Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tears, Joy & a Heartbeat

****Warning Ultrasound video below*******



I'm not gonna write too much this evening, but I did want to share this amazing day with you all.  Today we got to hear our little 7 week old baby's heartbeat, and the sound was more beautiful than anything I could possibly have imagined.  The U/S machine was not working properly, so we couldn't get a pic, but DH came to the rescue with his smartphone and took this little video keepsake which I hope will upload well enough that you can actually see and hear it.

video

My OB then proceeded to explain to me the many genetic screens she wanted to do, and all the reasons why, but I admit I hardly listened.  I found it hard to think about doing all those screens when they really won't tell us much, and they will probably just increase my already high stress levels by thousand.

We have a few weeks to decide.  What would you do?



Monday, April 25, 2011

IVF & the Broken Piggy Bank

**Side note:  I wanted to apologize for being such a terrible blogger & commenter this ICLW.  With the news of my uncle passing, and now also hearing that my grandmother's cancer has spread wildly, I admit to being in a mostly foul temper and not much good company to anyone.  Thank you so much to everyone for your comments and words of support and condolences.  I really appreciate each and every one.**


I wanted to take a stab at another NIAW treat circulating in the Blogosphere, as I think it is a subject we've all got a thing or two to speak on.  Lori Lavender Luz of Write Mind, Open Heart, is asking us all to think about the following questions and just what are the "Dollars and Sense of Family Building."

Consider your now or future children as adults, and consider the fact that you had to spend money to either conceive them or make them part of your family. What effect do you think the latter will have on the former one day? What, do you think, your grown children might feel about the funds it took to create your family?
    My hope: That my children will understand that the cost to bring them into this world can not even begin to equal how much they were wanted, and that in the end we were just lucky and grateful to be able to afford the treatments.

    Sure we may not have any money left now for a nice nursery or a lead/mouse-free apartment, or college, but I'm hoping they won't dwell on that.  Or maybe they will, and it will give them the drive to become their own IF champions, making sure that every infertile man and woman has the insurance/adoption coverage/aid they need to build their family.

    How did/would you handle it if your child asks you, “Mom, how much did I cost?” How would you answer at age 7? At age 18?  
                   
    I think I would try to be honest, but explain that it doesn't really matter.  Anything we spent was just because we wanted him/her so fiercely, and in the end we got him/her, so really it was more like winning the lottery.

    When calculating the costs of your family building, what do you include? The direct costs are easy (such as RE fees for a cycle or homestudy fees), but what about fees that didn’t directly lead to your child’s existence in your life, such as cycles that didn’t work, adoption outreach avenues that didn’t work, failed adoptions, avenues that were explored (and that cost something) but not pursued, etc.?

    I count everything from the doctor visits and tests, to acupuncture and herbs.  I also count the lost work hours from all the office visits, depression, etc. and of course, my lost sense of self. 

    This is a vague figure I keep in my brain for no real reason but to push me keep fighting for a voice for the IF community and for change in how insurance companies view IF treatments.

    To what extent have finances determined the family-building decisions you have made? How have you able to balance financial considerations against other factors such as medical, ethical, emotional…

    We live in an infertility coverage mandated state, but were somehow left out of that mandate due to a big fat loophole.  We didn't think we would be able to afford to see an RE, let alone start treatment, and I remember crying almost everyday, feeling completely broken and helpless to change anything. 

    In truth my husband and I had some of the worst fights of our marriage during this time - almost all concerning money, doctors, when or if to start treatment, and my anger at feeling I was alone in this fight without him or anyone.  I was convinced we would somehow make it work, and wanted to pay whatever it cost, while DH, ever practical, saw the mounting bills and wasted effort and was cautious.  At some point though, mainly through the fighting and talking, we passed a hurdle, and found ourselves on the same page.  We were ready to make the financial commitment, and to see where it led.


    The doctor laid it all out for us: we were getting nowhere fast with Clomid and my poor lining, injectibles were deemed very risky, and even using them, the repeated IUIs and ultrasounds scans could wind up costing us a a fortune with a low likelihood of actually producing a viable pregnancy.  IVF was the most expensive option, but we had a high chance of success.  We talked, we fought, we made a decision, we found the money...we got lucky. 

