Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Factions of Infertility

Infertility is very painful psychologically and physically. On that point, everyone who has experienced it in one form or another would agree.

However, it's rather sad that some people feel the need to indicate that their suffering from infertility is worse than others. (I can already hear the natives getting ready to scream at me.)

I just had a comment from someone who admirably was showing some restraint in voicing her opinion. Sadly, this individual seems to have suffered from several miscarriages in the past. What amazes me is that she is apparently trying to belittle my feelings, and my infertility experience.

Most people would admit that what I have been through is true, valid infertility. My husband and I are actually dealing with at least three known factors that result in infertility. This posters comment basically seemed to say to me, "At least you haven't suffered the pain of a miscarriage." Well, actually I feel as though I have. In the last two and a half years I can't help but wonder how many, if any, embryos might have been formed from our months of ttc and seven IUIs. It's highly possible that the wicked disorder, endometriosis, is resulting in very early miscarriages. Alas, I have no proof. There's no way for me to really know if my eggs and my husbands sperm can actually form an embryo until we start IVF when our schedules allow us to do so, if our next IUI also fails.

I do hope that poster wasn't trying to one up me on the IF front. I'm tired of hearing the secondary IFers whine that they are discriminated against on the IF front, when those of us without proof of any form of conception are discriminated against as well.

I will point out that the only post where I was perturbed with anyone who was complaining after suffering a miscarriage clearly indicated that the individual had a very young child, who is less than two. Also, the individual was pregnant again shortly after. She is also a teacher who has some idea of what I have gone through, including my six months experiencing pseudomenopause while taking Lupron for endo. (May I add it is far worse than using microdose Lupron for IVF, because the side effects don't get really bad until after the first month.)

Wow! It's amazing. I really wish I could let those of you who complain about my posts walk in my shoes. After you've dealt with the fear of cervical cancer, despite regular paps, and all of the check ups following surgery only to learn you also have endometriosis isn't any easy path to travel along. I can only hope that after two and a half years of infertility that if I should ever conceive, that it won't end in a miscarriage. I feel as though I'm due to have something positive happen in my life.

Then again, maybe I should just be thankful that I have a husband who loves me dearly, and has been beside me every step of the way through all of my medical problems. I know there are plenty of women who aren't fortunate enough to have found and married the love of their life.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Lessons From a Funeral

Yesterday my husband and I attended the funeral of one of his parents best friends. His parents and this friend had actually been friends since before my dh was born, so I was saddened by the thought. They lost another good friend to a horrific accident with a cement truck earlier this year. However, this latest friend died of cancer that had progressed to his spine.

The man's grandson was the first to speak at the funeral. He had some lovely, touching things to say about what he learned about being a "Papa" from watching his grandfather. Listening to what he had to say made me feel a little sad since dh and I are having such a hard time becoming parents.

After several songs, another man got up to speak. He talked about trials versus tribulations, and how when our lives are turned upside down we don't know which we are suffering until after the fact. I truthfully don't know what this had to do with this man's funeral, but it was almost as though the message was targeted directly at my dh and I. The heart of the message was that, if you live long enough, everyone's life will be turned upside down at least once. Dh and I feel as though we are there now.

This man added the importance of "not smelling like smoke" even though you've been through a fire. In other words, not bringing everyone else down with your problems. Ouch! I guess I've gone everyplace smelling like smoke lately. I'm having a hard time crawling out from under the heavy weight of my own infertility. He also spoke of looking at the big picture, and being selfless enough to serve others without just thinking about yourself.

On our way to the gravesite, I mentioned to dh how touching and eloquent the speakers had been. Come to find out, this man's grandson was adopted. I felt speechless. This service was the picture of just how perfect adoption can be. This man, dressed in his military uniform, was the perfect example of a loving grandson.

This past week I've been thinking more and more about adoption. My husband in the past told me that it was something we could look at if I wanted to, but I've always been hung up on "nature vs. nurture" issues. Perhaps it is time for me to look at something that is bigger than myself, and my own need to reproduce biologically after failing the last two and a half years. Maybe this funeral was a sign that an adopted child really can fit into the family perfectly.

I've been reading about how the biggest need for adopted children is to have a family that will love them. I know that is something that we could offer a child effortlessly. In addition, I could finally have something to contribute to all of those "family oriented" conversations which are struck up by other women in their 30s, instead of wishing I could just run away because I having nothing to add other than my personal pain, my own smoke, relating to the topic.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Possible Debate Topic

As I was cleaning today, I couldn't help but wonder...

Am I infertile because my house is dirty, or is my house dirty because I am infertile?

Okay, seriously I know that neither statement is truely the case. However, my house has been even dirtier than usual following the destruction caused by Hurricane Ivan in my area. Now, I have never been a member of the "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" faction, but even my Mother felt the need to let me know that I really should mop the kitchen floor last night. My response was that was on the top of my to do list tomorrow.

