Category Archives: Infertility

November 2 – Conception

I’m dialing this in via my smart phone, so I beg of you tolerance for any wonky editing or grammatical errors sure to come.

November has never been my favorite month. I guess when it comes to not so great things that could happen, I have a one in twelve shot of it happening in November. Take for example my first miscarriage at 16 weeks. And possible my second and fourth…honestly I lost track and I try not to archive-dive unless absolutely necessary.

But today also marks the day Aitch was conceived six years ago. Before anyone prudish gets too squicked out what would be normally considered TMI, I wasn’t even present during conception and was actually 100 miles away. No Shades of Gray action going on here.

If you don’t have time to read the post itself, don’t bother; however read the comments to see if you recognize yourself.

Ambivalence is My Middle Name

It’s funny how I don’t feel like updating here anymore. Every day several times a day I think, “Hey! That would make for a great blog post!” and then? Seriously. I haven’t written a great blog post since never. Speaking of which, I started blogging August 2005.

I have no idea why I brought that up since it’s October somethingorother. Which also reminds me, I won’t be participating in NaBloMo or whatever it’s called.

Did I just hear a collective sigh of relief?

My daughter still hasn’t pooped in the potty but she’s not holding it for five days at a stretch, either. She keeps telling me “next time”. In an uncharactheristic move, she also pissed her pants while sitting on my glider-rocker. As I was stripping her down for a quick belly-button-on-down bath, I asked why she did it.

“It was an accident, Mommy! I’m sorry.” …. dramatic pause … I love you.”

I bought a couple tuttu skirts from Target thinking they’d be a novelty. However, Aitch has become so enamoured with them, I went and bought a couple more. She has worn one at least every day now. When it’s cooler, she’ll succumb to the addition of leggings, but it’s like trying to wrestle a cat into a pillowcase.

I went back for a three-month follow-up appointment with my PA. I need a refill of the paxil and ambien. The thing is is that I didn’t really want a refill of the ambien because I was anticipating my evenings just so I could TAKE the ambien. He said as long as I’m able to get up in the morning and feel rested that I’m taking it as I should. And then we talked more about my depression. Actually he asked why I thought I was depressed. I told him I wasn’t really sure, but that maybe it was the miscarriages and infertility or the pregnancy with Aitch that I was sure was going to end with a dead baby and then the loss of my job after ten years and then the cancer. Oh, and let’s not forget my son’s ADHD which makes him do things that make me so angry at everyone and everything that I’m sure my fury will result in one of those rare cases of spontaneous combustion and the only thing that will be left will be a pair of hopefully fabulous shoes and a singe mark on the ceiling.

I’m sorry. What was the question again?

He suggested, as many of you did, I seek counseling. I told him I would think about it, because you see I am still in denial. Enough so I didn’t pick up my refill of paxil and ambien. At least not yet.

Profound:

1 a. having intellectual depth and insight; b. difficult to fathom or understand

Let’s just get this out of the way right now: I am not referring to this post. Instead it was several events today that I consider profound in their individual ways.

First off, my boss gave me the task to do some research on an issue of compliance. He told me yesterday that whatever my final determination would be just that, final. The office would have to respect my decision and my “word would be law.” He was actually saying, “I’m avoiding conflict.” I slept on the issue and this morning I requested input from the corporate level via an email.

I’m not very good with emails. I tend to be brusque. Even – what was the word one of my blogging friends described me as? Oh, yes: CAUSTIC in my correspondences. I don’t bullshit. This morning I typed out my email knowing that I had to be succinct but detailed enough for him to understand the concern without a lot of back and forth. I started to include more details of the issue including names of employees and I realized the email would be recognized as getting personal, so I eliminated much of it. Coco Chanel supposedly said that before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory. I applied that concept to my email. Before I hit Send, I removed one (or two) sentences.

A couple of hours later I had my response. Happily the one I was hoping for. I wasn’t expecting for the email to be copied to the office, but it had been and I was figuratively wiping my brow in relief that I had remained professional and unbiased in my original email so the office wouldn’t say I was deliberately swaying the response my way. It was a profound moment.

