appointed time · Infertility · iui · trying to conceive

We are scheduled!

On Friday I had a follow-up ultrasound to assess my progress. I should have expected to not be ready given that my cycles are already on the longer side; but I guess I thought the clomid might have worked so well that I would have been ready to trigger Sunday or Monday for an IUI yesterday or today.

Unsurprisingly, my ovaries had other ideas and they have just been plugging along at their own speed. I had about 6 follicles close to 10 mm but nothing larger. So the NP scheduled my next ultrasound, and we talked about how to prevent multiples (aka cancelling the cycle if too many follicles matured).

So I spent the weekend stressing about both the lack of maturity (on CD 9) and the potential for too many to mature and having wasted time and money on everything so far.

Yesterday I went back for another ultrasound. And hallelujah; one 15.2 mm follicle on one side, one 14.8 follicle on the other, and one additional follicle that’s right around 10 (she did not seem concerned about that).

She did a few more calculations on expected growth; and I have instructions to take the trigger shot tomorrow night at 10 pm and then we go in for the IUI first thing Saturday morning!!

Also was started on vaginal estrogen for thin uterine lining; apparently the clomid has had that unwanted effect. Hopefully the estrogen bulks things up enough to support any egg(s) that might get fertilized over the weekend.

So I’m relieved, and hopeful, and ready. It’s still not “exciting” in the normal sense, but in another (given the previous uncertainty), I am a little excited. Just to have a green light and to move forward with this step.

 

how to · Infertility · iui · journal entry · Resolution update · trying to conceive

On ‘exciting’

Couple updates before the main content of the post.

  • I gave up on the resolutions. I found I didn’t have the motivation anymore once my cycle started; it was supposed to get me through a cycle and it did, and I’m not sure I want to continue it for now. It definitely helped get some better patterns in place though and I have been reminded of the variety of activities I can use to fill time when I am so inclined.
  • Took my last dose of Clomid today. No significant unpleasant side effects thus far; though I guess it maybe hasn’t started working yet. Had hot flashes one night; and the last 2-3 days I’ve been abnormally tired.

I noticed something at the start of this cycle that irked me. I shared with several people that we were beginning a medicated/timed IUI cycle (as my period had arrived)…and two of the responses (from someone who is currently pregnant and someone who had no trouble conceiving at all) were essentially, “Yay, that’s so exciting!!” 

No, it’s really not. It’s not exciting to be disappointed again, it’s not exciting to have to pursue assistance with getting pregnant. It’s not exciting to anticipate going on hormone meds with potentially nasty side effects; to anticipate having to go be inseminated at the doctor’s office just to increase our chances (not even a guarantee!) of conception.

I wanted to respond with, “oh yeah, it’s the best; isn’t it a bummer that you haven’t had the opportunity to do it too?” 

See, getting pregnant is exciting. Hearing the heartbeat is exciting. Getting to start decorating the nursery is exciting. Having a baby is exciting. Starting an IUI cycle? Not so much.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m so grateful that we have the resources to pursue this option right now. I’m hopeful that it’s just this little boost we need to finally make a baby.  But I’m also sad that we have to, and very afraid that the disappointment if it doesn’t work will be worse than all the ones before it.

As an aside; my mom and my sister responded much better to the initial news. My mom’s text was, “I’m sorry, that’s not what we were hoping for….are you feeling peaceful about this next step?” My sister echoed the apology, asked how I was holding up, and then when I shared the above ‘exciting!’ responses, she says, “yeah, careless choice of words; it’s emotional, heavy, and little (big) glimmer of hope to you.” 

I guess what I (re) learned here is that it is so important not to assume you know what others are feeling. Just ask them. Don’t project your emotions onto a situation; and realize that by doing this you risk simplifying a complicated emotional reaction. And this doesn’t just apply to infertility; though it’s my journey right now so I’m rather focused on that aspect.

 

Infertility · iui · trying to conceive · ttc

On to IUI

On the bright side, at least I didn’t have to wait until February.

I am also trying to be encouraged that my cycle was (again) regular for me and I ovulated right around the time I would have expected.

I just really hoped (at the beginning, anyway) that this last ‘unassisted cycle’ would be the one and that we wouldn’t need to do treatment.

But here we are.

Cycle Day 1.

I was able to get into to see my RE today actually. She did the preliminary ultrasound, which showed about 10 follicles per ovary; and reviewed the plan.

Saturday I start a 5 day course of Clomid.

Next Friday (the 25th) I go back for a follow up ultrasound.

Based on those results, assuming things are where they need to be, she wants to plan for the IUI either Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week. (29th or 30th). This will be preceded by a trigger shot of Ovidrel and sex (hopefully we can still manage to make this one romantic and enjoyable despite the circumstances!).

Then we wait two weeks…and go back for a pregnancy test.

