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Last month I had 3 mature follicles ready for fertilization; however, my doctor prefers me to have 4-5 in order to “be more aggresive”, in other words, “Chelsea, since you suck at getting pregnant, we need 6 eggs in hopes of getting 1 to ‘take'”. That’s not how he means it, but cynicism has become my personality so…that’s how I take it. So, this month we’re adding an extra day of injections to boost my follicle size and number of follicles.
Day 7: I took my pills at 8:00 pm every day and my first shot at 8:00 pm, therefore I have to continue doing everything at 8:00 pm. The silver lining in this is that, yes, I do get to choose when I do these things, but once I choose a particular time, I have to stick to that same time for 10 days! Are you ever at the exact same place in the evening at the exact same time every day for 10 days?! If it could be the morning, that’d be easy. I can be home in the morning, but it must be the evening. Well, today is Sunday and I’m home…insert shot.
Day 8: Begin morning “shots” of:
1 part Bragg’s unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp probiotics
1 tbsp Flax seed oil
1 tbsp mercury free fish oil
1 splash of cherry juice (or other juice) to mask the God awful flavor and consistency of this drink I endure for about 5 days. It’s meant to detoxify my system, maintain the pH balance in my “hoohoo” and keep the endometriosis and cycsts at bay. I joke that if I had to drink monkey piss or eat guano every day to meet my baby(ies) I would.
I’m out for the day running errands, but I’m home by 8:00 PM for my shot. There’s a new bruise now and my belly is extended as though I’ve eaten a super sized bag of Doritos.
Day 9: My mother comes into town to hang for a few days and wants to go shopping. The area she wants to shop just happens to be 5 minutes down the road from the studio where I’m giving a presentation at 7:00 pm so we decide it makes sense to bring my shots with us. This sounds easy, but it’s July 15 in central Texas and these shots must stay refridgerated or they go bad ($400 down the drain? I don’t think so!). My sweet husband grabs a cooler, puts in a foil bag with two ice packs and my injections, and adds ice to the top. I know he’s trying to be helpful because he feels so helpless with all of this, but I begin to sob. It’s kind of an out of body experience because my head tells me it’s stupid to cry, but my heart aches so bad that it feels as if it’s growing up into my throat and I lose all control of the corners of my mouth and my tear ducts. This evolves into “the ugly cry”. Going shopping with my mom should not involve a cooler full of meds, but it does and it has for 2+ years now.
Suck it up. My mom says, “Stop. We’re going to have a good day”. I’m done.
We do have a good day. We go to Chez Zee and eat quiche (eggs are good for “infertiles”), eat coconut cream pie (more eggs) and shop, shop, shop. Then we stop for a snack at Austin Cakeball and order truffle oil deviled EGGS, and split a cakeball (more eggs, lol). I’m reminded I also ate a hard boiled egg for breakfast and find it ironic that eating eggs is supposed to product eggs. Weird.
7-8:30 pm I teach my class and try to speed through the information so we can end by about 8:15/8:30 because I’m running late for my injection. I do the shot in the back lounge at Heartsong Music, surrounded by changing tables, diapers, brochures for newborn photographers and mommy & me classes. My friend, Ashley tells me to “stop looking at the donuts when you’re dieting”, but yet, I’m surrounded by donuts because supporting new moms is what I do. My profession IS the “donuts”.
Day 10: I decide to leave the house this morning without the shots because I’m able to come back to the house this evening before I go back out. We go to breakfast (more eggs) and Kendra Scott (my healing place). I buy a necklace with a gold, glittery center that I don’t need to buy, but I’m drawn to the simplicity of the sparkle. Subconsciously this necklace represents the little sparkle I’m hoping for in my life. I do not regret buying it! (kind of)
I’m home around 4:00 pm to begin getting ready for an event called “Bump Chat” for expectant moms and yes, I must pack my injections. I know the event will run past 8:00, but I also now there’s likely to be a refridgerator at the venue because it’s a doula boutique in a small house. Mid-event, I politely excuse myself to give the shot. I inject myself in a room where pre-natal massages and breastfeeding support takes place. The irony is not lost on me. Again, surrounded by “donuts”.
Most people in my position would find it hard to be surrounded by expectant moms and newborns, but I love it. Babies energize me and I know I am NOT infertile because someone else is fertile. I’ve come to terms with this suck-age that has become my life.
