We Made It….Barely

Well, we made it through another Thanksgiving, the third as a married couple and all I have to say is growing up sucks (this was a far nicer way of putting it than I would have liked). Why does the meshing of families mean the death of a season you once loved so much?

Growing up the holidays seemed magical. From the lazy snow falling to my mother’s transformed house, shopping, baking, and EATING! My family is your typical Type A. We have strong traditions and don’t stray from the usual. Sure, over the years things have been adapted accordingly but for at least the past 10 the holiday season has gone as follows: Thanksgiving at my aunt’s (early afternoon) then up to my Grandma’s for the long weekend, Christmas Eve at my mom and dad’s with my Mom’s side of the family, Church at 4, home for fondue and cocktails with just the immediate family followed by gift opening and watching a movie by the fire. Christmas day is left wide open for relaxing and a decadent family dinner that night.

Que my husband’s family; with not a tradition in sight I married into a family that hardly believes in celebrating someone’s birthday. Gatherings aren’t planned until the week of, usually a day or two before. Some years we are north with his dad’s side of the family some south with his moms, some years we have a lunch others a dinner and some we celebrate with just the immediate family while sitting around a table with nuts and grapes in front of us as our “meal”.

Fast forward to married life; I find a stress migraine appears as October turns into November. The thought of the impending holidays is enough to make me go crazy. Oh how I wish I had understanding in-laws; ones that worked to half-way accommodate the fact that we have not one family to appease but two. The saddest part, our families live 4 miles apart (we are high school sweethearts after all).

This year (and if memory serves me, last year as well) I was the good wife and passed on my family Thanksgiving in place of his. Because we go up north and spend the weekend with my grandma I said we could spend the day with his family doing whatever it was they chose to do. A few weeks before my husband received a text from his mom asking what our plans were, furnished with some snarky comment about me and my family and how she assumed we would be spending it with them…and so it begins (so soon she forgets that due to her sensitivity we favor his side on holidays).

This year (on Wednesday) they chose to stay home and invite over a few select family members. We went down early so my husband could help cut up his deer in preparation of their family sausage making (a whole other story I may get into later). As typical at his family functions; no one talked to me. Discussions centered around topics I have no knowledge of (farming) and people I have never met. When a topic I could finally contribute to comes up I find myself biting my tongue so not to start drama (example: his mom kept asking about his cousins wedding pictures, when they would be available for viewing and how she could get her hands on some; in my head I was saying, why do you want to know…you couldn’t even be bothered to buy a single picture from your own son’s wedding).

Once we got in the car to leave I was scolded for not being “friendly” (ouch). My husband made a comment that I looked like I want to die in which case I turned to him and said “sometimes I do.” I know not the right thing to say but honestly. I did elaborate by letting him know how it feels to have no one acknowledge my presence, how he should be thankful that when the topic does turn to something I can contribute to that I bite my tongue, oh and we discussed how he makes the situation no better by hardly acknowledging anything I do say to him.

I feel bad I do. I can’t imagine the position he is in; how it would feel to have your family dislike your significant other to the extent they do, and vice-versa. That being said at what point to you stand up for your significant other? At what point do you tell your parents enough is enough? And at what point do you go out of your way to try to make your significant other feel as comfortable as possible in those uncomfortable situations they are suffering through….for you. Yes, the holiday season is hell for us. Our relationship is tested year after year. Can you imagine what this will be like when we have kids!!! Is it January yet?!?!

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And So It Begins!

Today I called to make my first official IVF appointment. Ready or not here we go…..

After a long 6 month wait I don’t know whether to be nervous or excited! I was so thankful to have a friendly nurse, one who didn’t scold me for her not knowing what was going on but rolled with the punches and helped me to work on the timing of my cycle. So here is what I know; I will go in on the 22nd for my pregnancy test/blood work. Immediately following I will start Provera (7 days) followed by three weeks of birth control. This will bring me up to my next appointment on January 24 (yay for Saturday appointments…oh and also that is my husband and I’s dating anniversary (no we don’t celebrate but worth noting for a lucky first cycle) it will be 9 years)! And then the fun really begins….shots shots shots EVERYBODY (am I the only one who thinks of that song every time someone says shots?)!!

Somewhere in there they will want me to come in, talk things through with the nurses and most importantly pay up. So a few things needs to happen in the next month, saving being the number one priority (yea good luck with Christmas!!)!

Shits getting real and I’m not sure how to feel. Part of me is more than ready and confident (giddy even), the other part nervously contemplating the “what ifs.” I know, I know I can’t do that but I only have so much control over my brain….

