Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Inner Struggle

Still no period.
Don't think about it.
Am I pregnant?
No, you're getting your period.
I would have had it by now.
Maybe my bodies finally regulated, and this is my new schedule.
Or maybe you're pregnant.
I wouldn't have all this mucus if I was pregnant.
Would you?
I don't know.

Another barely there line. Awesome.
There's no line, you're seeing things.
Maybe it will be darker tomorrow.
Or maybe you're just getting your period.
Then why am I not cramping?
Because you're pregnant.
Shut up.

Why isn't this mucus becoming spotting?
Because you're pregnant.
There's no way I'm pregnant, this is nothing like last time.
Every pregnancy is different.
So is every period.
Why won't the line just show up?
Why won't my period just show up?
What the hell is happening?
You're pregnant.
You're getting your period.

Will the both of you please shut the fuck up?!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Head vs. Heart

I had a great outlook on the holiday. I love Thanksgiving, I love seeing family, I love to eat and I love to cook, so all seemed well. Wednesday evening I took some very needed "me" time and ditched my husband after work for the gym, and Marshall (the store, not another man). Spent a fabulous 2 hours shopping and left with only a couple items. (Not like me at all.) Headed right to Hannafords before they closed and picked up my last minute ingredients. Made it home around 9pm and started cooking. 2 hours and 2 Felicity episodes later, I finally fell onto the sofa with a glass of water. (Not wine, which I really wanted. Because that's what you do when you're trying to conceive. You fight the urge to cook with wine.) Hubby soon returned home and we crawled into bed.

Thursday morning we lounged around until it was time to head out. On the way to drop off my egg less quiche and dessert at the in-laws, I read my husband the best post by another blogger. Got half way through before the tears began streaming down. (Reading someone else's thoughts on infertility and the holidays makes me do that.) Click here to read cry. Although my mind was not flooded with thoughts of babies and why I wasn't toting around a 4 month old, I still felt empty. And that's really the best way to describe it. That small part always missing and making you feel less than whole.

We arrived at my parents and enjoyed an amazing meal my mother always puts together. Complete with my nephews all removing their shirts to eat, then destroying the living room when left alone for 5 mins.

But still, there was this emotional nagging on my heart. My Mom, was standing in the kitchen with me, when my Dad walked by and mentioned it had been 8 months since the passing of my grandmother, his mother. My Mom gave me "that" hug, you know the one where you let every guard down and let her wrap her love around you. And that's when it happened. I began sobbing. Because how long can I really keep it together. My sisters quickly came to my side, not needing to say anything, because we all just knew. And there, in the kitchen, we cried. For what was missing, for what had been lost, for the sadness that comes along with a year gone by.

The rest of the day was held together by lots of desserts. At some point I started to feel nauseous, and really tired. So I excused myself and went upstairs to curl up on my in laws sofa. Took a mini nap and later headed home. Friday and more nausea, followed by super tender breasts, and another nap. My head was telling me "You're pregnant!" while my heart kept shouting "Shut the fuck up!". It's difficult at this point to not read into every bodily function or abnormality I experience. Like always, I took a home test. Negative. But it's early, I told myself, be patient.

And the next day was followed by another test. Saturday I had my 10 year high school reunion, so obviously I needed to know if I could drink. Extremely faint line. (Don't get excited. I get those all the time.) I tried to keep my emotions at bay, but my head just kept screaming at me. I even had a dream that I was pregnant with a baby girl, even saw myself at about 5 months pregnant with her. Reunion went well, great to see so many old faces. All in all, a wonderful evening. Milked one glass of wine over 3 hours, and managed to spill a decent amount while giving hugs.

Sunday I woke up not feeling pregnant. No nausea. No cramps. Most tenderness gone. No line. I did however wake to a very little amount of bright red blood mixed with mucus, and one little spot of dry blood. Odd, some what resembles the last time I was pregnant, the implantation process. The mucus continued throughout the day along side some brown blood. (Brown blood is usually old blood, while the bright red is considered new blood.) So that the hell is happening? I have no idea. All I know is that the mucus and brown have continued into Monday and today, along with another negative test and another super faint line. My guess: good ole Aunt Flo is on her way. But a small part of me is still hoping, while my heart continues to yell "Shut the fuck up!"

