Mega Communication FAIL

I am upset at myself….Chris told me it doesn’t matter, but I can’t help but feel like an idiot about it.

2 months ago I went to my normal physician and had my annual workplace medical (a requirement from my work).  Usually my physician calls when she gets my results and says everything looks good!!  This year she didn’t call me…but I could see my test results online and everything looked OK to me so I just forgot about it.

Roll forward to this evening and I log into my health portal to check some test results after a fellow blogger asked me about my AMH levels.  As I was looking I noticed that my physician had added a note to my most recent work place medical test results that said: “Your labs look good.  You are only slightly anemic.  Just take an over the counter iron supplement if you can.  Good luck!”  (She added good luck because I told her about our upcoming IVF cycle).  So all this time….I could have been taking an iron supplement and I haven’t.  I already take prenatals that has extra iron in it so what would my results have been if I hadn’t been taking this? Ugghhhhh.  I’m annoyed because I wonder if this could have made a difference to our embryos?

My doctor in the UK prescribed me folic acid supplements.  A quick google search and all of this and being slightly anemic is likely to be related to my Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  I wonder….is it about time I go and get all things associated with my bowels checked out again after the IVF?

I can’t help but feel frustrated that I didn’t see this message from my physician earlier!  But at least I have seen it now and that is the important thing (thank you Leslie for prompting me to log into my account!!! I’d never have seen the message for probably another 10 months!!).

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IVF Diary Vol III: 10-15 Mar 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Ovulation Control Pill (OCP) Reclipsen 0.15MG-30MCG x 1 per day

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

What are my symptoms?  I have had a really bad upset tummy since the weekend.  I have no clue what is causing it…it could just be a really bad case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Usually stress makes my tummy worse, but actually, I have just stopped being stressed!  So maybe my body is coming down from stress and is having a big WAH at me.  Or I got the bug that everyone else seems to be coming down with. Or. it is the melatonin…because there is definitely a correlation with tummy upset and starting the melatonin.  A quick search indicates that melatonin could actually be a treatment for IBS!  But mostly for those who suffer with IBS-C (Constipation) not IBS-D (Me – Diarrhea) .  I will have to do a bit more digging and see how it goes over the next few days.

How do I feel today? Work stress is mostly over!  I have a lot of travelling to be doing, but it’s not stressful travel!  I have cancelled a work trip to Germnay in anticipation that I will be having my egg retrieval surgery that week!  And now I can schedule in some of that leave I am owed from the leave I cancelled from cycle 2! Woohooo!  This is good news.

My medications have yet to arrive, there was a slight mix up with the nurse ordering the wrong drugs.  So they are supposed to be arriving tomorrow by FedEx….the only problem is I am currently in DC and am driving the 4 hours back first thing, so I hope the meds dont arrive in the morning because I won’t be there to sign for them!  That wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t need my Lupron on Thursday morning!! And the pharmacy called this afternoon (when my order is supposed to be on the way!) to tell me my co-pay was high.  Well DUH…no higher than usual. Fortunately I caught the phone before I headed into work without my phone for the day, I may never have spoken to them until it was too late!!!! They have never checked with me before, but I think it hit the over $500 mark this time because I am getting more of the expensive gonal-f 😦 The old newbie infertile me would be stressed about it.  But I am not, I am a seasoned veteran about these things now, so I am pretty chilled out about it.  I can’t control it, so what ever happens, happens.  (Please Please Please FedEx arrive in the afternoon!!!)

Any results?  Not yet….my follow up appointment from my hysteroscopy surgery is on Thursday afternoon.  But I am anticipating the all clear.

What’s next? Lupron injections start Thursday morning.

Weight. I am terrified to get on the scales:-(

Waist. Shrinking a bit after all the diarrhea 😦

Boobs. NSTR.

The Final Countdown!!!  I decided to add in a calendar countdown so if people read just one entry they know what stage I am at in the whole cycle! Plus I love crossing things off.

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*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal), 5mg Melatonin at bed time and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF Diary Vol III begins!

Here we are again.  It’s like deja vu, right?  Seriously, Christmas seemed like ages ago, but somehow IVF round 2 only felt like a week or two ago.  It’s all come around again quickly for us.  I don’t feel quite so ready for it – mentally, my mind has been at work, physically, my body has been at work (hahaha!) what I really mean is – I need to do some exercise!!!

