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I went to lunch yesterday with M's coworker's wife. I met her once, and she seemed nice. She's a lot younger than I am, but you wouldn't really know it, and while we don't have a ton in common, it was super nice of her to ask me to lunch. I guessed that she and her husband were having fertility problems when I met them (I swear I have super sensitive infertility radar) – partially because of her obvious love for children and the length of time they've been married – but also because she mentioned being on medication. They also bought a big house a year ago, and while that doesn't all necessarily add up to infertility – I just sort of had a feeling.

We had lunch yesterday, and she said she had gone to see her ob/gyn in the morning. She really raved about him, and mentioned he deals with infertility, too – and said that's why she was there. I was so impressed by her openness. I wanted to say something like, 'oh me too,' but it took me a while longer to finally say that we have infertility issues, as well. At first, I just kept eating, thinking about what I should say, but saying nothing. I don't know why it's so hard for me to tell people about it – I'm not embarrassed – but the words just don't come out of my mouth.

Our problems are much different, though – mine are undiagnosed (or undiagnosable), aside from age, and no one has really even identified age as the issue (I just assume it's not helping). This person (my lunch friend) has some issues that the doctor is trying to manage, but it seems like it hasn't been going all that well. She seemed ok, but since we just met, it's hard to say. She had full confidence in her doctor, though, and said he was able to identify problems that have existed all along…things that were causing other health issues, as well. If I were her, I would keep seeing him, too, but for me…I just don't know. I feel like I should see another doctor…get a second opinion, maybe have some more tests…find out why I started having mid-cycle spotting a few months ago…find out why I keep having pain in my ovaries before I ovulate…but I'm just so hesitant to go. It's almost like I just don't want to go there, mentally and emotionally – I don't want to start all over again – only to have it not work out.

So, we'll see. I want to see things through with acupuncture first, and then I'll decide. The crazy part is that this person and my acupuncturist recommended the same doctor! Makes you wonder…

Oh and it turns out that another coworker of M's asked him if we had kids recently, or if we wanted to. M said that we tried, it didn't work out (he obviously doesn't have the same problem I do!), but that we were ok…blah, blah, blah. So now we wonder if another person overheard (they are all in close quarters) – the coworker whose wife asked me out to lunch!


>I had my acupuncture appointment today! I think it went pretty well, and I really liked the acupuncturist. I wasn't sure what to focus on during my first appointment, but she did (as many of you predicted!) say that she had a feeling that my allergies and infertility were related. She asked if I wanted her to focus on one thing today, but I was unsure. I mean, I'd like to get pregnant, but I'd also like to get rid of the stuffy nose. My allergies were not too bad today, anyway, so that also made it a little hard to answer. She said that today she would focus on sort of overall immunity and getting things balanced, but she did do a few things specific to each issue. It didn't hurt (although the needles in my face made my sinuses feel weird), and I've felt sort of relaxed and almost sleepy ever since. I was going to exercise tonight, but I think I may just take the night off.

She asked if my allergies were worse at certain times in my cycle, and I really have never noticed! It was such an interesting question, though, because I was just saying this week that there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what makes my allergies worse. They do a pollen and allergy report and forecast on the news here, and there was 0 correlation between high pollen and mold days and the days that my allergies felt the worst. The acupuncturist said some women's hormones trigger an allergic reaction, which can hamper infertility. While it may or may not be true in my case, I did find it especially interesting that she said it was almost like an auto-immune response. Auto-immune issues are huge in my family, so it resonated with me.

I decided to initially have four sessions, since she has a package deal where you pay for three and get one free. She said I should come once a week at first, and she also wanted to see my bbt charts. She said that for infertility, she usually recommends three months of treatment, so I'll probably give it a try for three months. It's sort of strange, but for some reason, I feel kind of positive about it. I know it may not work, but I keep thinking how amazing it would be if it did! I never felt that way about my cycles on Clomid, so maybe I am on the right track. I had really pretty much given up on the idea that we would ever have a child, but taking a new approach is making me feel like it's a possibility. I know it's not a guarantee, but it could happen!

>I have mentioned before that this is my second marriage…I was married for almost five years to my ex-husband, who I met in college. Before we dealt with infertility and before our marriage fell apart, we had a dog. We got her before we even got married –  when I was 23 or 24. I loved that dog, and when we got divorced, leaving her was the hardest thing I had to do. I didn't want to, but she was sort of wild – and a little aggressive – and I had a hard time controlling her. I was staying with my parents when I got divorced, and she got into it with my parents' smaller and older dog. It really freaked them out, and since I wasn't in a position to get my own place yet, I knew I had to give her up. It was really sad, and it's always bothered me. In all honesty, though, I have moved on. I remarried and got another dog, who I adore. I feel bad that I left her, but not really that I no longer own her, if that makes sense. My ex-husband was better at controlling her, and I sort of thought it all worked out, really.

