Monday, November 21, 2011

14 weeks

Here is a picture of the twins at 12 weeks. The hemorrhage is gone and everything looks to be progressing normally now. They are measuring correctly and the results came back for trisomy and down's and everything was normal. We are hoping to find out genders next month...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

halloween scare

I spent Halloween in the ER. It made for a truly scary Halloween. I started spotting on Sunday and had red spotting last night. And I freaked out. So we went to the ER. Thankfully, thankfully, the babies are ok. I have a hemorrhage between the uterus and the placenta. They say it is small and so long as it doesn't get bigger it could resolve itself. I go to my OB tomorrow for a follow up but am on bed rest for today and tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

eat, sleep, repeat

That feels like my life these days. Eating to abate hunger and nausea and sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. I am now nine weeks and got the green light from my RE to be turned over to an OB. It feels like a graduation of sorts. Congratulations, you made it through hell, here is the light at the end of your tunnel. And that light? Just as awesome as I always dreamed it would be, minus the nausea and sleepiness...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

trucking forward

I am currently at 7 1/2 weeks. I am done with the weekly blood tests to monitor the change in my HcG, progesterone and estrogen levels! Yay! I had my first ultrasound this week and we found out that both embryos took so we are having twins. My husband is having a hard time wrapping his head around it. We are thrilled. I have one more appointment with my RE and then he expects to turn me over to an OB. For now I am doing any and all research on twins. Thankfully I have some good resources (between my mothers two sisters they had three sets of twins).

Friday, September 16, 2011

trying to catch reality

I am still trying to grasp the reality of it all. It seems unbelievable that after all these years my wish is finally being granted. A part of me keeps waiting for AF to come and take it all away.

I am trying to cherish every minute particularly as there is no guarantee I will ever get to experience another pregnancy. Which brings me to this comment seen on Facebook:

"frankly anyone who says they enjoy being pregnant is LYING! I'm 20 weeks and complain all the time lol! I think anyone who is pregnant gets a
free pass to complain. Sure it's a blessing, but also kind of miserable at the same time."

Reading this strengthens my resolve to not complain about pregnancy. I am so grateful to even have this opportunity and mindful that there are still so many women who are waiting for it. It is a blessing to be pregnant and anyone who has dealt with infertility understands that any kind of sickness or discomfort is a small price to pay for the ultimate dream.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Well I got the call on Saturday and they said it was a good high number, I am pregnant. It doesn't feel real to me.

The excitement of the news has been somewhat dulled by the constant reminders I get from seemingly everyone that it could still end in miscarriage. My father in law told me to be cautiously enthusiastic. Really? I have been the one who has dealt with every disappointment for the last 2+ years, do they all really think that I am the one blind to the risks? I don't need or want everyone reminding me of the possibility of miscarriage, I know it is there. If it comes to that it comes to that. I can't control it but I don't need the worse case scenario thrown at me with EVERY SINGLE conversation that I have. What ever happened to the power of positive thinking?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

real or fake

I have had some lovely nausea the last couple of days, meat makes me gag. The question is this, do I feel nausea from the estradial and progesterone? Is it because I desperately want any sign that I could be pregnant? Or is it because one or both of these embryos are going to make all of my dreams come true? Less than a week until I find the answer out. Let's hope it is because of the last one though.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

here we go

Two eggs fertilized, the third was not a good egg so they didn't inject it with sperm. They transferred the two fertilized embryos yesterday, one was 8 cells and the other was 11 but they said they were both progressing as they should. Now I am just taking it easy and waiting.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I went in for retrieval this morning. There were 6-7 mature follicles but only 3 eggs. They decided to inject the sperm directly into the eggs since there were so few. Tomorrow we get the report on how they fertilize.

