TTC

Only hope….

Sometimes I like to sit alone in my house just listening to the clocks tick away the time. The heartbeat of his home we’ve built. I imagine how much it will change when we finally get our wish and it’s taken over by the rumble of clomping tiny feet, screaming, crying, pooping and all the other ear splitting sounds that come along with parenthood….

I hope when that happens I’ll be able to think back and appreciate these silent moments, but not yearn for them. I hope that I never lose sight of how badly we want all of this. I think of that often. As I watch others with their children… they’re tired and they’re weary of wiping butts and boogers, of settling sibling disputes, of everything being sticky and smelly… of never getting enough sleep and catching every illness their kid brings home from school… and honestly I sit on my hands and can’t WAIT to sign up!! I’m sure it’ll all catch up to me some day, but for now I couldn’t be more ready to pledge the sacred Fraternity of Parenthood!

As I listen patiently to the tic tock… thump thump thump of my clock collection I imagine that it’s the sound of my baby’s heartbeat. I know it’s way too early to actually be the case….but something inside feels different this time. It may be in my head, or a side effect of the hormones, but I swear I can feel … something.

Apart from twinges, I’ve been feeling mostly positive; however occasionally I can feel the conflict inside… reminding me of the awful things that have happened in the past and how real the possibly is that they could happen again. When I feel those thoughts bubble to the surface it’s difficult to remember I’m in control of them, and I have the power to banish them. I catch myself just holding my breath and staying completely still so that I don’t mess anything up — but it’s time to breathe! Breathe and believe, that it feels different this time because IT IS…

There’s no room for doubt and fear right now… only hope

TTC

Hope is like the sun….

The BIG day! IUI day!! Long awaited– cycle day 19! 83 long days of waiting if you count back to my last period!! Though much longer than I originally intended, this break in treatments has really been good for us. We had our heads so wrapped up in this fertility business taking a step back allowed things to feel new again. Not just a constant drain punishing down on us.

The blood work, hormones, ultrasounds and injections were as difficult and dreadful as they always are, but it all seemed somewhat tolerable to me this time. Granted, it wears on you. I came home today after a long long day and collapsed into my bed for an hour. I just couldn’t propel myself any further without first taking a beat to just unhinge!

Swallowing a deep breath and exhaling the day, I felt happy… accomplished and excited for what might be on the horizon. I may have to do all of this again… and that reality is a little daunting, but in as little as 18 days I might get to feel what’s its like to be pregnant again and this time, we pray that it STICKS!!

In the grand tradition of documenting the wonderful world of fertility– here are today’s photos of my journey!

My lucky charms. Tinkerbell from Dawson to add a little bit of pixie dust luck! My Granny’s wedding ring pendant, I always feel lucky when I wear it, and happy to take her with me through this. My open heart angel, that Dawson gave me for Christmas “from Karate”. I gripped them tight while I lay there the prescribed 15 minutes with my legs propped up… and many times throughout the day. Saying silent prayers hoping that this time will be different!!

the alarm I set to remind me to leave work for my IUI. ✨🤞🏼✨

Just a girl… who hopes to have gotten knocked up on her lunch break.

My awesome IUI day socks! A great friend and comrade in fertility got me a pack of awesome Disney socks to wear for my ultrasounds and IUI… I highly recommend. Not only do your toes get cold hangin in those stirrups but they’re fun… and fabulous… and certainly lucky!

At the close of this day, I’m really thankful to be given the chance to TRY again… for so long things felt so dark and suffocating. Now I feel like the lessons have been learned, hope is restored, and just maybe… things are going to work out! Even if they don’t…it’s another opportunity to learn some shit, and try again! We must press on, we must keep the faith, and we must keep the dream alive– lessons we hope to teach our kid some day!

Stats

  • Insemination -Cycle day 19
  • 5 days of Femara oral hormones
  • 11 days of injections
  • 2 dominant follicles, 2 backups
  • 6 ultrasounds
TTC

Lucky Number 7

We’re doing this! Gearing up for our “lucky” number 7th IUI Cycle. I was ready to start up treatments again about three months ago, but due to scheduling and then waiting for my lady bits to get the memo we are finally on track again! Finally after a 64 day long cycle I am ready to go!!!

Since we began treatments in 2016 we’ve completed 6 IUI cycles. I like to take photos of myself on IUI day, to look back on and remember what state I was in on any given cycle. I love these photos, I like to believe I look the most pretty when I’m ovulating- it’s a very primal thing and going into this, our 7th IUI I gotta believe we are just 1 cycle away from making our dreams come true!!!

