Reset

So now that birthday shenanigans are totally over, it’s time to reset my health habits again. The fall is pretty difficult since there are so many birthdays and holidays, and we typically go on vacation in the fall. We have 2 trips coming up in the next 2 months, including one in about a month, so I really want to zero in on better habits and ideally lose about 10 pounds. A big part of that is working on my sleep schedule. According to my fitbit I average 6.5 hours of sleep during the week and 7-7.5 on weekends. I think stress from work coupled with recent bad eating habits have thrown things off. We have a bunch of tea, including chamomile, so I’ll see this week if that will help me to get to sleep sooner.

I’m also going to start tracking my food again to make sure I don’t lose focus. Usually when I have a solid deadline for losing weight tracking my food helps. Breakfast this week will be smoothies with half a bagel. The smoothie is only 166 calories and one of my problems before was eating too little, so I tossed in half a bagel. Morning snack is a serving of Triscuits. Lunch is a turkey burger with a side salad and my afternoon snack is carrots and hummus. Dinners this week include stuffed mushrooms and breakfast for dinner.

In terms of working out, I’m going to shoot for 3 times a week, with 2 days of cardio-focused workouts and one day of strength-focused workouts. Hopefully I can stick to all of this, but the biggest challenge will be sleeping more. Stay tuned.

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Happy Birth Day

So yesterday was my birthday. I had a long, wonderful weekend celebrating with friends and family. It was a milestone birthday and this weekend was better than imagined.

I also had my second IUI yesterday morning. I had been dreading it because I couldn’t forget the pain from the last one and was hoping that we could delay things by a day. I preemptively took today off work since I didn’t know that I could go in on a Sunday for the procedure. Things went WAY better this time. I was chatting with the nurse while laying on the patient table and I didn’t realize that it was over in an instant. I guess the only annoying part was that I had to lay there for 10 minutes afterwards. I didn’t have my phone or a watch, or anything to help pass the time, so I made it to I think 3 minutes. The other good news is that when the nurse checked the length of my follicle she said it was super long. Average with Clomid is 18-30mm. Last cycle I was 19 so I’m guessing this one was longer. It’d be quite the birthday present if I do get pregnant this cycle.

I also decided to do things a little different this cycle (although full disclosure, I don’t remember if I did this for the last IUI cycle). I’m going to restrict my alcohol consumption for at least the next 2 weeks. It’s not excessive, maybe 2-3 8 ounce beers a week if that, but I’m going to cut it to 1 beer a week at most. It’ll be a bit tough since we have a shit ton of beer from my birthday party this weekend; until this afternoon, when I bought groceries, the ratio of beer to food in our fridge was 3:1. So doing that, getting back into a workout routine, and waiting to see what happens in the next 2 weeks.

On a related note, I’ve told more friends about our fertility struggles. It’s definitely getting easier and I feel a lot less shame and frustration since the friends I’ve told have been supportive and empathetic. For the friend I told most recently, it was heartening to know that she knows other women who are struggling so she had an idea of what I’m dealing with. At this point, I’m more comfortable with being more open about our struggles instead of giving some vague non-answer.

Round 2 of IUI

I feel like I’ve gone to the doctor so many times that I can pretty much do most procedures myself. I went to my pre-IUI sonogram appointment and without much direction I disrobed and got into place on the table. Before the tech could mention it I let her know that my left ovary tends to “hide,” acknowledged the med costs, and told her my pharmacy. I didn’t mean to come off brusque but I can’t say I’m a fan of taking more time off of work to have a sono wand being jammed up my vagina.

Anyway, everything looks good and I started Clomid 100 again today. My next appointment is in a week, so if at that point I have long enough follicles I’ll do the trigger shot.

