Archive | January, 2012

We Were on a Break!

31 Jan

The Friends love continues. Today Ross and Rachel decided to “take a break” which made for an absolutely perfect lead in to this post.

Randall and I have decided to take a break. After last week’s realization of just how unhappy I’ve become, he came home from a week-long business trip, we talked, I cried and we agreed a break from the rigors of TTC was exactly what I needed. We will to do a treatment cycle in April or May…if we are ready, if not we’ll wait.

I plan to spend the next few months recapturing Leslie. I have become “Leslie who is unable to conceive a child” and that is a person I never wanted to become. I plan to run (the horrors!), drink tons of wine and do whatever strikes my fancy. The thermometer, OPKs and charts have been thrown out the window and I will be enjoying the perks of being “newish-ly” married and childfree with my husband no matter what cycle day it is. I am considering this a reboot. I want to go into infertility treatment with the best possible attitude and the most positive outlook I can muster. I need to be at my strongest level mentally, prepared to deal with the “what ifs” and all possibilities, be they positive or terrible.

This weekend was the first of the reboot. I can honestly say I drank more wine in three days than I have in the last 365. While laughing with my best friend I felt more like myself than I have in months. I realized that while I was close to giving up, I’m not a quitter and could not let infertility beat me. I will beat it.

While the break is a lot about getting my mind right, I also want to take this time to get my body right. First reboot run is tomorrow morning, I am attempting to shake my schedule up completely with an early morning run and a quickie evening workout. Eating right also comes back in full force tomorrow. I gotta get the extra calories for all this wine somewhere.

Since I promised them to you and I know you have been waiting on pins and needles, I will leave you with this fun history fact: The Mayan long calendar officially ends on 12.21.2012. This has caused a huge uproar for those using it to predict the end of the world. Unfortunately for Nat Geo’s “Doomsday Preppers” the Maya stopped using this calendar hundreds of years ago and their short calendar continues on into the foreseeable future. Keep this in mind before deciding to run up your credit cards since “the world is ending anyway.” If you decide to do it anyway, you can’t say didn’t warn you.


Giving up.

23 Jan

I just read Ben Does Life and all it makes me want to do is run. The doctor told me months ago that she thought my increase in running distance  was why my cycle got longer suddenly and she would prefer I cut way back or even switch to another form of workout. So, I cut back on running. Later, books on infertility told me that studies show that intense exercise and infertility are not compatible. So, I stopped running completely, grasping for anything to help me help myself. Last week the weather was so nice it took everything I had not to just go run.

Last night I was talking with a friend about giving up. Not giving up hope, actually giving up activities and material items in order to achieve bigger things; in this instance a viable pregnancy. I allow myself caffeine only in the form of unsweetened iced tea with one meal a day, I gave up running and the goal of a half marathon, I gave up the ability to make long-term plans, I gave up drinking when I felt like it, I gave up all of my extra income to save for treatment. I feel like a fraud with my “Do Life” car sticker because I have given up doing life.

I hid from posting here again after my last post because something happened that gave me hope for this cycle. I let myself get caught up in the belief that this was it for us, that we were those people who got the magic fertility boost from testing, that we could use the money we are saving for cribs and clothes instead of injections and an impersonal conception.  I have given up on this too.

I am at a crossroads right now. After a year, I am tired of bowing to trying to conceive. I want to say, “infertility be damned” and run, drink and enjoy doing my life. I had a small glimpse of what this would be like last week and I savored it. I’m just not sure I can deal with the constant feeling of “what if” dogging me if I adopt this attitude. I’m beginning to give up on my ability to know which is the right path anymore.

An Update of Sorts

16 Jan

I have been a blog slacker lately. I will try to blog more often.

We received our official “unexplained infertility” diagnosis last week as all tests came back normal. It was strange to get the diagnosis. On one hand I was really happy nothing was wrong but at the same time not having an answer for why we are not conceiving is frustrating. The RE let us know that the next step is IUI (insemination), which involves placing sperm in the uterus via catheter. IUI works best when combined with fertility medications, so Randall and I have to make a decision as to whether we want to move on with oral medication (Clomid) or injectable medication (Follistim.) The decision is a little tough as the oral medication tends to have a lower success rate but is drastically less expensive and the injectables carry a higher risk of multiples and are more expensive but have a higher success rate. It’s a lot to take in, so we have decided to take no action until April. We will continue to try as we always have until then and hope for a “freebie.”

