Thursday, July 28, 2011

How cute are these?

I came across this on the Facebook page of a friend of Vid's who recently had a baby; another friend had found them & thought they were too cute not to share & I have to agree. And yes, they got married & started trying after us. But anyways, how cute are these? And only $25 for the set of 6! Love, love, love the one of Kali!

I will not buy them, I will not buy them, I will not buy them...



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The bottom of the barrel

I knew it would happen eventually, but it doesn't make it any easier. 2 of the 12 girls in my infertility group found out they are pregnant this week. One was a surprise, the other the result of IVF.

While the group is thrilled for them as I am for any infertile couple when they finally get that elusive BFP, I understand they are scared too. Surprise pregnancy lady has had several miscarriages so that's obviously in the back of her mind, while the IVF lady has never been pregnant before & is scared this may still not finally be *it* for her. And at the same time, they endorsed a bit of what you might call "survivor's guilt" for the 10 of us who are not pregnant: they are thrilled to be in the positions they are in, yet they feel like they have betrayed their identity as infertiles, have let their fellow infertiles down by joining "the other side", full of people who got pregnant by simply having sex at the right time. It seems that infertility truly robs you of the ability to enjoy your pregnancy; if I ever see the other side of this I know that I will likely experience some of the same feelings as they have.

These 2 women are proof that infertiles *can*, in fact, conceive; hopefully they now stay pregnant. So there's a sliver of hope for us all. But at the same time, their pregnancies are just another cruel, cruel reminder of the fact that if someone is successful with ART (them), others are not (me).

Really, I try not to be a Debbie Downer about things, but honestly? Not only am I a part of that reported 1 in 8 couples who have trouble conceiving, I'm now one of that uber-tiny percentage with multiple failed medicated cycles. I mean, over 3 mother#%&!ing years& still nothing? No protocol has worked. No break cycle surprise. And while I know we haven't done IVF yet, I have all but convinced myself that it too will not work. And in the meantime, it seems I'm watching all my once infertile compatriots, both on the interwebs & in real life, finally get their baby/babies while I'm still here, still an infertile.

And as a therapist, I know negative self talk isn't good for you, but it's so damn hard to fake a smile & convince myself this isn't the end some days. I feel like I'm on the bottom of the barrel. It's dark. And I'm scared I may never see the light of my child's smile.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Infertiles Anonymous

In group this week we got on the subject of how our 1st group felt very much like an AA meeting: "Hello. My name is Anasara & I'm an infertile". Working in mental health I have a lot of patients who are "dually diagnosed", meaning they have a substance abuse issue in addition to a major mental illness. I was thus inspired to create a 12 step program for us infertiles. I apparently have way too much time on my hands.

The 12 Steps of Infertiles Anonymous

1.We came to admit we were powerless over our own bodies (or the bodies of our partners) & their inability to reproduce.
2.We came to believe that a Power greater than us (an RE) could possibly (hopefully) restore us to sanity.
3.We made a decision to turn our bodies, minds & large amounts of money to this Power.
4.We made a searching & fearless inventory of ourselves & our commitment to becoming parents.
5.We admitted to the RE, ourselves & our partners that we were scared out of our minds about this entire process.
6.We were ready to do anything (ANYTHING) the RE told us *might* better our chances at success.
7.We humbly asked our RE for a therapy referral after the umpteenth failed cycle.
8.We made a list of all the fertiles we’d like to harm because of their stupid comment & blocked them temporarily on Facebook,.
9.We made a promise to talk to said fertiles again once we were finally pregnant.
10.We continued to make decisions in our life based on when we were scheduled to cycle, forgoing vacations & interviews for a better job.
11.We ate pineapple core, drank pomegranate juice, had accupuncture & did innumerable other strange things in the hopes they would yield a pregnancy.
12.We have had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps: we tried to carry the message of our struggles with infertility to the uneducated fertiles.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Winning the lottery

Did you hear about the IVF lotto in the UK? For about $32US, you buy a shot at around $40k in fertility treatments, which for those of you not in the know would cover several IVF cycles for most people.

