5 days a week.

As previously mentioned, we are on a a pause; the length of which is still yet to be determined. During this time, I have decided I need to bring some normalcy (and sanity) back into my life.

Over the course of my adult years, I have regularly had an on-again off-again relationship with the gym. I started to remain more regular with my gym attendance over the two years leading up to our first (DE)IVF cycle and it became a lifestyle for me; one which I really enjoyed. I felt stronger and healthier than I had in years. That being said, my weight still fluctuated as it would be an understatement to say that I. LOVE. FOOD. But I was healthy and was not overweight in any sense of the word.

After our first failed cycle, I began doing some reading and found that maybe I shouldn’t be pushing myself so hard at the gym. I spoke to my RE about it and was informed that I could do more body weight style exercises but I should slow down on my cardio and weights. Unfortunately, I struggle when it comes to balance and I started to get it in my head that if I couldn’t do what I wanted at the gym, there was no use in going at all. I spent nearly 8 months being extremely sedentary and eating all of my emotions. Very quickly I started to notice changes in my body; I was no longer balancing my love for food with keeping active. It got to the point that walking up a set of stairs was making my heart rate increase quite a bit – something I hadn’t experienced since my high school/college years.

I have been ashamed of how sedentary I’ve been, how much weight I’ve gained (I would need to lose 20lbs to get back to where I was when I used to think I needed to lose weight!!!), and honestly, where I’ve let my mental health get to. You see, I began really taking the gym seriously after struggling with migraines and headaches for a spell of FOUR MONTHS STRAIGHT(!) – every hour of every day without relief. After seeing my family doctor every other day for weeks, and then a CT scan and referral to a neurologist, it was discovered that I was actually just suffering from tension headaches. Awful, horrible tension headaches caused by stress. Rather than choosing to medicate constantly (which would barely even touch the pain), I worked out and the tension began to ease. So even when I started to wane in my interest with the gym, within a week I would get a headache that would send me back to work out.

Undeniably, physical fitness does such amazing things for my mental health. Silly me, let this coping mechanism go by the wayside during THE most stressful time of my life; and my mental health suffered considerably. My anxiety has increased, I have struggled with feelings of mild to moderate depression, and, as previously mentioned, my relationships have suffered as well; compounding the aforementioned issues. I have tried a couple of times to get back to the gym between our December and March cycles, as well as following the most recent failed March cycle; however, nothing seemed to work for me.

I was struggling with some significant anxiety related to the gym because, as it was later pointed out to me, it felt like just another area of life in which I had failed. Prior to (DE)IVF, I had always been a leader at the gym amongst my girlfriends; creating workouts and pushing them to keep going. While I had relegated myself the my couch for eight months, my girlfriends had actually kept going together and were well beyond my current fitness level. This has been rather difficult for me to accept.

So nearly a month ago, I made the decision to switch gyms and it has made a WORLD of difference. I feel like my girlfriends struggled with this decision but they have come to accept that it was what I needed to make the change in my life. The new environment has been motivating and I am 100% happy with my decision. Since starting, I have been attending the gym 5 days per week and have already noticed a significant change in my mental health and physical fitness level. Now, in saying this, I still haven’t lost one pound on the scale – in nearly four weeks – which at times is extremely frustrating; however, I am stronger and happier. I know the rest will come in time.

How I’m failing.

This post could be focused on so many different aspects. Failing to get pregnant, failing to let it be, failing to save more money, failing to keep the weight off… the. list. goes. on. What I’m actually want to focus on is how I’m failing everyone around me.

 

Infertility is hard. Staying sane through infertility is hard. Keeping even a shred of your former self is hard. Over the last year, I have come to realize that I have been drowning; however, it has been a slow realization. A part of me thought that I was handling things rather well, and maybe considering the shit storm that is infertility, I actually am; just not in everyone else’s eyes. I know it’s easy to brush this off (as I have done for the better part of a year) and rest on the fact that I need to focus on me throughout this journey and who cares what everyone else things because THEY JUST DON’T GET IT. This is 100% true; however, I have tried very hard not to let infertility become my whole identity. Since I have been drowning in my own feelings, I have forgotten about the feelings of those around me and the affect that this has had on them.

 


I have been having some rather difficult conversations over the last month with those that I love and have been failing. My husband, my closest friends, and my family.

