Thursday, November 19, 2009

Does this hospital gown make my ovaries look fat?

Last Friday I had a laparoscopy.

Laparoscopy is a surgery where they insert a camera ("laparoscope") through your bellybutton, along with various other implements through additional small points in your abdomen, in order to definitively diagnose and remove endometriosis. Now going into this surgery, I didn't naively expect it to be a magic panacea for my overall lack of fertility. Well, not totally. Sort of. 

Ok, maybe just a little. 

But can you blame me? As a veteran sub-fertile and part-time problem solver, I'm always on the look out for the Next Big Thing: a legitimate plan of action in a positive direction to finally turn this thing around. And when my doctor suddenly suspected endometriosis a month and a half ago, something (bingo!) went off in my head. It was a disease. With a NAME. And a KNOWN TREATMENT. Maybe this infertility stuff wasn't so hard to lick after all.

Even so, it actually took me a while to latch onto the endometriosis label. I still can't believe I actually possess it ("I have endometriosis" sounds so weird coming from my mouth). I've never met the standard criteria of having heavy periods and unbearable cramping. I've always thought I'd had quite mild periods, actually, and wrote the disease off years ago in my early inferti-education. I kinda half-expected to come out of the anesthesia to my doctor apologizing for having wasted my time. Nevertheless, there I was in my matching hair net and hospital gown, ready and willing to go under the knife to explore this new finding—and hopefully rid it from my body.

For the next 2 hours the surgeons did their best to remove all the offensive tissue. Turns out I do in fact have endometriosis, and not a mild case either. My doctor labeled it "moderate" and told me she found evidence of it on pretty much every available surface in my gut. End of story, right? Umm... no.

She sent me home with some saltine crackers and a handful of digital pictures. "Whaaa, what is thiiis?" I thought as we weaved our way home, me dreamily swaying in and out of awareness from the passenger's seat of our car. After fully coming to, my husband explained that the doctor said I have fatty ovaries. 

Let me repeat: Fat. On my ovaries. I guess you could say I'd never been so insulted in all my life.

Now fatty ovaries was something that NEVER came up in my google studies. PCOS, yes. Blocked fallopian tubes, yes. But fat ovaries? Is this a joke? Please tell me there is someone out there that makes a slim-fast for my reproductive organs!!

After spending the weekend in pain, confusion, and a little embarrassment, I called my doctor first thing Monday to get some clarification. Turns out the fat isn't so much ON my ovaries as IS my ovaries. It seems that as the ovaries age, the active ovarian tissue actually turns into fat and becomes non-responsive. Just like our thighs. 

Beings as I'm only 39, she was quite surprised to see my ovaries in such a state. Usually women much closer to menopause present with ovaries like these. Guess I'm an early bloomer.

Looks like the only thing for me and the ovaries to do is go on a diet. Just what do you feed overweight ovums? Eggbeaters?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Warning: Cranky, Bitchy Post Ahead

Today is cycle day 1. Now for me right now, CD1 carries with it no hopeful RE appointments, no new fertility drugs, and no ultasound viewings. CD1 is just what it is: a day full of cramps and crankiness and not-pregnantness and tampon-changing. Sorry to be graphic, but, well, it's CD1 and let's just be frank and not sugar coat this day with silly little acronyms. I'm on my period, y'all, and it sounds about as good as it feels.

This is my first full period after a failed IVF cycle. And while I shouldn't be so surprised it's here, I kinda am, because I naively trusted my acupuncturist when she told me "it's not uncommon for women to conceive the month after a failed cycle". Hear that laughing? It's the universe. Apparently I'm once again the butt of their sick joke.

But I had my reasons to be hopeful. Such as a perfect, positive OPK right on CD 13 like textbook clockwork. I even had what I *thought* was implantation spotting on CD 18 and 19.

Then, on day 26, I'm awakened at 5:15 to find my little monthly surprise. WTF? Does tampax get a cut of the profits everytime this happens?

But that was just the beginning. Oh, it gets worse.

There's this strange natural phenomenon that follows me around like a dark cloud whenever my progesterone levels drop. It's as if people feel a strong magnetism toward me and decide it's the perfect day to tell me that they're pregnant. At least this latest friend had the courtesy to tell me in private over email. I'm thankful for that small favor. Of course, my email back to her was all CONGRATULATIONS!! And that's soooo GREAT!! What else am I to do? Tell her it's not fair and that baby should be mine??

