Circle + Bloom and going “green”

All right, people. My brain is buzzing with excitement over my appointment with my new ND on Thursday. Through the ICLW, I’ve “met” a few new bloggers who have been nothing but helpful! I appreciate all of your comments, by the way, and a lot of you know so much more than I do, and I’m eager to come to you with questions.

Therefore, I have a few more.

1) Can someone kindly explain what Circle + Bloom is? I gather that it’s a series of audio tapes, but after that I’m lost. I have heard so many people rave about them, and again, I’m just beginning to embrace the idea of natural remedies for health and fertility issues, so I definitely need a bit of convincing. I’m guessing this costs a lot of money. But like I said, people rave about it. Given that stress runs decently highly in my life (especially in the form of health and wellness issues), I’m curious. Should I look into this further?

2) I have done it. I have signed up to follow the journey of a blogger who has a child. There are a few of you out there who have one child already but are struggling with the second, but this is the first blog I have followed where she predominantly writes about issues related to already having a baby. I suppose in doing this, I am subconsciously telling myself that I will be pregnant soon. Not necessarily this cycle, but soon. Soon enough that I am excited about reading posts related to raising a baby. I don’t intend to follow a lot of baby blogs, yet, because I suppose after a while I’ll find myself depressed. But this blogger is very cool. Check out Cotton Bottom Mama if you’re interested – she’s a very “green” mother, which is something I hope to be eventually. She does cloth diapering, for example. We plan to go that route as well someday (of course we’ve already discussed it), though N still needs a bit of convincing. The price for diapers is enough convincing for me! Anyway, she’s got a ton of info on that topic, as well as other “green” issues. Best of all, she also suffers from Hashimoto’s, and went gluten-free and sugar-free. There aren’t many people I know of who have this. She’s doing very well, as she met with her ND and got pregnant five months later. So here’s hoping.

Anyway, this all leads me to my second question. Do you follow any bloggers who have a big focus on health and wellness? What about food allergies and autoimmune issues? I would love to find more people like Cotton Bottom Mama. It’s so nice to have a support system.

I wasn’t going to post today, so I’ll keep it nice and short. I’m grateful for the activity on my blog. I’ve written almost 100 posts, I’ve had over 5,000 views, and I’m lucky enough to have almost 60 followers. So thank you. Blogging has taken, once again, a new turn in my life, as I find myself telling friends and family about you and your stories. You’ve suddenly become very real, though we’ve never met. Just another perk of blogging about infertility!

Should I give up on this cycle?

Warning: What you’re about to read is a post I probably shouldn’t write, for a few reasons. 1) By giving in to these thoughts, I’m going to feel even worse. 2) I may feel better in a few hours, hopefully this won’t last all day. 3) Maybe a miracle will occur in the next few days and I’ll wish I never wrote it in the first place.

Oh well.

My egg isn’t coming out. I can’t sleep. I’m over-eating. Tears are being fought back. I’m so discouraged.

Let me explain. Today is CD 24. It’s supposed to be ovulation day. Last cycle, my first one on Clomid, it was. But that was after 2 days of positive OPK’s, on CD 22 and 23. I had pains on one side. I had a CD 21 blood test, where the nurse let me know ovulation was coming. This time, none of that happened. This time, I’m really frustrated.

I’m going to take a  little anger out on my nurse. Unlike other nurses who work for other doctors in that practice, she gave me no words of wisdom. Just called in my prescription. She turned me down for a CD 21 blood test. (Obviously, I know what the outcome of that would’ve been, but at least she could tell me a number to go a long with my guesses.) She has never monitored my little eggs via ultrasound, and I know a lot of people that get that done. I want that done.

But what I’m more frustrated about is my cycle. I don’t think I’m ovulating. And yes, it happens. I gave in to Google to feed my depression and found lots of people who didn’t ovulate on the second round (and were consequently moved up to the next dose). I have negative OPK’s still, and I’m using both the digital and the cheap kind, twice a day each, to be sure. Negative. I don’t have pains on one side, like I did last time. I don’t have the proper CM – there’s a lot of it, and hard to categorize, but I wouldn’t say that it’s exactly EWCM. And my temps – they let me down today. They had been exactly the same as last cycle, to the day, for the past week. I couldn’t believe how accurate it was with the last cycle. Until today. Today, it should’ve gone down a little, to 97.3, in order to jump tomorrow. Instead, it went up to 97.6. Yesterday it was 97.5. Not high enough for an ovulation jump, not low enough to be ovulation day. It’s not happening today. I don’t think it’s happening in the near future. And not that I mind giving it some practice with my husband, but we’ve been giving it our all this week. I thought this was the week. And I was ready for today, and tomorrow. That would be about one straight week, every single day. The pressure was off, we were doing everything right. And for nothing?

