Seeing someone

A couple of weeks ago I decided to try out the EAP (Employee Advisor Program?) offered by my new employer.

I had my first session with the counselor last week. Before I went, I wondered what I was really going for. I was having a good day, things seemed to be going well, I almost thought of cancelling it. I didn’t. I wasn’t super impressed by the counselor, she is one picked by the EAP, she seemed less professional than the ones I had seen before, maybe it was the home office thing, I don’t know. Or because she wants me to come every week, and didn’t like the idea of my wanting every 2 weeks, and then brought up that we would have to continue with my insurance after the EAP sessions run out. It is probably just me reading into things, but she seemed most interested in her income. But I get 5 or 6 sessions covered by the EAP, so I figure I may as well use them, right?

She told me to keep a journal for random thoughts, so I have done this. My second appointment is today, here are some of my random thoughts:

  1. I feel guilty going once a week because I feel like that is time I am supposed to be spending with my son and husband.
  2. I feel guilty taking any ‘me’ time
  3. I feel guilty even taking ‘us’ time (Me and B)
  4. Everything falls on me. If I want us to go out, I have to make a plan, find a sitter, decide where to go. If I want a family outing, dinner, ANYTHING, I am told “Just tell me what to do” I don’t want it all on me! Everything is on me, I work, get home and start making dinner and play with the boy until DH gets home and I can finish dinner, we all eat, I do the dishes about 85% of the time, we both get DS ready for bed and DH puts him down while I shower, then it is finishing dishes if there are any and going to sleep, because Lord knows the DS wakes me up at least once every night these days!
  5. I hope this is a phase of teething. I feel like he will never sleep through the night again consistently. It has seriously been so long.
  6. I don’t know when to transition to the big bed. I don’t trust him at all, he cannot control himself when he wants to get into something, especially when he knows he isn’t supposed to. Am I doing something wrong?
  7. I have a lot of resentment towards my husband that I didn’t even realize. There is seriously 3 full pages about him fishing or kayaking or helping friends or working on the vehicle or the house while I watch DS.
  8. I feel like as a society Dads still get to be themselves and get the “Dad’ title as a bonus, I feel like Moms turn into just “Mom”
  9. I have completely lost my identity. I feel like I am “Mom” and nothing else. ( I love being a mom and I am so grateful) ThisI have been struggling with huge, I avoided doing a post about it because I feel like all I ever post is negative, but this is honestly an outlet for me (I’m not a very good blogger). But I don’t even know the person I used to be, I don’t travel much because I don’t trust DS to behave enough to not die! I couldn’t even remember when she asked me what I like to do for fun. Because even if and when I would get time, I don’t even know what to do with it, I spend so much time feeling guilty for not being around my son, and guilty for not making better use of my time, that it becomes unenjoyable.
  10. The massive anxiety I have even THINKING about early pregnancy and how to hide it and the pit in my stomach just thinking about having to announce it at some point. I am clearly not ready to have another child.
  11. I had another chemical at 6 weeks a couple of weeks ago, and I feel like the worst person ever, like seriously the worst person and have so much guilt over being okay with it, because I am not okay to deal with that anxiety of things going well again, I know that doesn’t even make sense.
  12. I’m pressuring myself into wanting another child and wanting it soon. I know this, but it doesn’t change the fact that I think about it all of the time.
  13. We are definitely avoiding TTC now. I am obviously not in a place to be okay with it yet. And I don’t know when I will be if ever. But I will not TTC until I can be okay and at least somewhat excited about being pregnant.
  14. I feel like if I get to go out for dinner with a friend that I am ‘using up’ the ‘me’ time I should be allotted (which is weird, because it isn’t like I’m allotted a certain amount or anything…)
  15. Maybe I just like to complain?
  16. DH and I NEED more date nights. Just us, because the very few we have had have been great and they make me so happy, but again, very few. And taking time for us isn’t taking anything away from DS, because we need our relationship to stay strong to set a good example for him.
  17. I hate my house. I hate it so much. For the amount of money we spent on it, I just hate it. I am not comfortable there, It is dated and dark and things seem to be falling apart. And It doesn’t smell like ‘home’ and I don’t know how to change the smell.
  18. I hate the color of my living room, grey and my blue/grey bedroom, I really think the colors make it cold and not at all homey and comforting, but I feel guilty about this because we just painted a year ago and I feel wasteful.
  19. My house has no carpet. I love carpet, I have hardwood, especially when it is throughout the house. It makes everything cold and hard.
  20. We moved the couch and TV in the living room around yesterday, I was hoping this would make me feel more at home. I do like the change, but I almost cried (and almost am now) because it still seems dark and gloomy.
  21. I worry that I can do all of these things to my house and still not feel at home in it.
  22. I miss my old house. Not the smallness and unfinished basement, but it felt like home, we did so much work to it, I was proud of it and couldn’t wait to show it off. I don’t like people coming into my new house.
  23. I realize a big thing I want to do to make me feel like me again: I want to get my house to a state that I enjoy it again. I want to remodel it top to bottom, inside and out. I LOVED home improvement projects before, and still do, though I never seem to have time for them. I really don’t have the time and can’t do things with DS around, and then I get back to the guilt of taking time away from him to do, well, anything.
  24. Working mom guilt is rough.
  25. All mom guilt is rough.

