Cue IVF, with a therapy session

I feel like I owe the world an update. It’s been so long (only since August 25th, but feels like forever) that I actually just had to go to my blog to see what my last post was. I couldn’t even remember what I talked about.

My last post was the night before my last IUI. Since then, I had the IUI (painful this time, really, but my head nurse declared that “this would be the one”, and it would work). Then, I had my birthday on the 29th, turned 28. I was very glad I was at the beginning of my TWW when my birthday hit, not the end. Then, school started. It was crazy busy as you teachers know – I spent the whole week before my birthday in my room decorating, and after that, preparing the curriculum, attending meetings, and then the kids came. This was the first week of school, and there wasn’t a single day I was home before 4:30, even though I got there at 7:00. I was actually grateful to have school this week, the second half of my TWW, since it would help take my mind off it. And it did.

But let’s just recap for a second. Do you recall how, in my last TWW, I took Crinone (the progesterone cream) for the first time, and no one told me that you don’t get your period while you’re on it? So in those last days, I got all excited for nothing as there was no spotting whatsoever and I thought for sure, I must be pregnant. After a blood test revealed I wasn’t, I stopped the Crinone and got my period a day or two later. And then I blogged that this time, now that I knew Crinone stopped your period, I wouldn’t get my hopes up for anything?

And then this cycle came along. Let’s just keep the story short and say this: I started spotting, on Crinone, a few days ago. Cue excitement. Maybe my nurse was right, you know, maybe it was finally my time…I kind of “felt” pregnant. What’s up with the spotting? I could only assume implantation spotting. But it was so light, that I thought it could’ve been an irritation from the cream, which happens I guess. I did test, BFN.

Until yesterday, when I woke up with some light colors that definitely could be called spotting, but not from the cream, and excitement grew. Even though I’d already been spotting for a full day, it was still so light, it just had to be implantation spotting.

Until today, when I woke up with….

….my period. Really? Really?? Think about this. Last cycle I got my hopes up because nothing happened, only to find out the Crinone delayed it. This cycle I got my hopes up because something happened, a whole lot of something, only to find out that it’s possible for the Crinone NOT to delay your period. WHAT the hell??

And I know it’s my period. Doubling-over cramping, the tampon being a must-have..and it continues to get heavier. As I’m STILL on the damn cream! I thought it wasn’t possible! So freaking frustrating, I can’t even begin to explain it. But you all know.

I did call the nurse, she responded with, “Hmm…that’s weird.” Yes, yes it is. However, she said, I could still be pregnant, so I need to do a blood test tomorrow morning. And I will. But I’m not pregnant. There’s no way. I have a full-on period. And if I was pregnant…I just wouldn’t think all this blood is a good thing. It’s a period.

Cue chocolate cravings and comfort food.

So, that’s the end of of my IUI days. Finishing Clomid was a big deal at the time, and now finishing injectables with IUI’s are old hat. Moving on. What’s next? Oh yeah, IVF.

The only thing I want to say about IVF for now is this: I went to the mandatory IVF seminar last night with my husband. The first half was very informative, our clinic has some of the highest success rates in the country (I hope they’re not just saying this), the doctor really spelled out all the steps for us. I get it. I’m good with it all, except 1) OHSS risks and 2) shots with giant needles in my ass.

But the second half of the seminar was from the psychologist. And I have to say, it was like a giant unexpected therapy session. She started talking about what we must be feeling, all 40 of us or so, and as heads started to nod all around me, I swear to god I almost cried. And I’m not really that type. It’s just – so SAD that we are going through this, so shitty of a situation I never in my life thought I’d be facing, and yet, so NICE to see 40 people sitting there smiling and nodding, and you just know, they get it. They get it more than anyone else could. And that’s also why I continue to blog here, for that same community feeling.

In addition, the psychologist validated my feelings. And I already know my feelings and emotions, and I’m actually doing fine overall, with the exception of the screaming bitterness I feel on a regular basis. Otherwise I’m good. I never thought I needed validation. But it’s crazy – I did. She started talking about how we’ve probably all heard the stupid comments people make, like, “Just relax. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to,” and “don’t stress, or you’re going to make it worse”. All things I’ve HEARD! And then we all laughed, because it’s so true. And she talked about how some people have kept this horrible secret in forever, and perhaps they might want to think about sharing it. VS people who started off telling the whole world (um, me) and are now starting to think it might be better to keep your mouth shut (yes, that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking lately). It’s like she read my mind! And how sometimes, the people you tell and get the better feedback from are your friends, or strangers, rather than family members (hence why I continue to tell the blogging world). It was just…so what I’m feeling. And obviously everyone else there too. It was just nice. That’s all. Nice. Even though I wanted to cry the whole time. I even raised my hand (like a big girl) and told everyone how the follistim shots are nothing to be scared of whatsoever, since I was one of the few who had done any shots before. It’s an emotional thing, and I – let’s just say if you know me, you know I don’t like to be..vulnerable. I hate to be emotional. Hate it. Because I hold myself together, and I pride myself on that. But last night I was very emotional, and I realized, you know what, this is shitty, this is really shitty. Why have I been trying to play it off? I don’t want people to think I’m a mess, that’s why. I’m not a mess. I laugh, I enjoy myself, I love my job. I’m good. But it’s not..okay. This is not my life.

And then tonight we were walking the dogs, and my husband said, “You know, I really actually enjoyed that class last night. It was nice to know there were others sitting in the same room as us who get what we are going through.” And cue more emotions. I feel bad for him, I do. I feel bad for me, I feel bad for us. This just sucks, big time. Yet, as upset as I felt last night, I also felt..relief. And almost a little giddy. I suppose a little therapy doesn’t hurt anyone.

Since I’m not sure when I’ll be back for a new post, because, really, what is there to say, I’ll share the new plan.

The new plan is, I am meeting with the doctor on the 17th to go over our IVF plan, wait out the 20 or so days left in my cycle, get Provera, start a period…and then the IVF process starts. So we’re looking at October, which I knew. Maybe IVF will work. Hopefully.

A Natural Mother

What happened to me on Clomid is appearing to be happening to me on follistim. I’m sensing a trend, and it’s really the most bizarre thing.

As a recap, when I was on Clomid, it would work (get me to ovulate by growing my follies) the first time I was on a new dose. So, when I started on 50 mg, it worked. But then, the second time I would use Clomid and start on that same dose I finished with last time, it wouldn’t work, and the doctor would have to up my dose. This happened while on Clomid three different times, and my doctor would just let me stair-step my cycles (not get my period and just keep going instead). Out of the six rounds of Clomid I took, three got me to ovulate. And yes, those three were every other time.

The first round of follistim got me to ovulate. They had to play with that dosage a bit because 50 iu’s weren’t working after a while. So, a week and a half into the shots, I was upped to 75 iu and bam, I grew 3 follies and ovulated. Guess what. I’m on my second round of follistim, and the doctor started me off at 75 iu, since that’s what worked last time. It’s been over 2 weeks now – that’s a lot of shots, and I have one, count them, one small follie, barely over 10 mm. Why am I not surprised? It’s like the first time I use a drug, my body hasn’t seen it before and responds appropriately. The second time, my body fights it off like it’s nobody’s business, daring me to try yet another drug or procedure.

