Thursday, December 31, 2009

good-bye to you

2010 will be better. 2010 will be the year that I beat IF. 2010 will be the year that we beat IF. I don't know this for sure, but I strongly believe it. I want to believe it. Why do I feel this? Because we are stronger than IF. We are more resilient. We don't give up and we don't lie down and take it. We keep fighting and we keep believing. We have to.

This year, the words, "Happy New Year" are taking on a whole new meaning for me. The new year will be happy. It will be filled with wonderful family, friends, and what I hope will be a tiny new addition before the year ends. It will be a year of redemption for me--a year of getting my life back after I let IF take it away from me.

That's my resolve for 2010, and I hope I can stick to it. More importantly, I want to wish all of YOU a happy new year. I brag a lot about how wonderful my husband has been in all of this, but you all are my second biggest support group. A lot of you received your miracle in 2009, but for the rest of you, I wish nothing but the best in 2010. May we all receive our miracles. We have waited long enough and we deserve it.

So, good-bye to you, 2009. May 2010 be a year filled with new memories and miracles.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009

2009 was a year of . . .

pain – when Joey lost his job one day after President Obama’s inauguration, it was almost impossible to bear. I remember the phone call vividly. I was on my way to work. Joey had left an hour before me because he had the early shift. We had just talked the night before about the unstable economy and the possibility of him losing his job. “Yeah,” he said. “I worry about it.” I cried the entire drive to work after he told me he’d been laid off, and in my mind I watched our savings account drain for every month he would be unemployed. I never thought it would take six months and a move four states away for him to regain employment.

heartache – when we were told Grandpa Dick had a stroke. I lost all of my grandparents before I graduated college, so I had grown particularly fond of Joey’s grandparents over the six years we had been together. Grandpa Dick was a spry, 85-year-old WWII vet when he succumbed to pneumonia later this year, on Saturday, September 5. We miss him dearly, along with his inappropriate jokes and his “high kicks” over his head.

happiness and disappointment – when we celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. With Joey out of work and me barely making ends meet, we decided to keep our anniversary simple and travel to Atlanta for the weekend. Our anniversary was a happy one, but it also meant we had reached the one-year mark in trying to conceive our first child. At this point we knew we were infertile and it would be difficult to reach our goal, but we were happy to have each other. We still are, as we enter our third calendar year of marriage and third calendar year trying to make a baby.

change – when we uprooted ourselves and moved back home to Florida after two years of living in Nashville. There are times when we miss Tennessee, but in our minds and in our hearts, we know we made the right decision by coming home. Our move was largely based on financial reasons, but it was also a result of two years worth of homesickness and missing the warmer weather. Although neither Joey nor I were born in Florida, I think it’s safe to say that we are officially Florida “people” and will think twice again before moving to a state with cooler climates. One thing we miss most about Tennessee? The people.

hope – when we went to see the RE for the first time in October. It really brought new life into our battles with infertility. We knew this doctor was one of the best in the business and he came highly recommended by a number of people. He seemed confident that he could help us reach our goal, and that confidence transferred into me almost immediately.

and fear – when our first two rounds of treatment didn’t work. We both poured our heart, soul, and all of our energy and faith into those two IUIs. And when neither of them worked, it crushed us. I think the second negative was easier to bear. With two IUIs behind us and only a limited number ahead, fear started to set in that maybe we wouldn’t see this goal. Maybe being parents wasn’t in the cards for us. Maybe life really just isn’t fair.

Without looking back, I know this wasn’t the best year. It could have been a lot worse. We could be homeless or have no food on the table. We could both be out of work. But we aren’t any of those things. We are still living, breathing, healthy human beings. We still love and have each other. That is all that matters, right? Yes, I want a child . . . badly. I want a house we can call our own. I want stable finances. So I hope, wish, and pray that 2010 is a better year. I know it’s impossible to expect next year to be perfect or for everything to happen that I want to happen, but it HAS to be better than this year. We’ve worked hard for it. We deserve it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

new year's motto

I know I haven't written about my ovaries in a while, but when I meant we were doing a natural cycle, I really meant we were doing a natural cycle. No OPKs, no temping, no obsessing over signs/symptoms. I'm currently on CD 18 and, as far as I can tell, I have not and will not ovulate. Part of me is blasé about this, and part of me thinks this serves as yet another reminder that this is my fault. My ovaries have not and will not work like they are supposed to, and there is literally no explanation for this. What do you do? This is the hand I've been dealt. Unfortunately for me, I have no clue how to play this twisted version of poker. "I'll see you one ovary and raise you a uterus."

Inspired by my Blogger buddy, Jin, I've created at Day Zero list. I've optimistically put on there "Have a baby" and my goal is to try and think this into being during 2010. I can't guarantee that I will be a positive Patty every step of the way, but my plan is to try and take this one step at a time without freaking out too much. Basically, my new year's resolution is to chill the eff out. Obviously my heart and soul will still be poured into trying to have a baby. The emotions are still there and there is nothing I can do to control them or to ease the pain of the hole that remains in my heart. But I'm hoping that, with the help of my husband, I will be able to channel my energy into fighting IF rather than feeling defeated by it.

Despite the awesome feeling of a med-free cycle though, I look forward to getting back onto the IUI/medication bandwagon. Why? It's the control freak in me. I don't like not knowing when I'm ovulating, if I am even ovulating at all. Taking the medication isn't the most exciting experience, but it gives me a sense of power over my body, which appears to have none of it's own. Everything in me says the Femara will be better than the Clomid, and I'm sticking to that. If it's not, then we move onto something else. My plan is to exhaust every option possible, to the point where my RE can look me in the eye and say with 100% certainty, "You will not have a baby without IVF or adoption."

I will become a mother, one way or another. This is my motto.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

blogger issues

Merry Christmas, everyone! I would have written this yesterday, but Blogger is having issues--at least for me. I've only been able to read/comment on a few people's blogs and I haven't been able to post at all until now. Hopefully this gets fixed soon so I can read about everyone's Christmas celebrations.

Ours was good. We had dinner at my mom's on Christmas Eve, then we all went over to Joey's parents to open gifts. Joey and I managed to make it up for Midnight Mass, too. Yesterday, we woke up, got some Starbucks, and watched A Christmas Story before heading downtown for the Magic-Celtics game. The Magic lost, but we still had a good time. (I'll post some pics later.) We came back, grabbed a quick bite to eat, then went back over to Joey's parents to spend some more time with them. It was nice being around family this year, but there are times when I really miss living away and having our own holiday.

My dad is in town for the weekend, so we'll be spending today and tomorrow hanging out with him. I hope everyone has a great rest of the holiday weekend--and maybe I'll be able to READ about how great it was soon.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

this isn't the real caesar's palace is it?

Have any of you seen the movie The Hangover?

Well, it's freaking hilarious and I decided to watch it on my iPhone on the way to Vegas to get "in the mood" for my trip.

I arrived in Vegas at about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and my friend A picked me up from the airport. A and I have been friends since high school and we went to the same college. She's pretty much the craziest girl I know, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

We dropped off my stuff at her house and hit the shops right away. I needed a pair of shoes to match both of my "party" dresses and to do some Christmas shopping for Joey. We had lunch outside at this restaurant attached to the mall, overlooking the strip: tapas, sangria, and lots of people watching. After lunch, we spent several hours in the stores before heading back to her place.

It was starting to get cool out by this time (the sun sets early in Vegas), so I changed into a sweater and we headed back out to the new City Center. Oh. my. gosh. was it beautiful. It was so opulent and extravagant, I felt like I should be walking around in a much nicer outfit.

The lobby and walkways were full of fresh flowers and beautiful artwork. It was amazing. Right next to Aria is the Mandarin Oriental. This place was insane. They even have people who stand there and push the buttons on the elevators for you. We ventured up to the 23rd floor and had a drink at their lounge. I had an amazing Bellini which was $22. But you were paying for the view, not the alcohol.

