Mars, Venus and the Fault in our Stars

Wow. What a week. Followed by an even more draining night. I am completely exhausted from crying all evening. Here’s a hint: I’ve reached the tail end of my cycle.

It’s been rough this week. And by some miracle, this is the first time in 3 years that I had no idea what Cycle Day I was on all month. Heck, I didn’t even know I was at the end until my darling husband mentioned it after a particularly explosive morning on Thursday.

I thought I was still 2 weeks out! Nope! Apparently I’m on cd24.

So even though Hubster knows I’m approaching the Danger Zone, he still forgets (as he does most months) that I need lots of cuddles, You’re Beautifuls and hand-holding. What do I get? Sitting on opposite ends of the couch while watching TV, quick pecks before falling asleep and he forgets I needed a ride home from our Friday lunch date so I had 5 minutes to walk 9 blocks back to work. Which meant I was a sweaty mess the whole rest of my day.

And then today I mentioned twice that I need more lovin’ and did I get a hug or pat on the leg? Nope. I got “I’m sorry” and he changed the topic. Then this evening all hell broke loose. It was bad. When we finally got it all sorted out, I asked him what happened? What changed this week for him to be so distant and unloving? He said that nothing happened and he loves me as much and he normally does so he didn’t realize I was feeling this way.

OMG how did I marry someone so completely different than me?!? As much as we love each other, share the same views on major aspects of life and have tons in common, I feel like some days we speak completely different languages! And having to repeat myself over and over and over and over becomes so frustrating.

But we talked some more, we understood each other a little better, I cried for another 20 minutes and then got dinner. That’s when I finally felt normal. I had cried almost all day and felt so sad and weepy after our fight that I was honestly wondering if I would ever be happy again. Luckily, I am. All it took was Taco Bell lol!

He knew I read the Fault in our Stars and surprisingly, I adored it. So he suggested we watch it tonight. And I so totally needed that! I needed to remember the innocence of young love, find the inspiration to envision having awesome kids like them and be grateful that I do have a truly wonderful life with a truly remarkable man.

Infertility creates insecurities in myself as a person, in my body and as a future mom. I mean, why am I not given a child? Because I’m not going to be the awesome mom I imagine, right? Well, tonight I realized that I’m making this all bigger than it needs to be. No, infertility isn’t a punishment dealt to people who will make rotten parents. A lot of amazing parents once struggled to conceive. Deep down I know I will be a great mom and Hubster will be a great dad. We will be wonderful parents one day and for now we are lucky to have more time to work our shit out before having to worry about kids. And while we’re working out the kinks of our relationship, we’re going to start dating each other and making us a priority.

We need to live more in the present because the future isn’t guaranteed. And we do have a pretty damn good life. So tonight we ended up with am impromptu date night at home and now I’m going to bed. Feeling happy and satisfied.

Tomorrow I’m going to run and work more on my home organization project. And hopefully Hubster and I will have a happy day.

Ah the joys of hormones. They definitely protect our marriage from boredom, I have to say. OK now it’s time to sleep. I’m so drained and I’m sure this post is totally incoherent. Sorry bout that.

Limbo

Ugh what do I write when I’m not actively trying? And how do I process my feelings when we won’t be trying for another few months? I feel like I’m running through my life trying to enjoy a booming career and childless life. And I am. I’m actually very grateful and happy to have such an exciting and fulfilling career.

But as I run full force at work, I’m merely floating through my emotions. I’m totally not processing them and I think I’m actually afraid of them. I’m avoiding my usual relaxation therapies – running and yoga. Which also means that I’m having a heck of a time losing weight for Vegas!

Yes, Hubster and I are finally taking an exciting vacay in a couple of weeks! Part of the whole “trying to enjoy my childless life” plan right now, I guess. But I think it’s a healthy thing to do! My marriage and sanity need 4 days of us-time. There will be a couple’s massage, pool time, gambling, the Beatles LOVE Show, a hypnotist, lots of food and maybe even clubbing!

So maybe I should deal with my feelings now to fully enjoy Vegas later? Ya think? Ugh ok ok yes. I’ll get right on that. Tomorrow!

Damn, I’m a mess. Ha! But it’ll all be better soon.

I get to sign up for my flexible spending account in a few days, which means setting aside more money to start IVF next year. It’s exciting because it’s something. I hate not doing anything. I just feel so stuck. But it’s time to unstick myself, I guess.

Starting with running and yoga! I know yoga tonight before bed can be done so I’ll start there. Then I’ll sign up for a flex elect account, get my alternate work week started (Hubster has every other Monday off and I’m taking every other Friday off so every week one of us will be home 1 day with our child), continue nesting (spent the weekend reorganizing my kitchen and hallway linen closet) and saving as much money as possible.

