Thursday, June 05, 2008

bump's and pothole's, detour's and delay's

i've been trying to gather the courage that i need to write this post. i have been going back and forth trying to decide if i want to expose myself in the raw. this is of a very personal nature, more personal than i've ever written before and i tend to be a very private person when it comes to imperfections. though this imperfection is of no result of a personal choice, it is a trial that my Heavenly Father has seen fit to give me in my lifetime. if it is so difficult for me to write about, you might ask, "then why write it?"

well, back in april, i was directed to jessica's blog. someone i have never met, and someone i may never meet, though i'd love to! but when i read her post about lemons and lemonade, i felt an immediate connection with her. i could see from the many comments she recieved that she not only connected with many, but helped many, as well, myself being one of those. you see, she has been given the same trial that i have been given and she decided to make lemonade out of her lemons. i gathered much of my courage from her and many others who have had to deal with the trial of infertility, like we have.

unlike jessica, my infertility did not come as a surprise. back before i even knew mitch, i was told by an old, crotchety, byu doctor with a horrible bedside manner that i "just don't ovulate!" when questioned if this would be a problem if and when i wanted to have children he simply dismissed me with a, "don't worry about it!" he had just told me that i was broken and yet he told me not to worry about it!

well, needless to say, it bothered me a great deal that i might not be able to bear children. i had always wanted to be a mother and to feel the miracle of life move within me.

when mitch and i decided that we wanted to be married, i felt it necessary to let him know that i might not be able to have children. that afternoon, he took me up to provo canyon and we read each other's patriarchal blessings. i remember the moment, so plainly in my memory, when i read in his blessing that he would marry a woman that would bear his children! i began to cry and from that moment, i held tight to that promise of bearing his children!!

soon after we were married, we began trying to get pregnant because we didn't know how long it would take, plus we were no spring chickens!

after 2 months, thanks to modern medicines, we found that we were pregnant! we were so very grateful that there were medicines out there to help fix what was broken within me!

when nani was 15 months old, we wanted to try for baby #2. so, we started back on clomid. after 4 long months, we were, again pregnant. seeing that it had taken a little bit longer the second time around we decided to get started sooner with baby #3. the soonest i could start back on clomid was once lala was weaned when she turned one.

the third time around was the most difficult and heartbreaking. it was with the third one that it was necessary for us to be referred to a fertility specialist because the clomid was not working. after much blood work, and exams, and tests, and surgeries, we were cleared to try again. we had been at it for over a year now trying different fertility treatments and we still were not successful. we came to grips with the fact that we might not be able to bear anymore children and we began looking into adoption, when surprisingly we found ourselves pregnant again!

we have truly been blessed through this trial we have been given to endure. we have been blessed with wonderful doctors who have helped us through our journey of infertility. the Lord has been very mindful of our emotional needs and our limits, and He has greatly blessed us with three beautiful daughters! i am grateful that i was promised, through mitch's patriarchal blessing, that i would bear children and that we have been able to do so!

that brings us to where we are right now! currently, we have been trying since last october to conceive. only this time we had to be more aggressive because the clomid didn't work. last month, after reading all the risks associated with it, we started a cycle of coh (controlled ovarian hyperstimulation) in hopes to stimulate my ovaries to produce more than one egg follicle to increase our chances of conceiving.

while the overstimulation worked in helping me produce several eggs, it also resulted in my becoming one of the 33% of women that develop ohss (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) after using injectible fertility meds. basically, this means that my ovaries have become swollen and are leaking fluid into my belly and chest, which for my friends who see me in person, will see the evidences of this (overnight, i look like i am 5 months pregnant)! i am tired and uncomfortable and often in pain. i am gaining weight like nobody's business and i look like and waddle like a pregnant woman!

though it is an annoyance, i know this will pass. we knew the risks when we started, but we also felt that it was a risk we were willing to take. fortunately, so far, i only have a mild case and it hasn't gotten as bad as it could! we are praying that we have seen the worst of it and are waiting to see how long it will take to get my girlish figure back!

though our journey has been filled with bump's and pothole's, detour's and delay's, we have arrived at our destination every time. not as soon as we would like, but we do arrive! though this is not how we would have chosen for our journey to be, we are grateful for it! we know the Lord has been with us every step of the way and He will continue to be there for as long as we choose to continue on this journey.

infertility is a frustration, for sure. it is also something that is usually kept very private because of the emotional pain. unfortunately, this means that those who are experiencing it often suffer alone. though i did not rejoice in jessica's struggle with infertility, it was, as it always is, comforting to find someone else who can understand my personal trial of wanting something so badly that comes so easily to many, but is such a consuming, emotional roller coaster for us.

so, if you are one of the "infertile myrtle club", as jessica so lovingly called us, know that you are not alone! we are there too, and we have successfully fixed that which was broken 3 times now and are working on fixing it a fourth time. the journey is not always what you wished it would be, but it is still a beautiful journey!

