Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Infertile To Bruce Banner In 6 Seconds


Let me start by saying that if you don't know who Bruce Banner is I feel bad for you son.  I got 99 problems but needing infertility advice ain't one. Hit me....


Don't make me angryyyy......I may also use swear words, respond irrationally or let you know how I really feel and then blog about it during my 2ww.  8DPIUI might I also throw in there in case you start to judge.  

Who could go through life living so angry anyways?? Besides maybe the Hulk, Al-Qaeda, Yosemite Sam, KKK members, WestBoro Baptist Church, Angelica from Rug-rats, Kim Jong-un, Ursula, and possibly Montana Max from Acme Acres, to name a few.  I do not want a life of anger or sadness but unfortunately it sometimes pops up. Today I am sharing what I learned from that.  Whether it makes any sense or not that is up for you to decide.  Besides this is suppose to be a personal blog about personal issues. Not a fantasy land where I pick flowers and slide down rainbows that shoot out skittles while birds are chirping.  I am learning too.



Apparently I left out a part in my "What to Expect Post..." how someones unwanted, patronizing, and condescending advice makes me explode into a full-blown Hulk smash rage, destroying every building in sight.  A person should always note that someone dealing with infertility does not want your advice unless of course they are asking for it. When you then add on rude comments or side jokes trying to undermine any decision that I have made that is related to my infertility, it only adds fuel to the fire.  And we are not making s'mores people.

Houston we have a problem.

I can not be any clearer on the statement that you can not understand any part of  this journey unless you have been in my shoes.  That also goes along with choices I have made in my life, as crazy or indecisive they may seem in others happy little bubble wrapped world they fit perfectly in mine.  And they are never something to be joked about in a patronizing way.  Yes I got another dog on my husbands 3rd deployment.  How about you try spending years away from your husband or wife at war and not being able to have a child on top of that.  Then and only then, you can tell me how to live my life or make light of my choices on coping with my ongoing heartbreak.  Its not like I bought a Bengal tiger that can eat me or a monkey that throws poop everywhere.  My life, my choices, my struggles, my coping mechanisms.  Pretty simple. Right?

 

I would also like to point out, again, that for the past year I have been on some kind of fertility drug(s) and some alot of times saying the wrong thing, making a bad joke about my struggle and giving a fake, condescending apology buys you a free ticket to my outraged side show of a response or blog.  If you are lucky I will roll my eyes, mumble under my breathe a quiet, "bless yer heart" and walk away.   I would never joke about your dog dying and then tell you I am sorry you didn't know I was just joking. That is like saying sorry you can't take a joke but here is my half-ass apology to make you feel worse.  Yes mistakes happen, people say the wrong obvious things.  We are human, I am not an idiot and I acknowledge this. But if you do not know how any of that makes me feel then it will keep continuing over and over until I explode. Or Hulk mode as I like to call it.

It is very frustrating to hear or read something from someone who has no idea what pain or unhappiness for years feels like.  You can't spit out quotes you see online or tell me how to be happy and how life is grand when you have never walked where I or many others have.  Well, legally you can but please do not think I will not take it lightly.  Please do not think I am saying no one has the right to share, post, comment, copy and paste, or upload how they view life and the keys to eternal happiness in person or online.  Huge Libertarian over here! I try to be positive and keep the fires of hope burning all the time.  Its all about intentions.

What  hurts is when someone thinks you choose to be unhappy. If I had a choice in life, many things would be different. I wouldn't choose infertility, I wouldn't choose my husband to be in Afghanistan,  I wouldn't choose to miscarry a baby, I wouldn't choose to to be heartbroken every month.   It is only when you choose to stand on your one-sided soap box and try to "put someone in there place" while stating the OBVIOUS about how we have choices in life.  You then come off fake, very condescending, and heartless. Not a good look at all.  If you are trying to be helpful to a friend or family member do it from a place of good not evil. Think to yourself, "Is this something I would want to hear right now if I was in her shoes?"  Instead of preaching to me how life is full of choices and I have to get over myself and my "insignificant hiccup" in life is simply just a choice to be happy or sad about. Thank you Captain Obvious.  There is also this thing called tact if you have never heard of it.  Maybe it will help you out next time your casting out your stone?




Enough with the negativity.  I was also told the other day that I have been "pushing people away."  Whatever that crap line is suppose to mean, I find it almost laughable. It is so funny that a person knows everything about someones life, yet knows nothing. Throughout this whole crazy path that I am on, my "friendships" have actually become stronger. I have met so many strong, intelligent, kindhearted, beautiful women that have stood by me through my ups and downs. The downs are what matter most.  That is when you need strong people around you telling you it will get better.  It is bittersweet knowing I have so many people in my corner cheering me on, knowing what I am going through.  It is bittersweet in that it hurts to know that they have felt the same pain that I have but knowing they can relate.  They are the human voice I listen to when I need advice or someone to vent too.  I am humbled when I hear stories filled with more pain than mine, when they hurt I hurt, when they say keep moving forward I listen. Yes I pray and give my struggles to God, I know he chose my path and that it is already laid out for me to find. I am just thankful for not feeling like I am the only person walking this road alone.  On top of that it gives me peace and comfort and a greater hope when I see women like myself find their way.        




 There are people that you lose along the infertility road whether they have decided to step back or you have decided it is easier to keep a distance.  No one can judge someone for letting go of relationships that are only hurting a person.  That is just a fact of life and of growing and moving on.  So no, I do not feel like I have pushed anyone away as opinionated and heartless as that was to hear.  My infertility may be driving a wedge between some relationships.  Yes.  But  my intentions are never to push anyone away.  There comes a time when you must decide if you need to distance yourself from someone to keep moving forward or end a relationship altogether.  This is not about the other person, it is about me and what I can bare. This journey is about me trying not to lose myself in this stormy, uncharted ocean.  Either you can CHOOSE to be a broken sail flapping in the wind damaging my ship or an anchor that holds fast and keeps me steady.  I prefer anchors. I'm not much of a broken sail kind of gal.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Infertility Mason's

Side note. The IUI was not painful at all. Cramping started later that night and is still present today. I would say on my 1-10 scale it went from a 1 to a 3. But not bad considering. My nurse said it was from the huge follicles, not "washing" the sperm enough, and scraping my cervix. I will gladly do this 100 times over if we reach our end goal of a baby. Not complaining, that is only for my family update. On with the post....

