8 things to remember when everything goes wrong

Please send some positive, healing vibes to my husband. He is slowly recovering on the couch at home. I’m doubting there will be anything new to watch on Netflix by the time he goes back to work. 🙂 The swelling has gone down, but it’s still got a long ways to go. Yesterday was probably his most painful day. The recovery process makes him feel uncertain about the decision to have surgery. Let’s just say it ain’t a pretty picture right now. I keep telling him everything will be fine once it’s healed.

To give him ample time to recover, we’ve decided to extend our fertility break to 2, maybe even 3 months. We are still meeting with the RE next Monday to discuss next steps.

The break is nice, but just when the waters seem calm, life always slaps you across the face with something else. Translation: More family drama. I’m praying for the peace I was so hoping for during this period, but I know the strength we gain from these experiences is valuable as well.

One of my best friends just shared this link on Facebook: 8 things to remember when everything goes wrong

Yes, Facebook does offer some good – hence the reason I haven’t deleted my account yet. I love the positive, inspirational messages you can find on there. 

The advice within the article can definitely be applied to our fertility journeys.

The last part of the article offers this daily TO-DO list:

  1. Think positively.
  2. Eat healthy.
  3. Exercise today.
  4. Worry less.
  5. Work hard.
  6. Laugh often.
  7. Sleep well.

Starting today, I’m going focus on this and I’m going to challenge my husband to as well.

Say hello to my new fur baby!

CD ?  Yeah that’s right. This is my break and I DON’T CARE! 

Sooooooo, I finally did it! I convinced my husband to let me get a kitty!

In December, I said that all I wanted for Christmas was a kitty or a plane ticket home to see my parents. Neither one happened, but my hubby did come through with tickets to the ballet. His rationale for no kitty was that “we would be pregnant soon”.

Failed cycle after failed cycle, I think he finally decided that I deserve my consolation prize. *queue cute kitty* 

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Meet Oliver! He’s a 3.5 year old purebred ragdoll. He came from a family with 2 kids, 2 other cats, and 2 dogs. They needed to find him a new home because their oldest cat wasn’t getting along with him.

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Oliver hanging out in my home office. Yes that is the only walk-in closet in the house and now the litter box room.

He’s adorable. He’s smart. He’s sooo cuddly. He’s soooooo fluffy. And now, he’s a part of our fur-baby family. I thought it was a perfect fit as he does well with other pets and children. Optimistically future focused. 

Plus, HE WAS FREE! I wanted a ragdoll, but I also really wanted to get a shelter animal or one that was in need of a home. I couldn’t justify the cost of buying from a registered breeder. I’m so glad I found him. I knew right away he was “the one”. Kitty love at first sight. 😀 

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I cleaned out our storage room a few weekends ago and have been slowly selling unused wedding gifts on our local online classifieds. (Bad – I know but hey if we haven’t used them in 3 years, are we really going to?). I’ve made more than enough money to cover the costs of a few kitty things to start – litter box, cat tree, scratch post, treats, food, etc. Clear out the crud to make room for the new. 

So far, so good. I picked him up yesterday. He’s opened up quite a bit today. You may think I’m crazy to get a new pet 3 days after my husband had surgery, but we actually thought it would make the transition smoother. I worked from home today and Mike’s off work all week. Oliver won’t be alone much to start.

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Oliver taking a nap while I enjoyed a detox bath tonight.

We are keeping him and the dogs apart for now. Bella is absolutely intrigued by him. She even crawled under the bed and laid beside him tonight. Bella does really well with other animals. I hope they become the best of friends! (Yes, I googled ragdoll + chihuahua photos prior to picking him up.) And yes, he’s bigger than the chis! He’s their new BIG little brother.

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The night before Oliver came home: Bella the chihuahua in the cat tree. “Mom what are you doing to me?”

On the other hand, Max has little dog syndrome and thinks he should just bark at Oliver. We gotta work on that.

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The night before Oliver came home: Max the chihuahua in the cat tree. “Love the view from up here”.

