PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: Don't Let The Door Hit You On The Ass On The Way Out

I have been thinking a lot about what to write as my last blog of 2010. My first inclination was to title this entry with, “Fuck Off 2010” but although I still strongly agree with the sentiment, it seemed a tad negative. Just a tad.

Then, I was thinking of reviewing all the reasons why this year sucked. The more I thought about that though, the more I realized that it wasn’t really necessary. Not only have many of you lovely, kind, patient people been reading all about my “Year of Suckage” regularly but to recapitulate all the things that went wrong in 2010 seemed too negative and useless.

It reminded me of a metaphor I heard years ago. I’m probably going to tell it wrong so bear with me… but it went like this: If you’re drowning and you have a weight strapped to your ankle keeping you under water, you don’t want to know how much it weighs, you just want to know how to get the damn thing off so you can come up for air. To me, that metaphor (even as badly as I just relayed it) is why I didn’t want to do a list of why I hate 2010. It was not a good year. We all know this. How is it going to help talking about it anymore than I already have? Also, maybe the old adage is true that if you ignore something, it’ll go away. I think I would like to spend the remaining hours of this unlucky year by ignoring it so that it will, in fact, truly fuck off once and for all.

So this leads me to what I do want to talk about. A few days before Christmas, I was doing what I usually do every morning: running to catch the subway. I’m always late to most everything. I was even born two weeks late. My mother said they were beginning to wonder if I was ever going to come out. I’m also not a morning person. If someone told me I was going to get the best oral sex of my life but it was scheduled for 6am, I’d tell them “No thanks” and I’d sleep in. That’s how much of a morning person I’m not.

As I was half asleep and running down the subway stairs, I was thinking of a million things: the end of the year, if I wrapped that present for my niece, why the homeless wait outside of ATM machines when clearly you don’t have change (otherwise why would you be at the ATM?) and how to fully enjoy the holidays without being able to eat cookies. That’s when suddenly, out of nowhere, I had a realization. I heard a voice in my head say as clear as a summer day, “You’re not the same person you were when you started this year.” It took my breath away. Well, running down the stairs didn’t help but you know what I mean.

Something about this realization made me sad. It was like after September 11th, 2001 when everyone kept saying, “Nothing is going to be the same anymore.” I HATED this statement. I knew they were right and I knew they didn’t necessarily mean things were going to be worse but that’s how it felt. As a New Yorker, I was perfectly happy with how everything was before September 11th and the thought of it being altered in any way deeply upset me. In reality, although things have changed, a new “normal” took its place. It’s not better or worse. It’s just different.

And I guess that’s how I am now. I’m not who I was at the start of the year but I’m not better or worse. I’m just different. There are parts that are improvements and there are parts that are… well, more damaged I guess. My level of hope (not to mention my bank account and sex life) have definitely taken some hits this year but on the positive, I learned how much I can rely on my sense of humor as a source of strength. I’ve also learned that there are people out there who sincerely are compassionate, understanding, supportive and generous in ways I’ve never thought possible (yes, I’m talking about you) and I’ve learned the importance of getting a second opinion as well as naming your uterine polyp simply because it CRACKED me up every time I referred to Jackson Polyp.

As much as I’ve gained (and lost), there are still a few lessons I struggle with like you can’t plan or worry about things months from now. I’m not always good at that one as I’m a very talented worrier but I do try to at least prioritize my worries now. Really – it’s come to that. I make a list of my worries and say, “Ok, I’ll worry about losing weight today and then tomorrow, I’ll worry about getting into a clinical trial for my next IVF!” Yes my friends; I’ve created a worrying schedule.

I’ve noticed I’m a little less social than I was at the beginning of the year (avoiding people, pregnancy talk or simply choosing to stay home and throw a pity party). I’m also less of a believer in “Things will work out somehow!” It’s not that I’ve lost hope. It’s just that instead of thinking, “Things will work out”, I think “I will find a way to deal with whatever happens.” I don’t know how things are going to work out. I REALLY know that now and they only way I can stay positive these days is not by having confidence in a happy ending, but by having confidence in me and my ability to get through it.

If someone put a gun to my head (and I hope that no one ever does) and yelled at me, “THINK OF THE MOST POSITIVE LESSON FROM THIS YEAR!” (which would be a weird thing for a gun man to say), it would be that even though I cried more this year than I can remember in recent history and even though the disappointments were impressively painful and numerous, I survived it. I’m 20 pounds heavier, thousands of dollars lighter, a bit more cynical and much less optimistic but dammit, I made it through. I’m like the runner who barely crosses the finish line an hour late, bullet ridden, looking like shit and panting like a dog – but I STILL finished the marathon that was 2010.

If we stick with the 2010 “Marathon Metaphor” one paragraph more -- All of you who have commented or follow me on Twitter or Facebook, have been the ones who have cheered me on and handed me cups of water along the way. I want to take this moment and thank you for that. Making fun of fertility issues by your self is one thing. Having people laugh at it along with you is entirely another. As an occasional comic, I can affirm that one person laughing at their own joke can look strange (especially if you’re walking down a street alone giggling) but a group of people laughing together makes the joke that much more funny.

So, in closing, I officially say “Fuck off 2010” and may 2011 NOT suck.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Twelve Days of Infertility (Sung to the “Twelve Days of Christmas”)

The Twelve Days of Infertility
(Sung to the “Twelve Days of Christmas”)


On the first day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
A sperm count with great motility

On the second day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

On the third day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Three Gonal Pens,
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

On the fourth day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Four Calling Doctors,
Three Gonal Pens,
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

On the fifth day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Five Clomid Pills,
Four Calling Doctors,
Three Gonal Pens,
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

On the sixth day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Six follicles a-growing,
Five Clomid Pills,
Four Calling Doctors,
Three Gonal Pens,
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

On the seventh day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Seven embryos a-frozen,
Six follicles a-growing,
Five Clomid Pills,
Four Calling Doctors,
Three Gonal Pens,
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

On the eighth day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Eight inseminations,
Seven embryos a-frozen,
Six follicles a-growing,
Five Clomid Pills,
Four Calling Doctors,
Three Gonal Pens,
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

On the ninth day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Nine egg donations,
Eight inseminations,
Seven embryos a-frozen,
Six follicles a-growing,
Five Clomid Pills,
Four Calling Doctors,
Three Gonal Pens,
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

On the tenth day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Ten hormone injections,
Nine egg donations,
Eight inseminations,
Seven embryos a-frozen,
Six follicles a-growing,
Five Clomid Pills,
Four Calling Doctors,
Three Gonal Pens,
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

On the eleventh day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Eleven tubes of preseed,
Ten hormone injections,
Nine egg donations,
Eight inseminations,
Seven embryos a-frozen,
Six follicles a-growing,
Five Clomid Pills,
Four Calling Doctors,
Three Gonal Pens,
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

On the twelfth day of Infertility,
My true love sent to me
Twelve thousand debt,
Eleven tubes of preseed,
Ten hormone injections,
Nine egg donations,
Eight inseminations,
Seven embryos a-frozen,
Six follicles a-growing,
Five Clomid Pills,
Four Calling Doctors,
Three Gonal Pens,
Two OPK’s,
And a sperm count with great motility

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And for the record, I WISH there were only twelve days of Infertility.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you and all of your family (past, present and future) a happy holiday. May the New Year bring us all great joy and happiness.

Best,

Jay

Friday, December 17, 2010

Patches

I never had a pet growing up. My mom was never a fan of cats or dogs so in turn; no one in my house was allowed to have one. The closest I ever came to any kind of pet was the goldfish I won at a Fireman’s fair when I was eight years old. The fish died a week later and I quickly moved on.

A few years ago, my landlord at the time was this lovely older woman named Mrs. Perez. She had a cat named Athena that had been with her through her divorce, the death of her nephew and her heart attack. Athena was a beautiful, friendly cat who I nicknamed “The Mayor” because she was often seen roaming the hallways checking in on the different tenants. Whenever I saw Athena in the hallway, she’d rub past my leg as her form of hello and I’d always smile, say hello back and then go about my business.

