Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Three Years

I sat down to write on this topic and had no idea what to say. Even after three years, I am no expert on the topics of infertility or trying to conceive. I only know my journey. So, that’s where I started. Telling my story (albeit the abbreviated version). It doesn’t cover every bump in the road - my darkest of days, or how having a child doesn’t leave my mind for a single day- but it is the map. My map. Unfolded and folded back up more times now than I can count... Let’s hope that by reliving my history, that I can change my future.

Three Years.

To think about three years all at once is a long time.

Three years ago I was a newlywed. We hadn’t been home from Mexico for very long and we were already swept back up into the remainder of the ‘Summer of Weddings’. (I was in two more after my own that summer.)

I’d married my best friend after 7 years together. We had a new home, our dog, and had just found out we had a niece on the way. It was that fact that had us lying on the couch, discussing our reproductive future. We’d be telling everyone it would be at least a year and then we would just stop trying not to. In reality, we planned to pull the plug at the first of the year. This late August day had us chatting about why we were waiting. Were we not ready? No, that wasn’t it. It wasn’t money either. We certainly have the space in our new place. We realized over the next couple of weeks that the date was arbitrary and so, we tossed it out the window. I was in another wedding at the end of September, so we decided that after that, it was game on. September 28th saw my last birth control pill.

I instantly got off on the wrong foot. I got another period a couple weeks later (my second for the month of October) and didn’t see another until the New Year. I knew then that something was amiss. Not only did I know that after 8 years of birth control there can be an adjustment period, but I knew then that something just wasn’t right.

I battled for the next year with learning more about my body, fighting my own controlling tendencies, and grieving a bit each time I saw another friend or relative start their family and pass me by.

The year after that was spent battling medication, appointments, new doctors, and myself. Mostly, I felt like a constant failure. I would get my hopes up that ‘this time we have the combination of drugs that is going to do the trick’ and then I would respond worse than I did the last time. It was an uphill battle and I scratched and clawed (mostly myself) the whole way. August of 2010 (a month before our two year TTC ‘anniversary’), we got dumped by the doctor. The chief OB at my clinic told me that there just wasn’t anything more he could do and that I would need to see someone at Seattle Reproductive Medicine for a more aggressive treatment.

I felt kicked in the gut. That man, with a wall fill with baby pictures, couldn’t make it happen for me. I couldn’t make it happen for us. I was done. We were done. We had to take a break. J and I decided that we were quitting the formal TTC game for awhile. I’ll admit that it took me some time to abandon old habits. Instinctively I still knew that it was midcycle and that it ‘couldn’t hurt’. And I was still disappointed when AF arrived. Instead of obsessing, I found other things to occupy my time – a new job, weight loss, and the trip of a lifetime. This year was going to be the year of ME. All about improving my life, making positive changes, and getting myself back on track. I started acupuncture, was eating healthy, and planning our first ever trip to Europe. Jeremy and I agreed that we would pick back up with Seattle Reproductive when we returned at the beginning of June.

Meanwhile I lost 21 pounds, started my new job, and in mid-May we left for two weeks to visit England and Ireland. Every minute was amazing and exceeded our expectations. Just as we agreed, we visited Seattle Reproductive the second week of June. She wrote me a Rx for Metformin and while I got busy ramping up on that gem of a medicine, we would reconvene when I got my next period and we’d get this party started. We discussed combinations of meds, timing, and starting with IUI.

None of that happened because on the 4th of July – we got our blessing – our first BFP. We cried, I called my closest girlfriends and we cried again… it was honestly one of the greatest moments of my life. Not at all feeling like I thought I would, but it was a sight to see. My blood work over the next few days was beyond excellent (jokes of twins were made from my nurse), and after the blood work came back great, we decided we would tell only our parents. The rest of our family could wait until at least our first ultrasound.

Both my parents cried, my dad having no idea what we went through. My mom and sister, appreciating his miracle a bit more, laughed cried and instantly started planning. (I come by my planning obsessions naturally.) We were on cloud 9 and completely uncharted territory.