    *********************************************************

    DON'T FORGET!!!

    IF Stories Project:

    A lot of you ladies have recently mentioned some brave words and thoughts about IF activism, and I've been reading them all and trying to figure out where exactly I fit in with this particularly "ism".  I want to do something to help other families going through IF, especially those that may not have access to or have found a community like ours, and I've think I found my idea.

    I know I'm not the best writer in the world, but I can edit, and have been known to compose some pretty decent short essays.  I have a feeling there are a lot of us like that out here in the blogosphere, as well as a lot of really fantastic writers, so I am making this proposition to you all:
    1. Send me your stories: Write down, in 2 - 4 pages (maybe a little more and I can help you edit it down), the story of your IF journey.  Feel free to write about the whole journey, or to just highlight the parts you feel have been the most poignant for you.  Also, feel free to pull from your blogs, but make sure to give me permission to use your writing when you send your email.  Here are some examples of topics, but please don't limit yourself to only these:
      • General Infertily
      • PCOS, Endometriosis, DOR, or other medical condition
      • Miscarriage/Loss
      • Pregnancy after infertility
      • Motherhood/Parenthood after infertility
      • Advanced maternal age 
      • Marriage/Love and IF
      • Single mom IF
      • Male perspectives on IF
      • Adoption after IF
      • A.R.T. adventures
      • Support groups
      • Male factor IF
    2. Make it anonymous or put your name or just put your age and town/state.  This is entirely up to you, but please provide me with a valid email address in case I need to contact you for any type of release or other legal issue.
    3. Share this post with your readers, hopefully spreading the word and bringing in many more varied stories.  
    The goal of all this:  I want to gather together a variety of personal stories from the blogospehere, edit them, bind them and hopefully publish them in a book.  I want to make your stories heard, and to give other infertile families a chance to learn from our community and to find support in it.   Each of our stories has the chance of connecting with at least one person, somewhere out there, and maybe making them feel just a little less alone as they journey through this difficult time in their lives, so this I vow to you all now - If you share your stories with me, I will fight to make them heard!

    Please send your submissions to:
    uncommonnonsense1(at)gmail(dot)com

    Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you,

    - KerriK




      Thursday, April 21, 2011

      About my uncle

      Hi Everyone,

      My uncle passed away last night, and I'm finding I really need to write about it a little, so I apologize to the ICLWers visiting here for the first time and coming across my sad post. 

      This all seems to have happened so fast.  My aunt didn't want us to know how serious it was, so up until about 2 weeks ago I thought he was sick but doing well with treatment.  Then, in an instant, I find out he's dying and has about 6 months to live.  A day later, this jumped to, "they've stopped chemo and set up hospice in the house" -- the meaning, it could be any day now. 

      Two days ago, the hospice nurse told my aunt it would be maybe 24 hours.  My mom couldn't take being so far away anymore, and not being able to speak to my aunt (who is refusing to speak on the phone to anyone), and with some frequent flyer help from her brother, she hopped on a plane with other sister and they flew to be by my aunt's side.  Unfortunately, their flight was so long yesterday that they just missed saying good bye to my uncle by literally minutes.  It was almost exactly 24 hours after the announcement from the hospice nurse...my mom had just checked into the hotel and was on her over to the house. 

      Last night I cried a little, but mostly I felt numb, detached.  I haven't seen my uncle (my mother's brother-in-law) in years.  I'm so close to my mom's other siblings and their spouses, but my aunt and uncle on the West Coast have been so far away for so many years.  They'd chosen a different way of life, becoming devout, Orthodox Jews, and it had put a huge strain on their relationship to everyone else in our secular, Reform Jewish family.  All the same, I was thrilled when my aunt managed to make it to my wedding (almost 2 years ago, and the last time I saw her).  Her husband had to stay back with the kids, who had school, but she flew out, said nothing of my non-traditional wedding or my marriage outside the faith, and even participated in the ceremony with a look on her face of excitement and love for me.  I knew then, that regardless of the space between us, or differences in our views, she is still my aunt, she loves me, and she will always be there for me. 

