Monday, January 31, 2011


Many years ago, a man I went on a couple of dates with gave me an audio CD of sermons from Tim Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC.  I have maybe thirty or so and have ordered or downloaded for free, other sermons or audio programs from Redeemer that I have found extraordinarily helpful like their talks on Christian marriage and how to make it work.

This morning on my iPod, a sermon related to the scripture reading this week, Blessed are the Poor came up.  I don't think I'd ever listened to it and found it to be a revelation in understanding what most most people of means don't, what poverty does to the individual and society at large and also how Christ views His special relationship to the poor.  I just looked it up and the sermon is free, so I'd encourage you to pick it up.

I guess Biaxin did it's thing.

If the Biaxin was to rid me of tail-end brown bleeding at least temporarily, it did that.  I did not want to take it and suffered from the nasty drug taste in my mouth for 21 days straight.  I took my last pill this morning (Praise God!)  Now on day 5 of AF, everything's been super bright red.  Should that make me feel good?

My husband was away this weekend and I made the executive decision to take Clomid this cycle.  I'm going to take it for five days, not the prescribed three.  Yes, I'm going rogue but what the hey?  And now it's back to charting.  If the Clomid doesn't work this cycle, my relationship with it is over.

I feel bad in that I'm at the end of the NaPro infertility testing protocol (minus the follicular ultrasound series) and I don't have anything to add to the blogosphere in that regard.  I feel stranded in an ever shrinking world of NFP users that NFP did not help in diagnosing infertility.  I wish Dr. St.igen would just call it "unexplained infertility" and be done with it.  Where's the compassion?  None of the doctors/nurses call me to check in.  It's like, send us your P+7 and if we don't get it, we don't care.

My husband asked me what I wanted to do if we still can't get pregnant doing what we're doing.  I told him I wasn't doing IVF (because that's just crazy) and I'm not jazzed about IUI since there is nothing to suggest bypassing the cervix would be of any benefit to us.  So, it's just back to life.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A mixed Friday

  • I met my mother at the vet this afternoon to euthanize our twenty year old cat.  We'd had Saucy since wow, I was a preteen.  She had a remarkably steady demeanor, never any stereotypical cat drama.  She lived a good life but it was heartbreaking to make the decision to end her life after seeing her deteriorate over the last several weeks.  Watching death is surreal; one moment something is alive, and then they are not.  Sad.
  • My boss remarked on the weight of a co-worker today.  She asked what so-and-so was doing to lose that much weight.  So-and-so is noticeably thinner than a few weeks ago.  My ego really rears its ugly head on this issue because I was annoyed at my boss's comment.  Perhaps jealous is the word I'm looking for.  My husband laments the fact the I need near constant affirmation but that's only because I got it as a child and I'm fully trained.  I'm also very sensitive to weight gain and although I'm (mock me, please) about two pounds over my normal, I'm miffed.  I haven't really felt thin since the surgery since I think I still have a little poof around my belly button.  Having two beers and cookies for dinner last night can't help.
  • The menstrual cramps I've had this month have been worse than I've ever felt.  Is that not totally ironic???  It's a really bad ache.  Aleve has been a close friend the last 36 hours.
Have a great weekend!  I hope it's sunny or at least not too snowy wherever you are.      

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I heard a rumor

And it was that human beings actually conceive children in a woman's womb.  Have you heard about this strange phenomenon, too?  It was around the time we got engaged when we picked up a copy of The Children of Men. It's a good movie.  I'd seen in a theater when it came out but for some reason when the possibility of marriage turned into a reality, I had this premonition that infertility was coming my way.  The concept of the movie is that at some point in the future, humans would stop reproducing altogether, everybody.  And then the world war to end all wars begins.

Because I got my period today and because my husband just left for a guy's weekend, I want to cry really bad but I'm at work and did quite a job on my eye makeup and wouldn't want to mess it up.  And I'm trying very hard to be strong.  So, to lighten the mood, here's some Bananarama.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Putting my money where my heart is

On Friday, I watched a video that hurt me so deeply I felt numb.  I cried when I got home from work.  I know I shouldn't watch videos showing animal abuse because it hurts so much but I couldn't turn a blind eye to what is going on in the world.  Because the video is highly disturbing, it shows bears, tigers, horses, etc. being beaten, whipped, and punched, I won't post it here.

