FREEDOM!!!!! …Wait, Oh Crap!

Where I am: CD17 [7dpt(rigger)]
Medications: Crinone 2x daily
Symptoms: occasional nausea, peeing all the time…a bunch of other shit that would normally scream “PREGNANCY,” but—HAH!—I know better…


My first year of school is behind me.

Halle-frickin’-lujah!!!!!!!

I didn’t think I would make it. Honestly, I didn’t. I had enough on my mind last semester, with trying and not getting pregnant and then getting pregnant. This semester, with my second loss and the testing and the procedures and the surgery…cripes. I can’t believe it…

…but I made it. It’s over. Four months of summer, I am here. I am ready. Take me, hold me, keep me forever.

Phew.

And now it’s time to change gears. Turn off school, and turn up TTC and house-hunting. Just because classes are over hardly means my life is going to be any less full of happening things.

I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this, but my husband and I got pre-approved for a loan through the VA (with no down payment, which was good yet unnecessary, since we have one ready) and were assigned a realtor by USAA. I gave her the three towns we want to look in first…my husband has drill this weekend down the Cape and will be gone Saturday through Wednesday, so we’re looking at the second weekend in May to start going to open houses!

EEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Sorry, don’t mind me as I freak out. We’ve been talking about buying a house for something like three years, have been passively looking at houses for a little over a year and a half, and have been swearing we’d get serious about it for about a year. It’s been a long time coming. I’m overwhelmed and excited and…

…well, happy. I think a big part of putting off buying a house was because of everything that happened last year. I guess you could say we put a house on hold for the sake of TTC, kind of. I wanted to go to school, we wanted to have the money for the baby…of course, that didn’t pan out.

And now I’m just tired of putting our life on hold all the time. We need to keep moving forward. There is so much up in the air because of this IF stuff, but I’ll get into that another day. Buying a house is the right move for us. It’s happening this summer. In June, I will be doing a glorious happy dance when our landlord drops off the new lease agreement and I can finally check off “NO we will not be renewing our lease” as an option.

But now on to the “Oh, Crap!” part of the title. Because school is over. And while we are ramping up for the house thing and summer in general, the biggest stressor and distraction in my life has magically disappeared. Just…poof!

That said…it’s coming.

The freak out. Or meltdown. Something that probably involves tears and a mild panic attack.

It’s coming.

It’s not a good thing, it’s not a bad thing. It’s a necessary thing, I think. I have a fantastic way of compartmentalizing my feelings (sometimes), especially when I have something to throw myself into 100% (i.e. school and work). I can push whatever is or could be bothering me into the back of my mind and focus on a separate task. The only issue with that is I eventually get to a point where that distraction is no longer there. And all the emotions or fears or sadness that I’ve kept bottled up and smothered down just erupts into one big mess.

I honestly don’t feel it right now. I have been thinking of this cycle, this Clomid cycle, and I think I won’t mind if I get a BFN. I actually kind of feel like I will be getting a BFN. I just don’t feel pregnant right now. Not that I would a week post-trigger, but…I’m sure you know what I mean. Wanna-be mommy’s intuition, I guess. And I think I am okay with it.

But I know there’s going to be a moment this week or next week when it hits me. Once my brain recovers from the shock that has been these past few weeks at school. Once the fact that I’m really in my first treatment cycle for infertility settles in.

But it’ll be okay. I’ll be okay. A little sob session never hurt anyone.

I’m so sorry for the disjointed and unfocused post. As you can probably tell, my brain is broken. I really do write better than this, I swear. I just need a moment to regenerate some brain cells.

I’ll have you know I’ve caught up on all your posts. Didn’t comment on all of them, but I read all of them!

And now I’m going to go mindlessly watch TV and/or pass the f**k out. Maybe both at the same time. Stay tuned, I’ll be back tomorrow or the next day with another post (and a Liebster award nomination, hooray!).

Baby dust and rainbows to you all. ❤

Totally Lost in a New Experience

Where I am: CD13 [3dpt(rigger)]
Medications: Crinone 2x daily (started this morning)
Symptoms: stomach is on-and-off weird, achy feeling in ovaries just started to let up this morning


So here I am, officially in the 2ww.

I’ll be honest, yesterday I was seriously doubting this cycle. My ovaries had been achy for days and I was starting to become paranoid in thinking that 30mm was actually a cyst and that’s why my right ovary was still so sore—because it was still in there! Plus, I’m paranoid that I somehow f**ked up the trigger and that maybe I’m not ovulating…

…see, ladies, I’ve never done this whole, like…I don’t know, “tracking” thing. I never did basal temps, or investigated my cervical goo, or…any of that. J and I just tried. We just didn’t use protection and I kind of tried to have us baby dance around when my period app told me I’d be ovulating, and it just happened. Twice. It would be annoyingly awesome if not for the fact that I miscarried both times.

