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Day by day, soon the change will come.

29 Aug

I have wanted to write this post since Monday, but yesterday was a bitter IF day for me and I just couldn’t get the tone right. Through two virtual strangers, I had the rough realization that sometimes you can do everything right and use the biggest, baddest guns that exist to fight your battles and still lose. I have to believe we will eventually win or I will go crazy, so seeing things turn out like they did for these two was a bit of a challenge to that faith.

Oddly, a small bit of restoration in this faith came from the most unlikely of sources: the Duggars. An odd choice for an infertile, 19 Kids and Counting has long been one of my guilty pleasures. TLC re-aired the episode of the loss of their 20th child before the season premiere and something about hearing Michelle Duggar say “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away” really struck me. I am not at all what you would call uber-religious. I have a rough time with some of the doctrines of the Christian faith and consider myself more spiritual than anything…but something about the teary voice of a mother immediately grieving such a loss gave me contemplative pause. I feel slightly ridiculous even writing this, but it also kind of seemed like something worth sharing; so there it is.

Anyway, I digress, so….Monday. After work on Monday I headed to the gym for the first “real” run in a long time, probably 3-4 months. Thinking I might need some help regaining my running fitness I started on Week 3, Day 1 of Couch to 5k. This was a decent place to start as it’s not killing me to do it but it’s also not a cake walk. Three quarters of the way through my run Avicii’s Silhouettes came on. I initially kind of wavered on even putting it on the playlist. It’s an electronic song, so it’s got a decent beat but it’s not your traditional meathead, eff yeah! running playlist fare. Surprisingly, it turns out it was just what I needed. The lyrics are absolutely perfect for someone on any kind of journey, but seemed especially fitting for me in both the weight loss and after yesterday, infertility arenas. I need to remember this when I am burnt out on calorie counting or feeling too lazy for the gym or having a rough day. Change will come, I just have to help it happen.

Press play, fast forward
Non stop we have the beaten path before us
It was all there, in plain sight
Come on people, we have all seen the sunshine
We will never get back to
To the old school
To the old grounds, it’s all about the new found
We are the newborn, the one who wanna bounce
(We are the future and were here to stay)

We’ve come a long way since that day
And we will never look back, at the faded silhouette
[3x]

We’ve come a long way since that day
And when you never look back
At the faded silhouette
x 2

(never look [2x])
Yeah it faded to you

Straight ahead on the pathway before us
Day by day, soon the change will come
Don’t you know we took big step forward
Just either way
We’re gonna pull the trigger
And we’re gonna give up to
To the old school
To the old grounds
Its’ all about the new found
We are the new born
The world knows all about us

We’ve come a long way since that day
And we will never look back, at the faded silhouette
[3x]

We’ve come a long way since that day
And we will never look back
(never look [2x])

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You Are Here.

13 Aug

If my life was a map this would be a point of interest and possibly a crossroads. The last two years have changed me irreversibly. I will never be able to go back to the person I was but at the same time I know the evolution is incomplete and I will continue to change from here. This is my lyrically waxed introduction to an update post, but all pretentiousness aside, things are okay. They have been better but for now, they are okay.

First and foremost, we met with our fertility doctor (RE.) We had a long conversation and decided that the best path for us at this point is to pursue IVF. This proposition is both scary and exciting at the same time. It’s scary because it means we need about $17,000 to conceive a child, which even under the best of financial circumstances is a daunting amount of money to spend on a chance. It’s exciting because our the RE gave us a 70-80% chance of success, odds that are quite a bit better than those in Vegas or even those of a coin toss but still a gamble nonetheless. Randall and I have decided that we will be moving toward IVF, we have also decided that we will be taking a break from all things trying to conceive until we are mentally ready to tackle the “big guns” of infertility treatment. I have been waiting for ovulation, peeing on sticks, tracking my temperature, getting my hopes up and then getting them smashed to pieces for nearly two years now. I am mentally exhausted from it all and think a time out will do us a world of good.

