Sunday, February 24, 2008


Sometimes I feel like I'm hearing voices. Not the really crazy kind, just the back and forth, play the angles, get you all confused kind.

This is what it sounds like:

If we didn't do any other interventions from this point on, we would still conceive "naturally" at some point. I mean, they don't even know for sure why I'm not getting pregnant now.

But what if you don't. You're young now. If you wait another 3-4 years and then try IVF it may be too late.

I know, that's what I'm afraid of. I just wish it would happen now.

This barren time is here to teach you to be at peace and let go of control.

That's ridiculous. This time is only what I make of it. There's no supernatural reason for the state of my womb. It may be a good time to work on my control issues while I'm waiting, but that doesn't mean it will change anything.

You need to wait until you're really ready to do IVF. It will require more of you than you know. Much more than you've had to give up to this point.

How can I ever be ready? What does that even mean? Ready to submit my body to science in hopes of creating life?

That's a little dramatic, don't you think? "Submit your body to science" it's not like they're going to dissect you.

Maybe not, but it just isn't the way I thought it would be. It's not how I wanted it to be. Why is it so hard?!

You're making it even harder by beating yourself up all the time. Just relax. Take a break if you need to.

How can I? There's no real break until we play out all our options and settle somewhere.

What if you shifted all this energy you're putting into trying to get pregnant into some other pursuit? Explore your creativity, throw yourself into your work, go deep into meditation, become a yogi, go back to school, move overseas. This is still your life. You can do so many things.

But I really want a baby. Sooner than later. Maybe I will do those things, but I don't feel like I can do much of anything until I get some resolution to the baby issue.

Fine, if that's really how you feel then go for it, but not right now. You're still too vulnerable from the disappointments and failures of the past year. Take a month to breathe and gather your strength to start again.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No Mas

This is definitely my least favorite post to write. You know, the one that comes after the two week wait where I have to say it didn't work (again). We tried, we hoped, we waited, we got one line.

I could tell from the way I was feeling on Monday that I wasn't pregnant, but it's hard to say anything before you get the official negative. Everyone wants you to be so positive, like my fatigue and emotional liability could be the result of those blasted hormones or even better yet--pregnancy! I knew it wasn't either of these things. It was just me on the downward spiral to cycle day 1. It's kind of nice to get some warning. It softens the fall a little.

Of course I still took the pregnancy test and had a sliver of hope that I was wrong about the whole thing. That maybe it finally worked, that we would have a baby in November and spend the holidays with family and our newborn baby. Still, I was expecting one line, and wasn't surprised when that's what I got.

After 4 IUIs I think we've played it out. My doc is on vacation, but I talked to her nurse today and I think we're going to move toward IVF. I need some better odds. The disappointment and despair is deep.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

An Omen?

Our time away couldn't have been better. The ocean was beautiful and the weather was sunny with hardly any wind, just like it was supposed to be. It was nice to get totally out of my routine and spend lots of quality time with my man. One day we went beach combing for abalone shells. I'm usually horrible at this kind of thing, but this time I found the most beautiful "baby" abalone shell fully intact. I'm hoping it's a sign of good things to come. Currently I'm 11 days into the wait. I've promised not to pee on a stick until Thursday. I figure with the Provera suppositories my cycle will be longer, so I'm really trying not to get too excited even if I haven't started spotting by then.

If I'm not pregnant this cycle I've decided to blame it on the fact that I ate ice cream at a local creamery while we were away. They had this crazy mushroom ice cream and I had to try it. It tasted more like maple syrup than mushroom. Apparently the flavor comes from candy cap mushrooms that grow in the region--who knew. Anyway, I'm supposed to be avoiding cold/frozen foods since they can drain the kidney yang (I think, or maybe it's just the qui). Don't tell Laurel. I missed my appointment with her and my therapist last week because of our little get away, but it was well worth it.

I'll leave you with a picture of the perfect little abalone shell I found. I hope it brings me good luck this cycle!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I'm about to get a much needed diversion in the midst of the 2ww and I can hardly contain my excitement! It's been too long since MM and I ran away together, so tomorrow we're hitting the road and heading north. I booked a room at a beautiful B&B on the coast. The forecast is mid 60's and sunny with light winds. Not bad for a February weekend.

I'm so excited I almost don't care that I'm still doing these horrible progesterone suppositories three times a day (does that seem excessive to anyone else), or that I'm probably not pregnant this time. I wish we could do this long weekend away thing every cycle to break up the wait. It's nice to have something fun to anticipate instead of just dreading another failed cycle. Diversion is good.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

There's a Baby in the House

I've been thinking about writing about the baby in the house for a while now, but wasn't sure how to do it. I think I didn't want to deal with people's reactions to or judgments about it. But she's been living with us for 2 months now, and she's part of the journey. So here's a little story about the baby in our house.

A very good friend of mine, Nena, got pregnant unexpectedly a little over a year ago. In August she delivered a beautiful baby girl. In September MM and I decided we were ready to move into a bigger place. Around the same time, Nena was looking for a new space for her and the baby. We found a great 4 bedroom 2 bath house and wondered, "What if we lived together?" We decided to give it a go. MM works 4 nights a week until 11 PM, leaving me home and lonely at times, and Nena could use some extra support with the little one too, so it seemed like a good deal for everybody.

