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I beg to differ…

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Has anyone seen this article floating around, titled “Motherhood: The Big Fat Fuck You.”  ??

I’ve had a few friends on my Facebook newsfeed sharing this.  Every single time, I want to make the comment, “Actually, I think IF and RPL are the big fat FU.”  (Or how about cancer?  SIDS?)  I mean really.

Listen, I understand.  I KNOW that motherhood is a trying, and sometimes thankless job.  I’m not trying to judge.  I know for sure in the future, there will be days when I feel like I’m going to lose my shit over something my child has done.  I think back to the time when I was about 5, and I had long, beautiful hair down to my waist.  Well, I had some clip or something stuck in my hair, and I was bugging my  mom to get it out.  She was on the phone, and shooed me away.  So I found a pair of thinning sheers (my mom went to hairdressing school back in the day) and proceeded to shred my hair to bits to get it out.  A huge chunk of hair on one side of my head was missing.  When my mom figured out what I had done, she called my aunt and asked her if she wanted me. 

So, obviously it’s not all sunshine and roses!  And I am not saying that I will never complain.  But what did people do before Facebook?  I’ll try to voice any complaints the old fashioned way.  I know this is somewhat hypocritical, as on this blog I complain a lot!  But, I feel as though it’s my own little space to do with what I like, so….there.  Ha ha! 

And I try not to be a big Facebook complainer anyway.  Someone’s always going to have it worse.  I have friends that aren’t married yet, or have never been to Europe. Friends who’s parents are dealing with terrible illnesses.  So, if I complain publicly of Switzerland’s lack of a Target, I’m sure I’d get a mega eye-roll from a lot of folks! (And rightly so!)   Once in a while, I’ll let something fly, but then I get people jumping all over my back for being a “complainer” so it’s just best to do it elsewhere!  (Like here, my own personal slice of the internet.) 

I wonder how many other women might view this article as a personal attack?   (As many things seem to be when you are dealing with certain issues.)  Mothers who have lost a child to death.  Mothers who have an autistic child, and might never hear the word “Mom” come from that child’s lips.  And yes, mothers yet to be. 

Maybe some will say I am being too sensitive.  Well, damn right I am!  Sorry (not sorry)  if everything I have been through in the last 2 and a half years has made me just a bit sensitive. 

Perspective, The Swiss Wife Style

Feeling good

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What a week I had last week!  On Wednesday, I had to get an Iron IV.  It was my 2nd time.  For some reason, my body has not been able to hold on to iron.  I’ll get tested again in October, after I get back from my vacation, so see if my levels have improved. 

Then Thursday I got my tattoo

And on Saturday night we spent the night with our friends at their chalet up in Nendaz.  But by the time Saturday rolled around, I was not feeling like a happy camper.  I felt so sick!  I had this sick feeling in my stomach that lasted for days, and was accompanied by a raging headache 90% of the time.  I did manage to enjoy myself though. 

Us with one of the dogs of our friends.  The best dogs ever!

Us with one of the dogs of our friends. The best dogs ever!

I didn’t know if it was the iron, or the fertility drugs that were causing me to feel so gross, but it really sucked!  In the past, the Puregon (FSH) has given me headaches, but not as bad as the one I dealt with for 5 days!  I was so miserable, and it lasted into the beginning of this week.  Finally, on Wednesday, I began to feel more normal, and as of today, those symptoms are gone.  Although now they are replaced by lovely Progesterone symptoms!  But let me back up the train…

This past Monday I had an appointment at the clinic to get a follicle scan, following another week of Puregon.  I had 2 that were mature, and 2 more that would be by the time I O’d.    So I don’t know if that means that I O’d 4 eggs, or 2…or what?! 

So now we wait.  I’m on progesterone for the first time, because I requested it.  My LP was only 11 days last cycle, so I felt that was a bit short.  It’s been varying a lot lately, which I don’t like.  When I asked about it, the doc basically said “Well, I don’t see a need for it.”  But then she went on to say that my progesterone has never been tested before!  Um, what?!  Isn’t that usually the first thing that is tested?  Now, I may have had it tested waaaayy back in the day, after MC 1, and I was still with a regular OB.  But upon looking back in my records from the fertility clinic, I found that my post-ovulatory progesterone has never been tested!  I was quite shocked.  The only record I have of it being tested was at the beginning of my last pregnancy, last fall.  (And I had to request it then too!)  It was normal at that time. 

