Monday, November 12, 2012


Things that trigger sadness and/or anger:

The bottle of prenatal vitamins in my medicine cabinet
Holiday movies on the tv channel guide
Christmas displays at stores
Diaper ads on tv (have you seen the new Huggies ad with the dads at nap time? Ugh.)
A crying child
A stroller parked on someone's porch
The three newborns in the waiting area of the Original Pancake House
and a million other things.

When I am getting ready to meet my mom, or friends, I anticipate hearing my younger sister is pregnant again or my friend is pregnant again. Same thing when we are getting ready to go to Husband's family's-Brat's wife might be pregnant again, or I imagine someone saying something insensitive and I plan the various ways I would respond. Basically every time I'm putting on makeup or doing my hair, I am preparing myself for battle.

I have begun planning my route through Target to avoid the baby section. Yesterday I was browsing at a local florist and suddenly found myself in the section of baby gifts, involuntarily spun around and left. Saturday I was shopping with friends and had to come up with a reason to pull away from them to avoid walking the baby section.

It is not getting easier, even as we are in our third year of TTC. Everything is a reminder that we don't have a child. Each holiday we spend time and money on other people's kids and it sucks. I'm tired of putting away money into college funds for other people's kids. We should be saving for our children. We should be excited about selecting gifts for what would be our 9-month old baby, picking out silly, adorable outfits for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Instead, the holidays remind me of our constant heartbreak, of last year when we attempted to take care of ourselves and spent the holiday away from family, which we enjoyed, but were punished for later; the stress of continuing to pretend, for everyone else's comfort, that everything is fine.

As we prepare for a few days out of town for our anniversary, I keep trying to focus on how lucky we are that we have the freedom to just leave town for a few days, something we wouldn't be able to do if we had  a baby. It's little consolation though.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Trying Anyway

This was drafted on Wednesday, October 31. I didn't post it because it need refinement, but I just don't care anymore. This is what is happening this week.
I really wanted, actually thought, we'd be pregnant enough to share the news at Christmas this year. This of course will not be happening.

Today I had a follicle scan, which after my first dose of Clomid in months, shows that only the right ovary had GIGANTIC follicles, while my left ovary, the one with the tube still available, had eight tiny follicles.

Crying while lying on the bed in the ultrasound room as the tech began, as they always do, on the right side.

Whatever, the details don't matter. What matters is I am so upset that I keep thinking I need to do something drastic: quit my job, tell Brat and Wife what I really think of them, book a trip to Paris for just me...get my job back in Maryland and move away.

As I've said before, each month we are not pregnant, each time I see some fat, poor, ignorant, cruel woman pregnant, I get so angry. It sends me down that list of all that is wrong in my life, all the things I gave up and how stuck I feel and it's all for nothing. Nothing.

I want to burn the Bible, tell my in-laws how flawed their logic is, educate the innocent on pain. I want everyone I come across to know my pain, and to force upon them new pain.

Husband asked me if I was okay. I replied "no, I'm not." when he asked what he could do I told him he could find a baby, put it in my uterus, make it so I could give birth and breast feed. Clearly, I am not okay.

It occurred to me that life does not really go on for us infertiles. This is not life. This is hell. This is bullshit.

Now it's Saturday, November 3rd and I got a positive OPK today. We will try to conceive despite the fact it's the wrong ovary (ironically it's always the right ovary that produces, even though there is no fucking fallopian tube). There is still a slight possibility, right? If we don't try every month, no matter how slim the odds, how could I forgive myself?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

That Age

Last Sunday I turned 36. That week I had my period, but I was able to not get too depressed because I was at a professional conference and was experiencing some career related inspiration and could pretend I was a happy adult.

Today I had my first follicle scan at HMO since before my surgery. We gave ourselves three months of trying on our before going back for treatment. We thought we would be pregnant by now. Instead we are not, and we have decided that IVF is too expensive, the debt would make us uncomfortable and results are not guaranteed. Honestly after following many of your blogs, I am terrified of going through it. But today, HMO called and told me there were no follicle 1cm or larger which indicates I will not ovulate this month. I don't think I've ever not ovulated. The nurse informed me that this common for my age.

So that's it? Not only do I have a fifty-fifty chance each month since I only have one fallopian tube, but now I'm not ovulating at all some months?

Is this the beginning of menopause? How is this possible? 

All I wanted for my 36th birthday was to be pregnant. It feels like we have reached the end with no feasible options. I'm not willing to try IVF and take on the financial, physical and emotional costs. I can't put myself and my husband through that. We agreed a long time ago this would not be an at-all-costs thing. You have to stop punishing yourself at some point.

So we can keep trying on our own, or we can go through HMO and do IUIs on the rare month now that we ovulate, or we can give up, or try adoption, or we can change our minds about IVF. It seems like every decision is fluid in this process because we continue to find ourselves at the end of the line.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Loss and Support

There are so many women who lost their babies in the last week, it is utterly shocking and heart wrenching. None of them deserve this devastation.

Pissed Off and Infertile
Never Surrender
Just Waiting for My Turn

I am so sorry for your losses. 

It has been surprising to me how everyone in the blogosphere is trying to reach out and comfort, commiserate and show their love to those experiencing loss. We all know the only thing one can say is "sorry" "you are in my thoughts/prayers" "sending you love and peace" "it's so unfair" and offering digital hugs. No words can undo the tragedy.

It touches me that all these women, many of whom have never met, are there in an instant to offer support; that all of these women, suffering in their own loss can share their stories, their heart breaks, their hopes and offer absolutely sincere concern and love. In some cases, these digital relationships are more supportive than our friends and family are in real life. Watching as so many of us check back every hour on a blog to get the updates about a doctor's appointment or test results and then how quickly we are to cheer one another on or offer a kind word, is amazing to me.

Steph at Sometimes was the first to comment on my blog, which was really awesome. Then I found out we are in the same city and she offered to meet up and chat. Her comments to my posts made me feel normal, and not completely alone, for the first time during this whole horrible process. She shared some similar emotions, reactions and experiences and it was such a relief, I broke down sobbing. Even though we haven't met yet, these past few days I have been looking around, wondering if she is walking on the same street, or in the same store, because if she was, I would give her a big hug.

The power of a kind word or a shared experience to let you know that you're not alone is remarkable. For all of us enduring the pain of this cycle of hope, struggle and loss, we can provide support like no one else can. We share our biggest hopes, our deepest grief with strangers, and we lean on those strangers to comfort us and congratulate us when things finally go well. These strangers become our sisters in this difficult journey.

I wish all of us peace and strength.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another Disappointment

Each month when I start my period, I pull the the box of tampons and panty liners to the front of the bathroom shelf, refill my Lancome makeup bag with feminine hygiene products and toss it in my purse. When my period ends, I remove that bag from my purse, place it on the bathroom shelf and rotate the OPKs to the front. The box of pregnancy tests always remains at the back.

Well, after a negative test last night and spotting today, I refilled that Lancome bag and put it in my purse. Had to stop at Whole Foods to resupply my stock and moved the OPKS back behind the tampons.

Today is Saturday and officially day 1 of my cycle. I can hardly breathe. I really believed we were pregnant this month. This has been so devastating that I can't even discuss details of emotions and what happened today. Guess that doesn't matter anyway, you all know what it feels like.

