Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thought Vomit Thursday! Thanksgiving Style!!

Ok, it's Thanksgiving and it's Thursday which means luckily for you, I get to vomit thankfulness all over this place.  Now, in no particular order, here are a few things I'd like to offer thanks for:

  • I'm thankful for feminine products.  Yep.  I said it.  Tampons, pads and panty liners.  Think of where we'd be without them?  Not your ideal situation to be in once a month is it?  
  • I'm uber thankful for my family and all my nephews, nieces and god-children.  I mean those little rascals make me happier than you can imagine.  Just last night, I got a text from my niece that said, "I can't wait to see u tomorrow.  I love you so much!"  I mean matter how bad your day is, reading that just makes it all better.  My mom has been super supportive since I told her about our situation and sent her the link to this blog.  She didn't know much about what was going on until recently.  I'm glad I have her support and her confidence.
  • I'm beyond thankful for my husband and all that he does for me.  This man is one of those men that your friends don't believe in.  The kind that does TONS of housework without ever being asked to do it, sends flowers for no reason, brings me presents when I'm sick or sad, knows exactly how to cheer me up when I don't wanna smile, loves having a houseful of kids that aren't ours on a regular basis, cooks a steak like nobody's business, is gorgeous, tender hearted, sensitive to others and loves me even when I've lost my mind and have no idea which way is up.  He's pulled me back from a dark place on more than one occasion.  I love him with every ounce of my being.  I know how blessed I am.
  • I'm thankful that I live in a country where I'm free to be who I want to be.  I am thankful I have a job that provides me with the money to pay bills, buy food any time I'm hungry, buy clothes to keep me warm and shoes to protect my feet.   Partly, because of where I live, I can have clean water, indoor plumbing, electricity and shelter.  I know not everyone in the US has these things, but because of where I was born, I have a better opportunity than some.
  • I'm thankful for my health.  I know this IF business means I'm obviously not as healthy as I thought I was, but overall, I can't say I am UNhealthy.  My brother faced cancer seven years ago and went through hell for a long time while he fought that battle.  I've never had to face anything like that and I am so grateful for that.  I can see, hear, run, play, carry kids around on my shoulders and do so without pain or complication.  I have very little to complain about, although I do it so readily some days.
  • I'm thankful for my friends.  My IRL (in real life) friends are amazing.  Supportive, hilarious, solid, dependable, trustworthy, loving and always a pillar of strength when I need it even when they are battling their own fight of kids, school, infertility, health issues, etc.  I've had the same best friend since tenth grade and another best friend since seventh.  Some of my "newer" friends I've had for a few years and because we've gone through a lot of the same things, it feels like so much longer.  I really am so appreciative of all my IRL friends...I just wish I saw them more.  :)
  • I'm thankful for my blogger friends.  I know most of you have heard this ad nauseam but because of a lot of you ladies, I have gotten great advice, learned a thing or two that have helped me in my struggle and honestly, felt less alone than I have in years just by reading the posts you've posted about your IF journey.  Many of you have gone on to have little bundles of your own now or are in the process of that now.  It gives me hope.  Keeps me thinking this could work after all.  Because of you, I haven't given up yet.  :)  To those of you still on this crazy ride, hoping for your little baby boy or girl (or both), you have given me comfort and let me know these feelings I have most of the time aren't as insane as I sometimes think they are!  
  • Last but not least, I'm thankful for living in a day and age when technology and medicine allows us to pursue something that we otherwise would not be able to pursue. Hopefully, next year we'll be able to show our gratitude for a healthy pregnancy or baby.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving regardless of what you're doing.  If you're home alone, chilling out, enjoy it!  If you're with your family and friends today, have a blast.  I know we will!!!

Bursting with all kinds of vomitous appreciation,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

To Smite or Not To Smite?

Alright, let's get this update out of the way because I've been putting it off long enough.  Obviously, I shared with you gorgeous ladies (& Doc) that our last IUI failed.  For whatever reason, even though we were hesitant at first to go forward with the IUI after how little response we got out of the Anastrazole, I managed to get myself all worked up into a tizzy thinking that little scrapper follicle of ours was going to produce the most amazing and receptive egg EVER and turn out to be our miraculous and precious lab-love-child.  It wasn't to be.  For reasons that we mortals (as usual) will never understand.  I wish I was one of the enlightened ones from time to time but apparently that dumb-founded look suits me better in His eyes?

With me, I usually only have about three days to be really sad about a failed attempt.  I take a test or have my labs done and usually start that day, sometimes before the labs are even back.  Something about those tests MUST send out the signal and here comes the Goddess of Endometrium Linings in her gorgeous red chariot (sticking w/ the Gods theme?)...  Anyway, back to me being mortally dumb-founded and sad for three days.  I usually start some type of new treatment cycle on day three or day five depending on what we're trying and so the sadness is replaced by acceptance, which is replaced by focus, which is then trumped by determination which then blossoms into hope all over again.  Rollercoaster anyone?  Six Flags has nothing on IF.  Fo' real.

So anywho, I called the RE's office to tell them my test was negative since she had me test at home (which still bothers me because I don't feel "important" enough for them to test me in their office and don't they know I need to feel catered to/pampered?  I want them to stick me and make me bleed and tell me personally that this didn't work!  For those of you that know me, you know why that sounds completely insane - I'm a swooner of the worst kind when it comes to needles, or at least I was in my pre-IF life.) and the nurse called back to let me know they were there if I needed anything and to let them know if we decided to pursue another treatment cycle.  Naturally, I jumped right on board and told her we were definitely interested in the next cycle.  I told her what Dr. S had recommended at our previous IUI (in case it failed) which was possibly combining the Anastrazole with something else or doing Clomid and injectables.  She said she'd call me back after she spoke w/ Dr. S.

