Category Archives: Fertile Fudgery (Herzn)

A QUESTION THAT DOESN’T NEED ANSWERING

Last night, ZGirl and I were taking a bath. We both have been struck by colds and a vapor bath provided some relief. I called for Mr. DD who held up ZGirl’s fluffy, warm towel for me as I lifted her slippery body out of the water into his arms. As he coo’ed and talked to her in the quiet of the master bath, I told him that I noticed I had started spotting today. The first sign of a cycle trying to return since I got pregnant a year ago.

Mr. DD mulled over the information for a brief second or two and then asked, “We’re not having any more kids, right? What do you want to do about birth control?”

We’re not having any more kids, right?

The words hung in the humid air while a lump built in my throat. I’m 41. My eggs are shit. His sperm is shit. I tried to blow off the words with the snarky response, “Like we  have to worry about birth control – Ha!” to which he replied, “That’s not an answer,” and walked out of the bathroom door with ZGirl curled up in his arms.

We’re not having any more kids, right?

I stretched out in the tub, the water quickly cooling, the bubbles surrounding me quietly clicking as they popped. I thought I was well-prepared for this moment, accepting that after years of ART and miscarriages, having another baby would never be an option to put on the family table to discuss. But still…

We’re not having any more kids, right?

I opened the drain to the tub and heard the water gurgle away. I watched my knees form islands of skin and bone as the water level dropped. I felt my skin cool and tighten with goosebumps as air hit the newly exposed areas of my shoulders and back. All too soon, the tub was empty and I stood up to reach for my robe hanging on the wall. In that moment I caught the reflection of my body in the mirror, and I saw the ravages of pregnancies and time staring back at me.

We’re not having any more kids, right?

I thought again of the one remaining embryo on ice, Pokey. It would probably never survive a thaw and I had no idea why they even froze it, except maybe out of pity. Four eggs retrieved, four eggs fertilized, three transfered…may as well freeze the fourth. The clinic’s symbolic attempt at hope in case none of the first three took.

We’re not having any more kids, right?

No, it’s not “right”. It just is.

NEBRASKA IS NOT KNOWN TO HAVE A GOOD SUPPLY OF “MALE ESCORTS”

Another October, another fundraiser.

This year I finally stopped trying to convince my husband to be my date. He doesn’t enjoy it and having him resentfully attend would certainly be the turd in the punch bowl as far as I’m concerned. Overall it’s a win/win situation since I don’t have to worry about finding a babysitter at the last minute (because that’s when we always try to find one) and he gave me his blessings in the form of The Checkbook, plus he got to stay home and watch Iron Man with XBoy and cuddle with ZGirl.

I have to admit that I think he got the better end of the deal.

XBoy was worried that I would be all by myself and offered to be my date instead. When I told him he had to be 21 before he could go, he asked if I got to sit with my friends. His concern for his old mom was very sweet.

It was nice to get dolled up and rub elbows but by 9:00 p.m. I was dangerously bored andengorged. They hadn’t even started the oral auction by the time I left even though dessert had long since been served and cleared. Giving people extra time to drink free booze does not necessarily drive up the auction totals. Instead people get annoyed with the delays and leave rather than fork out $1,000 for a autographed highschool football. But hell, what do I know? I paid over a $100 for a rather tacky looking birdhouse that kind of resembles the old church and another $100 for a dozen decorated sugar cookies each month for a year (and let me tell you the first dozen have been delish!) through the silent auctions.

Below are a couple of pictures of me Mr. DD snapped before I left. Why, yes, I am enjoying a piece of pizza before heading out for a fundraiser where supper will be served, but you never know how food at those things will be (for the record, chix cordon bleu is just wrong: ham stuffed inside a chicken?? It’s just not natural!).

 

Speaking of dates, October 19, 2007 was the date used as my LMP – even though it wasn’t – once I found out I was pregnant after our donor cycle. Not once did I ever imagine that in a year I would purchase a onesie that said, “My First Halloween” on it, especially considering the heartbreak October 2006 would bring. And today, last October feels like a lifetime ago.

THE WHITE GLOVE TEST

Just because I now have a baby girl and a school-aged son, does not mean this blog is no longer infertility related.

How’s that for just jumping to the crux of a post?

I started a blog over three years ago. I actually missed my anniversary, which was back in August. You can read last year’s recognition of my illustrious start, if you are so inclined. When I take into account the blogs I have been reading during these three years, it’s not a long time. However, when I look over Mel’s list of blogs over at Stirrup Queens, I’m a veteran.