Hoping this means I didn't f**k it up! :D

Hoping this means I didn’t f**k it up! 😀

So in short, I don’t know what ovulation pains are like. I’ve never paid attention to any of this. So now I find myself in the weird position of thinking “I know I should be ovulating because I triggered” and genuinely not knowing if I am, because I don’t know how that feels.

It’s kind of aggravating.

Anyway, I digress. I took HPTs the morning after I triggered (10 hours later, to be precise) and this morning—see photo—and there was a visible line both times. I am taking this as a sign that I didn’t screw anything up, the HCG is in my system, and is hopefully triggering (or already triggered) ovulation. I woke up this morning and my ovaries felt significantly less achier than yesterday. In fact, my uterus now feels a little achy. Maybe there’s little eggies and spermies gettin’ busy in there, who knows. I can only hope.

But that’s about all I’m going to do, is hope. And test every other day until the line disappears and/or starts getting darker (and then I might test every day).

Sidenote: I also started my progesterone suppositories this morning. In my hoohah. Weird friggin’ feeling, right? Sheesh.

My final project for one of my classes in graduate school is due Wednesday. I’m not even halfway done with it yet. We have a make-up class from a snow day tonight, so I’ll be heading into Boston early to work on the project with the Adobe programs there at school and gathering a little plethora of questions to ask my professor when we use computer lab time to work on the projects and get feedback. Sunday through Tuesday is going to be rough as I pull together the rest of the pieces…and then class is Wednesday night.

SO! If you don’t see me here on WordPress for a while, don’t fear. I’ll be back once this semester is behind me. But honestly, I need to put infertility and the 2ww in the back of my mind so I can perfect this project and get an A in this class. Wish me luck! I’ll try to check in with you guys occasionally, but if not, baby dust to those of you trying this cycle and good thoughts and vibes to those of you awaiting second betas and/or ultrasounds!! ❤

** Edit: I originally posted “3dpt” up at the top of my post, which apparently means “days past transfer” not “days past trigger.” My sincere apologies for screwing that up. As I just said, I know nothing! 🙂 **

Recognizing NIAW

National Infertility Awareness Week is going on right now, as I type this. Millions, I’m sure, of women around the globe are posting to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites, facts and personal stories about infertility. Many have “come out” as infertile to their friends and families as a sign of unity, of recognition, of raising awareness.

While I would love more than anything to be one of those women, I’m not ready. It’s as simple as that. The last year has been harder than any other struggle I’ve had in my life, and I’m not ready to expose that pain yet. I’m not ready for the questions. I’m not ready for the sympathetic looks. I’m just not ready.

One day, though—hopefully one day soon—I will join these brave women. I will be open about my infertility, my pain, and hopefully my success. I will help the rest of us, the 1 in 8’s, raise awareness about infertility. I will join in and make sure that everyone I know learns what it means to have that diagnosis. But until then, I will just have to recognize NIAW in my own way, and show support for those like me the best way I can.


Sometimes I wonder if I’ve always known that I would have problems with fertility.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always said the same thing: “I want more than anything to be a mom. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t have children.” Maybe it was my mother’s endometriosis and subsequent hysterectomy, maybe it was the supposed burst ovarian cyst I was diagnosed with at the tender age of 13. Or maybe it was something inside that just knew.

In retrospect, it doesn’t matter, I guess. I went through life, expecting to have children. As I got older, I would say how nervous I was about finding out I couldn’t have kids, acknowledging my endo mother and—though I had not been diagnosed—fearing the worst. But I never really thought I would have trouble. I thought I would be one of those obnoxious people who’d say that they were worried and then magically had no problems conceiving, no problems carrying.

I verbalized my fear all the time, but I don’t think I ever really felt it.

Not until last May, when I had some spotting less than 2 weeks after getting my positive pregnancy test. Not until the nurse on the 24/7 hotline said she was recommending I go to the hospital because it was my first pregnancy and I had yet to have an ultrasound. Not until I called my parents to come pick me up, as my husband was out of the state for military duties.

Not until I was ransacking the mess in my bedroom as I looked for my medical insurance information, getting changed out of my work clothes into something more comfortable. I was sobbing hysterically and repeating, “No, no, no, this can’t be happening, no, no” to no one in particular. That fear of not being able to have a baby was realized in that moment. It became more than words, it became a reality. My reality.

