Monday, April 28, 2008

New Post

New Post. New Post. Could not think of a better title than New Post.

I wanted to write about time. Because I've been thinking a lot lately about time and perspective.

DH and I had the "adoption" talk at lunch on Sunday. I had been surfing adoption sights on Saturday night, and wondering where he stood. I mean, we talked about it before any treatments, but I wondered whether or not we still felt the same. After a great chat, we are on the same page. And although I sometimes feel like we've been doing this forever, we calculated that we're right at three years since going off the pill. Somehow I had exaggerated that to 5. And he pointed out that we've really only completed two IUI's. I mean, that's nothing, right? That's child's play compared to the rest of my blogging friends. Beginners, really. So, really, only 3 years so far. From going off the pill to finding out DH had MF - 5 months. From diagnosis of varicocele to surgery, a couple more months. From varicocele surgery to RE, one year. Darn those 120 day sperm cycles! From RE to IVF, 6 months. From cancelled IVF to today, 6 months. Maybe it seems so long, because you don't experience it in months, but in two-week increments. (not an original thought, I totally read that on someone else's blog - you might be infertile count your life in 2W increments...but I totally agree and can relate!)

And you're always waiting for something. Ovulation. A test. AF. Results. An appointment. CD3. Whatever. Just always waiting. Two weeks. Two weeks. Two weeks.

And to keep from becoming "one of those people" who only thinks and talks about their IF, I thought I was being healthy trying to enjoy the things I wouldn't be able to do when I was cycling or pregnant. So, I would look forward to adult beverages (okay, lots of adult beverages) or a spontaneous trip I couldn't take if we had kids. But even that isn't working anymore. Because yes, I love the new Pomegranate Fusion Smirnoff Ice, and of course, I will take your extra ticket to that outdoor concert where we can camp out and I won't have to worry about driving home so I can pass out in a chair with people I don't know. Of course! But I would rather take my child to the zoo. I would rather fall asleep in a rocking chair in my house with my baby in my arms. I don't want the college life anymore. And I don't want the young, adult professional life anymore. I want the Parents of Young Children life with the sleep deprivation and the kid throwing the fit in the grocery store aisle and the spelling list and the every vacation about the kids. So, my consolation prize isn't that consoling anymore. I'm kind of over it. Doesn't that mean I'm ready and that NOW is the right time?

So, DH and I decided to try this June IVF cycle. And talk after that about another IVF or perhaps going back to IUI. In the meantime, we will learn and begin everything we can about adoption without spending more than a few hundred dollars. In the end, if we don't adopt, we will certainly know more about it. And if we do, then we'll be that much further ahead in the process. One plus, we both agree that because of our non-traditional families today (lots of divorce, remarriage, step and half siblings) that we are in a unique position to love and care for an adopted child. I don't feel 'called' to adopt at this time, but I'm feeling a crack open in my heart and my brain to start listening if that's our purpose.

In less depressing news, I went for a walk today at lunch. This is one of my favorite spring time traditions. It's a 45- minute loop around my neighborhood, and it totally gives me more energy all afternoon and evening. I may only have one more week before I go on the pill for our June IVF cycle, so I need to enjoy all the non-nauseas / crazy bitch days that I can. And today, at lunch, I practiced being "present" on my walk. I was at peace because I was doing everything that I could at that moment to be a healthy vessel for our child. Very powerful.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

progress, progress ... everywhere

So, today was an eventful day. I have two projects which I feel need completed at our home for us to enjoy it completely, and before we could sell it - we need a mantel for our fireplace and a front sidewalk. The mantel, we tore down at least 3 years ago and then never had a new one built. The sidewalk was ripped up two years ago when we had our yard re-graded to drain AWAY from the house. This whole drainage idea is apparently a novel concept that eluded the planners of our development in the 70s. But I digress.

These projects have been on hold as my husband works 24/7/365 and I have traveled 5 out of 7 days of every week (except while stimming!) of the past year. DH certainly wasn't going to call a contractor. But today, it all came together. The mantel will be installed tomorrow, sanded, stained, sanded again, and sealed by Sunday. And the sidewalk will be in tomorrow. In fact, the grass has already been dug up where the sidewalk will be. And we even have enough money in savings to pay for it all. Woo-hoo!

