IVF: what does it mean to you?

I just came across this article on Facebook: Bobbie Thomas: No more whispers, I’m going IVF and I’m proud of it. What stood out for me was her pride. Proud of IVF? Huh? 

In vitro fertilization (IVF).

Fear, guilt, shame, why me? 

That’s the zone I’ve been living in lately.

Now, it’s time to change.

Earlier this week, I watched a webinar hosted by Zahra Haji from YogaGoddess and Molly Nichols from The Mind Belly Connection. The webinar focused on how to restore faith in your body’s ability to conceive, whether through natural conception or ART. If you are interested, watch the Fertility Faith webinar replay.

This webinar made me rethink the way I’ve approached my (in)fertility. I’ve spent too much time focusing on the negatives and looking for outsider reassurance that everything will be ok.

The change needs to come from within me – and me only.

Changing my mindset isn’t an easy task, but it’s necessary to make this journey less emotionally taxing.

(In)fertility is not dirty or shameful. It’s a medical condition that many of us can not control and could not have prevented.

I am proud of my husband and myself. We are strong. We are capable. And, we are taking control of our diagnosis by choosing the next best path for us on our journey.

To me, IVF means:

  • Hope
  • Courage
  • Strength
  • Determination
  • The right choice

IVF is not the worst thing to happen to me. In fact, it could be the best thing if it helps us to conceive our child.

What does IVF mean to you? 

Hello Aunt Flo… where are you?

CD 33. Natural cycle.

Alright, yesterday when I exclaimed, “MY PERIOD IS COMING!”, it was a false alarm.

The only “spotting” I got yesterday was from a two finger cervical sweep. I have spoken to my RE in the past about sometimes seeing red mixed with my mucus if I’m checking cervical position. She said I probably have a sensitive cervix.

Well Sensitive Cervix – you fooled me! 

I have zero spotting, zero symptoms, zero period.

I spoke with my Acupuncturist. She told me to be patient and try testing in a few days.

I think it is HIGHLY unlikely that I am pregnant. Aunt Flo is just being a bitch like usual.

Here’s what I’ve tried to induce my period:

  1. Have sex. Unfortunately, this didn’t work. Might have to try attempt #2 tonight. 
  2. Exercise. Exercise was covered off when I played fast ball this past weekend. I also went to yoga last night thinking that building the heat would bring the flow. No such luck. 

Do you have any other suggestions or old wives tales to bring forth Aunt Flo? I’m at a loss here.

If she still hasn’t arrived tomorrow, I’ll use up my last FRER.

Things that have been bothering me lately

Lately,  there has been a few (in)fertile worries on my mind:

  • I will break down when someone asks when we are having children. Twice lately, I’ve been asked when we will have kids. Both times, I surprisingly handled it well; but I keep waiting for that inevitable breakdown.
  • My sister might get pregnant before me. My sister and her boyfriend started trying this past month. She may have some difficulties conceiving due to past medical issues. I gave her lots of information and suggested she make a doctor’s appointment to follow up on her past issues. She skipped the doctor, decided to try anyway and proceeded to text me constantly asking what day she should test. I love you sister. But, I can’t go back to that place of incessant hope. I’ve been burned by Aunt Flo for too many months. Read the material I gave you. Listen to my advice. It comes from a place of love and experience. 
  • My sister-in-law might get pregnant with #3 soon. Rumour has it: she wants another kid. I honestly have NOT gotten into half of the bullshit we go through with my brother and sister-in-law, but let’s just say: I don’t know how they could financially bring another baby into this world. Get what I’m saying? She also said to me last weekend that we will most likely get pregnant this month since we are on a break. I just want to slap the bitch and every other idiot who tells me, “Relax, it will happen when you least expect it”. I get that THEY don’t get it, but I swear I’m about to order a box of (in)fertile t-shirts that say “Tell me to relax and I’ll knife you” (Reminds me of OITNB haha). Who wants one?
  • Our IVF might fail. Oh this one scares me the most! This is only meltdown I’ve had lately. My husband says we will do what we need to do, but it still scares me that it’s a possibility. I’ve seen too many of you (my blogger friends) maintain extremely positive attitudes throughout your cycles only to have the hope come crashing down with a BFN.

I am a worrier. It’s genetically engrained in me.

When I first discovered what anxiety was, I called up my father and said, “Hey Dad – thanks for passing your anxiety onto me!”.

Since then, I’ve learned to manage my anxiety with a combo of meditation, yoga, deep breathing and constantly reminding myself, “Lindsey – you are being ridiculous! SHUT UP!”

My husband balances me out well. He never seems too worried about the future and often reminds me that “We will deal with it when we get there”.

I wish we could get to a place of balance – somewhere between my incessant worrying and his lack of regard.

