Month: March 2013
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Easter Wishes

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Growth

A few weeks ago, I got two phone calls on the same day.

Not unusual, I know.

However, they were both pregnancy announcement phone calls…

Actually, because the calls were from people with whom I’m very close, the calls were both handled rather delicately, considering the subject matter, and the receiver of the news.

Actually, both of the calls were handled in exactly a way I’d want to hear that kind of news:  over the phone, and rather bluntly.

Look, if you’re going to tell me you’re pregnant (pregnant again, in both cases), then just do it already.  You know?  The beating around the bush, dancing around the topic, and general easing into it are not fooling anyone, let alone this particular Infertile, who suspects that EVERYONE is pregnant constantly.

Now, in both of these cases, I had expected the news to come at some point.  I can’t say that I was surprised, and I feel like I handled the phone calls rather well.

Then again, I think I always do.  No breakdowns till after we hang up, promise!

But then the strangest thing happened… I got off the phone, and I didn’t break down.

I was okay.  I was happy.

I was happy for these people I love, having siblings for their little ones.

I was happy that others don’t have the problems I do…

I can’t say that I didn’t feel that familiar old sting of jealousy, but it didn’t last.

I was okay.

I am okay.

I don’t know why I didn’t get upset… I usually do.

I just know that since that day, and those two calls, I have felt less… bitter.

It’s freeing, in a way, to know that I can be happy about babies again.  It’s nice not to feel like I have to run and hide from the pregnant girls in my office, or tune them out when I hear them talking about their pregnancies.

(Don’t get me wrong, if you complain daily about how much you hate being pregnant and how you can’t wait for this to be over, I will block your Facebook posts.  I mean, I’m strong, but I can only take so much!)

It’s nice to feel less negatively affected by others’ good news, but it worries me a little.

I think to myself, “Is this growth, or am I subconsciously giving up?”

Now I know how ridiculous that sounds, that just because I don’t feel so overwhelmingly ME vs. THEM lately, that must mean that I no longer want a baby so badly.  It’s just an evil little thought that’s crossed my mind…

And it’s not even a little bit true.

I do want a baby.  Several, if possible!  I know that the road to get to this point has been rough and fraught with potholes and grief, and there may still be a long journey ahead, but my desire to be a mother is definitely present, full and strong.

Maybe I am growing.  Maybe I’m learning to cope.

Maybe I’m just tired of being depressed about what others have and what I do not…

Maybe I’m so totally over living in fear of ultrasound photos popping up on Facebook.

Maybe I know now that since I’ve been to the bottom of the barrel, I can handle anything else life throws my way.

Maybe, just maybe, I will come out of this thing with everything I want, including my sanity, relationships, and my own family.

Maybe.

One day.  🙂

 

 

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Abnormally Normal

Friday, March 22nd, 2013.  CD10.

 

So I got my labs back from Tuesday’s excursion to Dr. F’s office…

My hysteroscopy looked great.  I have a perfect uterus and beautifully open tubes.

My thyroid panel looked great.  I have completely normal levels in all areas, including thyroid antibodies.

My B-12 level looked great.  I have a level that’s in the upper ranges of normal and needs no further supplementation.

 

 

So… I’m great then?

Great.

Then why won’t my great hormones and great reproductive organs produce a great baby?

TELL ME WHY!!

 

I might buy this, you know, for doctor’s appointments.

 

Anyway, so that happened.

Again.

I just love having all of these normal labs and still having some major malfunction in the junk region.

Heh.  That kind of rhymed.

Okay, back on track….

To sum up (because obviously there is no time to e’splain…):

My labs are normal, as usual.

My girl parts are still jacked up somewhere, as usual.

I shall continue with my vitamins and supplements, as usual.

I shall begin taking Metformin, possibly this weekend.

Because Met can cause B-12 deficiency or absorption issues, I shall take an extra B-12 supplement along with my prenatal, D3, and Pregnitude, despite the doctor’s insistence that it’s not necessary.

