Monday, October 31, 2011

A Year Ago Today

It's Halloween, and for most, it's a time to dress up your kids in funny costumes and parade them around your neighborhood. Or it's a time to display yourself as someone or something else. But when I think of Halloween, I no longer think of costumes and candy. I think of the start of our fertility journey. Halloween was our first egg retrieval. It was a day filled with excitement and hope. It was the first day I truly let myself believe that I could get pregnant. I let myself believe that this was it. And a year later, we are still childless and have yet to make any progress.

Last weeks first flurries, mid week.

Thankfully, (insert laugh here), a fluke snow storm that has downed power lines across New England helped to take my mind off things this weekend. Being a true New Englander, I love all seasons. But there's something about the first snowfall this is still magical at age 28. I've been "in a dark place" the last couple of weeks. I've been pretty depressed and have been struggling to stay positive.
I'm angry, a lot. 
I've cried, a lot. 
I've sworn, a lot. 
I've questioned God, too many times. 
This weekend, with the lack of power or ability to go anywhere, I finally am starting to relax. I slept too many hours, drank too many glasses of wine, spent hours sitting by a fire. I've let myself release all almost all of my negative emotions. I'm starting to feel more in control of myself and what I can do.

Probably should put the snow tires on soon.

So what's a girl to do? The holidays are coming. The anniversary of our miscarriage is coming. The overwhelming loss of several family members is creeping up. It's only been a year, but far too much has happened. More than one family should ever experience. Feeling so out of control of fate and what lies ahead, I'm going to try to take control of the things I can. 

I can start eating vegan again. (It's when I've felt and looked my best.)
I can start working out 4-5 days a week. (Thanks to hubby's help and encouragement.)
I can start making decisions on what the next step will be. (With hubby's input.)
I can take a vacation, or two. (VT & the Berkshires)
I can go visit my Cali friends. ;) (Hopefully in March if all goes well.)
I can start focusing on today and stop worrying about tomorrow.

After the storm, comes the sun.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Now I'm Just Angry

(Last year today, I was at the fertility clinic, getting my 11 eggs removed. Which probably explains today's mood.)

Everyone has a breaking point. That edge between clear headed & calm and the point where you could stab someone. (I probably shouldn't say that out loud. Don't worry, I won't actually stab anyone.) But let's face it, we all have a point where you just can't take it any more. I'm at my breaking point. Infertility has a very thin line between hope and pure anger. I'm teetering on the anger side right now.  For months I've been trying to fight it, and stay hopeful that NaPro will give us what we want. Between you and I, I'm losing hope. I'm breaking down. I'm angry, all the time. I've attempted to put on my happy face and carry on each day as if nothing is happening. But you all know. Anyone I know, knows. So let's cut the bull shit and call it like it is. I'm fucking pissed!

My body should just work! I should want to get pregnant, and it should just happen! I shouldn't have to check my blood every other day during my cycle. I shouldn't have to pump my body full of meds to convince its self that I'm pregnant. I shouldn't have to pee on a stick every day, twice a day to see if something has finally worked. I shouldn't be 3 years down the road and still be childless. I should have a 4month old right now. I should be sleep deprived and blissfully happy. Instead, I'm working. I'm sleeping. I'm wondering what went wrong this month. Why do I have cramps already? Why, if I'm not pregnant, do my breasts hurt every time I move? And why the hell do I have another fucking cyst? 

For anyone thinking I should explore other means of becoming a parent, I have two words for you: Fuck.Off. Unless you are struggling with infertility, I don't want to hear that you think I should adopt. I don't want to hear that I should try IVF again. What is so wrong with wanting to conceive naturally?!  Yes, I'm being harsh. My apologies for those of you who have truly been supportive. But I've gotten the comment about adoption several times. Don't get me wrong, I strongly agree with adoption and most likely will move forward with it at some point in my life. Every child deserves a loving home and I fully intend to change a deserving child's life. But I would like to have a child with my DNA as well. 

I like to think I have a big heart. I know most people who know me probably think I'm a sassy, hard-ass bitch. It's called self protection people. I refuse to let people see that they've gotten the best of me. I'm extremely self competitive and I am my hardest critic. So when something isn't going my way, about 90% of the time, you will have no idea. This is the other 10%. Things aren't working, and I'm mad. I rarely get mad at God. But I'm mad. Whatever plan he/she may have, could you fill me in already?! I've seen rainbows, heard that damn song at the exact moments I think of pregnancy, and still nothing. And to top it all off, I've taken progesterone to hopefully help with PMS and I am beyond dizzy right now. 

