Category Archives: Education

Today I Walked Around the Office with My Skirt Unbuttoned

The bloating is back, for better or for worse.  (And don’t worry, my baggy shirt covered up my skirt button.)  I’m going to keep this post short because I’m feeling really rough, this time some other fun symptoms mixed in like nausea, cramping, and getting (very) easily (very) tired.  I am surprised the full feeling is this bad this quickly, although it isn’t yet as severe as it was yesterday.

I worked a 12-hour day today and I’m now thinking that was overdoing it a bit.  Think I’m going to just work the morning tomorrow.  According to the nurse a lot of people do fairly well with their OHSS symptoms in the morning but around 2:00 “It hits like a Mack truck.”  Her recommendation: get everything done that you need to in the morning, then change into sweats at 2.  I just may have to heed that advice tomorrow.

Trying not to be naively optimistic, but it also would be nice if all of this discomfort were not in vain, but leading up to a BFP on Friday.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Today I Put the Iron in the Pantry

I am losing my mind people.  Had an appointment this morning and here’s the message I sent to a couple of my pals after:

Hey my IF expert friends,

So I’m officially neurotic and jacked up on hormones.  Appointment this morning went…I don’t know.  I’m attaching a screen shot of the u/s results from today and last Saturday but I’m just feeling paranoid that they aren’t good enough — haven’t grown enough since Saturday, aren’t big enough, not enough of them, not enough of them big enough.
 
I joked with [Hubs] that maybe I’m trying to be an ovaryachiever (get it?) but honestly I’m having trouble discerning whether that’s the case or it really doesn’t look that fantastic.  I realize it doesn’t look bad per se but, I don’t know, maybe the paranoia and pressure of it all is just setting in.
 
I’m waiting to hear about my estradiol and progesterone but for now we’re slated for another u/s Wednesday morning, tentative retrieval Friday.  That could change to an u/s tomorrow for another look to schedule retrieval Thursday or Friday.  Meds are all staying the same.
 
Any thoughts?  Am I doomed for two eggs at retrieval, only 80% of which will be mature?  Do I need to be talked off the ledge?
 
Thanks,
your needy neurotic pal

They both did, in fact, write and call back and talk me off the ledge and through some deep breathing, which helped.  They also both reminded me that we’re going for quality over quantity which I totally agree with, I’m just suddenly having this fear that the follicles are going to get stuck in their growth and we will only have, like, two quality and worthy of retrieving.  I really have no indication of that, it is likely my RE just wants to give them more time to grow and let them do their thing.  I was totally reading into her every word choice, tone, and facial expression, which Hubs interpreted completely differently and entirely more rationally.  I am practicing the self-talk mantra “I am doing my part” today.

Speaking of losing my mind and my little part in this all, I’ve forgotten two and a half times now to do my shot — one we remembered within the 6:00-8:00 window, one we did at 9:30 (yikes!!!), and the other I realized before Hubs left for his work thing that we would be missing and we found a way to make it work.  What the heck kind of IVF patient am I!?  Until today I thought it was just a sign that I’m at peace and in a good place but, obviously, today my neuroticism and anxiety take over so I’m now certain that I’ve been pushed over the edge into the “total flake” category, hopefully only momentarily.

And what can help with that, you ask?  Why, baby animals and spa music of course!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today I’m Drinking Dandelion Tea

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  Like it would be yellow and pretty and smell yummy.  Wrong.  It’s kind of nutty and very bitter and resembles coffee in color more than chamomile tea.  But it is one of many things I’m changing lately to try to have only healthy things flowing through my body.

We have all but decided to go forward with IVF and have a tentative start date of December 31st.  (Yay, shots, happy new year!)  We would begin initial meds (birth control, which is so odd for any infertile woman to take) mid-December and stimulation would start the last day of 2012.  I hear the stimulation phase is the most intensive of the IVF process from a time and attention perspective, including shots a few times a day to stimulate your body to grow lots of follicles and every other day ultrasounds to monitor their progress.  This growing and watching leads up to a shot triggering the ovaries to release the eggs, retrieval surgery to get those puppies out, fertilizing them, letting them grow in the incubators, and transferring back in 3-5 days.  That’s IVF in a nutshell.  Oh, and the two week wait before finding out if it all worked.

