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

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

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

 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

Could it be

This excerpt was written about two months ago. It’s fitting and appropriate to share now because I’m in the middle of the “two week wait” to find out if our last cycle is going to take or not. Again, keep in mind this is something I wrote a while ago. I don’t want my readers to worry about how dark my writing has been. I know it’s hard to read, but it’s important to know that this is part of the process and I’m doing well. Getting this all out in the open is helping me heal. 

March 14, 2017

Could it be?

The shittiest question I have to ask myself over and over again.

Trying to get pregnant is not “fun”. At least for me it’s not. It’s meant nothing but fear, frustration, doubt, and worry. We have been trying to have a baby for…. ever??! At least it seems that way. I’ve been ready to start our family since we got married – (2006) I mean looking back I wasn’t “ready ready” until the last few (we’ll say 5) years. And we’ve been blessed to find a great doctor last year that might actually get us to the finish line. But I digress….

Could it be? Is it finally here!?!? The shittiest god damn mind fuck of my 30 something life. Each cycle, at the end of the dreaded two week wait comes that magical time where every single thing my body does is super apparent to me, and is also a possible sign of early pregnancy. So fuck me right!??

Every cycle, around mid month I get to play the mental game of “is this finally it”!!!! And all but once, it never is. Currently, my period is two days late…. I’ve taken a total of 3 home pregnancy tests and they all of course say 🖕🏼⛔️🚽 . So what’s a girl to do??

I know that likely, any minute there’s going to be a crime scene in my pants… and in my brain. As soon as my period arrives in whatever anti-graceful fashion it decides, my [rational] brain clicks off and the NutsbergerCrazyTown portion of my brain takes charge and proceeds to fill my head up with all the things I’ve ever failed at complete with slow motion playback of all of my friends who have happy healthy babies and pregnancies and at that point every fiber in my body just wants me to give up. Just fucking give up…

But how???

Seriously!? This isn’t something I’m capable of giving up on. I don’t even know HOW!??! Especially now that I know it’s POSSIBLE!?? Granted, now I’m missing a part (right filopian tube) that I wasn’t missing before but…. cmon??? I mean there HAS TO BE HOPE HERE!? So…. could this be it??? Is it finally my turn?? Stay tuned….. 📻⏰🙄

AngelMom, TTC

The Neverending Story…

May 11, 2017

So you decide to start a family. It takes a long time to come to this unified decision with your spouse. But finally, you are both buckled in and on board! Then…. things don’t go as planned …..

One of the hardest parts is, the internal battle you fight each month to not give in to the feelings of doubt and sadness. This feeling can be summed up in one image from my 80s childhood.

I struggle to only think good, happy wonderful nice things. I really try to only encourage myself and really pep talk my way into thinking that THIS IS IT!!! I will be pregnant this time!!!!!

And always… like it does the swamp starts to suck me in. I start to talk myself down. It’s a defense mechanism really. I’ve already told the universe precisely what I’m after, I’ve done the work, I’ve prayed, meditated, visualized… and yet the little voice in my head goes “you do realize this could all blow up in your face and you will be back to square one right” “you should prepare yourself if this doesn’t work” ….. and just like Artax…. there is no saving me from these thoughts.

In an effort to drown them instead of me. I am locking them here. In my virtual drawer so that they are muffled and not rolling around my head causing irreparable damage.

This will be it.

I will not let the fear of failure drown me.

I am stronger than my fear and my doubt.