TTC

Shoulda Coulda Woulda’s and other things that still hurt despite a Wonderful Life.

I’ve been having a super hard time sharing lately. Some of you may have noticed I’ve been abnormally quiet lately. Trying to figure out my “spin” on some frustrating feelings and it’s a tough thing to pin down.

We’ve made some choices lately, awesome, exciting, selfish and fun choices that are not in any way fertility serving or related. I’ve been having trouble allowing myself to be happy and confident about them. We deserve to have fun and do things that make us feel happy, remind us why we love being together and make our bond stronger…. but in making those choices we removed other opportunities and choices regarding future fertility treatments.

We’ve spent the last 8 years trying to get pregnant- and for the last year of that it has been the primary focus of our lives…. and it’s HARD!!! It’s mentally and physically taxing. We’ve suffered loss, and somehow at the end of that difficult year we are and aren’t closer to reaching the finish line. We know now IT CAN HAPPEN now….. but the questions and challenges still remain and I find myself wondering WILL IT happen more often than I care to admit.

This journey is one of pain, longing, stress, and a lot of telling myself to be stronger and more positive than I may actually be. I want to bring light and positivity to others…. but at the same time there are so many days where I just can’t get it up for the world and I just want to feel frustrated and angry that for some reason the universe continues to withhold the last missing piece and I can’t for the life of me figure out WHY!!!!! Despite so many other amazing things that may be going right— this one missing piece haunts me.

Meanwhile, when I look up from my own journey I feel my heart break wide open for others that are fighting their own battles that are totally different than mine. I tell myself to “suck it up” and shame myself for indulging my feelings because others “have it so much worse”…. and while all of that may be true…. one journey cannot possibly be measured against another.

Every journey is unique and no one else is strong enough to move the mountain that has been assigned to you. It’s grueling…. and all the more laborious if you don’t allow yourself to experience what you’re feeling and constantly suppress and stifle yourself for the sake of putting up a brave face.

So in the end…. this life is pretty great. There’s so much here to be grateful for… and sometimes despite all of that I still hurt, and I must keep pressing on! However I can…. 

AngelMom, TTC

A girl with a secret

  • Cycle Day: 15
  • Treatments: 3 follicle scans to check egg growth process, IUI scheduled for this week!! 
  • Meds: 225 IU HMG (7 total), HCG injection to trigger ovulation 
  • Mental State: Calm, Ready. 


This photo was take last November, right after I found out I was pregnant. I felt so mischievous knowing such an important amazing thing… that I could share with no one…..

Oh who am I kidding. We were bursting at the seems!!!! We didn’t tell everyone– but we did blab our big news to a handful of people. Mostly people we’d been sharing or struggles with. Infertility and treatments are so isolating– all you want is for people to understand what you’re going through and to feel valid and supported in your choices it was so nice to finally have something GOOD to share with those people!!!

We decided not to tell our parents, not yet anyway. We had already sort of planned to get both my husband’s parents here for Christmas and I knew it wouldn’t be TOOOO hard to get my mom here so we’d wait until Christmas to put together some magical way of telling all of our parents at the same time.

Along the way, there were a few people who were surprised at our decision to share so early on “oh it’s too early!! You should wait til after the first trimester” WHY I thought!!??? It did not even occur to me that early loss could be our reality all I knew was that THIS WAS IT…..

And then it wasn’t. 

If someone shares with you that they’re pregnant please don’t question why they’ve told you– at whatever point. They’ll probably spend the rest of their lives thinking they jinxed it…. because that’s what you’re saying.

Plus, if the unspeakable should happen— it’s your job to be there for that. In whatever capacity they need you to be.

I wonder daily if I jinxed my baby… and I wonder when I get pregnant (because I will!!) — if I will jinx it again!? I doubt I’ll keep my pregnancy super secret in the future because throughout this journey I have found such comfort in sharing the experiences and growing a cheering squad that would make any sports team green with envious rage— and why wouldn’t I share the good stuff too!!! That, and also because I need support. I need people in my corner. Celebrating, and praying and sending all those good vibes into the world! Live in this world with me, please. 

Please recognize that If someone shares their life with you, they’ve picked this time and this place to be truthful, even if it hurts. Even if it doesn’t turn out like it should. Please don’t judge people for craving that connection and letting you in. 

For now, we are going into the following week with our insemination scheduled, hoping, praying, and willing for this time to be IT!! I don’t know when I will feel open to sharing more news, but when that time comes I trust you will be there…. 

TTC

Liquid Luck!

