May 25, 2013

Keys to Success

There are a few keys to surviving the struggle in getting pregnant. 
I believe the first and foremost is the strength from within the couple facing it.  You must be able to talk freely about desires, fears and ideas. If you can't achieve this you will have nobody to lean on to get through the darkest days - there are friends that may hold your hand but if your own significant other can't stand by you then what is your relationship really based on.  I am lucky enough to be going through this journey with an involved and support husband.  
The second things is a few close friends, maybe 3 or 4.  All friends don't need the details. You need just a few friends with whom you discuss everything.  I do mean everything.  How is xyz procedure going, Side effects, The mucus between your legs, when is the next period, did you get it, how are you feeling, want to hang out cause I know this day has sucked for you.  They provide an ear to listen or a conversation not related to your situation.  Sometimes you are just tired of talking about it.  But these select friends, these select friends really care.  You can pick these people any way you see fit just make sure you can trust them without any doubt.  You don't need them to share your icky details.  I think it also helps to let them know about each other so if they want to talk about you at least they are talking to someone that knows all the icky stuff too.  Because let's be honest, humans like to gossip.  If you don't want them to gossip then isolate them, make sure they don't know about each other then if you can truly trust them they won't speak a word to anyone.  
Third: You need a second circle of friends.  These are the ones that know selected details you have chosen to share. They don't know every icky detail or every time you have mildly freaked out.  They just know a generalized version of what is going on. They are the ones that ask questions and you answer or tell them you don't want to talk about it - either choice you make so them is ok. They can also provide a different outlook because sometimes it's nice to talk to someone that doesn't know your period should be here in the next two days.  It provides a different kind of mental break.   It is nice to have friends that really care but are comfortable not knowing everything.  It does help it you know at 1 or 2 of them could move into the category of knowing everything if you choose.  
Fourth:  General people.  People that know but not because you have had a heart to heart. They know, you know that they know but they don't ask how it's going unless you bring it up.  They provide normalcy in society.  I find these people are the ones that say how brave you are, how much it sucks or nothing at all.  Sometimes it feels like getting a hug from a stranger.  It is oddly awesome! 
Fifth: Honesty. This really could be listed as #2.  Honesty with yourself is so important.  It puts you in a clearly and happier state of mind.  Lying to yourself gets you nowhere.  For the longest time I pretended I didn't have a miscarriage, it was easier to lie to myself then deal with it but the trade off for your peace of mind isn't worth it.   The more you can take your head out of the sand the better you are able to think and process ideas and feelings.  Although we have been struggling for 25 months now my head was honestly in the sand up until a month ago.  I was just going through the motions and doing whatever I need under a cloak of darkness, after all I didn't talk about it.  

May 20, 2013


Generally it's said if you watch a childbirth you will not want to have a baby yourself.  I think these individuals have never witnessed a childbirth or have only been in the room while they are the ones giving birth.
I am generally grossed out by needles, blood and pain but I spend Thursday to the early hours of Saturday being completely fascinated by the entire process.   The last time I stayed up for 24 hours straight was the day we graded from high school and I had spend most of that time with my best friend, funny how life comes full circle in a way.

I was blessed with week to be included while my best friend and her husband had their first child.  It was the most incredible thing I have even experienced in my life.  In fact, I have trouble finding the words to actually describe the experience.  This blog entry is killing me just trying to come up with a way to put everything into words.

You could have given me a list of a thousand awesome things I want to do and I would have tossed the list in order to spend the time in my hometown waiting for their baby to show up.  There was no place I would rather be or no appointment that couldn't be rescheduled.

I learned that being induced isn't a sure thing to have a baby show up.  She had to get to done twice.   Finally, after getting a pass to leave the hospital for a couple hours things started to get going - at first it was funny because we were shopping and she had to keep going to the bathroom but not long after that it was painful.  It was painful for her and painful for me to watch  - there is nothing like sitting beside someone in contractions and not being able to ease the pain.  It sucks on so many levels to the point that you are reduced to getting water, klennex and making yourself invisible at times just to try and help the process.  I won't go into details but watching a child being born is the most incredible thing anyone can experience.  It is an experience I could do over and over again to the point that I am looking into becoming a doula or getting over my fear of needles and becoming an RN, lots of things to consider.  I want to be involved in the process though, somehow, everyday.  It was that amazing.  It was that touching.  It was that crazy.  I have seen things that can not be unseen but they don't haunt me they fill me with peace and make me want to do it over and over again.  I can't wait till I can be in labour, in spite of the pain.  I have a whole new level of respect and adoration for my best friend.

