Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thank You

We received a gift this week from Amazon from a mystery person. There was no paper included inside so I just wanted to say Thank You to whoever sent it. The giraffe is so soft and will come in handy to ease the baby into sleep.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tunnel Time

We set up Macen's tent and tunnel after taking down the christmas tree and boy have all 3 boys been having a blast with it. Not only does Macen play with his toys in it but he has been chasing Mo and Myles through it. And when Macen doesn't play with the cats in there, they are typically sleeping in the tunnel, wrestling in the tent or chasing each other through the tunnel. It's been great for all of them while we are stuck inside a little more.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Plus One

There are 3 people in this picture. Can you see everyone?

                                                   How about now?

We are expecting #2 around July 27th. We are thrilled! Morning sickness has made itself known in the last few weeks which has helped Macen get a decent grasp of what is going on. Macen is adament it's a boy. He won't even discuss the possibility of a girl. We'll see if he is right. Mo and Myles are taking very good care of me especially Myles. He follows me everywhere and talks to me as I enter each room. When he needs a break and retreats upstairs, Mo steps right in following me everywhere.

Our Secondary Infertility Journey

I have kept pretty quiet about this until now. First, I didn't know how far down the infertility path we'd have to go. And also didn't have any answers for a long time, so really what was there to talk about other than how much it hurt to not get pregnant. I was also completely baffled on how I got pregnant with Macen so quickly and was struggling this time.

After 18 mos of trying, I was diagnosed with secondary infertility this past June. I knew there was something wrong 9 mos in and saw a dr about it in KS. James was tested and while his #'s weren't perfect the dr believed we could get pregnant without any issues. Since we had a big move approaching I waited until we got here to see an actual fertility dr because the issue clearly lied within me. My dr found both of my tubes were blocked and laproscopic surgery was scheduled for August. The dr apologized several times saying he didn't expect my tubes to be blocked. I told him even bad news at this point was better than no news. I just needed answers and a direction to go in. Those last 9 mos of knowing something was wrong yet not having any answers was the longest, darkest months I have ever had. Anyone who has gone through infertility knows you deal with everything from extreme highs to extreme lows any given day or week of every single month. I spent so many hours online researching infertility and after I was exhausted from that, I'd research more. I probably drove myself insane and kept myself sane at the same time with it.

So surgery was done and went way better than expected. The dr told me my tubes weren't blocked so my fertility dr had unknowingly unblocked them with the HSG in June. I had no idea what they would find when they got in there so I had prepared myself for the worst. And I got the best results anyone could ask for. We got lucky. The best time to get pregnant after your tubes are unblocked is within the first 3 months. We were in a race against time with James deployed and even more so since my tubes had already been unblocked longer than I thought. We carefully planned his R&R so he'd be home at the right time.

James was retested when he got home since it had been over a year since his last test. The latest results put us into a whole new journey with fertility. I hadn't been worried about his analysis because he was fine the previous year. So when I called the lab to get the results, the nurse asked me to wait and I heard her talking to a male in the room in German. I couldn't understand everything she was saying but I made out August of last year and my heart sank. I knew we weren't going to get good news with them comparing his results to last years. My dr got on the phone and explained James' sperm wasn't well formed so IVF (in vitro fertilization) would be our best chance in getting pregnant. It wasn't our only option but we were nearly 2 yrs into trying and we could spend another year trying naturally but unsuccessfully.  James and I had already discussed the option of having sperm frozen while he was home so fertility treatments could be done while he was deployed. So with the news of IVF, we had sperm frozen. Doing IVF without James here was a lot to take on but we didn't feel waiting was a good option for us. My tubes could become blocked again and time was no longer on our side when it came to James' sperm so waiting another 6-7 mos to start didn't seem like a great idea when we had other options. And in all honesty, I couldn't handle anymore waiting. When trying to get pregnant, you wait every single month to get the result you want. Then I had to wait until we moved, only to wait to see the only fertility dr in our area and then wait some more due to mother nature in the form of an erupting volcano. Then there was waiting for surgery because it has to be done on certain cycle days. And then I was going to have to wait for James' job to bring him home? I was so over waiting. In my opinion, it's the worst word when it comes to infertility. It hurts the most.

My dr had also agreed to us trying IUI (insemination) while James was home. So we went back to the dr to be monitored. I was on my 2nd day of a positive ovulation test but the dr found nothing going on at my left ovary and they couldn't find my right ovary. We were sent home without doing IUI. I did talk to them that afternoon and they offered to do it the next day but I felt it was pointless. So the nurse advised us to try naturally. The nurse also asked if I could come in the following week for a blood test. So a few days after James left, I had blood drawn and our disappointing news continued. My progesterone level was low - so either I didn't ovulate or my level was too low to sustain a pregnancy. They put me on progesterone and I needed to stay on it until my next cycle started or if I ended up pregnant, I would be on it until 12 weeks to prevent a miscarriage. Starting the medicine was incredibly hard for me. I had no qualms with the surgery other than preparing myself for bad news afterwards. Those small progesterone pills did me in though. I was completely convinced I hadn't ovulated so I thought taking it was pointless so having to take it made me angry. Second, it the was the first step in taking medicine/drugs for our infertility. It made IVF a reality to me. It was no longer something I had read about in my hours of research. I was going to become one of those people who injected themselves with hormones daily, dealing with erratic emotions, make frequent trips to the dr, etc. All for the simple desire to be pregnant which comes easily to so many. I know because I was one of those women 4 years ago.

About a week after starting progesterone, I started having insomnia worrying about my cycle starting, IVF, what it be like for Macen, etc. I wasn't technically late yet but on a whim, mid day I decided to test using an expired pregnancy test strip with random, non-built up urine. I did everything you weren't suppose to do, that is how convinced I was that I wasn't pregnant. And we all know once you test, your period will start. I just wanted the insomnia to stop, my cycle to start and move on with IVF. Again, I was tired of waiting. So I got a little surprise when it turned positive! The insomnia continued but only because I now had to worry about miscarrying. That lasted about a week when I decided it was out of my control. All of this had been out of my control. My body was going to do what it was going to do.

Our infertility journey has been long and heartbreaking and yet we didn't even come close to enduring what some couples have to deal with. But everyones infertility is different and it hurts just the same. Infertility is powerful. I guess it has to be to go through what you need to month after month, year after year to reach the desired outcome. I also like to think we had a little infertility insurance in the form of frozen sperm that last month. As I told James - we had it, so we didn't need it but if we didn't have it, we would have needed it :)

So here we are at the 12 wk mark and I am done with progesterone. Our initial prayer was answered and now we will continue praying for a healthy pregnancy. We are incredibly lucky our journey ended when it did so we can start this new one.

Monday, January 10, 2011

James has been busy

A joint ANA/ANP and US rehearsal

Taking a river bed to get to the mountains

Stopped in the mountains conducting some hasty road repair and
getting a route clearance vehicle unstuck

An Apache providing watch as we did the hasty road repair

Playing Ranger Games in the Mountains when we sent the Engineers to blow
really big holes in the roads to keep the insurgents from using some
smuggling routes

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Afghanistan pics

A Shura or village meeting attended by the Provincial Governor, the provincial Afghan Security Forces leaders and the commander of ISAF troopss in the province. 

A meeting the Chief of Police and I had in a district where the Chief replaced a district chief of police making the SEALs and the locals unhappy. The Chief was explaining himself and I was trying to make sure it seemed like the Americans were on the same
team. The SEALs weren't real happy with me because they thought I had influenced the Chief to replace the district chief, when it was actually the Chief's idea.