Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Pill That Packs a Punch!


Let's talk about Met.formin - the little pill that is trying to kill me.  Prescribed by my Reproductive Endocrinologist it was intended to help treat my PCOS....

If it doesn't kill me first.

I can honestly say that I've had this prescription for about four years now which  I've started...and I've stopped.  Multiple times.  Last fall Dr. H said he wanted me on it for four months prior to our IVF cycle as recent data shows a slight increase in IVF success rates for PCOS'ers who were on the medication.

But I couldn't do it.  The side effects are just that horrible.

I was told the solution is to start with one pill for a week...increase to two pills the second week...increase to three pills the third week...and so on.  Yeah right.  I couldn't get beyond one pill. And that's with cutting out fatty foods, refraining from alcohol and changing up the dose time to see what works best for my stomach.

Anyone have experience?

If so, how did you survive the insane headaches, stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea?  I lost 10 pounds the first week but since I wanted to go further than 5 feet from the bathroom, I stopped taking it and wouldn't you know - the 10 pounds quickly came back.

Give me your advice if you know anything about Met.formin (and even if you don't).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure

I was sitting on the train today on my way home from work and an article came up on my iPad that perked my attention.  It was all about weight gain attributed to fertility treatments.

Beyond the obvious, there were some light bulb moments for me as I was reading the article.  I have a goal to (quickly) lose those extra 40 pounds before we proceed with... whatever we decide to proceed with...but as I read the article I couldn't help but self-assess. 

Where exactly did those 40 pounds come from?!

Maybe it's been all of the meds/hormones/demon blood that I've willingly injected into my body.  Maybe it's been the PCOS.  Maybe it's been depression (Gasp. Shock. Awe.  The article seriously made me pause on that one!  Am I possibly depressed?!).  Maybe it's based on the fact that I'm a lazy housewife. Or that I'm pushing 40 (did I just write that?!). Or the fact that there is dust on my treadmill.  Or that I work my brain so hard that I just want to crawl into bed when I get home at 7pm every night.

Maybe it's a combo of all of the above.

But more importantly, how do I get rid of the effects?!

Which made me curious.  What had been your experience with infertility weight gain/loss?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hope On!

Pardon my absence.

I've been "offline" on another self imposed sabbatical which has been nice. I wish that I could say that I went on a great vacation or something... but in reality, I've just been quietly living my life.

I have four friends right now who recently delivered 26-29 week old babies and I'm not going to lie- it's been tough. Moms and babies are all doing great (thankfully!) but if you have ever held a tiny lifeless body in the palm of your hands... you will understand how deeply the images and information hurts. Pictures, posts and comments seem like they are everywhere and it makes me ache in an indescribable way. Throw Mother's Day on top of it and I figured that the best medicine was to go unplugged.

That said...

Last night as I was laying in bed I thought back on my life thus far and I realized something big.

My biggest "stuff" has come from failure.  And by "stuff" I mean...success.  Simply put:  my biggest success has come from failure.

That sounds crazy, I know.  But it's true.  It made me realize in those quite moments as I was thinking about it that there is a reason why I am here.  I may not understand it.  I may not like it.  I may not get it now...or in 5...or even in 50 years.  Maybe I won't even understand it until I cross to the other side and open my arms to that little boy (because that is what I believe that I will do)...but I know there there is a reason why I am here.

Right now.

Like this.

If Heavenly Father wanted someone to do this infertility and infant loss thing better...with a lot more grace...I'm sure that he could find plenty of women (and as a matter of fact, He does). But here I am. 

For a reason.

And so I learn about patience. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What You Need, When You Need It, Over and Over and Over Again

Do you ever read something really good and think, "why the heck didn't I write that?!"  That's how I felt when I read The Actual Pastor's Ten Words That Describe Infertility.  It was sent to me yesterday by a dear friend and, in my humble infertile opinion, it's spot on.

So good in fact, that I want to re-post in its entirety just so you can be sure to read it... 

"Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about the hilarious and exasperating journey of parenting small children. But for seven harrowing years of infertility, Mary and I would have given anything to have children, no matter how hard it was.