I had lived there for about four years when I ran into Mrs. Perez in the lobby one day. I asked her how she was and she quickly dissolved into tears. She could barely manage to tell me that Athena had to be put down. They couldn’t figure out what exactly had happened but out of nowhere, the cat stopped eating and was despondent. I felt terrible for Mrs. Perez and hugged her but I couldn’t help but she shocked that someone could get this upset over a cat. I remember vividly her saying to me, “Athena loved me no matter what. No matter what I looked like or what was going on… that cat loved me unconditionally."

When I got married, my husband and I moved out of Mrs. Perez’s building and into a bigger apartment in a family brownstone. It was around this time that we started trying to conceive and obviously, it was not going well. We entered the year 2010 trying inseminations and began planning for our first IVF.

Those who read my blog regularly know that 2010 in general has NOT been a kind year to us. We’ve had financial issues, doctor drama, fertility disappointments and insurance disasters. At one point this year, our house was even hit by lightning. The one bright spot however was our downstairs neighbor got a kitten named Patches. He was black and white and just had a happy, loving attitude about him. Despite the shelter saying that kittens need time to explore their surroundings to feel comfortable, Patches started coming up to our apartment within a month. We had no idea at the time that he’d become a part of our daily lives.

The neighbor downstairs have several dogs and cats so Sam and I often joked that whenever Patches felt like he needed to be the only pet, he’d come upstairs and hang out with us. What’s amazing to me is we never fed him. He didn’t come up for food. He solely came up to hang out with us, get some affection and very often, just take a nap without being hassled by the other animals.

In a year of so much stress, Patches was a desperately needed source of entertainment and distraction. He also always seemed to know the right time to visit. The afternoon in May that I found out my IVF failed, I was home alone. Patches came upstairs (you could always hear his tags outside our door whenever he arrived) and he ended up lying next to me for two hours. We even took a nap together.

Whenever my husband would come home after a hard day of work, he’d always go to our landing and go, “Patches! You around?” and Patches would come up the stairs running to see him. Really, if was Patches friend, Sam was Patches best friend for life. The two of them adored each other tremendously. There were even times if Patches saw Sam wasn’t home, he’d politely leave as if to say, “Love you but let me know when the big guy is back.”

A week ago, Patches came up and saw our Christmas tree. We had just put it up and Patches seemed to be in awe. Sam and I realized it was going to be his first Christmas. We were laughing at the way Patches was absolutely freaking out over how cool the ornaments were that hung on the lower branches. He would playfully bat them around and would look at us like, “Seriously! How cool is this???” For the next couple of days, he’d come by, play with some of the ornaments and then take a nap under the Christmas tree. As much as I’ve never been a pet person, I couldn’t help but find his holiday routine utterly adorable.

Last night, I was in my bedroom when I heard Sam talking to someone at the door. I assumed it was Patches but as I listed longer, I realized it was our downstairs neighbor. He had come to tell us that Patches passed away. No explanation other than they found him and he was gone. He wasn’t even a full year yet. He never even made it to his first Christmas.

Sam thanked our neighbor, shut the door, walked into the bedroom and looked at me. Neither of us said a word. We both began to cry. We continued to cry on and off for the rest of the night.

This year has sucked and a part of me feels like somehow, Patches became a causality of our bad luck. It’s like the universe somehow found out that there was something that really helped us this year and made sure to take it away. I know that’s a bit overdramatic and slightly paranoid but what can I say. I’m hurt that this has happened and I can’t make any sense of it.

In my more positive moments, I am sincerely grateful that we had him during a very challenging time. He truly came into our lives when we needed some “unconditional affection” as Mrs. Perez had put it earlier. We have nothing but positive memories of Patches and as sad as I am right now and as pissed at myself as I am for getting so attached, it can’t change how much we loved him.

In the middle of the night last night, I couldn’t sleep thinking about all this. I went to our living room, sat on the couch and cried. At one point, I happened to look up at the Christmas tree and for the first time ever in my life, I really got what Mrs. Perez felt about Athena. I really got why people are so heart broken when they lost a pet. Whether I looked like hell, whether I was infertile, whether I was down… no matter what was going on… that cat loved me. I’m going to miss him more than I can possibly say.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hope Sinks (Momentarily)

Recently, I came across a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche that read, “Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man.” My first reaction when reading this was, “Wow. That Nietzsche! What a bummer!

My second reaction was, “Ummmm. He does sort of have a point.

When struggling through any trying time, no matter the issue, hope is often what I cling to. I hope things work out exactly as I want them to and the promise of that happy ending keeps me going. Hope though, at least in my little fertility challenged brain, can often be confused with total belief and that is where things can get dangerous. I can hope things will work out but I have to remember that hope comes with no guarantees. Hope doesn’t even come with a warranty.

I mention this because I’ve never been an optimist. For me, the glass isn’t just half empty -- it’s also filled with the entirely wrong beverage. That’s not to say that I’m a totally negative person. I just tend to prepare for the worst and more often than not, the worst is exactly what I get.

However, despite the fact that I’ve been trying to accept the possibility that I may never have children, I recently came down with a bad case of optimism. The past cycle was an all around positive one. It was my birthday and Thanksgiving so I was relaxed, happy and well fed. Also, I don’t want to brag but our ‘trying to conceive timing’ was spot on. Even the face our Ovulation Prediction Kit was impressed. At least I think that's what the smile meant. Then, in the last week of my two week wait, I noticed I hadn’t had my usual PMS Symptoms. I started to wonder, “Wow. Could this be it? Am I finally pregnant?

Then, the cramps began. Then, the spotting. Optimism over. Blinding pessimism returned. I was actually mad at myself for even entertaining the thought of success. How could I have let myself get that hopeful when nothing ever seems to work? Damn you hope! Damn you straight to hell!

The day my period started, I had an all out meltdown. Pajamas, ice cream, any sappy Sandra Bullock movie I could get my hands on and a whole lot of hysterical crying. The next morning, I saw my reproductive endocrinologist and told him about my current state (minus the Sandra Bullock movies). I asked him why I should even bother spending my entire savings on a second IVF when nothing has worked so far. He listened to my whining, offered me some encouraging statistics and what he would do differently from my first IVF. As we started to discuss how much all this would cost me and how I would most likely have to sell an organ or two to pay for it, he stopped and said, “Oh wait. I think you may qualify for a clinical trial we’re doing.”

A clinical trial? What does that mean?” I asked.

It would mean a free IVF cycle.” He said while rummaging through the appropriate paper work.

I’m sorry, what?!? Free? FREE? My husband had to physically restrain me from jumping into the doctor’s lap and kissing him passionately. I’ve always loved free stuff, but free fertility stuff? That gets me hot.

Sam and I fit into everything the trial requires; age, health, what we’ve already tried, economics, etc. The ONLY thing I have to do in the next three weeks is lose two pounds in order to fit into the weight range they are looking for. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a big deal. Don't get me wrong. Losing weight in general is like trying to get blood from a stone for me but trying to lose two pounds over the holiday season in particular is rather a challenge. In the last week alone, a client sent me a huge box of cookies, an Uncle of mine gave me an entire tower of treats and at a holiday party this weekend, I had fruit for dessert while everyone else ate cupcakes.

Mmmmm. Cupcakes…

Still though, if it means I’ll save $15,000… I will eat my watermelon and I will like it.

After I lose the weight and after they do several tests on both Sam and I, we will find out if we will definitely be accepted into the clinical trial. Although I’m still nervous about the whole experience, having the financial strain removed would be a HUGE help. Plus, if I could lose a few pounds, then get pregnant with a free IVF AND save my end of the year bonus, I'd be happier than a bird with a French fry.

No really... have you ever seen a bird with a French fry? That's PRETTY damn happy.

So, I’m not sure how to feel. Should I let hope prolong my torment as Nietzsche said? Or do I give in to optimism and start believing that things may actually work out? My therapist says that I should stay positive, take one day at a time and accept whatever the outcome is knowing that I did my best. That's great advice but it’s easier said than done.

