Archive for the ‘TTC’ Category

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Thoughts While Climbing K-2

August 25, 2009

Spain in July is sizzling and after eight days of blistering weather, we decided to drive up to the Sierra Nevada and its snow capped peaks. Chilly weather guaranteed. The guide book directed us to one mountain in particular promising a mere 100 yard hike to reach the summit from where the ocean and Morocco would be visible with the naked eye. Eager, we began our hike uphill. But the mountain was deceiving for it curved. The further we hiked the longer the horizon of mountain stretched before us. Jack took long strides while I stayed further behind taking baby steps, pausing to catch my breath (little did I know I was pregnant with loss #2). After an hour we looked at each other puzzled. Certainly we’d walked 100 yards. Finally I asked a hiker coming downhill, How much longer? She smiled, not much, about two hours. Our jaws dropped. We never knew it would be so far. Want to keep going? Jack asked. I nodded. I’ll keep going until we get there. We hiked another hour and finally Jack turned around The sun is setting and we still have far to go. I think we should turn around. I protested. I wanted to keep going. You look drained, we brought no water, how do you want to continue? I shook my head. I didn’t know why, but we had to see the ocean. Gently he put his hand on my shoulder we had no idea it would be this far. The guide book was wrong, we need to stop.

Today at work I clicked on a blog and was assaulted by the image of a lovely woman rubbing her belly with the words: Due date November 3. That was my due date. I pressed play on my answering machine. My insurance company congratulating me on my third trimester and wondering why I haven’t filled out sent questionnaires. I sat down, tired, and thought of my negative pg test.  The guide books lied. Sex and pre-natals and little fairy dust is not all it takes to have a baby. Lately it feels the longer I hike, the further the mountain stretches before me.  As the sun sets around me I wonder will I ever see the ocean? Will these blistered feet ever stop aching?

I’m trying not to let my infertility own me, but sometimes that bitch just tackles me to the ground. Still I trudge on because I’ve heard once you reach the summit the painful hike feels light years ago and you nod and say it was worth it. Will I get to see it for myself? Most days I think I will, but sometimes like now, I feel doubt.

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12dpo and negative pregnancy tests

August 24, 2009

We’re back from my in-laws. I spent the majority of the time curled up on a sofa reading books, or napping but I can’t complain because I did not bleed. Speaking of signs, my glorious signs hinting at possible pregnancy, they’re gone save the occasional needing to go to the bathroom at night. I took a pregnancy test today, 12dpo, negative. I’m telling myself its still early, that I woke up to pee twice last night and took this test an hour after my last bathroom visit, that I usually test way later for a positive,  so perhaps it means nothing, but- seeing the stark blankness where I twice before saw a dark line does wonders in bringing down my mood. I had spotting last Tues/Wedns, shouldn’t the HCG be detectable now?  I will re-test Wednesday, the day my period is due, but I can’t help but wonder what would change in a matter of just a few days.

Friday as we drove to South Carolina, we stopped for dinner. Having eaten too much we decided to take a walk in the little plaza so we didn’t feel queasy driving the two remaining hours. The Kohls looked bright and inviting so we stepped into the cool air conditioning and walked around. Just as we were about to leave I stopped in my tracks. The picture frame aisle. Rows of beaded frames with red stickers announcing markdowns and then, one frame, round and yellow, a huge sunflower frame. It transported me back to the field of dead sunflowers, and that one that remained alive and vibrant. My sunflower hope. I went to the register and told Jack when our baby is born, the first picture is going in this frame.

Seeing a negative makes you feel silly for such spontaneous acts of hope. Its the very definition of a burst balloon. The negative is a snide laugh ringing in my head whispering hurtful words you really thought you were? how dumb are you? We all feel sad when we see a negative, but the other feeling, of shame to have dared dreamed, of helplessness that nothing, not even EWCM and perfect timing guaruntees anything, those feelings sting at a baser level.

I will test again Wednesday and I will try to tell myself its okay if I’m not pregnant. It’s just tough to self-pep when you just felt so fucking sure.

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ICLW, Octomom, 9dpo, and in-laws

August 21, 2009

ICLW: Welcome ICLWers! This is my first time and I’m excited to discover new blogs. Blogging has helped me preserve my sanity in my darkest moments. Since my first miscarriage in April, I write a post nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. Through writing and reading your blogs I’ve learned so much about my conditions and how to be a better advocate for myself. I’ve learned that some things that feel crazy are normal in the world of an IFer. Writing helps me make sense of my world, and reading your blogs helps me remember I’m not alone. I can’t say it enough, thanks for writing and thanks for reading. Only we get we.

Octomom: I’m not proud of myself but I watched the Fox special. [Some think its wrong to call her octomom but she trademarked the name!] I’m not sure what the IF community thinks about her, but I watched with the idea that perhaps this show would reveal a sympathetic person. It didnt. The children looked depressed and angry. Not once did I see any child show affection for their mother though her two year old called her a bitch twice and one of the older children told her she was not the best parent. Not one volunteered to wish her a happy mother’s day.  She held one of the octuplets without supporting their heads, chatting with photographers with her manicured nails and the baby spit up and its coming down his little chin and she doesn’t notice because she’s too busy talking about how involved she is. What bothers me most is that IF is a hush hush topic in the US and the people who are notoriously IF, their struggles broadcast to millions is her and John&Kate +8. These rare exceptions sensationalize the topic of IF turning our issues into a circus show. I get that this draws greater ratings but the toxic comments left on message boards about these women are not directed solely at them, but to the IF community in general.

9dpo: Someone in my last post commented that 8dpo brings out the crazies in us IFers. Truer words were never spoken. The wondering of am I? Am I not? is now in full swing. Last night I got up to pee (only happens when pregnant) but then a part of me wonders Is this psychosomatic? Am I making this happen? I’m not nauseous, the boobs aren’t that sore anymore. . . time will tell, but time let me tell you something, thou are a bitch sometimes! And speaking of the tww crazies . . .