Reminds me that I have never seen a positive pregnancy test (at least my own) and justifies my choice of deactivating my Facebook account. It's too much. And next weekend where my bitch of a younger sister has her two year old's bday party on Saturday, and Precious has her first birthday on Sunday will be absolute hell. It will be a miracle if I don't kill someone, end up in jail or hurt myself. That sounds dramatic, but right now is how I feel. What a fucking shit storm.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Morning

Woke up today and it feels like all the symptoms which I believed to be indicators of pregnancy are gone. My breasts are no longer feeling swollen and tender, the tightness and pulling in my abdomen (which I had Monday night and all day Tuesday) is gone, and I have that physical feeling like I'm going to start my period. Today is only day 26 of my cycle, so it's too early to test, even though I am fighting the driving urge to do so. If I do, and the result is negative, I'll be devastated, but still hope because the results aren't 100% accurate. Therefore, I will wait and test again, and if it is still negative, I will be devastated again, so what's the point? At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Stop overthinking everything, you might say. Well, that is a complete impossibility when you have suffered through pregnancy loss and infertility.

Going through this is like training to become a scientist. You write down all of your observations, check for controls and variables and publish your findings (in a blog). Sometimes the experiments you conduct are OPKs or early pregnancy tests at various days in your cycle, the tissue sample to check for spotting, taking a different angle to view the sample, checking at different times of the day to see if the results have changed, I could go on. Unlike a scientist, however, we do not receive payment (unless we achieve pregnancy), and are often paying for the privilege to be in the situation whether it be IUI, IVF, FET, or other processes.

I would like to retire from this constant scientific experiment. I would like for all of us to be able to do so.

Monday, August 20, 2012

F You Too, Clearblue Easy

I was reading the blog  Not All Dreams Are Free  and saw this picture which I just had to post. This is exactly what it feels like when "not pregnant" appears in the display window. I wonder if the owner of the company who makes Clearblue Easy is aware of all the pain their product has caused us? Maybe the developers could change the display to more accurately reflect the emotional aspect of the tests. Instead of "pregnant" it could have a woman yelling "That's right, bitches!" and show this middle finger for "not pregnant." Alternatively, it could show Godzilla smashing buildings, an ape going wild behind the bars of his enclosure at the zoo, a person setting a stroller on get the idea. 

Constantly on the verge of our lives changing.

Along that theme, I was reading an article today about  Consumer Reports Best Pregnancy Tests, because we are on day 24 of my cycle and I'm super impatient and was desperately trying to find a test that would work this early. I know, I know, you're supposed to wait until at least the first day after your missed period, but those damn television commercials say they can detect up to five days before your period starts. We've been through it enough times that I know it won't work, but do I really have to wait? And because my period starts any day between 27 and 30 (typically, except for the two very cruel day 32 starts this year), that means I have to wait until at least day 30 to test. And last month, I waited until day 32 and then started my period as I was testing!!!!!!!

Since my last post, I'm back to feeling optimistic this month. Husband and I feel that things are different this time (don't we tell ourselves that every month?), and I've continued to not drink at all (which only matters today because it is our eighth anniversary and there was no celebratory cocktail for this gal), to take my prenatal vitamins every day, and my mood swings have been so bad, it just feels like it's possible this time. Then I begin to think well, I have had these symptoms before and it was just PMS, maybe I've made them worse by thinking about them so much, maybe other physical symptoms are psychosomatic. There is no reason to trust my body. This is why having to wait is so difficult... to know there is a set number of days before we find out that we were kidding ourselves or not is brutal.

But that brutal wait will absolutely be worth it if we find out we have a baby growing in me. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

So Begins Another Two Week Wait

This time I am feeling hopeful though. Felt the ovulation twinge on my left side (where there the tube is good), I am not drinking any wine this time and am taking prenatal vitamins every night. I'm trying to be a good girl in an effort to sway the odds our way. To further this goal of doing things differently during this cycle, we avoided seeing people who have somehow always been around during the prime fertility time and therefore we have begun to foolishly blame them for our negative results each month, I'm trying to not think negative thoughts about Brat and Wife, and am allowing myself to feel hopeful. 

I started writing this post on Sunday, but today is Wednesday and I've lost all that optimism. Maybe I'm just tired, didn't eat enough, whatever, but I have been in and out of a low mood for the past two days. I'm angry, screaming at people in the car, feeling very irritated with Husband. Granted, this is how I typically feel, but it has been much worse lately. As a result, I am coping by eating sugar. Seems like I am determined to get really fat, because that certainly will make me feel better. Though I continue to exercise, it's not enough of a release. While I managed to not focus on Brat and Wife this weekend, yesterday and today I have been really stewing. It's so stupid, and I tell myself to stop, which I do, for about ten minutes. It happens when I start to think what if we don't get pregnant? Then I fall into that trap of it's not fair, all these idiots around us have babies, etc. My younger sister texted me out of the blue wanting to go to lunch this week, and to pay....that makes me think she is going to tell me big news that I don't want to hear. Husband and I have been feeling like the second round of babies is coming because the first are all 12 months or older. I'm not ready to handle that if we aren't even pregnant with our first. We are always for the other shoe to drop. Doesn't that sum up all of us going through this?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Another Gut Punch

The idiot that I am, I checked Facebook last night on my way to bed. Yes, my last post mentioned how I hate Facebook and it is just full of other peoples babies and inane comments, but I can't help myself. Sure enough there was an announcement from this old coworker of mine, complete with photos of the four pee sticks she tested on. She is a mess of a woman, nice enough, but with many physical ailments and a whole lot of crazy and medications to tame that crazy. She recently married a much older man and now they are pregnant. Just barely pregnant.
Her posting it so early on upset me because it highlighted the fact that we, those of us struggling with fertility, will never be free to do something like that, outside of this community. We can share those early moments of joy together because we understand the other side of it. We know what it is like to want and hope and suffer loss and so we rejoice in one another's victories. We also know that things can suddenly change, and if the worst happens, we know that this community offers understanding and support. I thought, what if she loses the baby? What will she post then? What kind of support will her one million Facebook friends offer? To have to tell that many people that you are no longer pregnant...
Infertility, I have said before, robs us of those types of unfettered moments of joy. We will always have fear and doubt creeping around, even at our most happy and hopeful.  That fact only adds to the pain of hearing about someone else's pregnancy who has not endured what we have. How dare they have that kind of unencumbered happiness.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

That's Your Baby, Not Mine

Facebook shows me photos of what I try to avoid (here is an article from CNN regarding status envy). Even the friends we care about, their babies become tiresome. No, the babies aren't tiresome, it's having to hear about and plan around their schedules, getting suckered into viewing 15 minute long photo slide shows when you thought you were only going to see one photo, hear about every new type of poop, new movement or mumble. It's the same with those emails that have a link to photo sharing sites complete with hundreds of newly added photos from last month, and a promise of more to come. It's just like at work when people stop by to chat about their kids, when I didn't ask. Standing in line for lunch, at the elevator, at the grocery store. Your baby is yours, why are you forcing them on me? I am not cold or trying to be mean, just frustrated with the self- centered focus people tend to have. Honestly, we all need to remember that what is ours, is ours, and it is not kind to brag, boast or innundate others about it.   Of course I say this as  I write a blog which is all about ME and my efforts to force my misery on anyone who bothers to read this.

