Friday, October 2, 2015

Test Results | I am an Overachiever

So yesterday I found out that my body is an overachiever when it comes to clotting. It does that job too well, thanks to a genetic mutation called Factor V Leiden, and another one called MTHFR. Okay, so I already knew about the MTHFR but I didn't realize how much of an overachiever I actually am until I found out that I have two issues instead of one.

So yeah. This means that hormonal birth control and hormone therapy aren't in my future. It also means that when I get pregnant I'll be on Lovenox injections. In the meantime, baby aspirin is my BFF for avoiding those nasty blood clots.

I am doing lots of reading and research on both MTHFR and Factor V Leiden and on how they relate to each other, infertility and miscarriage. I plan on blogging more about these in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Happy Friday!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hope for a Rainbow

PC: Natalia Karpovovy & Elena Gennenko 
Can I just say how much I love this? Chastity from Every Child is a Blessing: The Journey Through My Pregnancy posted it on her Facebook page and it went viral. I've seen it posted several times and I thought I'd share it here too.

Posts like this just show you how many people have been affected by infertility and miscarriage. This simple photo has gone viral, reaching thousands and thousands of people with the message that there is hope. How amazing is that?!

It easy for us to be bitter and angry about this place we're in. It's easy for us to lose hope. And I don't think that any of us could be blamed for that reaction, because infertility and loss take so much out of you, and because the reality is that not everyone gets a rainbow baby at the end of it.

But it's better to have hope. Isn't it? Don't misunderstand--I have some terrible days when I just hate the entire fertile world. But on the rest of the days, I would rather have hope than just assume that I'll never get the outcome I want.

So hang on, friends. This too shall pass.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Perks of Being a Non-Mom

On this Saturday night, I'm having a night to myself at home. Just me and the furbabies. Husband is out at an Oktoberfest with a friend and he and I are going again tomorrow. It's nice. And quiet.

I took a detox bath along with my shower
this morning.
I got to binge on Friends.
I finally watched a documentary on Netflix that I've been meaning to.
The laundry is almost completely done.
My living room is tidy and picked up.
Leftovers from last night are labeled and in the freezer.
My meal plan is in the works.
I'm enjoying a glass of wine.
And a sports bra is as close to being presentable as I'm going to get today.

Can I make a confession? I love it. 

For all the trying and waiting and hoping for messes and noise and neediness...I still really like this too. I'm aware that at some point I'll be wishing for this again, because it's what recharges my batteries. And sometimes, knowing how much of herself my mom lost in being a mom, I wonder how I'll deal. I wonder if I'm actually cut out for all that sacrifice, because this is so nice.

Do you ever feel that way? Like you're so used to being on your own that you won't know what to do with yourself when it changes? You know, when you can't sleep in on the weekends anymore and you switch from doggy accidents to little people puke. And since there are no "take-backsies" in parenthood, it's something I feel like I should think about.

Eh. Cross that bridge when we come to it, right?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

TTC Thursday: Well Visit

So it's that time again. I told my husband that going for a well visit seemed redundant considering how many times I've had basically the same procedure in the last year. In fact, I've also had an HSG and hysteroscopy so short of actually opening me up, I don't know how much more there is to see!

Anyway. The NP and I talked about where we want to go from here--do I want to stay with our current clinic or get a referral for a specialist, etc. I told her that we really didn't know at this point and that we had some other things we'd like to focus on (possibly a big vacation, etc). I mentioned that I was considering getting some allergy testing because I've been struggling so much with my eczema in the last few months and haven't been able to determine the cause. She was very supportive of us taking a break and suggested that we go ahead and do some blood tests that I'd been putting off to check for clotting and autoimmune disorders as well, since we already know that MTHFR may be a factor and I seem to have stuff happening with my immune system with the eczema. So we went ahead and did that testing, and now I'm just waiting on the results!

I also decided to try a low dose of vitex starting this cycle. I have been concerned about my balance of estrogen and progesterone for quite awhile and Vitex can help there. I haven't charted much this cycle at all, but I am fairly confident that I ovulated a few days ago. So there's that! A little bit happening but not too much.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

September 10

Well, my decision to take the blog private lasted all of two weeks.

Sorry about that. 

Here's the thing. I don't know exactly where I'm headed. But I do know that I'm headed for some (more) changes and I hope you'll be willing to follow along.

In the meantime...IUIx4 was a bust. We were really, really disappointed. This wasn't our first go-round. We knew there were no guarantees. But we desperately wanted it to be "the cycle"...and it wasn't. So. Hard.

IUIx5 isn't happening for awhile. We're shifting our focus on to other things (the changes I mentioned) and we're trying to decide how far we're willing to go and how long we're willing to try. This is a tough, tough journey and it has taken a lot out of us. We've set a lot of things on the back burner--especially in the last 18 months--for this journey, and we feel like maybe it's time to bring them back into focus.

So that's where we're at. Forgive my impulsive decision-making, will you?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

IUIx4 | Update 1

Just popping in to give you all a quick update on IUIx4. Progesterone results showed that I hadn't ovulated as of yesterday morning, so we are carrying on as though all that never happened. SO the ball is rolling, appointments are set and we're counting down to IUIx4.

My expectations are all over the place. Given our history and the events of the last 24 hours they are lower than they were a week ago. I know that we have a perfectly good chance of coming out of this cycle with a positive pregnancy test and take-home baby. I know that my one follicle is all we need.

