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Trying-to-Conceive Blog

spazzle's blog

Infertility is everywhere

As those who know me probably know, I've been on a post-ttc spiritual journey in 2016. The past couple of weeks have really challenged me, and I feel like infertility keeps popping up around every corner. 

Last week one of my yoga instructors, who always begins class asking if anyone needs modifications or if anyone is pregnant, followed his usual questions with, "Is anyone going through fertility treatment?" Then he laughed and the whole room laughed and he said, "No no, you don't have to tell me that. But seriously, yoga is fantastic for fertility. It gets your hormones balanced and does great things for your pelvis and really just gets the body in the perrrrrfect place to get pregnant. If you ever have an issue or know anyone who is going through that, tell 'em to try yoga." It was... weird. I felt so uncomfortable that I had to fight the urge to get up and walk out. I used that distraction to really focus on my breath and it turned out to be a great practice as a result bc I was SO committed to keeping my mind clear and present. I brushed it off as what it was -- silly coincidence. (Or was it?)

A manager who works for the company I do called me to check on some benefits and asked me specifically about infertility coverage. I explained that the plan doesn't cover it explicitly but that some things can get covered anyway, not an iui or ivf procedure itself but some of the u/s etc; it was general info and I thought he might be asking for an employee in their region. He then admits, "Well not to give too much info, but my wife and I have done all the iuis and now we're looking at ivf so we're comparing insurance coverages and trying to find any little bit that might help." Thanks to info I've gathered in my own journey, I was able to make some recommendations for him to check into that might reduce their costs. It was so satisfying to be able to offer help, but so bizarre to talk to someone who was literally in the same place as us (minus the plans for ivf).

Yesterday infertility came up in two movies I watched with my dh. One woman killed herself bc she never had a child and the man she loved (not her husband) had children with someone else. In the other, the man had had an injury in which he thought he couldn't have kids but they got a meeting with a top fertility doc who tells them that the appearance of another alpha male in the household had magically raised his count and that they just needed to get busy; they had a baby before the movie was done, and it was a non issue for them. Neither of these was a settling interpretation of what it's like to live with infertility. I know they're just movies, but I feel like those that make light of it give the general public a false sense that infertility isn't serious and can be cured in an instant (or in contrast, be a death sentence). 

I feel like when I was ttc that pregnancy was everywhere. Now that I'm post-ttc, pregnancy is still everywhere, but now it feels like infertility is as well. Just a strange few weeks. 

I've got no hope this month. We only dtd on ovulation day, so it was likely too little too late. BUT... in keeping with my spiritual journey, I want to say that I'm grateful for my health, my regular cycle, my ovaries that release eggs like clockwork, and all the intimacy I share with my husband. My present is pretty spectacular, and I'm thankful to be right where I am, because I believe it's exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Sending happy thoughts to those of you still fighting the good fight. May your attitudes and your tests be positive. ♡

ttc & my spiritual journey

"It's just not fair," I said, swiping a stray tear from my face and hiding in my glass of wine.  "Rapists and drug dealers and people who don't even want kids.  These are the people that get them, and I don't!  And it's just.  Not.  Fair."

This was a few hours into the New Year.  The ball had dropped, and I was sitting on my sofa with my younger brother a few spaces over and my nephew beside him, painfully aware that another year had passed me by and I was still not pregnant.  It seemed like it should be the easiest thing in the world.  People talk about it like it's something that just happens, or something you can plan, but when it doesn't happen for you, you feel indignant, guilty, angry, possibly broken.  There weren't enough adverbs in the world to sum up how I felt.  For what felt like years I had been putting on a good face, being strong, being positive: just one more month, just one more try, this time will be it.  All of my trying was in vain, though.  Another year.

My brother, who had been trying to impart some sort of wisdom on me, took a swig of his beer and said what many people say, "You have to have faith.  God has a plan, as much as I know you don't want to hear it right now."

Now I was sobbing.  This felt like a gut punch.  The lowest of low blows.  And I had had enough to drink that something in me snapped.  No more good face.  I was fueled by the anger I felt over every wasted dollar spent, every uncomfortable procedure, every failed iui.

"Explain that to me.  Explain to me how good people who would be good parents can't have kids and assholes who have no business even having kids have them.  Explain that plan to me."

