Superstition, Serendipity or Coincidence…Whatever You Call It, It Ain’t Workin’

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Greetings fellow infertiles, and bloggers alike! I am currently hanging out in a mountain chalet enjoying the scenery, the quiet time and not having to do or be anywhere. Plus I’m finding I sort of lose track of the day of the week or the date so our impending IUI is sneaking up without me realizing it which is kind of nice. Some times the first two weeks of a cycle can be just as painful as the two week wait after ovulation. I finished my clomid on Friday and have had very minimal symptoms. So far. No headaches this cycle, but I have gotten to enjoy some mild hot flashes. For a perpetually chilly person it was very odd for me to be stripping off layers.

I’ve been very reflective as of late, due to the New Year approaching, and also because infertility puts a microscope on your life. In my reflective musing I’ve noticed that I’ve become more superstitious, regarding infertility. I am an extremely analytical and logical person so this is not in my nature. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, infertility makes you crazy!

Case and point, I was just thinking about the day that our IUI might fall on, and I’m betting (and hoping for) Jan. 3. For one I have the morning off work, but also because 3 is my lucky number. Also, if it were to work on Jan. 3 it would make my due date Sept. 26, which is my hubby’s birthday as well as his mothers. I know of people who wear lucky socks for IUI’s or IVF treatments (I don’t like socks, otherwise I would be all over this). I can tell you I will be wearing something purple on the day of the IUI.

I also fear I’ve done things to jinx myself, which again I know is stupid. But before we started ttc I knew my mother in law as chomping at the bit for us to have kids, and I said to a friend, “won’t she feel bad if I end up not being able to get pregnant”. Um, yup pretty sure she probably does now, but it doesn’t make me feel any better. In fact I feel, like shit too so that comment came back to bite me in the ass.

I also have a pregnancy “guide book” in my night stand that I bought a few months before we started trying, because it had some preconception stuff in it, and I figured I would need the rest of the chapters fairly shortly after that purchase anyways. And I may have read ahead to see what was In my future. Yeah that was a bit premature and now that book burns and calls to me from the drawer. I almost want to throw it out just out of spite.

Another purchase like this that I have in my house, sending out its siren call is a cute little bib hanging in our spare room (to be nursery) closet. I bought it a couple of months before we started ttc because I was out buying things for the baby my friend was about to have and I couldn’t resist. It had a cute saying on it that was sone thing special between J and I. It’s the only baby related thing I’ve allowed myself to buy, but again it was a bit a lot premature.

I keep thinking, if I only did this, or only did that maybe it would have worked by now. But I know that’s not really the case. It’s science, biology and maybe a little bit of luck. I’m already thinking forward to the next IUI in February (if we get to that one) and the serendipitous circumstances it could bring. If we end up doing an IUI in February we will find out if it worked or not on or around my birthday.

On my 27th birthday I may be standing at a fork in the road, each offering big change. Either I will head towards motherhood, or looking at uprooting our lives for a different adventure. It will offer some relief either way, and I can’t wait to move from the spot I’ve been standing in for too long.

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Swinging from the branches of my family tree

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So Christmas is over…sort of. The big day has come and gone, gifts were exchanged, hugs were given, food was eaten. My in-laws are in the mountains for Christmas, so we are heading down today to do it all over again with them. Yup writing this from the car on the iPad. I figured out how to create a personal hotspot from my phone to get internet on the iPad. Yay me! But no clever ecards from me this time. I’m not that tech savvy.

I love my family, and it is nice when we can all get together for Christmas, see all of my cousins, aunts and uncles (although, not a lot of family on my side either). In the past year and a half 3 of my cousins have gotten married, yet there is still just one baby (well she’s hardly a baby anymore, at 3 1/2 years old) between all of us, and that one belongs to my cousin who was married around 7 years ago.

Their daughter was brought into this world by a surrogate, with my cousins sperm, his wife’s egg and their amazing friends’ uterus. Prior to their miracle baby they had 4 losses, from two singleton pregnancies and one twin pregnancy.

