Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Going Dark

Halloween has long since been a beloved holiday of children and adults alike.  It is the one time of year when it is socially acceptable for women to dress in their underwear and children to take candy from strangers; no one even bats an eye.  For infertiles, it is a dreaded holiday.  I know it might seem odd to you that Halloween would be a trigger but if you take a minute to think about it you will see why.

Picture it.  The streets are covered with adorable little tykes all decked out as princesses, ballerinas, super heroes, cowboys and pirates.  They come strolling up to your door with their flashlights, glow sticks and little pumpkins as they shout out the words trick or treat.   Some are barely able to speak, some are missing their two front teeth and some are just rambunctious little boys, but whatever they are…they’re not yours.

Halloween has always been one of G’s favorite times of year.  For me it has never really meant much until my cancer diagnosis.  The thought of not being able to dress my daughter up as her favorite cartoon character or G and our son play sword fighting as we walk down the street has turned this seemingly inconsequential holiday into a night of darkness.  That’s right we’re going dark.  We have decided to avoid the trick-or-treaters like the plague.  We are turning off all the lights, hiding up stairs and watching scary movies away from all the horrors of our infertility!  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Praying for Morning Sickness

All women experiencing infertility issues constantly wonder what it would be like to be  pregnant. The mere thought of pregnancy symptoms makes us ecstatic!  While we are in the two week wait, we begin to analyze all of those “symptoms”.  We feel nauseated and we get excited because there is the chance that this cycle worked and we might be pregnant.  We couldn’t be more overjoyed!  As insane as it sounds we look forward to the idea of morning sickness because it means that we have finally accomplished that goal of conception. 

For a woman who has been through a miscarriage she may already know what some of those feelings are like and yearn for them.  I can remember with my first pregnancy having constant nausea during the first few weeks and was thrilled because I knew that I was pregnant.  I was looking forward to being sick as a dog knowing what was coming. 

I know you are sitting there reading this and asking yourself, would she really give anything to have morning sickness?  You bet your sweet ass I would!!!  I would do anything to be a mother which is obvious by the extensive measures and trials that G and I have been through.  I would gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant that I could have a baby.  I look forward to the day that I can experience all of those pregnancy symptoms and carry that healthy baby to term!  Just be sure to remind me of this when you see my throwing up!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Walk a Mile…

There’s an old adage, "Don’t judge until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes."  I can’t think of anything that saying applies to better than infertility.  Often infertiles are told at some point during their journey "You should just move on."  Same goes for miscarriages…"Don’t you think that you have been grieving long enough?"  Though these statements are meant to be helpful they are really just minimizing their feelings.  

No one can tell a person when they are done mourning.  Would you tell someone who lost a grandparent after two months that they need to move on?  For a woman, the sting of infertility will last long after she passes through this phase, whether she goes on to have children or not.  A death is a death, whether it is a physical loss like a miscarriage or the loss of a dream like infertility.  They are still losses and couples need to go through the stages of grief before they can move on.  There is no “time limit” on how long that grieving takes.

I don’t think that you truly ever get over a loss.  There will always be triggers that bring back those emotions during different times in our lives.  We learn to cope and eventually those feelings will lessen so we can live our lives, but you never truly forget!  I know that I will always remember those little ones that we lost and they will always be a part of me.  

October is "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month".  I encourage you to just love and support your friends or loved ones who are on this journey and don't try and move them faster than they are ready to go in their healing process!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Babies, Breakdowns and Bookstores, Oh My!

I decided to put on my big girl panties and venture to the bookstore to find an infertility book that I have been looking for.  Proudly donning my Scarlet Letter “I” I walked up to the clerk and asked where the infertility books were located.  I was determined that I was going to be strong and I was not going to be embarrassed about my infertility!  After she ogled me for a good 30 seconds I was quickly brought to an all time new low as I followed her to the section where the books were located.