After my somewhat calm response, I actually wanted to shout, "AND BESIDES, THE DIRTY FLOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MY INFERTILITY!!!"

But, is it? My Fertile Myrtile sister keeps a cleaner house than I do, although she doesn't live in an ancient home and she does always have a three day weekend to stay on top of things.

My home was never the neatest place. I'm a person who would rather cook a gourmet meal than wash the dishes. However, I think the depression related to infertility has had a negative effect on my domestic capacities.

So, the kitchen floor did get mopped today, and I ran one of those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers around the floor boards. However, the highlight of my household durties for today will be the blueberry poundcake out of Southern Living's "Cooking Light" cookbook which I am about to go make, as soon as the butter and light cream cheese gets softened.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Ivan the Terrible

Hi everyone! The power was just finally turned on this afternoon! Everyone I know is okay and their homes are okay. However, there were many people in this county who weren't so lucky.
We drove 5 hours north to Birmingham to stay with friends during the storm.
The western side of Ivan's eye wall went over the city I live in. We have many large branches down and of course lost all of the food in the refrigerator and freezer. It appears that if the storm had lasted much longer it would have ripped the siding off of the house, since there are a couple of loose pieces. But, we are fine.
I will have to try to catch up with all of you. The schools will still be closed this week for repairs, but I have a ton of cleaning to do myself with all of the leaves and mud that have been tracked in.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Isn't Nature Amazing?

I've spent a great deal of time reflecting lately about the inequities of infertility, due to the fact that I know so many people who conceived naturally while I have failed injectables cycles time and time again.

It's just amazing that people can actually get pregnant without...

  • Using OPKs
  • Using at least one kind of fertility monitor
  • Charting
  • IUIs
  • Clomid pills
  • Needles
  • Gonadotropins
  • Progesterone
  • Using dozens of HPTS...

I am certain that the list goes on. I'm sure many people would be adding Metformin to the list, or drugs to combat autoimmune disorders. Then again, IVF belongs on the list as well, but I didn't add it at this time because I have not walked down that bumpy road yet.

It's just amazing that some people can get pregnant without all of the planning, and that some people even get pregnant by accident and may not even want a baby at all. I wish the miracle would happen for me though.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Official BFN for Gonal-F cycle #4

Yes, I received the official bad news today. Should I have expected anything else?

It's just not fair. I wanted this cycle to be successful so badly even though I knew the odds were stacked against me with my dominant follicle. I still had some hope though since I had my endo cleaned out in June. My due date would have been "perfect." (As if I care about that anymore, just let me have a healthy pregnancy.) Apparently, all of the luck in the world won't help me though. What am I saying? My sister got all of the luck in the ttc department for our family.

I've been at this long enough that even with all of my "challenges" I should have found success by now. I mean, if the average American woman finds success in 7 cycles with a 15% chance of success, then that would equal a 105% chance of success during the seven cycles.

So, if I add up the stats quoted for me by my RE, I should theoretically have already had my BFP....

3 Clomid only cycles @ 2% chance of success= 6%
3 Clomid IUI cycles @ 7% chance of success= 21%
4 Gonal F IUI cycles @ 20% chance of success = 80%
About 14 natural cycles @ 1% chance of success= 14%
I'm not counting time I was on bcps to eliminate cysts or "cycles" where I didn't ovulate.

So, according to the math there should have been a 121% chance that I would be pregnant by now. Numbers can lie.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Still Waiting...

I went for my beta today, but I don't know the results because I didn't have a private moment to call the drs office for the remainder of the day. This would be due to the fact that our normal Tuesday faculty meeting was pushed back until Wednesday, and it was followed by a health info inservice from our school nurse and an AMSTI math and science inservice. As a result, I didn't leave the school until 5:20.

I couldn't very well turn on my cell phone and take a call in front of my students, and I certainly wasn't going to step out of the faculty meeting and come back in crying after my BFN. It's crazy that teachers are completely cut off from the world, work 60 hours a week, and are left to live off meager salaries for professionals.

The nurse left several messages on my home and cell phones. I didn't detect any tone in her voice to leave me feeling optimistic.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Stupid Julie Struck Again

Those of you who were reading my Type Pad blog surely remember Stupid Julie, the girl who plagued me for two weeks of a math and science inservice, constantly talking about being pregnant when she was only five to six weeks. Well, she hasn't wised up.

Our area was in the projected path of a hurricane during the past week. Stupid Julie is not due until February, but she thought she had to call her doctor to see if she needed to evacuate for fear of "delivering" (to quote her) during the storm.

