June 28, 2012


So here's something I know most of you can relate to: I have no earthly idea what it is like to be reproductively "normal". Let me explain why I'm thinking about this.

I am still producing gobs of EWCM. My cervix feels medium/high-ish and is getting softer. I've been struggling with my brain telling me I *have* to have sex now now NOW or I'll miss my chance maybe possibly and OMG what if this never happens again?!?! Old habits die hard. But Saturday will be CD12 and the weekend is when M and I are more likely to have sex anyway. For a "normal" person, fertile symptoms around now would mean that sex over the weekend could produce a pregnancy. I simply can't fathom that. Fertile symptoms for *days* leading up to ovulating as early as CD14?? That sounds like a fairy tale.

I am totally familiar and well versed in the crazy shit a PCOS body is capable of doing. Spotting non-stop for weeks? Been there. Bleeding heavily for days and days? Done that. Absolutely nothing at all for months on end? So old hat. But "normal" fertility? I'm kind of at a loss. I sort of remember what I read in Taking Charge of Your Fertility - I mean I know how this is basically supposed to work. But I'm not super close with any Fertiles that I feel comfortable asking them "So, when do you start to notice EWCM in your cycle?"

And I don't know if my body is behaving like a PCOS body or a "normal" body right now. That is hard for me. It is safest to assume that I'm as not-normal as ever. But there is the chance that the surgery really did help and all that toxic testosterone is out of my system for now...

I have learned so much patience and pragmatism this year, yet I'm clearly a long way from learning patience with my body and my cycles.

In other news that occasionally distracts me from thinking about ovulating, things are really picking up in the job search for M. We hope to hear back about scheduling two more interviews next week! I am praying so hard that he gets a job by the end of the summer!!

June 26, 2012

Ray of Sunshine

Wow, June has *flown* by! Next month I can go back to fertility treatments, crazy!

God is, however briefly, smiling down on M and I the past few days. He had that interview on Friday which went well (calls are being made today and tomorrow for second interviews). And today he got called for an interview with a company *much* closer to home. We would not need to move and I could keep my job. I'm so excited to finally see some activity and responses to all of M's hard work! Seriously, this is the most action we've had on the job front since he started his search.

As for my lady bits, I still can't figure out if or how well the surgery has helped things. I did get AF on my own, but I was doing that back in the winter, too. And AF doesn't prove that I ovulated since so many PCOSers have annovulatory bleeding (I never did before January, 2012, but apparently this is my new norm). The spotting has finally stopped (there is way more spotting since January than I've ever had, also) and even though I am only on CD8, I have EWCM. It is very obvious and there is tons of it, I could not possibly be mistaken. I'm frustrated by this because it seems way too early in the cycle for this to be a good thing. It is more likely proof that my hormones are still out of whack than it is a sign of impending O. But then, I am rather jaded when it comes to my body, aren't I? I am still temping and I decided this cycle I would actually chart them, just to see. I refuse to put any pressure on myself to TTC this cycle, though. No scheduled sexy-time for this lady! I'm sticking to a "wait and see" attitude. If my body O's on its own, then it is likely to do it again and I can try to catch the egg *next* time.

For now I'm focusing on finishing strong in my weight training class, making steady progress on my afghan so I can start my other projects for my sister and the baby soon, and drooling over real estate in our area. M and I have decided to start going to open houses when we see something we like - just to get our feet wet and see what is available in our price range. So far we have not been disappointed and are more desperate than ever for a job so we can become home owners. I'm very happy that the money left over from his trust fund puts us in a good position as far as a down payment goes. In our area it still appears to very much be a buyer's market and I hope it stays that way for another year.

Today I feel really positive and hopeful. Something good is on the horizon for us, I'm sure of it.

June 21, 2012

My Infertility Music Mix

Is it crazy ironic that I posted "When God closes a door, he always opens a window...Now where's that damn window??" on Facebook and literally 4 hours later my husband got an interview request somewhere? Yes, incredibly, weirdly, but serendipitously, ironic. The potential job is 3 1/2 hours away from here, so we would have to move and I would have to find a new job, but we will discuss the pros and cons of that bridge if and when we come to it.

