Monday, May 30, 2016

Insecurities, Shots, and Dog Days of Summer

I mentioned in my last post how I've been struggling with getting myself fit and in shape while preparing to adhere to the strict "no high impact exercise" orders from Dr. M's office, once I start the injectable cycle. As a result, I've lost my ability to engage in my number one preferred exercise and stress reliever: running... and have struggled to get myself back into shape, which has fueled some major insecurities for me.

So I've worked hard over the past few days to try and get myself back to being leveled headed and not letting these insecure thoughts and feelings (about everything) take over my sanity... and my marriage (my poor husband - he loves me so much though, even when I'm a crazy person).

Without jinxing myself, I feel like I've turned a new leaf and am over this ridiculous insecurity beast that blind-sided me.

Although I'm still emotional as ever and literary cry at everything. I mean everything, good and bad... including stuff that has no reason to make me cry. Like my brother sending me a picture of Niagara Falls, where him and his family are on vacation right now. Yup, I cried at that. Because it was gorgeous. And because I was happy that my nieces got to see it. Yup. I did. I balled my eyes out.

I told you - - straight crazy.

Anyways, on another fun note, I had my baseline ultrasound and blood work done on Friday morning and then heard back from Dr. M's office that I was to start my injections that night - so I did! And here I am on Day 4 of my shots.

How are they you ask? Oh just lovely... NOT. They hurt. The needle itself is no big deal. I've never been one who's afraid of needles, so I handle that part just fine. It's the darn medicine, Menopur specifically, that kicks my butt. Every time.

I'm on a combo of Follistim and Menopur, that I have to mix together, well really my husband does the mixing. And the injecting - he's seriously the best, did I mention that already? :) So luckily it's just one injection total, but that Menopur, woooooo, that stuff stings and burns like an evil-doer, starting about 3secs. into the injection and then for about 10min. afterward.

I was given the option of injecting into my stomach, outer upper thigh, or back of arm/ tricep area. The first time, I apprehensively choose to do it in my stomach.

Here I am getting ready for the first shot...

To be honest, after all was said and done, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I did squeal a little bit, if you want to call it that - but all in all, not so bad.

Thumbs up to me for taking it like a champ (minus the minor squealing of course).

So of course me being me, the following nights I had to try all three injection spots to see which I liked the best.

And the verdict is...

My stomach. I think?

I did my stomach the first night and it wasn't horrible. Did my thigh the next night and it was horrible. Then did my arm last night and it was even more horrible. So tonight, it's back to the stomach to see if it was as great as I remembered... wish me luck.

Tomorrow it's back in for another ultrasound and blood work to see how I'm responding and then we go from there. I'm being very positive about all of this (opposite of how I was just a few days ago), so just continuing to look forward ahead.

Other than that, today was one of our pup's birthdays! Happy Birthday Payton! He turned the big 3 today, so of course we had to get him a cake. I mean, duh, how else would you celebrate a pittie's 3rd birthday?

Here he is enjoying his peanut butter flavored cake from his favorite bakery nearby...

He was also nice enough to share a slice with his fur-brother Jax, even though Jax had his own goodie from the bakery (a cookie!) - such brotherly love.

And to end this fabulous weekend with amazing weather, our other pup Jax got to play in his pool for awhile (Payton hates water)...

All in all, although it started off rough with some major craziness, this weekend turned out to be great... and now I'm focusing ahead on this cycle and looking forward to what I know God has in store for us.

Friday, May 27, 2016

All Aboard the Crazy Train

So apparently I jumped on the crazy train yesterday and I haven't even started the hormones yet...

I think my emotions have been eluding me lately while secretly piling up and waiting for the imperfectly perfect moment to rear their ugly head - - and let me tell you, last night was the night.

Everything started out just fine (isn't that how it always goes?), until I decided to freak out on my husband as we were getting ready for bed and be not so nice to him... And for what reason, you ask? Well, good question. I'm still not actually sure :( 

Then that turned into me storming away to go downstairs and progressed into me crying about how I can't handle my life right now, am exhausted and over whelmed, hate my body and the way I look (more on that in a minute), and am not looking forward to starting these injectables because 'they're not going to work anyways' - yea, apparently I'm in a pretty negative space and didn't even realize it. 


Honestly though, I think last night was unfortunately just the perfect storm of everything that is stressful in my life coming to a head. Work has been absolutely crazy for me over the past two months and will continue to be over the next couple of weeks until I'm officially done for the summer. 

