Tuesday, August 30, 2011

here i was fated to reside

Just when you think you've escaped the incessant reminders of your inability to reproduce...

We had an all-employee meeting at work today. All the people from the corporate office traipse down to our site and talk about the different contracts my company is involved in, as well as other ongoing efforts to make money, drum up business, etc.

After the first hour of contract and project management talk, they then turn to the topic of their new ultrasound facility. Oh, joy!

For the next 30 minutes, we look at 3D ultrasound photos. The president of my company goes on to say that there are four things that will never change in this world:
  • people will die
  • um, I can't remember this one...
  • girls will get pregnant
  • and people will have issues affording healthcare
Oh those damn girls getting pregnant!

I can't tell you how enjoyable nauseating it was for those ultrasound photos to be shoved down my throat, once again.

But, I can take a little solace in the fact that someday, if and when I get pregnant, I will be able to have free ultrasounds there. I sure hope to really appreciate that, one of these days.


In other news, I am anxious and semi-excited for my upcoming doctor's appointment in NYC. 8 days away!

I have tried repeatedly calling my OBGYN's office, in hopes of getting some idea of when to expect the results of my IVF pre-screening tests. I would really like to take them with me next Wednesday. Everything I have heard about this new clinic (where the trial takes place) makes me think I need to be extra diligent in getting my records to them. They are a super-busy clinic, and faxed records have a tendency to get lost.

This also means that one of these upcoming evenings, I get to spend my time going through the novel which is my medical records from my RE's office. These are not fun times to relive. Trust me.

Speaking of reliving things....

I often check the stats on my blog, to see where my readers are coming from, and what google searches led people here.

I noticed that there was a post back in February that had gotten a decent amount of views this month, so I went back to read it. And I couldn't stop myself.

I re-read all of my posts from February up until my final, failed, canceled IUI cycle.

That was depressing, to say the least.

Reading my posts when I was hopeful, and then the next full of disappointment. I honestly cannot believe I made it through that in one piece.

It really dampened my mood yesterday afternoon. But, at least I made myself smile with tales of the Oaf who yawned at my vagina... sometimes I crack myself up!


The Decemberists: I Was Meant for the Stage

Thursday, August 25, 2011

For all the hardest roads we have to walk alone

Is it odd that I, often times, think dead flowers are prettier than the alive version?

Tuesday night was the video shoot for the ultrasound place my company recently opened. Thankfully, unlike I posted here, I did not have to actually participate as an actor in the shoot. I remained behind the camera, much to my delight.

There were three pregnant women there, and a handful of children. Initially, I was way too busy playing director to pay too much attention to my feelings and emotions... which was great! I wallow in self-pity enough, no need to do so when I'm supposed to be working!

But... fast-forward to the "pregnant lady on the ultrasound table with husband holding her hand" scene. The preggo in question was 21 weeks, which is apparently a bit too early to have a 3d/4d ultrasound. She had yet to feel her baby kick, and was getting worried. I had my camera set up and had a nice tight shot of the couple. There is a huge TV in there on the wall that the couple was looking at, and when the baby showed up on there, moving and wriggling around, the relief was palpable. The joy on the faces of the parents was incredible.

And in that moment was my first pang of sadness/wistfulness/jealousy for the evening. The husband almost looked more excited than the wife! I couldn't help thinking about how Buster will react someday if we are ever lucky enough to see an ultrasound image of our baby.

But, as enticing as it is for me to lose myself in my wishful thinking, I had to pull my shit together so I could finish up this video shoot. After I got enough footage, I left the room and headed to the waiting room. Several others people involved in the shoot were in there, so I just waited with them.

One woman, who I used to work with, says to me, "That could be you someday," as she points to the ultrasound room.

I respond with, "I can only hope!"

She looked at me a bit strangely, but nothing else was said.

This led me to think (again, I know. I really need to curtail this bad habit somehow) about infertility statistics. I believe the latest is that one out of ever six couples has trouble conceiving a child. I looked around the room, and wondered if anyone else had struggled, or was currently "afflicted" (yes, afflicted. Much like the plague or some kind of black magic sorcery!).

I doubt anyone else there was infertile. I know there's always a chance, but I really doubt it.

So, why me? Not in a dramatic, "Why meeee???" But, a real question. Why me?

Maybe it's because I'm not modest. I'm not a shy person, I never have been. Perhaps, in some kind of sick way, it's better that I'm afflicted, rather than a shy version of myself.

I like to think that conversations I have with people who have no idea what infertility is or that real people even suffer with it are somewhat helping the IF community, and the world at large. And I truly don't mean to sound like what I say is profound in any way, but I think it's helpful for people to know, to learn, and to be made aware.

Who better to spout off about incredibly personal details than me? I can't think of a better candidate, personally.

I remember a time when I was embarrassed to be purchasing tampons. TAMPONS! Can you imagine? Fast-forward to today. I'll gladly talk to any stranger or passerby about my insides and about periods, ovulation, and semen.

Perhaps this causes people to pity me. So be it. I don't care! I won't really know that they pity me, unless they tell me. And if someone tells me they pity me, well, I would pity them, for the response they would receive from me would not be pleasant.


I posted yesterday about my friend Lisa, who has recently gotten some horrible and devastating news. In this aftermath, I have found it odd how some people respond. She has gotten so many offers (who knows how genuine) from people who would gladly surrogate for her.

I realize that those are gestures born out of kindness. But, with a wound so fresh, give her some time to heal! To come to terms. To even THINK of what steps to take next.

I just feel so bad for her, and wish that there were words that could heal. I know there isn't anything I can say to make it better, and I hate that.


 My post title today comes from the Avett Brothers song "Pretty Girl at the Airport"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And the mortars will fall...

My dear, sweet, wonderful friend Lisa got a devastating diagnosis during her phone consult with Dr. Sher this evening. Please head over to her blog and give her some support. She really needs it right now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ICLW and other things

Welcome ICLW'ers! I realize my "welcome" post is a bit late, but it was a hectic weekend and a busy Monday!

My birthday celebration on Saturday night was great fun. Buster and I relaxed all day on Sunday, and it was a perfect way to recover from an exhausting weekend!

And in big news, we have officially decided to head to NYC on my next CD3 to get the clinical trial under way! There is no reason to wait, we have decided. So, the plane tickets are booked! We are only going to NYC for ONE DAY... we arrive there at 7am, and leave at 9:30pm. This means I will not have to miss any work, which is crucial.

The whole booking a plane ticket thing is kind of nerve-wracking. What if AF doesn't cooperate? Typically my cycles are pretty spot-on. 29 days, give or take a day or two. Luckily the "CD3" testing can actually be done CD2-5, so that gives me a little room to breathe. It is still stressful, though! But I don't want to stress, in fear that would delay AF! Argh!


Here is what Buster made me for my birthday:

Yep, you read that right. He MADE those for me! They are shells that he found while we were at the beach back in July. They were actually full-size shells that he shaped into beautiful earrings! He painted them, then removed the paint, allowing it to settle into the "cracks". I can't believe he is so thoughtful and creative! He thought of the idea himself! I love that man! <3


If you recall in a post from a couple weeks ago, I am helping to film some footage at my company's new ultrasound facility. Thankfully since then, they have recruited a *real* pregnant lady to play the part of the pregnant lady. I am officially off the hook!

I will still be helping to film (operating a camera). I have been informed that they have a pregnant couple coming in with their toddler son. The son is going to be able to see his little brother for the first time (on the screen). We need to capture this magical moment.

Just gag me already!

Yes, this situation will be easier since I am not forced to pretend to be the me I wish I was, but this will still be difficult. I will still struggle. But now that my NYC clinical trial plans are underway, this won't sting quite as much.

And for that, I am thankful.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sunshine, sparkles and rainbows!

I'm convinced that the sun is sporting a sick 'stache in this image! Love it!
I realize that most of my posts are leaning towards (if not fully engulfed) in the negative. And I am sorry for that. But unfortunately, not many positive happenings have come out of my TTC journey thus far.

Today, as a change in pace, I'm aiming for a positive post!

