Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kelly's Beach Birthday

I am hoping to finally start catching up on the last 2 months! I can't believe I have gotten so far behind on blogging, yikes!
In August, we went to Lincoln City for the weekend for Kelly's big 4-0 birthday! The house we stayed in was amazing. It was huge and had ample room for us to all spread out, have places to sleep and really enjoy ourselves. It was also up on a huge hill where we had amazing unobstructed views of the ocean and beach. We got there Friday night just in time for dinner. Jenn had planned very elaborate meals and we ate and ate and ate all weekend. I don't think there was a single minute that I didn't feel totally stuffed!
After dinner
 DJ Rick, enjoying my key lime cupcakes, yum!

Liz, also enjoying a cupcake! 
I quite enjoy coconut whipped cream frosting! 
Hanging out 
Cap'n Ronn 
 Jenn, looking cute
 Brad & Angela 
 Poor Kelly, totally oblivious to the napkin on her head, but Ronn thinks its real funny
A love fest (and Ronn still entertained by the napkin) 

Me and cute Emily Potter
Kel & Jenn 
Jenn learning to DJ
Hanging out in the hot tub
 Post hot-tub, ready for bed!
 Walking down to the beach Saturday morning 
Beach dance party...
 Lincoln City beach
 Cindy doing the splits!
 Liz, Jenn, me and Julie enjoying the beach
The view from the house
 We saw a whale breaching!


 Jenn bringing out Kelly's cake
 40 candles!
Emily and I hanging out
 Everyone in our group, minus Brad!
 Ronn's sweet outfit
 Beach bonfire time!
 The birthday girl and her fire! 

 Haha, Cindy is so little!
 Lizard and I, trying to stay warm!
 Cap'ns on our way back to the house
 And that's that! Thanks for having a birthday Kelly, we had such a great time!

In other news...I went to a new dr. the week before last, and I feel really good about my visit with her. She has a different approach to medicine that I really appreciate. She gave orders to have my blood analyzed for about 15 different things. Once we get the results we'll make a plan specialized for me that will include adapting my diet, equalizing my hormones with supplements and perhaps medication, as well as possible acupuncture. I'll keep you posted once I get my bloodwork results back!

