Try For A Year

Try for a year and come back if nothing happens.  That’s it.  That’s what the doctor told us.  A few friends said they were told the same.  That’s crap.

I wish we would’ve taken it upon ourselves to learn a little sooner.  I guess Drew and I just figured that making babies was easy. They were popping up all around us.  I’d been told by a couple of doctors that I should have no problem getting pregnant.  Even after we waited a year and went back, I was told that I should be an easy fix.  I feel like just maybe this is something that doctors shouldn’t say to their patients. 

After my pep-talk with Vicki a couple of months ago, I stopped feeling so sorry for myself and sought out information for myself.  Jeez – I sure wish that would’ve happened sooner.  But it didn’t, so oh well.  

Here are a few of the resources that I feel really helped me through the last couple of months and I sure wish I would’ve found them two years ago!

Beat Infertility Podcast
I love podcasts in general and would download them and listen while driving, cleaning around the house, running, or whatever!  Simply hearing other women talk about it encouraged me to talk about it.  It made me feel OK about the feelings I was having.  One episode in particular, a woman said “Infertility makes you feel like an ugly person on the inside.”  She went on to explain how you want to feel overly happy when your friends, your good friends that you love so much, tell you they are pregnant.  It’s so weird because you feel like an awful person for not instantly feeling the way you think you should be feeling.  It comes around.  It’s not like I’m mad that my friends are pregnant!  That’s ridiculous!  I am so happy for them and praise God for it!  That instant reaction is just a tough little speed bump to get over at first.  The podcast also just provided more information to look into and explore.  How thyroid dysfunction can affect the ability to conceive, high prolactin levels, benefits of acupuncture, etc.  

Circle Bloom
One of the podcast episodes highlighted a program called Circle Bloom.  Basically, a meditation program to help the mind-body connection.  Simply explained in an example.  “Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.  Turn your right hand palm up.  Now imagine that a big juicy apple(or favorite fruit of choice) is in your hand.  Think about it and how good it is, think about biting into it.”  As you think about this, your mouth will typically start to water.  The program has one, twenty-minute track to listen to each day of  your cycle.  It starts with a relaxation and then moves into what your hormones should be doing in your body.  I didn’t listen to it every day, but I did some days and when I was getting acupuncture.  I was to the point where I’d try about anything.  I like meditation in general and figured this was something that couldn’t hurt, so why not? 

Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility
I LOVED this book!  I loved how it explained things easily and I loved the mix of information between Western and Eastern Medicine.  I loved how it was written and how the authors tell you what they will explain, and then explain it.  I resonated with their viewpoints.  They weren’t anti-IVF.  They were very much for it if needed.  They explained what natural things could be the source of infertility and what should be explored before western culture guides you toward it.  It was scattered with examples of real people who had come to them for help and what helped them conceive.  When I finally got to the point to take the quiz to determine my fertility type (dry-stuck), I was nearly laughing reading the descriptions of them.  They were so spot on!  As someone who needs to know the why…simply identifying this, was a huge help to me mentally.  My brain said “Ok! I guess this makes sense!!  And all of the changes they recommend will make me a healthier person all around even if I don’t get pregnant, so what the hell!”
This as another resource I heard about through the podcast.  It was helpful when just seeking out information and if we had questions come up.

Hopefully this article finds someone who doesn’t know where to start.  I know I didn’t.  And when I did decide to start looking, we were already a year and a half into our journey.  I know there are so many more great resources out there and every couple’s journey is different.

Wish Upon An Airplane

It is 6:17am on Thursday morning and I just finished a 3 mile run. It was a pretty slow 3 mile run…but it felt good. I woke up, stepped out on my front porch. It’s a beautiful morning! Praise God! There is so much to praise God for today!

Yesterday. Oh my God. Yesterday.  Here is he story of Wednesday’s events.

I slept in until 6, threw on my sweats, grabbed a pillow and my yoga mat and headed to the front porch.  We had two doctors appointments in Salina, so I thought it would be a good idea to get my head on straight.  The stars were so bright and beautiful!!   Instead of sitting up and cross-legged like usual, I laid down.  Starring up at the sky, I began to pray.  I’ve been using the PRAY method to pray. I’ve heard of this before, but someone recently reminded me of it.

