Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our New Home!

Don't get too excited... We didn't sell our house. The new home I am speaking of is our new.........CHURCH HOME! Today (6/13/10) we joined our new church home, Trinity United Methodist in Homewood, AL. We have spent A LOT of time visiting new churches and praying over this decision. It was really important for us for a few reasons:
1. Whatever church we chose would be the church that we raise our (future) children in. I grew up very active at my church and spent so much time there. We want the same thing for our children, so choosing a church that has great programs for children was a big priority for us.
2. We really wanted to join a church that has a lot of choices for Sunday school classes and small groups so we can bond with a smaller group of people on a spiritual level. It's important to us to have friends that can help us learn and grow in our relationship with God. We figured the best way to do this is by joining a small group of some sort. Trinity has over 25 Sunday school classes to choose from and they are divided by where you are in your life (i.e. newly married, couples who are pregnant or plan to be soon, singles and career oriented people, etc.) I can't wait to start visiting a few classes to find the perfect one for us!
3. We needed a church that Clayton really felt comfortable in since he was transitioning from Catholicism to a Protestant church. After trying many, many churches, Clay found Trinity to really feel comfortable for him and would be a place where he could feel right about this transition.

So today, we went to a Membership 101 class at 10:00 with the pastors followed up by joining the church at the 11:00 service! Everyone made us feel so much at home and really expressed how happy that we were there! We definitely feel like we made the right choice in choosing a new church home and can't wait until we find our place within the church!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's time

Doesn't it seem like whenever someone has taken a blogging hiatus for an extended period of time that something big is going on in their life? I guess it's true to say that I have taken a "leave of absence" from the blogging world for quite awhile. I guess you can also assume that we have been going through some events that have consumed our life. I have been very hesitant to write about this on my blog; however, I have recently taken strength through other's experiences by reading their blogs. Maybe my words can be a source of comfort, friendship, or camaraderie for those going through similar situations. So here it goes..... The beginning of our journey into infertility.

About 7 months ago, Clayton and I decided we were finally ready to start adding to our little family. I had finally graduated from grad school, got a great job, Clayton was making a name for himself at his newish job, we were finacially ready, etc. etc. If you ask any of my good friends, I had it all mapped out. I start my job in January, we put our house on the market, it takes maybe 1 month to sell, we move to Homewood right about the time I get pregnant, and we live happily ever after. It's so funny to look back on it now because I thought I had figured it all out. I had made our plans, when in fact, God had different ideas. Instead, our house has been on the market for 5 months with no buyers in sight and I am sitting on my couch lethargic from fertility medications..... So much for planning, huh? =) I'm not quite sure why I thought it would be that easy. I guess it was just wishful thinking. I have always had a nagging fear that I would have trouble getting pregnant, but I was just hoping that it was my glass half empty mentality to everything. Unfortunately, my feelings were right and we have to put a little more effort than some into having a child.
Around April, I decided to contact my OBGYN (who has been incredible through all of this!) because I had not yet started my period after getting off of BC in December. I had been scouring the internet on whether or not this was normal and found that it was, in fact, NOT normal and should be of concern. However, the overwhelming majority of people explained that OBGYNs won't take you seriously until you have been trying for at least a year.
**At this point, I want to praise God for laying it on my heart that things were not okay. I can't imagine the frustration level, anxiety, and heartbreak I would be feeling at a year from now if I would have waited. He knew to let this weigh on my heart early on. Thank you Lord!**

So, I contacted my Dr., who immediately explained that this was not okay and I was probably not ovulating on my own. (For those of you who are not in the infertility know, you have to ovulate, or release an egg, in order to get pregnant. If you don't ovulate, then there is no signal for you to have your period. Your body continues to build up the lining in preparation for a fetus...) While I was waiting to come in and get a full fertility workup, she prescribed me Prometrium, a progesterone supplement, to see if it would induce a period. I would take a pill one time a day for 10 days. The goal was for my body to start a period either while I was on it or by at least 14 days after ending it. Thankfully, I started Aunt Flo on Day 8 of taking of the meds, which I was overjoyed with!! This indicated that I, indeed, was not ovulating and this could all be a hormonal problem.

So next step: Fertility workup! I will admit, I was very anxious during this appointment. I had no idea of what I would be going through. Thankfully, Clayton went with me to help ease my nerves.
**I also need to take a time out to acknowledge how incredible Clayton has been through this. I could never go through the hardships of this process without him. He has been my rock through this, has taken my mind off of things when I have been deep in sorrow... I love you!!

Okay, back to the fertility workup. So after ultrasounds, blood tests, and pap smears (SORRY TMI) everything looked great except for my progesterone levels, which indicates that I am anovulatory (not able to ovulate.) As depressing as this may sound, Dr. P explained that this is the best fertility problem to have because we just have to figure out the amount of hormones it will take to help me ovulate! YAY!! I am just so thankful that there are no cysts, endometriosis, or anything big that has lead to this. In addition to getting my workup, Clayton also got to participate by means of a semen analysis, haha! He was such a good sport about it, even though he has expressed how uncomfortable and embarrassing the experience was. Thankfully, everything on his side looks great!

So, the plan was.... Begin taking Clomid. Probably anyone who has gone through infertility has been prescribed Clomid. Basically, Clomid stimulates FSH hormone production, which stimulates LH production, which stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs and a ovulate. It is usually the first step taken with infertility treatment. Along with the Clomid, I had strict instructions on how this cycle would play out:
-Take Prometrium until a period occurs (which would be Day 1 of my cycle)
-On Day 3 of the cycle, begin taking 50 mg of Clomid
-Continue taking Clomid until day 7.
-Baby Dance starting on day 8 and do it every other day until day 21
-Day 21, go back to Doc to get bloodwork to check progesterone levels to see if I ovulated.

Well, I'm sure you know the outcome to this story.... I did not ovulate. Just to show you how much it DIDNT work....... My progesterone level before clomid was 0.9 and after clomid it was 0.73. It actually DECREASED! How does my progesterone DECREASE after all of the drugs I took!! Dr. P. explained that the decrease wasn't actually a big deal. All it meant was that the 50 mg wasn't enough to make me ovulate. So... here we are now....

The plan for this cycle is to take the Prometrium again to induce Aunt Flo and then start taking 100 mg of Clomid on Day 3. Hopefully, the higher dose will do it's job and help me ovulate!

To say this process has been hard is putting it lightly. Not only is it hard emotionally, but also physically. I am one of the lucky few that experiences side effects with both of the meds I am taking... extreme tiredness, cramping, mood swings, depression, nausea, etc. However, I don't mind the side effects in the least if it will lead to our ultimate goal, an amazing baby.

So, welcome to our journey into infertility!