I hope all this preparation will be worth it soon. I’m terrified it won’t.

Patience is not one of my virtues…

Sometimes it feels like this longing, heartache, hoping and fear will last forever. I know we will be parents eventually, but lately it feels like it.is.never.going.to.happen.

I have a wonderful life so I often feel silly for complaining. I mean, I have a job that I love, the perfect husband, a supportive family and amazing group of girlfriends. I swear they all want us to have kids as much as we want it! And Hubster and I seriously have so.much.fun. Our life is so full that it seems impossible to feel so empty.

But that’s how this feels. It feels like I’ll never have this hole filled up and I’m getting frustrated. Maybe even angry? Why is it taking us so long?!? Not that I want anyone to feel this way for this long, but why US?

And now my life seems so unimportant. We are going for our first of at least 2 consults for IVF in October and will wait to do anything until January. We have some financial help from my parents, but we need to set up our Flexible Spending Accounts to help offset the costs and minimize the amount we finance. My brilliant husband realized that we can have an amount deducted monthly from each of our paychecks before taxes are taken out and be put into a fund that we can access for RE bills. But Open Enrollment starts in September and deductions don’t start until January.

Also, we’re planning to go on an Alaskan cruise next summer with my entire family for my grandmother’s birthday and I don’t want to miss it. Which means I have to be in my first 2 trimesters of pregnancy or have a 6 month old next August. The latter is for sure not going to happen so if IVF does work, I would like it to not interfere with my plans. However, I am well versed in life not going according to plan, so we’ll see what actually happens!

I’m no longer taking Clomid now so I’m officially not ATTC for the next at least 4 months. What am I going to do with myself? That honestly seems like an eternity! So I decided to run another marathon in December, but it still feels so lame in comparison to trying to make a baby.

Ah the pains of ovulation…

… Have kept me home from work.

This must have been a good one because the intense throbbing woke me at 3:30 a.m. I am a very deep sleeper, ladies. I sleep so hard Hubster often jokes that he could live a secret night life and I would have no clue. And it’s true! So when I wake from pain, you know it’s bad. Sure enough, all day with a heating pad and it still feels like a bag of rocks is bouncing around in my lower abdomen.

How am I going to survive IVF if less than 10 follicles growing (I usually have about 4-6 smaller ones and 1-3 mature follies on Clomid) cause me so much pain/discomfort. I feel like such a weenie lol.

But in other news, we had sex on CD11 & CD13, with my +opk coming yesterday on CD14. Plus home insemination this morning since even thinking about intercourse hurt my tummy. So hopefully I won’t even have to worry about how uncomfortable IVF will be! Hey a woman can hope, right? Lol

My path has been made more clear

I have been feeling pretty done with our current Clomid protocol. But I felt like I needed to do something. I just didn’t know what. I mean choosing the next (or possibly ultimate) step of our family-building journey is HUGE and I tend to naturally be very indecisive so I was completely overwhelmed.

IVF, adoption or live child-free.

Those were our options. I knew deep down child-free was really not a choice and instead of the safer route of adoption, I have been feeling like I need to try IVF. I am a big “what iffer” and wondering if we could have had bio kids is not something I would be willing to live the rest of my life with.

And then while standing in line one day at Dollar Tree, Hubster advised me that he was ready to start the adoption process. And I told him I wanted to try IVF. He agreed.

In California fertility insurance coverage is not required and even though we are government workers with generally great benies, we aren’t given the luxury of IVF assistance. My insurance covers 50% of IUI, but 0% for IVF. So IVF has been off the table.

Until now.

Hubster was awesome and started looking into options to reduce the outrageous cost. He came up with enrolling into Flexible Spending Accounts and clinical trials. Unfortunately there aren’t any in our area that will pay for part of all of treatment. So FSA it is. How exciting, right?

Wait.

It gets better.

I told my parents we are looking into IVF and my mom laughs and looks at my stepdad. Then she tells me they had just decided to give me the rest of my college fund that went unspent toward our family-building, be it adoption or IVF. Wow!

And it gets better.

The amount is almost the entire amount we’re guessing we need for one cycle. Holy shit. This is happening!

I cried and shouted, “I’m calling (new fertility clinic) tomorrow!” Then cried some more.

Relief and utter joy have been flowing through me since I got the news like 5 hours ago.

Now it’s just surreal.

OMG I may actually have a baby!

