Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dear Ob/Gyn, I Shaved My Legs Just For You.

Does anyone else do that? I mean, seriously, I can't be the only female who takes a shower before she goes to the ob/gyn and shaves her legs and her armpits and makes sure her nether region is nice and trimmed. And then flips out because adult acne has plagued her pits and hopes to goodness that the gyno won't look at them, even though she knows part of the exam is a breast exam. Surely, I am not the only one.

Friday the 13th (of all days!) was the day for my annual gynecological exam. Going to the ob/gyn is fun if you're pregnant because you get to hear the heartbeat and sometimes you have an ultrasound so you get to see the baby.

But if you're not pregnant? Well, it pretty much just sucks.

There are about a million things I would rather do than have some doctor stick her two fingers up my hoo-ha and push down on my uterus. Things like eating soup with a fork or walking two miles barefoot in the snow uphill to get to school.

I'm serious, my trip this time was just a comedy of errors.

First, they took my blood pressure, which was actually really good, considering that the sight of the ob/gyn office makes my heart race and my stomach hurt. So yay for that!

Then, they stabbed me in the finger to test my iron levels. Finger sticks hurt way worse than anything else, including giving birth without pain medication. My iron level and hemoglobin were good, too.

Then, they needed to weigh me. I hadn't really gained any weight in a year, but I definitely haven't lost any. I always take my shoes off, too, for that. If they'd let me, I'd probably take off more than that!

At this point, I took the bandage off my finger because The Cute One was upset by the fact that something was on my finger. This was a bad idea.

Here's why: my finger obviously wasn't done bleeding, but I didn't realize that until I was already in the bathroom to give them a urine sample. I tried not to bleed on the cup as I wrote my name on it. But it wouldn't have mattered because I dropped the cup in the toilet. Thankfully, I hadn't peed yet, so I got another cup and wrote my name on it. After I peed in it, I realized there was blood in the top from my stupid finger that wouldn't stop bleeding, so I had to get a third cup and rewrite my name and pour my pee in it. Three cups, people. You'd think I'd have never done this before.

Once we finally got a room--almost an hour after my appointment time was--I got to wear the oh-so-fashionable paper vest and paper blanket. I don't know why actresses don't wear these to the Oscars; they are so awesome. I mean, who wouldn't want to walk around in a vest that was designed to shred at the slightest movement and a blanket that won't even wrap around you all the way? I'm sure the gynos love walking into those rooms and seeing all those buttcracks.

My gyno was super nice and super apologetic about the wait and said everything looked good. So that's good. She did ask about what contraceptive measures we were taking, and we were like,

"Well, it took us a year and a half to get The Cute One and we had to take medicine to do that, so we aren't using any contraception but we're not really concerned about getting pregnant any time soon, and we aren't to the point of wanting that medicine again, but when we get there, we'll let you know."

She also asked if our relationship was sexual, and I just kind of stared at her blankly, like "what?" while The Brain is like, "Yes it's sexual." I just assumed all married couples had sex. Why is that even a question? But I guess some couples don't, so ya learn something every day, ya know?

So all in all, it was an eventful afternoon. And I don't have to do that for another year, so that's a good thing, too. And if you've just read this and are thinking "Why did she post this?" the answer is: This is my life, people. And this is my blog, too, so there!

I just want validation that I'm not the only one who has to "get ready" to go to the ob/gyn. So am I? What do you do to get ready for that?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Roller Coaster

What's the worst part about trying to have children when you know you most likely can't? Every month is a roller coaster. As Pinky said, you know your cervical fluid; you know when the egg is going to drop. Deep hope.

You gain control of your mind and say, "No, I know I'm not going to get pregnant this month." BUT when you know that it's the right time, and you and your man go at it...that little thought is planted in the back of your mind. "Maybe this time."

Your cycle continues, and then, as it was this month, it's day 35. Normally, I don't get to day 35. That's a huge sign that...WAHO! This could be...yes, maybe, well, no, I doubt it.

Then, Aunt Dotty arrives, heavy luggage and all. As always(pun not intended, but really funny, since this month I'm using Stay Free...haha). Then, all of the frustrations, sadness, and emotions that go along with it.

Pinky, I feel ya. The worst is when you're trying so hard, and then...someone gets knocked up. Someone calls and tells you they find out the gender of their baby. Someones calls to tell you that they just had their baby.

You are happy for them. You just want that same happiness yourself.

The questions that come from others hurt deeper than most realize. Especially when some people have never even had to think about it...because...they just get pregnant by their husband looking at them. Okay, that's a stretch...but I think you know the ones. Then, they brag about it. I'm Fertile Myrtle. *sigh* Thanks for the reminder, Myrtle. In the words of Kevin James, "Shutty!"

So, while struggling not to be bitter(I'm being honest, here!), I must confess. With friends like Pinky, who are sensitive to those who are trying...I look forward to the day when she may say, "The Cute One and The Drama Princess will have another sibling." What am I working on? Being as happy for the day when people who aren't as sensitive say the same thing.

