National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Day 2013

Today is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. The entire month of October is set aside to bring awareness to pregnancy and infant loss, but today we remember our losses. Let’s take some time to remember the babies who were born asleep, or who were carried but never met, or those we have held but could not take home, or the ones who made it home, but did not stay.

♥ Baby loss is still a taboo subject. Break the silence ♥

Today I will light a candle in remembrance of our little one, he or she would have been a little over two years old this month.

Who will you be lighting a candle for today?

xo

kss

us<

It’s H-a-p-p-e-n-i-n-g!

My surgery that is.

Yesterday I went in to have my preoperative appointment with my RE for my Hysteroscopy and Polypectomy surgery which is scheduled for next Friday January twenty-five.

hysteroscopy

He double checked, actually at this point and on my account-quadruple checked my uterine polyp.

He confirmed, that yes, it was still there and yes I still needed surgery.

After the quick ultra sound check, my husband and I went into his office to discuss the actual procedure and listened to step by step descriptions of what will take place next Friday. He also explained all of the risks associated with the procedure and a few “what if” scenarios that I would have rather not listened to.

fingers-in-ears

Our conversation left me feeling slightly more confident about the surgery, with the confirmed rewards (increased fertility and possible pregnancy there after) that agreeably outweighed the risks (possible infection and well “other risks” not to be mentioned, but associated with me not being able to write on this blog anymore…)

After our candid conversation detailing the mechanics of the surgery, my RE asked if I had any other questions. Of course, I had to ask, forgetting about the surgery all together; what our next steps fertility wise, after the surgery -were? He responded by saying, first things first and that we would further discuss the options and our next move at our postoperative appointment. He did at that point, instruct us not to TTC for at least one full cycle after surgery, as my uterus wouldn’t be completely healed yet. This pushes us out until March- Or even longer if my cycle gets messed up from the pack and a half of birth control pills that I have been taking to “quite my lady parts ” before the surgery…uggg…more waiting…. certainly one thing I can do very well.

Sad-Woman-by-Rob-LeeAt this point this journey is starting to blur and blend all together… my miscarriage, the numerous ultrasounds, blood work and tests results, my official diagnosis of unexplained infertility, the months and months of acupuncture, the never ending supply of herbs, the unsuccessful Femara and IUI cycles that we were so very hopeful for, the cysts that were found after the Femara, the many failed cycles one after the other, the second opinion that revealed my uterine polyp, my low AMH and high FSH results, and now surgery…

 

 

 

 

 

What in the world? How has it come to this?

In all honesty, this just makes me more determined than ever! This is our year.

It has to be.

Bring it 2013.

 

bring it on

The Magic of Estrogen

This past week has been amazing.

First off, thank goodness for estrogen. Without this “feel good” hormone- I don’t know how I would have come to my most recent revelation.

Quick lesson on estrogen: early on in our cycle, around CD 6-8, estrogen levels begin to climb, this helps stabilize our emotions by increasing serotonin, giving us more energy, making us feel sexier and prettier-more feminine. This amazing hormone increases your sex drive at just the right time to make a baby.

 

I have also noticed that during this time, my creative energy goes into overdrive. I wake up early in the morning, full of ideas. The ideas mostly have to do with my home and the changes that I want to make, for example a paint color for one of my walls or a new plant or tree for my yard … or other times it’s a solution to a problem that I have been pondering. During this time I also feel more connected to people around me, and actually want to make connections rather than be my usual private self.

Yes, this is a time during our cycle of wonderful awakening of our mind, body and spirit.

I never really thought too much about why our body endures this awakening, until this past week when everything became perfectly clear.

I realized that our body is set on automatic pilot,  and for the most part it is in perfect rhythm with what it needs to do…producing estrogen early on in our cycle, to rev up our energy and prompt us to feel the urge to make love, after the sexual glow is gone, our body produces progesterone and takes over our body like a warm blanket… keeping everything warm -just in case an embryo is growing…If pregnancy is not achieved, it sheds the lining of old and gets ready for new… again on automatic pilot not stopping unless we interfere.

