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>Grey’s Anatomy has had a total baby theme lately. Last night, they had to deal with one of the characters, who so badly wants a baby, and one who does not. Then, there was a whole adoption-saga story that was happening simultaneously. That’s a lot of baby issues for one show!

I thought they did a great job of addressing the choice to live child-free. While we are currently child-free and could remain that way, it isn’t by choice. For this person, it is (or at least that’s the way they portrayed it). It’s sort of strange to go through fertility treatment and identify with people who choose to live child-free from the beginning, but there is a part of me that does. Before we decided to try to have children, we were living child-free by choice. From society’s perspective, it feels like there are just two groups – those with children and those without. People with children often make comments like:

You don’t have children, so you don’t understand.
If you don’t have children, you’re missing out.
You should totally have children.
Why do you bother decorating for holidays, if you don’t have children?

We live in a pretty family-centered town, and it can be awkward. It could be my imagination, but it seems like we’re excluded from parties, dinners, etc. because we don’t have children. On face.book, it seems like there’s a club that I don’t belong to. An acquaintance of mine had a baby a few months ago, and he (not the wife – she is probably too busy taking care of their baby!) is constantly posting about how fantastic it is to be a dad, and how there’s nothing like it in the world. Everyone who responds says the same thing – and they say things like, “You’re a family now!” or “Now life really begins!”

When I was watching Grey’s last night, I thought about how really, it doesn’t matter if people know we’ve tried (and are trying, sort of) to have children and haven’t been able to, or if it’s a choice we made. To them, we just don’t have children, so we’re not in their club. There was something about the show that just fascinated me – living child-free, adoption, and desparately wanting a child were all shown in parallel. I almost wished they included someone dealing with infertility, but that may have been too much for one show to handle! Maybe next time…

Coming back to reality-
We still haven’t heard much about the job/moving situation. I am keeping my fingers crossed, and I would greatly appreciate it if you could all do the same!

I realized last night that for M., this is sort of like the equivalent of dealing with infertility. He wanted a child, and still does, but it has been in no way a lifelong-dream of his. He never wanted children, until a year and a half ago. If I were younger, we probably wouldn’t even have started pursuing treatment. His desire to do anything if-related comes more from a fear of regret, than a deep-down desire. I think the fact that it hasn’t worked out is disappointing and frustrating for him, but I wouldn’t say it’s something he thinks about all the time.

This thing with this job, though, is. This is the kind of job he’s wanted since he was probably 10 years old, and a series of decisions he made along the way made it seem like an impossible goal. He chose a position at a lower-end company when he was younger, primarily because his ex-wife refused to move. He stayed there longer than he anticipated or wanted to, and took the first job he was offered after getting divorced. Since then, the job market – especially in his field – has gotten so much more competitive, and he has had no luck getting a job somewhere else. It’s been hard on his ego, his self esteem, and to some extent, his identity. It has changed our image of the future, because we cannot leave this town without him getting a job somewhere else. It probably sounds dramatic, but this job would change both our future, and the future of his whole career.

He put almost 70 hours into a test for this job, and now he’s waiting. He can’t stop thinking about it, and he told me yesterday that if the answer is no, he would rather just know right away. It occured to me – this is the closest thing he will ever feel to a 2ww! If he could buy a test in a drugstore that would give him a quick, but unreliable, answer, I am sure he would have done it already. I’m sure to some people, comparing efforts to have a child to a job search is insensitive or overly dramatic, but I really couldn’t help but be reminded of the 2ww. I hope he gets good news soon.

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>I haven’t been posting much because we’re pretty much in a holding pattern. I know that our situation is temporary, but it feels like we’re in slow motion, waiting to get to the finish line.

M. is still hard at work on the test that’s part of the process to possibly get his new job. In my field, we have to do presentations at the time of the interview. In his, he has to create something similar to what he would make at work. While the two processes are similar, mine might take anywhere from a few hours to a week to prepare. His takes about three weeks! Needless to say, it has been a rough couple of weeks. I am so proud of him for sticking with it, and essentially devoting every minute of his free time to it. I am crossing everything possible, in hopes that he gets the job. It would just be so fantastic for him! I don’t think I’ve ever wanted something so much for someone else.

With a lot hinging on M’s job situation, everything else is at a bit of a standstill. I got another response from a job I applied for, which was exciting, but is again, in the wrong geographic area. It takes about two months to get a response from job applications in my field, and a lot has changed since February. It’s hard to turn down interviews, when our future is so up in the air.

In more news of uncertainty, I checked my prescription company’s website today, and they are STILL not showing that they’ll cover my fertility medication. It’s crazy….this is a state with mandated fertility coverage, and I first tried to get prescription coverage for follistim in January. It’s now almost May! I don’t know if I would jump back into treatment again even if it was covered right now, but the principle of the whole thing makes me angry.