As always, there is another reason for the time out as well. The RE gave us a 70-80% chance with IVF. What will make the difference between 70 and 80 percent is my weight. I weighed this morning and I am up 25 pounds from my lowest weight (for those who are just joining in I lost 65 pounds in 2011 from diet and exercise.) 10 pounds of this existed before we began fertility treatment – when I hit that low point, I also hit a plateau; after losing weight consistently for many months the scale would not budge. For awhile I really made an effort, I mixed up my workouts, tried calorie gains and deficits but as nothing worked I got lazy and stopped counting calories. The difference this time was that unlike my pre-weight loss days when I ate with abandon completely in the dark about the damage I was doing, I knew just how much I could eat/workout to minimize weight loss or gain. I held steady at those +10 pounds for about six months. Then we started fertility treatment and the wheels fell off. I am going to be honest, I heard the doctor say that I could expect a weight gain of about five pounds per treatment cycle and it was like he had given me the golden ticket to gain without shame. I ate and ate and ate and stopped working out because the meds drained me. I truly believed that I would get pregnant the first cycle and then having gained “a little” weight wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Then when the first cycle failed I was sad and mad and so I ate to make myself feel better. I baked and cooked my way to another weight gain but again…I would be pregnant soon, so it wouldn’t matter, right? So, here I stand with 15 “fertility treatment” pounds and 10 more from just being lazy. To give ourselves the best possible chance at IVF success, I need to lose 50 pounds. I am mad at myself because it would only be 25 if I hadn’t let myself go…but at the same time, nothing good is going to come of that anger, so I have to move on.

So, today is the day. I am going back to the basics, back to what I know works. I ordered a new pair of running shoes that will arrive today. I bought some new workout tops and bottoms that actually fit my +25lbs self. I restarted calorie counting using MyFitnessPal and have signed up for a 5k on 9/29, I am actually going to use my gym membership. This is happening. I have battled my weight all of my adult life and though the doctor assures me that my weight issues have not led to our infertility thus far, I refuse to allow something I know I can beat keep me from living my full life. Watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics last night, a commercial kept playing about putting your goals on the line, online. So that’s what I am doing.

The Goals:

  • Lose 50 pounds (or more) in six to eight months (aiming for 2 pounds a week)
  • Get my 5k back to where it was…aim for some PRs
  • Get my diet under control and stick to my daily calorie allotment
  • Stop treating my sadness with baked goods (fear not those who enjoyed the muffin recipe, this by no means will be the end of baking for me…it will just be the end of eating the majority of everything I bake to make myself feel better.) 🙂
  • Get Randall involved in both diet and exercise to help him shed his IF treatment pounds.
  • Get truly happy and enjoy being myself again

I am excited about this. I know from experience that you have to want to do something like this to make it happen and I know that for the first time in a while, I want to do this. So, I will. 🙂

Someday

5 Aug

Rob Thomas really said it better than I could have:

You can go
You can start all over again
You can try to find a way to make another day go by
You can hide
Hold all your feelings inside
You can try to carry on when all you want to do is cry

And maybe someday
We’ll figure all this out
Try to put an end to all our doubt
Try to find a way to make things better now and
Maybe someday we’ll live our lives out loud
We’ll be better off somehow
Someday

Our second IUI was a bust. We found out Friday afternoon (so you’ll have to excuse the bout of lost ‘grace’, I just didn’t feel authentic writing something I absolutely wasn’t feeling.) This one came harder than the last. Last time we believed it was just a trial run for the doctor, that he was still learning us and that the next round would be the one. We allowed ourselves hope. We stayed positive and just knew all of the work would be worth it this time. It was heartbreaking when, once again, it wasn’t.

Our doctor will allow us one more IUI but we kind of feel like it isn’t for us. It’s commonly said that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over again and expecting different results. Going for third IUI feels a little like insanity at this point. We are setting up a meeting with our doctor next week to hash out both the past and the possible future, but at this point it truly comes down to what Randall and I decide is best for us. Unfortunately none of these decisions will come easily, painlessly or affordably.

Regardless of our final decision we have to carry on now and we will. We’re talking about vacations and home remodeling, making holiday plans and trying to be thankful and appreciative of what we do have rather than what we don’t. Like Rob says, we’ll be better off someday.

