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Trying-to-Conceive Blog

spazzle's blog

I've said it before and it's still true...

I need real-time stats about what's going on in my body that I can just pull up on an app. Like, imagine if you wore a wristlet (like a fitbit) and it would tell you everything you could ever want to know about your fertility: follicle sizes, confirmed ovulation, a semen analysis breakdown after every dtd with a special alert if one made it to fertilize the egg, and then updates on implantation or not. At least then there wouldn't be all this waiting, and you could pinpoint every little detail!  Instead I'm left wondering what dh's motility was like and if any even made it to the egg, and if they didn't then it would be nice to know right away so I'm not imagining these cramps are my April baby. 

Anyway, back in reality... (lol...) I'm halfway through this tww. I'm not as neurotic as this post makes me sound, just wishing an end to this ttc journey. I'm a weary traveler at this point. I mean, it's *possible*... (the doc even said so). FX for a miracle bfp!

6dpo, dry as the Sahara

Lying down for a nap but figured I'd check in really quick. Nothing too noteworthy going on here, except that since about 3dpo I've had NO cm. I usually always have some I feel like, even just a little bit, but I've been super dry the past few days. Not sure what that's about. I had a bad jittery hot flash yesterday out of the blue as well, but who knows, and generally some cramps, gastrointestinal issues, and craving artichoke hearts since last week. :P Over these years I've learned my body is always up to something weird! Lol.

Any symptom spotters out there? How's the waiting going? 

a toast to being back in the tww

Well, for better or worse, I'm raising a glass of wine to being back in my first tww in quite a while. Actually, this may be my first official tww of the year! (I think I started AF after our last failed iui right around NYE.) Anyway, with dh's renewed enthusiasm and fancy vitamins comes my return. He seems SO positive and committed, but maybe this is the natural swing of things, like it was his turn to carry our ttc torch because I got too tired, haha. 

All right, here's the rundown: I had ewcm on cd 9 - 12, and thankfully I used opks bc it had really dropped off to just watery for 13 (positive opk) and 14 (today, O day, complete with O pains). Honestly if I had just been going off cm I might have miscalculated this one. We dtd on 8, 11, and 12. Today we dtd but collected in a softcup and I inserted it after using some preseed in an applicator. I've read anecdotal evidence that this helps, and short of ivf it's the only thing I feel like we've never tried (I've inserted after dtd before, but never tried the collection method). Then for good measure I did a shoulder stand for 5 minutes (part of my regular practice so not that big a deal), and then I did halasana (plow pose) for ~5 minutes, then rested with my hips on a pillow for a few minutes. Normally I wouldn't resort to extended inversions but with the softcup collection it seemed prudent, and what's a few extra inversions? I feel good about how with this method there's zero spillage, so there's that. 

Anyway, here's to the wait. And here's to hoping. Cheers, ladies. Wishing all of us some much-needed luck. 

When it takes you so long to get pregnant

that the "obscure" baby name you picked out just over three years ago is suddenly in the top 10 on a popular names list you ran across on fbook...

Of course this doesn't matter, but it still feels like adding insult to injury. By the time I have a kid with that name all I'll hear is, "Oh I have a niece/daughter/friend's kid named that too!" But of course I'd still rather have a kid with a common name than not have one at all.

Sometimes all of this is more than I feel like I can bear, and I wonder what it is that the universe is waiting for. 6 or 7 months ago I became convinced that I was learning humility, but at this point I don't know. I feel angry again, and I really hate feeling that way. 

My dh has renewed hope and wants to "try" again for a few months. I've read plenty of anecdotal tales about success with motility in his range (27 - 33%) after taking all the fancy vitamins, etc, so I know it isn't impossible. Even our RE before we left said it was possible we could get pregnant. It just feels unlikely. I wish I could shake that and reclaim that naive positivity I had a few years ago. 

It's been a crazy week. I need to find some peace and focus and remind myself that everything is as it should be. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be and who I'm supposed to be. And what's in a name anyway, ol' Bill would ask me. And I would have to admit he has a point. 

Apologies for this early morning thought jumble. Sending happy thoughts to each of you. 

Pinterest is the devil

Is it possible to get through ANY holiday anymore without a flood of pregnancy announcements?!? It's news enough on its own, no need to take over everyone's holidays. I blame Pinterest for this shit. Effing pinterest convincing effing fertile ppl to rub their second/third/fourth kids in our faces. Blah!

(I wanted to post this on sosh med but figured it ill-advised since everyone who just posted would feel I was picking on them and be all sensitive/indignant about it.)

Miss you guys. Hope you're all doing well. 

