You know when you get a new car you start to notice how many of the same model are on the road already.  You can pick them out in traffic, especially ones of the same color.  That's a little taste of an IF's brain.  When you're consumed or obsessed with babies you start to see pregnancy and little babies everywhere you look.  It's not our fault though, it just happens.  We're not looking for babies so we can start feeling bad for ourselves.

I feel like 2013 was the year of babies in my life and surprisingly or not surprisingly, I'm happy about it.  I'm happy that this year my sister and Babe's brother will both have little ones that we can spoil rotten.  I'm happy that Babe's other cousin is having their first after trying for so long.  And I'm even happy for my cousin adding another little one to her dysfunctional brood of boys.  I must admit though, not all of these announcements were easy to digest.

We were barbecuing at my brother-in-law's house when they handed us a book from our other nephew titled "I'm Going to be a Big Brother".  My instant reaction was nothing but pure joy.  Since this was the first baby announcement we'd experienced since we started trying, I'm so happy that was my response.  To be honest, I wasn't sure it would have been.  Though I must admit I snuck home to grab my swim suit and to shed a few tears.  The announcement came five months after suffering what we think was a non-viable pregnancy.  Then when my sister called me two months after with her news, I could tell she was nervous and a little bit sad to be sharing knowing our struggles. That part made me so sad for her.  Baby news is something every woman should relish in.  I wanted her to be excited and I was and am truly ecstatic for her.  Then there was Babe's cousin (the brother of N).  Knowing they had struggled to become parents as well made the news sweeter to hear.  In the same breath though, I wondered if it would be hard for N to digest.  I know she would probably feel the same emotions I was, happiness with a little pang of "that should could have been me".

So 2014 begins with sprinkles and showers of all kinds and the anticipation of a little nephew & niece I want nothing more than to hold and love.  But I can't help but wish I could be part of the anticipation.  Someday, one day, maybe...

Journaling is what I really need.  But I've never been much for writing my thoughts down in that way.  Typing is faster and quicker to erase (before it's published).  So here it goes... 

Last night I had a dream that babe's cousin N and I sat down to talk about our own fertility struggles.  Every time I see her, I praise God that someone I know understands what we're going through and feel so guilty in the same breath that she's going through it too.  In my dream it felt so good to talk to her.  It was so realistic and just what I needed because I literally felt my shoulders relax and my stress vanish.  Then my husbands alarm went off and I sighed and woke up.  N's situation is a little bit different than ours, she has a diagnosis and a plan from her doctors.  That doesn't make what she's going through any easier though.  In fact, I find myself praying for her more often than I pray for us.  This is just one of the things that consumes my mind these days.  

So what's happened in the past 16 months?  I must admit I was pretty naive about everything pregnancy related.  After about 6 months I started using Ovulation Predictor Kits or OPK's which showed nothing out of the ordinary.  At 9 months I read the book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Welschler.  It's a book I recommend to every woman regardless of what stage of life they're in.  As we approached the dreaded one year mark, I decided two things.  1) Although I wanted to be a mother, I was okay with being blessed by children in almost any fashion; and 2) I don't think that includes In Vitro Fertilization commonly referred to as IVF or any other high cost procedures.  Because of this, my original thought process was that if it doesn't happen naturally, we'll look into adoption.  It seemed like something Babe was on board for and I above all wanted to make him happy and not be too sappy.  Then one fateful day I overheard N talking to another family member about her own fertility struggles.  I reached out to her and her story weighed heavily on me.  Although I was still okay with no outrageously expensive procedures, I owed it to myself to dig deeper and see if there were any underlying issues.

So we started 12 months with me charting and Babe doing a semen analysis.  I've been charting now for 3 cycles and what started off as text book has quickly become my standard of "my body is fucked up".  It's a saying that even my husband uses all in love of course.  The doctor's office was none too helpful since Babe did the semen analysis. I'll spare you the drama with their office and just say that when it all came down to it they couldn't read the results to him.  Not sure if that's normal or not but we're at a standstill now.  

A year & 4 months later and I finally feel like I could be going somewhere.  Monday I'm going to visit my brand new PCP with hopes that I'll finally get a referral to an OB/Gyn.  Sad huh.  There are a few things I want to talk to them about.  The first is of course to get Babe's SA professionally read.  Is it good (I think it is)?  Does he need to make any changes, supplements, etc.?  If that's our only hurdle I'd count us lucky.  I'm certain it's not though so I also want to discuss doing a hysterosalpingogram, also known as an HSG, to see if there are any blockages.  Lastly I want to discuss the possibility of Endometriosis.  In all of my research, I realized that I have most of the symptoms associated with it.  Hopefully she won't be too put-off by me doing my research on the internet.  I've had past experiences where my doctor has misdiagnosed me for looong periods of time only for me to figure it out with a quick internet search and been right.  We have to be our own advocates right!

The last 16 months, much like this post, has been a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions.  I try hard not to let them escape and control what little I have of them.  It's not easy but I've always considered myself a tough one.  I had been batting the idea of a blog around in my head and last nights dream solidified it.  My hope is that typing these posts help me make sense of all that's going on in my head.  Good luck following.