Wednesday, October 29, 2008


You know who they are.

They are annoying.

Those super cute families who have everything personalized. Return address labels with one stick figure for everyone in their house, stick figure families on the back of SUVs (As if everyone on the freeway cares how many kids you have. We don't people. We really don't.) personalized door mats and Christmas ornaments, holiday photo cards, family T-shirts, hats, you name it.

You know why I hate them?

I'm totally jealous. I want all that cheesy family stuff. I really, really do.

If we can't have kids, DH says we can always start a wiener dog farm. We'll buy a big house and let them run around the yard, kind of like a Sprint commercial I saw years ago with a whole stampede of them. Who knows, I might turn into a crazy dog person, buy an SUV and put a whole slew of stick figure dachsunds on the back.

Take that you cheesy suburban soccer moms!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Here We Go Again

What a day.

It started off nice. I only had to work two hours. I took a 1/2 day off for my appointment with Dr. G this afternoon and I had a prep time at 10:30 (my kids were at PE) so I left then for the rest of the day.

I came home, had lunch, walked my dog and found out I left my cell phone at work. That was the beginning of my demise. I was doing so well until something so little happened. I was suddenly completely overwhelmed by the fact that I would need to stop by work on my way to the RE's. Normally, this would not be such a big deal, but I realized how much I was dreading my visit with Dr. G. I just didn't want to go back to that place. I was embarrassed. I felt like a failure. I didn't want to put myself through all that disappointment again, but I knew I would just the same.

I pulled myself together and left a little early so I could stop by work. Utterly unexplainable emotional meltdown number two occurred as I discovered my cell phone was not on my desk, where I thought I had left it. I called DH and told him I was on my way to pick him up at work and I wouldn't be able to call him when I got there because I had lost my cell phone.

I got DH and we finally arrived at the clinic which shares its building with other offices. The parking lot was packed. I finally found a spot and I politely wait for a SUV to pass so I can pull in. Well the bastard pulls in instead. I did something that is not characteristically me. I honk. I am so non confrontational that this is really a lot for me. I immediately become embarrassed and tell DH I shouldn't have done that. Emotional breakdown number three.

I suddenly worried when I saw that "the bastard" had come with his wife and they were walking in the direction of my RE's. . . They were going to the same floor. . .They were going in the same door. Don't I feel like an ass! Poor people were there for their first infertility class. And here I am the jerk who honks at them. I was then stuck in an awkward line with them while DH and I checked in. At least I hadn't flip them off.

Dr. G was about 15 minutes behind schedule. While we waited we saw a woman bring two kids in (both about 6 or 7). The nurse tells her where the infertility class is located. Nice, take your two kids to a class on infertility. I know secondary infertility is hard, but in this case, bringing children didn't seem appropriate. How is she going to be able to pay attention? And what kind of education did those kids get today?

Well, we finally get in to see Dr. G and he is not all doom and gloom like Nurse X was on the phone two weeks ago. He agreed that my ovaries were performing like a woman pushing 40 (tell me something I didn't know) and that there were other protocols to try. It was between an antagonist protocol and a micro-dose lupron flare. He then went into a very long explanation of how each protocol worked. I was well versed in each one so I was listening and nodding and asking very appropriate questions. Poor DH was lost. I think at one point his eyes glazed over. I guess he didn't need to be there, but I wasn't sure if they would try to write me off or not and I wanted him to help me decide what we should do next if that was the case.

We decided to go with the antagonist protocol because he said that dominant follicles (which I had last time) were more prone in a lupron flare protocol. I didn't want that to happen again if I could help it. Overall Dr. G is very knowledgeable and answers all my questions completely. I like the fact that he respects and appreciates all the research I've done and welcomes my questions. In the end (as we know well) it is such a crap shoot. No one can predict anything for sure.

I have mixed feeling about getting underway again. I am happy I have something else to try. I feel more proactive that way. But I dread all that comes with another cycle. I need to call Nurse X tomorrow and have her make my calendar. Next month the fun will really begin. Hey, at least I won't have to take any lupron shots!

Now if I could just find my cell phone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Getting Off My Ass

So I hate exercising. Really, really hate it.

