Archives for the month of: April, 2012

Thanks to the very lovely Dandelion for presenting me with my very first blog award!

I was matched up with Dandelion during the recent sock exchange, and and I’m so glad I was. Her blog is honest, beautifully written, and filled with hope. I think about her story often, and encourage you to start reading, as well.

So here are the rules of the award:

1. Share who gave you this award to you with a link back to their blog
2. Write down 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Give this award to 15 other bloggers.
4. Let them know they’ve won
5. Pop the award on your blog

Some random facts about The Family Van:
1. I have stitches on my forehead from when I fell into a video game. I am a child of the 80s, and spent my Saturdays at the roller skating rink. One Saturday, I got over-zealous at the prospect of playing the new “sit and drive” video game at the rink’s arcade, and ran over to the machine while wearing my skates. I tripped on the laces and as I remember it as a 6-year old, I fell in head first. As a rational adult, I realise this could not have been what actually happened, but it made for a great story when I was growing up. At the hospital, the doctors apparently put me in a straight jacket so I wouldn’t touch my head (this is the part my mother tells, but I wonder…a child in a straight jacket? Really?), and I announced to the doctors that my mum used “one of these” to put my baby brother in. Baby carriers=straight jackets to 6 year olds, I guess.

2. I suffer from dry heaves when people discuss issues with their teeth. My dad broke his tooth at a recent family function, and I had to leave the room, heaving all the way. Everyone thinks the heaves are hilarious. I do not share this opinion. As an elementary school teacher, this can be a challenge. Kids are losing teeth or wiggling teeth all the time. It’s all I can do to keep my lunch down.

3. My cat’s favourite toys are tiny candies. These candies are often handed out at restaurants after a meal. She goes mental for them. She’s a pretty tiny cat herself, so I guess it’s fitting that she enjoys other tiny sized things. She will fetch the candy if we throw it for her, and she will bring it back and drop it in our laps. Hardwood floor+spaz cat=hilarity.

4. My cat and I share what I like to call Triple T Time: tender toilet time. We have our most tender moments whilst I am sitting on the toilet doing my business. She likes to sit on my lap during these moments, though rarely sits on my lap if I’m on the couch. She nuzzles my face, nibbles on my nose, and gives me little kisses while I give her nice pets. And all while I’m pants-less!

5. I went through a death metal phase in my early 20s. I looked exactly the same as I do now (which is sort of hilarious for those who know what I look like–I’m currently wearing a little green dress with a bright yellow belt and a little cardigan), but I had a secret obsession with death metal.

6. In high school, I believed with all my core that Kurt Cobain came to visit me in a dream. It was hugely momentous and made a tumultuous adolescence slightly more tolerable.

7. My Grade 1 school photo features the saddest looking Princess Leia buns you’ve ever seen. I was obsessed with this hairstyle as a young girl, and wanted desperately to have the same thing. My mum did her best, but instead of looking like giant coiled donuts, my buns ended up looking like two blond little donut holes. I couldn’t understand why mine looked so different. So sad…

So there you have it! 7 fascinating facts about The Family Van. Stay tuned to your blogs! I don’t think I follow 15 bloggers, so plan on seeing a wee award notice appearing soon!

-Proud Regular Van.


Warning: This blog post will be filled with wallowing, self-pity, and other miseries.

I peed on a stick when I got home from school today. I figured if I got the inevitable out of the way, then at least I could stop taking those stupid suppositories. Guess what I won’t have the pleasure of shoving up the ol’ girl tonight?

Obviously, the test was negative.

I realize in previous, more positive posts I said this would be a cycle with a positive outcome of either pregnancy or further healing, but that’s kind of a pile of shit to me right now. I failed. Again. My body sucks effing balls, and is completely incapable of doing what it’s supposed to as a woman. I kind of hate everything right now.

I said to J the other night that I don’t know how much longer I can keep doing this. The emotional toil it’s taking is brutal. Would throwing in the towel be any easier, though? That’s total admission of failure, and acceptance that I have zero control over this decision, and I don’t know how well I can tolerate that, either.

I’m sick of crying, I’m sick of feeling so jealous of everyone I see who’s pregnant and whose bodies have figured out how to do all of this, I’m sick of not getting any closer to where we want to be. And it’s all me. J could make beautiful babies elsewhere, and while that’s not something I’m even the remote bit concerned about, it compounds the sadness I feel by about a bazillion percent, as the blame rests all with me. My body won’t do this.

-Always Regular Van.

So it’s progesterone suppositories time here in these parts, which marks the official beginning of “Don’t even think about touching me” time. J is handsy, self-admittedly. This is a challenging time for us both–him facing lots of rejection, me doing all the rejecting and feeling so gross and like a bad wife.

