Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another Plus

Not only is the entire minimal stim process shorter than a regular IVF cycle, but I don't have to go in as often for monitoring. Fewer ultrasounds - yeah! And, the cycle may be even shorter than I expected. This morning the nurse told me that with the minimal stim protocol ovulation often occurs sooner and that they could end up doing the ER in less than 2 weeks. Of course, as with anything to do with infertility, one can't be too happy about anything for very long. I was quickly reminded of the down side of this protocol-- fewer eggs, higher cancellation rates. As my doctor walked down the hall after my exam this morning he told me "good luck" in a tone that seemed less than enthusiastic. I looked at the nurse and said "well that didn't sound too encouraging" and she said he's always tentative when they're trying something new with a patient. Sometimes it would be nice to be allowed to at least pretend to be innocently optimistic for awhile.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Well, today is CD1 and so we begin our 4th IVF/ICSI, and our first using the minimal stimulation protocal. On one hand, I'm terrified that we'll get no eggs, or only 2 and they'll both suck. On the other hand, being an incredibly inpatient person, I'm thrilled that this is a shorter protocal and we could be through the transfer in less than 3 weeks.

I'm not, however, looking forward to the near daily vaginal ultrasounds that start tomorrow. As if they weren't unpleasant enough, thanks to the adhesions that tied my tubes in knots, things on the inside are a little out of place and it's VERY difficult for the doc to get a good look at my right ovary. Therefore, while he's moving the wand around, the nurse has to press down hard from the outside. Guess what? IT HURTS! I've said it before and I'll say it again -- compared to the ultrasounds, the blooddraws and shots in the belly and ass are nothing. In fact, I'd endure double the needles if I could avoid those nastly ole' ultrasounds.

Then again, I'd have one everyday if it meant getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. So I guess I'll stop bitching now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why is it so hard to come back to work after a long weekend? It's almost lunch time and I haven't really gotten anything done yet! The weekend was nice, but I am glad to be back home. Nothing awful happened at the in-laws, no major blowups or arguments, but I still found it exhausting. 13 people in one house is just tiring.

And now our regularly schedule program continues....

I'm very stressed waiting to get my period right now. If I don't get it in the next couple of days, we'll likely wait until next month to do our 4th IVF cycle. Although I was the one who initially suggested we wait a month instead of trying to do it with frozen sperm -- I believe I said "it's ONLY one month" -- as each day passes I get more frustrated. I still tell myself that it's only one month or 4 weeks or 30 days but I'm not really a patient person and we all know that time is of the essence. I can't stop thinking about the fact that I'll be 38 in exactly 5 months. How the hell did THAT happen?!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Two Paths

First of all, I'll admit that I'm not feeling inspired today. But I'm trying to do a better job of keeping up with this blog, and I'm about to leave town for the long weekend.

Since I'm not feeling inspired I think I'll just take up the first item on the list from my last post.


Until recently, everytime my husband, or anyone else for that matter, brought up the idea of adoption my stock response was "I'm just not there yet." It's not that I was unwilling consider adoption - at some point - but to me it felt like the step we'd take AFTER all other attempts had failed. Despite the disappointments and the lack of money, I'm still not ready to give up on IVF yet. When I was pregnant with my daugther it was wonderful. I loved being pregnant. I felt good. Until the end (the placental abruption and the early delivery) it was an easy and happy time for me. And after my daughter was born I loved nursing and my body did too. I made milk like nobody's business. In fact, we had to buy a freezer for all the extra milk I pumped and I filled it up! I REALLY want to feel a baby grow and move inside me again and I want the quiet comfort of nursing another child. So, that's why I will continue to go back to that clinic and try as many times as we can afford to get myself pregnant. I should say that my husband is very suppportive and has told me he'd spend whatever money we have to have another baby. In fact, in some ways it seems he'll have more stamina to keep going than I will -- go figure, it's not his body getting prodded, poked, infused with drugs...

However, recently my husband said he thinks we should start investigating adoption and has even found a few contacts for us. The things is, he didn't present it as an either/or situation. He's prepared to keep trying IVF, but thinks we should explore both paths to parenthood in hopes that if one doesn't work the other will. And, if we pursue the dual track we may end up with a child faster than if we take it one step at a time.