The piéce de résistance came when Preggo's husband sent out ultrasound pictures to all his guy friends. My hubby's heart sank, and with it mine too. Often I feel so responsible for his sadness. This is my physical affliction, after all. Sometimes I wonder how I'd feel if our IF was due to male factors. 

Anyway, whatever. I have no useful insights or lofty bits of wisdom to dole out right now. I think I'll just go change my tampon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Mom" is another word for Love

Life has been so crazy for me lately, I haven't paid much attention to the poor little blog. And now, woah... ICLW is here. Now I know you all aren't exactly waiting around with baited breath to read what WannabeMommy has to say, but it is about time I wrote something for the 1.5 people out there who might care. 

So this post may take a bit of a departure from the same old fertility blah-blah-blah. This post is about my mom. She has been suffering from a condition called atrial flutter/fibrilation, where her heart suddently and out of the blue races at more than double the normal rate, for the better part of a year. Her home is about one and a half hours away from mine, and I'm pretty much the only close family member she has around the area. I worry about her a lot, as she is 72 now and dealing with this worsening heart condition. In the last 3 weeks alone she has visited the ER 3 times. And on top of that she takes care of my severely disabled brother. He can't walk, talk, go to the bathroom, or eat on his own. My mom takes care of every basic human need for him. Or at least she did until last week.

Last Thursday, I was sitting at my desk in my office doing the usual (probably reading blogs) when I got a very distressing call from my mom. In a weak and warbly voice, she told me her heart was racing uncontrollably; that she thought this one was "it" and she "wasn't going to make it". I of course panicked; my mom isn't one to be overly dramatic so I took the call very seriously. But unfortunately, there isn't much you can do when you're an hour and a half away.

She managed to call 911 and have the ambulance rush her to the hospital. Frantically, I bolted to her side as fast as I could, and met her in the ER. She was very glad and relieved  to see me, but I could tell this time was serious. She held my hand and told me that she remembered the day I was born, that she was indeed there when it happened. I stared into her eyes and noticed there was something different about them; a peacefulness amid the chaos. It scared the shit out of me, but I tried desperately not to show it. Three hours later, she was moved to a different hospital and whisked into surgery—a procedure called catheter ablation. Thankfully, it was deemed a success, and mom is now living at my house, recuperating until we figure out what's next. 

Meanwhile, with my mom's frail health, it finally became apparent that she could no longer care for my brother. He is now living in a care home with 13 other disabled people and a full staff. I worry about him a lot now, too. Is he scared? Is he eating? Will he be happy there? These are all questions I slowly tried to answer for myself as I traded visits between his new home and my mother's hospital room. I think they are both taking it one day at a time.

Needless to say, this craziness has left me little time to obsess about my fertility, and maybe that's the silver lining here. I can't imagine getting pregnant without having my mom around to share in the joy, the planning, the shopping, the excitement, and the worry. It has crossed my mind a few times that maybe my IVF failed for a higher reason; maybe right now it's time to focus on Mom. So that's what I'm going to do. 

That, and maybe a little frenetic, obscure blogging on the side.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Today we had our follow-up appointment with the R.E. Terrified I'd crumble into a blubbering mess, I was actually quite proud of myself when I only required one tissue.

Luckily, the meeting didn't turn into a finger-pointing melee like it had with the first IVF ("Well... YOU have diminished ovarian reserve so it's really all YOUR fault".. or at least that's how my little mind remembers it). My R.E. calmly explained that the latest revelation of the endometriosis is most likely affecting my egg quality, if not also my fallopian tubes. We will know more, of course, after my laparoscopy. I told her that I'd basically do the surgery tomorrow if we could. I want answers, damn it, the sooner the better.

She said that with women with endo, their highest chances of getting pregnant occur 1 - 6 months after a lap. With that in mind, she said we should decide SOON how we want to proceed. (Meaning... if we want to jump right back into another cycle). I'd rather remove my toenails one-by-one with a pair of rusty pliers.

I just don't get how some women do it... cycle continuously for months at a time. Any of you girls out there do this? I just don't have the stomach for it. I need time to lick my wounds and pick up the pieces.

While we're asking questions... anybody out there undergo a lap? How'd it go? What did you find? And of course... anybody get knocked up after it??

