Tuesday, January 26, 2010

always the bridesmaid

Yesterday afternoon, my "happy" streak broke a little and I started to feel panicky thinking about everything coming up in the next few months, much of it having to do with babies . . . other people's babies. Baby showers. Baptisms. Weddings with babies in them. Though I'm still in a very positive frame of mind, I'm anticipating a breakdown at some point. The anxiety started to hit yesterday and I don't want it to spiral out of control. So I called my new RE. They won't prescribe me anything for anxiety unless I talk to my GP first. I haven't seen my GP in years, but he knows my history with anxiety and was my doctor when I went through my breakdown at 17. He agreed to meet with me next Tuesday morning at 7 and write me something to help me get through the next few months.

Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not a pill popper. This is not normally how I like to deal with things. I was on medication for years and stopped taking it because I wanted to face things head on. Instead, I went to counseling and did yoga. But right now I don't have the time or the money to do those things. So instead I want something that will help me to not break down in tears in front of rooms full of people.

It's difficult for Joey to understand why I get panicky about baby showers and things like that. His philosophy is that I should just suck it up and deal. In his words, "It has nothing to do with us."

Why is it that men and women have different reactions to situations like this? Is it purely emotional for women? Is it because of jealousy? When I talked to my mom about it last night, the only way I knew how to describe what baby showers felt was this: It's would be like asking a friend to be your maid of honor at your wedding when she just got left at the altar. She doesn't want to plan your bridal shower and watch you open your gifts. She doesn't want to be the one who has to help you pick out your perfect dress, shoes, and accessories. She doesn't want to have to hear about how excellent your honeymoon was and how you feel "complete" now that you are a Mrs. She's happy for you, yes, but inside she hurts.

Despite the smile on my face, inside I hurt. I feel like the jilted bride. Like the girl who was left at the altar because she wasn't the kind of girl that someone wanted to marry. How do I put on a bridesmaid's dress not knowing if I will ever get to be the bride?

Monday, January 25, 2010

odds and ends

1. Photos of the house: I promise I will post them soon. I just usually post from my work computer and the photos of the house are on my home computer. The contract addendum should be signed by the bank this week and then we'll begin the inspection process. Right now it looks like March 1 will be our closing date.

2. Answer to Kelly's question: On my last post, Kelly asked:

You have a whole day off, all to yourself. WWYD?

Honestly? I would be completely lazy. (Don't think less of me!) Odds are I probably wouldn't get up off of the couch. To me, those are the best days: when I never leave my PJs. What do I do on those days? Well, watch a lot of trashy TV. Read. Nap. You know, everything that you can't do while you're stuck at work. :) I'm sad to say that I haven't had a day like that in a longgggg time.

3. The lump: I had my appointment with the breast surgeon this morning. To make a long story short, he can feel it but the mammo doesn't show it at all. The next step is to try and get my insurance to approve an MRI. He really doesn't want to do a surgical biopsy unless he has to. Which I hope he doesn't have to. The whole situation is getting old. I get why they are doing it though: Even if it's nothing, it doesn't mean it can't turn into something.

4. Prayers: I know this is an IF blog and I haven't been blogging so much about my ovaries these days as I have been about my everyday life. But I would really appreciate it if you could keep Maria in your thoughts and prayers. Maria is one of our oldest family friends. In fact, she's lived across the street from us for years and I grew up with her son. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer last week. She's an amazing woman with an infectious spirit and a sense of humor that would bring anyone to tears. I hate to see her have to go through this.

Now it's time to get caught up on ICLW and commenting. I hope everyone is having a fantastic Monday!

Friday, January 22, 2010

ICLW

I realized after I wrote it that the last post probably scared the crap out of some of you who came over here from ICLW. Sorry about that. So here is a real "about me" post to welcome anyone who is new to my blog.

