TTC

Guess what????

Ya know what kind of sucks? Having good news. Cause anytime you have good news to tell someone, or manage to get excited about something you can tell that whomever it is you’re about to spill beans to will think you’re pregnant… It’s like, I should just lead with “and no we’re not pregnant”… but I don’t. There’s always this giddy anticipation hanging in the air… you can feel the disappointment deflate like a balloon when they realize that we aren’t… still aren’t.  I’m guessing that just reading the heading of this post the balloon is deflating even now as you realize that GUESS WHAT— I’m not pregnant. 

We’re nearing the end of the 1st natural cycle on this little mini break, and I’m just not thinking anything about it. Sure sure — it’s POSSIBLE. We managed to put one point on the scoreboard when the end zone was hot (how’my doing on the old sports metaphors????) I just don’t know that I believe…. after EVERYTHING we’ve been through that it’s gonna go down like that. But hey— I would LOVE to be proven wrong! In fact, I’d much rather be proven terribly wrong than to pour all my hopes, dreams and wishes into this cycle and have to pick them all up again and reassemble them when it all comes crashing down…. many people don’t get this.

Most people haven’t had to pick up all their pieces and put them all back together month after month… year after year. It’s been 8 years…figure 10-12 cycles each year… that’s going on 100 times I’ve had to convince myself that this will all work out. This will all be worth it. I deserve this. I can do this. I still want this!! And I do… but also I’m tired and worn the hell out. 

I will say this, and end on a positive note— I have caught myself enjoying the freedom of the mini break. I’ve enjoyed occasional alcohol, been careless with my supplements, gone to Disneyland twice, and have looked at my fertility calendar no more than once a week (as opposed to several times daily)…. it has been nice to shift focus even though my one track mind tends to steer me back here it’s not all bad! 

  • Cycle Day: 28
  • Treatments: None
  • Days to expected AF: 5
  • Mental State: Meh… I know that’s not really an emotion… but it’s what I am right now. Meh!

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…. 

TTC

Rest, Repair and Rebuild


Today, is Cycle day One… and I hardly have words for it. There were lots of signs, symptoms, and it felt like the world was finally set right and things were aligning perfectly just for me!! So for my AF to show up today just seems a bit cruel and unfair.

We failed….

And there’s no explanation, no refunds, no redemption.

It’s a bit of a gut punch. Coming off the high of a wonderful vacation with my love, with the hope that later this week I would finally get my BFP (big fat positive)… only to begin my period a few days early is a hard pill to swallow.

I’m doing my best to remain positive. It’s easy to be grateful, I know how very lucky I am to have this awesome life, as well as a caring and considerate parter to hold my hand through it all. But I can’t explain away the hurt, disappointment, and numbness that comes with such repetitive failure after trying as hard as we do.

Dreams sometimes take their time coming true. Sometimes your heart gets broken… and you have to Rest, Repair and Rebuild. Never Give Up.

For now… the only cure for this broken heart is Star Wars, chocolate, and a nap!

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. Weeks before it was all ruined by an ectopic pregnancy resulting in emergency surgery, losing my baby as well as a Fallopian tube.

At that moment though, 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….

AngelMom, TTC

Anxiety Power Struggle

  • Cycle Day: 42 (17 days past possible late ovulation)
  • Pregnancy Tests: Infinity ⛔️
  • Mental State: Impatient 

This week’s excerpt has been one of the hardest for me to complete. Which, is astounding when you consider the very personal and detailed information I’ve shared over the last few months.

This week not unlike others, I struggled. I was emotional, confused, scared, angry and fearful about nearly everything but mostly the uncertainty of what lies ahead in the future. Being stuck in an extended holding period like I am, causes a lot of anxiety– apparently.

This cycle is lasting a very long time which is both good and bad. It’s good, because there is still a glimmer of hope that I could turn out to be pregnant, but bad in that despite my period being late I have not yielded a positive pregnancy test. This uncertainty tends to unhinge me a bit, and it causes the less rational and destructive parts of my brain to take over the controls.

I have never even realized that this alternative psyche existed until recently. I’m very rough on myself. Far more critical to myself than I would be to anyone in the outside world. I tend to have the highest of expectations, and very little patience for failure or for waiting in general. Not a good thing when your primary goal involves mostly waiting!

I found myself mid meltdown this week trying to figure out what tipped me over the edge…. and I couldn’t! I sat crying in a bathroom stall at work, feeling afraid, sad, and guilty for feeling all of the above! Nothing specifically happened to me, other than this sudden tsunami of emotion, that may have been purely hormonal.

Luckily, since my loss in December I have started seeing a therapist. I have regular appointments set every few weeks and while some times I see her with nothing serious or upsetting to report, others like this week I was able to work through all of these feelings to a constructive end. There is no measure for the benefit I have realized with therapy.

