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!

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.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Waiting for the Matzo Ball to Drop

Tonight is the start of Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year. You would think this would warrant some sort of celebration in Times Square where we watch the Matzo ball drop and Jackie Mason hosts a “A Rockin’ Rosh Hashanah”. Alas, that will not be happening.

I was raised Catholic so this is not a holiday I typically celebrate. However, I’ve always had great respect for it. The thought of a New Year, a clean slate, is always extremely appealing to me. Plus, any event that includes food is one I can proudly get behind… no matter what my religion.

I’m now in the tail end of my latest two week wait. I must admit, the phrase ‘two week wait’ is slowly beginning to grate on my nerves. It’s feeling more and more like it’s terminal. I long for the day when this insufferable hormonal purgatory will bring some good effen’ news. Can I get an Amen?

This was the second cycle after my uterine polyp was removed and for whatever reason, I had very high hopes for it. Right after the surgery seemed too much to hope for but the second month seemed reasonable. We just celebrated our anniversary, we’re going into holiday season (a.k.a. “Family parties where everyone asks when you‘re going to get knocked up already), and my uterus is still somewhat newly clean from the surgery so this seemed like it would be an ideal time.

On cycle day 17 though, I started getting cramps which is pretty damn early for me. I’ve had them off and on ever since. I was hoping that perhaps was a good sign but today is now cycle day 23 and I now have ALL my classic PMS signs. ALL. OF. THEM. Yes, I know PMS can be similar to early pregnancy symptoms but my check list for Aunt Flo’s impending visit is as reliable as the Kardashians being annoying. They are as follows:
  • Cramps
  • Backache
  • Breakout on my chin (currently have three pimples… a triumvirate of failure if you will)
  • The inability to see the irony in life and laugh at it
  • Right knee starts to hurt (I heard that our joints loosen before you get your period. Not sure if that’s true)
  • Vaginal itching (DON’T ask me why but that‘s what happens)
  • Headaches
  • A strange appreciation for depressing 70s music
  • Sleeping poorly
  • Crying at random stupid commercials
  • Bloating similar to Violet in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
As I review this embarrassing and disturbingly long list, it’s no wonder that I feel like the most unattractive person in the entire world (other than Gene Simmons from KISS). I am a hot estrogen mess. The only signs I have towards a possible pregnancy is that my temperature is about four points about the cover line and that I’m not actually bleeding… at least not yet.

Last cycle, I was totally chill and had no expectations. This cycle, I’m resentful, frustrated and quite frankly, pissed off and sick of this whole thing. Lord knows what I’ll be like next cycle. I often fear for the lives of the people around me.

I know I’ll get over it. What other choice do I have? I’ll move ahead as I always do. I’m seeing my doctor on the 14th and by then we’ll know for sure whether this cycle worked (which I TRULY don’t believe it did whatsoever). We’ll talk about our next steps and options but right now, at this exact second, I JUST want to be pregnant already. And yes, I’m officially whining… but in honor of the Rosh Hashanah, let’s just say it’s Manischewitz wine so that it’s a tad more forgivable.

So tonight, as countless people usher in the Jewish New Year, I’m hoping that perhaps I can benefit from a new beginning. One where I have sex and get pregnant. One where I tell my friends we’re expecting. One where I go to Babies R Us to buy something for me and not a friend or relative. One where I’m fat for a very good reason. One where I feel joy, real joy and not deep disappointment. Let’s hope the universe give us one big Mazel Tov. I have no doubt we deserve it.