TTC, BD, 2ww, HPT, O, IUI, IVF, BC, DTD.................and many more!

If you somehow managed to get sucked into this blog by my magical hypnotizing powers, I guess it would be considerate of me to take time out of my precious schedule of catching up on Grey's Anatomy and braiding my dogs hair, to let you in on the ever so confusing infertility language.

My husband calls us "the secret society of infertiles, or Mason's " and that we have our own language that we use to disguise ourselves from the ordinary fertile public.  I will not deny any of that statement except that we are not trying to disguise ourselves, we just do it out of habit because its part of our community.

You know that you have been TTC(trying to conceive) for a long time, when your husband asks, "Do we have to BD(baby dance) for the TTC!" I died.

 I may or may not have pissed my pants on that one. So we saved on some pre-seed that night. Whatever.  I call that a win. Or thrifty?  Irrelevant. More about the lingo, less about needing adult diapers at 32.

To make it simple there is a list of Accronyms that us IF(infertile) women use on a daily basis. Why? To be honest I am not quite sure. We live in a world of social media and with that comes not wanting to spend an hour typing something that could be done in five minutes.

If you are really close with my personal life then you already know how much time I spend on Instagram. This is my lifeline of communication in a world of IF women that I have become close with along this journey. How close you might ask? Well, for starters, we send each other care packages, text, email, have coffee dates if your locally near someone(even though I haven't yet), send cards of encouragement, pray for each other, cry with each other and buy baby gifts for the ones who finally conceive. Heck some of us even drive across states to attend a baby shower for a TTCer that finally succeeds.

Congratulations to J&W on baby Sullivan by the way, who was born yesterday afternoon, 8lbs 2oz. and 22in. of adorableness !!!! Her blog link on my page is "Inconceivable," if you want to know what its like to reach the "other side" of infertility. Be prepared and have tissues in hand. Do not say I didn't warn you.

I have no idea where I was going with that. Except only to show you how much time I spend on Instagram.  I may need counseling if it were to ever shutdown.  I will definitely need counseling if it were to ever shut down. Hence why I have it set to private and do not add everyone that wants to follow along just because. It is my place for venting and you would thank me if I turned down your request knowing what I post on there at times. Your welcome. So do not take it to heart.

Ok, so now you know that we use acronyms a lot. Its much easier to use them on social media websites and apps.  I think it falls naturally into everything else. So with that said here is a list of my version.  I saved you some sanity and shortened it to the ones that I use most often.

ACU ~ Acupuncture
AF ~ Aunt Flo (period) Damn her
AO ~ Anovulation (does not ovulate/release an egg) This is me. Lucky.
BD ~ Baby Dance (sex, make love, intercourse) Make love doesn't happen very often in our world
BBT ~ Basal Body Temperature (lowest body temperature/taken before getting out of bed in am to chart O)
BCP ~ Birth Control Pills
Beta ~Name of pregnancy blood test
BFN ~ Big Fat Negative
BFP ~Big Fat Positive
CD ~ Cycle Day (CD1 is the start of AF) Now your catching on?!
CM~Cervical Mucus (fluid secreted by cervix/varies depending on CD) (yummy)
DH ~Dearest Husband
DD ~ Darling Daughter (what my DH says he will push out to sea if we have)
DS ~ Darling Son
D&C ~ Dilation and Curettage (procedure used with miscarriages) Heartbreak.
DE ~ Donor Eggs

DPO ~ Days Past Ovulation
DPIUI ~Days Past IUI
DTD ~ Do The Deed (see BD)
EDD ~ Estimated Due Date
EWCM ~ Egg White Cervical Mucus (consistency/most fertile days) Now I am craving an egg sandwich.
FMU ~First Morning Urine
HCG ~ Human Chronic Gonadotropin (hormone produced by fertilized egg/detected in HPTs)
HPT ~ Home Pregnancy Test
IF ~ Infertility
IVF ~ In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IUI ~ In Uterine Insemination (IUI) The procedure I just had done.
LP ~ Luteal Phase
2WW, TWW ~ 2 Week Wait (The time in between ovulation and CD1 or a BFP/BFN) Horrible.
LSP ~ Low Sperm Count
MC, m/c ~ Miscarriage
MF ~ Male Factor (infertility due to male factors) Duh.

O, OV ~ Ovulation
OPK ~ Ovulation Predictor Kit
PCAP ~ Polycystic Appearing Ovaries (differs from PCOS)
PCOS ~ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
PG ~ Pregnant
POAS ~ Pee On A Stick (not the kind that grows on a tree, an HPT for the lamers)
RE ~ Reproductive Endocrinologist (baby maker/miracle worker) I should have seen 4 years ago.
SA ~ Semen Analysis
SI ~ Secondary Infertility (someone who has one child but TTC another for over a year)
TTC ~ Trying To Conceive
TMI ~ Too Much Information (I do this sometimes.  I do this all the time.)
US, u/s ~ Ultrasound

So my story would go along the lines of this:

DH and I have been TTC with IF for 5 years now! I have only been diagnosed with AO and PCAP by my RE. We have DTD/BD without any BCP and I have been tracking my CDs and O. I got a +OPK on CD 14 along with TMI alot of EWCM.  My US showed 2 huge follicles @27mm and 24mm! I just did my first IUI.  DHs SA came back good and thawed at 6 million sperm. I am at 3DPIUI and have resisted the urge to POAS. Worst 2ww ever! I can't wait to take a HPT with FMU and get a BFP! I hope this is our month to have a DD or DS. 


