#Microblog Mondays: Muscle Memory

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.                 
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Right around the time we were referred to our fertility clinic I took up yoga. I wanted to be able to do something productive with my body, relieve stress, and take up some sort of hobby. I’m not a very athletic person, so yoga seemed a good fit, something gentle and slow. I went every Sunday up until June of last year, right before we started our IVF cycle. It would have been the best time to keep going but with the busyness of the summer and the physical limits during the stimming process, it just fell by the wayside. 

Yesterday I went back for the first time. It was also the longest I’ve been away from baby C and the first time she had to take a bottle of breast milk. It was strange being back in the class, there were a few familiar faces, including the instructor. The class began, and the poses were familiar, my body knew what to do. Yet it did feel different, the strength and flexibility I once had is hidden from lack of use. Plus my body has been through enormous changes, and won’t truly ever be the way it was.

Sort of like my mind, my sense of self has been changed permanently. Being in that class again took me back, made me reflect on who and where I was the last time I was there. I had already been through a lot but the next part of our journey was to be the most gruelling. So although I am starting to heal, and I’m not currently battling with my infertility, there are parts of me forever changed. No matter how hard I try or how much I work, I can’t make myself fit into the person I once was (or my yoga pants…yet).

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Sand Shifting Underfoot

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So much changes, seemingly rather quickly, over the course of time and treatment with infertility. At first it was just “taking a little longer” for us when we were trying naturally. Then we were onto IUIs and then ultimately IVF with ICSI. As we moved through the paths of treatment I formed different bonds with different people and felt connected with a certain tribe along each step. Obviously the overarching connection is infertility in general, but there were the sub categories too, of what stage of treatment I was in at the time.

Through this blog I’ve connected with some awesome women, one of which lives in my same city and became my IVF buddy, if you will. Her and I ended up going through IVF near simultaneously, with me doing the stimming and retrieval before her, and her doing the FET before me (though my FET protocol differed slightly). It was so nice having someone who not only understood what I was going through, on a general level but literally went to the same clinic at the same time as me. It was great, we closed down many a coffee shop chatting about infertility, and life.

Unfortunately our IVF cycles had pretty drastic differences in their success and her FET did not work, so when mine did I know it was a punch to the gut (for her, and for me because I wanted this for her as much as I wanted it for me). I emailed to let her know my transfer had worked, and how shitty it was that we were now seemingly on opposite sides of the fence. IVF may not be the solution for her, so it’s not just a matter of trying again. It was a bit like Sliding Doors, my cycle went one way, and took me down a path, and hers went the other, leading her on a different journey.

In response to my email, confirming my positive beta, I received a heartbreaking response from a woman clearly in the throes of agony. In light of the different directions we have ended up in, it seems our friendship may be discontinued for her own self preservation. And it sucks, but I get it. I don’t know how I would have handled it had the situation been the other way around. I have always been happy for other IF ladies when they finally succeed, but previous to my own positive beta, admittedly, I would unfollow a lot of people. It was too hard to see their happiness and read their updates without my green eyed monster making snarky comments in my ear.

So I’m heartbroken for my friend, and really sad that I won’t be able to walk beside her and help her through what is most likely going to be a continuation of a difficult journey, possibly about to get worse. I’ll send her all my love from a distance, and hope that there is something great on the horizon for her.

And just in the way that every turn around a corner in infertility holds so much unknown, so too does pregnancy hold those dark forbidding areas, lurking just out of sight. On Tuesday morning we were packing up at our hotel in Oahu, getting ready to head to Maui. I was in the shower when I saw red going down the drain. It startled me but upon further investigation it seemed to be just a little spurt. Concerning, but didn’t seem to be continuing. After I turned off the shower and started to dry myself I notice my red on the pristine white hotel towel (sorry to the Hyatt). I wiped and there was more blood, a lot more. I came out of the bathroom and said to J, “Don’t freak out, but I’m bleeding”.

I think I was trying to get myself not to freak out more than anything. I remained eerily calm, yet shaky as I kept checking, and more blood kept coming. I asked J to go down to the store in the lobby of our hotel and buy my some tampons (I know, in hindsight, bad choice but I wasn’t thinking). I called my clinic because I didn’t know what else to do, and left them a message to please call me back. When J came back upstairs and gave me the tampons, he hugged me and I burst into tears. I was convinced I was having a miscarriage and for all of the ambivalence I have tried to force on myself in regards to our little embryo, it clearly hadn’t worked.

We went to the airport and caught our flight over to Maui. Not long after leaving the airport in our rental car, I received a call from my clinic. I told the nurse I was bleeding, and that I was in Hawaii. She told me there wasn’t really much they could do (obviously, but who else was I going to call??). She asked how much bleeding there was and I told her more than spotting, and bright red. I hadn’t had a chance to go to the bathroom since we left Oahu so I hadn’t checked the status of the blood so I didn’t have many answers for her in that regard. She told me to take it easy and if I soaked through a pad in a couple of hours to seek medical attention.

By the time we got checked into our hotel here in Maui, I went to the bathroom to see what was happening. Some more red blood, but had turned to brown at some point. There was more red than brown but it wasn’t super heavy flow, and seemed to be tapering off. J had googled bleeding in early pregnancy and tried to ease my mind showing me how common it could be, and especially with IVF-ers but in my heart I just felt it was bad. Over the course of the next few days I mostly just had a brown discharge along with the progesterone suppositories. It has pretty much gone back to normal now, just the white of the suppositories.

I have zero symptoms at the moment, there are a few things that could potentially be attributed to pregnancy, but overall I feel no different, and rather un-pregnant. I have this awful feeling that there is nothing going on in my uterus and that the progesterone is just holding off the inevitable. I have a mentality to expect the worst and hope for the best. I think infertility has taught me that, because with so much going wrong, I’d rather just believe something isn’t going to happen, or work, than get my hopes up and be crushed every time. To be fair it’s all rather crushing but when I get used to the idea in advance it’s an easier pill to swallow.

But at this point there’s no way to know if there is a little pea sized thing growing, growing, growing until we can physically see it. So for now it is pretty hard to believe it is there. I just have to hold on until Friday… We’re almost there, but the wait is excruciating.

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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