Monday, March 30, 2009

To desire motherhood

I have always been one of those women who just "knew" they wanted to be a mother. I never questioned if I wanted to have children. And the thought of not having children made me sad -- even before IF. I would meet somebody who had dealt with infertility, or see it in a movie and think, "That would be a really difficult lot in life."

However, I know not everyone has had this same maternal drive that I have. I can think of three types of women that I know:

Type 1: Like me. Wants to have children. Always has, always will.

Type 2: Doesn't want to have children. May still wrestle with the idea and may eventually have children, but for a large portion of their adult life they never thought they would.

Type 3: The person who wants children but says it's never been a burning desire for them, and if it didn't happen it wouldn't be a big deal to them.

Now, I know there are different degrees and variations of the above, and maybe there are other types of women out there I'm not thinking of...but I want to focus on person #3.

In my conversation yesterday, my offender identified herself as Type 3. I have met other people, including my own mother, who say they are Type 3. The problem is, I don't know if I believe them. Part of me thinks that if they were truly faced with the possibility of not having children, they would realize that it is a big deal and it would be difficult for them. I wonder if they have just never empathized with an infertile person and realized how much it would hurt them, too.

But maybe my own Type 1 personality is projecting those feelings on to them. I know it would be a very difficult season of my life to realize I couldn't have children, so I assume it would be for everyone else.

So I'm wondering what you think. Are you/ were you a Type 3 person? If so, how has infertility affected you? Or, do you know Type 3 people? Do you believe them?

I must add that if Type 3 people really could face infertility and move on with their life like it's no big deal, then they probably wouldn't be blogging about infertility. So my little survey might be skewed. But I am really curious about this!

*****

On another topic, please go over and give Caroline lots of hugs and support. She just found out that none of her eggs fertilized in her IVF cycle. :(

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A new record

As I sit and type this post, I am feeling the dull, achy cramps of AF who arrived today. I was expecting this to happen in the next few days, but was surprised about the new record my body set today: shortest cycle yet. This cycle was 22 days long, the previous record was held by a 23 day cycle. It still falls within "normal" ranges (ovulated cd 10 with an LP of 12 days) and I'm not worried, but it still seems pretty amazing. I wish my body would stop doing new and "interesting" things.

I wasn't really upset about AF's appearance, but I did meet my first insensitive fertile today (which was upsetting). She actually doesn't have children yet so I don't know if she's fertile, but I figure everyone is fertile by default until proven otherwise.

Backing up, I have to say I have been appalled at some of your stories of the things people have said to you about your infertility. However, I personally have gotten mostly support with a few well-intentioned faux pas, so I kind of wondered where you met all these people, lol! But today I experienced what it was like first hand.

I don't even feel like rehashing the story. Bleh. I was just floored by the insensitivity. However, I have made it my goal in this infertility journey to be as gracious to others as possible....by the grace of God. Her words were hurtful, but I stood my ground and responded kindly. If she still doesn't get it, I just won't talk about it with her -- I have plenty of supportive people in my life. Ironically, we're going to their place for dinner on Thursday (my DH is friends with her DH, but we don't typically see them that often). I won't talk about IF with her, but I will forgive her and treat her with love. My first challenge...

PS- I hope this doesn't sound preachy or like I'm trying to look like a saint. Trust me, I was angry and rehashed the scene with DH multiple times today. As I said, I believe treating her graciously will only happen by the grace of God in my life, because my reaction is to harbor resentment towards her. I understand how you guys feel, and don't expect you to respond to others in the same way. This is just me and something I feel like God wants me to do.

And I am sorry for all the hurtful things people have said to you. Hugs to everyone tonight for those words...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

72 Days

Today is 72 days past my DH's varicocele repair surgery.72 is a magic number in the world of sperm -- it is typically how long they take to form and mature into usable sperm. As of today, I am hoping that my DH has fast, forward moving sperm that know how to get going and find my egg!!!!

