My body.

March 31, 2010

Having a sexy body was  never something I was quite good at. I could be pretty from time to time, but that’s where it ended. I knew that having a nice body depended largely on having a strong willpower, this willpower was to stay away from bad foods and to move towards working out.

Neither were things that I could consider myself an expert at.

Now that I have tasted what a healthy lifestyle is all about I know that I can (if I try really hard and reward myself with fun things like white chocolate) succeed at it. It will take some work, but this is a sacrifice I am willing to make. The way my face looks without the puffy-ness is reason (and inspiration) enough for me.

Until very recently, I believed that I should lay very still post insemination.That perhaps if my body became a silent, motionless vessel: the sperm and egg would meet and have a bump-free ride to implantation.  Last month proved me wrong.

I was more active last month than I had been in a long time. I was doing it for myself and most importantly, I was enjoying it. During this month a few strange things occurred: firstly, I was no longer feeling the crazy effects of the drugs I was taking; secondly, I got pregnant, even if for only a few days; and thirdly, I was feeling amazing and not thinking about what my future was going to look like (with or without kids) because I knew my future had me and my husband in it, and in this future picture- I had a great ass.

Maybe the best part of it all was that I no longer had to give up control, in this case I had every chance to control my life, and the way I looked and felt. So this month, as hard as it was, I hopped back on the fertility train with one little difference: I was going to enjoy the ride. Because for the first time in this ridiculously long journey I had seen that glimmer of hope, and I will spend the next little while making my body my priority. Nature will take care of the rest.

So as I walk down the aisle next week as a bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding, I will look good.

How, you ask?

Spanx, of course.

L*

 

 

Duties.

March 29, 2010

As I have probably mentioned before, I have to undergo a lot of things in any given month to do with fertility. I have to ingest, inject and measure. I must endure long probing vaginal ultrasounds and blood taken from time to time. I also have to ignore my body when it’s sending me mixed messages, but pay attention enough to make sure that I have no adverse reactions to the medication. I have to quell nausea, nerves and questions from the outside world.

Did I mention that I have to navigate through all of the above in someone else’s skin? Ok, not really someone else’s. Just not mine. Due to the overwhelming amounts of hormones I am taking, I’m no longer quite sure about who I am or how I feel.

I guess I could equate parts of my daily life to having a debate… on acid. My daily life is linear… or is it?

I am, in a word, exhausted.

Please, I don’t want your sympathy. I just want it to be public knowledge that I do… a lot. I am not in a competitive mood per se, but if you were to ask me who does more between my husband and I. Well, I win.

Let’s look at the role of a man at this point in the game: he has to survive spending time with you (who has become a different woman, and not different as in a new sexy hair cut, but rather different as in crazy, loco, out of your mind), he has to try to be healthy and take care of his sperm producing organs. But that’s pretty much it. That’s where it ends. Men, at this point,  just have to sit back and watch their wives and girlfriends become pin cushions and science experiments. And while it may be difficult to see their loved ones suffer, it can’t measure up to the suffering.

So this week, while I stab my belly with 3 to 4 needles prompting a new range of emotions I didn’t even know existed, and getting ready for my next vaginal ultrasound

my husband has to abstain from beer.

L*

 

Needles.

March 27, 2010

So, I have officially made it to this step. The injectable step. I am totally ready for the challenge.

I, like many people in the universe, hate needles. When they take my blood I have to turn away. When I see a mosquito biting someone I get squeamish (but I tend to continue staring and let my friends get bit)… don’t judge me 🙂

The needle phase. This is where the drugs you were ingesting just weren’t cutting it. So they add a few injections to make sure your little follicles are growing big and fat, and that there are more than one.

Sounds simple, right?

I am smiling because it’s just another step in the direction of becoming parents. This is a choice we have made and I for one, am not going to spend my time complaining.

After all, I have tasted success, even if just for the morning. And it was sweet.

L*

 

BFN, or is it?

March 25, 2010

Well… as some of you may have already guessed, my results from this last IUI are negative. Most months pass and I pee on some sticks or get a period before I have time to pee on a stick and there lies my answer.

Yesterday was a whole other story.

I woke up and decided that this day, day 14, was the day that I would test. I already had an appointment with our fertility doctor so I figured (just to make sure that there was no baby) to go ahead and test. Much to my delight, a faint pink line appeared on the stick. Now, as you can imagine, I have played out this scenario time and time again in my head. It usually involved wrapping the pee stick in a gift bag for my husband to open, or putting it in the oven or something cheesy like that. Well in the real life version I screamed for him to come to the bathroom and asked him if he saw a line too.

