Monday, July 27, 2009

Reflections 2 years in...

It's hard to believe that it's now been 2 years since we started this journey to parenthood. Never in a million years would I have guessed that it would have taken this long. If I had predicted then what life would be like now, it would probably involve running after a one-year old and thinking about #2. But instead I've yet to even get a positive pregnancy test! I was hoping I'd get pregnant right away and be able to tell my family at Thanksgiving ('07). Then Thanksgiving turned into Christmas, Christmas became Easter, Easter became Mother's Day, Father's Day and the cycle continued. I guess I was pretty naive.

The past two years have definitely been the most challenging of my life. Like I've told a few friends, I don't mind having challenges in my life, I'm just ready for a new one. I know people deal with illness, pain, hurt and other issues for a lot longer than that, but this is what I've been given for now and it's been difficult. There's been a lot of tears, a lot of frustration, a lot of disappointment and a lot of waiting. My body and emotions have been through the wringer.

I am a different person then I was 2 years ago. I know a TON more about anything related to getting pregnant. I have met some wonderful people who have struggled with me, many who have been successful and others who have not. I've also, in some ways, become more withdrawn, guarded and self-absorbed... that part I don't like and want to work on. Overall I have a wonderful life... amazing family and friends, a job I love, a supportive and loving husband, to name a few.

As I enter year number 3, I will no longer say with confidence that I think I'll be a mom this time next year... I've learned that my timing is pretty off with this stuff. But I can say that I remain confident that I will be a mom someday. I'm not sure when or how, but I believe it will happen. I know that this next year will bring its share of bad days and disappointments. This whole process gets harder, not easier. I'm curious where I'll be at in a year and I'm not shy in hoping that it involves a baby. But today I choose to be thankful for all that I am blessed with, to do my best to live in the present and enjoy today. A new year brings new possibilities and renewed hope, and today I'm hanging onto that hope.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Bad Day

In this process I have good days, bad days, and lots of in-between days. Yesterday was a bad day. I don't know what triggers a bad day. Was it meeting a newborn for the first time yesterday? Being surrounded by pregnant women? I'm not sure. But yesterday I felt frustrated.... frustrated that I have so much time on my hands right now and I'm not able to continue with treatment. And because of vacation plans we made in August, I might have to skip another cycle. What's another month or two in this process when you're two years in? The difference is now I don't have the added stress of getting to work on time after my morning appointments. I have more energy to deal with being poked and prodded multiple times a day.

Yesterday was one of those days where the tears came and I wished that for one day, I could have a break from dealing with infertility. It was a day where I questioned why this is taking so long and how I'm supposed to live my life while I wait. It was a day when I wanted to crawl into bed and stay there forever, in hopes that this would all go away. I can't avoid bad days. I don't even want to anymore. I've learned that if I let myself be sad, frustrated and let the tears come, I actually can move faster into a positive place again. Infertility sucks and I don't need to be happy that it's in my life. The key is not letting it take over and ruin it. I'm still learning how to do that, but part of it is embracing the fact that there will be bad days.

Today is a good day. Nothing has really changed from yesterday, but I know that if I tried to fight the sadness and negative emtotions yesterday, I probably wouldn't be feeling as good today.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Comments & Poll

Feel free to leave comments on my blog. I always love reading them. If you know me personally please comment anonymously (Click on Comment as... "anonymous") and leave your initials if you want. Also, please don't use my real name. You can also let me know how you know me by simply clicking on the poll to the left.

My Journey So Far

We've been trying to conceive for about 2 years now. When I meet other people dealing with infertility, I always find it helpful to know what they've gone through (this is probably most helpful for people in that boat). I've gone into quite a bit of detail so read as much as you feel comfortable. I've always included links if you want to know more. Here's a summary of our journey so far for those who are interested...

