Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010-

It's the last day of 2010. There is so much to be missed, and so much that I could care less for.

It's the finale of Still Life 365- I'm hoping it continues on, it has been a beautiful and touching year. It has been a wonderful healing space for grieving parents, and I am so grateful to Angie for putting it together, and all the people who participated. The last post is a great recap:

This year I personally leave behind me a trail of empty pill bottles, surgical knives, a lot of pain medication, stitches, and loads of negative pregnancy tests.

Still, 2010 wasn't as bad as 2009- I mean, I had 2 miscarriages in 2009 alone. It just wasn't a very good year.

But 2010 wasn't the best either. Seriously, 3 surgeries in 3 months? I survived, but it was hard at times. I am glad I had them done, but I don't remember much of those first three months of the year.

Still, I didn't have another miscarriage. And for that, I am thankful. And hey, I even got my first period on my own since probably 2005. That was really unexpected, and I am still beaming that my body actually did something right. We have a roof over our heads, plenty of food, animals I love to death... it ain't all bad.

I'm hoping 2011 is ever better though. A girl can dream, right?

Here's to hoping we all have a great 2011. Best wishes everyone~

Monday, December 27, 2010


Well, shock and surprise. I started a new cycle on my own.
For the first time in like 5 or 6 years.

Maybe I did ovulate two weeks ago when I thought I may have, so around CD33 maybe. The vitamin D must really be messing with my BBT then, or my body is just going completely haywire. My BBT was all over the place, and it really seemed more anovulatory than anything.

I know some women start new cycles without ovulating, but I am inclined to think I must have ovulated because I personally never start a new cycle on my own, not on anovulatory cycles. I once went 7 months waiting to see what happens (I know now that it's stupid to do that, and the risk of endometrial cancer is increased by waiting like that. But back then, I didn't know about the risks.) Anyway, after 6 months I had to take Provera to get my period. After after that, I had another 7 months with nothing happening. (Yes, that means I had one period that entire year... and it was a horrible one.) Yay my decidedly messed up body. So due to my spectacular history of never starting a new cycle without ovulation, I think I ovulated.

If I did, I am inclined to contribute it to either my upped dose of Metformin, my changed type of Metformin (regular to ER), my prescribed high dose Vitamin D supplementation, or fertility treatment lingerings. I have done the Vitamin D before, and I don't think it did much. Same goes for doing treatments, and then not doing them. So I would really bank my bets on the change in my Metformin, if I had to.

Honestly, I am just excited that I reached CD1 all on my own. How or why doesn't seem all that important right now. Most women wouldn't be this giddy about getting their periods, heck I'm not even this happy to get mine usually, but right now I'm shocked and surprised (in a good way).

On a side note, the holidays went well enough. I got saddled with the new baby, for like a half hour, at my father-in-laws. But it wasn't so bad. I had a few moments and break downs the days leading up to everything- I cried many times about my lost babies- but the get togethers themselves were a lot easier than I thought it would be. My husband spoiled me, as usual. He did some really sweet things, and I just have to say that I love that man.

However, I am exhausted and I think I caught something from the gatherings. Darn all those germs. All congested and headachey, just... blaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Someone needs to smack me and tell me to grow a spine.

Sitting here on cycle day 43, of another anovulatory cycle (the only kind I have on my own) and I still haven't called my doctor to ask for meds to start a new cycle or to schedule a consult. I just... umm... don't want to. I know I should (I've been in the game long enough to know that) but I really don't want to.

Lame. I know.

I keep temping every now and then to confirm I haven't ovulated. Sometimes my temp spikes. But, it does that on anovulatory cycles. And I'm still on the prescription strength vitamin D regiment per my primary care physician. Last time I was on those really high doses of D, it made my temps loopty loop. Didn't ovulate then either, but my temps were crazy and unreliable.

So I am just counting the days off and letting my body be stupid and slack off.

My dog still isn't better. I had to take him back to the vet. No more episodes, but he's disoriented 24/7 and falling over a lot. And not wanting to eat. And throwing up. And scared as hell because he doesn't know what's going on. He can't jump up or down on things without stumbling. He can't go up or down the stairs without help, and thank goodness he realizes this. He stands at the top or bottom and waits for us to help him down. What a good smart old dog. He's now on 4 pills twice a day. Hoping he gets better in a few days or weeks... if he doesn't, then it might not be vestibular disease. It could have been a stroke, the vet couldn't rule that out. But vestibular issues seem more likely, so let's hope it was that.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I started collecting things after I lost my first baby. Just, little things that remind me of him. I got a tattoo, I planted a tree, I bought a pendant. These objects aren't to help me remember, because I could never forget, but rather a way to keep them with me- something tangible I can see, touch, feel. I planted something for each of our losses. That hits me every spring. I'm still working on the tattoos.

The pendants were incomplete all year, but today I finally received the last one. Now, they're all together. I love them so much. There they are, little footprints, names etched in the metal, with the colored beads that represent the months that I lost them. Green. Blue. Yellow.


I bought these for my babies, because I started collecting birds with my babies. After the first one. I got a sparrow tattoo for him. I bought these because there were three different colors, and at the time I didn't even think about what colors. But, they are perfect for representing my babies- in so many ways.


I bought an ornament for the first baby, in 2008. It's a shell with a pearl in it, and it says, "Every life leaves something beautiful behind".


This one is for the second baby, and it's the ultrasound picture, on the cover I etched "2009". I debated about putting that in there, wondering if people would think it morbid, or too weird. But then I remembered that our tree is for us, and us alone. And our babies are a part of us. Sure other people might see the tree, but they will just have to deal with it if they have a problem.


I made this one for the last one we lost. It's a simple clear globe, inside I hung a single angel wing. On the outside I etched "2009". The lights behind it make it glow so pretty on the tree. The photo isn't very good, it was really hard to get a decent one.


This is purely coincidence, but I already had these. And they hang there all year. Three of them. When they're lit up in that dark room, they're so beautiful. The fact that there are three, now makes me think of my babies. Even if that was never their intention.


And these, well, these are part of the reason why my friend Am- is so awesome. This is why I decided a long time ago that she is my unofficial adopted sister. She is amazing. She's an artist, and I have to say there are benefits to that. But this was above and beyond. She made us these paintings, and at first glance you might ask what's so utterly amazingly special about them. I'm talking priceless, and I would cry my eyes out if I lost them. The lighting in the photo doesn't really do them justice I'm afraid.

But, notice the colors. Green, blue, yellow. Yeah. Our babies. She remembered our babies. She made the abstract for my husband, because he needs a little disorder in his life, she joked. And mine, she made to represent me, and the three twirling spirit ribbons- yeah, you guessed it. She said she cried when she made them, thinking about what we've went through. Did I not tell you she is amazing?


You might wonder about the faery in front of them... an impulse buy at the thrift store. I love her very much, I collect faeries anyway. But she's special. In her hands in a bird nest, and withing in a little baby bird crying out. It made me think of my first baby.

These are not by far my only tokens. I have a sleeping angel statue for the first one, and plenty of other small things like my triquetra earrings. I know it might seem odd to keep so many things, and I'm sure people think I'm a little off for it. But these are my only children. And I have nothing to hold onto about them. I can't tell what the future holds, if we'll be able to conceive, if we'll be able to adopt, if something will happen to myself or my husband. The future is completely uncertain. Yes, we can hope for things to come together... but we can't know that they will.

Right now, these are my only children. And I miss them. I will always miss them. And for all I know, they are all I'll ever have. So I'm going to treasure them, and miss them.

I hate that we are sometimes stigmatized by some people for collecting such tokens. It shouldn't be like that. We're grieving. We miss our children. It's completely normal to feel this way, and to collect little reminders of their presence. I can't hold them, but I can touch my necklace and let the ache pass.


My dog has not improved. He's trying to keep his head tilted to compensate for the imbalance between his ears, but he's still falling over. A lot. He threw up his medicine earlier, along with some other nasty smelling stuff, and he hasn't eaten at all today. Looks like I'll be calling the vet again tomorrow. Right now, we're showing him to his dog bed, helping him up and down the stairs, and calming him when he starts freaking out from the disorientation... which happens pretty much all day. Poor guy.

I was in the holiday mood, but I don't know where it went. I just don't seem to care anymore, which sucks because my family is coming over to my house on Saturday. I'm cleaning, making gingerbread cookies, decorating, putting the finishing touched on things... which before, I wanted to do, but now I am just feeling obligated. I don't know what's up.

I'm sure it's a lot of things coming at me, so it's hard to distinguish. Like my dog being sick. Or the fact that my little brother has stopped visiting me; I knew it would happen since he's in high school now... I just hoped it wouldn't be so abrupt. A very old friend has stopped returning my texts and calls, and there could be a lot of reasons why. What bothers me the most about that, is that she doesn't have the balls to just call me and tell me why she's dropped all contact. She was making excuses, which aren't even believable. Like being too sick to return my texts, but she can apparently go to work just fine. Right. Whatever. But even then, she took a day or two to even return my text. So. Whatever.

I also haven't been feeling well, I'm just sore and I feel like I could be getting sick- but I'm not sick, and it never progresses to being sick. I'm just... unwell? And I've been that way for like two months now.

