Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

For those who have followed the blog for several years, you know that I’ve traditionally written a Thanksgiving post. In some ways, it is a tribute to the year and in others…a tribute to those who mean the most to me. 2011 has been a tough year for the Sawinski household. Our year began with an infertility diagnosis and was quickly followed by Granddaddy’s wreck and later passing. I still miss my Granddaddy tremendously and not a day passes that I don’t think of him (and usually tear up). Obviously, there is no baby in our home this year…but there is hope for next year!

After some reflection, here are the things (and people) I am most thankful for:

1. My faith in God. The fact that I have somehow managed to maintain my faith this year and have learned to truly surrender my goals to meet his, is an accomplishment for me. Since we made the decision to change our plan/protocol for having a baby, God has granted us a peace that we haven’t felt since June 2010. For that, I am thankful!

2. My husband. Infertility destroys thousands of marriages each year and places unimaginable challenges on a couple. Not only have Adam and I survived, but we are conquering this process together. We have learned to communicate our feelings openly, to mourn our losses with each other, to lean on each other when we both feel guilty for the insufficiencies of our bodies, and most of all…to love each other so deeply that if we never have a child, we will still be super blessed that God brought us together! Adam is my soul mate…and for that, I am thankful!

3. My family. Losing Granddaddy this year was the biggest loss I have ever faced. His death was the devastating to everyone in my family, and we are still grieving the loss of such an amazing Dad, Granddaddy, husband, professional, and friend. In Granddaddy’s loss though, I have learned that our family REALLY loves each other. Mom, Dad, Leslee, and Trey are my life outside of Adam. They support me in my marriage, my medical practice, my personal life (including our infertility decisions), and my faith. For my family, I am thankful!

4. My friends. At many times this year, I have felt so isolated from my friends. Many have gotten pregnant and had babies, all while Adam and I are still in the “trying stages.” Many have had their children with minimal or no effort, so they simply have not been able to identify with our problems. Sometimes, I’m sure our friends avoided us just because they didn’t know what to say…which I have finally come to understand. However, there is a small group of people who have sent texts, facebook/blog messages, forum posts (esp. my DE II Ladies), telephone calls, and prayers. YOU are the friends who have sustained us in this process! And for my one best friend who made EVERY dinner during my bed rest, gave me many injections when Adam needed help or was in class, came to my house at midnight the night Granddaddy died to help me pack and to take Fonzie, laid on my bed with me rotating ice packs while I sobbed with the massive hip pain from the injection reaction, and sat by me on the couch for hours after the two IVF cycles failed and Adam and I were grieving in such different ways. I’ve never needed a special friend like I have this year, and you have truly been a gift from God. For my best friend and all of my friends, I am truly thankful!

5. For our pets. Adam and I lost Lilly (my iguana) this year, and Mom and Dad lost Maggie (their poodle). Both were over 15 years old! Fonzie is 13 years old this year, but he continues to be my bed rest buddy and keeps me warm at night. Our pets have brought so much joy to our lives, and for that…I am truly thankful!

6. My home and my country. While our government is in a state of disarray, I am still thankful to be an American and to live in a wonderful home in a safe community. For both, I am thankful!

7. Our infertility. Thanks to our infertility, I am a better wife, patient, and physician. I’ve learned to pray more, trust more, lean on Adam more, and to become more sensitive to the issues that others face. There are so many things I’ve learned NOT to say as a result of this process…not to mention those things you shouldn’t tell your doc or his office manager (haha)! In the end, this challenge has made me REALLY value my God, my marriage, and my life. It has also made me realize how very badly I want to be a mother and it has challenged me to endure more emotionally and physically that I ever have before…and that I thought I ever could! For our infertility (despite its hardships), I am thankful!

I sincerely try to make Thanksgiving a day of reflection on all of the things I am grateful for. I live a blessed life with so much to look forward to in the future.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone, God Bless You!

PS We were cleared to start our mock cycle on Friday! I am way too excited about getting to take shots again, but this is a step in a positive direction (for a change)!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Camping, New Toys, and a Lifestyle Change

Last weekend, Adam and I had planned to make our second annual trip to Cloudland Canyon to camp.  Just as we were finishing loading the car, I had the thought that maybe I should call and verify that there were indeed sites left.  I'm glad I did, because there were none for Saturday night!  So, we quickly got online and called Mammoth Cave National Park.  I had been interested in camping there for awhile, so it made sense to call.  The nice lady on the phone told us that there would be plenty of availability and to head on up!  So, we drove the 2 hour and 15 minute beautiful drive to the park.  We enjoyed the fall colors and nice conversation on the drive.  Once we got to the park, we chose a camping site (after 3 trips around the loop) and had our camp set up within an hour.  Because we were concerned about cave tours selling out on a Saturday, we drove up to the Visitors Center.  We found out that a tour was leaving in 10 minutes that was not always offered...the Stargazer Lantern Tour. It mimics the historical tours of the 1800s and uses only lantern light through the cavern.  We decided to go on this tour and had a great time!  We got back to the campground around 8:30pm and cooked dinner and dessert.  On Saturday, we relaxed around the campsite, read, talked, and decided what we wanted to do.  We ultimately decided to take another tour, the Frozen Niagra Tour that afternoon.  Once we finished this tour, we had dinner out and returned to the campsite for some s'mores and chocolate/butterscotch/marshmallow-stuffed campfire bannanas.  On Sunday morning, we got up and broke camp.  We had a nice breakfast at Cracker Barrell and took our time coming home.

Overall, it was a beautiful weekend.  Adam and I really enjoyed being together without offices, computers, TVs, and most of all...injections!  Because my knees killed me on the tour stairs, I realized it was time to get healthy and shed some weight.  So, with that realization....I have started eating healthy and exercising!  So far, I've lost 4 pounds in 5 it seems to be working! 

Our new toy is an XBOX Kinect!  We got it last night and danced ourselves to death!  I'm really glad we have such a wonderuful marriage and that we can enjoy ourselves in activities like this!  (Seeing Adam dancing in his underwear is enertaining enough!)  I forsee a "sports" game in our maybe even today!

As for our infertility future, we do have plans now that have been officially "set."  Within the next 2 weeks, I'll hopefully start our trial-run in preparation for a costly and exciting cycle in late January/early February.  Assuming my bloodwork and ultrasound look good, we'll be back on injections daily for about 2 weeks.  Once things look "good," we'll come off of them and will basically be placed back on birth control pills to "sync" my cycle.  If nothing changes (which with our could), then we are looking at an embryo transfer in February.  As bad as bedrest was back in July, I can't wait to do it it means that there's a chance that we could become pregnant!  So, as has been the case for well over a year now, we wait.