In other progress news, my mood has lightened. The sun is shining. The temp is up. And I may finally be over my winter 'funk'. I have more energy. I took time for relationship building, not just task completion at work. I read an email forward that was a joke, instead of instantly deleteing it and scoffing at the sender in my head for insulting me with the insinuation that I had time for 'fun'. I have hours of Tivo recorded, but I don't feel like watching t.v. I even wrote my grandpa a letter this evening. It's like I'm on meth.

So, is it Spring? Is the change in temperature and daylight hours the cause for my spirits being lifted? Is it the inspirational speech I heard at breakfast downtown or the time management class I hosted yesterday?

I'm more than a little afraid its the month sans cycle. Or maybe just my hormones kind of balancing out after the badmington tournament I've been playing in there with suppression, no stim!, now suppression!

And lastly, for progress sake, I have resigned myself that our next cycle will be IVF, not IUI. We have this money in a flexible savings account that will just magically 'go away' on August 31 if we don't spend it. Even if I didn't have cysts and I could run 4 IUI's back to back, it wouldn't nearly be enough to use up that money by the deadline. So, it's the first time in our four years of IF that I'm making a choice solely based on the financial aspect. Not how I feel, not what I want, not my level of optimism or the doctor's recommendations. Just pure money. If I don't spend it, I'll lose it. The rub is that for me, IUI's are so much faster and easier and less emotionally invasive and involved. But, just by writing this out and owning it, I feel better, like some emotional progress is being made, and I'm confident this is the best financial decision. And who knows?! It might even work!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Yoga? ...Eh, not so much

So, last week, I bought Yoga 4 Fertility on Amazon. It arrived at work today, and I rushed home to try it out. Gee, do you think that was a precursor? RUSHING home to do YOGA????

So, as you may have already guessed, this yoga DVD is SO not me.

Exhibit A: I am currently watching Dr. Phil, worrying that the dog may be eating grass outside, or perhaps her poo, writing this blog, thinking about what I want for dinner, eyeing the battery strength on my laptop. I walk, type, and do everything a million miles a minute and all at the same time. I'm quite efficient this way. My boss once gave me a cartoon of this woman interviewing for a job and she says, "I can do the work of two men, but I'd have to slow down." And she got this for me, well, because it's true. I already do the work of several men in my office, plus my own job. That's how I roll.

But yoga, sheesh, yoga is for napping. Yoga is apparently like listening to a very long, very boring story that you've heard 50 times already. In fact, in the beginning of this video, the lady freaking teaches you how to breathe and you sound exactly like you're snoring. I'm not even this slow in my sleep!!! After about 20 minutes in the exact same pose, I stopped watching and hit fast forward. I was bored with everything below 20X.

Now, some of you may be saying this is my problem. I can't slow down, can't breathe, can't BE PRESENT! Okay, I know this. You're right. I cannot be present. I'm fine with that. I worry a little that this is contributing to our IF, but I'm going to let that little thought go and not obsess about how obsessions and multi-tasking are causing me not to have a baby, which causes me to obsess about IF all the time. No, I'm just going to sell this stupid DVD and get it out of my eyesight - just one more thing I've failed at. I can't even do yoga!

But back to being present. I've been reading A New Earth and doing the workbooks online with Oprah. And I am aware of the voice in the head, the one that kept me up last night obsessing about one sentence I said to one friend at church, and worrying that what I said was wrong or hurtful and thinking up a pretend conversation with that friend, or worrying that I should call. Seriously, if it is not one thing, it is totally another. Just this record player in my head, which records every word I say and analyzes every other person's response, or analyzes every word a nurse says for innuendo or some clue as to whether their clinical information is positive or negative. Obsess! Obsess! Obsess!

