August 19th•Day of Hope — August 19, 2015

August 19th•Day of Hope

Today, is the International Day Of Hope.•••
Hope is something I’ve truly been struggling with lately. On both a trying to conceive level and with my mental illness. Everything is wearing on me and I just need a mental health day or to just scream. Every once in awhile, you need to take a day to close your eyes•breathe•count to ten•be aware you are doing absolutely everything you can in your power and its up to the universe now to pick up the slack. •••
I’ve been having a hard time keeping myself together and I’m regretful of that. Pain, stress, and exhaustion are getting to me. I’m unmedicated bipolar, and it gets to me a lot. Most of the time I’m able to breathe and balance what’s important in that moment. •••

Unfortunately, these last few weeks I’ve been taking my private pain out on my husband as he’s the only one I spend the most time with. I regret that, but I’m lucky he is understanding and knows what’s going on even if I don’t say it out loud. He is truly my anchor and I have no idea where I would be without him. •••
My appointment with my new RE keeps getting pushed back. Supposedly both of the doctors at the hospital are on maternity leave, at the same time. Great. So I’m on a waiting list until hopefully late fall at the earliest. I can’t go off post, or my insurance won’t cover any of the costs. So I’m stuck waiting until further notice. •••
I got off the phone after that and cried and prayed. I’m hoping that whatever the reason is for making my husband and I wait, there is a good reason. I don’t want to question anything but sometimes you do subconsciously. What is going one? What is the reason? Why can’t I just do the single most natural thing in the world, and just have my baby? •••
In this “day of hope” I try to educate people on infertility. Let them try to understand things from our point of view if possible. The heartbreak, pain, anger,….you can’t do that alone. I can’t do this alone. There’s an entire community of us, but we are spread out and sometimes I need to vent to someone other than my husband who is going through his own struggle and his job in the military is stressful without me adding to it. The loneliness of infertility is something I really want to touch on here; everyone around me in my real life, my personal life are so terribly unfazed by this struggle. They either have kids, don’t want kids, or are pregnant. My husband, like I said, he understands on his own level always wanting to blame himself and be angry at his own reproductive system even though there’s been no proof of him being the problem. My family, besides my mother, are very fertile. I come from a gypsy background on my mothers side, so all of them have been having kids from a ridiculous age. That’s what makes me feel alone in this. Inside my head I’m in pain and I know no matter what, I can’t convey the feeling to them accurately. •••
Keeping hope, though hard. Is a must. 

Stay Strong💕

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September• Now we wait — July 23, 2015

September• Now we wait

So, the day after my appointment with the doctor to get a referral I received a call from the OBGYN clinic at the hospital. Unfortunately, they are booked until September. So here I am, 3 years and 3 months into trying to conceive our first child and having to wait again.I’m not upset anymore about it, I’m taking this time to heal from an extremely horrible ear infection that has made me really sick. Also, to research what I want our next move to be when we do see the doctor. 

I’m used to the hurry up and wait aspect of this journey. I was really hoping that we would be able to conceive with just the herbal vitamins and supplements my husband and I are taking, but it doesn’t appear that way. I’m not by any means against using clomid again or pairing it with injectables or whatever else they decide to try on us. I just believe I’ll always have a little piece of me hold some bitterness towards the fact I haven’t been successful in creating a family the way I thought I would or the way I’ve seen other people do it. Yes infertility is a rising problem for many, MANY couples. Unfortunately. But, like with any disease or issue people can develop, you’ll always play the game of “it’ll never happen to me”….and then you end up devastated. 

Anyway! We had our Army birthday ball on the 10th! My mom made my dress and sent it to me in June so I definitely felt like a princess (with her fairy godmother seamstress of course) standing next to my prince💙

   
   

Update • New Doctor — July 8, 2015

Update • New Doctor

Had my appointment yesterday with my new primary. The night before I was freaking out after hearing horrid reviews on her care and wether or not she would be putting in my referral to the specialist. Thankfully she was great! 