  • Cycle Day 9
  • Treatment: Sonohystogram – YOUCH!! 
  • Treatment: Follicle Scan- 3 measuring 12-14 
  • Medications: 225 IU HMG injection 
  • Mental State: Relieved, Excited

We just recently re-binged the Harry Potter series and I swear, for this day you would have thought that I’d been chugging some Liquid Luck serum!! Expelliamus Infertility!! 

I had a big day at the ‘ol fertility clinic, one I’d been dreading in fact. I agreed to have a very expensive and painful scan done today to make sure that my baby factory didn’t have any defects that might be preventing Little Baby Loudon from setting up shop.

I’ve had this test done before so I was very aware just how painful it is. In 2014 I had several polyps removed from my uterus and this scan was to make sure they have not grown back— and Hallelujah thank you Baby Jesus they have not!!!!

In anticipation of a good clean report my doc had already started hormones so that if we got the green light we’d be right on track to continue on to IUI- which we are!

He did a scan of not only my super awesome free of polyps uterus, but also checked in on both ovaries which are busy making follicles (pre embryos) which when big enough will be triggered by injection to all ovulate giving us as many chances as (responsibly) possible for us to conceive on this cycle!!

Tonight also marks the start of injections, and that went great too!! Thanks to hubby who’s become quite skilled at stabbing me in the booty with a large needle! Joy!!

That’s all I’ve got for tonight.

For this day in my life, things went according to plan and it doesn’t get better than that!!
fingers crossed everyone

🀞🏼🀞🏼🀞🏼🀞🏼🀞🏼🀞🏼

AngelMom, TTC

New Cycle Feels!

  • Cycle Days: 2 & 3
  • Treatments: 1st Ultrasound, Initial Blood work,  75mg Femara
  • Mental State: Day 2: Nervous, Day 3, I got this. 


This is me… taking a breath before going into my Cycle Day 2 ultrasound. This is me making a choice, opening up my head and heart to a new possibility. A possibility to realize my dreams… or to have them purΓ©ed…. which will it be???? Have to wait and see!!!

(And PS I don’t even wanna hear it about my stupid filter. I love it, I’m adorable, it’s my thing, get over it haters!!!! Hahaha) 

I’m super nervous as I turn the handle and push open the heavy wooden door, it loudly creaks open. The first step down into this rabbit hole. One I’ve fallen down a number of times, yet each time it’s a new an foreign sensation. My stomach and head are spinning… wondering what kind of news I’ll get… as we shake the magic 8 ball that is my vagina.

The seating in the waiting room gives me almost as much anxiety as the appointment I’m there for. Pompous dark fluffy couches that are basically a foot off the ground… I know with 100% certainly that I will not look graceful when I try to remove myself from it. They wait the perfect amount of time to call my name… not long enough for me to stress spiral, but just long enough for my ass to have made an everlasting bond …. and with that it’s time to hoist myself up and out of the fluffy trap I’ve been bamboozled into. Oh the life of an awkward girl…you can take this moment to picture it, and laugh- it’s cool. Go ahead!

This appointment signifies one year of treatments. Which is disappointing, but also helpful in that we now have whole year’s worth of measurable data. Data to analyze, compare, and obsess over. This data will help us come up with the best plan! Plans are good…. there are a few different scenarios that could come to pass, and I’m grateful for the facts, the honesty and the options I have to choose from. Choices are good. Data is good. The hope and promise of a possibility… is good.

And then we cut to today…

Blood work for the upcoming cycle, which is basically a rework of the original blood work because we’re now a year in we need to … you guessed it analyze and review!
I am typically a “hard stick” at the ol blood bank. Meaning all the phlebotomist see me coming and run for cover. They take turns drawing straws… which is a total waste of time – but I’ll get to that!
My favorite phlebotomist Sean is there and I’m happy. Many many times he’s saved the day and got my blood when no one could…. but today…. might Sean has struck out!!!

I need to fill up 7 vials… he tries and manages to get some blood, but it’s not enough and we end up wasting what he did pull because it clotted up and was no good. He tries two more time, with similar failing results. Next!!!

I go through every single technician in the joint! All 5 literally took a stab at me in order to kind of fill the 7 more vials needed! 5 techs, 8 puncture wounds to remember them by, 7.5 vials filled-ish, 2 and a half hours spent with my “friends” at Sonora Quest…. Normally this sort of thing would really take the wind out of my sails. Normally I would be broken and beaten down. Believe me — it was no cup of tea — and given the option I would certainly pass…. but today, I can’t be phased. Steps in the right direction and that’s all I can ask for!
Ouch!!