  • Praise
  • Regret
  • Ask
  • Yield

After praising and regretting, it was time to Ask.  I thought to myself, “God can make miracles!  So even if there wasn’t a baby in my belly, if He would please just  go ahead and stick one in there, that’d be great!!”(Yes.. that exact verbiage). Then I asked Him that even if He decided not to, that Drew and I would trust that it is right.  Trust that He will bless us when the time is right because only He knows the master plan.  I laid there. I saw what I thought was a faint shooting star and I wished for a baby. Then I saw an airplane, told myself it was a shooting star, and wished for a baby again.

I was excited to start the day because this last cycle has been the best cycle! I even made it to 28 days!!  That has NEVER happened!!  I told myself – regardless of what happens, things are kicking in, my body is starting to get on track and the HCG shots totally helped.  For all of that, I was already super grateful!

We started at 9am at Dr. Ablard’s office. This was the first time seeing her.  We liked her nurse and we liked her.  She recommended our next step be a HSG, which could be done during my next cycle and went through some different treatment options.  She also recommended Drew get re-tested.  She ordered some blood work that had not previously been done along with a pregnancy test since I hadn’t yet started my next cycle.  It was kind of strange because we weren’t sure where to go from there.  We were kind of in limbo because our next appointment was with Dr. Hogan at 10:20 and we had already submitted our referral paperwork to Dr. Hilgers in Omaha to get further testing such as the HSG.  The nurse, Leann, wrote down which blood work tests they were doing so that if Dr. Hogan ordered any, they would know that it was already done.  I got my blood drawn and got a little light headed…but just a little.  We headed a few blocks down Santa Fe for the next appointment.

At One Body Clinic, we were told that we should be hearing back soon from Dr. Hilgers.  Great!  We are so ready for the next step!  Our appointment with Dr. Hogan went well. She, too, was excited that my cycle was longer and my corpus luteum seemed to be functioning better!! YAY!  Typically she will test for pregnancy on day P+17. Wednesday was P+16 so she said we should go ahead and do it because if we actually were pregnant, I would need to get progesterone shots that afternoon.  I let her know that it was already done and she stepped out to make a call to Dr. Ablard.  Dr. Ablard said she would call Dr. Hogan as soon as she got the results.  After the call, Dr. Hogan started going into what would be next if, in fact, the test came back positive.  Drew and I were only half listening and I think all that we gathered was that he’d have to give me shots in the butt.  We knew we weren’t pregnant and we sure didn’t want to get our hopes up.

I’d taken a urine pregnancy test on Tuesday.  I really don’t know why because even if it would’ve tested positive, I would have disregarded it since she said that HCG injections will obviously make you test positive on pregnancy tests even when you are not pregnant.  I thought maybe I saw a faint line, like so faint I was making it up.  So I trashed it and thought nothing more of it.

While in the city, we treated ourselves to some Buffalo Wild Wings and played a little trivia while we waited for our food. Drew won of course.  I suck at trivia. And since my food didn’t arrive in 15 minutes, it was FREE!! Woohoo! The volume on my phone was turned up and my phone sat on the table as I devoured my delicious chicken tacos. It rang.

Me: Hello!!

Cheryl: Hi Shannon?

Me: Yes!

Cheryl: Are you sitting down?

Me: Yes!

Cheryl: The test was positive.

Me: (no response. I couldn’t even talk)

Cheryl: Are you there?

Me: Yes

Cheryl: Ok- come back over!

So that’s when we found out.  We were tearing up right there in Buffalo Wild Wings while Drew was face deep in teriyaki boneless wings!  It couldn’t have been more perfect!

We headed back to Dr. Hogans office where she gave us the next steps for treatment and the nurses showed Drew how to stab my butt with a needle then slowly inject progesterone. It didn’t really hurt all that bad yesterday, but man…sitting all day today might!  This will happen Friday again.  Tuesday I’ll go in for blood work to test progesterone levels and some other stuff. Then will need the injections every Tuesday and Friday unless my body starts making enough.

Is this real?  I keep asking myself. Saying over and over in my head. “I’m pregnant!” I just want to tell everyone! And why can’t we? Why do we have to wait like everyone else?  I’m 4 weeks pregnant.  Like…there’s a living thing in me. I’m scared, excited, grateful, happy.