After leaving the Mandarin, we headed back toward A's house to get a bite to eat. We ended up at this place called Hash House a Go Go and split a dish of their famous Chicken & Waffles. YUM! By the time we got back home and changed, it was nearly 10:30 Vegas time (1:30 on the east coast) and I was already feeling jet lagged. But I braved the cold weather and downed a few caffeinated beverages so I wouldn't fall asleep.

We ended up back at Aria at the Gold Lounge.

Despite the debauchery that I'm sure happens all the time in Vegas, Friday evening was pretty tame. I think I only had two or three Vodka tonics (which was enough to make me more than a little tipsy since I rarely drink), and we pretty much spent the evening staring at the escorts the next table over.

Saturday we got a late start. We didn't eat lunch until around 4 p.m., but from then on it was a whirlwind. We started at the Wynn and its sister hotel, the Encore, both of which were probably the most gorgeous hotels I saw all weekend. Then, we headed to the Palazzo and the Venetian.

We took a break to visit one of the older casinos because I was DYING to play a game of bingo. Let me just say this: Bingo in Vegas is hardcore. It was cheap to play ($7 per round; 12 games per round and 9 cards per game), but you had to think and act fast and those old people are good! I think I want to move to Vegas when I retire, just to be a champion bingo player. I didn't win any money, but I did win my $7 back playing the slots. :)

Next, we headed back the strip to walk around Caesar's and see the fountain show at the Bellagio, where we met some guys who were out there for a bachelor party. By this time, I was exhausted and it was about 10:30. We hit up a local sushi place really quick before heading home to change and going back out to the Venetian to "party" at their nightclub, Tao.

While walking up to the doors of the club, one of the bouncers approached us and asked if we wanted to sit in the VIP. Of course we said yes! So we weaved our way onto the floor (I had to stare down the entire time so the crazy flashing lights didn't blind me or make me have a seizure) and ended up sitting at the same table as some soccer player and Nestle chocolate heir. No lie. He was staying in the penthouse suite at Caesar's and had three other guys with him, a bodyguard, and a handler. It was surreal. So while he hit on my friend, A, I enjoyed the free Grey Goose and Cristal.

Just when I thought the night was ending (it was past two at this point, and I could barely keep my eyes open), A thought it would be fun to join the VIP group in their limo back to Caesar's and continue partying with them at Pure. So we did.

Don't get me wrong, the guys were really nice. But let's face it: You don't invite a bunch of women to all of these places without expecting something in the end. Luckily, the wedding rings scared them off and I was able to drink and people watch in my own little world. Finally, around 3:45, I had to put my foot down and demand to go home. When I got back and got under the covers, it was so late I actually talked to Joey who was just waking up on the east coast.

Sunday dragged. I tried to sleep in as much as possible because I was feeling pretty yucky from the jet lag and lack of rest. We went to brunch with A's boyfriend's parents before she dropped me off at the airport.

Overall, it was a good trip. I'm definitely not cut out for the Vegas/party lifestyle, but it was fun to experience for one time. Joey and I plan on going together, and I think that will be a good trip since Joey goes more at my speed.

The flight home? Well, that was another story. And I'll save that for another blog post.

Monday, December 21, 2009

i'm back

I'm back home and in one piece.

I will try to do a "Vegas in Photos" post this evening when I get home and do a run down of my trip. For now, I am going to try and catch up on my blog reading.

[Oh . . . and WELCOME to the ICLWers! :) I look forward to meeting all of you.]

Thursday, December 17, 2009

the christmas elephant

Last year was our first year as a married couple and, naturally, we decided to send out personalized Christmas cards to all of our friends and family members. It was tough work, but I hand wrote almost 50 cards and managed to send them out before the holidays.

This year, I wanted to do the more "modern" tradition of sending out a photo card. It would have cost us more money, but I knew it was a lot less time consuming. But when the day rolled around when Joey and I were supposed to take our picture in front of the Christmas tree, I couldn't go through with it. I couldn't bear sending out 50 cards with our "family" photo on it with a tiny little version of ourselves missing from that image. I knew my smile for the photo would be forced and sad. I knew that I would probably sob while addressing the envelopes. I knew I couldn't ignore the giant elephant in the room. So I just didn't do it.

Then I thought, "Well maybe I will do a letter with photos of us from this year and send it via e-mail." But what would I write?

2009 was an awesome year. Joey got laid off from his job and was out of work for six months. His grandpa died suddenly. We were so broke from Joey being out of work for six months that we had to move in with family. Oh, and I have a uterus that doesn't work. Merry effing Christmas!

That's the kind of holiday greeting everyone wants to get in the mail.

So I've decided: There will be no cards sent from our house this year. The emptiness is too strong to ignore. It was impossible for me to recap the year without mentioning the elephant. It would be as though I was lying to myself and to everyone who knows what we are going through, and I don't want to do that. I have acknowledged it up to this point, and I have to continue. I've paraded the elephant around the circus ring from the very beginning, and there is no way I can hide behind it now.

I can't pretend this is just going to go away, and I have stopped being shy about it. When people ask me when I plan on having kids, I just answer, "I can't." There are times when I'm tempted to just put up a status on Facebook announcing I'm infertile so people will just leave me the hell alone. While I'm at it, I might put up a sign over my desk and with a bumper sticker on my car. Being open about it is what has gotten me through to this point, but sending a letter without acknowledging this year's failures makes me feel like a complete fraud.

On second thought, maybe I will send out Christmas cards this year. I'll sign them:

Love,
Your Favorite Infertile Couple!

And next to our signatures, I'll put a tiny sticker of an elephant--the pet I've embraced but now just wish I could set free.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

her response

My response from Stephanie Saul:

Ms. Schaber,
Thanks so much for your comments.
Stephanie

I didn't expect much more than that, but I am glad she read it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

my letter

My letter to Stephanie Saul. A huge thank you to Whitney for editing it.

Good afternoon. This letter is in reference to your series of “investigative” articles regarding Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART). I have read most of these articles and, with the year coming to a close, felt the need to address some of the issues you have highlighted in these pieces.

My first area of concern is your lack of knowledge or desire to use the correct terminology when referring to fertility treatments. For example, you repeatedly use the word “implant” when referring to an embryo being placed inside a woman’s uterus during in-vitro fertilization. However, no reproductive endocrinologist that I am aware of is able to physically implant an embryo to “make” a woman pregnant. The correct term to use is transfer. Please also note that I referred to the items being transferred as embryos and not eggs. Eggs alone are not transferred, only retrieved.

Another term you use often is “business” or “industry” in reference to the various clinics and doctors in the fertility community. What about the fertility community prompts you to refer to it as a business? Would you refer to adoption agencies as the adoption industry? Perhaps you already do, so let me try another example: Do you refer to the clinics and doctors who treat AIDS as the AIDS industry? You most likely do not, since this would be considered highly offensive to those who suffer from AIDS. In fact, I highly doubt you refer to any other doctors or specialists who study and treat various diseases as industries.

What makes the infertility community different? I say community because we are one. This is not a business venture, either for couples or doctors. As for the couples who suffer from infertility, none of us chose to be this way. We were born with a condition or defect that prohibits us from becoming pregnant naturally. Many of us try for years before seeking professional help. And though I am sure there are individuals who study reproductive endocrinology with the sole purpose of making money, most become fertility specialists because they have a desire to fulfill the dreams of deserving couples who seek their expertise.

Reading your articles sparked my curiosity as to why you are so interested in writing about ART when you clearly have no personal ties to someone with infertility, nor do you care to create those ties or empathize with those who suffer from this disease. Is this a series that was created and outlined by your superiors? Or do you simply enjoy writing passive-aggressive pieces directed toward women and men who so desperately want a child? I understand that you yourself may not have children or may not have the desire to procreate, and there is nothing wrong with this. Women and men every day choose childfree living and it is a perfectly acceptable way of life. The stereotypes once held against childless couples no longer apply today.

