Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's on

I am in a hurry to see if IVF would actually work, so I can be definitely pregnant or not. We were planning to go to the Czech Republic in May, but that seems like a dreadfully long time to wait, especially considering the fact that I have fallen for some teenagers in Texas and we are very interested in them. I am pretty sure that you can't adopt from foster care within a year of a "life changing event" - meaning the birth of a baby, which I simultaneously see the wisdom in, and yet really resent. I just vaguely remember this rule, so I don't know that it is cold hard fact, but it does weigh on my mind. The last time I checked with my licensing coordinator he basically told me to not hope for news about the background checks until mid January. I am trying to be patient. I cannot even inquire about these kids without an adoption license from my state. Optimistically, that will be months away. So in the mean time I check the kids' listing every single day in hopes of maybe seeing updated photos or to see that their bio has been pulled - meaning they are likely in the process of being adopted by someone other than me. I would be a little heart broken by that, but only a little because I have been praying everyday for months and months that someone perfect would have the courage and ability to adopt these kids, and if that person isn't out there, that I could be able to at least put in an official inquiry. The oldest sibling will be 17 in January. That means he only has one year before aging out. Teenagers have a lot of say (at least I have been told they do) in the adoption process, so I feel really good knowing that essentially, I will put in an offer, and the kids will get to be picky about me. I want them to be. Life has handed them a crap deck of cards - they should get to be picky about something in their life for once. And I don't have a clue if H and I and moving far away to a cold place would be good for them, but I feel so strongly that they should at least know that there was a crazy young lady in Utah who dreamed of them, and thought they were the most beautiful faces she had ever seen.

I think everyone has their favorite passion in life. The thing that if we had unlimited time and resources we would give to freely. For some it's animals, for some it's children in Africa. For some it's caring for the elderly. You name a cause and there is a heart that beats for it. My heart feels so big for these kids and just dies to think of how many great kids age out of foster care. I didn't need my parents very much when I was a teen, but man do I need them now. Years ago we watched a movie in our foster training classes in Texas where adults who had grown up in foster care talked about their experiences. A handsome grown man talked about his experience in care as being mostly positive and all he had achieved on his own since aging out but became very emotional when he said "I was rough around the edges, but I was a good kid. Why didn't anyone want me? I would have been such a good son." I have thought about that so much. When I proposed the idea of these specific kids to H, his first thought was of his fears that older kids don't have as much time to bond with you since they are in your home for a shorter time, but then he said how he remembered the man from that movie, and how it probably does mean so much to simply be wanted.

So yeah. This was a post meant to announce that I am starting IVF very soon - Lupron injections begin on the 17th of January, with a prego test the first week of March if all goes well.
I have been really angry about being forced to do IVF and have repeatedly felt the need to make my opposition to the whole thing known. But under the anger, I know that a wonderful human could actually result from this, and my very trying means the world to my husband, and in the end the only value money has is in how it is used. So somehow burried in my rage I have found a tiny bit of hope. And straight from heaven has come a peaceful feeling and a whisper of "You can do this. You will be OK" And believing that has made all the difference this week.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

things to be happy about

My side of the room is a constant disaster, and I am ok with it.

But H cleaned his side. Yay.
Yes. This is my grown up husband with a headset on playing a war game in camo pajama pants.
I got word that I had to make a homemade present for my bro in law who has distinguishing taste, and all for under $10. So I put roof flashing into a thrift store frame and made some funny magnets. Oh yeah, first I moaned and groaned about it for a couple weeks. But now I feel so accomplished
These little guys are what got me out of my Christmas slump and inspired me to finally decorate on the 16th of December. Instead of Christmas bonuses my work gives each employee a Steinbach nutcracker. I thought that was the wierdest, lamest thing and planned to learn how to ebay mine the day after the party. I unwrapped it at home - and lo and behold, they are kind of awesome. Something so nice, and an extravagance I would never buy on my own, so basically the perfect gift. And I kind of like their creepy smiles.


I had to memorialize my first Christmas tree that doesn't suck. Mom loaned me her pretty ornaments and I bought a funky white tree from Walmart. My first tree ever was erected last year and taken down before Christmas because it was so pitiful. I regret not documenting that one. It was one of those sad in the moment things that would be really funny now.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gloom

I'm thankful for previous posts. The dark gloom of IVF has settled in and I can't even remember that I ever felt positive about it. That lonely blog post of last month is my only proof. Glad I a least have that.

I spent last week rounding up new blood tests (they have to be no more than six months old), and then went to an IVF consultation appointment with my doctor here. We signed in, then the lady behind the desk cheerfully asked us for $395. Mother Effer it was a great blessing I don't carry a weapon. Never in my life have I fought so hard to keep a calm, sane exterior. H told me later he almost lost it too, and that made me feel better. Nothing makes you feel homicidal like paying $400 for the priviledge of speaking to a doctor who you are about to pay $14k for a one time shot at getting knocked up. I guess that pricey consultation also included the news that my doc recommends I get some other uterus test before they feel comfortable proceeding to take my $14k. It will only cost $700 and how convenient! they can do it right in there office. Bastards.

I know I sound obnoxiously glum. I am glum. Despite the gloom, the appointment truly did go well. So well that H was truly confused that I cried a little on the drive home, took a bath and went to bed at 7:30pm. I just wanted that day to be over so badly. Sleep was the best remedy I had. H was worried so wanted to talk a bit which turned into some kind of dysfunctional therapy session which really served only to make me want to sleep for the rest of my life. I was able to express to H that I feel blackmailed into doing this because I love him and know refusing to do IVF would likely cause irreparable harm to H and my marriage. He comforted me but never refuted those facts. We both know I am the one who has to give. He asked me why I was having a hard time since I had appeared to be doing so great at the consultation. Acting. I was acting my way through the consultation and plan on acting my way through this whole thing. I will play the character of hopeful lady. Every woman I know knows how to fake her way through lifes shit. Do men really not do this? I also was able to make it perfectly clear to him that though I genuinely hope to have a new and improved attitude about IVF, I can't guarantee anything remotely rosey, and if the procedure fails, it is in no way due to my bad 'tude. He told me that was ok as he does not believe in that hocus pocus. So good to hear. That was the best I felt all day.

It might be therapeutic to blog about WHY I am being all Eyore about IVF. There really are women out there who are so happy and grateful to have this as an option. There are women who want this so badly, and have to cajole their reluctant husbands into it. What's my deal? Adoption is a happy, viable option to me. It is the beautiful wonderful alternative that I wanted long before I was even married. H loves the adoption idea too, but I don't think he would have considered it if we were able to easily have biological children. The infertility stuff has hurt beyond my worst nightmare. I'm done. I want to move on down a happier path, but H needs the closer of IVF. I just pray so hard that we really get the baby we seek or the closure he needs to move forward.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Licensing Update

Our adoption licensing has completely stalled. I guess it takes a long time to do background checks in the two other states we have lived in. So still no homestudy in sight, which bugs me, but absolutely shouldn't seeing how if they called me to do it tomorrow, I would flip out. I am so not ready. I haven't installed my cabinet locks, my garage is a death hazard, and my shed is too. I bought the wrong size of fire extinguisher, I need new batteries in many of my smoke detectors, I need to hang an emergency phone number list somewhere, and I need to procure two twin bed frames, one twin mattress, two or three dressers. Argh. I am overwhelmed. I should post a picture of my one almost finished kid room. It feels like a mini triumph. Except for the fact that that now I am remembering that the quilt in there still needs to be tied or something, I still need a dresser for that room, and pee pads for everywhere. So the argh still stands.

