Tag Archives: Zen

Hihi!

Push publish, push publish, push publish. That’s my blogging mantra.

Disclaimer: I know these are going to be the world’s most annoying updates for all of my IF friends still in the @#*&$#@(* trenches. I love you all and apologize in advance.

The update from my corner of the universe is that all is well, and all is nutso. All at once..

• Hubs has been criss-crossing the country for the past two weeks interviewing for jobs, and he will continue to do so until the end of February. Last week, his first on the road, I struggled big-time with the whole single parent slash full-time working Mom to two 10-month-olds thing. (No sympathy please! Big props to all the folks out there who do it every.single.day!!) I just felt perpetually frazzled and like my heart was always beating faster. One morning, Champ tipped over a lamp in the living room. I was one step too slow to prevent the tippage. One worst-Mom-ever step. He was FINE, it didn’t fall in his direction or anything, but I was not. I was thiiiiiiiis close to crying. That night, in a frantic blur of a bus ride home to relieve the nanny, I was pick-pocketed. It was a mess (it continues to be a mess). I made a promise to myself that night that I would SLOW DOWN, remember to breathe, take an extra moment to gather myself, etc.

* And then the next morning as I settled into my bus seat en route to work and couldn’t find my iPhone, I was certain I’d dropped it on the sidewalk as I’d sprinted a block to catch the bus—so much for slowing down—thankfully it was at home sitting in the charging station, but I admit I did well up with tears on that bus ride. GET IT TOGETHER, GET IT TOGETHER, YOU’VE GOT TWO BABIES DEPENDING ON YOU, YOU CAN’T LOSE YOUR SH*T NOW!!! That’s all I could think last week.

• On the upside, the babies do not seem to be effected by my general aura of Very Frazzled Woman.

• This week went A LOT better—no wallet stolen, no broken lamp, no cell phone dramatics (please no jinxies, haha)—mostly because my Mom came to visit and with her help I didn’t feel like I was baking in a pressure cooker.

• Much to my dismay, because I truly love my job, I am feeling verrrrry blah about work lately. This really set in after the holidays. I had the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s with the babies and it was utter bliss. I realized in that week HOW MUCH they change every single day and how wonderful it is to be PRESENT for those changes….it was hard-hard-hard to go back to the office and leave them under someone else’s care. (I adore our nanny, it’s not about that.) I have recently experienced actual physical jealousy toward stay at home moms—even though I know what an incredibly exhausting and difficult job it is.

• My current work malaise is probably one of those cliche cases of the grass-is-always-greener. Also, it’s freezing outside and dark/gray and it’s just kind of a bummie of a time of year. [Side note: Please let hubs snag a job, please please please. It’s a tough job market and a competitive field. We are so hoping something comes together.]

• As for the babies, they are as awesome and amazing as you could possibly imagine. They light up my life in endlessly wonderful ways. The amount I have belly-laughed since they entered the world is astounding. I love their sweet baby smells, their smiles, their laughs, their splashing in the tub. I love the way they clutch at my shirt and whimper and bury their faces in my neck as I lower them into their cribs for bed at night. I love watching them on the baby monitor as they stand up at the place where their cribs almost meet and babble to each other and hand toys back and forth. I love how they scrunch up their faces and snort and smile and bounce with excitement (haha, it’s true) on their tip toes as I come into their room every morning at dawn. I love how they crawl all over me, and how they bring me books to read, and how they love to play Rolly Poly on the floor with me as the sun rises. I love eveything about them with every ounce of my being. I am so so so lucky to be living this life.

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Whirlwind

NYC was a wonderful distraction. We had a WHIRLWIND weekend—there is no other way to describe it—of seeing family and friends and eating amazing food and going to holiday parties and laughing til our stomachs hurt. 🙂 Some of my college girlfriends even got together and threw me a mini baby shower. They are awesome girls, I felt so loved and supported. And Baby A and Baby B received their first gender-specific onesies!!! Plus lots and lots of books (I have smart girlfriends, haha).