Yoga may not be the answer, but I definitely need to find some relaxation technique. I was awake on and off all night last night, with that stupid conversation and a million other crazy thoughts. Just replaying conversations, or trying to remember to do something when I got to work. How can I shut down my brain and that voice? Ambien. I should probably go see Dr. Drug Pusher and get some Ambien.

No more yoga. I will have to find another way to relax. Ambien might be nice. But I've got Bud Lite in the fridge, so for now, I think I've got a plan. Self medicate. Probably not as healthy as yoga, but more my style, that's for sure. Cheers!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What do you pray for?

These thoughts are all on prayer, but they also seem very random. Reader beware:

I don't know what to pray for.
  • I mentioned this to a group of Christians a few weeks ago and one girl suggested that I pray for God to turn my heart so that my will was his will. But what if his will is that I don't have any children? Do I pray for him to change my heart so I don't want this anymore? I can't accept that right now. Nice Assvice, you naive little twit!
  • But when a friend is diagnosed with terminal cancer, I tend to accept their fate and pray for God to ease their suffering, to be with them, to let that person know that God is there with them, and to protect the family, and to guide the doctors. I rarely pray for a cure. Maybe I should. Maybe not. When I was in college and my cousin B. was dying of AIDS, I found a card for him that said Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace within it. He was going to die. We all knew it. So what was the point of praying for a cure?
  • But for me, I don't accept this fate. I don't accept a life without a family of my own. I reject that. And so I pray for a healthy baby of our own. I don't pray for a pregnancy, because I'm afraid that's not specific enough. That could be misconstrued to be just a chemical pregnancy, or maybe I would miscarry, or my baby would be stillborn, or have a heart condition. Or my absurd parenting would cause it extreme emotional problems. So, I find myself being suspersitious and controlling with my prayers - I want a physically, emotionally, and psychologically healthy baby of our own. Not adopted. Not donor anything. Our own.
  • I saw Rob.ert S.chuller last fall and he wanted people to repeat the words "God is answering my prayers." to themselves in times of doubt. But God doesn't "seem" to be answering my prayers. Maybe he is. Maybe the eggs I emit each month aren't healthy enough for me. Maybe there would have been a chromosomal abnormality, or I'll be diagnosed with some disease I don't know about yet, and so the delay is saving something so my prayer will be answered. How can you trust that your prayers are being answered, when you can't see it, when there's no progress or no movement, or no sign? How do you hold that faith, or how long do you hold onto it before you decide that you've missed the mark and he doesn't want this for you at all?
  • In church a few weeks ago, the special music was My Deliverer by Rich Mullins. I enjoyed it so much, that I had to buy it on itunes. And when I listen to it, I'm brought to tears, like God is coming for me to deliver me. Like everyone or everything that torments me had better watch out, because he's a'comin! I feel like I can hear His footsteps with every beat of the drum, like its gettig louder and building up to this big event. But the song ends, and nothing changes. Month after month of cervical mucus and AF and my body doing everything right, and that nurse with her question, "What aren't YOU pregnant? WHEN is He coming?
  • My friend T. told me a few weeks ago (stop me if you've heard this one!) that maybe the timing just hadn't been right for us yet. We're good enough friends that I called her on that bull right away, 'Are you freaking kidding me? How could the timing not be right for four freaking years!' but she had meant to comfort, not to torment.

And then on Thursday night, I read these words by Anne Lamott about grace:

"It is unearned love - the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It's the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there."

They really touched me, because I can relate to the grace of being saved of my sins. But being saved in the present from a situation is kind of foreign. I immediately thought of the IF community when I read this, which has saved me from weathering this storm alone. Maybe that's what 'My Deliverer' was coming to bring me. A bunch of blogs.

So, I was wondering what you all pray for??? What do you ask God to do for you, or to give to you, or to work in you?

Again, I apologize that this was all so random. I'm a little beyond coherent thought.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

For some reason, last night, I remembered these pictures I have of me and my brother last fall, when I was taking stim shots for our IVF cycle, and thought it would make a nice blog. B. was fascinated with the thought of giving a shot to someone. And talked all night about how he would help me with my Lupron the following morning. DH and I were at home in Iowa for my nephews' birthday party/softball game/extravaganza which is a story in and of itself (read: older sister (aka mother of the nephews) puking behind the dugout because she was so severely hungover, and we were fine and healthy only because we babysat while they went out, because we couldn't drink because of our cycle).