I am now waiting on a call to setup my appointment for my new fertility specialist here on post! I’m so thankful that that was so easy, quick, and painless. I don’t know yet what our new route will be until I talk to the new doctor but I’m hoping since we will be here awhile, it will result in a baby.

Also! My birthday was this past weekend and I am now 23! Im glad that we have made some pretty good friends here that helped us celebrate. I’ll post some images to share❤️

XOXO  

    
 

23 • — July 1, 2015

23 •

On Friday I turn 23. As someone who’s suffered from mental illness I never saw myself, when I was younger, reaching this age. There’s nothing particular about 23 at all. I say this every year on my birthday, that I never thought I’d be turning that age. In the back of my mind I stay a little shocked and proud of myself for pushing through my darkest days to advance towards where I am now. 

It’s also another year I get to remember I’ve gone without receiving a positive pregnancy test or even a diagnosis. 

I hear people say how they find my positivity admirable. That suffering from mental illness and going through infertility on top of my husband being an active duty soldier sounds tough and the way I handle it is incredible and good job for being so positive and having a great outlook. That’s far from the truth. 

I cry, and scream, and wonder when am I going to see some sign that will tell me what I need to do next because I’m at a dead end with what I know how to do. I’ve pushed for help from doctors and clinics, I’ve taken multitudes of medications and supplements, been poked and prodded and more importantly I’ve prayed. 

I don’t want to question or doubt and everyone falls a little short on faith sometimes, but it’s being able to pick yourself up and say, “this month is it!” I’m finding it really hard to even do that now.   

We will never be able to afford to do IVF, our insurance will cover nothing when it comes to ART. So IUI is off the table as well since there’s no timed intercourse. It’s hard, I’ve looked into those options and I just don’t know how people can afford to do round after round of it. I want to be able to afford the baby after conception, too. I don’t have anything against IVF at all! I just wish it was more affordable. I would do it in a heartbeat. And adoption is harder when you’re military also, most agencies don’t see military families as “stable” with moving often and deployments. It feels like everyone is working against us. 

I want to believe we are suffering now in order to reach something good, and that its just taking a little longer. 

I’m not the only one who is feeling this way. I wish I had something inspirational to say about it but I don’t. 

XOXO

  

Nothing Nice to Say • Dream — June 30, 2015

Nothing Nice to Say • Dream

I had someone say to me recently that “it’s things like infertility that destroy relationships…you should be thankful for the things that you have and your relationship and stop dwelling on the fact you can’t have a kid….if it’s going to happen it’ll happen. Stop forcing it.”This person isn’t married, isn’t in a relationship, and doesn’t have kids. I don’t judge. I don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. I haven’t talked to this person in years and they don’t know anything about what I’m going through. 
To clarify, I am extremely thankful for everything I have. I pray and give thanks everyday for everything I have received in my life. 

I suffer from bipolar disorder and am currently not medicated. I have been hospitalized more times in my life than I care to admit. There have been times where I didn’t pray or look at what I have and have been given and see it as something good. 

My life has changed, I can’t tell you honestly that everything is all rainbows and lollipops but I’m HAPPY. I have taught myself to focus on the good, the great, and the future and that is such an accomplishment for me to be able to do that without medication and on going treatment. Do I need it? Yes. I can admit that not being medicated has made things even harder and it’s not a great idea. But I can’t be on what I need while trying to have a baby. It’s not safe. So I deal and it’s not awful. Communication, understanding triggers, and taking it a day at a time is key and I get that now. 

My relationship with my husband isn’t paying the price of our struggles. We don’t blame each other, it’s not anything we did! It’s unfortunately something that is what it is. We are not alone. 

We have gone through worse, and a multitude of things. High school, boot camp, deployments, distance, moving 6 times in 3 years, personal struggles, long training days, college, etc. If none of that plus some has broken us down to the point we don’t want to be with each other I honestly think we can handle this. 

The great Albus Dumbledore once said, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live…” I agree. The point is, if all you focus on is what you want, and not give appreciation at the same time for the things you have, you are living a shallow life. 

I’m thankful for my husband. For him knowing my battles and still staying. It’s not easy. For our relationship never wavering, we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel but until we reach that, darkness is when you can see the stars. I’m thankful for all our struggles, without those we wouldn’t know how strong we are individually and as a couple. 