I started my Birth Control Pills on Thursday evening and phoned the nurse who is covering for my nurse whilst she is on leave to schedule in my IVF cycle.  She gave me the important dates and told me she would order my medications.  I put down the phone with dates in my hand, excited…then a little later realised that she hadn’t asked me what meds I had left over from my last cycle! Aghhh!  And it was very late friday afternoon so I knew there was no chance of catching her in time.  Also, I haven’t received notification from the Pharmacy yet that my prescription has arrived with them  and I need my Lupron by Thursday morning!  I am in Washington DC for two days next week, so my only real day to receive by FedEx my giant box of medication goodies in time would be Monday.   Aghhhhhh!!!!! I hate this last minute panic thing!!! I am sure it will all be fine and the script will be with the Pharmacy today.  Zen Dani……Zen.

I had my last alcoholic beverage last night – a wonderful glass or two or red wine. Bye bye alcohol!  Although this cycle has creeped up on me, I am feeling excited.  This is it.  It’s all or nothing now!!!! Wish us luck!!!!! Eeeeeeek….

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IVF cycle 3 Calendar

Chris told me I was too graphic in my last post about my period, so here is a Too Much Information Warning…….!!!! Don’t read past here if you don’t like reading about periods! I’ve been popping the painkillers for my period and surviving OK, the short sharp pains have gone, thankfully, it’s just the typical period pains now.  But I did have something happen to me that I’ve never had before.  I passed a ball of old thick dark black blood about the size of a large grape.  It wasn’t clotty, but thick and sticky, kind of like a truffle!  I got a little freaked out, but then remembered that putting a camera into your uterus and taking a biopsy from the the uterine lining 9 days before your period is probably not a normal every month occurrence; so I should not be surprised my body is doing some weird things.  I have a post-op appointment next week, so I will mention it just to be sure.  (Things I never thought I’d write about and share to the public world – my period!)

The hysteroscopy

I am insanely missing my blog right now!  I have been so busy with work and other things that my blogging has suffered, and I am constantly thinking about things I want to write about and get out of my head, I just haven’t been able to.  There is definitely a truth in writing being a form of therapy…a therapy I’ve come to rely on and when it’s not there I start to get itchy.  Anyway, I am here!  Briefly albeit 😦

Today I woke up at 4AM and could not get back to sleep, I won’t lie, I was a little anxious about the hysteroscopy procedure today.  We got up at 5AM so I could shower before inserting the cytotec pills into my vagina!  Nice.  We arrived at the clinic at 6:30AM and the nurses were great as usual.  I was first on the surgery list, a few other ladies were there for their egg retrievals after me.  I got changed into my beautiful one size fits all, modesty covering gown and climbed into a bed with freshly warmed sheets and a couple of extra because I get so so cold in that prep/recovery room!  I signed my life away and took the obligatory pregnancy test.  It would be miraculous if I was pregnant and we all joked about how we all would be happy if I had to be sent home because it turned out to be positive.  No such luck.

The nurse prepared the back of my right hand for the IV needle.  I have wonderful veins, but the nurse managed to bust it and it started swelling up like a balloon.  I started to feel faint like I was about to pass out.  I’m not a needle fan so watching this made me feel sick.  So she tried again but on the inside of my forearm.  She got the needle in, but it felt really, really weird.  She wasn’t happy with it, so she called another nurse to come take a look and try on my other hand. I was feeling really light headed at this point, so she lay me down almost completely.  The other nurse had done my IVs both times previously, so I started to feel a little better when she attempted to insert the needle in the back of my left hand.  She also used lidocaine to numb the area first so I was instantly less nervous because I couldn’t feel the needle jabbing around inside me!  Finally, the IV was in!

hysteroscopy.jpg

Pre-sedation! The nurses wrapped me up all nice and snuggly

Chris came back to keep me company whilst we waited for my doctor to arrive.  After about 20 minutes she arrived and asked if I had any questions; I may have mentioned this before but she has a real awkward bed side manner, it is actually now growing on me!  Then the anesthesiologist gave me a cocktail of drugs through my IV, and I started to feel like I had 4 or 5 strong margaritas (apparently margaritas was what he was putting through my IV!).  I was wheeled on my bed through to the operating room, and I concentrated really hard on looking around the room to see what it was like.  But that lasted 30 seconds and I was out.  Next thing I knew, I was waking up with Chris next to me, and everyone was laughing and joking at me because I had apparently been dancing to Elton John music in the surgery. Hmmmm.  OK, if that’s what you say!  I think it might actually be credible thing I’d do!

