Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Other's Words

Sometimes I think I'm writing the exact same thing over and over again. Disappointment.... Pain... Hope.... Learning.... Choices.....

I don't edit what I write. I generally post as soon as I think I've said what I want to say that day. I don't think ahead about what I am going to write. And I don't particularly think about an overall message or goal or how I'm coming across to my 'audience.' I feel pretty safe in spite of this because, hey, I've only told a handful of people I trust about this blog. As far as I know only close friends and family read this and I believe they know me well enough to see the bigger picture of me within the writing.

I myself read a lot of blogs and over the past two years I've found a lot of comfort in reading the stories and experiences of others who have struggled with infertility and written very eloquently about the same feelings I struggle with. Some of the best posts I've read were advice for the infertile, stories about personal journeys and choices, and about educating those around you so that you don't feel so alone in your experience and infertility etiquette. I don't think I've done much educating yet or even given a very full picture of my own experience, even with the blog. So I want to link to these amazing women (all now mothers - ah sweet hope!) to help share the bigger picture of this experience.

Thanks for reading!

Love,
S

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Really negative

Home PG test on Friday was negative. Overall, it's a good night to have a total meltdown... doesn't matter how swollen your eyes are the next day. The Monday blood test was negative too, got the results today. After all the crying and gnashing of teeth on the weekend and Monday, today I just feel low.

It's a harsh reality that this process just gets more painful instead of less. Luckily the plan calls for me to be on the pill this next month to give my ovaries a total rest for a month. That means I get a break for a month, my first in 2 years.....no reason to hope, no reason to be disappointed. Bring on the wine and cheesecake.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More to Life

At the end of August I embarked on a bid to make my life bigger, richer, fuller. A bid to stop working so hard and do things just for fun, things that interest me. I started a number of activities and they have been paying off.

Piano:
I took 12 years of lessons from ages 6 - 18 but I had really lost much of my ability to play my old music and learning new stuff was painful so I never did. After a ... uuum, crumb!... a 15 year hiatus from lessons, I started taking a play-by-ear group piano lesson. The instructor, Linda Gould, is awesome, a true pro who actually wrote the book we're using.

My brain is working in ways I forgot it could. It's expanding my understanding of music and all my old songs. It's making sense of sounds and chords that were always a big unknown in the past. I'm learning about voicing chords and broken bass lines, stepping up chords and sevenths, root chords and the circle of fifths. It's completely new to me and totally fascinating...and totally frustrating at times.

I'm plugging my way through Ode to Joy, working hard at simple songs like Scarborough Fair and actually suffering over Entertainer, which completely defeated me last night. I've learned I have terrible, terrible rhythm. Terrible. I've learned that practise does yield real results. I've learned that muscle memory is way better than brain memory. I've picked up my old music and been able to play it better than I have in, oh, a decade at least.

I'm loving it!

Nutrition:
It's a lifestyle, not a diet. :) We met with a nutritionist about a month ago. I partly wanted to confirm that I eat okay, but I also wanted to understand something about simple carbs and inflammation. We got some excellent advice and I've made some small but really significant changes to how I eat.

For one, when I'm going to eat something with added sugar or white pasta or bread (simple carbs) I now pair it with protein and fat or high fibre, which help even out the insulin spike which contributes to inflammation in the body.

Secondly, I eat snacks in between meals and try to have those snacks consist of two food groups while meals consist of three. My desk at work is fully stocked with nuts, granola bars, muffins, high fibre crackers, and fruit.

Third, more food from home and less restaurant fare for lunches. I swear I'm ingesting more calories, I'm less hungry and I'm losing weight, which was not the goal but it's a nice side benefit of being healthier. Crazy!

I feel good. I feel happy more often these days than I did in August.

Yoga:
The instructor is quite awful but the workout is great. It leaves me feeling healthier at the start of each week. It's a core workout, which is something I've often avoided but desperately need for my posture. The class is only once a week but it's a start to being stronger. And being strong makes me happy.

Winter isn't looking nearly as intimidating as it sometimes does.

Happy Fall Everyone!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Head case

Feeling positive

Like, really positive

In fact I'm sure I am.

That said, I've felt sure at least....oh 15 times before.... but this time...

No really

I think I am

Really, I'm sure!

Caveat: Andrew has heard this at least 150 times over the past 2 years.
Excellent Husband Award awarded Sept 23: Upon hearing this for the 151st time he immediately responded with an enthusiastic, over-the-top "that's awesome!" And then we laughed and laughed.

And life is about so much more than this rollercoaster. Soon, very soon, I'll post something real about real life.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Best Layed Plans

So.... there was a plan...and that plan wasn't going to work. Blah blah blah timing...blah blah blah travel.... blah blah blah not willing to wait another three months. Too long to be without hope or action.

Long story short, we jumped right into IUI (insemination) and the first step was an ultrasound to see where my follicles were at on day 2 of my cycle. Bad news: the largest were far too advanced, meaning they would most likely be completely unviable by they time I ovulated. This is not good, or to quote the specialist, "really not good."

However, the Dr was willing to try one cycle of IUI before we looked at other options. With some hormones, we hope more follicles will develop at a more normal rate and will be better quality when I ovulate. So last Thursday I took a really deep breathe and steadied my nerves and forced myself not to puke as I plunged a little needle into my stomach to deliver the first dose of medication. I'm rather proud of myself for that.

Skip forward 1 week and two more ultrasounds and the news does not improve. My ovaries are not developing the follicles the way the Dr would want them too with the hormones. It's not looking good. Regardless, we will do the IUI this cycle just to try. And we will hope and we will pray.

But honestly, right now this seems like a science experiment and I am not hopeful. I am sad. I am so sad.

That said I am still interested in the next step and I want to know some numbers, some likely hood, that we'll ever have our own children. The next step the Dr wants to try is to give me medication that will put my ovaries to sleep. Then he'll give me some other medication that will slowly wake them back up....hopefully in that process they'll develop the follicles more slowly. More science experiments.

So why am I willing to do all this if I'm not hopeful that it will work? Perhaps I do have a little hope. Perhaps this feeling of hopelessness is just a protective shell I'm trying to build up to ward off the inevitable pain and disappointment of another failed cycle. However, the more likely reason is that I need to know that we tried.

It's such a precious dream to have to give up that I can't do it without a fight. I think I need to let it go slowly, in stages and hope that by the time I cannot continue fighting, we'll be closer to another parenthood option .... through adoption. So we will continue and I will practise trusting God; trusting him with my fear and my heartache, trusting that he has a plan, trusting that someday we'll be a family even though it won't happen the way I dreamed it would.