Saturday, December 31, 2011

Anniversary, New Year, and Hope.

Happy New Year! Well, it is still New Year's Eve here...

May this year bring great things. It has been a hard year for me and I can't say that I'm sad to see 2011 go. My hope and prayer this year for all of you (and for me) is that we get the desires of our heart and that all misery is washed away. High hopes, I know. But aren't infertile women the best at having impossible amounts of hope? A lot of people are spending today reflecting on 2011. I'd rather not. I'm looking to the future. 

Three days ago my husband and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. I have to say, I think it was the best anniversary so far. Regardless of how bad things seem I know that I can always count on my husband. I know that through it all he is standing right beside me, and I am doing the same for him. Even in the midst of heartache and disappointment we never fail to goof-off like teenagers, laugh until one of us starts crying (me), and then reassure each other that everything is going to be okay because we have each other. I wish that everyone was lucky enough to have a marriage like ours. I don't know what I would do without him.

Oh yeah! I also had an ultrasound on my anniversary. Romantic right? I have one good follicle on my right ovary and a smaller one of my left. My doctor said I can do three more rounds of Clomid since I am on such a low dose. Of course, my hope for this month has returned. It always does. Having those hopes dashed is the hard part. But there is always that tiny, quiet little voice inside me that says maybe my hope won't be dashed this time. A girl can hope, right?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas - Yes, I know I'm a bit behind...

Christmas. It is a hard time of year for most infertiles. It really is a baby-centric holiday. It's all about a baby being born. Now granted, that baby is our savior, but I still get jealous of the Virgin Mary. Even in my jealousy, I am happy that our savior was born and extremely thankful that he died for our sins.

Christmas had it's high and low points for me this year.

I did pretty well during all of the Christmas celebrations. There was no crying! I did make one comment that I found hilarious at a family get-together but it probably came off as bitter. We were all meeting at a restaurant and the waiter brought a highchair to the end of the table that I was on. Everyone kept asking who it was for and I answered, “It's for my hopes and dreams.” After a moment of uncomfortable silence I laughed and then everyone else did too. You either have to laugh or cry about the hard stuff in life. I'd rather laugh.

My wonderful husband bought me a necklace from Tiffany that has 'love' engraved on it. It is beautiful. He said it is my Christmas/Anniversary/I'm sorry this year was so tough gift. He is so sweet. It meant so much to me for him acknowledge how hard this year has been on both of us.

My fur babies, Kabuki and Piper LOVED their Christmas. We spent all of the money that we would have spent on a child's Christmas presents on them. There are now toys strewn throughout my house.

Now for the hard side of this Christmas. A week before Christmas I started my period. I actually ovulated without medication last month. I was so thrilled. I thought that it must be a sign that we were going to get our miracle right there at Christmas. Obviously, that did not happen. I was more crushed than I had been any other cycle. I was angry, frustrated, sad, but mostly tired. I was tired of all the months of disappointment. Hope is a necessity in life, but it can cause massive amounts of pain and disappointment when hopes go unfulfilled. Through navigating this land of infertility I have developed depression. I have finally decided to seek help for it. I've seen a doctor and I'm in therapy. I need to find that woman that I used to be and get her back. That woman had so much optimism, confidence, and she had so many dreams. I miss her. Now that I have taken that first step to seek help I can confidently say that I am getting there.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Frusteration With The Lack Of Puppy-Related Christmas Songs

I love the song 'Grown-Up Christmas List' by Amy Grant. I really love the Kelly Clarkson cover! The problem is that I frequently find myself re-writing the lyrics of my favorite songs to make them more relevant to my dogs. Yeah. I know that is really weird. I did this with 'Grown-Up Christmas List' and it turned out so well that I feel the need to share it with all of you.

Puppy Christmas List (To the tune of Amy Grant's 'Grown-Up Christmas List.')

Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With puppy-hood fantasies

Well, I'm all grown-up now
And still need help somehow
I'm still a dog
And my heart still can dream

So here's my lifelong wish
My puppy christmas list
Not for myself
But for the dogs in need

No more toys torn apart
That fights would never start
And time would clear our farts
And every pup would have a friend
But I would always win
And scrubs would never end
This is my puppy christmas list

As pup-lets we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something fuzzy
Underneath our tree

Well heaven surely knows
That Snausages and bones
Can never heal
A hurting canine soul

No more toys torn apart
That fights would never start
And time would clear our farts
And every pup would have a friend
But I would always win
And scrubs would never end
This is my puppy christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth?
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
(There'd be)

No more toys torn apart
That fights would never start
And time would clear but farts
And every pup would have a friend
But I would always win
And scrubs would never end, oh
This is my puppy christmas list

This is my puppy christmas list

So there. Now you all know just how insane I truly am. Just in case you had any doubts before :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adventures In Alternative Medicine

I decided to try a whole body cleanse after talking to someone I know who struggled with infertility for years and became pregnant twice after doing a Tiao He cleanse. I figured that it certainly couldn't hurt to try. I went to a local herb store yesterday and was helped by a kinesiologist in picking out the best cleanse for my body.

Those of you who know me well are going to laugh at this next bit. To 'test' which product would be best for me she held each product against my chest and had me stick my left arm out. She pushed lightly of various parts of my arm and gauged my physical reaction to each product to decide which one was right for me. I actually managed to get through all of this without laughing hysterically. The lady was just so sweet and helpful that I didn't have it in me to poke fun of her chosen profession. 

I ended up going with a whole body acai berry and super fruit cleanse. It contains several types of non-irritating, natural fiber. It also contains tons of antioxidant fruit extracts and probiotics. It is supposed to cleanse all of the major bodily systems. After the hell that my body has been through over the past year I figure that it certainly isn't a bad idea to try and purify it. 

 I have never been a very strong believer in alternative medicine. I mean, I do think there is value in certain natural products. For example, ginger is great for nausea; cinnamon is good for controlling blood sugar; and melatonin works wonders for some types of insomnia. However, when it comes to things like reading the energy in the body, acupuncture, and a general mind-body approach to health I have never been much of a believer. Infertility is now spurring me to try something that I NEVER would have considered in the past. 

Who knows? If this works or even just makes me feel better I may turn into a Birkenstock-wearing, guided meditation doing, all natural hippy. Hahaha! Ok, so that will probably never happen. I might change my mind about what I once considered to be 'kooky' alternative treatments though. You never know...

I'll be sure to let all of you know how it works for me!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November Update

Hey Internet! Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. Honestly there just hasn't been that much to tell. This is my November update. I hate update posts. They are rarely anything but depressing. But alas, I am posting one.

We are on the last two months of a three month break from trying to get pregnant. We decided to take a break so that I could focus on losing weight. My doctor put me on phentermine. I lost ten pounds on it my first month! That makes my total weight loss for this year thirty pounds! I have started month number two of phentermine and am hoping for the same or even better results. I then have to wait another month to start trying to get pregnant again to make sure that the phentermine is completely out of my system. 

So I am in limbo once again. It is a frustrating place to be. We are going to make an appointment in the new year with a new RE. Until then we don't really know what all of our options are or what kind of treatments we are looking at in the future. As a control freak, this is completely stressing me out. I've spent the past month trying to prepare myself to hear that IVF is our only option. The hubs keeps reminding me that right now we have no reason to think that IVF will be our next step. I still can't shake the fear that our only option is going to be a treatment that seems so unattainable right now.

All in all, I think the break is good for us. I was starting to really lose my mind from all of the hormones, appointments, and months of dashed hopes. As all of my infertile friends know, Thanksgiving and Christmas are extremely hard. It hurts to see the happy families celebrating together and the kids ripping open their presents when the whole time I am wondering why I can't have that joy. I need to be in the best frame of mind possible during the holidays, so we picked the best time to take a break.

That is pretty much it for now. I promise to try to post more often and to do more humorous posts. These serious update posts are really bringing me down. Maybe my next post can be All The Reasons That I Hate Michelle Duggar's Uterus. Thoughts?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our First Infertility Anniversary

Today marks one year that my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant. This is a very hard day for me. I really thought one year ago that I would at least be pregnant by now. I never dreamed that I would be looking up the cost of IUI or IVF online or scoping out Reproductive Endocrinologists one year ago. Yet here we are. 