Although today he could have fertile sperm, the doctors say to wait 3-4 months for a post-surgery SA. I think this will be more likely to ensure that we don't get a falsely negative result. Plus, for some men, it is a longer process where the sperm start to improve slowly, and the full results of the surgery aren't seen for up to one year afterwards! I hope we don't have to wait that long.

So we're going to wait until the 4 month mark. I think it's the longest I can wait and stay sane, but gives us enough time for the *hopeful* improvement of sperm motility.

But just knowing they *could* be moving now makes me much more excited about TTC next cycle. AF should be here in a few days, and then I feel like we might be truly back in the game. We have definitely been TTC every month, but since we received the bad SA results in November I think I saw it only as some 1% miracle chance. Well, now we *could* be back in the 10-20% chance each cycle. Which would still be a miracle, of course, but one with higher odds. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Movin' On Up

Although I didn't get to go to the RE this week as I had hoped on Tuesday (as described in my last post), I did get some happy news today. The RE called to see if I could move my appointment up to April 10 -- a week earlier than my original appointment! Whoo-hoo! So, as evidenced by my ticker on the right, I skipped 7 days and now only have 15 days to wait!

Today was such a beautiful, happy spring day. The earlier RE appointment added to my good mood, and I had a great day at work. On the way home, I bought some strawberries at a new market that opened in our immediate area that sells a lot of local produce. It was my first time in this new store and I'm so excited to have such a neat store in my neighborhood! And the strawberries are just so spring and cheerful...we're going to a friends' house tonight to watch The Office and eat strawberries and whipped cream. :)

I only had one bump in my day. I came home, checked my Google reader, and saw a blog update from an acquaintance/ friend of mine. (What do you call those people? Friends that you've only hung out with in groups?) Anyway, I know she's pregnant, and I long ago accepted and got used to that fact (she'd due within a couple weeks). But anyway, her blog post had a picture of her with 3 other acquaintance/ friends of mine (we all go to church together). The headline of the picture was about how they all had full wombs or something like that. I did not know the others were pregnant, and my mood deflated.

I have read so many posts like this from many of you, and it is so hard! I don't even know these people well...and I don't wish infertility on them....but it is another reminder of what I have yet been able to achieve in my own life that I desire so greatly....pregnancy. And I feel like I'm getting passed up.

Seriously, between all of us infertiles we could probably have multiple blog posts a day describing how we hear about new pregnancy announcements. The situations might be different, but the emotions are the same. And we all feel them...over and over.

I told DH about it when he got him, and he gave me a big hug and said he could understand. I then told him I am really nervous about my friends Natalie or Carrie getting pregnant because then I would REALLY feel like I got passed up. He said, "You know, I think that would make me feel sad too."

However, we're back to our happy spring day. I transitioned out of other-peoples-pregnancies mode and started talking about our fast approaching RE appointment. I am hopeful, girls. God has a plan for me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Almost

At around 12:15pm today, I got a phone call. It's someone from the RE's office telling me they had somebody cancel, and they have an appointment available at 1:45pm TODAY! Do I want it?

My heart started pounding in my chest. Hard.

Me: Um, when did you say?

RE: Today at 1:45. We know it's last minute, but we're going through our list of upcoming appointments and thought you might want to come in sooner.

Me: I would love to. Let me call my husband and see if he could make it.

I hang up. My heart is still pounding. There's no way DH could leave his work on such short notice...and this is not an emergency. Don't get your hopes up, Hillary. He probably can't make it.

I call DH -- no answer. I don't want to leave a message. Hopefully he'll just see that I called. A minute later, I call again. No answer. Ahh! I send a text: Call me. Nothing, but I'm not giving him much time here. I call again. He answers!

Me: You can totally say no because this is such short notice, but they have an opening at the RE in about an hour.

DH: Let's take it.

Me: Seriously!? You can leave work??

DH: I know it would mean a lot to you. Let's go for it. (I love this man!)

