Thursday, December 30, 2010

A nice break

Every once and a while, I'm able to confirm my husband actually digests what I say to him. ;)  Yesterday, he did just that.  I was whining about having to go to work in the middle of a rainstorm so he said, "Let's take a mental health day."  I love mental health days!!!  Being from another generation of I think, harder workers, my husband hadn't heard of mental health days and would look at me disappointingly when I would tell him I was staying home from work just because I was blue.  His job doesn't really work in the rain so it was a perfect day to sneak in a mini-holiday.

We saw two movies and took a lunch break in between and had soup.  True Grit was in the morning and The Fighter in the afternoon.  I really loved both movies and they're very different.  I hadn't seen the trailer for The Fighter and on the way to the theatre I was bemoaning yet another boxing movie but I was really blown away by this guy's life.  Go see it if you haven't.

After dinner I told my husband that we deserved great bedsheets.  We already have three sets, one from Cos.tco (yuck), and two I got from the Marshal.ls bargain bin.  One of those sets is great but the other pills badly despite the comfortable material.  So, we headed to everyone's favorite shop, Bed Bath and Beyo.nd and got (again on discount) but some really beautiful Wamsutta sheets that retailed for a lot and we got about 40% off.  Not too bad.  Although my husband didn't appreciate me putting the sheets on the bed at 10:30pm.  :)

We also stopped at Bev..Mo, also everyone's favorite.  We needed apple pucker to make apple martinis at home. The test run last night used 2 oz. vodka and 1 oz. apple pucker.  I could really taste the vodka which wasn't necessarily bad but I like mine sweeter.  Tonight, I'll probably increase the pucker to 1 1/2 oz. and see how that goes.

My husband asked this morning, "Are you happy?  I'm putting a lot of effort into trying to get you to be happier."  So sweet.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why do I bother?

In my new policy of openness, I've had more successes than failures.  Success is usually measured by a response of, "I'll be praying for you" and leaving it at that.  Failure is when people try to diagnose your problems because they think they know something about getting pregnant that I don't.

The latest incident was last night when the husband and I met our mentor married couple for dinner.  Before we got married, we did the mentor couple class and not Engaged Encounter.  It wasn't until we were leaving the restaurant and saying our goodbyes when I told her I would be praying for them (they are travelling a bunch) and asked her to pray for us because "we're having a hard time getting pregnant."  She let out a big, "Ohhhh...."  And that's when I thought she'd look deep into my eyes and say, "Yes, I will pray for you."

But, that's not what happened.  After the Ohhhh, she said, "you need to read Sup.er.nat.ural Chil.d.birth.  It's not just about child.b.irth but about conception and knowing God's will."  My immediate thought was, "I'm an idiot, this woman had fo..ur kids and ninete.en grandchildren.  What the heck does she know about infertility, her offspring can't not have kids?"

I looked up the book after we got home and it's basically a testimonial.  That's fine, I just can't be bothered right now.  Thank you, prayer ladies who think of me despite my terribly bad attitude. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

I wanna act like it's all terrific.

Before the self-pity...  I've been praying for http://my-vocation-is-love.blogspot.com/!  She was so sweet to apologize to me because "my blog is so lame!"  Never say you're sorry!!!!  I held her up in prayer and hope she saw some fruits of that.  And thanks to Christina at Faith for Fertility who prayed for me despite her own pain during Advent; a true saint!

Back to feeling sorry for myself.  The title is not true, actually.  It used to be that way for me but I'm tired of hiding the depression.  I told my MIL on Christmas Eve that I'm pretty much depressed all the time.  It's a combination of winter (I hate winter) and the infertility.  My husband is constantly asking why I'm depressed and tells me that I shouldn't be depressed because I have such a great life.  He doesn't realize there's no "should" in depression.  I've been meaning to call the shrink I used to use several years ago.  Depending on how TTC #15 turns out, I'll decide whether to press forward.  It can't hurt.

My patience for my family and friends is very low.  They seem to think I care about the mundane details of life like Christmas gifts arriving on time, the quality of the food I made, etc.  I think about writing an email to them telling them not to take my lack of interest personally, but I can't be motivated to do that.  It might be forced into it since I haven't spoken to my brother in over a year (he was deployed.)

Today is P+9.  I missed the P+7 blood draw because it was on Christmas Day.  Maybe next month.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"My therapist said not to see you no more"

I stole that line from a James song, Laid.  The song's really catchy and the lyrics I find are kinda profound.  Anyway, I'm dangerously close to losing equilibrium.  Maybe it's just the season but I'm thinking I need to concentrate on Advent.  I'm letting TTC take over my life and that's no good.  I've decided to take a blog break.

I'll be back once I get back on my feet.  I'm sorry prayer buddy for checking out at this point, and to my other prayer buddy who is known to me, I'm still thinking and praying about you everyday though you don't know it yet.

Happy Advent and Merry Christmas to everyone who reads!!!

I'm a bad cat companion

Trixie called and said in order to prescribe a HCG trigger, I'd have to be doing daily ultrasounds to know when the trigger would be done.  She also wanted me to use B-6 and add Mucinex.  I can't acquire the B-6 in time for this cycle [Thank you for the advice on where to get it below!!!] and I'm not at all wanting to try Mucinex again since it made the CM really watery last time.  I think this all makes me HATE the almost singular focus of NaPro practitioners on CM.  Yes, it's what NFP is based on but did anyone think that women obsessing over it is a healthy way to go?  I'm rendered utterly insecure every cycle when I have less than 10KL AD.  If a lack of peak-type mucus is making me infertile, I'm more than willing to do an IUI and bypass this whole thing.

On to other topics, last night my cat threw up lots of blood.  She seems fine and happily goes about her lazy day but that didn't stop me from crying as a dried my hair this morning.  I took her to the vet and I got some stomach-coating stuff, they did a kitty blood draw and a urine dip stick.  The vet thinks she might have stomach ulcers and recommended a $150 x-ray but I politely declined since I know full well that ulcers are not seen on an x-ray.  I knocked a $450 bill down to $262 with careful examination.

I've had my cat for 11 years or so.  I often forget just how long we've been together because it's been a relatively easy relationship.  Sure, she's combative and frequently poops outside the box, but she's got a resilient spirit and is very friendly at people parties.  When I lived alone during my single years, she was my roommate.  Her formerly mentioned behavior angers my husband to no end and the cat is a constant source of tension between us.  It's confusing to me because before we got married, when I lived in my apartment and my husband lived in his, he would often let the cat lie on his lap, lay on my bed and cuddle with her, and he'd do the baby-talk thing.  I have videos of this which I watch from time to time when I need a reminder of happy memories.

After we got married, my husband tried to put all kinds of restrictions on the cat.  She couldn't come inside the house, she should be an outdoor cat (for eight years, she was an exclusive indoor cat), and he would refer to her as "my cat" and not "our cat."  He even sometimes makes a kicking motion very near to her which upsets me.  I'm an animal person and my husband is not.  He can't be perfect, I guess.

For the last few years, I've been terribly neglectful of my faithful companion.  Yes, I shelter her and keep her warm in the cold, feed her good kitty food, make sure she has plenty of fresh water, and care for her litter box but I don't spend nearly any time with her when I get home from work at night.  She deserves better than me and it really makes me feel like a failure.  I love her in theory but am not strong enough to put that into practice.

So while this causes me great pain, I try to put things in perspective and realize that marriage is sometimes a total downer and I didn't get married to a person who was going to agree on how to care for and treat animals.  Apparently, this was not a deal breaker for me.

In my angry moments, I tell my husband that I'll resent him heavily when the cat dies.  I've resigned myself to the idea that I'll never have another pet while my husband is alive.  No amount of joy from owning a pet could make up for the grief I get about caring for one.  It's just the way things are.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Some things coming together

I LOVE how the misfit writes.  While posts of her length could well take me two hours, I suspect she can write heartfelt, deep, humorous, and super lengthy posts in about ten minutes.  Kudos!!!  What she said in her latest post is absolutely hilarious.  I quote her here:
I don't want anyone [at my doctor's practice] to bless my day ever again. If I want a blessing, I'll talk to a priest (oh, with whom I had to cancel my spiritual direction appointment this week because they cannot "fit me in" in a way that will allow me to use sick leave rather than an entire day off). I don't care if they say a nightly Rosary for the intention that my soul be consigned to eternal fire. I don't care if they sacrifice to idols. JUST DO YOUR DAMN JOB.
I find this particularly good for me because although Dr. Stig.en's office staff are pretty responsive, they never bless me or even mention Christianity beyond the practice name.  Nobody prayed with me before my surgery and no one even mentioned that I might like an anointing of the sick (as a convert, my memory of the sacraments is not so hot.)  But perhaps Trixie is damning me every night or every time I call to remind her I'm infertile and damn it, I matter.  And what really drove the point home for me was when my dear, sweet husband even said to Dr. St.igen at the post-surgery appointment, "Can I ask you a question?  Are you Catholic?"