Yet the stereotypes that exist for couples with infertility remain. It is sometimes even more enraging to see the kind of responses your articles provoke. Your negative portrayal of our community sparks a number of outrageous comments, none of which are new to me, but they do not minimize the pain. To think that couples only want a child to tote around and play “dress up” with is not only absurd, it is downright offensive. If I wanted a baby to play dress up with, Ms. Saul, I would have purchased a Cabbage Patch Kid rather than spent thousands of dollars on fertility treatments. To imply that couples are now “buying” their children is even more ridiculous. If this is the case, where are your articles criticizing adoption?

Though I would love to write more about each topic you have covered, I have neither the time nor the patience or appropriate language to respond to each individual, biased piece of writing you have published on this subject.

I will end with this: I thoroughly look forward to the New Year when I assume your articles will focus on a different subject area, one on which I hope you are more appropriately educated.

Monday, December 14, 2009

tell me if you hear me falling

Sometimes I want to quit.

I'm not a quitter by nature. I'm a fighter. I've always been someone who works really hard toward a goal, and I have to say that I've achieved every serious goal I've put my mind to. But this goal, this elusive goal that I've desired so badly for the last 19 months, seems like it never gets any closer. Sometimes I ask myself, "What if I just stopped?" What would happen? I bet a lot of non-IFers would say, "Then you'll probably get pregnant, silly! That's always what happens when people stop trying."

But really, what would happen to me? I'm a different person now that I've started this. I think that even if I threw in the towel today, I would never be the same. My heart and my head are both in different places than they were before this journey started. I've grown up. I'm not interested in the same trivial things that used to amuse me.

They say marriage changes you, but I disagree. Hardship within your marriage changes you. Don't take this the wrong way. Joey and I are great. Our six-year relationship has grown to its strongest point in the last 19 months. He is the only person in my life who completely understands what it would feel like for us, as a couple, to never have children. We share the same hopes and the same fears. Neither of us have patience for immaturity and stupidity in our friendships. And both of us are doing everything we can to protect ourselves and work toward achieving the same goal: a child.

I made the mistake today of reading Stephanie Saul's latest column, and I made an even bigger mistake when I read the comments. It saddens me to hear how people still believe that having children through the use of ART is some kind of terrible "sin", how those of us seeking fertility treatments are going straight to hell, and how we just want a child to carry around like a token. Yes, that's exactly why I'm going THROUGH hell trying to have a child. Because I want a baby to dress up like a doll. If that's what I wanted, I'd buy a fucking Cabbage Patch Kid.

Sorry, back on track . . .

What would happen if I just stopped trying?

Sometimes I'm exhausted and I think I want to, but I don't know if it's in my blood to just stop. Part of me would always be looking in the rear-view mirror wondering if I made the right decision. Part of me would feel like I bigger failure if I didn't continue to try. Part of me would fight until I was so physically and mentally exhausted, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. There are times when I sit back and think about life without children. I've never wanted to imagine my life without kids, but every failed treatment brings this possibility closer and closer to reality.

But for now, I keep fighting.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

weekend update

Since the beta, time has flown by. I haven't really had a chance to dwell on the negative:

Tuesday night: Support group. I dragged Joey along this time and he seemed to enjoy it. He even spoke, which surprised me (my husband is extremely reserved around people he doesn't know).
Wednesday night: Joey had class.
Thursday night: Joey had a test and I had my company Christmas party.
Friday night: House of Blues to see Less than Jake.
Saturday: We got most of our Christmas shopping done and went to dinner with my BIL and SIL.
Today: Errands in the morning. The afternoon will be spend doing laundry, helping Joey study for his final, and possibly making one last trip to the mall.

This weekend I'm going to Vegas to visit one of my best friends. I need this trip. It will be an escape for me--a place where there aren't constant reminders about my failure in becoming a mother. AF showed up on Friday, so I won't have to worry about being cranky and bloated on my trip. I also am excited to not have to worry about popping pills this month. It's too much for me to stress over around the holidays.

As for next steps, January will obviously be Femara + IUI#3, so long as the Femara produces good follicles for me. If it doesn't, I guess we move to injects and see what happens.

In other "life" news, we have started house hunting. For those of you who only recently started reading my blog, when my husband and I moved back to Florida, we decided we didn't want to get into a lease. We wanted to buy, but we really didn't have the money. Joey's five-month unemployment left us with little in savings and it would be difficult to save for a house with not much left in the bank to begin with. So we put all of our stuff in storage and moved into the guest area of my mom's house. It actually hasn't been a bad arrangement, but we don't want to stay here forever. We are looking to buy a place this spring, before the tax credit expires at the end of April. I think we'll end up with a townhouse, mostly because they are cheaper and the maintenance is less. It will be our first place, so we don't need anything extravagant. We picked out the neighborhood we like and there are a few for sale in there now that we are hoping stay on the market until we're ready to get serious in February or March.

It'll be fun to have our own place, one we can officially call "home". I'm looking forward to getting some new furniture and decorating. 2010 is going to be a fresh start, hopefully in more ways than one.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

dear clomid

Dear Clomid,

A lot of my blog buddies have been writing you letters lately. But the reason for my letter is a little different. You see, I'm writing to break up with you.

Now, you may think I didn't give you a chance, but I did. In two months, you produced one "okay" follicle and one really strange looking follicle and gave me no baby. Then, during the next month, you gave me one ginormous follicle and didn't give the other one a chance in hell to catch up. You've thined my lining so badly that I have to stick estrogen pills up my cooter and argue with Wal-Mart pharmacy techs about it. And because of the estrogen pills, half of my panties are stained blue. Happy yet?

Oh, and not to mention the chronic ovary pain. As if it wasn't bad enough to have constant pain in my left ovary before I started taking you, now I have pain in BOTH because of your STUPID CYSTS. Thanks for making my ovaries feel like they could burst at any moment.

You are a complete bastard and I've just had enough. I think my new relationship with Femara will be a better one and, if not, then there are plenty of other fish in the sea. But I know one thing for sure: there will be no Clomid babies in this household.

Yours truly,

Katie

still waiting

My nurse said something interesting to me yesterday. She said, "Ultimately, you are in charge of your fertility treatments."

Yes, I am. And I'm just starting to realize this. It seems as though REs just want us to write them a blank check for every treatment on the planet, but they are not concerned with 1) whether or not we think that treatment is working and 2) why the hell we can't get pregnant in the first place.

Seriously, why CAN'T we get pregnant?

I have eggs. I release eggs. My husband has sperm. Are they just not figuring it out up there and getting together? Are they getting together and then they can't implant in my crappy uterus?

Part of me wants to look in the mirror and tell myself to move on--that I'll never know the real reason why we haven't been getting pregnant. That's the tired part of me. The gut feeling part of me is telling me that something is wrong.

Of course, I don't know what that something is. But it's just a woman's intuition. I have no other way of explaining it.

I'm still waiting for the nurse to call. If I don't hear from them by 3:30, I'll be dialing their number.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

don't act shocked

But the beta was negative.

I talked to my nurse about some of my concerns:
  • are we being aggressive enough?
  • where the hell are my comprehensive blood work results that I had done two months ago?
  • can I see the doctor I actually signed up to see or do I have to see his lame partner every time?
She is going to sit down with the doctor (MY doctor) and come up with some other possible plans for us. We may be paying him a visit sometime this month for a follow-up consultation.

Good thing my support group meets tonight and it's our Christmas "sweets" potluck. I'm going to need all of that sugar to make me feel better.