But as it always is…. our kid would be worth all of this and so much more! 
✨🀞🏼✨

**update**

One week later and the bruises are still there but hopefully leaving soon!!! So lovely! 

AngelMom, TTC

The will to believe

  • Cycle Day: 13
  • Days to fertile window: Brace Yourself…..
  • Mental State: Clear, hopeful

I did some decluttering at work today. Just trying to make my outward self match up with my inward one. Cleaning out junk that doesn’t belong. Trying my best to think thoughts independent of infertility and just enjoy whatever is going on RIGHT NOW.

I was relishing this rare moment of clarity, and just as quickly as it began I was jolted back to reality when I stumbled on something that whipped me around and stopped me in my Fung Shui tracks, cold.

It’s been nearly a year since I started treatments with my current specialist. Through each cycle, I buried myself in positive thoughts. Not that I was actually feeling positive or enlightened during this time, but I felt like I could trick myself into feeling that way and it would be better for me and ultimately help me conceive. Not sure exactly where the notion came from, but I was committed to it. Sure, there were times where I couldn’t be fooled and things were just shitty…. but my whole plan was to psyche myself out and end up really believing by accident.

A big part of this plan was written affirmations I left for myself at work. My way to sort of a Jedi Mind Trick myself…. (yes I’m a huge Star Wars geek— and this is only 1 of of the things that makes me awesome). I changed them periodically, always written on a big sticky note and placed on my computer screen. I never cared who saw it or what it would mean if they did. It was my way to own my feelings, the choice to “try” and to remain positive! Also, as a bonus side effect it made me feel like I had a smidge of control- which I desperately needed.

When I lost my baby in December, I was out for about 3 weeks to recover. I came back to work still broken, still teary eyed, still sad… and the first thing I saw was my yellow sticky note….. I shattered.

I was not the same girl that wrote this note.

I felt so betrayed, those words mocked my very existence. Before the tears could spring out, I grabbed the note and shoved it in my drawer under a bunch of nonsense with a dozen others just like it never to be seen or thought of again… until today.


I found my personal affirmation hope chest. Every time I turned something over in that drawer I would find another one!! Sheesh Past Me– how much positivity does one really even need?!??

Reading though them, was reminded of a girl that truly wanted to believe that it was all just a case of mind over matter. Believe these wonderful things, and they will be real. In my heart, I do still believe… I felt my body relax and I felt happy. Perhaps my mind trick worked? Clearly I knew then that I was capable of believing again. After all I only stashed the notes. I could have easily thrown them in the trash, but I tucked them away beneath everything else somehow knowing I would need and want those positive words again eventually. Feeling a well of hope bubble up inside, I picked one out of the crowd and proudly displayed it on my screen… it feels good to believe. It feels familiar, and warm.

In the end… we are all just looking for something to believe in. It worked for me once, and it will work again!

Also… it’s clear I owe my work a pack of sticky notes…. 😳

AngelMom, TTC

Somewhere I belong…

  • Cycle Day: 12
  • Days to fertile window: 5- tick toc man!!!! 
  • Mental state: Amazed 

So, as we’ve previously covered my husband and I have been trying to (or in some cases trying not not avoid) start our family for about 8 years. We began as most couples do, just expecting that it would happen.

I was brought up believing that pregnancy would surely happen if I didn’t keep my lady bits under lock and key! After all, with no skill or plan involved I was conceived by an impressionable teen who had no thoughts of children or family in the immediate plan, so naturally I was terrified of perpetuating this pattern before I was ready to do so.

Here we are, years later still unable to just let this happen to us! It’s heartbreaking to want something so badly, and feel like you’re broken, damaged, unlucky or inept at just making this seemingly simple thing happen for yourself.

It feels so lonely!! No one talks about it!!! Ever!!! The fear, doubts, anger, and isolation I was feeling couldn’t possibly be unique to only me?!! And if not, where the heck were all these women and why weren’t they speaking up, DAMNIT!???

Now, since starting my blog it’s purpose and direction have changed several times – already!!! I’ve only been writing consistently on the topic for about three months! It took a month of writing for me to gain the courage to publish some of it to the internet and even today my focus and direction seem to be an ever evolving animal that I’m getting to know as we all go along together! Now that I’m writing about it, and speaking out I’ve been looking for others that have been doing the same… and what I found is staggering. There are extremely limited choices in the category of relatable books on infertility that focus on humor, intelligence, sharing experiences and helping others to cope, thrive and survive it!