      This morning I've cried some more, cuddled the cat, talked to my mom, and teared up again.  They are burying him right away, according to Jewish law, but due to the Passover holidays the mourning period will not be starting till next week (which I find odd, but I understand is their custom).  My head is filled with thoughts of my young cousins, who will not get to see their dad on their graduation day, or hold his arm down the aisle at their weddings.  They will never hear his voice again, or feel his hugs.  They are now fatherless, and it seems a terrible crime that has been committed against them. 

      To my uncle:  We disagreed, argued, and disagreed some more, but you were my family and I miss you. 
      To my aunt and my four beautiful cousins: I wish I could be your safe harbor right now, and I feel as useless as a person can feel.  I'm locked away in my own tower, pretending to live a normal life while yours crumbles all around you.  I'm so sorry.  May you find comfort in the coming days, may your friends and family bolster and soothe you, may you learn to laugh and smile again.  I love you.


      Monday, April 18, 2011

      Myth Busting with Resolve!


      Adding my voice to Resolve's "Bust a Myth" campaign...

      Myth #1
      Infertility is just the result of the Birth Control Pill, Feminism, and women focusing too hard on their careers and having children too late...

      Now, I will not deny that fertility decreases with age.  This is something medical science and common sense has made us all fairly well aware of.  However, age is far from the only factor involved in infertility.  We all know countless women, myself included, who are in their 20s and experiencing diagnosable or unexplained infertility.  There are also countless women in their late thirties and early forties who have no trouble, whatsoever, in conceiving healthy babies.

      Aging, like pretty much everything else, occurs differently for every individual, and a young set of ovaries is sadly not the answer to every infertility puzzle.  By placing blame and accusation on epidemic numbers of aging ovaries and the supposedly career-centric, baby-phobic mind of today's woman (setting aside for a moment the many things wrong with this sweeping assumption), legislators, friends and family are dismissing the real plight of the infertile community and passing a harsh judgment on us all; one that takes the focus off the real issue - fighting the disease of infertility.

      The perpetuation of this myth serves no one but the health insurance companies, who continue to view child-bearing not as natural born right, but as a lifestyle choice - kind of like choosing to live vegan or without a television.  The myth needlessly harms those who are struggling with the complications of advanced maternal age, fostering guilt and shame where there should be understanding, treatment and support, and it dismisses entirely those of us who are infertile but fall into a different category; our infertility, according to this myth, simply shouldn't exist.  We are just anomalies of creation.

      Myth #2
      "Worst case scenario, you can always adopt..."

      Why oh why do people feel the need to utter this sentence?  I wish I could understand. 

      I have a few questions I would like to ask to help me in debunking this myth -- setting aside for a moment the simple horribleness of using phrases like "worst case scenario" to describe the incredibly rewarding and joyful experience that can come from building your family through adoption. 

      1. Why do people assume that all couples can so easily just adopt a child?
      2. Why do we dismiss the emotions of a couple who must first accept the loss of their own dream of having a baby together, before choosing if they want to become adoptive parents?
      3. What makes us so sure that every couple is emotionally capable or even interested in building their family through adoption?
      4. Why do we continue to trick ourselves into believing not only that there is a never-ending, easily accessible supply of healthy, perfect infants just waiting to be brought home to live with us, but also that the process to acquire this perfect, new baby of our own, is in any way simple or affordable for the average family?
      5.  Why do people believe that infertile, adoptive parents can not or should not be "choosy" about the age and health of the baby they bring home?

      I'm beginning to believe that what the general public does not know about adoption, or the costs involved, is truly astounding...particularly just the simple fact that it can take many years to bring home your baby and even then there may be complications involved.  I've often thought about adopting a child, whether or not I conceived on my own, but sometimes just looking through the legalities and risks involved and hearing other people's horror stories (not about the children, but about the complications in bringing them home), is enough to make me shy away from initiating the process. 

