You Are Not Being Punished

I know a lot of women with fertility problems.  They all seem to think of their lack of conceiving abilities is directly linked to bad past behavior.  This makes me so sad for them.  Just think of it like this, serial killers have babies, child molesters have babies, rapists have babies.  If those three groups of awful people can have children, then nothing in your past would prevent a higher power from letting you be a parent.

“… but I just don’t go to church enough. That must be why!” – Atheists have babies

“… I was so mean to my mother when I was younger…” – Who wasn’t?  Teenagers are supposed to do that.  I am fully prepared to deal with a crazy teenage girl, hopefully, one day.  And I will be glad that I have her to yell at me.  Or maybe I’ll have boys and they will be nice to me always? Is that how it works? I won’t mind either way!

“…I had a glass of wine the other night, that’s why this try didn’t work.” – Drunk, crackheaded, homeless ladies get pregnant ALL THE TIME.  And have you seen Mad Men?  Ladies back in the day drank through the entire pregnancy.  (This is not condoning this behavior, just saying that you beating yourself up about a glass of wine is silly).  

There is no reason to think that someONE or someTHING would ever punish someone with infertility.  Infertility is just something that happens.  You know how some people are born with chronic ear infections, or clubbed feet. or albinoism?  There is nothing different about those things and what we struggle with, except what we are born with keeps us from conceiving and their problems keep them from hearing, walking or getting a tan. 

Relax.  Don’t worry about who’s controlling your destiny.  You are the one in control.  Treatments may not work, that’s true, but if you continue to sit around being sad and wondering why this is happening to you, you will make yourself sick and depressed.  There is no answer to that question.  Everything doesn’t happen for a reason.  You cannot believe that if you’ve spent even two seconds reading the news.  There is no reason that a bad, truly evil person can have children and you can’t.  As soon as you can accept that, the sooner you can stop being angry and start realizing that, sometimes, life just isn’t fair.  Hey, I think I’ve heard that before….?

This isn’t an easy concept, and it even comes and goes in my own mind, but after we finally got pregnant, and miscarried right away, I went to a bad place.  I read a lot and thought a lot and I finally came to the conclusion that no one is controlling the outcome of my life.  It has been a really hard realization, and sometimes it makes me sad, but in the long run it makes me a lot less angry at the universe.  Less anger is always a good thing, especially when trying to conceive.  

I just have to work on yelling at the TV when someone in a movie says “but we only had sex once and now i’m pregnant!”  I like to yell “Good for YOU!” at the make believe characters.  It’s happening less and less though. Now I whisper it to myself like a totally sane person.  Totally sane!

I’m not saying that there isn’t some higher power out there running the big show, but think about the billions of people on this planet, all wanting different things.  Plus, there is a very high probability that there are billions of “people” on millions or billions of other planets.  Now, if you do the math, carry the one… that’s a lot of people/beings/things wanting stuff.  Have you ever seen Bruce Almighty? Yea, that would be a tough job.

If you are angrier or less forgiving than I appear to be right now, trust me, I am not like this all the time.  I did just have a chocolate chip cookie though, so that might be where my happy thoughts are coming from… hmm.  Maybe I should go eat a few more to keep the pep in my step…

Advertisements

A Life Change To Change My Life

I am happy to say that I have a huge life change coming up.  No, I’m not pregnant (yet! 😉 ) but I am starting a new chapter in my life.  One that I hope I am excited to read.  I am giving my THREE weeks notice in a week and a half.  My last day will be July 27th.  I am over the moon about this.  I need to get rid of the most stressful thing in my life, and that happens to be work.  I am so grateful that my husband is able to support us both and that his parents were able to give us a loan for our IVF treatments.  I know we are incredibly lucky.

My job makes me feel good, in that I am great at what I do and I get a lot of compliments from the managers.  I just can’t stand the customers (surprise) and my coworker.  She does nothing.  She just doesn’t care and her attitude is terrible.  I used to talk to her a lot, but everything changed once we started treatments.  

I told my coworker and my bosses back in August that my husband and I could not conceive on our own.  This had to be done because, as anyone going through this type of thing knows, it requires a lot of doctors appointments.  I needed them to know that I’d be leaving a lot.  So i told them that I’d need them to try and keep everything as stress-free as possible.  No freaking out, cussing, or screaming that you hate everyone (yes, this actually is what goes on where I work) and everyone agreed.  Not everyone followed through though.  That’s when I knew that I didn’t actually like my coworker.

The crap really hit the fan on the day I found out I miscarried.  I got the call while I was at work.  I ran inside, sobbing, and grabbed my purse and left.  I sent a text to one boss who knew what was going on (he knew I had gone in for my second blood test) and then I spent the next two days sobbing, hysterical and wondering why this had to happen.  So receiving an email from my coworker the next day, asking me why I was mad at her and why I wasn’t talking to her anymore, sent me to a bad place.  I was FURIOUS.  Still am.  Why on earth would you make everything about you when someone gets a phone call and leaves crying?  She didn’t know I was pregnant, but what if a family member had passed away? Or someone was sick or in an accident? Ugh. Just can’t get over it.  Won’t get over it.

I am so glad to be leaving…… 21 more work days and I am gone! So long! Buh-bye. Don’t let the door hit you… oh, wait. Um… you know what? The door can hit me in the ass on the way out.  I would smile at that butt bruise for weeks!  

Waiting Before The Waiting

My husband and I decided in January that we were going to give the treatments a break.  After four rounds of IUI meds, my body was a wonderland of insanity.  I spent three or four days straight on the couch sobbing.  No idea why, just did.  It usually came after my follistim injection… so i’m thinking my body might have been ODing on hormones a bit.

The wait has been agonizing at times.  I wonder if we would have already been pregnant by now had we continued straight away with the IVF.  Or maybe if we had given my body a two or three month wait.  Then I think that maybe I will never get pregnant and by now I’d be a miserable sobbing sack of crap.  At least we would know for sure by now whether adoption was the next step in starting our family.  Really though, what’s nine months in the long run?  Well, to be truthful, it’s a LONG time!  I could have made a human in that amount of time!  You know, if my body did that sort of thing.

There have been so many pregnancy announcements and newborns on my facebook feed.  Sometimes I wish I had quit it for good.  After all of the treatments failed, I had to take a two month break.  It was marvelous. Why did I ever go back?

Now that the time is getting near, I’m getting antsy and nervous.  This is huge.  This is our last shot.  What if it doesn’t work?  I’m not opposed to adoption, but I can’t imagine not having an adorable little baby with my husbands face and personality.  Thinking of not having a tiny him is almost too much to bare.  I’m pretty cool and all, but he is just amazing. IVF is the last step to try and accomplish that dream.

So what happens if the tries don’t work?  How many do we try?  Would we eventually give up and try to adopt or would we continue until I run out of eggs and have nothing left but shriveled, empty ovaries. ( Is that even possible?)

The pretesting begins in August when we get back from vacation.  This will be the blood test, saline ultrasound and the mock transplant.  If all goes well, September will be the big month.  So close… so far away…… no way to know what the outcome will be.

Tick-tock tick-tock…… My uterus sure does sound like a clock for some reason…

For The Love Of My Husband

I love my husband.  I know a lot of people say that their husband is their best friend, but I actually mean it.  I don’t just say that in front of people or around his family in order to make them think everything is perfect.  I honestly mean it with all my heart, and everything is perfect (other than not being able to conceive, which surprisingly enough, has nothing to do with how we feel about each other).

I have never once been angry at my husband about this whole baby mess.  I think this must be rare from what I’ve heard from my friends and from what I’ve read online.  Here is the deal though… It’s not HIS fault.  It’s not MY fault.  Sometimes these things just happen.  Being upset with your husband for not getting pregnant is ridiculous and shameful.  Don’t you think he feels just as bad as you do?  I know it’s hard to believe since most men seem to be robotic at times, but it’s true.  They just either hide it well because that’s how they were raised, or they do it because they know that if one of you needs to be upset and show it, it should be you.  You should thank him for that.  He loves you and he’s wiping away your tears even when they are mixed with snot.

I’ve heard stories of friends being upset at their husbands because they think it’s his fault the timing was off.  “He had to work late and we missed our ovulation time slot!”  Okay, I get it, but was he working to pay for these fertility treatments?  Would it have been beneficial for him to pick up and come home and risk his job and the baby making funds?  It’s not an EXACT  to the minute science, ladies.  There is an optimal window, yes, but him being an hour late would not be a big enough issue to ruin your marriage over.  Should you be upset? Yea! He knew when this was happening! But you need to realize that sometimes things are unavoidable.  It is almost impossible to plan out your life to the minute, but this becomes more noticeable when you have to plan fertility treatments like that.

“It’s HIS sperm count! There isn’t anything wrong me ME!” Well, you getting mad at him for a low sperm count would make me think that there IS something wrong with you after all.  Do you think he wants a low count? Of course not! For some reason, that is a sign of manliness.  I would think there would be better signs, like amount of chest hair and ability to bench-press things.  (After all, are you going to show another man your sperm count paperwork? hmm.. you are, aren’t you?)  Be nice! He’s just as stressed as you are, and making him feel like less of a man is not at all helpful.  Emasculate him a little more and see if he can even work it when the time comes.  He might be late at work a lot more often.  Who would want to make a baby with a mean woman?  Now, don’t get me wrong, he still wants some, but he might be a little less loving afterward, especially if you’re yelling at him to “make more sperm! Do it again! We need more swimmers! SWIM SWIM SWIM little defects!”

What I’m getting at here is that this is something that has to be between you two and ONLY you two.  You need to learn to direct your anger at something else.  If you are mad that his sperm count is low, get some boxers, keep his phone away from the junk, and limiting his …umm… expulsions to every 2-3 days will also help the numbers build a little better.  No more than 3 days though, or they start to go bad.

Love your spouse and be understanding.  Think of how you’d feel if he were the one giving you a hard time because your ovaries didn’t work.  If you can’t put the blame aside, then going through fertility treatments is only going to make you both miserable.  You must be on the same page.  You must love each other.  You MUST QUIT blaming one another.

I like to blame work.  When I do that enough, I tend to make myself believe I need a day off. Three day weekend? Oh yea!

Etiquette

There is something I’ve learned about human nature…. it’s wild.

Ever since I started to come out of the infertility closet, so to speak, I’ve realized that people will say whatever pops into their heads.  It doesn’t matter if it makes sense, or is inconsiderate, or even if it’s outright rude, someone is going to say it right to your face.  You may even get to a point where you think you’ve heard it all, but lo and behold, you will be sitting at dinner with a group of friends and one of those friends is going to ask you if you have a hostile uterus.  Yes, true story.  This came after explaining to them all that the problem was my PCOS.  I know we also have some issues in the sperm area, but I choose to keep my husbands business to myself.  If he wants to share that with others, that is his business.  I have enough problems to keep everyone entertained.

I’ve heard all of the most famous pieces of advice.
– Just forget about it and it will happen!
– Go on vacation and have sex and it will happen!
– Get REALLY drunk and do it and it will happen! That’s what happened with me!

…and there is another problem.  “That’s what happened with me!” Oh yikes.  This is something you should never say unless someone says “I went to Starbucks and tried the Cafe Vanilla Frappuccino and it was THE BEST THING EVER and now I spend all my money there!”  Then it’s okay to say something like that, you know, when it doesn’t seem like you have a working hooha and you’re rubbing it in my face. Hmm… I might have been able to phrase that differently.

There is just so much word vomit to clean up sometimes.  I wonder if I was ever like that.  Putting in my two cents when there wasn’t a need for any change.  I can’t remember of any instances, but I never knew anyone with infertility problems until I was aware of my own.  Now I can smell them.  I can tell from Facebook status updates, even when they have nothing to do with anything baby related.  The status could say “Doing the laundry!” and I will somehow know that it translates to “doing the laundry because I have nothing better to do, like taking my baby to the park and enjoying the beautiful weather while I breastfeed on the park bench and smell the roses.”  I’m not sure HOW I became this sensitive to the infertiles around me, but it is helpful.  I wish I could put this sensitivity in to being able to sniff out buried treasure or free ice cream or something. Oh well!

 

The Importance of an HSG

I was already at the fertility specialist when I learned that I should have had an HSG done.  My OBGYN (who I will now refer to as Dr. Idiot) wanted me to try eight rounds of Clomid before going on to other choices.  After the fifth Clomid cycle failed, I did a little reading on how many is enough.  Turns out that they suggest four to five with no more than six.  Dr. Idiot then received his name.

The HSG is the second most important thing before starting Clomid after having your husband get his sperm count tested.  If there turns out to be something off with his sperm, it might be the reason you’re having trouble and Clomid might not be necessary.  Clomid was necessary for me, since I only had a cycle every three to four months, but that sperm count tip is for those couples who are not sure which side it’s coming from, or to verify that it’s not both of you with the problems.  For us it is both sides.

So what is an HSG? It stands for HysteroSalpingoGram.  This is where the doctor injects an x-ray dye into your uterus and fallopian tubes.  This is important to check for blockage in the fallopian tubes and also to make sure that your uterus is shaped correctly.  The reason this is so important before starting Clomid or Femera (forgot to mention Femera, but it is basically the same thing, only a bit stronger I believe) is because these medicines are given to help you release multiple eggs to increase your chances of having one fertilize.  It also insures that you ovulate. ( I do not ovulate at all on my own, which is another symptom of my PCOS). If there is a blockage in your tubes, you can image how this would effect you if you release multiple eggs. Where will they go?  This could cause damage to your tubes and if you are having trouble conceiving already, that doesn’t seem like something else you need on top of your infertility cake.

I can tell you right now that Dr. Idiot should be very glad that my HSG showed no problems. If it had, I might have had to go pay him a visit. 😉

 

Beginnings

This is my very first post on my very second blog.  I started with a blogspot page, but the fear of having my family find it through my gmail name was too much stress.  

I’m usually pretty open with my family.  They are loving and insane and I do trust them.  The only problem is that they are TOO interested, and way too worried about small things.  So how am I supposed to tell them that my husband and I are plagued with infertility?

We started trying to conceive in February of 2010.  I went off birth control in November  and gave it the standard three month break before trying.  I should have known immediately that we were going to have problems.  It took those three months for me to have a cycle.  This wasn’t unusual. This is how my body worked. Always had… always will (I’d later find out).  We started trying after the first cycle and over the next year, I had three more cycles and no sign of a baby.  

The next logical step was to visit an OBGYN.  The place seemed legit, from the reviews I could find online, so I made an appointment.  I gave them all of my information.  Three to four cycles a year, high cholesterol without high blood pressure, and even though I had taken ovulation tests for 20 days in the middle of one of breaks, there was never a positive.  I then met with the doctor, for less than five minutes and left with a prescription for Clomid.  Three 50mg rounds and two 100mg rounds later, and still no results.  

It was time for the fertility specialist.  This is where I found out what was wrong with me.  What had been going on my whole life.  The one thing that would explain so many things in my life.  I have PCOS.  For those of you unaware of what this means… it means that I have Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome.  This presents itself in my long lags between cycles, high cholesterol, and excess hair growth.  I showed the specialist my blood work I’d had done in 2008 to prove to him that I had my hormones checked and was told that there was nothing wrong.  He then let me know that my hormone levels were very wrong… and was even quite shocked to find out that the doctor had checked them while I was on birth control.  He could tell by my hormone levels, while on birth control, that they were way off.  This, coupled with a low sperm count with low motility and high morphology from my husband, lead me to believe that our chances were slim.

The doctor was optimistic though.  We decided to try IUI (Intra uterine insemination).  Three rounds later I had nothing to show for all our hard work except a miscarriage (at 4.5 weeks) and $9,000 in the toilet.  I was crushed.  I cried a lot.  I still do cry a lot, but it’s not as crippling now.

Our next step is Invitro.  I am very excited and I am ready to try this next (and final) step.  It’s going to cost a lot, financially and mentally, but I’m ready!  This blog is here to help me share my experiences with infertility.  I’m hoping it will help to keep me sane…. or at least help others learn that they are not alone.  I’ve had so many bad doctors, and unhelpful friends and more bad days than I can count… but I’ve also become much closer to my husband.  This struggle has only brought us closer together. I’ve also rekindled a friendship from my past with a friend with infertility.  I’m not sure what I would have done without her.  I am thankful everyday for her and my husband.

I’ve got three months until we begin…. and hopefully this beginning will lead to many others!