So until that initial appointment I have a bridal shower, girls night, grooms dinner, wedding, another wedding and Christmas on top of full work weeks…yup I think I will be plenty occupied for the next few weeks.

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Wedding Season

16 weddings down 2 to go! We are on the home stretch people!!

The past weekend was spent celebrating one of my nearest and dearest and her significant other who is such a sweetheart, you can’t help but to love him!

I went into this wedding not sure how to feel. On one side I love weddings! I love everything from the excitement surrounding the bride and groom to the tiny details most wouldn’t think about or notice. On the other side, to be honest I didn’t know where I stood with my friends especially with the bride, and I still don’t. Since our girls trip to Chicago I have felt like I am on an island and can’t put my finger on why. It seems they all are getting closer while I am drifting farther and farther away. My phone calls, text messages and efforts to see them often go unanswered. I find more times than not they have been spending fun weekends together while I am sitting at home, uninvited.

It was Chicago when they all learned of my infertility journey and the severity of it. Are they mad I didn’t tell them when it all began, opted to tell some and not others, or is it just that they can’t relate and don’t know what to say to me or how to act around me?

I can’t lie; following my last post I had a massive breakdown. My husband and I laid in bed one afternoon where I sobbed for a good hour. He too is feeling the same as I am. Our conclusion is this; we get it, we are going through this massive life challenge few can relate to. Our friend’s tip-toe around us because they are afraid of saying the wrong thing, often leading to us not being included in get togethers. But here is the thing, we need the distraction. We need our friends now more than ever. We need to get out of the house, surround ourselves with people we love, laugh and most of all do something to take our mind off infertility. This requires nothing from our friends other than for them to be themselves.

So why, why do so many push us away when we need them so badly?

ANYWAY, excuse my long tangent; the wedding was so much fun. The bride was still distant but it’s her day not mine. I acted as I normally would just hoping she wanted me there as much as I was honored to be there. I got to spend two amazing fun days with my closest girls. And what is it about weddings that make you fall in love with your S.O. all over again?

It was the sweetest thing. I was making small talk with one of my friend’s family. We started with the basic, how many years have you been married now, “3”. They were shocked that is has already been three years to which I joked, “yep, honey moon stage is long over for us.” They all commented on what a great couple we make, how well we complement one another and how genuinely happy and in love we are. They shared with me that when I was walking into the reception for dinner my husband was telling everyone around him; full of pride, “that I was his wife” (btw, I was in the wedding so he was at a different table for dinner). I love hearing what he says when I’m not around because face to face we are less than serious…..”your spray tan looks orange,” “you look nice today, good thing I laid out what you were supposed to wear.” It’s all fun and games and we know we are joking but my heart melts when I hear him talk like he is the lucky one, when really I know I am.

Naturally, on queue the sister asked when we would be starting a family, and are you ready for this…I was relieved! My friend and her husband just moved back and are temporarily living with her sister. Her sister asking solidified that she had not spilled the beans on our struggle! So to that I politely answered “someday” and moved the conversation onto another topic.

So there you have it. I had so much fun spending time with my loves. I was given the opportunity to show how grateful I am just to spend time with them and how they only have to be themselves. Oh, and in a drunken stupor, I was asked to be the personal assistant in another friend’s wedding in June, a title I am totally ok with! She wasn’t in my wedding at all and I had already offered to help her on her big day with anything she needed (she is not a good stressed out person). I guess my friends do still love me….from a distance.

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The Infertility Emotional Rollercoaster

As we all know from our journeys through infertility you have good days, and you have bad. Today I suppose you can deem as a “bad.” No I’m not bitter today, I’m not upset with the world, asking myself why them and not me, but rather I feel as though my heart is just a little achier. Though confident and comfortable in the decision we have made on when to begin our first IVF treatment I can’t help but to feel anxious.

Most days I am totally fine. Engrossed with busy work weeks and busier weekends I have so much to look forward to in the coming months helping to keep my attention at bay. When baby is brought up I have no problem sharing in people’s excitements and while alone at home my husband and I love discussing names, traits and future family adventures with excitement and certainty. But those days have been rare in the past…at least week.

Maybe it’s the impending holiday season? The fact that my Facebook and Instagram (I know, I know I shouldn’t be on them) are quickly filling up with photos of little ones all decked out for their Halloween adventures. I can’t help but smile at their cuteness only to feel as though my heart is a little heavier. Soon enough those adorable little animals, princesses and super heroes will be garbed in their Christmas best for holiday photos. I had hoped to have a little one around for this holiday season but it just wasn’t in the cards. Yup, there is no doubt the holidays are hard for us infertiles.

