Friday, December 31, 2010

Just add water

Today I came across an interesting article in the NY Times about a family that came to be through the use of surrogates, written by the happy mom of two babies born 5 days apart from separate surrogates. 

Though the article itself was lovely, I was a little disturbed by the title of the attached media article, "The Futuristic Insta-Family."  I'm not sure who thought they were being clever here, but I personally found it rather stupid and offensive.  There was nothing "Futuristic" or "Insta" about the years of struggle or the amazing strength and compromise discussed in this article, and to suggest some kind of new-age Chia Pet advertisement in the title is to undervalue and otherwise demean the pain, heartache, love, patience, and caring that went into the making of this family.  

Badly done NYT, badly done.

As an aside, I found this amazing quote in the main article and thought I would share:
"Infertility feels like a death, but because it’s not the death of a person but the death of a hope — a fantasy about the children that our dead embryos might have become — that grief vanishes when you first hear the beating of real hearts."

I can only hope that my own grief and the grief of all of us out there in the IF universe, will one day vanish with the sound of the beating of real hearts.  

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No really, I'm just fine

Hey Everyone,

I hope you enjoyed your respective holiday seasons, and thank you so much for all the thoughtful comments on my last post.  Christmas was not so bad as I had anticipated; I found out about some infertility troubles among the family that I hadn't known about before, and I had a nice chat with one former infertile about IVF, fertility drugs, mean doctors saying stupid, asinine things.  Plus, I only cried once which is a step up for me.  I named this post for that bit of crying, seeing as how I keep telling everyone I really am doing better, handling everything well, etc., and yet somehow I tear up every time I have to explain the situation to anyone.  If I'm so fine, why do I completely lose control of my emotions discussing anything related to my infertility issues and what I've been going through over the last year.

The one amusing thing was when said former infertile was discussing all this, she mentioned that it was only after she had gone through all the drugs and IVF and basically given up all hope, that she conceived naturally.  She timidly started the next sentence, "It is really hard to say this, cause I know I would have punched anyone who said this to me while I was going through what you are going through right now, and actually you have permission to punch me in the face, but I truly believe you need to take a calm, Zen kind of attitude towards this, and stop worrying so much and it will happen for you."  I didn't have a response for this...and I didn't punch her for anyone who is wondering.  I think I just quietly sniffed and wiped a tear...then we hugged, she told me I will be an amazing mother, and that was about it.

Clomid: little, white, different
Anyway, the good news right now, the Clomid seems to be doing its job.  I have ovulated at a normal, healthy time (cycle day 15/16), and though I seem to have also developed a cyst which is causing me some discomfort, I think I will overall I consider this a success.  Now, the wait...

Monday, December 20, 2010

When good times go bad

So, with all the fun-filled and well-meaning family time of this time of year I'm feeling a little nervous about the fertility questions that may arise over the next week -- not to mention a few that have already arisen.

Just last month, during Thanksgiving with DH's family, I was confronted with two uncomfortable situations: 1) DH's aunt made a comment about someone else getting pregnant immediately after marriage, and then chidingly/jokingly (I'm not sure which, I only know she didn't mean it to hurt me) mentioned, "but, I guess you didn't want to go that route?" For three, seemingly infinite seconds... crickets... then I recovered enough to smile, blush innocently and say something like, "no, I guess not."

Mind you, my husband is Indian, and as any Indian daughter or DIL can probably tell you, the pressure to have a baby starts immediately upon marriage; making any DIL who fails in this most simple task, to be left open for chiding and discussion by the rest of the family.  Not exactly being the first choice DIL material (what with being American and Jewish and all that), I at least thought this would be the one task I could and would succeed in, and I truly wanted to succeed (with every childless part of my being), but sadly we all know the outcome.  Luckily, my sweet and wonderful MIL knows somewhat of our trials and difficulties, and she has lovingly held back from asking any questions during our recent telephone calls.

Anyway...on to the second scene:
Same vacation, different day, DH's cousins brings up a much feared (by me) conversation. You see, when DH and I were married, his cousins jokingly bet on how long it would take for us to get "knocked up".  It was all good fun to talk about back then, back when I was innocent and thought one month off the pill would see me preggers and already buying nursery items... Anyway, fun cousin #1 made a joke about losing the bet (she bet it would take less than 12 months), and scolded me for making her lose.  I really wanted to laugh, and it would actually have been funny had we not found out we are infertile and had I not been crying like a banshee a week earlier over getting my period, but in that moment I just wanted to curl up and die.  It's time like this, I wonder if I should just tell them the whole awful truth. 

