Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I am thankful that 2008 is nearly over.

I am thankful that my husband and I have each other, and that our marriage did not suffer in spite of a very trying year.

I am thankful for the wonders of science and reproductive technology, which give me hope for having a family the new-fashioned way.

I am thankful for sperm donors. I don't care what their motives were, the results they make possible are priceless.

I am thankful for bloggers. If not for all these people sharing their experiences, I would feel woefully alone and at the mercy of doctors and insurance companies. I learn from them and take comfort in reading about so many successes.

I am thankful for my family and friends; for not pressing for more detail than I am comfortable sharing and for always being ready to listen and encourage when I need a supportive ear.

I am, most of all, thankful for my husband. The trials we've been through in 2008 I would not have experienced without him, but without him I would not be trying to start a family and I would miss him as I did before we met. I love you, C.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

oh, and the big announcement that I promised...

BFN. I didn't even need to POAS because I already know what it would say. So I'm not going to bother. AF will be here tomorrow. Bleh.

looking ahead

I will be so relieved to see the end of 2008. Nothing good has come of this year. C started the year laid off, and continued that way until mid-April. Almost as soon as he went back to work, his mother went into the hospital for what turned out to be the last time. We lost the month of June to grief and mourning, then spent July devastated to discover that C has no sperm. I had an optimistic month in August, when I naively believed that all we needed were donor sperm and an IUI to achieve our dream. September through November pulled me back to reality, and now December is just an obstacle blocking our path to a new year, new health insurance, and increasingly scientific attempts to conceive.

And today, I couldn't turn the key in the ignition. Apparently, there's some issue with Ford and Buick ignitions from 2003. After a time, the ignition pins don't drop around the key like they're supposed to. The first time it happened, well over a year ago, the tow truck driver who responded simply tapped the key with a chock block and, miraculously, it turned. Since then, I almost always have had to smack the key with varying degrees of force to make it turn. I've had to smack it harder and more often as time passed. Then, this morning, I spent about 10 minutes whacking the key with the heel of my gym shoes before it finally gave. Of course, I was not home when this happened, and I forgot my cell phone, and it was raining cats and dogs, and I was late for work. The dealer wants between $350 and $450 to fix it. I want to cry. If I had that much money, I'd be spending it on health insurance, dammit! Some days, it feels like there's just no way to catch up, let alone get ahead.

Maybe it was just all the humidity, and when the rain stops the key will not be so persnickety. Then I won't need to fix it for a while.

Friday, November 21, 2008

plans on hold

Well, it looks like I might not be keeping that RE appointment I planned. C was laid off today, not hours after the foreman told him the company had just landed the building portion of the construction job they've been working on. Nothin' like hearing, "Hurray! There's lots of work to do. We'll be busy all winter," at lunch and then being handed your pink slip at 3:20.

If it were just the insurance payments, I'd be OK with continuing uninterrupted. Money is tight, but I wouldn't mind too much if we had to put up to half of our new insurance premium on a credit card. But, C is scheduled for surgery in December, so we'll have all of his co-pays to deal with on top of all the medical bills we accumulated back in July when we were first finding out why we weren't pregnant. I've made payment arrangements with all the providers, but unemployment benefits don't add up to a normal salary, and I budgeted based on our two-income capabilities.

Everyone, please think really hard... snow snow snow snow snow. We need a nice snowy winter around here to keep C (and the plow) busy so we can move on with our baby-making efforts.

it's everywhere; they're everywhere

Now that we're knee-deep in the IF life, C and I are learning that all sorts of people in our lives have also dealt with IF on some level. Now, we knew a bit about the ones close to us- friends, cousins. But when one of my co-workers caught me crying in my office and I told her a little about the situation, she rattled off two current and one former co-workers who all had some difficulty conceiving. I guess I didn't give much thought to infertility back when I thought we were fertile, so I didn't know all the pieces of the puzzle that have to be in perfect working order for someone not to be IF. I didn't realize how pervasive it is, or how disruptive it can be to a couple's life. I'll admit it, I was naive.