Day 10: (insert dramatic music here) This is the day I find out whether or not the meds have worked too much, too little, or just right. This is my Goldie-eggs day, lol. Do I have too many, too, few, or just the right amount? No lie, I can actually read my own ultrasounds now! I looked at the screen and said, “Wow, that’s usually my quiet side, but it looks like I have some big ones!” She measured 4 mature follicles and 2 that will be mature if we wait any longer before releasing. The PA says, “Great, let’s do the trigger shot and release the eggs, and do the IUI tomorrow.” I reply, “No, my husband is in Dallas. We planned IUI for Saturday?”
PA: “Yeah, but you have 4 that are ready now.”
ME: “Well, last month you wanted to be more aggressive and wait on 5-6, so I may have 5-6 by Saturday and now you want to pull back?!”
PA: “The 4 that you have are VERY big, which means there’s a higher chance they’ll take. Let’s send you to the lab and check your estrogen before we trigger the release.”
I leave the office to go the lab actually praying for low estrogen so that they’ll tell me I can wait until Saturday when Cloudy can be home. An egg does not get fertilized without the sperm; this I learned in 7th grade! We HAVE to wait!
I’m also a regular at the lab. We chit chat about my yellow pepper cold pressed juice and my hyper ovaries. T needle goes in, needle comes out. Gotta go. Thanks for the prick.
1:00 pm Acupuncture today (and every week): I feel absolutely nothing at acupuncture, but I love the eye pillow that smells like lavender, laying still in the dark for 45 minutes, and the acupuncturist who seems to “get” me. She reminds me to meditate and massage my belly every night and talk positively to myself during the 2WW (two week wait) also known as HELL.
2:30 pm AOMA Chinese Herbal Rx: I go in for a serenity blend of essential oils and castor oil. I can hardly drive home without splashing the oils in my car and relishing the calm.
4:30 pm I get the phone call letting me know my labs look good, we can wait until Saturday for the IUI (Cloudy will be home) and I’ll do the trigger shot at midnight tonight.
6:00 pm I rub my belly and massage over my liver with castor oil. This is meant to promote balance and detoxify, but it smells like fish guts. I wrap my belly in plastic wrap and submerge myself in a warm tub of essential oils and watch Sex and the City DVDs while the oil hopefully works it’s magic.
Watch a few movies in order to stay awake until midnight for my shot. I used to go to bed first, but waking up at 12:00 am after you’ve been in a dead sleep, and then stabbing yourself with what feels like a samuri sword in the middle of the night, is agony.
12:00 am Inject the “trigger shot” to release anywhere from 4-6 mature follicles. They will ovulate in 36hrs, just in time for the IUI Saturday morning.
I’ve reached a point where I’m equally tired of hearing, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through” and having to say, “You have no idea what I’m going through” so I’ve decided to write what I actually go through, and have been going through for the last 27 months now.
Here’s how it starts. I start nearing the end of the ever so long “two week wait’, or what onbonxious inertility forums refer to as the 2WW, and I come to realize this month wasn’t “it” for me because I have learned over the last two years what “not pregnant” feels like. It feels exactly the same as I’ve always felt; however, because the idea of peeing on a stick and actually watching a plus sign show up is so thrilling, I take a pregnancy test anyway. Nope, not pregnant, again. Beer, anyone?
July 5th 11:00 am: This is my neice’s 1st birthday and I go to post “Happy Birthday” on facebook and realize this is the same neice that was born after I’d already been trying over a year. Hmmm, put that in your pipe and smoke it…
July 6th 7am: Check facebook and see my friend’s daughter and realize she’s starting to look like a kid rather than a toddler because she’s almost 2 and 1/2 years old. She was 3 months old when I told her mom we were trying to get pregnant. Has it been that long?
July 7, 8:00 am: Check facebook and see photos of 4 brand new babies born to my friends. Ha, how strange is it that 3 out of the 4 of them weren’t even trying? It just happened.
I decide to cancel facebook and throw my phone into my pool before getting an intervening thought, “But when you actually get pregnant you’ll want to let everyone know and share your journey on facebook.” So…I keep facebook.
Get out of bed, start my cycle. This is known as “DAY 1“. Now, for most women this means you need to check under the sink for ahem…supplies, but not me. I have to call a grown ass man that’s not my husband, nor is he related to me, and notify him (and his team) that I’ve started my cycle. This used to be weird, but it’s so normal now that I made the phone call while cooking breakfast and simultaneously checking emails. The words just flow, no pun intended.
