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 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 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!  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.


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


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. :)