Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Empathy – noun: the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes or another.
Pity – noun: 1. sympathetic or kindly sorrow evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another, often leading one to give relief or aid or to show mercy. 3. to feel pity or compassion for, be sorry for; commiserate with.
I don’t want to be pitied. Yes, that is not what I have been seeking by writing this blog or by talking about my infertility. I’ve been seeking empathy.
Lets focus on the words. Pity’s definition states: “give relief or aid or to show mercy.” Well, in my opinion most people cannot “fix” my problem, therefore they are unable to “give relief or aid.” And the only one that can “show mercy” is God. The only time that pity is applicable, per the definition, is when another infertile “commiserates with” me. (Please note that I include spouses/partners of infertiles when I say that because they are just as much effected.) Yes, pity is not allowed by people who are not experiencing the same thing. Therefore, if you are not experiencing equals no pity.
Empathy on the other hand is what I have been seeking. Unfortunately, many people never learned to empathize. To put yourself in another person’s shoes and to imagine how it would make you feel, if you were going thru what the other person is going thru. To imagine and understand the other person thru empathy.
My friends, this is what I am seeking from the vast majority of people in my life. Hence the reason, I have shared my blog with some of them. It is that by providing my thoughts, it is a means to provide insight so that empathy and understanding is achieved. Ultimately, I think that is what most people want. To be understood. And, it is really what I have been seeking.
Some people have excelled. They have been able to think about how they would feel if they were going thru the situation. They have been supportive and helpful, by listening. Because, honestly, when you practice empathy that is all you can do.
Others have not excelled. If you can’t empathize, and yes I recognize that some people don’t have that capability. I respectfully request that you attempt the following. Determine that you cannot empathize. If you don’t know what I am going thru and you don’t know what to say. You are not allowed to speak to me about the topic. The only statement you should make, “I don’t what you are going thru, and I can’t imagine.”
Also, if reading this blog has left you feeling pity, and you are not experiencing infertility, than please stop reading. It has not served its purpose, I never wanted you to feel bad for me.
I have a good life. This is only one aspect of my life that I wish it was not what it is. It is life altering, hence why it is currently so consuming to me. Having children is life changing, so taking that possibility from the equation is equally life changing. I am desperately coming to decisions/conclusions about my life and my husband’s. Life altering decisions, not having children is as equally distressing when it is what you thought would be your reality. Coming to another dream of your and your husband’s life is an enormously big deal.
Recently, a friend stated she “pities” me because I define myself by my fertility or my lack thereof. I do define myself by my infertility. If I rationally look at the situation, I know that is not the only thing that defines me. But, put yourself in my shoes, empathize. It really is no different than someone who defines themselves as single or a mother or a cancer patient or a cancer survivor. Ultimately, that is what they see when they see in the mirror. For someone like me, who in all intents and purposes thought she would have the title of mother by now, it is logical that infertile is how I define myself at this point. After all it is the reason why I haven’t reached my desired title.
Also, I don’t expect this to be the case for all times. I imagine with time, when we decide on the next path or something else becomes our reality (whatever it may be). I will view myself differently than I do in this moment. I will determine that I will title myself something else, but I believe I need to get to the step where my husband and I have come to a different dream. A different want for ourselves. Ultimately, infertility will not be the first quality that I see in myself. But, only God and time will help with me getting to that point.
Until then, try to empathize…it can be a valuable exercise, you may find that you need some in your own life.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Snippets of the last few months to explain my current feelings:
1. The Newport wedding was fine. Until, I find out from a third party that the bride is 11 weeks along. As I try to talk myself into being OK. I am approached by my husband's cousin who experienced male factor, and I start to cry. (Usually I am very happy when people tell me that they are experiencing, however with this couple the more I find out, the less I understand why they have been blessed.)
2. I saw the therapist and start to feel fine about things. It simply helped to chat about it with a real life person about infertility, who has gone thru it. She made me feel better. Not sure how. She taught me relaxation technique, more on that later.
3. Tuesday before Thanksgiving I talk to my cousin for about an hour. She is the only cousin that I have spoken to about infertility. Also, in those same conversations, I also told her how I CANNOT wait for her and her husband to get pregnant. Honestly, believe that they will make wonderful parents etc. More on this later.
4. Wednesday I go to the therapist and feel like a million bucks after. She teaches me a relaxation technique and it makes me feel great. I leave there and go see a cousin that I haven't seen in years because she lives in Portugal. Basically, she too has been experiencing infertility. She and her husband chose to live child free because she would have had to travel 4 hours by plane to get diagnosed and treated. It made me feel better to talk to her, because I felt less alone. Unfortunately, she doesn't live around here. Maybe I will need to make her a pen pal :).
5. Thanksgiving. Overall a great day. Make the turkey and stuffing without hurting anyone and from all accounts, it tasted great too.
6. Start doing the relaxation technique. Feel like a million bucks.
7. Saturday, I go shopping at a really early hour. Great news is that the pregnant army as well as the young family army is not there. FANTASTIC! I have found the right time for me to go shopping.
8. Sunday, my sister calls me up. We are chatting about Thanksgiving etc. When she tells me that my cousin is pregnant. The one first to be told about the infertility. She never told me that she and her husband were trying again. She had told me that they weren't trying. During the hour long conversation, we chatted about everything else. But never once did she hint at a possible pregnancy. Her parents are throwing her a surprise birthday party in two weeks. I am deathly affraid of the all important grand announcement. I feel betrayed and anxious.
9. Tuesday, I try to explain to my mother why I am upset. She believes that I am jealous. It is the furthest thing from the truth. When ever I find out that someone else is pregnant, I don't get upset that they are pregnant and I am not. I get upset that body cannot accomplish this "simple" task. I get angry at myself. Also, I tried to explain that the reason I am upset with Sandy is that I feel betrayed that she didn't tell me. That I was not worthy of being told. When I had deemed her worthy for her to know of my own problems. After this conversation, I experienced a minor anxiety attack. (I hadn't had one in years.) I get home and do the relaxation exercise and I feel better.
10. Wednesday, I decide that I need to tell my boss that the therapy sessions will be a regular thing. He asks if anything is wrong. I tell him that nothing is wrong, that I just needed to talk to someone. He asks if has to do with fertility. I admit that it does. He tells me to try and not to blame myself, that there is nothing wrong with seeing someone, and that his wife also had to undergo treatments to have his daughter. I am reminded that I have a great boss.
11. I get into the car. And feel fine. All of the sudden I am feeling anxious again. I have not been able to get rid of that feeling since yesterday. I didn't really sleep. I've tried to do the exercise three times and I still cannot quiet my mind. My next appointment isn't until next Wednesday. I really would like to relax.
What the hell is wrong with me?
Friday, November 10, 2006
Mr. Webster, I will need your help in defining the word and to explain.
fail‧ure –noun 1. an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success: His effort ended in failure. The campaign was a failure. 2. nonperformance of something due, required, or expected: a failure to do what one has promised; a failure to appear. 7. a person or thing that proves unsuccessful: He is a failure in his career. The cake is a failure.
As you can see, there were many more definitions. I will focus on the ones that apply to me.
As I said before, I am a failure. It has been brought to my attention that I have failed or proved unsuccessful in trying to have a child. Due to my nonperformance of pursuing extraordinary measures of having a child, I have failed. And therefore, I have proved to be even more unsuccessful. As I have proved above, I am a failure.
Why does this bother me so? Well, because I have never truly failed at anything. I used to joke that my parents gave me the initials of the grades they did not want to see in my report card; C, D, and F. Usually, I can work hard at something. Put all of my energies and try to change a potential failure into a success.
With trying to conceive, I can’t do any more than I have. Yes, I could face facts and go to the next step with my husband and enter the world of ART. But at this point, I am not ready. Because ultimately, I know too much. I know that ART is not a guarantee. And if I am having this much trouble with my current failures (25 months fast approaching 26), wouldn't it be safe to assume that further failure may put me over the edge? After all, if I and my body failed at ART, then we would be the ultimate failure. Mentally, I cannot survive that at this point.
So, what can a failure do? Well, if you are me, you feel guilty. Yes, add that to the bag.
Mr. Webster a definition please. guilt–noun 2. a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.
Again, it consisted of a couple more definitions. But, this is the one that makes the most sense. I feel guilty over a failure that I ultimately have no control over and fell guilty that I am not strong enough to pursue stronger measures. Guilty for my absolute failure and fear of failing more.
Before this consumes me, and it is very close to doing that, I will be visiting with a counselor who has dealt with infertility herself. Maybe she can make me understand that I am not as terrible as I feel. That I can't possible be a failure, because nature failed to give me the working hormones to accomplish this task, and therefore my feelings of failure and guilt are misplaced.
