Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Thank you to everyone for your nice comments. It’s so good to know that everyone out there has had these experiences with friends announcing pregnancies. Yes, I did beat myself up for being a bad friend, and for being jealous. But you have helped me realize that this is all normal. It’s normal to feel like it’s not fair – it isn’t. And I was open and honest with my friend about my feelings, so that is progress.

I spoke with my therapist about it last night – perfect time for a therapy session! She thought that when I was describing how I thought I was being a bad friend, that I sounded very young. She pictured a little girl apologizing to her mother about having feelings. And yes, I used to apologize to my mom (adoptive) about having feelings. She didn’t like it if I got upset. So my therapist thinks it’s very normal for me to cry in front of my friend, and not hide it. And she didn’t think I should have apologized for being a bad friend. Not really sure how I feel about it, but she’s right about being honest – I’m glad that I shared my feelings, and that my friend knows how I feel about her pregnancy. At least she really understands, as much as any fertile person can. My therapist told me I’m supposed to visualize the little girl that I used to be. Think about her apologizing to her adoptive mom for having feelings, think about her being in 18 foster homes prior to being adopted at 4 years old, think of her birth parents leaving her, and her birth family including the aunt and grandmother she lived with at some point leaving her, think of all those things and say nice things to that little girl. Say things like, “it wasn’t your fault” and “you’re very strong.” That little girl is me, and I have such a hard time reconciling this – it feels like a completely different person. I don’t remember any of that time, prior to about age 8 or 9. But she thinks that by visualizing that little girl, saying nice things to her, that I’ll be able to reconcile her with the adult me, or something like that. I still don’t understand most of this therapy stuff, now that we’re in the “deep stuff.”

Oh and by the way, my friend’s pregnancy has been confirmed. Based on my suggestion that when she’s four days late, the home pregnancy test can be VERY effective (why is a fertile taking advice from an infertile? Because we know so much more!!!), she tested. And it was positive. So she’s excited, I gave her a big hug this morning when she told me, and I actually felt very happy for her. Yes, I’m very excited for her. And like Leslie said, maybe I can be her prego buddy real soon…

Monday, August 30, 2010

Meltdown at Work

Things were going so well. Was feeling so good. I’ve been so proud of myself for holding my jealousy in, not showing it to people, not letting it affect me too much. And then today…

I have a friend that I work with named A, and she’s been a really good friend to me. Still is. Two years ago she discovered she was pregnant. Although she and her boyfriend were planning on getting married at some point, getting pregnant changed things – complete accident. But they got married when she was 4 months along (we shopped for wedding dresses together), had the baby 5 months later, and they’re very happy. She’s been an amazing friend with the infertility thing – she knows everything that goes on, she covers for me at work, she’s been great. She’s the one who held my hand and cried with me at the doctor’s office when I went to get a second opinion when my RE had told me my baby no longer had a heartbeat. She’s the one who went to the hospital with me to pre-register for the D&C, and she would have gone to the D&C if my hubs wasn’t able to go. She’s been so very good to me.

She’s been talking about when she was going to have her second baby for awhile. She’s adamant that she plans exactly when she has her next baby. I know, fertile people have the craziest ideas… I told her all about temping, and cervical fluid and such. She borrowed, and still has, my Taking Charge of Your Fertility book. I told her about the app I downloaded on my iphone to track my cycles, she downloaded the same one. She has perfect cycles – she’s never late, she always ovulates on the same time, and she’s been using temping and stuff to track when she has to use a condom to make sure she doesn’t get pregnant too early.

On Friday, she told me she was having IPS – imaginary pregnancy symptoms. I had told her once about them, how our minds can convince us we’re pregnant. She said on Friday that she was late – by one day. I asked her about her cycles and tracking and sex, and she said that one day this month she cut it a little close – she had unprotected sex one time three days before ovulation. I thought about her all weekend, willing her to get her period. I asked her this morning, point blank, if she got it yet. Of course, no she didn’t get her period.

I held it together, I let her talk about it. She hasn’t tested yet, she wants to wait until later this week. I assured her that by 4 days late (today) that a HPT would be pretty darn accurate. She said she’s in denial – she didn’t want to get pregnant this early, she wanted to wait a few more months. She said she doesn’t want to tell anyone until 12 weeks. She said she screwed up by telling me on Friday about her IPS – she didn’t want to tell me this early. At one point a few months ago, she and I talked about how she should tell me she was pregnant the next time. We didn’t really agree on anything, but when she was going to start trying, we were supposed to talk about how to be sensitive to me – she’s amazing. We never had that talk. I was fine today, until she said, “It’s ok, you can be mad at me.” I said, “I’m not mad, I’m just jealous.” And then I burst into tears, and asked her to please leave my office.

I tried to get it together, wiped away the tears, went to a short meeting. And then I sent an email to the hubs telling him that A was pregnant. I told him last night about the possibility. He responded, “sorry baby.” And then I officially lost it. Practically ran to the bathroom, and sobbed in a stall for about 30 minutes – haven’t done that in awhile. This just sucks so much! I don’t understand why some people can be so freaking fertile, and others struggle so much! It just isn’t fair. And the worst part about it is that infertility has made me a bad friend. She has been nothing but good to me, and she tells me about something wonderful, and I cry! How self-absorbed can I be?

After I got back in my office, I sent her an email (can’t trust myself to talk – will likely start crying): “Sorry for my bad reaction. I really am very happy for you. I’m sorry for making it about me. I’ll be better. This is very exciting!” And proving what an awesome person she is, she responded, “I understand… I’m sorry the conversation had to happen right then… I f’d things up on Friday… wasn’t thinking… Lol, you don’t have to be better! Thank you for apologizing, but you totally could have let this one slide. I understand 100%. Thank you for being a great friend.”