It bothers me that this blog may no longer be perceived as falling under the topic of infertility. If someone new stops by they may read all my posts about my pregnancy with ZGirl, if they can even get past the most recent posts about breastfeeding and exhaustion as related to a new baby. Then there’s the posts about my son; and work; and my in-laws. And every once in a while, one will stumble into a post dedicated exclusively to infertility.

Here’s the thing, though. Just because many of my posts do not contain the details of a consult with my RE, or the internal dialogue for choosing a sperm donor, or my feelings when all my frozen embryos died, does not mean that infertility was shuffled unceremoniously to the back burner.

When we lost our second pregnancy in November 2004, every moment from that point became tainted. Here’s an analogy for you in case I’m being obtuse, if not just too damned wordy: we are living in a new home (coincidentally, construction started in 2004). It’s a gorgeous house. If you stopped by, I’m sure you would think we were very lucky to have such a lovely space to raise a family. It still has that new home smell to it. But what you wouldn’t realize is there is a fine layer of dust that has infiltrated every surface of the house due to the fact we are surrounded by sand, and no matter how many times I vacuum and dust and mop, the dust remains. It just takes a few days to build back up again. You may not see it, but I do. I see it every. goddamn. day.

That’s infertility. It may look to you as if my life as far as having the my son and now my daughter, is now “perfect”. But no matter how large my heart swells in my chest when I see ZGirl grin at me excitedly from her bassinet, or when my son hugs me tight and tells me he loves me, there will always be a fine dusting of infertility that I will have to work at to keep at bay.

My blogging began as a result of infertility. That was three years ago. Having a new baby at home for two months will never discount those three years. Maybe in three years, I’ll feel a little differently. Maybe then this blog will finally be something else, but I will guarantee if you run your white-gloved finger over the surface, you’ll still find a little dust.

THE GOODS, THE BAD, AND THE NOTSO UGLY: A PHOTO-ESSAY

THE GOODS

Between my internet shopping (I’ve never felt as geographically isolated as I do right now!) and surprise packages from friends and family, getting the mail is fun again.

      

Thank you Shelli, Shanna and Suz!

THE BAD

I know pregnant belly shots are hard to take in. Even harder is me taking in the post-belly shots. I’ve already admitted that I had a bit of a muffin top, but now I’m not even sure what to call this…pooch…I have now. Well, besides “gross”. While I’m just a couple of pounds from being at my pre-pregnancy weight, I’m still 15 over what I was two and a half years ago, my tentative goal for the end of this year.

Unfortunately, those couple of pounds are standing between me wearing maternity pants and my normal clothes because the weight is centered squarely around my naval. OK, and hips. Whatever.

Here’s me a few days post c-section:

 Sizzlin’, no? (Someone, please! Tell me how to get rid of iodine stains!)

Then there’s this 11 days postpartum:

 You can practically hear the slow leak, can’t you? PsssstttthhhhhhhhhhpPP!

(I also have some close-ups of the staples at the incision site, if you like…?)

It’s just marginally better now at almost three weeks (three weeks??!), and more than likely the last little flubber will be the hardest to be rid of. Fuck.

THE NOTSO UGLY

Of course, I’m referring to the small-headed creature in this picture, just in case you were wondering.

THE VALUE OF WORTH

I took ZGirl to my workplace a few days ago to introduce her around. Since I’ve been fairly open about our earlier miscarriages and some of our treatments, a few of my coworkers know things had been painfully difficult getting to this point. Because of that, I heard several times, “It was all worth it, wasn’t it?”

While I smiled and nodded I thought: Well…no, not really.

Sure, it was worth making the difficult decision to cross that line we had drawn in the sand several times over about what kind and how many treatments we would pursue. It was worth the thousands of dollars we spent on all the IUIs, IVFs, the FET and of course, the donor egg cycle. It was worth the pain caused by hundreds of injections. And if that’s “all” we had to endure, then yes, it would most definitely have been worth it.

However, I will never forget that to get to where I am right now, I lost four other babies. That’s  the part that was not worth it.

It is also illogical for one to expect that I would ever have to think about the impossible – would I trade ZGirl for Vivienne or Wolf or Miscarriage No. 2 or Miscarriage No. 4? I would hope that no one would be as simple minded to ask me such a question. I would also have to hope that ifwhen I am asked, I am able to restrain myself from getting “stabby”.

I learned so much about myself, so much about others. I learned that there is a hidden dimension to what it means to be family or friend that only reveals itself – whether positively or negatively – when there’s a very personal crisis. Valuable lessons to be sure.