In-laws!: If you are new to my blog please read here so you understand my unique in-law woes. In brief though, every time I see them I bleed (i.e. get a period or miscarry). I know logically they’re not the cause of this but the coincidence is frightening. We’re going today to  South Carolina this weekend to see them.  I don’t have a choice. It’s a big event and Jack is adamant this is all in my head. I”m sure he’s right. There’s no rational way that my in-laws cause my bleeding. They want grand kids, they’re not sending evil vibes! I’m not even that stressed when I see them. I just don’t get it. He’s ordered me not to touch those pee sticks until we come back because he knows if it shows up positive I. will. not. go. I’m not due for a period until 8/26, so hopefully this means I’m safe. Right? Please tell me its all been a terrible coincidence? Please tell me to chill out and go for long walks and remain calm?

We come back Sunday and I’ll be without Internet while there. If you believe in prayers please keep me in them this weekend.

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Co-existing with infertility

August 16, 2009

Sitting in the doctor’s office after my last miscarriage, Jack on one side of me, the doctor on the other, I felt as if I was part of an intervention. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Jack said shaking his head and patting my hand. Dr. D nodded, In your life when you put your mind to something you’ve accomplished it, but in this matter there’s a lot that’s out of our control. She’s right. Since I was a child, the lessons imparted to me by my parents, teachers, society, was If you work hard enough you can achieve your dreams. And this was true, until now.

In the realm of infertility and pregnancy loss, I can take my Metformin to keep my insulin in check. I can pop the baby aspirin to thin my blood so it won’t strangle a future fetus. I can take the prenatals and make sure I’m eating a balanced baby friendly diet. I can try Clomid. IUI. IVF. I can jump on to lovenox after a positive pregnancy test. I can work as hard as I can and while I should keep my feet moving I have no control over whether any of this will work. This is hard to accept. Perhaps this is why I start sign hunting by checking my boobs, debating the degree of nausea and exhaustion during each two week wait. But sign hunting won’t give me the end result, its just a maddening way to waste two weeks (and in my case often longer) of your life.

Things such as sign hunting and the devastation that follows when you see blood made me think of stepping out of the baby making game for a while until I had my head in the right place emotionally. I told my therapist this thinking he’d agree because if anyone knows how much of a wreck IF has made me, it should be him. I was surprised when he disagreed. You’re in the game and I think you should keep moving, you need to learn to handle the challenges better but I don’t think you will take a time out. I think its an intellectual exercise to debate whether you should or not, you’re too deep in to step back. I think he’s right. I could never stop. The challenge for me is not taking some time off, but learning how to co-exist with my infertility. To walk side by side with this challenge and not let it wear me and turn me into a one dimensional person.

In an effort to co-exist with my IF I decided to focus on things in my control, so I can keep on moving on in this journey but not be paralyzed emotionally while I do so.

No more Sign Hunting. What do I get out of checking my boobs and gauging my levels of exhaustion? If I’m pregnant I am and I’ll find out soon enough. Some people say its good to have your hopes up and be positive. Maybe this works for some, but for me getting my hopes up means they are crushed in a bloody heap at the end of the cycle. Most people get that a miscarriage is sad, but most non-IFers don’t get that the end of a cycle that did not work is heartwrenching too. It is also a loss. I’m not sure how I’m going to succeed here but I’m not googling for signs and symptoms anymore and the goal is to firmly tell myself not to read into things when the urge strikes. If that means chanting a mantra you’re not pregnant, stop it! or Google is not a fortune teller. So be it.

Focus on the things I have control over like . . .

My fitness and nutrition. Exercising burns adrenaline and calms me but when I’m stressed or depressed the last thing I want to do is go for a run. My neighborhood is full of rolling hills and my plan is to stick on the iPod and power walk. I’m also considering yoga. With PCOS losing weight is challenging but its possible. Its time I took greater control.

My hobbies. I love to read. Scrapbook. Try new recipes. Write poetry (of questionable merit).  Instead of imploring Dr. Google to predict my future status of motherhood I will do things I enjoy.

My writing. Though my writing is technically a hobby at the moment since I’m not paid to do it, I have a finished manuscript that I’m revising one last time before submitting to agents. Since the miscarriage issues I’ve neglected it entirely. I need to update my query letters, and pursue this dream.

Reflecting. A dear friend reminded me how important it is  to take advantage of silence and down time to contemplate and reflect. When she first suggested this I wondered what I needed to reflect on or contemplate, but after a few days of plugging out for a few hours from TV, music, cell phone and internet and just taking a walk, or making dinner in silence I saw what she meant. The world comes into sharper focus. I realized its hard to really think clearly when you’re always plugged in. This act of taking time out for silence each day is helping me in ways I could never have anticipated from the simplest areas of appreciating things I never thought to appreciate such as the brilliant orange of a carrot I’m cutting for dinner, the sound of its crispness as I slice through it, the sweet flavor of homegrown tomatoes. Being plugged in, you can end up just doing things by rote and not realizing.  It’s not always easy to co-exist with silence because sometimes thoughts that are unpleasant that I’ve tried running from also make themselves known, but now at least I can begin tackling these thoughts instead of pushing them away, because the truth is, even if we don’t think about things and reflect, they are still there, poking us under the surface, stealing our peace of mind.

My Marriage. Its easy to take Jack for granted. He’s my best friend and he’s always there for me. While I’ve gotten better about dumping all my IF issues on him, I still can’t forget when he said he wanted his wife back. I hope as I try to flesh out the other parts of me that go beyond my desire for motherhood, Jack will see his wife returning. I cannot control all aspects of my marriage but I can control my end of things.

I hope by focusing on the areas of my life I have some measure of control over, I can take away the tunnel vision on IF that has taken over my life. I accept that no matter how much control I take over my life, IF sucks and failed cycles will always hurt, I just hope that I will bounce back faster and not allow IF to take over all of my life. The best I am praying for is it to co-exist with my infertility and not let it wear me as it has for two years.

