Book Comfort and Revelations

I don’t know if any of you have ever experienced this, but as a “book person”, a librarian, and an infertile woman living life on the emotional rollercoaster, I often find myself in need of something familiar and comforting in the form of a book.

In the past when I’ve struggled with things like my parents divorce, troubles at work (ongoing and constant I know, but when things are extra troubling that is), break-ups, etcetera (sometimes I just love to spell at the word etcetera. I don’t think people do it enough anymore), I’ve turned to my old pal, Harry Potter.

And lately I have been plagued with some melancholia over this whole maybe-I-will-maybe-I-wont have a baby deal. You know, that whole thing. Life altering and what not. And I’ve tried some things like watching old reruns of New Girl or Girlmore Girls, reading John Green books and just giving into the agony, and starting up exercising again (no regrets there bleeps). But nothing is really cutting through this solid and very real ache that seems to live in perpetuity in the pit of my stomach.

The other night I had a fall apart with Chief, which as always, ended in me sobbing and ridiculous. We were okay, he comforted me as much as he could and we settled in to watch some TV and I cleaned, which I sometimes do when I’m upset, and then it was time for bed. But I wasn’t ready. I just couldn’t make myself lay awake in bed thinking about my chances of getting pregnant and all the various factors and things that could go wrong. So I stayed up, and when the TV proved uninteresting at midnight, I decided to pop in a DVD. I went to the shelf and my eyes landed on it:

Julie and Julia.

I settled in on the couch and let Meryl Streep sing me to sleep with her deep, chortling Julia Child voice. It was peaceful. I didn’t finish it (although I’ve seen it a million times. I had it on the DVR at one point and I would watch it anytime Chief wasn’t around. There was even a section missing from when a storm blew through for about fifteen minutes, but I watched it anyway), but it didn’t matter. The seed had been planted.

I had read the book before too, and if you’ve seen the movie but haven’t yet read the book, then go out and get yourself a copy. I’m rereading it right now, and here’s something I had forgotten from many movie watches but only one book read through: Julie Powell is infertile. She has PCOS, which she found out about when donating eggs. In fact, a major part of her starting the Julie/Julia project was in response to this sinking feeling that seemed to encompass her whole life. She needed a project, a way to remake herself. And she found it.

When I first read Julie and Julia, I had no idea I was infertile. None. It never even occured to me. It was years ago. I’m sure that I read it blithely thinking, “Oh, that’s sad for her. Ooh French cheese!” But now, I take so much comfort in reading about an infertile woman who decided to stop listening to all the doctors and her mother telling her that “time was ticking” and decided to just live her goddamn life. Because I do. I want to have a baby, so, so much. But when this is all over, baby or not, I just want to live my goddamn life and stop living in the “what if” territory.

I told a friend of mine that I was having a hard time being hopeful about getting pregnant-that I was afraid to. And she said, “You can spend the next four or five months refusing to have hope and being worried and upset, or you can realize that if you don’t get pregnant you’re going to feel that way anyway, and let yourself hope now.”

Live your goddamn life is what she was saying.

So to all of you out there this Tuesday: just go live your goddamn life. It’s the only one you’ve got.

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Update

So I survived the “winter weather” (that really turned out to be just cold rain) to make it to see my doc this morning. When I walked into the office he himself was wrestling with a Christmas tree in the corner. I looked at the receptionist and said “Yeah, I’m [Barren Librarian] here to see the guy with the tree…” and then looked at him and said “You know, when I worked for a doctor he made me put up the Christmas tree”, and doc was all “I’m an OB/GYN with a staff full of women. I don’t make them do anything.”

Good point.

He asked me what was going on and I said, “Oh not much. My ovulation strips are insultingly negative, so I’m not feeling great about things.” And then he said, “Well, we may just have to kick things up a notch.”

Then, because we are so comfortable with each other at this point, he said “Do me a favor and go around the corner and let [Nurse] know you’re here”.

Then I took of all the clothes I could manage without being inappropriate, got weighed (down some more! 53 pounds lost!) and had my blood pressure taken, and then stripped down in preparation for the ULTRASOUND OF DOOM. (Cue dramatic music).

