Saturday, July 27, 2013

finding reason to be excited

Well, it has finally happened. Seriously. No more TTC roller coaster and overanalyzing every little "new feeling", hoping that finally we had something "stick".

We are pregnant.

I remember when we started this journey and girls would lament either in person or on my online support boards about how hard it was for them when they were TTC'ing. The ups and downs of just wanting to know.

They had been trying for  less than six months. HA. Six months? I'll take that and raise you 22 months.

Your move.

Since it took us longer than we had thought, it was incredibly surreal for me. when we got the call from the specialist. I felt guilty that I was pregnnat.  The kind of guilt that takes away the joy from something that should be joyful. And something that you and your hubby have spent hours and unspeakable amounts of money on. I felt that I was not worthy.

Well, hell, if I'm not worthy, who is?

With my first pregnancy, I was embarassed. I felt that I had no choice but to "hide" it. I was newly divorced and was a practicing Catholic. Things like unplanned pregnancies do not happen to the "good" people. Those were dark and unexplainable painful moments for me, five years back. I hated that child. God, I hated that child. Here I was, finally able to move on with my life and start a new chapter, that was all about ME. And then, this pregnancy happens? Excuse me?! I needed someone to blame. And the most innocent person in my life, was the target. Please, realize, that today, it kills me that I am admitting my hatred toward my child, in the beggining of his pregnancy. He was the innocent one, the one who did nothing wrong. I knew that, deep down. But, I was so pissed that I was having to "go through this".

I had to visibly carry the mark of pain. I did not feel blessed. I did not feel joy. I did not feel chosen by God.  I went aimlessly through majority of that pregnancy, going through the motions. I mentally have blocked out all doctor's appointment, ultra sounds, etc. It was easier for me to "keep moving", if I didn't allow myself the time to process what was going on.  However, it is when you bury pain and hurt, that it comes back when you least expect it.

It came back late May-through June for me.

I knew that I should have been excited about the pregnancy. I mean, this was what Aaron and I had wanted for so damn long. However you throw in some PCOS and other issues, and you're looking at a long road. It was not easy nor cheap for us. So, you would think I would have been on top of a MOUNTAIN singing and dancing like Goldilocks. And maybe it was the fact that IVF is such a timed and precise process, that it became almost anti-climatic for me. And then, when I should have been glowing with pride over my growing child, I was mentally back in September 2008. I truly felt that if I were to be excited over this pregnancy, then I was somehow cheating something from Colton.  It would only be fair to treat this pregnnacy as I did with Colton. With pain and quietness.

Seeing is believing. Last Monday, Aaron and I went to visit Colton and his family, while on our MHK to KC vacation. Between the random Kansas State football chants and push ups and throwing any kind of ball in their living room to either his Dad or Aaron, I found my peace. I never have ever second guessed my decison for adoption nor the parents I chose.  For some odd reason, on that muggy Kansas night, I found the joy and blessing that I needed, that it was ok to move on from that pregnancy and onto this one.

With full hearts.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Connecting Charles Ingalls to Aaron Leiker

For my regular readers, you know that "Little House on the Prairie" was a staple in the Bergkamp household growing up. I remember one specific episode, early in the series.

Charles had a stellar wheat crop. So stellar that he was making plans on how to spend the extra money that was destined to come in at harvest. He was going to extend their kitchen and the girls who were anxious to purchase the cloth for new dresses.  Flash to that night and a wicked hail storm blows through the area. Caroline is waiting up for him to get back in from the rain and thunder. Just remembering this scene, brings tears. When he gets into the house, he tries to make small talk about how it's really come down out there.  Then he admits

"It's gone. The wheat's gone."

Grant it, it wasn't THAT dramatic, coming to the realization that thanks to our drought and powerful winds, that our wheat, too, is gone. It's been a rough several months for anyone who has ground or livestock in SE Colorado. The days that we are told by our "college educated idiot meteorologists" to prepare for heavy snow or rain, always ended with us staring at the skies wondering "Where the hell is it?".  94% of the time, it ended up in central Kansas. We'd read facebook statuses of people complaining about "the horrible snow", etc and fummed, because we'd give ANYTHING to have a fraction of their "inconsiderate" snow dumpings.  The "good thing" about this drought effect, is that we're not the only ones in this boat. Sadly, that doesn't give us discounts on groceries or gives me peace over wanting to trade in our car for a Tahoe.

