Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Break!

It is amazing how just having a little sunshine, a few warmer days (until the past few) and some time to myself can really make a difference in my spirit!  I just felt like a huge weight lifted off of me once the flowers started blooming and the cloudy days disappeared.  Combined with finishing my third quarter grading and now starting our last quarter of the year and yes, finally a week off to myself... wow!  I am golden!

We decided not to travel anywhere this year and I am grateful for some much needed time to myself.  So is my house which definitely needed some TLC.  I don't know what happens but I utterly neglect certain aspects of house-cleaning between my breaks off from school.  Even during all of those snow days, I usually ended up doing grading rather than taking care of cleaning.  Anyway, I can tell just decluttering and doing a little cleaning (and even a little painting this weekend) makes such a difference in my mood.  I am so grateful for the breaks that teachers get from time to time.

The thing though with spring break is that it makes me so long for summer!  Bring it on!!!

We had our appointment with my ob-gyn last week and we decided all together that we should pursue removing my largest uterine fibroid which is embedded into the muscle of the uterine wall.  She referred me to two specialists and I have an appt with one on April 28 and am hoping to get in with the other one soon.  The pursued treatment will be having a myomectomy which is laparascopic and hopefully will result in a shorter recovery.   Of course this depends on what the specialists think too.  Because of where it is, she said that I could still have a healthy pregnancy without removing it, but her concern is that if they needed to do a C-section, it could be very risky because of its location.  That was all I needed to hear.  I hope to have a healthy pregnancy someday still and even better, save my uterus to possibly have another later down the road.  One can keep dreaming!

It was the first time that my DH met my ob-gyn.  He has always been a part of the team at my fertility clinic and ever present at most of those appointments, but this was new territory bringing him down these very female halls.  It felt really good having the conversation with the three of us.  I think he liked my doctor a great deal and it felt solid making the decision together as a team.

Has anyone else had this procedure?  What was your experience?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Soothing the Mommy Inside

So much of dealing with infertility is about waiting.  We are always waiting for the next thing to do.  Right now I am playing phone tag with my ob-gyn about possibly getting this uterine fibroid removed.  Their office closes at 4 and I am pretty busy at work during the day and when I am not, it is very difficult to find a private enough space in which to make a phone call which would involve me saying the following out loud:  pelvic scan, uterine fibroid, frozen embryo transfer... So I usually have to wait until I get into my car to make these calls before I commute home.  At any rate... waiting.

So what do we do in the meantime?  We live our lives.  I try to think about what I enjoy about my life right now, in case hopefully we are in a pre-parenting stage, like sleeping in, going out on weekends without getting a babysitter, enjoying some wine.  You know, the good things about being a family of two.

What else though?  As a hobby, I enjoy scrap-booking but in recent years have lamented not having my children's photos with which to make pages.  So much of this hobby is devoted to children!!! There just aren't that many photos of DH and I other than holidays and it usually feels kind of boring to scrapbook just us anyway. 

So I came up with my plan B.   I have started working on an album of my husband's baby days and childhood.  It is my first digital album which is also pretty exciting to me.  I have a handful of photos and slides of him that I knew I wanted to organize and digitally preserve, so now I have started creating these cute baby pages, birthday pages, bathtub and Christmas pages, and so many more.  They really makes me smile.  It is a little weird not knowing things to write or journal about next to the photos that a mother would usually jot down (DH's mother is deceased and I never got to meet her).  I've already had DH go through and share memories that I can use.  But mostly I just  journal from my own point of view and tell him how cute he looks, how he still has the same lips, etc. 

As I work on the album, I dream about our future children and wonder what they will look like at the same time.  Using an egg donor, I feel at a loss as far as what she will contribute to our child's physical features ( I know she looks a little like me as a kid, but who really knows?).  But when I scan my husband's face as a baby, I love knowing my children should at least resemble him to some extent.  And so I look for them there in his face. Working with these photos has been a balm to my spirit.  I get to create baby-pages with cute artwork that I never thought I would get to use. But I also get to imagine our children, imagine being a mother, and what that would feel like.   For the most part, this process has been comforting.  There are times when I certainly don't feel like it and have let weeks and even a few months go by without working on it.  But when I am ready again, I dive into the creative process.

After this one is complete, I think the next step for me might be to work on a baby album of me. And boy do I think that that one would be an even more powerful experience.  My mother made me a wonderful baby album, so the purpose of this one would be a little different... It would be more about the process of healing the grief of saying goodbye to my own little girl inside. Saying goodbye to those genes that don't get passed along.   Sigh!  I don't think I'll be ready for that one for awhile. 

