Friday, February 25, 2011

This has really been a great week. School hasn't been too awful or stressful, just one older adult test and a lot of sitting through lecture. Next week will be a lot more difficult to handle since it's the beginning of clinicals. I have a hard enough time with it thanks to my hospital anxiety, but add on an instructor who makes me feel intimidated and even more nervous and I get a gigantic cluster of anxiety in my stomach when I even think about it. Monday is just going to be ridiculously long since I validate on inserting nasogastric tubes from 10-12 and then from 1-9:30 I'll be at the hospital (which reminds me I need to buy new shoe inserts.) I know I'll make it through, but I also recognize that it might be a struggle for me too. I am super thankful for my awesome clinical group though because I know I can lean on them on my weak days (and because they remind me I'm not the only one who gets nervous about it.)

I've been able to enjoy some shopping time with friends and I'm loving my purchases. I think I'm going to end up being one of those people who owns a pair of Toms in every color because they're just so comfy and my feet don't stink in them. Retail therapy might be the best kind! And when you're doing it with awesome people, it makes it that much better. Tonight, Matt and I are going to go to the local Borders that is going out of business to get in a little more retail therapy after going out to eat dinner together.

I've connected to the hubby all over again (read: sex that has nothing to do with wanting a baby!) Yeah, so what if this is that lovely fertile time of the month, it's not like we'll end up pregnant anyway. It has totally reminded me how awesome our relationship was pre-marriage (I'm telling on myself here), since the month we got married, we started trying to conceive and sex kinda lost it's hotness after about 6 months where I started using the excuse of "we're married and married people just have less sex." Both of us struggled with depression during those first few years (and we still have our dark days) which I'm sure had a lot to do with it too. But yeah, it's been a good week which might have a little something to do with a few of the things I put in my Valentine's gift to the hubby that he's drawn since then, as well as figuring out I can get a back massage any time I want. It's all about compromise (and really great conversations!) We also went out last weekend to the dog park and to Monte Ne which was really neat.  I took the picture of him right as he let his smile go, that's why he looks so mean haha. It has so much graffiti inside there!

This month was going to be an off month but now we've just decided to keep my insurance (paying for 2 separate plans until the new policy kicks in) so that I can go ahead and get our first few visits out of the way. Even after 3+ years of this, it still just seems silly to take any time off, no matter how small the likelihood of pregnancy might be. I still can't believe that a week from today, we may have some sort of preliminary plan (and to be honest, I'm getting more and more nervous about it with every passing day.) I am really coming to realize how much my anxiety has had to do with me putting this off. We kept saying it was lack of insurance, lack of that extra couple thousand dollars, etc... and in part, both of those are a little true, but really I was just scared. It's one thing to be going this alone and have my personal lack of faith, but it's going to be an entirely different feeling if that lack of faith is validated by a doctor. I know this is a necessary step but it's all I can do not to call and cancel (which is what I did last time I had an appt finally set up.)

I also had a great short hike with my puppies Wednesday night. We went out to my favorite short trail and it was Boomer's first time out there. I sat out there and watched the sunset behind the mountain, walked out into the lake bed again since it's still so low, and just enjoyed that time inside my head while wearing my dogs out. I can't wait for things to start warming up so I can get out there more often.

 The only thing that's missing from my amazing week is my sweet who has been in LA all week. He'll be back next week (during my busy school week) but I'm sure I'll get to watch him at some point. I miss that kid when he's gone.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

That's the noise I keep thinking about as we start to climb this steep incline toward medical intervention, though I'm not sure we're really ready for the roller coaster once we reach the top of this. I finally got up the courage to make an appointment with a local OB. No more natural fertility clinics for me (at least not for now). My appointment is at 8am on Friday, March 4th. I'm super nervous but have heard good things about this guy (at least from an OB perspective) so hopefully it won't be too bad. I was warned that despite his awesome professionalism, don't be surprised if you blush from how super cute he is haha.

I'm not even sure what to expect this first appointment really. I've been doing so much research on my own these past few years, that I'm torn between getting annoyed from being talked to like I know nothing (which I get a lot at 23...looking younger than that some days) and driving him crazy being a know it all. I am coming prepared with a list of questions and plan to let him know that I do have an extensive amount of knowledge about infertility already. Thanks to all the reading I've done on my own as well as being privileged enough to follow (and feel like I'm a part of) so many other amazing women's journey that I will need very little explained to me. I feel like I will have an advantage (and will possibly be taken more seriously) since I am a nursing student. We didn't get our insurance worked out yet, but I'm just so tired of waiting so we'll be using my crappy insurance for these first few appointments and will just cover the costs out of pocket. What I'm really hoping for is just a get to know each other meeting, maybe a quick exam, and some sort of plan. I'm expecting a plan to include lots of blood work, maybe an HSG or saline u/s, definitely a sperm analysis for the hubz, and who knows what else. In my head, having someone other than me tell Matt he needs to quit smoking and shows him low numbers that will definitely increase if he quits, then he'll actually try again. Like I said earlier, I'm not sure if we'll pursue any medicated cycles at this time (although I might change my mind...or we can just wait a few more months until we'd have a june/july/august due date so that I'd be out of school by the time the baby was here.) It still seems insane to finally be on a track that might eventually lead to a baby.

We have decided not to move right now so that we can stretch our money a little farther and just pay our rent for the next few months to relieve some stress. I wish I could pay my utilities ahead of time as well, but instead I'm just moving money around to our separate account and setting up automatic withdrawal so that I don't even really have to think about it. It's so nice during this time of the year when money stress seems so very far away. We are even going to treat ourselves to some new clothes this weekend (although I got a head start yesterday and bought myself some Toms which I love so much that I think I might even sleep in them.) I also bought some Spanx which I freaking love and it makes all my pants fit so much better! It's a quick fix while I keep slowwwwwwwwly losing weight. I wish tomorrow wasn't supposed to be rainy because I don't have school and I was really hoping to go on a nice long hike with my puppies. Guess I'll have to settle for Turbo Jam, cleaning, and studying.

Hope every one is enjoying this ICLW as much as I am! I've already found a few new blogs I adore (but no run for iron commenter again this month), and I'm hoping I'll at least add one follower by the end of the week. Hopefully I'll have a lot more to talk about on the ttc front very soon! And also, yay for my 100th post!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Welcome ICLW-er's! This is always such a great week for me. I spend way too much time online during this week out of the month but it's so full of old friends, new friends, and hundreds of comments (both giving and receiving) that's it hard not to look forward to. For those who are new to my blog, I'm just another infertile who refuses to give up hope but is stuck in stasis, unable to move forward. I'm in nursing school and I will graduate in May 2012. Hopefully I'll be jumping right into a master's bridge program and by the time I'm 27, I'll have my masters in nurse-midwifery. I have a super insane (especially considering the stupid infertile part) passion for serving and spoiling pregnant women. It has definitely come and go these past few years but it really is where my heart is, no matter what other pay may share that space. I have an awesome hubby, a super amazing nanny job where I get to love and spoil the ninja.toddler, and I'm managing to survive nursing school so far. We'd be thrilled for nursing school to be derailed by a pregnancy and this year is finally the one where we get to move forward with medical testing (post to follow this week on a new plan!)

I have a little less school work this week so I'm hoping to get a little bit ahead of schedule and keep a very clean house. Matt has a friend (whom I've never met) coming to stay with us tomorrow night and Wednesday night so I have a lot of cleaning to do when I get home tonight. It's a very blah clinical skills day learning how to insert nasogastric tubes (which I really hope I never, ever, ever have to do...especially as a nurse midwife haha).

So welcome and I hope you decide to stick around!

Also, I never did give away that copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility since most of the commenter's are well into the infertility journey so we'll just say the first person to email me at simplyrochelle at gmail. com wins!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I am starting to wonder if there will ever be a time where I don't feel this stressed. This past month has felt like one big long swim upstream where as soon as I finally thought I'd reached a place where I could rest, the current would pick up and threaten to take me back to where I started. Part of my mind says, "this is only temporary, once you get out of school and have a reliable income things will be so much easier," but in my heart, I know that's not going to be the case. I know that as soon as I graduate, there will be a whole new set of challenges. Matt and I will both be going back to school again, we'll likely live in an area with a higher cost of living, hopefully we'll have a child to take care of, and who knows what else I've have taken on. But for now, let's focus on the present since that's something I need to start doing more of anyway.

