Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thank you - these words are not enough to say how I feel today.

I have received so much positive feedback and thoughts on my blog - I was in tears reading some people's thoughts because it was amazing to hear.

When I started writing this, I wasn't sure I was going to share it with anyone aside from some close family members. I wasn't sure I wanted everyone to have a window into my emotions and struggles - it is difficult to open yourself up to the outside like this and particularly for me. I am a private person about many things, those things closest to my heart usually stay there except for the few people whom I choose to let in. I have been told that repeatedly by former friends and relationships - I tend to close people out when I am protecting something, build a wall, shut the door, etc. I think it goes back to the sense of losing myself again. I have been scarred (physically and emotionally) by allowing people into that center of me in my past and it has greatly affected me.

When you have been violated this way by people you "thought" were ones to trust, it changes you. I changed all those years ago when I was still a young woman by those experiences and honestly, the woman I am now is a direct reflection of that pain. It's not a bad thing 100% or a good thing 100% - I would say on a good day my past is 49% bad influence 51% good influence. Depending on the hormone level that definitely switches up and down.

So why would I choose to share my inner thoughts and feelings on one of the most sensitive and emotional things you can go through? I have been asked this question by a few of my friends and family over the last year - honestly, I don't have a good answer. I have asked myself this a 1000 times maybe because it is so hard I wanted to overcome something that has plagued me for a better part of 10 years (my painful experiences happened when I was 19 and are more than I can share here, even now.) I "think" I wanted to try to work past this and that's when I went on blogger and started this up.

It started out as a place for me to get out what I couldn't put into verbal words ("if I don't say out loud, it's not true" kind of thing - maybe?) but as time went on, I discovered something pretty remarkable. I looked forward to sitting down and getting out how I was feeling because I knew I had a safe place to put the thoughts/anger/sadness and could tell people about it or not. At least it was not sitting on my heart and mind weighing me down as though I were sinking into the deepest part of the ocean. Cliche I know, but hey what do you expect?

Then something else amazing happened - people took an interest in what I had to say. I was floored. I was always so afraid of letting people in and here they were commenting or emailing me telling how amazing my blog was to them. WHAT??? I couldn't believe it and even now, it's so strange to me that people want to read what I write.

I never could have imagined what this blog would do for me. It has now been featured on the RESOLVE (National Fertility Awareness organization) site and has people reading it and commenting all the time. I have been asked by several people if I ever considered turning into a book because they enjoyed it so much (seriously??? Me?? I am just a teacher who is struggling, I am not an author, I just write what I feel when I feel it.) I have people write me and tell me how this has inspired them to be more open about their struggles. All of this because I took a chance and made my struggle public. I am truly humbled and at a loss for words (despite the long post to the contrary).

Thank you.

There need to be new words to express gratitude and appreciation for all the support we receive everyday of this journey. The English language needs a new intensity for these two words - the thesaurus doesn't have a strong enough word to really express these emotions aside from.


Thank you for listening to me ramble on and on.
Thank you for taking an interest in me.
Thank you for sharing in this long and winding journey.
Thank you for caring.

AND, most importantly...

Thank you for allowing me to fight back by giving me strength.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NIAW: Myth: A higher-power is telling you that you should not be a parent. - BUSTED!!

I am taking the NIAW challenge to write a blog during this week to bust an infertility myth, here is the rationale behind it: get people to talk about infertility during National Infertility Awareness Week®, April 24-April 30, 2011.  “Bust a Infertility Myth Blog Challenge” is brought to you by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, the largest nationwide non-profit improving the lives of people diagnosed with infertility.

My myth I chose to bust in my blog this week is one I was thinking about long before I knew about the blog challenge: A higher-power is telling you that you should not be a parent.

First, let's talk about how absolutely freaking mean this statement is to a person of any level of spirituality in any part of their journey. I mean seriously people???? I have to admit that I have heard this myself in my journey and it devastated me. Why don't you just tell them their mother/father/puppy/favorite childhood friend just got hit by a semi-truck which was then blown away by a tornado?? Wouldn't that be more humane than saying something hits you in the stomach like a punch and stop you in your tracks? People have the best of intentions when trying to be supportive, but as I have stated previously, saying nothing means more than a statement that cuts to the deepest parts of people. When I heard this, it felt like I was being stabbed from the inside repeatedly.

