Tag: acupuncture and TCM

The Big Fat Confession

I’ve been sitting on a secret. It’s kind of a big one. I’ve struggled with keeping it, but ultimately, I stand by my decision as it kept others from suffering, and allowed the husband and me time to process and deal with some things… So, without further ado, here’s my confession. ***** Back at the

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Friday With Friends!

Hi all!

Lisa over at Amateur Nester interviewed me for a blog post recently, and it’s posted today!

Please stop on over to visit, read, and show Lisa some love – and be sure to follow her blog!  She’s a fantastic advocate for the infertility community, and you might just learn something while reading her beautiful and informational posts!

Enjoy, and Happy Friday!

 

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The Five Year Review

Soooo… Here we are.

Five years deep.

Five  l o n g   years of trying, failing, struggling, treading water, and just… waiting.  Waiting for our turn, waiting for our two lines.

Waiting for our family to happen.

Year One was the picture of a happy-go-lucky newlywed with all the time in the world.

Year Two saw me attempting to combine Clomid with crinolines, in a sweaty scene straight out of a TBS sitcom.

Year Three had me unhappily (and soberly) awaiting the results of what would be yet another failed IUI cycle.

Year Four ended full of retrospect, acceptance, wisdom, sadness for what could have been, and an amazing amount of hope that Five would most definitely be THE YEAR.

Yesterday was the end of Year Five…

And today?  You’d think today was the first day of Year Six…

…But today is actually the beginning of something completely different.

*****

Some things have changed recently.

Actually, I don’t know if it’s more that things have changed, or that I have, but my direction has clearly been altered of late.

At my most recent acupuncture appointment, I spent some time talking with Dr. McStabby extensively about stress in my life, and the emotional toll infertility can take.

“Infertility causes infertility”, as Dr. Randine Lewis says.  While I agree that infertility has been a major stressor in my life, especially in the past few years, things have improved for me recently in that department.  I’m no longer as stressed as I used to be, and I think acupuncture and TCM has helped greatly.

But… so has time, honestly.  We’ve been at this thing for a long time.  We’re kind of getting used to disappointment after five years, know what I mean?  It’s become so regular that it’s not like it’s a big shock any more.

We’ve been trying to get pregnant for our entire marriage, essentially, and the husband and I have put a lot on hold to pursue this life that we have been so desperate for.  He and I talked recently, and at great length, about where we want to go from here…  We finally had that talk that I’ve been afraid to have for a long time.

He is ready to get back to being a married couple instead of a TTC couple.

*cue deep sigh of relief that he doesn’t straight up want to divorce my crazy ass*

More than that, he says he won’t resent me if we can’t get pregnant, and he won’t resent me if I decide to hardcore pursue Western treatments again (although, I’ll be honest, the odds of that are slim).  Basically, I have the husband’s blessing to move in whatever direction I feel comfortable, even if that is just varying degrees of backing off the whole TTC thing completely.

We may move onto just being a healthy couple who lets whatever happens, happen.  We’ve both accepted that we may be that couple who doesn’t have kids.  Maybe we’ll be the ones who can travel at the drop of a hat, or we’ll adopt (even more) furry creatures, or we’ll be the best gosh-darn aunt and uncle EVER.  Maybe we’ll adopt a child someday, if the situation is right.  Maybe we won’t.

And you know what?  We’re okay with ALL of those situations.  Truly.

At this point, IVF is not in our immediate future.  We just don’ t feel right about some aspects of it at the moment.  Part of the decision is financial, and part is just that I don’t feel like there’s anything physically SO WRONG that we can’t conceive on our own (and neither do any of the SEVEN doctors I’ve seen over the years…).  I just cannot justify forcing my body to do something that it doesn’t seem ready to do.  Maybe that will change someday, and maybe I’ll regret not going all-in while I still have some remnants of youth on my side, but honestly?  It just doesn’t feel right to me today.

It’s a lot to process, I know.

One thing that’s stuck with me though, is a conversation I had with McStabby recently.  He asked me, “Do you feel like you deserve a child?”

I was taken aback a little.  I honestly had to think about it.