One interesting note about about all these people I know who've survived IF, every one of them wound up with a child or children. Is it a remarkable success rate, or have the ones who didn't get a BFP given up and kept their stories to themselves?

So, I guess we're surrounded by people dealing with fertility issues. At the same time, EVERYONE is pregnant! Two weeks ago, we got a call from C's cousin. Her son, a teenager, has become pregnant with his girlfriend. She called for another cousin's address to send a shower invitation, but I think she also wanted to share the news. I told C that there was no way I would even consider attending- even if we weren't trying so hard for a child of our own, I hardly know the cousin and have never met her son, let alone his girlfriend. Sorry- no go. C didn't think I'd be invited. After all, I have never met the pregnant people, and I'm more than twice their age. Three days later, the invitation arrived. I tore it up and tossed it in the recycle bin. I didn't RSVP.

Sorry- I really don't want to go to anyone's baby shower until I am eligible for one myself. Not that I will have one. My family doesn't seem to understand social norms at all. I got married a year and a half ago, a year after I started working in this office where my mother and brother both worked at the time of the wedding. Around here, there's a party of some sort every other week- baby showers, bridal showers, going-away parties. It didn't occur to either my mother or my brother to organize a shower for me. In fact, the one shower that I did have was arranged by my mother-in-law. My mother was just another invited guest, not a participant in the planning.

A little bitterness there. My family, for the most part, is living in the social dark-ages. Especially the ones older then me (two brothers and the parents). They just don't "get it." So now that my MIL has passed away, I don't expect there to be a baby shower if I should manage to get pregnant. There especially won't be one at work. I think people would expect my mother to arrange it, so no one else will. I'll be OK with no shower. Just give me a healthy baby and I'd be perfectly happy never to celebrate my own milestones. And then I might be OK with celebrating other people's, even when it's an accidental teenage pregnancy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I knew it would be

Negative. But it doesn't get a "BFN" this time because a test at 7dpo is completely inconclusive and a ridiculous waste of a test. But, as I mentioned, it was a cheap test and I still have one left (I thought I had two, but remember now that I used one to make sure I wasn't pregnant before starting clomid).

I won't dwell on any imaginary symptoms I might be having this cycle. If I don't discuss them and don't write about them, I feel more sane and less delusional. I do imagine that something is up, but I don't necessarily feel pregnant. Regardless of what I am, or am not, feeling right now, I'll know one way or the other next week. No need to speculate; we'll find out soon enough.

It would be more than wonderful to tell C on Thanksgiving that we're pregnant. Thanksgiving was always his mother's holiday and this will be the first holiday season without her. His emotions surprise him sometimes. He thinks he's "over" the loss, but then he'll see or hear something and think of what his mother would think of it, then remember again that she isn't here to see or hear anything. C needs something wonderful to look forward to.

Monday, November 17, 2008

have stick, will pee

I said I was going to test on the 18th. I still may. Trouble is, there's just no way possible for the results to be positive so early. I don't want to jinx the string of 18s that I have going (donor number ends in 18, it's our 18th cycle of TTC, the date will be the 18th, C was born on an 18th,...) by not testing. But realistically, is there even a remote chance I'll get a BFP? So why would I POAS knowing full well that the results will be not only depressing (yet another BFN), but also meaningless?

I'll probably do it, just for practice. I bought the cheap tests and will still have two left to use at a more reasonable date. I know what the result will be, so seeing just one lonely line won't be a disappointment.

On a completely unrelated side note, I have found my new most-favorite mid-afternoon snack. I take a handfull of frozen mango chunks and a smattering of frozen raspberries and toss them into a container before leaving for work in the morning. I let them sit on the windowsill until about 2:30 and then they're melted just right- still cool, but no longer frozen. The combination of raspberries and mango is amazing. The mango is smooth and sweet. The raspberries are terifically tart. YUM!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NaBloPoMo no mo'

I've blown it twice in under two weeks, so I am hereby officially resigning from NaBloPoMo. Now that the pressure's off, I won't have to blog unless I have something to say. I'm not a talker, generally, so this is more like me.

