So, your friend/coworker/relative is trying to conceive and you’re mucking it up as her number one support system. It’s okay, it happens. What I want you to understand more than anything is that unless you’re a member of The Trio, we’re not looking for anything more than someone who will listen. We don’t expect you to fix our broken uteri, and we especially don’t want to hear your forced positivity because it sounds utterly ridiculous at the moment. I’ve experienced the entire trio of trying to conceive: the struggle, the loss, and, my newest addition, the infertility. Here’s the number one thing I hated hearing during each saga, and alternative (might I even say, BETTER) options that’ll prevent you from earning a face full of moscato. Read More »
Did you know that this is National Infertility Awareness Month? Well, I’M AWARE! I’m also aware that I haven’t left the Midwest in almost a year. If you’re familiar with the Midwest at all – you’ll know to be horrified by that revelation. After a depressing combination of trying to conceive for a year and being a Midwesterner, I have to say: I am struggling. I can’t even handle the simple task of dressing myself anymore – it’s that confusing freezing to warm to freezing temperature that always accompanies the start of spring. Like, do I just layer like crazy every day or…? Ugh. Screw it! I want to trade my temperature-confused outfits for bikinis and flip flops (and a pair of six pack abs, if we’re making beachwear requests).
“I think the only time you’re not complaining is when you’re at a beach.” – Direct quote from my husband. He gets me. Can’t blame a girl for claiming the beach as her happy place: toes in the sand, drink in your hand, other lyrics from country songs. There’s a reason it’s called paradise. I’ve been begging my husband to take me on vacation for months – I’m in desperate need of some space between me and my hoard of sticks and lubes. I want to spend my next two week wait sprawled across a swim up bar – thoughts of pineapple core and symptoms far from my mind. Picture this with me: white sand, clear water, frozen cocktails, and…zika? My happy place has been infected. Read More »
1. Birth Control Withdrawal Is A Real Thing (that I made up). One of my absolute biggest regrets from the beginning is not getting off of my birth control sooner, especially since I was already on the 90 Days of Fun prescription. If you’re into wasting time and money, you may end up visiting your doctor for a preconception appointment where they will either tell you that a) you should have no problem conceiving immediately after stopping birth control or b) that it could take up to six months for your cycle to regulate. My doctor is part of the (a) category, when I believe my body was leaning heavily towards (b). Stopping the pill (or patch, or IUD, or edibles…I don’t know what they’re doing these days) is something that you can easily control on your own, and there are other ways to prevent pregnancy while you’re waiting to see how your body adjusts if you’re not quite ready for a baby. This definitely doesn’t apply to everyone (as I know my fair share of women who got pregnant as soon as their husbands looked at them after stopping the pill – rude), and there’s contradicting information out there regarding whether the hormones leave your body immediately or if, like conceiving, it just takes time; but nothing taints the excitement of starting to try as much as an irregular cycle right off the bat. The potential of a surprise pregnancy is better than endless weeks of searching “when do cycles regulate after IUD removal” (but that could be the twelve months talking). Read More »
We’ve successfully not gotten pregnant for a year (how’s THAT for positivity?!)…and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s a strange sensation to hit the year mark and be left saying, “Sooooo – let’s just keep doing this!”
To kick start us taking this trying to conceive journey full circle, I received one negative pregnancy test, followed by one HSG rejection call. My HSG! The one thing that I was looking forward to at the year mark (looking forward to an HSG? What is this life?) I was told that I could schedule a “consult” to discuss the procedure (which was already previously discussed) and that we had a date scheduled for Valentine’s Day. One year, and I’ve booked a conversation.
