You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2012.

I saw my friend and her baby yesterday. I can’t say it bothers me, necessarily, to see them, but it does make me feel somehow disconnected. Maybe that’s not the right term. I am so happy for her, but I just feel…maybe a little off is the right term? I want to seem to happy for them (and I truly am), and I want to be involved and supportive, but it’s like I just can’t quite get all the way there. I’m paranoid, too, about the divide that’s growing – between me, the non-mom, and my friend, the mom. I don’t know how much diapers cost or where to buy them. I don’t know what’s normal for a two-month old. I don’t know how hard it is to breastfeed or how much babies usually sleep or what it’s like to deal with your mother-in-law and your new baby. I don’t know what it’s like to have to make birth control decisions as a woman who got pregnant via IVF and doesn’t know if it’s possible to get pregnant again but doesn’t want to be pregnant right now.

I keep thinking that it’s ok – that I’ll be where she is before too long. But what if I’m not? What if I’m still in the midst of IVF cycles and still haven’t had a baby a year from now? What if we try IVF and then move on to DE and even that doesn’t work? What if M and I never even come to an agreement on DE?

I keep reminding myself that this phase won’t last forever. We won’t always be gearing up for treatment (and seriously, all this waiting to start IVF is not helping at this point) or wondering whether we’ll ever be parents. At some point, we’ll either be parents or we won’t, and we’ll deal with it. And I’ll keep my fingers crossed in the meantime.

Yesterday, my acupuncturist told me about a woman she treats who was told it was impossible for her to get pregnant, and then did (attributing it to acupuncture). The week before, she told me about a woman who was determined to have a baby but didn’t want to go the IVF route. In the end, after years and years and years of trying and having acupuncture sessions to improve her infertility, she gave up gluten and got pregnant at the age of 40.

I know these stories are supposed to be uplifting. At least, that’s my assumption. My acupuncturist wants me to think positively, and I am guessing that’s why she tells me about these people. Either that, or she thinks IVF is unnecessary, and that if I just stuck it out long enough, acupuncture would work.

The thing is, though, there are the other people. The people who try for years and years and years and are left empty-handed. I don’t have time to try acupuncture for three or four or five years with the hope that I’ll be pregnant by the end. Because if I’m not – if I’m not like the person she told me about – my options will be more limited then than they are right now.

I know I am probably being defensive, and that she means these stories to be examples of people who overcame the odds, but what makes me feel better is looking at my friend tried to have a baby for seven years and got pregnant on their first IVF cycle. She has a two-month old baby now. THAT is what makes me feel hopeful.

My mom told me this week about her friend’s daughter-in-law who had a surprise pregnancy at the age of 41. She already has a few children and was on medication for Chron’s disease when it happened. The family was shocked and concerned (because of the medication) and all around freaked out. I don’t know why she tells me these stories. I don’t know if she just isn’t thinking, and is just something she thinks is worth sharing (not related to me being infertile), or if she thinks it will somehow give me hope. It doesn’t, though. What it makes me think is how incredible it is that someone who is 41 can get pregnant while trying not to and on a whole ton of medication, while I, at 38, am on no medication and have been trying to get pregnant for four years. It makes me feel the opposite of optimistic – sort of like crap.

I know people mean well, and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, but right now, I don’t need that. The last thing I need are seeds of doubt – stories that make it sound like maybe we are being too aggressive…that maybe we could get the results we want without being stuck with needles on a daily basis. I know this is the right thing for us, right now, and that, I guess, is what matters.

 

 

Today is CD 19. AF should arrive sometime next week (probably between Wednesday and Friday), which means it will be time to call the IVF nurse and get things started. It makes me nervous – all this time leading up to it – that something will go wrong. I’m not even to the point of worrying about the cycle itself yet. I’m just hoping we can try. We’ve been waiting and waiting to do this, and I want to embrace this moment, but I can’t – not fully – because I feel like something could go wrong. It’s like I won’t believe it’s going to happen until it’s actually underway.

Still, though, the assumption is that this will be happening, and soon. This Sunday, I’ll run my last pre-IVF race, not knowing when or how much I’ll be running in the next six weeks, or (fingers crossed) 9 months. I’m not a great runner by any means…I’m not very fast, and I tend to get injured if I run too much, even following the most conservative training plans. I like running, though. I like how I sometimes feel like crap at the beginning (even after three years!), but almost always feel rewarded at the end. I like how it takes a certain mindset to just keep running, even when I want to stop. I like that I feel strong and just present, and that I can forgive myself for a run that didn’t go as well as I would have liked.