Biology 101. Implantation releases HCG which in turn is detected on an HPT.


Only my IF ladies may find this funny. I'm not mad. Sorry I get bored and make memes all day.





















What Did She Just Say? TTC Lingo during the 2WW!

TTC, BD, 2ww, TWW, O, IUI, IVF, BC, DTD.................and many more!

If you somehow managed to get sucked into this blog by my magical hypnotizing powers, I guess it would be considerate of me to take time out of my precious schedule of catching up on Grey's Anatomy and braiding my dogs hair, to let you in on the ever so confusing infertility language.

My husband calls us "the secret society of infertiles, " and that we have our own language that we use to disguise ourselves from the ordinary fertile public.  I will not deny any of that statement except that we are not trying to disguise ourselves, we just do it out of habit because its part of our community.

You know that you have been TTC(trying to conceive) for a long time, when your husband asks, "Do we have to BD(baby dance) for the TTC!" I died.

 I may or may not have pissed my pants on that one. So we saved on some pre-seed that night. Whatever.  I call that a win. Or thrifty?  Irrelevant. More about the lingo, less about needing adult diapers at 32.

To make it simple there is a list of Accronyms that us IF(infertile) women use on a daily basis. Why? To be honest I am not quite sure. We live in a world of social media and with that comes not wanting to spend an hour typing something that could be done in five minutes.

If you are really close with my personal life then you already know how much time I spend on Instagram. this is my lifeline of communication in a world of IF women that I have become close with along this journey. How close you might ask? Well, for starters, we send each other care packages, text, email, have coffee dates if your locally near someone(even though I haven't yet), send cards of encouragement, pray for each other, cry with each other and buy baby gifts for the ones who finally conceive. Heck some of us even drive across states to attend a baby shower for a TTCer that finally succeeds.

Congratulations to J&W on baby Sullivan by the way, who was born yesterday afternoon, 8lbs 2oz.  and 22in of adorableness !!!! Her blog link on my page is "Inconceivable," if you want to know what its like to reach the "other side" of infertility. Be prepared and have tissues in hand. Do not say I didn't warn you.

I have no idea where I was going with that. Except only to show you how much time I spend on Instagram. I may need counseling if it were to ever shutdown. Who am I kidding? I will definitely need counseling if it were to ever shut down. Hence why I have it set to private and do not add everyone that wants to follow along just because. It is my place for venting and you would thank me if I turned down your request knowing what I post on there at times. Your welcome. So do not take it to heart.

Ok, so now you know that we use acronyms a lot. Its much easier to use them on social media websites and apps.  I think it falls naturally into everything else. So with that said here is a list of my version.  I saved you some sanity and shortened it to the ones that I use most often.

ACU ~ Acupuncture
AF ~ Aunt Flo (period) Damn her
AO ~ Anovulation (does not ovulate/release an egg) This is me. Lucky.
BD ~ Baby Dance (sex, make love, intercourse) Make love doesn't happen very often in our world
BBT ~ Basal Body Temperature (lowest body temperature/taken before getting out of bed in am to chart O)
BCP ~ Birth Control Pills
Beta ~Name of pregnancy blood test
BFN ~ Big Fat Negative
BFP ~Big Fat Positive
CD ~ Cycle Day (CD1 is the start of AF) now your catcching on ;)
CM~Cervical Mucus(fluid secreted by cervix/varies depending on CD) (yummy)
DH ~Dearest Husband
DD ~ Darling Daughter
DS ~ Darling Son
D&C ~ Dilation and Curettage (procedure used with miscarriages) :(
DE ~ Donor Eggs

DPO ~ Days Past Ovulation

DPIUI ~Days Past IUI
DTD ~ Do The Deed (see BD)
EDD ~ Estimated Due Date
EWCM ~ Egg White Cervical Mucus (consistency/most fertile days) Now I am craving an egg sandwich.
FMU ~First Morning Urine
HCG ~ Human Chronic Gonadotropin (hormone produced by fertilized egg/detected in HPTs)
HPT ~ Home Pregnancy Test
IF ~ Infertility
IVF ~ In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IUI ~ In Uterine Insemination (IUI) The procedure I just had done.
LP ~ Luteal Phase
2WW ~ 2 Week Wait (The time in between ovulation and CD1 or a BFP/BFN) Horrible.
LSP ~ Low Sperm Count
MC, m/c ~ Miscarriage
MF ~ Male Factor (infertility due to male factors) duh.

O, OV ~ Ovulation
OPK ~ Ovulation Predictor Kit
PCAP ~ Polycystic Appearing Ovaries (differs from PCOS)
PCOS ~ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
PG ~ Pregnant
POAS ~ Pee On A Stick (not the kind that grows on a tree, an HPT for the lamers)
RE ~ Reproductive Endocrinologist (baby maker) Who I should have been seeing 4 years ago.
SA ~ Semen Analysis
SI ~ Secondary Infertility (someone who has one child but TTC another for over a year)
TTC ~ Trying To Conceive
TMI ~ Too Much Information (I do this sometimes.  I do this all the time.)
US, u/s ~ Ultrasound

So my story would go along the lines of this:

DH and I have been TTC with IF for 5 years now! I have only been diagnosed with AO and PCAP by my RE. We have DTD/BD without any BCP and I have been tracking my CDs and O. I got a +OPK on CD 14 along with TMI alot of EWCM.  My US showed 2 huge follicles @27mm and 24mm! I just did my first IUI.  DHs SA came back good and thawed at 6 million sperm. I am at 3DPIUI and have resisted the urge to POAS. Worst 2ww ever! I can't wait to take a HPT with FMU and get a BFP! I hope this is our month to have a DD or DS. 

Biology 101. This is for those that want to follow along with where I should be in my 2ww.























Monday, April 22, 2013

Operation Team Spurling

I am currently about to have my IUI in T minus 10 mins or so. So SHOCKED! I will update when I get home. I was really thinking it would be Wednesday but my unpredictable and stubborn ovaries love to live for shock and awe. Bring on the thawed spermies and needle! Only wish D was here to hold my hand. Bittersweet. But not letting it get me down just yet....