That whole, don’t go on vacation because your estrogen is too high not to see us 3 days in a row thing, was crap. It’s been a week and a few days since then and it’s not looking good. That said, the doctor wanted me to continue this cycle. It’s not as if he gave up on it. But this cycle is going to be one follicle strong. Just one.

I’m not begging for multiples here, and I don’t mean to imply that. However, there’s something about going through all of this, both physically and mentally, where I get to this place where my brain says – you know what, if I’m going to ovulate, it better be more than one egg. When only one grows, I just joined the rest of the population who releases that one egg on their own and gets pregnant by having sex. Ha! Clearly these three-times-a-week jaunts down to my clinic and multiple stomach bruises do not put me in the same place as everyone else, and I would appreciate my body providing me with more than one large follie in order to say, “Thanks for putting up with my crap. Here’s two (or three) eggs for your effort and well-being.”

Plus, this is my last IUI. Yes, it really is. We’ve made up our minds, and have the luxury of being able to do that with our wonderful insurance. I can’t believe I’m getting very close to pulling out the big gun, IVF. It’s scary. Terrifying.

The funny thing is, I’ve recently mentioned IVF to a few people, especially those who I’ve not updated in a while. I don’t mind updating them when they ask, I really don’t. Talking about this has never been an issue. But it’s the funniest thing – the way people react. I’ve learned that most people do not know what IVF is. I guess I shouldn’t expect them to. But I feel like I always knew. I suppose that’s not the case. Anyway, the trend in comments is basically a congratulatory one. Yes, good for you. You’re doing IVF. Yay!

No, you don’t understand. This is the next step, yes. But it’s the last step. Not last last, like there’s no other options. But last as in..the last “common” type of fertility treatment. If that doesn’t work, to my knowledge my options are: surrogate, donor egg, adoption. And those will be done, if need be, but I mean – that’s, well, extreme. It just is. But as for IVF – I’m not happy about it. It’s not a “yay”. This is a step I’m not happy about doing. It’s a huge deal, and it’s scary.

Of course, people also don’t know what IVF entails. They seem to realize the severity of it once I get to the part where they go in and suck out the eggs, one by one. (I try to make it graphic for added effect.)

I’m jumping the gun, I know. I can’t help thinking about my next cycle after this one. Surgery, OHSS risks, and what if none of the eggs are viable? What if it doesn’t work?

One cycle at a time, and I’ll find out the progress on my little follie at yet another ultrasound tomorrow morning. I did start Ganirelix and as far as I know, that means ovulation might be..getting close? Or something? Had to order another round of follistim – blew through that first 900 iu pretty quick!

School is starting soon. My main reaction to this is happiness. I have a regret about this summer – I did nothing with it. I told myself I needed to do some projects, or something. Read some good books. I don’t know what the hell I did do this summer, but I know what I didn’t do. Anything. I wasted it. But then, I suppose the whole past year has been somewhat of a waste, and the only thing that got me through it with actual happiness was my last class. They were so wonderful. I laughed every day. Now, it’s back. Granted, I’m just starting to put my room back together again, and I’m getting a whole new round of kids, but having something to focus my mind on is such a relief. I almost forget this pregnancy mess.

But then today was a reminder of what is so far away. One of my most dedicated, happy, well-rounded 11-year old students from last year has come back to help me set up my room. He is actually one of a few students helping me out in my room this week, for which I am so grateful. But he was the first. We got a lot done; bulletin boards, attacking the closet, etc. I knew he was coming in advance and I told his mother I’d make him lunch as a thank you. Nothing much – just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an apple, a Gatorade, and chips. Well, he wolfed that sandwich down like it was his first meal on earth, and he raved about how delicious the bread was, how much he just loved the sandwich. He was also grateful for the rest of the food, and it’s not like he doesn’t eat at home! He has a wonderful family. I felt this sense of motherly..I don’t know, pride or something. Longing. That I could do something for him that he appreciated. Because he is coming back later in the week, and because my house is running out of food, I went to the grocery store after I left school. Bought more of that bread he loves (it’s my husband’s – with gluten), more jelly since we were out, Gatorade, etc. It made me happy to buy this food, and I will be even more happy when I go to make his lunch.  I realized how badly, how truly badly I want to be a mom. I want to be that mom in the store, thinking about my kids and remembering their favorite snacks, and bringing them home to make the kids happy. Such a simple little gesture but doing it for this student felt so good, it must be what mothers feel. I won’t go this far because he’s a student, not my kid, but I can’t wait to sneak a few m+m’s into a sandwich, or write a note that s/he finds at the bottom of his/her lunchbox that says “Have a great day. Love, Mom.” That’s what I want. That is the dominant feeling I am lacking most, the one that seems so very natural to me, and I think I do it well, but never have a chance to use it. I really do think I’m a natural mother. I’ve thought that for a very long time. Which is what makes this all the more difficult.

Like I said before, teaching is on the brain a bit now, and I’ll start updating my new teaching blog more often. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can do so here. I’m a little confused with wordpress – a lot of people who read this blog are reading my new blog and getting the emails, but my new blog doesn’t say I have them as followers. I don’t get it!

So frustrated!

It’s days like today where I’d like to scream in frustration. Or possibly punch someone in the face, because that seems gratifying. What I actually did was eat some chips and have (gasp!) a soda…with caffeine!

We were supposed to go on vacation this weekend. I know it seems like I’ve been on a lot of vacations this summer but I really have not. We visited my grandparents in Maine for 3 days in July, and I did get to the cape for a few days last week, but that wasn’t with my husband. He and I were supposed to go to his lake house for 3 nights – originally Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. As this weekend drew nearer, I had a feeling it wouldn’t continue to be a 3 night, 4 day vacation, because I knew I’d have to get into the doctor’s at some point. So all week long we’ve been playing it by ear, to see which day we would go, and for how many nights.

I went in for my baseline on Monday, went for bloodwork only on Thursday, and was told to come in today for an ultrasound and bloodwork (today is CD 7). So that’s when N and I realized that our 3 night vacation would definitely go down to 2 nights, or maybe even only 1 night, depending on when they next want to see me.

So I’m getting probed, per usual, you know, again with a weekend nurse. She actually walked in me in the middle of undressing…good times. Anyway, she’s digging around for buried treasure in there, and it’s only CD 7, so I’m not expecting a lot. And rightly so. There are no follicles greater than 10mm, and frankly, I don’t believe any are even bigger than like 6 or 7 mm. She didn’t even tell me how many there were, because it’s too early. But I do have two giant 20+mm cysts on my left ovary.

Then I meet with the doctor, and I tell him we were planning on going away for a few days. Did he think I’d end up having to go back on Monday or Tuesday? Since the follies are so small, I mean. He said he wasn’t sure if it would be Monday or Tuesday, but he took down a note that said Tuesday would work better for me, and as long as my estrogen levels were low enough, that should be fine. I figured we’d be golden…how could my E2 levels be high with no follies growing?

