Another Year Over

I’ve had those John Lennon lyrics stuck in my head for weeks “another year over and a new one just begun”.

2017 was…not the best year. I mean, I suppose it could be much worse. I see people dying of cancer or losing loved ones every day. I’m lucky I’m not one of those people. Still, 2017 definitely did not turn out the way I hoped.

2017 was the Year of Not Getting Pregnant

We started trying a bit before Christmas last year (as soon as I was far enough into my Beer Advent Calendar to safely try, HA!). Over a year and 15 cycles later, still nothing.

Ok, not exactly true. We learned that I don’t always ovulate (but don’t know why – I have like the most regular periods in the world and none of the usual causes of anovulatory cycles apply to me) but otherwise my hormone levels are normal, Ed is fine and my tubes aren’t blocked. Oh, and I did have a positive pregnancy test on Cycle 13 (the same cycle as my HSG) but miscarried almost immediately after. It was awful in that it’s painful, it’s messy (and smelly), you waste so much time and the bleeding bleeds FOREVER. OMG SO MUCH BLOOD. I was fortunate that it was so early on: I didn’t have any kind of emotional attachment to the pregnancy (I know some people do and have a tough time, even with a loss as early as mine, but after everything I’d been through in my previous 12 cycles, miscarriage did not take me by surprise) and I wasn’t faced with the trauma of having to deliver a real, deceased fetus. So as far as miscarriages go, it was a best case scenario, but it still massively sucked.

So the fantasies of having a baby by Christmas, or at very least, a pregnancy announcement by Christmas were reduced to a flaming pile of crushed dream juice.

I don’t get how some people end up with one (or more! WTF) children they don’t even want. I mean, getting pregnant, as it turns out, takes years of careful timing, peeing on sticks 10 mornings per cycle and going to the hospital every few weeks for doctor appointments, lab work and medical procedures. Why would someone go through all that trouble if they’re not 100% committed? Bloody hell.

Maybe this year we’ll fantasize about having a dog by Christmas. Our odds will be better.

2017 was the Year of my Cats

We lost a cat back in November to a rare illness, which was a very sad time.

We have, in the meanwhile, adopted a new cat, the little black guy in the photo. We missed having an entertaining ball of fluff and energy in the house, plus our two cranky old geezers seem to be less old and cranky with a kitten around to stimulate them.

They are the center of our lives. This may or may not be related to the fact that we have no human baby to fuss over. Anyway, our cats have a good life. We buy them the best food, shower them with toys and play with them for hours every day. They sleep well at night. (And in the afternoon.)

2017 was a Year of Working Hard

I show up an hour before my shift, stay 1-2 hours after my shift and every few weeks I have to go in for up to 9 hours on a day off to catch up. I rarely get paid for the extra time, but the work has to get done. It’s lucky that I happen to really enjoy the work.

My coworker left us at the end of November to go to New Zealand or China or Europe or all of the above, but even before, I think I only had the feeling of being caught up once since I went back to work. My higher ups constantly complain on how I don’t do enough care plans. In my imagination, I ask them what I should cut out to make time for care plans. Should I stop checking blister packs? Perhaps no more data entry? Or answering customer questions?

I do love the work though, even the tedious documenting, the stressful prescribing and the customer service aspect. Which is pretty much like customer service in any job. You need wit of a comedian, the patience of a saint and the thick skin of an alligator. I complain a lot, but I catch myself having a good time more often than I care to admit. Plus, the hours where I do get paid, I get paid well. And while I don’t do it for the money, I figure the more I stash away now, the more I’ll have to spend on my non-existent children later on.

2017 was the Year of Indulging in Consumables

Somewhere in the year, I became obsessed with subscription boxes. Like really obsessed. I’ve never been one for material things, but I think the lack of travel plans, combined with a never ending series of disappointing conception cycles awoke some kind of beast within me.

I subscribed to YEG box for a few months. It was great. The products are very well curated and I found the boxes got better and better every month. It was way too expensive (62.50$/month after shipping and taxes) so I took a break after December. Highly recommended if you’re into artisan creations and have that kind of disposable income.

Rawspice Bar was another box I tried. I avoid buying stuff that ships from the US because border fees are SO EXPENSIVE. I opted for them because I love spices and their shipping fees are reasonable. I paid for 6 months upfront and two months into my subscription, they switched models from monthly to quarterly (and didn’t inform me) and charged me another 20$ for shipping, without asking. And that was the end of that. No more buying anything that ships from the US.

Finally, I picked Roaster’s Pack as a coffee subscription. After 3 months, I forgot to adjust my subscription to 6 months, so I ended up with another 3 months instead of 6. Oops! But anyway, I’ve been 100% satisfied. It’s a little more expensive than buying your own beans, but they do a good job of sending you 3 different sets of beans every month, from roasters you’d never think to try on your own. The coffee doesn’t last me a whole month, but I don’t mind. I’m just happy to try new coffee and read their little info cards.

In other consumables, I’ve become an avid David’s Tea fan. I have tried most of their teas by now. I even bought their Tea Advent Calendar since trying (and failing) to conceive has ruled out Beer Advent Calendars. Note that most of the teas in it are cinnamon flavoured. If you like cinnamon, you will like their calendar. If you don’t like cinnamon, you will resent spending 45$ on that calender. Coffee-wise, my coworker brought me some Atlin Mountain coffee from her Yukon road trip. Best. Coffee. Ever. Their shipping is too costly to justify subscribing to their monthly service, but totally acceptable if you just do one massive order. LOVE LOVE LOVE Atlin Mountain. I even ended up giving both my brothers a nice box of their coffee for Christmas.