Then came the downward slope - a bit of spotting, an inconclusive ultrasound, a bit of rest, and the news that we were probably miscarrying. Another beta a week later to confirm and – what? It went back up?! Heart stops, hopes have elevated, ultrasound shows progress – but no heart beat and more spotting. Six weeks after our miracle day, started one of the worst weeks of my life. We officially said goodbye to Sprout(s).

I am so grateful for all of the support we’ve had over the last three years. This is not at all where I thought, or had hoped, we would be. But, that’s life. Had we not struggled this way, I would not have learned all I know about my body. I would not have made some truly amazing friends. Nor would I have understood this side of a serious problem that so many women face – silently and alone. I’ve joined this infertility community that no one wants to be a member of. But, one that is filled with love and support.

Three years. Hard to believe we’ve made so much progress, and yet have so little to show for it. Three years later and I am grateful to still be madly in love with my husband. Even more in love than I was on our wedding day. Still working to make positive changes, balance our lives, and keep moving forward. There isn’t anything left in the past for me. Only hard work and more challenge for the future. Here I am, three years later, with no baby, having struggled like mad, but also having learned to (and increased my capacity to) love even more deeply.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fresh Start

AF showed up on Tuesday. Just shy of six weeks, which is right where the majority of you told me she would be.

So far she's taken it easy on me, which compared to the periods I was having last Spring (when I had my last real period), is something to celebrate.

I feel a sense of relief. That I can put this rough summer behind us and start fresh. I'm even beginning to look forward to it and feel hopeful. I figure hopeful is a good place to be, considering our three year trying-to-conceive anniversary is next week. But that's a whole different topic for an entirely different day.

I am still taking my Metformin and doing pretty well. I took my girl Jessica's advice and take one pill in the morning and the other two before bed. With that rotation I've had very few tummy troubles. J and I talked about the game plan and decided that we will try OPKs this month and see how we do with just the Met.

I am glad that we're not jumping right back in the deep end. This gradual approach feels best. I spent enough time in a doctors office this summer and could use a breather.

Here we go again... wash, rinse, repeat. Like a bad episode of Groundhogs Day.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

I did something crazy yesterday.

I schemed with one of J's best friends on Friday and we bought tickets for Vegas! Here's the crazy part - it was for Saturday. Yes, I bought tickets Friday, and we flew out the next day. In fact, I just got home a couple of hours ago!

We had miles, a friend had a companion fare, why not?!

It was spontaneous, exciting, and we had a fantastic time! Our pal came by under the rouse that we were going to look at a boat - he wanted our opinion. He got to our house and said, 'Well, sorry Jeremy, change of plans!' and we handed him a boarding pass. I had a small bag packed for us and off we went!

And it just got better. We were upgraded to first class! In line for security we made friends, they were headed to Vegas too. Turns out, they were in first class as well! They had a limo taking them to their hotel and they offered to let us ride along and they would drop us at our hotel! I mean, could it have worked out any better?? We were riding high, that's for sure.

We checked in at the New York New York, changed our clothes and hit the casino. There was a big fight at the MGM, so we decided to venture of there and check out the scene. It was crazy busy, but we found a fun craps table and our friend taught us to play craps. Well, our friend and the very nice Hawaiian gentleman that I befriended - Anthony. I lost, but not enough that we still didn't have a great time.

After a bit of gambling, we decided to go to the dueling piano bar in our hotel. It was packed, the music was great and we proceeded to make more friends. In fact, one of the girls we hung out with was there from Seattle! Us girls had free entry to the club in NY NY (Rok), so we decided to check it out. Thankfully we were able to get the guys in free too. It's not a big nightclub, in fact I've been there before, but we had a great time dancing with our new friends until the wee hours of the morning. By about 3:30 or so we'd had our fill and called it a night.

Morning came too quickly, we grabbed some breakfast, and back to the airport for our 11:15 flight home. I am exhausted. Running around in 3 inch heals and dancing for 4 hours is a good work out! My legs are sore. My throat is hoarse from yelling over the music. I probably drank a little more than I should have. I have a blister (oddly not from my sexy peep-toe pumps, but the kitten heal I wore to the airport). And mostly - I need a nap!