Here are ten words I would use to describe how infertility feels:

1. Lonely. We saw couple after couple get pregnant before us, our best friends included. When they told us, we high-fived them, then we went home, and hardly knew what to say to each other. We felt lost, sad, and even lonelier than before. We were excited for them; we were just very sad for us.

It’s okay to go home and cry your eyes out when your friends get pregnant.

2. Exposed. Everybody wants to give you advice, and some people say incredibly stupid things. My favorite: “You just need to stop trying so hard!” Some people want to know every excruciating detail of what you’re doing to get pregnant. Suddenly, your most private details are the subject of casual conversation. Once people know you’re trying, people want to know how it’s going, if you’ve done artificial insemination, if you’d consider IVF, and how it felt in that small white room with the gross leather chair & the bad magazines.

It’s okay to avoid the question, smile, and change the subject. Keep as many things private as you can (except to a few trusted friends).

3. On Hold. We were always checking the calendar, wondering if we should plan that vacation, or that work trip, because what if we’re pregnant? Then we stopped doing that, because we would have never lived if we would have scheduled everything around a “what if.”

It’s okay to miss a month or two; you have to live your life. This is hard, but over the long haul, it will create more stress if you feel so trapped that you can’t plan anything. We even found that it’s good to take a month off now and then.

4. Invaded. For women, there are so many things entering your body (probes, needles, drugs) and so many people measuring your progress. Even sex, at the mercy of a calendar or a temperature reading, can feel invasive. The loss of control can almost merge into a loss of self.  But, it feels like once you’ve started down this road, there’s no stopping until you get pregnant.

It’s okay to say what you need, and it’s okay to shore up your boundaries in whatever ways you can.

5. Awkward. During one of the first visits where I was given the small cup and ceremoniously ushered into the small room, I actually ran into some people from my church afterwards. Of course they had their baby with them. I had a small cup that contained very personal contents with me. They asked, “What are you doing here?” I mean, what do you say?

It’s okay to laugh at yourself sometimes. And when someone catches you with your cup in your hand, that’s all you can do.

6. Angry. Unfair is the password that gets you into the infertility club. Mary tells a story of a friend asking her if she was angry with God. “No!” she blurted. “I’m angry at pregnant women!” She knew this was irrational, but she also knew that it was good for her soul to be honest in safe places. You actually may be angry with God, and you may need to find some safe places to be honest about that.

It’s okay to express the darkness, even the stuff you’re terribly embarrassed about, because it’s good for your soul. But in the right places, with people who can handle it.

7. Stressed. Even though it seems like a stressed out couple is less likely to get pregnant, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine finds that there is no proof stress causes infertility. Besides, trying hard to “not be so stressed about it” never worked for us. It also didn’t help to “just stop trying.” Everybody has a friend who was infertile for 73 years, and the day they stopped trying, they got pregnant. That never happened with us.

It’s okay to be stressed. Don’t stress about your stress. Trying hard not to be stressed is silly.

8. Despair. The cycle of hope and despair with infertility can take you out. I remember getting so excited when Mary was 2 days late, and just knowing that this time, it’s going to happen! Then, a few days or hours later, when she told me she got “it,” I would plunge into despair. The alternative is to temper your hope so that your despair doesn’t get so low. After about a hundred months of experiencing this cycle, we found that the best route is to keep hoping, and if it doesn’t happen, keep crying. It’s too hard to pretend that you’re not excited and that you’re not depressed. Be excited. Be depressed.

It’s okay to hope, and it’s okay to cry. Keep hoping and keep crying.

9. Loss. This was not how it was supposed to be. This was not what you dreamed it would be. And you don’t know how it will end.

It’s okay if you don’t know how to wrap your mind around your emotions. Be gentle with yourself for not totally having control of how you feel from moment to moment.

10. Ambivalence. Every time you have to go through another kind of treatment, you ask yourself: “Is it worth it? Do I really want it that bad?” And then in the very next breath, you are taken out by the sheer magnitude of how much you want a baby.

It’s okay to want and not want. That’s normal. 

If you’re struggling with infertility, it can be such a dark time. You have to be out loud with each other about what you need, and every journey will be different. You have to give yourselves permission to do this journey in whatever way makes the most sense for you.

My blessing for you as you struggle: May God give you what you need, when you need it, over and over and over again."