Tag Archives: yoga

Darth Vader

I’ve been working really hard on accepting my body and my personal path (cue the New Age chimes). Meditation CDs. Yoga. Deep breathing. Honestly, it’s not that I believe that any of these efforts will help me conceive. It’s to make this all feel less scary and sad. And because I can’t keep melting down into a puddle of despair all the time—it’s simply not fun.

And then, just when I think I’m getting a handle on myself, I totally lose control.

Over the weekend, hubs and I were en route to our anniversary dinner. We were talking about some construction work that’s being done in our six-flat apartment building this Fall. And in the course of conversation he dropped this lovely factoid, “Mary downstairs is due with another baby.” [Side note: I had suspected this for several months. However, since this gloriously fertile young woman is still carrying some baby weight from the boy she had a mere year and a half ago, I could divert my eyes in such a way as to fool myself that I was going crazy and just imagining things. Plus, she is a stay-at-home Mom and so our paths tend to cross only in the early hours of the morning, when I am sweaty and returning from a morning run, while she is settling her baby into his stroller and thus mercifully obstructing her stomach from my line of vision at the beginning of their morning walk.]

So, anyway. My response to  hubs was something along the lines of: “What the HEEEEECK, it’s so UNFAIR how easy it is for most people! I bet it’s a girl, too. UGH! Why can’t WE have that?” And then my eyes welled up with tears and I said something like, “Great, just great. I guess that means that STUPID baby stroller that’s been sitting in our lobby isn’t going ANYWHERE.”

[There may have been an embarrassing number of curse words peppered within my reaction. Also, I was pretty uncomfortable from IUI-day bloat and also feeling a tad hormonal. But there’s no excuse.]

Hubs just looked at me with his eyes wide and said, “Where did Yoda go? You’re like Darth Vader right now, you went to the dark side!”

[He later told me it was like that scene from Lord of the Rings, when the usually happy-go-lucky hobbit Bilbo Baggins suddenly growls and snaps for the Ring, while dark, stormy clouds billow behind him. Well then!]

This is one of the things I struggle with constantly: Jealousy. I’m envious when friends email their baby updates. I get a lump in my throat when the baby announcements and shower invitations arrive in my mail box. I feel weepy when a pregnant lady walks by. I don’t ever go on the minefield of Facebook because I can’t take the litany of ultrasound pics, belly shots, hospital images, etc. My chest tightens. I honestly feel a little tug in my heart every morning and evening when I see that baby stroller in our building lobby. And now there will a new infant in the building! And now I will not be able to even pretend to make eye contact with Mary or her pregnant belly when we run into each other.

[Big sigh.]

Lately (ahem, very lately), I’ve been doing better. When something baby/infertility-related upsets me, I take a deep breath and remind myself I am on MY OWN PATH. But Darth Vader is always lurking and threatening to make an appearance. It takes some seriously active positive/healthy/accepting thinking to not go to the dark side.

The good news is that I pulled myself together pretty quickly. Instead of turning into a sob-by mess and ruining our night, I wiped the tears from my eyes and settled into the drivers seat of the car and said: “Let’s talk about something else, okay?”

Zen zen zen zen.

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Deep breaths

I am back from a blissful, calming, lovely spa weekend with my Mom. I hiked, I ate healthfully, I lounged by the pool, I went to yoga classes and did all the other wonderful relax-y stuff you do when you’re not sitting in your cubicle, or your apartment, or your RE’s office. It was awesome and cathartic. My goal was to chillax and not think about IF for a few days and I mostly succeeded. I did not blog, I did not surf my fave blogs, I did not Tweet, I did not Google. But I did think about all of you; I couldn’t help it! And while I’m not a religious person, I was saying my own version of prayers for each of you, wherever you may be in this IF journey.