I am fortunate to have a petite frame and I can loose any extra pounds pretty easily by watching what I eat. The motivation to exercise has never been there. I know it's good for your heart and all that. Blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, a friend of mine was telling me this weekend about a 5K run she did. I told her I always wanted to run but was never good at it. My shins hurt, my side cramped and I think I look funny when I run. Not as bad as Phoebe on Friends, but maybe close. She then proceeded to tell me about the "Couch to 5k" training program. I'm sure many of you have heard of this, I hadn't. Apparently in 9 weeks, you can be running a 5K, even if you've never run before. When she told me the first three workouts were 60 seconds of running, followed by 90 seconds of walking repeated for 20 minutes. I thought "Now that I could do."

And today I tried it for the first time. I made sure to find an empty track and field without a neighborhood soccer game going on. I didn't need the added pressure of an audience. After my 5 minute warm up, I started my first workout. No side cramp, and I was hardly out of breath, but by the end, my legs felt very heavy and my shins were a little sore. I think I need to invest in some better shoes.

A friend of mine at work is going to try it too. My goal is to complete our city's 5K Bah Humbug Run with her in early December.

This is also when I am scheduled to start my stim meds (if I get the go ahead, if I don't have any cysts,- you know the drill). I am so tired of living for "what if." I am going to proceed as if I am not infertile and not a slave to my IVF calendar. Last time I felt like such a fool for stopping all exercise (not that I did much mind you) on stim day 4 as they suggested. What a joke! Nothing was going on in my dusty ovaries. I didn't need to worry about them twisting around themselves.

I hate scheduling my life around fertility treatments so I am deciding this time to cross my IVF bridge when I get to it, and not a day before. If I need to cancel my run, so be it. But I am not worrying about that now.

What I am worried about is how sore I am going to be tomorrow.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Makeover

For my blog. . .not me, although I'm sure I could use one.

I am so new to this blogging business and aesthetically, my blog wasn't cutting it. It seemed a drab, depressing color that wasn't me, so I gave it an update. Much cheerier I say.

Nothing new for me this week. I am just waiting for my consultation on Thursday. I need to gather a list of questions I have for Dr. G. One of my biggest questions is why my antral follicle count in March was 11 (during my saline sonogram) and I could only produce six on a medicated cycle in August? I thought the whole point of a medicated cycle was to produce more. I guess my body doesn't follow the rules. Or maybe, I am on to something with the whole over suppressed thing because of all that lupron. At my suppression check before my stims, my E2 level was 30. That number didn't seem over suppressed. Has anyone ever had something similar where you feel your body was over suppressed, but your numbers didn't look that way?

See how I over analyze everything? I guess this is my way of taking to take charge of something that I really can't.

Maybe if I'd just relax. . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

Today I took my class to the pumpkin patch. When we arrived it was kids galore: small kids, big kids, medium kids, screaming kids, crying kids, laughing kids, full of snot kids, smelly dirty kids, unruly kids. You get the picture.

Today was one of those days when it felt okay to go home to only my dog and have a little time to myself before DH gets home. Today was one of those days I thought- I can be patient. There are some pluses to being childless. That is today. Tomorrow will be different. I wish I could live in the moment; enjoy my life for what it is right now. I'm always so damn impatient for the next step.

It was that way when I was dating in my early 20s. I was always looking for "Mr. Right." Never enjoying my right now. If I only knew then I'd find him eventually, I could have enjoyed my single, carefree years a little more. All my friends had found "the one." I was still searching. I thought I'd never get where they were. I was always so jealous of their relationships. I thought for sure I'd be left behind.

All my friends have once again moved on with their lives. And once again I am so jealous. They have babies and play dates and mommy groups. I am once again left behind. I wish I knew if I would eventually get where they are. Someday I want to hold my screaming baby and wish I had enjoyed my childless years a little more.

But there is no crystal ball to show me the way. No guarantees of where this journey will lead. All I can do is love my husband, my dog, my family, my job, my life. . .right now.

And today I am enjoying. I should hang out at the pumpkin patch more often.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A little perspective

I never knew how good it would feel to reach out through a blog. Writing it was such a release.
Thank you for your comments. It was the first time I haven't felt alone with my infertility in awhile.

