The number one question that makes me shudder. Not because of the insensitivity of it, but because I have NO FREAKIN’ IDEA what being pregnant feels like. It’s like my brain will fully not let me believe it. I guess one would say that I knew that I wasn’t pregnant because I didn’t ‘feel pregnant’. And maybe when I am, I will feel this elusive emotion that everyone talks about.  Your brain remembers patterns, and my pattern is disappointment, every month so I’m unsure that I will ever be able to ‘feel’ something that I’m so worried I never will get to feel. Does that make sense? I’ve heard from other woman who have had to go through the fertility treatment that they’ve taken pregnancy tests for months on end just to make sure they really were STILL pregnant. I can see myself doing that.

My Monday started off good – I was 3 days late on my period, and that was making me feel pretty positive! Even after the spotting started and I questioned every characteristic of it, I still had hope!!

  • Oh well it’s just a little bit, should be okay
  • OH well it’s brownish pink so still okay
  • it’s a lot but still only when I go to the washroom …
  • Oh now it’s a little more, might still be okay

But I woke up this morning with the full on flow looking me right in the eye. Even after seeing that they still make you do a pregnancy test, just to make sure.

The hospital called me and we discussed the possibilities of jumping right into the next round but the monetary repercussions of going back to back aren’t worth it and they suggest for your well being  to skip a month.

Part of me is relived. The emotional toll this takes on someone is just so crazy I’m not entirely sure I can put it into words. Plus, we are going on a New York City trip next Thursday and that would really impede on our travels/relaxation that is so desperately needed.

The other part of me is worried, another month of not being pregnant, another month older. As woman we are constantly chasing that youth and hanging on to those fertile years. Doing everything we can to stay looking and feeling young but time is just not on our side. Just this past week I’ve had a sprained wrists and I did something funny to my left foot. You know, that ‘something funny’ feeling we all get once in a while that may or may not go away on it’s own but will definitely be back if you wear those heels again. What were you thinking anyway??

So I am officially inseminated. Weird, right? Let me back up a bit and start from the beginning of the week. Everything went exactly as planned – just kidding, NOTHING went as planned.

When we were sitting in the first orientation back in May and they were going over what will happen, how we may have too many follicles and that would prompt the cycle to be canceled and how we may need a trigger shot of HGH if they suspect I won’t ovulate early enough, I thought to myself both times, “that won’t happen to me”. What I DID think of was the trauma I went through with the hystersonogram and how they couldn’t get my cervix to dilate and they just kept poking longer and thinner objects on my insides. If you recall, that was when they decided to do the laparoscopy surgery because it was too painful for me to endure the rest of the procedure.

I’ll get to that later.

First, let’s go back to the beginning of the week – Monday, my day 10 ultrasound. Everything goes according to plan and everything looks good.

“No concerns for overstimulation this time, just keep testing every day and call us when you detect a surge in your urine. If no surge detected on Wednesday, call us”, I was told. The week had many obstacles – the iui couldn’t happen on Wednesday as I had my friend Niki’s bachelorette and it couldn’t happen on Saturday because my partner was going to be away working on an important job site. He would be able to produce his sample, but not be there for the insemination, which I really would have preferred him to be there, like come on! Although, I had many lovely friends offering to come with me – not sure how much fun that would have been for them, though.

Of course, no surge Wednesday.

Thursday they’re optimistic about my follicles but not that I will ovulate. “Come back Friday- we’ll decide tomorrow if we have to cancel or go ahead”.

On my way to the hospital, on Friday the 13th, I run over some doves. First of all, birds USUALLY fly away when you drive towards them but not today! I cry. What a great start: omen looking grim.

Follicles look good, but I have to take a trigger shot that night to force my follicles to ovulate and release an egg. Of course, I LOVE needles!! (grrr) But that means the insemination will happen on Sunday!  The whole week I’m dreading it happening on Saturday because I didn’t want to be alone. Although I would have had a friend with me, to be honest I really want to make sure Jason sees every agonizing thing I have to go through, that’s my real motive. That’s also why I make him watch while I get the trigger shot.

“Look at all the crap I have gone through, so you better appreciate this damn baby if it ever happens!” – I’m only half joking.

Then we find out that if it’s raining on Saturday, he has to go to work on the Sunday instead. More uncertainty but it all worked out – on that front, anyway.