Friday, December 4, 2009

another one bites the dust

The last thing I wanted to do was bring this fight into a third calendar year, but it looks like that might happen.

Yes, I got a BFN this morning.

I'll still go for the beta on Tuesday. If it's negative, like I suspect, we'll take December off then reassess in January (meaning: we'll decide if we want to continue with our clinic).

Please don't comment on here that you "know" Tuesday's beta will be great and that I could "still be" pregnant. I do not want to hear it. I'm not trying to be negative, I'm just protecting myself.

At least it's Friday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

hope

I've mentioned a few times that I have some truly wonderful friends in "real life" that have been extremely supportive of my journey.

Back in late October, Mic over at IF Crossroads posted that she had purchased a pomegranate bracelet as a good luck charm for her upcoming IVF cycle (which worked, by the way! Go wish her congrats!). For those of you who don't know, pomegranate is the symbol of infertility. As I admired Mic's bracelet, I thought, "What a good idea!" and decided to search for one of my own. For me it would not only serve as a good luck charm, but a constant reminder of who I am and what I needed to overcome.

After a few weeks of searching, I found a few bracelets I liked, but none that jumped out at me. So I asked a good friend, Hayley, to make one for me. I already knew Hayley made fabulous jewelry, but I was so happy when I recieved my bracelet last week, just one day after IUI#2.

The "hope" charm is so appropriate. Now, every time I look down at my wrist, it's a reminder that I need to keep the hope and that people have hope for me. Thank you, Hayley, for being a great friend and for making me this bracelet. It means a lot to me! And thank you, Mic, for giving me the idea. :) I'm so happy for you. You're an inspiration to all of us still waiting for our BFP to never give up.

Monday, November 30, 2009

back to work

Don't you hate going back to work after a long weekend? All I wanted to do this morning was curl up under the covers and not come out until about noon. After Thanksgiving, the rest of my weekend was okay/uneventful. I did some much-needed retail therapy on Saturday and got great deals on new clothes (including a $10 sweater dress I'm wearing today that my husband picked out). I spent most of the weekend wrapping up my freelance project which kept my mind away from the 2WW.

Only one TTC related "thing" happened: I bought FertilAid for Men. We have a local organic food and vitamin store around the corner and they carry it. Joey has already started taking it. I figure if this IUI worked, I can just send the bottle to one of my TTC ladies so it doesn't go to waste. And if this one didn't work? Since we won't be trying in December (too many interferences with holiday functions and travel), the vitamins might be making an impact by the time IUI#3 rolls around in January.

But that's it. I'm not looking for IPS, so I have none to obsess over. I haven't been counting down the days until my beta. Really, I feel more relaxed in this 2WW than ever before.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

endure, not enjoy

I am writing this from my place on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner. I am writing this because I have no way else to cope with the emptiness I feel today. Stirrup Queens has been open on my phone and I keep rereading Mel's note and saying to myself, "Endure, not enjoy."

This is not easy. But I will get through this. I think.

thankful

I am thankful for . . .
  • my husband. He is my rock, my best friend, and I am so lucky to have him. He's always putting a smile on my face, even in the most serious and sad of moments. Life is better when he's by my side, and I hope that's where he'll be for years to come.
  • my family. Most have been extremely supportive over the last year as we slowly got up the nerve to share our infertility diagnosis, and I'm so grateful to have that extra love, hand-holding, hug, and "thinking of you."
  • my friends. They say a wedding will bring out who your true friends are, but for me, it was after the wedding and after the diagnosis when I discovered my true friends: both real-life and ones I've met through the IF community. You are all truly wonderful.
  • my dog. It sounds ridiculous, but at the end of a rough day, he will always be there to sit by my side. He knows when I'm sad or sick, and as much as he hates to be cuddled, he's been a real snuggler since we've started treatment.
  • my job. My job isn't glamorous or exciting, but I like what I do, and I'm grateful to have a job in this economy where so many people are struggling to survive.
I have many, many other things to be thankful for, but those are the most important. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. And even though most of us are still missing that one little piece of our lives, I hope we can focus on the good today. Learning to be thankful for what I don't have is still a work in progress for me, but like I've written many times before, it's a challenge I would never trade in and one I know I can overcome.

Love you all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

the 2WW

Things I will do to pass the time during the 2WW:

Re-read Eclipse
Buy a new book
See The Blind Side with my husband
Watch Florida beat FSU and Bama and win the SEC championship (I hope)
Freelance work
Yoga
Continue my daily novenas to St. Anne
See Brothers with my husband
Play Wii
Shop with my mother-in-law

I am not going to count the days to my beta.
I am not going to wallow in the sorrows of our low sperm count.
I am not going to think about next steps.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

IUI#2

We are headed back home after IUI#2. The numbers? Well, they sucked. Only 4 million post-wash. I didn't even bother asking about motility. I don't want to know. But I'm trying to focus on the positives: My RE said only about 100,000 sperm make it into the uterus during old-fashioned sex. So 4 million is a lot more than 100,000.

Oh, and today marks exactly 1.5 years since we've been married and TTC. That has to be a good sign. Right?!

Monday, November 23, 2009

day 12 update

This morning was my CD 12 ultrasound. Here's the gist on how it went down:
  • My lining looks much better than last time. It's about 8.5 mm thick, which is perfect. (They are looking for anything over 7, and my last pre-IUI u/s had my lining at about 4.5.) This means the estrogen is working--well!
  • I had three follies: two on my right, one on my left. The one on my left was only at about 15 mm. But the ones on my right? 24 mm and 18 mm. We took one look at the large one and said, "Whoa!" at the same time. Both appear to be in much better shape than my follies last month.
  • The size of the 24 mm follie makes an IUI on the day before Thanksgiving impossible, as in we will never catch that one in time if we wait. So . . .
IUI#2 is scheduled for tomorrow morning. I had to haul ass back home after my appointment and make my mom give me the trigger shot. (Dr. M. asked if I had it with me. Um, no. Who carries around their Ovidrel shot?) The look on Mom's face was priceless when I said, "Now Mom, you have to stick the needle in fast." I also had to take the day off because Joey goes in at 9:30, so I don't go in until 11, but at least I'll have the afternoon to relax after it's all over.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

one in a million

Mel over at Stirrup Queens wrote a lovely blog the other day about Astronaut Randy Bresnik and his wife, Rebecca. Randy and Rebecca adopted a boy from the Ukraine, after being told that the odds of them conceiving a child naturally were just "one in a million." Late last night, Rebecca gave birth to their daughter, Abigail Mae.

It's a heartwarming story, and I am truly happy for the Bresnik family. However, it's interesting that we hear these types of things time and time again when we tell people we can't conceive: 

"Oh, well so-and-so (a friend of a friend of a friend) was told she couldn't have a baby. But as soon as she and her husband adopted . . . bam! They were pregnant."

The truth is, we all know that's not the norm. Only about 5 percent of couples who are diagnosed with infertility and not undergoing treatment become "spontaneously" pregnant. Who knows what percentage of those couples are actually considering adoption or have already adopted a child. Yet, why has this become such a popular tale outside of the IF community?

I'm not going to lie: I'm perpetuating the myth. We all are. It feels good to know that it happens to someone, even if that someone isn't you or me. When you step out of the RE's office after looking at chart after chart of abysmal percentage numbers, why wouldn't you want to hear success stories? No one wants to hear the same drill over and over again. We want to have something to look up at, even if that something is impossible or nearly impossible.

I wrote not that long ago about losing my innocence. This is still true: I'm a realist, but it's difficult for me to read articles about the Bresniks and not smile. I want to be that miracle. We all do. I'm envious of them, happy for them, and amazed by them. Their story is one in a million, yet there's a fine line between providing hope and perpetuating a myth. Obviously, all of us understand it. But for those outside of our circle, the line is blurred. Giving up your journey to conceive a child naturally, whether the end result or choice is adoption or child-free living, does not automatically grace you with the gift of pregnancy. How do we help the fertile community understand that this is not the norm?