I really don’t know where I stand on ttc and infertility right now. It’s more uncertainty than I can handle at the moment, but I really can’t even decide how I feel about it. There’s a part of me that really hopes that things with M’s job work out, because it’s an opportunity we probably wouldn’t consider if we had an infant or if I were pregnant. It feels like it would be some kind of consolation prize…maybe we can’t have children, but we get to do this other thing instead. Maybe, in the end, the consolation prize would be ok, or even great. Maybe we would forget that we even wanted something else, or at least wouldn’t miss it.

Please keep your fingers crossed for M! We could use some good news!

>I got my hair cut last night, and I’ve only been to this person for a hair cut a few times before. When she cut my hair in the fall, she told me about a friend of hers who just had twins. She seemed to bring up babies pretty frequently, and it made me wonder if she was ttc, just wanted to be ttc, or was dealing with infertility. Since I avoid the topic like the plague, I usually assume that people who are so willing to talk about babies are either ttc (but for a short period of time), or want to be.

Last night, the topic of babies and pregnancy came up a few times. I really started to wonder what was going on with my hair dresser…she obviously knows tons of people who are pregnant or have recently had babies, and she does seem aware of a lot of pregnancy and baby related things. I also found out we’re the same age – 35. Thinking back, she never said “When I have a baby” or “when I’m pregnant,” but instead seemed to lean toward saying “if.”

Now, it’s entirely possible that they don’t want children right now, or aren’t sure they ever will. It may be that she wants children badly, but her husband doesn’t. Or, she may be dealing with infertility.

It’s such an odd situation…I am certainly not going to ask her, and she’s never asked me. It makes me think about two things-

1. That there really is no getting away from infertility. Even if you’re not doing anything about it, and even if you’re feeling pretty much ok about it at that particular moment, it’s still there.

2. I wonder how many people I know are dealing with infertility. I’m not talking about good friends – because I know what’s going on with most of them – but I’m talking about newer friends, acquaintances, and coworkers. I wonder if people think the same thing about me?

>Sometimes, I just feel like I need a break….from what, I’m not totally sure, but I know I need one.

Things are still in flux – as always, lately – and it seems like things just keep getting more uncertain. Part of it is me…I’m growing intolerant and impatient of our situation…but the other part is that the situation seems to just continue to get more complicated. Yesterday, I got a call about a job I applied for months ago, inviting me for an interview. Normally, this would be good news, but this particular job is a plane-ride away from where we live now, and a 2 hour drive from the job that M. may or may not get. He applied for three jobs that are geographically close the the place that called me yesterday, but he never heard back from any of them. At first, I thought I would just decline, but after some deliberation, I decided to call them back. They are only interviewing on two days – and it’s two weeks away. I have an important meeting on one of the days, and my family will be visiting on the other. If I couldn’t be there on those days, then they said I can’t interview for the job. Considering that I also have to pay my own way to get there, and that M. has no prospects in the area – on top of the fact that I have two things scheduled for those days that I can’t get out of – I had to withdraw from the search.

Sometimes, it’s hard to stay optimistic. I haven’t been able to have a child, so can’t I at least have a job that I like (at least a little bit)?

>I have always loved the idea of wishes. I went to a Catholic school growing up, and I suspect that for a long time I confused wishing and praying. I remember praying for a cabbage patch doll, which, looking back, seems inappropriate. I probably should have wished for one instead.

I still can’t resist an opportunity for a wish. When my eyelashes fall out, when I have candles on a birthday cake, when all the numbers on a digital clock are the same (I don’t know if that’s even real criteria for a wish, but someone in high school told me it was) – I have to wish for something.

When I was married to my ex-husband, a wish was one of the things that made me realize I had given up (a little) on having children. I was starting a new job that I was really excited about, and we had been ttc for three years. I started to make my usual wish, that I would get pregnant, and I hesitated. I thought, what if this doesn’t make me happy? What things don’t work out? Instead, I wished for something much more simple – to be happy.

Since then, I almost always have a similarly general wish (although I have changed it a little), although every now and then I give in and wish for something really specific. Sometimes, though, I realize that I don’t even know what I want to wish for. Right now, I could wish for a new job, for a baby, for a new job for M…and any of those would be great. But in reality, I don’t know which I want the most right now, or what will make us happy in the end. Right now, I want it all, but most of it is beyond my control, and I don’t know what to expect from any of our efforts. All I can hope for is to be happy.

