Tag: mississippi

IVF – Cycle 1

Whelp, we’re doing this.

January 18 – discontinue birth control (lol)
January 22 – initial u/s, start stim protocol
January 26 – monitoring
January 28 – monitoring
January 30 – monitoring
February 3* – retrieval, 2 days bed rest.
February 8* – transfer, 3 days bed rest, begin post retrieval protocol
February 18* – beta 1

*give or take a day, subject to change, pending no OHSS

So, there’s that.
Its scheduled.  We had our teaching session today in Jackson after our initial baseline assessments.  All the tests, all the poking.  Four shots a day pre-retrieval, 1-2 shots a day post transfer.  Lots of supplements, lots of pills.
My doctor paid me the nicest compliment today:

Your uterus is boring and warrants no comment.

That’s seriously the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my uterus.  I was thrilled.  Usually I get a lot of “hmms…”, “uh-ohs”, and “yikes!”  Is now a good time to plug excision surgery?  Who am I kidding.  Its always a good time to advocate for efficient and effective treatment of endometriosis.
Educate.  Empower.  Advocate.
I wore new socks I got from my #ttcmugexchange2015 buddy, and boy did they give my doc a giggle.
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He didn’t see them until he was already in the middle of my exam.  Then he laughed so hard he had to stop what he was doing and get himself together.

You’re SO “gangsta”, Anna.

I KNOW, RIGHT?

As much as I hate the fact that I have to go to a fertility doctor to even have a chance at growing my family, I was reminded today what a rockstar team I have there.  My nurses both hugged me, gave me “real” advice (“you’re going to be emotional during all of this, because, well my God, look what it involves?  But the b**** factor of these meds is nothing like Clomid was…”), laughed with me, asked about my pups, and answered every question I had (all day… I’ve already emailed them twice since this morning).

As we’ve drawn closer and closer to appointments, and as we’ve started taking the first initial steps down the IVF road, my anxiety as skyrocketed to levels I didn’t even know I was capable.  The funny thing about my anxiety – its all somatic.  In my head, I’m totally fine.  I have NO freaking clue that I’m anxious.  But I’ll get off the phone with my clinic after scheduling and appointment or confirming a payment figure, and all of the sudden I can’t turn my head to the right, or its hard to breath, or I start to stutter, or I will talk 90 miles an hour.  After a somatic symptom pops up, I’ve learned (through some therapy) that I need to mentally recognize the fact that I am stressed, and take active measure of de-stressing, even though I don’t feel stressed.  Does that make sense?  Its been a weird couple of months.
I actually went to my GP about it after a severe stuttering episode, ready to seek a little pharmaceutical assistance.  I brag on my doctors all the time, and with good reason.  Doctors are so smart, so much smarter than me.  They know so much!  I have a fabulous team.  But they are exactly that – a team.  To get anything done, they all have to be in agreement.  My GP is not going to prescribe me anti-anxiety meds that maybe my FE has an issue with, or my OBGYN would not want me on while pregnant, or that could possible interfere with my migraine protocol my neurologist has given me. See what I mean?  Its like assembling the Avengers just to get some Zoloft.  This makes me Nick Fury, right?

SLJ

Turns out, not all of my Avengers saw eye-to-eye on this.  So yoga, the never ending grace of God, a new therapist, and a new coloring book it is.

Next week, Mister and I will celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary.  Its a weird fact that we’ve been on this trying-to-conceive journey for 75% of that time.  My substitute hairstylist (long term stylist is on maternity leave, ironically) asked me last week if we had anything special planned for our anniversary, and before thinking about it too hard, I said,very excitedly:

Yes!  We’re doing IVF!

