Happiness Cycle Day 28: Doppelgängers

I took the dogs to the park this morning, and on our way back to the car a man was following us, making bird noises and freaking me out.

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Juno’s found football.

I walked faster, and once at the car, Juno obediently got in the back seat, gently placing her football on the middle seat. Clem wouldn’t get in because of some unspoken ownership and boundary rules between her, Juno, and that football, that prevented her from entering on that side, so I had to bring her around the car so she could get in on the other side. (Dog drama!)

Once we were at the other rear door, I saw Clem on the other side of the road, being followed by a car. I totally freaked out and yelled her name, and was startled when she pounced my left knee, as she was actually right beside me. I did a double take, and the dog on the other side of the street wasn’t Clem at all, but rather, a doppelgänger! The car that followed behind him was his owner, the gentleman who was making bird calls at us earlier.

The man parked his car and came over to talk to me. He explained that while I walked in front of him, he thought that his dogs had decided to follow me. He found it entertaining that his dog was playing football fetch with someone else. When his dogs reappeared from the bushes, he realized that they weren’t his dogs I was walking, they were mine! He was confused because they look so alike!

His dogs: Mavi and Effra

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My dogs: Clementine and Juno

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The resemblance is uncanny!

Happiness Cycle Days 21, 22, & 23

Day 21: Little Spark comes home
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Day 22: Juno’s new “found” ball

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On our walk this day, we found a ball floating in the creek. “Found” balls are Juno’s favourite. She prefers them to new store bought balls, and the bigger, the better. She especially likes puncturing them with her huge husky teeth and deflating them. Then, well, you can see what happens after….

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Then, and only then, can her little sister play with it.

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Day 23: Back at the Conservation Park

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Happiness Cycle Days 19 & 20: Kindness

I’ve been thinking lately about savouring life. Taking it on your tongue and identifying each and every flavour, on its own, but also in its pairing with others. One common piece of advice that I keep receiving is be kind to yourself. I struggle so much with this, as I was raised to believe that putting yourself first was selfish. At the dinner table, you serve yourself last, and if there is nothing left for you, you are a virtuous daughter. (Funny how they never say this to sons, but that’s a rant for another day.) However, someone said something this week that changed this a bit for me. They said that if I won’t treat myself better for me, then I should do it for our future baby. This idea has been in the back of my mind all week.

There is no lack of kindness in my life.

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I have been busy the past two days, going to appointments and running errands, in preparation for our FET tomorrow.

– chiropractic adjustments to reduce any nerve interference to my uterus, and to reduce my stress response

– massage therapy to get rid of some chronic muscle tension and stress that I’m still holding in my body, and for relaxation

– acupuncture and herbs to warm my uterus, strengthen kidney and spleen meridians, and charge up my yin reserves

– one last heavy workout (squats, deadlifts, shoulders) and yoga class before I commit to at least three weeks of no lifting, no sprinting, and no yoga twisting

I have been a lot more open with people around me about this FET, and have been met with so much support.

I battled through rush hour traffic on the way home from downtown, which took me only 20 minutes on the way in, but an hour and 45 minutes on the way out.

When I got home, there was a mysterious package on my doorstep. I love getting mail, but wasn’t expecting anything other than a long-overdue book from Amazon, which was suppose to arrive two weeks ago. But this package was bigger.

I settled into the house, fed the dogs, and then opened the box:

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A care package from the amazing and thoughtful Mrs. MPB, who has been a wonderful support for me ever since I found her blog. These books will be part of my two-week-wait (really 10 day) survival kit.

I can almost taste tomorrow, it’s so close. Little Spark, your mamas are waiting for you, and there is an entourage of people cheering for your arrival, all of whom can’t wait for you to come home.

Happiness Cycle Days 17 & 18: Yard Work

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My wife juggling clementines (the fruit, not the dog) yesterday morning.

Today has been unseasonably warm (10 degrees Celsius), so we spent the majority of the day outside cleaning up our yard and putting up our exterior Christmas lights. By “cleaning up” I mean bringing things in for the winter, taking down trellises, pulling up dead summer vegetable plants, sucking up leaves, draining our four rain barrels, and my favourite, harvesting some fall veggies.

