I’m a pageant lover….I’ve run in one, I’ve judged one, I watch them and I totally support what they represent and the amazing gift you get by being involved whether you win or not. I never went to prom and it’s probably the one thing from my high school days that I truly feel like I missed out on and it’s something that weighed on me for years after the fact. Silly I know but I wanted that whole getting my hair done and dressing up experience. When I was in my 20’s I met a girl who ran in several pageants and she talked me into running….finally I could have my prom experience! Talk about putting yourself out there, I was surrounded by beautiful talented women all who by the way had past pageant experience. It wasn’t the best time in my life for running in a pageant, I had lost my job and was trying to keep my shit together from a breakup. Somehow though I put my game face on and for 3 months I attended cocktail parties, went through etiquette classes, sat through interviews with judges, answered the dreaded fish bowl questions, visited schools and nursing homes, was in a fashion show and met people that have forever changed my life. Those 3 months taught me so much about myself. I have a voice and I can stand up in front of room of 100 people and talk and know that that I’m not going to die of embarrassment. I’m just as beautiful and talented as all of those other girls that were running even though I didn’t have the past pageant experience that they did. I never imagined how much I would gain from just being a candidate, I found Myself and the self-esteem that I had been missing. The night of coronation I got to experience “My Prom” I had the perfect gown, my hair was done and I was ready to cross that stage with a new confidence that I’ve never had before. There were 4 princess and 1 queen crowned that night, never in a million years did I think I would be one of the girls that was crowned but I was. So for a year I dedicated my life to being a princess, for every event I dressed up, put on my sash and crown. We attended even more coronations, parades, dinners, and parties that I ever imagined, the final count came back at more than 400+events for the year. I traveled and met thousands of people along the way and hopefully left a lasting impression on some of them. During my reign I built a relationship with the other 3 princesses and queen, we truly became a Royal Family and I love them just like they are my sisters. I’m sharing all of this with you because last week I got together with my Royal Ladies and as we were gabbing away catching up on each other’s lives I blurted out “I’m doing IVF.” In the past I’ve been very selective in who I share my journey with, it’s only been a select few. I’ve reached a point where I’m tired of keeping this to myself, I want to tell anyone and everyone who will listen. They were super excited for me but what touched me the most came from my friend Stefanie, she said to me “having a baby will be the biggest jewel in your crown.” OMG she just melted my heart and made me tear up, I am going to cherish those words for the rest of my life because she’s so right. Infertility, the miscarriages and surgeries have brought me to such a dark place but I’ve survived…John and I have survived and when we start our IVF protocol next month I’m going go in there with so much hope and believe with all of my being that my jewel is awaiting us.
I sat across the desk from the RE as he paged through a ream of paper. Those papers are the last 5 years of my life. I chocked back the tears thinking about the diagnosis, surgeries and losses, now they were all sitting in front of me in a nice and neat file folder. Gosh I wish the last 5 years had been that nice and neat. To be honest I don’t know how I physically or mentally got through those years but here I am today talking to an RE about giving it one last shot and trying IVF, something I thought I would never be able to do.
We scheduled a tentative date of March 26th to start the process. Both John and I have a few follow-up things to do before we can proceed so that will give us time to get those done. Considering my age and our miscarriage history we decided to do the Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS). We both feel good about that decision and I know it will be money well spent. Any words of wisdom from anyone else who has gone through the screening please share your knowledge with me. The RE wanted to know if once we found out the genders if we would want to implant one vs the other. I guess I never really thought that would be an option, I guess that’s something to think about if we make it to that point. Probably a blog post for another day.
So how am I going to make it through the next few months and not worry about it everyday? Will I produce enough eggs, what if they don’t make it to 5 day, what if we do the screening and we don’t have any that come back normal, how crazy are the shots going to make me, am I strong enough to go through all of this, how in the heck will we pay for this! These are the things that have been occupying my brain since I made the appt back in Nov. I know I drive John crazy with all of my overthinking, heck I drive myself crazy with my thinking!
Things just got Real really quick!