The only thing I know for sure is carrot sticks don’t taste nearly as good a chocolate chip cookies and Nietzsche is dead and of little use to me right now.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Trying to Conceive Proverbs – Part 3

Better the doctor you know than the doctor you don't

Blood is thicker than cervical mucus

Count your follicles

Don't look a uterine polyp in the mouth

Don't put all your eggs in one IVF

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, fertile and wise

Every infertile has her day

Every ovary has a silver lining

Flattery will get you free injectables

He who hesitates misses the ovulation window

If the sperm won't come to the ovary, then the ovary must go to the mountain

If you can't stand the hot flashes, stop taking hormones

Implantation begins at home

It takes two to procreate

It's never too late to get a BFP

Variety is the spice of your sex life

It's no use crying over spilt cervical mucus

It's the early bird that catches the egg

Keep your cervix up

Laugh and the world laughs with you, pee on a stick and you pee alone

And for those of you who missed TTC Proverbs Part 1 and 2, they can be found here: http://the2weekwait.blogspot.com/2010/09/trying-to-conceive-tailored-proverbs.html and here: http://the2weekwait.blogspot.com/2010/10/seize-egg-trying-to-conceive-proverbs.html.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Fat Infertile Ass

The other day, I was standing on the street corner and there was a woman standing next to me who was both pregnant… yet thinner than I was. My stomach sunk as I was overcome with jealousy. It’s sad when you start thinking, “If I’m going to be fat, can I at least be fat for a reason!” To be heavy with no babies or pregnancies to show for it just seems wrong. Somehow, thanks to bad genes and over a year of on and off hormones, I have baby weight… with no effen baby!

I gained about ten pounds from my InVitro in April of this year and despite the fact that the money I spent on IVF has all disappeared, the fat has remained. Call it a parting gift.

Even before I took any Clomid, Gonal-F or any other colorfully named hormone though, I had been having trouble losing weight. I worked with a nutritionist for over a year logging every calorie on a daily basis taking in anywhere from 1200 – 1500 calories and I only lost about two pounds. Even my nutritionist was confused. My body didn’t want to seem to let go of the fat no matter how many times I hit the gym or how little I ate. I was destined to be curvaceous like it or not.

I went to see an endocrinologist who tested my thyroid, my hormones, and my glucose levels and the only thing that showed up was a nodule on my thyroid. Although it has to be watched, my doctor didn’t think it explained why I couldn’t lose weight.

I’ve tried Weight Watchers, carbs, no carbs, shakes, walking, running, skipping, jumping, hula hooping, aerobic like sex and even hip hop aerobics despite my lack of coolness. Again, nothing worked. I don’t eat crap; I have regular servings of vegetables, fruit, water and fiber. I don’t eat anything fried, my desserts are either peppermint tea or a half cup of fat free frozen yogurt and I haven’t had a potato chip since 1998. It pisses me off. I feel like every time I meet someone new, I want to say to them, “I shouldn’t really be this heavy… just so you know. This is a mistake.

It’s not that I’m huge or so dangerously overweight either. I can range from anywhere from a size 12 to a 16 depending on where I’m shopping and how the outfit is cut. Thanks to make-up, control top pantyhose, the right bra, Velcro rollers, nice heels and appropriate clothes… I could even pass as attractive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again -- it takes a lot of money and time to look naturally beautiful.

Lately, I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic and wonder if it’s related. Is whatever mystery reason I can’t lose weight the same reason I can’t get pregnant? Will I ever know? Will I ever either drop a few pounds or get knocked up? Inquiring minds want to know!

It sucks too that while you’re in your two week wait, you’re told not to do anything to aggressive in terms of exercise. Well, actually, I’ve heard different things on that… some say its fine, some say it’s not, some say it depends but for me, I’d rather be cautious and take it easy. This means that I usually work out like a maniac from cycle day 1 through till ovulation and then, I try to take very leisurely walks in between ovulation and the inevitable arrival of my period. Any which way, it’s not working. In the last month, I’ve lost exactly one pound. Yes, it’s better than gaining but when you’re 'Sweating to the Oldies' and trying to diet, you expect more of a result... or at the very least... invisible cellulite. SOMETHING!

If we do end up doing IVF 2.0 in 2011 (which looks inevitable), I REALLY don’t want to gain another ten pounds. I’ve got to figure out how to handle the next month or so to try and get some weight off. I just don’t want to have to cut off an entire limb to make that happen!

Damn you infertility! Kiss my fat ass!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Comedy, Confusion and Closure

It’s striking how many similarities there are between pursuing a creative job and trying to conceive. Both involve working incredibly hard, extreme dedication, persistence, a sense of humor and an acceptance that despite your best efforts, you may never actually get anywhere. So often lately, I’ve asked myself why I couldn’t have wanted to be a nurse who has children. I could have went to school, got a nursing degree, helped others, never had to worry about what state my uterine lining was in and I’d be set. The whole blood, bodily fluids and washing old people thing wouldn’t fly with me though. Ultimately, I’m more interested in a nurse’s costume than I am being an actual nurse. That’s just me though.

This past weekend, I had a bunch of comics over for breakfast (comics can never get together on a Saturday night as they always have a show) and to commiserate about the endless quest to achieve some substantial notoriety or at least a hefty paycheck in the creative world.

One of my friends, Caryn, who has been in the business for awhile and I got to talking and I caught her up on all my writing projects, my stand-up schedule and my ever continuing quest to be a mom. The more I talked to her, the more I realized that although I enjoy stand-up and performing in general, I think I may be at a point where I just want to write. Actually, after this last year, I don’t want to just write. I want to make this blog into a book that I can share with infertiles all over this fine world of ours.

Stand-up is incredibly fun. You meet the most incredible, funniest, unique people. As competitive as the business is, the people, the experiences and the anecdotes you accumulate are immeasurable. I do want to perform when I can but something about my fertility issues are making me rethink just how much I want to get up in front of people on a Tuesday night in a small bar in New Jersey. Not only is my ass tired of it, it doesn’t pay (unless I get a sitcom… and maybe not even then) but there simply seems to be something more important to me now; making fertility issues funny.

As my creative future started to slowly come more into focus, Caryn, in her own subtle, loving way, began yelling at me with regards to stressing myself out over trying to get pregnant. I realize you may not agree but sometimes, I firmly believe someone yelling some sense at you can be effective.

“You’ve got a great life, a great husband and great friends like me! Don’t stress yourself out over getting knocked up! You’ll figure it out! Deal with each issue as it comes! For crying out loud - do you know how much I’m spending on my son’s college? $40,000 a year! It might not be the worst thing in the world if you never get pregnant! Save your money! Adopt! Travel! Not getting preggo won’t make you less of a person or a woman! RELAX THE F*CK OUT!’

It’s not so much what she said but more her attitude and confidence in that everything will somehow work out. It’s shocking but for as much I like to analyze things and talk things out to death, sometimes the best philosophy to a problem is “So what!” I TRULY want to be a mom. I truly want to know what it’s like to be pregnant but life is short and if it never happens, then so what. Life is going to go on… and I would have to just readjust my plans and go along with it. Adopt, rent or time share kid – I WOULD figure it out… or die trying.

All in all, it was a thought provoking breakfast. Suddenly, I started to feel calmer, more enthusiastic and more focused on what I wanted creatively and how I could survive if I never knew what it was like to be pregnant. Of course I’m still planning on pursuing pregnancy to the fullest extent, but it was still helpful to know that no matter what happens, I’ll be ok.

It was this attitude that gave me the strength to call my first doctor back. Well, attitude and a few drinks. Some drunk dial their ex-boyfriends. I drunk dial my ex-reproductive endocrinologist.

My goal was to suggest to him that he write a letter to my insurance company on my behalf saying that he missed my uterine polyp and it may have affected my invitro. My approach was to be light, yet persistent with him and I immediately broke the tension by suggesting to him that a possible option to both my lack of fertility funds and my inability to conceive is to become a prostitute. That way, I could make money and hopefully get pregnant simultaneously. This joke put him at ease.

Although he gave me a few helpful suggestions (one of which was to speak to my human resource department about adding a rider with regards to fertility coverage on our company insurance plan), he refused to contact my insurance company for me. He believes that the uterine polyp didn’t grow until after the IVF. He believes that since we did so much to build up the uterine lining, that I was taking hormone shots as well as progesterone, the polyp may have formed BECAUSE of the IVF.

I do realize that it’s in his best interest to think this as he doesn’t want to get sued, but I can’t help but kind of see his point. What sucks is… well… what sucks in addition to not being able to get pregnant is that not only do I now have two different doctors telling me two different things but if this theory is true, that the polyp didn’t grow until AFTER the IVF, then I still don’t have even the slightest suggestion as to why I haven’t gotten pregnant. I’ve been hanging my hat on my uterine polyp. Now, I don’t know what the hell to think.

