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 puréed…. 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! 
✨🤞🏼✨

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!

TTC

 A tale from our first IUI

June 3, 2017


First of all look at us??? Aren’t we adorable!!?? Oh us!? Currently, we have completed 5 IUI cycles and I tell you every single one is a little different! 

Our first IUI was right around my birthday (August 2016) so I had all this cosmic false hope that obviously the “Universe” wanted this to happen??? (Well yah no the Universe had other plans but whatever).

Our first crack at IUI was basically just a practice run. I really really really expensive fucking practice run.

There were a lot of things wrong on paper with that cycle. We had only begun our relationship wish Dr Shane, my fertility doc. We didn’t know what to expect from my ovaries, but were hopeful that they’d at least give us one folicle. I’ve always had unpredictable cycles, and my weight always seems to be a factor though Dr Shane has never made my weight an issue, which is so refreshing! 

We decided on a modest plan of 5m Femara for 5 days to help kick start the growth of folicles and see where that gets us. Took a while, but did manage to yield one viable folicle and a 2nd that looked like it could also trigger, so away we went. I mean, it was a fairly normal, but not terribly impressive cycle . It was our first try, it was satisfactory. 

All of this was so NEW and foreign to me. There are SO MANY pieces to juggle and everything must be done at a precise time– and it only gets more and more complicated! I know now that we had it easy that cycle!! No HMG shots, 1 trigger shot and I think I only had 3 ultrasound check ups before we were ready to go to IUI.

Even with a pretty low level cycle it’s easy to miss or delay a step which then throws everything off — especially because while this was my first time with all of this, the doctors and nurses basically expect that you know what you’re doing and don’t really explain half this shit!! I wound up googling literally EVERYTHING. I watched YouTube videos, some girls actually filmed their experiences in office, some had lost babies and I remember thinking I just don’t know that I could handle that!!! After everything??? To lose he baby after all this would be devastating??? (And…. yah… it is.)

You’d think with additional googling and obsessing I would have actually done things right– NOPE! I read our IUI instruction schedule wrong and ended up doing the trigger shot at the wrong time. Was supposed to do it at 5pm on Tuesday and ended up doing it at 8am Wednesday -the day before IUI which was way too late…. Even still, I figured we still had a better chance than usual so I just went along with it. 

This was my first experience with injections, the only shot that cycle was a trigger shot to spark ovulation. I’ve never had to prepare and take an injection?! I was a wreck!! I was literally shaking and fumbling with all the pieces and different needles that come with it. I felt like I was trying to disarm an explosive— “Red needle or blue one!??? I can’t remember what the nurse said!!!!! Ahhhhh!”

Based on my (misread) instructions this shot had to take place while I was at work. Luickly I had a coworker who excitedly agreed to stab me in the butt with a needle. Though I think once she actually SAW the size of the needle she immediately regretted her decision to volunteer! 

We made our way to the ladies room, which at 8 am was all a flutter with ladies fixing their hair and getting ready for the day. Meanwhile, I’m awkwardly trying to prepare this injection while they walk by and wonder “What’s up with the crazy girl with needles”. A few nosy onlookers stopped to inquire and interview me… Lovely,  fielding questions from random passers by about my fertility, fantastic. #mortified

Finally we were ready. We retreated to the handicapped stall where she plunged the giant needle in and we both giggled and squealed… how terribly odd. I am lucky however, to have some friends willing to fall head first down this rabbit hole with me! 

That first cycle obviously tanked, but onward and upward. All you can do is learn, absorb and press on!!!

TTC

Roller coaster does not quite cover it. 

May 22, 2017

Roller coaster does not quite cover it.

I feel like, my emotional state is a moment to moment thing. One second I can be totally calm and certain that I am totally going to be pregnant this cycle…. then I blink and all of a sudden a tidal wave sweeps over me and I’m suffocating in thoughts of fear, doubt… and anxiousness.

Any signal I get from my body could mean I’m pregnant– or it could mean my period is eminent!!! It’s soooo fucked up!!!!! I have no clue what to think. I want to remain positive but I want to prepare my heart!!! I’m so torn!

You know it’s bad when you are afraid to go to the bathroom for fear you will find what you already expect that the liner you put down just in case is now no longer a preventive measure. 

Wanting to find out, but knowing I’m not ready for the results because it means there’s a 50/50 chance that it’s over. I’m not ready to give up! I still want to fight!! I want to punch and kick and scream and claw as tears run down my face — because I’m not done yet!!!!!

I want this baby! This life!!! This chance!!!!!! I need this chance to prove I WILL be a good mother. To see what our kid would be like?!?! Please!!!!!!!!

I don’t know how else to fight… I tried with everything I had this month! Every time I had to do something hard, or painful I’d tell myself “it will all be worth it”….. but now sitting here thinking my period is coming I have to wonder….will it!???? I’m so tired and beaten down. What else can I do but plead and beg to a God I’m not even sure can hear me… please!!!! Please don’t take this chance away!!!!

Please.

AngelMom, TTC

IUI cycle #5

So, I know you guys might be wondering… cycle #5 IUI was a big fat negative.

I actually started my period on the plane ride up to Washington for my little sisters wedding. “Luckily” I had been so emotional the two days prior that I think I cried all possible tears available and by the time I got to Washington I was completely void of any emotion.

I still kind of am… I pretty much feel nothing. I can’t believe that after everything we did last month, and how great the cycle was on paper that it just didn’t take. More money down the drain, more torture on myself that basically does me no good in present day. And, due to the timing and being out of town we are on the bench as far as treatments are concerned this current cycle. We can still try naturally- and we will- it just makes me really bitter and angry that the last cycle didn’t work because I really did lay it all out, placed every last hope I had in it only to realize I have to scoop up all my broken hopes, dreams, fears and insecurities and do it all again.

I spent a good deal of time with my niece and nephew and squeezed and hugged on them when I was in Washington which was a blessing… but also just makes it hurt so much seeing how natural it is to me to be around children… but all the while I am struggling to keep fighting the good fight to have my own. MY OWN… not adopt, surrogate, foster or any other solution someone might suggest to me in passing thinking that will fix my desire to become pregnant and carry a child of my own. These are all fine ideas and I know they come from only the best place of wanting to lessen the pain I feel…. but some wounds cannot be bandaged.

For now, I’m trying to find a way to push forward in spite of feeling like I’ve failed… again. Trying to figure out how to just be happy with all the many blessings we already have, and make sure my marriage stays strong despite constantly running it through the gauntlet every time we sign up to go through this again!

#nevergiveup