Now what? What's the appropriate next step? I know it's only been a few months trying the NaPro approach. But at what point do you call it quits and move on? The answer is, you don't. You follow your heart and you make a decision. So that's what I plan to do. You can't control the uncontrollable. But you can control your actions. And I plan to act. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

(Not my) Dirty 30

Over the past year, I have been meeting up with some friends from home once a month. The four of us are kind of a mish-mosh of friends that some how remained close that got close as the years went on. We span from the NH sea coast, to central MA. Although most would think a 90 min drive would keep us apart, not this group, we always make time. Our monthly girl's night has gotten us through break-ups, job loss, family deaths, friends passing, new homes, new jobs, miscarriage, and all of those quintessential growing up landmarks.

These ladies keep me sane.

This weekend, we celebrated our first 30th birthday. A milestone if you ask me. We managed to keep the weekend a surprise until the moment she opened the door. Although fear filled her face when she did open it to a dark hotel room filled with people, made her believe she was in the wrong place. She soon realized it was the faces of friends and family. 

The birthday princess.

It was a huge success filled with laughs, tears, hikes, swims, shopping, and of course drinks. Yours truly kept the drinking at bay. Seeing as hubby and I used this month to its fullest capacity, my hope is there's a little embryo in there trying to stick. Therefore drinking wasn't really an option. (I did indulge in a couple white wine spritzers, which I'm pretty sure made me look like a huge wuss.) But future baby is far more important. 

One of the most difficult parts of infertility, is answering the question "do you have children?" to people you haven't seen in years or are just meeting you for the first time. What's the appropriate response? You don't want to make anyone feel bad and seem like a turbo bitch, but the question alone is like taking a dagger to the heart. I've found just smiling and saying "Not yet." is usually the best way to go. Then if the conversation leads there, or they become super nosey, you can expand. But once you tell someone, they look at your differently. You can always see that slight pang of pity in their eye.

Managed to find a playground.

Hubby liked the tire swing too.
Then he got stuck.

Which leads me to today. I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant. I've had mild cramps, nothing like last time. I've also had constant mucus, which probably means I have an ovarian cyst. I did have one wave of nausea this morning, but that usually happens from postnasal drip which has over taken my body, along with being super hungry in the am. I'm not terribly surprised to be honest. I've gotten to the point where I'm doubting this will actually happen naturally. Sad to say, I've even stopped eating pristinely and haven't worked out that much, in hopes it may help. Who knows, maybe next week I'll finally see that 2nd dark pink line. 

(I already have a child.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You want me to put that where?

I was feeling curious the other day and decided to Google "trying to conceive", something I actually hadn't done before. I was slightly appalled at what I found. (Appalled probably isn't the right word, however it will probably describe most of your reactions best.) I had to share this, it's one of those things that's so gross you must share. 

Egg Whites.
Real egg whites

Now we all know I've shared how cervical mucus looks like egg whites when it's optimal time to conceive. However I never thought people actually used them as a way to conceive. No joke, this woman is convinced that cracking an egg, removing the yolk and inserting the egg whites into your hooha, will help you conceive.

Why, might you ask?
Someone's egg white mucus
Not mine. I swear.

Let's think about this....your optimal conceiving mucus looks like egg whites. But is the structure the same? Your mucus, referring to the egg white kind, is small channels that protect and allow sperm to travel safely in the cervix. (The vagina is a hostile place, filled with high levels of acidity.) So do real egg whites help coat the same way if your mucus is low?

Has anyone else ever heard of this?

*If you plan to attempt (which I will not), be sure to sterilize the outside shell, apparently that's where any bad bacteria resides. 

Happy egg white douching!


Monday, October 10, 2011


I know I've briefly touched upon the vitamins I attempt to inhale every day, but I wanted to get a little deeper into the discussion. Mostly because I feel like I'm going to gag every morning trying to shove these down my throat. I've found lately that I'm not hungry in the morning, which is not helping trying to take the 7 daily pills, plus 2 extras during my peak days. And the fact that if I don't take with 24 oz of water and carbs, I get nauseous and wonder if I need to run to the bathroom. So here they are, all 7 of them:

Looks are deceiving. Don't let that prenatal fool you.

1. Prenatal Vitamin: As of right now I'm taking a whole foods version. I know, it screams dirty hippie. However after reviewing several other options, this little pungent pill packs in the highest volume of vitamins. It does give off this horrible smell and if I don't scarf it down with a protein bar or toast, I may vomit. But it's good for potential baby.

