Friday, December 31, 2010

I have such a big heart.

I called the nurse promptly when the phones opened at about 8:30:01. Turns out that while my tubes are clear, I have a bicornuate uterus, also known as heart-shaped. This can increase your chance of miscarriage and pre-term labor. So when I do get pregnant (it takes a lot of guts to say "when") I will have to be very closely monitored.

The nurse did say that they have several patients who also have fucked up mutant parts, and have had uneventful pregnancies. And I know that my dad's sister has a heart-shaped uterus - she had two boys with no problems and didn't even find out until she had her hysterectomy.

So I'm not too upset about the news. I mean I have to get pregnant first, then I'll worry about staying pregnant. Of course it sucks that yet another part of me is abnormal. The freakishness couldn't have stayed confined to my ovaries. I wonder what other parts of me are the wrong shape?

In IUI #1 news, I had a monitoring appt today, at the hospital instead of Dr. Lovely's office (damn NYE) and had one 11 mm follicle on my right and nothing impressive on my left (biggest was 9 mm). The u/t said my right ovary had 11 follicles and my left had a bunch too, but I think she might not realize I have poly cystic ovaries.

It only takes one, right?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I can't take any bad news on NYE

I just woke up from a nap and had a voicemail from Dr. Lovely's office. The nurse had a weird tone of voice and said she needed to go over my HSG with me. She gave me the office number twice and said to call promptly at 8:30 tomorrow morning and tell them I was returning a call and they'd put me right through.

Seriously, what could be wrong? I saw the dye spill out both tubes with my own eyes. I wish I hadn't listened to that voicemail because now I'm going to have a miserable night wondering what they need to "go over" with me. : (

Good fertile friends

The following email I just got from a friend took my breath away. Sometimes I forget how nice fertile people can be when they try:
I am SO excited about the IUI ! As usual, I'll be sending prayers your way. And the support group sounds awesome-- there's nothing better than experiencing a situation with people who have been through all stages of the same situation. 2011 sounds like it is starting off so great and I cannot say enough how excited I am for you! 
I have to tell you this... I was swept into the idea of pregnancy by believing that I indeed was pregnant... just a bunch of random symptoms have been going on- my breasts have been ridiculously tender, I've been feeling very fatigued, random cramping, backaches, frequency in urinating (like once every hour- if not twice an hour), etc... and since I've gotten off the pill, I can't quite figure out when my period is going to be and it's been over 6 weeks since the last one. So anyway, I was pretty convinced and although we're not out right trying, I was so excited at the thought. Long story short, I just took a test and it came up negative. And I swear it did it in a very mocking sort of way--- like the quickest result probably every created (less than 2 seconds). And I sat there for way past 2 minutes staring at it wishing that it would become a cross instead. And afterwards I just felt so sad- heartbroken actually- and felt like I could barely breathe. I've just been so convinced for the past couple of weeks that it was true. I was planning out creative ways to tell our families and everything. Ugh. And I can't even imagine doing more of these and seeing the negative sign again... it was such a terrible feeling. So I've said it before but I'll say it again... you have to be one of the strongest and bravest women I've ever known. I know what I experienced today isn't even close to what you've gone through and I can't even imagine... I just really really admire you.  
So on that note, I just wanted to wish you an amazing start to 2011 and again to let you know that you'll be in my prayers. I can't wait to see what comes your way this year and I'm so thankful to be a friend of yours so I can witness it as it comes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


First of all, let me say that the HSG hurt like a motherfucker. I think they got the custodian to do it because that dude was not a doctor. He couldn't find my cervix and had to use the speculum two (or three?) times. The catheter hurt, he said I was having a uterine spasm, I don't know if he made that up or what but something went wrong. Ouchity ouch ouch.

As I lay there crying and in the most pain I've had in years, I thought two things to myself:

1) Jesus, I hope the IUI doesn't hurt like this, and
2) How in the world am I going to have a BABY?


PS all tubes are clear, I saw the proof with my own two tearful eyes. Cramps are gone and I'm home to sleep it off.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in review

Christmas weekend is over and I only had a total of ONE meltdown. Can you believe it?!