I made my first insurance-sponsored appointment with the RE. This will be incontrast to my July visit, which was funded entirely out-of-pocket. I haven't even purchased the insurance yet, but made the appointment for the first week of December, just in case I am not pregnant by then. I figure the more not-pregnant plans I make now, during the TWW, the more likely I am to actually be pregnant by Thanksgiving. It's like carrying an umbrella so it won't rain. It also gives me something to do and think about during the TWW. And, should we not succeed this month, I will handle the disappointment better knowing that I can move on to the next step without delay.

Actually, I was afraid the RE might be booked and I didn't want to have to wait several weeks to see her. Nor did I want to select a new doctor. I like this one. And I absolutely love the patient coordinator! She has been a wealth of information since day 1. To be a patient in their office will be a priviledge.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

and so it goes

Very mixed emotions today as I made it back to the MW office for the second IUI of this cycle. Eager optimism, which I felt the first try or two, has given way to resignation. This is just another hurdle to overcome on the path toward having a baby. Whether it works or not, we'll see. And I feel today as if I have no stock in the outcome of this particular cycle. It's an odd sort of detachment that I haven't felt in any other TWW before this one. It may not last. After all, the TWW just started today.

I was also a bit annoyed with the MW office today. Yesterday, I could understand when I had to wait 30 minutes for them to take me in, then another 25 while I sat half-naked in the exam room. After all, I was a last-minute "I need an insem today!" appointment, so I wasn't really part of the day's schedule. Today, I had an appointment, an assigned time slot which I was expected to be on time for. And I was, right on time. Just in time to sit in the waiting room for over 45 minutes, with nary an explanation, followed by 20 minutes in the exam room. How long do they think it takes me to disrobe from the waist down? At least I didn't park in the pay lot today.

That said, the MW was her usual wonderful self. She was saddened to see me back for another cycle, and seems sincerely to want an update, whether it's a pregnancy announcement in a month or just a message to let her know I've moved on to IVF. I let everyone know this was my last visit to their office. They've really been helpful and kind and never let what could have been an awkward situation feel anything but normal. But they don't do anything with respect to treating infertility (aside from IUI/ICIs), so I need to look elsewhere for the additional help that we apparently need. The MWs are also fairly far out of the way, an hour from my office when the traffic isn't hell.

So, in addition to the detachment, I feel some trepidation and kind of like I am starting out at zero again. I need to find a good doctor (I think I did, but I need to see if she's taking new patients and when she can squeeze me in... hopefully early December to start). I'll need to explain the situation to new people who haven't heard our story before. I'll be dealing with new insurance and hoping not to be taken advantage of. I'll need to undergo all sorts of tests to make sure I'm a viable IVF candidate. We'll need to select yet another donor, this time looking for one who has ART specimens available (although I think they can use pretty much any category of specimen for IVF- need to check on that). Maybe we can keep lucky #18? Maybe #18 isn't as lucky as I believed.

Then again, I believe this is our 18th cycle of trying. I am going to POAS on the 18th, even though that's a few days (OK, more like a week) too early to learn anything conclusive. I want to believe that this is our month. But I feel that detachment that I mentioned. Self-protective denial, perhaps? I need to stop overthinking everything. This may be the longest TWW yet, especially with NaBloPoMo, which, even though I missed a day already, I've decided to try to complete in spite of myself.

Monday, November 10, 2008

last chance to keep it "simple"

I got the digital smiley face at 5:15 this morning, so I'm off to the MW for another insem. This cycle is the last with the midwives. We'll either be pregnant by Thanksgiving or I'll be scheduling appointments with an RE covered by my not-yet-purchased new health insurance. I'm hoping for the former. If we could keep it as simple as it's been so far and meet with success, I'd be the happiest of campers. But, if we have to, we'll pursue IVF with a passion. One way or another, we're moving forward.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I blew it already. I missed getting a blog in for Saturday by about an hour. Normally, I am not up this late and would have just plain forgotten about NaBloPoMo, but we had my brother and his girlfriend over for dinner and Monopoly tonight. Then we stayed up to watch the BC football game. All of a sudden, it was after midnight! So, sleepy me decided to check my email before bed, and there was a message about NaBloPoMo. Doh!! Ah well. The blogging is for myself anyhow, so it doesn't really matter. G'night!

