Friday, June 28, 2013

CD1, you heartbreaker...

I told you that I wouldn't be wondering much longer. Today was quickly declared CD1. IUI#2 is a bust. I cannot begin to express the sadness that fills my heart. Even though I knew this was coming, I have not been able to stop the tears or the aching in my soul. The cramps don't help much either.

I knew when I was getting ready for work this morning. I decided to take a HPT so I could take Advil guilt free. While I was in the shower, I felt so much anger. Then by the time I got in the car to drive to work, it melted all away to sorrow. I felt an ugly cry coming on and called Melly. She talked to me and helped calm me down. I had to pull myself together so I could go teach. It was really hard to carry on like normal. And I didn't really do a good job of it, but what other choice did I have?

A big reason why I can't shake this feeling is because I have not a single shred of confidence in IUI#3. I am sad, mad, confused and frustrated. I don't want to spend the next 25 days going through the motions again knowing that a BFN is certain. I feel so defeated. Why, if everything looks so perfect on paper, isn't this working? I want to cry all over again.

I started a new cross stitch project. When I saw the pattern, I nearly cried at the store. I love the monotony of counted cross stitch. It clears my mind much like going on a run. Needle in, needle out. Repeat. In the end, I will have something beautiful to show for it. And I can really use the reminder to "dream, hope, wish, and believe." 

A new project to keep me hopeful...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Introducing Coda!!

We went to the animal shelter with the hopes of finding a furry friend for our 6 year old cairn terrier. The trip was a success! We were approved for a same-day adoption, and (after several hours) were on our way home with our new dog. Allow me to introduce you to the newest member of our family: Coda!

Coda in his safe spot. He hasn't wandered far from it... yet.
This is our first experience with a shelter pet. Mocha was the first pet we ever got together, and we went through a breeder to get her. So far, it's been a great experience :)

We drove an hour and a half to get to the shelter. We brought Mocha with us so we could do a "meet & greet" prior to making a final decision. Our first priority was to please little miss Mocha, who we thought would be the pickiest person to please. John & I had to take turns going into the shelter and staying in the car with Mocha because she was not allowed inside the facility.

We introduced Mocha to two dogs: Jeter and Dakota. Mocha seemed to get along with both of them very well. Jeter, who was absolutely adorable, was 19 weeks old. When he first came out of his kennel he submissively urinated... a lot. Poor thing was so scared! Mocha corrected him once briefly during their walk together.

Next we took Dakota out to meet Mocha. Dakota, a 6 month old male lab mix, was sweeter than ever, and so deeply scared. The associate had to carry him outside because he refused to walk out on his own. Mocha and Dakota sniffed and got along beautifully. We decided to go to the dog park across the street to see how they did off-leash. Mocha led the way, and Dakota followed. Their time in the dog park was excellent! That's when John & I decided that Dakota was our dog :)

New dog tags!!
After waiting two and a half hours for our application to get processed, we were approved! I went inside to sign the papers. But there was a little problem: the associate on the floor told me that Dakota was treated for an upper respiratory infection and that it had been resolved. This was not the case. Dakota still needed to take two antibiotics twice a day until July 5th. Do you still want to adopt this dog? John & I discussed it briefly and decided, yes, we still wanted to adopt Dakota. We signed the papers, got the meds from the vet, bought a crate, and made the journey back home with an extra passenger in the back!

Now you're wondering, "Who is Dakota and where is Coda?" Dakota is Coda. Dakota is the shelter name, which the associate recommended we change to avoid any negative associations. Besides, she said, it is unlikely that he even knows his name at this point.

We decided to name him Coda for three reasons: 1) It kind of sounds close to his shelter name. 2) The obvious (to us) musical reference. We are musicians, so a musical name makes sense. 3) There is a significance between the definition of a coda in music to Coda's journey. A coda in music is the final section of the piece. In Coda's case, he was previously adopted by another family and then returned to the shelter. (The reason they provided to the shelter was that they were "afraid he would have no feelings." ....what does that even mean?!?! I have no clue. I'm just glad that they brought him back because they obviously shouldn't have gotten a dog in the first place.) Coda has been on quite a journey to find his forever-home. We believe that he has completed the final steps in that journey by coming home with us. So, in a way, yesterday's adoption was a "coda" of sorts.