So I went home, finished packing for the trip, N packed the cooler .We still didn’t know if I’d be going in Monday or Tuesday – meaning, a 2 night vacation, or just one night? We brought the dogs to their doggy camp, paid $70, worked out arrangements with my mother to get them tomorrow and keep them tomorrow night, if we find out I don’t have to go in until Tuesday. We packed for 2 nights, knowing it could just be for one night only, but assumed the call wouldn’t come in until we were already on the road.

Thank goodness we were running late. After dropping off the dogs we swung into a Subway, and that’s when I got the call from some other weekend nurse. They need me TOMORROW. For bloodwork only. Because my E2 is high, 213, and my dosage needs to be dropped tonight.

My 2, down to 1 night vacation has officially turned into a zero night vacation – no vacation! And we were sitting in the car, about to hit the highway, with two nights worth of meals in the cooler, bags packed, dogs gone, you know, the whole bit. Could not believe it. So on the phone I was a little in denial at first..telling her that the doctor had predicted Monday or Tuesday, and she put me on hold and talked to another doctor, who told her that I could come in Monday for bloodwork, instead of tomorrow, but to be prepared that things could progress too fast, and they might have to cancel the cycle. Obviously we’re not going to risk that. And I couldn’t even look for a place in NH that does bloodwork, because who is going to be open on a Sunday morning, at a doctor’s office that isn’t mine? So we turned around and went home. I’m not going to pick the dogs up, because they are already paid for. So they have to spend the night in a place that’s not their favorite while we are home, 20 minutes away, and I feel bad.

Then I ask the nurse on the phone what the plan is from there, and because my levels are high, and they appear to be a bit concerned about this, I will also more than likely have to go in Monday morning for bloodwork and ultrasound again. That’s 3 days in a row, people. My arm is bruising up and looking like I’ve gone on a drug binge.

In the end, we’ll go on a date tonight somewhere not far away, and just pretend we didn’t just waste $70 for doggy care we don’t need. Tomorrow, I’ll get my blood done very early, and dammit, I’m going to that lake house, but it’s only for the day. You know, because I have to go back again the next morning. So much for vacation!

I will get over it, and in the scheme of life it’s not a big deal. It’s just frustrating that we were minutes from the highway with a packed car, and had to turn around. And the wasted money. And the lack of puppies in our house right now.

But really, there’s another underlying issue maybe you guys can help me with. I’m a little concerned – I have no developing follies, but my estrogen is at 213, apparently high enough for the doctors to make me lower my dosage tonight, and go in 3 days in a row to be monitored. Should I be worried here, that something bad is happening? Could the cysts be doing this? What does it mean when E2 goes up but follies don’t grow? I’m trying not to worry, but this doesn’t seem normal. Someone will get hurt if I have to cancel this cycle.

I’m a quitter and a liar. Oh, and a complainer.

Warning: Lots of bitter complaining and venting ahead.

Hmm, let’s see. Should I bitch first about my fertility woes or my inner food fight? I’ll start with the fertility stuff, as that is what this blog was made for in the first place.

I’m pissed off, I guess you could say. I’m mad at my nurse/doctor. Never did a single person in that office care to inform me that when you are on Crinone (the progesterone cream) during your TWW, you will not get your period until you stop it. There will be no spotting, either. Progesterone keeps your AF signals at bay. Not only that, but it actually tricks you into thinking you are pregnant by providing you with (what I believe to be) pregnancy signs. Minor, occasional cramping, chest growth we’ll just say, and painful as well, and, oh yeah, sky-rocketing temperatures. Had I known all of this, I wouldn’t have made the errors I did.

I started temping at 10DPIUI, and over the next few days, my temp soared to 99.6 degrees. I kid you not, and I’m not sick. Felt fine, just hot. I thought I may have had a superbaby in there or something. Wow – and the spotting isn’t here yet either?! And the days continued with temps still high enough, no spotting, and I thought – hold on a second. Let’s do a quick Google search. Sure enough, Crinone and Prometrium (the other commonly prescribed progesterone treatment) cause high temps, pregnancy symptoms, and you will not get your period until it’s over. Gosh, it sure would have been nice to have known that. I did it again – I got my stupid hopes way too high up.

I just had no idea. Now I know. Now, next cycle, I will not temp, not once, because they aren’t actually reflecting the true temps I would have. I will not overly analyze soreness and other preggo symptoms. I will not smile with delight at the lack of spotting; the lack of AF signs. I will just know that I will be completely in the dark as to whether I am actually pregnant or not until it shows up on a test. I did test twice, by the way. So mad I wasted two of those tests.

This all sounds like I must have my period, right? Nope. Now, my nurse had me in for bloodwork next week, what would have been 17DPIUI – that seemed excessive to me, but I wasn’t too concerned two weeks ago. Now I’m thinking – you expect me to wait that long? Absolutely not. If I am not pregnant, I am not waiting until Day 17 to stop the stupid cream and hear that I’m not pregnant. It worked out for me today because I was hoping to go on vacation next week for a few days, so I called this morning and asked if I could do it today. They said fine. (Next cycle, remind me to lie around 13DPIUI and say I’m going on another vacation…) So I trekked in today, had the blood done, knew I wasn’t pregnant, now that Dr. Google has taught me a thing or two, and stuck it to the man by not taking the Crinone this morning before I even went in. The nurse, when she called hours later, assumed I had. No, I figured it all out. That cream is done.

The nurse, though, was not my nurse. A weekend nurse. “Oh, I’m so sorry to have to tell you this,” she starts, “But I’m afraid you’re not pregnant.” You know what? I already know that. I got that blood test done because I’m supposed to. And I don’t really even want to hear the words. That said, I appreciate her kindness. I do. That’s when I asked about the Crinone and she said, “Oh yeah, you won’t get your period while you’re on that.” Wow, thank you so much! Just in time!

I’ve never been in this position before, so this is a first: My cycle is over, but I don’t actually have my period yet. CD1 is not here. It’s like..CD 95 or something redonkulous like that. I should’ve gone for an even 100. So I’m waiting. Fine, whatever, I’m ready for the period (“Your lining was extra thick,” the nurse says, “So you might have an unusually heavy period.” I can’t wait.) and I’m ready for the shots to the gut. Let’s do this. But my vacation hangs in the stupid balance, because I have to come in on CD2 for the baseline ultrasound. I wanted to go on vacation Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully my period comes soon, because if it doesn’t, I might not be able to go anywhere this week, and sitting around waiting for my period is not how I wanted this week to go. I’m irritated, I’m sure you can tell. Another IUI down the drain and a possibly ruined vacation. On to the next one.

And on to my next round of complaining. This Paleo diet – I’m done with that, too. I feel bad, I have to say. I feel like a quitter and a liar. I’ve always known I was a quitter (I stop any job when it gets too hard, especially physical labor, I did quit the track team once, I quit piano lessons when I only had one more recital before I graduated high school…I quit things. Wanna fight about it?) but one thing I am not is a liar. I literally cannot lie without my face turning bright red and the guilt just oozes out of me. I have to own up to it right away. But this time, I feel like I lied to you, because I went on and on and on about how awesome Paleo is and how I can do anything for 30 days. But I can’t, because I’m a quitter.

