Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday night update

I think I might have ovulated on Wednesday. Not sure, really. My temp was very, very slightly elevated yesterday morning and way low this morning (96.7) but I think I may have fallen back asleep with my mouth open this morning. I've had a CM dry up, so I believe the egg has been released.

I've also gotten my test results from the new R.E. Turns out that I am, indeed, insulin resistance. I'm waffling on how I really feel about that.

On the one hand, it's not a surprise at all. I come from a long line of diabetics. Plus I'm fat. Not like a little pudgy - I'm obese. All my PCOS tests have been fine, so while it isn't PCOS, the suspicion of both me and both of my REs is that perhaps I have some of the same types of things going on. Also, it's a diagnosis of sorts. Another piece of the puzzle. Probably at least partially explains my crappy ovulation and may even have played a role in my miscarriage. Which of course, brings a whole other set of emotions into play.

On the other hand, I'm not exactly thrilled to be pre-diabetic. And even less thrilled to need to take yet ANOTHER friggin' pill. No.. not A pill, another FOUR pills, eventually. Add to that the fact that metformin is notorious for causing a variety of stomach ills - well, color me less-than-thrilled.

Overall, I'm calling it hopeful because with a diagnosis comes a treatment and hopefully a lesser risk of another miscarriage.

If anyone is remotely interested, here's some info. The doctor mentioned in the article is indeed my R.E.

I took the first pill last night. I take 1 at dinner for a week, then add 1 at breakfast for a week. Then another at dinner for a week and finally step up to 2 at breakfast and 2 at dinner for.. well..a long time.

Since I did test positive for insulin resistance, I'll continue taking it through all of TTC and through my first trimester of pregnancy. (You know, assuming I ever GET pregnant again. I'm feeling a wee bit frustrated today.. so I need to add that.)

In other news this week, a 60 year old woman has given birth.

When I first heard the news I honestly didn't know how to feel. So we'll weigh hands again.

I mean, Wow.. what an amazing feat. How amazing is the technology that can allow a woman twice my age to have twins. But then- WAIT.. a woman TWICE my age gave birth? Why the hell can't I?

I really WANT to think it's of no concern to me. So some 60 year old stranger decided to have children? So what? Not my business. It's just another testament to what amazing things can happen and should give me hope- yes?

But honestly, I feel mildy disgusted by the whole thing. First of all, this woman already had several other children. She risked both her own life and the life of these babies by deciding to do this. There's a reason people don't get pregnant at 60, ya know? Now, all of that I can get over. In the end, it's her life and if she and her husband are willing to risk it.. so be it.

I couldn't help but think of a friend's sister who had a very dangerous first pregnancy in which she almost died and is now IVFing again. Her sister (my friend) is very upset about her risking her life for another child. But I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing. But somehow being SIXTY makes it seem even more foolish.

What I think bothers me more than anything is the fact that it seems to give yet another black eye to infertility and A.R.T. I feel the same way about mothers giving birth to six babies. I can't help but blame them a little when someone says to me "Oh? You're taking fertility drugs? You aren't going to have a litter, are you?" with that look usually reserved for circus freaks.

I, of course, realize that it's really the fault of the person making assumptions, but damn it, the media reports these stories and that's what people see. They think that fertility treatments are for old people trying to have babies past a reasonable age and freaks. And I don't think I fall into either group. Neither do ANY of the other infertiles I know.

That's part of why I'm so open about my journey these days. Hey.. look at me.. the girl next door is broken, too..

Of course, there's also the issue of the mother in question refusing to disclose if she used an egg donor or not. What is that about? She's fine with all this media attention and is open about having to travel to another country to do this because the US wouldn't, but somehow egg donation is private? I can't even wrap my head around how that works in her mind.

I don't know. Again, it's really none of my business, but I certainly feel like as an out-of-the-closet infertile that it's partly my responsiblity to accurately depict the struggles that we go through. And to at least pass along accurate info.

What's it that the superheroes say? With great power comes great responsibility. And having the attention of the world is certainly great power. Way to let us all down, lady.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


If ever I doubt God's existence, I can simply look around and see my blessings.