She called me back and gave me the kind of news that leaves you dumber-founded for a few days and asking a ton of questions that make you look like a know-it-all and a control-freak all at the same time.  She wanted us to try the Anastrazole again.  Nothing else.  The nurse kept saying how starting injectables takes some time, you have to pre-order the meds, take a class on them, go over payment options, etc. and she kept making me feel like I had been the one to recommend we do that next.  All I had done was tell her what Dr. S told us we might try next!  So of course, I back-pedal and try to explain that I wasn't PUSHING for injectables, she had just been wondering what Dr. S might want to do so I threw out what Dr. S had told us.  Don't you HATE that feeling when someone misunderstands you and the more you try to explain it, the more ridiculous you sound?  Sometimes, well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.  Ugh.

So, I asked her why we were only doing the Anastrazole after my body didn't respond well to it.  She said because it keeps your endometrium thick (triple stripe style) and makes a good environment for the fertilized egg to implant in.  I get that.  But on Clomid, my endometrium was always thick and my former RE always seemed happy that it looked so great.  AND I produced several follicles (which obviously weren't successful, but still).  I just don't understand why we are doing this again with nothing else.  It feels like a filler month while we move on to injectables.  I produce one follie a month on my own.  That's not a problem.  My endometrium is never super thin.  That's not a problem.  So why are we doing NOTHING more aggressive than taking these stupid pills that did nothing for me!?  And then, to beat it all, she said if THIS fails, we'll move on to injectables but only after we know this fails so that's another month of ordering meds and training and blah blah blah.  I wanted to take up the Goddess's tampon shaped trident and smite the nurse through the phone I was so upset!

So, what do you think?  I mean should I have pushed for something more aggressive?  This is our 35th month of TTC.  I'm tired of being so passive.  We aren't monitored much, the nurse told me to take an OPK and once positive to schedule my IUI for the next day and I had to ask her if we could have an ultrasound on day 10 or 11 to know how well the Anastrazole was working this month.  I just feel hung out to dry or something.  Am I being too sensitive here?

I've been a good patient though and I have taken my stupid friggin Anastrazole every day like a good girl and do my best not to get more depressed about the whole situation.  Sadness hasn't really turned into acceptance which will hinder focus and determination from making an appearance and probably erase hope completely this month.   So, I've decided this mortal stuff sucks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


My friend Sarah over at Baby Talk gave me my first blogger award today!  I am so excited!  Liebster is German for "favorite" or "beloved".  I feel so loved!  Thank you Sarah!  SO, without further ado, I am passing this on to my 5 of my own favorite or beloved blogs.

  • Jennifer over at A Journey of Babysteps who is not only a REAL LIFE friend, but a blogger friend as well.  Follow her on her journey to motherhood through adoption.  
  • Josey over at My Cheap Version Of Therapy who I already love to bits and pieces for how encouraging and supportive she is!  (Josey, I'm working on replying to your comments-I love you for every one of them!)
  • Oak at The Elusive Embryo / Acorn Chronicles has to be one of the most sarcastic, tell-it-how-it-is (or should be
  • Elizabeth at Many Many Moons because she is pretty much my twin (and she IS a twin already) with her injuries and accident-prone self.  Thanks to her, I have most of you.  :)
  • Natalie at I Was Told There Would Be Pajamas because she cracks me up and was my first and only internet girlfriend.

I hope those who win will keep the love going around!  Here's how!  Repost to your site, thank the person who awarded you, choose your top five favorite blogs and then hopefully, they will do the same!

I love you all for following me and I hope that we continue to connect!  Give these girls above a look, you won't be disappointed, they are AMAZING.

Till next time,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thought Vomit Thursday! (All the cool kids are doing it)

Jumping right in....