The last year…I don’t know how I made it to 2014. May’s bleeding led to a diagnosis of a blighted ovum, missed miscarriage. I spent the summer trying to drag myself out of a dark, miserable hole of depression and anger. I withdrew from my friends and family. I cried…often. I got pregnant again in the fall, and with each passing week I felt more and more like that first miscarriage was a mistake. It was just a glitch in the system. Something had been wrong with the embryo, not me, and this time would be okay. The ultrasound at the halfway point between eight and nine weeks reassured me of this and I felt like I was in the clear. Everything was fine. I was fine.

Then Christmas Eve’s NT scan revealed that everything was not fine. This sweet little thing that my husband and I had created…this little being that had a heartbeat, and a head, and almost arms and legs, was gone. That little heart stopped beating. And I felt like mine would, too.

I spent the winter worse off than the summer. I didn’t leave the house save for once or twice for an entire two months. I spent my days on the couch, zoning out in front of the TV and eating whatever the hell I felt like eating—when I wasn’t incapacitated by such an intense grief that my sobbing made my throat raw. I went through the motions with my brand new Reproductive Endocrinologist, getting testing done and finding this, that, and the other thing wrong with me. With every test came bad news in one form or another: uterine polyps, a finicky thyroid, a blood clotting issue, an overactive pituitary gland. With each one I felt beat down even more, like life was taking a metal bat to my body, hitting me until I was on the ground and then hitting me some more once I was down. It was relentless.

The worst part was realizing it wasn’t a mistake. There were things wrong. I was wrong. My body was failing me at the one thing I probably would kill for, if it meant my body would do it right. The one thing I wanted more than anything else in my whole life—more than a job, more than some dream house, more than anything.

This one thing I wanted. And my body was betraying me.

But I made it through the winter. I made it out of the darkness, both literally and figuratively, and I’m on the other side of that loss. There isn’t a day that goes by that my stomach and arms don’t feel empty and aching, but I have my eyes trained on the future. And I don’t think I’d be able to do that without the amazing support system I have.

My husband and my parents are amazing. They are nothing but understanding. My husband is always telling me how strong I am, especially when I am feeling my weakest, and how much I’ve amazed him over the last year with my resilience. My parents are there for me for whatever I need. A ride to a procedure, a hand to hold at a doctor’s appointment, you name it. My mother tries not to cry when she tells me she wishes she knew how I felt so she could tell me it gets better, that she knew how to fix it.

And then, there’s you. There’s the women I’ve found on WordPress and Twitter, who’ve had miscarriages or been diagnosed with infertility, who find it in them somehow to keep moving forward, to keep trying, to keep hoping. These amazing, strong ladies who comfort me when I’m feeling lost, who encourage me when I approach a new treatment for the first time (or have to stick myself with a needle for the first time, in a bathroom stall at school), who empathize with my pain and my fear and my anger and my resentment. Women who don’t judge me when I can’t face a friend who’s accidentally pregnant and due within weeks of when my little one would’ve arrived; women who understand that sometimes, the grief and the emptiness overcome you and you just can’t be positive and upbeat that day; women who can tell you “Try to think good thoughts” and other similar phrases without sounding condescending.

It sounds mean when we say to people who aren’t infertile, “You just don’t get it.” But there’s no escaping that truth. In the same way a soldier returning from war tells his friends and family who eagerly want to know what went on over there: “You just don’t get it.” We can’t know what it is like to be overseas, on the front lines, guns blazing and bombs detonating. Just the same way people not diagnosed with infertility can’t understand what it’s like to see a negative pregnancy test over and over and over, or to feel your body changing as a life grows inside of you only to have it taken from you for unknown reasons, or to have to endure countless blood draws and needle sticks and pill schedules and painful procedures, and the waiting…and waiting…and waiting.

It’s why I’m here with my chin up today. It’s why I think I can face another year of more tests, more procedures, more methods—if I have to. I’ve found this group of women who, when my husband or my parents can’t, will understand what I’m going through. The appreciation, the gratitude, the overwhelming emotions associated with knowing I have these women to turn to—there are not enough words in the world to thank them.

I find strength in your strength. I find hope in your hope.

Thank you. ❤

Now I’ve Done Some Things In a Bathroom Stall, But *THIS*…

Where I am: CD10!
Medications: Ovidrel trigger, injected at 10pm!
Symptoms: dudes, my ovaries are achy as hell…


Oh my God, what a day.

