art/creativity therapy

I’ve always been calmed by creating art and doing crafts or projects. Whether it’s painting, drawing, sewing, or making old furniture look new, I find it calming. So I figured that the best way to deal with my feelings of sadness and loss would be by keeping myself busy with projects, and so far, I’ve been feeling a lot better. When I have my mind focused on a project, I have less time to be sad or feel sorry for myself. My mom had given me one of my childhood dressers to use for our pre-nursery (we’re mostly just referring to it as the guest room right now even though we know nothing will go in that room other than baby/kid stuff) and I wanted to update it so it would look more modern and less like something straight out of the 1970’s. In the pre-nursery, we also have a vintage sewing table that we use as an end table and a rocking chair that we found at a garage sale. The wood used on all three items were different shades of brown so the pre-nursery looked very mix-matched, and neither of us liked that so this past weekend I got to work and here’s the final products:

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And last night I got an idea for a cute wall decoration so I went to work on that. Our colors are green, blue and orange and the general theme is chevron, so I figured I’d paint chevron in orange on canvas (I happened to have all of the materials for this already at our house) and then add a cute hand-heart over the chevron pattern using my husband’s and my hand. Here’s the final product:

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positivity reigns

There’s always a time each month, about a week and a half after we find out that once again nothing is going right, that I start to feel positive again. Yesterday I started getting my positivity back. I told my mom yesterday that we are giving the meds one more month before we are going to focus our energy on adoption and she took it so well (so much better than I feared). Then I took my dogs on a walk and the sun was shining, the air smelled clean and fresh, and all of a sudden I felt positivity wash over me. I realized that this is not the end of the world; it’s a change in direction. Adopting is Plan B and that’s ok. I’m actually excited to move forward with this journey and see where this new road leads us. I keep thinking about and repeating my husband’s words to me: “I just want to start a family with you. I don’t care how we have to do it.”

struggle bus

One of the biggest things I’m struggling with right now is my fear of appearing selfish. I’m so down right now because I keep dwelling on the negative in our situation and I so badly want to work through the feelings of sadness and anger that I’m currently feeling, but I fear that I will appear selfish. For example, I don’t want to continue taking the Clomid unsuccessfully after next month. It’s too hard on me emotionally to hope and be optimistic for the first 3/4 of the month only to be crushed during the last week of the month. No one quite seems to understand this. I keep hearing, “Just keep trying on the Clomid; it can’t hurt.” While I understand that rationale, it doesn’t make the feelings of failure and sadness easier to handle. I don’t want people to think that I’m selfish for protecting myself and saying enough is enough. I don’t want to be judged or for people to think that I don’t really want this. I desperately want this; I really, really do. But I’m also struggling with this pain and fear of the unknown, and I guess I just want someone to say that that’s ok. I want to know that not being strong all the time in the face of infertility is alright. I want my feelings validated  and I don’t want to be told to move on. I will move on when I’m ready, but today I’m in mourning. I know that next month things could possibly turn around, but I’m having a very hard time finding optimism in our situation. I’ll get there; I’m just not there today.

 

On another note, I had my ultrasound today and the technician told me that although the doctor will have to look the images over to be absolutely sure, she thought my uterus and ovaries looked healthy and were the correct shapes and sizes. She also said I have great blood flow to my ovaries. While I’m slightly bummed that the ultrasound didn’t provide any answers, I’m grateful that everything looked healthy.

to-do list update

  • Ultrasound on Friday
  • Look into infertility support groups
  • Look into adoption information meetings
  • Wait for more answers from my doctor
  • Call insurance company to find out about coverage for fertility specialist
  • Work on manners and better behavior with our dogs
  • Start learning about adoption

Done:

  • I’ve scoured the internet for information about infertility support groups in my town and the surrounding areas and I’m not finding much. I could travel 45 minutes for a support group, but we’ll see how badly I feel I need one.
  • I called our insurance company today and the conversation went like this:
    Me: “I’m wondering if my insurance covers fertility specialist services.”
    Insurance Rep: “Let’s see…yes, it looks like you have infertility coverage. Wait…you have coverage for everything except infertility procedures, such as IVF. Wait…only seeing the infertility specialist is covered.”
    Me: “So basically only the actual interaction with the specialist is covered?”
    Insurance Rep: “Yes…I’m sorry.”
    Really it’s alright that my insurance doesn’t cover infertility services because that just confirms our decision to go with adoption if we can’t get pregnant this last cycle of using Clomid.

