Wanted, Dead Or Alive

I have known this day was creeping up on me, but I wasn’t fixated on it, but now it’s here: February 25th is the one year anniversary of the day that Mr. MLACS and I suffered our first miscarriage. And I fully realized it this afternoon (of February 24th) and I experienced some grief over it. And I had been planning to go to a ‘spinning’ class, but I waffled about this decision because it was at a gym where I’ve never taken spin class before, and I was tired because I ate a big bowl of gluten-free pasta around 4pm, and I had an emotionally draining conversation with my father to mend a rift between us, so I was just full of legit excuses to skip this class (of course I would’ve worked out in the gym of the complex where we live, but it would’ve lacked intensity)…but I thought “Is this who I want to be? A person who makes excuses instead of getting up and getting out there?” And the answer is: No. I knew that even if I went to class and didn’t give it 100%, I still needed to go in order to honor my commitment to myself (and in some way to honor the baby I have yet to conceive). So I sucked it up–I went un-showered and un-kept with cat hair all over my black spandex pants–but I got my a** out the door. THAT, my friends, is 90% of the battle when it comes to fitness: Showing Up.

It was busy but I managed to find a parking space, walk in the door, and sign up for the class just-in-time. Then I walked in the class…and realized that my f*ing bike had clip-ins and no straps (clip-ins only accommodate those fancy-schmancy ‘spinning’ shoes and not the sneakers of mere mortals like myself. Pffft.) Luckily, the super agile looking dude next to me was kind enough to switch me bikes. The instructor introduced herself, dimmed the lights, and started the music…this…is where sh*t gets weird…

The first song was… “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”, by Kelly Clarkson. “Hmmmm” I thought “Now that would apply to my miscarriage(s).” I felt my heart swell a little bit–not from the cardio but from the emotion that began to bubble inside me.

Then the next song was… “Isn’t It Ironic”, by Alanis Morrissett. And that sort of freaked me out. Because YES, it is IRONIC. It’s ironic that I got pregnant miraculously, started bleeding on the morning of Feb. 25th, but had a HR of 160 BPM, but then lost it that night in the ER. It’s ironic that I’m still not pregnant now, a year later, after this miraculous pregnancy, followed by TRYING for an entire year. It’s ironic that I thought I was going to get the job in the fertility clinic after IUI #3 failed, but then came in 2nd best. It’ f*cking ironic that February 25th is the day I lost my baby, and I have to attend a funeral on this day (for a 91 year old man, but still). It is ironic. Is the Universe trying to tell me something???

The next song was… “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith. And I’m thinking…”Yes, I’m feeling very emotional right now.”

Then… “Wanted, Dead or Alive”, by Bon Jovi…this HIT ME like a ton of bricks… I wanted that baby. I wanted that baby dead or alive, I wanted it and nothing takes that desire away, or the pain of not having that baby with me now… the lyrics say “On a steel horse I ride”, and I was currently riding a ‘steel horse’ in the form of a stationary bike. I began to think that none of this was a coincidence, me going to this class… Thank God it was dark, because the tears started to fall…it was all I could do not to ‘ugly cry’ right there in the middle of class, but I managed to keep my face from twisting while the tears fell. I kept pedaling.

Oh, and here’s a good one… “Wonderful”, by Everclear (I’ve seen them in concert, btw). These lyrics really nail the last year for me (wishing all the bad things away):

“I don’t wanna start over again
I just want my life to be the same
Just like it used to be
Some days I hate everything
I hate everything
Everyone and everything
Please don’t tell me everything is wonderful now…

I don’t wanna hear you tell me everything is wonderful now”

And I’m crying, and I’m thinking “FUCK, OK UNIVERSE. GOD. YOU WIN. WELL PLAYED. WTF DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!” Am I supposed to have a nervous breakdown?! Huh?! Then WHAT???” Cuz, yeah, for a brief moment in time (before I came to this class) I was thinking that I was doing ok, but, thanks for reminding me about how f*cking angry I am and how everything is NOT wonderful. Muchas Gracias.

There were a couple more songs, but we ended with… “Like A Prayer” by the one-and-only, Madonna. And the words that struck me from this song were “Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone”, and this struck me, because I don’t understand. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be learning from miscarriages and the painful wait and the tenacious fight that I’m putting up in quest of a healthy pregnancy and baby. I’m confused. It’s a mystery. And though I have my husband, doctors, and my dear friends (you ladies), I think we all feel alone to some degree. I felt alone in that class as tears slipped down my face in the dark.

I think this particular playlist should be named “The Playlist for Broken People”.

I don’t know what the point of this post is. I just knew I had to come home and tell you guys that:

1. The anniversary of my 1st Miscarriage is February 25th (it’s been a year)

2. I went to spin class. Yay me. But got b*tch-slapped by the playlist. I don’t know whether to feel spited, or vindicated. ???

Despite the playlist, I liked the class. The guy next to me gave up his seat for me after he’d already set up the bike for himself. The back row was a group of girls that whooped and hollered and sang along to the songs (some days that is annoying but today I thought it was cute). The instructor let me put my coat up front on her platform and she remembered my name on the way out. I got a good workout and I purged some emotion. Maybe crying in the dark at spinning class will be my new “thing”. It beats crying on the couch at home alone.

XOXO,

MLACS

 

 

Just Do It

Hey guys, in the words of Fergie “I be up in the gym workin’ on my fitness”. By the way, anybody heard anything about her since she had that kid? Just curious. She hasn’t been flaunting her ‘post-partum’ body in the tabloids (because I would know).

I made breakfast for some visiting cousins and of course, I had to come clean about all my shortcomings. They are from a small town and their kids are prodigious athletes (FYI, if you grow up in a small Midwestern town there’s only 2 ways to go: play sports or cook crystal meth). I don’t talk about it, but I was a competitive athlete in my 20’s and I competed in a few ‘Figure’ competitions, which naturally led to me becoming a CPT (certified personal trainer). This is the only thing I’ve ever done in my life that impressed my cousins, so of course it came up at the breakfast table “So are you still doing the bodybuilding and training?” Well, I surely don’t look like I did in my competition pictures, so I was surprised they asked, but the answer is: No. No I’m not doing the ‘bodybuilding thing’ these days. I’m not nearly as vain as I used to be and I’ve been awfully preoccupied with getting married, moving several times, being chronically ill, and trying to have a damn baby. Sorry I let everyone down (I’m not actually sorry, btw, that is sarcasm).

