Thursday, 31 December 2015

Good riddance 2015!

2015 was a year of change for me and my husband. New city, new jobs, new friends, new hair color, new tattoo (first tattoo I should say), and a new outlook on life. We're never short on challenges being "infertiles", but yet always full on love and support. I couldn't have chosen a better partner to navigate this amazing, albeit rocky at times, adventure called life. I'm so thankful for all that I have, and yet at the same time, hopeful for all the things I'm wishing into fruition right now. And of course, the biggest of all, is a starting a family.

I met this lady at the dog park. We kept running into one another and eventually (after knowing each other well enough) we started talking about more personal things. She is an "older" mom (not really, but she did consider herself older than the norm) due to her struggles with infertility. One thing she said to me really hit home:

"everything started shifting when I stopped hating and blaming my body for not doing its job. Once I started thinking (more importantly, actually believing) it WAS capable, I was able to think positively about the experience" 

The thing is... when you deal with infertility, its so hard to not become protective of your emotions for your survival and well being. Unfortunately, in doing so, we often prepare ourselves for a negative outcome, only aiding to the likelihood of a self-fulfilling prophecy, really. I mean, no one in their right minds LIKES needles, or taking crazy amounts of drugs, and going for check-ups every other day... but it is what we infertiles (or individuals who are struggling) need to do in order to make our dreams a reality. But when we hold such resentment towards these experiences, or feel like no matter what we do our bodies will fail us, then we set up the energetic reality to follow. 

This is all a very metaphysical take on things, so I'm sorry if I've lost you or sound hokey pokey. I feel very strongly that energy plays a large part in life. Everything on this earth is in fact made up of energy (kinetic or otherwise) and that's a scientific fact. Yet, we forget that we ourselves are energy, and that we connect to others and experiences energetically as well. That negative feeling we can get reflecting on our situation, permeates our being. 

It's funny, because I was really hopeful the first time around doing IVF. But at the same time, I didn't want to fully believe it could work for fear of a bigger let-down. Then we had a difficult transfer and I convinced myself it didn't work... even going so far as to stop my progesterone before beta. I was CONVINCED. Then the second time around I just started the whole thing out with negative thinking because the first time didn't work. My negative thinking was a habit, I had been doing it so long. But thinking something, believing it, is actually a choice. You can choose to believe what you want, but unfortunately, sometimes it can make turn it and make it fact. There is a difference between FACT and BELIEF. 

I'm not asking you to believe anything this guy is claiming (ie. where the message comes from etc), but I thought his analogy of the yin/yang for beliefs was really poignant. 

Basically think of a belief like a yin/yang. The white is a positive, the black is a negative belief. The opposite coloured dots are like doors to the other side of belief (positive to negative, negative to positive). When you are in a positive belief you see the door. The light is on in the room, and you know you can have access to the negative belief, but choose to stay positive. You leave that door closed... but you know its there and made the choice to stay in the positive side. Now when you are on the negative belief side, in the dark... you cannot see the door. You are blind to it. Its there! You just don't know that it is, or where to find it. 

We get so caught up believing we're infertile... assuming that as part of our identities - heck! I've labeled myself femme infertile! But there is harm in believing that of ourselves. Especially for those of you like me who are unexplained, we are in fact CAPABLE of getting pregnant. We just have no evidence yet to support it. And because we've tried and tried and tried, this belief has become cemented in what we believe to be reality and thus fact. But it is not FACT... it is a BELIEF. 

So what's my point? I'm preaching again.. 
My point is that as many of us enter new cycles of IVF, we need to be preparing ourselves financially, physically, emotionally and mentally. And most of us do that. We go on the necessary diets, cut out alcohol, reduce stress levels, meditate maybe. But what many of us don't do (myself included in past cycles) is take time to work on our beliefs and thinking. This doesn't mean simply saying I believe I'm going to get pregnant, and then it happening. You have to actually believe it, not say it. 

