Sunday, May 29, 2011

Oh, This is Gonna Suck

There's an infant cattycorner across the aisle on the plane.  I already have tears in my eyes.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Bit of Relief

It did at least get easier to deal with the Baby Brigade when I found out that one of them was adopted and talked with his mom about her IF journey.

Baby Brigade

I am enjoying the quizbowl tournament that I am at, seeing old friends and making new ones.  Unfortunately, I didn't know when I volunteered to help with the info desk that it was the home of the Quizbowl Baby Brigade.  I keep getting asked if one of them is mine.  At least one friend is now there who will be a daddy after 8 years of him and his wife dealing with IF, so he gets it better than most.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guys and Infertility

As you may have noticed, there's not a whole lot out there on infertility from the guy's perspective.  As I come across any, I make sure to show them to DH in case he can get anything out of them.  So far, he hasn't found any of them to be much help, but he and I will both be interested to read a book we found out about (more on that later).  Even though DH didn't find them helpful for what he's experiencing, though, I wanted to share what I've found so far in case they can help anyone else's husbands.

The first article I came across was rather unexpected.  I was going through an old issue of Glamour that I hadn't read yet in order to throw it in the recycling, when I found this article written by Joe Conason about the experience he and his wife had with conceiving twins through IVF.  Joe wrote about trying to support his wife (and the mistakes he made in doing so), about the cost of IVF, and about the anxiety that he and his wife experienced through the failed attempts and then through her pregnancy.  I thought that Joe did an effective job of weaving together his own story with commentary on the state of infertility in America.

The second resource is one that I found on Melissa Ford's masterwork, Lost and Found and Connections Abound, or LFCA for short.  The LFCA is a sort of home base for the ALI (Adoption, Loss, and Infertility) blogging community.  It helps to connect bloggers with each other and share news and needs for support.  One of the sections of the LFCA is a listing of new ALI blogs, and on there I found Hope to be Daddy: A Guy's Infertility Voice.  It's an interesting blog both because of being from the guy's point of view and because this is a guy who really wants to be a father and is struggling with his own feelings about infertility rather than just struggling to deal with his wife's feelings.  Women are more likely than men to be the first one ready to start trying to conceive, the first one to become frustrated with conception does not happen, and the first one to want to seek treatment.  It would not surprise me if many men were to find the author of this blog hard to relate to because of how much he wants to be a father, but from my perspective, it's refreshing to see.

The other resource I've found so far is one that DH and I both heard about from different channels.  I saw a link on another infertility blog to this interview with comedian Marc Sedaka about his book What He Can Expect When She's Not Expecting.  I showed the article about the interview to DH, and he said that he had heard the same story on the news while he was driving.  I'm planning on picking up a copy of the book for us within the next few days, and I'll want to read it once DH is done.  I told him I was interested to see what Sedaka says to guys, similar to how I had snagged and read the copy he had been given of The Groom's Survival Guide.  I'll make sure to share my thoughts once I get a chance to read it, never fear!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I watched my cousin graduate from UMBC today.  I was so filled with pride that I could burst, after knowing how hard she worked to get to this day.  I'm extremely proud of my cousin and my Brother.

She wasn't the only one to graduate today, though.  I graduated from therapy too.  My therapist had said during my last session that, before I had had my budding confidence crushed at the beginning of April, she had been thinking that I might be about done with therapy.  Y'all have seen my progression since then.  The biggest change has been that I've been able to accept that, despite the people telling me otherwise, I'm actually doing what I'm supposed to and dealing with this like I'm supposed to here.  Tonight, my therapist told me that she thinks I don't need her anymore.  I can, of course, make an appointment if I do need her, but she thinks that I am reacting in a healthy manner to a situation this traumatic.  Therapy can't make this any less traumatic, and therapy has done what it can to help me know what is normal and what is legitimate and to help me access the resources that I have available to me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Open Letter To Anyone Who Thinks I'm Obsessing About This Whole Baby Thing

(which I do not expect to be any of the regular readers of this blog!  However, this blog is the place where I feel safe posting this)

Yes, you're right.  I do think about pregnancy a LOT of the time.  I do think about the fact that I may never be a mother a LOT of the time.  And it does seem like anything can remind me of this and upset me.  I do cry a lot.  I do get upset often.  And I do these things despite being in therapy and on meds to help me deal with it.  Yes, I am well aware that having a lower stress level would be good for me, DH, and my family and friends.  However, I have some questions for you in return.