My mind is now racing and my heart is pounding. I'm wondering how I will possibly be calm during the appointment if this is already how I'm feeling. OK, I would need to run home and get the paperwork. I'll think of questions to ask the RE as I'm driving. And I'll make sure I can leave my job...oh, no. The cable people are supposed to come between 1-3 today...and this is our second attempt to get the fax line set up. Somebody has to be there.

So I make some frantic phone calls to the other three people who work in my office to make sure somebody would be there. I can only get a hold of my boss and he says he has a meeting. I try the other two people again. No answer.

I sit back and tears well up in my eyes. I can't be irresponsible and take this appointment when I already have a commitment at work. I have to call and say no. And I did.

I know my original appointment is only 24 days away, and it will probably feel better to be more prepared going into it...but it still felt like a huge let down. I started crying, and realized this is the first time I have cried about anything infertility related in a while.

Honestly, waiting has been easier emotionally than trying. But I'm tired of waiting, and I know I will re-enter an emotional world once the testing and treatments begin. But my heart aches and yearns for a baby, and waiting is only masking that growing ache in my heart...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Short cycles

Anyone else out there have short cycles? Deep down I fear this is something negative that somehow makes me less fertile...although I am within "normal" ranges and have normal length LP's (not counting the spotting). Over the last year my cycles have ranged from 24-28 days, but more often they are closer to 24 days than 28. This has made it possible that before we have actually been trying 1 year (at the end of April) we will have completed 14 cycles.

Other than my lingering fear that this is bad (and I must say, it feels weird to ovulate relatively soon after AF!), I am actually really thankful for this. I read about many of your LONG cycles, and that must add so much stress to this waiting game that is infertility. I'm sorry you have long cycles! I am thankful I don't have to wait and wait to ovulate, and then have to wait some more for AF. I know that I am lucky. And as I look ahead to possibly starting IF treatments with the RE in April, I am thankful that I can do all of my testing rather 'soon' no matter where I'm at in my cycle...because before I know it, I will be on to a new cycle.

By the way, I started spotting today. Right on schedule. 7dpo.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I think the OPK won

Welcome ICLWers! I am basically in a waiting mode, as you can see by my timeline in the sidebar. Our first RE appointment is in 26 days, and my DH's post surgery SA is in May. Soon we'll get this ball rolling, but for now... we're TTC the old-fashioned way, but I'm not too hopeful. But I'm still obsessing about when I ovulate(d), so maybe I'm more hopeful than I let on. :) Anyway, welcome, and I look forward to meeting you and your blogs!

To my regular readers, this ovulation thing is getting boring and I'm sorry! I'm even bored with it, so I'm thankful I can now move on and say that I think I DID OVULATE on cd 10...making me 6 days past ovulation. The positive OPK I got on cd 9 appears to be correct, since my temperatures the last few days have been in my post-O range and I haven't had any CM to speak of. So the OPK won this cycle. Somebody asked if I've ever had an annovulatory cycle, and as far as I can tell I haven't (temp shift, cm pattern, and short cycles). I am fortunate.

No spotting yet.

Thanks for all the well-wishes about our friend who experienced a horrible electrical shock on Thursday. All things considering, he is doing well and his organs seem ok (which was a big concern). He has a 4th degree burn on his head (I didn't even know there was such a thing!) and 2nd degree burns on his face, arms, shoulder, and arm, so he will be hospitalized for at least a couple weeks to have skin graft surgeries and to watch for infection. We are thankful, however, because it truly is amazing that he is alive!