So those were the initial thoughts pumping through this brain of mine a few hours ago. I went into the appointment thinking for the hundredth time, he was going to do just a vaginal ultrasound; AKA dildo cam (KG) or follicle finder as I like to call it. Keep scrolling if this is TMI. Then again your probably aware that I am the TMI girl and love embarrassing myself to keep from crying.

This is the magical Baby Makers wand!  Safety first.

Surprise!! Your ovulating. "We must do it now," says my RE.

"Wait. What? Now. IUI. Now??"

Those were my exact words as I panicked but with excitement and nerves all at once. I honestly did not know what to expect. I waited an hour to go back. I went to mine and D's usual spot for some food to wait out the next hour. Sitting there alone eating my amazing French toast I started to weep. Terrible thoughts have crossed my mind the past few days and its hard not to think of those things even in this moment. The "what ifs" of your husband not coming home alive from Afghanistan after you become pregnant after five years of trying is always lurking in the crevice of my brain. I have to stop thinking like this.  Would life be that cruel?? An infertile woman, now pregnant but her husband is killed in Afghanistan before baby arrives. I am such a freak.  Honestly at this point I think of the worst scenarios to keep my feet on the ground and not get so broken down every cycle.  That way when something goes normal I am extremely thankful.

What was really going on with me? I felt crazy. I was so happy that finally the moment I have been waiting for was about to happen but I let my emotions get the best of me. Or we could blame the fertility drugs. That would be my choice.

So enough with the pity party. I pulled up my big girl panties, imaginatively, only to take them off in 20 minutes physically.  I headed back for my IUI, leaving my pride and a five dollar tip on the table.

Needle full of sperm for one please.
Lets just skip to the part and talk about how bad it hurt. Correction. Did not hurt. I was expecting at least a little bit of torture more than one would expect from a cold, metal speculum grinding your vagina open. Heck it was pretty much like a wambamthankyou mam Pap smear with minor cramping. He had to scrape/clean my cervix so that was fun, but wow, was that ever easy. I know I'm making it sound like a cake walk at an elementary school fund raiser. It might be because after a few years of every other week visits of the dildo cam, one gets used to dropping her drawers and laying her lady parts out on a table to whatever nurse, Dr., RE, or medical student in training is present.

I even asked my Dr. if he could record the process for my husband since he got the pleasure of being absent. He laughed, as he was inserting the needle of thawed sperm we had frozen weeks before up into the pencil tube that then goes directly to the motherland. Hopefully we have a few Michael Phelps on our team and one of them makes it to the ship. The ship being an egg of course. It's not like they have any work to do. They just caught a free ride on the Fallopian Tube Expressway. So is it too much of me to ask them to just find one damn egg!? I didn't think so.

20-30%. That's the chance my doctor gave me with this cycle. We had to use frozen sperm so it's more on the 20% spectrum. So I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch. Literally.

I am at home laying in bed now. Not because I have too. Just because I am lazy. I am not taking any chances that this 400 dollars worth of my baby daddy's babies are coming out. And no, scientifically that really doesn't matter. But I am erring on the side of crazy these days.

The 2ww starts now. No, "surprise I am pregnant announcements" coming from this girl. I couldn't leave my Instagram ladies hanging out to dry. But then again hoping for the best. Praying this is the path we are suppose to be on. Try to bare with me and pray for a fast 14 days with good results. I'm going to need it!

Again thanks for all your positive thoughts and prayers. I really appreciate them even though I try to make this experience light for my sanity, it is very serious and personal.



My weepy but very delicious french toast.


 Fertility bracelets from loved ones. Check! Pink and blue support for NIAW! Check! Fertility charm from little sister. Check!


This was immediately following my vaginal US! Hey look! My lucky infertility sister socks! Thanks G!

Seeing your husband for the first time in weeks and telling him you might be having a baby, Priceless.














Saturday, April 20, 2013

Do Not Ignore Our Struggle


As you know, my upcoming IUI is this week. My first appointment is Monday, so wish me luck, please! With that said, I think that it is pretty awesome that I get to experience what I consider my first real chance of creating a life during NIAW. (National Infertility Awareness Week!) Work with me people. I am trying to find positives here. You may not even know what Resolve is or what NIAW is all about. Good news is I am about to tell you.

Its about not ignoring infertility. But mostly about not ignoring me or someone you know like me.  Lets not forget to mention the 7.3 million American women living with infertility.

Infertility is caused by many things; Endometriosis, Male Factor, PCOS, Annovulation, Pre-Menopausal,  Luteal Phase Defect etc. These are all genetically caused diseases that we are born with however insurance companies have decided to toss us in the trash.  There are only 15 states that mandate infertility to be covered.  There is also this little thing called your husband is active duty military and having Tricare blows. I can get a boob job(not judging I think boobs are great), gastro bypass(I have a family memeber who did this), erectile dysfunction and Viagra all paid for by your very own tax dollars. But we had to pay 350 dollars for my husband to have sex with a cup. His words, not mine, for the record. Thank you Tricare. My husband has been to Afghanistan almost more than he has been home. Yes that is is his job, but why doesn't he deserve an insurance to cover something that is genetic?? Lets not even get into how many anthrax and overseas shots that they have pumped into his body with not knowing if it is affecting our ability to have a child!  As a married, self sufficient,  hard working, home owning, tax paying, sacrificing couple we are denied the infertillity coverage that we need! That leaves me disgusted and enraged and it should you too! Not just for us but for everyone not covered by their own insurance.

