Friday, May 13, 2016

me of little faith

Lets all just pretend this was posted Thursday night like it was supposed to be…
I thought this post was going to be short, primarily because I just spent the last fifteen hours at work. Let’s just say my compensatory time this week has earned me a day off! But you aren’t here to listen to me whine about my extended work week, you want to know the important stuff; the baby stuff.  
I know you’ve waited three months to hear about my infertility, believe me, i’ve been waiting right along with you. Before I get into the current situation, I’ll start with a little recap of where this all began.
This is the formula for how it all started: Me + Congenital Hypopituitarism = Congenital Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism or secondary ovarian failure – essentially this is a condition in which the ovaries produce little or no sex hormones due to a secondary cause. We all know, in my case, it is the pit. The core of me. Wait, is that how the pituitary acquired this name? Nevermind, I’m too tired to think about that right now. #welearnsomethingneweveryday #nowiamthinkingaboutavocados
Anyways, That was simple (rolls eyes), right? Now, for the hard part. What my reproductive endocrinologists (RE) is going to do about it. The intricate phases of our body that cause one to get pregnant is mind blowing. How all these systems, hormones, and functions come together to grow that perfect little bundle of joy is a miracle all in itself! If I am able to conceive and sustain a pregnancy, God will have brought this miracle full circle. For reasons unknown, before I was born, my pituitary gland failed and now that same pituitary gland will fail to support my own pregnancies.
Rooted in faith.
The first time I heard it would be very difficult for me to have children of my own was when I was seventeen years old. My doctor noticed something may be wrong in addition to my thyroid and growth hormone problems. At that age, I shrugged it off. I thought nah, by that time, they will have figured me out and developed technology to help all people have babies. I knew I wanted kids, but I wasn’t really worried about it. Obviously, the older I got the harder it became. I’ve shared a few posts about infertility so far, about the geneticist who shattered my hopes, the diagnoses that lead to infertility, and about Aaron, and the relationship we’ve shared. 
Now for all the good stuff!
In January a team of doctors from NIH and Walter Reed presented my case at an NIH conference to determine the best course of action moving forward.  In February they informed me that my uterus was far too small to support a pregnancy and that my lining was far too weak to allow for an egg to implant. A crushing blow to the timeline I had set for myself and the journey that I wanted. That same day, I started taking estrogen supplements. I was upset and had little faith in God’s plan during that time. I did hours of research after that appointment; dug through NIH medical reports, googled infertility blogs and “growing a uterus”. I found nothing that used those terms except for one tiny comment on some little known blog that mentioned her doctor using estrogen to increase the size and lining of her uterus. Did God want me to find that? A sliver of light in a mind filled with darkness? This reminded me that I needed to have faith in God’s will for my infertility journey, so I stopped researching  and just prayed the medicine would do its job.
My appointment was last week. I texted a few people about it and asked them to be praying for me as I went in for my ultrasound. Before I knew it, those friends had reached out to other friends and I had several text messages, encouraging me with bible verses, songs, and prayer. My old roommates called, they prayed with me on the phone as I left for my appointment.
I wish faith was so clearly reflected
in me as the clouds are in this water.
It was nerve wracking. I started thinking research and knowing things about hormone therapy would pave my path. That the more I knew, the less I needed God’s steadfast love and intervention over me. I thought it was all about my knowledge and once again failed to understand my Father and his hand in the situation. It doesn’t matter how much research I do, how many blogs I pour over, how I try to rationalize a doctor's comments. Everything has already been decided and I still am continuously of little faith.  
After the ultrasound, my doctor left the room with no comment, no brief hint of emotion besides, I think you have a cyst on your left ovary.  When she came back into the room I truly believed that was the end. Just like that, she said my uterus had doubled in size and the lining had grown substantially. (Did I hear it right?) That everything looked good and hopefully the cyst on the left ovary caused by the hormones would go away on its own. She said I would take the estrogen a few more days and then begin gonadotropin injections (LH & FSH in the form of Menopur) to prepare follicles. That I could move onto the next step of preparing my body for pregnancy!
I wanted to jump up and down. I couldn’t call Aaron fast enough! I was (and am) more joyful than I have been in some time. I am of so little faith. I did not trust God to provide. I know that this doesn’t mean I will necessarily be able to have children, but it is a step in the right direction. Right now, I am hopeful.
#CHOCOLATE!
I began the injections Monday evening. So far, I haven’t experienced any crazy hormonal side effects; like throwing tissue boxes across the room, uncontrollably crying at doggy adoption commercials, demanding chocolate on a hourly basis (well maybe this one) or growing an extra arm. The injections do burn, but I suppose (said dramatically) I can live with that. Injections are nothing new to me. I imagine it can be somewhat of an adjustment for someone not used to being stuck with a sharp pointed object. I definitely don’t recommend it if it can be avoided.

The RE thinks it will take around 60 days to “wake up my ovaries” and spur them into creating follicles. That being said, I don’t have to wait 60 days to go back to the doctors. I will be monitored on a weekly basis with blood work and ultrasounds. Once follicles reach a proper size, we can talk about the trigger shot, IUI, IVF or natural. We are hoping for the latter. This will depend on how many follicles could implant. With my medically issues, twins aren’t really an option for me.
Little faith. Why do we fall back on thinking our own abilities are enough? Why does it take God showing up in big ways, unimaginable ways, to drive our hope and faith in him for a little while longer. I long to trust God effortlessly, not because it should be easy, but because that trust is my second nature. I have been able to watch my faith grow over the course of this journey and my self assurance lessen, but that faith still is so small compared to a mustard seed. I want to go into every future appointment just as I came out of this last one. With the unwavering belief that God is good and faithful. That my trust for him be built upon my knowledge of God and not the knowledge of the internet and my own mind. That his will become my only prayer.
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

-R

3 comments:

  1. Love this post and love the outcome! And are you SURE you're not growing a third arm? That could be very useful... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love following your story. So happy for you!

    ReplyDelete