Monthly Archives: June 2012

His Word … to us

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“You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock.” – Deuteronomy 7:14

I was given this verse by my dear friend Caryl a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been trying ever since to pop it onto meetingmolly – but boy have there been some BIG posts to capture recently.  This is big too, in its own little and charming way (ha ha). 

We met with our neighbours (a lovely Christian family) some weeks ago to tell them our IVF news and to ask for their prayers in this regard.  We chatted for a long time and one of the stories they told us was about a lady who had been infertile for many years and when she was finally blessed with a pregnancy it seemed that all around her became fertile too – she went to her family farm and all the cattle and animals conceived while she was there!  Talk about spreading baby dust in her wake.  It was an unbelievable story, so bizarre it could only be true.  I come from a dairy farming family so this story really touched me. 

Lo and behold, not even days later, Caryl gave me the above scripture verse.  I love it!  I am treasuring it along with all of God’s other promises and blessings we’re experiencing along this journey.  Hallelujah!

Stomach this!

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Many of my family and friends have asked about the daily injections I have to give myself.  So, Saturday, I took some pics of what I do each morning around 05h45.  This is not for the fainthearted or squeemish – so feel free not to look if you are.  Also please note that these pics were taken with my cell phone so are not a great quality.

This is the pack I use, I have another tub fully loaded, this one is almost finished, all the plastic things are syringes in fancy cases, the little glass bottle holds the drug and the flat white things are the alcohol swabs in foil wrappers.

The pack

 I then take, from the pack, just what I need –

Daily dose

I clean the top of the bottle first with the alcohol swab and then load the syringe to the recommended dose (the top of the bottle has a rubber seal that you simply push the syringe through to extract the drug) –

Thanfully not a full syringe is needed

 I then swab a spot on my stomach (I am to inject myself anywhere around my belly button – obviously avoiding an previous spot that may be bruised) –

Sterilizing the area and letting it dry before putting the needle in

and then I pinch the skin and go for it –

Syringe is in

Now believe it or not, this is not the scariest part, what is worse is that once the syringe is in, I then have to pull the plunger back to check that I have not gone into a vein and am not drawing blood – these drugs are to go into the fat layer just below the skin.  Should I hit blood, I have to extract the needle and do it again.

Done, drug injected

Pull the syringe out and all that remains is a slight pink skin and perhaps a tiny spot of blood.  Then, it’s time to yawn…

Did I mention that this is at 05h45?!?!

… and then pack up –

Daily dose done, time to pack used items away and dispose of needle safely

I was given this handy case from the nurses who gave me the drugs –

Purple carrier bag with two tubs of Lucrin (the drugs I am on)

This houses a bunch of extras –

Extra syringes – I also have extra swabs in another side pouch of the bag

I have to be very careful about my used syringes – I keep these in another pouch of the bag to safely dispose of at the docs rooms –

Used syringes in another pocket awaiting safe disposal

All is zipped closed, neat packed away under my bedside cabinet (I do this all in the comfort of my bed – too cold here with mid-winter to get out and do it) –

All packed up in handy carry bag

 That is what I do each day.  I do it first thing so that I can get it over and done with and move onto a nice cuppa tea.  I will have to keep on with this up until two days before they harvest my eggs.  It not easy to do but the quicker I do it the better.  Noddy badge to me for being a big, brave girl.  I’ve even spotted a lovely trophy made out of white wire at a local decor shop that I think I deserve for doing this – hubby hint hint!  

As for side effects – none that cannot be managed, thankfully.  My appetite has increased and I have to snack more to prevent myself from growing weary which seems to happen rather quickly, parts of my body are very sore and I am somewhat bloated but really it is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I had been warned of headaches but have not experience these – hallelujah. 

After my daily drug dose, I move onto my daily dose of Bible time – perhaps it is this that has kept me motivated to get it done and not stall over the drugs so that I can move onto the good stuff – time with my Lord.

