Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Spending a quiet day at home - just J and I. We're going out for dinner tonight to a place that serves Northern Italian food. Yum! As I always do whenever possible, I've checked out the online menu to try to decide what to have before I get there. I am terrible at making food decisions - as I love nearly everything. So my choices are an ahi tuna with risotto, or a pasta with artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and asiago cheese.
After dinner we plan to just come back home play some games, maybe watch TV a little, and then we'll walk down to where they drop the ball. I live in a small town but we do have our own faux Times Square celebration. It's kind of funny. Nearly everyone in the village gathers, the ball drops, and everyone leaves immediately.
I did submit my wish for 2008 to the real Times Square visitor center. Not sure if you know but if you submit your wish they will write it on a piece of confetti that will be dropped over the street at Midnight. We all know what I wished for but I won't tell so as to not jinx it or anything. I will say though that this time I was much more specific.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year. Hope that 2008 brings you peace and some happiness.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Everything I Ever Needed to Know...

I was cleaning out a closet today (have to do something to occupy my time during the 2ww) and came across some old books. One book in particular got me thinking. Mr. may have learned a lot in kindergarten but I learned a lot more from being infertile.

Everything I ever needed to know I learned from being infertile.
Share everything. It doesn’t matter how modest you are when you begin the infertility journey, I promise you by the end you will not be. You will have shared everything about yourself; with your spouse, possibly family and friends, your RE, and also most likely the entire staff of your RE’s office. People will know how long your cycles are, whether they are regular or not, your ovulation days, what color underwear you usually wear, how you choose to groom your area, and how a tiny pill called Clomid can make you morph into a different person.

Play Fair. Yeah right, all may be fair in love and war, but NOT in infertility. Sometimes it will seem like everyone you know in the world who tries to get pregnant does so on their first attempt. That is not fair.

Don’t hit people. As tempting as it may be to slug the person who tells you to relax and it’ll happen, or who says that they get pregnant just looking at their husband, it really would be better if you can practice some self-control. Otherwise you may end up arrested for assault.

Put things back where you found them. You can return used sharps containers to your RE’s office. Try to remember to do that at follow-up appointments. Otherwise you will end up like me, with mounds of soda bottles filled with used needles in the back of my closet. People would think I had a terrible drug habit if someone ever found them. I can never remember to bring them with me to return them.

Clean up your own mess. Invest in panty liners if your RE tells you that you will be using progesterone suppositories. Messy can not begin to describe them. Wish someone had told me that the first time I used them.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours. This includes magazines and pens from your RE’s waiting room and the condoms your RE uses over the dildo-cam. Doesn’t matter how many of your friends who are not ttc may need those condoms, they will just have to go to the local drugstore for their supply.

Say you’re sorry if you hurt someone. This one is for the people giving you those IM injections. If you happen to hit the nerve it will cause unimaginable pain. Be careful. Oh, and jab quickly, don’t put the needle in slowly. Those bruises will eventually go away too.

Be aware of wonder. I find it pretty amazing how the human race continues to go on - knowing how hard it is to actually get pregnant. All of the complex steps that have to occur. Fascinating.

Take a nap every day. You will need to with all of the early monitoring appointments you’ll have.

Live a balanced life. You can try this if you are in the beginning of your journey but it gets more difficult the longer you have been ttc. Infertility does not really allow for a balanced life - it has a way of taking over your life.

Wash you hands before you eat. I think this one is more intended for your RE and the clinic staff.

Flush. What you do with your money when cycle after cycle after cycle (after cycle) doesn’t work.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. So are martini’s and red wine when you get a BFN.

When you go out into the world, hold hands and stick together. It helps to know that you are not alone. There are a lot of couples facing infertility. Share your struggle with others if you can, even if it’s only with your lineal friends. If you are one of the people who has reached the other side, and achieved bringing home a baby, try to remember what it was like when you were going through your own struggle. Try to be a friend to those who are still struggling. If you are still struggling, know that you are normal if you feel some resentment and jealousy toward people who are pregnant or who have children, even if they themselves have struggled with infertility in the past.

Goldfish and hamsters and mice and the seed in the plastic cup - they all die. So do we. Hmmm…I wish I had remembered this one more. Miscarriage rates are staggering (in my opinion) yet no one talks about them. My advice: be informed about them, do what you can to prevent them, but also know that most times you can’t prevent them. If you are faced with one, I am sorry. Try to find support somewhere, you don’t have to go through that alone.

Learn, think, draw, paint, sing, dance, play, and work a little every day. Try not to let infertility take over your life. Not good advice from someone who has let it take over. But don’t become like me. I am not good at this but I do know that someday the infertility journey will be over, whether that be by bringing home a baby, adopting, or eventually getting to the point of living childfree. Try to keep other things in your life that are important so that you don’t get to the future and realize a good portion of your life was spent focused on infertility and nothing else.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Finally J and I have returned from our Christmas trip to visit the family. Good to be home.
It’s strange how traditions change as family dynamics do. I used to love going to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for Christmas eve when I was a kid. My Mom would buy my sister and I these new dresses every year for Christmas. During the day she’d put our hair in curlers so it would be curly and we usually had new hair ribbons to match the new dresses, and I can almost still smell the scent of her perfume and my dad’s after-shave as we all got dressed to go to dinner. Dinner was always the same - and actually this is one part of Christmas that hasn’t changed for my family. We always have fish. Always. Terrible as a kid, but I do like it now. After dinner everyone would gather around the tree and sing Christmas carols and then Santa would show up and pass out gifts. We stayed there until around midnight when we would then head over to Midnight Mass at Church. That was always so magical for me, the statues at the alter and the singing, and the candles, and I think most times I’d fall asleep right there in the pew. After my Aunt and Uncle were no longer able to have the big dinner at their house, our family tradition was altered a little and it was at my Mom’s house. Still the same food, still lots of gift giving around the tree, still church going. Different in some ways, and after a few years we acclimated ourselves to our new tradition. Within the past two years our Christmas has changed again - a lot of the people in our family are no longer here, including my Mom. We now have dinner at a cousin’s house, and while the menu is the same, it definitely feels different. We still sat around the tree and exchanged gifts but the older folks talking, playing cards, laughing, and the kids playing and awaiting Santa, well those things don’t happen anymore. I suppose it will take some time to acclimate ourselves again to this new tradition. I guess new traditions aren’t necessarily bad things, it just takes some getting used to, and some time for them to become traditions.

I thought I would lose my mind without my near-daily dose of blog reading. Now I have a lot of catching up to do. Hope that you all had nice holidays - whatever holidays you and your families celebrate.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What the World needs now is Love, Sweet Love

In our world today everyone seems to be in such a rush. As I sit at the store cafe looking around I notice everyone hurrying through the store buying their last minute holiday gifts, eating lunch fast to get back to work, talking on their cell phones, and working on their wireless laptops. (Just a FYI: I haven’t even started by shopping yet. I’ve got 4 days to buy, wrap, and pack everything I need for our Christmas visit with the family). And the holidays just exasperate the pace at which we live. Add one more thing to our already too long list of things to do, and it’s enough to push many of us over the edge. Our world seems to move at such a fast pace that I think we sometimes forget to stop and think about other people. Slowing down and stopping to actually think about other people may be just what we all need. It couldn’t hurt.
One lesson that my infertility and pregnancy loss have taught me is how important compassion, empathy, and kindness are to other people. How one small kind word or gesture could be something that changes someone’s day. And how the opposite is also true. How not thinking carefully about what you’re saying, and to whom, could hurt as much as an actual wound.
I’ve said it before and probably will again – even though I now try my best to think carefully about what I’m saying and also about other people’s feelings I know that I probably won’t get that back in return. At least not from the fertile population. I apologize if you are part of that fertile community and you think differently of yourself. Just speaking from my own experience. From all of you though, in blog world, I do – your kind comments here help me more than I can say. Thank you for that.

