Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Welcome back, Herr Doctor. How was space?

So, um, yeah, I've been gone a while.  After looking through LFCA to catch up and seeing Keiko's APB for missing bloggers, I'm half surprised I didn't end up on there!  There has been a reason for the 4 month absence, though.  For those I don't know in person and for those I know in person but hadn't caught up with to tell, I'm now separated.  I made the choice to leave DH, and we have been separated since the beginning of June.

Before I say anything else, I want to emphasize that DH and I are friends again.  Yes, already.  DH is a very good man and a very good friend, and I care about him very much.  However, he is not the man that I should be married to at this point. 

One thing that has been key to me, both as I made the decision to leave and since then, is the deep sense of peace that I have had that, even if I don't know when or how, I will be a mother someday.  That sense of peace has stuck with me, to the point where being around babies and pregnant women doesn't actually upset me anymore.

But what does that mean now?  After all, this is an infertility blog.  And I'm still not a mother.  But I'm not trying to conceive either.  Where do I fit in the infertility community?  There's a whole room in Mel's Blogroll for special situations and a category in there for "Family Building When Single"...but I'm not building a family at this point.  I guess it's a good thing that I never took myself out of the "No Longer Trying/On A Break" room any of the times when I thought the IVF cycle would happen.  I didn't move to the "General Infertility and Treatments" room when I first thought I would cycle because I didn't get around to it.  After that cycle got canceled just before the first shots, I didn't want to jinx it any of the other times.  After that I couldn't believe that a cycle would actually happen until the first shot (although that didn't seem to help much each time it got postponed).  But at any rate, I don't really know where I fit in anymore.

I was considering just letting the blog die.  But my friend Katie pointed out that it could help other people to see a story that doesn't end with being a mother or living as a couple child-free.  So I decided to keep posting.  I don't know how often I'll post or how active I'll be as a poster or a commenter, but I am going to keep this blog going.  We'll see what happens on this crazy adventure called life!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I've been listening to a LOT of 90's stuff lately.  My satellite radio has been stuck on the grunge/alternative station for about 2 weeks, especially since there's a lot of good stuff to crank up on there.  And on Saturday I was out with my oldest friend and there was a 90's cover band, Rollerblades!  So here's a couple songs I've been singing along to lately.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones "The Impression That I Get"...I've been cranking this one up a lot!

Fastball "The Way"

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Advocacy Day - Yes, Finally

All right, guys, I'm finally getting around to writing about Advocacy Day.

Like I said last week, there was a welcome reception downtown on Tuesday night.  I got to meet Keiko Zoll, as well as several other great ladies, and I went out for tapas with two of them afterwards.  There had been snacks at the reception, but I wanted a little more, and the three of us had a great time!  Plus, I was able to pass along a book I was done with to one of them (brought it to her the next morning).

Wednesday morning, I got downtown bright and early for our training session.  The keynote speaker was Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, who had been the youngest woman elected to the Senate. 

We then got instruction and guidance on what to say and how to handle questions.  There were two bills that we were advocating for, the Family Act of 2011, a tax credit for 50% of costs associated with in vitro fertilization or preserving fertility for cancer patients, and to extend the Adoption Tax Credit, which is set to expire on December 31 unless it is renewed.  We met with the other advocates from our home states to determine who would cover what talking points for meetings with multiple constituents and to see who wanted to drop by offices of Representatives who did not have a constituent present. 

I said that I would visit Rep. Andy Harris' office, since I live right next to his district.  I met with his tax policy staffer, since the healthcare policy staffer was unavailable, and I explained the impact of infertility and of the lack of coverage for infertility to key groups in the state such as military personnel, federal employees, and employees of small businesses.  I figured those were three good areas to emphasize, with Harris being a Republican.  Since I knew that the staffer was not expecting this and would have to talk to Rep. Harris before saying anything, I got his card and said that I would follow up with him to find out what Rep. Harris thinks of the bills and if he has any questions.  I did make sure to get a picture outside of Rep. Harris' office before trotting off to lunch with a close friend.

After lunch, I had an hour before my meeting with staffers from Steny Hoyer's office, so I walked around the Capitol and did some gawking.  I can't believe that I had never been, despite all the field trips to DC that every kid in Maryland has.  I did take a picture of his office entrance.  He does get the deluxe accommodations, being the Minority Whip.

For this meeting, I had a consultant with me, one of the ones that RESOLVE has hired to help with the lobbying for the Family Act of 2011.  We met with two of Rep. Hoyer's staffers that cover healthcare policy.  One of them was 6 months pregnant, which the consultant had mentioned ahead of time as an aside (since he knew her from other projects).  I was glad to have the warning so I could prepare myself!  We met in one of the big pretty conference rooms, although the grandeur was somewhat spoiled by having to go to the other end of the table to avoid the crumbs from a lunch meeting.  The main thing that I took away from the meeting was that the main work and opportunity for the bill to pass would be after November, once Congress reconvened with its new composition.  Before leaving, I got a pic with the two staffers. 

After this meeting, I had about an hour and a half before my next meeting, with a staffer for Senator Mikulski.  There had been too many advocates from Maryland for each of us to meet with both senators, since the meetings had a max of 10, so I chose to meet with Senator Mikulski's office and not Senator Cardin's.  My cousinish (she's the sister of my cousin's husband) works in the HR department of one of the Senate office buildings, so I went to hang out with her for a little while.  Dianna introduced me to her coworkers and showed me the little subway that runs between the office buildings and the Capitol. 

For the meeting with Senator Mikulski's staffer, I was with three other advocates and another consultant (a different one than before).  One thing that the consultant was trying to encourage was for Senator Mikulski, as the chair of a subcommittee on children and families, to hold a field hearing about infertility at Shady Grove Fertility Center.  Sorry, I did not get a picture in or outside Senator Mikulski's office.  There was a debrief session at the end of the day, but I didn't go because it was on the other side of the Capitol from my last meeting and mostly overlapped with it.  Last picture for this post is one that was actually taken before I went to Rep. Harris' office, of me in front of the Capitol. Overall it was a great day.  I enjoyed meeting people, and it felt good to be doing something real to advocate, something more than just having this blog.  I don't know how much of a difference the blog makes, but if we can get the Family Act passed and the Adoption Tax Credit renewed, that actually helps people.  And that's a big deal.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Music Monday # 18 and NaBloPoMo Day 30 - Scars

I know, I know, I owe you guys a post all about how amazing Advocacy Day was, and I promise I'll get there!  But it is Music Monday and the last day of NaBloPoMo covering poetry, and so I want to get a post in to cover those.  I heard this song yesterday on the Christian rock station, and it linked well with the last poem that I had wanted to make sure to share.


A black cloud descends,
Blue sadness and black fatigue
As it tightens around me;
It binds my arms,
Makes me unable
To fight its chafing effects.

My life no longer belongs
To me.
Scars appear,
Tears fall,
Yells come from my throat,
But it is the cloud that does these things,
Not me.

I try to look past the cloud,
Try to remember happiness,
But my memories are blocked
By the force that governs my life;
It censors happy words,
Thoughts, pictures,
But there is one thing it cannot stop...