Next week we will be visiting with my best friend's family, who are basically my extended family, and I just know there will be comments and questions...especially since one of the sisters, who will be there, recently had a beauty of a baby and she got married after us.  I am right now pre-wincing with pain, and hoping to get it all out of my system here on this blog.  Wish me luck, and good luck to all you ladies wading in the same waters. 

K

Ready, Set, Report

I'm back from the snowy slopes of Aspen, and ready to report, but first a quick shout out to Sarah Q.  Miss Sarah recently got that elusive BFP we all hope and pray for, followed by an amazingly awesome beta, and I just want to heartily congratulate her, and wish her all the best.  It really was so nice to come home to a little good news from my ladies in the blogosphere.

Also, a quick word about side effects.  Someone commented recently, asking about the side effects of Clomid.  MissConception posted a great, detailed account of the many wonderful, potential side effects of this infamous little, white pill.  So please feel free to take a look at her post for more information.

My first experience with Clomid has so far been pretty uneventful.  My biggest complaint - hot flashes.  I swear, for a second I thought I was losing my mind...then I remembered it was a side effect of the meds, and I calmed down a little.  The first hot flash, not too terrible, but the next one had me stripping layers and holding an ice cold cup of water to my steaming cheeks (in the middle of party in Aspen mind you).  Well, at least I know now what my mom's been complaining about. 

I've had a bit of mood-swingyness, and some bloat, but overall, I would call this a pretty good run for a first timer.  I have no idea if or when I will ovulate, and my doc hasn't ordered any U/S's, so I guess I'll just be OPKing temping away and hoping for the best.

In other news, our insurance company has totally screwed us over, again.  I was told, very specifically, that both my sonohysterogram and HSG would be covered, but we just received two bills for $1000 each.  I am going to argue with them tomorrow, but I'm scared I might lose.  They put the exception as not covering anything pertaining to IVF or other insemination treatments, but these tests didn't have anything to do with that, and were purely diagnostic! Grrr...

Well, that's all the news for the moment.  Good night to everyone, and best wishes for more successful cycles.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Quickie

A quick post before I leave for vacation...

So, AF did indeed arrive this morning, and I am indeed in painful, crampy misery.  The good news - I get to start Clomid in two days and counting (that's right, staying positive) 

Thanks to everyone for the comments you've been sending, and I'm sorry if I haven't been able to reply to them all.  Wish me luck on the slopes.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mommas of all shapes and sizes

My aunt, mother to 6 feline fur babies and major animal enthusiast, sent me this rather sweet little video today about mothers and animals adopting other animals.  I thought I would share...enjoy:

video

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Addendum

A short addendum to my last post...

This December marks our one year anniversary of TTC.  Happy anniversary to us - we are now officially considered medically "infertile" (something we already knew) by the whole of the medical community and our insurance company...oh happy day.  At least maybe now I won't have to hear from anyone else, "Oh it's only been (8,9,10...months, you shouldn't worry, you're still young, just relax a little and it will happen."  

11 dpo and waiting

I'll start by saying that I'm not one of those women who has a nice short cycle that culminates with a strong, long 14 day luteal phase - though there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with my post O progesterone levels, just the fact that I O so late to begin with.  I generally expect my LH phase to be about 11 days, + or - a day, so I guess I'm a little annoyed that AF hasn't arrived already in all her glory, and that my temps haven't gone down (which usually happens 24 hours before AF's arrival).  I'm annoyed because I've already gotten my BFN this cycle, and I just want to get started on my new cycle already.  The Clomid is primed and ready, DH and I are ready, the only somebody not getting in line - AF. 