I’m going to enjoy my fertility break and enjoy my new addition. I heart my little family. XO. 

 

9 Effective Exit Strategies for Pregnancy Announcements

This is HILARIOUS! If only I had the courage to follow through with one of them… Damn Facebook means less prego announcements happen in-person these days. Maybe that’s a good thing?

Honestly Infertile

It is never easy to prepare for a pregnancy announcement even when you are highly suspicious that it is coming.  It is even harder when you are completely blindsided by the friend that was “totally done” with having babies, an unwed cousin, or a workplace nemesis.  This article will help help you escape from that awful situation so that you can cry in solitude.

First, identify your safe cry place.  Your vehicle is usually a good idea but if that is not a possibility, a bathroom stall is okay if you can wail silently.  Other options might include a psychiatric ward of a hospital, a funeral service, or a feminine product aisle of your neighborhood Walmart.

Then, make a list of trigger words/phrases so that you can react swiftly.  These phrases may include but are not limited to:

I have been dying to tell you…
I have some big news…

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Surgery Day: openness, relaxation and big decisions

CD29. Pending good ol’ Aunt Flo.

My beta was negative on Wednesday as I expected. 

I stopped my Progesterone the night before (I’m bad – I know). Last month, it took about 2 days after I stopped until my period started. It’s Friday, so I hoping (yes I just said that) that she arrives before the end of the day.

Right now, my hubby is in the operating room having his circumcision done. He’s been super grumpy and nervous. And to top it all off: HE’S GOT A MAN COLD! Please someone help me!

The surgeon told him he will enjoy it so much better once it’s done. I hope he’s right.

My husband’s story is an example of why I think families need to be open, honest and comfortable with each other.

If it wasn’t for my Mom and our family’s willingness to share, I never would have discovered the possible the connection between my husband’s condition and our fertility issues. She asked if my husband was circumcised as she remember her brother had gone through a similar situation. My Uncle ended up getting circumcised in his early 30s after his wife and him tried for almost 10 years to conceive their second child. I immediately booked an appointment with our family doctor to get her opinion. Alright, I actually Googled it first. Who wouldn’t? After a referral to a urologist, then a general surgeon, here we are today.

During our consult, the surgeon had asked us if my husband had any history of infections, he said no. When I told my mother-in-law about his pending surgery,  I learned that he most likely developed his Phimosis from reoccurring foreskin infections when he was a child. She remembered him having his last one when he was about 8 years old. My husband didn’t remember any of this.

It was hard learning that this was not something he was born with. His condition should have been dealt with when he was much younger. I felt stupid for not realizing he had a condition earlier on. I felt naive for believing him when he told me it wasn’t an issue.

Right now, my opinion has changed. I’m happy we got the surgery as it will prevent any future issues or infections, but I’m unsure that my husband’s condition is DIRECTLY related to our (in)fertility. As we are “unexplained”, the doctors thought IUI would be a good solution until he had surgery. Since the failed IUIs, I’m beginning to think there has to be another factor influencing why we haven’t conceived.

While my hubby recovers, we’re on a break. I booked a meeting with our RE on March 3rd to discuss next steps. I’m going to request a Hysteroscopy. I need validation that there is nothing hiding in or around my uterus that may be preventing implantation. I’m willing to try one more IUI, but I’d really like to get on the IVF waitlist.

This month is reserved for down time and decision making. I honestly think I’m most excited to NOT be on the crazy meds. 

Side note: GO CANADA GO! We’ve taped the Men’s Olympic Hockey game so my hubs can watch it when we get home. 🙂

 

 

Infertility and TTC: It’s Not Worth Losing Your Marriage

Kate nailed it with this post – a great read about how to build your marriage while facing infertility. Check it out!

a hundred affections

image Infertility is hard. Really hard. If we let it, it can break our hearts.

And our marriages.

In addition to the thousand other things no one talks about related to this secret tragedy, add to the list its effects on marriage .

Dealing with infertility can wreak havoc on your emotions, your body, your mental stability, your friendships. And yes, on your marriage.

