Getting Moving

It just has to start.

I don’t care how annoying. I mean, I do care, but I can’t keep using that as an excuse.

We emailed my old doctor and got the forms moving for getting all my records from them.

I emailed our insurance broker yesterday to say that I hadn’t gotten our new cards yet. She ordered another set of new ones for us, and reminded me that I could download temporary cards online, which I did and printed out.

I looked up the doctor’s office I want, and I think I picked a doctor — I’ve known for a while which office, but they have multiple doctors and I wasn’t clear which I wanted.

I am going out of the office later today, and I could snag five minutes to call when I have the relative anonymity of a coffee shop.

This has to move. I keep waiting for something – mostly, I think, for my body to work the way it’s supposed to. But it’s not. And everyone around me is getting pregnant, and although it’s not every time, some of them totally destroy me.

I don’t have time to be this upset about it – there are at least parts of this that I can change.

It’s hard, because life has been really emotionally exhausting lately, but I can’t keep letting that stop me. Sometimes, it’s a good check when things are really overwhelming, but it means that when I have the window, I have to go for it.

I wish this could all be normal. That it would have worked like it was supposed to and then we could have just continued on with life. But it hasn’t, so I have to keep moving. Or get moving.

Rather than letting the fact that this is two years since we started trying, and a relatively close friend who got married less than six months before we started trying is pregnant, stop me, I have to use it as motivation. Or I will be where I am, because there is nothing else happening here.

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Scheduled Out.

I’ve been thinking about schedules a lot this week. My last graduate school class starts this week, and thus I feel the pinch, again, of working full time while also being a part-time student. Luckily, this’ll be the last time we have to deal with it.

The problem, of course, comes in that work has given me a special dispensation about my schedule – I’m still working my hours, but it’s on a modified schedule, and I have a coworker helping me cover the times that I’m gone. And then the idea is that I would also be going for RE appointments. Or really, just the one. I really just need to schedule one and get it over with, but I think I have a raging fear of it being somehow the straw that breaks the camel’s back. And of course, the RE I’ve chosen, although close to both home and work, only has daytime hours. For some reason, the ones that are both reasonable and nearby in Manhattan only have daytime hours. I’m guessing there are enough patients that it doesn’t matter. Who knows.

But I have a ton of fear. That my boss will not give me the time, or give me a hard time about it, or any other twelve hundred things. That they would want some kind of explanation of the need for doctor’s visits. I mean, I can lie – the first, at least, could be a regular check up. But who wants to lie?

The process of dealing with needing help. I’m having a really hard time with the idea of needing to see a doctor, not even really about the procedures – I’ve read a lot online, I have a pretty reasonable idea about almost anything they might want to do.

That despite all the help, we’re going to end up back here, no baby, poorer, and still facing down something like adoption. Which isn’t bad, but that’s not the road we started on.

Just gotta suck it up and do. And let the scheduling stuff work itself out. Maybe.

This is also my social anxiety at its worst. Having to pick “the right” doctor, and then scheduling with them, and blah blah blah. UGH.

Today is also mikvah day – a ritual immersion that allows me to have sexual relations with my husband, and something I usually really enjoy. It’s just gotten harder and harder and harder as the time goes on. You don’t go when you’re pregnant (except sometimes women go in the last month of pregnancy) and so, each time I go, it feels just a little more like a failure. Ugh. I’ve cried the last several times I’ve been – in the preparation room. Sigh.

ETA: As I was writing this, my amazing husband was contacting my old RE that we can’t use because of insurance (although we wouldn’t have used him anymore anyway…) so we are underway for getting my records from them. That’s a huge relief too. I’m also really curious to see my chart as well!

A “New” Family Member

So, for the last two years or so, my husband’s brother hasn’t been talking to anyone in the family. Even before that, the relationship was pretty tenuous. He would call when he felt like it. He wouldn’t answer his phone. A couple of times, he got rid of his phone without telling anyone. Etc. Etc. Until contact stopped altogether.

Around Thanksgiving, he suddenly emerged into the land of the living. Or rather, he reached out. He emailed not just his parents but my husband, and it was a really strange experience.

He’s had a rough time – he was kind of an angry kid that played into being kind of a paranoid adult, and he put a lot of blame in weird places. His life got pretty out of control, and he fell into a depression. Now, he’s reaching out to try to find help – he needed immediate assistance, but he also wants to get his life back on track and, it seems, get in touch with family.

It’s so hard – my relationship with him is that he’s been causing people I love – namely my husband and my in-laws – pain, without much benefit to myself. DH and I have been married for 6.5 years and together almost 9. His brother’s been kind of not really an active member of the family for probably 6 of those years. I’m really conflicted. On the one hand, to have a functional relationship with him would be great – I remember liking him before things went bad. But it’s not clear to me how exactly that’s going to come about.

Until we figure it out (or he vanishes back into the woodwork – I don’t trust this reappearance yet), it’s another source of stress in a life that already feels kind of consumed with stress.

(And then selfishly I wonder – do I have to tell him about our struggles? My in-laws know, but do I have to tell this virtual stranger who happens to be my brother-in-law? We haven’t yet and aren’t planning on it…but I think about it.)

Alternatives

The thing about fertility, both when you’re dealing with MFI (which we’re not) and when you’re dealing with issues on the woman’s end (which we probably are), is that every health decision feels like it has real potential to be significant. A lot of women I’ve talked to have made lifestyle changes when it came time to try to conceive, and often, when infertility comes into the picture, that kind of thing gets moved to the forefront.

However, as the months pass, it seems like it’s more and more difficult to know what’s the quackery and what’s real. There’s Soy Isoflavones (apparently like Clomid), baby Aspirin, acupuncture, and herbal supplements. Not to mention yoga, meditation, and guided imagery. So, what’re my thoughts on this, 12 months in?

Interestingly, I haven’t found a lot that’s actively dangerous. There are, however, a lot of things that people need to be careful with. If Clomid won’t improve whatever your situation is, don’t do Soy Isoflavones. If you take baby Aspirin, you have to act like you’re on a blood thinner – because you are. So, that’s important to keep in mind, too. As a rule, I’ve tried to stay away from things that require thinking like that.

Herbs and Vitamins

Obviously, I take my required prenatals. I went by the generics from the local pharmacy, although I hear you should go for the fancy organic ones. So far, I’m not convinced on that one. I also take generic pharmacy Vitamin D3 because apparently most people in places with winter end up with at least a little deficiency, and it’s been shown to dramatically increase fertility.

I tried Red Raspberry Leaf for a while. Unclear if it did anything, but I stopped taking it because it was upsetting my stomach. I am trying Evening Primrose Oil this month – I’ll let you know how that goes, but so far, no untoward side effects. Not sure if there are any positive effects either, but still.

Acupuncture

In late October, I decided to start acupuncture for my migraines. It really helped mitigate them – I was missing school and all kinds of things, and that has really diminished. In February, I started going specifically for fertility. I had hoped to move to a clinic that focuses on women’s issues particularly, but right now the cost is prohibitive. We still might make the move if we end up at the RE – we know that that could cost a lot more, and it would be best to try as much naturally as we can.

Other Lifestyle Changes

There are the obvious ones – I’ve stopped caffeine entirely (which I think helped my indigestion a lot). I’m very careful about when I have alcohol – since I’m charting my cycle, I know where I am about 90% of the time, and when I’m unclear, I steer clear. This has meant some creative explaining to friends and whatever on occasion, since we aren’t talking about TTC in person, but most times, people haven’t noticed.

Very recently, I’ve started trying to get more exercise. With school, I have a tendency to be very sedentary – my life revolves around reading, doing assignments and writing papers – all of which require long periods of sitting. To help keep myself moving, I’ve started trying to do a little more walking around, as well as using our Wii more. We have a couple of exercise games, several of which are quite fun and get me moving for a half hour at a time without feeling it. In addition, I just started working with a friend of mine on starting yoga. She is a teacher, so she’s helping me feel out what’s the best routine for me and things. One of the things we’re working on is loosening my tight hips, which is supposed to help fertility – the idea is to improve blood flow to the area. Can’t hurt, right?

Overall, our attitude has been to try to improve my overall health – focusing on things that improve fertility, but in a holistic manner. Hopefully, this’ll help us get a natural BFP – or at least, puts me in the best possible position for when we have to turn to advanced medicine.