Done All I Can

What used to feel like a rollercoaster of emotions has become just second nature to me as I have fallen into line with the patterns of my OBGYN office and the timing they are using for every single step of the way.

  • Day 1- celebrate a bleed and opportunity to try again
  • Day 5-9- Clomid
  • Day 12- Ultra sound to check follicles and thickness of uterine lining
  • Day 15- 2nd ultra sound to check follicles and thickness of uterine lining
  • Day 17- If no positive surge (solid smiley face), induce ovulation with a ‘Trigger shot’

Through this round of Clomid and waiting for that silly solid smiley face on the OPK (ovulation predictor kit), I have become more at peace with the process and not as anxious for things to happen more quickly.

It will take what it will take.

As the week of fertility approached this past week, I was full of nervous/excited energy in the hope of the possibilities to come.

My day 12 landed on a Sunday so I went in on day 13 to have an ultra sound. The results left me a bit negative as my uterine lining was way too thin (even though I started the estrogen patch on day 10) and there was only one follicle growing.

I KNEW I should have pushed the doctors to up the dose of Clomid this round!

We really want to have twins and so the news of only one follicle was a bit disheartening.                     I know, I know. I should be happy I have at least 1.

I am practicing gratitude around that and praying that if we are to have twins that the cells would multiply.

The doctor gave me some more estrogen patches, instructing me to double up, and asked me to come back in 2 days, day 15.

Hopeful that I was not out of the race this month, I waited and returned.

Only to experience more of the same neutral news… one follicle, still not large enough for ovulation, but… the lining is getting a little thicker… hey, I’ll take it!

Same instructions, come back in 2 days if I don’t get a solid smiley…

You know how this goes… 2 days later, day 17, still no solid smiley and so I return to the office and they stick me in the rear-end with a boost of hormones to get my body into gear. It was an HCG trigger shot to induce ovulation (same as last month).

I left with the routine instructions they tell every couple, have timed intercourse tonight, tomorrow and the day after (if we can). Got it!

The OPK was a solid smiley face by the time I got home that first night of the trigger shot. This was not the way it was supposed to happen and for this planner, was a bit thrown off. We had everything all planned out for our timed intercourse so I began to mildly freak out.

The doctors said it would take 24-36 hours for the shot to kick in, so is it possible that I ovulated on my own today? Maybe… that would be super cool.

I am not wanting to put pressure on my husband to perform, and at this point, I’ve done all the drugs and tests and am as ready as I can be for this miracle of life to occur… we just need those little swimmers.

I am praying for him, his body, and for acceptance around what is in this moment, something out of my control.

I can’t DO anything more at this point.

How long to lay here?

After our timed intercourse, I was lying there afraid that if I got out of bed, I would hurt my chances of getting pregnant. I thought by laying there, it would help the swimmers in their pursuit as opposed to introducing gravity into their upstream quest. After doing some googling (while on my back), I read that most suggest laying horizontal for 15-20 minutes but after that point, it’s okay to move around.

I proceeded to do as much googling as possible in those 20 minutes to find out if there is anything more I can do…

Nope.

Just let nature take its course, literally.

I was incorrect in a previous post about how long it takes a sperm to enter into the fallopian tubes. I have read it takes anywhere between 45 minutes to 5 hours, so at this point, I’m just trusting that those little guys know what they are doing.

For this control freak, knowing I have 0% control over the outcome is frustrating…

and relieving.

I can’t do anything to help or hurt, I just get to be.

Do I work out or do I not?

A few of my friends who have gone through IVF treatment shared their experiences of not working out for the first few weeks and so I thought I would take a closer look at my options. Although my doctor said it was fine to continue moderate exercise, I am still hesitant.

I have this image that if I were to run it would jostle the little embryo right out from getting nice and cozy inside of me. To think that we have done so much to become pregnant and a short jog would take that away, no way!

I am also aware of how low my estrogen hormone is and would not want to over exercise, diminishing any chances for my hormones to do what they will do.

I began my research and have found pros and cons for both working out and staying low. It’s good to get the blood pumping and nutrients moving through my system and it’s encouraged to do some heart-pumping exercises, such as the stationary bike, walking or swimming and weight lifting but vigorous running is not on the menu.

So I have succumbed to not running for the first week until I know for sure we are pregnant and the little one is securely implanted (usually between 6-10 days after ovulation), but I am not going to sit stagnant on my couch and write all the time. It is encouraged to continue to be healthy and treat our bodies well.

To this point, I’m going to sign off, lace up my running shoes and head to the gym for some heart-pumping, muscle toning exercise that also clears my head and calms my anxious thoughts.

That I CAN do.

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Infertility is my fault

The calendar becomes my obsession. It’s not the date on the calendar that has my attention, it is the number I’ve put into my Google Calendar to count the days since my period began, that’s my day 1.

