SMILE!

God continues to remind me to be still before Him and wait (again, the same message…I get it God). “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10a) God doesn’t tell me to be busy and know that He is God. Or be anxious and know that He is God. Or get all worked up and know that He is God. The message is simple. Be still. “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7) It’s easy for our souls to be restlessness. And it’s easy for us to make excuses about the lack of time or energy that it takes to be still. Here is what I continue to learn – I don’t have time not to be still.

Next week I get to take a pregnancy test. I feel such peace about whatever the outcome is of that test, truly. I won’t post anything on here for about 2 weeks, simply because whatever the outcome is, I want to be able to share with close family and friends personally (and not in response to a text message) and in our own time.  If at the end of next week, I am not pregnant, I am going to be rejoicing in the fact that for the first time in ages, I will be able to start a new cycle without the use of a 10-day hormone pill (Provera) that induces a cycle. I hate those pills and literally break into a big goofy grin when I think about the fact that I don’t have to take them this month. Secondly, if I am pregnant, I want to be able to do my best at sharing that news 1-1 with as many close friends and family as possible (and maybe still leave room for some sort of creative surprise?).

Some people have asked me about the fact that people typically wait 12 weeks before sharing pregnancy news with others and that this blog will likely result in people knowing much much sooner. Here’s the thing – when the time comes that I am pregnant, I am going to need the continued coating of prayers and encouragement as I do now! It is known statistically that the miscarriage rate appears to be higher for women with PCOS and some studies suggest that the rate could be 45% or more. I don’t share this fact to evoke fear because I trust that God is in control, but taking that into consideration, that is no way I can wait 12 weeks before sharing because I will need all the prayers I can get!

Here is the next point I want to STRONGLY emphasize. In the instance that I am not pregnant (and let’s face it my friends, that is very possible – still praying expectantly but thinking logically), I do not want ANYONE to say “I’m sorry” to me. Or try to sympathize or feel bad for me. I am in such an opposite place of that right now. There is nothing wrong with the fact that this may not be our month. It’s not in our control! I won’t feel bad – again, I am just excited at the prospect of starting another month with a medication that works – that is a huge answer to prayers!! “What? I don’t get that.” You might be saying “Of course you feel bad. Of course you want to mourn.” Hey, guess what – I don’t! I have nothing to mourn. I have a God on my side who is working in His timing. Who is in control. Who has everything alllllll figured out already. You being sad for me will only make me feel bad that you feel bad. And we don’t want that.

Think I am weird? I am just blessed with “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding.” (Phil. 4:7a).

Have a great Memorial Day weekend my friends … I will check in here soon – likely in June. Keep the prayers coming! :)

the dreaded 2WW

For those TTC, there is a little something known as the 2 Week Wait (2WW). It’s the timeframe from after the day you ovulate to when it’s recommended that you take a pregnancy test. It’s also known as the 2 weeks from hell (author’s definition). During this timeframe, your body is doing all kinds of random things, such as producing hormones to “feed” a potential embryo. And if you don’t have a fertilized egg, it is what eventually leads to PMS and then Aunt Flow (AF) arrives.

Now, the reason I say that this 2WW is from hell is because it’s literally 14 days of absolute nothing other than waiting and trying to interpret everything going on in your body. It is seriously mentally draining and confusing and can be is all consuming. I would rather the first 2 weeks of any month, filled with pills, shots, blood work, ultrasounds, phone calls – than the two weeks that follows where ABSOLUTELY NOTHING takes place. You wait. You take no more pills, you don’t talk to your doctor, and you don’t know what is going on in your body. You are just waiting. It’s nearly torture and enough to drive even the saniest person (clearly, me) INSANE.

So here are the common side effects that are early pregnancy symptoms. (Ones women will experience before getting their BFP (known in support groups as Big Fat Positive, as in the results of their pregnancy test.)

  • Spotting
  • Swollen/tender breasts
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Nausea/morning sickness
  • Backaches and Headaches
  • Food cravings or food aversions
  • Increased mood swings
  • Dizziness

Ok, so those are just a few of them. So you experience those and you just might be pregnant! Now let’s compare those with PMS side effects of someone who isn’t pregnant.

  • Spotting
  • Swollen/tender breasts
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Nausea/morning sickness
  • Backaches and Headaches
  • Food cravings or food aversions
  • Increased mood swings
  • Dizziness

Wow, it’s just CRUEL! Then comes into play this alleged (I say alleged because I have never experienced it before) “intuition” that some women say they get when they are pregnant. “I just knew!” they say “You will just know it!”. Ummm, what does that mean? How does “just knowing it!” differ from “I want it bad enough that I am going to talk myself into the fact that I just know!”