Which of course made me cry more. I keep tearing up – I’m at work, have so much to get done before my vacation, and I cannot get my shit together! This sucks, it just completely sucks.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting Ready to Go!!

Oh, it's been a whirlwind of a few days. Vacation is finally almost here - we leave on Thursday! Here's where we're going: Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre, Zermatt, Basel, and end in Munich. We'll be with friends most of the trip, and I think it will be a wonderful time! But I have to ask, are there any "must see" places in any of those cities?

I've been so busy with work lately. The absolute worst thing about vacation is before and after - getting everything done prior to leaving, and catching up when returning. When you have to work late every night the week before leaving, and work on both days in the weekend prior to leaving, is it really a vacation???

It's been nice to be so busy though. I have had very little thoughts about the TTC heartache. I'm excited to come back from Europe, and start the new TTC plan at the end of September. Finally, it will be here again. For the first time, I'm not nervous at all about the IUI process. The shots? No big deal. I remember the last IUI giving myself shots, I would have to have the hubs with me, and I'd get all nervous about giving them to myself. It will be interesting to see how I feel when I actually do the shots, but I can't see myself feeling the same way again. Nothing in the IUI process compares to the pain of the miscarriage. I'm not nervous about the shots this time, I'm nervous about a positive pregnancy test. Because then the fear begins.

Have to run, I told myself that if I got up early this morning and worked real hard, I could go get a pedicure. So I'm off for some pampering!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

RE Recap

I had my appointment with the RE yesterday to discuss the results of the testing we did, my MTHFR diagnosis, and the current plan. It went great. I feel a bit like a drug-seeker might after a successful doctor’s appointment…

We talked about the compound heterozygous MTHFR thing. If I was homozygous, he would definitely recommend Lovenox. Given that I’m compound heterozygous, it’s up to me. Even if I was just heterozygous for the C677T mutation, it would still be up to me. So, I’m choosing to take Lovenox – will start taking that at the beginning of my IUI cycle, and continue, assuming I get pregnant, until 6 weeks after birth. He said a lot of patients quit taking Lovenox after 12 weeks, but there’s some risk to stopping, so I’ll plan on doing it until after delivery. He said a lot of OB’s are nervous about having their patients on blood thinners – legal issues like if I got in a car accident and didn’t get fast medical assistance, I could bleed out. But he said he’s worked with my OB before, and the OB is usually fine with patients on Lovenox. Also, I will be on Medrol for 5 days around implantation. This helps to suppress my immune system a bit so my body doesn’t reject the embryo. Add these two meds to baby aspirin and Folgard, plus the Gonal F, Ganirelix, Ovidrel trigger, and some progesterone suppositories that I had in the last cycle, and we got ourselves a whole basket of meds – all to help me have a baby. Basically we’re throwing everything we can at this, short of doing IVF.

The whole appointment went well. I felt so empowered with my research, with the knowledge I’ve obtained during this whole process. I was able to have an intelligent conversation with the doc, and there wasn’t anything he said that I didn’t understand. The hubs just sat there, listening to us, and afterwards he said he was impressed with how much I knew. The doc and I talked about different theories, different approaches to fertility. He said there are 6 doctors in his practice, he’s the head doc, and every doctor has his own theories, his own ideas. There’s one doctor in his practice that doesn’t believe at all in anything immunology related. That doc calls it “hocus pocus.” My doc was very clear that with the immunology stuff, there isn’t a lot of “scientific proof” that immunology problems are the cause, and that the solutions really work. As with everything pregnancy related, it’s very hard to have widespread clinical trials to really gain proof. We talked about Dr. Alan Beer – my doc actually studied with him while my doc was a student! So he believes in a lot that Dr. Beer did, and with the immunological approach. He doesn’t necessarily promote it, because of the lack of proof thing, but when he has patients like me that are ready and willing to “push the envelope” as he called it, he’s more than happy to oblige, and he’s not going to fight me, or encourage me to be less aggressive. He said, “You’ve gone through so much to get here, why not try everything you can?” I wanted to hug him.

This new approach gives me a lot of hope. With a diagnosis, we can fight this. I’m happy that we’re being as aggressive as possible without IVF. I really don’t think IVF will help us – I’ve gotten pregnant twice in as many IUI’s. The ectopic was a fluke, I think. And the miscarriage… I know I don’t have a lot of history to necessarily justify all this medication, but I have always felt in my gut that there was a problem. I’ve been so frustrated with the “unexplained infertility” diagnosis. Now, I feel like we’ve identified something wrong, we’re being aggressive in fixing it, we’re going to do another IUI as that seems to work, and for the first time since the miscarriage, I feel real hope that I might just get that baby. Not just get pregnant, that’s not good enough. Someday, I may have a real live healthy baby at home.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Welcome, ICLW!

Welcome to my wonderful amazing group of readers that provide me with such amazing support, and welcome to any newcomers stopping by my blog!

The short TTC story: Been trying for 1 1/2 years, went to an RE in November, infertility was unexplained, did an IUI with injections in January, got pregnant, it was ectopic, did another IUI with injections in April, got pregnant, everything looked great, there were no warning signs until the ultrasound in June when there was no heartbeat, even though we had seen one a week earlier. Recently did a bunch of testing, found out I'm compound heterozygous for MTHFR mutations, started Folgard 2.2 twice per day and a baby aspirin, we have an appointment on Monday (finally!) to go over everything with the RE, we're leaving for vacation in Europe on 9/2, come back 9/19, and will likely start another IUI with injections when we return. I haven't done ICLW in a few months, but I'm excited to get back out there and meet some people.

