Welcome to our Journey

Thanks for sharing in our journey of moving from a couple in love TTC with no intervention to the land of testing and procedures...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The fog is lifting...I hope

Yesterday was just as debilitating as the other days. Today it started off much the same way. The difference was that I had to go to work for a few hours which allows me to think about something other than sadness for a few hours.  The primary difference was that after work I had lunch with my best friend who had been away visiting her family on the west coast for the weekend.  She is who I talk to about these things in real life.  She gets it and I completely unloaded on her! She did what a great friend does: listened, validated my feelings (and encouraged me to do the same), showed compassion, and provided realistic helpful advice.  Basically, she took me as I was, accepted me, and then gave me hints to make things better like: set short achievable goals for yourself each day.  Today, it was simply to fold the clothes in the dryer and to do my run.  I felt a lot better after talking through all of my stuff with her.   She checked in via text letting me know she accomplished her goals and wondering if I did mine.  I was sitting on the coach about to start down my self pity route, but her text was just what I needed.  Slowly, I headed up the stairs to fold the clothes, change clothes, and then went on my run.  And you know what? I felt better. I always do.   I just need to do it!  Oh, and did I mention that this best friend of mine is pregnant and we had shared the same due date?

This friendship is, obviously, complicated.  But, its foundation is love, respect, and good will towards each other.  It's also deep seated in sorrow and heartbreak.  During my first pregnancy last summer, my friend (in the future called Morgan) was also pregnant, but 4 weeks ahead of me.  She knew that D and I were having trouble TTC and she and her husband started trying earlier than expected.  As usual, she got pregnant on the first try.  I did hate her a little but was excited to share this journey together.  She told me she was pregnant on Thursday. I got by BFP the next morning.  When I miscarried, we had a misunderstanding. She was the only person who knew about the situation, but wasn't there for me when I miscarried. It was a difficult situation for her.  My husband pushed me to let her know how I felt. So, I sent her an email letting her know how hurt I was that she didn't acknowledge my loss or simply tell me "I'm sorry". I let her know I cared for her but I was truly upset.  She called me immediately and we cried together on the phone. She let me know how much she loved me and how hard it was for her that she was still pregnant and I was not.  Morgan is the best of friends.

Unfortunately, one week later, she had a 12 week screen US done and there were some issues with the bladder and possible echogenic bowel.  Because of the early gestation of the fetus, a diagnosis wasn't clear.  She started to withdraw from the pregnancy as she waited for more test results and a 17 week scan.  It was a sad and long 5 weeks.  At the scan, her suspicions were correct.  Their daughter had a random rare genetic condition in which the kidneys did not work, the bladder was malformed, among a myriad of other abdominal organ issues causing her to be incompatible with life.  Five days later Morgan had a D&E.  She was so strong and graceful through the whole experience.  She was expectantly sad, devastated. But, she didn't take it personally, knew it was just bad luck, and was not hesitant about starting again.

So, as soon as AF returned, she and her husband started TTC again. They got pregnant the second cycle.  She found out and told me on Thursday (again), and (again) I got my BFP the next morning.  This time she was absolutely there for me from the beginning of my miscarriage and has remained.  Unfortunately, she can relate.  Unfortunately, she has also been traumatized and does not take pregnancy for granted.  She is cautious about this current pregnancy as well.

It angers me how much infertility and loss robs us of happiness.  I want to be the naive pregnant girl who is giddy, tells everyone, and then reports to my gender scan with not a worry in the world.  But, neither Morgan nor I (nor, unfortunately, many of you) will ever get that experience.

I am thankful for my best friend.

Monday, March 28, 2011


So, yesterday was my husband's 30th birthday. It was slightly traumatic for both of us.  He is so afraid of growing old and is constantly referring back to his "glory days". I'm panicked because I'm next.  We're both practically 30.  I know that's not very old. But, it's significant.  When we say things, it goes like: "for thirty years I've been doing x, y, or z".  Woah.  Where did that time go? And it only goes faster with every passing year...

