Monday, June 27, 2011

some (mostly boring) updates

Thank you all again for the sweet congratulations on the RESOLVE award nomination. Voting does not close until July 11, so please make sure you take time between now and then to read the entries and cast your ballot. There are some great books about infertility up for a Hope Award, as well.

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We still don't have our crib. We ordered it several weeks ago online, and two weeks later, we were told the order was canceled after the company (I won't name them, to be nice) lost the order in transit. When I asked the customer service woman on the phone WHY they canceled it rather than simply sending us a new one, she asked, "Do you need it now because you're expecting a baby?"

The question caught me off guard. Not because I'm not expecting a baby in a traditional way. But because, well, what the hell else would you put in a crib? I wanted to reply, "No, I just want somewhere to put my husband when he misbehaves." But I didn't. I wasn't sure if she would get my sarcasm.

So, we still need to order a crib. Again. I think I'll be paying the extra money to order it from a store that actually plans on ensuring it arrives. I'd like it to be here by the time we finish the home study paperwork.

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Speaking of paperwork, we are on our way. Much of the answers are coming easily, but some are more difficult to navigate. I'm happy to say that about half of the self study questions are complete.

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Last, but not least, my MRI was this morning. I hate MRIs. I can do surgeries, blood draws, all kinds of other things just fine. But MRIs? Hell. No. Being stuck in a tiny little tube with absolutely nowhere to go freaks me out.

I CAN do it, though. I work myself up before I get in there, but once I am in there, I can usually talk myself down. I must have done a good job today because the MRI tech said she thought I fell asleep in there since I was so still. She of course couldn't give me any indication (tumor or no tumor). She did say that my doctor should receive the results within the next day or so. Hopefully this means I will hear from RE #3 this week.

Basically, we're waiting. We're always waiting.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

the nominees are in, and . . .

I'm one of them.

I was messing around on my phone during dinner last night when an email popped up:

Subject line: Hope Award for Best Blog

It took all my energy not to spit the pasta out of my mouth as I read that I've been nominated for best blog. Again. Last year, I was shocked to be nominated. This year, I'm floored. I don't blog nearly as much as I used to. I am whiny. I have no infertility success story (yet), and I'm not going through treatments. So, uh, what the hell?

Now that I've had time to pick my jaw up from the floor, I'll invite you to go here and vote for best blog. Read over all of the entries, because they are all FANTASTIC. And then spread the word. Get your friends to vote. Your family. Your dog. Let's use this as an opportunity to show RESOLVE how important bloggers are to spreading awareness and support.

I began blogging almost three years ago when I had virtually no place else to turn about what we were going through. Today, thanks to this wonderful community of bloggers and the connections I made, I feel more empowered than ever in this journey. Blogging made it possible for me to open up to my family and tell them what we were going through. Blogging made it possible for me to become a RESOLVE volunteer in my city. But, most of all, blogging connected me to a group of wonderful women - some of whom have become close friends - that have virtually held my hand through the hell. Through all the treatments, the surgeries, the emergency room visits, THIS was worth it.

To realize that I wasn't alone, and I never would be.

(I'll shut up now. Mostly because I'm crying and hormonal now. Go vote.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

houston, we have a diagnosis

This morning, I had another appointment with RE#3. I was less interested in the ultrasound than I was with getting the results of my second blood draw to test my prolactin levels. But everything has to be suspenseful, so we did the ultrasound first.

All is quiet on the ovary front - exactly where it should be. That's two straight, normal scans. This is wonderful news, and a rare occurrence for me. It means that the birth control I'm currently on is working to keep my follicles from growing too large.

After the ultrasound, we received the blood work results from test 2: higher. In fact, my levels almost doubled with the second test. You'll remember from my previous post that this is what I wanted. This would be a definitive diagnosis for why this is happening.

So . . . now what?

I have another blood draw on Friday and an MRI on Monday. We need to rule out a tumor on my pituitary gland, called a prolactinoma. But tumor or no tumor, RE#3 will most likely start me on bromocriptine and eventually take me off of the birth control once my hormone levels have reached an acceptable level to where my ovaries will not produce cysts.

As weird as all of this sounds, this is good news. Yes, that's right. I think it's good news, despite the fact that I may have a tumor in my brain. This is what infertility does to you. When you've been in pain for a long time, when you've exhausted your resources, when you've spent thousands of dollars trying to figure out what the hell your body is doing wrong, an answer is good news. Having a doctor who legitimately cares is good news. Being told that your pain is curable is good news. Being told you could possibly live your life off hormones is good news.

And this is what I'm happy about tonight.

Monday, June 20, 2011

watch your mouth

I've had some insensitive comments made to me over the last three years during our struggle to become parents. Yes - there are times when these comments are so insensitive that I get angry. But, in most cases, I simply let them roll off my shoulder or (if I'm feeling extra hormonal) I bite back with a snarky response. I'm prepared for people to say hurtful things to me. What I'm not always prepared for is people to say these things to Joey.

