Countdown

We’re within 2 weeks of vacation so I decided that it was time to tighten up my health habits. Here are the primary changes:

  1. No beer until the trip. This will be challenging considering I live a stone’s throw from at least 20 breweries, including one I can see from my office window. Realistically, I’ll restrict it to one beer a week and it’ll be a light beer instead of my usual heavy stouts and porters.
  2. I’ve been tracking my calories through my FitBit. I discovered that for most of last week I’ve been eating way under my calories. Due to this info I’ve been trying to keep my calories more balanced. According to the FitBit I need to be eating about 1800 calories a day (calories in, not net). A few days I was just over 1200.
  3. Working out daily. Even if that just means taking a 30 minute walk on the treadmill after work. I tried to get back to running last week but was sidelined by my stupid shin splints. I modified my workouts by using the elliptical, which was somewhat helpful. The splints still bothered me today when I went running with DH. I made it literally 10 seconds in before I was in pain.  So instead of doing a ~3 mile run/walk, we walked almost 5 miles. I did a couple of brief jogs though to try and troubleshoot why I got shin splints again. I asked DH to watch me run and DH noticed that I ran with my feet pointed out (my natural stance), in addition to an issue with how my feet struck the pavement. My stride is much better when I sprint but in terms of running longer distances I still need to figure out how to fix my form.
  4. I’ve also been working on increasing my water intake. This weekend I drank about 72 ounces of water daily, which is about 60 ounces more than I’d normally get. It’s tough to get enough water during the week, especially since the water cooler is a good distance from my office and the bathroom is even further away. I’ll try to keep up the water intake though this week.
  5. Portion control! Besides the beer, this is where I get in trouble. We bought deeply discounted Easter candy but I’ve been measuring out my serving sizes. It feels weird but has increased my mindfulness when eating.

My goal is to lose about 5 pounds before our trip so hopefully these steps will get me close to that.

Well, Then

So I think this blog is going to shift more towards health and fitness stuff versus baby things.

I’m just over it. I had to basically harass my doctor’s office for a referral to a reproductive specialist since they couldn’t be bothered to do it. It’s unfortunate because my doctor is wonderful, but the front staff is incompetent.

The referral is now sitting about a foot away from me but I haven’t called to schedule an appointment. Not sure I’ll follow up with the referral because I don’t know if it’d be worth going through the poking and prodding again for nothing. My doctor’s words still ring in my ears; if after 2 rounds of Clomid nothing happens, then the odds are getting pregnant are greatly reduced. Pregnancy odds are already small; I think they peak at 30-35%.  Anyway, I haven’t talked to DH yet about the referral. He’ll support whatever I decide to do but I know how much he wants to be a father. I guess at the very minimum I’ll schedule a consult. But after our upcoming vacation.

Speaking of vacation, we’ll be gone in for about a week soon. I’m pretty excited because it gives me something to look forward to and it feels like DH and I need to physically get out of town for us to not over-schedule ourselves. In the mean time, I was hoping to lose about 10 pounds prior. It’s not impossible, but it’ll be more of an uphill climb since I lost about a week of exercise due to my period (fatigue, back pain) and side effects from my allergy meds (increased back pain). I got back into the swing of things this week though and ran a 5k (on a treadmill! -first time!) by accident. How did that happen, you ask? Well, I figured out a new strategy to keep me going while running on the treadmill. When listening to music, I go slower during the verses, increase speed during the bridge, and full tilt during the chorus. When I was about ready to finish running, I noticed that I was only 3/4 of a kilometer from a full 5k. That was the first time I had run since the 5k and I actually beat my race time by about 5 minutes. My legs were dead afterwards but I was proud of myself for my accomplishments. I’m considering running 2 5ks a week leading up to vacation since I proved to myself that I can do it.

My current fitness strategy is to work out a certain area (e.g., arms, abs, legs) for about 10-15 minutes, then run 1-2 miles. My goal is to work out 4 times week. As far as diet goes, that’s still a work in progress haha.

Updates and Things

It’s been quite a while since I last posted. A lot has happened since then:

-I ran my first 5k! It was rough. My allergies were awful and the night before the race, my period started so I barely slept. I felt amazing once I saw the finish line though. We’re already looking to schedule our next one.

-As noted above, I got my period. I’m feeling a bit frustrated with my doctor’s office because I was instructed to call when I got my period so I could get a referral to a reproductive specialist. I called the next business day and was told that I would get a call from a nurse practitioner with the referral, as my doctor was on vacation. That was 3 weeks ago. I’ll have to call again soon to get the referral. However, I’m feeling more unsure about how ready I’m feeling to have a kid. We’re so busy with work and seeing friends and I don’t think I’m quite ready to let go of that life yet. It’s weird how my desire to have kids keeps ebbing and flowing.

