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I had a great weekend, but I did have to deal with a few difficult moments.
 
– We were browsing campers and rv's (we've thought for a while about getting one – to be able to travel more and bring our dog!), and the sales guy kept mentioning whether or not we would need space for children. I wish I knew if I needed space for a child, but honestly, I probably don't…so how about we just look at the ones I like the best, instead. He honestly was an ok guy, and it IS a valid consideration, but I just didn't want to get into it…especially at an rv dealership.
 
– We went to a bbq on Saturday. The hosts have a baby – which I was well aware of – and it's the same group of people who caused a minor emotional breakdown after spending the evening with them a month ago. It's not the parents that are the problem…I can deal with it, for the most part. There are moments where I look at the baby with her mom and briefly imagine how I would be, but then I move on. I really like this couple, too, and that helps. Their baby is really difficult, and in all honesty, that probably helps, too. The other people, though, make it more difficult. They're younger than I am, some by almost 8 years. They are all starting to think about having children, so there's a lot of "When I'm a mom…" or "When I have kids…" going around – especially when they see the baby. There's a lot of talk about whether or not their siblings have or will have children, and how important it is for their parents to become grandparents. Those are the conversations that are difficult for me, and for so many reasons. There are so many reasons that it's hard to even write them all out, and I'm sure I don't have to explain it to anyone who is reading. The part that makes me saddest (although not the part that bothers me the most) is that I was about the same age they are now when I first started ttc in my first marriage. I can remember feeling optimistic and excited about the idea of having children, and it seems so long ago – because really, it was.
 
For the most part, I can deal with the idea that we won't have children. It's sad, but I can accept it. I wonder sometimes why I can, really, but I think it probably has to do with the fact that I did start ttc almost eight years ago, went through a fairly difficult divorce (and that was after enduring a fairly difficult marriage to someone who was somewhat mentally unstable), and am still so thankful, and honestly, a little surprised, by how happy I am now. I hate that we probably won't have children, and especially that M will probably never be a father, and I think it will always make me sad. I can accept it, though, and I think I'll have a small glimmer of hope (very, very small) until I know it really is impossible. I guess I should say that I've accepted that more than likely, we will not have children, and we can live with that.
 
What's especially difficult for me right now, though, is these conversations about babies at parties. I cannot participate in conversations about "When I'm a mom…" I really – just cannot go there. I have to walk away. And really, I feel like it's a form of torture. I have so much more I could say, but I'll just leave it at that.
 
-My last difficult thing of the week:
AF arrived today, which means I had a 24 day cycle. Seriously?!?! If I'm not going to get pregnant, anyway, could I at least get my period less often? AF arrived twice in the month of June – not ok!
 
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>We found out today that one of our few childless freinds/couples that is our age are having a baby. We never see them – and they are really M’s friends – but it’s still hard. I’m glad that it worked out for them, and I’m sure they’ll be great parents, but it’s hard not to feel left out.

One of my best friends – who I have known since 2nd grade, and who was my roomate in college – does not have children. She’s married to a great guy that my ex-husband and I introduced her to. They don’t think they want children, which is sort of ironic, because they both work with kids. We live in different states and only see them a few times a year, and I told them last year that we had been ttc. She was kind of upset, which at the time, I found a little odd (she knew about my ttc efforts in my previous marriage, so I found it even more strange). I sort of understand where she was coming from, though. She has a vision where we’re old, and childless, but together. We look out for each other because we don’t have children, can relate to one another, and won’t let the other person become isolated and lonely. I said we could still do that if I had a child, but she said it’s not the same. And in a way, she’s right. Even though she doesn’t want children, we’re still in the same boat. We both have awkward answers to questions about whether or not we have children, and people with children tend to avoid us. We have less to talk about with our friends that we used to, because their focus has shifted. But we still have each other.

We’re meeting this couple for a long weekend away this summer, and I am so looking forward to it! After hearing about the one other couple we know, though, I’m starting to have the same fear she expressed last summer. What is they change their minds, and we’re left alone?

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I have been trying to come up with a way to tie these topics together in a cohesive way, but it just isn't happening. 
 
