Ready or Not?

I think Big Red is beginning to trickle in and so marks the beginning of our For Real FET cycle – as opposed to the mock cycle that we just finished with the Fabulous Parting Gift of an endometrial biopsy.  I was at lunch with Mr. X. this afternoon discussing the upcoming events (SHG, FET, oh my!) and I once again thought: can I handle this if it actually works? Am I ready to begin the rollercoaster of beta numbers and OB scans? Right now, I don’t know.  I really don’t know.

All of this may be academic since there is by no means a certainty that this will work at all, but I wanted to know for myself now if I was ready to handle everything that goes with a month where you have more than a slim chance of getting pregnant.  Am I prepared if this actually works?

When we first started down the IUI road, I was so fixated on getting that phone call that the test was positive.  That was the hardest part, right?  I was blissfully unaware that that was just the beginning of a very, very long windy road.  We took the Wrong Turn of Miscarriage on my 11-week appointment and our ride was over.  It was over even faster this last time.

As I posted before, I can no longer visualize myself getting past the 12-week mark.  It is literally inconceivable to me.  So, there is the temptation to see this as the beginning of yet another sad chapter.  The challenge is not so much getting pregnant now, as it is staying pregnant.  Of course, it was getting to the point where I thought I would never get pregnant and I did.  Now, it is where I don’t think I will have a live baby.

Who knows? Maybe it’s a matter of setting the bar a little farther.

image: windy_sydney


Despite my outwardly blase appearance toward ‘trying’ this month – me trying to get pregnant? Not! Watch me as I down my martini while riding a roller coaster, then soak in a hot tub for an inordinate amount of time, follow it up with pure caffeine pills and finally, hang on for dear life on a ride with a thoroughbred race horse – inwardly, I was secretly hoping for the ultimate surprise: a conception that required nothing more than two people, some wine and a bed. Things were really promising too, since last year after my miscarriage, I had the period that would not end and ultimately got a progesterone shot in the ass to re-set the ole system. This time, it was a picture perfect cycle.

So, on Sunday morning when I noticed some spotting, I knew that once again I was thwarted and we would be back on Dr. Uterus’s roster of Unfortunate Infertile Couples.

A few days earlier, when I was still holding out a teensy bit of hope, I saw a woman walking in front of my house with her two year old. I had seen her before and the beginnings of a tell-tale bulge, but I had chosen to think that her t-shirt was just bunched in an odd way. This time around, though, it was obvious that she had The Bump, and I decided in my infinite wisdom that she had acquired The Bump in the way that most people do – in the privacy of their homes, without drama or fanfare and most certainly without needles, drugs or other paraphernalia. And that depressed me. Who was I to think that we would be able to do that – even now, more than three years since we started down the road to expand our family? What a silly infertile girl you are, thinking that you could get knocked up like everyone else. Don’t you know that you’re Special (and not in a good way)?

Such is the internal monologue of an Infertile Girl.

Once again, I am coming to terms with the fact that I will most likely not be able to conceive on my own, for whatever reason, and that assisted reproductive technology is my ticket to the Baby Game. I used to find this incredibly unfair. Now I’ve progressed to mildly unfair. Progress! Two-plus years of having the same thought over and over again will tend to smooth it out, rought out the edges and leave a smaller (and hopefully less painful) nugget than when you started.

Being that it is CD 1 today, I called Nurse To a T (Dr. Uterus’s right-hand lady) and scheduled the mock cycle for the FET in August. I tried not to think about the fact that we also started trying again last year in August after the last miscarriage and it was a bust. I’m trying not to believe that I am only fertile in February since that is the month when I have gotten pregnant two years in a row now. I start the Estrace tomorrow (that’s a new one for me) and will do the PIO injections starting in July. I had originally decided to go with the capsules (Endometrin?) but two things mitigated against it – expense and we won’t have the results of an endometrial biopsy for almost two weeks, during which time I will be starting up for the real-deal FET. If the Endometrin didn’t work, that would be a terrible time to find out. So, it’s back to the butt shots for me.

And, just for sh*ts and giggles, I’ll pick up an HPT to make certain, before I start pumping my body full of estrogen, that there really is no alien invasion. I’m not expecting a last minute reprieve, but it’s a lot easier to pee on the stick when you don’t think you’re pregnant than when you do – which is probably why I hardly ever indulge.

Never a dull moment, here at the Young and the Infertile. Will she? Won’t she? Tune in to find out!

image: jillhudgins

Fits and Starts

When you think about it, we are all waiting for something at any given point of our lives. I am waiting on multiple things: on myself to be ready to try again with Dr. Uterus, on my mom’s visit this week, to hear from the Golden Retriever rescue organization to see if I passed the phone interview on Friday so that we can graduate to the home visit. Inevitably, though, once the thing that I am waiting for actually comes around, there is always a bit of a let down, as if the anticipation of the thing was far more interesting than the thing itself.

I’ve come to realize that waiting and anticipating are rather shallow activities. They are passive, like letting life wash over you rather than getting out the door and doing something. There is the temptation to view filling up the time with activities as distraction. I think in fact, that it should be classified as living, not distracting yourself while waiting.

To be sure, there are times when waiting is actually very therapeutic to me. If I get to an appointment early, and can sit there and read trashy magazines, it is almost as calming to me as having a purring cat on my lap. There is something about knowing I can sit there and do nothing without the need to justify that I am doing nothing that makes me super relaxed.

Most of the time, though, waiting is self-defeating for me. I feel as if I have wasted the time waiting and anticipating when I could have been out doing things. On the other hand, I feel that if I had just gone on doing the whole living thing, I would be giving the message that I wasn’t that interested in what I was waiting for (never mind that I don’t know who would be getting this message).

With infertility, I feel as if I have been waiting for my life to begin – with the birth of a child. I’m only now beginning to realize what many of you are probably yelling at the screen: my life has been going on the whole time and frankly, it’s been passing me by as I waited and waited and waited. I have read many blogs about waiting during infertility, this notion that your life is in a holding pattern until this one variable can be worked out. I’ve done that for three years and I don’t feel as if I have much to show for it.

So, for me, what does it mean to start living again? Well, it means making plans without first thinking about whether or not I will be pregnant. It means doing things that I want to do because I don’t know when I will have the opportunity in the future. It means getting the dog now rather than after we have kids as Sweetie wants because I want one now. It means just living my life without looking at the calendar.

Like many things, talking (or blogging in this case) is a lot easier than doing. But, I’ve now put it out there. You lovely ladies (and gents) will hold me to it. You will call me out for twiddling my thumbs or throwing pencils in the ceiling. You will remind me to get off my duff and do something.

So, go, Mrs.X! Get moving!

image: dhammza

My HSG, A Pas de Deux in Three Parts

If there was ever a need for a sign that infertility has really warped my sense of humor (which was pretty warped to begin with), it’s that when I was on the table for my HSG and Dr. Uterus was getting ready to get started, all I could think was that we were about to perform a medical pas de deux. I mentioned this to Dr. Uterus and said that the only difference is that I wasn’t wearing a tutu and he wasn’t wearing tights. Much to my horror, he said, “how do you know I’m not?” I warned him not to make me laugh while he was putting delicate things in delicate places.

Having an HSG really is a delicate dance. I had to lie on a very flat, very uncomfortable table with no stirrups, but I still had to lay like I was in the stirrups. Dr. Uterus explained that he was going to insert the speculum and then the balloon catheter, while demonstrating the balloon. I really hate the speculum, and I think I’ve had more than my fair share of cold metal encounters with it. But, such is your lot in life with infertility. In went the speculum, and then the catheter (all of which is pretty much like a typical IUI). It got very uncomfortable with the balloon inflation, but that was just the beginning of the fun.

Once the balloon was inserted, he then pulled the speculum out half way and the radiology technician pulled me up the table while Dr. Uterus was still holding the catheter down below. They got me positioned and I saw the initial picture of the dye making its way through my uterus and the tubes. At this point, it was getting really uncomfortable with major cramping. The last HSG I had was also very uncomfortable because the tubes were completely blocked. This time, it wasn’t as painful, but it was still unpleasant.

When he got all of the pictures that he wanted, he removed the nasty balloon catheter and the speculum. I was able to lie like a normal person again waiting for the cramping to go down. Dr. Uterus and I chatted for a while and eventually I was able to go to the bathroom. Much spotting ensued and I was finally on my way, a full hour after I was supposed to be finished.

The good news: the tubes are open and ready for business. Incoming!

Waiting and Waiting No More

So, I’m actually waiting to get my period (rather than waiting not to get my period). Since I was benched this month due to a cyst and Dr. Uterus pretty much dashed any hope that I would get pregnant this month, I’m just chilling, drinking my beer and waiting for Big Red to make an appearance. So far, just a couple of false alarms, but that also means that day 3 when I can go in for a baseline ultrasound will actually come around when Dr. Uterus’ office is open.

I have decided to stop waiting, however, to begin stitching a Christmas stocking for a future baby. I had bought a kit to make one last year and was going to start it later on in my pregnancy earlier this year. After I lost the baby in April, I couldn’t stand the thought of starting it. But, now, I realize that I am tired of putting things on hold for when I might get pregnant or when we might have a baby. And, I know, to paraphrase those sage ladies of A Few Good Eggs, that if you want it, you will have a family, although it may not be in the manner in which you had originally intended. I firmly believe this and still take great comfort in it.

Remembering this, I know that I can start the project and not feel as if I’m putting the cart before the horse. I had never bought ‘baby’ things because it seemed like I would just be asking for more difficulty. But, I’m tired of being superstitious about this and want to just do what I want to do. And, right now I want to get started on this thing because it’s going to take me forever anyway. I see now that the most important thing is giving myself permission to just start it. I just have to find where I put the damn kit.