I'm Katie (24) and my hubby is Joey (32). We've been married since May 2008 and we've been trying to conceive our first child ever since. I'll spare you all of the boring details, but 20+ vials of blood, one sperm analysis, one HSG, two GYNs, two REs, two IUIs, 10+ ultrasounds, and over $2,000 later, we may finally have a diagnosis . . . or four:

Me: endometriosis and annovulation
Joey: low sperm count and abnormal sperm morphology

Joey goes in for his repeat SA next Tuesday, and I go in for a LAP next month. I'm not sure what lies ahead of that, but I've learned that you can never predict which way the IF road will turn next. So I try my best to take things one day at a time.

Outside of TTC, we are pretty boring people. I work as an editor for an educational publisher and Joey works as a member service representative at a bank, in addition to taking night classes to become a teacher. We live in sunny (though not at the moment) Central Florida. We are in the process of buying our first house, so I've been writing a lot about that lately. We actually just found out yesterday that our offer was accepted. If all goes well, we close at the beginning of March.

That is pretty much it. I can't think of anything else creative to write about myself, so I'm willing to answer any crazy questions you have about me/my life. So leave a comment and ask a question. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

letter to me

The idea for this post came from Kelli, who got the idea from the song “Letter to Me.” The song talks about what Brad Paisley would say if he had the opportunity to write a letter to a younger version of himself, explaining to him what is ahead of him in life and advising him on how to handle it. After reading Kelli’s letter to her 18-year-old self, I was compelled to write a letter to my younger self. Here it goes:

Dear 18-year-old Katie,

Congratulations. You are an adult now. I know it’s hard to think about becoming an adult when you are sitting in the mental ward of a hospital, surrounded by other depressed teenagers. You will tell your counselors and your parents that you are ready to go home today, or you risk being transferred to an adult ward since it is your 18th birthday. You will tell them you are ready to go home despite the fact that you don’t know if you will swallow more pills when you get there. As if this isn’t hard enough, when your parents come to pick you up, they will tell you that your favorite aunt passed away this morning. She was alone in her apartment, much like how you are feeling at this very moment and will continue to feel for the next two months. Your father will refuse to speak to you. He doesn’t understand your depression or the pain your feeling. Your mother will cry a lot, not understanding why you wanted to take your own life. But only you know the truth: You did it so that maybe they would listen. Be patient; your father will never listen and it will take a long time for your mother to understand the ache in your heart.

You will go off to college in two months and you will begin dating the love of your life. You already know him. You have known him for two years and he has been there for you through everything. He will continue to be there for you, despite the fact that your father doesn’t approve of him. He will be the one who holds you and comforts you during your lowest, loneliest points of your first year of college.

You will catch your father cheating on your mother with another woman. It will be hard to stomach, but you will tell her what you know. And she will tell you that she already knows. You will watch your family be torn apart by divorce and infidelity. You will watch your brother break down and cry when he learns that his father isn’t so perfect after all. You will finally be able to talk to your mother openly about the years of emotional abuse from your father: The years of never feeling good enough and the years of wanting to die rather than face his disappointment and anger in everything that you do. This bond with your mother will only grow stronger as you get older. You will struggle with anger toward your father for many years, and you will even still try to please him. It will take some time, but you must know you can overcome his control.

You will marry the man who was there for you from the beginning. You will be so happy and innocent on your wedding day, unaware of what is to come. You will think that this is the beginning of building a happy life together and you will both agree that you want to add to your new family right away. You will begin trying to make a baby and you think it will be easy. You will pick out names for your potential child and discuss nursery colors. You will walk through the baby section at Target every time, picking out new outfits for your unborn child. You will feel confident that a baby will come soon and your dream of becoming a mother will be fulfilled.

It will be devastating when the doctor tells you that you are infertile. You sit there, alone once again, and cry. You will scream. It will physically hurt you to hear those words. You will go through the next ten months or so angry at the world. You will hate everyone with children and everyone who is pregnant. You will tell people about your diagnosis and then resent them when they no longer speak to you. But you will be better off without the people who are not truly there for you. You will become stronger in the process. You will not share a child, but you and your husband will grow stronger together because of your struggles. It will not be easy, but you will get through it. It will take time, and you will be a better person because of it. You will still get angry sometimes. You will still wish you could give anything for a child: a limb, an organ, all of your possessions, your entire life. You will meet wonderful women who share this same wish.