As the week has progressed, I have grown more and more excited for my birthday. We are having a little party with mine and Buster's families on Saturday night. I have a super cute dress to wear (that I got on that nightmarish trip to TJ Maxx a while back...), and that always makes it easier for me to get excited about an event.

Buster is going to smoke two pork shoulders for pulled pork sandwiches, my mom and sister will be making coleslaw (my sister makes the best coleslaw EVER), pierogi pie (layers of lasagna noodles, mashed potatoes, cheese, and deliciousness), homemade baked beans (yum!), and macaroni salad. And half a sheet cake has been ordered from Sam's.

I'm going to make some Jell-O shots, too! I found a good recipe for strawberry-banana rum shots. I'll be hitting up my favorite store in town, AKA the party store, to find some fun stuff.


In other news, I am looking into an IVF clinical trial in NYC. I have been preliminarily accepted, but actual acceptance is pending on my CD3 visit with the clinic, and my blood work results. I had to have pre-IVF screening done, which included testing for HIV, Hep B/C, etc, as well as some genetic testing. Luckily my insurance covers the tests (well, 80% of it anyway), so that's a relief.

The clinical trial has two "arms". One is a mini-IVF arm, the other conventional IVF. The study has been going on since 2009, and has resulted in tons of pregnancies. The treatment is covered, but I would be responsible for the cost of medications and travel. It is still a significant savings, and I hope that it works out.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up regarding the trial, however. I tend to do that, and I often times end up disappointed. This would be a great opportunity, but it is not a for-sure thing yet.


 I had lunch with my grandmother yesterday. I've discussed a bit about our relationship in this post, but it's really such a long, convoluted and complex story, it would take a week's worth of blog posts to get you all up to date. And that would probably be boring as hell!

But, the last time we met for lunch, I really got an earful of the whole "in God's time you'll get pregnant" thing. I left that lunch feeling really down about it, and hadn't talked to my grandmother for months. She texted me a couple days ago asking to take me to lunch for my birthday.

I was pretty nervous beforehand, because I didn't want the lunch to turn in to either a) a religious lecture, or b) a bashing of my parents. Luckily, neither one happened, thankfully.


There was, of course, one comment that I really had to work hard to ignore. The baby stuff was brought up (by her), and she asked if I was still doing the shots and IUIs and such. I told her no, that the IUIs didn't work, and we are currently trying naturally until we can save up enough money for IVF.

She says:

"Well, honestly, I wasn't praying for you to get pregnant, since the last time we met Buster wasn't working."

(He had lost his job a 8 days prior to Christmas).


Well thanks for the non-prayers.

Why even tell someone that? I can completely understand if her personal opinion was that we were not financially sound enough to have a baby, but why divulge that information?

I don't want to hear that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

There are things that drift away, like our endless, numbered days

I'm going to be thirty this Sunday.

I typically look forward to my birthday for months. I get so excited, and make lots of plans.  I look forward to the presents and the food and the family and the fun.

This year is different.

I'm not excited. I'm actually dreading it.

Why are birthdays such harsh reminders of my infertility? I am fairly certain this rings true for many women who struggle with infertility.

I can understand the "milestone birthdays" perhaps causing some sadness. For example, I always told myself that I would be done having kids by the age of 30. I yearned to be a "young mom". So, due to the foolish thoughts of my teenage self, I dread this birthday more than any other I've ever had.

But since dealing with infertility, I dread all birthdays. But it doesn't make sense to me, really. I mean, a birthday is a day to celebrate YOU, not to celebrate those that have come out of your vagina. Right?

Logically, I understand. But I cannot separate infertility from the rest of my life. I want to. But I can't. I don't know how.

My sister called me earlier, asking what I wanted for my birthday, "other than a baby".

Well, nothing. Nothing other than a baby.


Iron & Wine: Passing Afternoon

Friday, August 12, 2011


Do you ever think that maybe someday you will get a captcha that is a life-changing experience? Like one that says something that will just speak to you? Like a horoscope?

I am awaiting my life-changing captcha.