An Impending Announcement

I am the second of daughter of four. My older sister has three kids. So far, neither of my two little sisters have had kids, but one is embarking on the pregnancy adventure. Having put a lot of thought into how this makes me feel, or will make me feel when she makes the happy announcement, I can honestly say I have no idea. Typically, family babies feel like a triumph. They are a win. I am assuming this will be the case this time too. I am really excited thinking of a new niece or nephew living so close by. But just in case, I cowardly emailed my sister, and I asked her that when she is ready to announce her good news, she let me know first since public announcements can be really hard on me. I feel all eyes go first to the happy pregnant person, and then immediately fall on me, the pathetic barren person, to see my reaction. So much pressure. If I am cued ahead of time I can totally pull it off. My nice sister totally understood. So nice.

Feeling Solid

I have no explanation for what has changed in my head over the past few months, but for the first time ever I am feeling so good and positive about doing IVF. IVF has been on the docket for three or four years now, and I really resented it. Though it was always "the next step" I stayed firmly planted where I was or even would take a few steps backwards from the dreaded next step. H and I had many ugly, painful arguments over it. And now I know that all my fear and backpeddling before was because deep down, I knew I couldn't handle the loss and still be a living, sane, human. One of those three was at risk.

So I don't know how things changed, but they have and I am so, so grateful. Magically I just arrived at a place where I know that if IVF works I will be excited and life will change, and it will be strange but great. And I also know that if IVF doesn't work I can go on living and be almost the same person I was before I tried. I say almost because I am sure if it fails, it will affect me in an unpredictible way - but only to a small extent. How do humans handle loss or failure when it isn't a conscious choice, when it is just thrown at them like it so often is? Is it easier, harder, or just different? Maybe the surprise element of most tragedy doesn't allow all the introspection I have had the luxury of. Maybe it has been my overthinking that made this so tough in the first place? Or maybe it is the reason that I finally feel I can walk into this and regardless of the outcome, know with certainly that I will still be me.

My cool twin

Apparently I am not impervious to jealousy after all. Rats.

Of course my jealousy can't be sane or rational. It is wierd and illogical - must be my M.O.

So this summer I attended my ten year anniversery and an old friend tells me about all the "cool" people now living in my city and that we should definitely get together. And I am all eager like a panting golden retriever watching it's master eat a juicy hamburger. Because I want friends like that dog wants the burger. He tells me that I would have a lot in common with this cool guy's wife "because you are a lot alike". That was probably too much flattery for me, because with no connection at all to "cool guy" except an enduring crush that began in fourth grade and amounted to nothing more than standing in the same room he was in a few times in high school, I still took it upon myself to hunt him down via the blog world. And of course I discovered that he is indeed still mysteriously cool and has indeed married a very cool wife. (Clearly WAY cool based on her masterful blogging of their cool life, the cool books she reads, her cool self deprecation, her cool taste in music, cool sense of humor. Aghh, cool you name it!) So yes, back to how right after in passing old friend says ".....you are a lot alike" I jump all over him golden retriever style and say "Really! How so? How are we alike!" Old friend is cleary disturbed by my enthusiasm and tries to change the subject but I pull him back in demanding "So what do you think in we have in common? Why did you say that?" So yeah, that was in July and not one "cool" person has called. I can't fathom why not. So I am resigned to blogstalk again, and it had been awhile since I checked up on my cool doppleganger. So I just checked in.... And she is still cool, and just turned 30, AND SHE'S PREGNANT. And I'm jealous. Twins are supposed to get pregnant together. I can't believe she's done this to me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Things that don't make me sad

Many infertile people hate being around pregnant people. Lucky for me, other people being pregnant does not bother me. Not at all. Especially people who have already had a baby or more. That seems really normal and natural to me. More power to you. I also don't even get bothered by seeing teenagers or skanks be pregnant. Evily, I sometimes even think "you better be a good mom or that kid might be mine anyway". ( -I am sure I will later regret writing and even thinking that one, but hey, full disclosure for now.)

I don't feel like another person getting pregnant decreases the baby supply or changes my chances for success.

I also have never for one nanosecond felt like I would not be a mother someday. For infertiles, motherhood is ultimately a choice not a physical ability.

Babies and children do not make me sad. If they are cute and sort of naughty, I find them entertaining. If they are not so cute and annoying they make me happy to be childless, so win win for me. I have never been around a kid or baby and wished they were mine, and I have actually had a few people insinuate this ABOUT THEIR OWN KIDS. Hey, rock on people. I am really glad that motherhood gives you healthy delusions about how awesome your kid is. I was raised by a mother who suffered from the blinders syndrome and it did wonders for my self esteem. It is a gift and creates great parents so I won't bag on it, but I will laugh at you and post about you on my blog for thinking your mini Zach Effron/Tchaikovsky baby will either A: make me sad and jealous or B: Heal me of all wounds or C: Cause me to start plotting my baby-heist.
I'll help you out: The correct answer is D: None of the above.

My aunt with IF said it best "I don't want your baby or a baby, I just want my baby."

....Or kid or teenager or elephant. Whatever. So long as its mine.

The Stress Lecture

Last year I went to lunch with some old girlfriends I hadn't seen in years. Catching up, I asked one about her sister. Turns out that sister was finally pregnant due to a successful round of IVF. Something in my friend's tone hinted at her annoyance with her sister so I asked her if they were getting along. The friend said "my sister is so negative she is hard to be around. I thought she would finally be excited about getting pregnant but she is being so wierd. She tried to keep the whole IVF thing secret, then she didn't even tell us she was pregnant until she was over four months along, she hasn't bought a single thing for the baby yet even though she is due in six weeks and she refused to even think of baby names." This stuck me as completely normal, and probably exactly how I would act in the situation and I said so. My friend went on to say that her sister even had extra frozen embryos leftover from this IVF that she will be able to use for the next round, but when the friend had said something about how great that was, her sister snapped back at her and said "There are only a few embryos and they are the worst ones, so don't get your hopes up." My friends response to her sister was a lecture on how stress affects every aspect of our systems and it is very likely that stress was largely affecting her ability to get pregnant. (Bet that went over well, I thought to myself while stifling an eye-roll). Everyone at lunch that day got to hear the entire replay of this fabulous lecture on stress and negativity as the underlying cause of infertility. I tried to block out the lecture, as it was only making me angry, and tried instead to focus on how to respond kindly, yet decisively to all the bull crap she was shoveling. This crazy lecture was coming from a friend who had suffered at least two miscarriages before having her first baby. I genuinely wanted to know if she thought her own negativity had caused her to lose two babies, but I decided not to stoop so low.
At the end of her diatribe I said, "You know, it is really hurtful when people tell me to relax and then I will get pregnant because it is a complete dismissal that I have an underlying medical problem. Most people would never tell a diabetic to relax and then they will start producing their own insulin. You are correct that stress does have strong effects on our bodies, and certainly isn't healthy, but telling someone going through infertility to 'not be so stressed' out is like telling Kermit the Frog to not be so green. I would imagine that rape and incest are about the worst, most stressful things that can happen to a woman, and yet they sometimes result in pregnancies. Women in war torn countries still continue to have babies, and I would also imagine that being poor is very stressful, and yet women on wellfare continue to have babies. I can't speak for your sister, but for me, it really hurts when someone gives me advice about controlling my stress, because what I hear is 'it is your fault that you haven't gotten pregnant'."
My lecture kicked the crap out of her lecture, and I did remain calm and composed throughout, so I felt great. I was also happy to speak up for a fellow infertile, because man, if anyone in my own family were that insensitive I would have crumbled and died by now. You know, from all the stress.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Look what I dun learned, ya'll

"Every bad thing that has ever happened to me has taught me compassion"

Love that quote. Think I would have maybe got something from Tolstoy? Hah. That little gem just came from Ellen while on the Oprah show, which I heard while laying on my couch, looking at all the piles of crap on my floor that I could be removing instead of laying around watching TV. But then I wouldn't have heard that little nugget.