And when you do have a baby, whenever that time comes, you will feel so overwhelmed with joy. You will be so grateful for having gone through what you did and it will make you a better mother. There may be days when your child is screaming, sick, or throwing temper tantrums. You will retreat into the bathroom and cry into your glass of wine with frustration and exhaustion. But then, you will pick yourself back up and continue on. Because you know that the worst possible day with your child beats any day without him or her.

So now you know. The road ahead is not easy. There will be filled with plenty of joy and excitement, heartache and pain. Know that you will survive it all. You will come out a better person, a better friend, and a better wife. Someday, you will be a better mother. You will pick up the pieces and push the past aside. It might not seem like it right now, but life will move on. You will keep breathing.

Love always,

Me

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

hold the phone

You are all so awesome. Thanks for being so excited for me and my appointment. And thanks to those of you who offered advice. I will probably be nagging you over the next few weeks with lots of questions.

To answer the question that some of you had about why my doctor doesn’t use Clomid: Side effects. Specifically what Clomid does to the lining. He will only use Femara or injects to lessen the risk of cysts and poor uterine lining. He said that if all goes well during surgery, he will probably put me on Femara first and see what that does.

I forgot to mention yesterday that all of his LAPs are filmed and he narrates as he’s doing the surgery. When I’m in recovery, he will give Joey a copy of the DVD and we can watch it at home. He’ll still do a consultation the week after surgery, but the film will pretty much let me know what was found and where it was found.

Today was my follow-up appointment with my GYN about the lump and my pap. Apparently, the negative mammo wasn't good enough to please my doctor. I now have an appointment with the breast surgeon on Monday to do a biopsy. I know I should be happy that they are being extremely thorough, but can I just say how tired I am of going to the doctor? Very tired. It's bad enough that I have to get my lady parts poked at all the time, now my poor boob is being abused. But what can you do? I just need to suck it up and get on with it. Hopefully the biopsy just confirms that it's nothing.

And we officially put in an offer on the townhouse we like. We should know by Friday whether or not we getting. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a week of good news.

Monday, January 18, 2010

scalpel

(In reference to the title: Are there any doctors out there? Do surgeons really say "scalpel" like they do in TV shows right before they are about to cut someone open? Sorry, I've just always wondered this.)

It was a long appointment, but here's the gist of it:

We met with the financial counselor first. It's the same drill as the last clinic: My insurance will cover everything but the meds and the procedures themselves. Then we met with the nurse. She took my vitals (good) and both of our medical histories (also good). My favorite interaction with the nurse:

Nurse: Did Dr. Quack [old RE] ever talk to you about endometriosis?
Me: No, because Dr. Quack doesn't believe that endo causes infertility.
Nurse: [smirking] Well, that's why we have all of his patients.

Then we went in to meet with the RE. Super friendly guy. He used to teach reproductive endocrinology at HARVARD. Sold. He will be the only doctor that touches me unless he's in surgery or something major when I need follicle scans. He went over the records and thinks we have a combo of male (low count, abnormal morphology) and female factor (annovulation, endometriosis). Joey has to get another SA next week. After that, he took us into an exam room. He did an ultrasound on me and pointed out large amounts of fluid. What is that a sign of? Endo. Big shocker.

He tried to break the "you need surgery" to me part gently, but I was so excited, I wanted to jump off of the table and hug him. But then I remembered I didn't have pants on, so I refrained. They want me to call them on CD 1 and they will try to do the LAP between CD 5 and 10. If they can't get me in then, they will put me on birth control until they can fit me in. But most likely we are looking at mid to late February. They also ran more b/w to test egg quality while I was there.