But, please, don’t assume “it was all worth it”.

A LIFE MORE ORDINARY

I was tagged a bit ago by Shelli from BagMamma to complete the six-word meme that was apparently inspired by the book, “Not What I Was Planning“, which in turn was inspired by Hemingway’s proported statement: “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn” (an infertility blog title if ever there was one that would never require a single post).

I’ve thought quite a bit about this, and while I worked and reworked in my head several phrases that might surmise my life to this point, one word in particular kept making a return like some kind of boomerang of phonemes. That word?

Extraordinary.

But I don’t mean “extraordinary” in the typical sense, as in “the sunsets over the Grand Canyon are extraordinary!” Instead, I see the word in my mind broken down into its two subparts: extra and ordinary.

Let me put this another way: if I was to say that something was extra dull, it just means that it is more dull, not that it’s more exciting. Extra Ordinary is just that when I refer to my life up until this point. The Extra comes into play when you look at one definition of extraordinary: beyond what is ordinary or usual.

My life stopped being ordinary November 2004 when I had the first of my four miscarriages. While one miscarriage is typically dismissed by friends, family and even medical professionals as not uncommon, it still changed my life forever. It was my gateway into Infertility; into my life made Extraordinary.

In this sense, who of us is truly ordinary? In attempts to get add to a family, it doesn’t matter whether you went as basic as OPKs and temping for several months or you traveled the globe for the sixth time for a donor egg transfer, you have become EXTRAordinary.

In some ways I do wish that my life had remained ordinary, holed up in this town in Nebraska living my life with a six and a three year old, and not carrying a chip on my shoulder. On the other hand, there is something so profound and far-reaching about the blogging community, both literally and figuratively, that I can’t imagine that it should have been any other way.

I guess my six-word story for me would be, “Finding peace in the extra ordinary.”

WHY YES, I DO SLEEP WITH MY FEET IN A BUCKET

I’ve never felt as dirty as I do right now being pregnant. Dirty in the moral way, not the literal way.

When a couple is struggling with trying to get pregnant, the advice that comes spewing from anyone who knows they are trying is overwhelming.

Granted, most of the time, the suggestions, such as wearing boxer shorts, and certain positions, and propping up the hips are presented rather innocently even if wholly unwelcomed. Kind of like advice on how not to burn your vegetables when grilling the chicken at the same time. Of course, there’s always the pig in the bunch that’s willing to “help out”. Hey, if that’s the fantasy he needs to get his own job done, fine, but I certainly don’t need to know.

But now, I have tolerated much waggling of eyebrows and winks and fist pumping motions and not just from friends, but strangers passing me by with looks that say loud and clear, “I know what YOU have been up to”; or as a friend of mine from ages ago would say when he spotted a very pregnant woman, “She didn’t sleep with her feet in no bucket.”

My favorite  reaction was one that took place after mass on the church steps. The husband of a couple we were neighbors with at our old house told me how it seems that he just saw me a couple weeks ago and didn’t even know I was pregnant. I replied that yes, I really have popped recently. He said back to me, “That’s not all the popped, now is it?” *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

As he stood there smirking at me and my husband, I was a breath away from replying back that Mr. DD wasn’t even around when I got myself “popped”. What an asshole. An unfortunate side affect to his comment was that now I had the image of him and his cold-fish of a wife fumbling about in the dark. Gah!

It’s as if I want to tell everyone the cold, clinical details of Murdock’s conception so they can just stop imagining Mr. DD and I getting our freak on and then making nasty innuendos. Why do people think that’s appropriate?! In fact, it’s too bad that they don’t know I’m nearly back to virginal goodness and purity at this point, trust me. Well, as close as I can be considering it’s me. Whatever, back off, Smutty McSmutmouth.

no. 626 – She’s Got Balls and Ovaries

I don’t know if it makes me feel better or not to hear that Angelina Jolie  is rumored* to have used fertility drugs to help her ovulate, producing her current boy/girl twins.

I’ll chalk it up to ovary-envy.

* OK, so I’ve edited for you persnickety readers. You like potato and I like potahto; you like Gonal-F and I like Follistim, … for we need each other, so we better call the calling off off. Let’s call the whole thing off!

At least there’s no talk of her just wanting it so badly, it happened by sheer will-power or that it’s because everything she touches turns to gold. Not yet.

no. 620 – But When Do They Get Around To The Petri Dish?