I’ve checked each day in some strange way of preparing myself for days 12-17, they haven’t changed, they won’t change. They are still there at the same dates I originally computed, taunting me.

The hours, let alone days can’t go by fast enough and I spend my time praying for my body to create the necessary elements that will enhance our chances of becoming pregnant. More than anything, I am praying that God’s miracle working hands will bestow us with the charge of parenting.

The prayers help, yet my thoughts can turn the corner pretty quickly into negativity and sorrow.

I can’t help but question why my body is this way? What’s wrong with me that my body doesn’t know how to function on its own and what could I have done in my past to make my body this way?

Is it possible that my body is this way because of something I did in my past, as though I did something to deserve this?

There isn’t much I can think of that would support this other than a few decisions I don’t think too favorably upon. I also know that my insane behaviors around eating and exercising were major issues in my teen and early twenties. I liked to eat and found it very difficult to stop eating. So instead of stopping (or limiting my food intake), I exercised to stay thin, scared of what other people thought of me and fearful of letting myself become too overweight. Exercising is not bad for anyone, as long as it’s in the appropriate amounts, but I was working out up to 3 hours every day. My life revolved around how to stay thin after eating what I wanted.

I liked to eat and found it very difficult to stop eating. So instead of stopping (or limiting my food intake), I exercised to stay thin, scared of what other people thought of me and fearful of letting myself become too overweight. Exercising is not bad for anyone, as long as it’s in the appropriate amounts, but I was working out up to 3 hours every day. My life revolved around how to stay thin after eating what I wanted.

The doctors attributed my lack of a period to my athletic activities and yet never challenged me or questioned why I was working out so much. Nor did they share any side effects this may cause as I grew older. I don’t blame them; I just wish I would have treated my body better.

The good thing is that for the past 11 years; I have been making an amends to my body for all the years of torture I put it through. Allowing my body to heal from the ridiculous behaviors and calming down to be more neutral and balanced.

So, am I the reason we can’t get pregnant? Is it my fault from my decisions of the past?

Possibly.

I won’t ever really know. Plus, it’s not helpful for me to sit in the space of pity or despair.

What I do know to be true is that I have a chance, today, to be made new. For my body and mind to be clean of my past and I can take the necessary actions to help my body grow healthier.

Today, I will place my hands on my belly and pray for God to do His thing. For my body to be creating these wonderful little follicles that house strong, viable eggs and for my uterine lining to be receiving the Estrogen patch’s medication well for a nice cushy lining. I’m also practicing visualization of what this might look like and pray for God’s will to be done.

My situation is not my fault, even if it is, I am choosing to believe that God is bigger than anything I may have done and can repair and bring to life anything if it’s in His plan.

Today, I believe God is powerful.

All Natural!

Wahoo! I got a period, all on my own.

Not the reaction my husband thought I would give when I told him the news. Yes, I am bummed that we aren’t pregnant this month, BUT I got a period ON MY OWN.

Yes, I am bummed that we aren’t pregnant this month, BUT I got a period ON MY OWN.

This is huge and wonderful as I’ve been wanting my body to have some more normalcy through this process, as opposed to simply reacting to the medications the doctors give me.

It seems as though the last two cycles, my body has been sleeping and each medication is like waking from a nap, not knowing what time of day it is, what day it is, how long you’ve been sleeping… confusion and then reaction. There are times when I will wake from a nap in a panic that I’ve missed something. That fearful panic is real, for a moment.

I just wonder if this is how my body is responding to the medication… like it’s being woken up from a nap and it’s in reaction mode. In some ways, forced to perform.

When things are forced, it’s not as easy and free-flowing.

BUT, with a natural period, my body did it all on its own!

I didn’t have to take Provera to force a bleed and so maybe this month my body will bring its “A” game, functioning out of natural process versus medically induced.

I will take Clomid to help with the ovulation process, but maybe this time, I won’t need to be ‘triggered’ for ovulation… is it possible that my body is fully awake this month?

I am hopeful today.


This past month has been a turning point for me.

I will admit, for many months and years now I have not been too excited to enter into parenthood. I have seen others around me become parents and observe the shift in life and I have not been too motivated to want that life change for myself. If anything, I return to my safe space in my house relieved I don’t have children running around.

I have felt like a bad woman, like I have a horrible heart, for not pining after a baby like I hear many of my friends comment as they have strong desires for their own babies.

I am really happy in my life with my husband and am incredibly content with the life of 2.

Yes, I do want to have a family and have people I get to help grow and influence and love. Sitting back, watching them grow, explore, learn.

I am afraid of the sacrifice.

Giving all of me to someone else who is completely dependent on me. I am scared I won’t be able to receive the responsibility well and that I will push my children away.

They are so malleable and I don’t want to mess them up with my own fears and insecurities, or my own missteps. Lord knows I make enough willful decisions on my own, let alone affecting another person.

Maybe being a parent will help me become a better version of myself.