Not that the Paleo diet can’t be awesome. It can be. Just not for me. I am fully aware that the first week or two of the Paleo diet (especially when you’re super strict about it) causes the Paleo flu. I had it for Days 2 and 3, for sure. But even after the initial major stomach aches and fever subsided, I still felt like crap all week long. It was different symptoms (headache, dizziness, extremely fatigued, sluggishness, and insomnia) but some of those could’ve been from the stupid Crinone as well, so it’s hard to know. What I do know is that the large amount of food I prepared last Sunday ended up in the garbage. Mostly the vegetables, because I didn’t pay attention to the fact that even a bite of a raw pepper would send me heading to the bathroom, so I really couldn’t eat vegetables all week long. That’s just money down the drain, in my eyes. Not to mention without the vegetables, my diet was consisting of endless amounts of meat and shrimp, bananas, and sweet potatoes. And to be honest, I’m not sure I can eat another sweet potato for a long time. The thought of the eggplant that was sitting in the fridge is currently making my stomach turn. Zucchini? Don’t even go there. And (shudder) I need a break from ground meat. It was in my breakfast, it was in my lunch, it was in every meal. No veggies, it was a meat diet for a week. And I felt like such crap.  But even all this, which is just a bunch of “suck it up and get over it”, isn’t what caused me to cancel the challenge.

It was my favorite Paleo blogger, ironically enough, who posted a link to this article. That article, if you don’t want to read, can be summed up in the following: If you have thyroid problems or PCOS (hello, yes, that’s me) you need to have carbs in your diet or you’re going to make your health problems worse. We’re not like normal women (thanks so much), and it’s actually detrimental to our health not to have 100-200 grams of carbs (I keep typing “crabs”, ha) daily. Not veggies as carbs. That’s not what she means. Now, it doesn’t mean I have to go and consume a pizza, though I wouldn’t complain. It means I need to add back into my diet the lovely rice and potatoes. Ahhh. So much better. Just those two things have saved my sorry ass from this damn challenge. And that was all the convincing I needed to bring back those staples into my diet. I know there’s more to the story, including a whole bunch of sciency gobbly-gook that totally does make sense, but it made me feel so much better.

And since the challenge rules have been broken, I no longer feel bad at all about bringing back these into my diet: Sugar-free gum (gasp!) and stevia. In addition, there are just some times where you just…cave. OMG I had ranch dressing today! Say it isn’t so! Yup, and white potatoes too, at a shower I went to. Oh yeah, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’m bad.

So now that I’ve totally caved and couldn’t commit to this one freaking thing, I realize – this is my happiness on the line here. You know, if I wasn’t a bitter mess, maybe I’d keep trying. But right now, that sounds like a giant no. The phrase “comfort food” exists for a reason.

But just so I don’t sound like a total unhealthy mess, I am going to keep a couple of things going, because the one compliment I can give to this first week of the Paleo diet is that my hives disappeared and my bloating completely went away. That’s the sign of my autoimmune issues smiling of delight inside. I really need to keep those hives away, while still getting sleep and not feeling like my stomach is going to twist into a pretzel. I also lost two pounds – my husband lost five. I am still 100% gluten-free, which is easy as pie. I am still 95% sugar-free, meaning day-to-day I am completely, like, dessert-free, but a few things that have a little sugar in them (like ketchup, yay!) I’m not going to have a heart attack over. That and when I’m on vacation, I’m having ice cream once. Full sugar and dairy, but a small. I’ll still pay later. It’s worth it. And I’m going to be about 95% dairy-free. Too much dairy does bother me, and totally bloats me. So I’m going to keep cheese away, mostly, and I don’t drink milk anyway. It’s only the vacation ice cream.

Grain-free? Well…I’m keeping rice. If I didn’t, I’d be…back on Paleo. There’s only so many ____-free’s I can do. Dairy, sugar, and gluten seems good enough right now.

Yes, I did totally just reason with myself. And provide myself with excuses that make me feel better for being a quitter. Especially since my husband is not a quitter – he feels great and joined a Crossfit gym to boot – so I have to watch him make smart choices. We are still having full Paleo meals, but I am adding in rice or a potato.

I do apologize for the epic amounts of whining and sarcasm here, but I must say, I always feel so much better when I’m done! And I know you guys won’t judge me (out loud, anyway) and are always a giant bunch of support systems. I also want to say that today, with the cycle over, I am trying to remind myself how good I really have it, and that so many of you have gone through, and are currently going through, so much more than I am. I do know that, and I keep it in mind. But sometimes, a good venting session is all I need.

 

Turkey basting, Round 2, and pills galore.

I’ve had my second IUI, first one with injectables instead of Clomid. More on that in a minute.

I hate taking pills. Well, really, I just hate taking medication. I hate that today’s science labs have created something that I need to take in order to make me feel better, and that if I lived in an age where these drugs weren’t available I’d probably die, or something. I suppose I should be grateful. I’ll work on that. I hate my need for medication, most of all.

And apparently, I need a lot. I realized this today, while giving a rundown of my drugs to the nurse at my gyno office. Once upon a time I occasionally took 2 advil for period cramps, or 2 tylenol for a headache. And my birth control pill. I went from that, to this:

-Ranitidine (really Zantac) – not for ulcers, though I may give myself one over time, but for those pesky autoimmune hives. It’s an antihistamine.

-Claritin or Zyrtec – the other antihistamine, I take this with the ranitidine, twice a day.

-Synthroid – the one drug I don’t mind taking, it’s saved my thyroid.

-Probiotic – from RainbowLight, a friend said her stomach felt good on them, and she has a stomach similar to mine. I figured they can’t hurt. Twice a day.

-Psyllium Husk pill – twice a day. These are the only fiber supplements that seem to help with IBS. Again, another autoimmune disease, and Miralax doesn’t touch it.

-Multivitamin – one that actually feels great on the stomach. I wouldn’t mind that after dinner if it were by itself, but it’s joined by the probiotic, psyllium husk, and:

-Vitamin D – allergist said I was low and should take this, and I know it helps with thyroid function.

-Folic acid – multivitamin doesn’t have enough, but the gyno said I could stay on it if I added 400 mg more of it.

-Vitamin B6 – I’ve heard lengthens your LP. Mine was 9 days, and I decided to give it a try based on a friend’s recommendation. It works – went to an 11 day LP to a more recent 13 day LP.

That’s 6 pills with dinner, two with breakfast, two when I get up, two when I go to bed, and one at 5 am with a big drink of water. I HATE all these pills.

Well, after the rundown with the nurse at the gyno, the actual doctor came and did a culture on me, since I just had my third yeast infection in about as many months. Granted, I had that infection a week ago, and with the IUI last Sunday I wanted it cleared up by then, so a nurse at the RE’s office gave me the Diflucan, plus a prescription for 2 more, thank god. That pill is a miracle worker. Anyway, the culture today probably won’t show any yeast issues, because I’m sorry, I couldn’t wait a week to be tested. Not to mention, the results will probably be screwed up because I took my first dose of Crinone this morning, before the appointment.

