Wednesday, December 29, 2004

It's time to Run again!

Okay... it's going to be a new year... I'm going to have a new attitude.. and in order for me to do this.. I MUST RUN! I'm going to start training for the Mercer Island Half Marathon on March 20th. No more using this "trying to make a baby" thing as an excuse to not run. I've made contact with a couple of other people that are starting to run again and I'm confident that I will have people to run with! I'm excited! :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

2004 is almost over! (YIPPEE)

2004 is coming to an end in the next couple of days and as I look back I am trying to reflect on some of the positive things that have happened - may as well get a jump start on my NEW POSITIVE attitude for 2005, right?

2004 was the first year of my marriage. As promised it was rocky. I’ve heard that the first year is the hardest of all the years. We got through relatively unscathed. Upon returning from a trip to Tom’s friend Jennifer’s wedding Tom told me he had ordered a bunch of “marriage” books online. I, of course, did not believe him and assumed he was making fun of my addiction to “self help” books. He wasn’t joking – we came home to a book called “Good Marriage” – I read it (and am rather doubtful that Tom will ever turn a page in that book J). The first two chapters pertained to the first year of marriage, chapter 1: Creating a partnership while maintaining autonomy and chapter 2: Separating from the Family of Origin.

This book came at a great time… after reading those two chapters I recognized the turning point that we were coming to with our first year anniversary just around the corner. I felt that we had done a pretty decent job of creating a partnership while maintaining autonomy, but the separation from the family of origin really hit home. I realized that I wasn’t fully embracing my role as wife while moving away from my role as daughter. I was still attached to that role – and still am. I enjoy my relationship with my parents and have lived under their safe umbrella for 28 years before marrying Tom – particularly the umbrella of my father’s support and guidance. I realized that I was still depending on that quite a bit and therefore in a way stealing some of Tom’s power in our relationship and of all things handing it to my dad. Over the course of the last couple of months I have consciously tried to turn to Tom more and more for the things that I would normally talk to my dad about. Now I would be lying if I said I won’t go to my dad anymore, but I am trying to discuss things with Tom first and have us make decisions together and bring my dad in if we both agree that we need outside support in something. So far I think I’m doing okay here! J

We purchased a house this year as well. Dad purchased 50% of the condo and we used that money to purchase a town home exactly one block away. We purchased the house before it was finished being built and were able to pick out a lot of the interior finishes. We are pleased with the final result, and though I had my reservations about living in a town home I really do love it! Turns out it was a great investment – town homes in our area are now selling for $55k more than we paid for ours. We deliberated a lot about whether or not we really wanted to be strapped with a home mortgage. The condo mortgage payment was so low it was comparable to rent, but a mortgage payment to purchase a home in the city is over DOUBLE what we paid for the condo. We were nervous, but felt that we would soon be priced out of the area and wouldn’t be able to purchase something at all. Looks like we were right.

I finished enough tests to get me to a fully qualified DNOS position and to get the stipend from the home office. I got my title and my raise. I still need to take a couple more tests to maintain the title and the raise. I have the Series 10 on my plate in January/February and I’m supposed to get the Series 65 by June 2005. I’m still working to wiggle my way out of this role and move more into a support / Client Relations Center role. It is public that I want to move on. Tammy has assured me that they are looking for someone to replace me. I think it will take some finagling and I will need to be the main person while the second person finishes up with their testing and training, but I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Part of my goals for the beginning of 2005 is to come up with an end date as to how long I’m willing to hang in there before I chose to go elsewhere for employment.

Tom was laid off from K2 the week of Thanksgiving. I’m still amazed at how well I handled that news. Tom had already been starting his job search to move on from K2 and hopefully the bike business and I think this has just put him in a more urgent situation. Unfortunately year-end isn’t the best time to look for a job, but he has been making contacts and networking so he can jump right in at the New Year. He got 2 weeks notice and 4 weeks severance – we are coming up against the end of that severance at the end of the week and I am a bit nervous about making ends meet on unemployment, but we’ve got some money saved up and we should be fine. I know he won’t be unemployed forever and hopefully he will be able to break into the cooking gadget market. We have decided that this is not worthy of a move – Tom will continue to look for employment in Seattle and I will hang in there here as long as I need to.

