Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fitting In

A post on an infertility forum today got me to thinking. The poster was describing her angst over attending church. She told of how her and her dh were the only childless couple and did not feel as though they "fit in". Having struggled with this dilemma for over 10 years now, I felt her pain. This part of her post was most befitting how I feel:

"Trying to find a church has been miserable. It seems like every where we go, the focus is on children and parents. How to get more families with young children and how to keep them. After years of seeing it from the business side, I understand. But at the same time, dang! I exist too you know!!!"
This is so true. And not only for the infertiles, but for the singles, the divorced, and the widowed. It saddens me that this is the case. Church is not meant to be just mom, dad and children. It is meant to encompass everyone. It is for the hurting. It is for the forgotten. It is for the misplaced. Families are great, it is just our definition of family that is lacking. My dh, 2 dogs, cat Winston and myself are a family and if I could take my four legged kiddos to the nursery, I would. The single mom with 2 kids is a family. And for those without a family should we not embrace them as part of the family of God?

This problem does not solely belong to the church, but also to those of us that do not "fit in". It is easier to sit in our pews and avoid the "perfect families". Yet this does not help me/us to make friends. I admit it gets difficult to find a common ground with someone who is locked up all day changing diapers and listening to kids say "mommy, mommy, mommy". But there must be something that we can discuss!! There seems to be such a gulf between the fertiles and infertiles, yet this ought not to be. Are we not all children of God? Are we not all here to serve Him? Are we not all women? Is there nothing that we have in common?

Some fertiles may envy me my "freedon". Yes, I can go to the salon and spend 3 hours getting my hair done. Yes, I can get a pedicure at will. Yes, dinner can be somthing other than chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. Yes, I can go on a road trip any time that I like. All great things that I will miss if ever we have children. But those are not things to envy. I envy your tiny hand smudged windows, your grape juice stained carpets, your sleepless nights, your spit up stained laundry, and your endless hours of cartoons. I also envy your "good night, mommy" and messy ketchup covered kisses.

So next time that you are at church and you see someone that does not fit the traditional idea of family, greet them. Invite them to lunch. Ask how their week was and try not to let your eyes glaze over when we talk about out pets or job. We don't have the plague and we won't bite you, I promise. Yes, your rowdy kids may annoy us from time to time, maybe even make us thankful for our childless state. But the fact that you take time to acknowledge that we are a worthwhile human being will be priceless.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Let me translate.......

We infertiles get asked questions or hear advice all of the time about our childless state. More often than not we smile and sweetly answer with rehearsed answers. So today I am going to translate these answers for you into what we are really thinking.

When you (you here refers to mere myrtles) ask us......

Q: Do you have any children?
A: No, not yet.
Translation: No, I don't. But thanks for bringing up that painful part of my life.

Q: Why don't you have children?
A: We are waiting on God.
Translation: Because we are infertile, stupid! Besides, if we did, what stupid question would you ask then?

Q: Is there something wrong with you?
A: We have some fertility issues.
Translation: My eggs are beginning to expire and his swimmers are directionally impaired. And that just skims the surface of our issues. But the only thing wrong with me are morons that ask stupid questions.

Q: Are you doing it right? (yes, I have really been asked this)
A: I am sure that we are.
Translation: Hmmm....I don't know. Would you like to demonstrate???

Q: What are you waiting for? You're not getting any younger.
A: We are waiting on God.
Translation: I am aging??? No way!!! Fertility goes down as we age? Seriously?? Why didn't one of my many fertility specialists ever tell me this? I had better hurry up and get pregnant!

Q: Why don't you just adopt?
A: It is an option that we are considering.
Translation: Sure, let me head down to the baby store and just pick one out. Do you have $20k to help me pay for it? And how would you like your whole personal life on display to the agency, birth mother, case worker and judge. Sounds like so much fun I wish that I had thought of it!

Advice: You should just adopt and then you will get pg. It happened to so and so.
A: Yes, I have heard that happens sometimes.
Translation: First of all, I don't care if your aunt Edna's second cousin's boyfriend's brother's niece got pg after she adopted. Second, the statistics of that happening are slim. And third, this thinking negates the adopted baby's importance.

Q: Why don't you try IVF? My cousin did and she has twins.
A: We are praying about what God wants us to do.
Translation: Why, I ain't never heared of no iee-vee-eff. Is that some sort of new fangled voo-doo? Of course I have considered IVF. There is just a little problem in the amount of $15,000. Oh wait! I just found some money in my back pocket. Yep, that should cover it.

Advice: Relax! It will happen.
A: Smile and nod.
Translation: Really??? That is all that it takes? No more ovulation tests? No more drugs? No more shots in my butt??? Woo Hoo!!! All I need is a vacation and I will get pg. Hawaii, here I come. I can't believe that I didn't know about this 11 years ago!

Advice: Maybe you have some unconfessed sin in your life.
A: I will look into that.
Translation: Did you really just say something that stupid?!?!? So by your way of thinking that crack whore who just had her 5th child by the 4th baby daddy (probably a john while she was hooking) is sinless? Wow! Nice to know!

Advice: I know what you are going through. It took us 6 months to concieve our second one and almost a year for number four. Just be patient
A: Smile and nod
Translation: Wow! You really do know what I am going through!! My 11 years of temps, charting, blood work, samples, inseminations, shots, ultrasounds, surgeries, tears and heartbreak is just like your 6 months of unprotected sex! I am so glad to have found someone that truly understands my pain.