Random fact: I've been going around saying he was 'electrocuted.' Apparently, this means somebody received an electric shock and died. Ooops! So the correct term is he 'received an electric shock.' We found this out the hard way when we said 'electrocuted' to somebody who knew the correct terminology and saw his face move to horror and sadness as he cried, "He died!?!" However, I also feel like "electric shock" doesn't convey the proper extent of what happened...it sounds like he could have just stuck his finger in an outlet! But now you know.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

O date: unknown

It's cycle day 13 and I still haven't gotten a positive on the opk since cycle day 9...but I did get some almost EWCM today that makes me think ovulation is still around the corner. Either way this is a strange cycle -- I've always ovulated between cd 10-14. So I'm pushing the limits on either side by ovulating early early or extra late. I tried to take a temperature this morning just to see if it's in a pre-o or post-o range, but in my sleepy stupor I couldn't find my thermometer in my nightstand. Maybe I'll figure it out tomorrow.

Totally not TTC related, but some church friends of ours were down in Mexico building a house this week, and we got news today that one of them was electrocuted. As of the last email update he is stable and his injuries are less than feared. It was really scary to hear about it this afternoon, and DH & I left work a half hour early because we couldn't concentrate anyway (and we wanted to pray). This guy is the father of one of DH's kids in his youth small group. Things like this take my mind off of IF... :(

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I forgot to wear green today


Life has been fun but full lately! In the midst of everything I completely forgot it was St. Patrick's Day, so I missed my opportunity to wear green. We're going to make up for it next week by having our own St. Patrick's Day celebration with a couple friends. Then I can wear all the green I want and eat corned beef and cabbage. :)

Last weekend I hosted the bridal shower I mentioned a couple months ago. I really enjoyed it and made this awesome (and easy) Brownie Trifle -- yum! I also had fruit with homemade whipped cream, and it was the most perfect consistency of any I have ever made.

After the bridal shower we went out for a girls night with the bride and a few bridesmaids and other friends. We went to a "tapas and drinks" restaurant, and it was so fun and tasty! I've never been anywhere like it. Very expensive for not much food, but it was a fun experience.

In cycle news, I tested on an OPK on cd 10 and got a positive, but haven't gotten any more since... :( We did BD on CD 9, but I don't think I had much EWCM to speak of and we sure didn't get much BDing in before then. I'm on CD 11 today. Maybe it was a false reading. We'll see. I haven't been temping this cycle. I think I have gotten Lazy with a capitol "L" about charting!! I'm sure once I get an action plan from a doctor I'll be back in the swing of things (and my anal planner self)...

Hope you're all well!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Public speaking

I, like many people, hate public speaking. And so does my DH, but he is actually quite good at it once he gets over the intense nervousness leading up to it. But let me tell you, he gets really, really nervous beforehand. He is almost miserable for a few days prior to the big event. (Fortunately he doesn't do it all that often.)

Well, we had another one of those miserable public speaking weeks last week. He spoke tonight at our church's youth group meeting, and now that it is over he is as happy as a clam. And he did great!

The past few days he had been preparing, practicing, and fighting anxiety. I tried to be as supportive and helpful as I could during this period, but as the days went on I realized it was pretty much all he could think about. He was so wrapped up in his nervousness, and as much as he wanted to think and talk about other things, his mind constantly pulled him back to his talk that laid ahead. And I was getting a little frustrated...

Then I realized: this is just like me and IF! Oh my gosh!! It was an almost comical realization.

So one night after I listened to DH go on and on about his talk (both the content and just his emotions about doing it) and tried to support him, I mentioned this. I told him the way he felt was very similar to how I deal with IF. And he got it. He has always been supportive and understanding overall, but I don't think he could relate. But now, as he faced a lot of emotions and his public speaking anxiety, he could see a glimpse of what I feel. That always-in-the-back-of-your-mind issue that is always fighting it's way to the front. That topic you could seriously think and talk about all the time. The thing that makes you nervous, and can interfere with your sleep. The topic that pretty much interrupts your regular, day to day life functioning. For DH, that's public speaking. For me, that's infertility.

I am proud of my DH for trusting God, working through his anxiety, and doing a great job tonight. I hope he can say the same about me whenever we get to some end-point in our IF.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Guys & Babies

Ten guys. Two girls. Mid-twenties. DH & I are the only ones present who are married. Sounds like a far cry from the land of pregnancy, babies, and infertility, right??

