Thursday, December 3, 2009

Diagnosis: Hmmmm

Sorry about the bummer post from the other day. I've noticed that pain tends to make me all emo-tastic in my writing. I'm really not sure if anyone is still reading this, but I will go ahead and update whoever on the doctors appointment. If nothing else, it gives me a record of what happened.

I tend to make less of my symptoms when talking to medical professionals. I try not to show any pain I am feeling and try to be happy and pleasant. You can imagine the confused looks I have gotten when describing my pain levels and symptoms while smiling like nothing is wrong. Because of that, I was determined to not sugar-coat this appointment. I didn't make more of it than it was, but based on the nurse's reactions she could tell I was in pain. Um...good? I've decided that doctors are like hairdressers. If you are always complaining about how you can never find one who does what you ask, you have to look at the common denominator: you. During my appointment I asked all the questions I could think of, made it clear that the pain was interfering with my daily activities and work, and repeatedly told the doctor that having kids was so far on the back burner right now that we shouldn't be talking about it.

After all these cold and lonely months apart, my sweet ultrasound probe and I were reunited. The ultrasound showed no progression of the endo (which it wouldn't because endo doesn't show up on ultrasound) and no cysts. What it did reveal was a "moderate" amount of pelvic fluid. The doctor was certain it was from ruptured cysts and would clear up on its own. Here's the weird thing though, I have had the same thing happen at least 3 other times (no cysts, just fluid). Nearly every ultrasound I've had over the last 2 years has shown fluid. I brought this up and he seemed puzzled, but not overly concerned. I for one am proud of my cysts who would rather destroy themselves than show up on that black and white screen of justice. Has anyone out there had this happen?

He wrote me a prescription for some pain meds to get me through the rough patch and sent me on my way. I thought it would be no problem to get it filled. Funny, I thought all my naievete was gone by now. When I handed the scrip to the pharmacist she frowned and said there was a mistake and she didn't have this dosage. After a minute she said the 5 was supposed to be a 3 and that she couldn't fill it. I assured her that he certainly meant to write a 3, but I was told that, sorry, she can't fill it. Can I call the doctor and have him talk to her? No. They would need a re-written scrip in order to fill my pain meds. Typically this would be merely annoying, but the doctor's office is roughly a half hour drive one way from the pharmacist and driving is particularly painful right now. I walked out in a huff (I know it wasn't her fault, but it also wasn't mine and I was now going to be driving for another hour in severe pain because of one freaking number) and called the office. I managed to get there about 10 minutes before they were closing and got the new fancy piece of paper, drove back, proceeded to wait 15 minutes, then finally got home and took a pill. Only an hour and a half extra spent driving and waiting. Sheesh! I guess my bad luck with the pharmacy continues.

That night, when the pills had kicked in and were making me dizzy and loopy, I had to sing a duet in church with The Boy. Do you know how hard it is to sing Oh Holy Night when all you can picture is the Southpark where Cartman is singing it? YouTube it if you've never seen it. The last 15 seconds are magical. It probably goes without saying that my giggles beforehand were louder than I thought they were, and my singing was not so hot.

So, I guess it's good to have gotten a bit of a reason for the pain increase lately. It's great to have some strong meds (though they made me pretty nauseated last night). Apparently, my body just decided to have it's own holiday celebration, causing my ovaries to explode with delight! It's a Thanksgiving/Christmas miracle!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Round and round we go.

I feel like my life is a mobius strip, slowly spiraling lower and lower (I know, technically this would just be a spiral and not a mobius strip, but go with me). My endometriosis pain increases, I eventually go to the doctor for treatment, I am given an ultrasound that shows nothing conclusive, I am given the "next step" for endometriosis management, I'm ok for a few months or weeks or days, and then the cycle begins again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Tomorrow I am going back to the doctor for a no-doubt normal looking ultrasound and to be told of my dwindling options. This last week has been one of the most painful in the last 5 years, and that is saying something. It has become more difficult to wave it off or stay silent so that my sweet husband is left holding me while I cry and scream in pain. Much as he hates to see me like this, it is the only thing he can do and he would never shirk what he feels is part of being a good husband.

The pain is still primarily centered around my right ovary, but has evolved into a deep gnawing pain that stabs and burns and knocks the wind out of me and knocks me to the ground. It has also spread to my left side and throughout my abdomen, but only sporadically and not with the same intensity. I can only imagine what my shriveled little raisin of an ovary looks like now. If I knew it would rid me of the pain and give me back my life, I wouldn't hesitate to have surgery. As it is, I still have vivid memories of how quickly my pain returned after my first laparoscopy as well as the new pain that also came. Oh, and I suppose money is an ever-present issue, too.

We have family that would willingly help us pay for hospital bills if we asked them for help. I am unwilling. I'm sure most of it is displaced pride, but I feel like my insides have been the business of so many people of late that getting donations would be like selling shares of myself. I worry that it would give away all my rights of privacy about my broken insides. Bad enough that word has spread in our families and everyone seems to know we are barren and adopting, even those we haven't spoken to since last Thanksgiving. I would rather not have the exact condition of my uterus, or my need for a hysterectomy discussed over dinners of which I am not present like it's the newest episode of The O.ffice.

So I'll steel myself for another adventure with The Wand, not knowing if I would rather it showed a reason for this new pain or not.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

That old familiar feeling.

Today can suck it. Yesterday too.
Last night I found out through effing F@cebook that the guy I dated for a while right before The Boy is having a kid. Well, technically his wife is.
"But hey, everyone else is pregnant too or just had a baby, why should this bug you?"
The reasons don't entirely make sense, and certainly don't cast me in the most flattering light, but allow me to explain.

This guy and I dated on and off for about 8 months. He was The Boy's roommate (I know, I totally pulled the Seinfeld roommate switch!) and when we were together he talked about us being serious, but when I was gone he talked about how he was basically using me and felt kind of bad...but not bad enough to stop. Fast forward to me finally getting sick of it and being ready to be done with the whole farce. I went on a road trip with The Boy and some friends and The Boy's Roommate (TBR from now on) couldn't come. I come home ready to make a clean break (TBR had ended things about 2 months prior, but I still maintained hope of us getting back together because I am sad and pathetic) and suddenly TBR realizes how much he missed me and is being all wishy-washy about things. I tell him we're done, he makes sad faces, I hang out with The Boy much more, we end up getting engaged, TBR is all pissy pants and "needs some time" to get over things. Well tough nipples planet, I wasted enough of my time on you.

Eventually, we are able to become friends and he gets married about a year and a half ago. She is nice enough, but I hate that it's just expected for me to be friends with her. I also hate that TBR acts all offended if she's around and someone says something scandalous, but when she's gone he says some pretty filthy things. I guess I didn't really like her tons before and her properly working reproductive system just cinched it for me.

Before you judge me too harshly, these are friends that we would hear nothing from for months, but would call out of the blue to ask for a ride to/from the airport...the day before! Yup, the day before they came home from their honeymoon TBR called The Boy because he "forgot" to arrange a way home. Get a loving cab!!! TBR is also the one who when The Boy told him a bit about our struggles with infertility responded by saying, "So you had to spooge in a cup? Ha ha!" with all the class of your average frat boy. People, don't make jokes about infertility, especially to the guys involved. It's not funny and you come off as a total ass.

So yeah, reading an oh so coy update that included her using the term "preggers" *skin crawl* was not exactly the highlight of my week. I ended up being pretty silent all night until we went to bed, when I lost it and just started sobbing. Deep, wracking sobs of self pity. She is due in April and it kept hitting me that by the time she has the kid we will still have over two years before we can even turn our paperwork into China. I don't envy her being pregnant, not really. I envy the quick progression that pregnant women have to deal with. I envy the money they won't have to spend on travel and fees. I envy the lack of home checks, physicals, and all the other endless hoops adoptive parents have to jump through. I envy her, and every other mother like her, the lack of pain both emotional and physical from infertility.

