Tuesday, January 31, 2012

30 Day Blogging Challenge - Day 2 "Where would you like to be in 10 years?"

An intriguing question for me because there are many variables involved with this question.

1. Will we be successful in trying to have a baby? If yes - then we will be the proud parents of a nearly 9 year old child with I am sure a full schedule of activities and somewhat state of chaos. If no - I hope that we will be using our time together to other dreams such as traveling the world together to visit places we have both dreamed of for years. (To be fair, we still want to do this but if we have children our priorities will be adjusted for awhile!)

2. Will Aaron be in a better place in terms of his job? If yes - then we will be enjoying time together as a family in whatever capacity we can be. If no - then we will be working on finding him a better job prospect in order to get to the "yes" answer.

Ultimately, these 2 things are huge factors in our future because they can drastically alter it.

My hope is that we will continue to be in a strong and loving marriage that will continue to grow and flourish. My hope is that we can continue to have time together with our friends and family that mean so much to us; they been there for us through all this unbelievable stress and roller coaster of emotion that we have been on for the past several years.

Monday, January 30, 2012

30 Day Blogging Challenge - Day 1 "Your current relationship"

I completely stole this idea from a friend's blog and I think it is fantastic. I have been neglecting my blog for too long and have just managed to get back into it and this will do it. It's a challenge and I am up for it.


Day 1 "current relationship"

Aaron and I met in May, 2007 at a friend's graduation party. I was in charge of the planning it and she wanted a theme graduation party, so we went with the 80's theme. I hit up the Goodwill store and found an awfully 80's outfit to wear. Bright orange pants, a black sequined top, a huge colorful scrunchee for my hair, and sequined slide on shoes. Awesome right??? I looked like I just stepped out "The Wedding Singer." Aaron had met the graduate at a bar a few weeks prior and she had invited him to the party. I never met him until that day. He and a friend showed up and as the hostess, I introduced myself to him and his friend. Little did I know that this interaction was going to change the course of my life forever.

We started chatting and found out that there were some serious common topics for us. Now the tricky part is that: I had just become legally separated from my ex-husband. (A whole different story for a whole different post - believe me!) so I wasn't looking for anything at all. I thought he is really hot (seriously, he is...DAMN) but didn't think anything more of it. We friendly flirted, I thought he would ask me for my phone number - but alas, it did not happen. I left the party later that night to my brand new apartment without a phone number but feeling pretty good about things (This would become a long-running joke amongst us that I was interested and he was oblivious!)

About a month later, I met up with some friends at a bar for drinks. I had been enjoying my new situation of self-exploration. Things were still a touch hostile with the ex but we were working on it since we had so many friends that were mutual. I walk in the bar, and there is he at the table with all of my friends! Surprise of all surprises. Of course the only seat was right next to him (I found out much later it was kind of a set up by our friends because they knew we had gotten along so well at the graduation party). We spent that evening chatting and laughing, we had so much in common.

Unfortunately, as there is with legal separations there was some drama.

My ex was there with us (like I said we were trying to be friendly) and he was struggling with seeing me chatting up someone that was not him. I went up to get a drink and he pulled me outside to lecture me on how I was behaving (mind you, nothing had happened aside from laughing and drinking). He said he didn't think it was appropriate for me to being hitting on someone else right in front of him. DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA ensued. He ended up being pulled away from me by a friend to leave because he was in my face screaming and carrying on like a fool. Aaron, had no idea what had been going on (seriously, how do tell someone that? especially when you have only met for a total of an hour over 2 different times?) and he comes out to see what was going on since our entire table of friends had emptied out into the parking lot with the commotion. I am off the side of the parking lot, crying because I HATE public fighting and I felt like a beat-down puppy and Aaron comes over to see if I am all right. I spill my guts as mascara is running down my face to explain the short-short version of what was going on, that I felt horrible that he got pulled into the drama when I really wanted to avoid it all if possible. Then he does the most amazing thing...he grabs my chin and picks it up to look him in the eyes and kisses me. Just like you see in those cheesy romantic comedies, I had one of those moments.

We spent 12 hours together after that, we talked for hours and hours. I got no sleep that night whatsoever and couldn't have cared less! There has been no looking back since then.

When I went home in the morning, I called my friend Sandi and told her I just met "the one." I had no idea I could get hit like a ton of bricks like that before and really only thought that kind of relationship happened in those movies that girls love. I had no idea it was true and real, but damn - it is real.