However, I am trying to (aggressively) get in-shape–after I made everybody breakfast and made adequate small talk, I ditched them to go to a ‘spinning class’. But they made me late, so I just went H.A.M on the incline treadmill for 45 minutes. And then I decided to do a kettlebell circuit. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with kettlebells, but they are a fun and effective tool to use for getting in shape. Well, except I ‘overdid’ it and stumbled out of the gym in the midst of an asthma attack–choking relentlessly–and my throat still hurts. Damn. But I can still feel the burn in my body and I’m happy because that, my friends, is a sign of progress 🙂

So in celebration, I flipped through some Y0u Tube videos and found a good beginner video for those of you who are interested to check it out or try it. The kettlebell they use in this video is weird and doesn’t look like the ones you’ll usually see in the gym (this one is square but most k.bells are round). You can also use a dumbbell instead of a k.bell, although the k.bells are more fun. You can click my ‘Workouts’ tab, or (Click HERE).

Here’s how I feel about what I’m doing right now: I’m tired of feeling unattractive. I’m tired of feeling like TTC is “ruining” me. I want to make a lot of progress while I’m taking this “break”, and…

I’ve made a promise to myself that I will focus and fight to be who I want to be, and not lose myself to the battles I’ve been fighting.

XOXO,

MLACS

P.S. This is not a picture of me. I wish. I don’t know if I’ll ever be this lean again (I was once).
kettlebell 1

News Of The Weird

And in extremely strange news…I called the po-po on my noisy neighbor the other night. It was f*cking 1:45am and they were still clanging around, and I couldn’t sleep, so I had to do something…and there was a deficit of options:

1. Go upstairs, bang on the door, and unleash a stream of profanity, hand gestures, and death threats (perhaps a little acid in their face?) OR

3. Call the cops and (hopefully) irritate the hell outta the neighbor the way he was irritating the hell outta me–Hammurabi’s Code.

So yeah, after much deliberation I called the (non-emergency) police phone number and told them that, while there was no loud music or screaming, there was a lot of NOISE. I laid in bed until I heard a knock on the door–I asked “Who is It?” and opened when they replied “Police Department”. They proceeded to ask me what was up, and I told them:

“This tenant is noisy and has been asked by management to quiet down during the night time hours. I haven’t met this person but I think it’s really strange that their activity increases after 10pm and I need them to understand that it is seriously disruptive. I know it’s not all his fault, he’s probably (as the management suggested) just trying to settle in and set up house and the building is not properly sound-proofed, but the level of noise is still unacceptable.”

The police were very nice and went upstairs to confront the offender. I climbed back into bed, worrying if I had made the right decision. Then I heard another knock on my door–the police again. And guess what he told me:

The tenant(s) are an ELDERLY COUPLE!

I was flabbergasted, like, “Whoa, are you SURE you got the right apartment? Did it look like they just moved in?” And the officer was like “Yeah, there’s nothing in there either, no rugs or furniture or anything.” Like, holy balls. This makes no damn sense. Noisy old people that stomp around the house 20 out of 24 hours a day? And, if there’s nothing in the house, then what are they stomping around for?! Obviously they aren’t “putting stuff away” as the management suggested with blind optimism. Seriously, WTF.

This gave me no peace of mind. I got a reply to the (semi-hostile) emails that I sent to the management saying they will either move us to a top-level apartment or let us out of our lease. And I pretty much resolved that I would need to move and started looking yesterday…

But then I went out last night with some girlfriends that are ‘real estate moguls’ around here, and told them that I don’t reeeeally feel like moving, and moreover I don’t want to shell out more money to move. I want to take a fuggin’ vacation with Mr. MLACS–tired of spending money on medical bills and car repairs and IUI’s and moving. So, with that information they unanimously agreed that I should take management up on moving to a top level apartment. And guess what else? I went to a college basketball game (box seats) and got kind of tipsy on a couple of cider beers and a couple glasses of wine. And then I came home, and didn’t really care if I heard any noise because going out with my girlfriends and getting tipsy gave me a (much needed)  ‘attitude adjustment’.

And then…it was quiet.

This is kind of awesome and annoying at the same time. Awesome because I wanted the Trolls to STFU. But annoying because they didn’t STFU until I stopped caring. Which leads me to…

When people ask me ‘what I’m doing’ I’ve begun to be honest about it–I’ve been Trying (with a capital ‘T’) to get pregnant. And then in the meantime looking for a satisfactory job. And as soon as I get my sh*t together, I’m going to start taking classes again.

And do you know what 2 out of 3 people have said to that???

“Well have you tried relaxing?” To which I reply “Well funny you say that, because I haven’t.” And then I let them tell me about so-and-so who relaxed and then had the twins… So far I find it more entertaining to play dumb. But this will get old quick. But since I also know people who have ‘relaxed’ and gotten pregnant recently, and since I ‘relaxed’ and the Trolls stopped banging around, it kind of leaves a question mark as to the validity of ‘relaxing’…it makes me doubt myself a little. Just sayin’.

In other news, I went to see my acupuncturist friend, Star. She fixed me right up! And she did what she calls ’emotional clearing’, which I’ve talked about before–it’s where I hold out my arm and she asks my body questions, then pushes on my arm, and if it ‘gives’ then she takes that as a ‘yes’. It’s really fascinating. It really deserves a post of it’s own but I’m not that educated about it so I’m going to tack it on to this post. But guess what? It would appear that I have an ingrained fear of having a traumatic birthing experience and that I am afraid my body cannot carry an deliver a child. That is not something that I discuss but it’s true. Hopefully, if this has been a factor in preventing healthy pregnancy, then it is now resolved. Interesting, yes? Gives me goosebumps.

XOXO,

MLACS

 

 

So Where Is My Damn Window???

