Thursday, May 29, 2014

Answered prayers...

Ok, so bear with me because I understand for non-infertile people this may not seem like such a big deal...

As any reader of the blog knows, the biggest halt in our fertility journey has been money. How will we pay for this? How can I ask my family to go in debt for a maybe? What if it doesn't work? All questions that I think about every single day. I feel like God is probably tired of hearing me pray for a solution to all of my worries...

..or maybe He isn't. Maybe my nagging diligence in asking for a solution is paying off. If you had any doubt, let me assure you - God answers prayers!

Recently, my company (through which we are insured) did some restructuring. A slight name change, and some added benefits were all I can really see as differences. Yesterday I got an email that our insurance was changing, effective June 1st. This sent me into a panic.

All things considered, I have really good fertility coverage. Florida doesn't require any coverage for infertility treatments, however my company purchased coverage out of Minnesota and that state does require coverage. Now, coverage gets really confusing so to break it down, under my old plan we had coverage up to a $10,000 max. This meant the first $10,000 spent on fertility treatments are covered (minus co-pays & medicines & freezing of any fertilized embryos). If the medicines I take are covered (some are some aren't) I would pay copays for them if not we would pay out of pocket. So, after all that being said, we were expecting that 1 IVF treatment would exhaust our max and cost us about $1500 out of pocket. Not bad at all, but if that that first treatment didn't work we would be stuck, paying any further treatment out of pocket (minus covered medicines).

Now, under the new plan, we just found out that $10,000 max is gone! NO MORE MAX. That is HUGE. As long as we are deemed infertile and that it's medically necessary for us to have treatment in order to conceive, we will be covered under the new plan. The new plan is out of Illinois - the most fertility-treatment-friendly state in the country. While the medicines and frozen embryo storage are expensive, they aren't nearly as costly as the bulk IVF procedure.

I am shaking right now. I feel like this can't be real. How did we get so lucky? How is this working out so well in our favor? Faith. My God is faithful. He heard our prayers, He felt our desire, and the whole time He knew this would happen for us, we just needed to remain faithful.

I realize that we just crossed the hills and are now heading into the mountains. I know IVF treatment won't be easy, and that it will require a lot of us. Money is just a small part of this whole process. At the end of the day, we have to face the fact that we could do IVF 10 times and it may not ever result in a baby. I don't think that will be the case. I trust that we are in the right place and well on our way to more Adams family babies. A very large weight has been lifted off of our shoulders. We can breathe a little easier, and lighten up a little. I am just so thankful, and so humbled.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A mini-update...

I don't really have much to report on the fertility front. We are sort of in a holding period, waiting for my next cycle to begin. Last week we both had to do some preliminary screening to give us the all-clear for IVF.

When I began treatment, blood work made me so sick. I am 99% sure it was all mental, even thought I am slightly anemic. That being said, I would have anxiety for a the day before the appointment, and would almost pass out every time it began. Since then, I have done a lot of blood work, so it's become easy less of a big deal. I still don't like it (not that anyone does) but I've gotten a lot better. So, when I went in for this month's work, I wasn't expecting much.

The woman that does the blood work at my doctor's office is really good at what she does, but when homegirl pulled out 9 tubes, NINE TUBES, I 'bout died. Typically, I have one tube of blood to give, maybe 2 so 9 is a ton. That being said, I kept telling myself, this is for your future baby(ies), you can do this!

She made as good as it could have gone, minus when she started talking to me about a kink in my vein that was making it a little harder to get the blood out. TMI sister, T.M.I. Let's talk about anything other then blood and veins and the process of it leaving my body. I felt light-headed and sleepy for the remainder of the day, but I never got sick or passed out so it was fine.