Okay, it wasn’t that bad. First I’ll just give you guys the facts, because I know you’re wondering:

My uterus looks “beautiful” according to the doctor. I have a good “uterine stripe” as he calls the lining-very healthy, exactly what we want to see. That was a relief to me. Then he went searching for my ovaries, and when I say searching I mean SEARCHING, because he couldn’t find lefty. I jokingly said “Are you sure you didn’t remove them during surgery?” with a nervous laugh. Anyway, he found righty, and there were two follicles on it. Neither of them are anything to speak of though. The biggest one is 8.8 mm. So yeah, it ain’t happening this cycle. That’s fine. I’m glad that things are “waking up” (in his words, this cycle is like “priming the pump before you use it”). Next cycle, we’re taking the letrozole up a dose and using a trigger shot. I’ve had a trigger before with Clomid and it didn’t work, but he feels so positive about this next cycle. And instead of just prescribing ovidrel he’s going to have the HCG compounded for me to save me some money. The Ovidrel is over $100 dollars a shot, so saving money is great. I’m all for saving money. In the end, he could barely find lefty because it wasn’t really stimulated at all, but good news folks-it’s still there.

Here is why I’m calling it the ULTRASOUND OF DOOM.

Doc had a student with him so he was really trying to find things to show her on the screen. We got several shots of my uterus, he showed her my tubes, the ovaries that he could find, even my bladder. It really went on for a while. And while I’ve come to accept Mr. Probe as a part of my life, it doesn’t mean I like him. I most certainly do not. By the end I was ready for my reproductive system to be my own again. During the ultrasound he said, “what side did we do the most work on during surgery? I can’t remember.” and I said “I’m not sure-you were the awake one, remember?”

We’re just a couple of old chums.

Anyway, he walked me to check-out and said “I think we’re going to get a Christmas miracle out of you!” which was sweet. So Hope, the fleeting bitch that she is, is back for a little while at least. Anyone wanna take bets on how long until I’m a sobbing mess again? Anyone? Anyone?

Thanks to those of you who were encouraging last night/this morning. It’s good to have friends 🙂

The Requisite “Needing Encouragement” Post

So, you know, it’s my first cycle back in the TTC game in about a year, and of course, things aren’t happening. So I need encouragement.

Can we all think back to October when my doctor SPECIFICALLY TOLD ME that he didn’t have high hopes for the first cycle off Lupron? I remember it clear as day, and yet I have been searching google like a crazy person because for the first time in all of my TTC history, I have NO test line on my OPK’s. I’m not just saying they’re negative, I’m saying they are super negative. Control line only. Maybe this is normal for some people, but not me. Usually I have at least some sort of test line and then it gradually darkens-even if I don’t ovulate. So in my head I have no LH whatsoever, and therefore no chance of ovulating this cycle.

AND I WAS TOLD THIS MIGHT HAPPEN. But I’m still feeling very “all hope is lost” about my situation. I feel like nothing will happen next cycle or the next. And then we’re done. No IVF, no IUI. That’s it.

Today is CD 13 and doc said if I was going to ovulate it would be between CD 12-16. I’ve felt so hopeless about the situation I haven’t even wanted to jump Chief’s bones. I’ve totally failed in that department. Luckily I have an ultrasound with doc tomorrow to see whats happening. Even if the ultrasound shows no ovulation will occur, I’m hoping he’ll see something like a uterine lining or any sort of egg growth at all that might indicate to us that things are waking up after the three months of Lupron and that next cycle should be better.

The bad news is that we’re supposed to get “winter weather” overnight, and even small amounts of winter weather in my area shuts everything down. Plus I’m not great at driving in the stuff, and I have to go over multiple bridges and overpasses. But I just really, really need to see my doctor. I NEED him to reassure me that there is hope, even if it’s not for this cycle.

And I wouldn’t mind that from you guys. The internet is so full of horror stories about Lupron ruining your life. Going into the holidays I just really need some hope.

Anyone?

Just Another Manic Monday

Except for not really. I was looking for a fun title.

But it is indeed Monday. The worst of all days. Sunday nights have gotten really depressing for me because I just dread the week so much. Without giving too much away to the internet spies (that probably don’t exist), work just really sucks right now. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel is still feeling really long and arduous. Next weekend Chief and I have no plans whatsoever. WHATSOEVER. And no one is allowed to try and give us any. We need a break like the Olsen twins need a candy bar. Also, Cycle Day 12 is Saturday, which is the alleged beginning to my fertile time. I’ll begin OPK’s around CD 10. I may even spring for the expensive ones from the store instead of the little strip ones we all buy in bulk on Amazon. I’ll still use those and just use the store ones when I think the strip ones are positive.