Mocha goes shopping at PetSmart for her little brother.
Mocha is being an awesome big sister. She is doing a great job of showing him the ropes around the house. This afternoon, John, Mocha & I went shopping to get some things for Coda (he couldn't come because of the upper respiratory infection). While we were at the store, we signed up for some training classes!! Yup, that's right, we're all going to be schooled :) We start with our first class on Friday, July 5th (assuming Coda is cleared by the vet). 

Hooray for our happy family of four! I have been dreaming of this for years now, and piece by piece... it's all coming together :') We just need one more thing to make it perfect...

The Cup is Half...

...empty? Full? Who knows at this point, so let's just say it's halfway. The past few days, my cup was so empty that there wasn't a trace of a droplet in there. But today, CD 25 and 11 dpIUI, the cup has been restored to halfway.

I don't really know what to think of the outcome of this cycle. To be honest, I'm not a good judge when it comes to reading the signs. I have a moment of nausea and I think, "This could be pregnancy related... or it could be PMS... or I could be hungry..." It really can be anything. The human body is complex and mysterious.

Let's take a minute to analyze the situation, shall we? My "symptoms" and the "facts" of this cycle include:
  1. 11 DPO.
  2. No flow, so far AF is a no show.
  3. Brief spotting at 6 DPO. Literally a single spot and a few wipes with the TP. Then it vanished like a fart in the wind.
  4. My BBT is still above the cover line.
  5. On paper, this IUI is going extremely well. I had two follies of a great size at my mid-cycle monitoring, and maybe one more who could've caught up by the time of the IUI. John's numbers were outstanding at 41 million moving sperm. 
  6. I am experiencing these phantom symptoms: nausea, headache, mild cramping, copious CM (I mean A LOT. It is downright grossing me out). All of these symptoms could be signs of early pregnancy or PMS.
Now let's pretend for a moment that the cup is half full. Here's what I'd say to all of the above:
  1. My LP is an average of 11 days, minimum of 9 days, and maximum of 13 days. I have a good chance of making it to my testing day (CD 27, 13 dpIUI)... !
  2. You're not out till that bitch, Aunt Flo, shows her ugly face. She's not here. Maybe it's because I'm pregnant... !
  3. That spotting 6 DPO just might have been the elusive implantation bleeding... !
  4. As long as my BBT stays above that cover line, then I have a real shot of being pregnant... !
  5. This one is harder, because the last cycle was perfect on paper too. Buuuuuut, maybe we had bad luck last time, and maybe #2 is our lucky cycle... !
  6. The phantom symptoms could really be early pregnancy symptoms. How could I possibly know the difference since I've never been pregnant before? Maybe this is the real thing... !
And to be fair, here's the half empty version:
  1. The last cycle saw me all the way through 11 DPO, and it was on the 12th day that AF showed up and CD 1 was declared.
  2. She could be coming any minute...
  3. Maybe I ran too hard. Maybe it was residual from the IUI. Maybe it was just random spotting. It happens.
  4. Tomorrow could be the day my BBT plummets... 
  5. IUI#1 was perfect on paper. It did not work.
  6. All of the above phantom symptoms happen every.damn.cycle. 
I feel like I have to leave things on a positive note, so the final sentence of this post must be positive. Therefore, I will say this: the cup may be half full, or it may be half empty. The results of this cycle have already been determined by a higher authority. The results will be revealed very soon. I just need to be patient. Wait. And hope.

My Lucky Charm - the necklace given to me by my Grandmother

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Half & Half

Throughout this 2WW I have been going back and forth. One moment, the glass is half empty; the next, it is half full. Over the past 24 hours, sadly it has shifted to be entirely empty. I'm all out of hope. And strangely, I'm sorta ok with it. I'm already looking forward to the next cycle (or actually, two cycles from now when we have a new plan. The next cycle will be IUI#3, and I've just had a gut feeling that these IUIs aren't going to work for us).
My usual PMS symptoms are in full swing, and I suspect that AF will be here either late tomorrow or early on Friday. 

In other news, John, Mocha & I are heading to the animal shelter in search of a furry brother for Mocha. I hope we find someone who will match our little family (and run with me!!). 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Losing the Battle to Stay Positive

I have genuinely been making an effort to replace every negative thought with a positive thought. Today, I am doing a bad job at it. Here's why:

  • CD 21, 7 dpIUI
  • Spotting yesterday (although it is possible that it was IB, it is not probable)
  • PMS symptoms started yesterday and are intensifying today
  • Today's temp dipped down to my cover line
  • I just have a feeling...