A friend (I consider her my Lady-When-Waiting ) asked me last week to try to explain how I feel about my miscarriage. What a loaded question it was.

She is currently going to school for her Master's in Counseling and truly has been a blessing to me. She's one of the most empathetic people I know. I can't possibly thank her enough.

My reply to her was lengthy. The main emotion that I feel is isolation. And that isolation leads to anger. But mainly I walk around feeling like no one gets it. No one understands how sad I am. How much pain I'm in. How angry I am. How bitter.

That was several days ago and I've thought about it a lot since then. I know that the feelings aren't healthy. And I don't really understand them completely. I've alluded to some of my shitty childhood cirumstances. I don't feel bitter about it. I realize that it was shitty and unfair, but I also realize that everyone goes through shit and in the end I think it made me the person I am today. I happen to like myself quite a bit, so I don't feel bitter.

But the miscarriage.. I feel bitter. A few weeks ago I had a breakdown with my husband about how fucking unfair it is. I got the shit end of the stick in a lot of ways.. the least God could do is let me have this one thing. This one very natural thing.

But then, just when I'm feeling at the height of my anger, I get an email from a friend.

We'll call her B. B has PCOS and needed Clomid to conceive her son who is a little over 1. She also needed it to conceive again. She's pregnant with a little girl. Her original due date was the same day as mine. At her first ultrasound, they pushed her due date back a week. She wasn't monitoring her ovulation, so it made sense that it was a little later than what a LMP would calculate.

When she told me that her due date had been pushed back I was relieved. Those few days made a big difference to my emotional state.

She's having a scheduled C-section. The doctor has given her the option of days to deliver. They've given her the choice of days. August 14th, 15th or 16th. My due date was the 16th.

That's where the email I received today comes in.

Just when I'm feeling alone- completely isolated- she writes to ask me if her having the baby on my due date would make it harder for me. She doesn't want to add to my pain.

I didn't know how to respond. As odd as it sounds, the fact that she asked makes it okay. I told her to do what makes her life easier.

So, to my lady-when-waiting, to B, and to God - thank you. Today, I feel my blessings and I feel less alone.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A new plan

I met my new R.E. today.

The short version is that it went well.

I liked her. I was comfortable. She answered my questions. All is well.

If you don't care about the details, stop reading here.

For the rest of you, a blow-by-blow.

My appointment was at 10:45, I arrived about 10:35.

When I got to the reception desk and gave my name, the woman there said "Oh! You're REALLY late!"

Of course, I looked at her in confusion because I was early.

It seems they had me down at 10.
Now, I'm fairly certain I'm right. My original appointment was for May 8th at 10. My new doctor had to go out of town and they called and rescheduled me for May 17th at 10:45. At the time she called to reschedule I remember thinking that 10:45 was pushing it if they were behind because I had to work at 1:30, but figured it would be okay. Plus I had it written in a few places as 10:45. But who knows.

In any case, the woman at the desk didn't act like she was too concerned. Told me she'd check with the doctor and to have a seat.

Fifteen minutes later she hadn't said anything, but she got up, got her purse, said something to another woman who came from the back and she left.

The new lady sat maybe 10 minutes and then called me up to basically ask who I was. Anyway, after the explanation, she talked to the doctor, she agreed to see me and I proceeded to sign my many forms.

After nearly an hour in the waiting room I was called back.

I was a nervous wreck, to be honest.

The nurse lead David to an office and took me to be weighed & blood pressured. I warned her that my BP might be up a bit because I was a little keyed up.

She asked if I was nervous and I said yes. She then told me not to be nervous - that Dr. Moley (my new R.E.) was so great, down to earth and wonderful and assured me I'd love her. I told her that Dr. Moley had come recommended by my former R.E., Dr. Keller. (Who used to work in this office and will be returning to it in a few months.) The nurse told me she was just like Dr. Keller and not to worry. It must've worked 'cause my BP was 112/78. Last week at my PCP, it was high, so that pleased me immensely.

Back to the office to join the hubby.

An intern came in and took an extensive history. I had filled out a few hundred forms already, so she went through those. She even complimented me on my thoroughness at one point. (Points scored.)

I don't remember her name, but she seemed very nice and was also extremely attractive. I mention this only because I'm on a streak of extremely attractive hoo-ha doctors in the last few years and the trend continues. Nothing like being a fat girl with a pretty girl having to see you naked. It's like a nightmare about high school.

Anyway, she left for a bit. David and I took the opportunity to flip through a People magazine on the desk. Did you know that Rachel Ray drinks 10 cups of coffee a day? That explains a LOT, right?
In the same article, Rachel discusses her lack of desire to have children. I have no problem with that, but I did find myself a little annoyed because in her response to suggestions that she's "barren" she scoffs as though that's an insult. But I might be a little over-sensitive on that issue.

Anyway, shortly, pretty intern lady returned with Dr. Moley in tow.

I liked her immediately.

She's also attractive (the streak continues yet again.) I'd guess her age in her mid-30's though my research on her makes me think she's probably a little older. Blonde, nice smile. Good handshake.

I realize it probably makes me sound stodgy, but a good handshake is important to me. Not so much that I judge a person to be good based on a good one, but I will judge a person to be annoying based on a limp one, or pushy with a too-strong one. It's just one of my quirks.

The biggest thing in her favor right off was that she came in and said, "Hi. I'm Dr. Moley - Kelle." As though we should call her Kelle. (My old R.E., Dr. Keller, was the same way.) I would never call her by her first name, but I did like that she mentioned it. Made her seem like she saw me as an equal, which I dig.

She talked to us for a bit, asked a few questions about our history. She smiled. (Odd, I know.) As she asked a few questions, I pulled out some paperwork from the giant file that I had drug in. It seemed to please her that I had test results. That made me feel good.

At one point she asked, "Are you a nurse? You seem very knowledgeable." (Ding ding ding.. Yep. I'm in love. My ego grew 3 sizes right there.) I replied, "No. I just read a lot."

After she'd asked her questions she asked what else I had in my file. Mostly it was just charts. She'd already looked at a few. Basically she wanted to see the difference between natural cycles (useless) and Clomid cycles (biphasic.)

Anyway, she went over a lot of stuff that I honestly already knew, but David found it informative (Funny, when *I* talk, he just nods.) so it was fine.

She has a really extensive research background into PCOS and insulin resistance. I read some of her studies and found it interesting. Of course, she brought it up.

My testosterone has been fine and I've been tested for diabetes many times (the joys of being a fat girl) and it never came back bad. But of course, insulin resistant and diabetic are not the same. So she wanted to do another test to really determine for sure.

Dr. Keller had suspected that I may have a very, very mild case of PCOS but because of a recent weight loss maybe improved things a bit. Dr. Moley seemed to agree.

What we decided is that we would add some glucophage to the Clomid no matter what. She explained that it can only increase the quality of my ovulation. If the test comes back okay (no insulin resistance) she'll have me stop it as soon as I get pregnant. If I am insulin resistant, I'll continue through my 1st trimester.

I explained my hit-or-miss history with catching my LH surge even though I'm ovulating every month. She agreed that we could do a monitor and a trigger. She did this while eyeing my list of questions, which said at the top "Monitor? Trigger?" and I couldn't help but laugh seeing her eye my list. She smirked a bit. You could tell she was amused by my anal retentiveness. She didn't seem annoyed, so I was fine with that.

At one point she asked David about his stress level. His reply was to shrug and give a half hearted shake of his head. A man of many words, I married. I explained that he was a "mellow fellow" whereas I'm a bit high strung. Again, the amused smile. I could see her thinking "yes, I know your type." But again, she didn't seem annoyed, just entertained.

Anyway, she is of the opinion that I probably won't need IVF, though she did give us a sneak peak at what a protocol would look like if we got there.