Oh, one more thing…when I asked the doc if, since we’d be leaving for vacation within days of finding out whether or not this cycle was successful,  it would be a problem traveling with Clexane (heparin) should I get a bfp.  I was met with a blank stare.  She asked me to clarify. 

“Umm….well you said last time that during my next pregnancy I should be on blood thinners…?” 

Pause as she looks back into her records. 

Now, ok…I don’t expect my doctor to know my favorite color or food, but I would damn-well expect that she remember the treatment she prescribed to me!  As she looked back, I am almost certain I heard her murmur under her breath, “Ah yes…3 miscarriages.” 

Pause for shock.

I know she is new, but COME ON.  I would happily sit it in the waiting room for 5 extra minutes, if it meant my doc was skimming my record to be sure that she was caught up on what is going on, and my history!  And to give me even an illusion that she cares about me, and whether or not I will ever have a baby.  She did apologize for the oversight, but still.  It did absolutely nothing to help quell the feeling that I have been getting shitty, and sub-par treatment here. 

One good thing as of late, I wrote to our insurance company to find out what, if anything would be covered should I seek some treatment while in the US.  And I think they will cover stuff!  Even up to an IUI!  I just have to get an estimate of how much it will cost.  (Any bets as to more or less than it would cost here?)  So, if we’re not successful this cycle, I’m going to contact some clinics in Jacksonville Florida, and get a quote for costs for a  FULL work-up of testing while I am there visiting my parents for Christmas.  And maybe even an IUI?  Anyone reading from the Jacksonville area who has a recommendation of the best clinic?  I think in my short research I saw 3 that looked promising. 

12 days til vacation!  Will it be just the 2 of us, or will we have a stow-away?  Between the possible 4 eggs, and the addition of progesterone, I’m feeling a bit optimistic.  But I don’t want to get my hopes up too much.  Time will tell!

Present to myself.

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On Thursday, I bought myself something pretty. 

 

New Tattoo, The Swiss Wife-StyleI had been wanting a new tattoo for a pretty long time, and made this appointment months ago.  To be honest, I didn’t think I’d actually be able to get it.  I thought for sure I’d be pregnant by the time the appointment rolled around.  Ha! 

So, why the Koi?  Well, I knew I wanted something to signify the struggle I’d be through for the last few years.  With my short (Google) research, I figured that Koi were a representation of fighting through a tough time, and having the strength and power to achieve your goals.  I knew I wanted it paired with a lotus.  The lotus flower starts it’s life in the mud below the surface of the water, growing higher and higher towards the light.  Like a lot of things in tattoo culture, I think it can have many meanings.  But for me it was an additional sign of perseverance, and overcoming obstacles. 

The original idea of what I wanted grew and evolved as I chatted about it with the tattoo artist.  I found the lovely Christophe Margot through his website.  I was shocked to find a website in English, and someone who specialized in the style I was looking for so close by.  It seemed like fate!  I contacted him, and we set up an appointment to chat.  After our initial meeting, I made my appointment for what seemed like ages away.  This guy is in high demand!  I arrived for my appointment last week pretty nervous.  This would be my biggest tattoo by far, and I knew the next few hours would not be easy. 

I really can’t sing his praises enough.  He is just a wonderful person, and as you can see a very skilled artist.  He has a great passion for what he does.  He is as gentle as he can be, and always asking if you are doing ok.  He loves music, and I was treated to everything from Johnny Cash to Kevin Costner!  He charmingly asked me to clarify a few English phrases from the songs we were listening to.  I’ll admit, I always wasn’t in the right mind to answer, as it sometimes took all I had to try and block the pain from my head. 

At times the pain was quite bearable.  In the beginning, I had the shakes for some reason. I think I had too much nervous energy going through me.  My hands were sweating buckets by the time we took our first break.  But we pressed on.  I never cried out though, or fidgeted too much (I hope!)  After about 4 hours, we had to stop.  I’m sure tattooing someone for 4 hours can really take a toll on the artist as well.  I’ll admit, a part of me (uh…ok, a pretty big part!) was glad we couldn’t finish it all in one day.   We set my next appointment for November. 