Honestly, guys, I have this huge final project hanging over my head due next Wednesday and all I could think about on the train ride home from class was how bad I wanted to type this post.

As you know, I was CD10 today. Showed up at 8:15AM for my ultrasound, and after much poking around (oh my goodness, “stimulated” ovaries are very tender to the touch—owww) the ultrasound tech told me I had a 10mm, 11mm, and 12mm on the left and an 11mm and a—wait for it—30mm on the right!

No. That’s not a typo. Your surprise was my surprise. And the tech’s surprise.

So of course she says she can’t believe it’s so big so early, and sends me on my way with promises of a phone call later that morning or early afternoon. As my husband is driving me back home to drop me off at my car so I can race to work, I’m Googling the shit out of “30mm follicle Clomid too big?” and other searches and finding mixed signals. Enter the face of defeat. Of frustration. Of sadness.

Got to work, told my mom the bad news, she told me to stop with the damn Googling (but ladies, come on, we IF-ers are the queens of Google are we not? she just can’t understand), and to go about my day. So I did (with some more Googling and posting on Twitter—follow me @dreams_rainbows if you aren’t already—and on my BabyBump app). And 4:00PM starting drawing near, and I started to get nervous, because I needed to know if I had to fly home and grab the Ovidrel out of the fridge and bring it with me to class.

The second I tweet about it, the office calls. I flee my cubicle and find a spot in the hallway to talk. As she’s speaking, three people walk down the hall talking loudly, so I rush into a side hall. They follow. I rush past them to the stairwell and apologize to the lady that I couldn’t hear her and she starts all over again. Explains I’m good to go! I ask about the 30mm, she says my RE looked it over and the baseline and said it must be a follicle!

*takes deep breath* Continue reading

Nervous As Hell

Where I am: CD8
Medications: none (waiting on trigger)
Symptoms: tired, dizzy, nauseous, pretty friggin’ emotional, and a little sore where my ovaries are…I think…


The last few days have been less fun. Whereas I slept deeply and soundly the first three nights of the Clomid, the last two left me not so lucky. The fourth night I was up before 7:00AM tossing and turning, trying to ignore the yucky feeling in my tummy. And then last night, on my fifth and final Clomid night, I had horrible insomnia until almost 4:00AM, which resulted in extreme nausea and an emotional breakdown. The second of the day, actually. The third of the entire weekend.

Well, guess my hormones are responding. Awesome.

It always seems to be the case for me: when it rains, it pours—and this is no different. In the next week and a half, I will be finishing up my first year of graduate school, (hopefully) triggering and baby-dancing and entering the dreaded 2ww, and calling the realtor we just hired last week to give her a list of towns we want to look. (Yeah, we got pre-approved last week. Kind of accidentally. J was calling to find out how to go about the whole process, and they handheld him through everything right to the pre-approval and assigned us a realtor we won’t have to pay for. Thanks VA loan and USAA.com!)

I think in general, I’m overwhelmed. There’s a lot going on in our life right now, and they are all shifting moving parts that interconnect with each other, and I’ve been doing my damndest to keep the gears from getting jammed up. My biggest fear is that I will let the stress and anxiety of the next few weeks get to me and it will affect my chances of getting/staying pregnant. The last thing I need to do is to help my body suck at that; it’s doing a grand enough job on its own already.

But I want to talk about what prompted me to write this post in the first place. Because of the aforementioned emotions, I’ve started to let the negative feelings start sweeping in. You know, it’s been nothing but anticipation and excitement since we found out we’d be starting our first Clomid/HCG-trigger cycle, and I’ve kind of been riding that through the last few weeks. But with CD10 looming overhead, and the dreaded 2ww to come after, I’ve got all new feelings to feel.

Dread. Anxiety. Nervousness. Fear. Sadness. Paranoia.

How do you approach this? Just…how? On the one hand, I want to be positive. Of course, I only want to have to do one cycle of fertility meds and want to get pregnant and have a healthy baby after nine long months. So that’s what I should hope for, right? Positive thinking…positive outcome?

But then there’s the Negative Nancy side of me, telling my wishful little heart not to put all my eggs in one basket (little bit of infertility humor there, HAH…also Easter) and to be cautious. It’s not common for women to get pregnant on their first cycle. It happens, but it’s not a high percentage or anything. And if I really let myself get caught up in this cycle and end up with a nasty BFN next month, is it going to crush my heart and soul that much more? Shouldn’t I guard against that?

I’m scared to be too hopeful for the fear of only hurting myself more in the end. I’m scared to be too guarded because I honestly don’t want to be feeling negative when I’m literally trying to will my body to do what it’s supposed to do.