A's family's Christmas Eve celebration was just over two hours away from home. We drove 45 minutes to his parents' house and rode the rest of the way with them. All was fine, we visited and ate, etc. I was a little homesick. This is only the third Christmas that I've spent away from my family on Christmas Eve and it's still a little hard for me.

The drive back to A's parents' house was uneventful, but once we got into our car to go home, the drama began. The roads were awful. We had to go 35 mph on the interstate and there were cars in the ditch. I couldn't conceive of us possibly getting to my parents' the next day for Christmas (an hour and a half away). So the tears started.

So there I was, driving home from Christmas Eve, crying because all I wanted was to spend Christmas with my family.

Of course, the roads were MUCH better the next morning and we made it there with no problems. But it pretty much felt like the end of the world on Christmas Eve night.

My dad's side of the family handled everything very well, infertility-wise. My dad's twin sister had similar issues (albeit 25 years ago) and she got pregnant through IUI. She pulled me aside to ask how things were going and was excited to hear that we have one of our own underway. There was also a VERY heavy implication during the prayer about how we all could have our wishes granted in 2011. My mom's side said nothing but that's to be expected.

I love my family to death and I wouldn't trade them for the world. But sometimes I wonder how on earth I share genetic material with them. My grandpa got Glenn Beck's book for Christmas and proclaimed him "my hero". There was talk of SARAH PALIN for Christ's sake. Her book AND her TV show. Anyway, they're very different from me, but I love them regardless, and I guess that's what family means.

It's also worth mentioning this was the first Christmas of my entire life that I didn't go to mass. Ostensibly the weather prevented us from traveling there on Christmas Eve. But really, I can't show my face in the Catholic church anymore. It's been years since I could feel comfortable being there, and it was all kind of a sham anyway. There's really no point in going to church just once a year.

Next up: a week of vacation, lots of fun plans, an HSG, and a quiet NYE.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cleared for IUI far

That's right, we're in the clear but not 100%. I have a bunch of paraovarian cysts that won't go away, but apparently those are outside the ovary and won't be aggravated by the clomid. But the ultrasound tech didn't feel comfortable making that call on her own, so she had to consult the doctor, who was out delivering babies (of course). So a few hours later we found out we are indeed okay to medicate and proceed with this cycle.

I asked about having an HSG since my handy Resolve fact sheet said it was a recommended procedure before IUI. They were surprised I hadn't had one yet, so I'm going in next Wednesday to have that. Luckily I already have next week off and I had no plans on Wednesday.

Does this hurt? They are giving me antibiotics and pain medicine to take an hour before the procedure, so I think I should be okay. I'm most worried about the antibiotic because I tend to have pretty severe stomach issues on antibiotics.

So as long as they don't find that my uterus is shaped like a butterfly or something then we're good to go!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Hello Aunt Flo. You arrived just in time for the holidays!

I have an appointment at 11:30 tomorrow morning to make sure that damn cyst is gone for good. I'm thinking that the chances of it hanging out through 21 days of BCP are pretty slim, right?

Also, kudos to me for asking for BCP. That cycle only lasted 25 days!! None of this "wait till day 40 for your period" business in this family.

This means IUI #1 is officially under way!

PS- Am I a total nerd because I will most likely print out this sheet to take with me to my appointment?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Starting a Resolve support group!

I have had the most incredible lazy Sunday. I've gotten stuff done around the house, read a chunk of my book, and it has been relaxing. Even though I am completely apathetic about sports of any kind, and so is A, I have had football on all day. I can't tell you who it is playing or what the score is or anything about the game, but the lull of football game noises remind me of lazy weekends growing up at my parents' house. A is out and would never want football to be on all day so it's been nice : )

Anyway, I didn't write this post to talk about my football non-watching!

I officially got the go-ahead from the Resolve folks to start an Infertility Support Group here. I am SO excited. I'm hoping to get it started the second week of January. I plan to use an afternoon of my week off after Christmas to hang fliers at the OBGYNs and mental health professionals here in town.

