My Struggles With Infertility

My Struggles With Inferility | A Diary Of That First Month | Part 2/5

In part one I was mostly just ranting about insensitive comments that has been said to me over these last few months but in this part, we will go back to the start. Maybe if you get to the end of this blog series and follow every single step of this last year of my life, you will understand. I guess that is the purpose of this blog series. I want those who haven’t experienced infertility to walk away with a different insight on the subject. And for the couples who are going through this to feel less alone. For those couples to feel that their journey and struggle are recognized and they will walk away feeling supported.

December 2017

The moment that Onno said yes, let’s have a baby is imprinted in my mind. I don’t think I will ever forget that moment. I knew I wanted kids when I was a kid myself. I wanted to be a young mom and have a bundle of kids. I told this to Onno when we started dating. I had no intention to start a serious relationship with someone who didn’t want kids later in the future. As I ended up marrying Onno, you could guess that he was all for it. The exact time period of when this would happen was a bit in the air. I knew it would be in my early twenties but we had to take a lot of steps before we were in the position to start a family. I had to live in the country to start off with. Onno had to have a stable job.  Once we tied the knot, we were in the position in life where we had to decide what is next. Where do we want to be in five years? Around the time of our marriage, I was still contemplating if I wanted to study or not. Once I committed to following my true passion and pursue a career of being an author, the last building block fell into place. The next natural step was babies, house, and car. I started getting around the idea of being ready to start our family in mid-November 2017. One month later I was sure. I’m ready to be a mom. I then brought this up to Onno. He didn’t jump in immediately. He needed some time to truly do his research and reassure himself that he could support a child. We both realize that having a child isn’t cheap and if we want to provide for them, we need to be financially secure. Once he was sure that we could, in fact, support a child, he was all for it. The timing was perfect. According to my period tracker, I was ovulating. The mood was perfect. It was Christmas and it felt like a sign from the universe. The first time we had unprotected sex knowing that this might turn into a baby was a wonderful feeling. I was floating in the air, so incredibly happy that we were starting our family.

I wrote two journal entries around this time. Back then I had it in my mind that I was going to record everything that happens while we’re going through it to share at a later stage. That never happened. The experience was too raw. It took me to a very fragile place and triggered my depression in ways that…it was hard. I realize that by going back and writing every month out is going to trigger those old feelings but I’m hoping this will help me heal. When I talked about what happened after I shared my abusive past, it helped me a lot. It opened up new doors for me and gave me a new perspective on things. So even though I know this process is going to hurt, I’m going to write it anyway.

Here is my first journal entry.

Trying To Conceive | Journal Entry #1

This blog is probably going to be the most personal blog I will ever write and share. It is so close to my heart, my very soul, that sharing this makes me feel vulnerable. Although I’m writing this on the 29th of December 2017 with no idea when I will post this or what will change from now till when you finally see this. I can only write about what I’m feeling and experiencing now. I’m not even sure if I’m going to share this…at this point, I’m writing this for myself. To get all my emotions sorted and just feel what I’m supposed to feel.

On the 24th of December, Christmas Eve, Onno and I decided that we’re ready to start our family. We don’t want to wait 4 years like we discussed only months proir. We don’t want to wait 2 years like we always say when family asks. We don’t even want to wait three months. Becoming a mother has always been such a big dream of mine. I want so deeply to have a baby with my husband. When I think of my future, ten years from now, I always imagine three children in that said picture. It’s what I crave for. A big family. Kids that will drive me insane but love me whole heartily well until they become teenagers. When my grandmother got sick just after I came back to the Netherlands and my father went in for an operation and complications arose…it made me realize how precious time is. It also made me realize that our children might never meet everyone I love so dearly. You can never predict life. Anything can happen. Although it made me sad, at the time we weren’t ready to start a family. I, however, have always fantasized with Onno about our future family and this was when we discussed possible names.

Diederik (Didrick) Robert Dijt

Diederik (the Dutch version of Didrick) is Onno’s grandfather’s name. Robert is my father’s second name. My father’s first name starts with a D and my entire childhood, even now, my father has always referred himself as a doctor because of his initials; DR. It’s his favorite dad joke. I’ve always found it absolutely hilarious and wanted to remember that memory by giving our first son the same initials.

