Attitude Adjustment Needed

I’m really crabby today.  Why?  I have no clue.  I don’t really have anything to be crabby about, but every little thing seems to be setting me off today.

I almost missed the bus this morning.  Or at least I thought I was going to.  Nevermind that there’s another bus that comes along 7 minutes later.  That part seemed inconsequential to me at 6:50 this morning as I ran around the house, grabbing my things, slamming doors and swearing like a sailor.  I was fine once I got to work, until a story about my co-worker’s ex-husband set me off.  I don’t even know the guy.  And sure, based on the stories I’ve heard he’s kind of an asshole, but yet, that wasn’t the word I used to describe him this morning.  I used a word that rarely makes its way into civilized conversation.  I actually surprised myself when I said it.  Like, who am I right now?

But that’s not all.

I called my doctor’s office this morning to ask a question about ordering our medication.  My phone call was returned by one of the women in their business office (who, in my personal opinion, are all bitches–and the only bad thing about working with our doctor’s office).  She was her usual unfriendly, unhelpful self this morning and I was having NONE OF IT.  I have a high tolerance for bullshit, but mess with me on the wrong day (read: today)  and I will make you rue the day you gave me fucking attitude.

But wait; there’s more.

The normal lack of communication that befalls many workplaces is for some reason completely unacceptable today.  Most days it’s a mild annoyance, but for some reason today I want to cut throats (figuratively, of course).  It’s taking everything in my power not to walk into people’s offices and ask why they can’t respond to the email I sent 5 fucking hours ago, but the email of far lesser importance that was sent 5 minutes ago has been answered promptly.

What is my problem today?  Is it hormones?  If I weren’t starting another pack of birth control today, it would be “that time of the month” as they say.  I haven’t been on birth control (except for the occasional pack prescribed to go with IUI) for years now.  Is that it?  I don’t know and that’s what worries me.  If the hormones of a simple pack of birth control is going to set me off like this, what will twice daily hormone injections do?

Crossing my fingers that the next 2 hours go quickly and that I don’t have a meltdown.  Because honestly, I don’t know if I’ll be in control at all at that point.  All I know, is that the end of my work day can’t come fast enough.  Hoping that a gym date with the boxing bag gets out all of this negative energy so I can enjoy a relaxing Monday night with my friends.  Until then, I’ll be sitting in my office listening to 90s alternative way too loud and daring anyone to say anything about it.

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20 lbs. Down!

I’ve had this blog post ready to go for about a week now.  Naturally, I didn’t want to publish until the title became factual, but now I can unequivocally state, I have lost 20 pounds since the beginning of the year.

That might not seem like a huge feat, but when you’re insulin resistant, it can be so incredibly hard to lose weight.  Even with diet and exercise, it’s an uphill battle.  One “cheat” day can set me back a couple of pounds, which is incredibly unfortunate because sometimes all I want to do is get weird with some buffalo wings.  Not drinking has definitely helped with an increase in weight loss over the last three weeks, and I suppose the gym regularity hasn’t hurt either.

The bottom line is, I feel great.  And I’m back to my wedding weight!

If you need me tonight, I’ll most likely be celebrating my accomplishment with an ice-cold non-alcoholic beverage while relaxing in my wedding dress.  Because I can.

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Floating

I tried my very first float session last week, and I decided I’d share my review of the experience with all of you.

For those of you who don’t know what floating is, it’s a form of reduced environment stimulation therapy.  The float takes place in a shallow pool that is filled with a warm epsom salt bath.  The water is made heavy using epsom salt to the point that a person can float effortlessly on top of the water.  The water is about the same temperature as one’s skin, so it’s quite comfortable.  The room is also light-proof and sound-proof, allowing the user to shut out all distractions.

Floating is said to reduce stress, alleviate pains and increase immune function, as well as many other positive effects.  It sounded like a great experience, but  I was a bit skeptical at first.  I was curious whether or not I would be able to shut my mind off in order to truly enjoy the experience, but was excited to try nonetheless.