As we got closer and closer I could feel the tears welling up inside me.  First we passed the adorable children’s section where they were having story time for all the little rambunctious fidgety children. Next we passed a large display of books on naming your baby.  Finally we came to an abrupt stop directly in front of the children’s play area.  As if that were not enough I had to sift through all of the pregnancy and child rearing books to find the whole two books about infertility that were available.  Of course neither book was the book I was looking for!

I never thought that a bookstore could bring me to tears but boy was I wrong.  After G finally calmed me down I began to think about how asinine it is to have books about the inability to get pregnant or miscarriages next to the books for pregnancy and raising children.  What moron thought this out when they were drawing up diagrams for the store?  That’s like putting the books about alcohol addiction next to the books on making various types of cocktails.  Back to Amazon it is!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Infertile Couple on Our Street!

We can all remember learning about the “birds and the bees” in our school health classes.  We learn about a woman’s monthly cycle, where sperm comes from and when and how pregnancies occur.  We're taught abstinence and using protection to prevent pregnancies but nowhere in those classes did we ever learn that pregnancy may take years let alone never occur.  Knowing that there is only a 20% chance of conception for a “normal” woman each month I continue to be amazed at the number of “fertiles” that surround us on any given day. 

I am positive that there hasn’t been some alien invasion that has brought more “fertiles” to earth over the last 5 years, but at times it sure does feel like it!  You can’t leave the house without being forced to think about your empty womb!  It’s like an intervention where all the pregnant women and new mommies in Virginia grabbed their baby strollers, diaper bags, nursing blankets, babies and toddlers and scheduled a meeting for the exact time that you and your husband go to Chick-fil-a for dinner.  As infertiles we want a baby so badly, it's all we can think about.  The more negative pregnancy tests we have, the stronger those urges become and the more acutely aware we are of our own lack of pregnancy! 

Through this process we have heard from fertility research that thousands upon thousands of couples are infertile and have trouble conceiving.  From what I gather there don’t seem to be many of them in my city…just me!  Our house seems to be the only one without children in our neighborhood.  I'm sure our neighbors want to know what’s up with the creepy couple that lives down the street with a big ass house and no kids.  It's funny how we prepare for the children that we're sure are coming.  We buy new cars and homes to accomodate that bundle of joy that the stork will soon be bringing.

All I want to know is...Who Shot My Stork?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

You Know You're Infertile When...

Ten more signs that you're infertile:

10.  You know what TTC, 2WW, IVF, IUI, HCG and FSH stand for.

9.  You have choked down massive amounts of Chinese herbs in hopes of increasing blood flow to your uterus and ovaries.

8.  You know what it means when the doctor says your lining has a nice trilaminar appearance and can actually see it on an ultrasound.

7.  You have ever been jealous of live stock because even the cows, goats and sheep have babies.

6.  You have calculated what your due date would be if the cycle is successful.

5.  You have stood on your head or raised your ass with a pillow after sex to help make sure the sperm can find their way; because you know they are not asking for directions!!!

4.  You know the exact count of your husband’s last 5 sperm samples.

3.  While watching college football your husband pauses the game to show you that the diagram the announcer drew looks like a sperm.  Ok, so maybe husbands just do stuff like that.

2.  You have walked out of the bathroom in the doctor’s office to find your husband with his legs in the stir-ups just to make you laugh.

1.  You have held your husband’s sperm sample in your bra to keep it at body temperature while waiting for your Doctor to do your IUI!