  • I know I should stop saying, "All the cool kids are doing it" in my post title, but it auto-populates and I don't want to take the time to undo it.  Although, by the time I'm done typing this sentence, I could have fixed it three times.  Oh well.
  • I had an awesome visit with my dental hygienist today.  Well, at the dentist in general actually.  After our uber shocking (insert sarcasm) negative pregnancy test, I decided it was time to take care of some things I've been neglecting.  I was thinking this would help distract me.  So, I started with the important stuff.  Teeth.  They had a cancellation and were able to fit me in this morning at 9:15.  The lady at the front desk (who sounds like one of those actresses who is faking a southern accent because it's SOOOO strong) handed me a "new patient" form to complete b/c they have to get them updated once every couple of years and I was due.  She also handed me my old sheet for reference sake which I thought was awesome in case I forgot an allergy or a surgery date.  SO, I start filling it out and the first question under the medical section is, "ARE YOU PREGNANT?"  SO, I very deliberately checked NO.  Then a few questions later it asks, "What medications are you taking?"  I thought, "Crap, I need a bigger piece of paper for this!"...  So, I sighed and started filling it in.  Next question was "Why are you taking this medication?"  So, I snarled and wrote why: Infertility.  Then I thought I'd check my old sheet to see what the OLD Shannon was taking.  Naturally, "Birth Control".  My reason for Why?  "NO BABIES FOR US YET!"  Really, Shannon?  REALLY?  Such a friggin schmuck.  (does that apply? I never know what a schmuck really is, but I am sure it applies here!)  I checked the date on the old form.  January, 2009.  One month before we tossed those BC pills out.  Ugh.  So, I grumbled my way through the rest of the questions and waited my turn to be tortured  The hygienist finally calls me back and what's in her hand?  Yep, my new patient information sheet I just completed.  You can imagine what happens next, right?  Oh was awesome.  She read over my sheet, flipped it over to the GOOD stuff and then it began.....
Her: Well, since you might be pregnant, we won't do x-ray's today, but you are way past due for those.
Me: It's ok, I'm not pregnant.
Her: Well, you might be.
Me: No, I'm NOT.  I took a test yesterday, I'm NOT.
Her: Oh.  Ok.  (She moves some things around the tray and stands up)
Her: Yeah, I have two friends who tried and tried for years to get pregnant and they are both pregnant now thanks to all that stuff (and references my paper) and I am just SO excited for them!!!!!
Me: Yep.  That's very exciting.  (Insert every single ounce of "Oh my gosh, really lady?!" tone into your voice here)
Her: Yes, it really is.  I think one of them is due any day now, actually.
Me: Well, that's just fantastic!
Her: *Silently to herself but I heard it clear as day* Oh am I going to clean her teeth when both of my hands are busy trying to pry both of my feet out of my mouth?
I seriously just wanted to crawl under the chair and cry or die or both.
  • Since I decided to take care of some things that needed to be taken care of (with me), I made a list.  Wanna see it?  Good, here it is.  
    • Dentist (CHECK)
    • Hair Appt (tomorrow)
    • Yearly Visit 
    • Have my eyes checked
    • Have my hearing checked (I have ringing in my ears lately)
    • Massage
    • Chiropractor
  • My 3 year old niece wanted me to call her today on my way home.  So, I did and she was talking my head off about her pink Christmas tree she is going to put up in her bedroom here at my house and how she wants to spend the night with me "to-mario".  In the middle of one of my questions about her new tree, she said, "Bye" and I said, "You getting off the phone?" and she said, "Well, I am finished talking to you now.  Bye" and hung up.  I cracked up.  Silly girl.
  • I have OCD about my fingernails.  They have to be the same length and shape.  My pointers have to match up, middles have to match up, etc., and I compare them several times a day.  More when I'm anxious.  You can imagine this gets a little bothersome and time-consuming since an infertile spends 90% of their time in some form of anxiety; however, my nails look fantastic.
  • Funny story here, which I guess we should share with the rightful person....  I managed to hurt my own feelings.  Recently, I was able to get a little bit of new traffic thanks to Elizabeth at Many Many Moons and for that, I am SO thankful (really, THANK YOU E!).  Just you few new readers/friends have honestly made me feel so much LESS lonely on this journey through infertility.  Through her blog, I came across many new blogs and quickly began following most of the girls that I thought were just super funny and sarcastic (that would be you, dahling).  Somewhere along the way, or maybe she is how I found Elizabeth, I don't recall, but I came across Josey's blog, My Cheaper Version Of Therapy.  I immediately did what I always do when I find someone I really like and read up on her old blogs and laughed/cried my way through a lot of her story.  Like with all of you, I formed a little connection with Josey.  That's what this is about, right?  It's part of what is so awesome about blogging.  I've been following her and her soon-to-be-here "Rockstar" ever since.  Well, at some point about 2 weeks ago, I thought to myself, "Wow, Josey never comments on my blog anymore.  I hope I haven't done something to make her think I'm a jerk or anything."  I love my new friends, ya know?!  And so, as usual, I'd look forward to reading the comments I'd receive on my posts (I swear if I could, I would hoard those things, I love them that much) and wonder now and then if I should email her and ask her if I had commented something on her blog that was offensive or rude.  I mean, all of you show me love on a regular basis and I couldn't shake the feeling that maybe I had offended her specifically or something.  Then yesterday, I realized she doesn't even follow my blog and has never posted on it the FIRST TIME and that I'm an idiot for not realizing that sooner.  *sigh*  How ridiculous is this, really?!  I mean REALLY.  All I can do now is smile sheepishly and scuff my feet and say, "Aw shucks, I feel silly."  So that's that.  Dangit Josey! I thought we were friends! :) Being me is hard.
  • So, we failed at our most recent attempt at having a baby.  Thank you to all of you who sent me sweet messages and emails showing your support.  It really means so much to me.  I don't know what we're going to do next.  I don't know if this is the end of our rope or not, but you know I'll keep you posted and maybe even ask for some advice in the near future.  Just please continue to pray and send positive thoughts our way and I'll be much obliged to do the same.
  • One more thing I forgot to add earlier....In our team meeting today at work, our main manager was there talking about what happens when we don't service our customers the way we should.  She said, "We get sued, we lose our bar license, we lose our jobs, our children starve."  I just hung my head in shame.  I am the ONLY one left without kids of my own or at least one on the way.  Ugh.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another Failed Attempt

I am not going to lie.  I'm disgusted.  Another failed IUI.  When will this end?  I am so tired of this whole process.

Please say a prayer for my friend.  She has her own test to take Friday and I am so hoping she gets her positive results this time around.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bulging Eyeballs Could Be Attractive

This was me last week...and while I could tell you this whole story in about three sentences, I am not going to because I'm home alone, sitting in front of a cozy fireplace and feel like writing.  Lucky you!

