Two sides to every coin

I’ve moved on. And it didn’t take long – less than a day. It was almost the quick flip of a switch – frustrated, angry and down one minute, and the next was an epiphany. I am going to get pregnant, and I think it’s going to happen soon.

I’m simply saying – this is my last IUI. What will be will be, in regards to this new round of follistim. But after that, I’m moving to IVF. Assuming there is nothing else wrong in my body besides what I already know about (including eggs that just don’t grow on their own, autoimmune issues, and all that fun stuff), there’s no reason why I can’t actually get pregnant. What happens once I’m pregnant is a different story, and I’ll cross that bridge when it comes. Until then, I have to assume IVF will work. It’s going to work. And maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised by this last IUI.

When you do a coin toss, it’s basically impossible to know which side of the coin will be facing up. Calling it in the air simply locks in your luck at that moment, and that’s it. The flipping of a coin is how I sometimes feel in regards to trying to conceive.

I’m getting to that time in my life where my friends will soon have living, breathing children in their arms. Leading up to this point, I could still say, most of us are without children. But with the future baby boom lingering on the horizon, I feel I have to put everything in perspective.

How awesome it is, how amazing, that all these little life forms were created. I mean, really, they are all little miracles. And I can’t wait to meet them, get to know them, and shower them with love. As the days pass, excitement grows. Yet, on occasion, the other side of the coin flips up that morning. It doesn’t change a single thought I have for all my pregnant friends, but it simply adds another one on top of the pile: I sometimes feel like I’m frozen in time. Have you ever seen on TV, where they speed up something that took a long time, like a flower growing, so that it happens before your very eyes in seconds? Or a forest scene, going from sunrise to sunset? That’s what it feels like watching the world around me change. But I imagine that if you took my life in the past year, and sped it up to show my “growth”, nothing would change. I would remain exactly like I was a year prior – physically, anyway. Mentally, I suppose I have changed, though not necessarily in a good way. I’m frozen in time.

Flip the coin again, and I realize – there is so much more to my life than this stupid battle with fertility. Day to day, it’s hard for me to realize this, and I can’t find my own way. But when I step back and read the heartaches and successes of other bloggers, or hear stories about people’s achievements in hard times, or any number of other things that crop up in a single day, I have to know, there’s more to life than having kids. Right now, it’s probably the last thing anyone wants to hear, including me. But isn’t it true? For me, there’s the big things: a marriage, a home, puppies, a wonderful career that is very fulfilling…family, friends, etc. There’s the little things: a room of smiling students, getting a card in the mail, watching an awesome movie, or, my favorite, eating ice cream. There’s more. I’m so glad my “down” day from this failed cycle was short-lived, so I could move right along and flip that coin again.

That’s the funny thing about flipping a coin, though – there will be times it lands on heads, and other times, tails. Expect both, if you’re planning to conduct multiple flips. I’m feeling positive tonight, as I’m sure you can tell, but I’m not forcing myself to always feel this way. There will be bad days, and maybe they won’t have anything to do with babies and pregnancy. Or maybe they will. Either way, it’s all good. This is part of the journey. A part I truly wish was over, mind you, but regardless. It’s here, and I do think it’ll be over soon.

I’m four days into my next round of shots, and this time, I’m avoiding the blood vessels. Though my arm is starting to look like that of a drug dealer, I’m loving the fast pace of this round. I get my period and I actually get to start gearing up for the next round. By the way – this period was by far the worst I have had in 10 years. I thought I was going to throw up. Crazy! Luckily it’s almost over. In a few days I’m going for my next ultrasound, and check in on how many follies are growing in there.

I was too hard on myself in my last post, and I forget that fact. I always am – it’s definitely not my best trait. Along with that, I can get slightly obsessive about certain topics, and the Paleo diet was starting to head down that road. I must move on. I’m happily enjoying stevia again.

And finally, to prove that I really have turned over a new leaf tonight, I’m inviting you to check out my new blog. Yes, another one. This is a teaching blog. I’ve been wanting to write one for a while, and I even wrote up a few posts and left them on this blog. But as my mind starts to wander to other topics other than babies, which I think is a healthy thing for me, I realized that I need a new space, where I don’t even touch the subject of TTC. It’s almost liberating – I can write about other things, focus on other aspects of my life. So, it’s brand-new, obviously, but hopefully I’ve learned a thing or two about blogging and can get going on it quickly. I’m hoping it becomes less of a diary (as this one has turned out to be) and more of a place to share creative ideas and activities related to teaching. There’s a lot out there – a whole other planet of supportive adults, reaching out to each other along the lines of the same topic. I’m looking forward to expanding my horizons. There’s more to life.

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“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!

Positive thinking, or completely crazy?

Clomid, Round 2, is over. I took my last pill yesterday, thank goodness. Luckily, I really do not have side effects from it, though over the course of a cycle I have some pretty negative days. Some say that Clomid can kind of put you down in the dumps, and I’ll blame it on that, even if it’s not the case.

Though I talk about fertility at length here on this blog, I actually don’t talk about the details of it in real life too much. Most of you probably do the same, though it’s surprising for me, because I’m kind of an open book. I don’t just offer the details of my personal life to anyone, but if it comes up, or they ask, I spill it all out. So, it’s odd that though I feel like I talk about fertility all the time, I don’t. In truth, I think about fertility all the time, and I’ve just mixed them up in my head. I’m talking to myself.