I am frustrated and sad at the small number of eggs but trying to remember that it could be worse. At least I got three.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I swear I can feel my ovaries swelling. It looks like I will only have 7 mature follicles. Which I guess is good considering it is still more than I have ever had, but I am disappointed that it is down from the 9-10. I have to go in again tomorrow for more blood work and an ultrasound. The doctor said that he thinks tomorrow will be the ovidrel day and Sat. we will retrieve the eggs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

hopeful in austin

I went to the Dr. yesterday. It looks like there are 9-10 follicles, he seems much happier about that. I go in again tomorrow and am anticipating retrieval later this week. The largest follicle was 15mm yesterday and my estrogen was around 1100 (although I really have no idea what that means). The nausea has been hitting hard this week and I have pretty much lost my appetite. The ultrasounds are so painful, I assume this is because my ovaries are probably larger than usual.

What I am really working on is no stress. I think I am doing well, I am just relaxing. Today I started a painting. This is so much the opposite of my other treatments when I was working full time, going to school full time and doing treatments. Hopefully the stress free zone helps.

I have ordered a calligraphy sign to be put up in our bedroom. I am making it my 'way to make it through IVF' gift. With five shots a day I think I have earned it. It is going to say 'Life is good.' This is something my Dad told me to remember last year when I was seriously struggling with infertility. Either way this ends up I want to remember that. To me is symbolizes how far we have come in this journey. If things don't end up the way we wish it will be a reminder to look for the positive.

Wish me luck with my Dr. appointment tomorrow. Hopefully we will be getting the go ahead for Ovidrel.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

hopped up on 'roids

I am bright eyed and bushy tailed every morning, sometimes at 6, sometimes at 7. This is unheard of for me and I swear I ran faster yesterday.

I had my first u/s yesterday. 6 follicles and the Dr. said firmly that 'there will be more'. One way or the other this is the most I have EVER produced with any meds. Dosages stay the same and I go in on Friday for round two of blood draw and u/s.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 1 or 3, however you choose to look at it.

Today is my sixth anniversary. It is also the day I start my stimulants. Kind of ironic don't you think?

I am already getting bruises on my stomach and am now considering whether my thighs or love handles will make better alternatives to my stomach. Suggestions?

I had my first emotional melt down today. We were hanging pictures and my husband didn't want me to put a close up of him up on the wall. I broke down. Irrational? Yes. Welcome back hormones.

Now on to the steroids. They told me to take them right before I go to bed because steroids keep you up. Does that make sense to any one else?

I am a little worried about the side affects, I don't really know what to expect. My best friend told me about her friend who was doing IVF who was dizzy, nauseous etc., etc.

I was reading on Yahoo about young mothers which led me to a blog written by a 22 year old mother. One of the posts was about why she is grateful for her surprise pregnancy. I often wonder if I had tried to get pregnant before 24 (sounds weird right?) if that would have made any difference in my ability to have a baby. Pointless pondering. For now I remain cautiously optimistic about IVF.

Monday, August 8, 2011

adios chocolate

The Dr. says everything is looking good. He told me I have a beautiful uterus, you know you are living in an alternate reality when you have had four doctors tell you how beautiful your uterus is. Anyway, I start Lupron on Wed. and the stimulants on Sat. The Doc says I have to cut out all caffeine, which won't be that hard seeing as the only caffeine I ever have is from the occasional Diet Coke but apparently chocolate consumption must be stopped as well. This is especially sad since I made a chocolate and peanut butter mousse pie yesterday. I am taking the pie up to my brother's house to keep temptation far away...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

scared shitless

I got all my meds delivered via FedEx today. One of them is administered vaginally??? The reality of the next month is hitting me and it is scary. There are a lot of shots and a lot of pills. Have I ever told you that I am terrified of shots? I think the most terrifying thing of this whole experience is the gamble. I am not a gambler but this is the biggest gamble I can imagine. It is not only the money that you are gambling but your emotions and your future. And I desperately want to win.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I went and saw the doctor last week and the cyst cleared and he started me on my month of birth control. I am waiting for the nurse to call today with our IVF plan but it looks like we should be getting started around August 8th. I am so glad to be moving forward. I have been taking birth control, antibiotics (did anyone else's Dr. assign antibiotics to clear out anything that might be in your system?) and I have started taking prenatals again. I think it is the birth control but every morning I wake up with nausea.