Where was I headed with this? Oh yeah, I don’t think that people take other people’s feelings, situations, etc into consideration enough. With the holidays upon us I have pondered about my Grandmother and maybe the reason she doesn’t seem into the holiday spirit this year is because she’s lost two of her children in the past year (the rest of family says she’s just getting ornery with age), about my co-worker who passed away this year, and how her family is doing this first holiday season without her, and about our friends who have a new baby this year and how excited they must be to celebrate this year. I wonder though how many people will stop to remember that J and I were supposed to be buying a baby’s first Christmas ornament and playing Santa for the first time this year.
Even though the rest of the world won’t remember my baby – he didn’t live outside of me so no one else has any memories of him, and as far as the rest of society is concerned I am surely “over it’ by now – I decided that I wanted to do something to remember him by for Christmas.

I decided a few weeks ago that I would pick a name off of the Angel Tree at the mall. I chose a child who would be about the same age as my baby would have been. In the past few weeks I have thought a lot about the tag I picked off of that tree. Many times I thought about bringing it back and placing it back on the tree. This was going to be too hard for me to do – I haven’t stepped foot in a baby section of a store since before our loss. But I didn’t – I started thinking about that baby who may not have any presents for his first Christmas and I knew I had to go shopping.
I did go shopping for those gifts for that little boy today. I won’t tell you that it was easy. It took me a long time to pick things out because there was lots of time I had to stand there and collect myself, to keep the tears from coming. But I did it, and after I was done shopping and dropping off those gifts to the charity collecting them, I felt good. I felt like I had done something to help honor the memory I have of my baby.
Am I still sad that I’ll be celebrating Christmas without my baby? Yes. Will I always feel sadness for the baby I never got to know? Absolutely. But if I can do things to honor the memory I have of him, maybe I can feel a bit closer to him. Maybe my own little angel will be proud that I would have been his Mommy.

To all of you, I hope that you can all find some happiness and peace that comes with holidays, in whatever way is best for you. I know it is often so hard to do. Also, remember that even if no one in your real life remembers that you may be dealing with a life-altering crisis right now, or feeling the hurt of losses (whether they be the loss of dreams or the loss of lives) I will remember and I’ll be thinking of you.

Monday, December 17, 2007

You'll shoot your eye out

Oh wait, this isn't a Red Rider BB gun. I'm not using that kind of trigger shot.
Had my fourth date with Dr. RE this morning and I've got three beautifully sized follies - one at 17.9, one at 18.2, and one at 18.7. I was hoping for a better response than just the two I got last month. Three is good. Plus I've got them on both sides this month so I'm happy about that.
I am already starting to surge on my own so I am triggering tonight and IUI will be tomorrow.

Oh, I hope this is it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Ramblings

Wow, I can’t believe that it has been so long since I last posted updates on things. I have so much to talk about today.
Gettin’ Healthy – First, I think I did pretty damn good on the challenge that
dmarie started. My goals for the month were to increase how much seafood I eat a week, to floss every day, and to exercise 3 times per week. For the entire 30 day challenge I ate fish twice a week, plus began taking fish oil supplements every day. My acupuncturist had recommended them to me, and although I can’t find any information on whether they are a good substitute for the actual fish, I think they are close. Score 1 for me! On the flossing I did really great – flossing every day of the month. I still have to consciously think about doing this every day, it hasn’t really become a habit for me yet, but I’m getting there. And, hopefully according to that RealAge thing this is making my real age younger. The exercise part, I did ok. I never really did the three days a week, it was always one or two. I could have done a lot better. But as Meatloaf used to say, “two outta three ain't bad.” Right?
So I’m planning on continuing on for phase two of this getting healthy thing. Month #2 will begin tomorrow for me and my goals for this month are to continue what I have been doing but also to add:
· Really, truly exercising the three times a week
· Eating at least 3 different colored fruits or vegetables a day
We’ll see how this month goes.

The worry I felt about the meeting where everyone was going to introduce themselves to a new staff person was for naught. I ended up having an appointment with Dr. RE that morning so I was able to bypass the introductions. I have never been so happy to have a date with the dildo-cam as I was that morning. One more obstacle today at a staff meeting where there are going to be 3-4 announcements of new babies, plus the possible gift-giving for extremely pregnant co-worker. I hope I don't lose it. J told me to start daydreaming about other things and try to ignore everything. Just look on the outside like I am actually listening. I'm going to try it. Then I can breathe easy for a few weeks without the threat of anymore additional announcements for a while, I think.
On the IF front, today is CD10. Been on the Gonal for a week of so now and have another date with Dr. RE tomorrow morning. We increased my dose from last month and made one other small tweek to the protocol so I am keeping fingers crossed that I’ll have some decent looking follies this month. Last month I had two so I’m hoping for 3-4 this time. Obviously, I need all the extra chances I can get. Do I think it may work? Am I hopeful? I don’t know. The swinging pendulum of hope changes pretty frequently for me. We are only doing a few more of these so it either has to work or we may be out of options. That scares me so I’ve been trying not to think ahead too much. I’m trying my best to focus only on today. Today I am growing some good follies.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale was quite an interesting book to read. At times it was a difficult read for me, as it jumped around a lot and I found it hard to keep my concentration on the story. In the end I enjoyed the story overall and found it pretty fascinating how a society could change so drastically without the people revolting against it. Scary.

Even though the rampant infertility is acknowledged to be largely due to environmental pollution, Gilead refuses to acknowledge the possibility of male infertility; if a Handmaid is unable to conceive with three Commanders, it is assumed that she is at fault and she is reassigned to the Colonies. How did this double standard resonate with you, if at all?
This really bothered me both in the book and the fact that in our society the majority of people assume that if a couple is having trouble conceiving that it is a problem with the female. It's always, "oh she can't get pregnant". My RE's office is in the Women's Health wing of a medical university, perpetuating this belief. What bothers me the most about infertility being seen as primarily a women's health issue is that it is because of this fact that I believe it is largely ignored by society, and insurance companies. If, in our mostly male dominated society, infertility was seen as also being a men's health issue it would probably receive more research dollars, and I personally think it would be more widely covered by insurance companies.

In one scene (it's after midnight and we all have different editions, but you know the one I mean without a page number, right?) Offred observes a funeral procession for a miscarried pregnancy. Comment on the inclusion of this type of ritual in the daily life of the community.
I think that this ritual was included in the community because of the importance they placed on pregnancies, and also to use as another way to remind the Handmaid's what happens to them if they aren't able to conceive a child for the Commanders and the Wives. Having been through miscarriage, I wished when reading the book, that our society placed a bit more importance on pregnancies, just not in the exact same way as the book. Pregnancies in our society are viewed as replaceable, expendable, etc. How many people say that you can just try again after you lose a baby? Like our pregnancies and children can be replaced by new ones. Maybe if our society viewed them with more significance then women suffering miscarriage would find more emotional support.