A week from today is my ultrasound to see if anything is happening in the lady parts department. Then I will come to work and work an incredibly long day (9:00-8:00) because my boss is taking two weeks off and that is her late night. And I’m really, really nice and didn’t want to say no, even though if the doctor see’s something happening I will then have to go home and jump my husband like a rabid hyena. Or something. I’ve been having a little, tiny pang on my right side (it just happened as I was typing!) so I’m hoping that something is a-brewing. But it’s wee tiny. I could just be imagining it. Or it could be indigestion.

Good news in the fitness world! I’m going to start running during my lunch hour a few days a week with a friend who works on the fifth floor in the non-fiction department. She is one of the best people I know-literally a beacon of light and positivity when I really need one. I haven’t been working out and while I haven’t gained any weight, I’m certainly not losing any either. And we’re going into the gain-weight time of year. I refuse to get fat again! I just refuse!

Tonight is my last dose of femara. I’m feeling…okay. I was a weepy, fall apart kind of mess on prometrium. That doesn’t bode well for the first trimester if I ever manage to get knocked up. But God (or whoever really, I’m not picky at this point, please let me get knocked up. I’ll sob like a fool every day of that first trimester if that’s what it takes. And me sobbing ain’t pretty. It involves A LOT OF snot.

Poor Chief.

That’s Me Thursday is BACK!

Some of you may remember that, back when I was a good blogger, I had a little something I liked to call That’s Me Thursday where I would tell you three things about me that DON’T have to do with infertility. I think we could all use a pick me up, so let’s do it.

1. My favorite NFL team is the Detroit Lions. AND THEY ARE ON FIRE THIS SEASON. I have a lot of Detroit pride because I got my masters degree from a Detroit university. And the city is in such bad shape and yet has so much to offer. Detroit needs a win y’all. And the Lions are giving them that win this season. I’m so proud of them. Go Lions!

2. One of the big reasons I wanted to lose weight is this: My best friend is getting married in January and we have some mutual acquaintances who are not my favorites. So besides being super healthy and in better shape and just generally more attractive (which are big reasons-I swear), I also really, REALLY, want this one hateful girl and this one guy who I had an on again off again thing with that ended badly to see me and realize how goddamn awesome I look now. And I think that’s the motivation it’s going to take to get me on my feet and working out again. I don’t even care if I lose any more weight between now and then, but I sure as hell am not going to gain weight over the holidays and not be in a size 12 at that wedding. And I wouldn’t mind having less flabby arms. Revenge weight loss may not be healthy, but it’s damn effective.

3. I really am one of those people who never did any drugs as a kid. Really. If I ran for office I could be one of the few people who could be honest when that question is asked. But no one would believe me. Besides never really having an interest in being at all out of control of my body, I also was raised with a healthy dose of fear of the law AND my mother. Having sex as a teenager-sure, my mom was cool with that, as long as we used protection. Cool with it probably seems strong, but she was realistic. But drugs? Oh hell no. That wasn’t going to happen and if it did by no means would it be ok. Bonus fact: I also waited until I was 21 to drink. I know right-WHO THE HECK AM I?!

Happy Thursday Bleeps.

CD 1…sort of

Ok Bleeps, it seems that today is cycle day one.

No, I did not get my period, but doc said that would be okay this time around. He said there might not be much of any uterine lining to speak of all things considered (well, mainly Lupron considered). He said I might only have spotting, I might have nothing. I’ve had nothing. So he said that if no bleeding occurs, then the seventh day after my last Prometrium is going to be cycle day one.

That day is today.

I don’t really feel like this month I have a real shot. If I’d gotten a period I would, but I didn’t, so I don’t. He said that this month wasn’t the one he was counting on (although he also said not to count it out either). This is the reset cycle, but there’s still a shot. So on Thursday I start the Femara (letrozole) and on days 12-16 I’ll be OPKing and we’ll intercourse it up, and on day 14 I’ll go in for an ultrasound to see what the haps are and on CD 30 I’ll test, and if it’s negative then I start the whole thing over with another round of prometrium. I’ve already got it all marked up in my day planner (discretely, of course).

And while I’ve waffled back and forth from very hopeful to very sad and unhopeful, the only way I can describe my attitude right now is in this one way:

Let’s do this.