We were going to wait until 2005 to see an RE, but I got fed up with not being monitored by my OBGYN so I contacted Dr. Hicock at the end of November and was able to get in to see him right away due to a cancellation he had. We just completed our first round of treatment with him – unfortunately without success. I would like to be more aggressive in 2005, but am awaiting a call back to see if he is on board. 2004 presented many struggles for me, for Tom and for our marriage around my infertility. My whole life (well since I first started thinking about the prospect of having my own children) I’ve assumed that getting pregnant would be a challenge – my mom had trouble and I’ve never had regular cycles. I started working toward this at the beginning of 2003 – just trying to be physically as ready as I could be – little did I know that it was my emotional stability I should have been working on. J I’m excited to – try to – wipe the slate clean and move on. Part of my desire to adjust my attitude in a more positive direction is that in looking back over the past year I see that my struggle with infertility has sent me down an even greater spiral of negativity. It has affected my relationship with Tom, my relationships with my friends and even my relationship with myself. I don’t want it to rule my life anymore. Over this past year I have felt cheated, like a failure, like my life will never take shape, hopeless, alone, abandoned, afraid, frustrated, angry, disappointed and mostly sad. I’ve felt like my life isn’t really amounting to much and now I can’t even bring life into this world. I’m hoping to have a more positive outlook in 2005 and to drop the pity party and start making changes to the life I keep saying I hate – which is a bit of an exaggeration on most days.

All in all life is good… I won’t lie and tell you that there isn’t a gaping hole in my heart where a child belongs.. but I’m going to try to deal with it in a more positive light in the coming year.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Stilllllll trying. (I need a little energizer bunny picture)

It's now December 9th and I'm STILL not pregnant. This is my 4th round of Clomid and I finally switched over to an RE. I talked to my OB/GYN and she said this would be a good time b/c she is getting ready to go on MATERNITY leave! Are you kidding me? I haven't seen her since June or July so I had NO idea she was even pregnant! That was a slap in the face.... So the tally is up to about 13 people now... 1. Julie, 2. Karen, 3. Shannon Farmerie, 4. Courtney Van Rotten, 5. Nathalie Middleton, 6. Deanne Wirth, 7. Jen TTC, 8. Alesa Sweet, 9. Sara de la Torre, 10. Laila Hick, 11. Marlo Penka, 12. Monica Magnan, 13. April Kriha... these are all women that I know that are pregnant... notice again that my name is NOT on this list.. AGAIN!

At my last appt at the RE I had an u/s done to see if there are any maturing follicles. Well, I have a cyst on my left ovary, a 13 and 15mm follie in my right ovary and a 2mm lining. Anyone that knows about any of this knows that those results aren't great! It was still a bit early in the cycle for me even at CD14.. I took my clomid later this cycle per the docs request and probably wouldn't be ovulating until around CD17 or more. I go back in on Saturday to see if things are moving along -- meaning cyst diminishing, follies and lining growing.

If my friend the cyst doesn't go away on it's own and is still lingering at the beginning of my next cycle I'll probably have to take bcp until it's gone... hmm... and how is THAT going to help me get pregnant.

My odds for having a baby in 2005 are looking pretty bad. I certainly don't expect to get a pregnancy for Christmas..

Though this post sounds really negative I'm feeling a bit better emotionally -- it's certainly still a rollercoaster, but now it's more like a Mutual fund than a security.. the ups are a bit lower and the lows are not as low! I feel like I becoming a bit numb to the whole thing. When Tom and I left my u/s appointment I felt.. mostly nothing.. a bit disappointed, but no tears.

I still think this blows... I still feel cheated... I still feel frustrated and like a failure, but I think I'm starting to see the light at the end of a VERY LONG tunnel.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

I feel revitalized!