I have changed in so many ways over the past year. I have lost a lot of the optimism I once had about life. I miss that part of myself. I miss the hope I once had when dreaming about my future. I've also changed in some positive ways. My husband and I are closer than ever because of the heartache that we have endured and continue to endure together. I also have much more compassion for people who are going through hard times because of what I am experiencing.

Going through any hardship can be incredibly lonely. Most people are only fair-weather friends and they don't really want to stick with you through the muck and the misery. When you have a friend or a family member who stands by you through the hard times you are a very lucky person indeed. People like this are rare, but they are so precious.

One year ago I had no clue that one in eight couples experiences some type of infertility. Now I can think of at least five women that I know personally who are also currently going through this. It makes me incredibly sad that I didn't know about their suffering until I opened up about my own. Infertility is not something that people should feel ashamed about. It is a medical condition. The silence surrounding this medical condition has to be broken. I hope that I can contribute to breaking that silence.

In closing I have a few words for the precious child that I haven't met yet.

We have a room that we already call yours. I don't go in there much because it makes me cry, but I make sure that it stays clean so that it will be ready to decorate when you come. I love you so much and long for you constantly. We really thought you'd be here by now. Please come soon. We'll be waiting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Advocacy - Redbook's Truth About Trying Campaign

Yesterday was the Redbook #TruthAboutTrying Twitter chat. It was amazing. It was so great to see so many women opening up about their infertility journey. Well, I guess that sort of sounds bad. It isn't great that there are so many women dealing with infertility, but I am really glad that those who do are opening up about it. 

Unfortunately, the topic of infertility is often looked at as a dirty little secret that shouldn't be talked about. This attitude has to change. Twenty to thirty years ago people felt the same way about talking about breast cancer. Now, no one is ashamed to talk about breast cancer.

In an effort to raise awareness I "came out" as infertile on Facebook by posting a link to the Redbook campaign, The Truth About Trying. The only responses that I got were from my mother and my aunt. But that is okay. Some woman who is struggling with infertility may have seen it, clicked on the link and learned that she is not alone. That is what really matters.

My husband and I are one of the one in every eight couples that struggle with infertility.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Things I Am Thankful For This Thursday

This week has sucked. I'm just going to put it out there - I'm pretty depressed. I have about a million things I could say about this week and the level of it's suckiness but I'm not going to. I am going to make a list of the things that I am thankful for this Thursday.

1) My sweet Piper. When we first realized that we were having problems conceiving my husband suggested that we get another dog. I wasn't totally on board at first because we already had one dog. I am so thankful we got Piper. She is the goofiest, cutest, sweetest dog you will ever meet. She is a major cuddle-bug and is basically a furry child. There have been multiple times this week that she has licked my cheek because there were tears running down it and she just wanted me to be happy. I am thankful for my Piper AND my Kabuki.

2) I am thankful for my job. I am a nanny. I LOVE my job. The family that I work for is incredible. The child that I take care of is a two-year-old little boy. For Internet purposes I will call him M. M is one of the cutest, sweetest kids you could ever meet. Seeing the smile on his face when I walk into his room in the afternoon to wake him up from his nap melts my heart. It is impossible not to smile around M. I am thankful for my job.

3) I am thankful for my friends and family. I am not the kind of person who has 50 friends. I have about 3 close friends, but they are awesome. They listen when I cry and hurt for me when I am sad. I also have an amazing family who are very loving and supportive. I never worry that I won't have a soft place to fall when times are hard. I am thankful for my friends and my family.

4) I have a new nephew. My brother and sister-in-law had a beautiful baby boy this week. He is their second child. Now, I know what my fellow infertile friends are thinking. You are thinking that this was really hard for me. In a way it was, but not for the reasons that I expected. I do not begrudge the fact that they were blessed with this precious child. My brother and SIL are incredible parents. When I was holding the new baby at the hospital I did feel a little sad because I wished that I was able to give him a cousin that was close in age to play with. I was also slightly sad because I wanted to be able to relate to my brother on that 'parent' level. But mostly, I was filled with an overwhelming love for this beautiful child just like I did when my niece was born. I am thankful for my new nephew.

5) I am thankful for my Tweeps. I never knew when I signed up for Twitter that I would find such an amazing support system. I have Tweeps that I have never met yet they truly care how my day went and how I am doing. I cry for them when they are sad, I get excited for them when they get good news, and I hope with them. I am thankful for my Tweeps.