After the culture, the doctor at the gyno really had no words of advice for why I get these yeast infections, and I was all prepared to battle against the typical, idiotic comments: Do you wear tight clothes? Shower after exercise? Take a probiotic?…blah, blah, blah. This isn’t my first rodeo. But she didn’t ask. Instead, she told me to start taking – wait for it – more pills.

-Cranberry pills, 2 of them, twice a day.

-Acidophilus – another probiotic, twice a day. I checked my current probiotic, not the same stuff in there, it’s different. Should I continue to take the one I already have, too?

Adding these to the cocktail will put me at 9 pills at dinner, 5 at breakfast…so on and so forth. Doesn’t this seem excessive? Yet, many are supplements, not hard drugs, and most were recommended by various doctors (which is a whole other story – I hate that I need 8,000 doctors. Whatever happened to going to my primary care when I had strep throat?)

I suppose I could stop certain pills, maybe. People who see me take out my pill container must think I’m nuts. But yet – my thyroid is perfect right now. Other than being 10 pounds overweight, I feel good. Hives are down, I’m attempting to get pregnant…I just don’t want to jinx it, basically. And I get the feeling that when you have autoimmune issues, you’re short on a bunch of vitamins. Supplements should be my friend.

Okay, on to the IUI. Like I said, it was Sunday morning. In my last post, I was worried about it, because of the yeast infection and the fact that we were using my husband’s frozen sperm. Add to the mix the fact that I had some sort of weird stomach bug….I felt fine until I ate or drank anything, even water…and then it all came out. This went on for 3 days. I barely ate. I just assume that such a weird thing will somehow manifest itself in my uterus.

And just as I thought, it was kind of sucky. My husband’s count before the freezing was 43 million, which was way down from 140 million last time, which is weird. But either way. After freezing and thawing, it was 7 million. Wow. That’s a big loss. She said they want to see it at least 5 million, so 7 million was fine. But still. We had no choice – we had to do it this way. My husband is always home, always. But a year ago he signed up for the Ironman race, it cost a lot of money – it was happening. My IUI was the day of his race. Nothing I could do about it. Not only did the count suck, but the Sunday nurse whom I had never seen before got me in a half hour late, when I was told I could be in a half hour early, and by the time it was done it was a good hour later than I had hoped, considering I was driving 4 hours to see my husband finish the race. And she sucked. Couldn’t match up the holes, or something, she said. It took a while to figure it out, and painful all the while. Thanks, lady.

She recommended we have sex that night, just to strengthen our chances. Well, my husband was coming off a 15-hour race, and we were staying in a tiny camper with his parents. Needless to say, sex was not an option. So, my second IUI, first with injectables, was done with the least amount of luck possible. Small count, no additional sex, a yeast infection, and a stomach bug.

Afterwards, I did drive 4 hours to see my husband finish his race, which he did at 10:30 at night. He started at 7 am. It was very cool, he did a great job, and it is quite an accomplishment.

And now, I’m in the TWW. My 4th time in a year. This time, I have no clue how things are looking, and I will continue to think nothing of it. I’m not temping (I haven’t since April, the last time I was in a TWW) – so I actually have no clue when I officially ovulated. I assume, being two days after the IUI, that I am 2 DPO, but who knows. I’m not checking any “symptoms” – they’re all in my head anyway. I’m already planning my next cycle. And I think we’ve reached our decision – I want to do another injectable with IUI. We have the option of going to IVF, and our insurance covers it, thank god. But I don’t think this IUI was given a fair chance. I want to do it right this time, with fresh sperm and sex, and I assume there will be less shots, now that the doctor knows what works and what didn’t. A second chance at the IUI, then IVF. That’s what I’m thinking right now.

The Crinone – ugh. You’ve warned me. It reminds me of those days of Monistat, before I knew about Diflucan. Gross, and I’m already itchy. Any side effects from this I should know about? And besides “cleaning house” up there every few days, is there anything else I should do to lessen the grossness? Does anyone actually have sex while they’re on this? And how long are you on this? Just the TWW?

Finally, the pregnancy test. I probably won’t even get to this point, because I plan on waiting a long-ass time to test. Maybe I’ll even try to surprise myself – “Oh, my, look at the date, I haven’t gotten my period on time!” Probably won’t happen. But I’ve heard the trigger shot skews results. The LAST thing I want is to get a false positive, the first time ever seeing one. How long until it’s out of your system?

I appreciate the words of advice you guys give me. I try to stay away from Google, and ask you instead. 🙂

Stupid ovaries.

My ovaries and I aren’t getting along at all. As the days pass, I’m coming to the realization that my ovaries are lazy. Stagnant, unconscious. They don’t DO anything.

I should have already known this, since I was only able to ovulate on Clomid when I stair-stepped, and each cycle would be 60 days long. For some strange reason, I assumed that moving on to the big drugs, the real deal, would change all that. I was wrong!

Today will be my 14th day of follistim. I did 5 or 6 days of 50 IU, 5-6 days of 66 IU, and today is Day 3 of 75 IU. My last blood test a few days ago showed that my estrogen actually dropped a little bit, and the ultrasound didn’t have a single follicle on each side larger than 8 or 9 mm.

Is this normal?

Even though the labs don’t say it, I must have PCOS. There has yet to be a moment where my doctor confirms I have PCOS, but if you have 30 follicles on each side, just hanging out, isn’t that a strong indication? I understand that my doctor wants to take things very slowly, because of those 60 follicles. I imagine I’m at a high risk for multiples, if my ovaries ever decide to actually do anything! Right now, the only thing growing is my frustration level.

And I’m used to waiting, by now. I should expect that it takes forever for my follicles to grow. It’s just that I wonder if it’s worth it, to do follistim with an IUI, if it’s going to take months to get there.

I did a little googling and it seems others in my situation just say the hell with it, and go to IVF. I am willing to do that – next cycle. It’s not an option for this cycle, and I did check. So I need to wait this one out, again. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, and I’m still holding out a little hope, but I wonder how many days of shots I will be doing before a doctor says, this isn’t working. On to the next thing.

It’s funny how that “woe is me” attitude creeps up on me. Once I started the shots, I was feeling pretty decent again. Now that nothing is happening in there, those thoughts just appear in my head again. They tell me it’s going to be a long time until I’m pregnant. They tell me I’m going to be doing IVF during the school year, which makes for a stressful time. And the scariest thought is this: what if my autoimmune problems, which are clearly still around, aren’t going to allow the 1) follicles to grow, 2) sperm to meet with egg, 3) BFP to stick, 4) baby to be carried to term. Seriously, the “woe is me” attitude brings about many worries, and they don’t help me in the slightest.

It’s the worrying right now that holds me back. I would’ve liked to join in on the diet and fitness challenges that Belle, Sunny, and Jenn (among others) are doing, but I can’t make the commitment. What if I need to eat rice krispies with almond milk in the middle of the day to make me feel better? And how can I find the right diet? The diet that feels best for autoimmune problems is not exactly the same as the PCOS diet, and I feel like I have too many health problems all at once to figure out what my body needs.

The one thought I’m trying to push away is the fear. If I could successfully completely cut out certain foods from my diet, would I get pregnant then? If I was just more dedicated to health and fitness, would it happen? Is the fact that I ate an ice cream the other day, with sprinkles, mind you, which had dairy and sugar (two things I usually don’t eat), and I had stomach issues the next day  – could that be why my ovaries aren’t functioning?

