Tag Archives: Ten Before Treatment

BFN to BBQ

11 Apr

It’s been 2.5 weeks since I last blogged. I would love to say I had some sort of important thing keeping me from logging into WordPress, but the truth is I was just not feeling the blog vibe. I would apologize, but hey, it’s my blog and I think a 2.5 week break is fine. 🙂

I got a negative pregnancy test this morning. I felt a little off and had some pretty persistent “symptoms” that I couldn’t find record of in the last thirteen months of charting, so I let my hopes raise a little and peed on a stick. Surprisingly the negative took no wind from my sails. I felt good about the day and moved on post-pee cup like it was no big thing. This is major progress for me and illustrates both the purpose and effectiveness of taking a “break” before treatment. Score one for being too lazy to take my temperature every day!

The overall goal of taking a break from the hardcore rigorous form of trying to conceive was to get my mindset into a positive place before undergoing infertility treatment. I can honestly say that I am there. Randall and I have been working hard to save money for treatment and I am happy to say we have enough saved now to do one to two cycles of IUI with injectable medication without taking anything from our savings/e-fund money. The plan is to do treatment cycle one in June, likely beginning mid-month.We initially planned for a May cycle start date, but as I have heard/read online that injectable fertility medications make women into Hulk Smash! emotional bitches, I decided tackling both my raging hormones and my spring semester final exams just didn’t seem like the best plan. So, June it is.

This is an exciting and scary moment for us…we are standing at the crossroads of possible parenthood and our first potential big league TTC failure. My aunt and cousin (among way too many other family members) visited over Easter weekend and I explained the entire feeling of our infertility journey this way: I was once in CVS buying a pregnancy test, a bottle of wine and tampons. The cashier gave me the side eye and I told her that “I was just preparing for all possible outcomes.” This is my exact feeling about treatment at this point. It will work and we will have a child or it won’t and we will pick ourselves up and make a plan for the future.

Speaking of the future, Randall and I discussed the “what if” aspect while at dinner during date night tonight. Making a plan for this is #5 on the Ten Before Treatment and we have decided if this doesn’t work out for us we will be taking a BBQ road trip across Texas; this is a fitting plan as we had just finished growing food babies at Hard Eight BBQ. We share a mutual love for smoky, sweet sauces served with meat smoked to perfection (sounds a little dirty, eh?) and feel like this trip would be both kind to our post-treatment expenditures budget and a tasty good time. I have more than a few BBQ Meccas I have been dying to visit (Franklin, Snow’s, Luling City Market, Southside Market, Kruez Market) and Randall has some special stops he would like to add in (Shiner Brewery mostly…which side note – did you know you can only tour during the week?), I also wouldn’t mind making another attempt at seeing the Marfa Lights and would love to re-visit and camp a night at Big Bend.

Beer and brisket aside, the heart of the matter is that even though this is still a plan in its beginning stages it lets me know that no matter what comes our way this summer we will make it and be stronger for it.

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Get Your Beds Ready!

18 Mar

One of the Ten Before Treatment goals was to work on our front and back yards. I can now check that one off the list. Randall and I hit up Lowes and mapped out a plan for the yard.

Front yard before:

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The two smaller green bushes were here when we moved in and have always done poorly. We decided to move them to the backyard and get some new bushes to put in their place.

Front yard after:

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We also worked in the backyard.

Before:

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Two weekends ago, my mother in law came to see us and asked us to take her to a nearby maple tree farm. Although we were only there for her to get trees, this little $20 guy spoke to me so we picked him up. He’s not much now but per the tree farm owner will grow 5′-6′ per year and will have gorgeous bright red leaves.

After:

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Needing a home for those green bushes from the front yard, we decided to make a flower bed near the patio.

Before:

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The plan is to eventually expand the existing patio to the edge of the flower bed, but for now it’s just some nice landscaping. We planted impaitients, salvia, geraniums, a hydrangea on it’s last leg (haha) and I moved three Iris bulbs from pots to the ground.

After:

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It took us about six hours to do everything and it was hard work! Our soil is a mix of clay and rocks that isn’t very conducive to digging holes. It was totally worth it for the end result though and I am glad to be able to check this off the TBT list.

Where the Light Is

20 Feb

Some things before I update the Ten Before Treatment:

1. Facebook’s new Timeline feature is an absolute beast to update. Since it assumes dates from the time you post things on FB, my wedding date was off by eleven days. I wanted to fix that add the day we got engaged, it literally took an hour. What a freaking beating.

2. The Coldplay station on Spotify is the most chill and awesome station ever. Coldplay, Keane, The Fray, The Killers, John Mayer. Good stuff. Unless you hate slightly whiny male singers, then don’t listen to this station, it might make you break something.