I’m terrible at opening my mail, I’ll let it pile up on the table for a month and then I’ll put it in a plastic shoe box and maybe I’ll go through some of it but chances are I won’t ever touch it. Well with it being a new year I told myself I wanted to get more organized and that means tackling the container of mail that I’d been neglecting. Most it of it was junk…until I came across the letter from my insurance company about my fertility treatment, I’m embarrassed to admit but the letter was dated 10/17. This paragraph brought tears to my eyes…
Beginning Jan 1, 2017 Ameriprise Finanical has elected to increase the lifetime maximum fertility benefit to $20,000 for medical expenses and $10,000 for pharmacy expenses.
All I can say is WOW! Our appt with the RE is on the 17th and let me tell you this news definitely puts the money part of my brain at ease. Maybe Baby in 2017!
I absolutely love New Year’s. For the past 3 years now I’ve made a new year’s resolution and I’ve actually stuck to it. There’s something empowering about setting a goal and looking back and knowing you accomplished it. I get all giddy this time of year, reflecting on what the last 365 days has brought my way, it’s been a good year and I have a lot to be grateful for.
A few weekends ago John and I went to Vegas, we decided that instead of buying each other Christmas presents we wanted to create a memory together instead. Traveling is always our way to re-connect as a couple and get the uninterrupted quality time that we sometimes miss out on when we’re at home. It was a perfect 3 days and I’m so glad we took the time and money and spent it on us. This Love display was right outside our hotel lobby and I couldn’t help but take a picture. Going into 2017 I really want to focus on the Love and the Hope that I have to bring home our baby. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the journey especially when it’s not going the way you wanted, this year I’m going to take a step back and really reflect on how far I’ve come and all of the amazing people and turns of events that have gotten me to this point. I already know of some pretty exciting things that are coming up, I have my appt with my RE on 1/17 and I’m in line for a promotion at work.
Cheers to a New Year and lots of Love and Hope in 2017.
A week ago I turned 42…ugh 42 how did that number creep up on my so quickly. I actually love my birthday, I always take the day off of work and I do whatever I want to do. This year was a very mild winter day for MN, there actually wasn’t even any snow on the ground. I shopped and shopped a lot. Do you ever go to the mall and everything you try on just looks fabulous on you? I was having one of those days, maybe because it was my birthday. I want to back up my day a little bit, I had a list of two RE’s offices that I needed to call to see what their qualifications were for taking on a new client..ie: will you take me because I’m 42 now and if you do can I use my own eggs. I had a message out to the Center for Reproductive Medicine, she called me back the morning of my birthday…this could either make or break my special day. She told me that they don’t really have an age restriction but they only let you use your own eggs until 44. OMG…I can use my own eggs! I have an appt to meet with the RE on Jan 17th. I totally thought IVF would not be an option for me because of my age and on my birthday I found out that it is an option, what an amazing gift! I called my insurance company and I still have $13,000 left to use toward my infertility treatments, I’m going to use every last penny and I’m going to be proud that I did. I’m ready for the holidays but more importantly I’m ready for 2017!
Two things have been weighing on me this week. The first is how much I hate I mean literally hate PCOS. I was on the treadmill at the gym and I caught a side view glimpse of myself in the window and I wanted to cry. Kid you not my belly looks like it’s 4 months pregnant. So I made a vow to myself to never wear a spandex top of any kind to the gym and to start tracking my food again using the Weight Watchers app. I don’t know what else to do, as I’m getting older it seems to be getting worse. It’s a cruel joke that having this makes me look pregnant when that’s the one thing in the world I would kill to be and just can’t be. And if one more person asks me when I’m due I’m going to bitch slap whoever it may be.
Side story…I was out getting lunch last week and there was a woman in front of me checking out and the clerk was telling her how she made a huge mistake, she asked one of customers if she was eating for 2. I was eavesdropping on the conversation but it really made my blood boil and broke my heart at the same time because I’ve been on that receiving end of that question and I know how much it hurts when someone asks you that. I wanted to tell that clerk that she probably made the girl cry, I wish I had a mean enough bone in my body to say that but I just couldn’t. People need to stop being idiots…end of rant!