A high, clear note
Penetrates the darkness.
Music follows
As a flute flirts
With my cloud,
Chasing bits away
Until happiness returns.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Ooh, ooh, it's the night before something fun!!  I started getting really excited about Advocacy Day tonight when I went downtown for the Welcome Reception.  I got to meet a blogger I very much admire, Keiko Zoll, and I ended up talking for a while with a couple of great ladies that I then went for tapas with.  I'm looking forward to the training and meeting with people tomorrow (and to lunch with a good friend and seeing my cousinish who works in the Senate building).  I'll let y'all know how it goes!

Music Monday #17 - Written in the Stars

This song grabbed me from the first time I heard it.  I really love the emotion that comes through in the song.  It struck me in a new light, though, thinking about infertility.  I think all of us have asked the question of why me, why my partner, why us.  I know I sure have.  Whether we believe in God, the Fates, destiny, some combination thereof, it's a question that often comes to my mind.  I've basically (most of the time) gotten past the question of whether we're being punished for something with infertility, but I still wonder about the role of destiny, God's plan, whatever.

Some parts of this song make me wonder if it will fit even better if I have a miscarriage, especially the parts about being given paradise for only a day and about wishing in the darkest days never to have learned what it is to be in love and have that love returned.  I thought about waiting and posting this song only if I had a miscarriage and felt like it fit then.  But then I decided to post it not instead because I didn't want to tempt Fate by having it in the back of my mind.  Silly, I know.  But a lot of us do things to try to sway Fate in one way or another, from fertility socks to saying a specific prayer to creating a fertility ritual.  And I'm trying to not accidentally jinx myself.

Monday, April 23, 2012

National Infertility Awareness Week - Don't Ignore the Pain

One thing that I've noticed throughout this infertility journey has been the tendency of some people to want to brush aside the effect that infertility has on me and that pain that I feel as a result of this disease.  From my perspective (which the therapist in me is obligated to point out is a limited one), it seems like the people that know about the infertility and its effect on me are divided into two camps: those who want my infertility to be out of my way and those who want my infertility to be out of their way.

That doesn't mean that the people in the second camp don't care about me.  I know they do.  They show it in other ways and in other areas of my life.  And sometimes they try to help me deal with the infertility, too.  But there's a very distinct difference in how it comes across.

The difference shows in how people talk to me and how they talk about me.  It shows in how they ask me how I'm doing and how they offer advice.  It shows in how they tell me about their pregnancies and how they relate to me after telling me about their pregnancies. It shows in how often they check in to see how I'm doing and in how they react if I tell them I'm having a hard time.  It's the difference between whether they want to support me or whether instead they want to fix me.

I've been surprised at times by who has fallen into one camp or the other.  People that I generally expect to be more of the "fix it and forget it" type have said things that have really touched me or have told me they're available any time I need or want to talk.  People that have been there for me in other areas have offered platitudes or repeated the same advice without listening to what I'm really saying.  

I wrote this poem last winter about how it feels when the pain is ignored:

Tear tracks stiffen and dry out,
Cracks in my armor,
Cracks in my soul
Leaving oozing open wounds.
My essence drains through
The sieve of my heart
And lies on the floor like sand
To be swept into a corner,

You can't fix the pain of my infertility.  No one can.  But please don't ignore it, either.  Please, ask me how I'm feeling.  Ask me what I need.  Ask how you can support me. 

For more information about infertility, please visit http://www.resolve.org/infertility101
For more information about National Infertility Awareness Week, please visit http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html
For more information about etiquette in talking to your friend or family member about their infertility, please visit http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/for-family--friends/infertility-etiquette.html

Friday, April 20, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 20 - My Other Life

I am a lioness
Mistress of all I see
The grasslands of Africa are my playgrounds
The pride my playmates.
I am bonded to the earth
By the bones of my ancestors.
Were I to be removed from the savannah,
I would lose
All connection.


Hey, everyone, I'm Jessie and welcome to my little corner of the blogoverse!  DH and I have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, but we turned out to both be carriers of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).  Because of that, we're waiting to be able to have IVF with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).  What we're waiting on right now is the PGD lab creating the probe, which is what they compare each embryo against to see which ones would have SMA.  We're hoping to be able to start a cycle in June, after a LOT of insurance nightmares.

After a bit of a hiatus for me to get over pneumonia, this is going to be a busy ICLW!  NAIW starts on Sunday, and I'll be doing a blog post for Bloggers Unite at some point in the week.  I'm also participating in Advocacy Day on Wednesday, and I'm sure I'll be writing about that.  On Mondays (usually), I post a song that has touched me during the week.  I've also been posting a poem every day this month (except when I was too sick) for NaBloPoMo.  I've been posting all of my own work at this point, although none of it is new.  I'm also starting to participate in Mel's MFA Sunday School, so hopefully I will start creating new work again.  Maybe I'll even write more of the book I started many years ago.  Come along with me on the adventure and find out!

Music (Thursday) #16 - Chasing Cars

I've been watching a lot of Grey's Anatomy lately, just starting with disc 1 of season 1 and playing through the series while I do paperwork for work every night (before I got too sick and was told to stop).  I haven't gotten up to the part where this song starts being used, but watching Grey's still makes me think of it.  I had actually misheard part of the lyrics as, "Those three words/are said too much/and not enough."  Even though I now know the third line of that is, "They're not enough," I still like to think of it the other way, because it's so true.  Those three words are said too much by people who don't mean them.  But they're also not said often enough by the people that do mean them, whether to the people we love as family, as friends, or romantically.  We never know when the chances to say them will end.

This is my favorite version of the song.  It wasn't until around when this episode was done that I actually knew Sara Ramirez had been on Broadway before her role on Grey's, but her voice certainly shows the training!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I will be back, I promise!  Turns out that what I thought was allergies was mild pneumonia, so I'm resting now.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 14 - More Light

This one was a play on words from a prompt about what matters.


Streaming from the sun
Reflected off the moon
Into our eyes.

Emanating from incandescent bulbs
Illuminating out hobbies
And our homework.

Glistening from faraway stars
Forming shapes
Of dragons and bulls.

But matter...no.

Friday, April 13, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 13 - More "I Am"

Just a quick post today and tomorrow since I'm going to be out of town for a conference.  This poem came from the same prompt as Day 1, but two years later.

I am the Echo, the sound of what you have lost;
I am the haunting melody of the panflute,
Reminding you of what you never had.
I am the rocks at the shoreline,
Worn smooth by the tumbling waves.
The ocean is my mother, the sky my father.
I am wistfulness personified.

NaBloPoMo Day 12 - Meet Hope

Today basically sucked.  It was supposed to be the day of my pre-IVF evaluation, the last bloodwork and ultrasound before starting my shots.  Instead, I got to see my lovely, glowing 8-months-along client.  I've been dreading this appointment for a week.  My one work friend hugged me and then suggested that I go make a Build-a-Bear during my lunch break to cheer up.  So I did.
Enter Hope.  Over a year ago, I had said that it hurt too much to have hope, and one of my friends said that she would hold my hope for me until I was ready for it.  Along the same vein, when I can't have hope, now I can still have Hope.
I wanted something gender-neutral for the bear to wear, so I got an Orioles uniform.  Given how bad the O's tend to be, we'll see if that turns out to be ironic.
Tan cuddly bear
Repository of hope
Helps me to hold on
My computer's not working and the camera is shutting down the Blogger app on my phone, so y'all will need to wait for a pic.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 11 - Free Association

The prompt: For 3 minutes non-stop, list all the words you associate with snow (or rain or wind).  Write a paragraph from the list, but do not repeat any word.  You are not limited to the words on your list.  Line it out as a poem.