And though the Bresniks are thrilled with the birth of their daughter, for some couples, this would be a tough pill to swallow. When you reach the end of your road, you've already accepted your fate. You've mourned the loss of your fertility (as a woman in my support group so wisely says) and you've moved on. To have to reopen a door that's already been closed--for years for some couples--has to be difficult.

I'm keeping the Bresnik family in my thoughts and I hope Randy has a safe trip back to Earth to meet his daughter for the first time. It's a wonderful story. I just hope it doesn't add more fuel to the infertility-myths fire.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

welcome, ICLWers!

Most of my story can be found here in last month’s ICLW intro and in the column to your left, under “Timeline”. Right now, we are gearing up for IUI#2. I have an u/s scheduled for Monday morning to check my follie growth, and if all goes well, I’m guessing the IUI will take place on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. I hope this brings me extra luck.

This is my second time participating in ICLW. I met some amazing bloggers the first time around, and I am looking forward to meeting even more this month!

Friday, November 20, 2009

emo katie

Emo Katie is back. The crying fits have returned.

I tend to like Angry Clomid Katie better than Emo Estrogen Katie. Why? This is mostly because I can control Angry Katie. Emo Katie, on the other hand, can appear at any given time.

Since this is Thanksgiving week, there will be plenty of opportunities for me to make a complete ass of myself by bursting into tears in front of large gatherings of people for no apparent reason.

I wish I could say I knew what set it off. Some of the obvious things are babies, pregnant women, baby clothes, commercials with babies, and pretty much anything having to do with children. But even certain songs, smells, and facial expressions make me cry. There’s just no telling when the waterworks might turn on.

Last night’s crying episode was self-induced. I made the mistake of going on a person’s Facebook page (a person who is pregnant) and reading the comments about how “wonderful it is to be a parent” and “there’s nothing like it.” Which of course leads me to the immediate reaction of, “WHAT IF I NEVER FEEL THAT?!”

No, really. What if I never feel that?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

how did i get here?

Do you ever have days where you feel like you've been sleep-walking through everything that's going on around you?

Today is one of those days for me.

I am not with it. Blame it on the post-Clomid-induced haze. Blame it on the estrogen. Blame it on that fact that I've been creating and editing parts of a writing/grammar textbook all week.

My. brain. is. fried.

I'm exhausted. I've been getting out of bed later and later each morning, meaning my poor husband has been getting out of bed earlier and earlier to help me get my things together for work--including making my lunch. What would I do without him?

1.5 more work days. Then I get to enjoy the weekend: freelance project (?), football, New Moon, and pajamas. Oh, and hopefully a couple of large follies growing inside my belly, too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

sweet, sick innocence

I have a friend who, at the beginning of this journey, was extremely understanding and supportive. She would always call and ask how I was doing, or e-mail me to check in on the status of my latest doctor’s appointment. Now, she doesn’t write and when she does call, she never asks how I’m doing. Last week, she called to tell me about her sister, who was about to give birth. After five or ten minutes of non-stop talk about labor and babies, she said, “Childbirth sounds pretty scary. Are you sure you want to have kids, Katie?”

I kind of paused, not knowing what to say. When I regained my breath and collected my thoughts, I just mumbled, “Yeah, I’m sure.” Then, she stuck the nail in the coffin: “Well, don’t worry. You’re still so young.”

Are you joking?

I shot back, “Yeah, and every day my eggs get older and my chances of having a kid go down.” That was the end of THAT conversation.

The only thing I can blame this on is sickness: People are sick of my infertility.

Infertility may consume me, but it certainly doesn’t consume my conversations with people in real life. The only person I will bring it up to spontaneously is my husband. If he isn’t around and I feel like venting, that is what my blog is for. I tweet about it too, occasionally. But I never bring it up to friends unless they ask me about it first. This is for two reasons: 1) Rehashing every single doctor’s appointment, every fear I have, and every time I get a negative on a pregnancy test to every friend I have isn’t going to help me and 2) I don’t want people to get tired of hearing me talk about it or feel sorry for me.

But think about it: Does it ever occur to anyone that I get tired of talking about it? Or thinking about it? Or getting probed by the ultrasound wand? Or popping pills? I get tired, too: physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m effing exhausted trying to remember which drug I’m supposed to take on which days, when my appointments are, and how I’m going to pay for current and possible future procedures.

I didn’t ask to be like this.

The friend, the one who hurt my feelings last week, has my blog address. She doesn’t read it. Most of the friends who I’ve given my blog address to don’t read it anymore.

When you’re young, you are innocent enough to believe that you will meet the person of your dreams, “marry”, buy a house, get pregnant, and become one, big, happy family. You think you’ll be friends with the girls or boys you hung out with on the elementary school playground forever. Each time a person wrongs you—whether that person be a friend, a lover, a parent, or another family member—a piece of your innocence dies. Each time you receive bad news, experience a family tragedy, are diagnosed with an incurable medical condition, a piece of your innocence dies.

The last of my innocence died last week.

I’m not bitter, or angry, or sad. I just am. I know I will never get that last piece of innocence back. Not now. Not after the things I have seen and heard and experienced. I will never be the person I once was: so sweet and naïve that I couldn’t see the truth of what was actually in front of me. It’s just not in me. Instead, I will be more aware of the questions I ask about other peoples’ personal lives. I will never tell someone that I “know” something will happen. I will never try to make excuses for others. I will be the best wife, daughter, sister, and friend I can possibly be.

Part of me wishes I had kept my diagnosis to myself. The other part of me knows that, despite the few bad apples, I’ve gained a world of support from others—both inside and outside of the IF community.

I don’t want people to get sick. I want them to understand. And as much as I want my innocence back, perhaps I’m better off without my rose-colored glasses.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

alive

Thank you all for your advice yesterday. I'd also like to say that I appreciate none of you scolding me. I promise I did enough of it on my own! I have an appointment for Wednesday, December 23. This one will stick unless something opens up sooner or I get pregnant. (Please let it be the second option.) Oh, and no more Googling for me.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Mid, and then I start the estrogen. I'm definitely feeling some side effects this time--mostly hot flashes. And I'm feeling some tugging in my ovaries that I didn't feel last time. Other than that, I'm doing okay. T-minus six days until my next appointment. I'm trying not to focus on it. Instead, I steer my mind toward other things. Right now, it should be steering toward work.

Monday, November 16, 2009

talk me off of a ledge

If you are a long-time reader, you might remember that around the same time I was diagnosed with infertility, I was diagnosed with mild cervical dysplasia. You also might remember that I was scolded by my RE back in October for blowing off my six-month follow-up. I promised him I would make an appointment with a gyno for another pap that day.

Well, I did, but due to the scheduling of other doctor's visits (ones that involve making a baby) and my lengthy and sometimes erratic AF bleeding and the fact that my RE forbids me from having a pap during my 2WW, I've had to cancel three different appointments. This makes me an irresponsible liar with screwed up priorities. But whatever. I decided to either 1) get the pap right after this cycle if it's a bust, since we agreed not to do a third IUI over Christmas or 2) get the pap during my first exam with the new OB. I think we all know which option I'm really hoping for.

But today, while perusing the Internet, I come across a blog where the author had a colposcopy (like me) and then found out the precancerous cells had spread during her follow-up. Of course, this leads me to freak out and promptly call every gyno--including Planned Parenthood--in a 70-mile radius with the thought of, "I probably have cancer by now!" None of them had openings this week.

Will someone PLEASE calm me down? Convince me that I'm probably okay (and that I should stop Googling). Another month of waiting isn't going to kill me, right?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

taking a break

It's been an eventful weekend so far, and I'm taking a little break from my work to write about it.