Maybe it's just the clomid, but I have so much energy lately. It all started on Sunday.I went and had coffee with the girls and on my drive home I was thinking about how to arrange our office and when I got home (after Tom left to go for a ride) I ACTUALLY got off my duff and did it. I didn't really even think about it. I moved all of the furniture around in the office inculding carrying one that weighed at least 50lbs up two flights of stairs all by myself. After I finished that we went to Home Depot and bought paint for the master bathroom and the office. I trimmed out all of the green in the master bath before I went to bed that night!

I haven't had energy like this in YEARS! Every night after work this week I've either run or worked on the bathroom or both! I feel amazing! I hope this isn't the Clomid -- I hope it's my hormones getting more balanced!

I've been feeling much better emotionally as well. I seem to have finally come to a point where TTC doesn't take up every waking moment of my life. I'm able to think about other things.. like my job, my husband, my friends and myself! I'm finally getting things settled in the house and feeling like it's more like a home! I've decided to train for the Seattle Half Marathon while I TTC and if I get pregnant I'll make decisions about what to do after that... and if I don't at least I will have accomplished something! I've been able to drop most of my jealousy toward others that I know that are pregnant and get over my pitty party so that I can still be around and enjoy their pregnancies.

Tom may be out of town when I ovulate this month and you know what... that's okay. If he is we will just do the Clomid again next month and hope for the best. Hopefully I'll either ovulate about a week earlier than I did last time or the same day as I did last time....

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I'm Thankful!

Through this process of trying to conceive I have had a hard time remembering that one day I WILL have a baby.. and when that day comes I don’t want to look back and regret my poor attitude during the PROCESS. It may take me a while, but I will get there and I want to look back on all of it and be happy about the way I handled it and not regret wasting the time in an endless pitty party!

Though I struggle and this process is taking me longer than it takes most I am still working toward the most wonderful goal – which I know I will attain. I am so thankful that I have the ability to freely choose that I will have a child. That I am financially capable of supporting a child, and that I have a husband that stands behind me in the decision to have a child AND stands behind me in the struggles that we face! He is going through this with me and I am not alone!

I am thankful for my family and friends that stand behind me also – my family and friends that listen readily whenever I want to talk about it and encourage me through their words and actions. Family and friends to send prayers and good thoughts my direction.

I am thankful that I have professionals readily available to me that are knowledgeable about this process and willing to help me through this difficult time! I am thankful that I have the resources to fund this help!

I am thankful that God has chosen this opportunity to teach me! I am learning to be patient, kind to myself, more balanced and helpful, to lean on others when I need it, to be more open emotionally, to make myself available to others when they need me and to trust that God will bring me everything I need in time.

As you can tell I am feeling much better. I’m not sure what has done this.. how could the (almost) diagnosis of PCOS make me feel better? I guess I feel like I can do things day to day that could potentially help my endeavor. I am eating better, moving more and keeping up with my supplements. I’m also taking progesterone cream – this could be helping my mood and energy level! I’m feeling better than I have felt in over a year! It’s great!

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.- Chinese Proverb

Friday, August 27, 2004

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

I had an ultrasound yesterday (Thurs 8/26/04) – both abdominal and transvaginal. As I lay there watching my ovaries and uterus on the screen – I could see them with help from the tech measuring things – I noticed that there were numerous black spots on each of my ovaries. At first I thought – hey maybe the Clomid is working, but FOUR on EACH ovary?? That seemed pretty unlikely. As I made my way back to my office I was wondering whether this was normal. I looked some things up on the internet and found some ultrasound pictures that looked similar to mine.. and below the picture – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)!!

I have heard about PCOS before and have done a lot of reading about it. I had suspected before that I had it based on my symptoms, but never had anything to confirm so I didn’t think much about it. My doc called later in the day and said that I have numerous 3 to 5 mm cysts on each of my ovaries and that she suspects that I have PCOS. She's ordering blood work to confirm this. I'll have to go in on CD3 of my next cycle. They will check for Androgens and Insulin Resistance. She also says that it looks like 50mg of Clomid isn't getting the job done -- though it's still possible that one or two of the 5mm cysts could mature. So now I continue as normal I guess.. she said to still take the OPKs and do the baby olympics just in case, but she suspects that I'll bleed between days 28 and 38. If I haven't bled by day 38 I'm supposed to call her for another prescription for Provera and my next round of Clomid (100mg)

If I am diagnosed with PCOS it doesn’t really change anything. We already knew I wasn’t ovulating now we just know why. The treatment is the same. First you start with Clomid – if that doesn’t work (and you have insulin resistance) then you take metroformin and Clomid together, if that doesn’t work there are injections that are heavily monitored to prevent over-stimulation, if that doesn’t work then you go on to IVF.