Would you tell someone waiting to hear whether they have cancer that they should stop thinking about their possible diagnosis and courses of treatment?  Would you tell someone who is HIV+ that they are obsessing about their T-cells?  Would you tell someone with fibromyalgia that they can't go through life noticing most of the people around them being able to function without pain?

I would not dare to make these comparisons on my own.  After all, my tendency is to believe that I'm the only one who is too weak to handle what normal people handle every day.  Research has shown, however, that the stress levels experienced by women facing infertility are consistent with those experienced by people with cancer, HIV, and chronic pain.  Heck, of the two commenters on this blog post  who have experienced both cancer and infertility, one found the infertility to cause feelings very similar to when she had cancer, and the other found the infertility to cause WORSE stress than the cancer!  I know that is hardly a representative sample, but the anecdotal evidence here does support the research that has already been done.

I'm not trying to say that I (or any other infertile) has it worse than someone dealing with a life-threatening disease.  What I am saying is that infertility causes a significant level of physical and emotional trauma and that this deserves to be recognized.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Thought for the AAR

This is the end of what I wrote to a pastor friend about this morning:

"Some people gave me general comments about liking the sermon, and others said that they appreciated my honesty or wished me/us luck.  I'm trying not to worry about it having been TMI for people; instead I'm reminding myself to trust God to use what I said to lead to positive ends and not negative ones."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

After-Action Report

The sermon went well this morning.  I still don't think it's as good as the one I did last year, but people said that they appreciated the message about taking the steps that we can to change the world.  People responded positively to my self-disclosure with regards to the infertility.  Some people thanked me for being open about the issue, and 2 women shared that they had dealt with infertility, too.  One woman that I don't know well told me that her 4-year-old is her "miracle baby."

On another note, I've had a couple of interesting experiences watching movies tonight.  For one thing, I realized that I need my own copy of Bring It On.  I came to this conclusion when I was watching it on MTV again tonight and I flipped off the tv as I went to the kitchen during another commercial for 16 and Pregnant.  The other interesting thing has been watching Julie and Julia while thinking about and writing in my own blog.  One thing I appreciated when I started this blog is that I got at least some support and feedback right away, unlike Julie.  Right now the movie's at where it looks like Julie and Eric might be breaking up and her mother tells her not to stop the blog, after having been negative about the blog in the beginning.  One thing I mentioned in my sermon is how my dad doesn't think I should do this blog, how he thinks I should keep my private life private.  Somehow I don't see him turning his opinion around the way Julie's mom did.


I'm outing myself and DH to my church as infertile in about 10 hours.  Some of the people we go to church with know about the infertility, but many do not.  Some of that is because there are a lot of members who I don't know, either because of our merge with another church or because they have recently joined.  Some of it is because I'm not sure the members of the church who remember me as a toddler really want to think about me in the way.  A large part of it is that I did not want to spread DH's business all over the church.

As I was writing my sermon, though, I was writing about changing the world despite encountering resistance.  As DH was reading what I had so far, part of his feedback was that it would be better if it was more personal and had more background.  DH and I discussed whether or not to include this type of background in the sermon.  DH ended up not having an opinion on whether to mention it or not, so I decided to do it.  At this point, I'm more concerned about the sermon overall than I am about the infertility aspect, but we'll see how things go overall.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What Comes Next

Before Blogger had issues and deleted comments on some posts, someone had asked whether I was going to go to a fertility specialist in August.  The short answer to that is, I sure hope so.  DH is supposed to switch to the new company (the one he should have switched to in December) at some point in June.  Provided that happens as scheduled, I'll be able to be on my company's insurance by July 1.  Figuring on it probably taking a few weeks to get in for an appointment, I'm guessing it'll be August before I can get in to see an RE.

Now, that doesn't mean that DH and I are trying again.  Or that we will be by August.  Or that we will be this year.  But it does mean that I'll be able to start finding out if there's an identifiable problem on my part and addressing it if there is a way to address it without trying to conceive.

On a side note, I wish MTV would stop with the commercials for 16 and Pregnant and for First Response pregnancy tests and for lawyers for antidepressant-related birth defects.  I just want to be able to watch Bring It On without babies every damned commercial break!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Damnit, why can't I make it through a day of work without retreating to my office before bursting into tears??

