Clomid [Round 3]

I started taking Clomid a couple of months ago. A couple of failed months ago, if you use the proper infertility terminology. Five days ago we started round 3. Someone lovingly told me it builds up in your system. And let me tell you my friends, that is true! 


The first month actually wasn’t too bad. I had some nausea and hot flashes, but chalked that up to starting the metformin. By month two I was feeling normal but irritable for sure. I have been seeing my acupuncturist weekly or bi-weekly, and that’s supposed to help keep the crazy in check. A friend told me, “we got pregnant on Clomid, but I’m not sure how. I don’t know how my husband was able to touch me because I was such a jerk.” And I laughed but was grateful that I hadn’t experienced the hormone swings that bad. Yet. 

Month 3 has by far been the worst. And I am only nine days into it. Hahahaha as the meds build up in your system, so does the hormone imbalance and all that stuff. It’s great in increasing pregnancy odds. But not so great as I have become a major bitch. Usually I can keep it in check until I get home. Sadly, my husband gets the brunt of my crazy. I think it’s natural for us women to lash out on those closest to us. (It also doesn’t help that he’s the one I’m around the most, so he’s also the one to get under my skin). But this month it has been worse. So much worse. Everyone at the grocery store irritates me, my bestest friends get on my nerves, I am constantly biting down snide remarks or wanting to defend things that don’t need defending. It’s rough. I’m a nice person! So I feel like I’m battling this inner cray person who wants to get out. Which, I guess is true.

my friends get texts of my sad face at the end of the day when I’m just over it


I’ve had a few meltdowns involving texts to friends where I cry and complain about how awful I am being and how I can’t stop. How I must be an awful person. And thankfully they remind me of the truth. That we decided to take this path to start our family. That there are meds in my system that are completely shaking up my world. That the meds are ugly and crazy, not me. That I need to stop beating myself up and give myself grace. That is is confusing, and that ok. (I think that’s one of the biggest battles for me — the internal battle of what’s the meds and what’s me, and judging myself the whole time). 

So, Clomid. Definitely not an easy choice. Definitely thought it would be easier than this. And definitely thought I would be pregnant by now. But I’ll keep on marching on. And praying. And sharing my journey for those who need to hear it. (Oh yeah, and just FYI the hot flashes and insomnia have come back. Which isn’t helping the whole mood thing either ?). 

Infertility, continued…

So my last infertility update was about Father’s Day and how hard that was for me. Wishing my husband could be a father and wishing I could make that happen. A lot has changed in this past year, but that part still remains. Last fall I decided to finally go the medical route of getting answers, all previous answers were from a naturopath. While I agreed with my diagnosis of PCOS, I wanted to know if I actually had any cysts on my ovaries and how my hormones were doing.

Let me tell you a little about the infertility world, it can be SLOW!! I tried to get an appointment with my new OB in October, and my first appointment with her was in February. Four months later!!!! I am glad I waited for her though, because she truly has been awesome. She said she did not want to waste my time and ordered all the tests to be done with a follow up in May. I had a ultrasound (no biggee, althoug I never throught my first ultrasound would be of an empty womb). The best part of the ultrasound — Matthew came with me. I have had to do so much of this stuff on my own, due to his scheule. I had this fear that I would be parenting alone as well. So even though he could not come into the room with me, I ws so glad he was there waiting for me outside. Also, I thought the empty womb would make me sad, but it was right around Easter and I kept thinking of the hope and joy from the empty tomb. So surprisingly my empty womb is a sign of hope, of promises to be fulfilled!

not as cool without a baby, huh?


The other big test is the HSG. It stands for something crazy, but basically it means they pump dye in your tubes to make sure there are no blockages. I was not excited about this, as I heard it was painful. So I opened up to my community. I posted about my breakdown the week before, about being overwhelmed, about the truly medical feeling of all of this. I shared how I was scared and feeling out of control, but yet realizing I was still in control — I could say no at any point. And I wanted answer, so I chose to move foward, asking for prayer. I was blown away by the love poured out over me. So many people let me know they were praying for me. I received texts of encouragement, messages of women in the same place who didn’t know who to reach out to, and advice and love from women who had been through it. 