Monday, December 6, 2010

B-6 Question!

Trixie called back and I'm cleared for 50mg today.  Yee Haw!  Dr. Sti.gen wants me to keep taking the Fertile CM and vitamin B-6 and get the P+7 blood draw.  Fertile CM and the blood draw I can do, however I'm hard pressed to find a high enough dose of B-6.  My local health food store only has 100mg and I don't think they are sustained release.

Does anyone have an online supplier for 500mg of B-6?  Even though it did nothing for me in the past, I want to try and be compliant this time.

Torn

Should I be patient?
Do I feel anxious because I'm competing against someone else?
Do I need to calm down?
What are the virtues of asserting my desires?

Last night and this morning, I've asked myself about a thousand times different variations of these questions.  Chiefly, today is CD3 and I've got to decide to continue to take the 25mg or bump myself up to 50mg.  I do remember Dr. S.tigen saying how she'd want me to do 25mg for four months, I think and if we didn't get pregnant I'd move on to Femara.  Now, I know nothing about Femara and am not feeling good about taking that drug.  I don't have a very good reason why I feel that way other than thinking we'll just run through the "Catholic" drugs until something works.

I'm pretty sure 50mg of Clomid is considered the starter dose since the pills only come in 50mg tablets.  Maybe she's concerned about killing CM?  I know the surgery was only five weeks ago but by the time I ovulate this month, I'll be seven weeks out.  I want any medical intervention to work!!!!  I did not go through all that testing and surgery to find out that my body systems are pretty darn normal and then just hang out and see what happens.  I haven't heard any doctor explain to me why I'm not getting pregnant.

So, I called Trixie and asked her to ask the doctor if moving to 50mg today was OK.  I told her I needed to know today.  If I don't hear back, I'm not sure what I'll do.  I missed the P+7 blood draw last cycle so maybe I didn't give the 25mg a fair chance?  This sure would be a lot easier if I had someone local to do the follicle monitoring.

I was patient for seven months.  I didn't start infertility testing until we'd had seven tries.  This isn't normal.  Normal people get pregnant within a couple months.  I want action!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Some of us are still infertile

In real life my conscious brain, I rejoice in pregnancy and birth announcements.  It's a miracle and I love it.  In my private space dark mind however, it's a pain that I can't fully describe.

I'm tired of lying; I'm tired of pretending to feel things I clearly don't.  For the last year, both my husband and I have received the "so, when are you two going to have children?" or "are you guys thinking about having kids?" about twenty times.  At first, it bothered my husband but I think he's embraced reality and tells people we're "working on it."  I usually take the lead of the verb in the question and will reply, "Yes, we're thinking about it."  And move on to a joke about how my husband is still young and he's got plenty of time.  [He's squarely middle-aged.]

Usually men ask more than women and I assume it's natural the majority of men haven't the first clue about what could go wrong in the reproductive system.  And we live on assumptions and expectations.  I tried to stay away from "soft" subjects in college but did take a sociology course post-college and found it just about the most fascinating thing in the world.  We all need assumptions so we know how to act or what to expect.  We assume that we'll be safe in high-rent districts so we walk around without cares.  We assume people who eat healthy and exercise won't get cancer.  However, people do get robbed in Beverly Hills and vegan marathon runners do get cancer and die quickly.  I know, it happened to one of my good friends.

So, while I hate the seeming insensitivity of questions about when kids are coming, I do understand where they come from.  I had the same expectations and couldn't have imagined the utter torture the last 14 months have been.  While I've had low moments in life before TTC, the feelings of desperation, pain, isolation, and sometimes insanity have been particularly amplified since late 2009.

Some of the experiences that have been particularly hard:

  1. At Easter, before the champagne toast, my MIL asked with particular glee if anyone had any announcements to share with the family.  I knew instantly that she had every expectation that I'd say I was pregnant.  But my husband and I looked around the room and trying to deflect any attention we joked that his widowed aunt was getting married despite having no interest in suitors.  
  2. Last year, in anticipation of TTC, I was so excited and felt so sure it would happen quickly, I intimated to a colleague of mine that we were expecting.  She looked at my stomach and said she had no idea and I had to clarify that I wasn't pregnant yet but soon.  That was 18 months ago.  Thankfully, she's said nothing.  
  3. While I was standing outside my office building talking on my cell phone, my HR director drove by and perhaps because I was wearing a flowing, empire-waisted blouse, she pointed down to her stomach and yelled across the street, "Are you pregnant?"  Embarrassing?  You bet.
  4. Women at work seemingly got pregnant so easily and I claim we're still pondering the idea of parenthood all the while knowing I'm taking time off for blood draws, ultrasounds, HSG, surgery in a desperate attempt to find out what could be wrong.  I dropped my guard for one person at work I barely know and told her I was having trouble getting pregnant.  She asked if I'd tried the temperature-taking method.  I found it quaint but also sad she thought it was that easy or that I was that ignorant.
  5. My best friend's baby is due in a week and a half and I'm desperately scared we'll have nothing in common anymore or she'll be so wrapped up in the baby, our friendship will fall away.
  6. One question about kids came to me just five days after the laparoscopy.  My stomach still hurt when I gave the tired line about yeah, we're thinking about it.
  7. Even a priest who we confided in said stress might be a factor.  He didn't have the first clue about Catholic infertility testing.
I still have faith it will happen to us.  But I'm pretty confident I will never forget how hard it is to want to be a mother, to think that having unprotected sex with your husband might actually result in a pregnancy, to have natural expectations dashed month after month.  Please remember that some of us are still infertile. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Used

I guess I'm in the mood to tell a story.  For the last few months I've been thinking about writing an email to a person who used to be my best friend.  Perhaps I was deluding myself about the "best" title but we were no doubt, very good friends.  Jack has not contacted me in over a year and my call to him six or so months ago was met with great surprise by him.  I asked him to call me when he was back in town (close to us) and we'd go to lunch.  He never called.

Jack is my first boyfriend.  I was with him during the ages of 17 to 21.  For most of our relationship, it was long distance.  For almost every other weekend during school time, we'd fly to see the other person.  We lived together in SF during the summer and holiday breaks.  Right before my senior year of college, Jack decided he wanted to finish college and made plans to attend school in NYC.  Although rationally I should have been able to figure out this was going to mean the end of our relationship, I was young and bound to the idea that perhaps an even longer distance relationship could work.

Long story short, three days after arriving in New York, he said he met someone and I was "no longer [his] girlfriend."  At the time, I was living with my employers and so consequently, I spent many nights crying in one of the guest rooms in a mansion in Hillsborough.  Jack kept insisting that we just had to be friends but I ceased all communication until about two years later when we called me crying that the girl he left me for left him.

I was at a Ban.ana Republic in Centur.y City and I had to go out into the courtyard while Jack told me he was in the hospital for something but he had to wheel himself outside attached to an IV to talk to me.  A year or so after that, he moved to LA (where I was living) and we hung out quite a bit.  We were buddies.

When I moved to DC, he came to visit me.  When he (accidentally) got his girlfriend pregnant, I was the first person he called.  When I moved back to LA, I would meet up with him and his girlfriend and subsequent ones, ended up at many parties together, attended parties at his house.  We were friends.

When he met the woman now his wife, apparently it was a big deal that she and I meet.  She said how happy she was to meet a woman so important to Jack.  I was touched.  It was sweet.  All four of us would meet for brunch every few months.

I even invited them to my wedding when I had established a rule of only married and engaged couples at the wedding.  [It's a very complicated reason.]  At that point, Jack and his lady were only dating.  My mother gave me flack for that.  They did not bring a present to our wedding, they just etched their names for eternity in my wedding signature platter.

When it came time for their wedding in 2009, Jack said they had a rule of not inviting exes to their wedding.  I told him that we'd long not been a couple, and strictly platonic friends for ten years.  And I was married.  We got some wires crossed and he called and said he was not inviting us to their wedding.  I was pissed however I let it go.

