Month: October 2013
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The Unrelenting Optimist

If there’s one thing infertility has taken from me, it’s been my optimism from time to time.

Sometimes it’s been gone longer than others…

I try to keep a positive attitude, even when things are darkest, but it’s just not always possible.  There are times that I succumb to the darkness, and let myself think about all the terrifying what-ifs.

What if I’ve gone through all of this only to be unsuccessful in the end?

What if I’ve wasted five whole years on a process that will never work?

What if I’ve wasted time, money, and resources pursuing something that will never yield the results I want?

What if I’ve put relationships to the test unnecessarily?

What if I never get pregnant?

What if I never have a child?

What if this has all been for naught?

I used to be the ultimate optimist.  Sure, I was realistic about my expectations, but I could find the bright side of any situation.

There have been days in the past few years where I’ve struggled with that.

There have been days where I haven’t even had the energy or will to struggle.  There have been plenty of times where I’ve just allowed myself to wallow in self-pity and pessimism.

Those days, though I know I needed to experience them, are behind me.

I have my optimism back.

The sun is shining for me again, even when it’s a cold, rainy October day.

I don’t know when it happened exactly, but at some point in the past few months, I’ve found that hopeful spirit once again.  I can smile and the gesture reaches my eyes.  I believe the positive platitudes that come out of my mouth.  I can encourage others and truly mean what I say about having a sense of hopefulness for the future.

Maybe my internal optimist was never gone… Maybe she just took a backseat for a while.  I can’t blame her; I spent a lot of time beating her down when life wasn’t going my way.  Perhaps she just left me to my own devices while she gathered her strength.

Whatever the case may be, I feel like I’m finally reaching the light at the end of the tunnel.  Closed doors lead to open windows again.  Things are looking up!

For the first time in a long time, I’ve started allowing myself to consider other, happier what-ifs…

What if this treatment path is the one thing that works for me?

What if my last period was my last period?

What if I’m pregnant by Christmas?

What if I get to share the big news with my family over the holidays?

What if I have a baby by this time next year?

What if I get to attend my own baby shower instead of everyone else’s for a change?

What if I get to mother a child of my own?

What if I actually get to realize my dreams?

I have no way of knowing what the future of my life – or even this cycle – holds for me, but for the first time in months, years, I’m okay with that.

I don’t need to know what’s coming, because I know that no matter what it is, I can handle it.

More than that, though…

I can live through it.

I can learn from it.

I can grieve the past and enjoy the present.

I can have hope in the future.

I can take the bad with the good, and know without doubt that my positivity and my good humor will never abandon me.

I am the unrelenting optimist, and I’ve got my sunny disposition back.

Finally.  🙂

 

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Acu-Believe It!

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013.  CD17, 1DPO.

Have you guys seen the movie Pitch Perfect?

Because if you haven’t, I don’t know if we can be friends anymore…

 

Anyway, this post is brought to you by my love for this movie.

And acupuncture, herbs, and all things TCM.

So really, a very strange combination of things…

Aaaaaaaaanyway…

Here’s the haps, gurlfrands.

Progress is being made in a big way over here, and I am about to get all OMG YOU GUYS HAVE TO TRY THIS on you for a minute.

So the first cycle I met with Dr. McStabby, I was about halfway-ish through the month, so his treatments couldn’t have had much of an effect on my cycle length at that time.  That was my August cycle, and I ovulated on cycle day 21 that month.  Auntie Dearest showed up ten days later.

September, the first full month of treatment, I ovulated on cycle day 19, and had an eleven day luteal phase.  Still not the greatest, but you know… progress.

And here we are in October, the second full month of my TCM treatment, and I just ovulated.

On cycle day 16, you guys.

SIXTEEN.

That’s amazing, right?!  I mean, in two months’ time, acupuncture and herbs, along with some dietary and lifestyle changes, have effectively moved my ovulation date up almost a WEEK!!!

Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked, both that this treatment path that I regularly refer to as “Chinese voodoo” is a legitimate, medically effective way to impact infertility, and that my body is responding – and responding well!

Now, I have to point out that many women need to follow the dietary and lifestyle guidelines, take their herbs consistently, and see their acupuncturist at least once a week for a good three or four months to see noticeable changes like this, so if you’re considering trying out the TCM lifestyle, plan on committing to at least six months of treatment.

Some women notice changes right away – there are several women in my FertilityFriend acupuncture group who became pregnant within a month or two of starting treatments!  That’s great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the norm by any means.  The average woman in that group who has gotten pregnant using only acupuncture and herbs, has done so in the third or fourth month of treatment, sometimes later, but noticed some differences, even small ones, sooner.

The fact that I’m in line with the rest of the class as far as noticing these differences makes me feel pretty spectacular.

Oh, and you know what else makes me feel spectacular?

NOT BEING LOADED UP ON HORMONES.

NOT EATING ALL. THE. THINGS.

NOT BEING HATEFUL AND RESENTFUL OF PREGNANT WOMEN.

FEELING SPECTACULAR MAKES ME FEEL SPECTACULAR!

Sorry for the OMGALLCAPS type-yelling.  I’m just excited.  You can’t be mad about that, right?

Right.

And if you are…

So really the reason for this post was to let you all know that if you’ve been banging your head against a wall with infertility treatments for a year, two years – God, four and a half years – maybe it’s time to give this a chance.

If you’re like me, and you have the horrifying plague known as Unexplained Infertility, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are very real, very effective treatment options.

Infertility isn’t always the end of the world…

…And Western medical treatment options aren’t the be-all end-all, either.

Look around, call around, and see what else is out there, especially if you feel like you’re not making any progress with meds and ART.

This could be the “silly little thing”, the “Chinese voodoo” that works for you!  You could be the girl in that story about “The Girl Who Tried Everything, and Then She Turned To Black Magic…”  

YOU COULD BE THAT GIRL.

Yes, ma’am.

Give it a shot (pun. intended.)… You could be a TCM success story!

And as always, thanks for reading!

Remember.

Originally posted on Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen…:
 

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This and That.

Hi folks.

I don’t really have anything groundbreaking to say, or any amazing news to share, but I wanted to at least reach out and let you all know that I’m still here.

Life is good.  I’m spending my weekends farmers’ marketing and cooking yummy foods, and I spent all day yesterday in a 24-hour cheat cycle that included all sorts of sweets and fried foods, and watching a tv show that’s been off the air for ten years and only produced one season.  I love it.  And I’m going to probably cry when it’s over, because I will know that it’s never coming back.

I am obviously a glutton for punishment.

So I have that going for me.

Aside from that, the husband is changing shifts this week, so there will be a whole new level of getting-used-to going on in our house for the next couple of weeks.  He works in the auto industry, and his shift rotates a few times per year.  Prior to this week, he was working a combination of day and night shifts, and working Friday morning through Monday night.

Once the switch takes effect, he will be working Tuesday night through Friday night; it will be nice to have him home Saturday and Sunday, even if he does need to sleep half of Saturday…

The worst part of this particular schedule change, however, is that he will be gone for work when I get home at 5:30pm each day, and won’t be home again until probably 6am or so the next morning while I’m getting ready to leave for work.  This effectively means that four days a week, I won’t see the husband for more than an hour in the early morning while he’s dragging himself in the door, and I’m rushing myself out.

This makes the timing of certain *ahem* intimate activities a little difficult.

It’s not the first time he’s worked this shift, though, so we’ll manage.  Mornings during ovulation might just get a little… interesting.

If ya know what I mean.

And I’m bettin’ ya do.

Hmm… What else is new, you ask?

Not much, to be honest.  I’m just living the dream over here, taking my vitamins and herbs at the required times and in the proper amounts, trying to maintain control over my diet in the face of the new Chick-Fil-A that’s opening up a block from my office, and generally just attempting to stay as relaxed as possible.

There are a few things I’ve been mulling over in my head when I think about how I can remove certain stressors.  I’m not sure what will come of these thoughts, but I know I have some stress triggers, and I know I’ve strayed from some things that I feel might help me cope better.

First is church.  I grew up in the church, and grew away from it as an adult.  Partially because logistically I was far away from where I felt comfortable, and partially because I didn’t have much in the way of in-house support (read: the husband doesn’t want to/often can’t attend services on Sundays).  So these days, I’m not a parishioner, but I’m still a believer.  I have my own spirituality, but sometimes I feel like that’s not enough.  It might be time to start seriously making an effort to get back into the fold… Even if it’s just me.

Next on the list is money.  Money stresses everyone out, but I had some major issues with identity theft years ago, and that junk still pops up to haunt me today.  I’ve been working to resolve as much as possible, but it just takes so much time, and of course that time is almost always required to be during business hours.  When I work.  So, boo.  I think it might be time to crank up the professional help on this bad boy, and get this monkey off my back once and for all.

Another thing my life lacks is time spent in nature.  Maybe I just need to go to a park once in a while, but I just don’t know this area well enough.  Since moving in with the husband, what… seven years ago?  Jeez!  Anyway, since then, I’ve lived in the city or suburbs.  Even now, our house is right smack in the middle of the city, in a nice little subdivision.  We have a yard with a garden, lots of squirrels and birds, but it’s not exactly nature.

I grew up in the woods.  No, seriously.  WOODS.  It was amazing.  I was a weird kid with giant glasses and terminal skinny awkwardness (thank goodness I grew out of ONE of those things…), and I was always building forts and bringing home little forest critters, much to the dismay of my parents I’m sure.  I used to know the woods back home like the back of my hand.  I knew where every mossy rock was, and where wild asparagus grew.  I could climb the creepy overgrown apple trees, and pick my way through the wild raspberry bushes to find my own snacks.  I lived for the time of year when the walnuts fell, both because I loved helping to collect them for grandma’s root cellar, and because I loved the tangy, spicy scent of the green skin that surrounds the nutshell.

I miss nature.  I miss following deer paths and sitting in the sun so quietly that a fox wanders by.  I need to get back to that, somehow.  Maybe nature IS my church.  Maybe I can heal myself in more ways than I know just by getting back to my roots.

Ha, roots… see what I did there?  Nature jokes.  😉

This all leads me back to another thought I’ve had lately.

Therapy.

Do I need therapy?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

I don’t often feel like I do, but maybe it would help me cope better with stress.  I’ve never felt particularly manic or crazed when I’m stressed, and I never feel like it’s something I can’t handle, but then again… maybe I need help.  I am learning that I internalize my stress, which is why I get sick every time I am in a particularly stressful situation.  Like my wedding day… sick all day.  Lovely time, that.

Maybe therapy would help me have a better understanding of what I can do to deal with my stress rather than pushing it down so that it infects my whole system.

Maybe.  We’ll see.

So that’s where I’m at.  Still here, still plodding on with my non-treatment “treatment” of acupuncture and herbs, and still trying to figure out who I am and what I’m doing with my life.

It’s not a terrible place to be, but I certainly hope to find my way out of this maze one day…

 

I hope you all have a fantastic week, and may the coming days bring you some beautiful fall weather!

And cheesecake.  I hope you all also getchasum cheesecake.

Mmmm.

 

 

 

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