  • Stupid Julie should know that delivering wasn't the most appropriate word. Miscarrying would be more like it if you have a baby when you're not even showing.
  • I thought even the village idiot knew that the only people at risk for delivering during a hurricane were people very close to their due date due to the drop in pressure.

Kudos for Stupid Julie's OB/GYN for telling her like it is. I'm sure he and his staff stopped and allowed themselves time for a quintuple eyeball roll after that call.

Another BFN for the Collection

After my horrible night last night, I just couldn't help myself, I had to test this morning. Of course, there was only one line staring up at me on the CBE. I'm really disappointed because the timing would have been so perfect for a baby's arrival. Plus, I was hoping I wouldn't continue to battle IF throughout my sister's pregnancy.

I get the official news tomorrow. Dh and I have decided we will move on to IVF, and hopefully do a retrieval and transfer in December.

Monday, September 06, 2004

A Terrible Evening

I don't know if I'm going to survive the next seven and a half months of my sister's pregnancy. She is seriously reminding the world she is pregnant every 15 minutes.

Tonight I had dinner at the home of a family friend, along with my parents, my sister and BIL, and my BIL's parents. Unfortunately, my dh was stuck working out of town in Iowa this holiday weekend. When we sat down after dinner out of my Dad's mouth popped the jovial statement, "Let's come up with some names for the baby." As if that wasn't bad enough, he threw out "Constantine Anastasia" as if he thought it was hilarious. Then my sister's dh started in with his feelings on Russian names. Never mind the fact that I actually told my parents years ago that my dh and I had decided we would like to name a daughter Anastasia. Then there is the fact that if my dh and I adopt we would choose to adopt from Russia. It was all I could do not to cry. Then, someone mentioned that August went by so fast, and my sister actually said that was okay with her that all of the months of her pregnancy could just fly by fast. This was after hearing her complain about all of the Tylenol and Maalox she is having to take.

Amidst all of this my sister's MIL had to broach the topic that Bush wants to make adoption an easier process. My sister actually started in, as if she would have half a clue about adoption. They were complaining that the process is so expensive that people were adopting internationally instead. If I had been up for causing a stir I would have told them how completely uneducated they were about the adoption process, but since I love the people who were hosting the dinner I behaved.

Maybe I'm being to sensitive, but I thought it was just awful. My sister is six years younger than me, and they know I've been trying! I can't believe they would just go on and on about such topics after dinner. Apparently they have no idea what emotions come along with IF.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

My Life Is On Hold

I feel as though my life is on hold while I am waiting to test. My beta should have been scheduled for tomorrow, but my RE's office doesn't do betas on Labor Day. Since Tuesday is not a good day for me to run across the bay for a blood test due to bus duty, I am left to wait until Wednesday.

My husband is working in Iowa for one more week. Sadly, he was left responsible for working the Labor Day weekend. I'm really not in the mood to face the world this weekend, so I'm home alone with my Persian Prissy. In other words, I have a lot of time on my hands, and have considered ordering myself some "presents." One of the things I've been considering is a lovely pair of pink pants from Victoria's Secret. However, they won't ship until 9/25, and if I'm pregnant I'd outgrow them all to quickly. I've also considered ordering another infertility book, perhaps a humerous one, to ease the pain should I get a BFN. However, that too could be a waste of my $$$. What's a girl to do?

I have two hpts that have been in my home for almost a year, and I have been seriously thinking about using one of them. There are some problems with this idea though.

  • If it's negative, I will only get to be miserable for two extra days before my husband returns from Iowa.
  • If it's negative I will tell myself it was too early to test, and still have hope, only to get upset when I get the official BFN, and again get upset when AF shows.
  • At least I can still pretend that I'm pregnant as long as I haven't seen that one solitary line.
  • I'm having problems in the FMU department because I've been up going to the bathroom and drinking water every night this week. It seems my body is completely intolerant of salt.

So, as you can imagine I'm frustrated sitting here waiting. It doesn't help matters that I'm also left watching and waiting to see what Hurricane Frances ultimately decides to do, because the area I live in will supposedly catch a piece of the storm after it enters the Gulf of Mexico.

Okay, so I can't wait until Friday. My husband will be home, Hurricane Frances will be over, and I'll finally know what's officially going on in my body.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Another 2WW is almost over

My beta is scheduled for Wednesday morning. I'm sad to say that I'm not very optimistic though. Everything went wrong this cycle. How can I expect my 4th Gonal-F IUI cycle to work when I had a dominant follie, if past ones failed with four and five follies?

It would be so awesome if it worked. I would be due right before the end of the school year, and would be able to spend the entire summer home with the new baby. Also, this is the last cycle my insurance will pay for. The next step will be IVF, and sadly we will have to sell stocks to be able to pay for it. However, I guess a baby is more important to me than retirement.