Friday, August 28, 2015

September 1

I wanted to let you all know that as of September 1st, I won't be blogging anymore.

For awhile, I thought it would be great to write and have followers and put my story out there. And it was. But then it changed. I started feeling like I had nothing to say, and what could I say that hasn't been said a thousand times already? That's crazy to say, because I love to write. I journal daily. I have stuff itching to get out. But it just doesn't flow in this space anymore. And in the interest of clearing space for the things that do, I'm stepping back.

I have made some amazing connections through my blog. And of course, I still plan on following and connecting via Instagram (@girlryanneblog). But I feel like this space has run its course. And in addition to that, I question where I would want this blog to go in the future. It's hard, I know, to see infertility bloggers transition to mommy bloggers. And it's hard to be both. I don't want to be someone that drifts away. But I also know that I can't define myself by infertility, whether I have "beaten" it or not.

And so, it's time to say goodbye to this space.

Thank you for reading, and connecting. It has been such a pleasure, and so very healing.

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

IUIx4

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.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Notes from Above

Since deciding to move forward with IUI#4, I have been channeling my energy that direction--visualizing a positive outcome, speaking positive affirmations, listening to music that helps me do both of those things, and of course nourishing my body. Its all one, big gigantic prayer for a successful IUI.

Last night and this morning, though, a little bit of fear crept in. What if this doesn't work? If this doesn't work I'll feel so dumb for doing all of this. What if it doesn't work? What if it does? If it doesn't work what does that mean? If it does, am I as ready as I think? Just a sample of my inner monologue. Is that normal? I think it's normal.

But then, I went to get my daily dose of feminine wisdom at Over the Moon Magazine and I read this:
Fear can sometimes show up as radical excitement in disguise and the feeling is so f-ing powerful, we don’t know what to do with it.
Perhaps the presence of this emotion isn’t something we should be afraid of but rather an indication that we are on the brink of something great.
You can read the full article here.

Then a little later, our thought of the day at work popped up in my email.
I've got to tell you, it's amazing what you hear when you listen.

This is scary. We have a lot invested. We've come a long way. We really want this to work. If we weren't at least a little bit scared, I think that it would mean that we should be thinking more seriously about moving on.

I am SO excited. We GET to use this tool to help us have a baby. We have the ability to do this. We have an opportunity to embrace a different path, learn from this journey and appreciate parenthood in a way we wouldn't have otherwise. It's a gift. As hard as it's been, as long and dark as this road has been, its still a gift. Going forward, I need to remember that, regardless of the outcome.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A little hope and a lot of baby dust

Another cycle, another opportunity.

Going through cycle after cycle is frustrating and disheartening at times. But there's nothing like the start of a new cycle when it is jam packed full of possibility. That's where we are now--and it is especially full of hope. 

These last few months have been spent on a break. We explored a little bit, got a second opinion and settled in to wait. It has not been easy, but I am so glad that we did because we have spent the summer simply enjoying life. I've done a lot of soul work and I feel more vibrant and healthy than I have in ages. And now, it's time to try again. 

It wasn't a deliberate plot, plan or conversation. It came up, it felt right, and here we are. IUI #4 is happening. Soon. I'm going to do my best to steer clear of a play by play during the two week wait. In fact, we really aren't telling anyone anything. It's back to basics--embracing this tool that will help us on our way, thinking positively and hopefully before it even begins, continuing the good habits we've cultivated these last months--lots and lots of self care, focus on life outside of TTC, and no charting are the big ones!

As with everything, there's no guarantee. This might end in disappointment. But it also might change everything, and that is what I'm dwelling on. I'll be updating, but please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we go forward. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

TTC Thursday | Waiting

I felt like we were overdue for a real TTC update. Symptoms, cycle days, the whole shebang.

Cycle Day: 26. I didn't actually chart to pinpoint ovulation but from my symptoms I'm making the educated guess that I'm about 11dpo. 12 days ago I was driving and noticed some very obvious pains on my right side. I also noticed my energy level started to drop a couple of days later. 

Symptoms: Fatigue. I'm dragging so bad this week. Sore(ish) chest. That hasnt been so bad in the last couple of days, however I did switch to a more supportive bra so that may have helped. Moody. More like easily annoyed. Increased appetite. Speaks for itself. Ha!

Supplements: Raw food sourced prenatal. Methylated vitamin B. Evening Primrose Oil (until ovulation). Baby aspirin. Daily doses of coconut oil, ground flax seed snd gelatin. Pineapple with the core the week following ovulation. Red raspberry leaf tea. 

Self Care: Journaling daily using A Year of Miracles as a prompt. Photography and editing. Reading (The Mists of Avalon). Zumba. Lots of fun outings.

I'm expecting AF over the weekend, but as always we are hoping that she doesn't show up!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Life Lately

This summer is flying by, I'll tell ya. We've had something going on every weekend for the last six weeks or so, and this weekend will be no different! Photo sessions, work picnic, baby shower, brewery tour...whew. We've had the opportunity to celebrate my great grandpa's 90th birthday, spend time on the river, welcome our new nephew, and do some fun things just the two of us. I got the chance to do my first paid photo shoot, and I have two more photo shoots coming up this weekend, and another next month. We've celebrated hubby's 30th birthday, my 27th and July is pretty much our anniversary month from start to finish (we celebrated 10 years together, and 7 years of marriage). We're about to send my brother off to college. It's been a busy, busy summer.

All things fertility related are still on hold. It's just been too busy for us to try and add appointments on to our already hectic schedule. IUI#4 is on the back burner, but something we will be working on in the (hopefully) near future. In the meantime, we're trying the good old fashioned way--and not so secretly hoping that each month will be "the month". I'm not charting, which is a nice change. I actually have to think back to remember where I am in my cycle. Still, it's never far from my mind.

I've said it before but I'll throw this out there again--I love, love, love A Year of Miracles by Marianne Williamson. I am using the readings as journal prompts and it has been comforting, thought-provoking and very healing in the last few months. I highly recommend it!

Work is good for both of us, although we're coming to realize the challenges with hubby's schedule. It isn't terrible, but we miss our evenings.So a big part of this summer has been to try and tweak our schedules and find a routine that works consistently. Obviously, that's still a work in progress and I'm not sure that we'll ever figure it out!

I don't have time to read right now and that makes me so sad! I have all these books from the library that I keep renewing and can never seem to find a moment to actually read them.

And that's that. Life lately is good. I'm feeling less like we're just twiddling our thumbs and more like we're actually living, which is amazing because that just gets depressing. We still have a few more weeks of summer, and I can't promise that I'll be back regularly from here on out, because let's face it--spending warm afternoons on the river beats the heck out of sitting around at home. And the fact that it makes my dog the happiest I've ever seen him? Even better.

Until next time, enjoy your summer and just eat up these next few weeks because it will be pumpkin-everything before we know it!