Embracing Pregnancy after Infertility

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My short hiatus is officially over.

 

I needed a break over the holiday like I have never felt before.

 

As soon as I finished my last final of the year, I closed my laptop and didn’t open it again until this past weekend. I craved silence from school and work demands and knew I needed to shut it all down; for both my sanity and health.

 

I admit, my first few weeks after learning we were successful with our IVF cycle felt a bit strange. Almost as if I didn’t belong anywhere.  I wanted to embrace my pregnancy with open arms and joy and yet all my past disappointments and hurts blurred the lines. I was happy- but didn’t want to feel “too happy” and I wanted to shout my long awaited news from the roof tops and yet at the same time I didn’t want to tell a soul just in case I jinxed my pregnancy- and is that even a thing?

 

What I have come to discover is that infertility robs us of something in our soul even after we become pregnant. The pure and innocent joy of pregnancy isn’t processed the same way for those that have struggled with infertility.  We are pregnant and yet still feel raw from the other side that is nipping at our heels and fear inches its way in and is difficult to overcome despite our dreams finally coming true.

Even after our second ultrasound, when our OB announced that everything looked perfect and that based on everything he saw our chance of miscarriage decreased to 3%, I still wasn’t feeling any better. Thankfully a few days later I forced myself to snap out of my reluctant and fear based fog.

 

Embracing this pregnancy was what I had forgotten to do. I was still stuck in this strange place of disappointment and failure and yet I had a being growing inside me with a heartbeat and all. I decided that no matter what happened during this pregnancy, I needed to govern that which I had control of; my emotional personal response to finally becoming pregnant after three long years of  struggling to conceive. I began to embrace this little miracle inside me a few days before Christmas and joy overcame the fear. I felt as though I was opening the curtains of an old log cabin to let the sun shine through for the first time in years. I felt the warmth and allowed myself to be in the moment with this being (our child) growing inside my womb. I’ve since been much more relaxed and open to this side of the journey; pregnancy after infertility. Some days are harder than others, and that is when I kindly remind myself to embrace this experience and feel the joy that is flowing inside me.

 

Today I am 10 weeks and three days pregnant. Tears fill my eyes as I look at my most recent ultrasound picture that I am proudly displaying on my fridge; our little one is beginning to look like an actual baby now, her little arm is sticking up as if waiving to us all.

baby r 10 weeks

 

Joy.

 

Pure joy.

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Tears and Happy Baby

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I went to my one hour power yoga class to sweat, stretch my muscles and move fresh oxygen through my blood. I hadn’t taken a class in nearly a week and my body desperately craved the heat and movement of flow.

After an amazingly intense one hour class our instructor had us lie on to our backs and get into “happy baby” for our final resting pose.

Looks like this:

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At first this pose feels wonderful, your vertebrae, one by one, aligns to the floor, hips begin to stretch open and relax and you feel and actually look like a happy baby.

But holding this posture for more than 30 seconds begins to feel torturesque and we were in this pose for nearly six or seven minutes…

not certain exactly but enough time to listen to the entire song of Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah ..

Between this extremely deep hip opener and mesmerizing song filling the yoga studio… my mind began to wander and I became lost in my thoughts.

Thoughts of pregnant women and how open and relaxed their hips would be in this very pose, if I would take yoga classes when I was finally pregnant one day, my own happy baby that I continue to dream about both day and night, bringing me back to the reality that my cycle still had not started since my surgery, the heavy thought of trying again…and the pain in my tight hips which began intensifying with my thoughts.. and before I knew it my hips began fighting the pose and the pain almost became unbearable taking my breath away…I wanted to quit, I wanted to run right out of the room-Hallelujah and all, away from the heat and the sweat and my thoughts…

But I stayed.

And I breathed.

Welcoming both the pain and the release.

And that’s when it started

Tears began to roll down my flushed cheeks

and I let them

I knew where they were coming from and it made me cry that much more; my hips were holding on to
my tightness, rigidness, controlling tendencies, worries and fears

and I just told myself to let go

Let it all go- she whispered…

And I did

And it felt wonderful

Deciding at that very moment  that both tears and happy baby are a beautiful thing

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(Ananda Balasana)

(aka Dead Bug Pose)

Benefits:
Physical: Releases lower back and sacrum; opens hips, inner thighs, and groins
Emotional: Releases unconscious emotions stored in the hip area
Rx for: Lower Back Pain

1. Lie flat on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart, arms alongside the body, palms facing the ceiling.
2. Lift feet off the floor and bring knees in toward the shoulders.
3. Flex the feet.
4. Grasp the outsides of the feet with each hand.
5. Pull gently using the hands, enhancing the stretch and bringing knees closer to the floor.
6. Press buttocks into the floor.
7. Hold for 5 to 10 slow, deep breaths.