My sister-in-law is a good friend of mine. She is the reason I met DH. She was dating his brother at the time. We both married them and now it turns out we have the same first and last name. We are both teachers in the same district. So much in common, except IF. . . (they aren't even trying yet). She tries to be supportive, but really has no idea. Which brings me to her comment the other day.

She has been trying to get a condo in my development (sounds a little to close to comfort for me). They have put in two offers on two different homes and both were outbid. She was in such a pissy mood when she found out. She said "It has just put me in such a bad mood all day. We had our hopes up. We thought this one would work out. . .You know of it feels to be disappointed."

WTF?! Did she just compare infertility to the housing market?

I wish I had had the guts to say something.

But then again, maybe she's right. Whenever we get down about infertility DH and I rest assured that it could be worse. We could have been outbid on a house. Sure helps us keep everything in perspective. . .


Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Weekend

Yesterday DH and I went wine tasting with my parents, my cousin and his wife who came to visit from out of town. I was looking forward to a day that would get my mind off of the disappointing phone call I had with my RE's office on Friday.

My cousin made the comment that this would be the last trip they could take without the kids for a while. He has two children (9 and 4). So of course, being polite, I ask why. He then pats his wife's knee and says they have another one on the way-not planned. I am happy for them, but with every new pregnancy comes so much jealousy. I feel like it's everyone but me. I have been proud of myself for not letting that get in the way of celebrating with them. I've never minded discussing people's pregnancies, or their children. It is strange that such a happy announcement can make me so sad. I try to get past that feeling. Some days it is easier than others. Yesterday was hard.

I also have two pregnant coworkers, both due this April. I can't help thinking that if IVF#1 had worked, I would have been right there with them. I find one of the hardest places to deal with IF is at work. (The only people who know about our IF is our immediate family and three of my closest friends.) It's not really the fact that as a teacher I'm surrounded by kids. Being a teacher and being a parent are really very, very different. It is the fact that I am surrounded by parents and well intentioned coworkers who constantly ask when I'm going to have a baby. Actually that is not really true anymore. They used to ask more often. It has tapered off.

I came to a realization after talking with a friend of mine I used to teach with (who is aware of our struggles). She is now a stay at home mom. A fellow teacher was talking with her the other day. She used to ask my friend when I was going to have kids. Just the other day she asked if I was "having trouble." This is their logic: I've been married for three years. . . People know I want kids. . . I don't have kids. . .I must be infertile! It irritates me that people make assumptions about my life.

Meanwhile, my AF is back in full force this month. I guess I should start my BCP tomorrow so I can be on track with starting my injections next month. Whatever Dr. G tells me at our consultation on the 23rd, it's not going to stop me from at least giving it one more try. I'm not going to give up that easy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My First Post

So I can't believe I'm doing this. . .

But I have read so many other infertility posts that have inspired, educated, and made me feel not so alone, that I thought maybe someday someone would gain something from mine. I have been such a "taker" in the blog community that I thought I should be giving something back.

Where do I begin? In April of '07 we started TTC. I was charting and ovulated but I was convinced I had a luteal phase defect (only 9 or 10 days) so in September of '07 I went to my OBGYN and told her my concerns. She basically laughed in my face and told me 5 months was not very long to try and to call if it had been a year. She said she was sure I would be pregnant before the end of the year. Wouldn't that have been nice?

In February of '08 we attend a "class" on infertility. They order all the initial tests for myself and DH and my day three bloodwork comes back in the normal range (though I thought my FSH level for a 31 year old was a little high- 8.8) but DH's SA shows a severe MI. We schedule a consultation with RE (Dr. G)and are told IVF with ICSI is our only option.

I then undergo a saline sonogram and it comes back normal. We schedule our first IVF cycle for August of '08. Hey we had a cruise that June and with myself as a teacher August is a great time to conceive! We finally have an explanation and a plan! This could really work. . . We were so naive.

In the meantime DH underwent genetic testing and we determined the reason for MI. We speak to a genetic counselor and learn it is something that could be passed to his sons, but infertility is the only symptom. Decide to proceed.