Friday, November 7, 2008

the man can cook

I'm so glad I married someone who doesn't object to doing his share in the kitchen. C flipped through a cookbook and found this recipe for White Chicken Chili. It sounded tasty and pretty simple, so he gave it a try on Tuesday night. It was absolutely delicious. Next time, we'll have to double it so we have enough to share.

White Chicken Chili

2-3 boneless chicken breasts
1 can chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 cans white beans, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 (4oz.) can chopped chiles
2tsp. cumin
1tsp. ground oregano
1/3tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4C dry sherry
1 or 2 C Mexican shredded cheese

Boil the chicken in 1 can of chicken broth. Remove chicken and shred. Return to broth.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add sherry.
Add onion/garlic/sherry mixture to chicken and broth. Add all remaining ingredients. Heat thoroughly. Serve warm with sour cream and corn chips.

We didn't have any sherry, and our most local grocery store is tiny so they didn't have any either. I wasn't about to shell out $10 on a bottle from the liquor store so I could use 1/4 cup in the chili, so we just left it out. The result was fantastic. We'll try it with sherry next time for comparison.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

poor excuse

Sorry- in an effort not to mess up NaBloPoMo but still leave work semi-early (I already hit the 40-hour mark, and am no longer "on the clock"), I am leaving a sorry excuse for a post today. But hey, at least I remembered before shutting off the computer. I rarely log on in the evening from home, so it's now or never.

No news today, big or small. I am looking forward to another round of POASing which I can start tomorrow with the cheap-o OPKs. I save the digitals for CD14 and later, or when I get confuddled by the lines on the analog tests. (If it's not digital, it must be analog, right?) Anyhow, I should see a +OPK on Tuesday or Wednesday. Then I'll be off to the MW for another pair of IUIs. I'm not excited, stressed, or anxious this round. It's all old-hat now. I'm saving the excitement for the tail-end of the TWW.

OK- post posted. I can go home now. Night!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

a fine line

I think I may be experiencing some of the moodiness associated with taking clomid. I was on the phone with C, his usual afternoon "I haven't talked to anyone all day, but now I am FREE and commuting, so I will call my wife" phone call. I told him I was planning to stop at the grocery store on the way home and asked if he had any requests. Then, all of a sudden, I became evil. I snapped at him because he wasn't willing to stop at a Trad3r Joe's on his way home to pick aomething up for me. All I could think was that he never says "Thank you" any more. I make him a thermos and a mug of coffee every morning. I toast and spread peanut butter and jelly on an English muffin for his breakfast. I fill his water bottle. I get out of bed at 5 am every day to help him get out the door on time. But he doesn't say "Thank you" any more. And when I have to get up early on the weekend, he sleeps right through. Nobody makes my breakfast for me. I have to make my own coffee and fill my own water bottle.

I think I have a case for being a bit irritated, but I shouldn't have snapped. I'm blaming it on the clomid.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

smells like spring

In spite of the leaves on the ground, it really smelled green and growing outside today. I worked all day with my office windows open. Refreshing.

Have you noticed people talk about the weather whan they have nothing to say?

I really can't shift my brain out of this TTC funk that's been hanging around for, oh let's see... 17 months now. It's still on my mind, every minute of every day. Last night, I refereed some girls' soccer games. I listened for their names, thinking I might hear one I'd want to use for my own child. I watched them run and wondered if I'll one day watch my own child run. I saw the proud smiles on the parents after the game ended and hoped that I'd be one of them some day. Being around children always makes me wonder about my future with my own children. Until recently, it was always a matter of when. When would I get pregnant? Will I have an autumn baby? Will he be healthy? Will I be a good mom?

