Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tales from the Hair Dresser's Chair, Part II

Well everyone, my hair dresser has come up with the solution for my and everyone else's fertility problems. If you're new to my blog, this isn't the first time he's inquired about my ability to have children.

So, I'm sitting there. He says, "What are you doing today?" I say, "I'm going to go home and play in the snow."

"You need kids!" "You'd be a great mom!" Silence.

"Do you want kids?" "Yes."

"Does your husband want kids?" "Yes."

"Have you been trying?" "Yes."

"For a long time?" "Yes."

Now, at this point, you'd think he'd back off right? Wrong.

"Well, my friend (doesn't it always start out that way?) so and so -- he and his wife -- tried for two and a half years and it just finally happened. I'm convinced all it takes is a bottle of cheap wine and a Def Leppard record."

Um. Are you serious? Did you really just say that to me? I've got to say, out of all the advice I've gotten, that's got to be the most original. Gosh, the money and time I would have saved! I just wish I'd asked him first before spending all that money at the fertility specialist!

It's amazing to me how many people offer their advice after finding out you're having problems conceiving. As if we need more advice and guilt. Keep your mouths shut and listen. That's all we want. I guarantee we've thought about whatever you are going to suggest and no, it's not about relaxing and not being stressed. I've had plenty a vacations and relaxed times. Infertility is not a state of mind.

"Most people I've known make an appointment with a specialist and get pregnant right before they go!"

"Uh huh."

Now mind you, this is a 35 year oldish male. This was uncomfortable. I was not getting into my fertility problems with him.

"Keep trying!"

Oh the ignorance of it all. I quickly changed the subject.

So, there you have it people. All it takes is a bottle of cheap wine and a Def Leppard record. Look out fertility clinics of the world, you may just be put out of business.

I never knew that wine and some Leppard could magically make me have a whole uterus. Wow.

I was assaulted one last time by a clerk that day when I stopped by the vitamin store on the way home. "Stress kills off everything in your body. Don't stress if you want to get pregnant." Do you know that saying that makes me stress about having stress?

Thank goodness for advice. Where would we infertiles be without it?

Monday, January 21, 2008


We don't get this too often in Atlanta, so it was a real treat. I am from Florida, what can I say? It was so much fun!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I've been a little down lately. I can't help it. I completed my second cycle on Glucophage and was convinced I might have just managed to get myself pregnant. But alas, as usual ... it wasn't meant to be. I hate hope. It's a thorn in my side. I feel like such a fool for letting myself hope every month. I know better, I always tell myself, but I do it again anyway. Hope is both a blessing and a curse.

As my temperature climbed and various other signs started popping up, I got to live in this euphoric land of what it must feel like for others who get pregnant easily at anticipating a potential pregnancy. For just a couple of days, I indulged in THAT world of joyful anticipation and what ifs and when I'd be due -- a rare guilty pleasure I usually don't dare allow myself to even take a bite of. But for two days, I let my hopes run wild. And it felt good to live in that world for just a little while. Despite knowing the downfall would be harder if I let myself go there, I just plain hoped. I hoped like I'd been trying three months and infertility wasn't part of my vocabulary. I hoped like I'd never been to a fertility doctor. Like I'd never taken a fertility drug. Like my heart had never been broken.

I hoped.

Unfortunately, I was rudely awakened out of my euphoria, but despite my disappointment and sadness, it was worth it to indulge my hopes. It was worth it to dream. Perhaps because for a couple of days, hoping made me feel normal and like the fertiles of the world. Hope makes me crazy and keeps me sane.

What a polarity to manage.