Now here we are, day of the insemination. On the day of his analysis, 32mil good quality sperms were produced out of 58mil. The amount they want is 7mil so we are looking GOOD in the sperm department.  But no, today, the one important day, the only one that matters, only 1.7 mil only are usable sperm. I’m unsure what the rest of the sperms do, swim in circles? Who knows but they suck and we only have 1.7 mil sperm to use.  Luckily, we only need one good one.

Next step, dilate cervix to insert the sperm (I say sperm way too many times in this blog… sperm). Now, remember back at the beginning of this blog I said I was scared about the cervical dilation since I was traumatized by the hystersonogram last time? SAME thing happens. I’m in that room with my feet up in the air for 20 mins while they try to get through my cervix. They finally did after they tell me to cough on 3. I should have filmed it so I could show my future child what his mother went through to have him/her. That’s what mothers are good for, guilt – right?

Anyway, here we are and I’m crampy, still bloated from the HGH shot and eating all the ice cream.

We’ll know august 2nd if this little sucker implanted. Wish us luck!

Happy Canada Day! Today I wanted to talk about diversity. This morning I had to be at the hospital for my day 2 ultrasound. The waiting room was packed as soon as I walked in and  I was 10 minutes early, so I was surprised that I wasn’t the first.  That made me realize that all of us, despite how different we are on the outside, are the same on the inside. We are all there because we want to have a child but for some reason, all different reasons, cannot do it naturally.

As I looked around the room I saw so many different races, body types, ‘looks’, age and sexual orientation and I loved it. We are a country built by diversity and physically we are all different, but inside we are all the same. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or how healthy you are or how thin or large you are – when it comes to infertility, it can affect anyone.

I ended up having a discussion with a girl next to me while we waited. The whole day was a bit disruptive. The couple ahead of us lost their health card somewhere, somehow and we were all helping them look for it. This issue caused the process to be put on hold and we had to wait a little longer than normal. Those types of situation prompt conversations and interactions with other people, which I find interesting. In fact there was an article posted in the  New York times stating that human interactions was key to living a long life (NYTimes Article). Because the couple needed in the change room to look for their missing health card, the lovely woman next to me made a joke that she was in no rush to get prodded this morning and we all laughed. I took this opportunity to speak to her about this whole process and how insane it really is.

Her situation is different than mine,  although we are the same age, she was diagnosed with endometriosis at a young age and was told she’d never have kids. Now she’s going through the IVF process to try at least once to know that she did all that she could. Her last round was canceled because she didn’t produce any follicles on day 10. If you remember from my last round and why mine was canceled, it was the opposite – I had produced too many follicles and they were concerned with multiple births.

Another woman walked up as we were discussing our situations and told us this was her 3rd round of IUI and that she had gotten pregnant once with IUI but lost the fetus and tried 2 rounds of IVF and both were failures.

I think the biggest frustration I have with everything is that people assume because we are doing this that we will be successful. I want to remind everyone that that may not be. And we have to be okay with it. You don’t have to tell us it will happen, we know it might not and frankly, we are prepared for that.

A friend told me once, “before you enter the fertility process, you already have to grieve never having children”. And she is completely right. The positive in all this is that we have these amazing opportunities to help us now at least.

Last week I left you on a positive note. The IuI process was well on it’s way and I was thinking i would be getting inseminated later this week. Well, as you can tell by the headline, things didn’t turn out like I expected.

Way back when I first started writing about this process, I might have mentioned we did an orientation meeting to go over the whole process and what to expect. I didn’t even bother mentioning that they said if we had too many follicles forming, that they would skip the current round to avoid multiple pregnancies occurring because I didn’t think that that would happen to me.

Joke’s on me though because it did. I walked in Monday super excited to see what was going on with my little follicles. The doctor wasn’t my doctor that morning but that’s normal. However, she didn’t know my case personally and made me feel quite upset when I left. I had 3 maturing follicles and  instead of talking to me, she went over to the head nurse and they discussed my case in front of me without letting me know what was going on.  They talked about my age, a few times and being 36 I’m no spring chicken so I immediately thought the worse.

They told me to come back Wednesday morning to make sure no more were maturing and that my actual doctor would be able to discuss matter further at that point. Frustrating but I wasn’t fully discouraged yet. In fact, we still followed instructions and had intercourse that night.