The real purpose of this post is to share my latest playlist on my Ipod. I've been gathering a list of songs for an "Infertility Mix" for a little over a month now. Now that I have it pulled together, its really more of a personal growth mix, but that personal growth has been accomplished through my struggles with infertility, so I feel the name is still apt. There aren't actually any songs about family or children or infertility specifically on it, but the songs I've chosen do speak to me about my struggles. So without further ado....

My Infertility Music Mix (in no particular order)

1. Airplanes - B.O.B.

2. Down to Earth - Peter Gabriel

3. For the Moments I Feel Faint - Relient K

4. Forward Motion - Relient K

5. Landslide - Glee cast version

6. Let My Love Open the Door - Pete Townsend

7. Overkill - Colin Hay (his solo version, not the Men at Work version)

8. Pressing On - Relient K

9. Shake it Out - Florence and the Machine

10. Some Nights - Fun (I am currently uber obsessed with this song)

11. Those Words Are Not Enough - Relient K

12. We Found Love - Rihanna

13. The Cave - Mumford and Sons

14. Away From the Sun - 3 Doors Down

15. Brick - Ben Folds Five (I know this is a song about an abortion, but considering it is from the point of view of a person who did not want the abortion to happen, its really a song about loss to me.)

Do you have music that speaks to your IF struggles? Or a particular song that can lift your spirits and help you carry on on a bad day? I encourage you to check out the songs on my list that you haven't heard - obviously I love them all!

June 20, 2012

Answers and Moving Forward

My IF journey seems mirrored in my husband's job hunt. So many hopes and dreams - so much we did right. And yet so much that we have no control over, no matter how much it vexes us.

The dreaded rejection email came from the position at my university. To say that M is upset is a grave understatement. I was pretty much expecting this outcome when the last thing we heard was they should be scheduling interviews. After a week of no phone calls, I knew it did not mean good things. It still sucks.

I've taken it in stride and its whatever, you know? Nothing we can do but move onto the next thing. But then, I've been learning this lesson for a year and half now with IF; I'm used to it. M is just beginning this journey. And its so hard to watch someone you love having to learn the same lessons you have. I *know* how hard it is, I *know* how much it hurts and how much you just want to scream at God "WHAT AM I DOING WRONG???"

M is very good at getting into a mood and stubbornly staying there. He's also very good at blaming himself for things that could not possibly be his fault. I still try to find ways to be supportive and shore up his self esteem. Mostly these things don't seem to affect him, but all I can do is try. I feel....grateful(?) that I was given my own monumental struggle so that I could be in a position of compassion and empathy for him - that's my job as his wife, to stand next to him and weather the storm too. He's done it for me this whole time with IF and now I can try to return the favor.

I know things won't always be like this and when you least expect it, something turns up. Heck, that's how M and I got together, just when I was feeling that I'd never find the right guy. But in the moment, when you are living every day with the wondering and the waiting, its so hard to keep in mind this time is a blip on the radar. It doesn't feel like a blip, it feels like life has ground to a halt and everything is stagnant. We feel like we're waiting for life to get moving again when really we should be living the life that is around us right now. A job will come, a house will come, children or more pets will come. For now, we just have to live the life we have, pray, and be patient.

June 19, 2012

This is Why We Don't Make Plans

...because as the poet says, they oft' go awry. For example, had I been *planning* on AF showing up in a week, I would have been devastated last night when she blew in in all her painful, disgusting glory. But you know what? I don't care. She came, and that's a big deal in and of itself. So I have to wait another cycle before calling Dr. B - big woop. That just gives me more time to focus on weight training and being generally happy with what life throws at me. And at least the spotting will stop and in a few days I can pounce my long-suffering husband.

