A 10 is borderline, it probably did happen but it isn't what they would call a "strong ovulation". 17, without progesterone supplements of any kind is good and would be considered a "strong ovulation" and anything 20+ is great, or "very strong". They say progesterone isn't indicative of pregnancy but many women who have a P4 result of say 30 on 7dpiui (that's day past IUI) or 7dpo (days past ovulation) are udually pretty thrilled and have a good chance of staring at a + on an HPT 7 days in their future.  Progesterone number will continue to increase should you in fact be pregnant. My result on 8dpiui, while taking progesterone suppositories, was 17.5. I was less than thrilled. Yes, my number was above what they wanted to see but it also had been .5 below that without the help of the supplement. I wasn't overly confident before these results and any hope I did have was squashed to just about nothing after finding this out.

When the nurse called in my results she also informed me that I would not have to come in for blood work the following Friday (today) to determine if the IUI did in fact work. She said I should use an HPT (home pregnancy test, just a reminder for any of you who may have missed the post previously breaking down my acronyms) that evening (a week ago) to be sure the trigger shot was out of my system. If the test was positive, use another the following morning and so on until you get a negative. The test was negative that afternoon and again this morning (and yesterday morning). Boo!!

I have spoken to very few of you as I haven't really been in a very good place with this news as the icing on my bad-news-week cake. I am feeling better about it today than I was yesterday. Yesterday was just, well... BAD!  Just to give you an idea, I have copied and pasted my response to a dear friend's,  whom has experienced all of this herself, email telling me she was thinking of me: (please note: I feel 100% comfortable being completely forthright with her. I'm so lucky to have her.)

 The treatment didn't work. 221 million sperm and not one could find my egg. I am waiting to hear back from the doctor with how he would like to proceed next month. Mostly just needing to know if he would like to add any drugs to the next cycle. 

I'd like to say I'm being really upbeat and positive but today I'm neither of those things. Maybe tomorrow will be different but today I'm angry, frustrated, confused, and feel cheated. I haven't talked to anyone else because I know they'll say: "just think positive.", "you never know, you haven't gotten your period yet, there's still a chance." or "you can try again next month.". I may verbally assault whomever even breathes anything remotely close to that so, I'm glad YOU are the one emailing me and I am responding to you because you KNOW how I'm feeling. And you won't think I'm being a super negative pissy-pants with a piss poor attitude and tell me it could be worse, I could have lost a loved one this week too. Oh that's right, that happened 2 days ago. I clearly forgot to mention I'm also having a bout of poor me syndrome!

Ahhh... I feel better. Thank you for letting me vent!

I am better today than yesterday but still a tad bitter. I received a call from Dr. D's nurse and he doesn't want to deviate from the original plan of going au naturale. I will admit, I was a little disappointed seeing as I had only one mature follicle with an unmedicated cycle but I'll trust his judgement, even if a little unsure of it. That's why I pay him the big bucks, right?

Flo has yet to rear her ugly head. (effective immediately, we will cease from referring to the "red headed beast" as "Aunt" Flo. Cozart and I have far too many Aunt's whom we love dearly to share the title with something we have come to so greatly despise.) Flo (or "red headed beast"; which I really like but have 2 darling nephews with red hair so it just doesn't seem appropriate either), is held at bay while taking progesterone supplements, for most women. I have since stopped using them and should be expecting her to make an unwelcome appearance some time in the next 2-5 days. On the day of her arrival, we start the process all over again with me calling to schedule my cycle day 10 ultrasound and get a script for the ovidrel/trigger shot this time. I've had my fill of searching for syringes in trees. If the ultrasound shows I am ovulating on the left side again, it's game on. Trigger shot, Cozart's deposit, the spermies get a bath, I go in for my part and yet another excruciating 2ww (week wait). If it's the right side, we sit this month out.

More for me, than for all of you, and maybe a little hokey but I really feel like I need to end this post on a positive note. A lot has happened in my life over the last 2 weeks and it has been very easy to start questioning things like why would God take a life and the hope of a new life from me all within 72 hours of each other? Why does everything come so simple for others and not for me? What did I do to deserve this? Am I being punished for something? And so on and so forth... But the truth is, I have so many things to be grateful for, I am not being punished, there are so many others who have much more difficult roads ahead, these events are not the consequences of previous actions. My Grandfather is breathing easy, in a place I long to one day be. I know I was put on this earth to be a mother and I will be one day soon. I have a husband that is an amazing partner and my best friend. I have friends and family that love me and a job that will allow me to hop on a plane to be with family without asking any questions at all. I'm healthy, with a roof over my head and food on the table. (I feel like I'm writing a country song. Actually I would have to have all these things taken away and maybe I'd have a hit on my hands?) And I have my faith and because of that, I know I never have to face any of the bad (or good) alone. Amen to that!

