Thursday, October 21, 2010

October ICLW - Welcome!

Hello & welcome if you're new!

I've taken a bit of a break from ICLW but am excited to rejoin this month. Here's my brief story and where I am:
  • Been trying for almost 3 years, 3 IUIs resulting in 2 miscarriages at 5 1/2 weeks and latest was fibroid surgery in August
  • Had been feeling very low emotionally with a 3 year ttc milestone looming as well as a 1 year milestone from 1st miscarriage around Thanksgiving
  • Discussions with husband ongoing about trying naturally, no drug fertility treatments and/or adoption
  • Sought support group & counseling, which seems to be helping
  • Feeling better in general - want to approach this as life is bigger than this, while of course feeling the absence in our lives...
Happy ICLW & thanks for stopping by! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No Drug Option?

At my support group last week, a woman was talking about how she's doing a no-drug IVF cycle (aka cy.cle IVF). Interesting, I thought.

And then it wouldn't leave my head. I kept thinking about it. Part of what I haven't liked about our IUIs is that the drugs make me a crazy person. I remember asking our clinic if they would do IUI for us without drugs and they said they wouldn't recommend it. Not knowing much about anything at the time, we just went along with what they recommended.

But now, with 3 IUIs under my belt, I am more informed. And I'm about to be more informed. I'm curious to meet with this new clinic and discuss no drug IUI or IVF, and I'm especially curious about IVF. I always thought I'd have mixed feelings on it but now that there is an option that wouldn't make me a total crazy person and would increase our chances without the cost or invasiveness being insane, I want to know more.

The support group helped tremendously last week. And I want to make sure I keep a peaceful state of mind, but I also think I'm ready to get this show on the road again.

Do you know more about no drug/natu.ral cycle options? Can you share?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oh... And I've Come Out, Sort of!

In my quest to remain anonymous so that I can continue to write whatever is on my heart without fear of someone in real life finding me, I've been pretty protective of my identity.

I've also struggled with how I'm viewed and how close of connections I can make if I'm not totally open. I should feel rest assured - I have made several very close connections as a result of being able to be as open as I can be on here while still not posting pictures...

But because I get such joy when I see your pictures, I thought I'd share just a tiny bit of myself:

I am real! :)

Calling In Reinforcements

This was a rough week. I've been feeling the lowest of lows lately. I got my period. And I went to a Wed night church event where unbeknownst to me, they served communion and I just wasn't ready. I cried on bike ride home. And then I completely lost it when I got home.

I cried and cried to the point where I could hardly breathe anymore. I don't know that I've ever cried harder or more passionately EVER. It was pretty intense. Telling my husband that I just can't take the enormity of all of this anymore. That I feel absence in our life so much and that he and I can't agree on next steps - both of those combined creates this immense sadness.

Which is why I felt like I needed reinforcements.

I found this infertility support group last year and for various reasons stopped going (inconvenient location, feeling hopeful with fertility treatments, finding bloggers). But last week, my counselor recommended I connect with people going through this in real life. So, I thought it time to go back.

And it was quite a feat - I had a daytrip planned on Thurs to our PA office, a 3 hour one-way trip! And I still made it to Thurs night support group, albeit 10 minutes late!

And I'm so glad I did. The leader is an acunpuncturist who leads us through discussion along with guided meditation. It was hard for me to get into at first and I don't know that I can do meditation on my own, but I see the benefits.

What resonated the most to me was how:
  • This can be all-consuming to us and we have to remember that this is a slice of our lives and not everything. Life is bigger than this, she kept saying.
    • And I know she's right. I know that I'm more than whether or not I'm a mom right now. And when I will be a mom, I know that being a mom will still be one facet of the many things that define me.
  • We need to reclaim our happiness. We need to write down 15 things that make us happy and then spend each weekend doing one of those things.
    • I finished a book in bed yesterday morning (A Marr.iage for those of you wondering, and I'd give it a solid B - good read but not one of the best books I've read), I walked in my neighborhood to get froyo and went to a used bookstore, then came home to read on our front porch swing.
  • We need to move our bodies. Even when we don't feel like it. The endorphins that exercise creates will help to make us feel better. (We know this, right? So, let's do it!)
  • Paying attention to nutrition is important. She's also a nutrionist so I got inspired...
  • It's ok to create the space we need to feel whatever we're feeling - sad, mad, disappointed... and not feel like we shouldn't feel that way.
  • We need to be kind to ourselves.
  • We need to learn to be flexible when we're faced with challenges. We need to pick up the stake we've put in the ground and move it.
    • This may have been what made me perk up the most. I've had my stake in the ground for everything that's going on this fall - coming up on the anniversary of our first miscarriage (around Thanksgiving no less), coming up on a 3 year trying to conceive milestone, coming up on my best friend's second baby's birth and mostly coming up on what do we do come January if we're still not pregnant? Her answer: move our stake in the ground. I like it.
So, what did I learn this week? That it's important to lean on others and seek help. That life is bigger than this. That if we're not pregnant come January, it'll be ok... I'll just pick up our stick and move it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Plea to My Husband on Adoption