"Look at me.  I'm... kind of a fuck up.  am one of those people who had absolutely no business having kids.  But I can tell you that they saved my life.  If I hadn't had them I would probably be in the ground or in prison right now, and you know that's the truth.  And I know it's hard to hear.  And I know that things don't feel like they're going your way right now.  But you have to have faith.  I don't know what it is, and you can't know either, but God has a plan for you.  This is going to work out."

"I just don't know," I sobbed, wiping my red face again.  "I just don't know."

This was how 2016 started for me.  And I can assure you that I honestly did not know.  My light had gone dark, and I was trying to force myself to come to terms with the fact that this may never happen for us.  Like really come to terms with it.  This house that would never have a nursery.  This body that would never grow with pregnancy.  So I did what any of us do: I just kept moving.  Going through the motions.  Just surviving... somehow.

~*~

"Just breathe.  Any time your mind wanders, just focus on your breath.  Filling up with positivity, and exhaling anything negative you've been holding inside."

I sank into my forward fold like it was the safest place in the world.  I'd spent a little more than 5 hours per week since early December in this studio, on this mat, pushing my body and trying to let go.  Once we'd decided we weren't spending anymore money at the fertility clinic, I used some of the leftovers to make a commitment to deepen my 10-year yoga practice, which had admittedly gotten pretty lazy in the past couple of years.  There on that day in February, though, I was in my element.  I was strong, I was capable, I was present.

"Turn your gaze inward.  Really use this time to go inside."

When I first met Surya* (not her real name ;)), she overwhelmed me with a hug.  I'd seen her class added to the schedule and, though I wasn't familiar with this type of yoga, I thought I'd take a chance.  I had an hour to kill.  What's the worst that could happen?  Her green eyes were wide, and she was only inches from me with her hand on my shoulder, telling me how much that yoga had changed her life.  Oh-kay, I thought.  Somebody's been drinking the kool aid.  But I liked the energetic way she conducted her class.  And I liked the way she kept talking about the things that happen when you make a commitment to being present, to focusing on your breath, and opening yourself to positivity.  I went back again.  And again.  She told me about how yoga helped her depression and taught her self-love, which she had always struggled with.  Beautiful souls, she called us.  Her class transformed my practice into a moving meditation.  I was more flexible, I was stronger, and more than anything I was... lighter.

"It's amazing, these things our bodies can do.  We just need to be present and be grateful.  Always be grateful."

~*~

As a Catholic couple, we spent our lunch hours during Ash Wednesday attending mass in the church where we married.  The message was similar to those that always begin the Lenten season: be humble, focus on penance, "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return."  I left mass with the same intentions I always do: to be a better person, to put more good in the world, to find peace.  I didn't give anything ttc-related up for Lent this year, because I felt like I had given all of that up already -- albiet not by choice.  I chose a few things, and then I made the added decision not to pray for myself this Lent.  I wasn't going to ask God for anything.  I would thank God for everything good in my life, and I would pray for others if they needed it, but I would not make requests.  Instead, I spend time every night being grateful for our home and our health, our jobs and our vehicles that get us there, our families and our friends.  The list goes on.  I found new things to thank God for everyday: yoga and Surya, who had shared her struggles with me and dragged me from this dark place, one breath at a time; the way my relationship with my husband is so strong after this storm, in a way those people we know who were "just dating" and "accidentally got pregnant" could not understand; the way that I could finally appreciate the miracle of life now.  I don't know that I ever had appreciated it like this before.  And one day very recently it dawned on me: if this had never happened to me, I would be one of those people.  One of those people who take it all for granted.  One of those people who believe that they can try hard enough and make it happen just because they want it or deserve it.  Even if it had been that third iui, I would have felt vindicated like that all of my perseverance had paid off.  I would not have thought, 'What a miracle this truly is.'

I came back here to write this all out and leave it for anybody who is hurting, or questioning, or struggling, or who feels like their light is going dim.  I have never been an overtly religious person, and it may have taken me 2.5 years of trying and failing, but I think I have finally come to a place where I have faith.  I still don't know that I'll ever have children, or when, or how.  But I believe that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be right now, and I have found peace in that.  I wish each and every one of you the same as you go through your (sometimes long and trying) journey.

