Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Another month

So, as Kristen said, we are not pregnant.  No surprise.  I pretty much never got hopeful or believed that this was our month.  I think I got over optimism months ago.  Moved passed cautious optimism last month.  Now, it is pessimism that fills me.  I don't really believe that it is going to happen.  I know that sounds really messed up, but for some reason, I just can't bring myself to feel at all hopeful.  I try to say the right things, "I know it will happen soon" or "it's just a matter of time," but I don't think I believe it. 

I know that there are thousands (maybe even millions) of people out there that have struggled with this process for much longer than we have, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a struggle.  I started tracking my cycle and preparing for pregnancy over a year ago now and I have nothing to show for it except an extra 50 pounds that is NOT baby weight or a postpartum belly.  I am just fat and sad. 

I think that the hardest part for me to wrap my brain around is that there is nothing wrong with me reproductively.  Everything is perfect.  My cycles are the same every month, my blood work is on target, I eat organically, I avoid EVERYTHING toxic (except alcohol and a cigarette on occasion)... yet I am still not pregnant.  I know that this has been a stressful year with a lot of changes (parents' separation, two moves, and upcoming day care purchase) but people under a lot more stress than me get pregnant every day.  Blah, blah, blah.

I never really talked about trying to get pregnant this month with anyone.  I didn't tell my parents or anyone at work.  Kristen told a few friends but other than that, it was kept pretty quiet.  I kind of feel like I should just (as Dr. Phil's dad says), "take a good opportunity to just shut up."  I feel like no one wants to hear it.  I don't know if that is true or just that I don't want to hear their responses "I have a good feeling about this time" or "I am sure this is your month."  It almost feels like they are lying to me.  I know they aren't saying anything to hurt me, they are just expressing their support but it no longer feels supportive.  More patronizing than anything.  Anyway, I think another reason I keep everything to myself is because then I won't feel compelled to tell people it didn't work which keeps me from becoming an emotional wreck over and over again.  Oh well.

I am sorry to everyone that read this.  I feel like I am the biggest Debbie Downer in the world right now.  I have been keeping it to myself (even from Kristen) because I feel like no one wants to hear it anymore (including Kristen).  So, there go the flood gates.  I hope I didn't scare you all off.  Anyway, I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Tuesday.  And thank you for your support through this process. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

A rainy Monday morn'

I've been waiting for our chance to write our announcement to the blog world.  The "We finally got a positive!" but, alas, I have to continue to wait.

Ashley has done very well this time around with handling the disappointment.  I'm not sure what has really aided her in that, if it's been putting away her charts and thermometer or if it's just been time.  This whole process really leaves you beaten, bruised, and just damn exhausted after a while.

This past try was our 7th.  Our 4th IUI, but our 7th try overall.  I downplay the significance of the inseminations done at home when talking to others or even when Ashley and I discuss what our next move should be.  I downplay it because there was such a small chance, it always felt like a shot in the dark anyway.  But now that the stress is off (a little) I realize that while those three months of ICIs weren't full of high percentage points, we did invest a lot of hope in them, and Ashley, especially, invested a lot of time, energy, and a little bit of her own self.  I tried to build her up by talking down those three months, but I'm finally seeing that what I was doing was downplaying her struggle.  This, of course, is more important for me to realize than anyone out there in blogland, because a part of me knew this all along.  But there was this other part, the part that said we can't move forward until we have x amount of IUIs ... therefore, logically, the ICIs simply do not count.

Logic doesn't win you brownie points, ladies...

My friend Gabe and his wife just had their first baby earlier this month.  It was a struggle for them, too, as Gabe has transitioned from female to male and his wife spent years trying to get pregnant before they were finally hit the mark with IVF.  I'm so happy for them and know that they will be great parents.  I am also hoping that their struggle is not what Ashley and I have as our future.  Some folks can handle long-term disappointment with stride and, well, I suppose we can too, if we had to.  That's not to say we wouldn't try again at some point, but years of trying?  Maybe Ashley is stronger than I am and maybe all you ladies out there who tried and tried and tried are stronger than I am.  Or maybe I'm just worried.  Maybe I am stronger than I think I am.  But when I think that we've already been in this for 7 tries ... I panic.

Of course, I want nothing more than to continue and hold Ashley's hand along the way until we get a positive.  That's really the bottom line, however, I'm tired and Ashley's tired and WE are tired of being tired.  Last month's break really helped to rejuvenate us and this month's disappointment hasn't hit me very hard.  I was hoping for the best but expecting not to be woken up with happy laughter.  So we're taking another break.  At least a month to regain funds and regain ourselves.

The above sounds so negative but I hope that is not what is taken from this post.  Sometimes it is just important to gather your strength and your energy before you try again.  Our 8th, 9th, or 10th try just might be it and I wanna be ready for it.

In the meantime I'll be thinking of you all and hoping for healthy, happy babies and smooth pregnancies!

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oh blogging, how I miss thee...

I have been a really bad blogger lately. Life has been a little crazy, but mostly in a really good way!

My mother went out to Ohio to watch my brother's kids while he and his wife went on vacation a few weeks ago. When she got back she started talking about how she wanted to move out to Ohio to help them for a year or more (my sister-in-law is in school and my brother works 60+ hours per week). Although I love my mother and will miss her terribly, I think it is a great idea. She and my father have been fighting a lot and I have been put in the middle a lot, so I think space will be a very good thing. In addition, she feels most happy and fulfilled when she is with her grand kids, so why not move closer??? The only thing that was holding her back was her day care. That's where I come in... I will be taking over the day care as of May 15th. This is great news because I love working there, I will make almost double the money I am currently making, and I can quit my job at the office. I am very excited about this change and really look forward to the challenge of owning my own business. Oh, and it will also be great once I get pregnant because I will be able to have our baby with me all the time making breast feeding (and bonding) that much easier.

