Sunday, January 30, 2011

Welcome to My Soapbox

"We decided it was time to start a family..."

I've seen this phrase crop up several times recently and it always raises my hackles. I'm quite sure it is said unconsciously and not meant the way it sounds. The person writing it is inevitably referring to the decision that they were ready to procreate or adopt, but by extension, this would mean that they are not yet a family (so logically neither are the rest of us who are living child-free, either by choice or circumstance).

I believe in the power of words. While they can only have whatever power we give them, it takes real effort to dis-empower a word. I try to choose my words carefully to express my true meaning. Professor and I are already a family. We will continue to be a family whether or not we ever produce offspring. Your spouse is the ONLY family you ever get to choose. Even those of you who are in the process of procreating or adopting without a life partner are still part of a family.

Don't denigrate what you already have in the face of what you want.

(Stepping down from my soapbox now)

Friday, January 28, 2011

ABCs: In Which I Expose My Inner Bitch

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this post awhile back before I managed to LET GO. We've all heard the saying, "It's always darkest before the dawn", and this was definitely written in a very dark place. A place I am so grateful to have escaped since. Perhaps I needed to go there before I could come to the place I am now. I debated over whether or not to hit publish, and have decided that as negative as it is, perhaps it will also help someone else to not feel so alone in the dark.

In alphabetical order:


I've read this same basic post on so many other blogs, and I never once thought that the writer was being bitchy or at all unreasonable. And yet. As I sit here letting my thoughts take form on the screen, I FEEL like a royal bitch of the worst persuasion. I feel any number of horrible character traits surfacing and crowding out the better aspects of my personality. And I feel awful about it. But I have to let the thoughts out, or I'm afraid they won't ever go away. And I guess I want other IFers in my same shoes to know they aren't the only ones who have these thoughts. God I hope I'm not the only one having these thoughts. Maybe I won't ever hit "Publish". We'll see.

I am in a rather bleak place at the moment. I'm trying to focus on hopeful thoughts, but I'm really struggling. I won't lie. Those ABCs up there are the main things I'm feeling right now. Not pretty is it?

I've recently stumbled on a whole raft of new blog and twitter friends. And each time, as my cursor hovered over the "Follow" button, I hesitated. They were, every single one of them, in or at the edge of a 2WW. And I actually had the thought, "If I follow them now and they get a BFP in the next week or so, how will I continue to watch? What kind of pregnant infertile will they be?" And I clicked "Follow" anyways, because I want to be bigger than that. I want to lend support where I can, even though I feel more like a weight belt than a life vest these days.

One by one, every single one of them got their BFP. It's like I'm some twisted kind of infertile good luck charm.

Waiting for your BFP? Step right up! Just raise your hand and I'll follow you online - your BFP is right around the corner! Guaranteed!

Yeah, I know. Not realistic. But you'll notice that Realistic isn't on that list up there. Stubborn is though. I'm not gonna let the bitch win. I'm not going to UN-follow. Not if I can help it. Every time in the past that I've stopped following someone, I've felt horrible about it. But sometimes, it hurts more to keep watching. And sooner or later, they stopped following me too. And I have to wonder if they had any idea at all why I stepped away and how hard it was to do it? I don't know.

I know this is kinda ugly, but there it is. I just ask that my internet friends please be understanding if sometimes I'm a little quiet or don't seem particularly enthusiastic. I'm focusing a lot of energy on keeping my head above water and keeping the Bitchy at bay. Sometimes, that's all the energy I have.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Well, it looks like I get to keep my 50,000 internetz because NOBODY guessed where the quote came from! For the two of you who actually care:

In Terry Pratchett's Hatful of Sky, shortly after Tiffany casts out the hiver, she and Granny Weatherwax have a blazing argument in the middle of the road. At the climax of the argument, just as Granny makes her point, she stops and says, "Peace be on this place".

If you haven't read the Tiffany Aching series, I highly recommend it!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The POAS Test

I seem to be running up against my first series of tests in the Year of Letting Go. Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my miscarriage. I was pleasantly surprised to be totally OK with the anniversary. And admittedly a little surprised not to be more hopeful about my late period.

Yep. According to my iPhone app, my period is three days late. I didn't bother to track this cycle, so I have no idea when I ovulated, but my iPhone has yet to be wrong about CD1. I hesitated to POAS because I don't have any symptoms (of pregnancy or impending period) and I really didn't want to do anything to disturb the peace.


There was ONE stick in the house, and there's always a chance... always a little hope, right? So yesterday, on CD28 (MysteryDPO), I peed on a stick. And the stick said No. Actually, the stick said "Not Pregnant" because the only one in the house was one of those fancy digital ones, but you get my drift.

Amazingly, I passed the POAS test as well.

BFN but the Peace reigns undisturbed.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Last Anniversary For a While

One year ago today, after weeks of waiting and knowing it was coming, I had a miscarriage. My one and only pregnancy. And today?

Today, I am OK.