I don’t remember all of the details because I was in my early twenties when this was all going on (and quite frankly babies were the last thing on my mind, and it was all a little out of my scope), but their first baby was born around 5 months, lived for a few days but was just not developed enough to survive. The next two pregnancies were also lost in late in the 2nd trimester. I believe the problem was she had a weakened uterus, and once the baby got too large her body would cause her to deliver early, and the baby/babies couldn’t survive. On the third pregnancy she was on bed rest and they put a stitch in her uterus (I think) but to no avail.

It was after this that they had to find another solution. They were obviously very fertile, as getting pregnant wasn’t the problem. I think it is amazing that her best friend stepped up to do something so selfless, after having 3 children of her own. Now that I am in the infertility trenches I can so much more appreciate how hard that all must have been (even though I’ve never experienced a loss).

Her experience was open to the family, because she made it to the 2nd trimester 3 times, and we all knew about her losses, and it would have been a little hard for her to hide the fact that they used a surrogate (not that they would have wanted to anyways). Their surrogate mama is like a saint to our family. Now, over 3 years later, they have their own little family unit. I think there was talk of them adopting at some point too (a while back), but I think it will just be them and their little girl from now on.

Thing is, my cousin’s wife moved from suffering through infertility to one of those people who the only thing she talks about, or posts on Facebook, or lives for her is child. Once she got her baby, she flipped to the other side. Perhaps because she is so overjoyed to finally have their own little one, which is understandable, but I can imagine it was very hard for her dealing with other peoples babies, and families when she was suffering. So, though it is nice to see her get their happy ending, I know what I don’t want to do when it’s my turn, and avoid slapping the world in the face with my child.

So, anyways, thought I’d share that little snippet of infertility in my family. But back to Christmas dinner with the whole gang. One of my other cousins got married last September and just recently bought a house this year (August, or September maybe?). I have his wife on my Pinterest account, and she’s had a board called “Baby Rabies” for some time, so I know she wants kids, but her job has been sort of unstable, up until recently when she took a new (much better) job. So a couple of days before Christmas J and I were talking about who was coming to dinner, what we were bringing, ect. I said to him that I thought cousin R and his wife L might be pregnant. He asked me why I thought that, and I mentioned her Pinterest board, and the fact that they just bought a house, and have been married for a year. I said I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced it at Christmas (because apparently that’s the thing to do). I think you know where this is going…

I was right. Just before dinner, my Aunt (cousin R’s mom) said she had something she wanted to say, and announced that she was going to be a grandma again. She had a picture frame that had a note in it saying new addition August 2014. Even before she turned the frame around, or the words were out of her mouth I turned to J and gave him “the eyes”. As soon as she made a move to get everyone’s attention I knew what was coming. I had mentioned it to J beforehand, because I had been thinking it for a while, but I needed to say it out loud, so I could say “told ya so”! Though, who cares, I win at predicting someones pregnancy. It’s still not mine.

I love R’s wife, I think she’s lovely, it’s all very nice for them that they are having a baby, yada yada yada, insert all the obligatory nice things I am supposed to say/feel. But after that, I kind of avoided her for the rest of the night. Plus, as soon as the announcement was made I thought “wow, due in August, that’s early to annouce”. I mean, chances are she’ll be fine, have an uneventful pregnancy, and never know to be thankful for that. I also started doing the math, and I figured she would have gotten pregnant right around the time of my failed IUI. Ouch, adding insult to injury.

One of my other cousins is a labor and delivery nurse, she got married this September and commented how she’s tired of being asked about kids already. Tell me about it. Just after this conversation, another one of my cousins comes over and is chatting, and asks me when we are having kids. To which my mom snaps, “didn’t you just hear their conversation about how rude that is!” Ha. Thanks momma bear. I don’t discuss our treatments or anything with her, but she knows of our struggle, and knows I don’t want to talk about it, to her or anyone else.

A lot of my family doesn’t even ask me about kids anymore, they ask where I am planning a trip for next (we travel a lot, and I am a travel agent, so it’s a very valid question). We live the DINK life to the fullest, so I think some might assume we may not even want kids.