I sent a congratulatory wedding card.  Jack did acknowledge the card.  I sent him a birthday card this year.  No response.  For the last ten years, Jack always called on my birthday to sing me the Beatles birthday song. No call.  So, I made that call about six months ago and he said they were in the South working and I suggested he give us a call when they returned and we could all go out.  No call.

For the last month or so, I've been telling my husband that I think I got dropped.  Maybe his wife had a change of heart and really didn't want her husband talking to an "ex-girlfriend" not matter how ex.  I was toying with sending an email to Jack to "clear things up".  So, given the mood I was in today, I thought today was a good day for that. Right after I sent the email, Jack called.  He said that not communicating was not intentional, just an oversight. I wasn't in an oversight mood.  In fact, I'm never in an oversight mood.

While doing the catching up thing, Jack said they've been working a lot but also using their downtime for working out at the gym everyday, hanging out, playing video games, seeing movies, reading books, and throwing parties [that my husband and I weren't invited to.]  Jack promised to get back in touch when he's back in LA.  I said sure, that sounds great.

In retrospect, it's not great and I'm not interested.  I was a loyal friend and I was a friend for a long time.  While I do feel like I deserve reciprocity, my late dear friend Renuka told me twelve years ago, "You give because you should and you want to, not to getting anything back.  He doesn't owe you anything."  That may be very true.  However, I know what true friendship is and it's not "I'm sorry I didn't call you for a year; it was an oversight."

What a day.

Not a good day

Although it promises to be a relatively quiet day, I'm predicting a bad one.  Some jerk I know made a derogatory comment to me back in October which I pretty much let slide.  However, he made another one last evening and I'm less merciful this time.  He's toast but it's annoying to deal with.

My husband's away until tomorrow.  He wasn't with me last night when this all went down.  So, I'm dealing with this on my own.

I'm getting no project support at work which gives me freedom to make up whatever I want but it still sucks.

It's P+10 and although I have no specific PMS symptoms, I'm agitated by what's going on around me to make me worried things didn't work out this month.  I am proud that for the last four weeks, I've had barely any alcohol.  Perhaps five drinks in that period.

Sorry to be such a downer especially to my prayer buddy who must think I'm a nut. :)  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Back to regular news

During a meeting today, it occurred to me that I need to be doing P+7 blood draws.  That might have been today.  Since I have a meeting with my boss in 27 minutes, I'm not terribly inclined to reschedule the meeting and rush home to get the draw order and rush to Ques.t and hope I'm back for adoration chapel at 5.  And I frankly don't want to call Trixie and ask her if P+8 will suffice.  I think I'll let this month slide.  A few days ago, my husband asked me if I thought I got pregnant this month.  I told him "no, I don't think so," because I'm not confident in the 25mg Clomid dose.  Sure, I'm using anecdotal evidence (which I despise), but I'm putting faith in 50mg as this one person I know got pregnant on the 50mg dose.

My last post on the abortion topic

First, kudos to Leila for treating people who disagree with her with such respect.  It shows what a true lady she is.  Quickly, because I don't want this topic to overwhelm my selfish personal story on my blog, I'll respond to a couple comments. (And also because Leila added another post on this topic, but I just want to move on. ;) )

From Leila:  Feminists are not conceding anymore that abortion should be a regrettable choice, but are in fact encouraging women to call it a positive good, with T-shirts and all. So, I am not sure you have your pulse on the modern abortion industry, the gender feminists, and their ilk.


Yes, you're right, I don't have my pulse on the modern abortion industry.  I realize that nearly every business seeks to make money but I do believe that some abortion providers feel they are doing a good public service.  Yes, it's true.


From JoAnna: Feeling "backed into a corner" is not a valid reason to kill a living child, so it should not be a valid excuse to kill an unborn child.


I never talked about reasons or justifications, just the reality of life for lots of women.  I believe a small minority of women having an abortion feel justified.    


Also from JoAnna:  If women feel they have no choice, how is it "pro-choice" to essentially affirm that? It seems more "pro-abortion" to tell women that they have no choice other to abort, so sign here and fork over your $$ so we can kill your baby, even though you don't want to (as opposed to giving her the resources necessary to make a different choice).


Most political terms are pure semantics.  Estate Tax vs. Death Tax.  Global Warming vs. Climate Change.  Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life.  I'm 100% pro-life.  I also know that banning an activity doesn't stamp it out.  Unless we empower women to make good decisions for themselves in relationships, abortion will not go away.  


Christian women: let's work on compassion for each other.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A response on Leila's 'abortion' post

It didn't feel good to me to let this slide without offering a different perspective.  What gets me about pro-life activists is that they frame the abortion topic on the assumed bloodthirsty nature of those seeking to protect a legal right to abortion.  I searched the NARAL website for the word "blob" and came up with nothing.  What I remember from the 80s is the "blob of tissue" argument is no longer widely used in pro-choice arguments.  I'm not sure I remember if anybody of credibility used it.

Abortion is a very controversial topic in America and most parts of the world.  And rightly so.  Even people that respect a legal right to abortion believe in working to reduce the number of abortions that occur.  So, as a Christian and a person of compassion, I think the message that we as bloggers or people that speak to larger masses is that a woman who has an abortion is likely experiencing a profound sense of pain and loss.

It's a woman who believes she was backed into a wall and had no other options.  That she was still a member of a conservative community or family that didn't want to believe she was having sex, let alone allowing herself to get pregnant.  That a man who was her boyfriend and said he loved/cared about her threw cash onto her kitchen table to pay for the abortion.  That her boyfriend said he'd kill her if she didn't have the abortion.  That her husband said they couldn't afford another child.  I've known women like that.  They are not bloodthirsty.  They are human.  And they've been severely let down by the men and the so-called friends in their lives.

I know for many women it's hard to believe that there are men out there that don't support their women.  But, it's true.  And for the woman who finds out she's pregnant and she's really scared, I don't think it serves her to have an abortion doctor murdered, to have abortion banned by the US Supreme Court, and pro-life activists holding poster sized pictures of aborted babies in her face.

We're all broken.  That's why God came to us with a merciful Christ.  Why can't we talk about how we're praying for women and extend love and compassion?  Why can't we sympathize?  I believe that 99.9% of the wrong done out there in the world is not malicious, it's more thoughtless or desperate.  I pray that women who are desperate find compassion from people that can help her.    

Men & Thanksgiving

To all the men in America that decided to schedule "game changing" meetings and events two days before Thanksgiving, piss off.  I think men feel free to do this kind of thing because they expect their wives to handle the domestic stuff entirely on their own even when their wives have full time jobs.  [I'm talking about all men besides my husband who has done a stupendous job helping around the house.]

My husband has what promises to be a three hour meeting tonight, and he's sick and he won't slow down to rest.  I normally always attend these meetings but I'm on fence given all the things I still have to do at home to get ready for the family on Thursday.  One of my husband's distant relatives past away last week and how they decided to schedule the funeral on Wednesday is beyond me.  Don't get me wrong, I pray for the repose of his soul however, if I were scheduling my husband's funeral, God strike me dead if I do it a day before a major holiday.

Because of this funeral my in-laws will be staying with us Wednesday night which means I'll be scrubbing my kitchen floor right in front of my father-in-law.  Perhaps others are more intimate with their father-in-law, but I find this humiliating.  The next two days are going to be painful.

On a fertility note, God smiled down on me and made sure I (probably) ovulated well before all this bad stuff went down.  We used Saturday and Monday night which I'm guessing since peak day hasn't arrived, but P-2 and peak day.  I think I was having ovulatory pain on Sunday, so Saturday is our best shot.  After all this time, I'm skeptical and totally baffled how anybody gets pregnant at all.  I know I'm generalizing but conception is a miraculous event given all that can go wrong.      

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mo' Money, No Problems

I've been dying to see the bills for the laparoscopy.  Since I saw the insurance statements first and not the hospital invoice I couldn't be sure what the charges were for- doctor or nurse anesthetist.  I'm pretty sure the surgeon fee was the one around $1,200 and the anesthesia, $850.  What blew me away was the "drugs" cost, $34,000!!!!

Naturally, my insurance company paid about 5% of that cost and rejected the rest.  So, it's looking like we don't have to pick up anything for the surgery.  Praise God!  However, this does leave me in a bit of a pickle since I set aside $1,000 in my annual health savings account.  I've only claimed $200 so far and am pretty desperate in trying to come up with $800 in out-of-pocket costs.  This is a use it or lose it deal.