I vaguely remember them also saying that everything looked good on the camera and they had taken a biopsy to be sure.  I had to ask Chris later if I imagined this conversation because I wasn’t sure if I had dreamed it!

I was really, really sleepy coming out of this cocktail of sedation drugs compared to my egg retrievals. I struggled to wake up and felt very woozy. I asked the nurse if the drugs were different, but she said they were the same, they may have given me a little more this time, or just being tired and stressed can make recovery time longer.  Well, both of those things are true so I guess that explained it.  After an hour of coming out of the operating room, I was ready to be driven home.  We stopped off at Panera bread to buy some breakfast treats.  I also ordered a decaf caramel latte and when I took a sip of it I was convinced it had no coffee in it at all!  It just tasted like steamed milk to me.  Chris tried it and said that it definitely had coffee in it.  I didn’t believe him, miffed,  I didn’t drink anymore of it until I got home, when this time I took a sip it definitely had coffee in it!  So something weird was going on with my taste buds!  I attempted to eat my giant cinnamon roll, but my mouth was sooooooooooo dry I could barely swallow a mouthful.  My throat is sore and my mouth dry now still!  Well at least this time I don’t have a drippy nose!  Ah well, I think I would rather have been sedated than have none, so I can’t complain in the grander scheme of things.

So once again, everything looks normal.  We still have no explanation as to what may be wrong.  I  am pleased that there is nothing obviously wrong with my uterus (well, I am still waiting for the results of the endometrieal biopsy they took whilst they were in there today!).

Tomorrow I will phone and see what the plan is for starting IVF round 3 because my period is due to start 3 days before my results appointment, so I need to see if they will start me on down regulation before the results.  I also don’t really know much about their lupron down regulation protocol and how long they do it for.

For now I have a very busy week ahead of me, but I have a quieter weekend coming, so I hope to catch up with the blogging then and get me some blog therapy in!

The Pre Hysteroscopy Surgery Appointment

The nurse called me back and directed me to the toilet.  I told her I had literally just gone to the toilet 2 minutes before she called me and that I apologised profusely that I did not know I was required to do a pregnancy pee test! Whoops!!!  But the silly thing is that almost two weeks ago we did a blood test after IVF cycle 2 and it was a big fat negative.  I am currently on Cycle Day 11 so it would actually be a miracle if I was pregnant right now!! But hey, I guess stranger things have happened.  The nurse took my blood pressure and temperature as usual, but this time we did something different!  A finger prick to test my hemoglobin levels.  I told her it’s always fun to try something new at the clinic, just to mix it up a bit!  I suggested a fertility test card bingo game, I might be on way my way to winning by now!!  Winning what exactly, I’m not sure…

The nurse explained that she was going to order in to my pharmacy a prescription of two cytotec pills that I need insert vaginally an hour before arriving for my hysteroscopy next week (basically I will need to do that at 0530 on the day of the procedure!!! :-s).  Cytotec is actually primarily used to prevent stomach ulcers when taking Non Sterodial Anti Inflammatory Drugs such as Ibuprofen or aspirin.  But cytotec does have an off label use – to ‘ripen the cervix’ (Haha I love the fact that one ‘ripens the cervix’ like an apple or banana)  Basically it helps dilate the cervix so it is easier for the camera to get into the uterus.  So this adds 4 types of drugs I’ve used during infertility treatment that is off label use – Letrozole, vivelle dot estrogen patches, methotrexate and now the cytotec. Off label use means that the FDA hasn’t approved that drug for the manner in which the doctor has prescribed it.  But all of these drugs are commonly used off label, so I am not worried about it.  But at no point have I ever been told these are drugs are being prescribed off label.  It’s an interesting practice!  I digress….