My husband and I went to dinner with some new friends over the weekend. It came up that we have been married six years, they were curious as to why we haven't had children. It is rare that people in our sub-culture would be married this long without children. My husband explained that we have been trying for the last two years to have children. I always find it interesting that so many people respond to this with, ''you know it helps to put your hips in the air after sex, right?" I always respond with, yes we have tried that but I have a medical condition. I don't think anyone gets to the IVF stage without having tried putting their hips in the air, or trying any variety of yoga poses for 5-15 minutes. I know what all the books say to help aid having babies, I have tried all the tricks. I promise.

I have been regulating my emotions as far as IVF goes, I am afraid to completely invest myself because there is always the chance that it will not work, and historically I am a poor responder. I have to remember the very real possibility of failure and then I wonder, how far am I willing to take this journey. I have no answer for that.

On the flip side I find myself thinking of nurseries and counting out the months to see when I would potentially have a baby. Please work IVF, please, please, please work.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

in between

The nurse says that apparently I have to put off IVF for a month because they are cleaning the labs in July? I am so confused, I am supposed to be starting my month of birth control so how does having the labs cleaned in July affect me starting a month of birth control in July? I am going to have to ask my Dr. about this on Wednesday because I am not thrilled with the prospect of putting everything off a month. Ever since my AMH came back so low I feel like I am on borrowed time and I don't want to waste a minute.

It has also been interesting to see my reaction to my period this month. I just keep praying that my period will stay the full 5-7 days, isn't that ironic? You spend most of your life wishing it would go faster and viewing it as a nuisance. Now I pray that it will stay the whole week so that I don't have to be that much closer to POF or menopause.

I still haven't received the results from my karotype (sp?) and fragile x test. It has been a month since the blood was drawn and mailed to Massachusetts, I am ready for the results.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

settling in

Well we made it to Texas and are settling in (kind of, we are subletting for two months and then moving to a more permanent location). Insurance, I have found, is a pain in the ass. My new doctor, seems like a good one. We are starting IVF soon but I have to go in next week to see if some bloody cyst thing is clearing up, then back on birth control for the first time in years. Doesn't it seem counter-intuitive to go on birth control as an infertile woman? Is it normal to not feel overly excited about starting IVF? I feel apprehensive.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

the results are in

My AMH results came in. We were literally moving to Texas and making a pit stop at Graceland when I got the call. The AMH level is .2. The Dr. said since it is so low that they cannot definitively tell me that my eggs will not run out in the next year. They could run out this year, they could run out in five years. Given this the Doc wants me to start IVF immediately so that we can make sure we don't miss out on a window. The Dr. also said that since the egg supply is so low the eggs left could be of a lower quality. Let's hope that I finally get to see some benefit from my age and have high quality eggs.

I am also having two more blood tests on Monday to rule out Fragile X and some type of caryotype disorder. Tomorrow I make the call to get an appointment with the Dr. in Texas who was recommended to me.

I have gone up and down on the emotional scale with this one. The news isn't really any different from what I have heard before but it was scary to hear that my eggs could run out within the year. Hopefully I will be able to get into the Dr. here quickly and get started with IVF. It will be nice to be actually starting it. Here's to hoping it works and I get twins!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

bi-coastal blood test

I used to wonder what could be worse than the two week wait? Now I know. Waiting for blood test results. My California Dr. wanted me to have my AMH results re-done. Apparently there is no standard on how to determine results for AMH and so she wanted me to have the test re-taken and sent to the lab she uses so she could give me an accurate reading of the test. So last week I had a travelling phlebotomist take my blood while I was on vacation in Pennsylvania, she then sent my blood to the lab in Massachusetts who will in turn send the results to the Dr. in California who should call me in Michigan with the results. This is seriously a bi-coastal test. But the wait is killing me. My last test was 0.3 as in only 0.3 away from no eggs. I am crossing my fingers that the next test will have a higher egg count. Please, please, please have a higher egg count.