We moved in together Dec. 1st, all 4 of us, and it's really been a great 2 months. I think our friends were a little worried at first, "Do they know what they're getting into living with a baby? Won't you miss your privacy?" Honestly I had some reservations too, but so far living with Nena and her little one has been a wonderful gift. I don't even think it's changed the intensity of my desire for motherhood (for better or worse). I want to be a mom and I'm not, she can't change that. What she has done is given me a baby to love and play "auntie" to for now as well as some extra live-in emotional support when things look dark. It's also helped reinforce our capacity to love children that aren't biologically related to us, and makes adoption look like more of an option if this doesn't work out.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Waiting Rooms

I spent the vast majority of my day "off" today in appointments and waiting rooms. I failed to bring any knitting, so I was forced to catch up on celebrity gossip and the economy.

We kicked off the big day with IUI #4. I had a positive surge yesterday (though I always feel like maybe I imagined it), and since it's a weekday we skipped the trip over the Golden Gate and went looking for the Marin office. It was a much smaller scale operation than the main campus in the city, which was nice in a way. There were only two other women that came in and out while we were there. The doctor made some borderline inappropriate comment about how there was only one person that ejaculated in the office today, so not to worry about a mix up. Thanks--I wasn't worried until you said that.

The fourth try doesn't feel very hopeful. I actually started crying a little on the table when he was doing the IUI. Not because it hurt, but because I know what's coming. The unbearable 2ww and, most likely, another negative. It's hard to hope again every cycle when all I get is disappointment.

Luckily we finished up with the RE just in time to make it to my counseling appointment (I really needed it). From there I went to get my teeth cleaned before ending the day with acupuncture. Sometimes acupuncture is like a second counseling session. I shared my frustrations with Laurel today and she helped me see how I might try to shift my thinking about all the meds and procedures and to see them as my ally rather than my enemy. As much as I want to get pregnant, I have resented the interventions it's taking to get there. I'm realizing more and more how that just doesn't serve me well, so I'm going to work on it.

Thanks for checking in and keeping up. Let the 2 week wait begin.

Monday, February 4, 2008

27 yo G 0 - unexplained infertility

That's me. 27 year old gravida 0 with unexplained infertility. I was a little taken aback when I saw it typed out on the ultrasound screen yesterday, but that's the pertinent info. My entire OB/GYN history in one line. I've never been pregnant and we're not exactly sure why.

I guess the visit was worthwhile yesterday. I came home with a little more information and another transvaginal ultrasound under my belt. I also got to see my doctor and touch bases about the plan if this doesn't work. This is only the second time I've seen her. The first time I came alone and the second I brought a girlfriend. I'm sure she's used to having various support people come, but I always feel like I need to explain my husband's absence, "He really is supportive and wants this baby, he just works crazy hours." Instead I didn't say anything and just let her do her thing.

As far as the plan, we agreed to start one more clomid/IUI cycle if this one is unsuccessful, and schedule a visit with her about the IVF options during that cycle. That will bring the grand total of medicated IUIs to 5, plus one cycle of meds with timed intercourse. The news about this cycle is that it's still early (I should have started counting from day one of heavy, bright red flow in case you were wondering), so I just had 4 small (12mm) follicles--three on the left (the side that's iffy) and one on the right. Not to worry though, I'm sure two or three will fizzle before it's ovulation time, they always do with me. If I haven't had a positive surge by Friday I'll call for a trigger. Otherwise I should surge Wed or Th and go in for the IUI the following day.

The last week and a half were pretty rough, but I feel like things are settling out a little now. I don't know whether to blame it on the clomid, the lack of acupuncture, too many overnight shifts for MM, stress at work, or the fact that Mercury was in retrograde. Whatever the cause, it's good to feel stable for now. I don't know how long it will last, but I'm not crying now, and that's a good thing.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What day is it?

When you're trying to conceive, it's not enough to remember that it's Friday, February 1st. It's also cycle day...something. After over a year of trying I still can't get it right. The fact that I'm a nurse has not helped in this regard. Somehow, when you're the one with the problem (not a patient), even things that seemed very obvious and straightforward are no longer so.

Cycle day one. Everyone knows this is counted as the first day of your flow. But what is flow? If I have spotting and light bleeding for 4 days, is that flow? Or is flow that 5th day of heavier bright red blood that only lasts a day? Am I waiting too long to start my meds if I wait until that 5th day or am I starting them too soon when I start on the 3rd day of light flow? I have yet to get a satisfactory answer from any doctor or nurse. Everyones' menses is different, and everyone has a different perception about said menses. Light for me might be heavy to someone else. Why is this so hard?! I thought maybe charting would help, but that hasn't given me any clarity either. After 17 years of periods and 15 months of pretty close scrutiny, I still don't understand my cycles.

So, this round I agreed to an ultrasound on day 8 or 11 (depending on when you start counting) to try and sort things out. That means I'm going to the city on Sunday. The good thing is my doctor is working this weekend, so I'll get to check-in with her. The bad thing is that MM works all day on Sunday. Thankfully a girlfriend is going with me. I just hate going to those things alone. It's hard not to have some expectation, and I never get what I'm expecting. You'd think I would learn to go in with no expectation, but I can't. At least not yet.