Friday, April 17, 2015

Fertility Friday | Staying Balanced

I read a great post from fellow blogger Jen about infertility taking over life last week. It came at a great time because, to be honest, we've had a bit of a rough patch. I went back to work, Chris is still job hunting, we got recommendations about testing, but money is the deciding factor. We're stressed, tired, frustrated and bored. Infertility took over and left little room for anything else.

Finding balance is hard though. If I had my way, we would do this testing followed by back to back IUI cycles until it worked, damn the cost. If this is what it's going to take, let's stop pretending that we don't need IUI and meds and just get it over with. Am I right? But that's not possible and even if it were an option...we still have to be able to enjoy life and each other. So where do we draw the line?

And speaking of lines, one thing I've learned is that infertility is not a linear experience. It's more like completely scatterbrained with plenty of loop--dee-loops. What worked a few months ago doesn't necessarily work now. And what is working now is absolutely going to change next week. Or possibly tomorrow (thank you hormones). So we have to adapt, reevaluate and keep trying until something finally works. That goes for every single aspect of this journey: our lifestyle, our marriage, our budget, our relationships. We have to learn to go with the flow, as hard as that is.

So stop sacrificing date nights completely--just make them a little more budget friendly if you have to.

Stop talking yourself out of that cute new top or pair of pants because of what might happen in the next couple of months.

Give yourself room to breathe--schedule that mini vacation. If you have to skip a cycle, give yourself permission.

Take care of yourself, but for heaven's sake enjoy a glass of wine/the sushi/whatever your pregnancy unfriendly indulgence is. Pleasure lowers stress, remember.

Give yourself permission to be content and happy. It doesn't mean you want a child any less. After all--look how far you're willing to go for the opportunity.

I need to incorporate those ideas and more into my life and that is my main goal during this break that we're on. Join me?

How do you find balance in your journey?


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Journaling Through Infertility {Week One}

Donielle at Natural Fertility and Wellness is one of my favorite bloggers! She is all about natural health and well-being, specifically in regards to fertility. Obviously, reducing stress and improving your mental state is a big thing for fertility, so this week Donielle posted a series of journal prompts to help get you start looking at your feelings about all kind of different things in life. Since I'm working now, and am in the middle of journaling through the book A Year of Miracles, I decided that working through this exercise on the blog would be better for me.

So here it goes! You can check out Donielle's original post and join in if you like! Donielle gives us seven prompts, with extras at the end. I will be working through each of the seven prompts and including one of the extras along with it!

1. When you were young, what was your dream family? (Focus on what your dreams were before you met your husband) What type of guy did you want to marry? When did you want to get married? What type of house did you think you would live in? When did you want to have children? How many did you want?
When I was about 7 or 8, I remember telling my mom that I was going to get married when I was 19. She asked me if I wanted to go to college and I remember telling her yes, that I would do that too. I didn't recall the memory until after I was already engaged and in college--at age 19. So for me, that I would get married and go to college at the same time wasn't as much as a dream as it was a given. I also always assumed that I would have kids--but never seven like my mom had. I love my brothers and sisters, but I wanted to be more involved than my mom was. Kids were a given too.

Now boys...that was another story. I had lots and lots of embarrassing crushes. Complete with doodling my name with their last name and including them on games of MASH. Yikes! I didn't really have a "type". I just liked who I liked! My first serious boyfriend was the polar opposite of my husband, if that tells you anything.

{Bonus}
Throughout your life, what person has hurt you the most emotionally? How can you resolve, forgive and let go?
Go figure I would pick a hard one to start out with! Um...well, the relationship that I'm most affected by emotionally would be the relationship with my parents. It's not all bad, but we have a lot of ongoing/unresolved issues that revolve around my life choices not matching up to what my parents wanted my life choices to look like. It's a really long, tough story. And pretty typical, when I see it written out. What can I say? I must have a dramatic family!