Apparently, this has cause some controversy. To quote from the article, "... critics were already rounding on the scheme last night, with one claiming it "demeaned" the nature of human rep" Really? I hate to break it to you, but those of us dealing with infertility are quite used to feeling "demeaned" whenever we have an RE appt: ever hear of a transvaginal ultrasound wand? As I believe I've said before, at this point, you could put a billboard of my crotch over Interstate 95 & I wouldn't care; everyone's seen it anyways.

And to those who wonder about the ethics of doing something like this, may I point out that anytime you undertake a fertility treatment you are basically playing the lotto because most times, you don't get pregnant. Who in their right mind would gamble $20k doing IVF on odds that are less than 50/50 in most cases? Ask any woman dealing with infertility who has such funds saved up after months or years of saving & they'd likely raise their hand. Or ask an infertile woman who is lucky enough to have insurance coverage how grateful they are because without it they would never even have a chance at motherhood. Yes, even the mere thought that children of our own *might* exist some day makes us do what some may term "crazy things". But if such a gamble works, be it the 1st time or the 10th, it will be worth it: we will have finally won our lottery.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Moving on to another acronym

Happy (belated) 4th of July!

BFN yet again. So, we're officially done with IUIs. Given my MIL's health & the fact we'll be leaving for India in mere weeks there is obviously not enough time to jump straight into IVF. And even if there was, I wouldn't feel comfortable flying the 20+ hours to India if I did manage to get pregnant. I've never really had issues with being sick overseas (a very mild case of malaria in Ghana back in 2001 & amoebic dysentary in Niger in 2004; nothing in India) but I know I'd never forgive myself if something like a miscarriage happened while we were there.

I told my RE about what was going on with my MIL & she was very sympathetic & agreed it would be best to move on to IVF at this point. She's recommending IVF with ICSI in case there's an as of yet undiagnosed egg quality issue or fertilization issue. I'm actually looking forward to this because I'd really love to know WTF our issue is given I respond great to meds & Vid has normal swimmers. So not we get to add another acronym to our arsenal: RE, HSG, IUI & now: IVF with ICSI!

When we get back from India I'll be going on BCPs as being on them while flying such a long distance isn't a great idea due to the risk of blood clots. While it sucks the ER/ET will be in the midst of the fal semester with both of us being in PhD programs in addition to working full time we'll deal with it, just like we've dealt with all the other curveballs we've been thrown lately. After all, who actually plans on anything for certain when you are dealing with infertility?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cancer sucks

We got a panicked phone call from my FIL on Thursday night that MIL could not get comfortable & was in so much pain she was asking to go to the hospital. Considering this woman has the highest pain tolerance of anyone I've ever met (thought the top head of her humerus being totally destroyed by cancer was just arthritis) we were concerned & told FIL they should definitely go get her checked out. She did have some pain in that area when she came a few months ago in yet another attempt to marry off my SIL but that was chalked up to a 20 hour plane ride & sleeping on a crappy air mattress.

Of course, the news is not good. Friday morning we got word that the cancer has spread up her spinal column to L3; they are doing more tests on her to see if there are other areas in addition to the original humeral head & hip where it was 1st discovered almost 2 years ago. Right now she is in the hospital undergoing intense radiation for 10 days then they will take another scan & see if that did anything. FIL will be e-mailing her scans, blood work & whatever else they do for me to look over as soon as he can get his hands on them. While I'm not a doctor, I do medical (psych) research & know how to read labs & if my opinion will help put their minds @ ease, so be it.

To say Vid is freaking out would be the understatement of the year. I'm sure he'd love nothing more than to be on a plane to India right now but I told him we need to be smart about this & make plans once we have more info. If it's (God forbid) time to talk hospice care, then we leave right away. If they manage to stabilize her, then we go in August as my sister is getting married @ the end of this month & I'd feel so guilty not being there for that. Regardless, there will be a trip to India in our near future & yet again it's because of the "c-word". I mean, what the eff, universe? I've started looking @ airfares & we'll both be talking to our employers on Tuesday about what's going on since tomorrow is the holiday.

Cancer sucks.