Right now, our lacinato and curly green kale, brussel sprouts, Jerusalem artichoke, and leeks are still doing great. Everything else is dead or wilted, and needs to be pulled out of the ground.

I had fun harvesting some baby brussel sprouts which we just had with our dinner. I sauté them with some butter, garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and broth.

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I also dug up some Jerusalem artichoke (or sun choke) tubers, kind of archaeological dig style. They were washed, peeled, and chopped up, then roasted with some bacon crumbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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Sun chokes are very high in inulin, which is a type of insoluble fibre, and is less likely to spike insulin than potatoes.

Speaking of potatoes, I also harvested a bunch of our giant leeks to make bacon potato leek soup.

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These leeks are from seeds from last year’s crop, and DW did a wonderful job getting them started this year. They are super thick, and have gorgeous long blanched stems.

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Bacon potato leek soup- super tasty!

Today has been a high carb day for me, as we started off our day with some gluten-free pancakes. Tomorrow, I’m back to my regular diet, but for now, I’m enjoying the sugar high.

3 more days until embryo transfer!

Happiness Cycle Day 16: In-Laws

I know that not everybody feels this way about theirs, but I have been blessed with awesome in-laws. Spending time with them is close to effortless, and they have a certain “neediness” that I enjoy and wish my own mother had: a need for regular phone calls, visits, making time for each other. Being raised by either my grandparents or by my mother who was overwhelmed with unprocessed heartbreak and abandonment, it is nice having my two very stable in-laws in my life.

Yesterday, my in-laws came to visit (they live about 2.5 hours away by car), and I took my MIL to the One of A Kind Show, while my FIL relaxed at our house with the dogs. We saw lots of amazing work, some of which was well beyond our personal budgets, but we did manage to get some Christmas presents done. We also got to sample many yummy decadences such as chocolates, and my favourite- a cranberry pudding with butter sauce (which was gluten free!). A lady walking next to us recommended it, claiming that “once you have this cranberry pudding, you won’t need sex anymore”. Such a bold claim, we definitely turned around and checked it out. It was delicious, but my orgasms are better. Speaking of which, with transfer happening in t-minus 4 days, I better get all that I can now.

After the show, we came home and I made us all a nice dinner. The four of us polished off 5 beers and three full bottles of red wine. A family that drinks together (and doesn’t get into fights), stays together right?

We made them coffee, Cinnabon waffles, and eggs this morning. And they just left for a visit with some friends in wine country.

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My MIL is an avid quilter, and made us an ornament for our tree (we still haven’t hung our ornaments yet), and a Santa (not for our tree).

They also offered to pay for our FET, as a Christmas present, but we couldn’t accept. It was such a nice gesture, but they’re retired, and it’s a couple thousand dollars, not including all of the intralipid infusions this time. Plus, I feel like we need to own this ourselves, though I hope that little spark feels this very clear welcome from grandma and grandpa.

Happiness Cycle Day 14: Downtown

DW took the day off work today, as we had a day of medical appointments, in town and out of town. She has also been so busy and overworked so far this semester that she really needed a “mental health” day as well.

I must mention that I finally had a good sleep last night, after almost a week of terrible anxiety-induced insomnia.

This morning DW made me a decaf coffee (such a nice treat to be served coffee in the morning), we gave the dogs got some consolation pats on the head, and we were on our way.

Our first stop was the fertility clinic’s satellite clinic, which is in our city. I needed to have my blood work and ultrasound monitoring again. Things are on track, with my uterine lining measuring 9.4 today, up from 8.7 of two days ago. I also got a “present” from one of the receptionists, who wasn’t working today, but had mentioned last time I was in that “she’d give me a troll to put down my pants”. I wasn’t sure what she meant by that, but she meant Treasure Trolls, those dolls from the 80’s, for good luck. We joked about for a bit- especially the part about putting one down my pants. Anyway, today, the phlebotomist nurse gave me this on behalf of the receptionist:

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So thoughtful and sweet!