Waking up
Snow falling
Glitter on the ground
No school
Sleds flying down
Big Bear Mountain

Going in
Warming up
Cocoa and chicken soup

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 10 - Looking for Light in All the Wrong Places

Today's poem came from the same prompt as Day 3 about sources of light. 

Light from Darkness

Out of darkness
Comes pure light,
Bursts of brightness
Shooting across synapses,
Containing thoughts, ideas, dreams
Like bright candles
Or explosions in chemistry
With fertilizer and saltpeter,
Or August 6, 1945
Over Hiroshima,
And the enlightenment that came
And the new ideas,
Some of which will become reality.
Most will remain, however,
Simply stars in synapses.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Music Monday # 15 and NaBloPoMo Day 9 - Signs of the Times

Fall 2001 was quite an eventful semester at the University of Maryland, and not just because of 9/11.  Just before Labor Day weekend, DH had to take me to the hospital (despite NOT knowing the area, so I had to navigate) from early week practices of marching band because of an asthma attack.  There was a rash of robberies on campus and in town.  On about September 6, a guy died on the steps of a frat house of GHB.  On September 10, a guy died on the railroad tracks.  Then there was the obvious, made especially frightening there both because of the high New York/New Jersey population concerned about family members and because it turned out that two of the hijackers had stayed at a nearby motel and worked out at the gym at the mall we all went to.  And then, on September 24, a tornado went across the campus and killed two students.

There was definitely good that semester as well.  The most important to me was that my sister Catie was born that year, on October 23.  My cousin got married on September 15.  DH and I were in the first months of being together, in that stage where everything feels perfect despite, in our case, living 8 hours apart.  We even had random snow flurries in September! The football team was under a new coach and was ranked for the first time in a long time.  But even that had a significant downside.  When part of the marching band went down to an away game at Georgia Tech and won by 3 in OT, we had bottles thrown at us and were attacked by students after the game.  Two years before, when we had lost by 3 in OT, there were some guys who tried to grope the flags, and one of our staff members got hit after he told the guy he couldn't cut through the band.  So I had been holding my flag ready to use it on anyone who tried to grope me and trying to make sure the freshmen girls were in the middle of the formation.  But we sure didn't expect what we got!  I'll never forget watching a drum major and a staff member take down a guy that was running through the band throwing punches.

Since that was the semester when I was taking a poetry class (it was on the way to that class when I saw the flurries, actually!), I wrote a sestina about how crazy the semester had been.  I'm pairing it with some REM here because that song really was what that semester felt like.

Fall 2001

What have we come to,
Living in College Park?
Weeks of tornadoes, robberies and death?
Going through our days in fear of what will be next?
And football made the Top 25 polls--
Hell really has frozen over!

At least we're not in Central Park,
In the city of collapsed buildings and death,
Wondering who will get anthrax next.
Bush's approval is rising in the polls,
But where will he be when this is all over?
What will his presidency reduce to?

And now the Afghans are the ones to taste death,
But which military unit will they send next?
Many support a draft, so they say in the polls,
But how will they feel when their sons go over?
How long will this go on?  Will it come down to
The little kids that now play in a park?

Will the band get attacked when next
We go help our team rise in the polls?
Or does the Georgia Tech brawl mean that our trips are over?
The worst that we thought would happen to
Is is that we would get grabbed, then come back to our Park.
At least this incident didn't end in death.

In years, our kids will come back and take polls
Of who knew and who died and who thought it was over
The day our security shattered into
A million ashes spread out on Central Park--
The ashes of buildings and fires and death.
Who knew on that day so much more would come next?

The frightening thing is, it will never be over.
There will always be people who want to
Impose their views onto others, down to where to park,
And don't care if the price is their own children's death.
The only unknown is where will be next,
What country has topped the terrorists' polls.

Whew.  That's the first and only time I've done a full six-stanza sestina.  There was a contest going on BlogHer for writing sestinas.  Actually, it's for a different fixed-form poem every week; this week is a villanelle.  But that is more work and time than I have to devote to poetry right now.  Maybe later in the month, but I doubt it.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Fertility Prayer

My feelings about God and faith have been complicated through this infertility journey.  I have never doubted that God exists and that He has a plan for me.  What I have doubted and wondered about is whether God ever wants me to be a parent, whether this pain will ever end.  Whether I'm following God's plan for me or insisting on what I want despite how much I've been trying to figure out and do what He wants me to.

When we first started TTC, I was praying for God to work His will with regards to us building a family and to give me patience while I waited for Him to work His will.  Even while I was getting frustrated, I continued to pray that same prayer, putting special emphasis on begging for patience.  After a year or so, I was talking about it with my pastor, and she told me that I should also start asking God specifically for a healthy baby.  So I've been doing that, but still wondering if that's what He wants. 

Especially as we've been running into all of these obstacles, I've wondered if I'm doing the right thing.  I've been asking God to let me know if He wants me to be doing something else, but I don't know if what He's trying to tell me is to wait for July (or beyond) or that I'm doing the wrong thing.  I'm dumb, I need skywriting.  I'm going with the IVF plus PGD plan because I am going to try for what I want in the absence of anything that makes it clear that I should be doing something else, but I'm still asking and looking for a message to either say I'm doing the right thing or that I'm not.

One thing I wonder, though, is what the point is of other people praying for me.  I know why I pray, to ask God to meet my needs and to give me guidance about what He wants me to be doing.  But what does other people praying for me accomplish?  How much of God's plan is fixed?  Does He change what He's going to do just because people ask Him to?  Or was it His plan all along as to when situations change?

Obviously I don't expect anyone reading this to have answers to these questions, I'm just sharing them because they came back to the forefront of my mind after reading this prayer posted by Witty Infertility:

Almighty Creator, hear this fertility prayer and the wishes of my heart. You know my deep desire for a child -- a little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image. Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby's birth are in line with Your will. Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit. Amen!

NaBloPoMo Day 8 - Easter

Squishy purple bird
Brightening Easter baskets
Harbinger of Spring.

NaBloPoMo Day 7 - Hands

This one I wrote during a poetry class I took my senior year of college.  The prompt was a somewhat complicated one in five pieces:

1. Describe the person's hands
2. Describe something he/she is doing with the hands
3. Use a metaphor to say something about some exotic place
4. Mention what you would want to ask this person in the context of 2 and 3 above
5. The person looks up, notices you there, and gives and answer that suggests that he/she only gets part of what you asked


With terra cotta dried in cracks
And under the nails.
Shaping the clay
Into art
And usefulness,
Or maybe shaping lives,
People long ago,
Taking dust and shaping a man,
Making a companion called woman.
So what wonders are you creating there?
"This? It's just a pot."