Our plan at this point is a couple of monitored Clomid/Metformin/Trigger IUIs.
If still not pregnant, we'll move on to Follistim instead of Clomid. I tried to hide my glee when she mentioned that follistim has about a 3 in 10 chance of twins vs the 1 in 10 for Clomid.. and a small percentage of triplets (okay, triplets is pushing it.. but twins.. I'm suddenly on board for. Let's get this TTC stuff out of the way.)

If THAT doesn't work, we'll move on to IVF. I was concerned about IVF because of my weight. I know some people that have had to lose weight to be eligible for some IVF programs and I really was worried I wouldn't be a candidate. Fortunately she said the they really go more by how easily they are able to see my ovaries on an ultrasound. They used to have a weight cut off (which was 50 pounds heavier than what I weigh now, for the record.) but really it's just a matter of being able to navigate the ovaries.

Since I've had umpteen ultrasounds and not had any problems, I think we'll be okay. *phew*

After she'd answered my questions, written scripts etc, she sent me across the hall for some blood work. As we left the office together, I apologized for my high-maintenance ways and thanked her for her patience.

I explained that when something is scary to me, the only thing I find comforting to learn everything I can about it, so that's why I am the way I am. She gave me such a sweet smile and said "I understand. I'm the same way." And it felt like she meant it.

Oh- and the blood work went well, too. I'm a tough stick and the nurse got my blood with one poke and minimal digging.

All in all, it felt good. I liked her, I liked her staff. I liked her answers. I like our plan. Life is good.

Now I'm just hangin' out waitin' for the next cycle.

I'm only on CD6, so it's going to be a long month.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

It is now 2:30 am on Mother's Day.

I've rewritten the first sentence of this blog 4 times now.

I'm having a really hard time really qualifying my feelings about today. I've been mulling them all week in anticipation of today. I purposely tested early because I didn't want to see a BFN today. Of course, I didn't know my period would be early, but I very purposely timed things so as not to make today any worse than it has to be.

I would say that the biggest question I have is "What is a mother?"

Am I a mother?

Because I don't know.

I conceived a child. I carried it in me. I worried for it. I saw its heartbeat. I prayed for it. I decided it was a boy and decided to call him Gabriel. My husband doesn't agree, but to me, he will always be Gabriel. Gabriel means "A gift to God" and I've found that appropriate in so many ways.

But I never held him in my arms. I never looked him in the eye. There is no birth certificate, no social security number. No one will give me a card today or wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Most of my family doesn't know he existed.

So am I a Mother?

I honestly don't have an answer.

I used to say things like "I'm not a mom so I don't know......" Now I am more likely to say "I've never had a baby so I don't know........" because I feel like I'm somewhere in limbo.

When I was younger, I had a boss who lost a baby at about 5 months gestation. She had a family member who had sent her a mother's day card every year since then. It drove her crazy. I remember thinking at the time how sweet her family member was, but also wondering if I would consider her a mom. I never did make up my mind.

I don't honestly know what I would do if someone gave me a card today. Cry, for sure, but I wouldn't be offended. I would think it was sweet, but I'm not sure I wish for it, because it would be bittersweet at best.

Mother's Day has always been an odd one for me.

My mother left when I was 2. People who know me casually think she's dead. She's not. Twenty five years later on a Sunday morning, she called my house.

It was an odd conversation to say the least. She acted as though she'd been pining for me for all those years. Yet I was 27 years old and had been listed in the phone book for more than 10 years. (Which is how she found me, for the record.) Our relationship this round didn't last half as long as it did the first time. Turns out she's a little crazy. It's a long story and one that inevitably leads to the "Oh.. I'm so sorry..." to which I reply "Don't be.. I was better off without her.. I swear."

She didn't raise me. If anyone was a mother to me, it was my paternal grandmother. She gets a gift & a card. I rarely even think of my mother.

Yet she is my mom. She knows she is a mother. One of the first things she asked when she called me was "Do you have I a grandmother?" Which struck me as only slightly odd at the time, but more so now. If she wasn't a mom to me, and I had a child, is she a grandmother to my child? That somehow seems wrong.

