My Dearest Wish

I feel as if I’m in good enough form today to present myself to the world via blog.

I know and understand that everyone has down moments, and there are times that they are completely justified. I know my being upset with getting AF, after being so completely sure I was pregnant, might be justifiable to you readers, and for a few days, I was okay with it, too. Now, though, I want nothing more than to be the exact opposite of that needy, whiny, “woe is me” kind of person, because I don’t like to be that person. For the record, whenever anyone else feels this way, I think it’s perfectly acceptable. But I judge myself the hardest, and I don’t like to be in that kind of a state.

I grew up with one very optimistic parent, and one generally pessimistic parent. I have always wanted to be optimistic about everything in life. And in many ways, I am. I set goals for myself and I reach them, and when I do, I tell myself it’s because I kept my head in the game and stayed positive. TTC, however, is a different story.

Unfortunately, being positive doesn’t always come naturally. I’m the very first one to be positive about someone else. I have no problem with that. I find, though, that I tend to think negatively after a period of frustration. I guess most people do. But I’ve always wished thinking positively came more naturally than it does. I have to work at talking to myself in a positive way. So in the last few days, I’ve had to put some effort into telling myself to cut the crap, suck it up, and think positively. It did not come naturally. Finally, though, after forcing the thoughts for a day or two, they are here to stay. (At least until ovulation…)

So I didn’t get pregnant. There’s always this cycle.

We had an impromptu Chinese food lunch at school today. This was my fortune:

I am not a spiritual person, and I tend to roll my eyes at any saying with the word “fate”. That said, I certainly didn’t mind getting this fortune. As I walked back to my classroom after lunch and started thinking about how many fortune cookies probably say this same exact thing, because they know that basically everyone has a wish, and this would be a common thing to put in a cookie to get people’s hopes up for nothing (and to continue buying their food)….I attempted to remind myself to stop being cynical and just..keep the damn fortune and shut up. So I did just that, and if I get pregnant soon, I will, in no way shape or form, chalk it up to this fortune cookie and instead attribute my good luck to science, but I will remember that this fortune brought nice thoughts today, and I’ll take that, for sure.

So that’s that. Now, I have a question for you.

I don’t believe I’ve mentioned this before. With my high level of antibodies running around in my body doing a paranoid sprint, I develop hives from certain triggers. Mostly sugar, as you know. Gluten isn’t very good friends with my stomach, either. However, I can have sugar in the morning, but not night. I can’t have it alone. I can have an apple with lunch, but if I have it on an empty stomach..game over.Yesterday I had my yogurt (with 20 grams of sugar) at 2:00, by itself (like I do every day!), and within an hour I had a lip hive. It grew to full lip size and even put a nice lump in my throat all the way until about 9:00 this morning. Everything is so..random. It’s practically impossible to control.

I have had occasional hives in places that shall remain nameless, after a night in bed with N. I’m not going to be graphic. Let’s just put it this way. When my hives on the rest of me are especially bad, or could be if I ate the wrong trigger foods, I will have swelling and burning in the nether regions. It has been like that for years, but it’s sporadic. Sometimes I’m good to go, sometimes I feel like I’m going to throw up and I can barely walk. Mostly, though, it’s somewhere in the middle, with slight swelling, and possibly slight burning. The past couple cycles haven’t seemed to be a problem.

I told my RE about this when I first met him months ago, and he said, “Well, we will watch it, and we might jump right to IUI’s to bypass that problem.”

I remembered that, but started off on my Clomid journey, naturally. This past failed cycle, with perfect timing and all that…I realize it’s probably just…luck. The percentages of actually conceiving are never that high. However…what if it’s something else? What if, when the swelling and burning occurs, that’s my autoimmune system rejecting sperm? What if it never travels to its destination?

So I left a message with my nurse today, asking for a blood test.

She responded, saying that it is very rare to have an actual sperm allergy, and since this doesn’t happen to me every time, it’s probably not that. It is probably a sensitivity issue (just like with everything else in my system) to the proteins that travel, not the actual sperm. She said there really is no blood test to see that sensitivity.

I have four more cycles of Clomid to go,  naturally, before they try a few with an IUI. The nurse finished her message by saying that at any time if I am worried about this possibly being a cause of not being able to conceive, they can go right to IUI and skip the rest of the natural Clomid cycles.

So, I was basically offered IUI. Now. Or whenever I want. For me, though, this is a big step. It means technology is stepping in, and sex would not be the way to conceive our child. Am I ready for that? I have only had two natural cycles. That’s it. Swelling and burning was at an all-time low, but with the way my body has been acting the last few weeks, who knows.

N says it’s up to me, of course, and doesn’t really have much input. I wasn’t prepared to switch over yet, mentally, and I don’t want to go there, because if IUI fails, it’s one step closer to IVF, which is something I was hoping to avoid. Skipping four cycles of Clomid and going right to IUI means…IVF would be next, which is scary. No more natural cycles.

