Comparison is the Thief of Joy

…especially with Infertility.

“Just relax, you’ll be pregnant before you know it.”

“Have you tried losing weight, I got pregnant after losing a few pounds.”

“Maybe you should consider using clomid, that works miracles.”

“Start eating more of (fill in the blank), and less of (fill in the blank).”

“Consider yourself lucky for not having kids yet, and just enjoy being the two of you.”

“Find a hobby to keep you busy, so you don’t think about getting pregnant.”

“You can down load the ovulation tracker, that will determine when you will most like get pregnant, it worked for us.”

“You’re young, don’t worry about getting pregnant.”

The advice list goes on and on!

If I had a dollar for every piece of advice I’ve received regarding my Infertility Journey, I would be able to pay for all my Infertility Treatments :)!

Now I don’t want it to seem that I’m not thankful for those who care about me and want to provide help, because I really do appreciate them.  

What’s hard for me is that if I’m not careful, I will compare myself when their advice is successful for them, and not for me.

Be-your-own-kind-of-beautiful_Daily-Inspiration_The-Red-Fairy-Project

One of my best friends who has PCOS was able to get pregnant off of clomid, and they have the most beautiful baby girl.

My sister-in-law, who has been a great listening ear for me, said that they got pregnant when they relaxed and stopping worrying about it.

I’ve read countless weight loss success stories of women losing weight and falling pregnant shortly after.

I’m happy for women who struggle with getting pregnant and are able to find their answer to getting pregnant, even if I am sad it isn’t my turn.

I have to keep reminding myself that infertility has millions of different scenarios, and there isn’t one type of an infertile woman.

My infertility journey is unique to me, and me only.

comparison-is-the

I know I’ve said it before, and I’m going to keep saying it as a reminder to myself, but I’m thankful for this journey I’m going through.  It was far from the journey I saw myself going on when I first got married, but I’ve seen a change in what I’m thankful for, what I’m capable of, and what matters most.

I’m thankful for my husband who continues to bring positive vibes and extreme happiness into my life and everywhere he goes, I don’t know what I would do without him!

Happy Monday!

love, hannah jane

Need a little boost today?  Enjoy this message, “Value beyond Measure,” by Joy D. Jones

 

 

 

 

Baby Making Journey Update

I can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by…It’s already May!!!  And May is practically over.  One good thing about this year flying by is that we are getting closer to having our next appointment to find out what our next step will be in this Baby Making Journey.

The last few months have been good for us.  It was motivating having something to work towards.  The Infertility Specialist placed us on special medications to get us “baby healthy ready,” and we have been so dedicated at staying on top of these medications, taking them faithfully.

One part of this time that has been a highlight for me is working together to get healthier.  Hailame and I are eating better and exercising together regularly :)… at 5:00am 😦  but we’ve learned it’s the only time we can really dedicate to going to exercise, because when we both come home from work in the afternoon, neither of us wants to go to the gym, we just want to stay home.

So every morning at 4:30 am, my alarm goes off, and at 4:31 (why one minute after mine, I have no idea) Hailame’s alarm goes off… but he rarely hears it so I end of turning off both of our alarms.

I have to really work to wake Hailame up, he is the deepest sleeper, but the minute he is up, he is the biggest morning person in the world (and really chatty), compared to me where I will wake up, but that is all.  I don’t want to talk, or interact with a lot of people.. give me about 30 minutes, then I may acknowledge your presence. Hailame has learned when he talks to me in the morning, he may or may not get a response, and if he does, it is short and to the point, and then back to silence for me.  🙂

But having Hailame and I go to the gym together has been perfect because I don’t think I would make it over there if I didn’t have his perky energy getting us out the door in the morning!

We are eager and ready to find out what our next step will be in this journey.  We were told three months ago that the usual process is first trying to get pregnant on our own, using clomid.  If that doesn’t work for us, we will do an IUI, then have IVF as our final option.