If you haven't had a McFlurry at 11pm at night you must try it sometimes.  It hits the spot :)

Everyone says when you get married it is all about the bride on your wedding day - doesn't compare at all to it being all about the mom while in labour.   You have family, friends and strangers (aka nurses and doctors) tending to your every whim to try and ease discomfort at all turns.

I thank you all again for the words you have sent me via this blog, facebook and text.

May 12, 2013

What to say

Every couple struggling to get pregnant knows you care but sometimes you really need to think twice before opening your mouth. 
I must warn you this is kind of mean and maybe even funny but think of it as my way of helping you next time you find out a friend is trying to get pregnant.  I also don’t hold any of this against friends and family that have said these things because they didn’t know then.

a) "Relax and it will happen just don't stress you"
So what you are saying is I should eliminated all stress.  How about I quit my job and spend the summer walking the dog and deciding what beach I want to spend the day at?  It sounds relaxing and stress free, doesn't it?  Well, I did this 13 month ago.  Moving on...... 

b) "Go on vacation, then you'll get pregnant"
If that were reality we would have three kids at the point

c) "It'll happen when you least expect it"

Enough said.

d) "You can have my kids"
Sure I laugh awkwardly but I would kill to trade places with you.  Sit back and see how lucky you are.  I do love hanging with all my friends kids.  I can do fun things like watch kids movies,play in the park or see who can run down the hill the fastest.

e) "You should think about adoption"
Why has that NEVER occurred to me.  Thank god you said that!  The reality is we want our own baby.  The only way we would consider adoption is if we were guardians of family / friends kids and something awful happened.

f) "You could do IVF"
Sure could.  Wanna give me $15,000? ........hello? you there?   I'll take that as a no.
This is something we don't really want to do because we would have to got into debt to afford it.  Then we run the risk of it not working.  Can you imagine making that debt payment every month with nothing to show for it.  How much that would kill you? That reminder every month.

g) "I would do anything if I wanted to have a kid that bad, no matter what it took"
Again...$15,000? That's the first treatment, it does go down slightly for the second treatment.....43.4% success rate...think about that.

h) "You should just have sex, practicing is the fun part"

It is fun for the first couple of months but 24 months in it isn't sorry.  The doctor dictates when you need to have sex, suggests positions, options and how long to lay on your back after.  Yeah, sex is 'fun'.

I am so glad we haven't spend thousands yet.

i) "Have you tried________"

For every idea you have we've done 10.  Short of standing on my head.

j) Just complaining about your pregnancy
F*ck off.  I don't care because we would kill to be in your position.  I would kill for back aches, morning sickness, bed ridden for month, just to have a baby.  My husband would love to HAVE to mow the lawn, shovel snow, to ALL the house/yard work and give up sex for YEARS if it meant we could have a baby so why don't you take your complaining and go jump off a cliff.

k)"Don't give up" "We know it will happen"
Really? You talked to God? Did he say when the stork was coming???!?? I can meet the stork.  
At some point stats are not in your favour at all or you get to old.  Hello...I will not be having my first baby at 40, sorry no.  

l) "Don't gossip about their infertility"
This was listed on many websites, seriously.  Best part is it happened to me!  WHERE THE F*CK DO PEOPLE GET OFF!!!!!  First off, unless you heard it from the horses mouth go and f*cking die you sad, sad excuse for a human being!!  You are a piece of shit or worse, a piece of shit buried under 30 feet of concrete that has a concrete square inside that you are inside and you will never never see daylight again or talk to another person EVER!  Even if you heard it from the horses mouth you shouldn't discuss it with other.  I don't mind talking about it or having a discussion about it with people.  I like talking about it, it helps me deal with it.  What grates me is when people that hear it second hand start suggesting thing or saying I haven't done enough....You know, you're right, I haven't laid on enough cold tables, given enough blood, had enough swaps taken, had enough ultrasounds, exercised the right way, eaten the right foods, researched it enough, sat in enough doctors offices, sat in enough hospital rooms, been to the hospital for enough testing, spread my legs enough for the doctor, haven't had enough sex, having timed it enough,  haven't laid down long enough after sex, haven't taken enough rounds of fertility drugs, you're right, aside from spending $15,000 what else can I do for you?
God that just felt fabulous.  I honestly haven't vented about that till now.  That was AWESOME!