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Two Week Waiting- again

August 14, 2009

This is perhaps the first true two week wait I’ve ever had since I seem to be (I think) certain I did in fact ovulate. The weird thing is  yesterday, and today my boobs are sore. I fall kerplunk into bed and pass out for the night like I had gone out dancing and drinking ’till 5 in the am. I’m fine with the konking out as that’s kind of been happening for the longest time but why are my boobs hurting? My nurse told me that my Wednesday beta was negative, its not possible to have preggo signs before HCG levels rise right? I thought I’d ask since I’m in the company of the IF experts who have the degrees I trust: street smarts in the land of IF. You’ve all gone to grad school (albeit unwillingly) and got the doctorate in all things IF so your advice, well it matters.

I really am not freaking out about it. I’m too tired to get worked up. Getting pregnant will be good but you won’t see me painting a nursery until the baby is out and in my arms and I can feel its warm baby soft skin against my breast. Until then, I remain hopeful but skeptical.

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Battling my deepest fear and desire

August 12, 2009

Thank you guys so much for your feedback on my last post. I really did not make the connection between my exhaustion and the fact that I’ve suffered two miscarriages, one just two weeks earlier. It seems obvious now that you’ve mentioned it but until then I really didn’t understand. I felt determined to find out the hormonal root of the issue when the truth is, I’ve been pregnant or suffering from a miscarriage this entire year . . . something’s got to give I suppose.

Speaking of pregnancy, I know I said in previous posts that I didn’t want to wait for my cycle to begin TTC again. We BD’d every day this week save yesterday due to back pain on my part, but today I awoke to discover EWCM. I know for many this is very ho hum sort of news but for me, this is perhaps the fourth time I’ve ever seen it in my life. The lovely sort, the sort that could be photographed for a textbook definition of EWCM. I don’t know if its real EWCM or if its my body misfiring post-pregnancy as it resets itself but its EWCM and its glorious.

I saw the EWCM and at first I was practically giddy with joy. I sat impatiently at work waiting to get home. And yet, as we drove home together the previous post began gnawing at me. I am so tired. If this is a manifestation of my physical and mental state due to the losses I’ve experienced then am I ready to try again so soon even though to my core I feel I am ready?  I mentioned to Jack that I seem to be ovulating and he felt mixed about it. I’m scared about your mental well being. I want you to enjoy your pregnancy. I had to laugh a little. Whether its this cycle or ten cycles from now I’m never going to enjoy my first trimester ever again. That innocence is gone. I know I will most likely be able to talk Jack into it if I assure him I’m confident but I’m sort of scared too. This would be an egg early in the cycle so it won’t be a “late egg” that some attribute to early miscarriage, and I’ll get lovenox upon a positive test. Two variables different from before. But. . . But . . . But . . .

I want a baby. I don’t want a miscarriage. I’m ovulating tonight. I never ever ovulate this early and with so much EWCM. I’m most fertile post-miscarriage so why not take advantage. What if things go wrong again and I blame myself for trying to soon. All these thoughts run through my head. I wish I knew the right answer. It could be that its too late and I’ve already conceived since we BD’d the day before yesterday and maybe . . . or maybe despite EWCM and all the perfect circumstances I won’t conceive… so many variables at play but all I know is this EWCM feels more precious than yellow diamonds and pint sized ocean pearls. It feels painful to think of letting it go to naught.

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The weirdest angst ridden post yet

August 10, 2009

In my previous post I said I planned not to wait for the next cycle before TTC since after miscarriage #1 the time frame until my first cycle was my most normal ovulation cycle ever and I regret not having taken advantage of that. It appears, I may have ovulated. It’s hard to know if its legit since it should only be about CD6 so I’m basing it on EWCM. Maybe after miscarriage it can happen at any time for no reason as the body readjusts to normal. I know its normal to be worried about a third miscarriage due to low progesterone levels, and the clotting disorder, and PCOS, but that’s not why I’m worried if it turns out I get pregnant this month or within the next three months.

I’m worried because there is a wedding on my husband’s side of the family in my city in November and my in-laws, all of them, will be staying with us to attend. I wrote a little about why I’m freaking out about this here, but to put it short, despite having PCOS and irregular periods whenever I saw my in-laws I’d get my period. Something about being around them (or some huge fucked up coincidence) causes me to bleed when they’re around. I had both of my miscarriages while around them. This past time I miscarried I hadn’t seen them since my last miscarriage when I was at their house (almost four months ago). My conundrum sounds silly but feels frightening. If they come in November I could be anywhere from 2 to ten weeks pregnant all within the danger zone and as tough as a third miscarriage will be anyways, to bleed when they come again will be awful beyond words. I mentioned this to Jack. He said he could fly me down to my parents for that weekend but then I’m afraid to be without Jack during the first trimester.

Now I’m seriously considering waiting to TTC until after November so I can be assured I won’t have to see them for a good long while before I conceive. But Speckie was to be born November 3. I’d really been hoping to be pregnant before his due date. This is a stinky place to be. Wanting a baby beyond belief. Wanting to TTC, but wondering if I should not based not on science but a coincidence that has haunted me for years with my in-laws.  It all feels so confusing to me as there is fear in waiting since who knows if I’d get pregnant anyways in these next few months, and fear in trying because if I do I don’t know how I can deal with his family. I mean, its a wedding, they’re coming, I can’t stop them from landing on my front porch. sigh.

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To TTC or not TTC, that is the question

August 8, 2009

The first time we tried to conceive I remember walking around with the satisfaction of knowing we’d conceived. 1 + 2 = 3 after all, right? I’ve since learned, I can’t do math.  Each month we tried and each month found me in the cold morning hours sitting on the tub staring at the HPT begging for that second line, thinking if I could will it, it would appear. It never did, not for 13 months and then on month 14 there it was, the second red line so faint but there. I miscarried ofcourse and planned for another long infertility filled road ahead, and then about 8 weeks after my miscarriage I saw the line again, darker this time, silly me thought that meant this one would stick.

