. So I was reading this post about the kind of parent this blogger thought she might be when she was a kid, based on TV parents she had watched growing up. That got me to thinking… . Q. What kind of parent do I want to be? That is, if I ever even get
Monday, May 20th, 2013. CD9. Yo. It’s been a hot minute, right? I just haven’t really had much to say lately, I guess. I’m still working through some things, where I am having trouble getting excited for this cycle. I have chunks of time where I feel a little indifferent, but I’m trying. That being
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013. CD3.
Two things happened in the past 24 hours to make me think about my apathy toward this cycle.
One, was reading my horoscope late in the day yesterday, after I had already written the post stating how I just don’t know what I feel toward TTC these days.
You may feel like you are stuck in neutral with an important goal. You put a lot of effort into it in the beginning, and you believed and worked hard and you had great enthusiasm. But when your goal didn’t gain momentum as you hoped it would, you began to feel stuck. And after you felt stuck for a while, you started to lose that enthusiasm, and it was harder to keep going. But you have the power to get back in the groove. If you still want what you wanted as much as you did at the beginning, use this auspicious time to start moving forward again. Find a way to inspire yourself.
As you may know, I am quite interested in astrology; that being said, I typically don’t put a lot of stock in horoscopes, especially those that come from a free app on my phone.
This may not be a sign from the stars, but it was certainly something that made me think, so in that aspect, this horoscope was successful. I realize that yes, I do still want a child, and yes, I am still willing to do whatever it takes to get there. I just need to suck it up and deal with the peaks and valleys of this trip.
The other thing that happened was at my dildo-cam appointment this morning.
My cyst has retreated, and the doc cleared me to move forward with my regularly scheduled hybrid Femara/Gonal F cycle!
I was almost expecting to be disappointed, and maybe a little bit of me was even hoping that I would be put back on the bench to sulk. Though, when she told me that everything looked good to start the meds, I found that I was pleasantly surprised.
I am now even looking forward to getting back in the saddle!
I started thinking while putting my pants back on in the ultrasound room that it’s been since my December/January cycle since I’ve really been on the baby-making train. Wow… that’s a heck of a break for someone who wants a child so badly.
I’m ready. It’s time.
All aboard the Hormone Express. ;)
Monday, May 13th, 2013. CD2.
I wish I had felt well enough to put fingers to keyboard yesterday, but alas, I did not. There were so many lovely Mother’s Day posts floating around our little corner of the interwebs yesterday though, I doubt you really needed my two cents.
Though, of course, I will give it…
No situation quite outlines the suckiness of infertility quite like starting one’s period on Mother’s Day.
At any rate, I survived, if barely. The husband and I went to lunch with his grandmother, who is a tiny firecracker of a woman, and I ate more salmon than any one person probably should. We drove out to see his sister and her kiddos for a bit, too, and dropped off some flowers and a card. She was so sweet and sent me home with a cute little potted flower and a package of mini-muffins, which I suppose should have lasted me at least until today, but cramps and an appetite for carbs and sugar destroyed that cute little notion. I don’t think those bad boys lasted more than an hour after we left her house.
After the morning/early afternoon activity, the husband took me home and left me to my own devices, which included wrapping up in a giant blanket with my heating pad, Kindle, tv remote, and roughly six pots of tea.
I hope your Mother’s Day was as relaxing, if less crampy and bleedy. :)
On another note, the arrival of dear old Aunt Flo means that tomorrow is my appointment with Dr. F to see if my cyst has made a graceful exit, and whether or not I can proceed with a Femara/Gonal F cycle this month.
I sure hope that’s the case…
Oh, and an update on the Metformin Situation – all is well! Even yesterday, with my reproductive system throwing my digestive system for a nauseating loop, I had no complaints from the Met. I’m still only taking 1000mg of the original formula Met with dinner, but I’m feeling brave enough to increase that this week. I think I’ll start taking 500mg with lunch, and another 1000mg with dinner as usual.
