Category Archives: Fertile Fudgery (Herzn)

Zinger

Well. Shizzle just got real up here where I work. The new specialist corporate had been courting decided not to accept so we have no one to take the place of our current surgeon if he retires.
Except he IS going to retire. While he hasn’t “officially” announced it, he told me personally that it would be at the end of the year. The kicker is that he must have mentioned it to someone else as now his referrals are onto the rumor and our schedules have been negatively affected. Productivity has dropped to half in the past couple of months of what we’ve done at this time of year.

On top of that, the Scheduler and Receptionist both announced that their last day in the office will be the end of the month. Their timing not only couldn’t have been worst, but it shows an utter lack of respect for the surgeon, especially since one had been with the office for 30+ years, and the other was a friend she arranged to get hired. This leaves me as the remaining clerical staff member until we can get someone trained.

I was asked if I was going to arrange for their going away party by one of the staff in a satellite office. My retort, “Hell no!” may have been just a tad brusque.

I’m also having a hard time not rolling my eyes at the person who has been selected as the “obvious” replacement for the Scheduler. She’s currently a surgical assistant and although she hasn’t even started training, she has announced that she never understood why there were two people doing what surely she alone will be able to do. I’m going to sit back and enjoy the hell out of that one in a couple of weeks.

In other disappointing news: Those UGGs I bought my daughter that I raved about? Exchanging due to defect, but had to pay the difference between the sale price and the current price at Zappos. And I had to exchange my Sven clogs, too! They had a chip in the toe that they tried to fix before sending to me that I didn’t immediately notice. That wasn’t such a big deal because they did it quickly, without any hassle and the weather last week was crap so I couldn’t have worn them anyway. And finally, my MIL said we are raising “heathens” because we don’t take them to church…or did I already tell you this?

Oh, and because this is one of the few places I can talk unabashedly about what my uterus and ovaries have been up to, there’s this anecdote Last week I was sure that my period was going to show up at a most unfortunate time since it’d had been almost a month from the last one on March 8 (remember? It was on the day of my mole check?). I made sure to be prepared at the Visitation and Funeral. However, it did not make any kind of appearance, and it didn’t several days later. And then I started to wonder if FINALLY I was hitting actual menopause after all these years of having defunct ovaries. AND THEN I remembered that March 8th was the day I had my LASIK, not my mole check. My mole check was on the 21st of March so I still had another week to go. Except it showed up YESTERDAY! A full flippin week early! I HATE MY OVARIES!!

This post is just to remind you that just when you think it’s safe to gloss over and skip to the end, it isn’t.

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Never Worse Than Never Ever Again?

(From the Archives: Another Child)

I read that line on a blog several days ago and I haven’t been able to shake it out of my head since. Its simplicity is what I think twists me up inside even though initially I nodded my head in somber agreement.

How could I agree when I don’t have anything to make the judgement on? Mr. DD and I never experienced the “Never”, and I can’t help but wonder how differently things would be for us now if we had started on the wrong side of the statistics.

We would have been better prepared by consciously making the decision almost immediately as to what to do when we’re ready the next time. Instead we waited with our eyes shut thinking a subsequent pregnancy would happen the way it did the first time. Ironically, it did, but nothing could have prepared us for the first of three miscarriages. No one can ever be prepared regardless of the number of times it happens.

After the first miscarriage, we had to “do” a minimum six month of trying naturally, which does nothing but stress one out and it’s not fair that most physicians won’t offer a referral until you do. In our most recent cycle, I’ve learned that the now 24 months that have passed since then, waiting and trying have not increased our chances of getting and staying pregnant. I found out the hard way that in just 12 months, my ovarian reserve has pretty much dried up.

And what knocks me on my ass is that we are now experiencing the Never Again possibility without warning.

So here’s a question: is there really Secondary Infertility when there was already Primary? With Primary you already know that the next time ART will more than likely be involved. You know the lingo; you know the odds; and maybe PIF has even given you the good fortune (in relationship to the whole shitty process) of having frozen embryos awaiting you.