These are completely irrational thoughts, and I understand that. But I hate feeling so out of control with my own body. Naturally, I want to place the blame on myself, because when I do that, things make sense. If I just throw my hands up and say it’s not my fault, well then, it doesn’t make sense to me. But by doing this, I am adding so much extra pressure to myself that I don’t need, and it causes me to…overeat. I have always held myself to standards that are too high. I have always put on the pressure, the stress. Now is no exception. It’s very hard to let go. Ugh. I do want to get in on those challenges, girls. I just don’t know where to start.

Fun with injectables

Okay, on to my RE appointment yesterday.

The reason I am not sure whether my HSG is tomorrow or two weeks from now is because I am scheduled for stupid jury duty tomorrow. I am hoping my name will be on the list tonight when I call, so that I don’t have to go. If I don’t, the doctor put me in for an HSG in the afternoon. If I do have to go, they only do HSG’s on Wednesday afternoons – and next Wednesday is the 4th of July, so they are off. It would have to wait until the Wednesday after that. I hate to wait another two weeks.

However, the good news there is that he is letting me start injectables at the same time – rather than having to wait a whole other cycle. I am fairly certain my HSG will come back clear.

As for the injectables – well, it seemed to me my doctor was leaning towards IVF, but he wasn’t pushy. N and I decided to do one or two cycles of injectables with IUI, and then take it from there. I found these stats interesting:

% of success getting pregnant per month: (in my age group – under 30)

-No drugs: less than 5%

-Clomid with IUI: 12%

-Injectables with IUI: 20%

-IVF: 55%

% of multiples per month:

– No drugs: 1-2%

– Clomid with IUI: 1-2%

– Injectables with IUI: 20-25%, with 5-8% being more than two babies

– IVF: 30%, mostly twins. 1-2% more than two babies.

This seemed to be why the doctor was pushing for IVF. He seems to think the risk of many, many babies is decently high, and according to those stats, I’d have to agree. However, we’re going to see what happens. He won’t even do the IUI if I have any more than 3 follicles past like, 15 mm. He said as an example, if I had 1 or 2 big follies at 18-20 mm, but then I had 6-7 little ones, no way. He wouldn’t do it. I’m fine with that. I am a little curious/concerned that my body will produce too many, and we’ll have to cancel the cycle, which would suck. But he’s starting me on a low dose (50 IU) and I will be monitored like…4 or 5 days out of 10. So a lot.

I just want to be pregnant with a healthy child. However, I would do mental back flips if there ended up being two babies in there. I would love to have twins. Triplets – and I start to freak a bit. I’m just worried about the risks. After triplets I can’t even think straight. However, none of that is worth thinking much about at this point, as I no longer get my hopes up for anything. Let’s just see if my follies will even grow – that would be a good place to start.

The other interesting thing is that my doctor will not be putting me on Provera, even though this is CD 47. He claims the latest research says getting my period now might actually hinder my ability to get pregnant from injectables, because it takes such a long time for my lining to build back up, or something like that. He’s either crazy or a genius, but I’m going to go with it. Between this and my stair-stepping Clomid cycles – I really never have a period! But I guess I can’t complain.

I also feel I should mention that it probably sounds like I am just bouncing around from treatment to treatment without a financial care in the world, and considering some of you go through such hardships to get the money, I probably sound like an ass. I can only say that I am so, so freaking lucky, beyond lucky, that my town just switched last summer to new insurance, and this new insurance fully covers just about everything. I am lucky enough to pick my treatments like it’s nothing. I have yet to see a bill since I started with my RE in December. I don’t take this for granted, believe me, but I am so happy money isn’t an issue.

With that said, my to-do list now has watching these “teaching packet” videos on my RE’s website (as in, how to shoot yourself up in the stomach, no big deal), calling the drug company up in Maine to schedule a delivery date for my lovely box o’ meds, and then, once they arrive, calling my RE to schedule my baseline ultrasound, to check out what’s happening in there. Then, we start. The HSG is a separate, lovely addition to all of this. It’s hard not knowing exactly what the timeline is – not knowing exactly what day I start. But it is a good thing it’s summer, and I’m home, so I can just go with it. My second round will be coinciding with the start of the school year, which is going to be one giant pain.

Or maybe I won’t have to go a second round? That would surely be nice.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Welp, Mother’s Day kicked my ass.

See, the ironic thing about it is – I was prepared to have a perfectly nice day! I wasn’t upset – I feel too far away from a mom to be upset, plus, I’ve already been upset all weekend because of this failed cycle and getting my period…so there probably wasn’t too much farther down I could go. So I was good – we planned a dinner for my mother (which N cooked, of course), and we had a lunch out with N’s family as well. Really, it could have been a happy-go-lucky day.

Unfortunately, someone’s insensitivity kind of ruined the go-with-the-flow mood I woke up with. The title of this post is a phrase I have heard over and over again since elementary school. Apparently this person was absent on those school days.

This man I’m about to talk about is a family friend of N’s aunt. We see him on holidays; up until the last two times I’ve seen him, he’s been really quite nice. He’s a nice guy, is what I’m saying. I’ve got nothing against him.

Now, this is the man who, on Easter, as I was snuggling one of my dogs, said out loud in front of N’s family, “See? You don’t need kids – you have dogs!” That was irritating enough, especially because he knows my situation. I didn’t tell him, but I know that he knows.

Yesterday, as he and his gf arrive at the restaurant, he gives me a hug and says loudly, “Do I need to be wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day, too?” I couldn’t believe it. He laughed, really loudly, as I said, “No! And if you do, I might cry, so please don’t.” You’d think me saying that would give the hint not to ask me about it. Not only that, but what if I was pregnant? Did he think I’d choose that moment, in a “hello” embrace to announce to my in-laws that I was pregnant? Just because he asked?

So I was kind of miffed throughout the lunch, even making a comment to my MIL about how that was a tad bit insensitive, of which she agreed. But I moved on and enjoyed the meal. At the end, as he was leaving, he said goodbye to our whole big table. He offered up a, and I quote, “Happy Mother’s Day – and you Megan, well, Happy Mother’s Day…soon? Hopefully in the future? Sometime? Not for a while? Hopefully soon…” And as he’s going on this rant, in front of everyone, I just kind of looked up at the ceiling and I recall saying something like, “I have no words….” And I didn’t. I was almost speechless, kind of in shock. I just did not know how to respond. After the comment he made when he walked in, and the one on Easter…I’m not sure I want to be around this guy anymore until I actually have a good announcement to make. Yuck. It did kind of dampen my spirits, I have to admit. I just wanted to forget about my own problems and focus on my mother and MIL. But he, so kindly, had to bring my lack of a pregnancy back to life.

Okay, this isn’t the only reason I posted. I also have news, for what very little news it is, but hey, something to talk about.

My nurse called today. I’m supposed to start Clomid tomorrow. It went something like this:

“Megan? I spoke with the doctor. He says you didn’t ovulate on 100 mg (yes I did, just in a stair-step, not on its own), so he would like you to start up with the 150 mg, like you just ovulated with.”