In other news, it is going to be a really sad day today. We've had a foster puppy for awhile - almost two months. With the trip coming up, and it taking longer to get her adopted than we thought, we've decided that it's time for her to go to a new foster home. I feel so incredibly guilty about this, and it's going to be so hard to say goodbye to her today. I know it's the right thing to do for our home, for our dogs, for my husband, but I feel so bad. Goodbye, little Ashley, I've really enjoyed having you at our home. I hope you find a very good permanent home very soon!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Have Control!

Thank you all for your kind words about my crappy IF day. I love that you ladies will commiserate with me, and all of you understand why these kinds of evenings upset me so much. I feel so very lucky and honored to have all of you as my friends. You definitely made me feel better!

So guess what – I’ve taken the information you gave me that progesterone will hold off AF, and I reviewed my calendar, and I’m taking control of my body! If I let my cycle go completely natural, and everything works perfectly, I’ll be at CD3 the day after I return from Europe, and boy that’s cutting it close to start an IUI with injections cycle right away. So with the help of my $3 dollars each little friends that go up my coochie, I’m taking control of my body and I’m going to give myself a couple days cushion by delaying AF for a few days! I feel like I did when I figured out in my early 20’s I could control my cycle and skip a period by not taking the placebo pills and going straight to another pack of BCP’s… Oh what power I have over my body!

So rare to have any kind of control during the IF process, I’m taking whatever control I can get!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Having a Bad IF Day

You know when you have those crappy IF days – when the weight on your shoulders feels heavier than normal? That is today. I’ve been good, been excited about having a new plan, but today does not feel good.

It probably doesn’t help that AF will show soon. My temps, after falling earlier this week, then went back up. I’m currently 13 DPO, and I did something stupid this morning – I POAS, and of course it was negative. I realized today that since I’ve been doing the progesterone suppositories, I think it jacks up my temps. Also, I’ve never taken progesterone without getting pregnant – it will postpone AF, right? Do I need to stop taking it in order for AF to show?

So I’m sad about this cycle not working. I didn’t have a lot of hope, and earlier this week I started expecting it not to work out, given my wacky temps, but I still had that glimmer of hope. Hoping that maybe, just maybe, it could have worked. And it didn’t.

It also didn’t help that last night I had one of the worst social events for my IF that I’ve had. My friend R had her 40th birthday, and a few of us met for drinks and dinner. My hubs couldn’t go because he didn’t feel well, and so I went by myself. Everyone there had kids, and they kept bitching the entire night about how awful it is, how glad one guy was who had a vasectomy, how much they wished they didn’t have their children. I didn’t know most of the people, and person after person kept asking me if I have kids. NO, I DON’T HAVE ANY CHILDREN!!! BUT IT’S NOT BECAUSE I DON’T WANT THEM, IT’S BECAUSE I CAN’T!!! No, I didn’t yell it, but I really wanted to. At one point, it was R and one of her friends and me, and she knows about what we’ve been through. So R, in her drunk little state, started telling her friend that I want kids and I’ve had “struggles”. Her friend just looked at me in pity, asked me how old I was, I said 35, and she called me young – I have plenty of time. Ugh. It took all I had to not say anything. I just looked at her and told her I’d go get her another drink. I don’t want to be pitied, especially by some stranger bitch that has been talking all night about how awful her three kids are. It was an awful night, one of those that you just struggle to get through, telling yourself to just fake it, just act ok, you can cry in the car on the way home, just not now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Freak-out Over

First, I need to apologize for my freak-out last week. I tend to do this – take something that I find, or the hubs finds, and have it escalate into something else… He and I have tabled our conversation about the MTHFR and Down Syndrome thing for a bit – or at least until we meet with our RE next Monday – one more week to go! But I’ll share some of the research that I’ve found. The risk of having a DS child for a 35 year old is 1 in 400, according to this NIH webpage. Here is the link to the study that was the first to make a link between those with MTHFR mutations and DS. No, it did not test for folic acid supplementation above 400 – I’m taking 5,200 now, and whether it can help with decreasing DS for those with the MTHFR mutation, and there’s been evidence that increased folic acid will help with neural tube defects, and some people think it can help prevent DS as well. Without any high amounts of supplementation, according to this study, which has been affirmed by a couple others, the odds ratio, or increased risk of DS for a heterozygous C677T mutation is 2.5, or it’s 2.5 times as likely for a person with heterozygous C677T mutation to have a DS baby. For homozygous, it’s 3.2 according to this study. And combined, 2.6. It didn’t look at the A1298C type mutation. So based on this, I have at least a 2.5 times more chance of having a DS baby, or 1 in 160. I’m good with these odds – not sure about the hubs. As suggested by a few ladies, I will suggest that we go to a geneticist to talk about the odds. First though we’ll talk to our regular RE, and talk about the plan to reduce our chances of a miscarriage – one week from today. Also, we’ll lay out the plan for next step treatments, which will likely be another round of IUI’s with injections.

And yes, I also think of Mother F*cker every time I read it/say it/whatever. In conversation, that’s how we discuss it – it’s a Mother F*cker!!!

Also, I really like the suggestion of doing all the testing once I get pregnant. Not sure if this will just be the NT scan, or if we'll also do CSV testing - that's a bit more instrusive, and creates a risk of miscarriage, so I don't know if I would want to do that, but we should discuss it. I know I wouldn’t do anything about the pregnancy (terminate) if there was a problem, but it’s likely that there isn’t a problem. And so I’d like to be able to give the hubs some peace of mind for most of the pregnancy.