The test in itself was not too bad, super awkward for sure, but not excruciating. Nothing went as planned (seriously that has been this entire journey) and I ended up lying on that cold x-ray table by myself for 45 minutes. At first I kinda broke down, I felt so alone, stripped of everything. I couldn’t even utter a song or verse. So I grabbed onto my necklace and asked Jesus to come. And he did. I felt Him walk into that room, grab my hand, and tell me that he had and always would be by my side. That I am not in this journey alone, that he will always be walking with me, holding my hand, carrying me, weeping with me. I knew that He did not like seeing me in so much pain. Then the peace flowed, and the tears were for an entirely different reason. Hebrews 12:1-3 were going through my mind on repeat. Another cool part to that story? A friend ha been praying specifically that I would tangibly feel His presence. Whoa. I’m getting chills just thinking about it!


The next few weeks were filled with conversations with Matt. I was pretty sure clomid was the next step, and I was not sure how I felt about it. Not necessarily that it would not work, but what if it did? Was I ready for my entire life to change? And feeling like I should not have those thoughts. That as someone with infertility I should not question pregnacy or babies, that I was not allowed to be scared. A talk with my Mom assured me that it was ok to  be scared. That it is natural. That it would be crazy if I was not thinking those things. Once I accepted my fear, we were ready to move forward, well as ready as I would ever be.

Last week I met with my OB and she confirmed what has been told to me for the past three years: I have PCOS, my hormones are a mess, and I have follicles on my ovaries. Lovely. Next step? Clomid (to force ovulation) and Metformin (to regulate my blood sugar / hormones). Possible side effects? Nausea, mood swings, general crazyness. The kicker? Based on my cycle I would start that day. Since Matt and I had already discussed it, I knew that it was time to fill prescriptions and get started. Looking back (ok its been 4 days), I have to laugh. Every step has been weird. I have felt like I have had to advocate and fight for myself so many times. I think this is preparing us for parenthood. Iam learning wisdom, discretion, and the art of being really nice so people will help you. hah So that’s where we are at. I’ve started clomid and metformin, my acupuncturist is helping with supportive treatments. If I’m crazy over the next few months, that’s why. And if I’m sipping on water and not wine, it could just be because the metformin can make you super nauseous, not necessarily that there’s a little Nadalet. Lol


Amazing how five tiny pills can possibly change so much, huh? Any advice from those of you who have done clomid before?

January Mini-Challenge 2016

This month’s challenge was ten push ups (and five pull-ups) daily. Originally it was just ten push ups, but my trainer reminded me that I needed to balance out which muscles I was using. So I added the pull-ups. And it was more pull-up type moves. I did table pull-ups (because you can do those at a hotel and I spent about a week of January in a hotel) as well as bent over barbell rows and pull-ups with the rings at home.

I am happy to report that I did my pushups every single day. I wasn’t as consistent with the pull-ups, but I would say I did it over half of the days (and usually I made myself bust out ten when I did them because I had skipped the day before). It was fun when traveling because my friends joined me for it too. We also did yoga and a little Refit after working long days at the expo.

 
Halfway through the month found me having a little breakdown. I was trying to do pull-ups with our rings and just couldn’t do them. I started crying. I was so frustrated with myself because I know how fit I used to be and how far away from that I am now. My half marathon coincided with Matt starting medic school and I slowly tapered off on the workouts. I stopped meeting with my trainer because I was at a point with muay thai where I needed to focus a lot more on it and dedicate more time to it (like an hour a day). I knew I couldn’t do that while Matt was in school, at least not for the first half while we figured it out. I had always told myself I would go back to it in March. And I think I thought I would still workout in the meantime. I’ve gone on about five runs and done about ten workouts since September. I’ve also lost my definition and gained weight. All of those have left me frustrated with where I am at now, and totally unmotivated to change. I’ve never had a huge weight struggle (due to my metabolism and whacked up hormones I’ve never really gained weight until now, and still it’s only noticeable to me), so I’ve never understood why people can’t get motivated to lose it. While I still wouldn’t say I have a weight struggle, I’m definitely struggling with staying healthy, and I can see why people get frustrated and give up.  