Second, why in the world would someone decide this is a socially acceptable thing to say to someone??? When did it become normal behavior for someone to take one of the most personal and painful subjects and say something so unbelievably out of line without knowing ANY information?? I must have missed that day in school when they passed out the jerk pills for people to take and I am personally glad I missed it. I would never in my life say something to someone like that. Good grief people, are you parents aware of what kind of person they raised?? The old saying of "Think before you speak" seems to have lost some of its shine. I am the first person to admit that I can put my foot in my mouth because I am often guilty of the "open mouth, insert foot" reality. However, one thing I have noticed about myself as we go through this journey is how much more concerned I am about other people's feelings. Usually I am just a say you want need to say person, but of all the changes that this has brought to me - I think I will keep this considerate.

Third, who are you to judge my higher-power and their plan for me? Last time I checked you were not the one in charge of what gets to be parents and who doesn't. I have struggled with my own spirituality for a majority of my life - it's no one's fault but my own. I have read the Bible, attended church, talked with religious leaders, participated in church events, etc. But does this make me a religious person? My answer is no...I am spiritual person. I have come to believe that all of these struggles I am facing, all of the pain Aaron and I go through day after day is going to be worth it in the end because I believe there is a purpose to it all. My higher-power has a plan and it includes having to struggle through many difficult times in my life to come to great things.

"Problems are the price you pay for progress." II Corinthians
"There are some defeats more triumphant than victories." Michel de Montaigne

Give me a break people, infertility isn't a punishment for a lack of spirituality or religious belief. It is a medical condition that does not discriminate in its location - it's happening all around the world by couples of all socioeconomic status. It is not about who deserves a baby and who doesn't. It's not about who believes in a god and who doesn't. It's not about being "worthy" or "not worthy." Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system.  It does not discriminate and affects all races, religions, men and women equally and people all over the world. According to the RESOLVE website, "Whether or not you resolve your infertility journey by choosing to become a parent is a function of your determination and not a higher-power. Parenthood is attainable, if that is truly your goal.  You may or may not be fortunate enough to have a biological connection to your child, but if you want the experience of being a parent, you can achieve that dream."

I did this post as part of the RESOLVE National Infertility Awareness Week and please feel free to go here for more information on NIAW and it's background.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week Myth Busting Challenge - breaking the silence

My current facebook status:
Infertility is a heart-wrenching, faith-questioning, relationship-testing, life-altering experience. April 24th begins National Infertility Awareness Week. Whether you, a friend, a family member, or a colleague has fought this difficult disease MILLIONS men and women face, post this as your status if you or someone you know has walked to hell and back for the chance to be a MOM or DAD!
Today begins National Infertility Awareness Week. It was designed to draw attention to this issue that so many people are dealing with, unfortunately they are dealing in silence.
One thing that continues to astound me is the amount of silence that is involved with infertility. So many couples do not talk about it, it's often kept from friends and family, and many suffer in silence.
Here is my question - Why?
Why is it something people feel like they need to be ashamed of? People are born this way, the same as being born with green eyes instead of blue. It's not something that needs to be pushed aside, people need support and the more the support, the better as far as I am concerned. 
As I have worked through this process and dealt with the stages of it all, denial, etc - I feel as though I am drawn to being an advocate for people with infertility. 
Where are the support groups for this? I looked at different websites and found that most of the support is online only. How does this help when you have found out for what seems like the 900th time that what you are doing hasn't worked and your heart is broken again? Writing is therapy for me (hence the blog) but it does not take the place of human interaction for the people who are suffering. Sometimes, the best way for me to deal with how I am feeling is just to allow myself to have a break down and cry session - you know: sobbing, wailing, going through a box of tissues as you attempt to make sense of it all. People who are going through this know how it feels and can help by being supportive of each other. 
I wish sometimes that we were not one of the millions of couples who were going through all of this, that we were just those people who could be in the same room with each other and end up pregnant. 
Then, there are other times I am so grateful for the struggle as difficult as it could sound. This terrible situation has forced us to be connected and honest with each other to a level that many people never achieve, I am glad for that. It has helped our relationship to be even stronger than it was before. No, it's not always easy and often I hate it, but we are more in love than we were when we got married because of the struggles we have gone through in the past year and a half and because of infertility. 
All I can hope is that other people are going to find peace for themselves, I am still struggling from day to day with this part. 
I wish for all of us that we can get the dream that has eluded us.
EDIT: I want people to know that I am not telling anyone they need to be as open to the world as we have chosen to be. PLEASE do not think that...I just don't want people to be ashamed or embarrassed that they are struggling with infertility and allow or disallow whomever they want into their journey. Please do not misunderstand my intentions with this - it was only directed at the general silence and shame some people feel due to this and how I hope they find peace. 
I did this post as part of the RESOLVE National Infertility Awareness Week and please feel free to go here for more information on NIAW and it's background. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

30 going on 100


I have gone to this container that's used for much older adults to organize my pills for the week so I have them with me to remind me to take them. It makes me feel really old and it's annoying, but you do what you have to do I suppose in order to keep it all straight. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fertility posts that made my day yesterday

I follow some women who are going through some of the same issues or have been successful with the procedures and yesterday while catching up on some of their posts, I came across these two that made my day for 2 different reasons.