Tonight I committed to giving $50 a month to Animals Asia.  They do important work across Asia to end bear farming (can you imagine this concept?) and the eradication of eating cats and dogs.  I encourage you to check out the link and see if you might be interested in helping these initiatives, too.  


As a relatively recent adoptee of the Catholic faith, I am continually learning about the Catholic Church's priorities and that of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  These funky and very powerful American bishops are extremely politically active and I get the impression lobbying the American government is what turns their crank.  The last I heard about them in church was when the Obama health care legislation was in development.  The priests asked us to fill out a card with our contact information to give to the USCCB.  I declined.  I have particular legislative priorities that run towards animal welfare and ending of American aid to Pakistan.  I learned that Pakistanis don't pay taxes with any regularity.  Why am I expected to support them?  (Yeah, I know it's to help keep a nuclear country stable but I'm not buying it.)

I like to concentrate on the issues I care about, not necessarily what the Church cares about.  I think the Church should care about the systematic torture and abuse of sentient beings used in government research but they don't seem to be moving in that direction.  So, I'm kind of left with what they give us.  In the U.S. Bishops’ Legislative ‘Principles and Priorities’ For New Congress letter, they promote the things that you'd think they would: protection of the poor and vulnerable (their definition of), and respect for the dignity of all human life an underlying principle.  Regarding the latter, the following sentence really confuses me, "Efforts to force Americans to fund abortions with their tax dollars pose a serious moral challenge...."

But forcing Americans to fund all kinds of devastatingly expensive welfare and foreign aid programs apparently offers no similar moral challenge.  I don't get that.  It looks to me that 'respecting the dignity of all human life' is so entirely focused on abortion, Catholics are not encouraged to look at or support the end of activities that truly destroy the dignity of human life.  For example, supporting corrections to Canon Law that force dioceses to reveal to law enforcement priests that sexually molest children.  If you don't know how sexual abuse obliterates a person's dignity and causes unbelievable anguish, see here.  And what about modern day slavery and forced prostitution?  I think that is clearly an example of the disrespect of human dignity.

My theory as to why the Church focuses so heavily on abortion is because it's easy to work against it.  Let me say here that I think they should work against abortion however not to the detriment of other critical initiatives to save and love God's people.  You can find abortion clinics.  The addresses are in the yellow pages.  It's easy to head over there and pray in front of it.  Most pregnant women getting abortions are scared and very vulnerable.  Those are the easiest people to influence.  Not so with prostitution.  Those places typically don't advertise to the public their locations.  You can't know where a pimp's house is to pray in front of it.  The pimp is also likely well armed.  Not so pregnant women.

And from what it looks like in my diocese, we're not going after pedophile priests or even spending any time praying for the victims of abuse during Mass.  You, of course, can offer that up during prayers of the faithful but couldn't we hear more about that during a homily?  Can't we do better for the vulnerable in our churches?  I suspect we don't because it's easier to go after abortion rather than an adult male and priest.  

I think it's an Americans duty to get involved in the law making process.  There are good things to be done.  I'll continue to look beyond the Catholic Bishops initiatives and work toward furthering issues that I know God cares about because He cares about the dignity of all His children and the protection of all His creation. 


Saturday, January 22, 2011


I made reference to attending a baby shower this past October or so.  The shower was for a young couple who lives on our street.  Did I mention that they failed to notify us of the birth or even divulge the name of the child (we did know the baby is a girl given all the pink stuff they had in their registry?)  It might be awkward for both of us since we can see when the other comes and goes, but could they have the decency to show me the baby?  I'm starting to regret the present I bought.

My husband went over the see my parents this morning.  They needed help moving furniture or something like that.  I couldn't/didn't want to go because I was cleaning the white tile, white chalk shower with a clear glass door.  Yes, it's torture and a nearly two hour job.  My husband said my parents asked about the fertility thing and he told them we didn't believe in IVF.  I am proud of him that he stood up for our beliefs in the face of my mother's comments like, "Well, there's always IVF."  Uh, no Mom there's not.