One of two runs in January. It was painfully slow. {Although , I have to remind myself, not as slow as I used to run. }

 My goal for February is to eat a vegetable or fruit with every meal. It sounds silly to so many, but to this girl who has not been eating clean or healthy at all, it is a struggle. Veggies have not always been the favored addition to my plate, and I don’t really eat fruit either. This is definitely going to be good for me. I also know myself and once I get back into the habit, it will be easier. The goal for March is doing yoga five times a week, so I know that starting with nutrition and adding yoga (and I will even workout and run in the meantime) will get me back on track. I want to learn moderation. To learn to be healthy for life, not just for specific goals.

I’m proud of myself for doing my pushups daily, even if I don’t feel any stronger than before. I know my form improved and I feel like I can do pushups better than before this challenge. So I raise my green monster to you for my month of veggies and fruits!!

 

2016 Mini Challenges 

Hi, my name is Megan and I am an overachiever. You may not have seen me here lately because I’ve been too busy with other projects. Surprising, I know. What’s more surprising is I have quit a ton of stuff and still don’t know where my days go! 

So every December / January I come up with a word of the year and a giant to do list and a bunch of books to read (still working on some from 2014 and 2015 btw). And sometime a month or two later I have lost all of my steam. But that’s just me. And it’s cool. It’s also sweet that I am learning about who I am and how I function best. Like I always have the best blog post ideas when I’m laying in bed at night or in the shower. Totally ideal time to pull out the laptop and type, right?! Jk. But I’ve learned that I function well with short term goals. Little things with short deadlines. So for 2016 I have hopefully set myself up for success!! I created mini challenges. 

  

I heard about this from Shawn on the Nourished Podcast. And after thinking about it for a few weeks, I’ve decided to do it! Shawn created a monthly challenge for each month of 2015. I’ve decided to go that route for 2016. I’ve tried to make them attainable, but also pushing myself a bit. I think what’s key for me is not pushing myself to do them all at once. I also realize that my life and goals and desires change pretty frequently, so I’m not planning out challenges through the end of the year, only through July. Sometime around June I can reevaluate. I’ve also decided to stop reading on my kindle app in bed with Matthew’s home. It drives him nuts. And really, if that’s how he wants me to respect him, is that too much to ask? I’m also going to try and read actual books in bed too, even when he’s not home. 

Have you set any goals or resolutions for 2016? Are those even your thing? What’s the best way you find success? 

Refresh Summit: Virtual 

In August we had the first ever virtual Refresh Summit. It was designed to give people a taste of Refresh for free. You could watch from the comfort of your own home and have friends join you, if possible. I was doing the social media, so I created these fun graphics to post as we all followed along live!

I’m proud of my work on these graphics. I almost feel like a graphic designer, which I never thought I would say (Matt’s the designer of our family, I’m the crafter! lol). I also threw together some graphics of the little nuggets of wisdom that we learned from the summit. Each woman had so many awesome things to share, it was wonderful to see it all come together into one unified summit.
  

 While the video is no longer available to view, you should definitely consider coming to Refresh Summit: South in a couple weeks. We still have a few spots left AND we have day passes available if you’re in the area. Check out the website for more info!! I’m so excited to head out, I can barely contain it!

Insta-Update 2015

Oh, hey, look! More Instagram pics thatI I forgot to post back in February… And because I use this blog to document my life… I’m still gonna publish this now. hahaha

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Top: completing the Run Riverside Challenge, family Disney day for the New Year. 

Bottom: our little family, making a blanket rack. 

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Top: Friday running group, the family with Miss Daisy, my biggest fan. 

Middle: #faithrunsredlands, cuddling pups, expo time with Lisa. 