Friday, October 8, 2010

On Infertility

Its been quite awhile since I've posted last, and there are lots of reasons for that. I've been insanely busy, combined with the fact that I had to give my computer back to my old boss since it was his, not mine! So I am adjusting to life with a laptop, plus I don't have photoshop so I haven't been able to process my pictures. Really its been the busy part that has been more of a factor. So I have tons of pictures to get up, as far back as mid-August, so I hope I'll be able to start getting all of those up sooner than later.
I've had a lot on my mind lately, and in the past I have never hesitated to be up front and honest here on my blog, especially when things were hard. However, for the most part those things have just involved me and my life, and now that Rick and I are partners, I am hesitant to put OUR business out there, but for my own sanity, this is a post that I have been wanting to write, because its something that is constantly on my mind lately.
Last year, in May, I was having some hormonal imbalance issues, and just generally not feeling like myself. My Dr. suggested going off birth control to see if that would help regulate things some. Rick and I knew we were a few months out from wanting to try starting a family, but we both guessed it would take some time and basically agreed if we accidentally got pregnant right away that it would be ok and we'd figure it out, although we were both nervous, considering I had more than 9 months left before I was done with school. I have never had regular periods my whole life, and I was pretty sure it would be hard for me to get pregnant. So we went off birth control and I felt like my hormones figured themselves out and I was feeling much more normal. Rick and I went about our lives like normal. By November we knew we were really in the safe zone on getting pregnant, since I'd be done with school in less time than it takes for a pregnancy. It'd been 6 months since I'd gone of the birth control and I had only had 1 period in those 6 months, so I went and saw my Dr. again. She referred me to a fertility specialist right away. I started seeing my fertility specialist at the beginning of December and she put me on Clomid (a fertility drug-an ovulation inducer) right away. She said we'd give it 3 months and see what happens. She also said I needed to be taking my temperature every day to chart my ovulation and make sure I was ovulating etc. I did this religiously, and could clearly see that I was indeed ovulating, so I had high hopes that once the biggest obstacle was out of the way (me not ovulating), that it wouldn't take too long until we would get pregnant. After three months and no progress, my doctor decided to double my dosage of clomid and have me start doing ovulation prediction kits (where you pee on a stick to show when you are close to ovulation). She also started doing testing on Rick and I to see if there were any problems with us. After a few procedures Rick and I both got clean bills of health and told there was nothing really wrong with us. Keep in mind that the tests, ultrasounds, and Dr. visits were adding up quickly. And even though we hadn't been trying all that long, each month when my period would come, I would get sad and discouraged. After about 6 months of doing all this infertility testing etc, my Dr. thought it was time to take a more aggressive approach and we began doing IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination)-where the Dr. basically inseminates you with your husband's sperm. This was costing us about $400-$550 a month (luckily insurance was covering some-but not all of it). We did this for 2 months with no success, then switched fertility drugs to a non-FDA approved drug called Femara. My Dr. was really excited about me switching to this other drug, and so was I, since she was so optimistic. It cost a lot more and upped the cost to around $650 a month or so. We did one cycle of IUI on this drug, with no success again. She wanted to give it one more try in September, but unfortunately by this point we owed them about $1000 and they wanted to be paid before we did the next IUI. At this point I called Rick sobbing, just overwhelmed monetarily, emotionally, physically etc. If this last IUI didn't work, then the next step was to add shots to the mix. The shots and IUI cost $3500 a month and that is money we do not have. Not only that, but they want the money up front, before the procedure, and it requires 7-10 trips to the hospital for blood draws and ultrasounds to monitor your eggs, within a 2 week period. Not to mention what this insane surge of hormones would do to me mentally. That step is the last before the VERY last step: In Vitro (or IVF-which starts at $10,000 and only has a 50-50 chance of working). I just really felt like after trying for so long that changing one thing probably woldn't make a difference. After a lot of soul searching Rick and I have decided to discontinue our infertility treatments due to the money, and the stress that it causes. We just need a break. Getting my hopes up each month then having them crushed at the end of the month is devastating. I never dreamed that I might not ever get to have my own children and this realization has left me sad, confused and angry. People kept telling me to just give up and at that point it would happen on its own, or "I have a friend who...". Everyone has great stories about people that have overcome their infertility but I can't rely on other's stories to be my own. I have always wanted to be a mom, and the emotions that I feel knowing that I most likely will never have my own children are indescribeable. I have been through quite the rollercoaster of emotions lately and I am still trying to come to terms with how I feel. I can't say how Rick feels because I am not him, and as we all know, men aren't the best at communicating their emotions, but needless to say, he is hurting as well. It is very hard for us, as we have hardly any friends that don't have kids, and on top of that, i have THREE baby showers this month! I wanted to quit the infertility treatments while I was ahead-before I started hating babies, people with babies, myself, Rick etc. I didn't want to get to my breaking point. I am not willing to go $10,000 in debt to only have a 50/50 chance at having a baby. So, at this point, we are taking a break, taking inventory of ourselves and our situation and not putting any pressure on the next step. We are not discounting adoption, and we're not discounting the option of never having kids. We just don't know. We have a pretty great life with just the two of us, and as time goes on and we get older, we may decide to keep it just the two of us. I really can't say. I just feel that infertility is one of those taboo subjects that people don't talk about and I can't do it anymore. I need to have it out in the open so people stop asking me when we're going to have a baby and stop making comments like "You'll understand when you have kids".
After Adam died I went through a point where I had really negative feelings towards my friends who were in happy relationships and I couldn't feel happy for people when they were happy. I am borderline feeling this way now. I don't want to get all the way there. I want to feel joy when my friends tell me they're expecting, not anger and jealousy. Its hard for me to understand why this is happening to us, when there is nothing "wrong" with either of us, compounded with sometimes feeling  "plagued"-feeling like I can't get out of a spot where bad things happen to me.
But at the end of the day, I have a great marriage and husband, a roof over my head, a job, great family and friends and a lot of other things to be grateful for, and I know it can always be worse. So for now I am going to take a lot of time to focus on ME and what makes me happy and make some changes that I really feel like need to be made in my personal life. I really feel that we are given friends and family in life to rely on and give us support when we are hurting the most, and it seems silly to keep all of this to myself and suffer when I don't have to. So, in advance, thank you for being understanding about our situation, and being sensitive to it etc. My next step is seeing an internist that a friend recommended to see if she can't help me sort out some other weird issues, like my eczema and losing oodles of hair. To me it just seems like those two things might somehow be connected to not ovulating and I'd like to get to the root of it instead of just trying to fix it. I will keep you posted as time goes on and we know more.