No Wasted Tears

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I have to admit I am not a terribly emotional person, which unfortunately sometimes gives off the vibe that I am cold or uncaring. I get a little choked up, now and again, usually at something stupid that catches me off guard. Like a tv commercial. I sometimes cry when I get really frustrated with something, but I try really hard not to cry in front of other people. I don’t like it, it makes me uncomfortable, and it makes them uncomfortable.

I know a lot of people have shed a lot of tears over infertility, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cried over our situation. I’m not necessarily proud of this fact, like I have some sort of heart of stone, it’s just an observation I’ve made. Although infertility has probably been one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever dealt with, it’s a slow, long burn, it doesn’t generally come all at once and make me burst into tears. I don’t purposely stuff down my feelings, and I don’t necessarily think that’s what I’ve been doing but when tears bubble up at very random times I wonder where they came from.

I’ve never cried when my period arrived or when I get yet another BFN. I’ve seen that single line so many times, I’m not sure I even believe in the second line, perhaps it’s just some mythical unicorn. I just throw it in the trash and walk away. I didn’t cry when Dr. M told us we would have to do IUI (until J started crying). I didn’t cry at our first failed IUI, or our second. I do feel sad about the whole situation but I think I am more mad than anything. It just seems so unfair, J and I have had other struggles in our life together, can’t one thing just go our way for once.

I can be a bit of a pessimist, which in this instance may be a way of protecting my heart. I will admit I have let my hopes float up too high a time or two only to be disappointed but it’s always a cautious hope. I’m never certain of the outcome each month, so it keeps that ember of doubt glowing in the back of my mind. So I am usually pretty quick at picking myself up, and moving on.

But every so often, some little thing will set me off. Whether it be something sad on TV, or something my dear J says that maybe hurts my feelings or makes me mad. And I just break. I lose all composure and I sob until I feel as though my chest is going to burst. It’s as if all those little things snowball together, the slow burn rises up to an out of control fire and it all becomes too much. A cleansing cry does sometimes help me get it all out, and off my chest. But does it solve my problems? No.

To me, infertility is like a bad ex boyfriend, doesn’t deserve my tears. That may not be the most logical line of thinking, but I have lost control over so many things in my life because of it, the least I can do is try to control my emotions. But this cycle, no matter the outcome, I feel as though the tears will flow. It’s the end of an era.

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The Next Generation

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So far between my cousins and I, there is only one child (there will be two more when my cousins wife has their twins). Being that I’m an only child my mom has no grandchildren, and I know she desperately wants one (or several, but let’s be reasonable at this point).

My mom and I went out for coffee on Wednesday and we I pretty much skirt the issue of TTC nowadays. She did mention, however, that my grandma asked her when we might be having kids. I just said, “oh, did she?” and didn’t get any further into it. Didn’t ask how she responded, or give her any sort of answers. I know that might be a bit of a dick move but at this moment in time I am not ready to have that discussion. Especially not in the middle of a busy Starbucks, in case I dissolved into tears at having to explain the situation we’re facing. Plus if this IUI does work I still don’t want to tell anyone until around 10 or 12 weeks.

But what really got me thinking is the fact that my grandma was asking about my future children. My grandma has early stages of dementia and is having a hard time remembering things, and she repeats herself a lot. It’s gotten a fair bit worse over the past year or so and it is so hard. I’ve only ever met my paternal grandma once, so my maternal grandma is the one whose been around all my life. She treats me more special than my cousins, and I have a pretty close relationship with her.

So it is sad to think that if this cycle doesn’t work, by the time we do have a baby she may not be all there to remember me, or realize it’s my baby. And that is really hard to consider. Sooo, what I’m saying, as usual, is that I really hope this works.

In other news, J is really stressed out. He told me the result of the IUI is pretty much all he thinks about lately (ditto). In previous cycles he’s not really said to much about how he’s feeling about it. He pretty much just waits until I tell him it’s negative and we go again. Not so this time, everything feels so different, yes still the same this time. I’m getting antsy. And starting to feel a bit of the usual barely there PMS cramping. Not feeling so hopeful…

Hope is a Four Letter Word

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Hope (def.): the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Pff. I don’t have a lot of that left. Try insanity, as defined by Albert Einsten; “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Yup, got that one down pat.