I don’t know how I will behave when there is someone else who needs me continuously. I want to say to them, “Stop it!”, “Figure it out on your own!”

Where is the compassion, love, patience, tolerance in that? I don’t feel ready. Will I ever be ready?

I guess not, no one really is ready.

I know how much children can cause a rift in the parents, in the marriage. I like my marriage and I don’t want to be too tired to engage with my husband. I don’t want to give so much to my children that I don’t have anything to give to him.

It’s not that I don’t want kids. It’s that I’m scared of myself and the unknowns of what that role and responsibility will look like in my day in and day out life routine.

Over the past few weeks though, I have been able to push aside the fears and see the beauty of holding and caring for another human being. I have begun to get excited to be a mom and to recognize how much of a gift it will be to raise another person.

One Line… only

I may or may not have taken a pregnancy test every other day for the last 6 days. In hopeful anticipation of the possibility to be pregnant, my thoughts were nowhere else for these past 10 days as I counted down. I noticed my keen sense of awareness to the possibility of being sick, having food aversion, not sleeping well, sore boobs… unfortunately, there was nothing out of the ordinary. Yet my research said I may or may not feel anything different so I was remaining hopeful that I would be pleasantly surprised this morning. I wasn’t.

I had a hope inside of seeing the two lines on the pregnancy stick. Closing my eyes I prayed for God’s will to be done and for me to be able to accept whatever it is that he has In store. I anticipated my reaction to seeing the two lines, how happy and surprised and in disbelieve and stunned and excited I would be. Counted to three….

One line.

Not pregnant.

Sadness overtakes me.

What’s wrong with my body that we could not get pregnant after all the things we’ve done and how great the doctors said everything looked? It must be me as my husband’s tests showed that he is not the problem.

I am frustrated that I could both have done a thing better plaything more to become pregnant. This is not going to be something that I work for and excel at and perfect and do right in order for it all to work out.

I can only do my part and the rest is up to nature, science and ultimately God.

What is magnificent to me is this idea of complete and utter lack of control that creates something incredible. Learning more about the science and biology behind conception, baby making is has dropped because it really cannot be controlled. I’m sure if I did IVF I would feel like we had more control, but there is no guarantee that the embryo will latch onto the uterine wall, let alone grow to survivor outside the womb.

I really am powerless and have no control over this whole desire.

Reminds me of when I was single and so desperately wanting to meet my husband. It was not anything I could control and I couldn’t make it happen any faster. I just had to surrender to the process of life and trust that It would happen.

My heart yarns more each day for a baby.

I learned of a few new friends being pregnant and I am elated for them and breaking inside. Breaking caused by fear that I won’t be able to have what they have. That my desire and hope to be as mom will not be fulfilled and I will be left with a hole in my heart that only a child can fill.

I know adoption is an option but is so expensive. How does anyone adopt at the increasing costs?

Breath.

I just have to trust.

God’s writing my story. Help me see his hand at work

The Waiting Game…

And now we wait.

The question now is posed, when do we take a pregnancy test?

The majority of experts posting online will say to wait and take a pregnancy test once you’ve missed your period. Testing too early can produce a false positive or false negative and so to be cautious, it’s best to wait.

But what if I don’t get a period? When am I to test?

Thinking of the regular person, a period would occur on day 29 or 30, so if I calculate this out, that would mean I need to wait 2 weeks from the day of ovulation. Grateful that I know at least that much of my calendar cycle!

So what do we do while we wait?

Being interested in this whole baby-making process, we decided to watch the 3-part documentary on what happens in the 9 months of making a baby.

9 Months That Made You – PBS

Wow- how very interesting to learn what is developing within each stage of the baby-making process. This documentary not only provides information on the science and biology behind the forming of a baby but also interviews people who have had abnormalities during various stages in utero and how it’s affected them.

Examples of such abnormalities and personality developments include:

  • being born without bones
  • lack of skin pigmentation
  • 6 fingers
  • formation of the face and cleft lips
  • colorblind
  • epigenetics
  • life stress
  • risk taking personality

Learning more about the creation of growth of a baby in utero affirms how amazing God is to create such a process. Our bodies are able to do so much and the creation of life from an egg and sperm is at the top of the list.

We try to carry on as though we aren’t waiting to know if we are pregnant, but the want and desire are so strong that it can become a hinderance to our interactions. Today, I’m on edge for no reason I can really pinpoint. I want to blame it on hormones but I don’t know that for sure.

The closest thing I can chalk it up to is the emotions that come with the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable. How many times do I write about this? Reminds me of the blog post I wrote a little bit ago about the living in and enjoying the discomfort of the moment (click here).

Must be another opportunity to trust in Gods timing, Gods plan and believing that today, a lazy Sunday, is exactly where I am supposed to be and that I’m not supposed to know if we are pregnant today. Knowing we are pregnant or not pregnant will not add substance to this day.

Today, I rest.