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. 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 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! 
✨🤞🏼✨

**update**

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

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 were 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…. 😳

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!!!