Each failed cycle I can feel myself getting more bitter and impatient (you’d think this would be a good lesson in patience but it’s just making me more impatient if anything). I am afraid this experience is changing me for the worse, as that impatience has spilled over into other areas of my life. I am weary and jaded. Every new pregnancy announcement, ultrasound photo, baby bump, facebook announcement make me want to hurl my computer against a wall. I am turning into a hard, bitter person. I tolerate less and less from other people, though I should really be cutting them some slack, because I have no idea what their story is, just as they have no idea what I’m going through. But I can’t seem steer myself out of that dark place that turns me into a bitch.

I have cycled through a lot of different emotions during our struggle, and sometimes several all in the same day. It is a complicated thing, infertility. I think the loss of control is the hardest part, along with quelling my pain and frustration to keep it from seeping into every facet of my life. With most things in life, if I wanted something I just had to work hard enough for it, and it could be mine. With this, not so much. I want to be an “A” student, I want to win at infertility. I hate feeling helpless.

It has been a rollercoaster of emotions that’s for sure but also a learning and growing experience. If I am forced to search out the silver lining, I can admit it it has strengthened our marriage, our communication and my appreciation for our children-to-be. It has also shown me that I am stronger than I thought.

If you would have foretold this struggle to me, I would have not wanted to try, I would have kicked and screamed like a little child (ok I’ve still felt like doing that at some points), but when you’re in it what else can you do but carry on. You have to wake up every morning and put your feet on the floor. Life does not stop just becase you’re suffering.

It’s been a hard-worn battle, and it’s not over yet. I have mad respect for woman who have been through 100X what I have. I hope I still have strength enough left if I get sent further down this rabbit hole.

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TV Pisses Me Off

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Here’s a parody commercial that I saw on a show I was watching this morning that really pissed me off. I can see the humor in it, and right now it is my life but I still found it rather offensive.

On Edge/Relationship Challenge Day 20 & 21

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Time is going so. slowly. I am 6DPIUI today, and for some reason I thought this TWW might not be as bad because after this one things will be different. Either we’ll be pregnant and off to start our lives as a little family, or we won’t be pregnant but we’ll be embarking on a new adventure, moving cities (yet TBD where, but the possibilities are endless). I figured since we are finally getting off the ferris wheel of infertility I might not be so stressed out this time. But of course I am. This is our last shot before we take a break, but eventually it just means we’ll have to revisit TTC and bring on the big guns.

I couldn’t sleep the other night, so I came into the living room to watch some tv. J got up to come check on me because he woke up and noticed I wasn’t in bed. He asked if I was ok, I said yeah, just couldn’t sleep. He seem concerned as I never have a problem sleeping. Or I never used to. But this is probably the first time I’ve ever actually gotten out of bed and watched tv instead of just staying in bed, tossing and turning.

The next day, J asked me how come I couldn’t sleep, and I just gave some non committal response, like “oh, I dunno, I wasn’t tired”. He asked me what was on my mind, even though I know he knew. I told him, “just the usual”, and he nodded with understanding. I told him that it just recently dawned on me that if this cycle doesn’t work, even though we will be relieved of the TTC pressure, it doesn’t mean the stresses of infertility go away. We will still be childless, amongst all of our friends with children, constantly fending off questions about when we’re having kids, and dealing with the sting of new pregnancies and babies of all the people we know (Best Friend included). I don’t know why I didn’t see that earlier, perhaps because I’ve just been focusing on one cycle at a time, one day at a time and thinking that this cycle would bring relief no matter what. But that just isn’t true.

I’ve been very anxious lately, I have  hard time concentrating, work is stressing me out and I just want resolution. But I’m afraid of the result. Because I don’t think it’s going to work. I know I’m being pessimistic, but IUI doesn’t give that much better of a chance than a normal person just using timed intercourse. We tried that for 14 months with no luck, and now the first 2 IUI’s haven’t worked, what really makes this one any more likely to work?

Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait and see. J has threatened to take my pregnancy tests away but I told him I only have two so I won’t waste them. I told him I would wait until Monday (Feb. 10) as it will be 12DPIUI and should hopefully be able to detect a positive, if there is one to be detected. I’ll have one left, just in case but if the first one is negative I am going to attempt to just wait until AF shows. I have also continued my BBT this cycle, which I usually quit after I can confirm ovulation. So if I keep my eye on that, it is pretty consistent in indicating AF (the same day she arrives) so if I see my temps drop, I can be fairly certain it’s all over. So until then, I wait.

Onto the last day(s) of my Relationship Challenge. I’ve gotta say I am sort of glad it’s over, not for the fact that there weren’t good tips in it, but blogging every day is super hard! So here is day 20;

Do Someone Else’s Task

In marriage, or any partnership or relationship, chores are a huge source of conflict. Who is responsible for what tasks?

It’s important that everyone contribute fairly, of course. Nevertheless, every once in a while, do your loved one’s task, just for a treat. This kind of voluntary pitching-in wins enormous goodwill.

When you unload the dishwasher, call a repairman, run an errand, or take out the trash, even when it’s not “your” job, your action shows an appreciation of what someone else usually does, and also a desire to make life a little easier for that person.

Also, it will heighten your appreciation for the work that someone else is usually doing. The work that other people do always seems so much easier than the work we do! By attending to a task yourself, from time to time, you make yourself more aware of what you’re not doing.

Resolve to “Do someone else’s task.” It’s generous, it’s loving, and it’s a good reminder not to take others for granted.

It is so nice to find that J has cleaned the floors, it is a job that we both hate, that I usually end up doing. Or the bathroom where he trims his beard, or any number of things. It is such a relief, especially when it is something I am dreading doing. It feels like a weight lifted when it’s no longer on my to do list. I always am thankful, but perhaps I need to show it more, and in turn I can try and remember to do tasks for J, in turn.

The final relationship challenge is a bit of a cop out, because it is a culmination of the past 20 days;

Boot Camp Perfect

Congratulations! It’s Day 21 of the 21 Day Challenge! I hope that the Challenge has helped you deepen and strengthen your relationships.

For the last resolution, try “Boot Camp Perfect.” Be warned: this is a challenging, but very useful, exercise.

For the next week, try to follow all twenty resolutions, all the time, in your relationships.

Jump, get enough sleep, embrace good smells. Follow a threshold ritual. Quit nagging, do someone else’s task for a treat, beware of unconscious over-claiming. Plan some nice little surprise. Give warm greetings and farewells.

Try “Boot Camp Perfect.” Even if you don’t have even one perfect day during the week, your effort will help you raise your standards for how you engage with the people you love. And in the end, it’s from our relationships with other people that we gain the most happiness.

I am going to try and keep all of these resolutions, in a way, in my relationship. I may not be able to be “boot camp perfect” in the next week, seeing as it could be some trying times (not that I am going to allow myself to act out, or not be loving). I hope that you gleaned something from all of the tips I’ve posted along the way. I’m sure a few of them applied to almost everyone, and it was a fun exercise to do in the blogosphere, rather than just on my own, so thanks for following along!

Socializing/Relationship Challenge Day 19

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Happy Superbowl Sunday! And congrats to my team the Seattle Seahawks! So ecstatic about their win. Ok, but enough about football because I’m sure most of you out there could care less. The real story here is the Super Bowl party. We go to one pretty much every year, and usually it’s more of a situation to socialize for the women, while the men watch the game. I had a vested interest this year, plus I also didn’t really want to socialize with the ladies, so I spent majority of my time in the basement with the guys watching the game. I’m pretty sure we were the only childless couple there. The kids ranged in age from about 6 months to 6 years, and there were several of them. I am never prepared for the amount of chaos a group of small children create.