I feel like an outlier right now in the infertility world. All but a very few bloggers I'm following are pregnant and the others are actively trying. I almost feel like a sham - is my blog still an IF blog? Well of course it is, but I still feel...different. I guess things will get back to "normal" in about 30 days, which is basically when I had originally expected to go back to TTC. Until then, you will all just have to read about the more mundane parts of my life. Maybe I'll post pictures of my current crochet project - I am *so* proud of it!

June 18, 2012

Still Waiting

Fortunately, the up-for-a-challenge side of my brain won out in my last little freak out. I'll be fine. Moved a little money from savings, added up all our expenses for the next 2 weeks and informed M we are under strict rules to not spend extra money without my okaying it with the bank account balance first. We'll get through.

So remember the mystery spotting that had me all worked up back in late January/early February? And then I had AF all on my own? I'm going through exactly the same thing again. I've been spotting for, gosh, maybe over a week now. Some days red, some days brown, but always there. I'm hoping this results in AF eventually. It would be nice if it happened, oh say Monday or Tuesday of next week and I could call Dr. B's office... I won't cry if it comes earlier though because the spotting is seriously wrecking my romantic relationship with M. Way not cool, body. I've had a little cramping today, so maybe that's a good sign.

I got good news in my weight training class today! We did the body fat composition test with those pinchy caliper things and mine went *down* from the last time it was tested last quarter! That means there are small, measurable results from all my effort!! That is enough to motivate me for the rest of the class, for sure. I'm still trying very hard to keep carbs to a minimum. I didn't do a very good job this weekend, but every day is a new opportunity. I'm still overall eating *way* less carbs than I did before my May mental breakdown. (This blog seriously makes me sound unhinged, I swear I am a much more even tempered person IRL). I've been going crazy on Pinterest pinning low/no carb recipes. I'm excited to try a recipe for dark chocolate cookies that has no flour and just 2 cups of sugar for a whole batch. Dark chocolate is my best friend.

This TTC break has been so good for me. I know I've said that before, but I keep realizing it in different ways, so it warrants repeating. I was in such a good headspace yesterday after church that I decided I'm going to unhide all the pregnant/new parent friends on Facebook and instead, divide them into their own group on my live feed. That way, I can keep up with them when I know I can handle it, and I don't have to if I'm in a bad mood. That's some real progress there, people. Everyday I feel more and more certain that if this doesn't happen for M and I, it will not be the end of the world. We are awesome people and it would suck to not be able to pass down that awesomeness directly, but I can't do any more than I already am. Its not like anyone could say we didn't try hard enough, so there's no need for me to beat myself up. If we can't have kids, I will take it as a sign from God that its okay to spend the rest of my days lavishing attention on my nephew(s) and any pets we have and hopefully travel the world with my wonderful husband.

As I said, the lesson of 2012 is to let go of the things I have no control over, they will work themselves out. And I'm proud to say I'm doing just that. Most of the time. Its a work in progress... ;-)

June 14, 2012

Bending, Not Breaking...Yet.

I am not not not going to cry at work. I am not. I am an adult and I can comport myself as one, even under pressure.

The theme of 2012 in my life so far has been: These things will work themselves out, and you have very little choice in how or when. I have been learning that lesson over and over and over. Post-surgery, I have been as zen as possible given all my life circumstances.

And things have not improved.

Every time I feel like I've conquered some emotional hurdle or put behind me the things I have no way of affecting, something new crops up to challenge and torment me.

Always something new.

New, and never good. Not lately anyway.

M has to attend college to keep his current job (as it is a student employee position). Once he got his Bachelor's, I told him it would be okay to take some grad classes while we look for a job. I get great tuition benefits being the employee of a university - M attends for 20%. But on grad classes, we have to pay taxes as though the tuition we did *not* pay was earned income. So even though I don't pay that 80% of tuition, I do pay income tax on it like it was earned income. That has come around to bite me in the ass big time.

The concept of the whole thing is not new to me. I was enrolled in two master's programs before dropping out to focus on TTC and the same tax rule applied to my tuition benefit. But that was 4 years ago and apparently taxes have changed since then... Tomorrow will be the second paycheck this month which is being docked that tuition tax. It hurt us the first time, its worse the second.