So just be thinking of us this weekend. I attempted to drown my phone last night and it may or may not be down for the count, so things will be quiet on social media. But in light of everything, I think the break is actually to my benefit. I'll update in a few days!

Thursday, August 20, 2015


I wasn't really planning on writing much about IUIx4. There's always more pressure to have a positive result, I think. At least, that's how it feels in real life. But then today happened and I just can't take it. So I'm breaking my own rule.

Midcycle ultrasounds, for me, have always gone pretty well. Beautiful lining. Fat juicy follicles. Predictable. Today did not go that way. It started out fine. My lining looked good, and I had one good sized follicle on the right. It's a 20 or 22, I don't quite remember. Anyway, a scan of my left revealed a fat, ugly, cyst-looking thing that brought to mind the scan at Dr A's office back at the end of May. So of course, this is a new thing for me. Up until now I haven't had any problems at all with cysts and now MsBitchyCyst seems to be a frequent visitor. Great.

So we powwowed. Our options were to carry on like the cyst doesn't exist, or to check my progesterone level to verify that I haven't ovulated already and play the IUI by ear. If I have ovulated (which would be weird), we will do an IUI as soon as possible tomorrow and hope we catch the egg in time. If I haven't, we'll do the IUI with more ideal timing sometime on Saturday. I chose to go for the progesterone draw, because its better than shooting blind. So I did that, and now we wait. I'm taking a trigger tonight and will know for sure when the IUI is tomorrow morning when my progesterone results come back.

This is the part when I start to feel stupid for all my crazy positivity. I'm fighting it, and continuing to hope for the best. But dang it's hard! So whatever good vibes, positivity and prayers you can send my way are greatly appreciated. And I'll be updating one way or another!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Clomid Ovaries

Definitely feeling this today! From the feel of it, these lovely hormones are working their magic and growing some fat little follicles for me. Yay!

Its really strange to not be talking about this cycle in depth. But it is so good for me. I had to really think about what day I was on this morning as I was taking my meds. And that's good. I'm no longer a slave to the cycle days. IUI cycles are virtually stress-free for me and for that I am really thankful. 

On our agenda this coming week is a lake trip with my in laws, or a river outing and BBQ. Lots of fun, in other words. My husband and I are revamping our financial house and getting a lot accomplished that way. We're having a date night tonight consisting of homemade seafood linguine, a budget discussion and the latest episode of Hell on Wheels. #freakingexcited #myhusbandwouldbecullenifcullenwasreal
Oh, and I'm reading two amazing books right now. Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts. Oh my. So many good things about both books but I love, love, love the emphasis on self care, self love, trusting your intuition and the pursuit of pleasure. I don't know about you but I am terribly guilty of putting myself last all the time and I just feel like that's not putting me in a position to give anyone or anything my best. 

So there ya go. My week at a glance. IUI day is coming up fast and I can't wait! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fertility Friday | Mark & Priscilla

I realize I'm late to the party on this one, but hey. We'll call it fashionably late.

Last week I saw Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's sweet, sweet announcement that not only are they expecting a baby girl, but also that they have struggled with infertility and loss.

In his post Mark said,
"We want to share one experience to start. We've been trying to have a child for a couple of years and have had three miscarriages along the way. You feel so hopeful when you learn you're going to have a child. You start imagining who they'll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they're gone. It's a lonely experience. Most people don't discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you -- as if you're defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own."
Um, cue the waterworks because that is such an excellent description of what miscarriage and infertility feel like. But then I read a comment criticizing this statement:
"Our good news is that our pregnancy is now far enough along that the risk of loss is very low..."
The person spoke about how there is no "safe" time to announce in pregnancy and went on to talk about their loss during late pregnancy. I stopped reading the comments and moved on, but it just really stuck in my craw. Second and third trimester losses are devastating. No doubt, and nobody is arguing that fact. But first of all, would you appreciate it if you announced your pregnancy on social media and one of the first responses was that you could still lose your baby after all? No. I don't think so. And in any case, the second half of the statement was forgotten:
"...and we are very hopeful."
Read that again. Slowly. And. We. Are. Very. Hopeful. That is a dead giveaway to me that he and Priscilla are still afraid that this miracle will be taken from them, that they aren't obliviously excited.  They are acutely aware of how fragile this little girl's existence is. So why don't we stop with the negativity and simply support one another? Our losses and experiences are all valid, meaningful and heartbreaking, no matter when in pregnancy they occur. He could very well have announced this pregnancy and not said a word about the three babies they lost. But he didn't. He chose to include them and reach out to the loss community. For that, I applaud him and I wish him and his family all the best.

And as for the rest of us...there is a lot of talk about being vocal about your experiences because there shouldn't be any shame around infertility and loss. But not everybody is comfortable with doing that--and that's okay. There's no shame in keeping those things private. When, if and how you choose to share your experiences is a deeply personal decision that only you can make. There is no shame in whatever you decide. Your experiences are as valid as the next person's. Your loss is just as tragic, whether it occurred in the first trimester or the last. So how about, instead of comparing our losses and rating them (which is really what we are trying to stop in the first place), we just stand in solidarity with one another? Support one another, comfort one another. Nobody is ever going to have the same experience as you, but we all know this particular brand of pain. And that is all that matters.