This may sound silly, and I probably won't do a great job of explaining it, but I've been really amazed at how much more willing I am to discuss and think about adoption now. Now that I'm thinking about it as a separate path or it's own path to parenthood, rather than the result of the failure of all else.

Hope anyone who sees this has a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Road of Good Intentions

I’m going to cheat a bit today. Instead of writing a real post, I’m going to post of list of topics that I plan to write on in the near future. Although the purpose of starting this was to help myself cope with this ongoing hell, I haven’t been very good about writing regularly. I thought if I put down on paper a list of things I’ve been thinking about the most, with a promise to myself that I WILL write about them, that I might be more likely to follow up on it. So here’s the list:

Adoption -- specifically do we start down that path now or later?
Privacy -- my husband’s need for it vs. my need to bare my soul.
Fear -- why can’t I call my clinic and make a simple request of one of the nicest nurses in the world without getting nervous, having my hands shake, and wanting to cry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Well, I’m not doing such a great job of keeping up with the blog. When I started I thought I’d write everyday, or at least every other day. I mean I’ve got tons to say. My emotions are swirling around like a tornado, thoughts are coming rapid fire day and night, and I can’t seem to quiet my mind. But putting thoughts on paper has never been easy for me—I’m not very disciplined about my time, I tend to procrastinate everything, and I’ve always been incredibly self-conscious about my writing. As usual, now that I’m taking the time I can’t decide what to write, although ideas have been churning around in my head for days. I suppose I’ll write about the upcoming weekend, since it’s starting to occupy more and more of the space in my head.

We’ll be spending Memorial Day weekend with my husband’s entire family. At first I had no desire to go. It was just after the last failed IVF cycle that we found out my brother-in-law and his family would be visiting my in-laws and I DID NOT want to go. Then we found out that my sister-in-law and her family would be there as well. I STILL didn’t want to go, but my daughter LOVES her cousins and her aunts and uncles and I felt bad keeping her from this unexpected family get-together, so I told my husband we should go. But I did tell him that I reserved the right to make myself scarce—this is pretty easy since his parents live in my home town and all of 15 minutes from my parents. After about a week and a half I was feeling a bit less down and thinking it might be fun after all. But now that the weekend in only 3 days away I’m starting to feel a bit edgy about it again. I’m not quite dreading it, but I’m afraid I might be by the time we drive down on Friday. I’ll say now that all in all I’m very lucky as far as in-laws go. I get along well enough with each of them individually, and there’s certainly nothing horrible about any of them. But there are things about some of them that annoy me—more so lately given my own not-so-happy state of mind. And, as a family they have issues, so the atmosphere is almost never relaxed when everyone is together. Also, among them only my husband’s parents know anything about our struggle with IF—so the rest will not understand why I’m mopey and sad.

In part, it’s just that given my own precarious emotions I’m not in the mood for anyone else’s bullshit—and there’s guaranteed to be some sort of conflict within the family before the weekend is over. Additionally, my sister-in-law has three children (all easily conceived and delivered), the youngest is almost 3, and my brother-in-law has a 2-year-old, and frankly, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to be around young children (basically any child younger than my daughter) and families with more than one child. It’s also painful for me to see my daughter with younger children. She really loves “babies” and she is always asking for a little brother or sister, and it kills me that I can’t give her one. But the thing I dread the most is the possibility that my brother-in-law and his wife will announce they are expecting. Though I have no reason to expect it, I know they want more children, their daughter is two, and my SIL quit her job a few months ago. I feel horrible saying this, but I just don’t know that I’m capable of being happy for them right now and I REALLY don’t know that I’d be able to control my emotions in front of everyone.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thanks, but I'd rather be ordinary.

While doing some research I read, in several places, that women rarely experience a blighted ovum more than once. I've now had two. Normally the terms rare or unique suggest something positive and often cause something to be considered important or valuable. In this case, I'd much rather be like most everyone else.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work I Go...

