Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Act Naturally?

After our last failed cycle I told Tony that I intended to go on the BCP where you only get your period four times a year. He looked at me with a combination of puppy dog and little boy eyes and asked why I wanted to do that. I could tell that he was surprised and hurt, but I snapped back that having my period was now very tramatic for me and why should I have to deal with it more than four times a year?!?!?!? I may have even thrown in a comment about him being a man and not understanding. (What can I say? I was not feeling very "in-control" emotionally.)

My husband has mentioned to me more than once that he thinks we will be one of those couples who tries and tries to have a baby and then gets pregnant naturally. When he says this I look at him like he has three heads and explain to him all the reason why that would be ridiculous. But he keeps bringing it up. Which makes me think that he really must believe it.

I was diagnosed with PCOS and then undiagnosed.

I had a high FSH reading of 14.

I tested positive for elevated natural killer cells.

He was diagnosed with a varicocele and then undiagnosed.

He has low sperm count and low motility.

He tested with lowish testoterone.

We retrieved forty six eggs that turned into twenty two embryos and transferred five blasts. None of those made it to freeze or fetus.

We no longer have sex regularly.

Oh yeah, and an ultrasound technician once told me that I have a tilted uterus...great.

These are not the ingredients for a "natural miracle".

Still, in my quest to not be done with hope I have considered taking up baby making sex again. Then I start to think, "Well, with everything working against us it would be best to know when I am ovulating...at least give us a fighting chance." But I worry that if I know when I ovulated, I will know when to test for pregnancy. I will know when to start hoping and praying and watching for symptoms. Next thing you know I am leaving work on my lunch hour to buy pregnancy tests that I pee on in the bathroom at the grocery store.

Sort of like those evolution posters, but in reverse...

Suddenly harmless baby making sex starts to sound less "relaxing" and more like a gateway activity leading me back to major heartache. I'm worried about becoming an addict again.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Good Wife

Last night I was a good wife. I went to the hockey game with my husband even though it was the last thing I wanted to do. I even got him the tickets from work; and these were good tickets with free food and beer included.

Here’s how little I know about hockey:

Me: What’s it called when they put the players in time out?
Tony: You mean intermission?
Me: No, when they take the players off the ice because they are naughty.
Tony: Oh, you mean the penalty box.
Me: Oh yeah.

I get more good wife points because I didn’t mention that while I do things I don’t want to do to make him happy, he won’t do little things for me like spend all of our savings on donor egg cycles that probably won’t work. Le sigh.

But just in case you aren’t sure if I am a good wife, this next story will dispel all doubt.

At the hockey game during intermission (is that what it’s called?) little pee wee hockey “all stars” are invited onto the ice to play for a few minutes. It is an awwwwwww inspiring site. Who can resist impossibly little boys dressed in impossibly little sports outfits with impossibly little sticks playing with big boy pucks, on big boy ice, with big boy goals? Before I could even steel my emotions against this parade of fertility, this display of everything denied to me; my husband turns and says, “I can’t believe you won’t let our boy play hockey.”

I felt like I had inadvertently dipped my toe into a hot tub time machine. Is this 2006 when we still had hypothetical conversations about imaginary children? I didn’t think that was still allowed when your husband has sworn off all further attempts at baby making?

And this is where the good wife part comes in. Because when my husband turned to me in order to argue about children who do not exist and will never exist, I did not punch him in the face. I did not run shrieking out of the stadium. I did not even point out the insensitivity of such a comment. Instead I just turned to him and evenly said, “That seems like an unlikely scenario doesn’t it?”

And then I realized that my husband hadn’t meant to say what he did. It was just a reflex, like muscle memory. He was sad that he had said it and even more sad that he had said it to me.

Maybe hope is a muscle that remembers too.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why Didn't I Ever Find This During a TWW?

Did you read Sweet Valley High books when you were younger?

You have to check this out.

I have been reading for hours and have laughed to the point of tears twice.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Baby Steps

Where are my, "What About Bob?" fans? When we were little, if my sister and I liked a movie it went into hardcore frequent rotation at our house. We loved, "What About Bob?"

And "Dirty Dancing".

And "Haunted Honeymoon"

And "Money Pit"

And "Back to the Future"

I can still quote these movies. So if you are a fan of "What About Bob?" then you know all about Baby Steps the book. (For those who are not familiar with the movie, the concept is focus on one step at a time. Don't get overwhelmed.)

Before this last IVF attempt I had "big plans" for my child free life. I had fleshed out these "big plans" so much that I fully expected that if the cycle failed I was poised like a cat, ready to pounce. I fully expected to go into "big plan" activation mode.

But I have not been pouncing. I haven't been activating. Instead I've been baby stepping. (I'll spare you the obvious comments about the irony of baby stepping without any chance of an actual baby in the future.)

That brings me to today's baby step. Generally my level of depression is directly proportional to the length of my leg hair. Judging by the looks of my legs, I have been in quite a funk. I had not shaved my legs since my last cycle. And my attempts at shaving during my last cycle were half hearted at best; just enough grooming so as not to be a topic of conversation with the nurses.