Monday, October 22, 2012

What Grief Has Taught Me

No two people experience grief the same way just like no two losses are the same.  I have had my fair share of losses while on this journey and my grieving process has been different for each.  I am far from a medical professional but I do know what it is like to lose a baby and here are 5 things that I have learned through my experiences.
  1. Everyone grieves differently (even spouses) – We’ve all heard about the 5 stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance).  The problem with grief is that people don’t necessarily experience it the same way or in the same order.  I would like to say that I was the perfect griever after my losses and went straight down the line of feelings in order and was done.  Since I knew that I was going to lose the baby before the loss actually occurred my stages of grief during my last miscarriage looked something like this:  Denial, Denial, Bargaining, Bargaining, Denial, Denial, Anger, Severe Anger, Denial, Depression, Severe Depression, Depression, accept… I would like to say that I have completed the last stage of acceptance but I can't.  I can say that I am closer than I ever thought I would be.  Give yourself a break and allow yourself to grieve in your own way and your own time.  There is NO RIGHT WAY!
  2. Tell your doctor that you are having difficulties coping – This was a little difficult for me.  One, I didn’t want to admit that I was weak and couldn’t handle things.  Two, I was afraid of what Dr. L would think of me.   I was sure he already thought I was nuts so let’s throw hysterical crying and depression into the mix.  In typical Dr. L fashion he was great.  He was comforting and willing to help.  He had a referral to a psychologist already available for me.  Don’t be afraid to admit your struggles!
  3. There is nothing wrong with therapy – As I mentioned above, I was afraid to admit that I was weak.  If l let down those barriers people would know that I was vulnerable and couldn't handle it on my own.  This was the best decision we could have made to allow us to heal.  G and I began to see Dr. M about a week after this last loss.  Having a third party listen and let us speak openly about our feelings allowed us to grieve together.  Don’t get me wrong, we did not grieve the same way, but together.  Realizing that we were both feeling the same way and that we could be vulnerable together allowed us to make it through some of those darkest moments.
  4. Smile and laugh whenever you can – After suffering a loss we tend to withdraw further and remain in seclusion.  I know we can’t always handle being around others, but we can have some fun.  The truth is we need to have fun and we need to laugh.  There is no shame in laughing or enjoying yourself.  Fear not…those sad times will return, so celebrate the good any time you can.
  5. Grief is finicky and will hit when you least expect it – There are always triggers that cause us to relive our losses.  It’s hard to know what will set us off on any given day.  I have had moments I was sure would be a struggle for me that have turned out to be non-events only to be surprised when the announcement of someone famous getting pregnant brings me to tears.  It’s normal and it will get easier!
Know that you are not alone.  People want to help you just need to tell them what you need!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why Doesn’t Doctor Google Tell Me What I Want to Hear?

First let me preface this with I prefer my Dr. L as opposed to Dr. Google but since I was asked to write about this I thought I would tackle it best I can!!

I am an inquisitive person by nature.  I want to know the ins and outs of the whys and why nots.  When it comes to my infertility I am no different.  How women get pregnant at all continues to baffle me.  How doctors know exactly what and how much to prescribe, when to have ultrasounds, when to trigger ovulation, when to do insemination, when to retrieve eggs and when to transfer embryos is beyond me.  So needless to say I have questions about my treatments.  I'm sure Dr. L is past exasperated by my inquisitiveness because I do ask any and every stupid question that pops into my head! 

We are all familiar with Google and those infamous “Google Searches”.  Infertiles are no exception to asking Dr. Google those burning questions.  “Spotting…is it implantation?”  “Are swollen breasts an early pregnancy symptom?”   “I have nausea can I be pregnant?” “Do you have frequent urination in early pregnancy?”  I think Dr. Google is too wishy-washy.  If you look hard enough you can find all the answers you want to hear and Dr. Google can confirm that you're pregnant.  The problem is depending on where you look you can also find all the answers you don’t want to hear confirming it's just PMS.  Yet we continue to Google those early pregnancy symptoms in hopes of finding that one link that proves that what you're feeling is definitely pregnancy!