I seriously H.A.T.E.  this wait. I hate that every time I feel tired I think “I could be pregnant!” then I think “Wait, no I just didn’t get enough sleep last night.” 3 minutes pass “I am soooo craving a glass of orange juice. That must mean I am pregnant!” and then “Wait, I am having a bagel and like orange juice with bagels.” 5 minutes later “Wow, I think I might throw up. Is this morning sickness?” followed by the realization that my cream in my tea was expired. It is AWFUL. (I beg someone TTC to challenge my hatred of the 2WW. Go ahead…..)

Here is the thing I think I hate the most. There is nothing I can do. During this timeframe, there is NOTHING I can do but wait. Nothing I can do to make things different. No pill I can take to increase my chances. No feedback from the doctor on how the cycle is going. No way to fast forward and just find out the test results. IT. IS. JUST. WAITING.

I have no wise words to say about this time, other than it’s a great chance to be dependent on God to provide my sanity  each day. It made me feel a lot better to read a laundry list of 2WW Confessions from women – now I know I am not alone and I share these to let others in the 2WW know you are not alone either! Here are just some of my favorites:

  • I gave my follicles “pep talks” in the car on the way to work. I promised to buy them ponies if they would just fertilize. (Guilty! Except my follies are promised my entire collection of Baby Sitters Club books (girl) or Boxcar Children books (boy).
  • I also washed my hair with baby shampoo and used a baby soap and lotion every day. (Hadn’t thought of that but I guess Johnson & Johnson’s revenue just skyrocketed!)
  • I have a BUNCH of good luck charms sitting next to my bed; a doll baby, a plastic stork, and one of those worry dolls that you’re supposed to shake when you’re feeling upset (which I did). They’re all sitting on a plate that belonged to me when I was a baby.
  • I make sure to sit up straight at all times. I get freaked that if I slouch while sitting, I might smush my fallopian tube, ovaries, and uterus… therefore causing conception not to take place. (No comment. *back straight*)
  • I won’t lift anything in the 2WW heavier than a gallon of milk for fear that the baby will unplant itself and cause a early miscarriage. (Um, Josh, can you bring the laundry basket upstairs for me??)
  • I won’t wear my tight jeans, though they make my butt look sooo good. (Thank goodness leggings are in!)
  • In the 2WW, I won’t do any type of exercise that requires jumping or abdominal work. I’m worried that it will keep it from implanting, or if it implants, it might knock it loose. (This includes running upstairs.)
  • Sometimes when i go to bed I put my hands on my tummy area just in case it might encourage any implanation/faster swimming etc my theory is they are making it warm and it’s important to have a warm uterus etc.. (read that somewhere)
  • I won’t sleep on my stomach in the 2WW
  • I rub my belly in the shower, and sometimes, talk to it hoping to encourage implantation/growth!
  • DH (darling husband) hugs me and I think my boobs are tender, so until AF shows I am constantly grabbing and poking them to see if they really are tender.
  • I think I’m peeing lots more than normal, so I keep drinking liquids to see if I’ll wee more often. Do you see the trend in this habit??
  • I worry that if I don’t “talk” to my embryos they will feel unloved and therefore will not stick. (This also includes singing.)

Go ahead and think I/we am/are crazy. These are the things that we think about during these 2 weeks! Here is to praying it goes by FAST! I am prepared and ready for any outcome; I just want to know already!

Impatiently Waiting,

Chelsea

snooki is pregnant = grrrrr

“Do not fear what this day, or any day, may bring your way. Concentrate on trusting Me and on doing what needs to be done. Relax in my Sovereignty; remembering that I go before you, as well as with you, into each day. Fear no evil, for I can bring good out of every situation you will ever encounter.”

– Sarah Young, Jesus Calling –

TTC can easily spin out of control into an all consuming state. And in some regards, there are limited options to keep it in check. Everything matters when you are trying to have a child. Each day (known as cycle days, ex: cd7 is cycle day 7) has an “agenda” to it. Everything in the month revolves around what specific day it is and then has a steady list of do’s and don’ts around that particular day. It can make the days seem short but the month seem long. It even comes down to the specific time of the day to do something like taking a pill or peeing on a stick. Minutes can tick by as you wait for the next “thing” to do. So even if you don’t want your life and world to revolve around trying to have a child (mental breaks needed!), it feels like you have no choice.