My ex-husband and I are not on good terms, so I found out through a mutual friend a while ago that my old dog had cancer. She recovered, and now she has three legs. It's also through a mutual friend that I found out when my ex-husband (who was supposed to be the one with the fertility problems!) had a baby. To say that it's bothered me is an understatement, but I really am glad that he's happy. I'd been a little concerned that he might be tempted to get rid of her, but since his son has got to be a year old by now, I figured I was in the clear. I know I have said – out loud – that I would hope that if he was going to get rid of her, that he would tell me.

There are days that I hate facebook, and days I don't mind it. Today, I wish I never looked at it, because today, I saw that a mutual friend (of mine and my ex-husband's) was a fan of a page that is essentially my ex-husband's plea to find a home for my old dog. His son, it turns out, is allergic, and so he needs to find a home for my old 13 year old three legged dog.

There are so many thoughts swirling around in my head that I can't even think straight. First, I couldn't believe that NO ONE TOLD ME. I mean, the mutual friend, my ex-husband? Then, I gave my ex-husband and the mutual friend the benefit of the doubt, and thought maybe they are doing me a favor. It's a stretch, but I am. I saw all the fans of the page in facebook, and they are all people I know…they're people from my old life, but I know them! I felt ashamed…she was mine, and now he has to see if a stranger will take her in? I'm torn between trying to forget I saw it and wanting to tell him I'll take her – but taking her could be a total disaster. I don't want our lives to become totally – and there's a good chance they would. I have a responsibility now to my current husband and current dog – who do I put first?

I honestly feel like such a jerk for not just saying I'll take her. I feel so selfish and…I don't know…just bad.

Then, of course, there's the little bitter infertile voice in my head that remembers that this is all because he has a baby. The only reason this is even happening is because he has a baby, and him having this allergic child makes me question whether I should throw our lives into total upheaval.

>It’s funny how I can go ages without posting and then suddenly have something to talk about every day!

I asked the vitamin question because I read that some prenatal vitamins contain levels of vitamins and minerals that are too high for long term use. I was mainly concerned about iron – I don’t really want too much of that over a long period of time. After reading the article more closely, I don’t think there’s anything in my current vitamin that is all that dangerous. It only contains 18 mg of iron, which that article states is the recommended amount for people who aren’t pregnant or ttc. So, I suppose I could continue taking my current prenatal vitamin, but I’m not 100% happy with it. The biggest problem with it is that I am supposed to take four per day, and I almost never do. I really need a once a day kind of option, and now I’m torn between choosing another prenatal and going back to a multivitamin. I definitely want the recommended pre-pregnancy and pregnancy levels of folic acid – just in case! – but I have found some multivitamins for women that have it. So, now I just need to decide.

Now that we’re settling in, I’m trying to establish some healthy habits – more exercise, eating well, etc. (I still have a weakness for wine, but no one is perfect). This has been helped by the fact that I’m working from home. I’m still busy, but I am saving time by not getting dressed up and rushing out the door at 8 am. I currently have no commute (other than my walk across our small apt), so that saves time, too – and I can always end work a little early if I want to. I have a job interview soon, so this could all change, but I am trying to establish good habits while I can.

I’m still running, but I’m also going to get back into yoga soon. I can do some at home, but the gym at our new apt. complex offers classes, too, so I am going to start those after the new year. Taking classes at a yoga studio would be nicer, but this would be really convenient.

I also really want to make an appointment to start acupuncture. There are a million acupuncturists where we live now, and I found one I want to try. This is new to me, though (I’ve always wanted to do it, but never have), and I’m a little unsure how to start. I obviously want to see if they can help my fertility, but I have other things that acupuncture might help, too. My allergies and sinuses have been sort of a mess since we moved, and since being able to breathe through my nose would be nice, I’m considering making that the priority to get started. I’m sure I can think of other things, too, but I’m just unsure how this works. Do I make an appointment and just tell them what my concerns are? Do I need to pick one problem at a time? I keep imagining myself saying, “Well, my sinuses are really a mess – maybe from allergies…and while you’re at it, I’d like to have a baby…oh, and I have this nagging foot pain…”

If anyone has suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated!

>I am still not feeling festive – at all – but I am at least feeling more upbeat. While I may not feel full of holiday cheer, at least it’s a step in the right direction. We have two holiday parties to attend – tonight and tomorrow – so at least I get to get dressed up and leave the house! I’ve always liked parties, but now that I am working from home, just having somewhere to go is exciting! 🙂

AF is going to arrive any day…I did have brief delirious visions of being able to tell my parents that I’m pregnant when they’re here after Christmas, but I truly question how I can even think these things. I am not spotting (which lately, is a HUGE plus) or cramping, which starts to get my hopes up, but I know that in reality, I either ovulated later than I think (entirely possible), or I am just not having whatever problem led to spotting and cramping in the past. I am happy that I didn’t have any bleeding or spotting around ovulation this month, which seems to be happening on an every other month or so basis. I know I should probably see an ob/gyn for a yearly exam and mention it, but I am dreading it like you wouldn’t believe. I just don’t want to get into the discussion of being 36 years old, ttc for two years, and doing nothing about it. Plus, my insurance is a bit wacky from living in one state and working in another, so I may wait until that at least is straightened out (which I suppose would be when I have a new job, and I don’t know when that will be – hopefully soon).