Yesterday was also the due date for my first pregnancy.  I knew the date was upcoming but really tried not to focus on it or give it much notice.  Alas, I barely moved from the couch Saturday or Sunday.  I just felt profoundly sad and didn't feel like doing anything.  I'm not going to go down all the paths of pity I have for myself. I've been doing that way too much lately! It's just that I'm in a sad and almost debilitating place right now  And just a few weeks ago I was hopeful and anticipatory of this cycle.  Now, the last thing I want to do is have sex.  I just want to sleep.  All the time.

Today I had to work and was thinking about what else is going on with me. I think I'm just experiencing compassion fatigue.  I am a nurse and work in an intense setting where all of my patients are delivering infants with fetal anomalies.  Some are very preterm, some are term. Some babies will live with a relatively good prognosis, some will die soon after birth, and some have unknown paths ahead.  They almost all are facing surgery and long NICU stays. I love my patients and often bond with them.  The past few months I have had some truly remarkable patients that I've become emotionally attached to who have faced situations that are beyond belief.  While I love them and have felt grateful to have these experiences, I'm exhausted. I'm tired of being sad. I'm tired of crying and bonding, particularly when struggling with infertility myself.  Not only am I having a hard time getting and staying pregnant, I know about all the crazy things that can happen embryonically once I do have a sticky baby!  I see it every day!  But, that's my job and there's not much else I can do about it right now. I don't want to start over.  Plus, I really like it. I'm just so drained right now. I think I just need to step back from my patients.  I can provide excellent care without becoming emotionally invested...I think.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Emotional Rollercoaster

First off, thank you thank you thank you to all who have left comments! It's so encouraging to read words of support and to know that other's are thinking of you.  I really appreciate you.

Yesterday was quite an emotional roller-coaster for me.  I spent the morning lying in bed willing myself to get up and face the day (and my HSG).  I was bitter about going by myself and angry that D was not going with me.  He was at work and could have gone, but I didn't ask him to. In fact, I told him he didn't need to go, giving him an "out".  Then, I was angry that he didn't go.  Actually, it was more that he didn't want to go. It made me feel that he didn't want to be involved and that I was doing this on my own.

I finally got up and put my big girls pants on (only to have them taken off again at the appointment) and went to the appointment. The center is about an hour from my house so I had plenty of time once in the car to be angry and resentful about the whole situation. I was nervous about the pain and quite frankly pissed that I am even in this position. I was angry that I have to seek help for something so basic as having a child.  I was full of self pity and very aware that many things are "wrong" with me.

Once I got there, it was ok.  They saw me almost as soon as I walked in giving me little time to sit alone in the waiting room.  I used the restroom and then got on the table with my clothes off below my waist. The doctor introduced himself (different MD than we had for our consult) and told me briefly about the procedure.  In short, it was quite uncomfortable. I felt like I had a really full bladder and had to hold it.  Plus the pressure and pinching at the cervix was painful as well as the cramping.  The good thing was that it only lasted a few minutes.  I had some cramping on and off the rest of the day.  My HSG was normal.  Good news, right?

Really, I don't know how to feel. So far, all the blood work and now the HSG have been "normal". I know I should be happy, but in reality it's so frustrating.  Why does it take so long to get pregnant? And then once I'm pregnant, why I can't I stay that way??  Maybe it's just bad luck.  Either way, it's sad and I don't know if I can go through this again.  I really hoped we would find something minor to fix and then I could know that everything would be ok.  But, it looks like we're heading toward the unexplained route.  I don't know how I'm going to handle this.

D knew I was upset with him for not going and texted me several times. I finally called and was rude to him because of the several frustrations that occurred in the office (for another post) as well as being upset with him.  He apologized but it was an agonizing conversation.  We talked for a while about whether or not to even try to have kids anymore.  I feel like such a wreck. So many of you have gone through way more than I can imagine.  I don't know how you do it! I truly don't know how I'm going to handle another miscarriage.  I feel like I barely made it through the last one.  Then, I think about if we ever do have a child and something happening to that child I would die.  The decision to have a child is so difficult!  But, I can't give up. It's what I want.  So much pain involved...