Finding My Grace Friday

27 Jul

Facebook can be many things…a source of hurt, a place to share joy, somewhere to make yourself look like an ass; but lately for me Facebook has been a real and constant reminder that even whenever things are “normal”, life is a very fragile thing that can in no way be taken for granted. If you have healthy children, hug them tight. If you have had a healthy, full term pregnancy, celebrate it and give thanks to God. This morning, finding my grace isn’t hard to do, the things to be thankful for are right in front of my eyes.

1. What is something small that you take for granted each day? Titan. Though he really can not be called “small”, having the three-foot, 125 lb mound of joy in my life has made my life so much richer. His velvet ears and club of death tail are enough to make even the worst things a little more manageable.

2. What is something you know you are so lucky to have that others don’t? I have a strong extended family and a group of people who took me on as family when my immediate family crumbled. Having aunties, grandparents and cousins that are no more related to you than a stranger on the street but love you and treat you like you were born in to their family is a larger blessing than even those with just a loving extended family have. I am very, very, very blessed.

3. What is something you know you need to be more grateful for and need to work on? I feel like I can’t phone it in and carry the IF journey over into next week, so…I really need to work on being happier with what we have now. I am guilty, like I am sure many are, of wanting to have more than I do now. It’s not a greedy materialism that drives this need, it’s just a feeling that I am stalling. I was EXTREMELY blessed to be able to become a homeowner at 22. I remain extremely blessed that we have what we do in our mid-late 20’s…but because I “got it all” so early on I am plagued by the need to go bigger and better. I feel like I am not moving forward fast enough but this is absolutely ridiculous. We could literally stay exactly like we are right now and be better off than 50% (likely more) of Americans our age and even older than us. I need to work on being more thankful for this. Like, really need to work on it.

4. How did you do on being more grateful for your #3 item from last week? Something awesome has happened in regards to being more thankful for the ability to do IF treatment. By working on seeing the positives in this process and being thankful for our good fortune I have been able to have a more positive outlook in general about this cycle. Even though I feel “normal”, I still believe it will work. I have also been able to realize that if it doesn’t, it’s okay. We will not only survive it, we’ll be stronger for it.

Have a good weekend. 🙂

Finding My Grace Friday

20 Jul

Today I am blogging from the waiting room of the RE’s office. I am surrounded by other women with the same goals and hopes. I can’t help but hope they get what they are searching for.

Without further ado.

1. What is something small that you take for granted each day? Pedicures. My back was hurting so badly yesterday from the heaviness of having multiple large follicles sitting on my ovaries. An hour in the pedicure chair with my friend by my side was an amazing break.

2. What is something you know you are so lucky to have that others don’t? I have an excellent partner in Randall. The last two months have been hard on me physically. Having him pick up the slack in cleaning, cooking, etc so I can lay on the couch and rest has been amazing.

3. What is something you know you need to be more grateful for and need to work on? See below.

4. How did you do on being more grateful for your #3 item from last week? I really made an effort this week to be thankful for the ability to do infertility treatment. When the stims made my back hurt so badly, I remembered that I was lucky to have responded so well to the medicine at all. When I was so busy at work and had to make time for appointments, I was thankful to have a job that allowed me to leave without issue. There are still issues for me to work on though, so I am carrying this one over to next week as my #3 answer.

As for an update, we’re doing IUI#2 today. I have three follicles and feel really positive about it. In two weeks, I may feel ridiculous having done so but I am going to believe in this one. Here’s hoping that I’m right for us and my fellow waiting room companions.

I Got 99 Problems But The Stims Ain’t One

17 Jul

This morning was my first monitoring appointment of this IUI cycle. My medicine protocol was tweaked this time and I am taking almost double the dose of stimulating medication (stims in the IF lingo) than I was last time. At first I was kind of freaked out by this as the initial idea of putting a super-potent hormone into my body gave me pause, so putting double the amount in was a little scary. Fortunately, those fears were quelled this morning as I got the news that things are progressing nicely and that I will only have to take the stims for one more night meaning I will take nearly the same amount of medication as last time, just much more efficiently.

