Secondary Infertility

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I have been doing some thinking lately about what the point of blogging is at this point.  I still want to write in this space, but I find that I don't identify well with alot of regular mommy blogs (even many former-IF mommy blogs)- too perfect, too organized, having more kids easily (even many of my IF friends!).  I'm also not a regular infertile/waiting for a baby blogger either- because I did miraculously conceive M.

And so I was thinking that maybe I could seek out a secondary infertility bunch of people, but it has been kind of difficult to find such a group.  I've searched all manner of permutations of blog and/or wordpress and secondary infertility, and I just get a handful of results- some blogs that are not actively posted on anymore- but mostly just articles.  I want the guts of the struggle in honest bring-you-to-your-knees blog style, not some over-edited and rosy-looking conclusion paragraph!

Secondary infertility doesn't occupy my life as primary infertility did, but it is still there.  I don't want to dwell on it, but I can't deny that I wish we could another baby to our family.  I am beyond grateful to have M in our family, and she is over and above "enough" for us.  I just get a little tug at the heartstrings when I think of her growing up without a sibling, and that is a big reason why my heart longs for another baby. 

I know we can do our best to fill her life with good friends and fun activities and us, the doting-est parents ever, but what am I going to say when she asks for a brother or sister.  "Um, we've been trying ever since you were born." 

I just had a long conversation tonight with a friend of mine who's been trying to conceive since a miscarriage in April.  She had no problems conceiving her first two kids, and her miscarriage sadly opened her eyes to the world of reproductive heartbreak.  She is longing for another baby, and with several friends having conceived between then and now, she is experiencing alot of what you feel when everyone is having babies except you.  But she struggles with not wanting to appear like she's replacing the baby she lost or that her first two children aren't enough.

I think there's alot of guilt that comes with secondary infertility because you don't want to appear ungrateful for your previous child(ren), like they're not enough.  I feel like another way to look at it would actually be to say how much your first child(ren) increased the love in your family, and how much more would another baby do the same?  (Or maybe that's just me rationalizing it!)

I have been praying much lately that God will increase in me a spirit of contentment and appreciation and acceptance for how He has made our family- our family of three is just as "worthy" as someone's family of four or eight.  I definitely need that reminder from time to time.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lord, thank you for Your mercy :)

I'm on CD3 today, but what with the benign thyroid biopsy and closing on our townhouse in a couple weeks looking very likely, I'll let not getting a BFP slide this time ;-)  Can't have too much excitement- gotta save something for later!  Haha :)

Thank you all for your prayers!

Biopsy Done

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So this morning got even more complicated before it got better. 

When I left off last night, M's school was delayed.  My friend let me know that if M's school ended up closing, I could just drop M at her house and she could play with her daughter.  Well turns out that by 5:30am this morning- when the same friend texted me that she was in labor and heading to the hospital- M's school had closed.  So I texted our babysitter (different from our nanny)- because she was out of school, too- to see if she could watch M during my appointment.

I got back in bed and just prayed some crazy stream of consciousness because I couldn't sleep with all this stuff running through my head.

Wasn't it kind of a sick joke that the day I had to go to the hospital to get a needle stuck into my neck, my friend got to go to the hospital to welcome another baby into her family?   AND, now that M's school was closed, I couldn't just drop M off at her house, and who was going to watch M while I went to have my biopsy?  And please Lord, continue to bless the sale of our townhouse.  And please Lord, heal anything amiss in my thyroid.  I need to be healthy for my family- I love them so much.  And might I add again, what on earth am I going to do with M while I go to the hospital?  And please Lord, bless my friend with a smooth delivery of a healthy baby girl.  And what if the roads are too slippery to get to the hospital for my appointment.

At some point in my desperate pleading for all manner of things, I fell back asleep until 7am.

Soon, our babysitter texted back that both her parents were at work today, and she had to look after her brother and that would be handful enough without watching M, too.

Well shoot... of course.

So I started to think of everyone and anyone I knew who could possibly hang out with M during my appointment.  Mr. A could have stayed home as an absolute, absolute last resort, but he had one of his software demo's today, so it was pretty much the worst day for that.

I texted my neighbor, but she was staying an hour away with her husband's sister in the ICU.
I texted my other neighbor, but he also had a medical appointment at 10am.

