Monday, July 31, 2006

Why God Gave Me Infertility~For Carla

This was sent to me awhile ago and has helped when I was feeling blue... Carla said something about wanting to know God's plan that sparked my memory to this... Enjoy!

What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility? I think he meant for my husband and I to grow closer, become stronger, love deeper. I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up every time infertility knocks us down. I think God meant for our medical community to discover medicines, invent medical equipment, create procedures and protocols. I think God meant for us to find a cure for infertility.

No, God never meant for me not to have children. That's not my destiny; that's just a fork in the road I'm on. I've been placed on the road less traveled, and, like it or not, I'm a better person for it. Clearly, God meant for me to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution, and I haven't let him down. Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God has singled me out for a special treatment. I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms, it will be the longest, coolest, most refreshing drink I've ever known.

While I would never choose infertility, I can not deny that a fertile woman could never know the joy that awaits me. Yes, one way or another, I will have a baby of my own. And the next time someone wants to offer me unsolicited advice I'll say, "Don't tell me what God meant when he handed me infertility. I already know."

Friday, July 28, 2006

H O P E

Today I have hope. She came back full force today. I'm not sure why she has decided to grace me once again with her presence, but I'm not pushing her away. I revel in her attention, enjoying every minute.

I had a doctor's appointment today, just for baseline bloodwork and ultrasound. I was unusually calm. Usually I'm so anxious, but today, nothing. They took me right back for my blood, and I didn't bruise today! After the blood and non-bruising, I had my ultrasound immediately. There was a new ultrasound tech. She was soooo young and kept saying things like "looks gorgeous" and "just one more peak and I'll be outie". Very strange comments when a perfect stranger has her hand betwen your thighs poking around with a condom wearing wand that closely resembles a dildo. Anyways.. She was poking around for a good 10 minutes. She found a fibroid and a "remnant" of a cyst or follie. I wasn't alarmed, I was just relieved when she got out of there!

I drove away and headed off to work out. My sister called and asked me to pick her up so she could work out with me. We watch the closed captioning of The View and discover we both don't believe in open marriages and dislike Colin Farrel because he looks like he needs a bath. We left and headed for Panera. I ate my fruit cup and large iced tea while my sister sipped her I.C. Mocha and butter laden bagel. My sister is a good 30 lbs less than me. Something is NOT fair in our gene pool! We go shop for awhile, and I discover she has been talking to some people at work about me and has all these women giving her information on adoption and such. I was shocked! I was under the impression that she was oblivious to my pain, but instead, she is out there doing preliminary leg work for adoption! I was amazed, especially after the fight I had with my mom!

Oh, and the nurse finally called saying my estrogen level was 30.2, and my progesterone level was .99 and I'm good to start Estrace and decrease lupron on Monday. And all I can think about is jumping online and ordering the Bella Band because I'll definitly need it soon...

Wow... Hope... Back full force. Please, please, please, don't let me down!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

What to Expect When You Are NOT Expecting, Part II

In light of the lovely fight I had with my mom yesterday...

6. People will say dumb things. REALLY dumb things. Here are some of my favorites:
At least you aren't dying!
I have a friend, and she didn't talk about infertility at all!
You sure are crabby!
Not everyone needs to be educated.
Are you doing it right?
Are you getting the right hole?
You know it has to be done during the middle of your cycle, right?
Just relax! You are thinking about it too much!
Maybe you just aren’t meant to have children.
IVF will cause cancer.
If you do IVF, you’ll have to be on birth control pills for the rest of your life.
You know, there are other ways to have children.

I would NEVER go through IVF!
Are you pregnant yet? No? Well, tell me when you are.
Adopt! My sister was two weeks from getting her baby when she found out she was pregnant, so she didn’t need to adopt.

Call ME if you want to talk!
My friend told me not to bring it up, so I won't talk about it.
Here! I found this in a magazine. This is your answer!
I just went to my OB/GYN and took Clomid for a year.
You are lucky you have this extra time with your husband.
Have you checked your temperature?

This is God's way of teaching you patience.
You are going to be way overprotective when you have your baby.
God will give you a baby when your time is right.



I could comment on all of these things, but I can’t even dignify them with a response. I usually just stutter some lame response. And then, guess what? I cry...

Just to be fair....

Here are the BEST things people have said:

How are you doing?
Can I get you anything?
Can I help?
Tell me how this procedure works...
You and Jeff are going to make wonderful parents!
Your baby(ies) are going to be so lucky to have you!
There is a reason for everything... You will be able to help other women going through this.
You are amazing.
You are strong.
I will be a surrogate if you need me to be.
I'm coming over with a chocolate milkshake!
I love you.
The whole world is waiting on these babies. They are going to be so loved when they get here!
I'm proud of you.
I don't always know the right thing to say, but I am thinking about you.
I am praying for you.
You have every right to your feelings.
I can't wait to see your babies!!
I want to be a dad to our babies.