 
 
I watched Sex and the City – the first one – a few weeks ago. I was never a HUGE fan of the show, but I did watch all – or close to all – the episodes when I was living with my parents while getting divorced. I could appreciate what people liked about it, and it was entertaining. I found some of the episodes annoying, but I could deal with it. The movie, though – I hated!!! I realize some people may be offended by that, and I apologize to those who are, but I really couldn't stand it. I felt like the series episodes, while unrealistic, had compelling characters that were flawed (which is a good thing), but in the end were strong and relied on their friendships to continue to persevere, and most importantly of all – enjoy life. Maybe in my mind I have simplified the series, but I found the movie sort of…depressing. It bothered me that Carrie and Miranda were wallowing around in their sadness and despair, instead of trying to move past the unfortunate events that got them there. I could understand if it were a few weeks – or even months – but I realized after watching it that close to a year must have gone by from the movie's beginning to end. I think I was rubbed the wrong way right from the beginning, though (or the point at which I turned it on – I'll admit I missed the beginning), when Charlotte announced she was pregnant after struggling with infertility for years. I winced when I saw it, but my feelings grew stronger as I listened to Charlotte explain that her ob/gyn said that it's not uncommon for people to get pregnant after adopting. Seriously?!?! I understand that may happen on occasion, but I just hate to see those kind of things reinforced by movies – especially popular ones. I could have let it go if they didn't add the part about the ob/gyn, but they did.
 
And really…if it's SO common, then study it and figure out why! (I realize it's a fictional ob/gyn that said it, but it just makes my head hurt.)
 
…………
 
 
I had an interesting Facebook experience the other day. Instead of reading about how much people love their children, what amazing things their children have done, or that they are pregnant yet again, and old neighbor of mine posted something about the treatment she receives as someone who has chosen not to have children. I was stunned by some of the things people have said to her, and it was interesting to see her perspective. She wasn't sad, but she was definitely mad! She doesn't hate children by any means, but she just doesn't want a child herself. I don't know the reasons behind it…I know she considered it, but beyond that, it really isn't my business. Strange that other people think it is, though!
 
…………
 
 
M. and I talked about our future on the baby-making front the other day. I've noticed lately I think and talk lot about the why – the fact that I don't know why I haven't been able to get pregnant. I know it could be age, but I'd like something a little more definitive than that, especially since age hasn't been an issue for my friends, and my FSH was fine. Two good friends of mine (that are the same age I am) had babies about six months ago – one had endometriosis, and the other had a rather large fibroid in her uterus. They were still able to get pregnant and deliver healthy babies. I'm thrilled for them, but it does make me wonder…how were they able to get pregnant, and I have not?
 
I've said it before, but I have reservations about taking medication for something that hasn't been identified, and those feelings are not going away. I ovulate on my own, so I don't see what ovulating MORE is going to do in the scheme of things. We've been ttc for almost two years, so we have had about 24 chances at pregnancy already. Two eggs in one month could help, theoretically, but deep down, I just wonder if that's really the problem. I dread feeling lousy for something that may not (probably won't?) work, especially when I've worked so hard to get back into shape.
 
M is starting to get concerned about his own age, but his concerns I think surround his image of parenthood (his parents had him when they were 23), and also our future (like the ability to retire). It sounds sort of shallow in writing, and I know if I did get pregnant he would be thrilled, but he is a little concerned. I would imagine that over time, that concern will grow, rather than diminish.
 
So, as it stands right now, we will probably not start treatment in the fall. I'd still like to get acupuncture – for many reasons – and we're both reserving the right to change our minds about trying the next group of fertility medications. If I were to bet, though, I would say that we won't do it. I told M that if we never have a child, I'll always feel a sense of loss, but I know we can be happy together without being parents. I told him to think of Julie and Julia…the way they depicted Julia Child's feelings about being childless…that's sort of how I feel. It makes me sad, sometimes I get upset, other times I get angry, and the rest of the time I'm ok.
 
 
 
 
 
 

>I started to write a post last week about running, but I never finished it. I couldn’t really figure out what point I was trying to make.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what we should do, in terms of fertility treatment. When we first started ttc, I knew it was possible that we would have difficult conceiving. Even though the RE I saw in my previous marriage didn’t find anything “wrong” with me, I wasn’t entirely convinced. So, when M and I started ttc, the first few months were hard. Dealing with infertility in my first marriage was brutal, and I wasn’t sure how we would cope. I was scared, and after I didn’t get pregnant right away, I knew that we were going to have to face it. In some ways, it was good for me. I got divorced so soon after ending fertility treatments in my previous marriage that I never really had to think about it. Going through a divorce is all-consuming, and I was in survival mode then. The idea that I would never have children crossed my mind occasionally, but it was a fleeting thought among the thousands of others I would have throughout any given day. So, the first few months of ttc for M and I were hard. Getting through that first year we almost liberating. Of course, i was sad that I wasn’t pregnant, but at least I knew we could deal with it.

