Monday, November 29, 2010

Time to break out the big guns

So, our next move in the game of infertility has been made: I just scheduled an appointment with my RE to talk IVF. On December 30th. Only a month & a day from now.

I am scared shitless.

I honestly don't remember feeling this kind of fear. EVER. And I've done some pretty crazy/weird/daring stuff in my life by most peoples' standards.

But IVF, man, that's a big, expensive step. And also very final. Because if it doesn't work & if any embryos we may get from FETs fail, then we have no other options to have biological children. I don't plan on doing IVF more than once or twice @ the most.

There is, of course, always adoption. And even though I'm fine with that, my husband is not. At least not right now; I've been working on it but also don't want to push it. He's just as scared of IVF not working as I am. Perhaps even more so.

So, here we go. Hopefully I don't self sabotage & end up gaining back all the weight I've lost with holiday goodies. Looking @ my cycles (still as reliable as ever) I should be on about CD10 or so for my consult which means I'll be getting AF near Vid's birthday on January 14th (no birthday luvin' for him; oh well) & we may be cycling for IVF as soon as then. That's only 6 weeks away.


Friday, November 26, 2010

PTSD & infertiity

We got back late last night/early this morning from what has become our annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas. This year, we took a side trip to Death Valley. So we weren't home for Thanksgiving, which doesn't really matter to me honestly. Being a vegetarian I don't eat turkey obviously. And since we live literally a mile from my parents we can get together (and do) pretty often. Actually, this was the second T-day in a row we weren't home; last year we were in India.

I wish I could say I feel refreshed from some time away but I honestly don't. Now comes even more stress. The holidays mean dealing with family, including 3 pregnant cousins. I've already informed my mother I will not be attending any baby showers & am giving her $ towards getting them gifts as I cannot even fathom stepping into Babies R Us right now without bursting into tears or something.

My therapist is actually collecting data on her patients for a study she is doing on women dealing with infertiity & their symptomology being similar to what is seen in people with PTSD. Working in psych research I can attest she's onto something. Here are just some of the criteria for this diagnosis:

Nightmares (I posted about this a few months ago), anger (indeed), insomnia (check), avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event (in my case, baby showers), an expectation that one's future will not be "normal" when compared to others (the fact I will not be able to enjoy any pregnancy I may have in the future for fear of losing it).

I want to make it clear I am in no way self diagnosing myself as having PTSD, but I am very intrigued by this theory. One thing I know for sure though is I will never, ever forget the experience of being infertile.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Retail (baby) therapy

I've had a very strong urge to go shopping for baby stuff lately. And not for any of the eleventymillion pregnant people I know. Nope. I want to go shopping for myself. For my phantom baby who is not even conceived yet & whose existence is months or maybe even years away. If at all.

I know several perfectly sane infertile women who have bought baby gear ranging from a cute $5 onesie to the Cadillac of cribs. For a very long time I've given them a bit of a side eye, I'll admit. But at the same time I totally get how it sucks to have to walk into Babies R Us & print out yet another registry full of items that will not be used by you but you want so desperately to need.

From shopping for everyone's baby stuff over the past several years I've come to know there's a whole lot of crap out there people will buy because they are told they need it. As my husband likes to point out, he slept in an old sari fashioned into a sling for the first several years of his life & turned out "just fine". Well, the fact that he is "just fine" can be argued I guess; he does calculus for fun but doesn't seem to understand the concept of matching socks into pairs. Here's a photo of what I'm talking about in case you have a heard time imagining this set up (not the socks, the sari):

While I don't plan on doing the same for our kids, I do think I'll be an earthy-crunchy kind of parent. I'd love to give birth naturally given the fact we will probably never be able to conceive naturally. Then again I was almost 10 lbs & my husband was over 8lbs (my mom-in-law is your typical tiny Indian woman); we were also both 2 weeks late. So it's probably just a nice thought.

I also want to breastfeed as long as possible. I want to make our own baby food. I want to cloth diaper. And apparently we're also earthy-crunchy for leaving our phantom sons' foreskins alone: we won't circumcise. I didn't know this was a "new, hip" thing to do of late, but given Vid is Hindu & I'm Catholic, neither religion says we need to do it so we won't. Cutting off a part of my kid for no good reason seems mean to say the least, but I won't get into that argument now.

I anticipate getting a lot of hand-me-down clothes from friends when the blessed event of my being pregnant comes, given, of course, they haven't been eaten by moths by then. And I'm fine with that. I fully plan on using the dresser set we have in our 2nd bedroom when it turns into a baby room. And if a friend wants to give me their old crib, that'd be awesome! I'm not picky about things matchy; in fact, I rather like things that are not store bought, pre-fab sets.

Which brings me to my final thought for now: I love this idea for baby room decor. It's not your typical baby animals of some sort theme. And the colors are bright, which I also love, because I HATE PASTELS. Change out the pink accents for blue and you could make it appropriate for a boy. Or use red, yellow, purple or green & it's completely gender neutral! The best part is it doesn't require painting walls since I am assuming we will still be renting this place if/when we have a baby.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


So this is what trying to conceive has come to.

My best guess is I ovulated on Monday so we made sure to do the deed a few times this weekend. I don't know what came over me, but I burst into tears on Sunday night just as Vid was about to, umm, commence activities. Of course it totally freaked him out. I just kept telling him "I hate this, there's no point" which he did not take kindly to.

We took a time out for an hour or so to get my composure back & I explained to him I didn't hate him, but I hate the fact that after 2.5 years of perfectly timed sex we have nothing to show for it. We're young & besides my IF issues healthy so sex should be something I want, but I really could care less, and it hurts because I love him so very much. Of course he still lives in la-la land that a miracle with eventually occur. I wish I had his faith. We eventually did have intercourse, but I still can't believe I had a major meltdown like that.

When I brought this up to my therapist, she didn't bat an eye. She said actually this is quite common among infertiles as women tend to have a harder time separating the physical aspect of sex from the psychological. What's more, an informal survey of the ladies on an infertility message board I frequent backs this up. But either way, it doesn't make me feel any better about what happened.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A book about infertility I didn't know was about infertility


I've been meaning to read "The Kite Runner" for quite sometime but just never got around to it. There isn't much time for leisure reading when taking night classes & working full time. I tend to gravitate towards books about far away lands & cultures; I guess I'll always be an anthropologist at heart.

I knew it was about an Afghani boy who eventually comes to the US but that was about it. What I didn't know was the central character in the book ends up marrying a woman & when they TTC they end up diagnosed with unexplained infertility. And after a long, arduous journey back to Afghanistan, he (the main character) ends up finding his long lost half-brother's son in an orphanage; his half-brother's family, save for his son, had all been killed by the Taliban. He ends up bringing him back to the US & adopting him even though adoption is very taboo in Afghanistan, much like it is in India.

I brought this up the other day to my therapist; she herself had not read the book but was intrigued. She knows how resistant my husband is to adoption & suggested perhaps getting him to read the book too. I told her I'd try but unless it has to do with ridiculously difficult math or military history I doubt he'd be interested. We'll see. In the meantime, she is trying to find an Indian couple who have adopted from her friends in various adoption agencies for Vid to talk with because I think that's the only way he'll come around on the adoption issue.

By the way, we still plan on trying IVF, but if it doesn't work, I cannot imagine my life childless. I've always been open to adoption but honestly didn't think I'd have to have such a conversation about what to do if we can't get pregnant. I never thought we'd be in this situation & really, unless & until we've exhausted all of our biological resources, I don't think adoption is even on Vid's radar. To me, a child is a child & I just want to be someone's mommy.