Apparently my parents tried to adopt early in their marriage (three years in) but the adoption agency was mean to them.  The funny thing about my parents is that they've never mentioned this fact to me but chose to tell my husband without me there.  I don't really feel strongly about it but it just makes me think my parents are losing it.  Several weeks ago, I had a major breakdown where I left my house and drove over to theirs.  When my dad opened the door, I just burst into tears.  He gathered me up in his arms (I knew he would do this and that's why I went over because my husband is not quite as giving in that way.)  My mom was peppering me with questions but my dad was telling her to stop talking.  It was weird.  It took me about twenty minutes to stop sobbing.

Before I left that night, I asked them why they didn't tell me earlier in my adult life or even in my marriage all about their fertility troubles.  My mom claimed they didn't know if my experience would mirror her own but that seemed stupid since daughters can more often than not inherit their mothers health problems.  I do remember my parents vaguely talking some years back that they had an ectopic pregnancy like two years into the marriage.  Their first child was conceived about four years after the wedding.  But, that was about all the details they got into that would concern me.

It perhaps make sense my mom and dad told my husband about the failed adoption attempt since my husband told me they said he was their favorite son-in-law.  They can afford to say that since he's their only one.    

Friday, January 21, 2011


I have a infec.tion.  Maybe I was getting cocky that I'd gone so many months without one since using PreSe.ed.  I remember vaguely reading a comment about taking probiotics while on Biaxin.  It went one ear and out the other.  I ignored the itchiness for five days, it wasn't all that bad except for this morning while attempting sex, it knew it was bad and I knew what was causing it.

This could cause me to resent Trixie and Dr. St.igen for not checking on me or not even mentioning this could happen and prescribing diflucan but maybe they think I know better.  I should have known.  This shouldn't come as a surprise other than it's horribly annoying.  So, it's back to three days of the cream starting tonight and finding plain, no sugar added yogurt for the rest of the Biaxin treatment.  I barely could take the pill this morning.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Being able to get pregnant and being a good parent are not synonymous

Video of Toddler Smoking Pot Lands Couple in Jail

Monday, January 17, 2011


I haven't talked about her in a while, but I've been having some great contact with Afina.  She remains the person I've loved for so long, irreverent, great sense of humor, takes deep responsibility, and despite being a brand new mother, she still can talk to me about what it feels to not get pregnant.  I'm headed to her house this afternoon to see her and the baby.  I'm very excited to take lots of pictures.  He looks like a doll in the photos his father took!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I cancelled the appointment with my psychiatrist for tomorrow.  It didn't seem like it was worth the trouble.  I feel fine, generally.  Headaches come and go but I think that's because of work stress and forcing myself to get to work when the office opens.  Normally, I arrive anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes late.  But, now with the new division, I feel obligated to show up on time since I'm the third highest ranking person.  I've got my window office and some people display some jealousy.  I try to deflect it saying that the window just allows me to witness distracting scenes, but they don't buy it.  I'm more easily distracted than most, I guess.

I was asked by one staff member to give a kind of executive education talk at the staff meeting this afternoon.  I spent about twenty minutes preparing, writing an outline of what I was going to say.  Well, another speaker took the entire friggin' hour.  I was pissed.  I can't take all the chatter.  My husband just called and I told him I was really looking forward to coming home tonight.  I definitely need to get away from this overstimulating environment often.

I heard some very sad news that I should pass on, so you can hopefully keep this couple in your prayers.  One of my husband's colleagues wife discovered the child in her womb died.  She was six months pregnant.  I believe yesterday, the doctors were going to induce the birth.  This must be particularly devastating given the advanced age of their child.  I remember when my husband told me they were pregnant.  I heard they were so excited.  Please pray if you can.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More smatterings

I think in chunks, this I like to write this way, too.