It feels exciting to be moving toward beginning but also scary.  Obviously we’re wanting to do all we can to create a baby-friendly environment, hence the dandelion root.  I have to admit that it can feel very depriving and borderline masochistic to do all of these things.  But as my co-worker recently reminded me about scaling back with work hours, all mothers have to make sacrifices for their children and I’m just getting an early start.  This angle actually does help me a good bit, legitimizing and encouraging me forward in these decisions.

So, what I’m doing lately:

  • Eliminating processed foods, including diet coke (gasp)
  • Cutting way back (if not out) dairy, sugar, and soy to prevent inflammation and hormonal spikes/imbalances
  • Dandelion root tea and/or drops 3x/day and warm lemon water every morning for liver cleansing
  • Udo’s Omega-3 oil blend, vegetarian source of DHA (also ick)
  • Being a good girl with drinking lots of water
  • Acupuncture

As a vegetarian I’m used to having a limited diet, but adding these changes on top of that was beginning to feel overly restrictive and, enter feeling sorry for myself.  But I’m beginning to, instead, focus on being creative with all that remains — which, in reality, is most really good things.  If I were doing that Thanksgiving gratitude-a-day thing on Facebook I would say: Whole Foods iPhone App.  I’ve gotten some inspiring recipes on there and it’s helpful to view my market trips as time to stock up on good things to build up and nurture my body.  Mmmm, seltzer water.  Who needs diet coke?  Okay, fake it ’til you make it.

So as we’re looking to jump on the IVF track here in a couple weeks I’m yet again struggling a bit with the balance between doing my part in it all and yet acknowledging that I can’t control this process.  I’ve even wondered if we should postpone IVF until threeish months after I’ve consistently implemented all of these changes because what goes in my body now affects eggs that will be ovulated in three months.  But then I step back and wonder about all of the people out there who make terrible health decisions, abuse substances, live on doritos and are still pregnant.  These things help but are they enough on their own?  No.  Dandelion root can’t create life.  Omega-3s can’t create life.  I’m praying for an accurate perspective right now.

I also don’t want to get in a position of blaming myself or putting all of the pressure on me to perform just right in order to become pregnant.  As I’ve said many times before, a baby is not something I can earn or make happen for myself.  I would have done it by now.  The parallels with God’s grace really can’t be overlooked here.  I couldn’t make Him love me or earn my way into a relationship with Him.  It’s just a gift.  I don’t know how all of that works and applies in this situation with a failing body, but I do want to remind myself that He gave me that best gift already and that He is the same God I’m crying out to hundreds of times a day now.  He is a God who hears and I have seen that before.

In the meantime, in all the waiting and the hard work, I’m taking pleasure in the small things, like the holiday with family, the Christmas tree being up, a fire in the fireplace, and my amazing new fuzzy slippers.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today I’m Buying Out Whole Foods

So I have been a big-time grumpy grouper this week.  My mental life has been a bit of a wreck.  I’m playing some quite destructive mind games, like defending myself over and over in my mind to a colleague who had a negative response to news about my infertility (downplaying it, weighing whose suffering is worse, and criticizing my financial decisions).  Doubting and feeling guilty about my efforts to make life more manageable right now and worrying others also believe things about me and infertility like aforementioned colleague.  And premourning next week and already freaking out about it.

Throw on top of that unexplained snippiness with my husband, likely related to both the hormones and these bad thought patterns, and uncomfortable physical symptoms (including terrible breaking out and weird uterus feelings ever since the IUI — is this normal?) and I can hardly stand myself.  Thank goodness I did actually get decent sleep this week.  (And that my candidate won the election!)  I guess the unifying theme is that I’m feeling alone, feeling some distance between me and the world.

As someone in a helping profession I’ve always had difficulty feeling comfortable talking about myself, and with infertility I find it really hard to know how to convey to others how I’m feeling or doing on any given day or at a meta level, how awful infertility is.  Sometimes, then, I end up feeling down and a bit stuck inside myself, believing others don’t understand or care enough to understand.  I wish there were a book out there to give to others explaining infertility, the work it requires, the continuous feelings of loss.  Maybe some of the IF community’s blog posts could be compiled someday to create this.