I think the race will be good, and the timing is great. I know I’ll need a reminder of what I’m capable of doing, and what my body can do. I want to celebrate it, before I have to face head on what it can’t hasn’t been able to do so far.

I went out to dinner with a group of women for the first time last week. They’re in my yoga class, and I’ve known them for a while, but we haven’t really spent much time together socially. I was excited, but nervous. It was like being invited to join their club.

I knew going in that they were all moms. They’re all stay at home moms who have some kind of side business (writing, art, etc), except for one older woman who I think is retired. Despite some discussions I obviously couldn’t participate in, I had a good time. I couldn’t help, though, but think how much better it would be if we had children. Then I would truly be part of the group, instead of an outsider. At one point the question I had been waiting for was asked: Do you think you will have children?

It’s such a hard question for me to answer, and I’m never, ever happy with my answer. I replied that we’d like to, but since none of these women, as far as I know, has any experience with infertility, my answer seemed to mean that we think we’d like to but maybe aren’t quite ready. I wanted my answer to convey that we want to and don’t know if it will happen, despite the fact that we’ve been trying for almost four years. I wanted to say that we want to so badly that we’re getting ready for an IVF cycle, but that even that doesn’t have any guarantees. I wanted to explain that I can’t answer if we’ll have children because it’s really not something I can control. You meant to tell me that people decide to have children and it actually happens???

I thought later about other answers I could have had: We would love to – it just hasn’t happened yet; We would love to, but after trying for a long time, we just don’t know if it will happen; Funny you should ask – we’re starting an IVF cycle next month!

Every time I’m asked, though, the answer that comes out of my mouth is sort of vague and non-committal. M thinks I should be more direct. If someone shows him a sonogram picture (which, you would think as a guy, would happen infrequently, but it’s happened more than once in the last few months alone), he responds by congratulating them and saying we’re doing IVF soon. But I can’t bring myself to say it.

I told M that I don’t want to put people I like in the position where they won’t know what to say, or even worse, where they’ll unintentionally say something insulting or insensitive. I like these people, and I want it to stay that way. After that dinner, it was so easy to imagine myself going out to dinner with my mom friends, or meeting up for play-dates…and just being one of them, instead of the infertile girl who always feels uncertain – never knowing what will happen or how much to share.

I think I failed at ICLW yesterday but am hoping to make up for it today. It’s been so nice to receive so many comments and to find some new blogs to read!

I started acupuncture again this week. I forgot how relaxed and woozy acupuncture makes me! It’s slightly awkward, because I think my acupuncturist believes I could get pregnant using only acupuncture, and not medication or IVF, but it’s just a feeling I have. She hasn’t said anything outright and hasn’t said anything specific. I’m trying to go into this (acupuncture) with a different attitude than I had last time I went. I really enjoyed it at first, but then I felt like the whole experience was making me stressed. It’s hard to explain. She totally means well, but when she asked me this time if I was going to go back to charting, or if I had kept up with it since the last time I saw her (which was over a year ago), I said no. I told her that it wasn’t necessary because of IVF, and while I could be doing it until then, that it makes me stressed. She agreed that additional stress would be bad and let it go. When I saw her a year ago, though, I probably would have asked her if she thought I should and if it was a good idea, and then ended up all stressed about it. I guess I’m trying to have some kind of control over things and make things as stress-free for me as I can, instead of just trying to please everyone else. It sounds so silly that telling my acupuncturist that I didn’t want to go back to charting would be a big deal to me, but it is. I have a hard time saying no.

In the end, I had a nice appointment, even though I felt sort of woozy for the rest of the day. I was totally relaxed, though. I’m going to see her once a week until we have the IVF schedule figured out.

Next on my list is buying Circle + Bloom. I wish it were cheaper, and I’m slightly dubious about using it, but I hear great things about it. I’ll try anything that will help! I do tend to lean toward the negative, I think out of self-protection more than anything else, so it might be good to train myself to have positive thoughts.

