Friday, April 30, 2010
Outwardly, I am calm.
Internally, I am hysterical.
To a few of you, what I am about to write won’t be a surprise. You already knew because I told you. But to the rest of you: We really thought I was pregnant. I spotted at 10 dpo (Monday)—it was very light, brown spotting. I thought, “Maybe this is it. Maybe this is finally my time.” That, coupled with my irritability, fatigue, nasal congestion, and strange cramping, made me more than hopeful. It made me believe.
Then Wednesday, I felt the strangest feeling ever in my uterus. I was driving home from work and the pain/feeling was so intense, I thought I was going to have to pull over the car.
In hindsight, maybe that was my uterus giving me the middle finger.
I will never know what that second line was. A faulty test? A chemical pregnancy? And it’s a waste of my time to keep wondering. This morning, I have a menstrual migraine. My cramps are intense. And my cervix has dropped considerably. The bitch is coming.
I am sad. I am angry. I am feeling like a whiny, selfish child. When is it going to be OUR turn? Why don’t our family and friends care about US and what we are going through? Why does God hate US?
God. Is there even a God? And, if there is, it seems like all he does lately is take away babies from people I love and deny babies to those who deserve it most. I don’t even try to talk to him anymore. Because I feel like he is standing up there saying, “What do you want me to do about it? I don’t really give a shit. Get that through your head, girl. Now let me go help some teenager get knocked up so she can end up on an episode of 16 and Pregnant.”
There were moments last night when I felt like throwing in the towel. I thought about it again on the way to work this morning. And then, I turned off the radio, plugged in my iPhone, and pressed “shuffle” on my iPod.
The first song was, “Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty:
Well I won't back down
No I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down
No, I'll stand my ground
Won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground
And I won't back down
I won't back down
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
Hey I'll stand my ground
And I won't back down
Well I know what's right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I'll stand my ground and I won't back down
No, I won't back down
If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.
So I guess the only thing left to do is move forward. If my period is on time, cycle #25 should start on Sunday and IUI #4 would fall around May 14. The end of my 2WW would be on our anniversary trip to New York City.
There are only two more shots at this—two more IUIs before IVF. I want to vomit.
Instead, I’ll stand my ground.
And I won’t back down.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I don't know what to think. Part of me has a glimmer of hope, but the other part of me thinks, "Well, it could be chemical." or "It really could be just a shadow or a faulty test." I also have some light cramping. Overall? I'm not convinced that I'm pregnant.
So no congratulations. No cheering. No excitement. Just waiting.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Yesterday, my newest follower, Aly, pointed out that I now have 100 followers on my blog. That seems very surreal to me. When I started this blog over a year and a half ago, I started it to document our journey. It slowly evolved into a way for me to let out my deepest emotions about infertility. And now? Now my blog helps me cope and connects me to other men and women who are going through similar struggles. In a way, my blog is my support group.
Things are going well at the new house. We are very ready for the couch to be delivered next weekend so we can stop squeezing ourselves onto the tiny loveseat we have right now. Joey is finishing up the floors today (the floors themselves are in, but the transitions to the tile in the kitchen, foyer, and by the back door still needed to be installed). I find myself waking up several times a night trying to get used to the sounds of the new house and the street. It's strange, but it's wonderful to have a place to call home.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I know I did the right thing. I know I do the right thing every time I put up a status on Facebook or post something on Twitter. I know that others don’t have it in them to come forward. With National Infertility Awareness Week upon us, I want them to know that there is someone out there who they can talk to and someone who is willing to advocate openly for them. Someone else who feels the same way. Someone else who is going through the same pain. Someone else who questions whether they will ever become a parent.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when life (or infertility, in this case) hands you lemons, just ask for some salt and tequila. In other words, make the best of it. Right now, I’m making the best of it by setting up the new house and reading Unsung Lullabies.
I’m making the best of it by trying to ignore the fact that I’m 10 dpIUI and set to test on Friday.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Bring on the 1WW. Let's hope that Little Miss Strawberry doesn't show up before then. (Thanks for the link, Whitney!)
Happy Friday, everyone!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Speaking of the move and being at home, we are so excited to be in the new place on Sunday! We aren’t getting our couch until May 8, but that’s okay. Once the couch is in, I’ll post before and after pictures of the place.
