Sunday, October 31, 2010

Waiting is lame

Sorry things are so boring around here. There’s not a lot to report during the two-week wait. I know we said we’d assume this cycle wasn’t going to work, but let’s be honest – there was no chance I was going to give up all hope until they call with the results of the test. Especially not when I’m trying so hard to remember to take my progesterone and vitamins “just in case.” So that’s pretty much all the fertility news.

My stress levels are way higher than I want. I kicked ass at a big work presentation last week (yay me!), but my mother-in-law is in town this weekend, so I’ve been struggling with that (very very quietly). I don’t know why: I love my mother-in-law like crazy. She’s wonderful, and I adore spending time with her. However, something changes when she comes to my house. I can’t stand her when she’s on my turf. And this has been true from the very beginning of my having my own place (with her son). I have no idea why, but it’s horrible, because I feel like the most terrible person in the world for being so irrational. And yet I can’t help it. So I feel trapped and claustrophobic and grumpy, and bad for feeling that way about such a wonderful person. It’s a lame way to start the week (she’s not leaving until tomorrow). But it’s all going to be fine, and I’ll feel better when I can get back to my routine.

Calming breaths. It’s all going to be ok.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

IUI = super easy

Just an update to say that the IUI went well. It was shockingly fast, no cramping, and with a very perky doctor I had never met. The longest part of the whole thing was verifying the identifying information. Am I a freak if I say that I figure they have a way stronger motivation to make sure they don't mix up the sperm samples than I do? I mean, either way I get a baby, but they get the universe's worst publicity. So I checked with them, but I wasn't especially stressed.

Since then, I've been anxious, and I have no idea how I'm going to get through the wait until the 3rd. But I have a ton of stuff going on at work between now and then, so that's nice and consuming. My boss was really excited about my work today, so hopefully I can keep it up. I think I've done better work in the last year than I ever have or will again. I almost feel like I should confess to my coworkers that the only reason I'm so motivated and hardcore about work is because I'm failing so thoroughly at making a baby. I love that I have something to throw myself into, but I hate that I have to. Hopefully that part will change, and I can throw myself into getting my work done before I go on maternity leave : )

Monday, October 18, 2010

IUI ay ay ay

I haven't posted much during this cycle because it's been so lame. Appointments every two days, and no follicles growing. (Sidenote: most frustrating thing about them not growing is the ultrasound tech who keeps chirping "they're growing" even though they're the same size every time.)

On Friday, I saw my doctor outside his office for the first time, and he seemed completely mystified about why I'm not responding to the Clomid at all. He said I should come back today, but that if I don't respond we'll probably need to give up on this cycle.

Today the ultrasound tech didn't let me watch the screen, give me a printout, or say anything to me, and from what I could see on the computer, nothing had grown. So I assumed this cycle was a bust. But actually, they told me to trigger tonight and we're scheduled for IUI tomorrow. So I'm trying to be positive but not gets my hopes up.

Please send positive thoughts and prayers my way, even though I can't believe that there's any chance this is going to work. The mature-ish follicles are on the right side (where the endometrioma is), so I think this attempt is doomed, but pray for me anyway, because it's going to be impossible for me not to hope.

Guess who I ran into at the fertility clinic?

Talk about your awkward moments. I ran into a friend who I'm going to start working with in January. She's great, but I haven't told her that we've been trying (and failing) because a) she's a colleague, and b) she can't keep a secret at all. So I figured we would both be happier saving this discussion until I was pregnant or on an adoption list.

Until today. I was headed in, and she and her husband were headed out. I had this moment of mutual recognition where I thought, "Oh this is so nice. She's going through this too, and how nice that they're trying for kids." She asked me what I was doing there, and I said "I'm a patient here." But it turns out she's not a patient - she's an egg donor. So it's not as happy a discovery anymore. And the conversation was way more awkward because her husband was there too. Although he was really nice about the whole thing, and he has a kid from his first marriage, so he's not a stranger to these things.