Upon arriving home, I had to lie down for a bit.  I had the shakes and was not feeling that great.  I figured that I was coming down off of some sort of adrenaline high.  When I was feeling better, I Googled, “Adrenaline crash after…” and I didn’t even need to finish typing before “tattoo” was filled in automatically by Google.  So, I guess it’s a real thing.  It makes sense, all of your energy is focused on trying NOT to feel what is going on, and your body is so tense for so long.  I had never experienced this before, as like I said, all of my other tattoos are quite small in compassion.  I wanted to stay home and chill, but we had dinner plans at 8pm with friends, and I made it with no problem. 

I was instructed to shower that night, and re-cover the tattoo with plastic overnight and the next day if I wanted to.  He also told me what cream to use on it for the next week.  It was a little sore the first few days, but not bad at all really.  Now it’s in that fabulous flaky and itchy stage.  It’s really a weird thing to have an actual scaly fish on your body!  But honestly, the “recovery” has not been as bad as I thought it would be.  I believe this to be another testament to a good tattoo artist. 

So, there you have it!  I’m pretty proud of myself.  It may sound dumb, but my confidence grows with every physical trial I go through.  It started out with me getting used to having blood drawn more and more often.  Then it was painful fertility procedures, and minor surgeries.  And now it’s doing nightly injections.  And if I do get pregnant again, it will mean more painful nightly injections of heparin.  Getting through this tattoo showed me that I am tougher than I thought I was.  Do I still want drugs for medical procedures?  Hell yes!  For some reason, medical stuff just skeeves me out so much more.  But as apprehensive as I am about heparin injections in the future (and hell, giving birth hopefully some day) sitting through 4 hours of tattooing has given me confidence to face these things, perhaps a bit less nervously. 

 

On to the next one.

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So, after a few days of “Am I?  Am I not?” AF showed up in all her glory, early I might add, which was considerate because at that meant that we could start with injections again already, yesterday.  (Did that sentance make sense?  It’s before 9am, so forgive me.)

I was so mad at the stupid IC tests, because after 2 or so days with no 2nd line, we started to see 2nd lines again, but only of some of the tests. 

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We thought that the test on the bottom, and the one 2 up from that were positive.

Since these tests were causing so much confusion, I cashed out my husband’s 401k and bought some “real” tests at the pharmacy.  (Ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much!)

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“Will that be cash, credit or limb?”

After a nice glaringly-white negative, (plus with the arrival of AF) I emailed the clinic to tell them I needed to start another round of Puregon and that I needed to talk to my doctor because I wasn’t sure how the timing would work out, given that we were leaving on vacation on September 10th.  They called me yesterday morning to inform me that the good doctor was on vacation herself, and I wouldn’t be able to see her until next Monday.  Super.  I’m assuming I’ll get a follicle scan at that time.  They’ve upped my dosage for this cycle to 75iu or mm or whatever the measurement is.  I only had enough in my old vial left for 3 shots, so I had to go to the pharmacy yesterday to get more.  Well that turned into a huge ordeal, and I have to go back today to pick it up.  It’s a good thing too, because after we did our shot yesterday (didn’t feel a thing, thanks hubby!) I opened the pen to see how much I had left, and proceeded to drop and break the vial.  :(  Way to go! 

In other news, starting this evening, I’ll actually be dog-free for a few days!  And we are actually going to go out on a date tonight!  We’re going to go to the movies, and I can’t tell you when the last time that happend!  We’re going to see Guardians of the Galaxy, and I’m pretty excited.  Also, popcorn.  (Soooo not as good as popcorn in the US, but what can you do.)

On Thursday, I’m treating myself to something.  It’s  a surprise, stay tuned!   Let’s just say it’s a “not getting pregnant consolation prize.”  And that evening we will meet friends for dinner at the Thai restaurant at the Alpha Palmier hotel in Lausanne. If you live here and you’ve never been there, do yourself a favor and go!  It’s great.  It’s almost like stepping into a New York City restaurant, and the food is delicious as well!  And then this weekend we will have a mini-getaway with our friends to their chalet in Nendaz, one of the mountain towns nearby.  So, it’s shaping up to be a nice week!

Also, I’m working on something that I could use your help with.  If you’re interested in participating in a way non-scientific study regarding your journey with IF, and wouldn’t mind answering a few questions, let me know! 