I hope you decide to join in with Donielle's challenge! I'm really excited to answer some of the questions coming up, and I think that they'll be really interesting!

Happy Journaling!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Be in the Pictures

At Christmas with my in laws, someone got the ball rolling and different groups and families took turns arranging themselves on the couch for pictures. I thought about asking for one of Chris and I, but I didn't. I felt self conscious, so I held back. I forgot about it as we carried on with our day. And it stayed forgotten until a couple of weeks ago when I was going through pictures to have some printed. I remembered how I felt, and felt a little sad, and moved on.

Since then, my mother in law and Chris have both commented on the fact that we weren't in any of the pictures. For some reason this incident keeps getting brought up. And then I started thinking about it.

Here's the thing. I felt self conscious about asking to get in on the picture taking because I felt like everyone wanted pictures of the families. The kids. I didn't think anybody would care if they had a picture of us or not.

In other words: I felt like we didn't count the same way everyone else did. 

Where did that message even come from?

Moral of the story: Be in the pictures. Just because things don't quite fit your dream yet doesn't mean that you don't count. Just because there aren't little ones or a baby bump doesn't mean you aren't worth remembering. So shut down that negative self talk. Kick it to the curb and embrace confidence instead. Way easier said than done, I know. But I'm going to try it for myself and I hope you do too.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Back at Work

I started back at my old job this week, and my first few days have been really good! The environment has changed a lot and I really like all of my coworkers. And, I feel like it's all going to come back to me pretty quickly once I get through the days of paperwork and waiting on IT to get me up and running. In the meantime, I've been observing, organizing, and trying to figure out my place in with my coworkers. So far so good!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

RE Consultation

A week ago we went in to see a new doctor for a second opinion on our situation. We got a lot of information and the doctor was very nice. He was also very encouraging!

He wants to start out by focusing primarily on our recurrent pregnancy loss. Reason being, getting me pregnant won't do any good if I can't stay that way, and because the cause of our losses could also be contributing to what he called "delayed time to conception".

This means more testing:

  • An in-depth SA for Chris that more accurately determines the quality of his swimmers. 
  • A saline ultrasound to check on my uterus and tube
  • Day 3 testing that includes AMH and testosterone levels, which I've never had tested. 
Fortunately, insurance companies are much more likely to cover testing for recurrent pregnancy loss than for infertility, making it easier on us financially to do all this testing. Chris' test will still be out of pocket, but it's actually quite affordable.  

Provided that everything comes back normal (and let's face it--it probably will because that's apparently how we roll), we will try another IUI with a new medication protocol and a goal of three follicles instead of two. 

Now it's just a question of when! We haven't quite worked all that out yet, because Chris is still job hunting and I went back to my old job this week. But it will be soon and I'm really hopeful that he will be able to help us!

And what about our old clinic? I still love them. They are an amazing group of people! But I've had two devastating miscarriages and I want to do everything in my power to avoid it again. For one thing, it's just painful. Man, am I dreading June! But also, we have to prioritize our spending on this because we don't have much help from our insurance. And that means seeking out the doctor with the best tools to identify the problem and help us have a successful pregnancy. 

So. This week I am working on getting the ultrasound scheduled and finding out if they can give us an estimate on our costs for the testing. We may have to do my testing this month and Chris' the following, but we need to figure that out as well. 

Other than that, Im in the two week wait again and just waiting to see how that turns out! Wish us luck!  ♡



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Weekend Links

Yikes, this week went by fast! I have updates coming, but I've had trouble putting my thoughts together on all of it. Between changes in our life and some difficult dates coming up, I've been feeling really unsettled. But I'll get there!

In the meantime, here are a few posts I've read over the week and really love.

The Queue by Aly at Breathe Gently. This post is actually what inspired me to put this list together, because it really speaks to how I've been feeling lately.