The best news I heard all day? He said that depending on the amount of endo and the SA results, we may be able to get pregnant only using meds. The only med he refuses to prescribe? Clomid.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

many thanks

Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers, and concern over the past week and a half while I waited this out. To be honest, I was more worried about the pap smear results than I was about the mass. But I never would have admitted that. I am still meeting with my GYN next Tuesday (the 19th) to discuss everything and I'm sure I'll get more details then about what exactly the mass is and what we can do about it.

Everything is set for my upcoming consultation with the new clinic. It's Monday (the 18th; can you keep track of all these appointments? I hardly can.) at 10 a.m. I'm really curious to see what they say.

And, in non-lady parts news, our loan was officially approved. We can buy a house. Now if only I could get my realtor to e-mail me back about the questions I asked him on Monday. Then we would be ready to put an offer on a place this weekend. But it seems that even when not dealing with my uterus, I still can't get people to answer my questions.

Seriously, do I have to make myself a baby AND buy myself a house? That's just too much. Someone needs to give me a hand here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

cancer free

My pap is normal.

My mammogram is normal.

That is all. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

empty arms

There’s a natural order for life when it comes to being a woman. You get your period. You grow boobs. You graduate high school. (For me, those last two were reversed.) You go to college. You meet someone. You vow to spend the rest of your life with that someone. And then you have a child together.

What if you go through life never reaching that last step?

Will I still be bitter at baby showers? Will I still feel like an animal in a cage when women in a room begin discussing their baby’s poop habits, or their child’s temper tantrums, or the fact that they wish they could have just one moment of peace and quiet to themselves? Will I still cry every time I pass baby clothes in a store? Will I still avoid aisle #1 at Publix? Will the sight of a pregnant woman’s belly still make me want to scream, “WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO MUCH?” toward the sky?

What would my life be like in twenty years if we fail to have children? I will never fit into an adult conversation. It seems as though every discussion I sit through now has to do with having children, wanting to have children, or the many experiences you get when you have one of your own. I may never be able to relate to that. When the conversation now drifts off to the taste of different baby foods, I bring out my phone and pretend to be engrossed in a game. It's the only thing I can do to keep the tears from flowing.

I don’t know what pregnancy symptoms are like. I don’t know what it's like to crave pickles and chocolate. I don’t know the difference in breast cream. How to travel with a child. What the best way to get your baby to fall asleep is. How bad morning sickness can be. Which store has the best deal on maternity clothes. What car seat is the safest on the market. How amazing it feels to hear your child’s heart beat.

I have nothing to contribute. And it hurts.

Friday, January 8, 2010

i don't want to do this

I don't want to go to this appointment.

The odds are in my favor that this is nothing. I'm 24. I'm healthy. I recently had a ton of blood work done and though my white blood cell count was slightly elevated, it was nothing close to what it would be if I had cancer.

But I just want this to go away. That's all.

Update: The tech did the ultrasound, then the radiologist came in. Neither he nor the tech could figure out what it was from the images, so they decided to go ahead and do the mammo. I waited so the tech could show the images to the radiologist to make sure they were clear. They weren't or there was something else he wanted to see so they had to take MORE images. And then they let me go. Obviously no one told me anything--they have to analyze the images and call my doctor. So I really don't know what to expect.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

play nice

I promised this post was coming. It's not going to be nice. (If you want a nice version of this post, please visit my dear friend Kelly's blog.)

A few months ago, I decided to allow anonymous commenting. I'm an open book (as you can tell from reading my blog posts) and I thought it would be nice to give other people the opportunity to be open with me who might not want to reveal their identity.