We received in the mail recently a care-package from a relative. I won’t say which side of the family this relative sprouts from, but every day I thank my stars above that I somehow lucked out with the "normal" one….

In the care-package was a little book: Where Did I Come From by Peter Mayle

Oh, this is cute I thought as I flipped through the first couple of pages on the verge of flagging down XBoy to show him his new book. My brain came to screeching halt when I saw this:  Wdicfbath

What the hell do two old people taking a bath together and playing "tugboat" have to do with the point of this book??! And as an aside, anyone else notice that we get the pleasure of the man’s butt-shot in the wall mirror? Yep. That was necessary.

Then they get Grandma and Grandpa out of the tub and start describing the differences between them including the "two round bumps on her chest".  Grandma’s got quite a nice rack, wouldn’t you agree? "Some people call them the bosom….Other people call them titties, or boobs." I covered these names here in a much earlier and unrelated post.

By the way, for you parents who struggled with whether or not to use nicknames for your children’s body parts, I highly recommend you start off with the correct terminology because it’ll all go downhill once they hit Kindergarten. XBoy has known the word "penis" since the day he found it in the tub with him and just starting to talk (not the penis, but the toddler). Well just a couple days ago he mentioned something about his "wiener". So let me just take a moment to thank the parents and older siblings of the classmates in XBoy’s class for introducing that lovely word into his vocabulary. The point is teach them the technical terms early because they’ll slip into those delightful colloquialisms soon enough.

Wdicfwork Don’t think that the woman gets all the attention in the book. There’s this delightful mention of the penis: (I’m providing it as a picture since I’m sure I’ll get enough weird search hits from this post as it is…)

Then we get down to business. The sex, or as the book has it labeled, "Making Love". Did you know that "making love is like skipping. You can’t do it all day long." no matter how enjoyable the "tickling" is.  Wdicfskip

You know, there’s just no way I can do this book justice, positively or negatively. It’s garnered rave reviews for its frank humor while at the same time, it’s considered offensive to others. I must be a bit of a prude as I found it inappropriate only because too much time was put into describing sex itself.

Wdicfhug Does a 5 year old need to know it feels good? That the man "likes to be insider her" or that the woman "likes him to be insider her" or that the "big shiver" at the end is a bit like sneezing? It kind of squicked me out, to be honest.

Worse yet, the imagery in the book will somehow become part of my subconscious at the worst possible times. "Oooh, I’m going to sneeze…I’m going to sneeze!…yes, YES, I’m sneezing!!"

Now if you happen to have this book and liked it, feel free to tell me why you did (or even if you didn’t).

no. 618 – Going To Hell

I happened to be doing some "research" (I use the term loosely since I have no intent of suddenly writing a dissertation) on the Catholic’s view of IVF. Shall I just cut to the chase and give you the actual summary of their view?

"In summary, the Catholic Church condemns as gravely evil acts, both IVF in and of itself, and stem cell research performed on IVF embryos. "

Gravely Evil, people. Gravely.

LolembryosWhile they did actually include some researched data from the science of Human Embryology, it was this statement that had my grey matter firing in confusion and anger:

     "IVF violates the rights of the child: it deprives him of his filial relationship with his parental origins and can hinder the maturing of his personality. It objectively deprives conjugal fruitfulness of its unity and integrity, it brings about and manifests a rupture between genetic parenthood, gestational parenthood, and responsibility for upbringing. This threat to the unity and stability of the family is a source of dissension, disorder, and injustice in the whole of social life."

I bet the person who wrote out that little tidbit of double-talk was once an attorney (no offense to those of you in the legal field…you’re already going to hell, too).

Now the statement doesn’t even take into consideration us hellions here on earth who have pursued third-party (donor/surrogacy) reproduction. Let’s just say we are also going straight to hell; do not pass GO; and don’t even think about Purgatory.

During my aforementioned research, I stumbled upon an infertility blog being written through the eyes of a Catholic – assumed devout – woman. An RE was out of the question for her and her husband because of the Catholic church’s stand. She also mentioned that one of the few places she could go for treatment of any kind was right here in Nebraska! Pope Paul VI Institute!

While I found myself a bit chuffed that her description of the institute and their goal was to actually find a cause for her infertility as opposed to all those hell-bound REs who just are trying to gloss over the causes, the clincher in the blogger’s life was that her recent updates include the fact that she and her husband are divorcing.