We have invited you into our journey this month. And after reading texts and messages, its clear that you have felt the ups and downs with us, the bumps and hopes and disappointments. You have gotten a glimpse into our world (or are living in this world yourself) – but this world for us has been circulating for 30-40 months. Granted, we haven’t been on highly monitored medical treatment cycles that whole time, that has steadily been off and on but still, this is the world we have become used to. The highs and lows, which still daily affect our hearts, are more of a “norm” now than you would imagine. It’s very easy to become more focused on the process than the outcome. I think that the day I finally get a positive pregnancy test will be the day I probably also faint in the bathroom. It will be such a pleasingly shocking moment that I can’t anticipate what that will look like. (But I certainly can’t wait to experience it!)

We all have days and moments in our life that can bring fear or uneasiness into our lives. For me one day it might be what an ultrasound has to say, or a pregnancy test, or a doctor. For you it might be a meeting with your boss or waiting for the phone to ring to tell you if you got the job or not – it might be sending your kids on the bus for the first time or waiting for test results on whether or not you have cancer. There are those moments where our worlds temporarily stop and uneasiness creeps in. Fear takes over. Doubt about God’s Sovereignty kicks in. And then all you are left with is a big mess in your heart, head, and likely, you have a stomachache too. (Well, at least I do.) If there is anything I have learned from this, it’s that perspective matters. “Rejoice! Celebrate all the good things that God, your God, has given to you and your family.” (Deut. 26:11). Changing our perspective and changing the mourning to celebration, the despair to delight, the discouragement to encouragement, the disappointment to enjoyment. It’s not easy, it has to be intentional. Know that you are waiting for something special. His time, not ours. I read the other day “Consider the work God wants to do in and through this experience. God never promises to remove us from our struggles, but He does promise to change our perspective.” Powerful stuff!

This brings me though to the idea and challenge for authenticity. One repeated message I get is one thanking me for my authenticity, vulnerability and openness. It has made me realize what a lack of that we have created in our lives and relationships today. No one wants to admit their faults or that their lives could be anything less than perfect. In the Facebook world of “OMG, LOOVEEEEE MY HUBBY EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY!” and “Here is the pictures of my perfect child who is always perfectly dressed and only smiles!”, we forget that each of us has issues, hard times, frustrations and temptations. Why the heck does it take so much for us to share these with each other? How lonely it would be if you were struggling with depression alone, smiling on the outside but crumbling on the inside, or wondering during your first year of marriage if you made a mistake? Granted, I am walking you through infertility struggles of mine on a very public forum but my prayers are that you have a private forum to take your Thing to. The “less than perfect” things. The temptation that you are struggling with – are you talking to a close trusted friend about that? The marriage woes that you need to process – are you sharing? Being vulnerable certainly isn’t easy, but it is one of the most rewarding things I have experienced. How else can we genuinely lift one another up in prayers if we have no idea what is really going on in their life? Too many of us are concerned with what others will think or say, or if we will be judged. Examine yourself today – are you someone a friend can trust? And if so, ask the follow up question to “how are you” – “how are you really?”. We need to start taking down some of these perfect life walls and circle around each other. Life’s too hard to go at it alone. I think insecurities are a big reason we don’t want to share the less than perfect moments. Steven Furtick says we struggle with this because “We compare our behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reel.” (aka Facebook Newsfeed, right?) How true is that? We have to step back and share a life that is not only “highlight reels”. We need to live the life of outtakes with one another.

My promise to you, my readers, is to continue to be raw and authentic. I hope you have gotten to know me well enough by now that when there is a tough day, I am gonna share that. And when there is a good day, I am going to share that. It’s challenging and I am the first to say vulnerability isn’t easy. But the encouragement that comes from it – priceless. And the people who sigh a sigh of relief when they realize someone too is in their shoes, that’s creating bridges and developing authentic relationships.

So now, an update – I can share the great news that the little follie didn’t turn into a cyst – YEAH! (Your prayers are at work!) While the egg is a big ol’ ripe one, there is certainly a God-given shot at this month being our month. But if not, we can go into next month knowing that we have finally found a medication that works for us. And next months plans include a few more bells and whistles to give us the highest percentage that cycle can offer (20%!). Insurance has proven to be a pain which is why factors this month (having a diagnostic cycle vs a treatment cycle) has slowed some things down. However, we are praying expectantly and continue to ask you to do the same.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I think you should know that I get really frustrated whenever I am reminded that Snooki is pregnant. (WHY!? NOT FAIR! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! SHE DOESN’T DESERVE A BABY!) I may have hidden a magazine with that on its cover at Target once so I didn’t have to look at it in line. I also managed to eat 3 Dilly Bars in one day – my only “dinner” last Wednesday. (Don’t judge!). I bite my fingernails even though I hate that I do that. I get insanely frustrated with Josh’s sock lint laying around the floors. (WHERE DOES IT COME FROM IN SUCH INSANE QUANTITIES!?!?!) I think I actually might believe that my dog Cali is going to be around forever. I struggle to keep my closet clean. I take and upload too many pictures on Facebook and I am certain some of my “friends” have hidden me from their feed. (Sorry!). But at the end of the day, I’m human. And all of that is okay.

keep waiting.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait some more.