These comments were said with so much love by my friends (Venting Room, and the J's) my wonderful aunt, and my lovely husband. A lot of these comments are just supportive of me and my Jeff. They are just so simple, but they make me feel safe.


I know the insensitive comments are not meant to be vendictive or mean, but they hurt... I need to post "advice" like Dianne did!! :) Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Another song

Whenever I hear the following song, I cry. In the video, there is this little girl, like 7 or 8 dancing around in her room as her jewelry box jams this song (fans and all included in the box!).
Since I first saw it, every time I hear this song, I think about how if I ever have a little girl, I will totally sing this to her!!

The World
Brad Paisley

To the teller down at the bank
You're just another checking account
To the plumber that came today
You're just another house
At the airport ticket counter
You're just another fare
At the beauty shop at the mall
Well you're just another head of hair
Well that's alright, that's ok
If you don't feel important, honey
All I've got to say is
[Chorus]
To the world
You may be just another girl
But to me
Baby, you are the world

To the waiter at the restaurant
You're just another tip
To the guy at the ice cream shop
You're just another dip
When you can't get reservations
'Cause you don't have the clout
Or you didn't get an invitation
'Cause somebody left you out
That's alright, that's ok
When you don't feel important honey
All I've got to say is

[Repeat chorus]

You think you're one of millions but you're one in a million to me
When you wonder if you matter, baby look into my eyes
And tell me, can't you see you're everything to me
That's alright, that's ok
When you don't feel important honey
All I've gotta say is
[Repeat chorus]

Lulu

About two weeks ago, I made the decision to "talk" to someone. A professional. Someone that can help me. I was nervous, as I've had bad experience in the past. I start driving, it starts raining. I see a little Yorkie tottering around in a pink tee-shirt. Yup, rhinestones and everything. I don't know what to do, so I call everyone I know. My friend, Jess, my sister, my mom, my husband. NO ONE ANSWERS!! So I leave strange messages. Jeff calls back, tells me to bring it to the humane society. I tell him, no, I'm going to the doctor. He starts sputtering who else to call. Um, I'm NOT a phone book, nor do I carry one with me... So I hang up on him, turn around and drive home. I grab the cat carrier for this little girl who has been sitting on my lap, shivering, and licking my fingers (I'm slowly falling in love and really contemplating just keeping her to myself). I am daydreaming about her name. Probably something like "Princess" or "Precious". Nah, looks like a Tallula to me... I LOVE that name... Anyways... as I'm grabbing the cat carrier, Jess has called. She tells me to call her back, and I do. No answer. She calls about 2 minutes later asking where I am because she is in front of my house. "I thought you were dying! What's going on?" I tell her. "A DOG?? Woof, woof, dog?" I know she probably thinks I'm nuts, and when I tell her I'm going to talk to someone, I can tell she is secretly relieved that her friend is not finger painting the kitchen floor wearing a gorilla suit and a pink wig.
The doctor's appointment is unimportant, but what is important is that not only does she let me take the dog into the office, but lets her in the room with us!
I am driving back home, and I call animal control. The woman looks up anyone in the surrounding area that has Yorkies, and gives me the name of a Yorkie an address. The name? Lulu. So adorable!! I LOVE it!! I ask the dog if that's her name and she starts wagging her little tail and spinning in circles.
I ring the bell, kind of hoping no ones answers so at least I can play with this little girl all day...
A woman comes to the door... A woman with a HUGE PREGNANT BELLY!! I want to run away... she gets this cute dog and is pregnant? I ask if she's lost a dog, and she says, yes and starts to cry. I hug her and tell her I have her in my car. The woman is grateful, but doesn't offer me her unborn child. I kindly ask her when she's due, offer congratulations, and get in my car. I start to call Jeff, and am in hysterics. I can't stop crying. Why couldn't she belong to some gay couple? Or just a normal woman? Why did she have to be pregnant and have a dog named Lulu???
All I can think of is that Lulu just had to bring me the message that I will be big and pregnant someday soon, too. Its a stretch, but, maybe its a glimmer of hope...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Kokopelli

I heard from my friend Jenn that she wore a kokopelli bracelet when she was ttc. I immediately had to have one!! I looked online, but found none that appealed to me. About a week later, I went to a jewelry trade show with my mom and aunt. Guess what the first thing I saw was? YUP!! I was soooo excited, and even more so when the woman said they were 1/2 off! Anyways, I'm in the middle of a huge post, but I thought I'd post information on this guy... :) I'm hoping it will work!
Have a great day!