-I passed the national exam for my field!

Since You Asked…

Today someone asked if my husband and I planned to have children. To my surprise, I was candid about our struggle to conceive. I talked about how it’s going on 2 years since we started trying, doctor’s visits, meds, all that stuff.

The person I was talking to?

Our accountant. While he was doing our taxes.

I feel like I’m at the point that I don’t feel a need to hide our difficulties with infertility.  I won’t shout from the rooftops that I struggle with infertility but now I feel comfortable talking about it when asked.

I’m kinda proud of myself.

Marathon

Ugh, I’m so glad this week is over. Work seriously felt like I was running a marathon, to the point that I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful that it was Friday. There are a number of other things too that have kept me running.

First, buckling down on studying for my licensure exam. We’re officially less than a month out now. I’m a little nervous but studying is going alright so far.

Second, started the next round of Clomid. I had a bit of a moment of panic on Tuesday. It was day 3 of my cycle on Monday and I called as instructed the doctor’s refill line. Nothing. Called again Tuesday and informed them that I was late starting the Clomid. After some research it appeared that it was not a big deal but when the nurse called me later, she said I needed to come in to check my hormone levels. That day. It was like 11:30 in the morning and I told I couldn’t leave my job to get that blood test. She said that if the Clomid doesn’t work then I’ll need to be referred to a reproductive specialist. When she said that I felt like the ceiling started caving in. I mean, I knew that would be the next step but hearing it was hard.

Third, I decided to stop running this week. I’m not injured or anything but I wanted to take a week off and do other workouts. I discovered a neat one last week called FitStar* that links to my FitBit and it’s pretty awesome. The 5k is about 3 weeks away but I don’t do well with routine. I’ll take this week to reset or so but will keep active with other activities.

*Not an endorsement of FitStar. Just sayin.

4 am

4 am.

That’s the time I woke up this morning with sharp, stabbing pains. This was apparently my period’s way of announcing itself. I was up for an hour praying for the ibuprofen to kick in at any second. My periods are awful and typically leave me nearly dysfunctional. It makes it all the more frustrating that not only is my period a confirmation that I’m still not pregnant, but also the signal that I will be parked on the couch/bed curled up in pain until the meds work. I’m considering asking my doctor for prescription-level painkillers next cycle if I don’t get pregnant because I can’t imagine doing this monthly for the next 20+ years. I actually went on birth control for 10 years because the pain would be so bad I’d get sick (as in, I couldn’t keep down water for at least 12 hours after my period started) and have to miss school.

As a side note, I have to say it’s pretty cool how intuitive animals are. When I was up waiting for the cramps to subside, the cat jumped on my lap and put her paws on my belly. We’ve had her for almost 2 months now and that’s a first.

Anyway, it’s disheartening to know that this round of Clomid didn’t work. The plan is that I do another round of Clomid 100mg, and if that doesn’t work then try the trigger shot. If that doesn’t work, then do the IUI. And if that doesn’t work, IVF. I draw the line at IUI, depending on the cost. But IVF is mostly out of the question due to expense. I met with a friend today who is going through similar difficulties with getting pregnant and it feels good to know that there is someone who is in the same boat as me. She hasn’t been trying nearly as long but can relate to how I’ve been feeling. She mentioned doing IVF but I’m still on the fence. In addition to the cost, I’m not sure how far I’m willing to go to have a child. While we were talking, I thought about the stages of grief. I feel like I’m in the acceptance stage because it’s appearing that being childless is becoming more of a reality, especially if the second round of Clomid fails.

In the meantime, I’ll try to keep busy and focus on my health. It’s the only thing I can do until Monday, when I call in my next round of Clomid.

How it Burns

I have terrible heart burn right now. It’s been bad since about last Thursday. I’ve had acid reflux for years, even did 2 rounds of omeprazole back in grad school. But it hasn’t been this bad in at least a year. Diet hasn’t changed much, so I wonder if this is pointing to the P word.

Pizza.

I had a few slices last night as part of Superbowl festivities which didn’t help things, of course. I’ve been resistant to taking Tums because the idea of chewing chalk is unappealing, but also feeling like I swallowed a torch isn’t fun either. I’ve taken the store-brand Pepto Bismol inconsistently over the weekend and that hasn’t done much. If it doesn’t subside, I’ll go to my doctor later this week. As a side note, I’ve been having some pelvic cramps and my period is due Sunday. As another side note, when I talked to my mom earlier this evening she suggested that DH and I start looking at day cares. I wonder if she knows something I don’t. Which would be really weird, but typical of my mom. Sometimes I feel like she has some sort of sixth sense.