With the exception of today because I’m pouting (and crampy), I’m planning to try to continue my ‘resolutions’ just to keep myself sane/healthy. However I will probably resume cycle tracking just so we are able to utilize every chance we can; and I’m curious to see what my body does on these meds.

daily art · Infertility · Resolution update · trying to conceive

Resolutions update week 4

Before I summarize…

1 Wednesday was just one of those bad days. Felt pretty discouraged and depressed and sad. My blog post about sympathy and empathy was definitely on the whiny/pity party side. But husband helped me work through it (again) and I’ve been feeling a little better.

2 Brother got married yesterday; so I didn’t get most of my goals done yesterday (or Friday-helping set up, traveling, etc). (Aside: she is using an IUD for birth control, so let’s just say if she gets pregnant before we do, I’m going to be super annoyed *shrug*

Since 1/4/19 (8 days)

  • Bible reading: every day
  • thankfuls: every day
  • reading: 6 of 8
  • creative: 6 of 8. (photo session with cousins, photo editing, multiple paintings in one day (so that covers my missed days), designed a couple personalized burp cloths, wrote a blog post, and did another watercolor)
  • cleaning; 7 of 8
  • yoga or walking: 5 of 8; missed two in a row over the weekend
  • piano: 3 of 8
  • date/activity with husband: dinner out on Sunday; art night at home on Monday.
  • jigsaw puzzle: no
  • blog update: done

So overall not too bad in light of the above notes (and the bachelorette party on the 5th). I keep missing the jigsaw puzzle (I just don’t have as much down time as I expected) and I’m not keeping up with my ‘every other day’ activities very well. Also drank my quart of water every day, and overall managing to eat very healthily.

TTC update. While I’m not tracking (and trying unsuccessfully not to keep thinking about it, though it is more manageable for the most part); I do think that there’s a good chance I ovulated around the 4th between the few signs that I noticed without even looking for them. If so, I guess that means I should expect AF by the end of this week or the beginning of next…so I’m not sure I’ll be able to wait til February to test (assuming she doesn’t show). We’ll see. 

Infertility · iui · journal entry · trying to conceive

It’s not a competition..

but I’m sorry…it kind of is. At least in the sense of being able to sympathize.

For the purpose of this post:

  • Sympathize: feel sorry for someone because you understand that person’s problems. Requires you to have experienced the same thing.
  • Empathize: choosing to feel the same things the other person is feeling. Does not require you to have experienced what they have.

I know that no matter how long someone tried, anything longer than immediately getting pregnant can feel like ages. I don’t want to invalidate anyone’s journey…I’m not living in their story (see previous post) and I don’t know how hard even just those few or several or eight months were for them.

But for heaven’s sake; if you are talking to someone that you know has struggled to conceive longer than you have/did, acting like you know exactly how they feel because “we tried ____” is just infuriating.

My sister-in-law likes to over-dramatize their struggle to conceive. She also has a tendency to make it longer than it was; technically they started trying February of last year (it takes time to regulate after a miscarriage) and they conceived in late July/early August. By my count, 7-8 months. She talks about how they tried for 9 months and that it was ‘the worst’ and thereby implies that therefore she understands exactly how we feel. I want to say, “No, you don’t.  We’re going on 15-16 months, and looking at pursuing IUI if this cycle isn’t successful. That is not the same as 8 months.” And granted, the fact that she’s pregnant right now doesn’t help the situation, but the attitude is getting under my skin.

It’s one thing to empathize. To say, “Wow, that must be so hard; I know what I felt trying for ____ months and I can only imagine that those feelings are so much greater when you’ve been trying longer; would you want to tell me more about what it’s been like for you.” It’s quite another to attempt to ‘sympathize’ and to equalize your journey (that has ended) with the ongoing and longer journey of someone else.

They are not the same. 

I don’t pretend to know how it feels to try for longer than I already have. I don’t pretend to know how it feels to experience failed IUI treatments, to go through IVF, to miscarry again and again, to be told that there is nothing more that can be done. I can take my current experience and try to understand some degree of that pain, but I wouldn’t ever attempt to equalize my infertility struggle with someone who has gone through some or all of those things.

Maybe in a year I’ll be closer to sympathizing with some of the above. Hopefully not. But if not, I will make every effort to support those walking longer, harder journeys by simply allowing them to hurt and share their stories without attempting to make our journeys the same.

 

 

appointed time · Infertility · journal entry · trying to conceive

On bitterness

I found something out this week that made me feel very bitter. I had to have a long talk with God about it to even start to come to a place where I can be at peace with the situation. In the event that this blog somehow does not remain anonymous I cannot share any more than that. I wish I could, but what I found out is not my story to tell. I’ll touch on that again at the end of the post.

I went through the list of things I know to be true; then proceeded to have it out with God for the ‘unfairness’ of it all (which turned into a general meltdown about being so worn out from this journey of infertility and just crying out that frustration and pain). Then I cycled back to the initial truths and let them ruminate a little, and this is what it boils down to.

1) Blessings from God are not dependent on our behavior. Thank goodness for that; if it was, none of us would have anything good. We’re all pretty broken and rotten…my very bitterness and negativity already merit some degree of punishment. We may not understand why God chooses to give blessings to certain people who have done ______, and we may not understand why God doesn’t give us certain blessings when we have done ______, but at the end of the day; any blessing we are given is God showing his grace to us.