 

Wednesday morning rolls around and I’m at the hospital 20 mins early and I still had to run up the stairs to beat some people going up the elevator haha I go in the little room after listening to AC/DC playing full blast. Way too early for that, let me tell you. I pace around the room for about 10 mins and I could hear my doctor and the nurse discussing my case but couldn’t fully understand because, well, AC freakin’ DC.

 

I finally go in, jump on the table, spread my legs as we have to do, frequently during this whole process. (Men, count yourselves lucky that all you have to do is ejaculate in a cup a few times).  Low and behold, the follicles are bigger and have doubled so they cancel this round. The good news, says my doctor, is that my reproductive age is younger than actual age so this isn’t a big deal. I asked if we should try on our own and he says, “absolutely not, that’s what happened to Octomom”.

 

Feeling discouraged, I tell some of my friends and clients about it. Some people said to try anyway, what are the odds that all 6 eggs get fertilized? Well, even if there is only 1 single percent change, i still wouldn’t take it.  The risk for carrying multiples are very high for the woman but also the babies (article here).  So now my ovaries are overstimulated causing me some serious swelling, bloating, discomfort and fatigue and I have to do this all over again next month.

 

If you’re sitting at home reading this and you’ve had a child by simply having sex at the right time? Congrats. I am absolutely confused on how that happens as you are likely equally confused on why i am unable to conceive.

Thinking back over the past few years people have made so many comments, so many thoughtless words to me that I’m not sure if they were deliberately hurtful or they were seriously that ignorant on what infertility meant. I’d like to think it was the latter and that people are genuinely not hurtful on purpose.

 

BUT just in case you know someone dealing with this, just listen, ask once in a while how they’re doing and ask questions. Here’s what NOT to say (I’ve compiled this list with what others have told me as well about things they have heard while they were going through fertility treatment)

#1 “why did you wait so long to have a baby?” – none of your goddamn business
#2 “aren’t you worried you will get a child with autism?” – well, NOW I am, thanks!

#3 “Oh that’s weird, we had NO problems conceiving” – great, thanks for letting me know

#4 “My friend was having the same problem, and then they stopped trying and it happened!” – How the hell do you stop trying to have a baby when it’s all you’ve been doing for 2 years? Stop trying to have a baby means to stop having sex.

#5 “Maybe if you just relax a bit it’ll happen” – great, tell me ovaries I’m relaxed please.

#6 “You can always adopt!” – nope. I don’t want anyone else’s kids, that’s not the point.

The Coffee Conundrum

I “quit” coffee a few weeks back to see how it would affect me and cut out an extra stressor in my life. I realized it affected me more than I thought it did but I also just LOVE coffee. Over the past few weeks I found my brain constantly trying to rationalize just having a cup of coffee. I had set rules and as long as I followed them I was happy with myself. I went a while without drinking it and then it seeped into a weekend thing. I would have it later on in the day but the past 2 weekends I had it when I woke up. Like, this morning for example. And yesterday…. and then on top of that, last week I had it 3x during the week. This is a major fail on my part, I’d say. Not to mention, twice I had horrible stomach pains. SO as of today, back on the no-coffee wagon. It’s a good time to jump back on as I officially started the IUI process yesterday.

Intrauterine Insemination Process

The First step for this process was getting my monthly bright red flow, as they call it at the fertility clinic. I woke up yesterday morning half dreading the day but also hopeful about my friends memorial and then I saw it: My period decided today was a good day to show up. Two days early. I saw it as a sign from Amy beyond the wall telling me “go on love, have that wine today – you’ll need it”. I call the hospital, even though I had already scheduled to go in on Monday morning to set up an ultra sound which, I really have no clue what they will be looking for while I’m on my period but I will update you guys on that next weekend because I will have 100 questions for the doctors.

Also, I decided to look up the success rate on the first round of IUI treatment and it’s 10% for woman over the age of 35. Great. I gotta lower my expectations quite a bit going from here.

Goodbye Friend

I wasn’t sure I wanted to use this headline for Amy’s Memorial or for the departure of fish from my diet this week. I chose the first one.

I had lunch with my friend Meagan and by lunch I mean we had gelato at 2pm on Tuesday. She looked frazzled and stressed and I just wanted to hug her. She asked me to help her with the decorations for Amy’s memorial and we wracked our brains trying to figure out what to do. We are both type A and I think we stressed more than we needed to. We borrow plants from Meagan’s mom and one of  my generous clients (that was also in a super convenient location

haha) and bought colourful decorations from the dollar store. I personally think we did fantastic with the short notice but I might be biased.

