Category Archives: Fertile Fudgery (Hizn)

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.

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

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.

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.

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 . . .