Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ranting Robin (a twist on words)

Okay....so this is MY blog, right?!  And as it is MY blog, I am allowed to use it as it was originally meant to be used; as an online journal.  Correct?!  That being said, I am taking this moment to vent.  I hope any of you who read this are not offended....actually, I take that back.  I hope some of you ARE offended!  I think if you read this and feel you conscious is being pricked, its probably YOU I am talking to/about!  I hope that if you are affected by my words you will consider them the next time you are in a situation that might be relatable. 

Many of you have caused hurt over the past few weeks or years.....and Im sure you dont even know it.  Im sure you didn't mean to, that it wasn't your intent.  At least, that is what Im choosing to believe.

I am infertile. 
Reproductivily Challenged.
Without Child.

For those of you who cannot fathom this, think of it as a death.  I mourn the loss of my one and only child often.  I mourn the loss of the idea, the possiblity that I will ever have my own children.  This is not a new problem, I have been dealing with it for over 4 years now.  Correction.  DUSTIN AND I have been dealing with it for over 4 years now.  What I go thru, he goes thru.  Especially since he has been pretty much the only person who will listen or ask how I am.  It wasnt just MY dream that has been shattered, it was HIS too!  We both wanted to be parents! 

What hurts the most is that many of you have not once asked us how we are doing.  Many of you ignore it, act like we should not be hurt or upset.  Its not often anyone even asks how I/he is emotionally in the whole thing.  However, many of you have been quick to judge.  I have received cards, letters, emails, snide comments:  not asking me how I am coping or extending sympathies or a listening ear;  rather corrections, suggestions on what we are doing wrong, opinions on how we can fix it.  Some of you have even went so far as to publically rub my face in your pregnancies!  Some friends/families we have!

So let me be perfectly clear here!  I DO NOT FOR ONE MINUTE BELIEVE THAT MY INFERTILITY IS A PUNISHMENT FOR MY PAST!  NOR DO I BELIEVE THAT IT IS BECAUSE I LACK FAITH!  I am a born again christian and the day I accepted Christ into my heart I was forgiven for my past.  I believe that I pray to and worship the same God you do...and the He withholds things from us out of love/to teach us/ to use us in other ways/ for the bigger picture.  I believe that God is a loving God and that he does not inflict pain out of punishment. 

Yes, I can understand how many of you would not be completely understanding of the medical procedures we have went thru.  Most of you who have made judgements about the things we have went thru probably dont even know half of what we have done over the past 4 years in regards to baby making.  They include a year on Clomid, a miscarriage, 4 IUI cycles, 2 Hysterosalpiniograms, laser treatments on my cervix for endometriosis, many many lab draws, a failed IVF cycle, hyperstimulation of my ovaries, and more vaginal ultrasounds than I can count!  Not to mention the loss of my privacy and dignaty!  And not once did you ask how I was doing!  If you were unaware or uninformed on the things we were going thru, you should have asked.  When we would try to tell you, you would change the subject!  So do me a favor and keep your opinions to yourself now!  There are many things you do that I dont agree with.....and I have never once written someone a letter telling them so.  Nor have I imposed my opinion on you in the form of an email or suggestion.  I am a firm believer that until you have been in a situation (and I include myself in this) you cannot judge nor fathom the rationality of someones actions.  Besides, what Dustin and I choose to do with OUR lives is between us and God.  Do not think for one minute that our decisions are not made without much prayer and thought!

I love each and every one of you.  But I am pleading with you for your understanding and caring....not your judgement and opinions.  And please, the next time you meet someone who is in a situation where they cannot have kids, do not change the subject right away....ask them how they are! Ask them about what procedures they have done.  Show them a little compassion already!  One of the hardest parts of being infertile is that it really feels like there is noone to talk to about it!  When you change the subject (therefore ignoring it) it is hurtful!  It tells us that you really dont care!  Dont tell them you know of a friend of a friend who.....  or that you know of a girl who did ______ and it worked.  Or ask if they have been praying about it.  (what an insult....now you are insulting not only their medical condition but also their spiritual life and faith!!)  Do not suggest adoption.  JUST LOVE THEM!  Offer your shoulder.  Take them dinner (you would do it for anyone else mourning a loss, right!?!?)  Send a card that says "I dont know what to say but I care!"....

That being said, for those of you who have been supportive, THANK YOU!  Please know that it's not over for us yet....we still need your prayers and words of encouragement.  We are looking into doing an embryo adoption (those of you who dont agree, we KNOW!  Keep your lips locked, please!)  We meet with the Doctor again on Monday.  I believe we will officially go on the embryo donation list at that time.  Then it is just a waiting game.  I believe God has a plan for us....maybe all along he wanted us to use others embryos to save a life!)   I would love to tell my infertility story to anyone who will listen....just ask!  Thanks again for your support!