Either by what we put in our bodies or what we put in our minds.

I admit, I have been doing both.

I’ve been tinkering with this natural process for a long time now. I realized that after my miscarriage…when I didn’t get pregnant again right away, I started feeling desperate. The desperation  started soon after  I went in for a normal annual exam a few months after my miscarriage. The nurse practitioner who I saw for my appointment labeled me with infertility and recommended that I needed to be seen in their infertility office right away.  I panicked and didn’t question. I wanted to get pregnant again so badly, that I forgot to let my body and mind do their magic and have been trying something new almost every cycle since that diagnosis. The something new could be as small as taking a new herb, or seeing an acupuncturist, decreasing my caffeine or as big as, and most recently taking prescription medication.

And now my dh and I were actually pondering injectibles and IVF.

 

It’s overwhelming to me as I look back on these past two years….and how things started escalating from one new option to the next. It felt like the more that I pushed for an answer or tried a new regime the further I was from our baby.

 

I am finally at a place where I have stopped and am coming up for air.

 

After my revelation a new word has popped in my head and it won’t leave.

 

The word is TRUST

 

Every time my old doubts or fears come in – I take a breath and hear my inner voice say:

 

Trust.

 

 

I know deep in my heart that my body knows what it needs to do. I have altered the process both consciously and unconsciously… to a point, that I ended up with a large 23 mm cyst on my ovary, a uterine polyp; that may or may not need to be removed, the diagnosis of unexplained infertility and still no baby.

 

I gave myself these things. Not the drugs or the doctors that examined and tested me.

 

No, it’s me. I take full responsibility.

 

I made this discovery this past week, while my body naturally produced estrogen throughout my body, yes the “feel good” hormone rushing through my body allowed me to be present and hear what I needed to hear.

 

I have been giving away my power through all of this and I am taking a stand and pulling it back where it belongs, with me.

 Trusting

Knowing

Allowing

Creating

I’m back!

kss

My Heart Hurts

Another cycle passes and my nightmare continues. I wake up and rub my sleepy eyes until my mind begins to clear. I am happy from dream land for a moment, then reality hits me like a ton of bricks. I am not pregnant. Again. I wince in pain at the thought. Cycle number twenty-six is another failure on my books. My heart hurts, my throat feels tight, and no more tears fall because I don’t have any left.

I am now faced with starting a new cycle, where decisions will need to be made, timed intercourse to be had,  doctors to visit, bloods to be drawn, friends to avoid, and yet another month of desperately missing my lo who left us so long ago. He or She would be 14 months old, walking by now surely, we would be buying them an adorable Halloween costume and taking them up to Apple Hill to pick pumpkins… but we’re not. And this reality hurts the most. I think I am realizing that my pain is not just about the failed cycles that crush my soul each month; it is the fact that each failed cycle is a reminder of our little one that is not here with us.

I am in the midst of reading the book; “Unsung Lullabies” and the authors talk about grieving and encourages you to grieve when you find out that your cycle has failed. But when is there time to grieve? During the waiting- when I give my everything to believing that we have succeeded? Or during the trying when I have to focus on all the details of ensuring we maximize our trying efforts? When?

 I want to grieve but when?

At this point of my TTC journey I am beginning to feel scared of what’s to come. Fear is creeping in right in time for Halloween. Fear of the unknown is the worst kind and it’s officially here in my heart. For so long, I just kept telling myself that we would get pregnant, especially after our miscarriage, it’s what kept me from hitting rock bottom. Month after month, I keep telling myself this and when CD 1 starts again, without hesitation, my dh and I continue to saddle up and try again… but I am fearful that if we don’t get pregnant soon, we’ll have to make some big decisions that I don’t want to face..

How much longer of trying will be enough?

When is enough –enough?

The Gift

I received a gift a few weeks ago.