Wrong.

These guys (my husband's college friends) actually enjoyed telling stories about how their co-workers talk about their kids. And recounted a few of those stories themselves...in their total guy bachelor way. It was actually pretty funny to listen to them talk about baby spit up and breastfeeding.

One said, It's amazing to think that we're not far away from being like these co-workers...cool guys who love talking about our kids.

This has to be proof that we have entered into the "baby" stage of life. I have never heard these guys talk about anything like this...and I wonder what they would think if they knew how close (or far) DH & I are from being proud parents ourselves.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We have a hostage situation...

Last night I was telling DH about this screaming-child-tantrum incident I saw in the Trader Joe's parking lot. Let me just tell you, this kid was LOUD and the mom was NOT HAPPY.

DH: When you tell me stories like that, it reminds me that we should enjoy not being parents right now. We don't have to deal with that stuff. (He was joking)

Me: (although I knew he was joking) You can't joke about that!

DH: Yeah, I can. And if you keep telling me stories like that, I might just have to hold these tes.ticles hostage. I see a nice hot bath in my near future... *laughing*

Me: No! No hot baths! *laughing too*

I think DH just learned that he could pretty much get his way in anything with that precious cargo he could "hold hostage" over me. Good thing he's not actually manipulative like that -- but that man sure can come up with the funniest things!

***************************

I know this doesn't really mesh with my light-hearted post, but please go over and give some support to Mary. Her beta didn't double. :(

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2 nights, 2 IF dreams

Wow, I've been dreaming infertile dreams these last two nights!

Monday night/ Dream 1: DH & I were at the urologist office getting our post surgery SA results, and we found out that his motility percentage did not go up at all. We were so disappointed in the dream. But then we found out that his count did go up a little, so we could eek into the "IUI possible" category, which made us feel slightly better. The urologist then gave us an inspirational speech to help cheer us up about the surgery not really working. Even in the dream we thought this was weird.

Tuesday night/ Dream 2: The main characters were this couple that we are friends with, who are older than us and have no children. From what I know (which could be not much or completely wrong), they are not trying to have children yet. But part of me always wonders....so in this dream I came into a room and saw the wife crying with her husband holding her. Since it's a dream, I magically found out that she was crying because AF arrived. I felt so sad for them.

I hope I can start dreaming of getting pregnant and other, happier things soon!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

We got our welcome packet

I opened our mailbox to see our welcome packet from the RE. I like informational things like this, and I like filling out forms, and this is our next step in trying to have a baby....all very exciting!

On the front cover of the folder is a picture of a very adorable baby with the words, "Experience the joy of parenthood." Doesn't that sum up our goal pretty well? It's definitely an excellent sales pitch to an infertile like me. :)

In my excitement I filled out the forms before I even made dinner. The only question that stumped me was in the very beginning "basic information" section.

What is the reason for your appointment?

Um... how do I sum that up?? I could be nice and generic with something like "infertility." But there are so many emotions, hopes, and even dreams tied in with this appointment that those answers seem so flat. I actually considered turning their slogan back at them:

I want to experience the joy of parenthood.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Doubly officially infertile

Or, officially-officially infertile. Or, I-can't-avoid-the-label-infertile-even-if-I-wanted-to. Maybe that last title option is a little too long....

I finished cycle 12 this weekend and started cycle 13. I know DH's SA numbers allowed us to go directly to jail without passing go during our eighth cycle, so we were already "officially" infertile. But now we've hit that year marker. The cycle for many people that, once passed without a successful pregnancy, means you can join the land of infertility.

I don't think we can get any more official here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hugs for Mary

One of my sweet blogging friends, Mary, got two lines on an HPT yesterday at 10dpo. She could use a few hugs (and prayers if you're a prayer!) as she hopes for a sticky baby. I am so thrilled for her, but I know it must be a scary place to be to have that positive test we all wait so long for... but to also fear a m/c...and she has had two of those in the last 15 months. :(

So please, go over and give her a virtual hug, a congrats, and send a prayer her way!