Until then, here’s my solutions to the above worries:

  • Forget about ’em. If I break down, the best scenario is they will think I’m crazy and never ask again! Perfect. 
  • Be happy for my sister.  Be grateful if she doesn’t have to endure fertility treatments, but also set some boundaries if I’m finding it too difficult to be her support system. And if she does need treatment, I vow to be there for her.
  • Ignore my sister-in-law. Best solution to a very awkward family dynamic.
  • Cry, feel and try again.  I truly believe life doesn’t throw anything your way that you aren’t strong enough to handle. We will get there. We will have children. And if our first IVF is a success, I will be forever grateful.

I’ve had the following song in my head for a week straight.  It reminds me of my husband and all of my fertility friends. I suggest you listen to it if you are also having a worrisome day like me. Love you all. 🙂

(In)fertile limbo-land – AGAIN!

CD 32. Natural Cycle.

BFN. No fucking period!

Nothing. Nadda. No spotting. No symptoms.

I had some slight cramping last week, but now I’ve concluded that must have just been shit cramps (Yes I just said shit cramps – keepin’ it classy).  My nips were sore, but that went away.

I’ve been waiting since CD28 for Aunt Flo to appear. I usually get it between CD 28-31.

So, I’m reaching out to the fertility gods to give me a hand here.  Because we all know the second I hit Publish Post, I run to the bathroom and BAM she’s here! 

It’s exactly 2 weeks til our IVF consult. I’m anxious to hear what Dr. H has to say, but more anxious to get this period over with.

Come on Aunt Flo! Stop playing this mind game with me and just let me have it! 

 UPDATE: As predicted, I go to the bathroom and the ever-so-slightest bit of spotting has started. Finally. Let’s get that full flow started. I’m ready for a fresh cycle.

What do you gain when you lose…

I know, I know. I’m on a reblogging roll today… but this one is a MUST READ, 5-star. Lindsey’s recommended choice on the front table at Chapters. Check it out and let me know what you think!

My Dink-ish Life

hurt

I saw the above picture and it captured me. I read it several times and then just stared for a while. Has my pain just hurt me or has it changed me? Pain is inevitable. We all know that. Everyone suffers some sort of pain through out their life. Pain comes in all shapes and sizes, in every form imaginable. During this IF process I lost myself. I lost my patience, my faith in doctors, my faith in family, my dreams and so much more. What did I gain?

  1.  You are a victim of your own mind                                                    The brain is a powerful thing. Add the body and heart to it, that makes it down right unpredictable. I have allowed my brain to take over…

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What Not to Say….

Great post from jandsinfertilityjourney. It’s one we all can definitely relate to!

jandeinfertilityjourney

It is amazing how sensitive I am now… The littlest thing will upset me especially when it comes to fertility. Sometimes I think people are just ignorant to the topic. I understand that it isn’t a familiar topic to everyone, but a little courtesy when broaching the subject is appreciated… Some of the most annoying things I have had said to me are:

1. You’re young, you have plenty of time to have a baby.

Really, I didn’t realize that being almost 30 was young when I see 5,000,000,000 16 year olds pregnant. Also, I am ready for my baby now… I don’t want to have to wait!

2. We tried for 2 months to get pregnant, I totally understand the pain and frustration you are going through…

Wow, two whole months!!! I have been trying for two years, you DON’T understand!! You were able to have a baby naturally…

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A poem: the (in)fertile mind

With our IVF consult quickly approaching, some (in)fertile anxiety surfaced within me today.

I’ve been feeling a bit disconnected from my writing lately. I have so many ideas swirling in my head, but I have yet to get them down in words. Since starting is always half the battle, I took some time to use my words to release some of that pent-up FEAR and frustration.

I’m not much of a poet… but he’s my first attempt at an (in)fertility poem.

The (in)fertile mind

 

Infertility doesn’t define me.

But, oh how it does!

From every pill to every shot ,

To all the appointment dates

that dominate my calendar.

I premeditate responses to questions like,

“When will you start trying?” or

“How come you don’t have kids yet?”.

Damn you all.

It’s not for lack of trying.

Try, try, TRY…

That’s all we infertiles do.

Try to forget.

Try to forgive.

Try to take a break.

Try to continue.

Try not to succumb to the emotional havoc.

Our souls are broken, bruised and tormented.

We know our destiny is divine.

But when, oh when, will it be our time?

21 days til IVF consult

Well, I let freedom equal two weekends of binge drinking, and now, I’m over it. I’m too old (ha!) for hang overs. I want my little snuggle bug who is my excuse to leave early from a night out and my reason for not drinking. 

I’m counting down the days until our consult with the new clinic. 21 to be exact. 

