Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First Step to Juggling...

Is taking a deep breath (lots of them).

As we continue with our seemingly never ending juggle of infertility there are a lot of things that I am finding irritate/upset me more than before or that would have never irritated/upset me before, so I am sorry to say this one is me venting....

One of the biggest thing that irritates me is people saying "Don't stress about it."  Really?!?  Unless you have gone through infertility, any aspect of it whether it be clomid or IVF you don't have a right to say that... Sorry...Actually I'm not. 

This whole situation is more stressful than planning my wedding was, dealing with both my husband and I being out of work before we got married, buying a car, starting a new job, or buying our first house.  And unless you have personally been here, you have no idea about the stress involved. 

Between having a cycle cancelled due to a cyst caused by the clomid and dealing with the insurance aspect of this, the stress can be overwhelming at times.  Quite frankly it can make you feel like you are seriously losing it (like should be in a straight jacket, in a room with padded walls).

Other things that I am finding drive me absolutely bonkers, is people saying "I know how you feel."  Once again, unless you have personally been through this you don't have a clue how I feel or how my husband feels through all this, so please don't try to do us a favor and tell us that you know how we feel, when in actuality you don't have a clue.

My favorite one that I got from a co-worker was "I don't know why anyone would want a kid bad enough to go through all this."  Let me tell you, the first sentence that came to my mind was filled with endless obscenities and other nasty commentsInstead, I collected my thoughts (after my tactless mental response) and simply said 'Apparently you were not blessed with a maternal instinct.'

I guess what I am trying to get at through this venting, is sometimes people think they are helping by saying certain things.  However, it can be more irritating than anything.

And for those of you reading this who know someone going through infertility treatment, just remember to think before you speak. 

Seriously, think about it like this- if this person was going through treatments for a more serious problem would I say what I am about to say. 

Granted, infertility is treatable, not curable (many people try for years and don't succeed- kinda like juggling) however the struggle can be just as draining mentally, physically and emotionally as someone with a more serious condition.

And while I do understand that sometimes people are just trying to be empathetic or say something, sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. 

The best thing to ask is: How are you doing with everything that is going on? 

But just remember, if you are strong enough to ask this question, be prepared for the answer (because depending on the day, it could be an emotional answer).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Juggling the Eggs of Infertility

Infertility is a word that people are still super cautious about saying they have or a loved one has (It's not AIDS or anything that is incurable, its just having problems getting pregnant).

And most women don't like to openly admit they are having problems, because it makes them feel less like a woman.

Two things:
My husband and I are going through infertility treatment and I'm not ashamed to talk about it.
Talking about it makes it more bearable, often laughable at times.

When we got married, my husband and I talked about starting a family but wanting to wait about 6 months. So we waited 6 months to start trying, well 6 months and turned into 3 years of trying and still no baby. We realized we might need a little help getting pregnant. After doing our research on doctors and looking on the SART website (Society for Artificial Reproductive Technology http://www.sart.org/) and the CDC website (Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/art/ARTReports.htm). We found our doctor based off the success rates listed on the tables AND the history of the physicians.

The first appointment was nothing more than a blood draw, weight, blood pressure and a trans-vaginal ultrasound (nothing magical about the wand). Then we met our doctor, who was everything we could have hoped for in this situation. He didn't sugar coat things and explained them so we could understand what was going on. The hubby had to go in a couple days later and give a "specimen" which he will admit was kind of creepy to do in a doctor's office, however he was a trooper.

After everything came back we met with the doctor again to go over our options and results... So the results were...unexplained female infertility.


Yep, unexplained infertility, meaning there should be no reason why we can't get pregnant however, my body is deciding to make things difficult. The doctor did say that my antral follicle (where the eggs form) count was lower than what they like to see (mine was 15, normal is 20).

Great! Now what? Clomid with a HCG injection and IUI, that was what. Basically, 1 pill for 5 days and then an injection of HCG when the doctor's office says after blood work and an ultrasound (another one with the non-magical wand).

For those of you just starting this egg toss called infertility treatment, let me explain clomid to you (the things NOBODY will tell you about it, not scary stuff).
If your husband thought PMS was bad, just wait clomid makes you moodier than your worst
case of PMS. Nobody will tell you or him that it will be like your emotions have been over
taken by an irrational version of you. Stupid things, and I mean STUPID things will make
you cry or piss you off.

You sex drive will be virtually non existant, which is so helpful when the doctor tells you
when you need to have sex (yep, it's that personal).

Oh and hot flashes, you will know what to expect come menopause!

You WILL resume back to your normal state of being and for whatever reason, it makes
PMS look so much nicer to your hubby!

You may be thinking HCG injection? Yep, HCG injection given to you by you! Yes, it's a daunting thought however not as bad as you think.

