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!