>I’m always amazed by the impact of our own thoughts. I was thinking today about how my perception of my life, my reality, or even a specific situation so greatly affects my attitude. We’ve changed directions so many times lately, and each time, I consciously change my thought pattern that surrounds it. When I was applying for jobs a few weeks ago, I thought my own job was horrible. I literally couldn’t stand it, and I was so ready to start over somewhere new. Then, we started waffling, and thought maybe we would stay. M. was concerned about how unhappy I was in my job, and I told him that I just needed to know what we are going to do, and then I would be able to deal with it. We decided to stay, and I focused on the positive. I started planning summer trips, and focusing on the positive aspects of my job. I stopped wondering about our future, and went back to appreciating what we already have.

Now, though, with things up in the air again, it’s hard to focus on the positive. My job is boring again, and I’m obsessed with finding a new one. It’s hard to keep reminding myself that this whole thing may lead to nothing, but I’m trying!

The whole experience just makes me wonder…how important are our thoughts? If I can make myself like or dislike a job, what else could I do?

I’m not saying that positive thinking can bring me a baby, necessarily, but it does make me wonder how my frame of mind might affect another medicated cycle (if we do one, and if we stay). I tend to believe that – statistically – the chances of something like follistim working are low. I wonder why any of these medications would make a difference, when I already ovulate on my own. No one knows what the problem is, so how can they fix it? I wonder, too, how much my thinking affects my chances of success?

>Since we started ttc, I’ve tried to keep things in balance. I am hesitant to give up too much in the process of ttc and fertility treatments, because for me, I need to continue living a normal, happy life. What scares me – even more than the idea of not having children – is realizing I’m not going to have children and losing myself and my relationships along the way.

M. and I have been living a life of uncertainty for a while. On top of dealing with infertility, the last 6-8 months have been rough-
-I found out I was losing my job
-We tried a few cycles on Clomid
-We applied for new jobs and thought we were going to move, but I got a new job and we decided to stay
-We thought we were going to try a few cycles of follistim (which still hasn’t happened)
-We applied for new jobs again
-I had a phone interview, and we thought about moving again
-We decided to stay, and planned to start follistim in the fall

We’ve switched gears so many times in the last six months that I am beginning to be unsure about what it is we’re even trying to do, or what we want. I think part of it is trying to find that balance, where infertility isn’t controlling our lives, but we can acknowledge that it’s there and make conscious decisions about our future. I want to create a life that feels worthwhile and rewarding with or without children, so that no matter what happens, we’re ok.

Over the last two weeks, we talked a lot about our future. Since neither of our job searches were going very well, we decided it made sense to stay. AF was late, and while I will admit to having my hopes up those last few days, it arrived, as usual. We thought that by the fall, things would have settled down at my job, and hopefully, our insurance would finally cooperate and cover a few cycles of follistim. We talked about whether or not we wanted to try ivf, but didn’t really come to a conclusion.

Then, out of the blue, M. got a call about a new job in another state.

In my mind, I picture a pendulum. I envision us on one end, staying here, continuing fertility treatments, and hopefully – one day having a child. On the other, everything is uncertain. It seems like the pendulum just keeps swinging.

>Well, AF has still not arrived. I’m not getting my hopes up (the longest cycle I’ve had is 32 days, so I am not going to even think about it until the end of the week), but it’s odd. My cycle was so short last cycle, and then so long this time. It makes me wonder why things aren’t more consistent!

>I have had some issues with yeast lately, and I started taking acidophilus supplements to try to combat it. I had a yeast infection and a bacterial infection for the first time ever this year, and this week I got a yeast infection on my skin. It happened to me several years ago, so I knew what it was right away and was able to get a handle on it. I bought the acidophilus when I had a yeast infection earlier in the year, but I had stopped taking it when things seemed to clear up. I started taking it again this week when I developed this skin problem, and I am beyond happy to say that the supplement combined with tea tree oil has made it almost completely go away! I think I am going to keep taking the supplements.

This whole week, my stomach has been bloated. I feel fine, but the area below my abdomen is sticking out. Since I’m running 3 times a week and eating a pretty healthy diet, I’ve found the stomach issue a little frustrating. I’m not retaining water or anything anywhere else (like my fingers, for example), so it’s puzzling. I have been drinking wine this week, so at first I wondered if that was the issue. I’ve only had one glass a day, though, so it seems kind of odd that it would make such a difference (although it could). AF should arrive any day now, so that’s another possibility, but it seemed like it was something else.

I was at work yesterday, and it occured to me that the acidophilus could be doing it. I looked up the side effects, and it said abdomninal bloating can occur, but said that with continued use, it will go away. I sent a message to M., saying that I think I know why my stomach is sticking out a little. He wrote back right away and asked if I was pregnant. I explained that I thought it was the acidophilus – not that I was pregnant.

