TTC

Not Pregnant

*Fyi – this post is a little more “cursey” than usual– I’m not sorry about it, I’m just giving you fair warning. *

There are few things more irritating than thinking without a shadow of a doubt that you’re totally pregnant only to pee on something that sasses you back with resounding authority — “Naw girl, you’re wrong.” Aka “Not Pregnant”. 

I’m trying very hard not to lose my shit over this cycle. This dumb cycle that is taking its sweet ass time to peace itself on out so I can start again. 

In the process of not trying to lose my mind, I’ve come up with a list of things that have helped me through this “two week wait”. These are just some things I’ve tried, some have helped me.  

Everyone’s different, and you know what — I bet most of these things would help whether you’re waiting for a positive pregnancy test or any other thing you’re sitting around waiting for. Accept #1– that’s fertility related only.


1. Don’t start testing too early

This is probably the most important thing. If you start testing too early, you’re likely to get slapped with the sass-back, and each day that goes by it’s harder to maintain your sanity. Wait at least until you’ve officially missed your period. Just Resist!!! Put the pee stick DOWN! 

2. Don’t lie to yourself

I have spent many a cycle promising myself that “it would all be worth it” or some version of that sentiment, that I can’t possibly guarantee. After all was said and done, everything seemed to be in vain. A more constructive mantra may be “You’re doing everything you can to get pregnant. And that is good enough“. It’s important to give yourself credit for working so hard– cause real talk- a lot of this is actual work!

3. Do – find some distraction(s)

Seriously, anything and everything that keeps your head and hands busy is a good thing!!! Run, walk, sew, crochet, color, play an instrument, go for a drive and crank your tunes– or all the above!! Whatever, just fill your time. It will help keep you calm, pass the time and unlike infertility YOU CAN CONTROL any of these things which feels amazing!! 

Lookie what I did in an afternoon of trying distract myself from waiting?!?

4. Plan a trip

I know not everyone CAN do this, for years we did without trips due to budget and work. If you can get away even for a day– do it! And plan as you’re heading into your TWW so that you you can look forward to that fun exciting getaway when the waiting part is hopefully done.
5. Figure out what makes you happy…and do that thing!

Think about the things that make you REALLY happy and go chase that feeling. Here’s a shortlist of things that make ME happy.

  •   Getting a Pedicure
  •   Getting a massage or visiting a day spa (cheaper than you think, most places give you access to all the amenities if you buy say a $60 pedi and you can spend all day at the spa livin in the lap of luxury!! Um hell yah!) 
  •  A clean house, pick an area and make it beautiful and pristine. Nothing better than an actual clean slate. 
  •   Making something, anything!
  •   Laughing- go to a comedy club or watch a funny movie

6. Breathe

Meditate, or just breathe deeply if that feels weird to you. I recently found FertiliCalm, there are tons of really good guided meditations, tips, affirmations and other helpful tools! 

7. Talk about it / Write about it

Here’s the thing. One of the worst parts about all of it is feeling like you have to keep quiet. Let it out. Whatever it is, and to whomever you can be it friends, family, a therapist, a journal, blog, or a support group of some kind— get that shit out in the open, it will not do you any good rolling around your own brain. 

Alright well that’s it…. my little shpeel for today. I’m still hanging on for dear life to this cycle… though the Magic Pregnancy Stick says “Naw girl”… I’m still just hoping that bitch cray— and misinformed. 

  • Cycle Day: 47
  • Mental State: Distracted and fairly satisfied with that. 
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

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!) 

AngelMom, TTC

A good day…

Lately just getting out of my bed, and going to work has been a STRUGGLE for me!! They don’t give out participation trophies for adults but I’ve felt like I needed that kind of admiration just for being a part of my own life!

But today, was good. I woke up early, thanks to my lil Bub who’s decided lately that sleeping in is for the birds and he’d rather be outside, or on an adventure to Home Depot. I got the idea to build a cinderblock succulent planter off Pinterest and like all things from Pinterest you can never tell the actual difficulty level from the completion photo… and boy did I ever underestimate that project – like many I’ve attempted in the garden or in life.
You never know just what someone has gone through to achieve an “after photo” – a hard concept to grasp for this infertile friend. I see all of my friends and relatives happy and complete with their perfect families grinning on my Facebook and it’s so difficult to just remember that these after photos may be hiding something I do not see.
I do hope some day I am blessed with an “after photo”… but for today, I decided to make something. I acquired all the tools and supplies, and I built that thing. Simple as that. Completion, no matter how much of a sweaty 112 degree struggle it was, I made the choice to start and finish something and that is a beautiful thing.

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!!!