He asked because, in his line of work, he sees women who have certain emotional hang-ups that he suspects can prevent them from conceiving, whether it’s a past trauma, a lack of confidence in their marriage/family life/maternal skills, or something else.  Regardless of his motives for asking, it’s a jarring question to be asked, for sure.

After a minute, I came to a conclusion.  Yes.  I do.  I deserve a child. 

Does that feeling mean that I will necessarily have one?  No.  Because life’s not always fair, and sometimes the harder we squeeze a handful of sand, the more of it slips through our grasp.  Just because I believe that I deserve a child, doesn’t mean that I’m going to force my body to submit to my timing.

Soo… I don’t want to just come out and say that we’re taking the “Just stop trying…” non-approach, but in some ways, we kind of… are.

Wait, wait.  Before you freak out and tell me I need to rename my blog, let me ‘splain.

We’re not saying “just stop trying and a BABY will magically happen”.

What we are saying is, “just stop trying so HARD and LIFE will happen… and whatever blessings come along with life, we’ll take those too.  And if a baby happens to be one of those blessings?  Even better.  Icing.  Gravy.  Time for a parade.”

It’s a strange – and strangely freeing – place to be…

For the moment, we’re just kind of bobbing along.  Living life.  Being married people who don’t have to inject themselves with things or ejaculate into cups.

I’m still going to continue acupuncture treatments for now, and I’ll continue taking the herbs even if I stop the actual acu treatments, just for general health and balance; honestly, I like how I feel, even if I don’t like the taste of the herbal “teas”.  Between the husband and I, the door is open for me to go back to the RE if I so choose (I would be interested in seeing if there have been any changes in my blood work in a year’s time), or maybe for a possible medicated cycle one day, but likely nothing more than that.

I’ll also keep working to maintain the healthy habits I’ve gained through TCM, but I will likely stop temping someday soon.

I KNOW.  Don’t freak out, or I might freak out and lose my resolve on that little gigantic decision.

I may never be able to ignore the quality of my cervical mucus, but my body temperature, the chemical content of my urine, and what’s in my underwear will no longer have complete control over my entire life.

So that’s where I am right now…  I know I’ve been quiet here lately, and I wanted to provide a little update and insight into why that has been.

I do have some exciting things on the horizon, including my Resolve Peer Led Infertility Support group venture – which should start meeting this month (!), and being invited to attend Resolve’s Advocacy Day in Washington DC, where I will have the chance to speak with members of the House and Senate on the political issues surrounding infertility treatment and coverage in the US.  The husband and I are also traveling to San Francisco for a wedding in late May, and are looking forward to that little getaway opportunity as well.

All in all, life is not perfect, but it is most definitely still a good life.  I’m appreciative for all I have, including all of YOU, and I’m ready to focus on what I have, instead of beating myself up for what I don’t.

I don’t know exactly what this new outlook will mean for me, my life, and this blog, but I know I will continue to be here, rooting you all on, and hoping and praying for each of you, every day.

I’ll still likely be holding out some far-fetched hope that my own body will miraculously get its shit together, too.  I mean, some things will never, ever, EVER change.  🙂

*****

So that’s it.

Year Six isn’t really a thing.  Like, at all.

This is just March, just a few years into a great marriage, just a drop in the bucket of a great life.

A life I’m going to be actively living again.

…Starting today.

My hope for you is that wherever you are in your journey, whether your life is completely saturated with the details of TTC, or whether you too are at a bit of a crossroads, that you are able to slow down from time to time and appreciate what you do have.

My hope for you is that you live that little life of yours in a way that makes a difference, impacts others, and allows you to look back fondly one day, free of regrets.

My hope for you is that you live.

Live2

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In The Works…

I like ellipses.

They create drama, suspense… sexual tension, perhaps?

Anyway, I didn’t use the ellipsis in the title of this post for any of those reasons.  It was just my natural inclination to taper off a phrase like “in the works…”

I know.  I’m weird.  It’s kind of my thing.  Sorry I’m not sorry.

So, what’s in the works for me, you may be asking?

A few things, actually!

First on my list – community involvement.  I’m working through the details of possibly creating a local infertility support group.  Recently, I’d been thinking that I could really benefit from interacting with people outside of my usual bubble of IRL and online Infertility-Friends, but when I went to look for a local group in this area… Nada.

