Any Other Wednesday

[Caution, rambling post ahead dealing with topics such as trying to conceive, baby loss and what not.]

We took a break from trying for a baby this month. Not on purpose; because the husband was across the country for work during the go-zone. It honestly feels like this is the longest two week wait in the history of ever, ever, because there’s literally 0% chance this month. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good knowing but also feels like such a waste of time. Our son is four, just about to be four and a half. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be starting over from scratch when my kid was essentially in Kindergarten. If we ever beat infertility and get to that point, that is.

Also did not dream up the divorce, or the time it took to get remarried or the losses or anything else that happened in between. If I wasn’t so sure about homeschooling the kid, I would probably get him enrolled in public school and pursue a new career. Be a “one and done” family, because after loss it pretty clearly feels like a closed door. Regardless, I would love love to study psychology in more depth than my animal health science degree allowed. But… there’s really no point if I can’t put it to use, is there? How would it look to get a degree now and not be able to use it for a decade, or more or who knows when because life as a whole is excellent at orchestrating plot twists?

Plus there’s the whole really can’t afford it thing. Is financial assistance for second degrees even a thing? Sounds a bit selfish but I would totally be all over that. Too scared to Google it. I suppose I am much more comfortable in the unknown. I do still think it royally unfair that we are supposed to know at eighteen what we want to do with our whole lives. Especially since despite having a passion for veterinary medicine and being very naturally skilled at blood draws, catheters and the like, it doesn’t fit who I am or what I want out of life anymore. I have a bachelors degree and licensure with my state and still cannot afford to put my kid in daycare to work. It’s madness. Props to all the technicians out there working their butts off for beans. It is definitely a calling and I have been called to something else.

So why do I feel so dissatisfied?

There’s certainly a bitterness that comes with pregnancy loss because none of this should even be an issue right now. I should have a five month old baby and be in the trenches of new-again motherhood but that’s not how it worked out for us. And I find myself drumming the keyboard at that thought because it just is. I wouldn’t wish losing a baby on my worst enemy, especially not three and especially not when the culture of our society is such that their lives were barely valid because they were never born. And I don’t know my point in writing this. Sometimes things just need to be written down and I suppose I am back to writing again, if only for now, because I have accumulated too many things to say.

I do know I am not exactly where I want to be in life and it’s hard. Because there’s nothing I can actually do about it. I feel like God has me in a holding pattern and I want to break free but I know that’s not the right answer either so I’m just waiting and waiting and that has never been a strength of mine. I have prayed for direction more times than I can count and last I heard over six months ago now was “REST.”

And I really did the best I could at doing just that.. maybe it wasn’t enough.

What if I’m just waiting forever?

What am I even waiting for?

Love,

Michelle

How to Deal

This week has been a long one. Last weekend feels like a lifetime away; I can’t even remember how I spent my time.. was my hubby even home? Hah. I can’t remember now.

I felt oddly peaceful all day today. I woke up exhausted, got dressed half-asleep, dropped the hubby off at work and said goodbye to him for thirty-six hours. It’s a duty day for him, as is every third day, so he has to spend the night on the boat. By the time I was almost home, I felt mostly awake, and so instead of rushing back to get laundry started and dishes put away, I took Graham down to the little rocky shoreline and watched the sun come up over the hills. It was so nice watching the colors dance on the water and listen to the tide as it went out. I had all 150 feet of shoreline to myself.

Felt crummy a little while after getting home. Hot and sleepy.. I think my body is fighting a bit of a cold. I tired Graham out with a game of ghetto-fetch [[which means I throw the toy and end up getting it myself half the time, and trying to convince him it’s not the same game as tug-o-war the other half]] put him in his kennel so I wouldn’t have to worry about him getting into trouble and climbed into bed. Slept like a rock for three hours and dreamt weird dreams that I can’t remember now.

My mind feels slow today, and I don’t mind that one bit. I feel two shots of tequila happy and calm but without the alcohol. Prayer has helped heal my heart from the bad news we received only four days ago. It is oddly comforting knowing this is all in God’s hands; that nothing I did or didn’t do would have, could have changed anything. I did the best I could by following my gut and having those tests run; and my mind doesn’t have to go crazy wondering if something is wrong anymore.

