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.

The Pause. 

I know I have been MIA for a while, mostly because there hasn’t been anything to say on the TTC front. We’re on a pause. We’re not sure how long this pause will last at the moment as I haven’t even spoken to our RE for a follow up to our last cycle yet. As I’ve previously mentioned, our RE/Nurse/Clinic does not even make a follow up call after final bloodwork of a failed cycle; it’s up to us to make contact. My husband and I still need to sit down and come up with a list of questions to ask when we do call in. I have started one, but need his input to make sure I am not missing anything. In the mean time, we’ve been getting quotes for roofers in our area as our shingles are literally flying off our roof at an alarming rate; the best part is that it has not stopped raining in weeks it seems so if it wasn’t leaking before, it probably is now.  Some days I hate adulting.

 

Following our failed cycle, I chose not to go back on birth control for a bit (something that I have ALWAYS been on as a hormone replacement #bumovaries) to see just what my body might do on it’s own. The answer to that folks is NOTHING. My body chose to do NOTHING on it’s own. I shouldn’t be surprised, but like always I held out a little bit of hope that I might get a natural cycle (without ovulation as I don’t have eggs). Well, thinking back I guess it’s unfair to say that my body did nothing, what it did manage to do was start going through menopause. See, that is why I have been on hormone supplementation since I was 11 years old; my ovaries suck so I have been keeping menopause at bay constantly since then with the use of birth control. Let me tell you, menopausal hot flashes are no joke (I cannot tell you how much jokes about hot flashes/menopause piss me off – if only people knew how shitty it all is…). Not only have i been experiencing hot flashes, but I have also been experiencing dryness *ahem* down there. After not having sex for the six weeks of our cycle, this is not something that is welcomed. So finally, after 36 days, I decided enough is enough and started back on birth control. It’s been a week now and yet I’m still dealing with the hot flashes. I guess patience is a virtue…

 

I have been talking with my close friend about different medications and approaches that we might want to consider moving forward to help with thin lining and implantation issues. She is dealing with very similar situation and has been excellent in the research that she has been doing. I’m guilty in of getting tired of reading the same information over and over again and sometimes take a break from it; whereas she sticks to it and tends to stumble upon new ideas. So my list of questions/suggestions is growing for my RE and I guess I need to get on with booking a follow up appointment with him so we can start working on a plan. A plan that probably won’t be implemented until the end of summer, but we shall see.

 

It’s not easy taking a break, yet at the same time I think it’s necessary. My husband refers to me as a fighter that he, as a coach, keeps putting back into the ring no matter how beat up I get. He feels bad and wishes that there is more he could do. He’s wonderful and it’s good that he makes me step back and breathe every now and then; otherwise, I’d be jumping head first into the next cycle and that might not be best for my mind, body, spirit or wallet.

Sometimes it takes the person you love, not just to pick you back up, but to hold you back from the fight once in a while.