After being prodded and poked by the nurse I saw my doctor who went over the procedure with me and updated my medical history.  The procedure is relatively simple.  I arrive at 0630 AM at the surgery operating room, they get me prepped and ready in a fabulous gown.  No eating or drinking after midnight until after the procedure.  No make up, jewellery etc.  Similar to the egg retrieval.  The anesthetist will give me a cocktail of sedation drugs, probably similar to ones to the egg retrieval.  Once I am knocked out, they insert a camera through my cervix into my uterus – there are no cuts required.  Then they take a look around.  If there is anything there that shouldn’t be there, they will remove it there and then.  They will probably also take a biopsy of my uterus.  The whole procedure typically lasts 15 minutes.  Then I am back out of surgery into recovery for about an hour for the sedation to wear off, then I am driven home by my lovely, patient, husband.  So it really is a quick and simple procedure.  I might be in a bit of pain afterwards, but there is no requirement for me to rest afterwards, however, I won’t return to work until the next day because of the anesthesia drugs.

Simples!

Finally after my doctor gave me the low down and I signed my life away for all potential risks, I moved to the business admin office to pay my dues.  Here is the complicated bit.

My insurance provider is United Healthcare.  Well kind of.  My actual insurance company is Allianz.  I work for an international organisation where the majority of its employees work in Europe, but there are a small number of us here living in the US, so although Allianz provides us with worldwide coverage, it doesn’t have a primary market in the US.  So, Allianz pays United Healthcare to be the ‘front man’ for all of us employees who live in the US.  This means that Allianz gets access to all the in-network negotiated benefits and doesn’t have to worry about administration costs of billing etc in the US.  So all my healthcare providers bill to United, United then bill Allianz.

Have I lost you yet???!!

For anything dental or vision I have to pay for it upfront then claim it back from Allianz, then they re-imburse me 90%.  But I also have the choice of paying for any other healthcare service upfront and then claiming it back directly from Allianz,  I don’t have to go through United.  Most of the time this isn’t beneficial because of the in-network negotiated costs can sometimes be ridiculously discounted so it is better to go through United.  Except in the case of my hysteroscopy….

United demand that the hysteroscopy procedure is performed at a hospital and not the clinic.  If it is not performed at a hospital they won’t pay up.  If I went to the hospital, there is a longer wait time, particularly co-ordinating it so my doctor from the clinic can go to the hospital to do the procedure.  Then there is the high cost of doing it in a hospital – approximately $20 000!  Now, there would be in-network discounts on that, but still that is a lot of money when you compare it to what my clinic charges – just $1300 if you self pay.  Also, it is also far more convenient to have the procedure done at the clinic, especially as I know their surgery room well now!  So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what needed to be done.  Today I payed the $1300 ($400 of it in cash for the anesthetist, sounds dodgy right??!) , and then I will claim that back from Allianz directly in a couple of weeks time when I get the itemised bill.   Allianz don’t care where I have it done as long as it doesn’t cost more than the limit.  This made me think may be I could pay for all my IVF treatment upfront and claim it back – I reckon I could save about $500 if I did that.  But then I remember how many bills I got through and realised that there is no way I could easily track all of that and then track all those claims to Allianz in addition to also handle the pre-approval process.  I did that for my IUIs and it was a headache.  It’s not worth the stress.  Even if it were to give me a crap load of credit card points!!!!

Insurance in the US – what an absolute nightmare.  But I think I probably have it easy despite the unusual arrangement we have with United & Allianz.  I have it easy because I have amazing infertility coverage, and for that I am truly grateful.

Anyway, here I am, ready to go now for my hysteroscopy procedure next Tuesday!!! Who’d have thought I’d be excited for a diagnostic procedure that requires anesthesia!  This is what infertility does to a woman, it turns you into a masochist-craaaazy!

Good plan batman

First of all, let me say a big thank you to everyone who showed us support by commenting on my last update.  It has been a really difficult weekend.  Full of emotional roller coasters.  Chris and I have been brought to the edge with our sadness and confusion about our second failed IVF cycle.  I couldn’t reply to your comments without crying.  I am sure some of you who have been there have felt that overwhelmingness.  I read each and everyone one and they mean a lot, so thank you for your support.