I shall continue this cycle with TCM, but discontinue the herbs next cycle…

When Aunt Flo shows her ugly face next time around, I will move forward with another medicated cycle, with IUI and acupuncture.

 

So there you have it.  Decisions made.

BOOM.

Suck on THAT.

Life’s too short to hem and haw…

I’ve got better things to do than vacillate for months at a time, and my eggs aren’t getting any younger!

 

This blog post brought to you by the wordsmith, Tina Fey.

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Hysteroscopy

Just a quick update, as I am still feeling pretty crampy from the events of today’s office visit, and would like to remove this laptop from my pelvic region as soon as possible.

So, the hysteroscopy went well.  Dr. F and her colleagues didn’t find anything of concern while they were poking around in my business.  The video was cool to watch, and was a welcome distraction from the discomfort I was feeling with a camera up in my hoo-ha.

She also did an AFC (antral follicle count) and checked to make sure fluid was flowing between my tubes and uterus properly.  My AFC was slightly high, as is the norm with PCOS patients, but Dr. F said that the follicles she counted looked to be healthy sizes, for whatever that’s worth.

Everything today looked normal, as per usual.  Dr. F said as she was leaving that she has great faith that we can do this thing without IVF, and that all signs point toward a very healthy reproductive system that just can’t get its business together.  She aims to help me with that, and I feel good about my chances.

In other news, I had my full thyroid panel drawn today, including thyroid antibodies, which I’ve wondered about for some time.  I’ll be interested to hear those results in a few days when they come back.

I also had my Vitamin B-12 levels checked.  I’ve been reading a lot lately about B-12 deficiency and its effects on the body.  I have many of the symptoms of B-12 deficiency, but those could be attributed to other issues as well, so I will just wait on the results to find out my next step, if there is one.

I’ve decided to move forward with Metformin.  Not today, but soon.  I have the prescription waiting for me at the pharmacy, but I want to get my B-12 results first.  I have read that taking Metformin can actually cause B-12 deficiency, and I want to gauge my levels before I start taking the drug.  I know my acupuncturist won’t be thrilled with me taking the Met, but I know she will accept that I’m doing what I feel is best based on doctor recommendations.

I also ordered a month’s worth of Pregnitude.  For those of you who have never heard of this product, Pregnitude is a powdered supplement of Folic Acid and Myo-inositol, both of which are essential B vitamins that your body needs.  This particular combination is a high dose, and many women with PCOS have found that it has helped regulate their hormone levels when used with (and without) Metformin.  I figure I might as well give it a shot.

I’ve also eased up on my self-placed dietary restrictions.  I am allowing myself gluten again, but being sure to only consume whole grains if possible.  I’m still avoiding processed foods, and having sugars only in extreme moderation, and mainly from fruit or honey.  I’m trying to keep with a low-glycemic index diet as much as I can, and I feel that the regulations help me to make better choices all around.

I received my blood work results from my PCP this morning, and they came back with a slightly low glucose level (72) and a very slightly elevated VLDL level (which is a triglyceride, apparently), so I am seeing more clearly that while I may not be insulin resistant, I am sensitive to the peaks and valleys of my blood sugar.  I was told not to be terribly concerned about the VLDL as it was just a bit high, but it’s one more thing pointing toward pre-diabetic tendencies, insulin issues, and PCOS.

So that’s what’s up in my neighborhood.  Pieces are falling into place, little by little.

For now, I’m going to sit with my feet up and relax till my acupuncture appointment in a couple of hours, and then I’m going to make myself a dinner  high in protein and low in carbs, and watch Hell’s Kitchen till I fall asleep.

To each their own, am I right?  🙂

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What To Do, What To Do…

Friday, March 15th, 2013.  CD3.

So with this “lean PCOS” diagnosis, comes a whole line of decisions yet to be made.