I know we all want that early confirmation we're pregnant long before that positive Beta or positive pee stick, but I can guarantee that Dr. Google is not going to give you the answer you are looking for. You will continue to go back and forth during that dreaded wait and drive yourself crazy with every little symptom.  Anyone who has been on this journey long enough knows all too well how pregnancy symptoms mimic PMS.  Throw in a healthy injection of HCG and those symptoms are amplified!  I think I will continue to hope for a success and address my questions to my favorite Doc!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

19 Kids and What?

I was flipping through the channels the other day, looking for something to watch and came across a show called “19 Kids and Counting.”  I am not real sure why it bothered me, but it just kind of took me back and made me a little jealous.  OK, so I'm not proud of those feelings, but the fact that they have 20 kids and I have yet to have one makes me feel like the fat girl at a co-ed pool party!

Why did seeing this show trigger those feelings?  I think it's because the mother was surprised to be pregnant again and said that they had left their family planning up to God.  I think that's great, but if God is handing out babies why isn't He handing them out to me?  Why can they have 20 babies and I can’t even have one?  Suffering with infertility I've had no choice but to leave our family planning up to God, my fertility doctor, oncologist, embryologists and labs.  With all those able hands why have I continued to come up empty when it comes to growing my family? 

I know nothing about the Duggars and I haven’t watched the show prior to this day but from what I gathered they seem like good people and their children seem to be well taken care of.  They aren't abused, starving, neglected or lacking necessities; which is better than some children have it.  So am I really jealous of the Duggars?  No, not really.  I guess if I hadn't had cancer and infertility issues I could have popped out 32 kids and had our own reality show too. 

When I hear stories about the Duggars, Octomom or Teen Mom, they are painful reminders of my infertility and miscarriages.  I wonder why children are born to parents who abuse and neglect them when I could never do that.  Why are children born to parents who never wanted them when I want nothing more? I think I'm going to start a new movement called “Occupy Womb” and begin protesting around the country the inequality when it comes to fertility.  OK maybe not, but still!  We all have struggles and times where things seem unfair and cancer and  infertility just happen to be mine. 

No matter what trials come my way, in the end I have an absolutely loving and supportive husband who is willing to let me whine, cry and complain until my heart is content or until I have no more words or tears left.  We are blessed to have a beautiful home, jobs, great friends and family.  All things considered I guess I am pretty lucky!  One thing is for sure...I know that my children will be so loved and blessed because of what I have been through!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday's Top Ten

10 More Signs You're Infertile:

10.  While shopping at Kroger, you start sobbing uncontrollably when “Baby Love” starts playing over the intercom.

9.  You write your husband a highly emotional message on Facebook because you were feeling hormonal and sappy today!

8.  You are so far past feeling self-conscious that you have asked your infertility doctor extremely embarrassing questions without batting an eye!

7.  You declined an invitation to a baby shower because you had a very serious, highly contagious illness that came on all the sudden. 

6.  You are always the designated driver because you could be pregnant at any moment and can't even remember that last adult beverage you had! 

5.  You have felt yourself up in public on the slight chance that you have breast tenderness and a new pregnancy symptom since you left the house this morning.

4.  Your pharmacy has created a frequent shopper card just for you!  Buy 10 FSH injectable pens and get the 11th one free!

3.  You have snuck off to the bathroom with a little lunch box during a party to give yourself fertility injections.

2.  You are so familiar with the doctor’s office that your sheets and specimen cups are self-serve.

1.  A co-worker sees all your bruises and needle marks and leaves a pamphlet about drug addiction on your desk while you're at lunch.

Monday, October 15, 2012

“I Accidentally Got Pregnant”

While on the elevator at work there were two women in front of me talking when I heard one of them say to the other, “I don’t know what happened…I accidentally got pregnant.”  I stood there pondering her comment; I guess a little in awe really.  As an infertile I know exactly how difficult it truly is to get pregnant.  A “normal" fertile person’s chance of getting pregnant is about 20% with accurate timing of those crucial 48 hours when pregnancy can occur in any cycle.  So how does someone accidentally forget to use protection at exactly the perfect time to conceive?