I’m praying that we are able to get pregnant on our own, obviously because that would save money and time, however at this point, I am willing to do anything!

meme-uchtdorf-patience-1459021-wallpaper

Happy Tuesday!

love, hannah jane

 

 

 

PCOS: 5 Things I’ve Learned

I recently went through some of my past journals reading about the experiences I’ve had since being diagnosed with PCOS in October 2016.  While reading, I re-experienced the feelings of sadness, yearning to have a baby, and unanswered questions that I was going through.

It also reminded me some of the challenges I conquered and while daily doing my best to maintain a positive outlook on this trial I was experiencing.

It was good for me to revisit these experiences.  In a way, it’s rejuvenated my desire to better take care of myself, but has also help me realize what I’ve learned from having PCOS.

I have PCOS, PCOS does not have me

After finding out I had PCOS, I started blaming PCOS for every hard thing going on in my life.  It’s true that PCOS was a factor for a lot of the trials I was experiencing, but what wasn’t good was that I was identifying myself as a victim of PCOS and allowing it’s symptoms to become who I am rather than letting PCOS be apart of me and living my life fully despite the trials.

I don’t remember when I shifted my attitude on PCOS, but ever since I have not allowed it to dictate my life, I have had an overall health improvement mentally, emotionally, physically and PCOS is not something I am constantly moping over.  I have decided to treat it like any challenge or goal I’m working on, and finding ways to conquer the symptoms, even though PCOS is with me forever.

PCOS is for Life

I was born with PCOS, but finding out I had it when I was 26 years old took some getting used to because I knew that adapting to a healthier, stricter lifestyle would help my symptoms and my overall health, but it was hard accepting that I couldn’t cure it from my body.

Something that has been a wake up call and drive for motivation for me in continually researching PCOS is that if I didn’t take care of myself and my symptoms, PCOS could lead to Diabetes.

This commitment to take better care of my health is not only for me to try and have a baby but for the rest of my life.

PCOS is diagnosed individually

PCOS is hard to diagnosed to a specific individual because everyone has different symptoms and results from these symptoms, so I can’t compare my struggle with anyone else.  One of my dearest friends was diagnosed with PCOS, and was successful with getting pregnant on Clomid, my sister-in-law struggled to get pregnant for 8 years but has since had 5 successful pregnancies, I follow a few women on Social Media who struggle with severe weight gain, others irregular hair growth.

Obviously my biggest struggle was been to conceive however, I do struggle with regular menstrual cycles and have put on some weight that is like try to pull tar of the road to lose.

So with this, I have had to learn what’s best for me.  What diet, exercise, mental health, and overall lifestyle because my experience with PCOS is going to be different from everyone else’s.

Discipline and Consistency

This part of my experience with PCOS has been a roller coaster, a really crazy roller coaster… because I’m human.

It takes discipline to keep up with good eating habits, exercising daily, taking medications and vitamins, maintaining a positive mindset, getting back up again and again after getting lazy with these habits and continuing forward.

When I’m consistent, I always feel better, even if I’m not getting the results I fully want, I always feel better.  Every time I’ve look back at pictures in the last couple of years, I can always tell when I was living a disciplined and consistent life because I looked healthier.

Patience

Quite often on my social media, I share what I’ve learned through being patient, and how good it has been for me, and how much stronger I am now because of it, and I have learned a lot and grown as well, however I feel like sometimes I put it out there just so I can keep convincing myself to be patient, cause there are a lot of days when I really am ready to not be patient anymore.

I’m ready to start losing that extra 75 pounds that PCOS so willingly added to my waistline.  I’m ready to have healthier hair. I’M READY TO HAVE MY BODY TO BE BABY HEALTHY.

But at the end of the day, somehow I continue to be patient.

us
Picture of us… just because I love him a lot!

I’m thankful for the ability to stay actively engaged in my life that I’ve been blessed with, to have a husband who keeps me on my toes (and lets me cry when I’m not having the best day), and truthfully I am thankful for what I continue to learn about PCOS , and myself (even on days when I’m tired of being patient).  This is not the path I expected to be taking, but I know we will never be given trials and experiences that we can’t take on.

love, hannah jane

P.S.