The other thing that’s been consuming my thoughts is how much time I’ve been wishing away. I can’t wait for my cycle to get here, I can’t wait to see how many follicles I have, I can’t wait to see when they’ll schedule my IUI, I can’t wait for the next 2 weeks to be over so I can test. I wish I had a Do-over card because here I am 5 years later wishing that I hadn’t wished so much time away.
I have a 45 minute commute into work each day and during that time I think…like a lot. For awhile now I’ve been struggling with what my life will be like without kids and I had this epiphany a few weeks ago, if we don’t have a child my life is going to be exactly like it is now. I’d been searching for what I thought was going to be this huge answer when in reality I’ve been living the answer for some time now. The realization actually made me cry. I wonder if people who want children that don’t end up having them find peace with it?
So that’s where I’m at with things for this week. In baby making news, I missed out on meds this month because I was on vacation and I started my cycle (always my luck). I have a general idea on when I’m ovulating so we did it the old fashion way. Do any of you get symptoms when you ovulate. TMI…I spot after sex during that time. Am I the only one? I asked the dr and he said that could be possible but it never use to happen to me before. So now I’m in my 2ww and if nothing happens this month we’ll go back on meds for the last 2 months of the year. If still nothing it’s going to be time to really do some soul searching because I told myself I was only going to do this through the end of the year. I’ll tell you what I’m not going to do is wish the next 2 months away because I’m not sure I’m emotionally ready to close this chapter yet.
When I first started this blog I thought I was going to be the best blogger ever…I was going to have all of this insightful information to share with the world and it would be an outlet for me to get all of my feelings out. In reality this blog hasn’t been any of those things for me. Each post I write makes me realize that my time trying to become a mom has almost reached its end. I’m tired…tired of the dr appts, the meds, the timed intercourse, the mood swings. I’m tired of getting my hopes up and then having to live through the tww only to see another negative test. I’m tired of pasting on a fake smile every time I go into the clinic thinking that this time is going to be different, this is going to be the one for us.
I went in last Thurs for my IUI, I had 3 follicles. We sat in the waiting room for 35 minutes until they finally called us into a room. Seriously just throw us in an empty room so we can get down to business and leave the sample…It was annoying that they didn’t do that. We had about an hour and 15 mins to kill while the sample incubated and got washed so we went and grabbed something to eat. When we got back to the clinic we got called back right away. It took the dr all of 7 mins to do the procedure and then we were left to ourselves. 20 mins went by and the nurse stuck her head in and told us we could leave. The whole thing felt cheap….and not in the money sense! I get it people are busy but how about a 30 second conversation just to make sure that I’m feeling ok or telling us when we should start our timed intercourse or when should I start my progesterone. I didn’t leave the office in the frame of mind that I was hoping. So now here I am 4 days into my tww, the progesterone makes me feel like shit….I’m tired of feeling like shit because of the drugs. It seems like it’s a vicious cycle. I know I’ll only start to feel normal again when I stop all the meds and admit defeat. That will just bring a whole new set of issues to deal with. I guess I just don’t know where to go from here…
That’s the question going through my head as I’m making the mad dash to Target over my lunch hour. Target is a quick 10 minute walk through our skyway system and as I was walking there I passed a little boy who looked to be about 3, he was pressed up against the window pane fascinated with the big bulldozer that was tearing the street up below. Just watching his innocence made me smile, I looked at his mom and told her how cute he was. As I walked away I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Gosh what if I never get to experience those little moments with a child of my own. It’s just not fair. Everything is pissing me off lately and I hate who I’ve become. At least I can acknowledge it so that has to be worth something right?!? CD 1 made it’s appearance today and guess what…it pissed me off. lol. Another failed IUI, even with an increased dosage of meds and 4 really good follicles…I don’t get it. Work and the people I work with are all bugging me which prompted the trip to Target, I needed to get away and needed some sort of instant gratification that was going to make me feel better. It’s silly but I’ve lived by this mantra since my early years in college, no matter how ugly I look/feel if I just put some lipstick on things won’t be so bad. Little did I know I would attend a motivational talk by an amazing woman named Jodi Hills who writes inspirational books and one of her books is called “Slap a Little Lipstick on you’ll be Fine.” I have the artwork for the cover of the book framed and it’s in my bathroom to remind me that no matter what the situation if I just put on a little lipstick, I can get through it. So my bad day brought me straight to the make-up aisle. I went up and down the aisles picking out tubes and putting them back until one of the make-up experts came up to me and asked if I needed help. Oh did I ever need help. I told her I needed a pick me up and to help me find a color that was fabulous without being too boring. I was skeptical but I still headed straight into the bathroom and Slapped my Lipstick on and you know what…it did make me feel better. I cling to the little things in life that bring me some kind of happiness and for me it’s a simple $7.00 tube of lipstick. It’s the color that I pick out to wear before each and every IUI..I’m still hoping one of those colors turns out to be “my lucky color.” The color I pick out when John asks me out on a date and today it’s the color the expert picked out for me which made my day a little less bad than it was before. I’m gonna keep slapping on my lipstick because one day I really will be fine.