I’m just at a loss. Also, I don’t think Clomid is helping matters at all. Super emotionally fragile. JEEZ.

To Test Trigger, or Not To Test Trigger…

Where I am: CD5
Medication: Clomid, Day 2 of 5
Symptoms: nauseous, dizzy, tired


…that is the question.

Something possessed me on the way home from class the other night. There’s a 24-hour Walgreens right at the base of the hill that leads to my apartment complex, and as I was driving home I just found myself pulling into the parking lot! Walking in the store! Down the aisle for family planning…

…walked out about five minutes later with nearly $80 worth a shameful amount of HPTs.

*insert sad, downward-looking face here*

You should have seen the look on my husband’s face. And then the look of desperation that must have been on my face as I tried to rationalize testing during the 2ww because it means I’ll know when the HCG leaves my system and then in the future I won’t have to test the whole time I’ll just know when it should be out of my system and for God’s sake I just have too much going on and I need to know what’s going on in there, damnit!

So then he took pity on me and agreed. (And then probably plotted a time and place to retreat to in the near future, since I wasn’t even on the Clomid at that point and he was probably thinking “RUN.”)

I’m not sure I can actually give a good, rational reason for wanting to test the trigger. But do I have to?

I have been going back and forth about testing versus not testing for about a week now…

Pros
* being able to possibly watch a pregnancy as it is forming
* knowing sooner than later if you’re not pregnant
* having that little bit of knowledge every day, instead of being in the dark

Cons
* realizing a chemical pregnancy when you otherwise might not
* overthinking every “could-be” second line
* false positives giving false hope

To me, for this first cycle anyway, the pros far outweigh the cons. I fully understand there is a very real possibility that I could have a chemical pregnancy and—as a result of testing—know that I have it…whereas I might not know if I didn’t test. But I feel like there’s still a strong possibility of the beta bloodwork revealing a chemical pregnancy anyway.

I don’t know. With a year of TTC and two missed miscarriages behind me, I have yet to really, truly, be “TTC crazy.” Like I said before, I’ve never charted or temped or OPK’d. I think I can allow myself this one time to be a little loony. Regardless…I held onto the receipt. I think it’ll come right down to the night of the trigger, whether I’ll want to test the next morning or not. Who knows, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll be overcome with a sense of calm and not want to test.

Well…okay, probably not. But maybe I won’t test daily at first…and will only test every other day. I don’t know. I can’t decide.

Anyway, these are my thoughts. Patiently awaiting the end of the Clomid, and CD10 for my first follicular ultrasound on Wednesday!

All Systems Go; We Are Cleared For Clomid

Just got the call a little while ago…

As I just told my husband a second ago: “All systems go, baby! We are cleared for Clomid!”

We went in early this morning so I could have my baseline ultrasound. (And can I just say how positively unpleasant an ultrasound during your period is? It wasn’t my first, so I was prepared, but man oh man. Your innards are sensitive and swollen and sore enough as it is, and then they shove that wand up your hoo-hah and push and drag and prod it all over the damn place. For cryin’ out loud already!) I swear, I’m the most paranoid person that exists right now. The ultrasound technician was writing down notes, taking this picture and that picture and that picture and this picture, and then she asked about the hysteroscopy and if they had found any polyps and if they had been removed. I was freaking out in my head, wondering why she was asking about the surgery, petrified that maybe she’d found something and that the call later today was going to be, “Sorry! Instead of a baby you get another surgery and another month of torturous waiting!”

Alas, they’ve cleared me. Clomid from Wednesday through Sunday, with a follicular ultrasound next Wednesday morning before work.

I can’t believe this is really happening. I know it sucks to have to be on fertility medication at all, and I know that the Clomid isn’t a guarantee, and I know that getting pregnant isn’t even a guarantee until I hit 14 weeks, and I know that really honestly it’s not a guarantee until that baby is healthy and in my arms after nine long anxious months…

…but I still feel like it’s progress, for now. If you compare where I was roughly a year ago, being told I was having a miscarriage and not knowing why…even six months ago, yet another miscarriage with no answers. Even if there is still more to be fixed, more to be discovered, more methods to be exhausted, at least I don’t feel like I’m up shit creek without a paddle like I have the last year or so. And most importantly, I’ve got an amazing husband by my side. My amazing parents ready to support us any way they can. An amazing RE and a fantastic and understanding OB team at the doctor’s office working to make me the most Fertile Myrtle they possible can.

To quote the words my mother just texted me: “Here we go.”