First of all, very few go into marriage thinking that starting a family will be a problem. We just don’t talk about that or prepare people for that (Pet peeve #1). Second, once we realize there might be some infertility issues, we don’t think that it will drive us apart instead of pull us together.

But sometimes, that is exactly what happens. For lots of reasons. Men and women process these kinds of things soooo differently – and communication between men and women can be tough even…

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Making amends: infertility resources for family & friends

I knew calling my Mom last night would result in an argument. Sometimes I think I should avoid all people when I’m (in)fertile emotional. I was rude. I cried and yelled at her. I hung up promptly after realizing she wasn’t understanding and that it was just making me madder. But at the same time, I needed to get those feelings off my chest (maybe a little more tactful next time).

After I talked to my husband and calmed down, I realized that I should offer my Mom some resources to allow her to better support me.

I put together an apology email with a PDF from our fertility clinic that explains the IVF process in-depth and links to the following online resources:

What resources have you given to your family or friends to help them understand your (in)fertility?

Are there any other sites you would recommend?

Realizing that my biggest support is right beside me

CD 26. 13 dpiui.

BFN again! Beta tomorrow. 
This weekend was emotional for me. This was supposed to be THE cycle (like we all haven’t said that month after month). 

When I got my first BFN at 11dpiui, I texted my Mom to let her know. I sent a text instead of calling because I knew that my brother and his prego wife were visiting. I didn’t want to ruin the visit with my incessant (in)fertility talk, but I also wanted my Mom. Don’t I deserve a few minutes of Mom time when I’m having a rough day? 

Anyway, my Mom responded with some friendly advice from my sister-in-law about waiting for my blood test and how pee tests can be wrong. Come on now! Who is the fertility expert here? Not the one who got knocked up her first month trying and didn’t even know what the beta test was until I explained it to her 2 weeks ago. *head shake*  

I was NOT impressed. 

On my way home from work tonight, I called my Mom to catch up and talk to her about our fertility game plan. (Short version: 1 month break, 3rd IUI, get on IVF waitlist). She thought we were jumping the gun. She even said that wonderful phase: “Lindsey, you just need to relax”. 

For the past little while, I’ve gotten the vibe that my family thinks everything will “just work out”. Translation: We will get pregnant naturally. We aren’t really (in)fertile. My husband’s circumcision surgery to correct his Phimosis will solve all of our problems. 

Hello! Wasn’t that what IUI was supposed to do?

Our 2 failed attempts at IUI took my husband’s penis out of the equation. IUI was supposed to eliminate any potential barriers to us conceiving. Our Ob/Gyn said it was a very good solution for us. Well, aren’t we on the path to potentially proving her wrong. 

I tried to explain to my Mom what unexplained (in)fertility means. I told her I wasn’t willing to just wait it out and be childless 5 years from now. I told her we need to get ourselves on that list and start coming up with a plan for funding IVF in case we get there. 

Do I believe there is a chance any (in)fertile could conceive naturally? Hell yes. Miracles happen everyday. 

Am I willing to take that chance myself and not move forward? Hell no. 

I walked in the door with tears running down my face. My hubby took one look at me and said, “Uh oh. What happened now?” As we ate supper together, I told him about my convo with my Mom. When I got to the part about moving forward and planning for IVF, he said, “I agree it’s time to put the pedal to the metal.” We both smiled at each other and laughed. 

My heart melted. He understands.

I’ve been feeling so lost, so alone – like no one around me gets what I’m going through. All I had to do was look right in front of me. My husband may not have to endure all of the drugs, needles, dildocams, and inseminations that I do, but he’s right beside me holding my hand along the way. He gets it as best as he can and most of all, he understands me. 

There’s no one else I would rather be on this journey with. We are in this together.

 

A Family Day campaign for public funding of fertility treatments

CD 25. 12 DPIUI.

AND… another BFN. *whomp, whomp, whomp* 

This is what a failed 2nd attempt at IUI looks like: (11 DPIUI – BFN, 12 DPIUI – BFN)

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I thank all of you optimists who keep telling me I’m not out of the game until CD 14 and my beta. I truly appreciate your hopeful optimism. But, I can’t jump back on that train because I’ve already spent my long weekend in meltdown mode.

