Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hail Mary

I'm probably just delaying the inevitable, but after talking with my husband & RE I've decided to do one last IUI before moving onto IVF. I know, I know; if the previous 6 have not worked why do I think this would? Well, all of my previous IUIs were before I had my endo removed. Granted, it was a small amount of endo, but still, maybe this was the reason why I always responded well to stims but never got a BFP. I'm also about 35 lbs lighter than when we had our last IUI about a year ago & they say losing just 10% of body weight can affect your fertility.

Our OOP expense (we are lucky to have 80% coverage) for IUIs is about $500 between meds, monitoring & the IUI itself. I have about $2000 left on my pre-tax medical for this year, which runs from July 1 - June 30. Another $500 I will be using for new glasses as I've been putting off getting them for the better part of the year & they are on the verge of falling apart. Being blind as a bat, I really cannot put this off any longer. The remaining $1000 will go towards putting a deposit down on the IVF if we need it.

I put in the maximum allowed of $2500 every year; that amount will cover an IVF if we need it & most of an FET if the IVF doesn't work. Unfortunately, Vid's employer does not offer the pre-tax medical, but they do offer child care plans, which we obviously don't need. Since our insurance doesn't cover freezing, we'll be OOP for that & have set aside a good chunk of our tax refund for this. As we don't make a lot of money (we both have Masters degrees yet make well below 6-figures combined & we live in a high COL area) this has taken a lot of forethought.

So right now I'm in what I think is my 2WW. I believe I O'd a couple of days ago based on pains I had in the area of my left ovary as well as some fertile CM which I never get. And yes we did make sure to have sex just in case because apparently people have been able to get pregnant that way. Who knew?

I'm calling this our "Hail Mary" IUI, like the "Hail Mary pass in football, which is basically something done in desperation with only a small chance of success. It'll also be our 7th IUI. Lucky IUI #7? Ha!

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's NIAW again!

April 24 - 30th is NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week), which is a week devoted to busting the many myths and misconceptions (ha! misconceptions...infertility...very punny!) out there about infertility. As I did last year, I have been using my Facebook page to bust a new myth every day. I know not everyone dealing infertility is as "out" as I am, which is a big reason why I've made it my personal mission to help educate the fertile masses about our struggles to have children.

This year, I am taking part in Resolve's NIAW challenge of busting a fertility myth in my blog. Granted, this blog is 99 44/100% infertility to begin with, but that's ok; it just gives me another excuse to rant & rave. :)

Myth: Maybe God just doesn't want you to have children.

Busted: This is perhaps the most hurtful thing one can say to someone dealing with infertility. My first thought is usually to slap the shit out of the person who says such a thing. My second idea is usually to rant & rave on about why God would give a homeless, drug addicted prostitute children but think that I as an educated, employed person in a stable relationship would be denied by the same God.

This implies that we are, in some ways, subhuman; that God has judged us to be such horrible people that we are not worthy of giving the gift of life. But the fact is a couple who are infertile and going through treatments would give ANYTHING to have a child; God (or whatever higher power you believe in) has put parenthood in our hearts. As I've said before, being called to motherhood is like being called to the priesthood; not everyone gets the call but if you do, you know it.

I wonder if a person who would say such a thing thinks that someone with a diagnosis of cancer (for example) shouldn't undergo chemo because it goes against the will of God? I doubt it. And yes, I'm aware that infertility isn't generally fatal, but it sucks nonetheless.

I just don't buy the whole "divine sterilization" theory. Perhaps infertility is my cross to bear? Maybe God gave me the challenge of PCOS to inspire this blog in the hopes of educating some people on what we infertiles go through in the hopes of becoming parents? I don't think I'll ever truly understand "why me?", but I'm ok with that. What I do understand, however, is that God is not an asshole & someday, come hell or high water, I will have a child of my own.

For more information on NIAW & infertility, click here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Infertility A-Z

Stolen from the lovely kthappy76:

Infertility A-Z

A - Age at Which you Started TTC: 29; not long after we got married

B - Baby Dancing or Sex: Sex

C - Children Wanted: 4 before this whole infertility thing; right now I'd be thrilled with just 1. I really don't want to deny my child a sibling so @ this point we're shooting for 2.

D - Dogs/Cats/Fill In Babies: 1 Pekingese dog (rescue) & 1 gray tiger cat (stray kitten we took in). If I had more room I'd have more!

E - Essential Oils/Vitamins: Pre-natal, Vitamin D (those of us living in New England are usually deficient) & B-complex since I'm vegetarian.

F - Fertility Meds I've Taken: Clomid, Follistim, Ovidrel, Progesterone, Metformin (for PCOS) & Zoloft (since my depression is very much related to my infertility).