      I certainly do not mean to put anyone off from adoption by writing this.  I just want to debunk the myth that adoption is the obvious final cure for the infertile couple or that it is easily done, voila, perfect happy ending.  Adoption has been the dream ending for many families, but it simply is not the choice or perfect ending for every infertile couple.
      _____________________________________
      Resources:
      http://www.resolve.org/infertility-overview/what-is-infertility/
      http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/home-page.html



      Thursday, April 14, 2011

      Wonder of Wonder


      Today has been a wondrous day so far, and complete with a new found sense of hope.  Today we got to see the little yolk sac and gestational sac of our baby to be, and it was perfect.  It's still too early to try and find a fetal pole or a heart beat, but it was an incredible moment and one that I wish for all you ladies out there.  I feel incredibly grateful to have come this far, and my only dream right now is that this little one keeps right on being healthy and growing and growing. 

      The Story:
      DH and I drove to the RE this morning, and met with the other doc in the practice, Dr. D - Dr Fox is away on vacation.  Dr D was absolutely adorable, all smiles and gentleness.  Dr. Fox is great, but I think I liked Dr. D even more.  He answered all of our one million and one questions, which DH has written down in his terrible handwriting, and assured us that though I should have another U/S when I get back from my trip to check for a fetal heartbeat, so far everything is looking good. 

      The other good news of the day, the fluid in my abdomen is almost completely gone (about 2 cm of bubble on the U/S screen).  The girls (AKA, my ovaries) are still pretty enlarged, so there will probably be no dancing or sexy time in my near future, but I think the OHSS is taking a turn for the much, much better. 

      ****UPDATE ON THE STORIES PROJECT****

      I've already started receiving some amazing stories, and I'm hoping more will come flooding in, in the coming month.  I am trying to think of other ways to spread the news (LFCA seems to have helped but I think I can only post there once), and encourage more ladies and gents out there to share, and would love to hear your ideas. 

      I am leaving my job at the end of this month in preparation for our move, and I'm hoping to spend some time at that point on building a website for the project and creating things like a blog button and so forth.  Sadly, I'm not really web building savvy (as evidenced by my own simple Blogger layout), so this may be a slow moving process, but I'm determined and married to a former software engineer, so there is hope. 

      ****ONE MORE NOTE****

      To my amazing friends in the Blogosphere, particularly those who are still awaiting their BFP...
      Thank you so much for your amazing support and friendship, and please know that I truly understand if you no longer wish to read or comment on my blog.  I know how hard it is to read other people's pregnancy stories or updates, even fellow IFers, and to feel like your own dreams of becoming a parent are further away than ever.  I would never want to be a reminder of that pain for anyone. 

      If you do decide you want to stick around, I would love to keep hearing from you, and I also promise that this blog will not become entirely dedicated to pregnancy symptoms or pictures of ultrasounds.  I plan to continue using my blog not only as a continued means of expressing myself and connecting with you all, but also as a tool for infertility advocacy, support and understanding.

      I've heard that Resolve has had difficulty building a strong force of advocates and leaders, sometimes because many of us infertiles are uncomfortable speaking out (myself included) or because they have become parents and tried to put much of this behind them, or that they do not want to be involved for other reasons.  I made a commitment to myself and to you all that I will stay involved, initially through the Stories Project, and hopefully in the future through other avenues as well, and I intend to keep that promise.  I want to learn to speak out and to fight to make this disease more wildly researched and understood.

      Wishing you all and wonderful weekend.

      - Kerri

      Tuesday, April 12, 2011

      Hope

      Today I am officially 5 wks pregnant, and I've decided to add one of those little countdown to baby widgets to my blog (mostly, so I can see the changes on a daily basis), but I'm not sure if I'm gonna keep it there.  It scares me to see it, like I'm inviting in the devil or something.  I really wish I could be more confident that all will be well, but I just don't know how to be.

      My newest mantra: "Everything will be alright.  I'm healthy, the baby is healthy, all is well.  Everything is moving forward as it should.  Everything is alright."

      Thursday, we are having a very early ultrasound (at my request), in which we might not be able to see anything, but I'm hopeful.  I know it will be too early to make out a heartbeat, but if they can just see that everything is in the right place, and that there is in fact a yolk sac, I think it will be help keep me going for the next two weeks till I can request a proper ultrasound from my OB/GYN.  I would have waited till next week, but we will be out of town for a full 7 days.  In the meantime, I continue to fear every trip to the bathroom, or tug/cramp in my lady parts.