I've also been feeling a little down about things... about still not having children, about having lost my babies. Buying all sorts of presents for my nieces/nephews, and feeling that ache that we aren't buying for our own. Again. Year after year.

And did I mention, I don't want to go to Christmas Eve dinner at father-in-laws house? Ungh. Just, ungh. Talk about feeling alone in a crowd of people.

I have to work tonight, and tomorrow, then celebrate the solstice with my husband, then I have to clean/bake/shop/prepare for Christmas with my family, go to dinner at the in-laws, then dinner with my family. It's a very very busy week.

And I'm just in a major funk... I don't feel like dealing with any of it. But I know I will. One day at a time, right?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My poor doggy-

After I posted the other day about my dogs getting old, I had the point further driven home. My thirteen year old dog (who could be older, anywhere from 13-15 actually) almost gave me a heart attack. He was laying down, when he suddenly got up and started spinning in circles and tripping over his feet. His head was wobbling, and his eyes were roving. I ran to him and held him until his head stopped flipping side to side.

We decided to wait and see what happened after that. So the next day he had another episode. It lasted a minute or so, then stopped. Five minutes later he had another episode. It lasted over fifteen minutes. I got him on his dog bed and started petting him, I wasn't about to let him go running around like that. He stopped shaking but his eyes were still roving and his eyebrows were twitching really bad. At some point he wet himself.

It was really scary.

I got him to the veterinarian, and the vet thinks he has vestibular disease. Apparently this is common in older dogs. Sometimes it can be treated with medication, sometimes it can't. The vet told me his 14 year old dog had it, but did not respond to medication. Great.

While at the vets my dogs eyes started roving, and by the time we got home he started having a full blown episode on the way out of the car. He fell on the floor in the house a couple of times while we were putting our coats away. I gave him his first dose of meds, and now I just hope they work. I am terrified he'll have an episode on the stairs and fall down them.

So now I have my hands full with that. Thankfully he's sleeping now. I really hope he doesn't have any more episodes tonight... poor old man.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Some stuff...

I've started several posts and saved them as drafts, deciding not to post them.

I've just been thinking about a lot of things.

I am disenchanted with my job, and ready to look for greener pastures. I should have probably done this already, but now there's a lot more drama and budget cuts, and I know I can't take much more of this crap. Really, I should be looking for a full-time position where I can utilize my degree... but finding a place locally that is what I'm looking for, well, it's a joke. One of the many drawbacks for living in a small city. I'm not interested in commuting either, so that doesn't help. I really need to get an entry level positions somewhere else and continue to build up experience in other fields.

So there's that going on. I was going to wait until spring, but with the way things currently are at my work... I don't think I'll last that long, I'll probably explode or have a nervous breakdown before then.
My dogs are old. And it's starting to sink in just how old they are. The medium sized dog is at least 13. My large Labrador Retriever is turning 12 on the 28th. That's really old considering her breed/size. Not to mention, last year she started tripping down a few steps at a time going down the stairs. The other day she tried to follow me up the stairs, and fell down at least the lower 1/4 of the stairs. She snores heavier and sleeps harder... like, sometimes shaking her doesn't even wake her right away. I have had each of these dogs pretty much their entire lives- my big girl since she was four weeks old, my little old man since he was maybe a year, maybe two. I got him when I was 13, and my girl when I was 14 (a birthday present). You can't really tell he's that old, except that his muzzle is almost entirely white now and it used to be golden orange like his fur. But he's certainly ageing too.

Watching them grow old, watching her decline in physical ability, forces me to think about what's going to happen... specifically, what's going to happen sooner than I want to admit. Ever since the recent incident on the stairs, it's been on my mind. They're getting old. Someday, they won't be here with me. I've just been emotional off and on, watching her struggle with the steps really sets me off. Watching her struggle with anything really sets me off actually.

I also have a cat that's about her age. That girl looks the oldest of the lot, and I really worry about how much longer she'll be around. She's lost a lot of weight, doesn't maintain her body weight effectively, and just clings a lot. This cat used to be feral, and she's had several litters of kittens before she was fixed, so I know she's aged a bit faster than some cats... but man, it's hard. I can't give her medicine or anything... her name is Demon Voure- Devo for short- if that tells you anything... nice lap cat, seriously, but she has an attitude about touching her/picking her up/doing anything she doesn't like. I tamed her from being feral, but I don't think you can ever take all the wild out of a cat. Like, sometimes when you pet her she'll like it but she'll growl as if she doesn't, but usually only if other cats around (she apparently has an image to uphold), if you're all alone with her she purrs. She has a broken meow, and a broken purr- I joke and say her meow box is broken, because in the eleven years I've had her, I heard her meow normal once. I think she's faking it, haha. But seriously, my girl is old. And this worries me.

My animals are my family, they aren't really pets. They all chose to stay with me, actually they wouldn't let me put them out or leave them even if I wanted to. If they sneak out, they hang around and wait for me to call them and I've literally had them jump into my arms to be brought home. So I know I'm rambling, but I've had these three for half my life. Literally. And I know my time is limited now; it's hard. I could have many more years, I know... but I might not. And that's something I hadn't wanted to acknowledge.
The holidays... not looking forward to going to the in-laws for dinner. They'll be playing pass around the baby, and probably starting on on sister-in-law and her new fiancée. I hope they don't ask us questions, some of them know about our situation, and some of them can't put two and two together. And not a single one of them know how to handle the situation. They usually pass over us anyway, and while I feel slighted that they ignore us... I am also thankful that they do.

I did buy a bunch of presents for the nieces/nephews. I can't wait for them to get their presents. I get a bit excited about these things sometimes, haha. I, ummm, also employ this philosophy that as an aunt it's my job to buy them the noisiest toys I can find. In my defense, the kids like them. And also... it's great revenge on the siblings who may have picked on you growing up (*ahem, like all of mine*). Muahahaha! And here's the upside of being infertile, they can't get revenge on me. I'd love it if they did, and not mind at all (I mean, c'mon, I would love to have kids period!) but since it's going to be awhile until we have kids... we don't have to worry about revenge for awhile. Can I get another Muahahaha!

I also bought and sent in my gift for the giving tree project at the local store. I picked a 14 year old girl, there were a lot of un-picked older kids on the tree and that always makes me sad. Everyone would rather pick a baby or smaller child, but really? It's the older children who are going to notice the lack of presents the most.

That's just my opinion and experience though, I guess. When I was younger I didn't notice when our holiday gifts were lighter than usual, but I still remember the year when I was fifteen and I got one gift (from anybody at all- just one gift total). It was a hard winter for a lot of other reasons, but that made it even harder I think. Buying gifts for the girl made me feel better, especially that I am able to give back, and that hopefully her holiday will be a little brighter. But it also brought up a lot of memories and emotions from where I was younger and we were a lot poorer than I am now. Which was hard too. Sometimes it feels like all that stuff that happened to me, happened to someone else instead. I know it shaped me into who I am, but when I'm sitting at home all snug and warm, it's easy to forget about the nights I froze because we didn't have heat. Or with a fridge full of food, it's easy to forget counting down the days until my mother either got paid or got her food stamps. When my husband buys me almost everything I want for the holidays, it's easy to forget that sometimes I had almost nothing.

I will have another post up soon, right now I'm just kind of here and there.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Articles and the Scare Factor

Otherwise known as, get your facts straight before you publish.

Also known as, stop releasing studies prematurely and scaring the crap out of people.

Also also known as get the facts straight and use it as a moment to educate, instead of a moment to induce hysteria.

I saw this article a while ago and kept meaning to post about it, but you know how that goes out here in the land of no-longer-trying-to-conceive. However, as a babylost mamma, I felt my need to call this out:

The headline reads "Miscarriages May Increase Heart Attack Risk"... so, talons out and sharpened. Okay, so I am by no means a medical expert, but I have had three, read 'em three, miscarriages. I have been through hell and back, I don't need some article to come along and tell me that means I could die. Seriously.

The article starts by saying that women with recurrent miscarriages (ahem, like me) are at greater risk of heart attack.

Here's how their stats break down:
Miscarriage increased risk of heart attack by 40%
More than 2 by 4Xs
More than 3 by 9Xs
Stillbirth increased the risk by 3.5Xs

It also mentioned that women with miscarriage history tend to weigh more. Once they factored in lifestyle factors the risk dropped a lot, but was still higher than women who haven't.

What is not mentioned is about the causes of miscarriage and stillbirth. For example, many of them are caused by undiagnosed clotting disorders. Hmm, could clotting disorders or the like have any effect on your cardiovascular system? Could that possible raise your risk of heart attack or stroke? What about the psychological aspect, depression and attitude towards life after the miscarriage or stillbirth. Yes, some of us do gain weight and become less active, it's called depression. I know that for me, the depression and the grief were so heavy I couldn't get off the couch for a very long time. Once the grief became manageable, the depression subsided... but it was really hard and it did take a toll on me.

What I'm saying is, maybe they could have mentioned these things and how they could contribute to heart attack and stroke. They could have taken a moment to address the underlying causes and how they could affect things (and not the miscarriages itself, that's a correlation, not a cause if you ask me). They could have addressed how to treat the issues, or signs of depression. This was a perfect moment to educate the public, and what did they do... try to scare you. And on such a sensitive topic too.