On the baby front... As Kristen said, I had my follicle check on Thursday and I had a 15mm follicle. Based on the follicle size and my typical cycle, we figured that my ovulation would occur on Sunday. Because the OBs office doesn't do IUIs on weekends, we had our sperm transferred over to Boston IVF and the nurse at our OBs worked out all the details for us to go in for our IUI over the weekend. So, on Saturday morning I had my LH surge and I called Boston IVF to set up my IUI. Long story short, they didn't know anything about it and ended up telling me that I was out of luck this month. I flipped out a little and then, once I had regained my composure, called the on-call doc from the OBs office. After I talked to a few doctors on the phone and explained the issues over and over again, I finally got a call from the lady at Boston IVF who told me that I was all set for a 9am IUI. I was really pissed! I kind of feel bad for that girl because I wasn't super kind to her in the moment. I apologized, but I still feel bad.

Anyway, on Sunday morning Kristen and I went into Boston IVF and had our IUI. It was great! The nurse was so nice and spent close to an hour with us. She even offered Kristen the opportunity to dispense the sperm (Kristen was too nervous, but it was a wonderful gesture). I was very impressed with the experience there.

I have to go back to my doctor's appointment on Thursday for a minute though. While we were waiting for our appointment (for almost 40 minutes) I started to think about how much I really didn't like that place. Maybe it is just the association of trying to get pregnant and failing or the issues that we have had with them or both. Anyway, when we were in the appointment with the doctor she said a few things that made me angry. Kristen mentioned the first one (why don't you guys switch?). I mean, I know that this is an option for some couples, but I also feel like if it is an option then we would probably tell the doctor. If I couldn't get pregnant and Kristen could, I would feel like a failure and really resent her for being able to have that experience. I don't ever want to feel that way about her (or myself). I wish that I was open to the idea of her carrying our baby, but I have had this deep biological need to carry a child since I was very young, so I just think that it is best to honor those feelings.

The other thing that always bugs me when I hear it from our OB is "you know, most heterosexual couples have unprotected sex for a year before they are labeled as infertile." I understand that and I am not looking for an infertile label (really)! We are doing IUIs which is an infertile heterosexual couple's first step in fertility treatments. So although I appreciate her trying to tell me that I am not infertile, it always seems patronizing to me that she says that.

Lastly, she said something about "I read the notes from the Boston IVF consult, but I want to hear what he told you." So, Kristen told her that basically he said it was just a matter of trying more and that the Clomid/Letrozole may have been hindering my ability to get pregnant. My OB then AGREED that indeed the fertility drugs that she prescribed to me can hinder getting pregnant if you don't need them. My question is, why did she never inform us of that? Why did she advise us to take the meds if it wasn't indicated?

So that is it for my rant about the OB. We probably won't go back there. I don't particularly like dealing with them and I feel like they are pretty insensitive to this whole process. Anyway, I loved my experience at Boston IVF, so we will probably stick with them.

The IUI itself went really well. The catheter slipped right in and other than some spotting and cramping, it was great. The nurse gave us the sheet with all of our sperm counts and stuff which was neat to see (the OBs office doesn't do that). Our swimmers were swimming straight and fast (rated 3 out of 3) and our count were good (can't remember the exact numbers). Hopefully this is the month!

Easter was really nice. It was my mother's birthday too, so we had a birthday cake for her and Kristen and I bought her an hour long massage (she loved it). We went over to my cousin's house and had dinner with some of my family. It was wonderful! Typically when we get together with family there is some kind of bickering, but Easter was the exception this year. We played with the kids, laughed, ate too much, and just generally enjoyed each others' company. I feel truly blessed!

Now that I have written a novel, I should probably get back to work. Things are going well overall and I really look forward to the life changes coming my way. I hope everyone is doing well in blogland!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I have to admit, I thought this would be easy.

That's normal, right? Yeah, I think so. Everyone wants to believe that they'll be pregnant right away and when they're not all the wheels feel like their grinding--what's in the way? It's been nice this past month to not worry about the price tag... on Ashley's sanity and of the actual process. We've moved to a new place (which I cannot explain how much I love) without the added stress of trying to make appointment after appointment and pick up meds and test and check temps, etc. I got to watch Ashley relax, smile, reconnect a little. It's been great.

Not sure what's going to happen this month. We've talked about waiting; we've talked about jumping right back in. It's all a little scary. I mean, up until this point every effort we've made has failed, so how do we not assume failure? Isn't that crazy? But no, it's hope, it's faith in the universe!

Anyway, we did have a visit with our OB today just to see how Ashley's doing on her own without the meds this month. Everything seems to be going alright. Our OB, upon realizing the stress growing in the air, said, "Have you ever thought about switching?" I nearly laughed--or maybe I did laugh. People who don't know us well probably wouldn't get it, but for every fabric of my being that doesn't want to carry a baby, Ashley's body wants it that much and more. So, no. This will not be a case where the ladies switch off.

There's not much really brewing on the baby front for me this month but there is a lot of family stuff blowing up on my side that makes me think about family and what it means. I wonder often why I am the way I am with my family, so distant and separate. I've always figured it was because they'd make me implode if I was more involved, but maybe I'm just selfish and can't be bothered. So instead of worrying about my baby I'm worried about those who cared for me and grew up beside me as a baby. It hasn't really gotten me anywhere just yet, but I suppose it adds a bit of perspective to making a family...