These are some articles that my Mom shared with me recently and I really enjoyed reading them:

Cause of polycystic ovary syndrome discovered at last

Signs and Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

 

Infertility Awareness Week

Last night on my Instagram I stepped into some very vulnerable shoes and shared some very heart felt thoughts about how I feel about Infertility and what going through it has taught me.

I shared parts of me that I don’t like to share a lot because I usually end up in tears by the end of it… I actually was crying to myself while composing my thoughts because I was really digging deep when it came to my feelings about Infertility.  I thought I would share those thoughts here:

“Last week, was “Infertility Awareness Week” I wasn’t feeling like sharing my thoughts, but today I want to share some thoughts I don’t often share……❤️Infertility. The word that surfaces so many emotions but in the same moment brings peace to my heart knowing everything is going to work out…eventually, even if it’s not today. A trial that most days I willingly take on because life is still wonderful but other days I don’t want to be understood or given advice rather just allowed to cry, because I know the hard moment will soon pass. The word that has taught me to forgive quickly when others may not fully understand my situation, and the moments that have opened my eyes to not judge because you never know what is really going behind the smile or what may seem like the “perfect life.” The ache that comes with being truly happy for loved ones having the baby you yearn for every single second each day and not allowing yourself to be bitter. This is what infertility has taught me. To be thankful for this experience because God has decided to refine me this way. I don’t know when the final outcome will be, I just have to trust that this life is the plan of HAPPINESS, and I am happy… Even on the hardest days. I am happy. #infertility #pcos#makingsimplejoys

love, hannah jane

My Emotional Tubes

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Truth.

This last weekend I went up to Pleasant Grove to have a HSG done… or in normal people words, have my Fallopian Tubes cleaned out with dye.

During this 3 month period of getting “baby healthy,” our doctor is wanting to eliminate different reasons as to why we haven’t been able to get pregnant on our own, so in addition to getting my body to cycle regularly, they also wanted to make sure my Fallopian tubes are clear and don’t have any blockage.

I had heard of this procedure before, my sister and two of my best friends had gone through this and they mentioned that it was similar to having uncomfortable cramps (which I’ve hardly had my whole life because I’ve always struggled in the regular cycles department anyway) but also that it was a pretty quick process.

***Side Story: The year I got diagnosed with PCOS, my PA was wanting to make sure I didn’t have Endometriosis or any Cancerous cysts as well, so they completed a vaginal biopsy (TMI? Sorry.), and it was the worst pain I had ever experienced.

From the start, it didn’t look like it was going to be so bad, my PA just mentioned that were going to do a quick swipe down there, but if I didn’t hold still in the right position they would have to do it again.

Well, not ever really experiencing major cramps, I got a RUDE awakening of the worst cramps I had ever received.  It felt like someone was taking my lower abdominal area and wringing it out similar to wringing out a wet cloth.  IT WAS MISERABLE, and they had to do it twice because apparently I was moving too much… MY BAD!

And to add to everything, I wasn’t only crying over the pain, all my emotions with infertility that I had kept bottled up, while trying to remain strong, came flowing out like a dam had just broken and there was no holding back after going through that biopsy.

So when approaching the Fallopian tube cleaning… I figured nothing could compare to the pain of that biopsy (except perhaps child birth 🙂 ).

My Mother, on the way to the procedure, kindly reminded me that when she delivered me, I was 10 pounds and she did it without any drugs, so I would probably be okay with this 5 minute procedure… thanks Mom….

Thankfully the nice front desk worker encouraged me to take some Ibuprofen about a half hour before the procedure to help with the pain (Bless you for your kindness!)

Upon arrival I had to complete a pregnancy test, and then I was prepared for the procedure.  I was so happy and thankful to have a Nurse Practitioner who was so kind and thoroughly walked me through every step of what would happen before starting.