Work is kicking my butt all of a sudden . Luckily, I work with great people at every level -- supervisors and staff -- and that helps a lot, but things are not going well and we're waaaaaay behind schedule. ARGH! The point is, I've been so busy I haven't had time to write here. But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it. In fact, I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, in part because I've just recently started reading quite a few infertility/loss blogs, most of which are incredibly thoughtful. I also just finished reading 'Waiting for Daisy' and I'm in the middle of 'A Few Good Eggs'.
One subject I'm been thinking about is guilt and self-hatred. I’ve come across many common themes in writings about infertility, but for some reason I feel like I keep stumbling across these issues lately. The thing is, these are not issues I struggle with. I get why women may feel guilty for past life choices that they feel may have contributed to their infertility struggles. I also get why women dealing with this would feel guilty that they are preventing their spouse from becoming a parent, and why they would be angry at themselves because they feel their body is failing them. I’m not saying that I think they should (or shouldn’t) feel guilty–hell, who am I to tell anybody how they should feel–I’m just saying that I can understand why someone might feel that way. In fact, I’ve been wondering why I don’t feel that way – since it seems like such a commonality in the infertility community. It’s also ironic, because I’ve spent a lifetime hating myself for all sorts of reasons. I wish it wasn’t so, but I’ll admit I’m carrying around some seriously heavy emotional baggage that actually doesn’t have anything to do with infertility.
I was a painfully shy child. I refused to order my own dinner in restaurants. I feared most social situations. When I was 7 my family moved; starting a new school and having to make new friends was so difficult that the only things I remember about 3rd grade are the wonderful school counselor I got to visit every week and crying myself to sleep every night. I was an introvert, but not by choice. I wanted to make friends, be part of the crowd, hell, I wanted to be the center of attention. But I just couldn’t, and I hated that. I eventually outgrew the worst of it, but to this day I avoid making cold calls on the telephone (that’s just great for work!) and social situations where I don’t know very many people. And frankly, I still hate that I’m so fearful of people – because really that’s what it is all about. All that fear and inability to be the person I wanted to be created enormous self-esteem and self-confidence issues, which I still struggle with today. Add to all that a short, stocky build and kaboom! I WAS that girl about whom everyone said – she’d be so pretty if she lost a few pounds. Guess what I never lost it, not for very long anyway. I’ve been on and off diets since I was 14 – that’s 23 years!
So, what’s all this got to do with how I feel about myself with regard to infertility? Well, reading about so many other women’s feelings of guilt and anger at their bodies made we wonder why I don’t feel that way too. Especially given all my other emotional baggage, including about my body. The answer is that I really have no idea. Am I angry? Hell yes. I’m angry and bitter and jealous and sad and I feel damn sorry for myself much of the time. But I don’t feel like I did anything to put myself here, so I don’t feel guilty in that respect. As for the impact on my husband: I don’t know, I willing to consider that it could be that I’m just too damn busy feeling sorry for myself to feel guilty about the impact on him. But really I think it’s just that we’ve been such a team in all this. We don’t have a perfect marriage, far from it I’m sorry to say. But when it’s come to parenthood and trying to achieve parenthood, I couldn’t ask for a better partner. When I was hospitalized before our daughter was born, when she was born 8 weeks early, throughout her stay in the NICU, and then the months with the cardiac monitor, the oxygen tanks, the medicines, and the doctors visits, and through 2 miscarriages, 1 surgery, 3 IVF cycles, and 2 years of trying for another baby, he’s been there for me and our family in ways that still surprise and amaze me. Is that the answer? I don’t know, I’d like to think it is, but maybe for now I’ll just be grateful that I didn’t pick up that extra bit of emotional baggage.

Ugh -- quite a long ramble I just wrote. If I'm embarrassed by this in the morning I'll blame on the hour. It's only about 4 hours past my bedtime!

Friday, May 11, 2007


I'm so tired right now.

I'm tired of wanting what I don't have
I'm tired of feeling disappointed
I'm tired of the jealousy I feel towards other parents
I'm tired of arguing with the insurance company
I'm tired of writing large checks to doctors
I'm tired of worrying about money, and being angry that more and more decisions are being made due to finances
I'm tired of answering my daughters pleas for a sibling with vague words like "maybe" and "someday"
I'm tired of explaining the timing of an IVF cycle to my husband (who should know after 3 times!)
I'm tired of ultrasounds
I'm tired of using up all my leave at work for fun things like ultrasounds and blood draws
I’m tired of feeling like my whole life is on hold!