Pameela (Pamela) Milly Dijt

Pameela (the Dutch version of Pamela) is my grandmothers name on my father’s side. She has always been a great role model as she fought cancer twice and continued to live life always believing the best in everyone. She is truly such a gentle soul. I want to remember her spirit by naming our daughter after her. Milly stands for Mildred. Milly is my grandmothers nickname on my mother’s side. She died before I was born so I never got to meet her but I’ve heard many great stories of her. It felt right to use her name. I love these two names. I have no names for a second boy or a second girl just yet but I know deep inside my heart we will have a little Diederik and a little Pameela running around.  

I feel such a deep desire to meet Diederik or Pameela as soon as possible. The timing of our first month was so perfect. It just felt so right. Everything was falling into place. The next three days were bliss. I felt so satisfied with how life was heading. We are officially trying. The time is right for my body and who knows maybe around my birthday a certain stick will give us the best news. I searched on the internet, reading so many articles about trying to conceive, what to expect while pregnant and so much more. I knew that the chances we will get pregnant after one month of trying isn’t 100% but I felt hopeful. I even went out and bought pregnancy tests and worked out the exact date I could take them. I just allowed myself to feel the excitement. Following the advice of many articles, I purchased a multivitamin. It is recommended to drink folic acid and vitamin b while trying to conceive as it not only prepares your body for your future child but once you get pregnant these vitamins are essential for a healthy spine and brain for your baby. It is ridiculously important for the first four weeks of your unborn child’s life. Most women only find out they’re pregnant long after that time so drinking these vitamins while trying to conceive can only benefit you. It felt like fate. The shop had a buy 1 and the second 1 is 50% off sale and I immediately found a great multivitamin that had everything I needed and will sustain me for nearly three months. It felt good. However, I woke up with blood in my panties…and when it didn’t go away the next day I finally came to the crushing relation that I was on my period. Two weeks early. Right on my ovulation period. It broke my heart and I cried in Onno’s arms.

I couldn’t help thinking…is there something wrong with me? Why am I bleeding now? I haven’t had an irregular period in months. Why now? Why now when we’re officially trying? I felt robbed. Robbed of those two weeks of waiting before your period is supposed to start and you can pee on that stick. I craved those two weeks of excitement and nerves. Those two weeks of maybe there is life inside of me. It was just robbed away from me before I could experience it. It was gut-wrenching. My mind went to the worse…What if I can’t have children…?

My mother and her mother had uterus growths and struggled to conceive. I’m not entirely sure what exactly it is as my mother never truly went into full detail about it. I did a quick google search and this could be what my mom was talking about. Basically, as I understand from what my mother has told me, there is a growth lining her uterus that makes it difficult for the fertilized egg to attach itself to the lining of the uterus and thus dies and you bleed it out. You simply have to go in, get the growth scraped and try for a baby after you recover. My mother struggled to get pregnant with me and only after getting scraped was she successful. They time the procedure out so it’s close to your ovulation. So the egg can stick to the wall before any growth can come back. The idea of seeing a gynecologist and having a vaginal examination scares the shit out of me. It’s something I figured will have to be done when I’m older but now for my own peace of mind, I should get it checked, right? I’m so young so the growth shouldn’t be a problem yet? That is to say, I even have it.

When I saw the blood in my panties it occurred to me that it could be my fertilized egg that couldn’t stick to my wall. I can’t be sure as I’m far from being a doctor nor know enough about this growth or if I have it to, well diagnose my irregular period. It just added to the blow and heartbreak. What if it is the growth? What if there is something wrong with me? What if I can’t have kids?

After a few moments of crying, I eventually gathered my thoughts. We are going to continue trying for three months, if my period continues to be irregular I will get it checked as irregular periods is anything but good. Annnd we will go from there. I still feel robbed but I also feel positive. Our time will come. We will meet little Diederik or Pameela soon. I feel it inside my soul that I will get pregnant somewhere in 2018. I’m planning on it. Heck, it is the real reason why we postponed the bicycle tour and why I decided to stick to the three weeks of 150km and one week of 50km. Being too physically active can hinder your fertility.

I’m disappointed, sad but I’m hopeful. Yeah, I don’t have the exciting 9th of January anymore but what I do have is a loving husband, a supporting best friend and a trust that it will work out.   

