June 29, 2015

Infertility Is Just A...

Legitimate Medical Issue. Ok, for some of you, that'a a no-brainer.  And I really hope it is for most of you. I talked about this a little bit during Infertility Awareness Week, but I thought I'd go into a little more detail.

Lately, for a number of reasons, we've been more open about our infertility journey. A lot of the time we've been met with love and support.  Other times, however, I've been met with some comments that make me work reallly hard on holding my tongue and being charitable.  Like when I was told that maybe what I need to do is stop all treatment and get a teddy bear.  Or to get a puppy. Or to "just" adopt, or "just" relax.

This most recently happened this morning, when my phlebotomist imparted some of the above "wisdom" on me. Now, ordinarily I would probably say something, but I have a policy about not making people who are stabbing me in the arm upset at me. So, instead of saying something, I just stewed and decided I would just get it out here instead.

The truth is, I am tired of being told, whether directly or indirectly, on purpose or not, that infertility is my fault.  Yes, there are things I can do to try to make it better, but in the end, I did not cause this or do something to deserve this.  Yet that's what people are saying to me when they say just relax, just stop thinking about it, just do this, that, or the other thing.  They are saying that, in their eyes, I'm doing something wrong, and if I "just" did one right thing, everything would be fine.  And much of the time, what I'm being told that I'm doing wrong is seeking medical treatment, for my legitimate medical condition!  Really!  When I hear "you're trying too hard", "stop focusing on it" or "just let go and let God", I hear that I am being told to not worry about or treat my medical issue! One that not only effects my fertility, but my overall health.

Stop and think for a minute.  Would any other medical condition ever be treated like that?  You have cancer? Oh, you should stop chemo, you're trying too hard, you should just take a nap.  Have diabetes? Oh, don't worry about insulin, just go have a drink and forget about your issues.  Have pneumonia?  Forget about antibiotics, just go take a vacation! Can you imagine anyone saying any of those things, and then giving themselves a pat on the back for being helpful? I can't.  Yet people do that ALL. THE. TIME with infertility.

I'm really tired of my medical issues being down played.  On top of that, I'm tired of people telling me to laugh off those comments as "well-meaning." I'm tired of telling myself that these are just society's misconceptions that I have to accept.

I have plenty enough to deal with on a daily basis, like regular life events that make me want to cry or keeping a happy face on when I'm dealing with pills, shots, side effects, symptoms, and soreness.  I don't want to be expending more energy that I don't have on making other people feel better.

So, what should happen instead?  Well, I covered some of it here before, so I won't reiterate those. However, beyond those basics, my biggest wish is that people stop treating infertility like just a minor inconvenience, or making people feel like they're at fault. I don't mean that I want to be met with pity or sadness.  But it would be nice to, you know, be asked how I'm doing, have the difficulty acknowledged, or have a shoulder to lean on.

And of course, It would be great to have people think before they speak, to have people consider what the words they are using are saying.  Are they actually comforting and helpful?  Even better would be people informing those around them, correcting the misconceptions and common platitudes before they reach another person, in a kind manner of course.  If we can start there, maybe we can start chipping away at the shame and fault that those experiencing infertility shouldn't, but do, feel.

What do you think? What would you like to see people do?

June 28, 2015

Answer Me This (Vol.3)

1. How long have you lived in your current home?
Just about a year and a half now. We bought it in October 2013, rented it back to the owner for a month, took another month to renovate, and moved in right before Christmas 2013. No, moving during the holidays while my office was moving at the same time and I was preparing for a trial wasn't stressful at all...  we only have a few boxes still lying around waiting to be unpacked...

2. How do you find out about news and current events?
Um, yahoo news when I visit my old (mostly spam now) email address, the local news, social media, and my Dad (he's got the news or the weather channel on at all times).

3. Would you be able to make change for a twenty right now? For a dollar?
Nope.  I never carry cash and don't really keep track of what change I do have.

4. What's the craziest food you've ever eaten?
I can't really think of anything super crazy, I'll admit I'm pretty picky when it comes to food.  I do eat crazy amounts of frozen yogurt, I cannot get enough of that stuff!

5. Which of the commonly removed parts have you had removed? (tonsils, wisdom teeth, appendix, etc.)
Just tonsils  I really should get my wisdom teeth out, they're wrecking havoc on the res of my teeth, but I jut don't want to part with the money for a mostly cosmetic issue.

6. What's your favorite sport to watch on TV? 
None. I don't really enjoy watching sports on TV at all. I'm not really a sports person in general (I hope we can still be friends).  I only watch the super bowl out of obligation/wanting to know what everyone is talking about. I'll watch baseball live, but I don't really enjoy it on TV, it's more about the experience.

That's all I've got for you today! I'm hoping this will be the week I actually get another post up, but I make no promises.  Head on over to Catholic All Year for more!