Twenty Six

Time for an update on cycle number Twenty Six

 

I had my third IUI performed this past Monday. This time was a little different from the last two experiences. The usual doctor who had performed both my previous two IUI’s was not available. I had coined him the “mad scientist” or “crazy Dr. *Stu” as he somewhat resembled the doctor from the movie Knocked Up.

Yes. That one.

So this time I thankfully had a new person to get the job done. I had been praying I would have a new doctor; I needed new energy, healing hands, someone who I could feel like really cared about helping me get pregnant.

I knew instantly when she walked through the door my prayers were answered!

She was older than I had anticipated, with white hair and kind eyes. I knew she would have the healing touch. She took her time to ensure the placement of all the instruments they used were in place. She even went as far as reinserting a larger device, to ensure the “guys would get where they needed to”. Yes, this hurt a bit more and took longer than my other two IUI’s but I felt perfectly comfortable and at peace knowing that I was being take care of- This time I didn’t feel like I was taking up the doctors’ precious time with a tedious task of IUI, no, this time I felt really cared for. Incredible, really,  how the same procedure could produce such a different experience with the right energy.

The protocol after an IUI is that you stay laying down for at least ten minutes to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction to the substance they use to clean the sperm sample.

I enjoy this time, because it gives me a moment to breathe, reflect, and relax. This time the instant that the doctor left the room, tears sprung to my eyes and rolled down my face and on to my chest. It was more of a release cry than anything else. It happened so suddenly.

It was short.

Unexpected.

But very much needed

There are so many emotions that you experience and carry with you leading up to this type of appointment. So it is only a given, that after the procedure is over your body automatically lets go of these emotions and produces tears as part of the release. Laying on the table felt so good, there I was in solace visualizing the sperm meeting the egg and knowing in my heart that we did all we could do for this cycle.

 

Today Fertility Friends charting software gave me my solid red lined crosshairs that confirm that I in fact ovulated on IUI day. Meaning that today I am officially 3dpo!

I’ll be emotionally stable for a few more days- maybe 5 or 6 and then I admit that I will  start psycho analyzing everything; my chart, the days we bd, my cm, my symptoms, my symptoms from last cycle and the cycle before that, and the cycle that I got my BFP, and the list goes on…but until then I can relish in the aftermath of our efforts and pray with all our hearts and soul that this cycle– we can proudly  say “twenty sixth time’s a charm.”

 

*Not name of actual Doctor

F is for Fail

So August 8th came and went, and as you can tell by my small hiatus of this blog, it took me a few days to put my thoughts together and wrap my mind around yet, another failed cycle. This time it was a little more disheartening. For as you know this last cycle included a new protocol of Femara & IUI. (Our first one) I suppose only a select few actually conceive from their first IUI, it does take usually 2-3 times, but I was really hoping I would be one of the lucky ones. Didn’t happen.

I did however, proudly, wait the full 14 dpo to actually take a HPT test. Unfortunately, there I was again staring at only one pink line in the wee hours of the morning. I actually was ok- and I don’t even think I cried until way later on in the day, when I walked in to my house, after being gone all day (helping my brother un pack my mom’s kitchen for the 2nd time this year- another blog in itself) and I saw my dh and I lost it…he just wrapped me up in his arms right there in our kitchen, and the tears started flowing. And flowing, until finally, I lost my breath and began doing the weird cry- breathe- thing, where you can’t even speak. I let it all out, I told him it would have been our angel baby’s birthday, I told him I felt like a failure, and I told him how sad I was. He just kept wrapping me up in his arms, showering me with kisses, and reminding me of all the things we do have, and that we still have each other, and that it’s OK. He really made me feel better, despite my hard day. Also, the Round Table pizza that I had picked up on the way home helped as well (Round Table is my most favorite comfort food in the whole wide world). As you know I had planned on drinking a whole bottle of wine to myself, but instead I indulged on my favorite pizza, and soaked up the love from  my husband and doggies.