I Want to Punch Infertility In The Balls, But I Don't Think That Would Help Matters

Yesterday, a good friend of mine had a baby, her second. When she had her first child, The Brain and I were deep in the throes of infertility, and her labor and delivery were harder on me than I think they were on her. It just hurt, to know that in a matter of hours she would be holding her precious child, while I couldn't even get pregnant.

This time around, it hasn't been so bad. And for that, I am extremely grateful to God because reliving infertility memories is not pleasant. But, I still feel this twinge of she has a second baby and I don't know that I can get pregnant again.

I know there are lots of women who can't even get pregnant with a first child, let alone even think about a second one, so in some ways I hate to even write this post. But, I need to get it off my chest, and I think most of you readers will understand.

You see, because my friend and her family are known throughout our little community, inevitably the questions will come even faster now about The Brain and I helping to populate the earth again. Those questions have already come to some degree, but now I am sure they will come with more intensity. Especially because my sweet friend is related to me. People don't mean to, I'm sure, but there have always been comparisons between us. How we got married first, but they got pregnant first. How we have one child and now they have two. It's not their fault, and they are following God's plan for their lives, so I don't fault them at all. It's just that other people don't always realize that God doesn't plan the same thing for each married couple. I get that the Bible tells us to "be fruitful and multiply," but obviously, some people struggle with infertility, which came into the world because of sin, so if you're trying the best you know how, can you really be out of God's will if you're not able to get pregnant?

I realize that was kind of rambly, but infertility sucks. The Brain and I have had sex several times in my cycle when I was most fertile, including one cycle that was right before ovulation, and we haven't gotten pregnant. We're not trying to get pregnant, but we're not not trying; we're just leaving it up to God. I know many couples who would have gotten pregnant from that, including the friend I mentioned earlier. For some reason, my body won't do that.

The Brain had the best response to the question last night, when his grandpa brought up the fact that "The Cute One needs a little brother." He replied this way:

It took us a year and a half to get pregnant with The Cute One, and to even get pregnant with him we had to do things that doctors won't do until The Cute One is weaned. The Cute One is still nursing 4-5 times per day, and we're not going to wean him right now because he still really needs to nurse. So maybe when he's down to just nursing once per day we might talk about weaning him so we can go to the doctor and get those things, but right now The Cute One needs to nurse and we aren't going to rush to wean him.

He's not called The Brain for nothing!

Of course, that's a mouthful to say to every person who decides to bless us with their opinion of what we should do with our lives. But, it seemed to make sense to his grandpa, and maybe it would make sense to other people, too. It's just really personal to be putting out there to everyone who feels the need to say something about it.

I know God has a plan in all this, and I am just trying to trust Him completely. It's hard, though, and I fail as frequently as I succeed.

One day it shall all be made clear. But until then, I will love The Cute One and get ready for The Drama Princess and spend time with The Brain, and just love the little family I've already got.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

He loves me. He loves me. He loves me.

This reminds me of all those times I pulled petals off all those flowers when I was little. "He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not." Stupid Little Mermaid -- it doesn't work that way! But with God? There is no "he loves me not." It's just "He loves me" over and over and over and over and over for forever and ever. And that makes me happy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Aunt Dotty

Well, my friend, Pinky, we are in the same boat. The waves are crashing, and we're getting wet with others' spit. I understand completely what you wrote in your last post.

People question. All the time. We've gotten:

"So, when are you and Ricky going to have kids?"

"Do you and Ricky even want kids?"

"Are you and Ricky thinking about having kids?" (As if a brain wave can create a child. Really?!?)

Here's what I'd love to say:

Ricky and I hump like rabbits, but we don't reproduce effectively as they do! There, are you happy now?

Alas, here's what I really say:
"Well, in God's timing."

It is SO easy to get absorbed in your own world. Thoughts about not being able to conceive, when others around you are popping out kids like pastry from a toaster.

The hardest part? We've been trying for three years. Yes, three. So, now, friends are not only done having their first, but they've already had child #2 or are starting on #3 or higher.

Even harder? I have some friends/family who brag about being fertile. That's like bragging to a poor guy on the street that you're a millionaire and walking away without helping him out.

Am I bitter? Yes. People have no idea how they hurt you. Words spoken can't be erased from the heart.

Lesson learned:

Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. ~Matthew 7:6

What does this mean in relation to my venting?

I've learned not to share things with people that don't understand/care. I'm not going to throw my valuable reasons for why we can't have children to those who would be judgmental/heartless. So, very few people even know.

Pinky is one of the few who does. I know she keeps that secret locked away and prays daily for us. For that, I am every grateful. Pinky, you are no pig!

SO, to make this post even longer. Here's what God is teaching me:

1. Forgive(it's SO hard).
2. Rejoice with them that rejoice.
3. Weep with them that weep.
4. Do for others and don't focus on self.
5. Pray--a lot!

Why did I title my post "Aunt Dotty"? I'm on the dot. Yes, my period has come--again!

Why I Refuse To Try Again

The Cute One is inching closer and closer to his second birthday, and the rumblings are starting to get louder and louder:

It's about time for another one.

The Cute One needs a little sister!

He's how old? Well, when is the next one?

These people mean well, but they don't know the struggles we went through just to get The Cute One in the world.