On another note, can someone tell me whether or not people who leave comments get the comments that are left after theirs? Does that make sense? I want to know because I have made comments back to some of the people that have left comments on my post, but I'm not sure if they get them without coming back to the post and reading through all the comments again.  I want to make sure people know I appreciate them.  Thanks for the help!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nervous today

First off, thank you so much ICLW bloggers! It's been nice to find new blogs and to get new traffic on my blog. I really appreciate your comments and look forward to our journey together :)

Update on the exercise situation: I ran day 2 week 4 of Couch to 5K on Tuesday. Doing well! Long day at work yesterday, so did no exercise. Today is day 3 week 4 of C25K.  I'm doing well eating. Staying within my calorie range and trying to eat the right proportion of carbs, fats, and protein. I'm trying to eat "real" food and not processed food. I'm trying new flavors and foods in an attempt to expand my palate.  So far, so good!

I'm nervous about the HSG today. I've done no reading about it because I don't want to freak myself out. I've heard people say they are uncomfortable and I've heard others say they aren't too bad.  We'll see when I get there.  I'm going alone and feel ok about it. My husband said he'd go if I need him to and I told him I didn't. I really wish he just would have assumed that he go with me.  Oh well. I'm a big girl :)

Will let you know how it goes!

Monday, March 21, 2011

From funk to fine

I woke up in a funk today! Bless those who had to be around me.  After having the day to think about it, I know why.  I recommitted myself to being healthy and working out.  I worked Saturday and ate well that day. After working 12.5 hours and being away from my home for nearly 15, I still sucked it up and did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD.  Great job, right!  Right.  Then Sunday...I worked all day and watched my eating but boy was I starving when I got home! I did fix a healthy meal and plan my food for yesterday, but could not muster up the energy to do the video even though it was only 20 minutes. I knew I would be disappointment in myself and I was.  So, I went to bed thinking what a horrible fat slob I am and woke up cranky.  Should teach me a lesson...

The day was ok otherwise. I called the REI group to update them on my progress (welcome back AF) and to schedule my HSG.  It was, of course, difficult because no one seems to know what they're talking about. I'm so used to working with nurses in a hospital setting where we are expected to guide the patients and use our critical thinking skills.  That is not what is expected of the aids and nurses at MD offices.  I need to understand that and things will go much more smoothly.  Long story short, my day 3 labs were ordered (but I didn't make it there in time! Add that to tomorrow's list) and my HSG is scheduled for Thursday.  Should be good!

I was still in a funk when I got home, but was excited to see my D because I hadn't seem him since Friday due to our conflicting work schedules.  We got in a little fuss partly because I was already feeling a little insecure and partly because we were working on a project together and he got snippy.  I just took a quick nap and then he apologized and told me he loved me when I awoke.  Sweet :)  Then we decided to prepare a nice meal together, which is so unusual for us these days.  We made up a marinade for salmon and stuck that in the fridge.  D then shot some hoops outside and I went for a run.  Yes, a run...or jog...or jog/walk. Whatever! I went.  I decided to restart the Couch to 5K running plan. I can already run a little, so I started on week 4.  I did it and it seemed like the right level to start at for me.  So, we'll see how that goes.

After our exercise, my mood was totally changed. I was proud of myself! I had planned a really healthy dinner as well.  D and I spent the evening chatting, cooking our food, and just enjoying each other.  Such a nice night.  I needed that~

Oh, and welcome all the IComLeavWe bloggers! This is my first time participating (obviously since I only recently started this blog) and am so excited to be involved.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Take Three

Aunt Flow arrived today and brought with her a mixture of feelings! I'm happy she is here and semi-excited about starting a new cycle, but nervous about the "what ifs" and dreading the roller coater ride I've experienced the last two pregnancies.  Ya know...every cycle getting excited about the possibilities, spirits being up, BDing, then hopefully, anxiously waiting to see if (literally) the fruit of your labor materializes...then, nothing. Ugh.

I do feel that I'm entering this cycle with a better mindset than before. I do feel that I'm going to get pregnant again and that I have the team around who is capable of caring for me and helping me have this next baby be a sticky baby.  Of course, since the arrival of AF this morning, the insanity has started creeping back in and I've stalked the boards reading to determine my next plan of action.