It's a hard thing to go through the months and years of struggle constantly trying to come to terms with the cards I've been dealt and realize that in spite of all the progress we've made, I will probably always feel that sinking emptiness every time someone announces a pregnancy. How many times will I have to go hide in that cold lonely space in my head wondering what I did to end up here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some actual China adoption stuff

We've been asked a bit lately about how the adoption process is going. Honestly, all we can do right now is make improvements on our home and work on our Mandarin. Not terribly exciting, I'm afraid.
I have, of course, been doing a bunch of research and reading up on other people's experiences. In the process of which I came across two very interesting websites:
No Hands But Ours
and
Love Without Boundaries
If you are interested in some heartwarming stories of how people have helped Chinese orphans, check them out.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Anger, my old friend

Ah...there it is. That oh so common sinking feeling of dread, anger, disbelief, and nausea in the pit of my stomach that happens when someone else I know announces a pregnancy. The person in question is the husband of the pregnant one and a guy I used to hang out with fairly regularly. We're friends, as we have always been, and I don't begrudge him an ounce of happiness. I just don't know how to respond to the inevitable question of when it will be my turn. We're enough alike that I could, no doubt, use the sarcasm that I only threaten to use on people. I'll probably do that.

It's been a summer of babies for most of the people I know. One sister, two cousins, two friends, and several acquaintances all within 2 months of each other.
I don't feel as much rage and bitterness as I once did. In fact, the idea of not being pregnant or going through labor is appealing enough to me that I'm quite excited about adopting. I don't regret having a genetic link to my future child at all. She'll be much better off not having to deal with the rotten genes on both sides, if you ask me. What I do mind is the wait. And the questions (i.e. "So when are you going to have kids?"). And the people sending me IMs on facebook saying "I heard you were pregnant!" yeah...not so much. Oh, and the waiting. People all around us are having first, second, even third babies as we wait to even start the long, even more wait-filled process.

In other news, it looks like my quest for relief from the endo pain is at an end for now. The doctor wanted to put me on Lupron to see if it helped any more. After the supply company informed me that one injection would be over $1300 I told them thanks but no thanks. I can think of a hell of a lot more things I'd rather do with that sort of money than get a shot in the ass. Sheesh, I can get some seriously entertaining shots of illegal substances for less than that. Not that I would, of course. Hey, what's that on your shoulder? *runs away*

Friday, June 26, 2009

Taking some time off

So, I realize it's been a while since I posted. Frankly, work has been extremely hectic and I don't have many amusing anecdotes lately. The baby influx continues as my cousin had her baby last week (on my birthday no less! How rude!) and my other cousin is due to pop any time.
Then endo continues to be a struggle and I don't know that my meds are doing much to help it. Guess I should make another appointment soon. Bah to my messed up insides!
An interesting thing has happened with our study of Mandarin. We have learned enough that The Boy can ask me if I'm ok and if I want to go home while we are at a family gathering. It may not sound like much, but it's nice to be able to talk "openly" about not being able to handle staying around the happy parents any longer. I'm sure it will be nicer still when we can have full conversations where we talk crap about people while they stand right there. I'm sure this makes me a horrible person, but I have to take what victories I can, right?
Aside from being busy, I'm not really sure what to do with this blog anymore. It's not really in "infertile" blog in the traditional sense. We are adopting, but not any time soon. It just seems we've slipped through the cracks of relevancy with all that has happened this last year. I'll still post occasionally about anything that seems interesting/amusing/horrible, but not as often as I once did, I guess.
Last interesting anecdote:
The night of my birthday I dreamed that The Boy and I were watching a cute little Chinese girl who wasn't ours, but sort of was. I can't remember what her name was (I'm sure it was random Chinese sounds my brain tossed together to invent a name) but she was roughly 13 months old and was completely and utterly gorgeous, as well as being a bit of a goofball. Course, then I woke up realizing how long we have before we will ever be picking up our daughter and was all bummed out for the rest of the week.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Highlights of a baby shower

Well, I survived the baby shower, but not without some damage to my fine shiny exterior. I really didn't want to go, but figured if I didn't I could kiss my already rocky relationship with my sister goodbye. I was in the middle of deciding which would be the lesser evil when my mom called and told me I basically had to come.

Anyway, without boring you too much, here are the highlights from the blessed event.

-Standing around, waiting for sis to show up and being surrounded by friends and family, all but 2 of whom had/brought their kids to the event (the other two who have no kids are neither married, nor old enough to drink). Talk about being the misfit elf!

-My cousin who is ,most definitely NOT old enough to drink carrying her one year old around, while 2 weeks shy of birthing the second child. Good holy hell!

-Sister's husband being at the otherwise all-woman shower. Since when is this allowed? Bah, he just annoys me anyway, shower attending or not.

-And of course, priceless gems from a crazy aunt including the hits "My boss doesn't think it's funny that I tell him he bought a baby" (he recently adopted), "Could a make a onesie that says 'My mom was a crack head, but I'm not being raised by her anymore'?", and "I guess I shouldn't say this stuff out loud, huh?"

Between the cooing, the awwing over the baby, the endless sea of pink clothes (let no other color touch the precious one lest she be "turned gay"), and my crazy aunt deciding that I was the one who wanted to hear the madness that springs forth from her mind, it was a bit much. So anyone out there have some amusing stories of baby showers? I could use a laugh at someone else's expense for once.

Edit:In deleting a spam comment about alternative treatments, I accidentally got rid of a genuine comment. Oops! Yes, my aunt is crazy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm the jerk in the restaurant

So apparently a sister who is "understanding" of not coming to the hospital to see a new baby, becomes less understanding as each day goes by. It continues thus until my mom is calling me to tell me that the aforementioned sister is mad at me for not calling. "I mean, I understood her not wanting to be at the hospital, but she hasn't called me at all!"

Admittedly, it would seem like a rather jerk move if I hadn't EMAILED HER AT LEAST 3 TIMES!!! Yes, written words are not the same as a phone call. An email allows me to show my happiness for her without having to make sure my voice doesn't show any of the hurt or anger I feel. Sorry for trying to make it easier for both of us. I guess I didn't realize that her "understanding" had an expiration date on it. Should have checked the label.

She is having a baby shower tomorrow and while I was originally not planning on going, it now appears that if I don't go I have mooned the Pope or something. This fact is made more dismal by the knowledge that my sister-in-law will not be there due to prior engagements. An evening of pretending to be all squishy happy for my sister with no one there to make quiet snide remarks to? Sign me up!

The whole family got together a couple night ago for dinner. I was planning on pulling my sister aside for a minute and telling her that I'm sorry if she thinks I hate her, but I don't. As touching as that moment would undoubtedly be, I opted to not. I have a hard time being around her baby, and that's ok. I am not expecting myself to be magically over the hurt, and if other people think that I should be, then too damn bad. Obviously, they don't get it. I can be (and have been) civil, but I am not going to feign excitement that I would likely not have experienced anyway.

On a side note, it was very odd/irritating to me that every time her husband carried the baby into the room where other people were he had to point out some new amazing feature about his child (her toes are all long...like a monkey's! She's still so beautiful though!). It happened no less than 5 times, and each time was more strange than the last. I know, Dude, you're all excited because your sperm worked. Her hands are tiny? What a shocking thing for a newborn to have. News flash: your magical miracle is a daily occurence around the world. Your daughter is a baby, like all the others, not some Platonic ideal of the word.

I realize that parents are all beside themselves with the magical marvel that is the life they have created. I realize that in 20-30 years when we finally have a child of our own, we will be just as annoying. I just can't handle it right now. I'm sick of pretending to be ok with something I'm not. I'm sick of being put in a position where I have to pretend because not everyone there knows our situation. I'm sick of people asking, "So when will it be your turn?" and having to decide which story to give them. I hate knowing that my nieces and nephews will be nearly teenagers by the time we can provide them a cousin. I'm sick of having to bring up our adoption in order for anyone in our family to talk to us about it. I realize it's a long way off, but it's still a big deal to us, and when it gets shoved under the table by everyone it feels like we are providing them something less than a "real" baby.

Mandarin is coming slowly but surely. I'm confident that by the time we are traveling to China we will at least be passable, if not close to fluent. Ironically, in learning the calligraphy, I now know how to write "I am not a mother." The Boy's family doesn't really understand why we are bothering to spend so much time and effort learning a language when our child will be coming to America and learning English. I think we finally got them to a point to at least leave us alone about it, if not understand it. We told them a large portion of it was that we have to wait so long for all of this, even just to begin the waiting process, that this feels like something we can genuinely make progress with. It feels like we're getting closer. Aside from that, I also realize that things are different for different birth parents, and that those in China would, by and large, prefer to keep their children. In a way, it feels like spending years struggling to learn the language and culture is our way of "earning" this adoption. I don't think it should be a requirement of all adoptive parents, but for us it feels important.

I suppose I will have to dust off my happy face, go to the shower, not eat cake (eating restrictions...stupid endo), deal with stupid questions, and try to avoid saying something rude. At least I'll get some good stories to blog about, I guess.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And a cherry on top!