Oh, the irony in that this is our first year starting the slow process of managing Leiker Farms and there's ain't crap to be had. I know my Daddy's advice that "You'll look back 20 years from now and think "You know, it wasn't that bad," is true. And I know and remember really really tough times for him and Mom, while we were growing up on our farm in central Kansas.

They made it. We will, too, even if it's in our abused dirt road battered car that squeaks when brakes applied, due to God knows how many rocks are lodge under it. These are the tough times that molds young farmers (and wives) to appreciate the years that are bin-busters.  And, it's not like I'm going to starve (thank you chickens) or go naked (thank you, over zealous online shopping self) or go without love (thank you to the kindest 6'4 man I know). 

God will provide for all that we need. 

But, I wonder if he knows that I "need" a sexy Tahoe. Doubting it.

I guess the lasting moment of this post, is  that if you find yourself complaining about the snow or mud (what's that) or rain or that squeaky car with red dirt plastered on the back, "honey hush". 

Because we're making history.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

bucking up, Princess

After making it through what had been the worst day of my life (Holy Saturday), I woke up Easter Sunday with a 180 degree positive outlook change.  The thoughts and feelings that literally weighed me down Saturday, evaporated come Sunday morning. I know that is part of my personality (you can ask the hubby or my sisters and family): I blow up and have a massive break down. Then, give me time, and I'll pick myself up again and move on. Our TTC journey has not been any different. And although Aaron's not looking forward to  making a dozen trips to Denver over the next month and a few weeks (because Park Meadows mall is literally half a mile from our doctors office), we both are looking at this next step as possibly the final long haul. 

To whom much is given, much is tested.

If I did not have the husband or the resources that we have been blessed with, there is no way I could have made it this far. And "this far", has been a long, long, draining climb. However, I look at Aaron and I's relationship and I know that this journey has brought us so much closer. I look at couples who never have struggled with this aspect of life, and I know that our bond is stronger. We fight messier and harder, but that is what bonds relationships.  We've had to experience situations and emotional breakdowns that most couples married a year and half, haven't touched on yet. 

I look at the men in my past, and they all would have turned tail and ran the other way. Some did. And I am stronger for that and there's a beautiful family in KS with two boys who benefited from that cowardice.

I don't know what our summer will hold for us (and at this drought rate, summer won't be full of harvest). Selfishly, I pray it is full with excitment and heart burn. But, please, not heart break. Then, I'm reminded of Jesus in the garden: "Not my will, but yours be done".

So, I am taking this next month of reduced meds, to get back to what I loved doing: running. And it has felt so.damn.good. I'm loving my hormone-freed body, complete w/no break outs or bloated bellies.  However, I know that will soon come back around.  And I'll be ready to kick its ass. And we are praying/hoping that it is paid back with tiny steady beautiful heart beats.  And we're givers: we'll take more than one :)

So, here is to every morning being Easter Sunday.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

on to 21

Holy Week might as well had been coined "Hell Week", in our house growing up.  Like good Catholics, we attended mass Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For those who are not Catholic, Holy Week servcies/mass last for.e.ver. When we were in college, my sisters and I came home not very much during Easter. I wonder why.

It seems that every major holiday has held some bitterness for Aaron and I on this journey. Every Christmas and Thanksgiving only brought forced family/social times and little heartbreaks, that Aaron and I carried silently. Easter, this year by the will of God, is no exception.

Typing that only brings hot tears. And anger. And biterness. And betryal. And more anger. And a knot in the throat. How am I suppose to praise, devote and be a loyal Christian, when I feel abandoned?  I feel that Aaron and I's desire are ignored. Yet, I still need to "trust in the Lord's plan"?! Excuse me?! I'd be fine with a little trust in whatever is coming "down the pipes", but after 20 months of emotional breaking, I'm losing steam in the "trusting in the plan" bit. 

Yes, I could be paralyzed or have a fatal illness. But, then with that, I would know what the problem is and not mindlessly wondering through injections, blood work, ultra sounds, more blood work, pill poppin', false hopes, etc.

We've made more trips to Denver in the past month, than we had in the past two years living here. And it's only going to increase. I know the journey will be worth it, but for the first time, I am wondering if the ending is what I thought it would be.  I chucked running, per regard of our specialist. However, as of Easter Sunday, I am strapping back on my Asics and hititng the ground again. Because that's the only way I know how to work through stress/anger/pain/hurt/anger. 