I'm trying to focus on the upsides: she can reassure me about the IVF drugs and needles, and we can help each other out with big injections if necessary. And because they're not going through IF, they have the energy and positivity to wish me luck on the IUI tomorrow and not know how unlikely that seems. So it's kind of nice to be buoyed by some kindhearted fertile people. And I'll just try not to think about the fact that it couldn't be a starker comparison that this coworker is the picture of fertility and I'm the picture of not. She wins, but if I get to have a baby, I definitely win too. And it's nice that I'll be able to be open about it at work when we start IVF - my future boss and loudest future coworker both know now, so there are only two other people to find out. Hopefully I can get through tomorrow without my current boss or coworkers finding out about the IUI. And I can keep from considering (too much) what happens to my career and my dignity if/when this (very lovely very fun) future coworker gets drunk at a conference and tells people in my field that I'm infertile : )

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What to say?

I've been thinking for over a week about what to say to two friends who both made variants on the "just relax and it will happen" comment. They both really hurt, but I don't want to cut these people out of my life.

It's worth mentioning (as an aside) that I am a champion grudge-holder. No joke, I still haven't forgiven my third grade teacher for putting me in the wrong spelling group. So, for instance, I will never not hate the awful doctor on a study that I participated in who read me a twenty-minute-long lecture on just relaxing. But with these friends the situation is different.

I'm relatively young (28) and I'm from a place where higher education is the norm, so almost no one I know has kids yet. Most of them are nowhere close. As a result, I'm the first friend for almost everyone I know who's dealing with this (obviously as far as I know, but in terms of educating people around me, other people's silent struggles are less relevant). I know their insensitive comments are made only because they don't realize how it will make me feel. So it seems like it might be worth mentioning how it made me feel, so that they are less likely to say things like that in the future. I also feel like it's going to be hard for me to be open with them in the future if I don't say something, because I'll be afraid of it happening again.

So I should probably say something. But the question is what. I think it's pretty obvious that both of them say this (one by email, one in person) because they see/hear how stressed and upset I am about the uncertainty of not being able to have children, and they want me not to be sad/stressed. (Obviously it has the opposite effect, but I think their hearts are in the right place.) But I don't know whether it will help to say this. The main concern is that they may feel like I'm correcting them, and will be uncomfortable talking to me in the future.

The one who said it in person, I immediately explained that "what you need to do is just relax and live and love" is not applicable to me - that I'm ready for the next step and that's all I want. She seemed to get that, so I don't know whether I should even follow up with her. I just figure it might be beneficial to explain that "jut relax" is never advice any infertile woman is ever going to want, so that she knows not to say it to anyone else either.

The one who emailed to say we just need to take a vacation, and it will happen for us is a slightly different situation. She's a very close friend, and she worries that she will face infertility in the future. When she wrote that, she had just gone to a seminar on adoption with me. I think she was feeling overwhelmed by how hard it all is (ART and adoption), and how much she hopes we can avoid IVF and adoption. But I still can't figure out how to reply and not point out how much I need her to support me where I actually am, and avoid wishful thinking as much as possible.

Any advice would be much appreciated! These women are both important to me, and are two out of the three friends I have told about what we're going through.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Funny story about sex

When we started our first IUI cycle last week, I asked the nurse a bunch of questions to make sure I understood the procedure. And I was psyched I remembered to ask how many days in advance we needed to abstain. That was how I asked, too: "How many days beforehand do we have to abstain from sex?" To which the answer was... "If you haven't had sex in a couple of weeks, we ask that you have intercourse on the night of the trigger." And so I was forced to ask a whole series of follow-up questions about whether we were still cool to have sex up through the trigger day if we do it much more often than that (no clear answer, but I crafted my own and got it approved).

If I'm asking how long I have to abstain for, isn't that a signal that I have sex often? I guess the whole point is that they shouldn't assume, but it seemed hilarious to me that they assume I don't want to have sex. I know a lot of couples find IF so stressful that their sex life suffers (and seems like work), and I assume from the TV stereotypes that some married couples really don't have sex very often, but I just think it's strange that I seem to be such an outlier in my intense desire to do it with my hot husband as often as possible, babymaking or no. In any case, I'd rather be me than that nurse : )

So it's going to be one of those cycles

That's what I thought this morning when I found out that my biggest follicle is only 12.5 mm at day 12. My second TI cycle was also really drawn out - I had to go in every two days for over a week for monitoring. It doesn't make me at all hopeful for this cycle, but that's probably a good thing since we said we'd treat all these cycles before IVF as bonuses we don't expect to work. Still, the idea of going back over and over again to be told that my body isn't responding the way it should isn't at all appealing. The good news is, today is our anniversary and because we're not doing an IUI tomorrow morning, we can have sex tonight. So I'm going to focus on that happy thought.