Kokopelli
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Kokopelli is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player (often with a huge phallus and antenna-like protrusions on his head), who has been venerated by many Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States. Like most fertility deities, Kokopelli presides over both childbirth and agriculture. He is also a trickster god and represents the spirt of music.
Because of his influence over human sexuality, Kokopelli is often depicted with an inhumanly large phallus. Among the Ho-Chunk, this penis is detachable, and he sometimes leaves it in a river in order to have sex with girls who bathe there. Among the Hopi, Kokopelli carries unborn children on his back and distributes them to women (for this reason, young girls are often deathly afraid of him). He often takes part in rituals relating to marriage, and Kokopelli himself is sometimes depicted with a consort, a woman called Kokopelli-mana by the Hohokam and Hopi.[1]
Kokopelli also presides over the reproduction of game animals, and for this reason, he is often depicted with animal companions such as rams and deer. Other common creatures associated with him include sun-bathing animals such as snakes, or water-loving animals like lizards and insects. Because of this, some scholars believe that Kokopelli's flute is actually a blowgun (or started out as one), but this is a minority opinion.
In his domain over agriculture, Kokopelli's fluteplaying chases away the Winter and brings about Spring. Many tribes, such as the Zuni, also associate Kokopelli with the rains. He frequently appears with Paiyatamu, another flautist, in depictions of maize-grinding ceremonies. Some tribes say he carries seeds and babies on his back.
From approximately the 1990s onward, his image has appeared on neo-hippy artifacts such as clothing and amulets and as a tattoo, minus the large phallus.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What to Expect When You ARE NOT Expecting

WARNING!! This one is incredibly long... I wrote it on and off for a few days... I want to write a book about infertility. Not about the medical stuff... Enough books have been written about that. I should list my favorites! Next time... This blog is about What to Expect When You ARE NOT Expecting. This is my book title.

1. Expect your relationship with your husband to change drastically. I love my husband to death, but there are days when I wonder if its all worth it. All of his flaws (which are pretty minimal...) are exasperated by my depression about not having a baby. Everything he does that bugs me has a reason...He leaves the dishes in the sink, to me this means he doesn't care about our house, and how can we have a baby when our house is falling apart? He works late means he would rather spend time at work then with me, will this mean he'll be too tired to play with Baby when he gets home? He pushes our dog away after she's been licking his face for the ten minutes means he doesn't like affection, will he push our baby away? Totally illogical thoughts, I know this, but it doesn't help!


2. You will find out who your real friends are. The girls in the Venting Room, yup! I just wish they lived close enough to go shopping or have a margarita with... I have in my head three friends that I am planning on giving the address to this blog. I have chosen these three for very distinct reasons. Julia has been my friend since we were 16. We went through patches of time when we didn't talk at all! For the past 5 years, though, she has been there for me. She's often taken time from her family (including her adorable twin boys) to spend with me. For this, Julia, I LOVE YOU!! Jess and I started our relationship one snowy afternoon. We worked at a grocery store and were both assigned to push carts. Yup, in the snow. We were 17 and hit it off immediately! Jess and I spent way too many weekends driving to see boys that are so unimportant now I won't dignify them with another word. Jess became my college roommate for our junior and senior years of college. She was there for every broken heart, as well as for the good times. I know sometimes she doesn't know what to say as I'm broken hearted, but I know she is praying for this baby like I am. For this, Jess, I LOVE YOU!! Judi is my good school friend... She went through some infertility issues as well as a premature birth. Her baby boy is adorable with eyes like the ocean at sunrise... She really showed her true colors by calling me and emailing me very consitently, even though she is dealing with issues of her own. She is kind of like my big sister. For this, Judi, ILOVE YOU!! Yes, I only pick friends with the letter J...


3. Your family may not know what to say, so they may say nothing. The month I started ttc, my sister got engaged. My mom immediately said," You know you can't get pregnant now" and I burst into tears. I told her we had already started ttc, and I didn't want to stop. She told me to tell my sister just in case she didn't want a pregnant matron of honor. The day I went to try on bridesmaids dresses, I got my period, and kept crying. I had to tell my aunt what was going on... So, from the very beginning, my family knew. I figured it would take 3 mos, tops, and it wouldn't be a big deal. The months dragged on. My aunt, who dealt with infertility for years was really supportive. My mom had NO idea what to say. I remember when I told that J and I would have to do IVF. I just sobbed. She said, "What's the big deal? You can still have sex..." Um... thanks mom... My sister still doesn't talk about it. Today she was talking about her friend that left her 2 1/2 year old with her sister. I asked if that sister had kids. She said no and I said I was surprised she left her baby with her. My sister asked if I would leave my kids with her. I said no. I hurt her feelings. She said I would change my mind and I should trust her. I said "When you work this hard for a baby, you tell me if you want to let them out of your sight." Nothing more was said. This conversation took place at the gym, on the Eliptical trainer... at least I got my heart rate up!! Anyways... family loves you, they hate to see you hurt, so sometimes they say nothing. If only they knew this hurt more than anything...

