Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two book reviews: Good Eggs and Waiting for Daisy

In April, I read two books about infertility. I thought I’d review them here for your benefit.

Good Eggs: A Memoir by Phoebe Potts
This was a whimsical book with adorable illustrations. It was my initiation into the graphic novel genre and it was an enjoyable experience. My favorite thing about it is that she rewards you for looking closely at the drawings – you’ll know what I mean when you read it.
I liked reading about Potts’s journey through depression and infertility. My only complaint about this book is that it is touted as a memoir about infertility, and really, she doesn’t say all that much about it. I’d say half or slightly less of the book is infertility-related. I was hoping for a little more subject matter on the topic.
Overall though, it’s a fun book, charming, a quick read, and you won’t want to put it down. The Huffington post has a nice little slideshow about the book here.

Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Infertility Doctors, an Oscar, an Atomic Bomb, a Romantic Night, and One Woman's Quest to Become a Mother by Peggy Orenstein
I enjoyed this book immensely. Orenstein’s writing style is familiar and easy to read. Her journey is so real and heartfelt. I would say the majority of this book is about infertility, although it’s not without its tangents.
My favorite part of the book comes while Orenstein is in Japan suffering yet another miscarriage. She points out that Japanese has a word for aborted, miscarried, and stillborn children, while in English we just call them “my lost baby” or “the baby I miscarried” or “my child born sleeping.” I thought it was fascinating that we literally deny the existence of these losses my refusing to give the children a name. Equally fascinating is the relationship Japan has with abortion.
I would recommend this book to any and all of you.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

IUI #3 cancelled

Cyst on left ovary (24mm). The ultrasound tech said she couldn't believe I haven't had pain since there seems to be a lot of fluid, indicating I've had at least one other large cyst burst recently.

I'm relieved. I didn't really want to cycle very much. I need some time off.

Thank you for your input yesterday. I spoke to a nurse this morning about getting some anti-depressants. She was very kind and understanding. We will see how it goes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I need advice.

Here is something I have been pondering for several days.

Am I depressed?

My thoughts are so scattered and awkward that I can only express them to you in list form. So here is what I know.

  1. I have a heavy family history of anxiety/depression disorders. My paternal grandmother has been on anti-depressants for 15-20 years. My maternal grandmother was hospitalized more than once for anxiety attacks. And it doesn’t end there (aunts, great-grandparents, cousins, etc).
  2. I have been diagnosed with “major depression” by two therapists, each of whom I saw for a year before giving up on them, and neither of whom ever mentioned the idea of medication.
  3. I am not, currently, the person I want to be. I am an angry, upset, rude, unkind, pimply, tired version of her.
  4. I would rather stay home than go out into the world and inflict my negativity on people I care about.
  5. I don’t feel that I will ever be completely happy, and I never truly feel worthy of friendship or love.
  6. I can’t stop clenching my teeth at night. My jaw is always sore in the morning. This has been going on for about four months.
  7. I’m losing interest in things I used to love. I don’t want to teach or take yoga anymore, even though a year ago yoga was my life. I don’t read as much as I used to. I dread book club because I have to see my pregnant friend there. I make excuses not to go to the gym even though I love going.
  8. I’d rather stay home and watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix than do anything. This is partly because, seriously, it’s an awesome show, but also because it allows me to ignore the world and my problems. I am already terrified of what I will do when I’ve watched it all.
  9. I’m sick right now. So the past few days, of course I haven’t felt like doing anything. I’m also just getting over my latest BFN.
  10. I’m going through infertility. Isn’t it natural to be sad all the time? But at the same time…
  11. …When I look back on my life, I realize that I am sad or angry most of the time. There are a lot of photos of me on very happy days when I remember feeling completely exhausted or worried about something else. Not enjoying myself like I look.
  12. My husband says I am miserable more than I am happy.
So what’s the solution? I’m over therapy. It hasn’t helped and I have enough medical bills as it is. Do I tough it out or do I ask for anti-depressants? How do you ask for those? Can I just call up Dr. Lovely and tell her what I just told you and ask for a prescription? Are there any that are pregnancy-friendly? How hard is it to get off of them eventually? Any advice on this topic would be very helpful. My husband is ready for me to try medication. I don’t know if I’m ready.