The fliers will only be up about two weeks before the first meeting. I'm fully prepared for no one to show up in January, and maybe even February. But I hope by March I'll have a good group of people.

I live in a "twin cities" of sorts, with a combined population of around 120,000 people. And there are a ton of "bedroom" communities around here that aren't included in that number. There's no reason for there not to be a group like this here! I'm astonished that this will be the first one (and trust me, if there were one already, I'd know about it. I needed it desperately this summer!).

The only hiccup I'm having is that it's a lot harder than I thought it would be to find a location. I really had hoped to reserve a community room somewhere - a library, city hall, a hospital, etc. That doesn't seem to be working out, for various reasons. I am EXTREMELY reluctant to have it at a place of worship, for reasons I don't need to go into.

I've decided if I haven't found somewhere by this weekend (Christmas), I will just hold the group at a coffeehouse for the first 6 months. If that doesn't seem to be working out, maybe an alternative will have cropped up by then.

A Panera or someplace like that isn't ideal because there's not much privacy. But I'm planning to have the group after dinner-time, so it's not like it will be packed. Obviously a private room would be better but I think this is a good back up plan.

Any thoughts? Would you attend a support group at a Panera?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sad because my friends are normal.

I have a friend. We’ll call her J. J and I have been close friends for two years and known each other for five. This year, things have gotten a bit strained. I feel like I am going through something really hard and since she knows about it, I get frustrated that she so often needs me to help her with problems. I have no patience or compassion for snarky co-worker drama or things of that nature. I wish that she could understand that it’s hard enough to keep a friendship together through infertility without one friend being needy.

Anyway, I try not to let it show because J doesn’t know any better, having never gone through infertility herself. But this fall she emailed me asking about HPTs and OPKs and what brand to buy and it was all too much. I had to open up and tell her that I can’t talk to her about their TTC journey because mine is too raw. I told her how broken and alone this makes me feel and that the idea of her TTC makes it worse. So we don’t talk about this subject.

That was a few months ago and it appears to have worn off. Yesterday she mentioned in an email (in code words) that it sure is hard to rally and have baby-making sex on the nights you don’t want to. I didn’t want to talk about it but today she said something again, about how she’s cranky because she’s tired (implying that she was up trying to make a baby) and that her husband is annoyingly chipper with daily sex.

I am ashamed to admit how much it hurts to think of them TTC. It hurts me to think that they get to try like normal people. No popping pills and constant probing at the doctor’s office like A and I do. No injections or painful procedures like other people have to do. Just regular old sex (which she has the audacity to complain to me about) and then POAS at home. I have never ever gotten to do that because my cycles have never been regular enough.

We started TTC a year ago, when J was still “definitely not ready”. How is it fair that she will most likely end up having her baby before I do? I was ready first. That is not how it’s supposed to work. Why do I have to wait?

I feel so hurt from these two innocent emails. And I am spiraling, telling myself what a bad person and friend I am. I want to cry for the TTC journey that other people have that I don’t. I want to cry for the bad friend that infertility has turned me into. I want to cry simply because I want to cry, and deep down I don’t want to be a sad person, I want to be a happy person. And I want to cry because I’m not that person who I want to be. Infertility has robbed me of that.

The day that she tells me she is pregnant I will have to crawl into bed and cry for hours. I honestly don’t know how I will be able to take that news without being devastated. I feel like I have been punched in my stomach just thinking about it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A year of infertility in review: 2010

January: Naively thought I ovulated like a normal person my first month off the pill. My first ever BFN. Waiting for my period, but it’s late and not for the good reason.

February: Wondering what’s going on. No period for a long time now. OBGYN tells me to call back in April if no period.

March: Took a week off work and it was lovely. Spent a night in Chicago with my hubby. Tried not to think about my MIA period.

April: Still no period. OBGYN prescribes Provera. I am told it will regulate my cycles, so I pee on OPKs for 10 days until I get something that looks like a positive. Lots of S-E-X. Cycle lasts 45 days. Finally get an appt with OBGYN to see WTF is going on.