When we decided to start infertility treatment, we planned to do it for one year. We agreed that we would try Clomid and injections, but we weren’t sure about IVF. We agreed that we would do it for one year, and then just accept the outcome, whatever it was. Unfortunately, life doesn’t go as planned. We took two months off through the holidays, and then had to see the dr. again in January before starting injectables. Then, I had insurance issues, which are still not toally resolved, and I got a new job that initially required a ton of travel. There’s really no point in taking fertility medication if we aren’t going to be in the same place when I ovulate! We seriously considered relocating and getting new jobs, which made things hectic for several months, and then finally accepted that we are staying put. After all that turmoil, it felt good to just have happy, normal lives, and we decided to put any decisions about fertility treatments on hold until the fall.

We started our “one year” of fertility treatment in October 2009, and after a year, we will have completed TWO cycles of Clomid. By the fall of 2010, we were supposed to be finished with all this. We were supposed to have accepted the outcome – whatever it was.

Instead, we’re still trying to figure it out. We had no idea how crazy the past year was going to be…that I would lose my job, that we would apply for new jobs and try to move – twice, or that I would get an intense job with unpredictable and frequent travel (luckily, the travel part of my job has subsided). On the plus side, we didn’t know we would start running, and we definitely didn’t expect to start running and actually enjoy it. We didn’t know how much we would appreciate the calmness of our lives, after months of upheaval.

There’s no way I could have pursued fertility treatment during the last six months, but it makes it hard to know what to do now. It might be unrealistic, but what I really want is to get pregnant on my own, naturally. I just don’t know if that’s really a possibility.

>Sometimes I forget about the time I saw two lines…the one and only time I had a positive pregnancy test. It was so long ago, and when I think about it, I feel like I’m watching myself in a movie.

I think it was probably six years ago, and I was still married to what is now my ex-husband. It was the last month or two before my RE visit. I think I had been taking one of those fertility vitamins, although I can’t remember now which one. I had taken them before, and we had already been ttc for three years, so I wasn’t terribly hopeful. I was charting my bbt, though, because I hadn’t done it in years and thought the RE might ask for it (he didn’t). I can’t remember exactly what day of my cycle it was, but I know that when I woke up, I expected to see that my temperature had plummeted. I was shocked that instead of going down, it went up. The next morning, I couldn’t wait to see my temperature, and once again, it was high! I don’t remember how many days I waited, but I finally POAS. I couldn’t believe it – it was positive! I think I took a million tests that day, and they were all positive. I was in disbelief, and I was so happy. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have to go to the RE, and was able to get pregnant on my own! I couldn’t believe that after all that time, I was finally pregnant.

I didn’t even tell anyone. My then-husband was out of town, and I didn’t have any plans that weekend to see anyone. I was guarded – after three years of ttc – I knew that it was really early. But at the same time, I was happy and hopeful. One of the things I remember most vividly – even more than seeing the positive test – was going for a walk and feeling giddy that I had an amazing secret that no one else knew. I remember thinking “this is how people feel when they find out they’re pregnant.”

Obviously, things didn’t work out. The next day, when I POAS, the second line was lighter and almost hard to see, and I knew that wasn’t good. I POAS again that evening, and it was lighter still. I felt like I was suffocating, and I wished I hadn’t gotten my hopes up at all. The next day, my temperature went down, and soon after that, AF arrived.

I’ve never understood how I was able to get pregnant that one time, even if it was for a day. The RE I saw didn’t find anything that would prevent me from getting or staying pregnant, but the rounds of Clomid and IUIs we did weren’t successful. The RE felt the issue was my then-husband’s sperm, which put everything on hold for a while. After that, things deteriorated, and we divorced. I never really knew if that RE was correct in his disgnosis, but it didn’t really matter at the time. Now that my ex-husband has a child, I would say he either got lucky, or my RE was wrong.

When M and I were talking last weekend about how we might proceed, I remembered the time I saw two lines. I had told him about it before, but it was before we were married or even thought about ttc. I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever see that again, or what I should do to get us there. I just wish someone could tell me what’s preventing me from having a child.

>One of my coworkers is pregnant, and she talks about it a lot. It generally doesn’t bother me. It seems like I can just shut down that part of my brain when I talk to her – the part that wonders what it would be like to be her – to have gotten pregant easily (maybe even accidentally?), and to be filled with excitement about it.

Another woman I work with is about to be a grandmother. I can do the same thing with her, although it is a little harder. It’s hard not to think of my own mother, who is a grandmother, but not to my child, or of my mother in law, whose possibility of becoming a grandmother is dependent on me. Even though it’s more difficult, I can push those thoughts aside, too, and have a conversation without ever letting on that any of it bothers me.