I really do not know what I should do in the slightest. Anyone who has had an IUI, what was the experience like? I’ll happily take your input – what do you think?

I’m good now, really.

My OCD is kicking in right now. I simply have to write this additional, short little post. I may be crazy, but you already knew that.

I’m fine, I’m good. I’m better. I don’t like being vulnerable. I don’t like admitting weakness! It’s okay to have it, but it’s just as important to get back on the horse. I can’t have that last post hanging over my head like that!

Just writing all that down helped, a lot. We just walked the dogs, and N admitted that the worst part is seeing how upset I get. I agreed, but for me, it’s seeing him upset. We’re mad that he won’t need his leftover vacation time to take off the month of December, but instead, we’ve decided to go away for a few days in April.

Looking back at the last cycle does nothing but make me upset, so I’m going to look forward. Today was a crappy day. I had eight vials of blood taken and my nurse messed up my Clomid prescription. But like I said, I’m looking forward. I’m on CD 2. Clomid starts in three days. Here we go again, Round 4.

“The Clomid Games”

What a difference. I can’t believe how drastically my thought process has changed in the last day or two. I don’t know what it was, exactly, that gave me this kick in the pants, but now I feel like a new person.

Two posts in a row all about thinking positively, combined with my tag bubble, tells me that optimism and pessimism are something I apparently struggle with. I always want optimism, but I tend to find pessimism. Now, I’m trying to reach for it.

What was it that helped, you ask? There was no mind-bending google search that put my mind at ease; obviously there was no guarantee of anything (is there ever?). Simply put – I started thinking optimistically.

All along, I had been doing it wrong. I knew that positive thinking meant telling yourself something good was going to happen, or that things would find their way in time, or whatever. Here’s what I didn’t know: when you say those things to yourself, you’re supposed to believe them! Who knew?

I’ve been telling myself that pregnancy will happen, and hopefully with Clomid. I only have the medicine for two more cycles after this, so there really is a timeline.  But I’ve never actually believed Clomid will work. I went through the motions of “not worrying” – aka, thinking positively, but I didn’t take it to heart. Now, I have. I am believing that Clomid is going to work for me, and soon. Yes, soon. Not necessarily this cycle, but in the next few. I suddenly feel so sure of this that I even made a comment this morning to my husband, while we were discussing a future purchase that was not cheap. I literally said, “We might want to wait a few months to buy anything major, so that if (or did I say ‘when’?) I’m pregnant we can decide what we really need.” I just gave myself a timeline – months!

Now, I’m the first one to raise my hand and say, “You’re being stupid – bad idea.” If you’re thinking this right now, I’m with you. Maybe that’s why it’s taken me so long to get to this point, because I have been telling myself that. The higher you climb, the farther you fall. Stay close to the ground and you won’t get hurt. By thinking this way – I will be pregnant in the next few months – I am subjecting myself to a crash landing. It’s risky business, this whole positive thinking.

See, right now, the pros far outweigh the cons for me. How can I be frustrated/worried/sad/anxious (well, I guess I am still anxious) when I think I will be pregnant soon? I really think it’s coming soon for me. All I have to do is wait a little longer.

I imagine how many bitter reactions I may have to this post. So many of you have probably written something like this. Those of you who have been on this ride for many years have had more ups and downs than anyone should have in a lifetime. I know that this post, today, could come across as naive and insensitive, and perhaps you’re right. I certainly don’t mean it like that. But I am still in the early stages (I’ve only been on Clomid, that’s it) and I have to tell myself it’ll work. I  have to believe it’ll work.

For those who know me, two words that are rarely used in my vocabulary are “hope” and “faith”. I did write a post about hope, once, and I see the benefits. But it’s just not how I think. I’m still not going to say that those words describe me. However, I believe it’s going to happen – I really do. This may be totally blind, utterly dumb, and something I might really regret by late spring, but for right now, I’m going with it.

CD11, and we’re gearing up for what I’m going to officially call “The Clomid Games” (yes, I just finished the Hunger Games and it was sooo good! Now it’s on my brain.) My husband doesn’t want to know the details of my smiley faces this cycle – too much pressure – so I’m subjecting him to random game…quests (ha) and not letting him know when it’s started or ended. I, myself, am not sure when it will start or end, as I O’d on CD 24 last cycle. But I don’t want to wait and take the chance. Let the games begin!

“I’m thankful for…”

Today is a perfect day to write my first Thankful Thursday post. It’s not because I’m having the best day and am generally feeling optimistic, with rainbows and butterflies. No, it’s because I’m the exact opposite. Blame it on the Clomid?