I think it was the very first wedding where I was stone cold sober (obviously) and I must say that was really fun! Wedding cake tastes extra, extra delicious when you can reallllllly taste it. The wedding was a college friend’s who is older than hubs and me, so most of the guests were friends who were a couple of years ahead of us at school…..there were lots of pregnant ladies and EVERY SINGLE COUPLE at our table had little kids at home. I felt so so so so so so lucky that we are where we are—22 weeks today and feeling so blessed and happy and in love with our twinsies—otherwise it could’ve been a really tough evening of hearing about pregnancy and babies. We were seated next to college friends who had twin boys two years ago. She had a realllllllly tough pregnancy and it definitely made me count my lucky stars that we have gotten so far with me feeling good (knock on wood). It was also helpful to talk to her about gear, etc.

I powered through until the after-party at 12:30am, when I finally had to get the heck out of dodge. Hubs walked me most of the way home through the drizzly cold night, and then I INSISTED that he let me finish the walk alone so he could go back and catch the end of the party with our friends. I had changed into my flats, but darnit if I still didn’t SPRAIN MY ANKLE and fall to the ground about a block after leaving hubs. Fortunately I landed on my side and the only casualties were my glasses (which were crushed on impact because they weren’t in a case because I slipped them into my tiny clutch), my knee, my elbow and, sadly, my ankle—which is swollen and blue. I was so terrified I’d hurt the babies that I didn’t even feel the aches and pains as I hobbled the last block home. Luckily, I felt a few gentle baby bumps as I settled into bed and my tum wasn’t involved in the fall. But still…..scary.

The only downside of the weekend was that we got stuck overnight  on Sunday thanks to the snow storm that swept through Chicago while we were away. But the major upside was that we got to spend even more time with family and friends and since we were staying on the fold-out couch at hubs’s brother’s apartment, we didn’t have to shell out for a hotel room or anything.

But, it is SO GOOD to be home. Where I can get up 5x a night without worrying about waking up hubs’s brother and wife. Where a cat is not pouncing on the bed (apparently I am NOT USED to cats during the night!) and freaking me out. Where our shower has amazing water pressure. Where we have a (new) humidifier in the bedroom to help with my chronic congestion. Ahhhhhhhhh, home sweet home. 🙂

Tomorrow is our big Level II ultrasound with the MFM. I am feeling somewhat anxious about this appointment (shocker, no?)…..mostly because I feel like every time you go under the microscope, so to speak, they can’t help but find something wrong. There really has to be something to the “ignorance is bliss” saying, you know? But I’m trying to see the upside and be “zen zen zen zen” about it all….that we get another opportunity to see our babies. That we get to meet an MFM and have her look EVERYTHING over (with me and the babies). Etc etc.

The truth is that I would really rather not do this. The anatomy scan ultrasound is long, uncomfortable and incredibly stressful. (They will be looking at both babies again, and even more intensely than last week.) But it must be done! C’mon babies, I know you are healthy and perfect. We love you so very very very much!!!! Zen zen zen zen.

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Zen zen zen zen

I have been so anxious about this 12 week check-up that it’s kind of out of control. At least a few times a day  I say to hubs, “Are the babies okay? Are they growing exactly like they should? Are they healthy?” And he calmly says, “Yes.” And then I say, “But how do you knoooooow?” And then I get online and google random crap like “weight gain during first trimester twins” (because I’ve LOST weight and this book I’m reading says you should gain, like, 10 pounds by 12 weeks and 20 pounds by 20 weeks!) and attempt to freak myself about OTHER stuff…because it feels better than worrying about whether the babies grew this month, and how they will fare in the NT Scan and what my blood work looked like from the appointment at the genetic counselor’s office last week.

Yes, I am insane. I think the anxiety worsens as the appointment approaches, ever noticed that?

Here is what else I do to ACTUALLY chill me out.

Warm baths. Oh, my gosh. Ever since the nurse suggested I take a bath the night after my pap, to try to clear out the scary dark discharge, I’ve been totally obsessed. I fill the tub with warm water and bubble bath, light some candles, bring in a waterbottle of cold water and a magazine, and just CHILL. It is awesome you guys! Um, I even took TWO BATHS yesterday, that’s how helpful this ritual is. Plus, it helps get rid of the disgusting bits of brown Crinone that are still coming out, even though I stopped taking the prog supps on Saturday.

Meditation. During my final infertilty cycle  I went to an AWESOME place called Pulling Down the Moon for weekly (sometimes twice weekly) meditation classes geared specifically toward infertility. It was sooooo soothing and cathartic. Unfort, my job has evovled in such a (sucky) way that it’s next to impossible to make it those classes in the evenings, but I am still listening to my meditations on my bus ride to and from work. I’m thinking of downloading the Circle+Bloom pregnancy meditations, but I dare not pull the trigger until after Wednesday’s appointment.