My miscarriage seems over though a beta on August 13 will decide on that definitively and I noticed yesterday the beginning of what appears to be a normal cycle. And I have a confession to make. I cringe  but this blog is the one place I can be honest, so I’m going to be honest: I want to try. Now. This cycle. Getting pregnant is so hard for me that the fact that I got pregnant twice makes me want to try the party trick a third time.

Maybe its the latent addict within me. Fucking hell if those positive pregnancy tests are not the most beautiful thing that technology has ever created. I keep all my positive tests and when pregnant they lay on my table and I walk by from time to time just to marvel at the most beautiful line that ever existed. Damn I want to see that line again. Damn I really don’t want to have to wait.

I’ve done my research and it seems that doctors typically want you to wait a cycle because then they can figure out when your due date is, but with me we always have to determine via ultrasound. It seems my issue is clotting which my doctor has already set up a protocol for next time I’m pregnant, and I’ve decided that I would not try to conceive after cycle day 20 because I’ve heard that egg quality worsens upon late ovulation. Considering each time I ovulated it was past CD24 the odds of me conceiving even if I were to TTC now are slim to none because like I said, I refuse to TTC anymore on late ovulations if that means an increased risk of miscarriage.

But- what if this time I ovulated a bit earlier? What if the EWCM is glorious? Right after miscarriage 1, two weeks after my HCG went to zero I had an ontime ovulation. It felt amazing to have a normal cycle and sometimes I really regret ignoring Jack’s urging to go ahead and try. Maybe we’d have had a nice perky egg, maybe it would have made all the difference.  I don’t know. I could never be sure.

So that’s where I am right now, playing tug of war with my heart and mind. I wish there was an easy answer, a simple solution. Perhaps my PCOS and its nonovulating nature will take care of the answer for me but for now I remain the idiotic optimistic deigning to think I may ovulate and deigning to think I have any say on matters of my own conception.

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Meeting hope incarnate

June 27, 2009

I had not seen my friend Maria since 2007. She just had a baby. Her baby was born the day after my miscarriage. She was in Atlanta with her husband to attend a mutual friend’s wedding. We hugged and chatted and in my most nonchalant voice I said, I hope I’m not prying but I remember you told me in ’07 that you’d been trying for a year. What did you end up doing?

She smiled, I had four failed IVF cycles since we last met. The day after my fourth failed cycle, we began filling out the paperwork to adopt a baby from Morrocco. We were in Paris, en route to Morocco to interview with the agency and I got pregnant naturally.

You must have been so stressed I said shaking my head Four failed IVF cycles, I don’t want to imagine. She shook her head, I promise you, I didn’t stress about it. I trusted this was God’s will. He tests those he wants to draw closer to him.

Infertility as a test from God to be borne with absolute strength and trust. I read a book recently in with the author, Steven Luxenberg said fear destroys trust. I am so afraid of the path ahead I have no room to trust. I look at Maria and I think, for 2.5 years she endured what I am enduring, and she took it easy and relaxed. The cynic in me shakes my head and wonders if she is looking back with rose colored glasses, I mean who can endure four failed IVF cycles and say Coolios no big deal? Granted she is filthy rich so affording treatment isn’t the issue . . . but regardless, I am sure she remained faithful during her struggles to conceive. I look at her gorgeous little girl. She is ten weeks old. I did not need to ask, because I know, I will always see her and know. She is hope incarnate. She is proof that I can wringe my hands and give up entirely, but its not up to me what the end result will be. I must move my feet and keep on doing what I must, but I do need to accept that despite my best plans, that I must accept when it comes to TTC, I am not behind the wheel. I want to be where she says she was, that good place where you trust completely and as a result remain stress free. I’m trying to get there. It’s an upward climb but hopefully it will get easier the more I climb.

Tomorrow we’re going out to dinner with a group of friends. One of those friends is my ex-friend who is loud and vivacious and quite pregnant. [I wrote about it here] I know it will be an evening of all about Tricia and I feel very uncomfortable about it. What makes it more awkward is we’re having the dinner folks over to our house for dessert after, and I’ve heard Tricia and her hubby may come TO OUR HOUSE. I hope she doesn’t have the nerve but knowing Tricia she just might. I’ll try to adopt Maria’s philosophy. These difficult times are there to make me stronger. I will sit and smile tomorrow, I will make it through, I will look at Maria’s miracle and remember that I am looking at hope incarnate.

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Untangling my fears of childlessness

June 26, 2009

I want to warn anyone feeling fragile about infertility that this post might be a bit strong. I’m going to talk about some beliefs I am trying to untangle, but I just hope it does not tangle anybody else’s thoughts.

I saw my therapist today and we talked about my plan. I told him something I’ve been scared to admit to myself, I am so scared to start the plan. I’m frightened to take Clomid, to do IUIs, etc. Why? Because I’m afraid they won’t work. I’m scared to explore my options because if the doors close I dont know what to do with myself. He told me I sound like someone whose given up before I’ve begun. I told him I’m trying really hard to make peace with the possibility of never having children and then promptly burst into tears. He asked me what made me so afraid of the prospect of never having children:

1. Did you watch Sesame Street? I remember when Maria and Luis got married and found out they were having a child they sang a song about now becoming a family. At four, I remember feeling confused. Weren’t they already a family? I asked my mom who responded, No, once they have a baby, then they are family. This seems to be a common perception to this day. I see people announce pregnancies on twitter with X and Y are becoming a family! So that means that Jack and I alone, we’re just two people, we’re a couple. We are not a family.

2. When we eat dinner together, or watch TV, or sleep in, or go for a bike ride, I think of my friends who remind me oh you’re lucky to go on vacation . . . we have kids and can’t do that! Ha! you’re so lucky you can sleep in, we’re lucky if we can get four hours of sleep. I COULD have worked the corporate lifestyle but I have kids and they are my priority. I can’t speak for all infertiles, but for me, these comments and attitudes make me feel they are better than me by virtue of having a working womb and children to show for it. They are doing important stuff. They can’t sleep! They can’t relax on vaca! Sometimes I feel like they are really doing the important job while  I’m sitting here in never never land flying like Peter Pan.