June 21, 2015

Answer Me This (Vol. 2)

Joining in for another week of Answer Me This, Father's Day Edition!

1. What's the best thing about your dad?
Um, I'm not sure how to pick one thing.  That he's an all around awesome and genuine person?

2. If you've got kids, what's the best thing about THEIR dad? (If you don't, feel free to substitute your grandfather or another father figure.)
No kids (though the Hubs is really great at taking care of, playing with, and cleaning up after the dogs, I do know dogs are not kids), and I don't remember much about my grandfathers, both of them passed away before I was 8 (though I have on good authority that I was my maternal grandfather's favorite grandchild). I have been lucky to have a number of priests as grandfather figures in my life.  My parents have always been lucky to have elderly priests who need a place to go find them,  They've all been really wonderful to grow up with and learn from, I'm so glad God has blessed us with them!

3. What's the best advice your dad ever gave you?
My dad is a man of few words, but has always led by example.  He has always been early to rise (I'm talking 3AM early), early to sleep, is the hardest worker I know, and puts his family first.  He's incredibly generous, though he never says a word about anything he does, and is the last to complain about anything. All things I try to emulate (with varying measures of success) myself.

4. What's something you have in common with your dad? 
As far as my family goes, I tend to be on the quieter side like him.  I also like to think I've gotten some of his dry sense of humor. I'd really like to think I have some of his logic and wisdom, but that may be stretching it.

5. What's the manliest thing you know how to do?
I do love to grill!  I can also fix some toilet issues and know my way around a power drill, haha.

6. Who is your favorite fictional dad?
I'm totally blanking on this right now. I will say my least favorite is Ted Mosby from How I met Your Mother (all due to the finale, no, I'm still not over that).

That's all I've got for you today! Head on over to Catholic All Year for more!

June 14, 2015

Answer Me This (Vol. 1)

I thought it might be fun to join in on Kendra's Answer Me This  over the summer, both to let you know more about me, and to get to know more about some fellow bloggers! So here we go!

1. Any big plans for the summer?

We'd probably usually take a couple weekend trips, at least one for the Hubs's birthday (this week!) and our anniversary (in August) and maybe something in between.  With the new job though, I don't have any paid time off for the next few months, so chances are pretty slim that we'll be doing anything big. I think most of our efforts are going to be focused on getting the infertility ministry off the ground.

2. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
I can't really think of anything beyond the ordinary at this point.  I really loved Santa.  I remember one year asking for a reindeer so I could use it as a flashlight to read books a night, lol.

3. What is your favorite amusement park ride? (can be a specific one at a specific park or just a type of ride)
Thunder Mountain at Disneyland!  I really miss that place! Too bad it costs so much now, I just can't justify $100/person for it :(.

4. What's on your summer reading list?
I've got a few that I've been meaning to read since Christmas, the biography of St. Gerard, St. Faustina's diary, and I recently won Five Years in Heave in a giveaway from Catholic Drinkie, I'm looking forward to reading that one too!

5. Have you ever fallen asleep in public?
If falling asleep on long tour bus rides or flights counts I have.  Hahaha oh and once I feel asleep and started snoring in a class.  It was finals in law school and I hadn't slept for two nights trying to study and prepare for a mock trial.  After my trial was over I still had to watch the others... and that's when I fell asleep.  I woke up with everyone staring at me.  So embarrassing!

6. What is your favorite smell?
Hmm, apple pie I think? Though anything baking or sweet will do.  Ooh, and gardenias, I love gardenias!

That's all I've got for you today! Head on over to Catholic All Year for more!

June 11, 2015

Cycle Review 8 + My Half-Surgiversary

Yep, I finally decided to write this up! It's been, oh, almost two weeks since my doctors appointment, but who's counting, right?  So, cycle recap for you: same old same old with the clomid 50 mgs for 5 days.  Only thing changed was swapping the progesterone pills for progesterone shots.  I noticed a few days of clomid moodiness, but not too bad (other than the day the moodiness coincided with an interview, ugh).  What with the job transitioning there was A LOT going on this cycle, and I really thought that might mess with ovulation, but my peak day actually came a day or two earlier than usual. That was unexpected, but helpful, because it meant I would actually be able to go to a doctor appointment before starting the new job.

 I talked about the first progesterone shot here, and the rest of them weren't that bad, there was only one that made me yelp, lol.  My butt cheeks were sore for a few days after each shot though, lol.  I did feel amazingly better post peak. My nausea and breast tenderness stayed away for the majority of my post peak, up until a few days before the end of my cycle. Yep, spoiler alert, no pregnancy resulted from the last cycle, not much of a surprise. I did have an annoyingly long post peak, probably due to my body getting used to the progesterone, but it was driving me crazy.