System Overload

This year I have been on a spiritual journey to let go of the negatvitiy associated with my 3rd year ttc, or at this point more like ntnp (yup -- three effing years), but lately I've been increasingly worried that I'm going to snap on someone when they bring it up.  Snap probably isn't the right word.  More like explode.

I haven't been sleeping, I've been dreaming -- trust me, there's a difference.  Last night I dreamed I was wandering through a room, like at a party, and every person I encountered either asked me about our plans for kids / why we don't have kids / gave a bunch of idiotic "advice" / asked why we aren't considering adoption, the list goes on.  It was a compilation of every awful, unhelpful, uncomfortable remark anyone has ever made to me regarding reproduction, and it just went on and on and on.  I'm actually tearing up right now as I type it, because it was so awful.  Eventually, near the end of the dream, I started snapping on people about it.  

"I had a friend who had the same problem as you guys and he just lost weight and stopped smoking and now they're pregnant", simple shrug.  "Great," I replied, "obviously that's our problem then, if it worked for your friend.  Even though my husband's not overweight and has stopped smoking, and it didn't affect his motility.  In fact, your observation is so revolutionary, I'm not sure why you don't go public with this!  How about you go find every man with low motility and explain to him if he loses weight (which he may or may not need to lose) and stops smoking (which he may or may not do) that -- voila -- problem solved!  All those reproductive endocronologists out there, but by god I guess you've figured it out."

That part probably showed up in my dream because it happened to me yesterday.  We were at an all-day family event, and someone gave me that off-hand remark.  I just seethed over it.  It's like it ate me alive, and I didn't say anything.  Then this family member proceeds to say (in the real life moment), "So and so that was here earlier is in the same boat as you -- they're having trouble, too."  Turns out their version of trouble is six months ttc, and they're millionaires, so it's not like they can't afford to go find out what their trouble is and probably afford to do something about it as well.  Six months.  Millionaires.  I continued to seethe.  She tittered on until I finally said, "Well you know I've kind of given up on that, so it's whatever."  And she was like, "Oh well don't say that.  It will happen."  I left the room.  >_<  Anyway, in my dream, when I reacted to this similar remark with my huge blow up, everybody in the room just stared at me.  "What's your problem?" they said.  "Are you really that jealous / bitter / upset about this?  You could just adopt / you're young / it's okay, it will happen when the time is right."  The list goes on.  

Other tidbits from the real life yesterday include the conversation turning to a couple who has waited until 38 to try to get pregnant, (who obviously wasn't present for said conversation), and everyone remarking how "they waited too late" and "watch them not be able to have children" and how "if he wanted kids that bad he should have married someone younger / put it in the prenup / etc., because now he's probably screwed".  PUT IT IN THE PRENUP?!  I just wanted to scream.  I don't know how I didn't.  And thinking back, I'm still trying to figure out how all of these separate, crazy conversations actually happened yesterday.  And then dh's dad still makes all these remarks about, "When you guys have kids...", and I just want to yell at him to stop.  "What kids?!" I want to yell.  "Explain to me when we're going to have all these kids you're talking about?  Just SHUT UP!!!!"

I'm just tired.  I'm so tired.  Literally and emotionally.  This past week I had a friend (you all may remember -- she's the one who got pregnant and told everyone not to tell me but then went behind my back to casually ask me for my obgyn's info, which I gave to her and would have given to her even if I had known, but I felt like she had betrayed me with the way she did it because she lied to me about why she wanted the info and we were supposed to be friends), anyway, she has since had said baby and her wedding, which I'm supposed to be a bridesmaid in, is a month away.  She had been super laisezz-faire about said wedding, but eventually she created a facebook group for the bridesmaids to share updates with us.  Somehow I guess I wasn't getting notifications from this group even though I was in the group.  In March she posted about dresses, and I didn't see it so I knew nothing about it, and I have seen her at least five times since March and she said nothing, but then -- last week -- she texts me and says, "Hey, so are you still interested in being in my wedding?  I understand that things change and life happens, so if you can't then no hard feelings, I understand."  LIFE HAPPENS?!  I was furious.  I seethed.  At the advice of my friend I took the high road and replied that I thought I was still involved, but I hadn't received any updates.  She mentioned the group, which I finally dug up from the depths of facebook to get caught up on, but I couldn't help thinking, 'Really?  You couldn't have mentioned this to me one of the times we actually saw each other in person?'  Anyway, it's resolved, I got my dress, whatever.  But I never cease to be amazed.  I went to her effing baby shower for god's sake.  Despite her attitude and how she has avoided me "to spare my feelings", I have not done anything to make it seem like I harbor any resentment towards her, and I'm tired of being treated like this.  Like I'm some sort of broken and/or delusional person, like it's all in my head or something.  It's like infertility is somehow defining me, and it kills me, and I want to scream right in everyone's smug little faces.  