The youngest child there, was a baby belonging to friends of ours who I thought wouldn’t end up having kids. He’s in his forties and she’s in her mid thirties, he has an 18 year old son from his previous marriage and they are the type of people who love to party, jet around doing exciting things, and generally live a very enjoyable child free life. So when I found out they were pregnant, I was a little surprised. Now I am not super close with them, but from what I heard from our mutual friend who has more of an inside scoop is that it didn’t take them very long to conceive. How great for them (watch your feet, the sarcasm might drip on your shoes).

So as soon as we walked in New Daddy came and gave me a hug, and asked what’s new while obviously staring at my stomach and asking “any kids yet?”. I just laughed, and said “no, not yet”, where he proceeded to introduce me to their new daughter. Later in the evening his wife made similar comment, asking about our offspring status. Then just before we were leaving our friend who was hosting the party was chatting with J, and just as I walked into the conversation he was saying, “yeah, someday…” and I said “what?” to which Hostess replied, “oh your pregnant?” (jokingly, goading me on to admit to something). To which I dryly replied, “oh let’s not start those rumours”. Shortly thereafter we made out exit as the kids were getting out of control, and I was about done at that point.

Now here’s the kicker; Hostess and her husband had previously gone through IVF (probably about 2 – 3 years ago). I only got second hand info of this from another friend, but I guess they have since given up. Hostess has a daughter from her previous marriage, so I guess one is going to have to be good enough for them. But I thought it weird for her to make a comment to me about being pregnant, when I’m sure she herself knows how irritating that is. I don’t understand Infertiles on the “other side”, and I hope never to behave that way. So, although it was a fun party, it was another real good reminder that we are broken.

Moving right along, Relationship Challenge Day 19 (yay, only 2 left!)

Beware of Unconscious Overclaiming

In “unconscious overclaiming,” we unconsciously overestimate our contributions relative to other people. This makes sense, because of course we’re far more aware of what we do than what other people do. Also, we tend to do the work that we value. I think holiday cards are important; my husband thinks that keeping the air-conditioning working is important.

Studies showed that when spouses estimated what percentage of housework each performed, the percentages added up to more than 120 percent. When business-school students estimated how much they’d contributed to a team effort, the total was 139 percent.

It’s easy to think “I’m the only one around here who bothers to…” or “Why do I always have to be the one who…?” and ignore all the tasks you don’t do. Also, when you add up the tasks that you do tackle, keep in mind that they may seem less important to someone else than they do to you. You think it’s important to clear out the garage, but this task may not seem as pressing to someone else. 

Resolve to “Beware of unconscious overclaiming.” Remembering that others may be contributing more than you think helps squash feelings of resentment and irritation.

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p>I can see this being a problem, though I think J and I are pretty fair. I sometimes feel like I do more things because I am the one responsible for anything financial, plus we share household chores, cooking, ect. but I know he alone does some of the “blue” jobs, and for that I’m thankful. In my work life however, I know for a fact that I do more than some of my coworkers (I suppose this is always the case in any work place, there are just some people who don’t carry their weight). Sometimes it really annoys me, because they feign ignorance of how to do a task, or just outright ignore it. Yet there is one job, that I don’t do, that one of my coworkers does all the time. And she’s been complaining about it lately, which really pisses me off because there are a million and one things that I do that she doesn’t. So I guess, right now I am not getting a whole lot out of this tip, but I wish my coworkers would. Ok, rant off. Until tomorrow!

FML/Relationship Challenge Day 17 & 18

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Soooo today is one of those days that is a bit tougher than normal. I was getting ready to go wedding dress shopping with a friend, something fun to keep me busy. I made the mistake of scrolling through Facebook (I know, I know I should really deactivate it) this morning on my phone. One of my friends who is unmarried, with her boyfriend for a few years, and had an “announcement” to make, followed by pictures. So before I looked at the photos I thought, “oh, nice they got engaged!”. Nope. They’re pregnant. Of course they fucking are. She’s a nice person, but not quite a grown up yet, and this was obviously an “accident” (for the record there are no accidental pregnancies, either you prevent them or you don’t).