Compassion rocks. Wish I had more of it. Wish I could get it without having to go through hard things.

Oh and I also wish I had a maid.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Movies, Movies Movies

I hate long flights, but I love watching tons of newly released movies, back to back. Yes it is good to read. But movies are truly my time-killing medium of choice. So despite the fact that I had two good books to read, I choose to forgo Catcher in the Rye and said hello to eight or so movies. (Sidenote: Transformers II was so bad it made time move slower and made my chair more uncomfortable.)

The last three movies I watched were:

Julie and Julia: I ADORE food and always dream of quitting my job to go to culinary school. However, I do not dream of working as a chef. Just going to culinary school, thereby making that move almost completely non-practical. Because of my love of all things food I had been anxiously awaiting the release of this movie. It did not disappoint. It did however, take me by surprise that Julia Child had wanted children and had been unable to have them. This was not a large part of the movie, only part of two brief scenes, but of course this was the primary theme of her life to me. Infertility completely shaped the person she became. I loved the depiction of her marriage in the movie. It seemed like she was married to a wonderful man and had a great marriage. I have a great marriage. I don't like to say this out loud too much because it sounds like bragging, and could be hurtful. I know enough wonderful people with terrible marriages to know that my marriage isn't so much a product of anything I have done, as it is a product of good luck. And I am very, very thankful for that stroke of luck.

Next was The Time Travellers Wife. *SPOILER ALERT* The lead character in this movie is determined to have a baby and experiences multiple miscarriages. Very sad part for me, but I handled OK. Later in the flight H watched the movie. I glanced over at him and saw that he was crying. Crying?! I have only seen H cry once in the ten years I have known him. I didn't want to make him feel embarrassed so I pretended not to see, and I checked out what could have made him cry. It was the part in the movie where they finally learn that the pregnancy will work and they will have a daughter. Man that tore me up. Full fledged ripping of my heart. I put my head down on my tray table and pretended to sleep, but really cried for a good long time. More determined than ever to try IFV. It is ssssssssssoooooo the least I can do for H.

After my sleep/cry meltdown I didn't want to risk another chick flick so I began watching UP. Are you kidding me!? Miscarriage and infertility in a Pixar?! Back to the tray table for meltdown number two. Didn't finish that movie. Don't get me wrong. I love when the sadness of infertility gets it's proper nod. It makes me feel not so alone. And just to prove that I don't need to be hospitalized or something, I will also justify my episodes by saying that I was on my period and hadn't slept in over 24 hours. I guess I should have told that to the stranger sitting next to me. That would have made me seem so much more stable.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sunday with the Kiddos

One Sunday we tended our niece (4) and nephew (1). They were being adorable and H was being highly interactive with them by playing Parcheesi toddler style. Meaning baby throws dice, we all say "Yay", H retrieves dice, and it starts all over. After a endless barrage of questions from the 4 year old, and some general mayhem, I retreat to the kitchen to start making lunch. The kids were only here for a half an hour, and when they left, I walked in to the living room to give H the wide eyed "kill me now" look, and before I opened my mouth to incriminate myself, H plops down on the couch nearly giddy with joy, and says with all the sincerity the earth holds "Oh I just LOVE my niece and nephew. They make me so happy" I smile and pat him on the head, and head back to the kitchen, happy I am married to a such a kind hearted, gentle creature, and even more happy I didn't just reveal he is married to Voldemort.

NO PILL FOR YOU!

After all that internal struggle about whether to go back on the pill, I have the scrip filled only to find out the very next day that all the bloodwork I need in order to do IVF next May has to be done no later than six months ahead, and is not valid or useful if taking birth control. Bah!

So much for that. So I guess I will get my re-testing done in January and take my pills after that.

Typical.

What?!?

In an what I can only describe as an act of hostility, I just peed on a stick. A pregnancy test to be exact. I feel like I am losing my mind.
Despite the fact that I had my period less than two weeks ago, and I currently feel all the crappy symptoms of ovulation, and I might be rocking the swine flu, I just marched up upstairs, grabbed that sucker and peed all over it.
And then upon seeing the negative sign appear I felt all imperialistic and vindicated, like I had just won a heated intellectual argument. In my head I was like "See I told you I wasn't pregnant." And then I do the neck and head bob like I have seen sassy black women on the CW do. "MMmm HHmm."

Crazies shouldn't have babies anyway.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Looking away

Reading books about child abuse and healing hurt kids is a hobby of mine. I have read a lot of books on the subject, but I have never read any books specifically relating to sexual abuse. It is such a disturbing topic to me that I just avoided by rationalizing that H and I aren't capable of handling a sexually abused child, so why bother.

I teach teenagers at church and one of our newest young teens is a foster child, and sexual abuse survivor. While respecting her privacy, we were made aware of some of her potential issues which included the terrible, yet unsurprising fact that she does need 24 hour adult supervision, should not be alone with peers or younger children, can have over-exaggerated emotional responses, and talks very openly about sex. I immediately regretted avoiding the topic, and fortunately have access to an awesome free library through our local foster care foundation that ships books directly to your home within 36 hours, so I loaded up immediately.

I'd like to say that I didn't know what to expect the first time I met this girl, but I obviously had preconceived expectations when a cute, sweet, indistinguishable teenage girl showed up to our meeting, and I found myself surprised. Surprised by her sweet, normalness? How sad.

I will admit that the first book I read was so horrific to me, I wrapped myself up in a blanket and said silent prayers to Heavenly Father that I could be able to get through this muck taking only the helpful and good, without having it damage me. I fell asleep focusing on this prayer, because if I stopped, the horrific words I had just read began to haunt me. Just two books into my newest "study" I am finding that my fear of these kids is being replaced by compassion. I just can't shake the knowledge that if these removed, clinicalized abuse accounts can get to me much, just imagine what it does to the people who live through it.

In our foster/adopt licensing classes we watched a movie about one child's experience in foster care. Before we watched we were warned by our class leader that the end of the movie contained real footage of a graphic scene of the child's eventual suicide. She asked that although seeing such things in movies was probably outside of our norms, that we refrain from leaving the room or turning away, because if this boy had to live this life (and death) the least we can do is acknowledge it. I wholeheartedly agreed with her, but didn't realize I was doing my own version of looking away when it came to sexual abuse.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pill Glorious Pill

You would think if you were trying to have a baby, you wouldn't be on birth control. It seems kind of self defeating. Which is precisely why I had a prescription written months ago and couldn't bring myself to fill it. IT JUST FEELS WRONG.

However, I really should have taken something to stop cycling after I got "cleaned out" last November. And I didn't. I guess I even I, the wonder-skeptic have been affected by all those eye witness/my mom's sister's friend's aunt stories I hear about people waking up after their laparoscopies, looking at the nearest man's junk, and instantly becoming mothers.

Long story short: I have put in a good 10 or so cycles of old fashioned trying post surgery. My endo symptoms are worse than ever, and getting worse by the cycle. My cycles are an unfortunate 23-26 days SHORT, which means between ovulation and periods, I have only a few good days each month where H remembers why he married me, and gets the courage to stick it out with the psycho for another round, bless his brave heart. And, realistically, IVF is the last trick in my hat, so I may as well preserve my parts until that occurs. So tomorrow: For real: I am going to fill the prescription and start taking it. Oy.