Lately,I’ve had difficulty reconciling my feelings and getting myself on board with the COST of all this. I’ve even found myself trying to find ways to skim off parts of the available treatments to save money. The last 3 cycles have run from $2000-2500 due to increased dose of injectables. Ouch, literal and figurative there!

It’s hard for me to watch others accidentally get pregnant while we throw all of our money at my fertility doctor in hopes that one of these times it will work, and STICK! Now, I do realize everyone’s plans have NOTHING TO DO with me… but it still hurts beyond measure sitting on the sidelines as I watch and cheer for everyone else.

After so long of this, the stress, the money, the emotional hurt— we needed a break, and so did our pocket book. We took a few months off and instead took trips together, talked about our focus, plans, held each other tight and remembered what it was like to not have our entire lives spinning on a hot plate- a hot plate called infertility.

So here we are now, at the starting line again. Blood work, ultrasounds oral hormones, and today the start of injectable hormones that will hopefully generate some good eggs for our IUI in a week or so (depending on growth, my cycles tend to run a little long).

The reality is, this is what WE have to do, to make our dream of adding a child to our family. This is what it looks like for us. It’s hard, it’s emotional, and it’s expensive… and it “is what it is”. I believe that this will work!!! I have to.

I believe our baby is on the way. Our baby is hurrying as fast as possible to find us. 2018, my hopes rest on you!

  • Cycle Day: 10
  • Treatments ongoing: 2 follicle scans
  • Preliminary blood work,
  • Femara 7.5mg/days 3-8
  • 3 viles HMG injectable daily
  • Mental State: Cautiously Optimistic
AngelMom, TTC

365 days without you…

I remember nearly every detail of that day. I know what I was wearing, and I have trouble wearing those clothes now, though they float like friendly-ish ghosts in my closet. I remember how I felt at any given moment of that gloomy Thursday. I remember how crushing it was to finally know, after 25 days of uncertainty that I was going to lose you. Karate… I’ve whispered to the wind how sorry I am that I couldn’t save you… and I mean it.

Nurses and doctors shuffled in at random, each learning my diagnosis and not one of them knowing what to say or do to help me. Some were kind, some were cold, sterile, others just stood with their mouths hanging open trying to find words to help– there aren’t any– I’ve checked. There were no options, no discussion, and there was no saving you.

As for me, I’ve spent the last 365 days trying my best to cope without you, in the wreckage and horror that was left after that day. Grief and loss, are a moving staircase. Constantly changing, mutating, and evolving. I’ve accepted that I will never truly be “over you” and thank goodness. I’m the only one who ever held you, nothing can change that. Of everything I lost that day, that fact will always be mine. You’re the one that made me a mom, even if you couldn’t stay I am still a Mom.

Honestly, when I opened my eyes after surgery I thought it would be impossible for me to laugh, to hope and dream ever again. I feared being asked even the simplest surface question such as “How are you?” because the only answer I could grasp was “broken and lost” – that’s a little heavy for ladies room small talk with a kind coworker asking as a common courtesy.

Fast forward to present day and I’m starting to feel like me once again even if only in fractional values. In an unexpected turn of events, I really did learn some things in losing you… and finally, I feel like I’m starting to unearth some of the bits of me I thought I’d lost forever.

I feel relieved… and proud to have survived this far and that I’ve turned so much of my own pain into power and hope for myself and others. It’s a funny thing… I would never have chosen this life if it was laid before me, but Karate you’ve forced me into a better version of me. A more mindful and grateful version than the one that once existed before. I think that girl died with you, I’m certain a part of me did that day.

I plan to press on through this ever changing maze in 2018… taking the best bits and pieces of me I can. Hoping and praying for another miracle… one that the world can handle because you Karate, were obviously just way more than the world was ready for.

I found this quote the day after I lost you… I didn’t appreciate it then, I think I wanted to, but the pain was still too overwhelming. It made me smile today, now that I’m strong enough to do so. Lightning will strike again, I believe that.

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

TTC

Emotional Landmines 

I was racing through Walmart the other day. I had a random list of things to acquire, and I had ping pongged all over the store a few times to get them. I was getting ready to leave and realized I forgot something way at the back of the store, so I doubled back one more time to get the last missing item from my list. I cut across the center of the store and without thinking, I walked right into the baby section of the store and it stoped me dead in my tracks. 