      My pregnancy symptoms have been fairly steady which I think is good: increasingly heavy boobs, intermittent cramping and feelings of (excuse TMI) wetness/fullness down below, very occasional but painful jabbing pains in my ute area, needing to eat frequently or I get a little dizzy, fatigue (especially by about 5/6pm) and frequent trips to the bathroom, even when I've had very little to drink.  I've also had minor OHSS bloating which is, as per usual, much worse at night than during the day.

      My ovaries are sore, especially the left one, but the nurse at my RE's office assures me that it is probably one of the cysts left over from the IVF cycle.  I imagine she is right, as my progesterone levels were super high as of my last blood test (70.0).  I asked if I could stop the PIO shots because the levels were so high, but they said no, the protocol is to continue till the 10th week.  I am weaning off the estrodiol patches though, which is a small blessing. 

      ***Note about the following paragraphs: In revealing what I am about to say, I want to make clear that I in no way mean to discredit any of my own or other people's feelings when it comes to the pregnant and very fertile people in our lives.  This is very specific case, involving one friend of mine, my own emotions toward her, and what she has been through. ***

      I sat down yesterday with a very pregnant friend, the one I've often complained about for her insensitive pregnancy comments and seemingly lack of notice or care for what I've been going through.  We had a long talk about her pregnancy (she doesn't know I'm now pregnant), and I think I maybe truly heard her for the first time, or at least allowed myself to really listen.  That having been said, I realize I now feel some guilt for my anger towards her, and the things I've said on this blog, and I'd like to atone a little for that by explaining some of her situation:
       
      In our short discussion, she talked a great deal about the bleeding she experienced throughout her first trimester, and how close she came to miscarrying, including waking up in a pool of blood during her 10th week -- which she was sure was the end.  She hasn't been able to feel happy or excited about this pregnancy at all because she has been convinced all along that she would lose the baby.  Her anxiety and sadness hit a very familiar chord with me, and suddenly all my harsh feelings towards her and her negative attitude towards her pregnancy went out the window.  Even though she became pregnant so easily, in some ways she has experienced pregnancy like an infertile woman does, never allowing herself to bask in the glow and excitement of the life growing inside her, always afraid it will be ripped away at any moment. 

      It was difficult not sharing how much I understand her fears, and what is happening with me right now, but I already feel we've told too many people, and I just couldn't share the news with one more person...especially, before we've even seen a heartbeat.

      That's all I have to write about for moment, but I do want to mention that a dear fellow blogger, Jenni over at Hope Springs Eternal, is dealing with a poor response to IVF meds and possibly a canceled cycle, so I hope you'll all stop by and offer her some words of support to help her through this.

      -KerriK

      *******************************************************

      IF Stories Project:

      A lot of you ladies have recently mentioned some brave words and thoughts about IF activism, and I've been reading them all and trying to figure out where exactly I fit in with this particularly "ism".  I want to do something to help other families going through IF, especially those that may not have access to or have found a community like ours, and I've think I found my idea.

      Now, I am not the strongest writer in the world, but I can edit other people's work like a champ, and have been known to compose some pretty decent short essays.  I have a feeling there are a lot of us like that out here in the blogosphere, as well as a lot of really fantastic writers, so I am making this proposition to you all:
      1. Send me your stories: Write down, in 2 - 4 pages (maybe a little more and I can help you edit it down), the story of your IF journey.  Feel free to write about the whole journey, or to just highlight the parts you feel have been the most poignant for you.  Also, feel free to pull from your blogs, but make sure to give me permission to use your writing when you send your email.  Here are some examples of topics, but please don't limit yourself to only these:
        • General Infertily
        • PCOS, Endometriosis, DOR, or other medical condition
        • Miscarriage/Loss
        • Pregnancy after infertility
        • Motherhood/Parenthood after infertility
        • Advanced maternal age 
        • Marriage/Love and IF
        • Single mom IF
        • Male perspectives on IF
        • Adoption after IF
        • A.R.T. adventures
        • Support groups
        • Male factor IF
      2. Make it anonymous or put your name or just put your age and town/state.  This is entirely up to you, but please provide me with a valid email address in case I need to contact you for any type of release or other legal issue.
      3. Share this post with your readers, hopefully spreading the word and bringing in many more varied stories.  
      The goal of all this:  I want to gather together a variety of personal stories from the blogospehere, and hopefully publish them.  I want to make your stories heard, and to give other infertile families a chance to learn from our community and to find support in it.   Each of our stories has the chance of connecting with at least one person, somewhere out there, and maybe making them feel just a little less alone as they journey through this difficult time in their lives, so this I vow to you all now - If you share your stories with me, I will fight to make them heard!