On the one hand, I am having acupuncture, and am using a line of Chinese herbs to help regulate my cycle (which is regular in its timing, but irregular in its awful, terrible, painful heaviness).  My acupuncturist is skeptical of some of the Western treatments for PCOS, and feels that since I am of a healthy weight, and am maintaining a healthy diet, that she can regulate my cycle and hormones to a natural balance with the use of herbs and acupuncture alone.

On the other hand, my new RE has offered Metformin.  While I don’t appear to be insulin-resistant, there are many studies showing that Met can help regulate the balance of androgens and estrogens, which is a large part of my problem.  My testosterone levels are a bit high, and my estrogens are a bit low, which I’m sure is causing crappy eggs to emerge.  The husband’s swimmers are turning up their nose at said crappy eggs, or they are attempting to fertilize and failing because they are just so damaged.

Metformin could help over the course of a few months… And so could the herbs and acupuncture combo.  What about combining the Eastern and Western treatments?  What about adding Pregnitude, which sounds like a more natural alternative to Met?  What about adding supplements to my already hefty list of pills?  I’ve heard good things about the combination of CoQ10, myo-inositol (one of the ingredients of Pregnitude), and L-Arginine?

If I was younger, I would try each for four to six months until one of them worked, but let’s face it – I’m not getting any younger, and neither are my eggs.

Oy.  So many choices.

I sometimes wish that I was the type of person I used to be.  The type of person who could just take the doctor’s orders without question and proceed happily.

Not so.  Not anymore.

I’m the person who asks questions with every recommendation.  I’m the person who brings such a disturbing amount of knowledge into the exam room that the doctor asks what she can do for me, rather than telling me what I’m going to do.

Now, instead of orders, I have options.

Rather than making up my mind, I am going to the internet for help.

I know we talked about this recently, but can anyone out there shed any light on lean PCOS and the effectiveness of Metformin vs. Pregnitude vs. TCM and acupuncture vs. egg-quality-improvement supplement cocktails?

Help, internet!  Help!!

 

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Direction

Today was my first meeting with Dr. F, the head of reproductive medicine at the University of Michigan.

Before I even met her, I met with a nurse who took my vitals and reviewed my file with me, and a resident who talked to me about all of my past treatments and doctors.

By the time I met Dr. F, I had already told my entire life story to two separate people, and they had relayed the information to her.

Dr. F was very compassionate, understanding, kind, and warm.  That made me like her.

She was also confident, sharp as a tack, very direct, and didn’t beat around the bush.  That made me love her.

After exchanging pleasantries, she made mention of the fact that we’ve been trying a loooooong time.  I agreed, and she said that typically in a situation like this, she doesn’t start by dictating the course of our future, but asking where I would like to go.  She understood that I am savvy when it comes to my body and what testing and treatments are out there, and that I am a professional internet research.  She liked that I had asked for testing from Dr. K when it seemed like we were not getting anywhere, and she actually LOOKED at my BBT charts.

Like, looked at them.  Studied them.  Seriously.

And she likes that I’m in acupuncture!

I like this lady.

So, after discussing where I’ve been and what I’ve done previously, Dr. F said that it seems like I’ve had a fairly thorough workup, especially with the recent testing I’d asked for.  I brought in a typed up summary of all of my recent test results, and that made the process of going through the important levels much more efficient.

She asked why I had never had a laparoscopy, especially with my history of heavy, painful periods, and I told her that none of my previous doctors had thought it necessary.  She thought that was odd considering that all of my ultrasound records show what looks like a cystic area on my left ovary.  Suspicious, and worth taking a look.

She schooled me on some of the finer points of recent studies showing little difference between the success rates of women with endometriosis having laparoscopies, and women who went without, but also said that diagnosing endometriosis can help to better determine treatment plans in the future.  She wants to have me complete some other testing first, and then consider a lap in a month or two if we aren’t successful at that point.

She also was honest with me about my timeframe for conception… It hasn’t happened in four years, even with all we’ve tried, and without IVF, it may be even longer before we find success.  She wants me to consider IVF within this calendar year if we aren’t successful soon.

Honesty.  I get it.  I’m right there with ya, sister.

