I first tried ovulation prediction kits, or OPK, about three years ago. The ones I bought off of Amazon.ca were out of stock, so the company sent me a different version, which were more complicated to use (they required an eyedropper) and I suspect were defective, because it didn’t matter when I tested my pee, the test was always positive. Basically they were useless, so I stopped using them… and then stopped making a conscious effort to get pregnant for over a year, so they sat in the cabinet and were ignored. For the past two cycles (since starting letrozole), I’ve been relying of daily sex around the time I would likely be ovulating to cover the bases. Although initially enthusiastic, by day five or six neither my Husband nor I are over eager.

So this month I ordered another set of OPKs (from a different company), and they arrived in time to use. On day 14 I had the clearest positive result I could possibly imagine – like, textbook clearly a positive result, it could be the photo next to the ad for what the test should look like if it were positive. So I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we timed everything perfectly this month – and that my body probably did produce an egg.

I’m torn between thinking using the OPK was a good idea – it is good that we know our timing is spot on, and since we go back to the fertility doctor March 20th, if this cycle fails we have more valuable information for him. But in knowing that we have timed everything perfectly, the remainder of the month is gonna be torture waiting to find out if we have finally succeeded. April will mark a full five years since we started TTC. It would be sweet to know that we finally did by the time we hit that anniversary.

As I let my brain run away with me, the timing could not be more perfect for us: My masters should be done by July, our mortgage is locked in and doesn’t need to be renewed for another four years, we bought a place with a spare room, both my work and my Husbands are picking up and offer flexible hours, so we could likely manage childcare between the two of us without having to find and pay for daycare…

C’mon baby, it’s a great time, come and join us!




I cry in my car a lot. More than I do anywhere else combined. There is something about the feeling of being in an isolated space by myself, that despite the fact that my windows are untinted and I’m not actually invisible, I am alone with my thoughts.

I think part of it is i’ve noticed most people in traffic are hyper self-involved and not paying attention to what is going on around them. Even if they happened to glance over and notice my tears, they won’t cause any more than a passing curiosity, a minor blip on their radar.

I prefer not to let my Husband into my daily grief/pain/darkness. He already worries about me enough, I don’t really feel the need to give him more cause.

All that being said, I broke down and let him into everything last night. I feel bad, because he looks utterly helpless when confronted with my distress. I find the active trying to conceive, the knowledge that in theory we have improved our odds with the medication, harder than not trying. I will know whether this round has been effective in about ten days. We go back to see the doctor again in March – we should have three full rounds of letrozole under our belts by the time we see him again.

On top of the infertility and stress of the medication, i’m really frustrated with my weight. I know, without stepping on the scale, that it’s up. I’m finding it hard to have the motivation to be as active as I usually am, or, for that matter, to eat well. Being unhappy with my body does not help the rest of my mental state, but at least it’s something I can hold onto and actively work on. So I’m signing up for a 5km run, adding two rowing workouts to the 2-3 I was managing over the December/January period, and limit simple carbs. I need to get this back under control, because it feels like very little else is mine to do so with.

I don’t want to track calories, that tends to mean I feel entitled to eat more to compensate for my exercise calories. I just need to find some much needed balance.


Random Update

So the thing I have avoided talking about, thinking about the source of a lot of my anger in the last month or so…

My sister told me early this month that her husband had smashed his head through their bedroom door because he was angry, telling her that “it had been a choice of his head or hers” and that he had decided his head was the better choice. He’s always been violent and broken things. Years ago, my Husband and I shared a house with them when they were first married (They married two years into their relationship, 11 ish years ago – we married eight years into our relationship, eight years ago). I vividly remember one time when My Husband was working away for a month – i hear my sister and her husband fighting, tried not to, and then heard something break. So I went to investigate, and found a chair shattered, and my sister cleaning up. In a fit of rage, her husband had broken a chair. I thought that was unacceptable at the time, but didn’t read too much into it. I, We, grew up with a father who, although he had a lot of redeeming qualities, had a temper, and occasionally lashed out and damaged things and on very rare occasions us, so it wasn’t outside my, or her, experience of normal (I would have been 20 or 21, she would have been 23-24). Over the years, she mentioned an occasional violent outburst, but it was rare, and around the time my younger niece was born, 7.5 years ago, I was under the impression that he had stopped his outbursts and seen them for the inappropriate behaviours they were – especially where his children were concerned.