A lot of my hang-ups about it have to do with the guilt that comes from doing something so self-serving. I LOVE THE PILL. I have missed you my sweet friend and companion. I take the packs back to back for months at a time so I only have a few periods a year and it is absolute endo sufferer's bliss! Again, I feel like the downside is I now have zero chance of having a free pregnancy, but realistically, were my odds that great anyway? So my hypothetical accident baby will have to be replaced by my Pill baby. Call me an unfit mother because it sounds like a good trade to me.

Good Progress

I am happy to announce that we are finally moving forward in two major areas:

1. Our adoption/foster licensing is officially under-way. We have been assigned a licensor, and are working hard to hide all our imperfections, guns, ammo, rabid dogs, choking hazards, and hard liquor.

I will keep you posted as the actual homestudy draws near.

2. We are going to get the ball rolling regarding doing IVF in the Czech Republic next May. I have thought long and hard about this one, and after quite a bit of research on all possibilities-such as doing here in the States at various clinics, and all the viable and reputable foreign options, I feel so good about trying it out in Czech. The cost of the entire trip would be about 2/3 the cost of just the procedure alone here. And honestly, I think I will cope better with the stress of it if I can trick myself into thinking: "It is not IVF, it is a fun vacation which may result in a new family member" Yes, I am that basic.
Here is a link to the website if you are interested: http://www.myivfalternative.com/ The program is run by a chica who has an incredible story of perserverance.
Here is a link to a blogger who chronicled her experiences with IVF in Czech. She has great faith and a good attitude and I need to bump up my game in both areas. http://tidwell-babymakingjourneytoczech.blogspot.com

I have this feeling that big things are in the works, and great things are going to happen, but I can get so overwhelmed wondering what exactly I should be doing to help things along.
I guess the best progess that has been made is that H and I both feel like each of these steps are the right ones to be making, and we both are happy and content thinking about the many ways our children will come to us.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Ocean

I think a lot of people have sorrows in some form or other. I have made it this far in life blessedly unscathed. I am often caught up in thinking how good I have it. I do have infertility and it has given me a glimpse of what living with sorrow is like. I say glimpse because infertility is a sorrow that can easily be avoided.



If I lived on the beach, my infertility would be the ocean. Always there, huge and vast, but so familiar that it is almost forgotten in my day to day life. I look out my window, watch the waves for a moment, and go back to living. Sometimes, on days I am feeling brave or contemplative I will walk along the beach and even let my feet get wet. To remind me I am not past feeling.



Once or twice a year, despite my efforts to coexist peacefully with the ocean, storms brew and the waves seem to catch me no matter where I am.



My storms always come in August. October is my infertility anniversary, and I start mentally preparing for it in August. I can't explain why, it is just a strange coping mechanism that started unconsciously, so that by the time October hits, I have already made it through the storm.



This August, as we were driving home from a weekend with my in-laws, me and H discussed our plans about IVF and adoption, and our frustrations with our family's seeming impatience with our plight. This is a common conversation after spending time with our family, and I knew, as I vented, that I was swimming into deep water, but I kept going. This will be our fifth anniversary. Five was such a big number to me as I had just spent days with my sweet little nieces and nephews, all remarkable tiny humans, all born in the years since we first began trying. All making my monthly, intangible losses so real. And so sad. And suddenly I was drowning in my sorrow.

I sobbed uncontrollably and screamed at the top of my lungs. I was wracked with all the emotions I had ignored successfully for so long. The pain of loss. The weight of the many decisions that were in my hands and terror of facing the ones that weren't. My anger that well meaning people kept offering me solutions to my infertility like one hands out a band-aid for a paper cut. My rage about the judgements I sense from those would crumble after a few months of this unpredictable life. My embarrassment for still hoping.

Given that I live every day by that ocean, you would think that I would know how deep and cold it can be. I had no idea.

I am safely on solid ground again. And strangely, still thankful for my ocean.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Eggs and Eggs

I have monsoon cravings when I ovulate. So even if I didn't plump up like a stuffed Thankgiving turkey, I would still know it was TIME.

So this particular evening, hard boiled eggs were the must eat item. "MUST EAT EGGS" the ovaries screamed. And so I obliged.

Obliged to the tune of 10 or 11 eggs. Four or five eggs plain (no yolks) and then all the remaining eggs on two slices of bread as a mayo-y, mustardy, pickle laced, egg salad sandwich. Apparently the giant sandwich wasn't quite perfect - it needed something... say... two whole cloves of raw garlic? Yes. You read correct.

My only defense for this gross gastro misdemeanor is that it sounded great at the time.

I am sure the consequences of this culinary lapse in judgement would be completely predictable to anyone in their right mind, so I will be brief in my description of the HORRIBLE pain I was in for hours that night. I won't go into too much detail about the garlic egg burps that were happening with each breath. Painful, terrible memories...

With tears dripping down the corners of my eyes, and a mouth full of Starburst to distract me from the thought of egg, I closed my eyes and prayed for morning.

H's biggest concern over the egg debacle: His irresponsible wife was eating candy in bed AFTER brushing her teeth.

I guess the Lord heard my prayer for life and H's prayer for my dental welfare. Both were in tact come morning. Hallelujah.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Deal Breakers

I don't think I believe in unconditional love for a spouse. Children definitely, spouse no. I have always conceived of certain deal breakers in a marriage. However, the longer I am married the more I reconsider items I formerly labeled absolute deal-breakers. Fortunately I have only had to think about this in the abstract. At least on my end.

So it was a real shocker when H told me his.

The only recurring struggle in my marriage is the children issue. The only really gruesome, painful arguments are not about whether to have children, how many to adopt, etc. They are about HOW to have children. At my darkest points I wonder why two people were put together in such a fun happy marriage only to differ on such a major issue. At my darkest moments I wonder why I didn't marry the man who also dreamed moving to Africa and joining the peace corp, or who also has a passion for social work and a mission to help hurt children. At my darkest moments I am ready to find that man. But then I am gently reminded that the man I have is good, and the marriage I have is also good, good I owe in part to the fact that we rely so much on each other to get through the bad that only we alone know.

So H has told me that if I am not willing to at least try to have a biological child via IVF, it will be a deal breaker. I am hoping this was a threat only issued at his darkest moments. I actually understand where he is coming from, and his reasons. But to have the concrete ultimatum still hurts.

What a boob

I have occasional throbbing pain in my right breast toward my armpit area. Occasional is probably even an overstatement because it will go away for months at a time, allowing me to forget it even happened. - Until it happens again and I feel like an idiot for never seeing a doc in the first place. I am the type that jumps to the worst conclusion for any minor malady. Last year I had a paper cut that healed too slowly and I went to be tested for diabetes because my self afflicted WebMD diagnosis was very convincing. Actual diagnosis: I am not diabetic, but I probably need a hobby to distract me from paper cuts. So basically, yes I do care about my health, but I have a tendency to over-obsess and I am more afraid of seeming hypochondriac than anything else. So apparently my mode is simply ignore possibly important body signals. Oh, and did I mention that I also have a breast lump in that same area? I am making myself sound even more stupid now. But the excuse is that I actually was seen for that same lump in the same area five years ago, and my excellent lady doc didn't feel what I was feeling. And hey, it has been four years without incident. Also, since I cannot even find the dang lump consistently, I assume it will be fruitless to let the doc check it out. And ironically, when I saw my handsome/maddening new gyno for the endo related stuff, the first time he layed a hand on that exact spot he looked alarmed and said "Are you aware you have a breast lump" and I saw my life flashed before my eyes, and then he squooshed my other melon and said "oh no, you just have dense breasts." Phew. Oh yeah, and I have even enlisted H in the inspections and on the rare occasion we have felt the lump, (and my life flashed before my eyes again) we then found the exact same lump on the other side, making me again feel like a fool again. So bottom line, I will go to the doctor soon. Even if the pain goes away. Even if I feel like a fool.