Did you know that the list of what not to say is so much longer than what to say?  I think it's because has humans we want to help and show support any way we can and unfortunately some of the ways that should help don't.  

What to say and do for a couple struggling to get pregnant.

a) "Is there anything I can do?"
No there really isn't but knowing you care enough to want to help is help in itself.  Make sure you mean it when you say it though.  

b) "I am hear to listen if you want and I won't judge"
LISTEN.  Using others has a sounding board during this journey is key.  It is helpful to work through things going on in my own head.   This journey is a delicate one and having a safe haven where you know they won't repeat your words to others is comforting.

c) Cry with us
It's a stressful journey on everyone involved its ok to cry with us and for us.  

d) Random acts of kindness
 Whether that forms itself in a hug, a card, an invite to do something, phone call or just chillin'.

These are not all my own.  If you spend a little time researching you will see these show up whenever people are discussing what to say and not to say

May 4, 2013

There is a bunny coming

I didn't know what to expect when I made this blog live two days ago but I have been overwhelmed with support and encouragement.  I have learned that I am not alone in this journey.  That I have friends that have went through similar things.  It is truly heart warming and touching.  I can't thank you all enough plus a whopping 228 people have read this blog in just under two days!!

After feeling a bit stressed out this week I started doing something I haven't done in a while.  Running.  I have a love hate relationship with it.  I haven't been able to run in over a month due to an injury so I am starting off slow and getting back into it.  It is a place that forces my mind to shut out the world and just think about running and encouraging myself to continue when am I exhausted.  It is my private time with my dog and sometimes with a few friends that enjoy running as well.  There isn't much to talk about or much to consider except to catch your breath and realize you are not in prime shape.  I definitely bitch about running and getting out the door is so hard but once I am out it is relaxing and peaceful even if I feel like I am going to fall over and die.

In spite of what is going on in my baby making life there is something far more happier about to happen.  My best friend and her husband are going to be welcoming their first born in the world in the next week or so.  To say I am excited is an understatement.  They are 6 1/2 hours away but I am planning on being there to help welcome the baby into the world.  I was given an honour of being in the deliver room and I have no intentions of missing it for the world.  I might even smuggling in some whiskey for the daddy to be :)  So right now, I have a gas tank over 3/4 full, bag packed and am ready to start the drive as soon as I have word.  Originally, I was going to go a bit early but know I have to wait around for more of my testing before I can go.  I hope the baby is late by at least a couple of days.  Many people around me have a hard time understanding how I can be happy for their pregnancy when we have been trying so long and they got preggo right after their wedding.  The reality is two-fold: 1) I knew right away they would be trying to have a baby so I was waiting for it to happen.  In a way I had already dealt with and moved on with the fact before they were even married 2) It is my best friends, she's know about my journey the entire time and has done nothing short of standing by my side the entire time.  She's never hurt me or been disrespectful.  Plus I get to be an honourary auntie so BOOYAH!

We have other friends that have an 11 month old and when I go baby shopping my husband always asks, 'which one is it for now?'  I often wondering if I shop like this for my friends kids my husband might want to take me off all our accounts when I am pregnant or we will be broke.

I want to write about what to say and what not to say to a couple struggling to get pregnant but I am having trouble with my thoughts just a bit so that is coming down the pipe soon.

May 2, 2013

We can't have a baby this month why!

Last week I started Clomid.  It's a hyper ovulation drug.
The catch is I do ovulate like any normal female so I don't really need it but I want to try everything I can.

So I took this drug for five days and went for blood work trying the process and guess what, my thyroid glands are acting up.  SCORE!  Now I am waiting for a call from the hospital to go get them tested and I can't get pregnant until they figure it out.  Well, technically I could get pregnant but they are not recommend it at all.  So I took Clomid for nothing and god knows how many little eggies are developing in my body right now and I can't use any of them!

