Tuesday, September 9, 2014

10% What Happens, 90% Reaction

10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. ~Stephen Covey

My pastor’s sermon on Sunday really spoke to my heart.  It was the first of a five-part series called #struggles.  It’s all about how to keep God the center of your life in a selfie-centered world.  J  Catchy, huh?

Anyway, Sunday was about envy.  As church was getting started, I glanced at the outline in my hand and boastfully thought, “I do a pretty good job of not envying others.”  After all, I have a fabulous husband, great kids, supportive family, loving friends, and stable financial status.  For the most part, I like my job, and Todd loves his.  Our home is warm and cozy and bigger than what we currently need.  We are able to take our 2 vacations each year that we enjoy so much.  I am overall very content in my life.

Then, Craig Groeschel reached through the screen and said to me, “Hey, Laura.  Have you ever said, ‘Ugh, if I have to see one more baby announcement on Facebook, I’m cancelling my account?’”  [That’s obviously slightly paraphrased, so I probably shouldn’t use quotations.  However, I like the sentence, so sue me.  J]  It was almost as if he had slapped me in the face.

I sat and listened and wondered if I was envying my friends that were getting pregnant all around me.  (Seriously, when I say “all around me,” I’m not exaggerating.  I even called my mom several weeks ago to make sure she wasn’t pregnant because I was starting to feel as if literally every woman besides me was having success at this.)  Craig said, “Celebrating with someone will purify your heart.”  Anytime I have a friend announce their new pregnancy, my gut reaction is to congratulate them.  However, I began to wonder if I was being sincere.

And I took a trip down memory lane. 

I remembered the first pregnancy announcement that really hit to my core.  My friend, Betty, was one of three of us (our friends, Amber and Brad, being the third couple) that did an IVF cycle together last May (our first, her first, Amber’s second).  Betty was the only three of us that got pregnant that cycle.  I remembered being happy for her, but at the same time, I was so envious.  I wanted what she had.  Her entire pregnancy was difficult for me as I longed to be hitting each of the same milestones with her…first ultrasound, second trimester, moving from Dr. Bundren to an OBGYN, decorating a nursery, third trimester…you know the drill.  I asked Betty about every step of the way and congratulated her as everything occurred.  Was I sincere, though?

Then, another friend had a successful IVF cycle in which she shared the news with me on Christmas Eve.  Hardest Christmas Eve to date.  My emotions were raw.  I was heartbroken over a newly second failed IVF cycle.  I still rejoiced with her, but was I really sincere?
Envy is resenting God’s goodness in other’s lives and ignoring his goodness in your life. ~Craig Groeschel
Then, it was my cousin’s turn to share her good news.  This was the most bitter-sweet of all of them because I had fully planned for the two of us to be sharing our pregnancy news to our family together.  I still remember the day she called.  I was ecstatic, and I remember that I was sincere.  I also remember crying deeply in my husband’s chest after I hung up the phone.

It was at that point that I made the decision that I would not ruin anyone’s pregnancy fun and memories with my sadness.
For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. ~ Proverbs 15:15
Soon after, one of my best friends from college, Tiffany, called to say she was also pregnant.  The tides started to shift, though, because I know I was truly, sublimely happy for her.

Since then, I have thrown a baby shower for my cousin, watched many friends and acquaintances give birth, and rejoiced in two more long-awaited pregnancies of my dear friends, Amber and Mandy.
I can honestly say that I am finally living out God’s will for my life.  I am celebrating the pregnancies of those around me.  I am celebrating in the hope that I will be a mommy soon, too.  I am celebrating that God has taught me so any awesome lessons in the last 3 ½ years.  God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.
…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation… I can do all this through [Christ] who gives me strength. ~Philippians 4:12-13


IVF Update:
I’m confused.  J 
On Wednesday, I had 5 follicles on my left and 3 on my right.
On Friday, I had 5 follicles on my left and 5 follicles on my right.
On Sunday, I had 4 follicles on my left and 4 follicles on my right.
Today, I have 4 follicles on my right and 5 follicles on my left.

I don’t know where those follicles went from Friday.  Either Dr. McKinney missed them on Sunday, or they regressed.  Then, another one popped back up today.  Whatever.  I have NINE that are above 10mm with 6 of them very close to the same size, and I’m content with that.

Mom went with me to my ultrasound on Sunday, so Todd could go start teaching our Jungle Cats at church.  I was grateful to have her there for the extra set of ears.  Dr. McKinney was the on-call doctor for the weekend, so she had a little talk with us.  The goal is to get the follicles above 16mm, or she won’t retrieve from them.  She prefers they are between 18-20mm for retrieval.  As we get closer to the end of the week, she will decide how much further we can let the large ones grow in order to give the smaller ones a better chance to be “retrievable.”  My ears heard that we will be retrieving either Friday or Saturday.  My trusty second-set-of-ears from Mom heard that we will be retrieving either Saturday or Sunday.  All of it is a guess, so who knows at this point.

As of this morning, though, the retrieval date has been tentatively set for Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.  We are just waiting for those follicles to hit their magic numbers…and hopefully not go over!