The gift was from someone who I had just recently met, a woman in my local RESOLVE group, and yet someone who I felt that I had known for a very long time.  A special person- this I know.

Joining RESOVLE, was not an easy decision for me. For months I had contemplated joining my local chapter. I had the website flagged in my favorites on my laptop; I researched the organization and my local chapter, but I kept waiting month after month to join.  For those of you who don’t know, RESOVLE is the big daddy organization that supports Infertility.

It is in fact The National Association for Infertility.

An excerpt from their website under About:

“RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, established in 1974, is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders. “

Learn more @   www.resolve.org

The hesitation, to join this amazing organization, was not about being scared to join a new group or to meet new people. Honestly, the scariest part for me was that I knew that if I joined I would need to actually admit to other people that I was in fact struggling with Infertility. My husband knew, my sisters knew, my doctors knew, And this I was OK with, but to actually join a group and to attend a meeting and say aloud: “Hi my name is__________and I am infertile” felt so official -so concrete-like I would be finally exposing a deep dark secret that I was trying so desperately to keep hidden.  And hidden not just only from other people, but from myself.

Well, this summer when I finally agreed to my Reproductive Endocrinologist that my DH and I were finally ready for IUI and fertility medication, I also knew that I was ready for RESOVLE.

So I joined my local Resolve chapter in July, by August I had attended my first meeting and wow- the weight that was lifted off my shoulders after that first meeting felt amazing. Just to be able to listen to other women share their own infertility struggles and me being able to tell my own story. I spoke of my miscarriage, my monthly frustrations, and my ultimate fear that I would never be able to have children. We laughed and cried and laughed some more. This was an amazing group of women and I finally felt like I belonged to something.

For awhile now, I have felt like the odd person out. When you are my age, thirty-one years old, you are surrounded by family with families, friends with families, coworkers with families… and start to feel isolated and awkward in social settings. Because our society is so family focused, it is difficult to escape the family questions by other people and feel the scrutiny of not having children after four years of marriage. So coming to a group where the family questions were off the table felt incredibly refreshing.

Yes, this group of women felt good.  Felt really good.

So this brings me back to “the gift”.

At my last meeting, a very special member in the group, a woman who actually started our local chapter many years back, handed out, common thread bracelets that she had hand-made for all the ladies.

She read the story to us behind the common thread bracelet and the meaning and importance of wearing it on your right hand.

I tied mine on immediately.

She included on our bracelets three stones; one representing yourself, your partner, and your little one who is out there waiting to become part of your family. My stones are rose quartz which represent healing, fertility, and protection.

The Common Thread

“For anyone who has ever had a miscarriage, struggled with pregnancy and all things infertile…there is a movement upon us that you might want to join. It’s rather simple actually: a discreet ribbon on your right wrist to signal to others that they are not alone in their struggles.

The pomegranate-colored thread holds a two-fold purpose: to identify and create community between those experiencing infertility as well as create a starting point for a conversation. Women pregnant through any means, natural or A.R.T., families created through adoption or surrogacy, or couples trying to conceive during infertility or secondary infertility can wear the thread, identifying themselves to others in this silent community. At the same time, the string serves as a gateway to conversations about infertility when people inquire about its purpose. These conversations are imperative if we are ever to remove the social stigma attached to infertility. Tie on the thread because you’re not alone. Wear to make aware. Join us in starting this conversation about infertility by purchasing this pomegranate-colored thread (#814 by DMC) at any craft, knitting, or variety store such as Wal-Mart or Target. Tie it on your right wrist. Notice it on others. Just thought I would pass the word along!”

Excerpt taken from:  http://www.stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/

So in hindsight, I have received two gifts recently; one tangible – my common thread bracelet, and the other more conceptual, belonging to an amazing RESOLVE group full of powerful and strong women – healing together through this tough battle called Infertility.

Lastly, I just want to say- If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility I encourage you to check out RESOLVE.

It’s a life changer and heart healer and so much more.

Blessings.

Ksirahsirah