Take a moment today, and think of how the battles in your life have made you the awesome person you are today. How strong you are alone and how much stronger you are with the people around you. Your dreams matter.
XOXO

  
  

Where To Go • HSG — June 29, 2015

Where To Go • HSG

So, the last doctor I saw I requested an HSG, no I more or less demanded it. Which shouldn’t be a problem, right? Well, she told me they only do HSG’s during Lap surgeries. 
Huh? I don’t think that that makes much sense…

I know so many people who have had HSG’s before even starting clomid and I’ve done several rounds and one was never mentioned! 

I’m really confused. I have an appointment with my new primary care doctor the 7th of July and I’m torn on whether I want to try to get a referral and start this process again right now or give my body a couple more cycles as it’s still early since starting COQ10 and Vitex….

I’m sick of being disappointed by people who should be helping. 10 doctors in three years is a lot. I just want to find someone who is genuine and has a game plan to get me where I want to be. Is that so much to ask?

Well, apparently in the world of doctors nowadays it seems all they want to do is treat symptoms or treat you like you’re crazy. Then move on. There’s no such thing as preventing or searching for a cause. It it’s going to require too much of their time, don’t wanna do it. Why??? I’m still paying you! I want to know what’s going on in my body, I want to know why I’m sitting here watching girls I went to high school with pop out baby number 2 and 3 or 3 and 4 and I’m still waiting for number 1. I just don’t know what I feel comfortable enough doing anymore. 

XOXO

  

Things To Not Say To Your Infertile Friend • — June 25, 2015

Things To Not Say To Your Infertile Friend •

The incredibly unfortunate thing about infertility (other than not being able to conceive, of course) is how little people know about it outside of the community. 

I’ll be honest, when we first started really putting effort in, I didn’t know a damn thing about conceiving other than how to have sex. Ovulation? Basal body what? Cervical WHAT?!?!? Man, I don’t need all that…I’ll just have sex like everyone else does and we will have a baby in 9 months….right? 

Wrong.

3 years later I know more acronyms then I care to admit. 

We moved to Alaska recently to our new duty station and of course that means trying to make new friends since we will be here for a couple years. The awful thing about this is hearing all the same questions once it somehow always slips about when we will have kids. 

I’m semi comfortable talking about infertility to anyone, since I know how taboo a topic it seems to be, I like to try to “educate” people on it the best I can so they can sympathize and realize that this is a rising issue and it’s more common then people really know. 

It still hurts though. 
•”Maybe it’s just not the right time.”
“Just adopt.”
•”My brothers cousins friend had trouble making babies, they went on vacation and now they have twins!” 
•”Whatever you do don’t try! You’ll never get pregnant that way.”
•”No. Everyone can have babies, you must be doing something wrong.” 
•”Can’t you just do in vitro?”

•”Gosh I wish I couldn’t have kids, mine drive me nuts!”

•”I know exactly how you feel, it took us 6 months to get pregnant!”

I always commend myself of staying classy and not going completely ape shit on people who ask questions that to me sound heartless. I will hold it together and give educated responses as to estimated costs, to why everyone is different, to time lines… “Here let me pull out this pie chart and show you why you can’t just relax and get pregnant!” 
I sat in a bathroom at my husbands grandmothers house at Christmas and cried. I was wearing a thermal top from Old Navy that had “baby it’s cold outside” written on it and literally 5 different people asked if I was pregnant. I couldn’t do it, I sat in there and wondered why people don’t understand. I know we aren’t as open talking to his side as we do with mine but they know it’s been difficult. I felt exposed in front of his family that night when they would holler that question out and everyone would look at me as though I had a big announcement. My husband wasn’t any help, I sometimes don’t know if he knows how to approach the topic like I’ve had to learn to do. 
I don’t know if it’s easier to not talk about it, or to just talk about it. I don’t know. I feel like either way I’m going to be bothered by something. The awful questions or the internal battle of holding it in. 
XOXO 

Cycle Day Two • Vitex Review —

Cycle Day Two • Vitex Review

I started taking Vitex in March. Taking 2 capsules a day for the first twelve weeks then only 1 after. I had read so many great reviews about it that I was hoping it would work for me. 