I can barely sleep. First of all, using Preseed is messy (we’ll leave it at that). An awesome, much needed product, but messy. So every single night this past week, I’ve been waking up a few times  to deal with that. When I wake up to take my thyroid meds at 5:00, I normally fall back to sleep quickly. This week? You know what’s on my brain as soon as the alarm goes off. Today, I tossed and turned until I got up at 6:45. From 5:00-6:45. I didn’t fall asleep until 11:00 (which is late for me). I can’t get a good night’s sleep, because I can’t stop thinking/worrying about this.

I have not had a good, long, actual cry about any of this infertility once. Not once. Until yesterday. And today. Up until this point, my issues felt too silly to be crying about. I’ll have my babies someday. Try not to be dramatic.

But as I KNEW would happen, I got my hopes up. Way up. It was the only way to keep a level head, waiting those three weeks after AF for ovulation. I swore I would make it happen this time, because I would control our end of things perfectly. And I did. Our timing would be perfect. But no.

And you know what? If I had ovulated, and had messed up the timing, I’d be upset about that, too. But here’s the real question: WHY is this happening to me in the first place?? Why am I going through this? The one thing in my life I have wanted and dreamed about more than any other is to be a mother. I do not understand why this is happening to me. And slightly more scary – I can’t get it out of my head that my auto-immune problems may be at work, here. I am not healthy. I appear to be, but I’m not. Because if I was healthy, then the only thing I would need to do is take my Synthroid every morning. But no. I have auto-immune hives. I’ve had to cut out regular sugar and wheat from my diet to avoid them. And even then they come around occasionally. I have tested positive for some other auto-immune issue, not thyroid related. I have to see a doctor about that, and I keep putting it off, because I’m afraid to hear what it is. What’s next? That I have rheumatoid arthritis at age 27, and this, plus the thyroid, plus the hives, explains why I can’t seem to ovulate like a normal person? Or are those issues separate, and when I’m finally pregnant someday, I’m going to be high-risk? What the hell!?

Clomid doesn’t seem to be working. No, I don’t want to keep trying it this way. Bring on the injections, the ultra sounds, the whatever. Just don’t have me spend tons of money on OPK’s and try my husband’s and my patience day after day, even when we’re tired, and it’s been a long day, but no, keep going, because ovulation is almost here. I seriously cannot keep going through that.

And now I can’t decide. Try again today? I have one thing, one little sign – some dull cramping. Not on a particular side. Just in general. Like the beginning of a period. But that’s it – my only sign. Is it worth it to try today, and tomorrow too? Or give up? Should I give up on this cycle?

I will definitely be calling my nurse on Monday morning.

Blah, blah, blah.

Thank you for all the comments in my last few posts, everyone. I haven’t gotten to respond to them yet but I will today. I know you have gone through all the ups and downs of all this, and then some, and so I appreciate the comments even more. This was not something devastating, in the scheme of things, but I did trick myself into believing I might actually be pregnant, and that just can’t happen every cycle.

Now, let me just say: These Clomid periods are no joke. Holy crap. Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s a regular period, which I haven’t had, well let’s see, prior to BCP – since I was about 12. Either way, no matter what kind of period this is, it’s not what I’m used to, and I learned that lesson yesterday. We were about to run out the door last night to a work party for my husband, and I stopped into the bathroom one last time. (TMI alert…scroll down if you wish). Basically, I bled through….everything. And not just a little. Soaked. Through underwear, into my jeans, legs….soaked. I haven’t had any accident like that since I was in middle school, when after I got up from my English class chair I told the girl behind me that it was “just turpentine”. I didn’t even know what that was – I have no idea where that word came from. Either way, if I was in middle school last night, that excuse wouldn’t have worked, because it was that out of control. If I had passed out and been found in the bathroom it would’ve looked like a crime scene. If we weren’t literally running out the door to this party, I would’ve taken a shower. So that was fun. This morning, I woke up feeling major cramps, hungry-nauseous…and just in time to deal with what could’ve been a big mess. What is this??