Personally, I would really have appreciated if they had waited to release this study. Or at least, vetted it out more before release. Now, maybe I'm looking at this all wrong, and like I said I am no expert, but as a babylost mamma this just bothered me.

What do you think of this article? Am I being overly critical here?

Monday, November 29, 2010


Honestly, for the most part right now, I'm very happy. I don't feel pressured, I don't feel like I need to keep pushing myself, giving everything I've got; I can stop and really breathe. I can pick up and go somewhere without worrying about appointments, what day I am, what pills I need, etc... I'm not tied to infertility's timetable anymore.

I can't describe the release I've felt since I decided to move on. I feel like our lives are new again, and we can do whatever we want. I can smile, I can lose that weight, I can spend that money instead of making compromises. I know that we haven't been putting as much in savings this past month, but I got some dental work done and bought more for the nieces/nephews than usual. And the spending will probably be the same next month, need more dental work done and need to buy more presents!

Mostly, I feel like I'm actually moving forward again. And that's the most amazing feeling.

During treatments it was always the same thing, over and over. The same failure over and over. Things are different now, sure it's the same things mostly, but I can focus on other things, try to accomplish other things, try to accomplish nothing if I want. I am not focusing on the next failure, I'm focusing on what may be possible.

(That's not to say we didn't live our lives while we were trying, because we did. It was just that things were always tainted by trying, by fertility expenses, by miscarriages, by failure.)

One of my big goals, trying to lose 40lbs by July. That will put me 10lbs under my pre-trying/miscarriage weights. It's doable, I just need to really stick to my guns. I need to walk/jog at least 30 minutes every other day, more than that would be even better. Also watching my calories, which is a great idea anyway. That hasn't been so hard this time around, the Metformin has really helped with that... the upped dose or the ER version, whatever, it's actually working. The more I'm on it, the more I'm noticing it's effects. It's awesome.

In addition to that, paying off the rest of our medical debt and putting more into savings. We've been working on this for awhile, and we're going to keep working at it. I finally have all my medical bills from my surgeries earlier this year taken care of. Woohoo! All my other bills should be cleared by April at the latest, so that will be awesome! The only debt we have is medical, well and my student loans... but no credit card debt or anything for us. So that makes things easier on the credit front, not as much to clear up.

Eventually I need to call my RE. I really do. I know I do, I just don't want to. But I need some Provera or birth control pills. I also need to touch base and talk about odds, whether we'd still be able to do donor embryos with them if we received some. Really, I don't want to take my temperature either, but I know I'll need to eventually if I want to confirm that I haven't ovulated and therefore won't be starting a new cycle anytime soon. But again, I really don't want to. I don't want go anywhere near things related to trying, I don't want to be reminded of it, I don't want to be bothered with it anymore. Someday, sure it might be a whole other thing, and when we do donor embryos I'll go back to it (sort of)... but for now, today, this week, this month... I don't want to.

For now, I just want to continue learning how to love life again.
It feels good right, like this is where I'm supposed to be and this is what I need to do.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Thanksgiving that wasn't-

A year ago today we had our third miscarriage. It came as a hard blow for many reasons: because it came after almost 3 years of trying, two different fertility specialists, two previous miscarriages, our last injectable/IUI cycle that we could afford, and it was of course at the time of year we were supposed to be giving thanks.

Let's just say that I wasn't feeling the most thankful.

Granted I did give praise for small things, like the miscarriage being so early and therefore less painful physically. Also, it didn't drag itself out until Thanksgiving, instead it got the party started a few days beforehand.

I know that doesn't sound like much to be thankful for, but is was.

Of course, we didn't tell many family members about this right away. For the same reasons we didn't tell them about the first one right away (which if you remember, happened when we were getting ready to go to our nephews birthday party). But more than that, I think, we were just plain tired of telling them, "Yeah, we had another miscarriage." And getting a, "That's too bad" in response. We've never even got a chance to tell them "We're pregnant"... I doubt we ever will, but you never know I guess.

The holidays are already hard enough without that miscarriage being added on top of everything. We're swamped with baby talk, and everyone focusing on the children and new life that is such a given, so expected. Everyone focuses on who's there, while all it does is remind me of who isn't. What couldn't be. What we've lost. The possibilities that will never be realized.

I was at work when the nurse called me, and here I am a year later, at work again. But so much has changed. A year ago I was despondent, having got the news on my cellphone. The nurse told me how sorry she was, and all I could say was that I knew. I had known before it began. Here I am today, and just two weeks ago I told the nurse that I couldn't keep doing this, that we were at the end of the road, that we would no longer try for a biological child. Crying again. A year ago today, with all my fears realized, we began to accept that we might never have a biological child. Here I am today saying it out loud, barring a miracle, we are never going to have a biological child. So much stays the same in a year, yet how much can change.

I still miss my babies. Every last one of them.

I still don't feel at peace enough with my grief to face a round of "pass around the new baby" at Thanksgiving dinner. No thanks. My husband and I are going to enjoy each other's company, embrace our family of just two, and mourn while we give thanks. It's amazing how happy you can be when you're so terribly sad, that you can laugh even though your heart is broken.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mmm, what day is it?

I keep forgetting what cycle day it is, and that's okay for the first time in a really long time.

It's a sort of lovely feeling, not paying out the ass for treatments, and not struggling with what's going to happen next. I've been playing video games, and just relaxing and entertaining myself. I haven't even been getting online all that often... I know, crazy! I've been playing video games a lot though. A lot a lot. Like, I have a slight addition. But I don't think we need an intervention just yet... not until after I beat this game.

I'm really excited about seeing Harr.y Pot.ter this weekend... like, schoolgirlsqueal-happydance excited. I'm really just enjoying the little things, and it feels good. It's like a huge weight has lifted, and I can really laugh with every fiber in me... not just the tatters of what was left. I still have my moments, and I know I always will no matter what, but right now I am happy.

I've been watching my calories and working out on the treadmill... definitely feeling the burn! Watching my calories has been easier since I started the Metformin XR, rather than the Regular Metformin that I had been taking. Maybe it also has to do with me being on 2,000mg instead of 1,500mg... I don't know. But, I'm less hungry- it's weird to feel full after a smaller portion, before I would still be starving. Still doing fairly well on it, although I have been having a little bit of gastrointestinal issues lately. But good overall.

My liver function test must have came back okay, or not worse at least, because my primary care physician didn't say anything about it. However, my Vitamin D levels have went back down, so I'm on a prescription Vitamin D regiment for 8 weeks again. Yippee skippy. Last time my level was 15, and we got it up to 53 after the 8 weeks. Since then, I've been taking 1,000iu of D3 a day in addition to the 400iu in my prenatal. Apparently that wasn't quite enough though... This time it was 29 I think... so not as bad, but still low. We'll see how this goes.

In my drive to take better care of myself, I made myself go to the dentist... and this morning, I had some cavities filled. Oh joy. But it was necessary, I was very close to needing a root canal or tooth extraction on two of them. And that would have cost a lot more, and been a lot more painful.

Next Tuesday marks one year since we had the last miscarriage. It's weird to say that... a year already. It doesn't seem like it was really that long ago though. At the same time, it feels like a lifetime ago. That one I never even imagined working out, so I feel more detached from the whole experience... I knew it was damned before it began. But it still hurts. I still wish that it had worked out. I still miss what could have been.

We've only told a few select people about what's going on, and what we're hoping to do. Most people have been super supportive. Others, not so much.

A family member told me that since I'm saving up the money and trying to get healthier, that maybe once we had the money saved up we could try injectables again instead. Now maybe that could just be them trying to be "helpful", but this family member always goes back to why we can't keep trying for a biological child, or why we don't try X, Y, or Z. Now, yes- it could just be them trying to be helpful. But I know this family member well, and given a lot of other things they've said and done, I know that they aren't going to be as accepting of our child if it isn't ours biologically. They aren't as accepting of my sister's step-son, they've made a lot of comments about this. Claiming him as family one minute, but not the next. They've said things about other family members who aren't biologically related, or even my in-laws since they aren't biologically related to me... forget that fact that they are related to my husband.

And this pains me... as much as I could easily say "it's their loss", it would also be my child's loss of this family member. How would I explain this to a potential child, because I know they'll pick up on this attitude, even if the family member never out right says it. And that's something I'll have to figure out how to deal with.

I'm generally very sick of a few family members who continue to pressure me to keep trying to have a biological child. I can explain the costs, the pain, the miscarriages, odds of success/failure, the years of heart break and suffering- I can explain this to them until I'm blue in the lips, but they still keep pushing for this. It really pains me. I want them to just accept our decision, because it's my husband and I's life- not theirs. We haven't made any decisions lightly, we've put a lot of thought into this. We've been through a lot. We've done fertility treatments for 2 and a half years, maybe they can't understand this but that's a really long time in the realm of infertility. You can really go through a lot in that amount of time. I don't want people to second guess me, to tell me I'm "giving up", or try to give me advice, or judge me- I just want the people in my life to accept this decision.