I called the RE!

Last night DH & I talked about making an appointment with the RE....when I brought it up he said, "Oh yeah, did you make that appointment yet?" Clearly he was ready to go for it, and it was so wonderful to talk through the next steps we'll be taking on our infertility journey.

I have learned so much about infertility and its treatments, but I think I often get overwhelmed at all the information and possibilities out there. My mind flips back and forth...if we do this, then this will be next...or we could do that, and then see if that works...But one thing I love about my husband is that he is a very logical thinker, and talking through things with him gives me so much peace and assurance that really clarifies my own thinking!

So today I made the call, and our appointment is scheduled for April 17 (exactly 6 weeks from today). It felt like such a burden had been lifted off my shoulders to just have an appointment! Another relief is that she said to fax over my insurance info, and they'll call and get the details about my coverage. I told her I had a $5,000 lifetime max in IF coverage, but every time I call I can't figure out if they cover testing & diagnostics outside of that number or if it's included. She said, "Don't worry, we figure all of that out. We know what questions to ask your insurance to get that kind of info, and somebody from our office will call you with the details next week." Whew....

And I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you for your advice about how to choose an RE in my earlier post. I was flooded with so many responses (thanks to LFCA!), and it really helped me to see that there is no "right" or "wrong" RE to choose. I know, I know....that's so basic and obvious! But seriously, I think I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to make that "right" choice, but reading all of the varied responses reminded me that different people prioritize different things. And it's ok for DH and I to choose one that maybe somebody else wouldn't.

So we went with the local office. It makes so much sense to us to start there...driving hours to the big city sounded like a horrible idea once we imagined it. And we'll go to this office knowing that if we don't like the care we receive, we do have the option to go elsewhere. We won't stay there because they're local, but we'll start there because they are.

Again, thank you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just about to call...

Today, unexpectedly, I got a burning desire to call an RE and make an appointment. Nothing special triggered it -- I think life has just slowed down enough from the family emergency last week and the catch up afterward that I had time to stop. And I thought to myself, "I just want to make an appointment. NOW."

I looked up the phone number.

I picked up the phone.

And then I got...well, nervous.

I lost all my excitement. I remembered the conversation DH & I had last week where he didn't seem 100% sold that NOW is the time to make that appointment. Soon, but not NOW.

So while I held the phone in my hand, I called DH who should have been on his lunch break. I could check in and find out if he was ready for NOW. But he answered and I could tell he was stressed about his presentation that was this afternoon. I realized that NOW would not be the best time for him to think through our fertility plans. So we chatted for a minute and hung up.

I still had the phone in my hand. I could make the appointment, and talk with DH tonight. If, after our conversation, we decide not to make the appointment NOW, I can just call and cancel...

But then, I continued to feel nervous.

Never did make that call.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stuck

When was the last time you made a *new* friend? It's been awhile for me. Sure, there are co-workers who sort of became friends, but I don't think they'll stay friends long after I stop working. And there are some newer couple friends that we like to hang out with, but that's different than a girlfriend...

Today I had a lunch date with my *new* friend, and I was seriously so excited thinking about it all week! I've known her loosely for a couple years, but only recently had more opportunities to get to know her. And, as expected, we had a fabulous time at lunch. I can't wait until I get to see her again.

And how AWESOME is this:
I was telling her about my job and how swamped I am all the time, and said ideally we want to get the point where we can hire somebody to work with me part-time. I mentioned that "eventually when I have kids" I would want this person to take over for me and work full time.

She will be finishing her job in June and does not want to go back, so she is looking for a new job. She said, "Maybe I could work with you." Just like that. I wanted to cry for joy at the thought of this, but I played it cool and said we should keep that option on the table. I'll talk to my boss.