And I was doing so well, and now I'm writing all this out and I look like a crazy person.  I just want everyone to stop.  It's just that I feel like people are constantly making these tiny little remarks.  Like at the office on Thursday, one of the contractors was lamenting the fact that they just found out his wife is pregnant with a honeymoon baby.  Just... ughh.  Ugh.  I think about the iuis we did and wonder why they didn't work for us, but why they work for some people.  I think about how most people don't even have to try, really, and all those people just have kids and that's that.  And I want to know why, but I know that's a ridiculous question because there is no why, it just is.  It just is.  But it doesn't make it any easier to swallow.  

I need more tissue.  End rant, I guess. 

Infertility Announcements

A friend knew I was having a tough time yesterday and sent me a buzzfeed link highlighting a couple who used themes from common pregnancy announcements to make infertility announcements. They said finding humor in it really helped them, and reportedly some fertile ppl have reached out to them to say that the infertility announcements really made them think. The whole thing made me wanna laugh/cry, but I think that's better than cry/cry! Lol.

If you're interested you may peruse here:

Mother's day was really bittersweet for me, and I was definitely thinking about all of you and saying a prayer. I think I gained some perspective from the comments' section on that buzzfeed link, when a woman indignantly commented, "I hate how people write articles and make a big deal about how long they've been trying and it turns out to just be a few years. Try 10 years with thousands down the drain in treatments and an open adoption that fell through." This woman was angry, and it was jarring for me -- like, 'How dare someone scoff at my 3 years of heartache and expensive procedures, etc.!'  But I feel like we have all been there. Who hasn't read about someone trying way less time than them who makes a big deal about it and have that knee jerk reaction of 'ugh, they don't know the half of it'. I'm guilty for sure. I saw a first mother's day post from a girl I know who has done nothing but post all over social media about how she "has gone through so much" and "tried for so long" to get her baby, and knowing that she was ttc for just under a year and has never set foot in a fertility clinic just cuts me. But should it? As women we should be building each other up, and it's all about perspective. I am, at 3 years ttc, to some women as that less than a year woman is to me. I can't do anything about how anyone else feels, but I am striving to keep a handle on how I feel and to not let myself be poisoned by petty thoughts. I've been doing great, but man if mother's day wasn't a stumbling block. 

I miss you all, but I don't miss the monthly battle! Keep fighting the good fight. ♡ And I hope those announcements gave you a smile. 

Some things & some stuff

Two days ago I told one of my close friends that I felt like I was past wanting kids. It came over me like it was the most logical idea in the world and I felt like I wanted to laugh about all these years I wasted trying for kids. It was just an eerie kind of calm. Like 'thank god i don't have kids'.  Of course I can acknowledge that this is less likely to be a true change of heart but instead is probably a sign that my post-ttc spiritual journey has paid off and that I have finally embraced my current (childless) place in life and can fully see its value. I feel like this is that place so many people eventually end up when they say, "We gave up and stopped trying", but I never imagined it quite like this. I always wondered how people could actually let it go... well, here I am, lol. Timing dtd is not even in the back of my mind, and I only mark my cycles on a calendar so I know when to expect af, bc nothing is worse than being unprepared for the great flood.  When af comes there are no more let-downs. We never say things like, "Aw, maybe next month." It's so strangely satisfying. I don't even feel that pang when ppl ask me if I want kids anymore. Peace is with me. :) 

Anyway -- of course -- fast forward to today, and that same close friend had news for me when I arrived to the office. She said that first thing this morning, the contractor who is using a spare office in our area (that I've had maybe a handful of conversations with total) stopped by her door to ask if I was married, and then he proceeds to tell her that he had a dream I was pregnant. Then he told her, "Well don't be surprised if she is soon!" I, of course, was like, 'Uhhhh wtf, lol.' To his credit apparently he thought it was really weird I showed up in his dream, and he's newly married himself so it's not like he was trying to creepy hit on me or anything. My friend has taken this as a sign that I'll magically fall pregnant soon. I don't think that's true, but I did think it was... interesting.

(To clarify:  I def don't think I'm pregnant nor do I foresee becoming pregnant, but if in some bizarre twist of fate I show up here with a bfp I want this on record, bc let's just agree it's WEIRD, lol.) 

I'm gonna go ahead and apologize, because now that I've written it I realize this post was pointless overall. I really need a journal... lol.

Best of luck to each of you always. Your future babies will be lucky to call you their moms. :)

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.