Infertility will cause you, sometimes even subconsciously to avoid certain people, places and things just so you don’t have to deal with how they make you feel. The baby section is one of those places for me. 
I remember before we lost our baby, the first and only time I got to visit this magical land as an expectant mother. It was right after we found out we were pregnant, and before the ultrasound that ruined it all. I was so happy. A bit overwhelmed as I’m sure every mother to be is, but so thrilled to be there for myself instead of everyone else! I’ve “baked” a gaggle of diaper cakes, gone to a thousand kid birthday parties, baby showers and for once I’d get to feel what this was like!! I remember tearing up and texting my friend what I was doing. It all seems so silly and arbitrary but to me, that moment was everything.

Now, standing in the baby section I felt my knees start to give and I the tears start to swell up in my eyes  recalling that special moment in time before things got so complicated.  I wondered if I will ever get to have that feeling again… and suddenly felt like all eyes in the store were on the crazy lady about to lose it at a Walmart and I hastily bolted out of there. 

These are the moments I try to hide from. It’s not always Walmart… sometimes is people in my life that make it hard for me to live this infertile life. I can’t explain it, and it’s hard to defend myself when it happens because I know it’s not fair, and I feel guilty for even feeling the way I do. 

The pain, and grief that is loss and infertility is the most complicated and confusing thing I’ve ever encountered. Chances are, if you’re reading this you know the struggle or if not, you know someone that does. It’s is difficult to know how to handle this very fragile friend. The best thing you can do is to be there, quietly and carefully and without trying to fix anything. Just be here, and be gentle. We are the most broken , fragile and fierce creatures and we just want to be understood and accepted, just like you. Isn’t that what we ALL want, in some way? 

I crave acceptance and validation. We all have hidden emotional land mines and try as we might to navigate our lives to avoid them, eventually we’re going to forget where they’re hidden and have to deal with a blowout.  As for me, I’m still trying to figure out how to responsibly deal with my issues without emotionally injuring myself or others. Results vary, and that’s is ok too. 

TTC

Clear Blur

Yes, things are clear and I am somewhat blue. 

I mean, I am and I’m not. I predicted these results. They certainly make sense at least, unlike so many other times where we went to hell and back and everything seemed SO CERTAIN only to get this brand of result. 

This time is a little different. 

Only having one round of troops into battle I knew going in that the odds were not ever in my favor here, but along with everyone else my stupid brain reminds me about the age old adage that “it only takes one” … and I still held out some secret hope that this could actually happen to us. I attempted the double reverse fake out jinx tactic where I tempt fate to prove me wrong by giving me what I actually want!! Fate apparently, is on to the double jinx.

So I’ve been trying to strategize my next move. Are we still on treatment break? Do we try naturally? Do we take a month completely off? What?…. Let’s check the old calendar and see what’s up? Now, if Aunt Flo shows up in the next day or two like she’s supposed to that’ll park my next fertile window…. aw crap. 

Amazing hubby landed an awesome new job this week! It’s been part of the reason that last cycle was so unimpressive. It really is difficult to “try” to get pregnant when you have many other things going on, and I get that. Being that we had already declared a bit of a break I didn’t force the issue like I normally would. FERTILITY OVER EVERYTHING is usually my stance, but this month I just kinda let it happen- or not in this case which is fine. It was very much worth it! I’m so excited for this new opportunity for hubby, it’s so nice to see him happy about something again.

New job starts November 1st and the first day wil be served in San Francisco smack dab in the middle of fertile window. Shit. The entire window he will be gone. There’s no acceptable scenario where I piggyback and go along on the trip- even if I could swing it logistically how awful for him would that be to be starting a new job, meeting people at headquarters and also having to be on call for doin’ it??? Yah no… the answer to my query has now been revealed. 

Here’s the thing. 

It’s not ideal. Sure. It’s not part what I want certainly, but at this point I can look at this and MAKE it the plan for this cycle. I can deal with any awful thing, if it’s part of the plan. It’s the unexpected curveballs, and left field nonsense that derails my lovely plans and expectations that really make my head spin. So, for at least the immediate now – this month we’re off. 
We are REALLY off. 

For the first time in almost a decade I won’t have to worry about any of this. I won’t have to try to fake out my lady parts or the universe. I won’t have to remind myself to have hope- cause it only takes one. No charting, forced intimacy, symptom spotting, no driving myself crazy and NO nonsense.
It’s going to be a good month for distraction, which I should have plenty of thankfully, but it will not break me to really BE on break. 

  • Cycle Day: 34
  • Tests: 1 ⛔️
  • Mental State: Sure, whatever. 
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!