Either the 25mg dose was too low to do anything to my CM or Fertile CM is just totally rad, but I am having great CM these last two days.  Three days ago, my husband pledged about the sweetest thing ever, he offered to abstain until we saw fertile signs so as to give us a better chance.  I'm not getting my hopes up too high and the good thing about the surgery is, I feel like my TTC clock has been set back to zero.  Hope springs eternal.
“you may enjoy this one from the UK artist Banksy”

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Feeling different

Do the Clomid side effects last all month?  I've been feeling very weird the last three days.  Yesterday, I had a wave of intense, amorous feelings come over me towards my husband.  Like the feeling I had when I first fell in love.  It wasn't so much sexual but more a deep desire to be physically close and please him.  I never feel this way, which might be sad but it definitely felt chemical.  At Adoration Chapel, I had an intense prayer session.  I felt like Jesus was right next to me and I was talking (silently) away like a good buddy.

Also my appetite for food has been off.  Yesterday, I had a major craving for a bacon cheese burger.  I got that last night but felt pretty sick afterwards.  Today, despite having every food taste available at home, I racked my brain for two hours thinking about what I wanted for lunch and finally settled on a peanut butter sandwich with cottage cheese.  I'm at work but have absolutely no desire to be here.  So, I've got this flight response going.  This is not atypical of me, I typically like to flee things but this is just weird.

Anybody else had these weird things happen during Clomid?  It's the only thing I can think of that's making me feel this way.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Almost Better

Trixie called last Friday and said the endometrial cultures came back negative.  However, the doctor still wants both me and the husband to take a 21-day course of antibiotics.  My husband wants to delay the treatment until after Thanksgiving.  I'm not sure I want to do it at all.  I'm a big believer that Americans ingest way too much antibiotics especially through our food supply and doctors prescribing antibiotics at the drop of the hat.  That said, I'm very grateful for Dr. Liz who was on call this weekend and called in a prescription for Cipro for a UTI I  got on Sunday.  It would be kind of silly for my husband to take it and me not to and he's a very compliant patient so he'll want to do the drugs.  Hmmmm.

I took the 25mg of Clomid on cycle days 3-5.  I didn't feel any side effects but didn't really expect that given such a low dose.  I've got enough pills to up to 50mg but right now my plan is to do 2 months at 25mg and up to 50 after that, if we don't get pregnant.  My hubby said if I did get pregnant, we wouldn't know if it was the endometriosis removal that fostered the pregnancy or if the Clomid did it.  I told him I didn't really care what the cause or reason was, I'd just drop to my knees and praise Jesus if it actually happened.  The only snag I see this month is that I'll very likely ovulate on Thanksgiving Day and we're hosting the event at our home.  Will my husband give me ten minutes in all that madness?

Dr. St.igen told me to start taking the B6 and Fertile CM together but I'm only going to do the Fertile CM.  Fertile CM was the only thing that helped before (marginally) and I'm getting sensitive over this "limited cervical mucus" diagnosis.  My off the cuff theory is that NaPro focuses so heavily on the precise quantity of CM because that's the key to the NFP practice.  It's everything.  So, what's the big deal in having "only" 10KL 3x and the only thing anybody seems to care about is 10KL AD for four or more days?  Until I see a proven scientific study of how vitamin B6 causes more CM, I'm not won over.  Anybody have one?

I had my hair color changed on Saturday.  As usual, only one person at work has said anything yet.  It was a very light blonde but as it grew longer, I was very concerned about some women I see with really blonde hair and it looks brittle and dry.  I'd much rather have shiny, healthy hair then blonde, so I took it to a light auburn.  I like it a lot and it was a good pick-me-up after weeks of calamity.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beat up

I must have really bad luck.  I contracted a cold in NYC that lasted two weeks in early October.  Four days before the laparoscopy, I took a relatively minor spill on my motorcycle giving me a skinned up right knee and major lower leg bruising.  Nine days ago, I had the lap/hysteroscopy and just as I was finally done healing from that I start to get what I initially thought was strep throat then a cold and now I'm pretty sure it's a major allergy attack.  I haven't exercised in two weeks.

I was going to skip the Clomid this cycle given my luckless condition lately but decided last night to pop the first pill.  I immediately got a psychosomatic headache.  Then I took a generic form of nyqu.il that was really a cough suppressant but I wasn't coughing.  Now I feel kind of hyped up with no specific symptoms of illness except some general jitteriness.  I'm just praying I can finally feel good and back to normal soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thankful (Need some Clomid advice)

After seven days of black/brown/red spotting post-surgery, I finally have a heavy flow (thank the Lord!)  I'm concerned about labeling CD 1 because the prescription I have for Clomid is 25mg once a day on cycle days 3, 4, and 5.  For those who took Clomid, I'm curious if your prescriptions were similar in terms of days to take.  I'm going to take a shot and call today CD 1 since yesterday it was red/brown very light flow.

Dr. Sti.gen says she wants me to try the Clomid for four months, I think at 25mg.  If that doesn't get me pregnant, she wants to give me Femara.  Because of at least another blogger's experiences, I'm highly tempted to up my dose to 50mg.  I feel guilty about going non compliant but, hey, I'm motivated.

I went to the pharmacy last night to fill the prescription.  It was pretty comical.  Because it was late, the pharmacist was there by himself.  He was negotiating with me because apparently my insurance company only covers a one month supply.  Since the pills come only in 50mg tablets, he found it comical that I would only get 2 tablets.  I really wanted the flexibility of taking 50mg if I felt like it.  I asked the pharmacist how much the Clomid would be without the insurance.  For 12 pills, the cost was $40.  I took the plunge and paid for the dang thing.  It's not much money, I know but I do feel guilty for not using the insurance.

However, I'm excited to get started and hope this will finally get the help I need to get pregnant.  St. Theresa, pray for us!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Laparoscopy!

Hello, ladies!  I've conquered the final chapter of NaPro infertility testing.  Dr. Stig.en did the laparoscopy on Wednesday.  I was able to recover (still recovering, actually) at a wonderful house in the O..C.  The weather was amazingly warm and the ocean air was refreshing.  The incision pain is minimal and clearly the worst part of the surgery for me was the lingering CO2 gas.  The shoulder pain sucked and the pressure on my diaphragm made me feel uber stiff.  Seventy-two hours later, I'm just starting to feel back to normal although belly bloating continues to stalk me.

Stig.en found just a tiny bit on endometriosis on my left ovary so she zapped that off.  Other than that, all the organs looked super.  However, I did have endometrial inflammation so she did some cultures during the hysteroscopy and I/the husband might be on an antibiotic later this week.  I was surprised to see in the surgery video that the ovaries are stark white.  Scary.

So, she wants me to take 25mg of Clomid next cycle.  Dr. Douche actually offered me Clomid back in January but I'm pretty confident going through this whole testing thing was worth it.  Stige.n wants me to go back to charting (yeah) and taking the FertileCM and B6.  So, hopefully Clomid won't kill my already dismal CM and the supplements might actually work this time.  Back on the bandwagon.  I should be getting my period in the next few days.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sequestered

I appear to have hit the glass ceiling.  I really avoid addressing my work situation here but I'm frustrated out of my gourd.  I was convinced from any early age I could reach the highest levels in my chosen career.  My projects have always been critical to the financial success of my company, I chose tasks which afforded increasing levels of responsibility.  I believe I'm very good at what I do.

It started a few months ago when I was told I had a conflict of interest and I was being taken off one of my biggest clients.  That big client is my husband's company.  This situation had not presented a problem in the past and I'm positive I could have represented my company's interests as I always had.  It was not to be by the powers that be and the bad news was delivered as I traveled to a meeting at said husband's company.  Through text message, the vice president told me to go back to my office.  To say I was pissed is an understatement.

And today, just as another project (x) was getting really good, I was taken off.  I was told by the CEO this time that I was not to communicate with the staff and all inquiries or contact by them should be referred to the CEO's office.  And this was one hour before a meeting regarding project x started.  Several people knew I was coming to that meeting; I called them this morning to tell them that.

After the meeting started, 2 people called me saying, "Where are you?"  "I'm in my office." "Why?"

I played coy saying I was told not to go.  Who told me not to go?  I told them I didn't know.  Lie.

It's nice to be remind in the 21st century that as a woman, you're not the "go to" person.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Divorced (NOT marriage related)

Although much has occurred in in the last several weeks and I would love to wax philosophical about it, it's more important to me to keep my blog posts short.  Yes, I've been away and I appreciate you still reading.  Work has been complicated and October seems to be the month of birthdays and anniversaries in our families.  I feel pulled in a million different directions.  Before I would make lots of time for the blog community and obsessively check everyone's blogs and figure out how their cycle issues might relate to mine (but I never had cycle issues so that was interesting.)  I was on an all out fact finding mission and I found it so helpful to hear how other Catholic women were dealing with the curse (I use that word lightly) of infertility.  I love(d) hearing about adoption success and pray every infertile family out there got the things they need.

This is selfish, but now I feel divorced.  I might feel reengaged later but now I definitely feel divorced.  The laparoscopy with Dr. Stig.en is next Wednesday and I'm dreading it like the plague.  I thought about cancelling it, accepting my fate.  I'm not one to go to the ends of the earth to get pregnant at any cost.  At least with the other two surgeries I've had, one was to free me from discomfort and the other to improve my appearance.  With the lap, I'm far from excited about going under "just to see what's there."  Dr. Sti.gen has backed off predicting endometriosis.

The surgery is post-ovulation and I was told to not try and get pregnant this month (as if that would happen.)  However, we haven't altered our love making schedule and I head to surgery day with the knowledge that if I were miraculously pregnant, the urine test wouldn't be able to pick it up.

I know others are feeling like they are the only one still not able to have a baby in an online community that is having great success in that department.  I feel that way.  I might be able to chalk this up to late fall/winter blues when spring comes around again.      

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Unrelated news

I had a bunch of eloquent, romantic musings about my husband and our anniversary but I can't remember most of them at this point.  Suffice to say, we had a wonderful night with a delicious dinner that was super cheap (final bill = $33), and we both had a drink.  We made love and slept in each others' arms listening to the thunderstorms.  Romantic!!!

At Mass, the priest asked us to come to the altar and stand facing the congregation for a blessing.  The words he spoke were really touching and it meant a lot to me (and I think to my husband, as well although he was embarrassed by the thought of standing there) to have our marriage reaffirmed before the church family.  They extended their hands toward us and we held hands while they priest asked God to bless us with new life and to bring healing to our bodies as God is the Great Physician.  I think it was a discrete and tasteful way to address the infertility issue.  We were smacked with holy water and many people passed on their well wishes when the Mass ended.  Really lovely.  I love being married.  It's a commitment we make not just to ourselves but to the larger faith community and society; that's a big responsibility but that makes me work harder for our success.

On to the unrelated news.  I found a great deal on some red wedge shoes on the web.  The original price was $255 but on sale for $85.  I ordered my regular size which lately has not worked out for me.  At this point I should be remeasured but the last four pairs I've ordered online have not fit very well.  For the red wedge shoes, I desperately tried to get them to fit, I added some back of the heel padding to try to make the shoes not slip off my heel when I walked, I put in some ball of the foot padding.  They still slipped off my feet.  I wore them this weekend to the baby shower which did put a tiny, tiny bit of wear on the bottom of the shoes. This company has a return policy that says items should be unworn, unaltered, and unwashed.

They did have the next half size down available so I called to exchange it.  I really, really wanted to be honest with the customer service lady and say I did wear them out of the house oh so briefly but they are worn.  I didn't want them to reject the shoes when I shipped them back.  Well, her voice on the phone gave me the impression she wasn't going to be lenient with me so I ended up not saying anything.  I do feel guilty and also nervous that they might tell me they'll charge me for the shoes and not credit me.  I guess I'll found out next week when this shakes out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let me be weak, let me sleep, and dream of sheep

At least I can attribute my sad moods to PMS.  God did me a huge favor by having my period start today instead of during one of the seven events I have this weekend.  Starting it during the baby shower would just have been cruel.  However, starting it today lightens the mood.

I want to give all glory to God for putting this group of women of faith together to support one another through these major life events.  I don't know where I would be without this community that I discovered one day in 2009 by Goo.gling "tail end brown bleeding."  It's very interesting how it came to this for me.

We've got an appointment today with the priest presiding over the mass with my "infer.tile co.uples" intention this Sunday.  I want him to have an understanding of who the request was coming from and give it some context and meaning for him.  This is a good priest so he should do great.

Despite the fact that I really wanted to pack my bags and stay at the beach for five days, I'm at work and trying to make the best of things.  This too shall pass.

 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Too much

There's too much going on this week.  I can't possibly list all the things that are happening in both my professional and personal lives.

I drove to see Dr. Liz this morning.  I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic for two and a half f*cking hours only to go 30 miles.  I want(ed) to kill a small animal and I'm an animal rights activist.  This is how aggravated I feel.  Dr. Liz and I really didn't connect on the issue at hand or the infertility thing.  She wondered why she didn't receive a copy of the HSG results.  Um, that's because you're not the infertility specialist, Liz!  She asked me if I am taking any fertility drugs.  I told her my hormone tests were normal so no need for ovulation-induction drugs.  She said her "gut feeling" is that the mass in my breast is just breast tissue and that an ultrasound "would not show the things we want to see" so I have an order for a mammogram which my local place doesn't do and I'm too shaky from this morning's drive to consider going back there for the mammogram.

She asked me if I'd ever had an x-ray done before.  I asked if she meant an x-ray of my breasts?  No, she meant any x-ray of any kind.  What planet am I on?  This woman has been caring for me for ten years!!!  Have I ever had an x-ray before?  Yes, on my jaw, teeth, chest, pelvis (she knew I had a HSG!)  We were not getting along today.

I'm willing to accept doing the mammogram instead of the ultrasound (only after researching the difference) but I think she could have done a much better job at explaining why the mammogram is better.  I am pissed off that I'm a medical test zone.  Dr. Liz's receptionist had some parting words for me, "Well, you look great!"  If that counted for something.      

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Unlucky or God thinks I can handle all this strife

This is probably a good time to tell the "What Happened When I Found Out I Had An Abnormal Pap Result."  I was at work on a Tuesday or Wednesday.  I had just thrown my husband a huge birthday party and it was a total success.  Days before we had just celebrated our first wedding anniversary.  Things were good.  We were going to start TTC, and I was so excited.  My annual exam had been almost four weeks before the phone call from Dr. Elizabeth.

So, she called my cell phone.  I was sitting in my office.  "We got your pap results back and there's an abnormal reading," Dr. Liz said, "You're going to need to see a gynecologist for this since this is beyond my expertise.  This is nothing to panic over."

I think it was the "this is nothing to panic over" that set me off.  For the next four days, I sobbed at the dinner table at home crying to my husband, "I have cancer!!!!!!"  "You don't have cancer," my husband said.  "You're overreacting."

This was when I found Dr. DoucheBag and he reassured me that the odds of having cervical cancer were virtually nothing given my long history of normal pap results.  He was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing but fairly professional in his treatment, I have to say.  I had a colposcopy which was not painful and I went back to work.  It was sent off for a biopsy and it came back with I think, CIN II/III.  I don't have the records on me so I might revise that tonight.  Dr. Douche told me about my treatment options and we went for the cryosurgery.  That lasted barely a minute and I was on my way.

So the outcome of my diagnosis did not justify my reaction to it.

That gets me to present day.  I rarely do bre.ast self-exa.ms.  Even though my father's mother died of breast cancer, I've taken a rather apathetic attitude towards self-exams.  I'm young, my breasts are ridiculously small.  Excuses.  So I end up doing the palpation thing maybe every two-three months.  And Dr. Liz does them once a year at my annual appointment.

I got a cold in New York and have felt blah ever since.  Last night, my husband was working outside the house and I laid on the bed to rest.  I don't know why I was inspired to feel myself up but I felt a very large solid mass in my right breast.  When my husband came into the bedroom, I asked him to feel it.  It didn't take him more than a second to say, "yeah, I feel it."  Then I looked down and my right breast is noticeably larger than the left, like the mass is filling out my right breast.

I decided not to panic.  I asked my husband not to talk about it since we won't know anything about my current affliction until I see Dr. Liz whom I left a message for to make an appointment this week.  It's likely nothing.  However, I'm tempted to get very annoyed at the fact that major issues crop up in my life at wedding anniversary time.  I guess God has a lot of faith in me!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sh*t on TV

From Awaiting a Child of God, I learned about Dr. Hilgers's appearance on EWTN.  His interview starts at about 23:30.  The interviewer mentioned a piece on Ortho Evra on the Today Show this week.  Cut to the chase, that birth control patch has caused blood clots in women and killed at least several of them.  The report was good but the end conversation between the Today reporter and Matt Lauer shocked me.