Typically, as in years past, the last week or two of my school year winds down pretty well and I usually find myself with plenty of unscheduled moments where I can do things like start developing coaching plans for the districts I work with, as well as organize my desk, files, and resources - you know, stuff that there's really never time for during the year. But this year for some reason, my schedule is jammed pack, literally to the minute, with meetings so there's been no time to even catch my breath.

Layer on grad. school that I've started again, as well as a million other little things and I've been riding on like 4-5 hours of sleep per night, for the past 4 nights. And no sleep alone can make you get on the crazy train...

The other thing that's apparently been bubbling, but that I was kind of unaware of until last night, was how unhappy I am with body at the moment. I'm typically a runner and that's been my main method of de-stressing when it comes to working out and exercising for a long time. 

However, in knowing that we were going to be starting these injectable cycles, from what I've researched and from explicit instructions from Dr. M's office, I knew that once I started I would have a restriction on high impact exercises... which means no running. 

So to prepare myself, since I knew that was going to be a big transition, I started taking up walking 3-4 miles a day, as well as continuing with my pilates, yoga, and weight training.

Well unfortunately, because of this switch, I haven't been able to get back to (or even anywhere close to) my typical summer in-shape self. That coupled with apparently hitting the age range where a random, impulse Snickers bar at 8pm (yes, poor choice, I know) takes about 2 months to undo instead of 2 days, has left me with a body I'm not used to having.

Now look, I'm not trying to come off as one of those dramatic people who want to complain about their weight and just want to look good while not wanting to do anything about it - - but this is new territory for me. I've always been able to kick start myself back up when I realize I haven't been eating the healthiest and have been slacking on working out. But that isn't the case this time.

In fact, overall I've probably been eating the healthiest that I have in my entire life (ok, ok, with the exception of the occasional bad choices) and I've been exercising regularly for the past few months... yet I'm still at my heaviest weight in yeeeeeeeears, many of my clothes fit much tighter (some not even at all), and my body just doesn't carry the extra pounds as well as it used to - and apparently REFUSES to let me take them off. Not matter what I do.

I've never done as much as I'm doing now and still struggled like this to try and get fit, so this new and super frustrating and difficult territory for me. Plus, not having one of my usual methods of de-stressing.

I've also been super emotional about babies and pregnancy stuff lately. I mean, all of us going through infertility know that this is a constant battle, but for the most part, I've actually been in a really good place for awhile now and have not had to struggle much with these feelings like I used to.

Well - I guess that's changed too and many of those emotions have blinded-sided me lately... causing me to cry on the drop of dime, often out of no where. Not fun.

All of this and I haven't even start the hormones yet... awesome.

Maybe I need therapy.

Maybe retail therapy?... 

Yea, I think I need a new bag this weekend... I'm sure that will help.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Watch Your Words

So recently, my husband had a very interesting "interaction" with a co-worker. This is a co-worker who isn't aware of our infertility struggles (some of his other co-workers are).

It all started the day after my husband had to leave work early in order for us to go to one of our infertility appoints - specifically, the one where we had the 2 hour training on all the nitty gritty of how to give the self-injections that we'll be starting in a couple weeks (that is unless of course this happen to be our "lucky" month... yup, I still never give up hope).

Anyways, back to the story...

So the day that my husband had to leave work early, I was actually at his school with him in the morning, since I had a team who wanted to observe his math instruction (we're both educators), and then my husband took the afternoon off so that we could go to our appointment together. Well apparently, this co-work of his (we'll call her Brittany) noticed that my husband had taken the afternoon off, and also knew that I was there in the morning. So the next day when she saw him, she decided that is was a good idea to go up and say, "Hey, did you play hooky with your wife yesterday? I saw that she was here in the morning and then I saw that you left in the afternoon."

Caught off-guard by her apparently random comment and question, my husband simply replied, "No, we actually had a doctor's appointment to go to." Brittany then said, "Oh ok... well, you should have played hooky - that would have been fun."  Umm, ok, well thanks for the unsolicited advice??

Then, this Brittany chick proceeded to cross the line... An invisible line, might I add, that she had no idea she was crossing, but nonetheless.