“Okay, well…what happens when I have to stair-step? I was hoping not to have to go up to 200 mg.”

“You won’t have to stair-step.”

“I’m sure I will, I always have to. The first round isn’t going to work.”

“It IS going to work. It’s going to work, okay?”

“Oh…okay then. Thanks.”

I was at a Starbucks and couldn’t think of exactly what to say to her at that moment, but my question is: did she say I wouldn’t have to stair-step, and that I’d have a normal length cycle this time because…..science told her so? Or because she’s being optimistic and therefore wouldn’t address my question? Because I’m all about science…but I’m supposed to have the hope. Not my nurse..she needs to have the meds.

So, with that said, I’m starting Clomid, Round 8,071 – I mean 4 (6 counting the times I didn’t ovulate) tomorrow, as CD 5, heading towards IUI #2. Yippee. Looking forward to hot flashes and mood swings, usually swinging more down than up. We’ll see, 55 days from now, how long this cycle turns out to be.

 

Pissed.

I’m spotting. And not in the good, implantation kind of way.

And yes, I’m also pissed off. I’m going through the stages of grief, rapid-fire.

Up until about 20 minutes ago, I was still in denial. The spotting that started last night was super light, so hey, maybe, just maybe, right? It’s still possible. Then, after taking a pregnancy test, because today, I just really need an answer, I moved straight into the anger stage. Of course it’s negative, and then, not more than 5 minutes after that, the spotting turned red. I expect a full period by tomorrow.

Anger is currently where my mind resides, or at least most of the time. But literally, within seconds of each other, I’m thinking thoughts that could easily fit into the other grief categories of bargaining, depression, and yes, even acceptance. That last one only held one stray thought, but I guess it’s better than none.

But mostly, what I’m currently thinking and feeling is that I HATE this. I hate the process, I hate the disappointment, I hate how behind everyone else I feel, I hate how hurt I feel in situations that I really shouldn’t, I hate the multiple doctors, the appointments, peeing on a stick obsessively, taking my temperature every morning. I hate dreaming about babies, knowing what absolutely wonderful parents N and I would make, not knowing how long this is going to take, not knowing how many more of these cycles I can tolerate without totally losing my shit. I hate how optimism is slowly fading away – not that I don’t think I’ll ever have a child, I still do have hope there, but just the hope that “this cycle might be the one”. No – it’s not the one, so don’t even tell me that. And most likely, neither will the next one be. I’m sick of being bitter, but I can’t turn back time and be naive and innocent – “Oh YAY! We’re officially TTC!!!” Screw it! It’s been almost a year, and I know many of you have been through longer, but even still. I’m just – done. Can we file adoption papers yet?

N had an outstanding sperm count, the IUI timing was perfect. We continued to try in the appropriate window even after that. Why, why, why do these things not work? Why??? I need a scientific reason!

My nurse will be hearing from me very soon, as I have many questions I need answered. Pronto. One of the hardest things is that my cycles are 60 days long. Being that I only ovulate if I stair-step Clomid, one cycle is 2 months long, not one. So when I get my period, I realize that I have to wait another 60 days to find out if that cycle was a success. 28-30 days – now that sounds like a dream. I can wait one month, but I can’t wait two. That and, maybe Clomid isn’t the answer if I always need to double-dose it. I don’t know.

As rant-y as this post is, I am actually way better than last time. Just as I promised, I kept my mind off it during the 1.5 week wait. I didn’t obsess, I didn’t Google, and I told myself it’s not going to happen. So, I’m angry, but not devastated. I’m not in shock, like I was last time. Now I’ve got a bad case of bitterness instead. I’m not sure which one I prefer!

So, I’m going to retreat into the couch tonight and try to stay away from the chips and salsa I stuffed myself with after taking the pregnancy test. Comfort food is called just that for a reason, you know. And it totally works.

The only brightness in my day was this:

These were given to me by my students, 10 and 11 year old’s. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and while I would never expect anything, and don’t need anything, to have my kids shower me with these flowers, a stuffed animal, a basket full of supplies, caring notes and dressing up in my favorite color (purple)…I do feel loved. I have an awesome class. I really will miss them next year.

7 DPO, and 7 random facts

After a week-long hiatus, I’m back. I wonder if you guys go through the same type of cycles (no, not those cycles) that I go through – a few months ago, in obsession mode, I would blog multiple times a week. I just wanted to keep talking about getting pregnant, again and again. Now, after some disappointment, I find myself having little desire to post, not because of all of you, but because, honestly, what is there to say? However, I do enjoy blogging, and I enjoy keeping up with all of you as well, so an update once a week is the least I could do.

My update is rather boring. I am 7 DPO, “enjoying” life in the TWW. Everything’s going along as planned, as of now, but it’s so early. Here’s my chart:

Looking at the date at the top of that chart makes me laugh with frustration. I cannot stand how long my cycles are, because of the stair-stepping. I understand that in order for me to ovulate, I have to take Clomid twice in one cycle. But those first 30 days are just unfair. If this cycle is a bust, I am absolutely calling my RE and asking if there’s anything else that can be done with Clomid so my cycles aren’t this long.

But I try not to focus on that part right now, because I am in the TWW, and grateful to be so. I am temping again, everyday, because I am curious to see what my temp does. I’d love a huge drop in temp, like, tomorrow, only to have it rise again the next day. That would be pretty telling, I think.

This cycle has been the first time ever that I have gone all of these 49 days rarely thinking about all of this. I successfully have put my thoughts elsewhere, and only really consider TTC or ovulation a few times a day, rather than a few times an hour. It’s a big improvement. I’m not sure why this happened, exactly, but I think it has something to do with me not feeling like blogging. When I blog, it’s on my mind.

The interesting thing is, this TWW has been very mentally relaxing for me, like I said. I’m really not thinking about it. True to my word, there has been no Googling, and I’m just ignoring the few “symptoms” that I have, knowing they are simply from the progesterone. I’m really fine.

But then it dawned on me this morning – secretly, in the back of my mind, I have been telling myself that maybe, if I don’t think about the TWW and I chill out, maybe I’ll be rewarded with a BFP. Because that would play out like a fairytale. Don’t think about it, and then your wishes come true. We all know that no matter how you handle the TWW in your brain (and now I’ve been on both sides of that coin), it has absolutely no effect on what the turnout will be! My body already knows if I’m pregnant or not, and I just have to wait it out. So..really, not thinking about it isn’t putting me any closer to a BFP, but it might be saving my sanity just a little bit.

And so there are other things on my mind. This past week at school was very busy. We had two field trips, with yesterday’s being one of those good, long ones on the coach buses, and we left school very early and arrived back very late. It was a good time. I dragged N along (not really dragged; he enjoys it) as a chaperone and he took a little group of 4 of my boys. He’s great with them, which I already knew.

On the way home (a 2.5 hour bus ride), I sat with various students up and down the bus, just to check on things and talk about their day. In the back of the bus, my girls were hyped up on sugar (parents give them gift shop money…and they buy candy) and happy and bouncy. I stayed with them for a few minutes. The two chaperones back there each commented on my “way” with the kids, with a father asking me if I had my own and that the kids love me, and a mother commenting that I’m a natural with kids. Then, one of the girls spilled soda all over the bus floor – haha. Never a dull moment.

