Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010 and Hello 2011

I think I'm not alone when I say I'm thankful that 2010 is coming to a close.  It's been a hard year on many levels -- not just because it was the year which we found out we were infertile.  (Though that sucked royally.)  Work has been extremely challenging for both DH and I.  We've also been feeling like it's time for a maybe we need to move...far, far away.  Our lives, professionally and personally, didn't feel like they werer moving forward in the way that we wanted them too.

So with that, goodbye 2010.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

As for 2011, I am NOT going to make a resolution to get pregnant in 2011.  In fact, I'm starting to realize how hard this journey might be (like others), and that we may be many, many years away from ever getting to raise a child.  So I am counting 2010 and 2011 as potentially another notch in the belt.  I hope that 2011 will get us closer to our goal.  And our January 4th appointment with the reproductive urologist is a great way to kick off the new year.  I can't wait to finally get some answers (I hope).

I am both excited and scared for what 2011 will hold as far as our TTC journey is concerned.  My biggest wish is that we can get DH's swimmers up to a level where we'd be candidates for IUI.  That would be an absolute dream come true.  I have a lot of reservations about IVF, so if I can avoid that bridge, I'd like to.

Other non-IF resolutions for 2011?  Go on vacation!!  DH will finally be wrapping up a huge project he's been working on for the past year, which means (hopefully) that he will finally get paid!  And everyone knows all you need to get pregnant is to go on vacation, right?? :)

Happy New Years to all of you, my friends.  May 2011 be your year!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Clarification on Pregnancy Announcements

I would like to clarify that I love pregnancy announcements from my IF friends.  Keep those ones coming!  Especially all of you waiting on good news now.  (I am praying for you all!)

And not that I should discriminate and be less happy for my fertile friends, but it's just a bit more painful having to hear about those, knowing how easy it probably was to get there.

I'm hoping that one day will be my day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No More Pregnancy Announcements Please

I started taking baifung wan today. It's a Chinese herbal medicine for general female health.  My grandmother says that when she was my age, that's what women took when they were trying to get pregnant, and it worked for a lot of women.  Even though our issue is mainly male factor, I figure I could use a little help as well.  My cycles are on the long side, and this stuff is supposed to regulate my cycle to 28 days, among other things.

In addition, I'm trying to convince my husband to start consuming goji berry.  It's another TCM thing...for general male virility.  My husband, being suspicious of all of this stuff, has conceded to taking it as long as he can research it, and make sure that it's not poisonous.  (It's not.  People have been taking this stuff for 2,500 years.)

I think he and I are finally starting to come around to being on the same page as far as treatment is concerned.  I have been pushing TCM as a first step, assuming no major issues that require surgical intervention.  I've been begging and pleading with him to consider TCM as I am very hesitant about jumping right into IVF.  There is risk involved, and a lot of ethical dilemmas.  This has been a huge sticking point for us, but I think he's coming around, and I'm very grateful for that.

Otherwise, I've been up and down with my moods.  Infertility is bad enough, but I've also been dealing with a lot of stress at work, which doesn't help things.  2011 promises to be crazy at work -- even crazier than this past year was -- which makes me wonder how I'll ever fit in the doctor's appointments and fertility treatments I'm sure we'll be seeking this year.

On top of that, everyone thinks it's cute to announce their pregnancies during the holidays, so there seem to be more of those than usual.  I have been alright with most of them, but one of the announcements today from a friend at church just sent me over the edge.  This couple sends an annual Christmas letter with a retrospective on their past year.  This year's was a two-pager all about their 1-year-old's accomplishments.  On a month-by-month basis.  (Yeah, just shoot me now.)  Anyway, I just had a sneaking suspicion that the end of the letter would include a pregnancy announcement.

I was right.

I'm sorry if I sound on the edge of bitter (I promise to try to write a more positive post next time).  I just can't help thinking life is so unfair.  We all have our hardships, but this one seems to blow really hard in particular.

