So, Back on The Pill?

I’m so tired of my malfunctioning reproductive system. My cycle is all over the place. The only thing I can count on is my consistently short luteal phase. My ovulation day is anywhere from CD17 to CD28, which means my overall cycle is anywhere from 26 to 37 days long.

Not that it matters. Even if we try try, the odds of getting pregnant are slim.

I know what I should do, but I’m having a hard time with the idea of being done with TTC forever. But I also recognize that hoping for a spontaneous pregnancy at almost 40, with infertility, is not doing me any good.

I need to focus on getting healthy, both mentally and physically. I need to work on my marriage and friendships. I need to step up my game at my job. I can’t do any of those things with this huge, constant distraction infiltrating all aspects of my life.

The fucked up thing is that I don’t actually want to get pregnant right now. I’m very overweight – the heaviest I’ve ever been. I’m overwhelmed by pretty much everything. I’m exhausted. I have zero time for self-care. Not to mention all the anxiety that would likely come with another pregnancy. If I were to ever get pregnant again, I would want to be in a much better place.

The only logical conclusion is to go back on the birth control pill. Or maybe an IUD. I think I need to, for my own emotional well-being.

Advertisements

Anniversary

It’s been exactly a year since my embryo transfer. A year. So much has changed since then.

I was so happy and hopeful a year ago. I know I will be those things again, someday, but not today. Probably not for a while.

And that’s okay. I’ve been trying to rush myself into closure, but that’s neither helpful nor fair. So, I’m stepping back from that, from trying to heal. Instead, I’m embracing grief – messy, uncomfortable, painful grief – and allowing myself to witness it, to experience it, and to simply let it be.

I almost titled this post “Unhappy Anniversary.” But, then I realized, it only seems unhappy through the hindsight of grief. It was actually a very happy day, at least once we learned that our embryo had survived the thaw. While waiting to sign the consent forms, we spied a wild rabbit in the bushes just outside the window. It felt like a positive sign at the time, and even more so later when we found out I was pregnant. The transfer went smoothly, after which we enjoyed a relaxing stay at a hotel before driving home the next morning. All in all, it was a happy, hopeful, beautiful day. I feel like it’s important to acknowledge that, to let myself have this happy memory, and the ones that followed.

 

 

Happy Friday! Here’s a Coupon

I know I should be writing something about Mother’s Day, but I just don’t have it in me. Instead, I’ll share this code for 25% off at Circle + Bloom. In addition to many different varieties of fertility meditation/mind-body programs, they have a cancer program, and general women’s health. (I loved the IVF and pregnancy programs.) There’s even something for the men. Check it out and use the referral code. Thanks!

http://go.referralcandy.com/share/DJZQV2W

An Apology From Infertility

During therapy this week, my counselor asked me what is it that makes me still so angry with infertility. I thought it was a stupid question at first, but I rolled with it. I said that I hated that it was beyond my control, that other than treatments to get pregnant, there was nothing I could do to cure or prevent it. Related to that, I hated that because it wasn’t anyone’s fault, including my own, there wasn’t anyone who could give me an apology for all the pain and suffering. It sounds ridiculous, but I think I’m finally getting closer to the root of my misery. I just want an apology.

That’s when she suggested that I write my own apology to myself, as if I were infertility. Again, I was skeptical that this would lead to anything helpful, but I said I’d give it a try. Some women have written letters TO infertility, but this is my letter FROM infertility.

Dear K ~

I’m sorry.

As you know, I strike randomly. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how healthy you are, or how much money you have. I don’t care about the color of your skin or where you were born. I don’t care about your sex.

I don’t care if you’re a kind or terrible person. I don’t care if you did everything “right” in life. You’re wrong when you say it’s not fair, because literally none of that matters to me, which is the most fair way, don’t you think? But I digress.

I wanted to say I’m sorry. Truly sorry.

I’m sorry that I didn’t give you a say in any of this. I’m sorry that your expectations for your family were shattered because of me.

I’m sorry for all the pain I caused you.

I’m sorry for the all the negative pregnancy tests that crushed your soul month after month for years. I’m sorry for taking the fun out of sex, and for causing a strain on your marriage. I’m sorry that I forced you to undergo expensive and sometimes painful procedures in order to have a chance at having a baby.

I’m sorry that I caused you to look upon pregnant women with jealousy and sadness. I’m sorry that every invitation to a baby shower made you crumple to the floor in tears. I’m sorry that you had to smile through your pain and hold back your tears when the subject of children came up during professional functions.

I’m sorry that it still hurts after all this time, and that it will likely hurt for quite some time. Maybe forever.

I’m so sorry for all of this. 

So… This did nothing for me. I don’t feel better. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel it’s sincere. (Can it be sincere, coming from me?) Maybe the whole point of the exercise is not feel better, but to realize that it’s ridiculous to expect an apology for something like this. Perhaps the lesson is that I need to seek closure from elsewhere. I don’t know.

The other piece of advice from my therapist was to channel my anger into something like advocacy or helping others. I think that’s probably a better path. I’ll have to give some thought to it.

I Need a POAS Intervention

I feel like a fucking idiot.