A week ago, I finished off the medical questionnaire and contacted our former clinic to transfer our records. The always super-friendly receptionist was quite short with me on the phone, but can I really blame her? I wouldn’t want to have to spill the beans to the RE that ANOTHER patient is leaving either.  

On Friday night, we got together for a BBQ with my local fertility friends. 4 couples met at one couple’s house for supper, drinks and conversation. It was perfect. We caught up with each other on where we were at cycle-wise, but the rest of the night did not focus on babies or anything fertility-related. It was like we all needed a break and we knew it. I know I appreciated an opportunity to get to know each other better. Yes, we are all struggling, but we are all people beyond this (in)fertile madness. 

I discovered that one of the other girls is also considering a switch to our new clinic. Her consult is a few weeks after ours. I know I originally wanted to help build our local program, but (in)fertilty is a business. If I’m spending that much cash, I’m going where the treatment and chances are better. Rumour has it: the clinic we are looking into is currently the top in Western Canada. The decision to switch is an easy one for me. 

My goal for the next few weeks is to get back on board with healthy living. I want my mind, body and spirit to be in optimal condition when we move into our IVF cycle. The countdown is on… and once again, I’m getting excited for the possibilities. 

A step in the right direction

Seeding is done. My husband is (finally) home.

I’m a city wife livin’ the part-time farming life. My husband has a full-time job, but he is also a part-time grain farmer. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law live on the home quarter. Our land is located an hour away from home.

It doesn’t seem that it’s that far, but when he’s in the field for 12-15 hour days, I tell him to just stay out there. It doesn’t make sense to waste the gas and time to come home for only a few hours of sleep. It’s not like you get much of a chance to catch up anyway.

Being big city born and raised, it took me quite a while (in fact, some days I think I’m still adjusting) to the farming lifestyle.

Your schedule is entirely based on the weather. For a Type-A planner like me, this concept is unfathomable.

This seeding season, we got quite a of rain. My husband was home more than usual, even it was just for 1-2 nights. I honestly think I was only the wife saying “Whohoo rain again! My husband’s coming home!“.

Until this year, I don’t think I realized how hard it is on me when he’s farming. I often travel for work,  but my husband is always home. He also doesn’t have much time to talk when he’s in the field, but he honestly made a stronger effort to keep in touch this year.

Saturday night, we went to a fundraiser for my ball team. It that fun night I’ve been longing for. We laughed harder than we have in a long time. On the way home, I drunkenly mumbled on and on to my husband about how much I love him and appreciate having him in my life.

Yesterday, we spent the entire day on the couch watching Season 2 of Orange is the New Black. I was beyond happy to be home with him, doing nothing but cuddling with our fur-babies.

I haven’t gotten our records transferred from the old clinic to the new yet. I need my husband’s signature and I kept forgetting to get him to sign it. Tomorrow, I’m going to call and get it dealt with. Awkward but necessary. 

We are ready to move forward.

 

 

Fear & loathing in (in)fertile madness

I don’t know what cycle day it is. Somewhere pre-ovulation.

This is the first month in probably a year that I honestly don’t know the exact date of my cycle.

Is that freedom?

I’m going through a period of withdrawal and avoidance.

I don’t want to be around kids, at least not any under the age of 3.

I don’t want to hear stories about babies.

I don’t want to see photos of their smiling faces.

I don’t want my girlfriends to bring their kids over if they can’t find a sitter.

I’d rather be alone – except all I want to do is go out and have fun. Fun as it was defined BEFORE we started trying to conceive.

I started having a few drinks a week (compared to only a couple each month for the past 6 months). I snuck in a cigarette or two. I stayed out extra late, but the laughs and conversation were worth it.

After each beer I have, I remind myself that I don’t so much enjoy it. I mean everyone loves a few drinks to take the edge off, but I end up dehydrated with a restless sleep and more worries than it’s worth.

Alcohol has always envoked a sense of wanting to run away. I’m stronger and more confident without it. Ironic – isn’t it? Or is that just what I’ve convinced myself to believe because the alcohol always brings up the hurt that I’ve tried so hard to let go hide? 

Last week, I met with my doctor to get a referral for the new clinic. After our visit, I realized it’s been 14 months since we first met with her to start the process of fertility testing, referrals and treatment.

14 months with no success – on top of the 9 months we tried before we went to the doctor.

23 months doesn’t seem THAT long in the grand scheme of things. I know there are many couples who have endured much longer than us.

But, 23 months is hard when you were prepared. You were willing. You were ready.

And now, you aren’t so sure. You second guess everything. What is the right path for you?

I’ve been avoiding the paperwork for our consult with the new clinic. I told myself I HAVE to get it done this week.

Deep down, I still long to conceive naturally.

Am I lacking acceptance?

Or is this just another ego-trip? Self-destruction through re-direction.

Who knows?

Everything in my life seems a bit out of balance.

I desire change.