With the holidays, I can't seem to stop thinking about where I was last year, and where I thought I would be at this time last year.  I had just finished my last pack of BCP last December, and was getting ready to start trying.  I was convinced I'd either be pregnant or holding a newborn by Christmas this year.  Infertility had never even crossed my mind.  It's been a bitter reality to have to deal with this emptiness and void, when all around me, other people seem to be celebrating the birth of new life and adding to their families.

Geez, just writing this is bringing me to tears.  I better sign off, so that I'm not continuing to stew.  The bright side is that my husband's appointment with the urologist is nigh (I feel like we've been waiting an eternity for this appointment).  I hope that we will start getting some good answers, so we can finally move forward on this IF train.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dreams Can Come True

I wish I had more to say, but I feel like I'm just holding steady these days.  Not much we can do until my husband's appointment with the reproductive urologist in the beginning of the new year.

Until then, we're just trying on our own (ha).  My husband's doesn't hold out much hope that we'll conceive naturally and neither do I.  At least the rational part of me doesn't.

But deep down, in that little girl place inside of me, I believe that dreams can come true, and that the Lord really can perform a modern day miracle.  Especially one that would coincide with the Christmas holiday (how beautiful would that be).  I'm being so foolishly hopeful, I know, but I can't help it.  I am asking for a miracle.

In the meantime, I am breathlessly reading and following along with all of IF friends' blogs (see my blogroll).  Many of you are awaiting results of IUI's and IVF's, and I am waiting along with you.  I may not get a Christmas miracle this year, but I am hoping, my friends, that you will get yours.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Today's Encouragement

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Friday, December 10, 2010

Just Sayin'

I remember when we first heard my husband's numbers were low, we were pretty bummed out.  But then I started reading other blogs where instead of millions of sperm (DH has 6 million moving ones in one squirt), you're talking hundreds of thousands.  Suddenly, our situation didn't seem so bad.

But then I started, hundreds of thousands of sperm isn't enough to get the job done?  Even 6 million isn't enough?  You need, on average, 200 million to be dispatched just so one lousy sperm can fertilize the egg?

Really, God?

What the heck?  Men are so inefficient!! :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My HSG Experience

Praise the Lord -- it's over!!

...and it wasn't bad at all.  I feel a bit sheepish now for freaking out so much.  I took 4 Advil before the procedure (2 two hours beforehand, and 2 one hour beforehand).  The doctor and nurse tech were both so nice, and so understanding.

The beginning felt like a regular gyno exam, where they insert the speculum to prop open my vajayjay.  Then they swabbed the cervix with three different solutions.   Then he inserted the catheter through the cervix and inflated some sort of balloon thingy (I think to open it up and allow the dye to flow through).  At that point, I felt some cramps, but it wasn't bad at all.  It just felt like I had my period.  Then he injected the dye, which I did not feel at all.  But my tubes were clear (oh yeah -- that's the good news!!), and so that might have been why it felt so painless.

Anyway, it was so not a big deal, but thank goodness I heavily self-medicated beforehand.

Seems like all is clear on the female front.  Looks like our issue is just isolated to a male factor at this point...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


You know how they say there are stages of grief?  I think I'm going through them.  Part of me is kind of amazed -- like, that whole thing about stages of grief isn't just an urban legend?  It's for real??

Well, right now I think I'm going through the depression stage.  What happened??  I was doing so well, feeling really optimistic.  Now, I just feel depressed -- and I don't mean sad, I mean depressed.

I sort of look at my days and wonder what's the point to it all without children in the picture?  Without realizing it, I think my whole life has been leading up to children.  When I was single, I worried about getting married because then I'd know who I was procreating with, and what my kids would look like.  I also wanted to make sure I was married well before I would be too old to be procreating.  Once I was married, the career path I took, the financial decisions I made, all revolved around how that would fit in with me having kids some day.  Now, I just wonder what all that planning was for?

I feel aimless and adrift.  I feel so far from the finish line -- whether that be biological kids, or whether that be an acceptance about adoption or child-free living.  I can't see the forest for the trees.  Who knows when I'll ever find my way out. 