Weight loss is a weird area right now. My workouts are going really great, my eating is so-so though and I am losing very slowly because of it. There is some correlation between stress about infertility and emotional eating that I really need to work on. I am hopeful that once school starts again I will be able to keep a better schedule and control the emotional eating much better.

Spring semester starts tomorrow. I am excited to get back to it and really have something to focus on other than obsessing about the state of my uterus. The semester will be a busy one as I am taking 15 hours; three of which are History classes and will involve a ton of reading and writing. I have an interesting (to me) course load this semester and will likely geek out on the blog about random History facts in the coming months…prepare yourselves!

I have a couple of posts percolating about things that I have been thinking about lately, so look for those in the coming days. Enjoy MLK day and take a minute to remember Dr. King’s dream and also to think about yours.

This is what happens when I am alone all weekend.

9 Jan

I was going to post about weight loss today but I started writing out the post and half way through was saying internally “shut up all ready!”, so I know that it needs some work before it becomes blog-worthy. Instead here is a random  list of things I like and dislike right now influenced by a weekend of doing nothing but eating random food and watching TV:

Like 1. Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breasts – While not a fresh from the grill, juicy piece of chicken breast these are an excellent substitute when you need a quick meal. Tonight I cut one into strips and placed it on two corn tortillas with salsa and sour cream. Delicious. Although the instructions say to cook each frozen breast in the microwave for 2.5 minutes; my microwave is really like 4 minutes. Sadly, this resulted in an unappetizing bite of partially cold faux-grilled chicken. Since I couldn’t really put in back in the microwave all taco-ed up, I fed it to Titan instead. He hates tortillas though (it’s kind of strange?) so I only gave him the chicken, of which he was supremely appreciative.

Like 2. “Into the Wild” by LP – This is the song from the Citi commercial in which a woman talks about how she wanted to trade her thank you points in for a rock and is then shown climbing in a breathtakingly beautiful area of Utah. While the commercial screams 1%, in true ironic fashion the artist is so indie she doesn’t sell on iTunes, so you can’t purchase it…even with your Citi card.

Like3. Texas Multi Mama’s – I love me some reality TV, I also love me some multiples and some Texas. This show is the best of all of this. Last night I was watching some random show on WE TV and saw a person who looked really familiar while I was fast-forwarding through a commercial. I rewound and found out that there was a new show about moms in Texas with multiples and one of the girls on the show was a woman with quads whose blog I have read for 5 or so years. I set the DVR to record all episodes and was rewarded with a five episode block this morning. This show is good in that “oh hey, that’s the AAC!” kind of way.

Like 4. Del Monte Fruit Chillers in Cherry Punch Half Pipe – These things are like crack. They are freeze and eat tubes like the old school Pop-Ice we all used to love…just made with fruit juice instead. They aren’t necessarily diet wreckers at only 55 calories but they are kind of nutritionally bankrupt. Since they keep me from scarfing chocolate at 10:30, they are awesome. Speaking of chocolate…

Dislike 1. Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies – In trying to quell the aforementioned chocolate cravings I thought these might be worth buying (I also had a coupon for them.) Unfortunately, they are barely edible. Think about one of those Little Debbie brownies with the nuts on top and then put it into a food dehydrator for like six hours, then replace the nuts with something called “chocolate flavored pieces” and you have these things. On the commercial they show these people that are having this bangin’ cheesy old person party in the supermarket complete with a disco ball. Obviously Fiber One knows it’s target audience well; old people who need more fiber and are losing their taste buds.

Dislike 2. Lifetime movies – I know this is like being a blasphemer to woman kind but I can’t help it. This dislike does not mean I don’t watch Lifetime movies, that’s not true at all. In fact, I watched the world premier of “High School Girl Moonlights as Hooker” last night. You have no idea which movie I am talking about right now and that is why I dislike Lifetime movies: there are TEN movies with the same premise! “Man Beats His Wife So She Kills Him” came on afterward but ten minutes in I was pretty sure I’d seen it before, so I didn’t watch.

Dislike 3. The fact that Jennifer Anniston never wore a bra the entire time they were shooting Friends – As mentioned previously TBS is in the sweet spot of the Friends series right now and I am watching a lot of it. Just be aware that if “Spot Jennifer Anniston’s Nipples!” was a legitimate drinking game I would probably be dead from alcohol poisioning right now.

Dislike 4. Not having a fourth thing to dislike for this list. Instead, please note that the Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Pita Bread Lean Cuisine is the bomb.