There’s an old saying about that.. that the truth will set you free. I suppose this is what free could feel like..

Pandora’s Box

The decision to have a baby was an easy one. Before we were married last April I had a feeling that I wanted to start trying soon after I graduated from college in June. It’s almost funny looking back now and remembering my scheming to work baby stuff into otherwise normal conversations with my then fiance; or doing the same shortly after we were married and I was totally bogged down by school and really should have been thinking of other things. I knew one thing for certain – that I wanted to have our kids in my early to mid-twenties and that meant starting to try as soon as possible.

You probably won’t believe me if I tell you now, that I always felt like we were going to run into trouble on our trying to conceive journey. Given my history of irregular periods I swore up and down something was wrong with me, when month after month instead of buying pregnancy tests I instead purchased chocolate bars and boxes of tampons. I had basic blood work done and when that all came back just fine and I thought they must have mixed up the samples because it had been months of trying already. I wanted more blood work, more tests, an ultrasound to make sure I didn’t have a bum uterus. We don’t need those now.

Before the hospital would do any more testing on me, they required that my darling husband (DH – can also be dear husband) have a semen analysis done. Yesterday we merrily set off for the hospital so he could provide the sample, fully expecting stellar results. But when I called for results and the nurse that answered the phone said the doctor was flagged to call with the results of this case my heart sank. Even now, I can’t believe I am typing this. It has to be a bad dream like the ones I’ve had of car crashes and memory loss and wolf attacks.

But there is no waking up from this. There is no going back to yesterday – you can’t take back what you find when you open Pandora’s Box.

We rushed the results and chose to see them on paper before waiting for a doctor’s analysis. I am still waiting for the call this morning where my not-so-nice family practice doctor will let me know my husband falls in the class of severe male infertility. The benchmark for normal is 20 million sperm per milliliter of sample provided, subfertile is classified as less than 10 million, infertile is less than 5 million and my husband has less than 2 million. That news is a crushing blow. During the test they look at a small drop of semen under a microscope to analyze morphology, motility, etcetera.. These lab techs normally watch the movement of hundreds of sperm and DH had just 26 on his slide and eight were already dead.

I don’t know how to handle this. I’m supposed to be ovulating soon! But the chances of me getting pregnant are lower than the average woman’s risk of getting pregnant with perfect birth control pill use. I feel like we just joined this elite club that no one wants to be a member of. Thank God DH is just hurt, not embarrassed, and is ok with me talking/writing about this because writing is how I process things. In one afternoon we went from OPKs to IVF and it’s scary and it hurts and I don’t know where God is leading us with this one. I don’t know where to go from here.

One Chance

After a long discussion with my hubby last night, we decided that we are going to continue trying for a baby…but more importantly, this month only has once chance of working out. Some background for those not familiar with trying to conceive…

Women aren’t fertile all month. Fertility Friend (.com) is a great resource for those interested in charting their cycles and becoming more aware of what their bodies are doing all month long.. It describes the time a woman is able to get pregnant as the “fertile window” and goes on to say,

“Your fertile window is made up of the days in your menstrual cycle when pregnancy is possible. The length of this fertile phase is determined by the maximum life span of your partner’s sperm and your egg. Sperm can survive a maximum of five days in fertile cervical fluid and your ovum can survive for up to one day. Your theoretical fertile window is thus six days long, comprised of the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. You only have a chance to conceive when you have intercourse on these days. This means that pregnancy is technically possible from intercourse on any of these six days. The likelihood of actually becoming pregnant, however, is dramatically increased when you have intercourse in the three days immediately leading up to and including ovulation. This makes a practical fertile window of just three days.”

Today is cycle day twelve and the last few cycles I have ovulated on or around day eighteen. Given my doctor’s advice, we should only be baby dancing, “BDing”, (having sex) every two days, which seems crazy, but it’s what she said given that we have had trouble conceiving with a more traditional every day or every other day schedule. I’m not one who usually likes timing BD opportunities but given my hubby’s work schedule, my doctor’s advice and  his 24 hour duty days at work, we realistically have one chance to make it happen this month.