So I did research, cause that's my thing :).  The Chinese medicine supplements I was on CAUSE THIS!  So there is a good chance I did this to myself.  'Damned if you don't, damned if you do' to quote my best friend.

This is where I sit right now.  I wasn't going to go public with this blog until May 19th but I am impatient and I think it will be out before the end of the weekend.

End of 2012, Beginning of 2013

I know I am glossing over and I will continue to do it just to get you up to speed so I can actually blog.

Having a baby is the name, researching is the game.

Random fact: There are multi studies out there that say depression from infertility is similar to the depression that one feels when they find out they have cancer.  Crazy and slightly weird, I know.  

Do you know many tricks and tips are out there to try to have a baby.  Information overload!
I don't want to get into details but we have tried the following:
-Hips in the air (advice from our doc)
-Eating Right
-Chinese Medicine which covers a bunch of other stuff
-Foods to eat
-Smoothies to drink
-Going on vacation
-Stress free environment
just to name a few.
Sometimes I feel like if I found out that standing on my head 3 times a day for 30 minutes would help I would do it.
The Chinese Medicine lady also told me to 'deal with the feelings' 'let it out'  I knew that for the last year and a half I had been like a camel with my head stuck in the sand, so I took her advice.  I spoke my mind, faced up to things and...

In February I finally succumbed to deep depression.  A few other things were catalysts including my dog accidentally running over a friends kid but none the less I was there.  It started fast and was furious.  I found myself crying over dirty dishes, laying on the living rug wondering what I did, ignoring the dog cause it was easier, crying violently over the washing machine for no good reason, not leaving my house to go outside for any reason and not talking to anyone, except my husband and father in law.  I didn't answer phone calls or texts from anyone except if it was work related.  It got to a point where friends and family were asking my husband 'what was up' or if I was mad at them.  One afternoon, at my height was depression I spend the first part of my day playing the 'why me game' and then started into a brand new bottle of the Captain Morgans around 1:30p.  Later in the afternoon I called my best friend crying and three sheets to the wind.  Not a proud moment but shit happens. I talked to her till just before my husband came home,  Once he was settled in I said 'Guess what I did this afternoon??" then shoved the 1/2 drank bottle of rum in his face with the line 'I'm hammered and it's ok because I am only doing this today".   People can't judge you for how you deal with it, just as long as you figure it out.  But the liquor let me leave my house.  That night we went to visit friends, let's call them Brayden & Julia, they had no idea I was drunk but I drunk more....3 or 4 glasses of wine, I seriously can't remember.  After we left, I convinced my husband to get me McDonalds.
Once home, I didn't even finished my McDonald's before I puked, then I passed out on our coach in my clothes with a puke bowl, just in case.  That's where I stayed for the night and at 10 am the next morning I woke up with a wicked hangover, it sucked.  My husband called later and asked how I was doing and I told him I was hungover but it was ok because it was my own fault.  That was also the last time I drank for a while.  After that day/night I started coming out of the depression.  I remember saying ''I don't want to feel like this but I do" to someone and the more I talked the better it got.  I also decided I was not hiding the little secret anymore, in fact my husband doesn't know why I wouldn't tell anyone up until them.

I told the first friend while we were at the Hot Springs and after I said 'well, that wasn't so bad, thanks for being my guinea pig'..  After that I just starting tell people, when I felt like it or when they asked.  It was liberating.

Now many people know and I feel less and less ashamed.  Which apparently is a totally normal feeling by the way.

After February and until current our biggest decision is do we go out of town to a Fertility Clinic and drop $15,000 for something that has a 45% success rate  (seriously, only 45%)  The general opinion right now and has always been 'who the hell what's to spend that kind of money for something that we shouldn't have to pay for;'  Plus I don't want to be on all those drugs either.

The Wonderful Summer of 2012

Some days, seriously, I just want to scream at the top of the mountain.  "Hey, ya you, that damn Stork, over here!"