Then I texted my friend who did the Bible study with me last fall.  By the grace of God, her hubby is a teacher (so he was home since school was cancelled), and he offered that I could bring M to their house to play with their kids while I went to my appointment.

{This all happened before 8:15am, and given what was on schedule for 10am, it was a little too much to handle.  I will not deny that there were tears at various points during all this.  Though Mr. A did not really understand why I was crying, he made way up for it by getting M dressed and ready to head out the door.}

I'm not really sure how we are going to repay them- their one act of generosity totally saved the day, no exaggeration.  I knew M would have a blast playing with their kids, and so after I dropped her off, I was able to relax and prepare myself for the impending discomfort with relative peace.

The biopsy itself wasn't too awful bad- truly the worst part was the injection of numbing stuff.  From my very uneducated hearing of comments, most of the nodule was fluid (so, from what I've read this is cystic?).  The doc and nurses were all very friendly and talkative- asking me all kinds of questions, which also struck me as kind of weird/funny because, um, if I'm talking, isn't that going to mess you up when you jam that needle into my neck?  Hahaha.

I left with a bandaid and went upstairs to see my friend and her new baby girl, born only an hour after she texted me (30 min after arriving at the hospital).  She is precious, and I thank God for this new little baby.

My neck feels a little swollen inside (not too noticeable from the outside) and a little sore.  Swallowing is not really what I want to be doing alot of (just feels strange), so maybe I will lose some of the last pesky pounds, ha!  Yawning has proven to be the most uncomfortable action yet- it totally does not feel good.

Praying for benign results.  Lord, have mercy!

PS.  What do you think of my new template?  I felt like I deserved a treat after today, and I am currently addicted to Etsy, and I found some great ones here!  It was a BREEZE to install, and I'm loving it!

Biopsy Tomorrow

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I was really doing well with this biopsy thing until tonight.  It was going to be a very smooth morning tomorrow- drop M at preschool, head to the hospital, have the procedure done, get coffee, and pick M up.

Oh yah, except it snowed a ton today.

And her preschool follows the ONLY school district that is in session tomorrow.  On a delay.  Which means that her school starts at my appointment time.  Which means that if (when) Mr. A drops her off, he won't get to work until probably 11am.  Not such a timely arrival for him.  He was not impressed.

So I cried about it for a while tonight- 3 main sobbing sessions, but on and off for maybe an hour.  I think I just had to get it out.  I could handle it no problem if everything went according to plan, but then it didn't.

Isn't that how so many things are?  I should have known to expect something to not go right, given what happened to our "plan" of having several kids, but I guess a girl can hope that things work out the way she thought they would. 

I have many people praying for a benign finding, and I really appreciate all the support from friends here, too.  Lord, have mercy!

Thyroid Nodule- pff.

Friday, January 17, 2014

In the interest of saving time and being lazy (honest), I've posted the email I sent to family and friends this week- prayers much appreciated :)

At my annual checkup in late fall, they noticed that one side of my thyroid felt larger than the other, so she scheduled me a followup appointment yesterday afternoon with an endocrinologist.  I don’t have any weird symptoms, and she said my bloodwork is in the normal range and the ultrasound of my thyroid doesn’t show anything alarming, but I do have a larger portion on one side of my thyroid.  She recommends a biopsy just to rule anything suspicious out, though 90% of these things are benign.  I’ll have the biopsy next Wed morning while M is in preschool, as it is just under the surface of the skin so it takes less than an hour with just local numbing, etc.  If you want to pray that it is totally benign, that would be awesome!

You, too?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

I think there is a mass outbreak of pregnancies.  No, I'm serious!  My friend in the neighborhood is pregnant.  My neighbor's son's wife is pregnant.  My friend's friend is pregnant.  Several bloggers I follow/lurk are pregnant.  My sister is probably accidentally pregnant again (pure speculation).  If you are pregnant and reading this, you better spill the beans so I can add you to the list!

I wonder sometimes if anyone who is still waiting to conceive or become a mom thinks my posts about (now secondary, I guess?) infertility are completely ungrateful and lame.  I definitely feel guilty wondering why it seems like I'm the only one longing for another baby and not seeing two lines. 