And of course, as luck would have it, my husband's urologist is on vacation all week. Waiting until next Monday to discuss scheduling his surgery. Still hoping this is our month, but knowing deep down, it probably isn't.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Discouraged to Encouraged

Having taken a week off prior to Thanksgiving, my boss was not too thrilled that I needed to leave early for yet another doctors appointment during a 3 day work week. However he thankfully knows our circumstances, and has been very understanding. So we scooted out of work at 2:30 and drove to Dr. C's office.

I've been losing all kinds of hope lately. Having charted my cycle for now the 7th month, tried 3 months of letrozole, surgery, blah, blah, blah, I have not been Ms. Positive. I've wanted to quit, I've wanted to try IVF again, I've wanted to adopt. I've wanted just about everything. So when we finally met with Dr. C, I know he could see how discouraged we were, especially me. He however, was more positive this time than ever before. He reviewed my charting and blurted out "This is wonderful! Look at this change!" What? Are you serious? This looks wonderful to you? I've had random mucus every month, how is that wonderful?!

But he was right. This was the first month we can actually look at as a positive month to try. Each month prior, my body wasn't ready. It has taken 4 months or healing from surgery, regulating my thyroid, upping my immune system and letting my body finally have a real cycle. Previously I only had 1 dry day after menstruation and about 4-5 days of spotting brown. (TMI?) All gone! I had a normal 4 day flow, followed by 4 dry days, and 4 days of great peak type mucus. (We even tried a suggested position a couple times. Now that's TMI.) So this is really month 1 of trying. And I'm sure I'm going to regret mentioning this, but I've had cramping consistently for 8 days. Dr. C first did not say anything about that, but towards the end of the appointment he said "Well you have had cramping, which could mean things are already happening." I'm still not so sure that's the case. But we'll sure find out. He also said to wait 17 days post peak to test. He obviously doesn't know I pee on a stick every morning.

This may get too detailed for some of you, so you may want to end it here.

So back to the mucus issue, that I was all concerned about, but Dr. C was not. Apparently my cervix has slightly curls open to the point that it has exposed some tissue. That tissue does not like the hostility that is acidic vaginal mucus. In order to protect itself, it creates more peak mucus (which comes from the cervix to help settle things down and bring down the inflammation. And because the cervix has opened slightly, it traps some mucus which may finally retreat several days later. (Hence the random peak mucus I've been seeing.) Sooooo....apparently all is well in the land of my vagina.

The good news:
-No more naltrexone, possibly only one more month of letrozole, possibly only a couple more months of thyroid meds.
-After regulating my system, NaPro has proven pregnancies occurring within 12 months.
-There is a strong chance we'll conceive naturally now that things are looking better.

The bad news:
-Hubby has been told he should schedule surgery. We've done pretty much everything we can to improve me. Now it's time to have Hubby do everything he can.
-Hubby also needs to start taking ProXeed. (Good bye spending money.) A 3 months supply is $356. Sperm takes 3 months for the body to create. So no matter what we're looking at, atleast 3-6 months of using it.

The hope is that starting the ProXeed asap, and having the surgery asap, will give us a double boost in production 3 months down the road.

The real hope is I'm already pregnant. (Which I still strongly feel like is not the case.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Truly Relaxing Vacation

I abandoned you all for a week long getaway in Vermont. My apologies. Actually I'm not sorry one bit. It had been 9 months since our last week off together, and it was very much needed. Surprisingly, it was oddly warm for November in Vermont. The weather held at the low 50's most of the week with a drop in temps Friday that brought on a beautiful snow shower. Just enough to melt by morning. Thank heavens since we failed to put the snow tires on before we left.