4. You will get fat. When I started ttc, I was a very healthy weight. I fit into a size 8. I looked good, I felt good. I ate healthy, I worked out 5 days a week. I earned my 10% Weight Watchers key chain. I would be one of those adorably basketball pregnant woman. Every month that went by, my good habits fell by the wayside. I wanted french fries. I didn't want carrots. I stopped drinking my 8 oz. of water a day. Work out? Are you NUTS???? Nope, I opted for naps, justifying it by saying that soon I wouldn't be able to get anymore naps… I felt tired, so I MUST be pregnant, and I don’t want to work out to disturb this little embryo’s home… I became even more and more depressed. I couldn’t cook, so dear sweet hubby brought home McDonalds and Slurpees and took the dogs for walks at night… And then the hormones the RE gives you are HELL on a body... Its estimated you will gain about 5-10 lbs. What they don't tell you is that this is not normal weight gain... Its the "I'm not going anywhere" weight. And there isn't a thing you can do about it! Try walking on a treadmill when your ovaries have grown to about the size of watermelons. Not an easy task, let me tell you!! Whatever. As my sister said, "You'll gain even more weight if you get what you want, anyways." Yeah, I guess. Goodbye, skinny jeans... Hello adjustable waistbands!!

5. All you will be able to think about is getting pregnant and the fact the you aren't. From the moment I wake up, it is there, perched on my dresser as I put on my kokopelli bracelet. It’s the dread that comes from a shot of some hormone that will make me fat, tired, crabby, or cry... or all of the above! And the feeling stays with me as I drive to work, ready to face the cherubic faces of my first graders. Its there when I listen to the stories of the other teachers, oblivious to my pain as they complain that their 2 year old was up all night, or that their 5 year old won't eat anything brown. Its there when a parent calls me to tell me of an upcoming vacation. The feeling grows and becomes so big, I feel like I'm going to explode! I go to workout, burn some energy. In front of me, a woman and a stroller struggle through the front door. She kisses her baby good bye and heads for the stationary bike, Parents magazine in tow, trying to work off those last 10 pregnancy pounds. And I head home. On the news, another baby is found, stuffed in a dumpster. She's alive, and they are trying to locate her parents. I fight back the urge to run to the hospital and claim she's my sister in law's baby, and yes, I'll make sure she gets home... And then I go to bed. I take off my kokopelli bracelet, and say a little prayer. I dream. I dream of babies. Sometimes they are in my arms, sometimes they are toddlers. They always move before I can see their eyes.

My Song...

My pal Dianne has been posting songs to express herself, so I thought I would do the same. My grief has completely overtaken me. I wish I were more like Mel and would want to clean everything in sight. Instead, I feel like laying on the floor and sobbing...
Here is my song:

"So Hard" by The Dixie Chicks
Back when we started
We didn't know how hard it was
Living on nothing
But what the wind would bring to us
Now we've got somethingI can imagine fighting for
So why is fighting all that we're good at anymore
And sometimes I don't have the energy
To prove everybody wrong
And I try my best to be strong
But you know it's so hardIt's so hard

It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hardIt felt like a given

Something a woman's born to do
A natural ambition
To see a reflection of me and you
And I'd feel so guilty
If that was a gift I couldn't give
And could you be happy
If life wasn't how we pictured it
And sometimes I just want to wait it out
To prove everybody wrong
And I need your help to move on
Cause you know it's so hard
It's so hard

It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
So hard

I can live for the moment
When all these clouds open up for me to see
And show me a vision
Of you and me swimming peacefully

Last night you told me
That you can't remember
How to feel free

It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy, easy
It's so hard

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Happiness

I'll take my moments of happiness when they come. I feel at peace right now (although I am a little peeved at my friend's Mel's coworkers...). Why is there this sudden feeling of peace? Maybe its because I only have ONE MORE DAY of my summer class... Maybe its because I went out with a friend and really tried not to talk about infertility. Whatever. I just thought it would be fun to make a list of things that make me happy!
1. My husband
2. My family (when they aren't driving me crazy!)
3. My silly friends
4. The way my dog, Bear, cuddles up to me every night and rests his head on my tummy. He looks in my eyes, and I swear, this dog is love in its purest form.
5. Freshly cut grass--ahhh... love that smell!!
6. Waking up on the first day of summer vacation and knowing I have 12 weeks to sleep in.
7. The first day of school-- it holds so much hope... all the crayons are still in their boxes, nametags are still neatly on desks, the parents still like me...
8. Hugs. I don't care who they are from, but my husband gives pretty darn good ones!
9. Getting mail--birthday cards, email, whatever, as long as its for ME (not current resident) and I don't owe money!
10. Windows down, arm out the window, music loud, and just driving...
11. Stormy nights (not tornado stormy!)
12. Stars
13. Children laughing
14. Going out with my girlfriends... I think I need them now more than ever!
15. New books
16. Clean sheets
17. Burning a brand new candle
18. The ocean, waves crashing... lovely
19. Wishing on stars
20. Having hope

This list is a good start... I have forgotten what its like to be happy and at peace... I'll take my moments as they come!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

How Can I Help? The Dos And The Don'ts Of Support

I found this on the RESOLVE website.