If by cherry you mean a gush of blood, and by top you mean my toe. I stepped on a sewing pin while barefoot (happens quite often cause I am a moron). Ow! When I went to check and see if it was still stuck I say that only about 1 cm of pin was still showing...because it had gone all the way through my toe!!!! EFFING EFF OF AN EFF OOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!! Yup, in a true manifestation of how my life is going these days, I skewered my toe like a tasty shish kabob of pain. FAIL.

Oh, and my car is dead again. Double FAIL.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The universe just hates me, doesn't it?

I have been delaying for a bit, but I guess I should post about my oh-so-delightful Mothers Day (heretofore known as Barren Reminder Day). Here's basically how it went down.

I opted to not attend church. I know, I should have sucked it up and just gone, but I didn't and I think it was for the best. Much as I want to have to dash out before they say "Would all the women 18 and over please stand." And much as I would love to hear endlessly about the miracle that is motherhood and the token, "But everyone can be a mother, even without children." I just thought it would be better to spend the time with the ones I love. I went on a hike/picnic with The Boy and our spazzy dogs and it was lovely. We practiced our Mandarin (Are the dogs American? A little. Would they like something to drink? Yes.) and talked about how someday we'd be able to come do this with our little girl. We speculated about what she would be like and how, somehow, it would all be worth it. If not for this, I don't think I would have been able to go to my parents house and be around my sister's new baby.

I was all relaxed and prepared to deal with it. After all, there will be plenty of people around to hold the kid, so I wont have to. I can show my mom the awesome book The Boy got us on basic Chinese characters (she speaks some Japanese and loves to see the similarities). As our therapist said, "What's the worst thing that can happen? You cry? So what...they know what's going on and will understand, and if they don't understand then screw them." (Yes, he did say that, he is magical as well). I would get through it. Oh how naive I was.

Upon arriving at my parents, my mom asks me if I got her message. Crap. No. What's going on? Apparently, a relative of mine has invited herself to dinner. no big deal, right? Dead wrong. This relative is the same one who said I was too pretty to adopt. She is notorious about saying horrible things (hence why her kids didn't want to do something with her) and she doesn't know we have even been trying to have a kid, let alone the whole story. Hoo boy, this should be interesting.

One by one, family members arrived. My SIL and I chatted a bit about things (she is incredibly supportive of us and actually shows an interest in our plans). The new baby arrived in all pomp and glory, encircled about in layers upon layers of pink, lest we forget that this is the first female grandchild. The horribly, overbearingly, powerfully spermed proud father informed everyone that if we wanted to touch the delicate flower of his loins, we would have to immerse ourselves in antibacterial gel, lest our lowly human germs disturb his heavenly creation.

Dinner was served and my relative proceeded to talk about the many injuries her kids have caused her, and how they don't love her, and how she's basically childless and she hates Mothers Day. Then she wondered why her co-worker, who had just adopted a baby, didn't appreciate the "joke" she made in telling him he had just "bought" a kid. Can't imagine why that didn't make him chuckle. Lord, beer me patience. At least it would be better after dinner, right? Sure.

Unfortunately, my new meds are not helping the pain, in fact, they are increasing it by quite a lot. Near the end of the meal, I had to ask The Boy to help me away from the table so I could lay down. My plan of making it to a spare room failed, since I about passed out trying to stand up and only made it as far as a nearby couch. I lay there trying to control my breathing and not scream, all the while my relative is sitting not ten feet from me, holding the golden one and going on and on to my sister about how she can't believe how beautiful she is, and how is such a miracle she has carried inside her, and how she must be so happy to have been able to create such a wondrous creature in her womb. If I was about to scream before, I am near to pulling the house down on myself and everyone else a la Sampson-style.

Finally, the pain subsides enough for my to put it back in it's little jar, and act like nothing is wrong. Then, my relative says the following: "You know, I would be a surrogate for you, if that is what you guys needed." No. You. Did. Not. Just. Say. That. Oh, but she did. My response? "No thanks. I don't know where your uterus has been." She was shocked that I would say something so rude, and didn't bug me about my lack of offspring for the rest of the night. Win.

It wasn't the worst day of my life, but it sucked. I thought about it alot, and I think I understand why it was so crappy (besides the obvious). Not only did I have to be around a new baby while we are having to wait so long to even start the process, but I couldn't even act like anything was wrong. I couldn't cry, because then someone who has NO business in my personal life, would find out and blab around to everyone she sees that I am barren and bitter and it's just so tragic cause I would make such beautiful babies. I had to put on my best don't-like-kids act so that I didn't have to give any indication that just being around this perfect newborn was enough to shatter every ounce of strength I had stored up. I had to lie through my teeth to everyone around me, while all but one knew what a lie it was. But hey, at least she didn't have to sit at home and wonder why none of her kids wanted to have her over for dinner.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Yeah...I figured this would happen.

So I have managed to pull myself out of my pity party for a few minutes. Not for too long, mind you...after all, we have a clown and cake! Just thought I would update on the current situation and post something that drives me absolutely crazy.

I am doing better than the other day. I spent yesterday pampering my precious hair (deep treatment+ freshening up the color+ discovering awesome new products =much better outlook on life), working from home, and watching movies that amuse me. The Boy gave me a huge hug when he came home and made sure I was ok before taking the mutts out for a run.

Random tangent about hair: My hair is something that has come to represent my infertility to me. I decided about 6 months into TTC that I wouldn't cut my hair until I got pregnant. It was previously quite short, and is now past my shoulders. For a while I would get a bit sad every time someone commented on how long it was getting. "Don't I know it!" thought I. But now that I know I will not get pregnant, my hair being longer should make me more depressed, right? Actually, it doesn't. I learned how to take better care of it, let it do what it wants to (I am quite curly and would flat iron my hair everyday...now I let it be wild and big), and embrace every centimeter gained. Rather than my hair representing my failure to conceive, it has now come to represent the journey in becoming ok with who I am. I may not like what I've been given, but it makes me who I am. When someone comments that my hair is nice I take it, not as a reminder of my infertility, but as a compliment that being myself, imperfections and all, is what is truly beautiful. I plan on letting it grow until we have our daughter in our arms (we'll see if that happens) and now each millimeter is us getting that much closer to having our family together. I'm oddly sentimental about strange things, I know. (I wore a jade necklace to the adoption orientation so that if I started feeling pressured about adopting through them, I knew I already had a daughter waiting for us. I know. Could I be more cheesy?)

Anyway, enough about my awesome hair. Here is what pisses me off. I knew this would happen, but I hoped to be wrong. My sister has a kid from a previous relationship and her husband has typically been good with him. They insist on the boy calling him "Dad" which I don't like, but it's not for me to decide. I was very worried that once the little girl was born, the boy would be put on the back shelf and treated differently because, after all, this is his child now. I hoped to be wrong, but I'm afraid it currently looks to be going that way.

Exhibit A- I understand my parents watching little boy (now referred to as LB, for convenience sake) while sis is giving birth and dude wants to be there with him. I will even give him one more night at the hospital, but that is where it ceases to be necessary to me. If this were a first child for them both, I would say stay the whole dang time if you must, but it's not. There is a little boy staying with his grandparents, wondering why his dad wants to be with his little sister more than him. When my mom politely asked when Dude was coming to get LB (since no one had even officially asked her to watch him) he said, "Oh, I was just planning on staying at the hospital the whole time."
Exhibit B- Dude continually asking LB if he likes his sister, insisting that LB gush about how beautiful she is and how perfect she is. Never mind what happened at school with LB. Never mind that he misses his parents and wants to know when they are coming home to take care of him.

The whole situation just pisses me off. Either your his dad or not. Either you treat them equally, or you don't get to be his dad, you are just Dude. My sweet nephew is already feeling the inequality of feeling like a placeholder until a person's "real" child is born. This is why I refuse to adopt "in the mean time" while we wait for China. I will not have any child feel less special, less wanted, less chosen, and less loved, and if that means we wait 5 years and only have one child ever, then that's how it will be. But what do I know, I don't have any kids.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The worst day since yesterday.

I'm just going to say this from the get go: Anyone who has decided that my feelings about my sister's baby makes me a horrible person who deserves every shriveled little infertile egg I get, awesome. You are allowed to feel that way. You are also allowed to not read something that makes you all butthurt.

Now, for the eventful day. I received a text at 5:30 am saying "Looks like I'm off to have a baby!:)" to which I say to myself, "Looks I'm off to have a bowl of Prozac!:)" To her I say good luck and such, cause I'm not a completely heartless person.