Even now, I always refer to her as "my mother" not as "my mom" because mom seems too personal. And when I speak of her parents I say "my mother's mom" not my "maternal grandmother" etc. I barely know my mother. I don't know her parents at all. Yet they can claim to be a mother or grandmother.

It just seems wrong to me.

If someone had asked me these questions before my pregnancy I would have said to them "Do you FEEL like a mom?"

And the answer to my own question is simply that I don't know. I feel like I made a baby. The day we saw our baby's heartbeat on that ultrasound monitor, I saw life. We ate lunch afterward and I said "that's us... that's our baby. We made a life." It felt extremely real to me. During my brief pregnancy, I worried for him. I told my dad once that "carrying another human being around in you is a lot of responsibility" because I just felt so overwhelmed with concern for his well-being. After he died, I prayed to God to tell him how much we loved him.

But as I've never held a baby in my arms and known it was mine. I don't know if that's what motherhood feels like. I honestly just don't know.

So. I'm spending the weekend with my mother-in-law. Which is an interesting thing anyway. She's one of those we'll-pretend-it-never-happened people.

Tonight we were talking about broken tailbones and I mentioned that mine still aches after a fall several years ago.

She said, "Oh.. I didn't know you had broken it. When you ever get pregnant you'll have to tell the doctor about it."

I paused briefly because it annoyed me, though I couldn't quite decide why just then. I just went on as though it was fine.

But after the fact I realized why it irked me.

It seemed to imply that I had never been pregnant. And it felt like she was denying not just my pain, my experience.... but my baby. As though he hadn't existed. It also hinted of "if you guys ever get around to it.." as though we haven't been at this for 8 billion years already and would one day wake up, decide to get have a baby, get pregnant and all would be normal.

My passive aggressive way of dealing with it was to bring up my miscarriage a couple of times. She visibly blanched when I mentioned it. And didn't respond at all. She talked completely around it. Which in some sick, twisted way pleased me. She had made me uncomfortable and I had reciprocated. Probably not healthy, but I am still me. I'm nothing if not a bitch.

So, if my MIL denying his existence leads me to feel protective of him, is that not a maternal instinct? Again.. I just don't know.

If anyone has any profound thoughts out there, I'd love to hear them. I'll just be over here with a fake smile on my face trying not to cry.


P.S. A special thank you to Tertia for a blog entry that was both profound and touching.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Another one bites the dust

Well, it looks like this one is a bust, too.

I tested yesterday. BFN. I didn't cry, which sort of surprised me.
I then proceeded to have the shittiest day I've had in ages. Expensive repairs to David's car, a really shitty appointment with my new primary care doc, and a huge fight with some friends were just the highlights.

I had half convinced myself the test was wrong yesterday. My boobs sort of hurt and I felt a little crampy. My temp was still above coverline, though certainly not pregnancy-high. Today I dropped well below coverline. Just waitin' on AF.

I am sad today. I'm feeling more hopeless than I like to let myself feel. The numbers were good, the timing was good.. and here we are. I know the odds are against us, but it just sucks.

We've decided we're taking May off. We both have things we want to do for Memorial Day which is when I would ovulate. I see the new RE next Thursday. So if she wants to do anything, she can do it during this cycle and we can just keep on.

It's hard for me to take the month off. My type-A-ness does not allow for breaks. I'm sort of the you-can-sleep-when-you're-dead type when something is important to me. So this is hard. I waffled back and forth about what to do and eventually David just decided.

I was really grateful for it. He's not really the decision maker. Particularly in the midst of all of this. He tends to follow my lead. But I was thankful for him because I just couldn't decide.

I think the worst part of it is knowing that it's one month closer to my original due date (August 16th) and I really, really want to be pregnant before then. So that leaves June, & July, most likely. Ideally, I'd love to be "comfortably" pregnant before my due date.. at least be past the point of seeing a good heartbeat.

We shall see, I suppose.

Anyway, that's it for me. This has been a hard two week wait. I was so hopeful and so scared. But, as they say- What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. So I move on.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007


There are moments in the journey of infertility that stand out. Markers, maybe.