Oh... before I forget. Much love and thanks goes out to fellow SF-bay area girl Melissa from "Banking on It" for my Kreativ Blogger award. Behold: 

It was so sweet of her to think of me, and I of course could really use the boost. So, here's the rules that accompany this esteemed honor:

1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

Here's my 7 things you don't yet (but are about to) know about me:

1. I used to think that when I grew up, I'd be a nun. 

2. I've been addicted to Chap Stick since the first grade.

3. My favorite color is red.

4. One of my most unforgettable moments in life is when I sang at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and helped my band win first place in the 'Battle of the Corporate Bands'. I've definitely lived out my rock n roll fantasy!!

5. I met my husband and love of my life on

6. As a kid, I used to hole myself up in my room for hours at a time, just drawing and drawing until my hand hurt. Guess I always knew I'd end up doing something creative for a living.

7. I'm a huge animal lover and just can't get enough of snuggling up with my hairless mutt, Grady. I vow never to live without a pet ever again!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


When I got my news, I couldn't wait to get off the phone with that goddamn nurse and cry my eyes out. She blabbed on for what seemed to be hours as my face slowly turned red and my eyes welled up. The second thing I did, after bawling like a child, was call my husband. His initial reaction was to yell "FUCK!!!!" as loud as I've ever heard him say it. 

I drag through the next day like some kind of zombie on downers. That evening, I race home as fast as I can to commence another session of unabashed wailing. My husband gets home and proceeds to slam every door, yell at the dog, and otherwise just act very pissed off. 

We grieve very differently. We are a sad, mad, sorry mess-of-a-couple.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


All I can is that I'm totally deflated and heartbroken right now. I feel like I can't even trust my own intuitions anymore. What's left when you don't have that?

Oh yah, and now the doc says I have endometriosis.

Friday, September 18, 2009

All good things come in threes.

On Tuesday I had 3 lively, perfect little embryos deposited into my uterus. I picture them there now, bouncing off of each other, their cells multiplying like crazy, deciding exactly where the perfect spot in my womb is to nestle in for a nice 9-month long stay. 

So of course, these last few days (weeks?) I've been a little preoccupied. The hardest part of this process, by far, is learning how to stay present—how not to fall down That Black Hole of worry located in my mind. That Black Hole was bad before, but now it's like a super-charged magnetic vortex. If I even so much as glance toward it, it takes that as an open invitation to grab me by the shirt collar and drag me down into it's dark, bottomless core.

I've done everything imaginable to elude That Black Hole: meditate, sing, pray, go to church, lay in the grass and stare at the sky, snuggle my dog, listen to classical music, watch funny movies, go to the acupuncturist, walk in nature. I'm running out of ideas. Normally, I'd just drink massive amounts of red wine. My R.E. doesn't think that's the wisest of choices right now.

My husband and I diffuse the seriousness of the situation by coming up with silly names for the 3 embies. He likes Larry, Curly, and Mo or The Three Musketeers. I just call them "Em", "Bree", and "Yo". (We're wildly creative, aren't we?) I've put their picture in a little frame beside my bed, and the other night, I fell asleep gazing at the photo perched atop my chest. That night, oddly enough, I had 3 dreams:

*** Cue the harp music ***

In the first dream, I was wading in a river. I looked up river, and saw Bette Midler standing in the water singing God is Watching Us. ("God is waaatching uuuuus..... God is waaaatching uuuus.... God is watching uuuus... from a distaaaaance"). Suddenly, a huge tidal wave flowed downstream and engulfed Bette. All I could see is a big tuft of blonde curls consumed in the gush. I, luckily, managed to grab onto a tree. Out of nowhere a big hand reached over and helped me to safety.

In the second dream, I was camping with my husband and some unknown ex-girlfriend of his. The 3 of us stayed together in a cabin with one bed. Next thing I know, my husband is naked in bed with the ex-girlfriend, as I sit at the end of the bed watching my husband initiate his affair. I'm understandably devastated, and the two of them carry on as though I'm not even there.

In the third dream, I'm sitting quietly. A voice (God?) tells me not to worry, that I'm already pregnant, and that the 2 additional embryos are just there "to make sure". Suddenly, I'm sitting there cuddling a newborn baby girl.

What does it all mean? Well, I'll tell you what I think. I've always thought that Bette Midler song was a little ridiculous. I mean, I believe that God is RIGHT HERE, that there is no "distance", as symbolized by the hand right beside me that saved my life. And he isn't necessarily "watching us". He's in our hearts, he's all around us; we just don't always realize it because it's covered by all the bullshit and worry our minds conjure up (like the irrational fear that my husband would cheat on me). 