Making my way up the bus, I sat with a few more girls, and a few boys. Gimping (remember gimp?) is all the rage in my class right now for some reason, and I have to admit, it does help pass the time. So I was taught to gimp yesterday, and did so while talking with the kids. I commented to a few kids how I do tend to be sad at the end of a good school year, but proud all at the same time. It’s not every year I get students that I might wish to call my own children, that I wouldn’t mind watching grow up to be productive members of society. But this year, I do have those students. I hope to go to their high school graduation, someday. A boy asked me if I thought my students were my children, since I didn’t have any of my own. I realized he was exactly right. The whole reason I get attached to my students sometimes is because they are filling this huge void. A huge void. And it takes a couple of awesome kids, leaving my room and going on to another school next year, to remind me just how big the hole is. I want children. I want children who turn out to be like these children; kind, respectful, giving, funny – and all while going through the perils of being eleven years old. I bring N on field trips, and he enjoys himself too, because he also has this void. We love kids. We are good with them. We like to be around them. It’s frankly a bit sad, and in the pathetic way, that I do use my students like this, emotionally, to help me through my days without kids. They are my children, right now, and I treat them as such. Makes the end of June a lot harder for me, but it saves me from September up until then. It doesn’t mean they don’t drive me crazy, often, and we are still barreling through our lessons. But overall, it’s been a very good year with this class, and I will definitely miss them.

Moving on – the Paleo diet is waning. I realized that when I was doing full Paleo, and my snacks were consisting of full bell peppers and endless amounts of nuts, my stomach wasn’t happy with me, at all. Then, after being frustrated at the end of the week about how little I could eat, I’d splurge on something – say, Mexican food, and eat until I thought I might die. (Sidebar – both last time in the TWW and this time, I have noticed my appetite increase about a thousand-fold. Just me?) That’s not good either. So, a few days ago I went out and bought a couple of things, just to make my diet tolerable. I bought cheese, gluten-free pasta, rice cereal..that sort of thing. As long as my health is in order, I really don’t need to be on any particular diet. I just need to not eat what bothers me, and what bothers me is too much dairy, sugar, too much fruit, gluten, and corn (ish…this one is hard to let go because it replaces so many floury things). I still will eat a lot of veggies and meat, but the nuts are hurting my stomach and I simply need other options. I’m good with that. Now, I haven’t lost any weight because of all this garbage I’ve been eating the last few days…and I’m not exercising. For no good reason besides pure laziness.

Finally, thefamilyvan was kind enough to send me The Lovely Blog Award a week ago, which I’ve been very behind on answering. I appreciate the gesture! Here’s how it works:

1. Share who gave you this award to you with a link back to their blog
2. Write down 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Give this award to 15 other bloggers. It’s going to take me a little bit of time to find out which blogs I follow haven’t already done this, so when I find you, I will comment on your blog!
4. Let them know they’ve won
5. Pop the award on your blog (Did I miss this? Where is it?)

Hmm…7 random facts about myself:

1) I LOVE marshmallow (back when I was allowed to eat it). I could eat a whole jar of fluff with a spoon, and when I got ice cream sundaes, instead of hot fudge which would keep me up all night, I’d have marshmallow topping. Yum.

2) Whale-watching is my favorite thing to do on the Cape. I’ve been on 3 or 4 whale watches in my life,with the best one occurring when I was probably about 13 or so. This humpback whale stopped to play right under the boat, so the boat sat there for a good half hour, not moving, while this whale swam back and forth underneath us. At one point, I ran to the back of the boat, where no one else was, and looked over the edge, staring at the whale’s back. I was so close I could’ve reached out and touched it, and it was covered with scratches and bumps from a life in the ocean. After that experience I was hooked on whales. They are very cool, prehistoric animals.

3) I’ve known I wanted to be an elementary school teacher as far back as I can remember. I do recall having my own little chalkboard and playing teacher, and then relished every time my mother (a high school teacher) allowed me to help correct her papers with the red pen, or even better, put stickers on something. At the time, I thought the best part of being a teacher would be correcting papers, getting to use any color marker you wanted, putting on stickers every single time, and passing them back. Ha.

4) I was born a Yankees fan, because my father is a huge Yankees fan, and both of my parents grew up in Yankee territory. Our state is unique – it’s split about half and half, Red Sox and Yankees. One time, in junior high, there was a play-off Yankee game on, but I couldn’t stay up that late to watch it. My dad promised that if the Yankees won that night, he would leave me his good Yankee hat for me to wear to school, which he had never done before. The next morning, I came down the stairs and the hat was sitting there, with a sign taped to the door that said, “Theeeeee Yankees win! Wear the hat with pride!” And I did. Now, I’ve married a die-hard Red Sox fan, with his entire family behind him, and these days, the passion of liking the Yankees isn’t there like it used to be. I have a feeling our children will be Red Sox children. That said, I did wear my Yankees hat yesterday on the field trip, and N wore his Red Sox hat. It brought up a lot of baseball conversations with the kids.

5) (Back to sugar again – can you tell I miss it?) Prior to no longer eating sugar, I was known, quite famously in my family, as a sugar-aholic. My aunts still remind me (not like I’ve forgotten) how our gatherings would go when I was in elementary school: “Mom, is it dessert time yet? Mom? Mommy? Can I have this – and this and this? Mom, how much can I have? Mom, can I have more?” Seriously, this was what I did. I’d sneak to the dessert table and consume some before dessert even started and no one noticed. We had ice cream every night in my house after dinner – and not a while after dinner, as my husband would prefer. No, as soon as the last bite of the meal was down our throats (see, it wasn’t just me), we’d be up spooning ice cream into bowls. My mother had to inflict an “every other night” rule when I was little. Also, a “two-cookies-is-enough” Oreo rule after school.

6) I had my first boyfriend in the sixth grade. I had known him ever since first grade, and he was one of the smartest in my class. (I always said – I picked all the smartest kids to be my friends. Unfortunately, I was the dumbest one amongst us). We “dated” that year, quite publicly – I believe even the teachers knew, and no one tried to stop us. “Dating”, of course, consisted of us calling each other on the phone every other night (thanks, Mom), from 7:00-7:30. During those calls, we talked about the Yankees (also a big fan) and Jurassic Park. I broke up with him in 7th grade, as soon as I laid my eyes on N, but luckily, he and I, and N, continued to stay friends, and he was one of the groomsmen in our wedding. He is now a doctor and we see him whenever he’s in town.

7) I played the part of Maria in West Side Story (only in the final song, though) in our massive 180-strong chorus production my junior year of high school. It was my shining moment, along with, as a senior, singing the national anthem at my graduation with a few others. Chorus was my life in high school, and I got my 15 minutes of fame back then. Now, I desperately miss big productions like that, and really wish to find a chorus for 27-year olds who wish to be 20 again.

Phew! Long post. That’s what happens when I wait a whole week. Thanks for all of your supporting comments regarding my IUI, much appreciated! Next time I post – I’ll probably have news. Let’s hope it’s something good.