**I've been away from the blog for a few weeks, after two consecutive rounds of company followed by a week of feeling a bit under the weather. Everything is fine, though. Thanks to those of you who checked on us or have been praying! We had great visits from family and a dear friend. And after a trip to the doctor today, I hope to be feeling better soon (I think I have a mild stomach bug).**
As so many of you who live with infertility and/or miscarriage know, sometimes there are very sad days. Of course, that is true about life in general and for people in lots and lots of different situations. I appreciate having this blog to vent some of those feelings that I have during particularly frustrating or sad days. I would even say that sometimes there are simply sad moments that come up during otherwise normal or pleasant days. I use this blog to write about those little moments or big moments, and I know that very often the subject and the tone of the posts you read here are sad.
But one of the things that I want you to know is this: I'm not always sad.
If you don't already know me in real life, I want to tell you that there is a much, much lighter side of me! I do have a lot of joy in my life and I'm grateful for so many blessings. Yes, this has been the hardest experience of my life. It has definitely changed me, in some ways good and in some ways not so good. It truly is a paradox sometimes. For the most part, my experience with recurrent miscarriage has made me far more cautious about opening up to people. It is really hard for me to let others in and share the really hard stuff. At the same time, I wear my heart on my sleeve much more now than I ever used to. Having a blog has helped me work out some of those feelings that are hard to describe when I am faced with questions in person. It's much easier to work it all out from the safety of my living room, moving words and sentences around and putting them in the right order before I officially put them out there.
When I made the decision to start a blog about infertility, I knew that it would most likely only show part of the whole picture, although I do try hard to present (above all) an honest picture of this daily struggle. My hope is that it is a true reflection of the ups and the downs. It sure is nice to have friends who care and understand when I am feeling down, and I'm always overwhelmed and touched by the response. Sometimes I wish that I wrote a blog not about infertility, but about something, anything, happier. But I realize that I probably never would have felt compelled to do this, to reach out like this, without an experience like this one. It's one of those strange "good things" that has come out of it I guess.
And something else I've discovered is this: Sometimes I need a kick in the pants. Okay, I've known this about myself for a while. I know that sometimes I freak out and I close up and go into hermit mode. I need some encouragement or a friendly nudge in the right direction.
A few weeks ago I confessed to you that I hadn't been to see my fertility specialist in well over a year. I was too afraid to make the call for an appointment. You see, in the years before I started this blog, we were very active and involved with doctors and labs and charting cycles and all of that stuff. I know that isn't a side of our experience that you've really seen here. It just so happened that by the time I started writing about it, we were already almost 7 years into trying to have a baby. At that time we had just started seeing a new doctor. We were hopeful about having our fertility struggles looked at with fresh and very capable eyes. Dr. G ordered several new tests and did surgery in January of 2008 to clean up some scar tissue and mild endometriosis that I had. He told us to try again for a pregnancy. We didn't usually have to try for very long. But this time it has been different. Many, many months have passed, but in a way it is like new territory for us. My husband and I have been through a lot together over the years, but we have never felt like we were taking a passive role in our fertility.
Most of this blog has been about waiting. I know that doesn't look very active sometimes, but it never felt like we had given up. Sometimes even waiting can be a very active process! Admittedly, though, I was in a rut. I had let fear take over. I knew that we weren't seeing any progress or any change and I wasn't okay with that anymore. But I was afraid to pick it all back up and pursue it again. After my last post, several of you (along with my family) have encouraged me to get over that fear, and more importantly, not to give up on my dream of having a baby.
Yesterday, I made the call. I almost talked myself out of it, especially after the receptionist told me that the next available appointment with Dr. G was in JANUARY. I paused, and she said she could transfer me to the nurse to see what we could work out. She transferred the call and I got the answering service. I left my long and rambling message and waited for them to call me back. When the call came I was beyond relieved to discover that it wasn't the nightmare nurse that I've dealt with so many times before. Instead, on the other end of the phone was a kind and helpful nurse who was incredibly patient with me and who listened to what I had to say. She wasn't the least bit condescending or rude. (Can you tell I've been burned before?) I explained that we'd been trying on our own -- as the doctor ordered -- for over a year and that we were ready to come in and have a talk about it. So, she set us up for October 21st. I took a deep breath, wiped a few tears, and hung up the phone. Then I called my mom, who had been gently nudging me as well.
Although I do feel relieved about finally having an appointment, I still don't know what will happen and I'm still nervous about moving forward. There are no guarantees, except that I'll go in that day with my dear husband by my side and we'll both be clinging to our Lord.
And this time, as a bonus, I know that I'll also have you in my corner, cheering me on. And I can't thank you enough.