Soooo….it’s OK for this couple to seek divorce, but not reproductive assistance? Now I understand that obviously if they had actually went against the church originally and sought an RE that it wouldn’t have saved the marriage. I just find a certain irony to that whole thing since it’s  encouraged for the couples to believe that their infertility is something they should accept, but a crappy marriage? Pfffftt! Nothing a little "annulment" can’t fix so that the Church will welcome them both back into the fold, while at the same time don’t you dare go about IVF so you can raise your child to be a threat to the unity and stability of the family as a source of dissension, disorder, and injustice in the whole of social life.

That would just be wrong.

Now where’s my handbasket . . .

TURNING TABLES

At 40, I am the fourth youngest woman in my department. The other three run a minimum of 9 years behind me. They are in their prime child-bearing years. One woman has three children and has claimed many times that she is done. She’s my stalker.

The youngest has an 18 month old girl and dreams of becoming a SAHM. I know it won’t be long before she becomes pregnant again and I am prepared to bite back the bitterness that I know I will feel.

The third? She has a newly-teen-aged son who she became pregnant with when she was 16. She married just a few years ago a man who just turned 40 (he is not the bio-father). I remember about two years ago when she took me aside, knowing what Mr. DD and I had been through. What we had been going through. She told me that they were going to try to have a baby.

I recall that I blogged about it because I just knew she would be pregnant within a couple of months. She was only 28 then.

Instead I listened to her each month tell me that she’s still not pregnant. First I listened politely, restraining the desire to roll my eyes. After several months, I suggested she try Fertility Friend as she had been charting her temp on paper, religiously. After several more months, while her cycles were picture perfect, she was still not pregnant.

I then remember the day she stood by my desk, tears in her eyes, telling me that her period started that weekend – and her youngest sister, unmarried and newly dating, announced she was pregnant.

Since that time, her sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy. This co-worker, who I should mention is also a very dear friend, is now helping her plan the wedding. She has stopped tracking her cycle as she thinks that she is only stressing herself out. And a few weeks ago, her other sister announced she was pregnant after only three months (“OMG, I can’t believe it took so long!”) of trying.

This past Friday was a bad day for her. Her pregnant sister, now 14 wks, forwarded her a link to one of those “week by week” pregnancy sites that included what her 14wk fetus is now doing. My friend was in tears and angry.

Her mother, knowing how difficult it has been for her, pulled her aside when her second sister first announced her pregnancy and told her, and I quote, “Try not to be ‘weird’ about it.”

As part of her history, she has not yet been tested for anything, but her husband has had a couple of SAs. While abnormally high in sperm count, did not indicate that they should have any problems getting pregnant on their own, unless there was something wrong with her.

My friend is of strong Catholic faith, and when I struggled and raged and even cursed God, she would come to His defense. There’s a plan, she would tell me.

Now? I am especially self-conscious about my own pregnancy around her, even though she has repeatedly told me that my current state doesn’t bother her like her sister’s. Having been on that side (and still my mind – am still there, no matter my physical state), I know it hurts.

Friday, when she was in tears, she admitted she didn’t want to become bitter about it, but I knew what path she was already on. However, having been there, I totally felt at loss as to how to console her. We’ve all given advice in our heads (via our blogs) to those around us on what they should say, what they should do, but to have the tables irrevocably turned….I was unsure and I felt guilty for being unsure. I even found myself biting back the cliche’, “It’ll happen.” and at the moment I had never been so disgusted with myself.

Knowing how I feel with every pregnancy announcement, I have not “crossed over”, yet I somehow feel like a hypocrite. I feel like a fraud, a poser, and I wish more than anything I had the perfect words to tell my friend that would give her encouragement and hope. Even harder is finding the right words when she and her husband are rather certain they would never seek treatment. While she is struggling to get pregnant, her mindset is somewhere I’ve never been and I feel as if I should have something better to offer then just a sympathetic ear.

no. 602 – Daytime Television

I got to stay home with XBoy yesterday as he coughed and snuffled and fevered his way through the day. I coughed and snuffled as well and found the remote oddly comforting molded to my hand. We were wholly unproductive.

I found myself perusing the DHLTH channels, including all those cutesy pregnancy stories. While I still can’t force myself to sit through A Baby Story, I did watch a little Runway Moms (being a former supermodel and all…) (don’t click through if you don’t want to be exposed to three very naked and pregnant bellies, because, wow! nothing like cliche website imaging).

One model finds out that during her 35 week ultrasound that the amniotic fluid is low. However, because she’s adamant on having her birth plan, she ignores the initial advice of her OB and requests only more monitoring. 10 days past her due date, and she now has to be induced. Baby is in NICU after swallowing meconium, but luckily, the infant recovers.