One thing I am debating is prenatal vitamins. I still take them (although I forgot for a while when we first moved), and while it seems unnecessary, I don’t want to risk anything on the off chance that I do one day get pregnant. Especially at my age – folic acid is important. I read a few things yesterday that it isn’t good to take prenatal vitamins when you aren’t ttc or pregnant (but what if you’ll be ttc indefinitely??? they didn’t address that), so I’m torn. I found a multivitamin that has the recommended amount of folic acid, but it isn’t a prenatal. I thought about trying that, but I wonder what other people who have been ttc for long periods of time do about prenatal vitamins? Obviously, ttc for a long time and going through treatment is one thing – I’m talking about me – who is still sort of ttc but doesn’t expect anything to come of it…prenatals or no?

>I’m just not feeling the holiday spirit this year. I keep trying – imagining the nice Christmas tree we had in our home last year (our apartment is too small to have a big tree, so we have a fake 2 ft tree that we haven’t even been motivated to decorate), embracing the sound of Christmas carols, and attending local holiday events. It’s not helping, though – I still feel sort of numb about the whole thing. I know part of it is due to the fact that we aren’t traveling to see my family this year, that we just moved, and that we now live in a warmer climate. I know, too, that Christmas just isn’t the same holiday for me that it was when I was younger, or when I was in college – where I couldn’t wait to go home for the holidays and launch myself into a full celebration of holiday festivities. It’s just not the same now. My parents are older now – they don’t even put up a tree – and they’re mentally preparing for their winter trip to the south. The commercialism and consumerism of the whole holiday bothers me, and I spend too much time thinking about how I don’t know what to buy anyone, and what I can think of, I can’t afford. I think sometimes I was better off when I was a poor college student – because no one really expected much from me, anyway.

There’s also the childless aspect of the holidays, that I try so hard to get past, but I just can’t. The holidays are such a reminder of what we don’t have, and probably never will. I mean, the holiday is ABOUT birth – there’s really no getting around it. The fact that my parents and brother commented multiple times that they need to spend the holidays with their “only grandchild” didn’t help anything, but I already knew they would feel that way, and in some ways, they’re right. He is only going to be young once, and he is the only grandchild. This Christmas, though – without our trip to see my family – it’s hard for me to ignore the fact that it’s just the two of us celebrating the holidays together. We have each other, and I am so thankful for that, but I’m finding it difficult to make it feel like a holiday. It’s hard to make it feel different than any other day, and it’s even harder to make it feel like the kind of holiday I imagined when I was younger. It’s hard to ignore the feeling that we’re missing something that we wanted – something that comes so easily to so many others. I miss being excited about the holidays, but it’s tiring to try.

>I have been really neglectful of my blog! While I was packing, moving, and unpacking, I just didn’t make the time to write – although I did often think of things I wanted to say. Of course, all the ideas I had have now vanished into thin air, but I thought I would post an update, anyway.

We have successfully moved, and all our boxes are unpacked! Hooray! I am really not looking forward to moving again, although at the moment I am also obsessed with local real estate. At least that move – which is at least a year away or more – will be local.

Everything went pretty well with the move, and we’ve been enjoying our new surroundings. We know two other couples here, and both are without children, which makes things easy. Unfortunately, I think one of them has been dealing with infertility for a long time (I remember they were ttc when I was seeing an RE with my ex-husband, and that was five years ago, or more), which makes me sad for them. The other couple isn’t married, and I don’t think they have any plans for children anytime soon.

I always feel strange this time of year because of our childlessness. Holidays are so focused on children, and I find it hard to escape. Even my family seems to find it necessary to repeat over and over how important it is that my parents are with my brother for the holidays, since he has the “only grandchild,” and that they wouldn’t want to miss a holiday while he’s young. I get it, but I do wish they would stop referring to my nephew as the “only grandchild.” I know they don’t say it to be cruel, but all I can think when I hear it is that he isn’t SUPPOSED to be the only grandchild. I found the “What to Expect When you’re Expecting” book that my SIL gave me – I guess two years ago – when we were packing (and then when we were unpacking). At the time, I tried to tell her then that it probably wasn’t necessary to give me the book, but since she already had a child (the “only grandchild”), she said she didn’t need it any longer – so there was no harm in me taking it. That book seems to multiply and reappear all over our apartment, no matter how many times I try to stash it away in one of my bottom dresser drawers. I should get rid of it, but I have this fear that she’s going to ask for it back – to give to one of her fertile friends who isn’t sure what to expect – now that she’s expecting.

My brother has a lot of problems in his life, and I’m glad he and his wife didn’t have to deal with infertility. I think it would have broken them, and I don’t know how they would have come back from it. Sometimes, though, it would be nice to just have some acknowledgment – some compassion or understanding – that this isn’t an easy time of year for people who are unable to have children…that while it might be important to spend time with the “only grandchild,” those statements are reminders of what we don’t have.


May: BFP for baby #2, due January 2015

July: Our daughter is born!

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

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

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

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

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