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Trying-to-Conceive Blog

spazzle's blog

Hell, or something like it

I regret telling people we were doing ivf. I thought it would be nice to have support leading up to it and then if things didn't work out, like they didn't. But "support" as we know can come in many forms, most of which aren't helpful. Then all that support you thought you'd want becomes a burden.

My mom has taken to sending me things she's googled everyday. "I read the key is the vitamins, herbs, AND acupuncture." Because I'd already told her all the fancy supplements people swear work in a mere 3 months did not work, not even over the YEARS I bought them. Now she's telling me attitude is half the battle and that I need to "unblock my energy channels" and do more yoga (which I do every day, and have for 3 years). While I love yoga and have considered acupuncture for my overall wellbeing (ya know, since I'm crying multiple times a day and barely getting out of bed), these things are not a cure all. It's not like I'm not pregnant because my energy channels are blocked. It's almost as bad as "just relax". I want to scream, "Let me assure you, if I could just relax and get pregnant, I would do it. I would do it a thousand times before spending all this gd money and going through medical hell. I promise." It's not like someone gets cancer and you tell them to just relax and take some vitamins and unblock their fucking energy channels. I've just stopped responding. I know, truly I know, that my mom is trying to help. And this is the only way she knows how to try to help. But I am about this ( ) close to sending her, "Ya know, maybe I should just quit my job and live on govt assistance and eat McDonalds three times a day so I can have not one but TWO kids just like (insert name of one of my brother's crap baby mommas)." My friend told me that I shouldn't send it, that it would come across wrong. But really, truly, WHY am I always accomodating people?! I'm the one sitting over here on the wrong side of this fucked up parallel universe. I am TIRED of giving a fuck. I am close to discontinuing communication with literally everyone. No texts. No snaps. No carrier pigeons. I hate feeling alone but all this misguided "support" makes me feel way more alone, so at this point isn't it better to just tell everyone to leave me the fuck alone? I'm not pregnant. I don't want to talk about it like it's some super easy fixable thing. I HATE IT. I hate that apparently for everyone this is the easiest thing in the world and I HATE that everyone just acts like "oh something must be wrong with you" and I HATE that all these stupid idiot people are running around with kids they don't take care of and I HATE that nobody understands that I hate it. All of it.

We're trying to regroup and in a few weeks we're going to try to figure out the money thing and schedule our final FET. But then what? It won't work and people will sit around telling us if only we had done acupuncture and taken some vitamins? I am really beginning to question my ability to deal with this shit anymore. Yesterday I sat at work and contemplated how much leave I would get if I just decided to have a complete nervous breakdown. I know people care about us and I don't mean to sound ungrateful but FUCK. I need the universe to cut me a tiny bit of slack. Just a sliver. Because I am breaking into pieces and I surprise surprise I'm crying in public. Again. 

(Dh and I do have some plans to do stuff for us and not feel like such shit. I don't mean this whole thing to sound like we aren't trying to get though it. I'm just very frustrated with pretty much everyone and everything else. The only people who might understand that part of it are here, so that's why I'm putting it here.)

Anyway. Yeah.

This is what I wish I could post

I wish I could say this worked. I wish I could say, "We finally did it!!! Five years, finally a bfp!!! And maybe it's twins! The doctor was really happy with the hcg levels, which is amazing since I got bfns on all the hpts. Apparently it really is possible to get a late bfp -- I'm living proof the anecdotes have some truth! It feels so surreal, knowing we're finally going to have a family! Just have faith, ladies, it all works out in the end."

Here's the truth: It didn't work. I'm not pregnant. Five years and fifteen thousand dollars, and we still have nothing. I've never seen a bfp. The doctor said we could do another FET with our final embryo, but I think it's something like $6k, which I don't have lying around. I actually didn't even have the $15k. We spent money we didn't have on a dream that didn't come true. I was going to post a picture here of a baby hat I bought in 2013 and saved for my bfp, which I'm probably finally about to donate or throw away, but honestly I don't have the strength it would take to drag it out, take such a picture, and get rid of it. Maybe another day.

I'm heartbroken and I feel pretty stupid for ever having hoped it would really happen for me. So it goes. 

I like my embryos clingy!

By that I mean I have combined a bunch of implantation goodies from around the web and now present to you...

Spazzle's Super Duper 2ww Smoothie: -1/5 of pineapple with the core (for the bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory)

- a very non-specific five finger grab of baby spinach (because it's yummy and good for you and you won't even notice it's in here, I promise)

- 1 tbsp grated ginger, or more to taste (from the TCM concept of "warming" foods, and also another good anti-inflammatory)

- 1 avocado (idk, I read this study that avocados tripled ivf success and I like avocados. If you hate avocados, sub bananas here to keep the creaminess factor)

- almond milk, or really whatever kind of milk you prefer bc jeez there are so many these days (probably about a cup)

- honey if you want it sweeter

- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper if you want a kick (and a bit more of that "warm foods" factor)

- 4 or 5 ice cubes (optional)

* Blend, enjoy each day, and think about your embryos attaching to the walls of your uterus like a couple of kids wearing those ridiculous velcro suits launching themselves off a trampoline and sticking to velcro walls (do those still exist or was that strictly a 90s thing? Lol). Anyway, happy waiting! 