Mike had to go through the same testing - which selfishly made me really happy. That sounds so awful, but honestly, I do all of this work, all this prodding, poking, taking medicine, sometimes I just want to be the one giving the shot rather than getting it! (not really, I could never give a shot - I can't even inject the turkey). So I was joking with the blood girl - not her official title, I'm sure - that my husband would be getting the same test and that I'm sure he'd be whining about the 9 tubes....right then she burst my bubble of selfishness. Nope, she said, he only has to do three. Of course... that's what I get for wanting him to suffer. ;)

That was pretty early on last week, so when I didn't hear back from the doctor I just assumed everything was fine. Yesterday, they called to go over the results, finally. Mike was fine, all clear! I, on the other hand, have no immunity to chicken pox, which sucks because I got those darn things when I was in kindergarten. I thought if you had them once you were good to go, but apparently the immunity can wear off. My options were to either go on a vaccine that would take 60 days to complete, followed by another 30 days of waiting before we could move forward with IVF or to sign a waiver, saying that I understood I was not immune and that it could cause issues, should I catch chicken pox. -- Given the fact that Jake has been immunized, Mike is immune, and I don't work with children or come into a lot of contact with small kids, we have decided to sign the waiver. Knock on wood, everything should be fine. To get CP you have to come in direct contact - so please God, if you have chicken pox, or you recently rubbed up on someone that does, stay away! :)

On the financial side our health insurance coverage, through my work, just changed. I found that out this morning, so I put in an immediate call to my HR/benefits department to see if/how the change would effect my fertility coverage. I am praying that it's for the best, and that if something did change, that it didn't get worse. Luckily, I'm not going to stress because I know that God provides! Have you seen our gofundme account? We have almost $800 in donations so far and that is amazing! We are overwhelmed by the support from our family and friends and can't thank you all enough! I know how hard it is to reach into your pockets. Everyone has their own stuff going on, and Lord knows we all have bills to pay, so when someone donates, it hits me hard. Amazing. Thank you so much!

In family news, we had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We packed up the family, including our dogs, and headed to Charleston, S.C. (my hometown)! My cousin got married Saturday, and the timing was perfect with the long weekend. I had such a good time at the wedding, and loved getting to see so many of my family members that I don't get to see as often as I'd like. The wedding was beautiful, and the food was delicious! Sunday, we spent the day by the pool with friends. Jake had a blast, getting to play all day long! By the time Monday rolled around we were exhausted. We packed up the car and the family and headed back south. We made a short detour to visit my older sister, Jessica and her boys in Ridgeland, SC. They have 5 goats and a bunch of chickens which Jake got to feed. She made a really yummy lunch for us, and then we were back on the road. When we got home, all we wanted to do was veg out and relax. It was a perfect weekend away!

Our next step in our IVF journey will be our final consult with Dr. Jaffe on June 11th. We will nail down our plan and begin (hopefully) treatment. I am anxiously awaiting that day to get here! Thanks again for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We are forever grateful for the love and support that has surrounded us on this journey. It's nice to know we have people, all over, cheering us on!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happy Birthday to ME!...

Today is my 28th birthday! Another year has passed and I am rolling like a freight train to 30. I don't mind birthdays, or I certainly didn't use to.

As a child, birthdays are almost as awesome as Christmas. Having a party, getting your way all day, and of course... presents.

As you get older, they seem to loose a little of their shine. I don't really have any issue with getting older. My life has gotten better with each passing year so far. Starting my own family, growing up, maturing, developing a stronger sense of who I am. These are all things that are benefits to the passing years.

Sometimes, though, birthday's can be tough for people who are waiting for a miracle. After having Jake young and being forced to grow-up, I always thought we would (or I would) have completed my family by the time I hit 30. Mike and I joked that when we are in our 40's we would get to live out our 20's except we wouldn't be broke like most 20 year-olds. Plus, I like being a young mom. God willing, I will watch my boy grow up and live his life.

So here we are - 4 years in to trying for number 2 and 2 years away from my "deadline". Sometimes I could swear that when I drew up my plan and set my imaginary deadlines in place, God just laughed. I know He isn't spiteful, but I also know that He knew all about the journey we were about to embark on. He knows every step before I take it, so I imagine my confident plan was comical to Him.