Believe it or not, even this confusion did provide a sort of closure. Although I tend to believe my newer, younger and more attractive reproductive endocrinologist (that polyps don’t grow that quickly and it had to have been there for awhile), this whole thing brought home the point that no one will ever know for sure when Jackson Polyp moved into my uterus. It’s like a Rubix Cube. At some point, you realize you’ll never figure the f*cking thing out so you just toss it aside.

It’s beginning to really hit me that the life I thought I was going to have may not happen. I may never be a cellulite free, big time successful comedian with four kids and millions of dollars. Maybe that just isn’t in the cards for me and as sad as that makes me (especially the cellulite part) and as terrified as I am about what the future holds, I can’t help but feel that what the cards DO hold for me may offer me something I may not have expected but that I’ll love just as much. At least I hope so. I guess we’ll all see.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Party That Wasn’t and The Letter That Was


Despite being a social person, I’ve been pretty damn anti-social this year. There are people I’ve managed to keep in my inner circle that know everything that’s been going on but there are many I’ve avoided. I’ve avoided some because I know they are going to ask me when I’m going to have children. I’ve avoided others because I know they are going to tell me they are pregnant and then, there’s a bunch of people I’ve avoided simply because I don’t have anything positive to say when they ask me what’s new.

Of course I know that that’s what friends are for; to listen and support when you need it. And yes, I’m sure people will like me no matter if I have good news or not but lately, when people ask, “How are you?”, my answers have ranged from, “You might not want to ask me that question” to “How am I? How am I? I suck! That’s how I am!” to “I’m beginning to understand Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining”. It has not been pretty.

I should just lie and give the standard, “I’m fine and you?” but I’m not fine. I mean, I’m functional and there have been great days sprinkled through out this past year of suckage but if I’m being totally blunt, if you asked me how I am, I think the best answer is that I’m hanging in. I suppose that’s the best response for anyone who has been trying to conceive for awhile. You hang in there and do what you can to maintain. Some days you win, some days you don’t. And then there are the days when comfort food, crying and mindless movies are a form of Prozac. Hey – whatever gets you through the day.

It will be my birthday next week. Since I’ve not been a happy TTC camper, I thought I would get over my recent anti-social behavior and invite a whole bunch of friends over. I should never have done this. It’s 2010 -- the year that will go down as the one that has consistently worked against me. Why did I possibly think I could pull off a birthday party? I can barely figure out what the f*ck to wear in the mornings. Really – it’s a miracle every time I show up to work in any out fit remotely coordinated.

I had invited about 20 people. 15 couldn’t make it (one of the problems with having so many friends in the creative world is they are often on tour or have a show, etc.) and 5 never even got back to me. As of right now, my birthday party will consist of my husband, my gay best friend and myself. Although this sounds like a great title for a sitcom and although I know we’ll have a great time no matter what we do, I can’t help but feel like quite the unpopular infertile.

If I think about it objectively, I know this isn’t personal. I sincerely have many amazing, wonderful friends. If anything, I’m just being a brat as they have all been there so often for me and the fact that this particular day doesn’t work for most of them shouldn’t make me this whiney. Also, do you ever notice that there’s always that one day or weekend of the year where everyone you know seems to schedule something at the same time? It’s this one magical date of the year when you seem to know someone getting married, a holiday party and a friend visiting all on the same day. I guess this year, that magical date is my birthday… and everyone just happens to be busy. Such is life.

Underlining my already bad mood, my period again arrived this morning. These days, when I see Aunt Flo’s dramatic appearance, I always think, “Fifteen thousand dollars”. This is how much another InVitro will cost and every time I don’t get pregnant the natural way, the more I think about how much it’s going to cost me. Is that terrible or what? My period used to be for free. Now, it’s literally costing me money. Fifteen thousand dollars to be exact.

Anyway, while in the process of bleeding and redefining how to celebrate my birthday, I got a voice mail from my first reproductive endocrinologist regarding the letter (see my previous post: http://the2weekwait.blogspot.com/2010/10/its-great-infertile-charlie-brown.html). His message was basically this:

“Thank you for your letter and for sending over your records from your recent surgery. I reviewed them as well as your entire chart and I understand your concern. As you know, we did a sono-hystereogram in February 2009 and there was no polyp then. I can send you copies of that if you like so I don’t it interfered with the procedures we did. I don’t think the polyp was why you haven’t gotten pregnant. That remains a mystery. I do understand your worry though and I’m not sure what you want to do with regards to your insurance coverage but if you’d like to speak to me further, please feel free to give me a call.”

Of course, I’m glad he called and acknowledged my letter. However, being told by a doctor (albeit maybe not the best doctor) on yet another cycle day one that he can’t figure out why you’re not getting pregnant isn’t what I would describe as a good feeling. He genuinely doesn’t seem to think it was the polyp and if that’s true, then what is the problem?

Also, it’s true that there was no polyp when he did the first test in February 2009. I get that but the fact remains that there was one found a little over a year later so it was there during my three inseminations and one IVF. I mean, it didn’t just grow in the month of May for crying out loud. It’s not a zit. It’s a polyp and polyps don’t grow that quickly. Besides, the second doctor saw the polyp on a boring old regular sonogram in June 2010, so I can’t help but wonder how it got missed through out all my sonograms and tests in April 2010 when we did the invitro.

*DEEP BREATH*

I’m frustrated, pissed off and soon, I’ll be another year older with less money and no child. Now, more than ever, I must remember the good things or I seriously believe I may go on a murderous rampage this birthday. I’d invite people to join me on this rampage but odds are no one is available to join me.

I’m still glad I wrote the letter. I know we have our IVF 2 – Electric Bugaloo in the works and I know hope is not dead. If anything, hope is just bound and gagged and being held hostage in a closet somewhere.

So, yes; it would seem my birthday party is becoming a bit of a pity party. I’ll just have to pick another time to be social. Any which way, at least I’ll be surrounded by cake, a few loved ones and I get to wear a pity party hat. It will be combination of a party hat and tissue box.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's the Great Infertile Charlie Brown!

Last night I dreamed that literally everyone I know had a brand new baby. All my time was spent sending cards, receiving baby announcements and buying baby gifts for other people. I woke up knowing that although it was an exaggeration, it wasn't that far from the reality. It's exactly like all the kids on "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" They all got candy. Charlie Brown got a rock. Me - I'm always getting the rock.

It's Halloween and I have PMS. The more time goes on, the more I realize that I don't actually have 'two week waits'. I have a one week wait, and then a week of all the PMS symptoms that a girl can handle; cramps, back ache, breakouts, nightmares, moody, weepy, migraines and retaining water. Yes, I've heard it a hundred times that PMS symptoms are similar to pregnancy symptoms but after going through this for almost two years, THIS is what happens every time, and every time, I get my period.

I wish all of us infertiles could wear the truly scary costumes today. We could go as a Clomid Pill, or a misshapen sperm or perhaps an ovarian cyst. I'm so annoyed at Aunt Flo for making her way back into my life that wearing these costumes would be a statement to the fertile community at large: I'm pissed. I'm infertile and I will not be ignored.

Despite my rant, I've genuinely been trying to be more positive and more proactive. I can't control whether I get pregnant or not, but I can control how I deal with it and how I deal with life. And for the last week, that's been good.

After months of soul searching, therapy, talking to my husband as well as trusted friends, I decided to write a letter to our first reproductive endocrinologist. I had been working with him for years as my gynecologist. He also is a Reproductive Endocrinologist so when we decided to get pregnant, I thought it was a perfect progression as he was already well acquainted with my privates. They don’t like meeting new people. They are shy.

To review, we worked with this doctor from January 2009 through till May 2010. During this time, as you may or may not know from reading my blog, we tried rounds of clomid and having timed sex, three inseminations and one invitro. When all of these failed, I decided to get a second opinion. It was then we discovered that I had a sizable uterine polyp (a.k.a. "Jackson Polyp"). The polyp was practically giving everyone the finger and waving. My new RE and the technicians in the room were downright shocked that it was missed.