We woke up early, I dug out the drugs, and brought them to the kitchen. He was so nervous, and my sister (who took these pics) was not helping. I was so over shots by this time, but happy for the attention and support of the fam.

To make a long story short, he does not have a future in nursing or any other career that would involve shots. He poked me and then sort of freaked out and started twisting the needle around in my tum. But I didn't bruise or bleed, so it wasn't all bad. And I have these fabulous pictures to remember this special time - much more special than the stims I gave myself in the Houston airport bathroom stall while a woman beside me suffered Montezuma's Revenge!!!

I have a bunch of sad thoughts about our failed cycle, my poor response to those stims, and my super response since then which has caused these cysts that are preventing me from having an IUI this month. (As I write this, I sit in the airport for a work trip that most likely would have been cancelled if we were cycling.) But my family has been SO supportive - after the cycle was cancelled B's wife sent me a card and a gift card to Starbucks for all the caffeine I could enjoy not being PG. And she cried with me when she heard the news we had to cancel. LOVE her! Makes me tear up here in the airport bar.

So, do I have a point? Probably not. I'm just rambling. Thought I'd post these pics of my fabulous, wonderful brother, who will always be my brother, my family, even if I never have children of my own! It's not like I have nothing!

(Please note what a fabulous sister I have who helped me to strategically plan these pictures so that 0% of my bloated, pale, pasty belly would show!!!!)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hi. My Name is A and I'm a Blogaholic.

Ok, I admit it. I am officially addicted to reading other people's blogs.

Before my cancelled IVF cycle, I was in a chat group. But that's like the gateway drug, isn't it? I could never go back to just chatting with people now. No way! I need to read every single post a person has written in the last year, longer if its in their archives.

Chatrooms are so last fall for me. Sure, I was a lurker. I admit it. But the first time I read an infertility blog, I was hooked. I had to have my own. It's so cathartic. And I spend every evening catching up on the blogs I like, and looking for more blogs. Here it is Saturday. DH is out renting movies and picking up Thai, and I'm in bed, on the laptop, reading blogs.

It hasn't affected my work, yet. Ok, I admit, I checked one blog at lunch yesterday. I did it! But it was lunch, and it was just the one. And I wasn't really worried about wasting time at work, I was more concerned that the lab rats in IT would check the firewall and see what I'd been reading.

I'm hooked. I'm addicted. And I'm so happy to have found this online community of funny, sensitive, and honest women who are sharing their stories. It is such a blessing.

So, yes, my name is A...and I'm a blogaholic!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Since we're taking this month off from fertility treatments, I will have to blog about other random thoughts. Wouldn't want to get out of practice!

So, today I've been thinking WTF is up with my Tivo Suggestions? Last night, I saw a new recommendation, looked in the folder excited with the possibility of finding a new favorite series to get me through, but what do I find???? Not a fabulous new reality series featuring teenagers who live a better life than I ever will? Nor another show featuring multiples? No, Tivo specially picked for me .... wait for it ... AgDay.

What is AgDay, you ask? Well, according to Tivo it is "Agriculture and Farming news." AND it is on at 4:30am on a local non-cable network channel. Who knew?! All those hours I was wasting sleeping through the night, I could have been catching up on local wheat prices and cattle futures!!

So, WTF did Tivo find in my other season passes and recordings that indicated I would be interested in Agriculture and Farming News?

Was it 30 Minute Meals? You need agriculture to buy groceries.

Was it The Real Housewives of Orange County? Oranges = Food = Agriculture.

Was it Jon & Kate Plus 8? Jon & Kate took one kid to a dairy farm last week.

Or was it Gangland? Because farmers grow crops on LAND?

