Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Life Lately

A really good way to describe our life the last few weeks is...hectic. Summer is here in full force, our schedule is filling up and we are about 2 months into both of us being back to work full time. We've been nestling into our routine--the bugs still haven't been totally worked out, but we're getting there. I started a Zumba class with some girls at work. We have something going on every weekend until the first weekend in August. Birthdays, anniversaries, work events, mini-vacations...the days fly by and the weekends aren't any different!

But this is good! It's so good. We still aren't certain what direction we are headed with treatment, and while we're figuring it out it is nice to be busy. 

I couldn't really tell you where I'm at in my cycle, which is a really nice change. I know I haven't ovulated yet, but that's about the extent of it! Starting today we are experimenting with smoothies that incorporate lots of good "extras" for breakfast. The purpose is to increase our intake of fruits and veggies AND give us a good breakfast. And like I said before, I started a Zumba class! I'm going once a week right now, but I plan on increasing to twice a week as I get used to it. When I was figuring out whether or not I could commit to going to class every week, I reminded myself of how much I enjoyed the dance classes I took in college. I was no prima ballerina, but I liked that better than any workout I had tried and I didn't miss a class. I'd love to take a ballet class now, but there aren't any studios close to me! So Zumba it is! Another factor is that I'm going to class with people that I know and am around 5-6 days a week. We keep each other motivated to go and commiserate the next day when we're all hobbling around the bank like old ladies! Once our routine is more settled I'm going to incorporate yoga again, but things have just been in total upheaval lately. Baby steps, yes?

I have a few things coming up around here on the blog that I'm pretty excited about, and hopefully I won't totally abandon my little corner of the internet over the summer. I have no desire to, it's just a matter of finding my way in this new routine.

Hope you all are enjoying these first days of summer! 











Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hysteroscopy | Follow Up

I realized that I never actually posted about my follow up appointment. So here it is!

The short version is that, once again, we have a whole lot of normal.

Now for the long version....

The cyst is cleared up for the most part, meaning that it didn't fill back up after being aspirated. Dr A saw lots of follicles on both ovaries and the tubes look clear.

The cyst fluid was tested and showed no sign of endometriosis. At the time of the procedure, Dr A felt like it could have been an endometrioma, or chocolate cyst.

My blood tests were all normal, and Chris' tests were also good. We suspected as much from what we already knew, but Dr A confirmed it at the appointment.

So what now?

We could do a laparoscopy, but Dr A isn't pushing that because most of the time people like me with no symptoms don't surprise him with full blown endo. We aren't going to do it right now--maybe in the future if I have more cysts and/or start developing symptoms.

We could also go for IUI#4 with different medications: Letrazole and Bravelle. The goal would be about 3 good sized follicles. These medications apparently work differently to develop the follicles than Clomid.

For the moment, we aren't doing anything.

I know, I know. I spent a lot of time being so frustrated by the fact that we couldn't do anything. All I wanted was to be able to stop waiting around. But the decision has everything to do with what I was talking about yesterday. I would like to try another IUI, but we need to at least wait until we have some sick time we can use to avoid taking any more unpaid time off work than we already have. I'm also really enjoying the fact that for the first time in a long time, I'm not worried about it. I'm focusing on other things--upcoming events with family, hubby's company picnic, our birthdays and anniversary, and doing some things for me. It feels so good--a weight has been lifted that has been there for years. So for however long this lasts, I'm going to embrace it.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Surrender

Let go. Surrender.

Those words whispered to me for months. Sometimes they got loud. Like when I read this post. It's called: How I Surrendered My Infertility to God...and Got Pregnant. Well, if that's not a straight up sign I don't know what is.

You know what I did? I got angry. Any time I read or heard anything about surrender and letting go, I pictured losing a battle. I pictured failure. I pictured giving up. And then I wondered if I was cut out to be a mom anyway because what kind of mom gives up on her child before they're even conceived?

The whole idea was repulsive to me. I wanted to fight and I wanted to win. I wanted to kick infertility's ass. I am woman, hear me roar.

But then I got an email telling me that my latest test results were available to view. It was like...16 or 17 different tests. And they were normal.  Every. Single. One.

My first reaction was frustration. How could they all be normal? And then? Peace. Suddenly, letting go was no longer repulsive. Surrender was okay. I felt like I had permission to do other things and to love my life just as it was.

I can't begin to tell you how much better I feel. I want to keep looking, keep trying, but I have a different picture of what that will look like. It's going to be more intentional and life is going to keep going. I'm over putting everything on hold, because that has gotten me nowhere.

So what got me here? Honestly, enough things finally just fell into place. The jobs, the tests, the emotions. I'm over day 1 of A Year of Miracles--I use the reflection as my journal prompt for the day. That has been a huge part of all this. And time. It's been years since we started trying. Years. Plural. It's just time.