But how do we do this? Well, I'm still trying to figure that out. I'm doing meditations. Saying positive affirmations. Connecting as I'm able to my baby's energy (and in turn raising my own vibration). Letting go of any latent resentment, anger, jealousy, fear, despair etc. Like REALLY letting it go. Fully! And finally actually visualizing myself pregnant. What I look like, how it feels, what changes my body will go through. All of it! 

All aspects of my thinking need to be directed to BELIEVING that I can get pregnant, even if its not tomorrow (there should be no timeline attached to this). Our current reality, is not our necessary and inevitable reality. 

Okay. If I haven't lost you already and you don't think I'm totally cuckoo crazy by now, good on you! Open minds right!? New year, new mindset, new cycle. I can't wait to get started. 

ps. check out Alaya and Oshira of Vibrational Child. She is AMAZING and her mediations etc. are fantastic! Also good, is Circle & Bloom for while you're cycling.

free fertility relaxation to try out from circle and bloom too if interested but not wanting to commit to the investment!

On that note... on to a meditation myself! Hope you all end your 2015 with open hearts and minds, ready to embrace all that 2016 has to offer us! Much love!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Biopsy, SHG & Trial Transfer

So, first off... holy crap is the US different than Canada. In Canada, I had to wait something like 6 months after being refered to an RE to actually get a CALL to make an appointment. Then the next available appointment was months and months away. Ridiculous. Then communication was very limited during the treatment and you never (or rarely ever) had your actual doc. It was whoever was on shift.

Now the US experience is completely flipped. Now, I have good health insurance, so I know I'm lucky as a lot of it is covered, but private health care is substantially more patient centered than public. I can contact the clinic directly and get an answer right away. I can email my doctor directly, and get an answer back within 24 hr (usually much faster), and I have a lot more control over my care.

Anyways, that was just a rant because I kept emailing my doc and he kept emailing me back with smiley faces, like it was no big deal. I was blown away. Probably seems small and insubstantial, but a new experience for me.

I was all confused about when I was supposed to be doing my biopsy. At first I thought it was mid Jan, then my cycle before got all messed up and I was thinking it would be in Feb, but after this chain of emails, I now realize it IS mid-January. But the kicker is... darling hubby is going to be out of town so I'm flying solo.

AHh :s

So I'm having a uterine biopsy (Scratch) done, along with an SHG and trial transfer. Because of my difficult transfers in the past, they are sedating me (or putting me to sleep... can't remember). No idea what this will do to me, or how I'll feel upon waking, so I'm freaking out that I'll be completely alone. Wondering if I should have my mom come into town and take care of me.
If anyone has experienced anything similar I'd love love LOVE you to comment with suggestions.

Anyways. Excited to get a move on and get started. Looks like my biopsy etc. will be around January 16th to 19th ish.... thats a big ISH since my cycles are totally wonky and you just never know when I'll ovulate.

Anyhoo... I'm gonna go mull on all this and stew in my fear. Wish me luck! :s

Monday, 21 December 2015

No Shame!

So I was part of a holiday thread on infertility - some of you reading this may have been part of that thread too.

A couple girls were dreading the holidays with their families because of fear of breaking down, or embarrassing themselves when asked when they're going to have kids. I wrote a paragraph, and then subsequently decided to bite my tongue and erased it.

I'm outspoken. I'm honest... sometimes brutally. From the very beginning we were very open to everyone about our situation. I mean everyone. I never once took on the responsibility of whether what I said was going to make someone else uncomfortable or embarrassed. Why should I? That's not my responsibility!!!

 I believed from the get go, that there was no shame in my struggle. I think perhaps thats what makes it so hard for me watching others struggle with shame and embarrassment on the topic. Watch others be so closed off in sharing their experiences. Its amazing once you open up the amount of stories you hear from others going through the same. (I have a rant on this in a different post re: why more ppl aren't open but I'll let you find and read that separately).