My body has failed me once again. My period showed up today and while it is/should be no surprise, this was the first month of our new "clean slate" after fibroid surgery and trying.

I monitored my cervical fluid. We had sex twice around the fertile times. And still nothing.

And, I know. Even if everything is working fine, it's not like it should happen the first month or anything...

I cannot continue to feel like my body is failing me. I cannot continue to have timed sex (though honestly, at least it 'forces' us in our busy lives to have sex 1-2 more times than we would have otherwise, which is a good thing!). I cannot continue to have 2 week waits. And I cannot continue to be disappointed by blood every month.

What I want is a baby. In my arms. Today. I want what jrs has. She's In Love and I'm in love for her! (check out her beaming new picture in that link).

I'm starting the process with research. And looking into suggestions you've given me (I've ordered Ad.opted for Li.fe on ama.zon - thanks Rachel!)

And I know we each have our long roads. I was comforted and surprised to hear of Lau.ra Bush's journey thanks to Jess. Read it. It's worth it.

Here's the conundrum I'm facing: My husband is not comfortable with adoption... 'at least not now' is what I keep telling myself. He's open to research and that's what we're doing and maybe that's ok for now.

But all I want is to forget about all these biological options that are energy-draining for me and for us to both be excited about adoption, which I feel so incredibly compelled to explore. How do I get him to share in that? What do we do?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Adoption Research, Here We Come!

Adoption has been on my mind for so long now, and my husband is finally ready to have us start researching.

So... I need some help since I'm really starting from scratch.
  • Any good checklists that you can recommend on the steps needed for adoption? And does it differ if it's private vs. public? international vs. domestic?
  • Any good agencies to recommend? (We live in DC if that makes any difference)
  • Any information on adopting from India? How is that done? Any agencies that specialize in that?
We don't really know our specific thoughts on all those questions - private vs. public, int'l vs. domestic, but for various reasons, we feel pulled to India.

I'm half Indian so I think we think it would be a nice tie back to that part of my family that my husband has become very tied to as well. I think for whatever reason, it may be easier to have a child who really might not look like us so we don't get the mistaken 'oh, your child looks just like you' comments, though we've also considered the opposite of it being obvious that we've adopted and the questions that would come from that. I have no idea what to think of all of this since it's so brand-new to us.

And, my husband's not fully on-board which makes it harder... he really believes that we still have good chances on having biological children. But for whatever reason, I just feel 'done' with that option. I've poured too much energy into it and it's drained me. I know adoption isn't easy and it's full of it's own challenges, but I'm ready for something different.

I've always wanted adoption to be part of our story anyway, so I'm hoping my husband will be open enough to potentially have this option come into our lives sooner than we might have thought.

And I'd love any help I can get on getting started with looking into this process.

And on a joyful note - a HUGE congrats to jrs at Find Joy Now who brought home her son this weekend!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Time for Counseling

I finally took the plunge and went to counseling. I felt like there was something different about how I've been feeling now than my previous lows and I couldn't wait around any longer to see if/when it would go away.

And it seems like I'm not the only one. We're all hurting. We're all in need of healing. We all want the same things.

I was struck by Rachel at The Pughs, who I wrote about just days ago with how much positivity she brings to me. Well, yesterday, she finally admitted that she needs time for healing. Her post is so touching. It so incredibly resonates with what I feel - and what, apparently, lots of us are feeling.