This is amazing on so many levels. I would get to work with somebody wonderful. I have felt burdened with too much to do at work, and the idea of somebody sharing that load with me is like a breath of fresh air. And it's a way out. I'm the only person who does my job, and I have really grown to fill many roles in this company. I could not quit before I had thoroughly trained my replacement (of course, I could, but I wouldn't want to do that to my boss or company).

As my body has remained in its non-pregnant state my plans have come to a standstill.

If I had gotten pregnant when we started trying, I would have a newborn right now. If I had said newborn, I would not be working. We would have had to hire that replacement and I would have been out of there.

But for the last few months as I have realized there is no end in sight to my working days I have become dissatisfied with my job. And I feel stuck -- not just because I can't ditch the company, but what else would I do? I don't want to find and learn a new job when all I really want to do is get pregnant and and be a SAHM.

But here is my way out.

I already planned it this afternoon: My friend, K, starts working with me part-time in June. I train her, and we have fun working together. She needs to be full-time, and I want to be out of there anyway, so I quit in September and only work at my other part time job. Then I have my baby in January.

Oops, did I forget to mention that part? Yeah, this plan hinges on getting pregnant next month. Because I can't drop down to 15-20 hours a week indefinitely as you're average non-pregnant woman. I would drive myself crazy without enough to do for too long....and would feel like I should be earning money...But if there was an end point of having a baby then I could....

But it's time to step out of this dream world. I of all people should know not to make any imaginary plans based on a pregnancy that could be a long time away still -- if ever. I should know better.

Sorry, K, as great as it would be to hire you on it just won't work (unless you get desperate and are willing to work part-time...??)*

Infertility makes me feel stuck.

*PS-I think my short term solution is to talk to my boss about hiring somebody on with me part time, even if it's not K. But pregnancy is SUCH a better solution in my mind :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Honest Scrap Award


How fun! I got tagged by three lovely blogging friends (Erica, Gringa, and Mary), so here goes...

The rules:
1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

Here are my 10 honest things:

1. I don't want to have multiples, but I feel ungrateful saying that as an infertile...like I of all people should not be picky!

2. I didn't know how to cook much of anything when I got married (my parents rarely cooked), but now I love it.

3. I like to watch crime shows, but this doesn't mesh well with my extreme fear of somebody breaking into my house and murdering me (sorry so gruesome, but that's my fear!). So I try to limit my exposure to that kind of stuff...

4. Going along with #3, I went through a phase in 3rd grade where I was too scared to sleep in my room. To comfort me, my dad would stay in the living room right next to my room so I could come out and see him whenever I needed to (which was pretty much every night for a long time). Many nights I would just fall asleep in the living room with him.

5. I live on the west coast, but I think my style fits in more with the east coast (or at least my stereotypes of what the east coast is like). I'd like to have formal dinner parties, dress preppy, etc, but that really doesn't fit in here. Except I don't think I could handle the cold. And I do some of those things anyway. One of these days I'm just going to shock everyone and assign dinner seats...ohh...

6. I am really hoping we can do IUI's. But then I'm scared that IUI successes aren't high enough, especially with MFI.

7. I blame birth control pills for my spotting issues. Of course I don't know if that's justified, but I do. If I had to do it over again I would never have gone on them, and we just would have used con.doms and/or the fertility awareness method.

8. I got AF when I was 10 years old and it felt really traumatic.

9. We've been saving money for possible IF treatments, but sometimes I dream about what we would do with that money if we ended up not needing them.

10. I just got an announcement about my 10-year high school reunion. Part of me wants to go (it seems like part of life's experiences to go), but another part of me really wasn't that into high school. Eh.

Here are the blogs I tag:
Finding Joy in Every Journey
Melissa at So it goes
Tabitha at Think (+) Positive
Elle at Fallopian 'Tudes
Baby Manatee
Betty at I Married Barney, Now What?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Talking to teens about IF

Well, we did have some snow left on the ground AND had a wonderful time with our youth group students. I always feel like the bonding & learning that happens over this one weekend is like 6 months of weekly small group times. It's amazing.