3. I’m afraid of  ending up alone. I haven’t seen the movie “UP” (and if you haven’t seen it be warned a spoiler is to follow): from what I’ve heard the movie touches on infertility. A husband and wife suffer a pregnancy loss and then never have children. One scene shows the husband old and alone attending his wife’s funeral. I haven’t seen the movie, but that movie touches on a huge raw fear of mine.

4. I know people who are older and never had children and I hear what people I know say about them. The looks of pity. The whispers that they waited too long to start trying. They tsk tsks as they sigh and watch them, who do they have to live for? Their legacy their name ends with them. I already know for a fact certain people do this with me. My mom told me once I got pregnant, I didn’t want to tell you before, but your aunts would always call and say they were so worried and praying for you. My other aunt blatantly told me You are really tired due to pregnancy because you waited too long. Thank God you got pregnant. Now that I’ve miscarried these word haunt me. I am one of those people you look at and tsk.

5. The obvious, I want to be a mother, and even though I am not a mother, it is part of my identity and because I do not have that status yet, I’m in an identity crisis. I never thought it would be this hard to become a mother and I know I would be a good mother. I want the opportunity to try.  I want to feel her kicks in my womb. I want to push through labor. I want to throw her a huge first birthday, and cry as she goes off to Kindergarten.There is a part of the need to be a mother that is a raw human urge that defies logic or human rationale.

I don’t know if I should try to accept that I might never be a mother and thus sit down and tackle all the issues I listed, or if I need to block them all out and try to make myself hope focused and not consider failure as an option. I dont know which is the healthier  perspective. I’ve heard that if you prepare and accept the possibility of the worst you can be at peace and then be pleasantly overjoyed when the worst does not happen. I’ve also read studies that positive thought and visualization can go a long way to helping your dreams come true. I don’t know which way to go. I need to think about it because being in limbo is not an option for me anymore. The biggest issue I am trying to answer is: If I am to not become a mother, who am I? Who will I be?

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OBGYN Update and advice

June 23, 2009

Thanks for all your well wishes and for your advice. I went to a different location to see my my doctor.  This office is located inside of a bigger building, a pediatrics building. Babies, everywhere. I was seated for my consult and looked out the open door. I was sitting across from the Ultrasound room. 22 weeks is about how far I would’ve been. You can guess the thought that went through my mind as I sat waiting.

The meeting went fine. She gave me  a progesterone  ‘script. She’s running blood work to check on what caused my miscarriage.  She told me to get an HSG done and for Jack to get a sperm analysis. Here’s my question: I got pregnant. So clearly the sperm is swimming and my fallopian tubes are open . . . right? Is this standard operating procedure? This is my tentative time line:

July: Get a period and get HSG test and SA done.

August: Get next period and start Clomid. Three Cycles on Clomid.

November: Clomid +IUI. Three Cycles.

February: Fertility Specialist.

She told me to exercise and watch what I eat. Check, and check. She told me to calm down and not stress too much [don’t you LOVE that nugget of advice] because that can affect when I ovulate.

I got off the phone with Jack and he started whining: I don’t want to get an SA. I almost broke down and started bawling. Really? Jacking off into a cup is too much for you? You want to get the HSG done?!? Then when I explained the process he was like Um, do you really want to do all that to have a baby? What the FUCK? I tried to keep my cool and said You told me you were fine with me seeing an RE. What did you think they were going to do? Read my tarot cards and give me herbs to wear on my head while I danced around a fire pit? He said he didn’t know. We’re supposed to talk about it over dinner tonight but I’m really afraid because I don’t want to fight. We’ve been really strong and together on this IF front and I don’t want to break down.

So I have a few questions to throw into the blogiverse:

1) If I have a chance for insurance to cover more if I stick with my OBGYN, what is the increased benefit that an RE would provide. I know that they’d be more knowledgable but if they’re going to give me clomid, IUI’s etc, then why not stick with the doctor I have and let insurance cover some of it?

2) Did any of you have HSG and SAs done post-miscarriage? I’m confused as to why I’d need this see we can clearly get a baby into my belly.

3) Have any of you had to convince your significant other to go through with procedures, etc? I hope I don’t have to go through any convincing, but if I do, do you have any advice for me? I think he’s just overwhelmed. He also doesn’t want it as bad as I do. He’s point blank told me: If we never have kids I’m okay with it though having a child will be wonderful. Some say this should comfort me, one person needs to be the rock. I don’t know, sometimes I agree, sometimes it makes me feel alone.

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My upcoming OBGYN visit

June 23, 2009

3:15 today I go to see my OBGYN. I’m nervous. Why are you nervous? Jack asked me this morning. I’ve thought about it. Why am I nervous. I don’t get any test results today.  It’s a consult. We’re just talking. I’ve thought about it and these are some of my reasons:

1. I’m afraid she won’t give me progesterone to induce my period. I’m on CD43. My longest cycle to date. In December when my period was delayed and I called to ask for it, she said no, that because I have PCOS I needed to just wait it out.

2. I’m afraid she’s going to tell me to wait three more cycles before giving me Clomid.

3. I’m afraid I’m not going to like her timeline for me in general.

4. I’m afraid she will retract her promise to test me for auto-immune issues, etc to determine a possible cause for my miscarriage.

5. I’m afraid that even if she agrees to work with me her time line is going to be very very long. It’s difficult to get fit in for appointments with her.

6. I have been having the weirdest things happening. Lower back pain. Things rumbling in my ovaries. My boobs swell from time to time. I’m afraid she will dismiss this all and give me no explanation.

7. I’m afraid I will break down seeing pregnant women around me, and remembering I’d be in my fifth month right now.

and . . .

8. I’ll  POAS and she’ll likely do a blood test to make sure I’m not pregnant. I know I’m not. I can tell myself this until I’m chanting like a Buddhist monk saying nothing but these words as my mantra, yet still, when she tells me: Negative. It’s going to sting like a slap. Am I the only one who not only feels sad when they see the BFN, but also embarrassed?