So the plan is to try to get more information from the RE and a geneticist, and then start treatments in late September when we return from our vacation in Europe. My temps dropped today, so it doesn’t look good for this cycle – I don’t know what I was doing, hoping like I was. But at least I’ll get to drink all the wine I want in Italy! Oh, how I was wishing there would be no wine…

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Information - Not Necessarily Good

There’s so much information out there about this MTHFR thing. I think I’m officially compound heterozygous - I have one copy of each type of mutations. I got the lab report: “This patient’s sample was analyzed for the MTHFR mutations C677T and A1298C. One copy of the C677T mutation and one copy of the A1298C mutation were identified. Population data suggest these two mutations are not present on the same chromosome, although rare exceptions have been reported. The diagnosis of hyperhomocysteinemia can not rely on DNA testing alone but should take into consideration clinical findings and other studies, such as serum homocysteine levels [which were normal]. Because MTHFR mutations and their associated risks are inherited, genetic counseling and testing of at-risk family members should be considered.”

For the past two days, the hubs and I have been googling like mad. As all of us IF’ers know, there’s both good and bad about this great world wide web. At the beginning of our research, I focused on the fact that it’s fixable – I can take a bunch of folic acid, an aspirin, maybe blood thinners, and we’ll be fine. It will decrease my chance of miscarriage. I felt relieved, happy, and dare I say hopeful. But the hubs found a completely different part of MTHFR. In a few studies, there is evidence of a link between the MTHFR mutation and increased likelihood of Down’s Syndrome. This makes my hubs a very concerned man.

It has come up once before – the hubs fear of Down’s. But we really didn’t talk about it because there really wasn’t anything to talk about – it was too late to really do anything about it. I was pregnant, and the doc had asked if I was going to do an NT scan at 12 weeks – I wasn’t sure, wanted to talk to the hubs about it. I was leaning towards not doing one at all, because it didn’t matter what the results were, I wasn’t going to terminate the pregnancy. I told him this, and then asked his opinion. He said it didn’t matter, because I had already made up my mind. He acted a little pissy about it, and I knew – he would terminate if it was up to him if the baby had Down’s or something like that. But I didn’t want to talk to him about it – just didn’t want to get into it about something like this. It’s not like I was going to change his mind, and frankly I didn’t want to know how he felt about our baby if by chance it did have Down’s or something. Didn't really matter though - I miscarried about a week later.

Down’s doesn’t scare me – if our baby had it, it wouldn’t bother me, it would be just something that we now have to deal with. But I think the hubs is not ok with it. He told me last night “I don’t think I could handle it right now.” So when he found the research that there might be a link to a higher prevalence of Down’s, he freaked. He wants to talk to the doc, he wants to talk to experts in the field. I think he would like to talk to the people who ran these studies! But he definitely wants to wait to do an IUI or anything until he feels comfortable about our odds of having a Down’s baby.

I talked to a genetics counselor on the phone today – she hadn’t heard of a link between MTHFR and Down’s. Who the heck do I talk to now? We have our appointment with our RE on 8/23, but I’d like to set up an appointment with someone else as well – an “expert” in this stuff. Must do more research…

Neither of us mentioned in our conversation that I might already be pregnant… Yeah right, can’t believe I just said that. The likelihood is so small, given my history. Oh, but there’s also a study which states that MTHFR is linked to very early pregnancy losses – before they can be registered on a HPT test, so this can be an explanation for many cases of unexplained infertility. Maybe that’s been my problem – how quickly does taking the additional folic acid take effect? (FYI, they prescribed Folgard 2.2 – take twice per day) Anyway, there’s a lot of information out there, and I don’t know if we’re helping or hurting ourselves. The hubs is completely on this Down’s kick now, and I think he’s worked himself up into a bad place – how do I make him feel more comfortable? Perhaps IVF with PGD? In case anyone wants to read about this stuff, I found this article on how to prevent Downs. Feeling overwhelmed…

BTW, the 1 week wait commences today…

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


First, thanks for everyone’s comments about my new MTHFR diagnosis. You chicas are super helpful!!! I’m trying to figure out if I’m heterozygous or homozygous. I definitely have both types of mutations: C788T and A1298C. So I think that makes me compound heterozygous unless either of them are homozygous? Not sure – waiting for a call back. And, my homocysteine levels were checked – it’s 5.9. I saw something stating a range of 4-17 or so is normal, and the nurse didn’t mention anything else, so I think my levels are fine. ALTHOUGH – I didn’t fast before the bloodwork. But eating would make it higher, right? Will ask the doc about this. Also my prothrombin time is 10.2 seconds, meaning this is how long it takes for my blood to clot. Everything I saw online said that ranges of 11 or 12-14 seconds are normal, so I expected them to say that I clot too fast, and should be on blood thinners or something, but the nurse said they consider 8.7-11.5 seconds normal. Weird. I’m definitely going to ask the doc about Lovenox.

I babysat my friend’s baby last night. Originally I was supposed to help unpack and watch the baby some, but my friend wanted to go back to her old house and clean, so she asked me to stay alone with her 15 month old alone for a couple hours last night. And it went fine – she’s such an incredibly easy child. But there was a moment, when I was giving her a bath. After I had washed her, she was playing with her toys in the water. And I would do something with her toys, like make splashes. She would reach for the toys and copy exactly what I was doing – it was adorable! And after every move, she would look up at my face and smile. I looked into her eyes, and saw her face was a perfect reflection of both her parents. I could so easily see part of her mom and part of her dad in her face. And then I started to cry. I wonder what a baby would look like with part of me and part of the hubs. I hope I get to see that baby one day.

I quickly wiped my tears away, and she never noticed. I’m glad her mom wasn’t around as I didn’t want to explain myself to her. It was a very nice evening, until I went home. The hubs is out of town, so I went home to the big empty house – the one that is supposed to have kids in it. It was nice hanging out with a baby – it’s been awhile since I have. We’ve been so focused on the process of getting and staying pregnant for so long, I think I forgot what we’re working towards. At the end of all this, the medical tests, the treatments, the heartache, there’s going to be a baby - maybe.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

There’s something wrong with me!!!

