2016 Update

Well, I’ve managed to stay away from this blog for a long time somehow. I skipped all of 2016.

I’m still seeing the same counselor, I started in November 2014 and it’s crazy how much has changed. I’m still a work in progress.

Last March we started our second cycle of Gonal-f injections to try and have a baby. The first cycle was called off due to overstimulation (there were 6 mature follicles, posing the risk for 6 babies– yikes!). Our second cycle went similarly, which is common with PCOS. Six follicles that were near mature, but one was in the lead due to smaller doses over a longer period of time. On Easter, we got the call that it was either I take the trigger shot that day and try (on the agreement that we’d have to do a “selective reduction” should all 6 eggs release and fertilize) or call it quits the second month in a row. The nurse didn’t have us make a decision right that moment, but told me to call and let them know and gave instructions on triggering etc. So, we went for it. We prayed about it, that we would not have to make the difficult decision to have a reduction down the road.

I was pretty excited knowing that my body was finally doing something it had never done on its own for the first time– ovulate.  10 DPO I took a test and saw a faint line, but it was the afternoon and I figured it was just an evap line. So I bought a First Response test and tested first thing the next morning and there it was– an actual, real second line. I brought it to my husband with a shaking hand and asked if he could see a line too. It wasn’t the cutesy, creative “I’m pregnant!” announcement that I was anticipating, but it was real and shocking and scary and exciting all at the same time.

I was an anxious mess most of my pregnancy, just still in disbelief and afraid of loss. Still, aside from carpal tunnel and some third tri gestational hypertension (that lead to induction at 38 weeks), it was a pretty smooth pregnancy. 

I was induced 2 days before our 4 year wedding anniversary, and delivered at 8:12pm on December 16th (less than four hours away from our anniversary!). 12 minutes of pushing and he was here! We named our son Oliver Matthew:

  This is a recent picture, he’s almost 11 weeks old.

Adjusting to parent life has been a challenge, it’s harder than I ever could’ve imagined and it’s hard feeling overwhelmed and somewhat guilty after going through infertility to get here. I’ve been dealing with postpartum anxiety and depression, both of which I’ve dealt with most of my life (of the non-postpartum variety, of course). I started Wellbutrin but had to stop because it was making me super irritable and more anxious, so my doctor switched me to Celexa, which is supposed to be good for anxiety. I’ve been on it almost two weeks, it’s a little soon to feel the full effects but I think we’re moving in the right direction.

Well, that’s over a year in a nutshell, I’m going to have to give this blog an overhaul as the subject matter is changing! I think this would be a good outlet for parenting after IF, but also for working through my PPD. Hopefully you’ll see me around a little more often!

Maintaining Hope

So, I’ve updated a timeline in my “About Me” section of this blog, and if you’re looking for a quick overview that would be the place (and probably skip the next paragraph).

What have I been doing all of this time? That’s a good question. We’ve bought a house, took forever to unpack while learning to balance that with a new job (essentially the start of my career). That basically covers 2013. I know I made a few updates since then, and I can’t even remember where I left off, I just know I’ve been gone for so long. If I had one way to describe 2014, I would call it the year of blood. Because from December 2013 through about September 2014 I probably could count on two hands the amount of days that I wasn’t bleeding. I mentioned it to my old Ob/Gyn, I mentioned it to my endocrinologist. My only options from them were birth control or increasing Metformin. I opted to increase Metformin, because I have been against BCPs since I stopped them in February 2012. I’m not exactly sure if there is a connection between having PCOS and taking the pill, but I wasn’t willing to find out. I know women with PCOS are at higher risk for side effects of the pill, such as blood clots, then women without PCOS. In May 2014, I started a better job. The kind that I can see myself working for for many years. I had new insurance, and found a new Ob/Gyn. This doctor is male, but he was a recommendation and he is a very knowledgeable doctor that takes a lot of time to figure out what is going on with his patients. He personally returns phone calls when you have a question, which is great. The desk staff is absolutely horrible, which is a downfall. That may force me to go somewhere else for prenatal care (if it ever even happens? I don’t even know at this point). He performed an endometrial biopsy (that pretty much was AWFUL) and a saline ultrasound to check for uterine fibroids or polyps as the cause of the bleeding, but all tests came back normal. Which only meant what I could have already guessed — the bleeding is hormonal, and just another part of having PCOS. Reluctantly, I took birth control to stop the bleeding for a month. Since that cycle (and the shortish period after it), I haven’t had any bleeding. Which is good. But the same thing happened when I originally stopped birth control– I went 90 days without a period. What a confusing time.

