Friday, April 29, 2011

It finally happened...

I worked in the Maternity unit at Riverton Hospital yesterday. When you go to a new place to work- which I do as a float pool employee- everyone wants to get to know you. I appreciate that it gives me a chance to get to know the people I am working with too.
Whenever I have worked in a maternity unit the first question always seems to be "Do you have kids?" (This happens in other units too but not usually the first question.)
My canned response is "No... but we are trying." This response typically gets a "good luck" or "oh" and more questions some which include how old I am or how long have you been married?
Well yesterday was the first time EVER that I have got this response...
"If you just relax you will get pregnant. I mean seriously I know so many people that once they quit trying they were able to have bam they were pregnant with twins and everything."
This was from someone that I was working with, she is also a CNA. I tried to calmly explain to her that "relaxing" wasn't going to help us because it was physically impossible for me to get pregnant without medical intervention. She then said "I assure you that if you could just relax about it you can get pregnant!"
I decided this conversation wasn't going to go anywhere good and I was going to just end up more annoyed and possibly tell her off so I just got up and walked away. My telling her off would have included- "well I wish I would have met you a year ago because all the money we have been paying a fertility specialist wouldn't have gone to waste to learn that I just needed to RELAX! I'm so glad that your one year of nursing school and 1.5 years working on a mom/baby unit have made you an expert on the matter since here you see the happy end result of "just relaxing"!
Now on the other hand the patients I had yesterday were fantastic and it makes me even more excited to start working on the Maternity unit at American Fork Hospital. It is so fun to watch a new mom and/or dad love on their baby. One dad specifically yesterday just made me want to cry with the way he talked to his little one. I needed to check the baby vitals so I asked dad to put the baby in the bassinet for me. He was so nervous and looked at her and said "I promised daddy is going to get better at this." It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

Until next time...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jelly Bean Prayer

My cousin's wife posted this on her Facebook page. Her daughter's preschool teacher sent it home with them for Easter. I am giving it with a small bag of jelly beans to my Primary class for Easter Sunday- which is tomorrow. Thanks Adrienne for sharing!

The Jelly Bean Prayer
RED is for the blood He gave.
GREEN is for the grass He made.
YELLOW is for the sun so bright.
ORANGE is for the edge of night.
BLUE is for the sins we made.
WHITE is for the grace He gave.
PURPLE is for His hour of sorrow.
PINK is for our new tomorrow.
A bag full of jelly beans colorful and sweet,
Is a prayer, is a promise, is a special treat

Lazy Saturday Ramblings

Today is a lazy day at the Nielson home. The IUI was this morning and JD had major dental work done yesterday so we are just hanging out at home and resting.

I tend to go a little bit stir crazy so I will probably start getting some stuff done for our Easter dinner. I am making deviled eggs (one of JD's favorites) and potato salad along with the traditional ham and asparagus. When I told him I was going to boil the eggs today for them he asked me if I could save three of them for him to take to work. He has never asked for boiled eggs for lunch before so I asked him if that was something he liked and I would make sure we had some for him all the time. He said no we are playing a game at work with them on Wednesday...WHAT?? Apparently they roll the eggs towards each other and if your egg cracks your out. I don't know if I will ever understand the games they come up with at DHI or maybe it is just boys being boys. Either way my man will have 3 boiled eggs to take to work with him on Wednesday and I hope he wins.

Up next...we have a trip planned to Denver at the end of May- Memorial Day weekend, in fact. It will be so nice to get out of down for a few days and enjoy a road trip together. I love those moments in the car with my husband- even though I sleep more than I probably should when we drive anywhere more than 100 miles. When I'm not asleep we have some great conversations and my Mr. tries to get me to listen to some of his favorite music- it will never be my favorite- sorry babe!
We were supposed to go to Arizona last week but with all of the delay with the IUI we had to cancel the trip. We chose Denver because JD's favorite baseball team (St Louis Cardinals) are playing the Rockies and that is within a day driving distance from our house. Neither of us have been to a Major League baseball game so it will be a great time. If you have an suggestions of things we should do while we are in Denver we are open for suggestions.

In other news... I am looking out one of our windows right now and so pleased with how my plants look. They aren't plants for the garden but rather ones that I transplanted from a basket that was sent I think by the Monteview Ward to my grandma Sullivan's funeral in January. As I look at them I am remembering the table of plants that was in my grandparents living room most of my growing up years. I don't know that grandma appreciated the plants as much as grandpa did but because grandpa enjoyed them so they were there. I really don't remember when they disappeared but these plants in our window remind me of that because these plants are important to me and I don't know that JD cares one way or the other if we have them but I enjoy them so they stay.