Maybe it isn’t the impending holidays at all, but rather the number of questions I have had to field lately. We all know what weddings bring, especially family weddings. I have been asked on multiple occasions if we have children or when we planned to have them. Fielded with grace my responses were a simple; “not yet” and “someday.” While at a Bachelorette party this past weekend I was asked why I ordered such a large size dress. I couldn’t help but let this one get to me a little. I simply responded that it was a mistake but deep down I couldn’t help but feel foolish. What the person didn’t know was that we were in the middle of IUI treatments when my dress had to be ordered and for a moment I had allowed myself to hope, which evidently didn’t work out.

Maybe it’s the weddings themselves. Not only do you have to field all the questions from family, friends and acquaintances but we are about to see people, who have tiptoed around us, knowing our struggle, and not wanting to upset us with the fact that they are happily pregnant. Ugh the awkwardness alone is enough to make me dread what is to come.

Lately I haven’t been able to bring myself to talk about babies and yet I can’t help but to find my brain obsessing more than normal about expecting and having our little one. What will the nursery look like, names, how are we going to tell people, how will they react. I feel like when you have gone this far and wanted something this long, you want every little detail down to the diaper bag you carry to be perfect and well let’s be honest, it probably won’t be.

At the end of the day I just can’t pin-point where this mood is coming from and it is driving me nuts!

Thanks for those who stuck through my brain dump and made it to the end of this. Go enjoy a piece of chocolate or something, you deserve it !

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Reaching Out

The girl from high school I posted about a few weeks ago (A Cry For Help) has confirmed, via FB, she is in fact someone who suffers from multiple losses; 2 in the last 6 months to be exact. Ugh my heart breaks for her and her husband. I did reach out and let her know how brave I believe her to be. I let her know I am there if she needs to vent. She received the message well and wrote me a nice little note in return. Since then we have been messaging back and forth.

She starts Clomid soon and has been asking me if I am nervous for the shots that come with IVF. Differences aside, I truly hope Clomid works for them or at the very least, that they don’t reach the IVF stage we are at.

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Catholic Babies

Last night was wedding 5 of 8 for us (Whew we are almost there).

Of all the weddings we have been to this year, this one was a little more bothersome to me than the others. Why; a full Catholic mass that’s why. Now let me start by saying, I myself am a Catholic and have been to many Catholic weddings before. Maybe things weren’t so relevant at those, or maybe I never caught on but the number of times they talked about having a baby, making a baby, raising a child was ridiculous. They make you feel like god will strike you dead for not having a child. But what about those of us who want nothing more in this life than to be parents and aren’t granted that gift and aren’t given the choice? More than anything it highlighted our struggle yet again.

Aside from that I guess the wedding went ok. This was a wedding for my husband’s side of the family. They are all pretty open about their disapproval of me but for once their own family drama seemed to out-weigh their distaste for me (thank goodness!!). What was a stressful wedding for my husband was great people watching and conversation observing for me.

The next wedding is three weeks away and I am happy to say no family will be present. THANK GOODNESS! I am so ready for a fun wedding where we get to enjoy a fun evening with friends.

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Reliving My Youth

What a beautiful weekend! The weather where I am at was just perfect at around 60 degrees. The leaves are showing the most beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow. With fall brings hunting season meaning my mother and I are often left home alone. So this year my mother and I decided to re-live my younger days.

Being a Daddy’s girl to the extreme I used to cry every-time he would pack his stuff to leave for weekend hunting trips. To ease my heartbreak he would offer up his checkbook and tell my 3 year old self to take my mom out for a nice dinner and some shopping. Our days would consist of craft fairs, a homemade caramel from somewhere, dinner (usually at Red Lobster or Olive Garden), a movie at home with turtle cheesecake for dessert. Over the years my tears became a little less genuine as I grew to love this time of the year and the quality time I got to spend with my mom.

Once I left for college the tradition ended as I wasn’t home to participate (I didn’t have a car until my senior year of college to get home). This year we decided to pick it back up, because why not…. So yesterday I woke up and headed to my parents house. On my way down I picked up cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. We went for lunch where I had a salad (knowing cheesecake was to come later). We spent the day shopping. When we went home we had pizza, some beverages, watched two movies and indulged in our cheesecake. It was a great day and one I hope to relive again next year!

This morning I stopped at Starbucks for some yogurt and an Oprah Chi and now here I am at home having a relaxing Sunday with the hubby, all my shopping purchases safely tucked away out of my husbands sight.

