The Healers & The Faith Keepers

I’ve been trying to write this post for weeks, but I’ve been feeling too meh to do it. Tim and I are smack in the middle of fertility treatments, and although what we’re doing right now is not super physically challenging, I am tired. Like, mega tired.

I think when I last talked about this topic I was on track to take progesterone for two months. That seemed to work well with my body, but I did not get pregnant. Now we are taking a drug called Clomid, along with a procedure called IUI (intrauterine insemination). This involves two monitoring appointments, five days of pills, multiple blood draws, one shot and then the actual procedure. In fertility land, this is chump change—nothing compared to the more hardcore treatments. Yet still, it is mentally and physically draining.

Our doctor said this Clomid and IUI combo has a 25% chance of working within four months. We’re on month three right now. If it doesn’t pan out, we’ll move onto IVF (in-vitro fertilization). This means there’s a 75% chance we’ll be doing IVF. I’m struggling with finding the balance here. On the one hand, I want to remain positive that we’ll be one of the 25% and IUI will work for us. On the other hand, statistically, it looks like IVF is likely and we need to plan for that. There’s the money thing, for one. It’s expensive. What does our insurance cover and what do we pay for out of pocket? Getting this answer is not as easy as it should be. Then there’s the question of where. We love, love, love our current doctor, but our current clinic’s IVF success rates are below the national average. We’ll need to ask our doctor about this, as well as meet one or two doctors at other clinics for a consult. IVF would be a huge deal, not to be taken lightly, but like I said, there needs to be a balance between planning for the future and having faith in what we’re doing right now. I’m not even close to finding that balance.

Honestly, I’m writing this on a bad day. If I would have written this even a few days ago, I would said how positive I’m feeling. It’s a roller coaster, my friends, and today I am at the bottom of a drop.

In spite of my current mopey-moperness, I will say that I have been feeling very loved and supported throughout this process. Yes, it can be an isolating experience, but I have people standing behind me. I like to think of these people in two different categories: the Healers and the Faith Keepers.

The Healers are people like my acupuncturist, who invited me to her house for a private session when I couldn’t get an appointment at the office. People like my doctor, who is stylish and lovely and makes me laugh every time I see her. She says things like, “I’m sorry,” “Take a deep breath” and “You’re so brave.” Or the the nurses at my clinic who call me back within minutes and who answer any question with kindness, now matter how mundane.

Then there are my close friends, who I like to think of as the Faith Keepers. They say things to me like, “Tell me about your ovaries.” They ask about my appointments, my ultrasounds, how I’m feeling. They let me know, in so many little ways, that I am loved. Most importantly, they keep the faith for me when I can’t.

We’ve all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child, but I think that, sometimes, it takes a village to make a baby, too. Today, I am feeling overwhelmed. Today, my hope is buried underneath the details and the what-ifs. It’s all good, though. My village has my back.

A Wino’s Farewell to Wine

I love wine.

I love the taste, the smell, the way it makes me feel. I love wineries, wine bars and wine menus at restaurants. I love it all. I even like wine in boxes.

But I’m giving it up. For now.

Last night I made the (very difficult) decision to kick alcohol to the curb until I get pregnant.

A few factors spurred this decision. First, there are some studies linking alcohol to decreased fertility. I didn’t pay any mind to these studies when I first read about them. There are other studies out there saying alcohol while trying to conceive is No Big Deal. Indeed, many of my dearest friends were 100% tipsy when they got pregnant. Alcohol does not seem to mess with the average gal’s fertility much, so why should I worry about it?

Because when it comes down to it, I’m not the average gal trying to get pregnant. Even though I’ve had a couple periods since I’ve started upping my fat intake, they’re still not super regular and I’m ovulating way late in my cycle.

Second, I’ve been doing (and blogging about) so many things to make myself healthier these last few months, that ditching the sauce seems like the next logical step in the process. One thing has been naturally leading to the next as I’ve been slowly, but surely, building a healthier me.

And finally, I’m willing to go to great lengths to get pregnant, if necessary. I’d try Clomid, I’d inject myself with drugs and, yes, I would do IVF, the final frontier. Hopefully I won’t have to do those things, but that’s beside the point. If I’m willing to do all of those things, then why shouldn’t I be willing to try giving up alcohol first? It’s certainly more natural and less invasive than the things mentioned above. Plus, those medications, etc., are so expensive that I’d feel like I was wasting my time and money if I wasn’t as healthy as possible before I even thought about trying them.

Bottom line: it just feels like the right thing to do right now. I’ve written a lot recently about listening to the needs of my body and paying attention to my inner voice. And right now my inner voice is pretty much screaming at me about this.

But it is not going to be easy. Drinking is so much a part of my relationships and activities that I think I’m going to feel lost without it. After an emotional day, I could always uncork a bottle. When I was bored? Another bottle. Oh and let’s not forget celebrations. That’s at least two bottles.

It’s going to be totally weird for me to navigate all of that without my trusty elixir.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I need your support. Even if you just post a comment on this blog or say something supportive to me in passing, it would really help a lot.

I’m not going to give up alcohol forever. Oh hell no. But for now, I must make the following goodbyes. Because it’s not just my beloved wine that’s got to go, it’s everything:

Goodbye, beer sampler...
Goodbye, Guinness...
Goodbye, car bombs. Godspeed.