Sunday, April 29, 2007

wanna talk about it?

How weird is it to have an infertility blog and yet NOT want to write about your own infertility? So, there is much I have not been sharing due to my inability to write about it - I am not sure of why, but I am certain that it probably isn't a good reason.

Dr. E ran a panel of clotting disorders (because I asked, and I asked specifically for a thrombophilia panel) and it all came back normal. I am not sure what exactly I was tested for, but he seemed to think there was no reason to suspect I had a problem here. Which makes me wonder what all was tested, and when they called with the results, I was in the middle of class, so I could not exactly get the specifics. Yet another reason i am getting a second opinion - I've had two mc's, and yes, my eggs totally suck it which is probably the whole issue. Call me high matenance, but I would like some reassurance before jumping into IVF with PGD I don't have yet another problem.

Speaking of the problem of not talking while at work, do any of your nurses/drs email you results? This would be a huge bonus to me. It would save so much hassle. They probably don't, citing HIPPA or something.

We've also decided to give a medicated IUI one more try this summer. We've technically only done two, and I got pregnant one of those two times, so it seems like a good idea to try it ONE MORE TIME. We are going to go ahead with Dr. E since we've been with him for two years now, and get the second opinions on IVF this summer as well. I am pretty sure I want to go elsewhere for that. Especially now after seeing the group does not have any data on the CDC website for the last year. Even when they did, the success rates were not spectacular - I know you aren't supposed to use these as comparisons, but . . . doesn't everyone do that anyway?

It looks like we will be doing the IUI next cycle after this one, which will be the 4th cycle after the mc. Seems like good timing.

Why not, right?

Monday, April 23, 2007

ohmygodijustate3avocados and I've been tagged

Three is a lot, but i should explain they were mashed up with lime juice and salt - i think some people call it "guacamole" - and eaten with roughly half a bag of tortilla chips. They were organic blue corn, so it's ok.

What is good about this:
1. avocados are high in good fat
2. it is totally delicious
3. i am no longer craving avocados, lime juice, salt and chips

What is bad about this:
1. avocados are high in fat
2. i ate all the ones i bought so now i have to go back to the store
3. now i am craving something sweet

In other news, this past weekend I set up a nature area in our yard. I know that sounds really lame, even as i type it, it does not get any cooler. But, I like the birds chirping happily in the morning so in order to attract more i put out two feeders and a bath. So there is currently like 20 pounds of bird feed in the back yard, because squirrel proof feeders come in Sam's Club sizes and i needed two to balance out the thing I got to hang them from. i also have a finch feeder and a bird bath.

Ah, the concrete bird bath . . . yeah. That was fun in the broiling heat yesterday trying to get it out of the home depot. As i was standing in line, roasting in the heat, a metformin attack hit me. It may be because I ate a quarter pounder with cheese a few hours earlier, but no fries! Yea for me on that one, thought I'd outsmarted the whole metformin issue. No luck. If you take metformin, you know the panic this induces. Do I leave the line and try to find the restroom with a ridiculously heavy concrete bird bath on my cart? I look inside to see a wall of people. How can I navigate the masses with the cart I can barely push? Do I hope this is just a false alarm? Do I pray and hope I make it home? My eyes darted, looking for a quick get away, but there isn't one. I wanted to scream "Hurry the fuck UP, people! Really, you will regret it if you don't!" but I didn't. This is a tricky game. As my sweating exponentially increased and my heart raced with dread, I remembered I was only wearing workout shorts because I forgot to run the load of laundry with panties. Now, you know enough to truly embarrass me. Yes, I was about to have what can only be described as a butt explosion in the middle of the home depot garden area and I wasn't even wearing any damned panties.

I decided what will be will be, and I am NOT leaving this line, and I AM getting this freaking bird bath into my car, butt explosion or not. It is really too bad metformin doesn't even work for me, and when I mention it to my RE, he says I should be on it anyway. I would be willing to bet if he had to take it, things might just be a little different. Did I tell you I am getting a second opinion? Mainly for this reason. I do not want to take the met anymore.

Everything worked out fine, in case you are still reading this. If you are, bless you.


Thank you, reality, for the tag. I am pretty sure some of these people have been already, I am doing it again.

Jess at The Problem with Hope (pwp): A couple of years ago, I found her blog doing a search for something IF related. I didn't even know IF blogs existed. I read her whole blog from the beginning. She blows away any stereotypes you have of early 20 somethings, both on the IF front and in other ways as well. Currently, she's expecting from her second IVF (it's v. v. early) AND she and her husband are in the process of adopting a little girl! Oh my. This should make for an interesting blog! For someone who has waited and prayed as long as Jess, it seems as if it's all coming true at once for her.

C at Theoneliner: A shout out to a fellow ATL'er. I love her writing style, and she is so very open about the mental struggles that go along with the IF struggle. She is hilarious, (i guess hence the name theoneliner) and hers was the second or third blog I lurked on regularly before coming out. And, I have her to thank for those of you that read, because she put me out there in support right away. Thanks man!

decemberbaby at "Of Course You'll Get Pregnant!": I identified with her right away because she had just miscarried as well, and she writes about her home improvement projects, which I also love. She seems like someone I would just be friends with anyway irl, and would just happen to have IF in common just because. Isn't it funny how you can tell that about someone just by reading? On second thought, maybe it's not.

Anns at "A Brief History of 'You'": Her determination to get pg after a 10 week miscarriage was what got me reading in the beginning. At the end of each cycle, I kept checking in . . .and then success a few weeks ago. But now, things aren't looking too good. Much the same as my early ultrasound, so I remember that devastation all to well. She needs everyone's support right now.

bumble at "Me the Bumblebee": I just love the way she writes. And, she is young like me, and has a lot of difficulty getting here, and we can all identify with that. She writes about her husband's view on things and how hard that is on her, and it is palpable how much she wants all of this to just be over - her latest post is especially heartbreaking. I always keep going back to her quote "Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway."
Doesn't that just say it all?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Warning: I am about to sound like a giant bitch.

So, if you don't like hearing bitchy musings, stop reading now. I just read a post over at Carrie's blog about her husband's response to IVF. Now, I do want to say D has been great for the most part, most of the time. To say infertility puts stress on your relationship is the understatement of the century. So, this isn't a complaint about him as it is a ranting diatribe on how hard treatments are on a woman's body. That's something I don't see talked about often, or maybe I'm just not looking in the right places.

Let's think about this. We are told by a doctor in a very clinical, cold and impersonal setting (sometimes whilst on our backs with our legs spread, business open to the world) that the only way to biological children will be administering sythetic horomones to ourselves whose safety is yet unproven. This is usually because there is something wrong with our reproductive systems anyway - things that already put us at a greater risk for cancer (endo and pcos). So to me, adding synthetic horomones to the mix is like adding fuel to the fire, right? Well, my RE assures me, no, this is not true. I remain hesitant at best. It's not his body after all - really - what does he care if I end up with cancer later in life? He won't know know unless I tell him, assuming he's still around.

Then, if the treatment is IVF, we continue this regimen of horomones for several days, during which our lives are completely disrupted by attending countless monitoring appointments, always scheduled at some ludicrously early hour of the morning so we may make it to work relatively on time, blood draws, and trying to take update calls at work in the afternoons. During this, we are bloated, tired, anxious, on edge, emotional, as our estrogen levels are pushed to some out of control limits. That can't be good. Oh, what's that? You exercise to relieve stress? Well, you can forget about that too. All of this while we still at least attempt to continue working, maintaining the house, attending to the needs of friends and family, and nuturing the marriage. Becuase if you're like me, getting the "It's a Woman's Job" manual at the onset of puberty, all of these things, are, in fact, a Woman's Job. Even if she is sick. Even if she is tired. Even if she is having a nervous breakdown. Even if.

If after all of this you are lucky enough to produce a good number of eggs, then it's time for the Retrieval. During this lovely procedure, a long needle is inserted through your cervix, into your uterus, where a hole is punctured in the uterine wall so they may aspirate the follicles sitting atop your ovaries to retrieve your eggs. Don't worry, you will be asleep. Hopefully, this will happen over the weekend, so you won't be missing any work. But don't count on it. You have no control, you are at the mercy of your reproductive organs that have betrayed you many times before. Not reliable. So plan on missing a couple of days.

After all of this, you hope for some mature eggs. Some that will fertilize. With ICSI? Without ICSI? You may or may not know. What is your husband's one contribution? Jacking off in a cup. Yep. That's right. You've put your body through hell, your life has been turned upside down, and your husband has to masturbate. Have an orgasm.* Something you haven't been able to do, and won't be able to do for at least 2 more weeks if not several more months. If you are "lucky".

Now, you are ready for the Big Day. The Transfer. It's not too bad, really, the transfer. You are filled with hope as the tiny blastocysts are placed inside. You think, maybe this is it. Or if you're like me, This better damn well be it. Now, you are the lucky recepient of PIO in your ass for the next two weeks, and maybe longer if you're pregnant. I hope you like painful bruising.
Oh, and it has to be administered 2x a day, so make sure you can work it out with your schedule.

Finally the wait is up. Are you or aren't you? Either prospect seems equally terrifying, and you may be wondering what the hell you just did to yourself. Are you REALLY ready for this, be it another round of IVF or a pregnancy? If you are pregnant, how many are in there? Will it/they make it? Will you make it?

And then, some well meaning, albeit completely emotionally stupid soul asks, "why don't you just adopt?"

*I know it's hard on men too. I get that they are torn emotionally between wanting to "fix it" and being supportive and detatching themselves from time to time because it's just too damn painful. I know that masturbating in a doctor's office while looking at well used porn is far from ideal. This is just me being well, just annoyed/pissed off/downright angry with how one sided fertility treatments tend to be. And I'm not man bashing here. I like them fine.

Friday, April 13, 2007

So, I heard you're trying to get pregnant

The tech support person was in my room this week to fix my computer. As she was working, we were making small talk, gossip and stuff. Then, out of the clear blue, she says "I heard you're trying to get pregnant."