Running. I am literally shuffling, not running, along right now and I max out at about 25 minutes. From weeks six to 11 I was running about five mornings a week. (Yes, my OB-GYN 100% cleared me.) For the past week, I have been sleeping in more and generally choosing rest over running. But last night I went for an evening jog with hubs and it felt SO GOOD to breathe in the cold, fresh fall air, see the changing leaves, ohh and ahh at the grey and crashing waves in the lake. Hubs totally had to jog ahead of me because I take it soooo slowly right now. But it was still really fun and centered me.

T-minus 46 hours til our check-up. Please Lord, let everything be okay. We love these sweet babies—who are literally the most important thing in the absolute world to us—and are praying and hoping with every cell in our bodies that they are big and strong and healthy.

Zen zen zen zen.

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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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I surrender

It was 7:30am this morning and my legs dangled from the cold ultrasound exam table as I waited for the tech to find my name (Egg, Good) in the database. She went directly for the right ovary, where Scrappy had been just a month ago. “Nothing there,” she said.

And then I breathed.

**********

It was 1:30pm this afternoon and it was just me, my ridiculously long memo of questions, a notebook and pen in the consult room. I tapped my feet. There was a newborn baby cradled by her adoring parents in the hallway. I could hear the cooing from my room.

I breathed.

Right on schedule, Dr. K came in. She has long dark hair, a kind and beautiful face, a quick and confident way of speaking, and an easy smile.

“I’ve been reviewing your history and treatment and here’s the thing: You are complicated,” were the first words out of her mouth [see sidebar at right]. Her off-the-cuff thought in our mini-consult during that fateful u/s about five weeks ago—that this all could be traced back to chronic exercise—didn’t jive with her examination of my blood work-up. High-ish testosterone, almost like a PCOSer except without a single additional PCOS symptom. Low-ish to VERY low LH, like a chronic exerciser except my BMI rocks and I have such awesome estrogen-producing ability that I persistently develop cysts. I’m all over the map! A complete puzzle!

I feel like a patient on the TV show House, which I’ve recently become addicted to.

Last week I had a nightmare about this consult. In my dream I said to Dr. K: “I am frustrated! I’ve been treated at this clinic for eight months and I’ve only ovulated once!” That felt so good to say out loud, I remembered as I woke up with tears streaming down my face. So today, in our consult, I said it.

And then I breathed.

The plan: After I stop BCPs and get my period, Gonal-F 112.5 nightly, just as Dr. C suggested. BUT, also an Rx for Luveris, a pure LH inject, to be taken starting CD8 if follicle response sucks. Which it might. Because “at this point we are literally shooting in the dark with you.” And then Progesterone support if ovulation can be induced. Because nothing is a sure thing. There’s the possibility of no maturing follies, and there’s the possibility of over-stimming. It’s best to think of this round of injects as diagnostic. And to brace myself for cysts in June.

Just breathe.

A chance is good. No matter what pain might be in my near future (canceled for no response, over-stimming, OHSS, BFN, thin lining), I like that we’re going deeper than “and now, Gooooonal-F because that’s what every patient who doesn’t get knocked up on Clomid gets!” I like the LH idea. And, yes, please bring on the Progesterone. I need all the help I can get. If I’m complicated, it seems reasonable that my injects cycle might also need to be complicated.

I don’t know how I will respond to injects. My REs don’t know how I will respond. There are no answers. I cannot Google my way out of this one.

And so, I am telling you now, I surrender.

I will do my best to enjoy my wonderful life and just let Dr. K and her injectables do their best to help me conceive. I haven’t believed this whole “I will have a baby someday”–notion in such a very long time. I haven’t allowed myself to. I don’t even remember what hoping feels like. What if I put all of my energy into melting away this diamond-hard protective layer I’ve built around myself? What if I allowed myself to think I might be one of the lucky ones who will be knocked up someday, somehow? What then?

What if I were to chill? What if I were to be positive? What if I were to cut myself some slack? What if I were to let someone else worry about me?

What if I were to give hope room to breathe instead of always, constantly, persistently, chronically stifling it?

What then?

I will, I will, I will, I will, I will.

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