For all that the Handmaids are supposed to be serving the society's greater good and should be honored for that, they are looked down upon by just about everyone. Wives resent that the Handmaids do what they cannot, Marthas resent the time spent caring for them, Econowives resent them for the ease of existence they feel the Handmaids must enjoy. And the reverse is true as well, Handmaids resent the other women for having little freedoms they do not enjoy, whether it's control over a household, the ability to hold a knife and make radish roses, or to simply not be a possession without a name. Does this mutual resentment exist in the world of infertility? Do "fertiles" resent "infertiles" and vice versa? If so, in what way?
At first when I read this question I thought No Way! Why in the world would a fertile person resent me. What part of my life are they envious of? The frequent doctor visits, the invasive procedures, the emotional pain of losing my baby? But then I really started to think more about it and I do think that mutual resentment exists. I definitely resent fertile people, some much more than others, for the ease at which they achieved their dreams, for their naive joyful views of pregnancy, for the granted they sometimes take their families for. I think there are also some people who are fertile who resent me for not being able to have had children yet. Some people have commented on how they would love a day to just relax with their husbands, or a date night out with them, or being able to read a book. And, I think that some of these people are actually quite sincere in that they do wish that we could trade places even if only for a day.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Fowler (with author participation!)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Letters to Santa

The excitement and joy a child feels when writing a letter to Santa is one of the most fun parts of Christmas. I remember how magical it all seemed. Writing what I most wished for, having my Mom help address that envelope, and then she took it to mail it off. Waiting for Christmas morning wondering if what I asked for in my letter would really be there. I wish I could do that with my own children. Looking through the holiday catalogs from Sear's, JCPenney, Macy's and picking out our choices as a bedtime ritual. Writing the letter while we drink hot chocolate together. Seeing the amazed, sparkling eyes on Christmas morning when the things asked for are really actually under the tree.
People have started asking me what J and I want for Christmas this year. I'm at a loss for what to tell them. Sure the normal everyday gift cards to restaurants, movies, and all the other things people who don't have children can do at a moment's notice would be fine. They would definitely get used. Gift cards to home improvement stores would work too - we have lots of work to do on our house. Clothes, CD's, DVD's, wine, whatever. The problem is none of these things is anything I really care about. It'd be nice to have all those things, but what I really want... well, this explains it perfectly right
I've asked for it so many times before. Still haven't received it. I don't think my family or friends will be giving it to me. I'm sure it won't be under the tree on Christmas morning.

But please, please, please let Santa hear me this time.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Million Dollar Question

I think that the most difficult thing to face (aside from losing my baby) as I walk my way down this road is the dreaded, “So, do you have any children?” question from people. One thing I have learned from my infertility journey is about the level of personal questions one should ask a stranger. Let’s face it if you’re asking me if I have children, then we’re pretty much strangers. The people who know me well, know I do not have any children, know about my IF journey, and know about my loss.
That question, of all things that we have to face everyday, is the worst. The conversations about children and pregnancies can be drown out by focusing attention elsewhere, or using the suggestion I found on Pamela Jeanne’s blog. (post from 9/10/2007) Thanks, by the way, for that wonderful idea! The pregnant bellies, I can choose to only look the person in the eye and not allow my eyes to move downward toward the belly. Seeing babies or hearing them cry, I can look the other way or run away as fast as I can. But the question is inescapable. It is asked directly to you, most of the time with other people around.
Our society defines people by the number of children they have. I don’t know why after explaining to someone I’m meeting for the first time about myself, my hobbies, and my interests, they still feel the need to ask about children. Is that the only thing that matters? Isn’t who I am just as important, even without children? I suppose people are just looking for some commonality and most people my age do have children who consume a big portion of their lives. So that’s what they ask about. That’s what they talk about. But I think the world could use a little etiquette lesson.
I’ve been asked the question lots of times and still have not learned how to answer. I haven’t learned how to hide my humiliation or hurt when it’s asked and I’m stammering. I haven’t learned whether or not I want to share with these strangers that I do have a child, he just was never born, he’s just not living. Most of the time, I simply answer no and try to move on as quickly as possible. But it doesn’t always feel right to do that. At times, I feel like if I don’t speak up, and help people to realize how uncomfortable it makes people to have to go around a room full of people and tell how many kids you have then nothing will ever change. I won’t be doing anything to reach my goal of working to educate people about the emotional toll infertility takes.
Sometimes, I can anticipate the question being asked and those are the times when I feel like I should be more open. Now the dilemma occurs when I try to decide which approach I should take for this game. Should I try to be the first one to introduce myself and set the tone by talking about my hobbies, and my interests and not making any reference to children or families? The question could still be asked. Or should I let the other person (or everyone else in the group if that is the case) give their bios and when it’s my turn say, “Hi, I’m L. I don’t have any living children. I do have a cat who I treat like my baby, he often sleeps right between my husband and I, we love him dearly, would you like to see pictures? Oh, and I spend my free time cycling (fertility treatments, not bikes), reading books and blogs about infertility and pregnancy loss and trying to advocate for insurance coverage for all infertility treatments.” Seems snarky, but why is it ok for the infertile person in a group to be made to feel uncomfortable and not ok for others to feel that way?
There has got to be a happy medium between not saying anything and my (maybe) overly dramatic remark. Where do I find the middle ground?

I will bet my house that I will be in this situation next week at a work staff meeting. We have a new employee starting and the meeting is her first day on the job. I’ll be pondering this topic until then. (**suggestions appreciated**)
And, I’ll have the added benefit of being under the influence of Gonal-f at that point so who knows what will happen! Could get crazy! Fun times, fun times.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Today was NOT funny

If I had to hear the story of M's new son's birth one more time today at work, I think I would have put a gun to my head. Ugh. I tried like hell to avoid it, running to the bathroom, water cooler, copy machine, etc. each time someone else came by and asked if the baby had been born yet, how much he weighed, what the labor was like, blah, blah, blah. But there was no escaping it. Then T, pregnant co-worker #1, is having a conversation with someone about how she has the baby's room decorated. Arh!! 4:30pm could not have come fast enough and when I left the office today I could feel the tension leaving my body.
It's over now though and K is out for the rest of the week. She'll be back on Monday with pictures and stories I'm sure. I feel like I've just got to find something to do outside of the office on Monday AM. But that will probably just be prolonging it because eventually I have to see her - and she'll ask if I want to look at the pictures. And, I don't know what to say. I don't do well with newborn pictures. Little kids, fine, but not babies. Just another thing for me to stress about for the next 5 days.

So much for trying to laugh - I did not find much humor in today.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Finding the Humor

I have come to the realization that the fertile population is completely and utterly oblivious to what people living in the IF/Pregnancy loss world are feeling. It is like we are living in some sort of parallel universe – each existing side by side, but never really in the same place. Maybe more like living with a constant two-way mirror. As an IF’er I can see through but the fertiles can not see me. I can be empathetic to their sorrows and pains but I don’t feel the same in return. For a long time now this has made me angry, furious even. Many a time I have wanted to reply to their comments or conversations with mean, hurtful remarks, to help them understand how they make me feel so often. I was however raised not to be mean and hurtful to another person, so I do my best not to be.
I noticed today though that it is becoming something other than anger for me now, something almost comical. I am no longer amazed by how ignorant our world can be. I have become desensitized to the ignorance. Like a child watching too many violent movies and not viewing violence as something out of the ordinary, so too I am now. After numerous hurtful comments I no longer feel shocked by things that people can say or do.
I received an email from a well meaning relative the other day asking where we were in our trying to conceive journey, and whether we’ve made any further decisions about what steps we’re going to take. By steps she means whether we’re any closer to deciding on moving toward adoption rather than continuing fertility treatments. She doesn’t really believe in fertility treatments, because of her religious beliefs. She won’t say it directly but it’s clear if you know her. Plus her son and daughter in law adopted from Kazakhstan a few years ago (after two failed IVF attempts). The thing is J and I have researched adoption and it just is not going to be do-able for us. We simply do not have the financial means to do it. Of course we could adopt from the foster care system but that is not something we want to do. I admire people who do, but it is just not us. Selfish? Maybe. But I want an infant, and that is nearly impossible through the foster care system, as we learned at our one and only adoption seminar. What this relative doesn’t understand is that we have used all of our financial resources on treatment, we don’t have any more and probably would not qualify for loans, and also we don’t have the liberty to take off of work for 4-7 weeks for travel to complete an adoption. At one point we thought maybe we could swing the cost of a China adoption but with the new net worth requirements we’re no longer in the running for that. Now I know she means well, and is genuinely interested and prays for us all the time. But I don’t know how to respond to the questions from people anymore. Everyone around us sees us banging our head against the figurative wall. I think they must think we are crazy to continue on each month. But J and I feel at this point it’s our only choice - it’s better than nothing. It’s made me laugh at what other people must think of us.
Another thing that made me chuckle today was when I arrived at work and found out that my co-worker K’s daughter had gone into labor. She’s expecting her 2nd child - she’s 19 and now has two children by her past two boyfriends. Apparently both “accidents”. She lives at home with her parents too. Now, my feelings on how we might need some better sex education in schools today is another story but I certainly don’t want to hear about her labor details. How my other co-workers could think I’d be interested in that after what we’ve been through is beyond me. I walked into the lunch room to get some coffee and was told, among other things, that M is at the hospital, her water broke 3 weeks early, she just waiting now, nothing too much happening, not dilated fully yet, should be soon. Um…and you think I care why? The comical part is that people think that a year after losing a baby is enough time to get excited about pregnancy again. What they don’t realize is that each conversation like that makes me wonder how my pregnancy would have been had I made it that far, makes me think about how old my baby would have been today, makes me sad that J and I will spend another holiday without a child in our home, and makes me wonder why our fertility treatment cycles are not working.
I don’t really understand ignorance. I mean I understand that fertile people have never had to face the things I have so they couldn't possibly understand. What I don’t understand is how people, some of whom I’m close too, can not take the time to educate themselves on the subject, even if just as a way of better supporting their friend, family member, or co-worker. I probably never will understand it, so I will just continue to laugh and try to find the humor in it all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Half-way to Healthy