I am not Sarah

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So recently I have been reading a book, lent to me by a friend, called Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible written by Liz Curtis HiggsIt’s a very good book, however not a good book for me to read right now.  The first part of the book looks at Sarah (or Sarai) and Abraham (or Abram) and their desire for a child, which of course takes forever so Sarai encourages Abram to have a child with her Egyptian maidservant, Hagar.  The writer of the above mentioned book points out how Sarai should have waited just a little longer for the gift God had promised her and Abram.  This story mad me boil.  Sarai had waited over 60 years!!! How much longer exactly should she have waited?! Clearly Ms Higgs has not endured infertility.  Also, Abram and Sarai had been told DIRECTLY by God himself that they would conceive.  This is not my story, God has not spoken DIRECTLY to Gary about the child we are to conceive naturally nor do I have a lifespan long enough to wait 60 years.  Yet still I felt disturbed and troubled by this story.  Sarai took matters into her own hands to get a child – are we not doing the same?  Should we not wait on God for our miracle?  This had me very bothered for a few days and yesterday I prayed earnestly for guidance.

 So…yesterday my friend, Caryl, came to me with a scripture verse she had been given by God for us: Zechariah 9:12…Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope.  Even today I declare that I will restore double to you. (NKJV)

 I was happy to receive the Word but unsure what exactly it meant.  Caryl hinted that perhaps twins were on the cards with the double blessing part.  Blessings are always great but still the question lingered, were we doing the right thing with IVF?  Is this scripture telling us to return to God for our blessing, and not to a doctor?  Is it saying that we should wait on God to restore to us a healthy reproductive system for blessing us?  I took the verse home to sleep and pray on it *sigh*.

 This morning…oh glorious morning…God opened my eyes.  I said to the Lord that I know that he can do a miracle in me and heal me outside of a doctor, He said yes, of course He can.  I then asked Him if we were then going down the wrong path with a doctor and should we stop, and He said No, keep going.  For just a moment I was confused, but then I then asked God if he was saying to me that both He AND the doctor were going to work a miracle in me and He told me – “exactly, now you’ve got it!”   My eyes were then opened and I realised that the double blessing implied the blessing from both God AND the doctor.  He then told me to read the same piece of scripture from my Bible, The Good News Bible:  Return, you exiles who now have hope; return to your place of safety. I tell you now, I will repay you twice over with blessing for all you have suffered.  Bear with me while I point out where God spoke to me in these couple of lines of scripture.  “…who now have hope” – we NOW have hope, with the IVF procedure.  “…return to your place of safety” – I was feeling so sure about IVF until I read the story of Sarai and Abram, God told me this morning to return to that place of assurance, prior to reading the story.  “I will repay you twice over with blessing for all you have suffered” – we have suffered a lot under the lashings of infertility and I am suffering in a sense with having to inject myself daily with fertility drugs, but this will all soon be over.  This scripture, which seemed so blah when I first read it yesterday, now speaks to me in ways that brings me to tears.  Amazing how we can see but not see, how we can hear but not hear.  Only when our eyes and ears are opened by God do we hear and see His word.

 One more precious moment I had with the Lord this morning was God told me that Sarah and Abraham’s story is a beautiful story, but it is not my story.  The book by Liz Curtis Higgs is a great one and that story speaks to many, but it is not meant for me.  He told me to stop reading it.  My story is different and beautiful in its own way.  He then said to me “Sian, I know that you could not wait 60 years” (he knows how impatient I am and I hung my head in shame that I could not be more faithful) and then he said “but I love you the way you are”.  Well I started blubbering like a blubbery thing at the mere thought that God KNOWS me and LOVES me as is!  It was one of my first really personal encounters I have had with our Lord and I was overwhelmed. 

 I did ask him about the twins side, he would not tell me, although he did have a glint in his eye.  Some things are best left as a surprise.

His Word

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Philippians 3:13-14  I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize.

His Word – impatient to start

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Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Keep traveling steadily along His pathway and in due season He will honour you with every blessing, and you will see the wicked destroyed.  Psalm 37:34

Ignore for now the whole wicked being destroyed bit.  God told me this morning to capture this piece of His word on our blog.  Why? Because His word speaks to us and I don’t want to forget a thing of how He has spoken to Gary and me during our infertility journey.

This passage came to me the day we went to collect my drugs (1 June 2012).   I was wondering if I shouldn’t start the drugs earlier as my cycle had appeared to start a couple of days earlier than expected (I was scheduled to start the drugs on 4 June 2012).  As it turns out, when we were there they also thought I should start earlier – that day in fact!  I felt relieved to get the ball rolling and thus be officially on the IVF programme.  Then 5 minutes later the doc changed his mind and decided to get me onto the drugs only in 3+ weeks time!! 