And, to be honest, I don't know that I'm willing to go through that again.

The Brain and I prayed earnestly about when we were supposed to start a family, and we really felt God saying to start trying in November of 2006. At that point, we had been married a little over two years, so we would have a baby just after our third anniversary. That all sounded hunky dorey to me. And we didn't decide this a month before; this was a decision we made about a year beforehand, so there was no rashness involved. Periodically we would pray again and make sure this was still what God wanted, and all the signs we got were that this was what He wanted.

You know how it goes, though, with trying to conceive. We may have said November, but really from about August/September of 2006 we didn't take any preventative measures, so technically, we could have gotten pregnant as early as August or September. We weren't "trying" yet, but we definitely weren't "not trying" either!

We didn't conceive until the end of March 2008, and during that time we found out I had PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It's basically an autoimmune condition where my body wasn't processing insulin effectively. My body would then produce more insulin than it needed, and all that excess insulin would turn into testosterone. So I could have become the bearded lady. Awesome. Because I was producing more testosterone than I needed, it was causing me to not produce progesterone, the hormone that allows you to carry a baby to term. If you don't have progesterone, you aren't going to sustain a pregnancy. PCOS can also cause you to gain weight, have more acne, and have really long menstrual cycles. Thankfully I didn't grow a beard or a mustache, but I did gain 30 pounds, and my cycles went from about 32 days long to about 39 days long.

During our time of trying to conceive, I got to meet Mrs. Vaginal-Ultrasound-Probe. Several times. We discovered I had "spots" on my right ovary. They wouldn't call them cysts at first because they weren't big enough, but I had four cyst-like things on my ovary. At my appointment two months later, where Mrs. Vaginal-Ultrasound-Probe and I got to spend more time together, I only had three cysts, but they were bigger. I'm guessing they ate the smallest cyst.

We also took my basal body temperature every morning, and I checked my cervical fluids all day long. Shoot, I am so used to it, I still do it! I can't help it. Wipe, then look at the toilet paper. I still take my temperatures because I like knowing when my period is going to come next.

I guess I say all that to say that I'm just not willing to do all that stuff again. I know God told us to start trying when we did, and I don't understand why we didn't get pregnant right away, and that's okay. I haven't had a major crisis of faith because of it, and I don't intend to start now. But, when people ask about us having another baby, it's hard to answer that. For now, we just joke that we are having another kid--The Drama Princess--but I know that's not what they mean. And as The Cute One nears his second birthday, I know the rumblings will only get louder and louder.

I just can't put myself through trying again. It's hard physically, mentally, and especially emotionally. Especially emotionally. I don't want to turn sex into just something we do at a certain time of the month again. I don't want to spend two weeks every cycle stressing over if I'm pregnant or not. I don't want to be "so in tune with my body" that I read every PMS sign as a potential sign of pregnancy. I'm tired of checking my cervical fluids--once you start, how do you stop!?

People that get pregnant easily don't understand any of this. They say things like, "Well it was worth it wasn't it?" I want to slap these people clear off the face of the Earth. Of course it was worth it, you morons! But there are a lot of people who do all those things, and they still don't get pregnant. You wouldn't ask them if it was worth it, would you? Geez people, grow a brain.

It's just hard. It would be nice to have a sibling close in age to The Cute One, so he can enjoy making memories with them, but I don't have the emotional fortitude to try for another year and a half like I did with The Cute One. I have prayed and prayed that if God wants it to happen that it just will. Even that is hard because I know the signs of ovulation, and it's hard not to fall into that pattern of "let's have sex right now so we can get pregnant!"

It's not something I would wish on anybody.

And I wish infertility were something I could drop from my life, too.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Why I'm Glad I Live In the Country Close to my In-laws--and Why I'm Not

The Brain and I live in the country fairly close to his parents and grandparents. He is very close to his grandpa. In fact I call The Brain's grandpa just that--Grandpa. I figure Grandpa-in-law is too long and cumbersome and just stupid sounding to use, so he's Grandpa to me, too.

Anyhoo, we live close to his family. And it's not all bad, either. If I need a cup of sugar or blueberries, they are more than willing to share. And I'm not even kidding, either; his mama has brought me blueberries when I decided to make homemade blueberry muffins and didn't have any blueberries.

Because we live in the country, sometimes I forget to lock the back door. Not usually for very long, but if I went outside for a minute, I may forget to lock the door for a couple of hours. It's not a big deal, though, because there aren't that many people who come by to visit.

However, Grandpa will sometimes come over to get The Brain and go for coffee (where they "man-gossip" together, though I've been told numerous times they don't do that--yeah right) and if the door is unlocked, he'll just come on in the house. Of course, he calls out "Hello" or something like that so as not to come face-to-face with a large gun or a metal rod being wielded about by yours truly.

Sometimes I worry, though. Having relatives that will come into your house and leaving the door unlocked accidentally can lead to some pretty awkward situations, like when I'm lying in bed with The Brain, and we're both naked and knocked out from having sex while The Cute One sleeps. Yeah, that one is tough to explain.

Good thing I remembered to lock the door this time.