      Please send your submissions to:
      uncommonnonsense1(at)gmail(dot)com

      Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you,

      - Kerri
        

      Friday, April 8, 2011

      Beta #2

      So, after more lab errors, a lot of phone calls, and one minor breakdown on my part, I finally got my 2nd beta results - 384!  Beta #1 was 87, so that is a quadrupling in three days. 

      I am exceedingly relieved, but still too nervous about this pregnancy to let the following words escape my lips, "I'm having a baby."  These are words I yearn to say out loud, but I'm just not ready.  I'm still so scared that I'll somehow jinx this and lose everything.  Everyone is telling me to relax, and think positively, and I swear I'm trying, but my brain just runs away from me to this scary, scary place.  I love this little life so much.  It is already a part of me.  I have to keep it safe, somehow.

      In other news, some of the family drama I mentioned the other day has taken a turn for the much much worse.  My uncle, is dying from cancer, and the whole family is in mourning.  It is strange to be going through one of the happiest things that could happen to me at the same time that my aunt and young cousins are going through one of the worst.  My aunt and uncle's youngest is only 12 years old, and she is apparently in denial even with hospice care set up in her house, and everything else happening all around her.

      My good news has been the only good news around on both sides of the family, and every talk with my mom or grandmother is bittersweet and full of lots of tears and less than promising updates from the West Coast (where my aunt and uncle live).  I feel guilty, but I am trying so hard not to think of my uncle or my aunt and the kids.  I want my baby to have positive thoughts from me, instead of constant stress and sadness, and that is already hard enough with all these hormones and fears of losing the pregnancy.

      Truly, it's a very strange place to be.

      *******************************************************

      IF Stories Project:

      A lot of you ladies have recently mentioned some brave words and thoughts about IF activism, and I've been reading them all and trying to figure out where exactly I fit in with this particularly "ism".  I want to do something to help other families going through IF, especially those that may not have access to or have found a community like ours, and I've think I found my idea.

      Now, I am not the strongest writer in the world, but I can edit other people's work like a champ, and have been known to compose some pretty decent short essays.  I have a feeling there are a lot of us like that out here in the blogosphere, as well as a lot of really fantastic writers, so I am making this proposition to you all:
      1. Send me your stories: Write down, in 2 - 4 pages (maybe a little more and I can help you edit it down), the story of your IF journey.  Feel free to write about the whole journey, or to just highlight the parts you feel have been the most poignant for you.  Also, feel free to pull from your blogs, but make sure to give me permission to use your writing when you send your email.  Here are some examples of topics, but please don't limit yourself to only these:
        • General Infertily
        • PCOS, Endometriosis, DOR, or other medical condition
        • Miscarriage/Loss
        • Pregnancy after infertility
        • Motherhood/Parenthood after infertility
        • Advanced maternal age 
        • Marriage/Love and IF
        • Single mom IF
        • Male perspectives on IF
        • Adoption after IF
        • A.R.T. adventures
        • Support groups
        • Male factor IF
      2. Make it anonymous or put your name or just put your age and town/state.  This is entirely up to you, but please provide me with a valid email address in case I need to contact you for any type of release or other legal issue.
      3. Share this post with your readers, hopefully spreading the word and bringing in many more varied stories.  
      The goal of all this:  I want to gather together a variety of personal stories from the blogospehere, and hopefully publish them.  I want to make your stories heard, and to give other infertile families a chance to learn from our community and to find support in it.   Each of our stories has the chance of connecting with at least one person, somewhere out there, and maybe making them feel just a little less alone as they journey through this difficult time in their lives, so this I vow to you all now - If you share your stories with me, I will fight to make them heard!

      Please send your submissions to:
      uncommonnonsense1(at)gmail(dot)com

      Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you,

      - Kerri

      Thursday, April 7, 2011

      Messed Up Message PETA!