Saturday night Husband and I were hanging out with his parents to enjoy their air conditioning. They are big fans of the show Homeland, which we started to watch, it wasn't bad, but it reminded me of the career I walked away from, plus we were staying the night in the room where Precious' playpen is. It was too much, too may symbols of failure in one 24 hour period for me to handle. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Secret World

Tonight I was reading Hope Deferred by Lady Grey Hope Deferred by Lady Grey and in her "About Me" section she mentioned how the blog is her secret world. That phrase really struck me because I often feel like infertility is a secret world, these horrible and painful experiences we go through we keep to ourselves and we feel isolated from the rest of the world. Those of us who have difficulty conceiving operate in two different universes; the one flush with babies and couples who have no idea that some struggle to conceive, and that full of pain, grief, heartbreak and resentment.

It is so unfair that some have no concept of what we go through. They constantly talk about their pregnancies, their babies, breastfeeding, labor, etc. They assume you are doing something wrong and that's why you don't have babies yet. They assume if you just ate differently, exercised more, prayed harder, stopped worrying, had more sex that you, too, would be pregnant.

Ignorance is no excuse. Lack of experience is no excuse. Sympathy, empathy, come from recognizing sorrow in someone else. You do not need to have lived through the same shitty experiences to acknowledge others face different circumstances. Our situation calls for awareness, sensitivity, kindness, but these are traits that so many humans cannot extend or do not hold. The funny thing is that while we are mired in our misery, suffering in our grief and frustration, we have a heightened awareness that others may be experiencing difficulty. Those who have everything they want with no effort are focused solely on themselves.

There is no one in my life who has experienced these hardships, so I turn to the authors of the blogs for comfort, support and kinship. Even though I may silently stalk the blogs and not comment or reach out, all of you have kept me going. You all offer reassurance that my husband and I are not going through this alone, navigating this secret world without a pilot. I am sorry that you are all dealing with this, but thank you for sharing. You may never know just how much you help.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Are You Fucking Kidding?!

Unbelievable. I waited as long as I could. Day 32, 2:00 p.m., I went out to buy pregnancy tests because I still had not started my period. Right when I sat down to take the test, my period started. Now Husband is angry with me for taking a test when he wanted me to wait-we both know my period would come, we knew I wasn't pregnant, wanted to postpone the pain. But I figured that I had spent all morning and afternoon cleaning and running around being very active and it hadn't started, so taking a test was logical.

I'm not crushed that it's negative, I am furious. Furious I was able to wait this fucking long before giving into that excitement and taking a damn test. Furious that my body strung me along for days when all along it had no intention of being pregnant. Furious that we can't have what we want most. Furious we don't have enough money to feel comfortable doing private pay IUI or IVF. Furious, again, at everyone else around us who children, whether they are good parents or not. In my heart I knew I wasn't pregnant, but c'mon, why did I have to wait so long to find out for sure?

What does this mean? The right ovary ovulated instead of the left where there is a tube intact or we didn't have enough sex because husband was camping that weekend and we missed a day of possible fertility, that there is some other problem that was masked by the blocked tube, or simply that we will never get pregnant for no known reason. Makes me want to give up. Makes me want to walk away from everything and just go be alone and not think about trying anymore-just being a woman outside of this fertility madness cycle. Am I the only one who feels this way?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Symptom Obsession

Here we are on day 31 of my cycle, no period yet. Been trying to be patient all week, not expecting anything, trying not to get my hopes up that we just may be pregnant this time. But who am I kidding, I've been obsessing all week! Right now I'm sitting at work and am bored so I pull out my calendar and go through it to see how long my cycles have been and if the start dates have correlated to when I ovulated. This month I ovulated a little later than normal, so I was curious if that's why I hadn't started yet. As I flip through my calendar, marked with "Positive OPK," "I" (intercourse), "IUI," and "Negative Pregnancy Test," I notice that the date of ovulation did not appear to impact the date my period started. Very good. Then comes April 2012, and there it is, a day 32 start. It felt like a jolt of electricity shot through my head. Written in pencil is "period started in the evening. No spotting." This empirical data was building me up, making me believe that if I did not find such a late start date in my records, then this would certainly mean I was pregnant.

This week I had some very light spotting that began on Tuesday and has continued at that level all week. It is way less than what I had when we were pregnant with the ectopic. This has continued to give me hope, while I tried not to hope. It's useless trying to not get my hopes up-everything is a sign that I am, yet at the same time, a sign that I'm not. This time I have little breast tenderness, little spotting, my attitude and mood is as bad as it usually is, but I've been dizzy in the evenings, not interested in drinking wine. All of these things I have experienced before and I know better than to believe them as symptoms of pregnancy, but I want to believe they all mean something.

I track every symptom and I'm beginning to think that is a bad idea. It causes me to over think every little thing and I'm wearing out the binding in my calendar, constantly opening it and flipping through the pages, desperately trying to find some kind of evidence that would prove I am pregnant. It's crazy!

Husband and I have already decided to wait to take a pregnancy test until either tonight or tomorrow morning. A negative test is so heart breaking we just want to put it off as long as possible. In the mean time, it's still possible my period will start. It's also possible that I'm not pregnant, just didn't have a period. My body is so mean to me!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

After a Long Hiatus

It's been quite awhile since I last wrote, and not much has happened. The major event was having my right fallopian tube removed via laparoscopic surgery. Surgery went well, recovery was quick and I was able to see photos of the damaged tube. It was attached to the inside wall of my abdomen and had spots on-spots which the surgeon suggested were scar tissue from an appendectomy I had when I was a little girl. With the tube removed, Husband and I decided to give ourselves three months of trying to conceive on our own. If we are still unsuccessful after that time, we will return to the out-of-pocket fertility clinic for further treatment.

In the weeks following the surgery I felt quite relaxed, hopeful, empty of the jealousy and anger I had been feeling for the past few years. I felt so much relief, that I was able to let go of the absolute hatred focused at Brat & Wife, especially as they sent my flowers following my surgery. This was especially remarkable considering the utter miserable holiday weekend Husband and I spent with his family over Memorial Day. So much happened that weekend that I don't even want to recap it. I will say that even our cousins were bothered by what was said and certain behaviors exhibited by Brat & Wife and Husband's parents.

Sadly, this break from misery was short lived. As more time passes since the surgery, I have felt the anger and resentment return. The more time that goes on, the more Facebook posts about other peoples babies (announcements of how smart, funny, cute they are), pregnancies, etc., the more hopeless and frustrated I get.

We had yet another horrible weekend with the family over the 4th of July. This time, it was so bad our cousins left the vacation house early to get away. Still, Husband and I are too fearful of causing a fight to say anything. So I retreat to our room and cry or take the dog for a walk alone to get away. It's just more of the same-constant discussion about Precious, other people's pregnancies, names for a second baby, on and on and on. Is there nothing else that family can discuss? Every conversation is changed to be about Precious and I'm not exaggerating.

Things continue to be tenuous with Brat & Wife, but MIL is trying to connect with me again and I'm very glad. We have been chatting more and there is some ease in our interactions now. Even as she does and says things that bother me when Precious is around, the rest of the time, she is normal. I have been trying to meet her efforts as I don't want to lose a close relationship with her again.