We moved in together in April of the following year, he proposed in July of 2008 and we were married in June 2009. We just knew things were different, we knew from the very beginning that this was like nothing we had either ever experienced in our lives, and despite some of the friends' opinions that we were moving too fast, nothing ever felt more right.

There are so many things that I love about him, this is just a small sampling:

1. He is unwaveringly optimistic about our chances of being a family - this makes me love him and get frustrated with him from time to time.

2. He is brilliant - he is so unbelievably smart and we have such wonderful conversations about topics that make both of us think to a whole different level of intensity. His memory for things and specifics of events in our life is wonderful. He will remember a conversation we had once and make it into something amazing. Example: We had a conversation about how I had not been to the zoo since moving to the St. Louis area in a random conversation. He planned a whole date around surprising me to take me to the zoo for our first date! Mind you, we got lost because he was trying to keep it a secret, but that just makes it that much sweeter that he did that for me.

3. He is calm and collected when I feel like I am a firework about to explode. I love that, my brain works a million miles an hour thinking of all the "what ifs" and he is the one who keeps me from going completely off the deep end.

4. He is literally my best friend in the world. He is the first person I want to talk to about anything and everything under the sun. When I get good news/bad news/so-so news, he is the person I want to talk to about it.

5. He knows everything about me and all the chaos that has been my life at times and takes it all in stride. He knows my worst/best characteristics and loves me unconditionally. Not many men would take the news of the possibility of not having your own family within the first few weeks of dating without batting an eye at the idea, but ultimately telling me that no matter what, he wanted his life with me. There is a strength there that is astonishing to the core.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I hate feeling this way

I have spent the past few weeks working through emotions about my friends' ability to get pregnant without a struggle like ours has been.

I have had 3 friends in the past 2 weeks who have shared they are expecting a little one. I am thrilled and over the moon for them.

As someone who has struggled for so long, there is a sense of sadness that comes over you when you hear this kind of news. It is not the first sense of feeling, but it comes whether you want it to or not. I experienced this again this morning and I was not able to just push through it the way I have in the past.

This one hit me hard like a baseball bat to the gut that knocks the wind of you.

I love these friends dearly, I have been in 2 of their weddings and think they are going to be amazing parents. It is not that I am not happy for them and the new adventure they are going to be on throughout everything. I will do everything in my power to help them throughout their journey and their children will be spoiled rotten by us.

I wasn't expecting it at all, I never thought I would get as emotional as I was today and I somewhat hate myself for the way I felt. I am frustrated with myself for allowing my emotions to run over me as much as they did today. Ugh, I am so frustrated/disgusted with myself. It is tough for Aaron to deal with seeing me when I am that way, he wants to make things better for me when they are not going well. He struggles with allowing me to vent without trying to guide me back to optimism (I love him for his optimism, just allow me to get through the anger and sadness to be able to get to the optimism I truly have about the process for us.)

I am angry at fate and somewhat I am angry at God for allowing this to happen. Yes, I know the saying of everything happens in God's time and with his plan, it is not up to me to make the plan, but DAMN>>>>>>there is a limit to my patience with this. I have moments of complete loss of logic and brain runs away with itself to the bad place that questions all of our choices for the past 2+ years, the side of my brain that is not logical but emotional and the reactions are just that. I hate that I have that aspect within myself. Ugh. So annoying.  We want to be parents, we have done everything and then some that has been asked of us. We have put it all out there since November of 2009 and here we are still basically in the same place.

We want this so badly and have worked through so many obstacles all along the way. The obstacles have been such a strain on us personally as well as on our relationship. Although it has ultimately strengthened us as couple, it has not been an easy journey to even this point in the process. We are not at the end of the route yet and we have a hard stretch to go, making ourselves go into all the IVF process again knowing exactly what we are getting ourselves back into for the second time. I think it might be harder to do it again than it was to go through it the first time. This time, I know what the pain that will come is, I know what the shots do to me physically and emotionally and what the hassle of doctor's appointments are going to be. We know what the excitement and anticipation that goes into the retrievals and the transfer. Yet, now I have to convince myself to go through it all again.

I think it might be harder to do the second time around because I know exactly what it will feel like and what we will have to go through again.

