Monday, December 5, 2011

In celebration of my last needle!!!

Did you know that Saturday evening was my VERY LAST SHOT in the butt.

I've had "December 3rd" marked in my brain for months.
Every single night it was getting more and more difficult to do them. 

After months of stabbing your hip muscle with 2-inch long thick needles they get a little bruised and HARD, come to find out. I've actually heard from a handful of friends who've done IVF that their hips are never the same. Mine feel pretty crazy....and have hard lumps that throb inside of them.

(calm down...it's not my butt...just my hip/love handle that I'm showing here:)
These are the BULLSEYE'S on each hip...showing Jarom where to aim.
Don't mind my hair. If you stop by unannounced I will have no less than 6 things in my hair at a time. Bobby pins, headbands, clips, elastics, etc.
Can't stand to have it touch my face:)

Jarom was having a hard time finding a spot for the needle....sometimes he had to aim straight for a bruise or a hole from the previous night. OUCH! Sometimes I couldn't carry a purse or lay on my side (forcing me to sleep on my back...ugh). Sometimes Jarom would pat or squeeze my butt when I walked by and would be quickly reminded with a punch or me falling to the ground in pain....that my butt/hips were no longer enjopying that small act of affection:)

Wanna know something cute? Jaxson NEVER FORGOT my shot. There were a few nights during the past few months that it slipped our mind and we would have totally forgot.....but every single evening Jaxson would bring me an ice pack and say "Mom...we gotta do your shot!"

He also never missed one. He loved to watch.
He would spread his favorite yellow blanket out and let me lay on it....then we'd sing a song until it was over. The drugs were as thick as peanut butter and took a whole 15 seconds to administer....so I always had to be singing. Jaxson was by my side....laying his head right next to mine....every single night.
He is my little angel.
BUT.....we are officially moving on and past that stage!
I will not miss getting LARGE packages like this one.....

....every few weeks from FEDEX. The entire things is FULL of needles and syringes by the way.
It was a little overwhelming at times.

I remember thinking "Every single one of these will stab me....! How is that possible???"
Then we'd get down to the last one and I'd actually have to order more!!!

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Oh you better believe that I am thinking about what I want for a present for surviving:)
I told Jarom I'd let him know by the end of the day.

It came at a perfect time...because this weekend marks our 8th anniversary!
Maybe he'd go for a get-a-way. Just the 2 of us.

NOW that our night, for the first time in months, could be somewhat romantic instead of involving needles, vials of hormones, blood, hot packs & barfing.

Yes...I think a getaway is on the horizon.

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In celebration....I am also posting my first TWO Journal entries of this process.
This was back in JULY of 2011.

Each of our life stories has ups and downs. I'd prefer that mine didn't have this chapter on "infertility" but I've learned and grown and feel empathy and sympathy and understanding on levels I wasn't capable of before.

Please be gentle with me.
(I have been reading blogs lately of courageous woman that have lost a child....and you wouldn't believe the things people dare say to them! I gasp in horror at the nerve....)

Meaning....if you have something mean or any constructive criticism about my personal thoughts, feelings and journal entries....it would do you best to tuck them deep down in a dark place instead of share them with me. I am crazy hormonal. I will find you and make you cry.