The other kind of consumable I’ve caught myself indulging in is, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit, skin care and makeup. I put in a huge order at Dermalogica during their Black Friday sale and I’ve been enjoying an extensive evening skin care routine ever since. I’ve also been watching You Tube make up videos. It’s totally weird. I mean, I’m in my thirties, make up has always felt kind of foreign to me, then one day, boom! But I think the infertility struggle has a lot to do with it. I discover I have no control over an important (to me) part of my body so I get the urge to compensate by controlling another aspect of my body. And hey, learning about make up is both practical and creative! Next city trip, I plan to make an appointment at Sephora’s for colour advice. I mean, I’ve learned to much about products and technique but they get me no where when I don’t really know what I look like.

2017 was an Indoor Kind of Year

In the Epic Journey aftermath, I’ve become very, very lazy. Plus, with all the hours I put in at work, by the time I recover from the week and my legs aren’t killing me, it’s time to go back to work. So there has not been much hiking, skiing or travel in 2017. We did go to Ed’s parents’ in New Jersey last spring as well as Montana in the summer, both for immigration stuff.

When I’m not working, though, I pretty much just…sleep. I gamed a little. Mostly Bioware role playing games. I’ve been playing Destiny since it released in October, but not with any sort of seriousness. I’ve tried to blog, but the entries are sporradic. Most “new posts” end in frustration after a few lines. I keep trying, but I think that’s just where I am in my life. I’m old, I work too hard and I’m just tired all the time. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to Mat Leave. I know it’s not a holiday, but I do long for a day where I can focus all my attention on one little being and just block out the world.

2018: The Plan

I’m not one for resolutions, but here are the exciting plans for 2018:

– Keep attempting to defy my body’s refusal to make a baby.

– Take some vacation time in April. Travel to Calgary for the Expo then enjoy Lake Louise or something. Ed and I both want easier travel, which means indulging on the luxuries in our own backyard.

– Do a make up class at Sephora’s, then spend a shiton of money on good makeup. If I can’t have a baby, at least I can have a stylish face.

– Get my Geriatrics certification. Been putting off the multi-year intensive doctorate in case I get pregnant, but the Geriatrics certificate is totally doable.

– Grow a better garden. Maybe I’ll get some herbs this year.

– Continue with the sporadic blogging. It’s not as social as writing WoW pieces, but I do enjoy (over)sharing on many topics.

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6 Responses to Another Year Over

  1. grimmtooth says:

    Hai, new kitteh!

    Always nice to see you pop up in my reader. Here’s hoping for good fortune with Player 3 this year. Sometimes it takes a while, I’ve learned.

    • Ophelie says:

      Thanks! Hopefully it’s just “awhile” and not “forever”. I don’t think I could handle years and years of this!

      And yes, new kitten! I still miss our old kitten, but it’s been fun getting to know this one. And Christmas just isn’t the same without a kitten in the house to tear up the presents and wreck the tree.

      It’s always great hearing from you! Hope you had a great New Years and all the best for 2018!

  2. koalabear21 says:

    Have they ruled out PCOS? That was why I wasn’t ovulating.

    I sure hope you won’t have to wait years for player three, Hang in there. It will be even more amazing when it does happen after all of your struggles. ❀

    • Ophelie says:

      They haven’t investigated PCOS so it’s a possibility but very unlikely. Anovulatory cycles is the only symptom I seem to have (other than the not-pregnant thing I guess). I’m so ridiculously regular (like almost down to the hour regular) that it’ll probably the last thing my doctor investigates. On one hand, I wish I knew the exact problem so I could address it instead of waiting in the dark “one more cycle”. On the other hand “unexplained infertility” supposedly has a better prognosis than fertility with a diagnosis. So who knows?

      I do try to remember these moments of frustration. I hope that if I ever get lucky and have a pregnancy that results in a baby, that whenever I’m nauseous or sore from the pregnancy, or exasperated from a screaming child, that I can think back on how I’m feeling right now where I’d give up pretty much anything to be puking my guts up or being woken every 45 minutes if it meant having a baby. I see so many people take pregnancy for granted. I hope I never do.

      Thank you for your encouragements πŸ™‚ I really appreciate it. I don’t know anyone in my every day life who’s been through this (or at least, who’s been public about going through this – I’m sure it’s more common than it seems), so it is especially uplifting to be reminded that I’m not the first to have a beef with Mother Nature!

  3. jemmynightfall says:

    I had secondary infertility, which in some ways was super frustrating because we’d gotten pregnant without any problems the first time and then suddenly everything stopped working. But it was hard to complain because we did have one baby which was more than most couples dealing with infertility had. We did some unsuccessful IVF cycles and I found it took a real toll on my mental health. The constant sense of failing was awful. I ended up conceiving naturally. I would have liked three kids but since I thought for a while we’d never have more than one I count my blessings. Make sure you two do a lot of self care, and I hope you get your baby soon πŸ™‚

    • Ophelie says:

      I’ve stayed away from information on IVF because I’m trying to take things one step at a time, but from what little I know, it sounds like just one cycle is rough, rough, rough procedure. I can’t imagine how devastating it would be to do several cycles, and still not have it work.

      There’s a feeling of loss, I think, when you realize that your future isn’t going to be what you imagined. I’ve always wanted four (my husband isn’t quite on board with that so I think he’s a little relieved it’s taking longer than expected to conceive #1) and had this fantasy build up in my head of sibling ups and downs. When it dawned on me that I was running out of time and there’s no sign of #1 yet, it was quite crushing.

      I do try to do a lot of self care, though it’s increasingly hard to draw the line between “self care” and “overindulgence”…

      Thank you for sharing your story and for the well wishes. Fingers crossed that luck picks ups!

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