Several months ago, (yes, we're starting way back there) I had bloodwork done post IUI and Nurse Devil-bra (Debra to those who like Satan) called me with this frantic message: "Your progesterone is low.  I have already called in Prometrium for you.  I need you to go right now and pick it up at the pharmacy.  Take one pill immediately, another around six and then again at bedtime.  Take it three times a day."  It was already one or two o'clock so for her to sound so desperate for me to get three doses in that day kind of scared me.  I was new to this wretched game!

I had no idea what Prometrium did or what a normal Progesterone level was.  (I believe when I finally got some answers, I was told mine had come back at 8.)  I didn't know anything about it at all though, because this was literally ALL the information I was given.  I picked up the meds, took it as prescribed and then did a little research.  That's when I found out that it's actually better to take it vaginally instead of orally.  It was Friday afternoon, Devil-bra had already gone for the day and I was stuck to wonder all weekend long about what I should do.  On Monday, I called first thing and left a message.   She called me 9 hours later to let me know she was really trying to get out of there and what was it I needed? I told her I was wondering how I should take the medicine because I had read online (don't you HATE saying that to medical personnel?) that taking it via suppository was more effective than orally because it goes directly to the source, not just increasing the hormone in your blood.  Her response was, "Well, I guess.  We've had a lot of LUCK with our patients taking it orally but if you're having a lot of side effects, you can take it the other way."  Luck?  I don't want luck....I want my best case scenario for success demon woman!  So that's what I did.  Suppository.  Didn't love it, but I did it.

Now, fast forward to our BFN from that cycle.  She calls, tells me what I already know about the negative and I asked her what to do about the progesterone supplement.  She said, "Oh stop taking that, you'll get your period and then call us and we'll set up your next cycle."  End of convo.  Four days later, when I still hadn't started, I was freaked out thinking we actually had a BFP and maybe they had it all wrong.  Again, me = uneducated.  So, I called back.  She finally called back and said, "Oh, yes.  You'll start soon.  Prometrium delays your period by about a week usually."  My response was something like, "I had no idea because NO ONE TOLD ME THAT!!!!!!!"  She made some type of dismissal about relaxing and not getting discouraged about failing to conceive after only two IUI's.  I hung up FURIOUS.  Such an emotional rollercoaster.

So, fast forward to recent months and our other failed attempts.  I've had my progesterone levels checked and turns out, the last time, they were pretty normal but Dr. S (new and fab doctor) told me to take it anyway.  I took it as the bottle directed, three times a day for two weeks.  I noticed during this time, I started having blurry vision here and there and these weird shooting pains through my eyeball.  It was really odd.  Nothing I was too concerned about, but uncomfortable and weird nonetheless.  I never mentioned it.

This past IUI was completed and Dr. S asked me if we had any Prometrium left.  I had Rik dig out the bottle and we went over the dosage.  She told me NOT to take it three times a day, just once per day.  Via suppository, not orally because it's more effective that way.  I could have kissed her.  

So, I started taking it again.  After a few days, I noticed my eye was hurting like before.  Not just a little bit, but a lot of bit.  So bad that I was telling anyone within ear shot that my eyeball was killing me!  I felt like someone was pushing something about the size of a pencil into my left eye right above the tear duct.  Very uncomfortable!  I couldn't figure it out!

I started stressing about it a wee bit.  What if this is a side effect to some of my meds?  What if I detached my retina trying to go to the bathroom after my laparoscopy?  I mean, I was considering everything at that point.  Then I had an epiphany.  I could check the interwebz for an answer!

When I got to work, I checked for possible side effects and sure enough, listed under Prometrium's side effects was "Pain behind the eyes, blurry vision, etc".  I copied it, sent it to Rik and said "AHA MOMENT!" without another thought.  I was just happy I knew the WHAT of the pain.

Rik wrote me back and said, "Call your doctor now, please".  Weird response....why?  So, I went back and re-read what I had sent him.  I had only looked at the side effects, saw the words "pain" and "eye" and was happy.  I missed the whole, "If you experience any of the following severe side effects, please stop taking this medication and call your medical provider immediately" part.  So, I called Dr. S's nurse and left a sheepish message about weird side effects and my eye pain. As if I don't already feel like an idiot every time I'm in there or talking to them, now I have to talk about my eye falling out of my head.

After talking to the nurse and hearing how baffled she was, I felt really silly.  I hadn't taken the medicine that day and was really starting to wonder if I should because technically to me, a little (lotta) eye pain was worth it if it was going to help our situation!  The nurse said she was going to talk to Dr. S and call me back.

Finally, on my way home from work, Dr. S calls me from her cell phone (did I mention I love this woman?) and asks me some questions.  She ends up saying that she did read that the eye pain was a rare side effect and bulging eyes had been reported in a few rare cases but in all her years of practice, she had never seen it in any of her patients.  Of course she hadn't.....urgh.  She told me to stop taking the medication immediately because by that time, if we were preggers, implantation had already occurred and that's what it was so important for anyway.  I thanked her, we got off the phone and then what she said registered with me...... BULGING EYES!?!?  BULGING EYES!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!

I literally started to wonder how long the Prometrium would stay in my system and could it continue to cause the eye pain, pressure, blurry vision business and what was the the likelihood that I would end up looking like Sponge Bob Squarepants before it got any better!?