Enjoy

Infertility: My story.
A few years ago when I was living in the “I can have kids whenever I want” dreamland….I ran across a blog. This girl was a friend of mine…and had been so since elementary school. We had lost touch since high school and I was so happy to stumble upon her blog. I had no idea of her struggle but she had tried to have a baby for years and nothing worked. It finally took IVF (invitro fertilization) to get her darling babies here to earth.  
Naturally, I was glued to her blog…as I read through her entire ordeal and all the horrific and painful things that she described. It seemed stressful and nerve wracking and painful. I was in awe of her positivity.
I told myself I would die if that happened to me. Isn’t that our classic response to things that we think we are incapable of dealing with? I vividly remember that evening….we lived at my parents and were building our house at the time. Everyone was asleep and I was blog hopping all night like usual. I read through EVERY post over a years time and I remember thinking “That would be the hardest thing ever. That is truly one trial I don’t think I could live through. “
The truth is…a human can deal with an awful lot if they don’t have a choice.  I was pretty na├»ve.
After reading her blog…I hugged my little Jaxson….talked to Jarom about having another baby….removed the IUD and thought I’d be rocking a baby (boyJJ with some luck so Jaxson could have a buddy) in no time.  Ha!
If I could go back I would warn that version of “me”….the “OLD ME”…( cuz I am a completely different person than I was 2 years ago BELIEVE ME)….that things were going to get a LOT worse before they got better. I would tell her to remember this one statement when it got rough…(oh cuz it will)…to “REPLACE FEAR WITH FAITH”. I would tell her to not give up…when it’s emotional and painful and feels lonely.  
The day I gave birth to my Jaxson John I had  absolutely no idea of the emotional, mental, physical and financial hill we would climb in order to get our next baby here.
I  was never going to breath a word about my struggle actually. It is personal and nobody’s business I told myself…and it isn’t. But then I realized how many millions of times I’ve logged onto my friend’s blog and re-read the entire account of this trial in her own words. I felt comfort when I did. I felt better. Although our trials are different and unique….we shared the same desire.
What if I helped someone else by saying outloud…how awful it was? How helpless you feel.  AND how much you can learn about yourself.  And how much you can learn about your husband. And how much you can treasure and adore your only child. And how you can gain a greater understanding of the big picture.
And MOST IMPORTANTLY how you can go on and be happy and love the life you have…even if it’s not worked out exactly like you had planned.
Then I knew. I had to share.
I know this is how the Lord works. We are here to learn and struggle and grow. We are here to help others on their way. Sometimes it takes being stopped dead in our tracks….faced with something BIG….before we realize what we DO have and what’s actually important. Unfortunately it takes these life changing experiences to put things into perspective.  If you’ve visited this little blog of mine before….you might know my passion for motherhood. My world changed when I found out I was going to be a Mother…..and it has never been the same. I have one sole purpose….and it’s HIM, my Jaxson John. I have adored him since moment one….I couldn’t believe how much joy something could bring to my life.  I cherished it….and I definitely can say I HAVE NOT taken one single moment  for granted! I’ve documented every hiccup and poop for the first 4 years of his lifeJ He just turned four years old a few months back….which means I am still being the overinvolved, overprotective and overly in love mother I always knew that I would be.
What I did take for granted was the ability to plan and choose and be in complete control of my life. Planning my family was a huge deal to me and Jarom. We had talked about it for years….and we were very agreed upon what would work best for US. We wanted spacing. We wanted to be done with school. I wanted to be a stay at home mother 24/7. We wanted to thoroughly enjoy one before having another. That was OUR choice. Not what works best for everybody….but what we preferred.
Come to find out….life doesn’t take orders.  Life and reality didn’t seem to care too much about my “perfect plan” either.
It would take hours and hours….maybe days…..to express the range of emotions, the lessons and the very special experiences I’ve had through all of this. I don’t have to explain it all…and I won’t…some of them are too special to me…but hopefully I can share enough to make others going through the same thing feel some kind of comfortJ
Warning: Sometimes I handle things with a heavy dose of sass. It’s what helps me get through things. It’s what helps me dig deep and find the attitude necessary to deal with whatever comes my way. Although my sassiness is a huge part of me….(and Jarom claims the main thing he fell in love withJ) it often masks the  truth: this has been the single hardest thing I’ve ever been through. Until this experience I felt unstoppable. I was young, independent, confident and capable. This experience made me feel vulnerable. I turned to mush. I spent MONTHS trying to convince myself  that I had something to offer other than popping out children and raising them into happy, healthy and faithful adults.  I am forever changed. For that I am grateful. It has taken me MONTHS to accept it….sometimes I longed for the old “Kristin” back. The one who had never felt such discouragement and pain. The one whose life was going exactly “according to plan”. Ha!
Lesson Learned.
Things don’t go according to plan. Ever.  It may seem to all go according to plan for years at a time….but inevitably it will drift from your perfectly paved plan….and head straight for the bumpy dirt road. Just to see if you can do it. Just to see if it trips you up, turns you bitter or instead increases your determination and focus to keep going. I am glad that….so far….I have chosen the latter.
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The first thing you need to know about infertility is…it sucksJ I wish there is a more delicate way to put it. The truth is I have experienced every emotion under the sun…and I’ve most likely experienced them to a degree words fail to fully explain because of the drugs that race through your veins during the entire process.  Hot flashes….HOLY. That term took on a whole new meaning. My one piece of advice: if your Dr. ever puts you on a drug called Norinthindrone….Run SCREAMING from his office. The best part….I was on a double dose. Vomiting….no big deal.  Zits….there just isn’t room for more…but sure…bring ‘em on.  Weight gain….why not.  Anxiety….loss of sleep.  I took a double dose of that stuff for 5 months. I deserve something fabulous!!!! All of these things are piled on top of you at the most vulnerable time in your life. A time in which you feel like all CHOICE and all CONTROL of your life is slipping through your fingers.
Now imagine it happening to a control freak like me. Yikes.  There were some pretty dark days.
The second thing you need to know is: People are born without tact. It is best to feel bad for them instead of visualize yourself choking them as they spout out things that are rude and ridiculous. The art of “knowing what to say” is as valuable as “knowing what NOT to say”. Some people are private. Some people are open. EVERYBODY’S problem or issue is drastically different and cannot be compared. You will be sucked into this BIG time. Everyone you meet will tell you EVERY story they’ve ever heard. So and so adopted….so and so tried for 10 years and then had twins. The truth is….they aren’t YOU. It does very little to numb the pain actually. 