Ultimately, it is irrational that I think of myself as a failure or feel guilty. Because there was no way of succeeding. It was Nature's failure, and therefore she/he should feel guilty. Maybe.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
BEAUTIFUL IN MY EYES (Joshua Kadison)
You’re my piece of mind,
in this crazy world
You’re every thing I've tried to find
Your love is a pearl
You’re my Mona Lisa
You’re my rainbow skies
And my only prayer is that you realize
You'll always be beautiful in my eyes...
The world will turn
And the seasons will change
And all the lessons we will learn
Will be beautiful and strange
We'll have our fell of tears
Our share of sight
My only prayer is that you realize
You'll always be beautiful in my eyes...
You will always be beautiful in my eyes
And the passing is the show
That you will always grow
Ever more beautiful in my eyes
And there are lines upon my face
From a life time of smiles
When the time comes to embrace
For one long last wine
We can laugh about how time really flies
We won’t say goodbye ‘Cause true love never dies
You'll always be beautiful in my eyes...
You will always be beautiful in my eyes
And the passing is the show
That you will always grow
Ever more beautiful in my eyes
The passing is the show
That you will always grow
Ever more beautiful in my eyes
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
These are the same people that seem to think that relaxing will help with having a baby.
These are the same people that believe buying (a big purchase item) will cause a baby to be conceived.
These are the same people that are absolutely determined that IVF will work for everyone.
These people are so absolutely positively in their own world. The sky is not blue, the world is not round, there is no gravity, etc.
I have no patience.
My mother is the biggest offender. Maybe it is that your mother should always think that only good will happen in your life. But, frankly, it is not realistic.
Let me give you an example of her glasses.
My cousin was diagnosed with a third brain tumor. The first two weren’t a walk in the park, but the third really was the icing on the cake. My mother firmly believed that he would survive. When I told her I researched the type of tumor he had, and that only about 5% lived after the first year. She told me I was crazy and that he would be fine.
When we got the call on the day he died that he had a massive aneurysm, she wanted to know when he would wake up? I as calmly as possible said “He isn’t. This is the end.” I was the bad daughter.
Rose colored glasses. I think I’ve misplaced mine with my patience.
Really people, face up to the facts of life. Shit happens.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thank God for my husband. (I do everyday.)
As T says, “I never knew that Portuguese people held Shiva.”
Well, when B died, I didn’t want to leave my Aunt, Uncle, or cousins side. Throw in elderly grandparents, a mother and a sister on a verge of break down. And you get an overly concerned Dianne. So, we spent a lot of time with family for the two weeks after B’s death.
As a result, we saw many people that we don’t usually see. As most of my family have limited knowledge of what we are going thru, the baby topic came up. I always somehow reverted it to the fact, I want a dog. (Not sure, how I did this and wish I was able to do it more often.) My husband would chime in and say we both want a dog. Then I would say, we need to move before that can happen.
A few days later my friend S told me that her neighbor’s house price had significantly come down. Goofing around, I mentioned it to T.
He surprised me by saying, “Why don’t we buy a house?”
At the time, he probably only thought that it was a good idea because it is something we both want.
So, we went and barreled through the thought process. He really didn’t need to convince me too much. Put the baby making aside (which it was at that point) and concentrate on selling the condo ourselves, and then purchasing a house.
A project, a goal, something to work towards.
It makes me happy. (I know talk to me when we still haven’t sold the condo in three months, and I am all bummed that it hasn’t happened.) However, for now, it is making me ecstatic. Why?
It is an actual goal that I can do, put all of my energy into, and possibly (99.9% sure) that I can accomplish. Something with good old fashioned hard work, I can do. (No matter what I do about my infertility, at best my odds are only 50%. And so much of it is out my control.)
This is mostly in my control and no needles are involved. Granted there is the luck factor. Yes, even with selling a house there is luck to take into consideration. But the majority I can control. I can choose which websites to post on, I can choose when to have open houses, I can choose when to lower the price or call in reinforcements, etc.
It is something that has nothing to do with the great beyond. It has to do with human free will. Wow, this is making me so happy. Free will, choice, unrelated to my fertility, completely and totally something we want.
Granted, I did buy the St. Joseph statue to help me sell the house, so maybe I believe in supernatural guidance more than I care to admit. But, even in the prayer card it says “It’ll also help if the home is in good condition, well maintained, and reasonably priced.” (Check and loads of laughter.)
Monday, October 23, 2006
As I contemplate what Mel stated today in her blog:
"The one-upmanship that sociologists pick apart on the playgrounds begins with who has the more fertile womb. Because what is more feminine, more female, more powerful than the ability to create life?"
I am faced with an entry that I've started and never finished. About grief.
When I think about infertility, I try to pick apart the portions of the topic that I can learn about. To understand in a scientific way, especially when you consider that most of infertility has to do with the great unknown.
As I've stated, I am grieving. Research has been done on grief. I can learn about grief. So, it lead me to the Wikkapedia.
The stages are:
- Denial and isolation - The "No, not me" stage.
- Anger - The "Why me?" stage.
- Bargaining - The "If I do this, you’ll do that" stage.
- Depression - The "It's really happened" stage.
- Acceptance - The "This is going to happen" stage.
I realized recently that I have gone thru some of these stages and am seeking the final stage desperately.
(Side note, knowing myself, I know that I won't go thru "Bargaining - The "If I do this, you’ll do that" stage." Mostly because I don't bargain anymore. Not since I was in high school and I tried to bargain for a friend's life. I know that God doesn't work that way. He doesn't bargain with anyone. Therefore, I no longer do it either, after all it is a HUGE waste of time.)
The stages and my take on them:
1. Denial and isolation - The "No, not me" stage.
I believe this stage hit me in November of 2005. Despite the fact I'd come to the conclusion that something was wrong with me. I wanted the doctors' to tell me nothing was wrong. I really did. It was unreasonable, but I was disappointed when they agreed that I needed some help to get pregnant. The denial portion for me was only about a week. Reality quickly set in.
The isolation portion of this stage, for me it should be a separate stage. I practiced isolation for several more months than denial and still have a tendence to go there. Isolation was safe and I did it until June of this year. I've gotten better, but even now I still would love to isolate myself and T from the Christmas season. Truly a fantasy to skip Christmas.
Christmas is a holiday for children. It brings the lack of child very much to the for front for me.
2. Depression - The "It's really happened" stage.
Once I got over the shock of it and stopped denying the truth. I was sad. Looking at a child hurt. Holding one, left me empty. The longing was enormous. I felt empty. And all I could think of was having a child. This stage hits me every so often, most of the time I think I am over it. But, then God has a sense of humor and it is almost like the emptiness hits all over again.
3. Anger - The "Why me?" stage.
(My current stage.) I realized recently that I've been grieving over my fertility or lack thereof more than not having a child. Instead of it making me sad or depressed, I am ANGRY. It makes sense, because I am slow to anger. It always takes me a while to get angry, I have to think about the situation and then let it hit me and come to the conclusion that there is something to get angry at.
It is a slap in the face that my body doesn't perform in the "normal" way. It makes me feel less of a woman that I cannot ovulate on my own or create the right hormones to get pregnant. It is frustrating that nature has caused this in me and there is nothing in my control that I can do to change it.
I get so furious, when I see people get pregnant by accident. To parents who I know aren't worthy of that child. To see children born that I know won't be taken care of well. To see people who have done things to themselves (like take drugs or starve themselves) and yet they have no problems. It makes me angry that I have a problem and these people don't.
I feel like a whinner, but it really isn't fair. Just.
And then I remember that things happen that aren't fair or just, all of the time. Things aren't always right.
4. Acceptance - The "This is going to happen" stage.
It leads me to the belief that the final stage is not far. To accept would be a great gift. And sometimes I think I have it, and then I remember the anger or I get slapped again with the grief. Maybe I need more time for me to be at this stage. But, I am praying for it.
That someday, I will be OK with my body.
OK that we had a child with help from medical science or adoption. Or OK with the fact that we haven't had a child.
I am seeking acceptance. Anyone know how to get there?
Friday, October 13, 2006
For Miss E:
Excuse: I dislike excuses, but I am guilty of making them. It always seems dishonest to me, never truthful or sincere. It seems that we all do it, I wonder if anyone is “OK” with it. If it is just accepted, because well sometimes, you just don’t want to do something. Would it be better to for go the excuses, not sure, I think it would cause more anger in the world. Sometimes, I think an excuse is easier. Not exactly right, but easier.
Embrace: The word itself make me think of a Harlequin book. The lovers embraced. But, I love a meaningful embrace or a good old fashioned hug. It gives strength when there is none; knowledge that they are loved and not alone. The day my cousin died, my family embraced each other many times over.
But, I’ll never forget when my mother turned to my father for an embrace. She was feeling the pain, it was evident. My father enwrapped his arms around her. It will stay in my memory for a long while, because it shows to me that they do find comfort in each other. To be truthful, I wonder about that sometimes.
Eyebrows: They should always be groomed. A well shaped eyebrow frames your face, allows for expression, and defines your eyes. And your eyes are the windows to the soul.
Enchilada: YUMMY. The enchilada had me at the melted cheese, but add a little extra salsa. I think I need some Mexican. My mouth is watering.
Snow: As a born and bred New Englander, snow is a double edge sword. It brings a pristine landscape, playing, hot chocolate, cuddling, etc. However it also means, shoveling, and more shoveling, and more shoveling. I think it lost its wonder when I stopped having snow days and actually had to get somewhere. Snow on the weekend is acceptable and much more preferable.
But now, it will always have another meaning and association. Since you introduced the word to me with your snow babies. I love that association, it will always make me smile.
Round: What I fear that I will become with or without a pregnancy.
Innocent: Children are the most innocent of us all. I envy their innocence because I think we all loose it so fast and it can never be replaced.
Cookie: Warm chocolate chip cookies. I think I need to do some baking. The kind you can use for a sundae.
I think everyone I know was tagged. Sorry.
On my channel, I believe He has directed a sadistic comedy. Yes, I am not saying that He has an evil side, I am saying that sometimes He has a sick sense of humor.
Let me tell you of two things that recently have happened in the last week, and you can tell me what you think.
She comes into the office on her first day. As soon as she walked in, I noticed a small bump. Yup, you guessed it, she is three months pregnant with her second. So, my once pregnant army free environment at work is no longer.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
When free choice is taken away, it puts me in a tail spin. For the last twenty-four months, I’ve been in a crazy state because of my lack of control, there is no free choice with infertility.
It is a cross to bare, my cross. As a Christian, I believe that we all have crosses to bare. Jesus had the ultimate cross to bare, he had to die for us. But, we all have crosses. I’ve decided that it is the thing that I have no control over; it is the item that nature has placed in my lap without reason or explanation. It is something I have no free choice over. I believe we all have this, something that we have no control over.
I realized recently, that my cousin dealt with this knowledge at a very young age. He was forced to deal with something that he had no free choice over. But, he had free choice in how he would react to it. I’ve been shown that reality by two other friends and a second cousin that died of terminal illnesses. They always knew their time was short, but they choose to be remarkable people and do what they could with their lives. Yes, this also meant they fought to battle their diseases, but in the end they did their best to live their lives the way they wanted to live them. They never put things on hold for the what if, they lived first and for most.
This is a lesson learned recently by me. I’ve been putting my life and my husband’s life on hold. We are constantly having our lives and budget dictated by my reproductive cycle, ovulation predictors, examinations, treatments, etc. We have put everything else on hold. From buying a house to taking a vacation, it is time that we move forward and do something that is in our control. Take a step that has nothing to do with us becoming parents, but it is something that we both want.
So, we are going to sell our condo and buy a house. We are going to settle in, continue to use the predictor sticks, live our lives and go on with it. Take vacations, when we can afford it after the house :). Buy a dog when we are ready. If a baby happens, fantastic and if not, we reexamine treatment later.
After all, since I seriously doubt it will happen right now or any time soon. I think I need to regain some hope. It will take some serious time for this to happen. Also, our path may not lead to treatment but to adoption. I am more and more inclined to think this maybe a solution to our dilemma. It may be something that might be more right for us. Or maybe living without kids is our destiny. May be God is telling us that you aren’t meant to be responsible for a child, you’ve all ready been responsible, and it is now your opportunity to have fun. I have no idea what life is going to present.....more on that topic for another day.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
The rest of the family, well, we each had our moments. It is truly WRONG to see a young person die. I always thought the next time I would be at a church for B, it would be for his wedding. He would have made a fantastic husband, father, and grandfather.
It was so hard to see him being buried near my Grandmother, and so comforting at the same time. My Aunt will be buried near her son and my Uncle will be buried near his mother when it is all said and done. Hopefully not for many years to come.
I see my cousins, B's siblings, and my heart breaks over and over. I think of the bond I have with my own sister and I know that they must be inconsolable. However, they are going on.
I notice the family. We don't necessarily like each other, but we always love each other. There is a significant difference. This love is evident this past week.
Last, but certainly not least, I realize what a good husband I have. He totally stepped up, and I realize it is because he has made my family his. In every sense. For this I am so grateful considering I couldn't say the same for all of my cousins' chosen spouses. But each of the ones who I noticed this in, I thanked them. Since I appreciated them for holding us up, when we had no strength.
With so much love present, I feel empty. Numb to everything else. Grief leaves me this way. It is almost like an overload of feelings that drains me to nothing. Especially since I know that nothing will be the same, I don't feel the same.
Change. Death brings change. I don't always like change, but I know that it is needed. I just wish that this change didn't have to happen.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
His battle with brain tumors started 12 years ago, involved three brain surgeries, chemo, radiation and ended with a massive brain aneurism.
From the very beginning he had strength, courage, selflessness beyond his age. He never complained about his situation. Never asked "Why me?" Always more concerned for those left behind. He taught me so many lessons even though I was his senior by 8 years.
Today, while he was unconscious I told him these things. I also told him that he was my hero. He is, has always been, an example of a person that I should aspire to be like.
As I mourn, I will remember the lessons he has taught me. Carry them with me forever, along with all the happy moments. I will try to stop asking "Why B?" After all he truly was the very best of us all. And, if there was anyone that God would want near him, it would be him.
As I know he was always mostly concerned with his family, please pray for them with me.
May God's peace and grace fill their hearts' in this time of need. May his healing qualities enrich them in this difficult time and may they realize that they are not alone. I ask this in the name of your son, Jesus. AMEN.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
We don't pursue the medicated IUIs. I continue with the fertility monitor and if by some miracle ovulate without medication we take advantage. After all it would be remis of us not to take advantage. (A free ovulation!)
Please note that I seriously doubt this will happen since I've ovulated once in the last nine months without medication and considering my prognosis of anovulation, it would be a miracle. But miracles happen.
The benefit of the break will be not to be on medication. Not to feel pregnancy symptoms at least for six months. To be able to think clearly. To regain a balance of life and feel less crazy/out of control. To be able to have hope that it will happen someday.
At this point, I don't seriously think it will happen. Therefore, before I am put thru additional treatments of IUI and stronger medication, I need to gain hope that it might be a possibility.
What do I plan on doing in the next six months? Blog, read blogs, read and write on the Vent board, relax, drink my wine, yoga, walk, read coping books on infertility, and maybe see a counselor specializing in infertility or seeing a hypnotist. (The last two are a little out of my usual scope of things, but I need to come to peace with things and calling for reinforcements seems like a good idea.)
Also, planning on finally finishing the letter to the Senator, my post on secondary insurance and finishing my own application, etc.
Wow, I feel like a weight has been lifted.
Monday, September 18, 2006
It was rather an uneventful event in and of it’s self. It had come with several months of me talking and T saying, “Whenever you are ready.” It was the day I stopped taking the Pill and started the pre-natal vitamins. The day, I said to myself, “I’m ready to be a Mom.”
Two years later, there is nothing more I would want to be. Yet, I feel further away from achieving that goal. I’ve sat on trying to obtain secondary insurance. I’ve hit a low with false hope and my body. It could be self preservation, but it seems that I don’t have faith that it will EVER happen biologically. And during this cycle, except that I absolutely HATE active cycles, I simply do not know if I am or not. But with my track record, I seriously doubt it. (I hope I live to eat those words.)
With the fact that T’s car died today (of all days) and we will need to buy a new car in the next few days. I think it may be time to stop and take a break. It seems all the signs are there.
It is time to recharge the batteries. To save some money for trying to conceive since, even with the secondary insurance, it is a daunting financial endeavor. To come to grips that I am anovulatory with PCOS and that for us to have a child it will take more than having intercourse more often. It will take more than Clomid. And I fear more than IUI. Yes, I know that I should have accepted this by now, but I feel like I mourn the situation each time we hit a crossroad in the journey.
With a break, will I be ready to resume in February, probably not, but it will be nice to have a break. To have intercourse, just to have it. To try and loose the 9 pounds that I’ve gained since Christmas. To take a vacation. To escape this madness, this hopelessness, this uncontrollable experience, at least for a little while.
Then I ask myself, will I be OK with others getting pregnant and having children while we wait. I think to myself that this will ALWAYS be the case. It most definitely been the case in the last two years, it will be the case in the future. It is a fact of life, children will be born. And I refused to become bitter because of my body. Again, F*CK my body! I will be happy for them because those babies were meant to be. Not to say, I won’t shed a tear or two or say “how I wish.” But, I will be the PROUD auntie D.
But, it does make my want to escape the holiday season intensify. How I truly want to skip Christmas. It is the time of year, that it becomes evident that our apartment/family is lacking someone. Truthfully, it is the time of year that really hurts. And this year, well, I’m just not looking forward to it. Actually I’m not looking forward to any part of it; shopping with families all around, Santa Clause and all of the children waiting to take their photos, Christmas cards announcing births, the Pregnant Army, etc. Skipping Christmas seems like self preservation at this point.
With all of this said, a break sounds really good at this time too. A break. If only, I could find an island to stay on for the entire six months. To avoid everything baby. (Not to worry, I’m not talking about any of you.) But, it would be nice to avoid all things baby when it comes to me. No more questions. No more admitting of our infertility. No more. At least for 6 months, then we will rethink the situation and go on with the next step of IUI.
Six months seems random. But it isn’t. I’ve decided that December, January, and February would be break months anyway. (My baby sister is getting married next October, I refuse to not make the wedding.) Therefore those were designated as time off anyway. Also, I can partake in flex medical spending account thru my company. It seems like a good idea to get that started before we do the secondary insurance. With all of that said and done, it is also the smart thing to do.
A two year present to myself for this awkward anniversary, a trying to conceive break. So hoping it will be a peaceful six months.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
The reason that I'm intrigued by this syndrom is that visually I don't have a great deal of PCOS characteristics. My Primary Care and Gynecologist, both dismissed PCOS despite my hormone levels. The only hormone that is out of whack is my testosterone. So, I've been intrigued to see what characteristics do pertain to me.
My initial research led me to The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc. (I have a link to the site on the left.) On this site, it has PCOS frequently asked questions. Per this site, many women with PCOS suffer from the following (I've highlighted the items that effect me.):
- Amenorrhea (no menstrual period), infrequent menses, and/or oligomenorrhea (irregular bleeding) — Cycles are often greater than six weeks in length, with eight or fewer periods in a year. Irregular bleeding may include lengthy bleeding episodes, scant or heavy periods, or frequent spotting.
- Oligo or anovulation (infrequent or absent ovulation) — While women with PCOS produce follicles — which are fluid-filled sacs on the ovary that contain an egg — the follicles often do not mature and release as needed for ovulation. It is these immature follicles that create the cysts.
- Hyperandrogenism — Increased serum levels of male hormones. Specifically, testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS).
- Infertility — Infertility is the inability to get pregnant within six to 12 months of unprotected intercourse, depending on age. With PCOS, infertility is usually due to ovulatory dysfunction.
- Cystic ovaries — Classic PCOS ovaries have a "string of pearls" or "pearl necklace" appearance with many cysts (fluid-filled sacs). It is difficult to diagnose PCOS without the presence of some cysts or ovarian enlargement, but sometimes more subtle alterations may not have been recorded, or are not recognized as abnormal, by the ultrasonographer.
- Enlarged ovaries — Polycystic ovaries are usually 1.5 to 3 times larger than normal.
- Chronic pelvic pain — The exact cause of this pain isn't known, but it may be due to enlarged ovaries leading to pelvic crowding. It is considered chronic when it has been noted for greater than six months.
- Obesity or weight gain — Commonly a woman with PCOS will have what is called an apple figure where excess weight is concentrated heavily in the abdomen, similar to the way men often gain weight, with comparatively narrower arms and legs. The hip:waist ratio is smaller than on a pear-shaped woman — meaning there is less difference between hip and waist measurements. It should be noted that most, but not all, women with PCOS are overweight.
- Insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and diabetes — Insulin resistance is a condition where the body's use of insulin is inefficient. It is usually accompanied by compensatory hyperinsulinemia — an over-production of insulin. Both conditions often occur with normal glucose levels, and may be a precursor to diabetes, in which glucose intolerance is further decreased and blood glucose levels may also be elevated.
- Dyslipidemia (lipid abnormalities) — Some women with PCOS have elevated LDL and reduced HDL cholesterol levels, as well as high triglycerides.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) — Blood pressure readings over 140/90.
- Hirsutism (excess hair) — Excess hair growth such as on the face, chest, abdomen, thumbs, or toes.
- Alopecia (male-pattern baldness or thinning hair) — The balding is more common on the top of the head than at the temples.
- Acne/Oily Skin/Seborrhea — Oil production is stimulated by overproduction of androgens.
- Seborrhea is dandruff — flaking skin on the scalp caused by excess oil.
- Acanthosis nigricans (dark patches of skin, tan to dark brown/black) — Most commonly on the back of the neck, but also but also in skin creases under arms, breasts, and between thighs, occasionally on the hands, elbows and knees. The darkened skin is usually velvety or rough to the touch.
- Acrochordons (skin tags) — Tiny flaps (tags) of skin that usually cause no symptoms unless irritated by rubbing.
I may actually suffer cysts or large ovaries, but my insurance doesn't cover ultrasound for infertility testing, therefore my RE has never gone that far. Also, from what I've read you only need to have three of the symptoms to be considered with PCOS. So despite the fact that I don't have hirsutism or obesity (The ten pounds that I would like to go away, don't put me in this category. Also, please note I am not complaining, actually kind of grateful.), I do have PCOS.
After my initial research, I purchased a book titled PCOS and Your Fertility by Colette Harris and Theresa Cheung. An interesting tid bit:
People with PCOS should take extra vitamins and minerals. Because they produce too many stress hormones: cortisol and adrenaline. And when you are under too much stress, "they start to wear you down and overproduce not just cortisol and adrenaline, but testosterone, too. Excess cortisol, adrenaline, and testosterone will not only make PCOS worse, but will also drive your body toward irregular periods and subfertility. The adrenals rely on vitamins C, B5, B6, zinc and magnesium, and these are rapidly depleted when you're under stress, so a good multivatimin and mineral every day makes sense."
Why is this interesting? Well, because I ALWAYS have some type of cold. In the last three weeks, since reading the above paragraph, I've been taking an additional vitamin C to my pre-natal vitamin. Guess what? No colds.
Granted, I found a few more interesting tid bits, but the above paragraph was the most poignant.
Ultimately, to my Primary Care and Gynecologist, please consider more than what you see on the outside, because you may be overlooking something.
Now, I hate active cycles. Why, because they give me hope. Again, it should be word banned from my vocabulary. Especially when it is false hope. Let me explain.
Like I said, I've been on Clomid for four cycles. The first was in May. I admit, I had no idea what to expect. The cycle was active. I felt nauseous, absent minded, crampy, experienced a keen sense of smell, etc. Basically, everything that I hear pregnancy causes. So, my first cycle I was convinced that I had ovulated. Since my gynecologist gave me the script and sent me on my way, I wasn't being monitored. I figured from body changes I had ovulated on CD 13. Although I never got a LH surge on my hand dandy monitor.
Well, at my first and second appointment with the RE, I found out that I was completely wrong.
My first appointment with the RE, I was at CD 30. They gave me blood work to determine if I did indeed ovulate. It came back inconclusive. As a result, I was told to come back in a week if my period had not started, which I did. During that blood draw, they saw the progesterone spike.
Yes, people the gynecologist had given me bad advice about when to take the Clomid as well as the wrong dosage, and as a result I ovulated between CD 30 and 38. Also she didn't tell me that my monitor would work while on the Clomid. (Because my PCOS doesn't come along with a high LH which she must have known considering I had that checked at her office.) So, despite all the body signs I read, I never surged.
Very aggravating considering I was convinced that I had ovulated and could possible be pregnant. Granted the four home pregnancy tests and the beta confirmed the opposite.
I did a little bit more research and found that Clomid causes pregnancy symptoms. Somehow I find that cruel.
So, the RE upped the dosage to 100mg and directed me to take it on CD 5-9 instead of CD 1-5. I've ovulated three times on that dosage. Also, relatively early for me(CD 20, CD 18 and CD 18). Much better. At that dosage, my symptoms involved cramps pre-ovulation, moodiness, and forgetfulness. Nothing really bad and to be honest, my body was really behaving by not having pregnancy symptoms. In my book, it was being considerate.
Well, I think I may have thought that too early. My body is misbehaving again. I know, when has it been cooperative or supportive in this endeavor?
For the last few days, I've been experiencing cramps, an accute sense of smell, nausea, moodiness and forgetfulness.
DO NOT SAY IT.....WHATEVER YOU ARE THINKING....PLEASE....DO NOT SAY IT TO ME OR THINK IT.
I really feel this false hope again. As a result, I am guarding myself and chalking it up to that. FUCK my body. I am stopping the mind games!
So, this two week wait will only suck even more than usual not only because of the active cycle. Besides the fact I had a bridal shower last Sunday that I forbad myself from drinking at; I also have a family party this Saturday that I won't be allowed to drink at! UGH! Also, my test day is J's wedding. YUP, my fourth active cycle SUCKS right now. The only thing that could change it, well I don't need to say it, because you all know what could change it.
With that all said. I am not in a bad place. Honestly, I am feeling calm, cool, and collect. I don't want to get my hopes up anymore. If it happens I will be ECSTATIC. However, if it doesn't I want to just accept the SUCKINESS of infertility and move on. It will be the only way I can get thru this situation.
Also, despite this post, I am always HOPEFUL. I am the eternal optimist. And even when I fight hope, I am hopeful.
Praying that FALSE HOPE dies a long and painful death, soon.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
laughter without sorrow or sun without rain.
But God did promise strength for the day,
comfort for the tears and a light for the way.
And for all who believe in His kingdom above,
He answers their faith with everlasting love.
I've been praying for peace, grace, and faith.
Peace provides calm, acceptance, and openness to the future. Grace is the sensation of having someone else in control. Faith is peace of mind that the Almighty God will take care of everything for us. They are healing gifts that I am desperately yearning for right now.
Notice, I have not been praying for hope.
Hope is disappointment, especially when it comes to trying to conceive.
In the next two week wait, I'm asking for peace, grace, faith, and a little strength.
Today, at a Bridal Shower, while I was sitting next to the only pregnant person in the room. Well, because it was the only seat available. I realized that there was only one person in the room who knew besides me of our dealings with infertility.
While, I was sitting there my mother-in-law and I were chatting along with the rest of the women in my husband's family. I hardly feel close to these women, except for the one who knows. And I hardly feel guilty that the majority do not know.
However, as I was being introduced to an old family friend as T's wife and that all important question was posed to me by my mother-in-law. "When are you having children?"
I thought quickly of my options. 1. I've been diagnosed with high testosterone and don't ovulate without medication. Also we have started going thru infertility treatments. 2. It really isn't any of your business. 3. We're working on it.
I choose number three. Thinking while saying it that telling my mother-in-law maybe need to be done before the family wedding in October.
It feels like I'm confessing a dirty secret. Not sure why. I'm not embarassed about the diagnosis. But, we don't have a close relationship. She is my husband's mother. However, they aren't very close either.
How I wish we would just get lucky soon so that I wouldn't have to make any more confessions to people that I don't feel inclined to share with.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I’ve literally been angry with my body. Yes, I know exactly how stupid that sounds. I'm angry at my body but not at myself. See, I think that I’ve separated the one into two in order for my psyche to deal with the frustration of trying to conceive. Please note that I’ve never been thrilled with its operating skills when it came to the reproductive system, but the last few months have definitely brought it more into to focus.
After reading about Large Pandas. It turns out that they too only ovulate once a year and have to resort to ART to have a child. Somehow, I feel a camaraderie with the animal. After all, I too have only ovulated once in the last nine months au natural and have to resort to drugs to get myself to ovulate. I wonder if I could get into the endangered species category and have the national community pay for my ART.
I may have found an insurance. However, I need to finalize it and as soon as I do I will share with you all what I’ve learned. Call me crazy, but I just don’t want to jinx it.
Last week, I was swamped at work, trying to find insurance and I have been put thru a ringer with my parents.
They think I am their slave and have given me several tasks to be completed by October for my sister's engagement party. One including booking flights for my Grandparents. Not a big deal in and of its self. More than willing to do it, because yes I would like to see my Grandparents. But, when your mother calls you 27 times in 7 days. Well, I’ve had it. Last three calls, my father YELLED at me over the engagement invitation list. I’m doing the script, I have nothing to do with the list. Last time I checked, I’m 30 years old and beyond the point where he should be yelling at me, especially over a wedding that is not mine!
Don’t they know I have enough stress in my life, that I don’t need them to add to it! Not to mention that stress is not conducive to what I am trying to accomplish.
Yesterday, after the SIXTH phone call and the THIRD call of me getting yelled at, T has decided to change our phone number to a private number. Yes, it does sound extreme. But, I am starting to see his brilliance in this situation. The wedding is a year away and if they are this crazy about the engagement party. Imagine how crazy they will be over the shower and wedding. Now, is the perfect time to change our number. Craziness.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Then why is it that I don't have my pomegranet thread on my right wrist? Well, because I don't think I'm out.
I'm out with: My husband, mother, father, sister, future brother-in-law, a cousin (out of 30), a co-worker, 2 Aunt Gs, an Uncle, close friends, and all of you.
With that said, the only ones that I have invited to read this blog are my husband, 4 VERY close friends, and my Vent friends.
(I also invited my sister, but she refuses to read it. She doesn't want me to give her any reason not to call her. She thinks that if she reads my blog I won't pick up the phone.)
Thru my friend A's blog, I've been outed to two additional friends, E and L. For this I'm actually grateful because of the support they have shown me. So, this outing was good, because it helped our relationship.
Ultimately, the majority of people don't know. I suspect that they have their own ideas as to why we don't have children. But, they mostly keep those ideas to themselves or they come up with comments that put them in my top ten. Would it be better to be up front, because I may be surprised by their reactions?
I don't know, but I do know that my experience has lead me to the point of staying quiet when it is something this personal.
Notice, that I've told my close friends. These are people I've picked or my husband has picked to be our friends. Our chosen family.
Notice that I've told a limited number of family members. Basically, only the ones who have been supportive for the most part. (I told my Mom despite the fact she is the author of 6 out of the 10 insensitive comments. Got to love the woman.) Most of my family have not always been supportive of me. They have been the cause of many a hurt feeling. Therefore, I think that I am further protecting myself against possible turmoil.
So this is where I find myself. I'd love to wear the bracelet. I do believe that it is beautiful, but I don't think that I'm ready to put myself all the way out. Right now, in my 25% out and 75% in stage, I'm not emotionally ready to be that honest and forth coming.
I hope that doesn't make me a bad person.
For anyone who has ever had a miscarriage, struggled with pregnancy, and all things infertile...there is a movement upon us that you might want to join.
It's rather simple actually: a discreet ribbon on your right wrist to signal to others that they are not alone in their struggles.
As someone who has had 5 m/c but am currently 5 months pregnant (YEAH), I wonder who looks at my big belly with sadness because they are in the month-to-month struggle. I mentioned to a friend that I wished there was some secret nod or international sign as if to say, this belly was hardwon.
Well, she posted this quandary on her blog (http://www.stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/) and the response has been quite overwhelming...and a movement has been born!
The pomegranate-colored thread holds a two-fold purpose: to identify and create community between those experiencing infertility as well as create a starting point for a conversation. Women pregnant through any means, natural or A.R.T., families created through adoption or surrogacy, or couples trying to conceive during infertility or secondary infertility can wear the thread, identifying themselves to others in this silent community.
At the same time, the string serves as a gateway to conversations about infertility when people inquire about its purpose. These conversations are imperative if we are ever to remove the social stigma attached to infertility.Tie on the thread because you’re not alone. Wear to make aware.
Join us in starting this conversation about infertility by purchasing this pomegranate-coloured thread (#814 by DMC) at any craft, knitting, or variety store such as Walmart or Target. Tie it on your right wrist. Notice it on others.
It started with the insurance which got me thinking, which made me angry.
The insurance woman was the match. She was unsympathetic and uncaring. She simply wanted to make me stop asking questions and have me get off the phone. But, regardless I asked my questions, because I needed to know. She ultimately told me that my insurance could not help me.
Well, this made me think how UNFAIR this whole thing of infertility is. (I know, no shit Sherlock. Like I've said, sometimes it takes me a while to get there.) The insurance situation made me boil. I've read thru my coverage. It specifically mentions what it will and will not cover. However in the infertility section, they are vague. They don't come out and say they won't cover assisted reproductive services, they do say they will cover diagnostic testing. Now, since everything else is so straight forward and infertility is so vague, it makes me even more angry.
I'm starting to feel like a second class citizen. I'm infertile, but with a little help, I too can have a healthy baby. Then why is it, that my insurance will cover all pre-natal ultrasounds, but not one if I am undergoing IUI? Why does my insurance cover V*agra and not injectible drugs? Why does the insurance cover abortion, the pill, and the morning after pill. But not ONE thing to help me get pregnant.
My answer. The insurance plan and the laws are written by a 50-80 year old men who require V*agra to satisfy their wives and mistesses, who's wives didn't suffer infertility, and who's mistresses required contreceptives.
The more I learn about insurance, the more I learn that they will not do anything that is not cost effective unless it is required by law. I understand the implications of creating law. Ultimately, it can restrict people, put ART under more scrutiny, etc. But, it also can be the start of something. It can open the lines of communication and open the eyes of so many to the infertile. If there is a law requiring infertility treatment, well it would be a start.
So, I am going to put my anger to good use, I am writing letters to my Senators. Requesting their intervention in this matter. Do you think you would join me?
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
When I purchased my last round of Clomid this afternoon, I was reminded by the pharmacist that it was "the last refill on the prescription." I responded with, "I am all too aware."
The last cycle of Clomid only marks the end of the less evasive measures to get us pregnant. After this, the RE has recommended three injectible medicated IUIs. In other words, the beginning of the journey into A.R.T. (assisted reproductive technologies).
Today, I decided it was time to pursue our insurance again. This time, the women told me in not so many words, they can't help us. They have done what they can. They paid for the diagnosis and if the diagnosis is a problem that cannot be fixed by an operation you are on your own.
I knew that this was more than likely their response. Yet, I find myself close to tears.
It only means the beginning of another battle in finding a secondary insurance plan which I knew would be in the future. But, for some reason, I hoped that the information I gathered was going to change the answer.
Frustration, exhaustion, and emotional turmoil is knocking on the door. I need a vacation.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I’m writing because your father asked me to analyze why I want, desire, love you so much. I smile at him, because I know that he will love you even more than I already do. This is my attempt. Please note, that I understand you will not be born on May 1, 2007, but I hope you will be born soon.
My desire for you little one started many years ago. I will admit, that the desire didn’t hit me until my twenties, but that is about 10 years ago now.
When I was a teenager, I had plans. They didn’t really involve babies or men. My plan was to go to college and to be an independent woman. This may not seem like a big deal, and hopefully it won’t be for you. But, for me it was a big deal. See, I was the first girl on your grandfather’s side to go, and the first to graduate on his side and the second to graduate on your grandmother’s. My independence was vital for me to become who I am. As soon as I graduated, I began to save for our first home. And it was purchased before your father and I were married.
Like most people, I changed and sometime in my sophomore year of college, I started to desire you. I can’t pin point the day that I knew that you were in my future, but I can tell you it happened.
So, I made a pack with myself that if by the age of 35 I was not married or in a significant relationship, I would try to conceive regardless. See, at that point, I had very little luck with the opposite sex. I dated a great deal, but without any success at finding someone worthy of you or me. I had no faith in finding the right man, but I always had faith in myself, the almighty, and in you. Ultimately, my desire for you was strong even back then.
At 23, I met your father. He was the first man worthy of both of us; strong, beautiful, intelligent, brave, funny, compassionate, tenacious, a little arrogant, persistent, and the right man for us. We were engaged and married two years and nine months after our first date.
It would seem that we would of tried for you at exactly that point. But, my sweet, at 26, I wasn’t ready. I needed for things to be better for you. So, it took me another 2 years to realize that the circumstances would never be perfect, and we started to try for you.
Now, as you realize my brilliant child, it has been another two years. The desire has not diminished, it has intensified. My love for you grown, but you still seem to want me to wait. Maybe it is my turn to wait, because I made you wait for so long.
Ultimately, my desire for you has nothing to do with society or my family. Yes, your father worries about this because he remembers Bridezilla me wanting a one carat engagement ring. But, my desire for you has nothing to do with an irrational want of a materialistic thing.
You are not a material or an object to have. You are not something that is entitled. You are the ultimate gift and I pray that you will be given to us.
You will be a baby, a child, and an adult given by God himself. You will be mine and your father’s to care for. We will love you and be proud of you always. I want to be a parent to you. To teach you compassion, love, understanding and to make the world a better place by helping you be the best person possible.
Do I want you to love? Maybe, but is that so terrible? Does that make my desire for you less pure? Because, I think it is the most pure feeling I’ve ever had. My desire and love for you is tremendous, and I think that there is only one being that could put that in my heart, God himself. Maybe he chooses women to put that desire within because ultimately it will be their body that they use for the miracle of birth to occur.
Also, no matter what means you are conceived by (clomid, IUI with medication, GIFT, or adoption) you are a miracle. Ultimately, nature has caused a chemical imbalance within me, and without those artificial manipulations the chance of conceiving you are minimal. I need the help of the medical community for my desire to be fulfilled or another to conceive you.
Sadly, I know that there will be a limit. Money and hope will definitely leave me at some point. Your father has said that he is willing to go on as long as I have the will to go on. I am not sure when my will will be gone, but I know that eventually I will be completely defeated and done with this struggle of trying to conceive you thru me.
I don’t say this to you to hurt you. It isn’t that I have a limit to loving you, but maybe it wasn’t meant for you to be born of me. Maybe you must be conceived and born of others. If this is the case, I will love you just the same. See, I feel that you were always intended for me and your father. But maybe you were intended to be our friends’ children or another couples’ child and never be ours, but children in our lives.
Adopting you may also be in the future, but I will be honest that the wound of defeat will have to heal before I would be ready for that struggle. So, I will be honest and tell you that you will have to wait for me to be ready for that fight.
Ultimately, my sweet, I will love you. Your father will love you. All of our friends will love you. Your Auntie M and future Uncle M will love you, and the rest of the crazy family members will love you. One thing that I can guarantee you is that you will be LOVED.
The other thing that I can guarantee you is that I will always do my best. I cannot say that I will be the best. But, I will always try to be the best Mommy for you. I will attempt to be patient, your friend, a companion to you in this journey of life, and you will always have support and opportunities. You will be completely cared for. I will attempt to give you everything that I can that you need and I know that your Dad would do the same.
Ultimately, please do come and visit soon, because as you can see, you are already loved and wanted.
Missing and loving you daily,
Monday, August 21, 2006
Tomorrow is when I suspect the Wicked Witch will come visit. So, am I hopeful for this cycle?
Well, I'm feeling indifferent. I'm doing my best not to get my hopes up. I admit that freely. I don't want to be as devastated as I was last cycle. Will I be happy if it is positive? I'd be ecstatic, but I just don't want to be upset if it is negative.
I've made a deal with myself not to test before DPO 14. Well, tomorrow is DPO 14 and I really don't want to test. I rather wait for the Wicked Witch than see a single pink line on the home pregnancy test. So, my options:
1. Bite the bullet and test tomorrow. (But, remember that last time I did this, two hours later the Wicked Witch showed.)
2. Wait for Wednesday to test. (Since my cycles are SO eratic what is one day late? It may still be too early for the Wicked Witch, but at DPO 15 it is highly unlikely for a false negative.)
3. Not take a home test, and call the RE's office on Tuesday afternoon and ask for a Beta. Probably take the blood test on Wednesday and get those results that afternoon. (Would it truly be better to hear it from the nurse at work? I could always avoid all phone calls and take the message after work. Crying in the car is probably not a good idea.)
So, what are your opinions? I'm in need of some advice.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Taking care of yourself is not just about eating the right food and getting enough exercise, dear Gemini. It also has to do with taking care of your emotions as well. If your mind is always buzzing around like a bumblebee, there is little time to stop and reflect on your feelings. Engage in a conversation with your heart and ask for guidance from a higher power to guide you where you need to go. Answers are not always rational, and they certainly will not always be as obvious as you might like. Sometimes you just have to go deeper.
As my dear T says, "I am always thinking."
But the last few weeks there has been more topics than normal going thru my head.
I'm going to list them, and I will write about them each separately in the next few weeks.
1. My cousin B. I've been thinking tremendously about him. He has been fighting a long battle with a brain tumor. Last December, after his third operation, the doctors determined that his once benign tumor was now malignant. Well, he was just told that his time is short, that he is no longer responding to the medication, and to prepare.
2. My T has asked me to analyze why I want a child. To really look into it and decide if I want one because of society or my family's pressuring me or for other reasons. It has taken me a long week of thinking, and I believe that I've actually analyzed this question completely. (Yes, it takes me that long to analyze.)
3. Secondary Insurance. Currently doing more research on the topic and hoping to have it completed soon.
4. Hope, Peace and Grace.
6. Terms. I've been reading a few books and I'm thoroughly confused. What the heck is a subfertile? Yes, this is a term that I found. More to come.
7. Two year anniversary on September 18th. Yes, I remember the exact date that I told T that I wasn't taking the pill any longer, the day that I actually stopped taking the pill and started taking the pre-natal vitamins.
Ok that is it for now.
Side note, I'm currently on CD 28 and 10 DPO. I'm hopeful, in a conservative way, and surprisingly still at peace. Testing sometime next week if there is no indication of the Wicked Witch. If it isn't our cycle, I am hoping that she at least shows before I take a test. I'm sick of seeing a negative test and starting to think that positive tests DO NOT EXIST.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet and current street name)
2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on your mom's side, your favorite candy)
Maria Luisa Goodbar
3. YOUR "FLY GIRL/GUY" NAME: (first initial of first name, first two or three letters of your middle name)
D Fre (I think it needs more letters.....like another e, ak, etc.)
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
(I used my confirmation name, both of my middle names are last names. My Mom's maiden and mine. Yeah, I couldn't get rid of any of them.)
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 2 letters of mom's maiden name and first 3 letters of the town you grew up in.)
7. Terrorist Name: (I think I'll skip this one, plenty out there and to be truthful I don't feel a need to add to it.)
8. SUPERHERO NAME: (your favorite color, favorite drink)
Cerulean Pinot Grigio
I'm going to tag Joei, Jenn, Mel, Amy, & Lori :).
Monday, August 14, 2006
I went into a store and saw several beautiful dresses that would be appropriate for my friend J's wedding. But, I didn't even try on a dress, after all I could become pregnant during the next four months before the wedding. (I know how crazy that sounds, but it is exactly what comes into my mind.)
Now, I'm not sure if it is that I'm much more relaxed this cycle or that the wedding is only five weeks away or that I'm still feeling neutral and at peace. On Saturday, I bought a dress.
Check it out if you are interested :). LOVE IT! (T, if you are reading this, please don't look at the dress since, I'd like to surprise you.)
The little things that make me happy.
P.S. J, I cannot wait for your wedding. So very excited for you and D. Praying that it is a perfect beginning to your perfect life together.
Friday, August 11, 2006
aloof, bystanding, calm, clinical, collected, cool, detached, disengaged, disinterested, dispassionate, easy, even-handed, fair-minded, impersonal, inactive, indifferent, inert, nonaligned, nonbelligerent, nonchalant, noncombatant, noncommital, noncommittal, nonparticipating, nonpartisan, on sidelines*, pacifistic, poker-faced*, relaxed, unaligned, unbiased, uncommitted, unconcerned, undecided, uninvolved, and unprejudiced.
Thank you Mr. Webster.
Three days past ovulation and I'm feeling neutral. Can't really explain it more than that and not to say I won't analyze later. Maybe I'm feeling neutral this time because I remember how I felt last cycle? Or maybe because T and I have done everything humanly possible and it isn't our control. Could I've learned the lesson of Let Go and Let God finally! I feel at peace.
Now, I don't know how long this will last. But, Peace if you could stick around a little while longer, I would really appreciate it. Especially since I shouldn't test until August 24th and that seems right now, a long ways off.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
1. Why do you want a child? I want to experience the amazing miracle of a baby growing within me. I want to know that child is part me and part my husband. To experience watching a child and recognizing something about them from me, my husband, our parents, and grandparents. For my husband and I to be parents. To care for a child and love that child unconditionally. I want to know that I have done the best I can to create a beautiful person who is intelligent, productive and compassionate. I yearn for this child. I yearn to watch my T with the child; playing, parenting, etc. I yearn for him to be a Dad, because he will be great at it.
2. Would you still have this need if you didn't have to wait? It seems to me that the longer I wait, the more the feelings intensify, more the desire intensifies. Yes, I do believe that the need, want, and desire would still be there with or without the wait, but it is magnified.
3. Do you think the wait has helped in any way? I will admit, despite the frustration and aggravation that it has caused, I think it has made me more prepared, improved my husband's and my communication skills, and also made me a more aware person. So maybe in the end, it'll be a good thing that we had to wait, because it will make me a better parent for that child. Also, the wait will only make the victory that much sweeter.
4. Do you want a child because you feel entitled to one? No, because I don't think there is anything of this magnitude is entitled. I believe a child is a blessing. Whether or not we aren't granted a child, I don't think I'm entitled. However, I will be disappointed, because I can't help but wonder why I wasn't granted this blessing. This pondering makes me worried that my envious side will win and I will become bitter. This may be my biggest fear. I don't want to be bitter because I didn't have a child. I need/want to accept it.
5. Are you fearful of the Clomid and what if it doesn't work? Yes, I am a little afraid of the Clomid. It causes emotional mood swings, dehydration, forgetfulness, etc. But, my fear is what else is it causing? Is it destroying my uterus lining or my cervical mucus? Is it causing some un-repairable harm? These are my concerns, but the need out weighs these fears. Also, if I want a child, I need to ovulate and since I don't ovulate on my own. I need to take something that makes me ovulate. And the Clomid works for me. If it fails, I know I will survive. Heck, I've already survived two failed cycles on the Clomid, what is two more.
6. What are your thoughts on the medicated IUIs and what if they don't work? I'm willing to try. They aren't as invasive as IVF. Also, as an added bonus, the Catholic Church is OK with it. Even though, I think a failed IUI cycle would be very emotional, it is an emotional distress that I'm willing to go thru and I can survive. I don't think a failed cycle would destroy me. But, who knows, after one failed IUI, it might be enough for me.
7. What if you are faced with IVF? IVF is another story. I'm not thinking of my religion's beliefs. I'm not thinking of what someone may consider "morally" right. (After all some of my favorite people were miraculously born this way.) I'm thinking that I couldn't survive a failed cycle. After all, those embryos are fertilized, the only task my body would need to do is implant. If my body failed to implant, than it would be my body's ultimate failure. To me, it would be equavilent to a miscarriage. All of my hope and love would be with them. And I know, that a failed cycle would put me in the insane asylum. I have no doubt.
8. Are there any other issues that make you feel apprehensive about IVF? You mean besides the demise of my mental state? Well, my realistic side cannot fathom spending that much money on anything that at best has a 50% shot. Sadly, for T and I (unless the secondary insurance I find is AMAZING) we will be paying out of pocket. An average IVF cycle between $12,000 and $15,000, and considering it takes more than one cycle usually. It would be beyond our means. I know how horrible that sounds, that I'm thinking about money when it comes to a child. Maybe I am selfish. But I know that: I want a child, be able to buy a house someday to house said child, and be able to financially support said child. So, maybe I am selfish. But when I consider how that money could be put towards adopting a child, I don't think I'm selfish I think there might be another path for us.
9. What do you think of adoption? The more I think, the more I come to this conclusion, that adoption sounds really nice. There are children that need parents. And I would like to be one. Also, I truly believe that it wouldn't matter to me if the child was genetically ours. (Believe me, I would be upset never to experience being pregnant, but ultimately my need/desire for a child is greater than my need to be pregnant.) Lastly, I believe that adopted children were ALWAYS meant for their adoptive parents, they just needed to be born a different way.
10. Do you have any reservations about adopting? I have no doubt that I will be able to love that child regardless of who its birth mother/father were or where they came from. I also don't believe that it would matter to T. Ultimately, the group of people that I am most fearful of their lack of acceptance is our families. This seriously causes me to pause. Because sadly, I think they may have some difficulties accepting the decision.
11. Are there benefits to adopting? Yes, adoption allows us to wait a little while longer. After all there is no biological clock ticking with adoption. There is a preference that the parents be under 40, so we would need to start with in the next four years because of T. We could buy a house now. Save for the adoption. Travel a little bit more. It would be valuable time to enjoy ourselves a little more and prepare ourselves for our future little ones.
12. Do I think too much? Most definitely. Have you met me?
13. Am I being a coward for not being able to go thru IVF or do I just know myself? I think the answer is a little bit of both. I do feel like a coward, but I honestly do not have any doubt in how I feel. I know that I wouldn't be able to survive a failed IVF and maybe that is me being cowardly. But, I think it would be foolish of me to plow ahead and realize it when it is all said and done.
14. Will I regret not trying? Maybe, but my sanity is worth much more to me than a regret. After over two years of trying, am I really "not" trying, by saying I have done all I can.
15. Will I be OK if I never become pregnant? Ultimately, I don't have a choice. It will be my cross to bear.
16. Can we love a child that is not ours biologically? Yes, I believe this to be 100% true.
17. So, if that is 100% true, than why don't you quit now? Because, there are still things we need to try. We aren't at the point to toss in the towel. To give up hope on a biological child. Also, who knows it may be something we consider down the road, because to be truthful, if we are lucky in having one beautiful, healthy, little one; I don't know if I could put myself thru this emotional turmoil again. I think I would be done, which is sad considering I wanted 4 when we started. But, adoption will allow us to open our hearts to more children. So, if not this time, maybe another time.
18. When will you be ready to give up? Not sure. Definitely know that there will be 1 more Clomid cycle and three medicated IUIs. More than that, I'm not sure. I'd be willing to "try" by inducing up to 12 ovulations. Since I've ovulated three times, I would count that towards the 12, and it would leave us with 9 more tries. At this point and time, that sounds like so much to put my body and mind thru. So, I don't know.
19. Have you thought of not having children and being married without building a family? This one, I have not really thought thru. I can say that is not how I envisioned our lives. If this is the situation, T and I have a really good example of how it can be done with his Great Uncle and Aunt. They have been happily married for 50 years. So, it can be done. But, would I be OK with it. I do not know.
20. Are you still hopeful? Yes, I am hopeful that the extreme measures of infertility treatments will not be necessary. Like so many others, that I will be lucky and the Clomid will be all I need. But I am a realist. I know that the Clomid only gives me an 8% chance of pregnancy and the medicated IUI 25%. I know that my time on the miracle "crazy" pill is limited due to it's side effects. I must mentally start preparing myself for the possibilities.
It really doesn't take much :).
Another chance/opportunity for actual conception. There you are Hope, please play nice.
