Longing to be an infertility unicorn

An infertility unicorn is a woman whose story gives hope to so many other struggling women. She’s the woman who – just when she was about to run out of money, hope, strength and actual eggs – magically conceives naturally and goes on to give birth to a beautiful miracle baby.

The irony of the infertility unicorn is that very few people have actually known one… except for the know-it-all fertiles who relentlessly give you advice like “just relax”. They always seem to know an infertility unicorn… 

infertilityunicorn

Have you ever thought that maybe YOU could be that miracle story?

Well, this month I secretly hoped I would.

I tracked my ovulation based on my typical cycle and body signs.

When it was prime time, I unleashed my inner seductress.

*cue your fav early 90s R&B jams mixed with a little Marvin Gaye”

I specifically chose what we would watch on Netflix based on the show’s sexual content.

I shaved my legs, showered and didn’t pick my zits before coming to bed.

I even offered a BJ to get him in the mood. Yes, this was a special treat. My BJ quota has been low lately as we all know blow jobs don’t make babies. 🙂 

We did it in the night.

We did it in the morning.

Hell, we even did it twice once day.

I effectively seduced my husband without him even realizing what time of the month it was.

Passionate love. Increased intimacy. Mind-blowing orgasms.

He was stress free and spent, while I lay there visualizing his fierce sperm meeting my luscious egg.

All signs pointed to conceiving our miracle baby.

I was going to be the next infertility unicorn!!!

Well, maybe not…

It’s CD 26. The usual pre-period signs have made their appearance specifically slightly brown tinged cervical mucus.

No miracles here folks…. except for the miracle of science!

Bring it Aunt Flo! Onwards towards our FET cycle!

ivf_baby_body_suit

Acupressure for fertility success

If you know me, you know I’m an avid Googler. I love finding new information and resources to help me throughout life – especially on my fertility journey.

Heidi Brockmyre came across my radar a few months ago. Today, I watched the replay of her recent live training: Acupressure for Pregnancy Success. 

Acupuncture points and acupressure points are the same thing. You just use your fingers instead of needles!

This topic interests me as we all know acupuncture can be costly and time consuming. Months ago, I tapped out my acupuncture benefit coverage for this year. I was fortunate that my local acupuncturist was willing to give me a special price to offset our cost. While we were away for our IVF cycle, I spent $365 alone on 4 treatments during the retrieval/transfer phase.

I like the concept of being able to practice fertility self-care. It saves you money and time while actively involving you in each phase of your cycle.

In the live training, Heidi talked about empowering women to be aware of their bodies. This spoke to me after enduring an ectopic pregnancy. If I wasn’t in tune with my body, I probably wouldn’t have rushed to the hospital when I did. I am always paying attention to my body for signs and symptoms that are normal or irregular.

When I’m having a natural fertility cycle, I sometimes experience pre-flow spotting, menstrual cramps, clotting, and PMS. I also tend to have later ovulation times. In traditional Chinese medicine terms, improvements could definitely be made to my cycle. After listening to Heidi explain signs of imbalances, I would say I show potential signs of blood stasis, stress, hormonal imbalance, digestive deficiency, and low reproductive energy. Um… that was all of them! 

The good news is my flow is MUCH better than it was when I first started trying to conceive. With a combination of acupuncture, acupressure and diet, I will continue to see improvements.

Heidi uses the formula: healthier menstrual cycle = a more fertile cycle 

A healthier cycle means:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Decreased stress
  • Healthy digestion
  • Hormone regulation
  • Boosted reproductive energy

Heidi demonstrated an acupressure sequence to build a healthy uterine lining. Healthy lining is necessary for implantation and also helps to nourish a sustainable and lasting pregnancy. This protocol was quick, easy and effective. I felt tension in areas where she said I might. I also noticed I was more relaxed at the end of the session.

This live training was an intro to Heidi’s new program Fertility at Your Fingertips™. This virtual self-care acupressure program can be used for natural, medicated, IUI, IVF or FET cycles. In fact, Heidi gives you both streams: natural cycle or ART cycle. The acupressure protocols line up with specific times during your cycle. You can do them anytime, anywhere in just 15 minutes. The program also includes a protocol for early pregnancy and one for your man (or sperm donor if he’s known) to make his swimmers faster and stronger. On top of all this, Heidi offers a ton of bonuses!

I don’t promote products on my blog unless I believe in them. I’ve purchased the Fertility at Your Fingertips™ program help me on the next phase of our fertility journey. I’m looking forward to using the acupressure to compliment my existing yoga and meditation practise (which I’d like to start up again once I’m fully healed from my laparoscopy). I won’t be going back to acupuncture until I have coverage again in January, but Heidi’s program will give me an opportunity to work on my cycle on my own, in my own home.

If you think this would interest you, check out Heidi Brockmyre’s Fertility at Your Fingertips™ program.  

Enrolment is only open until October 30th. There’s an added bonus if you enrol by end of day October 24th!

Note: I’m not getting any affiliate bonuses, free product or perks from promoting this. I just wanted to share a good thing that I found with my fertility sisters. I’ll post an update and let you know how it’s working out for me. 🙂   

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.