Any woman I meet that is struggling to get her children here to earth….will be promptly:  1-bear hugged and told she doesn’t deserve it., 2- followed by me buying her some kind of baked good or ice-cream shake…taking her to Zupa’s for lunch…and then letting her complain to her hearts content and I will NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE say anything about a sister, friend, aunt, cousin who just had surgery and has been trying to conceive for 10 years, etc.
The third thing you need to know is: Hypersensitivity takes on a whole new meaning. One minute you are completely productive and happy….loving life…the next you make an entire batch of cookies, eat them, call your friend and complain…call your husband and ball till your face is covered in snot…refuse to cook dinner for a week straight and online shop until your completely brokeJ
Of course, and more importantly you hit your knees and pray that you’ll make it and read wonderful uplifiting books that calm you and remind you of the big picture. You read your CHILD a book ….because you have one…and he’s perfect and darling and sassy…. and then snuggle with him. You enjoy every minute, every milestone and every holiday with more intensity. You feel more lucky…you feel more blessed….you feel more vulnerable (which isn’t fun). You pour over your scrapbooks and rub the ultrasound pictures with your thumb…..convincing yourself that it happened. It happened without even trying! And it can happen again.
You succumb to HIS WILL and give up yours.  I think that is the ultimate test.
Without entirely opening up my personal feelings and experiences on this BLOG….I do hope to help someone else through this journey. Afterall…if you’ve just become a member of this club called “infertility” (especially since it’s against your willJ) I figured you’d need a friend! I hope you’ll feel comfort in knowing that I lived through it…and you will too. I hope you find comfort in my words and can dig deep and fight through it.  Keep thinking about the day you hold them for the first time…and smell their heavenly smell and know that it was all worth it. All of it.
In July 2011 I found out again that another procedure had not worked. I had become a professional at dealing with the emotion and pain involved in that disappointment.  If that is even possible???
Small history:
After trying for an entire YEAR on our own I knew something must be wrong. Jaxson came the MOMENT I wanted a baby…and everything went so smooth and perfect.
We started seeing Doctors. We were told EVERYTHING under the sun. Nothing was wrong. Then something was wrong. Then it was “unexplained infertility”. Then I had a major cyst on my ovary. Then I had awful surgery to cut it out. Then medicine for HEALING for 6 months. Then, in the meantime, we tried 5 artificial inseminations. None of them were successful. Each month of my life became more difficult to live and each month demanded more from me and my body. I was struggling.  
THEN….I met Dr. Peterson. I love him. He is upfront….but NEVER blunt. He is honest….but leaves you HOPE. He is a religious man and I am grateful for that. He is in the baby-making business….and so it’s necessary to leave room for “God’s Will” in the picture. We are on the same page in that department.  I knew that we were in the right hands. Plus…he loved me because I was 26! Which means I am a “baby” when it comes to all thisJ  I think he KNEW I would try 15 times before giving up! Which means he had pretty good odds of being successful.
We have been seeing him for 7 months.
After my last unsuccessful procedure….Jarom was ready for the next step. Jarom always steps in as my “fix it” man. He is my perfect partner.  No more messing around he said….and that was that. 
IT was never really discussed. We both KNEW what our next move would be.  
At that point I decided to keep a journal of this once in a lifetime experience. Afterall….not everybody gets to have this experience (Look…there I go thinking on the positive side again…go meJ)  Hopefully it will have a happy ending. Of course, that is all depending on my outlook and I am trying my hardest to keep smilingJ I have a lot to be happy about. I am reminded daily….as I look at our son and miracle: Jaxson.
Infertility: My story.
This is hopefully the final chapter of a 2 year journey.
I am anxious and nervous and my emotions are very close to the surface. I am also in awe of medicine and fascinated by the capabilities that we have available to bless our lives. 
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July 29th, 2011
Today we met with Dr. Peterson…..my angel on earthJ    We had a nice long talk. We laughed.  We talked about how I had the most beautiful SON and that once upon a time I hadn’t belonged to the “infertility club”. I told Dr. Peterson EVERYTHING I felt. I sat on his table and told him that being a part of this new club sucked. I asked him how I got here??? He assured me I wouldn’t be a member foreverJ
 I told him how I ate an entire row of Chips Ahoy in a moment of panic the previous afternoon. I asked him how painful it was going to be? What more could my body go through at this point?  I made him laugh A LOT. Jarom says he likes meJ  That made me happy.   I’m not sure how many patients he gets that aren’t afraid to hold back. Never underestimate the number of questions I can come up with. Never underestimate my passion for being a mother. That’s why I loved this man from day one.  I looked him in the eye and told him…. “I’ll have more babies. Not one…not two…but lots.”  He looked at me…after breaking some not-so-good news about my health and ability to do that and said “From the moment I met you I didn’t doubt it.”
I know in my heart that my next baby (or two:) might be a bit stubborn….and causing me a lot more pain than I deserve (and that goes for mental, emotional and PHYSICAL)….but I also like to think he or she knows how hard I am fighting to get them here.  I like to think they are very aware of what mommy and daddy are sacrificing. I will surely remind them as a teenager how insanely expensive they were before they were even born!!!
Above all I hope they know that we’ll never give up. “Faith without works is dead” has been our motto over the past two years. I have Faith that things will work out for our good…but in the meantime we are working tirelessly to do our part. We are stretching and willing to sacrifice. When the time finally comes for them to join our family they will be bring us more joy than I can put into words.  I feel comfort knowing they know that.
It’s kind of ironic that after all of this LACK OF CONTROL…..we get to control the experience of making our next baby or babies to such a degree.  We have decided to fork over the big bucks and do IVF with ICSI.  Invitro Fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Why not, I say?!? Spending large chunks of money each month on infertility has become a regular part of life…along with the Comcast and Questar billJ
I am feeling very lucky tonight….and I don’t always feel that way about his whole ordeal…so it’s worth recording! Ha!
I have spent more time that I’d like to admit being negative about it. I felt frustrated that Jarom worked so hard only to spend money on something that “should be” free.  Something that was once “free” for us as well! 
I’ve been trying hard to view it differently.
1.       I am lucky that I get to try.
2.       I am lucky that Jarom and I are united in our dedication to do “whatever it takes” for our family.
3.       I am lucky Jarom works hard and that we have the means  to take this opportunity at all.
4.       I am lucky to have the best Doctor in Utah. The head of Infertility and Endocrinology at the University of Utah.  I will forever be in love with him for making this possible.
5.       I am lucky that I have a beautiful, healthy son and that I get to experience all the joys of being a busy MOTHER while going through this trial.
6.       I am lucky to have Jarom.  Oh how I love him.  