Ahhh what a perfect weekend! I hope you all had a great one too!

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Feeling Confident In My Decision

Hello! In my last post I was seeking clarity and I am happy to say clarity has been found. My husband called insurance. Following his conversation I called my doctor and asked my question (when do we pay; if we start when we had anticipated when would they suspect a retrieval and transfer; and would I be able to go on my business trip). With the answers I needed my husband and I had a honest conversation over dinner. We talked about my job, we talked about the possibility of having a baby in the heart of his favorite hunting season, we talked about money and in the end our decision felt right; more right than I ever thought possible.

We are going to wait. In reality the time will fly. We have 2 weddings in December, with the addition of Christmas I doubt we will really even notice the wait. In addition to our busy December schedule we thought about the money we will be spending between the weddings and gifts for our family members and to be honest we could use the extra month to save. In terms of insurance, it doesn’t renew until January anyway. By waiting we are ensuring absolutely everything we can get covered will be. My husband (as a shock to me) was totally ok with missing not one hunting weekend (hopefully due to us having a baby) but (fingers, toes, legs and arms crossed) a lifetime of them to celebrate a little one’s birthday. Last and least important, I can go on my work trip. I won’t have the stress of traveling with needles and I won’t have the stress of maybe having a retrieval or transfer over the days I should be gone. By waiting I am hoping to eliminate some stress from an already stressful situation.

It feels good to have my decision made and to be at peace with it. Now hopefully I can regain my mind because lately if my head weren’t attached I would lose it! Example: This weekend I went “up north” with a friend. I was making my grandma cookies and completely messed up a recipe I have made multiple times, I overslept on Friday, forgot my wallet at work Friday night so was without money or my ID all weekend. While making the drive up I missed a turn driving us miles in the wrong direction (the scary part was I didn’t even remember going through the town before where my grandma lives…the conversation must have been good). But seriously, SCARY how spacey I have been!

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Praying for IVF Clarity

I wish I had something to update you all on but I really don’t. I have been thinking a ton about baby but that is nothing new. My mind goes from names, to wondering what traits they will inherit from what parent and then back to the how the heck are we going to afford this all within the same breathe.

I have been putting off telling my boss about our upcoming IVF until closer to our cycle and things are getting complicated. I have a business trip on January 21st. It’s only 2 days but will require a flight out of town. Normally I wouldn’t think anything of it but this meeting is the only time of year all the marketers at my Firm get together and discuss office happenings. It is a great meeting and very informative BUT and that is a big but, we had planned to start IVF in January. I could have just finished a transfer days before leaving, my transfer date could land on my meeting date or even after. Selfishly I don’t want to postpone our cycle, but I also don’t want to miss the meeting. I had planned to call the doctor about timing in a few weeks, talk to my boss once I have a better idea as to all the details and then purchase my plane ticket sometime in December. Yesterday that plan fell apart when  another marketing person in my office sent me her flight information so I could book the same flight as her and a few others. NO, not yet….too soon!! So here I am, writing down my questions, gearing up to call the doctor and praying for some light and clarity. Why can’t things just happen the way I want them to?

On another note, fall is here! My favorite time of year! I am going “up north” this weekend where I hope the leaves paint the shoreline in beautiful shades of reds, yellows and orange. While there I hope to relax and find my inner peace that has been missing for what feels like months.

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Bad Dreams

I had a bad dream the other night…a nightmare to some. When I woke up I couldn’t quite remember what the dream was about but did know it had something to do with our IF and IVF. When my husband came home from a bachelor party, he started talking about the not one but two pregnant couples (one was news to me the other I just wrote about) in our group of friends and it hit me…. I dreamed that I had 2 failed IVF cycles. In the dream I remember making the comment to my husband, we should have paid for that baby assurance plan. Oh how I hope this doesn’t come true. That being said, I have also dreamed more than once of a baby boy and that hasn’t become so, they are just dreams right……

So in case you are like what assurance plan – my office has a program where you pay a set price. This set price guarantees you a baby within three tries or you get all of your money back. Sounds great right? Well here is the thing, you are paying more than you would for two IVF treatments but less than you would for three full treatments. If you get pregnant the first try or even the second you don’t get the extra money back, nor are you allowed to push it into a future child if you so choose, instead that money is just lost. We looked at the stats and with most patients getting pregnant within their first two IVF cycles we opted out of the plan. My doctors have never expressed concerns that I will get pregnant, more than anything it has just been finding the right treatments.

Can you tell I am starting to get freaked out about my upcoming IVF? T-2months before the process begins.

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