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, 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.