The first year or two with infertility, this wasn't so bad because we were also hoping for a biological child. But now, it's like adding insult to injury. Like nothing I do is good enough. Biological child? Sure that'd be nice, but not having one isn't the end of the world. We have other options. And we can accept that not everyone is able to have a biological child. This is the world we live it. Not everyone walks away from fertility treatments with their original goal realized. Not everyone that wants to be parents can make that happen. That's life. It's not easy to accept, especially when you're on the receiving end, but it's the truth.

I imagine that for people with no fertility issues, that concept is hard to wrap your head around. Especially when you see the end goal, but not the struggle. Sure that women you know conceived finally after ten years, but do you have an idea how much pain she was in before that? Sure, someone you know went through several miscarriages before she was successful- but were you there holding her hand as she lost everything she ever wanted? Did you hold her hand through the contractions, did you offer her your time and support? People don't want to talk about infertility and loss, they don't want to be there for the process, it's like they don't want to understand. In some cases, we ourselves decide not to share because it's too painful. So how could they know... but in other cases, we try to tell them, we try to tell them so many times, but they still refuse to hear what we're really saying.

Sometimes you have to move on. Sometimes options become limited, your heart is moved in another direction, or you just can't bear to keep moving because you have nothing left to give. Maybe it's for one reason or another, or maybe it's for a lot of reasons. But eventually, you either succeed of you find a new option.

In the end, we generally know what's best for us and what we need to do.

I don't know where I'm going with this... just venting and thinking out loud I suppose.
Long story short, life goes on.

I'm here, I'm alive, and the world is still spinning even though we aren't planning on having a biological child anymore. Life hasn't gotten any easier, or more difficult, just different.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Off the beaten path-

My new cycle started, and I called my reproductive clinic. My doctor still only had about have the injectable medication we'd need saved up, and for a variety of reasons, we decided that this is the end of the road for now. We're going to take a new approach to things.

There are a lot of reasons we came to this conclusion. We're going broke throwing this kind of money at treatments each month, we haven't put any money into savings in awhile now. I'm sick of being poked, prodded, invaded; feeling like a failure when I fail to ovulate, when I fail to get pregnant, when I fail to stay pregnant. We're sick of feeling pressured into intimacy. We're sick of nothing ever working. Sick of responding to treatments one cycle, but not the next. Sick of never having answers. Sick of letting infertility make major life decisions for us, whether we leave a job or keep it, whether I start seriously working out or wait until after this cycle, whether we spend the money of other things like a car or clothing, or we give it another go. I'm sick of living in two week increments.

Continuing oral meds right now doesn't make sense. They work sometimes, and not others. I have to take double doses often, which makes my cycle very emotional when I fail to respond. And there's no guarantee they'll even work then. And they haven't been working, perfect timing, IUIs, everything lining up just right... nothing is working. While it seems like something to do in the meantime, it's still $500 a cycle if we add an IUI. It adds up... and while we're doing that, we can't save money for anything else.

An unmonitored cycle isn't something I want to do right now, I'd have to come in for a baseline still and that requires driving all the way out there and back- and that means the cycle would still cost about $100. And, I can't temp my basal body temperature effectively right now. Not working my shift like I am, I sleep at different times of the day, sometimes at night, sometimes during the day. I wouldn't know for sure if I ever ovulated, which means more blood work. More poking-prodding-invasiveness. More anxiety.

And doing any fertility treatment right now also means more steroids... which, I don't necessarily think it's good to stay on them for so long. I'm even wondering if they're part of the reason my blood pressure has been high lately... I know there are probably a lot of contributing factors, like my weight, insulin issues, I used to smoke, etc... but before being on the steroids my blood pressure had always been normal. With the same medical history, with the same weight, etc...

And then, emotionally, I'm just done. It's been 3 years and almost 8 months. We've spent 2 and a half years pursuing fertility treatments... that takes a toll on a person and a relationship. Some of it for the better, some of it for the worse. When we started trying to conceive, I was 22... I'm turning 26 in two months. Almost my entire early twenties spent trying to conceive, getting pregnant, and miscarrying repeatedly.

I'm not looking for suggestions, or advice, I'm just telling it like it is. This is where we are, and this is where we feel like we need to go next. That's not to say that in a few weeks, a few months, or a few years, that we won't feel differently. I'm not saying that we won't ever return to basic fertility treatments. I'm saying this is what we need to do for now, and this is what we're doing.

We're taking a break from trying to conceive a biological child, possibly indefinitely.

I will schedule a consult with my doctor in the next month just to touch base with her, talk about what she thinks our options are, whether she thinks donor embryos would be a good option for us, and I also need to ask her for some prescriptions for Provera and birth control pills... since I don't ovulate, I don't get periods, and as some of you know that increases my risk of endometrial cancer. I'd like to keep that risk to a minimum, so I need to stay up on taking medication to make me pseudo-normal. I think birth control pills might be a good idea, they'd keep my hormones and PCOS in check... and my PCOS has been running wild for awhile now.

We're going to refocus ourselves on embryo adoption. I'm going to start researching clinics in Ohio to see if any have an in-house program, other than my old clinic... who told me point blank I wouldn't qualify because I haven't done IVF or donor eggs. Don't get me started on that... I wish my current clinic had a program. But, I'm also going to email or call a few facilitating organizations for more information about how they operate. I actually have one organization in mind, and we feel pretty good about it... but I want to see what other options there are first before making a commitment.

While we research and save money for that, we're going to focus on our health, losing weight, and just enjoying life.

I'll still be blogging, although it might not be as frequent. But I know I can't stay away from this place for long, haha.

Much love to all my cheerleaders, all of your support has meant so much. I just want you all to know that.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Waste of tests-

Still a BFN at 14 days past ovulation. I'm just waiting for my new cycle to start so I can call my reproductive clinic for a baseline. Not spotting yet, so who knows if it will start tomorrow or not. My progesterone might have been higher than usual because of there being two follicles... however, my luteal phase is normally 14 days. I've had a few cycles where it was shorter, but the majority of the time it's 14 days. It's never been longer... so maybe by the end of the day tomorrow something will be happening.

Waiting waiting waiting.

I had a moment of weakness on the internet and bought myself a pretty dress online. In my defense, it was on clearance. Still a bit expensive though... and it's a renaissance styled dress, so unless I'm feeling really ballsy or eccentric, I might not get much use out of it. But I really wanted it... (*sigh*) I have buyers guilt now, because I should have put that money into savings or left it for bills... but the dress looked so pretty, and I've been feeling down, so I talked myself into buying it for myself as a "feel better about yourself" present. Maybe I will just make it be part of my holiday present... sure.

Ungh. Oh well, I'm excited to get it and see what it looks like on me. It'll probably look terrible... almost everything I look at and go "Ooo, that's pretty!", it ends up looking horrible when it's actually on me. I like a certain style of clothing, but my body... doesn't like hardly anything. A majority of things look terrible on me. At the plus size store I have to try everything on before I buy them, especially tops because some fit right in some areas but not others, some make me look nine months pregnant (thanks PCOS belly), and some make me look like a hobbit because they're too long and I'm far too short... yeah. If shopping in a store is so hard, makes you wonder why I'd be stupid enough to buy online... where I can't try it on before purchasing. Yeah, I'm wondering the same thing. It's okay.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ow ow ow-

So first off, I am having a hell of a week. I am super whiny. And apparently there's nothing really wrong.

Between the sore throat, everyday migraines, congestion, hand rashes, extreme shoulder pain over the weekend, constant exhaustion, and excessive running into things... yeah, it's just been one of those weeks. I feel like I am falling apart at the seams.

According to my doctor I am fine though, other than my blood pressure being slightly elevated. So I am going to go with it's all stress and sleep deprivation related. Which all stems from me working all sorts of extra hours this past week... hours I neither asked for, nor wanted. I am hoping this week is kinder on me. Otherwise, I am either going to reevaluate my current sleep schedule... or my current job schedule/situation. While I enjoy that I hardly have to do anything at work, I get very bored and the lack of sleep is difficult. I'm getting too old for staying up all night... there, I said it. I am no longer a spring chicken.

Anyway, I'm having my liver function levels tested again, since I have to do this periodically (because I have Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Syndrome, and I'm on Metformin). I also asked my doctor to rerun my Vitamin D levels, since it's been awhile. I just want to make sure I'm taking the right dose. I personally think I probably need a higher dose, but we'll see.

Oh, yeah- still BFN. Like I said.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Well, that sucks-

Blaring negative just now at 11 days post ovulation. I know it's early still, but I used the super sensitive tests (can pick up 10 hcg), and I've always had a positive by now if I was going to get one at all.

So... that sucks.

I don't get it. I really don't.

Part of me wonders if this is for the best though.

I used to ask the universe "Please let me get pregnant," but now I simply ask, "Please, don't let me get pregnant if I can't have a take home baby." Getting pregnant would be nice, but I don't want to go through another miscarriage. Perhaps me not even being able to get pregnant anymore is a sign that I should let go already.

I'm not one for signs, faith, or even science anymore. I generally believe that whatever is going to happen, will happen, and fuck how it affects everyone. But... I guess I'm grasping here. But, not getting pregnant could be a blessing in disguise. And maybe, just maybe, it means something.

Or it could just be another sad mind-fuck on the path of infertility. Another layer to my grief. Not even another chance at pregnancy, no last try, no final attempt. Just... this. Another thing taken away from me and forced out of my hands. Another thing that I'll always wonder about.