Both standing there in our underwear, with sleep in our eyes, we try to soak in the reality of what we see. Needless to say we were ecstatic on the inside. We were cautiously optimistic on the outside.

                         _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The next few hours we spend working, not really focusing on anything but the reality at hand. I carry my pee stick to work, staring at it whenever I get the chance (in private of course). We call each other a million times just to check if this was real.

We head to the fertility clinic. I’m almost feeling smug when I walk in. I show my pee stick proudly. Nurses and receptionists all celebrate with us, the nurse on hand (who was the one who did our insemination) declares that she has “magic hands”. We are laughing.

Less than an hour later my doctor delivers the news that I am not pregnant. Pee stick still in hand I reel from this piece of information. My husband and I sit numbly while my doctor presents options to us for the next three months of treatments. I am angry. My eyes are stinging. I am listening and contributing to the conversation. My strength shocks my husband. It shocks me too, in retrospect.

My heart breaks once we get into the car. Explanations included: having been pregnant but the bean wasn’t “viable”. I hate that word. I am mad at the world; God, people with babies and myself for being excited.

Less than a day has passed. I wake us this morning full of grace. I am ready to face the challenge again this month. I don’t feel like I need to, but rather want to. By the end of the day I am pulling out the positive from the situation.

I have shocked myself. My life is richer for all the struggles, I know this to be true.

And when I peed on that stick and saw a tiny pink line I didn’t think “Oh finally!” or “It’s about time!” or even “I deserve this”.

I thought about how cool it would be to carry a baby, and all the hurt and waiting and frustration melted away in that very moment.

How cool it will be.

L*

Take it from me.

March 23, 2010

Take it from me. This situation sucks.

Take it from me. This is a merry-go-round.

Take it from me. You would never want to be in my shoes.

Ahhh. You can take it all from me, I mean away from me that is. That’s right- the heart-ache, the hormones, the gas, the melancholy and the moodiness. I am fed up with it all. I’d love to pack it all in a suitcase and send it somewhere far, far away from here. I’d love for someone else to walk a mile, nope make that a meter in my shoes and tell me how I can do better. I have dropped the ball. And it’s heavy.

Tick-tock. Tomorrow is the big test. I feel in the back of my mind that there’s no pregnancy. Perhaps that’s just self-preservation, or is it seeing the future? Either way, for the moments leading up to tomorrow morning, I am afraid.

I’m afraid of sharing my heart and having it broken publicly. I’m afraid of letting myself get excited at a prospect, only to have my monthly reality check. My husband rocks. He keeps us afloat, as I slide down into the closest thing I’ve ever been to a depression. It’s the monthly-test-day-depression. But it carries the weight of the world with it.

I do pray. My life is richer for it.

I have to believe that my time to be a mum is coming, and to cherish all the moments in between.

I’m just struggling today.

L*

I imagine, therefore it is. Or at least that’s the way I have always considered things. I dream up ways that major (or minor) scenarios in my life will play out and then when they inevitably don’t, I get upset.

That’s why this time of month is so difficult. I am right around the corner from testing for a pregnancy. Yes, this is my 29th month. I am finding it more and more difficult to remain positive, and when I play out a scenario in my head, it has never been accurate. Not yet.

How will I cope with this testing business? Some say ‘just test now and get it over with’, I have friends who live the wait and see philosphy, ‘if you don’t get your period, then you’re pregnant!’ Lovely. Except that I’m on a coctail of different medications, all with the ability to play around with my cycle. If I don’t test, and keep taking this medication, my period could be weeks late. Even if there’s no pregnancy.

Arghhhh.

So… I guess I will have to figure out how to walk the tightrope of not getting too excited, or too down. Just suck it up so to speak and pee on that stick.

Remember when the days of peeing on a stick gave you a heart-attack because you would rather die than be pregnant?

Now I get a heart-ache when I am not.

Life is funny.

L*

 

Walking on sunshine.

March 19, 2010

It’s Friday, it’s warm… spring is in the air. As time goes by I feel less and less sad about this whole thing. More often than not I embrace the time with my husband,  my friends or family to just enjoy life.