From the start, I tried to focus on breathing and finding something in the room to distract me from the large ultrasound camera covering me and all the things that were going to be put inside me to complete this procedure.

The first round they were able to have one of my Fallopian tubes clear very quickly, and it wasn’t painful at all.  I could feel the pressure of the cramp, but it wasn’t anywhere close to how I imagined it would be.  They weren’t able to get a clear picture of my second tube, and were concerned it might be blocked.

Right when they started talking about the other tube not functioning and they wanted to test it a couple more times, I don’t know why it triggered my emotions so deeply, but I just fell apart.

I think part of this came from bottling up a lot of emotions, as I always try to, after having a couple of my best friends from college deliver beautiful babies in the last month, and 2 more getting ready to deliver in the next few months.

I am so happy for these best friends, they are and will make wonderful Mothers and I’m happy for their triumphs because a couple of them went through the same trials I’m going through now.  But as thrilled I am for them, I am still human and it is hard, as I deeply long to be in the place where they are now.

It’s a hard place to be where I want to see and talk about their new beautiful babies with them and maintain a positive attitude from myself and not allow myself to compare myself to them, be envious or bitter, because I don’t want to allow that kind of poison in my life.

I’m sure I’m not the first emotional patient these nurses have seen, but it still makes me feel bad, because they weren’t doing anything to hurt me, my emotions just get the better of me.

They tried two more times to clear the second tube, with no success.  They mentioned that the tube may have closed up from stress of the procedure and it may not really be blocked, or it could be blocked and Dr. Foulk will decide what to do next.

I’m thankful to have a Mother that made time to take me, since Hailame couldn’t get work off, and then allowed me to cry majority of the way home.  She also brightened my day by taking me to a Thrift Store… my shopping therapy, just ten times more affordable than the Mall. 🙂

Although the result for this procedure weren’t fully what I was hoping for, I am continually thankful for answers and knowledge that will help me get closer to getting in the right direction to have our baby one day!

love, hannah jane

 

 

Infertility and a bag of chips…

When I was in High School,  I was taught a lesson that I often think about in my journey with infertility.

In my class, the teacher held a small bag of chips.  He didn’t allow us to touch it, he just wanted us to look at it.  He asked if the bag was full.  From looking at it, it looked like a typical filled bag of unopened chips, so the whole class agreed it was full.  He questioned us again, “are you sure, how can you tell by just looking at it?”

This follow up question led to a discussion comparing the bag of chips to us personally or individuals around us.  From a simple glance, most people look happy, content, confident, they may even look like they have the perfect life.  But most times, there is something going on you can’t see from the surface.  Sometimes people feel empty inside, even though from the outside they look completely fine.

Joy

Now I’m not saying everyone is going through terrible trials, but quite often we don’t see the back story of different challenges someone is going through, it may not take up there whole life, but everyone goes through different levels of trials in life.

Growing up, I never thought of infertility as a reason why couples weren’t having kids.  I just figured they were waiting for the “right time.”  It wasn’t something that seemed hard for my Mother and Dad, as they were able to start having kids right away.  My brother and his wife never really struggled, and my sister and her husband were just fine in starting their family.  But then again, I never really saw or heard the back story, perhaps they did struggle to have kids, I just never knew it.

There were times I remember asking my married co-workers if they were going to start having kids soon.  They had been married for sometime, why wouldn’t they start a family?

I wish I had known then what I fully understand and know now.

Assume

One of my struggles with PCOS and infertility is sometimes having the “symptoms” of being pregnant, without actually being pregnant.  I’ve put on weight in my lower abdomen, making me look pregnant when wearing a fitted shirt, I regularly feel nauseated in the morning, and I haven’t had a regular cycle in years.

I’ve had multiple times when sweet older ladies in my church will come up and ask when my baby is due.  Or they’ll say, you’ve put on some weight, are you expecting?  Each time feeling like a knife is stabbing my heart.