I’m now in week #2 of this Get Healthy Challenge and I must say I’m doing really good. I have to take some time to pat myself on the back for a minute or two.
OK, I’m done. Seriously though, usually I am the kind of person who forever beats themselves up for things that happen, things that don’t go my way, things I may not even have any control over. I guess my controlling personality gets the best of me and I somehow feel responsible for everything that happens to me – whether or not I’ve had any control over it. When my fertility treatments don’t work, I tell myself I should have been more positive, when I lost my baby I told myself that if I had just been more proactive in my care maybe it would not have happened, when things don’t go my way, I feel like I have just not tried hard enough or put enough effort into making things happen. This kind of thinking is terrible for someone facing infertility. I always feel inferior, not good enough, not deserving enough – to or for what I don’t exactly know. I somehow have to learn that not everything is under my control, not everything that happens is my fault or could have been prevented, or changed based on my actions. It’s a very difficult thing to do.
So when I chose my three things for the healthy challenge I chose things that would set me up for success instead of failure. Easy things – you may think so, but for me they are a challenge but still do-able. The second week ends on Sunday – here’s the low-down so far: Week #1 – ate my two servings of fish and took fish-oil supplements every day, flossed every day (Can’t believe this myself!), and exercised the three days. Week #2 – only have one more serving of fish to get in (plus took fish-oil nearly every day), have flossed daily this week so far, and exercised once so far.
The challenge has also helped my mental outlook too. Maybe it’s the fish I’m eating, or the fish oil supplements, or maybe it’s just doing something that I can feel good about, to feel like I’m re-gaining some control in my life, even if it’s just a tiny piece of my life. Thank you
dmarie for starting the challenge. I’m so glad that I got involved. Almost half-way though now and I think I will continue on after the 30-days is up.

On the IF front:
I don’t know what cycle day it is, and I am trying not to care. If I keep track of my cycle days then there is always that little voice in my head telling me that J and I should have sex on a certain day, that there is always a chance (no matter how remotely impossible that would be). I can’t take that pressure anymore so I decided I will do my best not to keep track of what cycle day I am on, if I am not in the middle of cycling. Hard when I know my body signs for ovulating but doing my best.
We’ve decided to make that additional change in our IUI protocol next month so we’ll see how this goes. We’ve got a few more IUI's left to do before the insurance runs out and we’re at the end of the line for us.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 4 of Gettin Healthy

The get healthy challenge is going really good. So far this week, I have had my two servings of fish for the week, and I have flossed every day! Whoo Hoo! Now I've got three days of fitness still to fit in this week but that will be today, tomorrow, and Saturday.
Not too much else happening here. On the fertility front we're just playing the waiting game again until we can do another IUI cycle. I'm hoping for next month but if the holiday expenses get too high then we'll have to wait until January. Ugh. I don't even like thinking about waiting that long.

On another note, I'm working on filling out J's new health insurance forms for next year. He's going to have Illinois P.P.O plan. (We do not live in Illinois though) I have been trying to do some research into whether IVF is a covered benefit but can't seem to find any info. Any thoughts?

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Three F's

OK, so I decided on choosing these three action steps for my get healthy challenge -
1. Eating at least two servings of fish a week to increase omega-3 fatty acid intake.
2. Floss teeth daily (I am terrible at this and it will definitely be a challenge to do this!)
3. Fitness -Cardiovascular/Strength Training 2x per week, Flexibility 1x per week

I'm excited about doing this! I really think I can stick to this plan for the next month. For the real age plan I'll need to follow these steps for three months, but the fitness one will increase in frequency in months 2 and 3.
I didn't choose stopping smoking as one because J is still smoking and I wanted to pick something I know I can be successful at. I've decided that I will cut back even more - to only smoking if I am out having a cocktail - which I only do about once a week. Then maybe I'll pick that as a step at the 3 month mark - when I review my real age.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Getting Healthy

I am embarking on a 30-day (and beyond) get healthy challenge thanks to dmarie. I'm glad to see that there are a few other bloggers taking the challenge with us. It's always helpful to have someone to go through these things with; a little extra support.
I figured out my
real age and it doesn't look good right now. It's not terribly bad - just 6.5 years older than my actual age but it really got me thinking. Obviously the BIG reason my real age is higher is because I am a smoker. Yes, I know it's terrible. And, I've always stopped completely after transfers and while I was pregnant. But for the rest of the time - when I'm stressed over stimming, follicle checks, blood work results, and the worry over how we will ever have a family, I enjoy my cigarettes. I only smoke about about 5 cigarette a day. Please don't tell me that that is the reason I have difficulty getting pregnant - because I don't believe that. There are plenty of people in the world who smoke and get pregnant easily.
My other big agers are being overweight and my stress level. I have gained about 50 pounds since J and I got married and started ttc. I know that I need to lose some weight - not a huge surprise to me. And my stress level, well, in the past year I have miscarried my baby, lost my mother to breast cancer, and pursued fertility treatments. Stressed? Who me?
The realage website gave me a detailed plan on how I can get healthy and lower my real age. It suggests choosing 1-3 action steps over the next three months that I can commit to doing every day. At the end of 3 months I am supposed to go back and re-take the test to see if my new lifestyle habits have lowered my real age.
I am starting this challenge tomorrow so I'll let you know which three action steps I pick as my new healthy habits. Maybe if I can get healthy and lower my real age then my crappy eggs will be younger too, and maybe the next IUI will work.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A guest blog entry, brought to you by the Great Blog Cross-Pollination

This is a Guest Writer- Cross Pollination Day!!

So, a post on someone else's blog. To create a few more links and catapult us all to find some different people to visit. Sounded like such a good idea but the reality is quite scary!! I guess the problem is what to write about? In my own blog I just record my journey and feelings about such, for me. The fact that others drop by is such a bonus (and amazes me). Some company on the lonely road and some very sound advice.Rather than go into my story, for this one off post I think I'll just list some of the things I have learned about myself on this IF journey. I'd love to hear what others have learned about themselves too.