Twice last week, Joey had people tell him, "Happy Father's Day, if it applies to you." The first time was from a customer at work. The second time was at breakfast, on Father's Day, with zero children in sight.

Now let me first express that I in now way thought either person was trying to hurt Joey with those words. Joey feels that way, too, but it doesn't mean it didn't hurt. It does hurt. I know it hurt Joey, because it hurt ME to hear it.

I wish I'd had time to react. A million things went through my head while those harsh words still rang in my ears. "If it applies to you?" Well, what if it doesn't? What if the person on the receiving end, like us, can't have children? What if their child died yesterday, or a month ago, or ten years ago, and hearing that only reopens the wound?

I realize that people mean well. They want to extend good wishes to their fellow dads. I also realize that some people may not have been offended at all by this statement. Yet, it leads me to wonder about the level of sensitivity with which we broach certain subjects.

Infertility, while crappy, has made me see things at a different angle than I used to. I have a better idea of what may or may not be "too much" to say to certain people. As an example, I used to be the girl who would ask, "When are you going to get married?" I am no longer "that" girl. Because I know what it's like to be on the other end of an equally insensitive question: When are you having children?

I'm curious to know who else feels differently about interacting with others. How has infertility changed the way you approach people? What might you have said before that you wouldn't dare to someone say now?

Friday, June 17, 2011

sleepless nights

I did have other blog posts planned for this week. I promise. Unfortunately, I didn't finish any of them since my brain wasn't quite functioning properly.

Because I haven't slept.

I mean, I've slept. Just not well. Or much. This has been happening for a few weeks now, and it's gotten progressively worse. Last night was my most successful night of sleep, and it consisted of no more than 5-6 hours. While those hours weren't consecutive, they did manage to make a world of difference in my mood today.

Has anyone else ever suffered from bouts of insomnia? If so, what did you do to get your sleep patterns back on track?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"why" i'm watching

I'm obsessed with the Casey Anthony trial.

You already know that if you follow me on Twitter. Some people have actually unfollowed me for the commentary on the trial. (Which is amusing. I don't unfollow you because you talk about breast feeding 24/7. So please, spare me.)

I know, it's weird. I tease people for watching shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom wondering, "Why on earth do you torture yourself by watching that?" And here I am. Watching, listening, reading about, and talking about a mother who (allegedly) murdered her child and dumped the body. Why would I put myself through that?

To start, I live about 10 miles away from where Caylee's body was found. I work even closer. This trial is all that people talk about in Orlando, because it's by far the worst thing that's ever happened here. Yes, murders happen all the time in this city. But it's for drugs or it's gang related. It's not a mother killing her baby. Not like this, anyway. In a sense, it reminds me of the Laci Peterson case: an otherwise "normal" city disturbed by a complete sociopath.

So a lot of it has to do with geography. If I lived in Montana, I'm sure my interest in the case would be minimal. But I drive past the area where Caylee was found every day to and from work. And do you know what I think about when I drive past it? How things could have been different. How that little girl deserved a better life. And how badly I want to see justice for her death.

One of my best friends asked me last week how I could watch this. She asked if it was hard. Yes, it's hard, and I know that I can easily turn my cheek and look the other way. I can easily turn off the newsfeed and go about my business. Yet I can't. I have to know what happens. I have to know if there will be punishment for that little girl's death. I have to know what happens to Casey. I can't understand what she did. No one will ever understand. But this trial is the closest answer I get to the question, "Why?"

Why did a sweet little girl like Caylee have to die? How can a mother take her daughter's own life, and then act like nothing ever happened?

And why do people like Casey become mothers instead of us?

Friday, June 10, 2011

shedding some light

At my last check up, RE #3 asked if I would be okay going into a lab here at home for some standard blood work. He just wanted to "rule things out" he said, specifically any type of blood disorders. He also wanted to do another check on my TSH and Prolactin levels, as it's been a while since they've been tested.

I went into the lab on Saturday morning thinking that I would get the results at my next appointment on the 21st. I did not expect to receive a phone call yesterday from my nurse.

"Everything came back normal, except for your prolactin levels. They are high. We need you to have them retested first thing in the morning. And this time we need you to fast."

Okay. No big deal. (Except for the whole waking-up-at-the-ass-crack-of-dawn-and-not-getting-any-coffee thing.) But then I start realizing what this means.

If my prolactin levels are high, I don't ovulate. So does this mean that this entire time my body's dysfunction has been hanging on the abundance of this ONE hormone? If so, there are a few doctors who have some 'splaining to do. Such as the last one (a gynecologist) who told me that blood work wouldn't tell him anything, which is why he didn't want to run anything. Or the last RE who didn't take blood work AT ALL.

I'm trying not to jump to conclusions. I want to give this second test the benefit of the doubt. It could come back completely normal. Or it couldn't. Which means we might have a name for what the hell the problem is. And a medication to fix it.

