Just waiting it out…

According to my head doc, T and I deserve about a billion “gold stars” for our communication this past week, with each other as well as with others.  In light of some pretty interesting “situational changes”, I do give myself a B+.  Hell, maybe even an A-.  I kicked some ass as far as “coping” goes this week.  And I ain’t afraid to give myself a lil shout-out here.  So there.  I shouted.

Today is day 15, for all of you concerned about my cycle progression (ok, for me.  I’ll write it for me…)  And for all of you interested…we did, as usual, try our damndest this time around the “way nature intended.”  And man.  It’s tiring.  It’s especially tiring when you know your chances are less than a percentage point, but it’s like the NY Lotto–you can’t win it if you ain’t in it.  But I don’t play lotto.  I do, however, apparently play lotto with my baby-making chances.

I guess right now, amidst all that is going on around me, my life is rather still where fertility is concerned, as I just wait and hope that I get my period, as I wait and hope that my FSH is low, as I wait and hope that I get this in before we lose the insurance at the end of ’09…and then I get to wait and hope that the shots produce follicles, that the follicles produce eggs, that the eggs fertilize, that the eggs transfer…you know the routine.  I’m not going to lie and say I’m happy we added some more worry on the front-end of the process, but this is what it is.


I never did write this next part, but I intended to, so here it is now.  When we were at the zoo last week, I saw a family up ahead that made me stop in my tracks, catch my breath, and then poke T in the side.  The son was about 10 or 11, dirty blond hair, looking much like his mom.  The daughter was about 6 or so, and she was Korean.  I just stopped.  And stared.  And welled up.  And thought to myself, I could do that.  That could be my family.  And I could be happy with that family.  I would be happy with that family.  Apparently this moment of clarity, or whatever, earned me yet another gold star from the head-doc.  While I am NOT ready to throw away my Sharps container (I have waaaaay too many unused needles still, and I need to hear when it’s ”the end” from some professionals before I give up), I am starting to see that I will be a mom again.  Someday.  Clearly not on my timetable.  Clearly not on my husband’s.  Clearly not on my doctor’s or even our bank account’s.  I will have to cheerlead others through their own pregnancies as I still work towards and yearn for and wait for my own.  I will have to listen/see others act as though they think they know what this is like for me, all the while knowing they don’t have a fecking clue.  But someday.  There will be another child among these walls, and I will love that child deeply and completely, always mindful of the journey that led me to that new life.

And the walls came crashing down…

This weekend was unforgettable.  A truly amazing time as a family of three.  I did not think about the family of five we might have been.  Or any other scenario that other times I could imagine.  I just loved and rejoiced in what I do have.


And then.


Sister in law number two called just a few minutes ago:  Pregnant. (it’s irrelevant that it was on the first try.  as it was for their son three years ago.  or is it…?)


Due only a week or so after sister in law number one.


Which leaves one sister in law left to still break the news to me of a pregnancy (I know it is in the foreseeable future).


I am going to have to bring out the big guns to get through this one.  Sister in law #1 and I used to fret about this.very.situation.  And both of us hoped neither one of us was the “odd one out.”  But it seems someone is.  I’m kind of tired of it feeling like it is always me. 


This is not the first time I’ll be dealing with being happy for others yet sad for myself.  This is not the hardest thing I will ever go through in my life.  These are not the only two pregnancies that will come into my life this year.  I will come out of this okay.  Maybe a few more battlescars, but I will be okay.  I have to believe this.


You will not break me, infertility.  I will not allow you suck out all the joy and happiness I have let into my life.  I will not allow you to make me more bitter and hardened than I have already become.  I will not allow you to take away ME.  You. will. not. break. me.


Today is/was P’s 2nd birthday.  I remember the events of two years ago as clear as day.  I remember the preceding nine months as well, because I was so nervous, waiting for the other shoe to drop, that I didn’t fully “get to” appreciate being pregnant.  Infertility leaves you quite jaded, as well as causing you to anticipate the worst.  Especially when you’ve done IVF and seen it fail.  A lot.  It takes away the joy you so want to feel, because you  are so so nervous, and anxious, and worried…infertility does this.  At least it did to me.  But it also has caused me to truly cherish the moments I have spent with my son these past two years.  It has helped me to stop going going going, and has helped me to just be.  I feel like I am so much more aware of how precious the time we have together is, because I have known failure, and I have known loss.   I may never have known or experienced these two years this way,  if I had/have not been down the rocky road I’ve traveled.  I love my little man with all my heart.  Today was one of those days you want to last forever–memorable in so many ways.  The kind of day where you wish the moments would forever stay fresh in your mind.  The kind of day that ends with you not wanting it to end at all.   It’s been that kind of day.   The troubles and fears and uncertainties that plague me every other days could not reach me today, as I cherished this one life my husband and I were blessed with and entrusted with.  I love you, P.  Happy happy birthday.

Man was not made to live without gluten.

NoSymbolOr refined sugars.  Or dairy.  A life without cheese…without all the amazing things cheese makes even more amazing…pizza, nachos, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, salads, chilis, soups, pizza…Yikes.  Though really what good is the cheese of a pizza if you can’t eat the crust?


My new acupunturist is a self-titled”holisitic healer”.   So due to my *obvious* liver/kidney yin deficiency, I need to be on a gluten-sugar-dairy-caffeine free diet.  I did not do so well Week 1.  Partially because pre-Thursday I was so sure my FSH was going to be hovering around 10 (take THAT! for thinking I knew my own body!), and post-Thursday I was so pissed at my body I thought it deserved to be drowned in candy corn and coffee.  I mean, REALLY?  People get pregnant all the time eating crap food.  I am not a dieter.  I am not a good dieter either, apparently.  Last night I asked Acu if this was an All Or Nothing type of thing–if I was limiting gluten but had cut out all dairy and caffeine and splenda-y products, was it moot since I ate half a delish bagel on Saturday morning?  Luckily, it seems it is okay to clean up as best as I can, and I shouldn’t beat myself up if I am not perfect.  Phew.  Because when a Teddy Graham lands in my lap, I lack the willpower to flick it anywhere but into my mouth.   After my first appointment I began the Elimination Diet, (aptly named), as it kicked all delicious foods out of my life.  I sucked at saying goodbye to many of them.  Now I will be striving to keep the naughty gluten, dairy, sugar and caffeine away, but I can welcome back in soy and eggs (woohoo!  another dinner idea! omlettes!) –and I have made it almost a full week without dairy.  This certainly has made me more mindful of what I cook and cook with–but COME ON, we are Weekend Takeout Folk, and I am now cooking weekends too. This Saturday is P’s 2nd Birthday party (how will I get through the day knowing I am just as barren and empty as I was 365 days ago, I dont know), and I’ll be damned if I am serving 30 people my new diet food. 
Right.  I shouldn’t complain.  I should embrace this new way of thinking, of living, of healing my body.  But here’s the thing:  if I didn’t have FSH levels that see-sawed more than John Kerry (oh no she dih-ihnt) I wouldnt be in this mess to begin with.  And I would be enjoying gluten.  This is why I think so many gluten-intolerant people are so skinny.  There are limited foods out there for them to choose from, they get tired of reading labels and being creative, so they just give up on eating.
I will continue  to work with this new plan for the next few weeks (I hope this friggin period gets here on the earlier side of 28 days…and for those of you counting…we’re at day 6) and hopefully less of some foods and more of others, in conjunction with acupuncture and fertility meditation cds (who WRITES THOSE THINGS?) as well as my head-doc…maybe my FSH will drop.  But it needs to drop and STAY DROPPED.  It was 12 before I went on the pill for two weeks…and 20 afterwards.  WTH?  Ass-backwards.  That’s me.  So even if it is miraculously low this next reading in 22ish days…it needs to STAY LOW SO I CAN GET THIS LAST CYCLE IN BEFORE 2009 IS OVER!
(and have we been reminded yet that doing all of this still does not guarantee a pregnancy?) 
I hate you, infertility.  But I will not hate my life because of you.

Eff. Me.

FSH was 20.8.

countless ounces of fresh wheatgrass did nothing.

having hope and faith did nothing.

this cycle will be cancelled.

the doctor still has hope for me.

I want to.

I want to have hope.


Eff.  Me.

Not just another day.

I know that the date is arbitrary.  I know that.  Perhaps this is why I don’t feel anything more than usual today.  I feel as though maybe I should, though.  But I don’t feel excessive sadness or overwhelming loss.  It is true, that a lot of that has faded with time.  Today marks the official “due date” for our boys.  I know that I likely would have delivered them sometime in September–heck, I have two friends who were due with single babies in the weeks after me, and both have already delivered their little girls.  So common sense tells me that this day should be no more important than any other (even P was born a week before his due date).  For the past nine months, however, this date has loomed ahead in the distance–while I was pregnant and when I no longer was pregnant.   These last few days have crawled by as I waited for this day to come.  And here it is.  I feel just the same as I did yesterday and the day before that.  Strange.  T is away these next few days and while I wish he was here simply because I miss him regardless, it would be nice to have him here tonight.  Just to not be alone.


When I found out I miscarried and had the surgery a week later, it was late March.  All of the tulips and daffodils were just starting to come up.  Corny as it sounds, every time I saw a tulip bud, I thought of the babies.  And I know that for every March to come, I will see tulips and think of what once was, not necessarily of what might have been (what might have been is so much harder to handle).  I think the anniversary of their death will surely always be harder than the anniversary of something that never was.  I am neither religious enough nor faithful enough to think that those babies are angels in heaven, looking down on us, but I would like to think that they are present here, in this universe, giving me the strength to keep at this journey, allthewhile loving their big brother as only those little guys could.

I cannot stand ignorance.



The cover of today’s New York Times (a paper I never read, and now I recall why) has an article about the risks of IVF.  While the article itself seems to just look at the repercussions of multiple-embryo transfers on society (meaning, an increased risk of twins and the complications that arise there for the mother as well as healthcare companies that foot the bill for some of these complications), the comments left online by some readers are completely and utterly disturbing.  I want to cry.  I want to crash my computer against the hard tile floor.  I want to scream and shout and personally go and find these ignorant jerks (I have so many more names in my head right now) who are classifying women such as myself as greedy, immoral, neanderthal, unacceptable, selfish and self-centered.  The number of people who commented that people who cannot get pregnant should “just adopt” or should “look into foster care” is incredible.  One commenter even compared doing IVF treatments with getting a puppy from a “puppy mill” versus going to the pound. 

Why are there so many stupid people?  Ignorant, ignorant bastards.  I take this so personally.  I will admit, that I am not 100% sure how I feel about insurance companies paying for these procedures.  In our case, it is a blessing that has taken some of the burden off of us, and has allowed me to add acupuncture and other assistances to the process.  If we did not have some coverage, we wouldnt have made it this far.  But then again, if it is not covered at all, wouldn’t IVF be exclusively a “rich person” thing?  Only the wealthier can create a family this way?  And along that line, we all know very well that adoption is not cheap.  It can run almost double what an IVF cycle would run.  So couples with less access to money cannot do IVF OR adopt?  So they should not have ANY means by which to have a family?  Give me a freaking break.  Assholes.

I am so worked up right now that my heart is palpitating and I’m afraid to go and run any errands for fear of what I may be like behind the wheel.  There is so much more I want to say about this topic, about the comments, and about just how low, how despicable, how pathetic, and just plain BAD I now feel about myself and what I am trying to do.   I don’t know what that says about me, that I am so affected by these comments from people I don’t even know–but I guess it makes me think there are people out there who know me, and know what we have gone through, and probably think we are wrong.  Then again, most people that know us and truly care about us, have asked detailed questions about the procedures and our feelings and our decisions–and I have never felt judged (well, a few times maybe.  But that was before similar issues arose for those folks, and they wound up in comparable situations.  Irony abounds…)

Anyway.  I just wanted to vent about this somewhere…and now that I have, I will get up, take a few deep breaths, and think of my little man sleeping in his room right now. A million NYT readers could show up at my door, spit in my face for what I have done and what I continue to do, and it wouldnt matter.  Because I have so much gratitude for the son I have, and for the way he was conceived.  Nothing can change that or take that away.

Post-session #2

Last night was just an easy, wowispilledalotofbackgroundstuff type of appointment.  There were a few things that I gained from the session that I’ll share with the Infertile World, because they definitely helped me realize I am not alone in my feelings towards infertility (not that I really think I am alone, obviously there are many people who go through this and now there are some of you going through this “with” me, but you know what I mean).


