Ouch

I was really feeling good lately. Hopeful. Even though our last two cycles on clomid were a bust and I had a minor stint with provera, I was still looking forward. But today was a huge set back. 

So I have a friend in town (which I don’t have many because my husband and I are transplants from another state) who I shared our infertility journey with. She was newly married and seemed to have a huge list of things stacked against her and her husband conceiving. She was going into it with a battle mentality thinking she would be in it for the long haul. 

I found comfort knowing I could talk freely about our infertility struggles. We even went to the same fertility clinic! We laughed at our experience with the nurse who gives awful blood draws! 

Today she invited my husband and I out to dinner. We ate, casually chatted, and then there was an awkward pause. 

She said, “well, we wanted to meetup with you guys because we want you to know we’re pregnant! We wanted to tell you first before you saw it anywhere because of the troubles you’ve been having.” 

Huh!?!!? 

I wish I had a camera so I could see a pictures of our faces. My husband graciously stepped up and started congratulating them while I literally sat with my mouth hanging open. 

I put on my big cheesy smile and tried to ask questions excitedly. But all I could think was don’t cry, hold it in. And her due date was early November, the same due date we were supposed to have 2 years ago before we lost our baby. After a bit, I casually passed my phone to my husband with a text that said, “I need to go.” 

I do feel happy for them. I’m glad they didn’t have to experience the medications, tests, heartbreak, insane medical bills, and everything else that comes with infertility. They got pregnant their very first month of trying (even with a serious diagnosis that I won’t go into here). 

We left, both with our painful smiles, and before we even made it to the car I was ugly crying. I felt (and still feel) like an awful person that I can’t just be happy for them. I can’t celebrate with them right now. I was literally holding myself bawling in the car while my husband drove home in silence. 

So, what did I learn tonight? Being told in person hurts. Bad. Especially when it’s completely unexpected. 

I’m really trying to not let this push me back into a dark place. Unfortunately those why us?!?! questions came creeping back in. A huge reminder that all of our tests come back normal but for some reason we still can’t get pregnant. A huge reminder that we should have our 1 year old bub right now. 

My husband and I are still sitting in silence. Shocked. Although we don’t have anyone around us to confide in, at least we have each other. I’m so thankful he’s been home lately and not away flying. 

He’s coming with me to our RE appointment Monday. We’re starting over. New meds. New plan. Fingers crossed. Stay strong. 

Reflecting 

We’ve been on our journey to have a baby for 28 months now. Over two years of ups and downs. We had brief success and one overwhelming loss. I spent many nights crying, a lot of time feeling bitter and alone, and constantly asking why us?!

But with these two years of trying to conceive came maturity. I can honestly say I’m not the person I was two years ago. I guess loss and struggle can do that. I could let every unsuccessful month that goes by make me a little more angry, or a little more bitter or depressed, but I’m choosing to grow instead. I have to chose to take this experience and grow from it because I can’t live in this dark place alone. 

I’m not going to lie and say I’m grateful for this experience in any way. I wish no one would ever have to experience infertility or a miscarriage. I don’t have any control over the baby makin’ hand we’ve been dealt, but I do have control over the person I become because of it.

I’m extremely grateful for my husband and my marriage. I feel like we truly understand what it means to be partners, committed no matter what. After going through our miscarriage and a year of failed attempts of conceiving, we were in a really bad place. We decided to taketime “off” from trying and just spent time together. We had those important conversations and we got back to the people we fell in love with years before all of the mess. 

When we were both ready, we moved forward with our RE and started medicated cycles and all of the madness that comes with it. My husband is the only other person who knows what I’m going through and he’s my rock through the hormonal crazies. One thing we do is let the other person know when we’re having a “down day.” It’s a cue to let each other know when to give a lite extra love. We both have our down days but we don’t have them every day. I chose to let infertility make my marriage stronger, otherwise it will tear us apart. 

