Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Good Day

I know I said I'm all for the natural cycle, and I am really, but I do wish I had the convenience of the medicated cycle in choosing the transfer date.  According to my iPeriod, I should have OV last week.  However, if my CM is anything to go by, I just OV a couple days ago instead.  If this is indeed true, that means everything gets pushed back a week and that's kind of a bummer.  I was expecting the FET during the last week of September which would have been perfect as the first week of October was a vacation week for Momma B and I.  Having the FET the week of the vacation would be wonderful except that means I wouldn't be able to go down to San Diego with her.  That would not be so wonderful.  I will be well rested either way, so I'm just going to look at it that way and ... what do they say? ... not sweat the small stuff.

In other news, I got a surprisingly delightful call today from the RE's office.  Apparently after all of our claims were filed and paid, we ended up with a credit for over $400.  How fun is that?!  Momma B and I were already amazed that the entire FET cycle will only cost us $230.  That still leaves us with a small credit, but for now I think we're going to leave it just in case.  Hopefully, that will just send a message to the universe and we'll get pregnant before we can use it all up.  HA!  Wishful thinking, but I crack myself up. ;)

Here's wishing all of you a lucky, wonderful day too!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Furry Friend Friday

My furbabies have been a sanity saver many times.  It is the only version of unconditional love that I know.  They are the most affectionate, cuddly, and crazy animals.  Every day they make us laugh and make us smile.  This is a little tribute to these little ones that enrich our lives.  

Lola is our crazy girl who is still a kitten at heart.  We will put all the cat toys away at night and the next morning they're strung around.  One morning I counted 14 toys!  She's a busy girl.  She loves to lay on our boobs like she did as a kitten, even though she's a just a little too big now.  She always has to be right next to or on one of us.  She loves to eat plastic, lay on Momma B's shoes (and books, papers, or backpacks), lay in boxes, and she is a high-maintenance princess who gives herself daily manicures on her favorite scratcher.

Mikey is our lover boy.  He vies for our attention all the time, sometimes even meowing at us after he's already on our lap.  He never gets tired of pets or cuddles - as long as they are given on his terms.  He is also our adventurer.  The higher the jump, the more he'll go for it.  He's often found at the top of the kitchen cabinets looking downs on all his charges (that would be us, of course).  As soon as we lay down in bed, he's there ready to cuddle up and settle in for the night - usually on Momma B since she's a human furnace.  We also believe he's our little gay boy; in San Diego he had a boyfriend, Chilly, who lived next door.  However, he's also very loving and comes to Lola's rescue every time she gets in trouble and is embraced in some Corporal Cuddling.  

Once I got together with Momma B, I adopted two very large doggies.  Though I'm admittedly not much of a dog person, I have come to love these crazy boys.  Kayin is the trouble-maker.  He's stubborn and onery, but he's also very handsome ... and he knows it.  I'll admit, I have a hard time resisting that face.  He makes the best puppy dog eyes and is probably the smartest dog I know.  Too smart, sometimes.  Malakai is our doop-de-doo boy.  He's slow and lazy, but he's also very sweet and endearing.  He's easy going and happy to go anywhere, no matter how boring.  I relate to him because we both get a little too excited come meal time.

All of these kids make our lives full: full of love and fun and laughter.  Yes, they can drive us crazy sometimes and test our patience, but we think they're preparing us for children.  We already deal with daily messes, constant feedings, and occasional accidents.  Too bad they don't know what's coming.  

*Blog post idea courtesy of Stress Free Infertility

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Listomania Update

I was thinking about how I can overcome my excessive sleepiness lately as this whole night shift deal is really starting to kick my @$$ more than ever.  I ran across this article and had a little "ah-ha" moment.  Now who's to say that stopping eating 12 - 16 hours before I want to wake up will actually work, but then it can't hurt right?  After all, this is part of my 40 before 40 - specifically #32, if you wish to review.  So will my stomach wake me up because it will have been so long since I ate and motivate me to get up and find food ... fast?!  Or is it really just some odd connection to our bodies' Circadian rhythm?  I have to admit I'm very curious and actually a little excited to try this out tomorrow (and, no, this is not my procrastination kicking in, but it's not so helpful - and, let's face it, feasible - to begin on a work night).  I will update if it does indeed reset my sleep pattern!

I'm also currently putting together the plans for #39.  It's so difficult keeping secrets from Momma B.  I tell her everything - sometimes more than she'd like to know, I'm sure.  BUT it's so much more fun trying to find ways to surprise her - especially with anything to do with traveling and adventure.  Momma B has made me realize what sheltered life I've led prior to meeting her.  There is little she hasn't done or seen.  Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but very slight.  I figure, if she's already been there done that, at least it'll still be new because it'll be new with me.  Oh so corny, but I love it!

Additionally, I found a Groupon the other day for sewing lessons.  Yeah, I used to know a lot more than I do now and I've been afraid to start for fear of messing it all up.  There are so many projects I have planned, especially for this future in-the-works baby and their nursery.  And as it's #30, I need to get started!

And lastly, I'm working my way up to #10.  However, I've never even successfully made a quick bread like banana bread.  I found a great looking recipe from one of the blogs I follow.  I was all set to make it today, until I saw that Momma B accidentally tossed the ripened bananas away (well, as I suck at banana bread, why would she keep them thinking I may actually make something out of them?!).  Bummer.  Hopefully I'll be able to find some close to ripe bananas tomorrow and will finally be successful.  Otherwise, I'll just try, try again.

It feels good to put this all down and see for myself this list coming to fruition.

Like Me!

Yep, I did it.  I took this blog to a whole other level.  A Gayby Story is now on Facebook!  Why? you wonder.  I'll tell you - often there are thoughts, quotes, or just other randomness that could be post worthy, but doesn't always make it.  Sometimes I just want to get queer parenting information out there and don't want to feel too preachy on my own page for those that may not care.  Because I just thought it would be fun to see it on Facebook.  That's the best reason of all.  So "like" me, okay?!  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Amazing how when you're faced with a natural cycle, there's not a lot to talk about TTC-wise.  Life has just been going forward calmly and smoothly.  There are no meds to worry about, no schedules to look at ... I feel like I have nothing much to write about on here that wouldn't put all of you to sleep!  I will come up with more, I promise.  There are lots of ideas for different posts that are fertility-related, but at the moment I got nothin'.  

So I leave you with an awesome quote that I read in the July/August 2011 edition of Dwell magazine today: "One of the most important roles a home can play is that of incubator - a container in which to grow a family." That is exactly what I've always felt in my heart and why my home is so important to me (and, I know, to Momma B as well).  It is also something that fills my heart as we get closer and closer to buying our own home.  I've always wanted a forever home - one in which our children will not only be raised, but where they will always know they can return at any point in their lives.  This is the way I view homes as I peruse the real estate websites ... does it have the potential of sustaining a family throughout their lives?  Does it have the adaptability to change with you through the years?  Of course, home is where your heart and your love is, no matter if you have that forever home or if you're a gypsy family content to roam.  "Houses may be made of glass, bricks, and mortar, just as we are made from blood, organs, and bones, but the materials mean nothing when it comes to the concepts they represent: home and family.  The two are inextricably linked - think of the house you grew up in without the smell of mom's cooking or dad's tool bench and it's not quite home."  Home is family.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Au Naturel

I'm sure I have yet to disclose on here how much I love Dr. M. Well, let me just let you in on my secret and share with you that after yesterday I <3 him even more.

We're all set for FET in September. This month my body will be getting over last month's injection/hormone overload. I was really hoping to avoid taking BCPs again this month and, thankfully, Dr. M agreed. He broke down the two different FET protocols and the only difference between the two is a matter of convenience - if I took a bunch of hormones to suppress my ovulation and then did a trigger shot on a predetermined day, we would be able to simply schedule the day we would like the embryo transfer.  However, because I normally have very regular cycles and am essentially quite healthy, he said I am the best candidate for option number two: minimal intervention.  

(One of the reasons I respect Dr. M so much is he truly does look out for you, the patient, and what is best for you.  He has never pushed one choice over another, but yet still makes a solid objective recommendation.  Perhaps it is just my experience and the average patient does not experience pushy, let's-just-do-this-the-easiest-most-convenient-for-me doctor - I truly would hope not - but as a labor and delivery nurse you see these types more often than I'm comfortable with because many things are unpredictable and yet they try to fit labor into their little defined boxes and schedules.  So to not experience that with my RE has been a bit of a surprise, I'll be honest.  Okay, well, I'll just step off my soapbox now - sorry 'bout that.  Anyhow, YAY! Dr. M!)
Not one for such petty conveniences, I of course chose to go with the more natural non-medicated option. Now, obviously I would love to plan the date of the transfer because it makes everything so much simpler. However, in my head less is more - especially with regard to medications. I would rather my body be allowed to do what it is designed to do on its own because wouldn't that create an optimum environment for a couple of embryos?! Considering my hormone levels were a bit unpredictable during our IVF cycle, I think staying away from anything that may throw them off again is best for me and definitely best for those tiny little embryos.

The plan: we will still do a hCG trigger shot once I get a positive on the OPK and we will stick with the progesterone/estrogen suppositories ... but other than the trigger shot there will be no other injections, no three-times-a-day estrogen pills, and definitely no BCPs (they scare me, I can't for certain tell you why). If all goes according to my iPeriod - and it's been reasonably accurate thus far - our ET should be sometime during the last week of September.

It seems so very far away, but 1) I know it will go by much faster than I think and 2) this gives me plenty of time to continue to work on myself, my fears, and maybe even start a sewing project or two. I'm actually more excited about the FET than I was the IVF because really I'm all about doing this as natural as possible given the circumstances. A good friend once told me, I'm a bit "granola."  Initially I wasn't entirely sure what she meant, but if she was referring to my belief that life is seasonal and organic, then yes I definitely agree. TTC has taken us away from these innate cycles out of biological necessity, but I really love that we are being given the opportunity to make this FET as intrinsic as possible. There is just something so cool about it all.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm Not Pregnant, Just Fat

On the subject of getting rid of negative energy ... this is by far the most challenging.  As I think about pregnancy and all the joys that come along with it, there are also fears that I have wrapped up in what pregnancy entails.  I'm not afraid of being a bad mother or perpetuating the abuse that I suffered as a child, no, what I'm afraid of is far more selfish: my body.  Now this fear does not arise out of vanity as it does with some women, nor does it arise from a fear of complications as it does with others.  My body and I have had a love/hate relationship for as long as I can remember and though it is something that I actively work to reconcile, I am still far from achieving this.

My fear is simply this: I will look fat, not pregnant.  I know, logically, this really shouldn't matter because of the struggle it's been to achieve pregnancy, because of the miraculous job my body will be doing of aiding a child to grow and flourish inside of me, because quite frankly it's silly and ridiculous to worry about something so trivial when you're pregnant.  BUT.  That is my fear and I'm allowed to have it.  Thing is, I want to also let it go and no longer be held by it.  Therein lies the problem.*  

My book, The Mind-Body Fertility Connection, relates such inward fears to struggles with fertility.  I'm not so sure it's that simple.  In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not my fear of looking fat rather than pregnant that is keeping me from actually becoming pregnant.  However, I do appreciate it for raising the possibility because it at least has given me the perch from which I can start to examine any fears and/or insecurities I do have.  Is this fear of mine causing subconscious and undo stress in my body?  I cannot say for sure.  Thus isn't it better to address this issue head-on, just in case?!  It definitely cannot hurt.

Today I had Momma B take a full body picture of me.  I post it with a heart of trepidation, but it's a starting point.  It is a rare occasion that I allow such photos to be entirely because I am ashamed of my body.  Even though I am still 15 pounds lighter than my heaviest weight, I cannot keep the thought out of my head that I am still 100 pounds away from when I looked and felt my best.
Thing is, in my head I still look almost the same as I did back then.  Seeing photos of myself  in the present is always a shock to me.  I inspect it and scrutinize it and shake my head in disbelief - that cannot possibly be a true representation of what I look like, can it?!  It is.

So this is my attempt to begin another type of healing and look to myself for even more forgiveness.  My body has been amazing even while I have treated it unkindly.  It has survived and sometimes even thrived through depression, working full-time while going to school full-time, many moves, rowing and kayaking lessons, 5K walks, too many glasses of wine, and too many more trips, stumbles, and bumps.  It takes me through my days and always knows what it needs to prevail even if I try to refuse or abuse it.  It is itself a miracle.  I would do well to remember that.  

So I may not have a cute little basketball baby bump?  So what.  I may have a harder time finding cute clothes to wear.  I may have less people sure if I am pregnant or just fat.  I may have to look harder to find an OB or midwife that isn't going to lecture me on my weight or scrutinize what I eat or expect that I will develop gestational diabetes or hypertension because of my weight.  BUT perhaps, for once, I'll get to stop worrying about being fat and instead just enjoy what my body can achieve.  Perhaps I'll not have to endure strangers hands constantly trying to touch my belly, or receive unwanted advice, or listen to comments about "popping".  Perhaps, for once, my belly will be a thing of wonder and not a thing of resentment.  Perhaps.  

I won't know until it happens, but for now I can begin to visualize myself seven, eight, nine months pregnant and actually start to smile because I'm no longer focusing on the trivial things that don't matter but rather the one little thing that does.  
*Perhaps if you're not a plus-sized woman you may not be able to truly relate.  That's okay.  We all have our own fears and issues surrounding our bodies and our bodies in pregnancy.  But if you are, I would truly appreciate anything you would have to share with me related to this - whether you struggled or embraced it.  I would enjoy hearing it all.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The True Meaning of IVF

I'Ve Forgiven

Myself. And my body.

Each BFN has taken a little more of me and this last one was devastating. I was not prepared for the pain caused by hearing the news. I knew it was a possibility, of course I knew, but I had so many hopes wrapped up into the process. With each injection I gave myself, my hope grew bigger. The higher my hopes climbed, the harder they fell. And oh did they fall - in fact they crashed and burned. I cannot remember a time when my tears literally racked my body. I was a wreck.

But as the tears slowed and my breath returned, I was able to start to look outside myself. I started looking into the Frozen Embryo Transfer - what I could expect with monitoring and medications, success rates, and personal stories. The faintest flicker of hope appeared.

Momma B and I talked with so much openness and vulnerability that night. We grew closer through our pain and disappointment, but also through our ability to look forward and reassert our goals and dreams. Another flicker.

The next day we took the dogs out to the river. It felt so wonderful to feel the warm sunshine on my skin and put my feet in the cool water. I just stood there and soaked in the energy of the air, of the day. I could see more hope shimmering across the water.

Each hour, each day, I've felt a little more of my hope renewed. I'm not completely there, but I cannot rush the healing process. It's going to take time and I am finally willing to work with myself.

I continue to read both online and a new book that has been so helpful in my healing: The Mind-Body Fertility Connection. I ordered a fertility yoga DVD. I am focused on staying healthy (if not, healthier) with regard to food, activity, etc. I continue to lean on Momma B for support in my weaker moments - which are getting less and less frequent.

Most importantly, I am slowly learning to let go of my self-depreciation. I berated myself for letting everyone down. I wondered what was wrong with me - with my body. I decided that I may not be meant to have children. I was angry, heartbroken, and resentful. I've failed at getting pregnant over and over again. That, naturally, meant I was a failure. Reading about friend's and acquaintance's pregnancies and babies hurt and made me jealous because they succeeded where I could not. Suddenly I felt like we were no longer merely TTC, but instead I became the infertile half of what used to be a very healthy couple. However, I'm slowly learning that I cannot hold onto these feelings or these thoughts (the book has helped me in this regard). I cannot keep all this negative energy inside.

So I'm taking it hour by hour - trying to stay focused on what I am rather than what I am not (or I should say what I think I am not). I have to tell myself little affirmations and visualize myself as a mother. I am working on believing again. I think after the second or third BFN I've slowly lost my ability to fully, truly believe. I am working on believing again.

I want to thank each of you for your support and love. I wish I could give each and every one of you a BIG hug to express my gratitude. It has helped me more than I can express to read such sincerity and graciousness in each comment. Healing is such a lonely journey, but the burdens are lightened considerably when you know you have people to lean on along the way. And though I may not know many of you in real life, I still feel bonded with you through this last year of blogging and TTC. You offer a respite and I am forever grateful to all of you. <3

In other news, we've officially hit CD1 and our appt with beloved Dr. M is only a few days away. Yes, we're hitting the ground running, gaining speed as we heal.
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