I was actually excited to begin my lupron shots in July. We were progressing towards a goal. I was on a long luteal protocol. My supression check went well, no cysts. We were ready to start stimming. Here's where my end of the bargain feel through. I took for granted this portion of the process. After all, everything looked fine with me. I passed all my tests with flying colors.

I went in for my first stim check on day 4 and they found four teeny tiny follicles and my E2 level was only 57. They increased my follistim and menopur and tell me to come back in another four days. At my second and final stim check they see six follicles. With a very large, fat one at size 17, one at 13 and three or four other ones around 9 or 10. Dr G. tells me to proceed with stimming for 3 more days and the nurse will call with my dosage once he gets my E2 numbers back. He is concerned that the one at 17 is becoming the lead follicle, but hopefully the others will catch up. I am upset but have glimmer of hope. That is until 3:00 when the nurse calls with my E2 number- 300 s0mething, and tells me they are cancelling my cycle due to a lead follicle. I guess the little ones weren't letting off any estrogen, the big one was taking over. This came as a surprise. No one thought I would react (or not react in my case) this way to stim meds.

For a while the infertility was easier to deal with when I thought it was only with DH. I knew I was in the same boat as him and we were going to deal with it together. But it gave me some peace thinking my parts were working fine. I am humbled. The worst part of this cancelled cycle was that our whole mindset changed. We began to think this might not ever happen. With both of us suffering from our own infertility issues, it just feels like every step of this process will be an uphill battle.

It took me forever to finally ovulate after stopping IF drugs in August. My AF just arrived today. When the nurse called to cancel my cycle last Aug. she said that the doctor would probably change my protocol (yes please) and to call her back when I got my AF. The clinic takes two weeks off in Nov and Dec for the holidays (really?) so the soonest I could cycle again would be late Nov. early Dec.

It was so nice to have a few weeks off. To try to forget about the failure and look towards the future. I researched new protocols. I tried to take my mind off it. It had been so nice not to deal with all that comes with and IVF cycle. And then yesterday I called my nurse again. Start the waterworks. . .

Nurse X. answers and I introduce myself. She remembers me and pulls up file. I ask her what my next step is. Long pause ensues. . . . . . Then she asks "Did you speak with the Dr. regarding your cancelled cycle?" I said no but I would like to before I start a new one. She hadn't mention any of this in August. Another long pause. . . She says, "Well let me talk to the doctor and see if he wants to continue with another cycle for you." WHAT? It was sounding like they were totally trying to dismiss me after one crappy cycle. What happened to we'll try again in December? I hang up with her and am very frustrated and upset. If they thought I was that much of a lost cause, they should have told me that in August.

She calls back 30 minutes later and says the doctor would like to set up a consultation where he will go over our options. In the meantime she says that if I decide to go forward (?) that I will need to start taking BCP on CD 2. At this point I am almost in tears and I try to get her to level with me. She says that Dr. G. will be honest with us about our chances of pregnancy should we go ahead with another cycle. Sometimes people respond better to different protocols. That is a something we should decide together with our RE. In other words, I feel like they are counting me out. They'll do it if I want but they're not very hopeful. I didn't think I was that much of a failure.

I was in shock. I was calling from work because my class had already gone home for the day. I hang up and sit alone and cry. A pity party for one. I finally pull myself together and go to the office to use the bathroom. Guess who's there? A woman who used to work with me who had twin girls two years ago. She had brought her babies to school for a visit. I thought I could take this event two ways. One, as a slap in my face from the IF gods, or as a sign. I swear only infertiles look at the world in this way. This woman I had heard through the grapevine was struggling with IF. She had miscarried before her twins at 5 months when she went in an found no heartbeat. I know she has had her share of struggles. Maybe it was a sign of hope. Or maybe just lousy timing I was in the office then. Who knows.

I hope to use this blog to keep track of my journey through our struggles. It feels so good to have a place to share. There are so many of you I read and follow. I found out about these blogs when I was googling lead follicles. The first IF blog I read was Infertility Bites. Her struggles sounded so close to mine. It is such a great support group.

Thanks for reading.