Friday, August 26, 2011

9 Things I Shouldn't Have To Deal With As An Infertile

It seems unfair that while going through my daily life not only do I have to deal with normal day-to-day crappy things that everyone must endure but I must simultaneously (and might I add incessantly) deal with the fact that I am infertile, childless, damaged, etc. So I have decided to make a list of things that I feel I should not have to deal with as an infertile. Enjoy.

1. Cramps. Cramps only add insult to injury when every month my period is a reminder that I am not pregnant (again!!). I can deal with the tampons/pads etc., what I cannot deal with is the fact that I have to be in undeniable pain for at least the first 24 hours of said period. At this point in my infertility story, I understand that month after month, AF will undoubtedly rear her ugly head and I will be disappointed, but the cramps are just a slap in the face!

2. Work. I manage a clothing store where our target customer is age 18-25, which also happens to be the prime age for baby making (except in my case of course). So on a daily basis, I get to help pregnant teens and newlyweds find clothes to fit over their new baby bumps. The excessive number of pregnant teens I see in my store every day convinces me that this world makes no damn sense. Then there are the women complaining about how they’re fat and sick and their feet are swollen because of their pregnancy (it's so tough and they're so tired). And all the while I have to sit there and help them find things to make them feel better about their awful circumstance.  (Now you probably understand why I’m working on a career change). Therefore I think I should be able to collect some kind of unemployment/disability pay on the grounds of infertility.

3. The flu/any common cold. Every time I have a sniffle or a bout of nausea after ovulation I assume (pray) that it is an early pregnancy symptom. I obsess over every sore throat, every stomach rumble, every headache until the moment when AF comes. It is simply unfair to have to be tricked by my own body into believing some kind of miracle has occurred and I am suddenly pregnant. Not to mention the fact that using a sick day from work because of a cold makes me want to scream when I would much rather use a sick day when I’m having a nervous breakdown over infertility.

4. Jury duty. Any mother who is suspected of harming her child, being neglectful, being selfish, child endangerment…they’re all guilty in my mind. (I should add that I believe any parent who has committed a crime has endangered the welfare of their child). Do they ask as a part of weeding out possible jurors whether or not you’re hopped up on infertility meds and a crazy, emotional biotch?? Enough said.

5. In-laws. Some IFs out there may have amazing, supportive, loving happy for you!!! My in-laws, unfortunately, are the epitomy of unsupportive, negative, hateful, ignorant (getting the picture?). It has been made quite clear to me that my husband and I will never get the kind of love from them that we deserve, and yet we still find ourselves hurt by them when they’re unsupportive. My MIL loves to kick me while I’m down, and because I’m already at my worst, I am unable to respond in a rational manner. So it is just best that I not have to deal with my in-laws while I continue to be infertile. And if that is forever, so be it ;)

6. Speeding tickets. Police officers, I assume, are not trained to deal with infertile women who are overly emotional due to IF meds or right after a BFN. I can’t promise that when being pulled over I will not burst out into tears and, when the officer is less than sympathetic, end up being arrested for assault. What if I am speeding because I am on the way to an IUI with a vial of my husband’s best sperm in my bra?? We just can’t have that.

7. Waiting in the same waiting room with all the pregnant women at the OB. THERE SHOULD BE A SEPARATE WAITING ROOM FOR INFERTILES!!!!! Why should I have to sit there while they muse over their sonogram photos of their “little peanut” with their entire family??? Is it not enough that I’m having to get a sonogram (which for an infertile consists of a wand up your hooha) with only pictures of my creepy looking ovaries and zero baby, but now I have to sit here and listen to how excited your are about your pregnancy? Are you f-ing kidding me????? It’s not their fault, and when it is finally my turn I will be right there just as (if not more) excited to see my little nugget, but hello doctors, a little sensitivity please!! The time I had to wait in the waiting room for my second IUI with a girl that I went to high school with (who had been married for a month) and was pregnant was unbearable.