1. I HATE waiting. Waiting to ovulate, waiting to test, waiting , waiting, waiting. Enough already.

2. I want to be one of these woman that is happy for pregnant friends etc. It's not that I'm unhappy, I just don't cope well. I accept that I can't but I wish I could.

3. I an over a stone heavier than I was before we started TTC a few years ago. I'm sure I've done nothing different. How does that work??

4. Even though I have little reason to believe I will spontaneously become pregnant and carry to full term, I still plan everything around the fact that I might be pregnant. And then beat myself up about missing opportunities.

5. I am now a lot more empathetic in all sorts of situations I wouldn't have thought twice about before. Strangely enough, however, I can also lack patience when people moan about stuff that I think is nothing. Not a nice trait. Who made me the score keeper on suffering?

6. I had great difficulty in accepting this could be happening to me. Funnily enough, once I managed to accept that it was, I started to cope much better.

7. I am now fairly blase about who I get my pants off for. In fact, just the other day, I was mentally noting the diversity of the people who have been there and I was kind of amazed!

8. I love the knowledge I now have of how my body works (apart from the getting and staying pregnant, of course) I can't believe that after a decade on the pill I had so little idea of what should be going on.

9. I love my husband way more deeply than I did before. He really is my rock.

10. I now care about the lives of such amazing woman all over the world. I cry at their sadness and worry about their situations. I am overjoyed when things go well for them and shake my fist at the universe when they don't. I am part of a virtual community that has taken away my isolation and helped me to cope with the most difficult times in my life. I would never have thought it possible. Never.And for this I really am grateful.

Thank you all for reading, and to Geohde for organising. I hope to catch up on loads of these swap posts.

So, can you guess who wrote it? Leave a comment with your guess and then check here to see if you're right and to find my post for the day.

Post-Halloween Witch

Another big ol' BFN for me. AF started yesterday - 14dpiui. This is all so hard. J and I don't know what to do anymore. We thought that changing the IUI protocol would be our answer. But this was IUI#5 and nothing.
Each day I feel like I am getting closer and closer to having my fear of never being pregnant again become a reality and it scares the crap out of me. I don't think I have ever been more afraid of anything else. Why in the world would God finally answer my prayers for getting pregnant after 5 years, snatch it away after only a short time, and never let me feel that happy again?
I honestly don't know how I would live my life if we use up the remaining 7 IUI's that we have some insurance coverage for, they don't work, and that is the end of the road for us. I don't want to live child-free. We can't do IVF again (unless by some miracle we get some insurance coverage for it) and I know that soon Dr. RE is going to want to schedule a consult to discuss it again. We don't have money for adoption, and with J's medical issues I don't even know if we'd get through a homestudy. I just don't even know what to do at this point. I wish I had been more insistent last year when I asked DR. RE about getting put on the list for the donor embryo program. She said the wait was two-three years long and discouraged J and I from putting our names on it. Now here we are a year later and we could have been that much farther on the list. If next month's IUI doesn't work I want our names on that list!

We'll be taking this month off again. Even though the waiting between cycles causes me a lot of stress we thought a break would be good financially and mentally too. So at least I can look forward to a few big glasses of wine for the next 30 days.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Story Project

My husband J and I have been battling infertility for almost 6 years. In the beginning we guessed that there may be some difficulty in our conceiving a child but never imagined it would lead us to where we are today. Most people in the world do not understand how infertility can impact someone’s life – 87.5% of people conceive their children without difficulty, and go on to have uneventful pregnancies, without complications. But that leaves 12.5% of our population who do have to struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss. It is a struggle that you can not escape. It permeates every aspect of your life from your emotional health, to your physical health, to your financial health.
Infertility bombards you every single day. You have to constantly think about what cycle day you are on, take medication which wrecks havoc on your emotions, take time off from work for medical appointments, work your way through unknown diagnoses, treatments, and procedures all the while trying to navigate your way through a world which views couples without children as almost second-class citizens. We are told by people who could never possibly understand what we are going through that we should relax, stop trying, just adopt. We are questioned about our treatment decisions. We have to face a constant battle between hope and despair. And, after spending all of our money on treatments, we are often asked how we could possibly afford children anyway. We live in a constant state of heightened stress, sometimes extreme, often internalizing that stress, always trying to act like our struggle is not bothering us because people think it is a lifestyle choice. We are told that what has happened to us – our infertility, our pregnancy losses – are God’s will, they are a blessing, we are lucky not to have children. Imagine the struggle within oneself when your rational mind knows that you have a medical condition that is preventing you from having children, or carrying a pregnancy to term, and trying to quiet the demons in your emotional mind that tell you that maybe you are a bad person, maybe this is God’s punishment for you. Imagine having a disease and one day your doctor tells you that you have a great chance at recovering from it, and the next day you’re told you will never recover from it. Imagine that scenario every day for months, and even years. Imagine what this all must do to our overall health, physically and emotionally, now and in the future.

Our partial insurance coverage has allowed us to pursue treatments to some extent. We are thankful for that – some people don’t even have that. We have been able to use IUI as a treatment, even though our chance of success is rather slim. We were even able to pursue IVF treatment, because of a grant made possible by New York State. Still, without coverage for the most efficient treatment we basically gamble our money away each month pursuing treatment with a low chance at success, just because that is all our insurance company will cover.
In our quest to build our family, we have taken out numerous loans, as even co-pays for covered treatment each month, begin to add up eventually. Currently we have 4 outstanding loans we are paying on for previous treatments, as well as using our monthly income to fund current treatment cycles. We spend about 15% of our income each month on fertility treatments. That does not even include the times we have taken money out of our retirement accounts to pay for medical expenses. We have virtually no savings, which frightens me when I think of our future, and it also leaves us out of the running should we consider adoption.
Insurance companies should be mandated to provide coverage for all infertility treatment. Physicians and patients should be the ones deciding which treatment option makes the most sense. It would save money in the end – for the patients and for the insurance companies. People struggling with infertility should not be punished for having a disease, just because someone else views it differently. And, our government should make adoption more reachable for people. While there are adoption tax breaks from the government, people still have to find a way to come up with money that they often do not have, and then are reimbursed after the finalized adoption. What about having guaranteed adoption loans, similar to student loans, backed by the government? Sure I can apply for an adoption loan, or home equity line, to fund an adoption, but for a couple with little financial means, this is often impossible. With proper insurance coverage, or better adoption coverage in our country, J and I, and millions of other people may be able to someday realize our dream of having a family.

Wait's almost over

Well, I have spent nearly the entire 2ww focusing my attention on the book tour. I have tried to get to everyone's posts, and am almost there. A few more days. It was nice to read everyone's insights into the book. And, most surprisingly, it helped to keep my mind off the hellish wait.
Tomorrow is 14dpiui (13 1/2dpo).
I'm scared. I'm afraid that AF is going to show by this weekend; right when she's supposed to. I don't know how much longer I can keep going, keep cycling. It is really wearing me down. I always thought that I would fight until I succeeded, but the time, the miscarriage, the debt, it is all becoming too much. I feel like I am starting to lose this war with infertility. Why can't I just have one baby?
I don't feel very hopeful at this point. I know it is still early and most people don't have symptoms at this point but I feel completely normal. I always compare my symptoms to the cycle when I did get a BFP. And, I don't feel anything I felt then - no irritability, no bloating, not really sore boobs (except for progesterone induced), nothing.
If no AF by Saturday (16 day luteal phase) then Sunday I'll test - but I don't hold out much hope for lasting that long before the witch shows.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happiness Sold Separately - Book Tour #7

On Pages 51-52 Elinor discusses her abortion experience. She says choices are a fairytale and that she had always been pro-choice but now realized that she had no choice. Has your stance on abortion changed at all since you began suffering form infertility?
I have always been pro-choice, believing that a woman's right to choose trumped anything else. Even though I have suffered with infertility, and pregnancy loss, I still hold the same viewpoint. I think that there are too many circumstances, and each individual needs to make that decision for themselves. I would definitely feel more saddened by the news of someone having to make that decision now though. I did believe that my baby was a baby right from the start. Someone having an abortion may believe this also, making their decision all the more difficult. I now am much more aware of the struggle that someone having to make that decision would go through.