The 0.3 test result has made me think about my future in infertility. If that test is true my time to have children is really limited. It makes me sad, I wanted 4-6 kids. Will I get 1? It makes me wonder if I should really consider my sister's offer of eggs. Which makes me wonder how I feel about using my sister's eggs. Will I look at the children and always think of them as my sister's children? I don't know. Is being genetically linked enough? Is it better to have my children be my husband's children and still be genetically linked to me or is better to adopt? I don't know how I feel about any of these questions. It makes me feel shallow to wonder if I could love them the same way, but I worry about that.

These questions make me want the 'easy' solution-enough eggs to have my own children. I don't want to have to have a serious inner-debate of adoption vs. my using my sister's eggs. Is it weird that the thought of using my sister's eggs weirds me out?

I had my last day of work today. A woman I work with was talking about how she is sure I will want to start a family in the next couple of years. I nodded my head. She continued talking about how since I am 26 I have plenty of time. All I could think was, if only you knew how little time I have.

Monday, May 16, 2011

all over the map

I am moving in a week to Texas. It signifies a new chapter in my life. We are entering post-student life. I am very excited about this change because we will be living by family, have disposable income, and start IVF in the next six months or so. I haven't gotten a job, although I have applied for three. I am not certain that I want a job with IVF coming up. With the last couple of treatments I had a hard time balancing the stress of treatments with work and school. Granted I won't be doing school this time around but I am scared to go down that road again.

I had constant nausea, constant tension and depression. I don't know how much will return just by starting treatments again, and if we are being honest the depression still has its moments. I guess what I dread is having to explain to people why I am not actively/half-heartedly searching for a job.

In other news, we just got back from a post-graduation road trip. We went to see a couple of our siblings on the east coast. Both have babies, and it was nice to play with babies. in my husband's family there have been five nephews born in the last 4 months, two over this past week. I am so excited about the new nephews but with each arrival the feeling of being insufficient and on the outside is refreshed. We have 24 nieces and nephews and counting, and with each e-mail gushing about perfect new grandchildren and the accomplishments of other grandchildren, I feel like I have nothing to bring to the table.

There is a silver lining to this time I get before starting IVF. I am going to focus on me and trying to develop new and old talents. I want to get back to the person I used to be, to stop focusing on what I don't have.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

one tree hill

I have been watching Grey's Anatomy sparingly this season, so I am not sure how far they have gotten into Meredith's inhospitable uterus. One Tree Hill is a new favorite of mine and I have definitely been intrigued with Brooke's infertility storyline. I feel connected to her character in a way that is new to me, I can relate to her struggles. I know exactly how it feels to sit in that doctor's office and hear that news. I know how much it can hurt to watch your best friends have new babies and to feel the conflicting emotions of happiness for them and hurt for yourself. So when I finished watching this week's episode and heard Brooke tell her husband that she was pregnant, I felt hope. Hope for me. Maybe I will get that moment one day too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

and..... another step back

After meeting with the specialist in San Francisco, it was recommended that I get my AMH levels tested. My RE agreed. I got the test results back. 0.3. I asked what a normal 26 year old would be and the answer? 1.0.

It is times like these that all the numbness rolls away and I am left feeling desperate and asking why. Why? I am 26 years old! I shouldn't have to know what AMH is or even care about my ovarian reserve. I don't want to wonder how many years I have left to have children. I don't want to have to consider donor eggs, or get offers from my sisters. I don't want to have to talk to my parents and brothers about my eggs.