He brought it up a few times last night, and it made me wonder how he really feels about everything. He was a little hesitant to begin fertility treatments, and now with things so up in the air, doesn’t want to pursue them right now. I wonder, though, if he really understands that doing nothing may mean that we don’t ever have a child. Since they can’t figure out what’s preventing us from getting pregnant (other than the possibility of age), I wonder if he thinks it could still just happen. It could, I suppose, but the chances are so incredibly slim. We talk about it, and I feel like he gets it, but I just don’t know sometimes.

We watched Grey’s Anatomy last night, and it was very baby-focused. He said it was “topical.” It must have been on his mind a lot that day, because to me, it wasn’t any more topical than it would have been on any other day.

We talked – AGAIN – about the whole situation with us trying to move. M is afraid that with the current job market in his field, he won’t be able to get another job. His field has gotten really competitive, with hundreds of applications for every opening, and thousands of applications for highly-sought-after positions. We’re still going to give it a shot and continue to apply for some jobs, but maybe he’s right. It might just be bad timing, or his industry may have changed to the extent that there won’t BE a good time. We agreed that if we stay, we’ll revisit the whole baby-making situation when my job quiets down (hopefully after June). He was totally behind that idea – and it just makes me wonder how things will end up and what will end up being the right thing to do.

>An acquaintance of mine posted on face.book today that she was pregnant with #2 as an April Fool’s joke. I suppose if you’re one of those uber-fertile people who gets pregnant easily (or even by accident), that might be funny, but my initial reaction was that sinking stomach feeling I get when I realize another person I know is pregnant – or even worse, is pregnant without even trying. Then I remembered it was April Fool’s Day, and I remembered why I hate April 1st every year.

Maybe I’ll go home and tell my husband I’m pregnant…Ha! April Fool’s!

I’m feeling better today. I’m still frustrated by our situation, but I am feeling more optimistic. M. seems to be, although I’m glad he acknowledges the difficulty of getting out of the situation we’re in. Part of the issue is that he makes more money than I do, but the other aspects of it that make things more awkward are that I have a graduate degree and have so far, gotten more response than he has for potential jobs (although I’ve also applied for twice as many positions). He makes more money, but didn’t go to college, and we both feel pretty invested in our careers. One of us will probably have to sacrifice (maybe a step down career-wise, less pay, or a lower-caliber employer), and it’s not easy to accept. I’m just tired of having things feel so beyond my control. I know it’s a state of mind (even though infertility feels like a loss of control, I try to remind myself that I do have control over the choices I make that are related to it), but sometimes, it’s just an uphill battle. I think I just need to feel like things are going to work out overall, and a new job is the beginning.

History

2014
May: BFP for baby #2, due January 2015

2013
July: Our daughter is born!

2012
November: Still pregnant. Fingers crossed! EDD 7/5/13
October: retrieval 10/12; 5dt 10/17; BFP!!! 10/25-hcg=70; 10/29-hcg=391
September-October: IVF, microdose lupron flare protocol
June-July-August: approved! dealing with scheduling issues and most likely starting IVF in September
May: waiting for insurance approval to start treatment
April: laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrioma on left ovary; diagnosed with stage 3 endo
March: RE finds cyst - suspects endometrioma; also high FSH, low AMH
February: consult with RE; bloodwork, hsg

2011
January-February: Acupuncture once per week, vitex and natural progesterone after ovulation; back to charting bbt
March-April: end of ttc
May:diagnosed with severe cervical dysplasia (CIN III)
July-August: L.E.E.P. procedure and recovery

2010
December: Start acupuncture
May-November: Not actively trying/on a break/enjoying life
April: Not actively trying, still waiting for insurance coverage for injectables
January-March: still waiting to start injectables

2009
December 09-March 10: On a break while waiting to start injectables
November 2009: 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
October 2009: All tests normal; Take 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
July 2009: Ob/gyn asks for bbt chart, S/A, CD3 b/w; plan tbd.
April/May 2009: Switch from OPKs to the Clearblue Fertility Monitor
March/April 2009: Start using OPKs and bbt

2007-2008
Sept/Oct 2008: Stop preventing; 'if it happens, it happens'
Summer 2008: Stop BCPs; using bbt chart to prevent pregnancy
May 2007: Married again! husband #2; no plans for children

Previous Life
Fall 2005: Divorced
Summer 2005: See RE; more b/w, clomid challenge test, sonohysterogram; 2 Clomid IUI cycles - BFN; male factor discovered (he now has a child with wife #2)
Spring 2003: See ob/gyn for IF, get b/w and HSG; All results normal; Husband #1 gets S/A, which he says is normal; results never sent to ob/gyn
Spring 2002: Stop BCPs, begin ttc and charting bbt
Oct 2000: Married to husband #1