Keeping sane.

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I’m sitting at my dining room table.  It’s 10:42 am.  We’ve just come in from playing outside.  It’s yet another rainy and COLD day in August.  I’ve turned all the lights out, in an attempt the get the little ones to nap. 

Sometimes I think, after dealing with all these dogs for so long, mother-hood might be easy in comparison! 

I kid, I kid…but only a little. 

So, the last few days, I’ve been testing out my trigger.  Yesterday, I took an extra test in the afternoon, and thought I saw the line coming back.  (It had gone away maybe 2 days ago.)  I thought maybe I was being crazy, or willing the line there, and my eyes were playing tricks on me.  But when my husband came home from work, he saw it right away too.  I said, “Ok well, we’ll see what happens in the morning.”  But you know what happened this morning?  Nothing.  There’s no second line.  I don’t know what’s going on.

Have you ever tested out a trigger, had the 2nd line go away, come back, then go away again? 

As you can imagine, this is playing with my emotions.  (And emotions being played with, that are already so very fragile is not a nice thing.) 

So this is why I’m sitting here, in the dark, just having some me time for a little bit. 

I’m so ready for vacation!

Breakdown of a month.

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A guide on how to live your life, when dealing with IF.

CD=Cycle Day.  DPO=Days Past Ovulation.

CD 1:  AF (“Aunt Flo”) arrives.  In the back of your mind you think to yourself, “Well maybe I’m just like those women on I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant, and somehow have negative pregnancy tests AND get my period, even though I’m really secretly pregnant.”  Have visions of using gas station bathroom nine months from now, and pooping out a baby.

CD 2:  Come to grips with reality, and a large pina colada with extra Malibu.

CD 3:  Start injectables!  “Here honey, stab me with this.”

CD 4:  Block more friends/family on Facebook who have kids or are pregnant.  Who do those bitches thing they are anyway?!

CD 5:  Debate dying hair hot pink, or getting large tattoo on abdomen that says “Barren Wasteland.”

CD 6:  Force husband/wife/partner to watch Dirty Dancing, You’ve Got Mail, and/or Pretty Woman.  Again.

CD 7:  You’ve made it through the week. Congrats.   Probably safe to wear white shorts or pants again.

CD 8:  Start “checking the oil” again.  Spend way too much time in the bathroom.

CD 9:  Bite partner’s head off because they brought you the mail in the wrong order.  Blame it on the drugs.

CD 10:  Ultrasound time.  How many follicles are looking good?!  Start getting hopes up for this cycle.

CD 10-13 ish:   Trigger shot, time to get busy.

CD 14:  Officially in the TWW.  Start pinning nursery items to secret Pinterest board.

CD 15, 1dpo :  “If I get pregnant now, my due date will be…”

CD 16, 2dpo:  Watch internet video about conception for the 100th time.  This could be happening inside you RIGHT NOW!  (And damn, how does ANYONE get pregnant?!  This makes it seem impossible.)

CD 17, 4dpo:  Someone announces on FB that their husband just sneezed on them, and they got pregnant.

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CD 18, 3dpo:  Pin passive-aggressive memes on Pinterest.

CD 19, 5dpo:  Post-ovulation exhaustion sets in.

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Whoops. Every. Day.

CD 20, 6dpo: Ask your husband/wife “What do we have for dessert?”  Consider divorce when they bring you a piece of fruit.

CD 21, 7dpo: “I’m going to be strong this cycle.  No early testing for me!”

CD 22, 8dpo:   Start testing early.

CD 23, 9dpo:   Take test that you just peed on into every available light in your house, including outside, to look at it in the natural sunlight.  Ignore neighbors giving you funny looks.

CD 24, 10dpo:f7b47e8da8787c2422d0fe0734294696160e8f94857c3a221fac4c7b7961334c

 

CD 25, 11dpo:  Remember that the very first BFP you got (how innocent life was then!) was on 11dpo.

CD 26, 12dpo:  “If it isn’t positive by now, it ain’t gonna be positive.”

CD 27, 13dpo:  Feel fairly confident that you’re doing no harm with that one two three glasses of wine you have at dinner.

CD 28, 14dpo:  Last ditch effort of hope glimmers in your mind.