Today we had our follow up appointment.  Chris and I prepared for the meeting the only way we know best….by making a list.  We wrote a list of all possible scenarios for ways ahead on this pudding club hunt.  And then we individually wrote down what we felt about each scenario and exchanged our thoughts.  We discussed where there were differences.  It was difficult and emotional to do as we realised that we agree in some situations, but not in others.  It’s OK at this stage that we don’t agree or have the same point of view, but it was bloody hard and we had some very raw and honest conversations.  We used up a few boxes of tissues 🙂  But what was good about this exercise is that we were ready to come to this follow up appointment prepared for whatever the doctor was going to suggest doing next.

When my doctor spoke to me on the phone to tell me the bad news that our IVF cycle had failed she mentioned poor egg quality, I took away bad things from this when I needn’t have.  This was just my doctor’s first impressions report, she hadn’t really looked into my case in detail or reviewed my history.  But this is what she did at today’s appointment.

Our doctor was very positive and believes that our best chance is to try again.  We expected that, but she ruled out egg or embryo donation for us or the necessity for genetic testing.  Our chances are still high more than 50% success.  We will make a couple of minor adaptations to our next cycle with my medication protocol by switching from antagonist protocol to Lupron (Down regulation) protocol.  I am a good responder to stimulation so she believes this may help improve the egg quality.  We will also carefully review our Day 3 v Day 5 transfer options at the time.  I had some excellent Day 3 embryos this time around, similar to my first cycle when I got my positive.  May be my embryos don’t do as well in the culture afterwards.

But before we go into another round of IVF, I need to have a hysteroscopy.  This is a small surgical procedure where the doctor inserts a camera through my cervix to look at my uterus and fallopian tube opening closely to check for any potential damage from my suspected ectopic pregnancy, scarring or inflammation as well as checking for endometriosis and taking a small biopsy for further testing.  So I am scheduled for my procedure in two weeks time!

We have a plan we are both happy with.  I felt a huge relief off my shoulders because our doctor was genuinely positive for our next round of IVF – and we pushed her about it too (well Chris did!!) – there was no BS-ing!   So all things going well after the hysteroscopy, we are looking at an April IVF/ICSI Cycle:-)

Thank you all for sticking with us through this, it has been hard, but you make it all the better!!  XXX

butterfly

Top tips in preparing for an Egg Retrieval

As this is my second round of IVF, I am feeling a little bit more prepared for tomorrow’s egg retrieval surgery.  Here are some tips for preparing….

  1.  Take a day off work the day before Egg retrieval.  Fortunately both times for me it has been a Sunday the day before and so have not been at work.  The chances are you are waddling around by this point, ovaries full of beautiful follicles!
  2. Stay hydrated in the days leading up to and after Egg Retrieval.  Take a water bottle around with you every where (make sure it is BPA free, glass bottle would be better).  Add in the occasional sports  drink, such as Gatorade or Powerade.
  3. Prepare you body to prevent constipation.  Prune juice worked wonders for me last time around.  I tried collace and that just did not get my bowels moving.  I am trying prune juice and green tea the day before Egg Retrieval, just in case this helps.  (I don’t know if it will, but it won’t hurt!).  It’s a mix of the anesthesia drugs, pain killers (if you decide to take the narcotics), dehydration and your ovaries ballooning from the follicles that are leaking in your ovaries that create the conditions for constipation.  Plus if you are constipated, you don’t want to be straining yourself after the surgery.
  4. Pack your bag with some funky happy socks (ask if you are allowed to wear them), trashy magazines that don’t require too much concentration to read (you will be nervous whilst waiting so make it light reading with pretty pictures works well!), water bottle (remember you can’t drink/eat anything before the surgery so don’t forget this), powerade/gatorade for car journey home, with a banana or something similarly easy going on the stomach.  (You are not supposed to eat fried/fatty/heavy food after the anesthetic – it helps with your recovery if you avoid these foods.)
  5. Change bed sheets day before Egg Retrieval so you can snuggle up into nice clean bed sheets when you get home.
  6. Get the hot water bottle/heat pads ready.  I like hot water bottles because they are just that little bit warmer.
  7. Have soft brushed, stretchy, baggy clothes ready, including pyjamas.  Go to surgery in loose clothes…the bloating will be almost instantaneous after surgery you might think that they snuck a pillow into your uterus whilst you were out of it.  Cosy socks – treat yourself to the ones with aloe lined in them, after all you will be in them for 24hrs or so, you might as well make them soft and beautiful whilst you are at it.
  8. Stock up on healthy bite-sized snacks such as grapes, clementines, celery, raisins and pistachios.  Chicken or vegetable broth is probably all you will be able to stomach for lunch, and is easy going on the tum!  But also stock up on a little treat or two for later in the day.  YOU DESERVE IT AFTER THE PAST FEW WEEKS!!!!
  9. Borrow, rent or add to your watch list a completely new season of a TV series.  Because really, the day after you are not going to be wanting to get off the sofa much.
  10. I am also going to be keeping my sanity and avoid thinking every 5 seconds when I am going to get a fertilisation update by knitting, reading some more of ‘Gone With the Wind’ and adult colouring in (meditative colouring in no less!).
  11. Egg Retrieval tips