Letting Go of the Things From Our Past by Elisha at Waiting for Baby Bird. This is my favorite quote: So as you play the movie reel, you begin to think about how you would give anything to go back and change everything if you could.  But you can’t.  So instead you take ownership of what happened and you hold on to“it”.  You let the sorrow, the shame, the guilt, the rejection, the bitterness, the anger, or the self-hatred take root in your heart and as it grows, “it” begins to set the course for your future.  “It” negatively shapes who you are as a wife, a mother, a friend, a sister, a co-worker, and a daughter.  It keeps you from being hopeful or dreaming.  It might even take root and cause you to have a sickness.
Can I be honest? I'm guilty of this train of thought, and it is so hard to break that habit. But I need to, because it's a big burden to carry.

One Day, In Retrospect by Rachael at Unnaturally Knocked Up. This is such a beautiful reminder that someday, this is going to work out and it will be so. completely. worth it! I believe that we will be successful--someday. It's happening much, much, much later than I ever thought or wanted, but I believe that it will happen. And ultimately, that's what counts, right?

I hope that you all find something in these posts that speaks to you! And if you came across one that I didn't post, share it below!

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Update

I guess I have some updating to do! A lot has happened so far this week and I'm still trying to process it.

First of all, the new cycle started right on schedule. No funkiness, so that's good! It was also right in line with the moon so it'll be interesting to see if I stay aligned with the full moon. This is also our very last chance for a baby in 2015. That's a hard truth to swallow, let me tell you. If not, I guess the new goal would be to be pregnant before my due date in June.

So on Sunday, we were discussing our favorite topic lately: jobs. Chris has been hunting and so have I. An old coworker had texted me to ask if I would come back. Our old boss moved to another branch and she got promoted so there was an opening. I had also applied for another job through a family member but was told they would take a long time to get anything going. We were talking about that situation when I discovered that my last kid-free friend had announced her pregnancy.

I was a wreck. Like really, really bad. And then she texted me with a well intended but insensitive comment that made it even worse.

That night and all day Monday we stewed agonized about the job situation and WTH we should do. I was incredibly angry at the world and just wanted to hibernate until the universe sees fit to stop screwing us over. But I finally made my choice and contacted my old coworker/new boss. I'm going back. But if the other job turns into something I might have to consider it because it's kind of an amazing opportunity.

Yesterday I was excited about it. Today I'm kind of mad. My thought process has been like this:

I should be having a baby in June--not going back to work.
I should cancel the RE. What's the freaking point? He can't give me a 2015 baby anyway.
I have to get up early again...
I should ask for my due date off. WTF--already?
Maybe the RE will do an ultrasound and squeeze an IUI in this cycle and it'll work and be awesome....
I wouldn't get FMLA if that happened. 
Who cares?
Ugh. I guess I'm going to have to tell them about the fertility treatments. 
We're going to have to figure out a new routine.
Poor Kinley...we've both been home for so long and now we're both going to be working full time again.
Ugh. When am I going to grocery shop?
I need new clothes.
I should spend that money on an IUI instead. 

The fact that our infertility is such a big part of our decision making is really frustrating. These life decisions are being made because things aren't working out like we hoped and that is so hard! But I guess I need to put on my big girl pants and hope that this is a step towards better days. Dave Ramsey says that you have to live like no one else so you can live like no one else. Hopefully that's true and this sacrifice will make what we really want a reality!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Ryanne: A-Z

Stolen from Elena...it sounded like fun! ;)

A: Attached or Single?
Attached for almost 10 years already!

B: Best Friend...
My sister! We talk daily...sometimes more than once. Even on days when we see each other.

C: Cake or Pie? 
Depends! Let's just say the option with chocolate will always win. 

D: Day of Choice...
Whatever day my favorite show is on. No really! That's all my life has revolved around lately. #ineedsummer

E: Essential Item...
That's a toss-up between pens and hair ties. I feel naked without those. 

F: Favorite Color...
Shades of green

G: Gummy Bears or Worms?
Neither. I'm a chocoholic.