Drew asked me “Is it ok to be excited? Like what if something happens?”. I decided YES!!  Because even if something does happen, we still know that it’s possible to conceive on our own and that is something to be so very grateful for!

Dollar Store Mustache

What a strange. Very strange day.
Full of ups and downs. Ups and downs.
No VPN. VPN. No phone. No power. Restart.
Power on. Answer 1 email. No connection. Restart.
Power on. Hit power button with foot. Fuck.
Big fake mustache from the dollar store to bring laughter instead of tears.
Something that smells good that reminds me to breathe.
More technical problems.Therefore, a haircut.
Then the massage chair. Ohhh the massage chair.
1 good hour of productiveness.
Pants. Real pants. If jeggings count.  They do in my case.
It’s boots and scarf weather today.
Ringneck ranch. Welcoming LMC 17.

I just love those people!!  Tonight was so great!! I was so grateful to be out at the ranch enjoying the company of some super awesome people!!  Smiling.  Getting energy from others. I just LOVE it.

A few special notes.  While eating dinner in the kitchen, two of my LMC classmates shared with me a little about what they’d gone through to get their children.  Though I never wish this on anyone, in that moment,  I was so grateful for the short conversation about it.  I felt so…not alone.  Somewhat in the norm.  This blog has done so much for me in the sense that I am not afraid to share what I’m going through for fear that it may make someone around me feel uncomfortable.  I am happy that most people I encounter already know what Drew and I are going through and I’m not afraid to talk about it anymore.  Most times, I can even talk about it without crying which is a huge step.  It’s not weird! And it’s OK to talk about it!  I can absolutely feel the sense when people do find it awkward.  And I don’t care.  Maybe something someone else talks about makes me feel awkward.  Though let’s be real…you’re going to have to try pretty hard to make me feel uncomfortable.  Life is full of awkward uncomfortable things.  Big deal.

To the men at the table – thank you for your kind words!  Most of those who have reached out to me have been women.  To know that men too are reading what I’m writing and can also relate is comforting.  Each new story I hear gives me hope.  Most people only think about the women when it comes to infertility, but there is a whole other side that does not get told.  A few times I’ve heard, “Well I bet your husband doesn’t mind the trying part!”  I brush it off. The fact is, it’s hard for them too.  I think it would be such and interesting perspective if I could get my husband to write on the topic.

A Letter To My Husband

I am posting this because it’s something that couples go through and I felt it should be out there.  I sat on it for a while, because I didn’t want to upset Drew or make him seem like he’s not doing anything.  He is so supportive and has attended all of my appointments and meetings with Lindy for Napro.  He’s been positive when I could not be.  He’s seen my lowest of low and craziest of crazy and he still loves me and wants babies with me! The hardest posts to post are the ones that could potentially reach someone who needs it. So here goes!

The thing is – is that I know you care.  But lately I’ve been feeling like you’re not doing anything about it.

You do so much for me.  You make sure that my yard is beautiful, you take out the cat litter, you take out the trash, you do my dishes when I don’t and I know you hate it when I don’t.  Any request of mine, you see it happens.  Sometimes gladly, sometimes reluctantly, but it happens.  When there’s a week when we practically haven’t seen each other at all, you leave me little notes in my office before you leave for work so I can find them when I get home from the gym.  I still cannot express to you how much it meant to me that you wrote the letter for our referral paperwork to Dr. Hilgers in Omaha.  That was truly the most loving gesture ever!!  You are a wonderful husband and I’m so glad you’re mine.

I’m feeling alone in our battle with infertility right now.  Last night – I really felt it.  I feel like it’s me who is doing everything and you think you’re playing your part by not drinking and smoking.  And yes – I’m proud of you for that!  I have been reading. Reading. Reading. Trying to find out what is going to help.  This book is long.  But it’s also very informational.  I think you think books are just stupid.  That it’s not a book that is going to help us get pregnant, it’s a doctor.  But why couldn’t it be both?  What if there’s something in this book that does the trick, naturally, without much intervention.  Of course there’s always the “What if it doesn’t?”.  If anything, it sure has taught me a lot about what could be the problem.  It’s helped me go into doctors appointments and know what the doctor is talking about when she says things like luteal phase, follicular phase, FSH, HCG, etc.  To me – that’s worth it.  It lowers my anxiety knowing that I have some knowledge of what she’s talking about and I’m not relying on someone else to teach me everything I should know about how to conceive.