Faxed my charts in to the doctor as he wanted to review them. Apparently I'm a huge nerd, because nurse says I am the only one she's ever had actually do it when asked. They were quite impressed. Nice doctor left a message and said they looked good, to keep sending the info and a kind, heartfelt "good luck to you" as if he was signing off or something. There was something so unsettling in that statement. I can't really explain it. I'm not in treatment and am sort of on my own now (and glad to be), so I get that, but the "good luck to you" just seemed so final. Cut-off. Done. My entire year last year revolved around that place with no success, so it was like, good luck to me? Good luck?! That's all you have to say? I'm not sure what I wanted him to say. I think I'm just being sensitive. I know it was just a phone message and I know I can call them anytime, but you know what I mean. I'm still raw and grieving everything that happened and I guess being sensitive is to be expected.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

So long, 2007

I walked into a hospital on a cold, beautiful Friday, February morning in 2007 to have this test done -- an HSG they called it, and all by myself. It was to be no big deal, and I sure didn't want to make it one. The clomid they had given me hadn't worked in the last 4 months, and I wanted to have the HSG done to check it off my list just to make sure I didn't have any fibroids like my mom did and to make sure my tubes were clear.

After finally getting in the room and on the table, I remember just laying there. And I remember the lights. Oh, the lights. It was so sterile and medical and cold -- much like the doctor who would eventually deliver the news of my fate. As I lay there on the table waiting for the doctor to come in, the angel God sent to me fashioned in the body of a radiology tech helped to calm me a bit. This was the first real diagnostic test I had and somehow now the fact that I was in...fer...tile hit me like a ton of bricks. I was forced to look reality in the face.

The doctor came in. He preceded to try and put the catheter in for 5 - 10 minutes. It wouldn't go in. "These things happen sometimes." Knowing what we know now, the forlorn look on his face was a foreshadowing of what was to come, yet I was oblivious.

It finally went in. The screen was not visible to me, so I was left with just the physical, painful reminder of what was going on. After a few minutes, he left the room and told me he'd be back in a few minutes after he reviewed everything.

Finally, as I lay there with nothing but a gown on, he delivered the news that rocked my world as I knew it. "You have a congenital anomaly where you have a one-horned uterus." As he turned the screen toward me I remember seeing this banana-like shape and thinking, "How in the world could I ever carry a baby in that?" He delivered the news with an almost reserved look of glee on his face as to appear professional, yet I was just a radiology picture to him and he had just found the find of the month. A true rare gem. Only thing is there was a human attached -- me -- who had hopes and dreams and plans that involved that rare gem. My life had just been turned upside down. But by all means, I'm glad it made your day and I've given you something to talk to your colleagues about at lunch. "I know you are going to ask me the question, can I carry a baby in that uterus? I don't have the answer to that. You'll have to ask your gynecologist." Trying to keep it together and calm as I always am, I manage a fake smile and say okay or something. "Are you okay?" he asks. I guess the fact that I looked white as a sheet gave it away. I felt white as a sheet.

The second he walked out of the room, I just balled. I couldn't help it. I sobbed. Right there on the table in a gown with nothing else on. "I'm supposed to have babies!" I thought. Who, by the way, gives news like that to someone in an already vulnerable position? Couldn't he have at least let me get dressed? I couldn't talk I was crying so hard, and the poor tech tried her best to console me, a virtual stranger. "It's just my worst nightmare, I explained." "It doesn't mean it's over, she said. You don't know yet."

As I went in the locker room and dressed, I just cried out in heaves -- you know like you can't catch your breath desperation. It was like an out of body experience. It felt like the room was spinning around me and I was just standing still. I thought it was over. I was confused and had no idea the uterus formed like it did or that there could be problems with it. Nobody ever talks about that. February 16, 2007 ranks in as one of the worst days of my life. I'll never, ever forget that day.

In March, we met with the RE for the first time, April I had surgery, May and June I had failed IUI's -- July another failed try on fertility drugs. I had cysts in August and September that caused me to sit out cycles and in October I spent $2500 on a cycle that I never got to complete because I overstimulated.

Yeah, that was my 2007.

I have cried more collectively in this year than all my 28 years combined. My heart has hurt over and over and over again with each failed attempt, each hope followed only by disappointment. Most days, I just felt as if I were walking wounded -- functioning yet torn up on the inside.

2007 has been an intense time of growth for me, and for that I am grateful. I am not the same woman I was one year ago, and I realize in the pain is usually where the most growth is. And while it's served it's purpose, I'm ready to put it in the books. It will always be "that year" for me.

I am now ready to embrace a better 2008. It's going to better.

Here's to hoping.