Recently, friends and family members have been announcing their pregnancies and parading around their bundles of joy. Initially, every single announcement feels like a punch in the gut. It’s a reminder of what I don’t have and want so badly. It’s a reminder of what could have been. I love children and spend the majority of my time teaching little kiddos (I’m a preK teacher!). So instead of  staying in a depressed and jealous place, I’ve learned to just love instead. 

When I’m surrounded by babies or littles, I think about my own one day child. I think about how overwhelmingly happy I will be when I meet my own child. I think about how much love I’ve been saving up for this baby and how many nights I’ve spent dreaming about changing dirty diapers and staying up with a crying baby. I’m not apprehensive about my child at all, I’m excited for every experience! Because I know how long I’ve waited and prayed for him or her. I chose to look forward rather than sink into depression. 

We’ve been dealing with failed cycles and a lot of uncertainty lately. My first cycle on clomid was 16 days and my second cycle is 48 days and counting. I had my first beta check and my first phone call with bad results. I’m not pregnant, my uterus just decided it had enough. As I type this I’m on day 8 of provera with no period in sight. I’m more than a little frustrated. I’m angry at my uterus. I’ve had regular cycles my entire life and now you decide to not work anymore?!?! Instead of being angry, I have to keep looking forward. This month didn’t work but there’s still hope and options. Now I know what doesn’t work with my body. I’ve learned to love myself no matter what my body is choosing to do. I’ve learned to take care of myself because I’m important in this baby makin’ process! I’m excited for our upcoming IUI and still hopeful for success. 

What I’ve found comfort in recently is something my husband said to me. He said we were going to have our happily ever after one day, no matter what. We will have a family, whether the children come from my womb or another woman’s. One day this will all be over and we can just be happy. It’s not a conventional story, but it’s our story. 

By far, the best thing I’ve done since our trying to conceive struggles 28 months ago was to start blogging. It’s the best way for me to process all of this crazy fertility stuff. I’ve learned so much from the other women and I’m inspired by all of your strength and perservesrance. I think we could all say we’re stronger people because of our journeys. 

So I guess what this long, rambling post was intending to say was I’m choosing to take these experiences and learn from them. I will not let infertility change me into someone I’m not. I definitely still have my bad days, weeks, and even months. But all I can do is just take each day as it comes. I’m going to continue to love myself, my husband, and all of the people around me. I’m going to keep praying for our happily ever after and lean on others when I need strength. I’m going to share my story because I know how lonely infertility can feel. I’m going to smile knowing that one way or another we will have a family. 

Results are in

Pretty much what I expected. Negative on all counts.

I talked to a very helpful and reassuring nurse today who explained that clomid can sometimes cause early or late periods (which of course I’ve had both, lucky me!) She said my doc recommends starting provera to get things moving. 

I’m always a little nervous about taking medication because I’m so sensitive. I think she could sense my hesitation so we agreed to wait until Monday to start the provera. Any natural tips or tricks to get your period to start? Any advice on taking provera or what to expect?

In the meantime, we’re taking the next cycle off from all meds and I made an appointment for April 20 to plan our IUI. 

Although we’ve done the standard fertility tests, I’m going to ask if there are anymore tests we can do. I’m having a hard time being labeled “unexplained.” There has to be something that’s not right! I’m also asking to be switched off clomid to anything else…

It can only get better from here right?

To test or not to test…

My husband is out of town again this week so I have too much time to think about baby makin’. I keep reviewing my chart from this month and there’s no way we missed the window! So I keep obsessing did it work?!

Tomorrow is 14 dpo. I’m dying to take a test. I FaceTimed my husband tonight and asked him what he thought. He said we should wait until I’m late, then take a test.

Sure….. That’s what any normal couple would do. But we’re not normal! So I guess the compromise would be Wednesday, good ‘ole day 28 of my cycle. 

But will one day really make a difference? If it’s positive tomorrow, I could really surprise him. And if it’s negative I have a day to process before I have to tell him too. 

Ugghhh…. I feel absolutely crazy!

Clomid round 2 TWW

The days are just draaaaaaging by. I’ve been trying to stay relaxed this cycle. I joined a book club so I’ve been spending my evenings reading. I’ve also been allowing myself to take naps when I’m tired instead of stressing out at home after crazy days in my classroom. It also helped that we had a snow day last week so I wasn’t so swamped at work. I’m happy I haven’t had a super short cycle like my first cycle on clomid!! 