Saturday, April 07, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 6 - Shields

I knew I was going to end up posting this one at some point, and it jumped out at me again today.  The prompt was a meditation on a natural object.

The chestnut burr
Holds its spikes close
Like a shield
Designed to protect
The delicate nut inside
Just as I
Joke around
So no one can see
How vulnerable I am

Friday, April 06, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 5 - More Fun with Sound

This format is called a two-voice poem, "a poem meant to be read aloud by two people. One person reads the left hand column, and the other reads the right. When words appear on the same line, they are read simultaneously."  The prompt also notes that some have written effective poems for three voices.  Maybe I'll try that at some point.  (Edit: the font size is weird, so the formatting doesn't work quite right, but hopefully you get the gist.  The right column is supposed to be straight!)

What                                       What
Are you saying?
                                               Do you mean?
I need                                      I need
To see                                     Some room
You more.                                To breathe.
You're always out
With your buddies                    You need me
24/7.                                        24/7.
                                                 I can't
Take it
Any more.                                Any more.
You don't understand                You don't understand
That I have
                                                 That I have
                                                 A life
                                                 Besides you.
I think                                        I think
We need more time                   We need some time
Together.                                   Apart.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 4 - Sound and Rhyme

My mom was saying at the beginning of the week, that she's really not a fan of poetry, especially poetry that rhymes.  Well, we'll see what she thinks of this one.  The form is called "internal rhyme"...basically, the word at the end of each line has a word in the next line rhyme with it, but that word isn't supposed to be the last word of that next line, it's supposed to be somewhere in the middle.


It begins
With spins and whirls and twirls
And curls in someone's hair.
There.  Do you see the spark
In the dark, when flint and steel collide,
Slide, and become something new?
Me and you become US
As the lust crashes
Like a wave and smashes reservations.
Nations could fall,
But all I'd care about is the crash of cymbals
When we kiss, symbols of
Our love.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 3 - Looking for Light

NaBloPoMo has a prompt every weekday to help with coming up with new poems to write about.  Today's is, "What is the best poem to read when you're feeling sad?"  There are a lot of poems that I've written when I was sad, since my strongest emotions are what trigger much of my writing, but those really aren't the best poems to read when I'm sad, because plenty of them would just make me more sad.  This one I like for this purpose, though, since it goes to that sad place but ends on a more positive note.  More from the poet-in-residence program, this one came from a prompt about sources of light.

Looking for Light

Hitting stones,
Rubbing sticks,
Playing with matches,
Searching for something to fill my life,
Something to end the abysmal darkness
In my soul.

I see candles
From church windows,
I go in,
Wondering how they got light
Into words of night,
And I see the truth.

The light is in me
If I only let it shine
And let eternal day
Into eternal night.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Music Monday #14 and NaBloPoMo Day 2 - Walls

This Jimmy Buffett song had struck me a couple of weeks ago with its description of walls: "And the walls that won't come down/We can decorate or climb."  I think, I hope that's what I'm doing with the IVF.  I can't change the wall that is me and DH both being carriers for spinal muscular atrophy.  But I can decorate it through infertility advocacy, and I can try to climb it with the IVF and preimplantation genetic diagnosis. 

The poem is another one I wrote from the poet-in-residence program in high school.  The prompt was to write about dreams and walls, as Langston Hughes did in "As I Grew Older".  I am leaving off the last line because it's clearly about someone else and because it'd not crucial to the poem.

Dreaming of Joy

I dream
Of happiness.

I reach out
Into blackness,
Endlessly searching
For what may never be mine.

In the darkness,
My hands find a wall.
I look for a way around--
There is none.

I punch at the wall,
Trying to break through,
Trying to get out of the eternal night.

It takes years of endless work,
But I finally make it through
And step into sunlight.

I hope that I am able to climb the wall that I've decorated and make it through into sunlight.

Monday, April 02, 2012

I'm a Poet and You Didn't Know It

Or maybe you did, especially if you knew me in high school or read this post from last February.  Well, either way, you're about to see a lot more from me.  Despite me not being able to keep up with the March Photo Challenge, I decided to do NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, for April because of the theme being Poetry.  It doesn't just cover writing and sharing your own poems, it's also sharing other poems that have touched you, but I'm going to at least start out with my own work.  I may write some new ones, or I may just post older ones.  We'll just have to see where the month takes us!

When I was in high school, we had a poet-in-residence come for several weeks each year to do a weekly poetry workshop.  She would give us prompts to work from, and each week after the first would start with reading the poems that had been written the previous week (she would collect them at the end to type up and share).  This first poem I wrote my sophomore year, in response to a prompt of different ways to describe yourself, including as an animal, a color, a force of nature, an emotion, a sound, etc.


I am blue, calm and peaceful,
  yet also red, fiery and hot.
I am sweet when you have me,
  but bitter when you lose me.
I am the sounds of birds, singing in the trees--
  the sweet song of the robin,
  the harsh caw of the raven.
I am the doe, running wild though others seek me.
I am the rain, saving some, killing others.
I am the daughter of the ocean--
  beautiful on the surface,
  turbulent beneath.
I am the dream of love.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Music Monday (OK, Tuesday) #13 - Makeshift Angry Salad

My freshman year of college, I was introduced to a band called Angry Salad by the guy I was dating at the time.  And I do mean introduced...he was friends with the band, so when we went to see them at the 9:30 Club, Bob, Alex, Hale, and Brian Holland (the second bass player Brian), as well as their manager, Jim.  Over the next couple of years (and through a band name change due to record label issues), I would email back and forth mostly with Bob, but also some with Hale and Jim, about everything from them opening for Vertical Horizon to date movies to karaoke and Girl Scouts!  Eventually they moved on in life and the band broke up, but two of their CDs (their self-titled debut and the one they released as *64, called You May Be Beautiful) are among the CDs I play the most.

I was originally going to post a video of their song "Coming to Grips" because of how I've been coming to grips with having to wait for my cycle.  Unfortunately, though, since they were from the days before YouTube, there are very few videos of them online and none of that song.  I will post the lyrics, though, because they're really good!  When he wrote the song, Bob's last two girlfriends had both broken up with him by saying that they were lesbian, and the song is about his reaction to that.  I'm also including the video for one of my other favorite songs of theirs, "The Milkshake Song."

Well, Cindy Oleo - the margarine girl
She says to me, "I don't like boys"
I tell her I don't like them either, she tells me I don't understand
So I stand there and I stand there, yeah, but I guess I didn't know

I didn't know any better, I didn't know she might prefer
I need an answer to my letter, is she really going out with her?

Speaking of, I've got a couple words for the author of the book of love
Never wrote a chapter about this
Now maybe there were pages I missed (I'm not that bright)
I know it was a long time ago
As I stare up at her broken window, I turn my back and I walk home
I didn't know any better, I didn't know she might prefer
I need an answer to my letter, is she really going out with her?

It would be so hard, it would take, take some time, but I've got time

In my mind I go there sometimes, in my mind I go there

All this time alone and I feel fine, I feel fine
All this time alone and I feel fine, I feel fine
In my mind, in my mind, in my mind, oh in my mind, my mind, my mind, my mind, my mind, my mind
Guess I didn't know

I didn't know any better, I didn't know she might prefer
I need an answer to my letter, is she really, really going out with her?
Going out with her?