And another thought- I am ready for spring to arrive. We have had a few nice warm days but most days for the last two weeks have been overcast and/or raining. I am not one that typically complains about the weather but I'm ready for some sunshine. I want to plant at least a flower garden this year and it is more fun to play in the dirt when the sun is shining on my face. On the upside the trees are blooming and leaves are budding and we are determined to go to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point next weekend. My sister and Ryan are bringing Rosten down next Saturday to go to the Baby Animal Birthday at Thanksgiving Point and I can't wait to see how he reacts when he sees the baby animals and can touch them. He loves the zoo so I'm certain it will be fun.

And finally... I turned 34 on Thursday. How did I get that old? I don't feel like I should be 34 although I'm not entirely sure how old I feel- really it changes from time to time. J.D. also turned 34 on April 15 and for our birthday and anniversary gifts to each other we bought a nice Nikon camera that I have had my eye for over a year. I can't wait to use it to take pictures at the Tulip Festival next weekend and while we are in Denver. I have a coupon to take a class to learn how to use it- which reminds me I need register for a class to use that coupon.

Happy Easter!

Until next time...

Friday, April 22, 2011

CD 24

So most people have a 28 day cycle...not this girl. I take hCG trigger shots on CD24. I had another ultrasound this morning. Left ovary is the winner this cycle- she has produced two beautiful follicles- one size 19 and one size 20. The follicles had to be at least an 18 to proceed with the IUI. The right ovary must have decided she had enough growth this cycle because her follicles were still the same size they were on Wednesday- almost a 15.
I knew things must look good immediately because of the smile on AM's face when she was doing the ultrasound. I felt like we were going to be ready to roll because of the "movement" I have felt in my ovaries the last couple of days.
So what does all of this mean? Well we are scheduled to do the IUI tomorrow, Saturday, April 23. AM and I shared a couple high fives and a hug because my ovaries decided to participate this month- after much coaxing and celebrating that insurance was now covering all of the ultrasounds 100 percent. She also reminded me- as is her duty- that even with two great looking follicles we still have to get sperm and egg to meet and get along and then implant in the beautiful uterine lining. I am still hesitantly optimistic about the success of this cycle. We would be thrilled if just one of the eggs was fertilized and we got a baby but if both were...well let's not get ahead of ourselves.
After the insemination tomorrow we have a two week wait before we can find out if we had success or not. Your prayers on our behalf would be greatly appreciated during this two week wait.

Until next time...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We have progress

Yesterday we had another ultrasound to see if my ovaries have decided to really participate in this program or not. After 16 days of injections I was certainly hoping that was the case because I am starting to feel like a pin cushion. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful there is something we can do to help us have a baby but getting poked in the belly everyday for over two weeks starts to wear on a girl.
So back to the ultrasound...I watch AM to see her facial expression when she is doing the ultrasound because I know she is as anxious as we are to have success. She always checks the uterine lining first to make sure it looks good...she wasn't smiling and it made me a little nervous. Then she looked at my right ovary and she said- that looks good...we have close to a 15mm follicle and bunch of little ones. I always have small cysts on my ovaries- that is just part of PCOS but with the injections there are some that are bigger because of the injections. She then moved to the left ovary and she smiled...she actually smiled! We have a 15mm follicle and a 16 mm follicle. This is such great news! I started crying out of shear joy that all of the injections had actually worked...s l o w l y but they worked. She instructed me to decrease my dose of injections to 75 iu a day instead of 225 iu because we don't want the follicles to go crazy. I have another appointment tomorrow for another- hopefully final- ultrasound before an IUI.
All of this is great news because we need to have at least an 18mm to do an IUI and we are edging ever closer to canceling this cycle if we didn't have some movement and growth in the follicles.

I missed writing about our last appointment when there was some growth and movement and the largest follicle- only one- was a 12mm. AM told us that there were several possibilities that could happen with the high does of injections I was getting.
Number one- we could get at least 3 good follicles and proceed as planned with the IUI.
Number 2- the follicles could go crazy and a lot could develop and be ready all at once. If that happened we would have two choices- extract the extra eggs. If there are more than three follicles they would extract any over three and proceed with the IUI and "save" the other eggs or switch to and IVF cycle which would mean extracting all of the eggs and then implanting 2-3. Number 3 canceling the cycle all together because we just simply didn't have mature enough follicles.
I seriously started stressing the minute we walked out the door of Dr. F's office wondering what we were going to do. This cycle has been so expensive already because of the injections. If we switched to an IVF cycle it would be an additional $3000. If we didn't see any more progress and had to cancel it would mean all of the medication this cycle was a waste. I asked JD to give me a blessing and afterward I felt so much better and knew that everything would work out just fine and we would be able to do what was best if we had to make a decision. Luckily at our appointment yesterday when I asked AM about all of it she said we weren't going to have to worry about doing anything but an IUI at this point based on what she saw in the ultrasound. If I have learned nothing else from this experience it is there is no guarantee about anything- it is all about how my body decides to participate. Here's to hoping that tomorrow these follicles are where they need to be and we don't have any surprises pop up that weren't there on Wednesday.
Until next time...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Support and Inspiration