Anyone who has been through any sort of fertility treatment knows that with every passing year, your chances slowly tick down. Granted I have some time before this is a big concern, but the thought is always in the back of my mind.

All of that aside, I plan to roll into my 29th year on this planet with big hopes! I am thankful, so thankful for the life I have and the people that are in it. Big things are happening for us and I can't wait to see where I am May 21st, 2015!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Our busy week...

What a busy week it's been!

Mike and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! We took Friday off from work and spent the day together at Epcot! I am sure Mike loved taking the day off, only to hang out at his job. :) We had a wonderful time, the weather was amazing! Usually by this time in Florida we are well into the 90's but I don't think it ever broke 82. We haven't spent a day together like that, just us two, in so long.

 Here we are in Mexico at Epcot!

Saturday morning I woke up at 5 am to head to Charleston. Once of my best friends was having a baby shower and I was so glad I was able to go and spoil her a bit! I had such a nice time at the shower, and got to spend the day with some wonderful company.

   All the girls with the mommy in waiting!

That night we went to dinner for my birthday, then my early wake up time caught up with me and I was ready for bed! I crashed hard, woke up at 7am and got back on the road to head home to Orlando. My boys had a soccer tournament, and I was able to make it back in time to catch the last game!

  The boys getting their medals!
It was a wonderful, QUICK weekend! I can't wait for some downtime and the slow down of summer!

Last week we had our IVF class (as I posted about previously) and it went well. The class was really interesting and answered a bunch of questions for us. It also made us face the reality of the cost of IVF. Originally, I think I was in shock. I knew it was expensive, but when you see the costs on paper... wow.

It's one thing to sign up to spend a bunch of money... I mean in the long run, $14,000 is nothing to pay for human life, right? However, it's another when you are faced with the reality that it isn't a guarantee. There is no refund if you don't get pregnant, no promise that when you sign a loan to cover the cost, that then end result will be what you hope for. When that all settled in with me, it felt like someone had sucked the air out of my lungs.

Mike and I aren't wealthy, financially speaking. ;) We work hard, we manage just fine, but we don't have thousands of dollars in savings. So when I began thinking about being forced to sign my family up to take on debt just for a shot at getting pregnant... well, queue the panic attack.

When we left the class, I called my mom from my car and sobbed to her the whole way home. Mike and I had met at the class after work so I was alone. I told her (or tried to through the crying) how much guilt I had about the whole thing. I mean really, I felt like someone dropped a wheelbarrow full of bricks on top of me. I was so worried about the money side of all of it.

Guilt is one of the ugly sides of infertility. At least for me.

I've experienced guilt throughout this journey, and even though everyone involved has been there behind me, it rears it's ugly head.

Originally, I felt guilty that my body wasn't doing what it was supposed to. I felt to blame when I couldn't provide Mike with another baby, or Jake with a sibling. That guilt was compounded by people asking me when we would try to have a baby, "Don't you want Jake to have a sibling" or "he's getting so old now, they wont be close if you wait much longer" -- I know those people weren't trying to be hurtful, but that guilt would sit on me, crushing my spirit. This guilt is probably the one that has stuck with me the longest... it's been the hardest pill to swallow.

Next was the guilt I felt about having a bitter heart. Friends would announce pregnancy, baby showers, births and there have been times where it has taken every part of me to force out a "congratulations". Luckily for me, this was the easiest guilt to get over. I haven't felt this way in a long time and I am thankful for that. This is the kind of guilt that that leads to resentment and bitterness and my heart has no room for either of those feelings!

Then came the financial guilt. We have spent a lot of money on fertility treatments so far. Thankfully, we have great insurance, which has helped tremendously, but between dozens of office visits, surgeries, medicines there hasn't been a lot of extra cash laying around. I am still paying down our balance from my surgery. The financial guilt ties in with the first guilt I talked about. I don't want Jake to miss out on things because we have to make a choice between a family vacation, or adding to the family. While this might seem silly, one of the sides of infertility I am so grateful for is the appreciation I have for Jake in the first place. My time being his mom is so valuable to me, and I don't want to miss out on anything with him. So far, I don't feel like we've had to and that has made it easier for me to keep moving forward.