1. Dark, selfish thoughts are normal.  It’s normal to begrudge the pregnant ones, the fertile ones, the ones who currently or previously have/had what we want.  Infertility is a huge umbrella that casts a complete shadow over everything.  It can seem like “everyone but me” sometimes–and sometimes, maybe it is.  It doesn’t mean we don’t love our own life, or that we don’t realize the bounty of blessings we have been given in so many aspects–but those blessings do not make this one issue any easier to cope with.


2. It would be easier to deal with infertility if there was a clear “end-game” somewhere down the line.  If I knew that in one year, or two years, I would be pregnant.  Or if I could see that I could be happy with another sort of “resolution” to this situation.  That is what makes it so hard to live in the now, to enjoy the day to day, because it is not certain when or even IF I will be pregnant again.  It is most certainly easier to live through any sort of crisis when the end is in sight, no matter how far away that end might be.  Infertility is not a guaranteed “temporary” situation.  That is why it is scary and sad and overwhelming.  That is why sometimes it feels like we are banging our heads against a brick wall, again and again.  If I were to think about other challenging or unfortunate scenarios, even if they are pretty damn bad, all might have that “end game” component–and infertility just doesn’t.


3. People who say that I should be happy to have my current son, and “at least you have P” are just people who don’t know any better.  Some women (me) define themselves by the role of motherhood.  Some don’t, and have careers that are important, or other parts of their life that make them who they are.  I know I have some of those things too, but the one “career” that I long for is Motherhood.  And I am not complete if I had to acknowledge that my current son will completely fill that role.  I WANT to be the mom that perhaps some more (forgive my lack of a better word here)  ”liberal” woman would mock–I WANT to be defined by my family role.  I crave and yearn for that.  And it is ok.  I know my husband would be satisfied with his life if we galloped off into the sunset as a healthy family of three, but I would not be.  I have an emptiness still (interesting to note that therapist commented that 99% of men have the same feelings as my husband, while many wives have the same feelings I do.  When I recapped the session to T last night, it was clear that he doesn’t understand in the LEAST what I am talking about–but I will give him credit for listening to what I had to share).


4. The very best thing anyone could ever say to anyone who has had a miscarriage(s), or has had countless failed ART cycles, etc is something to the effect of,  ”I can’t even begin to imagine how this feels for you. I am so sorry.”  Because really, they can’t.  And that’s okay–but to come up with other not-so-sage sympathies or advice is actually more detrimental than helpful.  I am going to try to embrace those words for when I am interacting with others who are dealing with crises–I most certainly do not know the extent of their hurt and their pain, and it needs to be acknowledged as such.


All in all, some nice lessons learned.  And there is definitely something to be said for learning from a highly educated woman (whom, it turns out, suffered from “secondary” infertility (crap phrase, crap phrase) for eight years until she conceived her second).  And many thanks to the advice I received yesterday from some folks–I placed a call to the new acu center earlier and will hopefully set something up for next week.


Yep.  I’m a nutjob.  I am EXCITED for my trip to the head-doc this evening.  Probably because a)it is the only 30 minutes a week I am alone in the car and b)someone is being paid to listen to everything and anything I want to say about infertility.  And even life in general.  The only downside is this…I’m in the “good place” still–just waiting for the cycle to start, still having nice hope that all may work out and I find myself pregnant in early November…so the sessions are really just prep work, to be ready to handle The Next Great Catastrophe that may blow our way.

I have a few questions to throw out there to other fellow infertiles who use the world wide web (warning: questions are completely (self) centered around my upcoming cycle): 

1. Anyone ever do a microdose lupron where you start the lupron only two days before you start the stims?  I did lupron back in the day, and I am fairly certain it was lupron-only for at least ten days, and then we added the stim drugs.  Is this some newer technique, where I go right from the pill to the lupron to the stims?


2. Anyone do any research on fresh wheatgrass v frozen?  Or the “proper quantity” to help boost fertility?  I can totally taste the difference between the fresh v frozen…and I have upped my one-shot to a double-shot every morning…I always tend to think more is better (well, except for eye makeup and the number of bridesmaids in a wedding party), costing me five bucks a day to support my habit.  Yowzahs.  (And that doesn’t factor in my morning coffee either!)  Fertile people must be so rich. 


3. Regarding my acupuncturist:  I like her.  And I paid in advance for ten sessions last cycle (read: flushed 7 of them down the toilet with a cancelled ivf), thus I have three left with her that have already been paid for.  HOWEVER.  While I like her as a person and I feel comfortable with her, I’m not so sure she’s The One (neither is my RE though, so, there’s some food for my own thought…).  When I did acu back in Cali for my cycles there, the practitioner (is that what they’re called?) seemed to have extensive knowledge about fertility and acupuncture.  She warmed stones, burned certain herbs, and never did I cringe when I needle went in.  (oh! also, there were these amazing heatpads for your shoulders/neck…ahhhhh, I lived for those…)  Now, I always feel the needles going in, and I don’t know if I am just being paranoid, or if I am not getting “the same thing” out of it as I did back at my old place.  (for the record, neither one of these women are even remotely genetically connected to the Eastern World). 

A friend recently gave me the name of a new practitioner with whom a friend of hers had success–and though this woman would be a)new b)much more expensive c)a bit further away….do I move over to this new place for this next cycle?  Do I shake it up a bit?  This new acu is almost exclusively fertility-focused (she’s at a women’s health center, for crimeny’s sake).  Or shall I stay loyal to where I have three “credits” and just go with what I know?  (writing this question out…really helps me see what the answer should be…) 


And now, in (a completely unrelated) conclusion…just to rub it in…I have the MOST DELICIOUS smelling pot on a low low simmer right now as I make some homemade chicken soup.  Yes, fall has arrived here at our house.

Now THIS made my day…


Foibles!  You gave me an award! I am touched.  I kind of figured there’s maybe 12 or 13 people out there (three I know IRL…)who stop by and read what ever I have to bitch about each week…but then I saw the link to your site on my dashbd…and who wouldda thunk YOU awarded ME with something so neat and sweet? 

It seems this award comes with some rules, and I am v v v v new at this kind of thing, so forgive me if I mess up.  Oh, and also I don’t know how to make little links to people’s blogs in my own blog.  Guess I’ll be learning right about now…

1. You Can Only Use One Word! (K.)
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers (I dont have six.  Will pass along to those I do follow though…)
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!  (How??? I  may just have to mention them in the blog and hope they come across it like I did for my own lil award…)
4. Have Fun! (will do!)

The Fun Part

1. Where is your cell phone?  HERE

2. Your hair? DIRTY

3. Your mother? FLORIDA

4. Your father? INTENSE

5. Your favorite food? BAGELS

6. Your dream last night?  WEIRD

7. Your favorite drink? COFFEE

8. Your dream/goal? FAMILY

9. What room are you in? KITCHEN

10. Your hobby? MANY

11. Your fear? DYING

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? CONTENT

13. Where were you last night? BED

14. Something that you aren’t? WRINKLELESS

15. Muffins? PLEASE!

16. Wish list item? BABY

17. Where did you grow up? EAST

18. Last thing you did? SIPPED

19. What are you wearing? JEANS

20. Your TV? ON

21. Your pets? NONEXISTENT

22. Friends? BLESS(INGS)

23. Your life? BLESS(ED)

24. Your mood? CALM

25. Missing someone? ALWAYS

26. Vehicle? MESSY

27. Something you’re not wearing? MAKEUP

28. Your favorite store? TARGET

29. Your favorite color? NONE

30. When was the last time you laughed?  JUST

31. Last time you cried?  YESTERDAY

32. Your best friend? LAUGHTER

33. One place that I go to over and over? GROCERY

34. One person who emails me regularly? MOM

35. Favorite place to eat? DEN!


I (drumroll…..) nominate the following blogs :

Right back at ya, Lu:    fertilityfoibles.blogspot.com (lame?  naaaahhh.  you made me smile today!)

Cathy at Seekingsibling.wordpress.com

Shelli at bagmomma.blogspot.com

Jessica at jessicaaprice.blogspot.com

Here’s hoping this Spreading of Blogger-love connects a few more of us out there….