I have heard about so many women “accidentally” getting pregnant, but never really thought about what that meant until we started having our own struggles.  It’s so funny how G and I had a time right after we got married where we thought I was “accidentally” pregnant.  We were 19 and had only been married for about eight months.  I was on birth control at the time and needless to say we were a little freaked out.  I had forgotten all about that until a few months ago when were in the middle of a cycle and G looked at me laughing one night.  When I asked what he was laughing about he said, “Do you remember when we thought you were pregnant all those years ago?"  Now we would give anything for you to have an OOPS!”

After my elevator ride I started thinking about all the times you hear stories of women and their accidental conceptions.  April got pregnant and wasn’t even trying.  Mary accidentally skipped her birth control pills one day and now has twins.  Joy had too much to drink one night and now she and her husband are expecting their 3rd baby.  For us infertiles we hope and pray for that moment when we can accidentally get pregnant. 

Unfortunately, our accidental pregnancy will consist of us accidentally spending tens of thousands of dollars, me accidentally getting numerous shots in my stomach and ass, followed up by accidental ultrasounds to make sure my follicles accidentally grow to the right size and finally accidentally being inseminated by Dr. L.  I can’t wait for the day that I can announce to everyone how G and I accidentally got pregnant!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Socially Acceptable Responses

This is one that I have gotten a lot of emails asking me to write about.  So here’s my best shot!

When you find out someone is pregnant your first response is “That’s fantastic!”  “Congratulations!”  “I’m so happy for you!”  Like I said, YOUR first response…for infertiles it is much harder to muster up a socially acceptable response.  Honestly for anyone suffering from infertility there is a wide variety of responses that run through your head before you settle on an “appropriate” one.  These thoughts will usually include the words “Are you kidding me?” followed by any of the following internal dialogues:

·        She just got married 4 months ago!
·        She’s not even married!
·        She already has 3 kids!
·        Perfect, another pregnant person!
·        She’s only 17!!!!
·        You are telling me this why?
·        That is awesome that your husband can look at you and you get pregnant.
·        Fantastic…it only took you 2 months!

Mind you some of these responses may become a little more “colorful” if you learn of someone else’s pregnancy after a negative pregnancy test, miscarriage or you are on your period!!

No matter what our feelings are or the internal dialogue that we are having with ourselves we still respond with a “socially acceptable” reply as opposed to becoming hormonal raging lunatics.  We are strong and are able to hold it together without showing our jealous bitter side because we know that in fact it is great news!  I know that one day it will be my turn and I will not want someone to rain all over my parade either!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What is the “Right” Thing to Say?

I have recently gotten some requests from people wanting to know the “right” thing to say to couples going through infertility or suffering miscarriages.  So I have decided to address things from the other side of the fence today.  Let me start out by saying in all truthfulness there is NOTHING that you can ever say that will make things “all right” in these situations!  No two women, couples or journeys to parenthood are the same therefore there is NO one thing that is “right” to say or do in every situation.  However, there are things that you can do and say that might help.  When I say help I mean anything that can be a comfort and a reminder that you love and care for that person.

Things You Can Say:

1.  “There are no words!” – This is probably the best thing that someone said to us after our last miscarriage.  They didn’t try and make the situation better or offer advice they just stated a fact and let us know that they were there and they cared!

2.  “I’m Sorry you’re going through this.” – This statement seems so simple but it can convey so much.  It shows the person that you care without being intrusive.

3. "I'm here for you whenever you need to talk about it."  There will be days that he/she/they might want to talk about their struggles or loss, but allow them to come to you.  They want to know that you are there if and when they are ready.  Be available, but not pushy.  Remember to let them have control of the conversation.  Allow them to vent and just listen.

4. "What can I do for you?" or “What do you need?” – Letting someone know that you are there willing to help out if they need you is a huge help.  They may never ask, but the gesture is appreciated!  Remember that anyone going through these trials is on an emotional roller coaster and their needs shift daily or even hourly so what they need today may not be what they need tomorrow.  It’s important that you take their responses with a grain of salt and understand that those feelings are fleeting!

