April 26, 2011

Depression After Miscarriage*

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. I hope to post on as many topics as I can in order to help spread the word about Infertility. This post was originally posted by me over at Attain Fertility a few months back. I haven't shared these details to this extent here, but thought it was worth putting it out there again!

In November of 2008, just two days after my husband deployed to Iraq for a year, I found out I was pregnant. We had been trying for almost exactly one year, and I had accepted that I would not be pregnant before he left. On that morning, I noticed one pregnancy test left in our medicine cabinet and decided to use it. Not because I thought I was pregnant, but because it would expire before my husband got home and I didn’t want it to go to waste. Silly, yes. But imagine my surprise when I walked back two or three minutes later to throw it in the trash and noticed that faint pink line we all dream about getting. I was ecstatic.

On January 10th, 2009, I found out that I had miscarried. I had gone in for some slight bleeding, to ease my nerves. Even the doctor on call at the hospital said with my symptoms, he never would have had me come in. It was 3 a.m. I was completely alone. I sat in my car for an hour until I could compose myself enough to drive home. That night was also the first time I had found out I was carrying twins.

The months that followed were some of the hardest months of my life. Going home to an empty house after suffering a miscarriage was more than likely the worst choice I could have made. I didn’t want to be alone, but my friends around me didn’t know how to react to my news. Nobody wanted to talk about it, even though part of me did. I became secluded in my sadness, to the point that leaving the house became a chore. I was so afraid of something bad happening that it took everything I had to go to work in the morning. I couldn’t wait until I could head home in the evenings. A trip to a friends house a few weeks after the miscarriage resulted in a panic attack after leaving early. Going anywhere became almost impossible. I’m convinced now that had I been honest and gone to a doctor, that they would have diagnosed me with mild agoraphobia.

And then there was the resentment. I found out that multiple friends were pregnant in the months that followed. Some of those friends understand (now) why I couldn’t be happy for them, and others still don’t. It took one night, a bottle of wine, a very good friend and a lot of tears for me to realize that my post-miscarriage grief, something that is so normal for any woman who has suffered a pregnancy loss, had spiraled into something much bigger. I had let the depression that I was in get the best of me, and at the time didn’t see any way to move forward. Five months after my loss, I finally went back to my doctor and was put on anti-depressants. It as the best choice, for me, and something that I needed to overcome the hole that I was in.

Follow Up With Your Doctor
I had no follow-up from my doctor after the miscarriage, or after my D&C. I was never asked if I was OK by any medical professional, and so I didn’t know if what I was feeling was normal. I was simply told, you’re having a miscarriage. End of story. Make sure you call your doctor if you have any concerns. Sometimes having that reassurance that things are they way they are supposed to be, even if it’s not what we wanted, will help you get through it.

Talk About It — If You Want To
I wanted to talk about what was going on in my head, because I wanted some reassurance from my friends that what I was feeling was OK. Keeping things to yourself is good at times, but not always. The big things can tear you up inside. After my good friend sat me down and forced me to talk about it, I wanted to talk about it more. For me, it took calling a couple of friends and saying look, I need to talk about this. This is not something I want to tip toe around. Miscarriages are a difficult topic, and many of your friends and family may not want to bring it up for fear of hurting you. Let them know it’s OK to talk about it.

Take Time Off
Suffering a miscarriage can be one of the hardest thing we as women go through. In the immediate aftermath, you may not want to be around people for a while. Make sure you take care of yourself. Take time off work, or if you can, take a mini-vacation to get your mind off of things.

Pick A New Hobby
The Christmas after I found out I was pregnant, my parents bought me a very nice digital camera. In our family, it was a tradition, when the first child came along, to give the parents something to help keep the memories. After I miscarried, I took all that energy and turned it towards photography, something that I had ways been passionate about. Since then, I have started a successful photography business. Do something that makes you happy, or try something new that you have always wanted to do. Expending that energy towards something positive will help you heal and move forward.

Know When To Seek Help
Grieving for the loss of your baby is normal, and something that we as women must all do. It’s OK to be sad, and to hurt inside from your loss. Do not feel like there is something wrong with you if your sadness lasts longer than you expect. But when your sadness and depression starts affecting your daily life, and is keeping you from doing your normal day to day activities, do not be afraid to seek help. Doing so was a difficult thing, but it was the best choice I ever made, and I wish I had done so sooner. It doesn’t always need to be permanent fix. But it may help you feel better.

