Thursday, September 29, 2011

Notice anything different?

I decided to rename the blog because, well, the original name is based on a dx that appears now to not actually reflect my problem. Are my ovaries "pretty crappy"? Yes, but with bging just on the border of being labled PCOS based on my bloodwork (FSHN & LH levels being flipped) I've been feeling kind of weird lately with the label of PCOS. Especially the more I talk to my fellow infertiles who have all the classic sx that I do not have. And I don't want to misrepresent myself as a PCOS "sufferer" (I've gotten several e-mails asking for my advice/experiences) when I can't speak from experience about abnormally long cycles, being annovulatory, etc.

At the same time, even the new name assumes that there is an actual issue with my eggs. My RE is recommending ICSI when we do IVF because she is just stumped why an otherwise healthy 32 year old can't get pregnant with an apparently great response to stims each & every time. Are my eggs impenetrable by sperm (hard boiled)? Are they so fragmented nothing can be done? Do I have "empty follicle syndrome" (where I have plump, juicy follies on the ultrasound that are full of fluid but no eggs)? Only doing IVF will tell. As weird as it sounds, I kind of hope it's 1 of those 3 so we know WTF has been our problem.

I'm so ready to do IVF. Of course, we can't til Vid gets his umbilical hernia surgery. His consult is late next week; no idea how far in advance they need to schedule it. But I know the "down time" will likely be several weeks. Honestly, we've been on "down time" (no sex/strenuous activity) since we went to India due to no provacy & then since coming back because he's in pain & I'd rather not explain to the 911 operator what happened if we did get frisky & something went wrong.

I just want to get it (IVF)done & over with. In my negative little mind I have little to no hope of it working; nothing has so far so why would this be any different? You know you've been in this game too long when you get jealous of people who only have to do "a few IUIs" to get pregnant. And then there's the whole "if I get pregnant will I stay pregnant" question. I guess we'll cross that bridge when (if?) we come to it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Like, way wanted.

I stumbled upon this cartoon on the internet:

It got me thinking: I wonder what would happen if babies talked about how they were conceived?

"I was the product of a one night stand; I don't know who my dad is."
"My mom & dad just went on their honeymoon & came back with me as a souvenir."
"My parents made the decision to try for a baby & a few months later, I came to be."

Or in my case (hopefully):

"My parents went through 3 (or more?) years of infertility. My mom had lots of people taking pictures of her privates & took lots of medications. Mom & dad spent lots on money on things that didn't work. Mom cried A LOT. I'm a miracle. Like, way wanted."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Meet one of our new referals:

SWF. Age: early 20s. On SSI. Severe substance as well as psych issues. Already has 2 kids she does not have cutstody of but has visitation rights. 6 MONTHS PREGNANT WITH TRIPLETS. Yes, I am yelling. Oh & since she was drinking heavily @ the time they conceived, she has no clue who the father is.

I know you're not supposed to question God, but seriously? DEAR GOD: WHAT THE EFF WERE YOU THINKING ON THIS ONE? The only good thing: my supervisor knows enough not to refer her to me for therapy.

I am done. So very, very done.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"My Infertility Is Ruining Our Marriage"

Well, not exactly "ruining", though I'd be lying if I didn't admit more than half of our arguments (knock down, drag out fights on occasion) are based around our struggles to conceive. Below is a long (but IMHO, useful) e-mail exchange between myself & one of the other women in my infertility therapy group. D. is a true vet who has been TTC for well over 5 years & has had multiple failed IVFs. I consider her sharing this info & her input on what Vid & I are going through to be quite helpful. Here ya go:


Hi A.,

I was at the hair dresser today and there was an article in a magazine about a couple experiencing infertility and what they did to resolve it. I was thinking of you....I wished I could have ripped out the article and given it to you, but I felt funny doing that. They were a bit older than you...wife was 37, husband was 35, but there were some similarities to your situation. They could not agree on a path forward. The wife was told she had DOR and that donor eggs were the only option. She didn't like that option (she was fearful of IVF and didn't like the idea of donor) but was open to adoption. She was Indian. She felt that if they were to dish out over 20K for donor, she'd rather go forward with adoption since there was almost a guarantee to get a baby in the end. Her husband, American, wanted to do IVF with donor so he could have a biological connection. He was stubborn. They both weren't budging. He thought he couldn't love an adopted child like "his own" and that there are a lot of stories of adoptive children having problems.