3. I do some of my best thinking while washing my hair. I realized today I stopped losing weight around September of 2011. We had been trying to conceive for 6-7 months and that’s about when the novelty wore off and the bitter set in. I have watched myself make peanut butter cookies, snickerdoodles, pecan cookies, cake and other goodies “for Randall” in the last few months. My baking ability does not mesh well with my inability not to eat my depression about being a barren bitch. More on this another day.

Ten Before Treatment Update:

1) Run a 5k. – I registered for a 5k I really loved last year a few days ago. Since it’s in September, it doesn’t really count though. I am considering the Firefly Run or maybe bringing it full circle and running the first race I ever ran, the Mayfest 5k. If I wasn’t A. a chickenshit and B. scared of being too chunky too run fast enough to not “die” I would totally be down for this one:  Zombies!!

2) Visit all of the wineries within 20 miles of my house. – Yeah, I’ve just been drinking all the wine in a 20 miles radius of my house. I should probably get more organized about my wine-soaked weekends.

3) Get back into the coupon swing. – As of last Sunday, Randall has enough deodorant to fend off smells for the rest of the year. For this we are thankful to the Coupon Gods.

4) Spring 2012 semester 4.0 a goal – I have been kicking ass and taking names this semester. VERY happy about this.

5) Put together a plan for “what if.”  – Three plans exist currently: 1. Train for/run half marathon, 2. Go on 2013 cruise, 3. Visit the Willamette Valley of Oregon with Randall. These things deserve their own post, so that’s all I’ll say for now.

6) Dine at least three of the top-rated “nice” restaurants in the Fort Worth area. – One down, Eddie V’s was awesome. I have decided I am going to go on a lobster bisque bender if treatment doesn’t work out. That stuff is like crack.

7) Finish two projects. – I don’t know that this necessarily counts as a project but I did finally, a year and a half after getting married, print/put wedding photos in the nice silver frame we bought before we got married. Procrastination for the win.

8) Finish our on-going flooring/remodel projects. – Randall finished our kitchen floor! Excuse the quality of these photos, I literally took them on my iPhone and uploaded them like a minute ago.

Our linoleum used to look like this:

Now our ceramic looks like this:

9) Work on both our front and back yards. – Not yet, a spring time goal.

10) Enjoy life – I have really been embracing this one as much as possible. I fall into bed on Sunday nights drained because I am going all weekend with Randall, friends, things to do. It’s a nice but tiring feeling. I’m not the only one feeling it in the house:

Lately any pillow that makes it to the floor around here is Titan Territory. 🙂

So, that’s the current TBT status. I’ll try to make an update every few weeks to the list. It helps to keep me accountable.

In closing, the soundtrack to this post morphed from Coldplay’s channel to John Mayer’s Where the Light Is live album around number two in the update. If you are a fan and haven’t given it a listen, run, don’ t walk to iTunes…it’s really his best work ever.

Two of a kind, working on a full house.

19 Feb

As we round out the first cycle of the TTC break, I find myself becoming pensive and sad. It seems that no matter how much wine you drink or how many miles you run the ache that accompanies the inability to conceive will find you.

We ate at a local Mexican restaurant yesterday for lunch. As Randall and I sat munching on chips and salsa and talking about how we love the word haberdashery and other random things, I noticed women gathering in the party room I was facing. I watched as pink and brown balloons were set up, as piles of pastel presents arrived. Women laughed and fawned over the two cakes, both diaper and traditional. The expectant mother arrived as we got our check, her face lit up and her grin grew as large as her burgeoning belly as she saw all of the work the women had put in for her unborn little girl. Taking it all in, I surprisingly felt no jealousy, no envy, just a hollow sadness.

I had a ridiculous spat with a friend yesterday. We were talking about when we plan to start treatment and how I was feeling about it. I let my upbeat attitude lapse for a minute and told her it was kind of unbelievable, I just never imagined how it would feel to write a check for a chance to conceive a child. She flippantly replied that she had had to pay for her daughter too, so she totally understood. I responded back that I thought paying for a vasectomy reversal and a subsequent immediate natural conception was a little different. I felt like a bitch the second I said it, because really who I am to judge.

Which brings me to what I really wanted to talk about before I wrote all this other stuff. I was thinking of joining a message board for people dealing with infertility. I thought it would be helpful for me to have people who had been there to talk to during treatment cycles. I had one picked out, had added my “history” to my profile signature as is protocol for the board and began reading the board daily so I could get the vibe  down before introducing myself. Unfortunately through this reading, I now know I will not be joining this board.

Last week, a “regular” poster made a post regarding “real infertiles.” She complained that she was tired of seeing people who were new to infertility coming to their board and getting pregnant. She felt like her infertility and that of her friends who had been around for awhile was much worse than those who were new and demanded “respect for the veterans from the new people.”

Sadly, this is a really common thought in infertility circles. It’s like this twisted game of poker. A girl using Clomid with annovulatory cycles has a full house, but that is always trumped by the four of a kind of someone doing IUI and the royal flush of infertility is having to resort to IVF. Having failed a combination of any of these in addition to the use of others gets you more chips, while a very bad diagnosis or a miscarriage coupled with failed cycles gives you the pot. Using this analogy, as someone with an unexplained diagnosis and no treatment cycles under my belt, I am not even invited to the table. Sickly, I can only assume I’ll be able to buy in when I give myself that first injection.

I’ve been thinking about the psychology behind this line of thinking for awhile. I have come to the conclusion that since becoming a mother is the gold standard of womanhood those who can not achieve this Holy Grail of motherhood on their own have to justify their worth as women by the amount of work they are willing to put in to become mothers. Bitterness accompanies these justifications because deep down, no one wants to be here, no one wants to win the poker game of infertility.

Sadly, this theory doesn’t rest solely on the infertiles of the world. The same motherhood hierarchy continues when it comes to breastfeeding, diapering, immunizations, educating, rearing, etc. The common line of thinking seems to be that the “harder” you work at being a mother, the better mother you are. Who decides these standards? Why do we buy into them?

This entry got heavy at the end, but I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and wanted to get it out here. I am going to do an update on the Ten Before Treatment sometime early in the week, so stay tuned.

**Bonus points for knowing the cheesy country music reference the title came from.** 🙂

Ten Before Treatment

1 Feb

As the fog of being constantly caught up in my inability to conceive a child is lifting, I am starting to think about goals I would like to achieve during the break. We will either start treatment around 4/16 or 5/13, so the end date for these goals will be whichever of those dates we decide. I thought the good ol’ blog would be a good place to post ’em up for accountability:

1) Run a 5k. Spring is prime 5k time, so I would like to get back to the point of running a 5k distance comfortably and do a race. A PR would be fab, but the initial goal will just be to do one. I have a feeling my running fitness is near scratch again but should come back more quickly than if I was just starting out. I see Couch to 5k in my future.

2) Visit all of the wineries within 20 miles of my house. There are quite a few, so I would like to at least do a tasting at each. Viva Vino!

3) Get back into the coupon swing. For awhile using coupons was a real bummer because so many people were inspired by TLC’s Extreme Coupouning to get into it that shelves were always cleared. The novelty seems to have worn off for a lot of people so it makes using the “free money” from the newspaper more fun.

4) As the latter proposed treatment start date falls so nicely in alignment with the end of the Spring 2012 semester, it’s only right to make getting an overall 4.0 a goal.

5) Put together a plan for “what if.”  Unfortunately, the nature of our infertility leaves us only with the choice between IVF and adoption post-IUI cycles; both options in the $15k-$20k range. Due to this, Randall and I have decided that if we have three failed IUI cycles over the summer, we will not seek additional treatment in the foreseeable future. With each IUI cycle only holding a 25% success rate, the “what if” of not conceiving is a real possibility and I would like to have a plan for dealing with that in place. I want to make some vacation plans and set some long-term goals (half marathon anyone?) As crass as it sounds, this plan will be a consolation prize for us. A “thanks for trying!” parting gift, if you will.

6) Dine at least three of the top-rated “nice” restaurants in the Fort Worth area. I would like to enjoy medium-rare steaks, smoked salmon and unpastuerized cheeses to their fullest while not worrying that our restaurant tab is cutting into our diaper budget. There is no time like the present for this.

7) Finish two projects. I have one long term project I would love to round out (family recipe book) and a few I’d like to undertake but in the interest of time two projects in three/four months sounds manageable, especially given the next goal…

8) Finish our on-going flooring/remodel projects. This goal is more one for Randall than for me but I would love to have the new floors done before we start treatment as pregnant lady and fumes from flooring really are not compatable. The kitchen is done except for the sealing of the grout. We still have re-tiling both bathrooms, laying the wood flooring, re-tiling the fireplace and framing the mirrors to go. It looks like we will also have to repaint the living room and kitchen as the new trim is slightly shorter than our old trim, leaving a white border between the existing paint and new trim.

9) Work on both our front and back yards. I would love to shape up our front flower beds and would like to figure out some kind of asthetically pleasing paving stone extension for our backyard patio.

10) Enjoy life. This one is simple. I want to just enjoy the small things and use the next few months as a true relaxation period.