Perspective

Per-spec-tive
Noun
1. the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.
2. a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

It is incredible how as humans, we have such ability to change our perspectives based on experiences.
I find it so interesting when you actually look at the definitions of perspective, you find at first a description which does not seem to fit with emoting. Two dimensional surfaces,  drawn in a way to so you can see them differently. How mechanical…but isn’t that really all the second definition is too? Our attitudes are so two dimensional, until we add our experiences and emotions giving them a three dimensional meaning.
Have I lost you?
Where are you getting with this Sarah?

My perspective has once again shifted. Having blurred my outlook, and lived in my own grief for a little while, I have had new experiences to shift my attitude, and give me a new perspective.

I find myself so INSPIRED.
I am LUCKY. I have been surrounded in a tribe of STRONG WOMEN. In my saddest, most selfish moments I have never been far from someone who is ready to pick me up, ask how I am feeling, share their story, allow me to open my mind and heart to the world and let beautiful things in again.

In so many ways my infertility has blessed me. I have become rooted in deep friendships and bonds which I doubt I would have found without a little struggle….

You see, we are all a little bit broken. Thats what makes this life journey so beautiful. That is what BONDS us. Our ability to change our PERSPECTIVES and see; the world is beautiful. The brokenness allows for such beautiful GROWTH, LOVE, SUPPORT, PERSEVERANCE. 

People die, hearts get broken, trust gets destroyed, dreams get shattered.
But isn’t this why we DREAM? Isn’t this why we HOPE? So we can take one step further away from the things that slay us, and into the light and beauty of this world.

I have a little saying that I now  find myself uttering  as my mantra. When I want to complain about how tired or broken I am, how my legs can’t run a step further, my heart can’t break again, how I want to GIVE UP; I find myself saying :

Everything worth having is HARD. The best things require HARD WORK. PUSH HARDER.

As we head in to Infertility Awareness Week in Canada, I just want you to know. You are not aloneWE (that 1 in 6 couples…and every single person who didn’t get married and have 2.3 children by 34 like society told them to) are not alone.

Dream. Hope. Want. Work for…. because even if you get a little broken along the way…
There is so much beauty in the broken, and WE have your back.
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IUI #2: Nothing Ever Goes As Planned

Warning: This post has raw emotion, details of menstrual cycles, and a lot of TMI. Click ‘x’ if you don’t want to read all about it.

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Round 2 of IUI has been hard. Very very hard.
I went on the oral letrozole days 3-7(no symptoms), then on day 9 an ultrasound which showed my follicles weren’t ready yet (but where the same size as last month when the fill-on doc did IUI. GR). Back on day 13 for another ultrasound which showed my endometrium was 8mm (ready) and I had a follicle that was 13mm and another that was 17mm. I was scheduled to do my HCG injection on day 14 (which a wonderful coworker did for me at work) and then IUI the morning of day 16. I was feeling pretty optimistic heading into our cycle.

Because I spotted almost every day the last cycle, my doctor decided to put me on progesterone. Cue kerfuffle. The progesterone has traditionally been suspended in peanut oil. I have an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts. Essentially the pharmacy told me the original suppository which I was supposed to take (180$ every 3 weeks) would not work for this reason. When I talked to the clinic, they offered me another option, which had wheat (won’t do for me since we don’t know if my gluten issues are celiac or not, and if they are celiac it could cause a miscarriage)…and a final option which contained none of my allergens but cost 400$ every two weeks. If I achieved pregnancy that would equal TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS for the first ten weeks of pregnancy. AHH!! ON TOP of the already aprox. 500-600$ IUI with meds will cost (for one cycle).
NOT money I had planned on spending.

Finally, after fretting for a bit of time, the nurses consulted my doctor who was certain the formula of the original suppositories had been changed. After many phone calls back and forth it was decided that I could try the suppositories (in soya and sunflower oil) with an epipen near by…. despite the med-phamlet stating peanut-allergy as a contraindication.

We went in on day 16 for IUI. My husband gave his sample, we had a coffee at our favourite coffee shop [my favourite part-an hour to be together, talk, dream] and then we returned for the IUI. The procedure was done, but there was a lot of difficulty. My cervix seems to cause a lot of problems lately. The nurse said my cervix was retroverted and also very vascular, making it very hard to insert the catheter. She said I could expect a lot of cramping and bleeding after the procedure. During the procedure there was cramping, but nothing compared to IUI #1. The nurse was so sweet and patient with my crazy, nervous self. We chatted about how there should be an infertility walk in Saskatoon to raise awareness. How so many people come to this clinic and few people share their struggle.
FERTILITY

After the procedure I laid on my back for aprox. 15-20 minutes, fighting to stay awake- I had just worked a night shift. Then my doctor came in. She is so reassuring. I really appreciate her calm demeanour and taking the time to answer every single one of my MILLION questions and concerns. We talked about the suppositories and she further confirmed that I should try them with an epipen near by, but if I wanted to change prescriptions she would be happy to do that for me also.  She was certain the formula hadn’t actually contained peanuts since 2011 and we must have received an outdated pamphlet. We talked about the sperm sample quality…
Motility 24% after wash-after wash motility needs to be 50% to achieve pregnancy typically.
Counts 54 million= very good
Morphology= very good

