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…. 

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…. 

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.