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’s 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 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.

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!

AngelMom

Shockingly obvious observations and other things I know

  • Cycle Day: 7
  • Fertility Treatments: none
  • Mind blowing epiphanies: Infinity
  • Emotional State: Calm

One really gross thing you may not know, when beginning an IUI Cycle, the first order of business, alongside blood work is a very graphic and intrusive transvaginal ultrasound on the 2nd or 3rd day of your cycle. I mean, of course it is! I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do on the 2nd day of my period that have a dude jam a 12 inch rod up there and poke around a bit!! — Said no one ever! It really is terrible – and I’m sorry if that was more than you bargained for, but its reality man, deal with it! So it’s really no wonder why I wasn’t rushing to start a new cycle after the completely brutal failure from IUI #5. 

Leading up to the start of this cycle, I was running away from some very strange feelings. I tried to brush them off has hormonal nothings, and ignored some pretty clear messages I was trying to send myself. At that point the only message or feeling I was into was submission. I felt like I was being shoved into a locker by a bully and just decided it was easier to stay in there hidden in the locker instead of facing my bully. Just do whatever Infertility says, go along and somehow this will all be ok. The bully will go away and I’ll get through this! 

Finally the voice inside had enough, got irritated, spoke louder, and all of a sudden it was clear to me. “Stop. You just needed to stop. You need rest. You need to recover. You are not ready for more hormones, and everything that comes with treatments. And, all of that is totally ok.” Whoaaa!?! Voice in my head, that’s a lot to take in! The concept here is really scary and foreign to me! Anyone who knows me, knows if I’m in-I’m all in!!!! It’s been the same with fertility treatments, we’ve gone head first into this world and I just expected that if I just keep plunging forward everything will be ok. It’s not. Apparently, there is a breaking point and I had finally reached it. Fighting against it only made everything worse. 

Now, it was all starting to come together. I heard the voice, clearly and leaned into those feelings instead of pulling away. I was amazed, how easily I was able to own these words once I said them out loud. I expected them to be rough and poisonous as they left my tongue- I expected to feel ashamed, but instead l, felt a freedom and peace I have not felt in months- maybe years!?? 

That internal conversation has caused me to question everything I’ve felt for the last several months and years of my life. I’ve been consumed with making a baby that I have completely neglected to listen to even the most basic messages coming from inside for fear I would be judged, fear I would fail, and fear that I would miss my chance. 

Trying to make a baby has made me so frantic!!! It’s more than the cliche internal ticking clock. I had bullied myself into thinking that time is my enemy and it was quickly running out! “Can’t waste a single cycle!” “Try harder, you’re not trying hard enough!” “This is all your fault, you could have done this better” — jeez I’m such a jerk to myself!!! I would never talk to any of my friends like that?! Why was I being such a jerkface to myself!!?? 

When I really stop to think of all the times when I am depressed, saddened, lost, or confused it’s horrifying to realize that the reason is because the bully inside me has been saying these awful judgey things and I’m just going along believing them all!!!! 

Sure, going through this struggle with infertility makes me hyper aware and sensitive to shit most people don’t even think of, and that’s tough. But this whole time I’ve been made to feel like there is a whole suite of exterior pressure coming from others when in reality the only one applying any pressure is me

TTC

Why do you want this so bad anyway???

Current status

  • Cycle Day: 33
  • Fertility Treatments: None
  • Pregnancy Tests: 2, both 👎🏼 
  • Emotional Status: Ambivalence

Lately, I’ve been asking myself WHY a lot. Why do I want this so bad? Why is it not happening for me? Why can’t I seem to feel better about the waiting, and the trying!? Why why why!! That feeling of unknown helplessness is really hard to shake.

And I may have stumbled upon at least part of the answer the other day in the shower. While flushing away the day, and contemplating the meaning of it all…. the following thought popped into my brain. It went something like this:

“You’ve been telling yourself not to give up, and to see this through. At all costs…. but, why is it so important to have kids after all?” …. I paused for a moment…. and answered myself with the following:

I think of my childhood sometimes. My mom was a teen mom, before MTV  made it a reality show- it was our reality. She did the very best she could – and miraculously I grew up into a real live functioning adult woman. I love her so much, appreciate everything she did and sacrificed to keep me and to raise me. There was however, a lot that I missed out on as a kid and even then I was at least somewhat aware of it.  There was no father in the picture, so just on a very basic level there were things I yearned for that were just not within reach.

So, fast forward to today, I seem to have an invisible list in my head of all the things I ever wanted as a child and I’m in a position to give all of those things to my own children—now! I think there’s a part of me that feels like if I could do that, then any lingering feelings about my own childhood would be resolved.

Whoa??? Hmmmm….. could it be that simple??? Does everyone that decides to have kids already know and feel this way? I feel like I’m late to the party having just come to this realization… better late than never I suppose. 

Now, I’m aware that the concept is flawed…. I think everyone has bits of their childhood they wish they could change, erase, supplement or alter, but those are the things that makeus who we are! Accepting your own journey is important. For me, I need to accept that if we never have kids I’ve still managed to give my adult self a pretty awesome life !!

So, in the end this thought process did manage to ease the tension a bit on my own shoulders. I’m trying to give myself a break, and some room to just be. 

(And Mom, if you’re reading this… thank you for my childhood, no one’s is perfect, but I know how hard you worked to give me the one I had. Hopefully some day, we can spoil the hell out of your grandkids and make their lives way better than our own!) 

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.