Man, today was a tough one.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A 6 month countdown to trying IVF round #2

Well, the "trying" has come to a close for the month. Not that we really expected much to come from it all, but hey a girl can hope after all.

Now, we have a new agenda - get in as good of shape as possible before we start trying IVF round #2. We are working on better eating, more physical activity, and just general better health overall for both of us.

The doctors say that women with PCOS can help their fertility by losing weight, although the task is quite tough. Even losing 10% of your body weight can get things moving in the right direction. I have lost 30 pounds since we did IVF in August, which is a downright miracle in and of itself. But now, we are going to continue to work on it as much as possible to help our cause when we go through it again. The more I can do to make the situation better, the better chance we have of having success with IVF. I want to do everything in my power to make our chances as positive as we can be going through all of it again.

IVF is tough on many levels and the more I can do, the better.

From 2005 to when I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2006, I had gained nearly 60 pounds and only through searching and many tests was the doctor able to figure out all of the issues I had been having since puberty. 60 extra pounds puts a tremendous amount of strain on my hormones, which is causing some of the infertility problems we are facing. I have lost 30 of those pounds and am going to work as hard as possible to lose the rest of it and more if possible by June when we are hoping to try again.

I am going to try to stay as positive as possible.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Where would I be???

I have spent this week without seeing my husband due to his job putting him on 2nd shift and it will continue into next week. It has made me think about where I would be without him?

I had the fortune of meeting Aaron on chance in 2007 and my life has never been the same since then. In that time, we have become inseparable in so many ways. He is the person I want to talk to every day - good or bad. He is the person I can't wait to hug when I get home and no matter what, I know he will stand by me.

When we started our TTC journey, many people asked how we as a couple were going to deal with the stress and he has never wavered. I am in awe of his strength as we have struggled for over 2 years. He just holds the faith it will work. I would be lost without him, he doesn't tell me to pull myself together when I am upset, he doesn't question me when I cry out of frustration. He is amazing.

I have missed being able to talk to him and spend time with him this week. He is my favorite person.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reflection on my journey so far...2 years of trying and still nowhere closer

Well, it has been 2 years since we started trying for our family together and I have a few reflections and thoughts about where we are right now. These are just some things I have learned through the process that maybe someone else could benefit from and just allows me to get vent my feelings on the subject.

1. My favorite person at the RE's office is the lady who checks you in every time you go. She always has a smile and never remembers your name, but is the lady who tells you what the status is for the day. Make her your friend, she can get you in when things happen quickly over the weekend and it's Monday morning. She's the maitre de at a fancy club who can get you a table when you don't have a reservation.

2. After a few days of giving yourself shots, you begin to think it's normal to have to use multiple needles within a few minutes, despite the fact that your abdomen is covered in bruises and is swollen to 2 times its pre-shot size. Sadly, you start to look forward to doing it so that you can quickly put it out of your mind for another day.

3. Stretchy yoga pants were the best thing for injection weeks. Comfy with space to have your belly expand with the swelling...not totally dressy enough for work, but they are the best thing when you feel like a swollen balloon and moving around is the last thing you want to do. The inventor should be kissed by all women going through IVF.

4. The idea of taking Clomid again ever in my life is one of the worst ideas EVER and makes me want to cry in a ball in the corner. Women who take it and don't kill anyone should receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for strength. Husbands who want to have sex with their wives when they are taking it, deserve major brownie points to be redeemed at further points down the road.

5. No husband should have that much information about his wife's vagina/uterus/menstrual cycle/ovaries and still be expected to have sex whenever the timing is right for baby-making. Who could do that without some serious effort????

6. The procedures are intense and expensive, I do not for the life of me understand how people can pay out of pocket for this process without insurance paying for some of the different co-pays. I am grateful constantly that I live in a state that has mandatory fertility coverage.

7. All women ages 20+ should take the prenatal vitamin. It's just a good vitamin that makes your nails strong, your hair pretty, and your immune system becomes the Chuck Norris of fighting off infections. I managed to avoid the swine flu when many students in my classes were down for the count and normally I get a cold when someone within 5 miles has one.

8. Having an HSG and they telling you it will be mildly uncomfortable is one of the largest lies ever told. Having your ass in the air, while a radiologist (no not an OBGYN so no sensitivity to a sensitive area) injects dye through each side of your fallopian tubes individually, then making you roll over to each side while your body tries desperately to push the dye back out. I took Vicodin and still cried on the table from the pain.