It’s hard for me to be angry in situations like this, because I know they are doing it with the kindest of hearts, but that doesn’t keep the painful ache and strongest desire to want to say yes, I am expecting! Or my baby is due in (fill in the blank) months.  But right now, I can’t.

That simple lesson of a bag of chips has taught me, 10 years later, not to judge or assume I know what someone is going through, because most likely I have no idea.

Timing

I’ve learned to approach them with the attitude that will help them feel like I’m not judging and making assumptions about what they are going through.  I’ve had many surprising experiences talking to people, realizing that they share similar trials, but are going through a different journey than I am in their trials.

I know that people I’ve known my whole life, who have seen that I’ve put on weight and haven’t had kids yet make their silent assumptions about me, but most don’t know fully what I struggle with, and that’s okay.  The people closest to me know, understand, love and support me through it all.

But I also know that individuals who may not struggle with infertility have their own set of trials they are challenged with and they may look at me thinking I live such a great happy life (which I most definitely do) but they don’t see where I’m challenged as well.

Rather than figure the grass is always greener on the other side, get the watering pot and start taking care of your side and make it just as green, and don’t always assume their bag of chips is full!

Thanks for reading, go eat a bag of chips (like Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar, best chips ever!) and have a great weekend! 🙂

love, hannah jane

 

Comparison

 

Baby Making Journey: Newly Weds, PCOS and Perseverance

**Warning: Long-ish Post!  I tried to keep it brief, but the thought kept flowing! I think that’s why it took so long to post this.

I was blessed to find a husband who for one, came from a very large family (he’s #3 of 12!!!!!…Tradition Polynesian Family), and two shared the same dream of wanting a large family (myself coming from a family of 7 kids, me being #5). When we were dating and engaged we would regularly talk about our dreams in having a large family (10+ kids)!

 

We thought starting a family would be a breeze (hence coming from highly populated families) and we would start growing our family right away.

Throughout our 1st year of marriage, as we were hoping to get pregnant, I noticed that my body wasn’t cycling the way it should, which led to multiple times throughout the year thinking I was pregnant sadly later finding out I wasn’t.

I was told that sometimes our bodies will change after getting married and dealing with new stress and experiences,so I just figured my body was going through the “newly wed” changes and I didn’t think anything of it.

August 2015
August 2015: Almost a year married

Within a year of getting married, I had gained 75 pounds.  It came on slowly yet came out of no where.  I had recently started a desk job, but I was still exercising regularly.  So I was a little confused and frustrated that I had put on weight so quickly, when my body had never acted this way.

I was discouraged we hadn’t started our family, however I always felt that everything would be fine because we were so passionate about having a large family and eventually things would work out our way.

My sister mentioned that I might have PCOS.  I had never heard of it before, and after doing a little research, I related to majority of the symptoms: weight gain, irregular periods, hair loss, oily skin, difficulty getting pregnant.  I was a little in denial that I could possibly have it, but at the same time, deep down, I knew that I had it.

NewZealand
New Zealand Nov 2016: One month after being diagnosed with PCOS

I found a local OBGYN, and set up an appointment.  I remember sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment, next to multiple young pregnant mothers, with that glow and excitement about them.  I ached to be in their position, a little envious seeing that most of them were a lot younger than myself.

I’m thankful for the Physician’s Assistant that I met with, Dawn.  She was an answer to my prayers.  After a couple of tests it was confirmed to her and reconfirmed to me that I most definitely had PCOS, but the way she approached it helped me change my attitude about the diagnosis.

She immediately started providing resources to me that would help me learn more about PCOS,  her attitude was very calming and reassuring to me that PCOS was not going to keep us from starting our family, just a speed bump we would have to work through with patience.

Since then all the way up until meeting with the Utah Fertility Center (UFC), Dawn has been such a great support, listening ear when I needed a good venting, always encouraging and suggest I meet with the UFC.

Time and time again, my gratitude for Doctors and Physician Assistants is very abundant and overflowing as I continue to persevere through this journey.

love, hannah jane

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”–Walter Elliot