So needless to say, it has been a long and exhausting year with not a lot of hope. It’s hard to try and have kids when you’re going through something like that and you know for a fact that you aren’t ovulating. I guess the best thing I can really say at this point, is I’m starting counseling on Monday, and I hope that helps. At least emotionally, because I’ve been a wreck lately. I literally think of this stuff every single day. And I don’t have a lot of people I can talk to who understand what I’ve been going through. Maybe this would be a good time to get back into blogging?

Vacation

Well, you would think that having been on vacation for the past week, I would have somehow managed to make time to write another post in an attempt to keep this all updated and whatnot. Actually, I have been busier than ever (thought still taking things slow and enjoying myself, you know). I just finished painting my living room, dining room, and bedroom and I am really beginning to love this house now. We moved in Memorial Day weekend of last year, and in the meantime we (I guess by “we” I mean “I”) have just been tolerating the choices of the previous homeowner. Now things are starting to change. Don’t get me wrong, they did not make poor choices I don’t think… but for the bedrooms, they weren’t as I would have done them. The living room (as was most of the house) was just a neutral light beige, which is fine, but with all of the nail holes and large anchors they had, plus random scuff marks and red marks from their red living room set, it just was in need of a clean do-over. So in doing that, I repaired the trim (gaps and nail holes, plus not enough paint? Gross.) and my husband swapped out the outlets + covers and the vent covers as well. So it’s a nice clean contrast of white + Brown Teepee by Behr:

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Then in the bedroom we used a similar color, called Gobi Desert, also by Behr (covering up what I would consider to be an awful Seafoam Green, the only color I really did not like in this house):

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Yesterday I spent some time out and about at Hobby Lobby and Target finding wall decor. I also want to swap out the lamp on the dresser and have a cubby organizer from Target I would like to get for the living room (which will also cover that ugly cable, though my husband is going to switch it out for white and anchor it along the baseboard).:

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With these bins:

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Up until now, I never went looking for much of anything to hang on the walls because the house just wasn’t looking how we wanted it to yet. But I am very excited to get things going, it’s really going to feel like home once we decorate a little more!

Jealousy and Envy

It’s really hard to admit when you experience ugly emotions. I’ve felt pretty judged lately to admit these types of feelings. I spoke with not only my husband on this subject, but also a close family member. Their reactions to it were different than I expected (as one of them may have been to relate to this feeling) and I tried to find a way to justify it. In the end, I never found that way. It seems that no matter what I said, I was digging myself into a deeper hole and no one was able to relate. I guess sometimes it really takes a lot to admit it, and I personally believe that most people, especially those going through infertility, experience this at some point in time.

This all came up after a normal Friday night Bible study. I always thought, since we are the oldest there besides the pastor and his wife, that we would be the first to have a baby/announce a pregnancy in the group (with the exception of the couple that were already expecting at the time they joined the group, obviously). Needless to say, I was wrong. And it hit me pretty hard, as I found it difficult to concentrate on anything else the night I found out. I noticed one of the guys whispering to the pastor shortly after people began to arrive, and I just knew. If you’ve been struggling to start a family for any length of time, you know what that feeling is. It is obviously quite early, but being that they’re close to the pastor they wanted to let him know. I felt that sinking feeling, “Everything isn’t going the way I had planned!” My whole body became tense, and for the rest of the night I found it hard to concentrate on anything. There was a lot of secretive discussion, and I could tell that they were letting some people know. And by the way they were talking, saying things like “Oh does _________ know?…” “…I told _______, _______ and _________ know…” it was impossible to hide what was being discussed. That feeling of envy, of jealousy– overcame me so greatly that I completely lost out on what could have been a beneficial for me. The pastor has recently done spiritual gift testing on the group, and chose to discuss results personally with my husband and I. I felt that even thought I was sitting there physically, talking and responding, that mentally I was trying to navigate through a maze of uncomfortable feelings. I couldn’t stop listening to the conversation in the other room, and it was almost as if I was waiting to hear them discussing the topic so that I could be more upset.

Now, I know this sounds terrible, but I think it is so important that I be brutally honest because this is really a big issue. I have to say that even though I felt jealousy, it doesn’t mean that I was not happy for them. It’s just hard to hide that feeling when you wish it were you. You wish you could feel that joy, excitement, even a little bit of nervousness as you share the news.