There has been a lot of rough news in IF land lately. It’s making me sad. To Kelly, Al, and Holly, please know that I am especially thinking of the three of you and sending love your way.
I sent my Project IF post to some of my close family and friends today. I hesitated sending it, I really did, but I felt as if it was the right thing to do. I can’t just talk the talk and hide behind my blog, Twitter, or even Facebook. I have to take action. So, you know what they say: When in doubt, send it out! No one has responded yet, but I hope my point came across.
If you aren’t yet on Twitter, you should be. The Long and Winding Road has launched a campaign to make infertility a trending topic on Twitter in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week. The campaign will be this Monday, April 26. So Tweet away and tell your other IF friends!
Is anyone else really excited to watch the NFL Draft tonight? Or am I a total nerd? Mostly, I watch to see where the Gator players end up. This year has extra hype thanks to Tim Tebow. As for NFL teams, I am a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan. So Eagles fan + draft usually = total disaster. Let’s hope we don’t draft another quarterback from Houston (ahem, Kevin Kolb, ahem).
My IUI buddy 2catdaughters is having her fourth and final IUI tomorrow morning. Go wish her luck in catching that egg!
That’s all the randomness I have for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with the results from the b/w. Until then, Happy Earth Day!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
People walk around with holes in their hearts every day, but you would never know simply by looking. Some carry a hole in their heart made by a lost loved one. Some have a hole made by an old flame or a broken friendship.
I have a hole in my heart created by infertility.
It began with the diagnosis, when a sliver of my heart disappeared. With every pregnancy announcement, every baby event, every question about when we are having children, every ignorant remark, every biased news article, every tear shed, and every negative pregnancy test, this sliver has turned into a gaping hole of emptiness.
The pain I endure from this hole can make the most mundane activities unbearable. I have lost and will continue to lose friendships because of it. Family functions and holidays take on a different meaning. Each one is a reminder, a milestone, of what we have not achieved. Something simple, like running errands, can bring on a wave of emotions if I see a baby or a pregnant belly. Watching television or movies becomes a constant reminder of both how easily others get pregnant and how misguided the public is about this disease. Comments like “relax” and “you still have time” send a dagger into the hole, ripping the edges with such force it feels like my heart is going to tear in half.
The hole aches every day, but not just for me. It aches for the thousands of women and men who are currently in treatment, for the women and men who are unable to afford treatment, for those who have lost, and for gays and lesbians who clinics discriminate against because of their sexuality. It aches for those who have exhausted their options and are living childfree, and for those who are still waiting for that phone call from their adoption agency.
What will it take to heal my wound? I have asked myself this question a lot lately and this is what I have come up with: A positive pregnancy test would place a Band-Aid over it. Making it to week 24, the week of viability, would stitch it back together. But even holding a living, breathing child would not erase the scar of infertility. Slowly, I am beginning to realize that this missing piece of my heart--this piece filled with hope, innocence, trust, patience, and control--may never truly be complete again. Even if this cycle ends in a positive, it is impossible for me to ignore the past two years and what we have experienced. More impossible is to ignore those men and women still fighting to keep this same hole from swallowing their hearts completely.
But what if I wear my hole outside of my heart?
What if I use my hole to make people more aware of our pain and suffering? What if I use it to educate the public about who we are and the challenges we face? What if I let my hole speak for us--let it speak for all that we have been through and all we continue to go endure?
What if wearing my hole outside of my heart allows my heart to heal?
For more information about infertility, please visit www.resolve.org/infertility101. To learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), go to www.resolve.org/takecharge. And to see how "Project IF" started, check out www.stirrup-queens.com/2010/04/bloggers-unite-project-if.
Monday, April 19, 2010
How are you feeling?
I close my eyes and think, How am I supposed to answer this question? On any given day, the response may be different. It may even be different from hour to hour or minute to minute.
There are days or moments when I feel great. When the sun is shining and I can see things in the brightest of colors. I see things differently. I laugh. I feel warmth. I can walk into a baby store, browse through the tiny onsies, and hold a little pair of shoes in the palm of my hand. I can close my eyes and envision what our baby’s nursery will look like: the colors, the furniture, and me sitting a chair rocking our baby to sleep. I can feel the warmth of my child’s embrace as I send him off to his first day of school. I can feel the pride in my heart as I watch her graduate from high school and college, and settle down to start a family of her own. And I can feel the joy when my child places his child in my arms and calls me “Grandma.”