April 25, 2011

NIAW & Attain Fertility*

If you weren't already aware, this week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). We all know that infertility is a heart-wrenching, faith-questioning, relationship-testing & LIFE-ALTERING experience.

And unfortunately, it is so often overlooked.

So this week, please make an effort to support those who are battling this horrible disease. I will be posting multiple times this week about this topic, but I will also be blogging over at the Attain Fertility Blog. So be sure to check back over there frequently for not only my posts, but for some other myth-busting blogs by my fellow writers!

April 22, 2011


Here I am again, being a bad blogger.

Sorry, folks.

Life has been a little nuts lately. Well, it's always nuts, but it's been more so than usual. This past week especially.

If you haven't heard, last Saturday afternoon multiple tornados ripped through North Carolina. While my husband & I are safe, as well as a majority of our friends, there were so many people that were affected by this storm. The damage is just unreal. I have encountered many natural disasters in my life, but nothing like this. This was my first tornado. It was quick. It was destructive. It was [and still is] absolutely heartbreaking.

Driving into work on post every morning brings me to tears. I pass one one of the neighborhoods that got hit the worst. Houses are completely leveled. Homes destroyed. It's a lot to take in.

On top of that, I had my first work trip for this series I am doing. I was only gone for two and a half days and I am wiped out. I think part of it is the Femara -- the exhaustion seems to be the one side effect that doesn't go away. But it was also just busy. The hot Alabama sun paired with HOURS of photography are not a good mix. I don't know how I'm going to pull this off another five times, with some of those trips being longer than two days. I am beat. Needless to say, I am so looking forward to this Friday being over so I can go home and rest.

And with that said, I THINK I am in the two week wait on this round. If I'm not yet, then I will be soon. I've been charting my temperatures this month and I'm telling ya, they have been all over the place. I've heard that Femara & Clomid can jack up your temperatures early in your cycle, but I had a very large drop Wednesday morning. Of course, I didn't get back into town until Wednesday night, so hopefully we didn't miss the window.

So that's that in Boho land. Hope everyone had a great week & has an even greater weekend!

April 15, 2011

Hope For Tomorrow*

I got a new tattoo last weekend. I needed some sort of inspiration to get through this infertility stuff. Something that was important to me & a good reminder of what's to come, whatever it may be. I've always loved this quote.

April 14, 2011

A Lost Military Spouse*

I don't talk much about my life as a military spouse on here, because honestly it's been pretty quiet on the home front. My husband has been home for a year and a half following his last deployment & we've gotten pretty used to a "normal" way of life. This is definitely something that is not common & while I know that deployments are looming & somewhere down the line I'll be back into a new kind of "normal," I just really don't have a lot to discuss when it comes to the Army.

There have definitely been times when I wanted to get fired up about something related to the military [ahem, possible pay cuts] but the reason I stepped away from my last blog was to sort of step away from the things that made me angry about this lifestyle & focus on other things that were important to me. Photography. Art. Babies. A new chapter in my life.

But today has been a rough day in the milspouse world. News from a friend [that unfortunately, I can't share just yet] brought tears to my eyes. And then I was directed to this page, a blog by another military spouse.

A fellow Military Spouse's online suicide note.

I do not know her. I have never read her blog before. I do not know her background to anything that has gone on in her life. I will tell you that she is SAFE. I do not know the circumstances but she was not successful with her suicide. But her story breaks my heart none the less.

I cried over a perfect stranger today at work. It's beyond unfortunate that this poor woman felt that she had to take her own life because she didn't have the support that she needed. Where were her friends? Where were her family?? I know that my life is so far from perfect, and after today I will think twice about the things I complain about, but I also know that I have AMAZING people in my life who love me & care about me & would make sure that I never slipped that far.

I wish that the powers that be would take a good hard look at what is going on. Ten years of war is taking a serious toll on the military families. The spouses are starting to crack from the inside out. I myself have never kept it a secret that I am on anti-depressants; while they are mostly due to my infertility issues, I do know that there are hardships to this life that I can't always handle on my own. But again, I have great people in my life. And the fact that this woman felt that she had nobody to go to breaks my heart into a million pieces.