Since I am not able to come up with any positive thoughts right now to replace the above, I'm going to get busy with my day. I get to see my beautiful, adorable niece and give her the Baptism gift that I made (pictures to follow). I get to spend time with my family. I wonder if Krissy will be showing... AH! I just caught myself with another negative thought. Erase, erase, erase!!! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

What the ??

Things have been pretty uneventful around here lately. I'm on CD 20, 6 dpIUI... la dee dah. I woke up early today to meet Rachel for a run. When I got home, I was getting ready to take a shower when I went to the bathroom. What the heck?! I was spotting. Not much, but definitely spotting. It is way too early for AF, though I wouldn't put it past her to pull a trick like this. I know it's rare, but I suppose I am in the window of time when it could be implantation bleeding. I certainly hope that's what it is, but I'm not going to hold my breath. There's nothing I can really do at this point, but to continue to wait. Here's hoping I make it to my testing day without AF cutting me off!!!

I'm back several hours later. Cue the cramping. Typical timing of this PMS symptom.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I am not making this stuff up...

Today was the Band Breakfast Party. I love that I get to treat my students after a year of hard work :) I know that they're getting a lot out of the program as it is, but this is just a simple gesture to say thanks for a year of before-school rehearsals, hundreds of practice minutes, and making the class a true joy. I spent two and a half hours making 84 Belgian waffles last night for the party. The kids were so excited :)

After the party was over, I was cleaning up and decided to move the leftovers to the Teacher's Room. My colleagues would surely enjoy the waffles (and they wouldn't all go to waste). That's when I noticed that there was already a little breakfast tray set up. That's no surprise; there is always food in the Teacher's Room. But the surprising part was that the breakfast was sponsored by the "Preggo Posse" of our school. Providing a thank you breakfast was really a sweet gesture, but you can imagine how it made me feel to see that sign. 

Signs explaining the treats in the Teacher's Room
One of the "Preggos" insisted that I add my name to the sign saying that the waffles, donuts, and fruit were brought in by me and not them. I didn't want to mess up their cute sign, so I added the post-it. The "Not Preggo!!" was an after-thought. A colleague saw the post-it before I added that and said, "Wait... you're pregnant?!?" Oh, no. That shit is going to stop right there. Let's make this perfectly clear that I am NOT pregnant. For now, I have to be happy with being in the "Wanna-be Preggo Posse."

::eyes rolling::

Sunday, June 16, 2013

On Your Marks... Get Set...

IUI #2 is underway. I'm laying down on my favorite spot as I write this. The cramping is significant, but I'm trying to tough it out before taking any Tylenol. Mocha is curled up on top of me, cuddling up to my right side. Dog really is man's best friend.

It has been a stressful couple of days leading up to the IUI. On Friday night, we did our "homework assignment" before leaving the house to see a movie. I had planned to take the Ovidrel with me and do my trigger shot in the parking lot before going into the theater. But I forgot to take the Ovidrel out of the fridge before we left! As soon as I told John that I forgot the trigger at home, he made a U-turn to go back and get it. As we were driving back, I had the syringe in my hands to allow it to come up to room temperature. I was going over the instructions in my head, trying to remember all of the steps from the last time. As soon as John parked the car, I gave myself the injection then ran inside the theater. It is a miracle that we didn't miss a single second of the movie even though we were late. Thank goodness for the previews!

On a normal, non-medicated cycle, I experience O pains for about 5-6 days before, during, and after O. The meds exaggerate all of the pain and make it worse. I'm told that it's a good sign that the meds are working, so I do my best to manage the pain without complaining too much. As I was sitting in the movie theater, I was already feeling some mild cramping and the Ovidrel added a layer of nausea. Put that on top of the 3D glasses, and I was not feeling so hot. I ate some crackers, sipped some water, closed my eyes, and started to feel better by the time the opening credits were finishing up. I kid you not, the opening scene portrayed the birth of a baby. We were seeing Man of Steel so I wasn't expecting to see anything that would set me off in my frail IF state of mind. I guess not. The first ten minutes of the movie tell the story of Superman being born and his parents sending him away from Krypton. I cried silently behind my 3D glasses through the whole segment.

I spent all day yesterday curled up on the couch. The O pains just made me feel yucky :( Thankfully, we had no plans, so I was able to rest all day.