I want to remind people that despite the fact that you can't see me, I am real. I am a real person and I have feelings. This means that when you leave a comment on my blog and it's mean, my feelings get hurt. But it's happened several times in the last few weeks, and now I've become angry. Frankly, I don't really give a shit if you don't think I'm a good writer. I didn't start this blog for you and I won't change my writing for you, either. I DOUBLE don't give a shit if you think I whine a lot. Guess what? Infertility sucks. Unless you go through it yourself, you have no room to talk. If you have gone through or are going through infertility, then you probably have whined once or twice about your own inability to have children. Therefore, I have no idea why you are hating on me. It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

This blog is supposed to be a way for me to vent my feelings / beliefs / fears / hopes / dreams / nightmares about this process. It is supposed to connect me with other members of the IF community so we can support and lean on one another. It is not mean for us to criticize each other.

If you leave me a nasty comment, I will delete it. Don't think you are better than everyone else because you can hide behind your curtain. You aren't better than everyone else: you're a coward. I'm not going to engage you, I'm just going to get rid of you. And if it continues to be an issue, I'll make it impossible for you to insert your very lousy two cents.

We need to be kind. We need to treat each other fairly and with compassion. Being infertile should mean sensitivity. If you can't grasp that by now, then you're just plain stupid (and you can't fix stupid). If you aren't infertile? Then try walking a day in one of our shoes. I'm going to guess you wouldn't make it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

if it's not one thing . . .

Aside from my lumpy boob, everything else about yesterday's visit was fine. I'll get my pap results in a week or so. My gyno was very interested in all things TTC. I told him my whole history from start to finish, leaving out no details. I included every symptom I'd ever experienced. His suggestion? He thinks I need to get a second opinion from a different RE about possibly getting a LAP (since my RE is so against doing one).

So it looks like January won't be IUI#3 after all. Instead, on Monday the 18th we will be consulting with a new RE. I don't mind being in a holding pattern again for this month if it means we might get some answers. We'll see what happens.

Back to the lumpy boob: I'm feeling okay today. Last night was a sleepless, restless night, but I'm trying my best to stay in a positive place. There's nothing I can do at this point anyway but sit back and just be. It's out of my hands.

Monday, January 4, 2010

setback

Today I experienced a minor setback in my "2010 is going to be a great year" thinking.

My gynecologist found a lump in my right breast. It's not small, let's put it that way.

I'm still thinking positive, or at least I'm trying to put on a good face. I wouldn't worry if there wasn't a family history.

Ultrasound and mammogram are scheduled for Friday.

major goal #1

Joey and I are officially on our way to accomplishing one of the major goals we've set for this year:

Buying a house.

(Technically we are on our way to achieving the other one--having a baby--if you count throwing hundreds of dollars a month into our RE's pocket. But whatever.)

This morning we were pre-approved for a loan and we may start looking for houses as early at this weekend. We are trying to get in a place by May or June to take advantage of the extended tax credit, which will hopefully be used for our baby's nursery/toy/clothing/college fund rather than more fertility treatments. Trying to stay positive here!

I'm really excited about buying a house. I've wanted a place to call our own for so long, and we are finally going to get that. We're looking for a townhouse: we want to start off small and be responsible for little maintenance. Most importantly, we want something that we can bring our future Baby S home to--whenever he or she graces us with his or her presence.

At this moment, I'm running out the door for my doctor's appointment, but there is something else I want to mention. I'll elaborate on this in another post, but I am thinking of disabling anonymous comments. I've received several comments in the last few weeks that were not so nice. I'm not going to call these people out. For now, I'll leave you with this: Please, try and remember the golden rule. Treat others how you want to be treated. Don't leave me a comment that you would be offended if I left it on your blog. Thanks. More to come . . .

Sunday, January 3, 2010

off on the wrong foot

2010 started off on the wrong foot: a fight with my best friend (which I don't want to talk about because I really don't want to drag up anger and hurt feelings) and sickness. I've been SO sick the last few days. This is really the first time I've been able to get myself off the couch long enough to feel good sitting at the computer. I'm still working on catching up on all of my reading and commenting. Bear with me.

Tomorrow it's back to work and also back to the doctor: it's my follow-up appointment at the OB-GYN . . . four months late! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the pap is normal and everything looks good "down south." As for IF stuff, It's CD 24, so AF should arrive late this week.