It’s unbelievable to me (and my doctor) that the extended release formula made me so sick when it’s usually the easier to tolerate option, and that the original formula that’s suppose to be complete havoc on the digestion is the one that’s working for me… What can I say, though? I never do things the easy way.
In vitamin/supplement news, I started taking a high-dose B-12 supplement (even though tests showed that my level is normal), because Met is supposed to suck the B-12 right out of your body. I also started the husband and myself on a good quality fish oil supplement every day. He was skeptical, but so far he’s complying.
As for this cycle, I’m feeling a little… apathetic.
I know I should be all bright and sunshiney and full of hope and rainbows and glitter and unicorn poop, but I just don’t.
You know that feeling when you first ride a rollercoaster? It’s exciting and you don’t know what’s coming next, and when the ride ends, you’re disappointed, but you can’t wait to try again.
Now imagine that you’ve been on that same ride, over and over again with scarcely a break, for over four years.
Boring, right? The rises, falls, loops and drops – Hell, even the disappointment at the end becomes expected…
I just want off sometimes.
Maybe my attitude will improve once I talk to the doc tomorrow, or maybe I’ll make some crazy choice to just stop trying for a while. Right now though, I can’t tell you what I really want.
I know that I want a baby. I know that I want to do whatever I can to get there. What I don’t know is whether I’m ready to get back on that ride again just yet… Only time will tell.
I’ll be sure to update tomorrow after my appointment, but for now, everyone have a Happy Monday! :)
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013. CD18.
I’m so sorry I’ve been slacking lately. I expected to finish out NIAW with this grand Q & A post in vlog form, and then this lovely sinus infection/mucus overload/dry cough/croaky voice thing happened, and I both look and sound terrible.
Ain’t nobody wanna see that.
So that will have to be put off for another day when I can talk without sounding like Urkel.
Errmmm… what else?
Oh yes. The weather here in Northwest Ohio has turned.
It’s freaking gorgeous outside today, and I’m already dreaming of bonfires and barbecues and capri pants. I suppose it’s about time we were exposed to some nice weather anyway, right?
So besides this ultra-sexy, mucusy sinus thing I have going on, the rest of my body seems to be confused as well.
Like this morning for example… I brushed my teeth, took my vitamin, grabbed my purse and started to walk out the door.
And then out the blue my stomach’s all like, “Hey gurl heeeeeey! You know that vitamin you’ve been taking every day for the past 4.5 years? Well eff that, because today we don’t want it anymore!”
And then I was fine. Drove to work. Drank a smoothie. On with the day.
The Metformin is slowly trying to kill me. I’ve lost weight like whoa, and have had to cut my dosage back quite a bit to cope. I feel like maybe I just need to give it more time and figure out what I can eat on the lowest dosage first, before attempting to move onto a higher dose at all.
I also really enjoy not feeling like absolute dog poo.
Another thing I’ve been reading (read: Googling) is that many people/doctors are saying that thin women with PCOS tend to respond better to the traditional Metformin, as opposed to the Metformin Extended Release. I checked my prescription, and sure enough, I am taking the XR. I have a note in to the doctor to ask about switching to the traditional dosage, although I know that may also do a number on my digestive system.
How much worse can it get, right?
Oh, and then this happened: For a week straight, I was getting almost positive ovulation tests… I’m using the Wondfos, in case you were wondering. Finally, yesterday morning’s result was the first obvious positive I’ve seen in a couple of months.
I tested again in the evening to be sure, and that test also showed a nice, dark test line, darker than the control line. Textbook perfect, exactly what one would want to see. I’ve had some fertile CM as well, and took advantage of the weekend at home with the husband to make good use of it.
I’m really happy that I seem to be ovulating this month, and assume that I’m ovulating on the right, as my CD3 scan showed a cyst on the left, which I also assume came from ovulating on the left last month.
My question then, is this…
I ovulated on the left last cycle, presumably – ovulation sucked/didn’t occur at all, I grew a cyst.
I now assume that I’m ovulating on the right this cycle, which is going well.
Should I expect to ovulate on the left again next cycle…?