My endometrial lining and estrogen (estradiol/E2) are still increasing, which is good.  Well, I’m pretty sure it’s good.  J  (Do you like how I’ve stopped researching things like I did in my first 2 cycles?)

All I can say is that I am finally starting to feel my ovaries…or my mind is playing tricks on me.  I feel like I pinch them when I bend over.  I feel like I smoosh them when I lay on my side or stomach.  I’m kind of loving this.  It’s nice to have a physical feeling to reiterate the numbers the doctor gives you.

Shots are still the same.  Except there are visibly noticeable needle holes and multiple bruises on both legs.  I don’t remember my legs looking like this last time.

Best line of the weekend:
Laura – “I’m starting to look like a pin cushion with all of these needle holes and bruises.”
Todd – “No, you’re not.  Pin cushions don’t look that bad.”

I go back in on Thursday morning for another ultrasound and bloodwork.  Fingers crossed that they say we can trigger that night because we are about to run out of Follistim, which is also known as Liquid Gold in Infertility World.

Thirty-two, 32, treinta y dos, trente-deux, sanjuuni, 三十shots in the last 11 days.  (Anyone else know that I speak 5 different languages?  J)  (For the record, there have been more than 32 pricks given to me by yours truly because some of the Follistim shots have been from 2 different vials.  I'm becoming a master.)

Shot Counter:
Saturday, 8/30/14:
1)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
2)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
3)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Sunday, 8/31/14:
4)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
5)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
6)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Monday, 9/1/14:
7)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
8)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
9)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Tuesday, 9/2/14:
10)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
11)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
12)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Wednesday, 9/3/14:
13)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
14)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
15)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Thursday, 9/4/14:
16)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
17)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
18)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Friday, 9/5/14:
19)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
20)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
21)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Saturday, 9/6/14:
22)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
23)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
24)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Sunday, 9/7/14:
25)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
26)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
27)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Monday, 9/8/14:
28)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
29)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
30)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Tuesday, 9/9/14:
31)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
32)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
Can anyone tell me why the spacing on my blog entries looks so funny?  I don't know why it can't all look like it did in Word before I copied it over here.  This is driving me nuts!


  1. This is such a fantastic post and is really good food for thought. I need some more time to digest, but here are my first thoughts. Yikes, I'm feeling pensive this morning and really productive and my coffee is really strong, so this might be long winded like our emails. :)

    Envy...joy, celebrating others' joys. My first reaction was that trying to completely squash or deny the initial reaction of envy is bad and dangerous. After all, wouldn't that just be burying it deeper down, which isn't necessarily a good thing? But I think that maybe envy is when it goes from reactionary jealousy and sadness to sustained, prolonged, sticky jealousy and sadness. And that's what we need to make sure doesn't happen. I think that it's important to acknowledge the reactionary sadness and jealousy, because the only way to move past it is to acknowledge it (sense a theme in how I philosophyically treat things?)...embrace it so you can let it go. So that it doesn't become the sticky kind of envy. The way you handled it with your cousin is the perfect example of that, and how so, so very far you've come! (Tearing up at how far you've come and how much you've grown and evolved through all of this...you are amazing.) God is doing wonderful things to and through you - and there are so many of us that can attest to that.

    Also, I kind of want to slap Todd for the pin cushion comment. :) But I suppose you'll get your payback when he gets his lovely procedure, eh? BTW you haven't written about when/how that will be happening!

    Speaking of Todd...it would be fun for him to do a guest post. Just sayin. ;)

    Was thinking of you a lot this morning, glad I saw this and could respond! :D

    Love you my dear!

    1. I agree with you completely. I think you should definitely acknowledge when you feel envy and then find a way to overcome it. I agree with you on that. The long-term envy is what we should really shy away from.

      I'm glad you have been able to see my transformation. It's been a wonderful experience and one that I will be grateful for, regardless of how painful it has been.

      Ha! It made me laugh when he said that. My legs do look pretty gnarly. I would take pictures, but I'm afraid that's crossing the line of personal space. :)

      He will have his procedure on the same day as I will. We will both be going under for our procedures, so my mom is going to join us as our driver. It will be a family-fun event!

      I'm going to tell him you are recommending a guest post. I've done everything but begged. Maybe I can get him to write one now that it's being requested. :)

      I love you too, Ashleigh! Always.

  2. Also, how did your mom respond when you asked if she was knocked up too? :D

    1. "No, but you might call Mimi. I feel like she might be." Hahahahaha!! It was a perfect response.

  3. I just loved this post! I once heard from a preacher a few months ago that "we should celebrate and not hate!" She also went on to say that sometimes when we can't be happy for the blessings in our lives, that it might delay the blessings in our own lives. It was def some food for thought for me when I heard it. I'm praying for you sugars! Stay hopeful! You are doing awesome! xo


    1. "Celebrate. Don't Hate!" Sounds like a picket line. :) I think it's perfect. Isn't it so much more fun to be able to celebrate with those around you? It's never fun to stew in your own sadness. Few people truly appreciate how hard this is, so they just see you as being a Bitter Betty. I like people to remember me as a celebrator!

      I have wondered about that thought on finding happiness in blessings. That is so well written.

      Thank you, Elisha! I appreciate your prayers more than I can ever express.