And I did end up telling them about my infertility. My last post brought up a few questions for Amanda that she addressed on her blog: should we talk to kids about infertility? In what context is that appropriate? What does that look like? As she states in her post, she knows the fact that I was telling my students about my infertility wasn't directly about discussing infertility with them (more about sharing myself with them, infertility just happened to be the topic). But the fact that I wanted to brought up some ideas and questions, so feel free to join in the discussion over there (and here!).

As I thought about telling my students, I realized my desire to tell them was very much about wanting to share with them that I have struggles, too. That I consider them 'friends' who I care about enough to let into my life, just as they have let me into theirs. And I have known these girls well for two and half years (which is a significant amount of time to a 14/15 year old) and plan on sticking with them for the next three and a half...we do have a friendship of sorts. Of course, my relationship with them will be very different since I am an adult and they are kids! I need to carefully choose what I let them in on, and although I want them to start to learn to care for others, I do not want to tell them and be needy for their support. I am adult and I have other relationships that I can draw support from -- that is not their role in my life. But as I said in my last post, I think there can be valuable things they can learn through walking with someone in a struggle -- even if it is a modified, toned down version of that struggle.

I wondered if those goals should be different because the topic is infertility. I would have the same desires and goals if I were telling them about any other struggle in my life -- like, what if I had a sister who was diagnosed with a terminal disease? I could do the same and tell them about it as a way to let them into my life and start to learn about caring for others. But because that is not the topic and it is infertility, does that change things? Overall, I don't believe so. With the topic of infertility does arise the topic of s.ex, but I think that is very secondary. The s.ex part is not the struggle or the pain. It's the lack of a baby. And obviously, discussing anything remotely to do with s.ex with teenagers could bring that topic up....and I would have to use my discretion as to how to talk about that in an appropriate way without getting too personal about my own intimate life. And what about the educational side of learning about infertility? Not my goal, but it could come up. If they ask questions about the topic of infertility, to me it would seem appropriate to answer them.

However, it is true that I waited to tell them. If I had a sister diagnosed with something, I would probably have told them right away. Was I waiting because I wasn't sure if I should tell them? I don't think this waiting was because I questioned the appropriateness of the topic, but rather because: 1) I didn't know if they would care or get it. But as I thought about the potentially positive things about telling them, this seemed to matter less and less, 2) I didn't want to speak too soon -- I've been in the testing stages and didn't want to come out about my IF before I was certain I was IF, and 3) I wanted to wait until I had emotionally processed the diagnosis to a point that I could tell them without being overly emotional and make them uncomfortable seeing me upset about a topic that would be difficult for them to grasp.

Whew, that was a long intro to this now overly anticipated conversation. :)

Here's how it went down:

Me: So, something I haven't shared with you guys yet is that M & I have been trying to have a baby...

*Interrupted by happy squeals. They naturally thought I was going to tell them I was pregnant*

Me: Hold on, don't get excited. M & I have been trying to have a baby, but we haven't been able to.

Girl 1: That sucks. It seems like the people who shouldn't be getting pregnant do, but you should and you can't.

Me: Yeah, sometimes it feels like that.

*The conversation shifted to another topic, but returned to IF after about 2 minutes*

Girl 2: So how long have you been trying?

Me: One year.

Girl 3: Have you been to a doctor or anything yet?

Me: Yes, we've done some tests.

Girl 2: So does that mean you won't ever be able to have a baby?

Me: Not necessarily, we're still figuring things out and hope we can.

Girl 3: I'm sorry.

Me: (somewhat stunned at this genuine sympathy) Thank you.

****
And that was it. Simple & sweet. I think they 'got it' much more than expected. And I have no idea what, if anything, will ever come of that conversation. But I was glad I told them.