  1. There are a lot of women in my new section at work.  I'm getting annoyed that they are constantly talking about weight loss, how to do it, which program to use, what to eat, etc.  Now this might be because it's the new year and everybody's on the resolution kick (my husband, who works out year round is always unhappy in January when the gym is bursting with people.)  However, this topic is one of the most talked about in the Western world, you'd think people would have figured it out by now.  
  2. We started the Biaxin on Monday.  I hate the drug taste in my mouth.  My husband asked me this morning if the Biaxin will prevent us from getting pregnant this month.  I told him I didn't think so and Dr. S.tigen hadn't mentioned any adverse effects.  But then they don't really communicate with me at all.
  3. I was bestowed a big, new project at work yesterday.  I'm very excited but nervous (heck, nervous is my base state.) - More on that later.
  4. My 10-day workout challenge has now stretched to 12 days.  I'm supposed to do the cardio tape five times.  Since it's not everyday, Voight's theory is that you don't get bored with it.  After three times in six days, it's very boring.  I'm trying to figure out what to do tonight.  I'll probably scrap the cardio portion of this program and do a dance routine just to switch things up.
  5. Although I'm feeling much better and not so depressed, I decided to keep my psychiatrist appointment on Friday.  If he writes a prescription, fine.  I don't have to fill it right away.  I look at this situation as insurance; a good thing.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Smattering

  1. My out-of-depression manic stage is over.  It last about two days. :)  I think I'm now just out of depression.  The mania was brought on primarily because I moved offices at work to be closer to my new boss.  It's a window office which I generally find distracting because I can see which of the big guns are arriving late to work.  The last window office I had was in DC but that was at the corner of 17th St and Connecticut which was way more exciting than what I have now.  But, I'm not one to complain (most of the time.)
  2. The husband has been cracking some really good jokes lately.  Too personal to share (the jokes tend to focus on my serial dating life) but they do put me in a good mood (and help to not take myself seriously, which I desperately need.)
  3. I bought some shoes that are to die for!  They are a work of art I can barely imagine actually wearing them outside.  They are Sergio Rossi handmade in Spain.  I tried to find a photo on the web but it looks like the shoe is sold out everywhere.  I found them 60% off.  I've never owned shoes like this; it's really an incredible experience, if you're a shoe girl.
  4. To go along with the mania, I started a 10 day workout challenge.  I work out pretty regularly anyway (3-4 times a week), but this program is every day.  I'm five days in and already tired of it.  I started it because I did gain some holiday excess pounds (too much cheese and cosmopolitans).  Total weight loss is 3.4 lbs since Monday.  My goal was to lose five lbs. but if I lose more that's fine.  It really depends on how much I eat during the day.  Deprivation has never been my thing.  I've tried fasting in the past and that just made me crazy.  Here's a short preview of the three workout DVDs, in case you're interested.  Karen Voight is my all-time favorite instructor.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Coming to a conclusion, sort of

I've been letting myself be beaten down by me.  And yesterday evening, I had about enough of that.  Ironically, I don't have the strength to be sad and hopeless for too long.  I guess two weeks is my current limit.  I'm sure many people want to tell me I'm taking myself way too seriously and I know that's true.  Over thinking has always contributed to my downfall.

I'm going to lay this out in the blogosphere... I believe we'll get pregnant in 2011 without fertility drugs or additional medical intervention.  I don't have any hard and fast stats on this issue but a fair amount of experience tells me that for some couples, it will take them up to two years to get pregnant.  And this doesn't mean they have some serious underlying condition that makes them infertile or subfertile.  I think it means that for some, currently unknown medical factors make the odds of getting pregnant in any given month a lot harder.

I say currently unknown because I haven't found any credible medical research that explains why a woman with stage one endometriosis cannot get pregnant.  One random medical practice website says:
In early endometriosis (Stage I-II), the mechanism of infertility is less clear and more complex. Studies from our Institute for the Study and Treatment of Endometriosis (Endometriosis Institute) and from other centers have shown that in endometriosis, the intraperitoneal environment, through a variety of mechanisms, prevents conception. It has been demonstrated that the peritoneal fluid from women with endometriosis contains different biochemical substances with anti-fertility effects. These substances produced by the endometriotic cells or cells of the immune system include several prostaglandins with smooth muscle contracting properties, various cytokines, abnormal autoantibodies, and reactive oxygen radicals. They can prevent ovulation by inducing early LUF (luteinized unruptured follicle) Syndrome; others prevent egg capture by the fimbria of the fallopian tube, interfere with tubal function and its ability to transport gametes and embryos, interfere with hormone production by the corpus luteum, and have embryo-toxic or anti-implantation effects. The anti-fertility effect of the peritoneal environment is, however, variable and depends on the amount of the peritoneal fluid produced and the concentration of these biochemical factors. Consequently, infertility in women with endometriosis is relative, which means that some women are able to conceive. 
Once ART came on the scene, the incentive for the medical community to explain the factors that cause infertility went by the wayside.  There was too much money to be made.  Who cares about why this patient can't get pregnant?  We'll bypass the natural conception process, harvest the components, wash the sperm, and fertilize in a lab.  And once the blastocyst(s) are ready to go, we'll implant in the uterus for gestation.  The practice referenced above is a fertility clinic and their site advertises their IVF success rates and the virtues of egg freezing.  Maybe they do a little endo research, but let's not dwell on that, get those girls into IVF pronto!