Anyway, I just wonder, what do others in our infertile community do to help soothe the mommy inside of them? 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Detour City

Guess what?  We are still on hold, waiting for someone to do something so that we can proceed from A to B or in our case we are on about S to T!  I went in for my pelvic scan last week finally and my uterine fibroid is a little over 10 centimeters.  Now I am waiting on my ob-gyn to call me back.  I tried to schedule an appt. but the appointment lady would only take a message since they had probably not received the scans yet (I'm calling BS, I know they were probably emailed the very next day!).  Anyway, so after I hear from her we can find out if she wants to have it removed or what?

In the meantime, I decided to take care of some dental work I had postponed in case I had gotten pregnant.  I had had a tooth pulled last November right before my first egg donor cycle (Sucks getting old, I'm telling you!  Talking about having babies and teeth pulled in the same sentence!)  So I went in yesterday to finally get the implant put in so that my dentist later can put a new cap on it.  Not fun, but I like checking off things on my list.

So that is where we are at.  I go to my support group tomorrow night, so it will be nice to see how everyone else is progressing since my own agenda has been put on hold.  Hopefully I will hear and learn something soon.

Monday, February 24, 2014

FET Update

So originally my FET was supposed to be scheduled for March 6, which, holy cow, would already practically be here.  But because I wanted to talk to my physician and double-check everything, I had to wait until Feb. 12 to have my phone consult with him.   I also was waiting on my period which took longer than I expected, but I guess your body is all screwed up after being on so many meds for so long.  I also had to have a follow-up mammogram, which I had that done last Monday and we are good to go there!

 When I finally talked to my RE he reassured me that our two frozen embryos were really beautiful ones. He said he was sorry that our first egg donor cycle didn't work. I asked what else should we be doing to be sure this next attempt works?  I want to know that we have done everything to make sure that they will stick once they are put in.  We have never had any stick! 

My main concern is that I have a uterine fibroid that has grown from around 7 cm to over 9 cm from last summer until my monitoring in November before our fresh -egg donor cycle.  They have never said that it is a problem and have never recommended to have it removed.  But when I asked about it this time, he agreed with me that we should check into having it removed first.  So, I was happy that he listened to me but now I'm like, crap, how long will this take?  Course now I have to go through my ob-gyn's office.

I immediately called my ob-gyn and left an extensively long message for her with someone who probably has no idea what I'm talking about.  It can be difficult to try to coordinate between the RE and your ob-gyn I've noticed. Office assistants don't know infertility- talk necessarily.   I finally heard back from her a week later (I will say it was the sudden 13" snowstorm that interrupted normal office activities) and they mailed me the 'scrip to go get an ultrasound.  The paper says 'pelvic prn' which just looks dirty to me.  Anyway, because the radiology office takes forever to try and talk to someone for an appointment I emailed the request and am now waiting on them to call with my appointment.  I normally try to schedule appointments after work but if that ends up making me wait weeks and weeks then I will just miss a day of work to get the soonest appointment possible. 

In my head I want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to ensure things are good down there before we 'spend' our frozen embryos.  What if this is the one thing?  What if the previous ones would have worked had we addressed this sooner?  I can't let myself play that game.  The only thing I can address is this moment right now.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Infertility Breaks my Heart

This has been building inside me all week and I can't hold back any longer.  This feeling of what I am missing out on.  The experiences I don't get to have.  It is all so unfair.  I am so jealous...

I am so jealous of my cousin posting online that her daughter will be the big sister to a new little brother.

I am so jealous of families getting to watch the Olympics together and making memories together.

I am so jealous of all of the parents walking their kids down the street past my house towards the snow-hill on yet another snow day this winter.  They will probably go back home and snuggle together under blankets and sip their hot chocolate together.

I am so jealous of the moms who get to kiss and cuddle their children and wish them a happy valentine's day this morning with candy hearts and heart shaped pancakes. 

I am probably romanticizing this whole parenting thing a bit. 

But these tears, these are what I have.  These eggs, old and shriveled, this is what I have.   These delays in my infertility treatments, this is what I have.   This box full of unused medications leftover from so many procedures, this is what I have. 

The love of an amazing husband and family, this is what I have.  I give my love to my DH every day and yet, together we have so much more love to give. 

I have one half of my broken heart.  Who will bring me the other half?  Will I ever get it back?