I have a new supervisor at work now and I had planned to tell her today why I had been going to the doctor so often. Unfortunately, one of my coworkers (who I coincidentally called a big mouth in a joking/not-joking way earlier in the day) brought up my fertility treatments when she, my supervisor, and I were in the break room (I had confided in this coworker months ago about our fertility struggles). Since it was the 3 of us and I was already going to discuss this with my supervisor, I talked about my procedures and my fertility struggles in vague detail. Not the way I wanted it to come out but I’m glad my supervisor knows now since I’ll probably come off a bit less suspicious when I ask for time off again.

I’m looking forward to relaxing with family and friends this weekend. I’m feeling emotionally depleted from this week so DH and I are going to visit his folks tomorrow before they leave the country (again; definitely not jealous) then we’re hosting a friend and her boyfriend for a Halloween-themed potluck on Sunday. DH and I are also trying to incorporate more self-care time into our day, including no phones after a certain time. It’s been working out well and we’re hoping to get to the point where we’re not so attached to our technology.

Dominoes

Apparently some of my friends were quite busy this summer. I’ve lost count of how many of them have announced pregnancies in the last week. Juxtapose that with the worst period I’ve had in years. Thankfully only the first day and a half was brutal, but my body wasn’t done yet.

I’ve been hit hard this week as well by a nasty sinus infection. I get them every few months and my last one was about a month ago, possibly triggered by the air pressure changes from the hurricane. Pollen count is up here so I think that’s what triggered this round. The worst part about this one was the pain. On a scale of 1-10, I was at a solid 9 this morning. On top of that, I’ve been very tired this week. I’ve tried to take it easy on coffee in order to help stay hydrated and get through this sinus infection, but it feels like I haven’t slept in days.

This week so far: worst period ever, more baby announcements, feeling like my face was hit with a frying pan.

It gets better!

I was supposed to get my sonogram done today in order to start my next IUI cycle. Supposed to. I got all the way to the office and when I signed in, the receptionist was confused. Long story short, they screwed up scheduling and there was no sonographer at the office. They tried to get me an appointment at their office across town, which made no sense because I literally live 10 minutes from this office and I didn’t want to drive 30-45 minutes out of my way because of their fuck up. I was able to reschedule for tomorrow morning, but that doesn’t change that I took off time from work today and I will have to again tomorrow that I have to figure out how to make up.

I’m fully aware that none of this is in my control, but it’s so hard not to think about how many women didn’t/don’t have to make all these appointments and rearrange their lives to try to get pregnant.

Last Stretch

The last 2 weeks have been okay. DH and I visited my family and I got to show DH more of my home town. The visit was much more needed than I had expected and it was nice to be completely relaxed. DH and I took this weekend for ourselves since we checked the calendar and our next free Saturday won’t be until the weekend before Thanksgiving. While we were out yesterday, my lower back started to hurt and I realized that my period was probably on its way.

Before the hurricane hit I resigned myself to the fact that I probably wouldn’t get pregnant since I missed my IUI due to storm prep, but still held out the smallest bit of hope that I could get pregnant naturally. It wasn’t meant to be. I began having more symptoms of my period today and I’m starting to consider going back on birth control because these symptoms have been the worst in some time. I’ve been vomiting, and have been walking around like Gollum for the last 2 hours due to pain. Barring some other natural disaster, I’ll do another IUI this month and the third and last one in November if the IUI this month fails. After that, if the IUI doesn’t work, we’re done with fertility treatment. DH asked me today if I would be open to adoption. Maybe way down the road. Right now, adoption still feels like a consolation prize.

Drop it Like it’s Hot

Phew.

We had our latest 5k over the weekend and it was brutal. I forgot to eat something before heading out and paid for it during the race. Everything started out okay but around mile 2 I began feeling dizzy, to the point I was having trouble seeing. I had some digestive issues earlier that morning and thought I may have been dehydrated (and it felt like we were running in a sauna), so I was sure to stop at the water stations. However, every time I started running again I felt dizzy. My time wasn’t great but I cut myself some slack considering I almost quit due to the dizziness. I did some research later and found out that it was possible that my blood pressure probably dropped due to low blood sugar from not eating. Important lesson learned.

