life, love, and maybe babies

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Hot Flash in the Pan

Hello, Infertility Friends!

I have been totally MIA. So sorry. No, it's nothing you did. I promise. I've just been in a funk of writer's block and haven't been able to pull myself out of it. But I think I'm finally emerging!

When I last left you, I had taken my first injection of Depot Lupron and was woefully dreading my next injection which would take place while on a business trip.

Translation: I'd have to give myself the injection rather than Hubs. Panic!

I am happy to report that I did give myself the injection. (Although my work colleague and friend actually had to plunge it. I just couldn't make myself do it!)

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of using Depot Lupron, allow me to give you a timeline of a typical day for me. It's super fun.


A Day in the Life of a Woman on Depot Lupron

6:30 AM: Wake up with the deluded belief that today is going to be tolerable on this blasted medication.

7:00 AM: Exit (cold) shower. Feel nice, feel good.

7:03 AM: Begin drying hair. Feel the tickle of a hot flash creeping in at the base of m neck

7:10 AM: Hair is dry but body is completely drenched in sweat from hot flash. Consider second shower but don't have time.

7:22 AM: Realize just the make-up on my upper lip has melted off. I look like a deranged clown.

8:30 AM: Opt for an iced coffee at the drive through instead of normal latte because of sweat dripping down my back. 

9:00 AM: My deodorant has already been used up and I've only had it on for 2 hours.

10:00 AM: Client meeting in super air-conditioned office. YAY! Salvation!

10:04 PM: The air conditioning doesn't matter. My boob sweat is now at a maximum level.

12:00 PM: Try to ignore the slow building of a migraine headache at the corner of my temples.

12:08 PM: OH MY GOD, the PAIN! I'm seeing stars. Am I dying? Why is everyone TALKING SO LOUDLY???!!

12:30-4:30 PM: Experience at least four more hot flashes. At least three people inquire, "Um, Kim? Why are you fanning yourself? It's cold in here!" 

5:45 PM: Lay on couch and be still. So still. Maybe the pounding in my head will stop.

6:30 PM: Dinner with Hubs. Super fast hot flash arrives. Walk to freezer and stick my head in it. Hubs asks, "Is it really necessary to be that dramatic, babe?" Throw frozen yogurt container at Hubs' head.

9:30 PM: Climb into bed. Hubs immediately covers up because, well, it's 65 degrees in the house. I don't blame him.

10:30 PM: I'm still not asleep.

11:15 PM: Doze off.

11:38 PM: Wake up from the most awful, terrible, disgusting nightmare ever. Whatever this drug is, it makes my dreams all kinds of whack-a-doodle.

12:15 AM: First hot flash of the night. It's mild. My pajama pants stay on. 

12:20 AM: Minor hot flash. Flip pillow over looking for "the cool side."

12:38 AM: Third hot flash of the night. All covers off. All clothes off. Lay naked on bed, wondering how far the sweat has reached into the mattress.

12:40 AM: Stumble to the thermostat. Is the air conditioner even WORKING?

1:38 AM: Hot flash. I don't even get up this time. Just lay there and deal with it.

2:15 AM: Awful dream #2. This one involves me cutting my own feet off because I painted my toenails badly. Awesome.

3:15, 3:45, 4:20 AM: Hot flash, hot flash, hot flash.

5:00 AM: Wide. Freaking. Awake.

6:00 AM: Fall into deep, wonderful sleep.

6:30 AM: Alarm goes off. 

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.


What about you, bloggies? Did you experience the same side effects with Lupron?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Oprah was right...

I'm not going to lie to you - I like Oprah.

Not the "You get a car! YOU get a car! EVERYBODY GETS A CAR!" Oprah. The other one. The introspective, somewhat deep, makeup free and often profound Oprah. Sure, she's annoying at times and a humongous narcissist (but really, what famous person isn't?), but the woman has a true thirst for knowledge and a desire to spread that knowledge to everyone she meets. And I dig that.

One of the biggest things that Oprah has taught me over the years is to ask myself, 'What's the Lesson?" when I encounter something in my life that gives me pause. 

Maybe it's a boyfriend who dumped me after two weeks for no reason. What's the lesson?

Perhaps it's the big sale that I didn't get when I was POSITIVE I had it in the bag? What's the lesson?

For the most part, I do a pretty good job of self-evaluating and trying to learn from my experiences. But infertility is different. I spend a great deal of time avoiding the thought of infertility at all costs. Kind of like when I avoid the mirror after eating at Cheesecake Factory. I just don't like to go there. Like eating at Cheesecake Factory, thinking about infertility is often overwhelming, painful, and gives me indigestion. 