Luckily, my loan money finally came in which allows me to limit my financial stress for a few months until summer rolls around. I got my car back from the mechanic only to get a big list of other things they found that need to be repaired, but for the most part, it's things I can fix cheaply or put off for a while.  Right now, the biggest source of stress for me is school, though I'm feeling a little bit of relief after the test I just took. All the school we missed because of the snow really threw me off and I feel like quite a few of our lectures were really rushed just to get through them. I just need to do a lot more studying than I've been doing and focus more on making sure I'm not just memorizing things but that I actually understand the pathophysiology behind it.

After seeing my stress really affect my body over the past month (like my ridiculously long cycle followed by a period half as long as usual or the almost daily headaches I've been getting), I'm really trying to make more of an effort to reduce my amount of stress and to develop better coping methods to deal with the stress I can't avoid. I have a lot of great big ideas about how to go about this, but it's going to be finding a way to incorporate that into our life. It's going to start out with creating a budget and actually following it. We finally have a savings account going (even if it will most likely be spent on our big party next year!) I want to stretch this loan money as far as possible (which will really depend on whether or not we actually move) and it's so much easier now that Matt has a job that pays pretty well (despite not paying him overtime and effing his payroll up once a month or so).

It's not just about relieving financial stress though, it's all the mental stress that I put upon myself that I really need to work on (and that I have more control over). It's school, two part time jobs, keeping up with my marriage, trying to keep my house livable (read: clean), attempting to get some sort of socializing through friends (who are far and few between), and all the other things I always worry myself over. I live in a constant state of anxiety which leaves me exhausted.

So how do I go about changing this when even daily living seems so overwhelming? It's going to start with nutrition and exercise. It's going to mean eating better, healthier, more high quality foods. It's carving out time once or twice a week to hike. I always feel so much better, so much more refreshed and ready to face the world, even after a short hike. It's so hard to find time to exercise but it makes such a difference in how I feel and I know it helps the hubz too. I really want to get back into yoga since it always leaves me feeling relaxed. There's just something about that feeling of being in control, even if it is only your breathing you're in control of, that pushes anxiety away. I also want to play with my dog more, which is easier now that it's getting warmer outside because that makes us both feel better.

I wish I could hire a maid (and I guess if I gave up my coffee outings or eating out for lunch, I could work it into the budget) because when my house is clean, I feel less stressed. Right now, the dishes have been in the sink all week, laundry is piled up everywhere, my guest room is a disaster, the sheets on my bed are dirty, and the list goes on and on. I just can't find time to clean between two jobs, school, and wanting to sleep at some point and I can't expect Matt to do it all with work too.

Nannying it up tonight and tomorrow morning, hopefully hiking tomorrow afternoon, Dixie on Sunday morning, homework Sunday night, and then it's right back into school Monday for a big skills lab on how to insert nasogastric tubes so I don't really feel like I have much of a weekend, but at least it's not really anything that should cause stress. Is there a pause button I can push?

Monday, February 14, 2011

I had an amazing day yesterday (before getting a sore throat). Two of my favorite best friends drove up from central Arkansas and we all saw the touring Broadway version of Mamma Mia! They arrived early so we had plenty of time to talk and catch up. W reads my blog and it makes me feel so loved that even though we might not always talk on a week to week basis, she's still so involved in my life. This was the first time I'd see K since last April at W's wedding. The first time I'd seen her since she lost her precious first born this past October, a beautiful daughter named Kaydence. She gave me a picture of her sweet baby girl and showed me a few others that she had. Her strength and faith throughout this entire tragedy greatly humbles me. It's not often that I get to tell someone that I hope they're pregnant by the next time I see them, but after losing her gorgeous daughter and then having to wait 6 months to try for another baby due to the emergency c-section that was supposed to save her daughter, she deserves a very quick conception and a wonderful rainbow baby this year. It was super sad to say goodbye to them and I had a nice, long, decompressing cry once I drove away. It won't be that long until I see them again since they're going to come back in May to see Les Mis up here and then we're going to go see Beauty and the Beast in Memphis this June. It's shaping up to be quite the musical year.

And it was such a needed escape, even if only for a few hours since my schedule is so very full during these next few weeks as we try and make up for the fact that we've only been to 9 out of 19 days of class this semester. I had one skills validation today on tracheotomy care and suctioning, IV validation tomorrow (on a real, live person for the first time ever!), then a pharmacology test on Wednesday, a really super long lecture Thursday, and a test I'm very unprepared for on Friday. Throw in about 12 hours of nannying, finishing a CASA court report, and all the other random things that need to be done around my house (like the giant sink full of dishes) and it adds even more to my already full plate.