I don't know. But blessing in disguise, or not, it sucks.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

sleep deprivation-

Ungh. My sleep has not been what one would call whole this week. It comes in bursts, interrupted segments. I am really annoyed with my boss right now, because I am exhausted and I'm not feeling well, and I am just pissy. I'm sleep deprived, I'm agitated, achy, and BBLLLAAAAAHHHHH.

I've woke up with a migraine the past, oh, 4 days. Been taking lots of Tylenol, it helps some... but not much. I am very sore, lots of shoulder tension, neck pain. Still a little congested, but it's not productive congestion.

I also beamed my head on the corner of my CD rack today while I was cleaning, so now I have a bruise on my hairline above my forehead. I iced it up so the bruise isn't very visible, but I can definitely feel it. My teeth are also bothering me, but I really really don't want to go to the dentist. I think it's more my gums than my teeth... I don't know what's up with them. But, I'm annoyed.

I feel like I'm just falling apart this week. I don't feel good. When I don't feel good I am super whiny... so... sorry about the whining.

Anyway, since it's after midnight, I am officially 8 days past ovulation.

I don't know when I'm going to test. I have one test at home, and I don't really want to buy more... sooo, I'm going to try and hold out until 12 days past ovulation. Which I think is Monday. But you all know how that goes with me and willpower... I'm a *POAS addict. But I'm going to try and stay strong.

Speaking of willpower though... I haven't bothered temping this entire cycle, you should be proud of me. I just decided I didn't feel like it, didn't need to because of the monitoring, and I'm working such crazy hours it's probably a good thing I'm not charting.

Is it the weekend yet? I'm really looking forward to a good solid day off.

* POAS= Pee On A Stick

Monday, November 1, 2010


So it's 5 days past ovulation (or I hope it is); it's 5 days past the IUI at least. On one hand I'm like, "wow, has it really been 5 days?" On the other, it feels like time is dragging.

I've been finding things to occupy myself with. Work helped me with that by giving me more hours, despite the fact that I specifically asked to not have more hours. Ungh. Just chanting to myself that I'm not going to complain though, because we do need the extra money... (*sigh*) So... rocking it vampire style, going to be sleeping all day and working most nights.

Had a decent Halloween; it's my second favorite holiday. I didn't go all out this year though, and I didn't really get in the mood. We barely decorated, our party called it quits early, we didn't make new costumes and just reused some from a few years ago, none of us were really in our normal festive moods. I did at least light my candles to remember the dead, briefly, and I did make my traditional dinner... but just really wasn't feeling it this year.

We passed out candy in our costumes. It was fun to see all the little kids in theirs, although I noticed that like none of them said "trick or treat" and only about half said "thank you". We had to yell out to some groups that we had candy, despite the fact that we were sitting on the porch in costumes with bowls of candy on our laps with the porch light on... seriously. And then the groups were like, "Oh!" and came over... this happened several times, we think they just weren't sure what to make of us since there were 4 of us in costumes on the porch. But it was amusing. Felt a little bittersweet about it, because I love the holiday and can't wait to have my own little one to dress up and share traditions with...

Oh, and it was pretty chilly out. And we didn't wear coats, just our costumes. I didn't feel that cold in the costume at the time... but the husband and I both woke up the next day with sore throats, headaches, and I am slightly congested with a very minor cough. Awesome. So we might be coming down with something, because I feel like crap. But instead of being home in bed trying to feel better, I'm sitting here at work... staying awake and feeling like crap. Double awesome.

Anyway, back to the cycle chit-chat... so, like usual I'm not really expecting much from this cycle but I guess I could be surprised. This is my 7th ovulatory cycle since the ovarian drilling, and my 3rd IUI since then.

Compare that to my 5 ovulatory cycles with 2 IUIs, which resulted in 3 pregnancies before the drilling...

Just saying. I used to have a pregnancy rate of like 60%, and now it's 0%.

Granted I didn't ovulate at all in 2007.
I only ovulated 2 times in 2008, and got pregnant 1 time.
I ovulated 3 times in 2009, with 2 IUIs, and got pregnant 2 times.
Ovulated a whopping 7 times this year, with 3 IUIs, and no pregnancies so far...

Yeah, that doesn't make it sound any better, does it?

I definitely feel like something else is broken now. Don't know what, since everything looks good on both ends for most of these cycles, and my tubes and everything got a once over during the laproscopy/hysteroscopy... but it feels like something must be broken since it's just not happening anymore.

I know that sometimes it just doesn't happen, odds are only 25% or so each cycle, and anything can be going on, plus several of these cycles only had one follicle, etc etc etc... but seriously, this is not normal for me at all. And it just makes me doubt my bodies ability to even get pregnant. I don't know. But I'm definitely not the most hopeful.

Yet part of me keeps telling myself that it could still happen...

So, yeah, I am a bit of a masochist.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Entering the wait-

IUI went quite well this morning. Way better than last time, that's for sure. So, count was 21 million, with 80% motility... not bad.

No issue with getting things done this time either, it went pretty smoothly. It was a huge relief all around.

Sooo... now we wait!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Soooo... shock and surprise, there were two mature follicles lurking on righty! I was not expecting that... I wasn't expecting one, let alone two. My body just likes driving me nuts... So, the extra dose of Femara did the job. The upped dose of Metformin may have helped. Who knows... but, there you have it.

We triggered, of course. And we ended up deciding to add the IUI afterall. We were going to save the money for next cycle, since we planned on the injectable cycle... but... but... there were TWO follicles... so I didn't want to regret not adding the IUI. Money will be tight this coming month, but... we're going ahead with it.

So the plan is IUI in the morning (after I get off work... that should be fun... except for not). Then start progesterone on Friday. So... yeah. There you have it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Still alive, I think-

It's been such a long month, not as in time is dragging but rather that physically I am exhausted. I am looking forward to next weekend, hell I'm looking forward to Wednesday evening, because I go back to my regular days at long last. I hope I go back to them and stay there... really hoping my boss doesn't get it in her head to switch things up on me. I can't work graveyard shift every other day of the week... I'm getting too old for this crap.

Soooo, I'm exhausted.

I'm in research and planning mode, weighing all options against odds of success, financial risks, and our desire to pursue. Budgeting, which we already were, but I'm reevaluating yet again (the whole saving money thing would be going swimmingly if it weren't for us throwing away so much money on fertility treatments each month... imagine that). Trying to think about where we're going and about when/what/if we talk to family about what we're thinking/pursuing. Just, lots of things being processed and evaluated right now. But, still planning on our current tentative plans as of now, and just trying to work out other details and make sure this is what we want to do.

And I'm waiting to go back to the doctor on Tuesday. I'm really not expecting anything there though, just want to get it over with and start progesterone if I need it. Even if there's a follicle, I don't think I'll throw the money away on an IUI this time... we'd rather save that money for the possible injectable cycle next month instead. I mean I can't say for certain that's what we'll do, but that's what I'm thinking right now.

I upped my dose of Metformin this past week. My doctor let me choose to either use 1500mg or 2000mg, but I thought I had a little trouble handling the higher dose. Well, I decided to up it after the last mid-cycle, just to give the higher dose a try again. It's been going pretty well. No gastrointestinal issues really, thank goodness. I have been experiencing some hot flashes, which aren't really associated with Femara for me, so I don't think it's from that. I'm wondering if maybe it's from the Metformin... or perhaps the recent sleep deprivation... I'll mention it to my doctor on Tuesday, just so she's aware.

Still haven't gained a single pound this year. Yay! I'm sure that's not such a huge feat for a lot of people, but with fertility treatments and PCOS, and everything... it's actually pretty awesome for me. For reals. I would love to lose weight, but not gaining any is pretty good. I'll take what I can get.

Trying to be hopeful that next year is going to be better... I told myself in the car tonight that this is the final countdown, we're almost done. I'm going to live my life for today, and hope for tomorrow again. Next year will be a different journey, a different beast.

I'm hoping a friendly, tamer, beast... but I suppose only time will tell on that one. Right?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Long night, err day?-

Graveyard shift kind of sucks sometimes. I'm stuck at work until 8am. Then today I get to come back at 10am for a few hours for a training session... on active listening. Yay me... trust me, I don't think my listening will be very active after this sleep deprivation. But I'm sure I'll be fine, I normally am. Just going to be very tired.

And of course today, being today, holds a little bit of a bang. Not a huge one, but enough to sting. It's the anniversary of the estimated due date for the second pregnancy. That one lasted the longest, looked healthy, betas were beautiful... I started to think it might last. And then it didn't. The estimated due date coincided with the same week of one of my nieces and one of my nephews birthdays, oddly enough. So I get to mail out their cards, visit with them, but never see my own.

I know, it's just a date. I probably wouldn't have had her around then, or anything like that. But the day still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I hate what I went through with that pregnancy. I hate how it turned out. I hate that I should have a baby turning one this month, but I don't.

That pregnancy has a lot of heartache attached to it, for so many reasons. Not just waking up to all that blood, at the beginning of the end. Not just the physical pain and horror from using Cytotec to induce it when my body refused to let go. Not just the waiting to confirm the worst. The useless bedrest, the defeat. Not just how far along I was that time. Not even because I got to see it, that little starter placenta on that perfectly intact and yet broken gestational sac. The physical pain while recovering, which I couldn't have imagined.