The initial entrance to the store was quite inviting.  It was clean and quiet.  They only have two rooms, so I would imagine that it never gets too loud with people coming and going.  We filled out our paperwork and were then given a quick run down of how the rooms work.

Each room allows for only one floater at a time.  The rooms are also lockable, so you don’t have to worry about anyone walking in while you’re trying to relax.  This is important when you’re relaxing in the buff!  You disrobe, rinse off and then hop in the pool to start your session.

The pool has music as well as a blue light that provides some additional ambiance.  Both are optional; you have control to turn them on or off.  I chose to keep both on as I thought the music might help to calm my mind.

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The water feels very weird at first.  It almost feels as though you’re laying in a pool of oil due to the high salt content.  Once I got used to that however, I rather enjoyed the experience.  When you close your eyes, it feels as though you’re floating through space, or so I would imagine.  I have little to no experience with actually floating through space.

At no point did I feel claustrophobic or even anxious whilst trying to relax.  I found it difficult for my mind to calm at first, which didn’t surprise me.  I did manage to fall into a meditative state however.  At least, I think I did.  I managed to lose at least  15 minutes of time during my float, but I don’t think I fell asleep.  Either way, it was incredibly relaxing.  I came to shortly before the light came on signaling the end of my float.

Once the float session ends, you’re given ample time to shower and get dressed.  Each 60 minute float is booked for a 90 minute block, so you don’t have to rush to get ready afterward.  After all, it would be counter-productive to hurry someone after they’ve spent 60 minutes trying to relax!

All in all, I would abolsutely float again.  I think that it’ll be more relaxing now that I know what to expect.  And if it’s something that you’ve been thinking of trying, I say do it!  There are so many Groupons circulating in the Minneapolis area for businesses offering float sessions, that it should be easy to find one that won’t break the bank.  If you do decide to give floating a try, let me know what you think.  I’d be interested to hear other reviews!

 

A Quick Update

I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve got a wonderfully healthy uterus and ovaries.  My doctor said so!  My liver panels have also come back normal, which is good to know, because prolonged Metformin use can be detrimental to liver function.  I’ve been on Metformin for approximately two years now, so it’s nice to know that my body is processing it well.

We’re still waiting on the results from the rest of my blood tests.  I think it’s pretty safe to say that I will have no STDs, but they’re also checking to make sure that I’m immune to diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox.  Though I was immunized for MMR as a child, and had chicken pox around the age of 4, it’s possible for people to still not be immune.  In the event that I’m not, I would just need to get another immunization shot.  No biggie!

We’re also still waiting on the results of Lee’s semen analysis, which is the result I’m most looking forward to.  I’ve watched Lee make great strides over the last few months in order to make our dream of a baby become a reality.  I can’t help but believe that these little changes will make a huge world of difference.

Naturally, I’ll let you know the outcome of our tests as soon as I know; I just wanted to give those of you that have been anxiously waiting for an update an opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief!

Phew

It begins….

The process has officially started.  Lee and I had our last drink on the 4th of July.  I started birth control on the 10th and Lee had his STD test last week.  Good news!  It came back clean.

Today, I go in for a sonohysterogram as well as my STD test.  A sonohysterogram is used to determine abnormalities in the uterus that may interfere with pregnancy.  It’s a minimally invasive procedure by which a sterile solution is injected into the uterus to determine if there are any abnormalities with the uterine lining, polyps, scarring, etc..  It’s very much like an ultrasound, only more in-depth.  I don’t know that issues will make it impossible for me to have a viable pregnancy, however it may mean that additional testing may be needed.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for no abnormalities!

After the sono, we’ll be going over our medication outline with the IVF coordinators.  There’s a lot of information to take in, so I’m hoping that Lee and I don’t get overwhelmed.  Pretty sure Lee’s most looking forward to the part where they instruct him how to stab me in the butt with a needle.