Let's talk about these PIO injections...

These really deserve their own post.

All right. I'm going to be honest. These things SUCK! Lol. I'm in a lot of pain a lot of the time. I even wake up in the night with an ache. Does it get better? 

The first one we did was the worst. I think I tensed up and omg it felt like liquid concrete was being injected into my butt, but to be fair I also think that one was a tad low (more in line with the butt crack than above that line, not really purposely that low but hey we were doing our best okay, lol). The instruction videos talk about how higher is better. So we went higher and I made sure to relax and those went a thousand times better, but I can't shake this soreness! It's like having a bruise deep down in the muscle, and I'm always very stiff on the side where we've done it, which is agony for me because I'm usually really active. I've started heating it before the injection as well as after, and that helps. I've also taken to using a rolling pin on the muscle and as much as that's a hurts-so-good kind of feeling it really helps ease the stiffness for a little while. Does anyone have any other tips? Obviously moving it is key, despite the ache. I've been trying to stick to my regular workout as much as possible and it helps so much, but again that's short-lived. Another challenge is that very soon I need to learn how to do these myself for whenever I travel. Currently dh has been doing them, and it's actually been really sweet. I think it makes him feel involved and important, which makes me really happy. :)

Anyway, this may just be my fate for a while, and I get that. As long as it keeps our embryos (which should be blastocysts today!) happy then I would do it forever lol. And I can also thank the PIO for rescuing me from drowning in estrogen sadness like I was before it started. Pros and cons!

I welcome any expertise and all well wishes. :) Thanks! 

The embryos have landed!

Two little high quality beauties were transferred this morning! I got to watch the little blip on the screen and then pretty much immediately begged to go pee, lol. I hope after surviving the ice age they'll decide my uterus is the perfect new warm cozy home. ♡ We're traveling home today where I plan to keep my feet warm, eat avocados, and slice up a pineapple for good measure. 

This whole experience has been pretty surreal in a sense. We've received so much support and love! As one of our close friends told us, "If science can make my hair grow back then surely it can help you have a kid." :'D

I would not call this a ten-day wait so much as a 10-day exercise in patience and faith. The doc gave us a 70% chance of pregnancy per the statistics, but I don't need statistics to know that God truly works miracles, just like when He gave us three eggs and three embryos.

Sorry I'm being so sappy. Blame the drugs, lol. Speaking of drugs, those PIO injections are a BEAST!!! Like wtf??? I've got dh doing them so far and I think we're getting better at them because that first day I was in complete agony. I travel some for work though so I'm planning to work myself up to doing them solo if needed. We've so far been sticking with the same side, then I think we'll switch every 3 days. I just can't imagine having both sides feel that sore at once, I'd be bed ridden. But I'm taking it all in stride. :) Never thought I'd be grateful for painful shots but here I am! There's beauty even in the storm, I think I've learned.

Anyway, that's all I've got for now. Thank you all so so much for the prayers, thoughts, and all the sweet comments you've left me. I feel so humbled by it all and can only say that I'm overflowing with gratitude.

Faith, trust, and baby dust!!!

1 Week!

It's one week until my lining check! And one week until my last lupron injection! It felt so far away for so long but now it's feeling more real. :) Like, it's close enough now I can even look up a weather report if I want, lol.

If all looks good at my scan they'll confirm my FET date and switch me over to progesterone, which I'll take for 3 days prior to the FET since our embies are 3 days old. My lining on its own always looks "beautiful", so depending on estrogen supplementation to build it instead makes me a little nervous, but I've done a pretty good job staying level about it (and staying off Google). I'm usually very much of the mindset "if it ain't broke, leave it the hell alone bc you might break it" lol, but I am trying to trust my body is working with the medication properly. Lots of prayer, meditation, and visualization.

For those of you who have done ivf before: did you test before your beta? I know I'm not there yet but I keep feeling very conflicted about it. I don't want to test too early and put myself in emotional distress for no reason, but I also don't want to fall apart if the beta is negative. So tricky. :/

Gimme All the Hormones

I'm nearing the end of what I hope to be my last AF for a long while! I start estrogen supplementation today, and I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. For the past few days the lupron has had me feeling like an anti-depressant commercial, so I'm definitely ready to have some of my hormones back! Things are looking up, though. I worked out the difficulties between me and my bff (who has decided to embrace her pregnancy), and I also am feeling a LOT better about some crazy family drama that I'm sure was sparked by that super blue blood moon last week. We're also heading into the Easter season next week, which is one of my favorite times of year spiritually. I definitely need to stay spiritually strong right now. 