Sometimes, though, I’m glad I’m in my office, away from the excited conversations I can hear in the hall. My coworker had an appointment yesterday where she learned the sex of the baby, so there was a lot of excited talk about that. For some reason, that is too much for me, and I’m glad I don’t have to participate.

Sometimes, I wonder about the other women I work with. Some are older than me, and they never married. I wonder if it’s hard for them, too. They’re in their late 40’s, and I would assume at some point they accepted they wouldn’t have children. I wonder if it bothers them, and if they’re glad, like I am, that they have work to do in an office away from all the celebrations.

I’m still really struggling with what to do about our difficulty getting pregnant. Weeks can go by where I hardly think about it, but then it’s on my mind again. I’ve been thinking about it more since M expressed more interest in moving forward with treatment, and I’m just hoping the right thing for us becomes apparent sometime soon.

>I always feel a little awkward when I see people I know with babies. I never know what to say or do, and it’s as if I feel like a spotlight is shining on me. I’ve always felt a little bit that way, but it’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, and especially worse since I realized I may not be able to have children. I feel self-couscious…as if these new parents are looking for my reaction…but I don’t think they’re concerned with me at all. It’s just paranoia, because I feel like it’s so obvious that they have something that I may not be able to have myself.

We keep seeing this couple I know who had a baby six months ago. We don’t know them well, but one was my coworker in my old job. I didn’t see them for months, and now we’re run into them two weeks in a row. This weekend, we literally ran into them…we were running up a hill in a park (we picked a new route for our weekend run), and they were coming down with their cute baby in a stroller. It was sort of symbolic – they’re gliding easily down a hill, smiling, with their easily conceived child, while M and I are running up, gasping for air, and sweating.

M. and I had an interesting conversation over the weekend about future fertility treatments. It sounds like he’s more inclined to give it a try than I thought, so we’ll see. He was never against it, but I got the impression in the past that he wasn’t inclined to try IVF unless I really wanted to. I wasn’t sure, which led me to believe we probably wouldn’t do it. If he’s wavering, though, it makes a difference. We’re still putting off a decision and any treatment until the fall, but I would have guessed that the fall would have led to us doing nothing. Now, though, it seems more like we might start up again. I guess only time will tell.

>This is the longest I have lived in one geographical area since I left my parents’ house for college 18 years ago. This summer marks my four year anniversary of moving to the midwest.

I can’t believe 18 years have passed since I first left my parents’ home for college, and that I haven’t spent more than four years in any given place at one time. I’ve been like a boomerang, going back and forth from place to place. My ex-husband and I moved three times in six years, crossing the country and back again. I always felt compelled to move back home, but then I did, and I left again.

Moving has always felt cleansing to me. Until recently, I loved the challenge of moving somewhere new and starting over. Moving gives you a set of challenges you have to handle, and it allows you to push your other problems aside. They can wait while you figure out who to call for electricty, how to get to the nearest supermarket, and where you’re going to do your banking.

I think my ex-husband and I moved so much because we were looking for something that we would never find. I suppose we just weren’t happy or maybe weren’t a good match, but mostly, I think we felt unfufilled. Infertility made it more pronounced and almost impossible to escape. I felt like I was suffocating, and when I got divorced, I felt liberated, and I could finally breathe.

It’s strange to stay in one place when you’ve been on the move for so long. It’s almost more of a challenge to stay. When M and I were looking for new jobs, I was apprehensive about leaving, and that’s the first time in 18 years that I can remember feeling that way. At first, I thought maybe it was because I was getting old (which may be true), but I think that part of it is that I don’t feel the need to escape. I love my life with M, wherever we are. Moving did start to sound appealing – I won’t deny that – but I’m ok with staying, too. Even though I still don’t know if we’ll ever have children, I don’t need to pretend it’s not there. I can think about it and try to understand how I feel, and how M feels. We can decide that we want to do nothing, or we can choose treatment, but we can’t hide from it. Pushing it aside won’t change the outcome, and for once, it feels good to stay.

Happy 4th anniversary, to my home. 🙂

>I took an online quiz this morning that is supposed to help predict how long you might live (my result – 103). One of the questions, though, seemed so odd –

How old were you when you last had a child without fertility technology assistance?

I think I’m sort of screwed, because I don’t think I will have children without ‘fertility technology assistance.’ It’s bad enough I can’t have children…do I have to live a shorter life, too?

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