To be clear, no one can prove that the polyp was the hold up. It couldn’t have helped and even though I was only a Theatre Major, my guess is if you have a huge bitch ass polyp, you probably shouldn’t do things like IUIs and IVFs. Again, I’m not a doctor but it does seem like if some foreign intruder is loitering in your uterus, it might be best to remove it before having invited embryos implant.

The polyp has been gone since July and as it's becoming clear to me, I’m still not pregnant. The questions have been A) Can I sue the first doctor? B) Do I ask the first doctor for free fertility treatment since he missed ‘Jackson Polyp’? C) Do I even have a case if I still haven’t gotten pregnant yet (there may be other issues for all I know) and D) Did he actually do anything wrong or was it an honest oversight?

Again, after talking to lawyers and my circle, we decided the best action was to move on and accept that we’ll never know what could have been. We only know what is now. However, it was important to me that he at least knew what had happened if for no other reason than it may inform his handling of patients that still go to him for fertility treatment.

So I wrote him a letter. I resisted the urge to simply write, "F*ck you, f*ck you, f*ck you!" and I composed the following:

Dr. Idiot (Real name isn't used):

As you know, several months ago I requested copies of my records in order to get a second opinion on why I haven’t gotten pregnant yet. Upon doing a sonogram, the doctor immediately noticed that I had a sizable uterine polyp. I returned the next day to do a hysterogram which confirmed that I had what Dr. Superior described as “a larger than average sized polyp”. He believes that considering the size of the polyp, it has probably been there for over a year. If this is correct, it would mean that I had the polyp the entire time we were going through the three IUIs and throughout the entire InVitro procedure. In July, I had surgery to remove it.

I asked Dr. Superior's office to send the enclosed copies of their records, which I thought would be of interest to you.

Dr. Superior told me that we can’t know for sure but it’s very possible that having a uterine polyp of this size could have prevented implantation, rendering futile all our fertility attempts this past year. If this is in fact correct, that would be heart-breaking both because of the physical and emotional strain my husband and I experienced and the sad fact that we used up all our insurances fertility coverage on procedures that appear to have had little chance of being successful as long as the polyp was there.

I wanted to make you aware of this in the hopes that it will be helpful in treating your existing patients. I’m sure this was an honest oversight but unfortunately, it was a very costly one for me. Sam and I are now trying to figure out our options.

And that was it. I stated the facts, let him know how I felt without being overemotional and I sent it off. I don't know if he'll write back. I don't know if he'll even give a sh*t but it felt good to write it. I guess we all have a letter in us to someone that needs to get out. That was mine.

Despite this act and despite my best efforts, I can't help but be bitter and frustrated today. Dare I say it on Halloween but I'm haunted by the last year and a half. I rethink things I should have done, I blame myself, I wonder for hours at a time why I can't get pregnant, I worry there's another problem they don't know about and I'm just so, so, so down that I once again have PMS. I guess it's good that there is plenty of chocolate around today. I'm going to need it.

Also, and I realize I'm totally venting now, but every time I think about Mariah Carey saying that doing acunpuncutre an hour a day helped her get pregnant, I want to stick her with a needle myself. I'm all for stress management and I certainly need it but I don't have the money or the luxury to have a personal acupuncturist who travels with me every where I go to help mellow me out.

I, of course, applaud any celebrity that comes forward with fertility issues (I'm glaring in your direction Miss "Oh, I just prayed a lot" Jennifer Lopez), but for them to give advice sometimes is just patronizing. They have incomes I will never come close to. They have a staff to help them do everything whether it's a fertility cleanse, or a special diet, or jetting off to the best IVF doctor in Berlin. I've got me, my husband, our limited finances, and HCG shot in my fridge and at the moment, a cheerleader costume that has the letters "IVF" across the chest.

This is a low day - I admit it. I'll get better though. I'll snap out of it. I always do but for now, I'm going to use this Halloween to be an evil, venting, frustrated Cheerleader who is about to get her period. And if I get a rock instead of candy, I just may use it to throw at either my first RE or Mariah Carey. I haven't decided yet.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trying to Conceive Has Crapped on my Sex Life

Ok, let’s be honest: After months upon months of contrived and controlled sex, it makes total sense for it to affect your love life. When you first met your significant other, all you needed was two things: passion and privacy (and maybe not even privacy). In the car, in the hallway, in a bathtub; you couldn’t get enough of each other. It didn’t matter what day of the month it was, what position your cervix was in and lying down for an hour afterwards was by choice and not required.

Does this not at all sound familiar to anyone or is it just me? Please tell me it’s not just me!

If you’ve been reading my blog regularly, you know sex is an important issue to me. Despite being fertility challenged, I want to feel sexy and I want to have the fun sex my husband and I had when we met. We go through periods of time lately where we get the magic back, but then, thanks to the ‘trying to conceive saga’ we’re currently starring in, those moments fade fast.

Let me give you an example. Awhile back, there was a night where my ovulation prediction kit said it was go time. The trouble was that on the night in particular, we both had bad days, we were exhausted and I not only had a migraine from hell but I was feeling sick to my stomach. The foreplay consisted of me saying, “Get in, do what you need to do and then get out.” My husband completed the mission all while I had my mouth guard in (I grind my teeth) and while I drifted off to sleep. This is not the stuff they make porns out of people.

Soon after, Sam and I had a conference… a “sex summit” if you will… and we came up with ways and ideas to bring the ZING! back. We are trying to implement them as often as possible. Here’s what we came up… perhaps it’ll provide inspiration for you.

Costumes, Make-up, Wigs
Yes. You heard me. Get all Jennifer Garner in Alias. As you may or may not know, I am the proud owner of a Catholic School Girl outfit, a cheerleader outfit and French Maid’s outfit. It’s Halloween soon so you have the perfect excuse to buy one of these without feeling self-conscious. And aside from the fact that your husband will enjoy one of these typical male fantasies they have (they are SO predictable in that department, aren’t they?), it’s fun for you (no really, I swear) because what infertile doesn’t want to imagine they are someone else for a bit? Why not a sexy, fertile hot nurse who doesn’t give a sh*t what consistency her cervical mucus is?

Videotape
If it gave Kim Kardashian a career, it can do wonders for your love life. Men like porn, why not give them something to look at. And yes, this was very much my husband’s suggestion.

Books and movies
And no, I’m not talking total filth (unless that’s what you’re in to). If there’s any form of entertainment that helps get you in the mood be it a romantic comedy, a romance novel, vampires, car repair (just throwing that out there), then make sure you have it on hand. I personally recommend you all check out http://www.amazon.com/My-Secret-Garden-Womens-Fantasies/dp/0671019872 for inspiration. Some of the fantasies made me go, “Um… yeah, that frightens me.” Others were like, “Well, THAT’S creative! I’ll bookmark that page for later!

Be on top!
Hey - you’ve earned it now and then! One suggestion though: When you're on top, somewhere in the middle of everything, put your hands up like you're on a rollercoaster as it's going downhill. Be sure to yell, "Woooooo!" Oh, c'mon! It'll be fun!

Schedule your own “Sex Summit”
Plan a dinner where you sit down and tell each other what you like, don’t like, what you want to do more of and suggest at least one new thing to try. The summit alone can get you back in a fun, sexy mood. Oh, and it would help if you didn’t have the conversation over a heavy dinner. Feeling bloated isn’t sexy. Man, don’t I know it!

Go old school
First, borrow your parent’s car. Then, get a six pack, drive to a make out spot, hop in the back seat and get frisky. Who knows? You may get lucky in more ways than one. Look… if a million high school seniors can get pregnant this way, it may work for you too.

Remember the Romance
Light some candles, get the music going and put on that sexy nightgown. I’m all for quickies and passionate romps but if you’ve got time, why not use it and go all out? Romance that stone! Go with the wind! Have Harry meet Sally! Set the scene and enjoy all of it on rose petals and silk sheets!

Hotel sex
Maybe I’m alone here and it certainly depends on the hotel but my husband tends to travel here and there and we’ve always had great success with having relations in a hotel. Perhaps you’re less distracted from household chores since you’re not at home or maybe it’s simply that it’s a new element. Any which way, why not book a night away and get it on with a mini bar nearby.