Well, at least my craziness got me booked for a flight to Taipei!! And now I'm not feeling as OBSESSED with the whole thing. This could take a while and I should just keep living my life!!! I think I'm going to start running again!!!! I almost feel like I got a little bit of my life back!

I’m not concerned about getting pregnant – I’m pretty sure that this can happen (eventually), but I am looking into natural remedies and things I can do nutritionally to provide maintenance long term to keep my hormones in check. If I have insulin resistance problems things would be worse for me… just for my general health. Type II diabetes is pretty prevalent in women with PCOS… but most of those women are also obese so hopefully my risk for this is low!

If you want to learn a bit more about this here is a decent link that is short!

This is a great site that has pics of Polycystic ovaries and an ultrasound picture that looks very similar to mine.

And if you go here you can see what an ovary looks like after Clomid - with maturing follicles:

What causes PCOS?PCOS develops when the ovaries overproduce androgens (eg, testosterone). Androgen overproduction often results from overproduction of LH (luteinizing hormone), which is produced by the pituitary gland. Research also suggests that when insulin levels in the blood are high enough, the ovary can be stimulated to produce more testosterone. That is, the combination of having ovaries which are responsive to insulin and high insulin levels in the blood, can result in the overproduction of testosterone.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

"We are all really alone"

“Without realizing it, I came to know that we are all really alone, whether we are “with” a partner or not. People change, people die, people break their promises, and people leave. It is our expectations that people will always do what they say, be where they’ve promised to be, or love us the way we envision. It’s not always the case that life stays this tidy. In one way this seems so sad, so hopeless, so uncertain. But in another way, it’s liberating, it’s true, and it can bring us closer to others. Why? For one, we can let go of the struggle we face in trying to make it not so. And secondly, because we are all in the same position - every single person out there is vulnerable to these life changes.”

Above is an excerpt from an email I received from a friend of mine that is currently spending a month in Italy. I am including it here because it really hit the nail on the head for me! I am feeling so incredibly alone lately – I seem to go through this from time to time. Maybe my expectations are too high.. maybe I hope/think that people are going to be more concerned with my well being than they really are? Am I a high maintenance friend? Perhaps. Do I isolate myself inadvertently? Perhaps.

Feeling this way makes me want to just give up.. go inside and take what I get out of my friendships when it comes. I know that this is not the right reaction.. it makes me feel like shit, but it’s the easiest reaction for me to deal with and it is my knee jerk reaction. I sound like a whiney brat!!!! UGH! I just feel lost and alone and I suppose it’s easier to point fingers at others for not being there for me - not being supportive - than it is for me to look inward and figure out why I feel this way.

As stated in my friends email above – in reality we are alone.. we are separated from others by our beliefs, goals, expectations, emotions, so forth and so on. There will always be a separation – ALWAYS!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Life is so cruel sometimes!

As noted from my first post pregnancy is my number one goal and has been for a LONG time. It’s been a long painful struggle… let down after let down after let down. I struggle then I get hope.. then nothing.

Finally I have finished my first round of Clomid and now I am hopeful again and praying that it works.. If it actually makes me ovulate I have a 50% chance of getting pregnant within the first 3 months. Please God make this work!

I just got the news that my Sis-in-law and good friend is pregnant and it was like someone ripped my heart out and tapped danced on it! I feel awful for having this response to her happy news. I am so glad for them, but so sad for me. I feel as if I have been cheated. Why won’t God give me a baby? What did I do to be punished like this? I’m left childless while everyone around me is blessed with a child.. or two. Almost EVERYONE that I know gets pregnant the first 3 months trying. I have one other friend that is struggling. Why God? WHY!? What is wrong with me.. do I not deserve to be a mother? Then for what purpose could I possibly be here?

