Interrupt anxiety with gratefulness

IMG_3081Two days ago my husband and I drove to Rockville and I had my mock embryo transfer (Mock ET). From what I understand the purpose of this exam is to visualize the uterine cavity, and make sure there are no structural fibroids or ‘obstacles’ that might get in the way during the actual embryo transfer.  Although I was given a hand out and I did a little bit of research, I still did not know what to expect, I didn’t read too much into it because I was not up for psyching myself out.  Per usual, I had to get undressed from the waist down, and put my legs up on the wonderful GYN stirrups.  She inserted the speculum, and proceeded to do what felt like a pap smear….only she did a lot more pressure and ‘scraping’.  The practitioner did that for I would say a minute or so, maybe longer? maybe shorter?  After that, she then placed the ultrasound device in me and looked all up in there with probe.  I am unsure about how many mLs of normal saline she placed in me during the exam.  I have always tolerated pap smears and ultrasounds fine, but this was another level of uncomfortable.  I laid there nervously throughout the exam while I was just trying to think happy thoughts because most of my exams in the past have resulted in negative news. IMG_3080The exam took overall about 20 minutes.    At the conclusion of the exam, I was so excited to hear that the practitioner said I have a normal uterine cavity.  She did say she could not visualize my right ovary, which is to be expected because I have a unicornuate uterus, being that the right fallopian tubes etc don’t really exist.  I was so happy to hear the news that I had a normal uterine cavity that I was jumping with joy (literally).  I was handed some feminine wipes and a pad for all the saline to drain out onto (what goes in, must come out).   I got dressed, then headed to the front desk to check out.    Once we got to the car, we headed to Falls Church to do the injection class with our nurse.  The class was for him mainly since I’m already a registered nurse and already know how to administer injections.  We were given our medication regimen that will be started in a couple of weeks, everything became real.  On the way home from Falls Church I began to experience very uncomfortable cramping.  The cramping got so bad that I could not sit still on the car ride home, and even the pressure of sitting down was unbearable.  It became so bad, that tears started to roll down my face and I cried uncontrollably.  When we finally arrived home I just hunched over and continued to cry because the pain and cramps became so bad.  My husband gave me 1200mg of Tylenol and a heating pad, I started to walk around the kitchen and eventually the pain went away. I  called my nurse and doctor, not necessarily because of the pain, but because I was concerned I might miscarry if I cramp/contract that severely after the actual FET.  My doctor told me that I have very small uterine cavity and that the amount of volume might have been a large amount for my size.  He also mentioned that the saline can sometimes burn the inside of the uterine cavity and make it cramp.  Overall he reassured me that since I did not have a fever or bleeding I should be ok.  I felt exhausted after all of the pain and crying, I went to bed and woke up the next morning thanking the lord for my normal uterine cavity and that I was pain free.

 

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Interrupt anxiety with gratefulness

Blessed is she who had believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her Luke 1:45

If I didn’t have such a strong relationship with god, and live based on faith; I feel like my outlook and reactions in life would be so different (in a negative way). Many times we pray and pray and when we don’t see any change or “answered” prayer we give up. I was at rock bottom and there was really nothing else to do but to haven faith. As time passed, I didn’t actively “see” or “feel” changes or answered prayers. But, what I did notice was that my reaction to situations and outlook on life started to change. If something bad happened I began to react in a more positive way; and refused to let things get to my head. Over time, this became my natural reaction and life became a lot more pleasant, and bearable. My condition: it became more bearable. Work, family issues, and life in general became so much more easier to take on. Bad situations happened and I would just get over it and move on. Once this started happening, the blessings started to pour in. (Let’s not forget that everyday alive is a blessed day) Once I accepted that there are things I couldn’t change, I was getting blessed unexpectedly in ways I never thought possible. With my happiness and new outlook on life, I now don’t hesitate to ask for blessings, and my immediate answer to things is to “just pray“. My life is no where near perfect, but my faith has really kept me grounded, opened me up to so much more in life, and given me a feeling of “there is more”

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Just a few of my prayer requests; even if my prayers “haven’t been answered” there is someone out there praying for me and my miracles

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Blessed is she who had believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her Luke 1:45

“All the many more good things to come”

The chances of my cousins US visa approval were slim.  She’s never been out of the Philippines, she’s not financially stable, she’s young, in college, and the new US immigration laws have made it so much more difficult.  She knew many people in far better circumstances than her that were denied their visa.  IMG_9506DC630C6E-1The day of her interview I put on two bracelets without much thought…. My “Sacral Chakra” Bracelet and my “Unexpected Miracles” Pull Chain.  Coincidentally these are the meanings behind them:

Sacral Chakra– is located in the pelvic region and is connected to the reproductive hormones. Representing the relationship with sexuality and emotional balance, it is linked to raw emotion and exploration – a means to seek pleasure in the physical world. Connect to access creativity.  The Sacral Chakra’s symbolism is amplified in harmony.

Unexpected Miracles Pull Chain-The humble acorn holds the potential of the mighty oak. Sometimes, the biggest blessings come in the smallest packages. Recognize and receive the serendipitous gifts of the universe. Miracles come when you least expect them.

My cousin had her immigration appointment yesterday at 0900.    I kept myself busy and knowing that everything was relying on her visa approval made me so anxious I could barely pray without my mind wandering.  I told her I loved her and waited for her text back after the interview.   I was just in the living room watching “Breaking Bad” with my older brother and husband. And the feeling when I saw her text was indescribable.  I literally lost my breath.  I had to get up and walk to the other room, and I just fell to my knees in the dark sitting room.  All I could say was “thank you God” over and over and over again.  I was so overcome with happiness, relief, and disbelief that I barely shad a tear.  After a while I got up and walked back to the living room and just blurted out “she got approved”.  I repeated myself again and then I lost it, I hunched over the couch and just uncontrollably cried.  My face became swollen from all of the crying.  It was like I released all of my stress, anxiety, and hopelessness.  Although her approval chances were slim, we placed all of our faith in God, prayer, and hope.  There was nothing else for us to do.  She was our only hope.  It is literally an act of God that she was able to get approved.  I told one of my close friends who’s been praying for me, and it was so great to see the happiness she expressed for me; I’m supported and blessed.  There’s so much emotion running through me, I feel like I just won the lottery. I did win the lottery.

Every Sunday I’m off I go to church and submit prayer requests, and they’ve popped up on the screen, every time it’s given me chills and tears at church that I know there’s people that care enough about me to pray

“All the many more good things to come”

life is a series of a million tiny miracles

 

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blessed with much more than I deserve

There’s been a lack of posts because it seems like things went stagnant over the past couple of weeks.  Just until recently we started to begin to have steps forward in our IVF journey.  My husband had his lab work sent into the clinic.  Our treatment coordinator emailed me the letter for my cousin (she is supposed to present this to the ambassador at the US embassy in Manila).  The letter was written by my fertility doctor and was written to assist in her visa approval.  In the letter, it was stated that she was going to be an egg donor for me and undergo medical treatment under his care.  He mentioned that the treatment is “medically necessary”.  I wasn’t expecting the letter this soon, as her visa interview is not until Feb 27.  When I read the letter I was moved to tears.  It just made me feel we are getting THAT much closer to starting our family.  It warms my heart that my doctor took the time to honor my request in writing a letter to vouch for my cousins visa approval.  It seems weird and even ridiculous, but we need to do whatever we can for an approval, she is our only familial hope.  It was touching to me in a way that really moved me.  I felt like mountains were being moved.  Not more than 15 minutes later my friend texted me.  She told me that she wanted to donate her unused IVF medications to me.  There is no way to thank her for this enormous gift.  What a difference she is making in my life with this help.  She has blessed my husband and I more than I could ever imagine.  With her donation we’re able to save so much on medications and put that money to use toward another part of my treatment.  When she handed the box to me the next day it was unreal.  I got home and opened the box in privacy without my husband and I was just in shock, this box was filled with SO MUCH.   With everything from alcohol swabs, tons of fertility medications, and even a sharps container.  I couldn’t even begin to put into words the amount of excitement I felt, and gratefulness.  It was better than any birthday or Christmas gift I have ever received.  Many years ago I would never have thought I would be so excited for something like this.   It makes me reflect that God is SO good, and has brought such amazing people into my life.  I feel this gift is God speaking to me that everything will be ok.

life is a series of a million tiny miracles

Above all, keep loving one another

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My husband and I have moved back home to allow us to save more for IVF and a home.  We are blessed to have this opportunity to save some extra money.  We’ve been here about 4 months; which isn’t long at all.  We expected to be living back at home for at least a year or so.  However, the issues we have been encountering at home has been a struggle that is really testing the strength of our marriage.  My husband and I are great, and everyday dealing with issues that test us is a testament to our marriage and how strong we are.

I never really understood what type of person I was dealing with.  I don’t know if I was blinded, or maybe just age has changed them; but last night after getting home from work; something clicked.  The perfect word to describe this person is “bitter”.  I never really knew what a bitter person was or how they carry themselves; I just used the world freely.  After my encounter last night, I just felt sad and uneasy.  I laid in front of the fireplace; and just googled to educate on what a bitter person exactly is.  Although the information/advice is saddening; I feel better knowing that there is nothing I can do to change this person, and it is not my fault.  It just breaks my heart because I have so much love for this person, and I know that they love me too; but their mind/soul is in a bad place.  I cannot spend time with this person for long amounts of time, or interact and have a good conversation because it fills my day with negativity, and brings me down.  I find relief in to being able to relate interactions with this person as a form of their own bitterness that I have no control over.  It’s hurtful to myself that I feel uncomfortable walking into the bathroom that we share.  I feel like I am intruding the space, or that I am violating privacy.  My husband feels the same way about the shared space too.  We even cluster our trips to the bathroom because we feel like we are not welcome.  I rush to clean and use the kitchen before anyone . comes home because we get funny looks if there is a bunch of stuff on the counter while I’m actively cooking.  We are a family….. but food is labeled with their initials on it, as if they don’t want to share $1.47 cheese and $3 almond butter.  Even though my husband and I buy our own groceries and cook our own food, I feel there really shouldn’t be a problem with sharing food…..I mean, it’s just food, it’s abundant.  Every single time I’m greeted, the first thing said  is “did you take the dog out”.—–before a “hello” a “how are you” or anything.  What I find most hurtful, is that the struggle that my husband and I are going through is known, we both have good jobs, but we just got married, and are trying to save up for this IVF treatment, this is very difficult for us to go through, and we’re never asked “how are you feeling”,never asked anything, there’s a lack of concern, lack of support.  We need the emotional support more than we do than anything else we need in life at the moment.  I feel horrible that my family is like this, and that I have put our marriage in a situation like this (moving in back home); I thought it would be different.   I found this website very helpful; and I was able to breakdown much of what I have experienced.