****Like I said before, this is not written to anyone person....just needed to get some thoughts off my chest.  Thought you might like to know how I am feeling.  That IS what friends and family are for, right!?!?!***

Saturday, February 20, 2010

2 Slobs live here!

This is the first weekend in many many weekends that we have not had anything planned.  Most of our weekends are usually taken up by work, church activities, or friends...and Im not complaing about that!  But I would be lying if I didnt say I was ELATED that we had a weekend to ourselves for once.  So, what did we do, you ask?!  NOTHING!

I got off work friday around 5 PM.  I ran to Kroger and got the ingredients to make Dustins favorite hot chicken dip, hit the redbox for a movie or two, and home to veg.  I made D's dip, put a pizza in the oven, movie into the dvd player......and was asleep by 8:30!  I woke up to a pillow hitting me in the face....D telling me to go to bed because I was snoring so loud he couldn't hear the movie! 

I am officially an old goat! 

We are hoping to head to the movies this evening with Dave and Annette to see Dear John.  Church tomorrow, AWANA tomorrow night, and then back to work Monday!  All in all, a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Funny how life goes on....

Its amazing how life keeps going on.....even when it feels like it has ended. 

Things are back in full swing in the Donovan household.  Its like the past two weeks didnt even happen.  Our God is an amazing God!  Its completely awesome to me how he can heal hurts without us even realizing it.  Yes, I still mourn the fact that I will never have MY child.  Its heartbreaking to me that I will never have a baby that has Dustins dimples or his cute teeth (those of you who know Dustin know how cute that gap is in his front teeth!)  But, this experience has truly brought us together over the past weeks.  We have had some great discussions and prayers together about our future.  As of now, it looks like we will be doing an embryo adoption.  We go back to Dr. Bopp March 1st and have a whole list of questions to ask him.  We both truly feel God is leading us towards adoption.  Its something we always knew we wanted to do; we just didnt know it would eventually be our only option!

The youth retreat this weekend was AWESOME!  We have the greatest group of kids at our church!  The youth amaze me weekly!  We include kids 6th grade thru Seniors in high school in our youth group.  They all get along so well.  They just rock, thats all I can say!

The greatest news of the weekend is that I went sledding (a total blast!), roller skating, and bowling all in one day.....and wasnt sore at all the next day!  Guess Im not so old after all!  Ha!

Im sitting at church while I write this and I can hear the worship team practicing one of my favorite songs.  "There is no God like Jehovah, There is no God like Jehovah....."  Annette has asked me to consider being on the worship team.  I sing in the choir, but Im not so sure my voice is good enough to sing on the worship team (it consists of 5 people only!)  Its something to think about, I suppose!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hi ho, Hi Ho, its back to work I go....

Well, I had taken a few weeks vacation for this whole IVF thing....and I guess I dont need the time off anymore.  So, I am returning to work tomorrow, an entire week earlier than I had planned.  Im a wuss and have a hard time saying No, so back to work I will be tomorrow at 430 am! 

Dustin and I are chapperoning the Winter Youth Retreat this weekend.  I'm on the leadership committee to help plan it and it seems to be coming together nicely.  We leave Friday evening and will return Sunday around 11:30 (just in time for the kids to head home with their parents who will be getting out of church)  The theme, thought up by two of the girls in the youth group (Becky and Trisha) is Avalanche:  Taking the ordinary to extraordinary.  I think it will be a great weekend full of fellowship and strengthened friendships in Christ.  I still have to go buy a sleeping bag and snow pants for the weekend...not to be used at the same time!  :)

Dustin and I have been contemplating and praying about embryo adoption.  It seems like the best solution to our situation for now.  It is less expensive than a "regular" adoption (if you call $10,000 + the cost of FET less expensive) and I would still get to carry the baby and experience the thrills (and aches and pains) that go with it.  To adopt an infant in the U.S. is VERY expensive!  Around $40,000.  And not guaranteed.  And a very long wait.  To adopt a child internationally is a little less expensive (20-45 grand) but generally infants are not available.  Is it crazy that I would want an infant?  Is it insane that Im a little bit angry (or alot angry, depending on the day) that some people can get pregnant in a wink and Im contemplating spending thousands (and HAVE spent thousands) to "buy" my baby?! 

Life is crazy, you know?!  I know God is teaching us a lesson...Im just not sure what yet.  His timing is remarkable to me....  He seems to have much more patience than I do!  Please keep us in your prayers as we contemplate the different options.  I know I'm meant to be a mother in some capacity...I truly cannot believe God would give me this strong of a desire if it were not meant to be.  I just need the patience to figure out in what way he is directing us...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A pint of Ben and Jerrys and Flashdance...

Ok....I've been wallowing.  I gave myself permission for a few days.  Is that so bad?!?  Flashdance is my go-to movie when Im sad....and I've watched it more than a few times this week!  But, its time to pull up my big girl britches and get on with life!  So.....here I go!