We actually have a diagnosis! Just got off the phone with the clinic, and although I don’t have an appointment for another two weeks with the doctor, the nurse called me to let me know the results of the tests. Although all of the tests aren’t in yet, they wanted to let me know that I have two mutations of the MTHFR gene – I think this means I’m homozygous. I’m not completely sure what all this means, but they want me on a high level of folic acid – prescription strength – in addition to baby aspirin and my regular prenatal vitamins. I’ve been taking the aspirin since the beginning of this cycle, just in case, but now I’m going to add the folic acid, as soon as my pharmacy gets it – they didn’t have any in stock, so they’ll get it tomorrow. I told the nurse that we’ve been trying naturally, and she seemed a little concerned, adding that I should start taking the additional folic acid right away. Scary. Has anyone out there had this problem, or know somebody that has? I seem to remember a couple people mentioning it – need to start doing some research…

I’m a little nervous about what I’ll find, but honestly, I’m happy there’s something wrong – and it sounds like it’s treatable. Finally – something wrong!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Random Thoughts

I’m home alone for a few days with my thoughts. The hubs went out of town for work, and I’m left to think about stuff myself – always a bad idea! No, it’s actually not that bad. I’m taking the opportunity to get a lot of stuff organized and cleaned at home. I have a bunch of things I’d like to accomplish in the next three days – wish me luck!

I just got a bunch of results back from the doctor for our miscarriage and immunology panel. Well, kind of. My doctor has a patient portal that I can log in and get results from all the tests, and it stores them. Which I love, but now let the google-fest commence! Basically it has a ton of numbers from all these blood tests I took a couple weeks ago, but no interpretation of the numbers. And the other thing that’s annoying is nobody from the office called me to let me know that the results were out there! Although now that I think about it, it may be because not all the results are in yet. I need to go through it and check everything off. And some of it doesn’t have number results, it just says “Comments:” and there are no comments! I think the doc is supposed to fill stuff in. Yes, I know, I need to talk to the doctor. So I just made an appointment to go over the results with him – earliest appointment available is two weeks away! In the meantime, I will be researching away…

Tomorrow night I’m going over to a friend’s house to help her unpack after her move. I want to see her new house, and offered to help unpack for a few hours tomorrow. And then she told me that what would help the most is to come over and watch her child while she unpacked… Ugh. I haven’t seen this little girl in probably 6 months. She’s about 15 months old. I remember going to the hospital when she was born, holding her precious little body in my arms, and whispering to her my wish to have a baby. Somehow I thought she could grant me my wish. Now she can talk. We hung out quite a bit for the first few months of her life. I was even on the short list for babysitting. And then I started to pull back. Her mom’s pretty perceptive – we never really talked about it, but she stopped asking me to come over and see her baby. I remember the week before the miscarriage, her mom said, “You should come over and play with my girl! You need to start hanging out around babies again!” And I agreed. And then I miscarried. Never did see her. So now I’m going over there tomorrow, and occupying her while her mom unpacks. Not really looking forward to this.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Two-week wait…

For the first time since early May, I’m now in a two-week wait… I’m officially 3 dpo, and now we wait. I’m debating using those progesterone suppositories that I have from the previous IUI and pregnancy. I had ordered a bunch right before I found out there was no heartbeat. There’s nothing like recovering from a D&C and having the UPS guy knock on your door to have you sign for a package of suppositories. They’ve been unopened in a package in the corner of my bedroom ever since. Today I finally unwrapped them! Moving on, right? Anyway, not sure if I should use them or not – thinking about it…

After last week’s bedroom debacle, we finally got our act together and got the business done in all the right times. Amazing, Fertility Friend says “High” on intercourse timing – never had that before. So we have the best chance we ever had naturally TTC – never worked before, but perhaps this time it will. What’s that there? Hope? Weird – not really sure what to do with you.

Wanted to share the exchange between the hubs before the last “time”:
Him: You pregnant yet?
Me: I don’t know – won’t know for a couple weeks.
Him: But we’re good, right?
Me: We should probably go another night…
Him: Seriously? Again???
Me: Yep
Him: Tell me how much we’ll save…
Me: $4,000!!!
Him: Come here, baby…

Talk about foreplay!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Tishi at how to swim in a sea of baby bumps put a survey on her blog to get to know the IF community better. As I was answering the questions, I realized that it would be really interesting to keep these answers, as I’m sure these answers change as we move forward in our TTC journey. So I decided to post it on my blog. Also, I wanted to share my current thoughts. If you would like to help out Tishi and her friend, please go to her blog and get more info about how to respond to the survey, or just email your answers to tanya@lifecycleswellness.com. Also, I think it’s good to think about these questions every once in awhile… So here is the survey and my answers.

What is your biggest frustration right now related to getting pregnant?

The lack of information about what is wrong with me is my biggest frustration. I currently have “unexplained infertility” and I think that this means that they haven’t figured it out yet. I want to be tested for everything. If they find something wrong, at least they can treat for it. If they find something that can’t be treated, fine. Let me move on. But this “unexplained” thing is pure madness.

What worries you? What keeps you up at night?

Getting pregnant. Before I miscarried, even after I had the ectopic pregnancy, I was afraid of not ever getting pregnant. But when I found out I was pregnant in May, and then later found out it wasn’t ectopic, I had no doubt that I would have a baby. When I miscarried in June, it changed everything. I now worry about getting pregnant as I have no idea how I will make it through without worrying constantly. My husband says that we have to assume that it will work, that getting pregnant equals having a baby, but I don’t know that I have such a positive attitude. I used to, but not anymore.