Long time no post

I have been mentally blogging, but honestly I have been so happily busy I haven't wanted to actually log on and type. I don't know how many words per minute I type, but it is some really slow number. I think I would be better suited to the days of butter churning, but I am sure I wouldn't have understood that new-fangled technology either.
The happily busy part simply comes from simply being busy. Spring/summer are here, and I have attempted a small but hopefully not overwhelming garden, (trying so hard not to do my normal overkill on the idea of a new hobby and burn out before I even start.) So now I can come home, weed, watch my little plants progress, and mow the lawn and make small efforts to tame the wild thing I call a yard. I have grass that I can walk in bear-foot! No fire ants. Beautiful black dirt to grow things, ahhhh. Yard work in great weather is my small plot of heaven on earth. And I now realize I just had way too much time on my hands during winter to think about myself - Not healthy. I have some good months ahead before winter hits, but I would love to hear what you would do if you had the time before kids back to yourself.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

You're Fired - maybe.

So obviously I was naive to think that accounting is completely recession proof. Three people from our department were laid off on Friday. Argh.
The boss said that the bloodbath was over "for now". Argh again. I don't know what "for now" means. But H and I are definitely on the bottom rung of things, and pretty vulnerable if and when there is a round two.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random thoughts..

I find it very cool that infertility has forced H and I outside of the box when we think about family building. We are not limited by age, or gender, or race. We will just do what feels right when it feels right. It is a realistic possibility that my first child could be a teenager. Or that none of my kids will look like me. The limitations we do have are that always looming biological clock; it will dictate when, and how we do IVF. The second limitation is financial. At this point neither of us are willing to adopt or foster a young child until we have a biological child. The leap from working to stay at home foster or adoptive mom seems really enormous, but for some reason, the leap from working to staying at home with a bio newborn seems necessity, and to adopt when I am already SAHM anyway doesn't seems like less of a leap.

I genuinely love that I can have such an open/abstract picture of family. H has really come around in the last year too. I found sweet looking sibling group of teenagers the other day, and have been imagining them in our lives. At first it is fun, and I can even mentally handle the worst case scenarios I run through in my head; the thing that always gets me is the actual logistics, the actual cost, the actual human beings behind the cute smiles. That is when I get scared and start thinking about less monumental topics, such as what to eat for dinner.

But no matter how scary, or crazy the idea is, reality is already nuts for those kids. I don't know what happened to their parents: But they are up for adoption because NO ONE, not a single relative, friend of the family, teacher, clergyman, neighbor had the guts to take them in. So the only people they have in the world are their siblings, and they can't even have that because siblings are so difficult to place. The oldest brother who is almost 16 plans to adopt his siblings when he is emancipated. It is scary how focused a 15 year old boy is on a "dream" that is a right to most.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Argh

I am feeling angry and small and petty right now.

My bro in law asked us when we are having a baby.

"I don't know bro who hardly knows anything about me, why don't you tell me, because at this point maybe you do know something I don't. Does anyone ever really know when they are going to have a baby? Sort of an odd question from someone who knows how long I have been trying. I would have predicted last month, when the chlomid made the endo feel like it was growing up and through my ribcage. I really felt like that warranted a baby, but again, I was wrong.

Oh, or was the question a thinly veiled judgement about why we haven't done more to make this thing happen. You looked quite shocked when I told you we were in fact seeing the doctor at the same clinic your friends who went through infertility and is now cured by a bouncy baby boy.

Let me just lay it all on the line for you bro in law. If I am to be judged I want it to be on the whole story. None of this is for the benefit of my kind readers, because they are non-judgey and well, kind.

What the hell have I been up to for the last 4.5 years?

Year one. Try. You are officially infertile after 12 mos of trying to no avail, so I waited the full 12, just so the reproductive endocrinologist wouldn't blow me off. I also began charting and ovulation tracking after about 5 mos - Also so the RE wouldn't blow me off.

Year Two: Get tested. Full blood work-up for H and myself, along with a semen analysis and a hydrosalpingogram (dye injection into tubes to verify whether they are clear). We find out we are both fine, but H does have bad sperm morphology (shape). We are told by two seperate RE's that this does not explain our infertility, it is just another strike against it. I go on Chlomid for a total of 7 mos. 1 with a failed attempt because I had too large of cysts on my ovaries. We also did two inter uterine inseminations IUI's. Spent about 4K on IF stuff.

Year Three. Officially switch to different RE who has better IVF success rates. Will need to be retested on everything prior to IVF. In contemplation of moving out of state, we do nothing this year, other than get tested for pre-diabetes, or PCOS possibilities (Negative btw). Still somehow managed to rack up nearly 2K in doc bills for basically nothing.

Year Four. Start seeing a therapist for marital and personal problems related to infertility. Find a new OBGYN. Schedule and have my endo surgery, because I suspect there has to be something more to my unexplained state. I am correct. I have endometriosis that so bad I ought to have a hysterectomy right now, but I still want to keep my scarred parts - just in case, you know. Get a new RE. Get a new semen analysis: This time everything is hunky-dory. Go back on Chlomid. Schedule some more IUI's this summer. Total spent so far in year four: about 4K. The endo clean out gave us a reason to start back at square one. So four years later here I am sitting on square one.

So there you are judgy bro in law. I know where you are coming from. I was the girl who vowed after year one that I wouldn't be one of those who got distracted by wordly things and and took forever to have a baby. Is four years forever? As I type this up it sort of feels that way.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I prefer dogs

I want to give up a little secret. -Or other people's little secrets, I guess.

Those people who chose not to have kids -
And say they prefer cats
or that they want to put their career first
or that they'd rather spoil their neices and nephews,
or that they'd rather have a dog - because dogs are easier than kids...

Most of the time...

They are lying.

I believe this, because I have said similarly stupid, shallow sounding things. It is my way to quickly dismiss inquiries or judgements I don't want to to deal with.

I also believe it because I have become a confessional booth for childless people. I guess they consider me one of them.

Some friends have said those stupid shallow things because they didn't want to admit to family and friends that their marriage was falling apart.

Another said those stupid things because she didn't want to go into the issue that she wanted a baby, but feared that her husband with debilitating A.D.D. might not get a job, when and if he finished school.

Another older, rich and fab coworker who says those stupid things anytime ANYONE mutters something about kids admitted how she struggled with the decision of whether to have kids, decided not too, and was nearly crushed with sadness and jealousy when her stepdaughter had a baby. She loved her little grandbaby, and still beats herself up about her decision.

Sometimes shallowness masks things that go deep.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Charter - redo

There are roles we all play in our marriages. According to H mine is the irresponsible flake. I take advantage of this label often i.e. I like that H thinks I am too big of a screw-up to be trusted with bill paying. Other than that, I get sick of the bad rap.

Because I temporarily lost my endo symptoms after my laparascopy, I got all official about charting again. (Temperature, symptoms, mucous, other fun stuff. ) Well, actually H got all serious about charting. (YES H, WE HAVEN'T HAD A BABY IN FOUR YEARS OF TRYING BECAUSE I HAD NOT PROPERLY SCHEDULED THE MEETING OF THE EGG IN SPERM IN MY DAY PLANNER. IF ONLY I HAD KNOWN!) Since the very thought of tracking crap again created a big heavy dread ball in my stomach, I decided to trick myself that it was going to be fun by buying a frog themed planner that even had stickers and stuff. I was ready to roll. I was ready to prove H wrong:

It lasted less than two months.

