AngelMom, TTC, Weight Loss

Advice from a tiny green puppet…

It’s funny…. like when you have seen a movie or heard a song over and over, but then all of a sudden you hear something that you never have before. Or, maybe for the very first time it clicks in your brain and suddenly everything looks different. This happens to me a lot. Today, I had a Star Wars related mind explosion. I could recite the whole anthology from start to finish, but all of a sudden with no warning or reason I heard a tiny green voice whisper something to me on my drive to work…. but I’ll get to that…..

Life has been going pretty swell!!! Weight loss is steady, exciting, and unyielding! I’ve lost 58lbs since March! Nothing that I’ve ever done has worked like this!!! It’s amazing. But…. I continually find myself being annoyed and impatient that this part- the weight loss part- isn’t over yet. I’m constantly just waiting for it all to be over so it can finally be my turn!!!!

I’ve found myself being very anxious and jealous…. and just generally wound up about having to wait this thing out. I fool myself into thinking that I’m being a good patient person when in reality I can’t WAIT to give up on this so I can be pregnant. Getting pregnant is WHY I’m here. Nothing else has carried me this far… but it’s not enough. It’s not going to be if I can’t figure out how to be OK with this life knowing that THIS is what’s important regardless of what happens after – especially because there’s no guarantee that any amount of weight loss will lead to a baby.

So I’m driving down the road thinking of that fact… and it all seems so overwhelming and impossible some days. I’m reminded that I sound like a little whiny Jedi Baby!!! That’s when my little green friend whispered in my ear “You must let go… of everything you fear to lose.”

I sat there for the next 50 minutes of my drive with my mouth hanging open just trying to unpack the statement and why it suddenly meant so much to me. Being astonished at the randomness of it all. Why, on this day has my subconscious decided to resonate this point!??

No matter the reason there’s not much more relevant than this one declaration to Let Go. I have to let go. Let go the notion that my weight loss is only about getting pregnant. It’s not. It’s about so much more than that.

  • It’s about making a life I’m proud of.
  • It’s about doing this really important thing WITH the person I picked to live forever with!
  • It’s about supporting each other!
  • It’s about being healthy.
  • It’s about not worrying that either of us will randomly die of a completely avoidable health condition.
  • It’s about being my best self.
  • It’s about taking back control of my choices, my body, my life!
  • It’s about not giving in or giving up – there’s nothing bigger than that!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. at the end of this we may not GET our baby. That’s a true fact. If I allow that future hope of baby to rule this part of my life, not only am I robbing myself of the joys that this journey comes with, but I may even resent the fact that I ever took this path in the first place! That’s not the kind of person I want my best self to be. I have to let go… and find a way to proceed without being so fixated on what COULD BE.

This advice may come from a Muppet… but it’s good enough for me. It always has been. I must let go.

Muppet or not, his advice is always on point! Thank you ❤️ Master Yoda.

Do. Or Do Not, there is no Try.

The greatest teacher, failure is.

Unlearn what you have learned.

Fear is the path to the dark side.

AngelMom, TTC

Angel Moms on Mother’s Day

Boy it’s tough… tough to be a Mom in general, I can see that. It’s tough though, to be a Mom on Mother’s Day when your child is in heaven.

It’s a confusing day, for sure. Stuck somewhere between wanting to just carry on normally and wanting to lock yourself in a room and pretend like the outside world doesn’t exist. Stuck between wanting to be acknowledged and appreciated like the other moms, and wanting to be totally invisible and unnoticed.

Take my trip to Starbucks this morning for example. The nice barista wished me Happy Mother’s Day and asked how many kids I had… I hesitated and for the micro-second between all the rushing thoughts had to decide if telling this gal, this stranger that I had a kid in heaven was really what I wanted or not. I chose not… and just smiled and said I had a “fur kid” at home. She went on to tell me how much better off I was (for what seemed like way too long). I smiled politely and into the distance so she wouldn’t be able to see the tears welling up and being sucked back into my eye holes. There’s no win there.