So fast forward to this month. Finding out that my brother in law has been increasingly violent and breaking things on an increasingly frequent basis. It culminated in that fight I mentioned above – him shoving his head through the door – twice. Did I mention that my 4.5 year old nephew was on the other side of the door?

I’m torn as to what to do. As i’m older and wiser, I recognize that a lot of the things I accepted as normal as a child were, in fact, abusive. I think my parents did the best they could, but that’s what happens when people have children in their early 20s- they don’t get the chance to be fully formed adults and they have the learn on the job. Dad slapped me once, when I was about 9, and he looked so ashamed. It was a one time event, but he hit me so hard I dropped to the floor, and he looked so ashamed.

I am afraid for the wellbeing of my sister, my niece, and my nephew. I am worried about their long term happiness, and the volatile quality of my brother in laws temper. I want to believe that he is capable of changing, but from the moment he threatened my sister, he lost all positive interactions I have tried to send his way.

I do not believe he will hurt my family. I also no longer consider him among that membership.

Abuse is no small thing, and I worry about my Munchkins future. If we do get to have children, we have known for years that we would never leave them alone with the brother in law – he can’t be trusted. But how long is it going to take for my sister to see that?




I wrote a whole post about anger and frustration and how i’m starting to come to terms with my anger about our fertility situation among other things … and it got lost in the ether of the wordpress website and never got posted.

So cliff notes version: I am having to realize that I am angry. I am beyond pissed off that my Husband and I can’t seem to have biological kids and I am currently dealing with a family situation where my brother in law, the father of one niece, one nephew, is a violent twit who recently threatened my sister “It was your head or mine going though that door” (he chose his, his head went through that door, because thats the smart thing to do – shove your head through a door in front of your four year old son, because that’s just fiiiiiiine) I hate that that idiot managed to procreate with my sister, not because I don’t love my niece and nephew, I do, and I am so excited that they are little people who exist. I just hate that He gets to be a father when my Husband doesn’t. That violent jackass piece of shit is a parent, shares a life with my sister and their kids, and my Husband, who is… so much better. Isn’t doesn’t get to have kids. Not yet, anyways. And if we’re honest here, maybe never.

I think the thing is that we all have to know that fertility isn’t fair. Fertility isn’t an indication of who you are as a person, who you are as a couple, who you are as a responsible unit… Fertility is a simple matter of what happens in utero … or doesn’t. And I’m sure there are people who believe it’s the will of a deity, but I don’t. It’s just that sometimes life isn’t fair, and thats not divine, it’s just life.



Letrozole Round One, Fruitless.

I’m not pregnant. I’m not really surprised… surprised is for people who get a result they are not expecting. I am disappointed. I had hoped that this medication would make the difference. I know that expecting all of the change in one month is unreasonable. I know that with a new medication there are only slightly better odds each month that we will conceive, and that our odds remain the same each month that follows – statistics don’t improve, they just reset.

I just feel empty. Hollow and sad. And today is going to be a day of being curled up in a ball on the couch with the furballs, not the least because the cramps that come along with my period are intense and painful – insult to injury, really.

I’m just so tired of grieving what could be, what I want, what we want, and a future that may never be.



Happy 2018!

I am disinclined to make new years resolutions. I think it’s important to reflect and evaluate where you’re at and decide what you’re happy with, what you’re not, and how you want to change… but I think the arbitrary start date of New Years and making it a resolution is setting yourself up for failure. I mean, it’s a running joke among fitness/health professionals that the first week of January is a whirlwind and crazy busy and that by mid February everything will have calmed down back to normal.

All that being said, I had a pretty relaxed holiday, I didn’t spend any time with anyone other than my three furballs (the Husband, the dog, and the cat…) and I got some time off work, and I got to spend some time in reflection and think about what I do want to work to change.

The first thing that I know I need to work on is my own perception of myself and my war with my body. I’ve mentioned before that I feel like in many ways my body has betrayed me – its inability to conceive, to adhere to the physical appearance I idealize, and honestly the feeling that it has over the past year given out on me as my ability to push through the depression and its sister ship fatigue and I am actually having to take some time off. For these, and so very many more reasons, I often feel like I am waging a never ending series of battles with myself.

