Saturday, April 24, 2010

the closet

Yep, that is where I live. I've been hiding out in there for the last 10 months (ever since we realized we would need help conceiving). Only a few people in my real life know of my TTC woes. My parents know. MBL's parents know. One cousin and one aunt know. Two of my sisters know. My women's small group knows. But, that's about it. I have considered ousting myself this week via, but I may just be too chicken. There is one group in particular that I would like to tell, but haven't the courage to do so. I have met with the same small group since November 2007. They have been a fantastic support in my life and I am so grateful for our weekly meetings. We talk about deep, spiritual topics and support each other through prayer and constant contact. Yet these people have no idea what MBL and I have been going through. They have no idea why I have been an emotional basket case on and off for almost a year now. Part of me wants to tell them, but I'm afraid of their reactions. Just the other night the only mom in the group mentioned the woman in CA who had 8 babies at once. She was trying to explain to the group how all of the eggs fertilized and were then "implanted" in her and how she then got pregnant with 8 babies. MBL chimed in and corrected one of her comments and then I said something else about how in IVF they usually put back a maximum of 3 (or in some cases, 4). Someone in the group made the comment that MBL and I sure knew a lot about IVF. We just looked at each other and kind of laughed awkwardly. Yep, we sure do.

There are a number of reasons why I hesitate to tell this particular group of our woes. For one, the only parents in the group (a married couple), have a son with Spina Bifida and I am afraid they will think that MBL and I are just trying to create a designer baby or something crazy like that...I have no basis for this thought, I just don't want to offend them. I guess I am just afraid that they will judge us for the help we have sought and will seek to conceive our children. Ugh. Now that I type out these feelings I realize that these are the exact why I should tell them. I should use this as an opportunity to educate others on what IUI and IVF and ART really looks like.

Plus, MBL and I took my younger sister to Tar.get last night and while we were there we decided to go look at the strollers. While I do not have any guarantee that I will get pregnant over the next 6 months, I am very hopeful. So, after we looked at the strollers we made our way over to look at the swings and bouncies (just for fun) and happened to run into the mom I mentioned above. Now, she didn't ask anything about what we were doing in the baby section of the store, but I'm sure she was curious (not suspicious, though, because I had wine at our dinner on wednesday). I SO wanted to tell her right then, but I didn't. I JUST NEED TO COME OUT!!!! There really is nothing to be embarassed about. We didn't do anything to deserve our IF, it's just the cards we were dealt. SO WHY AM I SO SCARED TO SHARE OUR STRUGGLES???

I told MBL I would share with the group AFTER we get pregnant all that we had to do to get there. But, we are having a get together on wednesday that will involve, I'm thinking it may come out. I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What if?

This post is inspired by the "what if" blog roll on Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters in honor of NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week). Which, I believe, does not start until next week, April 24-May 1. Since I am an infertile, however, every week is infertility awareness week, so I am posting early :). The blog listed several "what ifs" and the one that resonated with me the most was: "What if I never see that plus sign? What if this is it, waiting and hoping for the rest of my life?" I have been dreaming of that plus sign for about 16 months now and it seems like a fable. A pretty story that parents tell their kids "One day when you are married to a wonderful, good man and you have a successful career and enough money in the bank you will get a present in the form of a positive pee stick." Nice story, right? Well, I have the wonderful man part down, we both have good jobs, and we have some money in the bank, but my positive pee stick has been quite elusive. Despite all the S-E-X with no protection, I have (almost) never seen that second line. (During my IVF cycle I started testing early and at 11-12 days after my trigger and 9-10 days after my retrieval, I got that second line, but it vanished by beta who knows!)

Any ways, when we first started trying I just *knew* that I would be seeing that second line in no time and that I could start registering for cute baby things and setting up the nursery. I am, afterall, an unlikely infertile. My mom had 4 surprises and one planned pregnancy (and then got her tubes tied). My maternal grandma had 4 surprise pregnancies (and a total of 5 kids before getting her tubes tied) and my paternal grandma had 15 pregnancies and 10 live births (before going through menopause)!! So, infertility was not something I suspected. Alas, here I am. I still can't imagine what it would be like to see that second line. BUT, it is something I dream of EVERY MONTH. And, sometimes, I am afraid that I will never have a second line from anything other than my trigger shot. Such a thought is terrifying and paralyzing. What would we do then?? (I actually have a back up plan for this and it includes selling all of our belongings and moving in with my parents so that we can do IVF with PGD at the famous clinic in CO). My husband said to me last week, "I'm not giving up until we have our baby." Well, sometimes I'm afraid we'll have no choice. I have a Digital that has been sitting around FOR A YEAR because I refuse to see the words "not pregnant". One line is enough for me, thanks. But, I am hopeful, really I am...