"What are you going to do if you can't have more children and here you are, giving up this one?": Haunts me.

I didn't realize the gift that I took for granted.  I see women toting their children around and their growing bellies and I wonder "Do you even realize the hell others have to go through to have that?" Yes, I have been given so much. I understand that and am thankful. I have one kick ass husband who has supported me through this trip.  I have the best social circle of friends this side of the Mississippi. I love my "hick town". 

I just want to share our blessed life with our own children. 

This post is scattered everywhere. And I do not need pity or pious advice. I just needed to type.      


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Where's my "Idiots guide to praying and getting what you want"

When Aaron and I started the TTC journey, my prayers were vague.  It's amazing that while this process has continued on and challenged us, the spectrum these words to God have changed/developed.

At first, I was specific "That we are able to get pregnant", then after the months wore on, I felt that maybe I was being too specific and that God was mad at me, for being so "demanding" in my wants. So, the mantra changed to "So we can have peace". "Peace", meaning comfort and acceptance in God's plan for us. As the months continued to wear on, it went back to "if it is in your Plan, that we're able to have a child". And although, we're back to "wanting peace", I can't help but selfishly wonder if we're not pregnant, because God isn't "getting it" (my request). Maybe, I'm not being specific enough (as if God doesn't get the whole "how does a woman become pregnant process".) Which, I know is malarkey.  I also know that God knows everything about me and has "counted all the hairs on my head" and knows my innermost desires and thoughts. He does get it and has felt the desires that Aaron and I have when it comes to raising children. But, that doesn't keep me from feeling guilty when I specifically "request" that I am able to conceive. Then, I over think my prayer inquiries and feel guilty for assuming that God can't read my mind.Then, though, when I ask for "peace in our Plan", and we roll negatives, I think "Crap, it's because I wasn't specific enough! God misread my prayer text. Duh!!! Let me try this again, then."  And here we go, again.

AM thankful that it hasn't been easy for us, I really am (I say this with a bit of a smirk. Just a touch). There will be that moment, that we say to each other "This was the one that was meant for us". Obviously, it's not in our plans now.

And there will be someone in my future, who will benefit from my trials and struggles and endless knowledge.  Maybe by then, I'll know the "appropriate prayer structure procedure". Until next time

Pray On*********

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Break Time

Break time.

That's the mantra that Aaron and I are taking for the next couple months. The double edge of being so open about my life and our pursuit of a LeikerLegend, is that I feel the need to keep you updated on our journey. It's like the Pandora's Box; I've opened it and I plan to continue to keep it open.

After another obstacle in our journey, we have decided to give my reproductive organs a break from hormones and fertility treatments, until after Christmas. And, to be honest, after the God-Willing Kansas State Bowl Game, in a fabulous destination, yet to be determined. Instead of going down the modern medicine path, I am going to check out acupuncture, based off the suggestions from some amazing girlfriends. So, for now, we're on Chill Mode and checking into Enjoying Life mode. We plan on traveling with the team and going to the bowl game, wherever that may be. And, it'll be much more fun to enjoy it with my newly turned-21-sister and sister-in-law, with a cold adult beverage. 

I received so much support from you all, after my last posting. I have never felt so supported and loved by the words and experiences that you shared with me, publicly and privately. It was so humbling, knowing that I am not going through this alone. Again, this is a benefit of putting my life out there and writing: there is always someone who can connect with what I am experiencing. 

So, in closing, I can honestly say, that I am at peace with this decision. We are so very  much looking forward to our Christmas vacation get-a-way, especially with Sister Number Three comes with. Then, with the start of the new year, we'll start the next step in the process and make an appointment with a specialist. The only time frame we are racing against, is in our own minds. We are so young, yet in Small-Town-USA time, I should be hearing my biological clock ticking. But, I don't hear that noise. I am more than happy with putting my fall semester teaching pay stub to two tickets to a warm, sunny, southern destination, with my husband. No holding back. Just two young kids enjoying life without responsibilities, commitments, and the promise of looming college education funds to support, etc.

And that feels better than pumping hormones, etc into my exhausted body.

Break time, indeed.