So, I wrote this post (Click Here) talking about how “God never closes a door without opening a window” and how it couldn’t possibly be coincidence that I had found a job posting for a job that I am perfectly qualified for in a FERTILITY CLINIC where Dr. Angel gave me a glowing reference because he knows that doc (and was consulting about my case with him)…and my interviews went so well…blah blah blah. The f*ckers didn’t hire me. And, I’m sure it was because of the intensely personal information they had about me. Well, or I don’t think the old lady that directed my second interview liked my strong personality. I think that if I had ‘played the game’ and been quiet and mousy and not said anything about my knowledge of infertility (which is telling of the fact that I want to have a baby), then I would’ve gotten this job–I read people and I know how to play my cards. And I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t have regrets because I chose to be very honest and authentic, knowing that this may be the consequence. But guess what, that isn’t helping. I feel rejected on a very personal level.

I feel like…I just got a BFN at 12dpo. This is very comparable, although the interview process was less arduous than the drugs and prep for an IUI, and instead of the dreaded TWW, I ‘tested’ and finally sent them an email after one week of not hearing anything. Yeah, I brought them cookies and sent them a ‘thank you’ note, but they didn’t even call or email me (who knows if they would’ve)–and that old lady didn’t return my email until 24 hours after my inquiry; that’s not criminal but I feel it was lacking.

Now, I don’t even want to go there for a consult. How awkward will that be? How pissed will I be if I walk in and the receptionist is incompetent or a ding-a-ling? That’s honestly what I’m expecting. However, I will swallow my pride. I will go in for a consult. But I hope they realize that I’m a critic (my meticulous medical records indicate that I don’t f*ck around). I hope they recognize that, in my eyes, the bar just got raised for them. At the consult, I will be interviewing them. I’m not grading on a curve.

Now, here’s the “but”. But…maybe this is for the best. I ultimately want 2 things:

1. To be a stay-at-home Mom (SAHM)

2. To get my nursing degree (and begin practicing after baby is a little bigger)

This job was to be a means-to-an-end, to allow me to save up money for school and pay off some debts–possibly save up for IVF…the pay is lame and it’s not where I want to be for the rest of my life. It’s not like I am losing my “dream job”–this was my “dream job in the $12 per hour pay range”, but not my ultimate dream. Ya dig?

And also, I went to see Grandma today. She has actually asked me to help her get to-and-from radiation appointments (she has to go for treatment every day for 20 days). I am going with her and my cousin to meet with the oncologist this Friday. So there’s two bits of good news here:

1. Grandma’s cancer was successfully removed with her last surgery! YAY!

2. Since I’m not working, I am at her disposal during these radiation treatments.

In other news…I’ve started using this fancy gym membership Mr. MLACS and I signed up for. I’ve been going to spinning classes–they are no joke! I love them, I’m an avid ‘spinner’ but I have never bothered to get the special shoes or the padded gel seats and all that sh*t that a lot of the other people in the class have. And I look over and their form is sh*tty and they are faking it when the instructor says ‘add gear’…so yeah, bunch of fancy-lookin’ posers. I think I’m going to give their hot yoga a shot. Now, I am a devout Bikram Choudhury fan so I have never dishonored him by going to a ‘hot yoga’ studio–for those of you who are not his disciples, Bikram revolutionized hot yoga and everybody else is just copying him. The benefits are gleaned from doing the 26 postures the way Bikram designed, so I don’t believe that doing a hodge podge of various postures in a hot room is truly comparable. But there’s not Bikram studio where I live so I think he could forgive me for going to a ‘hot yoga’ studio. I’ve been avoiding hot yoga because supposedly it has some negative effects when ttc and gestating, but, I’m chubby and hot yoga whittles me down and make me feel good, so I’ll give it a shot and (if it doesn’t suck) then I’ll try to go a couple times a week.

Oh, but the biggest thing about the gym isn’t the ‘fancy poser-ness’ of it all…it’s the mommy club. See, this gym is also a country club and it attracts families like flies…when we joined the girl was like “Do you want access to the summer beach club for $5 more per month?” And Mr. MLACS started to say “Yes”, but I looked at him and (in front of this very pregnant sales girl) said “The ONLY people who go to the beach club are women with kids, so, NO”. Everywhere I look there’s cute SAHM’s in spandex carrying their 2.5 kids out to their luxury SUV. I’m sure that they’ll be sporting their bumps in bikini’s at the beach club this summer. You can imagine how this makes me feel, right? It makes me want to come home from spinning class and eat a box of gluten-free cookies.

Oh, and there’s a TROLL that lives in the apartment above me. He just moved in this past weekend. He is either mentally insane, or he is on drugs, or he has ADHD, because he paces LOUDLY through his apartment at all hours of the day and night–it’s inexplicable. I have complained to management. I have put out a call to my friends to see if they have ideas about the best way to murder someone–because I’ve moved TWICE in the last 3 months, I’m not moving again, and if this f*cker doesn’t take his Adderoll and calm the f*ck down, I’m going to poison some cookies and send them his way. And I will plead insanity, because he’s driving me insane (as if I needed any help with that).

Sorry this post is so ‘salty’, but I figured I was overdue for an update and I’m feeling pretty ‘salty’ today. Also, I would like to express my love and gratitude for my friend The Unexpected Trip. She’s awesome and you should go read her blog (you probably already do).

XOXO,

MLACS

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Today

Today:

1. Grandma’s surgery went well, and hopefully they removed all the cancer, please God.

2. I made a pot roast.

3. I took pot roast to Grandma and she didn’t eat it but we talked and talked and talked, and when I left she had a really big smile on her face. Priceless.

4. Mr. MLACS and I fought about bills and money.

5. Mr. MLACS and I made up.

6. While we weren’t talking Mr. MLACS watched ‘Marley and Me’, which is a movie that includes a miscarriage and the death of a golden lab–saddest. movie. ever. I think it ruined his resolve to continue our fight.

