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. 

Anxiety

I’ve been having some minor panic attacks this weekend. I took my last pill of provera on Thursday with the hopes of AF arriving this weekend. 

Nope. That would be too easy, and of course I have to do everything the hard way. 

So naturally I spent the weekend obsessing over what could be wrong with me. CD 53, 10 days of provera, and still nothing!! I have absolutely no idea what is going on with my body and it’s incredibly frustrating. 

I even took another HPT (because I obviously like to torture myself). I don’t even need to tell you the two words that flashed back at me. 

Ugh… So I’ll just keep waiting. I’m debating if I should call my doctor tomorrow or just wait it out. I’m going back in next Monday anyways. 

On another note, I went shopping for a baby shower gift for a friend who’s due in June with her first baby. Typically I avoid the baby section of any store but lately I’ve been allowing myself to browse with the rationale that I’m just looking for a baby shower gift. 

I decided to buy her diaper bag and I stuffed in with diapers, wipes, pacifiers, burp cloths, onesies, and a few books. It was really cute when I wrapped it all up with a pink bow!

But while I was in the baby sections, I lingered. And I started to pick things out for my baby. I saw a camo onesie at old navy recently that said, “dad’s wingman.” I really wanted to buy it (since my husband is a pilot) but I stopped myself. 

Today at Target I saw a onesie with an airplane print design. I couldn’t help but hold it up and imagine myself buying it for my son. This baby boy I imagined in my head. With my husband’s curls and my blue eyes. Chubby like we both were as babies. Smiling at me. 

I didn’t let myself but anything besides the shower gift. 

Years ago, when my husband and I were juniors in college, we went to the air and space smithsonian for spring break. We saw a poster with a young boy in an old school aviator hat. We bought it saying to ourselves this will hang in our child’s room one day. It’s still rolled up in our guest room closet with some books I’ve collected over the years and a few stuffed animals. 

How much longer will it have to sit in our closet? 

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. 

Tired

Provera is kicking my butt. I took my first pill last night and within an hour I was sleeping on the couch with my mouth wide open! Knocked out to the world! I slept ten hours last night and already took an hour nap today too. I’m not having any other side effects yet and AF is still a no show.

Besides being physically tired, I’m emotionally exhausted. Many people in our families know we’ve been doing medicated cycles so I feel like I keep getting asked optimistically, “Soooo…. How are things going?!” I’m trying to stay positive, but I’m just so damn tried of letting others down too.

On another note, I was talking to a woman yesterday who had pregnancy issues and she was telling me to look into progesterone. Some doctors write off having low progesterone as not a big deal, but other doctors prescribe progesterone supplements and are constantly measuring hormone levels. She was convinced that progesterone suppositories were the only reason she didn’t have an early miscarriage this pregnancy. I plan on asking my RE about it when we go back in on the 20th, but I wanted to put it out there in case anyone has experience with this or studies about low progesterone and infertility/early miscarriage.

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?