11/27/13

IUI #3 scheduled

I went in for my mid-cycle ultrasound this morning and was happy to see one beautifully mature follicle. It was a bigger/more mature follicle than I've had at this stage in my cycle, so I was encouraged by that! I was hoping and praying for multiple mature follicles, but the truth is that you only need ONE so I am choosing and trying to be grateful for that one. Here's hoping it is half of my future baby!

Tomorrow we will celebrate Thanksgiving with John's mom, sister, and uncle and then Friday morning we will have our third and probably final IUI. It feels surreal to think that we are already on our third try. I scheduled our "what's next?" consult with Dr. Colbert for before we find out the results of this IUI because it gives me comfort to at least know what our future options are, if we need them.

Hard as it may be, I am also choosing to believe that this cycle is the one. Choosing hope and trusting that optimism is better than despair.

Way back before John and I adopted Arie, I talked to a friend-of-a-friend who was studying to be a naturopathic doctor. After I detailed our fertility journey she told me, "You know- you are NOT broken." As much as I understood that message from an emotional health standpoint, I've never been able to accept that. My body isn't doing what it was designed to do. I should be able to conceive and carry a child, but for some reason I haven't been able to do that. To me, that means my body is broken. I know I need a healthy way to think about my infertility, but to me saying, "My body is not broken" just feels like denial.

Recently I was listening to Chris Tomlin's song "I Will Rise" and I a new part of the song spoke to this area of my heart and mind:

"There's a peace I've come to know- though my heart and flesh may fail- there's an anchor for my soul. I can say, 'It is well.'"

Though my flesh may fail, I can say, "It is well."

Both in a "now" and in an "eternally" sense, this idea gives me great comfort.

Because even though my flesh- specifically my ovaries- may be failing, Jesus has overcome. Even if all these fertility treatments don't get me pregnant or if we are only left with options we cannot afford to pursue, Jesus has overcome and it is within his power to give me the desire of my heart. I have been feeling so devastated about both our failed IUIs and the enormous expense of other options like IVF, but lately I have been focusing a lot on the idea that with the power of Christ, nothing is impossible; even achieving a pregnancy with a diminished ovarian reserve.

Eternally, it gives me hope because if the very worst happens and I am left with my unfulfilled longing, it will only be for a time. I pray that if God does not answer my prayer, he will take away my desire for pregnancy so that I won't feel so heartsick all the time. But even if he doesn't, I take comfort in the idea that God has set eternity before me and when I pass from this life to the next, I won't take the heartache with me.

This journey will end. I pray desperately and with my whole being that it ends with a baby, but I take great comfort in knowing that regardless, it will end with peace.

As I anticipate my next (successful!) IUI, I'd love to hear some success stories! IUI/IVF success, a surprise "natural" pregnancy, finding peace another way... especially from anyone who has been diagnosed with elevated FSH or diminished ovarian reserve. But really, from anyone. I just want to hear some good news stories! :-)

Much love to all of you this Thanksgiving season. I truly thank God for you and all the wonderful encouragement you provide to me and my family!

xo

19 comments:

  1. I love your attitude going into this IUI. I admire your hope and choosing to be optimistic. You are strong and it shows through your words.

    I am praying for you and that this is your cycle. I don't have any happy stories to share with you so I'm just going to say that I'm thinking of you and sending you hugs.

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  2. Melissa11/27/2013

    Jillian,
    I am frequently moved by your writing. I started following your blog essentially in the throws of desperation, as it gave me hope that even if I were unable to get pregnant, I would be able to have a family. A few years later I am 20 weeks pregnant from a successful IVF (we had both Male and Female factor, so no IUI's for us). I still feel broken, at times and I am learning to accept it is out of my hands. I tried every natural "remedy" I could get my hands on before we got treatment and nothing but treatment worked for us. That's not the case for everyone with infertility. You are a great mother (to Arie and will be to whoever your future may hold) and that is more important than easily becoming pregnant. Hold on to your faith. T&P's

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  3. Jess Lanning11/27/2013

    Jill, I can't even fathom the emotional roller coaster you are on right now, the highs and the lows, the joys and disappointments. My best friends sister in law and her husband tried for years to conceive, went through several treatments (I think IVF) and every one was unsuccessful. After their final treatment, they conceived naturally, unfortunately that ended in a miscarriage... which is devastating for anyone (been there). A couple months later, they were pregnant again, naturally. Today, they have a beautiful 4 month old girl, happy and healthy. I don't know what the medical issues were for them, why they weren't able to conceive at first. I don't know what the Lord's plans are for you and John, but I do know that He reigns supreme, and I also know that no matter what, He will be glorified. I've followed your story for a while and every time I read your blog I'm in awe of what an amazing and strong woman you are. Strength in character and strength in faith. Even in your dark, discouraged moments after the first failed treatment, you remained strong in your faith. And from some of the responses I've read, have been an encouragement to women all around the world. My prayer for you is not only that this treatment will be a roaring success, but that you will be able to continue to encourage and bless women everywhere.
    "The Lord bless you and keep you;
    The Lord make His face shine upon you,
    And be gracious to you;
    The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace."
    Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)

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  4. I still feel like you're reading my mind and truly verbalizing everything I'm feeling. **hugs** I'll be praying lots and lots for you!!