So what did I do all week?
We hiked through the Trapp family's property, back up to the chapel in the woods. 
We ate out a lot.
We took a drive through Smuggler's Notch, the most narrowest road, if you can even call it that.
And then we hiked some more.
We met a ladybug I named Andrew. Found him in the kitchen, put him outside. 
The next day hubby found him crawling around on the rug.
And we successfully completed a mindless puzzle.

All in all, it was an uneventful week and by far one of the best all year. I was able to focus on my health and tried to reclaim my mental stability. I planned to practice yoga every morning, which turned into one class and a couple private sessions instructing me, hubby, and his parents. Amazingly, I started running again. I am not a runner. I've always wanted to be a runner, but never thought I was capable. After two days I was up to 3 miles in 30 mins which I plan to continue starting tonight. Followed up the workouts by lounging in the sauna and hot tub. Even managed to complete some laps with hubby in the pool.

Hubby and I have had several discussions on what to do next. We have an appointment with Dr. C tomorrow afternoon to meet and discuss progress lack of progress thus far. We plan on sharing these decisions with Dr. C. I have prayed and prayed that this month would be the month. And to be honest, I thought it might be. But I'm convinced I have an ovarian cyst again that began last month and possibly stuck around until now. Otherwise, I may be sprouting them each month with the drop in estrogen caused by the Letrozole. Whatever it may be, I'm fairly convinced conceiving naturally just might not be in our cards. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A good way to break your heart

In my darkest of moments, losing faith that we'll be able to conceive naturally, I've been researching adoption. A LOT. I've always had in the back of my mind the thought that one day I would adopt a child. I guess it started during my high school internship. I was working at an elementary/middle school assisting the art teacher (who happened to be my aunt). There were the most adorable two brothers, excellent students, infectious smiles and from a troubled home. My first thought was "If I was old enough, I would adopt them." From that day on, I've known I've wanted to adopt. It is by far the best thing you can do, open your home to a child in need. The past few years have been trying. I'm tired. I'm sad. I'm in need of answers. Answers that I don't think I'll ever get.
Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange
In my research, I've discover several things. Adoption is expensive! More expensive than IVF, sad to say. There are kids in need of homes, yet it costs less money to have science help you create one?! Seriously. That's just wrong. What isn't expensive is Foster Adopt. There's a network in Massachusetts called MARE (Mass. Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc.). They assist and list children who are legally free for adoption from the foster care system. Because foster care is run by the state, they cover the cost for in home studies, and most other fees associated with adoption. (Don't quote me on that, but what I've found seems to state so.) Adoption can cost anywhere from $30k to $50k for an infant domestic or international. Who can afford that? (IVF cost me $1k, and that's only because I live in MA and have a $1k deductible.) Foster Adopt may only cost you legal fees, so depending on your lawyer, it may only be their fees ($2k to $5k).

The thought that keeps nagging at my head is why don't people adopt? I can't answer this question. And if you can't either, take a look at the beautiful faces in need of homes in MA by clicking here. They will break your heart with their loving smiles and simple requests.
How can you not love that face?

Every child deserves a good and loving home. Don't you agree?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

So long Naltrexone

So I'm not sure if the Low Dose Naltrexone thought it would be a good idea to start preparing me for an infant (no, I'm not pregnant) or this is just some sick joke. But for the past 4 nights, I have woken wide-eyed at 2am, and 4 am, and 6am..... I figured Friday night was from Hubby being away, which I usually don't sleep well when he's not beside me. Sat was ok and the time change definitely helped a bit, but Sunday and Monday night were awful. I woke up last night at 2am and could not fall back to sleep. Makes sense though. The Naltrexone stops production of endorphins for several hours, then kicks them back up about 4 hours later. Going to bed at 11, waking up at 2, see where I'm going with this?

So tonight, it's so long Naltrexone. I'm guessing this is happening now because my system has finally started working properly. And if that's the case, the pause in endorphin making has probably helped me sleep, but the ramping up of them in the middle of the night, has now become over load. Dr. C said it would be about 6 months before I saw any improvement. Although it has been around 5, I'm taking this as a sign it's time to stop. Crossing my fingers that this is the answer and I can finally get some sleep tonight.

