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.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

To the 3 people who read my blog ;)

Well, I guess based on the previous comments, it's more like 4. I haven't tested yet. I know, I am made of steel. Hey, maybe that is why this isn't happening. Hmmm....I'll have to call the doctor about that. Anyway, I don't really know if I will test or not, but I thought I would let you guys know that I will not be posting the results right away. On the off chance I am pregnant, I don't want teh interwebs to be one of the first to know. On the more likely chance that I am not, I want some time to grieve on my own and deal with it better than I did last month. I'm sure you understand. I really do appreciate the support I've gotten, both written and in spirit. I still find it odd that anyone reads this other than myself. I guess what I'm saying is thanks for reading the rantings of a snarky infertile such as myself. Thank you from the bottom of my cold black heart. To me, you are this kid:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

To test or not to test

You know the rest. Basically, I have run into the dilemma that frequently happens as you round the end of the infamous two week wait: whether or not to bother with a pregnancy test. Honestly, I don't think I am pregnant. I have no symptoms whatsoever. Besides, the likelihood of finally getting pregnant on our last shot is just a little too Rudy for me to get excited about. I feel like I should go out with a bang or something, though. I mean, infertility has reamed me of a couple thousand dollars now, shouldn't it steal another $20 before if gives me the finger and leaves? Plus, with Valentines just 2 days away, I wonder if I don't need one more holiday to hate (Note: I am rather ambivalent to Valentines day...The Boy and I probably wont do anything special for it, just hang out at home and watch a movie or something). So time to weigh in. I think I will let teh interwebs decide for me. Leave me a comment voting if I should test or not, and when to do it.

Looks like The Boy's boys have decided to step it up. Concentration is still around 150 million, but morphology is at 41 (last time was 20) and motility is 90% (up from 65%). He's totally bragging about his sperm all over the office.

I realized that it's been a bit since I provided an entertaining story, so here is a hilarious tidbit from my HSG. So I do the whole showing up, stripping down and waiting in various waiting rooms for my turn to get injected with spooky glow in the dark dye. I have to admit, the day-glo loving child that I once was is super excited about the prospect of this whole new level of incandescence. After all, maybe when the lights go out tonight I will be able to make my own Laser Floyd show and charge an admission fee...maybe. So I get called back into the x-ray room and, apparently, the fancy new hospital didn't decide it was necessary to pony up the money for some stirrups. Goody! Not only must I assume the position, but now I have to use my muscles to keep my legs up, while relaxing my muscles at the same time. Awesome!

The technician is setting up stuff before treating my insides like his own personal game of Pac Man and I am trying to get situated on the table, covering my girly bits with a thin sheet before the grand unveiling. So it's finally time, and the tech rolls his chair over to my nether bits and right as he takes a look he says, "Oh come on! What the hell?!?" Um...what? He realizes quickly how this looks and blushes. Then he tried to keep his babbling to a minimum and says, "Oh, not you...I're's just the stupid sheet always slips and falls down and....yeah." I just laugh and tell him that I'm glad things appear ok because I've never had a complaint before.

Now who's the innappropriate one?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The male side of things: a continuation of the previous post

I started getting into this in my last post, but a honk of a car horn made me have to hit publish before I had even finished my thoughts. Stupid in-laws and their insistence on buying us nice dinners!!!

So yeah, guys get bullied into compliance and then get crap about not having an opinion. I read a thread on a random forum while trying to find out more info on Clomid. Imagine my shock and disgust when I happened upon a discussion among women who ovulate on their own, but bought the drug online in order to increase their risk of multiples. I went on to be even more horrified as these women congratulated themselves on finding a way to achieve their dreams while fooling their husbands. One woman, we'll call her Oh-my-crap-you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me-you-psychotic-woman-who-is-the-mayor-of-your-own-crazy-town-where-only-you-matter-at-all-and-everyone-who-disagrees-with-you-is-just-jealous-and-mean...I think that was her user name...maybe we'll just call her OMC for short. So OMC is posting about how she is excited because she just ordered some Clomid online because, see, her husband didn't want anymore kids (they had like 4) and she finally strong armed convinced him that they should have one more, but she couldn't imagine having a family of less than 6, so wasn't she clever because taking a drug when she doesn't need it may increase her risk of multiples and won't it be so awesome and fun when SURPRISE there are twins?!?