Q: Here, just take mine then you won't want any of your own.
A: ha ha
Translation: If I smack you will I go to jail? If so, for how long? It might be worth it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

For you fertiles

I was thinking today that many of you fertile myrtles probably have no clue what goes on in the day and the life of the infertile woman. So I thought that I would share a bit of it with you, most from personal experience.

In the beginning we were ttc naturally even though we knew something was wrong. Naturally....funny! Anyway, a "normal" couples says "let's have a baby". So they buy some sexy lingerie and after a night of wild and passionate bow-chicka-bow-wow you wait for 2 weeks, pee on a stick and viola! Two pink lines! Nine months later a baby magically appears. (okay, I glossed that part over a bit!! ;)

For us infertiles it is more like this: "Honey, hurry home! My temp is up and it is 'time' ". He hurries home on his lunch break and, like a circus monkey, is expected to perform at a moments notice. Afterwards there is no time to cuddle. You have to get some pillows under your butt as quickly as possible or risk losing a few precious spermies. Then as he rushes back to work you have to lie still for a half hour hoping and praying that his swimmers make their way upstream.

Then the 2ww (2 week wait) begins. Within 24 hours you are analyzing every possible "symptom". Wait, did my boobs just hurt?? Then you press and squeaze them to make sure, all the while causing them to hurt more. Hold on! I might me nauseous! Indigestion, cramps, mucus, fatigue, etc are all under investigation. And if you were lucky enough to be under the influence of fertility meds then the "sypmtoms" are worse!

Now the 2ww is coming to an end and you open the medicine cabinet and take out a pregnancy test from your stash of about 100 tests. You are standing there doing the pee pee dance trying to tear that package open! FINALLY, it opens and you can relieve yourself. Then you set the timer for the 3-5 minute wait. And you stare at the test the entire time. tick...tick...tick.....time crawls by. After 3 minutes still no pink line. You convince yourself that your HCG (pg hormone) is low and it will take the full 5 minutes. Again you wait. tick....tick...tick....Still no pink line. Dejectedly you throw it away. Only to dig it out of the trash an hour later "just in case". You repeat this scenario 2-3 times a day (hence the stash) until your period shows. Then it all starts over again............

Your life revolves around your cycle. Vacations, trips, family get togethers, etc, are mapped out according what cycle day you will be on. And if that isn't bad enough your life becomes even more complicated once you have a fertility specialist get in on the fun!! Have you ever wondered how long you have to get a semen sample to the doctor's office?? Thirty minutes! And did you know that you must keep it warm en route? How do you do this, you ask? You place the cup in your bra. Yes, you race down the interstate with a cup of sperm nestled between your boobies praying that you make it there in time all the while praying that a cop does not pull you over. Try explaining that one!!!

Some other fun tidbits:

Clomid makes you psycho.

Standing on your head after sex is not fun. Nor does it work.

Having a doctor, a nurse and tech stare at your hoo-ha is not a fun way to make a baby.

Never use the handicap bathroom anywhere near where they test semen samples. Contrary to what TV shows you (nice room, mood lighting, magazines) most offices do not have a place for a man to "give a sample". They send your hubby to the bathroom. Gross!! And there is nothing more fun than having someone knock on the door every 30 seconds!! And the germs........nuff said!

So that is a short lesson in the day in the life of the infertile couple. I hope that you learned a little of what we go through. I am sure that once we go to choose our embies I will have more to share! :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Surgery is over

I had my surgery yesterday and I am glad that it is behind me. I am ready to begin moving forward. I have a post-op appointment in 2-3 weeks and hopefully then I will have a better idea of the time line for the transfer. A part of me is ready to proceed but another part of me is terrified. If we do not try, then we cannot fail. On the other hand, if we do not try we cannot succeed either. I just don't know if I am ready for another negative pregnancy test. I should have bought stock in pregnancy tests!!!

So again, we wait.........

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Attending a baby shower

I have not attended a baby shower in over 7 years. There came a time in my life that I no longer felt the need to endure countless questions about my empty womb, advice on how to get pg, and other insensitive comments. All of my hiding is now coming to an end as my sister is pg and it is her shower. And I am hosting it. On MY birthday. How did this happen, you ask? I really do not know. But now that it has I am gearing up for the usual "so when will it be your turn?" and "you are not getting any younger" comments and I must say that I am not looking forward to it. Most of the attendees will be her friends with a smattering of family and family friends, most of which I have not seen on over 11 years. This should be fun! With family I feel somewhat compelled to be nice. Strangers? Not so much! But I will say that those that ask had better be prepared to hear a dissertation on the hows and whys (or in my case the how-not and why-not) of reproductive organs. Should I speak code: EA, FET, HSG, HCG, etc??? Or big words: sonohystogram, hysteroscopy, etc? Which would scare them more? By the time that I am done with them they may never ask another person if they have kids or not!


So surgery is scheduled for next week. It is outpatient and should be fairly simple. And with blessed drugs! Please pray that all goes well and that I have little or no pain. And then the "official" wait begins. I can't wait to choose our embies!!!! After that the hormones, injections and craziness begins. Oh, the fun of infertility!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stll Waiting

Not much to report right now. We cannot move forward until I have a uterine polyp removed. I was scheduled to have that done last month but the crazy doctor was planning on doing it in his office. With me awake!!! I think that he must have been smoking crack to think that was going to fly! So, being the big baby that I am, I left and we are going to try again this month. This time with drugs! Once my monthly friend decides to make an appearance we can get that scheduled and then on to more waiting. I must heal for two months then we can be matched with embies!! Once we receive the call I will be sure to update.