And if so, does that mean that my left ovary may be compromised because of the cyst?
AND, should I then bother using expensive meds next month and risk wasting a cycle on what may be a bum ovary, or should I perhaps wait one more month before jumping in with both feet and a good ovary?
Obviously I’m overthinking this, and no decision will be able to be made until I’m in the stirrups on my date with Dr. Dildocam on my next CD3, but of course I tend to speculate. About everything.
…Ever notice that speculate and speculum come from the same root word? Hmm…
Latin speculatus, past participle of speculari to spy out, examine, from specula lookout post, from specere to look, look at
…Errm. Sorry. I digress.
So anyway, that’s what’s up with me.
I’m sick, enjoying the weather despite the sickness, seem to be ovulating again, speculating about said ovulation and ovulations to come, and acting as an armchair etymologist in my copious free time.
Yeah. Good times. :)
It’s only fitting that National Infertility Awareness Week should coincide with what would have been my due date.
Nothing makes you more aware of your infertility than a baby you loved, but never got to meet.
Last August, the most amazing thing happened.
The pregnancy test strips I was using to test out the trigger from my first Femara/Menopur cycle started getting darker, instead of lighter.
I was pregnant.
It was amazing and terrifying and brilliantly exciting.
It was surreal.
In that moment, alone in my bathroom and surrounded by peed-on paper strips, I experienced more joy than I had in my entire life.
Our Gummy Bear was on his or her way, and I suddenly had everything I had ever wanted.
I didn’t know then that seven weeks later, it would all come crashing down.
The miscarriage was physically, emotionally, and psychologically the most difficult thing I have ever had to do.
The physicality of it only lasted a few days, but there are some aspects from which I may never fully recover.
I was a mother that night, and the next morning, I wasn’t any more.
I was empty.
Today is my would-be due date.
Today is the day that I was looking forward to, so intensely, and for such a short period of time; it’s also the day I have been dreading for so long.
Today is when I remember the tiny life that never got to be, and yet was loved so incredibly much.
I’ll never forget my first baby.
Gummy Bear gave me hope that I may one day hear that faint heartbeat, feel kicks and flips from the inside, and hold a wiggly, screaming new life in my arms.
Today, although my belly is flat, my heart is broken, and my arms are empty…
I am still standing.
I am a mother today,
and I will have hope, always.
Just as I will hold that baby in my heart.
I will remember.
Mourn and memorialize.
As long as I remember, my baby lives on.
Love lives on…
Sometimes being supportive isn’t so much what you say to someone who’s struggling, but what you do.
A hug can say more in its simplicity than a whole monologue on how “what’s meant to be will be” and “you’ll be a mother someday, I just know it”.
There are so many ways we can support our fellow Infertiles this National Infertility Awareness Week, and many of them don’t require a word out of our mouths.
For the intrepid few, sometimes a tattoo shows their struggle and their support. These are mine.
You can update the profile photo on your social media accounts with this Twibbon, showing your support.
You can update your Facebook cover photo with one of these fabulous creations from The Infertility Voice.
You can help to educate others and encourage sensitivity by posting links on social media to information that will help others our struggle. There is a great article here, and some wonderful tips on infertility etiquette here.
I particularly love infographics like these:
There’s also this cheeky little claymation rendering of What Not To Say To Someone With An Uncooperative Uterus.
You can support, inspire, advocate, and show a great deal of compassion without speaking a word this week.
Maybe give some of these a try:
I look forward to your submissions, and I look forward to being inspired!
Keep up the good work, folks.
This NIAW, we can get the word out about infertility, and we can do it as loudly or as quietly as we like!
We can make a difference – Join the movement!
Have you ever been stuck in an awkward conversation with someone you don’t know well?
Yeah. Me too.
And then the million dollar question comes up… The “why don’t you have babies?” question.
Yeah. That one.
And then you word-vomit your entire
non-reproductive history onto them, things get even more awkward, you realize there’s no coming back from this social faux pas, and you just abruptly stop talking. Or they back slowly away from you, hands in the air, like they’re afraid you’ll lunge after them to assault them with further knowledge of cervical mucus quality.