Thank GOD that didn't happen and my eyes have remained in my head, in their sockets where they belong sans pain.  No medicine, no pain.  I cannot tell you how relieved I have been.  I 100% do NOT want to meet my future child looking like Mr. Squarepants.  The kid will be traumatized enough just having me as a mother, let's not add insult to injury here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The love of a child....even when that child is someone else's!

I had my niece all weekend long.  It was awesome to have her over.  She's 11 and ever since she was born, we've been pretty much joined at the hip.  She has my pointy chin, the same head of hair and quite the feisty personality.  I like to tell myself she takes after me.  Even if it's not true.  I love this little girl with a passion fierce.

Yesterday, we had her friend over and we had a great time.  Shopping, dinner, bonfire, marshmallows, movie.  I think she felt completely spoiled because all weekend long, she was the center of my attention and when you have three other siblings, I think that has to feel lovely.  She also has a non-existent biological mother (and honestly, this is a good thing for her and her brothers) and my sister-in-law, her stepmother, has a houseful of kids that she's trying to love and raise.  Sometimes, that one-on-one time is the best gift you can give to a kiddo like Mallory.

Anyway, I overheard her and her friend in the garage yesterday and inevitably, the question came up, as it always does, about whether or not I had any children.  I could have kissed Mallory for her response.  Without hesitation and with a smile in her voice, she said, "Nope.  She doesn't need children.  That's what we're for.  We're her children!" and off they went to draw on the sidewalk.

What would usually hurt me, that question I hear ten times a week thanks to marriage, age and my overall love of everyone else's kids, didn't phase me at all because Mal's response was so genuine and sweet.  She didn't know I could hear them, she just looks at our situation with childlike innocence.  To her, we don't NEED children because we have her and her brothers and sister.

I realized right then and there that no matter what happens in our situation, I will continue to love those kids as I always have, stay focused on their futures and helping out in any way possible when they need me.  They need me just as much as I need them and that's a good feeling.  This weekend was like a balm for my sad soul.  Just hearing her laugh and watching her dance around the movie theatre Friday was better than $600 of therapy.

After I took her home today, she sent me a text that said, "I love you so much.  I can't wait to see you next weekend.  Will you straighten my hair?"....All I could do was smile.  It's good to feel loved and needed even by other people's little miracles.  In one way or another, they are my miracle too.  They bless me more than they will ever know!

Friday @ the IMAX 3D of Puss In Boots
She was super excited.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Choice

There was a comment made to me yesterday that pretty much ruined my whole morning.  It came across a little more harshly than intended, but it still stung because let's be honest, we infertile's are sensitive.

I was talking to a friend about someone else we know who is going through infertility treatments and how they were strapped financially but because she coupons, they were able to survive through the tightest times.  This friend of mine (who doesn't like the person I was talking about one bit) said, "Um, I do NOT feel sorry for someone who is struggling because they are spending their money on infertility treatments.  That's a choice she's making!  Feed your family or infertility treatments?  She made that choice to spend all her money!"  After a very deep breath, I politely said, "I disagree.  It's really not a choice for some people."

I understand where she was coming from.  I understand she was saying we CHOOSE to spend our money on these treatments.  It is a choice to spend the money, but what other choice do we have?  If you want to share your life, that bond with a child, see your family grow, your parents hold their grandchild, your husband hold his baby, if you want to find that unconditional love you've heard about and longed for, you spend the money to adopt or get treatments for whatever it is that's ailing you.

It IS an ailment most of the time.  Infertility is an illness.  It's not something you chose to have "happen" to you!  It's usually indicative of a problem you need to have addressed or corrected.  A hormone problem, an immunodeficiency issue, infection, scar tissue, deformities, and on and on.  So technically, it's choosing to correct an illness or problem, or not.  Is it any different than choosing to get treatment for other serious illnesses?  People who don't know the longing, the emotional roller coaster month after month, the hope, the loss, the sadness can't understand.  They may try.  They may think they do...but they don't.  They say things like, "Enjoy your free time!" or "At least you can go out any time you want." or "Come get my kids, that'll change your mind!" or "Just relax!  You are thinking about this too much!"  and every single one of those hurts beyond words.

We've had our fun with our free time.  We've gone out any time we wanted to.  We would love to take your kids and we know it won't change our mind!  We have relaxed for years and that doesn't get you pregnant!  Trust me on this one.

Anyway, back to my story.  This friend of mine happened to realize that the person she was talking to actually fit the same scenario she was talking about and honestly, I saw a physical change in her appearance when she realized she had hurt and offended me.  I know she didn't MEAN to hurt me.  I know she had no ill-intent when she said what she said.  I still decided it was best to end the conversation.  A while later, she came back and apologized if she had hurt me with her comment.  I had already decided that I would do my best to educate her because it was just her ignorance about infertility and the situation itself.

So, I said, "It's ok.  I don't expect you to understand.  It's hard for someone who has never wanted a child so badly to imagine how it feels to think or feel that you will never have a child.  Imagine if you lost your baby right now and tried but could never get pregnant ever again?  It wouldn't be a choice for you either if you thought you could fix the problem.  There are days I would gladly go without food if it meant having a child of our own!"  Yes, she is pregnant.  Accidentally.  She's 22 years old and extremely naive.  I know these things, yet I couldn't help but try to educate her.

Her response to all of this was, "Oh....really?" and that concludes our lesson for the day.  The student taught the teacher a thing or two with those two words.  I just shook my head and again, ended the conversation as politely as possible.