I did this to myself. I probably should have researched *exactly* how much money it would cost us for M to take one grad class a quarter. I knew it would cost us, I just didn't realize how much. No sense looking back now, what's done is done.

Part of me, thankfully, is up for the challenge. Our monthly budget is down by a critical $400? Bring it. I can handle it. I'm savvy with coupons and sales - I can make a dollar stretch. I know how much our bills will be and where we can scrimp up a few extra bucks. We're becoming experts at tightening the belt. And we aren't living on the edge. There's $15K sitting in a savings account. Most families should be so lucky to have half  that. But its *all* we have. And I was raised to be so fiscally conservative that to touch your savings means you have failed. You did something critically wrong and now you've lost the game.

Part of me wants to curl up in a ball and cry. Cry because my husband is incredibly smart, talented, and driven and yet is being given no chance to show his worth. Cry because we are being *so* fiscally responsible and yet I still fear our heads dipping under the water. Cry because I have no way of knowing if or when the tide of unfortunate events will end.

At this point, I'm considering waiting on going back to TTC. We'd be in a world of hurt if we got pregnant. I know our families would help take care of us, but is it fair to willingly charge into a situation we know we can't afford? But at the same time, I just had this expensive surgery done and the clock is ticking on how long the results last...

In my dreams, M gets a phone call tomorrow to schedule an interview for the amazing job on campus. In my reality, that is probably not going to happen.

And now a list of things I am thankful for to keep my head on straight: Generally good health for M and I, Two functioning cars, Gainful employment for myself with no fear of ever losing my job, Comparatively good healthcare premiums, Family that will never allow us to go hungry or be homeless.

I really hope I'm learning the lessons God wants me to so I can eventually move on. 

June 12, 2012


My temperature has flatlined at "slightly elevated". Cute, body, real cute. No way to distinguish if ovulation perhaps occurred or if PCOS is just having its fun with me. I'll keep temping anyway just to stay in the habit. I really hope I see AF in about 2 weeks though. I think I'd cry with joy.

Since my pre-op appointment mental breakdown in Dr. B's office I have made great strides in cutting many, many carbs out of my diet. Vengefulness is an excellent motivator in me. If a heavily restricted diet and consistent work out regimen fails to show any improvements in my PCOS symptoms, I will gleefully throw that in Dr. B's face. I am a petty, petty bitch, you can say it. I have almost 100% cut out: all pastas and rice, all chips (potato and tortilla), all cookies and other bready sweets, bread except for the occasional sandwich, cereal, and crackers. There are whole aisles at the grocery store that I try to avoid like the plague. I'm trying out various low carb tortilla options for sandwiches (seriously, a modern human cannot live without eating sandwiches!). Plus, since it is summer, I buy whatever veggies are on sale that week, wash and cut immediately, and divide into baggies to take to work all week. I used to be hard pressed to eat enough veggies, but I'd say I'm eating roughly a cup a day now. All of these improvements have required an increase in our food budget unfortunately. I have to buy so much more protein now because I can't get away with easy starch and carb filled dinner options that are so cheap. Plus, in order to allow me to still snack, we buy nuts, jerky, and other low/no carb snack items. They are definitely more expensive than a bag of chips or a box of cookies. I also buy a meal shake made for diabetics that has *way* less carbs than Slim Fast. That really helps for a quick meal option on the go. And fortunately, M is being wildly supportive of me in this endeavor to eat healthy.