34 comments:

Kristi said...

Thanks for sharing. What a blessing our children are when we really stop and take a moment to think about it. Your story just brings that fact to light.

paula said...

Bless you for all the struggles you are having and for still fighting the battle. Maybe that is why Rich always gets choked up when he sees you walking in with your girls. I don't even thinks he knows your story.
I hope this too will pass soon. Paula

Danielle said...

oh mahina, how I wish I could have known you 4 years ago. We tried for 3 years before getting pregnant with Jake. Every month as I realized I was not pregnant I would be devistated. Each time a friend would call with their good news, I was so happy for them, but felt like it would never happen for us. Finally, after such a long wait we were blessed with Jake, and then around the corner came Cole, and now our 3rd little surprise is on the way.

I can relate to some of your feelings and I will keep you in my prayers. The potholes and delays are sometimes hard to see at the time, but like you said, in the end you will get to where you are going. Sending you lots of hugs and love.

aric & jess said...

I am so honored to be mentioned in your very personal post. I LOVE being able to say "I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL" and really mean it.

If I have learned anything in my journey of potholes and detours, it is that Heavenly Father truly has a plan for each of us. I gained so much strength and comfort reading Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-9, 26-29. I can't fully express what it meant to have so many people comment on my post, for the first time I knew I wasn't alone in this. I am so grateful for your comment because now I have a new friend and member of my club.

Hang in there...your friends do "stand by thee" and on those low days I hope you feel the love and support of your friends and most importantly the Lord. You are so AWESOME!!!!!!

Becca said...

Oh mahina, I am sorry that this area is such a trial for you and Mitch, I can not relate. It must be very frustrating and heartbreaking. You have been blessed before and the Lord will take care of you again.

Michal said...

although i have not struggled with infertility, many people close to me have and the anguish is very real. i am so grateful that for you, this trial has still resulted in being able to bear sweet children. for some, the blessings come other ways. what is noteworthy, though, is the way that this trial (as so many others) draws us closer to heavenly father and gives us a greater determination to rely on him. i know that he gives us adversity out of love for us because through adversity he can form us into the people that he would have us become.

Amanda said...

What a very well written post, Mahina. It is hard to put ourselves out there, and share what is really happening. I'm praying that the process goes smoothly, and that you will find the strength and peace you need.

Good luck.

Ilene said...

Bummer about the side effects; as if all the other stuff wasn't enough to deal with. Looking pregnant with all the discomforts without being pregnant is a trial indeed.

What beautiful miracles your girls are today and I hope another one comes your way!

Ilene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ashley said...

wow, i had no idea. although it is a bummer, it is so cool that you have been able to have your 3 beautiful girls!
your a trooper, and it is cool that you can open up on blogs and have so much support, and i hope your feeling better soon!

and how cool are patriarcal blessings? awesome!

tutu lady said...

I'm so sorry you're feelin' poorly. We put your name in the HI Temple and are praying for you all the time. Love you!

Darilyn said...

I'm glad you shared this. It's nice to know what's going on with my friends and what they may need. Hang in there. We are all here for ya.

Melissa-Mc said...

Mahina, you were such a help to me when I went through my bout of infertility. It really helped to be going through the hormones and clomid weeks together.

You are a ROCK and a great mother and always beautiful. I hope you are feeling better soon. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Mandy said...

I feel so honored to have you as my friend. Thank you for opening up and sharing your trials. Know that I may not understand but I am always here for you.

Malia said...

Mahina I love you and hope you're feeling better. or feel better real soon! Your girls really are so sweet and beautiful just like YOU! I hope that 4am didn't become a regular awake time for you! Love you!

Tonya said...

Thank you for being willing to open up and share your experiences. It is very apparent that Heavenly Father has blessed you. You are so strong and I am sorry you are feeling yucky!

Bridget said...

As you know I can relate with those feelings as we had our long wait with Maren. I am sorry you are struggling with this. It is SO hard. Hang in there. Let me know when I can help you. I don't always think of things until it is too late so please tell me. I realize you are more of a private person with stuff like this. I am proud of you for opening up and sharing this on your blog. I'm sure it is a help and comfort to others going through the same thing.

Dustin & Camila said...

Mahina, I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through. If it's any consolation, I'm sure you make a cute non-pregnant pregnant lady. And if it wasn't for the discomfort, I would say you should still do the Bluelake tri next weekend, you could just cut a hole in the belly of your wetsuit. ;-)

Joking aside, I will keep you in my prayers. I think it's wonderful what you're willing to go through for your children, and one day they will appreciate it!

Take care. I'll dedicate part of my swim to you, and not the part where I backstroke (hehe).

Dustin-

i'm kelly said...

thanks so much for opening up and sharing with us. this is such a personal subject but i'm sure you will help so many people with your post. thanks!

Scott-n-Allison said...