She paused, a little shocked I think, but to her credit her response was perfect.  Wow, congratulations, that’s huge, its a drag you have to do this but how exciting that you are able to, y’all must have been planning this for a while, etc.  PERFECT.  Stylists are like a special hybrid of therapists and sorority recruitment.  How many problems to they hear in a day?  They are NEVER short on small talk, they probably have dirt on half the town, all while balancing ridiculous expectations of “get the dead ends off” and “JUST a trim…”  I’m on a rabbit trail, I know, but clearly I’m comfortable in my salon, and clearly this woman is no stranger to weird answers to questions.
But yes.  IVF is our big anniversary present.  Its suppose to be the flowers and fruit anniversary, but we’re being modernly liberal about it, and going for “be fruitful and multiply.”

Through all of this, I’ve been shown time and time again the beautiful relationship between God’s sovereignty and modern medicine/science.  Its is absolutely ridiculous to me when we try to separate the two, only accepting one or the other.  God has revealed Himself so much to me through research and finding wonderful physicians and healers who work miracles under a microscope.  Another thing we’ve learned is how common this problem is, how many other families are hurting.  After some discussion with one of our pastors, Mister and I will be leading a co-ed “Fertility Care” group at our church.  This is meant to be a place for families struggling growing their family (infertility, secondary infertility, infant loss, miscarriage, etc.) to come and find peace and understanding in Christ.  Our goal this entire journey has been to bring glory to The Almighty, whatever His answers may be.  By investing in other families and shedding the shame and stigma that comes with infertility, particularly in the deep south, I think we can bring comfort and encouragement to others.  If you’re in South Mississippi and interested in a biblically based support group, shoot me an email at southernfertility@gmail.com; let’s talk.

We covet your prayers as we continue this winter.  Its going to be a surreal journey, one I’m looking forward to chronicling.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen!
Ephesians 3:20, 21

Feelings are Hard Sometimes

Its been a while since I’ve posted an update to our story.

Honestly, there just hasn’t been that much to tell, I feel like.  We’ve waited a lot.  Got some “eh” news, made some decisions.  Waited some more, crunched some numbers.  Twiddled our thumbs.  Now we’re waiting on *one* more puzzle piece, and we’ll have a solid timeline.

Edge of your seat stuff, let me tell you.

So, here’s an update:

Surgery + Endometriosis

Its been almost 6 months since my excision surgery.  I can say with confidence now that this surgery in ATL has been the best medical decision I have made in my adult life thus far.  I am a new woman.  I have almost* no pain.  I cannot tell you what cycle day I am on based on where the pain is focused.  I actually have to check my app on my phone.  This is my new normal, and its pretty amazing.  I will stand on any platform given and sing the praises of my surgeon and his team at the Center for Endometriosis Care.  Be educated.  Be informed.  Do not settle.  Praise be to God, I am still in remission.
*Last weekend, I had a cyst start acting wrong and rupture.  I hurt the most I’ve hurt since surgery, and even then it was only registering as “moderate” on my personal pain scale.  Enough to annoy me, and occasionally channel my focus and attention, but not enough for me to miss work.  After running a fever around day 3 of “moderate”, I decided to check in with my doc here in Hattiesburg.  My clinic is set up with MyChart, so I shot a quick email to my nurse.  I had an ultrasound booked the next day, just in case.  I’ve also had a terrible case of the Fall Snots, so it was tough to know if this fever was coming from the Snots or an infection south of the belly button.
Everything is fine, I resolved it on my own, fever is gone, and hopefully I will trade in this gravely baritone for my original alto voice sooner rather than later.  Based on my other cyst experiences, this was a walk in the park.

Fertility + Endometriosis

We decided August was our last “one more month” of trying to conceive without medical intervention.  I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that we put our fertility worries on a shelf, put a date on it, and we weren’t pulling it off the shelf until that date.  August was that date.  I had some Day 21 blood work done during that cycle, and it came back worse than abysmal.  I’m pretty sure Mister has more progesterone pumping through his system than I do.  This computer probably generates more progesterone than I do.  Biochemically, I’m messed up.  Endometriosis and the abnormal growths really get your hormones all wonky.  There’s a super scientific way to explain it, but that’s the gist.  After 15 years of my body knowing nothing other than wonky, it seems as though that’s how I’m programmed now.  You wouldn’t put unleaded fuel in a diesel engine and expect it to run right, and we’re finding the same is true with me.  On my own, my body won’t do right, reproductively.  I’m a diesel, and diesel is expensive.