Bottom: babysitting Jacks, visiting my man, gym selfie. 

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Top: Lori!, cuzzo selfies, NorCal FFW meetup. 

Middle: running selfie, FFW meetup in San Diego, Superbowl Sunday. 

Bottom: running buddies, new mug rack, Sarah’s baby shower. 

and I feel much better having updated this! Thank you all for joining me! 

October!! 

I had every intention of writing this post last week… And yeah it just didn’t happen. We’re gonna be lucky if I actually get this posted today (10/5). [Sidenote: I finished this today, 10/6 on my phone and then the app crashed, so I’m starting over. Le Sigh.] September was awesome. Matthew started medic school, I ran my first half marathon, and we sort of started to get into the swing of things with our new routine. October though, October is gonna be crazy!! I have two weekends away and Matts school get harder each week. He also has a trauma conference (fun)! IMG_7177

First things first, which is actually the last thing to happen this month. Refresh Summit South. I am so excited for this year’s retreat. We’ve been planning for the last year and I’m just ready to go. I’m ready to go serve God and these awesome women that He’s bringing to the summit. I’m excited for zumba and worship and the workshops. And I’m really excited to see the ladies that I met last year and love dearly, and meet the new ladies! Oh I’m getting so overjoyed just typing about it!

IMG_5388Also, I will be going to see Ellen! What?!! Yup! My girl Faithy got tickets and asked if I wanted to go and I jumped at the opportunity. [Last time I said take your sister and then they BOTH won washers and dryers. Sad!!] I’m super excited for the show, but also to spend a day with my good friend. I guess I am a quality time person after all!

This month also includes a getaway with 24/7 Commitment. Twelve ladies and I will be sneaking away to a GORGEOUS home in Ojai for some R & R. This is much needed after I spent last month wrapping up my first project for 24/7 Commitment. [Yes, that’s right, I’m not working part time as a virtual assistant / project manager for 24/7. Yes, I still work my full time job. Yes, that does make me a little crazy!!] I was the recipe testing / editing coordinator for the Eat Like a Firefighter cookbook. It was the perfect project for me to start with there, and I’m super proud of it. I can’t wait for you to get a copy. But I digress, the fun part is the getaway. It’s filled with relaxing by the fire, pampering, and maybe even some late night board games. Ahhh I’m feeling relaxed already!

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There are so many other posts in my drafts folder right now.  From various coffee dates to Refresh Summit Virtual to Choose Joy to my Birthday (6 months ago!). But for now I’m just excited to share my excitement about this month with you!! What are you excited for this month?

Christmas 2014

Last year we had one jam packed December. Now that it’s almost Christmas again (ok not really, but we’re definitely closer to Christmas 2015 than Christmas 2014), I thought it was high time to share the post with instagram pics that I started last year… you’re welcome. I feel so much better getting these posts out of my drafts folder!

Matthew working Thanksgiving day and Christmas Eve last year. It actually worked out because the family celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday (with siblings who had just moved back) and I got to hop around for turkey day! I did a turkey trot with friends and then ventured over to my family’s Thanksgiving party. I was going to visit the station, but they were crazy busy and didn’t really celebrate. I made up for that in December though, because Matthew kept getting overtime at the station nearest our house. I visited for dinner a couple times, brought my cousin so she could see the station (and we got to stay and go on the parade with Santa!), and then had Christmas Eve dinner with the crew. We also went to my parents for a few days after Christmas, and then they came down here for New Year’s festivities and a Disneyland day or two. Lots of fun! Now, my top 4 pics from the holiday season…

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Top: Ornament Exchange at Faithy’s, Soul Sisters Christmas Dinner
Bottom: Our Family Christmas Photo (outtake), Visiting the station on Christmas Eve

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Top: Cousin photoshooot, Girls Hallmark Movie & Cocktail Night, Parade with the Fam
Middle: Last Year / This Year, Antlers on Pups, Wine Tasting (while Matt took a test haha)
Bottom: Sister Cookie Baking, Santa Fun Run, Holiday Picture Kisses