The coolest thing about the trip = the meditation classes I checked out. Meditation is pretty much the antithesis of me. I am constantly in motion….fidgeting, running around, always always always on to the next. I think it’s a manifestation of my worst quality: impatience. I was VERY uncomfortable during the meditation. You basically sit quietly and focus on your breath. The instructors were lovely and welcoming and assured me that whatever I felt or thought about was okay—I didn’t have to go “blank.” Good thing, because my mind would whir a million miles a minute, my heart would start pounding with the realization that I’d be sitting there doing nothing for an hour, and sometimes I would think I was on the verge of jumping up and leaving the room…I just couldn’t take the silence and stillness. Ummm, yeah, HELLO! Someone really NEEDS to meditate!

But, I am proud to say that I stuck it out and survived a few sessions (the guided ones went better for me). By the end of the weekend I found myself focusing on my breath whenever blah/scary/anxious/negative thoughts would show up. For example: I expected my period to arrive overnight on Sunday but on Monday morning it was nowhere to be found. Instead of panicking about how this might screw up my hopes of an injects cycle (I leave for a wedding in NYC—and a meet-up with SecretSloper!—on Thursday and need to get baseline monitored before that), I focused on breathing in deeply and exhaling. I did not freak out. I did not even mention to my Mom that I was running behind sked.

I know this sounds like a small thing, but for me it feels like progress. I was so encouraged that I even splurged on a meditation CD that I’m going to load onto my iTunes so I can keep the Zen going back home. I meant what I said in my post last week: I am working hard at not working hard this cycle. If you know what I mean. 🙂

Anyway, my period DID eventually show up yesterday. (It’s just as super-super-super faint as the Provera-induced period in March….I choose to believe that my body wants to hang onto what precious little lining I have for dear life!) Which means I go to baseline monitoring tomorrow. Hopefully I’m just a day away from getting off the bench. Deep. Breaths.

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P.S.

I have been sort of wallowing in my own stagnation lately. My mind has wandered to dark, dark places. A lot of you sounded like you wanted to kick my as$ after my last post. I appreciate the candor and the thoughtful comments.

I think I should clarify a few things. 1) I am still running regularly and I enjoy it immensely. 2) I am proud of my athletic accomplishments. 3) Wondering if the endurance running/exercise triggered my anovulation is not me beating myself up. It is me searching for answers.

Many of you have, with your RE’s help, pinpointed why you can’t conceive: poor ovarian reserve, or hypothyroidism, or male factor, or fibroids, or endometriosis, or PCOS, or [insert totally sucky infertility issue here]. It all freaking sucks. All of it. Yet knowing WHY a woman can’t conceive has the small silver lining of presenting a targeted treatment plan. My diagnosis, like many women out there, is a little hazier. I have unexplained anovulation. My hormones are a little bit all over the place but nothing so wacky or out of the range of normal that it raises a red flag. (In fact, in my consult with Dr. K today, she said we are “literally shooting in the dark” with me. More on that in another post.)

And it’s my personality to wonder, why? Is there something I did to cause this, and if so, can I never do it again? I agree that life would be eaiser and I’d probably be taking this whole “infertile” thing a lot better if I could stop trying to understand why it’s happening—if I could simply accept that it “is what it is.” My friends, I wish it was as easy as turning off a switch.

This is who I am. I wonder. I obsess. I stress. It’s just….me. I’ve always been tightly wound. In middle school I used to be on the verge of vomiting the night before track meets because I would get so nervous. Once I actually started running on race day, everything was fine. It was the build-up. And the same is true as an adult. Before a job interview or big presentation at work I make myself sick with anxiety. When it’s finally time, I perform well. It’s just the waiting, the wondering, the dark possibility of failure. And so it goes with IF. When I’m actually DOING something (Googling, writing, taking supplements, going to acupuncture, scanning studies online, cycling, whatever), I feel more in control. It gives me a small sense of solace. I have been benched for six of the past eight months, so I’ve had a lot of time to think and worry.

I realize that all of this stressing and wondering and worrying is counterproductive. I know that if I could JUST RELAX it would boost my chances of conception. All I can say is that I’m working on it. It’s a daily process. I have been talking to an IF counselor. I asked for a package of yoga classes for my birthday. I told hubs he could tell his Mom about our IF problems. Just this week I began turning down freelance projects to focus on recharging and having fun on the weekends. I booked a spa trip with my Mom. I recognize that my quest to know WHY may not be as important as I sometimes wish it were. And I’m trying to do positive, Zen-ish things for myself, because I know that mellowness can only help me at this point.

