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!