1. Conceive This! - this one talks about how much money all of this can cost. I am thankful that my insurance covers tons of the stuff, but we are still talking about a huge out of pocket cost. She also talks about if you tell the child about how much money this whole process costs, I have ever intention on being honest with our children when they are here about how hard Mom and Dad worked to get them. I want the students to understand we wanted them and did everything in our power to have them and even sought the attention of medical professionals to make it happen. I want my children to know we didn't "waste money on them," we "invested in them" long before they were even conceived. Aaron and I don't care at this point what it is going to cost us to have the child because it will be worth it in the end.

2. Semi-Charmed Life - this one made seriously laugh right out loud because it is exactly what I have been feeling for a long time. People believe they are being supportive and helpful, but all they are managing to do is make me mad. Seriously, go read it - she says it better than I could.

It really helps to have other women dealing with many of the same issues as me. It helps me feel not alone and crazy on the days when the fertility meds make me want to physically hurt the next person who tip-toes over the line with me. They are amazing women who have helped me through this now 19 month journey and I thank them for it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ugh - more medicine

Tonight starts my next round of Femara, which don't get me wrong is so much better than Clomid, but it's still not pleasant. I wish that my stupid body would just work the way it was supposed to and we wouldn't have to go through all of this chaos.

My fertility med cocktail: 1 pre-natal vitamin, 2 Metformin, and 2 Femara pills all to be taken after dinner. The pre-natal and Metformin are all the time, but now I am adding the Femara back in again for the next 5 days.

Then it's back to the waiting game...which equals how many things can I cram into my life to help me stay busy until I get the + OPT again and we start the last IUI we are planning to do. Pressure much??? I think that it's going to be one of those months that is really hard for us because of the pressure of it being our last time in this situation before we move onto more intense stuff. We have run into this before, the last few months we were on Clomid, the pressure because we knew that things were getting more intense made it really tough to get in the mood. It's similar to being timed - you have 5 minutes and GO! Who finds this to be sexy??? Neither of us to be sure.

Oh and I think if I hear how if we just relax on vacation to Vegas next month, it will happen, I may have to scream. Everyone keeps saying that to us as if that is going to make us feel better and less frustrated all of a sudden - oh just wait until vacation. Nope...not when my body doesn't ovulate on its own and needs medical intervention to happen. It won't happen. The only thing that will happen is that we will get a break from the chaos that is our lives right now - that's it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Month 19 - here we come

Well my period was in full force this denying it as much as I would have liked to do that.

Talked to the RE's office this morning, we are going again with another IUI - will be tentatively the beginning of May. If this doesn't work though, we are to make an appointment to sit down and seriously talk about moving to IVF.


We'll see what happens, I keep hoping that it's going to work before we have to jump to that because it's scary to me...both in good and bad ways. Good = much better chances of multiples. Bad = lots of shots and dr visits, plus 2 days of bed rest afterward.

I am in some ways ready to just move on to it and be done, but part of me is just hoping that it works this time and I don't have to give myself injections everyday. I know it will all be worth it in the end, this is a small price to pay for our dreams, etc. Doesn't mean I want to inject myself!! If it gets us to our goal then I will do it, as long as I have a 1% chance of it working, I am all in.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Another morning, another temp drop

We are officially out this month.

I got an even bigger temp drop this morning and a negative test again, take that with the serious spotting/borderline light flow and we are done for the March/April cycle.

I did my anger and sad phase yesterday, I am pretty sure I got it out of my system so I am ready to move on again. We struggle with this month after month, but once I have my day to act like a super girly-girl and cry/carry on/scream, I get it out and I am ready to go along. This is the way that I deal with things and it may not work out for everyone, it does for me.

Aaron was able to go out with his cousin on Friday night and talk about his emotions, which has really helped him deal with how he has been feeling. He has bottling it up so much and I can see it on his face. It makes me sad that I can't help him deal with things, but I am grateful that he is talking to someone about it all.

This journey takes us both on such a roller coaster of emotion and there are many times, we both want to just quit and give up. The ability to keep going is something we have to pull up from somewhere and I am afraid that my supply is going to start to run dry soon.