Dustin and I were chapperones last night at church for the Senior High Lock In from 730 PM to 730 AM.  My own personal version of hell!  I love the kids in the youth group, and I love helping out on Thursday nights, but an entire night of 40 kids screaming at the top of their lungs is more than I can take!  I only lasted until 11:30....then I went home and went to bed.  My stomach was killing me and I really felt like I was going to vomit. There was not one single corner in the church that was quiet, so I went home to my peace and quiet...and my lonely little doggies!  Dustin managed to stay until 430 when he had to leave to go plow snow at Milan Center.  I had every intention of getting up early and going back to the church to help with breakfast (there were many egg casseroles to be baked) but when the alarm went off at 3, my stomach was still aching.  So, back to sleep I went.  I have failed as a leader!

Oh well.....life goes on.  Hopefully the kids all had a great time!  We have the Jr High Lock In coming up so Id better get ready for that!  Do you think they sell Jr high sized muzzles anywhere?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Im a genetic FREAK!

I spoke to the embryologist and biologist today.  Up until the phone rang, and I looked down and saw that it was a call from Indianapolis, I had secretly held out hope that things were going to turn around.  I knew they said there was a window of opportunity for fertilization (16-20 hours) and that I had passed it with out one hint of chemical reaction....but I trust a God who can turn water into wine....and surely He could turn our cellular mess into a baby if He choose, right?!  It was not to be....

The Docs said that my eggs have a genetic abnormality that is causing them to not fertilize.  My endoplasmic reticulum has disk-like objects in it where it should be smooth.  (Im sure, other than the big words stuck in the middle there, that they "dumbed" that down for me....if anyone understands this, I would like to hear your explanation)  In other words, it is highly unlikely that I will ever have a child on my own.  The sperm can attach to the egg but the part where they chemically start to change is broken, for lack of better terms.  We had 10 eggs that were "mated" in a dish, and 3 that we choose to have ICSI (Inner Cellular Sperm Injection) done to.  They actually put sperm in 3 of them.....and even those did not fertilize.  The Docs all have said that this is very, very, very RARE (one even said he has never seen it happen in all of his practice or years of experience).

They are reccommending we try IVF again, this time with ICSI for all of the eggs.  They said there have been studies that show that this egg abnormality can be bypassed with the ICSI, but it is not guaranteed. 

How do you know what to do?  Do we try again?  Or should we just use the thousands of dollars it would cost for the next try towards adoption?  When do I admit that my dreams of carrying a baby might never come true? 

Sometimes I think the worst part of all of this is that noone can understand the ache and hurt involved.  The sense of loss is incredible.  BUT....Im a survivor and this too, shall pass!  I fell asleep last night nestled in Dustins arms, my tears flowing freely onto his chest....and his onto the top of my head. I feel like Im such a  disappointment to him.  For a man who wants to be a father, how can he not resent the fact that I cannot give him children?

Any advice?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Broken Hearts and Shattered Dreams

And the outcome is.....

13 eggs + 1 million sperm = No Baby Donovan

Not a single one of our eggs fertilized.  Guess it wasn't in God's plan.  I've been praying for a peace about this....but Ill be honest, it doesnt make it any easier. 

Enough said.

My eggs are a-bakin' (a BAKERS DOZEN)

We made it to Indianapolis yesterday with time to spare.  Dustin was up on time, and even in a good mood!  A miracle in itself, there!  Being the sweet guy that he is, he declined any coffee because I couldn't have any (no food or drink after midnight).  So, we made the trip to Indy fueled only on nerves. 

When I got there, they were able to take me back into the surgery suite right away. Dustin is completley freaked out by anything medical, including the smells of a hospital, so he was instantly nervous.  After changing into the completley immodest gown (my heiney hung out the back!), grip slip slippers, and a lovely blue hairnet, they attempted to start my IV.  I have never been one to want to give my blood up freely.....My veins tend to make a person work for it!  After sticking me in my anti-cube, digging for what felt like 5 min, and then giving up, the nurse asked where else I have had luck with Ivs in the past.  My hand....always my hand.  She did not like that answer and instead attempted the other arm.  No luck.  The hand it was.  Poor Dustin is standing there watching, completley nervous.  The nurse kept joking that he looked like he was going to pass out.  But no, I was not to be out done.  The IV running for a few minutes (saline and an antibiotic) I casually ask "Did you put the stuff that makes me go to sleep in here already?  Im feeling a little fuzzy!) 

The next thing I remember is a nurse putting cold compresses on my now showercapless head and thinking to myself through the haze "Cross your legs....your giving them a show!"  Too funny!  Dustin was a trooper through the whole thing!

Anyhow, they were able to retrieve 13 eggs from me!  Dr. Culver said the average is usually 10 so I was more than happy with my Bakers Dozen.  Im waiting on a call from the embryologist today to learn how many fertilized over night. 

I woke up during the night multiple times (the Darvocet they have me on makes me nausous!) and at one point, when I couldnt go back to sleep, I laid there and prayed for those "children" in the lab....I prayed for my future children, to be a good mother, and to be accepting of the outcome, no matter what!  In the words of my friend Cassie, I prayed that I was willing to be made willing....

Ill keep you updated as I can.....

Thanks for reading!