Thank you for all of the kind comments on my last couple of posts. Reading through them last night made me cry. Thank you for your support. I can't even express how much it means to me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Left behind

What happens when you no longer have anything in common with your friends? With women your age? What do you do? Other than cry, that is.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

See, those unrepenting buzzards want your life

Much like all of my plans regarding having a baby, IVF: 2011 is no different. It is now off the table (again).

Why did I think it would work out financially? I have no idea. We didn't come into any large sum of money. No winning lottery tickets here. I just convinced myself we could swing it. In reality, I've known the whole time it wasn't plausible.

We are now back to our original plan: IVF: 2012. After one of the cars is paid off. This was the most logical plan. I should have just accepted it from the beginning and been done with it.

But no. I'm a masochist. I am used to the defeat. I have grown accustomed to the disappointment that accompanies anything TTC-related. And I feel as if I belong there. Amidst the squalor and darkness of disappointment.

I was feeling so much better recently, too. Dedicating myself to exercise and healthy eating. And not thinking about making a baby. Well, not thinking about it as much. I need to get back there.

But for today, I'm going to sulk, and pout, and cry, and eat brownies. And maybe have a beer. After all, my favorite Summer Shandy is only around for a couple more weeks.

Between now and IVF: Someday, we may have some more testing done. I'd like Buster to have another semen analysis, but this time one that checks for antisperm antibodies. I'm also considering a sonohysterogram, but I'm not sure. Maybe even a laparascopy. After all, my insurance will cover those things. We aren't so lucky regarding IVF, however.

I'm also going to continue with the baby aspirin and fish oil regimen. Hopefully they can help lower my elevated NK cells and/or antiphospholipid antibodies.

And we'll continue trying naturally. And I'll continue never expecting anything out of those "natural" cycles.


I'm afraid I'm turning into a really bitter person. I hate it.


The Shins: Sleeping Lessons

(side note... this is an awesome song to rock out to in the car. It starts off a little slow and melodic, but around 2:28 the drums kick in and it's really fun to headbang to... not that I've done that while driving or anything).

Friday, August 5, 2011

the beginning; or a new beginning; or the start of something

Today is CD1.

I was nervous that AF was going to play hard to get this month, but she finally arrived. Of course, she waited until I was at work in a dress, but whatever.

Monday, I have my CD3 bloodwork. This is the first CD3 bloodwork I've had where I've needed to fast. I think it's a good thing that I'm finally having to starve myself for some test results! They will be checking:
  • E2
  • FSH
  • LH
  • TSH
  • Free T4
  • Fasting Prolactin
  • Rubella
  • and an ultrasound
The IVF coordinator was a bit hesitant to schedule my CD3 bloodwork appointment at any time other than in the morning. However, after explaining to her that I am coming in from out of town, and also need to be there at 4:30 for the IVF orientation, she obliged.

I have to fast all day, though! I'm going to be a cranky mess of a woman. Luckily there is a Panera nearby, and we should have time to grab something before the orientation. I'm sure there's a cafeteria in the hospital as well, so either way, I'll get some food in my belly.

So I guess these are the first steps on the way to my first IVF. I'm anxious, apprehensive and nervous. I hope I start to feel excited soon...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quick update...

I have incredibly limited time today, but wanted to post a quick update on my appointment with the new RE (whom I will call Dr. W).

It went well. Dr. W is a sweet older man, much like a kind grandfather. He recommends IVF for us (no surprise there). Also, he disagrees with Dr. S a bit. He does not think that my activated natural killer cells, nor my antiphospholipid antibodies are preventing me from becoming pregnant. He did agree that they could cause a miscarriage if I were to get pregnant, though. He would like me to meet with the Maternal Fetal Medicine department at the hospital prior to starting IVF. They would decide if I should be on any blood thinners, other medication, etc.

I am pushing forward with IVF with Dr. W. The way things are lined up right now, it appears that the ET would be about the second week in September. We have several things to do beforehand, including IVF orientation, another semen analysis for Buster, CD3 testing for me, as well as a sonohysterogram.

Another interesting thing is that Dr. W doesn't do a birth control pill/Lupron protocol. I would start with stims CD 2, 3 or 4, and go from there. I found that intriguing.

Ok, back to work for me. I plan to update more soon!
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