This seems to be the story of my life recently. And it’s frustrating. And disheartening. And slightly invalidating. My brain and heart tell me to remain hopeful and trust in His plan. My emotions dip from high to low in minutes.

Let me back up and walk you through my last 72 hours.

Sunday: Happy Mother’s Day! Josh and I were able to celebrate by going to the doctor and seeing a nice sized follicle! Hurray! The other potential follicles in the running shrunk or died off, but there was a good sized one measuring a 22 mm.

(Sidenote: This will likely mean nothing to any of you, but Follicle 101 – inside of the follicles are eggs. You have to have a follicle reach typically between a 20 mm – 25 mm before it will naturally release the egg. Too small of a follicle and the egg will not be mature enough –  too big and the egg will be too mature and “over ripe”, thus making it very difficult for the egg to be fertilized.)

Sunday continued: YEAH! We are happy. We have a follicle in the “perfect” range. Now we just wait for an ovulation predictor test to indicate a “surge” of the hormones leading up to ovulation. (Still following me?).  So we are waiting. Doctor says “Why don’t you come back in on Tuesday in the instance that you haven’t had your surge yet.” (Which isn’t going to happen to us! It’s the perfect size, I’ll test positive for a surge today I’m sure!) No surge on Sunday – which is ok. Tomorrow, we will wait for tomorrow.

Wait.

Wait.

Monday: No surge. Hm, this is strange. Surges typically comes 12-24 hours before ovulation and follicles tend to grow a couple mm a day. We are going to quickly run out of time for this egg to release. But let’s wait and see how Tuesday’s appointment goes.

Wait.

Wait.

Tuesday: Still no surge. Doctor’s Appointment.

RN – Let’s see how this follicle is looking!

C – I haven’t had a surge yet and I am worried that the follicle is going to be too big to ovulate.

RN – Everyone is different. One time I saw someone ovulate at a 12 mm and someone else at a 30 mm. Let’s just check. *pause*

RN – Alright, well, you have the one follicle that is a 30.5 mm. So that’s a little big but not impossible.

C – What does this mean?

RN – Well, it means one of two things. One, your body just makes large follicles and this is normal for you. We don’t know too much about your body in its unmonitored form, so you could get your surge today and it could all be fine! Let’s think that way!

C – What’s the other thing?

RN – Well, or this follicle could not ovulate but instead rupture and turn into a cyst. And all that would mean is that you would need to take a few months off of trying to let your body naturally flush it out. Or it could keep growing and would need to be surgically removed, but let’s not go there yet. Here’s what we will do, lets run some blood work to test your levels to see if you have already had the surge but just not been able to detect it from the other test. I am sure that those levels will be high and good and there won’t need to be another scenario!

(I appreciated her genuine positivity and enthusiasm, but unfortunately felt slightly shattered.)

RN – I will call you no later than 4:00 today with the results. I will also talk with your doctor about a plan. Just wait for that call!

Wait.

Wait.

Phone Rings

RN – Well, unfortunately the blood work doesn’t show much in the area of good news. We don’t know if you are going to ovulate or not as the labs are pretty low in the ranges. So just wait a week and we will see then come back next week to “discuss a plan”.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

How does a brain and body handle such a bombardment of emotions? I am starting to wonder how in the world I can continue to wait and not lose my mind. Am I disappointed? Sure. I wish that the surge would have happened when the follicle was the perfect size and the only waiting we would have to do is to wait a few weeks to take a pregnancy test. I feel like a curve ball was thrown at me in that not only do I have to wait to see if the follicle would develop and if it would lead to ovulation, but now I also have to wait to see if it will keep growing, rupture, and turn into a cyst that would put our entire journey on hold for a few months. (*throwing self on the floor and having a mini tantrum*)

I have had to bombard my head today with the reminder that this isn’t in my control. I am re-reminded that “We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21). It’s not easy. I also know that “(Job talking to God) “I am convinced; You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans.” (Job 42:1-2) Am I frustrated as to why being pregnant right now isn’t part of God’s plan? Not frustrated as much as desperate.