Another plus is that I don't have strep throat, it's just red and sore, and it's already feeling better than it did this morning which is great since I just can't afford to get sick this week too. I have to find a way into tricking my body into thinking I'm not stressed out so I don't end up having more almost 40 day cycles or strange 3 day periods. I should find out more about this new insurance during the next few days which is just one step closer! We keep talking about it so seriously, knowing that it's in the near future, and it is so very exciting since it's seemed so far away for so long now.

Happy Valentines Day! I made my hubby a super sweet (and cheap) gift this year. There are 92 days between today and our anniversary so I wrote down about 85 things I love about Matt, added in 7 free massages and foreign movies with no complaints from me, and ta-da, his gift. And to further lower the price, I grabbed a bunch of paint color pallets in pinks and reds for free at wal.mart so I didn't have to buy construction paper. I put them all in a glass bowl I found for $1 with some little chocolates and it's going to sit on my coffee table from here until May. He absolutely loved it and I think it will be hard for him to only pull one a day. He gave me an amazing foot rub and wrote me a song (that I have to wait until tomorrow for). We went out to dinner and have spent the rest of the time watching Dr. Who and cuddling on the couch with our puppies. It has been the perfect end to a day and I can just hear my bed calling my name now.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

We are snowed in again! 4-8 inches were expected and we ended up getting 18+ inches! It's insane outside and both my dogs have to hop in the air just to move around in the snow. Boomer disappears under it all together & I had to throw her out in it just to get her to go potty out there. 

Since we've been without a heater since Saturday and just couldn't take the temp in the living room, we relocated everything to our much smaller bedroom so that we could be adequately warm. So now our little bitty room has a tower heater, an Amish fireplace, the dog crate, our TV and xbox, our two nightstands, and our queen size bed. But that means we are all cozy and warm together with a very full bed. I am actually really thankful for our snow day where we all just get to stay in bed other than to make food and go to the bathroom.

I am thankful for my hubby, the human heater, and our puppies who love to warm (sleep on) my feet. And thankful for our Six Feet Under marathon. I'm breezing through seasons like it's nothing. What can I say, I'm addicted! I'd be watching a bunch more Dr. Who as well, but we didn't want to bother moving the modem in here so no netflix right now.

I am thankful that I finally started, seven effing days late, but at least I'm not stuck in purgatory anymore. That limbo is the worst, even if what comes next has been the most painful period I've had since before my first pregnancy. There will be no baby making this month while we try and switch insurance companies but that is good news since it means forward progress on this journey toward parenthood. After the pain from this cycle and it being late, I'm wondering how many tests I'll have to endure for an answer. If it's the course we're going to be taking, I'll gladly go through a few medicated cycles for a 2012 baby. And even if I had to take off the Spring semester, I'd still have some company moving into the fast track and it would only postpone graduation until August/September. And holy moly, it would be so very worth it for a baby. A pregnancy would make this next semester with OB/peds just that much more exciting. I can at least hope.

I had a strange experience yesterday that pulled at my heart strings. One of the girls in my class has found herself unexpectedly pregnant and there is a possibility that she will be giving the baby up for adoption. It breaks my heart for her, no matter how ill prepared she is for another child, but it also fills me with such longing. I would do absolutely anything for the privilege of raising that baby, of raising any baby. It's just such a sad situation and it will be nice to see some happiness come from it, even if it's not my own happiness. Little things that sting.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

 I'm so very glad the snow is finally melting, although it was pretty funny watching my dogs go nuts in it. Cordi thinks she can catch the snow when you kick it up and does all sorts of flips.  It can bring as much entertainment as your legs will allow. So finally back to school tomorrow for the first time in a week, which means we deal with a bunch of long days to make up for it. I decided to take a quick break between homework/study sessions because the week is already feeling overwhelming and it hasn't even really begun yet. I still have a few videos to watch but for the most part, I'm ready for tomorrow which will be a very big day, almost a full 8 hours of school with only a 30 minute lunch to break up the monotony of skills. I'm afraid it might be too much to take in all at once but I'll be there trying to absorb as much as I can. IV skills, I'm all about learning and perfecting, but tracheostomy thanks. I even gagged a few times learning about it and that's definitely not good news for what tomorrow brings (and I get to learn it right after lunch, oh joy!)