Which leads me to my hopeful and positive "what if". What if I get all that I ever wanted? What if I get to grow my babies inside me and feel them move and hear their heartbeats and know their OURS? What if I get to take little girls to ballet and little boys to lacrosse? What if in ten years my days are filled with carpool and homework help and family vacations with four kids? What if I get to end each day with by peeking into my childrens' rooms to watch them sleep? What if the best part of my day is spent around a chatty dinner table with MBL and our four kiddos? Posting all these positive what ifs is literally bringing me on the brink of tears. When I started this journey I had no idea what it meant to want to bring children into this world. Infertility has shown me that they will be my greatest treasure. The children that MBL and I will parent will be my greatest accomplishment and because of what I have gone through, I will value the simple pleasures of being a parent. I DREAM and PRAY for what I listed above each and every day. I pray that infertility is just a season in my life and that in ten years I will be well into my season of parenthood. For now, I am just taking each day as it comes and praising God for the sunshine that makes each day a little easier.

For more information on infertility, please visit:

For more on NIAW:

And, finally, to learn more about why I am posting this post, vist:

I am blessed to have a community that supports one another in this journey!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

relieved? thankful?

So, Monday morning I suprised myself yet again. I found myself thankful. Thankful in a way that I was not expecting. You see Monday was my first real day off in about 16 days. I just started a new job and have been busy orienting and still working my other job. So, I had planned on Monday being a completely "me" day. I didn't want to worry about cleaning or organizing the house...I just wanted to veg all day and relax. When I finally got dressed for the day, it was 2:00. In the afternoon. And that's when I (briefly) felt thankful. Thankful that I could recharge and reenergize for another busy week. Thankful that I could sleep in and not have to worry about my responsibilities. (Sort of) thankful that it was just me that I had to worry about. Now, I am in no way saying that I *should* always be thankful at my ability to sleep in because I am childless...I don't think it's fair to us infertiles to suggest that the rare perks of our condition are worth the struggle. For one thing, if we had a child, or even if I were expecting, I would not have to work two jobs. I am working 45+ hour weeks so that if we need it, we will be able to afford IVF again. But, for a few minutes, I was blissfully content that at 2:00pm, I could just begin getting dressed and ready for the day.

Another funny Monday story, when MBL got home from work we went for a walk with our dog and then came back to watch the movie that had just arrived in the mail. The movie was the sequel to Twi.light. MBL LOVED the first movie and was more excited than I to watch the second. When it ended he said, "That's it? UGH! When does the next movie come out?" AW. He likes vampire romance movies!

Finally, I have been trying to eat better. The HC suggested that I eat less carbs/sugars and more fruits and veggies. So, I went out and bought a 5 pound bag of oranges with the intention of replacing my afternoon Peep with a healthy, plump orange. Well, I've been avoiding them. There's something about the white stuff that's left behind after it's peeled that just skeezes me out. And I hate the way it tastes. But after weighing in this morning, I knew that the Peeps and I had to break up and that the oranges on my counter were the only reasonable substitution. So, I ate one. And the peeling of it was just as icky as I had imagined. But, it tasted pretty darn good. Maybe I can get MBL to peel them for me...That would make the experience much more enjoyable for me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

infertility? funny?

I laughed. At my infertility. And? It surprised me! Yesterday MBL and I drove 3ish hours to my sister's house for my nephews' 1st birthday party. Afterwards, I helped my mom clean up the dishes and while we were doing that I mentioned that MBL and I wanted to find a way to honor my dad by perhaps giving our child his first name as their middle name. My mom then mentioned that she *secretly* has been praying that we would name our daughter Grace or use it as a middle name. I said that while I do really love that name, we'll have to see. MBL and I are still pretty stuck on June for our first girls name. MBL then said, "Well, maybe we could name her June Grace." To which I replied, "Actually, I want to name her June Praise-the-Lord-it's-about-freakin-time"!!! I laughed. MBL laughed. My mom laughed. And for the rest of the night when I thought about it, I just had to crack a smile. I made a joke. About infertility. I guess I am making progress afterall! GO ME!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

my last vice.