Where do you get more confidence or strength to continue when it feels like the weight of the world is pushing down on your shoulders?? This is the point I am on right now, just trying to sort it out to find the strength to continue, yet again.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hope and frustration - the ups and downs

Yesterday I had all kinds of hope. My temperatures that would normally start dropping to indicate my period coming actually took a huge jump, I was having pinching on the one side of my body that nearly stopped me in my tracks - all really positive signs of things having worked. I was also just feeling all kinds of off and out of it - had a really hard time focusing on things at school, which is not me at all.

Then, this morning - a big temp drop and a negative test.

Welcome back to the roller coaster of not-so-much-fun. I don't know what to think yet. It's still too early to really feel like it's all down and out. I still feel different than I have previous times, but I am sad today. Everything seemed to be moving in the right direction and I feel like the whole thing is moving in a negative direction again and it makes me so sad.

I just want to be off this part of the ride.

EDIT - well the cramping and spotting has officially started. We are pretty much guaranteed on the down-hill slide to my period. This just blows and feels so unfair, we keep doing everything they want us to do and we get nowhere.

I can't handle people telling me to be positive and stay focused and it will happen today. I think I might scream at someone who tries to do that - they just don't understand how hurting it all is month after month. I would never wish this on anyone but I do wish that people could have more empathy to the terrible situation.

My current issue is people who have never had to try to do this telling me to be positive and tell me that "God has a plan, it's just not the one you have." Really?? If that's supposed to be comforting when you feel defective and broken, these people need to go "back to being a friend 101" and remember that NOT saying something is sometimes more powerful than saying something stupid. I love my friends and I appreciate the effort to make me feel better I really do, but as they "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Their intentions are amazing and I do appreciate them, but all it does is remind me of my body is not working the way it should and it makes me feel as though they believe something is really wrong with me. I don't want to be through of as broken, and that's how all of that makes me feel.

I feel broken today...AGAIN. I feel defeated...AGAIN. I feel so unbelievably angry...AGAIN.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A week of so much and nothing all at once

This week has been so hectic, I can hardly even believe it.

I have so much going on at work as we prepare for the state testing and there is so much pressure for us to succeed at this this year. We have been working on these practices to help the students to prepare for the testing which is at the end of the month. It is tough for my students because many of them struggle with their reading and understanding of the material on their own. I know they will do the best they can.

I have had the worst luck with things this week and I am not sure I am liking the message that karma is sending me at the moment. I am hoping that all the bad luck now is so that good things will be coming my way in the very near future.

Example yesterday: 1) my cell phone would not work at all when I got up, I had to take the battery out on 2 separate situations just to make it power on. 2) dealt with MANY student issues - skipping, failing, etc and spent tons of time on the phone with parents or emailing them (such an easier way of dealing with parents that are hard to get hold of during the day). 3) a guilt trip from a loved one about something silly. 4) Spending an hour and half at the phone service place for them to get my phone back to working (it is finally working - actually better than it did when I bought it in November), however I lost all of my apps on my phone as well as my message history. 5) dropped $40 in the parking lot as I was leaving the phone store and didn't realize it until I went to pay for dinner - I went back to look for it and of course it was gone, someone just became $40 richer at my expense. 6) the fast food place messing up my food but me not realizing it until I was all ready home. 7) spending yet another 2 hours on the phone trying to deal with the hotel issue that is plaguing our trip to Vegas next month (long story short - the hotel we booked is closing down and we are being shifted to a new one, but there is a HUGE delay on getting everything confirmed due to the amount of reservations that are displaced.). Why karma????? What did I do to deserve this??

So onto TTC stuff - not really much is happening there right now.

We are just waiting and waiting to see what will happen. I don't feel really any different than I do any other time, so I am not sure what to think about that. I keep expecting some kind of symptoms to show up, but I have nothing as of right now. Makes me kind of annoyed though because there have been so many months when I was absolutely convinced that I was having all these symptoms and then nothing would come from it. Maybe this is a good sign?? I don't know what to think at this point. I did decide to test earlier than recommended simply due to lack of symptoms and the randomness that is my temperature chart. I know I am torturing myself by doing this, but after all this time - what the hell??? I found a good deal online, 20 tests for about $5 plus shipping. The ones in the store are a small fortune to buy just for 2 or 3 and these are the ones they use in the doctor's office anyway. And fortunately, we would have some back up ones lying around. This is a fascination of women who are TTC calling being a "POAS addict" otherwise known as "peeing on a stick addict." I am normally really good about it, but this month I was just too tempted and I don't know why, but thankfully they are not here yet so I have not been testing this early which is incredibly inaccurate anyway.