  1. Generalize
  2. They Hold Grudges
  3. They Like The Sound Of Their Own Voice
  4. They’re Jealous
  5. But They Make No Changes
  6. They Seek Attention
  7. They Struggle To Accept Advice
  8. They Don’t Like Cheerful People
  9. They Never Congratulate Others
  10. They Gossip

I wish I could just close my eyes, wake up, and have them to lean on–emotionally.  I wish that I could just talk, no judgement or interrupting.  Take my concerns to heart and validate them.  I don’t want to feel like I’m a bad person for feeling these feelings toward this person, even though I am treated a certain way.  I don’t want to regret all this wasted time  being angry and sad toward because of  bitterness.   I have been worried and I’m just brushed off; I try to give advice and I’m told to just “leave people alone” and stop trying to control others.  I have went  in tears about a serious concern I had with…this person got defensive, placed blame, and then made a promise not to “do it again” that was soon to be broken.  I just want to feel love and not like I’m a frenemy, and I don’t want to feel like all I do is cause anger . I want to have that support I’ve been seeking for our first home purchase, for advancing in my career, my health journey and successful IVF treatments….not all of the discouraging and saddening advice you give. I wish that I had a better relationship because I have so much love, and I pray for healing everyday.  I know that I am loved too; but I hope that eventually we will be able to build and grow our relationship and happiness will find their soul.

Above all, keep loving one another

Art Enables Us To Find Ourselves And Lose Ourselves At The Same Time

Our visit to the YAYOI KUSAMA Infinity Mirrors Exhibit was amazing and so memorable.  I’m happy to say I was able to experience the creativity and talent of this wonderful artist.

 

 

 

Art Enables Us To Find Ourselves And Lose Ourselves At The Same Time

I Am Stronger Than My Excuses

There’s a certain isolation that I feel, because of this ovarian failure.  It’s hard to think that everything is “ok” when I’m completely flipped upside down on the inside, with a weird uterus and no ovaries.  I can’t even express my happiness that I actually have two kidneys.  I’m a strong follower and believer in God; and I am positive 98% of the time.  The other 2% I have some rainy days.  It’s hurtful to think that people can’t talk to me because of my need for IVF or my ovarian failure.  I think it’s more important to be more sensitive toward “people like me.”  Just as people would be more sensitive to a person who has cancer or lost a loved one.   It seems that it’s hard for me to express myself because everything I say is taken out of context, in a negative way, or as if I am shaming others.  Most of what I say is just me venting; and then eventually I talk myself back down to earth and my faith.  There may not be a “right” way to talk with someone going through this… but there is definitely a WRONG way.  Sometimes a simple “how are you doing”  can make you feel normal vs. not ever saying anything at all.  I feel like I can’t even cry or express sadness in any form because it can come across as if I am emotionally unstable.  I wish there was someone going through this with me, so I have someone who understands, but also, I would never wish this on my worst enemy.  Inside, I feel like my heart is so big that it takes up most of the space in my body….the other space in my body is filled with emotions that haven’t been released because simply there is no outlet.  Sometimes I have a rainy day, and I need someone like me to help me see the wonderful things in life.  The truth is, I am SO SO happy for your victories in life, such as a natural pregnancy,  graduation or anything positive in general.  But I still have a little sadness for myself, and I think I’m entitled to that.  There’s so many emotions that are involved…the financial stress of fertility treatment –mine requires the most expensive treatment, the grief- loss of not having any eggs of my own with my family genes, the isolation-going through this alone, the guilt- my husband has to go through this, the anxiety- will I ever be a mother?, the fear–will these treatments even work with a 44% live birth success rate, sadness—I want to see you and your baby, but it reminds me of my struggle, frustration–why me?, and the lack–like a man without sperm and the inability to reproduce; its like I’m not a woman.  As I talk myself back down to earth,  I know that I am blessed, and this is part of life and a bad season, God has things in store for me; I’m just patiently waiting and along for the roller coaster ride.

I Am Stronger Than My Excuses