C – God, don’t you see how maturely I am handling this wait? Can’t you bless me with a child as a reward for my clear obedience, trust, and patience?

G – I love you. Wait on me.

We all have those things we are waiting on. That THING. The job we are praying for, the house we are looking for, the baby we want, the healing we need – it’s present in all of our lives. The only thing right now that is making me feel better is the knowing and believing that if God wants me to have my THING, then it will be done in His own perfect time. Does that make the emotions easier? Not necessarily. But it does take the focus off of me waiting for a child and turn the focus onto God and waiting on Him. And isn’t life always much easier when our attention is on God and not fixed on ourselves? I am grateful that I am not struggling with the feeling of being ignored by God, in fact, the opposite is true. I feel completely enveloped by His presence and peace. But I also have gone through the times where I feel abandoned. And I am certain that someone reading this right now is in that place – feeling like God is ignoring you or is punishing you. Asking the “why’s” while we are waiting for our THING is normal. Continue to pursue Him – don’t give up hope that He is there. Be frank with God. Be frank with others. (A blog about authenticity is formulating for another day – stay tuned.)

So here is what I know. I know that there is still a chance that I can ovulate and that this follicle does NOT turn into a cyst. I know that in the instance that it does that, that there is a chance that it can be fertilized and lead to a child. I know that we serve a God that doesn’t operate in chances but in His plans. So I pray that God continues to work His plan, whatever that may be. Do I hope that I don’t have to take a few months off over this stupid potential cyst? Of course. Can I solicit all of you to pray against the cyst that might be – I hope so!

People ask what they can do and there is truly not much. But I ask that you continue to stay encouraging, prayerful and check in. I know that always at the beginning of a THING, the support is there. You lost your job, let me pray this week! You were diagnosed with something? I am praying this week! Your child is demonstrating self-injurious behaviors? I am praying this week! But after the week is up, the THING becomes more of an assumed norm and we forget to continue to pray. To continue to check in. To continue to offer support. It doesn’t get easier the longer time passes. In fact, it gets painfully more difficult. So to continue to have friends and family rally with us long term, that is the blessing.

Completely unrelated. I have a lot of time to read without kids. And I like to read. So … I will take this time in my life to read as much as I want. In my pajamas. With a snack and some tea. Cheers to that.

Why hello little Follies!

You know when you reach that point in your life where you become completely open to whatever God’s will is, the good or bad (or at least “bad” as how we see it), and feel like you are ready for anything? That’s the place Josh and I have come to with these struggles. In fact, we stayed up too late Thursday night talking about the events of the upcoming weekend: Friday/yesterday – a uterine procedure to check to make sure my uterus could hold a baby to full-term, amongst other things and then Sunday morning, the testing to check to see if the medication this month did what it was meant to do.

We talked and prayed that whatever news this weekend held for us, that we would be content in knowing that He knows better than us. We reflected back on the story of our house: In January 2009 we decided we were going to move out of our townhome, build a house (more specifically a B model in a particular development in Blaine) and move. We listed our townhome, started the building process …. then waited for the townhome to sell. And waited. And waited. Until it became painfully obvious that we were not going to sell it, at least not in a range that we could make work. We prayed and prayed for a sale, but at the end, knew we were supposed to walk away from the newly built house and stay in the townhome. Yes, we lost money. No it’s not what we hoped for. But it was well with our soul.

Fast forward to October 2010. The same builder we used in 2009 had just finished a B home, in the same development, about ten houses down from the one that we built. The future owner, a physician, had a change in his relocation contract and needed to walk away. The builder wanted to get the house off of their books before year end. We visited – and fell in love. Loved the location of the home far more than the first, loved the colors on the home far more than the ones we picked out, and loved the price far more than the first. Due to the economy, it was tens of thousands less than what we signed up to pay for the first time AND the builder agreed to negotiate even more AND put all of the money we lost on our down payment of the first home, towards the second. We found a renter for the townhome (had many offers!), and within 7 weeks, closed on the home.

Now clearly the second home was the one meant for us. It worked out far better in the long run and we are in a much better place in our lives (figuratively and literally) than we would have been in if the townhome sold back in March 2009. Here is the thing – we know that God’s timing is far greater than ours. In our late night conversation, Josh reminded me of this. He said “Chelsea, what if this doesn’t work? And nothing works. We have to trust, that like the house, He has a greater plan for us.” I love that and believe that in the bottom of my heart. So when we walk into these appointments, whatever news we hear, we know that it too will be well with our souls.