4:00 pm Meet a friend at the mall and get a phone call while shopping to let me know my prescriptions have been called in, I set up my day 3 ultrasound AND my day 11 ultrasound and choose the specialty Rx to order my injections from. I turned to my friend and said, “And so it begins” and I yearn for the days when I could just shop without being reminded that I’m infertile. I’m also reminded of sitting in the Ferregamo store with my little sister this past December watching her purchase a $400 pair of shoes while I’d just gotten the call to pay $400 for my injections. Memories sometimes suck.
July 8, 9:30 am: Go to a BodyJam class and dance my ass off because I know that next week I’ll be growing 5-6 follicles and my ovaries will be at risk for twisting due to the weight. This means only light walking and yoga…walking is for the birds. I’m not a bird.
July 9, 9:30 am: Go to my doctor for an ultrasound and the nurses smile and say, “Hey, Chelsea, how’s it going?” I adore them for being so sweet, but I hate that we have this familiar of a relationship. In fact, the synographer doesn’t even tell me to undress from the waist down because she knows I know the routine. She kindly laughs and says, “Ha, I’ll bet you could do your own ultrasound”. During the ultrasound I learn there’s nothing wrong. If they’d actually found cysts, then my insurance would’ve paid the bill, but because there’s no cysts this month, it’s a whopping $250 because I’m healthy. I’m glad there’s no cysts, but really? Explain this logic to me.
11:00am: I get a call from the specialty Rx notifying me to be home between the hours of 8am-5pm tomorrow for my injections to be delivered. Ha, and you thought waiting on the cable man sucked?!
2:00pm Pick up the pills at the Rx, $144. Listen politely to the pharmacist go over the instructions because she doesn’t realize these pills have been apart of my life the way insulin is part of a diabetic’s for as far as I can remember now.
7:00 pm Pour a glass of wine knowing I can’t enjoy wine after this week. I also can’t take hot baths or showers, eat sushi or tuna, drink herbal tea, or do a REAL workout.
8:00 pm Take 2 pills and know that there’s soon to be an instant headache, rapid weight gain & bloating, nausea, increased appetite, and drowsiness. I’ll take these every night for the next 5 days at the exact same time.
I’m going to watch Game of Thrones now, although the synographer worried it may be too stressful of a show for me to watch given my “circumstances”. I promised to only watch it this week and switch to mind numbing, stress-less TV next week. This is only DAY 3.
July 10 7:30 am Wake up early to work with my “boss” and wonder if today will be too stressful. I try not to stress about avoiding stress.
8:30am Get a phone call from a student loan debt collector (Ha, I guess it won’t be my boss that raises my stress level today)
2:00 pm Pick up my injections that were delivered at my gate. Put the alcohol pads and needles in my pure, add the pre-filled capsule to my injection pen, add the ovidrel to the case in the fridge. Feel sad for a moment…move on. Shake it off.
5:00 pm Check Austin Area Birth Center website for a contact’s email, see a cute baby, almost cry, but don’t. Realize I’m making progress.
Work heavily and hard until 7:00 pm…think, “I’ll never get pregnant if I don’t slow down”. Pour a glass of wine. STOP.
8:00 pm Take my 2 pills, rub my ear lobes, talk to my belly, picture swirls of pink AND blue filling my uterus, (because imagery is powerful) and commit to relax for the rest of the day.
July 11: Relax all day, lay in the pool, talk positively to myself, cry for a bit, then stop.
July 12 12:00 pm, meet my husband and stepson for lunch. Try not stay calm even though the both of them are short tempered with me and each other. I take multiple trips to the restroom to talk myself down from being irritated. Other’s stress becomes my stress and then I stress about not stressing.
Rest all afternoon, then go out that night to an 80’s themed skate party! I skated with my friends and smile bigger than I’ve smiled in awhile & I tell myself how blessed I am to have friends, my husband, such a fun life!
Sunday, July 13: Sleep in, meet friends for lunch, shop, stroll, laugh, love, relax. Tell myself I’m meant for motherhood.
8:00 pm: Take 2 pills. Get ready for the first injection (this month)
THE SHOT: Take the pack out of the fridge, attach the needle, switch the dial to 75mg, clean your stomach with alcohol, pinch your fat, insert the needle at a 45degree angle, and push the medicine in. Watch your belly bloat with disgust, but picture your growing family with hope.
It hurts, but not as badly as the pain of an empty womb. I can feel it empty, aching to hold my baby(ies).
Every mother is faced with a multitude of decisions before baby even arrives. Will you carry or wear your baby? Will you co-sleep or have a separate nursery? How long will you take a leave from work? What’s your birth plan? I believe one of the most important decisions a mother must make is, “Will you breastfeed or bottle feed?”