The next day was better, even when AF actually showed up, I was ok. I called my Doctors office to let them know that I was on CD1 and to scheduled my routine ultrasound the following day. Unfortunately, the U/S brought bad news number two of the week, as I found out that I actually had a cyst that had formed on my right ovary- and a large one if that 16mm, which according to my doctor is too large to prescribe any more Femara for this cycle. I was told that I needed to make sure the cyst was much smaller or gone, before they would prescribe me anymore Femara. There I was again, in that awkward position with my legs spread apart, speaking to a doctor about my female parts and how they failed me, and taking in the bad news once again. As I was staring at the u/s screen watching her measure the stupid cyst, I had the biggest lump in my throat, and tears started forming, I immediately had a flashback of the same screen many many months ago, showing me my baby’s empty sac with the deafening news of “I’m sorry there is no longer a heart beat”.  Yes, I am beginning to loathe this position and that machine. Truly.

I feel like I am going to need some positive news soon, as my passion for conceiving is lessening more and more with each failed cycle, and I feel that I may be nearing my breaking point.

Also, to clarify – just how hard this past week has been for me, my sweet DH actually bought me flowers yesterday. This is the second time, yes even with my love for flowers, that he has done this in our seven years together. He actually told me they weren’t from him, but from our doggies and even wrote a note from them reading:

Dear Mom, We love U! Thanks for being the best Mom ever. L & L  

Of course I cried again.

Despite how hard this past week has been, honestly, in a crazy way, I am actually glad that the Femara caused a cyst. I feel as though my body is telling me something and I am hoping she is right. Something along the lines of: “you don’t need drugs, you will conceive without them.” This had actually been one of my personal prayers for a long time (that we would conceive a healthy baby naturally) that was until I reached the 2 year desperado mark and everything went out the window and I said:  give me anything and everything.  Was this selfish? Is there a lesson to learn here? I don’t know. But what I do know is that now we are on to cycle number *25* and this cycle’s protocol will be: el natural, Opk, bd when fertile, and IUI.

I am beginning to realize, that if we don’t conceive in the next few months, we will need to start making some very hard decisions such as – going on to injectable cycles (more serious drugs), potential adoption, or even (gulp) living a child free life. There’s that lump in my throat again. That last option is so hard to consider.

But, this is my reality.

~ksirahsirah

I’m Ready

Today is cd 24 and I am currently 9dpIUI/O. Most women in my shoes would be taking pregnancy tests from sun up till sun down at this point in their cycle, but not me. First off don’t get me wrong, normally I am that woman who is waking up at dawn to POAS. But this cycle I have a lot riding and I don’t want to deflate my hope quiet yet. Secondly, no POAS per Doctors’ orders. Seriously as I was walking out of my Dr.s office after the IUI, my friendly nurse called me in to the back office and told me “do not test early. I repeat do not test early. As it could result in a false positive! Wait the full 14 days.” I just stared back and mumbled out a confused “K”. Now if I hadn’t been so caught off guard or if I wasn’t thinking quick get me out to the car before everything drips out- then I would have probably asked a thousand questions, the first one being why??  But instead I just took the advice and now I’m sticking to it- no questions asked!

This means that in 5 1/2 fabulous days I get to finally TEST! That is unless the witch shows her ugly face first. Oh please no! Please don’t show!  I don’t know what I will do if/when the test is positive and at the same time,  I don’t know what I’ll do if the test is negative. Should I wait to test until the afternoon so that if I don’t see the magic second pink beautiful line, I can drown my sorrows in a bottle of Cab? I did shopping therapy last month, so wine therapy would be fitting this time for sure.

At the moment, I don’t feel any different this cycle than any other cycle, honestly. If anything I don’t think I have any symptoms at all.  Not really even of my normal PMS.  Trying to remain calm, clear headed and grounded. This morning the angel card I drew was “Miracle Healing” I feel like this card is very timely. Card meaning: Expect a miracle. You have prayed for assistance, and it is forthcoming. The more completely you surrender your situation to God, the more rapidly you will realize your healing. Truly LOVE this and it’s so very true. Also, very timely that I will be testing on 8/8 (my angel baby’s edd or as I will start remembering the date from this day forward- as my angels babys’ birthday)

Last August I mourned all month long over my loss and into September. I can honestly say now that time does heal. I know this. People say this all the time, and you don’t quite believe it, but I agree with them. I thought it would take holding my baby in my arms to start healing, but I can honestly say that time has helped the healing process. Don’t get me wrong, my heart still hurts. But less. Yes, it is decided. This year I will celebrate and maybe even make a cake! I will celebrate with love, knowing my babies are with me in spirit always and will come to me one day soon.

ps : I’m thinking chocolate cake with buttercream frosting

Oh and since I didn’t already mention this, I am ready. Ready to be a mother. Ready to be pregnant with swollen feet. Ready to buy cute little baby blankets for my baby.  I’m ready.  Beyond ready.