"But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently" - Roman 8:25 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 17th, 2012

When I woke up yesterday morning I had an uneasy feeling, the best way I can describe it is... empty. But with all that has transpired over the last 10 days, it didn't really come as a surprise that I would be feeling down or a little "off". I left the house and made my trek to the booming metropolis of Leesburg, FL to prepare for my luncheon with one of my doctor's offices. Throughout the luncheon I couldn't shake this dark feeling. By the time I had packed up my stuff and got back on the road, I found myself unable to hold back the tears. I sat in my car and did what I always do while having an impromptu emotional break down, I begged God for some relief. I tried to explain to him that I didn't think I was as strong as he thinks I am and that I just didn't know how much more I could take. It the midst of my sobs, Cozart called to check in while on his lunch break. I pulled myself together and proceeded to tell him my stuffiness was due to something in the air. I just didn't want to hear what I already knew in my heart, which was I AM strong enough and God knows me a heck of a lot better than I know myself. He would never give me more than I could handle. Which is exactly what Cozart told me last night when I confessed my little lie. Cozart and I finished our conversation and I continued on my route with intention of seeing at least 3 or 4 more offices.

1977 - Me with my 2 Guardian Angels - Grandpa and My Dad

No sooner did I pull in the parking lot of my next stop did I get the answer as to what this horrible feeling was. My phone rang again and this time it was my Uncle. I knew why he was calling and hesitated before hitting the glowing green ANSWER button on my phone. "Gen!" (it's mind blowing how much he sounded like my Grandfather in that moment.) "Hey!" I said, and for a split second I thought he was just calling to check in. (not that that is a regular occurrence). Unfortunately, he was in fact delivering the news I had been dreading for the past week. "Grandpa passed away about 25 minutes ago." , he said. Neither of us could say anything but a few muffled I love you's and see you soon. I made a few phone calls to Cozart, my Mom and my Sister and decided I wouldn't be seeing anymore doctors for the day. I started on my hour long journey home. (note to self: never tell God what you can handle, chances are he does know better than you and will likely prove you wrong)

1980 - Me & Grandpa

After about 15 minutes of driving, squinting my way through the tears, I felt overcome by peace. The same peace I felt when I got the call saying he only had 2 more weeks to live. He probably has dreamt of the day he could see his wife and 3 sons since the day they died and here it is. Reunited with not only the 4 of them but his brothers and sisters and his parents and all the other loved ones that have gone before him. What an amazing day for him! As a smile finally, probably for the first time all day, came to my face I realized how dark the sky was getting. And the thunder was so loud with one crash after another. One of 3 things was happening and none of them had to do with weather. Either I could still hear my Grandfather grumbling from heaven, (this wouldn't be surprising, he liked to grumble about things just for the reaction),  or, there was a stampede of loved ones rushing to greet him into heaven or he was just making his grand entrance. Probably a combination of the 3.

Richard Eugene Dahl
January 9th, 1935 - July 17th, 2012

My Grandfather was a wonderful man and the memories I have of him I will cherish forever. In going through pictures of him in preparation for his wake and funeral, I just couldn't help but notice that every picture I have of him and me, I look happier than I've ever been. He kind of had that effect on me. I look forward to the day I see him again and hopefully make my own thunder crashing entrance...

None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living  - Romans 14:7-9

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Please keep hands and feet inside the cart until the ride comes to a complete stop..."

I have always been a fan of roller coasters. Roller coasters of the emotional variety... not a fan at all. I have definitely been on quite a ride since my last post. I was fully prepared for this 2 week wait to be anxiety stricken, long and extremely drawn out. Never could I have fathomed what it would truly entale.

From the moment we stepped out of the doctor's office, 2 weeks ago Thursday, I wanted to fast forward time. I've experienced the "2 week wait" several times in the past 3 years and it has never been fun. I knew this particular 2 week wait would be even worse for several reasons. One, we were now financially vested, aside from the $10 boxes of OPKs and HPTs, in this process. Two, from what the tests have shown, this "should" work for us. Three, I have this overwhelming feeling that this will not only be disappointment for Cozart and I (if it doesn't work), but also for all of you who have taken the time to read my ramblings for the past 3 months. The anticipation is almost unbearable.

After spending my first weekend post IUI trying to think of ways to fast forward the next 2 weeks; I received a call from my Aunt which would force me to slam on the brakes and want to go BACK in time. My Grandfather, who has been battling lung cancer, for the 2nd time, over the past year was, ironically, given 2 weeks to live. I was able to spend time with him while I was in Minnesota in June but never did I think it would be the last time I would see him. He was far from picture perfect health but he was up and about. He came to my brother's graduation and we went to the cemetery to see my Dad's grave. It's amazing how quickly things can change. Although I am selfishly, very sad at the thought of my Grandfather having limited time on this earth; I am overwhelmed by a sense of peace because I know he will soon be with his 3 sons (one being my Dad) and his first wife, my Grandma Clarine. He lost them all too soon and I know he has dreamt, just like I have, of the day that they will meet again. I pray for peace while he is still here on earth, and eternal happiness in heaven with those who loved him most.