Did your head just explode too? Good. There are so many things wrong with this that I hardly need to elaborate, but I will. Here is my letter to her:

Dear Crazyface,
I realize that to read this you will have to pull your head out of the wonderful candy-filled clouds that you have in your pretty pink world full of unicorns who poop magical glittery marshmallows for you to sleep on. I urge you to come back to earth here with the rest of us for just a few minutes. You are planning to take a medicated drug that has not been prescribed to you nor will it in order to trick your husband into having not one, but two more kids despite him repeatedly telling you he doesn't think he can handle even one more child.
"Who's business is it of mine?" you bellow. Well, by putting this information where anyone can read it (including your husband I may add...though he probably isn't allowed to look at the computer because he may happen to catch a glimpse of some other girls boobies or something) you have made it the business of anyone who reads your insanity.
Do you realize that there are many of us who have to take effing Clomid because our bodies don't work right without it, and by taking it ILLEGALLY you are making it all the more difficult for those of us who actually need it to be given it??? Shocking that this world consists of more than just your wants and desires, I know. Not only that, but you do understand that by increasing the risk of multiples, you are greatly increasing the risk that one or more of them may die during their weeks of expensive NICU stay because they will probably be born prematurely (if they are lucky enough to make it that far)? But you don't care about that do you. You are too busy envisioning how cute they'll be with their matching outfits and rhyming names, because having twins will finally give you the love and attention from everyone around you that you aren't able to get by just being an interesting person on your own merits.
Oh, and when you asked if your doctor would "be able to tell" if the twins were the result of clomid or not (because you're cheating your way into the amazingly cool club of twin moms), let me reassure you that he will be too busy stressing out that such a mentally ill person procreated at all, let alone a two-for-one situation, that he won't bother running all the typical clomid-twin vs. for-reals-twin tests. Your lack of understanding about how drugs and genetics work is dwarfed only by your selfishness.
In closing, do you really expect your husband to be on board with this? If he can't handle one more kid, how is he going to be able to handle two? Hell, I guarantee he wont even make it 2 weeks into the bed rest you will be forced to take (enjoy those bon bons, deserve them you clever minx!). Of course, I could be wrong. I'm sure you will both get a good chuckle over my concern when you tell him its twins and he says to you, "Wow....that will make you twice as interesting/beautiful/talented/useful!" That could totally happen, so good luck! Enjoy your divorce future, and may you never regret it.

With all the love in my heart,
Infertile Chick

P.S. I know you just think I'm jealous of your amazing uterus because you can pop out a kid (or two!) at will. In truth, I am jealous. There I admit it. But you know what? Let me tell you another secret...come couldn't pay me enough to switch places with you. I may not have a passel of kids, but I have a husband who I love enough to let him be a part of decisions that will affect, not only my life, but his life as well. At the end of the day, that may be all I have but I guarantee I am happier with my life and myself than you are with yours. Kisses!-IC

She is probably the extreme example of what I was talking about yesterday, I admit, but I still get up in arms about it months after the fact (as you can see above). I can't imagine going through this without my hugely supportive husband. The Boy is my best friend in all the world (not just saying that because you are supposed to be with your best friend, he really is) and is my anchor through this infertility storm.

I don't think infertility is easier for guys. They are often on the outside looking in. They see their wives in pain, emotionally and physically, and desperately want to be able to do something to make it stop. Unfortunately, they are unable to do anything, most times, and are left standing there with a couple ibuprophens in their hands wondering why they are such a failure as a husband. After all, they are supposed to protect and care for their wife, right?

I just want to say to all the husbands/boyfriends/significant others who have stood by their partner's side through such a difficult situation thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I applaud your strength, love, and empathy. You may not feel you do enough, but knowing that there is someone by your side somehow makes the burden of all this a little easier to bear. I know it's hard to talk about how you feel because you haven't really explored it much, or you never really spoke about your feelings much and it makes you uncomfortable, or because you see the person you care about most in the world in so much pain and don't want to add your own to the pile. I get it, I really do. However, infertility can make a woman feel very alone and isolated, even while in a committed relationship. Talking about how things affect you helps open a dialogue that just may help you both feel a little lessening of the pain. I don't know what your wife needs to hear, but if she is anything like myself, then just say what The Boy says: It sucks, and it's hard for him too, but mostly he hates seeing me in pain and there's nothing he can do but feel completely helpless, but you love her and you are both in this together. Oh, and for bonus points you can tell her that you married her for her, not for her ability to have kids (that one is another one The Boy works, trust me). Just say anything, really.

To all the women who are lucky enough to have a partner in this who is supportive and loving in spite of all the mood swings, doctors appointments, crying jags, and every other horrible thing, be grateful! Don't trivialize your husband's pain because this isn't happening to him. I promise he has got plenty on his own plate. Let him know what he does that helps. And please, don't treat him like a glorified sperm donor, because if you do then that's all he may become.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Stupid 2 week wait

I've been trying to be productive and focus on other things, but this 2ww is killing me. It hasn't been this bad in months! I honestly don't think I am pregnant. I've been having no symptoms (and yes, I know symptoms don't start for a while with some women) and my endo pain is as bad if not worse than it ever is. I guess that is a good thing in a round about way. At least I know that we gave it our all so if I'm not I can focus on getting the pain under control.