6) I am thankful for Christ. The strength that has gotten me through this week is strength from God. I don't have that kind of strength on my own. I am thankful for Christ.

7) I am thankful for my husband. There is no one else in this world that I could face this journey with. He has the unique ability to make me laugh even when I feel like the world is crumbling around me. He is the most loving, kind person that I have ever met. I love him more than words can say. I am thankful for my husband.

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

Friday, September 16, 2011


Let me just start out by saying that I have the most amazing mother in the world. She is one of the main reasons that I want so badly to be a mother myself. I grew up being cherished and loved by my parents. I know I wasn't (and still am not) always the easiest child to have, but I have always felt like my Mom truly enjoyed being my Mom.

My reproductive challenges have been hard for her too. Not because she just wants more grandchildren, but because it has hurt her to see me in pain. She has cried with me, hoped with me, and even gone to doctor appointments with me so that I wouldn't have to be alone if I heard bad news. She is amazing. As an adult she has become more than just my Mother. She is my friend.

She knows that I have been having a particularly hard time right now. Tonight she sent me this poem.

Confessions from Superwoman's Mom:

I am the mother of Superwoman. She doesn’t know she is Superwoman, but I do. 

I see her carry heavy weight on her shoulders and heart, and I even see her stoop under the load, but she doesn’t give up…..she straightens herself, hoists it on her shoulders and carries it a little longer. 

She is a master at adaptation. A new challenge comes along, she recoils, she yells with anger, she cries with grief and then she takes the challenge and makes it a new thread in the fabric of who she is. 

She cries when those she thought would be caring are instead thoughtless and cruel but she answers back carefully and learns how to be compassionate towards others.

I cry now for her pain and because she doesn’t know she is Superwoman. I pray confidently and expectantly for that day when I meet the little one who will know Superwoman as Mom.

My Mom is going through a very tough time of her own right now. She has an illness that has seriously impacted and changed her life. The doctors haven't been able to find a diagnosis. She deals with her own troubles on a daily basis. Yet she takes the time to care about my troubles. I am not the only superwoman. She is too.

I love you Mom.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Ides of September

This has been one heck of a day. It's been one heck of a week. I have learned some important truths and gained some important insights.

1) Extreme amounts of stress can seriously affect the human body. 

I have Crohn's Disease. Over the past three weeks I have been having major problems with my stomach. I thought that I was having a flare-up of my Crohn's. I went to the doctor and found out that it is not the Crohn's. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy and thankful I am that it isn't Crohn's. The doctor looked at my chart and saw that I was going through fertility treatments and she asked me if I had been under much stress lately. I told her that I had. She told me that my stomach pain is Irritable Bowel Syndrome that has been brought on by huge amounts of stress. I had to laugh (after crying of course). Just one more reason that I need to 'just relax!' On a serious note, the medicine she gave me is helping a lot.

2) NEVER lose hope.

We got some crappy news today. We have to stop Clomid and go straight to the fertility clinic before we decide our next step. At first, I thought that this news was the end of the world. After really thinking about it I realize that all hope is not lost. This journey is just going to be a little longer than we thought. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband that I am proud to share this journey with. I know that we will be parents. God would not have given me this desire if it wasn't meant to be fulfilled.

3) People will not only let you down, they will hurt you. 

Infertility is a hard subject for many people. Since I became so outspoken about my struggles I have experienced a lot of negative feedback from people who I assume are uncomfortable with the subject. Some of that feedback has just been down right mean. It's okay though. I have so many wonderful people in my life who ARE loving and supportive and I can't help but feel kind of sorry for those who aren't.  It is a shame that some people cannot get past raw emotion and honesty because they will miss out on knowing so many great people in life. Life is messy, it is raw, and sometimes it just sucks. But that IS real life! In my experience, the people who are the most open and honest about how they really feel are the most loving and most fascinating people. It is sad when people can't see past the discomfort that they feel towards people that they don't understand.

I love you guys! I hope everyone is doing well.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Letter To The Child That I Long For


I wish you were here right now. I wish that I was awake because you were crying for me instead of being awake mourning that fact that you are not in my arms. 