Can you imagine, signing your family up for thousands of dollars of debt, knowing that you may walk away empty handed? I have faith in my doctor, and of course a tremendous amount of faith in God, but my faith doesn't guarantee that my IVF cycle will work. We have to go into IVF hoping for the best outcome. If it isn't the best, we leave there with a bunch of debt, a broken heart, and of course.. no baby. That is why I just have to keep praying, asking that God take control and steer us down the right path. I feel sure that is the path we are on now, I just have to keep listening to Him and trusting the plan before me.

Lastly is the guilt I've had about the effects infertility has had on my life. My personal life, the way I feel about myself, the type of friend I have been, the type of wife and mom I have been. I get so mad at myself after I spend a few days lying around feeling depressed. When infertility takes ownership over my life, I loose. The people around me loose. Luckily, this guilt has pushed me to be a better person. Some months are harder than others, but I push myself harder now too. I won't let it take me out like it did when I miscarried. It wasn't healthy to lay around feeling sorry for myself for a week. It didn't make me feel better. I began to feel better when I got back up, when I forgave myself for my body's inability to sustain life at that time. Each month, when my period starts, I fall briefly, back into this rut. Each month, I force myself back out of it. When I say I don't know what I would do if I didn't have Mike, this is what I am referring to. He is so good at getting me back up. Bringing me back to life. :)

I guess in the end it all circles back to having faith. Faith that we are on the right path. Faith that God answers prayers.

I can't thank those of you who have donated to our GoFundMe account enough. Every time I get an email notification that someone donated, it's like a push of hope. We are so fortunate to have such an amazing group of people around us that support us. I know that for some, a donation of any amount is a sacrifice and the fact that people are willing to do that for us is overwhelming. I think I have cried (happy tears) each time I get a note that someone has donated. It really is amazing.

For right now we are taking a break. Trying to gather up funding, praying, and doing some preliminary testing for IVF. This week we both have blood work to get done; screening for any issues that may effect our ability to complete IVF. Then, our next appointment is scheduled for June 11th. That day we will sit down with Dr. J and come up with our exact treatment plan. She will lay out everything for us in great detail and we will decide when to begin. We will also be able to get a more concrete idea of final cost.

At this point I am cautiously optimistic. I am sure it will feel likes years have passed between now and June 11th, but it's just another lesson in patience, right? I can't wait to know our plan, and to know when we can begin! As always, your thoughts and prayers mean the world to us.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

For the time being...

Last night's IVF class went well. I feel like we got a very good understanding of the process and what it entails. A lot of questions I had were answered and it was proof even more of God's work in mankind. I can't tell you how amazing it is to me to watch on screen a video of an egg being fertilized and then beginning to multiply, creating life right there.

Unfortunately, I can't say how soon we will be able to start IVF. Not because I want to keep it a secret, but because at this point in our lives, we simply can't afford it. My heart is broken. For now, this is the end of the road for us in fertility treatments. It is really hard to face that reality for me.

I know God provides. I know that if this is His plan that there will be a way, so now I am trying to force myself into waiting for that. I feel helpless. We are looking at the options, and praying for a miracle.

I have set up a account that you can access by clicking here :
I can't put into words what everyone's support means to me and to our family.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Turning the page...

I am so nervous about IVF class tonight. I'm not even sure if nervous is the right word, as much as anxious. Yep, I am so anxious about IVF class.

I debated even writing about this, but then again, that sort of is the whole reason I began this blog in the first place. I made a commitment to myself as well as any readers to be upfront and honest about everything I am going through.

To be honest, I never thought we would get to IVF. This entire time I have been in complete denial about it going on this long. Next month makes 4 years of us trying to conceive (ttc). 4 years. That's a long time.

I have always had my own opinions of IVF. Most of them formed prior to me being a mom, certainly prior to me facing the fact that I am infertile. Even now that statement makes me feel broken. I am infertile. My body is seemingly unable to do the very thing that makes being a female so special, at least on it's own anyway.

Of course, no one, ever has conceived "on their own" - we all know how it works. You need functioning reproductive organs, and a man (or at least his finest swimmers) unless of course, you're Mary. Which I'm not, but even she didn't do it alone. God placed that baby there - He's the 3rd part after all. The most important part.

So anyway, back to my thoughts on IVF. Like I said before, I developed my opinions early on. I remember thinking things like, "well, if you can't conceive naturally maybe that's a sign" or "IVF seems like a bunch of doctor's with a god-complex".

What a jackass I was. At the very least, naive. Granted, at the time, I didn't understand what it was like to have a baby of your own. How important it would become to me to carry a baby for 40 weeks and cradle it in my arms. Now I know. God blessed Mike and I with that. So blessed, in fact, that I got to carry that thing for 42 weeks. In September. In Charleston, SC, and every day I pray that I get to do that again some day.

What once were naive thoughts, are now the very things that taught me to expand my view of the world. It isn't a sign if you can't conceive naturally, at least not one that says you shouldn't be a mom. If that was the case, the desire wouldn't be on my heart in the first place. I don't deserve a baby less because I have stingy ovaries or blocked fallopian tubes.

IVF isn't a process built by doctor's who want to play god. Sure, there are doctor's who abuse it (i.e. Octo-mom's doctor) but the miracle that is reproductive endocrinology is just that, a miracle. I believe, without a doubt, that God is working through my doctor. I believe we were brought to her through Him, and that we will find our success through Him as well.

Nothing has brought me as close to Christ as infertility has. I wish I could say otherwise. I wish I was always this close. There have been times in my life where I have been, just like there have been dark times. So how can I hate infertility? I can be tired, annoyed, disappointed, exhausted, but at the end of the day it has changed me for the better.

Tonight starts a new chapter for us. I am anxious. Excited even. I have so many questions, so many concerns. I don't know how we will pay for it, how long it will take, or how it will end. I don't know if this will be a one time thing, or if we'll have to try many times. All of these variables, all of these unknowns could make a control freak.. me .. feel crazy. So my only option is to push it all on Him. I am giving all of my anxiety and my worry and my stress to Him, and I pray that He will take it and make me whole.

I am ready for this. We are ready for this. I've got a notebook and a pen, and I am going to sit there in the front row with bells on, ready for this.

My faith is bigger than my infertility.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Moving on...

Breathe in, breathe out. One foot in front of the other. Day by day. These are all things I have been telling my self the last few days. Let me back up a bit, first.

I had an amazing Mother's Day. My boys were so so good to me. We started the morning with brunch with the Adams' family which was great, then headed to spend the day with some wonderful friends at a resort pool. We literally laid around, eating, drinking and swimming all day. It was perfect. That Sunday night, I think we were in bed and asleep by 9. All of this perfection despite the fact that my pregnancy test that morning was negative.

I wanted to be sad, angry, alone, but my boys wouldn't have it. Thank God for them. They got me up and moving, and I decided I would put the test results behind me and enjoy the day ahead. After all, plenty of women get negative tests, only to get a positive a few days later, right?

Sunday night (or early that morning) I woke up with some serious stomach pains. They felt different than normal period cramping and after going to the bathroom, I thought maybe I was getting sick and tried to head back to bed. I didn't sleep well, kept waking up, trying to readjust myself to get more comfortable...

When the alarm went off Monday morning, I was relieved. No more being forced to lay there rolling around. I got up, went to the bathroom and there it was. I started my cycle. In that minute, I sort of turned into a robot. I did what I needed to do, finished up in the bathroom and walked out. I was going to get through this just fine. Then I saw Mike. I told him what happened and I, emotionally, collapsed. It hit me, in that minute and I started to cry.