We were explained that we would obviously still try with this round of IUI, but that it was unlikely to work due to the low sperm motility (the swimmers won’t be able to swim to meet the egg). I also was suggested to rest in bed all day to give the sperm the best chance possible, and also to reduce the amount of cramping and bleeding from a slightly complicated procedure.  This was very unexpected-I thought I would be able to go to work like normal again. Turns out, I needed the day emotionally anyways. I can’t help but feel like an ass for calling in the day of…when I am not sick…but I guess that is also part of the unexpected infertility process. The nurse was optimistic to say: “You only need one”…but it was pretty clear it was likely to be a bad outcome this cycle. We discussed G seeing the fertility urologist this month, and the four of us discussing “the next step”….. the dreaded, invasive, expensive (10 thousand dollars) IVF.
G was obviously upset leaving the clinic. I was too, but I was trying to hold it together.
As we drove home in silence, the tears started to flow. We came home….I got into bed…and more tears came. I have tried to be so strong…stay optimistic. My heart is just broken.
IVF is not in our budget right now, and to be honest, I don’t know how I feel about months of shots and more meds. I am already an emotional disaster on the simple 4 meds I am currently on. I am devastated. I am heart-broken. I am angry. It is not fair…. but none of those feelings are productive. None of those feelings will help me move on.

So now we wait. We wait, not-so-optimistically for the two week wait. Our hearts are broken, but we can’t be sad forever. I had my hour to cry, for self pity…. It is time to pick up the pieces and rebuild a new plan.

We will have a beautiful life, with or without children. We will have a beautiful life…. we will have a beautiful life……

Thank you for all of your love and support, we are so incredibly honoured to have so many wonderful loving people in our lives.

Miserable Or Strong

Can I just step back for a moment and say…. WOW

I am astonished. The support my husband and I have received since publishing our journey with infertility here has been incredible. I honestly expected criticism for opening up such a personal aspect of our lives on THE INTER-WEB! (TEEHEE) Man was I ever wrong. The blog has never received so many hits. I have received HUNDREDS of sweet messages from friends, readers, co-workers, etc., all expressing their love and support. Many thanking me for sharing our journey. My heart is so full. It is incredible how lucky we are to have so many amazing, understanding and loving humans in our lives. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We feel your overwhelming love and support.

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We have started cycle #2…but I expect it to go much the same as cycle #1 so I won’t be doing a day by day diary again. That sounds incredibly boring to read. 🙂 I will tell you though that I am feeling much more stress-free this cycle. This could all change when my hormones start to whirl again, but for now, I feel good.

I have made a list of positive changes I plan to make this cycle:

1) Exercise! I was so afraid to exercise/ nauseated last cycle that I didn’t even run ONCE. This cycle I want to maintain my normal activity level to help control my emotions.

2) Meditate/Visualization. I have read extensively about how important meditation is for stress-relief as well as visualization for fertility. I am going to make a conscious effort just to set aside a few minutes every day to be in silence and clear my mind of all things negative.

3) Pray. I find it the hardest to pray in the moments I feel I need to pray the most. When my heart is aching, I can’t find the words. Luckily, I know God knows my heart. I also know we have a tremendous army of people praying FOR us. I suppose this sort of goes with #2, but I am going to purposely set aside time every day to pray and set aside all things that worry me. This bible verse has got me through many turmoils in life, I need to write it on my mirror or something.

“Do not be anxious in anything, but by prayer and petition present your requests to God. “

4) Supplements! I have been reminding G to take his supplements (there is extensive research on the effects of zinc and folic acid on sperm motility). I am also trying to take prenatal vitamins myself. They make me so NAUSEATED so I have avoided them, but Im going to make a big effort to find a way to get them in my life in a way that doesn’t make me sick. I know that they are important in those two weeks after conception when you don’t know you are pregnant yet!

5) Live life and make plans. I had no long-term plans the last month. Living like my life was on hold was incredibly difficult for me. “What if we are pregnant…What if we aren’t” It sucks. So I have just decided to starting making plans and goals for my next year of life despite what is going on with fertility treatments. HECK. Im an ER nurse. I am used to re-prioritizing constantly. IF we get pregnant, I can reprioritize my plans then.

6) Eat better. The emotional tornado/ fertility drugs had me eating a tons of carbs and bad-for-me-foods this last month. Thankfully I haven’t gained weight from it, but I haven’t been feeling my prime. Need to get back to cooking whole food meals frequently! STAT!

7) Reward myself. I have A LOT of appointments, pelvic ultrasounds, blood work, shots, pills, etc. I am going to start doing small things to make these things more enjoyable. Treated myself to a rice-milk earl grey latte today after a pelvic ultrasound and it was WONDERFUL.

8) Depend fiercely on my husband. He will tell you-I like to be very independent. ESPECIALLY when I am hurting. I don’t like to let anyone TOO close for fear of falling apart. If this experience has taught me anything, it is that he is my biggest fan, my number one supporter, and I chose an incredible man to spend my life with. I continue to strive to be soft with him, and to let him care for and protect me as much as he can. I also strive to protect his heart when I can. 🙂

9) Start again. It is okay to grieve, but at some point we need to pick ourselves up and move along. To gain hope again. I am going to start to hope again. I know how much it could hurt in the end…but what kind of life are we living if it is always full of fear?

10) Grace. You don’t get to pick your struggles in life, but you DO get to pick how you react to what is thrown your way.

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ” -Carlos Castenada

Thanks for following in our journey and continuing to support us.

Have a happy week!