I was doing so well. Relaxed, calm, non-obsessive. Also hoping those feelings stick around.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Wednesday, the book reading itself was better than I expected. It was really a star studded cast. First an introduction to the night done by Whoopi Goldberg. Following, Tim Robbins introducing Stephen King. Stanley Tucci introduced John Irving and last Kathy Bates introduced JK Rowling. It was amazing to see these fantastic authors all on the same stage.
Stephen King read from Different Seasons (AKA Stand By Me), John Irving from A Prayer to Owen Meany (It was UNBELIEVABLE to hear John Irving read as Owen, squeaky voice and all.), and JK Rowling from The Half-Blood Prince.
Stephen King and John Irving were very opened about their thoughts on their characters, how they write, etc. Very revealing.
My only complaint is that JK Rowling was very guarded. She didn't answer a lot of questions. But, she did say that Dumbledor is deceased and that "he won't be pulling a Gandalf." Also, she said there is more to Aunt Petunia than meets the eye. This one has left me completely baffled considering she says that Aunt Petunia is not magical on her website. (Very intrigued. I personally believe that Aunt Petunia, Harry's Mom, Harry etc. have some connection to Dumbledor. But, that is only a hunch.)
T even enjoyed the night, and he wasn't looking forward to it at ALL.
The hotel was really nice and very reasonable for a five star. Actually comparatively priced to the Holiday Inn which I had only stayed in a few months back.
Thursday, we stopped at Mystic, CT. Perfect little town. Cute shops, an aquarium, a port, etc. We settled in, got a hotel room, put our things in our room and set out to see the town. T suggested seeing a movie, since he knows how much I love them. We went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean." All of the sudden, we lost electricity.
Unfortunatelly, I believed that the electricity would be turned on by the time we woke up and I asked T to stay. So we did. I was wrong. The electricity was still out at 11:00 AM the next morning. Turned out that 60,000 people were out of electricity in the surrounding area.
Friday, we went home and relaxed.
Saturday, we had T's family reunion which they have every year. T got to play with the kids and I chatted. It was nice to see them all. (Every year it is held by T's Great Aunt and Uncle. They are truly beautiful people. They never had kids and honestly, they are a great example of a HAPPY couple who never did. Food for thought for me, that T pointed out on the ride home.)
Sunday, we relaxed. Went back to the movie theaters to finish watching "Pirates," did some grocery shopping and relaxed.
It was a great mini vacation, exactly what I needed.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Despite the car turmoil, I had a great weekend. My friend S, got us tickets to see the Dixie Chicks for our birthdays. They were fantastic! I loved their performance. And I belted "So Hard" when they sang it, for all of us infertiles. (My mouth dropped when Natalie said the word "infertility." WOW!) Two of them have faced it and achieved the unattainable baby, therefore there is hope.
Yesterday, I found out that I'm not responsible for the service or part for my car. And today, I found out that they are covering a rental! PHEW! WOO HOO!
Tomorrow, my husband and I start our mini vacation. First to NY, to see "Harry, Carrie, and Garp" a book reading with JK Rowling, Stephen King and John Irving. So, excited! And then a stop somewhere, not sure where yet, waiting to see what the mood strikes us :).
August, so far you are much better!
Four jobs I have had in my life:
Grocery Clerk (It was the never ending job! I started two days after I turned 14 and quit at 19.)
Receptionist at a Senator's Office (During the Monica Lewinsky scandal. If you can imagine it, I heard it.)
Immigration Paralegal (After 9/11. Need I say more?)
Paralegal for a corporation, which I love!
Four movies I watch over and over:
Never Ending Story
Star Wars (All)
Harry Potter (All)
When Harry Met Sally
Four places I have lived:
(That is it.)
Four TV shows I love to watch:
Four places I have been on vacation:
Spain and Portugal (Continent)
Four websites I visit daily:
http://www.hotmail.com (to check my personal account)
http://www.orbitz.com (to see if there is any good vacation deals)
http://www.jkrowling.com/ (Yes, I know I am a total dork :).)
http://www.anniesattic.com/ (I crochet as therapy.)
Four of my favorite foods:
Fried Scallops and Clams
Four places I would rather be right now:
On a cruise ship, specifically on a balcony sipping some coffee, on my way to a lovely island.
Four favorite bands/singers:
Four folks I'm tagging:
Monday, July 31, 2006
Today, I heard the best news ever.
(Nope not pregnant, heck I haven't ovulated yet this cycle :).)
But, I did get a call from the dealership/service area. And, they will be paying for the part and service! Also, they are further checking if they are willing to cover the rental.
I feel so much better. One less thing to worry about and I can handle paying the rental at this point.
PHEW. Sigh, what a relief! YIPPEEE
Friday, July 28, 2006
Last month, on or about June 27th, I was on the Clomid and also I was preparing for the HSG which required me taking the antibiotic. Well, the first day I took the antibiotic, I vomited. Yes, it was within the half hour of taking the darn pill, and it made me sick. I felt better, finished getting ready, and went to my car to find an almost "flat" tire.
This started the car adventure.
I immediately scheduled an appointment with the dealership/mechanic for the following Friday, June 30th. While I was there, I got four new tires, an inspection sticker and an oil change. Ultimately, it was a horrible experience. The service took FOUR hours and was a small fortune which I expected. And, ultimately, they DAMAGED my automatic car starter.
This is where the fun really starts. So, T noticed the day after that the starter wasn't working. A few days later, I called the dealership. (If you remember I was on a mini-vacation and my Sister was admitted into the hospital for an appendicitis. Needless to say I was a little preoccupied.)
I called the dealership. They told me that there is a toggle switch which needs to be flipped. Once this is done, it'll be all "fixed." Well, my car doesn't have a toggle switch. It has two buttons, but no switch.
On Monday, I call the dealership to request an appointment to get this "mistake" to be "fixed." I was told to come in between 9AM and 4 PM. (I don't know about you, but that is usually when I'm working.) So, I say "The last time I was there for FOUR hours. I'm obviously going to be coming on my lunch hour. Can you please tell me of a good time to come in, where my appointment will be on time?" He says, "Sure, how about Tuesday at noon."
I go in on Tuesday at noon. I get there at exactly noon. I wait fifteen minutes to get into the garage. Ten minutes after I am actually get in the garage they talk to me.
I tell the Service Manager, "I am angry. I was not thrilled with my last service here. While here, someone from your dealership, did something to my automatic car starter. I do not believe I need to pay for this service, because it was your fault. Also, I am on my lunch hour. Despite the fact, that I always make appointments, you seem to honor your walk in service customers much better. I had 12 o'clock appointment and yet, I'm being seen at 12:25. I'm on my lunch hour. If you want to continue to be paid, I need to work."
The Service Manager, Mike, starts to fiddle with my car. Now at the time, I didn't think this was a good idea. Actually, hind site is telling me, I should of told him to back away from the car. He is specifically working in the fuse box near my wheel. This is also where there are two buttons which control my alarm.
Ultimately, he seemed to "fix" the automatic car starter.
But, would I be writing if it weren't more to the story?
Yesterday, I go to my car. My first day back on the Clomid. Make a stop at the post office. Get back into my car and I drive to work. While going to work, I notice the check engine light. Now, I know this is never good. But, when I got to work, I pulled out the owner's manual and confirmed that it was the check engine light. So, I called the dealership. Made an appointment for Saturday at 10:45 am. (Well, if anyone from the dealership is reading, you can cancel that appointment.)
It is the afternoon, after a VERY long day where I fell. (Yah, not a little fall where you catch yourself. A total fall on my left side, buttocks and lower back. Not good and continue to feel a little bit more pain as time goes on.) I start my car. The motor turns, but something is wrong, I can't move the shift. Nothing. So, I continue to look for clues, and I notice that the AC, radio, display, directionals, lights, windows, and everything else that is electric is not working.
I call my husband to see if he has any idea of what I should do. He thinks it is a fuse.
He gets there after I spend an hour messing with the thing. I can't figure it out. The fuses look fine to me. When he gets there, he messes with it for another half hour, when he gives up. He is able to do something with the shift so that I could drive it. Driving a car with no directionals and closed windows, is terrifying. He follows me to prevent a car accident.
We get to the dealership and after about an hour, we are told that the electrical system has shorted out. And the part, this is the best part, is $1,845! Just for the part, they still need to do more research to see what else was damaged and it will be more expensive trust me.
So, my immediate reaction as CRAZY Flutter was to yell. He said the price, and immediately I said, "I WANT TO SPEAK TO A MANAGER!" My husband was playing good cop and I think I was the bad cop. I like that assessment of the situation better, after all the other assessment that I have was that I was the CRAZY B*TCH and he was the reasonable man!
Today, leaves me questioning, bad luck or negligence? Maybe a little bit of both. God help them if they call me.