My doc told me some tough truths.

You’ll likely never conceive on your own.  However, you are an excellent candidate for IVF.  Your hormones are off and don’t look like they’ll ever be right without intervention, but we know you respond incredible well to IVF medications.  IVF was invented to help families like yours.

This was echoed by our FE.  This was a major bummer and comforting all at the same time.  Feelings are hard sometimes.

I had my sad day and a lovely glass of wine.  The next day, I called my FE and made plans to move on.

IVF

Its been almost a year since we last saw our FE.  Almost a year since the Very Worst October Ever.  I took a little trip to Jackson to see my FE earlier this month.  Since its been a while since he’s been around my block, I took ALL the data with me.  Blood work charts from the last two years, daily monitoring data for 2015 so far, surgery report, path report, pictures, diagrams, all the things.  I wanted to make sure he was good and familiar with the neighborhood, since my surgeon has done a few renovations since my last visit.

I conference-called Mister in to the meeting (we’re millennials, we do that now), and we talked about our options.  We could do IUI again, but our odds of that working are about like they were this time last year:  slim.  Real slim.  Slimmer than Mister (he’s a bean pole).  We’ve ridden the IUI train, punched our ticket.  Its time to move on.
After adjusting my protocol based on the fact that I am still in remission (woohoo!) and my AMH came back pretty super (woohoo! squared), we are looking at starting IVF this winter.
Originally, we wanted this fall.  A multitude of reasons pushed this back a bit.  I never thought I’d say this, but we are planning our IVF cycle around football.  This likely seems absolutely insane to most people, but right now, our lives revolve around NCAA and MHSAA football.  I would throw NFL in that mix, but have you seen the Saints this year??  The nation has enough Sad Saints pictures for the rest of the century, no one is buying those now.  A December – January cycle is looking like our best bet.  We are trying to find a few loopholes in our good ole MS insurance plans (political plug:  make sure your representatives know that women’s health is kind of a big deal and MS should be better at it and stuff), and if loopholes big enough can be triggered, we’ll be waiting until January when our new calendar year starts.  If those loopholes are going to be as helpful as another negative pregnancy test, we’ll go ahead and start our cycle in December.
Once we have dates set, I’ll have another post.  I will likely ask for incredibly specific prayers at specific times, and post my protocol to see if any of you gals that have been around this block have any tricks to help get through a stim cycle with your sanity intact.  We’ve settled on a host of IVF-ethics issues that we hoped we’d never have to face in real life, but now we’re staring down the barrel of that gun.  We are following the convictions that God has laid on our heart.  They likely aren’t the most popular in the IVF world, nor the most popular in your typical “Conservative” world, but God bless America, they are our choices for our family and we have the freedom to make them ourselves.  More on our specific convictions and IVF FAQs in a separate post.

We have been very open about our struggle and our choices over the last year.  That has opened us up to both encouragement like we never could have imagined, and at the same time, criticism and thoughtless comments.  Mostly encouragement.  We choose to focus on the encouragement, and chalk the thoughtlessness up to a lack of education.  Folks can’t help if they’re ignorant, right?  Bless their hearts.  Through this sharing and openness, it has come to light that other friends of ours are struggling with infertility.  Maybe not like us, everyone’s journey is different.  It continues to reinforce the truth that this is not a rare issue.  So many women are fighting this battle.  So many families are struggling with feeling broken and frustrated.  When I connect with someone over infertility, I immediately feel excited and bummed out.  Again, feelings are hard sometimes.  I’m excited that I have another soul to share this with that gets it.  Someone who can relate.  At the same time, I wouldn’t wish this journey on anyone.  Its unpleasant and hard and I hate it and if I had the choice I wouldn’t be on this road.  No one signs up for this willingly.