Monday, March 26, 2012

"You've Got Plenty of Time"

I used to hear this sentence a lot back when I was frustrated because we weren't getting anywhere trying to conceive, and again when I was frustrated because we were on a break and waiting for insurance that would cover infertility testing and treatment.  I've been hearing it lately in response to IVF #1 getting pushed back again and again and again.  And for a while, I really wasn't sure how I felt about it.

I mean, it is true, on the face of it.  I just turned 30 in November, so there's still a good 5+ years before I'd be even starting to worry about egg quality since my hormone levels have been fine.  As long as I have the same general insurance plan, a cycle (that doesn't involve embryo freezing or thawing) only costs us out of pocket at most $1500, and we have three of those before benefits would run out.  There's certainly time to do those three cycles and to save up the money for them before getting to that 5+ year mark.  There's even time to work on saving up for adoption if IVF doesn't work before getting old enough to worry about whether agencies or birth parents would consider us.

But.  But but but but but.  Knowing that doesn't address the emotional impact of infertility.  Especially when we weren't trying and when I was waiting for insurance coverage, I would think (and occasionally say), "Sure, I've got 'plenty of time' now, but that doesn't mean that I can afford to just wait around for a few years and then get started, because then I don't necessarily have "plenty of time' anymore."  Besides, why would I want to lose those years with my potential child(ren)?

I do appreciate the concern and attempt to make me feel better that seems to be the impetus behind the comment.  When I've been hearing it lately, it hasn't been a variation on, "oh, you should just relax, you'll be fine," it's been coming from people that I know care about me and want to try to lift my spirits.  That's why, even when it has been hard to hear, I haven't snapped at anyone or even looked for a good sharp response.  And it's why I'm not ranting in frustration here, only sharing what I was finally able to make coalesce in my mind.

It's just not really a comfort at this point to think that I could go through this for another five, ten years, possibly even more.  To me it feels like telling someone that hates their dead-end job and hasn't had any luck getting a new one, "Oh, you've still got plenty of time to find a new job before you'd retire." Or telling someone who has been unlucky in love for a long time, "Oh, you still have plenty of time to find someone, you have the rest of your life."  While both statements are true, they don't address the loneliness, frustration, and other emotions that are a result of the current situation that has no real end in sight.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

I got a call from my nurse earlier today, and the cycle is officially dead before it began.  Again.  After having said that the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) probe needed to be done before I started shots, my doctor switched up on me (again) and said that he won't let me start pills until it's done.  This is at least the second time he's switched things up on me, after originally saying that he would prefer a day 5 biopsy instead of a day 3 one and then changing "would prefer" to "will only do."

My nurse is also pissed at this point.  She's pissed at the gene lab for putting her in the middle and telling her to call me and tell me they needed parent samples rather than calling me themselves.  She's also pissed at the gene lab only saying at first that they wanted samples from my parents and then later saying they actually wanted samples from both sets of parents.  She's also pissed that I did what I was supposed to and that other people not doing their jobs is what is preventing me from cycling.  So at least I'm not the only one that's pissed.  She and I were kinda yelling to (and specifically not *at*) each other on the phone today since we were both upset.

So where does that leave me now?  Well, for one thing, swinging back and forth between numbness, tears, and anger.  Especially with getting the final word from my nurse, it's a good thing I had called in sick today (I'm basically ok, but running a bit of a temp and just feeling crappy), because I would have had a hell of a time holding it together for clients. 

It also leaves me with a major decision to make, about whether to cycle in one month or three, and I'm interested in opinions.  DH told me it was my decision and that he was ok either way.  Two months just isn't an option because of an event at the end of June that DH and I are running. 

If we cycle in one month, we have to have the probe done (which takes 3 weeks after they receive the samples from all 4 parents) by April 21.  Overnight FedExing of the sample kits each way, but I'm not going to have the last address until tomorrow at best.  I'm scared of the probe not being done in time and having to go through this emotionally again.  Cycling in one month would also mean missing something at the end of May that is fulfilling to me.  I've been told my friends will make it be ok if I choose to miss it, but it's something I get a lot out of and a chance to see friends I rarely see.  Cycling in one month would also make it possible to get a second cycle in before my plan year ends on 9/30 (DH's plan year is 1/1 to 12/31).  I have an out-of-pocket max of $3000 and an employer-paid deductible of $1500.  This year, we put the other $1500 on DH's flex spending account both so that we didn't have to pay taxes on it and so we had it all at once instead of having to save it up.  For a cycle after 9/30, we would need to either pay the $1500 between deductible and out-of-pocket max by gathering it together between 9/30 and the end of the year or by waiting for that next cycle until January 2013 so that we could have a new year's flex spending account.

If we cycle in three months, I don't have to miss my May event (although I would miss it next year if the cycle worked, but then I'd miss it less because I'd have a baby), and I don't have to be scared of the probe not being completed in time.  I would start shots while DH is at or just coming back from a curling trip (yes, in the summer), but I would be about at or already at the beach with my family, and several of my cousins are/were nurses (one's a doctor, but I dunno if he'll be there).  *Insert Smithers-like tapping of fingertips together*  I would have to wait longer to cycle, though, and I don't think there would be any way to get another cycle in before my insurance plan year ends.  So IVF #2 would entail either waiting until January or coming up with $1500.  Which I know isn't an astronomical about, but still.

I don't need to make a decision right away, but I do need to make it soonish since I need to buy plane tickets if I'm going to the thing in May.  I'm working on getting the sample kits out to the parents right away either way, to leave myself that flexibility, although if it takes long to get those back, that'll make the decision for me.  It feels like the two main things driving me right now are fear of the probe not being done in time for waiting just one month and not wanting to miss the May event.  What do y'all think?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Feel Stupid

I've been working really hard to not think this cycle would actually happen.  Yeah, turns out that was epic fail.  So now I feel stupid for not having been better at protecting and hardening my heart.

Remember me saying on Thursday that the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) lab would now have 3 weeks and 4 days to do what should take 3 weeks?  Well, apparently the lab didn't feel it necessary to tell me that they would *definitely* want samples from all 4 of our parents.  Before it had been that they "might" want the parent samples.  So we have to have the lab FedEx collection kits to the 3 non-local parents (hey, Moms, you two have packages coming!), have them swab the insides of their cheeks, and take the packages to FedEx (or get them picked up) to be shipped back.

Even with overnight shipping each way and samples being taken immediately, that's Friday (if parents get an early enough delivery on Thursday) or Saturday.  And the lab sounded like they wouldn't deal with weekend deliveries until Monday.  And we won't have one of the addresses we need until tomorrow night at best, so that one can't go out until Thursday's mail.  And the probe takes 3 weeks to make.  And to be able to do this cycle, it would need to be done by no later than Saturday April 14.  And my fertility doc actually would want it to be fully made before I start pills.  Which I was going to do this Sunday, since I had been told that I could start the pills before the probe was done, as long as the probe would be done by the 14th.