As our struggles persist, Husband and I continue to work on forgiveness and trying not to take everything so personally. Logically we know that what is done and said is not done with any malice or intent to hurt us, but emotionally, it is so difficult to not react. We are trying, I guess that's all we can do.

This week will tell us if we've another failed attempt at conceiving. This is my second cycle since the surgery and our first attempt at conceiving. I was still recovering during ovulation last month, so we couldn't try then. We are both somewhere in between hopeful and cynical, optimistic and realistic.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just a Tuesday

Today is one of those rare days where I'm in a good mood. Positive OPK this morning, the boss is out of the office and I'm productive at work. That stupid digital smiley face on the OPK gives me such hope, even after all this time.

Managed to get through Mother's Day. I just stayed inside drinking wine, reading and watched the final two episodes of The Voice-I'm so sad it's over! That show is pure entertainment and I get emotional when the performances are really good. Of course, I am emotional all of the time, but especially, during really great songs.
Luckily the day passed without too much emotion, except I started reading a book Husband recently purchased, "Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road" by Neil Peart. It is the story of how he lost both his daughter and his wife within a year which led him to take a long motorcycle trip in an attempt to deal with all the pain. Husband is further into the book than I am, but in just the first three pages I was bawling. For me, reading about grief written from a man's perspective is even more heart breaking because they (typically) rarely discuss emotions. While the book is not related to infertility, it is all about loss and I'm so glad Husband found something that includes his biggest passion, motorcycles, with an emotional element. A sort of self-help book in the sense that it is a man discussing his pain, giving Husband someone to relate to.

Days like this make me feel as though everything really will be okay. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be back to being angry and bitter. Maybe I'm bipolar.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weapons of Mass Emotion

Pregnant bellies instantly bring tears to my eyes. Coming out of the restroom at work just now this cute, younger woman who is quite pregnant was walking directly toward me on her way in. Her belly sticks out a bit like a torpedo and it feels as though there is a direct connection to my emotions. Immediately tears welled up in my eyes. It happens everytime and it makes me disgusted with myself. I often see her in the restroom-either she is is behind me in line, or behind me waiting while I am washing my hands, etc. There are probably three hundred people who work on my floor and two sets of restrooms, but it appears that all of the pregnant women and new moms who are pumping are on my side of the floor so I cannot escape them. These sightings leave me feeling one of two ways: absolute hatred for the lucky woman or utter saddness for Husband and I. It still amazes me how present my grief is and how deeply effected we are by our loss last year.

As Mother's Day approaches I feel increasingly more emotional. We got lucky however, and won't be celebrating it with our mothers this year. Husband's mother is upset that her Precious will be in Hawaii with Brat and Wife so we won't be doing anything with them. Of course, that means I will miss the chance to spend time with MIL without Precious, Brat and Wife. Then my mom told me "I don't think about it now that Grandma is gone." So at least Husband and I will get a bit of a break and the day is free for us to enjoy as we see fit, which will likely be a little bit of yard work followed by entirely too much eating and drinking.

Also, as the month progresses we are getting closer to surgery to have the hydrosalpinx removed. Initially, I wasn't worried, but the closer it gets, the more concerned I am about them messing up. I fear they will take out the wrong tube or cause damage so that we can't even do an IUI but will have to do IVF. We are both hoping that we conceive this month, a viable pregnancy, not an ectopic, and will not have to have the surgery. Of course, we wouldn't know if it's ectopic by the date of the surgery which is equally nerve-wracking. After surgery I have to wait to have a period, then we can do an IUI. We can only do that if the left side is ovulating, which as the first quarter of this year has shown, could be once every three months. I hate this never ending cycle of hurry-up and wait, wait, wait, wait....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mother's Day

While I was searching on ETSY today to find something, anything, to give my MIL and mom for Mother's Day, it ocurred to me that this would have been my first Mother's Day as a mother. This would have been the first Mother's Day in years where I wasn't emotional, disappointed, heart broken. Instead, no matter what I do, it's going to be the worst one.

Logically I know I need to stop doing this. I need to stop thinking if our pregnancy had been viable things would be so different, I need to stop thinking this day or event would be my first as a mother, Husband's first as a father, but I can't. There has been a voice in my head over the last few days that has been reminding that there was a heart beat and in a flash I'm back in the hospital, listening to the doctor tell us about the heart beat and the size of the embryo. It was real just for one moment-our little baby.

Last year I gave cards to my girlfriends on their first Mother's Day, am I supposed to do the same for Brat's wife this year? I don't want to. The thought of standing in the card section at Target having to buy her a card makes me angry and sick. Honestly, like Christmas, I'd rather avoid this holiday all together. MIL was not a great mother this year, neither was mine, and frankly I am tired of celebrating everyone else's children. However, I fear that if Husband and I don't give cards to Brat and Wife on their respective parent holidays, they will feel slighted or feel we are being jerks, even though they would never reciprocate anyway. I just don't want to hear about it again like we did over New Year's after skipping Christmas with them, "But it's the baby's first Christmas! How could you miss it?!" and the phrase I'll never forget, "you just have to let it go."

Yes, I am still holding on to negativity from the past, and despite attempting to not let all these negative thoughts crowd my brain, they sneak in. I'm trying to not give them room, to not allow them to breathe and grow because it would only send me down a spiral I'm not sure I could recover from at this point. So I continue to try to block out the thoughts, the hatred and anger and pretend everything is fine. That is what THEY all want from us because it makes it easier on THEM. Maybe that will be my Mother's Day gift to everyone this year.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I have only one thing to say: Megan Fox is pregnant. WTF? Let's add that to list of celebrities and non-celebrities that have been popping out babies like pez dispensers over the past 24 months. Makes me want to barf.

Husband and I were watching Conan last night, a typically inocuous show where there is rarely any mention of pregnancy or babies. In his monologue he mentioned that Megan Fox is pregnant, then when his guest from The Big Bang Theory, Simon Helberg arrived, they were speaking about his pregnant wife and their preparations for the baby. Really? Twice in one show? CoCo, you let us down!

All we want is a break from the constant chatter about babies, pregnancy, infertility, ovulation, etc. Why can't we get one?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Checking In

It's been difficult for me to write lately. I feel like everything is the same, all my posts are full of negativity and misery and who wants to read that? Regardless, here is another post:

We lived through the baptism of Brat and Wife's baby. Aside from a few comments from the priest about motherhood and watching how awkward Brat and Wife were because they didn't know what to expect because they didn't treat the occasion with the appropriate amount of respect, sincerity or reverence, there were very few times I had to choke back tears. Husband and I feel a sense of betrayal because the aunt we are very close to and have been, is spending all this time and emotion on their baby when they have spent nearly no time with her in the past. It's ridiculous that we feel that way, which we recognize, but it can't be helped right now. It was not an awful event, their frat/sorority friends stationed themselves at one end of the porch and the family (Husband's family. We do not mix with Wife's family-they keep to themselves and are late and not social). The division made it more comfortable, as did all the white wine that I downed. The upside was that Husband and I decided we want to have a bapstism separate from mass, just as Brat and Wife did. It felt more intimate and meaningful versus during mass when there could be more than one baby baptized.