I have found a solution.

Last night, I made one of the greatest decisions of my life: I purchased myself a slanket.

Though you may be more familiar with this particular item under its trademarked name, mine is a generic pink blanket with sleeves, and it is amazing. Being someone who is constantly cold, I often rocked the blanket dress (a blanket wrapped around the body, not unlike a sarong). J seemed to have no qualms with the blanket dress.

The slanket, on the other hand…

His exact words were “I want a divorce” (pretty sure he was kidding…).

Guess what I’ll be rocking for the next two weeks while we wait out the progesterone period?

Also, I’ve had the craziest farts today (TMI, perhaps, but we’re all friends here, right?). I’ve had cramps for the past few days with pinches on my left side. It’s way past ovulation, so I don’t know what all that’s about, and now today I’m bloated and super gassy. That’s keeping J at bay, as well.

So there are your tips for today, ladies. Having trouble keeping your husband’s paws off you? Here’s your plan of attack:
1. Buy a slanket. Embrace your new cult member-like appearance. Store used Kleenex in the pocket.
2. Develop stomach curdling gas, to the point that you can barely stand it, either.
3. Thank me later for such great tips.

-Slanket-lovin’, rootin’ tootin’ Regular Van.

Today was our first IUI for this cycle. My doctor’s away this week, and it’s been kind of nice hearing different perspectives.

So far, this has been a longer cycle than the previous ones I’ve done at the clinic. I didn’t get triggered until yesterday (CD 18). I has a little follicle in there that was hanging around the 16 mm mark, and the visiting doctor was hoping it would mature before either the trigger or my own surge. It measured at 17 today, so that little buddy is trying! I’ve got my “juicy” one (thanks, new doctor!) at 22 mm today, and a “beautiful lining perfect for an egg”, she told me. I’ve never heard this before! Lining measured at 11 today–the thickest it’s ever been. Hopefully that makes a difference.

This marks the first cycle that i’ve been on the metformin for the full dose for the full month. It’s also the first month with all the naturopath supplements.

Fingers crossed…back again tomorrow for round two.

-Hopeful Regular Van.

I had a cycle monitoring appointment today, but that’s not what I’m going to write about, since nothing of note happened. I’m back in Monday. Hopefully my eggs will be fully cooked by then.

With the news of another failed month a few weeks ago, I was surprised by my sadness. I thought I had got it all out of my system when the first IUI failed. Been there, done that. I knew the chances were slim it was going to work (the odds of pregnancy is so tiny), and I thought I was more prepared this time because I’d been through it before. I found myself breaking down at the most random times: sitting on the toilet, making dinner, putting clothes away…and my sadness and tears were just as heavy as they were the first time round. It felt like the sadness lingered longer this time, too, and I worried that this process wasn’t getting any easier.

I decided I needed to do something in an effort to feel slightly less helpless. I made an appointment with the naturopath, which was one of the best decisions I’ve made in this journey. I also downloaded Circle+Bloom‘s program for PCOS, and started listening to the guided meditations on the first day of my cycle.

This summer, in preparation for teaching French for the first time, I read “Eat, Pray, Love” in French, and became fascinated with the idea of meditation. I didn’t do much about it until a few months ago when I found Andrew Johnson‘s awesome iPhone apps. I listen to them at school after a challenging class, and I often use the Meditation for Sleep app when I’m having a hard time falling asleep. His soothing Scottish accent knocks me out cold!

I saw that a few people had mentioned Circle+Bloom on their websites, so I thought I’d check it out. The meditations have become a really cherished part of my day now. I bought some lovely smelling sandalwood incense, and I burn this while I’m using my mind’s eye to focus on my inner lady bits. It’s been amazing to feel the different sensations throughout my body as I focus on each specific part and give each part time and attention.

I feel like I’m a player in all of this baby-making business again, and less like a spectator who’s getting all of this stuff done to her. I think this more active role is helping me to heal from the incredible sadness that was starting to take over.

Here’s my proof that it’s working: Our next door neighbors came home today with their brand new baby girl. J and I had been talking about them yesterday, and we were both wondering whether she’d had the baby yet (she was due April 1st). The car pulled up in front of our house this afternoon, and I saw my neighbor holding the baby carrier. I called for J, telling him the baby was here, and we both went outside to say our congratulations. The baby is absolutely beautiful, of course, and though I felt great twinges of sadness and maybe a tear creeping in there, I held it together and genuinely meant it when I congratulated them. I don’t know if I could have done that even two weeks ago.

So today, on Day 13 of my cycle, I’m going to focus on a successful cycle, whether that means that this is the month we get our BFP, or whether it means it will be a month of healing for my body and my soul.