Further annoyance...we leave on Saturday for a week long ski trip with our friends, and I just know AF is going to come right before our plane leaves the tarmac: the cramps, the heavy flow, the tears, the crazies, the headache, the backache, and the bloat will all be waiting for me Saturday morning and will continue into our long awaited vacation.  I am okay with giving up coffee (my first love) and alcohol even when I know everyone on the trip will be drinking and partying every night (hey, it's for the baby, small sacrifice there), I am okay with possible, nasty Clomid side effects throughout much of the trip (hey, it's for the baby), but I am so not cool with a miserable week of AF (the antithesis of baby) destroying my overpriced vacation and any chance for some relaxed, vacation, non-temping sexy time with DH.

Grrr...

Waiting...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hope springs eternal

So I am about 99.9% sure I did not conceive this cycle, but I'm actually feeling kind of okay about that.  The reason - my doc has given me the go ahead for Clomid next cycle so I'm feeling excited to just get my period already and get started on a new cycle.

In other world news...has anyone picked up a copy of the magazine Conceive?  They have this little gem in the waiting room of my Gyne's office.  I suppose I might not mind it so much if I were still in the "honeymoon" phase of TTC, but at this point I am more of a mind to write them a nasty letter.  Think Cosmo for people trying to conceive.  

My complaints:
The front cover image (not the cover shown here) - a husband, lovingly holding and kissing his very pregnant and adorable wife - hand on belly- yet all around this photograph are article titles geared towards those not yet happily knocked up and glistening with baby glow.
Featured articles:
1) "Absolutely Crazy! the Nutty Things Women Will Do to Get Pregnant" (I kid you not - I copied the title verbatim. This offensive article is full of cartoons of women standing on their head or praying to fertility statues)
2) "A Baby or Your Money Back" (somehow the idea of  a $4.99 magazine reimbursement seems a cruel joke compared to mounting infertility medical bills)
3) "GET PREGNANT 2011! A New Year's Plan that Works" (Yup ladies, that's right, Conceive magazine has figured out what we've all been missing, and for just $4.99 plus sales tax - guaranteed or your money back)
4) and finally...a special section on all the things you should buy once knocked up "Conceived: Our Regular Guide to Early Pregnancy"

Meh, is all I have to say...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

TWW Update

So a lot has been happening with this cycle, and I'm almost completely set on trying Clomid next time around.  I ovulated on either day 25 or 26, so I have pretty much written this cycle off as a failure to conceive, and I've been busy making myself crazy reading about the low chance of fertility for a woman like me (one who regularly ovulates after day 20) and the fact that even if I did magically manage to conceive I would probably miscarry.

I have been taking Insulite Labs supplements this whole cycle, a recommendation from my sister, and so far there seems to be no effect.  I've been told it can take time, but I'm losing faith very quickly.  Plus the price tag is so high, I could probably be seeing an acupuncturist each month for the same amount.   I am also taking B6 supplements, Vitex (though I've gone off it for the tww), and using progesterone cream (though I had to start it after my post-ovulatory progesterone test for the sake of accuracy).  I will let you all know if this has any effect at all.

Today is either day 6 or day 7po, and I was so excited to see my BBT jump up to 99 - possible triphasic - that is until I realized I am sick with the same cold as my husband.  This evening I'm running a real fever, and I've now lost all hope once again. 

Anyway, meeting with my least favorite OB/Gyne on Monday, and I'm going to discuss Clomid with her for the next cycle.  Does anyone have experience using Clomid to have earlier ovulation, and has it worked for them?

Luck to all the other ladies out there suffering through their respective tww's!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back in the saddle again...

After a slightly longer than anticipated hiatus from blogging, I've decided to get back in the saddle and start writing again as well as checking in my ladies (all of whose blogs have kept me company and often entertained as I muddle through this stage of my life).  To those of you who have had important news to share, or just needed some reassuring connections, I apologize for being so out of touch. 

Turning 29 was not quite as tragic an event as I had anticipated.  My wonderful husband, who I am ever grateful for, made it an incredibly special birthday and gave me a new camera that I had been drooling over for months.  I was traveling so much over the holidays that I was able to re-celebrate in every new city, with each new group of friends and family, and I was certainly feeling the love.  Overall, a pretty god vacation.

In fertility news, I ovulated waaay late this cycle, but it has finally happened.  Don't think that bodes well for a healthy egg, or potential pregnancy, so I'm mentally preparing myself for the mental breakdown to come in oohhh...8 days.  Maybe it won't be so bad...maybe I can maintain my promise to myself not breakdown this time.  Guess, only time will tell.