"But wait!" says you, "I mean, that kind of sucks, but it's not the worst thing in the world, right?" I suppose not, but the oh so tender irony is this, we were scheduled to attend an adoption orientation meeting today with our local agency. It's like someone has just told me they are going and eating a giant slice of delicious cake, while I will be going to a cooking class that will teach me about how 5 or so years from now, if all goes well, I too may be able to have a piece of my own. Weird analogy, I know, but I am exhausted. Here's why...

Two blocks from the office, my car takes a lesson from my ovaries and shuts the hell down (ovaries, however do not take a reciprocal lesson in shutting the hell up). Luckily, after waiting for about 5 minutes in the middle of the road, someone decides to help me push the red demon into a metered parking stall. Luckily, The Boy is driving separately and can pick me up.

I scrounge around for change to feed the meter, and between the two of us, we get 1 hour and 33 minutes. The orientation is 1 1/2 hours. It was fine, but I was so disconnected that I don't think anything really made its way into my cluttered mind.

We leave the meeting early and miss out on another couples hypothetical questions that are starting to sound like some calculus exam I failed (If birthmom 1 is on a train in Philadelphia, and the adoptive couple are both allergic to tomatoes, exactly how long until the girl sitting next to me goes crazy and smacks us all silly?). I make it back to the car with 3 minutes left. Well done me!

After putting in 2 quarts of oil and jumping the car, we have reached the limits of our knowledge and still I am stuck about 15 miles from home, in a metered spot, with much to get done at home. I call my dad, who happens to be a pretty good mechanic and the conversation goes a little something like this:

-Hi dad, my car is dead, any chance you could come take a look at it?
-Oh hi! I'm just at the hospital. Did you hear that your sister is having her baby?
-Yeah, a few times now.
-You should come say hi!
-Uh...no thanks. Um...how long do you think you're going to be there?
-Well she's fully dilated. Do you want me to come look now?
-No, you can stay there. I'm just kind of stuck and don't have money to pay the meter and I have no idea what's wrong with my car. You can just come when you're done there.
-*Sigh*...no, I'll come.

I promise, I told him to stay several times, but he was kind enough to come help. Long boring car story short, 2 1/2 hours later it looks like it's probably the fuel filter. We manage to tow the car to the parking lot of his office by 4:50. Oh, during the car fiasco I get a text that is a picture of the kid. How much do I hate this? 47 hate units.

Did I mention that I hadn't eaten anything since about 8 am? The Boy picks me up at quarter after 5 after my dad volunteered to drive me to the hospital to see the kid. I flat out told him I was not going to visit either of them in the hospital. He still doesn't get it.

Which brings us to now. I took my very disheveled self to the dog park with The Boy and my two awesome doggies and had a good time. I came home and made some tasty dinner, and now I am off to soak in a hot tub until this migraine decides to die a terrible death. Happy birthday L, sorry your party sucks.

So lets hear it. How horrible am I to not be all butterfly rainbow magic sparkles about the wonder that is new life?

Sister is in hospital

She's having her baby today. Shit.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What is there to say, really?

I'm afraid that the upcoming holiday has sent me into a rather annoying depression. Not to worry, the razor blades are still kept out of reach, I'm just having a really hard time this week.

While talking to my Dad this weekend he said, "So this Mothers Day should be easier for you than last years, right?" Not so much. Last year, we had been trying unsuccessfully to get me knocked up for only 5 or so months. Long-ish for impatient people like myself, but not an alarmingly huge wait. This year? Well allow me to be all Type A for a moment about this year.

Pros:
-We have a plan and know we are adopting through China

Cons:
-Unless China decides to read this blog, get all swollen-hearted a la The Grinch, and change it's age requirements and/or wait time, we have another 5 years until we have a child in our house.
-This year we know that my getting pregnant just isn't going to happen.
-My sister is due to pop at any given moment and her husband is sure to make some huge deal about it since his sperm apparently can cure cancer or something.
-People just don't know how to react to adoption news. When someone is visibly pregnant, it's easy for people to coo over it and ask a ton of questions about the mom-to-be. With adoption, unless you are going to pick up the kid, people are just kind of "Meh" about it. I'm sure it's mostly just from a lack of knowledge about the process, but it still sucks to feel excited about something that no one you care about asks anything about.
-Mandarin is hard. I know, alert the media. I have good days and bad, but I think China needs to settle down a bit and use less words. Seriously.*
-Horrible death pains are still here. Side affects are still here (and they brought hot flashes with them, YAY!). New pains have decided to come join the party. My abdomen is like a constant game of Crossfire, complete with red lights and fog machine.
-Did I mention my sister is about to have a kid? A newborn...Mothers Day...me rather empty-handed...I think you see where I'm going with this.

I know, I know. An infertile's blog about how Mothers Day sucks? How totally unique! Here's the thing. I don't begrudge the mothers around me their joy in the magical little insta-bake oven that is their uterus (mostly...some of them could get a raging case of scabies and I wouldn't care so much). I am, in fact, excited about adopting, as well as not having to deal with crappy pregnancy things. The fact is that Mothers Day is hard for us barren girls, much like Valentines Day sucks for the single. The adoption factor only makes me feel like more of an outcast. The breeders don't understand why I am excited about something that is so far off. The infertiles think that since I will someday have a child in my house that I no longer am allowed to be depressed by Mothers Day. Boo hoo...no one wants to let me play in their fort anymore.

If I had announced my pregnancy, then this would be a year of tiny, cute gifts that would help me see that they realized what a huge thing this was. Since I am "just adopting" and not for a while yet, I will inevitably be put on a back shelf while everyone acts like my sister is Eve reborn. I will be asked nothing about our adoption and will sit in silence knowing that I will have two more progressively hard Mothers Days to go before we even start the adoption process. Should be a fun time.


*On a side note, anytime I am trying to describe the meaning of something to The Boy, I immediately think of Arrested Development and Buster saying, "It means laundry, but like a child's laundry. We don't actually have a word for it here."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Amusing anecdote from the RE

Forgot to mention, my ultrasound had to be done in the IVF retrieval room due to the number of consults being done that day. What could be better than a regular ultrasound? How about not having to make the full effort of laying down? Yup, a fancy chair that tilts back in a very Lazyboy-of-the-future kind of way. Once the several thousand dollar chair managed to do what I can do for roughly $5, or the promise of a shiny quarter (bend over, not spread my legs) Dr. Awesome asked I wanted to insert the wand myself. Uh.....seriously? Is it just me or does that smack of the extra weird? I mean, my bits are on display and your aim is probably going to be better than my own. Don't make me do your job for you, man!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Putting on my big girl panties

Only to take then right the hell back off. Make any sense? No? Ok.

So I went in to my RE last Monday for an endometriosis consultation. Yup, my RE's clinic also specializes in endo. Here's the thing, though. As I have written before, I suck at standing up for myself. I was really nervous about getting talked into doing another IUI, continuing into IVF, sending money to the deposed prince of Nigeria, who knows what could happen. I psyched myself up and practiced what I would say if he brought up these options (no, no, and so I only have to send a check for $300 and I will get $2000?). I was ready.

After waiting the typical 30 minutes in the exam room (and rifling through what papers I could see...always entertaining), Dr. Awesome came in. He asked what was going on and I said, "I am here to address the endometriosis. I am in nearly constant pain, and my husband and I have decided to stop infertility treatment and get the endo under control. We feel good about our decision and want to know what you recommend." Yeah, apparently I grew a pair. He asked if I was aware that pregnancy and endo treatment are mutually exclusive. I said I was, and we are not interested in pursuing pregnancy at this time. At this point I was waiting for him to lecture me on how the longer you wait the less chances there are and blah, blah, blah. Shockingly, he nodded, said he understood and started talking about my options. Oh wait, there was one more thing to be done.

See, it had been several days since I had been romanced by a wand, so an ultrasound was in order. Thank goodness! As usual, my uterus was relaxing all tipped back style. Fortunately, he found no pooling of blood in my ovaries (only real treatment for that is surgery), so I was a good candidate for hormone therapy. He prescribed norethindrone, which shuts down the ovaries without affecting bone density. The side affects warned about are nausea, mood swings, hot flashes, headaches, and a couple more basic things. Ha!

Here is my list of side affects:

-NAUSEA
-heartburn
-Oh sweet mercy my head is being crushed in a vice!!!
-NAUSEA
-Stabby death pains brought some friends over for a party!
-NAUSEA
-How can my uterus get a charlie horse??
-Sweet mercy, stop breathing like that, you're moving the couch and I'm gonna puke!