Now, I'm not saying being open is for everyone. I consider myself an incredibly strong individual who can take peoples moments and comments of "idiocy" or "insensitivity" or "naivety" and let it all slide off my shoulders... most of the time. At least in the long run ;)
Being open is not for the feeble or weak, sure. But I believe we should all stand strong in the face of infertility. It is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Here is the initial post:

Is any one else really fearful of family gatherings this year? I have been having a lot of anxiety regarding them. We go to my husbands family this year and though a few people on that side know of our struggles, I do not think most do - they are a very private family when it comes to things like this, which is the complete opposite of my side - everyone knows what is going on. Yesterday all I could think about is how I would react when some one inevitably asks when we are going to have kids or when someone announces they are having another one. I am trying to have a script, but right now I can not think about it with out tearing up. Basically I am scared, and do not want to embarrass myself or anyone else. Any one else in this boat and/or have some advice? This is our 4th Christmas season while struggling with this infertility thing and it only seems to be getting harder.

then another response: I'm nervous about it, too. Neither my nor DH's family knows we are struggling to conceive, and neither family is especially nosy, but I'm just worried about how I'm going to react. We have 3 babies less than a year old in the family, and of course I love them very much and I'm excited to see them on their first Christmas. But since we're fresh off an unsuccessful cycle (AF starting any time now), I think I'm probably going to feel pretty melancholy. Basically I don't want to break down in tears at a family event and like you said embarrass myself or other people!

Now... this is where I had to bite my tongue. I already erased the response I typed unfortunately... lost forever, but it was to this effect:

I really want you ladies to know that infertility is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. It is something that is completely out of our control, and something that a lot of people don't understand, yes, but try to! I have had many social gatherings where I had to retreat to the bathroom to cry... even sometimes in a room of people who know my situation. If you don't walk in our shoes it can be hard to understand. But that being said, I find so much comfort in knowing that a friend who is aware of our situation, can intuit and know when I must be hurting in a given circumstance. I don't even have to say anything, yet they are there to comfort me, hug me and empathize to the best of their ability without hesitation. 

I understand the choice to not share openly. That is a choice. But know it is a choice. When people continue to ask about kids/family plans, it is because they care about us, and want to know about our lives and plans. They have no clue we're struggling unless we tell them! Many of them want to know, many of them are already guessing... I have found so much peace in sharing, and am not trying to say its the only choice, because again... it is ONE choice, and one that I made long ago and have never once regretted. But that being said, we are so much more than an infertile. We are beautiful, kind, compassionate, intelligent women who have so much more to offer this world than the identity of conceiving and carrying a child. Hopefully one day we all get to, but we should not feel ashamed of how that one aspect of our lives is currently playing out. 

Everyone struggles in their lives... at differen times... in different areas. Maybe its career, relationships, health, whatever it may be. When we only share the good, we are closing the doors to receiving compassion. When we are willing to be vulnerable and open, not only can we receive compassion, but we open the door too to others' struggles and the ability to give compassion. My friend will cry on my shoulder about heartbreak of a lost relationship. Why is it so inconceivable to do the same about my heartbreak of infertility? I seem to be preaching here about openness, and that was not my intention. It is a completely valid decision to keep your private life private. Everyone is different and you have to choose what is right for you. This is just from the perspective of someone who did the opposite and feels so light and free. May 2016 fulfill all your hopes and dreams!

note: please feel free to share your honest thoughts or comments about this topic. How do you feel about this topic of shame or embarrassment?

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Future Unknown

Oh gosh... where do I start. So my husband works in finance, and is always on the edge of his seat feeling like he'll get fired. The horrible thing, is that it is very common in that industry to have a bad week and get put out on the street. So he's often stressed and very nervous about that. It doesn't help that we packed up our lives in Canada and moved to New York (a VERY expensive city to live in) where I can't legally work. So really, our livelihood rests on his shoulders unfortunately.

Well the last week or so has been bad. For anyone who follows the markets, you know its been a volatile year. His pod has lost of a LOT of money. He, individually, has done well and made some good calls, but it's a team environment and unfortunately, if the ship goes down, there's no lifeboat.

Today he texted me very upset. He generally bottles a lot of that stress up, as he knows I don't handle not being able to contribute very well. I hate him feeling so responsible, but also, of course, don't want him to not feel able to talk to me about it. It's tough... Anyway, the point is, that today he really let it all out, and feels like its very likely he'll lose his job.