Not a lot else to report. My only side effects from the lupron were hot flashes (omg so much worse than I used to imagine they'd be before I ever got one lol), night sweats, and the mild depression I mentioned, but none of that was very noticeable until about a week into the injections and it really hasn't been bad. I don't remember what kind of side effects I got from estrogen supplementation last time I took it (my iuis feel like they were a million years ago), but I'm pretty optimistic! Trying to keep my body moving everyday with my usual workouts, even if I feel crummy and need to go lighter or modify. This is a great exercise in body awareness! Recognizing what you need and being kind to yourself. And with all the hormones you never know what your body will even *look* like from one day to the next -- big boobs, regular boobs, flat belly, bloated belly, clear skin, acne -- and honestly I think it has really made me love my body that much more and learn to let go of some unrealistic body image notions and just know I'm beautiful and worthwhile everyday. Or maybe that's just a maturity that you get when you turn 30, who knows, lol. ;P

Anyway, that's my ivf journey right now! Faith, trust, and baby dust. ☆

Some thoughts & feelings

I'm really struggling this morning, so here is my complete mess of thoughts and feelings without any organization whatsoever. 

It's hard not to get angry. Not at people, but at my situation, which can be triggered by people. It's hard to have a complete schedule of shots and pills and patches, much harder when you've got someone who reminds you multiple times a day that most people will never experience or understand that struggle. People do not understand. But it's such a catch 22 really, because often I don't want to share this very sensitive information but then I expect people to understand. And even when I do share people still don't understand. They say things like, "It'll happen!" Ultimate side eye. The road to my own personal hell is paved with the good intentions of other people. 

I'm going to have to be straight up about not being comfortable being exploited for all my knowledge about pregnancy. The people who know my situation know I have a very complete understanding of the entirety of human reproduction, but that doesn't mean I can handle daily questions about "Can I do this/eat this/etc now that I'm pregnant?" It's not that I don't want to be helpful, it's just too much for me, and eventually I'm just going to have to be honest about that. I don't know all of this stuff for my own curiosity. It's knowledge I've gained across many very difficult years. 

I took a walk. I took some breaths. I want to cry. I am only human. This is hard. Or am I just making it hard? I thank God every single day to even have the opportunity to try. Is it enough? Will it be enough?

After everything, will any of it be enough? 

I don't know.

Infertility Cuts Deep

Okay. I can't believe I'm even writing this post, but I need to sort through some feelings I'm struggling with so here it goes. 

My best friend is pregnant. It was unexpected. She called me crying her eyes out. My heart just broke for her, and I supported her as best I could. It wasn't about me or my situation at all. This was my friend and she needed me, nothing else mattered.

However, as the days go on and I try to help her through the stages of how she's going to proceed, the more emotions I have about my own situation. Generally I've been in a very good place and am comfortable that we're trying everything we can but what will happen will happen. This has sent me into a few days of "what if, what if", and I hate it because it's so selfish. Her situation has zero to do with me. But we're very close and see each other daily, so I find myself wondering... What if she decides to terminate but I'm successful with our FET and she has to see my pregnancy progress and it's painful for her to think of what could have been, even if it turns out it wasn't the right situation for her at the time? Or in contrast, what if she remains pregnant and I am not successful, and it becomes painful for me to see her only a month ahead of where I would have been? Or what if she remains pregnant and I'm also successful? Will she resent that I have a support system and a husband when she's on her own? Will I be seen as a copycat pregnancy for those who don't know my background? 

At the end of the day, none of these things matter. I pray she is able to do what's best for her and feel confident in her decision, and I know that she wants the best for me as well. We're very open in talking about everything, but we're only human: it's easily possible to be happy for someone but weep for yourself. Does any of this make sense? I feel like the worst friend in the world for these feelings. But they are just that -- feelings. It's all about how you choose to handle them. So for now I'm trying to process them in healthy ways: writing them here, praying, meditating, and yes maybe there's a good cry in my future.

If you have insight I'd love to hear it. If you think I'm a bad person please keep it to yourself -- trust me, I already feel like crap for even writing this down.

Anyway. The world certainly doesn't revolve around me and life goes on. I just want to be a good friend and not fall into depression at the same time. Just pray for us all.

26 Dayyyys!

The FET countdown is underway! I'm a few days into my Lupron injections like a total champ. I finish up bcp tomorrow, and after AF (hopefully the last for many months) I add in my estrogen supplementation. 

I'm really glad that we decided on the clomid stim protocol that has to be done with FET, bc I am way less stressed than I was during stims/retrieval. It's just so nice to know that we already have embryos, so that's half the battle behind us, and I'm experienced with the SQ injections this time around too which takes some pressure off. We'll see how I'm feeling once we get to the PIO IM ones, lol, but for now I'm pretty excited and minimally stressed. Really now I just have to keep my wits about me and not fall down the "what if" wormhole. You can't know until you know! No sense getting so worked up over infinite scenarios when only one will come to pass.

Thanks to all of you who are still, after all these years, supporting me in this journey. I really truly hope to be able to share good news soon. 

Faith, trust, & baby dust.