We are well aware that God does not “need” IVF to help Him start our family.  God also does not “need” chemotherapy, defibrillators, pharmaceuticals, or any form of medical practice to accomplish healing and His Will.  Sometimes, that is just the path He has for us to further His Glory.  Praise Him for the sense He gave humans to practice all kinds medicine.

We know that we are surrounded by a great host of witnesses.  So many of you have let me know that you are praying fervently for us, and we appreciate that more than we will ever be able to convey.  We ask you to continue these prayers.  The turn of the year is about to get wild.  Feelings are hard sometimes.  May God be glorified in the journey.

“I’m a little messed up.”

Hurry up, but wait.  Relax!  Keep tracking though, take good notes.  Have fun!  Don’t worry about this right now.  We’re “on a break”.  Ross, anyone?  But did I take my temperature today?  Log that in the app.

I thought the mood swings would stay away so long as the needles full of lady feelings stayed on top of the fridge and away from my belly/butt/arm. Wrong.

While this is the “summer of fun” and we have technically put our IVF worries concerns thoughts “on a shelf way up high where we can’t reach it” (courtesy of therapy), we know that we still have to be wise.  If we go back to Jackson to our FE for IVF, we want to have the best protocol targeted to our needs.  In order to get that on the first go ’round, we need information.  Lots of information.  Lots of data points, that have to be collected ahead of time.  Three months ought to do it, right?  Good.  We have eight.  Five post surgery, by the time its all said and done.

Ideally, we won’t go back to Jackson.  It will just *happen*.  But we’ve noticed some things with me that may be signaling that my body just won’t *happen* on its own.  It still may.  I’ve not lost all confidence in my parts.  I just have realistic expectations, I think.  Maybe.  Is anyone else confused?

Here are things I know for sure.

  1. We really want to be pregnant.
  2. I still have some lingering biological issues.
  3. “Relaxing” shouldn’t be this much hard work.
  4. I’m over the mood swings.
  5. We are not pregnant.

I have warred so much with myself over the last month, and increasingly over the last two weeks.  I bounce back and forth between states of being.  First I’ll stay off of the blogosphere (accept for sweet friends who’s stories I am invested in, y’all come right to my inbox), be still and know, live in the now, etc.  Then I’m getting restless, and I need to have my sad time, reading other stories of frustration, finding solidarity with women like me, both those that I know personally and those that I feel like I know thanks to the great wide interwebs.  After that, I usually binge on encouragement.  I am a fiend looking for wisdom and encouragement from Jesus, King David, Paul, Hannah, Rachel, Sturgeon, Lewis, Dumbledore, Aslan, Gandolf, Charlotte York, Pheobe Buffay, Amy Farrah Fowler, my best friend(s), all of the smartest and wisest and most encouraging people I know and don’t know and aren’t real.  Rinse, and repeat.  I am wiped just thinking about it.

So today, I’m going to cycle back to being still and knowing.  I’m going to take my vitamins with my red raspberry leaf tea (with ginger), when what I really want is a whiskey, neat with a twist.  I’m going to belly breathe my way through a lower back targeted yoga session instead of channeling my inner Grinch.  I’m going to laugh.

You’ve all been there.  Don’t tell stories.

I’m going to keep reminding myself that He knows my babies’ birthdays.  Every one of their days is planned even now.  I am going to be quieted with His love, and know that he will listen to me scream tomorrow.  Peace be with you, fellow sisters in the struggle, who are in the midst of one of these fertility-minded cycles of crazy.

Big Plans, Set Dates

Hurry up and wait.

That has been our lives, it seems, since Christmas.  Lots of waiting.  Waiting for phone calls from doctors, waiting for paperwork, waiting for insurance,  etc.  We’ve still got some waiting to do, but there’s now a light at the end of the tunnel.

Excision surgery is set for April 16th in Atlanta with the Center for Endometriosis Care.  A plan of procedures has been made, my employers have approved the necessary leave time, and our insurance companies didn’t laugh at us.  I will be having a cystoscopy, hystroscopy, laparoscopic excision of existing endometriosis, hysterosalpingogram, and a presacral neurectomy.  