With that said, let me share with you about my doctor’s appointment yesterday:

I checked in and find out that I got the nurse I really like (yeah!) to assist with the procedure. The doctor and nurse were punctual to the minute of my appointment and brought me back into the room, where they explained all of the tools and informed me of what will be taking place during this procedure. “Expect to feel some pain and discomfort.” I’m ready! My brain shouted back LET’S DO THIS! (In my head, I had formed a little huddle and did “Uterus on THREE!”).

Fast Forward – (ouch, pinch, gasp, pressure, cold, seering pain, brief relief, cramping)

Dr.:  “Wow, things look perfect! A textbook uterus. No lining issues, weird tilts, debris or cysts. It is exactly what we are hoping to see.”

C (in my perfectly warm doctor’s office voice): “That’s wonderful. I’m so glad to hear that.”

C (in my head): ALRIGHT! WHOOOOOP WHOOOOOP! TAKE THAT! FINALLY YEAH GOOD NEWS! I AM SO HAPPY! LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL UTERUS! I ROCK! THANK YOU JESUS!

Dr: “I know you have your appointment on Sunday morning to see if you have any follicle development, but let’s quick check things out now too, to see if the medication worked.”

(Me, frozen, not prepared for “this news” today, no time to mentally prepare.)

C (in my perfect warm doctor’s office voice): “Oh yes, that sounds great.”

C (in my head): This is it! God, I ask that you release all the prayers over me right now that have been offered to you. Release the prayers and blessings and comfort that have been lifted up in our name. I accept whatever is about to happen and trust you.

Dr: “Why, look at all of the beautiful follicles! Multiple follicles … on both ovaries!”

C: (stunned silence)

Sidenote: For the last 16 months, I have been trying all different kinds of treatments to try to get follicles to develop. (Follicles lead to ovulation). This has been my issue – I CAN NEVER CREATE A FOLLICLE. Once I find out I have no follicles developing (“We are genuinely confused why there isn’t even a little one.” says the nurse) the treatment cycle stops immediately.  We know I won’t ovulate this month and will need to take pills to induce a new cycle to start. I have had ONE appointment where they told me I had developed 1 mid-size follicle. That had been the only time, last JUNE, where this ultrasound had good news. So, you can clearly understand my stunned silence to hear 2 days before “THE” appointment, that I had MULTIPLE follicles.

Dr: “Oh yes, you have some nice big follicles that will become your dominate follicles on both ovaries. Wow, this looks great. Yep, this medicine worked perfectly for you!”

C: (stunned silence)

Dr: “Look here, see that? That’s the biggest one. That’s a really nice follicle.”

C: (in an emotional teary voice): “I’m sorry, I am just so thankful that I have follicles. I never really had follicles before. I don’t know what to say. I’m just so happy.”

Dr: “Oh yes, and I wanted to share that all of your bloodwork from last week came back and that was perfect. Your FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) levels are perfect, mid range, and your estrogen, which we want to be under a 10 at this point, the lower the better, was at a 4. So we couldn’t ask for better results on your labs.”

I wish I could transport you into that room at that moment. It’s a moment where I physically, spiritually and emotionally felt the answering of prayers. My mental preparation was so ready to receive any kind of news, that the on pouring of GOOD news literally took my breath away. Was this too good to be true? No, this was simply God answering prayers.

I skipped (probably literally, everything is a little foggy) out of the appointment, barely realizing that I still was in quite a bit of pain from the invasive procedure. Called Josh so we could life up a PRAISE prayer of thanksgiving to our Lord (and thankfully he reminded me not to close my eyes, because I did on impulse and there was a biker there …. Glad he knows me well enough to know he needs to remind me of those things, ha!). Floated home and am still incredibly grateful.

Tomorrow we go back in to find out more information, revisit the little follies and pray they are continuing to grow to the point they need to be at. Then continue to pray expectantly.

And you want to know what else is great? That had the news been that there were no follicles, that the uterus didn’t look great, that we would have had the peace and reassurance that God had a bigger plan in place.

Give thanks to the Lord. Call on him. Make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him. Make music to praise him. Meditate on all the miracles he has performed. Brag about his holy name. Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Search for the Lord and his strength. Always seek his presence. Remember the miracles he performed, the amazing things he did.” (Psalm 105:1-5a)

Clearly we are not “there” yet – but I rejoice and give praises to God that he has answered these prayers. And if this isn’t our month, simply knowing that my body responds to this new medication is a huge relief. Knowing my uterus is capable of holding a baby is wonderful. Knowing that my hormones can work themselves out to lead to an optimal outcome is a blessing. So we rejoice in these things … in the greatness that is our Lord and his answered prayers.