I wish I could tell you I held it together. I wish I could say I moved forward, got myself going and headed off to work. Instead, I got back in bed and cried. I'm not mad, I refuse to be mad, but I am heartbroken. I know all of this serves to a greater good. I know God wants to see me happy and He wants my heart fulfilled. I know that in some way, all of this pain is serving a purpose in my life, but I am screaming for mercy.

Everything in this last month was different then before, everything felt right. I felt pregnant. Having that all ripped from me felt cruel.

As the day went on I decided I had to get up and out of bed. I called my doctor's office to tell them the news, to which they wanted to run some tests. After that, I headed to Costco, because Costco makes me happy. I don't know why. I don't need 700 paper plates, but I love wondering around in there. I think I love the fact that you never know what you might stumble across in Costco. As I was going through purchasing 47 chicken breasts and 10 gallons of Gatorade, I decided to swing through the book section. I thought finding a good, new book might be just what I need. There it was... Jesus Today - Experience Hope Through His Presence a daily devotional by Sarah Young. See, apparently God is also a big fan of Costco. This little gem is normal $16 bucks but I got it for a Costco steal at a meer $7. I am only on day 2 so I can't give an entire review, but I can tell you, so far, I love it. They are short and sweet passages, intended for people moving through a phase in their lives where you need God to deliver peace and patience. (So basically everyone)

John 16:33 - "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

That is so sweet to me! I will have peace, because my Maker promises me so. There is also promise of hard times, but if I can continue to have a joyous heart, He will overcome whatever it is I am going through.

There are millions of people out there carrying a weight much heavier than mine. The grief I feel must be 1/100th of the grief felt by a mother who's child has cancer, or a wife who's husband dies for his country. My grief is small. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, but it does mean that we all have something. We all have a battle to face at some point in our life, and I refuse to be angry or bitter about mine. One of my close friends was messaging me yesterday and said to me, "Maybe the point is that the glory, this minute, is your words being a beacon. Don't underestimate His purpose for this Jordan. You [me via God of course] may be changing someones life." She's right. I have continuously asked, Why God? Why is this taking so long, why is this necessary? Selfish of me. I shouldn't be asking why, instead I should continue to focus on how I can make the situation I am in better and more glorifying... and that is what brings me peace and the strength to keep going.

So where do we go from here? Tomorrow night we will attend a class on IVF. This is the next logical step as it is believed that at this point, the issue is my endometriosis. In my case - scarring of the fallopian tubes causing difficulty in the eggs making their way to my uterus. In theory, IVF would eliminate this problem. The step that my body is having issue with is the step that IVF does manually. I am anxious and scared. We are praying that this is the right move for us, the move we are intended to take. I believe that God has led us this far, and I just have to keep going and remain faithful. I know the class is going to be a big download of information. I have heard how detailed IVF is and all the steps it takes and medicines it requires can be exhausting.

Moving forward. That is what we're doing. I can't express how much it means to me when people reach out to us in support. I feel your thoughts and prayers and I can personally say it has had such a positive effect on me in this journey. Just last week, a friend shared my blog on her facebook page. That led to a total stranger reaching out to me to tell me what my blog meant to her and that she was praying for us. Not to nerd out, but that is just so cool. This whole thing has been such a blessing. My blog started as a little way for me to vent and keep track of my journey and it's growing into much more than that. Thank you for reading, thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Celebrating motherhood...

As you know (or should know) this Sunday is Mother's Day. A day to celebrate your momma, and all the wonderful things she's done in your life... It can be a bittersweet day for people dealing with infertility. For me, I am lucky enough to be a mom, to an amazing little boy.
I also am blessed with an incredible mom myself - who spent much of her life fighting for her kids. Growing up with 3 siblings was a gift she (and God) gave me and having her in my life made me who I am today. She worked so hard for us, she pushed us to be independent, strong, and loving people. She nailed it. She embodies everything I want to be as a mother. I watched her fight through some things that made me believe she had super powers, and I still believe that now.
I love you momma. You mean the world to me.
As we continue on in our fight to add more Adams' to this world, I ask that this mother's day, you reach out to someone you know that has dealt with the devastating loss of a child, or the inability to conceive the baby they desire. Those women are deserving. Those women are graceful and strong. Tell them you are thinking about them. Tell them you keep them in your prayers. If they are still in the fight, encourage them to keeping going, to never give up hope. We don't know God's timing, but when He delivers, it's a gift that is better then you can imagine.
Happy Mother's Day to all my momma friends and family members, & to all of those who want it more than anything.