An random aside for my Googling IF Peeps: I am on 125iu of Follistim and will have stimmed for 5-6 days. My main side effects are fatigue, lower back pain, acne like a teenager and a big dose of the rage-ahol. I kind of want to cut bitches every once in awhile…mainly over dumb stuff like taking too long in the Starbucks drive-thru or taking the parking garage elevator from floor 3 to 4, you know…normal IF med induced cut-a-bitch stuff. 🙂

A random aside for my non-IF Peeps about the stim meds: some of them are made from the urine of post-menopausal nuns. No joke. It kind of makes you say hmmm when you think about the religious debate about IVF. Just some food for thought.

Back to this morning though. As you may or may not know I am a big believer in what I refer to as the “Woo Woo Floaty”…think of the feeling a psychic invokes in her patrons when she hits on something important…that is the “Woo Woo Floaty.” I quite like the idea of karma and truly believe that the Universe not only listens to things you put into it, it also gives you answers or signs when you look for them, this morning was no exception. The lot/road next to my doctor’s office is being worked on. It has been torn up since we started the first IUI cycle, with men and large machines working every time we have an appointment. Driving in this AM, I realized that some progress had been made and noticed that the street sign had been put up. The name of the street is “Leslie.” I got the WWF feeling then. I then pulled into the parking lot about 25 minutes early for my appointment, so I decided to wait for Randall to arrive for a bit before going in. I turned off my car and heard music. I though the workers had a radio on but then realized one of the construction workers was signing a Spanish song in one of the clearest, most beautiful voices I have ever heard. For some reason this sealed the deal for me…I have hope. I am letting it soar and letting the Universe know I am ready. I want to be a parent and I turn over all of my faith that this is will be the treatment cycle that makes it happen.

603 Words

12 Jul

You know how sometimes when things get crazy or uncomfortable it is easier to run from then than deal with them head on? Blogging became one of those things for me. A lot has happened and changed since I blogged way back in April. When I started this blog I thought I would write about three main things, school, weight loss and infertility. It’s only fitting to address the changes in that order I suppose.

1. School – In late May I made a huge change to my “life plan.” If you remember I won an award back in March for a History paper I had written. This turned out to be a blessing in more ways than I expected. Since the award made me “known” around the History department at school, I got a more insider look into what being a professor or grad student was really like. Unfortunately, I didn’t like what I saw and it made me panic about my future. For the first time I really started to doubt that I wanted to teach at all. The first time I verbalized this to anyone was on a Monday evening. I told Randall I was having doubts and I wasn’t sure what to do. I told him I needed to put it out into the Universe and let the Universe guide me. So I did. On Wednesday of that week I was contacted by a friend I had worked with before and offered an amazing opportunity to get back into my old industry. Knowing the offer meant putting my all into making it a career, I knew accepting it meant I would likely never teach. It was a huge decision to make but I decided to take the opportunity. Since it would be ridiculous to stop now, I am still finishing my undergrad degree and if I ever decide that I should have been a teacher, there are paths to get me there. I have been at my new job since early-June and I now know it was the right decision.

2. Weight loss – I have gained 15 pounds since I stopped blogging. It’s not something I love or am proud of but it has happened. I gained 12 of those pounds over a two week period. Since I wasn’t eating 3000 calories a day, I think there is probably another culprit…

3. Infertility – I did a treatment cycle in June. I am going to be honest…I would not wish this on my worst enemy. It was very expensive, the daily shots were intense, I felt like I was not myself. I had little control over my emotions and no control over my hormones/body. I responded beautifully to the medication, Randall had perfect numbers, our RE called the cycle “textbook.” We waited two weeks for the blood test to find out if we were finally pregnant with anxious hope. We allowed ourselves to talk about our child, to dip our toes into our hopeful future, to fully embrace the idea that this could be it, we could be parents. On July 9th we were told the cycle had failed. More than anything I am frustrated and angry that even after 17 failed cycles and now one failed treatment cycle the answer still remains “we just don’t know” when we question why this is not working for us.

This is where we are today, waiting to see if we will cycle again. I am thinking about making a return to blogging and felt like getting this big comeback post out of the way might make that easier for me. So there it is 77 days of my life in 603 words.