I know many women who haven’t had the opportunity to have ANY  children yet…and I can most definitely say that would make this process much more difficult. While I am sick and frustrated and trying everything I can….I get to be a MOTHER. I get to video swimming lessons!
I get to take Jax to Disneyland….and buy him a suit on his first day as a SUNBEAM in primary.  I get to by action figures and snuggle and sing songs.
He is my sanity.  Who knew that somebody so small could be the GLUE literally holding me togetherJ
We have decided that September is itJ I am not sure how many people we will tell just yet.  I am not sure of much right now…other than I will be starting my injection classes in the next few weeks and learning how to properly inject myself with drugs multiple times a day! Let the fun begin.
I also know that I will gain weight and get insane acne. Fun stuff. Sign me up.
Oh and I know that Jarom will be giving me the large injections in my butt a few times a weekJ Right now I am just praying I won’t faint…and praying that jarom won’t eitherJ  
I have lots of plans for my last month of freedom as I like to call it. The following months will surely be the most trying and stressful of our lives. So…we are living it up in August.  We are headed to Lake Powell for the week….and shortly after we get back Jarom is sending me to the Spa for an entire day of treatments and relaxationJ  We have a family vacation at the end of August and I am SOOOO excited. There is nothing better than a week straight in the SUN with my boys. I plan on soaking them up. I plan on counting all my blessings and not letting this horrible “infertility” rob me of one more day.