Lately, I've been slipping into if. The certainty is gone. I'm still confident that something will eventually work. We're only at the very beginning of the trail of treatments available, and as far as we know I am perfectly healthy. Old, in reproductive terms only, but healthy. Every once in a while, though, at a particularly low moment, I fall into if. The child I see in my dreams blurs and that he may never exist permeates my thoughts.

Today's not a low day. We're a week away from another TWW. Lucky #18 is sitting on ice waiting for the digital smiley face to appear. I have my ducks in a row just in case this doesn't work, so November won't be the end of the road whether I get a BFP or not.

Monday, November 3, 2008

off on a tangent

And now for something completely irrelevant to the TTC world. Sports bras! Yes, I need some help finding a decent one. Champ*on has a sale going on, with all their sports bras marked down. I usually wear two (I hate jiggling... it's distracting) when I run and play soccer (OK, I don't really run unless I'm on a soccer field), and since both that I usually wear are from Champ*on, I thought I could find a single bra, from Champ*on, to replace the pair. I bought four different ones to try on, and three were instant disappointments. The remaining one I took for a test drive last week, and it failed miserably. I blame it for our loss that night.

Anyhow, the closest I've recently come to a truly supportive sports bra for a full-C is a dreadfull contraption from Ene1l that is labelled the "last resort bra" by the marketing staff at Title IX (sporting apparel purveyor geared exclusively to women). There's no jiggling with this thing on, but it's like wearing a very heavy and extremely tight half-shirt under my shirt. Unless I am sprinting, and enjoying the full benefits of the highly supportive garment, it's very uncomfortable. It squashes the bottom of my rib cage. So, it's good for soccer games that I play in, but I need something a little more comfy for casual pick-up games, working out at the gym, and for chasing kids around when I referee.

Has anyone out there found a great sports bra that they'd like to tell the world about? If I find one, I'll be shouting from the rooftops!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

a disturbing thought

I had a wierd thought last night, after I took my third clomid dose for this cycle. AF was wierd this time around- only one real day to it after four days of the usual preamble. It was also 2 days later than the last one, which was 2 days later than my norm before sperm entered the equation. This all made me wonder- could I be pregnant and not know it? I took a HPT at 30 days and AF (or what I assumed to be AF) began at 32, so maybe the BFN was because I tested too early. In any case, before I pop another clomid in my mouth, I'm going to POAS just to make sure. I need some empirical evidence to back up the complete lack of symptoms.

That said, we went out last night with some friends who are aware of our procreative efforts and stumbling blocks. Before we'd filled any of them in on the details beyond "we're trying," C and I had purchased the donor sperm that we've used thus far and will use for the current cycle. One of our friends seems intrigued by the process of selecting a donor and asked if she could help us "shop" for the next attempt. I'm not unhappy with my lucky #18, and really don't want to change even though the first try didn't succeed. And maybe November really will be our month and the whole point will be moot. I'm not sure if I find it strange or encouraging that this friend wants to help choose a donor. Then again, it's wonderful to have friends who care so much about us.

I'm going to the drup store now to buy a HPT. Don't expect any news.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Why NaBloPoMo?

I thought at first that it would be too big a commitment. I don't even hit the personal internet on a daily basis, so where would I find the time to blog every day for an entire month (this should be in February, with only 28 days)? Then I realized that IF is in my thoughts not just every day, but nearly every minute of every day. A blog entry need not be excessively verbose or deep. And it's nice to chronicle the evolution of this effort as my emotions run the gamut from despondency to the jubilation I hope will come when I finally get that BFP. So I decided to participate in NaBloPoMo for myself, to track the daily musings on IF, and anything else that seems relevant to my existence, for a solid month. I know there are a couple of people who've at least glanced at this blog (and I thank you sincerely for your comments. They're like hugs from travelers sharing this journey with me), but I have no delusions of some great audience waiting for my every post. This is for me, and for my as-yet-inconceived baby who should know how much she was loved even before she came to be.