But you know what? I would do it all again. We lived it up!

Jeremy was so surprised. Vegas is his D.isney Land. People watching, friends to make, good food... what more can a guy ask for?

It may have only been for a night, but we really lived the rock star lifestyle!

Friday, September 16, 2011

McSkinny Friday

I am reporting to you this week a few pounds lighter!

187.7 on the scale this morning. 3.3lbs in a little less than two weeks, not too shabby! We've been consistent with the gym, even when I really didn't want to be. I took my lunch every day this week (chicken, veggies, fruit and/or a yogurt) and have managed to behave myself.

I'm proud of the progress I've made so far. I'm already feeling like I fit in my clothes a little better. Isn't it amazing what a few extra pounds of bloat and fat will do? It's nice to be able to breathe in my jeans!

The weekends are the hardest for me. When we get together with our friends we tend not to make the best choices. Thankfully the other wives and myself have banded together to put in a better effort. If we grill - let's make chicken and eat a salad, instead of burgers and potato salad. The little changes make the biggest difference!

What little changes do you make that have helped?

TGIF peeps!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Still Undecided

Sorry I've been MIA so much, but there really hasn't been much to report. We've been too busy lately to really even talk about what our next steps are going to be. And none of it even matters because that dirty AF hasn't even shown up yet.

We have a lot going on in our lives right now with trying to sell our rental property, work, trying to make it to the gym 4 days a week, dealing with the insurance company (Jeremy was in a very minor bike accident - that was his fault), contemplating a career change - more on the job offer I received another time, dogs that need vet appointments, etc. You've heard about all of that before. So right now my focus is on getting us in order, taking care of our tasks at hand, and trying to sort things out.

Part of me wants to wait to get back to Seattle Reproductive until after I lose my 15lbs. The other part says that there is no time like the present. And until those two parts come to an agreement, we're kind of at a standstill. Except that the calendar didn't get the memo and the days keep ticking on by. 3 years of TTC is approaching really quickly and boy was I hoping this anniversary would pass a little differently. Instead of anxiously awaiting a gender scan early-mid next month, we'll be floating around Never Never Land trying to figure everything out.

Question for those of you who have had a miscarriage - how long was it before you got your next period? I don't really even know when to measure from since I was spotting for a few days before my miscarriage really started.

That was basically the long way of saying, I've got nothing to report. Wheels are still spinning. We're still working things out and we've got a lot of work ahead of us.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Found My Motivation!

It just slapped me upside the head on Monday.

No more slacking off.

This summer has obviously been a rough one. When it comes to my diet, I've given myself some rope. With that rope I have done nothing but hang myself.


That is what I accomplished this summer. I got on the scale Monday and it said 191lbs. I never wanted to see 190 again and I have. FUCK. That was the straw that broke the proverbial camels back. I cannot continue to treat myself with such disregard and disrespect.

No cookie/chip/cocktail is worth this ache I have in my heart from letting myself down again. Okay, maybe not the cocktail part....

I went shopping, stocked up on good foods and Tuesday I was back at the gym. J and I have recommitted to our old program - 2 days on, 1 day off. I'm doing a minimum of 30minutes of cardio and alternating between abs/arms and abs/legs.

It is ON!

J got the time off of work and in November we are going to San Diego for a long weekend. I have 1o weeks and by then I want to lose 16 lbs. That is re-losing my 10lbs and going down another 5. That is about 1.5lbs a week and I think I can do it. The first few pounds are the easiest, water weight and whatnot, but I'm fully committed.

Goal: 175lbs by Nov. 10th.

I have a girlfriend here that is going to follow the same eating plan and my loverly friend Susan is supporting me from CA (and will be celebrating with me in SD!). Lots of support, a good plan, and a closet of pants that I need to get back into. What more does a girl need?

Operation Skinny is back in action.