(Below is a link to Tracy Chapmans’ song titled “I’m Ready” Such a beautiful song and fitting for this post… heard it my first day back in yoga a few weeks ago..coincidence? I think not)

http://youtu.be/XEub8DeD7wg

 

KSS

And it begins…. My Two Week Wait

Just finished up a mighty busy week and feeling quite calm this early Saturday morning. The sun is shining her beautiful golden hue, filling up the front of my house, my sweet husband and two doggies are nestled in their beds sleeping peacefully, and I am reflecting on my prosperous week in the early morning stillness.

First off, today is Cycle Day 18- and I am officially 3 days past ovulation, meaning  that once again, my ovulation has been confirmed. This makes me so very happy. Not only did we have plenty of well-timed BD this past week, but we had a successful IUI performed the day of O! I was very lucky to have tested twice on Cycle Day 14 or I would have very well missed my window of opportunity. Thanks goodness I listened to my intuition to test again after my acupuncture appointment. I just had a feeling. And I was right. Got my smiley face OPK.

(Picked these the morning of my IUI- Flowers calm me and give me energy at once and these smelled lovely)

OK so the IUI experience in a nut shell:

Exciting. Akward. (Holding DH sperm in a sample cup between your girls to stay warm-is not an everyday occurrence Easy. Painless.  Pap smear-like. (Except instead of the swab-you are getting your hubby’s cleaned super sperm injected into your lady parts) Bright Lights.  Hopeful. Emotional. Content.

Do I have high hopes for this cycle? Unfortunately, yes I do. How do I not? My very first cycle with Femara (super ovulater drug) and lots of BD and IUI! What is not to love about that fertility inducing cocktail?  The other thing I have going for me this cycle, is that my actual testing day (14 days past O) falls on 8/8. This was my angel babies estimated due date last year. Finding out that we are pregnant on this special date would mean the world to me and so much more. Knowing that something so very special could be happening during this time, gives me peace of mind, and more hope than ever before. I feel the stars aligning. I feel positive. He or She is ready to come back.

Its’ time.

 

“Que sera sera

Whatever will be                        

will be

The future’s not ours to see

Que sera sera

What will be

will be”

 

K Sirah Sirah

The List

Feeling inspired at the moment. A few days ago, not so much. Not sure what happens emotionally to me during the first few days of a new cycle…I have been  living my life in two-week increments for such a long time now that ones’ mind (mine) starts playing tricks on you. At first sight of the witch, I feel angry, mad, sad, depressed,  jealous, frustrated and well sometimes like a complete and utter failure, both as a woman and a wife. Then as a few days pass by, I start to feel a second wind, and I get filled with a sudden bursts of energy filled with inspiration and hope. Ideas start pouring in faster than I can remember them, so this month I decided to jot down a few of these ideas on a “to do “list . We are, of course, approaching the last phase of summer and this act just seems timely.

I title my list simply:

July/ August 2012

Start up yoga again (I used to do Bikram yoga, but want to try a new style and have a yoga studio already in mind)

Finish reading 50 shades of Grey (Yes, this book has captured my interest, but I find I can only read it in the comfort of my own home, those of you who have read this understand)

And maybe complete the trilogy…  (because I can )

Start mini makeover in my hall bathroom (I completed my guest bath with the help of my Dad a few months ago and it turned out –beautiful!)

J heart S (special time with my hubby- LOTS!)

Continue blogging (really am enjoying this and feels a bit healing)

Learn how to make homemade Salsa with my veggies from my garden (this makes me think of Seinfeld when he says ” S-a-l-s-a” over and over)

Girls Napa Trip (already planned, hoping I would have been the DD but-nope!)

Attend a local Resolve Meeting (and maybe make a new friend or two)

Master Instagram  (sadly, these things take me awhile)

Go to a Giants baseball game (so I can wear my Buster Posey t-shirt – finally!)

Close my last escrow that I have been working on since January (would prefer if this occurred in July not August, I think my client would appreciate this too)

Land an amazing new job! (been looking for the past 3 months)

Plan an overnight camping trip with my DH and our two little dogs (notice I wrote plan and not attend- baby steps with this one!)

Phew! That is quite the list, but oh my goodness- am I inspired!

Oh and bonus! maybe just maybe during all these wonderful experiences we will make our rainbow thb!

A girl can dream, right?

What is on your “to do’ list for the remaining days of summer 2012?