It’s been almost three years since my HSG, so Dr. F wants to have me do a hysteroscopy as soon as my next cycle begins to rule out uterine polyps or fibroids.  Let’s not waste time!  I like that!

I’m also being screened for cystic fibrosis, and having my thyroid panel redrawn, including thyroid antibodies to rule out autoimmune thyroid disease.

All of these things make me feel like we’ll be getting a clearer picture of my overall health and fertility, but one thing Dr. F said took me aback.

“Has anyone ever told you that you have PCOS?”

“…Uh.  No…?”

“Well that’s odd.”

“…Is it?”

“Yes!  Look right here!”

And then she proceeded to show me how I have several instances of increased androgen levels on different lab results, and that my follicle counts during the AMIGOS study were quite a bit higher than what’s normal.  Per Dr. F, if I had irregular cycles and insulin resistance as well, she would diagnose me on the spot, but she sees enough evidence in my overeager ovaries and the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin (which I meticulously pluck!) to make the call.

The thing about having PCOS when you don’t have insulin resistance is that there’s not a direct game plan.

I don’t need to lose weight.  I don’t need to take Metformin to control my blood sugar.  I don’t need to diet (though I already am, a bit).

In my case, the treatment would be medicated cycles.  In this particular case, Dr. F wants me to do Gonal-F hybrid cycles with IUI.

If we do one cycle that fails, we will proceed to the laparoscopy, and after recovery, try another before reevaluating.

All in all, I feel like there was a lot discussed today, and I feel like there’s a plan in place.

I do so hate standing still…

It’s nice to have direction, and to feel confident in medical professionals again.  I know there’s still a long way to go, and that none of this may actually make a difference, but it’s still nice to feel like I’m moving forward again.

🙂

Oh, and here’s a video that made me laugh till I almost peed.  Almost.

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Just For Me

This gallery contains 7 photos.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk for a while. Any Infertile knows how this feels…  Nothing seems to be going my way, and with failure after failure weighing me down, I needed a win. Even if I had to buy one. So, a few weeks ago, I signed up for the POPSUGAR Must

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Acupuncture 2.0

Thursday, March 7th, 2013.  CD22, 5DPO.

 

I know I said last week after my first acupuncture appointment that I would have to withhold judgment until I’d had a few more sessions, but I feel like now, after my second session, I’ve had enough experience to know how I feel.

I am loving acupuncture.

I was skeptical at first, but last night’s session was wonderful.  Yes, there was still some pain in spots, but it was only momentary, and I was relaxed enough to fall asleep, which I never thought would happen!

Another thing I’m really going to like is that each treatment session begins with a friendly chat with Tamara about how the past week has been going.  I like her, and it almost feels like therapy.  She’s down to earth, and she isn’t preachy.  She encourages me without being smug, and she seems to be happy with my progress after only one treatment.

She was impressed with my pretty positive OPK, and happy to hear that my libido is waking up a bit.  I also told her that last weekend I was able to spend two full days doing nothing but reading and drinking tea at my leisure.  I guess I never realized how hard it has become for me to actually sit still, and I don’t know if it was the acupuncture or not, but I’m glad I gave myself a couple of days off!

After the treatment session, I went home feeling amazingly relaxed.  I made myself a yummy steak, eggs, and sautéed spinach dinner, and then cuddled up on the couch with some warm tea and American Idol.

(Side note:  Does anyone else want to toss Nicki Minaj off a tall building, or is that just me?)

Just as Tamara said last week, I was wiped out after my treatment again.  I was in bed super early and slept like the dead.  I am still feeling a little fuzzy around the edges today, but I do feel rested and peaceful.

I also picked up a new week’s worth of herbs yesterday.  Evergreen Blossom Phase 4 is the herbal blend meant to be taken the week before Aunt Flo arrives.  It helps support blood flow in the uterine area and Tamara says it will help my cycle to ease up a bit.  She thinks that the reason that my periods are so heavy and painful is because the blood is not flowing in that region as it should be.  She asked if I ever have clotting, which I definitely do – always – and she said that is a definite sign.