In my research, on this and other topics, and ways to share my own writing I stumbled upon a Facebook group for Infertility and Loss. With one simple (and albeit reluctant click) I fell down into a deep rabbit hole where I would find over 16,000 women, just like me that were looking for answers, friendship, camaraderie, help, and a way to share and discuss their experiences! What!?! How could I have been missing out on this amazing untapped resource!?! I felt like I had stumbled into the bar in Cheers and instantly been accepted as a regular. Everyone there was completely different than me… but yet somehow exactly the same!

That is one thing I will give infertility credit for… diversity. There are women every size, shape, color, ranging in background, lifestyle and location! Yet, every single one of us could relate to the feeling of loneliness, and rejection that is ubiquitous of whatever type of infertility we are facing individually.

We make connections, answer questions for each other- for all I’ve been through, here are women standing on square one of a road that I’ve traveled!?! I actually have legitimate insight and answers for these girls!?! I find myself constantly wishing I could go back and warn myself about things— and I can do that for these people!?? What!?!? We support one another on good days, on bad days, on days where we’re just waiting for future days to happen. We make jokes — yes jokes???!!! Ones only we can relate to! I chuckled with one gal, “Wondering when my Bachelors Degree of Reproductive Sciences would be coming in the mail-we’re all getting those, RIGHT?!?” Because seriously for all the research and development I’ve done on the subject I truly think i should have at least earned a degree of some sort for my troubles!! It felt good to joke… it felt good (and foreign) to know these people would get it without explanation or judgment!

For the first time, in a long time… I belonged somewhere. Among a sea of strangers, I felt like I was accepted and understood.

TTC

Humor and a infertility…

  • Cycle Day: 11
  • Days til fertile window: 6
  • Mental State: Centered

I’m the kind of person that can and  will find humor in any given scenario. It’s a gift, but no matter where I am or what I am doing I can find something hilarious to laugh at! Luckily, I provide myself and others with a ton of hilariously awkward opportunities for laughter. My husband, also has this gift. On more than one occasion we have had to avoid eye contact because a single glance would cause us to tailspin into laughter in a place where it would not be appropriate to do so (these instances are almost always in a church).

So naturally, infertility would be just as hilarious?? Yes?! And also no. This is the only time in my life where I have not been able to just giggle my way out of whatever was troubling me. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of stuff here to laugh at. But there have been times, where even I just can’t seem to find the humor in this bullshit.

It’s also not a good time for you, [anyone other than me] to make a joke. Most of the jokes that can be made by someone who’s never faced infertility are straight up rage triggers. It’s never ever funny to tell us “you can have my kids”, or “oh you’re lucky you don’t have to deal with [insert idiot bullshit nonsense here]” or anything that starts with the words “at least”. Last of the terrible things that isn’t funny is fake pregnancy announcements. I know a handful of people that have done it, and I don’t hold it against them, but it’s just a bad “joke” in my opinion. I could really do without it. Real pregnancy announcements are hard enough, now I have to deal with being psyched out and feel like an idiot for falling for some dumb joke on top of it!?? Really???

As a sidebar to that, pregnant people… a little kindness goes a long way. Please understand that every pregnancy announcement is another blow to an already painful existence. We want so much to be happy for you and to take joy in your miracle. But every single time I see one, I die a little inside. I can’t speak for the entire populous of women trying their hearts out to have a baby, but it really is kind to warn your infertile friend in a quiet respectful manner so she can have her reaction privately and later she will pull it together and congratulate you properly. It really does work better for everyone involved. Be kind, if they’re brave enough to let you in on their struggle the least you can do is not ruin their day by dropping a social media bomb on them unexpectedly– or worse slapping it on them in public in front of people! Please please please don’t put us on the spot like that, it’s so cruel!

I also know it’s kind of lame we even have to ask for this courtesy. But please understand I want to be happy for you, I really do. But it’s not my first reaction. My first reaction is sadness for me. I tried explaining it to my husband, he didn’t understand why these announcements hit me so hard… until…. one day he came home from work. He’d been going through a grueling interview process for a promotion for which he did not get. He came into work shortly after getting rejected to find a buddy of his had gotten a promotion in another department. He came home that day with his head slumped, “I think I finally get it” he mumbled to me. It was one of the most validating moments of our journey to conceive. So hard to communicate to people- even my own husband what I feel on a day to day basis!

The good news, is if I find something here in infertility to make a joke about, it’s totally ok, for you to laugh. In fact, please laugh it’s one of the only things you actually can do to help!