I’m not entirely surprised that yet another person has “beaten” me to pregnancy, especially with all of the weddings I’ve attended recently. I’m in that age where all of my friends got married a few years ago, so now all of them have, and are having babies. I just hope I can join the club soon because I don’t want to have to start avoiding my own family…

Peace and goodwill, to all (wo)mankind

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Well, the year is almost done, and I bid it good riddance. I can’t say it’s been all bad, in fact there has been a lot of good. But it was 2013 that we hit our 1 year mark of TTC, received an infertility diagnoses and continued to fail at making a baby(ies).

I’ve worked hard at keeping busy (6 trips in 12 months), focusing on J and I (and our pups), and generally just dealing with the hand that we’ve been dealt. I am looking forward to the New Year, even though it’s just a change of the date, it feels like a fresh start. And for us, it sort of will be. I have IUI’s tentatively booked for Jan. 2, 3, and 4 (I’m betting on it being on Jan. 3).

I started my round of clomid last night, and in an unusually optimistic gesture, high fived J before popping it down the hatch. I’m sure I won’t be as upbeat once I am in the dreaded TWW, but all I can do is hope for now.

I’ve noticed more and more lately that Christmas is an excessively family-centric holiday. Obviously I am more hyper aware of it now, but luckily only 1 of my cousins has a child, so Christmas with my family is a grown up affair (though we do carry on like children once we’ve gotten into the Christmas cheer).

I had some friends give me their family Christmas cards the other day (you know the sickeningly sweet ones with them and their kids all posed and dressed up). I thanked my one friend, and said “I don’t really really do Christmas cards”, to which she replied “Oh, well you don’t have kids”. As in, there’s no point if you don’t have a cute little family to share. Grrr. I have dogs, J and I could get all fancied up and take a photo. Christmas is not just for families with kids dammit!

Anywho, that’s my Christmas related rant, but in all fairness I still love Christmas. I am feeling very thankful for my family, and friends, my hubby, my dogs and all the lovlies out in this blogger world of ours. I have lots of visiting, and eating and drinking to enjoy in the next week. In my own twisted way, I am glad not to have to hide a pregnancy at Christmas (though I would have managed if I had to).

2014 will bring big changes, whether in the form of another member being added to our family, or changing our locale. We shall see which wins out. Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, and a Happy New Year to you and yours.

Now here’s some spam of ecards I find amusing.

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And lastly, my favorite…

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I Can’t Even Make This Sh*t Up

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I swear infertility is stalking me now, permeating every part of my life, even those areas I thought were safe. Last night I joined J at his boss’s house for their department Christmas get together, just a small gathering with around 10 or so people. Almost none of these people have children (actually come to think of it, I don’t know if any of them do…), so there were no kids around. Just a group of adults having a nice evening together. When I arrived they were just starting to play a murder/mystery game, one of those things where everyone gets a character and there are scripted interactions,  to lead your through and at the end you have to guess who is the murderer (kind of like a real life version of clue).

Throughout the game there are clues to add suspicion to some of the characters. Well one of the clues happened to be a prescription for fertility medication that one of the characters, “Tara”, had taken to get pregnant by her fiance’s twin brother. (I know, it was a weird game). It was funny because the fake prescription even had legit instructions on it like, take from cycle days 3 – 7…ect. But, the weirdest part, is that my dear hubby was playing the character of Tara’s fiance, who was unable to get her pregnant, which is why she was sleeping with his brother. So. Strange. When we got home later that night I mentioned to J how weird it was, and that as soon as the clue mentioned fertility meds, and the instructions did he not immediately think, oh Clomid!

Seriously, it was like a weird omen or something, because today is CD1, and I start Clomid on Monday. So, just as I suspected our cycle of “not trying” did not magically get us pregnant. As Lindsey at Awaiting Autumn says, it’s going to be a “Clomid Christmas”. Luckily last time I took Clomid it didn’t send me for a loop or anything, but I did have a lot of headaches. How fun for me over Christmas. Naaaawt! 