5.  “I’ll be praying for you.” or “I’m thinking of you.” – These two phrases are ones that G and I have really appreciated over the last several years.  They are simple statements showing that you care, but are not intrusive and don’t require any follow-up.  Whether you are religious or not they can be comforting to a couple experiencing infertility or a loss.

Things You Can Do:

1.  Send them cards – This is one of the best things people have done for me through all of this.  It has allowed us to know that people are thinking about us without making us have to interact face-to-face.  I would encourage sending cards to others, but refrain from being specific about why you are sending the card.  Sending “Thinking of you”, “Praying for you” and “Because” cards are all great ways to show you care.  There is no reason to specify and remind them as to why you are sending the card…especially in cases of a loss.

2.  Bring them dinner or order them a pizza – Offering to bring them dinner or order them a pizza is a great idea and one that we were very thankful for.  Anyone going through this journey knows what it is like to be so consumed with depression, grief and sadness and the struggles that come with just trying to make it through the day let alone “What’s for dinner?”.

3. Offer to run errands, clean the house or mow the yard – Again these are gestures that show that you care and are not intrusive to the couple.  I guarantee that these are things are not on the couple’s radar.  Those things tend to get pushed aside and become burdens when the time comes for them to address the task.

From our own experiences we know that people want to be helpful and just show that they care, but for couples experiencing the trials and losses it is difficult to always accept the offers and be around others during those times.  So I encourage you to take your cues from the couple as to what they need at that specific time!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Did You Really Just Say That?

We have received an overwhelming response to the lists of things to say and not say to someone experiencing infertility issues.  Some of these have been said to me during my journey and some where given to me by friends (R, M, L & E thanks for sharing).  Here are ten more "unhelpful" things to say to someone going through infertility:

1.  Maybe you just want this too badly…you can’t force these things. – What does that even mean?  The fact that I want a child so much is preventing me from having a child?  I can’t force it…Thanks for the reminder as I am not already painfully aware of the fact that I can’t “control” this!

2.  You’re not getting any younger…maybe you should look at adoption. – WOW…Really?  If only I had started this process earlier then my age would not be a factor.  I guess I never really thought it would take 6-7 years to actually bring home a baby; If only I would have factored that into the equation when we decided to have children.

3.  You are just too stressed.  If you stop thinking about it, it will just happen. – Thank you Captain Obvious.  Infertility is stressful?  I was not aware!  I don’t know why I can’t just stop thinking about it everyday.  It’s not like I am getting daily injections and regular ultrasounds to keep my mind off of things.  By the way if stressed people never got pregnant the human race would die out!

4.  Maybe it’s because you are overweight.  Try losing some weight. – Whew…thanks for telling me that I'm fat.  I was unaware that I was on the heavy side.  Don’t you think the doctor who I see 15 times a month would have caught the fact that I'm fat if that was the reason I was not getting pregnant?  By the way…I have lost over 100lbs but thanks for the insensitive comment!

5.  Wow, I never had any troubles getting pregnant. – Congratulations!  I am sure that every infertile wants to know that your husband can just look at you and you get pregnant.  Thanks so much for sharing your good news!

6.  I understand what you mean.  It took us two months to get pregnant. – Yes that is exactly the same thing.  The fact that it took you two months must have been heartbreaking for you.  I mean having to see the negative pregnancy test that one time must have been unbearable for you!

7.  I bet you will be pregnant by this time next year. – Hooray, a fortune teller!  You know what, I will accept this prediction with one condition.  If by this time next year I am not pregnant, I get to punch you really hard!

8.  Take a break and it will happen when you least expect it. – Oh OK, it not happening in the first two years when we were just relaxing must have been a fluke.  Especially since I don’t ovulate without the help of Dr. L…so I am sure that will work!

9.  You are too focused on this fertility stuff…you need a distraction. – I'm sure you are right.  I should just stop doing the FSH injections and get a hobby.  Scientifically speaking that has to be the answer to my infertility woes!