An online retailer from whom I have purchased supplements and OPKs in the past sent an email offering a deep discount on a new pregnancy test strip they are trying out from a new supplier. In exchange for the discount, I had to agree to provide honest feedback on the tests. The maker claims the test yields positive results at 10 miu/ml hcg, making it a fairly sensitive test.

When I got my tests, I was 6 dpo. I took one that evening, knowing it wouldn’t be accurate, but I could at least see if there was streaking or evaps or anything else weird about them. I was shocked to see a second pink line pop up almost right away, especially since it was so early, and I hadn’t done a proper urine hold before the test. Could this be the real thing?

It occurred to me that the test might be faulty, so I took another one a few hours later. Same second line. Okay… two faulty tests? I decided to use my only FRER the next morning, thinking I would certainly get a positive, if these new tests were right.

7 dpo, morning…. FRER was negative. The new tests were still showing that same damn line, though. Maybe my hcg just isn’t high enough yet for FRER? I bought more FRER tests for the next day.

8 dpo, morning… Still negative on FRER, still positive on the new tests. It occurred to me that these are just crap tests, so I did a little experiment of my own. Tap water… positive. Saline solution… positive. My toddler’s urine… much lighter than the other lines, but still what I would consider positive. That pretty much confirms these are crap tests, right?

9 dpo… Well, that didn’t stop me from blowing $50 on a variety of pregnancy tests, and using them on the FMU I saved in an airtight container and brought to work. (Yeah… I did that, as much as it pains me to admit it.) All of those tests were negative, of course: EPT, FRER, and the Wal-Mart cheapies. Not even an infamous evap on the blue dye EPT test.

10 dpo… Non-crap tests were all still negative. Then I received an email from the retailer thanking me for my feedback on their new crap tests. They said they decided NOT to use this new supplier (apparently other women also got false positives). They offered to refund my money AND send me replacement tests from their current supplier. They also apologized for my horrible experience.

11 dpo… Good old AF arrived at 2:00 am this morning. I currently feel like stabbing everyone. I desperately want to stay at home for the next few miserable days, but I’m facing several deadlines at work. Instead, I think I will close my office door and cry a little… or a lot.

Coming to Terms – Spoiler Alert: It’s Not Happening Just Yet

My therapist says I need to write about this, so here I am. How in the hell do I come to terms with our family-building journey ending before our family is complete?

I’m so very grateful that I have my daughter. I know many people come to this point in the journey with no children, and I can only imagine how heartbreaking that must be. (And I can imagine it, because I have imagined it, many many times over the years.)

But raising an only child wasn’t the plan. It’s nothing to do with negative feelings about only children. I’m well aware that only children aren’t any more or less well-adjusted, social, intelligent, or normal (for lack of a better word) than their peers with siblings. I know kids don’t need live-in playmates to have healthy relationships. I’m not worried that my daughter will be left all alone to raise aging parents, because she has a large and close extended family that can and will jump in whenever needed. It’s just that, long ago, before we ever started trying to get pregnant, our vision was for 2-3 kids. I can’t say exactly why, except that neither of us knew any different. We both had siblings growing up, and were surrounded by families made up of at least 2 kids. Maybe that’s not a great reason, but it is what it is.

I guess you could say that we do/did have two children, but now one is gone. Either way, the overwhelming feeling that I’ve been having is that our family is not yet complete, and never will be. I hate that this is my reality. I hate that it wasn’t my choice, at least not entirely. I accept that we made the choice not to do IVF again, nor to adopt. I’m confident that it was the right choice for us not to pursue either of those options, considering the financial and emotional ramifications. I suppose it all comes down to being angry at my infertility.

If it weren’t for infertility, we would likely have our little family already. If it weren’t for infertility, even after a devastating 20 week loss, we might have the conviction to try again and a reasonable expectation that we would get pregnant again.

Changing my vision of our family will be difficult, but it’s a necessary step. But, to be honest, I’m not sure it’s a step I can take right now. I’m still holding out hope that we might have a much-coveted surprise pregnancy one of these days. I feel like an idiot admitting this, but I’ve seen it happen over and over again. Why can’t that be me? It could be me, right?

So, it looks like I’m just not ready to let go yet. That still leaves me struggling on a daily basis. But at least now I know that the struggle is really against infertility, and not necessarily the end of our family-building journey, because we’re still on that journey, even if I can see the end of it coming. Am I just delaying the inevitable? Am I in denial?

This Doesn’t Feel Like Winning

I never win. Raffles, sweepstakes, lottery, door prizes… Whatever the avenue, however low the total number of entrants, I’ve never been chosen as a winner. Ever. Until today.

You know those useless reward codes on diapers? I faithfully entered them in the hopes of one day getting enough points to trade them for something cool. When I realized that wasn’t going to happen, that I needed to buy far more than I needed in order to get the points, I decided to burn them all as contest entries.

One of those contests was for a year’s worth of diapers and wipes. This was in the Before Time (as in, before I lost the baby). Well… I won. The company sent me an affidavit to fill out and everything. But I declined.

I thought about accepting and donating the coupons (that’s how I would get my prize, as 70 coupons), but I would still be on the hook for the taxes on the value of my winnings. We already pay in on tax day. Not to mention, much like getting baby samples in the mail post-loss, I just don’t want to deal with this. We’re done with diapers. Forever.

Shit. Of course this would be literally the only time I win something.