There are aspects of that last paragraph that made me cringe a little bit even as I wrote them – the idealized body annoys me – not because it exists as much because I still apparently buy into it. And that, although I do think I have gotten better at this, I still struggle to give myself grace and respect that self care is a necessary thing. I often counsel my clients on this front, but often I recognize that it’s basically a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. Which makes me a bit of a hypocrite, but…. well, like I say, i’m working on it.

The most recent meeting with the second fertility Doctor did help to reduce my feeling of inadequacy with respect to our inability to conceive – he made it clear that neither of us is to blame for our lack of a baby – we as a couple simply have not been able to create a viable melding of our genetic matter (I may also call an eventual child exactly that as a nickname, maybe i’d be unfit to parent??? VMGM FTW!)

The useful thoughts that came out of actually having time away from our workaholic lives to hang out together and talk: Husband and I have agreed that one way or the other, whether because the fertility treatments work, or whether we end up looking into and going through the adoption process, we plan to be parents sometime in the next five years. That being a plan, we have agreed on a few behavours that both of us think we would like to change/modify before we model them for the next generation. These are basic things like actually sitting down at the table to eat instead of grabbing food and hanging out in the living room and ignoring each other, less screen time in general for non work/school related purposes, etc. Nothing ground breaking, mostly just small things that we think would be good to change anyways, and we both see the value of building the habits now so that they are habits when the time comes, which will make it easier to adhere to.

But ultimately, the main thing I need to work on, not as a resolution, not with a finite end date or goal… just a general sense that I need to learn to work with my body and be kinder to myself instead of punishing myself… Because frankly it’s just counterproductive.

Random final thought: Having to have sex every day for a week is a lot less fun in reality than it is in theory once you’re in your 30s. It’s amazing how something so fun can start to seem like such a chore.

In a little under two weeks I’ll know if i’m pregnant or if we’re going for round two of letrozole. Honestly, it hasn’t been so bad. Other than a weird taste in my mouth early on, three days of crushing fatigue (like 12-14 hours of sleep/day) leading up to ovulation (probable ovulation) this medication has not been as bad as I expected at all. Mostly I am dreading the let down I know will come when I find out that I am, once again, not pregnant. You would think after 57 cycles of this I would be numb, but this whole fertility treatment brings it all right back home.



Fertility Clinic, Round 2

Our second round at the fertility clinic was everything that the first one should have been, and better. We saw a doctor who listened to everything we had to say, had read our file prior to us entering the room, and treated us with the basic humanity, respect, and compassion that I had expected when we first walked through those doors.

The basic upshot of the whole appointment was the confirmation that what we have is unexplained infertility – neither of us is at fault, neither of us has anything apparently wrong, we just can’t seem to conceive a baby. This doctor also thought that we should try a medication that promotes ovulation, and went into detail as to why – basically that the more eggs, the better the odds of one making it to contact the sperm. He did listen to my concerns about the amount of crazy I experience when I take anything that messes with my hormones. He suggested Letrozole over the clomid variation we were prescribed last time. Letrozole apparently has fewer emotional side effects compared to clomid, and a slightly lower risk of birth defects. So we will try this for a few cycles, and then go back in March to potentially look into IUI. Unless by some miracle the Letrozole works in the next couple of months. The range of efficacy among infertile couples ranges from 10-30%. In couples with diagnosed infertility I suppose any significant change is good. I mean, our odds without intervention are shy of 1%, so we will be drastically increasing them through this. So we shall see.

My hopes are up… but I’m trying to keep them in check. I don’t know how far we will go through fertility treatments – even this is beyond what I said two years ago was our hard stopping point. But time and experience changes perspective and action, so here we are.

I have not kept anything in check enough not to have considered that the timing of my getting pregnant in the next few months would be perfect from a career/academic perspective: I should be finished my masters in early July of 2018. I am working between two clinics where I feel valued and am building solid practices, as well as flexible hours that might work around a baby’s schedule. And how we would rearrange our house to accommodate another human being… you know, just the little things.

So we shall see what happens, and how far this goes. How far we go…