Irritatingly, H, knowing me all too well had secretly purchased his own planner, (the kind for people who will really use them apparently), and had begun tracking things on his own. Angry, I waived the flag of surrender, and appointed him as the official Charter.

AND IT HAS BEEN AMAZING!

Each morning I shove a thermometer in my mouth before I roll out of bed, and each morning I see him check the last read and record it in his little planner. Each night he gets out his little journal and very seriously asks me detailed questions about my pain. For the first time, I feel like I have a partner in this biz! He is so cute and serious, and even sympathetic. The other night he said "wow babe, you are in pain most days of the month". It was kind of him to notice, but I think that all people adapt to whatever their normal is. My normal is random crazy pain most days of the month. I thanked him, but told him sympathy made me sad, then I cried, then I was fine. He charted that too. I love that guy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yeah for Family!

One my young father office-mates missed out on our most beautiful baby competition. I gave him the low down and invited him to take part in the second round. The odds are in his favor because he has seven children. In a genuine way he said "Oh, every baby is beautiful. They are all unique gifts from God." He then took down his family pictures and told me a few cute stories about his littlest kids. It sounds corny, or agravating, but he was so real and honest it was a sweet moment, and I had to abruptly flee because I was tearing up. Families rock.

Imaginary Babies

I sit by three young fathers at work. They got in a pretty hilarious beautiful baby competition the other night. (That's how accountants get wild working long hours.) Each man very earnestly brought their best baby pictures for me to judge, and I very earnestly avoided making any real judgements. They really were all cuties, but there was a clear winner. He was a heartbreaker. Beautiful dark eyes, sweet face and juicy, chubby cheeks. The event got me thinking about how I never think of my babies. I used to. But I can't see or imagine babies. Only kids. Well, no, I do sometimes think of abstract babies who are not very cute and bawl and spit up continuously and grow into mutant looking children with mediocre personalities, who I will love anyway. I told H about my thoughts. His response "What if we have a beautiful baby, with a really great personality?" We drove in silence for a few seconds while we both pictured that one. "It is less painful to imagine a maggot-baby," I said. "Yes", H agreed. We drove on in silence, probably thinking of traffic.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Humble Pie

A friend spoke in church today about how she continually is being served up a piece of humble pie. She talked about how her judgments of other people, their parenting, etc. have always come back to haunt her. Her take on it, however was that it was God's kind way of teaching compassion.

I think her interpretation is a much better way to view things. Better than my view that I was simply getting what was coming to me.

Another friend posted a comment a while back about the ideal being that we would be able to to have enough compassion to learn from others experiences and sorrows without having to actually go through the experience.

I really am grateful for the insight my firsthand experiences with infertility have given me, but I am shooting for being able to glean insight and compassion without judgements. Starting today.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ah, OctoMom

What is it about you lady? Rationally I agree with the people who say you are irresponsible and selfish. I don't agree with the death threats and rage. I do agree that you may be some kind of deep crazy.

And yet, I feel like I understand.

I want to defend your right to have babies because mine has been stripped from me.

I repent

Silent judgements of others I have said to myself:

If you want a baby so bad just adopt.

I don't understand why they don't just do IVF

I would never do IVF that many times

I wonder why they only have _ kids.

Why would you have your kids so close together

Why would you have your kids so far apart

I will never be one of those people who let money stand in the way of having babies or adopting

If I had kids I wouldn't work unless I had to

I'm glad she had a miscarriage; someone needed to pop her bubble

I would never be so lazy about infertility treatments. It's like they don't even care

You were never infertile, just obsessed/impatient

If I had been going through this as long as she has I would be more open about it

I can't stand how much she talks about her infertility. Cry me a river. Get a hobby

Her doctor is an idiot and she is too for believing him

Educate yourself. This stuff is on the internet

I would never go to a quack like that

I would never do superovulation shots

I would never implant more than two embryos

I would never use donor eggs

I would never use a surrogate

I would never reduce my pregnancy

I would never want just one or two kids.

I would never decide not to have kids

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

I just watched an episode of PBS's Frontline on Parkinson's Disease. And it got me all riled up again. I am a huge proponent of Federal Funding of stem cell research, but by no means am I an expert. However, of all the arguments for stem cell research I have heard, I have never heard anyone speak from my perspective.

When a women goes through IVF multiple embryos may be created, and usually only 1 or 2 will be implanted. The remainder are frozen. Many times these precious embryos are thawed and implanted at a later time. It is possible, (and commonplace) for a woman to have all the children she was meant to have, and still have frozen embryos. Her choices would be to have the embyos destroyed, pay a yearly rental fee for perpetuity, or (?) she could somehow find a private foundation to give her embryos to?

I feel like the President's ban came from a genuine respect for embryonic stem cells' potential to create human life. But is there anyone, ANYONE who respects that potential more than the "parents" of the cells.

When a human can no longer live, our society views organ donation as an honorable, meaningful last gift. Though embryos have the potential to become human life, without a womb to grow in, they are essentially, dead. If I had leftover embryos I would want those special cells be used for stem cell research. I would feel like their brief "life" would have more meaning if used fostering hope for cures for diseases than sitting around in cryogenic freezer until I, or they die. I wish there were more options...

Oh wait! There is one more option for the leftover embryos: In 2006 George Bush had a primetime news conference explaining why the 1st veto he issued in his presidency was to again shoot down federal stem cell research funding. His solution to the problem? Give away your embryos! Allow other people to raise your biological children that you don't want!

I must say that I ABSOLUTELY respect people who have made this decision. I think it is brave and selfless, and if it was right for you: right on. However, H and I were completely appalled that this was our president's grand solution. I would feel morally corrupt to have my flesh and blood being raised by another person. The very idea shakes me to the core. George Bush's arrogance and nonchalance on the issue shakes me to the core. He treated the issue as if it were no different than deciding to donate blood to the Red Cross.

I believe the President's intentions may have been earnest, but when he limited stem cell research funding back in 2001 I feel our nation took a major step backwards.

I look forward to Barrack Obama lifting the ban, and I must also give credit to John McCain, who promised to lift the ban if elected. (Palin, however supports the ban. boooooo!). I am so happy to move on and forward. Adios George.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy...

Here I was so scared to have people read my blog. Now I am thinking "What was I thinking! I know some of the most incredibly smart, funny, deep, kind women. I think it will be good for me to mull over other's perspectives. Thanks for the food for thought and support.

The slippery slope

When we first started infertility treatments our morale was good and our standards were high. We were naive and hopeful and actually spent time thinking through the ethical ramifications of things. Four years later we are pretty much hardened fertility crack whores.

When H had to collect his first semen sample we earnestly thought over how we could collect the swimmers as naturally as possible. I wanted the fruits of our labors to yield a child conceived through love, in a manner as close to the real deal as possible.

What actually went down was what H has said "was the worst experience of my life." He claims he "felt like a Heffer being milked by a man with chappy hands" and I may as well have been wearing farmer overalls for how little I cared about making this a natural sexy/loving event. Um, I don't really deny these charges. I admit that I was even a tiny bit happy he had finally experienced the poopshute that is fertility sex. Welcome to the dark side baby.

Fast forward to the latest semen sample. I didn't even go to the appointment. I slapped H on the butt, and said good luck. Then about five minutes later I called to say that I would appreciate him taking a picture of the collection room. I wanted to know if it was a cold sterile medical-ish place (hoping) or a burlesque style whore room (fearing). Then two minutes later I called to tell him that if things really weren't working out, I would be OK with him checking out the "reading" material. ("What have I come to?" I pondered and dismissed within nanosecond. I don't have time for conscience right now.)