Last night – as you flipped through Netflix trying to find something to watch and told me about this strange clown story you read about in the news, I was reading about Endometriosis, PCOS, Hypothyroidism.  I ordered baby aspirin because it’s supposed to help build up my endometrium.  I couldn’t help but think to myself – “I’m  glad you have time to read about clowns and watch a couple movies on Netflix. I’ve been reading this book about infertility for over an hour today.”  Everyone needs their down time, and I get that.  I know that I don’t do a very good job of relaxing. I can’t help it that sometimes I see sitting in front of the TV for a couple of hours a waste of time.

I guess at this point, I don’t really care how you get the information – as long as you’re getting it.  I want you to be knowledgable about these things too so that you know what the doctor is talking about too. That in itself – makes me feel less alone.  I know it’s my body that’s not working right. I know that you’ll read about things and not necessarily know how it applies because it’s my body and not yours.  I’m doing all that I can in attempts to get my body on track. I’m eating lots of colorful foods, flaxseeds, whole organic milk.  I’m taking 12 pills a day and giving myself HCG shots. I’m attempting a mind-body connection using a program to meditate on my uterus and weekly acupuncture.  I’m doing all that I know what to do.  But it’s still us.  We are still in this together.  And the balance is a little off.

Birth Control

As a senior in high school, maybe even younger now, it is common to go see your first woman doctor.  So I did.  Everything checked out fine.  No irregular periods, no intense pain, nothing.  My medical history is pretty much squeaky clean.  The doctor discussed birth control options.  I knew my some of my friends were on it and though I wasn’t having sex at the time, she made it seem like a good idea.  I opted for Depo-Provera.  On the shot, it’s typical to have a light period once every three months around the same time you go in for your next shot.  Some women on the shot don’t get a period at all.  To me – at 18, this sounded great!  That time of the month always sucked anyways, so why not just eliminate it all together right?

In order to continue getting birth control, you must see your doctor every year.  I continued seeing a doctor at Lafene at K-State and continued with the Depo Shot.  From what I could tell, I didn’t have any side effects.  I didn’t gain weight, I didn’t think I was moody and my period came about every three months.  At one point, for one month, I switched from the shot to a pill.  I felt like I was hungry all the time and I cried a lot.  Though I’m not sure if this was the pill or life’s circumstances that brought this on, I’m blaming it on the pill.  So I went back to Depo.

Out of college, newly married and relocated, I went to see a new doctor in Beloit for my yearly exam.  I had talked to her about potentially getting off of the shot since I’d been on it for 6 years.  I had heard that it takes a while to get out of your system and although we weren’t wanting to have kids now, I didn’t want to disrupt our future plans.  She informed me that since I still had regular 3 month cycles and my mother had no problems conceiving, then I should have no problems when the time came and for now staying on Depo would be ok.

Two years later – Drew and I decide we’d like to start a family.  Two years later – we are still trying to start a family.

Last year, I had the opportunity to help teach a Theology of the Body program to our high school students at Sts. Peter & Paul.  From August 2015 through April 2016, we basically talked about not having sex!  At least that’s the main thing the kids got out of it – which is good.  What was great…was the WHY!  Why God made us the way we are and why he says to wait for marriage and why our bodies are amazing.

In February of 2016, Drew and I started seeing a NFP instructor.  Although I really hated doing the charts along with everything else that goes into charting and was pissed off that we had to do them when so many other people just got pregnant instantly, the fact that we learned that at the same time I was teaching Theology of the Body was not coincidence.  God totally planned that.  It really allowed it to sink in for me.

People may say that the Catholic Church is radical when it comes to views on birth control.  I know that birth control in general is a controversial topic.  My view is that if you use your body in the way that God intended, you would not need it.

I think it stinks that it is such a culturally accepted thing and if you’re not on it, you’re weird.  I think it affects your body in way more ways than many women are aware especially when you start it at such a young age when you are still trying to figure out who you are.  It can affect your moods, your happiness, your appetite, your fertility…just to name a few.  And I think it stinks that it seems to be the go-to drug for treating other things like acne and hormonal imbalances.  I’m no doctor – so I don’t know it all.

I don’t blame the doctors that I’ve seen in the past for my infertility.  But I do wish that someone would have discussed the opposite side of things.  Would I have listened? I’m not sure.