I feel broken. I am not working. My body is not working. I had so much hope after San Fran, I was borderline. Now I am very low, red zone. All I want is to be like my friends on facebook. In labor, trying to figure out potty training or how on earth to keep a child asleep after 6 AM. Those are problems I want.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

when you feel nothing at all

I have become numb to the emotions of infertility. I think this is greatly aided by the fact that I have taken 5 months off of treatments. I saw the Dr. today and IVF it is. And I feel numb. Maybe I am confusing sadness to nothing/numbness, I don't know. I don't want to have to worry about making the decision on when to start, how to come up with the money. The list goes on and on and on and on. I just want a baby. Is that so much to ask?

P.S. Blood drawn today for an AMH test. My arm looks like some one killed it from the inside. Worst. Blood draw. EVER!

P.P.S. The two week wait is over. I should become a professional pregnancy test taker. I fail with such regularity that I could be the control part of a study.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Q & A

The only discernible benefit

of infertility so far?


Side trips to St. Louis and

San Fran to see specialists.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

the two week wait

When a Dr. tells you there is a good looking follicle and that you have a 20-25% chance of conceiving naturally (over the course of a year unlike others my age which have that percentage EVERY MONTH), hopes get raised. I am in that two week waiting period where you analyze every turn of the stomach and every cramp, hoping and praying that it means that maybe this is the month. After my last treatment round I decided to take a couple of months off of charting and consistent watch for the signs of ovulation. I didn't miss the stress or the anxiety or the two week wait period.

I go running and I worry about pushing myself too hard. What if this is the month and what if pushing myself compromises that? Realistically, it probably isn't the month and running likely won't compromise anything one way or the other. I will likely be disappointed when AF comes, again. Every 28 days, as regular as a damn train schedule. Still, I can't help but hope and worry.

Maybe, hopefully, I will get to pull the pregnancy tests out of the back of the cabinet. It is a double edged sword though, because maybe, hopefully, I will get the answer I want. But maybe I will get that lame one line and have the sinking in my gut sensation. Infertility has turned me into a pessimist. I am ready for the sunny side of the rainbow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

two steps forward, two steps right back

I flew across the country this weekend to get another opinion. My parents met me in San Fran so they could attend the appointment with me (my husband is finishing up school and couldn't come). After the last Dr. appointment I had an emotional breakdown. Nothing like being told your baby making days are numbered. It was after that my parents decided no more appointments alone.

Anyway, the new Doc. She agrees that I have POI. But says it is not nearly as severe as the last Doc told me, which puts her in line with the first Doc. Borderline POI. Good news? Yes, undoubtedly. She recommends having a yearly AMH test to keep track of my egg supply. She also thinks IUI is a reasonable treatment plan for me, at least for 2-3 tries.

I feel uncertain now. What treatments should I pursue, what blood tests should I take? I don't have a clear path or plan anymore and I feel tired. Tired of doctors, of treatments, of uncertainties. Do I wait until I move in 2 months and then find a new doctor and start treatments? Do I try and squeeze one more treatment in before graduation and moving? Do I try IUI or just go for IVF?

I don't know where to go from here or what decisions to make.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

fertility charm

I read that in ancient cultures the wild turkey signifies gratitude, abundance and fertility. Now I am contemplating finding a wild turkey to stand by. Maybe some of the fertility vibes will transfer to me. Then again birds and I have a dubious past, I may just end up being attacked by a wild turkey.

raise your hand if you're ready

I feel ready. Ready to get pregnant, ready to have a baby, ready to plan a nursery, ready for a new challenge. I am coming up on my one year mark from when I started testing for fertility problems, the initial diagnosis and treatments. Almost to the two year mark from when my husband and I decided we were ready to start trying to get pregnant.

I read friends blogs announcing second pregnancy's and asking themselves if they are really ready for this new challenge. I can't relate to their experience, I am ready. I have waited and continue to wait. It comes so easily to these women, do they appreciate their good fortune?

My patience is waning, I am ready. And yet, it still feels so far away. Maybe I will start collecting nursery items to distract myself. Then I will really be ready.

