The feelings of grief

You know what, sometimes life comes at you from unexpected angles. Sometimes, even though you know it could be worse, things in life hurt.

I was going to dedicate a whole post to this, but I can’t handle the sadness, so instead I’ll just say that my first dog, the one that I lived with when I still lived with my sister and parents, died yesterday. She was currently living with my mother, step-father, and sister, but everyone who met this dog loved her. She was bought to help my sister get over the fact that I was going to college and leaving her at 10 years old. My father picked her out and wanted her the most, first. But over time, she was my sister’s dog. Anyway, I could go on and on, but then I’d be crying, and my sister and mother reading this might be upset, so I’m not going to continue. She was 11, she was a Westie, and she had liver disease. Her name was Eva.

Of course I can’t find a single good picture, but here she is with Sadie a few years back. Eva was my first dog, and it’s really just as hard as losing a human. We are all sad, but today is a better day than yesterday, hence why I’m able to even share this with you.

Through this I have come to recognize another quality in myself I’m not fond of, but can’t even begin to change. Before I go on, I do have to say that one of my good qualities is my ability to be incredibly honest with myself. I know my feelings. I might not share them out loud all the time, but I understand myself at all times. I’m just not always happy about it. Anyway, I have come to realize that I have grieving issues. I suppose I’ve known this all along, and I haven’t given it much thought, until now. I wasn’t always like this – I never had a problem crying when it was needed, or slamming a door now and then in all my teenage angst. But now, every single time something bad happens, I go into immediate recovery mode, before there’s been any time to grieve. “It’s okay” runs through my head, no matter what, and sometimes I even say it to people who don’t have issues grieving, and in fact, it’s not okay, and it could even offend someone. I avoid situations where I might see someone upset. I avoid situations where I might get upset myself. When I cry, it’s either in front of my husband (I have no issues showing grief with him, thankfully) or by myself. I will hold myself completely together until I can be alone and then cry.

I don’t know why I am like this – there is certainly nothing wrong with showing emotions, especially grief. No one should have to hide it. But I am afraid to let it out until I am good and ready, alone. I think this is based on two factors: 1) I build up a wall. Again, not to my husband, but to many other people. And especially in public. I’m just not going to lose it in front of other people, like at work. It’s just not going to happen! And people will try to get me to crack, even sincerely, by saying, “it’s okay to cry”, etc. I get that, I know that. In fact, the more you tell me that the less likely I will do it. I just…I’m not comfortable breaking down that barrier. 2) I’m afraid that if I let it out, if I cave, then I’m really going to let it out. It’s going to break through a dam that can’t be contained. And then I’ll be miserable, and a mess. It won’t just be one tear shed.

So for all these reasons, I can’t apparently grieve appropriately in front of others, except N. And while I don’t mind holding myself together; I actually like it that way, there’s something to be said for not avoiding grief. If it’s unavoidable, I need to start facing it instead of literally running away.

This is an appropriate segway for the rest of my post. All of this TTC drama, filled with anxiety, worry, frustration, and yes, even grief, has probably contributed to my wall-building. I need to protect myself, because this process has me filled with sadness in a long-term kind of way. It doesn’t mean I’m miserable every day, but then, most days, if I think about it, I am miserable with my body and my infertility and my hives and my autoimmune issues and my allergies. If I were to show that grief every time it was felt, well then, I’d be a crappy person to be around. As it is, little bits of grief spill out, a little at a time, leading me to fear this is a permanent personality change. But I just keep in the back of my mind that when I am pregnant, and when I have my child, I will quite literally be the happiest person on the planet. And that thought keeps me going.

Yesterday, CD 24, I called the RE. I told her there was still no positive OPK, and I would like another ultrasound, please, to check on my folly. “No,” I was told, “The Dr. just wants bloodwork from you. We don’t do another ultrasound until your IUI.” And there was no fighting that. The answer was no. Not only that, but coming in today for that bloodwork was just a hair too soon. Tomorrow, they want me. So, tomorrow before work I will be racing the 40 minutes south to get my blood taken, just for them to call me a few hours later and confirm what I already know: My follicle stopped growing. I will have to stair-step, again, for the second cycle in a row. Just days ago, I was preparing for my first IUI. Now, I know it’s not happening anytime soon. How can a follicle just stop growing? It was at 16 mm, I felt the pains and everything. Now, the pains are gone. My temp is still low, so I didn’t miss it. How could I, when I have been peeing on a stick since CD 12. 12! And it’s 25!! That’s my big lesson for the next cycle – don’t start POASing until like…CD 20. It’s costing me a lot of money.