My morning was shot.  I managed to get it back together by lunch time, but it got me thinking.  How many of you would go without food to pay for your treatments or your medicine?  Is this really a choice? By definition, yes.  "Choice: An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities."

I was pregnant once.  I remember the joy I felt.  The little life I couldn't wait to share with my son or daughter.  I remember that love I felt for my child even though I had no idea who he or she was.  I know what it feels like to know I'm going to be a mother.  I know what it feels like to have that taken away from me.  I can't erase those feelings and I can't forget how good in my soul I felt for that brief period of time.  How could I not try to fix this problem of ours?  How could I ever choose to ignore those feelings?  I can't.  It's not a choice.  Not for me.

In one way or another, I will become a mother.  Rik will be a father.  My mom will babysit her grandchildren.  My best friend will get to love my little one.  There's no "choice" about that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thought Vomit Thursday! (All the cool kids are doing it)

I saved up this week and may have gone a little overboad w/ the TVT, but oh well....Hope you feel like you got your money's worth.  I mean this comes around once per week right?  Let's do it.
  • I had a stinky armpit today.  Singular.  I don't even know how that happens or why, but I had to approach people from my left side all day.  I'm sure they thought I was trying to be all sorts of languid and regal, but I was really just trying to save their nose hairs and my hygienic reputation.  
  • I had a thought Tuesday.  Yes, just one.  I feel like LIFE is a stop light.  Sometimes, I'm sitting still, impatiently waiting for something to change so that I can tear off again, rushing towards my destination.  Other times, I feel like I'm slowing down or speeding up to make it to the next point in our journey, hoping I don't get stuck waiting again.  And then for what seems like just a little while, for a brief moment, I'm hammer down, pedal to the metal, full speed ahead hoping it's nothing but green lights as far as the eye can see.  All the stopping, going, waiting...It's interesting to think that a stop light is set up on the exact same timer all the time, day in, day out...gotta be boring for the stop light....which brings me to my next point....
  • I form relationships with inanimate objects.  For whatever reason, I think they have feelings.  I feel guilt over leaving a piece of cereal in the bag when I'm tossing it away.  I've been known to dig a bag back out of the trash and remove a single mini-wheat all because I was wracked with guilt over how unwanted it must have felt.  I can't put a product back on the shelf at the grocery store if it's damaged because how would I feel if no one wanted me just because I'm a little banged up and slightly damaged goods?
  • I told a dyslexic person I didn't care if they didn't like to read aloud today and that they needed to do it anyway before I remembered she is dyslexic and has a very hard time reading out loud, especially when she's nervous.  Doh!  I feel like such a jerk!  It's bothered me ALL DAY LONG.  I hate when I do insensitive things, even when it's accidental!  
  • Why would anyone ever go into a fast food restaurant without their shoes?  We went into McDonnie's yesterday and there was a guy just standing there, sipping his super sized soft drink with no shoes on.  He remembered a hat, but not his shoes?  And I didn't get the vibe he didn't have any, just that he didn't want to take the time to put them on.  It was just gross.
  • Blogger keeps taking away the photos I post on my blog even though they are MY photos.  Why is this happening?  I want you guys to see the pictures, that's why I post them!
  • I found an email last night that my husband and I exchanged back in 2006.  It was a couple of days before I moved out to Colorado to live with him for six or so months and I hadn't seen him for weeks at that point.  They were the sweetest emails.  It's crazy to see where we are now and how far we've come in these past five years.  I love how much we still love each other.  Young love is so cute and I'm glad I saved those emails.
  • Embarrassing situation - Rik knows the receptionist at our new RE's office.  He previously coached her son's select baseball team.  That donation drop-off for our next IUI is not going to be comfortable for my super proper, very private husband.  Say a prayer he doesn't trip on his way up to the counter.  
  • We went through 8 or 9 bags of candy on Halloween.  Rik had to make an extra candy run and that was with us only giving each child ONE piece!  We had a ton of trick or treaters.  SO many, in fact, that we just sat with the door open, in a chair with the bowl on our laps to accommodate the steady stream of children, teens and yes, some adults (ridiculous!).  My favorite of the night was the little ninja who literally ninja'd his way across the yard to our doorstep by ducking and covering behind mailboxes, front-rolling behind trees and deer sprinting across our lawn to finish in grande style by leaping gingerly onto the porch, landing in a fighter's stance and saying, "Trick or treat!?" very threateningly.  I loved it that he took his costume THAT was awesome!  Oh! and the little army men who army-crawled their way up our neighbor's hill were hysterical too.
  • I'm wordy. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The "What If" Post - A Post I Never Posted

This was in my drafts from January 6th, 2010.  For whatever reason, I didn't feel "ready" yet to post it and I guess I never got back around to it.  We were only about 10 months into TTC and a week past our miscarriage.  I think deep down, I already knew we were in for a ride.  My opinion on fostering has evolved a little bit now simply because of our mental/emotional state with wanting children.  It's still something I want to do someday, but I don't know that it's right for us right now.  Anyway, here are my thoughts from almost 2 years ago.


So, everyone we know either has a kid, is having a kid or just had a kid. We're "behind" so to speak. And I think what's funny about this is that I was never "ready" to have kids before and now that I am, I feel like my time is running out and I'm way past due and the thought of raising a baby now is exhausting. A welcome exhaustion, but still...exhausting!