Unfortunately, all was undone later when I heard that a staff member had been talking smack behind my back. The details are boring, but I did confront the coworker and we had words. Lots of words. Looking back on it the exchange on both our parts was sophomoric. We eventually came to blows an agreement and since we both are straight-shooting personalities, we’ll go directly to each other in the future. And in a strange turn, we realized not only are we both strong-willed but our family-building paths were tragically familiar. She went through four years of infertility treatments, two twin pregnancies (losing both sets as well as a tube when one of the twins was a hidden tubal), a term pregnancy (healthy baby girl who is studying to be a doctor), cancer, and a hysterectomy.

Yes, that all came out in a single conversation. It was, say it with me, PROFOUND.

And finally on a much lighter note that involves the adventures of potty training, Aitch announced as we turned down our lane that she had gone potty in the carseat. *groan!* When we got home, she had a couple more accidents including a piddle on the living room carpet, which I have emblazoned into my memory for total recall when I start thinking how great it’d be to have a PUPPY! (nevernevernevernevernever….) She had been doing so well these past couple weeks except for the whole BM thing. She’d request a diaper for that, which I didn’t have a problem with. I’d rather that than her get constipated.

After supper, and the two prior accidents, she announced she has to go potty and ran to the bathroom. Sparring Partner was on duty, but within moments I heard, “Uh, mommy? Mommy?!” In his way, SP was beckoning me to join him in the bathroom (now there’s a sentence I thought I’d never have to write). I found Aitch sitting on the potty with tears in her eyes. “I’m scared of the poop! I don’t want to poop in a diaper! I’m scared! Noooo!!” and big, fat tears plopped off her red cheeks and onto her lap.

I rubbed her back and stroked her arms letting her know it was OK, and she eventually stood up and turned to look at what was her first BM at home. Gross, I know, but we made a big deal of her accomplishment and she quickly calmed down. She expelled a big breath and said, “I feel better now!”

I am so proud of her. She was proud of herself. Oddly enough, her fear/excitement and our need to assure her of her bodily functions were...profound.

Stand Up By Sitting Down

If I had stayed pregnant the second time with the girl I named Vivienne, and she had made it to her due date, she’d be six this Mother’s Day.

I just set aside the box I keep hidden in plain sight that contains the ultrasound pictures, the congratulatory cards, the surgical report, the sympathy cards, the card with her foot- and hand-prints. I looked through it while my son played a video game next to me, oblivious to the tears that pooled in my eyes but never fell.

Some friends on Facebook shared a link today: Empty Arms on Mother’s Day. It talks about the rose ceremony at church as part of the recognition of the Mothers attending. This tradition as well as the one our church partakes in – the request for Mothers to stand and receive a blessing en masse – make my heart ache.

I am lucky to be a Mother, but my solidarity lies with those women who are not invited to stand; who are not handed a flower.

I will stand up for those who can’t by remaining seated. Will you?

NIAW – Repressed

A high-school friend of Sparring Partner’s and her husband came to visit us over the weekend. We don’t hear from them often as she’s often jet-setting around the globe, but a few weeks ago during a long phone conversation she admitted to SP that they had gone to our very own reproductive endocrinologist for a donor egg cycle as well as an attempt at a subsequent frozen embryo transfer. She did not get pregnant. Dee (let’s call her Dee, shall we?) asked if at a later date she could pick my brain about it, and of course I’m always up for a good brain-picking.

While they were visiting the topic did turn to infertility and going through treatments. We compared notes and swapped horror stories about progesterone in oil (PIO) shots. I shared the time I had hit a vein (or something) with the needle and blood shot out of the hole on my ass; she shared how she had to have an infected subcutaneous mass, which was most likely due to her PIO shots, surgically removed from her ass. She won that “Which Sucks More” contest. We went on to compare costs, the number of eggs retrieved and transferred, protocol, etc., etc. Dee and her husband are now considering adoption and overseas surrogacy.

After they left, Sparring Partner told me that our conversation had brought up a lot of unpleasant memories for him. Things he admits he had forgotten about. Was glad to have forgotten. I can’t say I blame him.

These are not things I think about every day. Not any more, and for that you have no idea how relieved we both are. My life revolved around infertility and miscarriages from November 2004 until July 2008, just a little over four years. For some, a very short time; for others? An unimaginable waste of time and energy. Reading posts from my old blog always brings back very painful memories. Some so painful, I wonder how in the world could I have forgotten them until the moment I read those words again. Forgotten is probably not the best word for it: Repressed is more accurate, don’t you think?