10.  It will happen when it is meant to be – Quite frankly that is something an infertile or someone who had a miscarriage never wants to hear.  Who determines if it is meant to be?  What steps do I take to make sure it is meant to be?  What if it isn’t meant to be?  There is already so much shame, guilt and blame associated with infertility and this statement just fuels those feelings.

It's great that people want to be comforting and helpful but it is important to know what and when to say something.  I hope this blog will help not only those who have been on the receiving end of these comments, but also those who are trying to support loved ones going through this journey. I look forward to all of your additions to the list!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Consuming Weight of Guilt

Negative!  Yep, that is the answer for this cycle.  A BIG FAT NEGATIVE!  We are obviously very sad that this try didn't work, but for me there's more than sadness...there's guilt!  Not being consumed by guilt during the infertility journey is difficult.  There are numerous things a person can feel guilty about during this process. Personally as an Irish girl that was raised Catholic in her early life, guilt just comes with the territory and I tend to take it all upon myself.  (I think guilt is something they teach you very early in Catholic School just to make sure you are full of shame and repentance as adults.) 

So in an effort to release some of this guilt (and yes I know logically that these things are not real) here it all is laid out for the world to see!

I constantly struggle with the guilt of all the heartache and pain I have caused myself and my husband during this journey.  Although G assures me time and time again that this is “our journey,” I feel guilty that my body is broken and it's my fault. I feel guilty that I have not been able to give G a child, especially a son, who could carry on his family name. I feel guilty that we have spent over a ¼ of our marriage struggling with cancer and infertility.  I feel guilty that at times I have neglected the people I love throughout this process.  I feel guilty that I have had limited social gatherings with friends because I have been consumed both mentally and physically with my infertility. I feel guilty that I have caused our parents stress and worry throughout these trials. I feel guilty that I haven’t given them grandchildren to love and spoil rotten.

Quite honestly there are so many more things I could list that I feel guilty for; these just tend to rank highest on my list.  These feelings are very real and ones that I truly struggle with often.  I know that they are bubbling back up inside because of this last cycle being unsuccessful, but why are they weighing so heavily on me today?  It took me a while, but I think I finally figured it out.  It’s because feeling guilty means that I have control over something.  Whether it is painful, stressful or gut wrenching; I have control over it.  If we accept that guilt then we have ownership and we can be responsible for it's success or failure.  Sometimes it’s easier for us to think we have control over something than having to admit that we truly have NO CONTROL!

Guilt is paralyzing and can consume you.  I know all to well what the weight of guilt can do to you emotionally and physically.  I need to let go of all these weights and know that I have NO control over my infertility.  I realize that I am only human and I have done the best that I can with all the challenges, losses and stresses I have been given on this journey.   We are continuing with our last few tries and hope and pray that God will bless us with our biological family, but I am letting go of my hold on this.  I realize that I truly have NO CONTROL over the outcome of these tries.   Letting go of this guilt will free my heart and mind to embrace the future and WHATEVER that means for growing our family!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I know, We Can…

The two week wait is an extremely hard part of the fertility process.  It’s filled with hope, anticipation, highs and lows.  It’s a roller coaster ride of hormones and emotions.  Trying to find the smallest bit of peace and relaxation is crucial.  The problem is it’s not always easy to find.

We can watch TV – Nope can’t do that; everyone on our favorite shows are pregnant or just had a baby.  I’m laughing as I type this because I literally turned on the TV and there is an episode of
Friends where Rachel is having her baby.

We can listen to the radio – Nope can’t do that; the radio station that we listen to one of the DJ’s wives is 8 months pregnant and that seems to be all the morning show consists of now.

We could see a movie at Cinebistro where no one under 21 is allowed – Nope can’t do that; we are surrounded by 52 pregnant women.

We can go out to dinner – Nope can’t do that; the three tables around us all have children who want to look over the booth and play with us.