Yesterday, as I had a particularly bad episode of "WHY THE FRICK IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?", I realized that I haven't been thinking about the lessons I'm learning from this disease. (Yes, naysayers, infertility is a disease.) And after a little thinking, here's what I've come up with.

Lessons Infertility Has Taught Me About Myself

1.  I am patient

If Hubs reads this, he'll probably laugh his ass off. But it's true. I really am. Maybe not in other areas of life (like weight loss, pay days, etc), but infertility has turned me into a truly patient gal. Four years. Four years of waiting for the thing I want the most. Months of medication that have seemed to work, then not worked. Months of waiting for two weeks, getting a negative, waiting four more weeks, then starting all over again with no end in sight. I don't care who you are, that is not an easy thing to do. And I should give myself credit for that.

2. I am sensitive

I've always been someone who has empathy for other people - it's just in my DNA. But infertility has made me...softer. I used to look at someone struggling with someone and think, "Man up! Walk it off! Keep on trucking!" Now, seeing someone hurting or fearing or feeling lost turns on this feeling of super-empathy within me. I want to understand them, to help them, to go through it with them. I want to comprehend what they are going through on a deeper level, not just on the surface.

3. I am prepared

I can be a scatter brain. I was never the kid in class whose desk was showcased at open house as the cleanest and most organized, complete with color-coded tabs and pencils and pens arranged alphabetically. But ever since infertility struck? Guuuurl, I can tell you exactly where the invoice is from my latest procedure and when I paid the bill for it and what check number I used. I can tell you that on my next appointment, I already have a list of 5 questions to ask the doctor, along with 3 follow up questions to verify I understand. Becoming more organized and prepared when it comes to this issue has become vital. I need to know where I am in my treatment and where I'm headed. It gives me something concrete to hold onto in those moments when I feel like I'm spinning out of control.

4. I am smart

It's easy to assume you're dumber than the doctors. After all, they have big, fancy degrees from big, expensive schools. They've done this for years; I'm just starting out. But I've learned that docs have a lot going on and they can make mistakes. I just have to trust in myself enough to call them on it. 

For example, last month when we finally got our IVF calendar, I noticed something weird. The nurse indicated I would start my stims (a fancy word for injections) a month earlier than originally projected. That put my transfer in the middle of a family trip to Cancun. WHAT? How had we miscalculated this? I went over it and over it in my head, and convinced myself something just must have changed that the doc didn't share. I didn't trust myself enough to ask because hey, the doctor is smarter than me. Thankfully, Hubs trusted his own gut and insisted I ask. Turns out, the doc made a boo boo after all. I learned after that day that I am truly smart, and I must believe in that. 

5. I am weak

As an infertile, I do everything I can to hold it together every hour of the day. I want the world to know that I'm going to be FINE. I can take it. I don't need help.

It's all a lie.

I'm a human beings, going through a very difficult, if not impossible to comprehend situation. I am allowed to be weak and sad and ridiculously over-sensitive about everything. I need to show that vulnerability to my family and my husband and my friends, or they will assume it's all under control. And it isn't.

Just a few weeks ago, my brother in law announced his wife's pregnancy to the family during a football tailgate. I put on a strong face for the moment, but inside I was falling apart. Of course I was happy for them, but it still stung. A little later, my husband put his arm around me and said, "It's okay. I know that was tough to hear. I'm here." That was all I needed. He was allowing me to splinter into a million pieces if I needed to. It was okay to feel what I was feeling. If you can't allow yourself to be weak occasionally, what the hell do you have a support system for to begin with?

You know what's great about these 5 lessons I've learned about myself? Every single one of them is a lesson I would will learn all over again when I become a mom.

As a mom, I need to be patient with my child, to wait for them to crawl when they're ready, say "mama" when they're ready, or eat avocados when they're ready. I will have waited so long to be a mom that I will want to be as patient and keep those moments as slow as they need to be.

As a mom, I'll need to be kind. I will need to look at life through the eyes of my child, and see all that is wonderful in a whole new way.

As a mom, I will need to be prepared for whatever comes. Sure, the medical part, but also the little things. Temper tantrums, potty training, first dates, makeups, breakups. All of it.

As a mom, I will need to be smart and trust my gut. With Pinterest, blogs, and un-asked for family advice pulling me every which way, I will have to be smart enough to trust in myself and my husband to make the right choices and ask the right questions. No second guessing.

As a mom, I will need to be weak sometimes. I will show my child (girl or boy) that vulnerability is a strength. We don't have to be perfect or even perceived as perfect. Flaws are what make us unique and special, and when we are vulnerable and let people in, it creates deeper and more robust relationships. For life.

And who wouldn't want that?

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