After that, we headed downtown, to see my family doctor. I was really nervous and stressed about this appointment, not knowing how to describe and explain the overwhelming emotions and feelings that I have been experiencing since the miscarriage. When we got there, my family doctor was super attentive, gave me room to talk, listened patiently and compassionately, and gave some good advice. I shared with her how depressed and anxious I have been feeling, how it has continued to affect my sleep and made me weary of socializing with friends who aren’t aware of our situation. She had me complete some forms: a depression questionnaire, an anxiety questionnaire, and a survey on the impact of my feelings on my activities of daily living. It was the first time that I had taken inventory of various aspects of my depression and anxiety, and how it has been affecting me beyond just my feelings and sense of hope for the future. This whole time I’ve been so consumed and obsessed with our miscarriage(s) and getting back to making babies that I completely lost sight of how I have been doing as a person. I mean, I knew that I was depressed, and I knew that I had an anxiety problem, but I had always placed them under the context of the miscarriage, and not really that they themselves are focal points that need to be addressed.

I have battled depression before, and had reached a nice homeostasis with Wellbutrin for years. When I first met DW, I had already been on it for many years, but like most people with mental health issues, because I felt better, I thought “why not, let’s try life anti-depressant free!”. That was a couple of years ago, and for the entire time, I have been fine. However, with the fertility challenges and heartbreak of three miscarriages, I think my dear friend depression has snuck back into my life, and has brought his asshole friend anxiety along as back-up.

I have mentioned my emotional struggles on my blog many times, but didn’t realize how bad it has gotten until I answered those questionnaires, and saw and felt the true concern in DW’s and my family doctor’s feedback on how I seem, and have been behaving. I guess this is sort of what an intervention feels like. I’ve been so caught up in my own head, and needed to hear what other people are observing. My depression and anxiety are a big concern right now, and my family doctor is concerned enough about it to suggest that I start some medications right away. She suggested Cipralex, which is an SSRI, and is effective for both depression and anxiety. I would love feedback from anyone who has taken it before. She says that it is safe before, during, and after pregnancy, even though Dr. Google claims otherwise. But I am convinced that you can search anything and find support for it in the form of a online support forum. This I have learned from the all-consuming world of TTC.

She wants me to double check with the RE that he Cipralex won’t interfere/interact with all of the other stuff that I will be on: estrace, prometrium/endometrin, aspirin, fragmin, prednisone, intralipids. I’ve emailed the RE’s nurse, so hopefully I will hear back soon.

I have mixed feelings about taking the Cipralex. On one hand I think that it would be better for me to just tough it out, that it’s normal to have feelings of sadness and despair, or constant worry, given what I’ve been through. On the other hand, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that my depression and anxiety levels are abnormally high, and the culmination of evidence is that that can negatively impact our potential pregnancy even more than the small risk of cardiovascular defects and autism that have been reported but not confirmed. I look at DW, and some of you who seem “recovered” from your miscarriages, and wonder why I’m still stuck in this destructive loop of depression and anxiety. I realize now that it’s because I am struggling with an extra layer of mental illness.

Work has been harassing me again as well. In the past seven days, the person in charge of leaves has called me three times and emailed me once. This is after talking to her already the first time. She didn’t have anything new to discuss the subsequent times, but rather has been very negative and pushy in her tone. DW says that if she calls me again, that we should complain to the union. The last thing you want to do when you have an employee suffering from a mental health challenge is harass them.

Anyway, after my doctor’s appointment we went out for lunch at our favourite Vietnamese place.

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Then grabbed some baked treats down the street at this great little bakery we found by accident one day the last time we were here. I got a gluten-free chèvre cheesecake, and DW got “the best butter tart ever”, as well as a pear almond tort-like thing that has a fancy French name that I don’t remember.

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We then went shopping at our favourite outdoor store: Mountain Equipment Co-op, where we caught up on some much needed shopping, and bought a couple of early Christmas presents (me mostly).

We also got a call from our primary nurse today. I am supposed to start my long list of meds on Saturday, in preparation for our embryo transfer on Wednesday morning!

I hope that time moves fast, as I’m anxious for our last embryo to come home, but I also feel like I need some time to process everything that has happened today. The good, and the bad new.