I am trying to accept my infertility, and the feeling of no control. The doctor has the control. She is my key to the one thing I want most in this world. I stare at her, a prisonor in my own body, asking for her help. We are so vulnerable at the doctor’s office. I know I will see an RE but today, its just a little stressful.

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Accepting Infertility

June 22, 2009

My posts reflect I reached a low point last week. I felt like my infertility had trapped me into a corner and I could not find my way out. When I sat with my therapist I blurted out in tears I can’t keep going on like this. If I continue feeling this way the results could be bad. He looked up with concern asking me what that meant. I hastened to tell him, I didn’t think suicidal thoughts, but the future seemed so frightening and bleak from where I stood in my journey that this blank space terrifed me to the point of emotional paralysis.

Friday, I decided I needed to do some soul searching. I took the day off work. I worked out. It felt good to sweat away the adrenaline. Each step on the pavement felt like I was pounding away my demons. I showered and then I lit some candles and prayed. Through my tears, I asked for a child. More importantly, I asked for peace. I warned God that my infertility has shaken my concept of Him. That though I prayed, my faith remained weaker than it once was. Then I meditated. I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply and breathed out. I focused on my breath, the sound of the fan in the distance. The candles burned in the distance casting a beautiful glow in my shady afternoon bedroom.

Then, I felt it. Peace. A stillness in my heart that has eluded me for months. I felt no pain, no grief, just peace.

Later that evening as I read a book, a thought struck me with the force of a hammer thrown across the room. I saw my path. Yes, I thought, I am on the fourth week of my two week wait.  Yes, the pregnancy test Jack asked me to take this morning still says negative. But- I *will* get a period eventually. I will see my OBGYN Tuesday. Then I’m going to see an RE. I’m going to get a plan. I need to get out of the moment. The now in which my reality is: no period,  a missed month of trying, hormones that are not helping my emotions.

I think that this past year of TTC I have not accepted my condition. I have PCOS. I am not normal. I want children and my condition, without the right treatment, precludes that. I have been angry about my diagnosis. I have grieved each monthly cycle and the loss of hope it brought. I have felt like less of a woman. Less of a wife. Less of a daughter. I feel I have failed everyone around me. I have lamented my condition, but I did not accept that for better or worse PCOS is my condition to own. My doctor indirectly tries to put the blame of PCOS on me telling I should lose weight and it will magically disappear. But I’m only 10 pounds from my ideal BMI. I’m sick of carrying this guilt. I’m ready to let it go.

Coping with infertility is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I’m sure along the way I will fall. Thanks for reading and being there to lift me up.

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Fuzzy Math: My attempt at being positive

June 10, 2009

January 2008: Began TTC with undiagnosed PCOS

February 2008: OBGYN insists no PCOS w/out doing bloodwork or ultrasound. Tells me to TTC on 14, 15, 17, 19 of my cycle.

April 2008: Switch OBGYNs. New OBGYN gives me progesterone to induce period. Tells me after two cycles he’ll give me Clomid. No mention of PCOS or investigating potential causes of infertility. [and yes though the official year hadnt passed to term me IF, I knew I was. Sometimes you just know]

May 2008: Give up on OBGYNs. TTC in futility.

September 2008: Switch OBGYN. New one begins blood work to determine PCOS.  Identifies based on blood work I have PCOS.

October 2008: Ultrasound confirms PCOS.

November 2008: Put on Metformin

December 2008: Begin therepeutic dosage of Metformin

February 2009: Get pregnant

April 2009: Miscarry at 11 weeks.

Jack says that technically all the months we TTC before getting medication for PCOS were in vain due to the fact no little eggies were coming out to play. So really, our journey began December 2008 when I began Metformin. So really, I conceived after two months of TTC. So really, there’s nothing to worry about. Getting preggers will be a breeze.

So many retorts are waiting to come out like, the meds don’t fix PCOS. I can still struggle to conceive despite it. There could be other stuff wrong. Um, did you forget i miscarried? It’ s not just getting pregnant I’m concerned with. And so on and so forth, but I will not say those things today!

I guess I can choose to look at the glass half full since my reality remains the same. If seeing a half filled glass makes it easier, maybe its worth it. This is how I feel right now. Ask me again when my period comes.

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Still Two Week Waiting

June 10, 2009

Last night I had one of those dreams where you wake up still unconvinced that it did not happen because it felt so real. I dreamt last night that I POAS and it was positive. I hugged Jack. I started counting down the due date and then- the alarm buzzed and I woke up. I woke up feeling sheepish that I had such a silly dream. It did help me not POAS for real this morning. It may help me from POAS until June 17. It felt so good to see that positive in my dream, but, remember I said I thought I was pregnant? Well, all the “Symptoms” are gone. No more exhaustion. No more nausea. My boobs ache a little but a period should be coming on soon. I don’t think I’m pregnant anymore though yes, I do wish and hope I was. So I’m going to do my best to not POAS until  its well past my period due date (since with me, as a PCOSer who knows when the period will actually come, I give it a week give or usually take).

On a random side note. Thank you to the people who comment. It really helps me feel less alone. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy… but knowing that its okay to feel so scared and upset at times helps me deal better with my condition. Thanks so much.

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“You’ve been married seven years”

June 9, 2009

July 4, 2002: I got married. I was 22. The thought of pregnancy terrified me.

August 22, 2004: I start law school May 2004. I was 24. Pregnancy makes me queasy.

May X, 2006: I suggest to Jack, maybe we should have kids. Jack turns green. I was 26.

January 1, 2008: Jack says he’s ready. I was 28.

June 9, 2009: I’m a miscarrying infertile PCOSer. I am 29.

As the time line indicates we began TTC about 5.5 years into our marriage. The time we waited it kicks me in the butt you see because of the comments people make and the looks I get. Instead of me feeling proud to be happily married for nearly seven years, I feel ashamed that there is no offspring to show for it. I’m beginning to tire of the looks of pity. Instead of the scarlet letter A, I carry the dark cloud of IF over my head. Never mind that 12% of U.S. women struggle with TTC, we’re so silent were it not for blogging I’d think I was in it alone. Just yesterday I said something about how the cost of weddings has shot up since my time, and the girl retorted Um, you got married SEVEN year ago. That’s ancient history. I felt a wooly mammoth, never mind that this newlywed is just four months younger than me.