This morning was the IUI. John was doing his thing to collect his sample while I was in the shower. We were planning to drop it off together, go out to get breakfast at a diner nearby, then return to the office for my IUI. Halfway through my shower, John comes busting in to tell me that they screwed up the cup at the office. Apparently, there was no pink liquid in the cup. Ok, well, we can just call to find out if he should do an in-office collection. Nope, that wasn't going to work because he had already done the deed. Shit. I was so angry that we might have screwed it up. I wish he would have told me there was a problem BEFORE ejecting his sample. 

We drove in stark silence to the RE's office. I was fuming and furious. But when we got to the office, the receptionist assured us that it was ok. They were able to add the fluid after the fact, so we were ok. I was still nervous, but figured we'd find out if we were in trouble when we got his count back.

After breakfast, we went back for the IUI. The nurse came in to show us the tube with John's sample. 

Lucky charms adding good vibes to John's swimmers
41 million moving sperm! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the number! That was more than double the number we had for the last IUI.

As I was laying on the table, John was wandering around the room. If you know my DH, then you know that this is typical behavior. He truly has undiagnosed adult ADD, so whenever we go places, he wanders and explores. He weighed himself on the scale. He measured his height. Then he walked over to the ultrasound computer. Before I could stop him, he reached out his finger to touch the vag cam!!! I snapped at him to get his hands off! When I told him what that was for, he washed his hands and then stayed by my side the rest of the time. Every time I think of that moment, I have a hysterical fit of laughter. It was so funny!

I've named my two eggs Ziggy and Zaggy. I am hoping that one of John's swimmers are making their way as I type this. I have said before that I have a gut feeling that these IUIs aren't going to work. I hope I am wrong. Wish us luck!! And if you have the chance, please join me in our current chant:
Zig-zag, Ziggy & Zaggy!

Friday, June 14, 2013

32 - Taylor Swift 22 Music Video PARODY

BAHAHAHA!!! I just saw this for the first time and am literally rolling on the floor laughing! Every damn word is true. LOL

Making Lemonade

You know the saying:
"When life gives you lemons..."
Finish that statement however you want, but on most days I'm inclined to go with the cliche. (Though I have to say that I'm a fan of, "...make lemonade... and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.")

Today's lemons:
  1. I inquired (yet again) at the RE's office about the necessity to curb the intensity of my running through all phases of my cycle. I thought it would be ok to push it whenever I have my period because maybe my ovaries wouldn't be so full and heavy without all those plump follies. Nope. Apparently, the ovaries are larger and heavier throughout the entire medicated cycle, and unfortunately there are no exceptions. Therefore, there is still the risk of an ovarian torsion. That means it is never ok to do a long run... or hill repeats... or a track session... or just open up my stride and run as fast as I can... at least not during a medicated cycle :( Somehow, I have to find a way to be happy with stupid, easy runs no longer than an hour. Humph. Clearly, I am bitter about that.
  2. IUI #2 is scheduled on Sunday, which means we will have to cancel our plans for the morning. I was very much looking forward to seeing not one but two litters of golden retriever puppies with my FIL and his wife. It is also likely that I'll feel sick all day like I did for the last cycle. That's going to make our Father's Day dinner plans even more fun...
Today's lemonade:
  1. I stopped at the running store on my way home, and could not resist the impulse to buy a new running skirt. It is adorable and I love it (hooray for retail therapy)! I tried it on at home rather than in the store (I'm such a lazy shopper). Given the fact that my O pains were getting more intense, I decided to go for a walk instead of a run. Might as well, I'm already half dressed for a workout, right? Bonus: Mocha could join me! We geared up. Leash, check. Pick-up Bags, check. Garmin Watch, check. iPhone & earbuds, check. The weather looked a little sketchy, so I grabbed the umbrella just in case. We were out exploring the neighborhood for about three quarters of a mile before the first droplets started to form. Mocha made friends with Murphy, an adorable Yorkshire terrier, then we started looking for the short cut back to our house. The rain was starting to pick up, so I thought we'd spare ourselves the extra mile if possible. That turned out to be quite an interesting adventure! We had to go through a few backyards belonging to neighbors that I've never met. I figured they'd pardon us for trespassing because of the rain. But the terrain was a little choppy, and we had to pass through some thorny shrubbery, a pile of large pine branches, and a few carelessly formed piles of cinder blocks. Mocha's a little dog, so there was no way she would have been willing or able to do all of that. But, you know me, I'm always up for a challenge, so I picked my muddy and wet dog up and carried her in one hand (umbrella and poop bag in the other) over our little obstacle course. It was so much fun!! When we got home, Mocha was in need of a bath. She's such a trooper! I rewarded her with a carrot after the little "torture session." She was very happy :)
  2. If IUI #2 is a success, then John & I will be able to say that he became a father on Father's Day. How cool is that?! I hope this IUI works!!
Mocha all cleaned up after her bath and an example of our "obstacle course"
So there ya go. Lemonade! Mmmm, mmmm, good!