Jeff Rossen - "Experts say you should never stop using birth control, Matt including the patch even after everything you saw until you speak with your doctor."

Matt Lauer - [Nodding feverishly] "Yeah, that's important information, no question."

Rossen - "Very important."

I guess risking getting pregnant is a million times worse than taking a chance with Ortho Evra.  Only in America.

It's Friday!!!


 Woo hoo!  It's Friday and NYC is almost upon us.  I am so excited, and I just can't hide it.
  1. I left work a little early yesterday to go riding with my husband.  He took the lead on his bike and I rode my own behind.  I was kind of nervous to be out in traffic, albeit light given we were headed to country roads.  I didn't fall, didn't panic, and had a great time.  
  2. My husband normally doesn't like the movies that I love but ladies, he's hooked on Anne of Green Gables!  And Anne of Avonlea.  He insisted we finish the whole Avonlea series last night.  The look on his face was just so precious when Anne would get herself into trouble.  He looked like he loved her. ;)  Afterwards, he said how much he liked the series and he was glad I introduced him to it.  Score!
  3. We trying to pack very light for the New York trip.  We'll see how that goes.  We already have a dinner date with friends from here who will also be in NYC at the same time.  Fantastic!
  4. The amount of freedom I've been given to write my own ticket at work is pretty amazing.  My current boss put up no fight whatsoever on the transfer.  Praise be.
  5. I went to the optometrist at lunch to order some new eyeglasses.  My last pair I bought ten years ago.  I think it's time for a new pair.  The glasses tech said the adult sizes were too big for me so I got streered into the teen section.  I'm not totally embarrassed to say I ordered a Ca.ndies lens by Britn.ey Sp.ears.  
  6. Not charting has reduced my day to day thoughts on my infertility to almost nothing.
  7. I can't wait to take great pictures in New York.  It's gonna be great.  If I don't blog until after we return, have a great week!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This vs. That



At first I thought I wanted a Yamaha FZ6R (top pic) which is considered (by whom I don't know) an entry-level sport bike.  Now, I like speed, power, and control.  However, when I sat on the bike I thought, "Wow, this is big.  I'm not feeling very comfortable on this."  I think I could have handled it but perhaps I'm not ready.

So, I moved on to a Yamaha XV535 (bottom pic.)  The picture version is a bit supped up.  The one I was looking at had a basic seat.  So, I have to be careful of the exhaust pipes which might burn my leg but I think this one will be OK for me.  The husband offered to test ride it for me tomorrow and if it runs alright we're buying it.  Oh, happy day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

And we'll all ride on OK

Here's my favorite picture from the San Francisco trip.  Hopefully, I'll get even better ones in New York.


Since my post about how terrible work had become, I made some significant progress.  Very long, complicated story made short and oversimplified, I'm on the verge of moving to a new section within the company.  Although, I'm unsure how much freedom the new boss will give me, it's a risk worth taking given how patently awful my current boss is.  

I'm in the market for a motorcycle.  I've wanted to ride for nearly a decade now and got my license four years ago but never practiced or bought a bike.  Now, I'm back on track and ready to hit the streets.  I saw an online listing from a woman seller.  She said she bought the bike about a year ago, and two weeks later found out she was pregnant.  I told my husband about this and he said, "THAT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!"  I'm not holding my breath, just having other things to think about besides infertility is a wonderful blessing.  

Don't let stress get you down, ladies.  Get out there, do good, and have fun!   

Monday, September 20, 2010

When you're trying hard to be your best, could you be a little less?

I keep meaning to upload some pics I took in San Francisco but life keeps getting in the way.  I guess it's comforting to me that "Faith makes things possible...," JellyBelly, and I all got to CD 1 on pretty much the same day.  I woke up early for a big hike on Saturday and... blood.  The hike was actually a really great thing to do on CD 1 since I barely felt any cramps and the hard work took my mind off of the situation.

The husband and I have been getting along great for the past couple weeks (with a couple momentary exceptions.)  This morning however, he hit me with one of his favorite things, anecdotal evidence.  He loves to talk about the ONE couple he knows that couldn't get pregnant, adopted, and then got pregnant and had their biological child.  For my husband, this is proof positive that, "If people just relax, they'll get pregnant" and "If my wife will just relax, she'll get pregnant."

I've tried to debunk the relaxation theory here on my blog, but since my husband doesn't read my blog, he wouldn't know.  I do talk about this theory at home but perhaps its falling on deaf ears.  I took this from wikip.edia:
Evidence, which may itself be true and verifiable, used to deduce a conclusion which does not follow from it, usually by generalizing from an insufficient amount of evidence. For example "my grandfather smoked like a chimney and died healthy in a car crash at the age of 99" does not disprove the proposition that "smoking markedly increases the probability of cancer and heart disease at a relatively early age". In this case, the evidence may itself be true, but does not warrant the conclusion.    
Amen.

I explained this morning that scientific studies had been done on people much like me and I've posted that here and shared it before with my husband, and I have a 50% chance of endometriosis based on verifiable evidence on hundreds of women, not one or two or ten, two hundred and twenty-one.  Dr. Stige.n says I have an 80% chance but I didn't ask her the source of that number.

I'm trying not to make to big a deal about this but it really sucks when your husband is accusing you of being too tense to make a baby.  I have tried every trick in the book when it comes to sex during fertile time.  I reminded him that on Saturday, there was barely a blip in my good mood when getting ready for the hike.  I didn't cry, I put a tampon in, got dressed, ate breakfast, and drove off.  That's what a tense woman looks like?

Not that he mentioned it, but I had to do a self-congratulatory speech in dealing with asymptomatic infertility like a mature adult.  I've weathered a quack doctor in one of the poorest parts of L....A..  I've dealt with a jackass doctor who tells me things that are medically untrue.  I've worked out my treatment pretty much on my own.  I found the NaPro doctors by myself while my NFP teacher quits on me unbeknownst to me.  I've studied the evidence and not relied in one-off success or failure stories.  It's hard, really hard when you have to rely on yourself for affirmation.

    

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Disappointment

As the one-year-wait was coming to a close, I spent lots of time planning how I would "do" a pregnancy.  I wanted to be the person that had it all together.  But, I wasn't at all sure how I would actually react since it had never happened to me.  For sure, I wanted to stick with my exercise routines and I watched over and over the video previews for pregnancy exercise video on Coll.age.com.  It's a site dedicated to home exercis.e DVDs.  I even picked out three I intended to buy when I got the positive result.


I still sometimes still look at the previews and really long for the day it's appropriate to shell out the bucks for purchase.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Round Up

Laparoscopy is exactly seven weeks away.  I would be experiencing a lot of anticipation but New York City is two and a half weeks away so that's where my excitement lies.  I'm sure I'll feel different when we return.  I guess the hospital is excited since they called me for registration yesterday.  Dr. Stige.n assures me that I will feel well enough to return to work by the following Monday, which is my absolute goal.  The thought of abdominal surgery gives me the heebie jeebies, but I'm running out of options here.

Since I gave up charting, I feel as if I've reclaimed a large part of my mental health.  Less stress, less tension; those are very good things.  I'm on CD 28 today and don't have a clue when the peak day was.  My last cycle was 25 days and I've had a max deviation of six days on total calendar days (I'm losing it again.)  Either way, I'm not expecting anything.

I'm a bit discouraged that we're approaching a full year of TTC.  After a couple months, I was determined to jump on testing and any treatment.  Looking back not too far, all my testing fell within July and August.  It was a bit of a struggle to get my first two doctors, Dr. Douche and Dr. Bagg.ot to take me seriously.  They wanted to just prescribe Clomid and test for heavy metals, respectively.  What a waste.  But, after meeting Dr. Del.gado and Dr. Stig.en in June and July, we were back on track.

I really feel like parenthood is in God's plan for us.  Just have to be patient but still work on solutions.  

Monday, September 13, 2010

Work sucks (for more people than just me)

Several weeks ago, JBTC wrote a great post about her work situation.  I did a cursory search and can't seem to find that post but maybe she'll give me a boost and provide the link. ;)  Update: I found it!