G - Gain, What I have Gained from Infertility: I've gained perspective on what's really important to me: being a mother. I always wanted kids, but it wasn't until I had to go through hell to try & get pregnant that I actually appreciated how deep my maternal instinct runs & how I'll do almost anything to get there.

H - HSG: 2; both all clear.

I - Infertile Pet Peeve: That infertility is so freakin' expensive & many infertile folks can't afford treatment since insurance doesn't cover it for most, yet crack whores who are unemployed & homeless pop out kids like they're Pez dispensers.

J - Job Title: Research Assistant & Case Manager. I work in psych research @ a community mental health center.

K - Kids Names you are Afraid will be Taken: None.

L - Length of Time TTC - 2 years, 10 months.

M - Miscarriages: 1 chemical pregnancy in 6/09 just before we saw an RE for the 1st time. It's weird to think if that had stuck we'd have a 1 year old now. I still have "what if?" thoughts about this. He/she was only with me for 2 days but he/she will be in my thoughts for the rest of my life.

N - Number of Times you have Swiched REs: Switched REs once. 1st RE turned out to be a total douche. My 2nd/current RE left her original practice & I followed her to the new one.

O - Ovarian Quality: My RE is unconcerned but I kind of wonder given my FSH has been slowly creeping up.

P - POAS or Wait for AF: I haven't POAS in over a year. When we do IVF I don't think I'll POAS then either because, quite frankly, I have a hard time believing it will be positive.

Q - Quote from an Obnoxious Fertile: "Why don't you just adopt?" (Note: I'd love to but Vid isn't completely on board yet so it's a moot point right now). 1. Adoption isn't easy; you have to be studied (literally) to see if you're "worthy". 2. It isn't cheap. 3. It isn't guaranteed; birth parents can change their mind. 4. Why don't fertiles "just adopt"? I mean just because you can crap out a kid without medical intervention does that mean you should? After all, there are millions of kids in need of homes out there, right? I could go on & on...

S - Sperm: OK.

T - Time you Tried Naturally: the recommended 1 year.

U - Uterus Quality: OK; just a touch of endo hiding behind my left ovary which was removed.

V - Vagina: yes ;)

W - What Baby Stuff do you Already Have: Nothing except for a single onesie that I just loved. We've already spent so much money trying to create a baby there's not a lot of extra cash lying around.

X - Xtra, Xtra, Hear all about it! How many people know about your TTC Journey: Everyone. Infertility is so taboo, but given how stupid fertile friends & family can be about it I don't blame those still "in the closet". I have made it my mission to be open on behalf of those who cannot be.

Y - Yearly Exam: I'm due for my PAP, actually; I need to call my doc.

Z - Zits: Some cycles yes, others no.

How about you? What's your Infertility A to Z?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Onion is OSSUM

Just When Couple Finally Stops Stressing About Having A Baby, They're Still Not Pregnant

April 16, 2011

HENDERSON, NV — After finally deciding to relax and not worry so much about having a baby, local couple Aaron Leonard and Shelley Akers announced Tuesday that at long last they remained no closer to conceiving a child. "After more than two years of trying to get pregnant, we decided not to put so much pressure on ourselves—and wouldn't you know it, still nothing happened," said Akers, 32, adding that you can never predict when God will choose to continue withholding His blessing. "I guess it's one of those situations where you're not expecting anything and then, totally out of the blue, you don't get it." Akers added that, for a while, she had actually begun to think her husband might be sterile, and that she was still very much leaning in that direction.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I *heart* mimosas

I am proud to say I survived my sister's wedding shower yesterday. I think the fact I was so busy setting things up, writing down who gave what for her thank you cards & then cleaning helped immensely. I did have a small yet cathartic cry after everyone left, but it wasn't anything Oscar worthy.

My 2 cousins who had babies in February were both there with the newborns but were well behaved with no stupid comments or complaining to be had. Also, my cousin who is due in May was not there because she was sick; even though it stinks she has the flu (I had it 2 weeks ago) I must admit it was nice not to have to stare down a 35 week pregnant belly.

Oh, & the mimosas certainly helped too. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

My ute has a mind of its own

I'm one of those rare PCOS ladies who has had (until last month apparently) a very regular cycle. Since coming off BCPs (Zovia) over 3 years ago my longest cycle was 31 days (once) & my shortest 25 (also once) with 2 or 3 28 or 29 day cycles thrown in for good measure. On average though, my cycle was 27 days. While it's been nice to not wonder about when to expect Aunt Flo to come to town, it also fucked with my head big time when I continued to see BFFNs despite having sexy time when I was supposedly fertile month after month.

Fast forward to February when I was on BCPs (low dose Apri) to supposedly prepare for IVF. When we decided to push back IVF my RE told me I could either stay on the pill as she wasn't worried about my oversurpressing or I could go off for a cycle or 2 & then go back on. Being the optimist I am despite my better judgment I decided to go off the pill to see if we could maybe experience a miracle & get pregnant without medical intervention.