It's the first time in my life that I hope to some higher being that my blood work comes back abnormal.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

the meaning of a fucked-up life

I have been lapped thrice. Yes. A person is now pregnant with their third child in three years. This person.

I'm not angry about not being pregnant. Or sad. But moments like these only make me lose more faith in the way that God or the Universe or who/what-ever operates.

Two women I know in this community lost babies this week. Lisa delivered her twins (a boy and a girl) at 21 weeks, and Audrey lost her sweet baby boy at 15 weeks. Why do people who work so hard to experience the joy of motherhood go through so much pain and others don't? I want to understand how life is so simple and easy for some and so difficult for others. Never would I wish losing a child on ANYONE, but why must anyone lose babies at all - especially those who have spent years trying so hard to become mothers. Especially people like Lisa and Audrey who've lost other children.

I realize I'm wasting my time by trying to find the meaning of life and how it works. I do. But I can't help myself. How someone can have three children in three years of marriage and others have to lose multiple children?

In the midst of so much sadness in this community and my own struggles having now passed the three-year mark of us trying to become parents, I can't comprehend why things happen the way they do.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

when it rains, it pours

It's only Wednesday, but this week has not done a great job in bettering my mood. One of my mom's best friends passed away suddenly on Monday. Babies have been taken away from us too soon in the infertility community. And I have a lot of personal stresses weighing heavily on my mind. It seems as if one bad thing keeps leading to another - like an emotional game of dominos.

Sorry my sunshine is still missing. I hope it comes back soon. Maybe it will bring with it my blogging mojo.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

the sunny side

Thank you for allowing me to rant the other day. I appreciate it. I'd like to say I'm feeling a bit better, but I'm still in somewhat of a funk.

I'm not up for writing a "real" post right now. (Blogging lately has been hard to come by anyway, since our Internet wasn't working at home until last night.) So, I leave you with a slideshow from our vacation in the Keys last week.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend. Maybe I'll be a brighter, sunnier Katie on Monday.

video

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

sometimes, you just need a good rant

In some ways, blogging makes me bitter - so much so, that I contemplate ending my blog all together. I'm still waiting for that stork who lost his way trying to find our house. Everyone I started this journey with is becoming a mother, and here I am. Wallowing in my Blogger dashboard. Wondering what's left to say (write). I want to write about this, and yet I sit here afraid to offend someone. And that makes me mad.

I don't want to censor myself. I never used to. What changed?

I thought I got over being a Bitter Betty. What makes me revert?

Part of me is just angry that, on top of not being able to reproduce a child, everyone else around me is doing it. Everyone is pregnant - from my high school friends to ladies in my infertility support group. And, on top of not being able to reproduce a child, I have to suffer every physical consequence imaginable for it. The pain, the surgeries, the medications. I'm sick of having to explain to friends why, you know, I just don't feel like myself sometimes.

Because I'm not myself.

It's getting better with this new doctor. It is. But it doesn't mean I don't still question "why me" or I don't get sick and tired of people whining to me.

I'm sorry you had a bad day. Perhaps you'd like to trade and have a catheter stuck up your vagina filled with saline fluid along with having an ultrasound probe up there at the exact same time. Sorry you are having a bad day when I'm having my lady bits stretched out like I'm a porn star... only I'm not getting screwed by anything except medical equipment, in front of a room full of medical personnel. Meanwhile, my poor husband calmly sits next to my shoulder and looks sad at the fact that I'm being violated for the umpteenth-zillion time.

I'm sorry it took you ___ lousy months to conceive. That's so sad. You know what? I'm at three years. Of wanting a baby. And you know what I'm tired of? People saying, "I can't WAIT until you have one. It's such a blessing being a mom." Uh, yeah. I know it's a blessing. It's a blessing I've been trying to get my hands on for three years. No joke. If one more person tells me how awesome being a mom is, I'm going to tell them to go straight to hell. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

I'm sorry that your life is so awful after having a baby. That's just terrible that you get no sleep, you have shit all over your clothes, and you have no adult time. Did you read no books before deciding to get pregnant? Do you not have any friends with kids? Have you no clue about the work that it takes to be a parent? I guess you did absolutely no research before you go knocked up about how kids don't sleep and how babies can't feel, wipe, and bathe themselves.

I don't write about these things and complain because I'm TRYING. I am trying to not be so "woe is me" about this situation. But with every day that passes, it's another day further from when we started this journey. And it's another day when someone announces their pregnancy or whines about their kid being annoying. It's another day where I hear a mom curse at her child in public or someone tells me, "Being a mom is SPECIAL."

You know what I consider special these days? The days when I am not completely losing my marbles. That's special. It's the days when I'm crumbling on the inside, but I still manage to smile in the mirror and remember that I got out of bed this morning. I bathed. I brushed my teeth. I ate. I kissed my husband good-bye.

That's not insanity. It's normalcy. And, even if it's masking the pain I have inside, it has to count for something.