I wish that I knew what I know now…when I was younger. – thank you Rod Stewart.

Be Your Own Advocate

Yesterday was the start of another cycle.  I was actually quite surprised with my reaction.  I was not sad or overwhelmingly emotional, but relieved and excited that it came early.  I knew the past cycle was all messed up so I was ready to get on with it!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve really tried to have a more positive and research-ive (not a word) outlook on things.  Here is what has come of it.

Vicki kick-started it for me.  After one of my posts, she asked me to give her a call.  I really needed this pep talk!  She told me about her experience with infertility and encouraged me to really be my own advocate when it came to my health and my fertility.  She encouraged me to research and research, because it helps to be informed going into these doctors appointments and if ever I had a doctor who would not answer my questions – he/she was probably not the right doctor.  I am so lucky to have the best friends in the world and even luckier that my best friends’ moms are so awesome too!! This is why we call Vicki the Queen of Heart-to-Hearts!

After that I marched into the living room and announced to Drew that we needed to start doing our own research and looking things up and asking more questions!  He did a typically Drew thing and searched around on the Internet.  I did the typical Shannon thing and found a book on Amazon.  I started with Infertility: Causes & Treatments.  It was a very short book that just skimmed the surface.  It was just enough to not be overwhelming and to give me some additional knowledge of how things work and the steps that are taken to attempt a diagnosis.

We wrote down our list of questions and the week before visiting Dr. Hogan, I emailed them to her.  She responded, but we felt like she didn’t really answer our questions.  This made me even more anxious about going into our appointment.

Side note: Married life sure hasn’t been easy this last few weeks.  Sometimes it just really sucks that so many topics of conversation center around fertility.  Is it peak time?  Will insurance pay for that? Is that in-network or out-of-network?  I read about high-prolactin, have you been tested for that? What about FSH? Should I get tested for endometriosis? EX-HAUST-TING. At one point, I felt like if we weren’t talking about that we were bickering about something else.  Finally we decided to have a no-bitching week.  We couldn’t be mad at each other or act bitchy.  It has been a much happier week!

I also had a couple of people say something to me about acupuncture.  I was curious about it and got a referral to a chiropractor in Salina, so I gave him a call.  I had three sessions with him 8/11, 8/16 & 8/18.  That’s A LOT of driving to Salina.  The first time I was pretty anxious.  It sort of felt like I was laying tummy down on a pile of thorny stickers.  By the 3rd time, I was much less anxious and tried to enjoy it.  It also helped that I asked him not to stick any needles in my feet! That stung the worst!  I think I’ll continue with this, we’ll see.

Our appointment with Dr. Hogan was on 8/18.  Drew and I both felt like it went well.  We revisited the questions in my email.  I had more knowledge of everything going into the the appointment with all of the reading I’d been doing and we both felt like as we left, we at least had a plan.  She gave us the paperwork to start the referral process to Dr. Hilgers in Omaha where they can do more.  We also plan to get a 2nd opinion from Dr. Ablard in September.

Dr. Hogan is trying to get my thyroid medication just right and now has me on 2 different thyroid medications.  Needless to say I invested in an freakin pill box for the 2 thyroid meds, B6, Mucinex & Fish Oil.  That’s a lot of bottles to open every day!  She also prescribed HCG for my luteal phase in hopes that it will straighten that out.  HCG is a shot I have to give myself! Eek!

I got it in the mail yesterday and was all pumped up to do it!  Drew would be so proud if he came home and I’d already done it!  Plus then he wouldn’t have to give it to me!  Months ago I would have been so afraid of this – but now I don’t even have to lay down to get my blood drawn and I had 60 needles stuck in my body over the last few weeks!  I opened it up and was all confused by how much to draw up into the needle!  Luckily – my backyard neighbor is a nurse so I messaged her to see if she’d come and show me!! She did and I got it done! Didn’t even hurt!

I’m praying that this current cycle is healthier than the last and that it lasts more than 20 days!

What More Can We Do?

I woke up crying this morning. That’s fun.  What a way to start a Sunday…or any day for that matter…but especially Sunday.  A day where all I have to do is figure out what I’m going to do all day.  No real structure to keep my mind off of things.