Today, I'm just wondering if I'll ever get a second chance.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Peace Be On This Place

50,000 internetz to the first reader to peg that reference...
(HINT: teen fiction)

I don't know how it happened, or why, or to be honest, even when. All I know is that I am suddenly so completely at peace with all of this IF business. I declared 2011 to be the Year of Letting Go. There was Runny Yolk's post that inspired me to confess my Secret Fears and all of your lovely responses to that confession. Thank you so much for those comments! Y'all make this road so much less lonely and you are the reason I keep coming here. Then Jess said this in a post on her blog:

... a child should be icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

What a fabulous reminder of the whole reason the Professor and I waited so long to toss the birth control in the first place. We've had a few really good, clear-the-air type talks lately and I've just been feeling so at peace. It's been coming on for a while now. I'm reaching a point where I'm getting a feeling of closure. Maybe it's that we've been ticking options off our treatment list so steadily. Maybe it's that I'm feeling my age. Maybe it's getting to know ourselves so very well through this process. I wish I could share a map to help anyone who needs to find this peaceful place, but I just sort of woke up here.

We've given this baby making thing our all, and we aren't finished yet. Yes, we still have one IUI left, and then a round of IVF (and depending on the results of that, any FETs we might be so lucky to squeeze out). Really, quite a long way to go yet! But I sense that the time is coming when I will be ready to call it quits. I won't be one of those women who appear to have bottomless reserves of both strength and funding to continue IVF time and again. We will only have the money to do one fresh cycle. IF we get anything to freeze (BIG IF), we might be able to scrape together enough for FET.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I feel hopeful, because what I really am is realistic. One of our last attempts might work. Or none of them might work. We will do everything we can, and that will have to be enough. And whatever the outcome of these next cycles, we will be OK.

I haven't lost hope. I've just let it go.

Please let this feeling stick around.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Secret Fears

Inspired by a recent confession by Runny Yolk, I've decided it's time to open up about one of my big IF fears. I took so much comfort from reading her post, and being smacked upside the head once again with the YOU-ARE-NOT-ALONE stick. So this is in hopes that one of you (who maybe don't follow Runny Yolk) will get that same message: You are not the only one. I know that, because I am not the only one. See how that works?

A little bit of history here: until I was, oh... say... about 34? I couldn't stand children. Didn't really know any people who had them, wouldn't accept a table near them in a restaurant, generally cringed when confronted with them. I didn't even babysit as a teenager. Kids were my Kryptonite. I certainly didn't want any of my own, and I wasn't quiet about it. To this day, I still hesitate when presented with the opportunity to hold infants.

So why am I doing this?

I couldn't give you the date, but the moment is fixed in my mind like a photograph I've seen a thousand times. As I said, I was about 34. I was driving to work one afternoon (I used to work nights) and I saw a woman pushing her 1-2 year old daughter down the sidewalk in a stroller. There was nothing special about them, they were just an ordinary Mom and baby doing an ordinary thing. It was like time stopped and someone flipped a switch. I was open to a child of my own. Of course, I'm now racing towards 39 and no closer closing the deal.

I'm sure I've mentioned this here in passing, lumped in with a range of other fears, but I've been afraid to give it too much sunlight lest it grow roots and flourish. After more than a year jam-packed with failed fertility treatments, I finally came clean to the Professor last week about one of my deep dark What IFs. Damn that was hard, but luckily for me, he responded in true Professorial fashion and made me feel better on the spot. When will I learn to open up sooner?

Lately, I've been worrying more and more that the reason we haven't seen any success in our efforts against infertility is that I'm in it for the wrong reason. Obviously, the RIGHT reason is wanting a baby. But wait! I DO want a baby! Well, maybe I don't want it enough? Maybe that girl who didn't like kids is still hiding in there and sabotaging my efforts? Because, if I'm honest... when I think about reaching the point where we've exhausted our resources and our options and still not having a baby... it no longer scares me. It doesn't sound like the end of my world. I can think of plenty of good aspects to that situation.

When I shared all of this with the Professor last week, the first thing he said was "Good."

Also obvious, is the fact that this is totally irrational. I've been having trouble pinpointing my motivations for everything I'm putting myself through. I'll tell you right now that I still don't know. I'm just less worried about not knowing since I talked to the Professor about it last week. Maybe I'm deluding myself into a better frame of mind to deal with an ultimate failure at this task?  Whatever. I'll take it.

So if the "right" reason is wanting a baby and wanting to be a parent, then as they scroll across my mind's eye, my possible "wrong reasons" are as follows:

I want make the Professor a father, to give him the gift of offspring. This is a fact. No argument, and while not ideal, still a laudable reason.

I'm afraid to disappoint our families, who I know want grandkids. This is also a fact. Though I was never one to do something just because my parents wanted me to, this is an area where I'd rather not disappoint. 

I'm just stubborn and can't handle the idea of failing at something I set out to do. This is... close. But not quite right somehow. When I truly fail at something, I usually just blow it off. I am sometimes perfectly OK with not being good at things.