What a fun sexy time for me!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The big reveal

Well, most of the family knows about our plans, so I no longer mind the world hearing about the adoption plans of an anonymous infertile. How brave am I.
I know I haven't really talked about it much, but my husband and I are both quite spiritual people. We believe in God, even through these crazy challenges we've had. I know not everyone feels the same, and I respect that.

Anyway, so we have an adoption plan...and a whole lot more questions to be answered. Last Saturday, The Boy and I had been talking about where to adopt from and which agency and such. We are really quite fantastic at considering all sides of a choice. We are, however, woefully ill-equipt to make a decision based on those facts. We decided we would both pray about it and see what we should do.

There have been a few instances in my life where I have felt a definitive, clear answer to a prayer. I won't go into the details, but on Saturday we both had one of those moments more strongly than almost any other time in our lives. Both of us got the same answer within seconds of each other. And the verdict is......................................................................................

We are adopting from China!

Surprised? Yeah, me too. Especially since it will be nearly 2 years until we can even start the process. We don't know if we will adopt through our local program in the meantime, but we certainly don't want any child to feel like they were just a placeholder.

I'm still in a bit of shock about it all. Shocked, stunned, thrilled, terrified, you name it I've likely added it to the line-up. I have no idea why this is the direction we are supposed to take, but at least we have a direction instead of just spinning our wheels.

In other related news, I finally put on my big girl panties and made an appointment with my doctor for Monday to have the endo looked at and come up with a plan for pain management. Guess what uterus, your services are no longer needed. Be prepared for an immediate eviction notice. In other words, gettheheckout!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter

So we have some big(ish) news, but I am going to wait to post it until after I tell my family. No, I am not pregnant, but we do know our adoption plans.

Enjoy this little Easter gift from me

Friday, April 10, 2009

Decisions, decisions

Still undecided on domestic or international adoption. Still getting advice from any resources we can. Frankly the biggest issue right now I think is money. South Korea would be roughly 15k more and we aren't exactly spending our evenings doing sidestrokes through our room filled with gold coins (Duck Tales is full of lies, people!). On the one hand, you can't really put a price on a human life and if we felt strongly enough about it, we can take out loans and save as much as we can manage. On the other, I have to be realistic about it. Doesn't do much good to raise the money and have none left to support the kid with when he/she arrives.

Anyway, to reward you for your opinions in advance, I give you this dose of aggressive cuteness:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More counseling & a decision

We had what will hopefully be our final session of counseling last week. He really has been such a good resource for us and we would recommend anyone struggling through this crap to find a good therapist and give it a shot. Lucky for us, our therapist also works with a local adoption agency and we were able to get some good info from him on semi-open vs. open adoptions and the basics of the process.

In case it hasn't been obvious enough from previous posts, I guess I will officially announce to all teh interwebs that we have decided to adopt. We're actually pretty excited about it, even though we know it will be it's own roller coaster nightmare soon enough. Heck, it already is.

Right now we are trying to decide on domestic vs. international. We've managed to narrow it down to a local agency for the domestic and if we do international we are strongly leaning toward South Korea. Here's the thing, though. How on earth do you make such a decision? How do you decide whether to adopt a newborn (which has it's benefits and drawbacks, certainly) within the US, or become a multi-racial family and go international. I know people have strong feelings about both, and ultimately it will be up to us to decide. Feedback is appreciated, though, especially from those who've been there.

Here are my thoughts on it of late.
Domestic:
Pros
-Less expensive
-Chance to meet birthmom
-More medical info known about child
-Newborn

Cons
-Don't know that we really want an infant
-Could take longer
-High chance of failed matches

International (specifically South Korea)
Pros
-No birthmoms going back and forth on their decision
-Chance to introduce a new culture into our lives
-Older child (6-15 months)
-Excellent medical care for the children and records kept indefinitely
-Children are in foster homes, not orphanages

Cons
-More expensive
-Would we be able to handle being a multi-racial family? (Not a huge concern, but it's unrealistic to expect that there wouldn't be new challenges from this)
-We know absolutely no one from South Korea
-Even more hoops to jump through

I'm sure there are more, but those are the very obvious ones. The thing is, for some reason we feel really strongly about adopting from China, but we don't meet the age requirements (I'm only 28 and would need to be 30). We're confidant that we will adopt a second child from China, so this also affects our decision with the first. After all, we will be multi-racial soon enough and I certainly don't want one of my kids to feel like the odd man out.

So what's to be done? Adopt a Caucasian child domestically? Adopt outside of our race domestically? Kiss our money goodbye and go for South Korea? Just grab a kid from a stroller and call it good? So many good choices, to be sure.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why I hate the Twilight series

Yes, that's right. The EPIC POST is here and I can tell some of you are already grinding your teeth in rage. It's true, I really, seriously hate the Twilight series. I refuse to lose 2 hours of my life by watching the movie, so this will, I suppose, only pertain to the books. I should say, I have in fact read the whole series, so I speak from a somewhat educated (though less-so than when before I used up perfectly good brain cells storing this tale) standpoint.

"Best love story of our time!" shouts the general female populous. Really? REALLY? This amazing love story which you so adamantly defend would perhaps hold up if the plot didn't read like the transcripts from a game of barbies played by sugared-up 4 year-olds. Don't believe me? (these were originally written as single sentences, no spaces, but that is too cruel even for me. Know that they should still be read as such)

Book 1- Once upon a time there was a girl named Bella and she was very ordinary. She lived in Arizona and no one noticed her, but then she moved to Washington and suddenly she was very popular, and all the boys liked her including the really hottest boy who didn't pay attention to anyone else, but he fell in love with her, but he was a vampire (oh no!) but he didn't kill people, he just glittered in the sun and was all cold. Everything was great and she went to play baseball with the vampires, but OH NO!! bad vampires came and tried to kill her, but Edward saved her and they went to the prom. YAY!!!

Book 2- Edward and Bella are in love, but OH NO he is dangerous, so he breaks up with her and she is sad. She is sad sad sad and sits in a pile of sad for months and months. Did I mention she's sad? Then she starts riding motorcycles with Jacob, who is actually a werewolf! Ooo....scary! Wait, no it's not. Oh and he's in love with Bella too, but she's too sad. Then she jumps off a cliff cause listening to whiny emo music and cutting herself just isn't sad enough for her. Edward thinks she is dead and guess what! He's been sad too, so he is gonna go get himself vampire killed. The rest is like a happy version of Romeo & Juliet. YAY! Now everyone is happy!

Book 3- Oh no, both Edward and Jacob love Bella cause she is so ordinary. What to do? Einey, Meiney, Miney, Edward. Yay! Oh and a bad vampire dies. Double YAY!

Book 4- Edward and Bella get married! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! Then they have the sex! Sexy YAY! Jacob is sad, but who cares cause he isn't as hot as Edward is. Bella gets knocked up (honeymoon babies are the best!) and decides it's her body and her choice so she's keeping the baby. Oh noes, the baby is gonna kill her, so she gets turned into a vampire. Now she is pretty so she can finally shut the hell up about how she's not good enough for a vampire. More bad vampires come, but Bella's powers of joy sucking remove their powers and they are all safe. Oh and Jacob falls in love with her baby. Everyone is happy and not at all creeped out by anything that has happened. Extra triple double magical YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Sorry my fellow females, but I just can't get behind this story. Aside from the infantile premise, these are continuous flaws throughout the books. In no particular order, here are some that make me to most crazy:

1. Hey, did you know that Edward was hot?
Seriously, if you were to rid the books of the continuous references to Edward's hotness, you'd be left with roughly 10 pages per book, max. I get it, he's inhumanly attractive, but the more the author drones on and on about it, the more creepy it becomes to me to have a 30+ year old writing about the chiseled abs and hearstoppingly gorgeous smile of someone who is at least on the surface, a 17 year old boy. Jailbait much? Speaking of jailbait...

2. Not creepy, I promise!
If a guy were to say to me that he was born in 1901, my first reaction would be to do the math and start wondering why someone with a century's worth of experience can find no one better to be with than a 17 year old girl. Oh wait...he can't read her mind. Yeah, that would be interesting for about 10 minutes, then the arguments of "What's wrong?" "If you don't know, I'm not going to tell you" would wear a bit thin, I feel. Honestly, Edward's age makes me think that at any given moment he is going to go through all the pills he takes on a daily basis in greater detail than the Simerilian discusses the Mines of Moria. No thanks. I'd rather watch the history channel, not date it.

3. No seriously, it's romantic, not creepy
If a guy were to tell me he had been sneaking into my room night after night, unbeknownst to me, and watching me sleep, he wouldn't have to worry much about watching anything for a while, cause that mace is a doozy. Oh wait, he's really hot, so I guess the whole breaking and entering becomes less stalker-y and more romantic-y. I don't think so.

4. Wow, Bella is ordinary....just like me!!!
Why must the "heroine" of the series (and I use the term loosely...I am still convinced that the real heroine is Jacob) constantly remind everyone how very ordinary (ew!) she is. Here, have a nice serving of self esteem and quit being such a whiny bitch about how Edward is totally a 10 and you are but a lowly 6, you mindnumbingly irritating Mary-Sue! I don't know a single guy who enjoys validating someone on such an exhaustively constant basis as Edward does. I kept waiting for Bella to say how ordinary she was and Edward to go, "Oh man...you are right! I am way more attractive than you, so why should I continue to slum it with you? See ya!"
I realize the author is allowing us to put her ourselves into Bella's no doubt ordinary shoes and live the magical life of being loved by a 100 year old guy who insists on watching us sleep and continuously tells us that he may or may not kill us. Still into it? Allow me to go on then.

5. Vampires glitter, huh?
Wow. Just wow. THAT is your big explanation for why they have to stay out of the sun. You couldn't have said that when they go in the sun their very strong eyesight causes them to get migraine headaches that make it all the more difficult to maintain the self control so they go on killing sprees so for heaven's sake keep them out of the sun!!! Nope. When they go in the sun, they glitter like a stripper in a trashy club. Wow...great plot device. As if I wasn't already getting a migraine from the above-mentioned issues, you have to bedazzle the villains like some sort of spin art t-shirt from the 80's?! (to be fair, spin art was amazing and I still miss that shirt)

6. Vampires love them some school, I guess
Lets imagine you have endless days ahead of you with which to do anything you wish. How would you spend them? Going back to high school over and over again? Yeah, me either. Honestly, there is really no point to Edward and pals going to high school. They already know everything, so certainly there are no holes in their education. "They just want to fit it!" says the sad little specimen in the back wearing a t-shirt that says "Edward's Juicebox" (honestly, I've seen it...wrong on so many levels). Really? Just trying to fit in? Then answer me this, if they are trying to fit in WHY DO THEY ISOLATE THEMSELVES FROM EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE SCHOOL?!?!?? Nothing better than to spend eternity as high school outcasts, says I! Sorry to shout, but really, did Ms. Meyer not give this any thought whatsoever? "Hmmmm.....they don't kill people, so what should I have them do. I know! They should study some rhibosomes and ignore the human race that they refuse to leave behind!"

7. Personal growth schmersonal growth!
I have never read a series that made me dislike a main character so much. I really am trying to wrack my brain for any sort of maturity gained by Bella over the course of 4 books, and I am at a bit of a loss. Still. Between the average looks, insistence that she is not good enough for her boyfriend, the need to keep her backup guy around in spite of him having feelings for her, and cripplingly low self-esteem she may as well be every sad girl in school who none of the guys wanted to even talk to, let alone date because her lovely attitude would drag them down quicker than a baby harp seal tied to a 90 ton anchor. I guess vampires enjoy spending the rest of eternity saying, "No honey, those pants don't make you look fat," cause I can't think of a single human who is that masochistic.

More than that. More than all these things, I hate them because I think they set a horrible example of a relationship to the young girls reading the series thinking that this is what they want from life. I have heard of girls reading these books and breaking up with perfectly nice guys because they were enough like "their Edward". Lets look for a moment at what lessons Twilight and Friends teaches our young girls.
-Don't try to develop a self-esteem of your own, just wait for a really hot guy to ask you out and attach your hopes to him.
-Stalker-ish behaviour is actually romantic and not at all creepy and wrong.
-If a guy breaks up with you, don't ever move on. He probably did it to keep you safe and he will come back. Don't spend any time improving yourself, just wallow until he shows up again. When he does, take him back with no consequences or questions.
-The guy should be the primary one to keep things from going too far physically. If he really loves you, he wont try to take advantage of you, he will insist on stopping things, so you just do everything you want.
-If you just want to be friends with someone who has feelings with you, keep them around. They'll make a good placeholder and who cares if leading them on like that is hurtful to them.
-A hit is like a hug and being bruised head to toe after sex is both not a big deal, and not assault. (and the idea that the first time having sex is anything other than akward and usually painful...now I know it's fiction!)
-Somewhere out there there is one person you are destined to be with. It's not a matter of finding someone you are compatible with and realistically approaching the relationship. Your soul mate is out there and when you find him, everything will be just perfect and sunshine roses!

All in all, they are not the worst books I have ever read. They are even slightly entertaining in parts, but what they are is fluff, and not well-written fluff, either. They are the cotton candy of literature, and I am sick of people acting like they are a fillet Mignon. Can we please move on?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Progress and one of my best stories

So the EPIC POST (must be all in caps, you see...it's that epic) will be coming, probably tomorrow afternoon. In the mean time, I actually have a few things to say regarding infertility and what's going on with us lately.

We had a very interesting visit with our therapist last week. He really has been such a huge help to us and I would highly recommend finding someone you are comfortable with. He is very blunt and up front with us and said that he wanted to talk about where we felt we were at and if the therapy was helping us. We both felt that it had been helpful and really appreciated being able to put words to what's been going on. His main goal is not to get couples to feel "OK" with infertility or push them toward adoption. He really just wants you to be able to improve your quality of life regardless of what the future brings.

I talked with him about how I have all these babies upcoming in the family and would love to be able to be excited for everyone rather than feel like its a personal reminder of my own inadequacy. He asked why I felt I had to be excited, and that it's OK to feel sad about it. It's even OK to start crying in front of people because if they really care they know that I'm not doing it to try to get attention or make everyone wallow in misery with me. Also, he helped me realize that even before the infertility stuff, I wasn't really the type to get all that excited about a pregnancy anyway, so why do I feel I need to create feelings that aren't in my nature? I suppose life is a series of those moments of insight. I had never really let myself be OK with the emotions I am experiencing. I was mocked mercilessly as a child for crying and, at the ripe old age of 8, decided that crying in front of people was showing weakness that would invariably be exploited, so no more crying for me. He also said that when people we love ask us how we are doing, it's not fair to either of us to put on the brave face and say "Oh, just great," since we all knew it was a lie. Much better to be honest and say "You know, it's hard but we're getting through it."

I guess things like that would be obvious to other people, but sometimes you just need to hear the right thing at the right time put in the right words. I spent the next week allowing myself to experience my emotions, while still realizing where they were coming from. I would see a pregnant woman and instantly feel the sadness and loss that comes from someone having the audacity to procreate when I cannot. Normally, I would feel mean and rude for thinking such things and then start beating myself up over how I am not only broken but envious and bitter. Instead, I would hear our therapist in my head saying, "Yeah, you know what that does really suck and it does hurt, and it's OK to feel those things." And you know what? After that, I was able to move on. I can't tell you how amazing that feels to not have to dwell on those negative feelings. It wasn't the easiest at first, but I've been making progress.

A few days ago I was at an event where I saw roughly 25 hugely pregnant women, which would normally put me in a massive panic attack and downward spiral. Instead, I was able to experience the sad feelings, recognize where they were really coming from, and then move the hell on. Amazing! I know that infertility will always be a part of our lives. That even if we adopt, there will still be that pang of loss whenever I see a pregnant woman and realize that will never be me, but I am a realistic person. Pregnancy is overrated. Parenthood is what we really care about.

Biggest progress of all? I was able to actually look my sister in the eye and give her a hug. She is due end of April and is really getting quite big. I was able to ask her how things were going without the intent being a masochistic desire to be reminded what I will never have, but genuine interest in my soon-arriving niece.

I read infertility blogs that are full of pain and grief, and I get it. I've been there, gotten the t-shirt, filled up my punch card, and will no doubt come back to visit quite often, but I feel like I have finally moved out. At the very least, I have bought a nice time share in a happier place that I can visit. Has the analogy been beaten thoroughly enough? Yes? Good.

So where is the good story? Well if you've managed to wade through my jumbled thoughts this far you deserve a reward, so here you go.

Possibly my best story
I have a relative who is not the most sensitive. OK, lots of them are pretty callous, but she really deserves a medal sometimes. I have been on a restrictive diet for over a year to help with the endo pain, which I was OK with, but apparently other people found weird. She offers me some cake and the following interchange happened.