During bright days or moments, these images make me smile. And the hole in my heart seems a little smaller.
But then there are days or moments when the clouds rolls in. Before I know it, the sky is dark and the winds are howling. The temperature drops, buckets of rain begin to fall, and the lightning and thunder appear out of nowhere. In the blink of an eye, pregnant women and babies surround me. The rain is so hard that I can barely see straight. My body shakes passing the diaper aisle at the grocery store. The Earth begins to spin and I feel as if I am going to fall off the edge at any moment. The sky goes from dark to black. The storm swallows my heart and everything in it, and then? Then there is nothing: no feelings, no fear, and no hope - just numbness.
But no one wants to hear these things. And I don’t want to say these things.
So, instead, I open my eyes. I do everything I can to smile and say,
I am feeling fine. And how are you?
Friday, April 16, 2010
And now? We wait. I go back next Friday for a progesterone check and they want me to POAS the following Friday.
For the next two weeks, we'll be busy moving into our new house so it should be enough to take my mind off of the wait. I promise: before and after pictures are very close to being posted.
Thanks for the support, everyone. Here's to being PUPO!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Do you ever have those moments where you just freak out and you have no idea why? Or maybe you do know why and it is over something so minor that you look back and you can’t believe it happened? That’s what happened to me yesterday with all of this. I flipped out. Calm Katie went right out of the door and inserted Crazy Katie in her place. Luckily, it only lasted through the evening, but still. I hate that feeling. Even though Femara has been better than Clomid with my emotions, it still drives me insane when I have no control over what I do, say, and feel.
So I cried hysterically. I was frustrated at my RE’s office. Why would they tell me that morning to come in on Thursday if they didn’t know for sure? Why would they wait until 4:45 to change their mind? Don’t they know I have a job to notify? Why would they yell at me for calling at 4:45 to get my appointment time? Why can’t I just have sex and get pregnant like a normal person?
I went home. I cried some more. My mom did my trigger shot. I bled. I ate chocolate. I popped Lexapro. And then I drank some Moscato, logged onto Facebook, and became angry at someone’s resentful status update about her children. So, I posted this on my own status:
Infertility sucks. For those of you out there who were/are able to conceive naturally, please don't ever forget how blessed you are!
And then went to bed.
This morning, I woke up to a message in my inbox on Facebook: a reply to my status update. It was a friend of mine from college. He and his wife (also a friend from college) are infertile, too, and he just wanted me to know that I wasn’t alone.
He’s right. I’m not alone. I have my husband. And I have all of you. So thank you, for dealing with Crazy Katie yesterday. Here’s hoping she stays away for a long, long time.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I know that trigger shots are done 36 hours prior (both of my previous were at 36 and 24 hours, respectively). And I know that, based on a trigger shot tonight, a Friday IUI is right on track. But I'm going to ovulate before then. I have a follie that is TWENTY SEVEN mm. That guy probably won't last through the night.
Ugh. One more mindfuck of TTC.
It is what it is.
I purposefully did not ask for numbers or look at the screen while the tech was doing her thing. Instead, I chatted away with her and the nurse about American Idol, not wondering whether my ovaries liked or hated their new counterpart, Femara.
Well . . . I heart Femara.
I think I may even name my kid after it--middle name, of course.
Beautiful, thick lining. Two follies on lefty. One “I’m ready to party” follie on righty (27mm).
Pending the results of my blood work, we will probably trigger tonight and have the IUI tomorrow. On CD 12.
Tomorrow, I will be PUPO.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Even though my BIL and SIL offered me a ride to the shower, I politely declined at the last minute. The last thing I needed was to be trapped with no transportation. I wanted a way to escape if I felt like emotions were getting the best of me.
I popped an extra Lexapro but arrived at the shower still feeling antsy. So when I walked in and was offered a mimosa, I quickly accepted. Between the two mimosas and chatting with my SIL, both helped put my nerves at ease.
There were no tears and only two awkward moments. The first came when one of the shower organizers announced that, instead of playing games (which I was dreading), we were going to fill out advice cards for the mom-to-be. What could possibly be more awkward than that?! I wanted to look toward the sky and ask God if he was trying to torture me. I wanted to take the blank card and put it right back in the pile. Instead, I wrote something like this:
"When your baby is fussy and you are having a bad day, take 5 minutes, then dry your tears and smile. Because the worst day with your baby is better than any day without him."