This grief, this is mine.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Treading Water

I can tell I've been floundering.  I feel flat, like a pancake on the sidewalk.  And I feel all the heavy traffic rolling on top of me.  I feel like I can barely lift my arm to take action on anything.

We are waiting right now (imagine that!) for my period to start.  I am on day 33 and I'm usually a 24-26 day cycle.  I'm assuming it is my body adjusting to all of the hormones I have been on continuously since last summer starting with the birth control pills and most recently all of the drugs to prepare for my embryo transfer.  But part of me is wondering if something else is going on.

I had a mammogram last Friday.  I ran home and took a pregnancy test just in case before I left for the appointment.  I didn't expect a BFP in the least... just needed the reassurance that if by some ironic twist of fate we were pregnant that I didn't accidentally harm the baby by getting an x-ray.  DH asked me last night again if I thought we were pregnant and I said absolutely not. 

I actually think I just ovulated last week.  I had tons of eggwhite CM last week and so I think my body just had a late ovulation.  So hopefully AF will arrive in the next 2 weeks.

But it did mean I had to cancel our March 6 FET since I needed my cycle to start again by Feb. 1 in order for that to work. 

Which means we are delaying into a late March transfer perhaps.  My first thought was, "a christmas baby!"  We already have 2 of us in my family celebrating birthdays that crazy week or so, my sister on Dec. 21 and me on Jan. 3.  There are definite pros and cons to a birthday lumped together with Christmas.  Since I have the choice, do I want to do that to my child?

But the more realistic part of me is saying... 'I'm getting older, DH is getting older, let's get this bun in the oven as fast as possible... who cares when it is born?'  The other, more cynical side of me is saying, 'it probably won't work anyway.'  Hard to be hopeful on many days.  It has never worked before, why work now?

So... usually in the land of IF we don't want AF to start.  But in my crazy, upside down world however, today we do!

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Hesitation

Today a friend of mine invited me to join her sister's newly formed book club.  I have never been in a book club and have often thought it might be a great experience since I love to read, AND one of my goals for 2014 is to try to read a book a month, so perfect!  Tell me more!  L said that her sister and friends who are forming the club are all moms of preschoolers and she would love me to join them since I live in the area close to her sister, and I could be her buddy, as L is neither married, nor has children of her own. 

As she is explaining this to me, I began wondering if this was a good move for me or not?  I began weighing the pros and cons.  You'd think I'd be wondering if I had the time.  But I can make the time for being more social.  I tend to be a homebody and I have to remind myself to get out more often.

No, the main question circling around in my head was, do I want to surround myself with women who are in the very place that I would love to be, but am not?  Do I want to hear about parenting issues?  Will I even be able to connect with them, outside the book we're discussing?  Will I be jealous of them or just find the conversations hurtful that you know will happen when the book discussion slips away?

And then I wondered... how would they react to me?  Will I receive an onslaught of questions about being childless, were we trying, have we thought of's....etc. 

I only had a few minutes as we talked and I processed.  But isn't it strange that these are my thoughts?  That I perceive a possible divide and worry about not fitting in?  I wonder if this is a new reality for me?  The longer I go without becoming a mother, the more I try to do the dance and figure out what my place in society really is.  Where do I fit in?  How long will I perceive this difference?  Will it eventually go away, whether I have children or not?

But I went ahead and said yes I'd like to join.  I was thinking of a few other reasons.

 1)  I need friends.  Especially friends who live close by since the only friends I have made on my own (most of our close-by friends are DH's since he grew up in the area) are at work and most of them live about 30 minutes away.  My dearest friends still live hundreds of miles away across the country and I moved away from them almost 7 years ago.   At my age, I have found it is really hard to break into the circles of women's friendship that have already existed for decades before I ever entered the picture.  Friendships take time. 

2)  If we are successful at getting pregnant anytime soon, again, it would be nice to already know some women who live in the area who are mothers, who could help out if I needed them.  My parents live hundreds of miles away.  My sister lives an hour north.  And DH's sister, though closer is still 20 minutes away.

3) Some of them may have been former iffers who now have children. 

4)  It will get me out of the house and give DH some alone time which I know he needs but doesn't get as I tend to be home usually when he is home.

5) And of course, time to spend with original friend L who invited me and has no idea about the debate that was raging inside my head.  I don't burden her with my infertility madness.  She's twelve years younger than me and at her age could even be an egg donor.  

6) A chance to read some books that I might not have tried on my own, an intellectual challenge, and dare I say it, have some fun!

So there you go.  I will keep you updated on this development.