In progress:

  • I contacted a family friend today who adopted her two children and picked her brain about the details of domestic adoption (we’re leaning towards domestic adoption). It was very helpful and we’re planning on having coffee or doing dinner to talk more. If we for sure decide to pursue adoption, we won’t be applying for adoption until the fall, probably around September. We’re supposed to take a trip to see my sister and her family in Germany in the fall or winter, and we’re still planning on doing that because we should have enough saved up at that point to see them and pay for a homestudy.
  • We started reviewing what our dogs learned in obedience classes so that we can refine our dogs’ manners and good behavior. We would like to have very well-behaved and obedient dogs if we have a homestudy and for when we eventually bring a child home and, although our dogs are relatively well behaved, they have their quirks (including getting much too excited about people coming to our house). Today we worked on sitting and staying when we go to the front door. We practiced staying even if the doorbell rings and they all did relatively well. Our plan is to spend 10-15 minutes working on this daily until our dogs are well behaved no matter who is at the door or who comes into our home.

the results

No ovulation this cycle. I knew when it was my actual doctor calling, and not her nurse, that something was not right. My doctor gave me a few options: Get an ultrasound done to make sure my uterus and ovaries are healthy, try another cycle of Clomid on 150 mg (the highest dose she can give me) to see if I’ll ovulate, and call my insurance company and ask about coverage of infertility services. She basically said that if my ultrasound comes back normal and the next cycle of Clomid doesn’t help me ovulate, we will have exhausted our options with working with her and we should seek services from a fertility specialist, if that’s the route we want to take. We have talked several times about working with a fertility specialist and we both agree that it’s not something we want to do. I will call my insurance company tomorrow to see if my insurance covers infertility treatment, just in case we change our mind. I have an ultrasound scheduled for this Friday morning to check out my reproductive goods, and hopefully all is normal and healthy. We also plan on trying with Clomid one more cycle. If I ovulate next cycle with the higher dosage of Clomid (and don’t get pregnant), we will try again the next cycle. However, my husband and I both agree that the emotional strain this journey has caused us is becoming harder and harder to bear, so we’re limiting how much more trying we’re going to do.

My to-do list in the meantime:

  • Ultrasound on Friday
  • Look into infertility support groups
  • Look into adoption information meetings
  • Wait for more answers from my doctor

 

 

 

 

blood tests

I think one of the phlebotomists at the lab is starting to recognize me and know me by name. It’s funny how relaxed I felt today going in for the ovulation blood test compared to the first time I had the test done. It feels so routine now, but when I went in for my first ovulation blood test, I was a ball of nerves. Before, I was so nervous because we had no idea which of my reproductive organs were working and which ones weren’t. I was shocked the first time I was told that I wasn’t ovulating. Now I’m not surprised if I don’t ovulate and I’m surprise if I do. I should know by the end of today or tomorrow if I ovulated this cycle. I’m hoping that I did, but I truly won’t be surprised if I didn’t. Nothing about this journey has been predictable so I’m not going to start expecting any certain results now! 🙂

stats and notes

Clomid cycle 1:

-Start Clomid on cycle days 3-7 (2/1-2/5)
-Hormone tests on cycle days 3, 10 and 21
-Sex on cycle days 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18
-Positive ovulation test results from cycle day 21 (first ovulation in 9 months)
Negative pregnancy test on cycle day 28
New menstrual period on cycle day 28 (technically new cycle day 1)

Clomid cycle 2:

-Start Clomid on cycle days 3-7 (2/28-3/4)
-Sex on cycle days 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 (today is day 18)
-Ovulation test on cycle day 21

We’re crossing our fingers for a positive ovulation test and pregnancy test this cycle. We know it’s a stretch (we only have a 25% chance of conceiving every cycle), but we’re trying to remain positive. My husband has to keep reminding me that technically, although we’ve been actively trying for 10 months, this is only our second month of trying with ovulation actually occurring. The 8 months before that don’t really count because no egg was being released; we were shooting at a nonexistent target. That’s getting me through some of the anger, sadness and frustration.

staying positive

I’ve been having a hard time staying positive lately. I was so overly positive and optimistic last cycle that I ended up being devastated when I got the two negative pregnancy tests and my period came. I’m trying to find that happy medium between feeling completely hopeless and negative, and getting myself overly excited and optimistic. My husband and I had a talk yesterday (well, he talked, I cried) about finding this happy medium, and I realized just how negative I had become this cycle in an attempt to protect myself emotionally. My goal is to figure out how to stay positive and optimistic without getting myself so excited that I’m crushed if we don’t get pregnant this cycle. My husband is being so supportive and loving, despite my negativity and sadness, and he gave me this advice, which I plan to implement: “You’re going to be disappointed if we don’t get pregnant; it’s natural. But you take a day to cry it out, and then we move on and prepare for the next month.”

Stuck

Over the past 10 months I’ve felt stuck a lot. Stuck in my job, stuck in infertility, stuck in life-limbo. So it felt very appropriate that I would watch a movie titled “Stuck” on Saturday. It’s about the adoption system and how messed up it all is, and how millions of children are stuck. It made me so sad and slightly scared since we may need to adopt. The process of adoption makes you hop through so many hoops and successful adoption is never guaranteed. It’s heartbreaking. The idea of finding a child, falling in love with them, and calling them my own, only to have the adoption fall through terrifies me. But that won’t keep me from pursuing it if we can’t conceive naturally. In fact, I’m actually really comfortable with the idea of adoption. I know it’s an uncomfortable or unsettling idea for some, but I’m very comfortable and at peace with it. The only things that scare and worry me are the possibility of an adoption falling through and the cost of the adoption process. But if we do adopt, we’ll figure things out.

I highly recommend watching “Stuck,” if for no other reason than educating yourself about the millions of children waiting for homes and families.