Those aren't the necessarily the worst things though... I think right up there, is the piece of me that died inside. I always knew that nothing was guaranteed; I mean, good grief, my niece was stillborn at 42 weeks! But now it's completely and utterly solidified in my heart- perfect betas mean nothing, doubling tripling, even getting over 5,000... means nothing. A good indication, maybe. But it doesn't promise anything. I know that measuring on time doesn't mean you'll continue to measure on time either. I know that hope is better put in other things.

I wasn't so naive as to believe that things would work out, but I hoped they would. I started to believe they might. And afterwards, I knew I'd never have that again. Not that hope. Not that belief.

Instead I'm left with a nightmare forever engraved within my heart. Some days it really does feel like that, a living nightmare. That miscarriage haunts me more than the other ones. They were all hard, in different ways. But this one brings a lot of grief, a lot of pain, a lot of horror. I don't think about it every day, it doesn't haunt my every waking thought, but it does still haunt me.

I miss her. I miss who I was when I thought she might live. I miss what I lost with her, everything I lost. Losses I'm only still beginning to recognize, losses I've felt since the day it began, losses I might not even fully recognize for years yet. Grief is like that, always lurking in the shadows, waiting. I let her in, I embrace her, and then we part. She doesn't walk with me through every breath, but she's always a step behind.

Just... reflecting a bit today. Remembering the future we lost, and what happened instead.

But life goes on and all that. Sometimes it's really hard though. I'm trying to be optimistic about where we're going, I'm making plans, I'm letting myself get hopeful... but I'm not just facing the grief of infertility at every tug and pull. I'm facing loss, I'm facing a future I almost had but inevitably lost. And all these losses sting of something bitter, and each grief is unique and painful in it's own way. I never thought I'd be here today, having went through what we have. I couldn't understand what it was like for someone to keep going through this, to have gone through this, to survive it. Now, I can imagine it perfectly. And I realize I lost a great many things along the way, but... shock and surprise, I'm still here.

I'm surviving.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Artwork being shared on Still Life 365-

I have a painting being shared on Still Life 365 today, if you feel like heading over to check it out:

It's the design I mentioned here. The one representing all three miscarriages, and myself. The colors all represent to the birthstones for the months I lost them in, and the middle one is my own birthstone. All intertwined.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Changing course-

I must be one of the most indecisive infertility bloggers out there. But seriously, there's only so many options left we're willing to try, or that even seem worth trying, coupled with financial risks and our own craptastic treatment history. Making one decision may nullify another, if we do one and it fails it will take that much longer to pursue a different one, what we need to do and what we want to do don't always match up... it's dizzying the things we must consider.

Oh dear, I'm rambling.

We'd already decided that we would finish this cycle. We already decided we would try the injectable cycle next month too. We decided we would see about taking December off and perhaps doing another Clomid cycle in January... unmonitored, just for the hell of it.

But after that things were... foggy, and overwhelming.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. My husband wasn't sure what he wanted to do anymore. Neither of us were sure if we were ready to stop trying to conceive altogether, look into more options, stop trying and start saving, or what. We've spent a lot of time talking things over this week, to evaluate what we wanted to do, what we felt we needed to do, where we're going, when we're cutting ourselves off.

We've come back to some tentative plans, which may change (they're always, always, subject to change). While we are still interested in fostering, and infant adoption, we did decide we want to look into embryo adoption again first. Honestly... when we researched it last year we were both very interested in it. And we're both still very interested in it. If we hadn't had the third miscarriage, we probably would have tried to already. But, that third miscarriage really put a damper on things. There are risks with frozen donor embryos, and it may not work, and it does have financial risks, but we do want to at least look into it more. There are a lot of things to consider, and we're not jumping into anything, but we're going to keep looking into it.

So... we'll see how that goes, how things pan out until then, and if we have second thoughts again. But that's what we're thinking right now. Tentatively. We'll see how viable this option is in the upcoming months, think about it some more, but for now- one day at a time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Giveaway @ Parenthood for Me

Parenthood for Me is having a giveaway of some lovely pieces of artwork from the recent fundraiser artshow. Check it out! For more details and/or how to enter go to:

Even if you aren't interested in entering, you can still stop by and check it out :) There have been some pretty cool things happening over there.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The usual-

My mid-cycle yielded no surprises for us- not a single maturing follicle. Lots of little PCOS classic bastards, but nothing standing out. Ungh.

Going to treat today as CD3 and start 7.5mg Femara again... just to see if it does anything. If not... well, we may be doing an injectable cycle next month. Maybe. Not sure yet. Depends on how much donated meds my doctor has put back for us, and how much we'd have to pay for ourselves.

I feel like such a freak show sometimes. Most people find a medication or dose that works for them, and it keeps working. Not me. My body sees everything as a challenge... it resists with all it's might. It says, "Fuck you bitch, I don't want to be pregnant!" I mean, it doesn't ovulate. It doesn't respond to fertility treatments. And my womb of doom makes short work of any pregnancy that occurs.

I am screwed.

Oh well, off to stuff my face with delicious comfort foods! And maybe I'll have an impromptu date night with the husband too. We'll see.

Life goes on, and I'm not going to let this crap ruin my weekend though. That's for sure.

Friday, October 15, 2010

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

It's October 15th again, you know what that means- It's National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I invite you to join me, and spread the word.

At 7pm I will be lighting a candle for my three lost ones, as well as my niece who was stillborn, and all the other children we've lost. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost.

Our children are always remembered, and forever loved.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I get little things every now and then, things that remind me of my lost ones. Like my pendants, my tattoo, the tree and two bushes in the backyard, the sleeping angel, the three little birds statues... I've always associated the first one with birds, hence my tattoo for that one being a sparrow. And ever since then, it's just been a thing... birds make me think of my babies. So those three little birds were just so perfect, on sale, three different colors, unique, adorable. They watch us from the mantle, and I adore them.

I've had a tattoo design in mind for all three since the last one. It incorporates all three of my losses, intertwined. The colors I chose to use are the birthstones for the months I lost them, as opposed to when they would have been due. I have since painted that design, and am just waiting until we take a break from treatments or move on altogether. It looked better than I imagined, and I can't wait to get it done.

I didn't realize it until just now though, but those colors are the same as my three little birds. It was quite unintentional. I bought the birds on a whim, and there were three colors- so I got one of each. This was after the last loss, during the winter still. I wasn't even thinking of the new tattoo design quite yet, or about what colors it would be. I didn't mean to buy birds in corresponding colors to the months I lost my little ones, but I did.

When I looked up there just now, it made me smile as I realized this. Something so small, purely coincidental, but so right.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What would make the week complete?

Two pregnancy announcements- of course.

Recently married co-worker (which was no big shocker, she had a pregnancy book a few months ago- I knew it was coming). But A-s boss also announced that they're expecting their 5th. Lovely. That I did not expect... I kind of thought they were done.

It's good that some people's reproductive ability is still intact, but geesh. Was there something in the water that I missed out on?

Self pity is ugly on me... so, back to my Femara and adoption books! I will be a mother, one way or another... at least, that's what I keep telling myself.

I just really wish I knew when. I'm so tired of waiting... always waiting.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

So yeah-

I am very frustrated, but we'll be fine. Money is just flying out the door this week. Plumbing was all backed up, toilet yuckiness was coming up in the basement. Ewwwwwwww! Tree roots were growing into the pipes, making everything get all backed up. Lovely, right? There went a pretty large lump of money.

And then medicine (which insurance didn't cover), ATM errors (still waiting on them to clear that crap up, my deposit money sits in limbo until then), major insurance run around, and other shit... it's just been a crazy week.

I made the best of things last night and had fun with my friends, so that was good.

I think I have two days left of Femara, and I go back in a week to see what's kicking (or what's not). Tick-tock goes the clock.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

No offense-

My doctor walked into our room this morning and said something like, "No offense, but I'm ready to never see you guys again."

The feeling is mutual, although I will miss her. She is one awesome doctor.

No cysts, and we're doing 7.5mg Femara this cycle. We'll see how that goes.

She said she might have enough Bravelle saved up for me next month to do an injectable cycle... if she does, we plan to take her up on that. If not... we have all month to figure out what we're going to do instead, so I'm trying not to worry too much about it right now. Thinking about things, but not letting it get too consuming.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Passing of time-

Well, as you already know- the cycle was a bust. I've been feeling pretty down, and took two days to whine my heart out and type out some aggressions about last cycle. I did some paintings, and just processed. I feel much better now. Going in for a baseline this morning and we'll be talking to our doctor. More on that below, and more of that to come.

I've been thinking a lot about how much time has passed, and it always catches me off guard, like I can't believe it. It doesn't feel like that much time has passed, or that it was us who went through such awful things... but it was. It always catches in my throat, like a cry that never quite leaves me. Time and it's passing, or lack of progression. Sometimes it feels like time stopped, like we were moving along as everyone else does and we got sidetracked along the way. We never made it to the final destination, we just kept wandering in circles. But it's not that time stopped, it's that we stopped somewhere along the way and chose to ignore it's passing. Or to try, at least.