Perhaps a better way to put it would be: 

I'm just stubborn and can't handle the idea of failing at something I care about. That feels right. And there's something very important there. 

I care. 

That's a good enough reason for me.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Need to Vent?

A few of my bloggie pals have mentioned recently needing to get something off their chest, but being concerned about someone or other reading it if they put it out on their blog. This reminded me of a blog I recently subscribed to by IF Good Samaritan,  Lois Lane: Off the IF Record.

If you need a REALLY anonymous place to vent, this is a good option. Check it out!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Score One for Me in 2010 (I guess...)

I've just been reviewing my recent health insurance claims from the last few months of 2010 and I noticed something unusual.

Perhaps I should back up a bit. I am mildly ashamed to admit that I very rarely bother to review my processed claims. It's so rare that I have an issue, and the bills I receive from providers are almost always minimal. So I usually just go with whatever they send.

Now that my brain is emerging from the fog that was the end of 2010, I realize that I never received ANY kind of bill for the second opinion back at the beginning of November. Nada. Zilch. Not even lab work, which would have come from the lab directly. And that includes the much debated AMH test which my insurance informed me in advance would definitely not be a covered expense.

And I vaguely remember a phone call from the specialty pharmacy at the beginning of December during which the billing rep told me they would be refunding my copayment for the last batch of Gon.alF I ordered in August because my insurance paid it in full.

That's weird, why would they have done that?

With these nagging little items gaining ground in my consciousness, I decided to investigate. So I went online to review my recent claims. Those charges were all in there, claims processed and completed. Under the column heading "You Pay Out of Pocket", each one said $0.00. This goes all the way back to mid-August.

There's a thought pinging around in the recesses of my mind, but I don't know where it came from exactly. I think I met my out-of-pocket limit for the year. For the first time in my life. After which point, my insurance paid for everything.

Does that actually happen?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just Be There

I recently witnessed an extended conversation on Twitter that I found incredibly disturbing and I eventually decided to unfollow someone because I was so uncomfortable with the self-righteousness and judgement that I perceived in their remarks. Note, I said "I perceived". Perhaps I misunderstood, but I doubt it. More than anything, I needed to not see it in my Twitter feed anymore.

A few hours later, I saw this post in my blog reader. And it spoke to me.

I know it isn't precisely to the point, but it brought home the realization that when we are hurting, when our hearts are heavy, there are some responses to our pain that hurt more than they help. That people who are maybe just trying to show us what they think is a better way of looking at things, can actually cause us incredible suffering.

We can't make each other better and we shouldn't try to shame each other into prettier feelings.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Post-Op Update (In a Nutshell)

In a nutshell, it would be a little cramped!

Done groaning and rolling your eyes? Good, moving on.

WE ARE (moving on that is)!

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and wishes last week. The post-operative appointment was super simple. We sat and chatted with our RE for about 30 minutes. That's it. The first thing he asked was if I remembered talking to him afterward, and I must admit at this point, I do not remember that. He didn't seem surprised.

He reviewed the surgery (actually pretty cool). He had a transcript of sorts which he read back to us, with all kinds of details, and photos too. There were actually multiple polyps that he removed, then followed the removal with a "light" D&C. Professor was really getting into all of the minute detail in the transcript, right down to the measurement of fluids found to have leaked back out and onto the floor of the operating room after the surgery.

The tissue he removed was sent to pathology and all came back clear. We are on the books for our final IUI as soon as my next CD1 turns up, and in the meantime, we were instructed to go home and get busy! Next week, I will call up the specialty pharmacy and refill my IUI meds.

We are still in the middle of the road, but the engine is running and we are in gear.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Little Help FOR My Friend

I never cease to be amazed at how many people have stumbled into my little corner of Blogland, and how generous you all are.

I want to ask a favor of my readers who are IVF veterans, and I promise it won't cost you more than a few minutes of time! Please pop over to see my dear Twitter friend Jen (@thisispersonal) at This Is More Personal and give her the benefit of your experience. She is embarking on her very first IVF and is looking for some tips on managing the emotional/mental/psychological side of the trip.

Knowing you are out there has made this last six months so much easier to bear. Thank you all for the love you have shown me, for your comments and concern, just for being YOU!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Middle of the Road

That's where I am.

Tomorrow is my post-operative check with the RE. No idea what that will involve.

It will be CD11 and I should be ovulating soon but I won't be bothering with OPKs. While I am hoping to be given the all clear to resume relations with the Professor, I'm not really even thinking about conception. I just miss the grooving!

I figure we'll be doing another stimulated IUI with my next CD1, when it comes. Should put me firmly in a 2WW for our Florida vacation in February. Based on our previous history with this protocol, I don't really expect much.

After that, IVF.

In the meantime, I'm standing here in the middle of my road. I have a route planned, but I'm not rolling just yet. And I'm OK with that. Who would have thought?