Those are all great big med school words, and I had to google the last two.  As big and scary as it sounds, it will be three small incisions to get in, all of the major work happening under the skin. Two of these procedures are necessary for us to start IVF, so it’s nice to go ahead and knock those suckers out on one operating table.  One of these procedures (presacral neurectomy) is actually the removal of the presacral nerve, as it originates from the base of the spine, splits, and wraps around the uterus.   This is admittedly the more invasive procedure.   My current OBGYN in Hattiesburg once told me that my body was actively having contractions, just like labor contractions, every week, dealing with and trying to process the abnormal growths of endometriosis.  He jokingly told me that labor would be a breeze for me, and then wisely moved out of arms reach, lest I go to swinging.  The removal of this nerve will eliminate the pain caused by these contractions.  In that same thought, a side effect is that I may not feel contractions (that actually bring about a baby) should I get pregnant.  As I sit here towards the end of a really hard and painful week dealing with endo,  I just can’t be mad about that.  Contractions for years, with no baby?  Pretty sure I’ve earned it.

April 4th, I will be running my last half marathon with rampant and unchecked endo.  I’ve run the distance before.  I’ve run this exact race before.  This race, however, will probably be an emotional one.   It will hurt, it won’t be pretty, and it sure won’t be fast.  It is the most ladylike way I can think of to give endometriosis the middle finger.  Will I be cured after this surgery?  No.  I will always live with, always fight this disease, until the day the Almighty calls me home.  There is no cure.  Yet.  The best I can hope for is remission, until the day they find a cure.  If I can run my halfs and finish my full marathon with is disease in full force, unchecked and running amuck in my body, I just might be able to fly in remission, sans pixie dust.


Another big date has been set, and an appointment has been made.  We have our initial appointment to start our first cycle of IVF on June 1st in Jackson.  My wonderful doctor moved clinics on me (just across town), and joined another FE.  With that move came a few new nurses and staff.  I was wary, because I’m very emotionally attached to my IUI nurses.  I don’t just ugly cry in front of anyone, and “concentrated lady feelings” come with a lot of ugly cry.  They reassured me they were still there, there’s just more of them.  Since he has joined up with another doctor, their pricing structure has changed and is actually more affordable than we were initially planning.  Medications will be ordered, our wine shelf will again become the “lady feelings and needles” shelf, more awesome band aids will be purchased, and the ovarian stimulation will begin on June 1st.

So far, these two things have been just a concept.  Now, they are hard dates.  I can count down to this, look forward to this.  I know that I could wake up on April 17th and be well on my way to remission.  By the end of April, there’s a good chance that I will be virtually pain free, with every organ system south of my rib cage functioning properly.  If my prognosis is as good as it’s expected to be, we could be parents to itty bitty blobs in Petri dishes by June.   I could ugly cry just thinking about it.

I have hurt for 15 years.  I’ve gone to school, gone to work, gone to church, gone running, and lived life with this for more than half my life. Not because I’m brave.  Not because I have a high pain tolerance (that’s something you develop out of necessity, in my opinion).  Not because I’m “handling this well.”  Because this has been my life, and it has to be handled.  I can’t ignore it.  I get up and deal with it, because that’s what I have to do.   This isn’t the way most little girls imagine how their family would come to be, but I am already seeing God be glorified in the process.

We do have some specific things we covet your prayers for:

  • Preparation for surgery:  Finacially, that we would use what God has blessed us with wisely; physically, that I can maintain a healthy weight up until surgery, as I will likely lose a good bit immediately afterwards, and that all surgery prep will go smoothly; emotionally, that my pre surgery anxiety will be replaced by His peace.
  • Procedurs will be uncomplicated, go as planned, and nothing extra be needed.
  • Healing will happen as planned, with no complications, and I will be able to return to work and life on schedule
  • REMISSION
  • Safe travels:  Mister and I, along with my parents and my sister, will be in Atlanta for 5 days.  It takes a village, and God gave us a good one.