2. Magnesium: (2 pills) Foot cramps alone are reason enough to start sucking these bad boys down. I've had them since I was about 14. My feet cramp like crazy, especially after working out. Dr. C explains it best:

"Magnesium is involved in 100 different enzyme functions in our bodies. It is also needed by each cells’ mitochondria to generate energy out of the foods that we eat. It is important for the stability of our heart rhythms, nerve function and muscle action.  Magnesium is stored in muscles like water is stored in a reservoir. When there is not enough in our diet, the blood stream will steal it from the muscles.  Some people who are low in magnesium get muscle cramps in their feet and calves and other muscles.  Some get migraine headaches.  Many of my pregnant patients who begin taking magnesium say that they sleep better, have fewer muscle cramps, lower blood pressure and less uterine contractions during their pregnancies."   

3. Calcium: Seeing as I don't eat too much dairy, I figure calcium is probably a good thing to ingest. Even if it's in pill form. Better than nothing right?

4. Vitamin D3: Most people are deficient in Vit D, especially those of us that live above or below the equator. (Crazy, I know.) Again, best explained by Dr. C:

"The immune system functions best when 43, but still far short of the goal level of 75 or greater. Most of my patients’ levels range 12–30.  Darker skinned people have even more difficulty obtaining vitamin D from sunlight. 

Data reveals that a child growing up in New England is much more likely to come down with Multiple Sclerosis than a child growing up in Florida. Similarly there seems to be fewer cancers in Florida than in the northern U.S. I also believe that, one day, vitamin D deficiency will also be linked to endometriosis and premature birth."

Click here to read his entire article on Magnesium and Vitamin D.

5. Levothyroxine: After blood work revealed I had a slight case of hypothyroidism, Dr. C suggested I begin taking the synthetic drug to make up for the lack my body creates. Since starting the meds, my nails have never looked better. Even on prenatals, they still ripped and teared. (A sign of hypothyroidism.) And I have more energy than I previously did and my numbers are finally in an appropriate range. Still slightly sluggish but that could be from lack of exercise. It's about time I got my ass moving.

6. Iodine Plus2: Apparently most of us walking this earth are deficient in iodine. Far too long to explain. Read here. 

Now if I could only remember to take these every day...they'd probably help.

Friday, October 7, 2011

No one wants to die.

I am not a techy by any means, but my husband is. So when I shared with him yesterday morning that Steve Jobs passed away, I was not surprised by his sad expression and deeply concerned tone. It was expected. For Chris, it's the deep loss of losing one of the greatest visionaries, that affected him. For me, I can't help but think of his family and children feeling the greatest loss there is: losing a loved one at a young age. Yes, 56 is young. 

As I sit and read MSN's editorial on  Steve and his great successes, well spoken words and visions, several quotes seem to be resonating in my mind that I feel compelled to share. The first:

"When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through."

For those of us (and I use the word us, because many people don't share this same belief), short cuts aren't worth it. IVF is a short cut. (I'm having a love/hate relationship with it at the moment, if you couldn't already tell.) It's also known as the band aid approach. "We don't know what's wrong with you, so let's skip all these steps and see what happens." For most people, that's fine. There may be nothing wrong, but for some reason these two people's systems struggle together. So I get that. But when you know hear several concerns expressed and you never look into them, there's an even bigger problem present. NaPro gets to the route of the issue, fixes it, and allows couples to conceive naturally. So why isn't our country, one of the most advanced in the world, using the NaPro approach to infertility instead of the band aid approach?

The second:

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."

As we make our way through October, I'm flooded with memories of shots, blood draws, internal ultrasounds (yuck), and the many people we've lost this year. 

7. Yup, I said 7. 

I can not remember a time in my life that I have lost so many people in a span of 12 months. The thought of it, always brings tears to my eyes. And as each day passes and we get closer and closer to the anniversary of these deaths, I'm slowly being taken over by anxiety . How do you get through the day you miscarried on? My hope is to be pregnant again, somehow I've brainwashed myself into thinking that that will help. It won't. I know that. But something has to happen, and soon. Because honestly, I don't know how much longer I can last. 

3. years.

That's how long we've been doing this, come January. 3 years. I've been pretty patient, considering I'm a very impatient person. I am, however, clever enough to manipulate myself into staying distracted and positive. But how long can that last for. Apparently not that much longer. We've made decisions recently. Decisions on what will happen if nothing happens. I'm not ready to share them yet, but they're coming. My hope is we won't have to reach them. But if we do, you'll know.