How do I know when I’m ready?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CD 1

Well hello there Aunt Flo. Thanks for showing up, and thanks for the completely unnecessary 18 day luteal phase. You always were a trickster.

After talking it over with A, I called Dr. Lovely’s this morning to request a third clomid/IUI cycle. The office had made it very clear that IUI #2 was my last cycle there before we go to the RE, because Dr. Lovely doesn’t want me on clomid any longer than necessary.

But A and I looked at the calendar, wondered what we were going to do with 5 weeks, and I fell back on one of my major rules of adulthood: “Just ask, the worst they can say is no.” And they said yes. I go in for baseline monitoring on Thursday.

I have two main feelings about IUI #3:

1. I’m scared. IUI #2 totally effed me up. It hurt a lot more when it failed than I thought it would and threw me for a loop more than I ever expected. I’m scared of getting the crazy clomid bitchiness. I’m scared of the hope and expectation. I’m scared of another 2ww. I’m scared that I’ll be extremely depressed again next month.

2. I think this will help ease us into seeing an RE. I’ve always read that if it’s going to work, it’ll work within three cycles. I was a little apprehensive going to the RE after only 2 IUIs; if he had wanted to go straight to IVF, I would have always wondered if the third IUI would have been the charm. Now, I won’t have to wonder.

So there it is. Let IUI #3 begin.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The way dream me acts

Last night I had a crazy dream. I was visiting my dear friends Amy and Ben, who live 5 hours away (we are actually going to visit them in July). While I was there, I got online and followed a link from some website, where I read that Amy was expecting and was quite far along because she already knew she was having a boy.

I started freaking out – how could I not know she’s expecting when I’m staying at her house?? I confronted her and asked if she was pregnant and she denied it. I laughed and told her how relieved I was, at which point she told me that actually, she was pregnant.

I completely flipped out in the dream…in a way I would never actually let myself. I was running around frantically, screaming, crying hysterically, throwing myself on the ground. People were trying to comfort me and I physically pushed them away. At one point, I saw a pool and seriously considered drowning myself (I don’t feel suicidal, I promise).

Finally I encountered Amy again and I said the following:

“Do you understand how much loss I feel? I’ll never get to tell my husband I’m pregnant in a cute and romantic way. I’ll never get to come up with a way to announce it to our parents – instead I just get to tell them when we’re beginning treatment, get them excited and then disappoint them when my body fails to do what it’s supposed to. Our babies will be created in an act of science. I will be robbed of my pregnancy when I finally achieve it because I know too much and will have constant anxiety. I already feel robbed of the big family I wanted because I don’t know if I can ever go through this again and might have to just settle for one child. I feel so much loss in my life because of my infertility.”

It was shocking how clearly I articulated this in my dream. Now IRL, I would never have to say any of this to Amy. She’s extremely sweet and supportive.

Also, then the dream became her wedding day, and I was in her wedding (which I actually wasn’t), and I refused to walk down the aisle for her because she betrayed me by getting pregnant when she knew it was my fucking turn.

And guess what…I felt a lot better when I woke up. It felt good to behave bitterly, resentfully, and irrationally in my dream. I would never allow myself to behave that way, but I got it all out of my system in the dream.

I do feel robbed of the things I talked about in my dream, and sometimes I do want to have hysterical, dramatic, very public breakdowns. But now that I identified exactly how I have been feeling since this latest BFN, I feel like I can move on. I’m not angry anymore.

What a productive dream.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

12dpiui BFN

Stopped progesterone and prenatals.

Just under 6 weeks still to wait until our RE appointment. Luckily, I have booze, books, and Burke to get me through it (Burke = Grey's Anatomy, which I started watching this weekend on Netflix).