I have been fairly vocal about our struggle with infertility beyond our blog. The most specific details are here but I have made comments on Facebook as well. I posted the following on Facebook about a week ago... Infertility is a heart-wrenching, faith-questioning, relationship-testing, life-altering experience. April is Infertility Awareness Month. 7.3 Million Americans are fighting this fight day in and day out. Post this as your status if you or someone you know has walked to Hell and back for the chance to be a MOM or DAD. ♥
I wasn't expecting an response but I got an email from a woman I grew up with. She was so kind and open about the struggle that she and her husband had for the first 10 years of their marriage. She had heard all of the "helpful hints" that anyone that is trying to have a baby will hear and she had gone through the treatments we are going through right now. She gave me some truly helpful advice and reminded me of some things that I needed. One of the most important things I took from her email was that our parents raised us to be strong individuals and to solve our own problems. Infertility is something that I can't solve on my own and I need to rely on Heavenly Father and remember that He loves me. She gave me such great advice to improve myself spiritually, physically and to strengthen our marriage and get as much education as possible while we are waiting and trying.
I can't express enough gratitude for the blessing it was to receive that email when I did. I know I am loved by many and I feel the comfort of the prayers that have been offered on our behalf. In reality I don't want prayers that we will get pregnant as much as prayers that we will be able to accept the will of the Father in this process and we will get what we need to from the experience.
Infertility is such a personal struggle but I have learned from this that it is ok to speak up and share your experience with others it breaks down barriers and it makes it possible to help others.

Last weekend was our stake conference. I had been praying that I would hear something at conference that would help me to know that Heavenly Father was aware of me and the concerns that I have right now. President Bowen spoke first and talked about marriage and family being a key part of Heavenly Father's plan. He gave five points to help strength our marriages.
1- Put Christ first in my marriage
2-Substitute selfishness with sacrifice.
3- Show respect for others feelings.
4-Thou shalt love thy husband/wife with all thy heart.
He spoke about lust defiling the greatest gift we can give in this
5- Come ye out of Babylon- live the standards and morals that God has revealed.
Great advice and things I needed to hear. I was overcome with gratitude as I sat there and listened to this talk and realized how J.D. does each of these things. I couldn't do it without him.
There were many other wonderful talks that followed the same topics of strengthening family relationships. Sunday as President Bowen spoke again I was so grateful for his words. The comment that spoke to my heart the most was we must experience adversity so we can enjoy our happily ever after.
While it may not appear on this blog that I have more going on in my life than simply sitting around wallowing in sorrow and despair I am busy living life and enjoying this time in my life. I am grateful that this is my trial. I am grateful I have been given the opportunity to strengthen my relationship with my Savior and my husband. I don't know what the future holds for us but this I do know... I am loved more than can be measured by earthly standards.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CD 15

So today was another ultrasound for cycle day 15. I didn't get my hopes up for this ultrasound because I didn't want a big let down when we got to the office and saw what my ovaries have been up to with 5 more days of injections. Apparently I got my hopes up more than I anticipated because I was bawling in the doctor's office during the appointment when we were told that there wasn't much change in the size of the follicles. They need to be at least an 18 and we are at a 9 as of today- after 8 days of injections.
I was assured by the nurse practitioner, AM, that this is a "common" for PCOS patients. She was so nice as I was on the table crying and holding J.D.'s hand after she told us there wasn't much of a change in the size of the follicles. Basically they are going .5 mm per day with injections- not nearly enough. She said that some cycles the ovaries respond well to the injections and other times they are slow to respond and other times they just don't.
The good news is that it appears that I am responding it is just slow. She said it was a good sign that I was able to get one good size follicle with the last IUI that we did. AM told us that we have two options at this point... #1 we can cancel this cycle although she wasn't encouraging that because we have already paid for all of the medications so far and that would be a waste. #2- we can keep going, increase the dosage and be patient while we try to convince my ovaries to participate in our plan to have a family. She said that my lining looks great- which she was very pleased with. She wanted to talk to Dr. F before she told us exactly what to increase our dose to tonight. I got a call this afternoon from their office and I was told that Dr. F said "DON'T GIVE UP!
Soooo...we decided to move forward with the increased injections- so now I am getting 225 iu of bravelle every night instead of 150 iu. Please include us in your prayers.