Also this morning,  I’m attempting some optimism about the rest of my health that’s always on my mind. I’m so sick and tired of my autoimmune issues. (Pardon my negative rant…I’ll be positive shortly). I have crazy hives. Crazy. They are under my skin, not on top of it, which causes the swelling. They can be in my mouth and throat, in my cheeks, lips, etc. Even though they are directly related to my high-antibody levels, I have recently noticed a connection with my sugar intake. So I’ve cut out all desserts, chocolate, etc. of any sort. But that hasn’t stopped it, because it’s ANY sugar…after a certain time of day. So this is what I’ve noticed. I felt crappy all last week (of course, thinking pregnancy symptoms), and it turns out I was fighting some weird bug. Nothing ever happened, but I was mildly nauseous with no appetite for a few days, which was weird, and now that my appetite is back, I have a killer sore throat. Anyway, last week I was eating a lot of carby type things because I felt crappy, and pretzels/crackers have always helped settle my stomach. Last week I had hives multiple times. One day, after skipping dinner, I finally felt like some dried cereal at about 8:30 at night. I ate a decent amount of it, (gluten-free Chex, honey-nut) and had hives within a half hour after finishing. They were up in my cheek, making it look all swollen. The next morning, I had the same cereal, and had no day hives. Let’s see. Then two days ago, after I realized I wasn’t pregnant, I came home from school and treated myself to a small cup of the gluten-free granola I made, which has sugar in it. I eat it most mornings for breakfast with no problem. But when I ate it at 4:00 in the afternoon..I had hives by 5:30. My hives are almost always at night, and they take a good 12+ hours to go away. I always pray my students can’t tell the next morning. My body is out of control right now. It’s not always like this. Just a few months ago I was eating sugar normally. Now it’s down to a time of day. I can have cereal with sugar in it in the morning, and creamer in my coffee, with no problem. I have a Greek yogurt with lunch, which has sugar, with no problem. Anything after like…3:00 and I’m apparently doomed. And you know what? That pisses me off.

So last night, at my husband’s work party, they served:  A pasta bar. A carving station. Desserts. That’s it! So I had …a plate of meat. Just carved meat. It was good, but meat by itself? I was hoping for maybe a potato, salad. Nope. After two small plates of nothing but meat, I realized this wasn’t working for me. My husband got in the pasta line and got me some broccoli and artichoke hearts with pasta sauce, without the pasta. Then, while he was eating chocolate cake, carrot cake…etc. I had two cups of “Sweet dreams” tea. With one splenda each. That’s when I started the pity whine. It’s not fair!! I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. That’s all I keep hearing.

And I’ve been trying to lose weight – well, mentally. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been..my pants barely fit, I love leggings but with every shirt I wear with them a muffin top is present…I don’t like anything I put on. It’s not like I’m making horrible food choices – no gluten, no sugar. But I do eat too much, and even if I didn’t, it’s a fact with an autoimmune thyroid problem – weight is going to come off VERY slowly. I get impatient.

But the REAL reason I’m not losing weight is because I’m so fixated on my weird cycles, my BBT, my ovulation, and my hives, sugar intake, and going gluten-free, that having tiny portions and being dedicated about that is just not something I can handle. I cannot be in tip-top shape in EVERY aspect of my life. Something has to give! So I let the portions go. I can be in control of my sugar intake, and going gluten-free. I just can’t do it all.

So that’s how I’m really feeling – pretty negative. But I told you I was attempting optimism. So, I’m dressed for the gym, leaving shortly. And I re-downloaded the app “My Fitness Pal”, which I saw on Stirrup Queens’ blog. I had it before and never used it. But today, I’m going to try. I hate counting calories. Hate it. But I think it just might work. Today I will give it a try. One day – I can do that. My life has quickly become a “one-day-at-a-time”. I can only handle one thing at a time. Today, I will count calories.

Thanks for listening to my rant! I feel like these negative posts come more often than the positive ones. I will work on changing that!

 

My thyroid is so good – it’s bad!

Oh, the irony. My thyroid’s been a bit quiet lately. I’ve almost forgotten that I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, the fun auto-immune disease linked to infertility.

I almost forgot how, when my husband and I started trying last spring, we were told to stop in the summer, because my TSH was at 8, way too high for conception, and if I did conceive, the likelihood for miscarriage was strong. That was a fun time.

Then came the adventures of my TSH level dropping, little by little. I cut out gluten from my diet a couple months ago. I tried to really kickstart my healthy eating. I jumped for joy in August when my TSH went from an 8 to a 2.3 in a month. I was astounded when, after switching to a more supportive endocrinologist, my TSH came back at a 1.39 this past October. It had never been that low.

Back in October, after meeting with my new endocrinologist, she told me that even though my TSH was technically in the normal range, for people trying to conceive she recommended it a little lower than 1. I was told to up my dosage twice a week with an extra  half a pill, then get my blood done.

Just got the results back.

0.32.

It has NEVER been that low. Guess what the normal range is?

0.35-1. My TSH is TOO LOW. Honestly, how ironic.

All this means is that my thyroid is still producing some hormones, though it changes all the time. Currently, it’s producing enough on its own that the amount of Synthroid I’m taking is too much. I’m sending myself into HYPERthyroid land. A place I’ve never been.

I’ve spent months this summer agonizing about how to change my TSH level with my own habits, like upping my exercise and eating smaller portions. I’ve been doing that for a while now, and I’m wondering if that had anything to do with this.

Either way, I’ve been told to cut down to once a week on that extra half a pill, which I will do. I’m SO close to the normal range.

I could have all the fertility treatments in the world – if my TSH is out of whack, there will be no baby.