First, about me:
I use the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor (CBEFM).
My cycle is typically 26-27 days long.
Based on temperature, CBEFM, and my previous pregnancies I ovulate on day 11.
The two times I've gotten pregnant, I've BD'd on different days, but always within 24-48 hours of ovulation.
My EWCM is almost non-existent, so we use Pre-Seed.
My last cycle we used Instead Softcup and felt that was useful.

Plan of Action:
Temp every morning
Continue using CBEFM
Add OPKs in the afternoon
Baby Dance every other day starting on day 6 (modified SMEP)
Once +OPK, BD every night for 3 nights
Take one night off, then BD again.

I'll also have my day 3 labs drawn Monday and then my HSG next week (hopefully they can fit me in). The HSG offers slightly better chance of getting pregnant, I'll be coming off a miscarriage, and I'm using the SMEP.  Lots of tools in the arsenal so I have high hopes!  Plus, I only have enough tampons to get me through this menstrual cycle. I don't want to buy more!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I ran!

So, I got on the treadmill today.  16 days after my last treadmill visit. Not, the longest break I've ever taken but longer than I wanted. But, I did it. I've just got to keep up with it!

On the fertility front, still waiting on that AF. I don't think I'm pregnant...I'm pretty positive when I ovulated after the miscarriage because I recognized the symptoms. but we didn't have sex around that time. I've drank so much since then, I'd be scared to be pregnant to be honest! I think I've been drinking so much much because, first of all, I was on vacation.  Second, because I truly feel that this is my year. We are seeing a specialist who will take us seriously, and I'm going to have a sticky pregnancy.  So, here's hoping!

The other thing I'm waiting on is our karyotyping and preliminary labs for RPL workup.  I had all the labs but the clotting ones. I'll get those in about 10 days.  The first labs should be back next week.  I'm anxious, but ok waiting.  Good things are going to come :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fat but NOT so happy about it!

Ugh...stepped on the scale following my fabulous vacation and I am the heaviest I have ever been. Yuck yuck yuck.  I mean, I knew it was bad. I've looked in the mirror. My clothes don't fit. I just spent the last week in a f-ing bathing suit! But, to quantify it with the scale is the pits.

Six years ago I found myself in a similar situation. I was at my peak weight then (-1 lb from now) and it really put the pressure on. I immediately started action. I remember going to a bookstore and reading one of Bob Greene's books on eating. It really spoke to me, particularly paying attention to why I am eating and finding value in myself. See, I am a true emotional eater. I eat when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm full because it tastes good, when I'm bored, when I'm reading, etc. I like food and I like to eat.  So, I made some rules for myself:

1. No simple carbs. I could eat carbs but sparingly, only whole grain bread and occasionally whole grain pasta.
2. I had cereal and fruit every day for breakfast and packed my lunch (wholegrain sandwich, water, carrots) and snacks (apples, more carrots).
3. I would attend the gym 6 days every single week no matter what (I joined a gym that I had to pass on my way home) and use the elliptical for 30 minutes at minimum.
4. I could have one cheat meal per week, but did not go overboard. If I added a dessert onto the meal, that's fine...I would just have to do 30 extra minutes of cardio the following day.
5. Absolutely no eating after 7 pm (I went to bed at 10pm then).

Well, it worked great. I felt great and really stuck to the program. I lost 30 pounds in 4-5 months and felt the best I'd ever felt.  Once I got to a good weight, I lightened up on the food restrictions.  That summer I had to do a nursing internship working 12.5 hour shifts and started skipping the gym.  Then, I finished school, moved, started working, etc.  I gained 10 pounds back but felt ok.

Off and on since then I yo-yo. I eat right, work out, see results, then stop.  It's so sad! It's so frustrating to make the progress and then slip right back to where I started from or beyond!  But, I don't know how to fix it. I know the right foods to eat. I know to do cardio and weight training. I know all the right things but cannot make myself consistently do them.