My CD 2 u/s went well yesterday. The nurse told me to show up early in case I could be "squeezed in" between surgeries (my RE's clinic will only allow the doctors to perform ultrasounds). I showed up at 8, and was out of there by 8:30. My ovaries look great. I have five follies on each side and no big, Clomid-loving cysts. So today was day one of round two of the Mid, 50 mg. The only thing we are doing differently is adding in the estrogen earlier to boost my lining and I have to use OPKs starting on CD 9, since my next u/s isn't until CD 12. If everything looks good, and if I haven't gotten a +OPK by then, I'll trigger that evening and my turkey will be basted the day before Thanksgiving.

I arrive at work in a great mood and check my e-mail to find that a friend and former coworker has recommended me to someone for a freelance editing/proofreading project. If I haven't mentioned this before, I make my living as an editor for an educational publisher, but I have been looking for light freelance work over the last few months--proofing papers, editing resumes, etc.--just to make a few extra bucks. This first project couldn't come at a better time, when we are about to fork over another $500 for an IUI and meds.

And last, my amazing husband took me out last night on a beautiful dinner date to one of my favorite restaurants, Seasons 52. It's one of those restaurants we only go to for special occasions, but we splurged. After a hellish start to the week, we deserved it. I drank wine AND I ate dessert, two things I rarely do when we are out to eat. We sat in a private room in the back of the restaurant overlooking the lake. It was so relaxing, which is exactly what I need to focus on this cycle: relaxation.

Speaking of relaxation, it's time to turn my peaceful "nature" music back up and get on with the editing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

the label

Sitting in the waiting room at the RE's office is an interesting experience. When I'm there, I feel like I'm a member of a secret society--a society where age, race, sex, religion, and socioeconomic background simply don't matter. We all sit quietly with our heads down. Occasionally we look up, glance around, and exchange an empathetic smile with another "member." We are all aiming for the same goal. Our membership cards come in the form of small, white pills and syringes. There are expensive dues that come along with this society, but we hope the payout will be worth it.

When one of us gets bad news, we know only the other members can truly understand the pain and suffering deep within our hearts. When one of us gets good news, we are sensitive to the others, who are always the first in line to congratulate us. Because they are the only ones who know how hard we've worked. We often don't need to say a word for other society members to understand how we feel. A look or a moment of silence is all we need to convey our emotions.

Some of us arrived here with our partners. Others came alone. Some of us were born into this society, and all of us will die as members--regardless of whether or not we achieve our goal. Some of us will remain positive until the very end, finding hope and joy in every step along the way. Others will become calloused and bitter, angry at members who reached their goal and sad about the loss of something they have never felt. Some of us wear our membership on our sleeves. Others hide it beneath their layers of clothing, bringing it out only in their home or doctor's office where they feel most comfortable and secure. We are branded for life: infertile. It's like the scarlet letter. The letter, which was originally meant to shame her, becomes a symbol of Hester's identity. Instead of feeling guilt and isolation, she feels strength. Infertility is like this. We can let it make us feel like outcasts, or we can use it for good--to feel powerful when this disease makes us feel so powerless.

I curse my fate a lot. I've done it on this blog many times, to my husband, to my friends and family, and in the confines of my own head and aching heart. But being in the waiting room at the RE's office today made me feel at peace, like I was home with my people. As I sat there listening for my name to be called, I thought, I'm kind of proud to be infertile. I'm proud to be part of a group that is so amazing and caring toward others. I'm proud to be part of this club where we can all cry together, laugh together, and burn baby shower invitations together (that last one is for you, Rita). I'm thankful to have the support system that I do in the IF community. I have never met any of you, but you have been there for me in ways my real-life friends simply can't be.

There's an unspeakable bond between us that can never be broken.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

go to hell, flo

I woke up to a nice, shiny, bright-red surprise.

Cycle day 1. Eff off, Aunt Flo.

My CD 2 ultrasound is tomorrow at 9. I start Clomid on Saturday. There will be no day of rest for my uterus or my sanity.

My boss didn't seem too worried that I would be out three mornings again. He just told me to keep a running tab "in my head" of the time I was missing so I could make it up instead of using PTO. I miss unlimited sick time at my old company.

Oh, and happy anniversary to me. Today is my one-year blogging anniversary. Not much has changed, has it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

my husband, my hero

Joey has class on Monday and Wednesday nights. I know he wasn't looking forward to class tonight after today's events. But he came home with the most wonderful surprise:



This is why my husband is my hero. He is the only person in the world that can put a smile on my face after a day like today. I am so incredibly blessed to have him in my life. I don't know what I would do without him.

beta

Beta is in. Zero. I started spotting about 20 minutes before I got the call.

On to IUI#2. Same drill as last time: CD 2/3/4 ultrasound, Clomid, CD 10 ultrasound, trigger shot, and the IUI should fall sometime around Thanksgiving.

Even though I'm already spotting, I'm sending AF lots of "please come on Saturday" vibes. This would put the IUI the day after Thanksgiving and I wouldn't have to worry about fibbing to my boss again for being out of work in the morning.

I'm sad. Very sad, but not surprised. Joey is heartbroken. We just have to pick up the pieces and try again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

15 dpIUI

Let's face it. The odds that tomorrow's beta is going to be good? Slim to none. I'm not being negative, just realistic. I'm finally done wallowing in my self-pity of IUI#1 and the potential failure, and I'm ready to do things differently this next cycle.

In a way, I'll be extremely happy to stop the progesterone for a couple of weeks. Today is day two of the latest raging migraine and it's making me cranky and irritable. I'm extremely sad. I've cried an obnoxious number of times the past few days, and I'm ready to stop acting like a menopausal freak. I'm also ready to get my energy back and to be able to button my pants with comfort.

Joey and I both have tomorrow off from work because of Veterans Day, and I'm glad. Because if the beta is as bad as I think it will be, I will be in no shape to put on a happy face for my coworkers. My only hope is that if the beta IS bad, it's a zero. I don't want to be teased with a number like 17. What the hell am I supposed to do with that? All or nothing. Right now I'm convinced it's nothing, but wishing for that miracle of "all."

Monday, November 9, 2009

oh what a night

It started a little after 12:15 this morning. Joey woke up, went to the bathroom, and came back complaining that his side hurt. Me, being the loving wife I am, told him that he probably pulled a muscle and to go back to bed. Less than 15 minutes later, he got up again. When he came back, he told me it hurt to pee.

After vomiting twice and still not feeling better by 6, we decided it was time to make our way to the emergency room. Turns out it was just a kidney stone. They doped him up pretty well and sent us on our merry way by 10. He finally passed it about an hour ago.

What a way to kick off beta week.

PS: I tested 12 dpIUI. BFN.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

there's beauty in the breakdown

My IPS are virtually gone and in it's place are AF cramps, pre-AF breakouts, and my desire to choke everyone that looks at me the wrong way. As a result, I broke down yesterday. Though the breakdown itself was about infertility, it was sparked by my hairdresser.

My "usual" hairdresser left the company, so I had no choice but to try someone new. This didn't bother me because I knew I would still get a good haircut. The company has a very good reputation, and they are very nice people. I was looking forward to a relaxing morning of having someone else wash and style my hair.

I walked back to meet my new girl, and took my hair out of my ponytail, she gasped and said:

"Oh, your hair looks awful!"

Strike 1.

She went on to tell me everything I was doing wrong with my hair: not using super expensive shampoo and conditioner, not using the right product, not using the right brush. She babbled ON and ON all the way through the wash and walk back to the chair.

When we got back to the chair, she said, "Oh, I have to move this chair further inside my station. One of my coworkers used it yesterday and she's NINE months pregnant! Can you believe that?"

Me: "Wow, no. Unbelievable."
Me (thinking to myself): "Un-f***ing-believable."

