Thursday, April 24, 2008

Making the Best of This Life

I know I’ve never had to deal with anything as difficult as Natalie over at Relaxing Doesn't Make Babies. And honestly, I sure hope I don't ever have to. Nevertheless, the last 3 years of infertility have been hard. Natalie had a recent post titled Un-Religious that really spoke to me. Not only did she put into words the way I feel about god/religion/death, but she did it quite eloquently. In that post she also talked about not believing in an afterlife, the implication of this is that this is the only chance we have so we’d better make it a good one. Natalie wrote “The thing that keeps me going is the thought that this is the only life I’m going to get and the best thing to do is to enjoy what I have, look forward to the future, and remember the past.” I haven’t been doing such a good job lately at that -- the balance between unhappiness about the things I want, but don't have, and happiness about the things I do is definitely out of whack. So, I'm going to try harder to tip the balance more in favor of enjoying what I've got. And on that note, I'll end with a hearty "Hear, Hear, Natalie!"

Monday, April 21, 2008


Ironically, a few days ago, right on the heels of my last post I ran into a man that I know because our kids were in daycare together. He and his wife have two kids, one is a year older than my daughter and the other is about 3 months younger. Consequently, my daughter was alternatively in classes with each of them during her daycare years. When I saw him coming down the hall towards me I just wanted to run away. Why you ask? He and his wife are now expecting baby #3—and according to the rumor mill this was completely unplanned and unexpected. This man, in fact the whole family, is really nice. I’ve been to countless birthday parties with him or his wife and always enjoyed talking with them. And, in fact, when I saw him the other day we did end up having a long and pleasant conversation about our kids, home repairs, kindergarten, homework, etc. And yet, as I walked away I thought about how when I see either him or his wife the hallway I just want to run and hide. I don’t want to see them or talk to them or think about their baby on the way. And that makes me really sad, because six months ago I would have been perfectly happy to see either of them and would have looked forward to talking with them. I know it shouldn’t but when I see them it just plain makes me sad.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fertility is Not a Zero-Sum Game

So I really do know that fertility is not a zero-sum game. Your pregnancy or Jane’s or anybody else's does not actually have any impact on whether or not, or when, I’ll get pregnant. But what funny things infertility can do to your head, what with the waiting, the frustration, the envy, and yes, the jealousy. I have to confess that sometimes when I see a pregnant belly or hear about the pregnancy of a friend, coworker, acquaintance, celebrity, really anyone, it almost feels as though my chances for a successful pregnancy decrease. Stupid I know, but honestly it does sometimes feel that way. Of course, my emotions about other people’s pregnancies are affected by so many variables—how many children they already have, how close we are, and yes, how well I like or do not like the person. Ugh – it doesn’t make me sound like a very nice person does it? The really, really awful thing that I will admit here – sometimes, when I find out that someone is pregnant it makes me not like them very much. This is not true of good friends or other infertile gals (assuming I know who is infertile), but when it’s someone I’m not really close to or already wasn’t too fond of, then the feeling just pops up. I think it’s a lot like how I felt about the really popular kids back in school days. It was a lot easier to pretend that I didn’t like them, than to admit that I was just jealous and wanted what they had. Of course, the difference now is that I know full well how much I want what so many others seem to get so easily. But fertility is not a zero-sum game. Right?

Ok, I know that post seems like I must be all depressed right now, but I'm not. In fact, I feel ok, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and it's Friday! But I have been thinking a lot about how 3 years of infertility has affected me, my husband, our marriage and our family. Despite the number of times I've talked about losing weight, exercising, living life more "in the moment", none of the steps I've taken to do any of those things have stuck. So, I've been feeling stuck. Stuck in a hole I don't like, but without the will or motivation to climb out. Right now I'm not so much depressed as frustrated. Frustrated more with myself than anything. I know I need to take back control of a lot of the things in my life and I guess as I've been thinking about how best to really do that, I've also been thinking about how I've been affected by infertility. It's not the prettiest picture, but I suppose I need to really identify all the problems before I can go about solving them.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spring Time

A year ago, after a 4 month break, we were in the middle of IVF #3. I was so optimistic. I’d decided that during the break I would try to take back control of my own life. It was springtime and I felt great. I had lost 10 pounds and I’d started acupuncture. I truly felt as though my body and my mind were ready to make #3 the one that would work. And it was springtime, what better time to make a new life. I was optimistic and full of hope, and since I’d been through it twice already I really didn’t have any anxiety about the injections, blood draws, or other tests. Also, after the disaster that was IVF #2, we were set for using ICSI, which just felt like a little extra insurance. But despite my confidence and my hope, all we got for our effort was a big fat nothing! I should have known better, but I was stunned. The day of the beta I was of course nervous. Of course I used all the right words when I talked about it – IF, IF, IF. But in reality when the nurse called and told me it was negative I was completely blown. I’d really felt like the stars were aligned and I couldn’t have been more surprised to hear that it hadn’t worked.

Fast forward one year.