"Hey, have some cake!"

"No thanks, I don't want any."

"Oh come on! You're too skinny, have some."

"Actually I can't have any"

"See, too skinny and now your on a diet."

"Well, I actually can't have the wheat, dairy, sugar or chocolate because it makes the pain from the endometriosis much worse."

"You know, you should see a doctor about that. There are all sorts of new things they can do now."

"Actually, I have seen several doctors and medical knowledge about endometriosis is still very limited and most treatment options don't work well and aren't permanent. They don't even know what causes it."

"But if you got pregnant that would cure it right?"

"Um, it can. Or I can get a hysterectomy. Those are about my only options right now."

"You can't get a hysterectomy! The pain isn't THAT bad!"

"Well, actually it is, but we are still a long way off from deciding on something so drastic."

"Could you at least save your eggs?"

"Well, my endo is wrapped around my ovaries, so probably not."

"You could freeze your eggs!"

"Yes, but I wouldn't exactly have a uterus to put them in so..."

"But you could get a surrogate!!"

"Uh....pretty sure we would go with adoption over something so expensive and intense."

"You can't adopt!!! You're too pretty to adopt!!!!!"

"..............um.........thanks?"



Yes, she actually told me I was too pretty to adopt. The word you are looking for is "Wow."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So apparently I suck

I know, I know. I promised to post a few days ago on something I hate almost as much as I hate infertility. Well guess what. I didn't. I am in the midst of preparing a huge project and have been focusing my energy on what will ultimately make me money. Crazy, I know.

Not to fear though. The post is coming and it will be epic. It just may be another week or so.

In the mean time, here is something to consider. I got my period today after deciding not to go back on birth control this month. Typically, when an infertile who is trying to defy the odds gets the notice of failure it ends in a mass of sobs and disappointment. Me? I haven't been this ambivalent about it in over a year. Its rather nice. I feel like I am bordering on normal emotions again.

Since there always has to be some suck to temper any happy I may have, let me assure you that the physical pain is knocking me on my ass. I am calling the doctor first thing tomorrow to begin a new journey. Operation Screw You Insides has begun!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Counseling Round 2

Today was the second time going to Dr. ExtraAwesome for counseling. We continue to really like him and feel like this is going to be a huge help to us. A couple interesting things happened.

He spoke to us about how we view things through the window of our beliefs, but we don't always truly know what our beliefs are, just the thoughts that result from it. For example, when I see a pregnant woman I think it will never be me because of my belief that I am defective. The idea being that if you understand what you believe about your infertility and yourself, you can better deal with the emotions caused. Also, understanding how your partner is interpreting things makes it easier to present a united front, rather than being two people going through the same experience, but not really being together through it. It was quite interesting.

The entertaining thing was that in the previous session I had spoken about my cousin and her husband with the whole rubbing belly thing. He agreed that it was a ridiculous thing for him to do and we were rather justified in our being upset about it. Today while referring to the incident he referred to the two of them as "your cousin" and "dude." He literally said, "When your cousin is there and dude comes up and rubs on her belly..." Maybe it's not such a big deal, but I freaking loved it. From henceforward people who piss me off no longer will be referred to by their relationship to me, but be called simply "dude" or "chick." Awesome.

Tomorrow or the next day I will post about something that has nothing to do with infertility, but makes me equally mad. Be excited!

Friday, March 6, 2009

First session of counseling

So, The Boy and I decided to see about finding a counselor to help us deal with the whole no biological kids thing. We set up an appointment for last Thursday and I thought nothing much about it for a while.

Total diversion that I promise has something to do with this story:
Long story short, one of the projects I've been working on for work had to be re-done. Eff! Oh, and things I needed for said project got delayed...and delayed...and delayed. In short, I had a 20 hour job to accomplish in roughly 24 hours. Wee! And since the universe enjoys giving me the finger (and I give it right the hell back) one more delay was added for good measure. Can you fit 20 hours into 12? I finally got what I needed at 9:30 am and had only until 4 p.m. of the same day to complete it to a presentable level, and 9 am to finish all the details. Now, I'm all for challenging oneself, but this was comical. I was pissy and frantic, but managed to complete said project in time (even getting in a whole hour of sleep!) and you would never have known that I hadn't spent a few weeks on it.

Here's how this ties into the counseling. I had to finish by 9 am, because that's when our session was, so I actually had to finish by like 8. So we had out first session of infertility therapy after I had been awake for close to 27 hours, working nonstop. Needless to say, the emotions were on edge.

Quick trivia question time! What has two thumbs and looked like walking death, thus making a totally awesome first impression with someone who reads things into every little detail of what is said and not said? This guy!

The session went much better than I expected. For starters I stayed awake and relatively lucid for the whole session. I am truly a wonder. The therapist was a younger guy (like 34 I think) who had been through the whole gamut of infertility with his wife and realized that finding a good therapist that didn't try to ream you with cost was tricky. He really was a super nice guy and we both liked him. We had to tell him our story, which went a little something like this:

Us- started trying just over a year ago
Him- Kind nod
Him *subtext*- Oh for cute...they're freaking out after only a year.
Us- Started infertility drugs after about 6 months
Him- Hmmm
*subtext*- You're young...why worry so soon?
Us- Endometriosis crap
Him- Knowing nod
*subtext*- That explains a bit
Us- IUIs, no more money, bad pain, endo showing up in ultrasounds, don't ovulate
Him- "Wow...so you guys have been through the ringer this last year"

As the session went on he asked us what the difficult parts of infertility were for us. We told him it was mostly social pressures. We really don't experience much trauma over being genetic dead ends, it's just impossible to escape all the pregnancies around us, particularly our relatives. We told him some of the stories I have already written about here and he was appropriately shocked at some of the things people have said to us.

I should say that the therapist, lets call him Dr. ExtraAwesome, has been through infertility with his wife, finally adopting two girls and now works with adoptive parents to make sure they are ready for adopting. Oh, and he is sarcastic (told us he used to mentally flip people off anytime they had some "advice"), and delightfully blunt. Can you say perfect fit?

I did find it entertaining that he made such a point to let us know that we are not alone and our feelings are common and justified. As he was saying it all I could picture was this:



As far as our plans for a future family, we are taking our time before making any big decisions. It's been nice to not have to deal with all this and focus on some other things, and I admit I don't feel a huge push to change that.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A new kind of hamster dance

I figured it was time to pull myself out of my pity party for a moment and share an entertaining anecdote (and then back to the party...we have cookies!). Most of you in the midst of ART (assisted reproductive technology) treatments are familiar with what I'm about to reveal.

A few months back we were looking over the price estimate sheet our RE gave us. There was the usual slew of words we didn't yet understand, but one in particular made us go "Wha?" It said: Hamster Penetration Assay $400.

Yup. Giant WTF? We made several innapropriate jokes, but figured it had to be something different that what we were thinking. Hamster must be some latin root term for something having to do with broken inside-bits. A bit of googling* revealed that we weren't that far off. Yikes.



As well you should be, sweaty friend.

See, apparently hamster eggs are very close to human female eggs and are "more readily available." So what, right? Well, in order to fully test the sperm you need to make sure they can penetrate the egg effectively. I think you see where I am going with this. They use the hamster eggs and human sperm to create a monster hybrid that will destroy the world check the sperm quality. Since humans and hamsters are pretty different (however similarly their names start out) it can't result in a viable embryo. Supposedly.

Being the classy sorts we are, The Boy and I decided that it shouldn't cost $400 to have sex with a hamster. The things are like $10 tops. It has also lead to accusations of gawking at the pet store ("What? I can't even look at a beautiful, sexy hamster anymore?!?") and a banning of animal planet after 8 pm (worse then Cinemax, I tell you!).



Just look at that smut!
Yeah, we are definitely mature enough to raise kids, no?


*If you are going to google this I HIGHLY recommend writing the whole term. Googling hamster penetration=scary bad nightmares burned into your soul. Crap. Now you're going to go do it just to see, aren't you. Sicko!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I suck at being assertive

I have always thought myself to be rather strong-minded and independent. I try to not let myself get bullied around or commit to more than I can accomplish. Unfortunately, self delusion is an easy thing to overlook and I am having to accept that I really am not that impressive at standing up for myself.

I was offered a job about 6 months ago with many promises of exciting responsibilities, creative expression, and of course money. I took it and have been filled with empty promises pretty much the whole time. Fortunately, The Boy makes a steady paycheck or we would be living in a box by now. I should have stood up for myself sooner, but kept being told that the investors would come through any day. Like I said, that was 6 months ago. Still waiting on those investors.