Look at my GORGEOUS new blog...

I am so so so excited to share my new blog design with yall! Isn't it pretty? The big upload is complete, so while there may be some tweaking here or there, I think it looks great!

I know I mentioned that I was using a graphic designer a few posts ago. Well her name is Tricia Nae and she was incredible to work with. Responsive, easy going, friendly, didn't seem to mind my desire for perfection, an over all angel!

If you or someone you know is looking for a graphic designer, check her out here at her website or you can find her on facebook. I can't say enough great things about her and how much fun she made all of this. I got to send her all these images I love and she turned my favorites into this! I hope you like it as much as I do. If you read the blog from your iPhone you may not get to enjoy it in all of it's design beauty, so check it out and a computer or tablet when you can!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Stuck in the Middle...

Here I am, right in the middle of the two week wait. For women who are trying to get pregnant, you know how slow these two weeks tick by. For those who don't - remember, as a child, waiting for Christmas or your birthday? How the anticipation nearly killed you? Well, this is the adult version of that for those of us who are fertily challenged.

There is a BIG part of me that is dying for test day to be here, and a small part of me that hopes it never comes. Confusing, right? Think how I feel. For me, the two week wait is the bitter icing on top of a stale cake...

On one hand, I am dying to know if it's finally my turn. On the other, I am afraid of the disappointment that comes with finding out it isn't. I want to badly to see two pink lines, yet I could live the rest of my life without seeing only one. When everything you are hoping for is out of your control, and so black and white, that test is truly your best friend or your worst enemy. So far, in our almost 4 years of trying, I have only seen two lines once. I can't explain to you the feeling of seeing that. It took me 15 minutes to stop shaking and I must have checked it 400 times. I kept thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me. A week later, when that pregnancy abruptly ended, my heart was shattered. It was right there, everything we have been working for was right there, and it was taken from us. While I know I haven't been pregnant since, I can tell you I am just as invested every month as I was then. A negative test still feels like a loss to me. For a day or two after, my heart feels empty and broken. Luckily, the busy demands of being a working wife, mom, and fertility patient force me to "just keep swimming".

As we round the corner to the last lap of this month, I keep praying I see that checkered flag. Have you ever wanted something so badly in your heart that your mind starts to believe it's there? Finding out we're pregnant seems like an oasis to me at times. I want it so badly I can taste it. About this time every month I start over analyzing every twinge, every cramp, every lower back ache, every mood swing, every thing. It seems slightly cruel to me that pregnancy symptoms and PMS symptoms are so similar.

This portion of the month is the most challenging for me spiritually. This is where the big F word comes into play. Faith. :)

I have to keep my faith. Faith doesn't mean I will be pregnant this month, it doesn't spare me of being sad or spending a day in my bed. Faith allows me to grieve about my big, black raincloud, while being able to identify it's beautiful silver lining. Faith pulls me back up when I feel like my knees are shattered. Faith in my beautiful, Holy Father. Faith that renews my spirit, and works as my armor. Faith reminds me that I can keep going, that I am strong because He makes me strong.

I wish I could tell you my faith never shakes, never doubts, but that wouldn't be truthful. What I can say is that it's never gone. It's never left me completely. It's what keeps me going when I want to scream no more. It's the thing that makes me smile when people ask me "what's next, are you going to try again?" - Of course we are. We aren't giving up. He doesn't give up on us, so I can't doubt His plan. I can wish it were different. I can beg for mercy, but as long as He has put this desire in our hearts, we will fight for it.

Of course, I need your prayers. I ask, humbly, that we are in your thoughts over the next week. That I am able to find peace and patience and strength. <3