 Millions of couples have to pay tens of thousands of dollars in treatments to just have ONE CHANCE at becoming pregnant. This isn't paying for a new car and taking your new car home deal. This is thousands of dollars being tossed in the wind at a CHANCE. A freaking CHANCE to have a baby! Must I explain again all the physical and emotional pain that goes into one IVF cycle! The time off of work, the needles, the fertility drugs, the stress of not knowing the outcome. I could go on and on. Are you with me people?!! Tell me again how that is suppose to make sense?? Tell me that if it was your daughter or your son, your sister or your brother, just how much more you could take?? It is time for our government to make some changes people. It starts with you. Write a representative, show up at a rally, walk for a cause, share your story. It is time to stop ignoring infertility. I will put the link below where you can find out more information on how to help make changes in our government through Resolve.

Now that I have counted to 100 and calmed down before my head exploded into outer space. Aka took a shot of Tequila  Not really. Trying to make a baby over here.  But the thought was refreshing. Let us carry on.

 Some other ideas for showing your support can include painting your nails(pink and blue) or sharing a blog about infertility via a social network.  Attend a local event.  Make a donation. Wear a ribbon, shirt or scarf. Heck be brave, go all out and represent with matching bra and undies. Honestly its not really showing your support. Unless you are a stripper at the Driftwood(local strip club). In that case you probably got Tricare to cover those money makers. So a high five to you.  Live and let live Rachel. Too each their own. Too each.......their own.

NIAW.  It is one week starting on the 21st of April. We are not asking much here people! There is The Family Act ( S 965/HR 3522) which was introduced in Congress in May of 2011 and would offer a tax credit on IVF. Advocacy day is being held on May 8th in Washington DC to try to keep this bill from dieing. Please do what you can to see that it gets passed this year! Get involved. I challenge you!!

So go ahead support and share away my little minions. Tupac won't be mad at cha' and neither will I.

State Mandated Insurance

Tricares UNcoverage

http://resolve.org/



Friday, April 19, 2013

What To Expect When Your Friend Is Not Expecting~ Part Two

 Please click here Part One and try to read before continuing. Even the lazy ones like me. Go ahead click the link. You procrasinators.

Ok folks, for those of you who already read part one. This is the nitty gritty, the meat and potatoes, the friendship saving, family relationship glue guidebook chapter of "What to Expect..." This is the juicy information that will help you not get punched in the face or lose an eye while eating dinner with one of your friends. I would like to think that no eye gouging has ever happened along the lines of infertility. That wouldn't be cool. But if it has please comment below. Just kidding. Pictures would be great. Thanks.

I do know that friends have been lost, family's have been split and hearts all around have been broken during the fight against infertility. Sometimes it is inevitable. Sadly that statement is very true. But I do believe if you follow along and soak in some of these things below(my own and favorite ones I've found online) there are ways to jump over those hurdles or avoid a head on, bitterness, never talking to you again collision. You may  even come back and mend a broken relationship with a new found perspective on the before situation.

These things below are how to avoid disaster and what not to say to a women pumped full of fertility drugs enduring months of emotional, physical and financial procedures (IUI, IVF,  ICSI's), miscarriages or the result of any of these ending in a miscarriage which can happen multiple times. Not excluding adoption and failed placement adoptions.

1) You need to relax, or take a vacation.

Wrong. Studies and scientific evidence prove that relaxing and taking a vacation will not naturally make an infertile woman pregnant. You might want to consider what came first the stress or the infertility. Your infertile friend probably wasn't stressed out about getting pregnant until she discovered it wasn't happening the way it should. Not to mention the PCOS, endometriosis, male factor infertility, annovulation, blocked tubes, and unexplained diagnosis that may be going on. Thanks but I think I will skip the 2000 dollar cruise to the tropics and opt for a real solution.

2) Never send a surprise text message/phone call telling your infertile friend you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or a picture of someones newborn. EVER.

I call it common sense, but you will be surprised how many times it is has happened to me or women that I know. Take for example, lets say you just got diagnosed with breast cancer and found out that you were going to have to have a mastectomy because you are in stage 4.  Then later that day, ring ring..(incoming picture from your knowing best friend)..."I have decided I want a boob job and not sure if I want to go with full C's or a D cup..HELP?!?"(insert pictures of both boob jobs).  My point being is that you do not know what kind of day someone has had in the first place. Maybe your friend just had a D&C from her miscarriage or is at her 60th month mark of getting a negative on a test. Regardless of any of those things, it is never appropriate to send a picture or let a friend know you are pregnant or anything to do with a pregnancy via a text message. Have the common courtesy to tell them in person. Or for the love of God in an email. And never use anything along the lines of  "we didn't even plan for this to happen" "total accident, whoopsies."

3) Always leave an invitation open for us to decide.

Not sending an invitation to a baby shower or kids birthday party in fear of hurting my feelings will in the end hurt my feelings just as much. Yes the majority of the time I would rather not go depending on what place I am at emotionally in this journey. But that choice should be mine to make. This struggle already takes away so much from us and not being included in life events just adds to it. You do not have to send an actual invitation but an email giving me the option to be present is greater than leaving me out of your important event all together.

4) It could be worse. It could be cancer.
This is about as comforting as telling a friend who has just lost their father, "Well, it could be worse. Your mother and your father could have died." Please don't act as the compassion police, determining who deserves compassion and who doesn't.
Interestingly enough, research has found that the emotional distress experienced by women with infertility is similar to the distress experienced by cancer, HIV, and chronic pain patients. (The comments on this blog post, which talk about comparing infertility to cancer, have some heartbreaking responses from former cancer patients who are now infertile.)
5)  So-and-so tried for 10 years to get pregnant.  Finally, when she gave up, it happened.


  That’s great for so-and-so.  What does her body have to do with mine, anyway?  Oh.  She has the secret sauce ingredient to “getting” pregnant, does she?  Hmm…she does have a lot of cute new purses.  I haven’t tried buying purses yet….maybe I should try that?  Any excuse to shop!

6)  I know exactly how you feel.  

Really?  Like the time when I really felt like I wanted a mocha with all of the fat, including extra whipped cream, but you got me a skinny latte?  Like that?

7)  Everything will happen when it is supposed to happen. 