So that put me in a bit of mood this morning, but I tried to put it past me, I had a good time dress shopping with my friends (even though one of them is 5 months pregnant right now. With her third. Don’t worry, she’s not the one getting married). Plus there was another pregnant woman at the bridal shop with her friend who was trying on dresses. We went out for lunch afterwards, and I had sushi for lunch, and we (the non preggos) had cocktails to toast our outing. Only after was I thinking that I shouldn’t really have had that drink, or the sushi. As the clinic instructs I am supposed to act as though I am pregnant until proven otherwise. So that’s fun for me. I’m sure it won’t be an issue even if I am pregnant, I most likely won’t have implanted yet. But just another annoying reminder of where I am in my life.

Tonight I was at home making snacks for the super ball party we’re going to tomorrow when my mom text me. My cousin and his wife (who announced their pregnancy at Christmas) are having twins. Sweet, so they get two and I get none (so far). So now I’m watching 50 first dates and getting teary at every little sappy part. I think I might have to watch Moulin Rouge sometime soon. It’s my go to sad movie that let’s me have a good cry.

So, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. We’ll be with friends at a super bowl party (though they will all have their children over). No one better ask me when it’s our turn, and nobody better ask me why I’m not drinking (I’m going to abstain the rest of the TWW, after todays little slip up, just to be on the safe side). So here’s to a new, better day. I have a pretty busy week coming up (work wise at least). I am going to try and go to the gym fairly regularly, and make other plans over the next week and a half to keep me distracted and busy. Any tips on beating the TWW would be much appreciated.

Onto relationship challenge Day 17 & 18;

Jump

Our relationships are powerfully affected by our own state of mind and body. For that reason, I spend a lot of time making sure that I feel energetic, because when I have energy, I’m more loving, more tolerant, more good-natured, and more patient with the people I love.

To boost my energy level, I make sure to get enough sleep, to get some exercise, to keep clutter at a reasonable level, to tackle nagging tasks before they drive me crazy, and so on.

But sometime we all crash.

Here’s a secret tip. If you need a quick, easy jolt of energy,right away, all you have to do is—jump. Jump up and down, do jumping jacks by your desk, run down the stairs, hop over a puddle.

There’s something goofy and childlike about jumping, and getting both feet off the ground gives a shot of energy and good cheer immediately.

So resolve to “Jump” if you’re spoiling for a fight, feeling annoyed by someone, or overwhelmed by impatience.

Ok, admittedly, I think this one is a bit silly. But, when I think about it physical activity is good. I always feel better after I go to the gym (even if I hate every minute of it). It releases endorphins, which make you feel good. So although I’m probably not going to start hopping around when I get frustrated, I can resolve to get more physical activity, as a way to keep my mood up. Especially during these tough times.

Embrace Good Smells

The sense of smell is a powerful, but often overlooked, element of our experience. Research shows that paying attention to smells actually enhances our ability to perceive them; if we don’t attend to them, they drift off unnoticed.

By reminding ourselves to be mindful of the fragrances we associate with the people we love, we can amplify our enjoyment and appreciation of this physical sense.

The scent of a person’s shampoo, cologne or perfume, body lotion, or toothpaste. The smell of their favorite drink, or the wool of a favorite sweater, or the particular atmosphere of a bedroom.

How I love the smell of the baby lotion that I associate with my daughters’ babyhoods, and the starchy, masculine smell of my husband’s shirts. (On the other hand, I remember when a friend said, “On my way to work, I walked by a guy wearing Drakkar Noir, the cologne my ex-boyfriend used to wear, and it ruined my whole morning.”)

Few pleasures have the simplicity of a lovely scent.

Resolve to “Embrace good smells” to notice and appreciate the fragrances associated with the people you love.

Ok, this I can get on board with. I always wear perfume, it makes me feel like my outfit is complete. I love the smell of J’s cologne, but also just his deodorant, the clean smell after he comes out of the shower. The warm puppy smell of my dog, fresh coffee, bacon, chocolate. Smells hold such strong memory triggers for me, and it is such a simple pleasure.

Enjoy your Saturday night folks.