Jack said to me, if you wanted kids this badly why did we wait so long. I never knew it would be this hard. I actually remember telling friends when I was a teacher, I’m going to get pregnant in November to have a summer baby. They told me its not always that easy. I rolled my eyes. I came from a family of fertile women. They merely had to think about it, and they were pregnant.

I buried my head in the sand for a long while. I knew I had PCOS though I never knew its name. I knew there was something wrong but not until it was time to try did I actually start investigating. I should have started sooner.

Seven years of marriage. I should be proud, and yet because I let the things other say to me get to me, I feel partly ashamed to have nothing to show for it.

I’m trying hard to stand tall and with dignity with infertility, but some days that one comment can just cut you at the knees.

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PCOS is frustrating

June 6, 2009

When I got diagnosed with PCOS my doctor said to me this means you could ovulate at any time. Dont rely on checking for EWCM. I felt confused, So what do I do? How do I time? She laughed, don’t time it, just try whenever possible. This was cute in January 2008, its frustrating June 2009.

So you know how I was going on and on about how I felt pregnant? Well, it’s CD22 and I checked and I have EWCM. Yeah we did the BD just to be on the safe side, but if I did in fact ovulate today then what’s with all the funky monkey symptoms? I really forgot in the few months I was pregnant how aggravating TTC with a wonky cycle can be. In February, when I conceived, it was CD22. That month too, I had EWCM three different times that month.

If anyone is completely fertile and gets pregnant when they hit the sack and don’t understand us infertiles. Read the above. Then read a few posts below. Do you see how neurotic it is? Now multiply that two weeks a month, month after month, after month, after… yeah. I’ll be honest, I’m a little frustrated. Before the miscarriage I’d grown resigned to infertility. I stopped hyperventilating with anxious joy after each “sign” appeared. I remember my boobs felt sore and I knew I was ten days late, but I still refused to test because I was so tired of that damn negative.

Now I’m a fish with short term memory. I’m a puppy that refuses to house break. I’m so fucking ready to hope and believe and think this month is it, waving away the rest of the months filled with disappontment and pain. It. is. so. damn. frustrating.

I have an appointment scheduled for June 23rd to consult with my OBGYN and figure out what’s up. I refuse to test again until June 19th, which is CD36. I know a period will break my heart, but I’m not sure how much worse seeing a negative will be when this month began with such high hopes.

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The two week wait

June 2, 2009

I went to baby center to see when it predicted my ovulation. According to them its now. I have little faith since with PCOS you really just never know when you ovulate.While on there I saw the little timeline they have that you can click on to follow your baby’s development. When I was pregnant, I checked the week by week daily. I don’t know why, I clicked on where I would have been today:

How your baby’s growing:

Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He’s busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you’ll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they’re still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he’s born. If you’re having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you’re having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

Oh well.

I’m so confused about my ovulation. We did the BD on CD 11, 13, and 20. I really thought I ovulated on CD 11. My boobs feel sore which is strange. Can boobs be sore due to pregnancy just 10 days past ovulation? I don’t want to get my hopes up.

My  mom said to me After all that we’ve been through with your brother, a baby from you will be my compensation. I know you’ll get pregnant this month.

Great, add on another boulder to hold.

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A random update of sorts

May 27, 2009

I’m getting ready for a wedding in the family and things have been so hectic I have hardly had a second to eat or sleep or even think too much. The thinking part has been good. It’s been nice to get my mind off of things as best I can. Right now, though, everyone is out. My dad is sleeping, my mother is shopping. My brothers and husband are out on a barbeque (a very G rated bachelor party).

When a river is running swiftly you cannot see what lies beneath as clearly as you can when the wind stops and the flow slows into calm stillness. The wind has slowed and grief is whispering my name. I’m trying to ignore it because I fear if I look I will turn into a stone Medusa.

Relatives fly in tonight. Dammit how I had dreamed of this day just this April. Letting them discover my joyous news by the swell of my growing belly. I iron my clothes for the big day and I remember that these no longer need to be altered to fit my changing form. I remain unchanged.

Last night I had a vivid dream. I was breast feeding a little baby. I watched him nourish himself and as the days passed I watched him grow. I saw him learn to smile and I felt a flutter when I realized he recognized me! I woke and felt a deep sense of longing. Another glimpse of the beauty of motherhood.

Today at the nail salon, the manicurist asked me, so you married seven years, no baby? I guess you want to make money and save up before? I told her I’ve been trying for a long time to have a baby. I dont care about making more money. I care about having a child. She went silent and nodded. The moment felt freeing.

I hesitate to say that I may be ovulating today. I hesitate since with PCOS you can never trust the signs your body emits. Still, if it is the case then I am ovulating on a regular schedule. I could tell you I’m not getting my hopes up, but I am. Despite my pessimism, I am a hopless optimist. As an infertile I continue to grow more comfortable with this paradox.

I promised myself this time I would not attach myself to any new pregnancy like I did last time. No nicknames. No talking to it. No reading up on developmental stages. No pregnancy booklets. Yet, this morning my mom called me baby bug. We all laughed when she explained it meant I was her baby and I was bugging the ever living daylights out of her. Jack turned to me and said Baby bug. The next one, she will be our baby bug.

I’m not even pregnant. I don’t even know when I will be, or if I will be. I don’t even know if I will continue to miscarry each time I conceive, but fucking hell if baby bug isn’t the cutest damn thing I’ve ever heard. Just the sound of it makes me crave the fullness in my womb stronger than before.

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How to come on to an infertile

May 26, 2009

I’m sitting on the couch and hubby gives me the look. You know, the look.

No, I say shaking my head. I’m tired.

Oh, he says leaning close and whispering in my ear, but we should, in fact, we must.