Going through this is a blessing. It has grown our relationship as a married couple. It has brought us closer to those we love and added a level of vulnerability and rawness that is beautiful. It has given us a greater awareness of God’s timing vs. our timing. It has given us the chance to rely on Him more than ever.

So – step one: Follicles developing … CHECK!

Neutral.

“How’s your week going?” “Neutral.”

Is it possible to feel neutral? I don’t feel super hyper, happy and optimistic, nor do I feel pessimistic, wallowy, or depressed. I just feel present. The days seem long. I feel exhausted. (the kind of tired where the only way I can describe it is if someone took a syringe, inserted it into my bones, and then drew out all of the energy remaining in there.) My brain feels completely fried, to the point where I am pretty sure I may have just stared at a piece of fuzz in the carpet for 5 minutes. I just feel like one big sigh. (Is it possible to feel like a Sigh?)

Does anyone ever play song roulette on your iTunes? You know the game where you hit Shuffle and then whatever song comes on you were “meant to hear”? (I tend to do this with nearly all things … Hmm, what chapter in the Bible should I read tonight … Deuteronomy 6 – Alright!  //  What should I watch on my DVR  * scrolls up and down while looking away* Okay! Sandwich King! // Which color pen should I use to write this card with *randomly mixes up pen cup* Cool, blue! // What worship song am I supposed to listen to right now … *turn on the radio* A commercial. Hm, what’s the hidden message in that … You get the picture.) Anyways, I keep doing this with my iTunes and keep getting these awesome messages that I was just meant to receive:

Jason Mraz told me “Why do we lay all these traps, we put them right in our path … I will not waste my days making up all kinds of ways to worry about some things that will not happen to me. So I just let go of what I know I don’t know and I know I’ll only do this by living in the moment…with peace in my mind, with peace in my heart, peace in my soul..I’m letting go of the thoughts that do not make me strong.”

YES JASON! Oh I was so meant to hear that. Thank you for reminding me to live in the moment, be positive and present, not to worry. Good message, good message, ok, next one I am meant to hear ….

Jennifer Knapp then reemphasized “Nothing is … impossible for me ‘cause I got faith that moves the mountains…and how can I forget this thing so quickly? How can I so easily fall on my knees? And I am weakened by the ignorance of you.”

Ohhh Jennifer, exactly what I needed to be reminded. I have God on my side and am stronger than I think I am. Perfect. Thank you for that message …. Ok, next song.

Justin Timberlake reminded me that “I’m bringing sexy back.” (Thanks for the self esteem boost Justin!).

Johnny Langs asked me “Tell me how much more can you take? I see the broken heart you try so hard to hide, I see the tears you hold back in your eyes. You’re not alone and I’ll be there… Whenever it feels like I’m so far away, remember my love remains … I see the fear and doubt that paralyzes you … And you can’t find a stand to fight, please keep this one thing in mind…my love remains.”

Johnny, *stifled sob*, I needed to be reminded of that. Thank you. Those words spoke to my heart.

It goes on and on. Typically I am shocked once or twice that I want meant to hear “Baby Got Back” or “Rockin’ Robin” (don’t judge), but still I go back for more, waiting for “my message”.

It dawned on me earlier today that I try to fill up the messages that God wants to deliver to me Himself in the silence, with this game of roulette. Mother Theresa once said “In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”

How many of us are guilty of trying to fill up the silence with something? To find hidden meaning in everything simply to distract ourselves from the vulnerability of quiet? For me, I feel like this week of “neutral” is an opportunity to be blessed with no mental distractions – no hyper brain ruffling or dreary thoughts. It’s a chance to just be. To quietly wait in the presence of God and let HIM speak to me. Not Jason or Johnny or Justin or Jennifer, but JESUS. (Side note: Weird, all J names. Totally not planned).

I had the privilege of hearing Mama Maggie of Egypt speak at the Global Leadership Summit in August of last year. The sentence that has never left my mind is this – and I encourage you to read this and breathe through reading it, read it slowly. Savor the words. Take your time. “To be in silence is to be full inside of yourself.  It’s not easy. Silence your body to listen to your words. Silence your tongue to listen to your thoughts. Silence your thoughts to listen to your heart. Silence your heart to listen to your spirit. Silence your spirit to listen to His presence….In silence; you leave the many to be with the One.”

My challenge for myself is this. In this time of “neutral”, I can’t just do something. I need to sit there. Be still. Be silent. Listen. Stop trying to come up with the right lyrics or song or verse or segment to make me feel better, and give Him a chance to meet me. Silence is truly a spiritual discipline. One I have yet to come close to perfecting but am feeling the quiet nudging to continue to do. How will we know His plans if we don’t give Him time to tell us?