      I've been reading a lot lately about PETA's Win a Vasectomy contest, in "honor" of National Infertility Awareness Week, and yet as much as I read I still can't believe that it is real.  I don't understand how an organization claiming to be all about compassion, could be so incredible thoughtless and cruel.  What moron on their marketing team thought this idea up?

      Explain to me PETA, how exactly this campaign is helping the Infertile Community?  How is it helping anyone who has had their natural born right to reproduction stolen from them through this terrible disease?  What are you thinking?

      The whole campaign is like some kind of sick joke that missed the mark completely.  The only thing I can equate it to is offering free breast reduction in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness or free diet and weight loss plans to support the Fight Against Hunger. 

      It is sick, and I would like to see the campaign dissolved and a very public apology made by the President of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk.

      I've decided to join in the letter writing campaign that is circulating in our community, but after seeing Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed's blog post, I somehow doubt PETA will care to listen. 

      Wednesday, April 6, 2011

      Send Me Your Stories!


      So, there is something I've been thinking about doing for a long time, and now seems like the best time to do it as it will hopefully keep me distracted from thinking out every horrible, worst case scenario ending for this pregnancy.

      A lot of you ladies have recently mentioned some brave words and thoughts about IF activism, and I've been reading them all and trying to figure out where exactly I fit in with this particularly "ism".  I want to do something to help other families going through IF, especially those that may not have access to or have found a community like ours, and I've think I found my idea.

      Now, I am not the strongest writer in the world, but I can edit other people's work like a champ, and have been known to compose some pretty decent short essays.  I have a feeling there are a lot of us like that out here in the blogosphere, as well as a lot of really fantastic writers, so I am making this proposition to you all:

      1. Send me your stories: Write down, in 2 - 4 pages (maybe a little more and I can help you edit it down), the story of your IF journey.  Feel free to write about the whole journey, or to just highlight the parts you feel have been the most poignant for you.  Also, feel free to pull from your blogs, but make sure to give me permission to use your writing when you send your email.  Here are some examples of topics, but please don't limit yourself to only these:
        • General Infertily
        • PCOS, Endometriosis, DOR, or other medical condition
        • Miscarriage/Loss
        • Pregnancy after infertility
        • Motherhood/Parenthood after infertility
        • Advanced maternal age and IF
        • Marriage/Love and IF
        • Single mom IF
        • Male perspectives on IF
        • Adoption after IF
        • A.R.T. adventures
        • Support groups
        • Male factor IF
      2. Make it anonymous or put your name or just put your age and town/state.  This is entirely up to you, but please provide me with a valid email address in case I need to contact you for any type of release or other legal issue.
      3. Share this post with your readers, hopefully spreading the word and bringing in many more varied stories.  
      The goal of all this:  I want to gather together a variety of personal stories from the blogospehere, and hopefully publish them.  I want to make your stories heard, and to give other infertile families a chance to learn from our community and to find support in it.   Each of our stories has the chance of connecting with at least one person, somewhere out there, and maybe making them feel just a little less alone as they journey through this difficult time in their lives, so this I vow to you all now - If you share your stories with me, I will fight to make them heard!

      Please send your submissions to:
      uncommonnonsense1(at)gmail(dot)com

      Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you,

      - Kerri

      Tuesday, April 5, 2011

      So far so good

      Hi Ladies,

      Thank you for your incredible outpouring of support.  I was completely overwhelmed by all the comments that came in on my last post, and I've already read through each of them several times, partly because they make me smile and partly because they just make everything feel so much more real.

      I'm happy to report that my 1st beta at 9dp5dt is 87, with a progesterone level of 37.  The nurse sounded very pleased, so I took that as a good sign.

      I was so nervous this morning and nearly cried when we reached the garage and found our car battery had died.  Luckily, we were able to find a friend who was home and able to lend us their car for the morning.

