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!

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?

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 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: or here: ). 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:

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 and @socalledttclife is

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!