Shortly after returning and spending some quality time with Jaxson….we will start the process.

I can do this.
I will do this…if that’s what it takes. Even though I am scared to death.
Me

If you are struggling with Infertility I am giving you a big hug and telling you to stay strong. It may get worse before it gets better! If you keep fighting and PRIORITIZE your life (cut the Stuff, money, drama & friends who repeatedly tell you how easy it is for them to get pregnant:):) IT WILL HAPPEN.

He has a plan for you.

xoxoxo
kristin

7 comments:

Bartholomew Family said...

Kris- You are truly amazing. I look up to you for all you have been through. You are helping so many and being an inspiration to everyone around you. Thanks for the great example of faith and courage. We are so excited for you both and can't wait to love on the little ones who have been waiting to join our family. You are an amazing mother with a huge heart. You are a sass but that's what makes life fun! I love you and look up to you so much :) Stay positive!

Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing. I struggle with infertility as well. After 6 years for trying, fertiltiy drugs and other testting we were told we would never have a child of our own. We were able to adopt our oldest 5 years ago. 9 months later I found out I was amazingly pregnant. At 11 1/2 weeks we lost that baby. We put in for another adoption but also started fertilty drugs and we were able to have our 2nd son. 9 months later I was pregant with our daughter. No drugs! I don't know where the rest of my life will lead, if there will be another and if so when, but through the last 11 years I have also learned that it is HIS timing and HE has a plan for us. Infertility has been my hardest challenge, but it has also been the best learning experience and the best way I have come to know that my Father in Heaven is aware of me and loves me.

Good luck with your babies! You are an amazing mom!

The Cunninghams said...

Wow Kristin! Thanks for sharing this... especially since it's such a personal story! You are a strong woman.

You are such a good Mom to Jax and I can't wait to see you be the Mama to twins! I'll see ya at the family Christmas party. :) I hope you're sporting a cute little bump. haha!

Sabrina said...

You're an inspiration Kristin; I love how honest you are and hate that you had to go through that awful emotional trial...along with physical pain.

I also love to hear how much love you have for Jaxon; your'e an amazing mother and you'll bet just as good with these twins as you were with #1.

Good luck on the pregnancy! Love you!

Jessica&Cameron said...

Kristen,
I used to be in your ward--forever ago. I have always loved your blog. I love how real you are. I get tired of reading the same blogs that talk about how perfect life is all the time.
Thanks for keeping it real! Congrats on the twins!

Michelle said...

I just came upon your blog through one of my friends facebook commenting on your post about twins, I was intrigued because I am expecting twins also. It seems as though you and I have been going through the same things for the past 2 years...and for the past few months. All I've wanted is a sibling or another child for my 4 year old son (we sure do have a lot in common) and I am 27. I have been going to the University of Utah R.E. for the past year and have had various tests and were about to move onto IVF from IUI but finally are now expecting twins in May! I have barely been able to get myself out of bed these last few months or away from the barf bowl;) Anyways, I loved reading your story. It made me cry. I know how you are feeling and exactly what you have gone through. All of those feelings of anger, and not being in control (I am the biggest control freak, ask my husband). But when it all comes down to it just putting our faith in the Savior. I'd love to chat or be blogging friends, I have so much more to say to someone going through the same things as me. I can't wait to find out the genders so I can go insane shopping. You can email me at hot_pink_poke@hotmail.com I'd love to hear from you. Michelle

John and Randi Huston said...

You don't know me, but thank you so much for your post. Holy Cow! Just what I needed today. It's so nice to know there are those out there that know exactly how I am feeling. The Lord works in mysterious ways. :)