In an email exchange I had with someone, my eyes were opened to the idea that there is no SIF if there is PIF. I don’t mean necessarily that the second child can come easier to the IF who desires child no.2, I just mean that SIF have their “eyes wide open” to what is to come. They may even know from the moment their first child is born that they are done. They’ve accepted it and have the peace that can comes with time and having a new baby in their arms. How many times have you heard a PIF hope that they have twins the first time around and know that their family will be complete?

Here’s something that came directly from my email exchange:

“When you go straight to ART for #2, this is not experiencing SIF. That’s not hearing ‘only’ one child for a few years, that’s not your child begging for a sibling, that’s not being the only only in a classroom and being told that your time is easier/looser etc b/c you only have one.”

Another question: how can there be Secondary Infertility when there wasn’t primary? I would like someone to explain to me how Infertility has become Secondary. Secondary to what?

Even more difficult when it comes to our Secondary Infertilty diagnosis is feeling like you are squelching your spouse’s hopes that you could possibly conceive without ART. Yes, it’s possible, but highly unlikely. My husband has repeatedly told me that he feels like I’ve “written him off” (because our IF’s main cause is MF, but not the only factor). If we had had Primary, we wouldn’t have the late-night crying and under-our-breath hissed discussions that we’ve done it before without a doctor’s assistance, we can do it again. We would just be trying to figure out what are the next steps we should take in ART that have the quickest and most desirable outcome.

For me, I can only speculate that we never would have had to do the two failed IVFs which strapped us emotionally and financially. If we had had PIF, the use of donor might have been accepted without a blink of an eye – maybe not the first time, but more so the secondy time – and possibly the only heated discussion we might have had was should the donor be Irish/German or Irish/Irish decent.

Secondary Infertility is a misnomer and leads to so many misconceptions and unfounded bias. Do you think the couple who had PIF who find themselves surprisingly pregnant naturally a second time now consider themselves Fertile? I would love to see someone admit to that. So why should I now consider myself SIF when there was never PIF. And here’s even a further leap: why should I consider myself SIF when maybe we were never “fertile”? Maybe we just got lucky the first time, and then found out the hard way that we are actually Infertile.

PREGNANCY PALS

I had a Pregnancy Pal when I was pregnant with XBoy. We didn’t start off as friends who had planned pregnancies at the same time. Instead we had met during our late 2nd trimesters at the YMCA where we both were taking the swim class. We even worked for the same company, but had never met since we worked on different campuses.

Pregnancy Pal and I were due within a week of each other in December 2001. We both were going through our first pregnancies. She was in her late-20s. I was in my early-30s. Looking at us as we climbed out of the pool you might have thought she was at least 8 weeks behind me as her bump was just that – a bump – whereas I bulged.

We became good friends.

Her son was born at the end of November. I remember coming to visit her and her baby and holding him and marveling at how small he was. Less than a week later, I delivered XBoy.

During the first couple of years, all four of us spent a lot of time together. We compared milestones in both our babies’ lives and our own. We dressed them similarly for holidays and took pictures. Soon we were talking about having our second children. Early summer 2004, she announced she was pregnant. By the end of August, I told her I was, too. We were again Pregnancy Pals.

I specifically remember how we packed up the now three-year-old boys in my SUV and made a trip to The Metro for a day at the zoo, something we had done the year before together. The boys were in the second row trying to outdo each other in noise levels, silliness, and snack consumption. My friend looked at me and announced, “Next year when we go, our baby girls will be in the second row and the boys will be in the far back!” jokingly said since neither of us knew the sex of our babies, but it was a lovely image to have.

As most of you know, in November 2004, the path my Pregnancy Pal and I had started on violently diverged. I miscarried at 15 weeks. She went on to deliver a healthy baby girl in the spring. Obviously I did not.

A rift was created that November between us. We still got together for play dates with our sons. We got together to discuss flooring options and pour over paint chips as we both were building new homes. But those times weren’t as often as before. Part of it was the constant time demand of dealing with construction decisions, but what went unsaid was the fact that we were no longer Pregnancy Pals.

Compared to her first baby, who I held when he was less than 24 hours, I did not see her daughter until she was almost two weeks old. She was on maternity leave and I was still working full-time so getting together to go for a swim, or lunch or shopping, were moments few and getting further between.