 

My husband and I do not fight a lot. Communication is key for the place we work and as a result, we do our best to communicate as effectively as possible at home too; unfortunately, because I have been in cycles and so emotional, there have been some things that my husband has just chose not to bring up. He finally shared those thoughts and feelings with me and although it hurt, it hurt mostly because I didn’t realize the ways in which I was neglecting him and hurting him with my actions or non actions.  I have been doing my best to take what he said and work toward making improvements. It helps that I haven’t had an abundance of hormones in my system lately and am able think a little more clearly. He wasn’t rude in telling me, he didn’t use mean words; yet I knew that he was feeling hurt and left behind. It’s hard that the focus has been on me for the better part of a year and although I tried to check in with him to see how he was doing, I didn’t do everything I could to really ensure that he was okay too.

 

Two of my really close girlfriends (one was my maid of honour and one I became super close with in the years following our wedding) are aware of my infertility journey. I’ve spoken about each of them before as they have always made an effort to be supportive but aren’t always sure how to do so. They both have two children each. They both live a different life than I do because of those children. Don’t get me wrong, I love their children, one of which is my Godson whom I absolutely adore; however, as you all know, it is not easy being around children when you’re going through this process. Mix that with me getting frustrated about having to schedule my life around their ‘mom schedules’, it all became too much. I spent more time at home, and spent more time segregating myself from others; to the point that I would just binge watch tv shows because it was just easier than hanging out with people. As time passed, I became jealous of their friendship with each other – which I know was just a product of my actions, the fact that they are both at the same place in life and their schedules lined up much easier with each other. I was sad that they were working out together the whole time while I was staying out of the gym to try to benefit this infertility process.

 

Both of these girls are amazing friends and I don’t know what I would do without them; it’s hard knowing that I have been pushing them away for so long and the effect it has had on our friendships. I approached my best friend a few weeks ago, on a particularly low day and burst into tears, telling her that I was worried that I was losing her, that I knew it was my fault, but I had absolutely no idea how to make things better because I was so wrapped up in this infertility bullshit. She assured me that she wasn’t going anywhere, that she was still my person, and that we could work it out. Since then, I have been putting forward a better effort to be a better friend and be there for her, as much as she has been for me.

 

Just this week, I spoke to my other friend while we were working a shift together. It was hard because she’s not as outwardly with her emotions and it was difficult to get her to really open up and be honest with her feelings. I knew I had hurt her with my actions and really wanted to sincerely apologize so that we could begin moving forward and getting back to where we used to be.

 

I have another friend who is long distance, she lives about 4 hours away from me and we only see each other 2-3 times a year. Again, since I have been so wrapped up in my own shit and have become reclusive, I have let our friendship down. Another failure of mine. When in a cycle I internalize everything and it’s hard for me to open up. I’m physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted all of the time and have very little energy for anything. I’ve allowed this to keep me from reaching out as much as I should, and that’s not right or fair to her. Since we don’t see each other very often, I need to be making my best effort. It’s been obvious that I’ve upset her too, so I have been making more of an effort to reach out to her and keep in touch.

 

Infertility sucks. It’s hard to navigate. Half of the time I don’t know my own feelings and yet I’ve put expectations on others to be able to navigate them when they’re around me. How is that fair?  I have started working on me again lately, and with that, working on who I am as a wife, a friend, and a co-worker. Let’s hope I can stop letting people down, because, honestly, I want these people to still be in my life when this infertility journey is over; I have sacrificed so much during this journey and I don’t want these relationships to be on that list.

FET #3 – My journey through the 2WW.

(Written March 28th, 2017)

My last two weeks have been long – to say the least. We had our transfer on March 14th – hubby’s birthday. I had taken the rest of the week off to relax as my RE had recommended being on bed rest from Tuesday after transfer to Thursday anyway. The first day and a half I felt no different than usual; however, after that I started feeling the cramping and twinges. I had all sorts of symptoms as the two week wait progressed; including: cramping, twinges, nausea, headaches, bloating, tender and enlarged breasts, sensitive teeth, dizziness, heart palpitations, crazy vivid dreams, tiredness, and I was constantly aware of something going on in my uterus/lower abdomen area.

(Written April 11, 2017 – I started writing this post fourteen days ago and have been struggling to keep with it and finish putting my thoughts down in writing; however, I will try to get everything out of this brain of mine today.)

Regardless of all of the symptoms that I listed above, I had convinced myself that this cycle had not worked. This was our third frozen embryo transfer, with some degree of implantation occurring in the first two transfers, I struggled with the odds of a third cycle having implantation – just based on IVF statistics alone. My hubby on the other hand, was staying positive for the both of us; he couldn’t even begin to believe that the cycle hadn’t worked considering all of the symptoms I had been experiencing.


On 5dp5dt and 6dp5dt I had been tempted to test at home but I was able to hold off. I have always tested before going to the clinic for my official blood test day; often testing 4+ times before beta. This time; however, I was so convinced that it had not worked that I didn’t want the fantasy to be shattered any earlier than it had to be so I held off – not one single at home test was taken. I waited the whole FOURTEEN days (not 8, not 10, not 12….FOURTEEN). Luckily test day fell on a day that I was off so I knew I would be able to take time after getting the news which is usually not the case for me.