I’m hopeful that this formula will help me be able to feel human while Aunt Flo’s in town, but the absolute BEST part about this new herbal blend that I’ll start taking this weekend is that it’s not something I have to drink!

Capsules!!  WOO!!  😀

OH!  And I started a new book by Randine Lewis, The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies.  I’m only a short way in at this point, but it’s all very interesting and working well with the TCM path I’m on right now.

So while I have no idea if this path will help me with my overall goal of having a healthy baby, I do know that it’s helping me relax and focus in the short term.

Which is something I need.  Badly.

In other news, I have quite an active few days ahead of me!  Two of my BFFs are coming to town this weekend and bringing their little ladies with them, so we will have a houseful!  I think it will be lots of fun, and it’s something we really need to do now, since one of these gals is having her second baby in a couple of weeks, and the other is moving to Japan!

After a fun weekend of girl time, I’ll be starting next week in my new position within our company.  I wish I could tell you what my title will be, or whether or not this is considered a promotion, but I honestly can’t.  At least not right now… My role is going to be different from any other position in the company that exists right now, and it’s partially up to me to help define what I am going to BE and DO around here.  It’s a great opportunity for growth, and an even better one to put my creativity to use on a much larger scale than I have been able to thus far.

I’m excited about this transition, and will be sure to update once I know a little more!

Also happening next week is my appointment with my new RE, Dr. F!  I’m a little nervous for the appointment, not because I’m new to this process in the least, but because my records from Dr. K probably won’t be delivered to me in time for the consultation.  I won’t be going empty-handed, as I have copies of all of my records from the AMIGOS study, and I have been sure to at least record the test results I’ve been given, even if I don’t have an official hospital record of them.

Honestly, I’m less worried about what she thinks of my test results, and more worried that she will say that it all looks normal to her.  I’m worried that she won’t think it’s necessary to do any further testing, or that she will say that acupuncture is a waste of my time and money.  I’m worried she will be like Dr. K and not listen when I tell her that something is wrong…

I know these are irrational fears.  I chose this doctor because she has a reputation for looking at the whole patient, and treating the issues first instead of going straight for the big guns.  I guess this will give me another thing to talk to Tamara about at next week’s acu-therapy session!

Whew!

Anyway, apologies for the short novel of a blog post here.  Sheesh.

I’m not sure if I’ll be posting again for a few days, so I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  🙂

 

I don’t care that it’s not relevant to this post – there just aren’t enough LOST memes in the world.

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Four Year Journey

I don’t remember the day the husband and I decided to start trying for a baby.

I don’t remember when I started thinking about somewhat foreign concepts like ovulation and cycle length.

I don’t even remember talking to the husband about having children.  I just knew that we would, and that we’d probably get started right away.

We got married when we were 28.  The husband’s birthday had been a few months earlier, and mine was just a couple of weeks before our wedding in December of 2008.  Two of my best friends (and bridesmaids) had gotten married in the late summer of that year, and I remember them both saying that they were waiting until after my wedding to start trying for babies themselves.

Having lost my job a month before our nuptials, I was an unemployed newlywed in January of 2009.  I did everything I could to keep busy, spending hours and hours each day applying and interviewing for jobs, organizing our wedding gifts, and eventually getting us moved into a larger apartment where we had more room for our new accumulation of “married people stuff”.

By the time we had moved into a two-bedroom place in February of 2009, I had started formulating thoughts about what that second bedroom could be used for, aside from crock pot storage…

Babies.

And so, in March of 2009, I started getting a little more serious about baby-making.  At that time, I didn’t know much more than what I’d learned in high school health class, so I figured I’d just start trying to have more sex with the husband two weeks or so after my period started.  It was never easy to do, as I had all the time in the world, but the husband worked a crazy shift that saw us apart for much more time than we were together.  Often he would be working while I was awake, and by the time he was home, I was fast asleep.