A couple years later, her husband was transferred to another region and they moved away. For the first year, she would call up when they had returned to town to visit family so that our sons could get together (XBoy took his friend’s move pretty hard, and he still talks about him), but even those times came to a stop. I don’t know when exactly the last time I saw her or her children, but I know it was before our donor egg cycle.

The other day I typed in her name on Facebook’s search and I saw her face for the first time in two years. It wasn’t just her I saw, either. Her profile picture was of her and flanking her, in a group hug, was her son and her daughter. They were both wearing back-packs. I assumed the picture was of their first day of school.

As I stared at the postage size picture on my screen, I saw what might have been.

Angrily, I also thought, what SHOULD have been.

I closed her profile screen without sending a friend request. I shut off the light above my computer, kissed my husband goodnight who was watching TV, and went to bed with my heart heavier than it has been in a long, long time.

I lost a baby and a good friend that fall. I really miss them.

270* DOWN, FINITE TO GO

Be honest with me.

Exactly how old were you when you became a responsible adult and remembered to pack tampons/pads/those crazy rubber insertable devices/etc. into your purse JUST IN CASE?

Please tell me I’m not the only woman who is most likely peri-menopausal with regular periods that STILL can’t get that right.

I’m even still struggling with getting my underwear on right-side-out on a regular basis.

Just so you don’t think I’m a total nincompoop, I have never applied a pad and THEN put my underwear on inside out. However, if you have, please fess up to take away a bit of my humiliation.

* The approximate number of menses** I’ve had.

** Funny how menses and mensa*** are so similar.

*** I bet menstruating mensa members remember to pack tampons.

NOT SO STILL WATERS

We were at my SIL’s this weekend for supper, and while sitting there digesting, SIL’s daughter asked her mom if could have the bunk-beds that were in the spare bedroom.

. . . Just in case they “decide to go for a third one”.

Wouldn’t you know? Hearing how easy it is for most to manage their family size when they do nothing more than think about it is still like a punch to the chest.

I use to try to be magnanimous and would say that I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through what we did, but you know what? I wish it was more difficult for the average couple to conceive and deliver a child.

I could gloss over my reasons by saying maybe they’d appreciate their children more; maybe there would be fewer abused children; maybe there would be fewer neglected children.

But really, the reason I wish that it wasn’t so easy? It’s so I wouldn’t have to feel so disconnected from my husband’s family who I once felt a great bond with, in the beginning, before our first miscarriage.

It’s immediately apparent to a couple when there’s a miscarriage or a failed cycle what is gone, but I think the hardest long-term loss has been the repeated sense of not being normal, of not belonging.

That painful rock had settled to the bottom of the pond long ago, but I still feel the rippling effect on my heart almost every day.

ripple

DEAD BIRD – NOW FOR THE DEAD HORSE

After drafting what feels like a dozen posts (OK, just 7) about that fun topic secondary infertility with all kinds of emotionally charged nonsense and lame attempts at woe-is-me blithering, I’m instead going to share a couple of my blogging observations…and then the blithering.

  • The majority of primary infertility (PIF) blogs I began reading in 2005 did finally become pregnancy, and even parenting, blogs.
  • Ironically, most of them went from PIF to oh-my-god-I’m-pregnant-with-baby-number-two-and-junior-isn’t-even-one-yet blogs.
  • Of the minority that did not, and are still blogging, they are now blogging about how they finally now “get” what shit secondary infertility is.
  • Of those not still blogging after having their first baby, I’ve received a smattering of emails telling me they finally “get” what shit secondary infertility is.
  • Bloggers who are blogging through PIF, and who even occasionally stop by – or use to –occasionally let it slip that SIF isn’t infertility at all.

I encountered the latter attitude in small doses when I started blogging four years ago. There was probably way more, but I made sure to surround myself with either those who were going through SIF or who made a genuine attempt to understand what we were going through.

But what happens when someone you hold in high regards – and have for over two years – and is going through PIF, and told you that they felt that many of the emotions and experiences you were going through were so similar to theirs that they realized that the “secondary” was for the most part, irrelevant, and could appreciate that SIF pretty much sucks, too; but then they end up posting something that basically scoffs the idea that anyone who has one child could even be infertile??