May: Diagnosed with PCOS. Upset but hopeful. OBGYN tells me that with the help of Metformin and clomid, I will be pregnant by Christmas. Took a trip to California, it was AWESOME.

June: A horrible month. Depressed, feeling isolated and hopeless. The Metformin makes me sick almost daily and is not regulating my cycles as promised. Looking around wildly for an infertility support group but can’t find one anywhere. Trying not to look as depressed as I feel as I attend three weddings and a family reunion.  Have a little fun despite myself.

July: My birthday. Month two of Metformin, finally stopped feeling sick.

August: Month three of Metformin. Still no cycle. Our second wedding anniversary. Never thought on my wedding day I’d be childless on my second anniversary. Took a weekend trip to Chicago with a friend, had a great time.

September: Finally on to the next step since the Metformin did jack squat for me. 50 mg of clomid and a discouraging ultrasound when I found out that I didn’t respond. Was sad for a few days and then recovered. Was thrilled when AF arrived without Provera for the first time in 9 months!

October: Switched OBGYNs to Dr. Lovely. EXCELLENT idea. Start 100 mg of clomid with much more monitoring and general competence. First confirmed ovulation in 10 months. Finally get to do a trigger shot, timed intercourse, and progesterone suppositories.

November: BFN. Happy Thanksgiving. Next cycle cancelled due to cyst. Huge sperm scare. Hubby is depressed for two weeks before we find out we have nothing to worry about (hopefully).

December: Looking forward to a January 2011 IUI! Plans are in the works to start a Peer-Led Support Group in my area. I am amazed at how far I have come and how much better I have gotten at dealing with anxiety and disappointment. My marriage is stronger than it’s ever been. I did not get pregnant this year but I succeeded in many other ways. I am hoping that 2011 will be my year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Planning ahead!

One of the hardest things about infertility is planning for the future. I am going on a cruise to the Caribbean in early March. Yay!! I’m so excited about it, as A and I have not been on a vacation together since our honeymoon!

We are stopping in three ports and the excursions look awesome! Horseback riding in the ocean! Snorkeling! Clear Kayaks! Glass Bottom Boats! Of course, if I get my wish and get pregnant from the January IUI, I won’t be doing any of these and will be opting for the excursions that include guided walking tours and bus drives through the city.

We are traveling with another couple and I feel bad making them wait until late January when we know the results of the IUI to book the excursions. And if we don’t get pregnant in January we will hopefully have a February cycle we can pin our hopes on. I could be like 3 weeks pregnant on our cruise if we conceive in February.

What am I supposed to do, POAS the night before we leave and book our excursions based on the results? I am a planner, damnit! I want to decide this stuff now! I’m impatient and I want to know if I should be daydreaming about snorkeling or walking around looking at ruins and architecture. Either is fine. I just want to know now!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hey, it's hard work getting pregnant, too.

I realized today that I have one week of BCP left before I start the placebos. How did that happen? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was upset that this cycle was cancelled. I guess all the worrying about A’s sperm made the time go by quickly! (Thanks honey!)

So by my crude calculations, I can anticipate my IUI being sometime around January 5. Eek! That is super soon!

I am extremely fortunate to have a flexible work environment. I can come and go as I need to for monitoring appts, use my lunch break, etc, and my boss is very understanding. Here’s my question. I am using PTO to take off the week between Christmas and New Years. So on January 3, I will have just returned from a 10-day absence (10 days including the company holidays and weekends in between).

I had always thought I would take the day off if I had an IUI and use it as an excuse to relax. However, I won’t need much relaxing because I will have just had vacation. Plus, how crappy is it to ask my co-workers to cover my work for a whole week and then take a day off the week I come back?

On the other hand, my “back up” at work knows the basics of what I am going through and is very supportive and sweet. Not to mention, I have done my share of covering for her, considering I’ve worked here for two years and in that time she has taken two 12-week maternity leaves (but I’m not bitter about her fertility…).

I have a cushy desk job where I will be mainly sitting all day. My work is not stressful.

What would you do?

Take the day off to sleep in and focus on creating an embryo?

Take an extended lunch break and come back to work all knocked up with my hubby’s sperm?