I mourn our losses and I really wish that I were having a baby this month. I would love to take a magic pill that would just make this infertility nonsense a thing of the past. Unfortunately, that's not what my life looks like. And rather than wish my life away, it's time to just embrace it for what it is. It's a hard choice to make in a lot of ways. But it's healthy and good. It has been a long time coming.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Promises

This morning I opened up "A Year of Miracles" to read and journal, and I read these words:
"A moment of crisis can be a moment of growth, as the wounded self prepares to transform. From the chrysalis of my pain, I will forge my healing--the wings of my newborn self."

The title of the reading is "I do not shrink from the pain of transformation". I thought it was timely, with everything happening this week--follow up with the doctor, baby shower for my brother and his girlfriend, my second "un-due date" coming up, etc.

As I was reading, my phone lit up. My sister had texted me this picture:

She said she saw it and thought of me. It's a funny feeling when things like that happen, isn't it? I absolutely felt like I was supposed to hear a message today: that everything I've been through isn't for nothing. That this pain and struggle will bring forth transformation.

This is a very bittersweet month. I had so many, many hopes for what it would be like that didn't come to be. I have still been finding so much joy in it...but there is something missing that makes my heart ache.

Hearing that promise obviously brings up a torrent of emotions. There is comfort in knowing that it isn't for nothing, but there is a lot of sadness as well because I'm still waiting and missing the little ones who weren't intended for this world.

So this is about trust. Trusting that the promise is true. Trusting that it is intended for good. A reminder to keep hoping and hanging on, because something is happening. I don't know when or how, but I have to trust that it will.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Journaling Through Infertility {Week Five}


So...picking up where I left off! 

5) Describe yourself: What do you not like about your personality? What part of your personality do you love? How can you embrace that more? When you think of your body, what comes to mind? If you dislike what you can see physically, why? When did that dislike start? What do you have to offer to your friends and family?
What do I not like about my personality? I'm indecisive, and I am (situationally) not nearly as assertive as I could/should be. I'm a people pleaser--I would much rather keep my mouth shut than rock the boat.

 What I DO like about my personality is that I am very empathetic and can be quite emotional, I can be very passionate and very driven. I also like that I'm comfortable with a wide variety of people and ages, but I prefer the company of older people--I guess you could say I'm an old soul. 

I have really been working on embracing the qualities I like while also trying to improve on the ones that I don't. Some of that means digging through the past to work on healing in some specific areas so that I CAN be assertive. It means recognizing myself as my own person and acknowledging that it's okay for me to think how I think, believe how I believe and be who I am without worrying so much about how that looks to other people.

My body and I, like most people, have a love-hate relationship. Honestly, I think of my body and instantly think of all the ways it could be better. For instance, it would be better if I were more athletic because then I wouldn't have so much trouble conjuring up the motivation needed to tackle the trouble areas. And speaking of those...when did that even happen?? I don't HATE my body. I just see a lot of room for improvement. But on the other hand, there are moments when I physically feel like a freaking goddess and that's awesome! I want to feel like that all the time! So...baby steps. 

My whole life I've been made aware of (supposedly) less than desirable genes in certain areas of my family, and I remember being told as a young teen that I will probably always struggle with my weight/fitness. I think that really set me up for frustration as I've gotten older! So I'm trying to shift that mindset, but old habits die painfully hard. 

(For an EXCELLENT article on this very topic, check out this post by Elle Griffin at Over the Moon Magazine! It was posted this week and I just love it!)

What do I have to offer? A few months ago, I wouldn't have even known how to answer that. I felt like I couldn't offer anything and MAN was that frustrating! But then, I got a job offer--it's not a dream job or something I see myself doing until I retire, but they wanted me back really bad and that felt amazing. It reminded me that I do have a lot to offer. So of course that has snowballed into other things. As the oldest of my siblings, I can be there to talk them through their challenges and give them a different perspective. I also feel like it falls to me to keep us "together". Not that we're drifting apart, it's just that someone has to be the one to step up and make plans and keep people connected. In that situation, I can definitely be assertive so I use it to my advantage. Those are just a couple of examples but they are the ones that are really relevant right now. 

Remember the time when you were the happiest.
The time when I was the happiest. That's actually a really hard one! It's not that I've never been happy, content or at peace. It's just that there isn't one time that stands out, if that makes sense. If I had to choose, it would be when I was teaching and going to school. Looking back, I thrived in that situation, even though a lot of things about it were stressful. I was really happy at that point. But I will say this too--I am happier right now than I have been...probably since I left the studio. Since then it's been one source of stress after another! I wasn't thrilled with my job (and Chris' wasn't happy in his), then Chris had his accident and we spent a year getting back to normal, we had two miscarriages in 18 months and all kinds of fun tests/treatments for infertility, we bought a house in there somewhere, I've had waves of family drama, we lost my grandpa...it was just nonstop for awhile. But now, things are falling into place left and right and I am in awe. Which is crazy because there's a part of me that wonders how it's possible to feel so totally content when there is a big thing missing in my life. But the rest of me is embracing it and enjoying the ride.