But today I am leg hair free! And as I sat in the bathtub shaving my legs I felt good. I felt better. I started thinking about all the other things I could do today. I could pack up my second set of china and send it to storage. I could clean out the closets for the open house tomorrow. I could get back into my sewing room. I could go to the mall and buy some new cardigans to replace the worn ones I've been wearing lately. I could go to Target and buy some sea monkeys*.

But I didn't do any of that stuff. I just shaved my legs. Well, that and pulled out some empty boxes in an attempt to start packing.

Oh well, baby steps. I wonder what I'll do tomorrow?

*My new best friend at work has this sea monkey kit and I want to get one!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time Time Time

Look over there ------------------------------------------------------->

I've been trying to get pregnant since 2007. Now I know many people have tried for so much longer, but this still sounds like a long time to me. I guess I ought to have an associate's degree in infertility. Imagine me, the overachiever not going for my bachelors or masters or even PhD.

It feels like all of my life experiences since 2007 revolve around infertility. I have been so focused on treatments that I can barely remember anything else from these years. If I think about it so many other things have happened.

I had three birthdays, three wedding anniversaries, and three Christmases. Notice I didn't say "celebrated". Because I didn't celebrate any of these holidays.

I went on a two week road trip vacation starting and ending in Toronto. We went to Niagara Falls, Maine, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Montreal in between. I got my period on that trip on a ferry ride to Nova Scotia. I also skipped vacation one year and went on a cheapo vacation to Hilton Head since we were spending so much money on prescription medications.

I turned down a transfer to Minneapolis for work because it was in the middle of the school year and Tony wouldn't be able to join me for six months. I turned it down because it's hard to make a baby when your husband is two states away. I also got promoted and fired someone for the first time.

I installed wood floors in my house, redid a bathroom, bought furniture, and painted several rooms. However, I never touched a thing in the "baby's room."

We both really thought Tony was going to lose his job for awhile. We were both really worried.

I bought a car and on Monday that car will be paid off.

I had my first surgery, first ultrasound, first acupuncture, first anesthesia, and first self administered shot. I understand how insurance works now.

I held Tony's kitty while the vet put him to sleep. I got a new puppy.

Things did not turn out the way I wanted, but there were a lot of changes. I didn't reach my goal, but I did have accomplishments.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Can't Be Your Friend Because I'm Infertile

In December I went to the wedding reception of a friend from high school and college. I don't have a lot of close friends. I'm not good at making them and once I make a friend I am not good at staying in touch with them.

At the wedding I ran into other friends from high school. We had a great time. We caught up. We drank. We caught up some more. We drank some more. By the end of the night my friend was overenthusiastically telling us how much it meant to her that we all came to her wedding reception. We were swearing drunken oaths to do more things together. We made big plans for the first ever annual girls weekend get away. Plans somewhat fueled by alcohol induced sentimentality.

Since I am the natural planner in this community-theater-performing-creative-writing-teaching-weird-martial-arts-performing group of women I came home and sent out the emails to get this whole weekend thing started.

Then I stopped. I backed away. I pulled back.


Because I realized that there was probably a good chance that my newly married friend would be pregnant by the time this girl's weekend came to fruition.

The thought stopped me in my tracks.

Perhaps she would think that this weekend is the perfect opportunity to tell us all of her pregnancy. Or perhaps she would try to be sensitive to my feelings and we would have to guess her special secret when we all notice that she's skipping the wine. Both of these scenarios leave me feeling dread.

I am so angry. I was so looking forward to this weekend. Now I see no option, but to ditch the whole idea just because a friend MIGHT be pregnant. Crazy.

Infertility is so isolating and it continues to take and take and take.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weekend Cheers and Jeers

Cheers that we had three people come and look at our house this weekend. I go back and forth between wanting to start packing things up to ready for a move and holding off in case we can't get our house sold. We are aggressively priced, but you just never know what will (or won't) happen in this market.

Cheers that Tony took the baby bassinet purchased three years ago when we were pregnant for eight weeks to Goodwill this weekend. It really didn't bother me much. There are other baby things I have purchased that are much more sentimental to me and would be harder to let go. I'm glad it is going to a place where someone can use it. Had it been up to me I would have chopped it up with an axe and burnt it in the backyard.

Jeers that I didn't get off the sofa much this weekend despite my best laid plans. I did however get a burst of energy Sunday evening. I scrubbed the corners of the wood floors on my hands and knees, shined up the kitchen cabinets, and made lunch salads for the week. I hope this is a sign of more energetic pursuits to come.

Cheers on all the wonderful comments I have been getting on my blog and in emails. This has been a hard time for me as I feel a bit as though I have let people down. I know it is hard for those still in the fight to read about my story. I am the nightmare. I am the one with infertility that could not be treated. Thanks for sticking with me. I also feel like I have tapped into a whole other world of folks who are in the exact same spot as me.

Jeers that the Olympics are over. There is nothing better to do when you are depressed than watch a long curling match. I don't understand it at all, but I find it mesmerizing and the northern accents of the commentators are quite soothing.

That's it. More cheers than jeers. I guess that's a good sign.
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