One chance for the little spermies to knock me up. Hahah.. That’s probably way too much to share on the internet, but that is my life, so there you go. :)

I’m not too confident this month will be our month but I am 100% OKAY not having a December baby given that I am a December baby and that month is crowded as it is!! Five more months of trying before Logan leaves for a six or seven month deployment. And please don’t paint me in your mind as some pathetically desperate woman; I am not, because this is all in God’s hands.

Baby Rant

I don’t know if I’ve written this post before. I feel like I may have, but I don’t feel like searching back through the archives to make sure I don’t restate the same things over again. If you’re reading this and it feels like deja vu, then it’s probably something you’ve heard me complain about before.

The hubby is at work today, all day (and night) so that leaves me alone wishing I had a friend to hang out with here. And more specifically, I wish I had a friend that understood how hard trying to conceive can be when it just isn’t happening.

I guess my chances would be higher if I were sixteen, in Vegas, in the back seat of some guy I met at a party’s car, drunk and “using” birth control.

Blah.

Seeing baby bump pictures on my newsfeed on Facebook from more than one friend certainly hasn’t helped much today either. Feeling defeated and broken and down about myself is not how I wanted to spend my Friday.

Cycle Day One

I have gone back and forth on whether I was going to post about today about a dozen times this morning…but I think I am ready to start being more open about this. It is cycle day one, and for those not familiar with the terminology, means I am not pregnant because my period just started. Probably too much information for some people, I know, but get ready for a whole lot more of it because month nine of trying to conceive our first has just started.

Last month, cycle number eight was a bust, because Logan was out of town the entire month, so this visit from AF (“Aunt Flo” aka period) was totally expected. I think having no hope that last cycle might lead to positive pregnancy test was exactly what I needed. After months and months of negative tests I was starting to feel really defeated, but no more of that. I know some day I will be a mother, some how, and right now I just need to have faith that it will happen exactly when God wants it to happen.

I wasn’t sure I was up for trying this month. But after not charting last cycle and not knowing when to expect my period, I realized that I like knowing what is going on with my body. So I will be using my clear blue easy fertility monitor to track my cycle this month and I will obviously be “baby dancing” with my husband because we are newlyweds after all and if that leads to a positive pregnancy test in a month, I will be thrilled. And if not, well then, maybe next month..

Positive outlook only.

Telling my MIL

I haven’t always been on the best terms with my mother in law. To keep a long story short, I was not exactly the girl she thought her son would want to marry. That is all water under the bridge now, so they say.

My husband and I had been keeping our hopes to have a baby mostly to ourselves. When we first started trying last June I told my best friend, and he told a few work buddies. When my mom asked a few months later, I told her and she told my sisters. I still don’t know if my Dad knows, and we haven’t talked about it. The decision to keep it to ourselves was a simple one. I was pretty sure we would be trying for a while and I didn’t want everyone to keep asking if we had any news. Looking back now, I am happy with that decision.. It’s been eight months now and the only thing I have to show for it is, well, nothing. I am having some blood work done to check my hormone levels but that’s fairly routine for a preconception health checkup. I feel like it has been long enough now that I can be more open about this journey. Maybe hearing my story will help others out there that are in their 20 somethings and having trouble conceiving. I wish it was as easy as a drunken night, but it hasn’t been for us..

Anyway, along the same line of keeping this to ourselves, I have this policy that if I’m asked something point blank, I won’t lie. I don’t go out of my way to share everything with everyone, but if asked, I feel like it’s important to be honest, so when my mother in law brought up kids and if we knew when we wanted to start trying, I told her we already had been trying. She was surprised, but oddly supportive. It was definitely NOT the reaction I expected from her considering just a year ago she was completely against our relationship. I think she is trying to repair the damage that was done to our relationship (mine and hers) before I married her son, and I appreciate that. I don’t like the probable fact that she may tell my brother and sister in law, but that’s something I knew in the back of my mind when I told her.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I wanted this blog to be an open forum for me to share anything I wanted.. A safe place to get things off my chest and I’m going to start doing a little more of that. Previously, I have felt a little embarrassed posting about baby stuff, but I don’t know why. It is my life. Having a baby is a decision that I have tried to push away for a while now, and it keeps coming back up in my heart, so here we are. This month is obviously a break month because DH is gone and I think it’s just what we needed. I will keep anyone who is interested updated if anything changes..