I could just scream.  I already have fallen apart crying multiple times.  What upsets me the most is that I started trying to get things going with the lab on February 10.  That's when I gave them my insurance info.  I found out on about February 20 that the lab doesn't request authorizations and I would need to do it myself.  After a lot of being passed around, I reached the person I needed with insurance on February 24, and she called my clinic's business office that day to get what she needed.  She finally figured (after multiple calls) that she wasn't going to get a call back and worked around the business office to get the authorization fixed on March 14.  If the woman from the business office could have been bothered to do her job and call the insurance company back right away, I WOULD NOT BE MISSING MY CYCLE!!! There would have been time to get the samples.  Hell, I might could have taken a sample kit to Costa Rica with me and saved the lab some FedEx fees!

Instead I'm in the position of trying to decide whether I want to wait 3 months to cycle or miss one thing or another that's very important to me.

Music Monday #12 - Why We Tell the Story and March Photo Challenge Day 19 - Numbers

I spend way too much of my radio time on the Broadway channel on my XM, so my picture for the theme of "numbers" is the thumbnail of my Music Monday video, one of the numbers from a favorite musical.

With all the posts people have had about why they blog, as well as the questions raised in the Healing Salons, this song really struck me when I heard it this morning, as another way to show why I blog.

Life is why we tell the story
Pain is why we tell the story
Love is why we tell the story
Grief is why we tell the story
Hope is why we tell the story
Faith is why we tell the story
You are why we tell the story

 So I hope that you will tell this tale tomorrow
It will help your heart remember and relive
It will help you feel the anger and the sorrow
And forgive

For all the ones we leave
And we believe
Our lives become
The stories that we weave

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Photo Challenge - Day 18

Hey, I actually managed to post just one day at a time!  And it was before March 31!

Day 18: Stretch.  This is the cat that was at our table where we had lunch on our second full day in Costa Rica.  One thing I noticed is that cats in Costa Rica have much coarser fur than most cats here at home.  I was thinking maybe it was a function of them being less well-nourished, especially since all the animals there, whether cats, horses, cows, or dogs, are SKINNY.  Someone else pointed out, though, that the coarser fur probably dries sooner and is thus better for the rainy season.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Photo Challenge - Days 13-17

Maybe at some point I'll get to posting pictures every day! 

Day 13: Glow.  Sunset our first night in Costa Rica.

Day 14: Design.  I like playing with line and design in photographs.  I took this one lying on a bench under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Day 15: Build.  I built this set of steps for a theater class in college.  We built the steps in pairs, actually, but the other person I worked with didn't want them so I got to take them home.  Throughout the rest of my time in the dorms, I used them to get up into my bed since I had it raised some.  After that, I kept them even though DH thought I was weird for it (as opposed to the other reasons he knows I'm weird), initially as a conversation piece/extra seating.  When we moved to this house, the steps went outside on the patio where the cats like to sit on them.  Kechara especially liked the steps...I would go outside and see him sitting or lying on them.

Day 16: Morning.  This was the view from our breakfast table in the hotel we were at for our honeymoon in Poipu, Kauai.

Day 17: Green.  This was my garden last summer.  I had some MASSIVE zucchini and yellow squash!!  It seems like every year I have one crop that goes gangbusters.  The first year it was cukes, the second year it was jalapenos, and last year was the zucchini.  Anyone got guesses on what this year will be?  If you suggest something I haven't grown, I might add it in...

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I heard back from my nurse today.  She got ahold of the PGD lab, and she now has orders for the sample processing.  Because of stuff not being fully open over the weekend, we'll be going in to give samples on Monday, and the lab will get the samples from my clinic on Monday.  That means they will have 3 weeks and 4 days to create a probe that takes 3 weeks to complete.  If nothing goes wrong.  Still nervous, but not quite as scared.

Keep Calm and Carry On

I've been not-quite-almost-trying-desperately-to-keep-from-panicking for much of the past week. 

Before I left for Costa Rica, I was calling the PGD lab and the fertility clinic and then calling around to insurance trying to get the auth changed from the California PGD lab to the Maryland one.  The Maryland lab was telling me the fertility clinic was supposed to submit the changed auth because they don't get auths from insurance even though they do take insurance payments.  The fertility clinic was telling me they had done their part and that the PGD lab was supposed to get the auth and that if they didn't than I was supposed to.  The insurance company was saying that the fertility clinic was supposed to do it.  And so on. 

I wanted to get it done before I left so that DH and I could get the samples submitted and the probe could be made, since it takes 3 weeks if nothing goes screwy, and I started CD 1 for the cycle before our treatment cycle the Saturday before we left.  Finally, the Friday before we left, I reached G in the local office of the care management division of the insurance company.  She said she would get it taken care of by the Monday before we left.  I didn't hear back from her that day, but I had so much to do getting ready that I had to just go on faith and hope it was getting done.  Yeah, right.

Fast-forward to getting home, and a day or two after getting back last week, I reached G again.  She hadn't been able to get a call back from the person at my clinic that she needed to talk to.  She wasn't going to be in the office Friday and would get back to me on Monday.  Yes, Monday that's a week and a half before CD 1 of our treatment cycle.  On Monday I couldn't get ahold of her, and yesterday she said she still hadn't heard back after bugging the woman at the fertility clinic again.  I explained the time crunch, and she said she was going to talk to her boss to see if she could make it happen without the fertility clinic calling back.  Later that day I was told that she could, and this morning she called me with an auth number.  Whew.

So now I can call my clinic and be able to go in tomorrow with DH to give our samples, right?  Wrong.  There are no orders on file for what to test for, since the Maryland lab didn't contact my nurse to give her that info.  My nurse called me again today (we also spoke yesterday after I called her in my not-quite-almost-trying-not-to-panic) to say that she's going to make a pest of herself with the lab until they tell her what they need from the samples.  Every day that ticks away has me more freaked out, though, even while I celebrate having the auth switched. 

If I can't cycle this month and I know that within the next week, I can't cycle one month from now unless the nurse agrees to use extra pills to move the cycle by a couple weeks, which she wasn't keen on.  I can't cycle 2 months from now unless she agrees to use extra pills to move the cycle by about one week.  So missing this opportunity could mean waiting 3 more months.  In both cases, this is because of things I already committed to.  I'm trying not to commit to much right now because of the possibility of treatment cycles, but how do I find that line between being available no matter what changes and putting my life completely on hold?  If I can't cycle this month and I find that out sometime after I start the pills, all bets are off as to timing because I'll have to completely figure out again when my CD1's will be for the upcoming months.

But of course I keep calm.  Right.  Or at least I carry on.  That's all I can do.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Music Monday #11 - Girl Scouts

As an update from last week, I wasn't exactly a cowboy in the jungle, but I did ride a horse through a tropical dry forest, so I think I still made a good prophetic selection!

Today's theme is Girl Scouts.  One hundred years ago today, Juliette Gordon Low held the first Girl Scout meeting with 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia.  The first video below, "Make New Friends," is so common it might as well be the official Girl Scout song.  The middle video, "White Coral Bells," was my favorite Girl Scout song as a little girl. (Although I did have a soft spot in my heart for one that went, "Black socks, they never get dirty.  The longer you wear them, the blacker they get. Someday maybe I'll launder them; something keeps telling me 'Don't do it yet.'")  I didn't come across the bottom song, "On My Honor," until Cadettes, but I thought it was lovely, and it's been a favorite ever since.