By Diane Clapp, BSN, RN and Merle Bombardieri, LICSW
Coping with Infertility can be extremely difficult for the family and friends of the couple going through infertility. As with any crisis it is difficult to know what to say. Because infertility is such a sensitive topic it is important to understand what you can and cannot say.
Let's start with what doesn't help, because the more you continue to say the wrong thing inadvertently, the deeper the rift will be between you and the couple. There is a universal list of

No-No's that most infertile couples agree on. The following do's and don'ts should help you support the individual or couple who is struggling with infertility.

Don't Try to minimize the problem by saying, "Don't worry. At least you have each other and don't have cancer."

I have heard that the stress of infertility is about the same as the stress related to a cancer patient. Right, at least I don't have cancer. I'm not dying. But, where is my "Be Strong" bracelet? Where is my walk to beat infertility? Why don't people come over to hold my hand when I can't get out of bed. No, I'm not dying, but somedays, I almost feel as if I am.

Do Listen to what the couple has to say about their experience and express empathy for their difficulties.

NOTICE: LISTEN... I don't always want advice... just an ear...

Don't Tell a couple who has had a miscarriage that it wasn't meant to be or that you know that they will be pregnant again soon and it will work the next time.

I have not had a miscarriage, but I know people who have. It is a death. Would you tell someone who's husband just died that he just wasn't meant to live and that they'll be able to find another one? I think not.

Do Realize that the couple has just lost a specific potential child who will never come again, no matter how wonderful the next pregnancy may be. Acknowledge how sad they must feel. Use the words "loss and sorrow"; don't be afraid to use the words that probably describe how the couple must feel.

Its been 3 weeks since our IVF cycle failed. I still feel this enormous sense of loss for these two potential lives. I still cry for them. Its very sad to think I've "lost" about 19 potential babies.

Don't Give medical advice or doctor referrals without being asked or hearing the couple say they are looking for new information or referrals.

I know people mean well... but, I have friends who tell me of this doctor who is great, or that my doctor is wrong. Unless you spent 8 years in medical school, I don't want to hear it!

Do Tell the couple know that you'll be happy to listen to any details they want to share with you and that you would like to offer support during any procedures by a phone call or by offering to go with them to a medical appointment.
There are so many times I just want to talk and talk and talk. Most of the time, I get the subject changed, usually to something happy like butterflies and rainbows, or tragedy like the genocide of baby girls in India. I feel very abanded at this stage. I'm not pregnant, I'm not undergoing any procedures, so my friends and family think everything is okay. This is the worst part; waiting. How I would love a phone call or an invite to go shopping... ANYTHING!!


Don't Assume that new medical breakthroughs you read about in the paper will solve the couple's problems. The breakthrough announced by the news media may be irrelevant and if it is relevant, chances are the couple has seen the article and their medical team is knowledgeable about it. One of my friends is cyber space just heard an article that stated women produce 6-10 eggs a month. Wow! Women are not dogs, we do not have litters of 6 babies! The media is often wrong.


Do Ask the couple if there are any books or articles that you could read to understand what they are going through medically. I think I would fall over if someone asked me what they could read or how they could get more information besides anecdotal stories of their friend's mom's cousin's step-daughter's sister-in-law who ate organic cucumber skins for a year and got pregnant. I have soooooo much information that I would LOVE to share. No one asks, though... Maybe I should just start posting information on the bulletin boards at the grocery stores...

Don't Expect the couple to act happy about attending baby showers, christenings and other family events that feature pregnant women and new babies. Oh my gosh... Just went to a baby shower and had to fight back the tears as I was surrounded by babies and the mom-to-be! Yes, I'm happy you are pregnant or you have babies. But right now, I'm fighting back the urge to steal your baby. My best friend had a great analogy; Its like going to a funeral for someone's husband and making out with your own.
I know people mean well, but no, I don't want to hold your baby or rub your belly for "good luck". This is NOT how babies are made. Trust me, I've read everything on baby making!!

Do Give them plenty of opportunity to decide whether to attend an event or whether to come late or leave early. They will not feel the need to avoid babies forever, but less contact right now may be a necessary part of their healing process. At this baby shower, I told the mom-to-be I would have to leave before she opened presents. Right as she was starting, she must have noticed the look of panic in my eyes. She hugged me and let me leave before I started sobbing. I will not be attending anymore events for babies in the near future...

Don't Start a discussion about infertility without paying attention to timing and to the couple's openness.
My husband did this the other night! We were out to dinner and relaxing with his parents, and he started talking about our doctor's appointments! Sometimes, I just want to be the regular girl I once was, not new unimproved infertile girl...