Okay, this is my space and I know I can say what I want to, but I felt I should give you bloggies some background on my last post since the comments were especially, um, poignant for me.

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Eggapalooza (or, how I spent NYD)

Although I feel zero pregnancy symptoms (no sore breasts, no tingly nipples, no crampiness, no stabbing implantation pains, no muscle twinges or tensing, no spotting, no backache, etc), I am being as kind as possible to my body right now, just in case. Which meant no drinking on NYE and, more challenging for me, almost zero cardio.

If you guys have been reading for a while, you know that I am wee bit addicted to the endorphin boost I get from working out. It is my sanity! And despite Dr. C saying that my exercise is not a problem, I have been really conscious about cutting back over the last few months. More easy ellip days and fewer runs. More easy rides on my bike trainer, less weight-lifting. More yoga, less cardio. This has been especially true during the two week wait, during which I’ve never broken a sweat.

So, having only done about 20 wimpy minutes on the ellip on Wednesday and nothing on Thursday, I jumped out of bed on NYD a firecracker of energy. I immediately set to work organizing my dressers and closets, filling trashbags with clothes and shoes I haven’t worn in ages (will ship to my Mom and little sis), stuff that needs to be mended, and stuff to be donated. It took most of the morning and part of the afternoon.

But I was just getting warmed up! Next, I drove to Target (god bless them for being open on a holiday) and bought some organizing bins for all of my present-wrapping materials (which have hitherto lived in random cardboard boxes in my study’s closet). I also picked up two new cute laundry baskets (all these years, we have been using the ghetto plastic ones we’ve had since COLLEGE! and I call myself a grown-up?!).

Back at home, I used the new three-drawer bin to organize my study closet. And then I set to work on my desk drawers, trashing all the unnecessary paperwork and knick-knacks. And then—at around the time we put our just-brined pulled pork dinner in the oven for our Egg & Hubs of Egg NYD dinner—I decluttered our medicine cabinet, bathroom shelves and drawers, which had all become a mess of makeup, lotions, SPF, spilled aspirin, etc etc.

IT FELT AMAZING! Hubs was checking out my handiwork in the bathroom when his eyes zeroed in on a box sitting next to my tampons on the top shelf. Condoms. He grabbed them and shook the box. We both burst out laughing. For years they had been our backup protection if I ever accidently missed a BC pill. Yeah, I was so sure that I’d definitely get knocked up after one or two late pills that we used condoms for a week after any such incident. Kind of unbelievable in retrospect, huh? We threw them in the trash. 🙂

Finally, at about 8:30pm, Eggapalooza came to and end. (That’s what hubs named it about seven hours into the cleaning/organizing frenzy.) I literally crashed on the couch in front of Iron Chef. I slept REALLY soundly last night.

I feel very happy about the state of the house! We have a few home decorating projects I would like to tackle this year (new draperies in the living room and dining room, more lamps), but I’m glad the stuff that bugs me on a daily basis is dealt with. YAY 2010!!!!

Do you ditch exercise during the 2ww? Do you change anything about your life when you’re post-ovulation?

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Prickly prickly

Have I told you guys about the TTC Money Tree I have growing on my back porch? No? Well, I planted it back in September, about when I decided it was important to supplement my gym membership with yoga classes to chill me out on the baby-making front. And boy has the tree grown big and strong. (Another box of fancy-pants OPKs at Walgreens? No prob, I got it!)

Hahaha…

Here’s where this is going. I took some cash from the TTC Money Tree and tried acupuncture last week. And even worse (better?), now I believe in it. My hubs is a teensie bit shocked and appalled that a reasonable, skeptical, RE-going girl like me can actually be putting, um, eggs in this new basket.

I’d been contemplating acupuncture for a few months and found some studies supporting its fertility benefits: promoting healthy female hormones in the body and boosting blood flow to the uterus (click here , here and here for a few abstracts).