We can go to the park – Nope can’t do that; there are baseball games, a playground covered with children and kids riding their bikes on the paths.

We can go to a football game – Nope can’t do that; there is an absolutely adorable little girl in her brand new cheerleading outfit in front of us who wants to show us her new cheer.

We can go to church – Nope can’t do that; we are surrounded by new pregnant women, babies crying and young children anxiously fidgeting in their seats.

Obviously I am exaggerating some of this to a degree but for anyone experiencing infertility this is their reality.  It’s so difficult to just forget about it when there are constant reminders.  I would give anything to have a day where I did not have to think about infertility, miscarriages, babies, pregnancy or doctors.  Those days are few and far between, but if we can actually have one it is such a blessing!!!  Praying for a little peace and quiet during this wait!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thanks for Sharing!

“It costs us $750 a week for daycare.”  “We spend $500 a week on diapers and formula.”  “It costs so much to have Kids.”  Oh, thank goodness for telling me just how expensive it is to have a child.  I will run right away and tell G that after numerous years of trying to conceive that I no longer want to have a baby because they are just too costly!  If only someone would have told me before we spent tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments!!!

“I don’t know how I am going to make it through the terrible twos…are you sure you still want kids?”  I’m sorry that your kid just through a hissy fit at the restaurant, but I do appreciate you asking me if I was sure I wanted to have a baby.  I was just sitting here trying to decide if I still wanted to have kids.  I was positive that all children were perfectly well behaved at all times. 

“I haven’t slept in the last 4 years…kids are so exhausting”  “We haven’t had sex since the day I found out I was pregnant…now the baby is 2.”  “Send your kids to daycare and they will be sick all the time.”  Oh thank goodness for telling me all these things…Hold on while I run and tell G that I no longer want kids because they are hard work.  I was under the impression that being a mother was so easy and our lives would not change at all!

Once again, thank you fertile mommies for letting me know that kids are snotty, sticky, poopy, pukey, smelly, whiney, cranky and costly.  I am sure that had you known all these things before you became pregnant you would not have wanted children either.  For the record…bring on all those adjectives to describe what kids are.  We absolutely can’t wait!!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top 10 Signs that You’re Infertile

10. You walk into your fertility doctor’s office and everyone knows your name…and I
       mean EVERYONE! Seriously I can hear the cheers theme song playing every time I
       walk in!!!

9.  You have stood in the mirror and pulled your shirt out to see what you would look like

8.  You make sure you are holding a baby or rubbing a pregnant women’s belly at
      midnight on New Year’s Eve for good luck.

7.  You spelled the word ovulation in Scrabble.

6.  You have had 16 emotional breakdowns just this week!

5.  You have talked to your ovaries or your uterus giving them some positive affirmation.

4.  You know the exact measurements of your follicles or uterine lining on any given

3.  You have Googled “Early pregnancy symptoms” at least once a cycle.

2.  You’re more familiar with the buttons on an Ultrasound Machine than your own
     washing machine.

1.  You have more used needles than a heroin addict.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Footloose and Cancer Free!

In December 2009 I was told that I had Uterine Cancer and would need a hysterectomy.  Thanks to an amazing doctor who was willing to think outside of the box I am thrilled to say that I have been cancer free for two years today!!!   I never thought I would see the day that I could say those words and still have my uterus.  Even more that I would be saying it in the middle of a two week wait!

So how do I celebrate?  My first instinct is to have a giant shot of Gold Schlager and sushi, but since I am in the two week wait I probably shouldn't.  So here is my proposal...all my friends out there (and I know there are a lot of you) each have one drink for me in celebration of my being cancer free.  Then next week when I find out that I am pregnant you can all do one more!!!

I do want to take a moment and just thank my amazing family and friends for standing by my side and supporting me during my treatments.  I also want to thank my AWESOME medical team for allowing me to have the chance of a biological family!

I am so blessed!