Do Choose a time when the couple's privacy is assured and ask the couple if they would like to talk. Couples experiencing infertility often feel out of control. Your letting them choose whether and when to talk about it gives them back some control. Out of control. You've hit in on the head!!

Don't Assume that it is fine if you talk to your son's wife or your daughter's husband about their situation.
My MIL told me a story about a woman who only ovulated once a year and once they figured out when she ovulated, she got pregnant. Good for her. I ovulate every month...I didn't want to discuss her son's sperm with her, but I really wish she would just give me a hug and tell me she will listen if I want to talk.

Do Respect the privacy needs of each individual and do not assume that they both want to talk about it with you. Will my husband talk about it? Nope. Except if its a Saturday night and he's out to dinner with his parents... Will I talk about it? Ummmm.... do I talk about anything else???

Don't Offer unsolicited stories about others who have been successful at treatment or adoption.
I hate these stories. They are not true. Most of these women probably went through infertility treatment and that's how they got pregnant, but don't want to talk about their treatments anymore. I highly doubt that the woman who tried to get pregnant for 8 years, had 15 IVF treatments, and 2 failed adoptions "miraculously" got pregnant with twins after she "stopped" trying. She just got tired of stupid comments from ignorant people.


DO Tell them if they are ever interested you could put them in touch with a couple willing to talk about their infertility experience or adoption process. Let them decide whether they want to pursue that information. As a parent, family member, or friend, you want to make it better for the couple, to take away the pain. But probably the greatest gift you can give your loved one or friend is to be a listener, a sounding board. Instead of erasing the pain, you can diminish it by your caring. One of the hardest questions to ask someone is, "How can I help you?" It is such a difficult question because you should be prepared for their answer and not the answer that you think they will say or should say. To ask that question and to
trust the response that you hear is a powerful step in your efforts to help the couple struggling with this kind of crisis. Amen!

It funny that the only people reading this are my Venting room friends who already KNOW all the Do's and Don'ts... Perhaps I should pass this along to my friends, family, and coworkers? Hmmmm....



Sunday, July 16, 2006

Scared

Today I just feel sad. Maybe its because of the baby shower I went to. My best friend went with me. The whole way there, I did my deep breathing exercises. I felt the panic attacks come and go. I just can't breathe. I have homwork to do, and I just can't seem to get it done. I have a list of things I need to complete before the end of summer... Before my FET... I can barely seem to make it out of bed.

And I'm scared shitless. There I said it. I am SCARED!!! Of what? Mostly, well, everything. I am scared I will not get pregnant. I am scared I will go through 15 IVFs, quit, and then wonder, maybe if I had done one more... I'm scared I will never get to see a reflection of my sweet husband and I in another life.

I'm scared I'll get pregnant and miscarry. The miscarriage rate for IVF patients is 30% during the first 12 weeks. This is slightly higher than the 20% miscarriage rate for "normal" pregnancies. It is probably because IVF patients know they are pregnant sometimes before a period is missed and if the baby stops growing, and there is a miscarriage, the IVF patient knows. Any other woman would think she is getting her period. This is a huge concern. I know if I do get pregnant, the first 12 weeks will be spent being as horizontal as possible.

I'm scared about adoption. Wow. What a huge process that is! J and I have decided that if this next cycle fails, we'll start looking into this. Where will we get the $20,000? Who knows. Maybe we'll rob a bank. Then I'll go to jail and be someone's bitch. That DEFINITLY won't get me pregnant... I'm scared we'll be close to the end, and bam! Adoption failed. It happens. What if it happens to us?

I'm scared I won't be a good mom. Maybe God knows something I don't and isn't giving me the baby I have been dreaming of for a reason. I mean, I am a little unorganized. I'm messy. I don't like housework. I always fall behind on laundry. I can be impatient. Plus, when/if I have a baby, it will be so spoiled, and do we really need anymore spoiled people in this world?

I'm scared J is going to get so fed up with me and my crazy mood swings and just leave. Does he care, I mean really, would he care if we ended up child-free? Probably not so much. Sure, he wants kids, but come on... sleeping in, eating out, not worrying about the nutrional contents of our refrigerator does have its perks.

I'm just scared. I don't have my strength today. I'm scared it will not come back.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Things I Have Learned From Infertility

This is in no particular order...

1. My husband loves me unconditionally. He has been there throught everything from the days when I couldn't get out of bed, to the nights when I wouldn't get off the computer, and everything in between.

2. I LOVE my husband more than I ever thought possible. Why? See above.

3. I still need my mom. For awhile, I don't think she knew what to say. I told her that saying ANYTHING is better than ignoring what I am going through. She gathers advice from her friends who went through infertility, tells me not to watch "Baby Story", "Adoption Story", or "Birth Day", and she even bought me a gorgeous kokopelli bracelet (she also told the women she bought it from that maybe the next time I see her I'll be "bumpy"). She is great! The day I had my beta from IVF, she was more anxious than I was! I was so crabby (I just knew it would be a BFN), but she took me to the movies, bought me lunch, and just spent the day with me. I think she was just as sad as I was when it was negative!

4. I have found out who my real friends are. My friend from school who has sent me emails and calls me almost daily, yup! The girl from school who constantly talks about her pregnancy, rubs her belly, and tells me "Its just not meant to be"--not so much. My "friend" of 28 years who told me NOT to do IVF b/c "there are other options" and "you'll get cancer if you do it" (whaaa???) Um... NOPE!!! My best friend who has waited until her two year old twins were sleeping to call me so I wouldn't hear their cute little voices... yup!!

5. People you find on the internet are NOT creeps!! What would I do without my Venting room friends? Every month when AF came, they were there to give virtual hugs. They have shared such great information from why NOT to eat pineapple to don't POAS every 5 minutes when you think you might be ovulating. I love you girls!!

6. You can find all sorts of information on the internet! I can easily spend hours looking things up while my house falls apart!

7. Needles aren't that scary. After having three shots a day for 3 weeks, I'm thinking about acupuncture!

8. Patience. I can be patient while helping a 6 year old decode the word "window". However, waiting for my baby has proven more challenging. Like I said, I thought we'd have to wait approximately 3 minutes to be pregnant. Apparently, I was wrong!!

9. Anyone can get pregnant, including: women on birth control, druggies, 14 year old girls, women who aren't trying, women who will one day leave their children at the Taste of Chicago, women who don't really want children, women who shop at IKEA (pregnant army!!)and jerks (women who rub there bellies and ask you if you are still trying).

10. I can not get pregnant, neither can 6 million other women in the world. However, we don't make the news. We don't rub our flat (or sometimes hormone induced inflated) tummies and cry (not in public, anyways). We don't get "Not Having a Baby Shower" and get lotion, candles, cute clothes (for US and our expanding waistline from hormone drugs), certificates for massages, and lots of alcohol. We don't get a day (Not a Mother's Day?). We can't talk about our doctor's appointments like pregnant women do (so the doctor looked at my empty uterus. Its just perfect!! Want to see the picture?).

I sound jaded. I sound a little heartbroken. Maybe I am. But I'm strong. I have my lessons close to my heart.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My Path

When I started on the path to being a mommy, I was a wide-eyed optimist, confident that my husband and I would be pregnant within moments of trying. One of my fellow teacher friends started trying about a month before me, and immediately became pregnant. Another friend who had been trying for almost a year, finally became pregnant as well. I was extremely excited! I would get to share in the glow of mom-to-be hood. As the months went by, and I devoted I don't even want to try to figure out how many dollars to ovulation predictor kits and pregnancy tests (proven to detect hcg 5 days before your period is due!), I knew something wasn't right.

Well meaning friends and family members told me to relax, don't think about it, sometimes it just takes time, etc., We had begun trying in March. When I got my period on Christmas day, I decided it was time to start researching reproductive endocronologist; they are the big guns in the world of infertility. I didn't even stop to see an ob/gyn, knowing they would put me on clomid and send me on my way. I couldn't deal with not know why I hadn't became pregnant yet.

I was put through a bunch of tests, mostly blood tests, internal ultrasounds, and a procedure that involved injecting dye into my fallopian tubes (about as painful as someone sticking a knife inside you and thrashing it around). All came up fine. I was diagnosed with mild PCOS, which just meant I had cysts on my ovaries, and in some women it causes them not to ovulate and produce less than stellar eggs. I was ovulating every month.

Jeff had his test. Yup, test. One. He went to a room, looked at some magazines, and was sent home. Yes, one test. God must be a man...

Jeff got the call about a week and a half later. He had lots of sperm (180 million), and great motility (they could get around), but his morphology was 0%, which means NONE of them were shaped correctly. None of his sperm could penetrate my awaiting egg. He was told our only option was IVF. He called me at school to tell me this. I didn't believe him, thought he got only part of the story. I love him to death, but, he is a guy after all...

I called the next day. The nurse would not give me his test results. I rolled my eyes into the phone, and told her I knew the results, but what the heck is the deal with the IVF? We were too young for IVF, right? She told me, no, that was our only option. They would have to inject one of Jeff's sperm into my egg, a procedure called ICSI. This was big times.

I remember it was the beginning of the school day when I got this news. I had another teacher watch my class as I took the phone call. I sat in her office and cried into the phone as the nurse explained the procedure. I hung up, and just kept crying. I couldn't help it. I just felt like someone ran over me with the reality truck. It was so concrete. There would never be a "surprise, we are pregnant!" It would all be clinical, Jeff and I wouldn't even be involved as our embryos developed. And what if they never did? Would we ever be parents?