I was dreaming.  Recalling it now, I really traveled all over the place last night with no real purpose.  I was at a lake going up and down windy roads trying to find someone, but not sure who I was in search of.  I was in a busy crowded bar district with Ashley.  We’d found a slightly less crowded bar that served hot dogs and Drew and Jake were coming to meet us.  I’m not sure if they ever made it and I don’t believe we ate any hot dogs.  Later I was in a hospital…not as a patient, but visiting someone. Not sure who, but we were staying overnight and all I wanted was a place to cook some chicken.  For some reason, they had a place at this hospital that looked like a kitchen section from Nebraska Furniture Mart.  No George Foreman though so I had to cook my chicken in a pan.  Then we left the kitchen.

The next part I remember vividly and I’m not even sure where this scene took place.   I sat at a table with a familiar acquaintance, though no one I actually knew, with a full whiskey diet in my hand.  Young and unmarried, she told me about her brand new baby.  Trying my hardest to love and be light-hearted like I know I should.  Trying my hardest to not judge and wonder why.  I chugged my drink, woke up crying and said to myself “What more can we do?”

What more can we do? What more can we do? Repeating over and over in my head.

I got out of bed and wondered what to do with myself.  I kind of wanted to jump in my car and drive to my mom’s…because well…sometimes I just need my mom.  I wondered if Vicki would be home this morning too.  I would love to see them both right now.  Too bad I have a meeting this afternoon about a presentation Monday that I haven’t worked on at all.

I got back into bed, snuggled with my husband and told him I love him.  I got up and decided to write.

What more can we do?

I’m just not convinced that we’re doing all that we can here.  The first doctor says “Try for a year and if nothing happens come back.”  No real direction. No information on what works. Is this something I should’ve maybe looked more into myself? Yes. But is this also information that should’ve been at least discussed by the professional. Yes.  After that we tried Clomid to get things regular.  That helped to get things regular, but didn’t do the trick.  –Ha! The trick.  I just called making a baby a trick and now I’m laughing.  Thinking about someone explaining to a young kid where babies come from.  “It’s a magic trick! Just poof! There’s a baby!”–

I was referred to Dr. Hogan but before I saw her I had to have at least 6-8 weeks of Napro charting completed.  I cried when I’d heard this..more waiting!  Whatever, I guess. Do what a gotta do.  So we went to Lindy.  Lindy taught us the Creighton Model system. I am grateful for learning this and it came at a time when I was teaching high school kids about Theology of the Body.  I am truly amazed how God designed the body to work and the two combined gave me a whole new viewpoint on birth control.  I am grateful that my husband attends every session with me and helps me with it.

However, there is something that still haunts me.  Before Drew and I got married, we went through our Engaged Encounter in Manhattan. Part of the program is natural family planning and learning about the Creighton Model System because the Catholic Church is against birth control.  On birth control at the time, we walked out of there and I remember us saying to each other “Yeah…we’ll probably only use that if we’re actually trying to have a kid.” And here we are.

I noticed as I was thinking and writing that I keep referring to I.  I need to remember that this is a WE and sometimes that is hard.

We have now seen Dr. Hogan a couple of times and are trying to stay hopeful in thinking of this as our new beginning of trying.  I went alone the first time since I figured it was just a consultation.  After the stress of trying to relay the information to Drew, I decided I probably shouldn’t go to another baby making appointment alone.  She ordered blood work to see if I was ovulating.  Turns out I was too stressed out after that and my body decided not to.  She also ordered a pelvic sonogram which revealed nothing out of the ordinary except two things.  I’m a very hydrated person and don’t need to drink a ton of water before said appointment.  And a $600 bill.  Holy shit.  The price of baby making is really cutting into my debt snowball.  Part of me is grateful that everything seems to be in working order, the other part of me is pissed off because everything seems to be in working order.  The second time we saw her, she sent us over the lab right away and this time I had ovulated, so that’s good news, right?  Also – I am now a professional at getting my blood drawn and I don’t even have to lay down anymore!  Since then, she’s doubled my thyroid medication twice and we go back to see her next week.

I already have anxiety about this visit and it’s a week and a half away.  If I feel like I do now, there’s no way I’ll be able to hold it together.  I’m sick of the trial and error approach.  I want some sort of diagnosis.  But is this just what this process is? Trial and error?  Or is there another way.  I don’t know.

What more can we do?