In the beginning of Chapter 4, Elinor finds it difficult to look at a newborn and its mother in the seat next to her. She says she isn't so much sad that she can't have a baby of her own but that she can't give her husband a child. Do you find your infertility more painful because of your desire to experience pregnancy and childbirth or because of your desire to see your spouse as a father?
I think that I personally find my infertility more painful because I may never get to experience pregnancy and childbirth. One of my biggest fears is that the 13 short weeks I was pregnant before may be the only time I will ever be pregnant. I know that I will be a mother someday, though, no matter how we finally get there. There are alternative ways to become a family, and if we choose to adopt, my spouse will get to be a father. If that is how our family is built he still gets to parent a child.

Lolly describes how Elinor became superstitious in her attempts to conceive. "At one point she thought they should throw out the unlucky mattress...That's when she and Ted started checking into hotel rooms on weekends, trying to make getting pregnant fun." Did you ever engage in rituals to get around superstitions? How did you alter your behavior or possession to improve your odds?
There have been many cycles where I have altered my behavior and possessions to try and improve my odds. After numerous failures, it makes you start to wonder if things like lucky charms or items will help. I have purchased a miracle angel figurine which I had to have on my nightstand each day during one cycle. I have cut out pictures of babies from magazines in an attempt to help myself "visualize" the successful outcome. I have read and tried feng shui things in the bedroom, like making sure nothing is underneath the bed while trying to conceive to create a clear path to baby-making. I have repeated mantras to myself - "I will get a BFP and I won't take no for an answer", during daily meditation. It all sounds funny now that it's written down, and hopefully people do not think I am completely out of my mind now. But when you are in a state of near desperation you will do almost anything to have success.

Elinor participates in a book club meeting following her miscarriage and finds that "no one gets her"...and thinks "why should they? She's a barren, bitter, self-pitying grouch. She hates this book club. She smiles and loosens her grip on the stem of her wineglass, afraid she might snap it in half." Do you find yourself having similar experiences? Would the infertility struggle be easier for you if you felt that people "got you" or not?
I do have similar experiences all the time. I work in a youth-serving organization, so we work with children, and also my office is comprised mainly of women. Of course, partly because of the nature of the business, topics often focus on children and families. I find it difficult to even participate in these conversations. And when the topic turns to pregnancy and child rearing I feel like Elinor did, nearly breaking the glass. I don't get their conversations and they definitely don't understand me either. I have lost numerous friends because of our struggle with infertility and because of my miscarriage. People move on, they have families, and often they focus so much on topics involving their pregnancies and children that I sometimes wonder if that is the only way they define themselves. I think it would be easier if people understood my struggle more. I think that is why I post on bulletin boards, and also why I started blogging. It is also why I have been trying, with no success so far, to begin a new support group in my area. To feel a part of a larger community who knows what I am facing each day.

Intrigued by the idea of a book tour and want to read more about Happiness Sold Separately? Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Tour by visiting the master list at Want to come along for the next tour? Sign up begins today for tour #8 (The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood) and all are welcome to join along . All you need is a book and blog.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Survivor Thoughts - episode 1506:Schools Out

Do any of you watch Survivor? J and I have been diehard fans since season one and NEVER miss an episode. I've got to say last night's episode was one of the most disgusting ever. C'mon, eating chicken fetuses? I can't even imagine. Ugh!

So, my Survivor prediction for this season is that Denise (the lunch lady), Frosti and Todd will be the final three. James may have the hidden immunity idol but he may be thankful to Todd enough to give one of them back to him. Plus even if he had both of them they will keep voting him out until they can get him out. He's just way to strong to compete with individually. Todd feels somewhat indebted to Frosti for not sharing news about the hidden immunity idol, so he may pull him along to the end. And Denise, well, she's probably the best player so far. Strong enough in challenges to compete, but not too strong that people view her as a threat. Plus she has kept a low profile so far. And, that is the secret to success.

Any thoughts?


I had some strange dreams last night. First I dreamt that someone was putting their hand on my stomach and saying that they were going to "suck the life out of me". It wasn't really a person but rather a force of some sort, scary almost. I slapped the hand away and said that I wouldn't allow it to happen. I remember waking up feeling afraid. The second dream had my pregnant co-worker and her husband in it. We were talking and all of a sudden her husband says, "God didn't take away your baby to punish you." Pregnant co-worker got mad at him for saying it, but then he said he needed to tell me so I would know.
I know that these dreams probably mean nothing at all. I do have a dream book and could get it out, dust it off, and try to analyze the meanings. But it is probably just my sub-conscience fighting the fact that I am purposely trying to forget about my 2ww.

On another note, I do think the IUI was timed well this month. The night following the IUI I woke up at about 1am with awful ovulation pain. That means that the IUI happened prior to O'ing (I think) which is good! Gives those sperm a full 12-24 hours to fertilize that egg! Still though, difficult for me to believe that these IUI things can actually work.

Called out sick from work today. Not feeling that great - the headache I've had for two days most likely caused by the progesterone, the cold, dreary weather, and the fact that they were having a costume party at work today and my 2 pregnant co-workers (I had heard through the grapevine) were planning on dressing up as pumpkin smugglers, were all enough combined to make me sick to my stomach. Blah!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Well it is done. Now the start of another 2ww. I’m going to take some advice from another blogger and try not living in the gap. I am going to try to focus only on today and try not to think ahead two weeks, or 9 months, or whatever from now. Difficult? Yes, especially for me. I always have my calendar in front of me, planning next steps. For one time, I would like to not think of next steps, and keep that hope that maybe this time will work. We’ll see how it goes.

The IUI went well. The nurse did a good job and didn’t cause any spotting. The sample was decent. I only worry about timing. I wish I didn’t always second guess this stuff. I worry that because I was starting to surge yesterday that this morning is too late. What if I ovulated last night? That means by the time IUI was, at 10am this morning, I could already be 8, 9, 10+ hours past. Eggs are only fertilizable for 12-24 hours, right? I wish I didn’t know so much medical information and I was still trusting that Dr. RE’s main goal is to get patients pregnant, not make more money. It would make my wait a bit easier.
The beta is scheduled for November 7th but I won’t go that day. I normally have a 16 day luteal phase so I won’t go for a beta until after day 17. No sense in wasting time, gas, or energy when I could just wait a few days longer to get an answer. I’ll do my hpt on November 10th or 11th and go for a beta after that.

The nurse seemed happy with the follies I had, the cervical mucus I had, and the ease at which the catheter went in. I am hopeful today.

IUI Today!

Getting reday to go to the IUI today. Yesterday at the dildo-cam appointment I had two follies, 19.7 and 16.9 and one on the right only at 10.6. My E2 was 360 something and I was already starting to surge on my own. So, they had me trigger anyway last night and this morning is IUI. I'll update more later...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Getting closer

I had another follie check this morning. Things are looking OK so far. Last check I had about 5 potential follies, today only 2. Both are on the left side (which they always are) and they were 13.4 and 14.9. The rest were still pretty small - measuring only around an 8. Right ovary only has small ones ranging from 7-9. So, maybe we'll end up with two good follies. I hope. It seems like a waste of time and money to do an injectible cycle and only get one egg. I could get that un-medicated and save myself the co-pays for the medication. Sometimes I wish Dr. RE would be a little more aggressive with dosing. I really just want the best chance possible. She must know what she's doing though - I also don't want to end up like Jon and Kate +8. Still, I was hoping for about 3 good follies. *sigh*
My gonal dose will remain the same for another two nights and next date with the dildo cam is scheduled for Tuesday. IUI will be Thursday or Friday.