I get that women really want to go with a birth plan, which somehow almost always includes "vaginal" and "natural", but to put that before the baby? Snap out of it! This model even says something to the effect that a c-section is surgery and therefore has risks associated with it. Newsflash, honey: no birth goes without risk.

A c-section wasn’t my ideal way of delivering XBoy, but I didn’t burst into hysterical tears when they told me that’s what was going to happen, like a lot of these women do on these shows. I did not place my selfish needs above my baby’s, just so I can go to the Kindermusick session and compare episiotomy scars or forever hold over my husband’s head the old standby, "When YOU squeeze something the size of a watermelon out of your hoo-ha…" in the middle of every argument.

Alright. I totally lost track of my point here. What I wanted to really cover was how different now these shows are and their diversity. They have Birth Day, Pregnancy for Dummies, House of Babies…but other regular shows that provide more current and not-so-happy-happy-joy-joy. There’s Adoptions Stories* and The Baby Diaries, which shows how new moms and dads are given a reality check in the form of sleepless nights and what seems to be the never-ending fussiness of a newborn.

I also sat through Twins by Surrogacy** and Born with Two Mothers*** and realized I related better with these stories the feelings of loss, frustration with the system, and the technicalities that come with ART. I don’t look at these shows as capitalizing on other couples’ pain, which is surprising knowing the amount of cynicism and bitterness I have. I just wish they would stop using the term "implanted" when it comes to the embryo transfer.

* The one episode I watched is where the couple adopted from India and I was surprised that the couple never had any travel involved in their adoption. The couple? They were expecting a baby as well and no one told them they couldn’t still adopt. And people wonder why so many couples look at international adoptions.

** The narrator said that Lupron was used to stimulate egg production – wrong! And the RE didn’t put the surrogate on any meds to make sure their cycles coordinated because as sisters, they thought they were on the same menstrual cycle. Here’s my virtual *smack* upside the RE’s head.

*** While this was a reenactment based on real-life events, it felt like a documentary, which was a good thing because there wasn’t an abundance of over-acting. I liked that Dr. Drew would explain some of the legal and technical issues involved during breaks. On the downside, I really doubt the ending would have been the same if the biological parents had been Anglo, even though it’s how it should be. If you’ve seen this, you’ll know what I mean.

no. 581 – Antepartum Depression for the Maybe Baby Believer?

After my last post and another OB visit to keep the infamous Dead Baby Thoughts at bay for another 24-48 hours, I stopped by my facebook account to update. One of the options you have with facebook is adding a little blurb about what you are doing or thinking at any particular time. I added that I was dealing with "antepartum depression", thinking I had come up with some original term; a spin on postpartum depression.

One of my friends wrote on my wall: Antepartum sucks.

Because someone actually got what I was feeling, I did a quick search on antepartum depression and realized that the term I thought was made up was in fact very real. I don’t know why I thought there was no such thing, but even more interesting was that in the two and half years I’ve been reading blogs, I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning it during their pregnancy.

I don’t believe it’s because no one has ever felt it. These bloggers used all the key phrases of depression yet rarely used the word "depression" except in relationship to postpartum depression. Now I’m not self-diagnosing myself, but to have something other than "survivor’s guilt" to blame for how I’ve been feeling makes me feel less of an emotional fraud.

This article was the first I read and when I reached the list of possible triggers of APD, I was both fearful of what I could be doing to Murdock; and hopeful that maybe my inability to commit any joy to this pregnancy could be reversed.

The triggers?

  • Relationship problems
  • Family or personal history of depression
  • Fertility treatments
  • Previous pregnancy loss
  • Stressful life events
  • Complications in pregnancy
  • History of abuse or trauma

The signs?

  • Persistent sadness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Loss of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
  • Recurring thoughts of death, suicide or hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Change in eating habits

I found it reassuring that for many, light therapy can be a literal life-saver, which makes me even more thankful that every night when I drive home from work I notice a little more day light. I’m also glad that I have another appointment with my OB next week at which time I will mention this to him. It may be nothing. It may be something.

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Just to give you an idea of how little APD is taken into consideration, typepad does not recognize the word "antepartum" but does "postpartum". Also, a google search of "antepartum depression" had 2,860 results while "postpartum depression" had 3,630,000 results.

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A special thank you to those of you who said, "screw those comments being turned off, I’m contacting DD anyway." Your words, whether virtual hugs or virtual bitch-slaps, are much appreciated.