I read very few infertility blogs now. When my friend Serenity wrote about an anonymous commenter suggesting she should be happy with what she’s already got (paraphrased in regards to secondary infertility (SIF)), I got my rage on. I remember tackling that topic so many times and reading her words once again brought out all those feelings I had repressed. I dug again in my archives and stumbled into one of my posts that actually was never published on my blog, but through a blog that no longer exists, created by Dawn Friedman. To create the link, I have now published it on my old blog (which if you still have in your reader, you’ve already seen). I would really love for you to go read it as I think it’s one of my better posts when it comes to SIF.

Dee’s visit coincided with this week being National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), April 24 – 30, 2011. I don’t advocate myself as much as I use to when it comes to infertility, and in many ways I regret that because the camaraderie and support from my fellow IF bloggers was (and still is!) second to none. However, at some point, I’ve both consciously and subconsciously made decisions that distance myself in order to protect what is left of my sanity. New worries and concerns (a son with ADHD and possibly ODD) (cancer) (eventually a child who needs to know her donor story) replace what has been archived. But I will always – ALWAYS – make myself available for questions, conversations, and debate when it comes to infertility and miscarriage issues.

I am grateful that I don’t have to deal with infertility issues every day like I did in the “good ole’ days”, but I am more grateful that when they do come up, I can offer a shoulder, words of encouragement, and most importantly when it comes to infertility – an ear to just listen.

28 of 30: It Shouldn’t Be a Secret

Today I was catching up with my reader, and since it’s Sunday, the weekly addition to PostSecrets was there waiting for me. It happens on occasion that a secret will appear that is infertility or miscarriage related that seems to always strike a chord of commiseration with me. Sadly, today, there was another one that was related to secondary infertility, something I know all TOO well.

This one infuriates me almost beyond words.

Thank goodness he’s at peace with his secret; with his life-altering decision. But obviously his wife will be forever altered negatively as it will be her that moves forward in life believing herself to be the failure in their quest to expand their family.

This husband is a nutless wonder, both literally and figuratively. “…getting it regularly…” is where his priority lies while every CD1 his wife probably quietly sobs in the bathroom out of earshot of their only child and wonders why god has punished her.

I hope she ends up in an affair and gets pregnant.

And for anyone who thinks as a couple’s infertility testing is expensive? Might I recommend a semen analysis (SA), which can cost anywhere between $100 – 200. Ironically, the least expensive diagnostic testing when it comes to infertility is the testing available to men. Maybe someday soon, the wife in this relationship will realize this.

6 of 30: Hot Glue and Glitter Make Me Cry

I was actually ahead by two posts for a couple of days there, having scheduled at least one post a day in advance, but today (now yesterday because I am/I have scheduled this post to publish approximately 6 hours ahead), I spent it driving four hours on the road so that I could take my mother to the craft show in The Metro.

Always a love/hate experience for me. I love crafts and arts. I hate that they hold it in November. Back in 2004, this annual craft show was my first public outing after my first miscarriage. I really, really tried to find comfort in being around two of my sisters and my mom – girl-time – as we strolled past booth after booth. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help but think, “If I was still pregnant, I would have bought this picture frame; this Christmas decoration; this quilt…” At that time, even watching my mom try to decide what kind of ornaments to get the grandchildren was like a rusty dagger in my shattered heart.

I also couldn’t keep from tearing up every time I saw a pregnant woman or a newborn, snuggled into a woman’s arms while she used the stroller as a makeshift cart. Sights and sounds that were commonly ignored were jarring on my hypersensitive nerves. That day, I excused myself from my family around the half-way point. I just wasn’t strong enough, less than two weeks from the day I was told, “I’m sorry, but there’s no heartbeat.”

In the next couple of years, I declined the invitations to go. Then about two years ago, I agreed to take my mom to it again. It was still difficult, but tolerable. Like having a root canal with a completely numbed mouth. You can’t feel the acute pain, but you know something unpleasant is going on and your brain can’t suspend the reality.

It was like that this year as well. I can’t imagine it NOT hurting just a little bit. I don’t wonder what’s wrong with me for not being able to disassociate this event with my first miscarriage from six years ago, a girl, at almost 16 weeks. Instead, I would have to wonder what was wrong with me if I didn’t remember; if I didn’t feel some pain and sadness.