#Microblog Mondays – PCOS is Fickle

Has anyone noticed how fickle some reproductive conditions can be?

I have PCOS. It’s supposed to be what is causing my infertility, yet the only symptoms I have are irregular cycles (range between 28-42 days), occasional annovulation and a visibly polycystic ovary noted on my last laproscopic surgery. Yet I know people with PCOS, with pretty much every symptom in the book, who are conceiving easily and without issue.

What gives? Why does PCOS chose some people and not others? How come it seems like every PCOSer I know, who is not doing half of the things I’m doing to be healthy, is getting pregnant while I remain barren?

I’m trying really hard not to be bitter or jealous, but I’m losing that battle. I’m not even sure if it’s bitterness or jealousy, it’s mostly just incredible, consuming sadness.

Sometimes, life stinks.

What do you do to get away from the bitterness/jealousy/sadness?

For more on MicroblogMondays – click here

Thoughtful Thursday – POAS PTSD

Does any one else have an anxiety filled, PTSD like reaction to the mere idea of POAS?

I do – and it’s become such a big thing that I cannot use one. It literally makes me sick.

We have been TTC for 6.5 years. In those 6.5 years, I have peed on thousands of tests (HPT and OPK). Not one *NOT ONE* has ever been positive…this is closest we’ve ever been to a positive of any kind.

I’m currently a ball of anxiety because I’m at that point in my cycle (CD39) where I should take a test…. but I just can’t bring myself to do it. The devastation (and it is devastation) is too hard for my heart right now and I just don’t think I can handle it. I can’t deal with the downslide that comes from the inevitable negative test … the self loathing, the sadness, the anger, the frustration. And then , when it is negative, I just convince myself that I didn’t take it at the right time, or I ovulated later than I thought and therefore may be too early to a positive HPT…and so I keep taking tests over and over, until I finally get my period and then slide into the abyss for 5-7 days.

It’s a violent, penetrative cycle…and it’s easily my most hated part of infertility. I have an appointment for blood work on July 14th…by then I should know for sure…but I don’t know if I can make it.

What do you do – HPT or wait for blood work? Does anyone else share in this fear?

Microblog Mondays – Empty Parking Lots

See more about Microblog Mondays at Stirrup Queens!

First of all…Happy Father’s Day to all the men in the world who love and nurture little people – whether they share a biological connection or not. There are not enough of you.

I made the mistake of going shopping with my father this weekend. Which is painful, at best, and plain hellish torture at worst. But, you know, it WAS father’s day so I spent the day with him while he meandered around 5 million 5 different stores looking for the same big item (new riding lawn mower) and comparing them to see which one had the best deal (and then, oh it gets better, we got to go BACK to the stores we’d already been to because he could not remember if they had *insert minor detail that he may or may not ever use* and then how could he determine which was the better deal??). So, while I love my Dad dearly – I typically avoid shopping with him for big ticket items at all possible cost. He can shop for normal stuff like a normal person, but when it comes to big items  – well, let’s just say, I used to have two sisters who died from boredom and exertion after being carted around all day looking for a new washing machine (Just kidding, they’re alive and well and managed to avoid this shopping trip because they were at home with their husbands and children celebrating Father’s Day (side note: infertility in a fertile family sucks balls)).

Having said all of this, I would like to note that I noticed two things on my excursion: #1. Despite the pain of this shopping trip, my Dad is hilarious and I couldn’t be more blessed to have him in my life (love you Dad!!). And he knows all the best chip trucks!

#2. There are two types of people in the world when faced with an empty parking lot – Type A drives directly across the empty parking spots to the exit since the lot is empty and Type B who drives AROUND the empty parking spots, as per the lines and signage, to the exit even though the lot is empty. I am Type A, my Dad (as you may have already guessed) is type B.

So let’s just say it was a long day. And in case you’re wondering, after all that, he decided not to buy the mower because the sales guy hinted there was a deal coming next weekend. *facepalm*

What did you do this weekend? Would you be Type A or Type B?

MicroblogMondays – Books unfinished

Have you ever read a book that, once completed, left you with more questions than answers?

I’ve recently read a couple in a row that are like that. The author introduces a character, or an experience, or a memory that begs for more – and then seemingly forgets about it and never addresses it again. The whole time I’m keeping it in the back of my mind, wondering when the writer is going to tie it back into the story – but then the book ends, without a single mention of it again and no plans for a sequel (in case you’re thinking they’re laying the ground work for more). I have no idea if this is intentional or accidental – but it drives me bananas. When I read a book, I like a nice clean ending unless there is a sequel coming.

What about you? Do you like to be left wondering?

* For more on Microblog Mondays-  see Stirrup Queens.

 

Fertility Update

It’s been quite a while since I gave a little fertility update…so it’s overdue.

Here is a little background:

  • Started TTC 6 years ago, with zero success
  • After 1 year, diagnosed with “probably PCOS” – no blood markers, no insulin resistant, no visible cysts on the ovaries but a family history and horrendous periods and sent to the top PCOS specialist in the country
  • Determined to be annovulatory and tried 3 cycles Clomid, break, 3 cycles Femara, break. No BFP – just a myriad of awful side effects and an emergency surgery to remove a ballooned cyst that contorted and killed one ovary and fallopian tube. Post surgery – advised that IVF is the only option and referred to the regional fertility program.
  • Got almost to the actual retrieval, and panicked and cancelled it all. I was having horrific side effects from the meds, I was struggling emotionally and we were across the country from all of our family and support systems. Mr. Big agreed I needed a break, and in that time we packed up and moved back home to be closer to family.
  • Over the next year we worked on getting healthy, losing weight (60lbs, woot woot) and settling into our new house and new life – so glad we made this move! It was absolutely the right thing for us.
  • Around September of 2016 I started to get the itch again. We had been just “letting it happen” for almost two years without success…so I approached my family Doctor who was super supportive and we came up with a game plan. Since we have known fertility issues, we opted to try naturally for 6 months and then move on to an RE. Because so much has changed in my health, we will need to start again from scratch – but I’m OK with that. I had just turned 30 and felt like we have time to work from the bottom up…and I really hate any kind of fertility meds because I seem to get every side effect, so I wanted to avoid that if at all possible.
  • I had a bunch of blood work and tests, and they all came up great.
  • In March, we began our 6 months of TTC prior to RE referral. So far, no natural pregnancy…and despite that we’re not using any hormones, I am feeling like crap all around (as though I am using Clomid). Due to that, my Doctor orders some extra blood work which ends up showing I have Hypothyroidism (which is new, as I had my thyroid tested last year and it was all normal). So yay – Hypothyroidism (not). The good news is that it can sometimes cause a lot of the issues I’ve been struggling with, so getting this under control is good for my fertility. The bad news is it may make no difference at all… but that’s OK. It’s still worth a shot!

And otherwise, we are just waiting and seeing! 3 months of TTC down, 3 more to go before we get out the big guns.

Microblog Monday – Turning 4

For more on Microblog Monday – and how you can participate to – see Mel’s blog, here.

Just under 4 years ago, we brought home Chops – our first dog (now we have 3). As we were both dog people, we knew it would be a fun adventure…but I had no idea how fun. So many CD1’s I have spent curled up in bed, with Chops pressed into my back loving me when I was too sad to love myself.

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So even though you can’t read, Chops, nor do you care about my words unless they are bacon and cheese wrapped – let me tell you what I’ve learned from you:

  1. Know who your people are and love them with your whole heart, always. No matter what they have done or haven’t done recently (RIP evening walks). Love them anyway, especially when they are too tired or sad or broken to love themselves, and then love them enough for two people.
  2. Live like someone left the gate open. Approach everything with the energy of 100 toddlers…even if it’s trying to catch the turkeys (that you will NEVER catch since you can’t fly) that taunt you in the field by the house – burst through that door and into that field like a cannon, any way, even if they were already in the air before you finished taking off. Or when your Mom is throwing out a band-aid that you think may or may not be a delicious piece of bacon since they ate bacon sometime last month – lunge for it, and eat it like the champ you are (barf).
  3. Take chances on things that seem out of your reach (See flying turkey reference above)…and try, even if you’re likely to fail.
  4. Food = life. Eat it, enjoy it, and be thankful for it because there is always someone who would give anything for what you have (including a drooling, shameless dog pressed to your thigh watching every…move…you…make….).
  5. Nap and stretch, often. Rest, relax, refill your cup. You can’t be awesome 100% of the time – enjoy your down time, so you have the energy to lunge for the illusive turkey when it comes around.
  6. Don’t apologize for who you are. You are unique and special, and the world needs you. Even if you’re a jerk who steals your mom’s spot in bed EVERY TIME SHE GETS UP TO PEE because you like the warmth and – girl needs a pillow – and then play dead when she tries to move you. Even then, be yourself.
  7. Know your value. Be brave enough to stand up for your worth, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. If you know you’re as valuable as a person who gets to sit in the comfy chairs, eat the delicious food from the table and sit in laps the same size as your own – then do it, and when they yell at you and tell you no, do it again (once their backs are turned, of course) and when they catch you, play dead.

Happy Birthday Chopsie – thanks for being awesome, exhausting, and rotten sometimes…everyone promised me you would grow out of the terrible two phase, and here we are at four! But I wouldn’t change you for anything, life wouldn’t be the same without you!

*Please note, Chops is not her real name. She also goes by Chopsie, Choppers, Brown Beard, Black Dog, Bertha, Meatloaf, Barkley, Lady Barkington the Third, Maisers, Crazy Maisy and sometimes even plain ole Maisy. 🙂

I know, I don’t know, but I know

A woman I work with, who is a work-friend and a lovely person, is pregnant with her first child – due late June. I was so happy for her – she is the kind of person who sponsors refugee families and spends her well earned funds on supporting a plethora of local and international charities. She is a really good person…so when I found out there would be a little CG, I was super excited for her.

This past week she called to let me know that her baby had been born still, at 37 weeks. There is no reason, no diagnosis yet, and nothing immediately evident that could have caused the still birth. Not that it would make it easier, I just hoped a diagnosis or a reason would enable her to know how to move forward.

My heart is broken for her. I wish there were words, but there just aren’t.

I so badly want to reach out to her and say I know. I know how it feels to ache for a child you will never meet. I know the pain, the heaviness in your heart while your body feels so empty. I know it all, and you don’t have to be alone while you wade through this horrible wasteland of grief.

But I don’t really know. I’ve never had a still birth, or even a miscarriage. I’ve never had a pregnancy…despite trying everything. But I do know grief. For me, it comes from the silence echoing with the memory of my so wanted babies, my 50+ failed cycles and my disappointment that swallows me whole. For her, it’s the little baby she knew, she cradled, she loved and she grew … and one she had no reason to think she wouldn’t bring home.

I know it’s not the same. Losing a child you carried, loved, wanted and prepared for – completely unexpectedly – that’s a pain I cannot imagine. All of the babies I’ve lost existed only in my mind, and my hopeful heart – but I do know what it feels like to miss something with every ounce of your soul, every pore in your body, every breath you take and to be so, utterly, disappointed.

I just wish I knew how to say that to her in a way that wouldn’t be offensive or hurtful. Instead, I just offered her a warm hug and a promise to come running if she needed anything at all.

Is that enough? I don’t even know.