I feel like I'm neither here nor there.  It's disconcerting.  It's unsettling.  It's disorienting.

Why me, God?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What's It Like to be Pregnant?

I have never been pregnant before.
The good news is that I have never miscarried.
The bad news is that I have never been pregnant.

I'm sad that I may never know what it's like to be pregnant.
I'm sad that I may never see a double line on a pregnancy test.
I'm sad that I might always see "Not Pregnant" on a pregnancy test.
I'm sad that my best friend may never get to throw a baby shower for me.
I'm sad that I may never make our parents grandparents,
That I may never make my husband a father,
That I may never get to be a mother.
I'm sad that I may never get to buy a onesie or a bib except for someone else.
I'm sad that I may never experience all of those awful pregnancy symptoms pregnant women keep complaining about.
I'm sad that I may never get to complain about them too.
I'm sad that something that should be free and easy, will probably be expensive and difficult for us.
I'm sad that instead of "when we have kids," I now say "if we have kids."
I'm sad that when I go in for ultrasounds, I never get to take home a print-out.

There's no point when there's nothing there.

I'm sad that conception for us will probably take place in a petri dish instead of inside me.
I'm sad that I may never get to say those two little magical words, "I'm pregnant."

Monday, December 6, 2010

More Testing

...this time the results were good.

Today, I went in for my FSH bloodwork and an ultrasound to check out my follicles.  I'm on Day 4 of my cycle.

My FSH level is at 6.18 (typically they look for levels of less than 10).  They counted 19 follicles (typically they look for 8 or more around now).

So far, so good.

On Thursday, I have my HSG.  Definitely nervous about this one.  What was everyone else's HSG experiences?  I'm reading through some other women's HSG experiences, and am getting very scared!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Are We a Family?

That's the question that I asked my husband the other day.

I'm not sure.  Does my husband and me and our dog count as a family?  Or are we just a couple until we have kids, and then we're a family?

There is something really special about two people, who stand far apart in the genetic spectrum, coming together and producing offspring that genetically tie them together.  Is that what makes a family a family?

What if my husband and I never have biological offspring, or any children for that matter?  Are we just two untethered people bobbing along in life?

I think there's a danger in thinking that, and I don't think that's the case.

The bible tells us that when man and woman come together, they become one flesh.  In essence, they are joined inextricably and are a family unit from that point on.  To think otherwise is to forgo what the bible says, and to idolize the concept of having children.

By the way, in case you were wondering, my husband's response to the question: "Even if we never have any children, you will always be my family."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Quick Update

Been in a crappy mood today.  Finally figured out why -- I'm getting my period in the next day or two.

Sorry I've been a bit MIA.  Had a week off for Thanksgiving, which was a nice getaway from the TTC drama.  DH's second S/A came back just as bad as the first -- motility was slightly better, but nothing to write home about.  Our RE referred us to a reproductive urologist, whom DH will be meeting with at the beginning of January.  We're bummed it can't be sooner, but what's another month?  I feel like we've lost so many months already.

I've been breaking the news to my two best friends, so they know where I'm at, and can be praying for me.  It's a relief that they know.  Every time we met up, there were the expectant, "so are you pregnant yet" looks or questions?  All well-intentioned, but I'm glad I don't have to face that anymore.

We'll probably be telling our church friends starting in the new year as well.  Many of them don't even know that we're trying.  I'm realizing that I can't do this on my own, and that that's what friends and family are for -- to support you, love you and pray for you.  I'm actually looking forward to being more open.  It makes infertility seem so shameful when you're not able to share it.  This is just how I feel.  I understand that there are those who have not chosen to share this information yet.  It's a personal decision for all of us.

Anyway, it's weird, but I'm sort of looking forward to getting my period.  It means I can go in for my blood test for FSH, and that I can also schedule my HSG.  I'm nervous, but excited to get it done.  Hopefully there will be no problems!

That's it for now.  Hope the rest of you are doing well and had a great holiday.