Sending all the light and love in the universe your way, you beautiful souls.  Be open to positive energy and it will find you, I promise.

xoxo

Spazzle

Life after fertility treatments

I don't know why I'm posting, really. Haha. No more real updates from me. I don't even know that you can call where we are "ttc" at this point.  Dh is taking fertilaid and motility boost, and he's quitting smoking. We're just blindly hoping for a miracle. You read stories like that. Anecdotes about "surprise bfp after failed iuis". I've held onto stories like that for a long time -- "bfp before fertility consult!", "bfp first iui!", "bfp on a break!", but they're the exception, not the rule. I try to keep perspective. I keep imagining that we come into a ridiculously large sum of money and that we can march into the clinic and slap down $14k and be like, "All right, let's do the damn thing." Talk about wishful thinking. Things otherwise are good. Lots of love and happiness in my world, just still trying to come to terms with... everything. Idk how long that takes, exactly, but I'll let you know if I get there.

Always wishing each of you the best.

♡ Spazzle

Stage Two: Anger

I never thought I would be here.  Here, with spotting that signals the imminent arrival of AF after my third failed iui cycle.  Here, with over $3,000 spent this year in my journey to become pregnant.  Here, with no happy end to all of this trying.  Over the past 2.5 years, I've been mostly positive.  I always convinced myself that my bfp was always one step closer, that one day I would be pregnant, and that I would one day laugh at how much time I spent trying to figure out how to make all the pieces come together.  Well, I'm not pregnant, and I'm not laughing, and I am out of reasons to believe that a bfp is in my future.  Even if we managed to scrape up enough money for one more ill-advised iui cycle, I'm just extending the inevitable.  One of these days I'm going to have to accept that I will never be pregnant.

Tonight I've been sitting in bed drinking tons of water (thanks uti) with an antibiotic headache and the utter depression of this whole situation, and I got a text from a friend that's a picture of a positive pregnancy test.  It just seemed so fitting, actually, that I would get a picture like that on the night that I finally realize that the likelihood I'll ever seen two lines on a pregnancy test is slim to none.  I'm just tired.  I'm tired of all the hope, and I'm tired of being positive.  People take it all for granted.  I'm surrounded by pregnant women who became so by "surprise" or "accident" or because they think "the time was right for us", and they take it all for granted, and I have to sit around and listen to them yap about how, "Well, this one's a boy but next time I'm sure we'll have a girl", as if you can just plan these things out.  I'm surrounded by people who think they were "meant" to have kids, and they sit there on their little high horses assuming that if I don't have any that I'm just not and that I should just accept it.  I've even had people imply that when couples can't get pregnant or stay pregnant that it's probably because something would be genetically wrong with the baby and that's just nature taking its course.  I have so much hatred for people after ttc.  I even cried on my drive home, because people are so selfish and ignorant and terrible to each other, and because it seems to easy for everybody to dismiss women who are ttc or have suffered loss or are struggling with infertility.  Whether they think it's "God's will" or "why don't you just adopt", it's all demeaning and I would love nothing more than to slap every person who has made this harder on me over the past few years.  I don't care of that's shitty of me.  To clarify, though, the girl who sent me the picture isn't an asshole, and I'm really glad she told me.  Just ironic timing, I guess.

Anyway, this is turning into the blog equivalent of pacing around in angry circles and seething, so I'll save you guys the rest of this since you already know how it goes.  I'll probably have a more logical approach to this eventually but for now this is all I've got.  

In case you need a visual of where I am right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_Z3lmidmrY

11dpo, feeling discouraged

I've been lazing around all day, so maybe once I actually get up and shower and such I'll feel better, but I'm so discouraged with the feeling that I'm headed for AF. :(  I may test tomorrow morning just to settle my feelings about it, but I'm not expecting any miracles. Sigh. 

Oh hello there 7dpo!

The fact that I'm not great at math in my head combined with the fact I thought today was Monday means I was pleasantly surprised to open FF and discover I'm 7dpo! (I had convinced myself it was only 5 or 6, haha.)

I don't really have anything exciting going on. :( The crazy cm on 3dpo has turned pretty standard, and yesterday I had sore bbs but I think it was just a fluke. I know symptoms aren't everything (and can often, in my case, be nothing), but I really wish I had something. Some glimmer. Some inkling. But at least there isn't too much longer to go.

How are the rest of you faring?