We still have a long way to go, our journey is far from finished, but our God goes before us.  Sometimes he is a cloud, sometimes he is a pillar of fire, but His presence is always known.  We are His, and He knows our babies’ birthdays.

Case Review

It’s been two weeks since we started grieving our last negative test. Two weeks I have been “hormone free.” Emotionally, we are still healing. It took less than two weeks for my endometriosis to realize nothing is holding it back any more. It’s time for the moving on.

The last week has been difficult, physically. Daily cramping and strong consistent pain is back to the point that it’s occasionally difficult to eat and it’s often difficult to sleep. I am going to work, and that’s about it. I missed homecoming at Southern Miss, I’m not very social, and I stay still a lot. I carry a heating pad in my purse. If you don’t see me plugged in somewhere, I’ve probably got one of those stick-on disposable heating packs strapped on.

We have now taken the next step towards IVF. We are having our case reviewed by the Center for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta, GA. This includes nearly 40 pages of “Potential New Patient” forms (not even “actual” new patient forms, those come later??), a 2600 word “Personal Narrative” on my physical/emotional/psychological experience with endometriosis, a picture of me and the Mister, and 150+ pages of medical records that pertain to endometriosis. Basically a manuscript, everything but the kitchen sink and a DNA swab. I’m sure that will come later. Until then, 200ish pages are currently on their way to team at the CEC.

This wonderful facility is the leading research center on endometriosis and has the largest case study on the disease (5,000 patients followed over 20 years). If anyone knows this disease, it’s these guys. We are hoping for an aggressive conservative treatment option that focuses on removing the disease from all organs and tissues, while leaving the necessary organs in place and properly plumbed. We have the support of both our doctor in Hattiesburg and our doctor in Jackson. We are hoping that if our case gets accepted, we will be able to have surgery soon.

We came to the decision that if we were going to do IVF, we wanted to do it to the best of our ability. My insides between my belly button and my kneecaps “kind of look like a war zone.” That’s a direct quote from my radiology tech. Clearly, it’s not pretty. Things don’t hang out where they’re suppose to, they don’t function like they’re suppose to. It’s just a mess, really. With IVF, we will undoubtedly be creating life. Those little blobs of cells will be my children, whether or not we see them grow that far. From the beginning, we want to give them the best that we possibly can. Isn’t that what parents are programmed to do?
I don’t want to put my little embryos up in a sketchy “pay by the hour” motel. Right now, I’m afraid that’s my current condition. I at least want to be able to give them a Marriott or a Hilton. An extended stay suite, if you will. I have come to terms with the fact that God did not make me like a Four Seasons. I am not a Duggar. We feel like having this surgery and removing as much of the disease as we possibly can will not only significantly improve my quality of life, but give our children the best possible chance at healthy growth in-utero. It’s not a guarantee. Nothing is a guarantee. We do feel like it’s the best we can offer, and we do not want to go into IVF with less than our best.

Sometimes during weeks like this last one, it’s easy to get sucked into a sad-sop trap. I have been diagnosed with a disease for which there is no cure. No one even knows what exactly causes this disease. It’s easy to let myself get overwhelmed and exhausted with this constant battle for normalcy. My daddy would never claim to be a theologian, and most of the time our conversations are weird, bordering on inappropriate (burps are rated and those stupid Sonic commercials make us giggle every single time). However, when he slips into Serious Dad, his advice is normally on point.

Pray like everything depends on God, because it does. Act like everything expends on you, because it does.

I have based much of my personal theology around this simple (and paradoxical) idea that my father has repeated to me since I was a little girl. God has called us to walk in faith. We must actively do (the walk) and we must actively trust (the faith) that He is greater. We have not been given an easy walk, and He has not given us the option to “sit” in faith. We believe that, if our case and treatment plan are accepted, this is the final step that lies between us and IVF. It will be invasive. It will involve at least three different organ systems, possibly more. We will know by the end of the month if this surgery is in our immediate future. That is a little bit scary.