Two ships passing in the night – or day – and all that jazz.

We didn’t get pregnant that month, obviously, but I wasn’t discouraged.  I knew that it could take a month or two, or sometimes three, to get pregnant.

(HA!)

My best friend, and maid of honor, got pregnant the next month.  I figured I would soon too, and kept along our merry way.

I got a job working in bridal retail, and expected to be a fat little bridal consultant in no time at all.

A few more months rolled by, and nothing.  My other friend and bridesmaid who had married just before me found herself pregnant as well.  Our first anniversary came and went, along with the births of a niece, a nephew, and my two bridesmaids’ kiddos.

I got a kitten.

I also started doing a little online research about speeding up this darn conception process.  The first step seemed to be pinpointing ovulation, so I went out and bought ovulation prediction tests.  The more I researched, the deeper in I fell…

I ordered a thermometer online and started temping.  I learned all about cervical mucus and started charting that.  I had been keeping track of the length of my cycles for a couple of years, and found it simple enough to just punch all the data into an online program, and thus my love/hate relationship with FertilityFriend was born.

From there, things moved quickly.  I realized that I was rather underweight, ovulating late in my cycle with a short luteal phase, and having quite a few digestive difficulties I thought might be IBS or a thyroid problem.  I went to my primary physician first, and then to my OB; I was turned away from both with no real answers, and the OB even had the nerve to tell me to have more sex and come back in a year.

I found a new OB quickly, and by the summer of 2010, she had me tested for all of the basics that would point out an obvious reproductive issue.  She started me on Clomid for two months unmonitored, and after no pregnancy occurred, she referred me to an RE.

By this time, I had started a new bridal position, and was feeling very stressed out, both in work and in life.  Three years ago, after having tried unsuccessfully for a baby for just over a year, I was feeling depressed and discouraged.

(…If only I had known then that this journey could – and would – go on so much longer and get so much worse…)

My first visit with the RE was in June of 2011.  The preliminary testing done by my OB helped get me on the path to medicated cycles more quickly than I had anticipated, and I started Femara with an Ovidrel trigger just a few weeks later.  I was monitored, and found to have a good response, but after several cycles of that protocol, we still weren’t pregnant.

At this same time, the husband and I had also made the decision to move.  I needed to get away from my stressful bridal salon management job, and we were feeling that we needed to live closer to family and friends – whether mine or his, as we lived at least an hour and a half from any major support system.  We felt that we may need the support as we got further and further into the treatment game.

August of 2011 found us moving to the Toledo, Ohio, area to be closer to the husband’s family, and many of our friends.  We continued with the RE, sometimes monitored and sometimes not, through the fall, and by the time the holidays rolled around, I was ready for a break.  The distance to see the RE was getting to be a problem, and I had started a brand new job that I didn’t want to be affected by my failure of a reproductive system, and I really didn’t want to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas all hopped up on meds.

After Christmas, I had intended to transfer to an RE that was actually in the area, and even had an appointment set up, which I cancelled twice.  I think my heart just wasn’t in it, and our insurance wasn’t covering a dime of these treatments or any of the monitoring.

In January of 2012, I heard a radio ad asking for women in my age group with unexplained infertility to call if they wanted to inquire about a clinical study… Which I did.  I started the AMIGOS study in February 2012, and had four medicated IUIs with a blind medication (it was Clomid), Novarel trigger, and monitoring.  By June 2012, I was done with the study, and still not knocked up.

Obviously frustrated at this point, I called the local RE again and set up an appointment I would keep this time.  In mid July, I met Dr. K and he was very confident that injectable meds were the way to go.  I started Femara and injects that same week, and found myself pregnant for the first time just a couple weeks after.

I was impressed, and my faith in the process was restored.  I still felt uneasy, however…

Nothing was exactly right with the pregnancy from the very beginning.  My beta numbers were very low, and though they doubled, that wasn’t an encouraging sign.  I had what I think was an anxiety attack one day at about five-and-a-half weeks, and was sent for an ultrasound.  The nurses couldn’t see anything, but I was assured that it was too early.  My subsequent betas came back lowish as well, and weren’t really doubling, though I was also assured that was normal.