It’s also cost me an infection. I won’t get into the details, but I’m sure holding my urine every day for 4-5 hours when I really have to go isn’t healthy, and might have been a contributing factor to the other thing in my way right now. If that wasn’t the cause, it’s my candida issue, and I don’t even know which doctor to approach about that. Even if I do have an IUI in the next few days, there won’t be any BDing to go with it, and I’m pretty bummed about that. Last but not least, I have a wedding to attend Saturday night. If, by any chance, I ovulate then and need my IUI on Sunday, I can’t go. Can’t. I won’t be around. How devastating that would be, to come all this way and not be able to have that IUI. I never expected to have one on CD 30. This Friday is the last day of work before a week’s vacation – another really bad day to take off. And tomorrow is now out, of course. So that leaves Saturday. As much as I want to ovulate and have this IUI, between the infection, lack of BDing, and Saturday being the only available day to even have an IUI, in my mind, this cycle is a bust. 25 days down the tubes, just like that. If I stair-step, I’ll be moved up to 150 mg of Clomid, I’m guessing. The highest it goes. When next?

It’s just one of those days, which really, has been one of those weeks, and months, and year. I’m not a hot mess, I’m fine. I will be fine. But life is just not…where I want it to be. There’s a big piece of the puzzle missing, and I don’t know when it will be found and put back into place. And even as I go through my days, I feel that void, clear as a bell.

Because I’m in one of the moods, and sometimes, the best thing to do in this kind of a mood is embrace it, I’m putting up a song here. The lyrics don’t have anything to do with grief; in fact, it’s a love song, and I love it. But I’ve always been more of a tune person than a lyric person, and the tune lends itself quite well to my mood. Give it a listen if you’re feeling up to it, but I wouldn’t recommend it if sadness is close at hand.

An IUI is on the horizon!

I’ll keep this one short and sweet, but I wanted to share:

I have an egg!

It’s CD 20, no smiley face yet, and I was told to call this morning to get a blood test. I called first thing, of course, and my head nurse got me in for an ultrasound as well. Yippee! I haven’t had an ultrasound since my very first meeting with my RE back in November.

Anyway, the girl who gave me my ultrasound was someone I had never seen. I think she belonged to another doctor in the clinic. But she was awesome. Young and helpful. We checked out my ovaries, and I have two follicles growing on lefty (I ovulated from righty last time, so this makes sense). They measure 16 mm and 10 mm. Yay! I was sure that I wasn’t ovulating this cycle at all, even though I’ve doubled my Clomid dosage. She expects 16 mm to be ready around Sunday, as they tend to grow 2 mm a day, and they want me at 20. So, on Easter, most likely, I’ll get my first smiley face, and go in Monday for my first IUI. Or, I’ll get my smiley tomorrow (doubtful, though) and go in for the IUI on Easter. I’d actually rather have it happen Sunday so I don’t have to take a day off Monday. But either way, I’m happy to be given a third chance since TTC to possibly make a baby. I’ve got half of this baby growing, N’s got his half, we just need them to connect!

Here’s a question for you all. If you have two follicles growing, and one is ready and the other one needs a few more days, what happens to the smaller one when you have the IUI done? Does it keep growing even after the IUI, and is released just a few days later?

I asked this doctor about PCOS, and she was so helpful. She confirmed my suspicions – yes, I have PCOS. Why my RE failed to mention that to me, I’m not sure. But I have it. She said (as many of you did) that you don’t have to have cysts on your ovaries to have PCOS. And I don’t have any cysts. You do, however, have to fit within 2 out of these 3 criteria:

1) You don’t ovulate, or if you do, it’s very irregular. (Check.)

2) Your ovaries look like PCOS ovaries, meaning they are full of follicles. Today’s ultrasound proved my ovaries are full of tiny follicles. (Check.)

3) You have an excess of hair, like, on your face, meaning too much testosterone. I have tested high for testosterone, only to have it go back to normal a few months later. It seems like it goes back and forth. Either way, only about a week ago I used my little razor to deal with my entire upper lip..plus a dark hair or two on my chin. (Check.)

Because of these things, I have PCOS. Okay, and combine that with my autoimmune problems, insulin-resistance, hives, thyroid antibodies…etc, and I really need to take care of my health.

Hence, I’m starting the Paleo diet. Granted, it’s in small chunks, but it’s happening. All the diets I’ve sworn to follow over the years don’t mean anything compared to this one, because I’m not doing it to lose weight. I’m doing it so my hives go away, and my TSH level goes back down. N is in with me, and we’re starting immediately, but gradually, like I said. We don’t want to throw away everything in our house, so I’m eating all the GF breads and whatnot that I have, but slowly. We also have our two night vacation and a wedding coming up as well. It’ll really take place after those things. But until then, I eat mostly meat and veggies, with some nuts thrown in and occasional cheats. So far, I’m seeing a little bit of progress, but it’s only just begun. I plan to chart my progress along those lines and throw those posts into the “Paleo Diet” category. I’ll post recipes too, when I find some good ones. We are trying many out next week. I’ll keep you posted.

(Oh, I wanted to tell you about my dream last night. I dreamed someone brought ice cream that I could eat. It was called “extra sensitive ice cream”, and I filled my bowl to the brim. The whole table was covered in these delicious flavors, and it was rich and heavenly. I was halfway through bowl #1 when I contemplated my next flavor..and then I woke up. So sad. Ice cream is my favorite.)

This is happening! I’ve got two growing little eggs and a new, super-healthy diet. Let’s hope things are on the upswing.