 True.  But the waiting…it’s not easy.  Kinda like when you order some cool new thing from Amazon and forget to ship it 2 day.  It can be agonizing!

8) It'll happen in God's time.

This statement shouldn’t  be taken harshly, because the person who says it is almost always a well-meaning little old lady. But it can be very hard to hear, for while intended to be consoling, it’s actually quite loaded. It assumes:

- that you know what God will or will not do for me (He WILL grant you children, just not right now)
- that I'm not accepting His will for me right now
- that I'm not being patient because I dare to desire children now instead of waiting passively

We will die in God’s time. It will rain in God’s time. Everything happens in God’s time. You’re actually stating the obvious and it’s not really relevant to the conversation. It gives hope for something that may never happen, and berates the woman in the meantime. Far from being helpful and consoling, this statement used to rile my feathers more than most of the others. Now I just smile and nod.

9Why don’t you just adopt?

“Why don’t you just adopt?” Oh, the answer to all of life’s most crushing pains could be so easily answered by such a simple solution.

“It’s never going to happen for you. Why don’t you just give up all of this nonsense of conceiving a child in the life-giving love of your marriage, growing bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh within your womb for nine months, sacrificing your body while giving birth, nourishing your child with her mother’s milk, bearing a child with your husband’s radiant eyes and sheepish smile… you’ll still have a kid and will be helping someone else out, too!”

Adoption is a calling, it’s not a fallback plan when all other methods fail. You don’t tell a woman in her mid thirties who hasn’t found a spouse yet, “Why don’t you just become a nun? Clearly you’ll never find a man so why don’t you just give up, give of yourself and go don the veil?”

Of course it’s a worthy call! Of course it’s a good thing to do! But you can’t guilt a noble calling upon someone because the desire of her heart isn’t happening.

Adoption doesn’t cure infertility, it eliminates childlessness. Something very real… entirely integral to what it means to be a woman, the primary purpose of her marriage, the centrality of her very being, is lost by the inability to conceive and bear children, to procreate. You can’t just plop a baby on her lap and expect everything to be all better.

And you know what? Maybe we do want to adopt. Maybe it is our calling. But your question requires a response I may just not want to give you.

The question proposes a quick and easy solution for a process that is far from quick and easy. The question assumes we can handle wait lists (especially for infants) that could last several years. The question assumes we are prepared for an adoption that can fall through at the last second, causing unspeakable emotional agony. The question assumes we have a separate bedroom in our house and a stable enough income to pass the home study. The question assumes we have the $30,000+ required to adopt. Let me open my house, my bank statements, and my heart to you to answer your “simple solution” question.

Adoption isn’t as easy as going to the local group home, picking up a cheery cherub and taking her home. That’s what your question makes it sound like. Please, don’t think a) your simple solution hasn’t occurred to us, or b) your simple solution is, in fact, so simple.


 10) How is getting pregnant coming along? 

Hmm.  Kinda thought that I could only be one of two things:  pregnant, or not pregnant.   Since I haven’t mentioned it to you, assume the latter.  Were you worried that I might not know the basics of how to “get” pregnant?  Was that it?

What do I say you might ask???   Sometimes, correction, the majority of the time, you need to say nothing. How about, “I have no idea what to say” or "I'm praying for you." those are both excellent things to say. I will never turn down a prayer or criticize you for not having the right words to say. Its not your fault. I fully understand that. Now its your turn to understand where I am coming from and how some of the above can make me feel.

What should I do??? The greatest gift you can give is to be an open ear and a shoulder to cry on. You do not have to give advice or find the perfect words of encouragement. Just know that because someone doesn't want to talk about something so personal because you will never understand doesn't mean they don't want you in their life. We have to distance ourselves at times to regain strength. To reflect and gather our emotions, to cope or to keep moving forward. It sounds like loads of fun having someone around blabbing in our ear all this amazing advice. Or does it. 

Most important thing you can do is share this on any social media that you are involved in. Get the word out! It is National Infertility Awareness Week starting on Sunday ya know! Even if it wasn't I would still badger you into sharing with the uneducated, misinformed, know it all advice giving public at large. Thank you and thanks for your support and comments! 


Disclaimer and Silver Lining

I feel like before I go any further that I should have some sort of disclaimer. I don't want anyone following along to think that I am out in public, standing on a soap box, while crushing some cymbals together and  tooting my own horn. Now that I mention it (Google search: Where to buy cymbals?). I guess theoretically that's what a personal blog is all about.

 My purpose here for the most part, is to give my own experiences to the general fertile public to shed an ounce of light on what it is like to deal with infertility everyday. Yes it is everyday. Please refer back to my prior post and the statement about not understanding unless you live it.  Your welcome.

I do not need virtual sympathy, fifteen minutes of fame or a million faithful followers waiting for my next inspiring but genius post. Which then in turn renders those followers to be let down when they log in and see that I wrote about an ingrown infected arm pit hair.  Which is probably more entertaining to some of you that stumbled across here by accident.

Even though I have been trying for many years now, my road hasn't been as hard as it could have been. Thank you military deployments. I knew there was always a silver lining somewhere. I haven't been down the road of IVF and I am just starting my IUI in a few days.  I sometimes feel inadequate of this blog to be writing about such a personal and emotional topic when time has been my biggest issue. There is always something to be thankful for in some way as disgustingly positive as that sounds to my fellow pessimists.  Myself included. It still hurts just as much, I am still childless after five years, but thankfully I have finally been able to move on to bigger baby steps. If IVF was free I would like to think I would be on my third child by now. But unfortunately for most couples struggling with infertility it is not. More on that later.

