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.

 

how to · Infertility · journal entry · sermon takeaways

When your post has a mind of its own…

I don’t know if this counts as my ‘creative’ activity of the day since I’m just planning to vent a little bit…but I’m technically writing so I’ll probably count it.

I’m actually in pretty good spirits today. The sermon this morning was very encouraging and challenging; especially the bit about “rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” More on that another day perhaps…

Or not. Suddenly I don’t think I should use today’s post to vent. I can save that for another time.

We’re going through Romans in church; and we finally reached Romans 12. That’s been a journey in itself; and we’ve been in Romans 12:9-16 for several weeks now. Today was focused on verses 14-16.

Paul calls us here to humility…humility being a state in which we consider others above ourselves. If we are considering others above ourselves, the natural result is that we sympathize with others. We take our eyes off our own situations and fully enter into the joys and the sorrows of others.

Rejoice with those who rejoice: as an early church father pointed out, perhaps Paul put this one first because it is actually harder than it sounds. Especially for a girl on a journey of infertility. I don’t want to rejoice with yet another acquaintance or friend or family member who is pregnant. But if I’m thinking of others above myself, then their joy should be mine as well.

Mourn with those who mourn: easier to understand. Not always easy to do; especially for the fixers who don’t know what to say or do to ease pain. But as I’ve already learned and experienced, in times of grief it is almost always more effective to just sit with, cry with, be with. Pastor read a reflection from someone who’d experienced loss, and the takeaway was the realization that people who come bearing platitudes and messages of hope and redemption are often the ones that we wish would leave. It’s the ones who “sit quietly, listen carefully, and pray simply” that bring the most peace and comfort.

And interestingly enough, that last bit leads into what I initially wanted to write about. I’ll close with this as a reflection instead of creating an unnecessarily long tirade. Perhaps the ‘sit quietly, listen carefully, and pray simply” is why I’m feeling so tired of all the people who want to tell me about every so-and-so they know who “tried for _____ and then got pregnant”, and especially when that includes a “maybe you should try ______.” I’m not in a place right now to hear that. It doesn’t help. I just want the people I share this struggle with to show up, listen to me vent, and then pray simply with me for patience in God’s timing (and for his timing to be soon!).

how to · Infertility · iui · trying to conceive

Resolved

Aunt Flo arrived today in all her unwelcome glory. I knew she was coming between the negative test at 12 dpo and a temp drop when I woke up. So I spent the morning between my hospice visits fighting back tears of disappointment and frustration and anger and longing and aching.

Then, somehow, it abated. Just like every cycle, hope begins to rebirth. I allow the grief to do it’s thing, then in his grace God reminds me that he is still faithful. I couldn’t even explain what did it this time. I didn’t even recognize it when it happened. Just, suddenly, I wasn’t overwhelmed by sadness.

I’ve (almost) decided that this upcoming cycle…our last one before we pursue assisted reproductive methods (IUI)…should be one without the pressure of tracking. I was initially so desperate to catch our fertile window, so hung up on knowing when I ovulated to know when I could test. I didn’t do well before with not tracking. But I think I can do it one more time. I think, for the health of my marriage and my own spiritual growth I need to let it all go and just be. We will do life, be intimate, enjoy each other…and if I haven’t started my period by February 1st, I’ll take a test. If I have, then we’ll proceed with IUI. Simple.

And to keep myself distracted, to productively fill the time, and to recognize what it can look like to enjoy my life in this child-free time…here are my “resolves” for the next 7 weeks. This blog space will be my accountability. I’ll try to check in at least once a week with updates on how well I’m doing. The list is long but some of the things could take as little as 5 minutes so it’s not really all that much. I’m even going to put the list on my refrigerator.

  • read my Bible: every day
  • read at least a chapter from a book: every day. (maybe I’ll resume my ‘alphabetical by author progression through my book collection. I’m somewhere in the D’s)
  • yoga or walk: at least every other day
  • something creative (drawing or other art, coloring, photography, scrapbooking, writing): every day
  • play the piano: at least every other day
  • clean something: every day. (will probably make a schedule for this)
  • intentional date night or memory-making activity with husband: at least once a week
  • do a jigsaw puzzle: at least once a week
  • list 5 things I’m thankful for: every day

Here’s to making this cycle the best one yet.

how to · journal entry · trying to conceive · ttc

On pregnancy announcements

Last month my sister-in-law found out she was pregnant. This week my sister told me she’s pregnant. As with any pregnancy announcement while you’re still trying, each one was a mix of emotions. Joy for them, excitement for the new lives (and future nieces or nephews), but also jealousy and that aching sadness that it still isn’t you. However, I noticed a few differences that has made one so much harder to process.

My sister-in-law and I were on the TTC journey together. They got married two months before we did, they conceived their first month of not preventing (which was a few months after our miscarriage), then they had an early miscarriage and had been trying unsuccessfully ever since. She and I were often in our FW and TWW together, and we shared every OPK and BBT shift and negative HPT.

She texted me within moments of taking that first test (with a barely noticeable line), which is understandable, given our history…but since that moment it is has been all her pregnancy and how she’s feeling. There was not (and still has not been) a single acknowledgement that this might be a little hard for me; especially since I’ve been trying longer. I don’t want to steal the joy out of it for her, and having walked through a miscarriage and month after month of failure as well I am happy that she finally has this. But I lost my TTC buddy and I now get to watch every moment of her pregnancy while still struggling to conceive.

My sister, on the other hand, called me up and spent a good 15-20 minutes letting me talk about how I was doing (she’s known about this struggle for some time) and letting me share my frustrations and emotions. She then chatted for a bit, and as the conversation was coming to a close she broke the news. She immediately followed it with, “I have a strong support network and plenty of people who can provide me what I need emotionally, I don’t need to you to fake that you are only happy for me, I know you are happy and I also know that you don’t want to be unhappy but I’m sure that you are hurting; this has got to be hard for you.” She absolutely and generously gave me the space and freedom to be that person who has to be told gently, because she understood and valued the complexity of emotions I was feeling.

I absolutely hate that I can’t fully rejoice with these dear people in something so beautiful and wonderful. I hate my selfishness that keeps me focused on what I don’t have. It’s something I’m trying to process.

But right now, that’s there. And being given the grace to have those emotions without judgment-and thereby having those emotions (and the TTC struggle) acknowledged-is making the transition to only being happy for them a lot easier.

—–

  • TTC: trying to conceive
  • FW: fertile window
  • TWW: two week wait
  • OPK: ovulation predictor kit
  • BBT: basal body temperature
  • HPT: home pregnancy test