9. The worst part of the whole process in terms of procedures was the egg retrieval. Nothing prepares you for the waking up from anesthesia disoriented, not recognizing anyone around you, not being able to take the good pain medicines, and in pain from the needles poking through your uterus into your ovaries. AND the pain does not go away for several days, but then you have the added uncomfortable-ness of the egg transfer.

10. The progesterone shot right above your ass hurts like hell and never gets easier. Oh yeah, and you may have to have it once a day for up through the first trimester. I would get angry when Aaron would come close to me with that big thick damn needle. He was not my favorite person for those few minutes everyday.

11. IVF can fail nearly 50% of the time for no reason aside from it just fails. The odds are not as strong as people assume they are given everything a woman has to go through to get to the transfer.

12. The 18 days they make you wait between the transfer and the blood test to reveal the results of the many, many weeks of driving, ultrasounds, daily blood work, shots, painful procedures, and anxiety is the slowest time. The days drag on and on, you think more than ever before that you are feeling things that you may not be, and all you can think about is the result. Was it all worth the trip? The questions in your brain can drive you crazy and staying as busy as possible was the only way I survived that time.

13. NEVER FORGET to thank your significant other for all the help they have to do when you are on 2 days of bed rest after the transfer. I wasn't even able to lift my laptop, Aaron did everything for me during that time and I wouldn't have survived without him.

14. Directly tied to that, significant others need to tell the person going through it all that they appreciate and love all they are willing to put their body through to have a 50/50 shot at a baby. This can never be done enough throughout the entire process and makes things much easier to deal with from day to day.

15. Despite everything, I will do it as often as I can until we run out of insurance, money, or the doctors tell us it will not work for us.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Well, the waiting game begins again.

So, my wonderful RE has allowed me to continue to take Femara to attempt to ovulate on my own while we are waiting for the next IVF cycle (not happening until summer due to me not having tons of sick days to take for all the procedures and recovery from all of that).

Well yesterday was the big go time on the ovulation test and we are "casually" trying. This is just that we are going to try to time ourselves in the general time frame of the positive, but we are not going too crazy with the intensity of the "trying."

Now we are waiting again to see what the deal is on our own. We haven't been in this kind of situation since the IVF waiting game back in August. It was quite difficult that time due to all the intense issues with meds, etc. This time, I am trying to be more calm and laid back about the whole thing, we will see how that goes.

I would love to not have to go through all the shots, ultrasounds, procedures, and pain etc that go along with the IVF - however if it is what I have to do, then I will do it all again in a heartbeat. We hit 2 years of trying at the end of last year and it is just a sad state of affairs. We are just sad at the whole issue and the amount of time involved in this whole trying to be a family process. I know, I know - Aaron and I are a family just the two of us no matter if we ever have a child or not, but we have so much love to give that we want to have a child of our own to share it with.

We do not have adoption as an option due to finances, etc and I would have a hard time if it fell through at the last minute. Same feeling about foster care, if I had a child in foster care and then had to give it back to a situation that was not a healthy one, it would just destroy me. I want to have children in our home, but I am not sure I can handle it that way.

One thing that was made very clear to me with all I went through this year is in fact how fragile and vulnerable my heart is when I open it up that large with hope and caring. I will do it again, but I will do so somewhat cautiously right now to make sure I don't end up in the bad mental place I spent the fall in for reasons completely unrelated to infertility. I cannot manage that again, I nearly fell apart then and I am only now on the mend to a good mental place, another reason we are not jumping back on the roller coaster of the infertility ride.

I wish that things were easier and that things could just happen for us all ready, it's been such a long journey and the end of it will be the start of a new journey. We are so ready to be there...so badly and desperately do we want to be there.

2012 - please allow us our dream, please allow us this without much difficulty, and allow us to have the sense of peace that will come from getting off the infertility ride.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year, a New Attitude

Well, 2011 is officially gone and I am not sad to see it go.

It was a difficult year from the start - one of the most challenging in my memory. I am going to be optimistic that 2012 will be a better year.

I have a wonderful husband, great friends (near and far), a family who loves me, and amazing co-workers who have all been there with me through this year. I am so grateful for them and cannot wait to see what the new year will bring!

Happy New Year everyone!