Since its been almost 5 months since I started it I thought it appropriate to share what it’s done so far.
A little background on Vitex- ChasteBerry first.

  
Vitex starts out as a flower that grows in the Mediterranean. Apparently it’s been used for women’s ailments for centuries, which struck me as pretty great when I first read up on that. Something with a long history of working is always reassuring! Am I right?

Anyway, it helps with PMS/PMDD, endometriosis pain, irregular cycles, anovulation, estrogen dominance, low progesterone levels, and short luteal phases….see what I mean? It’s a wonder drug basically. 
So, I started taking it in March. This last cycle which would have been cycle 3 of being on it, I had a 31 day cycle and ovulated on cycle day 14! Before I was ovulating anywhere from cycle day 21-24 giving me only 7-8 days until my next cycle started. I had 17 days between ovulation and cycle day one this time. 
It doesn’t give me any side effects. I’m not nauseated after I take it, nothing awful to really stand out and say “that must be the Vitex”. I take about 9 other vitamins as well, but this is the one I really noticed the most improvement with. I had incredibly irregular cycles up until we started using clomid, I’m talking going 5-7 months with no period at all. Then bam one day it hits you out of no where and you’re cycle day one again. I’ve had the worst luck with doctors also, who would calculate my last cycle and were able to see it was many months prior and not try to look into it.

I started clomid and that helped immensely to regulate me and really taught me what to look for when tracking and when we stopped clomid my cycle continued to be regular up till I started Vitex. 

I started Vitex on what would have been cycle day 56 and two days later I got my period. I don’t know if that was because of Vitex or not but everything after that has been like clockwork. 
So, to say the least, I’m really all about it. I’m happy with what it’s done for me. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, as with any other medication/supplement but, if you haven’t tried it and are open I’d highly recommend it. 
XOXO

Me • Infertility  — June 24, 2015

Me • Infertility 


 Late last year I tried to start a blog, shortly after I had joined the Trying To Conceive community on Instagram. I didn’t stick to it and I found it hard to open up when I was still new to the community online and many other things where changing in my life at the same time. 

Now, it’s been 3 years and a month of trying to build our family. It’s bittersweet when you hit what seems to be a substantial milestone in journeys you know shouldn’t be ones you have to make. I know there are MANY other women out there with more years clocked in than I do but, I don’t want to make this a race. It shouldn’t be like that. From one year to ten years the pain and the goal is the same. 

You won’t agree I know but I just don’t see a point in being competitive about a medical condition that no matter what is going to be a different mountain for everyone to climb. 

Since July of 2014 we have been to 10 doctors, done several rounds of clomid, my husband has had 3 semen analysis’, 1 transvaginal ultrasound, countless blood tests, thousands of OPKs and HPTs, and 0 pregnancies. All resulting in oceans of tears and doubts. 

Being a military spouse the unfortunate thing about our insurance is the very little they cover for infertility. I have heard on occasions people’s doctors working it so they can have IUIs covered with little out of pocket cost, but of course you need to find a doctor to do that. If you don’t, you will be paying nearly 100% of the expenses yourself, if you are using ART. If timed intercourse they will work with you. 

At this point, we have just settled into our new home on post in Alaska. We are both taking quite a few supplements and I have an appointment with my new primary care doctor in July. I have requested an HSG with nearly every doctor we’ve seen. My family has a long history of Endometriosis and various other reproductive disorders. And I have been told no every time. I’m hoping and praying my new doctor will just give me the test to put my mind at ease and continue whatever treatment route we decide. 
My supplements- Prenatal, DHA, Folic Acid, Vitex, Selenium, COQ10, Zinc, Evening Primrose Oil(cd 1-ovulation) 
Husbands- Selenium, Zinc, Folic Acid, COQ10, Multivitamin, Vitamin C, Fish Oil, L-Arganin 

You’ll be able to find me on Instagram as toreevandyke

XOXO