The first negative pregnancy test.
The first time a negative test makes you cry.
The first time the doctor tells you something is wrong.
The first time the sight of a baby makes you sad instead of happy.
The first time the sound of a baby in a restaurant makes you cry.
The first time someone tells you they're pregnant and you feel like you've been kicked in the stomach.

Then there is the day that the baby from the previous is born.

Today is that day for me. This was a friend who didn't think she could have any more children and suddenly found herself pregnant. She was the first person to get that news after we were told we may never be able to conceive. Her pregnancy has been an emotional one for me. She's thrilled to be a mom again, and I am happy for her. I'm happy she and her new son are doing well. But the sight of his picture today lead to me sobbing in the bathroom at work.

I thought I was okay. When the news of his arrival came, I felt joy. I honestly felt happiness. Then the picture.
I can't explain why.. perhaps knowing that I may never see a newborn baby and know it's mine. But it hit hard. I didn't feel it in my stomach. I felt it in my face.

It wasn't jealousy. It was sadness. Total self-pity. I got up and walked to the bathroom. For a moment just moving around felt better and I thought I might actually be okay. But I closed the stall door and sat and suddenly I was literally gasping for air. The tears only lasted a few minutes. As I felt it go, the usual feeling of ridiculousness came. Perhaps I'm pregnant even now. And even if I'm not, what good is it to cry?

Then someone came in the bathroom and I knew I needed to get my shit together. So I dried my eyes, pulled my hair around my face and went to wash my hands. The lady who had come in glanced at me. I'm certain she saw my red eyes but thankfully didn't ask.

I dabbed some cool water on my face, laughed at how ridiculous I was, then found myself a Pepsi. More for the cold bottle to press on my eyes than a desire for the soda itself.

And now I move on.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Halfway through.

Well, I'm halfway through the two week wait.
I honestly don't know how to summarize how I feel emotionally. Hopeful & scared, I guess. Every twinge I feel I think is that implantation? Maybe it's uterine stretching. It's more likely just gas.

It's been a long week, honestly. A friend's grandpa died. David was a pall bearer. I was only able to get 1 day off of work, so I had to drive 2 1/2 hours south after work on Tuesday. I work til 10, so by the time I got home, packed up and got on the road, it was after 2am before I got in. Then had to get up, go to the funeral, and drive back home that evening. Then go back to work the next day. And work has just been tiring. It's been raining and gloomy all week and by Friday I was just in some kind of super foul mood. I got so upset over something dumb that I was shaking. Then someone said something nice to me and I started to cry.

Then, of course, some people took that as a sign that I'm pregnant. Wouldn't that be great? But really, that just served to make me feel guilty. Because then I think that when I'm NOT pregnant, I'm going to let the people really rooting for me down.

As for physical symptoms.. all I can really say is that I have had some twinges that I don't think can be attributed to gas, but could just as well be attributed to a corpus luteum cyst in there. I have been emotional, but we had 4 straight days of rain. I could be pregnant or I could just need to mark Seattle off of possible places to ever live. My temps have been above 98 for 3 days which isn't really odd, except in their consistency. But honestly, my last pregnancy my temps didn't really climb to a steady third high until something like 19dpo. So it's probably just coincidence. My boobs don't hurt AT ALL. They were every so slightly sore during my first pregnancy, though I went back and checked and that set in 8dpo. Who knows.

I really am just trying to get through. And trying to decide what to do about next cycle. Try or skip? I'd like to skip for a few reasons. One, I see the new RE on the 17th. Assuming I'm not pregnant, that should be CD5. If she wants to do anything fancy, we would probably start the next cycle anyway. Plus, I really want to go to a lunch get together with some internet friend on Memorial weekend. Which, as luck would have it, should be when I'm ovulating. So I'm trying to decide if I want infertility to keep me from yet another thing I enjoy. I haven't honestly made up my mind yet. Hopefully I'll be pregnant and it'll be a moot point. But I'm not wholly convinced.

Anyway, that's really it for me. I find myself in a sad mood tonight for reasons that have nothing to do with babies.

Tomorrow should be a brighter day.