I am at peace with IVF. I thank God that He created such awesome doctors. I am still a little anxious about of the whole thing... It feels so much like a last resort, especially since this last cycle failed.

I have heard there is a baby out there for everyone, and the path to get to that baby might just be full of lot of twists and turns. I will go through every twist, turn, and loop-de-loop... I just have to keep that faith that God will lead me to my baby!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Free

I used to be free... I used to dance and sing and blow bubbles. And I used to laugh. I mean REALLY laugh, you know, the kind where you can't breathe and you forget what is so funny. I used to be funny. Now all I talk about is babies and trying to have one and how it isn't fair that I don't have one. And I really doubt there is anything that will change that until I have my little baby in my arms, feel her heart beating, smell her sweet baby smell.

Today, I had a glimpse of the real me, the me I like, the me other people like. My best bud Julia took time away from her adorable twin boys to hang out with me. I was in such a bad, bad, mood, but I went out anyways. We have been friends for so long, going on 12 years now, she is more of a sister to me than my biological sister is! She knew I was crabby and called me on it, saying she was going to get me moving! We went roller blading, something neither of us had done in years, probably since before she got pregnant, which was over 3 years ago! Within minutes, she had fallen and scraped her knee. Instead of crying, like I would have done, she laughed and said she was proud of her "boo boo". We went on. I cried a little, I screamed a little, we both talked about how it isn't fair that IVF didn't work. I told her how scared I was that it might never work. She said it would, and if it didn't, she would be a surrogate for me. This is just the kind of person Julia is. Selfless, free, proud of her boo-boos. She really brings out the best in me and I strive to be like her. We went and got coffee, and the real me kept coming out. I talked to her, she listened. I felt myself relax. I felt a glimmer of hope that maybe someday I will be pregnant, or if not have adopted children. It just felt possible.

As I drove home, I opened all the windows in my car, blasted the Indigo Girls, and sang really loudly (and off key). I had my arm out the window and I saw people staring. I don't care. I will carry infertility like my own boo boo and be proud that I am getting through it with only a few minor scrapes. And when I hold my baby for the first time, whether it be born from my womb or my heart, I know Julia will be there to kiss away all the tears and cover my boo boo with a band aid.

A Failed Cycle

This is my attempt to blog. I have some friends in cyber space that do it and love it... I don't know if I'll give my address out to my friends and family. I don't want to offend anyone!

I did my first IVF cycle in June. I was so excited, especially after I was told I had 36 follicles. On my retrieval day, they got 21 eggs. 11 fertilized. 9 were a grade A, 2 a grade B. My RE told me on the day of our transfer that there was a 70% chance of getting pregnant, and a 1 in 3 chance of having twins! I would have jumped for joy if my bladder hadn't been so full. I felt the tears well up as he inserted two little bubbles into my awaiting womb made much more friendly from eating many, many pineapples. As my loving husband was driving me home, I started to feel nauseous. I thought it was just the heat. By the time we got home, I was officially car sick. I ran into the house and threw up. I felt pretty nauseous the entire weekend. My friends laughed saying it was just morning sickness coming really early. When by Monday I couldn't even get out of bed, I was worried. I called my RE and they found it very strange and told me to go to my general practioner. I couldn't even make it to my bathroom, how could I drive? I called my mom. I swear she thought I was faking it! Anyways, turns out I had vertigo. I was reassured by the nurse at my RE's office that throwing up would not impact the results. I was still a little nervous...

I waited. I was excited, until I had a dream that I was giving birth. I woke up and thought, It didn't happen. I had to wait until that Friday for the news. I went through many emotions. Sometimes I would be so optimistic, other times, I was positive I wouldn't be pregnant. I just didn't feel it. I was reassured I probably wouldn't feel anything anyways; it was way too early.


Then Friday came... The dreaded phone call: "Your HCG level is less than 1, so you are not pregnant..." followed by 10 minutes of what I need to do and who I need to call and then, "have a great weekend"... Um... how? I cried, sobbed, obnoxious, ugly sounds came out of me. Tears I haven't cried since I was 10 and got sent to my room because of something I did or said, which was probably all my sister's fault anyways. My husband held me and hugged me and tried to console me. He couldn't answer my questions: Why did they stay? Was I already a terrible mom, I couldn't keep two embryos happy? How can I not be pregnant?

I called my mom. She had been waiting all day. I tried to be calm, but when she asked how I was, I broke down. I have seen my mom cry at funerals, and that's about it. She is strong. She is not emotional. She is very level headed. She is the opposite of me. That day, she cried. I heard it in her voice. It broke my heart that I brought my mom to tears.

I shouldn't have been surprised. I really wasn't, but I still had hope.
Saturday the phone calls and emails started coming from well meaning friends. "Are you pregnant?"

I think I'll keep my blood test a secret next time.