Last year after not getting pregnant for the first 4 months I started going to a personal trainer.  It was going well! I was changing my body, but only lost abbot 10 pounds in the two months.  Then, I got pregnant and was scared to keep working out.  Then, I miscarried, and didn't give a f*ck about working out.  Since then, it's been up and down again all over.  I want to work out and get in shape, but every month I think "Oh, but I'm going to get pregnant".  So, I'll work out for a week or two, then stop during the 2 ww.  It's so counterproductive. I know that it's fine to work out. I know that I need to get in shape and lose weight. I just can't seem to do it. I have a hundred excuses!  The reality is that I'm just plain lazy.

I'm trying to be productive, so I'm outlining the main differences between my success before (6 years ago) and my failures now.

Then: I had a consistent (8-2) schedule every day involving sitting in class listening to lectures making it easy to plan meals, gym time, etc. 
Now: I work (mostly) exhausting 12.5 hour shifts with a one hour each way commute on different days every week making the consistent schedule aspect difficult.
Solution: I know my schedule way in advance, so despite it being inconsistent, I do have one and should be able to plan meals and gym time.

Then: I had easy access to a gym and had to drive by it every single day to get home.
Now: I have a gym in my basement that includes a treadmill, elliptical, weights, tv, and dvd player.  The problem is that I'm home...
Solution: ??? Get off my lazy ass? Stop making excuses? Jury is still out on this one...

Then: I was just an ordinary girl trying to get in shape with a few cares in the world (lol, not how it seemed at the time).
Now: I'm fighting the battle to get pregnant and have two emotionally stressful jobs.
Solution: Suck it up? Realize that a healthy weight is good for me and my future baby? Again, I don't know...

Then: I followed my "rules". I made them and then they had to be enforced.
Now: I make rules, but they're actually more like guidelines.  If I don't want to follow them, I'm an adult, dammit, and I don't have to!
Solution: Find that mindset where I can follow my own rules.

As you see, my solutions need some work.  For now, bed time.  Tomorrow: Run/Walk on the treadmill for 3 miles. I can take as long as I want, but it has to be done.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sorry so long!

So, sorry for the long delay in posting (if anyone is actually reading...). I had my birthday after my last post and then an exhausting couple of days at work! Whew.  Heart-wrenching and horrible as I took care of a mom and dad who were fighting to save their 24 week old child and lost. Tough.  Then, I had vacation! Woo! Could NOT have come at a better time. We headed down to the Caribbean and had a beautiful, fun, relaxing week of sunshine, snorkeling, and eating!

It's so strange how "normal" I am the weeks following a miscarriage.  While waiting for AF to arrive, I do no temping, no mucous checking, no on-demand baby-dancing, no peeing on a stick, and I have no freaking clue what day in my cycle I'm on!  It's great!  Now, don't get me wrong--I'd rather be pregnant. But, it's nice to not have my life consumed by getting pregnant for a few weeks.  I'm excited for her return because once she does, the rest of the show can get on the road! I can have a few more blood tests and my HSG and we can be closer to welcoming our sweet baby.  So, I guess I'm saying I've enjoyed the time off, but I'm energized, refreshed, and ready to start again!

I've enjoyed reading the blogs to which I subscribe since I've returned and truly missed the stories and thought about the writers while I was away.  It's interesting how people that we don't even know can affect us.  I'll keep ya posted!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It was good!

Yesterday D and I went to see the REI doc and it was really really good! The MD was totally professional but kind and down to earth.  He sympathized with our losses and helped us come up with a plan for where to go. He really listened to us, asked questions, and appeared genuinely concerned. I was so nervous going there. I literally felt nauseas yesterday morning before seeing him. But, was totally relieved once we met with him.  Plus, he met with us for over 30 minutes! From what I've read in the blog world, that's outstanding.
The plan:
Yesterday we each had genetic testing done. I got labs for a myriad of other things.
Once AF returns, I'll call to schedule HSG (not so excited about this) and day 3 labs.
In 3-4 weeks I'll have some clotting and immune labs drawn.

So, sounds good to me. He didn't push treatment, which I was afraid of. He respected our knowledge, but explained things when we needed him to.  So, here we go...