My Dad just left to go home after visiting us for the weekend. It was good to have a family visit. Just enjoying dinner together and doing a little shopping. Still, it is different without my Mom around. Like a strange empty space following us. Of course after a few drinks the other night, J started talking to Dad about how much he thinks our future children will miss by not having my Mom in their lives. She would've been the A Grandma.
It made me glad that J still carries the hope that we will have a family someday. Some days I don't have any of that left. Sometimes I need someone else to carry that hope for me for a while.
When I called to order the prescriptions I told the Freedom Pharmacy rep that I wouldn't be needing the gonal this week - I still had some from a previous cycle. I told her that I would call back in a few weeks to order it then. I never stopped to think that this cycle has the possibility of working. It never occurred to me that it could work. I just immediately assumed that I'd be calling to place another order in a few weeks. Sad. Somehow I just don't see this working. I wish I could. I try so hard to envision a happy outcome. This cycle though I feel like I'm on auto-pilot, just going through the motions. Maybe it's my way of protecting myself from the constant disappointment. Driving home from the RE's office today I thought how in the world does one ever stop this? I can't see it working but I can't see myself stopping treatment either.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Follie Check

Well, I had my CD7 ultrasound and b/w appointment this morning. It looks like things are progressing just fine. I was worried about using the expired Gonal but I guess I got it right when I thought that those expiration dates are just a way for the pharmaceutical companies to make more money.
I’ve got these follies so far: L 10.6, 9.7, 9.5, 9.1, 8.8, 7.0 and R 10.1, 9.6, 8.8, 8.0, and some small ones. Maybe I’ll actually end up with 2-3 good ones by trigger time. Now I’m just waiting for them to call with the E2 levels and what dose to take tonight and when my next appointment will be. IUI should be sometime next week Wednesday-Friday.

I had a few incidents the past few days that I thought you’d all understand.

First one: My appointment today fell on a day when I was supposed to have a staff meeting. We have had this staff meeting planned for months but of course with fertility treatments you don’t get to pick and choose when your appointments will be. So, I told my boss that I would need a half-sick day and would have to miss the meeting. I explained why – I did tell her privately that we were trying again so my doctor appointments would be increasing in frequency and not to worry that I was ill. I asked my co-worker to take notes for me at the meeting and said I’d have to miss it. Here’s what happened after that.
Pregnant co-worker: Well, where are YOU going to be?

Me: Oh, I have a doctor’s appointment that I can’t miss.

Pregnant co-worker: Oh, nice. You missed the last meeting too. Huh, you really should be more aware when you schedule your appointments.

Me (what I was screaming in my head): Shut up, fat pregnant lady!! Maybe not all of us get the luxury of only seeing a doctor when we’re truly ill, or having a choice of when our appointment will be, or getting pregnant having sex with our husbands! (what I actually said) Yeah, I know.

Next one: I’m working my second job. The one I work to help pay for the damn fertility treatments or future adoption costs. I overheard a co-worker tell a customer that she’s trying to get pregnant. So I ask about it and she says that they’ve been trying for over a year. I stupidly figure maybe she needs someone to talk to, someone who might be going through something similar.
She goes on to tell me how they got pregnant with their first child by accident. Then when they started trying for #2 it took six months. She did get pregnant but it was ectopic, and her story was very sad. She was near death before they found out what was wrong. So, they had to take a break and they just started trying again last month.
I felt very sad for her. It must have been hard to go through losing her baby combined with such a scary ordeal that almost cost her her life.
I shared my story – how long we’ve been trying, the miscarriage, everything.
What do I get in reply? She says’, “Maybe if you stopped trying so hard then you’d get pregnant. That’s when it happens for most people.” Yup, not trying so hard will definitely help J’s sperm count, and help them swim better too! Maybe I should spend my second job money on a vacation, I’m sure to come back pregnant, maybe even with multiples I’ll be so darn relaxed!!

Why is it that other people love to share their ass-vice when they don’t even know anything about the subject? And, when will I learn not to share with other people IRL? I think I will print out Mel’s manifesto, make copies, and share with people whenever they say something stupid about fertility or pregnancies. What do you all think?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gonal Madness

Two Gonal shots and I have morphed into a raving lunatic. It seems like I can’t even control my emotions at all. I am so angry, I am frustrated, I want to scream and cry. I don’t remember it doing this to me last time I used it. Which makes me wonder – is it really the hormones I’m injecting into my body that is causing me to act this way? Or, is it the fact that this has just gone on for so long, this cycling business, that it is getting harder and harder to deal with each time? Maybe a little bit of both.
Dr. RE has me on the same dose I was on last time we did an injectible/IUI cycle – which was 3 years ago. So, maybe she’s not so concerned that my eggs are three years older than before. I’m hoping for 3-4 good size mature follies this month. Next scan is Thursday (CD7).

I was so happy when they told me that my next appointment would be Thursday. You see, I was supposed to have a work staff meeting that day. I have 2 pregnant co-workers in my office. One much more annoying than the other – with the constant belly rubbing and talking of baby names, how they conceived, etc. So, I am glad that I will get to miss out on that for this month’s meeting at least.

Yesterday (pregnancy and infant loss awareness day) I thought of my lost baby – more so than every other day that I think of him. I was working at night at 7pm but I lit a candle in my heart for him. And, that one burns eternal. J and I miss our baby so much. I’m sorry for anyone who has gone through the loss of a baby – at any stage of development. I believe that it’s the most awful pain a person has to bear.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Finally! IUI cycle # way too many

Well apparently all it takes is to think really hard about taking an hpt because late last night AF showed. Started spotting more heavily around 9pm and by this morning we're at full-on flow. Ready to go! (hey, that rhymes. hee hee.)

So, I will call Dr. RE today and schedule the CD3 baseline ultrasound and bloodwork and gonal shots start on Sunday. Last time we did injectible IUI's was 3 years ago. I wonder if Dr. RE will increase my dose? I was on 112 a day before and produced 3-4 good follies each time. But now being of advanced maternal age (I HATE that!) maybe my dose will be higher.

I'm just glad to be getting started again. I hope this works this time.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Waiting. That's what I'm doing. Still waiting for good ol' AF to show. It was supposed to be here on Monday. I even started spotting then and was sure that by Tuesday she would have arrived. But she didn't. She didn't come on Tuesday, or Wednesday, or even yet today. Still spotting though. Why is it that when I want the bitch to come she doesn't but when I pray with all my might that she stays away, she'll show, early even? Last night I considered taking the one hpt I have in the house just to get my period started. Today I am considering it even more so.You see, I am a firm believer that doing an hpt causes my period to start - always has. Sometimes even before I get to pee on the thing, but as soon as I give the cashier my $10.00 Funny right? Stop laughing.
So now I am 3 days late, but have no idea when I ovulated since I wasn't keeping track this month. I think I might be 14dpo today. I have no idea how long my luteal phase is anymore. Before the pregnancy it was only about 11 days, after the miscarriage it went up to 15 or 16 days. Then I've been on clomid so that screwed with it too. So, I guess I don't know when to expect AF. So, I'll just keep waiting.
I know some of you may be thinking - maybe she's pregnant now. Maybe she should do the hpt. But let me assure you that is not possible. Not this month. J and I (I am kind of embarrassed to admit) did not have sex at all this month. Between jobs, being tired, being stressed, being whatever, it just didn't happen. That happens more frequently now that we've been ttc for so long. Does that happen to anyone else? It seems the longer we pursue fertility treatments the less sex we have. Scary. Every month we say to each other that we have got to start making more time for that. Maybe when we finally resolve our family building issues it will improve. I hope.