The following day, I spent time with my sister and told her the story, thinking she might be able to relate. Something about being around pregnant women, especially when we wish it were us, is hard to do. As someone who has experienced miscarriage, I know she had spoken to me in the past about her struggles being near pregnant women. Even though our situations are different, I thought she could lend a listening ear to my struggles. I was wrong. She offered her opinion, which was that jealousy is a bad thing. I agree, but it wasn’t the reaction I had expected. I guess sometimes we say things hoping for the listener to agree, and justify our feelings of insecurity. All in all, I was feeling a lot of guilt regarding my jealousy and envy, and it only made me feel worse. Later that night, I was downright depressed. I shared with my husband my feelings and the same thing happened– I felt judged, and furthermore guilty.

Even though it hurt, and I felt like no one could possibly understand what I was experiencing, I am thankful that they reacted this way because it made me realize something: it’s time to stop.

So lately, I have spent some time looking into this more. There is a lot in scripture that mentions jealousy– in fact, in Galatians 5:16-21, Paul lists 17 evidences of walking in the flesh:

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whateveryou want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

It’s an ugly emotion, and it is often hard to admit when we struggle with this. But Paul states, “those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (NIV) I see that alone to put an end to this negative cycle. I have been listening to different sermons and will be studying deeper in the scripture. I truly feel this is something I need to get past; if this is something so bad that it prevents us from inheriting the kingdom of God, how then could I expect God to bless us with a baby? I may have a long way to go, but I am determined that this is not the way I am destined to live.

I wanted to share this because I think it is so important. Many women who experience infertility also experience the “unfairness” of wondering why some women get pregnant, why some women have children– and sometimes these are people who may be, in our judgement, not fit to have children. People who abuse drugs, alcohol, children, etc.– who we think would make a far worse parent then we would. We wonder why? But who are we to judge them? We don’t know what is in their personal walk. We don’t know why they were given the gift of a child, or multiple children. Quite frankly, it’s not really our business. Or we experience friends and family who get pregnant before us and find it difficult to be around them. We may be happy for them, but deep down we wish it were us and we don’t understand why it happens this way. I want to share with you this sermon that I think is helpful.

“If we can never be happy for people who get what we want and would like to have, then there’s a good chance we’re never going to get what we want.” Joyce Meyer

I ran…outside!

This may seem like a ridiculous thing to get excited about, but it *seriously* has been since… maybe high school? early high school? middle school?… since I ran outside. I’ve always been a little too self-conscious, a little less-than-motivated, and just not that interested in running.

But today, I was past all of that… and it felt great! It was nice, the combination of the fresh air, some music, nice scenery… and getting a workout in, might I add! It’s a great stress reliever, too! I’m just very excited about starting on this next chapter, wherever it may lead. I’m motivated, I’m feeling good. It was a little over 2 miles today, which is something. Generally, I’ve been running on my treadmill but today I thought, hey, there’s a park nearby with a trail, let’s do this. So, definitely feeling accomplished!

A Start

Well, we’re doing a weight loss thing at work. Not sure exactly how we’re doing things, I just know that as a basic guideline we are:

Motivating one anotherWeighing in every Monday
Walking + stairs every day at 11:45
Sharing tips + recipes
Running a 5k together in the spring

So, it is going to help a lot I think! I’m excited and motivated to get moving.

In other news, there is a 100th anniversary formal dinner for my husband’s work union in April, and it sounds like it will be pretty fancy! I am setting this as a date to reach my goal (or before if possible). So, having a little over 5 months from now until then, I think it is definitely possible.

So today, did the walking and 24 flights of stairs total… 9 in a row was the record, but man am I out of shape, haha.

I also started the “Couch to 5k” plan with the app yesterday, it’s very doable! So, just excited about all of this.