So I called the clinic today to book my IUI appointments for Jan. 2, 3, and 4. I have to use OPK’s and I only go in the day after I get a positive. I spoke to the nurse about in what situation would I have follice monitoring, and she said only when you are on injectables do they do that, and then the Dr. will trigger ovulation, and book your IUI for the appropriate day. I asked at what point do they recommend this, as I am only using Clomid and OPK’s at this point. She said usually they do 3 unmonitored cycles, and then move to something else (ie. injectables, IVF, whatever). Which is sort of what the Dr. M said, is that we would try 3 cycles just with Clomid (the stats for success decline drastically after 3 cycles of IUI) and then go from there. He didn’t say what would come after those 3 cycles, but I don’t really want to find out. I said to the nurse that using injectables probably gives a better chance as it is more accurate then? She said it is more accurate in pinpointing ovulation, because it is triggered and then they know how many follies we’re working with as well. She said that I could talk to the nurse and possibly my Dr. about doing that for my 3rd try (if we get to that point).

So I am glad I asked, and am taking charge. If we are setting a limit on ourselves to take an extended break from TTC to pursue other things in our lives after the 3rd cycle then I want to know that we gave it our best shot. Even though I am scared sh*tless about having to use injectables (and the possibility of multiples, dear gawd help me if that happens). So we’ll see where that goes. I know it is pessimistic to be thinking past the cycle I just started but I’ve got to think about these things, so I can stay on top of it all.

Also, interesting side note; I asked the nurse about how to count my CD if my period starts very late in the day/overnight (like it did this time) and she said if it starts after 4pm, the next day of full flow is your CD1. Good to know! On to cycle #20…

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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Can I just say that it seems like every freaking person on the planet is pregnant, or just had children this year!? I know it is something you notice more once you start TTC, but lemme break it down for you.

I had to go on my Facebook account to actually take stock, because I couldn’t keep count them all up in my head, but I actually did a tally and there are 14 of my friends currently pregnant (one with twins!), and 12 that have a baby that is a year or younger. Like, seriously!? What is in the water, and how can I get a few litres of it!

I am of that age, where most of my friends are now married (or have been for a few years already) so some of them already have one child and are on their second. It is annoying, lemme tell ya. In some circles all I hear about is their pregnancies, or their kids, or their boobs, or hooha’s. I’m sure I will get sucked into these discussions when it is my turn, but I will surely be more considerate if there is a non-parent in the group (I hope).

And don’t even get me started on celebrities. It seems like every celebrity on the face of the earth decided to have a baby this year, including several that were happy accidents (HA!). Plus it is the year of the royal baby, so that set everyone into a baby frenzy.

Besides people I know, and celebrities on TV it seems like a mass of the general public is pregnant as well. Everywhere I go there are pregnant ladies. Did I mention the spa I go to for accupuncture is a pregnancy spa? Yeah, that doesn’t help matters.

The last time I went for accupuncture I was one of the last appointments of the day, so despite the fact that there were maternity photos and baby paraphernalia everywhere, there were no actual pregnant ladies. Last night I went for another treatment, but this time it was midday and I came face to face with a mega preggo belly.

As I was sitting in the very small lobby (with two chairs that sit perpendicular to each other) a very pregnant lady was just getting ready to leave. She attempted to put her boots on at the door, but standing up she was having some difficulties. So she came and sat in the chair next to me, and I was close enough to reach out and touch her giant belly.

I felt super awkward and was trying to avert my eyes from her stomach, without acting like a total spaz. I didn’t want to ask how far along she was, or if she knew what she was having but it seemed weird if I didn’t say anything, sitting in a pregnancy spa, next to a pregnant woman, who was practically in my lap. So  I complimented her boots.

And then my accupuncturist called my name, and I jumped up like I’d been shocked. Longest 20 seconds of my life. Perhaps I should have rethought that spa.

*Edit – I forgot to mention, the same day I had acupuncture I also had a massage and the therapist was, you guessed it, pregnant.

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Press Play

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For the past 16 months I feel like my life has been on pause. I make decisions in my head thinking, well if I am pregnant by (insert random date here). For every month we’ve spent trying to conceive so far, I’ve used a due date calculator to figure out when I would be due by if I got pregnant “this month”. I’ve cycled through a whole years worth of due dates, and am making the rounds again.