There are some in other larger cities nearby, but nothing that wouldn’t require at least a half hour plus drive to get there.  Boo.

And so, I started looking into the process of starting my own.  I mean, I know a lot of people here in the Toledo area who are going through infertility treatments, medical testing, and all sorts of other things, and I can’t help but wonder if maybe they wouldn’t benefit from the option of some face-to-face support, too.

I am excited about the prospect, and will definitely update here when/if this thing gets off the ground!

Let’s see… what else?

It’s been nearly three weeks since my last confession blog post… Forgive me!  There really hasn’t been anything major happening in that time, to be honest.  I don’t have much of an excuse for not updating the blog.  It’s been cold and snowy here in Northwest Ohio, and I’ve been hibernating as much as possible.  I’ve also been working a TON, which is a nice change from the slow pace of the office in December.

All of these things have led me to just sort of… chill out.  Which is good; it’s something I’ve been trying to do more of, honestly.  I need to learn to relax, and I’m starting to get the hang of it.  There is still some anxiety in my life, and I’m working through it, but overall, I think I’m starting to manage stress a little better than I have in the past.  Nerves no longer keep me bed- (and bathroom-) ridden, so that’s also a nice change.

(By the way, sometimes for me, chilling out involves reading a good book, which I do often.  Occasionally, it involves binge-watching a TV show.  From beginning to end.  In one week.  I just did that with Breaking Bad, and let me tell you this:  that show is not great for relaxation, in case anyone was wondering if meth production and family/legal drama/chaos would put them in a state of zen.  #TheMoreYouKnow)

Oh!  I’ve had some things change with Dr. McStabby and some new things in store for my TCM and acupuncture treatments, which I’ll update in another post.  I will just say here that I’m happy with the direction things are taking, even if I’m not totally happy with the way my body is responding 100% of the time.  I feel that I’m being heard, and that my concerns are met with interest, and that they are handled quickly and appropriately.  That makes all the difference in the world, and some of my past RE’s could take a page from that book.

Hmm… any other updates I can share?

Well, I’m not pregnant.  That I know of, of course.  Ha.  I’m being very consistent with my herbs, and slightly less consistent with my vitamins and supplements.  I’m trying, but sometimes I forget.

DAMMIT.  Like right now!  Hang on… have to take a few pills.

Seriously.  I need to set a phone alarm or something… Anyway, I’ve been working on being better about that.  There are certain supplements that should be taken certain times in a day, and I try to make sure I’m doing that.  I fail sometimes, and that’s okay.

I’ve managed to gain some weight, which is nice.  Not a whole lot, just a few pounds, but it’s making a difference that I can see and feel.  I know part of that is due to some help on McStabby’s part, but part of it is because I’ve been less strict with my diet in the past two months.

I’m no longer restricting any gluten, and I’ve added dairy back in, in a big way.  I would like to eventually get most dairy out of my diet altogether, but for now, the added fat from raw, organic whole milk, cheeses, and yogurt is really good for me.  I switched to Irish butter, organic and grass-fed, a while back, and I couldn’t be happier.  I’m using coconut oil whenever possible as well, so there are plenty of healthy fats being consumed.

As for gluten, while I was avoiding it, I didn’t notice much – if any – changes.  I am clearly not intolerant in any way, and I figure as long as I’m doing my best to pursue organic, non-GMO sources, it’s a good thing for me (and my weight).

I’ve been holding my own with sugar-consumption, too.  I do still have a bit of chocolate here and there, and I put honey in my chai in the morning.  I’ll even have a (organic cane sugar, no-HFCS) orange pop now and then.  It’s not so bad, really.

So, honestly, that’s about it.  I’ll update again soon on the changes I’m making in my TCM treatment, but other than that, I’m just here… maintaining.  I hope you are all doing the same, staying warm if it’s winter where you are (and staying cool if you’re Down Under!), and enjoying life for all the quirks and oddities it throws your way.

Take care, friends.  🙂

***

Oh, one last thing:  When I was Googling earlier, I came across this animation completely by mistake, and I found it fascinating.  So here.  Enjoy, and maybe learn something today, especially since this blog post was more word-dump than informational or entertaining.  😉

***

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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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