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Support Group Meeting and the Possibility of Progress

I had definitely hoped for more from the support group, but it was good for what it was.  The basic issue is that it has just started--this was only the second meeting ever (which explains why I hadn't been able to find a group anywhere near me when I had looked before).  Because the group has just started, I was one of only 2 people there.  There were other people who had expressed interest in coming, but none of them came yesterday.

The group leader, R, is really nice.  She's in the same field as I am, so we both know what it's like to work around a bunch of women and always be seeing someone pregnant at work.  I shared with her info I've learned about adoption, and she shared about how few eggs women really have at 35 (which really makes me want to kick DH's ass into gear and smack anyone who says, "oh, you have tons of time still!").  It was really nice to be able to talk in person with someone who's going through this.  I really appreciate the support I get online, but it was nice to have support in person too.  I told R about the ALI blogging community (no, Kerry et al, not that ALI, Adoption/Loss/Infertility), so hopefully she's able to find support out in the blogoverse too.

R was telling me about how easy it was to start the group (she had been going up to Bel Air for one).  We talked about the possibility of me starting one down in Annapolis, since Severn is still a hike.  I decided I'd rather contribute to the success of this group first, though, before possibly starting a splinter group, especially since I don't really know any local infertiles.  Katie, this is one time I definitely wish you were back home instead of in the ATL.

In other news, DH was finally told that he should be switching companies next month.  So hopefully I can switch insurance in time to maybe have the new insurance by the beginning of July.  I need to talk to our HR person this week to make sure we're set up for the switch, since she goes on maternity leave by the end of the month.  If I'm "lucky," around August I can start figuring out what's wrong with me.  August will be 2 years since we started trying.  Even though we're not trying right now, we're not preventing anything, so it still kinda counts.  I know 2 years isn't long compared to some people's journeys, but that is also 2 years without any clarity or answers, and it will be nice to be able to start searching for answers even if we're still not doing anything with the answers we get.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Here Goes...Something to make the Nothing more bearable

I found on the website a relatively local IF support group (relatively local meaning driving to the other end of the county, rather than halfway across the state).  First meeting since I found the group is tonight.  Had therapy tonight, but I switched that to next week so I could go to the support group.  Hopefully it will help.

In other news, I will be writing frantically this week because I am, for the second time in my life, doing the sermon (or, since I'm Methodist and not ordained, "bringing the message") this Sunday.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Worst Day of the Year

Screw this.  I'm ignoring Facebook and going back to bed.  The worst part was seeing posts about people for whom this is their first Mother's Day as a mother, whether they are pregnant or just had their baby.  I'm glad they have this day to be cherished, and it's not like I think people shouldn't be posting about their day, I just can't deal with looking at it, so I'm taking care of myself.  I'm not so much bitter or angry as I am hurting.  Not hurt by anyone, just hurting about the situation.

I do really appreciate that if I got my butt in gear and went to church, that my pastor believes in celebrating the women of the church on this day because we all act motherly to someone.  She set it up so all the ladies get a flower, knowing (not just because of me) that plenty of times when women don't have a child, it's not by choice.  At this point, though, I just feel drained and want nothing more (ok, almost nothing more) than to go back to bed and hibernate and hope to goodness that I don't have another dream like yesterday.  For one thing, even with my pastor giving that consideration, I don't think I could get through church without crying, and DH went to see a friend who preaches elsewhere, so it would be just me.  I'm sure I'll get some churchiness in later today working on the sermon I'll be delivering next week when I pinch hit for the pastor.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

That's what I get, I guess

So, I was sleeping in this morning, just got up about 10 minutes ago, and only got up then because I have a wedding to be at in 45 minutes.  I love sleeping in.  I hate mornings, and I like my days to start at the crack of noon whenever possible.  I enjoy and relish in my morning sleep when I can have it.  This morning, though, part of me wishes that I had needed to get up earlier, because then I wouldn't have had the dream I did.

I dreamed I got a BFP.  In the dream, I just tested for the hell of it, because I had a test that was about to expire.  I wasn't expecting anything because, like in real life, we weren't officially trying or doing treatments or anything.  But I got a BFP.  I was thrilled at first, of course, but then I started getting REALLY frightened about the possibility of a miscarriage.  I got as far as thinking of how hard it would be to not tell people, and then the dream changed to something else.

Even though I didn't wake up directly from that dream, it still HURT to wake up, remember the dream, and know that it was just a dream that has a high chance of never coming true.  Serves me right for sleeping in when there's things I could/should be doing.