The Boy and I have been having some open and frank discussions lately, and it is helping us narrow down our possible options, as well as reminding me why I keep him around. It's hard in a community of mostly women to get some insight into the male side of infertility. We tend to downplay how they are affected, get upset when they aren't beside themselves over things that we find hard, and start to treat them like glorified sperm donors. Maybe not all women, but I would say most do this. I mentioned before, but this blog is not going to be my place to vent frustrations with my husband. There is no shortage of that on teh interwebs, and every time I come across a woman online or in the real world trivializing her husband's role and treating him like he is basically a 5 year old who wouldn't be able to find his way home if the leash wasn't attached it makes my skin crawl. If he is such an unreliable moron then why the hell do you want to procreate with him? Oh wait...cause it's not about him, is it. It's about you.

I interact with many girls who are about to be married (it's par for the course in my line of work) and even before I met my husband, I realized what kind of a girlfriend and wife I didn't want to be. See, society blames men for having no opinions on things like weddings, home decorating, and kids (to an extent). The truth is, I haven't met a man who didn't have an opinion on what he wants. The problem is his harpie of a girlfriend is so freaking adamant about what her special day (special room, special family, etc.) is going to be, that to avoid getting castrated even more than he already is, he will stay silent. If guys are treated as large accessories in their own wedding, is it any wonder they roll their eyes about whether to get buttercream or fondant on the cake?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

IUI #2: Sweet cuppin cakes

Well, the IUI went better than last time, though not without it's share of hiccups and entertainments. Since I got a positive OPK the evening prior, the IUI was set up for yesterday afternoon. The Boy works a bit away from the RE's office, so he had to leave work for a "long lunch and doctor's appointment."

First bit of hilarity: In the collection room, they have the typical magazines shut inside a drawer. On top of this drawer?

Yup. Nothing gets a guy turned on like cupcakes and thank you note how-to's! I don't quite know if they were trying to make the room seem more innocent, but I find it rather disturbing that right beneath this adorable girl is a stack of porn to rival any 14 year old's stash. Good thing you can get things started up with yummy homemade soups! Awesome.

Now for the first hiccup. Last time they said it would take about 2 hours and they would call me when they were ready for me. Call me crazy, but I assumed that is what was expected of me this time as well. After hanging out in the neighborhood for a couple hours I get a phone call from a rather peeved girl who says, "Uh, yeah...we're just wondering if you are going to be coming in at all." Wow...well no, I just like paying hundreds of dollars for a handjob in a room decked out like a La Quinta lobby.

See, apparently they "never call" because they have far too many patients to call everyone. Whatever. They were just worried because I got there about 20 minutes before they were going home for the day. I went back into the room and stripped from the waist down. I made it a point to leave my underwear sitting on top of my jeans ala CancerBaby* and waited. The nurse who came in was nice enough, but made it clear that in no uncertain terms she was going to be leaving as soon as she was done with me. I guess I could have harnessed my inner insecure freshman girl and been all, "But wait...don't you want to spoon a little afterward? Will you call me tomorrow?"but she had a meeting she had to wake up early for, so I understand.**

The IUI itself was ok. They are certainly less painful than an HSG, but I still won't be singing up for one just for the fun of it. The nurse was brusque enough with the whole thing that, while painful, it was over quickly. After all, it wasn't my first time, so why be gentle? She told me to lay there for 10 minutes and then go home and do some jumping jacks or whatever I wanted to. Basically, just go about your day as if this never happened. As she left, she dimmed the lights (I kid you not, she said she would leave me with some "mood lighting." Yeah, thanks lady...I know I'm an infertile whore...but no need for pity humor) and told me that I could tell my husband it was "good for me, how was it for you?" Gah. I think she is related to my pharmacist.

It seems that, for me at least, about 4 hours after my IUI's I get a ton of cramping and abdominal pain. I had to take it easy and made all sorts of old man noises while trying to get in a comfortable position. At least it's over with. Now to find something to keep me entertained for 2 weeks.

*For those who don't know, CancerBaby was a blogger who was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer and died back in 2006. She was snarky an honest in her blog and pointed out how silly it was that we'll put our legs in the stirrups and show are bits to whoever, but for some reason we have to hid our underwear inside our pants, since it would be scandalous to show them.

**I have a good friend who, after getting an ultrasound, the tech tossed a towel on her belly and said, "Here...clean yourself up and go home."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

IUI is on!

Got a positive OPK last night and left a message with Andrology. Nothing I love more than to wake up to my phone ringing and someone asking me if my husband can come in at 1:20 today. You spooge in a cup collect a sample. Here goes more money down the drain nothing.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Conclusions and a story

I've come to a couple conclusions during this cycle.