For every vacation I’ve planned, I’ve made sure I would still be able to travel (therefore I pretty much don’t book anything more than 5 – 6 months out). Case and point, I was planning a cruise vacation last month for travel in late April, but had to count out and make sure I’d still be able to fly if I were to get pregnant (I’ll be fine to go, but if I am pregnant, no scuba diving for me). I was afraid that when I went on vacation with J’s family in January of this year that if I was pregnant they would know by my lack of drinking, and not scuba diving (Surprise! Sister in law beat me to that, and it was a pretty dead giveaway).

J has thought about changing jobs, or possibly locations (either within our current city, or moving to a different city). I begged him to not do anything rash as I didn’t want to have uncertainties with his job if we were to get pregnant. I have debated whether or not I should commit to long term training opportunities in my job, if I am just going to end up on mat. leave.

We’re stuck in a rut. Both J and I like a challenge, and do not like to sit and wait. We set goals, we make plans, we move forward. A rolling stone gathers no moss, right? Every month is the same, and every month takes us closer to…nothing.

That’s why we set a timeline for ourselves. We’ve always thought we want to move cities (again), whether it be only 3 hours south of our current location, to where J’s brother, and his brothers wife live. Or further; Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, Stateside? But right now, we feel as though none of these are options. We do not want to uproot in the middle of treatments, and if we get pregnant we are going to stay put for a couple years. But at least if we got pregnant and had to stay put we would have a new goal. If I get pregnant, and bring a baby into the world, we would have my year mat. leave to decide what to do from there. We can revisit our move (or maybe we won’t want to at that point), but it give us a solid two year plan.

So we have a plan in the case of success in pregnancy, or not. It makes me nervous putting a time limit on it, because what if it just takes one more cycle? But I’ve thought that before, every month in fact, since we started TTC, and it hasn’t happened. At least this way, I know there’s an end to the madness, either way. A new future to look forward to. I can press play on our life again.

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Am I A Hypochondriac?

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Spending 16 months doing something unsuccessfully will mess with your head. Make ya crazy. Make you do things you never thought you’d do, and spend absurd amounts of time doing something you’d never even considered spending 5 seconds doing.

Case and point; Dr. Google. My friends, I think I am a hypochondriac. I cannot stay away from google. Inevitably every cycle in the later part of my two week wait, I end up having some sort of “symptom”. And I turn to Dr. Google to search endless stories of “I-had-this-symptom-and-it-turns-out-I-was-pregnant”.

This month was going to be different. We were not exactly trying, no BBT, no OPK’s, no timed intercourse (that’s such a clinical word) sex. I wasn’t going to worry about it, I was going to relax, enjoy a stress-free cycle until our next IUI. But then, my boobs started to hurt. I am all too aware that this could also just be a PMS symptom, and it has been previously. But not for a long time. And not this bad, oh my god!

My little dog loves to come running and bounce onto my lap and climb up my chest so he can put his little snout right in my face so I can’t ignore him. Well I almost chucked him across the room the last time he pulled that. They’re so sensitive! Buuuut, I know I’m probably being unreasonable.

I have my usual PMS symptoms; back ache, mild cramps, head ache, moodiness. But my twisted mind loves to remind me that those can also be early pregnancy symptoms. I’ve googled all of the aforementioned symptoms, along with “stuffy nose”, “colds”, “eye twitch”, “excessive sneezing” and many other crazy maybe-I’m-pregnant symptoms. And you know what, usually I can find someone who fell pregnant and reported these symptoms.

I almost took a pregnancy test this morning, but I stopped myself, as I was being unreasonable (am I?). I don’t know when I ovulated, so even if I did take a test it may be too early (AF expected Dec. 21). But what if… I came home from work, and noted to J that I didn’t feel very well, my stomach was a bit upset. He turned to me and asked if I was pregnant (so it’s not all in my head!?). So much for my cycle “off”. So don’t mind me as I feel up my boobs to determine their level of sensitivity, and sit here over analyzing every little burp, twinge and pain I have. Perhaps Dr. Google will be able to weigh in.

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