Friday, October 30, 2009

Catching up

Finally I'm back on the computer! My DH is gearing up for a big exam in a few months time and has been living in our study for the past 4 days, meaning that I can't access the computer until late at night when I'm too tired to post or read blogs. Today and the next couple of days he's at work and then he's doing full-time study until February. I'm going to have to get good at night time computer work.

There's not much to report on the infertility front. Other than blood tests (results in a week) and trying to organise a uterine blood flow US not much has been happening. I must say that I do like not injecting hormones into my belly. I have been much more even-tempered and relaxed about life. In saying that, I've never really been either of those things, but there has been a vast improvement! The other day I ovulated naturally and right-on-time. Partly I'm thankful that my cycles are so regular, but it did get me down that everything feels so "normal" and yet we're not trying to get pregnant this month. On the up side, a bottle of champagne is in the fridge chilling, ready for my birthday celebrations.

Next Tuesday is my 30th birthday. I was planning a party, but realised that I wasn't feeling up to it. I'm not enjoying big social events at the moment, but also I had a couple of "tongue-in-cheek" comments about "Oooh, 30...must be time for, you know...[babies]" A whole party of people suggesting that? No thank you. So instead I'm doing a week of smaller celebrations. A vintage movie outing with two best friends, lunch with Mum and sister, dinner with DH, dinner with friends, lunch with in-laws. I've been promised french champagne and spoiling - so I'm looking forward to it! :)

My Mum asked whether she could confide in my auntie (her SIL) about our infertility, as she has no-one to talk to about it, other than me and my sister. Her sister has become a grandma twice within the last six months and isn't all that sensitive to my Mum. She doesn't know about us, but even if she did, I don't think it would help. So, I have arranged to meet tomorrow with my other auntie (my Dad's sister) to tell her about our IF. It's difficult to be so private. Because we live in a smallish town, my auntie is friends with one of my "helpers" at a childrens group I coordinate at church, who I don't want to know about our IF. DH thought that if I speak to her directly she might be more sensitive to our information and not pass it on to anyone. I think we feel extra cautious because I told my boss before I left work and asked her not to tell anyone, but she passed on the information to two other managers who may not feel so protective about it. I'm worried I'll go back to work next year and everyone will know.

Wow, that was a lot of blah. Sorry. It's all out now and I'll be back to concise and topical blog posts tomorrow.... :)

Friday, October 23, 2009


Thanks to KK for the award - it's very cheering!


1. You Can Only Use One Word!
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. Have Fun!

The Fun Part

1. Where is your cell phone? Close
2. Your hair? Up
3. Your mother? Cautious
4. Your father? Deceased :(
5. Your favorite food? Pasta
6. Your dream last night? None
7. Your favorite drink? Champagne
8. Your dream/goal? Motherhood
9. What room are you in? Study
10. Your hobby? Cooking
11. Your fear? Isolation
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Parenting
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? Laid-back
15. Muffins? Berry
16. Wish list item? KitchenAid
17. Where did you grow up? Australia
18. Last thing you did? Breakfast
19. What are you wearing? t-shirt
20. Your TV? Secondhand
21. Your pets? None
22. Friends? Exceptional
23. Your life? Blessed
24. Your mood? Contemplative
25. Missing someone? Husband
26. Vehicle? Mitsubishi
27. Something you’re not wearing? Earrings
28. Your favorite store? Grocer
29. Your favorite color? Varies
30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Tuesday
32. Your best friend? Multiple
33. One place that I go to over and over? Grocer
34. One person who emails me regularly? KK :)
35. Favorite place to eat? Home


I'm passing this onto Lisa and Cathy . I may have been slack at reading and commenting on your blogs in the past month, but I do so enjoy following your journeys. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spring Joy

Thanks for your comments of support. Although I wish we didn't live in a world so plagued by uncertainty and heartache, I am comforted by people's kindness and care. I am amazed by the capacity people have to love, comfort, to persist and bounce back from difficulties. Each day is a new day, with hope and possibilities. Each day has enough worries of its own to worry too much about tomorrow.

In the past few days, actually weeks, I have spoken so much about infertility, our plans and my feelings. I am feeling partly exhausted by it and partly purged from all that pent up worry and grief. Today my heart feels a little heavy. But I also feel at peace. Maybe it's something to do with Spring and all this wonderful sunshine. I think it's a lot to do with God upholding me during this time and giving me the strength and renewal I've been praying for. It's difficult to feel contentment during infertility. But today I feel it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From grief to champagne

Well the plan was to grieve for two days and then get back on with life. Six days later and I'm back to feeling ok again. The strength of my grief took me by surprise. The variation of emotions and thoughts over 5 days of immense sadness are too many to recount easily. It is safe to say that I thought we were at the end of our TTC journey, that I would never birth or mother a child, and that I was filled with sorrow.

Thanks to the mercy of God, a wonderful husband, and a fantastic FS we have a plan.

Last night we saw the FS to review the IUIs and plan the next step. I told her about the positive HPTs I have had for 2 IUI cycles (I refused to POAS for the 2nd cycle) and she thought that it couldn't be due to the Pregnyl because of the time line. Because I have now had 3 positive pregnancy tests this year (following the removal of endometriosis) she suggested that our problem is not fertilization, but is instead implantation. I can't believe it. I can get "pregnant" but my body aborts the embryo before it can implant. How can I want something so much and yet my very body thwarts me in achieving it??

So now the plan is to undergo more tests. Blood tests to determine something-or-other (might have to ask DH to recall that one) and chromosomal issues; scans to check uterine blood flow. Our next step depends on the outcome of these tests. Best case scenario is medication (clexane and aspirin) and then another IUI in December. I'm not sure what the worst case scenario is. Maybe we won't be able to have children at all. At least we'll know then and can move on in some way. I feel surprisingly at peace about it all.

So I may be partway through our one month off TTC, or we may need to have more months off. I'm not sure. I'm already enjoying not injecting hormones. I feel like me again. I'm loving that Spring has sprung and my town is basked in glorious sunshine. I love that DH has just woken up from night-shift and I get to hang out with him - he's shockingly funny and cute when he's recovering from night shifts.

It's my 30th birthday in a couple of weeks. Bring on the French champagne.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No go

AF arrived yesterday. Too devastated to write. DH and I distracting ourselves with old NCIS episodes. It's good to grieve together. Tomorrow we face the world again, but today we cling to each other.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"In cases such as these, a good memory is unpardonable"

So spoke Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice when she told her sister about her betrothal to Mr Darcy. She had hated him. But she was right, when you're engaged, it's best to forget about that.

It's the same with infertility.

My poor memory serves me well. Without it, I'd probably never get through repeated rounds of fertility treatments. Each cycle I start, surprisingly oblivious to what is to come. I even make statements such as "I won't analyze my symptoms this cycle." Of course I will. That statement was made when I had no symptoms!

On Sunday night I injected my final Pregnyl injection for this cycle. Within an hour I was sobbing. The next day my breasts had increased in size and hurt like blazes. I was constipated. I am nauseous in the mornings. This morning I woke up and almost burst into tears because I had accidentally thrown out the wrong piece of paper. It didn't matter. It had no effect. And yet I was devastated.

My body believes that it's pregnant. I won't know if it is or isn't for another week.

How on earth do I ignore the symptoms!??! How on earth do I reconcile to my brain that it's only my body that feels pregnant, it's only because of the injected hormones that it feels this way!??! What do I do with the hope that surges with my HSG levels??

I forgot that it was like this during the second week of the 2ww last time. And the time before. Yet I can't remember how I got through it last time either.

In cases such as these, a good memory is unpardonable. If I had a good memory, I probably wouldn't have put myself through this again.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

1,2,3...800 and counting

My medicine cabinet.

Today I took what I think was my 800th folate tablet. 800!
I have taken at least 550 fish oil tablets.
I swallowed 100 vitamin B complex tablets before I changed to vitamin B6. I have only taken 45 of those.

I have had maybe 20 injections of Puregon 50iu.
Three whopping injections of Pregnyl 5000iu have found their way into my belly.
Five luteal phase support injections of Pregnyl 1500iu have also been injected.

I have one more Pregnyl 1500iu to inject tomorrow. Then I resume the 2ww and as I wait, I contend with the side-effects of these injections. I've also started a high fibre diet, it's become necessary.

I'm 5dpiui. I wonder when my number will come up?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Reaching out with both hands

Today I pulled myself out of hibernation at the invitation of a new friend to visit her for a cuppa and maybe a walk. I've known her for a couple of years through family connections, have occasionally given her lifts home after family events, and know of her family through church. I never thought we had much in common, and I often found her difficult to talk to, she was shy, 7 years younger than me, and not very talkative. Two weeks ago I gave her another lift home and we chatted all the way, I even stopped my car on the side of the road to chat further. I was delighted when she texted me to invite me over. We didn't go for a walk, it was raining, but we talked and laughed for 2 hours! I discovered that we have similar interests in books and movies, a similar sense of humour, and a hate of exercise - thinking about it now I wonder if we would have gone for that walk if it wasn't raining? I enjoyed our time together so much. We are going to meet again in a fortnight so I can take her for a driving lesson. When I asked her if she has anyone else to teach her (her family are overseas and she's only just returned to Australia), she said,

"No. Everyone seems so busy".

"I'm not," I said, and offered to take her out driving regularly until she got her license. I'm not busy. I actually have the time to help out others.

Two weeks ago, at a boys' golfing day, my DH heard his friend tell the group that he and his wife have been trying to conceive for 18 months without success. This woman, like myself, has a great heart for children and has worked tirelessly in her life with children. It is heartbreaking to think that she is having difficulty conceiving. She would be a great mother and her husband a great father. We have known the couple for years, but after they moved away we don't see them often. Two days after hearing this, my DH rang his friend to confide in him of our story and offering him his friendship during this time. A week later I sent a card to my friend offering her my friendship and prayers. Yesterday I received a card back from her. In part it read,

"Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement and empathy. There were truly like sunshine to my soul!... I can appreciate how lonely and private this journey is - so thank you for allowing me to know of something so personal to you..."

Today I am struck by how important it is to reach out to people. I have started to make friends via this blog and others, over email, and on forums. I'm so glad I reached out. The friendships I'm forming are so valuable to me and I'm feeling less alone during this "journey towards fertile ground". I'm so glad too that I reached out to other friends recently. It's nice to be able to reduce loneliness, give courage, laugh and walk with friends.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Give and Take

Some days I think I'm getting used to "being infertile". Some days I figure that this is my lot in life and I can handle it. Some days I feel like I can handle infertility for even longer, other days I feel like I cannot handle one more second of "hope deferred".

Today I'm continuing with my resolve to not analyze every symptom, I've even convinced myself that I'm not having any! But an analytical mind must be directed somewhere, or else my resolve will break. So today I'm reflecting on the Give and Take nature of infertility.

On first thoughts, infertility has taken more than it has given. It has taken,
  • my naivety about conception and how easy it can be
  • whole days given over to sadness and grief
  • at times, my lightheartedness and joy in life
  • my ability to think about anything else unrelated to IF for long periods of time
  • my closeness to a best friend who, although she once struggled with IF herself, has had chronic moments of insensitivity when she became pregnant and birthed a child
  • my ability to conceive naturally, without intervention
  • at times, my hope about becoming a mother
  • at times, my ability to sympathise with mothers who struggle with their children
  • my ability to appear cheerful and happy, when I feel anything but
  • my sense of control
But it has given me things too. Infertility has given me,
  • an absolute appreciation for life and how precious it is
  • increased closeness to my husband
  • a continued desire to trust in God for all things
  • the ability to give myself sub-cut injections
  • an internal view of my reproductive system (I have pictures!)
  • weight-gain, bloating, headaches, aching breasts.... (but this was supposed to be a positive list!) :)
  • the resolve that I do want to be a mother above any other career options
  • humility as I've had to confide in people what is happening to us (as well as having specialists view parts of me I'd rather they hadn't!)
  • gratefulness for medical provisions for infertility and our ability to afford treatment
  • an increased heart for children who suffer or are abused, and a joint desire with my husband to foster children
  • the knowledge that my husband longs to be a father and that this has increased each day of our struggle
  • the knowledge that I am loved by family and friends, who even if they are not sure how to care for me, do their very best every day
  • irrepressible hope
I do hope I don't have to wear the mantle of infertility for much longer. Although I have gained much through the past two years, the burden of IF feels too much to bear at times. I will just have to continue to trust that God knows of our pain, it was He who said,

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

He is the gardener, I will trust in Him.