    Egg Retrieval survival kit!  On the left is what I will be wearing and taking with me to Egg retrieval.  On the right what I will mostly be wearing (pyjamas!), eating and entertaining myself with!!!

Feel free to add your Egg Retrieval tips below!! Share the love!!!

 

IVF Diary Vol II: 4 Jan – 14 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Ovulation Control Pill (OCP) Reclipsen 0.15MG-30MCG x 1 per day – Last pill taken Monday 11 Jan 16

Medical procedures undertaken. Baseline monitoring appointment was today – including blood work and vaginal ultrasound!!! As the nurse said to me – you know the drill!

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Baseline Monitoring Appointment DONE! We are go to start IVF 2.

What are my symptoms? I continually spotted whilst taking the birth control pill and as soon as I stopped taking it the spotting has stopped.  I was concerned this morning because my period had yet to start.  I recalled from last my IVF cycle that when I went in for my monitoring appointment I was bleeding, so I worried that everything would be cancelled!  But then I discovered that my monitoring appointment this time around is one day earlier than last time, so I was worrying over nothing!

How do I feel today?  Surprisingly chilled and relaxed.  Even dare I say, excited to be getting this cycle underway.  I went to my local Resolve support group monthly meeting last night and we talked about the new year and our goals…it got me inspired!!!  So I am feeling pretty good after that meeting.

I spent a lot of time at the clinic today waiting around and so I ended up being really late for work – I didn’t get in until 1230.  I told my boss I would be late in, but even I didn’t think it would be that late!  Oh well.  My best laid plans to work from home have been thwarted a little because of tech issues with email.  I am trying desperately hard to not get stressed from trying to fit everything in before the egg retrieval.  Work is closed on Monday next week because of Martin Luther King Day which just adds to shortening timescales to get things wrapped up!

Any results?  8 Follicles ~5mm in Left Ovary, and 9 Follicles ~5mm in Right Ovary.  That’s 11 more than last time!  My uterine lining is also good to go. Oh I have beautiful ovaries apparently, never turn down a compliment!  Blood test results come throughto my account a day later, but I have been given the go ahead to start stimulation injections tomorrow evening. So it’s GO GO GO IVF 2!

What’s next? Starting injections tomorrow evening and next monitoring appointment is on Monday.

Weight. I mentioned in last diary entry that I was 10lbs heavier than my last cycle…well with a bit of P90X3 in the mornings and cutting out the crappy food I have lost 4.5lbs over the last two weeks, which is quite incredible!

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Ughhhh NONE.  Have to change this status over this coming weekend.

Fun Activity to keep Dani from going insane. This is going to be a new feature to my diary – basically I realise that I need to have little mini exciting goals, things to look forward to to keep me from going insane and letting IVF consume my head.  Thanks to everybody’s help with my previous post (you have no idea how much you helped), Chris is going to take me on ‘surprise’ date and I am going to relinquish all my desire to take control and plan things!  He doesn’t know it yet – but it will be a test to see if he fully reads my blog posts ;-p Haha just kidding. He does read them, and I love him so much for supporting my blogging.

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

I’m not going to leave you

Yes, it’s true, I have said to Chris on several occasions in the past that I worry that he might leave me if I can’t provide us with a baby.  It’s quite a ridiculous thing to think about, I know.  I haven’t felt like this though for a long time, but I have felt in the past.  Perhaps when I was lot less insecure with myself and our relationship.  I can genuinely say now that I am not worried that he would leave me because we can’t have a child.