Three and a half years is a long time. I don't always think about it, but when I actually take the time to reflect... damn. That's a long time, and we've been through a lot in that time. It's different when you say it, than when you actually take the time to let it sink in... really notice it.

It's one thing when I say it's been three and a half years, but another when I say it's been three and a half years with three different doctors, two and a half years with fertility treatments, three miscarriages, four IUIs, three cycles of injectables, over 10 of Clomid, 3 Femara; and not to mention the surgeries, procedures, and countless blood tests, and well over $20k spent between our medical insurance and ourselves. We started trying when I was barely 22, and I will be turning 26 in January... ungh. Obviously being young did me no good.

I had a good cry last night with my husband, A-. I said to him, "I never thought we'd still be here." I've been reflecting on that statement. I realized, or remembered now, that I really thought we'd have a living child by now, or have moved on to adoption. I never planned on continuing fertility treatments for so long. Heck, after the first miscarriage I told myself that if we had three miscarriages in total, I would be done.

Yet here we are, still in the depths of fertility treatments. Yes we know more about what's wrong, and knowledge is power, but I still don't always respond to treatments- even knowing all we do now. And we still don't know if I'll ever be able to carry to term. My doctor is optimistic... we're, umm, not so much.

But we've kept going. It's so easy to say, "Yeah, let's do another month." Or "let's try this." When you look at things in the span of weeks instead of years. It's easy to just keep going along when you don't step back and look at the broader picture. When you do that it can get overwhelming, but sometimes you have to do it so you know where you're going.

A lot has happened in these three and a half years. I was going through some old papers last night, and I found my wall calendar from 2008. I leafed through it, and saw my notes on my positive pregnancy test. The date, the excited hand writing, the exclamation point. A week later, I saw the sad writing, "m/c confirmed". A few months later, my first fertility appointment with my ob/gyn, first failed round of Clomid, and so on. Later in the calendar, I saw where I had boxed off the week I was supposed to be due. Happy new year.

The next wall calendar, for 2009, marked my accident and subsequent whip lash, then Clomid, and surprise birthday ovulation. Pregnancy. A following of betas, reaching up into the 2,000's and in the end 5,000's. Then a month later, I marked the end of it. Then the calendar was filled with make-up assignments for school, because my professors let me finish the quarter with incompletes. I had three courses to make up, I still remember the courses; fiction writing, literary publishing, and medieval British history and literature. Time crept by the estimated due date, and I saw the frown and circled date. A month after the estimated due date, I was pregnant again. I could see the weak betas, the hopelessness, and the eventual m/c... the week of Thanksgiving. All of it pristinely kept in time within that calendar. The rest of the year was mostly unmarked.

I didn't keep a wall calendar this year. I'm glad I don't have it to reflect on as well. I keep forgetting what day it is, because I've graduated college and only work a few days a week. Time feels like it's creeping by, but in reality it's flying by without me really noticing. It's already October... and I don't know how it got this far already. Where did the year go?

We haven't completely decided how we're going to end treatments. We talked some last night, and all we know for sure is that we are going to do another Femara cycle. Well, if the beast hasn't left a giant cyst which might force the cycle to get grounded... we'll find out if that's the case of not tomorrow morning. We'll also talk to our doctor then, and try to figure out what we want to do.

I honestly don't think I want to take a break now, and I especially don't know if I want to return to treatments in the spring after said break. Part of me still wants to just push through and quit in April, the four year mark. And in spring maybe attend the counties fostering classes- they only offer them in the spring and autumn here. But part of me wants to keep going until I stop responding completely again, which may be soon since I'm getting more and more resistant. And another part of me wants to just walk away now. The only thing I'm positive about, is that I can't keep doing this for much longer, I want an exit date. I don't want a break, I want an exit date. But at the same time, sweet word, I don't want to stop. I want to keep pushing... I mean I'm ovulating, why am I suddenly not getting pregnant? I'm responding to treatments, so there's always that last chance at pregnancy, that last shot... but it hasn't happened yet, and the longer it keeps not happening, the more I'm convinced it won't happen.

I think part of me not wanting to stop, is because I know that once we stop it really is the end. I don't know if we'll ever revisit treatments, and I don't ovulate on my own. ever. like, for serious. never ever. I will have to take either progesterone or birth control pills the rest of my life to bring on new cycles, and it will be nearly impossible for me to get pregnant (unless I ovulate when I go off birth control, which does sometimes happen) But, seriously, my own body is the best birth control ever. We should bottle up my infertility and sell it the all the fertiles who never want to get pregnant. I might as well be freakin' sterile. When we stop treatments, it will be the end. All she wrote. Not a sliver of a chance at pregnancy. I know anything is possible, so I won't say it's impossible. But it's highly unlikely. And in any case, I won't be holding my breath on that one.

So where are we going... hmm, that's a good question. I wish I knew. My husband and I seem to be in slightly different places about what we want to do. He wants to continue with treatments for now because I'm responding. And I, for the first time in all this, really don't know what I want to do. I know I want to end treatments sometime next year, definitely. I can't keep doing this. But what do we do until then, and when do we stop... I don't know.

We're certainly not making any major decisions right now, spur of the moment as it would be. We'll think about it more this month, talk to the doctor in the morning, and go from there I guess. We'll just keep reflecting and thinking about the future until we reach a decision we're happy with for us.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Infertility is worse than a school bully- it degrades you and makes you feel like you're totally inept and worthless, incapable of the simplest tasks. Then it steals hundreds of dollars, sometimes THOUSANDS. So you're left there, humiliated in front of the world, and penniless.

In short... I wasted $500 last month. And for what? Another fucking negative test.

I've wasted more than that in the past, I have. But this month it has just really pissed me off. I'm feeling very BITTER. I'm feeling angry. I feel defeated.

I think most of it's because I would rather have put that money towards our savings. Instead, it was a total waste. The money has done nothing positive, I have nothing to show for it at all... except another negative test.

I know, I wanted to do a few more cycles so that I have no regrets. We wanted to give it our best shot. But I can't help but wonder if I'm going to end up with more regrets about pressing on. I could be $500 closer to pursuing adoption right now... instead my savings account balance is the same as it was the month before last, and it's not going anywhere, and I'm never going to see that $500 again.

I just feel pissy right now... I'll be less pissy in a few days, I'm sure. I always am. But right now... ungh.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I won't miss about fertility treatments-

I've been thinking a lot about all the things I'm not going to miss about fertility treatments. I guess you could say this is me putting a positive spin on ending treatments. Because we will be ending treatments, maybe not right this moment- but sometime next year we are getting off this train. I'm not counting on a miraculous viable pregnancy here, I'm thinking more of quitting treatments to move on to adoption. Is the first option still possible? Sure, almost anything is possible. But I have chosen to focus more on the hopes of adoption at this point, because really it seems more possible to me than a viable pregnancy. Viable pregnancy... ppfft. Those happen to other people.

But either way, our journey will be ending. It's still hard to wrap my head around that sometimes. We won't be going through this three ring circus much longer, we won't have to shell out that hard cash and fight every single day for something that so many get effortlessly. Weird.

So, as I research adoption, and get myself more and more worked up about it (I am getting really really excited about starting adoption... too bad we aren't going to be able to start for another year or two or three... ungh), I'm preparing myself to let go of what we've known for the last few years of our life. Infertility really does become a lifestyle, and I know it will never go away completely, but some things will. And that's what this list is all about!

I will not miss driving an hour to shell out hard earned money to my doctor.

I will not miss driving that distance, paying that money, and still getting bad news.

I won't miss bawling my eyes out on the way home because of said news.

I will not miss having all sorts of weird things shoved up my lady parts- like pills, ultrasound wands, catheters, endoscopic equipment, etc...

On that note, I won't miss having so many people having a front seat to my lady parts. I really can't tell you how many people have seen them, especially after my laproscopy/hysteroscopy. I felt very violated after that one; I know a whole team of nurses, a few doctors, all got a nice panoramic view of me. While I was unconscious. I have photos of my internal reproductive organs... which is kind of cool, but kind of sad. I mean, normal women wouldn't have a clue what they're ovaries look like. I could show you (as a matter of fact, I did haha).

I won't miss all the ultrasounds. I've had more than Mi.chel.le For serious. I only wish mine were for such happy results... but no, other women get to have all that for themselves.

I won't miss having to take this pill, then this pill, then that pill, while taking these pills, orally, vaginally, injections sub-cutaneously, intramuscularly, now this person giving me a shot, or giving myself a shot, and another, and another, and another.

I will not miss having scheduled make-outs with the husband. I won't miss it, no matter how romantic it is to turn to the husband and say, "Soooo... are you ready?"

I will not miss scheduling my life around appointments, planning my job based on what's convenient for appointments, missing opportunities because I have to take an injection or a pill, or have intercourse, or an IUI, or so on and so on.

I won't miss hauling all these meds with me- like when I was doing injections and had to shoot up at work, and one time even in the parking lot in front of a Star.Bucks while waiting in line at the dentist's. Or how full my purse it right now, because I never know if I'm going to be home or not when I need to take X,Y, or Z.

I won't miss having to explain what medication I'm on, and why I'm on it.

I won't miss worrying about not getting pregnant.

I won't miss worrying about getting pregnant... and the possibility of yet another miscarriage.