Like I said, I don't follow her blog & I do not know her personally. But her husband obviously has deployed, & from the sounds of it had a very rough deployment at that. I really do not believe that people change like that overnight. There has to be a trigger. Something inside is making these Soldier snap. And the spouses, unfortunately, are starting to suffer right along with them. The wars need to stop, & the services provided to the families need to seriously improve. I know that the White House is working on some new initiatives directed at the Military Families, but is it enough? We've been down this road where something is developed to help & improve the life of Service Members & their families, but it always seems to fall to the wayside.

FRG's need to be stronger. They need to have more support. They need to not turn away family members, MARRIED OR NOT, that want to help out with their loved ones unit. If somebody had taken this woman seriously maybe she would never have started to feel this lost.

This makes me so angry. And it also makes me sad. I want to reach out to this woman, whomever she is, and hug her. Tell her that life is worth living. That her husband has some pretty obvious & serious PTSD issues that need to be addressed, whether it screws up his career or not. That there ARE people out there that care & that want to help.

The military needs to start taking our families more seriously, & start realizing that the extremely heavy burdens that they are placing on the families time & time again effect more than just the Service Member.

** If you feel that you need help, even just somebody to talk to, Military One Source offers free, confidential counseling to the Military & their family members. Twenty four hours a day. Seven days a week. Face to face. Over the phone. Even online. There are options for you. Please. PLEASE call if you feel that you are slipping.

April 11, 2011

The Business Trip Shakedown*

My life just got crazy complicated.

Work -- which, I LOVE my company [just don't always love my boss!] -- is sending me on a whirl wind tour of all of the Army installations we currently work at. We are in the process of building new & fabulous websites for our company & are in serious need of some photos for them.

Instead of hiring a professional at each location, they decided to send me. Which is a HUGE honor. Essentially, 8 different websites are going to be my personal portfolio. It will be great for my portfolio & a wonderful step for me in this company. However, with the whole infertility thing, this sort of puts a little kink into the baby making.

We are still working on my schedule, but the way things are working out, I will be travelling to one installation a week, for six weeks. As you can imagine, that sort of makes things a little interesting when you're trying to time the baby dancing. Fortunately for me, I have a WONDERFUL Director who understands my situation.

A couple of weeks ago, when I was initially informed of this trip, I sat her down and explained my situation. She knew of it a little bit [she was my immediate supervisor during my miscarriage. In fact, she was the one that picked me up from the hospital after my D&C. She's so, so great.] and was completely warm to my travel schedule being flexible.

So as it stands, I will be taking off next Monday night for two nights. That brings me home on CD11, which is a perfect time to start doing what we have to do. I won't leave again until CD18 & home on CD20. It's this date that makes me a little nervous, especially if I decide to ovulate late. But, I am charting this month, so hopefully I will know one way or another prior to leaving.

I can't push this second trip back to the following week, due to the intense travel schedule & deadlines that need to be met. I really just hope it works out and this month doesn't become a total waste. I will be bummed if so, but I guess things work out for a reason. I'm hoping that I have it all timed right. I start the Femera tomorrow & I want every possible chance for this cycle. My fingers are crossed. Hopefully it's enough.

April 10, 2011

Big Fat Negative*

Well, I think it's safe to say that my first round of clomid was a big fat bust.

The side effects this month were nothing short of a bitch. The hot flashes. The panic attacks. The extremely long cycle. All for nothing.

Well, that's not entirely true. I did learn that clomid is not the right drug for me. The side effects were intense & I'm pretty sure it made me crazy. It also made sure that AF never showed up [even though I most definitely was not pregnant]. So after quite a few pregnancy test & a blood test, Nurse D & Doctor P put me on Provera.

Luckily, it worked quick, and in two days I'll begin Femera. I have heard that those who don't do well with Clomid have great results with Femera. Hopefully this will be it for us. Nurse D & I decided that if I have horrible side effects on Femera as well, then we will skip month three of the pills and move on to IUI. Which I am totally grateful for.

But hopefully it won't come to that.Well, I think it's safe to say that my first round of clomid was a big fat bust.

The side effects this month were nothing short of a bitch. The hot flashes. The panic attacks. The extremely long cycle. All for nothing.