Now I don't know what that means for us personally, whether we get deported immediately, or if we have time for him to get a new job... but fertility-wise, without insurance... we're out of the game temporarily. I don't mean to turn this into something selfish, but after five years of working towards a family and wanting it so bad, I naturally think of that first. It's my priority and my focus right now; getting healthy mentally and physically in order to do our next round in January.

But now its all up in the air. I feel lost. Scared. Confused. I was so hopeful to be moving forward on this journey only to be told that maybe we have to put a pin in it all... again! I'm 30 now, and though still young, wanted so badly to be a "young" mother. I wanted to be DONE having children by 30, not be starting... or TRYING to start...

I feel like time is getting away from me, and as silly as that may be with a full life ahead of me, am feeling the pressure to move along. And yet now? Feel stuck in the mud, unable to move. Life has thrown us some curveballs, and I know we're strong enough to overcome whatever happens... I guess I just don't want to have to.

Ohhhhh wellllll....

Friday, 11 December 2015

Due Date Season

Do you ever have those spells where it feels like everyone is pregnant but you?

Well when my hubby and I got back into a routine of actively TTC, it seemed like everyone else got the urge, but yet they were all successful. Well guess what!? Now its due date season. I have literally about 6 people I know due within the next 2 months. Salt on the wound thinking I could have been too... regardless of knowing I'm "infertile."

What sucks even more is that I'm on hold until after the new year fertility treatment wise. The clinic I'm going to is undergoing renovations, which is quite nice actually... new offices to get check ups etc. in... but that means for the next month I'm at a stand still. Never feels good to be frozen in place. Movement forward in the direction of our dreams is what keeps us infertiles sane. Speaking for myself at least...

The holidays are extra hard. All that's on my christmas wish list is a positive pregnancy test. Although I may not feel like that's so much to ask, I know it is. I often really wonder what my destiny is. How does everything turn out. So I ask... Who? Well I have a little secret ... I read tarot cards and am an empath and intuitive. I have guessed genders with pretty astonishing accuracy. I told a friend worrying about getting pregnant that she would get pregnant at 4 months... and then she did, another that she would struggle but eventually conceive (wrote this one down... never a good idea to tell someone its going to be hard), numerous times known others were pregnant before their announcements, and even gone so far as to know the instant a friend went into labour! I'm not trying to convince you of my gifts, but to give a little merit into why I believe in myself at least. And for whatever reason, I've been blessed with extra-sensory surrounding pregnancy and births. Really? Not like... lottery numbers or career or love advice... babies!!?!?!!?!? Of course! Because that is where my intention in life is currently. That's where my mind and focus goes. So naturally, that's the strongest.

So I've been asking my tarots for a long LONG time about my family situation. I never get the answer I want. For a long time I bargained, claiming that it would be unfair to see my own future, and  I know in general its difficult to read ones self as we're so subjective and biased, so perhaps its wrong, I'd think. Doing so at least kept me from losing hope, and continuing to try.

Well finally the tides shifted, and I seem to be closer (according the cards that be). Doesn't claim anything immediate, but makes me feel like it may be sooner than later. It was pretty exciting, as I do my best to not see what I want or hope for in the cards, but instead, what's actually present. But that won't make the holidays any easier. The christmas cards of all my friends' families (who started trying well after we began trying and now have 2+ children...) are flooding in. I put them on my fridge because I love my friends and I love their children... I don't want to miss out on these memories and precious years. But it does hurt. Crazy how a person has such a capacity to hurt so badly and yet love so fully all at once.

This year its just hubby and me. We're staying in New York and I hope to make the absolute most of it. Because I know my real true wishes are nothing short of miracle worthy, I'm throwing in a back-up wish of a White Christmas. I'd love nothing more than to go Ice Skating and drink hot cocoa on Christmas Day surrounded by a white winter wonderland with the man I love. I figure that's a doable wish to fulfill to those wish deliverers up above...

What are you wishing for this year? How do you handle the holiday season? Whatever it is... I hope your dreams come true and you start 2016 with a happy and full heart. Blessings to you all!

Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and/or Happy New Year to you all!