I had to laugh yesterday, amidst my "woe is me" day, when I read #946 on the website I referenced in yesterday's post. Belle is our 'fur' child. She is our baby and 'Mommy and Daddy' certainly treat her as such!
Poor Belle has been gnawing at and licking the top of her paw for the past few days. I had been putting hydrogen peroxide on it to keep it clean and then even tried putting gold bond powder on it to deter her from continuing to lick it - my hope was that the powder would not taste good to her... WRONG! Luckily my mom's a nurse (I swear having a mom who is a nurse comes in handy mutiple times a day - - whether it's for my own (multiple infertility) medical questions or for my dog's!) so when the peroxide and powder remedies didn't help (truth be told, these were my mom's initial ideas), my mom suggested that we use gauze and medical tape to cover the raw spot on Belle's paw - preventing her from getting at it. Now, I'm convinced that only real nurses would have such medical utilities in their own homes... or, perhaps only real moms (ugh...)! So my mom suggested that I cut a piece of white washcloth up and then use regular tape (luckily we actually had bandaids on hand!) to cover Belle's sore.
(Yes... not only do Nick and I refer to ourselves as 'Mommy and Daddy', but we refer to my parents as 'Nana and Papa'... Even more proof that Belle is clearly our 'fur' child!)
Let's face it... I'm rarely wordless. But, I'm having a rough week (sometimes lots of times, all of the heartbreaking infertility stuff just gets to me), so I decided that rather than writing in detail about all of my heartaches (again) on-line, I'd just post some things that actually bring a smile to my face...
1. My little angel, Belle with the sun in her eyes. 2. Boston Swan Boats - I snagged a quick picture on my phone while walking through the Commons yesterday after a meeting for work. 3. Nick & I at our niece's 1st Birthday Party.
Sometimes the less words, the better... especially when you're down and out.
My life these days has consisted of a whole lot of this:
coupled with a whole lot of this:
* Pictures 1 and 2-Acupuncture: 2x/week and BBT (basal body temperature) charting: every morning.
* Picture 3-Herbs: 2x/day (morning and night). I prefer my herbs dissolved in a (small) cup of boiling water.
* Picture 4-Juicing: 1-2x/day (at least 16 oz./day). The picture above was this morning's juice, which included cucumber, orange, celery, carrotts and an herb called purslane.
* Pictures 5 and 6-Smoothies: at will (somtimes I will juice in the morning and then have a smoothie at night). The first smoothie picture included avocado, raspberries, yogurt, coconut oil and an herb called bu zhong yi qi tang. The second smoothie picture included blueberries, 1/2 banana, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, coconut oil and purslane (this one is my favorite)!
As mentioned in an earlier post, this is my first un-medicated month of fertility drugs since December, 2011. No birth control pill, no clomid, no follistim, no lupron, no endometrium, no progesterone in oil... nothing... other than a whole slew of natural fruits, juices and herbs. I do believe that juicing in the morning has given me more energy as I start my day (this coming from someone who rarely ate breakfast!). Adding lots of fruits and vegetables to my diet (both in whole and juice form), I'm sure can only help as well... We'll see what the herbs do... My acupuncturist is focusing this month on elongating my period (so no looking forward to this, but if it helps me to eventually conceive a baby (sooner than later of course!) - then bring it on AF!). A lot of what goes into the herb ingredients (apparently my herb concoction includes anywhere from 8-16 different herbs each week) is dependent upon my BBT chart. I truly believe though, that it's my acupuncture sessions that have kept me going week after week. I've come to really enjoy my sessions and I find myself falling asleep - I mean, I'm out like a light - not waking until the session is over. It's uber-relaxing and I absolutely love it!
I pray that all of the steps I'm taking, things I'm juicing, drinking and eating will somehow miraculously be exactly what I've needed all along for baby E to finally become a part of our lives. Every.single.day is a hurdle for me - it's difficlut going through life day after day with this heartbreaking and painstaking dream that for, whatever reason, has yet to become a reality (and for whatever reason, a dream that tends to come true for what seems like everyone else that I know on this planet - yes, I'm still bitter... and I know, I need to cut it out!). I pray daily for the strength to just get through one more day, to try and not be so bitter when someone I know/love tells me they're pregnant, to believe, to have hope and to have faith that my dream will come true, too.
We made a decision... We officially found out on Wednesday the 27th that I am not pregnant (man, saying/typing that still stings!). I went to acupuncture on Thursday evening (the next day) and made the executive decision to start herbs and to take 3 cycles off from IVF meds. I had been agonizing over choosing the "right" option. I prayed that somehow I would just know what to do next. And for some reason, when I was at my acupuncture session, it just clicked. I told my acupuncturist I wanted to start herbs and right then and there, I made the decision to get my body and mind in order.
I started taking the herbs the following Tuesday - I've taken them now, every day - twice a day, for the past 6 days. I don't feel any different... yet. I will get a re-fill once a week... My herbs are concocted by my acupuncturist and the formula is based upon where I am in my cycle and lots of other things (i.e. the length of my periods... apparently I have a pretty serious blood deficiency and only get my period for about 1-2 days - my acupuncturist is really focusing on correcting this, for starters).
In addition to taking herbs twice a day, I'm also (for the first time ever) taking my basal body temperature (BBT) every morning. I hadn't done this in the past, prior to my infertility days when trying to conceive naturally, simply because I just relied on the ovulation predictor kits (OPK's). My acupuncturist believes that the BBT chart will tell him a lot about my cycle and he will adjust my herb formula, if necessary, based on this.
Herbs and BBT charting aren't all that I'm doing... I bought a juicer this weekend and a whole slew of organic fruits and vegetables. My acupuncturist gave me a few juicing and smoothie recipes to try. I tested a couple of them this weekend and while I need to hold my nose while chugging the crazy concoctions back, I do believe that this can only help me with getting my body in tip-top shape.
I'm going to start yoga and another exercise class this week as well. My goal is not to lose weight, but rather, just be more fit. I really want to delve ino strengthening my mind and body - hopefully all of this combined will help me to carry out our dream of conceiving and having a baby.
While I truly believe this decision is the right decision, it's also been difficult this past week. I'm grateful that the decision to do herbs isn't just that. As I've written above, taking herbs includes a whole lot of other things - things that keep me busy and keep me going. But, it's always there - always in the back of my mind... I'm not pregnant. IVF #2 didn't work. The fear and worries are right there as well - will I ever get pregnant? Will we have a baby of our own? And then there's the anger and the envy - why is she pregnant and I'm not? How can another person be pregnant? It's NOT fair!
Sadly, for us women dealing with infertility, the days don't get easier as time passes... instead, the days become more difficult. The sadness doesn't dissipate, but rather just festers and mutiplies. They say that time heals all... but I'm not so sure that is true for women dealing with infertility.