8. Movies who’s storylines include a surprise pregnancy. A LITTLE BIT OF WARNING WOULD BE NICE! I go to the movies to forget about my problems, have a laugh, and enjoy myself. Then BAM a surprise pregnancy! They’re always so surprised and upset, “what am I going to do??” Even the movies recently that include ART are not about infertiles per say but about women who have no found the right mate and choose insemination. It’s not enough that every time I turn around another celebrity is pregnant, but they’re playing pregnant women in the movies as well! Someone posted on another website, “Didn’t you know? Celebs have better boobs and better eggs. Just a fact.”

9. Wrinkles. I understand wrinkles come from stressing over your children, so no children, no wrinkles right?? It seems to me that it would only fair if I never have children that I should get to look young forever. Then when women look at me with that pity in their eyes saying, "Oh, that's Kendra, she's barren, poor thing" it will be followed by the exclamation, "she sure does look good though!!!!" Plus it is unfair to have to spend so much money on "elective" IF procedures and still end up having to pay some doctor for botox or, God forbid, a face lift. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Infertility Story All Wrapped Up In A Bow...

I just went through and added a timeline to my blog. So there it is, My Infertility Story all wrapped up with a neat little bow. I think it is helpful to break down what I've tried/been through for other IFs who visit my blog. Not only a way to catch up quickly, but also to show what has (or up to this point, hasn't) worked for me. I'm not sure why, but writing my story in that way feels like I'm diluting what I've been through over the past three years. 29 months of BFNs. 29 months of feeling like a failure. 29 months of getting my hopes up and then being crushed. Yes, some months have been easier than others. But the months that are really bad, wow. I can still feel that pain from last year when our first IUI didn't work like it was yesterday. All of those negative pregnancy tests and just sitting there in the bathroom crying and praying for another little pink line to appear. Oh those two illusive pink lines. How I have yearned for them.

My last post was about using this blog to compartmentalize IF in an attempt keep it from interfering with all of the happy parts of my life. But maybe, just maybe IF has affected more of me than I can even understand at this point. Maybe IF has touched every part of me and really changed who I am.

I am trying to carve out a space in my life where I can find happiness no matter what is going on around me that I can't control. A place where whether I continue my life childless or not, I can still find a way to be happy. I don't know exactly what that looks like yet, but I think it starts with looking at the battle scars I've acquired and deciding that they have brought me to this point, they have made me this person, and she's no so bad! Women are basically programmed by our society to be insecure. Maybe going through these failures and heartbreaks will make me unbreakable. Maybe I will come out of this as some kind of self-aware, secure, compassionate Superwoman!?!?!

Well, here's hoping there is more out there for me than a bunch of negative pregnancy tests and bathroom tears!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Knock on Wood

Well as soon as I asked the question "Will it last?" I was given the abrupt answer of, "NO!" It is as if the decision of taking time off from infertility treatment was made and then my mind quickly dismissed it. I'm not saying that I'm going to call the RE tomorrow, I'm still firm in my decision (what can I say, maybe I'm stubborn), but I'm still combing the internet for diagnosis and treatment options. There is no way that I'm ever going to accept that I could be childless forever. Not gonna' happen. However, giving this problem to God is much easier said than done. I read about all of these women who have tried and tried for a baby and finally get pregnant. Yes it is a miracle, but more often than not it is the result of fertility treatments. I just feel so jaded by the medical community right now. I feel like I wasn't taken seriously in the beginning because of my age (I was just 23 when this all began) and now I just don't trust that their treatment suggestions are productive.

I'm not saying I'm keen on the idea of taking a couple of years off to "see what happens" but I feel like it is honestly the healthiest thing for me to do. I think that is the rational part of me that is having the biggest problem with all of this. I am beginning hair school in September to follow my dreams and head to a new career. Unfortunately, my insurance at my current job is amazing and has paid for so much of this treatment and I will have to switch to my husband's crappy insurance once I leave my job (approx 18mos from now). I just don't want to make a decision based on finances. But I am seriously stressed about the decision I have made. Will I decide two years from now that I want to do the same crap (Femera, IUI, lap surgery, etc.) and have to pay an arm and a leg for it when I could do it now and let my insurance pay? It may sound as if I am wavering in my decision and I assure you I am not. This blog is for me to vent my frustrations and get some of my crazy thoughts off my chest so that I can be at peace. This is what is going on in my mind right now. I saw this old post on another blog and thought it was so beautifully said that I just had to copy it:

In my first post, I talk about how this blog is a way to compartmentalize my infertility. Instead of allowing it to seep into every relationship, every thought, and every thing like I did the first time around -- I wanted to get it all out here and leave the joyful areas of my life alone.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I was just thinking about the label "Infertile". The "Medical Community" says that if you have been having unprotected sex for one year and have not conceived, you are "Infertile". So therefore, I am "Infertile"! Here's my problem...what is the cause of my infertility??? Okay, I know that there are all kinds of statistics about "unexplained infertility"...bla bla bla. I just want to know why/how I have spent thousands of dollars and 2.5 years being "Infertile" and no one can tell me for sure why? It is absolutely infuriating! These doctors have been so quick to prescribe treatments for the infertility, but could somebody please try to figure out what the cause of the infertility is and treat that!!!

So this brings me to the conclusion that it no longer makes sense for me to give doctors my hard earned money when they have given me NOTHING in return!!! I know I haven't had the FULL work-up, so I can't completely blame the doctors, but I guess there's something about a $2000 hysterosalpingogram that my insurance doesn't cover or "exploratory surgery" to see if I have endo that makes my stomach crawl a bit! I realize that this all makes me sound as if I'm trying to buy a baby and that is not the case (although the thought has crossed my mind), but thinking about it, if I was to give Louis Vuitton thousands of dollars, I would expect a pretty fabulous handbag in return! These doctors have given me NOTHING! Not a diagnosis, not a reasonable treatment plan (because there has been no diagnosis), and certainly not a baby! Therefore, no more money for you doctors!! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Will It Last?

I don't know if anyone is even reading this blog, but my intent in creating it was not only to help others, but to help myself. This blog not only provides a space for catharsis of emotions that this process has produced but also a space for creativity. I am innately a very stressed out, neurotic, obsessive, controlling personality. I am constantly overthinking every second of my life. This blog has given me a space to voice these emotions/fears/stresses without worry. I can send thoughts out into the world so that they no longer torment me.

That said, I feel as though I have found a space of peace in my life, mind, soul and body...but how long will it last? I'm always looking at tomorrow and wondering what it will bring, and this is no different. Even when I'm happy and everything is wonderful, I'm waiting for the bottom to fall out. I wish I wasn't this way. I don't think we can change who we are, but I do believe we can change how we think! So I pledge to myself that I will continue on a road of peace and strength. When I begin to doubt myself and my decisions, I will remind myself that God has a plan for me and He can make overnight changes! I can't look to the world (ie. doctors, shopping, vacations, things...) for peace, I have to find it in God, in myself.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It Could Be Worse!?!

You may have ready my post about "Things People Say" when you're TTC that are hurtful (whether intentionally or not). I mentioned my sister-in-law and the fact that she had been less than supportive of our infertility. She and I have had a strained relationship from day one, to say the least. It is a situation where we both want to make it work, but we also both have very strong personalities and even stronger opinions. This compacted with the fact that my mother-in-law and I haven't been on speaking terms for about a year and a half makes this all super fun! So my SIL and her husband were trying to have a baby for a little less than a year (she says they were only "trying" for one month) and in June she found out they were expecting. Here's where things get tricky! She decided to use this monumental moment in her own life to try to get the family back together (my husband doesn't speak to his mother either). I know that she had the best of intentions, but my infertile mind was like "Of course she wants everyone to be a happy's convenient for her!!!" I was extremely bitter and upset for about a week. I know it's ridiculous, but she and her husband have been together for a minute and trying for half a second and they're pregnant???? Plus the fact that she's 30 and supposedly has PCOS!!

