Saturday, October 31, 2009

I did not cry today....

... in front of anyone.

This was a monumental achievement given the circumstances.

I have a group of close friends that I have known since 5th grade and became close with during high school. We see each other about once a year if we can swing it. This weekend was that weekend this year, and we all got together to hang out.

One of these girls is 4 months pregnant, though they started trying 5 or 6 months after us. I was devastated when I found out, but able to both be and act happy for her. This weekend was going to be hard, because I know that she's showing with a cute little belly, and that the vast majority of what would be talked about would be babies and pregnancy. I was more than slightly dreading it, and seriously considered canceling.

Last night, we caught a movie, grabbed some dinner, talked about babies and babies and more babies, and I managed to get through it with a glass of wine or two. Then, shortly after waking up this morning, another one of the girls told us that she is also pregnant (she already has twins). I am so very happy for both of them. and I am so very sorry for myself.

To add insult to injury, I LH surged this morning, forcing me to leave the festivities early and also explain to them why I was doing this. Sweets and I have really wanted to keep this as a "need to know" situation.

Anyhoo, in response to my news, pregnant friend number one says, "Yeah, I never even got my period for 4 months after stopping the pill and then got pregnant. The doctor was thinking of putting me on met.formin."

Now, my rational self realizes that she was trying to be understanding, and connect with me because she may have thought she was having problems... But what I hear is this: "I got pregnant the first time I ovulated."

I want to be a better friend than this! It's so frustrating!

At least I feel like I'm presenting myself well outwardly.


IUI tomorrow morning. crossing our fingers


As a side note, I had my first full-blown panic attack on Thursday. I nearly lost it completely, and was only glad that none of my coworkers were around to witness it. Finding a therapist is now number one on my to do list for next week.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Feeling a little more upbeat, actually got some good news.

Yesterday my husband called me at work (this is a rarity). I could tell from the way his voice sounds that he had on a large, cheshire cat sized grin. He had just gotten off the phone with his doctor, with great news: His sperm count was 167 million/ml with a total of 5 mls. Motility is 65%, straight swimmers. There was a 3% peroxidase reaction, but I'm not sure what this means, something about white cells, and they are doing more tests?

Basically he is a sperm producing rock star. I got to listen to it all night, and it was very cute. It also made me feel really bad about myself. Does this mean that I'm the soul reason we can't get pregnant? It probably does. bummer.

I talked to my doctor yesterday afternoon and it looks like the HSG show clear tubes. I also continued to bleed until this morning (2 full days), have cramps and the pinching, stabbing pain I usually get the last week of my cycle. Hopefully that doesn't mean that something is going to be screwed up for this cycle, because we are on for IUI this weekend.

We talked a lot less night about what the plan is going to be from here on out. We actually went through the entire conversation with no raised voices, which is rare and very, very good. He is hesitant to do IUI mainly because he doesn't like the fact that it's "artificial." It make me wonder if this is why he's been picking fights with me about all of this. I can totally see where he's coming from, and my counter point to this is: If you're so great at making sperm, and my tubes are clear, and I'm ovulating, why aren't we pregnant? We obviously need help. Maybe there is a mucous or cervical problem?

I hate the fact that none of this is covered by insurance so we're left with forging ahead without a full workup.

We also talked about how we have no confidence in our doctor after the HSG debacle. She isn't on call this weekend, so we'll have the IUI from whoever is on call, and then jump ship to a very nice RE that I spoke with on the phone last week. (I found a great clinic that offers free first consultations via phone.)

Monday, October 26, 2009


Went in for the HSG today. The time line of the morning looks like this:

Took 400 mg Advil before leaving the house at 7:20 am. Appointment was at 8 am which was the first appointment from the day.

7:25 get in a fight with Sweets on the way to the hospital about the fact that he still hasn't scheduled a SA with his urologist (he went in last week for a look at a varicocele). If we do IUI this weekend, we need to know if he's producing sperm. He yells out that he has a testicular lump that he thinks might be cancer. He does this to "win" the argument. I should add that this is pretty common for him. He with holds something, acts weird, and when I press him on it, the real true comes out in some terrible, horrible way.

7:45 Get to the hospital, Sweets parks and I check in like I have been instructed.

7:50 Change into flimsy hospital gown, go over the procedure with the technician and then wait. and wait.

8:20 The technician calls the doctor's office and and page the doctor. I finally call my doctor's nursing desk and leave a message around 8:30.

8:45 Sweets and I are deciding whether or not to leave (we kind of just want to wait it out because we don't want to have to go through this again, and we'd have to wait until next month because it's cycle day 9 today)

8:50 Doctor rushes in, saying she just got paged by the nurse (didn't get our pages because technician had the wrong number). But get this: SHE WALKS IN WITH COFFEE. Rule number one in my book of etiquette is this if you are running late, you'd better not show up with coffee, thus implying that your coffee was more important than my time.

Doctor apologizes "i'm sorry, sorry sorry...." And while she doesn't say it, it's apparent that she simply forgot she had an early patient this morning.

9 am we start the procedure. And she botches it. Not once, but TWICE the clamps come off of my cervix when she is removing the speculum. I think that if the catheter had just stayed in, the procedure wouldn't have been that painful. But each time that she had to re-insert it, the pain increased. It brought tears to my eyes, and something has to be pretty painful to get that reaction.

The second time she had to insert it, Sweets jumped forward and grabbed my hand. After it was all done, I finally turned to look at him (he was slightly behind me so I couldn't see him during everything) and he looked panicked and livid at the same time. He said later that he was so angry at her for causing me unnecessary pain that he couldn't talk to her, even though he had questions to ask. He was uncharacteristically protective of me, which I found surprising and comforting.

Good news is that the doctor said from first look that tubes are clear. I've had bad cramps all day, and have been bleeding, but it's fading as the day goes on.

It's been a bad day

Sunday, October 25, 2009

HSG tomorrow

So, tomorrow is a big day. I go in for an HSG to see if my tubes are blocked. This will be a pivotal bit of information for us (But really, what tests aren't when you are going through infertility).

For a lot of infertility patients, an HSG is the beginning of diagnostic testing. For us, it very may will be the end of our fertility treatments, because blocked tubes would mean moving on to IVF. As unpopular as this may seem for the infertile world: I do not believe in IVF. (insert gasp here). I mean, I can completely understand why so many people do it, but I just can't take the responsibility on myself with the "picking the appropriate blasts/embryos and choosing-not-to-use-others" aspect of the procedure. Maybe I will change my mind somewhere in this journey, but I guess I just don't know.

I realize that we could chose to only fertilize a limited number of eggs, and have all of them implanted. However, I also realize how much that would decrease our chances of getting pregnant, and INCREASE our chances of birth defects and multiples. I definitely think that infertility patients are not getting the whole story when it comes to the birth defects, increased rates of laryngeal hemangiomas, complications of twinnings, etc that exist for babies born from IVF itself. In actuality, there haven't been a whole lot of long term studies on kids born from IVF because it is a relatively new field (medically speaking). UCSF is currently doing one of the more comprehensive studies on it, but the data is not yet available.

So, tomorrow is a big day. I could be the end of our dreams of having biological children. For some reason, I feel somewhat at peace with this today, and have only cried once since waking up. It may be better for my planning-oriented mind to just have a solid answer. Does anyone else feel like this? Sometimes it's the waiting and not knowing itself that is the worst part to me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Disappointment (on so many levels)

The background
My parents have recently told me that they will help me to go back to school, should I choose to apply. I have tossed around going back to graduate or professional school for quite some time. The list of reasons for NOT applying to school has sort of looked like this:

1. We owe tons of money toward Sweets' schooling, and therefore could not afford to take on more debt.
2. We did not live near my family (until recently).
3. Sweets' chosen profession requires a quite large city to live in, and most of the grad programs I would be interested in are in small towns.
4. Having a family is number one priority, and I haven't wanted to work once I had children. Because we foolishly thought that this would be now, there seemed like there was no reason at all for me to go back to school, because I wouldn't be working.

disappointment number 1
Obviously, possibly not having children has put the wrench into the gears. I've pretty much banked all of my life decisions on the family card, and now that may be taken out of the deck, I have been forced to rethink the decisions I have made.

It now seems like the only problem we could have to hurdle is number 3. We could move to an area (in our same state) that would be 45 minute drive from a place that he could work, and I could go to school. It will take me at least 2 years to get my act together (take tests required, a few foundation classes, etc) before any sort of plan would be put into action. However, this would mean that Sweets compromises on his profession, and takes a job that a little less than perfect. Conversations on this topic have been less like conversations more like arguments.

disapointment number 2
Sweets has always said that I have been and EXTREMELY supportive spouse (especially of his professional choices). I suppose I thought that would be reciprocated, but isn't looking like it is. It is disappointing to me that he can't be what I need.

the worst disappointment?
I told him today that I think my mother is disappointed in him. (While she did not come out and say it, I felt that's how she was feeling during my discussion about them paying for school.) I get the feeling that she's upset that he's not making enough money to support me and a family while paying of his loans. She is incredibly proud of all that he has done, but probably thinks that by now he should have all of his stuff figured out. My parents see that I did not return to school for financial reasons, and want that to not be a worry for me.

I foolishly did not expect him to take it as hard as he thought. He took it much worse than any of the conversations I've had with him about how I'M stressed/upset about fertility, finances and savings, etc. I'm left to contemplate why this has hit him so hard? With all of the failures that we've been facing recently why is it MY mother of all things that finally got a reaction? Is it because it hits him in his professional life and his decisions there? Is that worth so much more than our FAMILY?

Sigh. I feel like I don't know how to be a good wife right now. I need a break.

Monday, October 19, 2009

His Dysfunction


To me, Sweetie's biggest problem is his complete inability to apologize, admit he was wrong or communicate in any way. He is NOT the typical jock I-don't-share-my-emotions type of person, he just cannot admit fault.

For instance, if he knocks a glass full of wine over (which he did at my sister's house, onto a white suede chair) he will simply say "oh, I was reaching for the soup" as if explaining why it happened is some sort of apology.


This is amplified by one of my personal faults: It is incredibly difficult for me to forgive someone unless I am apologized to. As a Christian, this is probably the number one thing that I struggle to right about myself.


I don't think that anyone reading this can't see where it's heading. I blame my husband for the problems that we are having. I am ANGRY at him. VERY VERY angry at him for making me wait. Even in the face of medical problems known to give problems conceiving. I am angry at him for belittling my pain. I am angry at him for not being supportive even now that we are having real problems conceiving and I am being drawn into a deep pit of despair. I am angry that I will probably be at least 31 by the time we have children (adopted, fostered or otherwise) I am MOST ANGRY at him for not apologizing for his role in all of this. If he would man up and act a little guilty or upset about doing this, I think I could move past it.


But all I do is cry, and he tells me that I'm being silly,
that we don't even know what is wrong,
that technically we've only been trying for 11 months so we aren't actually infertile yet,
that I've always wanted to be a foster parent so we'll just do that... (which doesn't really sound like he believes the first things he said, does it?)

And it just makes me feel alone, and awful, and even more sad then I already am.

My Dysfunction

Where to start... I suppose I have many dysfunctional personality traits that have contributed to the problems in my marriage.

First, I am a complete Type A personality. When a problem is laid in front of me, I can typically see all possible outcomes, and can quickly decide the easiest way to proceed. This suits me perfectly for my job, but causes me to be radically impatient and to worry incessantly about the things that I cannot fix/control. This drives my slow moving, plodding Sweets absolutely crazy (and the reverse).

I am a VERY high strung. This allows me to get things done efficiently and quickly, and I have a hard time resting if I have anything on my "To Do" list. It creates an edge around me when I'm busy and makes me sharp and prickly. This is particularly in respect to time. I am early to everything, and incredibly reliable. On the flip side, when I have nothing to do, I have a very easy time relaxing, but I need to have everything done and taken care of. (Note that this is one of the reasons that infertility is extremely hard for me.)

Sweets on the other hand, has no concept of time, and is incredibly laid back. He will sleep until noon, fix food and eat until 1, go to the gym, and then be surprised that all of the stores are closed on a Sunday. (And then exclaim, "well, I guess I have to wait until next weekend!") When we first started living together, the compromise was that he would be up, and ready to go by noon, and would find me out and about wherever I happened to be (with no nagging).

Other than this particular frustration, the only thing that we ever really argued about prior to the issues of infertility was money. (I am cheap, and he is not). I come from a family of savers; from a family that put all four of their kids through college and paid for three weddings outright and did it all on a modest income. He comes from a family that constantly spends more than they make, and is always balancing on the edge of financial ruin. He tells me that I need to lighten up (and I do), but he also needs to be a little bit better in the other direction.

I should say in the midst of all of this complaining, that I want my marriage to work, and I think that it will. I find the process of writing about it to be cathartic and I am hoping that it moves me towards resolving some of my own issues.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Sordid Details

How the cracks formed:

We married in 2003 at the age of 24 and after 2 years of dating and an additional year of living together. My husband and I put off a family "for a couple of years" because of his schooling and very long, intense training (and we were just plain young). But, I had always told him that I wanted to be a mom before the age of 28, and preferably sooner. To this end, I worked to put him through school, and did not pursue a career that I would have loved because I have always known that I wanted to stay at home while my children were small.

The pressure started in around 2005, when I was seriously getting the "itch." My husband (I'll call him Sweets) would doggedly tell me "two more years." But was still never ready. Not even in 2007 after I started having bleeding and pain, leading to an ultrasound and finally diagnosis of adenomyosis. The diagnosis crushed me because of the implications. Highly associated with endometriosis, there was a good chance that this would affect my fertility. I beg him to start trying, and he refuses. This is a dark time in our marriage filled with much crying and fighting. I seriously consider leaving him, but don't for a multitude of reasons (which I'm sure I will get into).

In 2008, we decide to move closer to my family (for which I am SO grateful). I get a new doctor, who does not believe the diagnosis because adenomyosis is difficult to diagnose via ultrasound. She refuses my request to have the ultrasound results sent to her from previous doctor, and repeats her own ultrasound, which is clear. She is condescending and tells me to take Advil for my cramps and deal with it. Sweets decides that everything is in my head, and that there is/was nothing wrong with me.

6 months later, he's ready to start trying, and we do. As the months wear on, it becomes more and more apparent that whatever is wrong with me is probably more serious than "second doctor" has said.

I followed the typical pattern. For the first few months, I would giggle as I hit the store to buy pregnancy tests each month, and act a little dismayed when they kept turning up negative. Then, I moved on to the OPKs, found out I was ovulating different days each month (though always 12-14 days) and figured AHA! That's the problem! So we started trying a little harder, and then a little harder. Somewhere around month 7, I started to loose it, and have been crumbling away a little bit more each month.


I am new to the infertility world, and I am SHOCKED at how few blogs focus on the relationship draining aspect of the process. So, I have decided to blog about the problems that my husband and I are having. Because of the sensitive nature of this topic, I will keep myself anonymous, and change any details that might point to my true identity.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a writer of any kind, and have not blogged before. This will certainly be a learning endeavor... I apologize in advance for improper grammer, and less than witty posts. But I'll try my hardest.