The One in Which I Almost Have a Breakdown.

7 Jan

I have been really digging some Friends re-runs on TBS lately, thus the title. A week ago Monica and Chandler got married, today Rachel and Ross had Emma. It’s the good part of the series for sure. 🙂

Yesterday was great. Randall did his in-depth semen analysis at 2:30 and I got a call from the RE’s office at 3:45 letting me know everything was normal and good. We joked that now that he has had semen analysis done at two different RE’s he could write an internet review for guys comparing the “collection rooms” of the two. In case you are wondering Dr. K’s office has a leather recliner and porn on DVD, while the other RE had a wooden bench and some old magazines. Randall is very glad we ended up with Dr. K. Later on, I worked out and then headed out to date night with Randall. We went to Pei Wei (crab wontons, woo!) and I picked up some books at Half Price, including two about dealing with infertility. It was great to be able to relax and just really enjoy Randall/Leslie time.

Unfortunately Randall had to leave for a last minute business trip very early this morning, so the relaxing feeling from yesterday was short lived. Today was a very long, rollercoaster day. I had a ton of stuff to do at work but unfortunately I had to leave early to get my hysterosalpingogram (HSG) done. The HSG is a mandatory fertility test that involves an xray and the injection of radioactive dye into your cervix to check your fallopian tubes for any kind of blockage or for any uterine abnormality.While it’s a painful test, it does have a bonus side effect; women tend to have increased fertility the cycle the HSG is done and slightly increased fertility for a cycle or two after.

I showed up to the radiology office thirty minutes before my appointment as requested. I checked in and was told they were running behind and I wouldn’t be seen until 45 minutes after my appointment time, so an hour and fifteen minutes from then. Awesome.

Once I was called back I was shown to a room with a beautiful and ornate frosted sliding glass door. I walked into a small tastefully furnished and soothingly lit living room type area ringed by dressing rooms with lush fabric drapes. I took a moment to panic about my insurance charging us a ton for something so nice and then had a good dark laugh when I remembered I was paying for this out of pocket.

I was handed a robe and a key for a locker to store my things and told to remove everything from the waist down. I undressed and put on the robe which was obviously meant for a sumo wrestler as it was ginormous. Even after it was tied my goods were on display through the 6 inch gaping area. Ever the quick thinker, I tied it to the side 80’s giant t-shirt style and made quite a fetching outfit by pairing it with my red, green and white polka dot Christmas socks.

I sat down in the living room and noticed that there were A LOT of boobs on display. I quickly figured out this was the waiting room for mammograms as well and the older ladies seemed to have no shame about keeping the girls in their gowns. People came and went and the final boob tally for the day was 5 pair. I watched  a lame HGTV show while I waited and of course they came to get me right before the big reveal. Sadly, I’ll probably never know what Jan and Dave’s Arizona living room looked like post-design completion.

Bringing the new hoo-hah viewer total up by two, (three for the week…a new record for me) the nurse and radiologist were excellent. They were kind and compassionate about why I was there and had such good bedside manner. The procedure was painful but quick and ended with great prelim results, both tubes clear! I will get the more in depth results early in the week next week and we’ll know if we are officially in the “unexplained infertility” category.

I left the office, had some hell break loose and then edged on a nervous breakdown which included Randall calling to let me know he was now staying out of town for three more days; completely voiding the super-fertility we were hoping for this cycle.  Shaking, I realized I hadn’t eaten lunch and fortunately eating helped quell the breakdown and I bounced back. I took a breather and read the fertility book I purchased last night. A few pages in, I felt like it was speaking directly to me. It said that when you are infertile, there are two classes of people; those who get it and those who don’t. If you feel the need to stop communicating with people , do it. Don’t feel guilty, do what you have to do in order to get through this time in your life. It’s okay to be selfish right now. As painful as it may be for me, I think the time to selfish is something I really need right now and that’s also totally okay.

Tonight I got a haircut and let my stylist spoil me like he always does. I took a friend out for a birthday dinner including dessert and recaptured some relaxation. Tomorrow my grandparents are coming to visit and I love when they are here. Here’s to a good weekend after a so-so Friday!

Heavier Things.

5 Jan

Four years ago today I was flying down Interstate 20 at 85 miles an hour toward Abilene. I had just received a phone call that my father had passed away. He was 43, it was completely unexpected. Weeks later we learned that my father had had diabetes, he had fallen into a diabetic coma and felt no pain. For that, I am thankful.