As I mentioned, this past week and a half has been a roller coaster of emotions. Anxious of the wait to be over but cherishing every moment I can hear my Grandfather's voice over the phone. I am hyper-sensitive to every twinge, cramp, tingle, ache or pain I feel in my body. And crying over anything and everything that reminds me of my Grandfather. Unfortunately or fortunately, he is the one who taught me to drive and I spend about 80% of my day in the car. I can't help but smile when I pull into a left turning lane. 20 years ago, in my Grandfather's Ford F150, him the passengers seat, I in the driver's, I thought it was ok to make a right turn from the left turn lane. I'm glad I didn't lose him by way of heart attack on that day. That's just one of so many fun, loving memories I have of him. He's such an amazing man and will be deeply missed by many.

3 more days until testing. Throughout the day, I go from feeling really confident that it worked to thinking it's all in my head and we'll be trying for round 2 in another 2 weeks. As of right now, I'm thinking exactly that.... bring on Aunt Flo, next cycle and another torturous 2 week wait. Ugh!!! Only time will tell which voice in my head is right.

Until then, I would like to leave you today with the prayer from my Girlfriends in God daily devotional. It seemed so fitting for today and this week and I know a few of you may find it appropriate in your own way.

Lord, I confess that when life is hard, I tend to lose hope. I want my hope to be in you, Father. I want to walk in faith and in your will for my life. I am so tired of being defeated. Please show me how to walk in obedience, and by doing so, walk in hope. Amen

Friday, July 6, 2012

And now we wait...

What a week it has been!!! Yesterday went well, or at least I think it did. Cozart went into the doctor's office at 8am to "make his deposit" which resulted in more super-human-like numbers than the last 2 analyses. Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about; normal sperm count is 40 million, they want to see anything over 20 million. Cozart's count was 698 MILLION pre-wash and 221 million post-wash. Dr. D suggested we frame his results and hang them up somewhere. I would not be surprised if Cozart just so happened to swing by a Michael's today to do just that. Although the count is fantastic and much better than we could have hoped for, there still needs to be at least 1 swimmer that can figure out where it needs to go. Luckily, Cozart has no problem asking for directions, hopefully his swimmers share the same mentality.

The procedure itself was very quick and virtually painless. Some cramping but nothing intolerable. Many of you have asked how I am feeling today or if I am on bedrest and the answer is, no, not at all. IUI, unlike IVF, is extremely natural. I wasn't sedated, the only drug I took was a natural hormone and the procedure was minimally (if at all) invasive. Other than having to be at the doctor at 11:30, yesterday was just like any other day. I even went to yoga last night. It's actually a little weird how normal I do feel. It has felt like such a huge deal, leading up to this day, you would think I would feel different, but I don't.

As far as my feelings about whether it will work this time around; I'm leaning more towards the negative than the positive. Only because I felt so unprepared and unaware of what to expect. Like I said in my last post, this feels like a practice round. I went into the ultrasound on Tuesday thinking I would have to come back Wednesday to do it all over again and possibly Thursday too. It all happened so quickly and, although everything worked out, I can't help but think we missed something along the way. But I can't dwell on what I wish I would have known, and didn't or what I wish we would have done, and didnt. If it works HALLELUJAH, if it doesn't, we will just be better prepared for the next time!

Another question I have been posed with a number of times is; who will we tell if it does work? That's kind of a tough one to answer and something Cozart and I have to discuss further. I mean, I have kind of sucked you all in and how would I not tell you now that you've been given a play-by-play of this experience? But, at the same time, even just leading up to yesterday, I was asked questions like; where will you deliver? Do you want a boy or a girl? Do you have names picked out? And have been given parenting/pregnancy advice. Of course, I appreciate every one's excitement and I know that it comes from a good place but I am an EXTREMELY superstitious person. Talking to me like I am already pregnant, freaks me out! I can't help but think I jynxed it all!!! So with that being said, I would love to have a moment where we all jump up and down with excitement and start buying baby clothes but until I know we are in the clear, I may not feel like posting it on Facebook or putting it on a billboard on the side of I-4 for the world to see. BUT.... (there are so many BUTS) if it doesn't work, obviously I will be walking you all through this process again. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself and should just say, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it... in 14 (very long) days.

My next appointment is on Friday to have more blood drawn to test my progesterone level. Until then, I will do my best to stay busy and try not to think about it too much (YEAH RIGHT!!!).
"It's hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but it's harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
          -Author Unknown