And the third dream? Well, no crazy symbolism there. I just choose to believe it's gonna come true.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I have a new lyric for Alanis Morissette and her song "Ironic", and it goes like this:

It's like takin' BCPeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees, when you're tryin' to get pregnant....

It's like feelin' nauseoooooouuuuuuuuus, when you know that you're not.

(Okay, sorry for that. I just had to get it out of my system because that stupid song has been running through my head all morning. And homegirl Alanis.... she don't know nuthin' 'bout "ironic" unless she's been through an IVF herself. In which case I do apologize, Alanis).


I am officially into my second IVF cycle. And yes, taking birth control pills. They make me sick. Is this why they make you take them? To prepare you for what morning sickness will be like?

Funny thing is, I, like about 90% of all women out there, have been on these pills before. And I don't remember ever once feeling nauseous on them back when I was actually taking them for their intended purpose. Maybe because I was so busy enjoying all that free-wheeling casual sex, unencumbered by worries of accidental pregnancies. 

Yah... that wasn't quite it.

I guess this is nothing, really. I mean, BCPs are only a gateway drug to the Luprons and Repronexes and Follistims of the world. Am I ready for all that?

Well, break out the alcohol pads and unbuckle my pants, because the answer is a Big Fat POSITIVE!!

How ironic is that??

Monday, August 24, 2009


Some of you who have been to my blog before will notice my new banner graphic and layout. Why did I change it? Because for whatever reason, I believe in appearances. Not in a superficial, overly-cosmetic kind of way, but in a putting-my-best-foot-forward kind of way. Sort of like a visual form of positive thinking. Couple that with the fact that I actually design stuff for a living, and I guess you could say it was just time.

Fact is, the designer in me couldn't wait to get my hands on this boring template. Yet I struggled with the idea of using a photo of myself. Even a blurry one. Now I know that many of you other sub-fertiles out there openly label yourselves by name. And I applaud you for it. It's not that I think I have something to be ashamed of. But for the past four years, I have been living something of a double life. Happily child-free on the outside, desperately infertile on the inside.

It started when I took this job. In my mind I thought I'd be here maybe 6 months—max—then out the door on maternity leave. (Pause here for laughter.)

Naturally, I didn't want anyone at my new job to know of my intentions, should they think of me as anything less than a serious professional. It also didn't help that my office is kind of ... impersonal. I didn't really "connect" with anyone here the way I had at my old job. I wasn't comfortable confiding that sort of personal information. (Incidently, just about everyone at my old office knew about my TTC.) When my secret plan didn't quite hatch, well, I just figured I needed more time. And more time is what I got. And more, and more, and more ....

... Till I found myself here. Passing myself off as an "I'm-above-all-that-mommy-mumbo-jumbo", "childless-by-choice" happily married woman. See how deceiving appearances can be?

In my defense, I had to do it. When you're knocking on 40's door without any kids tugging at your coat, people start to ask questions. I always just brush them off with indifferent responses like "Oh, I'm in no rush"... or, "I love being an aunt". I figured that would shut them up and leave me to do my job without any fear of being stepped over for promotions or key assignments. And it worked. I was promoted last quarter.

Anyway, I'm starting to veer off course here. (I blame it on the meds). So in conclusion I'd just like to say: hope you enjoy my new layout. But please don't forward it to my boss!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sign here ________.

Last month I told you guys I was reading Eat, Pray, Love. Such a beautiful, beautiful book; I was really sad to finish it. But thankfully, I think the things I gleaned from it will last a long time.

In the book, Liz, the author, goes through a harrowing divorce. Her husband spends the better part of a year refusing to come to a divorce settlement, and the whole affair drags out and causes Liz a lot of pain. One day, on a road trip with a friend, she tells her how she wishes she could write a petition to God to get her husband to sign the divorce papers. "Well, why not?" they figure, and she proceeds to write it right then and there. Instead of gathering physical signatures (a difficult thing to do in a rental car), they laugh as they happily rattle off the names of countless family and friends (some imagined.. Michael J. Fox and the Dalai Lama "signed" it, after all) who have added their name to the petition.

After finishing the petition, Liz falls asleep dreamily while her friend is at the wheel. About an hour later, she wakes to the sound of her cell phone buzzing. It was her lawyer calling to announce that her husband had just signed the divorce papers.

Coincidence? Serendipity? Maybe. But I choose to believe that you get out of life what you put into it. Same goes for your intentions, prayers, meditations... whatever you want to call them. And more often than not, it doesn't hurt to be specific when asking for what you desire.