We are still grieving what wasn’t, but we are also ready to see what happens next. It’s a little frustrating that we can’t flip to the end of the book and make sure everything turns out ok (you know you did that to make sure Harry beat Voldermort…).

God has been good to us. He has provided for us and sustained us. We know He will continue this work in us until its completion.

And Harry doesn’t die.

Round 4

After a couple of weeks of waiting, we’ve finally been able to start our 4th and final round of IUI. My cyst ruptured without causing too many problems (besides several days of fever and general feelings of icky-ness). Medusa is no longer “a problem we need to be concerned with”, and my hormones have jumped back into gear.

After the general tests and exam last week, DocJax cleared me to start round 4. We’ve gotten our meds and Mister has been giving me my injections every night this week. This round, the hormone migraines have been particularly difficult to reign in, but I seem to be getting a handle on them finally. We go for a progress check (and more blood work, of course) on Tuesday, with a procedure likely on Thursday. After that we will enter the two week waiting period for the last time in 2014. As we bought alcohol swabs and band aides at the pharmacy (yay, shots!), Mister grabbed a pack of blister-healing band aides.

Go ahead and grab these since they’re on sale. If we get another negative, I know you’re going to need to run it out, and it’s going to jack your feet up when you do.

That right there, folks, is true love. He gets me. My blisters/calluses also gross him out.

This weekend was suppose to be our first weekend with no minimal traveling, and we were looking forward to fellowshipping with other believers today. Other than Mister covering the game at Mississippi State and my responsibilities at a downtown event, our weekend was more or less “free”. Then significant car trouble (quite possibly in a location one might meet the Devil for dealings) at a very late hour and a tow truck that was in absolutely NO rush at all (Hail State, y’all) changed our down weekend into an impromptu road trip two hours north in the wee hours of the morning for a rescue mission. We finally all got home and in bed at 6:00am this morning. Shout out to my baby brother for riding with me and keeping me company, even though he had to work all day today. I am far to old to be pulling all nighters anymore, and I’ve now got an appointment with my eye doctor. Night driving is a lot more difficult than I remember. We didn’t make it to church a few hours later. The sleep was greatly needed, but we really miss the rest of our local body of believers.

This week brings more Jackson, more needles and tests, more salmon (omega 3s, y’all), and more football. It also brings a quick weekend trip to Memphis to see the first baby I have prayed for since half of her DNA was contained in a mature follicle. I’m told her parents will be in Memphis too, and we’re pretty excited about that.

We have decided a few things in the last few weeks of dealing with the cyst. As mentioned before, this will be our final round of IUI. We are still hoping that this 10-15% chance will be our yes, and this will be our last round for wonderful happy reasons. However, we are planning for other outcomes. If this round does not work, we will be moving on to IVF in the spring. After speaking with our doctors in Hattiesburg and Jackson, we have decided that our funds are better spent procedures with better odds and more doctor-control. We will spend the rest of the winter saving and praying and preparing. We are also gathering all of my records and sending them to a group of surgeons in Atlanta that specialize in the removal of endometriosis, and we are having out case reviewed. The Center of Endometriosis Care does amazing work removing endometriosis from all areas of the body (more on my particular case in a different post) and we are looking forward to hearing ALL of our options.

We will be taking a (much needed) vacation in December. A vacation from work, and a vacation from infertility. This season of our life has been overwhelming and over scheduled (I’m looking at you, football…), and we are in serious need of a recharge.

We are a little terrified. We don’t really feel like we know what we’re doing. We are seeking God and we are following where we feel He leads. Both IVF and surgery come with some pretty scary “what ifs” and procedures. Both are much more invasive, time consuming, and energy consuming. We know that before this month ends, we will be looking towards more invasive medical procedures, whether that be pregnancy (!!!!) or IVF/surgery. You are probably starting to grasp why we need a vacation.

I have the best friends, the greatest family, and the most supportive spouse to face this with, and that makes things a little less scary.