My counselor was helpful. I wanted someone who understood infertility and I found her on the Re.solve website. Luckily she had a cancellation that same day. Here's some of the things we discussed and that I'm working through:
  • Upcoming 3 year milestone of trying to conceive
  • Upcoming birth of my best friend's 2nd baby
  • Upcoming anniversary of our first miscarriage last Thanksgiving
  • Disappointments with how family members have dealt with me
  • Unresolved conflict between my husband and I on next steps and thoughts about adoption
Those last 3 points I hadn't fully realized until I started talking through it in counseling.

Our miscarriage last year was a big deal and I'm still disappointed about how everyone handled it by basically ignoring it. I'm particularly disappointed with my in-laws about this and their continued supposed ignoring with our 2nd miscarriage.

And I'm still disappointed in my mom with how she dealt with my 2nd miscarriage, essentially making it seem like it was because of something I did or didn't do. It still makes me angry to think that I had to deal with her on top of my miscarriage.

And my husband and I are conflicted on next steps. He wants biological kids so badly. He lost his dad at a young age and wants that connection. But he also doesn't want me to endure more drugs and the heightened expectations, appointments, mood swings and energy that goes into a fertility treatment.  He also has a hard time conceptualizing adoption, which is what I really want us to look at as the next step.

We finally talked about all of this in more depth this week and it has helped. I think I can open my heart up to potentially doing more treatments and he's opened himself up to researching more about adoption and understanding the true toll treatments are on me.

So... counseling is helping for now.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just When I Thought...

Just when I thought I was doing so well staying positive, my mother leaves me a voicemail asking me if I'm mad at her for not calling in awhile.

First of all, I've been traveling and she knows this.

Secondly, I've been sad. Along with a whole host of complicated feelings that most people don't seem to get.

It takes energy to stay positive. And for whatever reason, I haven't really been reaching out to anyone. I wonder sometimes if I'm mildly depressed... I haven't wanted to see many friends, talk on the phone, go to church, etc.

And just when I think I'm over a sadness hump, there it is again.

Big cries with my husband last night. Same things... why don't people understand, why don't people reach out to me more, why can't I just enjoy this journey of life instead of thinking that children is our destination?

I'm ok for the most part. It just kicks me sometimes.

And I can't get a call like that from my mom. It's too much to put on me... 'are you mad at me?' NO! I'm not mad at you!!! I'm sad and can't deal with my own feelings right now.

I'm not mad at you but I also can't deal with your underlying negativity. It drains me. And I still harbor resentment about how you treated me after our last miscarriage. And I don't know how to answer the question 'how are you?' and because you don't seem to really understand, I don't want to talk about it with you. And other than talking with my husband about it, no one else seems to understand or say the right things. And I feel like I sound like a broken record. No one likes a pity party, right? So, it's just easier to not talk.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Trying to Stay Positive

I've been pretty silent lately. This is the most I've gone without writing since I've started blogging.

I partially think that I don't have much to say right now. We're post- fibroid surgery. And nothing much has been going on except getting my energy back slowly (7 weeks now and still can't do the cow pose in yoga!!! hoping for a couple more weeks). I did start running this week and biking to/from work. That was big.

I have been traveling - to Chicago for work & fun... and to the NC Outer Banks for some relaxation with friends.

But mostly I've been trying to stay positive. I realize that I've been negative and just not feeling like myself. And wonder how it's affected my friendships, my family relationships, my marriage, and the relationship I have with myself. We've all gone through this "I just don't feel like myself" feeling.

So, I've been trying to focus on the positive and surround myself with positive thoughts and somehow focus on them more than I normally would with the hope that they will stay and radiate within me.

While in Chicago at an artistic bookstore, I bought this book called "The Little Things" that is visually pleasing where each page is dedicated to a postive thought with a quote. The titles alone are enough to keep me going:
  • Living with intention
  • Staying optimistic
  • Something to hope for
  • Having faith
  • Making every moment count
  • Being grateful
  • Taking the scenic route
  • Enjoying the journey
I want to fully embrace life NOW. I want to stop waiting for when we have children. I want to live in the now and radiate positivity.

I also want to believe in the future. This store also had these wall art frames (that I regret not getting) with the words: Love, Hope and Believe on them. I want this to be my mantra.

Rachel from The Pughs really helped too. She and her husband made an ah-mazing adoption book and throughout it radiates incredible love, faith, hope and positivity. Thank you, Rachel! You've helped to re-focus me and keep me positive!