That question has been weighing on me for about a year now. As the days turn into months and the months into years it’s starting to become more of a reality and I don’t know how to answer it. I have a lot of quiet time in my head and I feel like this is a constant conversation I have with myself. I’m not one of those people who loves what I do for a job so I know that will never fulfill me. Sure we travel but there’s only so much time off we get from work. So if I have to live a childless life, what will that life look like? John says it will be just like it is now but that’s where he’s wrong. The last 5 years I’ve consumed my life tracking, going to dr appoints, taking meds, having timed intercourse, peeing on sticks, getting my hopes up and picking myself up just to do it all over again. You take that away from me and I don’t know who I will be any more. I’m secretly mad all of the time….I put on a fake smile so no one sees the heartache that I live with every day. I just wish I had more time.
The dr increased my Letrozole this month to 10mg and I responded well which I knew I would because I’ve always done well on the 5mg. I had 4 follicles all within perfect size. My IUI was a week ago. The first few days I was so hopeful but as test day gets closer I become more angry and pissed off because I’m feeling like it didn’t work again.
I want to leave you with a video that I’ve watched half a dozen times and have cried each time. It’s only 2 mins so watch it, I promise it will be worth it.
Today would have been my due date had I not miscarried. I’ve never remembered any of my other due dates but this time I thought things were going to be different, I honestly believed we would be bringing our baby home this time. Now here I sit on May 25, 2016 with empty arms and an empty belly. Infertility has changed me, it’s made me stronger yet weaker. It’s made me question who I am and who I will be at the end of this journey. It’s brought me closer to John because he’s the only one who can pick me up after the hardest of days. Nothing about this has been easy or fair. Besides struggling with infertility there’s something else that I’ve been struggling with and that’s praying about my infertility. For some reason I’ve never been able to pray about any of what we’ve been through….like physically I can’t get myself to do it and I don’t know why. I’m not a huge religious person but I’ll go to church when I feel like I need it and I have no issues praying about other things. This has been a topic of conversation with my therapist only to get no resolution so we just end up putting it on the shelf for another time. It’s been weighing on me a lot lately and I finally had my break through when we were on vacation a few weeks ago. My tww was up when we were in FL so I took a test the second day into our trip and it was negative, another failed IUI. I tried not being sad or pissed off because I didn’t want this to ruin my trip but it was easier said than done. One morning I took a walk on the beach and about half way down the stretch I sat down in the sand, closed my eyes and had a conversation with God. These last few months have been really hard not only physically but it’s really been hard on my relationship. I mostly questioned all that I’ve been doing and if it’s the right thing. It’s so cliche but I wanted reassurance that all of this is worth it because I feel like throwing in the towel. Give me a sign…anything that I can grasp as any kind of hope. It felt good to get everything out and as I was walking back to the resort I saw a starfish that had washed up on the shore. Starfishes are so rare on this beach, in all my times there I’ve only ever seen one. I picked it up and brought it back with me. John was mortified that I would would take it out of its habitat and bring it home with him. I told him that this was the sign I had asked for, whether it really was a sign or not I don’t care it’s what I needed at that very moment. So that little starfish came back to MN with me and I now have it displayed on my coffee table along with 2 other larger starfishes that I bought, one for me and one for John. Although today represents something that should have been I’m not letting it get me down because I have hope that someday my little starfish will come home to me and when he/she does I’m going to share this story with them.