So once I got over the jealousy/frustration/hurt/infertile craziness/etc. I congratulated them, sent a card and moved on. The weird part is that because my husband has been inundated with infertility facts for two years now, his first reaction was "Why are they telling everyone after four weeks anyway?" He knows the stats on early miscarriages. So at 6 weeks she went in for a sonogram (because she had started bleeding and wanted to make sure all was well) and everything looked perfect. The doctor wanted her to come in at 7 weeks just to ease her mind if the bleeding didn't stop. Sadly, at 7 weeks, they discovered that the fetus had stopped growing. Her HCG levels were still progressing, but the fetus hadn't grown since the 6 week sonogram. She didn't want to have the D&C (which I totally understand) and was hoping that nature would take care of things. Unfortunately, her body didn't realize that she wasn't pregnant and she was still experiencing morning sickness and the whole thing. No one likes to throw up, but I think if it's because you're pregnant, it's probably much easier to take. This however, would be unbearable I imagine...insult to injury. It's like week 9 now (I think) and she is going for the D&C tomorrow, her doctor told her her body just hadn't figured it out and may never. I feel so sad and so hurt for her right now.

I've said through this whole thing that I would rather never conceive than lose a baby. I can't imagine going through the excitement of seeing those two beautiful pink lines and knowing that your body is creating a miracle just to lose it. I would be devastated. The silver lining for her is that her doctors are now telling her that she does not have PCOS! They got pregnant the first month they were really "trying" so there is a good chance that they will get pregnant again. I guess everyone's journey is different and filled with struggles, so compassion is the lesson for me. I was so upset when I found out they were pregnant, not because I wasn't happy for them, but because I was sad for us!! And now, I just feel sad for everyone...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Made it Through AF

AF came last week like a tornado! The good news is, there were only three days of spotting before (usually its two weeks of spotting from O to AF). Of course, even though we weren't really "trying" last month, there was that part of my mind that was like "Yay! No spotting? Maybe I'm pregnant?!?!" I know, I know, but at what point will those thoughts stop tempting me? Anyway, I had an INSANE headache the day before she came to town! I took over 3000mg of tylenol (the only time I ever take tylenol or any pain medication is for cramps) and I was still in pain between the headache and the cramps! Then two more easy days and over. So of course I'm thinking "Maybe I'm cured?!?"

Is it ridiculous to think that after all I've been through, my body just needed more time to figure things out? If I look back, I gave it less than 6mos after I got off birth control with very little "trying" before we started all of the natural stuff (vitex, teas, bbt, opks, etc). Then at 7-8mos (it's hard to keep it all straight at this point) I missed my period and that got the ball rolling to really "trying". I then started the acupuncture and all of the herbs. At one year, we went straight to the urologist to get my husband tested (test wasn't so great) and after that it was on to the Clomid crazy train. Here we are, 2.5 years later and I'm wondering if we had just let it go and let things happen naturally if we would have a baby right now! I know it's irrational and unhealthy, but I'm still always finding ways to blame myself. Did I rush things? I find comfort in knowing that God has a plan for my life. I know that we have grown as individuals and as a couple through this journey, but I'm so tempted to want to think that I have control over things. It's so silly because if this whole thing has taught me anything it's that I'm not in control, but I'm sitting here thinking, "Did my want for control cause all of this to begin with?"

So AF came and went and I stuck to my decision not to call the doctor to start Femera and schedule an IUI, but that doesn't mean the thought did not cross my mind. It definitely did...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Still Standing Firm

I'm still a little afraid that I will regret the decision I have made to go rogue and not start the infertility drugs again, but I am standing firm in my resolve. After a lot of tears and even more prayer, I really feel that it is the right thing for me to do. I feel bad mostly for my husband. Here is how our journey has been: He wanted to start trying to have a baby, I wasn't ready. Then I was ready, it was fun for a few months and then I began to panic. All of our friends were getting pregnant and we weren't. So then we started trying all of the natural things to improve infertility. They didn't work. So then we started with the doctors. Clomid made me crazy, and my husband had to deal. I decided that we needed to see a new doctor and he agreed. NOW I decided that I don't want to do it anymore. It makes me feel so selfish. The thing is though that it is my body, therefore my decision. It is me that has to go to work hopped up on hormones and crazy and still deal with coworkers, employees and customers. We haven't really discussed much more than just that we aren't starting Femera this month. I think he doubts my resolve and believes that I will change my mind when the time comes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Done Fighting