Turns out it was a medical-ish room, but not sterile. There was a leather couch that H stayed away from and there was a very innocent looking cupboard with some well-used porn inside that he also stayed away from. A sample was retrieved and H exited the room as quickly as possible. Gotta love a germaphobe.

And as for the whole conceive a baby through our love hoopla: I don't think a baby conceived even during a moment of seething hatred (and I have many) would be a bad thing. At worst, my baby may be spunky. And spunk is good.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Go Easy on Me

Despite the fact that I have a very tiny following of readers, I am still scared to put this out in the the universe. I fear the repercussions of my latest "problem". I fear alienating people. I fear being punched in the face.
So brace yourself now and forgive me later. Please?
The problem is.... I have so much free time.
And yes, I know how nuts and spoiled and oh-poor-thing that sounds.
I don't know if I have the words to describe this one, but here goes...
The last 6 months have been the first time in my life that I haven't been actively pursuing something. I have always been busy - working, studying, fixing, studying, etc. I think that I don't judge a person's worth by their accomplishments, but maybe that's how I measure myself. Here is the drill. I come home from work and do some combination of cooking, watching tv, blog reading, real reading, working out, and laying on the couch. Laying on the couch watching TV is the dominant activity. I already feel crazy having just typed that sentence. Even right now as I sit on the couch blogging, feeling crappy, I find typing out my daily routine actually sounds relaxing and wonderful. Heck, I could even throw in a bubble bath in there if I wanted. Last week I made my own homemade pita bread!
I told H my horrible problem and he didn't get it at all. I told him how I feel like I am just inventing things to kill time. That I am not actually enjoying the things I do, but desperately trying to create some enjoyment during all the hours I face each night before bed. He tried to fix my problem by listing all the unfinished projects I have around the house. He told me I should be grateful for this time because I will never have it again. And I will miss it desperately when I am a mom and I will be sad I didn't appreciate and relish all my awesome selfish time. He told me I should learn Spanish. He was right about everything, but I began to cry out of frustration because I needed him to understand, not just solve.
I am having a difficult time enjoying anything because no matter how great it is, it is just something to bide my time until I am a mom. I want to be crazy busy. I want to know what exhaustion feels like. I want to fight over homework, I want pray out of desperation on someone elses behalf. I want my life to be for someone besides me.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Little Eric

In October H and I were discussing older child adoption. It is a really tough subject for him, and he has really struggled with the idea of opening his heart to a child who possibly might not be able to give or receive love. That is truly, a scary idea, but I have confidence in my ability to blindside myself with a "mission" or a beautiful little face, as I have seen both on the adoption websites I peruse.

On our way to work we had this very conversation. I suggested H look at some of the kids available in Texas. He called me to his office 30 minutes later because he "needed me to see someone". That someone was a five year old child who could have easily been mistaken as our own biological child. I have never been able to imagine a composite of the two of us, and here he was staring me in the face. He was beautiful. His name was Eric. We reverently read about him. I quietly explained to H that he was a white five year old with zero emotional, physical, or mental problems, and he was, in the adoption world, THE GOLDEN TICKET, and we hadn't made one attempt to even license in our state yet. This would be insurmountable odds. My explanation had so much more to do with telling myself those things. We made the call. The caseworker told us that Eric had not been listed more than 24 hours and they had already had 40 inquiries. Disheartened, but still feeling like something profound had happened, and could still happen, we hurried through our adoption classes. It still took nearly five weeks. I wouldn't allow myself to call back until we actually had a chance. We had to have an approved homestudy to even be included in the stack of applications. After the classes were done and we were ready to do our homestudy, H called the caseworker to check. We held our breath. Eric had been placed.

Eric broke our hearts, but I am so happy to have felt something. Through the experience I knew that so many things were aligned so H would see his picture on the one day it was up, so H would believe in the possibility that another person's baby could be his son. So H would know that he had the capacity to risk love. I knew that whether Eric was meant to be ours or not, we were meant to fall in love with him. And we did. I have heard women describe what it is like to mourn a child that was never yours. And I do.

A different kind of girl

A friend (who obviously doesn't read this blog) just told me that I never talk about my problems so it is refreshing to hear them because it proves I am human. I guess this revelation wasn't surprising to me, but it still isn't what I am shooting for in my humanity. I want to be open and honest and real and approachable. But realistically, deep to my core, I am a very private person. I guard my information and feelings very carefully and when I do release something personal it is generally intentional and well thought out. I think in circles about why this is the way that I am. Is it a bad thing that I am private? Am I private because I fear of bad things?

I do not withold my problems because I am a positive person. I withhold them because I do not want to seem like a whiner. There is a fine art to airing your dirty laundry and I am not confident in airing in a way that will come off as honest and endearing. We all know the attention hounds who only talk about themselves and their gazillion whoas. I don't wanna be that girl. We also know the straight talking, inspiring, get down and dirty with their struggles, I am every woman kind of woman. I want to be that girl, but don't know how.

Also, deep in my chemical makeup, I am a listener and data collector. I feel that I am good at listening, and therefore would rather do that. I feel that I have found (in the past) a successful niche in listening to women. There are so many talkers out there I think they like having an audience member. Or so I hope. I love the things I learn from listening to women. If they are the straight talkers, I learn from their experiences. If they are the attention hounds I learn about human nature. I have friends who are both, and I have found many reasons to genuinely like both types. I hope they like the private, listening, data collecting type. At least until I figure out how to be a different kind of girl.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Return of the Hulk

After a two month post-lap hiatus, my endo pain is back with a vengeance. So much so I stayed home from work and made Hubby do the same “in case something ruptured inside me and I needed someone else to drive me to the hospital”. He was happy to oblige. I told Hubby I was afraid it was cancer. It is the old familiar hot commotion feeling in the Uti, very similar to the I am going to diarrhea my guts out feeling you get before you really do diarrhea your guts out, plus the pinching - like a tiny angry lobster is stuck inside the ovary, desperate to get out, and then the random, yet chronic side pain that has led me to check the internet over 100 times to verify that the appendix truly is on the right side. It truly is on the right side. And Hubby said if it were cancer, woudn’t they have seen it during the lap?

So I am back at work today and schedule an appointment with my regular OB – who did the operation. The guy I hate, yet right before I fire him, breaks out a can of man-compassion, and with my extremely low opinion of all OBGYNs I think “am I really going to fare better?” so he is The Man.
Last visit I had a monsoon melt-down and I don’t intend on going down like that again, so I re-visit the internet halls of academia known as chat rooms to gather some ammunition. Consensus is still: “Lupron is a drug of the Devil” Wisely, I don’t make a deals with the devil (unless I absolutely have to). So though I feel responsible and guilty not following doc’s advice to go on said devil medicine for the minimum three months he advises, I really don’t dare take his advice. My RE said I will not have greater fertility after the Lupron than I have right now, so he is not a fan of the drug. Despite that, I am still conflicted, and scared the endo is growing back and hurting my lady parts, and jeapordizing my future babies, and I am to blame.