 

 

I’m participating in ICLW this month for the first time in ages. It’s been at least a year, if not more. I hope I can keep up!

For any new visitors, here’s a summary of our infertility journey:

We started ttc #1 about four years ago, at the age of 34. We had some initial testing done with my ob/gyn after about nine months, which revealed nothing, and tried a few cycles of Clomid. We ended up taking a somewhat unplanned break while waiting to start a cycle with Follistim, and basically just got wrapped up in day-to-day life for a while. We spent a lot of time waffling between accepting living childfree and continuing treatments, and in February this year, we finally saw an RE*. She found that my FSH was a bit high and my AMH was a bit low for my age (now 37), and that I also had a large-ish endometrioma covering one of my ovaries. I had a lap in April and have been attempting to schedule our first IVF cycle ever since. I had some travel planned (both for work and for fun) that made it difficult, but we’re finally gearing up to start IVF in September. I’m now 38, and that September IVF cycle will also mark our fourth year ttc. I sincerely hope we don’t make it to five!

Most of the blogs I used to read are now parenting blogs, so I’m hoping to find some new bloggers who are in the same boat.

 

 

*I also saw an RE in my previous marriage and found it to be a totally unpleasant experience, which made me kind of hesitant to go down that road again. 

It’s been a totally crazy week.

A good friend of mine (the one who got pregnant easily) had a baby. On that same day, another friend was involved in a tragic accident that killed her son. It’s so hard to grasp how one friend could have such happiness on the same day that another is faced with such despair. With all of that, I reconnected with some old friends that I hadn’t talked to in a long time. It was good to be able to work through all of our emotions together, but I’m still struggling with how to show that I’m there for them.

My dad, who spent the winter going through chemo and recovering from multiple surgeries, celebrated another birthday. And he feels well enough to celebrate!

I got my period, which means we have less than 30 days to go to start our IVF cycle.

We’re getting ready to go on a vacation that I have mixed feelings about. It will be good to get away, and it will be good to see some old friends and family. But, the place we’re going is filled with memories for me – some good, and some bad. It makes me feel on edge to think that I never know who I’ll run into or what kind of awkward conversation I might end up in. I know that I’m blowing it out of proportion in my mind, because it’s all just history – and it was eight years ago – and so many of the people I knew there have changed. I need to get over it, and just have fun.

We also need to decide if we’ll tell my in-laws about the upcoming IVF cycle. We’re leaving tomorrow, so I guess we have some time to figure it out. 🙂

I started spotting today, so AF will most likely arrive later today or tomorrow. I’m glad I didn’t have another 23 day cycle, and I am amazed how great my run was yesterday. Usually, my last run before AF arrives is horrible. I usually get horrible cramps and feel just generally terrible, but my run yesterday was one of the best I’ve had in a while! I’m hoping it’s a benefit of the lap, and if it’s not, it’s still fantastic.

There was a small shred of hope that I’d be able to start IVF this cycle, but I wasn’t counting on it. It’s good that I wasn’t, because looking at the calendar, there’s no way I can make it work. I have to take a work trip in mid-September, and I don’t think it’s going to mesh well with the IVF schedule. It’s ok, though, because starting IVF in September is what I was counting on, anyway. I’ll still have to take that work trip, but I should be on bcp’s then.

I feel sort of relieved, because even if my next cycle starts early, I’ll still be on bcp’s for that work trip. I really didn’t want to have to bring needles and medication with me!

So, assuming AF starts tonight, the countdown will be on! 27 days from now, I’ll be calling the nurse to get everything ordered, and 5 days from then, I’ll be starting 2 weeks of bcp’s. I’ll be starting injections in a little over a month! I’m scared, but excited, too!

I waver a lot about how much I want to share with people about my upcoming IVF cycle. On one hand, I want to be open. I feel closed off from people, because I have this thing that I’m not sharing. I had an email exchange with some old friends today, and it felt weird not to tell them. At the same time, though, I rarely hear from them, and we just aren’t as close as we once were. I feel like I need to reach out to people, but I don’t know who, or how.

I contacted my old acupuncturist today to see if she had any experience with acupuncture and IVF. I was sort of torn about going back to her. On one hand, I like her, and the location is convenient. She’s also sort-of affordable, at least compared to acupuncturists where we live. I like it that it’s just her, and I’m not walking into some big practice. She also doesn’t sell herbs or anything like that, so there’s no pressure.