I love my son. So much. I want everything in life to be the best it can be for him. I want to be the best I can be for him. I love my husband. I want our marriage, our home to be the best for all of us.

So much falls on me. And I don’t feel like I am handling it as well as I should. I have so much anxiety over things I can’t control. I really want to learn to just let some things go and focus on the important things. But I don’t know how….yet.

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Why it still hurts

Before starting my new job I had met with my new boss and her replacement (M), who would take over shortly after I would start. It turned out that M has a little boy only 6 days older than my boy.

Within the first week or 2 of starting, my boss left for a job at a different site and we had a small celebration where M and I talked. She was talking about how they were thinking of adding to their family. No big surprise, I mean, that is what people do, right?

It turned out that M actually had to stay in her current job for a while longer before taking over and becoming my boss. I would just see her and wave in the hall once in a while, but our paths didn’t cross much.

A few weeks ago I noticed she was wearing a flannel that seemed a bit more baggy than what she would normally wear (she is a pretty slim person). So I had some thoughts about that, though I would obviously never say anything or ask (I’m not a moron, though there are surprisingly a lot of those out there…). Yesterday was her first official day as our new boss. As she stood in front of the meeting room and told us about herself I noticed that she kept pulling her jacket over her and that she had gained some weight, but just in that area. At the end of the discussion she said “And since I’m apparently bad at hiding it, I am expecting my 2nd child” with a big smile on her face. She was showered in ‘congratulations’ as expected.

I smiled and congratulated her as well. I am happy that she didn’t have to go through months or years before conceiving this child that she wanted. But I couldn’t figure out why it hurt me. It stabbed my heart (though I knew it was coming).  It wasn’t as deep as before I had Baby Bach, but it was there. I didn’t want to talk to anyone after, just went right out to my car, picked up my son and went home to cry. I didn’t ugly cry like I used to, but I was just sad.

And I couldn’t figure out why. I have my rainbow. I am not TTC a sibling yet (though I may have allowed a ‘slip-up’ last week). And I am still feeling like I am not sure I want to. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I dissected my feelings for a while until it became clear to me why I was not only upset (and jealous) at this announcement, but why I am struggling to be okay with trying for a sibling:

I was jealous of her excitement. I will never have that in pregnancy. During my pregnancy with my son my anxiety was at an all-time high. I had to seek help from a therapist. Every ultrasound probably put my blood pressure through the roof. I was horrified. And even when the results came back good, I still couldn’t feel at ease. Yes, this one was going better than the rest, but for how long? I kept my pregnancy hidden for so long. It kept me up at night knowing that at some point I would have to tell people, I was mostly nervous to tell my family. I didn’t want to see their excitement, because I didn’t want to have to bring them back down later. I was in the 2nd Tri before I told my family and even my best friend. And I didn’t want to. I was so nervous (I can feel the nerves now just thinking about it). I started by telling my mom not to cry and to stay calm. But I don’t think it was to protect her, it was to protect me. Having to untell her when my first pregnancy failed was awful. She had been so excited. Most people, family and friends, didn’t even know I was pregnant until they got a shower invite, or even until after he was born. I couldn’t even bring myself to acknowledge it, how could I deal with other people knowing it?