I’m holding off until this upcoming weekend to take a pregnancy test (as long as AF doesn’t show). I can tell my husband is just as anxious as I am because he asks me at least five times a day how I feel. He leaves for recurrent training for his airplane next weekend, which is perfect timing. I told him I hope he either leaves with good news or comes home to good news. Or that gives me some alone time to binge on chocolate and cry over sappy movies. 

We decided to take the next cycle off to reevaluate. I’m not going to lie, it’s been pretty rough on clomid. This cycle I had hot flashes and insane mood swings! Our next step is an IUI, which we finally stashed away enough money for. 

I almost feel like an addict when I think about taking a month off from clomid. I find myself thinking, “just one more and maybe this will be the last!” It’s so hard to stop yourself because what if it works next month!!! 

But I think for my mental health, my job security, and my marriage, I need a short hiatus from clomid. 

I’m the nurse line’s worst nightmare

I started my period yesterday. Yeah, I’m pretty darn confused too considering it was CD19. I was patiently waiting my TWW until my body decided, “ehhh no thanks!”

I started the day with light cramping that quickly amped up. It felt like I was starting my period. I had light spotting all day. At first I thought it could be implantation bleeding because the time frame made sense.

I called into the nurse line at my clinic. She quickly told me they weren’t concerned because anytime you introduce hormones it could throw your cycle off. Lately my cycles have been 35 days, so 19 is waaaay off!

After I hung up, I called her back again. Assuming this is my period, do I start clomid again on CD3? She said I could and told me to call back once it’s “a full flow.”

Last night I had such strong cramping it woke me up from a dead sleep. (TMI warning) AF started as brownish discharge but now it’s red and has clots. So I think it’s a “full flow.” I’ll probably call the nurse line again and see what they say to do.

Did anyone else have issues with clomid throwing off their cycle?

After this month I’m apprehensive about taking it again. I feel like I have no control of my body. I’m afraid of clomid causing more damage than what it’s helping.

I’ve also decided to seek out a therapist to help deal with the ups and downs of this process. I need some coping strategies.

I also need to learn how to leave work at work. I teach in the toughest school in our city and have students with severe emotional problems. Just this past week I’ve had chairs thrown at me, I’ve been punched in my stomach, and scratched. I honestly think the stress from my job may be preventing me from getting pregnant.

This is really hard. I hope it’s all worth it in the end.

First failed medicated cycle. I’m done wallowing and crying. Just keep swimming.

Fertility Products

Since we started clomid this month, I decided to just jump head first into the fertility world! I’ve been scouring the blogs, forums, websites, and reviews to find fertility products that MAAAAY up our chance (at least just a bit). What’s the harm, right?

I started drinking Moontime Tea Fertility Blend for women. I loooove tea so I thought why not benefit my lady parts at the same time? It contains peppermint, red clover blossoms, red raspberry leaves, and nettle leaves. According to the product information, it increases sex drive, strengths and regulates the uterus and menstrual cycles, and purifies the blood. It tastes like peppermint tea and is pretty mild in taste. I only started drinking it yesterday and plan to drink it twice a day until I ovulate. Overall, I don’t know if this actually benefits anything but I’m happy with just a placebo effect to be honest. It’s a nice excuse to schedule a relaxing tea time twice a day!

I also bought Conceive Plus to help with some of the more unpleasant side effects of clomid. It’s a fertility friendly lubricant from Europe that has calcium and magnesium ions that is supposed to aid in the fertilization process. Again, I’m just happy to have a fertility friendly lubricant since clomid can cause some “drying.” Let’s see how it goes!

I still take a prenatal vitamin and bought a new brand of ovulation kits this month since I never got a positive with the last brand I used. There’s a lot of folklore when it comes to fertility enhancing products and supplements, but like most women I’m willing to try anything if it helps!

What’s your go-to products? Anything you would recommend to others?