Wednesday, January 9, 2013

do more of what you love.

I know my blog has gotten pretty boring as of late. But for me that equates to a busy couple of months at work, as well as a much-needed break from fertility treatments. I'm so happy it's a fresh, new year. I love what the idea of a new year brings -- a clean slate, a new plan of action, and fresh opportunities.

You know those people who have a kid and suddenly --bam-- their blog turns into a BABY blog? I get it. I get that what is going on in your life at the moment, what is important to you, is what you write about.  For me, that's our struggle with infertility and trying to get pregnant. I don't make any apologies for it, and I'm grateful for those who support me in this period of life. Often, it's the only thing I feel like writing about. It's a great form of therapy for me! :-)

For the first couple of months off, I didn't think about anything. I didn't track my period, I didn't know what "day" of my cycle I was on, didn't plan ovulation, sex, or take any pills except my metformin for blood sugar. It was pretty awesome.

Then, in the last month, I started getting nervous. I could see the end in sight, I knew I would have to start making hard decisions very soon. I was so conflicted. I put these unreasonable timelines and expectations on MYSELF - no one else is doing it to me - it is completely self-imposed. Now, I know my husband is chomping at the bit for a baby of our own, but he's not pressuring me to do anything. Sometimes I like to blame him for the pressure I FEEL, but if I'm honest, its pressure I'm putting on myself.

There's a lot I started thinking about in the past month, all revolving around "What is our plan? What is the next step?"

I knew I needed to start doing a few things I'd been talking about doing for a while. So, I decided to just do them and stop thinking about it. Sometimes I get caught up in feeling like I shouldn't have to do these things... why is this SO HARD for me and so EASY for others? It doesn't feel fair, and sometimes I drag my feet, pouting. But I'm trying to change that, knowing that regardless of what I have to go through that others don't, it is for a reason, and I'm keeping my eye on the prize.

First - I scheduled a consult with our RE for next Friday. I'm nervous. We plan to talk to him about a plan, the possibility of IVF later this year, and what to do in the meantime. The only reason I'm nervous is because I sort of know what I want to do, but I'm afraid he'll try to convince me of something else. Also, Eric likes to follow "doctors orders" more strictly than I do, so I'm afraid we'll disagree.

Eric and I sort of agreed on a plan a few weeks ago. We said we would talk to the doctor, and start slow, with maybe just some medication, shots, and IUIs before moving onto IVF. However, I don't really want to waste money on IUIs now. I would rather just take some meds, do acupuncture, and do a few minor things. No IUIs. I feel like those are a waste of money, if nothing is physically wrong with me, which there isn't. I've done one and it didn't work. We'll see what happens. I might agree to try ONE more IUI, but that's it. I'm not against taking letrozole/clomid, FSH shots, and the Ovidrel trigger shot, just to increase the quality of my follicles/eggs/hormone levels.

Along those lines, I'm coming to terms with the fact that our course of action as far as treatment is 70-80% MY decision. Eric is supportive and does offer input, but I've finally realized (with the help of some dear friends) that because it's my body, my emotions, and my time, I have to decide. Eric is along for the ride, but he can't decide for me (as much as I wish he could). That was a hard realization for me, but I think I've finally come to terms with it.

Second - I made an appointment for acupuncture. My first one was today! It went great. I'm so optimistic about this. I have another appointment for next week. It's the first thing I've felt good about in a while. There is so much research on how it increases the chance of pregnancy (especially for people with PCOS, which is what I have) when combined with other Western medicines and treatments. Some info is here. If the only benefit I get from it is reduced stress, I will count it as a success.

Third - I made an appointment with a psychologist. I'm going on Friday for my first appointment. I feel it is important for me to start taking care of my mental health as well as physical health. I'm looking for more of a mind-body approach. Infertility is stressful, no doubt. Having someone to talk to about my fears, concerns, and irrational thoughts will more than likely do a lot of good.

My theme for 2013 is "do more of what you love". For me this means taking the dogs for a walk after work. Sleeping in on Sunday (no problems there!). Having a "cheat" diet day. Getting a pedicure. Taking care of ME, and not feeling guilty about it. Not putting pressure or timelines on myself. Stop beating myself up for how I feel, for how hard this is, for having a bad day. This is my journey... I might as well make the most of it.

Also, being kind to myself. I heard a therapist recently say that if we wouldn't say something to a friend, we shouldn't say it to ourselves. We are SO much harder on ourselves than others. I would never say to a friend going through this, "You're ridiculous. You need to make a decision. If this doesn't work there is no hope." What would I say to a friend? I would say that this is a journey, that you need to take care of yourself, to take one day at a time. Maybe I should take my own advice, eh?

Notice I didn't say that "doing what I love" means drinking an entire bottle of wine after work. ;-) I am desperately trying to cut back on alcohol, as one of my attempts to eliminate all possibilities of something holding us back from getting pregnant. Sure, it doesn't affect other people -- many people get pregnant on a drunken night of fun. But maybe not me. I'm gonna give it a shot. Of course I'm still going to have wine, but hopefully much less than before (except for the week after a period... that week doesn't count ;-).

Also, I decided not to sign up for any half marathons this year. Normally I do two a year - spring and fall - but I want to give it a rest this year. There are several reasons for this, but mostly 1) I don't want the pressure of training for a race, 2) I don't want to be afraid that I might be pregnant after having trained months for a race, and 3) it's just one more thing that might hold me back from getting pregnant. I've been told by my doctor that running shouldn't be a problem, but most people trying to get pregnant aren't training for half marathons either (atleast I haven't met any). I still go running, but only betwen 3 and 5 miles, on average. (I enjoy that distance more too!)

Finally, I've cut processed carbs from my diet by 90%. Seeing that my main diet used to consist of pasta, pasta, pasta, it has been a challenge to come up with new meal ideas. I still eat them occasionally, but in moderation, mostly on the weekend. I'm loving how I feel eating mostly Paleo. I even found some Paleo bread, wraps, and pasta (made with almond/coconut flour)! I have more energy during the day, feel less bloated, have lost weight, and I know this will help with my fertility issues as well.

Cheers to 2013!

P.S. Call me crazy, but I already feel more "relaxed" and "open" - almost like floating - after my first acupuncture treatment today! Placebo affect? Maybe. But I'll take what I can get! ;-)