7. While I was going through old bills, I found the Valentines Day card that I gave him last year. I made it by folding a piece of construction paper in half, and then cutting out two hearts and pasting them on the front–a big red heart with a little pink heart inside it. On the inside it said “Happy Valentines Day Daddy!” Because I was pregnant. With our first baby.  I can’t even describe the feeling I had when I came across this card today…it was a mix of horror, sadness, and denial–I only wish it was possible to “un-see” this card. It broke my heart all over again. F*ck. Valentines Day is permanently ruined and I don’t want to hear anymore about it. *Covers ears and sings the lamb chop song: “this is the song that never ends…” until V day is over*

8. “Myrtle” called me this afternoon and we spoke. She sounded a little nervous but for the first time in a long time I was being authentic to her (I don’t know if she ever realized I was being ‘fake’ with her these past few months). It felt good to tell her the truth about what’s been going on with me (the infertility treatments, the inevitable sadness). I told her that I didn’t want to say anything for lots of reasons…one of the words I used was “embarrassed”, which she stopped me and said “but why would you be embarrassed?” And guys, I don’t know why I’m embarrassed about being infertile. I just am. We talked about her bridal shower and the upcoming wedding, and I’m genuinely excited for her–and I’m excited for me that I’m now able to be excited for her. I hate feeling like a fake a** b*tch.

9. I haven’t heard back about the job yet. I am feeling very insecure about that. I looked for other jobs but I didn’t find anything that looked like a match. I was already spending (and saving) the hypothetical money I was going to make at this hypothetical job. Don’t you hate it when you get waaaaaaay ahead of yourself like that? I’m kicking myself.

10. I’m pretty sure that, since I’m taking this cycle off, you should ALL get pregnant this month, because the laws of the universe dictate that “If MLACS takes a month off of trying to conceive, then anyone else who is trying or even those who are not trying, shall fall pregnant by default“. So please, make sure that you are cashing in on this. You’re welcome.

XOXO,

MLACS

 

 

It’s Actually Harder NOT To Try…

I’m tired. Dog tired from doing these last several months of treatments (2 months of Clomid, 1 month unmedicated, 3 months of IUI with injectables). And lets not forget that these last few months came at the tail end of the worst year of my life–2013 was ruined from start to finish by chronic illness and multiple miscarriages. Yes, I keep talking about this “horrible awful year” but it’s more to remind me than it is to remind you. My currently wonky thyroid (TSH 3.51 despite 75mcg Synthroid) is a symptom of the fact that these hormones are beating the sh*t out of my already tortured body–even if my spirit is ready to continue, my poor body would benefit from a rest. But I saw Dr. Angel today, and when I suggested that I am “damaged” and that it seemed prudent to take a cycle off, he said “Whatever you want, but we can certainly go ahead”. I was bewildered, because I really expected him to say “Give it a rest”. Of course, I’m glad that he has so much faith in me and my body. But there’s more to consider. We talked and taking this cycle off gives Dr. Angel a chance to send all my records to the RE so he can review them and have a consult with me, and while Dr. Angel is not pushing me out his door we both agree that the RE would be more aggressive and we’re both ready for me to be pregnant–whatever it takes! And it’s not like I would lose Dr. Angel as my provider–he will remain my OBGYN. But, it’s time to tap our resources and try something different. We talked and talked, about my interview and lots of other stuff that I needed to ask him about, and I know he gave me time that he didn’t have–I cannot adequately express my gratitude for the kindness and consideration he has shown me since I’ve been in his care. However, I kept waffling about the decision to take this month off…what if I don’t get this job and I’m left twiddling my thumbs? Then I’d be sorry I didn’t try. So do you know what we did? I flipped a quarter. Seriously. And it landed on ‘take this month off and and talk to the RE’–and I started to say “Best 2 outta 3” but Dr. Angel made me stick to the decision, bless his heart. We talked a little bit about religious stuff, and I told him that if he has any visions and feels I should try this month, to let me know immediately! And we hugged several times before I left the office. I can say that I got dealt a sh*tty card with my autoimmune disease(s) and reproductive challenges, but I’m super fortunate to have Dr. Angel on my side.

And here’s my test results from the most recent blood draw:
TSH: 3.51
AMH: 3.44 (down from 4.52 about 14 months ago)
ANA: NONE Detected
Ok, so you know TSH is thyroid stimulating hormone–anything below 4 is considered “normal” but a lot of people have issues even if they fall in the “normal” range–what is “normal” anyways? But in recent years it’s been proven that women should stay under 2.5 while ttc and during pregnancy, for the best outcomes. And since I’m already medicated, my TSH should be under 2, but obviously it’s not. So we upped my dose of Synthroid to 100mcg and hopefully between the increased dosage and the break from the whoremones, my TSH will fall below 2 so that I have some ‘wiggle room’ for the inevitable havoc the next round of drugs will wreak on my touchy thyroid.
AMH is anti-mullerian hormone, and it measures how many eggs you have left (it’s a hormone that is only secreted by your eggs). My AMH is actually high for my age, at 3.44, but it’s a whole point lower than it was last year, which is still a little depressing since it marks the passage of time and highlights the fact that my clock is ticking. And I maintain my incredulousness at the fact that 23 m*therf*cking viles of Bravelle only yielded TWO mature follicles in this last IUI…like, how the bloody hell??? Well, that’s something I’ll bring up to the RE.
And finally, my ANA’s were NEGATIVE! That’s awesome, because it means one of three things: either they went away on their own (doubtful), OR they were KO’d by the handful of Remicade infusions I had in the past few months, OR they were quite low and the Prednisone I’ve been taking for the past couple of weeks made them undetectable. No matter which way you slice it, the result was good! Finally, a shred of good news. Woot.
And in other news, Myrtle has made a couple different excuses why she can’t call me, but she’s been very sweet about them and I’ve been plenty busy so I’m not trippin’–I did have to text her though, about making a time to talk (and the time keeps getting postponed). I’ll let you guys know. I sent out the invites to her bridal shower today and they are super cute and I patted myself on the back for my efforts.
I also sent a thank-you note to the office I interviewed with last week, for good measure–even though I brought cookies to my second interview and ‘actions speak louder than words’, I wanted to be classy and cover all my bases. Mission accomplished. Now I’m listening to elevator music while I wait by the phone…
Hey wanna hear some good stuff? Mr. MLACS bought me new UGG boots as a surprise for Valentines Day (though he let me pick them out in the store). And we joined a really nice gym and now I can go and take all sorts of classes. I’m ready to buckle down and get in shape–so I can feel good (oh who are we kidding, it’s so that I don’t look like a cow in Myrtle’s wedding pictures. The b*tch will probly beat me to motherhood but I’ll be damned if she’s going to humiliate me by posting unflattering pictures of me all over facebook. NO.) So wish me luck on that. The only reason I haven’t posted more videos to my ‘workout videos’ page is because my living room rug that I usually exercise on is filthy since our move and I need to have it cleaned before I resume rolling around on it. But I’m calling the “rug cleaner dude” tomorrow to get that ball rolling.
And in not-so-great news, my Grandma had cancer in her lymph nodes, so she is having another surgery tomorrow to remove her lymph nodes. Please pray for Grandma Peggy that all the cancer is removed tomorrow, that it has not spread, and that she only has to do radiation after this, because she is vehemently opposed to chemotherapy.
Oh, and Mr. MLACS has to go back to work on Wednesday and he’ll be gone for three weeks this time (sad face). It’s super great that he’s beefing up his paycheck (from a Dave Ramsey perspective) but I will miss the guy and I have a feeling things will be difficult while he’s gone. But, this means he’ll be able to take off the time to go to Myrtle’s wedding with me, and that is definitely not something I’m prepared to do by myself. Mr. MLACS gets that, so he’s making it work. Love that guy.
XOXO,
MLACS