Unrelated to that event, today I visited my younger sister and mother. In an effort to diffuse the tenuous relationship I have with my younger sister, I have been trying to spend time with her. There is a history of lies and manipulation on her part, but I can't stand to have issues unresolved, or more accurately I don't like to have strained relationships. Every time I go over there I hold my breath, fearful that she is going to say that she is pregnant again. Unemployed and living with my mother with her 17 month old and husband, it's an active fear that I cannot control. Just like I always expect hearing that from a friend or Brat's wife. No matter how unlikely or impractical it may be, it just feels like another baby is always on the verge of being announced. She has been working hard to lose weight for many months and has made great progress. I joined her and her husband for a long walk today, the second day of sunny weather this year. Luckily, the only announcement she made today was that she has started taking Effexor to help with her anxiety and social anxiety. Then she rattled on about the theme of her sci-fi trilogy she is starting to write. She and I are so very different, it's difficult to tell that we have any biological relation. It was a nice visit.

Friday, April 13, 2012


This post is already a week old, but I still want to share it. It's a rambling post, but it helped me deal with a very difficult week.

I am really struggling. After leaving the RE’s office last month we felt better because we finally had a diagnosis and a vague treatment and conception plan. Two weeks later I haven’t heard from our HMO so I call to follow up. Our HMO had not received the consult letter from the RE. I phoned the RE assuming the HMO was full of shit and trying to cover up their mistake. Come to find out the RE (whom we are expected to pay out of pocket) went on vacation right after our visit and forgot to dictate our consult and send it to our HMO. His little oversight will put us at least a month behind, if not more, in our plan. WTF? It literally feels like the entire universe is against us conceiving. Sounds paranoid, fantastical and even crazy, but it feels so true.
In addition, this cycle I was late. Late with other physical symptoms which haven’t occurred since I was pregnant last June. We hadn’t even thought about getting pregnant this month since the wrong ovary was ovulating, etc. Two days late is a lot for me and so I went to the HMO to take a test. It was negative. That was so frustrating! Had I just started on time, I would never have had any hope, but being late made me think it was a possibility. This all happened earlier this week and I get to end the week with Easter dinner with Husband’s family.
I don’t want to go to Easter dinner with Brat, Wife and their baby for whom my hatred for has been increasing daily.  That baby embodies everything wrong in my life and is a constant reminder that everything just happens for them. It’s becoming increasingly painful because they now spend a bit of time with the extended family, which they never used to do, but now the baby makes them the center of attention, and so there are more people posting photos of her on Facebook and commenting about how adorable and smart she is. She’s not particularly either of those things, she’s just a baby. No more special than any of the other fucking babies in the world.
Her baptism is the following Sunday and they made Husband her godfather, which is great-for him. Now it means we have no choice but to be a part of every fucking function for the rest of her precious pink life. By the way, girls can where colors other than pink. I don’t want to go her baptism. It’s going to be excruciatingly painful to watch the entire family fawn over her and endlessly talk about how cute she is, how sweet she is, what a great baby she is…on and on on. It’s hard to stomach. What is worse is how awful I feel, feeling this way. It’s just the worst part of me, and I can’t control it.
As things get worse for Husband and I on the fertility front, I’m focusing my anger on the people who have pissed me off including that stupid baby. What I feel is straight-up hate and it’s so ugly. That baby didn’t do anything wrong, other than be born to people I despise, and logically I know it’s wrong for me to feel this way toward her. As all the setbacks occur, my job disappointment increases and family b.s. continues, I am slipping deeper into depression. Every choice I have made has led to a less desirable situation and right now I want to go back. Go back to the east coast, back to my dream career that I left, despite being unhappy in the particular office I was in, go back to friends who don’t have babies and can travel or go out without having to time everything around naps and feedings. Things were not ideal back there, but they were at least different than this. Stuck. I feel stuck and it’s making it more difficult for me to handle these fertility issues.
In an effort to educate myself on IVF and other treatments I checked out many books from the library. I’m desperate to find something to help us, mainly me, cope better. The self-help books were shit. I can’t even bring myself to share any of the absurd information because it enrages me. What has been interesting are the memoirs of people going through all this crap. Even though they are all writers, artists, wealthy world travelers, I can still relate to them. To read about their pain, the fighting, the constantly dashed hopes and absolute obsession with having a baby, makes me feel normal. While I am reading, I don’t feel like an outsider, I don’t feel shame or less-than. Connecting with these strangers through their stories allows me to breathe for a moment, to recognize we are not alone (though Husband and I truly are). At the very least these men and women reassure me that the emotions and pain are not in my head, they are real and experienced by all of us going through this.
However, the memoirs either end in miracle conception or adoption and the closer we get to that, the less interested I am in doing so. When we started out I believed adoption would be fine, the deeper in we get, the less willing I am to adopt. I want to be pregnant, I want to carry Husband’s baby inside me and experience birth. I can be honest, it’s not just about having a baby, it’s about the entire experience and I don’t want to be excluded from that. As our options dwindle and the treatments we are facing will require us to mortgage our home I’m getting more desperate to conceive and carry to term a healthy baby. All of this desire and desperation are fueling my anger and hatred. I feel out of control and have no idea how to calm myself down. Drinking isn’t helping, running isn’t helping, holding back and/or sharing with Husband isn’t helping, deep breaths and other new age bullshit isn’t working. Even writing isn’t helping, but I have to get this out of my head.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Continued Failure

Another difficult day. Had a positive OPK Monday, which was day 10 of my cycle and the earliest ever. Of course, when I tested that morning I got an error and was out of pee, so I tested again Monday night. The fertility clinic is not open, as you'd expect, so I left a message telling them of the result and asking to be scheduled for an IUI on Tuesday. I waited until 9:30 am the following morning before calling back. The nurse was defensive and bitchy-they don't check messages at night which is why they tell us to test in the morning, she had been in a meeting all morning and hadn't had time to check messages, etc. She said she thought it was just the "clomid talking" because that was too early to be ovulating, we could not schedule an IUI until Wednesday. If I really was ovulating, the eggs would still be there on Wednesday, not to worry. I informed her I had a follicle scan scheduled for Wednesday at 7:45am and that I would be over right after to discuss this with her directly following. She agreed and scheduled us for a 9:45 am IUI  on Wednesday.

Got up this morning, got to the ultrasound waiting area early. The technician was very lively, friendly, kind. It gave me hope, but sure enough, only the right fucking ovary had eggs ready to drop. I started crying. Poor technician, she was really sweet, but it was too late.

I cried all the way over from the ultrasound area to the OB/GYN waiting area. After 15 minutes when more than one of the office staff finally arrived for the day, I stepped in and let them know I was out there waiting to speak with the nurse about my scan. The whole time knowing we wouldn't be doing an IUI, but I wanted to talk with her anyway. 45 minutes went by, so I stepped in again and they said she hadn't yet received the ultrasound report. Eventually she called me back and said, "We are right on track, let's do the IUI" I looked at her in absolute rage "There are only eggs on the right side!" She looked down at her chart and said "Oh, damn" and with that I started sobbing. Right there in the hallway as other nurses were bringing in big, round, pregnant women for their happy prenatal appointments. I walked out of the office.

Sobbing all the way to the car, I sat there and called Husband. We had exhausted everything this worthless HMO could do for us and now we are at the mercy of a fertility clinic that is not covered by insurance. Why do we have to pay for a baby? We can't even afford the treatments! Husband said he feels everything is a joke. It's been such an arduous and painful process, what's going to change? If we don't have the money for IVF, we don't get to have a baby of our own?! We have resources, but not that kind, so does that make us unworthy?