I had to take a break from the blog world and the baby site world. I didn’t want to be involved in any of it. I would get seriously angry if people started making a fuss over the baby or my belly or even talked or asked about it.

And then I went on to have Gestational Diabetes, so that sure didn’t help things.

But I didn’t take pictures of my belly. I didn’t do a gender reveal. I didn’t do a pregnancy announcement. All of those things I had once imagined doing before RPL. I just didn’t want a big deal to be made about it. And when I think of getting pregnant again, I start feeling very anxious on how I would hide it form my family, especially now that I live closer and see them more. It is terrifying me to think about. GD aside, my pregnancy wasn’t that bad physically. But mentally it was awful. And just thinking about going through the mental exercise again makes my stomach hurt.

I have been considering seeing a counselor again. I do want my son to have a sibling, but I don’t want to go through the process again. Loss after loss. Then a high anxiety pregnancy at best, that would hopefully end in a living child. And have Gestational Diabetes.

I guess I am realizing just how messed up my mental state is surrounding this right now. I didn’t realize until M made her announcement what was really holding me back. But now that I know it, just maybe I can fix it?

 

I said something

Maybe it isn’t enough, it wasn’t much at all. But it is the last day of infertility/pregnancy loss awareness month. So I guess I kind of feel like I participated now.

I went to meet with some coworkers in a different building, and I stopped by a desk of a coworker who will be leaving us on Friday, and they were talking about kids.

One of the guys was talking about how his wife wants 2 more kids (They have 4) because she likes the ‘baby phase’. He said “I keep telling J here that she needs to have another one and let my wife have it for a year so she can give it back after” Now I have always wondered if J has had IF issues. I feel like I have that sense now, where you can just tell when someone has gone through what you have. There are like brain wave connections or something. J has a 6 year old son, and maybe she wants an only child, which very well may be, but I get the sense that there is more. Either way, it is none of this guys business.

I told them that I too am in the one child club, and I am perfectly happy with that. Cue the “You have to have at least one more!” crap… Then another guy starts telling me that he was an only child and that it is tough for him not having that person to lean on. Well… just because you have a sibling doesn’t mean you have them to lean on. I don’t feel comfortable leaning on my sister, and B’s sister is incarcerated… so just spawning another child, doesn’t give you that.

So I told him “I’m pretty lucky to have one.”

And he said “Oh, I’m sorry. You can at least try to have another one, that is fun.”

“It’s not fun when you have been through what we have.”

“I’m sorry.”

So will he think twice about heckling J or I or anyone else about having more kids? Maybe, maybe not. But I hope the ‘sorry’ feeling he got after heckling me will make him think twice in the future.

My first Maca experience

I bought Maca back in September and I was planning on trying it out. Then I started letrozole and decided it was not a good idea to mix the 2. So since I am ‘taking the month off’ of meds, I found the maca pills in a baggie in my purse (it looked as shady as it sounds) and decided to try them this cycle. I started taking 1 capsule in the am somewhere around CD1. I do not know how much is in these capsules, but it can’t be much. I have seen posts about women who pop these things like skittles, so I doubt that this small amount would do anything, but I like to ease into things, especially when it comes to health related things. Also, I had read somewhere that there is a difference between the cream colored maca and the white colored maca and that the cream colored stuff isn’t as strong, which is what my capsules were filled with.

So I don’t know how much it affected my cycle, I didn’t expect it to do much. I O’d on CD16, when regularly on the cycles AFTER I took progesterone I O on CD17 (the progesterone seemed to move my ovulation up more than anything I ever tried), so maybe it moved it up a day, but maybe the letrozole, even though I didn’t take it this cycle, has kicked my system into gear. So likely no effect on ovulation date. I should add that a few days I did take 2 of the capsules towards ovulation.