So, I'll just keep waiting for CD1 so I can get started again. I have never wanted to give myself shots more than I do right now!

Monday, October 8, 2007

My weekend

Well just another boring (or relaxing, depending on how you view life) weekend for J and I. I know that when I tell my co-workers this morning about my lazy weekend they will tell me that they are jealous - you can't do that with kids in the house. I never realized until just lately what a bunch of insensitive people I work with. Or maybe I'm just hypersensitive after what I've been through the past few years.
Anyway, I had a dream this weekend that I was pregnant. Not like I just found out pregnant, but about 5 or 6 months along. I remember in my dream looking down at my belly and feeling like I could not possibly believe it. I remember wanting to keep it a secret and even though I was clearly showing, I was telling other people that I was not pregnant, but they didn't believe me. It felt good and right and I woke up with such a happy feeling, but then realized it was just a dream. I hate that. I think that is my biggest fear with continuing with cycling. What if I never get pregnant again? What if the short 13 weeks that I was pregnant is the only time I will ever feel that happiness? That just boggles my mind and is incredibly scary. I try hard to push those thoughts out of my mind whenever they start creeping in. But I am a realist by nature so they creep in quite often. I laugh at how much my attitude has changed since J and I started cycling. How optimistic and sure of success I was back then. Oh, I wish I could find that girl again.

I finished my last book (Love and other impossible pursuits - which I started way too late for the book tour but it sounded great after reading about it on other people's blogs that I just has to read it) and I am starting Happiness Sold Separately today. And I have been trying very hard to meditate every day. I got a late start and so far I think I've been about 50% successful but it's early still so I will just keep trying. Story of my life.

Oh, and I started spotting a bit this morning (right on time), so today or tomorrow will be CD1. Finally!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Time goes by

I can’t believe that it is already October. Time goes by so quickly and most of the time I don’t know where it is going. The other day J and I got an invitation in the mail to our nephew’s birthday party. This is going to be his 4th birthday. J and I started trying to have a baby the same time my brother and sister in law did. They’ve since had two children and we are still at the same place we were when we started trying. This is why it surprises me how fast time goes by.

It seems to me that for J and I time is moving but we are standing still.

We’re not going to the party. For one thing we’d have to travel and we’ll be doing that for the holidays so we’re not making another trip for a kid birthday party. For another reason I do my best to avoid social situations like this – birthday parties for kids, baby showers, etc. No way will I subject myself to that kind of pain and torture.

Work has been as awful as ever lately too. What with pregnant co-worker entering her third trimester the talk is almost constantly about babies and baby things. Now they are talking about planning a shower for her. I have been dreading this since she told me about her pregnancy. I’ve been trying to figure out a tactful way to not attend. I finally decided that I am just going to talk to her and explain why I won’t be there and not provide any explanation to anyone else. It’s not really their business anyway. I am curious to see though 1. whether I get an invite (these people all know about my IF and my miscarriage), and 2. who will end up angry with me for not attending. Ah, stay tuned for the outcome of this…

I just continue to hope for new employment where no one knows about what I’ve been through. And I also pray that they won’t hold the baby shower during a mandatory staff meeting. My workplace is known for these kinds of things. I’ll probably feel a flu coming on just days beforehand.

With October here I’ve decided to take part in the 2nd Happiness Challenge. I look forward to the meditation each day and hope that it helps my happiness level. As you can probably tell – I do need a happiness adjustment. And I am quickly trying to finish up a book I am currently reading so I can start reading Happiness Sold Separately, for the Barren Bitches Book Tour.

Whew…a lot going on! At least time will continue to go by quickly this month and before I know it I’ll be doing another IUI. If AF shows when I am expecting her then IUI will be right around the last week of the month. I so can’t wait to get started again. Just have to order the medication from the pharmacy, and decide whether or not we want to make one more tiny tweak in the protocol this month or not. We have a choice to make the change this month or next. Then we can start!

Friday, September 28, 2007



Sometimes I wonder if it is a good thing or a bad thing to have. On one hand it is good to have to help propel you to keep going in the face of trying, stressful times. I hope that my day will go good so I get up each morning. I hope that I will find a new job, where there are no pregnant people, and no one knows about my loss so no one looks at me with pity, so I continue to search the classified ads. I hope that one day J and I will have our baby so I keep cycling.

But, that could be the bad part too.
It is not impossible for J and I to conceive naturally –so the RE says. Not impossible, but with such low odds, not likely either. But that 2% chance is something. It’s hope – hope that maybe one of these times it will work and we will be one of those miracle couples. The ones you hear about all the time. “Oh, they tried and tried for years and finally when they stopped trying they got pregnant!.” My rational mind knows that statistically it won’t happen for us that way but hope keeps me wondering each time we have sex what the outcome will be.

With doing the IUI cycles again there is hope each month. And with IUI’s there is not much time to lose that hope if you’re doing back to back cycles. Within a few days of getting AF you have to muster up the hope all over again for the next cycle. I think of it like this – my IUI cycles are kind of like the Tower of Terror – the constant high’s and low’s. My IVF cycles are more like a huge roller-coaster, with a big slow climb to the top and a quick drop back down to the bottom.

Sometimes that little bit if hope is all that keeps me going each day. I worry though – does my inability to ever stop cycling come with that hope. Will having that hope make me keep trying and keep trying until I go through menopause? And would that really be good for my sanity? Plus if we keep trying for that long will we lose out on a chance to adopt because at that point we’ll be too old? Will that be the price I pay for having hope?

I hope not…

** Side note ** Getting closer to cycling again next month. I know that I ovulated this week sometime. So it should be only a few more weeks. I think we are going to try again this month – we’ve had a few weeks to save a little for it, and I know I can’t wait another month. Too torturous!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Infertility strong hold

It's still amazing to me how much infertility can take hold of your entire life. It encompasses every part of your being - from your job, to you health, to your marriage and everything in between. J and I have so many more arguments as the years drag on ttc than we did in the past. It's like a constant thought in the back of your mind. Everything is centered around ttc. The stress of the negatives each month causes stress related health problems, the time off you have to have for RE appointments and making up excuses about why you'll be late or absent from work again, how much it costs to continue treatment with limited insurance coverage, having to deal with pregnant people in everyday life. Sometimes I feel like if we already had children we wouldn't have half the arguments we have today. People who don't struggle with infertility everyday do not and can not understand what we go through.
Because of his medical issues J needs medication each day to function. Right now he has no insurance coverage for that medication. All I can think about is how that will affect my ttc. What if I don't have enough money to pay for the co-pays, the medication? What if I have to postpone ttc for another month because my money is going toward his prescriptions, doctor's visits, whatever? That makes me feel like a complete bitch. Like I don't care about my husband's health. But I know the longer I wait the harder it will be to get pregnant.
So what does one do? Continue ttc and neglect other financial responsibilities? If it works and I am able to have my healthy live baby in the end it would be so worth it - because that's all that really matters in life anyway right? Family, friends, people, surely not money or other material items. But I could potentially be neglecting my husband's health, or destroying my financial future. And that is important - because whether we eventually have children or not J and I are together - for life.
It's not always an easy decision - whether to ttc this month's chance or not. I just wish that I didn't have to make these difficult decisions. I wish that no one ever had to make such decisions.

On a side note - I think I'm getting close to ovulation time again. The EWCM is starting to build up - not that it matters with our 2% chance of conceiving naturally. But that means I am that much closer to starting another medicated cycle. I am thinking that I'll use the gonal that I have leftover from IVF cycle #1 - it's expired but I stored it properly and I'm sure it works just fine. I think they put expiration's on the drugs to make more money anyway. That will save some $$$. Only about 2 more weeks to go until we can start again if we choose to.