I met some friends for lunch today and we had a long conversation about mourning the loss of things and the grief process. A friend freshly out of a long-term relationship told us about how she realized she needed to go through the stages of grief to truly let go of what could have been. I came home and made a collage of our wedding paper items and couldn’t help but think how very much I wish my father could have been there, how much I wish I could call him and talk about the most mundane subject, anything at all, how I wish he could hold my future children. Four years in, it seems the grieving continues.

This time last year I realized it might be time to do something about my weight. The anniversary of the passing of my father coupled with seeing the highest number ever on the scale and beginning to try to conceive a child I realized I wanted to be there for my children. I want to zip my daughter’s wedding dress, I want to see my son graduate college. I don’t want them to have to mourn for me.  I made a promise to myself that I would never go back to that unhealthy place. While I have not gone back, I am not finished by any means and that journey much like my grief, is ongoing.

I re-started 30 Day Shred yesterday and have been on a reduced calorie diet for two weeks. I have lost three pounds and am glad to be seeking my healthy self again. Today I have allowed myself to take time to grieve all of the things I have lost. Tomorrow I will be stronger for it and even more thankful for what I have.

New Year, New Plan.

3 Jan

Today was our initial consultation with the reproductive endocrinologist (RE or fertility doctor in layman’s terms). Driving to the office of Dr. K I had a ton of emotions. I was nervous about taking the big step toward dealing with our inability to conceive, upset that we had to visit him at all and slightly embarrassed at the thought of both adding another person to the number of people who have seen my hoo-hah and of Randall getting to experience a trans-vaginal ultrasound from the co-pilot’s seat.

The office was nice, tastefully decorated with decent music and a great, friendly staff. There was a woman with two children and a big pregnant belly in the waiting room. I’ll admit I was kind of wondering why she was there but it didn’t bother me as badly as it did another woman waiting. She was shooting death stares toward them, to which both the pregnant woman and her children were oblivious. While this is a sentiment that might be judged harshly in many circles, I completely understand the woman’s discomfort. We don’t need reminders of what we don’t have; it’s in the forefront of our minds all the time.

The nurse called us back and put Randall and me in a small, sunny room with a round table and a few chairs and told us Dr. K would be there shortly. On the walls were tons of pictures of babies, many twins and a few triplets. I remarked to Randall that it must be kind of cool to be an RE as not every doctor has a product to show off at the end of treatment. A removed appendix or photo of a squeaky clean colon really doesn’t elicit nearly the excitement of a cute baby (or two.)  There were also brochures about donor “materials” and financing options, subtle reminders of the reason we were sitting in that room and that those cute babies didn’t take the easiest or cheapest route to existence.

Dr. K came in an immediately put me at ease. He is knowledgeable and warm. We immediately connected over a shared love of history. He looked through the novel of a chart my gynecologist had sent over and we discussed my reproductive history. He presented us with our immediate next steps and the steps after those. I felt more empowered and in the know than I have in a really long time. He surprised me by telling me to ditch the basal body thermometer and just let him take over from here; a welcome reprieve.

After talking for over an hour we moved to an exam room and I had a date with the vag cam. Dr. K stepped out to allow me to undress. Randall was sitting in a chair and when I took off my pants and underwear, his eyes got wide and we laughed about the strangeness of the situation. I’ve always heard that dealing with infertility is like conceiving with a coaching staff and it seems like that is our new reality.

During the ultrasound, the scan was also displayed on a large LCD TV, allowing both Randall and me to see my uterus, ovaries and cervix as Dr. K looked them over. Everything checked out wonderfully and Dr. K confirmed that I have adequate ovarian reserve. Basically, I have eggs! And a good number!

Based on that good news, we have a plan: on Thursday Randall will have a more in depth semen analysis done and on Friday I will have testing done to confirm that there is no blockage to my fallopian tubes. By the middle of next week we will know the results of these tests. If they come back normal we will consider moving on to inter-uterine insemination next cycle. If we decide to do that, I will also begin fertility drugs at that time.

I am excited and scared to move forward toward making a family. I am glad we clicked with Dr. K and feel like he is right for us. It seems crazy, but the location of his office sealed the deal for me. Driving in, the area was so familiar. When we sat down in the waiting room I used Google maps to see how far we were from the chapel we were married in; 1.2 miles. Something about growing our family so close to where we became a family really struck me and I knew we were exactly where we should be.