Trying to get pregnant is supposed to be exciting and fun and filled with anticipation of wonderful things... for me it is painful and disappointing. Just when I think I'm finally turning a corner and feeling more positive and hopeful I get slammed into the ground!

Hopefully the Clomid will work and we will actually be able to TRY for a couple of months in a row -- or even better just get pregnant the first time! No pressure.. damn!

I’m heading to Taipei with Tom and I am SO happy! It was a spur of the moment thing because he planned the trip then I started my period and therefore the Clomid. His trip falls right in the time that I may be ovulating. I was so upset. We decided that we should take advantage of this opportunity to get me over there and hey if we get pregnant in the process that would be great!!!! I can’t wait to get the hell out of here and be away from all of these happy pregnant people. I want to go somewhere and pretend that I live in some strange place where I fit in and people just don’t have babies!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Isn't it interesting...

Isn't it interesting how one’s mood can change so quickly and over such silly things. For example – yesterday I put on a pair of pants and as a result of them fitting a bit more snuggly then they did the last time I wore them I wanted to throw in the towel – finish my day before it started and crawl back into bed to “sleep it off”. How sad is that? And I know I’m not alone…..

For those men that may be reading this thinking that women are ridiculous … think again… I know that there are things that cause you to have the same or similar reaction to the day. Maybe your waistline is of little concern, but I know there has to be something that sets you off!

I haven’t posted in a while b/c of my not so positive attitude about life lately. I do not wish to impose my negativity on others!! I try to pull myself out of the doldrums – look around me – I have a GOOD life! Loving husband, beautiful home, good (well stable) job, great friends, supportive parents and in laws, the best dog in the world, food in the fridge and money to go out if the fridge food isn’t doing the trick… and what don’t I “have” .. the small waste and smaller butt that I had only a few months ago, ovulation and a baby and a fulfilling career.. it’s amazing how I can concentrate so much on those things!

Anyway – here is a mini update on where we are at with TTC. (trying to conceive) Don’t blame me for the acronyms I’ve been spending way to much time on the Fertility Friend boards.

I’ve taken the Provera to bring on my period.. and I WAIT!!! The doc said it could take 7 to 10 days from the last day I take the pills. Right now I’m 8 days in so hopefully in the next couple of days. After that I’ll get blood work done on day 3 of my cycle and start the Clomid. Hopefully everything will come back fine with my bloodwork and we will be able to continue trying this month. I’m supposed to have an Ultrasound and I’m assuming that will be somewhere around day 14 to see if the Clomid is working I have some mature follicles!
If at first you don’t conceive, try, try again!! (my latest mantra!)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Life lessons...

"How Can Someone that Lives in Insane Luxury be a Star in Today's World" (click the title to link to the column)
by Ben Stein

I was sent a link to this column - Stein's last for Monday nights at Morton's- regarding today's "star status" and whom we see as a Hero.. it's quite a touching column and it's wonderful that someone is willing to say it out loud!

Though the column focuses largely on the war in Iraq I gained something outside of that.. this quote from the column really touched me.. it's quite pertinent to where I am in life and is certainly applicable to all:

"We are not responsible for the operation of the universe, and what happens to us is not terribly important. God is real, not a fiction, and when we turn over our lives to Him, he takes far better care of us than we could ever do for ourselves.In a word, we make ourselves sane when we fire ourselves as the directors of the movie of our lives and turn the power over to Him."

In church the other day the pastor was going over the story of Isaac and Rebakah and said, "It's not about you.. it's about God!" The circumstances we go through day to day aren't about us.... there is greater purpose in all we experience.. good, bad and indifferent. Remembering that helps to keep it all in perspective for me! I used to feel that everything that happened to me was in effort to teach ME a lesson --- BUT the reality is that I may not be the person that the lesson is intended for.. and the lesson (if there is one) may not come until much later.

Stein touches on so many things in this last column... It brought tears to my eyes. Also check out this link to Strykernews to read a very touching letter from a soldier in Iraq in response to his dad sending him the Stein column... those men and women in Iraq are our true heroes and should be honored as such!