2.1

Running has gone pretty well this week. I realized that I run better and longer by doing intervals of 5 minutes of running and one minute walking. To compensate a bit, I increased the speed from 4.7 to 5.0. With these adjustments, I’m still near my average pace from the last week but I didn’t feel as winded. I was able to go 2.1 miles before I felt really tired then walked an additional half mile, which is about the longest I’ve gone so far on the treadmill. Race day is about 6 weeks away so starting Sunday I’ll be increasing my distance by 10%. I’m hoping in 2-3 weeks I’ll be able to consistently run a 5k ahead of the race.

So that’s the good news. On the other side of things, my weight has pretty much plateaued even though I’m down just 5 pounds since Christmas. I’ve taken a few steps towards changing, such as working out at least 3 times a week and cutting back on beer. I’m resisting calorie counting because it’s rather tedious and I have an idea for the most part of how many calories are in specific foods. At the same time, I’m an advocate of treating yourself every once in a while.

The Results are In

The doctor visit on Friday went okay. Turns out one of my hormone levels was half of what it was supposed to be, which is why the doctor said it was good that I was on such a high dose. And the vaginal pain was just dryness (“just”) and she said it was a normal side effect of Clomid. My ultrasound identified 2 follicles that were the ideal length so the doctor suggested I get an ovulation predictor kit to see when/if I ovulate. I’m skipping it though because I definitely do ovulate. Also found out that my uterus is a little tilted but the tech said that’s nothing to be too concerned about.

Speaking of results, DH and I ran a full 5k on Saturday and my legs still hurt. It was rather cold here and I damn near died on the trail. It’s been about a month since I ran outside and I struggled hard to make it through. Up until Saturday I had been doing about 2 miles at at time in the gym so I was gassed the last mile. I’ve got just under 2 months until race day so I have time to increase my mileage by about 10% a week. On the bright side, I hit my goal of doing 10 miles a week last week!

Cranky Pants

I’m so frustrated.

This Clomid dose is taking a real toll on me. My mood has been all over the place (although that could be resulting from work stress) but the worst part is that I’ve been experiencing some vaginal pain, to the point that sitting is uncomfortable and toilet paper feels like sand paper. This sucks, considering I need my vagina to help me get pregnant. This only started when I went up on the dose but I’ll definitely bring this up when I see the doctor tomorrow morning.

Work has been a nightmare the last 2 weeks and it feels like it will remain awful for a few more weeks. There are a bunch of program launches happening soon and I’m leading one of them, so I have side projects in addition to the mountain of work I had starting the week. I hate consistently feeling like I’m a little less behind at the end of the day versus getting to a good stopping point. But I guess dem’s the breaks for now.

Running this morning was frustrating. I did 2 miles but I wanted to stop around .8 miles. I didn’t sleep well and I was having a hard time focusing. It relates back to work stress for the most part. I was hoping that running would help burn off some of that stress but it only added to it. My legs felt like heavy weights during most of the run and I was starting to feel hopeless about a 5k that DH and I are planning to run soon. On the positive side, I ran my first sub 13 minute mile in almost 5 months on Tuesday! My legs hurt a little bit after but it was so worth it. This weekend I plan to run outside for the first time in over a month. It’s going to be cold but I’m looking forward to getting back outside, especially since my times are historically better versus on the treadmill.

Speaking of this weekend, I had a nice talk with DH last night about shifting our priorities. Since the holidays (and honestly way before then too) we’ve been spending a lot of time around friends and family, which awesome, but not a ton of time doing things as a couple. I mean, we do things like buy groceries together but activities like exploring have dropped off. Plus, we’ve been on the go so much that our place had become a mess. It wasn’t a pig sty mind you, but clutter was everywhere. We’ve developed a bad habit of dropping our stuff anywhere and leaving it there until maybe the weekend because we had something to run to. I got fed up yesterday and tidied up. I felt much better as our space was way more functional. This weekend though, there is a big event this weekend that we had planned to go (and many of our friends are going to) but I finally had to draw a line. I’m already spent from work and not feeling up to it. DH wanted to go and I was thinking about mustering up some energy to go with him, but when I talk to my mom she suggested that DH go on his own. I normally wouldn’t care but considering the size of the event and how many friends would be there I would feel more comfortable going with him. It’s not that I don’t trust DH, it’s that he tends to get caught up in things and loses situational awareness. We talked last night though and I discussed with him making our marriage more of a priority. As much as we love our friends and our family, we have to start making more time for us. Fortunately, he was in agreement and said that it would be better to spend this weekend to ourselves. We’re going to try and spend one weekend a month together, in that we aren’t schedule to meet anyone anywhere. We’ll see how that works out but I’m looking forward to getting some rest this weekend.