    Here's a happy story for you... I have a very close friend and her husband who'd been trying for a baby for two years on their own. I finally encouraged her to see a doctor, just for a check-up. They got a referral for a fertility doctor and she had a couple of preliminary ultrasounds. As soon as her next cycle started, she was instructed to call in for another ultrasound between cycle days 3-5. So she waited... and waited. Her cycles were always long-ish, but at day 37, she called me and told me how frustrated she was that her cycle hadn't started yet! I asked about a pregnancy test, but she fought it because she was so tired of seeing negative tests (which is understandable...). That night, after her husband came home from work they decided to take a test. She called me that night. The test was positive. God worked a miracle. She's currently 8 weeks pregnant, so we're still praying that the little one grows and grows, but I'm confident God is carrying her and her husband through this whole process.... just like he has you and your family in the palm of his hand.

    I'll be looking forward to reading your next update about your miracle :)

    (btw: Have you ever listened to 'He Is With Us' by Love & The Outcome? I heard that after my last (discouraging) doctor's appointment. It's incredible.

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  5. Jill,

    I so admire your attitude and hope going into this cycle. Praying that this is it for you!!!!

    I, too, was a patient of Dr. Colbert and did three unsuccessful IUIs. After the 3rd we decided to give my body a break from the meds, and two days before our "next steps" meeting, I found out I was pregnant w/ a surprise natural pregnancy and now have a healthy 6.5 month baby girl. Hope to read AMAZING news from you soon!!!

    And my "verse" from my IF/Loss/Pregnancy journey and prayer for you:
    "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

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  6. A friend of mine sent me your way in hopes I could provide some encouragement. We had a long and winding road to our daughter, that included several surgeries for my husband and I both, a chemical pregnancy, and 15 failed ART cycles total over five years.

    The thing that kept me going was the idea that there was a future me holding my someday baby, encouraging me to keep going. I had to believe that it would work, that something would happen to bring us and our baby together, in some way. Keep going became my mantra. I kept going a lot longer than I ever thought, and along the way I learned so much about myself, my husband, our relationship, our courage and strength.

    We tried everything: IVF with and without ICSI, donor IUIs, donor IVF. We had many, many, many conversations about adoption, and had taken the first steps in securing a domestic agency in case our final cycle didn't work. Our very last IVF cycle worked, lucky #16, and our daughter turned three in July. You can read more about our journey at babyattheend.wordpress.com, or email me at babyattheend@gmail.com.

    Chin up, mama. You've got what it takes.

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  7. I had always wanted children, but for various reasons (not of fertility but circumstance) it didn't work out for me. I was trying to be okay with not having any, but it was difficult. And then at age 44 I got pregnant naturally, had an uneventful pregnancy (despite all the "Advanced Maternal Age" labels that were written across my paperwork), and now have a healthy 15-month old boy. I wouldn't wish having to wait until age 44 on anywone, but I'm proof that it can happen, and that we are all individuals and not statistics!....

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  8. I really admire you, Jillian. I'm not a mom or trying to become one (yet!), but your faith and honesty always inspire me.

    At first, I couldn't think of any happy pregnancy stories and then had a huge "DUH!" moment when I realized that I was that happy pregnancy for my mom. My parents tried for about 4 or 5 years to conceive and had all sorts of obstacles - my dad had a low sperm count and my mom had to have an ovary removed when a huge cyst was found on it, and the fact that they were in their mid-30s didn't help. They went through all sorts of treatments and were finally told that they had less than a 2% chance of ever getting pregnant. They still kept trying and hoping, and when I was finally conceived they were absolutely shocked and overjoyed. :o)

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  9. A good friend of mine tried for four years to get pregnant. After her last IUI this past spring, when it was time to move on to more complicated and expensive procedures, she told her husband that she need a break from the doctors appointments, the crazy ups and downs from the drugs, and the disappointment. They decided to take some time off from trying. And then she suddenly got pregnant on her own with no medical intervention. Her baby is due this January. I hope that your story has an equally happy ending. Whatever comes, remember that what is meant to be will be. Good luck to you.