I'm not sure, but I would bet that its Gangland since I just added that to my season passes. And you can bet that I triple thumbs downed Tivo's new suggestion ASAP. AgDay, pfuff!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Why aren't YOU pregnant?


So, AF arrived on Saturday, 16dpiui. I knew it was coming on Thursday. I didn't even bother taking an HPT after the negative on Wednesday (13 dpiui).

I had already planned a trip to MN for a friend's birthday, planning to spend the first night in IA with my brother and his family. She had suffered her third miscarriage earlier in the week, so I wanted to be there for her, to make that day just suck a little less. I was depressed and emotional on the drive. I almost turned around, but my commitment to my friend, that her loss was bigger than mine, that her birthday was that same week, forced me to keep going. And I'm so glad I did.

I had a few hours to chat with my brother and his wife on Thursday night. Friday morning, I awoke to the pitter patter of their 7-year-old running in to wake me at 6:40am. And I got to enjoy him for two hours before he left for school. While he was at school, I got to hang out with his 4-year old younger brother. And the highlight of my month, I got to have lunch with them both at their elementary school. With the other kiddos. It was completely and totally life giving. It is hard to live so far from these loved ones, but being with them reminded me of how much I already have in my life, and just made me feel connected to 'family' even if my own at home does not include any children, yet.

Friday night, I enjoyed the drunken frivolity of women friends from college. We made a**es of ourselves like not a day had passed since graduation. I took a moment to look around the table early in the evening and enjoy their faces and the experience of being surrounded by the love of my closest friends. And am proud to report I did not drunk dial anyone (though I did drunk text my friend Steph). And am also proud we did not cry at all that night. There were long, strong hugs and thank you's from my friend and her family that I came. Where else in the world could I have been at that moment? It was meant to be.

Monday was my baseline ultrasound. And here's where the story gets good. The nurse walks in, turns to me and says, ahem, "Why aren't you pregnant?" Shocked, dismayed, and tongue tied, I just gaped at her. She must have known this didn't sit well, so she went on, "We were just talking about how well you've done these two cycles, and we can't figure out why you're not."

Seriously?! This is a paid professional provider of health care for women who cannot conceive! Now, I realize she must think I'm stronger than I am. I do put on a brave face in that office. I don't want to cry in front of them. I'm competitive, so I want to be their best, least complicated, most easy going patient. I do. I know they don't vote, but I imagine that I win this award and they all discuss how great I am after I leave. But never once do they ask me, the uneducated patient to explain my own barren womb!

And it gets worse.

Next, she finds about 6 cysts on my ovaries that will in effect put me out of commission this month. So, my body gets a break whether I was ready for this or not. She warns against stomach activities, to which I ask, "What are stomach activities?" I'm thinking its some sort of warning against a certain sexual position of which I'm not aware or a medical procedure or something, but all I hear her explain is "you know, like situps, running...." and I'm laughing, shaking my head, and saving her the trouble. This woman has seen me naked. I don't know what about my physical appearance indicated that I would even consider a situp, let alone be capable of performing one. I have never been thin, but have really become bloated what with the nausea and the carbs and the whole being entirely too tired to exercise for the last 6 months.

Anyway, no IUI cycle this month for us. We will go back when I get my period next month so they can check the cysts. If they're gone, I can continue. If they're still there, I will need to go on the pill to calm them down. This month was supposed to be our last IUI before we went back to IVF. But now, what with the "we can't figure out why you're not pregnant" I'm wondering if maybe we should try a few more IUI's before we take the big plunge. Financially, emotionally, psychologically, did I mention emotionally?, I'm just not sure what is right for us. I might have to talk to the doctor if I haven't figured it out by then. I just hope these darn cysts go away on their own so I don't have to wait too much longer.

On the positive side, I can now make a trip for work that was falling right in the middle of this cycle, right about the time I would need to be in town for insemination. And I can go to my brother's 30th birthday party in Wyoming and make an a** out of myself in front of my brother's friends, his wife, and my parents. And maybe after I get over this cold, I will actually attempt some exercise - but absolutely no stomach activities! Now, at least, I've got an excuse!