…Yeah. It happens.
When you tell someone that you struggle with infertility, it can be as intimidating for them as it is for you.
Infertility is a very broad term. There are hundreds – maybe thousands – of causes for infertility, and the average Fertile bystander probably has very little idea what those causes may be.
If you’re anything like me, the conversation probably goes a little like this:
So when are you and your husband going to have kids?
Well, we’ve been working on it for a while. It will happen one day. (UGH… I know where this is going…)
You know, the same thing happened to my cousin’s best friend. She was just trying too hard, and after like six months they took a vacation and relaxed, and then BAM! Pregnant!
Maybe you’re just stressing out about it too much?
…Yeah. That’s not it, actually. There are medical reasons why I’m not getting pregnant, and the doctors are working to figure out why.
It’s probably your husband. Does he wear tightie-whities and sit in the hot tub all the time?
What are we, a 70s swinger couple? No, he doesn’t, and no, it’s not him.
You know, I heard that after you turn 30, you need to see a special doctor to help you get pregnant. You probably just waited too long and missed your window.
That’s not… no. *sigh*facepalm*sigh*
…….Okay, here’s the thing: Infertility is defined by a man and a woman having regular, unprotected sex for one full year and not successfully conceiving a child. If nothing happens after a year, most women see their OB, who should refer them to a reproductive specialist for additional testing and, sometimes, artificial reproductive technologies. Age has nothing to do with that process most of the time, but yes, some women’s fertility will start to decline after age 35. Maybe that’s what you heard. And for the record, I’m only 32 and my husband wears boxers.
Uhh… Yeah. Nice talk. Anyway, I hope you get knocked up… Bye!
And then you just scared away another Fertile and simultaneously made a big awkward scene at a wedding/church/office break room/check-out line at Target.
It can be frustrating to try to explain your entire medical history to someone who doesn’t know the ins and outs of infertility like some of us do, but in the same way that we expect people to be receptive of we have to say, we need to be patient and clear when explaining our infertility to them.
Next time the conversation erupts around you, try to inform rather than defend.
So you’ve been trying for quite a while then?
Yes, four years actually. We’re seeing a very good specialist though, so we have a lot of hope that it will happen soon.
So what exactly is the problem? Are you just too stressed out, or what?
Well, I am stressed, yes. Trying this hard for something you want more than anything, and failing month after month for four straight years would stress anyone out. However, that is not the reason we haven’t been successful. Infertility is a disease, and much like cancer, there’s not always a clear-cut way to cure the disease. It’s a lot of trial and error, but we’re getting closer every month. *patient smile*
Oh, okay. Well I wish you the very best of luck, and I hope it happens soon!
…Hey, wait! You know, I have a friend who is having some trouble getting pregnant too… Would you mind if I gave her your email address so she could have someone experienced to talk to about all of this?
And then you become an ally, an advocate, rather than a Bitter Infertile/Socially Awkward Crazy Cat Lady.
We can all open ourselves up to educating and informing others, and oftentimes one open door leads to another. We all have an ungodly amount of medical knowledge stored up in our warped Infertile brains – we just need to be careful about how we word-vomit that knowledge onto the unsuspecting, uninformed public.
Please take advantage of this National Infertility Awareness Week to share with others, and in turn, others may share with you. Being an advocate and having a reputation as an Infertility Ally can be a very fulfilling thing.
Use what you know, what you’ve been through, and the compassion you’ve gained along the way to educate and inspire others! Encourage the conversation about infertility, and in turn you’ll encourage sensitivity and compassion toward our cause!
And so, in the spirit of educating, informing, and opening up about infertility, I’m working on a Q & A (vlog!) post for later this week. If you have a question about infertility, treatment options, medications, side-effects, or anything medical/ART related, please feel free to ask!
You can also ask anything you like about me – personal questions, relationships questions, what kind of cup I pee in a thousand times per month – nothing is off limits!