Well, I thought over my options as to how to answer this question as quickly as one can in 5-10 seconds. As far as I can tell, someone has placed an update of my past and current reproductive history somewhere in the building. Because at least a couple of times a month, a relative stranger brings the subject up, usually when I'm least expecting it.

So, I thought, what the hell. Why not just fill her in. So I did to some degree, how long we'd been trying, that there was a lot wrong, I'd had two miscarriages, one very early and the other at 8 weeks. She is a nice person and all, so really, why not just be open with it all, apparently since it's being discussed in a meeting or something that I'm not privy to. I mean, let me just end the speculation for everyone. It's the least I can do, right?

She told me to take vacation to the Caymans, because that's what a friend of her cousin's did, and she got pregnant with twins. Duh. Why haven't we tried THAT?
It's ok. She means well. And I do like her.

Which got me thinking about the strange upside to a tragic experience.

People have been very nice and accomodating ever since I came back to work after the mc. Sending me "thank you" and "Great job" emails, taking extra time to help me out with stuff - even when I really don't need it - I don't know, I am certainly not talking about it. But I guess other people are or something.

It's not like I'm some fragile piece of china or anything. And I'm really not sure how to feel about it - be glad for the kindness of others or wonder what the hell kept them from being so nice before the mc?

I think I will just be glad.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

real, live and in person

I met theoneliner for lunch today. It was fun and we had a good time talking about, what else, our infertility. Ha! Shocking, right?
And, her hair was washed and she had makeup on not one eye, but two. :) Well done, c.

Anyway, it was funny because we both ordered basically the same thing, a vegetable plate, except she got waldorf salad and i got green beans. Oh man, the fried green tomatoes were soooo good. Yum.

We will have to commiserate over a delicious plate of fried vegetables soon, 'cause it was good times.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

funny . . . . or creepy?

I was reading on a blog, and I think it was Reproductive Jeans, and there were comments about making tshirts for infertility. They were pretty hilarious, so if you haven't already, go check them out. Anyway, Baby Blues posted a link to this website that has ttc shirts:

So, I am just going to say . . . funny or creepy??

There is several towards the back that say something along the lines of "Say no to drugs, mom"
and then below in tiny print "I want a natural childbirth so as not to harm my baby". Is the mom in a coma? Can she not say this herself? And, just asking, WHY would you put this on a shirt?
I am all for the idea of natural childbirth and if I can get to that point one day, maybe I will do it.
I also don't have anything against epidurals.

I don't know. It just seemed a little bizzaro world to me - especially the one that just said IVF in giant blue letters.

The ones people came up with on Reproductive Jeans were, well, much, much better. Hmph! There's a thought . . .infertility tshirts dreamed up by people who are *actually* infertile!


Monday, April 2, 2007

So, why don't you just DO IVF, already??

Jess at The Problem with Hope just wrote a very similar post, and she's done it - more than once I might add. Props to you, Jess, I am still too chicken to pull out the big guns.

Man, am I sick of this question. Friends mean well, sure, but they have no idea what IVF is all about. The other day, I really great and very well meaning friend of mine asked me this. She said, "you know, it is probably your best shot." True, she is right. It is our best shot.

But is it our only shot?

Hmm. Of course, no one, including our Dr. E, can tell us the answer to this question.

We met with him today, and as expected, he recommended IVF with PGD given my two previous losses, one conclusively because of chromosomal abnormalities. He thinks the first, an early chemical, was also abnormal. So to be on the safe and proactive side, he recommended the PGD. He also recommended a microdose flare protocol since I respond like a stoned slacker to stims. He does not know why a early 30's PCOS patient would respond this way, but it is what it is.

I am

There are just too many "what if we'd trieds" that I can't ignore. You know, along the lines of "What if we tried going to see the Infertility Goddess in the mountains of Peru. I heard her success rates for live birth are phenomenally high."
So, I talked to D about it last night, and he is fine with waiting a little longer. When I told Dr. E I still wasn't ready (I told him this a year ago at our last IVF consult) he kind of smiled a little and said "ok."

I think well, we did do it on our own, and yes, it wasn't a success obviously, but . . . the "it only takes one good egg" keeps playing around in my brain. Just one. One little ball of genetic material smaller than a period at the end of this sentence. Hmmm. It is unreal the amount of energy I expend daily thinking about something so small.

So what to do? I don't know. I know I'm not ready to do any fertility treatments of any kind. I am ready to relax and enjoy the spring and summer months, working in the yard and taking my dog to the park and remembering what things were like in our marriage cue the music Before Trying to Get Pregnant.

Ah, those days. Spontaneous sex in the kitchen we did clean the counter, don't worry germ phobes, staying out late with friends, just in love and not concerned about the future in the least, because we are young, and therefore entitled to a carefree existence. Right? I do believe we all are. So I am taking that and running with it for awhile, and when I am ready to obsessively worry about things out of my control, I will return to the IVF/ART idea again.

So, we will see what happens and how successful I am at this. I am curious to see myself.