1- OPKs are annoying as all hell.

I mean it...I hate these things! They are expensive, force me to have to plan my life around peeing, and every one I take I have to double check to see if it's positive or negative. This morning's test has a much darker line, but still not as dark or darker than the test line. Cd15 still nada.

2- Hope is still annoying.

Especially before you've even gotten to the 2 week wait. I was reassured by the number and size of follicles, but that was 3 days ago. I mean, if a follicle is 24mm on day 12, you'd think you'd get a positive OPK the next day...two days at the most. Each day that passes makes me wonder what's going on in the mystical factories that are my ovaries.

3- Infertility treatments are a slippery slope.

We decided to do a second IUI and then be done indefinitely. Now I am having second thoughts. If this next round goes smoother than the first (and we think it will) does that mean we should try one more? Should we think about IVF? Should we spin the wheel one more time and try for that elusive dollar? It's easy to start feeling addicted to the IF game. Surely, one more hit wont hurt anything and what if that's the one that will work? It's an expensive habit to feed, both financially and emotionally. I really do feel like this is it for us, though. No offense to those who continue on to IVF or other treatments, but I am ready to call this what it is and be done.

4- No one can read minds.

The Boy and I have been in open conversation about the infertility since we started trying to get me knocked up. We talked freely about the treatments, what we would and wouldn't do, and made awesome jokes about how the "artwork" in the andrology rooms don't lend themselves to much turning-on (call me crazy, but if I can easily picture it in a hotel lobby, I just don't get real hot, ya know?). What we struggle with is talking about our feelings about all this. Me because I feel like I've told him dozens of times already and I'm bored with myself. Him because he sees me in pain and struggling and doesn't want to add to my burden anymore.

This weekend we went for a long drive and talked through basically everything. He feels like the number one priority after this IUI is getting the endo pain under control. While I am sick of the death pains, they are nothing new and I really want the whole kid thing resolved (adoption, IVF, no kids...whatever). Dealing with the endo is something I am a bit hesitant about. Infertility treatments are pretty cut and dry. Either you get pregnant or not. When your dealing with physical pain, so much of it is subjective. Is the pain more manageable? I haven't been to a doctor that really is comfortable dealing with pain being the major problem. Doctors, like me, don't seem to like subjective things.

Here's the thing that is so completely ridiculous about this situation. I know that if we stop treatments I will have to go on hormone therapy that would make it impossible for me to get pregnant. I don't really have any problems with that. In a way, it will be nice to not have to wonder at the end of each cycle if I am or not. I can move on with my life. I also realize that I will have to seriously consider when to get a hysterectomy. If I have one, it will be equally impossible to get pregnant. Equally...not more. Even though I realize this, it still feels like such a difficult choice. I would no longer just be infertile. I would be barren. Again, semantics get the best of my rational decision making.

But enough of my ramblings. That's not why you came. It's been far too long since I gave a good story, so here you go. So you know, my stories are true, but I may change details (names, relationships, etc) in order to maintain my anonymity.

A few weeks ago I was at dinner with my family. My cousin is pregnant (so is basically everyone around me, so that doesn't really narrow it down) with her second child after 2 rounds of clomid. She struggled with some secondary infertility and had a tubal pregnancy a while back, but didn't even have to get a semen analysis (funny story about that later this week!). Her husband knows about our situation, but lacks some social skills and common sense. I know he is just trying to relate, but still. Here are some transcripts of conversations:

Him- So how is your infertility stuff going?
Me- Um...fine I guess. Still not pregnant, but hopefully soon.
Him- Yeah, I remember how hard it was. Especially when people kept asking us about it.
Me- Uh.....yup.

While talking to my cousin about something unrelated, he comes up and starts rubbing her belly.
Him- Hey, did you see this? *motions to cousin's belly*
Me- Yup.
Him- Isn't it so awesome?
Me- Yup.
Him- I'm just really proud of her for being able to get pregnant and all.
Me- Yeah...that's a big accomplishment.

And the best one! This happened while I wasn't there, so he was talking to The Boy, who related the story to me, resulting in much rolling of eyes and "What the hell is his problem?"ing.
At dinner, cousin is drinking some water and has on a zip-up hoodie. Her husband comes up and unzips her hoody. Given that it was more of a fashion hoodie than a warmth hoodie, it seemed like he was trying to undress her or something. She zips it back up. This happens about 3-4 times, when she finally snaps and says:
Her- What are you doing??? Why do you keep unzipping me?!?
Him- *Unzipping the the hoodie the rest of the way and cradling her belly in his hands* Because I can't see your belly that way!

I know what you're's coming.......

wait for it............

wait for it......................................

Totally worth the wait, huh?