By late August of 2012, I was feeling somewhat pregnant.  I didn’t exactly have morning sickness, but I did have a mad case of the baby-bloat.  The husband and I had some wonderful pregnancy announcement photos taken by some friends of ours who were also going through their own conception woes.  We planned to announce our baby on board at 8 weeks, in mid September…

Our first ultrasound just before 7 weeks was not a pleasant one.  There was little growth, no real formation of the sac, and no heartbeat to be seen.  I was seen again four days later or so, and there was no acceleration…

We would miscarry two weeks later.

I spent most of the fall of 2012 devastated by the loss of our Gummy Bear, the baby that never got to be.  By December though, I was ready to start trying again, even if I wasn’t very enthusiastic about our odds.

After unsuccessful injects cycles in December 2012 and January 2013, I broke.

There were no answers as to why I couldn’t get pregnant, why we had lost our only pregnancy to date, and why we had perfect test results all around.  I spiraled into an anxiety-ridden state of frustration and panic, wherein I was on the phone with Dr. K’s office just about every day asking for further testing, and trying to pinpoint just WHY I don’t have a baby.

All of that brings us to today.

March 4th, 2009, is the first day of the first cycle I entered into FertilityFriend after our wedding.  As previously stated, I don’t remember the exact date we officially hopped on the baby-train, but I suppose the first day of the cycle that I know we started getting serious about it is official enough.

Today marks four long years of trying to conceive.

Four years of hope built up, and hope dashed.

Four years of desperation, frustration, elation, and devastation.

Four years of watching the world go by without us.

Four years of engagements, weddings, first and second babies being born to people who didn’t even know each other when we started down this path.

Four years of being stuck.

Four years of picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off for the next round of pills, injections, and ultrasounds.

Fours years of somehow managing to have a shred of hope every single month.

Four years of dreaming of our take-home baby.

Four years of getting stronger every day, even on days we feel the weakest.

.

Four years of trying to conceive.

Four years of trying.

Four years.

.

I never expected to be 32 and to be still trying to have my first child.  I never thought it would take this long, be this hard, or cost so much, both financially and psychologically.

I also never expected to feel as though I’m coming through the darkness…

Every day is better than the one before, and while Year Four had its share of extreme highs and lows, I feel that it showed me how to focus on what I really want, and how I should go about getting it.

I feel more emotionally sound today than I have in three years.  I feel strong.  I feel like I can handle this.

I feel like there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.

I’m hopeful, but not in such a cautious way as I have been in the past.

Yes, we’re entering our fifth year of this journey to parenthood, and yes, we’ve seen some awful days come and go, but we’re still standing, and we’re still strong.

Bring on Year Five.

We’re ready, we’re tough, and we know this is our year.

.

Aside

Vitamins and Supplements – What Worked For You?

A question for all of the professional TTCer’s out there – What vitamins and supplements are you taking, or were you taking in your successful cycles?

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Here’s what I’m taking now:

Basic Rx Prenatal

Vitamin D3 – 5000iu  (my levels were tested borderline low, which is why I’m taking such a high-ish dose)

Evergreen Blossom Chinese herbs – different formula for each week of the cycle  (along with acupuncture once a week)

.

I’ve heard good things about a few others, and wonder if they might be worthwhile/useless/dangerous to also pursue:

CoQ10

Royal Jelly

Bee Pollen

Vitex

Natural Progesterone Cream

High-dose Folic Acid

DHEA  (though because I seem to have high DHEA-S and borderline high DHEA, I’m thinking this one is probably out)

.

I realize that some of these might interfere with others, and that some of them may not be appropriate to take in a medicated cycle or for someone who isn’t diagnosed with any particular reproductive ailment, but I figured I’d ask the Infertiles out there what worked for them!

Any information you can provide would be most welcome!  🙂

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