But the weird thing was at 1 DPO (by my best guess) my boobs got really sore. Sometimes they hurt when I’m pregnant, sometimes they hurt when I’m not, they really are not predictable and certainly no indicator of anything. I thought it was a fluke and maybe they had a rough day (I am not sure what that even means. Too much bouncing…?) But here I am 7 DPO, and they feel the same. Everyday they have felt like this, not any better nor any worse. Just the sides hurting. I stopped maca at ovulation, so they seemed to start hurting when I stopped.

So of course, as the crazy IFer I am, what did I do ladies? I GOOGLED IT.

Bet you didn’t see THAT coming.

And it seems that this is a common effect of maca. It even seems that some people take this to increase breast AND BOOTY size! So I don’t know if I will be taking this again. The pain isn’t bad, it is certainly bearable, and I don’t notice until they are touched on the sides. But I sure don’t need more boobs and booty.

So, there is my experience with maca. Sore boobs. And my pants and bra get tighter. I guess we will see if it was worth it!

Anyone else try this? Have any changes or luck with it?

 

Gambling

My husband and I go to the casino sometimes, not a lot, and we never go overboard with our spending (losing). It’s never fun to lose money, but we figure that we are paying for entertainment at least. Watching the machines go and playing the bonuses can be fun and exciting.

Recently we have been faced with deciding whether or not to gamble $25k + on just a chance. No entertainment whatsoever. It works, or it doesn’t. And there will be pain either way.

At first, I really wanted to do IVF with PGD, I just knew it would work. I made so many calls, looked up so many success rates, had a spreadsheet full of our options. I opened a new savings account, looked for ways to reduce spending and bring in extra money. I had it all planned out. B never wanted to listen to me talk about it, and it would upset me that we were so far apart on this. Then one day a couple of months ago he asked me something that made me jump right to his page: “What if it doesn’t work?”

In my head I had made this into such a certain thing. It had to work, I mean, how could it not? But the facts are that in our situation, there is a chance that we wouldn’t even make it to embryo transfer due to abnormal unbalanced embryos. Most likely we would, but most of the studies I read had a 30% chance per egg retrieval of no balanced embryos. And then of course if we are still in the lucky 70%, the embryo transfer does not even guarantee a take home baby. So am I willing to gamble $25,000+?

No. I am not. Not right now. Not when just the thought of it not working, and LOSING $25,000 sends me into hyperventilating fits. Once it is paid, we can’t get it back whether we become parents or not. It can’t go to our student loans. It can’t pay off some of our house. It can’t help to replace our old high mileage vehicles.

We wouldn’t have a problem saving up the money to try it, which makes us fortunate, but even when we have it saved up… I cannot stand the thought of spending it to get poked and prodded and in pain and taking time away from work, just to be in the same situation that we are in now.

I guess I’m not the gambler I thought I was.

S

Also, just to add: found out today that our work (we work at the same place) is not giving out merit raises this year… so there goes that planned on money too.

Optimism vs Realism

I was SURE that getting the IUI was going to at least get us pregnant again, I was very optimistic about this, and realistic too as we have conceived so many times, but the OB thought that maybe the Femara was messing with my cm etc. So by surpassing that with the (intensely painful) IUI, we should conceive again. After conception, reality is that there is a good chance of an unbalanced embryo that would miscarry, but optimism (and some history) says that eventually we will get a good one, and why not this time?

I have felt so good the last week, I have had more energy than usual (def not a pregnancy sign, but it’s too early) I have been keeping up on my house as far as dishes and laundry, I have been baking a lot, which I have never really done. And I have just generally been in a happy positive “this is OUR time” mood.

I didn’t want to think that there was even a chance that this wouldn’t work for us. Until this morning 9 dpo (early, yes I know) I saw that BFN.

Now reality sets in. And it blows.

Optimism said I would have a child before 30 (which is in 10 months) and 3 by 35. But reality is now telling me that I would be lucky to have one at all before my ovaries call it quits.

I know that I am lucky in many ways, and I want to just focus on those things that I have that make me happy, but I don’t know how to forget that we want a child. I can’t see my life without a child as a fully happy one. I have already stopped hanging out with and talking to friends, which I felt was just a temporary thing, but right now when I picture 10 years in the future with no children, I can’t see myself hanging out with other people with kids and not being sad and envious.