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  10. Anonymous11/28/2013

    I don't say this to discourage you for this last IUI cycle, but to encourage you if it doesn't end in pregnancy. IUI itself does not increase chance of pregnancy by much at all -- I've seen studies where it is equal or 2 percent higher than "natural" conception. Its the fertility drugs (creating a stronger Ovulation) and the timing it right that makes a difference in IUI. Personally, I don't see it as IUI or IVF or NOTHING in your case. But obviously I'm not saying I know better than you! No way -- its your decision. If you decide not to do IVF, I'd personally keep taking meds for O and try for a period of time -- say 6 months (non IUI). I think you have more options than just IVF or not after this cycle. I'm praying and thinking of you. Last night while crawling into bed I thought, "I hope she gets pregnant!" It was filled with hope and emotion.

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    Replies
    1. I've been having similar thoughts about continuing with meds rather than IVF. Can you give me a link to those studies? Thanks!

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    2. We did three IUI cycles and one medicated cycle with timed intercourse, and it was that cycle that we got pregnant (although, unfortunately I miscarried). If we go the treatment route in the future, I will probably do meds and TI for awhile first.

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  11. Anonymous11/28/2013

    I love reading your blog and have followed it for over a year. Thank you for giving us an honest glimpse into your life. My husband and I tried to conceive for 3 years. Several rounds of Clomid, invasive testing and 6 rounds of IUI later, we got pregnant. I had the best pregnancy (no morning sickness and I felt so beautiful the whole time) My son will be 3 years old in Feb and he is a joy to be around! I don't look back on that infertility roller coaster negatively because I got closer to God and my husband during that time. I think God allowed me to go through that so that I could encourage someone in the future and maybe that person is you :) You are a fantastic person who is already a great mother. I got tips from your blog about getting my son to worship in church. It's tough but important. Keep being positive because you know that God is with you and will always be with you!

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  12. My sister and brother-in-law tried for years to conceive and finally turned to IVF. They transferred 2 embryos and one took and is now my 9 year-old niece! Then, completely unexpectedly, my sister got pregnant naturally about 14 months after my niece was born. I pray your journey comes to a joyous end very soon!

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  13. My sister and brother-in-law tried for years to conceive and finally turned to IVF. They transferred 2 embryos and one took and is now my 9 year-old niece! Then, completely unexpectedly, my sister got pregnant naturally about 14 months after my niece was born. I pray your journey comes to a joyous end very soon!

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  14. My story is a wild, but wonderful one :) When I was 19 a benign tumor took my right ovary and fallopian tube. A year after I married my husband we decided to start trying for a baby and got pregnant the first month trying, I was 25. Sadly, due to the prior surgery, I (unknowingly) had a damaged fallopian tube. This pregnancy ended in (a very scary) ruptured ectopic. That left us with one ovary and a uterus (and a healthy husband). IVF #1 resulted in our beautiful twins who are turning 3 in March! The cost seems insurmountable and the procedures seem scary, but (in my opinion) all worth it. We are preparing for IVF #2 in the spring and we hope that brings us the little one that will complete our family. I follow your blog and pray with you and for you. I sincerely hope this IUI is it for you. Your faith is awe inspiring and I enjoy coming here to learn more about Christ and His teachings through your eyes. Best of luck!

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  15. We have been riding the infertility roller coaster for 3 years. We just got our first BFP...on our 3rd IUI! Holding out hope for you!

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  16. Anonymous12/03/2013

    I'm sorry its taken me a while to come back and post with some articles. In the first link, those who did IUI without fertility drugs like Clomid only had a 4% pregnancy rate. So the IUI itself isn't nearly as significant as the ovulating stimulating drugs (which increase chance of pregnancy in this study to 8-20%).
    http://infertility.about.com/od/infertilitytreatments/f/iui_success.htm
    I don't see high FSH as being a "reason" given to go to IVF. They list other reasons here, but not high FSH. http://www.rscnewengland.com/fertility-services/iui.cfm
    From what I understand, the time is ticking re: your eggs, but time is not out yet. There are women who get pregnant in their 40's (which may be around the same "age" re: your FSH). I do not see it as hopeless. I'd think that the key is to continue with fertility drugs (maybe change from Clomid to another one over time?) to ensure strong follicle development.

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  17. Anonymous12/04/2013

    I thought that you may like to read this blog and some of her old posts on high FSH and fertility options. With high FSH (and being older than you are), she had twins through IVF and then after having had her twins, had twins AGAIN the "old fashioned" way!! Crazy. Here is her post on finding out that she has high FSH: http://www.twosetsoftwins.com/2009/04/infertility-my-cross-to-bearcontinued.html
    You can find more to her story by searching under fertility or IVF on her blog. I recently discovered this blog and am enjoying reading about her journey.

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