But then there are also times like tonight.  We'd finished dinner, with the dishes piled high in the sink (a sure sign of an excellent meal, no?).  Lately I've just been leaving the cleanup till after M is in bed- playtime is too precious with the three of us to waste it washing pots and pans.  We were chasing, doing puzzles, tickling, and hiding- and I was saying to myself, this is awesome.  We can focus 100% of our attention on her, play however and with whatever she wants, read her stories at bedtime, and come downstairs and clean up the kitchen and kick back.  No hectic timing of feeding a baby and eating our regular dinner all together, no double teaming bedtime for two kids, and when she's asleep, it's time to clean up the kitchen, and then time for just us.  Of course I'd give up the entire last sentence for the chance to give her a sibling, but we are head over heels crazy for her, and that's as good as a sibling, right?

Fake it till you make it

Sunday, January 05, 2014

My good friend's mom held a baby shower for her today, and M and I went together.  I knew that her daughter would be there, and turns out there was another 2-yr old girl there, too.  All in all, an enjoyable couple of hours, but her pregnancy remains pretty bittersweet for me.

To back up a little, I did end up throwing her a stock-the-freezer shower in mid-December, and it was AWESOME.  If you know anyone who's having a baby, you should definitely throw them a stock-the-freezer shower.  Just pick several recipes, make a master ingredient list, ask each participant (except the guest of honor) to pitch in on grocery items, gather up freezer bags and disposable aluminum pans, and make a general list of the order things need to happen (prep, cooking, etc.).  I ended up organizing recipes that I'd cooked for ourselves before M was born (my friend and her family and not casserole-y folks either, which is what 98% of the "freezer meals" that you come up with if you go looking for that category).  She invited two of her friends, and the four of us prepared 14 meals in 3 hours.  We didn't rush- enjoyed coffee and treats the whole time- and it was just a really fun morning.  (We met 9-12, so we could all have the rest of the Saturday to spend with our respective families.) 

For today's shower, I went and got a few things from her registry, and we also picked out a couple small things for her daughter, sort of a big sister gift.  I probably didn't need to get as much as I did, but I think it is part of my fake it till you make it campaign, to truly let it not bother me.  I think I'm doing a pretty good job of getting there- I have my continually-compiled list of reasons having only one child is great- but nearly the only thing that gets me is remembering holding M when she was just a couple hours old- so tiny, so precious, so loved, such an answered prayer.  And, gah, she gets to do that again.  And her daughter gets to have a sister.

I know there are many women who long for a child and never see that prayer answered in the affirmative, and I know that I am one of the lucky ones who's called mama.  But sometime in the last few months, misfit wrote something to the tune of just having one child is not exactly triumphing over infertility.  (Forgive me for the paraphrase, but I can't seem to find your exact language now!  Also forgive me for not commenting on that post- I love that sentiment from the moment I read it!)  And I've never felt that more than walking through my friend's pregnancy.  Yes, I can barely put into words how grateful I am for M, but I still feel infertile at times like this.  My friend has told me, in an effort to bolster any hope that- it can happen again!- that this was the only time they didn't use protection, and so it can happen anytime!!  It is such a sweet effort, but when I told Mr. A about this, he laughed and said, um, did you tell her we haven't used protection once in like 9 years?  Hahahahaha ;-)

So anyway, my friend's baby is due in 2 weeks, and because it is 100% true, I keep telling her that I'm so happy for her to be welcoming this precious new life into the world.  Because I am happy for her.  And I'm getting there about truly not having it get to me.  Slowly....

And as an example of God's mercy (in addition to the contract on our house, haha), I present to you, M's best friend from preschool's mom.  I invited them over to play recently, and she asked the dreaded question, are you going to have any more kids?  I said, well, we'd love more, but it took us 4 years of trying to have M, and so we aren't holding our breath.  Much to my great surprise, she said, "That's us too!"  I about fell off my chair.  We talked about each of our experiences, and I speak for myself, but I felt very safe with sharing our journey with her.  I hope that we will be able to deepen our friendship, because her daughter is really sweet, and M loves her, and there is nothing like having another friend who's struggled to build their family. 

Thank you Lord, for each of these women.  You have used them to teach me about humility, friendship, honesty, and mercy.  Help me to be a good friend to each of them, to reflect Your life.