So here's my petition. What better way to gain support for it than throwing it out to the universe on the open stage that is The Internets. Would you be so kind to add your intentions to this page and "sign" my petition? Much obliged...

Dear God/Universe/Source of all things,

I am writing you this petition today to ask you to intervene in the matter of creating a pregnancy for my husband and I. Yes, this is something I've been praying for off and on for the last 5 years. But now, I ask you for some serious help.

I know you have many important matters to look after... wars, hunger, oppression, disease. But the way I see it, I am an important part of life on this planet, as is every living soul. And as much as my situation isn't life-threatening, it is still something that causes me and the people around me great suffering. Isn't it true that if one person can move from suffering into happiness, that they in turn bring happiness to the world and others around them? I want to do my part to bring happiness to this world. This is one of the ways I wish to accomplish it.

So please, dear God, help us out. Your power is the only way. I promise to do my part in allowing your help to guide us. We are now embarking on IVF #2 and would be forever grateful if this were our last try. We promise to do everything in our power to help guide our child toward becoming the most responsible, caring, and happy person he/she can be, all the while knowing it is you who made their life possible.

Thanks in advance for your attention to this matter.

Most sincerely,

Friday, July 17, 2009

My RE is driving me crazy!!

I picked my RE for what I consider to be a few very good reasons:
  1. She's a woman.
  2. She didn't poo-poo my desire to use my own eggs. She let me choose, and embraced that choice.
  3. She immediately saw what could be done differently (i.e. better) than what my last RE did.
  4. She's super knowledgeable
I'm still totally onboard with my decision—really I am. It's just that last reason that's got me a little frazzled. My RE could dazzle you with the amount of fertility knowledge she can rattle off in the matter of a few seconds of conversation. And she often does. But I've moved on from 'dazzled' and am now at 'fed-up'. Because that's just the problem—she won't shut the eff up!

Another reason I chose her which didn't make the above list, is because she recently broke away from a group of other doctors to start her own practice; meaning—she's hungry for new patients. Considering my last RE's office was more like Grand Central Station and I was lucky to get a decent nurse on the phone—let alone the doc himself—I saw her uber-availability and super-attentiveness as a huge plus. But now that positive has turned into a negative, and I feel like I'm drowning in her rhetoric and "medicalese"—a language I have yet to decipher.

Like yesterday, for example. I've taken to returning her calls during walks down the busy street my office is on. (My boss and cube-mates really do not need to know about my IVF). It's hard enough to hear her over the police car sirens and chattering tourists that are a constant in downtown San Francisco. But after listening to her rattle off my drug options auctioneer-style ("Can-I-get-a-down-regulated-cycle? Antagonist-protocol-going-once,-going-twice"), my ovaries are spinning. What the hell does it all mean, lady? And can I please get a frickin' word in edgewise??

It comes down to this—I need to be heard and understood by my doc because at the end of the day, this is my body and my decision. If she'd stop jabbering long enough to let me ask my questions, maybe—and this is a big maybe—I could get some answers. Preferably in English.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

2 Things

My body does this weird thing sometimes where it conspires with the universe to keep me even more miserable than I thought I could be.

Or, why do I always start my period on the same day I find out another friend is pregnant?

Maybe I'm lucky... because instead of stretching my misery out over several days, I get to experience it all in one big, huge pile of a poopy day.

"Let it go," I say to myself. "Be happy for ______. Just because she's pregnant does not mean you never will be." But my raging hormones, hammering headache, and desperate moodiness don't understand this warm and fuzzy psycho-speak. Would it sound better and make more sense with a glass of red wine in one hand? I'm hoping to find out tonight.

But until then, I'm gently reminded to Let Go and Acquiesce by these 2 lovely bloggers. Now if I could just put that into play. God, help me... (And I mean that. God, are you listening??)

Right now I'm reading the book Eat, Pray, Love. (I know, I'm about 3 years behind the times. I just kept putting off reading it because I didn't think the subject matter was relevant to me. Man, was I wrong.) Anyhow, In the "pray" section, she deals a lot with accepting herself. I yearn to be able to do that now. If there was a magic potion I could take that would make me never want to be a mother again and just forget all this IF bullshit, I would chug it down faster than a thirsty alcoholic at Octoberfest. My problems would be solved and I'd be at peace... right?

I think self-acceptance is an ongoing practice. Our busy minds are always coming up with new obsessions and worries to wear us down. If it wasn't a baby I yearned for, then it would probably be a BMW or a new career or a decent singing voice. It's always something. The trick lies in not giving your mind the authority. Letting go instead to the source of life. So much easier said than done.

Well, for now I'm just gonna have that glass of wine and hope for the best.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I believe congratulations are in order, because I'm... (drumroll, please) .... PREGNOT!

What is pregnot, you ask? Well, it's the condition you find yourself in when your period is almost 4 weeks late, but contrary to your prayerful optimism those BFNs keep showing up anyway. Nevermind that I'm completely bloated and having side aches. Not too mention my serious case of "pregnotcy brain". It's like I get to experience all the worst side effects of real pregnancy, but with no bundle of joy to show for it at the end. I know I've never been overly welcoming to Aunt Flo, but I must have really done something to piss her off this time.

Well, all those pee sticks could be wrong... right?  Stranger things have happened. I'd happily get onboard with that theory, except something tells me I can probably trust the two (yes, TWO) doctor's blood tests—also negatory. *Sigh* Any chance the lab could mix up their results—twice? A girl can dream.

They say stress is the most common culprit for wreaking havoc with your hormones. Lord knows I've had my share this month. (Turning 39 was a hell-of-a-time.) But is there something more I'm missing? Annovulation? Ectopic pregnancy?? Ovarian cancer???  

After many sleepless nights of googling those and other countless horrors, I think I can safely say I'm just plain late. But where does that leave me? Wondering where my damn period went, for one. My RE didn't exactly buoy my hopes by telling me an occurrence like this is a sure sign of waning ovary function. Thanks, doc... I've never wanted my period to start so badly before. (Well, except for those couple times in college).

So for the next couple days, possibly weeks, you can find me here, tampon in one hand, glass of wine in the other, waiting anxiously for my menses. 

Here's to keeping hope alive.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

39 and Counting

I recently celebrated my 39th birthday. And by "celebrated" I mean clenched my teeth through the entire workday till I was able to run home and sob droolingly into my pillow. 

I pretty much dread birthdays. Not other people's, mind you, just my own. Birthdays are like an annual holiday specifically set up for reminding yours truly that you're getting older, uglier, fatter, and exponentially less fertile. Now who wants cake!?

I know I shouldn't be so glum. Life is beautiful.. lots to be thankful for... and all that jazz. It's just that every year, as early April rolls around, I tell myself "this one will be different—this year I'll party it up, get drunk, and forget all my problems." I have the best of intentions. And it started out all right, with lots of cards and calls from dear friends and family wishing me well. That's all I really wanted. No fanfair necessary; just a slight nudge from my allies reminding me that I am loved. But for whatever reason, year after year, the day slowly degenerates into a pathetic pity-party for one.

Case in point: Highlight Number One this year included getting into a huge fight with my sister, followed by a long period of The Silent Treatment. Nah... I didn't really need her support as I get ready for the mother of all IVFs, right? Highlight Number Two involved leaving work early.... to get a saline sonogram. Because nothing says "party" like having your cervix dilated and shooting a bunch of salt water into your uterus! (Apparently the fibroid I've been harboring these past few months didn't get the birthday memo). To top it off, Highlight Number Three had hubby and I setting out for an intimate dinner at a charming French restaurant, only to be seated next to THE MOST OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD AND ANNOYING TABLE EVER!!! DID YOU KNOW THAT AT THESE PRICES, MARTHA FROM NORTH CAROLINA CAN AFFORD TO BUY FIVE HOUSES ON HER VISA CARD?!?!? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA....

Thankfully, this little tale doesn't end here. Lest you start feeling sorry for me, I should let you know that the dinner was saved by a kind maitre' d who apologetically seated us in the adjacent (closed) dining room. I felt like we were in our own private episode of "The Bachelor" as he lit the fireplace just for us. And to be honest, there's really nothing a warm plate of pan seared foie gras in espresso sauce can't fix. 

As for my sister, we ended up having it out, five days later, in a battle-royal-marathon-2-hour-phone-call. But you know what? I think we were overdue. Sometimes you need to insult people to their very core, cry it out, and make up to truly realize your love for someone. We are all the closer for it now.

And my uterus? I'm happy to report she got a clean bill of health. Turns out that pesky little fibroid is a non-threatening 2 cm, and situated in a spot where it shouldn't do any harm. 

After the exam, I remember lifting my feet from the cold stirrups and reaching for my pants. Just then, my RE turned to hand me an Always pad, smiled and said "Here... you'll need this. Happy birthday". Another year bites the dust.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Post about Nothing

I'm writing this post today in honor of my good friend, Katy, cuz I just saw her last night and the experience is still fresh in my mind. What's this post about, exactly? Well, I'm not sure yet. Let's just see where it goes.

First and foremost I want to express some of the great things that I've got going on in my life, mostly because my sister has told me she's given up on reading my blog because it's so depressing (Thanks, Flooz). To those few people out there still reading, I hope you don't think of me as some kind of pathetic sad-sack. (I'm willing to bet that since she's my sister, and has been thru IF herself, that this all hits a bit too close to home). So let's hit on some uplifting stuff today, shall we?

In that vein, I'd like to officially state for the record the many wonderful things I'm grateful for:

1. My husband. He's my rock; always there for me, rarely complaining, forever supportive. I still melt whenever he flashes me that beautiful smile. Goddamn it, I guess this is partly why I want to procreate with him so badly. Thanks for being there Babe, and keep on movin'. 

2. My girlfriends. Every time I hang out with one of them, usually over drinks after work, I'm reminded just how lucky I am to have them in my life; and at the same time I leave wondering "why don't I do this more often?" I love you all from the bottom of my heart, and can't wait till we meet again to laugh, cry, commiserate, gossip, etc., etc.

3. My family. While these days it seems there are so few of you left—two close members, to be exact—it doesn't leave me feeling short-changed one bit. My mom and my sister are two of the first people I turn to in a crisis, and the first two people I wanna call to share good news with. You two are everything I want and need in a family.

4. My job. Well, I'm not exactly gonna go on and on extolling the joys of working at my meagerly-run agency. Just suffice to say that I'm happy to have a steady paycheck at this point in the economy.

5. My dog. God, what would I do without all the unconditional love the various pets I've had have brought into my life? Every night when I come home, Grady is there, tail wagging, his head cradled in my hands. He's the baby that, for now, I'm completely content to coddle and spoil.

6. My home. While it's not the 4 bd/3.5 bath craftsmen that my husband would have us in, my little condo is what I call home. Yah, I complain that the baseboards need replacing/the closets need fixing/the patio's a mess. But you know what? It keeps me warm, dry and safe. And I love my kitchen, no matter what!

So those are the top 5, in a nutshell. I guess in  a way, I needed to write this. Because sometimes I get so caught up in my grief, it's hard to see past it. But there is something past it; something that's always been there, and always will be. Pretty important to keep in mind—infertile or not—wouldn't you agree?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Little Miss Perfect is pregnant.

There is this girl at my office who annoys me to no end. I shall call her Little Miss Perfect (LMP). I call her this because every morning at 10:00 am, when my small office of 14 characters schleps into the conference room for our daily status meeting, LMP has 5 or 6 folders spread out in front of her, pen in one hand, highlighter in the other, while the rest of us are still wearily chugging down our first cup of joe. (Ha! I just realized LMP also stands for "last menstrual period." Oh, the irony). She sits in her chair as if there were a metal rod tied to her spinal cord, all alert and perky and, well... perfect. 

I'm sure you've already guessed why I chose to post today in her honor. Because today of all days is the day she annoys me the most. LMP is preggars. And the thing is, I knew it. I knew it the way you know about a good melon. Chalk another perfect point up for Miss Perfect.

Oh... it's all innocent enough. It's not like she ever means me any personal harm when I hear those 2 magic words fall out of another woman's mouth. But it's like in the movies when everything is slowed down and the camera focuses in for an extreme close up, and you can practically read her lips before she starts talking, and just as she says it that 12-inch dagger that's pierced your heart is slowly turning it upside down as it rotates in your chest. Yah, it's pretty much like that.

So there I was, caught like a rat in a trap, stuck in a little circle of 4 women as LMP delivers her news, forced to smile accordingly and ooh and ahh in sync with my female coworkers. To top it all off, LMP reveals to us, that in perfect Little MIss Perfect fashion, that it happened on her "first try... hee! hee!" Everyone is happy and healthy and thrilled beyond belief. This, just as I'm just starting to feel good about my decision to finally try another IVF. Really, God? Thanks for that.

You know how Carrie in Sex in the City would end each of her articles with a question? Well, I ask you... Is it illegal to mame a pregnant woman?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Giving In

I'm thinking of giving in.

It's officially been two years now since DH and I tried IVF. I left that experience vowing to never have to go thru the pain and the heartache and the fear again. And God knows I've tried  e v e r y t h i n g  to get my body into healthy baby-making shape since then. I really thought I could do this on my own. Now I'm not so sure.

Let's see.... just what did I do to try and win back my fertility post-IVF? First, I signed on with a naturopathic nutritionist to detox my body of the evil fertility drugs. That involved driving over an hour to her office, choking down gallons of lemon-and-cayenne-pepper-water concoctions, and undergoing some very strange muscle testing to see which natural tinctures would benefit me best. Next, I paid a thousand bucks out of pocket to extract all my mercury-infused dental fillings and replace them with bright, non-toxic porcelain ones. Then I signed on with my fourth acupuncturist, because, you know, THIS is finally gonna be the one who gets it right. I even endured a five-hour long marathon NLP session, where the therapist regressed me back into some of the worst memories I've ever harbored, all in the name of clearing my sub-conscious of any obstacles. Oh, and on the more practical side of things, I also started seeing a new "integrative" doctor to see if her medical degree could help me balance those devious hormones. 

So where did all of this get me? About seven grand in the hole. "But", I'd tell myself, "my cause is a noble one." After all, how can infertility survive in a body that is brimming with holistic, natural health? I was (and, to some degree, still am) dedicated to wiping out this "disease" from my body—without the help of artificial drugs or artificial ART or artificial anything! That, and I wanted nothing more than to march into my old RE's office with a protruding belly and an outstretched middle finger. 

But now I'm getting desperate. My 39th birthday is around the corner (...aargh, birthdays...), and I feel no closer to pregnancy than I am to ever being carded again. So ART it is? I tell ya, I am sooo not looking forward to all the anxiety-inducing appointments, the needles (the fat one and the skinny one), the $200 bottles of progesterone, the bills (oh... the bills), the lying to my boss about yet another "dentist appointment", and finally, the make-or-break phone call that comes at the end of it all. 

But what I am looking forward to? Snuggling a warm, cuddly little human in my arms someday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

POF... WTF?!

...(Before I begin, apologies to anyone out there reading, for being so absent these last *gulp* three months. A steady blogger I am not.)

So I've been giving a lot of added thought lately to my "diagnosis". And by diagnosis, I mean the off-handed comment that my R.E. gave me 1 1/2 years ago before quickly hanging up after our post-IVF follow-up call. "Looks to me like you have Premature Ovarian Failure." Well, thanks and good-bye to you, too, buck-o! What exactly do they do to teach bedside manner in medical school, anyway? I think Dr. Z missed that lecture. But I digress.

Premature Ovarian Failure, or POF, is described as a stop in the normal functioning of the ovaries in a woman younger than age 40. It's kind of like premature menopause... but it isn't, because women with POF do still occasionally ovulate and have periods. And there is no known cause. Or cure. WTF?!

Turns out I fit perfectly into the description of someone with POF. Short, irregular periods. A sudden stopping of ovulation. POF is more common in women with auto-immune conditions, such as thyroiditis (like me). And POF puts you at greater risk of developing more serious ailments, such as osteoporosis, Addison's disease, even Parkinson's. As if I didn't have enough to worry about.

So, like a lot of things connected with my sub-fertility, I responded by obsessively googling all I can about it, only to get very depressed after hours of reading crappy statistics offering little hope. But I put a stop to it this time. Because every freaking website seems to say the same thing. And being labeled with any condition with the word "failure" in it's title is like a kick in the crotch every time you see it.

So I can't do anything about my POF. Or can I? I might be oversimplifying things, but I think all I need to know about this condition is this: It's autoimmune related. And what is any autoimmune disease, but an attack on your body by your body. An internal physical self-loathing, if you will. So I resolve to do the following: 1) Stop reading the stupid medical websites, and 2) Love my body more.

Anybody see the thing in What the Bleep about the Japanese scientist who did the study on water? A quirky movie, yes, but this experiment is worth some attention. Apparently he discovered that you can literally change the make-up of water by focusing positive thoughts on it, such as "love" or "gratitude". The proof was shown in the microscopic pictures of the ice crystals which formed from said water. The crystals from the "love" water formed beautiful, intricate patterns like snowflakes. The crystals from the untreated water, or water that was labeled with words like "hate" or "ugly" formed disjointed, chaotic patterns. The theory distilled from this study in the movie is this: since our bodies are about 90% water, what are the possible outcomes from the thoughts we place upon it?

I admit, as a woman living in this age, "loving your body" is easier said then done. But I'm giving it a try. A real, give-it-all-I've-got kind of try. It's all I can do. We'll see what happens.