At the support group I recently joined (yep, you heard that right) one of the women mentioned how her doctors consistently remind her that her stress is real and legitimate and that research shows that stress levels in women with infertility are equivalent to those with cancer or HIV diagnoses.  These days I’m really wishing people got that.  I worry that others might see my feelings as overblown or overdramatic, so really, I wish someone else would communicate this for me.  Having research saying it helps.  I guess I’m wanting both understanding and validation of my pain from others.  I want them to say, “I know this is terrible for you.”  And maybe “What do you need?” like we do when people get a scary, life-changing medical diagnosis.

I ended up realizing slowly over the week that some of my thoughts are askew and that there really are a lot of people in our corner.  My friend Wesley faithfully sent another email checking in on me, I remembered a few people Sunday really meaning it when they asked how I was doing and in fact noting how awful this process is, a friend let me cry to her and followed up with a card the next day asking how she can advocate for me, my dad texted yesterday to let me know he was thinking of me, my co-worker left delicious toffee in the break room for me with a note.  Why do I continue to feel all alone and doubt whether others care when I can recount things like this almost every week?

No idea, but I think it shows the depth and power of the fear and longing and deep need.

I realize that this long road takes a good deal of endurance for our support systems too, and I of course do not want to wear people out as they walk with us.  I hate being grumpy with my husband and not knowing exactly why.  I hate the feeling of needing to explain myself and not being able to do it.  And honestly I hate needing things from other people.  If I’m learning nothing else in this process, it is that I am desperate and dependent and that is something I’ll never escape, even and especially if a baby comes along.

As I’ve begun to let in these kind things from others this week, I’ve slowly felt a little lighter.  I spent the morning dropping off canned goods people from our church gathered and talking with some dedicated people there who care a lot about homelessness.  I prepared for the arrival of my pal since 5th grade, sat in the sun that’s back in town, and let myself go wild at Whole Foods.  Pear cider, ginger dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds…so excited.  Today I’m choosing not to believe everything I hear — from others or myself — and today I’m choosing joy.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reblog: Time Management and Infertility Treatment

http://theinfertilitytherapist.blogspot.com/2012/09/time-management-and-infertility.html

It’s hard to describe how much energy, time, money, thought, emotion, etc. infertility steals from you, so I worry that people don’t understand my not being able to do things I normally would.  I worry that people might think I’m obsessed with this and it’s all I think about, or that I should just toughen up and get it together, or maybe they just don’t realize what a toll it takes.  It’s a low-grade, always there pain at best, but of course there also are the really hard days, then there’s the time to make appointments, research treatments, process options, go to appointments, reschedule all the things you had planned for that time already, track down and pick up prescriptions, talk with your partner about decisions, and if you’re lucky, find time to let yourself feel what you’re feeling.  That’s a lousy description of it, but it’s the best I can do for now.

This post, from an infertility blog by a therapist, is so relevant to the way I’m beginning to think of things.  Working to conceive is part of my job right now and so it deserves and needs corresponding time and attention, and even to be a priority over other things I feel like I “should” be doing.  The last thing I want is to look back on treatments one day and wish I would have devoted more to them.

Love this validation today, and willing to half-a&% it for a while.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2017 Lenten Readings

West End Presbyterian Church

sweetbeetcityfarm

An urban farm in Durham

exploring the (in)fertility journey day-to-day

Maberry Miscellanea

exploring the (in)fertility journey day-to-day

From A to Pink | A Blog by Katharine Scrivener

The life of a 30-something writer, cystic fibrosis patient + advocate, with a penchant for hoarding books.

The Infertility Voice™

An Online Hub for the Infertility Community — by the Infertility Community

Childless in Paris

struggling with infertility while dealing with the Frenchies...

Barren & Unemployed

Slightly Dramatic, Completely Honest, One Woman's Journey with Infertility

IVF male

IVF from the male POV

anemptywomb

A great WordPress.com site

whatisarutabaga.com/

My journey to more conscious eating.

All These Things

exploring the (in)fertility journey day-to-day

Something Out of Nothing

From 0 sperm to a family of three

Tales of a Twin Mombie

Because when you're a parent, there's always a story to tell.

Risa Kerslake Writes

Formerly Who Shot Down My Stork?

acupofbliss

Reflections on lattes, life, and love

hopefulandhungry

The road to conceiving a baby....enjoying food and life along the way

Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day

%d bloggers like this: