Pet Peeves

I’m really happy for my fertile friends and their adorable babies. Honestly. We even baby-sat a couple weekends ago. I had a blast reading books and changing diapers. And baby pictures plastered all over facebook do make me smile (and then make me a little sad for my situation). But it’s hard to swallow when it’s someone who struggled with infertility and proceeds to complain about morning sickness, swollen ankles, and now that he’s born, say that you want someone to help hold him because he will only sleep in your arms.

I hope each month that a bout of morning sickness nausea will consume me and I’ll be puking in the bathroom at work. I can’t wait to have a son or daughter to hold in my arms. Pregnancy and birth and taking care of a baby is no picnic, but when I finally have the miracle baby I’ve been wanting for so long I hope I never forget how lucky I am.

Rant over. Friend no longer in my news feed for the time being.

The cure for everything: salt water… sweat, tears or the sea

I absolutely love this quote; it could not be more true. After being in a serious funk since mid-July when I got my FSH results, I feel like I’m finally coming out on the other side. Hopefully a little more resilient.

Saturday we took the dogs to a 3k dog-friendly walk downtown. It was a great event, and the dogs had a blast! Then I baked the most delicious chocolate chip cookies to bring to a friends birthday party later in the day. Man, I love baking. We’ve been trying to eat cleaner, 80/20 paleo (for the most part…). And holy cow, real cookies taste incredible. Don’t get me wrong, I found a killer chocolate chip paleo cookie recipe. But it’s not the same as buttery, gluten-y cookies.

Sunday is beach day, our church. The weather was great, the water was murky but cold. We got to break in our new beach toys – M pushed me on my paddleboard into the waves so I could surf. Friends from the gym met us out there, and it really was just what we both needed.

With my HSG yesterday, I wasn’t feeling up to gyming it so I went today instead. I really do love the gym we found. I’ve enjoyed seeing myself get strong and fitter since I started last November.

I should be working to make up the hours I missed yesterday for my appt, but instead I baked cookies while listening to Dawes. My new obsession. “Most People” is really resonating with me lately.

“Most people don’t talk enough about how lucky they are,

Most people don’t know what it takes for me to get through the day,

Most people don’t talk enough about the love in their hearts”

I am extremely lucky. I have a great job that I thoroughly enjoy, most of the time. I have an amazing, loving husband. And two sweet fur-babies. Last summer we were able to move to the beach, and we found a great house, across the street from the best park in town, with plenty of room, and room to grow. I just have to be patient.

Both tubes are open!

My first gut reaction was joy, so I’m trying to hold on to that for as long as possible. I know having the HSG is just the first rung on the infertility ladder. But both tubes are open! Now if I can just get a follicle to develop and release an egg to meet the sperm kickin’ it in my fallopian tubes…

For posterity, and for anyone out there who may have an HSG and wants details, the whole test wasn’t that bad. An hour before I took 800 mg of ibuprofen which I think helped with the pain and cramps. The speculum and I have never been friends (Maybe I’ll get used to it as time goes on. I expect this infertility thing to cause a lot of speculum encounters for me…). That part of the procedure was the typical mount of awkward, uncomfortable and a little painful. Then came cleansing my cervix which I didn’t feel at all. Next was the catheter. This part sucked, 5-10 seconds of intense pain and uncomfortable-ness.

Then they had to get my in position below the xray machine. While involved me sliding up on the table, moving my knees out, sliding back some more. This was uncomfortable with the catheter and speculum in, but it wasn’t terrible or painful really. Actually pushing in the dye wasn’t painful, though I was distracted with watching the xray monitor.

The nerd in me did enjoy seeing my uterus fill up (it’s so tiny! just a little bigger than a quarter) and the dye moving through my fallopian tubes and spilling out into my abdominal cavity. The radiologist will get his official report to my doctor this week, and hopefully everything looked good!

I don’t have another appointment set up with my gyno. I plan on calling this week to hear about the official HSG report, and maybe she’ll recommend a round of Clomid or something in between now and my appointment with the reproductive specialist.

I think if my tube(s) had been blocked, I would feel devastated. I’m so thankful that I have this piece of good news to hold on to. Getting my period this past month was so difficult – it keeps getting harder and harder each month. M and I talked about taking time off from trying until my appt with the specialist because it is so hard on me every month. M has this mindset that he can’t be upset because we don’t know what’s wrongs, which I wish I could get behind. But the HSG results gives me a little happiness boost. When he gets back from a work trip, baby-making is back on!

I also had another acupuncture appt last Friday. E (acupuncturist) put needles in my belly this time (the first time was at the end of my cycle, so she went easy just in case), and she found something interesting. It was hard to put the needles in, there was redness around the needles (only the ones in my belly), my belly was just very stiff, and it felt almost like there was a vertical cord running up and down my belly (I don’t really feel it, but E does…). Not really sure what this all means, but she’s going to focus on this area at my upcoming appts. E told me about another patient who had a similar belly thing going on and it turned out she had a hernia as a baby and needed to have surgery at 2 days old. After some acupuncture, her abdominal area was freed up and she ended up getting pregnant!

I’m going to end on this semi-happy note. I feel good about my decision to have the HSG and start acupuncture. And I can’t wait until Wednesday when M gets home, so I can get back on that pogo stick (40 Year Old Virgin anyone? I spend too much time with guys who quote movies.).

And so it begins…

After fourteen, going on fifteen, months of trying to get pregnant I decided I need an outlet to voice (or write) my struggle that I hope one day will become a success story. I’ve never been much of a writer, and this is my first blogging experience, so please bear with me!

I’ll start from the beginning. I’m Sarah, 27 years old (almost 28), and M (31 years old) and I have been married for 4 years, together for almost 9 years. We have very much enjoyed our DINK time, but since May 2014 we’ve been wanting to add human babies to our family of two fur babies (Australian Shepherd rescue pups).

I started taking birth control pills shortly after M and I started dating. We were in college, definitely not ready for kids, and it had the added bonus of regulating my periods and lessening PMS symptoms (cramps, moodiness). May 2014 was the first time in 8 years I wasn’t taking my birth control, and it was exciting to think that soon we would get pregnant! Of course I forgot about the painful cramping that returned the very first month off the pill. And then there’s not knowing when to expect my period, or thinking it’s late when it’s not.

It took maybe 6 months for my body to adjust to being off the pill, and then I started noticing all of these weird symptoms – sore boobs, bloating, body aches. Apparently as a teenager I paid absolutely no attention to how my body changes throughout my cycle. Every month when I feel these changes I thought… This is it! Finally pregnant! After a while, I would tell myself not to get my hopes up. And yet, every month my symptoms would let me convince myself that… This is it, finally!

After about 13 months, I saw my gyno to discuss our lack of pregnancy and more of my period history. My mom had endometriosis, my painful cramping, the fact that sometimes in certain positions sex can be painful. She ordered some bloodwork (TSH, FSH and prolactin) and a semen analysis for M. M’s results came back normal, though we haven’t seen the details. My bloodwork came back with “normal” TSH and prolactin (1.43 and 4.6), but a “higher than expected for my age” FSH level of 10. I was devastated. All this time trying, tracking my BBT, using ovulation predictor kits, taking prenatal vitamins, and I may not actually be ovulating. I immediately called a Reproductive Center to make an appointment, which unfortunately isn’t until the end of September.

I couldn’t just wait for two and a half months, not knowing what’s wrong or what I could do to help. Last week I went to an acupuncturist to start something, anything that will help my body move in the right direction. I started taking chinese herbs, and I’ll be having weekly acupuncture treatments. This may not be the “right” thing to do, I know Eastern medicine has it’s share of nay-sayers. But it feels good to be doing something.

This past Sunday I got my period. Again.  After thinking, once again, that I had finally gotten pregnant. First thing Monday morning I called my gyno to see if there are any more tests or things to try before my appointment with the Reproductive Specialist. I must have sounded hysterical. But now I have a hysterosalpingography (HSG) scheduled for next Monday. Although I’m a little worried about the procedure, I’m hopeful that it will at least give us more insight as to what we’re up against.

In some ways our life has been on hold the past fourteen months, and we continue to wait. Waiting, not knowing if or when we will get pregnant, all the while not sharing this experience, has been very difficult. Lonely. Isolating. Stressful.

I’m grateful for this outlet to share my feelings of sadness, hope, and hopefully one day triumph.