      Everything seemed fine at the lab, and I was assured that the results would reach my doctor's office in the next few hours, so you could imagine my frustration and anxiety when 2pm came round and I was still staring at a blank cell phone screen.  That's when my phone rang, and in a state of near hysteria I answered it -- it was my endocrinologist's office calling about my Synthroid dosing changes.  I nearly cried again, right there in the middle of the fancy event location where my office was hosting it's biannual conference.  Then, like a miracle, the nurse told me she had just talked to the lab about ordering my TSH test and that my other tests were available.  Technically, she couldn't tell me the results, but she very coyly dropped it into the discussion as if she was just giving an example of the exact kind of result she couldn't tell me.  I could have kissed her.

      Then, I really did cry.

      Oh, and I finally spoke to my RE's office quite a bit later on, and pretended to be surprised by the news. :)





      Monday, April 4, 2011

      My Confession


      So, I have a confession to make to you all, and with your permission I would like to tell it now:

      I did in fact POAS every morning over the last three days, and according to a combination of 3 FRERs, about 10 internet cheapies, and 1 expensive but impressive Digital Clearbue Easy, I am in fact - rather cautiously - pregnant.  I did not tell you all sooner due to a combination of 1) my fear that the lines would not darken with each passing day (they started out barely visible), 2) my even greater fear that this will not last, and that somehow by putting the news out there I would jinx myself, 3) I did not want to upset any of my dear readers, especially those currently experiencing a loss or waiting in the 2WW, and 4) I simply didn't know the right way or time to announce this news.

      For me, the fact that I am pregnant at all is truly a miracle.  I don't think I fully believed it possible, but now I know that regardless of how this all turns out, it is possible.  This knowledge is an amazing gift, though admittedly one that pales in comparison to the new life growing inside me.

      I am so terrified of this Beta tomorrow, but also anxious to have the results.  I wish they could tell me, from this one number, that everything will be alright and that this little one will keep on growing, and make it, but alas my husband and I can only hold our breath and each other and hope.

      Don't get me wrong, I have been floating in happiness with this news.  It has almost completely swept away all the negative emotions and family heartache, and for the moment it has brightened the lives of my mom and dad who have both had a very rough few days.  DH and I decided to tell both our parents this morning, and it was seriously a dream come true.  The moms both cried, and my beautiful, Hindi speaking MIL, who is across the world in India, managed to speak a few emotion-filled sentences to me in English that made me cry with happiness.

      I want this little one so fiercely that it scares me.  I talk to him/her all the time, send along loving thoughts, urging him/her to stay with me and grow.  I wish I could just relax and believe everything will be just fine, and I have been repeating to myself non-stop that everything will be fine, and truly trying to believe my own words.   In truth though, it is a wonderful kind of torture, and one I wish for all you ladies out there who have struggled so long and hard to have a child of your very own.

      This is my confession, and I hope you'll all forgive me for my secrecy.

      - Kerri 


      Sunday, April 3, 2011

      Beta in 2 Days and Counting

      Hey everyone,

      I'm sorry I've been out of touch.  It's been an emotional few days here, with lots of family drama and bad news on the home front. 

      The big beta test on Tuesday, and I have to say that I'm more hopeful than ever.  My OHSS symptoms have started returning a bit, and I take that as a very good sign.  The doctor said that would probably happen if I were to become pregnant, so I've been wishing for it so hard that I was afraid at first it might be psycho-somatic.  It has cheered me up so much that I actually feel a little guilty for being so chipper when so much terribleness is happening in my family right now. 

      DH and I have been joking about being happier and happier the worse I feel, though honestly the discomfort right now isn't all that terrible. 

      I've had more cramping on and off, and though mild it always makes me a little worried and I rush to lay down and put my feet up.  We went grocery shopping, and lifting some of the heavy bags brought on a round of cramps, so I've vowed not to lift anything heavier than the cat till after the beta and a brief talk with a medical professional. 

      That's all my news, however I do want to send a shout out to my IVF cycle sisters who are either going into embryo transfer (Me, You, Just us Two) shortly, languishing in the 2WW with myself (Mac & PC, Hope is a Four Letter Word, & Banking On It) and/or celebrating their triumphant BFP (that'd be you Foxy!).

      There are so many more of your undergoing IUIs, and FETs, and enduring the long dark of the 2ww, and honestly you are all awesome, amazing IF warriers!  Good luck to everyone.  I'm hoping for lots of April BFPs - including one of my own. :)