We're almost through! Two more weeks and I'm really excited about these questions!
 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I'm Alive!

THANK YOU for the well wishes and prayers today!

I don't have a whole lot in the way of news, because after the procedure I felt drunk. But I do know that my uterus and tubes look clear, so I'm happy about that. What we're uncertain of is what type of cyst I had. The word endometriosis was used, and I believe that they are testing the cyst to see if it is the type caused by endometriosis. If so, that will likely change our game plan going forward.

Physically I'm tired but feel pretty much like myself, and I am SO grateful for that!

I'm hoping to find out more on the procedure and what they found tomorrow when the clinic calls to check in!

For now it's time for food and Call the Midwife!

Nerves

Today is cyst aspiration day! For me, this means going under and having a hysteroscopy as well as a saline ultrasound. Cysts can also be removed or aspirated in a laproscopy, but (I'm assuming) since my cyst is on the small side that they don't feel the need to take that step.

So here we are.

Honestly? I'm nervous. I felt terrible the last time I went under for oral surgery. I don't know if I should hope for answers or hope that I have the prettiest uterus and tubes they've ever seen. I'm nervous about the recovery. I just plain don't want to do it. But it needs to be done, I guess. Better than a burst cyst.

Whew. Here we go!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Appointment Update

So this week has been eventful in the fertility department! 

Starting off last weekend, we learned that the SA and DNA Fragmentation test came back fine--right now we have no reason to believe that there are any male factor issues affecting our fertility. Yay!

Then it was my turn. I was set to get a bunch of bloodwork followed by a saline sonogram to check on my uterus and tubes. 

Getting the bloodwork was a pain in the butt! The first time I tried to go, they wouldn't do the tests for a variety of reasons. The second time went fine other than that it was the longest draw ever. I had been told to fast for 6 hours for one of the tests and was so afraid I would pass out! I didn't, and it got done. All's well that ends well, right? 

Immediately after getting my blood drawn I went to my ultrasound appointment, where Dr A discovered a nice, fat cyst on my left ovary. 

Now, in all the time we've been trying and all the ultrasounds I've had I have never seen a cyst. It's definitely unusual for me. At first he mentioned endometriosis as a possible cause but by the end of the ultrasound he wasn't convinced because everything else looked great. After talking about my last IUI cycle, he believes it to be related to the stimulation. I ovulated from the left my last cycle AND I was given a dose of follistim on top of the clomid (something that didn't occur to me until after I left the office).  

So the plan is to aspirate the cyst next week and do the saline ultrasound at that time. After that we will meet up to decide on a plan. 

So that's the latest! It's so-so news, but I'm glad Ihadn't gotten my hopes up for a quickie IUI this cycle! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Petition

Friends!! There is a petition up at WhiteHouse.gov to make infertility covered under the Affordable Care Act. I'm not a huge fan of everything in the ACA, but THIS is a perfect example of something that needs to be made affordable and accessible. Infertility is NOT elective and it can be a huge financial burden to those suffering from it. Making insurance companies cover infertility like any other disease has the potential to be life changing. Current options for paying for treatment include fundraising, loans, grants and even mortgaging your home. And people do it. But grants are limited, loans are costly and people turn their noses up at fundraising efforts. The options are limited and often, couples find themselves stuck.

You can find the petition here and I'm asking you to share it all over social media. It's shooting for over 89,000 signatures and they're only at about 12,000. Let's get it done!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Journaling Through Infertility {Week Four}


I'm back! It's been a hectic couple of weeks for us and there's been a few emotional days between Mother's Day and the loss anniversary. But things are a little bit more stable now so things are on their way back to normal. 

So...we're on week four of the Journaling Through Infertility


4) If you never had children, how would that make you feel? Why do you think that causes you pain? What is the root feeling behind that pain (feeling "left out", feeling like you aren't complete, losing control, losing your dream, etc.)? 
*deep breath*

This is a hard one. Like a really hard one, because I've been facing some of this recently.

I think that eventually I would be happy and find fulfillment. But it would take time. It would be a really tough journey to get there. But gradually I could let go. I would have to. Right now, I'm not ready for that. The thought of it makes me anxious and desperate. Where does the pain come from? I wrote in my journal the other day that this journey is taking every dream, wish, hope and goal, ripping them out and taking my heart down to its studs. Like a remodeled room. Maybe it has to be that way, but watching everything I wanted slip away hurts. I hope with everything I have that in the end, my dreams and wishes and hopes will come back, better than ever and even more beautiful. But I haven't seen that happen yet and in the meantime...I feel out of control, lost, on the outside of everything. It's the hardest thing I've ever done.

What are you grateful for today?

I am speechless with gratitude at the developments with Chris' job. Everyday he tells me how much he likes it, and everyday we seem to find out another great thing about this amazing company. It all started with a simple, no-frills employment ad that he answered and took a chance on. We had almost given up on it because he hadn't heard back after his interview. I am in awe and so humbled by the way things were orchestrated.

If you're interested in reading the previous posts you can find them below: