Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Don't I wish!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My Ovaries Have Something Against Me

I don't know what I ever did to them but they're really starting to mess with me! Four days late now and I am getting more and more upset. You'd think after two years of waiting, hoping, and trying for a baby my ovaries would cooperate! Just when all the planets had aligned to make it possible for me and Harry to undergo IVF my ovaries have to kick up! UG! I am beginning to take it personally!

Maybe my ovaries are having their own little protest due to my SIL's impending birthing of my most adorable nephew? Perhaps there holding a sit in a vain attempt to cause my nephew to hurry the heck up and be born!

Yet perhaps it is the metformin that is reeking such havoc on my carefully timed and schedule fertility treatment. I started taking metformin in June 04 and my bloody aunt return promptly in August 04. Since then you could time a watch on my cycles. However, in the last 4 months I haven't been as diligent in taking my meds as prescribed. My endocrinologist prescribed 3 500mg pills a day - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Never having liked being told what to do, I began to miss/skip my afternoon dose. Beside being incredibly forgetful I also completely dislike the side affect my afternoon delight left me with. Let's just say it kept me running to the bathroom... and it wasn't pretty. That's when AF decide to take her own sweet time. In my last visit with my RE I confessed my sin and promised to make amends. My beloved RE suggested that I take 1 pill in the morning and 2 at night. Now, understanding that my RE does have a medical degree and is a very capiable doctor and pioneer in the field of ART, I don't think her advice is working. EDIVENCE -4 DAYS LATE! So today I went back on my old plan of 3 times a day and timed 3 alarms to go off at 1 PM and tied a piece of string to my finger...

Whatever is going on I have never ever wanted a period so bad! period.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bloody HURRY UP!! - No pun intended

I am late. Today should be CD 1 and Flow has not shown up. I am definitely NOT pregnant and AF absence has more to do with my PCOS than a baby. COULD YOU HURRY UP PLEASE!! Our next step is waiting for AF to arrive! I took out my IVF binder the other day (the first time since my IVF orientation) and looked over everything again. I must say that I am feeling like I understand something after reading so many blogs!

Two tests I have to have are a uterine sounding and a mock implantation. Do these hurt? Should I request valium? I am a sissy when it comes to anything in the pain arena. I especially hate anything gynecologically speaking! How I will deliver a child I cannot fathom. Once I get a bun in the oven I'll worry about how to get it out. Can I take drugs for these tests? I am going to ask my RE RN when I call once AF decides to show up! oooh, I felt a tingle....

So can anyone share their test stories and give me a clue? Should I go for valium or percocet?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I am an ESFJ

What's your Myer's Brigg personality type?

What makes an ESFJ tick?

The Dominant function is the judging one of Feeling. Characteristics associated with this function include:
Makes decisions on the basis of personal values
Is appreciative and accepting of people - enjoying company and seeking harmony
Assesses the impact of decisions on others, being sympathetic or compassionate
Takes a personal approach
The judging Feeling function is extroverted. That is, Feeling is used primarily to govern the outer world of actions and spoken words. The ESFJ will therefore:

  • seek stable, harmonious relationships
  • tend to adapt to the environment, taking on board those values that are held as important by friends and family, or society as a whole
  • express the appreciation that is felt towards others
  • tend to consider others' feelings before his/her own
  • be sensitive to praise and criticism, and seek to conform to others' reasonable expectations
    The Feeling function is primarily supported by introverted Sensing perception, That is, Sensing perception is used primarily to manage the inner world of thoughts and emotions. This will modify the way that the Feeling is directed, by:
  • focusing the (outer world) Feeling on current relationships and people, e.g.: through social events and fact-based conversation
  • finding practical ways to be of service to people
  • viewing people subjectively, observing facts that support harmonious relationships

The classic temperament of an ESFJ is Epimethean, or Melancholic, for whom a basic driving force is duty, service and the desire to belong.

New Name, Same Place

After reading so many wonderfully funny and quirky blogs, I've spiced my title up a bit! I've kept the same URL for my two devoted fans!

My new title reflects my feelings of doubt, fear, and optimism. Infertile Myrtle is my way of naming myself in an attempt to find the humor in this situation. I do look at this whole process as a journey. In many ways it will be a journey of self discovery as well as marital discovery. It's precarious because I don't know what to except. I KNOW what's going to happen. I have a plan. But I don't know what the journey is going to be like. I chose the word peregrination to describe the journey because on the offset I feel that it will be a long one. One that I'll take one step at a time.

Infertile Myrtle out ...

Me, Me, ME!!!

I started this blog so that I could share my story with others. The immense feeling of being alone and feeling isolated overwhelmed me. Finding a place where I can speak and be heard has been tremendously helpful.

Although this blog is about our infertility it's also about me. I am much more than my infertility. So, to help you to get to know me better:

50 Things you should know about me

  1. I am a Christian
  2. I am not an obnoxious Christian
  3. I've been "obese/overweight" my whole life*
  4. * except for those 2 days in January 2000 when I was just fat
  5. I love all things British
  6. I married a Brit
  7. I am a daddy's girl
  8. my mother is mentally ill
  9. I have a strained relationship with my mother
  10. my mother immigrated from Italy when she was 5
  11. My maternal grandmother was the world to me
  12. She died in 2003 while I was in England on vacation and I missed her funeral
  13. I still miss my grandma everyday
  14. I am crying now as I just typed #13
  15. Then again I cry at the opening of an envelop
  16. My father joined the USN when I was 2
  17. We moved a lot
  18. I am not really "from" anywhere
  19. When people ask me where I am from I say "my parents"
  20. I have 2 brothers
  21. I am the oldest
  22. I've been off and on Weight Watchers for 18 months
  23. The most weight I ever lost was 80 lbs.
  24. I gained it all back when I got married
  25. I have PCOS - probably due to my weight
  26. I can speak Spanish
  27. Except to people who speak Spanish
  28. I prefer tea over coffee
  29. I put milk in my tea
  30. I am an excellent cook
  31. I can't spell
  32. I met my husband over the internet
  33. He told me he would marry me 7 days after meeting online
  34. We were married 400 days later
  35. I am a nurturer
  36. Except when I am tired then leave me alone
  37. I am generally optimistic
  38. I am a control freak
  39. I need a plan
  40. I like to make others laugh
  41. I repeat myself a lot
  42. I love children
  43. I almost died while white water rafting
  44. I almost killed my future sister-in-law while white water rafting
  45. I had my first kiss at 24 in New Orleans
  46. I am a cosmetic junkie
  47. I don't look like a cosmetic clown
  48. I wear granny panties
  49. I don't suffer from PMS
  50. My husband is a lucky bastard

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Props to da Sistas

This post is a tribute to all the people who've been so supportive and encouraging throughout our struggle with infertility. Specifically to my two sister-in-laws A & L.

I am the oldest of three. Needless to say when number 2 was born I was a little jealous. I do remember desperately wanting a little sister. Not quite happy with a brother I learned to be a bossy big sis. Number 3 came along and good old mom & dad popped out yet another male sibling. I was 9 this time so bro #3 was more like my own little baby. I use to wake him up so I cold play with him. I was 9! I always wanted a sister. Dear old dad was in the USN so we moved every three years. I never really had any close girl friends. I always wanted a sister. Much to my chagrin bro #2 didn't really like playing dress up and getting his hair curled or playing Barbies. The parentals informed me that there was no chance for a #4. With their track record I really didn't want to risk it anyway.

I didn't form any real close bonds with other women until college. Growing up as a military brat you're always waiting to leave so you learn to build walls and never get too close to people. I have friends but never those close life long friends.

It took marriage to get me a sister. When I married my dh I got the best SIL a girl could ask for. Unfortunately L lives in another country! But even though there is an ocean between us we've managed to grow quite close. We often joke that if dh and I split up I get to keep his family. Then there's bro# 2's wife. A was a friend is college who I asked to be a bridesmaid in my wedding. At said wedding A met bro #2 and less than a year later was married too! At the reception I tried to give a speech saying how I always wanted Bro #2 to be a sister but God knew what he was doing and gave me a great bro and know he's giving me a sister too. Regrettably, all anybody heard we pathetic sobs and and mucous sniffs as I bawled away into the microphone!

Both A & L are little fertile myrtles. A is the SIL who is expecting any day now and L has two lovely daughters and is a grandma to the most delicious and cheeky boy I know. They have both offered unending support and encouragement throughout this whole ordeal. It was A who turned me onto the whole blog arena. They've never utter a stupid, "there's always adoption", or said, "Relax then you'll get pregnant." They've cried with and for me and helped me to come to terms with our infertility.

So to my SILs (who are lurkers of this blog) I give you props! Thank you so much for your love and strength. To all the other women who have offered encouragement and advice thank you a million times. Having read your stories and shared in your experiences have really helped me to cope with infertility and IVF.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ignorance is Bliss

So the saying goes. I am beginning to believe. After 48 hours of reading countless infertility/IVF blogs am more uncertain than I was before. I've heard about things I didn't even know existed. However, in a strange way I am comforted. It is soothing to read other women's stories about their struggles with infertility. Countless miscarriages and failed implants and yet they still conceived. There is some hope. So where am I emotionally after reading all these blogs? Don't really know. I know that I don't feel so alone. Some nice people have been very encouraging. I guess I am still too numb to put a finger on my feelings. Adoption friend just called me. Conversation went something like this:

Friend: So how are you feeling about this IVF thing. Have you come to a peace?

Me: No, not really...I don't know how I feel...

Friend: Well then don't do it. Don't do it if you're not 100% sure...

Me(thinking): If she says there's always ADOPTION I'll scream...

So for now I am just waiting until Cycle Day1 to call the RE for the next step. I'll keep blogging and keep posting.

Dh has christened me bloggy Mary.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

IVF vs. Adoption

So, today I decided to start a blog. As you may see I've tried to get out 2 years in one day. There's lots more I'll have to say about the whole IVF process. So I am trying to post all the things that I've thought about and contemplated over the last two years. So my blog may seem a little sporadic.

I have a friend who is pro adoption. She is has had ovarian cancer and other reproductive problems for awhile now. At a young age she resigned herself to the fact that she may never conceive a child. For her, adoption is a her first chioce when it comes to becoming a parent. That is her choice. I think adoption is an awesome and fantastic things for couples who reach that decision together. But I am sick and tired of people saying, "Well there's always adoption" when I share my struggle with infertility. As if that will make all the pain and heart ache of infertility go away..."ADOPTION" Even knowing there is IVF doesn't numb the pain of not being able to conceive the good old fashion way.

Interestingly enough dh and I have always thought about adopting special needs children down the road. Dh has a passion and gift in working with special needs children. So when I get "There's always adoption" song I want to scream at the top of my lungs. I guess I can equate it to telling someone who had a miscarriage, "well you can have other babies". It's not other babies you want! It's the one who you lost.

Well adoption is still an option. It's not a last resort and by no means do I mean to sound as if adopted children are less valued than conceived children. It's a couple's personal decision. A decision for dh and I to make.

So that's what I have to say about that.

First IVF Meeting

Dh and I met with our RE RN on Friday, January 6 for our IVF orientation. Going into meeting I think we were both a little apprehensive. We still didn't know what to expect. I had gone to an appointment on Wednesday with the RE but she just gave me a brief overview. I think that I was too excited to let anything sink in either. Now that dh and I were sitting across the table from the RE RN and had a notebook opened (our IVF notebook) in front of us it all became a little too real.

All my life I knew I wanted to be a mom. When I was little I use to pretend I was pregnant. I'd stick a pillow up my shirt arch my back and walk around like a pregnant lady. I use to make my Barbies pregnant too. Being married and watching my dh interact with babies and children made me want to be a mom even more. Seeing his eyes light up talking or playing with his nephew really touched me and stirs in me the desire to give him a child. I want to hold his baby in my arms. I want a part of me and a part of him to create this special person whom we both can love and cherish. I want that more than anything.

The RE RN starts going over all the paper work. She tells me that the injections I am on during IVF can kill me. YIKES. Because of my PCOS my ovaries can over produce and cause some water retention and other problems I really don't understand yet. She has to go over all the possible side effects and then dh and I have to agree not to sue the IVF people if I die or get hurt. Then the RE RN whips out the injection kit and starts talking about all the shots all I need. How to mix this med with that med, which one to take when, how to use the epi pen, and someother stuff I am desperatly trying to save to memeory. I really am trying to concentrate but everything is swimming around and I feel like I am drowning. It's all too much to comprehend. I ask her if she can draw me some pictures. I have no idea how I am going to get any of this right. I know I am going to end up killing myself with the wrong hormone. She can see my distress and offers a refresher course once I get all my meds. She's a doll. She also shares that she went through IVF back in the day and has two teenagers to prove it. That's comforting. I ask if I can have her home phone number.

I have to have two more tests. One where they put water in my uterus to check it out and then the false implant test. I wish I knew the lingo. I am sure I will eventually. One of them scares me. Here's the thing I am a sissy when it comes to pain. Thankfully I don't really have cramps or suffered during TOM. I have no idea how I am going to make it through these tests and injections. It's overwhelming. I feel clueless and completely alone. I know my dh is supportive and there for me but honestly my body is going through this all alone.

As we continue through the paper work RE RN tells us that embryos that aren't implanted can be frozen. I ask, "does insurance cover this". No. It will cost $1360.00 to freeze our potential children and then $360.00 a year in rent. Nice. But still that beats having to go through the egg retrieval and everything all over again. Then the RE RN drops the bomb that PCOS patients have a higher rate of miscarriage than non-PCOS patients. News to me. So I am even more freaked out. So I ask how many times will insurance cover the IVF cycle. She thinks 3 times per live birth. So we get three chances then we've hit the end of the road.

So we leave the office a little bewildered. I think Dh is less affected than I am. We kiss good bye and go back to our respective jobs. Everything I've heard in the pass 3 days goes over and over in my mind...I could die....I could not conceived...I have a greater chance of miscarrying...I could get the swollen ovary thingy...I have to mix all these hormones and inject myself 3 times a day...they're going to Peirce my uterus....My body could reject the whole IVF process...I am being put in a psudemenopausal condition...I am freaking out. To top it off I had to leave that afternoon for a weekend work thingy. So all weekend I am alone and all theses things are going over and over and over in my mind. I don't think I can do it. I don't think I am strong enough.

I have a dream where I tell my mom I am scared...she tells me to suck it up cause she wants a grandchild...

Whenever I express doubt or concern about the IVF process dh says, "We don't have to have a child."

BUT WE DO! My life would not be complete without being a mom.

I have this mixed up feeling inside me. I feel so blessed that we have insurance and an awesome IVF clinic. We love our doctor and nurses. But at the same time I feel cursed because IVF is our only option for conception.

I feel like I am betraying my body...

I came home yesterday and saw that dh had bought two books on being a dad and helping wife through her pregnancy. It's the first time I realized I am not alone.

I realized the only way I'll make it through is to take the IVF process one step at time. If look at the whole picture it is completely overwhelming.

So, here's my New Year's resolution.

One step at a time

In the Beginning...

I remember a time in my marriage when I tried NOT to get pregnant. I even had a scare one month and I remember praying in the bathroom waiting for the little blue line, "Please God, not now. I can't be pregnant." Sure enough I wasn't pregnant. Little did I know that missed period was the beginning of my infertility. No period ever came. In the spring I went to my OBGYN who ordered tests. I never followed through. Then in the spring of 04 DH and I decided it was time to start trying for a baby. So I went back to the OBGYN and finally had those tests. Turns out I have a syndrome called Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Basically my body doesn't process insulin correctly which causes my ovaries to malfunction. My eggs try to release but get stuck and form cysts all over my ovaries. Nice. So I started on metformin. The metformin medication corrected the ovulation problem and AF returned in August of 04. So me and DH got busy once again. Two weeks each month I prayed and hoped for a missed period. Each month my answer showed up in blood. No. Everyone around me got pregnant without even trying and every month my womb was left barren.

Meanwhile my parents start dropping hints about wanting to be grandparents and shouldn't M and I start trying to have a baby. So I tell them about me and PCOS. Hmmm. They keep hinting.

My B and SIL decide to start trying too. Two months off BC she gets pregnant. NOT FAIR. I tried to be happy for them but inwardly I was crushed. Being the oldest child I wanted to be the one to give my parents their first grandchild. I tried not to let it show but it really hurt. I knew I was being selfish and jealous but the pain was still the same. I don't think that I was so hurt because my B and SIL got pregnant but more so because I'd lost that one person who was ttc just like me. We use to share our cycles and stories together. We use to bitch about how crack ho's can get pregnant but not us. Everyone around us was getting pregnant and we hated them! Now that SIL was pregnant I'd lost that buddy and that sacrastic relationship. She was now one of them.... the pregnant. That loss contributed to my melancholy.

I began to read everything I could find on fertility and PCOS. I charted BBT and mucus everything. I drove my husband nuts with what time to do it and how. It became an obsession. Sex turned into a chore for both of us. And each month the answer was no.

Then in January of 05 my SIL and B had a miscarriage. OK now I felt bad. Really bad. I knew that my jealousy didn't cause the baby to die but I still felt extremely guilty for the loss of my little niece or nephew.

Finally my OBGYN referred me to a RE (reproductive endocrinologist). I didn't go. I kept thinking I can do it! I don't need any help! I can get pregnant without any help!

Meanwhile parents keep dropping clues and blatantly petition for grandchildren. After a miscarriage and infertility you'd think they'd lay off? Nope.

B and SIL get pregnant in April 05. This time I am truly happy for them and not jealous or bitter.

Six more months of trying and I break down and make the appointment with the RE. June 05 we meet w/ the doc. I fall in love immediately! She is so warm and personable. She laughs and has a great repoure with me and dh. She orders a semen analysis for dh and other tests for me. (YIPPPE more vaginal ultra sounds!!!). So we wait.

A few weeks later the RE nurse calls with dh semen analysis results. Turns our dh has slow, unmotivated, not enough swimmers. I broke down on the phone and started bawling. I'd always blamed myself and thought is was my problem, my eggs. Turns out dh is broke too. RE nurse is so kind and tells me everything 3 times and tries to console me. She says our only chance for conception is IVF because of dh low sperm count and quality. Our insurance doesn't cover IVF. More tears. Some hyperventilating. Then she says that the county my husband works for (he's a special ed school bus driver) offers great insurance that covers IVF 100%. So there is hope. The RE Nurse was so amazing and kind. She was on the phone for about 30 minutes talking me down. I called my SIL and my B answered the phone. In my hysterics all I could say was, "I NEED TO TALK TO A!!!" My B thought I'd had a miscarriage I was so upset!

DH took the news better than I did. He checked with HR and found out there would be open enrollment for insurance in Oct. coverage would start 1-1-06. So the waiting began.

January 2 I called my RE office and made an appointment. We had a consultation and she explained everything about the IVF process to me. OVERWHELMING! I have no idea how I am going to get through this. It is so complicated and then the results aren't 100%. Plus with my PCOS my chances of miscarrying are higher than other women. So that's where we sit now. Waiting for insurance to say go ahead and trying not to go hysterical thinking of all the "what Ifs"

My nephew is due 2-4-6 and I can't wait to cuddle him in my arms.