How can you go from being unready to past ready in the span of a year? ha! Like 30 is suddenly so far gone that my aged womb could never carry one child, much less several. ((Not that I'm asking for several here, for the record)) Anyway, the point is that all of a sudden, we want kids and it's not like you snap your fingers and say, "Ta da! I wanna baby!" and there it is.

You've spent years and years and hundreds or even thousands of dollars preventing what you surely thought was going to happen to you if your significant other so much as looked at you the wrong way, only to find out it's pretty dang hard to get yourself knocked up! It's amazing how all these "accidents" happen to people! We couldn't have been more wrong in our thoughts that getting pregnant was the easiest thing in the world to do! (Well, let me be clear here, some of us couldn't be more wrong, others are blessed with little ones they never asked for or planned for all because they skipped their pills for a month or took some antibiotics!)

Anywho, when it comes to planning a family, there are so many things to THINK weigh out, to measure I suppose you could say. I don't think you can ever be "ready" for a baby but you can quantify a certain readiness that I would be ok with, I think. That's where we are now. And the trying part, while that's not difficult at all, is somewhat like bungee jumping. Not the act itself mind you, but the whole scenario seems to play out like a very exciting and scary outdoor bungee jumping.

It's a free-fall into the unknown and then you're pulled back to reality only to fall right back into the unknown again. It's exhilarating and then scary and then exciting and then it's over and you just hang at the end of the rope until your feet touch the ground again. Then you go up and do it all over again.  Month after month.

We've not been "trying" to get pregnant for very long by most standards (10 months or so) but when you've put off trying for so long in order to get all the fun trips and so forth out of the way, it's frustrating to sit where I am almost a year later and still not be pregnant. It's kind of like ticking off one more year we don't have to build a family with. It makes me a little angry with myself for not getting started sooner. Then again, I don't look at the time we spent enjoying our relationship together as wasted so I won't go that far. But it's still a little frustrating.

By the same token, I hear these stories where people, close friends of ours, have tried for years...sometimes six, seven even ten years and still, no baby for them. It's their only wish in life for themselves. It breaks my heart for them because I can't imagine what they feel month after month. It scares me in a way because I think, "What if that happens to us?" or "What will we do if we keep trying for another year or two and still aren't where we wanted to be?" I know it's not always about what WE want or where WE think we should be in our life, but sometimes the controlling part of my persona rears it's ugly head. What can I say? I worry.

I don't feel that I should even begin to complain because God has already blessed us so much in our life together, it would seem so ungrateful of me to sulk and pout over something I cannot understand or change. It's just one of those situations where I'm helpless and wonder how people try to have a baby for that long without going insane.

I know this is a more personal post, but it was on my mind and so I decided to write about it. I know others are probably dealing with similar situations on a much grander scale, but this is my weight to carry and if it's heavy right now, I need to talk about it. So, I am.

When my husband and I first began talking about marriage and our life together, I told him I had always wanted to foster a child. Mainly because I wanted to take a few kids out of a system that seems so corrupt. I wanted to make a difference for just a few of those kids that can't do anything for themselves but deal with the hand they are dealt. The abuse so many of the children in foster care are subjected to just eats at me all the time. We decided that we'd wait until we had our biological children first.

I wonder if that's such a good idea now. Maybe we should just help others and let what God has planned for us fall into place.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Not-So-Hostile Take-Over - Hubby Style (again)

So, Rik's back with a brand new edition and honestly, he had it ready before the weekend last week but I had to post something from me before posting another one of his or else it would then be HIS blog and we just can't have that now can we?  So, here he is....again, rocking my socks off.


There probably isn’t a perfect way to feel about things, but there are some things I’ve felt throughout the process my wife and I are going through. Sometimes, the “observation deck” from which I’m watching everything is miles away from my wife’s observation deck, so much so that we end up seeing things from entirely different viewpoints. Other times, we’re standing shoulder to shoulder (well, my elbow to her shoulder).
Point being is that I don’t always feel the obvious things about all this.  Details, for example. I don’t typically dig to deeply into them.  “Oh, you’re having an IUI? Cool.” What I take this to mean is that there is a non-surgical procedure where the doctor will use a long skinny squirt bottle to shoot my boys up inside.  Shouldn’t take 2 minutes, right?
But I don’t think about the psychological effects.  Personally, I have no problem with getting assistance to put my fellas in the best spot possible to do their job (yob).  That doesn’t feel like a failure to me, or doesn’t make me feel like any less of a man.  It’s just one step in the process.  The ends justify the means.  And that could be where my wife and I end up looking at things from different observation decks.  The means are definitely important to her, especially since she’s the one that must endure said means. 
Cramping, bleeding, swelling, discomfort.  Naturally, I don’t want my wife to suffer those things.  But, since I don’t dig into details very often, I don’t always know all of these byproducts and side/after effects of having an IUI done on you.  Now that I know, I do feel a little differently about putting my wife through that.  Actually, after the trauma of the first one, and seeing how utterly miserable she was BEFORE the procedure, and then seeing the aftermath, literally made me state, “We’re not doing another IUI” to her.
Not doing another IUI.
That took a minute to sink in…for her.
She thought I had changed my mind about us trying to get pregnant through the fertility clinic.  She thought I was pulling up anchor and heading off to deeper seas to sail around for a while.  She thought we may never have kids together.  And all I meant, really, was that if the IUI process was going to be this emotionally and physically traumatic, then I cannot ask her to go through that again…but we’d find another way to achieve our goal.
I guess my “feelings” on this stuff is that if we have no better options, then we just have to go through with it – whatever that may be.  The endo surgery, for example.  I actually did a little research on that, but never real put myself in the shoes of having to go through it.  No, I didn’t like the idea of a probe going in through her belly button, but I never thought that she might not ever wake up from that (as mentioned in my last post).  It was just a step in the path along our way.  Just grab the ball, put your head down, run hard, and keep running until you reach the end zone (um, football analogy there – just kidding – I know you know it was a football analogy). You ignore the hits and the cracking of pads (bet you though maxi pads there, didn’t you? Stick with football just a minute longer) and keep fighting through the pain to make it to the goal. Period (um, not THAT period).
I do feel some anger, though.  Angry that it wasn’t easy.  Angry that it still isn’t easy.  Angry at that damn nurse at the other clinic that really and truly seemed to ruin everything.  Angry at seeing my wife become someone else’s science project…and sad about that, too, really.