Okay, I'm sure it's not actually my last vice, but it sure seems like it. Last night was my appointment with the holistic nutritionist person and overall it went well. The friend who recommended him had forewarned me on some of his quirky diagnostic procedures, so I wasn't too shocked. I was suprised, however, at how intuitive he was. As soon as I wrote down "infertility" under the symptom/concerns section of the intake form he said, "I really don't think the problem is with you." Ding ding. Sadly, MBL is very skeptical of homeopathy and so he didn't go with me, but the HC (holistic counselor) did work up a plan for him even though he wasn't there. Now, I just have to work on getting MBL to follow it! Anyways, so the HC did not seem to think that there were any problems with me. I have clockwork like cycles and he was less concerned about me, but he did say that he could help me be healthier as a whole. He did say, though, that I have to give up my diet coke. I switched to diet caffeine free coke, but he said that the diet part is not really that good for my body. I kind of knew that, but it was MY LAST VICE and I just didn't want to give it up! (now, drinking diet coke is not really the last bad thing I do...I swear on occasion, I lose my temper, I get crabby, I eat marshmallows covered in sugar (yum!)...but overall, I try to treat my body well). I think I will *mostly* give it up. I may order it when I go out, but I am going to try and cut back. He also gave me some ideas on how I can better manage my weight and stress levels. I ordered the herbs he recommended this morning and hopefully I will notice a change once I start taking them. He also told me which I should order for MBL, hopefully I can convince him to take them!

Oh, the HC also told me that I should probably try to relax and that may help me get pregnant. He is the second person this week to tell me that! The other was a fellow IFer. I am trying to be less high strung, but, really? The month we did IVF? I was oh-so-relaxed and it didn't happen! The first few months we tried? Cool as a cucumber. As we wait for these herbs and MBLs Tamo.xifen to kick in, I will try to cool off a bit on all the IF stuff.

Speaking of IF, we're thinking of doing a FET with IUI in June. I'm not even sure that they do that, BUT we have ONE frozen embryo and we don't want to have to continue to pay for it's storage and I'm not willing to donate it...I want to use it! And, the IUI would maximize our chances! I guess this means I have to make an appt with the RE. Boo. I kind of don't miss going to the office. At. All.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

being optimistic

So, I realized the other day that the description of this blog claims that I will be honest, optimistic, and that I will persevere. I think I am the first and the last, but I struggle with the middle. I want to be optimistic, and, generally speaking, I am. I always believe that things will get better, but in the midst of this journey I am somewhat afraid of what better might look like. I want to believe that I'll get what I want, a baby, but sometimes I get scared that I may never get pregnant. And this worry gets in the way of me being optimistic. I also don't like to be TOO optimistic because being let down (like a failed IVF) is painful. BUT, I truly should be trying to have a better general attitude. MBL (Dh's new name on here, stands for My Big Love) and I have a really good marriage. He's a great husband and I could not have asked for a better partner. We also already have a house, a cute little dog, and the money we need to pay our bills. We are also well on our way to saving up enough to pay for another IVF (if we need to). We want for very little. So, I should be grateful, and, I am. I just want our kids to complete our family and our lives. And, I should say that we want FOUR kids. Yep, four. I am one of five and MBL is one of two. He and I have always wanted a big family and even toyed with the idea of having 5 or 6. Right now, I am thinking we will be incredibly lucky if we get our four...but, since I am being more optimistic (or trying to be, at least), I have to believe that we will be blessed with the family of our dreams. My employer actually just asked me if I wanted to have my kids close to one another and my response was, "At this point, I'll take them as they come!" So, if I have four in four years. So be it...then I will be done with having kids at 29 (I am currently 24). I think the nice weather is helping my attitude, but this week I truly feel like this will happen and at this point it's just a matter of time!

On a side note, the other day as I was driving I realized just how much this journey has made me realize. If I had gotten pregnant during those first few months we tried, I don't know if I would have realized the true gift of our child. YES, I would have appreciated and loved our child, but now I have this thirst for our baby(s) and I know that the day I give birth, part of that thirst will be quenched. Now, I'm not saying that those for whom pregnancy comes easily do not fully appreciate their children, I'm just saying that for me as someone who started this journey with an attitude that it would just happen and then I would have a baby. Now I understand a lot more of what it will mean to be a parent and what it will mean for me to truly value my children. Wow, I am REALLY looking forward to that day :).

p.s. TWO shows today have covered infertility and the baby story I am currently watching is following a couple that had one failed IVF and is now pregnant with triplets from their second IVF. I love being reminded that I'm not alone on this journey!