I won't miss feeling like it's never going to happen. With adoption, I'm pretty optimistic that I will be a mother. Trying to conceive? Not so much.

There are a lot of things I won't miss about fertility treatments. This isn't everything, but it's what I've got off the top of my head anyway. It's been a long three and a half years. Two and a half of them have been with fertility treatments. I'm just so done with this crap.

I dread the end, it hurts, but at the same time there's this huge feeling of relief in knowing that there's an end in sight. I feel so torn sometimes, I really did want to experience a viable pregnancy... but I'm left with these bad memories of my three, and I know that even a viable pregnancy wouldn't alleviate those. But it would be nice to know what it's like just the same.

I'm excited about adoption, yes. But I do mourn what I've lost and will be losing. Part of me wants to keep doing treatments. Part of me knows I can't keep doing this- it's too much for me, it's been so long, and I've been through so much, and I know my odds, and it feels masochistic for me to keep going through this. We all have our limits. But for now, I keep doing them. And I look forward to ending them, even though the thought still hurts.

I can't put it into words, what it's like at this junction in my life. I want to keep doing treatments, yes. I still want that chance, that opportunity. And I want to know we did everything we could. But I honestly am not counting on it working. Like, I really have written it off, even as hope creeps in each cycle... it's a hope that I can't convince myself to believe in. I think getting negative test after negative test these last few months is what really made me start feeling like it isn't going to happen at all. It's like, I can't even get pregnant now. And here I was, so worried about another miscarriage.

But at the same time, I want to let it all go. I want to move on. Adoption has given me hope again, and that hope is what is keeping me going. We're making plans towards this end, we're working out goals for the next year; I've even dared to allow myself to start dreaming again. I can see a child's room, I can make plans to have children's things in our house, because it's going to happen. Someday. I think the thing that makes me sad about this though, is knowing how much longer it's going to be. How much longer we're going to have to wait. I try not to focus on that though, and instead focus on the little steps ahead.

It's a really weird place to be in. Not knowing when exactly you're going to be moving forward, or how, or what exactly is going to happen. Doing treatments, while actively working towards an alternate plan.

The end goal is still the same though, and that's what's really keeping me going.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I want to thank all of you who commented on my previous post- you're my voice of reason. I am not expecting much from this cycle, but I am just going to chill and see what happens. I start my progesterone supplements tonight.

We went to see the new nephew tonight too. Conversation was pretty awkward, but otherwise the visit went okay. I haven't held a baby in years. It was weird feeling that weight in my arms, feeling that warmth. A- had actually never held a baby before today- we've had nieces and nephews since we got married, but he's never held a baby. They intimidate him, I think, since he has no experience with them. It was hard seeing him sitting there holding the baby, and knowing that he should have held our own children a long time ago.

We didn't stay long, and I'm glad it's over with. Lots of things processing and running through my mind... I'm going to wait for them to process a little more, before I post about them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Well, that could have went better-

So, yeah. We don't have male factor infertility. Counts after sperm wash have always been around 30-80 million. Yeah... not this time. After wash? Only 8 million. Doc said she would have expected these numbers with male factor, but not to be alarmed just yet as these things sometimes fluctuate and it's hard telling why, blah blah blah. That being said, she was very glad we added the IUI this time... gives us a fighting chance.

If the numbers continue to be low when we do IUI again, she will recommend more testing. However, given our history of stellar counts she isn't too concerned just yet.

Still... it was a hard blow. Completely unexpected. I don't foresee a positive outcome in the next two weeks. I do foresee the 27 (which I have nicknamed "The Beast") turning into a giant cyst, when all is said and done... but, we'll see.

This cycle has been a giant crap shoot.

So lame.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just a quick update-

So I posted earlier already, but here's a quick update...

There was a giant 27mm follicle on lefty. Yeah, for serious. Thinking it was probably the 9.5 from last time, and it kept growing after all (the extra Femara probably helped). Not sure if that's good or bad, I've never had one that big before... ever. We always trigger well before then, around 18-20mm. My doctor kept telling me it was fine, and probably getting ready to ovulate on it's own anyway. So we triggered. But I'm still not sure if that's good or bad...

We tentatively scheduled an IUI for tomorrow, but I may change my mind. I'm very sleep deprived and loopy, and probably shouldn't be making major decisions right now... I don't know. I left it up to my husband (proof that I am not awake at all, haha) and he says we're adding the IUI... so yeah.

That's the plan for the moment.
Although I really just don't know about that follicle... it seems so big.

Sitting tight-

I go back in this morning for a repeat follicle check... not holding much hope at this point. I actually started expecting good news (I know, what was I thinking?) but we went right back to where we were before. It was hard. I spent a few months responding like a "normal" fertility patient might. I was actually making eggs. It was amazing. But then, it's like my body remembered who we were dealing with and it thought it'd put me in it's place.

And that's why I try not to get my hopes up. Ever. I totally set myself up for that one.

It really was hard, responding so well and then... not. My body is an evil bitch sometimes. It really is. I think what's worse, is that I was actually treating it right this month. I cut down the caffeine and soda, watched my caloric intake... I think I even lost 5 pounds (if my scale is to be trusted).

Speaking of my body- I have proof that I'm allergic to cleaning. Every time I do heavy cleaning, I break out with a mad rash all over my hands. I've switched cleaning supplies a lot, so it's nothing I'm currently using... I think I'm just allergic to cleaning. For serious.

The week went rather slowly, and I am super anxious for the morning. Too bad it's like eight hours until my appointment, and I'm stuck at work until then. Hopefully time will pass quickly... but not because of drama or anything like that. Oh sweet word, please save me from the drama!

I'll probably update later today, or tomorrow... when I get a chance. I'm not going to get home until around noon, and I'll probably be loopy as hell by then... and pass out as soon as I find my bed... if I can make it up the stairs. Oh the joys of the graveyard shift and infertility.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Thank you for all the kind comments I get on here. You are all amazing, and I truly value your support. I wish I had the words to express how much you all mean to me, but I can't find any adequate enough for the level of my love for you- people I have never met, and may never meet in real life, who have touched my life profoundly. I know I don't say it enough, but thank you.

With the dream I had the other day, I chose to reopen communications with my sister again. I had been in contact with her superficially since the incident- which I won't go back into and rehash... I am just hoping she can respect my beliefs and we don't have another showdown about this. I am still very much hurt by the things she said that day. In a nutshell, I'm the one that decided to close communications officially in March, until she could respect my beliefs the way I had respected hers my entire life. I was tired of one sided conversations that always ended the same way- in an argument.

But the truth is, our lines of communications had been down way before all that last incident. Years before. Since before she lost the baby. Our relationship started going South when she moved away, and then stayed far away. And I understand her moving away, I understand her staying away, with a childhood like we had who wouldn't... but it changed things for us. It didn't help that there's a 10 year age difference between us either.

But the loss of her baby, my niece, started a bigger rift than any of us expected. It wasn't because she was upset that we said all the wrong things, or because we didn't say anything at all, I think a lot of it just had to do with grief itself. Things deteriorated and we could only do so much. And by the time we realized what had happened... who am I kidding, most of the time, we still pretend that nothing happened.

But I reopened the lines of communication yesterday. I sent her a more in depth email than usual, and she called me today. It's a start. It was shaky, but it's a start.

We have a complicated relationship, with a complicated past- and I'm sure our future will be too. It's just a matter of figuring out where we stand and continuing to work on our differences and accepting each other.

My oldest brother's sister (we'll just call her my step-sister, even though she technically isn't... my family is complicated... maybe I'll tell you about it sometime? Ha, that would be a novel!) Anyway my step-sister had her first official meeting with the adoption agency today. So excited for her! They've tried 5 years and went through IVF, and now here they go! I hope their journey isn't much longer- she's going to make a great mother. I'm going to email her and grill her about it, especially since she's going through the agency we're looking at.

My husband's birthday was nice yesterday. It was quiet, calm, and I took the night off work. Oh my gosh, I needed it. So much drama in the shelter. I only work two days a week, but sometimes that's enough to drive me insane. The good thing about working there though is that most of the time I can just leave work at work, once I'm out the door I forget about it. Here lately it's been really hard to though, and that's what's been bothering me. So much drama, and I am just getting burnt out. Small wonder... I've been there 2 years this month.

Oh, but I got sidetracked... my husband's birthday! We spent a nice quiet night in, and I made him lasagna... mmm, lasagna. My diet has been crashed because of all the cake, but I am back on the bandwagon. Birthdays are always kind of hard, this one was harder than I anticipated. My husband was 21 when we started trying to conceive... he just turned 25. (*sigh*) It was a lovely night, really. Quiet, calm, relaxing... and while I enjoyed it, I also kept thinking in the back of my mind... how much more awesome would this be if our children were here with us?

Because, you know, grief and infertility can't ever just leave you alone. Nope.

Have we went to visit the new nephew yet? No.
We probably will next week.

On one hand I don't want the weekend to get here, because I have to work Sunday night/Monday morning. But on the other hand, I am anxious for my appointment on Monday. Well, it will get here when it gets here... I'm going to try and just relax until then.

Oh, I caved in and decided to chart my basal body temperature until my appointment. Yeah, I am so weak when it comes to willpower!