I was shocked and frustrated and have been frustrated by this since, for a couple of reasons but mostly because I really want to get started with the IVF treatment – the sooner we get going the sooner we get results kinda logic.  This is crazy thinking as either way, the harvest and implanting days remain the same so I don’t know why I should rush to take drugs which I am nervous about taking anyway *sigh* – as Gary points out, at least there are less days now that I have to self-inject myself.  I had at one stage even requested that the doc phone me so that I can ask him if he is SURE that I should start the drugs so late – then I remembered this passage of scripture and it reminded me to hold my horses.  I called off the request for the doc to call me and left it in God’s hands – He does, after all, know best!

I am still waiting to start the drugs although it is not long now, I start Sunday, 17 June 2012, and I feel assured that this is all His plan.

Dates without candlelight or romance

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So my “dates” are provisionally booked for drugs, harvesting and implanting.  Most people have romantic dates to get preggies – I have dates with doctors 🙂

The druggie habit kicks off 17 June 2012, and will continue up to two days before they harvest my eggs.  The drugs I have are supposed to start boosting and preparing my uterus for implanting.   These are injections I am to give myself daily, like clockwork.  The mere thought of having to inject myself totally freaks me out.  However this really is the best option.  To ask anybody else (even my dear hubby) to do this for me means that taking my “must-take-like-clockwork-without-fail” drugs is dependant on someone else whose movements I cannot control!  I realised very quickly that I would have to put my big-girl-boots on and simply do it myself.  Of course I say this now, but we shall see come the 17th

The next “date with the doc” is 9 July 2012.  Here he will scan me and take blood to check that the drugs I take from the 17th are working satisfactorily and that my body is responding well to them.  If this goes well, I am then given MORE drugs to take home that will start stimulating my ovaries to produce more eggs.  This second batch of drugs is the KICK-ASS batch that generally make me feel awful (dizzy, headaches, blurred vision, etc.) so am praying already that I will be free from these side-effects.  I took similar stimulatory drugs (clomid) very early on in our infertility journey so I kinda know what I’m in for on this batch. Following this appointment on the 9th, I am then to go into the docs rooms every 2 days for monitoring (scans and blood tests)

If all goes well with the monitoring and my body is still responding the way it should, then the next big date with the doc (and an anaesthetist) is 21 July 2012 – to have my eggs harvested.  Gary will submit a sample at the same time and we wait 2 days before they implant those fertilised eggs into me – so implanting is booked for 23 July 2012 – the biggest and most exciting date with the doc.  Again, assuming all goes well, we then wait and pray for an early August 2012 positive pregnancy test. 

This is the précis version of how it all goes down.  There are a lot of “ifs – if all goes well” and we fervently pray that my body responds and does what the doc needs it to do – yeah this is where I start giggling nervously as my body is notoriously BAD at doing what it should do when fertility matters are at play.

We’ll totally keep you informed as we go back and forth to the doc over the next 6 weeks.  Keep your prayers firing up and calling for baby dust to rain down on our home.

The funny side of it all…

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Nothing is ever conventional when it comes to fertility treatments!  I saw this poster this morning and had such a laugh I nearly split my sides (not a great idea for someone trying to get pregnant!)

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I can see this getting me through the next few months…how?  I don’t quite know; it’s hard to explain how this poster works for me.  Three reasons spring to mind, for starters I have to wean myself off caffeine.  Those who know me well, know that coffee (more so than tea) is as much my lifetime companion as my dear hubby is (even he will agree)…

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Seriously, I have a sign at work AND at home that reads:

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So the caffeine is out *sniff-sniff* and the decaf is in (at the very least I’ve comforted myself with a fine roast of organic decaf espresso – this girls gotta have something)

The second reason the poster works for me is the whole sex thing – or the fact that sex now has NOTHING to do with the “Making Molly” plan.  I can’t tell you how bizarre it is to “book appointments” for doctors to put Molly into my womb!

The third reason I love this poster is that it includes the hard core IVF stuff – DRUGS!  Yip, I officially have those now and start the whole drug-taking-habbit on 17 June 2012.  Seriously though, these drugs are hardcore – hypodermic needles and all!  But more on that in another post…soon. 

I love that poster and with this whole IVF thing, I gotta love something that gets me giggling – even if it is a little cheeky.  I think I might have to get it blown up onto canvas for my dressing room!  What do you think?

Oh … and one more for the day – come on now, sing along with me…

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