I can think of 10 negative thoughts at this moment. At least. But since this is a Thankful Thursday post, I’m forced into being positive. It’s probably a good thing I’m doing this, because I have to dig a bit deep to find some material here.

Here we go. (I feel like I’m sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table.) “I’m thankful for…”

My family, each for different reasons. My mother lets me dump all my thoughts, good or bad, and helps me sort them out logically. My sister is 7 years younger than I am, so she brings out a younger side of me. I like feeling like a teenager again when I’m with her. She’s my exact opposite, but clearly my sister, and I’m lucky to have her. My father is supportive, and also knows everything going on with my fertility. My husband is funny and sweet, and holds on tight to me in the kitchen when I thrash around to get my cranky energy out. I obviously have many more family members, but I’ll save them for another Thursday.

Hmm. Well, tomorrow’s Friday, right? There’s always that. I’m seeing some old work colleagues tomorrow afternoon and I’m excited about that.

As much as I complain about it, I’m thankful for my house. We bought it from my mother a few years ago, and it’s my childhood home. My old bedroom upstairs was virtually untouched and I like that.

I got a new “Real Simple” magazine in the mail! (I can’t figure out how to italicize on my phone.)

Okay, that’ll be all. CD 8, with one more Clomid pill tomorrow. Happy Friday!

Gluten-free granola cereal – yum!

Okay, I’m better now! My friends know this about me – one thing I do not ever care to be is needy. There are occasions when I do need others, of course, but the majority of the time, I want to be able to do things and feel emotions without needing other people to coach me through them. AKA – I want to be a positive person, or at least pretend to be. Growing up, I’d say I was optimistic 99% of the time. That has changed over the last year, but the core of that personality still exists.

I’ve noticed that too many of my posts are negative and whiny. I know that it’s my blog; I can say whatever’s on my mind, and I know you guys are super-supportive, which is wonderful. But for my own mental peace, I need to find the positives in my life, of which there are many. Tomorrow is my mind-dump, so I’ll save the little (happy) things I’ve been thinking about.

For today, I thought I’d post the recipe to the gluten-free granola I’ve made twice and made reference to. It’s delicious.

I got the recipe from here, but I’ll give it to you here as well. FYI – I doubled this recipe, and it made enough cereal for 2 weeks.

*1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
*1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
*1/3 cup raw sesame seeds (I didn’t do this)
*2 cups organic rolled oats ( I used gluten-free, by Bob’s Red Mill)
*1-2 teaspoons organic ground cinnamon
*3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
*3 tablespoons organic coconut oil, liquified in a pan of hot water, if necessary
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 cup organic raisins (Yuck, skipped this one)
*1/2 cup organic dried cranberries, unsulphured dried apricots, or other dried fruit (chopped, if necessary) (I love only a few specific kinds of dried fruit – dried pineapples, papayas, and banana chips..yum. That’s what I added.)
*1/4 cup raw cacao nibs- optional, but highly recommended (70% dark chocolate chips could be substituted, if desired)

I couldn’t reason with myself why something so close to chocolate should be in my breakfast, so I omitted it. That said, I also added some shredded coconut to this, and combined with the dried fruit, it’s very sweet. It’s also probably not the best for you. But it’s SO GOOD.

Here are the directions:

1. Preheat oven to 250°F.

2. Pour all ingredients except cacao nibs in a large bowl and stir well.

3. Spread the mixture evenly onto a baking sheet in a thin layer.

4. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

5. Remove pan from oven, toss granola around, rotate the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes. Repeat until granola is completely dry and light golden brown (about 1 hour total).

6. Allow to cool and then stir in cacao nibs. Store in an air-tight container.

I’m not sure how many more times I will make this, because like I said, I don’t think it’s all that good for you, and it’s really sweet. I could eat bowls of it. But it is definitely worth you making at least once! I love how you can personalize it with whatever you’d like. It’s really up to you. Enjoy!

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!

 

Appreciate what you have.

I’ve found a new reason to love blogging – the support! Tuesday was just not my best, and I let it all out. I really appreciate the support and comments.

I knew I would feel better the next day, and I did. I still can’t shake the negative feelings about this cycle and the Clomid I just took, however. I’m on CD 15 and I have no signs of ovulation. Either way, I’m hoping it will still happen and have been proceeding as was planned! I’m sure my husband doesn’t mind.

I can’t get out of my head the horrible news story from my state of CT. A woman lost all three of her children and both her parents in a horrible fire on Christmas morning. Ashes from the fireplace were removed and put in a container so that Santa could come down the chimney. I really can’t think of anything more devastating. It puts things in perspective..life is short, and I really have it good. Appreciate what you have, and attempt not to focus too much on what you don’t have. I’ve been telling myself this today, and I guess it’s my optimistic thought of the day.

Sometimes I think my brain needs a rest from baby thoughts. I’m not sure it’s possible but I will give it a try.