And my manager started a new job today and has been actively trying to recruit me. It has way more downfalls than positives (giving up my 15-min commute for a minimum 45-min commute, giving up work I feel passionate about and fun travel), but if I do IVF, I’ll need to have a regular desk job. I can’t imagine scheduling work trips (about 40% of my working life is spent out of town) around doctor’s appointments, shots (Hubster will have to stab me) and couch-rest. So as sad as I am, maybe a new job is in order?

I don’t know what God’s plan is for my life, but I know that the plan to make us parents seems to be taking shape and I take comfort in that. I have new opportunities that truly are blessings. It feels like things are finally falling into place, not apart anymore.

So today I’m good.

No, I’m freaking fantastic!

Finally. My weeks of feeling totally lost in every aspect of my life look like they’re over. For now anyway. ;-)

I feel so lost

I just don’t know what to do. About anything these days. I don’t know what direction I want to take our journey to parenthood. I don’t know how much I should continue to give of myself to my friends. I don’t know where I should focus my work energy. I don’t know if I should continue running.

I’m at a complete and utter loss.

All I know is I’m extremely emotional right now and feel so godamned alone as I come to terms with what is most likely another failed cycle. Period is due Monday so I guess I need to deal with it now, instead of waiting and becoming an uber bitch at work.

Even Hubster let me down. He gave me a 2-second half-hug when I broke down this evening. You know, the kind with one arm and feel more of their side than their chest? Yeah that’s the one I got.

Every single one of my closest friends has kids, is about to start trying or is hoping for an accident with her boyfriend of 4 months. Please can someone just shoot me now? Or kidnap me and drop me at some remote Island? Just saying…

That’s it. My head is throbbing because it won’t let me feel my pain. But there’s nothing I can do. It has shut me down yet again. No music therapy has worked and now there will be no writing therapy. Guess it’s time to pray.

Ignoring your infertility doesn’t really help

Now I’m just depressed.

But that’s really deep-down. I feel completely blessed to have such an amazing life that I honestly love. And fully enjoy. Like the weekend of the 4th. We spent Friday day and night with family eating and setting off fireworks. The next day we went boating on the river with my in-laws. Then running along the lake while Hubster went for an open-water swim.

Bliss.

Until it hits me.

I’m so sad that we don’t have kids yet and I’m terrified we won’t. All of a sudden the faith I clung so tightly to seems to have vanished.

Hubster and I agreed to do a home insemination this month because I guess my faith started dwindling. He’s been having issues with finishing since I started Clomid again and I just can’t go through the pain and discomfort only to not have any swimmers actually shoot into me. Plus we needed a way to get back to simply enjoying sex.

But then we hit a couple of bumps.

This month I didn’t take Clomid. I had a bad month on it last month so it was kind of a relief not to take it. And then I ordered our supplies (speculum, syringes & sterile cups) late so their arrival date was scheduled for CD12. And I usually ovulate before then.

So on CD10, when I saw this on my opk,

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I decided we were going to try after all.

Luckily we had sex (to completion) the night before so I told Hubster it was negative to try again. But then I foolishly told him the truth so it didn’t work, of course. Ugh. The next day I got another smiley and this time I did a good job of keeping it to myself and was rewarded with swimmers.

The next day we tried our experiment.

Hubster did his thing into a cup and we made our Cock Cocktail! Hahaha we were really amusing ourselves throughout this process. Anyway, I pulled up some preseed into the syringe, Hubster pulled up the swimmers and then we put more preseed in it. Once the syringe was ready, I lubed up the speculum, shoved a small sex ramp under my hips and instructed Hubster in how to insert it.

Poor guy was stressed.

That’s when I remembered just how crazy a speculum looks!

But it was fine. Once he opened me up I had him take a picture because I wanted to see my cervix and when would I ever have that chance again? And he was getting weirded out by it so I had to see it.

And it was weird.

So he shot the Cock Cocktail into me and then he snapped a picture. That one was even crazier!

And then I laid like that for 30 minutes while we chatted and laughed. It ended up being a pretty fun experience. One that I prefer over finding a new RE to do IUI’s in their office. No it’s not as effective, but this gave us some quality time and allowed Hubster to take an active role in the process.

But the excitement has worn off.

I started obsessing about whether we even really had a shot this month. Then I just gave up. I’m over the hoping and thinking positively now. I’m grouchy and stressed. And simply depressed.

I know I’ll be fine soon. For now I’m just going to wallow.

The most depressing cramps

I started feeling a little sad today. My coworker who knows about our infertility was asking about it and when I said that I’m still not sure I can handle IVF, she asked what it was so I explained everything as best I could. Remarkably, I was OK. I say that because today is CD31 and I’m still waiting for my period to start. I took a FRER yesterday morning and it was unmistakably negative.