And the IUI, well, now I know how cattle feel...Basically you and your hubby go to the doctor, together, he gives them his "specimen" and about 45 minutes to 1 hour later, they (the nurse or doctor) inject it vaginally through a tiny cathater. Sounds glamorous, right?

Then you wait, two weeks to take a pregnancy test, and if your results are like our were BIG FAT NEGATIVE (BFN) don't get discouraged, that just means that the next step of the process can being... MORE HORMONES!!!!

You may be reading this say, why in the world would the doctors do that if it doesn't work....Here is your answer: your insurance companys says they have to (different topic for a different blog).

Now, I will tell you up until this point was the most exhausting emotional rollercoaster that I have ever been on and I survived. I survived because my husband is super supportive and understanding. I survived because my family is super supportive and understanding. I survived because I have friends who are going throug the same thing and the ones that aren't are super supportive and understanding. I survived because my boss and co-workers are super supportive and understanding.

Don't be afraid to talk about it and don't be afraid to apologize for your irrational behavior (trust me, people appreciate it. Even if it's just "sorry for the past couple weeks."

The next step is IVF (if you choose that route)... I started birth control to keep me from ovulating, however the clomid created a nice cyst on my ovary so we had to delay the cycle...

Once the IVF cycle starts I will blog about it for all of you out there...

My goal of these blogs are to bring awarness to the treatments of infertiltiy and not make it such a lonely feeling thing. It's emotional, exhausting and exciting and should be talked about.

In the mean time lots of prayers and baby dust to all of you on this journey!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Missing Puppy Paws

Anyone who has had a dog that they grew up with understands how hard it is to say good-bye to them. People who don't have pets or never had pets don't understand the bond between you and your puppy. And no matter how old he/she gets, they will always be a puppy in your mind.

They never cared if you had your hair done, had morning breath, or looked like hell because you were sick, and were always there to listen to you vent and loved you unconditionally. That was Abbie.

She was the dog who knew all of my secrets, my sister's secrets, and both of my brother's secrets. She always was there when we were crying or fighting and never told on us. And I can honestly say she was the only dog who NEVER chewed a pair of my shoes.

When my parents were getting divorced she was the strong one who made sure all of us kids were okay and that my mom was okay. Her coat collected numerous amounts of tears, and she would just give kisses.

Abbie never passed judgement, never told us that we weren't good enough, she just loved us and the only thing she wanted in return was a belly rub or a walk.

Even as she got older, she still just loved us unconditionally and even though walks were difficult for her, she was still game for a belly rub.

We all knew that it was time to tell her good-bye but it didn't make things any easier, there were some days that she acted like a puppy and others when she couldn't hardly move. But any doubts we had she put out of our minds. When we took her to the vet and she was laying on the table her eyes were saying thank you.

As hard as it was to say good-bye, we did the right thing. And as we said our good-byes to her, she gave us kisses almost saying thank you for being the best family and taking care of me. No matter how many years go by we will always be missing her.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stomach Turning Butterflies

Have you have had those moments in life that give you butterflies and make you want to throw up all at the same time? Either those little moments that aren't going to matter in about 10 minutes or those huge life changing moments that have to potential to determine not only your future but the future of your spouse as well. Those are the moments that make you second guess everything, make you want to cry and laugh and scream all at the same time...

This past week has been full of "stomach turning butterflies" for me and definitely for my husband. We found out on Tuesday he got the position he interviewed for, that was essentially created for him at another hospital. He accepted the position and we are both elated by the new job, but with that excitement comes the rest of the emotional roller coaster that goes with being launched outside of your "comfort zone."

We are both blessed to be employed during this economic rough patch and have great paying jobs, but only one of us is happy. The job he is currently at makes him feel like he has no purpose, his boss is verbally and emotionally abrasive, and he is exhausted when he gets home. It sucks being a wife and not being able to "fix" all the problems in the world. And it honestly breaks my heart to hear the things that his boss says to him and to see the pain in his eyes. But on the same hand, it is comfortable, he's been there for almost two years.

We sat and analyzed the pros and cons and pros and cons, oh and the pros and cons, probably over analyzed, but hey when you are make a life change what else is there to do? Sit and take it in stride, that is the way the world tells you to handle things. Nope, becoming borderline neurotic and over analytical is the answer.

Even though the shift isn't ideal, we know that we will be okay and get through it. Not to mention he is going to consistantly be on one shift, not switching from first to third to first to third, to whenever else someone doesn't feel like working.

Watching the spark come back into his eyes and the energy return to his body, has been confirmation that the decision he made is the right one. All of a sudden all the stress in our life seems to have gone and we are closer than we were before.

Even though the new hospital is about 5 times bigger than his current one, I know that he will succeed in his career move. The different and endless opportunites that wait for him and us are endless and make the stomach turning butterflies worthwhile.