Speed bumps

I have not written in quite awhile.  Honestly, I’ve been exhausted and this has not been a priority for me.  However, I do miss writing my thoughts down so I thought I would revisit my blog and give it another go.   After all, I have greatly benefited from others sharing their stories so I like to give back by sharing mine.

Sometimes life gives us a rude awakening.  Right in the middle of “normal” you can find yourself in a situation that you do not even recognize.  You do not recognize the situation or even yourself during these times.  Since having my daughter I have spent a lot of time trying to figure myself out.  In a matter of months, everything I knew about myself changed.  I was a teacher and wife.  Then one day I because a mom.  I am not longer a teacher, a part of me that was a huge part of my identity.  While I am beyond happy to be home with my daughter, I often feel like I am in a bit of an identity crisis.  Adjusting to being a Mom has me trying to figure out who I am all over again.   My daughter is over a year now and feel like I am still trying to adjust to this new life.

Part of working on figuring out who I am, has been working on my anxiety.  Anxiety has been a part of my life for maybe… forever.  I was diagnosed around 10 or 11.   However, I have spent a majority of my life with relatively well-managed anxiety.   When I had my daughter, I struggled a lot with anxiety.  After about 6 months of struggling, I called my OB.  They gave me medication to help.  It did help, I felt really good!  I lost all the baby weight, I was happy, I was able to do a lot more.  Overall, the medicine had helped me get to a more normal state.  However, it caused frequent stomach issues.  I would wake up throughout the night often sick to my stomach.   After several months of hoping my body would grow tolerate of the medicine I decided to call my doctor.  They changed my medicine in hopes it would eliminate the stomach issues while still helping my anxiety.

My stomach stopped hurting.  But I hit a wall and had a pretty nasty reaction to my new medication.

I found it difficult to get out of bed.  I did not feel any emotions.  I felt flat, like life had no highs or lows.  I just felt nothing.  I had frequent unprovoked panic attacks.  For the first time in my life I needed Xanax to help stop panic attacks.  It took me a bit to realize something was wrong.  I put on weight which only further worsened how I feel about myself and caused extra stress.  I became easily frustrated.   I just was not me.  Thankfully my husband and sister recognized that I was not acting like myself.   I avoid going to the doctor as much as I can.  Throughout my pregnancy I felt so bad about myself because of weight gain.  Now that I gained weight from the medicine I felt for sure they would nail me for it.  So I avoided it.  I just wished it all away.  Thankfully, my counselor was able to get me to see a psychologist to take care of my medication.   He has changed my anxiety medication and it has made a world of difference.

I can get in a car and go on a trip with my family without dripping in sweating.  I can function all day without extra medicine.  I feel happy, sad, excited, and most importantly in my world, love.  I feel emotions, something the other medication took from me for awhile.  I feel like I am going to be okay and that I can manage anxiety again.

Bottom line with treating anxiety, it is not a one size fits all treatment.  Not everyone presents the same way and not everyone reacts to treatment the same way. If you struggle with anxiety I encourage you to find what works for you.  For me its a healthy mix of counseling and medication.  Whatever works for you, find it.  As I have found, there can be speed bumps along the way but do not give up on it.  My doctor consistently reminds me that if one medication does not work, there is a list of other ones to try.  He reminds me constantly, I have options.  You have options too.

Accept it…

Accept it…and then challenge it! About 5 months ago I said enough is enough.   I was miserable.     How can you be miserable with a beautiful baby in your arms?  Well… part of it is you keep saying to yourself, “what the hell is wrong with me; I have everything I’ve ever dreamed […]

The Two Week Wait – Day 5

Today is day 5 post transfer of a 5 day blastocyst. By today our embryo should be completely implanted. If it is not implanted there is little to no chance of a continued pregnancy. What I would give to have a microscope to tell me what is going on in there! Has it hatched all the way; has it implanted? Whatever has happened by today will directly reflect the news we hear next week.

Everyday after the retrieval, we received a phone call that told us how our embryos were doing. They were watched and monitored. One of the highest graded one was chosen for the transfer. It was beginning to hatch out of its shell; which is gave us so much hope. I just wish I could get a phone call to tell me, “hey, I am still growing in here.” Just something to get me through the next week and a half. I have been experiencing twinges of pain in my lower abdomen. Could that be implantation? Sure, it could be. It could also be residual pain from the egg retrieval and some very pissed off ovaries. I am experiencing many symptoms that anyone would when they are pregnant. However, I have no idea if it is the pregnancy or the medications. At this point, it is most likely the medications.  It is a cruel mind game at the most pivotal moment of your life.

 I am consumed.
When we started our journey towards figuring out how we would have a family; I learned about the two-week wait. I thought it would be difficult just from reading about it. Now that I am experiencing it, difficult does not even define it. It consumes you. You wonder all day long; am I or am I not pregnant? How are things going in there, in my own body?  I spent day after day watching my follicles grow at my daily appointments during stims. I saw progress everyday. I was proud of my body for stepping up the stress I was putting it under and providing us with what we needed.  Now, I do not know what my body is doing. I just hope it is being nice to our embryo. I hope it is providing a safe and nurturing home.

Kevin and I have been through a lot in our lives and the past couple of months while planning and implementing this has been just as trying.  Our dreams have always been to have children.  We have a 1% chance of conceiving on our own.  While IVF does not guarantee a live birth, it does significantly increase our odds.  This process is everything to us.  It is our lives; it is our future.  So much planning, money, time, energy, and my own body has gone into make our dreams come true.  This process has been everything but easy. However, it is something we would do over and over again to bring our child into this world.

So today is day 5 post transfer. In the infertility world it is often written as 5dp5dt; meaning, 5 days post a 5 day transfer.  This means our embryo grew in the lab for 5 days and now it has been 5 days since it was transferred back into me. Today is a big day because it should be implanted today and if not, it probably will not happen.  We still have over a week to go until we are able to find out if this actually happened.  We are trying to stay busy.  Last night I went to Paint Nite with some friends; that significantly helped a pretty rough day emotionally end on a good note.  Now to continue to find things to keep my mind busy, my heart happy, and things to laugh about each day!

Please say some extra prayers today that everything is doing what we need it to!  Pray for implantation to be complete!  I bet you never thought that would be something you would read or pray for, I know I did not! Please know how much we appreciate it!

To our Embaby: We hope you are warm, safe, nurtured, and most of all we hope you know how much you are wanted and loved.  Please stick! Love, Your overprotective, worry wort of a Mother and your unconditionally loving Father.

This is my painting from Paint Nite last night! A little heart in the middle for the baby we hope to know soon!

This is my painting from Paint Nite last night! A little heart in the middle for the baby we hope to know soon!