Monday, January 4, 2016

The Results

"We're calling about your results from your blood tests last week. The doctor would like you to come in to review your results in person. It's nothing urgent or life-threatening. Nothing you should lose sleep over. But you probably should be warned that your uterus is shriveled and your eggs have all died..."

Okay, so that's not exactly how the entire phone call went, but it was still a weird call to receive. I got it almost three weeks ago after finally going to the doctor for my annual (which is never actually annual) and to ask some questions about our current inability to conceive. Lots of blood came out of my arm that day.

First available appointment we could make was for today, January 4.
I hadn't been overly concerned about it, but sitting in the doctor's office, waiting for her to arrive, I couldn't help but ask my husband, "What's the worst thing she could tell us today?"

There's always a trillion possibilities flying through my head.
What we got?
A few minutes about my vitamin deficiencies (apparently I'm lacking D3 which you often get from the sun but they don't encourage sun exposure so D3 is a probably a great market to be in..), my slightly elevated levels of testosterone (which has never been a surprise from this hairy one), and the probability of a mild form of PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome)... but nothing that really makes pregnancy an impossibility. No crazy hormonal imbalance that causes my uterine lining to cease to exist and no irregular pap smear.

A referral to a fertility specialist, if we should choose to go at a future date. A recommendation for a pelvic ultrasound and mammogram (mostly because of my family history)- but nothing she really was worried about. A question or two about whether or not urinating immediately after intercourse actually matters when trying to get pregnant (it doesn't), and the encouragement to try charting temperatures or using ovulation predictor kits (yeah yeah, I'm on it already...).

And there we have it, folks.
No real answers.

I don't know what I expected.
Well- I know what I expected. I expected her to tell me my testosterone levels were still the raging levels of a 16-year-old boy (because I got told that a doctor, I promise) and in all my reliable webmd research, high testosterone made pregnancy very unlikely. So, I expected a shot in the butt with estrogen or progesterone or whatever female things I'm lacking and for all to be well. Or something. Something more than nothing.

Now we just have more questions than answers.
When I should I schedule a pelvic ultrasound...? Should we go see a fertility specialist? That seems a little extreme... and expensive. We haven't technically even been trying for a year yet (at the end of this month it's been a year though so maybe it's time...?).

So, at this point I have vitamin D3 and B12 sitting in my amazon shopping cart (gotta compare with other prices first, of course). I have a referral to a fertility specialist and for a pelvic ultrasound. And apparently PCOS, which is supposedly very common-- and not even a "severe" case of it. As we walked out her office, my doctor said, "I don't think you guys will have a problem. I have a good feeling about it."

Thanks lady.

I sound more bitter than I am- I don't mean to. I actually like my doctor a lot.
We had more of a profound conversation with her about the miracle of life. She told us that the more she gets to see pregnancy up close and see all the things that go wrong and all the things that have to go just right for someone to get pregnant and then to carry a pregnancy to full-term... she said she's humbled by it all. That so often people don't appreciate how miraculous it is.

I think I might have been one of those people once upon a time.
I think I thought that I'd get married and feared getting pregnant immediately because I just knew I'd be a fertile myrtle. I think the process has already shown me how delicate, precious and miraculous human life is. It's shown me over and over and over again how out of control I am. It's given me a freedom to just be. To let God to be God. To live life.

It's a beautiful, cold day today. Snow is still all over the ground. I'm at 8,908 steps with a volleyball game still to play tonight. I've got an incredible husband. A sweet job that I still am trying to figure out and am humbled to be in on a daily basis. A gentle giant of a dog that I absolutely adore. A great community that I'm learning to love more and more. An ever-growing, God-loving family. But, more than alllll of that, I have the creator of all life who loves me. Who chose me. Who reminds me constantly that my worth can only be found in Him. One who calls me to remember the bigger picture and that His plan might just continue to be different from my own. One who reminds me that His plan is truly always better. I've seen it firsthand.

I can't wait to see what all this life entails. Baby or no baby, there's still an unknown adventure ahead. A good adventure.
I'll continue to keep you posted, because I promised I would.

Thanks for praying.
Thanks for asking.
Thanks for loving us well, for sharing your own stories with us, and for reminding me how good our God is.

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ready or Not.

It's hard to imagine waking up tomorrow and being responsible for anything.

I'm exhausted. 
I don't know if it was the 8 hour drive to Texas, the 12 hour drive to Missouri, the 13 hour drive back to New Mexico within a span of two weeks... or maybe it was the plethora of after-midnight bedtimes, or the endless amounts of energy of the six 4 and under nieces and nephews, or the fruitful attempts to get my 10,000 steps in each day (all the while gorging myself on Christmas goodies, of course). Or maybe it's simply because we started our journey today at 4:00 a.m. 

But, I'm tired. 
Aren't you? 

It's a new year, filled with reminders about the need to make resolutions: LOSE WEIGHT, SAVE MONEY, BUY NOW, DO THIS AND IT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE ONE MILLION TIMES BETTER!!!!! The reminders have turned into demands, necessities: make this year about you (I swear I heard that on the radio at some point today). Political debates, religious turmoil, too many opinions that often seem to cause more harm than do much good. 

I haven't begun to make sense of any of it yet. I probably never will. 
But I do know that I will most likely wake up tomorrow. And, if the Lord does decides to grant me another day here on earth, I shall brush my teeth, splash my face, consider trying to hide my tired eyes until I remember that I ran out of make-up, put on clothes that are, once again, too small, and walk to my office. As I walk, I'll talk to my husband and confess that I'm not ready to return. Not ready to answer the question about how my Christmas was. Not ready to engage. 

The thing about not being ready is that it usually doesn't matter. Life doesn't operate on my timeline. I don't get to choose when things happen and when they don't. Life just happens. People die too soon. People leave when you don't want them to. People get sick. Other people get the very thing that you wanted. People, I think, don't often feel very ready. When it's show time, it's show time- you don't get to delay opening night just because you aren't ready. The show must go on. 

We live every day we get the opportunity to live, and we get to choose how we live it... ready or not.

It's like a jack-in-the-box... it's slowly winding up and I'm cringing, waiting in dreadful anticipation for that scary clown to pop up. It's inevitable. It's coming. I can't stop it, no matter what. 

While I may be exhausted and while I may not feel ready, I know that at the end of the day, I want to do things that matter. I still want to love well. I still want to be teachable, moldable, growable. I want to push through the weariness and live a life that is full. I want to say YES to opportunities, I want to see all people as people and treat them as such. 

I don't get to choose when I'm ready or not, but I get to choose how I respond to things, even when I'm not ready. I want to respond to the creepy jack-in-the-box NOT out of fear, angst, or worry. I get to choose joy. Love. Life. While I'm typically far better at choosing things that revolve around me and my selfishness, there's continually this grace that's extended to me. A grace I don't deserve that reminds me of the better. A grace that reminds me to choose life, joy, love. A grace that reminds me to live out of the fullness of the gift of Christ that we all just celebrated. 

I once told you all that I felt very okay about not having gotten pregnant yet... but that the real fear was when/if we were ever told we could not get pregnant. Tomorrow we have a doctor's appointment that will give us some results and perhaps even some answers (or else lead us on a quest of asking more questions and seeking more answers). I don't fully know what my expectations even are, and there are still large parts of me that wonder if I should ever be a mom... but I do know that somewhere in me there is a desire for children. Desire. Fears. Unknowns. 

Ready or not. 
I get to choose my response, despite the outcome. 

This isn't a year where I'm making resolutions because it's a new year. It's a year where I'm asking that the Lord would remind me to constantly choose Him, despite what's going on around me... despite how I feel. To choose Him and the fullness of who He is. To seek Him more and to allow who He is to refine me until there's a greater reflection of something good starting back at me. Not because of anything I have done, but because of everything He's done and continues to do for me on a daily basis. Even when I forget. Even when I'm not ready. 

Tomorrow is coming...and everything that tomorrow entails. 
Ready or not. 

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