Practicing Patience

I went in for my mid-cycle monitoring this morning. Everything is looking great! My lining is 7.7mm thick, I have two mature follies (one on each side measuring at 20 and 22mm), and I have a whole bunch more that are still growing. The doctor wants to see my E2 levels before finalizing our schedule. At the moment, we have three possible scenarios under consideration:
  1. Trigger and TI tonight with the IUI on Sunday
  2. Trigger and TI tomorrow with the IUI on Monday
  3. TI tonight with the IUI on Saturday (I assume this is if my body O's on its own without the trigger)
Either scenario would be fine by me. I'm ready to rumble and am happy that the doctor is going to make the decision that will give us the best chance of success. Let the record show that my O pains have officially started. I've been looking forward to this moment so much (/sarcasm).

Update: I got the call from the doctor and we're going with scenario 1. We have to cancel our plans for Sunday morning (we were going to visit two litters of golden retriever puppies with my in-laws... wahhh! I'm so sad that I don't get to see the puppies!!), but I'm glad we have a solid plan. I hope this works.

As I told my 3rd grade class today, I'm practicing patience. They are absolutely CRAZY because there are only 7 days of school left :) It took them 15 seconds to settle down when I gave them my start cue. Unacceptable. So I waited for them to catch on... and then said, "Mrs. Z is practicing patience. Right now, the class is giving me a good run for my money." Then into the whole lecture about expectations through the end of the year, blah, blah, blah. Gotta love 'em :) They are pushing my buttons, but they're kids, it's what they do. It's my job to teach them how to behave in a large class. So that's what we're doing. And, besides, I need the practice when it comes to being patient. Thanks to IF, I'm almost at the end of my rope. 

I am patiently waiting for...
  • ...the doctor to call with instructions. (I'd like to know soon so I can rearrange my plans.)
  • ...two pink lines.
  • family to grow.
I am getting lots of practice when it comes to patience. I've had lots of practice over the past 3 years waiting to break 4:00 (a long term personal goal to run a marathon in 3:59:59 or faster). And let's not even talk about the whole house-hunting-hell/moving debacle. Those were six of the worst months in my life (up to that point). But in the end of both situations, I got the results I was looking for. I SMASHED my goal when I crossed the finish line at the 2013 Shamrock Marathon in 3:42:54. Sure, it took ten tries (not exaggerating. I have literally run 10 marathons), but I finally did it! And it felt amazing! It still does! I can't help but to feel overjoyed every time I think about that race :) And the house situation, well, we now have an amazing home. I couldn't possibly love it anymore! 

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that it'll all work out in the end. You just have to be patient. And it will be glorious when it happens. When it happens is out of our control. So you can either be miserable and suffer until it happens, or you can wait as patiently and peacefully as possible. How you choose to play the waiting game is up to you.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Will Wait

"I Will Wait" by Mumford & Sons has become my "baby anthem" over the past few months. I listen to this song every day while holding Mimi's coin. Most days, I also sing and play the song on my guitar. Every aspect of this song strikes a chord deep within my soul. The tone, rhythm, lyrics and passion are all soothing and energizing at the same time. It gives me hope and faith that my little miracle is coming.

"I Will Wait"
Well, I came home
Like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of dust
Which we've known
Will blow away with this new sun

But I'll kneel down,
Wait for now
And I'll kneel down,
Know my ground

And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

So break my step
And relent
Well, you forgave and I won't forget
Know what we've seen
And him with less
Now in some way shake the excess

'Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

Now I'll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
So tame my flesh
And fix my eyes
A tethered mind freed from the lies

And I'll kneel down,
Wait for now
I'll kneel down,
Know my ground

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

'Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

Finish Line?

Today's kick in the butt from resonated with me on many levels:

Running, much like life, has its hills and valleys. On any
given run, and particularly in most marathons, we come
across easy stretches and seemingly impossible challenges.
I have learned to just keep going. The tough moments never
last, and the easy stretches are always a joy. The same is
clearly true in life, if we just keep going we'll get to that
finish line with water, massages, and bananas!
-Will Starr, Runner's World Challenger of the Week

In addition to the running and marathon analogies, it rings true for my current place in life along this IF journey. The main difference is instead of water, massages, and bananas, the IF finish line has the miracle of my take-home babies.

As challenging as marathons and running can be, at least (on most days) the finish line is clear. There is exactly 26 miles and 385 yards from the start line to the finish line in any marathon. That is certain. But with IF, you are out there on the course, emotionally and physically pushing yourself within an inch of your breaking point... and yet, you don't know where the finish line is. It could be this cycle. It could be next year. It could be never. That is the hardest part for me to deal with.

But as difficult as this moment is, I have faith that it will pass. I just have to keep going. One mile at a time. The finish line is out there somewhere, and I believe I'll get there. I just have to stay the course and never give up. It'll all be worth it in the end... and then it'll only be the beginning of the next, beautiful phase in my life's journey.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Count Down to Nothing

21 weeks until the NYC Marathon. I am registered for this race. I paid $227 for the registration fee alone. Over the course of the past year, I have paid hundreds of dollars just to get a guaranteed spot with the 9+1 program. And yet, here I am hoping, praying, wishing that I have to defer my spot to next year (which would cost me an additional $227 when I register for the spot in 2014)....

Verrazano Bridge during the NYC Marathon
Under normal circumstances, I'd be thrilled to have a marathon that is only 21 weeks away. Oh, the thought of a good long run is puts a smile on my face! I wish I had 21 weeks of training to look forward to. But as much as I want to train for and run in a marathon in this moment, I want to be pregnant with my baby more.

So instead of getting excited that there are 21 weeks until the NYC Marathon, I am filled with fear... what if the IUI's don't work? If this cycle results in a BFN, then we will definitely try again with IUI #3. But if that doesn't work... what then?

Part of me is saying, "Cici, stop it. One step at a time, don't get ahead of yourself." But the other part of me can't help it... I need to plan.

I wonder if I should start the conversation with DH. I've been thinking that if we get through IUI #3 without a BFP, then perhaps we should take a treatment break. It would be August by that point. I'd have about 10 weeks to train for NYC and then we could get started with the next cycle after the race is over.

I'm reluctant to bring it up to John because I'm afraid he's not going to like the idea. We put off TTC for years because I wanted to run marathon after marathon. He was ready to start years ago, but I kept buying time and saying, "Just one more marathon." Then I finally had my marathon fill (or so I thought) after my DNF at the Lehigh Valley Marathon, and said let's give it a go! 21 months later, still no baby :(

IF sucks. Its reach is far and wide, and not a single aspect of my life is safe from its pain. Including and especially the happiness that I get from marathon training. So, there you have it. 21 weeks until the NYC Marathon. 21 weeks to count down to an uncertain future.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Happy (belated) National Running Day!

I know that technically I missed it. Well, it's not that I missed it; it's just that I was held captive by work and music this week. This is the second year in a row that my school band's spring concert was scheduled on National Running Day. I have got to fix that for next year ;)

On top of not getting my run in on Wednesday, I've been busy the past three days with the Wind Symphony's recording sessions. We are recording a CD which will hopefully be released in November. The project is quite the undertaking. Anyone who has ever done a professional recording session can testify; it is tedious and exhausting on many levels. But hopefully the group's efforts will all be worth it when we have that CD in our hands (and blasting from our iPods)!

Needless to say, I've been cooped up for the past four days. You can probably imagine how I felt. On a normal day, my legs are restless. I was born to move and whenever I'm bound to a chair... I kinda freak out a little bit! ["Get me outta dis boose!" just came screaming into my mind... random side story: my college wind ensemble went on a tour of Germany and Austria in 2002. It was awesome, though there were times where we had to wait around on the bus while logistics got sorted out. Ah, the joys of traveling with 60+ people ;) That phrase was born in the moment and thinking of the memory makes me smile!]

I just got in from an awesome run, and man, am I ever soaring on this runner's high :) It felt so good to shake it up and pound the pavement. I feel refreshed and recharged (which is a good thing because we have one last 9-5pm session tomorrow to finish the Wind Symphony's CD).