And I of all people should know that to be true. I was ashamed to realize that if it came down to not deserving something because of a previous action or decision…I should not be married right now. I rushed into my first marriage, disregarded my parent’s wisdom, and ended up getting divorced. Yet I got a second chance, I was given so much grace…and have been blissfully married for 17 months to a man who is everything I could have ever imagined. But some people, especially those who may still be waiting on their first love, may look at my story and think, “seriously? She gets that? Look what she did!”

2) I am only living in my story. I don’t get to know all the details of everyone else’s. I kept thinking of something Aslan says to Shasta in the Chronicles of Narnia…in fact, it’s so succinct and appropriate that I probably won’t even say much else. Shasta wants to know why Aslan wounded Aravis earlier in the story, this is the response. I imagine he says this very gently and kindly, but also in a no-nonsense, firm tone.

“Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.”

And honestly, we won’t even get to know all of our story until it’s done. How silly am I to think that I would ever be given the inside scoop on someone else’s. I can’t know what’s going on inside their heads or hearts; and I am not privy to what God is choosing to work on in their lives. If I truly believe that his timing is perfect, that doesn’t just apply to my story.

So I’m trying to let the bitterness go. I’m trying to rest in how God showered blessings on me when I didn’t deserve them, and letting him gently but firmly remind me that he doesn’t tell me any story but mine.

Infertility · Resolution update

Resolutions update week 3

I won’t have time tomorrow (future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party all day), so here’s my update for this week so far.

Today I may have just taken a break…was up late last night for work and just needed to veg out a bit after the last few weeks of work overall…so today’s data will impair my results a bit. Oh well.

  • bible reading: every day
  • reading: every day. Mostly the new book I got (Empty Womb, Aching Heart), one of the days it was a CEU lesson for my license renewal. *shrug*
  • cleaning: every day.
  • creative: see yesterday’s post for my art projects. Today I think I’m just going to skip but maybe I’ll color a little later while I watch Netflix
  • thankfuls: every day
  • piano: 4 of 6 days
  • yoga/walk: 3 of 6 days. Skipping today because I’m tired (see above) and tomorrow part of the bachelorette party is a yoga lesson in the park so I figure that double counts
  • puzzle: done
  • date night/activity: dinner out on Sunday night, game night with him and family on Monday night
  • blog update: done
  • drank 1 quart of water every day

And while I’m not tracking this cycle (and yes, I still think about it all the time but it’s been manageable so far with all the activities to distract me…), I did notice a gush of watery mucus today and I’m about 3 weeks in which is when I’m usually in my window. So here’s hoping. I may not be able to wait until the end of January though if I am indeed a day or two away from ovulation.

daily art · Resolution update · Uncategorized

Amateur artist in the making.

My first week of art projects (proof that I’m doing it!)

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-Friday night; using watercolor pencils.

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Sunday: Pine trees (watercolor paint)

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Monday: experiment with watercolor application techniques and color mixing. Only used a red/blue paint in this entire piece. Reminds me of a girl running…fitting that it was done on New Year’s Eve. #bye2018

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Tuesday: Disappearing Road (oil pastels)

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Wednesday: my attempt to follow a video tutorial for a mountain lake. Mine and his vary just a *little*. (watercolors)

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Thursday: floral arrangement (acrylics)

Not going to lie, I’m pretty pleased with how (most) of these turned out; given that I’ve never really done anything like this before (except for the occasional ‘paint night’ and when I was a child)

family · Infertility

On family

I ordered a book a few weeks ago that finally arrived the other day and I’ve basically just been inhaling it; it’s got short chapters so it’s hard to not just go on to the next and the next even though I should probably let each one ruminate for a while. The downside of being a fast reader *shrug*.

Anyway, the book is “Empty Womb, Aching Heart,” and it has stories and reflections from multiple women (or couples) who have struggled with infertility. Once I finish my first read I’ll probably go back and take each chapter a bit slower and write down the takeaway/lesson/attitude adjustment technique in each one…future blog post, perhaps?

One of the chapters especially jumped out to me yesterday. The writer was reflecting on how hard it is to be childless in a church community that is centered around the “family,” family ministry/resources/events were all geared towards the typical parents/children structure.

She went on to share that she taught a Sunday school lesson on the 6th day of creation; and the children drew pictures of animals and then Adam and Eve on a large piece of butcher paper. She told them that this was the point at which God said it was “very good,” and then rested. One of the little girls pointed out that there weren’t any children in the drawing.

“No children, not yet…and still God called it very good. Not….’good-but-it-would-be-better-if…’ After he made man and woman, he proclaimed his work finished. It was complete. They were complete.” 

She comes to realize that a family is not formed once children arrive. The family of two is just as valuable, just as complete.

And she closes the chapter with her new response to those prying “when are you going to start a family” questions. Her answer is essentially this:

“We already have. We’re just waiting to see if God chooses to add to it or not.” (my edit)

-quotes and paraphrases taken from Empty Womb, Aching Heart (chapter 10); book compiled by Marlo Schalesky