I’ve decided I need to start putting my time and energy into something that will benefit me in the long run. I know we’ve been TTC for 21 months, but honestly… I sometimes wonder if there’s a good reason it just hasn’t happened yet. I’ve heard of people with PCOS that are able to see things regulate by changing their lifestyle–eating habits, exercising more, etc.–and get pregnant in the end. Wouldn’t it be great if I got pregnant at a lighter weight? For me, the answer is probably yes. I would feel better about myself if, after all is said and done, I didn’t need to lose an additional 20+ pounds on top of the 30ish I wish I could lose right now. I guess after a while, you start trying to see things from a different perspective in order to accept a reality you never thought you’d face. In the end though, I think I would be happy if I ended up pregnant at all. I just know that after all this time and effort, and the emotional toil infertility has taken on me, I need to take a step back sometimes and look at the whole picture. Where am I at emotionally? Physically? Spiritually? If I’m not at least somewhat comfortable with all three of those, then what am I doing?

I worry that for a long time, getting pregnant and having kids was somewhat of an idol. Something that consumed me for a majority of the day, every day, for a long time. When we started looking at houses earlier this year, I pushed it to the backburner, but never forgot about it. Then there was a busy time. We’re still in this busy time. It never really changes, I guess. The further away we became from where we were when going to the RE and planning these structured, time-sensitive cycles … the less I thought about them, and more content I became. I do have moments now and then, the “Why Me? Why Us?” moments— but they aren’t as bad as they used to be. My thoughts have just shifted.

I’ve spent a lot more time lately focusing on God and just getting through things. And now I’m getting into something new, something I’ve never tried before and it feels great to have a goal and see that it is possible. What if this turns into a lifelong hobby? What if we have kids after that is established enough to be a new lifestyle? What, then I can teach my kids how to live healthy too? It’s a lot better than the bitter, cynical attitude I was carrying around for quite some time… definitely don’t want to influence my future kids like that. I don’t care how cliche it sounds, I know God has a plan for our lives though. I truly do. We have a lot of people praying for us, people know we want kids and are having trouble. It feels good to have that support, and I don’t like to let worry overtake me anymore. If down the road we go back to the RE, it’ll probably be after I get myself a little healthier. Which is fine with me. It sure would be great though if we never needed to.

I’m so neglectful!

Look how long it’s been. This has seriously been a very, very busy year! I have so many projects going on, so much stuff with the new house, and if you add in the day-to-day upkeep and working full time (not to mention the incentive work I bring home on the weekends), there’s not much time left to update here. We’ve really put all things TTC on the backburner. It’s more of a “not preventing” thing… even though I would like to lose weight before getting pregnant (ideally). I want to get into running, so I’ve started a 5K training schedule on my new treadmill and hope to run one in the spring. I know, my thoughts are very sporadic… but where do I really start when it’s been nearly 4 months since I have been on here?!

At work, I made it past my “probation” period, but the other girl hired on the same day did not. Since then, they have hired 2 new employees. They’re both pretty nice. Things at the “not-so-new-anymore” job are going pretty well. I have caught on and learn new things pretty much every day. I got my first review about a month ago, but was hired too late for a raise this time around. That went really well, they seem to like me, and my supervisor is a lot of fun with a good sense of humor.

We still have about 6 boxes that have never been unpacked since moving into this house at the end of May. Have been hanging things up and decorating here and there, but I would really like to paint. Might save that until after the holidays, during the slow and boring part of winter. That way, in the spring we can focus more on outside, and I can plant some flowers and stuff like that.

Last weekend I went to my first comic convention, and though dorky, it was a lot of fun! We got to meet Brian O’Halloran–Dante from Clerks. He was really nice and we got his autograph and a picture with him. Also got to buy some very unique art pieces that we can frame and hang in our new house. My best friend from high school and her friend came here (she lives 3.5hrs north–where I grew up). So that was a nice weekend. It’s crazy to see how much we both have changed and grown as people. I had not seen her in about 4 years, since one of the last times I was at my parent’s house. (In the past 5 years I have been there 3-4 times. They usually visit here, where my sister and I live. I’ll just say my transition phase into life on my own was a long road.)

Hmmm… what else?! There’s probably so much that has happened that I am leaving out. My husband hasn’t been feeling great lately, we’ve been to the ER twice in the past week. He’s MUCH better now, but things were pretty bad for a minute there. He has this cyst, yeah I should probably just stop at that. It’s been a long ordeal mainly because the doctors at the first ER did not do what they should have to take care of it. We got home last Sunday night at 2:20am and I missed work Mon & Tues… then we saw a specialist Tues and he wasn’t even the right kind of specialist. It’s been stressful and frustrating for both of us. He is currently on two different antibiotics and finally getting some relief from the pain.