I know that statistics say that we will all get there, but the road is so hard and already so long, and getting longer.

With every BFN, my optimism and faith are tested, and while they recover some, they never make a full recovery, and I lose some of them every time.

I don’t go on social media, I haven’t in over a year and a half, and people don’t get why. Lucky them. Their reality is that those baby pictures are so cute to look at. While my reality means hurt and jealousy and many tears.

I don’t want to live my life like this, but I don’t want to give up. And I don’t know how to be realistic AND optimistic.

Optimism: Maybe by some miracle, it did work and I have a late implanter. Reality: It’s definitely possible.

S

My first IUI experience

So I just realized that I didn’t update after the IUI.

Let’s start with sample collection. Our doctor told us to do this at home. We called the clinic before the appointment and asked how much time we would have as they didn’t really tell us. 30 minutes and keep the sample in my bra after it was collected. Well, we knew 30 minutes would be really close so the lady I spoke to on the phone said that when we got there to tell one of the ladies up front that it was urgent. So the collection.. well that was awkward, even at home. So… how do we start this? Do we try to act sexy? I mean, we all know what is going on here, and it is a very unsexy situation. So that took a bit longer than we both expected. Then cup goes into the bra and we race for the door.

We got to the clinic, I ran to the elevator, and when the doors opened, people everywhere. It had been about 33 minutes at this point and I was freaking out. So I decided to calmly try to walk up to the desk to tell someone that I just needed to make this hand off. All the nurses were busy, but one looked at me for a moment, even though she was with a person, I said “I have this sample, it is urgent, it has been just over 30 minutes” and she was like “You can’t just do that! I am with a customer.” and obviously already felt awful about that, but I didn’t know what to do. But she took it and handed it off after getting our name and then kept saying “I was with someone, you can’t do that” which just made me feel worse that I already did. I don’t want to put anyone at an inconvenience EVER. The nurse I spoke to on the phone said to tell the ladies up front it was urgent. I did. And I got reprimanded. Not to mention that I am paying for this 100% out of my own pocket and would be out a lot of money if it didn’t work because it had been too long and the sample had been bad. She just kept saying it until I burst into tears. I know that cutting in front of people and interrupting people is wrong, I am not a bitch. But I did what I was told to the best of my ability. There was no one else I could go to and I wasn’t going to wait an additional 30 minutes in line and ruin my chances and toss money in the garbage. I cried the rest of the day because I felt like such an awful human being.

BTW- After the procedure the doctor said that it was fine if it was more than 30 minutes, they just don’t want people waiting 3 hours or anything, and as long as it was in my bra staying warm, it would be fine. Now why in the HELL did no one ever say this to us before the procedure? I am convinced that no one communicates there.

Ont to the procedure:

Everyone says that it is like a pap, just uncomfortable, but no pain. So that is how I went into it. Thinking it would be a ‘breeze’ as so many have called it.

It. Was. Awful.

Shortly after beginning the process, the doctor says that she needs to ‘straighten out’ my cervix (which hurts just thinking about this… sorry cervix) so she used a tool, which I did not see, but I imagine as a medieval torture device. It. Hurt. So. Bad. It was quick, yes,  but the pain was excruciating. It probably didn’t help that I was not expecting it at all, so I did yell a curse word or two… oops. She did say that she has heard much worse. It continued to hurt and bleed the rest of the day and some of the next day.

Now that I know the kind of pain it can cause, I am not sure how I can face another one. I mean, it was manageable obviously, but the anxiety now of knowing how bad it hurt is going to be horrible if I have to do this again.

I am feeling pretty positive that it worked, at least to the point of conceiving. I m 6 DPO today and we all know that pregnancy symptoms and progesterone symptoms are the same. But just because we are all a little crazy: I have had very vivid dreams since 3 dpo, every single night. I remember them all, and they are so weird. And I can feel things in them, which is odd, but nothing unheard of. Sharp little pinches 3-5DPO, again, nothing out of the ordinary.

I guess we will find out soon.

Please God, I don’t want to do another IUI… or have another mc or BFN.