Blah is not a very good title for a blog post. It's hardly enticing. But it's how I feel, and I promised myself I would be honest in this blog. Too often I pretend that everything is going ok, even when it's not. I'm not very good at pretending, which is probably why I've gone into a self-imposed hibernation period recently.
I am a thinker. Even worse, I am a talker-thinker. I analyze a lot. I talk a lot. Sometimes this is a good thing. It comes in handy in my job as a caring professional, even if I don't work at the moment. My DH always knows what I'm thinking and how I'm feeling (I did tell him I needed TLC). My friends often come to me with things they are going through for a bit of analysis and chatter. I can be sensitive to the moods and situations of others, and I think this can make me a good friend. A holiday with me usually goes to plan, because I always insist that we talk about our expectations of the trip before we leave (yes, friends still want to holiday with me despite this, I also have analytical friends!)
Sometimes it's not a good thing. I over-analyse. I can get tangled up and confused by the complicated being that is human. My DH suggested I write a blog, because I quote, "Maybe between writing a blog and talking to me you can get the support you need." Although an analytical man himself, nothing beats an analytical woman TTC through artificial means...hormones anyone?! I also worry. A lot. I'm hard on myself and am my own worse enemy. I want things to be perfect. My brain is rarely at rest.
So for good or bad I've gone into hibernation this week. There are things to be done, but I don't have the energy to do them. I've noticed they almost always wait. Mostly my hibernation is internal. This is the first piece of introspection I've done for the day. It's 3pm and I've finally turned my brain on. I don't want to think, talk or analyze today. I want to rest and recover.
I want to assume the thinker pose, but nap instead of think.
We had the insemination yesterday and it was the most painful one yet. Our nurse couldn't orient my cervix in the right direction and went three rounds with it, punching it (it felt like it), prodding it, and getting very frustrated with it. Meanwhile I was crying because it hurt and was very uncomfortable. By the third attempt, when my very calm DH suggested that I sit at an increased angle, everything went smoothly and my aching cervix could even feel the catheter as it was inserted.
So today I'm still feeling a little sorry for myself, DH has hardly been speaking (he goes quiet when distressed), and I just need a little TLC...
My DH got to sleep without being wakened yesterday (though I would have loved to see his reaction when I woke him up to ask him to provide a sperm specimen - he may have thought he was still dreaming!). Tonight I'll have the trigger injection (hopefully I'll remember once our dinner guests have left) and then we'll have the procedure done on Monday morning. This is our third, and final, IUI. This cycle I will not interpret every cramp, twinge or symptom. I will relax and trust the Lord. And I will repeat that statement regularly - "I will trust in the Lord". God help me.
I went to the FS clinic this morning for a scan and BT. I have one follicle measuring 22mm and lots of little ones at around 8mm. BT results should be back by this afternoon and we'll find out if we're having the procedure today, tomorrow or Monday. Poor DH is doing night shifts at the moment, so I'll have to wake him up if it's today or tomorrow. Most appointments I can attend on my own, but I still need him in this whole baby-making-business!
Have you ever thought that TTC with medical intervention is kinda like The Amazing Race?
You get clues (e.g. FS, Dr Google), race to solve the problem (e.g. BTs, scans, SA), participate in challenges (e.g. internal scans, surgery, injections), travel to new places (e.g. stirrups, operating table, FS clinics, hospitals)... all to win the million dollar prize - a baby!
DH and I always watch The Amazing Race and think we'd love to do it. Who knew we'd be doing our very own version?? Can't help but think I'd prefer more exotic destinations... :)
Today it was 4 weeks since my last day at work. The same as on the last day, I joined a number of my work friends for drinks at the pub, on what has become a regular Thursday night ritual. It was great to see them and great to catch up on all the work gossip. But what was even better was the realization that giving up work was the best thing I could have done for myself. Everyone commented that I looked happy and rested, and I realised that they were right, I am. Although we failed our second IUI last week and I've spent much of the past week feeling despondent and sad, I do feel like I'm coping better with life.