One of my favorite parts of running is that it gives me clarity. My mind is so active, and busy, and chattery, and sometimes I get overwhelmed by the flood of thoughts coming from every direction. I have found running to be the great equalizer in my life. For some reason, when my body is in motion, my mind is finally able to be still.

Today's run was extra special to me because I convinced my DH to join me for the first mile on his bike. He wasn't to crazy about the idea at first (he wanted to sit on the couch, lol), but it made me so happy that he acquiesced. After we worked our way up "Mount Mallard the Mild" we ran and rode happily along Washington Valley. John took a left down "Tullo's Tumble" as I continued onward to "Cruel Crim's Climb." I decided to push myself a little harder than normal up the hill. It felt so good!! Mountaintop was pleasant as usual with gorgeous views and a relatively flat terrain. Then I enjoyed running downhill as I completed my run with a reverse of "Totten's Torture." What a good run! (Yes, I've named all the hills around my house. And, yes, I know I am a total dork!)

Some simple truths that I have discovered on the road today:
  1. I will continue to abide by my RE's instructions to limit daily exercise to one hour and scale back the intensity; however, I will break this rule whenever I am on my period. I need to run hard and long in order to feel like myself. Not all of the time, but a few butt-kicking runs at the right time in my cycle won't hurt anything (at least I don't think... I'll probably check with my RE next time I am in the office).
  2. I will absolutely listen to my body at all times throughout my cycle. If I feel bloated and "full" then I won't push it and will allow myself a guilt-free rest day if necessary.
  3. I still have to come up with an exercise plan that I am comfortable with for the 2WW. Obviously, I will follow the RE's restrictions especially during the 2WW. I just don't know how easy is too easy yet, and last cycle felt like I was right on the border of lazy... I have to figure it out. Something tells me that if I listen to my body, she will show me the way.
  4. I love my family (and friends who are family). I love running. I love music.
And of course, I'm still chanting, "Grow, follies, grow!!" Are you?! ;)

Friday, June 7, 2013


Well, IUI #1 was officially declared a bust on Monday (June 3rd). I woke up and just knew it wasn't good. I thought about testing one day early (12 dpIUI), but decided that I didn't want to see a BFN yet. I went to expel my FMU before I changed my mind. The cramping had intensified over night and by 10:30am, I had started spotting. I knew it was only a matter of time before AF would arrive.

I was feeling really lousy. My body was in pain from the cramping, and my mind was in total despair. I sat at my desk crying and couldn't imagine teaching children while feeling like this. I called out sick for the rest of the afternoon, went home and got directly into bed with Mocha.

When I woke up from my long nap, the cramping was getting heavier. My friend suggested that I take a HPT so I could take Advil guilt-free. Good idea! As I was cleaning up from the test and waiting for the 5 minute window to pass, I had some more spotting... except it was more significant than just spotting. It looked like the beginning of flow :-/ I got the BFN, took some Advil, and called the doctor to report that it was CD1. Of course, AF will never turn her back to an opportunity to twist the knife, so the spotting stopped as soon as I called. I waited on pins and needles for the next eight hours until the flow started in full force at 11:00pm.

I spent all of Monday feeling sad, but woke up the next day feeling a lot better. I was able to pick out the silver linings:
  1. At least my cycles are short, so I don't have to wait around for a long time in between tries. This cycle ended right on my average of 25 days.
  2. At least my LP isn't long. My 2WW isn't even a full two weeks, so I don't have to spend a lot of extra time anxiously wondering.
  3. At least we can jump right in with the next try and don't have to wait between cycles.
All of those thoughts are comforting to me, especially the third one. I went in for my CD 3 u/s and blood work on Wednesday (June 5th). The good news is that I'm cyst-free and was instructed to take 100mg of Clomid starting that night. I will continue with the Clomid until Sunday night and return on Friday, June 14th for mid-cycle monitoring.

The side effects are already starting to get to me. I've been especially irritable and got a headache yesterday that I wasn't able to sleep off. John thought I was scapegoating at first when I told him it was because of the Clomid. He actually hung up the phone on me yesterday afternoon and told me to call him back when I wasn't such a grouch. (Thinking back on it, I can't help but to laugh! I was really out of control!) He was extra sweet to me last night and this morning when I told him about my headache. He gave me a head massage that helped me feel better. I love him.