Lee then has his semen analysis Tuesday, so let’s hope that the positive lifestyle changes he’s made over the last few months have made a difference!

People have asked me if I’m concerned that the next few months are going to drag on forever, but I actually feel like they are going to fly by.  We’re doing so many things to better ourselves as well as to keep ourselves busy that I’m actually excited for the next few months.  I’m sure some days will be a struggle, but I’m hoping that by the end of this process, I’ll be happier and healthier than I have been in years.  And I’m hoping that this new lease on life will carry on through September when we get the positive pregnancy test we’ve always dreamed of.

Keep us in your thoughts the next couple days as we jump the first two hurdles in our IVF journey!

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Shame

My husband and I had the pleasure of talking about IVF with a couple this past week, who are 3 and a half months pregnant after their first IVF attempt.   First, it was so heart-warming to hear a success story; and on the first try, no less!  Second, it was especially joyful, because it just so happens to be one of Lee’s cousins.

Knowing that they are about 5 months further along in this whole process than my husband and myself, it was such a breath of fresh air to talk to people who knew exactly how we felt.  And one of the central points of the conversation was the need to communicate with friends and loved ones about the process.  While they might not have chosen to go the blog route as I did, it was refreshing to hear that they too felt the need to share the experience with those closest to them.

When I asked why it was so important to them to share their experience, I was expecting their answer.  I had an inkling that it was the same reason I felt the need to share.

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Yes, try as we might to not feel ashamed of our inability to get pregnant, the shame is almost overwhelming.  That’s why we need to talk about it.  Talking about it seems to provide a sense of normalcy.  Every time we talk about our fertility issues, we inevitably hear a story about someone else who suffers from the same issues.  It makes us feel as though we’re not alone.

We’re not freaks.  What we’re going through is perfectly normal.  In fact, it’s estimated that 12% of couples suffer from some form of infertility.  That means that they have a problem getting pregnant or a problem staying pregnant.  Either way, I bet we’re not the only couple you know that is struggling.

If our desire for openness makes you uncomfortable, your silence makes us feel the same.  My husband and I are about to test our relationship as we try to make our dream of becoming parents a reality.  We need to know that those closest to us love and support us, no matter the outcome.

If you have questions, talk to us.  If you don’t know what to say, tell us so.  Just start the conversation.  You’ll probably learn something and in the end you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

Treat Yo’Self

As I attempt to prepare myself for what will undoubtedly be the most mentally and emotionally exhausting summer of my life, I have decided now is the time to really treat myself.  Treat-Yo-Self-2017.-Tonight-on-NBC.-YallAintReady

That’s right, folks.  I’m taking a page out of the playbook of Donna Meagle & Tom Haverford.  I’m going to focus the rest of the summer on pampering my body as well as my mind.

I’ve got a couple of months to go before we go through IVF and I’m determined to spend that time taking care of myself.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m pretty happy with myself as is, but I think everyone could probably admit that when they get busy, certain areas of their lives start to suffer.  Things that were once important quickly fall to the wayside.  For me, one of those things is the gym.  I feel so much better when I work out, yet it’s amazing how quickly I will forgo a trip to the gym after a particularly trying day at work.  What’s truly baffling though, is that I know going to the gym will actually make me feel better than going home and laying on my couch.  It’s about changing that mindset and not allowing myself to come up with a million excuses.  And it’s the little changes to my routine that will make it easier to be successful.

My first change is going to be packing a bag of gym clothes and putting them in my car.  Lately, I’ve been driving to the park and ride nearest to my house in order to take the bus downtown for work each morning.  It may seem more lazy than walking to the bus stop a block and a half from my house, but the difference in transit time is about 20 minutes each way.  The 40 minutes I save every day would be put to good use by stopping at the gym on the way home.  I can get my endorphin rush on and still be home in time to make my husband a delicious and nutritious dinner.