Big Strides

So, I had my second interview today, and it went very well in my opinion–but they said they still have some other second interviews to complete, which was a not-so-subtle reminder that I have competition. But did the other contenders bring cookies??? Well I plopped my cookies on the table and announced, “I am obviously campaigning for this job–I would’ve made buttons but that seemed over-the-top”. Kind of sassy, but they laughed (thank God) and I figure if they can’t appreciate a little sass then I’m not the right girl for the job. Fingers crossed ladies–fingers, toes, eyes, etc.

Also, in really big news, I have made great strides in my feelings toward “Myrtle”, my irritatingly fertile (but childless by choice) soon-to-be-married-and-knocked-up friend. For whatever reason, I just stopped being so angry at her last month after I missed her bachelorette party. It wasn’t a conscious effort, but my anger just sort of faded away. I actually enjoyed designing her bridal shower invitations on zazzle a couple weeks ago–I am actually looking forward to getting out all the pretty dishes and serverware I received for my wedding (that I rarely have an occasion to use) and I’ve meticulously planned a foodie-style menu and a variety of games with prizes. I don’t know what caused my change-of-heart, since I remained angry for many months after our initial conversation about infertility regarding another friend–I wasn’t even officially “infertile” at the time, but Myrtle said ALL the wrong things and I took them to heart: “Some people just aren’t meant to have kids” and “People should just adopt” were at the top of that list–because what makes HER “meant” to have kids after she had 5 abortions? How could she even dare to say such a thing, as though now that motherhood is appealing to her and she conveniently is able to conceive if a guy looks at her, that means she is “meant” to have kids, while there’s women who have built their entire world around having a family, and these women aren’t “meant” to have kids because they are infertile. Ok, obviously I’m still pissed. But anyhow, I’ve been avoiding her and keeping her at arms length for months since we’ve begun doing infertility treatments, because I was angry and hurt but also because I didn’t want to give her the opportunity to put her foot in her mouth again–I was protecting both of us by not bringing up the subject. To her credit, she gave me the space I needed. But today she was in town and asked me to drop by the salon where her SIL was practicing her ‘wedding hair’ for the big day. So I did, and I felt some tension from Myrtle’s Mom, no doubt because I skipped the bachelorette party, but then I whipped out the adorable bridal shower invitations and I think that smoothed her Mom’s ruffled feathers–even if it didn’t though, that’s not my problem. I made small talk and looked at pictures of Myrtle’s wedding shoes on her phone, but I finally said “I need to talk to you” and I went and crouched down in front of her facing her chair, so the whole damn salon couldn’t hear what I was saying. I said “I know I’ve been weird these last few months, and the reason is that I’ve been going through infertility treatments and I wasn’t ready to talk about it. It’s been a year since my first miscarriage and we’ve been trying (and she asked if I was “doing hormones” and I explained that I have been diligently shooting up for several months, the “hard stuff”)–I said “I am infertile. I think we will eventually have a baby but I may need IVF, and there’s no guarantees.” It is the very first time I have ever said that to anybody, that I am infertile. It felt surreal, like I was being sensational and dramatic by using these harsh words, but I fit the definition–I am not embellishing–this is reality. It’s like I need to say it to believe it myself. It’s not a title that I want but I’ve earned it.

And then I said, “I want and need your support on this, and I’m ready to talk about it, but I’d like for you to read this weblink I’ve sent you before we have that talk, because the last time the subject of infertility came up it didn’t go well at all.” And she said “Oh but you know I didn’t mean YOU! I really don’t think XYZ should have kids, but you should!” And I said “Yes I know and honestly I’m not even concerned with XYZ, this is all about me and my situation. It’s been really hard, physically, emotionally and financially, and it’s not over yet.” And she started to say “Well you just need to rela…” and I was like “Before you say anything, please read the weblink and then we can have a good talk”. And I sent her this link to RESOLVE: http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/for-family–friends/infertility-etiquette.html

I haven’t heard back from her yet, so I don’t know if she’s had a chance to read it or consider any of it. But we hugged and I think she looked surprised but also relieved. I think her Mom thinks I’ve been jealous of Myrtle’s impending wedding, but I hope this shuts them up about that. Now the conversation can be “Well if she just hadn’t ever done that bodybuilding stuff and eaten all that splenda, then this never would’ve happened…” If they want to act holy-er than thou because they are hippies and switched to organic foods 10 years ago, then so be it. But let it not be said, that I was jealous of her wedding (cuz y’all all saw my pics and you know I have nothing to be jealous of). I am specifically jealous of her fertility. But, I’m dealing with it.