What changes have you already made to get pregnant?

I’ve cut out caffeine, increased exercise, tried to eat healthier. For awhile I was going to acupuncture, but I haven’t gone since the miscarriage. While trying naturally, I temp, I use OPK's, observe cervical fluid, and everything. I have tried evening primrose oil while naturally trying to increase cervical fluid, which worked well, but I haven't done this since starting treatments.

Where do you get your information about fertility treatments and improving
your chances of getting pregnant?

I get some of my information from my doctor, but not really. Primarily I get my information from my own internet, article and book-reading research. And now that I’m involved in blogs, I get a lot of information from other infertile women.

What help are you seeking to help you get pregnant? how do you decide who's
help you will seek?

I’m researching doctors currently. I don’t mind my current doctor, but my husband and I call him the “Wal-mart doctor.” He’s the “big box” kind of doctor that gives everyone that walks in the door the same protocol: Do an HSG, do bloodwork testing for 1 month, do a semen analysis. If you can’t find anything wrong, do IUI’s with either Clomid or injectible drugs, depending on how much you want to spend and success rates. Do that for 3 cycles. Then move on to IVF.

I’ve now had success with 2 IUI’s with injections, but one has ended in a miscarriage and one in an ectopic. He’s finally willing to test for other things, but only because I’ve pushed it. And some of the tests I’ve specifically asked for are based on my own research with other infertiles and researching on the internet.

I’m researching other doctors such as Dr. Beer’s clinic, SIRM, Dr. Kwak-Kim. These doctors are what I consider the premier docs, based on the research I’ve done. But I haven’t yet convinced the husband that we need a long-distance doctor. It depends on what the current doctor comes up with when we get the results back.

How much time are you already investing into getting pregnant?

Time is no object. I have to work, so I’m limited by my vacation, but other than that, I’m willing to invest any amount of time.

How much money are you willing or able to Invest?

This is tough. My husband and I are very fortunate to have good jobs, and we haven’t had to use debt yet to fund this, but we’re willing. Insurance does not pay for any treatment, but it does pay for most testing. So far, since December 2009 with 2 IUI’s with injections and a couple months of acupuncture, we’ve spent about $9,500. And we’re nowhere near being done… I think my husband’s threshold for how much we’re willing to spend on this is higher than mine. But that’s generally true with us – he’s willing to spend more than me in a lot of ways. We’ve talked about how will we know when we’re done, and all we know is we’re not done yet.

What would you like to learn more about in relation to your fertility?

I’m currently studying the immunology impact on fertility. I have a strange feeling that somewhere in this part of science, I will find the answer I’m looking for.

Who do you consider an expert or Authority in fertility?

Based on my research, there are a limited number of experts. There are a lot of doctors that treat fertility, but I don’t know that I consider them experts – most of them are like my doctor, a Wal-mart type doctor. I consider Dr. Geoffrey Sher of SIRM an expert on infertility. See his blog – www.ivfauthority.com – for some really good information. I know there are a couple other great clinics, but I’m not sure what they are. We’ve considered moving back to Denver, and one of the top clinics in the country, Conceptions Reproductive Associates, is there, and I plan on going there if I move to Denver. I’m not sure what other IVF clinics are out there that are the best, as I haven’t researched IVF much.

As far as reproductive immunologists, Dr. Alan Beer was the top authority, and he literally wrote the book on reproductive immunology (Is Your Body Baby-Friendly?) but he died a few years ago. He has a clinic in California that treats for this. Dr. Kwak-Kim studies with Dr. Beer and has a clinic in Chicago that is supposed to be really good for treating immunology issues. Both these clinics take long-distance patients, but Dr. Kwak-Kim requires at least one in-person visit – I’m not sure about Dr. Beer’s clinic. Other reproductive immunologists are Dr. Carolyn Coulam and Dr. William Matzner, but I don’t know much about them.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

We Have a Chance

Thanks so much for your comments on yesterday’s post. I’ve had troubles with the bedroom stuff before, and I probably will again, but it makes me feel so much better that I’m not alone in this – thank you to everyone who shared that they also have had problems in the bedroom. It’s amazing how IF can destroy different parts of our lives, and I think our sex life is one of the first areas to be hit. This is our first month trying naturally since December, and it’s amazing how quickly we can go back to those feelings of inadequacy. Why do I think the hubs doesn’t want to have sex when I ask him to? It could be because he’s honestly tired or distracted or something, it could be that he’s afraid about making a baby and having something wrong again like Leslie suggested (I suspect that this could be true, but he hasn’t admitted it), or it could be what Tishi suggested and I should initiate a whole lot more and then ovulation time wouldn’t be so different. At least that’s what the hubs said last night when we talked about it and said, “You don’t want to have sex with me, you just want to make a baby.” And I hate to admit this, but right now, during this week, he’s right. I hate this about TTC. I hate this about IF – because it keeps going. Most people in this world have just a few months of this sex to make a baby stuff, so it doesn’t really get old, but we IFers just keep going and going and going – like the freakin’ Energizer bunny! Except bunnies make babies like, you know, bunnies!!!