All these matters were haunting me when the parent pride parade begins right beside my cube. If you think “The Return of the Hulk” was in reference to my endo, you’d be wrong. Just wait: A coworker brings in his gorgeous two year old and so stinking cute baby to show off to his parent friends near me. Everyone (appropriately) ogles over the cute kiddos, (I gave a brief, yet genuine curtesy ogle) then they inevitably start comparing their own fruitfulness, then a coworker announces she is prego, (I knew already) then (yippee) another coworker finds out that his baby (It’s a boy! He found out today!) is due on the near the same day, then another coworker says his baby is due near the same day, then another coworker declares that we are going to be overrun by babies and starts going around cube by cube to tally the count. Before he could get to cube numero uno, my blood pressure had skyrocketed, my eyes were bulging, and I was fleeing the room in order to save the adorable kiddos from being eaten.
She’s BaaAAAACK!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The slow death

IF has completely anhilated my sex life. I need to do a little research to see if there are any people out there who have advice, or if there are books to deal with the stress of procreation. Hubby and I sort of shot ourselves in the foot by waiting too long to start trying in the first place. My friends who are trying to get pregnant who are still newlyweds can relate to my stress, but from what I gather, there isn't a young husband on earth besides mine who doesn't love ANY reason to get busy.

I'll do a little searching and hopefully have something more enlightening to say on the matter.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stirrup Queens

There is a great blog that is dedicated to organizing all the infertility related blogs a human could possibly read in a lifetime. It is called Stirrup Queens, and has led me to posts that have been the remedy to many lonely days.

One phenomenon that I have run into several times on the site are blog posts from previously infertile women who now have many children, who still identify with infertiles the most, but are finding they are no longer welcome in the IF circles.

Interesting...There is a true debate going on in the IF world for and against the "once an infertile, always an infertile" idea. I know where I stand right now on the subject. Right in the middle of ambivalence.

For: I want previously infertiles (PI) to be in the club because they offer a picture of hope. And if the woman is very careful, she may be able to offer up good advice and hope in a tactful way because she has experienced all the dog ways from Never Infertiles firsthand. I also feel for those with secondary infertility, and I can understand the frustration of having a baby (yeah!), but having to go back to square one if and when you want #2.

Against: I am secretly prejudiced against all PI's. I find that if an infertile gets pregnant too quickly (which I think amounts to any amount of time less than it has taken me), and they get pregnant too easily (Clomid! Are you kidding me? or Oh, you have complete insurance coverage for IVF, so you immediately moved to IVF?) then I immediately dismiss that they were ever infertile in the first place - probably just impatient. Those ho-bags. I have so much empathy for IFers in their first couple of years, because those were my toughest, yet I want to rip the IF badge they have earned right off their fruitful self the second I hear they are in the pregnancy club. They get all the glory of pregnant club and mommy club, so do they deserve to keep their membership in IF club?

Maps

A work friend announced she is expecting at our book club last night. I was genuinely happy for her, haven't had any delayed depression yet, and discovered something sort of disturbing about my self.

We are all accountants so timing of all things pregnancy are especially important to us. We have seasonal work, so with careful timing, you can avoid working long hours while bursting at the seams with baby. Of course, insurance coverage, maternity leave, etc, are important issues as well.

Here is the disturbing part: In a room of peers, I was the only one who didn't have a clue what 14 weeks along means, when to start "trying" in order to have a baby during the perfect window, what our insurance covers for pregnancies, and if we even have maternity leave! I also was being 100% truthful when I said I didn't know if I would work after I had a baby. I HAVE COMPLETELY CHECKED OUT! I don't know any of this, I don't care about any of this. And though this was initially disturbing to me, I have already concluded that I am perfectly normal. Would a man know about all this stuff? Probably not, so why would I?

One might think that a girl who is trying to have a baby would know all the answers to the items above, and believe me, 5 years ago I did. I knew every work related, money related baby stat, and I had my plan mapped out in scientific detail. But my brain only focuses on and stores things that are relevant. None of those things are relevant. I am have not been in "what happens when I get pregnant territory" for years. So I have thrown away that map. I will buy a new one when I need it. Right now I am too busy charting my course here in the Barren Lands.

Kumbaya

Man, I have been feeling so great lately. I don't know how I have reached this place of kum ba ya-ness, but I am grateful and going to live it up while I can. I had a really great 2008 and anticipate an even better 09.

The other day a friend at work wanted to know if I was interested in taking a vacation day to go snowboarding. I started immediately thinking of reasons to not go, and how to make the blow off sound legitimate, then I just thought. Why not?
Shouldn't I be celebrating and taking advantage of my carefree days?

So I went. It was the first time boarding in eight years, it came back just like riding a bike, and it was the most perfect sunny day a girl could have asked for. It was heaven. And even if it hadn't been, it was one less day sitting at my desk in front of my computer, churning numbers.

Maybe the feeling great comes from the epiphany I had over my little tiny operation and the little stall in recovery time I had: I now regularly think how lucky I am to have a functioning, amazing, human body that let's me run across my backyard like a little kid, and see breathtaking mountain views, and touch my husband's face, and smell and eat fresh bread.

I realized in this post I am essentially equating Kumbaya to Hakuna-Matata, without ACTUALLY knowing what the heck Kum ba ya even is, so I went to the effort of looking it up just now: It is believed to mean Come by Me. So the meaning really fits my use better than I thought it did. I feel so darn Kumbaya, because I am recognizing all the ways the Lord comes by to bless me and remind me how good I have it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

I am no Golden Retriever

On several occasions I have been "warned" by women that I need to watch out doing IVF because I may end up like Kate Goslin and have 6 babies at once.
First, don't issue advice unless you know what you are talking about.
Items 2 through 202 I will sum up below:
Kate from John and Kate Plus Eight did not do IVF. She did an IUI with injected super-ovulatory drugs. That means is the ONLY way you could unintentionally have greater than 2 babies. *
IVF uses super ovulatory drugs to stimulate as many eggs as possible, then the eggs are removed from the body, and fertilized in a petri dish. The women and doctor then CHOSE how many embryos are placed back in the body. Any leftovers are frozen for future use. Medical ethical guidelines dictate no more than 2 embies go back in the body for women under 35. If you have special medical reasons, or previous failed attempts the doctor may put more embies in, but you would always know and control the number.
IUI with superovulatory injections stimulates eggs that are left in the body and fertilized the good old fashioned way, or through an insemination. The doctor tries to control (via monitoring) how many actually mature. If your doctor tells you this can be perfectly controlled he is lying and you should leave that clinic. All of the "unintended" super multiples in the US due to fertility treatments have been due to accidents using this method. I have seen two excellent reproductive endocrinoligists who have both said the same thing: 5% of pregnancies using this method result in triplets or more, and from a medical health standpoint, these pregnancies are very dangerous, furthermore, all the monitoring in the world cannot predict when that 5% will take place. It is completely unpredictable. With one exception: If during monitoring you show that you have a huge amount of maturing follicles the responsible doc will not go through with the insemination due to the danger. Though responsible, this is a sad event for the patient, because they likely just blew a couple thousand dollars on those drugs.
The very start of infertility treatments (IF) is usually Chlomid, which is an injested drug, with side effects similar to birth control pills that stimulate natural ovulation, with a risk of two eggs at once. Many twins have been born due to Chlomid. There is no documented risk of <2 babies using Chlomid.
*Under any of these methods, there is the natural risk that the embryo could split, creating identical twins, so in theory, even if you did IVF, and chose to implant just two embryos, those embryos could twin. (or more) It is the same risk of identical multiples as in the general population and I have known of people who have wound up with three babies, 1fraternal baby plus identical twins.
All of this information is freely available on the internet. To the obnoxious "warners" out there: read up before you spread litter fear.

I am feeling very unpatriotic

Cost of IVF in Japan $4,000

Cost of IVF in Czech Republic: <$4,000

Cost of IVF in Mexico: $El Cheapo

Cost of IVF in USA: $13,000