On a side note, we leave Saturday for a week up in Stowe, VT. Yes, this will be our third trip up to Trapp Family Lodge in 14 months. (Got to love parents with a timeshare.) Our first time was a week for our anniversary last year. September/October in VT is heaven.

We rarely have time to just relax. Between work, gym, classes, weekend family gatherings, etc, we don't have a lot of down time. The beauty of Vermont: slow pace. It's one of the only times I feel calm. Mornings are filled with yoga, hot tub, sauna, smoothies and a shower.
Followed by a hike, lunch at the brewery, maybe a nap. Then dinner, wine and a puzzle. Yes, I said puzzle.
Don't judge. There's nothing like taking your mind off the world and focusing on something as petty as a puzzle. Finding which tiny piece fits with another tiny piece. Try it. It works.

This month, we are yet again, trying the Letrozole. Menstral flow was a little better this month, and the past 3 days have been dry. (Have yet to have that happen, it's a good thing.) I'm hoping this means my egg won't ovulate prematurely. I have this gut wrenching feeling lately that my left ovary, the mischievous one, has only been creating cysts, and not releasing an egg. This month I believe is the right ovaries turn. Praying things go well and we have some luck. And being away during the week of that happening can only help.

So please say a prayer, cross your fingers, toes and anything else you can. This is the last month before we move on to other means. And I'm really hoping we don't have to. Vermont brought us luck last time. Maybe it will again.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Things you should never say

I've wanted to post these for a long time. However, I've held back knowing that it will probably insult some people that are the culprits. Please don't take offense, learn from your mistakes. :)

Most of the time, people just don't know what to say to you when they hear you're infertile or seeking infertility assistance. Although most people have been, and continue to be, very kind and sensitive (especially when I was hopped up on hormones, which I thank each and every one of you), there's always that one person who trips up over their own words, or really has no clue what to say and what not to say.

Shame on you!

So for those of you who wonder what you really shouldn't say, here's my list of favorites that have actually been said to me:

#1 I wish you were pregnant at the same time as me so we could raise our kids together.
You do? So do I. But what in your right mind, made you think this was a good thing to say while I'm attempting to make it through your baby shower without breaking down?

#2 Don't be one of those people who has an only child.
Hmmm, if I could control that, I would. But seeing as I'll be lucky to have just one, maybe that isn't the best thing to say.

Considering wearing this around.

#3 You'll be a great mom some day.
Thank you. Most of the time this one is warm welcomed. However there are days when it just hurts. It's very easy to lose faith, and on those days, this is like taking a stake to the heart.

1 in 10 people!!! 

#4 Stop trying so hard, it will happen when it's supposed to.
Really, is that how that works? So if we stop having sex all the time, I'll be like the Virgin Mary and miraculously get pregnant? Why didn't someone tell me that sooner!

#5 You're going to end up with multiples, IVF always does.
You obviously know nothing about the process, nor the odds in that happening. To be honest, IUI causes more multiples than IVF does. Never mind the fact that we modestly only inseminated 1 embaby. And it's really none of your business how many kids we end up with.

#6 Your decision to pursue IVF implies that you have a scientific attitude toward the creation of life. 
Actually it doesn't. And if you are one of the many blessed enough to become pregnant naturally, you should never make statements about other's choices. You have no idea what they are going through, or their reason for choosing IVF.

If we turn back to IVF, our kid will proudly be sporting one of these.

#7 You can always adopt.
What?! There are children in the world in need of good homes? If it's so easy, why haven't you done it? Oh that's right, you can get pregnant naturally. Therefore you can ignore all the children in need of good homes. That only applies to gay, lesbians, and the infertile. (What is wrong with people?!)

#8 Why do you even want to have kids?! 
I don't even have a response for that one. Either you're a kid person, or you're not. Respect people's choices.

I have a feeling I'll be posting another one of these in the future.