Anyway, after our IF convo I finally started feeling sad. We’ve been on this road for so long. I don’t want to give up but it gets so hard sometimes to keep going. I have bared my heart to God, minus the tears I can’t seem to shed, and am completely lost.

Then the cramps came. And even though I expected them and hoped my period would show up before we leave for our weekend trip, these are the most depressing cramps I ever did suffer through.

#pityparty time.

Just when I thought my body couldn’t get any weirder…

It looks like I’m ovulating TWICE this month.

No, not releasing two eggs within 24 hours of each other, but I mean ovulating a 2nd time almost 2 weeks after the first.

Yes, digest that. It’s taken me about 2 days to.

So I got a positive OPK on CD8. Weird for being on Clomid, but normal for my crazy body. On CD16, I began having severe bloating and weird stretching sensations, as well as achy ovaries. Like they came in really suddenly in the middle of the night and it was so scary. I have never felt this badly before. And to prevent my natural obssesiveness (not an actual word, huh?), I haven’t been having mid-cycle ultrasounds. Everything has been normal so there has been no need. But this month I definitely needed one because I was freaking out about what was going on with my body.

Unfortunately I was on a business trip when this happened so I didn’t go in to see the doctor for a couple of days. By then the bloating had gone down about 80%. The doctor felt around on my abdomen and said everything felt normal and he didn’t feel any bloating, but almost every place he slightly pressed was tender. Which freaked me out even more.

When he began the ultrasound we had our answer. My left ovary had a 30mm follicle on it and a couple smaller, but mature ones, and the right had some more. So at first I wondered if the OPK was wrong, but he found the free fluid that comes from ruptured follicles. He told me that he’s not supposed to encourage us to get busy (not his terminology, of course) but that we might as well lol. Also my lining looks perfect at 10mm. So one ovary is over 6cm and another is over 4, which explains the discomfort and also means no running for awhile. 😣

So what the heck, you guys? This was a different doctor than mine, and I’m still waiting to hear my doctor’s thoughts, so what do you all think? I found crazy stories on Google, of course, but it still seems so far-fetched.

On a positive note, check out a few of our 13 veggie plants and 13 long beans sprouting.
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Living in the Moment

Wow. What a crazy couple of weeks. I had a 3-day business trip last week I was excited about for a couple of reasons: 1. I would be super busy learning my job, so it was going to be a great distraction at the end of my 2ww, and 2. a nice break from everyday life and Hubster. But of course all that perfection totally didn’t pan out. Guess who stated their period 4 days early? This lady.

The day my long-awaited first ever overnight business trip began, so did Auntie Flo. Which meant I didn’t get to have one-day emotional breakdown with Hubster-only a mini one lasting about 30 seconds before I had to dry my eyes and reapply makeup. So being the veteran Infertile I am, I put my sadness aside to make small talk with my coworkers and the program I was visiting and learn my job. Oh and I ate WELL for the next 3 days. Then I came home, picked up my Clomid Rx and settled into another cycle.

And OMG what a roller coaster this cycle has been. I have started 3 different posts this week but my mood would change so rapidly I could never finish them. Since my posts are usually all over the place I really didn’t want to write a completely scattered post so I gave up. Until today.

I’m on CD13 and until about 2 days ago, my emotions have pinballed between high hopes, detachment, giving up, excitement about adoption and dreaming about living child-free. I have alternated between feeling extra loving towards Hubster and snapping at him. And I have no patience for a few good friends of mine.

So what happened in the last few days? Vacation. A short getaway to the Pacific Northwest with Hubster and has given me the reset my brain needed. It has been stressful being busy with in-law obligations and another short business trip the day after we return, but good lord I needed this trip. And so did our marriage. I can’t tell you how loud my heart sang when Hubster looked at me after happy hour today and proclaimed this to be our best vacation because he’s had so much fun.

Portland has been fantastic and we’ve crammed a lot in these 3 days. We’ve eaten at a hipster-y restaurant, attended a super chill brew fest, ate at one of the many food cart parks and…..wait for it…..

The World Naked Bike Ride!

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Keep Portland weird!

Now we can say that we have lived.

And today I noticed that all of the excitement of this awesome new city has kept me from wondering what will happen with this cycle, what to do if it doesn’t work, how morning sickness and lethargy will feel like, when (and how) we’ll announce a pregnancy to family, and even adoption dreaming.

So this trip has not only been as fun as Hubster stated, but it has been thoroughly liberating, to say the least.

Now let’s hope the excitement of another business trip can continue this feeling. It’s to a super boring little town in Northern California so my hopes aren’t high, but I’m usually an irrational optimist, so maybe!