I remember the day I told my mom, it went something like this "Hey, just wanted to let you know that we have been trying to get pregnant for a year now and I am going to see a fertility doctor here.  I don't want to here 'are you pregnant yet' or etc all the time anymore k? I hate it.  I don't really want to talk about it but I just want to let you know.  I don't want it to be awkward either so you can ask me sometimes or make a joke just not all the time.  ok? Cool!  Anyway, how's life?"  I did the same thing to my mother-in-law, in fact I made her tell her husband.  I found out that was actually nice because it was a weight off my shoulders. But that was it.  Only people that knew where our best friends, parents and "Amanda" and her husband.

I learned something very important from Amanda when I told her I was waiting for a call from our local fertility doctors, that right in our little small town we have THREE.  It was to call them, don't wait once you had the referral because she waited forever and then called and got right in.  So I called and was in within two weeks!

My husband and I went together for our first couple of meetings and tests then I started going along because once we determined it wasn't his swimmers, it's all about me :-(  The good thing is my doctor there is awesome, I totally love him.  Super nice, great bed side manner and speaks softly.  It's calming in a way.

Some blood and started tests and I was know looking at the August calendar, a month that I fondly refer to as the month from hell.  I started off the first week with two blood tests and results then they scheduled an Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and an ultrasound and more blood work for later in the month.  So after the first week I left for another province for my best friends wedding - it was awesome.  Then I came back home, had I know what was waiting for me I totally wouldn't have.

I went to get this HSG done.  Here is a description from Center of Human Reproduction in New York:  'The process is simple. The patient is asked to lie down just as if she were to have a PAP smear. A speculum is placed in the vagina and the opening to the uterus (called the cervix) is visualized by the doctor. After cleaning the cervix with an iodine solution, a long, narrow, flexible catheter is inserted through the opening of the cervix until the tip is inside the uterine cavity. A balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated to hold the catheter in place. The catheter is connected to plastic tubing through which a special dye is passed into the uterus. This dye looks like water to the naked eye, but it appears on x-ray film because it blocks the passage of the x-rays. On the film, everywhere the dye flows looks white.
As the dye fills the uterus, x-rays are taken every few seconds. This reveals any abnormalities inside the uterus such as a split cavity, uterine fibroids or adhesions.
As more dye flows into the uterus, some will begin to fill the fallopian tubes. If the tubes are unobstructed (patent) along their entire course, eventually the dye will "spill" out the other side.'

Sounds easy eh? Even my fertility doc made it sound simple. SIC! It's not like a pap smear...bullshit!
I unassuming went into into the X-Ray lab put on a gown and laid on the table.  My doc explained it again.  Lay the table, insert the thingy, balloon, dye and then we can see with the X-Ray.  It was fine, cold but fine.  It was a little uncomfortable but kind of like a pap smear that was until he started inflating the balloon.  Imagine, if you can, a watermelon in seed form that grows to full size within 15 seconds, quick right?  Now imagine that seed being placed inside your pelvis then flicking a switch to make it grow in 15 seconds.  It felt like my body was being pushed the wrong way and it hurt like hell!  I was gripping the top of the table, willing my body to stay still, grinding my teeth to keep me from screaming and crying, crying hard.  The lab tech lady, who was awesome by the way, came to the top of the table, hovered over me and held my hands while I squeeze hers hard.  She talked to me the whole time telling me stories and empathizing with me.  She also told me they call the HSG the 'rotor rooter'.  Finally the balloon was in, just need to put the dye in then the balloon slipped out  FRICK!  The doc offered to schedule an OR for the procedure, apparently they do that sometimes and he apologized for the pain.  I wasn't going to get off the table though, I figured I could scream and cry my way through it again because I was not going to be put to sleep for this.  I don't like needles either.  So the second time it stayed and guess what, everything looks great.  At this point you almost want there to be something wrong just so you have an answer or a reason.