I have never met you and don't know what you look like. Yet I still love you with every fiber of my being. I have prayed for you to get here countless times. I have cried countless times.

I will truly love and appreciate you every day. I will do my best to make sure that you grow to be a wonderful person. You will always be loved by your parents. I will marvel every day at the miracle that God entrusted to me.

I long for the day that we meet. I long to hold you in my arms. I long to know what you will look like and who you will become. There have been so many uncertainties in our journey to bring you here, but I am certain of one thing. You are worth the pain and the heartache. 

I love you.

One of the hardest things about infertility is that you are mourning a person that you love dearly but have never met. You fear that you may never meet them. These feelings are hard to deal with, they are hard to verbalize, and most people don't understand them. 

I love the child that I have never met just as much as a new mother loves the baby that she holds in her arms.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Beautiful Ovary

I had my ultrasound on Tuesday to check on my follicles. I have one really big one and another slight smaller (but still very big) one. I have never seen such beautiful pictures of an ovary before. I wanted to take them home and post them on Facebook so that I could feel like I "fit in" with all of my pregnant friends. I thought that might come off as pretty crazy though, so I decided against it.

My body is responding very well to the 100mg of Clomid, so my doctor wants to do it for two more months if this month doesn't work. I was really happy about that! I am very hopeful for this cycle, but I am trying not to get my hopes up too high. I do finally have some hope again. My husband was so happy a few days ago when he heard me say, "when we get pregnant," instead of, "if we get pregnant."

Monday, August 29, 2011

HSG and Ultrasound

I had my HSG last week. It was quite an experience. It was painful. The good news is that my fallopian tubes are clear. The left side had a small amount of blockage, but it was cleared by the dye being pushed through. I almost cried when they told me that they were clear because I was so happy and relieved (and from the pain too).

Tomorrow I go for an ultrasound to see how many eggs I have produced this month and to see if they are of good enough quality to be fertilized. You would think I was going to see an ultrasound of a baby I am so excited. I will be looking at potential babies! These are the things you end up clinging to when you are reproductively challenged.

I hope everyone is well. I will try to post an update tomorrow!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

HSG Anxieties

Tomorrow I am having a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG. It this test, dye is pushed through the fallopian tubes and uterus while x-rays are taken. It tests for uterus abnormalities and fallopian tube blockage. It is supposed to be a pretty uncomfortable procedure. I am not afraid of the pain. I am afraid of the results.

If you pray, please pray for me tomorrow. Pray for good results and for courage and strength for me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hope Restored

I had an appointment with my doctor today to discuss going up on my dose of Clomid. The appointment went much better than I expected. My doctor was thrilled that I was ovulating on my own and that I have lost weight. We will be doubling my dose of Clomid this month. Before ovulation I will go in for an ultrasound to see how my follicles are doing. If they are looking good on 100mg we will stay on it for a couple more cycles. If they aren't maturing like they should I will go to a Reproductive Endocrinologist for stronger medications. I asked my doc if having three failed cycles on Clomid meant that my chances of getting pregnant were lower. She said that it didn't mean that at all, it just means that I need a higher dose of Clomid or a stronger medication.

My doctor gave me a referral for an HSG. In an HSG, dye is pushed through the fallopian tubes while x-rays are taken. The purpose is to see if there is a blockage in my Fallopian tubes. It is scheduled for one week from today. My doctor was thrilled that I was able to get the appointment for a week before I ovulate. She said that many couples conceive more easily after an HSG. She said now all we need is some strong follicles. I have hope again. Thank you God.

I also got some great news from my insurance company today. They cover up to $1500 a year in infertility testing and treatment. This means that my HSG should be covered. Thank you God.

The other thing that happened today is that I got my official diagnosis. It is on paper now. I have infertility. It doesn't bother me like I thought it would. It is kind of nice to know for a fact what I am dealing with. Now that I know what the enemy is I can fight it. I am going to fight it with every fiber of my being. I am meant to have a child. I will fight for it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Poem For Mothers In Waiting

I found this beautiful poem online and I love it. I had to share it.

I have longed and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep,
and discover.
I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream.
My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend, and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment, as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell that many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen.
And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.

I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth when life is beyond hard.