Or maybe compromise, try to schedule the IUI for after noon, and take a half day?


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowed in.

I don't have anything to say but I've got to get that awful last post off the top of my blog!

The hubs and I are snowed in today. It's awful out. I couldn't be happier. My dearest friend got me Glee Season 1 on DVD for Christmas and I have a giant stack of library books. My warm house is very welcoming today. It has been and will continue to be a lovely Sunday.

A and I should not be trusted with Christmas presents this early in the season, we have already gotten bored and exchanged two gifts. Haha.

Anywho, just wanted to tell you it has been a happy weekend. : )

Friday, December 10, 2010

Well I’ll be Good God Damned.

Edit: I’m sorry this post is so “poor me”. I was fresh off a fight with my hubby about my attitude, which ironically always makes my attitude worse. I think we have smoothed things over. I also spoke to Dr. Lovely’s office who wants to move straight to IUI next cycle. So my lamenting about clomid was pointless anyway. I just hope A is okay with the idea of IUI.

We had our appt with the urologist today. Yesterday A went to the local hospital lab to provide his third SA. This one was a little different because it wasn’t analyzed by Dr. Lovely’s OBGYN office, and was apparently more thorough. Also, A collected at the facility instead of doing it at home and driving the specimen into town (20-30 minutes).

Well apparently that made all the difference. Results were 100% normal. Motility at 60% -- the low end of normal but not what we thought we were dealing with. Everything else perfectly in the normal range. Morphology results pending. The urologist said everything looked great and he can’t explain the two previous horrible results. He did a quick exam and said A has very mild varicocele on the left side but it shouldn’t be anything to worry about.  

So it’s very, very good news but I am surprisingly numb. Now I am looking at hopping back on the train in January with more clomid cycles. This is what I wanted just a few weeks ago. I don’t know why I can’t be happy about it.

It’s just that for a while A and I were on the same team. A damaged, depressed, heartbreaking team for sure. But we were solidly there together. Now, we have already moved back to the place where I’m the bummed out infertile and he’s the one telling me to stop being so negative. I don’t know how to make him see that I am being as positive as I possibly can. I am trying to do this thing as well as I humanly am able.

I was depressed about A’s supposed diagnosis, but I was also looking forward to pulling out the big guns and heading to IVF. Now we’re back with stupid clomid and intercourse, which in my heart of hearts I don’t believe will work. It feels like a waste of time. And what if I have to do two more cycles of clomid and take a break each time because of cysts, like this time? I don’t want to drag this thing out. I asked A if we could head straight to IUI but he doesn’t want to. I just feel like the ups and downs, the hormones, and the heartache of clomid isn’t worth it for the slight chance it will work.

I guess I can’t blame him for calling me negative.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The plan sucks.

The newest thing I love about infertility:

When someone asks you how treatment is going and you say “It’s not going well at all. It’s been very hard on me and on A.” but you spare them the gory details. They are kind, well-meaning and empathetic. All seems to be going well until they say those dreaded words…

“You know, God has a plan.”

Really? Well I don’t think he has one for me, because I don’t even know that I necessarily believe in him. I believe in something but I sure as heck don’t believe in a Christian God, the one I was raised to believe in. I have tried to believe in him but I just don’t. Kind of like how I have tried to not have PCOS but I just do.

Also, if GOD has a PLAN I think the plan SUCKS!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Support from a friend

I only have one friend who knows pretty much everything. Ironically, she’s not even my closest friend, but she works with me and therefore we see each other the most. She had no problems reproducing herself (she got pregnant with her first on the BCP for Christ’s sake), but she has had several friends who have struggled with infertility. So she has been thoroughly vetted and would never tell me to “just relax”. She also has a daughter with spina bifida, so she has been on the receiving end of bad medical news.

Last week she sent me this email because she knew I was upset by A’s test results (I’ve changed all the names). I am thankful that I have a friend who supports me so thoroughly, and though it wasn’t written to any of you specifically, I know that she would tell you all the same thing. So, because we all need a few words of encouragement, I will share with you.