Knowing that all of this is because I have one blocked tube is devastating. It's all my fault that we don't have a baby. I've never had an abortion, never had a real reason to be infertile, yet I'm not worthy of being pregnant and carrying a healthy baby into this world. To fulfill the most base desires and function of being a woman, to produce a child-why am I being robbed of this when there are so many unworthy people doing so.

I am a failure.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Would-Be Due Date

Today was the due date the nurse gave us when we were pregnant last year. In honor of our would-be due date, I'm posting the journal entries I wrote when we first found out we were pregnant. ---

Dear Baby, we wanted you to know that you were wanted long before you were a reality. You were tried for, dreamed of, prayed for and the news that you were real made us so happy. 

We had a bit of a rough time conceiving you but you are completely worth the effort. We found out you first existed on Wednesday, June 29. I was sitting in the parking lot of dentist's office after my cleaning appointment and I contacted the nurse to see what the blood test results were. She told me it appeared that I was pregnant. I was thrilled! Stunned! We had taken several pregnancy tests that week and they were all negative, so we assumed you weren't going to happen this month. The nurse told me to come back in two days to verify the pregnancy with another blood test (third this week. See all the trouble you were before you were even born ;-)) I immediately called your daddy who of course, did not answer his phone. I called and called and called. Meanwhile there were two squirrels playing on the tree, doing what looked like trying to make a baby of their own. It was pretty funny and not all the setting for which I imagined I would find out you existed and tell your daddy. 

Finally I got through to Daddy and told him the good news. He was at work with Nonna and Pops, so he had to be quiet and careful about what he said, we didn't want anyone to know just yet. But his whole voice changed. You'll notice it someday, the tender way he talks when he's really happy. He was over the moon. He also had a dental appointment soon after mine, so I waited for him to arrive at the dentist and ran to him when he pulled in the lot. We hugged, all smiles, full of excitement and absolute joy to know you were growing inside me. We've been waiting for you for over a year. 

Auntie Mindy was the first to know. I had to talk about the roller coaster of the week with someone! I texted her about all the mixed information we had received that week and the news that my newest test was positive. She has also been waiting for you. You have a lot of people waiting for you, wanting you, looking forward to meeting you and loving you. Even though it is very early and we had no intention of telling anyone until at least six weeks, it could not be helped. I needed Auntie Mindy at that moment. Later that day she came by with Bradley for some cuddles. You'll love Bradley, he is such a sweet boy. I hope you two will be great friends. 

It's Thursday, June 30, and tomorrow morning I go back for the third blood test which will confirm that things are progressing as they should. Daddy and I are nervous about it, in case something has changed, but we continue to pray and hope you're there, growing. We love you already.  

Friday, July 1 and the nurse informed me today that you are real. We are really pregnant! So much joy! I called your Daddy right away and he is so happy that he cried. He is so happy to know you'll be here soon. The nurse estimated your delivery date of March 4, 2010. That is your Auntie Kimmie's birthday. I'm sure you won't arrive exactly on that day, but it doesn't matter. We are in good health, which is a blessing. More good news on top of learning you're real, is the nurse told me to stop running and start walking instead. I'm not upset about that, running is a struggle! Daddy and I will take good care of you, be sure you get what you need. You're in good hands, little one. We are so grateful to God for you. You will grow up in the Catholic faith and I want you to know God, to have a relationship with Him. Your life will be enriched with the love and care of a parish and of God. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Beach weekend. 

We told your Nonna and Pops on Saturday that you we are pregnant with you. I told Nonna as we sat down for dinner. I had been itching to tell them since we arrived on Friday, but it just never felt like the right time. Saturday evening Nonna asked me if I felt okay,and I just looked at her and said "Michael and I are pregnant" she SCREAMED! Auntie Rosie, Cousin Shawn and Michelle were there, too. After Nonna screamed, she hugged me and everyone was standing in the kitchen asking "what's wrong?!" Nonna blurted out, "they're pregnant!" Then one by one they all hugged Daddy and me. It was the first time I cried since we found about you. So much excitement and happiness. Auntie Rosie cried and cried, which is her way, you'll learn that soon enough, and said that she just knew it. She explained that as she was driving up to the beach house she just felt it was time for us to have you. 

It was so much fun to share the news of you with family. I told you already that there are many people waiting to meet you and who already love you. Everyone is already talking about babysitting you, the things they will teach you (Cousin Shawn has a host of bad habits he's ready to share ;-)) and how Auntie Rosie is so glad to be retiring within a year so she can help watch you with Nonna. You're very lucky, Baby, you get to have a Nonna and an Auntie Rosie to care for you. 

Daddy continues to ask how you are doing and each day he kisses my belly. Cousin Michelle calls me little mama and touches my belly, too. It's fun to fuss over you, even though at this point you are only the size of a poppy seed. You are life, growing inside me, giving us a gift so great we thank God each day. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

We had another blood test today to see how the hCG levels were doing. We're up to 2023-a great number! It made Daddy and I feel more confident that things are going very well. It's amazing how a number can bring so much relief and happiness. I know that you're growing inside me because I have been so hungry! Tonight Daddy made verde burritos-one of our absolute favorites. I was proud of myself for eating one burrito, when I really wanted three. Self control has never been a strong point for me, something I hope not to pass down to you. Tomorrow you'll be with me at Dani's bachelorette party. My first wine tasting where I won't be drinking wine. You're going to owe me a lovely bottle wine to make up for it. ;-) 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Next Step

One of the phrases I never wanted to hear was said by our fertility nurse yesterday, "reproductive endocrinologist." The nurse said that according to statistics, if you're going to be successful with IUIs, it will be within the first four cycles. Seeing an RE is our next step.

In the blogs I read, it's the people going through really horrible fertility problems, pregnancy and child loss who mention their RE. I don't want one. It means something is really wrong. It makes me afraid that we'll have to go through more invasive testing and worst of all, they will find that there is something terribly wrong with me and will tell us that we won't be able to conceive or have a child of our own.

Our HMO has to refer us to a local RE, because they don't provide the service. They also don't pay for it.  I was reading through the clinic's website and they list the definition of infertility for different age groups. For women 35+ it's not getting pregnant after six months of unprotected intercourse. Even if you count the ectopic in July of last year, I am infertile. We have been trying for two full years now-that makes me infertile four times over.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

And Another One

Yesterday my friend told me they are expecting. His text told me they were just past the first trimester and wanted to tell us before making the big announcement. Husband and I are happy for them, but as usual, it is very painful for us.
Husband was not surprised. He expected it, though it still made him feel bad. Those uncontrollable tears I have been experiencing over the last year started right away. Sitting at my desk at work, trying hard to hide them, dabbing with a tissue and sniffeling. I don't know how to not feel this way. Why can't I just feel joy  for the people I care about?
I write this while I'm at the pharmacy picking up this month's prescription of Clomid.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wine and Doubts

It's Friday, had a negative pregnancy test this morning. I am so grateful that I had a weekend away planned. Husband is at home while I'm out in wine country with friends.

These friends are incredibly generous, kind and a blast to hang out with. There is no talk about babies, just blissful adult discussions about people we know, current events and history between us. We drink wine, eat delicious food and make fun of the east coast visitors who are so out of place here.