Three words: Battery. Operated. Boyfriend (or Bob if you prefer)
When you are trying to conceive, sex can become as much a chore as it can be fun. Why not let a Pocket Rocket do half the work for you? This wonder toy can do all the foreplay and half the orgasm before he can get his boxers off. It also comes in handy if he’s already crossed the finish line and you’re only halfway through the race.

Forget the rules
Every TTC couple has read a million anecdotes on what the best way to conceive, and over the months of trying, sure enough those anecdotes have made their way into the bedroom. And let’s not forget that there are couples that do all the wrong things (i.e. Drunk sex in a hot tub while standing up) and they still get knocked up! Let’s all give ourselves permission to just have sex for sanity’s sake! So before you have another Baby Dance while suspended from the ceiling in gravity boots listening to Barry Manilow's ‘Mandy’ because your best friend's cousin's hairdresser told you that she got pregnant once doing just that -- remember that sex is supposed to be fun. Just do it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beware of Greeks Bearing Clomid

Regular readers of my blog know I’ve been periodically posting ‘Trying to Conceive Proverbs’ (Click here: http://the2weekwait.blogspot.com/2010/09/trying-to-conceive-tailored-proverbs.html or here: http://the2weekwait.blogspot.com/2010/10/seize-egg-trying-to-conceive-proverbs.html ). What I do (and I admit, I have fun doing it) is I take a well known proverb and tweak it to fit the pursuit of trying to conceive. An example is "If at first you don't succeed, f*ck, f*ck again."

When putting these lists together, one proverb I came across was, “Beware of Greeks bearing Gifts.” This cracked me up as it reminded me of my first reproductive endocrinologist. For those who don’t know, he was the one who missed that I had a huge uterine polyp for what appears to be over a year and… he happens to be Greek.

During the time I worked with him, we did three inseminations and one IVF all without knowing there was a polyp “cock blocking” our best fertility assisted efforts. In effect, thanks to Dr. Loser McLoserville, I am now out of fertility coverage on my insurance since he didn’t see that Jackson Polyp was squatting in my uterus giving us all the middle finger.

So when I thought of the ‘Trying to Conceive Proverb’, “Beware of Greeks bearing Clomid”, it actually had personal meaning to me.

Since I once again got my period a few days ago and after finding out my insurance company wasn’t covering any more fertility treatments, I figured now was as good of a time as any to talk to a lawyer. Unfortunately, Matlock wasn’t available, which is a shame. I do love his blue suits and his devil-may-care attitude.

The lawyer I did speak to, Mr. Not-Matlock, felt we didn’t have a case. When Dr. Greek did an HSG with Saline in January 2009, it showed a vacant uterus. In March 2009, a few months after this HSG, was when we first started officially working towards getting pregnant. Then in November 2009, we did the first of our three inseminations and eventually, in April 2010, we did our first IVF. Even though there were other opportunities to do another HSG throughout, perhaps with dye this time, the fact remains, according to the lawyer, that if the initial HSG showed nothing, it’s hard to make an argument that the doctor should have known about Jackson Polyp.

Furthermore, I’m still not pregnant (and yes, I thanked the lawyer for pointing that out). He said, “Not to bum you out but who is to say you don’t have another issue keeping you from getting pregnant.” I’m beginning to grow a fondness for all those lawyer jokes…

In general, Mr. Not-Matlock felt $10,000 wasn’t enough to sue for anyway, that it would be hard to prove damages and out of my options, I’d be better off just going to Dr. Greek, explaining to him what happened and seeing if I could get a free insemination out of the deal. Really? Is that the deal somewhere in the fertility world? Three failed inseminations and get the fourth one free? Do I need a coupon for that? Is there a free blender involved?

To me, this approach would be like if I got food poisoning from a restaurant and when I called to inform them, they offered to make it up to me by offering a free meal there. I mean really… would you want to go back and eat there again?

Also, confronting the doctor, even if I do it in the nicest way possible, would be uncomfortable. This, I don’t mind so much. It’s if and when he agrees to do the free insemination that it would be beyond weird. Heated exchanges and thrown accusations in his office are one thing. Tension when my legs are up in stirrups while he’s handling my husband’s junk is entirely another.

I’ve thought a lot about it and although the word “free” is compelling and although we are not in a financially choosey place, I sincerely think in this case, beggars CAN be choosers. I simply can’t go back there and tell him to stick a catheter up my wah-hoo after I genuinely feel like he has already screwed me over. I just can’t. I’m calling time of death on the whole Dr. Greek chapter in my life… at least for now.

So where does that leave us? Initially, we were going to save up for an insemination with my new and improved reproductive endocrinologist but then, it occurred to us that if we’re going to save up anyway, if the odds are better with invitro and if I’m getting a year end bonus, why not just skip the insemination and go straight to IVF as soon as we get the money? Yes, I hate waiting and yes, I’d much rather spend my bonus on anything else in the world but for now, this seems like a sound plan.

Our goal is to do an IVF in either December 2010 or January of 2011. In the meantime, we are going to continue getting opinions from other lawyers, I’m going to let Dr. Greek know about the polyp via a letter in the hopes that perhaps he’ll use this information to help the patients that continue to go to him and I’m going to make the most of October, November and December by once again focusing on having great sex whenever the hell I want it.

Of course I’m still hoping we get pregnant naturally but frankly, I’m not counting on it anymore. We’re saving up and mentally preparing for IVF 2.0. For my own sanity and happiness, I need to just say that’s how it’s going to be and use the next couple of months to enjoy the holidays, hopefully lose weight, take care of myself and revisit the world of crazy monkey sex which is a world you know I’ve always been fond of.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When Your Infertile Friends Leave the Nest

When I was single (which felt like forever), I have a partner in crime for all my single adventures. Her name was Stacey. We’d go to bars. We’d go dancing. We’d hang out at coffee shops despite the fact that we both hated coffee. We would be each other’s wing-man (or wing-woman) in the quest to meet a sane, employed man which was not as easy as it may sound.

Now, I’m not proud of this but we would often mock people who were in relationships. Let’s be honest: we were jealous. We couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t us staying home ordering in and renting a movie with our “pooh-bear”. Why hadn’t we met anyone? We’re cute! We’re funny! We’ve got a lot to offer! It was frustrating and with every engagement announcement, every bridal shower and every wedding, we'd become more and more snarky and dismissive about the institution.

After years of rejection, online dating and having dinner with men who flossed their teeth over dinner, I sort of gave up on ever meeting anyone. The dates I went on during my “Single Sentence” bordered on science fiction. There was the time I had brunch with a guy who worked for the sewage system and he talked all about raw sewage for an hour while I tried to eat (I’ve never had Eggs Benedict again by the way) or the guy who asked me to guess how old he was and then got pissed at me because I guessed right (he wanted me to guess younger) or the guy who told me outright that he hated Chinese people (I’m not joking) or my favorite, the guy who hid in the bathroom waiting for me to pay the check so he didn’t have to. I think he’s still hiding in the bathroom to this day.

Then, one year, Stacey announced that she was going to get engaged in the next six months if it killed her, me and anyone else in a one mile radius. I thought this was ambitious but I respected that she was setting a goal for herself. Besides, I had already committed myself to a life of spinsterhood so if one of us were to get married; it was going to have to be her.

Of course, a few months after this conversation, I met Sam who is now my husband. Literally out of nowhere, we met through mutual friends and within a month, we had fallen completely and totally in love. Six months after that, we were engaged.

Stacey knew I had met someone and that I thought he was definitely a “person of interest” but when it came time to tell her I was engaged, I was extremely nervous. She was still single and I was officially becoming what we made fun of for so many years.

When we went to dinner and I broke the news to her, she looked at me for a moment in shock and then said, “How did you get engaged? You weren’t even trying to meet anyone? I’m busting my ass and YOU’RE the one who gets engaged! I can’t believe this!

You’d think I’d be hurt but really, I understood. I knew somewhere in her, she was happy for me (and she eventually said so by dessert) but she was ticked it wasn’t her that had this news. Besides, after all the sh*t I said about my married and/or newly engaged friends when I was single behind their backs, I at least respected that she vented to my face. I was abandoning her and joining the enemy… and I knew how that felt. I couldn’t be mad at her at all.