I went back to tracking BBT this month just to see what was happening and it's interesting to see how it all moves along over the course of the month for the different parts of the cycle. Here is the my chart if anyone is interested in looking at it. I use an online tracker which helps me keep them all in the same place and it was really helpful for me to take it all to the RE's for her to see how my body had reacted to Clomid. It's kind of pain to get back in the habit of getting up at the same time everyday (even weekends) to make the temping as accurate as it can be, but I have become used to turning off the alarm, grabbing the thermometer and then going right back to sleep when I am done.

Less than 5 days to know what the new situation will hold for us...trying to be positive.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Still another week to go and my brain has been on overdrive

One more week to go until we find out what's going on again. Hurry up, wait...hurry up, wait. It's never-ending.

There is nothing new to report really. I have crazy seasonal allergies that wrecking my head and pretty terrible acid reflux (which I am prone to anyway) since Wednesday. After many back and forth days with the doctors about what to take, I am now on something that it helping. I didn't want to go on something I would have to go off of as soon as we know we are pregnant - that just seemed foolish to me. So now I am on something I can continue to take when we know we are successful.

I have been really fortunate that I have the ability to talk to people about what we am going through in a very open manner. I have received many comments of support or emails telling me that I was writing their thoughts they never said out loud. That is a form of comfort to me because from time to time I feel lonely in the process. I know I have support: friends, family, co-workers, but I also have the support of an online community I belong to for women who are trying to conceive. They let me be crazy and vent over and over again even when it's simply repeating the same thing time after time.

This makes all the difference in the world, but there are still those moments - usually late at night, when the powerful fear takes over. This fear is so strong and so loud that it just takes over my whole mind and I can barely even think of anything else. It's all consuming and makes my head hurt with the fear. In these moments I have to find a bit of calm and more often than not, it feels impossible and overwhelming. My thoughts run around in terrible circles thinking of all the bad things that could be the cause of the undiagnosed disease, a vitamin imbalance, something to that would be the reason behind all of this. Yes, I am aware that after all this time and all the testing they have done, if something was off somewhere it would have been found by logical part of my brain knows this. However, the illogical side is the one who keeps me up at night trying to find a reason because at least then we have something to blame instead of playing a guessing game of "is this going to work?"

I do believe that when we are successful, this illogical fear will become more quiet and allow me some peace. Once we know what will work, my brain will be better and I will hopefully be able to sleep.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rough morning = positive outcome???

This morning was not an easy ride to the RE's office for the procedure. It was pouring rain and hailing for about 1/2 the trip and I was really worried were not going to get there in time because people apparently felt that the accelerator was only meant for dry weather and couldn't get moving. Either way, we made it in time.

Then, the second part to the rough start was that they were having issues with my cervix (remember, I did warn you that I will share things...sorry goes with the territory) and had to move it around manually to get everything in the right spot. Needless to say it was not an easy procedure compared to last month's and I am feeling it more today than I did last time. I did come to school because I didn't think it was going to be too bad, man am I wishing I had stayed home afterward. Oh well, I guess I will just take some pain relievers and push through it. I am for sure changing into comfy stuff and doing as little as possible tonight.

Maybe we will have the luck, the worse the situation to start with the better it will be in the end.

I did find out from the nurse about the specifics of my progesterone test from last time, it was 17.5 which is really good. I don't have to go for follow up blood work this month since we didn't change the medicine or anything. I just have to let them know in 2 weeks if I get a positive home pregnancy test and we will go from there.

Aaron and I talked over the weekend about everything because he is having a really hard time dealing with all of this right now (and I am too, let's not be foolish here). We would like to jump to the next step as quickly as possible if this doesn't work, it's just so hard for us. We spent hours talking about it this weekend, including nearly an hour last night because neither of us could sleep very well. He is really struggling with his feelings of failure and stress over it all, I have been at this point for a long time now, it just took him longer to get here. He needs to talk to someone he feels comfortable talking about these things with because he doesn't want to add anymore to what I am carrying. I do understand that and am not upset that he doesn't talk to me about all of what he feels, I just want him to make sure to talk to someone so he isn't just carrying it around in his head all of the time. I told him it's okay if it's not me, please find someone though.

When we were at the RE's today, we asked about moving on and they said they would really prefer if we did at least 3 IUI's before moving onto IVF which would be our next step. The reasoning behind it being that this is only the 2nd month we know for sure that his swimmers have gotten to my egg at the optimal time. Of course, we are going to default to them and listen to what they are saying, they are the specialist after all. It's just disappointing.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Round 2 - scheduled for tomorrow morning

We are heading in tomorrow morning first thing for our next IUI

More control by the plastic ovulation least there is nothing else to do until tomorrow and then it's all out of our hands.