March 2019 Update

My March ended (and April began) with a lovely vacation in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It was a charming town and a really good, relaxing time away. March was a strange, in-between month of transitions. I’m happy to be past some big work deadlines and able to focus on catching up as I also begin the planning process for my two largest events coming in August and January. The cycle always continues!

While March feels like a bit of a blur at this point, I’ve still got some updates on what I’m liking, what I’m over, and where I’m focusing my wellness goals for the month ahead.

What I’m Liking

Believed – This podcast from NPR documents Larry Nassar’s ascendancy to a position of power and believability in the gymnastics world and the way he used that position to molest and abuse hundreds of girls and young women. It’s eight ~30 minute episodes with one bonus epilogue, and it’s absolutely on the highest level of journalism and quality which you would expect from NPR. I learned so much about the story from this podcast and I feel like the women reporters did an outstanding job respecting the voices of the survivors. I expected disgust and sadness while listening, but I was blown away by the resilience and bravery and persistence displayed.

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February 2019 Update

I spent a lot of February wondering if my overwhelming fatigue was from depression or my various and ever-accruing physical health issues. Was it the former or the latter? Yes. Beside that, I put a lot of energy in February toward my office moving locations. It was more exhausting than I expected and I’m just glad to have it over, even if it does mean I’m back to cubicle life!

We made the decision in February to dedicate some time and money to a vacation before we dive in to IVF. Friends have shared their wisdom about how emotionally trying and stressful it will be. Whether things go well or badly, we don’t want to be at the end of our reserves of resiliency. We’re really looking forward to heading to Hot Springs at the end of March for some much needed relaxation and adventure.

In general, February was a hard month for me. Still, here’s what I’m liking, what I’m over, how I did with wellness activities, and my goals for March…

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Why We’re Good at Infertility

February 8  | 102 Weeks Trying | 24th Month Trying

Scrolling through Pinterest frequently makes me roll my eyes, but the pins that get my biggest eye roll are some version of: “How I Got Pregnant in One Month!” There are countless posts out there in the mommy blogger world about how the author did something ridiculously simple and that is the reason she conceived the first or second month trying. Girl, please! Getting pregnant isn’t actually rocket science for most couples and getting pregnant easily is not really something you should brag about. No, it wasn’t because you took a prenatal for three months before you started trying or used Pre-Seed or discovered some kind of unique insight into how menstrual cycles work. You’re just fertile.

In the UK, they frequently say they “fell pregnant” instead of “got/became pregnant.” For many people, pregnancy just kind of happens to them, they fall into it. And there isn’t anything wrong with that, I just don’t really see the point in writing a blog post simply because you’re one of the lucky majority who just needs to hit the fertile window a couple times and boom, you’re pregnant!

In the infertility blogging world, it’s much more common to read a post from someone about what infertility has taught them or how their relationship has gotten stronger through infertility. Today, I’m putting a spin on that theme .

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January Update

I’ve been off personal Twitter and Facebook for over a month! I really haven’t regretted it and I don’t feel like I’ve missed much. I always liked being on the cutting edge of breaking news through Twitter, but in actuality, I only miss out on the insular outrage. Finding out about things a couple hours later is not actually a problem! 10/10 Would Recommend.

The one negative I’ve found, however, is that I feel like no one knows what I’m up to. This is probably more of a feeling of change rather than an actual change, because it’s not like people actually read what I posted on Facebook! Still, I’ve found myself falling into this routine identified by one of my favorite podcasts (Happier with Gretchen Rubin):

‘We’ve all noticed that when you see people all the time, you have a lot to say to them; when you talk to them more rarely, it’s easy to fall into a “What’s new?” “Not much, what’s new with you?” type conversation.’

Rubin’s solution for this problem is sending her parents and sister a regular “update” email with basic details of what’s going on. Then when you see each other, you can ask more specific details and have a meaningful dialogue. This is my Update. I’m sure I won’t always set it up this way, and probably won’t do a wellness check-in each time, but so far I like the idea of sharing occasionally about what is going on and what I’m doing or liking.

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2018 In Review – 2019 Plans

Only a couple days left of 2018, so that means it’s time to review how my #18in18 went. My goal with this was to avoid pass/fail resolutions and instead think of things I believed would add to my life. These were things I wanted to do because I like the idea of how they would make me feel. Here’s where things landed…

Discrete Items

  • ✓ Join bone marrow registry
  • ✓ Sort clothes for give away or throw away
  • ✓ Buy a house
  • ✓ Do a freezer prep
  • ✓ Go to: exhibit, music thing, theatre thing
  • ✓ Schedule & attend counseling
  • ✓ Try meditation
  • ✓ Read 10 books
  • ✓ Picnic with Mark (ish)
  • ✓ Make one technical bake from Great British Bake Off

Year-Long Items:

  • ✓ Dinner at table one night per week
  • ✓ Enjoy Mid-Mo trails by foot or bike
  • ✓ Get coffee/lunch with different person from church each month

Things I Did Not Do:

  • Run a 5K without stopping
  • Finish outstanding professional development courses
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo
  • Organize hangout with new coworkers
  • Respond to emails within 24 hours

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December 23  | 95 Weeks Trying | 22nd Month Trying

Something that seems to make it hard for people to empathize with you when you’re going through infertility is that it’s not a static thing. I think we all have a hard time understanding chronic pain and hurt and disappointment. It is hard to stay attentive to anything that continues on in its difficulty – so long as it’s someone else suffering and not us. We might be good at momentary things: the diagnoses, the immediate instance of loss, the surgery, and so on; however, most of us are not good at handling the murky and indefinite road of chronic health issues or ongoing grief.

In my ongoing pursuit of expressing and sharing what infertility is like, I’d like to pull back the curtain a bit on the perhaps unexpected moments of difficulty. At the beginning when you’re trying, the disappointing moments are what you expect: the first sign of  cramps and then the first day of your period. As time has gone by, those events feel inevitable. Why is it still so hard then?

Continue reading “Ongoing”