They ended up going to counseling for over 9 months. During this time, the counselor made them face their behavioral issues (her being too emotional, him being too angry and flippant), then moved onto asking them all the pros and cons of both options as well as how they would feel about various aspects of each choice, focusing on the bad and good of each aspect, ie: what were here concerns over ivf, over donor, how would she feel about carrying a child not of her biological makeup, how she felt about having a baby that did or didn't look like her (being she was Indian) how would she feel if it didn't work out, financial aspects, what they were willing to accept on the adoption front, why he felt he wouldn't love an adoptive child as much as biological, were his concerns over adoption real of just based on get the picture. But it was a bi-weekly or monthly meeting where they got together with this counselor and she would ask different questions to ponder and they'd discuss them in the next meeting, having had enough time to think about it (when they wanted, not a forced time based time).

They ultimately came up with what was the best decision for was trying one cycle of ivf with a donor that was Indian and looked like the wife and if that didn't work out, they'd pursue the adoption path. Well, surprisingly, they found an Indian donor close by (they said it's difficult to find Indian donors), chose her, but then she backed out at the last minute. After this, the husband saw what his wife went through with this disappointment and would put herself through with the process in general. Something clicked within the husband and he was open to considering adoption. They ended up adopting an Indian foster child (I can't recall, but I think it was from India - pretty bad, since I read that only 4 hours ago) and were happy with the choice.

I guess I thought of you because I know you are at an impasse. I felt for you in our last meeting when you expressed your heartfelt feelings about the relationship you have with your mom and if you'd become a mom...and about the impasse you are at with your husband. I haven't read your blog yet, so I don't know how you are doing lately, but I think that with some work, you guys will figure out what is best for you in terms of treatment or adoption. I know it is and has been a long road, but hang in there. Don't forget, it took that couple in the article about a year and a half for them to come to their decision. I think I've expressed how long it took me to move forward with adoption. I have also read several blogs of people who went through infertility and didn't agree with their husbands on a path forward. Sometimes, when they thought their husband wouldn't budge, he just may have taken a while....or they decided to give. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but figured I'd let you know I was thinking of you and hoping that you and your husband can somehow come to an agreement on a best path forward.



Here's the article she was refering to. Good God, it's like they're talking about us! My response to D. after reading the article:


Hi D.!

I asked on Facebook if anyone knew about this article. Lo & behold, a friend posted the link on my page:

Same link as above.

God, that could totally be us. I feel like we're wasting time & money by doing more tx while my hubby is "convinced" they will work. I think it's just because he so desperately wants a child with his genes & his mom's terminal illness has made him even more adament. Not that we can afford egg donation (we're lucky enough to have 80% infertility coverage but freezing & donor are not part of it) but it really doesn't appeal to me anyways.

We've pretty much compromised @ this point that I will be an IVF cycle but that's probably it. And if we're lucky enough to get embies for an FET I'd try with them (freezing is about $500 for the year whcih I will scrimp & save for) because to me, they're my kids & I want to give them a chance @ life. It's not that I'm against IVF or anything, it's just I think my time & finances would be better served by adopting. Egg donation just doens't appeal to me; don't know why. But that's just my opinion.

I've made it very clear to my hubby I am not going to live "child free". Heck, we started TTC just a few months after we got married! I know he wants kids too but I think he's in denial that they may not be ours biologically. And I have a hard time with him pulling the "adopting's not part of my culture" card when he married me, a non-Hindu & non-Tamil & when he eats steak & then proceeds to go to temple. :)

I guess it just comes down to I want closure: I want to stop worrying about "if" I will become a mom & move onto "when" I will become a mom. I know adoption is not easy or quick but by moving on to that I feel like I'd finally be leaving behind the hell of the last 3.5 years. There are so many kids in India who need adopting: perfect little girls abandoned simply because they are girls, kids of both sexes abandoned because of a simple medical condition like cleft palatte that can be fixed with a $500 operation, etc. I want to start the ball rolling before the rules get changed & we cannot adopt from there; I don't want his feet dragging to cost us the chance to parent.

In closing, if you don't mind, I'd like to turn this e-mail exchange into a blog entry. I will of course take away identifying info, but I feel this conversation has been very beneficial to me & may help others out there. Thank you so much for being part of our group; I often think of you as the wise swami up on the mountain top with all you've been through, lol. I know you've called yourself a "veteran" in the past & I really appreciate your knowledge, candor & thoughtfulness. See you next week!



Just thought I'd post this here in case any of you on the interwebs may benefit from it. I'd love to hear your thoughts too! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

LOL @ plans

This poster was mocking me @ my doctor's last week as I was waiting to be seen:

Do I plan to become pregnant? Why yes, yes I do! I've been planning to get pregnant for over 3 years now, but who's counting? I planned on TTC #2 about now so my kids would be close in age. Ha! Plans.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11: 10 years on

Can you believe it's been 10 years? In the 3 or so years since I started this blog I don't think I've ever wrote about my memories of 9/11. All Americans have unique experiences surrounding this event no doubt; I am no different.