I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes. I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

By Kelly Stamps

Saturday, August 13, 2011

On Becoming the Crazy Infertile Lady...

Today marks the end of my third cycle of Clomid 50mg. I am still not pregnant. I have an appointment on Tuesday to start the next step. We will be going up on my dose of Clomid. This will require two trans-vaginal ultrasounds a month to insure that my ovaries aren't being over-stimulated. And yes, that is about as much fun as it sounds like.

I came to the conclusion at the end of this cycle that I am starting to run a very real risk of becoming that crazy infertile lady. You all know the one I'm talking about. Everyone knows at least one bitter, snarky, completely insane infertile woman. I have compiled a list of signs for my husband that will indicate that I need to be committed.

1) I buy one of those really creepy, super-realistic reborn dolls and start pretending that it is real.

2) I start dressing my dogs in clothes and feeding them from bottles in a highchair at the table. The funny part about this one is that my super co-dependent dog Piper would probably LOVE this.

3) I tell complete strangers that I am pregnant just so that I can hear, "Oh my gosh! Congratulations!"

4) I start getting cats. LOTS of cats.

5) I begin resorting to strange "alternative" therapies. Examples: hiring a Native American shaman or any other sort of witch doctor, undergoing magnet/crystal therapies, or go to have my energy realigned.

So, if I start displaying any of these or other equally insane symptoms my dear husband has agreed to have me locked away in a padded room. Now that is true love.

***Update: Alas, I have started doing three of these things. I'm doing a whole body cleanse, I bought my dog a shirt from the children's department of Walmart (but only because I couldn't find her a dog sweater in her size), and I brought home a doll from my childhood just to hold sometimes. Yep, I've lost it.***

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Cycle Begins

I started my third round of Clomid today. I am still very down about last month's failure. I am trying to work through my emotions and put on a happy face, but sometimes all I can do is cry. I am having a hard time getting excited about this cycle because I don't want to get my hopes up just to have them dashed again.

I couldn't get through this without the support of my wonderful husband and that of my family. I feel very blessed to have so many people who care so much about me. My mom, my aunts, my grandmothers, and my sister-in-law have been Godsends for me. They let me cry and get angry when I need to and are nothing but supportive. I love you guys. You are the kind of people that I want in my child's life when it does finally happen for me.

I think about what our child might be like all of the time. I wonder if they will be smart like their dad or if they'll have my green eyes. I think about all of the things that I want to teach them. To love God, to love people, and to have honor. I have begged God so many times for a child and promised that I will do everything in my power to make sure that they grow up to be good adults.

If this struggle has taught me anything it is that life is not fair. My dad told me that all the time when I was a kid but I never listened. I wish that I had. I may never understand why this is happening to us. I am just trying to get through it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Always Waiting

I feel like I am in a constant state of waiting. Waiting to ovulate, waiting to test for pregnancy, waiting for my period, and waiting to become a mother. Right now I am waiting to test...again. I tested two days ago hoping I would get an early positive. I didn't. There was just one cruel pink line staring back up at me. I have to wait two more days to test again, but I have a sick feeling that it will still be negative.

I am having a "down" day. I am sad and nervous and feel hopeless. I went to a party today and saw a mother with her beautiful newborn daughter. Behind my smile and my words of congratulations I wondered if it would ever happen for me. I cannot imagine my life without seeing myself as a mother. So I wait. I wait for the next chapter of our life and our family. I wait...and wait...and wait some more.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Confessions of Reproductively Challenged Women

A few days ago I asked my readers who are currently or who have dealt with infertility to send me some confessions of the feelings they get (or got) while on this journey. Reproductive difficulties bring out a lot of emotions. Some of these feelings are embarrassing and many are very painful to admit, so we just keep them to ourselves. This blog is all about openness and honesty, so here it is.

Confessions of Reproductively Challenged Women

~ I wish my uterus and ovaries had a RESET button! - Chiquita

~ I get really mad when women complain about being pregnant or who got pregnant by accident. - Anonymous

~ I am angry that my insurance company puts infertility treatments into the same category as a tummy tuck and won't cover any of it. - Rachel (Me)

~ It really makes me mad that my husband's cousin is having her second the age of 15! Well technically she will be 16 when the baby is born but who cares?! She is still a baby herself! - Shea

~ I cannot imagine a future in which I wouldn't have a child. That future wouldn't be worth living to me. - Rachel

~ I hate myself for not being able to really be happy for my friends who have been blessed with children. - Aisha

~ I definitely got MAD about all the people who got pregnant and then would get abortions! My feelings were that there were plenty of people who couldn't have children who would love to adopt! Why did they have to KILL the babies when SO many people couldn't have them and would LOVE to have a child to raise and give them a wonderful home! - Vicky

~ I feel like a failure as a woman. - Rachel

~ It absolutely floors me that any crack whore can have her own baby, but you have be a wealthy Mother Teresa to adopt. If I have to pass a "test" to mother YOUR child, you should have taken a "test" before getting knocked up. - Victoria

~ I know I'm supposed to believe that God is testing me, but sometimes I feel like he is punishing me. - Aisha

~ When I hear someone say that children are a blessing I wonder why God hasn't blessed me. - Rachel

~ It breaks my heart when people choose to be insensitive to IF. To tell a woman they are infertile has the same impact as telling them they have cancer. This confession is the reason I have choosen not to tell my family. The two friends I did tell, I ended up telling them that we decided to take a break from ttc, only because they were so hurtful and insensitive. - Shea

I have had parts of myself surface that I didn't know were there. I have discovered that I am a very jealous person, I am a more judgmental person than I thought I was, and I am VERY impatient. I have also discovered that my faith in God isn't as strong as it should be. I am working on these things, but it is definitely a work in progress.

Please comment with your own "confession!" Thank you to everyone who contributed to this posting! I love you ladies.

If you have a topic that you would like me to cover on this blog please let me know!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crazy Things We Do While Trying to Conceive

And the mad baby making dash begins again...

I finished my second round of Clomid three days ago. I am now officially on Ovulation Watch: Project Baby. Reproductively challenged women do a lot of things that seem unusual or down right crazy to the outside world during this phase of Project Baby.

Here are a few:

1) We pee on a special stick every day and spend about half an hour analyzing if the test line is as dark or darker than the control line.
2) We take our temperatures every day first thing in the morning. This has to be done before even getting out of the bed. Oddly, we get VERY happy when our temperature is elevated for three or more days.
3) We have crazy post-sex rituals. These can range from standing on our heads for an hour to using soft cups. I don't really want to explain what soft cups are or what they do. It is kind of like a diaphragm, but you use it after sex.
4) Not all of us do this one, but I know several who do. I do it myself. We talk to our uterus and ovaries. Hey, people swear that it works for growing plants.
5) We consume food that we don't like, some of which is considered inedible by other people. For example: green tea (it is disgusting) or pineapple core.
6) We take Mucinex every 12 hours even though we aren't sick. It improves the quality of cervical mucus. Gross, I know. But to us high quality cervical mucus is a sacred thing.

These are just a few examples of the crazy things we do while trying to get pregnant. We do all of this with the hope that this will be the month that we can say: "Project Baby, complete."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Father's Day

For most reproductively challenged women Mother's Day is extremely hard and is a painful reminder of what we don't have, but we usually don't think about how hard Father's Day must be on our spouses. Men handle infertility differently than women. They don't talk about it as much as we do. Men are "fixers" by nature, so they don't really know how to react to a situation that they have no control over. This doesn't mean that it isn't hard for them too. The following is an open letter to all of the strong men who love and support us through the hard journey to parenthood.

Dearest Love,

You may never truly know how much your love and support has meant to me. You hold me when I cry, cheer me up when I'm down, and renew my hope when I am broken. You may not always understand my mood swings or why I cry when I find out that yet another one of my friends is pregnant but you always hug me and tell me that it is going to be okay.
Thank you for loving me so much that you are willing to go through these hard times so that we can have a child together. You may not be a dad yet, but you have already proven that you are going to be the best dad in the world.

The Luckiest Girl in the World

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fun With Hormones - Round Two

Tomorrow I start my second round of Clomid. My wonderful husband really is a saint to deal with all of the mood swings and the crying. This evening I have tried to look at the experience from his perspective.