This might be part of the reason why I’m feeling just a little bit more confident this morning, after talking yesterday about fertility to someone I do not normally talk to about it. His wife is pregnant, and prior to her being so, we used to talk about her struggles. She didn’t have a period for a long time after BCP (months), and then it was on and off. She didn’t ovulate. A very similar situation to mine. Then she got Clomid. Interestingly enough, we go to the same gyno office (different actual Dr.), and her Dr. gave her the Clomid without a trip to an RE, and mine refused to do so. Oh well. She got pregnant on her very first round of Clomid 50mg, which is a miracle. I knew she was pregnant up until now, but I did not know that she took Clomid. It always is nice to hear that Clomid has worked for another person. That brings the list of people I know personally who got pregnant on Clomid to 3: My mother, my aunt, and now her.

In addition, the person I was talking to knew that we were TTC. Though he didn’t say anything that mind-blowing, and were things many other people have said, for whatever reason, it made me feel a little better. He simply said, “Don’t worry. It’s going to happen. It’s going to work. Try not to stress out about it (ugh, impossible). It will definitely happen.” I don’t know why that was so nice to hear, when I tell it to myself all the time, but it was! I think I just needed to hear that from someone else. And this was a guy, whose wife went through the same thing. So it was nice.

I went home and started thinking, “Yeah, this will work. Maybe not this round, but Clomid worked last time. It did what it was intended to do. It’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of when.” When I think about it that way, when I tell myself it’s going to happen in the next few cycles, it makes it easier to wait a little bit. So what if it doesn’t take on this cycle, it will on the next! I know that I might be setting myself up for disappointment by telling myself I will be getting pregnant in the next few cycles, but right now, it gets me through. Maybe I can wait patiently for this.

What makes me crazy in the head is when I start to doubt it (which is most of the time). I start quickly thinking things like, “No way, I might not even ovulate this cycle! Who knows when it could be. I can’t see it happening. It feels so far away.” Those are the thoughts typically in my brain, but to swap them out with “Yes, it’s going to work…soon” changes the perspective altogether.

I used to think that when people said, “Think positively” they meant to think things like, “Oooh, I really hope it works!” That wasn’t doing it for me. And it’s  not really positive. “It’s going to happen in the next few cycles” – that does work for me. Is that positive, or just completely crazy? It’s going to happen.

Now, I am a little nervous about the timing. Not nervous, but anxious. We can’t blow it! In my mind, there’s only a few cycles I will be getting Clomid. If we mess up the timing, then we didn’t do our part. Clomid won’t get me pregnant, but it won’t be the Clomid’s fault. I’ll have to move to IUI’s, when it was our timing that was the problem. That thought does make me a little nuts. However, I do not want to pressure the hubby. I think we both felt a lot of pressure last round, as it was our first, and that did NOT help. He told me that he doesn’t even want to know this cycle when it’s time, which I understand. I’m sure he’ll be able to tell though. I’ll do my best to make it fun and normal, even though in my head, I feel like a drill sergeant. I  know that it’s very important to keep the pressure and stress away. I will be trying my best to do that.

That said, I did not get any specific instructions from my RE nurse! When she left me a message last week, she said simply, “The Clomid’s been called in for you, you can pick it up today.” Okay…thanks for the message. She didn’t even tell me which days to take it! I obviously took it 5-9 as I did last time, when another nurse gave me the instructions. Last cycle, that other nurse told me not to worry too much about TTC, as they wanted to see if I would just ovulate. This cycle, I expected exact instructions on when to use the OPK’s, and how often to try. Nothing. I think I’m going to call on Monday, but because I’m curious, I’ll ask you: What have your Dr.’s said? I have heard so often every other day in the weeks leading up to it, but the person I talked to last night said they were told every single day from CD 11-21. And that was from a Dr. in the same office as my Dr. What do you think, every other or every day?

Well this post was far longer than I intended it to be. If you made it this far, thanks!

I want to mention (off the topic now) and state for the record that I, Megan, have a sugar problem. It is official. What was once a sugar addiction like you wouldn’t believe, is now a sugar “allergy”. Not really, it’s my autoimmune issues, but it acts like one. It gives me my arch nemesis – angioedema, or hives in my face and mouth that form under the skin, causing swelling that lasts for a LONG time. I have now gone mostly sugar-free for two weeks now. I can have a little in the mornings, I’ve found out, but not night. There is sugar in my cereal, my coffee creamer, and my yogurt at lunch. That’s all fine. But nothing after lunch. I’ve gone lip-hive free for those two weeks….up until yesterday. The night before, Thursday night, I had…wait for it….a marshmallow. Now, these are no ordinary marshmallows. Back when I was eating sugar, only a few months ago, my husband bought me gourmet, homemade marshmallows as a Christmas present. I got them last year too, and they are unbelievable. They come in different flavors, they’re huge, and the consistency…swoon. So you can see how I feel about them. Anyway, my father and sister were over eating dinner, and my father always brings dessert. He brought two things of ice cream, frozen berries, and angel food cake. He remembered that I told him I’ve gone sugar-free, so the angel food cake was sugar-free. He forgot that I am also gluten-free, haha. So anyway, I had one marshmellow. Chocolate chip. I should’ve taken a picture of it. I actually went to bed without any hives. Yesterday, at school mind you, right before lunch. About 11:00. My students were at a special. I felt it form above my top lip in my cheek. I could NOT believe it. It never happens in the daytime. I popped meds, but it was too late. The rest of the afternoon was awful. I know my kids were looking at me wondering what the hell had happened. When I closed my mouth, it looked like I had a stroke. The left side was hanging down. Anyway, it has been a LOT worse before. A lot. I still have that picture in my phone of how bad it can get, and I still am not ready to share that face with the world. My coworkers said they couldn’t “really” see it. But I could, and I could feel it. After a few hours it spreads more evenly throughout the face. This morning, 8:00, 3 hours away from 24 hours ago when it happened, and my cheeks and lips are still swollen. No more marshmallows. No more treats. No more sugar, with those few exceptions. It’s…just not worth it. I’m officially gluten- and sugar-free. Bleh.

Okay, that’s really the end. Have a good weekend!