Here’s 30 reasons why breast is best:
- Breastfed babies have a decreased risk of developing childhood cancers
- Breastfeeding improves vision
- American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it over formula
- Breastfed babies are less likely to have weight problems later in life
- Breastfeeding protects against allergies, asthma, and respiratory issues
- Breastfeeding protects against Hodgkin’s and Crohn’s disease
- Breastfeeding decreases ear infections and sinus infections
- Breastfed babies have higher immune systems
- Breastfed babies have better digestion
- Breastfed babies smell sweeter and have less foul diapers
- Breastfeeding helps mother’s uterus shrink faster
- Breastfeed babies have a decreased risk of SIDS
- Breastfed babies have higher levels of iron, protein, and B12
- Breastmilk is a natural antibiotic for wounds, eye infections, and UTIs
- Breastfed babies are less likely to develop Multiple Sclerosis
- Breastfed babies are less likely to struggle with infertility later in life
- Breastmilk tastes better to babies
- Breastfeeding can be done anywhere, anytime
- Breastfeeding improves bonding and sleep cycles
- Breastfeeding increases weight loss
- Breastfed babies have less eczema and skin irritations
- Breastmilk provides perfect nutrition and adapts to baby’s needs
- Breastmilk is virtually toxin-free
- Breastfed babies have higher IQs and motor development
- Breastfed babies develop less cavities and dental needs later
- Breastmilk won’t be recalled, expired, or discontinued
- Breastfed babies are sick less often
- Breastfed babies are less likely to die before age 3
- Breastfeeding enhances effectiveness of vaccines and antibiotics
- Breastfeeding decreases the chance of endometrial & ovaria cancers in mom
- Breastfeeding is free!
Tips for Breastfeeding Moms:
- Connect with your baby, lessen distractions & background noise, and find a comfortable spot with good back support
- Drink LOTS of water! In fact, when you think you’ve had enough, drink some more.
- Have your placenta encapsulated after the birth to increase milk supply (purchase here if you live in Austin)
- Some babies prefer to be swaddled, but some babies prefer skin to skin contact. Get to know your baby and recognize their needs.
- Try the cradle hold, the football hold, sideline, or cross my heart hold (Pinterest and youtube demonstrate these positions)
- Bring baby to breast, not breast to baby
- Latch is CRUCIAL! A lactation consultant can assist you with this and be sure your baby has much of the areola in his/her mouth. If their nose is pressed to breast, it’s okay. They will still find a way to suck, swallow, and breathe instinctualy.
- Avoid creating a schedule for baby & just wait for signs they’re ready to eat such as rooting or hands to mouth. It’s better to look for these signals than to wait on tears. A calm, happy baby will feed better.
- Feed baby as long as they’re eating, no fakers, lol. Switch sides as necessary and use an app on your smart phone, a journal, or mark your bra strap with a clip or ribbon to remember which side you nursed on last.
- Eat, eat, eat! You may want your pre-baby body back right away, but remember it takes time and breastfeeding burns anywhere from 300-500 extra calories a day. Eat healthy meals often throughout the day loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Don’t be afraid of spices either as they’re good for a developing palate.
- Keep a mental note or daily journal of foods you’re eating and try to note if they’re causing gas in your baby. If so, avoid those foods.
- Check healthychild.org or your local milk bank for instructions on storing & heating breastmilk
Tools for Breastfeeding Moms:
- Lactation consultants- most hospitals and birth centers will have one stop by your room soon after the birth, but don’t be afraid to ask for one.
- Also, if you need to hire your own LC, check for updated credentials (IBLCE) , read their client reviews, and inquire about years of experience first
- Most consultants recommend the MyBreast Friend nursing pillow, available with organic cover
- Nursing stool
- The Kiinde Twist & Store Collection System
- Mimijumi Bottle is wonderful for switching between breast and bottle
- Simple Wishes Hands-free pumping bra
- ItzyRitzy Nursing Cover (find it here)
- Nonotoxic/Organic Nipple Cream
- Swaddle sack such as a Woombie or a swaddle blanket that doubles as a nursing cover on-the-go like the marquisette
- Milkin’ Cookies or find your own lactation cookie recipe (add whatever yummies you like)
- Take fenugreek, blessed thistle, and fennel to increase supply naturally
- Shrinkx Belly Wrap (helps with posture and shrinking body back to pre-baby size naturally) www.shopwholeheart.com
- Keep a picture of your baby or a clothing item with baby’s smell handy when you’re pumping
Why will you breastfeed?