In times like these, the only thing to do is: LABEL the feeing….. “I am anxious because I do not have control of these circumstances”. Then, TAKE AWAY THE POWER, by doing anything that you CAN control. Any distraction is typically GOOD distraction. The last thing to do, is to reaffirm positive statements to yourself. For me, the internal voice comes at a whisper and usually I don’t even realize it’s happening until the damage has been done. It whispers of failure, paralysis, weakness and all at once I am consumed by a deep fog of doubt, fear and sadness. The only way to prevent or reverse the hostile take over is to remind myself that this place is not permanent. My journey is far from over. I am doing everything I can to make my dreams come true– and I am.

AngelMom, TTC

Babies in public

  • Cycle Day: 35
  • Days Late: 2ish
  • Pregnancy Tests: 5 (I’ve been impatient) all negative
  • Mental State: Impatient and a bit anxious, but I think we covered that with the amount of tests I’ve taken…..

On my way home from work on Wednesday I was thinking about what to have for dinner. I’ve been going pretty hard on a daytime juice fast– so by the time dinner comes around I’m crazy excited for whatever meal Is going to happen- yay food!! I decided to whisk my husband away for a midweek date– ’cause we can. One of the benefits of not having kids that we frequently cash in on, is that we can do whatever we want without having to also consider a wee one.

We find ourselves at a local Mexican food eatery, and at the table closest to us is an adorable baby, probably 8-10 months old. Adorable. Squishy. Chunky baby!

She locks eyes with me and for the rest of our meal is giggling, smiling and reaching for us. Not an uncommon reaction I might add. My husband is always so cute with little ones, making faces and raspberry noises at them. He’s a giant kid, so naturally they all gravitate to his playful and hilarious charm. It’s the cutest damn thing ever.

There is a nuts part of me that just tends to linger on these fleeting moments and wonder…. where the heck is our chunky baby!?? And it’s hard not to feel shafted, angry, sad, resentful… and a thousand other things. For now, I’m focusing on her beautiful smile, how her giggle echoed and clanked off the walls of the restaurant and how good it felt to draw her attention even if only for a few moments, for whatever reason. She picked us.

For now, I can do nothing more than mentally pin that baby to my vision board… and hope the universe makes good at some point! I’m real exhausted, keeping the faith is my cardio!


Secret Baby Pinterest board full of cute babies!! Helps me remember how exciting and worth it this all could be! Can’t go near the thing though once AF hits!

AngelMom, TTC

Karate James

  • Cycle Day: 29
  • Status: Two Week Wait in full effect
  • Mental State: Hopeful

I’ve never really told the story of Karate James…. I figure now is a good time. Since, some day around this time he would have been born.

It was our third attempt at IUI. I was several days late and had already tested negative a few days prior. Feeling some symptoms, I reluctantly bought a “good” pregnancy test – anyone TTC knows there are good ones, and the ones you buy in bulk cause who can afford the “good” ones at the rate we blow through them! I sat there staring at the digital hour glass waiting expectantly for “not pregnant” to appear like it always does… bitter and annoyed that obviously any minute it would pop up and ruin my day…. and then all of a sudden…. the greatest word appeared, “pregnant”. “What!?!?” I audibly asked this thing I just peed on… “WHAT!???”

We’ve always joked and never quite been in agreement about what we’d name our kid some day. At times there were names we both could agree not to hate. In the end we figured that was a problem for “Future Us” to solve so we never really negotiated to completion on the subject. One thing I knew, was that our kid would need a really awesome name…

While watching the Olympic summer games there was an athlete named Karani James. Except, every time the announcer called his name it sounded like Karate. We both laughed and agreed that’d be a badass name for a kid. We’d never actually do that of course… would we??? No of course not that would be ridiculous……

I swear, the minute we knew I was pregnant, even though we didn’t know the baby’s sex we started calling our kid Karate. It was the perfect name for our “pre-kid”. Karate, was obviously awesome and James is my husbands middle name so we’ve covered our basis there with some tradition– BAM!? Perfect!  I mean sure, we’d come up with a real, suitable name for him in the next several months, but for now —Karate James was all that mattered.

I got to hold Karate for a grand total of 8 weeks. Thanks to a troubling ultrasound at 5 weeks, half of that time was spent worried that it would all end. Wondering if it was ever even real. And knowing that as fast as it all began it would soon be over. I did consciously decide to enjoy how much time I was granted, but it was really tough being given an open end on something so precious. “Maybe this will work out – and maybe not”.

I have found out a lot about myself since I lost Karate. It’s ever unfolding and evolving, but I persist. In the pursuit of a family, I know in my gut we will have some day.

Every single day, I see something that reminds me of those 8 amazing weeks where I was a mom, and I’m desperate for that feeling again.

I went for a walk the other day, and a breeze kicked up and all around and I felt him there. I closed my eyes and let the wind blow my hair and face, and I felt a powerful peace sweep over me…. I’m thankful for moments like that. Times where I can connect with him somehow, and I feel him nudging my life forward.

For now, I cherish the miracle that we had to give back. Because, no matter the outcome he sure was a miracle. Happy Unbirthday Karate.

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!