My ordeal didn't end after the procedure was done.  (This is the full story, parts I haven't shared with anyone)  They gave me juice and a cookie on the table before I got up then I went to change.  While changing I started getting really really hot and I had to sit on the toilet to stop from falling while I put on my clothes.  I gathered the strength to walk out of the change room and as the lab lady was asking me how I feel I asked her if I could lay on the floor because I was so hot.  I did lay on the floor.  Next thing I knew I was being helped up on a hospital bed and wheeled out of the room, some male nurse was above my head and I remember asking him to go around the corners slower because it was making me sick.  I ended up in ER laying on the bed, eating lots of cookies and drinking lots of juice.  Oh yeah, they keep taking my pulse too,  Apparently, when you get hot like that after a procedure it means you are going to pass out, score *insert eye roil*  My doc got me in the ER that my pulse was racing and I had to stay there until it was normal.  When I was released I was told to take some pain meds and to take it easy.  I ended up spending the rest of the day at home feeling like I was going to pass out and puke - it was awful.  It got to the point where I had to call my mother-in-law to go buy my ginger ale because I was pretty sure I wouldn't make it to the store.  Now, had I know my body would react like that or that the procedure would be like that I would have taken someone with me.  ugh!  Lesson learn.

As the next two weeks progressed I got to give even more blood and have an ultrasound, just to make sure everything was good.  It was.  A bit of silver lining is that over that month my fear of needles basically disappeared to a general dislike.

A couple of appointments later and into October I was giving some options:  Use the one fertility drug they can offer here, get sent out of town to a Fertility Clinic that costs thousands and thousands of dollars or just keep trying on our own.  We picked the last options for the time being.

The Big Bad Wolf

Here goes nothing!
As of May 1st: 
Somewhere along the line someone told me to write and I did but then deleted it.  I did this process of writing and delete so many times over the last 18 months that I can't count them.  What changed? Why did this see the light of day?  Well, it's time now.  Not under a cloak of darkness or hiding in the corner, although I am holding off making it public until May 19th.
The shame is gone.  Truth sucks.  Life can kick us hard sometimes.  We overcome.  We grow.  We learn.  We try to understand.  Taking a little time, some hard work with a sprinkle of hope we can make it.
Time is measurable, how you measure is up to you.  For me it's been 2 years or 24 months or 730 days but we are standing here through countless doctors appointments, many more blood samples, five cold tables on my back, one miscarriage, a quick stay in ER after basically passing out after one of those cold table visits and one round of the simple fertility drugs.  What I have to show for it right now is TONS of research, emotions of all kinds, supplements, a story and no baby...yet.

At seven most of our little girl dreams consisted of taking on the world, marrying prince charming, having a white picket fence house, and having 2.5 kids of your own.  What I didn't know then was having a family was going to be the hardest one to achieve.

We got married in the Spring of 2011 and started trying for a family right way.  There were no worries, no temperatures to be taken, no effort in trying to time it, just trying.  It was great!  I honestly didn't think twice about not getting pregnant right away since I knew it could sometimes take a couple of months or so.  The first blow to my little bubble was October 26th that year.  That day I miscarried and to this date was the only time I have been pregnant.  The silver lining to that day was that nobody was aware I was pregnant - it happened and I didn't have to tell anyone.

Time passed and the one year mark came around.  Doctors suggest that had one year of trying to get pregnant you go into the office and get referred to a specialist.  At this point, I was worried but was more stressed that we still weren't pregnant.  Up until this time only two other people outside of us knew that we are trying to get pregnant - it was the biggest little secret.

I remember the day my husband suggested I confine in a friend that had trouble getting pregnant, lets call her Amanda.  I was stressed that all I ever seemed to hear is "What are you going to have kids?" "Pregnant yet?" etc. I was sitting on our living rug and looked at him as if he had three heads.  'Tell someone else, are you frickin' kidding me?!?' But with a few more words and logic it was determined he was right, I probably should.  Honestly, I can't remember the day that I did tell her but it happened and when I figured I would surely die, I didn't. Actually she was quite helpful and a great sounding board for someone that 'gets it' because the gods honest truth is no matter how many of you out there try to help and offer words of wisdom, you don't get it.  By the way, NEVER EVER EVER EVER offer advice if you have never went through this that is the WORSE thing you can ever do,  EVER! Seriously, if you never remember anything in this blog remember that  NEVER EVER.  The girl will know your heart is in the right place but will want to punch you in the teeth anyways. TRUST ME!  Just be there, listening, talk if she talks but don't offer advice EVER!

On that note, I am finishing this post and will start another.  After all I am trying to jam two years into it.  :)