Monday, March 7, 2011

hyper-sensitive vs. insensitive

Yesterday I was explaining our situation to a woman I know. Her immediate response? "Well adoption is a great thing and has blessed so many people we know." Yes, adoption is a great thing, something my husband and I have seriously considered. We made the decision that since my fertile years are fleeting we should pull all the stops to have biological children now.

When I was telling my husband about my frustration with her response he replied "it's like on Modern Family!" Did you see last weeks episode? Where Phil is in a salon and trying to gauge how to respond to Claire's problems and eventually discovers that all he needs to say is, "That is so hard for you, I am so sorry." The same applies to infertility. It is an awkward subject to discuss and most people feel in those situations they need to provide a positive solution. The real thing I need is support and love. I am already seeking solutions.

So when in doubt, turn to Phil's sage advice and say, "That is so hard for you, I am so sorry."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

is it the thought that counts?

My friends are all having babies. It seriously feels like ALL. Being the emotional wreck I am I have refrained from too many phone calls or e-mails because I don't want to rain on their parade. I found my balance point. I have started sending small gifts to friends having babies. I hope this let's them know that I love them, I am happy for them, but I need a little time before I can call them and gush with them over their happy news. I do love them, and I will get to that point. I just need a little time to close any open wounds on my heart.

my scariest day

Some days I know that I need to talk about what is going on, which is why I started this blog. I have never told my husband, my family or my friends about that fleeting thought, I am scared of their reaction.

I was watching Eat, Pray, Love last night, it struck a chord with me. I want to take control of my life and emotions again, to be the person I used to be. I don't think I can be that person but I need to try and morph into a different person. One who can juggle infertility with emotional stability.

I took a positive step yesterday. I made an appointment at Stanford. I have put it off because it is the last step in deciding where I will do IVF, it is the last step in my last step in infertility. It scared me. I got past the fear and am moving forward. A positive step.

Monday, February 28, 2011


I had an anxiety attack last night. It was a first for me, something that my pre-infertile self had never even imagined. While on fertility treatments I had a fairly constant level of anxiety but it never developed into a real attack. My husband and I are preparing to start IVF in the next six months and were talking about whether or not I will be going back to work when we move. I was trying to explain to him just how hard working and fertility treatments had been on my mental health and all the tightness in my chest came rushing back.

I don't know what the correct path is, to work and pursue fertility treatments or to focus only on fertility treatments. Both have considerable drawbacks my concern is that I have tried working with fertility treatments and it did significant damage to my overall health. I need to try and eliminate as much anxiety as I can, I need to try focusing only on fertility treatments. That is the answer for me right now. In 6 months I may discover that it is not the best option but for now I feel it is one I need to try.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

facing my fear

I am in the process of changing doctors. I have visited with one Doctor who stressed that I need to start freezing embryos as soon as possible. I am scared. I want to go see another doctor in California but I hesitate when it comes down to making the final decision. Once I make this decision I start IVF and I am scared about the amount of time, money and emotion that will go into it. I am terrified that I will put time, money and emotion into IVF and it won't work. Terrified really. I know that I just need to take the step forward but once I do there is no turning back. I am terrified that I will end up hurting more than I do right now. The pressure in my chest is building again, making me anxious.

How do I get past the fear, how do I move forward?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

crossing the fine line

There is a fine line in blogging, what is too much information and what is being honest? I have spent the last year wondering if writing about my struggles with infertility would cross that line. Today I read the article Infertility: The Disease We Need to Start Talking About, and I decided that while I have been pretty open about what is going on perhaps there is more I can do to make infertility less of an unspoken battle. I shared this on my personal blog which was the first time I had broached infertility there. It was incredibly nerve wracking. There is a safety posting on this blog that none of my friends or family read or know about. So today I crossed the blog line.