I was actually in Ghana, West Africa when 9/11 happened. I was traveling back from a priest friend's home located about 1.5 hours outside of the capital city, Accra. I had taken a bus & was boarding a tro-tro when the driver informed me "America has been blown up". I just thought he was crazy, but then he tuned the radio to the BBC Africa service & indeed something odd was going on in NYC: a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. "Bummer", I thought, "But accidents happen." As we continued our journey towards Legon, the suburb where the university was located, a second plane hit. Something was up.

Once we reached the university I immediately went to the international students' coordinator's house since I knew she had satellite tv. I arrived just as the first tower fell; I think every American student at the university was crowded into that 10x10 room. People were taking turns on the land line (cell phones weren't common place then like they are now in Africa) trying to get through to family back home. But the phone lines were jammed; nobody could get through. Some of us went to one of the internet cafes on campus. Again, the internet was overwhelmed that day, though we did manage to get access & send e-mails the next day.

I'd been in Ghana about a month at that point. The WTC was pretty much the last glimpse of the US I had as I flew out of JFK (my program had us all meet there & fly together) through Europe & onto Africa. Coming back about 3.5 months after 9/11, it was a completely changed landscape both literally & figuratively.

I have an uncle who's a firefighter in northern NJ; I thought of him as I knew they had called in anyone & everyone in the tri-state area with equipment to help. He spent his spare time over the next several weeks digging through the rubble, finding body parts. There was another student whose dad was a policeman in the city; he died that day. Many students actually returned to the US early, shaken by the experience.

Back home, my dad was working in Boston at the time. They shut down the commuter trains & subways for a time so getting home that day was an absolute nightmare for him & many others. 2 of the 4 planes that day had left from Logan Airport, including a flight one of my dad's brothers frequently took for business trips to LA. Thankfully he wasn't on that flight that day, but the brother of a high school friend was, along with his girlfriend.

I've never talked with my husband about his memories from that day. At the time, we did not know each other; we wouldn't actually meet until almost 5 years later. He had only been in the US a few weeks when 9/11 happened. As a brown-skinned guy, I wonder if he was subjected to any of the anti-Muslim rhetoric that was running rampant then (& to a degree, now) even though he's Hindu. Again, I've never asked him. He's actually flying back from India on 9/11; hopefully he doesn't get a special frisking.

Since getting back from India a week ago the tv has pretty much been nonstop 9/11. We're all a decade older & hopefully wiser. I know back then marriage wasn't even on my radar, let alone children. I just assumed both things would happen in their own time but knew it would be a challenge to find someone who would be accepting of me doing things like, oh, going to Africa. And then we'd get married & make babies & I'd strap my kid to my back like they do in Ghana with a piece of cloth:

I've since been back to Africa a few times. Not with my husband & not recently; this little thing called work gets in the way. Some may say I've traded in Africa for India, but I do hope to get back sooner rather than later. I always planned on dragging my kids around the world with me; I just hope that's still going to happen: not the travel part, but me having kids to tag along.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My unwanted souvenir :(

Who's got 2 thumbs & food poisoning? This girl right here! Ugh.

I came back from India a little early as MIL is stable & undergoing experimental, last ditch tx; Vid comes back on Monday. After 2 weeks of eating supposedly unsafe street food I had a funny-tasting lunch on my Lufthansa flight from Germany back to the US. Within 2 hours, I was riding the porcelain bus; that was Saturday night. I knew it. The only time I've ever gotten sick in all the developing-world travel I've done was @ a conference in Ghana where something on the hotel buffet made me sick for a week; that was most likely salmonella. Since I'm a vegetarian, it was probably raw meat that dripped on veggies; BARF!

Sunday was awful. I mean, I couldn't even drink water without feeling like I was being tortured. And my 8 lb cat who wanted nothing more than to sit on mommy's tummy & snuggle because he missed me? I was in such pain from ANY pressure on my abdomen I kicked him off.

Monday morning things got even worse so I went to see the doctor. My practice has an on-call doc 7 days a week; it just happened to be her day. She proclaimed I indeed had food poisoning. ***TMI ALERT*** I submitted a stool sample this morning since the labs were closed yesterday due to Labor day (it was more the consistency & color of coffee) & am awaiting the results. Depending on what it is, I may need to go to the hospital, but in the meantime I am on Cipro & have a note to be out of work until at least Thursday.