Thursday, December 31, 2009
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
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
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
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
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 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
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:
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
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
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
Sunday, December 13, 2009
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
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
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?
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
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
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
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
- 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.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Buy a new book
See The Blind Side with my husband
Watch Florida beat FSU and Bama and win the SEC championship (I hope)
Continue my daily novenas to St. Anne
See Brothers with my husband
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
Monday, November 23, 2009
- 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 . . .
Sunday, November 22, 2009
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?
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
Friday, November 20, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
Friday, November 13, 2009
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
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
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
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
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
Saturday, November 7, 2009
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
- 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.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
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.
Monday, November 2, 2009
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.
My excuse: Joey must be kicking me in my sleep.
IPS: Restless sleeping
My excuse: I never should have seen Paranormal Activity.
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.
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
Friday, October 30, 2009
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
- 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.
- 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.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
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
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.