Unrelated to the tww but more to point of infertility, over the weekend I ran into a pregnant couple I know (who are mutual friends with the other pregnant couple we know, the ones I mentioned who told everyone not to tell us their news because we have been trying for a long time and would be too upset <_< ... jerks). Anyway, I was chatting with them and being really upbeat but I could tell they looked uncomfortable as soon as they saw me. The girl is usually super chatty and she looked at a complete loss for what to say to me, as if she were literally stammering for a topic, and it made me so frickin sad and irritated, because I knew all they were probably thinking about was how they heard from that other couple that I can't get pregnant and reportedly can't be happy for people. I guess it just confirmed my suspicions that our "friends" poisoned the well for us with that entire group when they decided to tell everyone our private business, which was not theirs to tell, and then proceeded to skew said business in a way that made others feel hesitant around us or sorry for us or something. I hope that their encounter with me at least showed them I'm not some evil, crazy infertile. Maybe at least the next time they're all gossiping about poor childless me, this couple can attest to how "normal" I seemed. Even just seeing this all typed out, I'm shaking my head at how ridiculous it is. Some people suck!

Anyway! *swats negativity away* May you enjoy your holidays, whichever of those you celebrate and however you may celebrate them. Wishing you all things merry & bright. :)

Lots of Watery CM at 3dpo

I know that cm isn't 100% reliable, just like those pesky cervical positions, bb changes, etc., but I've had a few big rushes of watery cm today, which is pretty weird since I'm post O (confirmed with opk and u/s). It's that big gush feeling like you've started AF or something, which I do get with cm sometimes right before AF, but I'm a ways off from that currently. Any insight? Just a fluke? Only 11 days until confirmation I guess... haha. 

Update: I have consulted my endless cycle data and discovered this is more typical of about 7dpo (except those rushes are creamy, not watery). Also, the fact I've been wanting to eat everything in sight and have been tired is typical of 7dpo as well... but of course I know I'm not. Interesting, no?

An Open Letter to the Mods

Finding this site 2.5 years ago was such a stroke of luck.  It has helped me through my ttc journey (and subsequent infertility struggle) in so many ways, not only with being able to share and gather information but connecting with some really wonderful ladies who just get it, which is so valuable during a time that can be very difficult and lonely.  However, over these past couple of years, I have noticed a definite shift in this community due to the amount of spam.  I used to start so many days checking into the blogs just to keep up with fellow ttcers and offer support or advice where it was needed.  Everybody felt connected.  There is still a network here but I notice it has been largely silenced by the massive amount of spam posts.  Even though these get addressed on a daily basis, it is a big deterrent when deciding to post or even to stop by and catch up.  If I decide to log-in in the morning, I'm met with pages of spam instead of individual stories of ttcers.  Posts don't have as much visibility, and users know that, so they seem to be posting less.  I guess I'm bringing this up because I am so sad to see such a great community become silenced by something as ridiculous as spam.  Please consider addressing this in a more permanent way so that what we really come here for -- support, advice, a place to have a voice about ttc -- is more accessible and doesn't get lost under layers of spam.

Sincerely,

The User Known as Spazzle

Au Naturale, Baby

My follicle scan for my final (and meds free) iui is on the record book, and it was "just beautiful", according to the tech. My lining was "perfect", and I had a "very pretty" 22mm follicle as well as a 27mm follicle, which I assume may be too big to O by the time tomorrow rolls around because they kind of disregarded it (20 - 27mm is the sweet spot). At any rate this was all excellent news!  It's nice to know my body has my back during this, my last hurrah!  It kind of sucks I wasted two of my three iui cycles struggling with letrozole when I should have just trusted my body but oh well, live and learn! I'm happy, my ovaries are happy, and everything is scheduled for tomorrow. :) Oh, and I'm pretty excited because all this action is on my right ovary, which was the "path of least resistance" during my HSG back in January. Both tubes were open, but I always worried all the swimmers were just using the right tube super speedway instead of dealing with traffic in that slower left tube, lol. At least if that's the case it'll work in my favor this month. Here's to hoping!

Please excuse me while I panic over a pee stick

I'm doing a natural iui this cycle, so I test using opks and call when I get a positive. Sounds super simple, right? I've used opks many times, I know my pattern, but this almost-but-not-quite-positive is freaking me out even though I know it's totally normal! Somebody please put my mind at ease that this is just the prequel to my positive (which I expect tomorrow, right on schedule). Meanwhile, I'm gonna go stalk photo evidence from my blog of progressions of opks past, just for reassurance. And breathe...

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