August 2007 - We started trying to get pregnant
September 2007 - Started tracking my basal body temperature (BBT) every morning
October 2007 - Bled for 30+ days straight. Ultrasound showed nothing wrong. Was put on birth control for 2 months to stop the bleeding
December 2007 - Started trying again
February 2008 - Started taking an herb called Vitex to help me ovulate and shorten my cycles. The first month I took it I had a 27 day cycle where I ovulated, whereas the previous one was 50 days without ovulation. Long, anovulatory cycles are an issue for me if I'm not on medication.
Mar - June 2008 - Continued with Vitex. Some anovulatory cycles. Realized my luteal phase was often too short. Starting taking vitamin B6 to increase it.
July 2008 - Saw my family doctor after trying for a year. Got a referral for a fertility specialist,
but after reading about him and talking to others who had been to him, decided he wasn't a good fit.
August 2008 - Asked for a referral to a new clinic and doctor I chose on my own.
Sept 2008 - First appointment with my fertility specialist, Dr. E. Decided to start Clomid in
October while I did initial tests.
October 2008 - Started Clomid, did the glucose tolerance test to test for Polycsystic Ovarian
Syndrome (PCOS). Tests confirmed I have PCOS.
- Went for a Hysterosalpingography (HSG) test but Dr. E was unable to complete it... my first huge disappointment in this process.
November 2008 - Follow-up appointment with Dr. E. Decided the only way she could
determine if I was healthy inside was to do minor surgery
December 2008 - Had laparoscopic surgery. Dr. E fixed a minor problem and everything else
was healthy and in working order.
Jan - Mar 2009 - Tried 3 months of Clomid. Although I produced 1 to 2 follicles, we weren't
successful. In 2 of the 3 months I was given an HCG shot to trigger ovulation.
April 2009 - Decided to step up treatment. Started taking Puregon, a drug I give myself
through injections each night to produce more follicles. Also started a procedure called IUI.
May 2009 - Developed 4 cysts so forced to take a month off while they go away.
June 2009 - Tried a higher dose of Puregon. IUI was cancelled due to a high number of follicles.
Monitored for OHSS
July 2009 - Developed 12 cysts. Taking another month off to wait for them to go away.

And that brings us to now where we're currently playing the waiting game.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why "Big Fat Positive"?

For anyone who is trying to conceive and is part of an online community, a lot of communication is done through acronyms. By far the best one is BFP, which stands for big fat positive, meaning a positive pregnancy test. There are two simple reasons why I chose this name for my blog. The first is simply that I remain hopeful that one day I will get my BFP. The second is that through this journey I have struggled but am learning how to stay positive and hopeful through the pain and disappointment. Not that I won't have my bad days (they are inevitable and part of the process) but I don't want to stop enjoying life while we wait to become parents.

So there you go... if you didn't know it before, you now know that any woman trying to get pregnant is waiting for that one big thing... her BFP! Who knew this blog would already be so informative! :)

Why I am writing this blog

Welcome to my blog. I have decided to write for three main reasons.

The first is to share our road to becoming parents with friends and family who are interested. Several people in our lives know the challenges we are going through, and this is a place to come get updates on where we're at, hear what's going on in my head, and learn about the issues we are facing.

The second reason is to bring awareness to the issues of infertility. Although it's a very private struggle and I'm not ready to reveal it to everyone I know, I have been challenged to share my story. This is my way of doing it with some level of anonymity. Approximately 1 in 6 couples experience difficulty conceiving and yet it's not something that's widely talked about. Chances are there are several people in your lives dealing with this, and you probably don't know it. I've learned a lot in the last 2 years, and although I'm no expert, I would love to share what I have learned to help people they know who are dealing with this. I know I was pretty clueless before this became a reality in my life.

The last and probably most important reason for this blog is that this is a way I can be there for others who are dealing with the same issues. The greatest encouragment in this journey has been meeting other women or couples who have gone through or are currently dealing with infertility. To know that I'm not alone, and that there are others who understand has been a huge factor in getting through the hard times. Sharing our stories is powerful and although each one is different I want this to be a place where someone can come and realize they are not struggling alone. If you know someone dealing with infertility, feel free to direct them here. If you know who I am, please respect my desire to remain anonymous for now and not share my name. I'm happy to connect with someone personally via email etc., so if you know someone, just contact me and we can work it out.

This blog is not about sympathy. That's the last thing I want. It's about those who want to follow my journey, who want to learn more about infertility or help someone they know going through it, and it's about sharing my story with others who feel alone. I have no idea how much longer I'll be on this road... if I'll be pregnant in a month or if we'll add to our family through adoption in several years. Whatever happens, you are welcome for the ride!