PS the quote she mentioned that I put on my facebook is “And there’s always retrospect, when you’re looking back, to light a clearer path. Every five years or so I look back on my life and I have a good laugh.”

I wanted to get you a card today, but the timing didn't work out this morning, and so I thought, "Well, I should just wait until I can get her a card" but really, it's the words that matter more than a cute card with flowers on it, so instead you get an email. :-)

I just wanted to tell you again how sorry I am that things did not go as you had hoped yesterday. You seem to be handling it amazingly well, but I know it was yet another disappointment to both of you. Just keep your focus on what's in your heart and you will get there. I really liked the Indigo Girls quote you had on FB yesterday about looking back in 5 years. It is so true. I think that all the time about Elizabeth. When we first got the news, we were devastated and sure the world was collapsing around us. Just a year after that first diagnosis, I remember looking at her and thinking "She is here, she is doing great, she is as healthy as we could hope for, and I never could have imagined feeling this good about it all a year ago".

You will get to that point, too. In five years, your life will be so different from how it is today, in ways you can't even imagine. There are so many ways to become a mother, and the "traditional" route is just one of many. However you and your child come to each other, you will know that things happened exactly as they were meant to, because they brought you to YOUR child. Not just "a child" but your child, the one that belongs to you, and that you belong to. And you wouldn't have had that same child if things had been different. Call it fate, destiny, God, whatever your spiritual beliefs are, I truly believe that you will end up with the child that was meant to be yours.

You guys will get there, and you will realize that it couldn't have happened any other way. You and A are going through something most people don't have to deal with, and it will make you stronger as a couple. John and I look at other couples bickering, and sniping and we just think "You have no idea. You have no idea how little you have to complain about, yet you can't be happy with what you have"- we are a stronger couple for going through our journey together and it has built a faith in each other that we wouldn't have had otherwise. We've been through some pretty sh*tty things, and we are still together. We sometimes joke that we went through about 30 years worth of marriage stress in the first five years of our marriage. We both know that the other one is in it for the long haul and didn't bail out when things got tough. You and A are learning that about each other now, and your marriage will be stronger for it.

Any time you need to talk, or vent, or cry, I am here for you.

I hope you have a great day today!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Update and Wicked

Hello everyone. I really appreciate the love, support and advice left in the comments on my last post. A and I are doing surprisingly well. In fact, I don’t know if we have ever felt closer or loved each other more than we do right now. This horrible situation is bringing us together, which I am thankful for. However, I do wish it could have been a stunning vacation or something more pleasant that could have done the trick.

This week is a long waiting game until Friday when we meet with the local urologist. I haven’t decided what to call him here because his real name is so hilarious it’s hard to top. I looked him up online and he looks handsome. It will be interesting to get men playing at this game, so far I have only dealt with women.

Although I would never have wished this on A, it’s a relief to know this appointment on Friday doesn’t hinge on me. Not that there’s ever anything I can do, logically, to control the outcome of my own bloodwork, sonograms, etc, but with issue being in someone else’s body, this is seriously out of my control.

I guess the worst news we could hear is that even IVF w/ICSI won’t work and that we had better start the grieving process for a biological child of our own and look into adoption. Somehow I don’t think it will be that simple though. I really don’t know what to expect.

In other news, this weekend I went to see Wicked and I picked up the book to read. I feel a special kinship with Elphaba. Not that I’m green (although you wouldn’t know, would you, never having seen a photo of me?). But I can relate to her in other ways. Misunderstood, always acting with the best intentions that seem to backfire, etc. I think if she were real we could be the best of friends. I especially like these lines she sings:

Ev'ry so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
But that doesn't soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in

Much love.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

repeat SA

The results were bad again. A's sperm don't move at all. They are either dead or completely still.

We have an appointment next Friday with a urologist to determine if this is treatable.

I am sad for what this means for us, but my heart really breaks for my sweet husband. I have never seen him so crushed.

If anyone has any experience with this, we could really use some information. We don't know what kind of questions to expect or what kind of tests might be run. Dr. Google isn't much help, as it seems this condition is pretty rare.