I’m an open book this week, so please expect an extra helping of TMI – in video form!
Today, April 21st, 2013, marks the first day of this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).
NIAW was created by RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, to help bring awareness to the disease, those who suffer, and ways the public can help. Each year has a theme, and this year’s message is Join the Movement.
Those of you who are not new visitors to this blog, or who know me in real life, are very much aware that this is not my first rodeo. I’ve blogged my way through two other NIAWs in the past, and was just joining the infertility blogging community during 2010’s awareness week.
I feel as if I’ve grown each year, and that each year’s theme for bringing awareness has mirrored that growth for me in so many ways. This year’s theme is no exception:
Join the Movement.
I’ve been through so much in the four years we’ve been working to start a family. I’ve had highs and lows, moments of frustration, moments of elation, and moments where I’ve wanted to quit.
I’ve had moments of pain, sorrow, grief, and dark moments where I’ve just wanted to die.
I’ve stumbled and fallen, picked myself up and dusted myself off, stumbled again, and needed the help of others to get back on my feet.
It’s not been an easy road by any stretch of the imagination, however one thing has remained constant: support.
I am blessed in so many ways, and I am fully aware that I have been blessed with supportive people in my life. Family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances. I’ve been on the receiving end of much positive encouragement throughout this journey, and I do not take that for granted.
This year, in keeping with RESOLVE’s NIAW theme, I would like to invite you, the readers: friends, family, total strangers – to join the movement.
There are a thousand and one ways you can get involved, whether you are suffering with infertility, supporting someone who is, or just feel the compassion to help others know that they’re not alone.
You can share your story. Blog, tweet, share with a friend. Whether you suffer from infertility or not, you can shine a light on this disease and help break the silence.
You can show support for the entire infertility community by changing your Facebook status.
It’s as easy as this:
Infertility affects 7.3 million Americans, as many as 1 in 8 couples. Like me. (or my friend/my sister/brother/cousin.)
I stand with the 1 in 8 who live with infertility. In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, repost if you’re with me.
Infertility is a heart-wrenching, faith-questioning, relationship-testing, life-altering experience. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Whether a friend, a family member, a colleague or yourself has fought through this difficult fate that MILLIONS of women are fighting day in and day out. Post this as your status if you or someone you know has struggled at a chance to be a parent.
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. 1 in 8 people in the US are struggling with infertility right now. That means that 12 out of every 100 Facebook friends on your list is, or has struggled with infertility. Please show your support this week by sharing this status. We can only bring awareness to this disease if we are willing to talk about it!
You can update the profile photo on your social media accounts with this Twibbon, showing your support.
The most meaningful, and absolute best way that you can join the movement this year, is also the easiest.
Every person you know is fighting some battle. It may be infertility, and it may not be. Sometimes it’s not for us to know, and sometimes broadcasting our support for an entire community of infertility sufferers isn’t going to make you any friends.
One thing is certain, however; if you show kindness in your everyday life, listen when someone needs to talk, encourage others to express themselves in whatever darkness is in their lives, you will be a supporter, and that is a legacy worth leaving behind.
I urge each of you to reach out this week.
Be open, be compassionate, be supportive.
Be receptive to those who reach out to you. Be willing to connect on a deeper level.
Be the voice of those who aren’t willing or able to broadcast their woes.
Be the secret confidante to those who just need a friend.
Be the public bullhorn for those who want to be heard.
Be informative to those who ask questions. Be patient. Be present.
Be a friend to those who need a shoulder upon which to lean.
Join me in supporting the one in eight this week.
Join the rest of the infertility community in standing strong in the face of enormous struggle.
Join us in what may not be the most popular stance, but one that could make a huge difference for someone you know.
Join the movement.
In case you haven’t seen this floating around FacebookLand, here’s a fantastic way to squash any of your so-called friends’ wayward thoughts of SUUUUPER creative April Fool’s Day false pregnancy jokes.
(Thankfully, I haven’t seen any yet today, but in previous years I’ve seen them all over…)
I hope your day is Fool-free!!