Well, that's not entirely true. I did learn that clomid is not the right drug for me. The side effects were intense & I'm pretty sure it made me crazy. It also made sure that AF never showed up [even though I most definitely was not pregnant]. So after quite a few pregnancy test & a blood test, Nurse D & Doctor P put me on Provera.

Luckily, it worked quick, and in two days I'll begin Femera. I have heard that those who don't do well with Clomid have great results with Femera. Hopefully this will be it for us. Nurse D & I decided that if I have horrible side effects on Femera as well, then we will skip month three of the pills and move on to IUI. Which I am totally grateful for.

But hopefully it won't come to that.

In the mean time, I am trying to stay positive & hopeful. Not always easy, but doable. This month marked the 30th month of negative tests. This is not counting the 10 months during M's last deployment that we were not able to try at all. It's slightly depressing and when you count it up like that, makes me feel like this thing is never going to actually happen. I've started thinking about life with no kids, even though I know that decision is quite a ways down the road. Luckily I have some amazing girlfriends who have stayed positive with me through all of this, even when I couldn't be. I'm totally grateful to have them with me on this journey!

Fingers crossed for this cycle!

April 8, 2011

New Blog Friday!*

Aly over at Infertility Overachievers was OH SO KIND as will be featuring me as her New Blog Friday Feature today! Hooray! Thanks, Aly!

If you are here through that site, THANK YOU for coming to check me out!

While this little blog is relatively new, I am not new to the blogging community at all. I wrote for several years at MyArmyWifeLife.com [which has now been deleted] and had quite a large following over there.  However, too many people I knew in real life knew about it & when my husband & I jumped on the infertility bandwagon, I wasn't comfortable sharing things like sperm count & clomid mood swings with people that had known me since I was a baby.

I also felt like my focus over there was so much Army Army Army, that the transition to what was now most important in my life wasn't working very well. The things I wanted to incorporate weren't flowing. So, that was why I began this blog. Without telling anyone! [Well, save for a few very special people!]

I blog about a lot of things here, and there really is no rhyme or reason to what I have to say. But, I try to make things a tad bit useful & when it comes to the infertility show, I hope that other women out there can relate to what I am going through. This process is hard enough on your own -- I can't imagine doing this without the amazing support group that I have found through the blogging & twitter community!

So welcome. Follow. Enjoy. And thank you for stopping by!

April 7, 2011

Big Fat BLECH*

These past couple of weeks have been the weeks from hell on SO many levels [which is why I have been semi absent from the virtual world on all levels]. I am this close to screaming. Or crying. Or breaking things. I haven't really decided yet.

It all started with finding out, via the Military Police showing up at my work, that my drivers license had been revoked for the past YEAR. There was some sort of misunderstanding when I paid a speeding ticket a couple of years ago, and even though I paid it [in cash, and no I didn't keep the receipt. Who does?!] they said I didn't.

Oh, there is also another woman out there with the same name who is a pretty big time criminal in our town. I found that out when I got sent to the wrong courtroom.


After six hours at the courthouse last week, and another two and a half hours at the DMV, things are all squared away. But ugh. Annoying.

On top of that, my body is hating on me again. I am late by a few days on this cycle, but three pregnancy tests have all said the same thing. Big. Fat. Negative. If Aunt Flo doesn't show up by tonight, I will be popping in to get a blood test done at the lab to figure things out once and for all. I'm positive that the pregnancy tests have not lied, and that this round of clomid did not work.

With that said, I am ready to get this show on the road and move on with my life. I want to start the next round of drugs [which will not be clomid, but femera instead. Clomid made me craaaaaazy!]. But I can't do that until AF shows up.


So I've been a little bitchy & emotional these past couple of weeks. I feel sorry for anybody that has to deal with me, including my husband who seems to get the worst brunt of my irritation. But thank goodness he loves me, because he has been so sweet through all the craziness & the emotional break downs.

It is what it is I suppose. Hopefully AF will show up on her own before the weekend is over. Otherwise, we may have to jump start this this thing with another form of whatever drug they give you to do that. I'm tired of waiting. I'm ready to move on.

I wish I had something positive to say, but alas I do not! I promise tomorrow I'll come up with something good. I hope everyone is having a MUCH better week than I am!