Validation of Purpose

One of the questions that has been ranging around the ALI blogging community over the past week or so has been the question of why we blog, why we comment, and what our purpose is in each.  At this point, I'm more focused on why I blog (and why I post sometimes about infertility on Facebook, since the reasons are the same), since that's more important to me than why I comment. 

I blog (and post about IF on Facebook) to do my part to stop the silence.  A couple months before starting the blog, I had read an article in Self Magazine about infertility and the silence that surrounds it, and I decided that I wanted to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  I had no idea how many blogs there were out there about IF, but I wanted to be a resource for others.  Even when I found out how many there are and that I'm just a small drop in the bucket, I continued to want to be a small part of the solution.  Eventually I found connections to other bloggers that I value greatly, and I value the support I give and receive in our interactions, but other bloggers weren't my original audience.

For that reason, I also post on Facebook about infertility at times, most prominently during National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).  The first time I posted about NIAW, someone I had known from middle school messaged me to say that she was infertile too.  We hadn't been particularly close in school, and we had drifted apart since and just kept in touch on Facebook, but since then she has become my closest IF friend.  Even if there had been no other benefits (though there were), speaking out was worth it just for that. 

I got a further validation of why I do what I do last night.  An acquaintance from college messaged me for advice and information as he and his wife look at where is best for them to continue treatment.  We ended up talking for a while, and I'm probably going to end up getting together with him and his wife at some point to talk more.  It struck me at the time, this is why I am out there.  Someone that I don't know well at all, who I had last had contact with over a year ago, came to me because he knew about my infertility, because I hadn't been silent.  I had been part of the solution.

Monday, March 12, 2012

March Photo Challenge - Days 9-12

I was really busy this weekend, so y'all get another chunk of photos.

Day 9: Soft.  Since my mom and I like to joke that we're both part feline, my DH called this photo Four Sleepy Kitties.  This couch is soft and comfy enough that when one friend stays with us, she's at least as likely to sleep on this couch as on her bed!

Day 10: Love.  Two of the things I love most, Christmas and one of my cats.  Yes, I could have used a pic of DH for this, but he's more private than I am, so I consciously leave him out of this blog.

Day 11: Living.  These snails are on the rocks at the beach we were at in Costa Rica.  They have waves crashing down on them, people walking around on their rocks and on them, sun or rain depending on the season, and still they keep surviving and hanging on.

Day 12: Eat.  I LOVE baking!!  That set of cookies is from when we had a blizzard in December of 2009.  By the time we dug out enough to get to the store, I had gone through all my flour and on the last batch used my cake flour and whole wheat flour to make up the difference.  And that was with having bought extra baking supplies before the snow!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Random Question for the Blogoverse

If we're born with all the eggs we'll ever have (absent the ovarrian stem cell advances), since Clomid cycles and especially IVF produce a lot of eggs, does that mean we run out sooner since we're (in some cases at least) still putting out an egg in non-treatment cycles?  Do we get menopause sooner?

March Photo Challenge - Days 1-8

Since I was away for the first week of March but was drawn to the posts people have made with this set of prompts, I'm going to catch up now.  In the process, you guys get a little bit of the Tour de Tamarindo!

Day 1: Self-portrait.  I tend to be at least somewhat of an adventurous person, so when they let one person do the last zipline upside down, I said I wanted to do the same.  It was a blast, and it was the only one of the ziplines that I screamed on!

Day 2: Feet.  This pic didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but it's what I could get holding a drink in one hand and the camera in the other.  That's a little pool in the rocks in front of my foot.  I wanted to get my foot/feet close to water.  Despite being a fire sign, I'm innately drawn to water, since I grew up right on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay.

Day 3: Domestic.  This is the typical breakfast in Costa Rica, rice and black beans with a fried egg (or two in this case) on top.

Day 4: Illuminate.  I really love how the rays of light work in this photo from our last night there.

Day 5: Commute.  This was our commute out to our dive site on Friday.  No, that's not DH in the pic, just another guy on the dive with us.

Day 6: Challenge.  The biggest challenge of the trip (aside from not getting more sunburnt than I did and actually getting on the plane to go home) was getting set up for the upside down zipline because I was supposed to hold onto a strap with my legs while hanging upside down.

Day 7: Purple.  The sky behind a papaya tree just outside the complex.  Now I know what papaya trees look like!

Day 8: Heal.  This is a 106 degree hot spring that I'm in.  Man, that helped to heal sore muscles!!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Music Monday #10 - Cowboy in the Jungle

No, people, don't worry, I'm not spending a bunch of time on Blogger when I should be relaxing on the beach, I wrote this before I left!  At the time I'm writing this, I'm still not sure how much jungle there is in Costa Rica or how close the jungle comes to Tamarindo.  Still, I thought it would fit.  I just hope that at the time this posts my skin still is as white as paste and isn't bright red!!  It's actually a good thing I wrote this post, because writing that last sentence reminded me that we hadn't packed sunscreen yet!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Music Monday #9 - Boat Drinks

In honor of my impending trip to Costa Rica, you all get a little Buffett to brighten your day.  I was going to emphasize the line of, "This morning I shot six holes in my freezer; I think I've got cabin fever."  But then I was pushing up my sleeves outside the grocery store tonight in 61-degree weather in February.  Still, I'm very glad to be leaving for a place where the low will be 66-68!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Funny Way to Explain Infertility (or Unfilfilled Fertility)

Now you guys get to see the other post from someone else that's been open on my computer all month!  Joey at The Childless Mom posted a really cute set of videos that were created to explain infertility for people that have not been there.  I think the best one is the first one she had posted, so I'm going to repost that one here.  The bird and bee costumes just make them so much better!! 

 While I was finding the above video I came across another one I hadn't seen before and had to add that one because it's so true!

ICLW Madness

Now that I've got less than a full cycle to go before my treatment cycle, I actually found myself thinking as I was commenting that I'll be starting IVF "soon."  At the same time as that made me a little nervous and worried that something will still come along to get in the way, it feels good to think of it as coming soon.

Also, I'm seeing if I can reach Iron Commenter this month.  We'll see if I can manage it despite the packing.  One thing that keeps hitting me, though, it how freakin annoying those captchas are!!  Do people really have that many issues with spam commenters?!?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Infertile Families

First of all, today at work was obviously better than yesterday.  It was still hard, especially doing 2 sessions with clients who were grieving and checking in on a couple others, but having a quiet afternoon and staff being able to lean on each other for support both helped. 