I drove to the clinic bright and early that morning and had my blood taken and was on my way back home within 3 minutes. I was the only person in the waiting area that morning which seemed really odd. I had asked a friend to lunch that day so that I would have some sort of distraction while my husband was sleeping from his midnight shift as I expected the call to come in the late afternoon as it usually does. By 9:45 my phone was ringing and it was the clinic. The fantasy of the two week wait had come to a dead halt – it was negative. No matter how much you prepare yourself, it doesn’t make it any easier. And oddly enough, even with my previous chemical pregnancies there had always been a smidgen of hope after receiving that first call, even if the numbers didn’t look good, at least they were there.

This brings me to the past two weeks. My hormones took a few days to balance out, the bleeding came hard and fast after stopping the meds and lasted for only three days. I usually start birth control right after each cycle as I don’t have a natural cycle and the pills have always supplemented my hormones; however, this time still have not yet started them. I’m not sure if I’m just feeling rebellious or want to see what my body will do without them…but I should probably consult my RE eventually. My clinic does not reach out to me after a failed cycle. My beta phone calls are the last I hear from anyone – and those are done at a monitoring clinic. I’ll need to get in touch with them soon but I feel like we’re going to be taking a little bit of a break for now as our house is in need of new shingles on the roof and that doesn’t come cheap. Unfortunately, like many others in this world of infertility, we’re going to have to pick between a roof and a cycle at this point and if we don’t get a roof soon, water could cause more damage and make things even more expensive in the future. Life choices suck and being an adult is hard. I’m done for today.

I’m not sure about you… But I feel like this pic of duct tape represents me a lot throughout this whole process 😂. 

I Here we go again…

It has been a long two week wait.

I started testing at home at 9dp5dt and got a positive but it was very very faint. Not what I was hoping for at 9dp5dt. Seems as though everyone’s positives from the same timeline have dark pregnancy test lines that miracles are made of. Not me. Immediately I had a feeling we were headed toward a chemical pregnancy again.

I waited two days, until 11dp5dt to test again as I figured if it was going to be viable, it would be darker and if not, it would be getting lighter with the two day wait. Lucky me – the test was pretty much the exact same darkness as the first. WTF is that?!

Another two days passed and on 13dp5dt I took another home pregnancy test with absolute certainty that it would be a negative by this point. I was scheduled to go for bloodwork at my clinic the next morning so I wanted to be able to prepare myself; however, this time the line showed up darker and quicker. There was no doubt about it, things were progressing. I wasn’t fooled though, I knew that at 13dp5d if this has a chance of being viable, the test would be significantly darker by this stage, right?! But now there were feelings of hope going through my head. What if this is it?!

I went to the clinic bright and early, wondering what my Beta would come back at. Last cycle, I had tested the day before bloods and it came back negative. My beta registered at 14 the following day (chemical pregnancy/early miscarriage #1). I figured with the HPT line being as dark as it was, my beta would be higher, but still lower than it should be. Let me tell you how fucking surprised I was to find out that my beta for this cycle was ALSO AT 14!!! How the fuck does that happen??? I used the same brand of test, tested in the morning, and did everything the same as last cycle with two significantly different HPT results but exact same Beta!

I went back again today to complete a follow up beta – it has come back at 19. Looks like this most likely will not be a viable pregnancy again. I am 5 weeks today. I have been instructed to keep taking my meds and I’ll have to go in to see my family doctor at some point over the holidays to have another Beta completed to ensure that my levels are dropping (as my clinic will be closed after tomorrow).

Fuck.

Fuckity fuck fuck.

Merry Christmas to us…

How fitting…

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day; coincidentally, four days ago I got confirmation that our transfer was successful but our Beta was low. Two days ago, I got confirmation that it is a chemical pregnancy. Today I would have been 5 weeks pregnant and instead I am awaiting the arrival of my period/the start of an early miscarriage.

It’s heart wrenching and oh so disappointing. The good news I guess is that the embryo had implanted, which is father than we’ve ever gotten. My hubby and I are trying to look on the positive side of it, yet I’ll admit, it has been difficult to do.

Once I start to bleed, it will mark the official end of FET Cycle #1. I plan to call our doctor this week to discuss our next steps. The only positive to this is that I can now take all of the cold medication I want right now to fight off this nasty bug I picked up at work…nothing like getting kicked while you’re down, right?!

Hugs and thoughts to everyone else out there who is remembering today. xo