But still, it's going to be a long 5 weeks and 5 days.

I'm carrying around a lot of anger right now. My heart hurts.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

11dpiui BFN

I don’t know.

It’s not like I thought I was pregnant. It’s not like I got excited like I did the last time. It’s not like I even expected it to work.

But it still pisses me off that it didn’t.

Let’s review: I’ve been on 2000 mg of Metformin for 10 months. We’ve been TTC for 16 months. I’ve done a cycle of clomid/intercourse and two cycles of clomid/IUI.

And I have never, not once, seen a second line.


Disclaimer: I know that many of you have had a much longer, harder, and more painful journey than I have. I’m not inviting comparison here. I’m just saying…it sucks.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

5dpiui already?

I’m at 5dpiui and I’m very pleased with this 2ww so far. Maybe because I don’t really care about this cycle, and maybe because everything moved so quickly this time that it took me by surprise, but I haven’t spent 5 days agonizing over whether or not it worked and it’s been nice.

I don’t really have much longer to wait. I’ll probably test on 10 or 11dpiui, which would be next Monday or Tuesday. Also, the last two cycles I’ve gotten the gut feeling around 7 days in that it didn’t work. I’m not even going to try to ignore that this time. So, optimistically, I’ll know by the end of the week if it worked or not ; )

One thing that has seriously cramped my style is that my nurse banned me from the gym for the 2ww. No Zumba, no elliptical, nothing but gentle yoga and slow walking on the treadmill. I joined the gym immediately after my last IUI failed, so I guess I didn’t know what I was missing during that 2ww. But I miss it this time. I understand the precaution, but I’m really growing tired of making personal sacrifices for pregnancies that don’t even end up existing.

On the symptom front, there’s nothing to report. Some mild cramping. I feel like my boobs are bigger, but that’s probably because I’m gaining weight from not making it to the gym. Mainly, I’m dealing with crippling constipation which I’d be thrilled to blame on the progesterone but actually started long before my insemination. It’s so bad that my whole abdomen hurts when I move. I’m thinking of self-administering an enema at home because I’m so uncomfortable.
In other news, I booked a ticket to San Francisco over Labor Day weekend. I couldn’t be more excited. I have a friend from high school who lives 40 minutes outside of the city. I went last year over Memorial Day weekend and I loved California and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. I’ve been looking at tickets about once a month and just happened to find some cheapies for a weekend when Laura was free. This time I get to go for three and a half days, instead of just two and a half, and of course my lodging is free, so it will be a wonderful trip.

(I didn’t bother to ask my nurse before I booked the tickets. I figure even if I’m 5 months pregnant with twins I’d still be able to fly. Plus, I stressed out so much about planning our cruise because I was certain I’d be pregnant by then and look how that turned out! I’m determined to plan on this IUI not working. I did buy the trip insurance though – I’m a sucker for that stuff.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

IUI #2 is complete

Everything went great. My favorite nurse did the IUI (the one who did it last time) and we had a nice little chat during the procedure. I love how they are so familiar with me now. Yesterday the ultrasound tech said "you know the drill" when she saw me. Literally.

I will be sad if this doesn't work and I have to get used to another entire set of staff. But at least when I finally do get pregnant I'll get to come back to these people.

Anywho...apparently the two samples of A's sperm were both fabulous, one at 57 million and one at 115 million (!) and excellent morphology and motility. The nurse did a hilarious little impression of how sperm look under a microscope ("Some of them just swim around in a frenzy, not sure which direction to go!").

She also told me they've had 3 infertility patients get pregnant in the last two months, and the latest they just found out about today.

On our way home there was a rainbow in the sky. You know I don't really believe in God, or at least not a Christian God, but I'll be damned if it didn't make me wonder.

I am determined not to get my hopes up. My goal is still to just ignore that this is even happening. But that's going to be hard to do while shoving progesterone up my hoo-ha twice a day for the next two weeks!

Let the two week wait begin...