So I listened to the hubs last night, and he said he doesn’t like it that I just want to have sex to make a baby – of course he doesn’t. When he turns me down, it makes me feel like less of a woman, and when I initiate and he thinks it’s only for his sperm, it probably makes him feel like less of a man. So I’m going to try to fix this – right here and now. I’m going to try to initiate more – OUTSIDE of ovulation time. Both of us deserve this. After talking a little last night, I’m happy to report that he initiated a little action last night – AND this morning. My temp hasn’t yet risen, and there’s all kinds of egg whites going on, so I’m very happy to report that we have a chance this month…

P.S. Liz, thanks for reading and commenting on my blog, I really appreciate it. But I respectfully disagree with your comment that my husband is sending a clear message when he doesn’t have sex with me. He has proven that he wants to have children with me (see previous posts on fertility treatments which are not cheap and which the hubs is definitely on board with). And he is not a sadistic, manipulative jerk who is clearly screwing with my head. Yes, we have our problems, but our relationship is not “one big mess” and I truly do not believe I am setting myself up for disaster if I have a baby with him. I would have responded directly to you, but there was no link to your blog. I would love to read your blog posts, especially if you have had IF issues – I would be very interested to read how you have had no sexual problems while trying with your husband to have a baby. From my understanding and discussions with others, you would be the exception rather than the rule, and I would love to hear about what you have done to have such an amazing relationship as I’m sure others would too.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Not Looking Good

First, thanks to everyone for your amazing comments on yesterday’s post. When I let it all hang out, and share things like abandonment issues, and conversations with therapists, and inner feelings, I’m afraid when I hit that “Publish Post” button. I feel so vulnerable, and all of you just take me in, and give me a big fat internet hug! So thank you for that! And why is it sometimes easier to share about cervical mucus than feelings???

This cycle isn’t looking good for TTC, and honestly? I don’t know that I care. Maybe I’m not ready to move on. Maybe the idea of getting pregnant scares the bejeezus out of me. Maybe I’d rather not get pregnant prior to getting the results of the blood tests. Maybe I don’t want to get pregnant prior to going to Europe. And maybe I’d rather spend $3-4K on another IUI than continue to beg my husband for sex…

No, it didn’t go over very well last night either. I tried to initiate, and he said no – how about in the morning. I said that you said that the previous night, and it didn’t happen. He asked why am I pushing so hard? I finally told him “it’s time” (like he didn’t know – he told me a couple weeks ago that he always counts and knows where I am in the cycle!!!) and he complained about it feeling like a job. I would be a little more understanding, except the last time we had sex for procreation purposes was December 2009. Seriously. I didn’t say this, but I did tell him that I was tired of initiating, when he wanted to have sex, let me know. I said it in a nice way – with a “honey” and stuff. He didn’t get mad, he just said ok, but he could tell I was upset. Whatever. Except for the part where it makes me feel as attractive as a log, and the idea that I can’t get my husband to have sex with me makes me feel like less of a woman, and already I feel like I’m not a good woman by not being able to procreate, I really don’t care. I will probably ovulate in the next day or so, and this cycle’s not looking good. But I don’t care.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Therapy’s Not Comfortable

I had one of my hardest therapy sessions last night, and I have to write about it. We talked about my visit with my mother this weekend, and although it went well, it was so uncomfortable at times during the visit. I don’t feel like when I’m with my mother that I’m myself, as she’s not really warm, and we don’t really know each other very well. Honestly when I showed up to my friend’s house after my time with my mom, I felt such a relief to be at my friend’s – it’s just so much easier! So my therapist asked me why I felt this way, and I talked about how I feel like I have to be so polite, don’t rock the boat, don’t make anyone mad. And I tried to talk to my mom, but she kept interrupting me and changing the subject.

I talked about how I would ask a question of my step-dad, who is a doctor, about medical stuff, and what doctors think of patients with self-diagnosis and asking for tests, and mom would change the subject. My therapist asked how my mom deals with grief and loss, and if maybe she doesn’t want to talk about stuff like that. I really don’t think that’s it, as she talks a lot about people that she’s lost. She talked for 30 minutes about her cat that she lost! Laura asked me yesterday if mom doesn’t like to talk about it since she was infertile too. Maybe. It’s interesting – I once asked her about her own infertility, and she’s very against fertility treatments. She thinks it’s against God. That if God doesn’t want you to have children, that you shouldn’t. I had to remind her that she couldn’t have children either… Then she changed her story and said that God was telling me to adopt. Maybe all this is why she doesn’t want to talk about it.

Anyway, my therapist said that I really didn’t need to worry about why my mom kept changing the subject. Instead, I need to be assertive and ask for what I want. When my mom changes the subject, I need to say, “Mom, I would really like to hear what step-dad has to say about this. I’m going through a lot of medical stuff right now, and I respect his opinion. So please, I’d like to ask again about what he thinks as a doctor.” And persist until I get what I want. My therapist said this is a recurring theme for me. I don’t insist on getting what I want. If someone says no, it disappoints me so much that I back down, and just stay with the disappointment. I don’t stand up for myself. She said that I do this with my husband, and my mom. She thinks this relates to my abandonment issues. I was abandoned as a child – I was in 18 foster homes before my parents adopted me. So I was abandoned by my birth parents as well as the different foster parents. All this before age 4. And then I was adopted, but by two people who didn’t understand how to “re-parent” a child like me.

She talks about re-parenting quite a bit. She says when you adopt a child older than a newborn, you have to re-parent them. Basically reprogram them with the things that they didn’t get, like in my case, feeling secure, asking and getting what I need, and simple things like assuming I’m going to eat again, and not having to binge food (I could tell you stories…). My parents didn’t know how to do this, and there weren’t a lot of programs in the 70’s and early 80’s that taught people these skills. And even if there were, I wasn’t adopted through a traditional adoption agency or anything, so I don’t think my parents went through any training, counseling or anything!

My therapist kept saying that since I didn’t get what I needed as a young child, and then didn’t get what I needed from my mother, and my parents emotionally abandoned me and physically abandoned me at times as well, that now I need to work on my skills of being assertive and asking for what I want. And if someone says no, I need to calmly ask again, and explain my needs. It’s all about the delivery. I’m just so afraid of being disappointed. What if I ask – calmly – for what I want and never get it? I was so distraught last night in therapy with this conversation. I’m so afraid of being disappointed that I tend to not put myself in positions that will make me even more disappointed. She kept pushing me to come up with scenarios when I’ve been disappointed by my mom, and walking through how I could have handled it differently. I kept getting more and more upset. At one point I said, “I’m not very comfortable with doing this.” And she said, “Therapy’s not supposed to be comfortable.”