-Meditative Regular Van

This is how I’ve been feeling for the past couple of days:

Also, I’m happy to report I’ve been pooping every day (great news, right?). Things are shaping up nicely over here. Naturopaths=awesome! I feel better than I have in a long, long time. I hope this isn’t just all in my head.

As a kid, I was a full-on hyper-hypo. My parents put me in dance class in an effort to provide an outlet for all of my energy. I guess it worked, but I remember getting in trouble a lot at dance class. I imagine there was a lot of limb-flailing on my part. I never got in trouble at school, though, so I had figured something out, at least.

J is still a total hyper-hypo whose favourite thing is being loud. His energy is pretty amazing, and I often feel exhausted just watching him. When this whole baby thing finally works out, I think we’re going to have one wacked-out kid.

I should probably start looking for tiny helmets now…

-Full of Beans Regular Van.

Cycle monitoring – Cycle Day 9 – Duration: about half an hour/Naturopath appointment #1 – Duration: about an hour and a half

Holy appointments, Batman. Also, holy quiet blog. I’ve had nothing to report, and I’m afraid I don’t have much to report today, either, but I’m sure I can squeeze some words out of myself.

So to start off my day, I went for my cycle monitoring appointment. Today was a first: they called me for my ultrasound BEFORE calling me for blood work. Shocking! I think the blood ladies were gassing about something, and so the ultrasound ladies beat them to the punch. Today was F-A-S-T. Of course, the day I have booked the entire day off instead of just the morning, I’m in and out of there lickety-split. Anyway…nothing too eventful went on at the appointment. Doctor wants me back for Saturday, so off I will go. Clomid is done for this cycle, so now I’m just growing me some big ol’ follicles. I mentioned that I was going to see a naturopath later that day, and he seemed pleased (well, supportive, anyway). This made me feel better about my decision. I asked about bringing information from my chart, and he said no problem–a nurse at the front desk would photocopy the necessary sections for me. Superb!

After my appointment, I took my stack of papers and went to the smiley sunshine breakfast place again. I enjoyed my crepomelette while pouring through the pages and pages of my chart. There was piles of stuff in there, so it was easy to occupy myself, Googling all the different tests and results that came back.

My thyroid seems to be in great shape. The most recent levels are down from 2.8 to 1.8. So thank you, little synthroid. You are doing a good job.

I met up with J for lunch, which was nice. His office is near the financial district in our city, and I was shocked by the number of suits I saw. I felt a little out of place (though soooo much more comfy) in my lululemon.

Later that afternoon, I had my first appointment with the naturopath. I should mention that she specializes in infertility. She looked at my chart info carefully and went over it all with me. Awesome. She questioned the PCOS diagnosis until she saw my egg reserve number (50+). She tested my nutrition levels with a machine that had two metal handles that I held onto, and they sent readings to her computer (sounds wacky, I know). The results show deficiencies in nutrition levels and sensitivities to foods. My results? I’m sensitive to dairy (this is not news), and chickpeas in hummus form (heartbreaking!!), but regular chickpeas are okay. Weird… I should avoid scallops and oysters. No problem. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten either, nor am I planning to. She suggested I keep my salmon intake to¬† once a week, and recommended I go back to being vegan for most of the week.

This was interesting news to me. I had stopped being vegan in an effort to get myself healthier for future babies, so it seemed crazy to hear maybe I should have stuck it out. She felt that eggs on the weekend were okay and minimal fish, but beyond that, vegan it is. Also, sugar. I knew this was coming, and I have to say, when I did a cleanse a few years ago and went off sugar for 5 months, I felt amazing.

To recap: nutrition goals–vegan on weekdays, no more sugar. It was comforting to hear from a professional that my diet is actually pretty good–no white flour, very rarely anything processed, and a whole lot of green leafy stuff.

The result that she was most concerned about was the battering my adrenals seemed to be taking. She said there was a link between these glands and the thyroid, and getting my adrenals in check would help with thyroid issues. She came up with a plan for me that involves a whole whack of supplements, and a follow-up appointment in 5 weeks.

Here’s the run down:

Co-enzyme Q10 – to ensure egg quality

Licorice tea – helps adrenal function (and is SO delicious!)

Myoinositol – helps PCOS symptoms, by the sounds of it. I can’t remember why she recommended it, but she didn’t mention the connection between it and PCOS.

New non-prenatal multivitamins – too much iron in prenatals, she says. Okay. I trust you.

Homeopathic drops – cleanse/improve liver function (some liver qi stagnation)

Continue fish oil, B12 drops, and Vitamin D drops.

Holy mack, that’s a lot of stuff.

Feeling hopeful that if nothing else, my body will start to feel amazing, baby or no baby.

-Hope-filled Regular Van.