So, according to the doctor, lining was good, hormones were better than ever, and I ovulated from both ovaries again.  It was probably my best cycle since starting medical treatment.  The only negative was my cm was not awesome this time around again, though that may have been due in part to one of my supplements not shipping in time.  We also got results of a repeat test on the Hubs.  He did one a year ago and had made some changes since then so we were hoping for some improvement.  Unfortunately, things were pretty much the same, which isn't dismal but isn't great either. Now the Hubs gets to take more supplements and make some lifestyle changes of his own, muahahaha (what, is that mean of me to be happy I'm not the only one having to do things?).

So for the next cycle, well the current cycle now I guess, we're keeping with everything the same (except for the Hubs's changes).  I literally made the decision that I would go with the plan this morning.  I seriously considered taking a break this cycle, and really probably should have.  I was supposed to give my doctor a call about it and talk about the pros and cons, but didn't get a chance.  On top of that, although there were tons of factors telling me to take a break, in the end I couldn't get past the idea that things were just starting to even out and I didn't want to mess with that balance.  Since I didn't get a chance to talk to my doctor about whether a cycle off would mess things up, I didn't want to take that chance.  So I guess we'll see what happens

In other news, yesterday marked 6 months since my surgery.  I've been thinking about it a lot, and not quite sure where my feelings land on it.  It's true that things have gotten much better with my body post surgery.  Before surgery we couldn't get me to ovulate for anything, and now I've been ovulating every month! My hormones are getting better every cycle too.  That's awesome! On the other hand, I'm not one of those super success stories either.

I keep hearing stories about people who get the ovarian wedge resection then have natural perfect cycles thereafter and get pregnant without any help in a matter of weeks or months.  That's obviously not me.  I still need clomid to help me ovulate and progesterone because my body's not producing what it needs to on it's own.  And I don't know if it makes any sense, but I feel like the surgery started another count of 6 months of fertility focused intercourse that didn't work out, so its like I'm labeled as infertile all over again.  I don't know if it's been contributing to the funk or the funk contributing to the negative feelings, but either way it's not so great. I know I need to pull myself out of it and look on the bright side, hopefully I do that soon.

Here's hoping things are looking up with the next cycle review!

June 7, 2015

So Little Time, So Much To Say

So I was a little MIA on the blog this last week. Actually, pretty much everywhere other than my desk at work. I did try to get to twitter a little, considering I could write a quick update on there, but that effort mostly failed too. It's not that I don't want to be here, I have at least three posts I want to write, I'm just so short on time.

The new job is great so far. I really like the new field, and my office in particular, though I'm still getting to know everyone. It does require longer hours than I'm used to working, and a little bit of a longer commute, as well as waking up earlier, so it's really been cutting into my free time. After I get home I've only got a few hours before bed time, and I do like spending some of that time paying attention to the Hubs, lol. He's been a lifesaver, by the way. He has been so supportive, and has been picking up the slack around the house, and then some. And when I mentioned I didn't love the office coffee (I'm a little picky) he bought some new beans for home, got me a thermos, and makes me coffee before I head out for the day. Such a sweetheart, that guy.

Oh, and the difficulty of the first week was compounded by the fact that both the Hubs and I were sick. He came down with a cold around Thursday the week before last and I had it by Saturday :(. That's the first time I've gotten sick in a long time, and I'm always such a baby when I'm sick. It ruined all my plans to prepare for the week, since I couldn't even leave the bed, let alone the house, so no shopping or cleaning got done. Oh well.

Oh, and I also realized mid week that our next infertility ministry meeting was in 2 weeks and I hadn't gotten started on preparing and spreading the word like I had planned. I spent my lunches making phone calls and my evenings posting on Facebook and reaching out via emails, so tiring. It looks like we have a few other parishes in the area that are going to run our bulletin announcement though! Now I have to get our speech prepared for our announcing at church next weekend!

I know I still owe you guys a cycle review (and a weigh day) but hopefully I'm the only one keeping track. I made my appointment earlier than usual so I could actually go, considering I couldn't really just take my first day of work off, so some of my lab results weren't in yet. I'm still deciding whether I'll wait for the specifics of those before I get my post up.  One of these days I'll get back to a weight watchers meeting so I can get a weigh day post up again too.

On top of it all, I've been in a little bit of a funk the last few days. I know it's probably just because I'm pmsing, but its still not fun. I'm just a bit hurting and sad right now. As much as I love the new job and advancing my career, it's weird to take a step that pretty much assumes we won't be getting pregnant any time soon. On its own that's hard, which is multiplied by my being surrounded by fertile people. I'm happy for them, its just hard. I don't want to avoid my friends, but the reminders of what I might never have are hard to handle right now. I'd love to know how other people handle friendships with fertile people, because I just don't know how to do it right now.

So, on that happy note, that's the summary of what I've been up to when I haven't been here. Hopefully I can get another post up in less than a week this time :).