I may be a bit preoccupied though by this miserably long cycle I'm stuck in. I sit here, three days after fertility.frienemy said to expect my lovely Aunt, on cd36, wondering what in the world is going on. I haven't had a cycle this long in a year so I thought they were getting more regular, more normal. A few days ago,  I was telling myself, if she's not here Friday, I'll test, which turned into Saturday, then Sunday, and now, I'm saying Thursday. That's really the only bit of hope you'll find around here. Every day I have cramps that make me think she's finally here, but then nothing. I just don't have it in me this month to test, see that negative, and then start hours later. I just can't do it. There shouldn't really have been much of a chance this month anyway, but it's still frustrating to have a cycle this long after so many more "normal" ones. I'm sure the 10lbs I've gained could have something to do with it. Matt and I have plans to change that really soon so stay tuned.

I'll definitely be seeking refuge in the blogosphere this week as I attempt to escape nursing school, even if it is just momentarily. And on that note, back to work I go to try and get a little bit more done before bed.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This past weeks feels like one knock down after another.

First, my car has to go into the shop leaving me stranded when Matt is at work. Luckily, I live really close to one of my classmates so I've at least been able to get a ride to and from class. It adds so much unneeded stress. And now it's going to take over $600 to get it back from the mechanic. And we most definitely do not have that right now.

A good chunk of my utilities have late balances since I only paid what I could afford on them. We had to ask our landlady to accept our rent on Friday instead of today. And the list of financial woes goes on and on.

If only my car could have held out another week. If only the school wasn't closed for two snow days this week so that they could process my financial aid check on time. If only I wasn't so prideful and unaware of what's socially acceptable, I could have graciously accepted the $600 advance my amazing nanny boss offered me while I wait on my aid check.

I've been cautious of posting about our financial stress on here because I've always worried about other's criticism of our continued ttc efforts despite being stuck in the poor house until next summer but I started to figure out that a big chunk of us infertiles are not waiting for that "ideal" time for a baby that will most definitely never come. If it weren't money, we could find another excuse.

Also, on the baby making front, this past week we discovered that the Zan.tac (raniditine) that Matt has been taking for that past almost 15 years for his ulcers has been shown to drastically reduce sperm count! Uhhh....this could have been some useful information a few years ago! Needless to say, he is no longer taking it and I'm sure he'll be eating a lot more tums so now I'm trying to research what/if any effects calcium can have on his boys. Only a few more weeks until he's eligible for insurance so I'm hoping March will finally be the month where we get some numbers to go off of, even though they may still be affected by the raniditine since it takes about 90 days for new sperm to mature. Part of me hopes that there will be some sort of issue just so we have something to work on (and maybe once he's sees on paper he'll finally quit smoking cigs.) I would stab myself with needles daily, undergo as many surgeries as needed, stand on my head for 9 straight months, and then some, but he just won't/can't quit smoking. My fingers are crossed that his insurance will totally rock and I'll be able to give up my crappy, good for nothing insurance in exchange for his. I've yet to see what this means for us, but we do live in a state where infertility coverage is supposed to be mandatory (anyone know about things like this?)

So yeah, I've been pretty down on myself lately. Another stranded snow day tomorrow that I'll try and fill with nursing school work and laundry. If the roads are even a little bit more clear tomorrow (which they might not be with a high of 16 and a low of -5) I might try and go take care of my sweet ninja.toddler for a few hours. I haven't even changed out of my pjs today. I wish I could say that it's been a while since I have been this lazy but I've been doing this way too much lately. We won't even talk about my shower status. And still, I'll use the insurance change over excuse to not go to the doctor for anti-depressants.

This money shortage also means it looks like I'll have to wait a few more months to take the doula workshop I was so looking forward to. I'm still holding on to a little bit of hope that they'll allow me to register late next week, even if I have to pay a little extra because I'm just so ready to get this show on the road. I have to call one person tomorrow about possibly attending her home birth in just a few short weeks. I've also agreed to a hospital birth in October for one of my awesome nursing school classmates. I'm still hoping to pick up some ladies this summer too, of course. I really want to be fully certified by the end of this year.

I have to find some way to cheer up. Or at least figure out how to fake it better.

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