I only felt the need to open my big fat mouth because I thought it might help someone.  Whether it is saving someone like me from hearing the wrong "advice" at the wrong time.  Sharing a word of advice to those women just starting out along this journey. Or connecting with someone that can relate to just one of my personal experiences. I consider that a win. The free therapy and venting to the world doesn't hurt either and I love all your comments. Soap box or imaginary internet soap box, just one person. That is all I need.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What To Expect When Your Friend Is Not Expecting~Part One

So this is the blog you want to read if you know someone that is dealing with infertility. This is not a blame game or a way to make people feel guilty. This is to help educate everyone on infertility. I am not an expert. I never claimed to be a psychologist or a saint for that matter. I have been learning along the way as well. Everyone is different and there may be someone who magically has no feelings about these things. I wish I was more like her. These are just my opinions and experiences and I hope that at least one person may be hurt less or helped more by reading, sharing and growing as we go through this together.

Whether someone just started trying or it could be that they have been trying for many years.  Then there is also the couple that you may not even know are experiencing infertility because they choose not to share.  This first blog is just about not asking the dreaded question that we hear one too many times.

Rule number one is as follows in this picture. It is for everyone. So please take your time and re-read this over to yourself and make sure it sinks in.


I am not sure along in my journey where this question started becoming overwhelming for me.  There were different stages I went through, to get where I am at now. I guess this question may seem appropriate to ask a couple that has done all the "right" steps in what society believes should be everyone's life. I am probably guilty of this question years ago. Not that I can recall any specifics, but this was before I knew anything about infertility. 

If you meet someone for the first time...Correction. If you meet someone ever. This doesn't have to be a topic of conversation. I can think of a million things to talk about, that does not include the status of my ovaries and future children. 

After someone is comfortable with you and you become friends then maybe at that time she will want to talk about having children or not being able to have children. Then again for the most part she will probably not. Do not take that to heart. INFERTILITY IS NOT SOMETHING ANYONE CAN UNDERSTAND UNLESS THEY ARE OR HAVE GONE THROUGH IT THEMSELVES. PERIOD. 
A person can not make another person understand what it feels like to struggle month after month and feel defeated. To lose a battle every month. To not be able to carry a child past 5 weeks. To lose that special angel baby that they have prayed, cried, dreamed, and hoped for. I am guilty of this trying to make people understand myself. No matter how many Pinterest posts you make or Instagram pictures you share. You will not get through to them. And thats ok. Its not their fault for not being able to understand. They just have to learn how to be sensitive or how to be a good listener. It is a very hard struggle but it can be done.

For years I would tell people that I wasn't ready to have a baby. While inside I was just wishing they would shut up. I know I am 27 years old(now 32), thank you for rubbing that in my face that I am only getting older. I am not an idiot. Even though your constant pressures and questioning make me feel like I am on trial for something I have no control over. I also have three dogs, have been with my husband for almost nine years and married for five. So now, for me, I feel like people should get it by now. Especially because in the past year I have begun to speak out about it more and more. Thank you Instagram and Facebook(just recently) for letting me enlighten some people. I have learned what to say and when to just walk away from an ignorant person. I have learned who to hid news feeds from and who not to add to my friends or followers lists. This has helped tremendously but it doesn't however get rid of all the uneducated people out there. 

Case in point, a male acquaintance of my husband, that when on the topic of having kids told me that I just needed to relax. That him and his wife didn't even want kids and they got pregnant on accident a month after getting married. Thank you for that tip buddy. I believe the crack you where smoking while learning about conception might have damaged your tiny fertile brain. I gave him a quick lesson with accurate knowledge on infertility and how being relaxed had nothing to do with myself making a child. He said nothing else after that. He is welcome that I didn't push him into the fire pit we were sitting around. Even so, I felt so angry and just wanted to scream at him at the top of my lungs. How inconsiderate and rude people can be. I hate people that know everything about everything. Let me let you in on a little secret. You do not! This made me take a few steps back and not be so open. 

I do not like feeling angry towards people that just have no idea about infertility. Its not their fault. Infertility is not something that everyone is open to discuss. It involves a lot of emotions that once again, no one can understand unless they are going or have gone through it. Which leads us to not want to say anything. How can I explain something that you in the end will not understand?! 

This goes back to part of the reason why you shouldn't ask the dreaded baby question. Some women are either about to break from trying and are barely hanging on. Maybe you are the third person to ask her that this week?! What if she just had a miscarriage?! There are hundreds of reasons why she might not want to share. In all honesty its none of your dang business. 

So please do not even go there. If someone is planning on having children and is not dealing with infertility, you can be assured they will let you know. And if they are dealing with infertility they will talk to you about it when they are comfortable. In the meantime ask them about where they grew up or what kind of creamer they like in their coffee? Those are things we can talk about. Army brat and sugar free French vanilla. Just so you know. 
This is me(cheerleader) being an Army brat  in Germany with my sister circa 1989





Infertile Deployment/Dog Hoarding Problems


Hello. My name is Rachel and I am a dog hoarder. 1st step. Admittance.



My three fur children!



This is Max, my almost 12 yr. old Golden. My first love.


This is my 3 yr. old baby girl, Meia. My heart.


And then there was Barry. Our problem child.
Deployment homecoming number 3 and dog number 3. Are you catching on?

Thank you Barry Sanders. Thank you very much.
Rule number one. Never leave a  tissue unattended.
I like to run away during storms. Good times.

But never forget how cute I am.


And if my husband sees this. I am sorry love. Muah ha ha.


Finally, this is what its like to visit my sister in PA..also a dog connoisseur. We lubs our doggy cousins. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lets start from the beginning...

I met my husband in the fall of 2004. He was in the Navy at the time and I was in a rolling stone relationship, trying to find myself state of mind. As cheesy as it sounds, I knew I was going to marry this kid.  It wasn't until a year later on the 4th of July in 2005 that we started dating. I was living in Virginia Beach at the time after living one hot mess of a 20 something year old life. The week that he called me I was moving back home to Pennsylvania because I was leaving the abusive relationship I had been in for a year. If my father taught me one thing, its that a man never lays his hands on a woman. I like to think of myself as a forgiver. Someone that gives second chances. I guess that's why I stuck around for a year. But my father also. (insert Mr. T's voice)"didn't raise no fool." I was done. 