On the other had, because it’s just her, I’m putting a lot of faith in the fact that she knows what she’s doing. She’s not affiliated with my RE’s office (I think there’s an acupuncturist who is), and even though she says she has experience with IVF, she probably doesn’t have the same level of experience as a person who pretty much only deals with acupuncture for infertility. She’s a very kind person, though, and I don’t think she would say that she could do something that she couldn’t – just to make money.

There’s a small part of me that wonders if she has issues with IVF and thinks I’m being too aggressive (which would be sort of funny after ttc for four years), but it could easily be my own paranoia. I don’t remember her saying anything specific to make me think that. The other issue, though, is how hard it was to stop seeing her last time. I really felt like I was breaking up with her, and I don’t want to have to deal with that again. It’s a silly reason, but I think it would be easier to stop treatment if I were going to some large facility that had a receptionist.

In the end, though, I decided to go back to her. I’m hoping to work something out within the next couple weeks, so I’ll have a month of acupuncture before I start stims. I think it will be good for me, and I think the other benefit will be that I can get used to the weekly visits before adding in all the needles and everything. I’m concerned about being overwhelmed.

I think I’m going to fork over the $ for circle + bloom, too. I need all the help I can get!

If all goes well (body, PLEASE cooperate this time), I’ll be starting bcp’s in a little over a month to in preparation for my IVF cycle. I only have to take them for two weeks, so I would theoretically start lupron in mid-September. I have a trip I have to take for work in mid-September, but if my body cooperates, I’ll be traveling during bcp time, and not lupron time. I am crossing my fingers that my body cooperates! I really don’t want to have to travel with lupron and deal with injections on my work trip if I don’t have to. I have a menstrual calendar app on my phone that attempts to predict my cycles, and it seems to be using a 24 day cycle for the calculations. I usually have a cycle in the 26-28 day range, but last month things got a little crazy with my 23 day cycle. Att least one normal 26-28 day cycle would be ideal, so that I can travel for work without worrying about injections or timing. AF should arrive next week, and then again at the end of August or beginning of September. Late is ok – early is not. Fingers crossed!

So, I have another month to continue getting into shape. I think I’m going to do either a 5k or 10k race in early September, which would be a great way to kick things off. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to run while doing IVF or while pregnant, but I know that the more endurance I have now, the easier it will be to stay in some kind of shape, and hopefully continue running at least a little. I have a family history of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, so it’s really important to me to stay healthy and fit. We added swimming to our exercise routine a month or so ago and are still trying to swim twice a week, but in all honesty, it ends up being once a week more often than not. I have sort of a tiered system in my mind – running is the priority, then yoga, and then swimming. I was feeling a little fatigued this morning and decided to skip swimming with the hope of having a better long run tomorrow. Exercising every day can be tiring…rest is good, too!

We’re both trying to eat better, too. We’re sticking to a schedule of 1-2 meals out per week, although that is also super challenging! We had a good plan for this week but forgot our friend’s birthday is this weekend, so now we have to go out on an unplanned night for dinner. We juggled some other plans around and are making it work, but it’s not easy. Having a bunch of fresh vegetables from the garden helps us stick to the schedule, and I think I made my best loaf of bread yet yesterday, which also doesn’t hurt. I know a lot of people avoid carbs, but I love bread, so I try to avoid carbs in other places – cereals, crackers, etc. Plus, one slice of the bread I made is pretty filling, and there’s nothing in it but flour, yeast, and water. Everything in moderation! I’m trying to be good about drinking wine, but I’m not going to totally restrict myself until the IVF cycle starts. I can only be so good! 🙂 I’m trying to be better about caffeine, too, and have one cup (instead of three) of tea a day. I’m going to start acupuncture soon, too, but I’m waiting until the cycle gets a little closer. I’m also considering circle + bloom, but I only want to get it if I’m really going to use it. I probably should.

Overall, I feel good, but I do feel like there’s a small part of me that’s in denial about the IVF cycle. I think part of the issue is that I’ve had such scheduling issues and delays – it’s hard to assume it’s actually going to happen. It’s even harder to believe that by Thanksgiving, we’ll have finished an IVF cycle and will either be pregnant – or not.

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