(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.

Doing things my way

CD 4. Natural cycle.

Being the rebel that I am, I stopped my progesterone on Thursday, skipped my Beta on Friday and good ol’ Aunt Flo made her roaring appearance on Saturday.

Ain’t nothing like sitting in a meditation course all afternoon cursing your period cramps and the fact that you didn’t bring anything with you to provide some relief.

Emotionally, I’m doing alright. No major breakdowns since this last cycle declared itself officially negative.

The hardest part has been reflecting on our time line. When I first joined the (in) fertile club, I saw myself as one of the lucky ones who would only ever have to update her signature to read: IUI #1, BFP!!!!

4 medicated cycles including 3 IUIs later,  we are clearly not on the easy route.

I’m sick of friends and family asking if the cycle was a success,  only to get no response back from them when I say it was negative. Don’t bother asking if you can’t manage to spit out any sort of supportive reply.

My ball team gave me exactly what I was looking for. I posted in our group chat app that I would be at the game and looking forward to beers after (meaning clearly not prego). We played an amazing game,  went for a beer and no one asked me anything about it. They knew it was negative,  but they also knew that I would bring it up if I wanted to discuss it. Everyone else needs to catch a hint.

I called in my cycle start on Monday and left a message stating we would be taking a break this cycle. And they never called me back. Not really surprised.

I thought I would be anxious to get the paperwork done for our IVF consult with the other clinic,  but I’m totally avoiding it. And the fact that I need to get our records transfered… Awkward. I still have a few weeks to get it done though. 

Other than that,  I just feel like staying away from all things baby for a while.

If you don’t hear from me much,  please know that I’m trying to spend less time online and more time outdoors.

Sunshine feeds the soul. And right now,  my aching heart could use some warmth.

Riding the emotional roller coaster

I was beyond emotional last week. I cried at least once a day for 6 days straight.

I was feeling uncertain, scared, confused, ashamed, impatient, frustrated, hurt, helpless.

I had no choice but to process each emotion that I had stuffed down since we started our fertility journey.

Through many conversations with friends and family, I was able to uncover the root of my pain.

Infertility treatments do not make me a lesser person. I know this. I understand the journey will give me strength, but that doesn’t make it any less of a challenge.

A change in plan can be devastating. Guess I didn’t realize how strong it would affect me. I am grieving the loss of my original vision. I need to allow myself the time to grieve, to feel the pain. I must allow patience and gentleness into my soul.  I do not expect to overcome my feelings overnight.

Hard is not relative. Hard is hard. Someone else might have an easy time letting go of the stress, the pain and the agony of waiting, but that doesn’t mean that I will have the same experience.

It is hard for me to let go of the hope of conceiving naturally without fertility drugs. I’m willing to try out more invasive options because my desire to become a mother is strong (that and I’m an overly impatient know-it-all – the concept of not understanding WHY just kills me). Once my baby is here, will it make a difference how they were conceived? No. It most definitely won’t.

We still have a chance this month. We are done follicle monitoring. Yesterday, I had one measuring 17mm, one measuring 15mm. The doctor expects me to ovulate, drug-free, within 2 days. I have a requisition to get a progesterone test done next Wednesday to confirm.

So I’m signing off to go home and do the baby dance with my hubby. Then, we’re onto the two week wait. This time, I’m not dreading it. I’m embracing whatever comes. Pregnancy would be the miracle we’ve dreamed of, but my period means we are taking a big step forward into IUI.

Wish us luck either way.

What’s the plan?

I sat in the waiting room scanning the faces of the other women. I hoped one of them would be in there for the same reasons as me. I wanted her eyes to lock with mine and without a word, we could share a glimpse of mutual understanding.

Unfortunately, everyone avoided eye contact that day. Alone, yet again.

I had my first follicle monitoring ultrasound this morning. I’m currently Cycle Day 12. My largest follicle was measuring 11 mm. Next ultrasound is booked for Thursday afternoon.

My doctor is optimistic that the HSG test may have cleared things out enough for us to get pregnant naturally this month.

She also asked me what our plans are for next month if we don’t get pregnant. OMFG!?!? Really?

That’s the thing about (in)fertility: everything is time-based. You need to make decisions fast.

She suggested we could try a round of drugs with IUI. If we want to start IUI next month, we need to get infection screening blood work done before my next cycle starts.

IUI is a HUGE step for us.

My husband is being really supportive and extra positive. He says by this time next year we will have our baby. He says we will do whatever it takes.

If we move forward with IUI, my vagina will be inspected, probed and inserted many more times. Why do us women have to go through so much? With modern technology, shouldn’t we have options for less invasive procedures?

All most men have to do is get it in a cup – the end result of a pleasurable experience. Lucky them.

I know I have a choice. I contemplated holding off on the IUI, but we’ve reached a milestone. I told myself that if we weren’t pregnant by December that I would move forward with the fertility drugs.

Emotionally, it’s hard to remain hopeful.

I just want to cry.

So instead of focusing on IUI, I’m going to focus on this natural cycle. I will continue with reiki, acupuncture, healthy eats, and minimal stress. One day at a time…