Thank God everyday that you have FREEDOM! and thank Him for His perfection in your life... good, bad and indifferent!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Vegan or not?

I've been on the fence about eating animal products.... I don't think Dairy suits me well and for a long time I have felt that humans shouldn't eat cows milk (thus other dairy products as well).. we are the only mammals that continue to drink milk past weening -- and another mammals milk at that. I've read that feeding a new born cows milk is not a great idea.. their little systems are designed to digest breast milk - from their MOM not a cow!!! I love this quote about milk, "Cow's milk is designed for baby cows, who have four stomachs adn gain hundreds of ounds in a matter of months, sometimes weighing more than 1,000 pounds before their second birthday."

there are many reasons that I would go vegan.. mostly that it would be a huge pain in the ass.. no seriously - it would, but!!! you leave a smaller footprint on the environment.. it takes a lot more resources to raise a cow then it does to grow grains, vegetables and fruit. There are also the health benefits of staying away from a highly artery clogging animal based diet and the humanity issues around the farming and "mass production" of animals only for our consumption.

The biggest issue for me is the health issue.. my health and the animals health. I don't want to eat some piece of meat or dairy product laden with pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.. Animals transfer more pesticides to you - in their fat - then a vegetable does!!!

Okay.. gotta run.. more on this later.. in the meantime check out

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

TTC #1

My life has been turned into a series of ups and downs.. I'm reduced to symbols and acronyms. I've learned a whole new language!!! It's part of the journey for those of us that don't just decide to get pregnant.. try a couple of times .. then BAM! baby number 1 or 2 or 3 is on it's way.
At first I was so frustrated and angry.. was I being punished? Was I not meant to have my own child.. to be blessed with a pregnancy and nurture my own offspring in my own womb?
I spent so many years of my life with the idea that it would "take me a while" to get pregnant. My mom had weird cycles and it took them SEVEN years to conceive. My cycles are irregular and I assumed it would be the same for me.. I almost created the situation with my own mind and heart.......
So I got off the pill early and started working with Herbs and Accupuncture to try to fix it all. I was going to be READY when the time was right. I started that over a year and a half ago.
Since then I've married the man of my dreams (YEAH!), been diagnosed Hypothyroid.. taken thyroid medicine, read Taking Charge of Your Fertility, gone through two Basal Body Thermometers, diligently charted my temperature every day, passed and FAILED a bunch of tests for work, run a marathon, cut out caffeine, started drinking caffeine again, bought a house, stayed with my mother in law, taken dozens of pregnancy tests, watched almost everyone who tried get pregnant with little effort, been stuck with pins and taken some very NASTY herbal teas, shared in the joy of a friend's pregnancy to see her suffer from HG and later miscarriage.... time keeps ticking by.. things keep happening.. life won't stand still for me.
It's amazing how time goes by while I feel like I'm just standing here waiting for something to happen!!!! Feeling like my life was somehow on hold... yet life was still passing by.. on .. leaving me in the dust.
I can't wait around for ever... I can't hang everything on WHEN WILL I GET A BABY?
Wow, I feel so much better! A calm has come over me.. I'm doing what I can.. trying to maintain my sanity and roll with it all.
I finally broke down and went to see an OB/GYN that specializes in fertility and have purchased my first round of Clomid... first I have to take Provera and have my period... so this weekend I will start the Provera and on day three of my next cycle I will take Clomid.. COME on EGGS!! I should know more in September.
In the meantime.. I may not be a mother, but I am a wife, friend and daughter... I can't ignore these important roles b/c I am so busy wallowing in my self pity b/c I am not a mother. So I will go on with life.. I will continue along the ups and downs of EVERYTHING that is out there... while I am (not so quietly) trying to become a mom.
At first I kept quiet about everything that I was going through... now I have started to share.. started to lean on my girlfriends and my husband.. I feel liberated.. I feel better.. I feel free. I don't worry that they will judge my actions or that if I tell them these things I will let them in too much.. it has changed my world and my perspective.. I feel closer to my friends for having shared an intimate part of my life with them..... thanks to those women that help keep me sane.. and headed in the right direction.. I couldn't do it without their support!