Every woman who struggles to conceive has their 12th month marked on her mental calendar, an end goal that no one wants to reach. One year should hold the start of answers – the beginning of a new process, new frustrations (clomid makes me dry! The IUI didn’t take! Turns out his count is zero…), but I haven’t gained anything with this time. Instead of a baby, I’ve spent the past year becoming fluent in TTC acronyms and memorizing conceiving stats, even occasionally beefing up my vocabulary with a new potential diagnosis. There’s a world of facts and terms that I wouldn’t even be aware of if this wasn’t my story; I crave to be anything other than a walking TTC encyclopedia – wrapped up in a soft cloud of ignorance. I’ve had to explain chemical pregnancies, HSGs, and how OPKs work through gritted teeth, my undesired education in (in)fertility expertise. One of my first-trier friends didn’t even know what the two week wait is. The bane of my existence, the monthly sanity-sucking Dementor that has plagued me for an entire year, and she hadn’t even heard of it. Read More »
You hear it all the time – women who had “pregnancy symptoms” every month they weren’t pregnant and then nothing the month they actually were. I try to figuratively weasel myself into that category, attempt to cleanse myself of the urge to symptom stalk: deny – contradict – repeat. But I’m hungry. I’m tired. And my CM…well, without going into too much detail (it turns out discussing CM is where I draw the TTC-blog line) matches what other women said they’ve experienced before they found out they were pregnant. Dangling a carrot of hope.
I’ve made some improvements – baby steps if you will. I don’t add “early sign of pregnancy” to the end of my searches, and I purposely seek out the threads where the end result is a not a pregnancy – affirming what I should already know: I’m (most likely) not pregnant. Yet I’ve also fallen further down the rabbit hole. I’ve begun to try to rope my husband into my madness by listing off symptoms nonchalantly, hoping I can transfer my assumptions over to him. “I’m tired…I’m hungry…my boobs hurt…I have a headache…” waiting for the lightbulb moment when he finally looks over at me and he starts to wonder what my symptoms could mean.
He’s yet to bite. Read More »
My first trying to conceive self-help book! – which is not what I exclaimed when this was first delivered. This book sat in my shopping cart for a few months, then curled up in my nightstand for several more months. It never felt like the right moment to start reading. My how-to-finally-maybe-hopefully-get-pregnant book was delivered smack dab in the middle of my ectopic healing – not exactly the time that you want to read about how you too can get pregnant in as little as three months! I decided to give TIWGTGP (not a real acronym used, but I have no desire to type that out – I’m practicing my impatience) a chance when I was near another breaking point, which just happened to be this month. I’m struggling with my almost one year blues, and I’m not emotionally ready for more negatives coming my way. So I creaked open my first ever used book, was assaulted by the overwhelming scent of incense (can’t blame a girl for trying to relax while reading a book about conceiving), and gave it a go. Read More »
New Year’s Resolutions are reserved for those who, unlike myself, prefer to better themselves only once a year. My method of betterment occurs around when I’m next going to be seen in a bikini, or when I realize I went up a size in pants – again. I prefer to dive into cleanses biannually, only to claw my way out a week later, sputtering about how fad diets are more unhealthy than carbs. Bettering yourself doesn’t always have to do with discovering the new, thinner you but…doesn’t it? I’m too old and set in my ways to pretend I’m going to attempt to “not overthink that awkward conversation I had five years ago” or “learn to sleep without taking a pill”. And I’m not even going to bother lying to myself by saying I’ll stop obsessing over trying to get pregnant. Constant pregnancy thoughts are my new OCD.
I tried to bargain my way into this New Year. “Okay…I’ll let it be 2018, but only if you let this be The Year of Pregnancy! But not a year long pregnancy, that’s not a thing. Also, pregnancy for me please, not just The Year of Pregnancy…Announcements By Other People – that’s mean. Thanks!” While slurring over champagne and vodka waters, I quizzed my husband over how this just had to be the year now, right? And that he had to promise to impregnate me this time, as if last year was a practice round. This is my consolation prize for 2018. All roads lead to the same end goal, whether it’s natural or through IVF, there should be a pregnancy this year (can we all knock on wood for me please?!). February feels like it’s breathing down my neck – reminding me that my one year is around the corner. It was the same reason why I wanted to dig my heels into 2017 and refuse to enter the one year (but not really anymore) mark. Though it’s not necessarily considered a year of trying, that’ll be May now (HOORAY!), it’s still imprinted on my mind as one year since birth control went out the window and I was consumed by knowledge of cycles and sperm lifespan. I didn’t think ‘easy’ was going to be for us, but I had hoped that ‘year’ wasn’t going to make its way into my vocabulary either. Read More »