XOXO,

MLACS

 

 

God Never Closes A Door Without Opening A Window

I woke up yesterday from a vivid dream…I had pee’d on a stick and seen two lines, and I was shaking and crying and excitedly babbling to Mr. MLACS–I had my BFP!

I laid in bed for awhile, basking in the sunlight that was bouncing off the snow and thrusting through the cracks in our blinds–Mr. MLACS contentedly sleeping on my left, and Kitty contentedly purring on my right. I didn’t want to let that moment go–I didn’t want to leave the safety and comfort of our bed.

I was mulling over all my symptoms and my BFP dream, and thinking “I’m pregnant!”…Because:
1. I got my first ever BFP on February 4th, 2013–the day after the Super Bowl. Yesterday was February 5th, 2014. And then baby would be born in October (my feeling was earlier, closer to the end of September) and I would know that this child was one of my “gifts” from my dear departed Mother (read about that HERE).
2. My cat has been stuck to me like glue, same as he has during my other two pregnancies. He is my shadow. And he is always fighting his way onto my lap (or into the bathroom, or onto the bed, etc.).
3. I’ve had cramping–since right around 7dpo.
4. I’ve had muscle twitches, which I always get when I’m pregnant (and unfortunately moreso when I’ve miscarried). I’ve come to associate them with my thyroid being outta whack, which pregnancy always causes an immediate and semi-dramatic rise in my TSH.
5. My boobs have been ‘heavy’ but not super sore–that’s a big one. Cuz when I’m NOT pregnant they are always really sore.
6. I’m taking prednisone, which is quieting my overly aggressive immune system and making a peaceful, un-inflamed environment for my offspring.
7. It’s been nearly 6 months since my last spontaneous pregnancy, and this is my 3rd IUI in a row, so statistically it really seemed like I was due to catch a mf*ing break.

So, I pee’d on the FRER and watched for the second line…and…nothing.

F*cking NOTHING.

I just got back into bed with Mr. MLACS and Kitty, and Mr. MLACS asked “Are you ok?” which is code for “Did you POAS and was it negative again?” And I replied “Well I’m not pregnant”–not looking at him, I couldn’t look at him–and he said “Do you want to talk about it?” And I pulled up the covers up under my chin and responded “NO”. I couldn’t…what could I even say? I was in shock. I looked at my cat and I felt betrayed by him–he misled me into thinking I was pregnant with his constant attention and affection. Another feeling was creeping up…a feeling which began to overpower my disappointment…fear. These thoughts hit me like bullets, “What is WRONG with me??? Why isn’t this working??? What if we have to do IVF?! Where will the money for IVF come from?!” I had already considered that IVF may be the way for us to go…and I have been putting in job applications for several reasons, most prominently: saving up for IVF. It is past time for me to come to terms with the idea that, although we had a spontaneous (miraculous) unplanned pregnancy just one year ago…we are suffering from infertility NOW, and we need to start planning ahead.

I called Dr. Angel to inform him that I didn’t think I was pregnant, and to ask for a blood pregnancy test as well as my: TSH, AMH, and ANA’s. I talked to him and blurted out that I had an interview tomorrow (today) but didn’t know if I might be crazy for even considering working there, because I might very well end up becoming a patient in the near future…and Dr. Angel was very encouraging and said I’d be an asset to the clinic I spoke of and he asked if I’d like him to give me a recommendation–which is quite an honor, given that he’s never even laid eyes on my resume or worked with me as a professional. And I said he needn’t do that, but I’d leave it to his discretion…OH, did I not mention where the interview was??!

The FERTILITY CLINIC that Dr. Angel has been suggesting he could refer me to. That’s where the interview was.

And today I woke up, nervous as hell, shaking in my boots…trying to figure out how I would navigate the interview without divulging all my personal experiences with infertility–I mean, it would be one thing if I had already beat infertility and had a kid and could call myself a ‘success story’. But who wants to hire somebody that is obviously trying to conceive? Knowing what an emotional toll infertility treatments take on a woman, who wants to hire a woman in the throes of infertility? And what’s more, what if they are looking for a simpleton who is just going to do their job and go home–I know too much–I have STRONG feelings about the care that couples going through infertility treatments should receive–what if they don’t want that? What if they don’t want someone who’s passionate and dying to soak up every drop of medical knowledge that can be gleaned from working in an infertility clinic? What if they think I’m just looking for discounted IVF? I decided that I would feel out the situation and judge whether or not I felt confident enough (or crazy enough) to share my own struggles–which really are the only logical way to explain my working knowledge of infertility and treatments. I felt so perplexed, I had to stop and breath a couple times while doing my hair and make-up, as the things I wanted to say swirled through my head, and the voice of reason kept saying “NO! Don’t you dare tell them anything about it! Fool!”

And Mr. MLACS dropped me off at the clinic, and I was early so I waited a few minutes, but then the lady came to get me…
We talked for awhile about my work experience and how I’ve come to be where I am today. Why I’m interested in working there…which I tried to ‘dance around’ without saying “Because I’m obsessed with infertility!” Then she asked me how I know Dr. Angel (my eyes got big because I didn’t know he had spoken with them already) and I took a deep breath, and said “Well, I’m a patient of his. And I don’t know if he might have mentioned it, but I’m just going to be honest and tell you that I have just failed my 3rd IUI with injectables. I am struggling to have a baby.” And I had to stop and fan my face because the tears began to well up and I flatly refused to cry during a f*ing interview. But I shook it off and said “I was conflicted about coming here today, because I may well need to become a patient at this clinic, and I’m not sure that is something you’re looking for–an employee that is also a client. But I can tell you, that I would only give these women the care that I would want for myself, and I have great compassion and respect for what these couples are going through.” And she smiled. Because Dr. Angel had indeed informed them of my infertility–and I’m SO glad he did. It was a blessing to be able to be up front about it. They also said he spoke highly of me, which makes me really proud. And do you believe that they said “Well you wouldn’t be the first employee we’ve had as a patient”?! Like, no big deal.

But this IS a big deal. I want to assure you, that I would never ever ever blog about any of my patients (even with pseudonyms). I will never ever offer medical advice (based on things I might learn at the clinic–I’m not a doctor). I will never say what clinic I work for (for my own protection and because it would be wrong to funnel patients into a practice I work for by saying good things or detract clients by saying negative things). Basically, from here on out, I can’t say anything about it. And, if I did do an IVF cycle with them, I don’t know as I’d be able to talk about that–because what if somebody puts it all together and says “Oh you MUST be at the clinic I go to!” And I would not be trolling through blogs trying to figure out if someone might be a patient where I work, because that’s just not my style at all. I’ve even considered going ‘private’ with my blog if I got the job. I’ve already said too much, but I just had to share this with you guys because this is what I believe in my heart:

God never closes a door without opening a window

Which is kind of like saying that you have to look for the silver lining in everything, but then again not exactly. What it really is, is that if you follow your heart and have the courage and conviction to walk your path even in the darkest of times (doors closing), then you will end up where you’re supposed to be (windows opening), and you’ll have peace in your heart knowing that this is where you belong, even if it’s not where you had intended to go and not how you intended to get there. I love the medical profession because I love to learn and I love to help people. And I want to have a baby. So maybe, God is going to let me do all of that–AND let me help other people have babies. And would I be here if I hadn’t had 2 miscarriages and 3 failed IUI’s? No, I would not. For the first time in a long time, I have the ‘butterflies’ I’ve spoken about in my previous post (the one I already linked in this post).

But I haven’t got the job yet. I’m putting my best foot forward. I’ve even baked cookies to bring to my second interview (and also some to thank Dr. Angel–he’s my angel). Pray for me please.

Also, don’t get it twisted. While the excitement of the job opportunity is carrying me across the threshold of grief about failed IUI #3, I am deeply saddened that this was not my time. I have cried a couple of times, once lamenting to Mr. MLACS who said and did all the right things (bless his heart). But I can feel there are feelings underneath the surface, a knot in my stomach, a twitch in the corner of my eye–there is a storm brewing.

Oh! And when I called to get my beta today, I asked about my other test results…my TSH has catapulted up to 3.51, and at last draw it had crept up from 1.9 to 2.3, even though I’m on 75mcg of Synthroid. This is VERY bad news. I know it has everything to do with my hormones fluctuating, but this does not bode well for me getting and staying pregnant–with my body revolting via my thyroid. And see, I thought everything was under control. Ha. I have an appointment to speak with Dr. Angel about how to proceed, and I’m not sure it’s wise to do IUI #4 with my thyroid this messed up. And I have to b*tch a little bit–the nurse didn’t tell me my value, she just said “Your thyroid is ‘normal'”, and I know that TSH < 4 is considered "normal", but when ttc your TSH should stay under 2.5, and mine really shouldn't even be that high given that I'm on meds. I kind of freaked out on her and was like "OMG 3.5 is NOT NORMAL when you're trying to conceive!" And she's like, "Ok, calm down". And I'm sure that Dr. Angel would've reviewed it himself and caught that but I'm sure he hadn't seen it yet so I'm sure it wouldn't have fallen through the cracks. But I want to know why this is happening and to what degree it's affecting my ability to conceive, and how to STOP it. Why is my thyroid SO corrupt in the absence of anti-thyroid antibodies?! See, and this is why my blog is called 'My Life As A Case Study'.

XOXO,
MLACS

Sharing Is Caring

Liebster Award

Oh, I thought this day would never come (no seriously, after my last post I was pretty damn sure I would not be nominated for a Liebster). Buuuuut, sometimes it’s great to be wrong! So I’d like to thank Alexis at My Silver Lining for nominating me–you da bomb! And while I’m at it, I’d like to thank all the other girls who actually invented awards for me, so thank you to: You Just Need To Relax (Empathy Award) and An Airman And A Doctor (Bloody Awesome Award) and The Unexpected Trip (The MLACS’ter Award) and Project Sweet Pea (Top Bird Award). I am tickled pink!

So, here’s Alexis’s questions:

1. What is your middle name? Um, ok. It’s Margaret, for my Grandma (the one who is fighting breast cancer at the moment).

2. When did you get married? Technically, September 27, 2011. Secretly. At a court house. Because I needed health insurance. But our wedding was in Hawaii. And the wedding was a dream come true. Right down to the pearly seashells I had incorporated into my all my bouquets and table settings. OH! And the fire dancers were badass.
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3. Favorite event in the Winter Olympics? Well, I suppose the ice skating. Not that I’ve ever ice skated. I think I tried it once but blocked it from my memory because I was so bad at it.

4. Best thing about summer? Being in the water! Lightning bugs. BBQ’s.

5. Favorite TV Series? Well, the Real Housewives. But I’m a fan of Top Chef. And several others (anything on BRAVO).

6. Favorite music artist from the 70’s? Rick James, b*tch

7. Favorite movie from the 1990’s? SO MANY! Home Alone. Steel Magnolias. The list goes on….

8. Why do you blog? To get to the other side! No seriously, because I needed to talk about what was/is happening to me–last year was just too much.

I’m nominating: My entire blogroll. Because you are ALL badass and I’d love to learn more about ALL of you. Please answer the questions that I answered above (or make up your own) and it says you’re s’posed to include a link to my blog in your post, along with the pic of the Liebster Award. And no worries if you’ve already accepted a nomination or you’re just “not into it”. This is not a ‘publicity stunt’ to get my blog plastered all over the blogosphere–I just didn’t want to leave anybody out, cuz I don’t like being left out. And trust me, it was a REAL pain-in-da-ass to link all these blogs in this post. XO

Pregnancy Pause
No Bun In This Oven
Infertile Girl in a Fertile World
Jenn’s Blog
Meant to be Mommy
You just need to relax
Conceptionally challenged
An Airman and a Doctor
A Swabian in Exile
My MMC Story
“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
Seahorses and Lotus
The Pursuit of Pregnancy
My Blog
waitingforraintostop
Infertility, why me?
the unexpected trip
Banana Ramblings
Does Your Journey Seem Long?
Today I hope
On Fecund Thought
Fertility Doll
The Barren Librarian
My Silver Lining
Conception’s Bitch
The crooked path through IVF
Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen…
The Infernal Infertile
My Preconceived Life
Merlion in Holland
Amber Under Construction
Love, Marriage, Still No Baby Carriage
Plan Y
Recurrent Pregnancy and Infant Loss Blog
you can’t choose when
Project Sweet Pea
Awaiting Autumn
Young yet infertile
Bruised Banana
barrenbetty
Recurrently Lost
Steph Mignon
Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright
Lydia Seeks Bebe
Lamenting the Lentil
A Calm Persistence
Eat Love Procreate
There Is A Higher Hope
My Hope And My Future

Awards Are Only Cool If I Get One

Rule #99 (if you haven’t read the handbook): Awards are only cool if MLACS gets one

And I’ve noticed that the Liebster has recently gone ‘viral’ amongst the RPL and IF bloggers, but I haven’t been nominated. So I may remedy the situation by making up my very own award and nominating myself for it. So there (sourpuss snotty-pants).