The second awkward moment came during the gift opening. I can't remember what gift it was, but something triggered the waterworks. It was toward the end and I was getting restless. I could really feel my eyes getting heavy and I knew that I could start crying at any moment. My MIL caught me. And without missing a beat, she quietly whispered in my ear about how excited she was that I was going back to school, and she asked me a question about the program. We whispered back and forth for a minute, and before I knew it, the moment had passed.
After the shower, I found out that my MIL had called Joey beforehand to make sure I would be okay to go. She even warned him about the advice cards (unfortunately he didn't have a chance to warn me).
I credit you ladies, alcohol, Lexapro, my SIL, and my MIL for getting me through those two hours. I credit my husband for having faith in me. But I credit myself, too. I wasn't sure if I could do it, and I did. I'm not only happy for the mom-to-be, but I'm also extremely proud of myself. I made it.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Tomorrow is the very first “official” baby shower I will attend as an infertile.
I say official because I did attend/throw a work baby shower for my former boss (who, incidentally, is the woman who just lapped me). But that doesn’t count. It was in a work setting and I was hosting, so I barely had time to sit and listen to the chitchat about childbirth techniques and the wonder and miracle of bringing a life into this world.
Tomorrow will be very different. This baby shower is for one of Joey’s family members. I will most likely be the only person of childbearing age in attendance who does not have a child. Which means I will get asked, at least once, when we are going to have children. Or, if they don't know me, whether I have children.
Joey saved me some of the heartache that goes along with attending a baby shower by going out yesterday and buying the gifts, but it doesn't stop the fact that I will need to find a way to endure two hours of nothing but the one thing I don’t want to think about:
Just typing the word “baby” makes me cringe. It makes my body temp rise. It makes my hands shake. It makes my stomach want to crawl out of my throat. It makes me want to scream. It makes me want to cry. It makes me want to have a hissy fit and throw things.
I don’t know how I’m going to get through this.
How will I get through this?
Thursday, April 8, 2010
We’ve been lapped.
My friend and former boss, who got pregnant with baby #1 a few months after we started trying, announced on Facebook last night that baby #2 is due on October 16.
I can’t say this surprised me. She always said she wanted a big family and I heard through mutual friends several months back that she and her husband were thinking about trying again.
So at first, her pregnancy announcement didn’t elicit anger.
Instead, after a few minutes of reflection, it reminded me that I had forgotten to take my medication with dinner.
That’s when I got angry.
My mom watched me as I opened the kitchen cabinet and took out three pill bottles. One by one I slammed them on the counter with force:
“First, I get to take the Femara, so my stupid, lazy ovaries will get off their ass an DO something!”
“THEN, I will take my prenatal vitamins. The same stupid purple pills that I’ve been taking for TWO YEARS, and do you know what they do? Nothing. They only make me cry every time I go to a new doctor, he or she sees it on my medication list and then asks, ‘Are you pregnant?’ Um, no, I’m not. But thanks a lot for bringing it up!”
“And finally, I’ll take my Lexapro so I don't jump off a bridge because, after two years, I'm still barren.
So while Mrs. Fertile basked in the glow radiated by her super-fertile uterus, I opened each pill bottle, took out my dosage, swallowed them one by one, and quietly placed the bottles back into the cabinet.
My mom just stared at me. The only thing I could muster before leaving the room was,
“Things were not supposed to be this way.”
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The next appointment is one week from today. I hope I have at least one beautiful follie waiting for a weekend IUI. In the meantime, I have a lot to keep me busy. And speaking of keeping busy, I really need a good fertility yoga DVD recommendation. One of my friends gave me an amazon.com gift card for my birthday. I already plan to order Unsung Lullabies (thank you, Ashley, for the recommendation!), but I would like to order a fertility yoga DVD, too. So if you know of any, please pass the information along.
Thank you all for the birthday wishes and the words of encouragement. They meant a lot yesterday. I never meant to sound depressed; more like bittersweet. This was just another childless milestone, another reminder of how long it’s been since we started trying. You would think this would get easier with each milestone, but somehow it doesn’t. Every holiday, birthday, and anniversary still gnaws at my heart.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Jesus wasn't the only person who returned this weekend. My crazy aunt finally decided to show up--and on Sunday, just like I asked her to. I did end up testing again on Saturday morning, just to be sure. But I knew Friday's test was accurate. I managed to hold in the tears (for the most part), and I didn't scold myself too much for letting my mind get carried away. It is so hard to find that balance between staying positive and becoming too positive. I think that line gets so blurry for all of us. It definitely did for me last week.