While it does tick me off that the medical establishment puts no money into researching "unexplained infertility," I do understand it.  Because I and women like me are not dying, we're not sick, we're not even close to sick.  There's really nothing wrong with us other than we cannot get pregnant.  What government would want to waste research money on that?

When I started my blog in April 2010, I was excited to use NaPro and Creighton to find the source of my infertility.  It frustrated me that some physicians made predictions based on my charts that weren't substantiated by hard evidence.  And it was frustrating that every test result came back normal.  Even before laparoscopy, I wanted to believe there was something obvious that could be fixed so I could get pregnant.  But, there was nothing.  Just a tiny bit of endo on one of the ovaries.  Hardly something I would consider a barrier to normal fertility.

I might have lutenized unruptured follicle syndrome (LUFS.)  I don't know because I can't remotely do a follicular ultrasound series without incredible inconvenience.  And really why waste time on that when I can just take Clomid.  The 50mg taken on days 3, 4, and 5 did not work.  Maybe it will work if I take it for 5 days, like WheelbarrowRider suggested.  I'm not ready for that right now.  Just like the three months leading up to the surgery last year, I need a break.

I need, for the sake of my sanity, to not think about getting pregnant, and where I am in my cycle every day, and how much fertile mucus I have and is it enough, and wondering why it's not happening, and feeling jealous it's happening to others.  My fears came true.  But I can't let that rule my life.  My husband is right, I have a great life.  I've been given many gifts and incredible opportunities.  Now for a photo of pithy aphorisms:



Monday, January 3, 2011

50 mg of Clomid is NOT a panacea

My hopes were so high when I took 50 mg of Clomid the last cycle after one cycle of 25 mg.  So, it was no surprise how upset I was that my period came like 11-post peak clock work.  Because I've been having chronic headaches for the last two weeks and the thought of more anxiety problems with Clomid was unpalatable, I told my husband that I'm not taking it this month.  Maybe next month.  I did inform Dr. S.tigen's office that I couldn't get the P+7 blood draw last month because that was Christmas day.  Why I didn't tell her that I'm skipping the Clomid this month, I can't explain.  Maybe I just didn't want to get into it....  Like, hey, ovulation stimulation is not working or at least that's not the solution.  Despite no test results to confirm its efficacy, I'm down on drugs right now.

I called the doctor mainly to ask why I should be taking the Biaxin when I don't have a bacterial infection.  I only took elementary microbiology but I know that antibiotics kill bacteria.  Everybody has good bacteria and I don't want to kill that off.  If no bad bacteria's around, what in heck is the Biaxin actually doing for me, and my husband???  I'm not seeing the logic here.

I got an appointment with my old psychiatrist for next Friday, two weeks.  I did tell the receptionist that if she had a cancellation in the meantime, I'm happy to pick that up.  The thought of seeing a doctor for something other than gynecological issues makes me absolutely giddy.  Well, maybe not giddy but at least it piques my interest.  Technically this is not a good start to 2011 but I'm working with what I've got.

I do believe God's plan.  I just wish I knew what His intentions were with me.  How can everything look so normal, and then not be?  

Saturday, January 1, 2011

From the Mass to the masses

"Faith..." wrote about her experience last night which almost thoroughly mirrored mine a few weeks ago.  She gave a very intelligent, brave account.  Bravo!

I'm sure I'll write about all the amazing things I learned about myself in 2010 and how I'm glad it's over... dead.  And how I hope for great things in 2011.  It's hard, stressful to be infertile.  I hate to be a broken record, seriously.  But, it dominates my life.