I want so desperately to be fine. Or just even OK… or better yet PART OF THE TEAM!! Lately I’ve made a career out of being distracted. Distracted by my diet, and exercise– which is going great, by work, hobbies and a week long vacation…. but sooner or later all that stuff you’ve been hiding from finds you.

I watch everyone around me live out my dreams and I can only seem to ignore it all for so long before I become bitter and scared that my turn may never come. As I’m lapped time and time again by my friends who get to have as many babies as they want ….

It’s no one’s fault but it’s just the worst, having all these feelings bubbling in there with nowhere to go but out- at never a convenient moment. A moment like a dear friend calling to tell you she pregnant… again… and you adore her AND her children to the moon and back but you just sit there and cry. Sobbing in traffic waiting for some sign that your turn is coming too….

I wish I didn’t feel sad, and guilty for feeling sad, angry, cheated… and just plain bitter. I want to feel happy for every miracle no matter who it’s promised to! But on a day like today… even with the fakest of smiles plastered on my face…. I feel the way I feel. And some days it cant be gift wrapped…

TTC, Weight Loss

Hello there!

Well it’s been a little over a month since I last posted here! In that time I’ve completely disassembled everything I know to be true and have started putting it all back together again. I feel like I’ve run away to some very far away hideout to sort through my feelings and perhaps I’m ready to peak out of the cave now…

When I started this blog, I wasn’t quite sure why I did, who I would be speaking to and what I would want to say exactly…. I’ve written about infertility, loss, anxiety, treatments, self reflection, and above all … HOPE. One thing I know, is that none of this is possible without hope. And sometimes, that hope is real hard to find and/or recognize when things get tricky.

My journey has turned me down a different path, as journeys often do. I’m tasked with losing what amounts to a hundred pounds and likely more! In order for us to continue our efforts to start our family, this is the only way. There are plenty of reasons to be on this path, but in all honesty none of those reasons hold a candle to that one. I should “want to do this for me”… but that has never been enough, and now just hearing that statement is just aggravating. I could be fine with me… but the thought of having to give up my dream of motherhood, NOW… now that I’ve held it in my grasp and had to watch it slip away!?? That is something I’m not prepared to do. At all costs… I must succeed. I’m not doing this alone. Unlike in the past when I have tried and failed, I have a team of professionals beside me to ensure that this time it will not fail.

I can’t go into the details of my current plan/program. It’s medically supervised weight loss and I’ve signed an agreement not to disclose the program as to prevent anyone from trying to mimic the plan without supervision. I can say that it’s very aggressive, and extremely restrictive — but damnit it’s working like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my very long history of battling obesity!

The process of changing my focus, and reframing my world has been dreadful. I’ve felt very reclusive, judged, frightened, and confused. Most of which was obviously coming from that pesky internal monologue I try so hard to ignore, but some of it does come from the outside world. Lots of opinions, suggestions, and comments from well meaning onlookers. Each one causing me to question everything in a world where I’m already spinning with indecision and doubt. Sometimes, less words, more listening, hugs, or a kind smile, work wonders.

I needed quiet.

So I took it. I took time to seek out my own truths, examine my heart and determine what path to pursue. Some of the people closest to me have hurt me in the process. Was it their fault? No. Not hardly. This process is painful, I’m a walking construction zone – hard hats and safety gear should be worn when dealing with me!

I’m starting to see great results and feel the confidence and relief I have been missing! I look forward to sharing progress as it comes, as well as successes and trials I may encounter along the way!

TTC

Recalculating….

Today feels very much like the GPS of my life is buffering a new route and I’m stuck in panic on this road that now feels like a wrong turn.