Finally, I tried it last Wednesday evening for the first time. My practitioner, Kristen, and talked for an hour about my TTC details and regular ‘ol history. I liked how many questions she asked, and I really liked how well-versed she was with medical terms and Western meds (even dose levels and lining measurements and stuff).

She seemed to glean all the weirdness that is me (I get numb hands and feet a lot, I’m usually cold—except at night when I’m usually hot, I have always had constipation issues, ETC). I changed into loungey pants and a loose button-up shirt and was ready to go. Then she put the needles in me (eeeek!)…in points along my ears, my left wrist, my feet, knees and three near my belly-button. I was scared. I clenched my eyes shut. Continue reading

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A good weekend

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween weekend. Mine was quite productive…I had a lot of WORK to do (wah wah wah), but I did get a bunch done. And I had a couple of nice runs outside. And I made it to YOGA yesterday evening! Yay! My hubs was even busier than I was this weekend, doing a bunch of work on a school project. He was up working until 3am last night, the poor guy. That made it the perfect night for him to cash in on one of the dinners I owe him.

See, for the last few years we’ve played this fun wager game every week during NFL season. We each pick which teams we think will win in all the games being played, and whoever gets more picks right, WINS! The winner gets dinner made by the loser. It is a FUN game. I love football, but I don’t follow it as well as the hubs. He knows more about players and defenses and coaches and injuries…but sometimes I still win. 🙂 This is a win-win game we play because we both love to cook, but it’s nice to be cooked for every once in a while! (And it’s a fun way to follow football season.) Anyway, he did have a victory dinner coming his way, and we decided on Baked Ziti. Mmm. It’s delish. So before yoga I hit the market to get all of the fixins’, then I whipped it up when I got home from class. And, bonus, it’s a one skillet dish (you put it all together on the stovetop then switch it to the oven), so it couldn’t be much easier. I pasted the recipe below. FYI, it’s from one of my fave resources, Cook’s Illustrated.

Baked Ziti

To complete this recipe in 30 minutes, preheat your oven before assembling your ingredients. If your skillet is not ovensafe, transfer the pasta mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish before sprinkling with the cheese and baking. Packaged pre-shredded mozzarella is a real time-saver here. Penne can also be used here.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves , minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
12 ounces ziti (3 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Making the Minutes Count: Measure the water and the pasta before you begin cooking. Prep the Parmesan and basil while the pasta cooks.
  2. Heat Oven: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees.
  3. Simmer Ziti: Combine oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 12-inch, ovensafe nonstick skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, water, ziti, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmer, until ziti is almost tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Add Cheese and Bake: Stir in cream, Parmesan, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over ziti. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes. Serve.

After dinner, I hit the sack. But my poor hubs was burning the midnight oil working on exams. So, we decided not to do the deed yesterday, for the first time in eight days! With all of the negative OPKs, the crazy amount of sex we’ve been having sometimes feels a little bit silly. But, luckily we  enjoy it very much, so it’s not a biggie. 🙂 And this morning, my awesome, cutie-pie hubs asked if we should go ahead and sex it up for good measure. This suggestion came from a guy who was going on four hours of sleep, late to class, and pretty stressed about the day ahead of him. HE IS A GOOD, GOOD EGG!!!

And yes, in case you were wondering, the OPK had yet another faint line today. So far from that dark control line. Argh! I must say, I feel a bit like I’ve been through the ringer, and it’s only Monday! I was SO hoping that the Clomid 50mg dose would register ovulation Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Unforch, my body had other plans in mind. I’m not sure what to think about this. Part of me is like, Oh, well, this happens to some of us, the 100mg dose will do the trick. The other part of me is like, Wait just a minute! Why the heck isn’t this powerful medicine working?! Will it EVER work? I just wanna ovulate!

Anyway. I’m going to try to hit yoga again tonight, because I think I could use the Zen breathing. I don’t know about you guys, but I think about this stuff Way. Too. Much. What in the world did I think about before TTC? It consuuuumes me!

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