As always, thanks for all the words of encouragement, prayers, love and support. You have all blessed me infinitely more than I can express. As we wait to find out on Sunday if this medicine worked (in that it created follicles to increase the chances of ovulation), I know that I have the love of many behind us. Hopefully we will hear good news and that is the message that the medication is doing what it should, but if it’s not, I know God simply has other plans this month. And that’s okay. The realization of that is empowering.

Pity Party, Table for 1.

I probably shouldn’t be sitting down to blog right now. In fact, I probably should go upstairs and lock myself in my bedroom or den and be avoided for the rest of the day. When I told my husband I was going to go blog, I saw his eyes light up with instant hesitation in regards to my sanity and I know he wanted to ask if that was really a good idea, but my eyes lit up just as quickly with a warning. But here is what I figure, if I can blog about the good, then I can blog about the bad. Besides, everyone wants to start their week knowing someone else out there is slightly unstable too.

Today has been difficult. Now sure, we all have bad days. But I have been a special kind of venomous today.  I have tried my very hardest to keep it in. But I am downright irritable. Let me walk you through my day and my abnormal reactions:

  1. An hour after I woke up, I was vomiting re-living my breakfast in front of the toilet. Let’s just say I won’t be craving pancakes for a while now. (Brain: Of course this would happen to you. This is the punishment for NOT BEING ABLE TO HAVE A BABY! Meds that make you sick. Congrats!)
  2. Checking my phone multiples times to see if I have any text messages or Facebook messages I missed. Nothing. (Brain: No one cares about you! Of course no one would write you anything. Everyone is busy and doesn’t want to talk to you, crabby face.)
  3. Drinking a bottle of Sprite (which is the only drink that is settling my stomach right now) and reading the bottle which says “Every cap gets an instant dwnld” (Brain: What kind of idiot company offers people free Donald’s and then doesn’t even spell the word right. Seriously, what is a Donald anyways? Regardless, I bet I didn’t get the code.)
  4. Getting home from a weekend away, check the mail, hoping for something fun. Nothing. (Brain: Well who would want to write you? They have better things to do. Boo-hoo Chelsea.)
  5. Pulling up Draw Something on my phone and going to select a word to draw. Hmmm, should I draw “Positive” (like a pregnancy test) or “Pregnant” (like everyone but me). (Brain: NOW I HAVE TO USE A BOMB! I HATE THESE WORDS!)

I could keep going, really I could. (But I don’t want you to think too poorly of me. My self esteem couldn’t handle it today.). To sum it up, I am living in one big stew of self pity that I can’t seem to get out of. I know that I am in it, in fact, I am allowing myself to simmer. I did cruel things to myself today, like watch “pregnancy announcement” YouTube videos and taped Giuliana and Bill episodes merely to sulk with her.

What’s my deal? I went back and reread past blog postings, hoping that Sane Chelsea could speak to Wallowing Chelsea, but even that Chelsea is irritating me today.

It’s been easy for me to start tapping into the fear cycle. I have this little devil in my head that is starting to knock and say “Why Chelsea, what if this medication isn’t working for you?? What if this week of side effects and spiritual/emotional battling is for nothing? What if no medication will work for you, there is no hope? What if you aren’t good enough to be a mom? What if, what if, what if?” I have been trying to ignore him today, but I haven’t been trying very hard. And because of that, I am allowing negativity to creep into my heart and head and ruin my day.

Granted, I sincerely don’t feel well. The side effects of exhaustion, nausea, a severe headache, and funky mouth issues (metallic tasting, burning tongue, numb roof) have gotten to me and made me less than patient. But that doesn’t give me an excuse to wallow.

As I sat down to write this, my notebook fell on the floor and opened to a verse I sketched in it a few months (years?) back – Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  This is exactly what I needed to read tonight. (Doesn’t He always do that?) Today I feel weary. The burden of wanting to have a child and not being able to, combined with the fear and unknown over a new month of treatment has me stumbling. But when I push past the pity party, fervently pray against the fear, I am overwhelmed by the peace of God.

Today might have been rough. And tomorrow might be rough too. But I know that at the end of the day, I have a partner on earth who knows just when to hug me and when to leave the room, and a Father in heaven who is holding me throughout it all.

I’m tired of being afraid
I’m wondering how I got this way
I’m trying to remember what life was like before
Panic moved in without even knocking on the door

Have mercy on me
I’m not who I used to be
Have mercy on me
Jesus, please

Have Mercy On Me, by JJ Heller