I am about to say/write something that I don't fully understand, but here goes...My husband and I have been really happy together for the last few months. Very inactively talking to the RE and planning our next moves but not yet making them. And as the day that I am supposed to start taking this new fertility drug approaches, I've had a looming sense that there is a decision I am meant to make. This past May I graduated from college with my bachelor's degree. I decided that I was not going to use said degree and that I would instead follow my dream of going to hair school. I have a great job right now where I make good money and have great insurance, but that does not feed my soul. So all summer I've been going over and over in my head this timeline of beginning infertility treatments again, starting school, and working full time. Here are my fears: 1. this drug will make me as crazy as clomid did 2. it won't work and I will have set us up for yet another failure 3. it will work and I will be too busy with work and school to be able to enjoy being pregnant. I talk a lot about my fears. They consume me sometimes and I feel that I am constantly at battle with them. I feel that there is some war that I have been training for my whole life and I have spent 25 years fighting in preparation, but I don't know if this is a battle I can continue fighting. I have been trying and trying to give this up to God and to trust Him enough to know that I can do nothing and if He intends for us to have a child we will, but the fighter and the control freak in me say that if I don't keep fighting, I will have wasted valuable time and I will just end up back here anyway. But I have to wonder if this yearning for a baby has turned into a seeking of God for a reason. Should I be seeking peace and with peace will come all of life's desires? And maybe God knows that I won't be happy with becoming a mother this way? Maybe He knows better that I do that I won't be able to enjoy it as much as I want to if it happens now? And then there is that annoying voice that lingers in my head and says that maybe if we stop trying we really will get pregnant. 

A friend of mine recently said to me that she is "too old and practiced in punishment to be interested in it anymore". It got me to thinking about all of the ways that I punish myself. I have been at war with my body for almost three years now. But how can my mind be at war with my body? And is there a difference between the mind and the soul? I've been talking it through and I think the problem with me is that I am so in tune with my soul that there is a disconnect for me between the three (mind, body and soul) and I have been at war with not only my body but my mind that wants to makes a completely irrational situation rational. It is my mind that tells me that it's just as simple as going to a doctor and taking a pill and that it makes perfect sense that a doctor should be able to fix my broken body. My soul tells me a completely different story. My soul tells me that this is a journey that God has sent me on that I could not have gone about without all of these difficult moments that will lead me to the peace that can only be found in Him. The truth that I know is that it wouldn't matter right now if I had the most beautiful twin babies in the next room, my life is not what I want it to be right now. I'm not saying that there is a perfect world out there for me that I need to find first, but that I need to find contentment in what I have now before I will be able to appreciate what more could be. I want to get to a place when I, like my friend "don't see milestones or accomplishments, just a fulfilling, steady, unexciting but centered walk". 

So how did this epiphany come about? I was really trying to work through all of these things late last night before bed. It was as if the answer was just outside the rim of my understanding. All night I had vivid dreams of tribulation and turmoil and woke up with a lump in my throat. This is what I dreamed: I was running through the streets with a tornado following me. I believed the tornado was my husband. I could feel how angry everyone around me was because this tornado that was meant for me was causing so much danger and destruction. Once I finally got to safety (in a movie theatre with a large crowd), I felt this overwhelming feeling of failure through the crowd's anger at me. And then suddenly my husband walked in and I realized he was not the tornado. He was not coming after me to hurt me. And maybe everyone in the room hated him just as much as they hated me. I'm not sure if the tornado was God or if the tornado was fear, but all I know is that I was no longer afraid of it. God gave me my husband as a partner to get through the fear. Even if the whole world hated us, we had each other. I think until this point I had been dealing with this decision all on my own because I didn't want to disappoint my husband. But the dream made me realize that I was wasting energy on an unnecessary fear. 

So my decision is to stop fighting and to seek peace. This is no longer just my infertility story, but my search for peace and centeredness. I still desperately want to be a mother, I'm just not going to give any more power (or money) to something that is out of my control. I am going to put my faith in God instead of doctors.