It's painful and hard to believe that with such a large egg this month on the left side that we didn't conceive. My feelings this week have been absolute rage. I want to lash out at my younger sister and call her names and make her feel like shit because she has a kid. I hate every pregnant woman I see in public and don't hold back giving dirty looks to parents with young children.

The best part about this month was we had no symptoms of pregnancy so we had no hope. It's sad to say that's a good thing. I'm the heaviest I've been, I'm bitter that I gave up a career which was leading to my dream job to move home and have kids, but we aren't pregnant and now I'm stuck in a stupid job with no growth. I feel completely alone amongst our family and friends. My worthless degree and the huge student loans from it keep me from having the freedom to travel and at least do what I want on a personal level. What is the point of it all?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stranger Splits

Today I stopped off at the lab to have my blood drawn to check my progesterone levels which will indicate if I ovulated or not. I was sitting in the line of chairs-picture those old study carrels in the library- waiting for the phlebotomist to make her way down to me, when a delivery driver arrived. My chair was stationed at the end of the line, near the actual lab and the spot where they collect samples and get them ready for distribution. The driver was standing in the doorway waiting for the lab tech to get the samples packaged. I was sitting sideways, staring at the magazine cutout of a local park which was affixed to the wall because I don't like to watch when they stick the needle in, and he commented, "Too scary to watch?" "No, I just prefer not to watch" I replied. "Oh, well how about a distraction?" and he started sliding into the splits. He went all the way down, staring in my eyes the entire time. I was amazed and utterly embarrassed. Then he stood up and said "Not bad for a 58 year old." I told him he didn't look nearly that old, which was true. Then he blabbered on about winning the lottery and that he would blow the money. By then my blood had been taken and a cotton ball was firmly taped to the point of entry. I stood up and thanked the driver for the distraction and walked out. It was very entertaining and completely surprising. Definitely the highlight of this day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

While we were waiting for Husband's sample to be processed before the IUI last Wednesday, we sat in the lobby reading. An old lady came into the lobby area asking a nurse if this was the OB/GYN suite, which she responded yes. The entire lobby was empty but the lady sat in a section of chairs right next to us. I just knew she was going to strike up a conversation, could feel it. Sure enough, she sneezed and Husband innocently said "bless you" and the lady pounced "Oh, thank you. This is some weather we are having."Then she asked "Are you two having a baby?" I knew she was going to ask-it's not an unusual question to ask in the fertility/OBGYN office, but it still made me mad. She claims she used to work there...well wouldn't you know not to ask people that question unless someone was obviously pregnant? And while I am no skinny minnie, I don't look pregnant at all. I responded with "Hopefully someday" and it surprised her. She clearly understood and apologized, stammering out "Oh, I didn't think...that's not what I meant to...I used to work here." And that was the end of that conversation. We sat in silence for a few more minutes and then the nurse called us back.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Any Asshole Can Have a Kid...and Most Do

So now we are now fully on round two. People that I am acquainted with are now getting pregnant with their second child. How do I respond to that news? By crying, of course.

Last night Husband and I were over at our very close friends M&R's house. M told me that one of their friends is pregnant AGAIN. The pregnant friends are people we have known for years, due to the many social event M&R have hosted over the years. They are not my favorite people...their are perfectly fine human beings, just not our style. So of course, the fact that they are pregnant again hurts even worse because I don't particularly care for them. This is M&R's second set of friends to be having their second child. I have no joy for them at all. As horrible as that sounds, I couldn't be less happy for them.

This is the second time she had to tell me someone was pregnant, the last being in November when she told me R's sister (who we also don't care for) was pregnant. M waited to tell me because she knew it would be hard for me. Same thing this time. While I appreciate her sensitivity, it hurts me that she even has to think about what she can and can't say to me. That is probably ironic considering my recent posts about the insensitivity of the in-laws, but really, I never want our problems to cause others to walk on eggshells for us.

To medicate, I drank entirely too much wine last night, which is awful considering we just had our IUI on Wednesday. Now I am beating myself up for it and fear that if we aren't pregnant this cycle, it will be because I drank last night. This is unfounded, however. Crack addicts, alcoholics, prescription pill addicts can all get pregnant and have babies. One night of too much wine before implantation would not impact it. The longer we endure this process the more I realize that drinking, drugs, body weight, beauty, height, finances and mental stability have NOTHING to do with being able to conceive. You can be the kindest person in the world and not be able to have a baby of your own, but the meth addict stealing copper from metal scraps at an abandoned building downtown probably has three kids in the foster system.

I know people with life-threatening medical conditions that were warned to not get pregnant, have a healthy baby. I know people who have horrendous marriages, who said they never wanted children, people who are morally bankrupt...they all have kids. It's difficult to not constantly ask "why not us?" Us, with just a minor issue of a blocked tube, but superb sperm volume, progression and motility and consistent ovulation, with a good marriage, a stable financial situation and a support network, have yet to conceive.

It's a very dreary, rainy, gray Sunday morning. This morning I fought with Husband over something ridiculously stupid, my stomach is very unhappy with me, there is a mountain of clean, but unfolded laundry on the guest bed, I need to vacuum, clean the kitchen and take out the garbage. Instead, I have to get ready to meet my mother for lunch, which I assure you is the LAST thing I want to do. We're meeting at a pancake house she loves, where she will undoubtedly order two blueberry pancakes (taking one home for her dinner later), scrambled eggs, bacon and a cup of coffee. She never strays. Ordering something different is just way too adventurous for her.

Today is just meant to be a crappy day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Smiley Face

Today is day 11 of my cycle and unexpectedly, we got a the smiley face on the OPK. This has only happened on day 13 or 14, never this early. I'm so excited, even though I shouldn't be. I have the follicle scan today at 2pm, and there is no point being excited until we know which ovary will be ovulating. Of course we think this time will be different since the positive OPK is so early. Stupid things gives us hope, which will only add to our disappointment later. It's human nature, right?

The Farm

Yesterday was my first acupuncture appointment. I'm going to a clinic that my esthetician recommended because her friend had similar issues and was pregnant after just one month of treatment there. The practitioner was a Korean man, probably in his mid-40s, with a slight build but about 5'9'' and with a very thoughtful demeanor. While he does speak English, it is not without carefully considering his words before saying them, with a thick accent. During the interview portion of the appointment, he went through the five pages of medical history questions I had to answer and asked very detailed questions, which was assuring. Sitting there while we discussed my menses-the color, consistency, etc., I realized how this is never something that has been talked about with the medical doctors.
*WARNING* slightly graphic details: This is something my older sister and I have discussed before because sometimes the consistency made us think something was wrong with us. turns out, our mother (which my sister only recently found out) had similar issues with clots-the flow was not so much blood flow as pieces of the uterine lining. In addition, he asked me to detail my bowel movements, urination, temperature changes, etc. While it felt a bit strange to discuss these intimate matters with a male stranger, there was no embarrassment, just the feeling that all this information is going to help him, help me.

He palpitated my abdomen and chest and I could feel the difference between my left and right side. My right side was stiff and it hurt when he pressed on it. He told me I must have a high pain tolerance because the way my abdomen and intestines felt to him indicated I had severe menstrual cramps and he could tell I was constipated. It was remarkable that what he felt just by touching my body told him so much that was true about me. It was even more surprising that I could feel it.