Until next time...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Injections continue

This morning I went in for an ultrasound for CD 10. I have been doing injections (150 IU of Bravelle) for the past 3 days after taking 5 days of 100 mg of clomid. I was hoping for something great because I have "felt some movement" in my lady business. The nurse practitioner, AM, told me that the follicles on my ovaries weren't close to being big enough. She measured five follicles which were 6.9, 7.1, 7.6, 7.8 & 8.1. They need to be at least measuring a 16 before we can do a trigger shot of HCG and do an IUI. She said she would like to see them bigger by now but with PCOS it is a never a guarantee what is going to happen and it takes patience.

*Seriously wondering why I didn't stand in that line in the pre-existence because I do not have patience for things like this. I guess it's true when you pray for patience you aren't given the attribute but rather an opportunity to be patient. The past eight months has been nothing if not an opportunity to be patient and acquire that attribute.*

So onward we go. We continue on with the injections...150 IU a day for the next 5 days and possibly longer depending on how my body decides to participate in the program. I am scheduled for another ultrasound on April 13- (CD 15).

I am praying and requesting your prayers that things look better then than they did today because I'm not sure I can mentally handle anymore of this. As I type that I can't help but remember that a loving Heavenly Father doesn't give us more than we can handle. I KNOW that is true but I can't help but wonder where my breaking point is going to be and what I need to be learning from this beyond patience.

In other news...I had a job interview at American Fork Hospital in the Mom/Baby unit on Tuesday. The interview went really well. I would still be working for Intermountain just a lot closer to our house. The hospital is less than a mile from our house. I got a call yesterday from the HR department and she said the manager wanted her to check my references and I will likely be getting a job offer on Monday or Tuesday of next week. One of the best parts of the entire interview as at the end, after I had answered all the standard, why should we hire you, what would your manager tell me about you type questions. She told me that she had sent an email to my manager, Jill and asked her if she would recommend me. Jill told her that I was in the top 5 of her best CNA's in the entire float pool. What a nice compliment- it totally made my day.

J.D. just started teaching again at Broadview University in West Jordan last Monday. He really enjoys teaching and I am so grateful for all of his hard work to support our family. He loves what he does and it shows in everything that he does. He continues to apply for jobs with other companies- we know there is going to be a perfect fit one of these days. Don't get me wrong, we are so grateful that he has a stable job now but we found out that he is significantly underpaid for his experience and degree and so we have been looking into other opportunities since we found out.

Until next time...

Political opinion

We are facing a federal government shutdown if our elected leaders can't find a way to compromise by midnight tonight. After doing some research I found out this isn't the first time this kind of thing has happened. In fact, in 1995 the government "shut down" for nearly 2 weeks. I guess since I was a senior in high school I didn't pay attention to the news and in reality I didn't think it affected me at the time so I don't remember it happening.
I am concerned for those that I know that may be affected in a more direct way if this shutdown does happen. I have friends that are serving in the military and the concern is they will not get paid for the service they are providing. Military families don't make a lot of money to begin with, then throw this on top of that- not a pretty picture. The claim is there will be a "delay" in being paid if the government may be shut down. I just heard that even if the government shuts down that we still have to file our taxes on time- even though the IRS is a federal agency and they won't be processing tax returns. I realize this shutdown may only be for a short period of time but it seems pathetic to me that the federal government expects it's citizens to be more responsible than it is willing to be...unbelievable but not uncommon.
Another reason I have an interest in what is going on beyond the impact this shut down could have down the road is one of the "sticking points" that is causing this budget to not get passed. Planned Parenthood is a federally supported program and the Republicans are saying they don't think it is right for the federal government to pay for people to have abortions. I will stand up right now and say I could not agree more! I understand there are circumstances that may make abortions "necessary" but that isn't the point here- the point is that our government is willing to pay for abortions. WHAT THE...???
Please explain to me how that is not a lifestyle choice...I think it is much more of a lifestyle choice than our desire to have a child and not being able to have one without medical assistance. I am told that the fertility treatments we are going through right now are not covered by insurance because it is a lifestyle choice. Adding insult to injury- I pay taxes and the fact that my tax dollars may pay for someone to have an abortion that is paid for by MY hard earned money makes me sick and ANGRY!

To say there is injustice in this is an understatement!

Praying for our leaders to find a solution.

Until next time...