It's no surprise that in this economy many Americans are unhappy with their jobs.  I'm hard pressed to think of anyone I know who's content with where they work and what they're working on.  And it hits every career segment.  I have Ph.D friends don't want to teach college anymore.  I have attorney friends that don't want to lawyer anymore.  I have people in service jobs that can't stand it anymore.  So, I'm not alone.

I get paid reasonably well and the benefits are quite good.  I don't feel totally robbed, compensation-wise.  I also have a lot of autonomy and freedom to do what I want. (I'm starting to feel guilty about beginning to complain.)  The director of my small management team does not hold team meetings of any kind.  I have to go way out of my way to understand what my colleagues are working on.  My director's director does not give any notice of meetings with clients, vendors, partners so we're typically pulled into meetings at the last minute with no time for preparation.  The last several months, I've been dropped completely from the biggest partnership initiative.  Dead dropped. (I don't feel guilty about complaining anymore.)

When it comes to the projects I do manage, I send regular emails with my recommendations, analyses, general interest stuff and 99% of the time, I get no response from anyone in the company.  Just typing these emails makes me bored stiff and feel like crap thinking that nobody cares.  Because they don't.

Last week, I asked my director's director to include me on key meetings that have something, anything to do with one of my projects.  He responded, "well, you know how busy my schedule is."  This comment was indicative of the kind of manager he is, a shitty one.  My work life is a joke.  But what is really getting me curious is what my annual evaluation is going to say.  It's coming up, I think this month and given I see my supervisor on average of three days a month and it's just to chit chat, he doesn't give me any work or ask me about mine.

I want and need another job.  Unfortunately, lots of other people want better jobs, being married to a man who makes more than me and has far more work experience than I limits my ability to move for a better job, and I live in an exurb where there aren't very many jobs, compared to a large city.

Wow, all this and it's only 10:20am. ;)  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We built this city on rock and roll

We're heading off to San Francisco tonight for a few days.  I haven't been there since 2006 and never with my husband so I'm very excited.  I also used to live there so it'll be fun to head back to the old haunts.  We'll be there at the same time with a friend who lives in our town so we've arranged to have dinner together on Thursday.  I wanted to find a nice place with great food, not expensive (since I don't want to pay someone's rent through their food), and not too pretentious.  I found an Italian seafood tappas place.  I read some reviews that the portions were very small and you had to order enough food to break your budget to feel well fed.  I also wasn't terribly excited because during my DC days, tappas were a total fad.  I couldn't go to a happy hour without them.

I told my husband about the place last night and I asked him if small portions would bother him.  He just looked at me, raised his eyebrow ever so slightly, and gently nodded.  So, I'm planning on leading the group to Pl.uto's, order at the counter, no reservations, and super good food.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

UTI

I knew right before I woke up this morning I had a urinary tract infection.  I had a choice of three doctors to call and finally decided on Dr. Douche.  And boy, did he ever prove his nickname again.  Because I used to be a chronic sufferer, I always ask if the doctor can just call in the antibiotic without an office visit.  That used to work with Dr. Liz but Dr. Douche wanted me to do the whole nine yards, urine sample, the little talk with the doctor.

As I sat in the exam room thinking about how much time I was wasting, I decided to try and curb my obvious disdain for this guy and play the clueless ingenue.  But after he made his first statement, I couldn't help myself.  His opening line was, "You haven't been a patient of mine for very long?"  "Well, yes, I think it's been about 2 1/2 years."  "That's not very long," he said.  He couldn't care less that I am a UTI veteran and know virtually everything about treating it and avoiding it.  He then went into the standard medical monologue about what a woman can do to ease the pain or try to avoid this situation; cranberry pills, and Vitamin C.  To my surprise he neglected to mention urinating right before and after sex (which works for me, by the way), or avoiding alcohol, soft drinks, coffee, any citrus drink which I find can irritate my bladder more.  He talked me out of the standard sulfur-based drugs I've taken in the past and prescribed Macrobid.  Whatever.

And what took the cake was the following statement, "And no sex for five days.  You can get cute and creative but I don't want a penis bouncing up against that urethra."

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why do I trip and stumble?

I wrote an email to Afina this morning saying, "infertility is not good for my mental health."  I'm having some bad lows, which my last post can attest to.  I leave out the worst parts just so I don't embarrass myself further but suffice to say, my low moments are pretty low.  As the conception failures pile up, my hope for success goes lower and the feeling of hope draws me into an internal thought conflict of hope versus rationality.  When the rationality wins the day's argument, my mood completely drops.  It's not so much that I ask myself explicitly, "Why me?" or "How could I be so unlucky," it's a feeling of abandonment or being left behind.  I'm not praying in these moments and that shows a major lack of spiritual discipline, but my ego and what I thought things were going to be like, are ever present in those moments.

I'm starting to really regret the things I did before I got married.  I was very committed to the idea of preventing a potential pregnancy back then.  I thought it would have been bad all around, for me, for my family, and my future.  And I think I got led into believing that life and relationships were a particular way, and now I've found out it's not that way at all.  That I was out for myself and those relationships were there to serve me.  That my fertility would be there when I was ready for it.  And a (successful) married relationship is about as selfless as you can get.  It can be a hard adjustment for selfish people like me.  

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And I, I don't, didn't think we'd end up like, like this

  1. I want to say thank you for the prayer bouquet, ladies.  It's been terribly lovely to open Goo.gle Reader and see all those purple posters on the ladies blogs saying I might be a target for prayer.  For someone who only shares their feelings about infertility on the web :) it's very comforting.
  2. Dr. Sti.gen is on vacation this week but I need to set up a phone consult with her to go over some questions about the laparoscopy.  
    1. Shouldn't you do a pelvic exam to see if you can palpate any endometriosis? 
    2. Did you see anything on the ultrasound images that looked like possible endometriosis?
  3. My plan to play it cool didn't work out so well.  I'm not a saleswoman and I take no interest in being evasive in order to manipulate.  I'm not saying it doesn't happen sometimes, it just doesn't happen regularly.

I stopped charting this month but I know I'm at CD 13 today.  I've also stopped checking the mucus status several times a day, just noticing what's plainly obvious.  There hasn't been much there despite my still obsessive use of Fertile CM.  This morning, my husband tried to seduce me around 5am.  This was too early for me but by 6:15am, I turned the tables.

[Husband] Do you have stretchy mucus?
[Me] I don't know.
[Husband] (Becoming more insistent) How could you not know?
[Me] (Getting frustrated) I really don't want to talk about this now.

Later in the morning I was upset by comments that we shouldn't have had sex but worked on getting rid of the computer viru.s I seem to have downloaded on my home PC.  I swear sometimes I feel like I'm that character in the Joy Luck Club.  At this point, I was quite upset and just trying not to cry away the mascara I'd just applied.  I was trying to explain to the husband what not charting meant to me.  He seemed to believe I was still checking mucus.  So much for taking the relaxed approach.

My husband and I are the two most tense people in the world.  And we thought it was a good idea to marry one another. :)  So, it ended with him saying he was leaving for the day, and I didn't say goodbye for fear of just uttering the word goodbye would put tears in my cereal.

Tori Amos's record label must have put the smack down on YouTube users who uploaded her videos in violation of copyright.  This sucks big time for me since I find her songs a great comfort in times of trial and frustration.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

34AA


I think that's my bra size, but since I only bother to wear one at work, church, and sometimes out in public, I can't really remember.  It was a revelation to find an article about lingerie for super small breasted women.  Everything they said in the article, I've said.  Yes!  I wear deep v-neck blouses with no fear of any inappropriate cleavage.  It's freedom!  I feel bolstered.  If you're petite in that department, too, you might find the article interesting.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Annoyed


For the past week I've been annoyed at a variety of folks, some actively in my life, some not.  I'm annoyed at a superior who lacks knowledge of ridiculously essential information about our company and relies on me to provide it for him.  I'm annoyed at my mother who calls me to mock a friend of mine who was the subject of a scathing article in the newspaper (she doesn't know he's my friend.)  I'm temporarily annoyed at Afina for sending me a detailed email about the state of her pregnancy and shopping around for daycare places and getting teary-eyed over pre-schoolers reading silently in the corner of the room.  Damn it, I want that sensitive, bookish child!  I'm annoyed by a friend of mine who also knows my father and my husband really well.  The last conversation I had with Terrance, I said we should all get together for dinner to catch up and he should give me a call.  That was several weeks ago.  I got a call from Terrance last week.  He left a message saying, "...I've owed you a call for a while now.   Hey, I have a question for you.  Would your company be interested in donating some items for a charity event I'm managing?"  It's taken me a week to move a muscle on this issue given how slighted I feel about this move on his part.