He explained the way Eastern medicine approaches infertility is to think of the body as a farm. In order for the farm to be productive and fruitful, you have to prepare the soil before sowing the seeds. You have to get the body prepared to conceive so it can conceive. What we are doing first is to get my blood moving (blood stagnation causes many problems-constipation, bad liver function, digestion issues) and balancing my right side. Once these changes are made, then my body will be ready for a baby. It's simple, but it's so logical. He noted that changes will not be made right away, but over time, and I would have to take the herbs he gave me to complete the process.  It struck me how lacking, at least at our fertility clinic, is in treating the whole person. Not one of the doctors or nurses asked me about the consistency of my periods, how my digestion is, if I have body pain or concerns. Yes, they do have you  go for a whole battery of blood tests to check for diabetes, HIV/AIDS, STDs and other diseases. Yes, they do ask how long you've been trying and do test for problems-the follicle scans, the hysterosalpingogram, but it's all focused entirely on reproductive organs. They don't look beyond those organs to determine what is going on. I understand the philosophical differences between the two types of medicine, but I feel they should be united when treating infertility.

Anyway, the appointment went very well, the needles did not hurt and when he gave me the herbs with which I was to make tea, he had packaged them so all I had to do empty them into a pot-no measuring, just add water. I brewed the tea yesterday and tried it for the first time this morning-not delicious. Unfortunately I am not allowed to add honey or lemon to improve the flavor, so I just plugged my nose and drank it fast. It is to be taken three times per day, that's alot for something that tastes terrible. That's alright though, it's worth it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Here We Go...Again

Today is day five of my cycle and I will begin my fourth (consecutive) round of Clomid tonight. This will be the fifth month I take it, the first being back in June when we conceived. Next Tuesday I have the folicle scan to determine which side will ovulate, then hopefully, the IUI.

Last night was our weekly evening with our godson. We get to hang out with him while his mom goes to a work function. We haven't seen him since the beginning of December and wow, he has changed! He turns one at the end of the month and he now has twelve teeth, is standing very well, he is clearly ready to walk soon, and chatters away. He was once a big baby, but as he gets older he gets taller and more proportionate. He's adorable and really smart. It is so much fun to see his personality come out and notice the behaviors that are similar to his parents.

I recently had lunch with our other close friend and her baby boy. He too has changed in the month since we've seen them last-he has four teeth, is really smiley and observant. There was a couple with a baby sitting at the other end of the restaurant and he noticed the baby and talked to him, from his high chair. His new thing apparently is to twist around constantly. If you are holding him and he is standing up in your lap, he twists and turns until you help him turn around. He wants to see this way, then the other was fun. He's a very intelligent baby and enjoyable to be around.

The way they both smile makes me melt. Husband and I do just about anything ridiculous to get them to smile because it feels so good.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Reprieve From Anger

I have been working on two other posts all week but just don't have the energy to continue them right now. They are full of anger, bitterness and my need to detail every bit of the painful New Year's weekend, the ridiculous conversations that resulted this week and to list all of the "crimes" Brat and Wife have committed against Husband and I. It's pathetic, really. I'm sure I will eventually tidy them up and post them, but right now it's too much negativity and it's making it difficult for me to focus on my job. All week the posts have been demanding my attention, constantly nagging at me to write more scathing comments about Wife or to rehash events from the past that have no bearing now and need to be forgotten.

Don't be mistaken, I'm not full of hope and joy today, I just don't want to be mired in my own pettiness today.

My cycle is on right on schedule, so we're definitely not pregnant this month. We didn't think we would be since it was the right ovary which would release an egg, so that meant no IUI and no real hope of a pregnancy. Still, it's disappointing that it didn't happen. It was my deepest hope that we would conceive on our own, without an IUI, so that the fertility treatments would have nothing to do with our baby. Just to know that our child was concieved naturally, no test tubes, catheters, nurses or flourescent lights would be nice. As if there will be a stigma attached to our child because of the fertility treatments. Silly fears.

I told myself last night it's better to not be pregnant than have another ectopic pregnancy. A small comfort.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Happy New Year! This year begins for us just as it ended- listening to Wife prattle on about her baby and her milk and her lack of sleep. It's 8:44 a.m. (when I began writing) and we've all been up for about 20 minutes. 

I wanted to discuss narcissism in this post in an effort to better understand the amazing focus Brat and Wife have on themselves. They have always been this way, so it's not just the baby, but if there is a single silent moment amongst us, one of them has to start talking and they always talk about themselves. Case in point: this morning in the kitchen the in-laws are prepping for breakfast, Brat is chopping onion and the rest of us are standing around drinking coffee. No one was talking, we were all just enjoying the morning and then Wife comes out of the bedroom, pump bottle full of milk (we all know by now she has no trouble producing milk. She has said so repeatedly), goes to the sink, looks around, and I swear because no one was paying attention to her or commenting on the baby, she just suddenly said, "I hope this is just a temporary growth spurt-this waking up every three hours. I was used to her sleeping through the night."

The comment on it's own is innocuous. However, the comment in the context that no one asked, that no one was talking, certainly no one really cares what her sleeping schedule is and her history of always having to fill the silence with talk about herself, the comment becomes hugely annoying and unnecessary. I'm not offended that she said it, it's just another example of her self-focused behavior. 

Yesterday Husband and I were discussing Brat and Wife's narcissistic tendencies. Husband surprised me by telling me he had been researching narcissism and the causes. According to one source he said, it is caused by extreme insecurity and self hatred. This totally makes sense in light of her eating issues, obsessive exercise and how all she used to talk about before the baby was losing weight and not eating badly. This morning I did a bit of research; according to the US National Library of Medicine, ADAM Medical Encyclopedia, symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include:
  • Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
  • Have excessive feelings of self-importance
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love
  • Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
  • Need constant attention and admiration
  • Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy
  • Have obsessive self-interest

The Mayo Clinic says, "Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism." 

Both of these sources describe Wife to a T. It's astounding she could be so textbook. Other sources claim that narcissists do not have underlying insecurities but really are very confident. They also tend to disagree about the causes of narcissistic personality disorder. It doesn't matter to me, all that I care about is the symptoms are all the same and they apply to Brat and Wife. 

As I sit here in the bedroom typing, I can hear Wife continue to turn every conversation into something relating to her, her pregnancy or her baby. Just now the group was discussing barometers and she cut in to say "what is the point of that barometer? The baby was staring at it." You probably think I'm just focusing on it too much, I'm exaggerating or being just plain ridiculous, and I can appreciate that. But it's all true and not just my perception. It's at least becoming humorous at this point. 

After a very long day yesterday where once again I had to listen to her discuss her parents divorce (because she's the only one who has endured such a painful experience?), how she has all these contacts who adore her and will help her get hired on where she wants to be be working after school,  how small the baby was when born and how surprised they were (really? they measure the baby all the time during pregnancy, you gained only 15 pounds (another point of bragging) and never ate enough because you were too concerned with getting fat), etc., all I could do was drink. I would literally get up and move to a different part of the room to get away from her and she would follow me. I don't want to hear about it anymore! I tried to remove myself from the situation and it was not effective. Who doesn't pick up on irritation, annoyance or dislike when talking with another person? Who doesn't notice when someone is obviously uncomfortable with the topic of discussion but continues to talk about it? 

A narcissist, that's who.