I remember when I had my miscarriages, that a good friend of mine who had been adopted told me that he had come to realize that no matter how you receive your babies from Heavenly Father, it will be special.

I was again told by another friend who had adopted two girls that she had realized that being a mother and being pregnant were two different things...and she wanted to be a mother most of all.

You have three beautiful blessings. You and Mitch are wonderful parents, so you know more beautiful blessings will come to your family. How and when you receive them will be special...even if it isn't how and when you had hoped or expected.

You are my hero! We are always sending love from our home to yours. You and yours are some of our favorites!

Sara said...

Mahina, even though I'm an old friend of Mitch's, I feel like the more I read your blog, the better I get to know you and relate to you. You are so brave to "put yourself out there" like this. I was so surprised to read about your infertility. And amazingly, I can totally relate. I was told at age 18 that I would probably never have kids due to "anovulation." And it was devestating. And now here I am, all these years later with 3 beautiful and healthy children. It took us 4 years and lots of help from Dr.'s and medications to get our first daughter. And I got ovarian hyperstimulation too.

I'm so sorry you're suffering - it was miserable for me and I was hospitalized for 2 days so I know it's not a trivial thing! I can't tell you how much your post meant to me (and probably lots of other people too - even the ones who don't comment). Thanks for opening up about your experiences and reminding me what a precious blessing my kids are. I truly hope you're feeling better soon and that all your prayers are answered. Best wishes!

Pineapple Princess said...

Thanks for sharing such a personal story. You may never know who you have helped and inspired.

Heidi said...

Thanks for sharing. It's a good reminder for all of us that we don't always know what trials other people are going through. Things might look great from the surface but so often we don't know the whole story. I admire your ability to recognize the Lord's hand through your difficult journey. That makes all the difference. It is such a blessing knowing that He is aware of us and all of our needs.

Motherhood for Dummies said...

oh my gosh. I can't belive everything you and your hubby have gone through and are going through. You guys are really strong and must have a great connection.

Sarah said...

Though the deepest of feelings are the hardest to share, they are also the most touching. It made me cry when I read the part about the patriarchal blessing. Thanks for sharing that. It touched my heart!

Lauren said...

Thank you so much for your honesty and being so open. Your writing was so beautiful...I admit that it made me cry. I have a sister with fertility issues and I wish I could take it all away...You have had such amazing faith...I love how you had the faith to claim the blessing and, "held tight to the promise" found in your Mitch's patriarchal blessing. When my sister would share her feelings I would ache for her. She has 2 beautiful twin boys, now. :)

Thanks again for sharing this.

Megan said...

As I read your blog, I was surprised at the similarities in our stories. We struggled for years to get pregnant with Nate and then Jocy came very easily but our Laynie took her sweet time joining us. Looking back though I can't say I would have wanted it any different. There are things the Lord has taught me through each experience that in His wisdom He knew I couldn't learn any other way. We will keep you in our prayers and be hoping that the Lord's best wishes for you and your family are just around the corner.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, Mahina. That was so beautiful. You have been in my thoughts and prayers even though we're on the road. I think of you often and hope and pray that you are feeling better soon. I love you tons!

Katie Smith said...

Mahina, thank you for your post. I cannot call my self "infertile" but we have been trying the last 7 months to get pregnant with no luck. Just found out again today that it's another month with no baby.

This is my first struggle with it and no one really knows, but your post provided me a lot of comfort. I'm sure Heavenly Father has a plan for me, as he does for you, and we will see the reasoning some day. For me I think this is all a test of my patience. I have this life/family plan and so far none of it has ever gone according to my plan. So why do I keep planning?...one of my many weaknesses I suppose.

Good luck. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Merilee said...

Hey Mahina, I just wanted to thank you for the awesome compliment you gave my kids the other day at lunch. You probably don't even remember saying it or realize how much it meant to me. I've been thinking about how I've been blessed with great kids all day today. That definitely makes a mother happy. Thanks again and I sure hope you are feeling better. It takes an awesome person to make others feel good when they are feeling so crappy.

Jessica said...

I'm always amazed at the number of families who deal with this. I'm glad you found Jessica, it helps to have people who get it.

You are so strong for being willing to deal with all of it all over again. Lots of luck and miracles!

jessica said...

Hey girl, I've been thinking about you. I haven't seen a new post from you so I just had to see if you were feeling better. I love your comments on my blog but I miss reading you!

Sending smiles your way!!!!!

Nana said...

You and your family have been in my prayers. I hope you begin to feel better soon. In case I haven't mentioned it, I love your play list, and often open it just to listen to when I am working in the kitchen.
Rhonda

hailey said...

I was looking for your email to invite you to the 4th party at Paula's, when I came upon this post. Thank you for sharing your joys and sorrows. I think you are amazing as a friend and mother and truly hope that you will be blessed once more.
hailey
p.s. could you email me your email hailey.vial@gmail.com