This Runner's Trials
28Mar/1131

The emotions I don’t want to feel

Posted by runnerstrials

Let me count the ways infertility sucks. It sucks because it denies me of one of life's most basic joys and it sucks my bank account dry.

But it also sucks for unexpected reasons. For example, it's changing my personality. It's making me feel emotions that so aren't "me".

Now this could be because I'm so hopped up on hormones, but I don't really like using the drugs as my scapegoat. And that's only because I haven't gotten to the more advanced drugs yet. If my drastic personality twists are really due to the "light" hormones, I fear what the "heavy" stuff will do to me.

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Insert random furball picture because I have no idea how to photograph feelings :)

The joys of infertility have made me feel:

1. Angry. I'm not a very hostile person. When I get mad, it's usually fleeting and not serious (unless it's during football season, but I won't go there ;) ).

But infertility has me mad at everything. I get mad at others who try to comfort me, but say something that actually hurts me. (Hint, don't tell the infertile person to "just relax" or "give it time". Isn't 19 months enough time?) I know my loved ones' intentions are good, and they just really don't know what to say to me, but comments like that infuriate me.

I'm mad at my doctor. I've noticed a few red flags this year. There were parts of my care that didn't make sense to me, and I couldn't get a clear explanation to my "why" questions. And now that my doctor is recommending birth control pills again, I feel like he doesn't see my fertility issues as urgently as I do. Thankfully, I'm seeing a new doctor at the end of the week, and hopefully I won't have any anger to direct towards her.

I'm angry at my body. Since kissing my teenage years good-bye, I've had a pretty good relationship with my body. I used to see myself as strong and healthy. But now that I know the truth about my PCOS, I see myself as broken. How can I look like an athlete on the outside, but have a completely busted reproductive system on the inside? I am furious with my body for doing this to me. Who would have thought it's possible to develop a negative body image due to a body flaw you can't see?

2. Guilty. Once I'm done being mad at my body, the next emotion I feel is guilt. I must have done something to cause this. I keep searching my past for answers: Was it my splenda habit during college and grad school? My "excessive" running? Too many x-rays? Was I on birth control pills too long? I think about ridiculous questions like these on a daily basis.

And since I'm the broken one, I feel incredibly guilty that my perfectly healthy, super-sperm harvester husband does not have children. If he married a normal woman, he would not have to deal with problems like these. The truth is my husband's childlessness is completely my fault.

3. Jealous. I'm a very competitive person, but only with myself. Sure, I'd sometimes get jealous of my brother for getting more of my parents' attention. But, I was never much more envious than that. When friends are smarter, faster, or more successful than me, I'm genuinely happy for them. I know I have a lot to be thankful for, so why would I waste my time on jealousy?

At least that's how I used to feel. But now I'm jealous of every pregnant woman- and even ovulating woman. Each time I hear a pregnancy announcement, I feel a pain in the pit of my stomach. I want to be happy for the mama-to-be, I really, really do. But when I hear of another person's fertility triumph, it reminds me that I'm a failure. My jealousy then quickly turns to anger at the pregnant woman, and then I feel incredibly guilty for thinking such a thing. Quite the emotional cycle. I need to remind myself daily that just become someone else is able to get pregnant, it doesn't lessen my chances of conceiving one bit.

These are emotions I am so not proud of. At least I know they're temporary. Hopefully, I'm closer to the finish line of my become-a-mommy journey. And then my personality will return to normal…

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Until then, thank you friends and family for being so patient and understanding of my newfound personality challenges. I don't know what I'd do without you :)

24Mar/1146

Time to grow up

Posted by runnerstrials

Guess who turns 29 today?

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Me!

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It's my first of many 29th birthdays. I plan on saying I'm this age for a long time ;)

My b-day didn't exactly go as planned. I was supposed to have a doctor appointment this morning, take my ovulation trigger shot, and get inseminated on Saturday. Well, as with most things in my infertility journey, there was yet another bump in the road.

I had a weird feeling on Monday and begged my doctor to see me Tuesday. My blood work and ultrasound confirmed I already ovulated… an immature egg. My insemination was obviously canceled and there will be no b-day month baby. :(

My doctor seemed kind of stumped about what to do with my "weird ovaries". He asked that I go on birth control pills again to "calm them down" despite just being on the pill all of January. I don't know what to think about that, so I'm seeing a new doctor on April 1.