No actually I’m just kidding (ish).

Anywhoo…nothing super badass going on around here. I went to pick up Mr. MLACS from the airport in the city yesterday, and I spent a ridiculous amount of time perusing World Market because I wanted to buy something for the house. I found a ‘pouf’ and got all worked up and excited when I saw it was marked $20 (down from $79)…until I saw all the little foam beads leaking out of it…and the sales guy came along and I pointed out that it is leaking these beads and it appears there was no way to fix it (the torn inner shell was not accessible)…and he just shrugged his shoulders. Like, really dude? This thing is a worthless piece of sh*t that Goodwill would turn down, but you’re trying to sell it?! It was the first thing I saw and it killed my buzz when I realized it was unsalvageable and the sales guy didn’t give a rat’s ass. But…I continued to fiddle around and look at stuff, and I actually ended up buying: rosemary lavender hand soap (in a mason jar), chocolate (always), Moroccan Tangine sauce, and a loose-leaf tea diffuser cup (I only had one and needed another so I can make tea for visiting friends). I reeeeeeally struggled because I wanted to buy these linen curtains for our bedroom and the price was reasonable–$30 per panel ($60 for 2 panels). Buuuuuuut, I’m supposed to be saving money and I know there’s lots of other places I could put $60 to better use, so I ultimately ditched the curtains in the kitchen section (Isn’t that sh*tty of me not to put them back where they belong? Well, it’s a ‘wash’ due to the disappointing ‘pouf’ incident). I decided that I want to get a firm grip on our finances in 2014, so I ordered the Dave Ramsey ‘starter kit’ and it came in the mail the other day (I’m sure you ALL know who he is, since I seem to be the last one on earth to have heard of him–but click HERE if you want the details). I’ve only just begun to read his book, ‘Total Money Makeover’. But even though I haven’t even touched on Dave Ramsey’s financial planning tools, I had this little voice in the back of my head when I was looking at those curtains in World Market that was saying “What would Dave Ramsey do? Dave Ramsey would put the curtains down. Dammit.” So, while I cannot attest to the efficacy of Dave Ramsey’s financial planning tools, I can say that the system seems to be working for me because I now hear his voice in my head, chiding me for considering non-essential purchases after I proclaimed I wanted to dedicate 2014 to paying off debts. *Sigh*

I have been wanting to try Red Robin (a chain restaurant specializing in burgers) because they are the ONLY place I’ve heard of that serves a gluten-free bun. So after my less-than-stellar experience at World Market, I trotted over to Red Robin and enjoyed a burger on a gluten-free bun and a side of gluten-free fries (the fries were served with a gluten-free honey poppy seed sauce that was to die for). It was quite delicious!

Later, I checked into a hotel room (since Mr. MLACS was getting in suuuuper late) and I was pleasantly surprised by how nice and modern it was–I got a good price on www.hotels.com and I was so happy with it that I wished I didn’t have to leave…but I had made plans to meet friends downtown for a fancy steak dinner. I was feeling ‘icky’ all day and was going to deny myself even a glass of wine…buuuuut, I ended up having a glass of Moscato and oddly enough I felt better afterwards (and drank tons of water at dinner). We had a lovely time and I was happy that I procured leftovers to bring to Mr. MLACS, since I felt guilty that he wasn’t there to enjoy it with us. It’s rare that I have an occasion to put on make-up these days and most of the stuff I wear is either spandex or has an elastic waistband, so this was a golden opportunity to put on ‘real’ clothes and polish myself up a bit. And the company was excellent!

After dinner my friends and I went our separate ways–I went back to the hotel room. Mr. MLACS’s flight kept getting more and more and more delayed. I was going to pick him up from the airport but his last flight didn’t arrive until 3am, so he ended up catching a cab. Poor guy! He was beyond exhausted. Well, and so was I. We slept in and ran to a couple more stores before we headed outta town–I had to go to Trader Joe’s (omg I love TJ’s) and also go to a gourmet cupcakery to grab my little sister her fav cupcake (Hey, maybe my award can be the “Best Big Sister” award). We also had lunch at (my fav) PF Chang’s on our way out of town–I had their gluten-free chicken lettuce wraps and those filled me up, so I was able to box most of my gluten-free fried rice to take home. Yummmmm.

We left the city just in time, as it was ‘misting’ and the closer we got to our hometown, the slicker the roads got. By the time we reached our town, the highway traffic was moving at a snails pace due to accidents and then it took us an HOUR to drive through town to get to our house–I had a couple close calls where I was sliding and might have easily caused an accident–thank the Lord we made it home ok. And now, it’s just me, Mr. MLACS, and kitty all tucked away in our cozy little apartment–he’s playing Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3) and I’m blogging while watching ‘Sense and Sensibility’, having just finished my leftover gluten-free fried rice from PF Chang’s. Life is good.

Oh, and as for the TWW…well, I’m definitely convinced that the Clomid and Femara do bad things to me, because I’m having far less symptoms this month since we only used Bravelle (I actually let Mr. MLACS touch my boobs! Cuz they don’t hurt. He was shocked. And very happy. TMI. Sorry.) We also did the horizontal mambo, without lube (well, except for the progesterone supps), and it didn’t hurt. I actually have cervical mucus–and it’s great 🙂 XO