In the year since that disappointing cycle I did a mini-stim IVF cycle that resulted in a chemical pregnancy. My daughter started kindergarten. We started filling out paperwork for adopting from China. I found a new clinic and doctor. I turned 38. I was diagnosed with homogenous MTHFR and started taking high dose of B vitamins and baby aspirin. I had a surprise pregnancy and then a miscarriage. I gained back the 10 pounds I lost plus 6 more. I started my 5th cycle only to have it cancelled. I started taking metformin. I went back to the acupuncturist (money be damned! I need the stress relief). And now, here I sit, barely finished with my current period, and I look forward a few weeks and think about starting another cycle. I need to call the nurse to get the meds ordered and the insurance dealt with. I’m happy that spring is here and in many ways my mood has improved immensely as the temperatures have risen and the world has turned green and pink and purple and red. I LOVE spring, I always have. And I’m glad that I only have about 3 weeks until we start our next cycle. And I really, really hope it works. But the excitement and optimism that I felt last year are not here. I feel so differently now that it almost seems as if years, not just a year, have passed since last April. I have two IVF cycles left with insurance coverage. If we don’t succeed with one of them we’re done trying to do this with any medical assistance. I’m hoping that this springtime cycle is kinder to me. I’m hoping that I get and stay pregnant, that we have a baby, and then we adopt. I’m hoping we end up with three children. I know it’s greedy, but I don’t care.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dearest Aunt Flo, Welcome Back, It’s Nice to See You

Yes it’s true I finally got my period. And yes, I actually am glad to see the old biddy.

After many rounds of phone tag earlier this week concerning the fact that I had not in fact gotten my period as was predicted, the powers that be at Ye Olde Giant Fertility Clinic, decided that I’d better bring my uterus back in and get back in the saddle (oops, stirrups) to see what was going on. Sooooo, I scheduled an appointment for first thing this morning. Lo and behold, upon awaking this morning I realized I had gotten my period. Hip Hip Hooray! But just to be safe (and since they don’t answer their phones that early in the day) I went on in and it was decided that I’d might as well saddle up because they’d need me to come back in a couple of days anyway to see if those visiting cysts were making themselves comfortable or had packed their bags and left my ovaries in peace. Well, it was a good day all around. In addition to getting my period, they RE only saw one cyst today and it was mucho smaller than just last week. So, now I just need to wait 28 days - give or take a few - and then we can start IVF#5, take 2.

But really the most exciting news of all (drum roll please) the TOOTPU (The Order of the Plastic Uterus) get together is Sunday. If you’ll be in DC please join us – just click on the link for all the information.
I can't wait to see the fabulous ladies of TOOTPU. Plus, it gives me a good reason to make a tasty chocolate dream of a dessert.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I plan to.

Oops almost forgot something very important. Since I absentmindedly left my camera at my parent's house (I keep leaving the damn thing everywhere - perhaps I'm unconsciously trying to lose it so I can justify buying a new one - ??) I haven't gotten a photo of the item I play to sell for the UTERUS Ebay auction. Nevertheless, if you haven't heard about it please click the link at right for more information and then click here to buy something or send the link to your friends. It's a fundraiser for a great cause, you get something for the money you spend, and I think all the items are reasonably priced. Nothing strike your fancy? You can still help, take a look in the back of your closets or the bottom of your drawers and see if you have something to donate -- it's really easy! ;)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Corpus luteum cysts on both ovaries, Oh my!

Still haven’t gotten my period, but according to the new nurse my test results indicate that I’ve ovulated, so I should be getting it. I have to think it’s coming soon because I just sat through something like my 20th viewing of the movie Annie in the past year with my daughter and I couldn’t stop crying. The reason I even have test results is because Dr. Dry* actually called me last Saturday evening to finally respond to my request for some information about my using met.formin. Since I had him on the phone I mentioned that I hadn’t got my period yet and I according to my calculations I was a bit late–unusual for me. He told me to come in on Wed so they could draw blood and do an ultrasound to see if I had or was about to ovulate and to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. So, I was prepared for 3 possibilities – (1) you’re about to ovulate, (2) you have ovulated, or (3) nothings happening take some provera and call us in .... I was not prepared for a lot of discussion between the ultrasound tech and the RE about what they were seeing on the screen–descriptions I can’t recall, measurements being taken, etc. WTF? This was supposed to be an in-and-out, totally benign appointment. Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. This is really no big deal – and I know that. But I’ve never had this happen before and I was not expecting it at all. Plus, they’ll want to do another ultrasound to make sure that the cysts are gone before we start “IVF#5, take 2". I know the odds are good that they’ll be gone in a month, but the idea that we may be delayed yet again is bugging me. So now I just keep on waiting for the period – I’ve never wanted to get a period so badly in my life! Ironic huh?

Ok, so not exactly the most interesting of posts, but this IS what’s going on with me these days. I wish I could say that I was living up to my pledge to take this time of waiting to get healthy, but I haven’t been. After two good weeks of eatting super healthy foods, I COMPLETELY fell of the wagon this week. Also, I haven’t been working out at all. I’ve been so utterly exhausted that I can’t even THINK about working out. I don’t know if it’s a side effect of the Met.formin or maybe some sort of low level depression, but I swear I could sleep all day long if I didn’t have to go to work and take care of my kid. So here I’ll say it again, next week I’ll give it a try again. This time I think I’m going to actually use the online Wei.ght Watch.ers subscription I keep paying for, because clearly going it on my own isn’t working too well. I know that even at my best I won’t be able to drop the 30 lbs I’d like to shed quickly – hell even if I was a perfect WW client, I won’t lose that much even by the END of the summer. But it sure would be nice to lose 5 to 10 before I have to start hitting the community pool every weekend!

And last but not least (in fact, most importantly), check out the links at the right to learn about easy ways to donate to 2 really good causes.

*I finally came up with a nickname for my RE. I really like him and he has a very dry sense of humor, therefore...