Today marks 7 days since I started the birth control pills. If this confuses you, see previous posting for the details on this seemingly counter intuitive step. So far, I am feeling good! I have tolerated the hormones pretty well, though I did succumb to tears early Sunday morning after getting home from a very late wedding to a literal diarrhea explosion in my bedroom courtesy one of my sweet furkids. I kid you not when I say that it was E V E R Y W H E R E. Needless to say, I was shampooing the rug in tears til about 3am. I don’t think it was the hormones, but it may have been a contributing factor. Still not sure who the culprit was, but everyone here is fine now, thank goodness. Today, I had a little nausea but totally tolerable, and I have been very tired but I think thats just my lifestyle right now more than the actual BCPs.
It’s so crazy to think that this time a month from now, I could be pregnant! Though I won’t know for sure until a month and a few weeks from now, it’s still all so exciting!
If you were lucky enough to be on the receiving end today of my outrageous Master DC Itinerary Spreadsheet, complete with phone list and diagram of feeding instructions for the pups, you will know how insane my schedule is for the next two months! I have heard over and over again how people don’t know how I do it! I assure you, I do not know either! I could guess though. I know a lot of it has had to do with all the support I have been receiving. From Tim, from our families, from our amazing friends old and new. I have really embraced the whole “ask for help” thing and I have yet to be disappointed. I know this is just the beginning and I hope I don’t wear out my welcome just yet. We still have months to go til Tim is home and I know I will need the support in those months if I fall pregnant. Y’all, that sounds so casual, I just laughed out loud. To “fall” pregnant. I should probably strike that from my vocabulary referring to IVF. I wonder what would best replace that…. “worked pregnant”…. “fought tooth and nail, never give up pregnant”… Those are terrible, but I am totes open to suggestions! Someone said to me the other day “I’m sure it’ll all work out”. <serious, might get stuck in the back of my head, eye roll> No, I will MAKE it work. I will MAKE it happen. There is no piece of passive action in this process. There is nothing easy or organic about the way this has come together or will continue to. I think all of the people praying for me has helped me remain calm and forward facing. Whoever is praying that I maintain composure and a measure of tongue biting when people inadvertently say something insensitive, BLESS YOU. My mouth really does get the better of me quite often (I come by it honest, I inherited the lack of filter from my mom) and I really should spend more time being cognizant of the way my words affect people even if it’s in response to something ridiculous they have said. I really do have to realize that this is such a foreign thing to many people and they ask questions because they care. I typically like answering questions, I just detest repeating myself. I am growing though and I know that at least a portion of that it through y’all’s prayers.
I have almost everything ready for DC. Flights are secured, hotel is booked, battle buddies locked in, dog sitters cleared hot… I still have several outstanding items. I need to pack, like this week probably since I leave right in the middle of my companies biggest conference of the year (Thanks again work family, y’all have been the most amazing support ever for tolerating all of this complication). I need to make sure I have enough dog and cat food for the time away. I still need some help while I am in town with during-the-day dog tending as I have a few 18 hour days ahead. The hardest part is making sure I don’t forget anything, as there are so very many moving parts. I feel comfortable with my time in DC, but the week leading up to it has me in knots and I am also concerned how to manage my medications and injections when I come home for a few days between the baseline and my monitoring appointments. Speaking of which! Look at these cuties!
I have been reading other IVF blogs and watching videos like crazy trying to prep myself as much as possible. Many of them say that icing your injection site is really helpful specially if you are nervous to “pull the trigger” (I’m so punny!). They also suggest keeping a heating pad at the ready as you will experience swelling (some women even report appearing to be pregnant) during stims because your ovaries are so distended. The heating pad also helps for post-collection cramping and discomfort. There is a ton of great information about IVF “kits” out there, I love to look through them to get ideas and think about my very near future! I know one thing I will need help with is staying adequately hydrated. I know it is paramount for an easy cycle, but I am SO BAD at this. I have tried to increase my water intake over the last month but I never reach my goal because I am not steadfast enough, my head is a million different places and the last one is in a water bottle. I am also pretty serious about my anti-plastic campaign still, too, which makes it a little more difficult. I typically have a Katie-Approved water container with me all the time, I am just bad about drinking. Over the next two months, if you find yourself thinking about me, send me a text saying “drink water” or “wash your hands”. I will so appreciate it, even if my bladder doesn’t!
Something else I have started regularly is my IVF Mindfulness exercises. I have seriously come to look forward to my 15 minutes of peace, preparing my mind for the events about to take place. I know one of my biggest concerns is my mental health and especially if this first round of treatment is unsuccessful. Many say “Oh, don’t say that! Think positive, it WILL work!” While I completely appreciate that sentiment, I know that that line of thinking is not healthy for me. I have been down that road and I know it is far better to prepare myself with any outcome so that I feel in control of the way I handle it. It’s kind of like anticipating how terrible it is going to hurt to walk around after you have realized your foot has fallen asleep. You build it up so much in your mind how painful it is and the dread of expecting it is FAR worse than the actual pain you experience. However, if I focus hard, train my mind and remind myself do just walk and it will not be as bad as I imagine it, it’s not nearly as traumatic. I need everyone to know that this is successful 50% percent of all the times it is done. That our first choice is for us to have a successful pregnancy ending in a live birth after the first time we attempt IVF. If that doesn’t happen, that is ok. Our next hope is that we will have many healthy, normal, growing embryos so that we can try a Frozen Embryo Transfer in as little as a month after our initial cycle. If that doesn’t happen, that is ok, too. Perhaps it will lead us to our true purpose in parenting by a method other than IVF. Whatever the outcome, we know this is just one step in a life long journey of finding our purpose together. My world does not start and stop with a successful IVF cycle since, you know… there’s another human at the end of that outcome. I have taken on meditation and mindfulness to help me cope with any outcome and it has very much helped me up to this point. Does that mean I won’t be disappointed or that I will actually be prepared for an outcome other than our first choice? I have no idea. I suppose time will tell. I am certain I will be upset and sad but I don’t know to what degree. I, on my honor, promise to be open and honest with you here, in my emotional refuge, no matter the outcome. It could be overwhelming joy or overwhelming sadness or it could be hope for a new way forward. I am so thankful to be sharing it with you all here. All of these things are future problems or joys. Right now, what is important is enjoying this moment, on the precipice of all opportunity. And…. cold weather snuggles with BB.
Next step, baseline and downregs!