CD 1:  Repeat.

 

How to not fall into a funk.

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(Or try not to, anyways)

As we live this IF/TTC life, it can feel like we’re just living from:  AF—>Trying—>Ovulation—>TWW—>AF.  It’s a terrible cycle, and when you’re stuck in it, the rest of life seems to not matter.  You’re just living in 2 week increments, and anything that is not part of those little “milestones” can feel unimportant, or even a bit overwhelming.  (A friend is having a birthday party?  “GAAHHD, don’t they know I’m TTC over here?!!! Why can’t anything in my life go right??”  Dramatic?  Yes.  Accurate?  Most likely.)

Now, maybe a lot of these won’t apply to you, because you work out of the home, or have a full social life.  (Or, you live near a Target, because one’s life can never really be that bad if you live near a Target.)  But if you’re like me (You abandoned everything about the life you knew to live in a foreign country too?!) home all day, and don’t really have any friends, (::eye roll::, gaaahhdd, my life is sad.)  then many of these might help you out!

Ok, let me preface this by saying, these are just little tips I’ve come up with.  Things that when I actually do them, make my days seem a little brighter, and easier to deal with!  (And make me feel like I have my shit together, and I’m not a crazy, hormone-driven wackadoo.)  Now, how often I do them…that’s another story.  Of course we all know what we should do to help ourselves be happier, right?!.  But I guess it’s having the will-power to do them that is the hard thing.

Well, in case you are one of those people for whom the power of suggestion works, here you go.  If you are like me, you’ll just roll your eyes and say “Yeah, ok!”  And lay down to play some more Candy Crush.

1.  Make your bed.  Seriously, it seems like the dumbest thing, but on the days that I make my bed, my spirits seem to be a bit more lifted.  See this video:

This video is long, but worth a look!  If you don’t feel like giving away 20 minutes of your time, just watch the part where he talks about making your bed.  It makes total sense.  Pretty sure it’s in the beginning-ish.

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Ahh, serenity: Thy name is a made bed.

2.  Brush teeth, wash face, Get dressed!  Even if you have absolutely nowhere to go that day, just put some clothes on.  Even if it’s a clean pair of yoga pants, a sports bra, and a t-shirt.

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Hey, I never said it had to be high fashion. Ok, off to cheer for Team McDonald’s now!

You’ll feel better about yourself if your partner comes home from work, and you’re not still in your pajamas.  (I speak from experience. )  And it might even inspire you to:

3. Get some exercise.  All those PMS cupcakes aren’t going to work themselves off.  Plus the endorphins are good for you :)

4. Get up and at em’ early.  Like I said above, even if you have nowhere to go, at least find some excuse to go outside.  If you have a dog, perfect.  Dogs need at least a good hour walk a day anyway. Have your breakfast, your coffee, watch some GMA, (make your bed! ) then find a reason to get out of the house!  Even if you’re just going for a walk, or running some errands.

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Example of what I see when I go for a walk. How can I have a bad day when I see this? (Trust me, I’ll find a way.)

5. Don’t sit down.  I can’t tell you how many days (Ok, yes I can.  It’s every day.) around 2pm, I say to myself, “Oh…I’m pretty beat.  I’m just gonna play some Candy Crush on the couch for ohhhh, 10 minutes.” HA!  Lies!  Next thing I know, it’s almost 5pm.  Like, wtf.  I feel worthless.  Try to avoid this feeling all together!  Why don’t you:

6. Clean.  I know, I know…ugh!  But, nothing adds to the feeling of depression like seeing your home get slowly and slowly more…gross.  Start small.  (See number 1.)  As you complete some simple tasks, you’ll probably be inspired to do more.

7. Put the tablet/phone down!  Blah!  I can tell you right now, I more often than not do NOT follow this one!  Try to tell yourself you’ll only check FB, blogs, email whatever on your actual computer.  For some reason, it seems to cut down the time-suck that is the internet.  Oh, and TRY not to bring your tablet into the bedroom at night!  For so many reasons, this is just detrimental.  Read instead.  (Or, ya know…try to make a baby!)

So there you have it.  (Lucky number) 7 tips, that might help you to have a better day.  Any that you would like to share??

Oh crap, it’s almost 4pm, gotta go make my bed!  ;)  TTFN as Tigger always says!

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