Infertility is obviously not something that is solely associated with age. I am not infertile because I waited "too long" to have children but rather because I was born with less eggs than most girls, something I am told is a genetic condition. Because of this I will likely enter menopause around 35, something that will bring on a whole host of other health issues. So the simple truth is that infertility is a health issue.

A lot of health insurance plans won't cover IVF or other infertility treatments. I have been lucky so far that all my treatments have been covered but that coverage ends as Jackson and I get ready to start IVF. The reason insurance companies won't cover infertility treatments? There is the argument that having children is a lifestyle choice and not a medical necessity. Personally I struggle with this argument. I was put in this position by way of a genetic abnormality not because I chose to put a certain lifestyle ahead of another. At 24, 25 and 26 I should have and still be able to have children without the need of medical intervention. It's a medical condition that has rendered my ability to become pregnant without medical assistance virtually impossible.

This isn't an easy topic to broach. It is deeply personal and very emotional. Often I end up sobbing when talking about it which embarrasses me to no end. There is a vulnerability that is exposed when talking about infertility that is only compounded by crying, it is a sure way of letting the world know just how deeply you feel the loss. Crying aside, talking about infertility can be awkward. Awkward for me and awkward for you. Many people don't know what to say when talking about infertility and as I told my sister the other day, I am far from equipped for filling awkward silences and pauses.

Almost a year and a half ago when I started to think about seeing a reproductive endocrinologist I found that I was very thankful to my friends who had been open with me about their struggle to get pregnant, it was comforting to have a support system of women who had been there and done that. I often feel as though infertility is treated as a secret that I am trying to keep, and as anyone in my family can attest, I don't do well with secrets. They make me feel claustrophobic. If my friends had chosen to be less open I would probably not have been as open in sharing my frustrations with them. That would have made this difficult experience so much harder. The support of my family and friends has helped me infinitely. Secrecy begets secrecy and I am thankful they chose to break that chain because it helped me.

Did the blogging world really need to know this much about my personal life and struggles? Probably not. The reason I chose to share is that I hope being open will help someone who may be having a similar experience. If nothing else I hope that talking about it will be one more small step forward in removing the stigma attached to infertility.

Monday, February 14, 2011

my censor is broken

I have become the person that causes awkward silences.

My husband and I went to a party this weekend where are game was played. One person would go around trying to guess from clues what the rest of the group was describing. Of course one round the group was to describe "your first born", lovely. My husband was "it" during this round, he went around the room twice and was unable to guess what we were describing, people began making their descriptions more and more obvious. He wasn't getting it. I finally said, "Mine will come from a petri dish." The room went awkwardly silent. He guessed it though, so does that mean I win?

I feel like instances like this are what highlight the fine line we straddle. In conversations I am constantly trying to remember that just because I hurt from not being able to have a baby doesn't mean that the rest of the world has to censor what is going on in their lives to insulate me. On the flip side I get frustrated with people's carelessness. I sit and listen to them complain about pregnancy and their children because that is where they are in life and I don't want to censor them and their experiences. It hurts to listen to it, to the point where I want to retreat from social situations.

The carelessness of this weekend's situation frustrates me, I feel like choosing "your first born child" as the game clue in mixed company is careless. It places me in an unnecessary awkward situation being the only one in the group who is childless and not pregnant. And when the truth about my situation comes out and is met with an awkward silence as a response, I am left feeling frustrated with myself and the situation and socially gauche.

Friday, February 4, 2011

lucky me

First it is "you are in the 10% of women in their 20's with infertility" then it is "you are in the 1% of women your age with this problem". Lucky me? I'm rare, almost every other woman in this world with declining egg count is over the age of 35. According to one doctor I will be in menopause around 35. On the bright side my periods will stop, but then I will have to do hormone replacement treatments to keep osteoporosis and other things at bay.

When talking to someone about this news they asked, "do you even really want to be having children after 35? We plan on being done by then!" I hadn't ever really given myself a deadline on having children but really the point is that the choice has been taken away from me. I have 9 years to have children, give or take. I have no doubt that some of my friends will still be having children at the time I am going through menopause.