Thursday, October 25, 2012



If you don't know what that stands for, then you haven't been living the life that we have the past 15 months. Big fat negative. And I don't mean "negative" in regards to a crappy attitude, although it has a tendency to influence the mood. Negative in regards to HPT (home pregnancy tests). I think I have peed on more sticks the past 15 months, than a bear in the woods.  I have charted temperatures, "the stuff that comes out down there" (yes, Mother. I did just say that), cramps, no cramps, sex (yup, said that too), and exercise routines. I have researched the miracle process of conception. A process that Aaron and I both have gained so much respect for. We've watched "The Incredible Sperm Race" video on youtube (it's amazing) and Aaron knows more about "the stuff that comes out down there" than a male, who doesn't have "Dr." preceding his name, should. We have watched and celebrated those around us, who started working towards having families after we did, bring their babies home from the hospitals and announce their BFP (big fat positives) with heavy hearts. We have wondered "When the hell is it going to be our turn?!" We learned that there are sticks out there to tell you when you are ovulating (I know, I am getting too technical for some people) and we have spent more on Digital OPKs than I have on Miss Me jeans (OK, that's a lie).  I have found websites that support the trying to conceive process ( and women who honestly know what it feels like, to be on a TTC roller coaster.  We have met with doctors and driven roughly 35 hours to figure out what's going on.  I have been pricked with needles and scanned with scanny-things and answered personal questions that I never thought I would know the answers to. And now for the truly emotional draining part.

I have felt the sting of not feeling adequate enough to do what my biology and DNA says I should be able to do. I have experienced the emotional upheaval feeling that I will never be good enough to do whatever everyone else around me, seems to be able to do quite normally. We have been asked countless times "When are you two going to have kids?" or "You're such a natural! When are you going to have your own?!" I have had to bit my sarcastic cynical tongue and not responded with "Well, first off. It's none of your damn business that my hormones are so out of whack, not even medications seem to be helping.  Yet, as if I need more crazy in my life, the medications pump MORE hormones in me, so I'm as happy as an Irishmen on St. Patricks Day. Yes, I know I am a natural and that is what burns the most. Thank you."

Women who experience infertility are not suppose to talk about it. It's almost like it's our dirty little secret and that we should feel guilty that we aren't able to look at our husbands and partners and POOF be pregnant. We should just "relax" and have "lots of sex". I can tell you, you can't fight hormonal numbers. No amount of "relaxing" will alleviate that. Getting advice from everyone else, although it truly does come from a good place, only complicates and pisses women who are experiencing infertility off more. I think by the time that you meet with doctors, that you kind of "get" the sex=baby process. We get that sex "should" equal baby. We just have, for some reason, issues in getting the sperm and egg to be cool with each other. You go through so many emotions when trying to conceive that I feel more like a hormonal teenager than a 28 year old house wife.

What stings more for me, is that I was pregnant before. It was not planned, in "my plan". The timing was not right for me or the father. But, the timing was right for Colton's adoptive parents and family. I hated being pregnant, because it was "such an inconvenience" for me. It totally wrecked my dating life and clothing budget (maternity clothes are not cheap). My running routine was put on hold and I had to resort to, snore, walking. I despised that child, when I first found out. How could this happen to me?! This is unfair. And now?????

All we want is to have our social life wrecked and as far as my clothing budget, I can explain those charges to Aaron :) Hell, I'd even make a bet with God to wear a moo-moo throughout the pregnancy, if that's what it would take. But, we don't know what it'll take for us. We're still learning. And waiting. And praying. And cursing. And crying. And screaming in our cars. And throwing random things. And burying our heads in our hands as we sob.  And leaning on each other and those in our intimate inner circle who have been amazing to us and never critiqued, only supported.

The point of this blog was selfish, I have to admit. I needed to vent this out. This is how I grieve and work through the emotions that have been pulling at me, specifically these past several months.  And to show that getting pregnant is not easy for everyone and if you're one of those people that is beautifully does come easy for, give thanks quietly and realize that it's not the same for everyone else. Us girls who are on "medically stimulated cycles" do not want your pity or your sorrow. We only want you to be informed and educated about the other side of fertility. If you're a male reading this may God give you graces for reading this.  If only one person reading this can relate and can gain strength from our fertility blessings, then I do not feel crazy for putting my business out here. This side of fertility MUST be known and talked about. There is nothing wrong with our bodies. We are beautiful creatures, working through this beautiful process taking a different route than what's considered "traditional".

Here is to pushing through God's plan and accepting that, as an amazing women recently told me, our perfect child is still out there, waiting for us.