I think of this story often when a fellow fertility challenged friend announces their pregnancy. How they must feel how I felt with Stacey that day; guilty that I was happy and that I had found someone and that she hadn’t yet. I made every effort not to be over the top with giddiness about my engagement or my wedding. I went out of my way to keep up with single activities such as meeting her for drinks or gabbing on the phone with her any chance I got. In retrospect, I think I even didn’t fully allow myself to be as happy as I was for fear I was hurting Stacey or my other single friends. I knew better how it felt to be in their shoes than anyone and I didn’t want them to think of me the same way I thought of married people all those years.

The thing is every time someone I know who has struggled along with me to conceive ends up pregnant; it is a mixture of true joy and a bit of sadness. You do feel like you’ve lost a person who was in the trenches with you and you’re sad for yourself but you can’t help but feel happy for someone you know who has struggled desperately to achieve this moment. Ultimately, these stories of successes should offer you hope and incentive but in lower, more hormonal moments, it’s difficult not to feel either left behind or disappointed that it’s still not you.

All in all, it’s a mixed bag of emotions. I think the bottom line though is we all have different issues and we’re all different people. There is no logic to when it should or shouldn’t happen for one person or another. There isn’t an “Ok, whose turn is it now to be pregnant?” or “Who deserves it?” so why even bothering comparing yourself to someone else who got knocked up when you didn’t? Also, and as comical as this may sound, I do often remind myself that just because so-and-so had a baby, that doesn’t mean she directly took my baby away from me.

Now let me be clear here: I can say all this and I know it’s all true but obviously, if you’ve been reading my blog, you know there are times when I am blindly jealous or resentful of the fertile community at large. I’m human, I’m hormonal and at times, quite frankly, I’m downright pissed off at my situation. Still, in more reasonable moments, I remember the whole Stacey situation and I know that in this scenario, I’m Stacey.

One day, I hope I’ll be the one with happy pregnancy news. I also hope that when that happens, my fellow infertiles will forgive me for getting pregnant and celebrate along with me. Right now, at this moment, I have the opportunity to react to others pregnancy announcements like I hope others will react for me – with nothing but happiness, support and encouragement. Does it still hurt at times and am I still jealous? Fuck, yeah but I look at it as an investment for when it’s my turn. Well, that and because I know in my heart, putting aside all poopy, negative feelings, I actually am genuinely happy for them.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Seize the egg! - Trying to Conceive Proverbs (Part 2)

I'm feeling a bit glum today so I figured what could be a better way to cheer myself up then with MORE TTC Proverbs! Enjoy Part 2... and trust me, parts 3 and 4 are not that far behind!

Also, in case you missed Trying to Conceive Tailored Proverbs – Part 1, please visit: http://the2weekwait.blogspot.com/2010/09/trying-to-conceive-tailored-proverbs.html

Trying to Conceive Proverbs (Part 2)

No news is… another month down the drain

There's a time and a place for everything, and that time is Cycle Day 10

If patience is a virtue, then I'm Mother "Freaking" Teresa

There's no such thing as bad publicity, just negative results

There's always more fish in the sea...but healthy follicles are in short supply

Good things come to those who wait... and wait, and wait, and wait

The bigger they are, the harder they are

A good sperm is hard to find

Still mucus run deep

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single reproductive endocrinologist’s appointment

A prenatal vitamin a day keeps the doctor away

Don't count your embryos before they are hatched

A rolling ovary gathers no moss

Seize the egg!

The early bird catches the high beta

Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder

Strike while the Ovulation Prediction Kit is hot

That which does not kill sperm, makes it stronger

The bigger they are, the readier they are for an HCG shot

Accidents will happen (and will usually get a woman pregnant).

An infertile in need is an infertile indeed

Another day, another basal temp

Monday, October 4, 2010

Getting to Know Me - I've Been Tagged!

There's this "getting-to-know-you" game that's been making the rounds through BlogWorld and I just got tagged - I'm IT! I’m quite thrilled actually as it gives me a break from lamenting about my TTC efforts for a moment and focus on something way more fun – ME! Thank you to Slackie O. and @socalledttclife for this honor! And if you haven’t checked out their blogs yet, please do! Ms. O’s blog is http://slackieo.blogspot.com/ and @socalledttclife is http://mysocalledttclife.tumblr.com/

Here are the “Getting to Know You” questions:

1) What is your dream occupation?

I would have loved to have been a rock star. That’s right. You heard me. Touring the world, having the press wondering which boy toy I was sleeping with that week, singing my ass off in an amazingly sexy outfit, doing interviews, having an entourage, working with my personal trainer and marrying one hot guy after another. Why, oh why did I quit singing lessons!?!?

2) What is the best dish that you can cook?

If forced, I can make tomato sauce from scratch and a killer Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Cooking is not my thing though. I’m much better at ordering.

3) Have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper? What for?

Yes and it was not for committing murder. Aside from our wedding announcements, thanks to my creative endeavors I’ve been interviewed a few times here and there. Nothing major though. If only I could get involved in a real scandal. That would so help my career!

4) What’s the worst and/or most memorable job you’ve ever had?

I’ll go with the worst simply because it’s far funnier than the most memorable.

The worst was working for a small firm in Soho where the President of the company was having an affair with my supervisor who was an alcoholic loose cannon. This relationship (and lack of business) would create many an opportunity for high drama. One time, she smacked him across the face and stormed off. That was one of my favorite incidents. Another thing they’d often do (aside from viciously fight on a daily basis) was find ways to leave the office together. Their dialogue was always poorly written and was similar to this:

“Hey Joan. Iam going to go out for lunch. What are you doing?”
“I am going to the dentist. Would you like to split a cab?”
“Why Joan, that is very economical of you. I would love to split a cab.”
“Terrific Ted. Let us go then and innocently share a cab together to our separate destinations.”
Then, they would come back from “lunch” together obviously freshly showered. Despite the entertainment factor, I HATED this job.

5) When you were a teenager, at what age did you envision yourself getting married? How old were you in reality when you got married?

For some reason, I always thought I’d get married SUPER early… like in my late teens and to an older man. That absolutely did not happen though. I got married at age 34 and my husband is only a few years older than me. In retrospect, I like the way things actually worked out then how I envisioned.

6) What’s your most hated household chore? What’s your favorite?

Most hated: I think I may have to go with mopping on this one. Either that or cleaning my bathtub.

My favorite: I enjoy dusting for some reason. I think I like the instant gratification of it. LOOK! YOU’RE NOW CLEAN! TA DA!

7) What’s your earliest memory?

You know… I can’t really remember. I recall bits and pieces of different events but not a whole lot. Heck, I can’t even remember last week!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lightning at the End of a Tunnel?

If we review the last three weeks, they include yet another failed attempt to get pregnant, food poisoning, paying full price for an HCG that I’m not even sure I’m going to use, my building getting hit by lightning thus killing everything plugged into every outlet including my beloved computer (using a friend's PC to write this!) and my insurance company telling me that they are no longer covering any of my fertility treatments. I honestly would not be surprised if I was soon diagnosed with prostate cancer… despite that fact that I don’t even HAVE a prostate.

I don’t want to whine or complain (even though I’m very gifted at both) but really, REALLY, when does the good stuff start? Things can ALWAYS be worse. I try to never lose sight of that, however, it doesn’t change the fact that being in a terminal state of suckage is frustrating as hell.

Despite the hundreds of dollars we now have to spend on replacing everything (we do have insurance so hopefully, we’ll get some of what we spend back), I can’t help but be secretly amused that the lightning hit our building during ovulation time. I’m not sure what that means. I guess come cycle day 28, I’ll find out. It’ll either be an amazing story we’ll one day tell our child (“You were conceived during a lightning storm! Sure, we lost cable, electricity, phone service, internet, our televisions and computers but we got you, so it evens out!”) or it’ll be yet another exhibit in the case I’m making against the entire year of 2010. Can you file legal charges against a whole year?

In terms of my medical insurance breaking up with me ("It's not us. It's your uterus."), what can I say? It hurts. It’s bad enough that I’ve had fertility issues but to now get charged an obscene amount for them adds insult to injury. I’ve already paid close to $20,000 out of pocket WITH the insurance that the thought of forging ahead without it is dizzying. I haven’t a clue how to get the money needed. I mean, as much as I love lying down, I’d make a terrible hooker and I’d probably be the only stripper in history that would get paid to keep my clothes on!