I want children, I want my children. I feel like this possibility is being taken away from me to a degree. Thousands and thousands of dollars will be poured in to trying to preserve what little fertility I have left and I am 26, I am supposed to have plenty of fertility left.

Menopause 15 years early, lucky me. Funnily enough, I don't feel that lucky.

Monday, January 31, 2011

but are you really infertile

When someone tells me a story of someone they know who was infertile but got "pregs" doing this or that the first time I get a competitive feeling, were they really infertile? Do they really know what it means to feel your hopes get torn apart month after month? Do they know they physical and emotional toll that fertility drugs and infertility in general put on a person? Do they know the slight twinge of pain felt each time a friend or family member announces they are expecting?

I am trying to work on reminding myself that this journey is hard for all women who have to embark on it, not just me. The pain in my heart is so real though. Who ever expects that they will be told at 26 that they will likely reach menopause by 35. 35, what? That is supposed to be the age where I enter the high risk zone, not the age where I start to relate to women in their 50's!

My heart is breaking, I can't stop crying. Having babies isn't supposed to be this hard, not when you are 26. Looking at blogs and facebook has become harder as more friends post about their ups and downs of parenthood. When they post about their frustrations or fleeting anger it takes restraint for me to stop myself from replying, be grateful you have that problem. What I wouldn't give to have that problem. I made my sister feel bad the other day when she said something about having to fly across the country with a baby, I replied saying I wish I had that problem. It made her feel guilty, it made me feel bad because I hurt her.

But my heart is breaking and yet I have to remind myself that it could be worse for me. At least I still have a chance to have my own baby. Something about talking eggs and fertilization and sperm counts takes the magic out of baby making but I have to realize that modern science is magic, it is what is giving me the chance to have children. I promise myself this, if I get that chance, I will be so grateful. I will cherish those moments because they are hard to come by and not all women get them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Home for the holidays

I went home over the holiday break, it was wonderful to see friends and family. Many of them gave me hugs and told me how often they think and pray for me. It made me feel loved. On the flip side I had to sit through many long conversations about pregnancy, infants and motherhood which hurt. I sat through it, saying as little as possible to help me stop myself from bursting into tears, especially when one friend exclaimed, "this is the first time in years none of us have been pregnant!" A simple, harmless statement that felt like salt in the wound.

I was able to hold all my friends babies without crying, but I did cry in conversations with friends and sobbed my way through asking a dear friend for a recommendation for adoption (apparently I am not ready to complete that process yet).

I am trying not to be upset with myself for losing control emotionally and accept that it is all a part of the experience of infertility.

A search for normalcy

All of the less aggressive treatments have failed. I have two options left, IVF and adoption. I am taking several months off all treatments to help myself reload. I had no idea how physically and emotionally testing fertility treatments would be. After spends months on the verge of tears every day, I feel like I am slightly re-claiming myself. The emotions are still there and they are still very real but I can at least control them and not feel like my life is controlled by infertility.

I have also decided it is time to change doctors. I feel really good about this decision, I need a doctor who is paying attention to my treatments and who takes time to explain any complications to me. I have been checking out fertility centers across the US and have found a couple that I am going to check out, I think this will be good to help me feel like I am still being proactive about my situation while not on treatments.

I have a hard time talking about infertility these days. I often feel the need to talk to someone about it but I have a hard time keeping it in balance with other things in my life, I don't want it to be all consuming and the only thing I can talk about. At the same time sometimes it overwhelms me with emotion and I need an outlet.

I am doing better about being able to be happy for those who are pregnant and with children, which I am proud of. At the same time I long for what they have. I have vowed over and over again if I ever do get pregnant I will not complain about it, I will celebrate the fact that I GET the chance to have that experience. I do feel that to an extent I will be able to appreciate it more because I know so well the pain associated with not being able to get pregnant and longing for it.