H: Hometown...
USA! 

I: Favorite Indulgence...
If I had money it would be pedis and massages. Since I don't, it's wine.

J: January or July?
July! It's my birthday AND anniversary month. January is just depressing. 

K: Kids...
Do the furry ones count?

L: Life isn't Complete Without...
Family and friends (obviously), good books, a little adventure and good wine. Not necessarily in that order. 

M: Memory You Cherish...
Our wedding day! And also: the day we met, my first (theater) show, and our 5 year anniversary trip.


N: Number of Brothers and Sisters...
3 brothers and 3 sisters! No, we aren't Catholic. No, there aren't any twins. And yes, we all have the same two parents. 

O: Oranges or Apples?
Apples!

P: Pet Peeve
People who don't appreciate parenthood, and people who don't discipline their kids. Those are my current ones. In 6 months they'll have changed. 

Q: Quotes...
Quotes are awesome! This one is in my living room:

R: Reasons to Smile...
Going to the zoo this weekend, interviews for Chris, new cycle...

S: Season of Choice...
Fall. Summer is a close second.

T: Tea or Coffee?
Neither really, but occasionally tea.

U: Unknown Fact About Me...
Not unknown, just not talked about much here. I was homeschooled all the way through my senior year.

V: Vegetable...
Asparagus

W: Worst Habit...
Biting my nails and mumbling

X: X-Ray or Ultrasound? 
Well, my single x-ray experience was more painful than my ultrasounds, but internal ultrasounds sick on principal. So I declare a draw. 

Y:  Your Favorite Trip...
St. Thomas and Virginia for our 5th anniversary in 2013

Z: Zodiac Sign...
Technically? Leo. BUT I was born on the cusp of Cancer and Leo, so I'm actually a mix of the two. Fire + Water. 





Thursday, March 19, 2015

TTC Thursday: New Moon, New Cycle

Awhile back I read about how some women have been able to sync their cycles to the moon and thought it was a cool idea, but didn't actually try to make it happen. As it happens, this month my cycle synced to the moon all on its own! I ovulated on the full moon and since early, early tomorrow morning is the new moon, I'm expecting to get my period. It has a very ancient, primal feel to it and it appeals to my inner anthropologist/historian. And for once, I don't mind AF showing up because it's just really cool.

If this is a totally new concept to you, the idea is that once upon a time, before electricity, most women would ovulate with the full moon and menstruate with the new moon. Some women would work opposite, but that way was less common. The reason for this has to do with light, gravitational pulls, and how all of that affects our hormones. It's one of those things that science hasn't quite figured out yet--not for lack of trying! Today, because we are exposed to more light than before (and so many women use birth control) our cycles are no longer in sync with the moon. It's possible to get your cycle in sync with the moon--you can read more about it here and here for more specifics!

I don't know if I believe that having my cycle synced with the moon will do anything crazy, but I'm open to the idea. And--have I said this already?--it's primal and ancient and hippie and for some reason I think it's kind of awesome.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Positives & Negatives

Today has been a much better day. Chris and I talked a little bit last night and I was able to (without tears) send a response to the clinic this morning. As always, they were gracious and supportive and I can't wait to get back to them!

I also found out about another local clinic that has openings for a clinic study so I'm looking into that. I love our clinic, but this doctor is a lot more specialized. And because the potential for getting free treatment is really attractive right now.

The negative for today was a literal negative. I caved and took a test--partially so that I could have a St. Paddy's day drink guilt-free. I was afraid, because of yesterday, that I would be a mess after getting a Big Fat Negative. But as it turns out...I'm okay. Disappointed, sure. But okay.

I guess this goes to show that infertility is a day to day battle. One day is okay, the next not so much. And then...it's back to okay. And that is fine. Normal, even, because infertility is a cycle that way. Hope, grief, hope, grief. The hard part is that you can't ever quite get passed it, no matter how "together" you have it.