Why is that? I ask with a raised eyebrow.

Well, he grins, “I think you’re ovulating.”

Wow. That was a first, but I have a feeling it won’t be the last!

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I see Spot.

May 14, 2009

I spotted. Ive been trying to push it out of my mind because it could simply be a) remnants of my miscarriage b) signal of an impending period c) by body behaving loony as it is wont to do. But-  of course, I wonder. Despite the improbability, the objective fact, I wonder. I berate myself. Then I wonder: implantation bleeding? At least I have the ability to ceaselessly amuse myself at the disconnect of my objective reality and fanciful desperate hopes.

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Thoughts on TTC again

May 11, 2009

The literature on the topic of TTC after a miscarriage is all over the place. Some say to wait three months, some say wait one cycle, and some say try ASAP. My doctor said wait one cycle. Jack said ASAP. I felt stuck in the middle. I waffled but eventually went with Jack though I think I missed the window.  For a while after my miscarriage I stopped taking metformin and my prenatals and ate as much sugar as I could. It was like I was fighting with my diagnosis, saying I try to manage you but what have you done for me lately? I’m better with this now. I’ve started low carbing again like a good PCOS’er, I take my metformin daily, work out thirty minutes a day, and yesterday, though I felt emotional, I took my pre-natal. I do not think I conceived this month due to the timing, but its time I started up my old routine.

From what I’ve read, negative pg tests after a miscarriage are more painful because they not only poke into your wounds of infertility but inflame the pain of your loss. Though I know we did not TTC on the right dates [Who knows when my right dates are anyways], I’d be lying if I said I don’t have a small iota of hope that I conceived. If I conceive I will be scared of my doctor’s reaction considering she was firm with me about waiting, and I also will be paranoid about another miscarriage, though I think that paranoia is with me regardless. But if I conceive…. I could have a baby. I could be a mother.

This is the most infuriating part of infertility. The way my mind so logical in most aspects, becomes a four year old addicted to fairy tales in matters of conception. Perhaps I’m even more juvenile than a four year old because each month I dream again, that this will be the month, despite 18 months of disappointment, each of those 18  times is excruciating. Each one is a separate heart break.

When it comes to matters of fertility, I am Charlie Brown trying to kick that damn football, and though Lucy pulls it away every fucking time, I still think yeah no, but for real, this time, this time it might be IT.

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Pads and Pregnancy Tests

June 11, 2008

I felt strange today as I walked up to the CVS counter and plopped down my two purchases: Pads and Walgreens Pregnancy Test. The cashier raised an eyebrow as he scanned but I shot him a look that sent back to his scanning.

Cycle day 41 and the brown is gone replaced by red. Dark red. But again its not that much, just a little. This is not a normal period. Perhaps I did not ovulate this month and this is an anaovulatory period (A “period” that happens when you do not ovulate). The pregnancy tests say negative and my doctor friend said by now I should show positive if I am.

The agony is excruciating but I am trying to hold on. I’m accepting that this is happening for a reason.

But you know, when I was 14 I said to my mom “Why do people even have kids, I hope I never have them” My mom said “Be careful what you say, you never know when God is listening an will answer your wish” That night I went to the movie rental store and checked out a random movie I’d never heard of, it was about a woman trying to conceive and could not. I felt deathly afraid as if I just got a sign from God that one day I would have problems. Then I shook my head and said, no its a sign that I should appreciate motherhood when it comes.

I think about that moment a lot these days. I think about the words I uttered. And I feel afraid. I just can’t shake the deathly fear that I might never conceive.

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There is nothing you can do about it.

May 3, 2008

This is what my good friend who is also an OB-GYN said to me today. I called her in tears today to tell her what happened and explaining my worries. She lives very far from me so she can’t say what is wrong with me, she also did not address my breast tenderness or abdominal pressures saying that she did not know why, but her biggest point was this:

But what if I’m not ovulating? There’s nothing you can do about it.

But what I just dont get my period? There’s nothing you can do about it.

What if I never have kids? There’s nothing you can do about it.

She said she is not sure why I should get a progesterone shot to induce a period when that really just means a fake period and doesn’t mean that I ovulated at all. She only recommends that when someone missed their period for several months.

She told me that even if I am irregular. Even if I am not ovulating monthly. I should still wait a year.

She also said something I am bit confused about. She said to fid a doctor and stick with them so they know the whole history of you. I’m confused. I can’t switch doctors until June anyways due to my insurance… but she said that its important not to keep changing doctors. i just don’t know if I should stick with this one though.

This process is exhausting. I fear the road ahead. But I need to take a chill pill because there is nothing I can do about it.

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On patience

April 23, 2008

I went to pick up my refill Prenatal prescription from the pharmacist today. As she checked me out I asked her if she knew a thing or two about pregnancy tests. She said she did, so I told her how many dpo I was and that I tested negative. She told me that the tests are quite reliable these days and that if it said I was not, then I am not. She told me not to give up hope, and to keep trying.

I got in the car and as I did a wave of sorrow came over me. Trying to get pregnant does a lot of things to a person. You see signs and symptoms. Then you get excited. Then you feel stupid. Did I make up the signs? Was I hallucinating? You feel foolish and bitter and embarrassed for getting your hopes so high.

Only two of my friends know about this, and so I called one on the ride to work, as soon as she picked up the phone, I started crying. She knew immediately what it was. “Kate- the stress is going to ensure you NEVER get pregnant. STOP taking pregnancy tests! The next one I’m allowing you take is FIVE DAYS after you miss your period which means ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!” This is why I love my friends, they don’t sugar coat it.

Today as I drove to work and pulled into my parking garage I realized that Jack and I switched cars and thus my parking card was in his. I turned around and drove the ten miles to his work and he brought it out. I told him what happened, he hugged me and said its no big deal. As I got back on the highway, I looked at the truck ahead of me, it had a bumper sticker, large and white with thick black lettering which said: Got Hope?

Yeah, I think I do. Everything happens for a reason. I just need to remember that.