One in the ovary is worth two in,

So, got my scan on yesterday at the doctor's office.  It showed me what I was already expecting.  No, not expecting like that, expecting as in I just knew it.  I've gotten so accustomed to seeing the ultrasound machine images of my girl parts that I knew exactly what she was (or wasn't) seeing.

See, in the past, when they've done our scan, we've gone through the measuring of the endometrium lining - which was just mediocre since Clomid tends to thin your lining out a little bit - and then onto the ovaries.  It's a routine all infertile couples go through and figure out and grow accustomed to seeing.  How many of you think you could do your own scan at this point?  Well, with a little help unless you're like Gumby.  Anyway, through the grainy black and white, you're able to distinguish your triple stripe, then the dark circles come into view and you can almost immediately tell what you're going to be dealing with for that cycle.  It's reassuring to see those little black blobs show up because you know that something is working properly for a change.  At least that is how I feel.  Usually.

On Clomid, my body responded well.  No hot flashes, no mood swings, nothing.  I've actually felt happier while on Clomid.  Odd huh?  Dr. S thought so.  Anyway, we've seen follies as big as 33 mm across.  We've seen them as small as about 11 mm.  We've never seen less than three follicles that were "mature" and once, I think we had about five that were good, mature, healthy possibilities.  I've always been pleased with that (other than the scary big #33).  So, there I sat (laid) yesterday, on CD11, looking at the screen, seeing my ultra thick, luscious lining (ok, so the Anastrazole did do that right) and just waiting to see if my body had liked the new medicine as much as the old medicine.  She went straight to the right ovary and the black and white grainy business never changed...just more black and white graininess.  She wiggled the DC around and finally, two little marbles appeared that were just tiny.  She didn't even measure them they were so small.   She said something about the right ovary not looking too promising and moved over to the left side.  After just a second, our one follicle popped up on the screen.  Nothing too dramatic, it measured about 16mm on CD11 so in another few days, who knows where it'll be.  We've had two follicles in the past grow about 6-8 mm overnight so we're hoping this little follie will grow a little more, but not too much.

Rik says he feels pretty good about this little guy.  He even tossed out the idea that maybe he is just such a tough and scrappy little follie that he ate the other follies and he's the last one standing.  King of the hill style.  I couldn't help but smile.  My husband knows just what to say sometimes.  Dr. S asked us to pee on a stick the next few evenings and once we come up with a positive OPK, we can either do another IUI and hope our one follicle is a good one (it only takes one) or she can give us our trigger shot and we can do the IUI then.

Here are my thoughts (as if this whole novella isn't already full of my thoughts), I don't know if we should drop the moolah on an IUI when we had such a poor showing of follicles (no offense to my one little scrapper) because technically, couldn't I do this much on my own?  How much will it tip the scale in our favor?  I have no problem ovulating.  It's getting the two key ingredients together to make maybe?  What takes two ingredients? ok, I can't think of a good food analogy here, but you get the point.  Something fantastic.

Maybe I've just answered my own question though....I love blogging.  The IUI would give those two key ingredients their best chance to get together and make something wonderful.  Since that seems to be the problem, maybe the IUI is the answer.  Especially if in the past, the endometriosis was making this process tougher and has now been eliminated.  I was just feeling like we should try on our own, call this month a loss and jump back in with both feet next month.  While we're dropping the money on this, I want to give us our best chance possible, ya know?

ergh...I don't know what to do.  Rik said he thinks if we don't do this cycle just because of the money factor, we'd regret it later and he's probably right.  It does just take one egg.  And it's not like the other months (with all their glory) have been successful.  I do find it ironic though that my left ovary is so active.  Always the bigger producer, also the one with the cyst and now 3 weeks after surgery on it, it's our only shot.  Show off.

So, what do you ladies (& Doc) think we should do?  I need some advice.  Also, Dr. S said that for next month, if we're unsuccessful this month, we'll either go back to Clomid and some type of injectable or do the Anastrazole in combination with something else.  I don't remember exactly what she said though because once she said "injectable" I pretty much heard nothing but horror film music the remainder of the visit.''   Ugh.  Solo pronto!  I guess....

In other news, Rik has already finished a new post for all you gals (& Doc) but I had to post this before I posted his so that I don't feel like such a slacker.  Also, all grammatical errors can be chalked up to the fact that THIS little lady won't stop pawing my arm and dropping her ball on my lap.  How can I resist this face?

Tess is a jealous creature.