I tend to clean and organize when I’m mad or frustrated. Yesterday, I cleaned out my linen closet and my bathroom cabinets. While in the bathroom, I discovered a whole pack of internet cheapies, 2 ClearBlues, and 1 FRER! This is a huge score! I had no clue I had that many tests hiding on me… makes me wonder if my hubby purposely hid them to prevent me from feeding my POAS addiction? Naw… that’s giving him WAY too much credit. After our fertility budget convos this weekend, I am more than happy to find out I don’t need to blow more $ on tests for our next cycle.

Today is Family Day in most Canadian provinces. Many infertility organizations, including our local org Infertility Saskatchewan and Ontario’s Conceivable Dreams, were campaigning via social media to draw attention to the need for the public funding of fertility treatments.

A friend of mine (who is also going through treatment at the same clinic) sent me a message with a link to our local news story: Sask. group makes Family Day push for IVF funding.

This story ignited a passion in me. I immediately posted the following on Facebook:

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I truly believe that more fertiles need to be aware of what us (in)fertiles are going through.

I am willing to be vocal. I want my story to help other couples going through infertility now and in the future. I want my voice to help draw attention to the positives that could come from public funding for fertility treatments.

I don’t expect to receive public funding anytime soon. Let’s be realistic here. Wouldn’t it be amazing if someday someone out there had less stress while trying to conceive because they were eligible to receive public funding for their fertility treatments? I’d love to receive this support right now for myself, but since I can’t, I’d like to know I was part of the process to get there.

Whether you are Canadian or not, see if there’s a local organization you can support. We’re all in this and together, we can make a difference.

A downward spiral of acceptance

CD 23. 10 DPIUI. Technically,  since it’s 1:00 am it’s one day further along. But I haven’t gone to bed yet,  so I’m considering it Saturday still.

Today was a disaster.

My progesterone side effects kicked into high gear. Cue the hot flashes,  frequent emotional outbursts, and very,  very sore ta-tas.

On top of that, my husband has been emotionally detaching because he’s freaked out about his upcoming surgery. I need him connected. I still need his support. It’s hard being strong for both of us.

Our fight started this morning because my husband didn’t want me doing too much today. I was convinced I was going to remove the nasty sticky shelf liner from our kitchen shelves in preparation for painting the cupboards. Home projects keep my mind off fertility.

My hubby felt that with his upcoming surgery,  we shouldn’t move into anything too quickly. He doesn’t realize the prep work required for some projects. I’m content with patching drywall and visioning my diy kitchen makeover –  whether we get to it in two weeks or two months. Ugh why can’t he see my side of this?

And then, because this obviously is the logical thing to do,  we had a convo about finances. Epic fail.

The downward spiral continued until I found myself curled up in my bed crying.  I realized that,  over the past few months, everything I have been looking forward hasn’t happened. I thought my husband would have his surgery last Fall and we would never have to do medicated cycles. I thought we’d take our first hot holiday over Christmas,  but things changed when we attempted our first cancelled IUI cycle in December. I thought our first official IUI in January would be our ticket to becoming parents. Clearly wrong.

When my hubby was telling me to stop my home project planning,  I felt like he was taking another thing away from me.

Back in August,  I had a dream. I woke up and all I could see flashing in my eyes was the date: February 16.  I texted one of my best friends and told her to write it down. I told her to remember it in case anything happens to me that day. Yes,  I’m a big believer in signs and have had dreams come true before. I’m not crazy. Just special. 🙂

Anyway,  that day is tomorrow: 11DPIUI.

This is the longest I’ve gone without testing. I’m an addicted POAS-er. I’ve tried really hard to let go of the outcome this cycle. Deep down,  I’m praying that tomorrow morning I will wake up to a bright pink line that will change my life forever.

I can’t predict the future. I don’t know what my dream meant (yet). But I’ve realized that plans change and all we can do is accept it and move forward.