I took my last active BCP on March 5 & got what I assumed was my period on 3/10. It was lighter than normal but definitely not spotting & was the normal 3-4 days that I've always experienced. Fast forward to 3/25 when I got Aunt Flo AGAIN; this time she was a more usual flow (2 days heavy to start, the 1 day of light). I didn't think anything of it since I know sometimes when coming off BCPs your cycle can get a little wonky. But then again, I had a regular, predictable cycle coming right off birth control which I had been on for years when we started TTC.

Today, guess who showed up full force? Yep. A 21 day cycle. I came home from work & went to pee only to find my undies resembling the Japanese flag. I had no idea my period was coming; no cramps, no bloating, nothing. Hell, I was "in the mood" last night (Vid went to sleep a happy man) & I managed to lose 1.4 lbs @ Weight Watchers this week when I weighed in on Tuesday night.

I don't know what to think. I'm kind of freaked out if I'm being honest. Can being on a low dose pill for a month really eff with my body this bad? Is there something more going on? I'd love to know what you, my dear readers, think. I'm considering calling my RE on Monday since this is so unlike me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's mah burfday

I'm 32. So only 3 more years til AMA (advanced maternal age); awesome! In all seriousness, I don't think 32 is old, but the fact I'm another step closer to AMA makes me haz a sad. Especially since we're about to hit the 3 years TTC mark. How scary is it that I could have a walking, talking, potty-trained toddler if I was one of the magical fertiles who get lucky their 1st try? Heck, I could have 2 kids by now. I know I've been lapped by several people on my interwebs anniversary board, which is another reason for me to haz a sad.

But it's not all bad. After work, I will go to therapy (alone) & to Weight Watchers (with hubby) & then we will go out to dinner @ our favorite local Indian restaurant where I get a free entree since it's my birthday. And then to top it all off, today is free cone day @ Ben & Jerry's, so we get free dessert too! Thank God Weight Watchers has 49 extra points a week! Whatevs; it's my day & so I'm going to try & enjoy it just a teensy bit.

It's also my mom's birthday today so I'll be sure to stop by my parents' house on the way home & give her a card & gift. I still fantasize about having a baby born on my birthday because it's been so fun to share it with my mom. Depending on the timing of IVF #1 & if it works (please please please) we may end up with a due date that's close. Not that I necessarily want to go 13 days past my due date like my mom did with me, but if that means having a healthy baby of my own I will gladly deal with it. Really, at this point if I had a left nut to give it'd be gone. But I don't know how Vid would feel about giving up one of his just yet (hehehe).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I have always been a huge animal lover. I've rescued various wildlife throughout the years: 2 baby robins who fell from a tree, a pheasant with an injured wing & a garden snake with a gash in it's side to name a few. My dog was a rescue from a puppy mill raid. My cat was a stray kitten who got stuck between my neighbor's fence & mine. I've been a vegetarian since middle school.

Despite this I've also thought for quite a while that the organization known as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) was a bit nutty with some of the stunts they've pulled. However, this one takes the cake:

Several lovely ladies on an Infertility message board I frequent have brought to the community's attention the truly disgusting contest to "Win a Vasectomy from PETA". While I applaud anyone's commitment to responsible family planning (birth control) the fact they are billing this as being in honor of NIAW is sick. Think I'm kidding? Here's a direct quote from their website: "In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24 to 30), PETA will give one free vasectomy to a man who has recently had his companion cat or dog neutered".

Apparently PETA does not understand the definition of the word "honor". A quick look at an online dictionary gives the definition of honor as "to regard or treat (someone) with admiration or respect". There you have it: respect. How on God's green earth is this being respectful to those of us dealing with a diagnosis of infertility? It's not. Not at all.

As for me, I have lost all respect for PETA at this point. How can I possibly honor or admire an organization who would do such a hurtful thing to a demographic group that I would argue (based on my experience) is among the most thoughtful, caring & supportive I've witnessed?

Infertiles cry for each other's failed cycles. We shout for joy (sometimes to the confusion of our spouses or co-workers) when one of us gets a BFP. We donate unused meds to those who lack insurance coverage. When one of us has a loss we send kind words & often gifts of sympathy. We are among the most selfless people you'll ever meet. We are strong. But we are also human. And it hurts when someone exploits us for their own gain.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What I've done

This post was lovingly stolen from the lovely Kristin @ Fertile Ramblings. Feel free to steal it from me. The bolded ones are the ones I've done; how about you?

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland (Disney World)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (2 outta 3)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo

94. Had a baby (the only one I've not done that makes me want to cry :()
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee