Monday, March 31, 2008

Mommy Brain

I had a wonderful opportunity yesterday. I got to sing at the Jewish Chapel at West Point. It was simply awe-inspiring to be able to sing at a memorial to a wonderful man, in an absolutely beautiful chapel, in front of an audience that included current cadets.

It was in this setting that I did it again. I have this habit of mothering other people's children. And, I caught myself doing it yesterday. I had driven up with a friend from the chorus and her 8 year old son (if she's reading this, I hope she's not offended by me talking about it!). After the concert, we were in the social hall and she was speaking with some cadets and her son came over by me. I knew he wanted to talk to them but he told me he was too shy. So, I took him by the shoulder and took him (ok, you can say it....I marched him) over. As he tried to dart away, oh, I'm so embarrassed to admit this, I did the instinctive mother move of grabbing him by his collar to hold him there so he would talk to them. I don't know what came over me! My right arm just darted out and grabbed! And, I found myself saying things to the cadets like "we told him he would see soldiers" as I held tight to that collar. I'm sure it came off like a "Billy has two mommies" story!

And, I know this isn't the first time I've done something like this. So, to all the mom's who's children I've (s)mothered, accept my apology!!

It's tough sometimes having no children and an over-active Mommy Brain!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Watch your mouth, young lady!

I found out this week that my mother and aunt love to read this blog (waving hello to Mom and Aunt Shelly!). So, I mentioned that to someone and she sort of scrunched up her nose (you know what I'm talking about) and asked me if that was weird for me. Huh? So, she elaborated. She wondered if I felt that I needed to censor what I write, knowing that it would be read by my mother and my aunt.

Um, no. My mother and aunt are smart women. They know that having sex with my husband is probably not going to get me pregnant, but, that I'm still gonna try! They know that I cry when I'm mad or when I'm sad or when I'm frustrated or, sometimes, for no real reason at all. And, they won't be upset if I just have to say "what the fuck" when something goes wrong (although, they might be a little shocked because I rarely talk like that).

So, does it bother me that they are reading this? On the contrary! I feel so blessed that they care enough to want to know what's going on in my life and love me enough to want to know how I'm feeling about it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nothing to say?

C'mon, how can it be that I have nothing to say? Me?!

I've been telling everyone that starting and writing in this blog has been the number one, most therapeutic thing I've done since the beginning of our infertility struggles. It really is. But, then, as I thought last night that I should write something, my mind went blank. I had nothing to say. Nothing much has happened the last few days, unless you all want to hear about the cough I'm still fighting, the all-nighter I pulled for work, or my latest trip to Target. Nah, I didn't think you did.

I have nothing to say because we are on a bit of a treatment break. I'm waiting for my medical records from Clinic A before I can make an appointment at Clinic C (went to Clinic B for a 2nd opinion a year ago). So, we're on this little break where we're not cycling at all. How incredibly odd to not call someone the day I got my period. I was at a loss. After almost 2 years of telling some random person on the phone that my period started, how could I just sit around and not let "someone" know! But, who could I call? Nobody I know in real life would (or should) want this little bit of information. So, I picked up the phone and called the operator and told her! (OK, I didn't, but, it would have made a funny story, wouldn't it?)

Anyway, back to my treatment break. I hate being on a break. At least, when I'm cycling, it feels like we have a chance. Breaks mean very little to no chance. I've had pretty long breaks between all of my cycles and I've hated each of them. When a cycle has ended, unsuccessfully, I've kept my sanity by looking forward and counting the days until the next one could start. And here I find myself, on another break, with no idea when we might start again or what kind of cycle we might do. I absolutely hate being on this break!!

Or, do I? Maybe I'm not hating it this time so much. This break feels a little different. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm in a different place emotionally right now. But, if I'm totally honest with myself, maybe, just maybe, I'm actually enjoying this break a little bit. Life is status quo right now, and, you know what, that isn't really so bad. I'm doing OK.

I guess that's why I have nothing to write about today.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Seats 12

Yes, it's 12:43 in the morning and I'm a little bleary-eyed. I got pulled into a project at work today that got a little out of hand. Now, I'm stuck sitting here waiting for someone else to finish his part so I can continue on my part and he just told me it's probably going to be another hour. Great.

Anyway, I didn't get around to telling you that we had to buy a new car this weekend for Glenn. We got the Acura RDX and it's really nice. Glenn has never been an SUV fan, but, this is smaller, a crossover, and he really liked it when he drove it. And, I love it, but, I've always been an SUV girl.

So, we are a two SUV family now! And it just dawned on me that we have no children, but, ironically, room to transport 12 people. Maybe there's a football team somewhere I can volunteer to drive around.....

Sunday, March 23, 2008


First, to those who celebrate, Happy Easter! Enjoy your holiday!

OK, I finally read the Jennifer Lopez article this morning. There's lots of talk (angry talk) on the infertility boards about how she's lying when she says that she didn't do IVF and got pregnant, in her words, "naturally". My opinion? I wasn't in her uterus. I have no idea whether egg and sperm met in her fallopian tube or in a a petri dish. And, honestly, I don't care. While I do agree that a "celebrity" has an opportunity to take a stand on infertility, it is not his or her obligation to do so. I have chosen to be very open about my struggles. Not everybody has to make that same choice.

Now, that said, she did say some things that I take exception to - "I knew there was nothing wrong with me. I knew that I could. Deep down, I really wanted it badly". Um, ok, maybe I just haven't wanted it badly enough......hmm, tell that to all of the needle holes in my body and tracks of tears down my face.

Anyway, this got me thinking about all of us going through this. Financial status. Age. Social status. Profession. Religion. Geography. Those of us who share our stories and gain strength through one another don't care about any of those things. The woman who pays out of pocket doesn't feel worse than the woman with insurance. The New Yorker doesn't feel any more pain than the woman from Boise. The 28 year old isn't having an easier time with her struggle than the 37 year old. We are all struggling. We all own our struggles. To each of us, our situation is the worst because, well, because it's ours, but, that doesn't preclude us from understanding there are other women struggling with their own realities.

We have a bond, one that those not dealing with infertility can't fully appreciate. A sisterhood. And, although we wish nobody had to be a card-carrying member of this sisterhood, we welcome, with open arms, all who want to discuss, query, share, sympathize, listen, and help. Even celebrities.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Follow-up to failed IVF #5

Another morning at the RE. Another appointment looking at my RE across the desk. Another morning grasping for the tissues as he tells me how incredibly strong I am and how amazed they all are with how far we've come and how dedicated we are to the whole process..... what an oxymoron - tell me I'm strong and I cry.

I really, truly love my RE, but, honestly, I didn't expect him to say anything different. We are where we are. I was really going to this appointment because I was concerned that we were triggered too early in this last cycle and wanted to express that to him. Well, he addressed it right away by telling us that, in reality, where we thought we had 2 immature eggs, we really had 1 immature and 1 overmature, so, we were probably triggered just right and, well, sorry Lis, it was just another lousy cycle.

He also told us that my estrogen levels were a third lower than in the previous cycle, the one where we got 4 good eggs. He said that we can now use that as a barometer for what might be a better cycle for me. I guess hindsight is 20-20, but, I wish we had known that little fact before moving forward with this last cycle.

He does still very strongly encourage donor egg, but, says that we are still very open to continuing to try with my eggs. He had an intriguing recommendation for us to think about - do a donor cycle, which we could do fairly quickly because we are already at the top of the match list, and then, after giving birth (assuming we had a successful donor cycle, which he puts at 70-80%) come back and try again with my eggs, but fairly soon after giving birth (3-4 months). He said that, based on my FSH, which has always been good, he doesn't see a rapid decline in my already very low egg production over the next year and a half. It's an interesting that requires some contemplation.....

We have decided to go ahead and go for a consultation at a third clinic (we went for a 2nd opinion somewhere else in March '07), where I've have heard cases of women with low egg production having amazing results . I'm not expecting any miracles. Rather, my hope is that they'll be very honest with me and either say they think they can get more eggs out of me or they can't. I love where I go currently. I think I just need to know I've tried everything.

Whatever they say, we'll cross that bridge when the time comes (literally, lol, the new clinic is "over the bridge" in NYC!).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Today is a good day!

Glenn had to get an ultrasound and x-rays on his hands and arms because of some weird thing he developed after the second angioplasty - Everything looked good! No swelling or blockages!

My dad had to go into the city for a special endoscopy, more involved, deeper than a regular endoscopy. They were still trying to determine the cause of the unexplained internal bleeding and the bulge they found in his lower intestine - Everything looked good! No tumor! Nothing! Perfect! The best part is that they are probably going to stop looking and just accept it as a one-time occurence that rectified itself!

Today is a good day!

I'm nervous

We're meeting with my RE tomorrow morning to talk about the last failed cycle and what happens next. Now, that, in and of itself, doesn't make me nervous. Hell, I've had that conversation more times than I can remember. I'm nervous because I have to be a little confrontational and I HATE being confrontational. Something happened in the last cycle that I wasn't happy about and I need to address that with him tomorrow. I'm not sure what kind of resolution I might get (I know what I want!), but, just having to do it sets my stomach a-twitter. Yes, I said a-twitter.

By the way, "last failed cycle" sounds kind of funny, doesn't it? It should suffice to say "last cycle" because it's not as if we have a failed cycle and then two successful cycles, so, we need to specif that we need to talk about the last failed cycle. Of course the last cycle failed....or we wouldn't be talking about it now, would we?!

OK, I'll stop now........

Oh, and by the way, Happy Birthday to my sister today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Just doubled our chances!

Let me first say that I feel so lucky that we have infertility insurance company. My heart breaks for those people who don't and my undying respect goes out to you for finding ways to cycle without coverage.

To make a long story short, we did our 1st IVF under one insurance company and then changed and did our last two IVF's (two in between were cancelled) under a different company. The second company covers 4 lifetime and we had been told that they would count the one done under the previous company. So, we believed we only had 1 chance left (did you follow all of that?).

Until today, that is. Today. Glorious (albeit rainy and dreary), wonderful today. I found out today that the 2nd insurance company does not count the one done under the 1st insurance company!

We don't have 1 left.......we have 2 left!! 2! Twice as many as I thought we had! We don't have to make any drastic decisions yet! We get to keep trying with my eggs!

I'm so excited I'm actually shaking!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

There's a whole world out there!!

I don't know if I really knew how big it actually is. Before starting this blog, there were several blogs that I kept up with regularly, and I knew there had to be a lot of other infertility blogs out there, but, I swear, I had no idea how many. In just the last few days, I have been exposed to beautiful, poignant, sweet, funny, endearing, and, well, amazingly written blogs by incredibly strong and powerful women! And, I can't get enough of reading them!!

As long as we've been dealing with infertility, I've been very open with everyone about our struggles (I'm pretty much an open book anyway). I always thought that, if sharing my experiences helped anyone else, there had to be a reason I was going through it all.

Reading all of these amazing blogs confirms that I'm not the only one who feels this way. Thank you to each and every one of you who have shown me, through your words, how amazing you really are. And, a special thank you to Stirrup Queen who has listed and catalogued all of these blogs, making it easier for all of us who want to share our thoughts and experiences with one another!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mind Games

It's funny how the mind can play games on you. Even when you know something can't be true, the mind still, somehow, lets you believe there's a possibility. There is no way I can be pregnant this month. None. Nada. Negative. Can't possibly be, trust me, Glenn's heart attack means nothing happened this month that could result in pregnancy!

Yet, each day that goes by, my mind thinks, hmmm, maybe they were wrong. Maybe that last IVF really did work and, even though the beta was negative, well, maybe it was just a late implanter. Maybe it floated around in there for weeks and just now decided to grow. Maybe I'm an anomaly of science and all that the medical world knows about how pregnancy starts was wrong......

OK, OK, back to reality. I know it's not true. I know it can't be. There's just no way.

BUT, wouldn't it be wonderful..............

In other news, I needed something new, something fresh. So, I let my stylist color my hair this funky new color yesterday. It's a darker brown than what I've had, called Brown Chili Pepper, and it has these red, really red, streaks through it. I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but, I straightened my hair today and I think I LOVE it!! Those who know me know that major hair color changes are extremely daring for me! Like I said, time for a change. Yea, me!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Past is Past

I sent a long email to my girlfriends yesterday about how angry I am right now. I can't believe how starting this blog last night has helped me to channel that anger!! But, before moving forward, I want to elaborate a bit on what's happened, for anyone who doesn't know about our last couple of years. My hope is that getting it out, writing it down, will let me move past it and, hopefully, I'll have happy things to post going forward (OK, a girl can hope, can't she?)!

My infertility cycle history is listed to the right. As anyone who has gone through any infertility treatments knows, to limit the description of a cycle to 8-10 words is doing it such a disservice. The emotions you go through would fill this page! But, that's my history, my past, at least for now. As we decide what to do in the future (cycle again?), I'll go into more of those feelings and emotions.

So, what else has happened that led to such anger. I'll try to keep it brief!

During IVF #1 - our 9 year old nephew was in the hospital and diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and my dad was in the hospital where they found blocked arteries and performed angioplasty.
During IVF #2/IUI #1 - my mother was admitted to the hospital in complete renal failure. It was a terrible week. She now goes for dialysis 3x a week and will soon be on the kidney transplant waitlist.
During the preparation for IVF #3 (we had hoped to start, but, my body stopped ovulating) - my wonderful uncle, who we were extremely close with, lost his year long battle to leukemia. It had been a long year, with many hospital stays (including one for a whole month). This was the first eulogy I gave in 2007.
During IVF #3 - Glenn's dear uncle passed away after his several month long battle with cancer.
During IVF #4 - we put our house on the market. Six months later, it's still on, with no offer in sight.
During my miscarriage - my dad was back in the hospital for unexplained internal bleeding. Thankfully it stopped and, although he continues to go for tests, we're hoping it's nothing serious.
Right after my miscarriage - 3.5 weeks after my D&C, my wonderful grandmother passed away (eulogy #2). While it certainly wasn't a shock, it was quite unexpected.
During IVF #5 - The hardest of them all. Towards the end of my two week wait after IVF #5, Glenn had a heart attack. It happened at 11:00 at night. We went to the hospital by ambulance where they confirmed he was having a heart attack and he was rushed into the cath lab, where an emergency angioplasty was performed. Thank G-d he was OK! But, while he was still in the ICU recovering, I had to go for the bloodwork to confirm that IVF #5 was a bust. Glenn had to have another angioplasty performed two weeks after getting out of the hospital, but, all went well and he (and we) are on the mend!

Whew!! Glad that's all done - it was quite therapeutic!! Now I feel like I can say "the past is past" and I'm ready to move on and hope for better times!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Outlet

I've been bothering my girlfriends and online friends with all that's been going on in my life. They would never tell me they were tired of it, but, I decided it might be easier to start blogging my thoughts and feelings and then anyone who wants to know what's going on can just come check it out.

I don't want to limit what I write about, but, at least right now, I can see this dealing with infertility and the health of our families - two things that have been at the forefront of our lives for over two years now.

In a way, it feels like we've been through so much and maybe it's just too late to start this, but, well, if it helps me deal with things, and, more importantly, ever helps someone else going through some of the things we are, I guess it's worth while!