I've been meaning to write this post for a couple weeks now, leaving the post that inspired it up on my Firefox window.  The Cornfed Feminist wrote a really interesting post about the effects of infertility on others in our families, specifically on our mothers.  My mom has been really great and supportive, and I know how she feels about the impact of the infertility on me (and on the use of the word infertility...she wants a more positive term that reflects that fertility has not been achieved yet).  Before reading this post, though, I never thought to ask my mom how she feels about not being a grandmother yet.  Mom?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Loss and Fear

Today I got hit really hard with two huge reminders that even if I can get pregnant with a non-SMA baby, even if I can make it through the first trimester, nothing is ever safe or secure.  I was pretty sure that one of them was coming, from posts from others in the ALI community: Mo from Mommy Odyssey lost her son Nadav after her water broke two weeks before viability and did not replenish.  As I've watched other bloggers count the days to viability while on bed rest and make it there, my heart breaks for Mo and her husband.

The second reminder is really hard to write about...since I finished the last paragraph, I've made another Egg McMuffin, chatted with friends, and watched a full episode of Gossip Girl.  My workday started like normal, went in and saw a couple of clients.  I was looking for my 11:00 client when one of the other therapists came in and told me to stay put.  She came back and told me that one of our coworkers had died this morning.  I didn't even know she was pregnant, but apparently she was 5 months along when she had an abdominal aortic aneurism.  I keep swinging between denial and tears, including during today as the clients were informed and reacting.  I asked one of the nurses at work and one I go to church with if AAAs are genetic, since my grandmother had one fixed a couple of years before she died.  Apparently some are, so I'm going to be asking my RE whether I should have a scan to make sure I don't have one.  I would ask my PCP, but I don't get to go to my real one thanks to him not being on the panel for my current insurance, so I have a name out of the provider directory that I've never seen on my card as my PCP.

Going to bed once this episode of Gossip Girl is over.  We'll see how tomorrow is at work.  Thank goodness for Costa Rica.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Hi, everyone, and welcome to my happy home (or something like that).  Basic overview is that DH and I are waiting a month and a couple of days to be able to start IVF #1 with PGD.  We have unexplained IF, but we found out as we were getting ready to try to have IVF #1 last summer that I'm a carrier for spinal muscular atropny (SMA).  A few months later, we found out DH is as well, leaving us with the options of IVF with PGD or continuing to try naturally and taking our chances with the 1 in 4 odds of having an affected baby.  Needless to say, we're going with Option 1.

However, insurance didn't agree with us at first.  We had been planning on starting this cycle at the first of the year when my insurance company denied the IVF because we hadn't tried IUI first.  The especially crazy part of that is that they had authorized the PGD while denying the IVF!  I appealed the insurance decision after having to wait a month to get my letter of medical necessity from my RE, and we got the word that the appeal had worked about 2 weeks ago.  So now we wait.  Fortunately, one week of the waiting will be much less onerous, since we will be going to Costa Rica with DH's father and his father's boyfriend.  We're really looking forward to leaving next Tuesday!!

Music Monday #8 - I'm Not That Girl

OK, so I've been listening to the Wicked and Book of Mormon soundtracks a lot since I got them.  DH calls me obsessed with them, and he may be right, but they're both so good!!  I was listening to Wicked on Friday, and this song caught my ear and my heart more so than usual. 

I'm not that girl, and we're not that couple.  I'm not that girl who can just want a family and make one with her husband.  I'm not that girl who can even know why, beyond believing that God wanted her and DH to find out about the spinal muscular atrophy before having an affected baby.  I'm not that girl who can trust that a scheduled cycle will actually begin, even after starting the BCPs.  I'm not that girl who can trust that she'll get to use the box of meds in the dining room.

The last verse of this song begins, "Don't wish, don't start, wishing only wounds the heart."  That's been my mindset for a year now.  But on an old episode of Private Practice that I finally got to watch tonight, Addison said that the biggest muscle that she had needed to strengthen to take the first step of her first IVF cycle was hope.  I don't know how to do that.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Getting to Know You, Getting to Feel Free and Easy

Meme time!  I got tagged by ScubaGirl.

1) post the rules
2) answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you
3) create 11 NEW questions for the people you tag (I have a feeling this is going to be the hard part!)
4) tag as many people as you like and link them to your post
5) let them know they have been tagged

1. Where is your most favorite place that you have traveled?

Paris!  I wish that I had gotten to spend more time there, but I was lucky that I got an extra couple of days there at the end of the city-a-day tour of Europe that my aunt sent me on when I graduated from college.

2. What is your favorite food?
My mom's spaghetti.  She puts kielbasa in the sauce, which gives Italians conniptions, but it is SOOOOO good!!

3. Who cooks at home?
About half and half between me and DH.  We both really enjoy cooking, although we both prefer having time to play in the kitchen rather than the "It's 7 PM, what are we having for dinner" type cooking.

4. How often do you go out to eat?
Maybe a couple times a month?

5. What is your most favorite movie of all time?
Probably Love Actually at this point.  My top 5 consists of that, Somewhere in Time, Princess Bride, Ever After, and Good Morning, Vietnam.  Cue sing-songy voice: One of these things is not like the other...

6. Cat or dog?
Cat, hands down.  My mom and I like to joke that we are part feline ourselves.  That said, I do also love big dogs (NOT a fan of small dogs except for Corgis, who are big dogs on small legs).  DH and I do want a dog at some point, but even several years ago, before we started TTC, we had agreed on baby before dog.  That way we don't get the dog until after having a baby has already slowed down the amount that we go out of town, so we don't have to worry about a dog-sitter or a kennel as often.

7. What flowers were in your wedding bouquet?
Heck if I remember what types they were beyond roses.  The most important part was that my mom and I went shopping together for fake flowers and she made my bouquet.

8. How many of the 50 states have you been to?
36...I'm missing Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin.

9. What decorations do you have on the walls of your bedroom?
A really cool-looking print of a lightning strike, DH's Beta Theta Pi paddle over his side of the bed and an Alpha Phi Omega paddle (not my official one, because my chapter does something different with paddles) over my side of the bed.

10. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Hawaii, specifically the island of Kauai.  DH had been to Hawaii a bunch of times, and in fact the idea of us getting married first came up when I expressed jealousy about this and he was like, "Oh, we can go for our honeymoon."  So I held him to that!  Since he had been so many times, though, he wanted us to stick to one island and do Kauai, which is quieter, so that we weren't feeling a ton of pressure to island-hop and see everything.

11. What is your favorite sport to watch? To play?
To watch, football, especially college football.  That comes out of my years of marching band, where I had to learn to like football or get really bored!  To play, baseball.  Not softball, baseball.  I play softball when it's available, but only because there aren't a lot of pickup baseball games or baseball leagues out there.

My next victims are:
Kayla at Life is Simple, It's Just Not Easy
Joey at The Childless Mom
Mag at Witty Infertility
Katie at The Zawislaks
Mrs. E at TTC Baby E

Your questions:
1)  What is your favorite book/series and why?
2)  What extracurricular activities did you like in high school/college?
3)  What type of music is on your radio most often?
4)  What is sitting on your DVR?
5)   If you were (are) on bedrest, what would you miss the most?
6)   If you were (are) on bedrest, what would do the most to keep you sane(ish)?
7)  Who on tv do you find the hottest?
8)   If you could get any question in the world answered, what would that question be and who would it be for?
9)   If you could have dinner with anyone, who would that be?
10) What type of food is your favorite?
11)  What is one thing (besides parenting) that you've never done and have always wanted to do?