I gave up work because I wanted to do something proactive with my life. For years I had been looking forward to the day I would stop work and become a mother. As the years rolled on, I started to wonder what else I could be pursuing, a change in career, a different direction with my career, further study? I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I kept on waiting, hoping that I would soon get pregnant. Two years into TTC it dawned on me that I don't want another career, another hobby, another thing filling in my time. I want to be a mother. But pursuing fertility treatments was taking its toll. I work with kids in a caring profession. I could not meet with another mother who did not want to be a mother, or who struggled with her kids.
So my DH and I decided that I would give up work for a time, not to pursue other directions, but to continue with fertility treatments, but this time with time for me. Time for me to get excited and hopeful. Time for me to schedule all the appointments without rescheduling my entire work diary. Time for me to reflect on life and the new life we want to make together. Time for me to give back to my family and friends, knowing that if it hurt to give I would have time and space to recover. Time for me to reconnect with God and to learn to trust in Him again and to cry out to Him when I need to. Time to be, not just do.
Tonight I realised that I'm heading in the right direction. Whether or not we have a baby, I will not have given all my life away in trying. I will not become bitter. I will not harden myself towards life and others as I try to cope. I will love God, trust in Him, and keep walking the path that has been laid out for me. I will have hope.
When you read you begin with "A, B, C", when you sing you begin with "Doh, ray, me"...
So where do I start? My wonderful and supportive husband suggested gently the other day that I might start writing a blog, since I enjoy reading so many. I think this was his way of saying that as much as he loves me, hearing me ask, "Do you think it could be implantation cramping?" for the one hundredth time that day was starting to take its toll. I see his point.
So here I am. I haven't written a journal since the eighth grade and I swore I would never write another after discovering said journal in my 20's and being horrified by its contents. So I'm hoping this won't horrify me in the years to come. Hey, I'm hoping this won't all be deleted by tomorrow! Secretly, I'm hoping someone else will read this and let me know that I'm not alone. That's it's normal to be worried, to notice every bodily twinge, to assume the worst and hope for the best, to be completely out of control when it comes to getting pregnant, to feel that we're living in a world that at times seems so screwed up and doesn't make sense.... to be human.
I'm 30 years old, am married to my best friend, and am blessed with wonderful family and friends. I love God and am pleased that he knows me and loves me just the same. I love kids, have always worked with kids, and always thought I would have lots of kids of my own. I never thought it would be easy, but I never thought it would be this hard.
2005 - get married 2006 - continue honeymoon period - what bliss! Feb 2007 - throw out BCP, but not yet TTC July '07 - start TTC, oh what fun and blissful ignorance! Nov '07 - I start worrying, DH still enjoying himself around July '08 - start testing with GP, DH's SA shows abnormality, progesterone normal, ovulating normal, referral to FS Sept '08 - meet FS, not a good fit, HSG normal, repeat SA normal Dec '08 - meet with new FS, love her! Suspect endometriosis, arrange lap for following year. Feb '09 - lap removes mild endometriosis and small cysts. TTC naturally for six months. April '09 - BFP! 1st ever, joy shortlived, chemical pregnancy August '09 - commence IUI #1, 3 follies, lots of wrigglers, chemical pregnancy? Sept '09 - IUI #2, BFN Oct '09 - IUI #3, BFN, chemical pregnancy? Oct '09 - FS appt, suspected recurrent miscarriages after 3 +ve HPT in past 6 months. Scheduled BT and scans. Nov '09 - start IVF, 6 eggs retrieved, 3 eggs frozen, 1 egg immature, 2 fertilised, 1 embryo transferred. BFN March '10 - FE(egg)T, 1/3 eggs survived thaw, 1 egg fertilized, chemical pregnancy May '10 - long down reg IVF. 11 eggs, 2 fert (1 survives), 9 frozen. 1st HCG=42, 2nd = 72, 3rd=160. 8wks5days hb=158. 10wks no hb at OB appt. D&C 19th July. Sept '10- FE(egg)T, 0/9 eggs survive thaw Nov '10- diagnosed with thyroiditis, compound heterozygous for MTHFR, elevated homocysteine 2011- ?IVF#3
Useful Books I've Read
"Swimming Upstream" infertility from the male perspective
"Hannah's Hope" - a Christian perspective on infertility and loss