I want my happiness back, but I don’t know where to go to find it. It's not that there are no good moments; my daughter brings me great joy. But I feel overwhelmed by this disappointment, and it feels like everything is tainted with sadness. This of course just adds guilt to the mix. It seems unfair that my daughter, my husband, my family and my friends are all suffering from my feelings. Alright, suffer may be too strong a word, but it's not altogether off base. I don't think a day goes by that I don't cry. If our efforts to have another child fail will I ever get past it? Will I carry this sadness with me forever? I guess deep down I know I’ll cope and move on if things don’t work out the way we hope they will. But, will I ever be able to pass by a pregnant woman or a baby in a stroller without wanting to turn away?

new name

I don't think anyone has actually read any of this yet, but just in case...

I've changed the title and URL for the blog -- the original name (with a reference to Barbie) was really annoying me.

That's it for now.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy

I feel grumpy, oh so grumpy, I feel grumpy and cranky and cross. And I envy any girl who isn’t me today. I feel awful, oh so awful, it's alarming how awful I feel....

So, I'm in a great mood today. I'm so tired of feeling angry, sad, and jealous. Monday and Wednesday I stayed home from work. Monday I felt horrible and turns out I have Strep. On my doctor's suggestion, although my daughter showed no symptoms, I took her in for a Strep test and, guess what, it was positive. On both days I was, of course, at the doctor's office and the pharmacy, I also made quick stops at the grocery store on each day. UGH - I swear everywhere I looked were moms with 2 to 3 kids all under the age of five! I felt like I was in some sort of scary movie -- attack of the fertile mommies and their toddlers. It's bad enough that I'm already jealous of the SAHMs -- I like my job and I don't think I'd be a very good SAHM, but I'm still envious that they have the option to do it. Now I'm adding jealousy of anyone with more than one kid -- and if the kids are close in age then I get really upset. Somedays I'd like to stay in the house and never leave.

On top of that, daughter's been asking daily when I'm going to have another baby and why is it taking so long to grow a little brother or sister. I really can't take it!!!

Last in today's list of things I'm grumpy about: I just found out that my husbands brother and sister and their spouses and kids are all going to be at the in-laws for Memorial Day. I agreed to go because my daughter loves her cousins and aunts & uncles and is always asking when we can visit. But, let me say, I'M NOT IN THE MOOD!

I'd like to say that I feel better for getting that out, but I don't.

Have a nice day! ;-)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Another ride on the IVF roller coaster

Well, I just made the call. The one telling my clinic that we decided to go ahead and try the "minimal stim" IVF. I have very mixed emotions about this. I worry about the number of eggs we'll get, I worry about the quality of the eggs, I worry about my decision to stop accupuncture (b/c of the money), but mostly I worry about deciding on a course of action that everyone involved agrees is second best (medically speaking anyway). BUT, second best costs a third of a traditional IVF cycle. Since our insurance coverage just ran out, trying this at least once to see how I respond seems like a logical choice. Still, I'm scared of another failed cycle, and it seems like the odds of that happening go up with the minimal stim route.

On top of all that, I'm sick. Picked up yet another illness from daughter's daycare. She rarely seems to get what's going around (for which I am VERY grateful), but I seem to get it all!

more on my crappy mood later....

Thursday, May 3, 2007


This feels a little weird. I'm not much of a writer, in fact it's something I've always really disliked and dreaded. I'm much more of a talker. However, since my husband is a very private person, we agreed to limit the number of people who know about our efforts to have another baby. So, I thought this might a good way to communicate my feelings about all this without having to actually tell anyone we know. This is definitely an experiment for me. I've tried journaling a number of times in my life; all I have to show for those efforts are a handful of nearly empty journals. I don't have any expectations about whether people will read this or find it interesting. But I think the illusion that I'm actually communicating with people will help keep me coming back, so I'm leaving it public for now.

In case you're curious... I came up with the title thanks to a trip to the toy store last weekend. My daugther was invited to a double birthday party and I was shopping for gifts. I'm strolling around the doll section and as I head down the Barbie aisle I look up and low and behold there is Barbie, holding a baby AND pregnant! I couldn't help but laugh out loud, thinking to myself "even Barbie can get pregnant!"