My temp has plateaued and, with it, my mood. I am not in the depths of despair, but I'm not feeling as positive and hopeful as I was last week. I've been fighting some bizarre itchy rash for 2 months now (thank you, blow to my self-esteem that I did not need!) which makes me feel ugly and diseased even though I've done nothing to bring it on. The job posting at my university that M and I were so hopeful about is winding down and we still have no answer from them. They should be making calls to schedule interviews like, NOW. So how come every time he goes to their office and asks for an update, they just say "its progressing". If they *know* he is not on the interview list, and just don't want to say anything and are waiting for HR to spit out the form rejection emails...I will be hard pressed to not go to that department and cuss someone the hell out! We are so insanely anxious about this process, I would hope they'd have more of a soul than to string him along just because its a little uncomfortable to have to tell someone to their face they were cut from the process. We are making long term plans for M to go back to school as something to do while he looks for a job. The worst thing a person can do is be well and truly unemployed - I've seen several news articles about how long-term unemployed people are being passed over for jobs they qualify for. As long as M is a student, he can keep his part-time student job in the lab on campus. And that's better than nothing. Also better than retail or fast food since he can claim he is gaining experience in his field of study-ish. Unfortunately, this means more student loans. The past 6 months have taught us that we are ever so slowly sinking without financial aid to pay his school bills. This is not where we expected to be. Its really not. We did everything right, so why is there no job? Not even any interviews. I just fail to understand what is going on with the over 100 hiring processes that M has put in for. Unemployment can be just as random and meaningless as infertility, it seems.

I work very hard every day to not focus on the things that are going wrong or taking too much time. I try to focus on very small and simple things that are within my control and make me happy. My crochet makes me happy, organizing and cleaning out the apartment makes me, well feel useful, not really happy. We're pretty sure we could survive another year without M finding a job as long as we can get some financial aid for school. Beyond that...Well we could always move in with family I suppose...

June 06, 2012

When Infertility Doesn't Eat Your Life

Life is good. I can see how eventually deciding to accept a child-free life can be freeing, even as it is very sad. When you're not in the trenches, actively getting let down *every month*, it is so much easier to see the sun. To see that there is life beyond our broken reproductive parts. And that life is full of many good things. I feel more positive and more hopeful than I have all year. This little TTC break is very different from the last one.

Another wonderful side effect of my happy outlook is that I can be truly, and without jealousy, *happy* for all the bloggers I follow that have gotten a BFP in recent weeks and months. When I was at my darkest, shortly before my surgery, I hated that I was so jealous of everyone. I even wrote a post about it, but never published it because I felt *so ashamed*. I give myself leeway when it comes to being jealous of fertiles, but being jealous of fellow infertiles feels so wrong. And yet, its a feeling that sometimes bubbles up, even though we don't want it to. I'm relieved to be free from all that heavy negativity.

I'm really glad I've been in a good head space since my surgery because last week I got questioned by so many people about if I have kids, are we trying, why don't we have kids, etc. Like more people than have asked me in the entire time we have been trying up til now. I only had a tiny breakdown at a friend's Memorial Day cookout. Luckily my best guy friend was there and he took me aside and let me be sad for a minute before giving me a big hug and making me feel better. It could've been a lot worse if I had been in a less positive mood.

M is still job searching, no surprise there. We should hear back about interviews for the uber awesome job at my university sometime this week. Fingers crossed!! We are very confident about his chances at getting the job if he can make the cut for the interview phase. On Sunday, while doing a random search for real estate in our area online, I found out about an open house for a home I've had my eye on for months. I was so excited to finally get to walk through the place. M and I *love* going to open houses. It gives us an opportunity to test our knowledge on what to look for, warning signs of serious problems, and judging whether the asking price is a good value or not. I'm hoping we can start regularly attending open houses in our area this summer in preparation for real house hunting whenever M gets a job.

As far as the results of my surgery and what's going on with my ovaries, I really have no idea. I have been temping for about a week now, but not charting them - just keeping track, vaguely, in my head. Even if I don't ovulate, I'd like for my body to have AF on its own because I don't want to take prometrium. If I get AF during the last week of June, we can call Dr. B's office and start a medicated cycle. If AF comes sooner, I'll have to wait for the next one and if it doesn't come at all, then I can call the second week of July. Mostly I'm just not thinking about it. What will be, will be. If M gets a job soon, I feel like I could extend this positive mindset indefinitely, because at least other areas of my life would be moving forward. One can only hope...