It doesn't help matters that the Wind Symphony is in recording sessions this weekend. Everyone in the group is making huge sacrifices to work on this project. I can't wait to hear the CD and hope it'll all be worth it!! I'm playing on all sessions, so I had to be there last night from 5-9, again tonight from 5-9 and on Saturday and Sunday from 9-5. The recording process is tedious because you have to play the same sections over and over until everyone gets it perfect. And the stage is HOT. The air conditioning is too loud to run, so we're sweating it out. I hope the Clomid doesn't give me hot flashes on top of it all, because that would be cruel. It's going to be a long weekend.

So, anyway, here we go again! Here's hoping that IUI #2 is the lucky one for me! 

My chant until June 14th. I set this to my lock screen on my phone :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Art of Distraction

11 dpIUI, CD 25. Today was a perfect day. It really was in spite of the fact that I'm getting closer and closer to the end of my 2WW. There was potential for today to be filled with worry and mind games, but I was so busy and distracted that my mind didn't wander too much.

I went for a trail run this morning with Coach & Kristina. It was just what the doctor ordered (...or in this case, kinda not. I bent the one-hour-max rule a bit... ok, I bent it a lot). I was planning to keep the run under an hour or if I went over then just a little bit... oops. We were out there for about two and a half hours. But it felt so good! It was literally soothing for my body, mind and soul. And don't worry - I was really in tune with my body. I took all of the walking breaks I needed, didn't push myself too hard, and stayed hydrated.

Coach Vinny giving the thumbs up (top/left)
Kristina & me RRROOOAAARRR!!!ing (bottom/left)
Me by a refreshing waterfall (right)

Coach (pictured above) has been an important person to me ever since I met him in November 2010. To say that he changed my life is no exaggeration, but that's a story for another blog. Today, while we were running we talked about our journeys with IF. He had told me in an email a few weeks ago that he and his wife had their own struggles and did a few medicated cycles to bring them their adorable 4 y/o twins. I was asking him questions about their treatments, and it was kind of endearing that he honestly didn't know much about it. When he was talking about it, I could imagine My Johnny talking the same way. We women tend to shelter our DH's from all of the excruciating details, so it's really not Vinny's fault that he couldn't tell me if they did IUI's or IVF. 

I have said it before, and I'll say it again: I enjoy my time with Kristina so much! She and I are so similar in the way that we emote and view the world. I am grateful for her friendship, and think that we bring the best out of each other with each and every run we share :) The picture of us above requires some explanation. (I'm cracking up as I type this because we are so silly!) She and I learned how to trail run downhill on technical terrain together. It doesn't sound like much, but it is actually really scary the first time you look down a mountain with nothing but rocks, bolders, and tree roots in sight. Where the hell are you supposed to put your feet?! After getting a tutorial from the videos on YouTube, we hit the trails to try some of the techniques out. We were still scared to try for the first time (I didn't want to knock my teeth out with a face plant if/when I fell!). My suggestion to get us started was to "RRROOOAAARRR" while charging down the mountain. It worked! It made us feel brave and we didn't fall. So now we roar whenever running downhill. It's especially fun when strangers are within earshot, lol :-D

After going home for a quick shower and to take the dog for a walk, I headed to John's car show. This was his first year as the "man in charge" and it went really well. I'm proud of him for all of the hard work he put into organizing the event, and for working the microphone like a pro during the Tricky Tray and Awards. I totally forgot that my dad and sister were planning to attend, so BONUS! I got to see them today. I also realized that I was wearing my lucky dress (at least that's what I'm calling it now). This was the dress I wore the first time I saw my friend when she was pregnant with her daughter. I'm hoping that it will bring this cycle good luck.

Being oh-so-silly with my awesome sister, Riri, at the Car Show
On the way home, I stopped by the grocery store ::groan:: to pick up some essentials for the week... including a few HPT's. I have a bunch of Wondfo's on hand, but if (when? Should I phrase it more optimistically?) I get a BFP I will want to test with a digital to confirm that I'm not reading the results wrong. I also want to have a pee stick that I can show DH without having to explain "a line's a line no matter how faint."

So, yeah, that was my awesome day :) I'm happily relaxing now before it's bed time and we dive head first into the work week. I have to admit that I'm starting to itch to take a HPT, but I'm going to wait. One more day to endure. The plan is 13 dpIUI/CD27 because my lucky numbers (1, 3, 7). And besides, I can't stomach the thought of seeing a BFN quite yet. Know what I mean?