The week that I was leaving I got a phone call from my now husband, David.  We went out on a date, but not just as friends this time. When he picked me up, he opened the car door for me. As crazy as it sounds that is all it took. I have never had anyone do that for me in all my relationships. I was hooked. Fast forward three years to May of 2008. David had been gone for months at boot camp because he decided to re-enlist into the Marine Corps. And with the Marine Corps it is the only branch that you have to go back through their boot camp again even if you have already went through the Navy, AirForce, and Army's. You know "The Few The Proud". Those guys.  I don't know how he did it without losing his sanity. Here he is a 25 year old man that has already been in the Navy since he was 19 and now he is getting yelled at by 21 year old kids. Not to mention he lost all of his rank. Thankfully he got to keep his "time in service."  It takes a special person to do what he has done. I love him for that even more. But enough about him, I'm sure your gagging. 

So there we were, married and living at our first USMC duty station in Jacksonville, NC. Life was going great for us. We were experiencing new things and building lasting relationships with other military couples. But there was something missing. I always assumed I would be the 22 year old girl with 3 kids and one on the way. Life just wasn't panning out the way I had envisioned it to. Up until this point I didn't think about infertility.  I occupied my needs for a baby by spending all my spare time with nieces, nephews and cousins. But the needs started to sink in more and more with every passing month of not being pregnant.

I went off BC months before we got married around November of 2007. David was away for months anyways with boot camp and then his training courses for his MOS(basically his job) in the Marine Corps. I will try to make this easy to understand for most of you that have no idea what its like to live the military life. In the time since being off BC starting in 2008 my husband has been deployed three times currently on his fourth. That is 26 months of him being in Afghanistan and about 32 months of him being in the United States. That is not to include any weeks that he is in the field training or weeks away doing special courses that we are so graciously blessed with during those months at "home." He was home for 6 months before he deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 right after we got married. At this time and for the next year following we were DTD(doing the dead) with no prevention around the time I was "suppose to ovulate."  I would take test after test with always the same result. I stopped taking tests for awhile. I needed a break. I needed to spend my quality time with my husband while he was home and not go insane trying to add to our two person family. 

It had been more than a year of trying around the time I went to my first doctor appointment about my issues in December of 2010. It was right before we learned David would be leaving again. This time it was for 13 months. Even though I was getting my period, my cycles were long. Averaging around 36 days. Prior to TTC I would go sometimes months without a period but I was young and dumb and just thought it was "normal." They seemed to become "normal" once I started with vitamins and eating a low carb, sugar free diet. I am no doctor by any means and this is just what happened for me. So my OBGYN at the time threw me some BC pills and said that's what I needed to get back on track. I was dumbfounded. Was this the solution to have a baby? I didn't know what to say honestly. He said that nothing was wrong with me and I just needed to get my cycles consistent. Little did I know at the time how much of an idiot he was. Your suppose to trust in your Dr. right? 

Everything I knew about TTC and infertility would be discovered by doing research on my own. I chucked the BC pills in the trash and started digging in online. I think I read every medical website known to man on how to conceive a child. I started seeing words like middleschmertz, annovulation, PCOS, male factor, endometrosis, IUI and IVF.  Up until this point here I was a clueless 28 year old when it came to having a baby. No one ever told me growing up that this was a possibility. That I should make sure my cycles are normal and that the extreme cramping in my ovaries was not normal. With my new found online self-education and BFF Mr. Google, we spent the last two months of him being home timing everything perfectly. Still no luck. I knew something was wrong with me. My private parts were broken. And so was my heart. 

After a year of David being gone I started seeing a specialist in February of 2012 when he came home. This was my referral that Tricare(military insurance) gave me after my request for someone who deals with infertility. Sadly this was another fail. The first month he sent me home and told me just to do timed intercourse. After I had explained that we have been trying to do that for four years now. The only thing he determined was that I was not ovulating on my own. Fast forward seven months, six rounds of Clomid, lots of tears and a softball sized cyst later. I walked out of his office after hearing the last rude and sarcastic comment I could take. I didn't look back. I immediately called and I put in a third referral to Tricare to my current and amazing RE who has stopped at nothing to help us have a child. 

Third times a charm! It took a few months to actually get into his office, but on day one he did everything that he could test wise to find out what was wrong with my lady parts. Unfortunately this is where he discovered the huge cyst caused by the un-monitoring, overdosing, uncaring OB I was seeing before him. I was floored. I don't know how many times I looked directly at my prior DRs face and asked if I had PCOS or any cysts. I explained the pain and the cramping and the long cycles. But nothing. He told me I had no cysts to worry about and everything was normal with that high dose of Clomid(150mg).  I was outraged after hearing about my cyst. So I left the RE's office bawling my eyes out. I'm sure my husband was feeling really bad that he couldn't do anything for me. He has always been my rock. My RE told me to wait a few months and let this cyst go away on its own. No fertility drugs with the option of BC to help it shrink. Needless to say I didn't take the BC. I felt like I was going backwards. 

In January of this year we finally caught a break. My cyst had completely  dissolved on its own! I know God was working on that one. I definitely needed it. So here we are four months later. Might I mention my husband was leaving in March again for 7 months. Back to Afghanistan. His home away from home. We received good results with the Femera at 5mg each month. My blood work came back great and showed that I ovulated. But we were still not pregnant. And we still do not know why. 

My husbands SA(semen analysis) came back great(above average is what he wants me to say). They were able to freeze 8 vials of sperm to use while he is deployed. So this is where I am at. In about 10-14 days I will be undergoing an IUI(in-uterine insemination) with my husbands above average(lol) frozen sperm. I have also been tripled on my dosage of femera up to 7.5mg this cycle.  I will blog more about the procedure in another post. In the meantime one quick google image search will quickly show you what an IUI looks like. 

Sorry for the book. My other posts will not be this long. Or maybe they will?? I just wanted to share my story and how we got to where we are. I have alot to talk about and instead of keeping my journal to myself I have been inspired by others to share. Thanks for following along.  And prayers are always appreciated!