*Whew* that was a lot. If I were saying it aloud, I’d be out of breath. I’m really motivated right now, so I am going to start a run on my treadmill. This is my thing right now, hopefully the motivation sticks around 🙂 Gotta make that thing worth the money. I told myself when I got my “real” job that I would buy a treadmill, and I did, so I definitely need to make it worth it!

Back on the Bloggy Train?

I just popped in to update a little!

I am loving the new job. It is really something to come into work and do what I’ve been waiting so long to do, what I’ve spent so much time training for and hours studying for. And I think I’ve been catching on rather quick!

We’re finally completely moved in to this house, though not unpacked. We finished that up on Saturday and got a good chunk of our security deposit back.

In other news, I bought the Summer Meal Plan from PCOS Diva (haven’t heard of her? She’s definitely worth a Google.) and so far, I feel pretty darn good. I bet I would feel better if I stuck to it better, but the past few days I’ve really been short on time. Getting back on track, and when I say that I fell off track, it really wasn’t that bad. I’ve made a conscious effort to have a salad every day, pretty much for lunch (with meat of some kind on it, of course).  I do feel like I have more energy, and I’ve lost a few pounds (which unfortunately is still above what I was at last year after my weight loss kick). I’m working to make a lifestyle change as opposed to being “on a diet”. In the process, I am trying all kinds of new vegetables and fruits, along with adding flax seed to many different things. It’s good! So I am really excited about that. And (you would think I was getting paid to say all this, but trust me, I don’t get enough hits on this blog for that kind of thing) the recipes are AMAZING! I’ve been making homemade salad dressings, I had some excellent black bean burgers, the homemade sauces are really unique and tasty. I’m just super excited about this right now.

I’m trying to change what I eat and get back on the Metformin in the hopes that *maybe* I can regulate my cycle, have a little more energy, lose some weight, and feel better about myself. If possible, a little ovulation here and there wouldn’t hurt either. I’m sick of being overweight, feeling frumpy, and just dealing with it. I am making small steps to get more physical activity, but I haven’t been going to the gym (seriously lacking the time right now) but once things settle down, I’ll be hopping on that bandwagon as well.

a bit better

I’m doing a little bit better, I think. I left work early today, that could be good or bad. I think they understood. I didn’t really say what was wrong, just that I wasn’t feeling good. Which being a woman in her mid-twenties, I think that automatically makes most people assume pregnancy (my boss even mentioned upset stomach). I’m very much not pregnant. The cats are not doing so well so far. I thought they were ok until Milo, my older cat, sprayed the wall this morning. So that was discouraging. I was running late, stressed out, and just worried we were going to have to get rid of both the cats. I don’t know why I jump to worst case scenario. Anyhow, he seems to be better right now. I have separated them and will slowwwwwllly re-introduce them. I need to just really take my time. I looked up some tips online; introducing cats is not easy. It all depends on their personalities. So hopefully we can take it slow and everyone will be happy, and we won’t have to say goodbye to any pets. On a different note, I am trying to look into counseling. I think almost anyone can benefit from counseling, and it’s good to have that outside opinion. It’s just hard to find anyone it seems. I called one place already (I was put off when I called last year too) and they expect you to walk in for an initial evaluation before 2pm on certain days of the week. It just seems like a huge place, I’m not really feeling that. So we’ll see. I just feel like it’d be easier to work through the multitude of things I have going on to get an outside opinion.

What do you do when your reproductive organs are letting you down?

You adopt more cats, of course! What better way to spend a Saturday then at the cat house! I am heading over to a local rescue that is at a large historic home– the same place I adopted my sweet Milo. We are in search of a kitten, and I am very excited to have my husband with me this time around! I find it so funny because my husband never, and I mean NEVER. wanted to own a cat, yet alone multiple catS. So somehow now we are adopting another. I have been researching a lot and find that another cat would be beneficial to Milo as he has to spend a lot of time home alone with our current work schedules. Besides that, watching two cats play should be fun! So I’m very excited for today’s main event, and I will follow up with pictures soon. I promise to update more now that we’re getting settled in to the new house, and things are really starting to come together. Last weekend we bought a sectional for the living room and a rug, and it really is just starting to look like home. The basement is essentially a family room, and it gets cozier by the day! Well, that is all for now. I am meeting up with the animal rescue owner at noon, and I still have to run to the pet store up the street for a few last-minute items! It’s like bringing home a new baby! (only it’s furry, and mews!) Enough exclamation points!!!!!

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