The one key to my happiness? Getting outside. Walking, sitting in the park and watching my dog play. Coming home late after warm breezy evenings with friends, where we had good wine and better conversation.

Living it up. That seems to be the key. It’s like I’m walking on sunshine.

And don’t it feel good 😉

L*

Working it.

March 18, 2010

I have spent months on end daydreaming about the time I would begin working out, getting in shape and taking care of my body. Month by month passed and nothing ever changed. I ate too much, sat around too much and felt sorry for myself.

It is free. It is fun. It is easy. No cost to join, no people to be embarrassed by and no confusion on how it works. Just one foot in front of the other and voila!- A tighter butt! This is something I have done for almost 32 years now. I speak (of course) of walking.

I walk daily, almost an hour. I am so excited by this ( a very small thing in my life). Maybe I am excited because I have some control over my walking, maybe because it is making the effects of the hormones seem much less threatening or maybe I love to walk because I get to spend some quality time with my dog.

Who cares why, I don’t question a good thing.

I embrace it.

L*

To tell or not to tell?

March 18, 2010

It first struck me, while we were trying to have a baby the “conventional” way, that the decision to try was an exciting one. My immediate response to having made this decision was to share with anyone who would listen. Much like the announcement of an engagement or a pregnancy; the decision to try for a baby is a big one, deserving of recognition.

After only a few months of trying and the constant questions (most specifically at work) I became stressed. It was a creeping, silent type of stress that I woudn’t realize until months later. The questions were not only adding to my stress but were causing me anger and frustration. Why do they keep asking? Why is everyone so nosy? Why do they need to know my business? Well… because I told them.

I became a little quieter for the months that followed this realization. I stopped entertaining the questions, started avoiding the people who kept asking, willing them to take a hint. Until I reached a full year in my pursuit of pregnancy, I never uttered another word about it.

That underlying stress I mentioned crept into everything around me; my weight, my marriage and my overall mental health. I was tired of timing everything from ovulation to sex and even more tired of my home life. I spend a summer out drinking and partying, secretly hoping that a carefree life would iniate a pregnancy. There is no tricking your own mind. Pregnancy was still stuck on the brain.

When we took our first step in figuring out what (if anything) was wrong with either of us, by heading to a highly recommended local fertility clinic, we were exuberant. After speaking with some friends who were in the process of fertility treatments, I began to feel like that was our destiny. It was nice for the first time in over a year, that someone else would do the thinking for us, it was truly handing over the responsibility and the outcome to a group of doctors and nurses who make their livelihoods helping couples exactly like us.

As time wore on, we became “members” of this new community, and I found my voice. It was so nice to belong somewhere again. Stuck out in the middle of suburbia; kids, kids and more kids seem to be the only thing I would hear about. But out here in this new place, we became a part of a much larger reality, and felt like finally we were being heard.

As soon as this new route became a part of our life’s map, I was excited to share. First came our parents; it was important for us that they understood what this whole fertility thing was about, and (specifically for my dad) that I would not become the next “Octo mom”. Our siblings and friends followed, they all embraced what we were doing, forever asking the right questions and supporting us in ways they probably didn’t even realize. Finally we shared with our bosses and colleagues, so that missed time from work would be better understood. This blog was the last step for me, and as of today, one of the best moves I have ever made. Ever.

I know couples who suffer in silence, and grin and bear it when unsuspecting friends and family ask when they plan to have children. For all the risks of being vocal, there seem to be far more risks in not telling the people around you, it truly takes a community to support you through the rough times. In the end, this was my choice.

And it has made all the difference.

L*

Visualize this.

March 14, 2010

Letting go of the worries of the week can be a tall order to fill. Every month since the beginning of this waiting game I have had so much trouble; half excited and half petrified for the outcome.

Creative visualization has become a practice that I employ each month, willing my egg and my husband’s sperm to “meet” and hope that they safely make the 5 inch journey through the fallopian tube and down to the uterus where they need to find a cozy place to nestle. Not too much to ask for, right? Wrong. This journey takes a whopping 5 to 10 days and the results are rarely in our favour.

I guess the practice of visualization gives me a (however false) sense of control. For those of you who know me, I am all about control. This month could end as every other month before, or it could be different. I could have a bean nestling (as you read this) in my uterus. My dream coming true.

For tonight, I will continue to hope, pray and visualize. I will force the time to fly by and be at the end of this excruciating wait before I know it.

Dear little Bean,

You can do it!

L*