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Top: Christmas Morning in the Bay, Cousin Brunch in the City, Nadalets on Christmas Day
Middle: Christmas Dinner at the Bonns, Christmas Morning, Day after Christmas Run
Bottom: Lounging at my Parental’s, Friends since Junior High, Sisters with Jacks

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Top: Daddy & Me at Brewcakes, Midnight!, Visiting my Twinsie in the Bay
Middle: New Year’s Day workout, Checking out Drake’s Brewery, Girls’ Night Out
Bottom: New Year’s PhotoBooth, PhotoBooth Round 2, Cousin Photoshoot in the Bay

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Top: Christmas Eve, Soul Sisters Necklaces, Alex & I with Santa
Middle: Selfies on the Couch, Paint Afternoon with Al, Matt & I with Station 23’s Santa
Bottom: Alex & I during the Parade, Cuzzo Pics, Finished Artwork

It was so fun having Alex stay with us for awhile during the holiday season. We had a fun cousin’s date and then she got to tour the station (like I said above). The holidays truly are about who you spend them with, and this year was one filled with lots of fantastic time with good friends and family. I’m almost ready for this year. Except not really, because then we would miss pumpkin spice fall. And I haven’t made anyone’s gifts yet! haha

Insta-Fitness

Funny funny story. Sometimes I prepare posts with Instagram updates and then never follow through and post. Like this one. Which is a draft from September 2014. Hahaha I thought about just tossing it an starting over, since fitness is so different for me now, but I realized this is part of my journey. So we shall go from early 2014 to present. Ready?

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About two years ago I joined a gym for the first time ever. That way I could work out with Heather and Bobbi at Fitness 19. At the time, that was the best fitness decision that I could have made. I spent most of 2013 / 2014 running and doing Bobbi’s shreds. That was also about the same time that Bobbi and I opened up Refresh Attire (September 2013). I made a decision that to wear workout clothes, I had to legitimately workout, not just wear them around the house with yoga pants. So I started doing HIIT workouts and fell in love with running. 2014 was definitely my running year. I think I ran 7 or 8 races and loved the 10k. The 10k is my race, it’s just long enough to be a challenge but not so long as to frustrate and annoy me with training (which I say as I am training for a half in 5 weeks).

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I also did a lot of swimming over the summers of 2013 and 2014. Matt did work on a local pool, and so I had free access (which I miss!!). Occasionally I worked out with Matt and dragged and carried hose. That is brutal! Basically I was just trying to get moving and be healthy, and go against my lack of desire to workout. The pictures below were my favorite workout pics from 2014. Running with the pups was fun, but definitely a challenge (and I’ve gotten better with that since I got a waistbelt to attach their leash too).

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In 2015 I changed my fitness focus. I decided to try Muay Thai. It was something I always secretly wanted to do, but never told anyone. I thought it was badass, and I wanted to be badass! So we hired our friend as my personal trainer and I got to work. I never knew how much I would LOVE it! Seriously, I now look forward to workouts. Crazy, right? I train with him every two weeks, and do strength training (hello lifting!) 3-4 days a week.

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I still ran a lot in the beginning of the year (because my friend Faith and I were training for the run through Redlands, which I finished under 30 minutes, a total PR for me, by like 4 minutes)! Running with her was fun, but then it got hot and I started boxing and I just flipped. I still like running, but I no longer crave it. Racing doesn’t seem as exciting to me (again, maybe because I’m staring that half in the face), at least not as exciting as boxing. I did do a 10k with my sisters on Memorial Day though, and even though I had not really trained, I did really well and had fun. I got a PR of 1:07:18 (2 min faster than the Mission Inn 10k).