Also, and not to beat a dead horse here, but I can’t help being internally tortured by the fact that we blew all of fertility fund on a doctor who missed that I had a uterine polyp for an entire year. What’s done is done and there seems little I can do about it, but again, it falls hard in the ‘suckage’ category. We never should have done IUIs and an IVF as long as that polyp was there and because my first doctor never thought of checking it and I didn’t know any better to suggest it, I may have to use our entire savings and my end of the year bonus just to get my second doctor to do something most women are able to do naturally.

Speaking of which, does anyone know if they happen to make cheap home insemination kits? If not, they should! It could include a little sperm spinner you plug into a wall (it could double as a salad spinner), and a thin tube to bypass the cervix. It may sound crass but c’mon! If women have been using turkey basters for crying out loud, why can’t I IUI myself in the comfort of my own home while watching True Blood?!?

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I often wane between finding all this amusing and on occasion, getting pretty depressed about it. At present, I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m clinging to the fact that nothing is hopeless yet and I still can’t help laughing at the mess that is currently my life but there are times of deep regret, fear and sadness. Those are the times when calories and fat grams lose all meaning, the bed is my refuge and I wonder what lies around the corner next.

Sam and I talked about it last night and we are definitely not going to be able to do our intended IUI this next cycle. We’re still figuring out if we’re going to put it off a month or two or if we’ll just skip insemination altogether and go right to another IVF cycle. Any which way, we WILL be doing something, somehow soon.

This all being said, is it too much to hope that through some insane divine miracle, the bolt of lightning that hit our home during ovulation time will perhaps bring good luck? I dare not even type it on my blog but if we were actually successful in conceiving this past cycle, it would be a joy and a relief beyond that's impossible to imagine. Still, if history has proven anything and if what they say about stress hindering conception is true, the odds are against it. I’m hoping for a freaking miracle anyway though...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Trying to Conceive Tailored Proverbs – Part 1

~ All's fair in love and fertility

 ~ Feed a cold. Starve a polyp.

 ~ Enough is enough; unless you're a Duggar

 ~ Bad news travels fast on TTC Chat boards

 ~ A sperm in time saves nine

 ~ There but for the grace of God, go I... and another pregnant woman with a stroller

 ~ Behind every great man there's a great sperm count

 ~ All work and bad morphology makes Jack a dull boy

~ An infertile and her money are soon parted

 ~ To err is human; to fertilize divine

 ~ Don't bite the hand that inseminates you

 ~ You can lead a sperm to an egg, but you can't make it fertilize

 ~ Implantation speaks louder than words

~ Infertiles of a feather flock together

~ Better never than late

 ~ It ain't over till the fat lady gets a big fat positive

 ~ Hell hath no fury like an infertile scorned

 ~ Every sonogram tells a story

 ~ Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may conceive

 ~ If at first you don't succeed, f*ck, f*ck again

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Every Ovary Has a Silver Lining

I can’t lie. These last two weeks have not been what I would characterize as fabulous. They’ve been filled with feelings of failure, frustration and thanks to a bought of food poisoning, a fear of tuna fish. That’s right. Charlie the Tuna kicked my sorry digestive system on Tuesday night. Don’t let the smile fool you. 'Sorry Charlie' my ass…

But I digress…

Even though I typically am pretty successful at keeping expectations in check, this past cycle failing particularly bummed me out. Not helping matters was when I got my period; I got a crop of the worst pimples on my chin. Sure, I break out here and there around my time of the month, but this was like a freaking colony of blemishes. I’ve actually lost count of how many huge pimples I have on my chin right now. I would not be the least bit shocked if a blind person felt my chin and my zits spelled out, “Still Not Pregnant” in a sort of brail. Really… M. Night Shyamalan could make a movie about it. It would be called, “The Prophetic Pimples”.

But I digress again…

I went to see my most recent Reproductive Endocrinologist a few days ago. He started the session with, “I’m sorry you’re back.” As depressing as that statement is, I appreciated the sentiment as I was sorry I was back too.

Sam and I decided that we’d give it one more month of trying on our own before returning to medical assistance. I do have ambivalence about this as I don’t know if I can bear another period or another crop of pimples like the ones I have now but the doctor felt one more month wasn’t going to hurt or help either way. It’s not like we’re delaying anything for a year. It’s just one month to see if we can get Sam’s sperm and my egg to finally hook up once and for all. Jeez. It sounds like our reproductive parts are Ross and Rachel on Friends.

Today is this fifth day of my latest cycle. This will officially be the third time we’ll try on our own to conceive since my uterine polyp was removed. Some say the third time is the charm but it just may be, in fact, the third time and nothing more. After all, I have already done three inseminations and the third one those didn’t work so I’m not buying into none of that anymore. Besides, since we’ve already decided that if this doesn’t work, we’ll go back to injectables and insemination, I’m going to go back to where I was a few months ago and keep the pressure and expectations as low as possible. With this back up plan in place, this cycle should be nothing more than ‘let’s not think about it and just have lots of sex’. I've had cycles like that before and they were damn fun.

Yes, it would be lovely if we were successful this month and yes, I would love to avoid more shots, procedures and hospital gowns if we could but it is just one month, we have a plan and after the disappointment of last month, I physically need not to care about this for a few weeks… if that’s possible.

So, even though I have not been in my happy place lately, even though there’s no good news to share at the moment and even though I will most likely never eat tuna fish again, I do feel like there has been rays of hope and promise streaming through the clouds of crap.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Aunt Flo Again… Naturally

There are good moods and there are bad moods. Then, there’s the mood I’m in today. If there were a color coated system of my moods, it would be on flaming pissed off red right now. Everyone – you’re on high alert! Grab your duct tape and find a safe house!

On Saturday morning, my temperature dipped. Many don’t believe in the temperature taking system to track ovulation, implantation and pregnancy but it’s rarely been wrong for me. I just wish that basal thermometer didn’t just show you what your temp is in a cold, hard, impersonal font. I wish it had an audio feature that broke it to you gently. “I’m sorry kitten. Your temperature dipped. It didn’t work out this time. If I had arms, I’d hug you but alas, I don’t. If you want to put me back in your mouth though, I’ll do my best to taste like chocolate to cheer you up.”

Even though I knew the temperature drop wasn’t great, it was still above the cover line so I was still holding out hope. It was when I saw some spotting that night that I knew the party was over… or at the very least, it was happening in someone else’s uterus.

Every time I get my period, it means I’m signing up for four more weeks of torture. It’s a f*cked up monthly renewal plan. I get my period and then my body asks, “Do you want to renew peeing on ovulation tests, having timed intercourse, getting blood work, the hellacious two week wait and then fail again?” Seriously. What’s a girl got to do to get the pregnancy subscription? I’m done with the trying to conceive membership. The fees and disappointment have been too costly.

There sincerely were a few moments in the week leading up to my period where I really could taste the success. I could see me peeing on a stick and actually getting a positive result for once in my life. I pictured telling my friends, the maternity outfits I’d wear and how incredibly happy I’d be. In retrospect, I’m ticked at myself for getting that hopeful. I know better. I just had a feeling about this cycle but obviously, my feelings are not to be depended upon. They are as reliable as a generic fortune cookie or a bad psychic. “You’ll meet someone who will have a last name..."

So many people, including myself, thought that removing the polyp that took up residence in my uterus, a squatter if you will, would mean I’d be pregnant in no time but this was the second month polyp-free and still nothing. Could one more cycle be the key? Is there something else we’re missing now? AM I EVER GOING TO GET PREGNANT WITHOUT LOSING ALL MY MONEY AND MY SANITY?

Tomorrow, I go to my doctor and we’ll discuss options. Do I try one more cycle on our own or do I go back to doing inseminations? I know my doctor would love to just go ahead and do invitro but I simply don’t have the money. It’s utterly depressing to spend your hard earned money on things that aren’t successful. I’ve almost drained all our finances to cover three inseminations and one disastrous IVF simply to fail and frankly, I appear to be failing quite fine without paying any money, thank you very much.

I will see what he says and once again, try to get pregnant. At this moment though, I’m just one unhappy, resentful, pissed off woman. You’ve all been warned. Take cover.