Some of the other “treats”  I’ve decided to try include floating, massage and acupuncture.  I’ve got my first floating appointment this Sunday and I’m excited to give it a go!  I think it’ll be a bit of a challenge to turn my brain off for an entire hour, but I’m willing to give it the proverbial college try.  Acupuncture is another technique that I’ve never tried before, but everyone I know who has tried it swears by it.  The fact that it has been said to help with fertility issues is just an added bonus.

I’m excited to implement some new ideas in to my regular routine, but I’m also open to suggestions.  What are some of the ways you like to relax?  Do you have any surefire ways to keep your stress levels down?  Any and all ideas are welcome.  In the meantime, I’ll happily keep you posted on my new and exciting exploits.

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Crisis Averted

Insurance is a fucking headache.  It’s even more of a headache when the corporate office of the company you work for doesn’t have a clue as to what they’re doing.

About 2 months ago, Lee and I decided that it would make the most sense to switch him to my insurance.  He’d end up paying a little more out of pocket each month, but the deductible was lower and because I work for such a large company, the negotiated discounts are much better.  Plus, my company recognizes infertility while his does not.  It seemed like a no-brainer, so I reached out to my human resources department to get the ball rolling.

The ball didn’t roll very far. That’s not my HR departments fault; it’s because they don’t actually handle any of the benefit administration.  I would need to go online or call our benefits solutions center.  So I go online and attempt to add the life event.  We knew Lee would be insured through May 31st, so I figured that would give me some time to add the life event, find out what sort of supporting documentation I would need to make the change, send it in and that would be that.  Boy, was I wrong.

According to the website, I wasn’t able to request a change due to a future life event.  That seemed odd, so I called the 1-800 number to verify.  The customer service representative confirmed that was true.  That made me a little uneasy, as that would mean there would be a possibility that Lee might be uninsured for a few days while we waited for the new insurance to kick in.  But those were the rules.  And there was no turning back now.  Lee had already waived coverage with his employer, so we would have no choice but to wait until June 1st to get Lee covered.

The 1st week of June arrived and I headed back to the website to get Lee insured.  I had Lee provide me with every document imaginable.  I wanted to make this a quick and easy decision process with the insurance company.  I submitted the paperwork and waited.

And waited.  And waited.  About two weeks after I had submitted the request, I reached out to the benefit solution center again.  All they could tell me was that the paperwork had been received and the decision was “pending review.”  Now I’m starting to get pissed.  How many life events do they deal with in a given day?  Shouldn’t this be fairly cut and dry?  I decided I would try to circumvent the benefit center.  I decided to reach out to the corporate HR department to see if there was anything I could do to speed the process along.

I received the email address of a woman at corporate that my HR Generalist was confident would be able to provide answers.  She explained that this was the person who reached out to her any time there was a discrepancy with someone’s benefit information.  Surely she’d be able to help me get this sorted out.  I sent an email explaining the situation and asking if there was anything I could do to facilitate (read: hurry this shit up).  I received a response rather quickly from this person saying that our benefit administration had been outsourced and that if the benefit solution center was telling me to sit tight, I didn’t really have any other option. I immediately had a flashback to the movie “Office Space” when the Bobs meet with employees to determine their workload:

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Seriously.  Like, what the fuck is your job?  You work in benefit administration, but yet, our benefit administration has been outsourced.  So what do you do?  Is it your job to act as a go between for the benefit center and the hotel’s HR department?  If so, you’re not necessary.  I have just saved the company thousands of dollars.  YOU’RE WELCOME.

I was so angry.  And when I’m angry, I cry.  My boss, bless his heart, did everything in his power to find someone at corporate who could help, but to no avail.  Apparently our corporate HR department is all just smoke and mirrors.

I waited patiently for another few days before I reached out to the benefit center again.  This time I was determined to not get off the phone until I received the answers I needed.  Luckily, I connected with a nice representative who understood the importance of our situation and pushed the decision through.