Very ironically, last year, on my 28th birthday, I found out my second cycle of Clomid didn't work. I was so angry this news ruined the morning of my b-day. At lunch, I took my anger out on the pavement. I ran my fastest 7 miles ever. It was awesome and turned my frown upside down:) I decided then I'd give Clomid one more shot and if that didn't work, I would temporarily forget about infertility and only do what made me happy: race, race, race.

I cannot tell you how tempting it is to throw in the towel again. Though I want to run fast. I want to have control over my body and make it do something I'll be proud of.

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I started googling spring half marathons and triathlons last night. Could I be back in half shape by May? Could I beat my first tri time in the same race this June?

But I'm not going to find out the answers to those questions. Instead, I closed the active.com windows and started making a list of questions to ask my new fertility doctor.

Ignoring my fertility issues isn't going to magically make me start ovulating. I know. I tried that last year.

Even though I just had my biggest fail of a cycle to date- despite it being the cycle when I exercised the least and weighed the most ironically- I'm going to continue attacking my fertility head on. You can only (literally) run from your problems for so long, and today's date reminds me that I'm not getting any younger.

This b-day, I'm still going to run at lunch… for 30 minutes, slowly. And I'll be proud of myself for not pushing it. I guess I really am growing up :)

I think I deserve another cupcake.

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18Mar/1133

Whatever it takes

Posted by runnerstrials

Hey guys! I'm back from vacation.

I use spf 70 to maintain that paleness. I'm the anti-Snooki.

I wish I could say we had an awesome, relaxing time. Though that would be a lie :( Don't get me wrong. My husband and I definitely enjoyed ourselves. But it was our first vacation in 1.5 years so I just wish things had gone a little differently.

I still felt pretty crummy from my progesterone supplements. The nausea from that combined with seasickness made me down ginger gum like it was water.

So yummy, but so expensive.

And I definitely had a few emotional breakdowns while away. The truth is, breakdowns are becoming the norm. They can last minutes or days.

I know this is not healthy at all for my mental health. I plan to seek medical help in a few weeks if my feelings don't improve. I'm incredibly aware of how serious depression is, and I know how closely it's tied with infertility.

That being said, I'm doing whatever it takes to get pregnant.

I know you're confused. I've been working with a fertility specialist, so aren't I "doing whatever it takes" already? Well, kind of. I'm just stepping it up a bit now. That means I'm:

1. Drastically cutting back on exercise. No more than 10 miles run per week and no swimming. Only one "hard" yoga class each week and the rest "easy" (At my studio, the "hard" and "easy" classes are clear based on the instructor).

I know I've said before I wouldn't cut back on exercise, but my progesterone levels last cycle had me thinking too much exercise may be part of my problem. This study shows how runners with my healthy BMI (21) can have a luteal phase deficiency (low progesterone, one of my problems) if they run only two hours per week! Yikes, that's nothing to me.

Even when I cut back a couple of months ago, I was still doing well over 2 hours of cardio each week. I've also reduced the intensity of my workouts. I love exercising intensely- I heart tempo runs and negative splits- but I just have a feeling easier workouts are better right now.

2. Gaining more weight. I decided on this before we went on the cruise, and I'm happy to report I gained 4 lbs. on vacation. It was hard work ;) I want to keep my BMI around 22. I figure a few extra pounds can't hurt my fertility and it hopefully won't change my clothing size.

3. Being more aggressive with fertility treatments. I don't respond well to Clomid, so I'm taking anastrozole for ovulation induction this cycle (has anyone ever taken this?). We're also doing intrauterine insemination (IUI) instead of timed intercourse around ovulation. So theoretically, I could get pregnant without having sex :) This only increases our chances by 5% according to my doctor, but like I said, I'm willing to do whatever it takes.

If I respond to the new drugs, I'll ovulate next weekend. This means I can't go to the National Marathon :( I am so bummed I won't get to hang out with everyone! But missing my ovulation window- which only comes around every 40ish days- would not be good.

I'm also trying really hard to better my mental health. This means laying low for awhile. The smallest things set off my sad moods, so I'm just trying to protect myself. I wish this wasn't the case and I could participate more in blog world, but it's just not what's best for me right now.

I just want this all to be over. I want to go back to my normal, fulfilling life… with a baby on board.

Thank you guys so much for understanding. Your support means the world to me :)