Also important: I still beat my time from my first 5k! The official times were released yesterday and the split time for my first mile was way better than expected. The last 2 miles were obviously not that great but I’m still in disbelief that I beat my last race time. We’re already planning the next race, but it’ll be in a few months, when the weather isn’t so stifling.

Whirlwind

What a week. DH and I were directly affected by the hurricane. We wound up evacuating but we were definitely one of the lucky ones as we never lost power and our place had minimal damage. It was an incredibly stressful ordeal and I even lost 5 pounds last week because I typically don’t have an appetite when highly stressed. I gained some of that back though when trying to eat up perishables ahead of the storm. To compound the stress, my family was also directly affected so it felt like I was running on straight adrenaline for 4-5 days. I’m exhausted.

After eating out of primary boxes and cans the last few days, I was excited finally get some fresh stuff from the grocery store. However, the grocery stores are still devoid of perishables. It was stunning to see so many empty refrigerator and freezer cases. It could be up to a week before grocery stores are fully stocked again. I panicked a little because we have our next race very soon and we’re not really getting our nutritional needs met without having to keep eating out. We bought ready-to-eat meals from a local health food store, which was helpful, but it’s been a huge challenge to ensure we’re not eating straight carbs.

On a somewhat related side note, this week has also made me more introspective than usual. When going to each grocery store trying to find food, I thought about it’s a regular thing for some people to struggle to find healthy, affordable food. I was also very aware of how easy it was for me to go from store to store when others don’t have that kind of mobility or access. I don’t feel guilty for my privilege as I’ve worked hard to get to where I’m at, but with this storm my privilege has been a lot more apparent. Once I reset emotionally DH and I will start looking into how to best help the recovery efforts.

Back to Square One

Another month, another period. It was very painful this cycle, to the point that I could barely move. It hasn’t been this bad in a while so I’m not sure what the deal was. I’m feeling a little flustered because I called the doctor late last week to let him know it started, but I was unable to go in to get my sonogram done due to bad weather. I have to get a sonogram done to make sure I didn’t have any cysts or fibroids before starting Clomid and the trigger shot and IUI again. So, this means I have to miss a month of treatment. I’m close to giving up. This leaves October and November to get pregnant and if everything fails again in November, then we’re done.

And Another One

Today started out well. DH and I went shopping and while waiting on him at one of the stores, I found out that someone I know is pregnant.

I immediately felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. When I last saw her she said she didn’t want kids. Now I realize that people can change their minds but my first thought was, here’s someone who didn’t want children will have one next spring, whereas I’ve been trying for almost 3 years.

The rest of the shopping trip was a haze. DH didn’t notice that something was up until we were in the car (he’s never been one for catching details, unless he’s telling one of his long-winded stories). I told him what happened and he was supportive. After lunch and a moderately strong cocktail, I felt a little better.

I am feeling a little nervous about this week though because I’m supposed to test on Thursday. I’m trying to stay positive, but I keep thinking about how low the odds of are IUI working the first time, even with medication. I guess we’ll see what happens.

Go Time

This felt like the longest morning.

DH’s appointment was about an hour before mine. He went to the doctor’s office to make his deposit and when he got home he apologized for taking a while. DH said he had some performance challenges due to worrying that he didn’t produce enough sperm. I gave him some reassurance then had to leave for my appointment.

I sat there for a solid 45 minutes in the lobby just waiting. I texted a few friends who are going through similar fertility difficulties to pass the time, but this was probably the longest I’ve ever waited to be seen. I started worrying about whether everything was okay but was finally called back. To do the IUI, the nurse used a catheter to insert DH’s sperm (essentially like using a thin turkey baster). It hurt like hell, which was my biggest concern. When the catheter was in it felt like someone was pinching my cervix. When the catheter was finally out, I experienced some cramping, which the nurse said was normal. She told me to take ibuprofen for the pain, and a pregnancy test in 2 weeks. The IUI itself took all of 2 minutes but the agony of waiting was exhausting. I’m glad I took the day off and I’m really hoping this works.