Well that’s what happened over a month ago and it’s been eating at me ever since. I left a very diplomatic comment (me?? I know!) about it and I was surprised I didn’t get a response. One could say in their defense that maybe they didn’t notice (this blogger is rather popular and had a bunch of comments on the post which wasn’t actually about SIF or PIF at all), and basically that’s what I thought so I went back to the post to reread it, to see if I had misunderstood, or maybe to find a reply via comments – you know, like I do – and the post had been edited to remove the reference that inspired this post.

I guess that’s why it’s taken me so long to write AND publish a post since it has no real point, no real reference and serves no purpose whatsoever except allow me to gripe about a blog, because according to some people I do happen “to enjoy it a bit too much.”

And here this paragraph starts 24 hours later than the prior paragraphs and I wonder all over again why is it I’m upset by this? My pain is my pain; your pain is your pain; why don’t we call the whole thing off…

Yes, there are different degrees to infertility, and it only really becomes relative when we read about how our situation is somehow minimized. If I said that you’re not really infertile if you can get pregnant on your first cycle of clomid, then any one of you that did get pregnant on your first cycle of clomid would take offense – or at least you should, because YOU owned that experience and pain, I didn’t. I have no idea what toll that took on you emotionally. I shouldn’t judge, but it’s seriously hard not to, if next to impossible for me. However, if nothing else, I know what infertility was…AND IS. It shouldn’t matter if I have one or five kids. I’ve cried more over the past four years than I have in all the years leading up to it, so yeah, I get a little pissy when I think someone might be making light of SIF.

Infertility scarred me very deeply and left an enormous swath of bitterness that I really want to heal. I get close. I tell myself that I don’t have to be miserable or defensive anymore. I don’t have to read infertility blogs anymore. I don’t have to blog anymore. So why do I?

I have so many things here to say and I’m running out of time and energy to say them. I don’t care about standing on the soap box as much as I use to. I give it a try occasionally (like with this post), and once I step up on it, the view is not as good as it use to be and the wood is soft and creaky from being left outside in the rain, and those willing to listen are there for the free punch.

*end metaphor*

**end blithering**

***end post***

THE ‘YUK’ FACTOR OF SOCIETY

Since most of us are pretty tuned into the fertility and infertility stories about the web, I’d say then that you probably have already heard/read about Elizabeth Adeney in Britain who at 66 is 8 months pregnant with her first child after seeking treatment in the Ukraine.

Full story hereor you can google it and find a wealth of blahdeblah stuff.

What I wanted to highlight was the last paragraph of this story; a quote from Dr. Allan Pacey which sums up his feelings about older women getting pregnant:

“Most people feel uncomfortable about the idea of providing fertility treatment to women beyond the natural menopause. In some ways, setting a cut-off point of 50 is arbitrary. But when you combine the welfare of the child, the health of the mother, and, indeed the ‘yuk’ factor of society, I think that is a reasonable place to end up.”

Contrary to what my husband believed when he read the quote, “yuk” refers to the “ick” factor, not the “ha-ha” factor. Obviously, a man who watches too much comedy TV.

So how’s this for Yuk:

Mel Yukson
Mel Yukson

Mel Gibson, who is 53 knocked it out with his girlfriend who is going on four months pregnant just six weeks after the divorce papers were filed. Not just yuk, but let’s add in douchy leper. Freak.

Not yucky enough?

Tony Yukdall
Tony Yukdall

OK. Then there’s Tony Randall, who at 77 became a father for the first time after impregnating his 27 year old wife. For those who worry about older women not seeing their children reach adulthood, Tony’s oldest child was 7 when his dad started farting up dust.

Larry Yuking
Larry Yuking

A younger new dad was found in Larry King when he was only 67. I, however, have added exponentially a yuk factor to that union based on Larry King’s looks alone. Seriously? Who wants to look up at the ceiling’s mirrors and find that troll hunkering between your thighs? *shudder*

Nanu Yukogi
Nanu Yukogi

All these men are just spry young men when you look at the world’s oldest new dad. Nanu (nanu-nanu!) became a new dad at 90 back in 2007 and plans on having more babies with his oldest son’s widow well until he reaches triple digits.

So that yuk factor? Funny how it seems to apply only to women when it comes to making into a news story’s quote.