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Switching from lifting at home to the gym was daunting for me. I had lifted at the gym before, but only up to 12 lb dumbbells on the other side of the gym. I never ventured into the machines / free weights and felt like it was all roid ragers over there and I would be a piece of meat. Oh how silly I am. I tried out the Y (it is closer to home and it was awesome), but then went back to Fitness 19 and have had awesome workouts there ever since. People were friendly and have answered questions that I have. It’s been about a month since I’ve been heavy lifting and I am still loving it. And I don’t feel like a piece of meat. 😉

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That about brings us up to date. Currently Matt and a friend are trying to convince me to crossfit. I haven’t given them an answer yet. But I will say that we worked the crossfit games for Qalo and I was totally in awe of what those athletes can do! For now I will keep fighting and running and doing what I love!

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Oh yeah! Matt and I started an ab challenge in June. Most improved abs / definition by the end of August wins. I really should have picked a prize, because I think I’m well on my way to winning. The pics below are my before pics (from February, before I started boxing) and progress pics from a couple of weeks ago. I can definitely see more muscles (yay!) and some teeny tiny abs. I am seriously in awe. I’ve never had a six pack before (other than beer) and I’m proud of myself for working so hard. We have 25 days left, so it’s time to tighten in that diet and those workouts!

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So that’s where I’m at today with my fitness journey. I’ve come a long way from the girl who hated to workout and would prefer sitting on the couch and crocheting (although don’t get me wrong, I still love that)! What’s your favorite workout these days?

Father’s Day 

Mothers day can be a challenge for those with infertility because we feel left out. Like there’s something wrong with us because we can’t be what we so desperately desire, a mother. Father’s Day brings on a whole different set of emotions for me. I feel like a failure. Like it is my fault that my husband can’t be a dad and my parents can’t be grandparents. They would all be awesome in those roles, but for some reason they haven’t been able to become those yet. And it breaks my heart to see them hurting. I cried for a good thirty minutes in the bath on Sunday. Broken because those I love do not get to fully experience something they were made for too. That’s the heart for others that I have, breaking down a little bit. 

Yet God provided glimpses of Him for me in that moment. Reminders that though they are not yet fathers or grandfathers, their time will come. And they are waiting patiently too, and not blaming me. That his promises are true, whether I’m wallowing or joyful. He gave me sweet words from my Mom. That she’s so happy to see Matthew and I growing stronger in our relationship as we wait. And I see that’s true! We have been given such a precious gift of extra time to work through some junk and solidify our relationship. He gave me words from my dad, that he has no greater joy than good relationships with his kids. That, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4. Amen, right? And God gave me a husband who loved me from afar (darn fire!), even though today was tough for him too. Also, I was reminded that we do parent many of those around us, whether friends or family or our little pups! 
  

God also gave me an awesome analogy, through my Mom. Each day that we have in our marriage before kids is like depositing into a saving account. Then when life gets a little crazy and you’re running in a million directions with those kids you wanted so badly, you are able to withdraw. I actually really love this analogy. And I know it’s taken Matthew and I a bit to figure out how to deposit. And right now we’re in a season of heavy investing. I feel like we’re at such a more solid place than if we had kids four years ago like I wanted. Yet it also scares me a bit, because what does God have in store for us with so much deposited? Haha I am so excited to see where our story is going, but a little nervous too! 

I know this holiday has left many other women feeling the same way. And I know I once told Matt, “why don’t you go marry someone else who can give you babies.” And you know what he told me? Nope. He said God put us together as man and wife and we are going to figure this out. I pray for the other women who have felt this way, who feel like they are letting down their husbands. Do not blame yourself. When you said your vows, it was for better or for worse. This may be something you have to figure out a little more in the worse, but you will. You can conquer this together. Lean into your husband like I lean into my Matt, let him hold you and comfort you. 

Amen?  

 

I posted this Sunday and wished Matthew a Happy Furrther’s Day, because even tho he won’t let me call him Dad in reference to the pups (which, fine, valid point, they do not know where their dads are 😂😂), we are still learning parenting skills with them.

 
And I did celebrate my dad on Sunday. Because I was raised by an awesome God fearing man, who loves me and my brother and my Matthew so much. I don’t want my momentary sorrow to take away from that. 

Does Father’s Day bring up any emotions for you?