xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#'> Hesseology 101: September 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Save the dates

I didn't anticipate the need to write again so soon after the most recent post, and was expecting to take a little break to recover from the emotional hangover resulting from my blog broadcast of our infertility issues. However, as with many situations in life, things didn't turn out the way I thought. And this thing isn't necessarily good or bad, just not what I expected.

But enough ambiguity; what I'm referring to is the schedule for our IVF cycle. For no particular reason, in my mind, I figured we'd start taking the meds the first week of October, and, not knowing how IVF works, thought it would take a month to complete. So when the nurse called and said she'd devised a schedule based on a start date of September 24 – as in three days from the moment she called – I had a minor freak-out. This was a pretty silly reaction, considering that the nurse said the schedule could be changed, not to mention that the whole reason we're doing IVF is because having a baby didn't happen when we had planned. Our ETAF (Estimated Time of Adding to our Family) was off by two or more years; starting IVF earlier by a week or so should be NBD (definition for the non-texters: No Big Deal).

Thankfully, the nurse was patient with me, and Colin even more so. After a couple iterations, we came up with a game plan based on a start date of October 1. Of course, all of this could be a moot point if the ultrasound they do on September 30 shows a cyst or something else that would make the doc frown and say "Hmmmm." Barring that, the schedule, which imported nicely into my iCal and will set off alarms every time I'm supposed to get a shot, has tentative dates for the retrieval, transfer, and the scariest of all, the pregnancy test.

As October 1 draws closer, I'm praying for peace and sanity, both for my sake and for Colin's. Lately I've been stressing out about trying to know what to do/what not to do so I won't be stressed during IVF. So, to reduce the stress of figuring out how to avoid stress, it seems the best course of action is to maintain routine activities and simply be less of a perfectionist, for once. The baseboards can go without getting dusted for awhile (or ever, in Colin's opinion).

If this post sounds a little scattered, that's probably due to the 15 minutes I spent watching DirecTV's RedZone Channel, which has got to be the most ADD-enabling program on TV. I'm not sure when my next post will be, but I have plenty of ideas for infertility-related topics to discuss, including some good articles I found as well as updates on the support group we're involved in at church. And I might try to throw in a post or two about non-infertility-related topics, like what's going on in our college small group and what new TV shows we're digging this season. For now, I've got something better to do than blog – cheer on the Seahawks. Yet another opportunity to moderate my expectations.

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Missouri, not misery

After a year-long hiatus, I thought it was time to update the ole blog. Then I procrastinated for a few more months until I felt motivated to write something a bit longer than a tweet or Facebook status.

As most people know by now (if you don't, you are really out of touch, or maybe just wishing you had received the 2009 edition of the Hesse Holiday Herald, which regrettably was never published), we live in Columbia, Missouri, home of the University of Missouri, where a certain Assistant Professor of Communication Studies is plugging away at his research, well on his way to tenure and its accompanying academic fame and fortune. While Colin is running labs, teaching students, or playing on his university-funded iPad, I'm working from home, continuing to edit articles and do other editorial tasks for the company I worked at in Arizona. The nice part is the flexibility; the downside is the lack of human contact and interaction (Kaffy doesn't count, and even if he did, he sleeps all day and thus doesn't make the most engaging companion). But we do have many friends we are thankful for, and they almost make up for the lack of good Mexican restaurants in town.

If you are wondering about Columbia, you should Google it to save me the time of explaining what it's like. I will say that it's an exceedingly friendly community with an appreciation for football, the arts, and good BBQ. Several people gave us the line, "You're going to misery?" when we announced that we were moving here, and I can gladly say that I don't consider it to be a fair statement, especially after living in the 100+ degree temps of Arizona. Dry heat, humidity – doesn't matter which; they're both awful. But the difference is Columbia has four seasons, which is the right kind of climate for two native Washingtonians.

As I said earlier, and would like to repeat to dispel any doubts, we have been blessed with many friends here – Colin's colleagues, our church small group, and several nice neighbors. We've also started helping out with the college ministry at church, leading a small Bible study. It's great to be around college students and hear about their hopes, dreams, and fears, which reminds us of our college days and alarms us thinking about how long ago that was.

Some of you may be wondering why we haven't been posting pictures of our kids or updating Facebook with all the cute things they say. This would be due to the fact that we don't have kids, which I have to say is not for lack of trying. For more than 2 years now we have been in full TTC (Trying To Conceive) mode, with nary a missed period or positive pregnancy test. This, in a word, sucks. I could certainly make the typical Christian statements and say that God's plan is better than ours; He's in control; He'll work it out for our good – all of which I believe are absolutely true but do not always feel that way. Both of us desire to be parents and are not sure when/if/how that will happen, which is a pretty harsh reality to face. Without going into detail about how we got here, I'll just provide our current status: in an adoption waiting program but on hold as we might be trying in vitro next month. We would like to adopt no matter what, but we would also like to give the fertility treatment route a whirl before things could get worse and my uterus completely craps out.

I decided to share this part of our lives not to elicit several comments of pity – Lord knows I have already shown myself way too much of it – or even to ask for prayer, though that would definitely be welcome. The main reason to let the world wide web know about our infertility is so that other people who are experiencing it know they're not alone. Infertility makes you feel isolated, like no one understands or even cares about your situation, which is a lie, and one that I bought into because it's such an emotional issue. I discovered that this was not the case after attending an adoption seminar wherein we met other couples like us and after reading a friend's blog about her difficulties and setbacks on the road to parenthood. As we started talking to more people about it, we found that many have either experienced infertility themselves or know someone who has. And, according to the CDC, it affects 1 in 8 couples of childbearing age. In light of this, the whole concept of God comforting us so we can comfort others going through the same struggles (2 Corinthians 1:4-5) has become personally applicable to our lives and has demonstrated that there's at least one good reason why this is happening to us. So we are helping launch an infertility support group at church and hoping it will help others be encouraged and encourage us in the process.

It wasn't really my intention to make this into an infertility blog, but for the moment it will be, considering that it's a pretty big deal right now as we prep for IVF in a few weeks. And since Lost is over, I really don't have much material to work with anymore, save for Kaffy's misadventures leaving his mark around the neighborhood and going berserk over a fly in our house. I'll try to provide regular updates on what's going on, complete with entertaining anecdotes on all the crazy things we'll get to do, like Colin attempting to give me shots, which promises to be a great video opportunity.