 

The day came and I met up with friends for a lovely brunch and mimosa’s at Earl’s. My partner was so generous enough to drive our little drunken butts to the memorial. I’m unsure if I would have cried more or less if I were a bit more sober. The whole experience was exhausting and I

 

was hoping it would put some closure but I’m still unsure what that closure is. I guess we just move on and remember the good times.

RIP Amy <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding “the One”

I’m continuing with my process of eliminating meat and doing pretty well. You see, all this is about diets and finding the right fit for you. The best diets are the ones you don’t have to think about. I’ve helped many clients find ‘the one’. The One Diet that works so easily for them that they lose weight and can eat pretty much what they want as long as it falls within that diet. For some people it’s eating clean, others it’s Whole 30, Intermittent fasting, Paleo, vegan, vegetarian. The point being, you shouldn’t have to hate what you eat.

I had a conversation the other day with a client about how her kids eat so differently and they both are thin. I commented that as adults we try to force ourselves into these diets because we think they work better than others. Her daughter eats carbs carbs carbs all day and is basically vegetarian and her other daughter is a meat and potatoes kinda girl. Both thin, both completely different eating habits.

That triggered me into remembering that for a huge part of my life, I was a vegetarian. From the age of 12 I quit eating meat. I always disliked meat and the texture and one day I saw a hanging moose in my garage and I freaked out. “That’s it!” I told my parents, “no more meat for me. I am now a vegetarian”. I can’t remember exactly how my parents reacted, but they were very accommodating to say the least. My mom would make me my own separate meals than the rest of the family so she could ensure I was still eating enough. But i ate carbs. Lots of them and I was always thin! In fact back then I only ate fish. No eggs or anything else. Today I want to keep eating fish and eggs but I wanted to try a whole week with only eating eggs sometimes.

Long story short: i lived, I feel okay, I’m not run down and it’s like my body is happy I’m not eating as much meat and fat! My mid section was growing and I blamed it on the fertility drugs, but I’ve lost the 5 extra pounds I had gained and I’m back to my happy weight of 120lbs.

That being said, I want to reiterate that just because this worked for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Many people gain weight on a vegan diet. Many people gain weight on a paleo diet. I have clients who eat Whole 30 and are looking amazing and I have clients I have made go vegan and are losing weight like it’s their job. Find the diet that works for you and stick with it. If you enjoy something, you will be more likely to stick to it.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday morning we had our IUI orientation for infertility. Basically, they shove you in a room with other couples who are in the same boat as you are and explain to you what will happen and how much it will cost. It was a strange feeling to look around and see other people who for some reason, like yourself, cannot conceive naturally. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect but I didn’t expect such a large variance in people.  Not a single person there “looked” like us.

There was an overweight couple with tattoos, a thin athletic couple, an african american couple and a multirace couple. Then there was us: a small athletic girl and her ‘dadbod’ boyfriend. I assumed everyone would be older but we all seemed to be the same age, which was the weirdest part to me. They told us a lot during this meeting but the thing that stood out to me the most was that they get funding for 400 couples a year and the year starts on april 1st and they usually run out by October. Those are some scary numbers.

When you’re trying to conceive, you see pregnant people everywhere. It seems you are the only person in the world who cannot conceive easily. But when you actually sit down and talk about it, people will tell you about so-and-so that they know that is going through the same process as you or how their friends have tried for 7 years. It’s not so simple, afterall.

Later that night

, I was out walking with my girlfriend and explaining the process to her. Every single step that I will need to take from calling in with my Cycle Day 1 to when we have a final ultrasound to determine if the baby (if it works) is still alive. she said, “that seems so stressful” but I disagree. The process is tedious, yes, but to me knowing as early as Day 18 if the insemination worked is so relieving! The waiting is the hardest part. Waiting to see if I get my period or not is so fucking annoying i can’t wait to just relax after day 18 whether the insemination worked or not.

Last weekend was mother’s day

, and it is one of my most disliked holidays. For one, my own mother passed away from lung cancer 10 years ago and for two, I am not a mother despite trying for years. So I took myself to a spa in Collingwood for the weekend to relax and just get away. I drank rose, I took a million baths, I read a whole book, I went to the Scandinavian Baths and I ate good food. Life is all in what you make of it. I Hope everyone else had a wonderful Mother’s Day and celebrated the way you wanted to!