It took 2 months, multiple phone calls and emails, but Lee finally has health insurance again.  Was all the hassle worth it?  That remains to be seen.  While I think the hoops that we needed to jump through to get this sorted out were absolutely ridiculous, I do believe that we’ll save money in the long run.  There are upsides and downsides to working for such a large company.  While some of the minutiae seems so absurd, I think the benefits of better discounts and insurance will end up making me forget about all of the bullshit we had to go through to make this happen.  And if it doesn’t, I’m sure you’ll be hearing about it again.

 

New York Getaway

Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.  I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breath!

Lee and I just got back from an amazing New York City vacation.  It was the first time for both of us, and it’s safe to say that I fell in love.  From the food, to the culture to the beautiful architecture, I can see why NYC is such a draw for so many people.

Lee and I arrived last Wednesday and took a taxi to meet up with my cousin, Liz, at her workplace. She brought us to her office on the 45th floor.  The views did not disappoint.

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She works right off the High Line, which is essentially an old railroad line that has been turned in to a park.  It was an excellent way to walk around and get acclimated.  We dropped off our luggage and quickly got busy enjoying the city.

Once Liz was done with work, we went on a boat cruise around the city.  The cruise was a sweet gift from my aunts; an NYC experience to celebrate my recent college graduation.  The views were amazing!

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Not only was it amazing for me and Lee to see the city and some of the surrounding neighborhoods from the river, but it was also exciting watching Liz fall in love with the city all over again.

After the tour we traveled to Liz’s home in West Harlem.  She lives in a cute, quiet neighborhood; a surprisingly large one bedroom apartment on the first floor of a New York brownstone.  The neighborhood was perfect.  Far enough away from the NYC hustle and bustle, yet no more than a 10 minute train ride from the heart of the action.

Thursday morning we got up early to make the most of our first full day in the city.  We visited the 9/11 memorial and Freedom Tower.  It was absolutely breathtaking.

 

From there, we made our way to the Brooklyn Bridge.  The first part of the walk was rather annoying.  There were so many tourists!  I realize I am also a tourist, but I always walk with a purpose.  I walk fast and move out-of-the-way if I need to stop for any reason.  This allowed me to blend in fairly well on the sidewalks of NYC.  Once we made it past the initial horde, we were able to take some amazing pictures.

 

Once we made it to Brooklyn, we stopped at Grimaldi’s for their world-famous New York style pizza.  Lee considers himself to be quite the pizza connoisseur, so this was a must do.  Lee’s rating?  “Good”.

After Brooklyn we headed back into Manhattan to make our way through Central Park.  We were meeting Lee’s cousin, his wife and their son at Sheep Meadow for a glass of wine before heading out for dinner.  Central Park was beautiful.  We didn’t spend as much time in Central Park as I would have liked, but I get the feeling that no matter how many times we visit, I’ll never grow tired of all there is to do and see in the park.  Talk about a beautiful place for a picnic.

Image-5 Dinner that evening was at a Brooklyn restaurant called Marlow & Sons.  The food was amazing.  The passion was evident, not only in the dishes we were served, but in the knowledge and friendliness displayed by each employee that we interacted with.  I highly recommend if you’re ever in the area.

Friday & Saturday were miserably hot.  We spent time about half our time walking around and the other half searching for bars with air conditioning.  Any excuse to stop for an ice-cold beverage, am I right?

We spent Sunday morning packing up and taking one last walk through West Harlem before we headed home.  I can say without a doubt that I will visit New York again.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.  It was a great vacation; an unforgettable experience that will leave us with amazing memories.

Now Lee and I are home and reality is coming at us rather quickly.  We have a lot we need to get done by the end of the month in order to be eligible for IVF in September.  But at least, if only for a few days, we were able to forget all the uncertainty and stresses waiting for us at home.  And for that, I will cherish this trip for the rest of my life.