I’ve been going to this lady since December, and I’ve been so wrapped up in letting her know what’s going on with my fertility stuff, or with my husband, or other stuff. We really haven’t started working on the big issues, like character stuff. I guess we’re starting that. And I have a lot to work on. She told me that I need to start being more assertive, and if people say no to something I really want, I’m supposed to calmly explain why I want something, and push it. I’m supposed to realize that sometimes I’ll be disappointed, but that’s ok.

Last night I tried to have sex with the hubs. It’s that pre-ovulation time of the month… He said no, but he said to wake him this morning for a little action. I said ok. I woke him this morning at the agreed upon time, and he said he was sleepy – the dogs had been up all night, and he couldn’t sleep (no kidding – I was the one up with them!!!). So he wanted to keep sleeping. I calmly said that he agreed to have sex this morning, and I was really looking forward to it. And he said no – he was tired – how about tonight. And I was disappointed, and I didn’t push it. BUT – I didn’t get upset, and we’re still in a good place, I’m just disappointed. I don’t think I did what my therapist said to do. This is hard.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Great Weekend!

I had a really nice weekend. I went by myself (this never happens – always travel with the hubs) to Denver for the weekend. On Friday night, I stayed with my mom, which was good. She just moved back to Denver from S.C., so it will be easier to see her more often. My mom and I struggle, but this weekend was nice. We didn’t talk about anything too heavy. Lately she’s been trying to talk to me about our past together a lot – my adoption story, and problems that I had growing up. I know that it’s important to discuss these things sometime – that would help us move on, but this weekend, I just wasn’t up to it, and she respected that. I kept trying to bring up stuff about my fertility struggle, and I’ve never seen my mother or step-dad change subjects so fast. My step-dad is a doctor, so I was trying to get advice on how to pick doctors, and I was curious as to what doctors think about patients who try to be well-informed and try to direct their own healthcare. Yes, I was bringing it up in relation to my infertility, but I seriously wanted to know his opinion! My mom would just drop right in the conversation and change the subject as soon as possible. Then my mom asked me about my charm bracelet. Just remembered – I never have shown it here – here it is.

It has a charm with a June birthstone for the baby we lost in June, a charm with a February birthstone for the baby we lost in February, a dog charm for my pups, and a sand pail and shovel for our wedding – it was a destination wedding in The Bahamas, and we gave out sand pails with beach towels and beachy trinkets to all the guests.

Anyway, my mom asked me about it, wondering if I liked charm bracelets, and I told her that I recently bought it for myself. I said that all the charms mean something. She asked what the hearts mean, and I told her it was for the babies I lost in February and June. She just stared at me, said “Oh, that’s nice.” And completely changed the subject. Weird. I keep trying to tell myself that she’s uncomfortable or something talking about feelings or such. But she’s a clinical psychologist for pete’s sake! Seriously, what is wrong with her??? All in all, it was a nice 24 hours spent with her, but I was so glad when she dropped me off at my friend’s house. I feel awful saying that about my mom, but it’s true.

My time with my friend was great. She had a dinner party at her new townhome, and it was really fun. We stayed up late drinking wine, and talking after everyone else left. Plus the people that were there are really good friends of ours as well. One couple is going with us to Europe in 5 weeks! So excited for that.

I also got almost all the way through a book I just bought: “Avoiding Miscarriage: Everything You Need to Know to Feel More Confident in Pregnancy” by Susan Rousselot. It’s actually really good – I was surprised. It was very helpful to have all the causes of miscarriage laid out, and it talked about the tests you should take to rule things out, and how to talk to your doctor, and even how to talk to your husband. I was impressed – it’s pretty easy to get through, and helpful. Next on the reading list is “Is Your Body Baby-Friendly?: Unexplained Infertility, Miscarriage & IVF Failure – Explained and Treated” by Alan Beer. It’s all about the immunology part of infertility and miscarriage. I was looking forward to reading this first, but it’s huge! And definitely not plane-friendly. I read the Avoiding Miscarriage book on the plane, but the title is huge, and there’s this picture of a pregnant woman’s belly on the front. I hate books that aren’t on Kindle… I don’t have the Kindle, but I have the Kindle software on my iphone, and I love it. These are the first books I’ve bought in over a year that aren’t on Kindle. But they weren’t available for it, so I’m back to real books. It was kind of nice reading a real book, but it was awkward holding a piece of paper over the cover of the book – felt weird reading that in the plane for all to see – I was in the middle seat…

It’s weird that I’m afraid to publicly read my book, but I told my mom this weekend that I don’t care who she tells in the family about my infertility. I really don’t. I’m finally coming out to most all my family and friends about infertility. It’s almost interesting to me who responds well and who doesn’t. I don’t talk about it a ton, but most everyone knows that I had a miscarriage, and that we’ve had troubles getting pregnant. Even with my friends, it’s kind of weird. The guy that I’m going to Europe with said he wanted to take a vicodin or something on the plane over there, and I mentioned that I have some – that I got it after my surgery. His wife said, “Surgery? What surgery – on your foot?” as I still have the boot from my ankle sprain. I said “No, the D&C” and she’s a nurse - you think she would be comfortable talking about this! She got red, and changed the subject as soon as possible. Weird – just weird. This is the friend that got in an argument with me while I was pregnant, insisting that I wasn’t infertile. That if I can get pregnant at all, that I’m not infertile. I wonder if she still thinks that’s true…