She proceeded to drone on for about ten minutes about her pregnant coworker and her super cute belly and how she was ready to pop. 

Strike 2.

By this time, my stomach was wound up so tight, I didn't know if I was going to vomit or cry.

After she wrapped up her love affair with the pregnant coworker, she went back to talking about my shitty hair. The rest of the time was like an hour-long infomercial for everything I should buy to make my hair "shiny and more manageable" (no joke).

Strike 3.

When I got in the car, I burst into tears. I cried hysterically the entire way home. When I got home, I threw myself on the floor next to my doggy and cried some more. This is where my mom found me when she got home. All I could spit out was:

"I can't beg God for something that he so clearly does not want me to have. I'm losing it."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

guns and worms

The shootings at Fort Hood on Thursday were horrific. I watched the news coverage with my family, teared up when they spoke about the victims, and wondered how someone could be so messed up in the head that they would take the lives of others.

On Friday, the violence hit home.

Though I work on the east coast of Florida, I live in Orlando. Other than a four-year stint at UF and two years in Tennessee, Orlando has been "home" since 1997. It's a happy place. We have violence and shootings, just like every other major city, but most are drug related. Nothing (and I mean nothing) has ever happened like this.

Since I couldn't get sound on the live video feed in my office, 65 miles from home, I read as thing unfolded in our local TV station's chat room, where one woman wrote, "Who cares! Do we really need all of this coverage? Just let us know when he gets caught." Have we really become that immune to events like this where we don't even care about our fellow humans? I wanted to know what was going on. I have very good friends that work just blocks away from that building. Several schools are very close by. People needed to know that a killer was still on the loose.

The man that lost his life was only 26 years old. He was engaged and had a 7-month-old baby. That baby will grow up never knowing her father and never understanding why such a heartless human being took her daddy away. The irony of his death is that he wasn't even working at the engineering firm when the killer was an employee there.

What is this world coming to? This sick world where drugs, and guns, and violence are normal. People get angry at other people, so they shoot them. People get fired from a job, so they shoot their former coworkers. People lose their money, so they kill their families.

Lately, the only worry on my mind has been getting pregnant: wondering if I am able to and wondering whether or not I ever will. But if this worry ever goes away, then I get to focus on a whole new can of worms: How to protect my future children from the madness.

Friday, November 6, 2009

11 dpIUI

Cramps. Bad ones.

They aren't constant. They come in waves. I can usually tell when I'm about to get one, and it passes about a minute later. They feel like AF cramps, only stronger.  They started two nights ago. A part of me is convinced that if I stopped my progesterone, Flo would arrive.

Sleep.

I had a very vivid nightmare last night. The night before, I was wide awake at 2 a.m. I am so exhausted, I actually forgot to brush my teeth before I left for work yesterday morning. Gross, I know.

Smells.

Everything smells stronger. My mom and Joey noticed it first the other night when I teased my mom about putting too much beer on the beer and lime grilled chicken. I thought it made the kitchen smell like a brewery. Neither of them could smell the beer. Last night, I asked my mom if the pasta she made was a different brand. She nodded and asked why. I could SMELL the difference (and taste it, too--I didn't finish dinner).

No spotting. No sore boobs. No nausea.

I don't feel pregnant, but I DO feel like I'm going a little nuts.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

10 dpIUI

I'm having more IPS, but I really don't want to share them. Because really, sharing them means getting my hopes up.

And I do not want to get my hopes up.

That's all the energy I have to write about today. I'm tired. I'm blah. I'm a little sad.

Today is definitely a blue day. I hope tomorrow is more yellow and sunshine-y.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

thank you

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my Letter to Bean post. It took a lot for me to post that. I've been writing it throughout the week, and wasn't sure if I was going to share it. It was a very emotional experience for me to write down all of those things.

All of you have been so supportive and optimistic, and I hope you know that it means the world to me. This especially goes for my husband. Though he doesn't comment, Joey reads my blog every day and I am so thankful to have such an understanding and caring partner in life.

9 dpIUI

Random thoughts on this day, 9 days past my IUI:
  • I tested this morning. BFN, which means the trigger is out of my system. I don't know when or if I will POAS again before my beta.
  • All day yesterday, I had the song "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra stuck in my head. I have no idea why. I do love me some Frank Sinatra. He's from my birth state. And now I have the song stuck in my head again. What the ???
  • My cold can't decide whether it wants to stay or go. Yesterday was terrible. Today is better, but still not great.
  • I've scheduled myself a hair appointment for this Saturday morning. There's nothing better to relieve any tension than having someone else wash your hair and massage your scalp in the process.
  • To answer JC's comment on my last post, I am the Gator fan and hubby is the UK fan. Joey was born in Kentucky and bleeds blue and white, though he will pull for the Gators when they aren't playing UK. I am a UF graduate, so I live and die with Gator athletics. Our house is pretty civil take three days a year (two in basketball, one in football).
  • This weekend we are going on a double date with Joey's parents to see The Men Who Stare at Goats. I don't know why, but the previews for this movie crack me up. Which is good, considering everything else still makes me cry.
  • I am going to try my best to stay up and watch most of tonight's game 6. I really hope Pedro can pull out a win so we make it to game 7. I would love nothing more than to watch the Yankees crash and burn in their house.
Actually, there is something I would love more than that last point. A really good beta in exactly seven days.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

dear bean

Dear little baby Bean,

It will be at least another week before I know if you are in there or not, but your dad and I are wishing against all odds that you are. To help pass the time, I thought I would give you some words of encouragement--just in case you are trying to make up your mind about whether or not you want to stick around.

You have a lot of people who are waiting to meet you: your mom, your dad, and all of your grandparents. We have all been waiting for a long time and are anxious for you to get here. You also have lots of extended family who would love to know you: two uncles, two aunts, a cousin, ten great-aunts, four great-uncles, and so many second and third cousins, I can't even count.

You will grow up knowing the greatness of National League baseball and Southeastern Conference sports. You will understand the pain and heartache that comes with being a Philly or Cincinnati sports fan. You will learn that Kentucky basketball is always better than Gator basketball, but that Gator football will never be less than Kentucky football. You will love Disney, and then learn to become sick of it. You will hate the humidity, but love the fact that the sun is always shining and the ocean is always warm. You will be spoiled with love, but you will always know the meaning of hard work and dedication.

You will love your dad. He will tickle you, give you wet willies, and make you laugh until you think you are going to pee your pants. If you are a little boy, you will love playing catch with him and discussing how Pete Rose's ban from baseball should have been lifted years ago. If you are a little girl, you will hate that he doesn't let you talk to boys on the phone, but you will have him wrapped around your finger. You will always be daddy's little girl and there's no one on this Earth who will protect you and love you more.

And me? Regardless of whether or not you're a boy or girl, I will hold you, feed you, play with you, kiss you, hug you, and rock you to sleep. I promise that, when you decide that it's time for you to be with us, you will never be lonely. I will be there to wipe your tears and kiss your wounds the first time you fall and scrape a knee. I will be there when you get home from your first day of school. I will be there for every dance recital, school play, sporting event, dance, and graduation. I will laugh when you tell me jokes and hold you and cry with you when you've had a bad day. I will be there for every breakup, every award ceremony, and every birthday sleepover.

I hope you decide to join us soon, little one. Until then, know that our love for you is waiting in our hearts.

Love always,
Mom

Monday, November 2, 2009

7 dpIUI

Anyone who has experienced IF long enough knows that paying attention to IPS goes out the window at a certain point in your journey. I think that my "breaking point" was nine or ten months in--right after my doctor gave me the official infertility diagnosis. I stopped checking to for implantation spotting. I stopped temping, because it only broke my heart to see my number plummet right before AF's arrival. I stopped feeling my boobs to see if they were sore. And I stopped pretending like the nausea I feel every morning when I get out of bed had anything to do with morning sickness.

So, understandably, I have excuses for every IPS I have (or someone else has) noticed so far this cycle:

IPS: Increased body temp
My excuse: I've been coming down with a slight head cold now for about a week. Must be that. Plus, I think the progesterone is supposed to keep your body temp up.
IPS: Increased thirst
My excuse: I blame this one on the cold, too.
IPS: Increased urination
My excuse: A result of me drinking a lot more water because of the increased thirst.
IPS: Backache
My excuse: Joey must be kicking me in my sleep.
IPS: Restless sleeping
My excuse: I never should have seen Paranormal Activity.
IPS: Gassy
My excuse: My diet went a little off the tracks this weekend. I don't consider the Ale House's Zinger Mountain Melt and a Philly cheesesteak to be nutritious meals.
IPS: Headache
My excuse: A result of the head cold and weather change. Or a result of my husband now being home every night. I can't decide. :)

Those are all of my IPS for now. If any more pop up in the next seven days, or if I can think of better excuses, I'll be sure to post them. Oh yeah, and I'm technically in the 1WW--even though my beta isn't until next Wednesday. I doubt my "I don't like surprises" mentality will let me last until Wednesday without peeing on a stick.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

6 dpIUI

I've been busy, busy, busy!

Friday, Joey and I had a double date to get sushi with my best friend and her boyfriend. Yes, I ate sushi during my 2WW. It even had cream cheese in it. I'm breaking all the rules. :) After dinner, we met up with another couple friend of ours and saw Paranormal Activity. During the first 30 minutes or so, I though, "Why did I just pay $8 to see this?" It was very slow-moving. But by the very end of the movie, it was so intense! We were all laughing hysterically because we were so freaked out. Let's just say I had a restless night after we got home.

Yesterday we woke up early and Joey (being the amazing husband he is) took my car to get an oil change. We spent the rest of the morning switching banks, and watched the Gators beat Georgia that afternoon with some of our friends at a local sports bar. No drinking for me, of course! When we got home, I sat outside with my mom and the neighbors for a while and handed out candy. We have a ton left, which Joey is very excited about. I tried to stay up and watch the entire Phillies game last night, but by 10:30, I was beat.

This morning we slept in a little bit, went grocery shopping, and I prepped everything for tonight's Philly cheesesteak dinner. It's in the slow cooker now and it's already smelling delicious. Joey's up at school doing some lab work. When he gets back, we're going to head over to the mall for some shopping before coming back here to watch football and game 4 of the World Series.

Keeping busy has really helped me to keep my mind off of things. We found out on Friday that Joey's cousin is pregnant. I'm really happy for her and her husband because I know they've been trying and they are both older. But part of me is dying to know when I'll get a chance to experience that joy of telling my family I'm pregnant. I've pushed that part of me to the side this weekend, and really enjoyed my time with my friends. This week and weekend should be just as busy. More fun, less thinking!

Friday, October 30, 2009

4 dpIUI

. . . and I am weepy.

I am a weepy, emotional mess.

I've cried (or have been close to crying) three times this morning:

1. One of my best buddies called me at 7:15 a.m. He and I don't talk on the phone regularly, so I knew something wasn't right when he called. He called for advice: He caught his girlfriend of seven years with another guy. When he first told me, I got choked up. What? I was sad for him, but I didn't realize it would make me so emotional.

2. I did my usual morning news read through the local papers' online Web sites, and came across this story about how police are trying to track down a person who abandoned their baby in a trash can. The baby is doing fine, and the article is completely void of emotion, yet I found myself with tears on my cheeks thinking about this baby girl.

3. When I did my morning check of the TTCYFC board, I read that one of the long-timer girls was pregnant after her second IUI. Again, tears. HAPPY tears! I just kept saying to myself, "It's so wonderful!" Now, I normally get happy for every long-timer who gets their BFP, but I hardly ever cry about it.

Damn hormones. I hope the people at Olive Garden are nice during lunch. I'm bound to cry if they run out of breadsticks.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

3 dpIUI

Here's an update:
  • I'm fat. And by fat, I mean I can no longer fit in my pants. (Case in point, I'm sitting here with my pants unbuttoned at work. Luckily my shirt is long enough to cover this.) After taking the Clomid, I gained 3.5 pounds. I'm very confident that number is now up to 5.
  • The pain in my left ovary is gone. It lingered for a little while yesterday, though it wasn't nearly as bad as it was on Tuesday. I couldn't even walk. Now, other than my massive, bloated stomach, my middle section is feeling back to normal.
  • The progesterone is not make me feel cranky. Instead, it's making me feel tired. And calm. And happy. I've had a pretty relaxed attitude this week, and I think my husband can attest to the fact that my mood swings have dwindled.
My plans for the next few days:
  • Tonight: Watching game 2 of the World Series and pigging out on pizza, which obviously won't help with the weight issues.
  • Tomorrow: Busy day at work, then going on some sort of date night with hubby. Not sure where yet.
  • Saturday: Getting an oil change in the car, meeting up with friends to watch the Florida-Georgia game, then watching game 3 of the World Series and giving out candy to trick-or-treaters.
  • Sunday: Laundry, hitting up the new H&M store in town, watching game 4 of the World Series, and spending the day perfecting the Philly cheesesteaks we are having for dinner.
Next week should be fairly busy, too. I'm trying to do anything to keep my mind off of my uterus!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

what is normal?

I want to preface what I'm about to write with this: I don't wish infertility on anyone. I am genuinely happy for every single woman in my life--and there are eight so far--who have gotten pregnant since we started trying to get pregnant. I've helped throw one a baby shower and visited her in the hospital after her baby was born. I would never, ever wish what I'm going through on anyone else. Ever.

But it doesn't help when I hear that said individual (who I visited in the hospital and helped throw a baby shower for) is already trying for baby #2, when baby #1 is exactly six months old. It's bad enough that I have to endure the constant e-mails about how precious her baby is and how much she LOVES being a mom. Now I know I will see one any day now about her being "blessed" with baby #2.

The kicker in this is that she knows. She knows everything. She was there at the very beginning when Joey and I were diagnosed. Does anyone have any courtesy anymore? Any respect? Don't worry. You don't need to answer that. In reality, we all know the answer. There are people out there who don't understand and never will. Congratulations. I'm so happy it's just so easy for you to decide that you are going to make a baby, right here and right now. Really. It's thrilling.

WHY ME? It's the question each of us ask ourselves over and over again. I feel chained to this infertile identity and the key is on the other side of the room. Sometimes I just wish I could be normal, but really . . . what's the good in wishing? Because when I put my feet back on the ground and get a grasp on reality again, I know that wishing is useless. This is who I am. I will never be normal.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1 dpIUI

I’m feeling pretty wretched today. My left ovary is killing me. At first, I thought it was ovulation pain. But there’s no way. The pain is too intense and too constant--it’s been ongoing since I woke up this morning. Leave it to the left one to always screw things up for me. I hope it goes away, or this is going to be a miserable 2WW. Has anyone else experienced this after an IUI? I’m guessing as long as I don’t have a fever and I’m not bleeding, my ovary is probably not going to rupture anytime soon.

My goal is to not obsess over any potential pregnancy symptoms during this 2WW. It should be pretty easy, seeing as how I gave up looking for IPS a long, long time ago. But in any case, I wanted to ask for suggestions on how to keep myself occupied during this wait if my mind starts to stray. So far I’ve made some plans to see friends, but nothing big. I do plan on rereading New Moon, too, because I’m a nerd and incredibly excited for the movie to come out later next month. Also, my Phillies are in the World Series, so that should provide me at least four nights of entertainment. Any other ideas on how to spend the 2WW?

On the agenda for night one: hubby is picking up my favorite kind of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. I’m looking forward to a night of lots of calories and most likely watching House Hunters on HGTV.