This is my husband's thought process when he found me crying in our bedroom a couple of weeks ago:
1) "Why is my wife rocking back and forth with her face in a pillow?"
2) "Perhaps I can say something to encourage her!"
3) "NO, I should definitely not say anything. Mentioning that she might be a bit hormonal was a BIG mistake."
4) "Now she is Glenda the Good Witch? She's baking now? I don't get it."
5) "Damn that ASPCA commercial with the Sarah McLachlan song! She is crying again!"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What NOT To Say When She Isn't Expecting

When people find out that you are having trouble getting pregnant many of them feel the need to give "advice." I think that they do it because they really don't know what else to say, so they usually just end up saying things that are unhelpful and sometimes hurtful. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

1. "You just need to relax." This is the most common piece of advice that people give. My response? "You try relaxing with artificial progesterone and Clomid in your system and then tell me to relax again."
2. "It will happen if it is meant to." So, you are telling me that crack addict was just destined to have those five crack babies? Seriously?
3. "Just adopt." Don't get me wrong, I think that adoption is a wonderful thing. It is also very expensive, the process is very intrusive, and it can take years to get a child once you are approved. The people who say this wouldn't know anything about that because they almost all have biological children.
4. "It isn't the end of the world if you don't have kids." Let me put this one into perspective. Imagine that you are an Olympic runner and all you have ever dreamed about is winning the gold medal. Now imagine that the time comes for you to go to the Summer Olypmics, but right before you get there your doctor tells you that both of your legs have to be amputated. Wouldn't that feel like the end of the world?
5. "Spend an afternoon with my kids and you'll change your mind about wanting them." No, I wouldn't. But if I were you I would be thankful for what I had.
6. For the love of all that is holy. NEVER complain about your pregnancy symptoms to someone who is reproductively challenged! We are full of hormones too and it will not end well!
7. Sex tips. These always crack me up. My favorite is, "Stand on your head for thirty minutes after sex." I am pretty sure that sperm are like salmon. They swim upstream on their own.

In conclusion, if you know someone who is reproductively challenged don't try to fix it for them. Just listen and be there for us when we need someone to talk to.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

You Might Be Reproductively Challenged If...

You might be reproductively challenged if...

1. You know what a transvaginal ultrasound wand is and you have a close relationship with the one at your doctor's office.
2. You have more pregnancy tests than tampons under your bathroom sink.
3. You are jealous of your neighbor's cat because it just had kittens.
4. You seriously research and consider a do-it-yourself artificial insemination because your husband is going to be out of town while you are ovulating. (FYI: Apparently you can't freeze semen in your home freezer. I was seriously bummed out.)
5. You know what the following acronyms mean: AF, BFN, BFP, IUI, DPO, CD, and CM.
6. You not only know what cervical mucous is, you also examine it daily for signs of fertility.
7. You buy a pineapple just so that you can eat the core.
8. You get really excited about horrible symptoms such as: nausea, sore boobs, bleeding gums, and frequent urination.
9. When someone tells you that they are pregnant you automatically think, "I wonder how long they were trying." (And if you find out that it wasn't very long you get kind of mad.)
10. You go completely postal when some asks you a simple question like, "When are you two go to start having kids?"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Name is Rachel and I am Reproductively Challeneged

        Announcing that you are having problems getting pregnant is kind of like what I would think standing up and announcing to your family that you are an alcoholic would be like. No one really knows what to say to you or how to react. Most people tend to minimize your pain or just pretend that it isn't really happening. That is why I am doing it on the world wide web!
        My name is Rachel and I am 24 years old. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for seven months. After I stopped taking birth control I didn't have a period for almost four months. I went to see my OB/GYN and was diagnosed with PCOS. I was shocking by the diagnosis because before I went on birth control my menstrual cycles were completely normal. I was prescribed Provera for three months and told to come back in three months if I wasn't pregnant. Three months later I went back and was prescribed Clomid and Metformin. I just finished my first month on Clomid. I ovulated for the first time in seven months on Clomid but I didn't fall pregnant this month. That is my story so far. As my husband and I like to say, "We are getting there."
        It is my hope that sharing my story will benefit anyone else who is experiencing reproductive difficulties and to give myself a place to share what I am going through and feeling. There are many of us reproductively-challenged ladies (and men) out there and most suffer through it in silence. We don't have to!