I know that life is far from fair but it's hitting me pretty hard lately.  This concept in my head that I might be the victim of asymptomatic endometriosis makes me lose faith in what I thought my state of health was for the last twenty years.  I'll spare the long, drawn out self-pity session until this diagnosis is confirmed but shouldn't somebody, somewhere in middle school, high school, my ivy l.eague college, a random party, anything mentioned that this affliction exists and stamps out fertility in unsuspecting women???

Since I'm calculating that I have a 50/50 chance of having ovarian endometria that's blocking ovulation, either outcome of surgery is hardly enjoyable.  1) Yes, you have it (and you've had it for a long time, sucker.) 2) No, you don't have it and I don't know why you're not getting pregnant.  I think option two would put me in one of the rarest causes of female infertility, but my mind goes to the rarest, infinitesimally rare possibilities.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A reason to believe

WheelbarrowRider's comment on my last post was very timely.  She asked why I was opposed to laparoscopy. Well, what a difference 48 hours makes.  I went searching for research studies on unexplained infertility and the prevalence of endometriosis in infertility patients and I found something very interesting.  A study completed in 2009 titled:

High prevalence of endometriosis in infertile women with normal ovulation and normospermic partners

Uh oh.  

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of histologically proven endometriosis in a subset of infertile women.
DESIGN: Retrospective case series with electronic file search and multivariable logistic regression analysis.
SETTING: Tertiary academic fertility center.
PATIENT(S): Two hundred twenty-one infertile women without previous surgical diagnosis for infertility with regular cycles (variation, 21-35 days) whose partners have a normal semen analysis.
INTERVENTION(S): Diagnostic laparoscopy and, if necessary, operative laparoscopy with CO(2) laser excision. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENT(S): The prevalence of endometriosis and of fertility-reducing nonendometriotic tubal and/or uterine pathology.
RESULT(S): The prevalence of endometriosis was 47% (104/221), including stage I (39%, 41/104), stage II (24%, 25/104), stage III (14%, 15/104), and stage IV (23%, 23/104) endometriosis, and was comparable in patients with (54%, 61/113) and without (40%, 43/108) pelvic pain. The prevalence of fertility-reducing nonendometriotic tubal and/or uterine pathology was 29% in all patients (15% in women with and 40% in women without endometriosis). A multivariate logistic regression model including pain, ultrasound data, age, duration of infertility, and type of fertility was not or not sufficiently reliable for the prediction of endometriosis according to the revised American Fertility Society (rAFS) classifications I-II and rAFS III-IV, respectively.
CONCLUSION(S): Reproductive surgery is indicated in infertile women belonging to the study population, regardless of pain symptoms or transvaginal ultrasound results, since half of them have endometriosis and 40% of those without endometriosis have fertility-reducing pelvic pathology.
I'm not sure if you can call a 21 day cycle "normal" but the results of this study were telling.  Before this weekend, I was thoroughly unconvinced that a woman without painful periods or other pelvic pain could have endometriosis severe enough to prevent conception.  I'm still a tiny bit unconvinced but that's not stopping me from calling Dr. St.igen to schedule the surgery.  Trixie, I'm waiting for a return call.  I'll give her until 11am before I bang down her door. ;)
I'm also not sure I want to do the surgery with her but I'll at least schedule it hopefully for the first week in November to keep her on the hook.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

Open for Business

I had the HSG this morning; my fallopian tubes are open with no obstructions.  At least that's the initial reading from the radiologist who performed the test.  He will look at it closer but he said he didn't see anything abnormal.  As I told the female tech afterwards, this result was my expectation and my fear.  I'm almost officially an unexplained infertile.  I feel almost detached from this, at this point.  I can only worry and get upset so much before I'm exhausted and have to move on.  

As I'm sure many of you reading this have already had a HSG, I'll spare you the play-by-play.  I will say I went into the test as relaxed as I could be and the most I ever felt was high discomfort.  Nothing was painful but I did feel very uncomfortable when the doctor injected more dye to get all the way through the tubes.  The actual test took all of 10 minutes, if that.  They had me turn my hips for a side view which kind of sucked.  The cramping right afterward was quite bad, worse than my regular menstrual cramps.  They offered me water and a cold compress, which I declined since I wasn't sweating at all.  I asked to be able to stay lying down for a while (10 minutes) to let the worst cramps subside and just calm myself down before standing up and getting dressed.

The radiologist was curious why I was seeing a fertility specialist as far away as Sa.n Die.go, so that gave me an opportunity to tell him all about the Creighton Model and NFP.  He seemed genuinely interested and totally clueless about Creighton.  Just trying to get the message out there especially to male doctors who will probably have no use of that knowledge.  

I'm very glad I did the test down in San.ta. Monic.a.  They rebuilt the hospital from the ground up and all the equipment was new, which I'm sure I'll be paying for. :)  The radiologist was very nice and so was the technician.  I tried to keep up the talking to stay relaxed.  It's now 3 hours post procedure and I'm back at work and feeling near normal.    

Ironically, right before I walked into the hospital Trixie called me.  She said they got the ultrasound images and Dr. Stig.en could not see all of my uterus in the images so she wants me to do the hysterosonogram.  When I walked into radiology I asked if this could be done at the same time as the HSG since I brought the order with me but they said no can do.  I really don't think the sonogram is necessary.  I'm just an abnormal normal patient.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In a nutshell

Yesterday, I got our money back from the returned BCP.  I felt really silly doing that, but I tried to act like I wasn't embarrassed.  We're in the middle of the chairmanship coup d'etat but that should be resolved by Thursday, so hopefully we'll be moving back to getting a good night's sleep.  I'm yawning as I type.  Anyone who is already praying for my pathetic soul (I kid, I kid), could you also send one up for my husband?  He's terribly upset about what's happening and the absolute lameness and jerkish behavior of the other men on the Board.  I feel terrible for me and us as this will mean some changes in our day-to-day routines.  Nothing too big, but a change nonetheless.

On the baby-making front, we talked about the HSG and how the results will show everything's open (my prediction.)  Then the husband said, "Once that's over, treatment's over, right since you said you weren't inclined to do the laparascopy?  And we are not doing IVF."  I was a little miffed about the IVF statement not because I consider it an option for me/us but that I didn't want my husband making declarative statements about my infertility.  Picky, yes.  I want all my options on the table, even ones I've taken off the table. :)

[Husband] - So, what are we doing, are we taking a break?
[Me] - I look at it this way.  You need to have sex to make a baby [most of the time], I want to continue to have a sex-filled marriage.  Do you want to continue having sex with me?
[Husband] - Yeah, I do.

And, in a nutshell, that's where I'm at.  I'll continue popping Fertile CM, and if the mood strikes, we'll do it.  It's not TTC, it's just sex.  That sounds a lot more fun.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thank You

I've got a lot of kind people to thank for saving me this weekend and today.  To JBTC, she was very concerned that I was thinking about taking BCP, a drastic step in coping with failed TTC.  I read her kind and challenging words (tough love) to me about this issue.  Her support along with more time in prayer this weekend, I decided to lady-up and pull myself together, i.e. not take the BCP.  As a bonus to this situation, my pharmacy agreed to take the medication back for a refund.  Frugal husband will be delighted. ;)

I know Lauren's had a tremendous amount of stress and heartache to endure, but she took the time to write some kind words about me.  I had no idea there were so many Anne fans out there!  And to ACL, we were apparently on the same page yesterday about faking it until you make it.  Even though we're out of the prayer buddy cycle now, she was still one of my prayer intentions "held silently in my heart" at Mass last night.  God bless!

We did actually end up doing the sushi on Saturday, but with a bill of $115, my husband said he didn't want to make this a monthly date. :)  It wasn't so much the sushi that pushed us that high, I think it was the three large Sapporos and the hot saki.  Alcohol and food wasn't doing it for me so my faking it entailed working out for an hour Sunday despite a headache, straightening my hair, putting on more makeup than usual, taking deeper breaths, standing up straighter, and wearing a nice dress to church.  And I put a lot of effort into paying attention to my hubby.  After all that, I felt a lot better about my circumstances.  More on this later, but I think I've been hitting this TTC thing way too hard.