*

I can’t tell you how surreal it felt to read that journal entry. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT LIFE WAS GOING TO THROW MY WAY. I just want to go back and warn her. I want to tell her to buckle up for one of the worst years of your life. I’m going to round this blog off here because it’s already super long. Thank you for all the kind messages. I appreciate it.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

010101

My Struggles With Infertility

I Struggle With Infertility | What You Shouldn’t Say To Someone Trying To Conceive | Part 1/5

I’ve tried to write this blog so many times. To be honest, there is just no easy way to talk about this or start the dialogue. This entire experience has been such a raw and personal experience that has ripped me apart. I struggle to open up about it and talk about it. I guess I should just start from the beginning. These last few months, Onno and I’ve been struggling with infertility. Boy, that’s a hard sentence to swallow. Onno and I started trying for a baby in December 2017 and it’s been one ugly rollercoaster ever since. So much raw emotions. There is so much I want and need to share when it comes to our infertility journey and I will start that soon but first I want to talk about something.

Opening up about my struggles with infertility is incredibly difficult. I’ve been very cautious with who I share this part of our lives with. It’s not something that’s easy to talk about it. I’ve told four friends, two of those has been incredibly supportive throughout the journey. My best friend in the entire world has been with me every single step of the way. She was there for me when I cried my eyes out every month when my period started. She was there for me when I hit the one-year mark and went to a really dark place. She was there for me when I was convinced that I was a failure of a wife and my husband would leave if I can’t have his baby. She was there for me when I cried for hours on end because my body was working against me. She was there for me every single step of the way and I will forever be grateful to call her my best friend. My other friend has been so incredibly sensitive to my journey. We rekindled our friendship after I shared my past and she told me about her recent miscarriage. We bonded over the fact that she too was now trying to conceive. She ended up getting pregnant soon after her miscarriage and as I’m writing this blog, late January 2019, she is now a mother of a beautiful little baby boy. There were moments throughout our communication that she said things that are my trigger but other times she just got it. She knew I couldn’t be her cheerleader throughout her pregnancy. She knew if she came to me and complained about pregnancy aches, I wouldn’t be able to follow her line of thought or respond in a way she might have wanted. I could always just think: “Well, at least you are going to have your baby. I wish I can feel these aches.” It took me a few weeks to open up to her about this but once I did our friendship shifted. She understood my jealousy and didn’t judge me for it. I am truly happy for her and I know she will be a great mother but I think it’s completely normal and human to feel a little jealous.

The other two friends I told…let’s just say their response wasn’t as positive. I mentioned before that I have triggers. There are just a few things I feel like you shouldn’t say to those who are trying to conceive. Especially if you yourself have never struggled with infertility. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT. The same can be said for those who have never experienced abuse but feel the right to decide what acts of abuse counts as abuse. My best piece of advice is if someone you care and know is struggling with infertility; is to choose your words carefully. Your words can cause more damage than you can ever imagine. As you’re going through this journey, your state of mind is so fragile, words cut deeper than what I can even begin to explain.

Here are the few main things that you shouldn’t say.

Take it easy. Once you stop trying, it will happen naturally. I can scream when I hear this one. I’ve heard it so many times and every time someone says this to me just know I’m showing you the middle finger in my mind. This is what goes through my mind when these words are uttered. Fuck you. Do you honestly think that I haven’t been taking it easy or tried to do so? Do you honestly think that I haven’t done everything in my power to improve my chances of fertility even by 1%? I realize that stress is incredibly damaging for your fertility and I take measures to be relaxed but taking it easy isn’t an option. When you say take it easy, it means to sit back and throw the dice. Even though I’ve disclosed that I have PCOS and this is a cause of my infertility. So even though my body works AGAINST me, yes, I’m sure that taking it easy will go great for me. I can just stop drinking my handful of pills that has helped balance my hormones which in return has regulated my period and ovulation. Sure, I can take it easy and stop that. It’s not like I enjoy spending hundreds of euros every two months to get my supplements or enjoy taking twenty or so pills every single morning. I can just sit back and take it easy like you said and stop all of these little things I do every single day to improve my chances. It’s not like I will fucking fight you for the option to drink coffee and eat my weight in carbs and candy. This is turning into a nice little rant. Oh, and then we have the ‘once you stop trying, it will happen naturally’ one. First of all; Fuck you. Once I stop trying to improve my chances, my chances to conceive will drop. Yes, I might get pregnant naturally but where my chance to get pregnant now on a good month is maybe 70% (I have no idea if this is correct. I’m using this to make a point.) but if I leave it to nature (so no outside disturbance; supplements and regular exercise) it will definitely drop. By how much I have no idea. I’m not a doctor but every part of my being knows that the steps I take every single day are improving my chances. I also know that I need help to conceive. Naturally might not be an option for us. It happens. You need to take into an account that there is a history of infertility in my family line. My mom struggled to conceive me and her mother struggled with conceiving as well. It’s in my family history. I’ve done everything in my power to improve my chances to get pregnant.  I was able to find out critical information thanks to the steps I took to improve my chances. I will talk about it more in an upcoming blog. I’m getting slightly off track. What I’m trying to say is that you should be more cautious about your choice of words. Because when someone tells me to take it easy and once you stop trying, it will happen naturally. They completely ignore all of my hard work. They completely belittle the effort I’ve put in. They completely brush aside the pain I’ve experienced. Now I know that this is only my point of view and that I’m being too sensitive but that’s the fucking point. My infertility journey is a sensitive subject and that’s not going to change. So, I will continue to get angry at those who make insensitive comments but…I’m getting too of track. This blog is writing itself and turning into a rant more than anything.

This is incredibly hard to write about and I’m scared. I’m terrified that the response I get from talking about this journey would be negative and I don’t need that in my life. Believe me, the things I tell myself when that test is negative can’t beat a comment by a stranger. That doesn’t mean the comment won’t hurt. I’m not entirely comfortable talking about infertility. It’s hard to open up about this but I feel like it’s something I need to talk about. That it will help me to talk about it. So here I am, standing naked in front of the internet, pouring my broken heart out.

I’m going to round off this blog here. In the next few parts, I will walk you through this entire journey. From the start until now. We’re going to dig deep but I must say it feels good. I’m almost relieved now that I’ve decided to share this on my blog. It’s something that I’ve kept on a tight leash for a year now and it just feels nice to have it out in the open. The next few parts will go up every Wednesday until I catch up with recent developments. While we’re on the subject, this part of my life will always be out of date. What I mean with that is quite simple. I will not talk about what is currently happening with my infertility until some time has passed. It’s not something I want to feel pressured to share until I’m ready. You will find out in Part 5 where we are with the journey today but you won’t hear much more until way later in the year. I just need time to adjust to whatever news before I share it.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

010101

Sims 4 Meals

Remaking Sims 4 Meals | Normal Cooking Level One: White Cake | Part 9

For a full explanation of what this challenge is, please follow this link here — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2018/10/29/challenge-remaking-sims-4-meals-introduction-and-index/

For the previous meal, please follow this link here — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2019/03/25/remaking-sims-4-meals-normal-cooking-level-one-scrambled-eggs-and-bacon-part-8/

White Cake

Walking into this challenge, baking the white cake was probably one of the meals I looked forward the most when it came to remaking it. I love white chocolate. I will take white chocolate over normal chocolate any day of the week. Heck, I eat normal chocolate very rarely. So, it’s safe to say I was really excited to make this cake but well, I couldn’t eat it. I’m trying this new candy free challenge and cake counts so yeah that sucks. To avoid all temptation, I made the cake packed full of gluten. To save money, I bought a box cake. It is one of those cake mixes that you have to add three ingredients and then you’re done. Normally when I make my gluten-free cake, I have to measure out all of my ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and etc but this time it was super easy. I just had to add butter, milk, and eggs. That’s it. I’m going to save you from a long ass introduction and instead just jump straight into it.

The first step of the recipe was to mix the butter until it’s soft and creamy. At first, I had no idea what this means exactly but if you mix the butter with your electric mixer for about two minutes, it starts to become soft and creamy. Who knew? Once the butter was ready, I had to add four tablespoons of milk and the 4 eggs.

 

I then added my flour and started the mixing process. According to the instruction on the box, I had to mix it on low speed for 1 minute and at high speed for 2 minutes. I wasn’t sure how the cake batter was supposed to look like but I just called it a day after mixing it for 3 minutes. The batter was super creamy and a bit on the thick side but otherwise it looked pretty standard. I then popped the cake in the oven for 70 minutes.

 

I allowed the cake to cool for almost two hours before I attempted the white chocolate glaze. Our supermarket sells chocolate drips where you heat the container in the microwave for 20 seconds and then you just spread it on your cake. It’s super easy. I popped my dry cake on my liquid measuring cup in the sink and emptied out the white chocolate drip on the cake. I used a tablespoon to guide the product everywhere while Onno grabbed the product on the side to taste test. I left the dripping cake in the sink for a good hour or so before I popped it in the fridge and left it to chill.

 

The final result is pretty nice. It looks like a white cake so that’s a job considered well done although Onno says the white chocolate drip is incredibly sweet so it might be too much for most people. It’s one of those cakes where you only need a few bites to hit your sweet limit. I can’t vouch for any of this as I can’t taste the cake. I still had fun baking it and it was a quick process so no complaints here. Here are the final pictures. Peep at my Speculoos doing a little sniff test.

 

Susan in the Sims finished baking her white cake in a snap of my fingers. The process like mine was pretty straightforward and quick. She mixed the ingredients on the countertop for a bit before popping the cake in the oven. Her cake came out with the glazed topping but other than that, the process was pretty similar.

 

 

Let’s compare the two!

 

That’s about everything I can say about remaking the white cake. It’s pretty standard with no surprises. It wasn’t a hard one to make and yeah…some of the meals in this challenge will be easier than others although as we climb the levels, we will have more difficult ones. I glanced at the upcoming few meals and some of them are so much effort. I’m not going to stretch this out too much so let’s rate this puppy and finish this blog off.

Let’s rate!

Taste: 8/10 – It’s on the sweet side. Onno isn’t the biggest white chocolate fan so he would’ve preferred the chocolate cake again but yeah. I definitely want to attempt making this white cake glutenfree style and improve the recipe. One look at the cake itself it looks dense and on the dry side so I would want to play around until I can make a moist white chocolate cake. Stay tuned?

Look: 9/10 – It looks like a white cake. I see now that I could’ve gone the extra mile and put some sprinkles at the top but it’s too late now. It stills looks really good and can be compared to the Sims version. Mine doesn’t have the two layers so hence it’s not full marks.

How easy it is to cook: 10/10 – It’s really easy. I simply had to follow some instructions on the box, mix everything together for a few minutes and then let the oven do the magic. The white chocolate drip was just as easy. I didn’t even have to melt my own chocolate.

And that’s a wrap, folks! I hope you’re enjoying this series. A quick disclaimer before you leave: there is only one part to go before we have the 3 months break from this series. I’ve explained it before and I will probably explain it again but here we go: every ten parts of any blog series I have here on my website, there will be a 3 months break period. This way it gives my blog some breathing room and allows me to prepare stuff in advance so I can stick to the regular three weeks update. As the Mondays of my website are quite cluttered with series this break allows more other content. I realize not all of you enjoy this series and this way I can maintain the fine balance. I’m sure you all will understand this. Part 11 will be up on the 5th of August and it’s going to be a hard one: the hamburger cake!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

010101

Fitness Challenges, Fitness Tips

Challenge: Sumo Down And Pump Out 500 Squats In 30 Days (Level 3: Third Wheel)

It’s been a year since I last had one of these so I figured it’s about fucking time right? I mean I love them squats? Before you start, let me insert this little disclaimer. I’m not a fitness professional. I’m not a trainer. I like to create these 30 days challenge for the fun of it. Try it out if you want to but also stop when it’s too heavy on you. Whatever works for you.

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30-day challenge where you start with a short amount of time doing the booty delicious squat and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and sit longer the next day. All the way till you can sumo down and pump out 500 squats in one go.

This is for someone in the third wheel of fitness. So if you’ve been working out for a long time now and really know your way through the gym this is definitely something to space things up for you. It’s a great way to challenge yourself.

Happy Squatting! 

500 squats.png

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.

Fitness Challenges, Fitness Tips

Challenge: Sumo Down And Pump Out 150 Squats In 30 Days (Level 2: Middle Child)

It’s been a year since I last had one of these so I figured it’s about fucking time right? I mean I love them squats? Before you start, let me insert this little disclaimer. I’m not a fitness professional. I’m not a trainer. I like to create these 30 days challenge for the fun of it. Try it out if you want to but also stop when it’s too heavy on you. Whatever works for you.

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30-day challenge where you start with a short amount of time doing the booty delicious squat and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and sit longer the next day. All the way till you can sumo down and pump out 150 squats in one go.

This is for the middle child in fitness. So if you’ve been working out for a hot minute and kind of know a thing or a two and just feel like a change than this is definitely something fun for you. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and build your strength.

Happy Squatting! 

150 squats final

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.