She apparently felt the need to give my husband an earful at that moment about how he should really take the opportunity to play hooky with his wife more often because we don't have any kids yet. And how we're "SOOOO lucky" that we don't have any kids yet. And how it must be nice to just do whatever we want, whenever we want, because we don't have any kids yet. And how she wishes she could go back to the days when she didn't have any kids.  And how we really should appreciate this time in our lives when we don't have any kids, because it goes down hill once you do. And how she's so jealous of us because we don't have any kids yet. And... well, I'm sure you get the picture at this point.

If I were there I would have counted how many times she used the damn phrase: "Don't have any kids yet." Really? We didn't notice, but thanks for so blatantly pointing that out.

Also, thanks for helping us realize "how lucky" we are that we don't have any kids... yet. Oh, and for ironically finding the perfect moment and time and person to vent to about how much you apparently dislike having kids. Yea, awesome.

I felt bad for my husband when he came home and told me that story... And then felt infuriated that he had to deal with that, especially coming off the the whirlwind of just getting an over-load of information the day before about how his wife will shortly begin to drug herself with self-injections, just for the sheer hope that we can "have kids."

Really, Brittany?... The last thing my husband (and me later that evening) wanted to hear from someone who's opinion was not asked for, was how horrible your life apparently is because you have kids - and how "awesome" ours apparently is because we don't. Yea, thanks for offering those thoughts to the infertile couple.

Brittany, poor Brittany... she had no idea what she had set herself up for, and I'm sure she meant no harm. But honestly, please be more thoughtful about your words and your decision to just so openly share - no wait, project - your opinion on someone else.

To Brittany... I hope you can find a moment of clarity in your ever so difficult life and take a second to step back and appreciate the beautiful children God has blessed you with and allowed you to have in your life. I'm sure there are plenty of moments filled with frustration, exhaustion, and plain old defeat, but truly you have a blessing - actually multiple blessings - that so many of us continue to dream of, hope for, pray for, get poked, prodded, and drugged for, spend exorbitant amounts of money for, and spend so many moments each day simply longing for.

I'm sure being a parent isn't always rainbows and sunshine, but it's truly a blessing... and I vow to never allow myself to forget that when my opportunity arrives.

Until then, I can only pray for parents like Brittany (and her children) who seemed to have lost sight of that - or even more unfortunately, maybe never even realized it in the first place.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

On-wards and Upwards

It's been awhile since I last updated, so I apologize. Life has been a little crazy lately. As an educator, those that are fellow educators know that this time of year can be, well, NUTS! In addition, I recently went back to graduate school for a second round, so that's added some additional craziness to my plate. But enough of that... It's time for a much needed update on my infertile life :)

As a quick recap, we decided to take a little hiatus from medical fertility treatments for a couple of months - for various reasons. During this break I've been working hard to really focus on some more natural approaches to helping increase fertility... such as exercise (pilates and yoga for fertility), self-fertility massage, and eating as clean and as healthy as I can. After a couple of months, while I can't say that I'm pregnant just yet, I can however say that I do believe these things have definitely helped and increased my fertility, in various ways... and have made me much healthier (and more aware of what I'm putting into my body) in the process!

I've worked hard to cut most processed foods, white refined sugars, caffeine, and other toxins (by eating about 80-90% organic) out of my diet and rid my body of the negative effects they all have, not only on my health, but more specifically on my fertility.

So where do things go from here, you ask?

Well, we're actually ready to go back to fertility treatments (that is of course, unless this month happens to be 'the month' - I will never loose hope!) and we're gearing up for our next step of the plan, which consists of drum-roll please:...NEEDLES! Yup, for this next cycle we (I, really) will be taking daily gonadotropin injections and then we'll have IUI number 3 scheduled.

Yesterday, we actually had our appointment with one of the nurses at Dr. M's office to have our 2-hour "training session" to go over all that basics and nitty gritty of doing the self-injections.

Looks like I have TONS of fun ahead of me here in the near future.

But really though, in a weird way I'm actually kind of excited to start this next phase. I mean, I'm not necessarily jumping out of my chair to start injecting myself (or have the hubs do so) on a daily basis, but I'm definitely looking forward to the hopeful possibility that this next phase represents. I'm so happy that we took a couple of months to just breathe and re-set ourselves, as well as focus on getting even healthier... and now I'm ready to go back in for round whatever we're technically on (three, four?).

So that's that really... Still loving my green smoothies and juice. Still pilat-ing and massaging my way to a baby. And oddly enough, looking forward to apparently beginning to stick needles into myself on a regular basis. Life's awesome! Really, it is!... That wasn't sarcastic!! :)