So I'm back on the IUI wagon. My CD 3 appointment is tomorrow at 7:30. How ironic that I will start the morning of my 25th birthday with getting wanded by the cooter cam, but it is what it is.
Speaking of birthday, we got the celebration started early this weekend since my big "quarter century" mark falls on a Tuesday. Friday night, Joey and I went out for dinner and drinks. It was a weird night, mostly because I was still in a little bit of a funk from my BFN. I did manage to have enough to drink where I thought, "Hey, now would be a perfect time to go get my last tattoo fixed!" And so that’s what we did. (More on this in a later post.)
By Saturday, I was feeling better. My mom took me shopping in the morning and bought me some cute clothes for my birthday. Then, in the afternoon, Joey took me to get a smoothie and a pedicure. But the real fun started with dinner. My husband, the wonderful man that he is, told me to get dressed up and we went to Emeril's for dinner.
We ate tons of good food and had a couple of drinks. Then, we met up with some of my best friends (like Hayley!) and did nothing but drink fruity drinks and sing along at the piano bar until 1:30. It was such a great time, and my throat still hurts from singing so loudly.
And Sunday, the fun ended. I was slightly hung over (what I would do to be pregnant, so I could give up alcohol and feeling like THAT!) and AF announced her arrival in the middle of our trip to Home Depot to buy our flooring and our refrigerator. We managed to get some work done on the house before I just couldn't take the cramps anymore. The rest of the day was spent doing laundry and napping. My mom made cupcakes, and she and Joey sang me Happy Birthday, since we'll be at my in-laws tomorrow for the "real thing."
I didn't think much about my negative or about infertility this weekend, and that was nice. I'm sure it will be fresh on my mind tomorrow, though, as I get ready to turn the calendar to age 25 and cycle 24. But I'll save that depressing post for tomorrow morning.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Can everyone do me a favor? Please don't say I'm sorry. Of course I'm a little upset, but it makes me guilty to read apologies. It's no one's fault and trust me, no one pushed me to test. A negative is what I expected and it's not the end of the world. No one is dying. And I'm still going to have a wonderful (early) birthday weekend with my husband, my friends, and my family.
It'll happen someday. Just not today.
Maybe I didn't do this right? Maybe I need to talk about IPS in order to solidify the jinx? Okay then, have it your way:
Mild cramping. I wouldn't even call this cramping, but there's no other word I can use to describe it. It lasts about a second and goes away. It's directly underneath my belly button, over the center of my uterus.
Nausea. This actually didn't happen until lunch today. One bite of that Swiss cheese in my sandwich made my tummy churn. I ended up taking out the slices and throwing them in the trash, but it still made the sandwich not as enjoyable as I wanted it to be.
Headache and stuff nose.
Sore boob. Yes, just one. And the one from my surgery (it's not the incision that's sore, it's the whole thing).
Hip, lower back, and upper leg soreness/aches.
Alright now if you'll excuse me, it's time to head to the ladies room so I can take a peek at what my husband likes to call "the situation."
Thursday, April 1, 2010
So, here it goes:
Today is April Fools' Day and today marks five days with no signs of AF's arrival. Remember I wanted her to arrive last weekend? Well she didn't. And if her plane doesn't land soon, it won't be this weekend either.
This could be for a number of reasons, the most logical of which has to do with the lap and the fact that I had my last period immediately following the surgery. My body is possible still trying to adjust to its improved "parts." It could also have to do with the BCPs I took before the surgery and how they messed up my cycle, hormone levels, etc. It could be my body's way of making up for my 20-day cycle last month. Maybe it's trying to even things out?
I don't know, but I refuse, REFUSE to test. I don't want to see a negative. And then have her highness show up on my doorstep immediately following. I will wait this out. I will publish this post, and my stupid, bitchy relative will obey my desire to have her start on Sunday morning. I will call my doctor on Monday, and get in for a CD3 visit on Tuesday.
Enough with the cruel April Fools' Day joke, you crazy aunt. It's time to get this show on the road.