After everything we have been through together, I doubt he wants to run off with someone else to give it a go 🙂 I  am just kidding.  But what I really mean, is that I have seen with my own eyes and felt in my own heart how far and how much Chris is willing to put into this baby to make it happen – it has strengthened our relationship in ways I can not explain how.

Naturally, Chris gets offended by the very thought that I would believe he might leave me if I couldn’t bear a child.  He tell’s me:

“I’m not going to leave you, silly”

And I don’t blame him that he might be quietly offended.  I think in some ways it is like I just questioned his love for me.  I never meant for it to be interpreted like that, I just never understood why he would want to stay with me when he could find happiness elsewhere.  I can see now how much it must have hurt for me to utter these words to him “I’m afraid you might leave me”.

I truly do not feel like that today.  I have come a long way since I first worried about this.  I know Chris will be there with me, no matter what.  I am lucky to have discovered this now, I don’t need to worry.  But the funny thing is Chris worries that I still worry.  It’s worrying, all this unnecessary worrying.

Despite my own past insecurities, there is something that never goes away on this infertility journey; it’s those very tough days when your relationship with your partner is pushed to the extreme limits.  Just when you thought it was safe, the cork pops.  The feelings explode. You don’t know where they came from. Our resiliency is tested to the max.  That happened this weekend.

I know we will bounce back stronger, with a better understanding of each other’s buttons and mind matter.  It’s just hard to pull myself back up sometimes and Chris is no different.  We normally use each other’s strength to help one or the other back up, but what happens when you both fall down?  I don’t want to wait for help from someone else, we need some self rescue.

….do you have any ideas?  How can we get ourselves out of this funk?  How do you get yourselves out of the blues and into the sunshine, together again?

Happiness Lies in the Present Moment

Nearly three years ago I went to my very first yoga class.  I actually went to an Adult Learning College and took a ten week class for beginners.   As I had just arrived in the USA I thought it would be a great way to meet new people and make new friends.  I was the youngest in the class by about 30 years, so I didn’t make many new friends, but I did meet some wonderful people.  I was excited to be trying a new fitness ‘thing’.  What I didn’t expect from this course was what I would learn about myself.

I arrived 2 minutes late for the very first class (whoops!!!) and everyone was lying down…was I in the right class?  So I lay down my mat and followed along.  The teacher was trying to explain to us the importance of breathing in yoga.  As we followed along with inhales and exhales, I began to laugh at myself, this was way too hippy for my liking.  I felt uncomfortable just closing my eyes and following my breath.  The teacher asked as to think about each breath as we inhaled and exhaled, not about what we were going to have for dinner, or that work project, or that friend you need to call back.  Just to focus our attention on the air flowing in the mouth, down the throat, expanding the lungs and back out again.  Suddenly, I was lost in the present moment.  My mind was quiet.  I don’t remember the last time my mind had truly stopped racing….even when I sleep I dream a lot.  Little did I know this was my first step towards a love of yoga and a new skill of meditation.

After several terms at the Adult Learning College I decided I was no longer a beginner and so joined a nearby yoga studio.  The classes were small, often there were just a couple of us so there was a lot of teacher attention, it was great!!! One of our teachers liked to share with us some of her favourite motivational readings, and from this I discovered even more about myself as I took the time to listen and contemplated the reading after the class in the car on the way home.  It was so peaceful.

The one thing that I have learned from yoga is that happiness is now.  It lies in the present moment.  It can be found quite easily when I allow my mind to rest and take the focus of my attention of my concerns and problems, and allow my mind o relax and remain in the moment.  I find breathing techniques help me do this quite well.

I learned that happiness cannot occur when we attach conditions to meet it.  As this is an infertility blog, a good example is….. “I will be happy once I finally have a child in my arms”.  It is too easy to fail to recognise the feeling of happiness for what it is and inadvertently let it drift away with our thoughts of the future, looking for happiness somewhere else.

I discovered that after my yoga classes I felt a wave of warmth and happiness within myself.

I need to find this feeling again…My yoga studio went bust last year and there isn’t another one that is as close, so I have found excuses.  I could do it myself, use online videos, but I enjoy being lead to that feeling and some times I find it difficult to motivate myself on to the mat.  But excuses no more!  Inner happiness in the present I shall find!!!

(Hopefully!!)