Actually, I am not. I have long thought about opening up my own business, and this has given me the push to finally do it. After all, if my "boss" can have a business and be pretty sucky at it, surely I can have my own and be much more successful. I was nervous about it, but I feel invigorated and excited at the prospect of being in total control of my future (fellow infertiles will understand what a rare commodity this is).

The problem is that I suck at making a clean break. I hate disappointing people and often worry more about their feelings than my own desires. It goes clear back to elementary school where my only friends would tell me that without them I would have no one to hang out with. Since that is the worst thing you can tell an awkward 9 year old, I stuck by them for years. Finally, in Junior High, I called up the ring-leader and essentially broke up with her. It was awesome! You would think that would empower me to be able to do it now, but I find myself in the same standstill, unable to say the words with enough conviction to get my point across.

I am planning on emailing my "boss" (I technically am an independent contractor, hence not really my boss) and letting him know that I will work with him on the final project I have agreed to do, if he feels he needs my help still, but after that I need to part ways and do my own thing. I have no idea how to do this. Wording, tone, everything seems far to daunting to even begin. I am paralyzed by fear of saying the wrong thing and burning bridges or, worse still, agreeing to stay on. Guess I'll have to have a stiff drink, put on my big-girl panties, and be a grown up. Crap.

Why the derail from infertility? Oh, it links together, not to worry! I have the same problem discussing our choice to discontinue treatment with our RE. He seems to be under the idea that we are going to do at least one more IUI and then try IVF. I know he thinks this is the protocol only because it is his job to get me knocked up through whatever reasonable means he sees fit. I, however, am done. I am sick of the side affects, sick of false hope, and sick of being led on with promises that one more time may be "the one". I know that there are couples who feel that one more IUI or IVF is not unreasonable. I admire the people who have the strength to put themselves through the ringer time and time again. I'm afraid that is just not me. I emailed the clinic and explained our situation, but I still can't call to make an appointment for endometriosis treatments. I just can't deal with seeing my RE again right now.

I worry about doing any more treatments. As sucky as the alternatives are, I can feel this becoming a compulsion. It seems like gambling to me, and I am not a good gambler. I don't want to do an IVF, have it fail and decide "well, we've already gone into debt this far, what's one more round?" I want to make a clean break of this and move on.

It will be hard, I know. It already has been. I don't know if you are aware of it, but according to my research over 90% of the female population is pregnant. 75% of that group is due in June (my birthday...nice!). I see bellies everywhere I go, and each one sets off a reaction. Places of quiet and refuge still are filled to the rafters with women who managed to just relax reminding me of my own inadequacy. I feel like all my protective sarcasm and snark has left me exposed and sounding pathetic even to myself. So many months seemingly wasted and here I sit, still unable to make a definitive move toward some kind of future.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Remember when I said I was doing fine?

Yeah...I suppose I spoke too soon. I like to think that for the most part I am handling this with grace and aplomb, but to be honest I am barely keeping it together. I've been unusually busy this week, which has helped distract me from the sucky situation I find myself in, but events happen that make you realize you aren't as resilient as you thought you were.

Case in point: I saw my first pregnant woman since learning we can't have kids of our own. How did I react? Oh you know...between the hyperventilating, sudden faintness, and trying to not begin sobbing hysterically in the middle of a busy store, I was a super fine and sexy. I got out of there as fast as I could and tried to get myself back to normal in the car. I knew this was going to be hard. I had no idea it was going to be this hard. My only hope at this point is that it will get easier because it has to get easier. Nowhere to go but up.

I realize that it is a very difficult situation, not only for us, but for everyone around us who knows. What do you say? I really don't know. Nothing really makes it easier, but when nothing is said I am somehow left feeling even more destitute. I have spent over a year in much more pain than usual trying to get pregnant. If this were a novel, something would have happened. I would have woken up that morning, taken the test and fallen over myself as I saw those two lines. The audience would be relieved and happy because it was a hard journey, but it has come to an end. Unfortunately, I have only months of false hopes, piling medical bills, and a very empty uterus to show for our efforts. I wouldn't be spending mornings on crying jags and the rest of the day hunched over in pain, trying to lift myself into my bed to lay down. Yes, the endometriosis is that bad some days. I guess I am happy to have an answer, but an answer doesn't keep you warm at night, as they say.

Maybe I just haven't been clear enough with our situation. I suppose I could have left a degree of ambiguity about where we stand with regards to treatments. If so, allow me to be more clear. We are done trying have a child. We are out of money, and sick of the emotional turmoil that this all causes. This last IUI was just that, our last. We will not be doing any more any time soon, and probably not ever. There will be no chance for a miracle baby because the endometriosis will force me to use a pseudo-menopausal drug that will shut down my ovaries (not that they need help being under achievers). We have gone from Infertile to Extra Infertile, or something. But how do you explain that to your family? Hell if I know.

I'm disappointed. Disappointed in not being pregnant, of course, but more than that I am disappointed to realize that I can't get through this on my own. I'm not as strong as I had hoped. I'm not as self-sufficient as I thought. I will never be the one that people point to as an example of how to deal gracefully with life's hard times. Instead, I am just one more weak person sniffling in her car because someone else has the audacity to get pregnant when I cannot.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My body is hilarious

I know I was going to wait a few days after I found out to post, but I decided not to. So here is how hilarious my body is.

Yesterday I had decided to pick up a pregnancy test in the evening, figuring that that would probably set things in motion. I told The Boy that my body was screwing with me and I thought there was a chance that I might actually be pregnant. He was surprised, but didn't want to get his hopes up again, so I decided not to tell him I was going to take a pregnancy test in the morning. When I went to bed, still nothing. "Wow, wouldn't it be crazy if i was?" I thought.

I woke up around 3:30 in the morning needing to pee and wondering if it was too early to take a test. I figured I had waited this long and my bladder was a magically impressive organ, so I could wait a couple more hours and then I would take a test. As you may have guessed, the need was more urgent than two hours wait would allow for, so about 20 minutes later I got up. Literally, I am about to pee on a stick (which, I love, btw...highly recommended activity!) when I notice that something feels not quite right. Surprise surprise! I had just started my period. You know what body, slow 80's style applause for you. Very cleverly played.

Of course, when I went back to bed the horrible death pains were bad enough that it took me about half hour to muster up the strength to go downstairs and get some meds. I was awake until the alarm went off, but finally managed to get the pain under control by around 7:30 and get an hour of sleep.

So yup. Not so much pregnant, but at least I have my answer. I'm surprisingly ok with this. I knew it was a big possibility and was prepared for this eventuality. It sucks, of course, but I feel like I am going to be ok. I told The Boy this morning and he was a little upset that I didn't wake him up as soon as I knew. I figured he needed sleep and it wasn't going to change what had happened. In a way it was nice to have a couple hours to process it. It made it so that I could tell him I was ok and really mean it. Now I can also say the same here. I'll be fine. We're going to take some time to just be the two of us and we can re-evaluate our options after that. Thanks for all the support. I'll continue to post hilarious stories for everyone's enjoyment, so don't fret about that. I even have a funny picture for you!




ETA: Today has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least, but it's almost over, so I have that going for me. Just thought I would post something that made me smile a bit. This is from a german site that has english synonyms on it:

Bedeutung: desolate | Art: Adjektiv

comfortless, dreary, dry, helpless, forsaken, waste, cold, drear, lean, gaunt, barren, dismal, grim, poor, miserable, lone, infertile, stark, desert, tragic, alone, sterile, drab, harsh, destitute, deserted, lonely, arid

All I did was add the bold, the order has not been changed. Here's to tomorrow feeling less desolate.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oh for f*@& sake!

So my body has decided to throw me for one last loop on this little journey of ours. See, I should be getting my period today. I had a bit of spotting yesterday that made me break down in tears because hey, looks like the IUI failed. That has stopped now and I have none of my usual cramps. Pregnant? Um...maybe? I hate this roller coaster!!! I decided that if nothing has started by this evening, I will buy a pregnancy test and check tomorrow morning. That ought to get the flow a-started. If I haven't already mentioned it, my body totally knows when I have bought a pregnancy test. Within an hour of buying said test, I get my period. Yup, it likes to screw with my mind to that level. Awesome, no?

Is it completely messed up that I am more nervous about the test being positive than negative? I know how to deal with these things failing, but what do you do if it works? Hell if I know.