Obviously, Cycle #7 was not successful. And due to-you guessed it-timing I wasn’t able to hop right into a new treatment cycle. Even if timing and other factors didn’t exist, I don’t know how many more IUI’s I’m prepared to complete. More and more I’ve been feeling like IVF may be a better route for us – but the cost– oooh the cost!?! There’s no “set” cost for IVF- each experience is different much like IUI, but now we’re talking tens of thousands not just thousands….

I recently saw an add for a doctor who was offering IVF for $5500- which is a bargain compared to what I’ve seen. Being that it’s been a while since I got any sort of secondary opinion I decided to make us an appointment to investigate.

Today, was that appointment.

In addition to the not so shocking reality that the cost as advertised does not include other required items equalling likely another 5 thousand-ish dollars… there was more disappointment.

Now, given my history I had somewhat prepared myself for what was to come next. This new doctor, was very nice, professional, kind, and informative. But had the unlucky task of telling me some rather unpleasant information.

Due to my weight, IVF at this time isn’t really an option. The mechanics of harvesting eggs from an obese person is very risky and very often yields very few or NO eggs — which would mean wasted effort, and wasted resources only to be let down and disappointed – and far more broke!

Certainly not what I wanted to hear… but important just the same.

This is devastating for me for many reasons. The weight… the weight and I have been at war for… ever. It all feels very hopeless to me in this moment. I’m preparing to rally and become a great hero in all this, so please just hold the “you can do it’s”— today I feel very broken and defeated. If it was possible for me to shed this weight I feel like I would have done it by now- not like I haven’t spent my life TRYING! But… I will find a way to persist. Do something I have not tried before and succeed. I have to. This is all too important.

It means that I’m going to have to get way more help. More than I’ve ever had before. It means I’m going to have to seriously investigate and commit to medical and perhaps surgical weight loss. It means I’m going to have to reroute and refocus my attention to this instead of fertility- which is hard for me to grasp! I’m doing all the math in my head and reconciling all the voices inside so that we can all shuffle toward this goal now that will ultimately align with the other…

Things I know….

  • My problems aren’t unique.
  • My disappointment is not uncommon.
  • My setback is not the first of its kind, and lord… I’m afraid it won’t be the last.
  • My heartbreak is not unlike any other heart breaking anywhere around the world at this very moment…but it is mine, and it hurts.
  • I know I must do this… whatever that means. I must.

For now, I must breathe… I must recalculate my plans and my future.

It’s important to keep things in perspective. Such as, even if I could snap my fingers and have exactly what I am wanting right now- I bet I would still have a feeling of discomfort and dissatisfaction in some way or another. So I must find a way to be satisfied with what’s going on right now and press forward!

I promise to try, to fight, and do to what I do best- never give up! Somehow I’m making a better future even though my present is painful.

TTC

Jenga!!!

You’re going along, everything is fine. You’re even amazed by yourself. Look at how cool (figuratively of course I’m a veritable hot flash swamp monster right now IRL) and collected you’ve held yourself during this two week wait. It’s almost over, you’re confident and so so sure it finally worked this time!!

Then something happens, or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it’s just as simple as you breathed wrong and all of a sudden….. JENGA!!!!!! Alllllllll those emotions you’d secretly stashed so you could live your most positive and hopeful life are CRASHING DOWN —EVERYWHERE. Coming out of every hole in your face! Flying at your poor husband… who kindly reminds you to breath because you’ve neglected to do so. [true story]

The verdict is still out for me on this cycle, I’m running out the clock over here hoping that allll this emotional chaos MEANS something good but the terror and panic that it won’t has somehow found me through all the lovely walls and barricades that I’ve made to keep them out.

The good news, if there is some – is that if my emotions are anything like actual Jenga it all cleans up and restores pretty seamlessly. This moment of turmoil is temporary. I can reassemble it all and the world will all be ok. I’m trying to imagine my world in three by three sections perfectly laid out so that things feel less muddled.

Doing my best to self care by staying in my cocoon today, mediating, sleeping, breathing- of course breathing, and just hoping and praying that I’m still in this and my rainbow is just a heartbeat away!

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 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.