Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

We all know that infertility is the gift that keeps on giving. I did a quick Google search on that phrase along with the words 'infertility blog' and got pages of hits - some of the blogs I even recognized. I should have probably come up with a more original title, but inspiration failed me.

LB and I are home alone tonight. Brad is off to a birthday dinner we were all invited to, but it was a drive and LB hates driving at night. That on top of a crowded restaurant - well, I didn't think she or the other diners would appreciate it so we decided let Brad represent us.

The plan was to put LB in a high back carry and bake some cookies. LB decided she needed a little snack first so as I nursed her, I picked up a book a friend had just loaned us. It is Paul Reiser's Babyhood. I though there might be a few landmines in it, but it is supposed to be hilarious. How bad could it be? Sure it was a rough road, but I had a baby now. I thought I would be able to relate. I suppose I could, but I don't think the author intended for the reader to be crying by page 34.

I got past the part where the author and his wife dreamed of how their mutually genetic baby would look and act. I was a bit uncomfortable, but survived the pages that implied it wasn't a slam dunk process for them. Then he described the moment his wife took a home pregnancy test (HPT). Of course, they were so excited . . . and a bit freaked out. Oh, how I remember my first positive pregnancy test.

We had done our second IUI about 2 weeks prior. We had already been trying for two years and I had many negative HPT's under my belt already. In these 'early' days, I didn't watch my luteal phase too closely so I think I was actually about 16 days post ovulation (dpo) when I took the pregnancy test. At seven dpo, my OB suggested that we check my progesterone. It was a bit high indicating a possible pregnancy. I filed the information away and didn't really get hopeful. Then I started noticing my breast were much more tender than was common for me. I remember I was at work when it hit me that I might be pregnant. There was the progesterone levels, the sore breasts and now this odd pain on my side that I used to associate with ovulation. Oh my gosh! Could it be?! I couldn't wait to get home to pee on a stick. It was about 2:00 in the afternoon. I got off at four and rushed home.

Brad was out of town on business and I would be picking him up in just an hour. I wondered if I should wait until he was home and we could test together. Not surprisingly, I couldn't wait. I really, really suspected I was pregnant. I went into the bathroom, 'exposed' the stick and put it on the floor in front of me like I had done many times before. I watched as the evaporation line made it's way across the paper . . . oh. my. gosh. I saw two pink lines taking shape! I was so excited and freaked out that I grabbed a magazine and threw it over the stick. I waited what seemed like minutes, but it was probably a few seconds. I slowly peeked under the magazine. I WAS REALLY PREGNANT!

I can't even describe how I managed to get to the airport and wait for Brad's plane to arrive. He had travelled with coworkers so I had to wait until we got to the car to tell him. I showed him the stick as I said, "I'm pregnant!"

We were so happy. Oh, we were a bit freaked out too. We knew we wanted kids, but now we were actually facing the reality of it for the first time. Mostly we were just thrilled. The funny thing is that I was so sure IUI wouldn't work for us that I briefly (sorry Brad!) entertained the idea that the sperm got mixed up in the lab. Of course, it didn't really work for us.

It was such an amazing and happy and special experience. I wish it was a good memory too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A little bit of politics

I was listening to On Point today on public radio regarding the issue of Hillary Clinton being a good candidate for Secretary of State. People on both sides of the argument included her husband as part of the conversation. Is that appropriate? I wonder if Hillary were a male with a famous (and political) wife, if we would still be talking about her spouse? Shouldn't she be judged on her merits alone?

If it isn't obvious, I think we should limit the conversation to Hillary Clinton's skills. The bigger question is if this is a Hillary / Bill (ie unique) issue or is this a feminist issue? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Perfect Moment Monday

Thanks to Lori over at Weebles Wobblog, I am capturing perfect moments during the week. I say thanks to her, because it reminds to appreciate those perfect moments. This week there were several. I decided to share one involving LB

I was at an adult party with 7 of our good friends. LB is young enough that I can still take her with us to these get togethers. An hour or so into the evening, LB was so tired, but everytime she was about to fall asleep something would catch her attention and she would be awake again. I decided to withdraw to another room. I went into a spare bedroom and nursed her while I rocked her and sang lullibies. I could hear the party in the next room and was reminded of the times I would withdraw from these same good friends during similar parties because I just couldn't handle one more minute of socializing. I was so very sad and I didn't have the energy to fake happy. It's not that they wouldn't have understood, but I didn't want to bring everyone down. So I would step away for a bit and let the sadness hold me . . . or perhaps flow through me . . . until I was ready to socialize again.

Here I was in such a similar, yet entirely different situation. I could feel both of me for that moment - the one that would be so sad and the one that was here, in the present, rocking my child and singing her lullabies. I closed my eyes and felt my body - my feet on the floor, LB tucked up against me and nursing, the vibrations as I sang.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Good and The Bad

I had a "bad infertile" moment. Brad and I went to dinner the other night with my sister and her husband (currently childfree by choice). We had a lovely time and as we said our good bye's my sister chirped, "I'm going to go home and play Tomb Raider!" For just a moment I thought how wonderful that would be. To be able to go home and be responsible for no one but myself - to have hours to just do what I wanted, uninterrupted. For that moment I was ready to go home with my sister and leave LB in the car with Brad. But it was just a moment.

My "good infertile" was the previous day. Brad and I thought we were going to run into the mall for just a few minutes so I didn't bother putting LB in a sling, we just carried her. After a bit, it was obvious we were going to be awhile and I passed LB to Brad to hold. About 15 mintues later, he put her down on an washing machine to get her readjusted. I offered to take her back, but Brad assured me that he was fine. What he didn't understand was that I wanted to hold her. I hadn't held her for 15 mintues and I already wanted her back. I didn't say anything because Brad needs his turn too, but it was good to realize I still appreciate something as simple as holding our little one. I still know how lucky we are. I hope I never forget.

Get thee to a therapist

There is an article in iParenting about the benefits of therapy for dealing with infertility. You might recognize a name or two.

I also have a confession. I hit the "mark all read" button in my google reader. Maybe now I won't get so stressed everytime I step in there.

Of course this is the month where people are trying to post every day. Oh, well, we will see how it works. I hope there wasn't anything huge that I missed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Perfect Moment Monday

It was a rainy, but unusually mild morning and I decided to take the kid (LB) and the dog (Ender) for a walk through the nearby field. It was Brad's BBWEE (Birthday Boy Weekend Extravaganza Extraordinaire) and I thought he would enjoy an hour of time to himself.

I put LB in a sling so she was centered in the front of me, put on one of Brad's jackets and zipped us both up together. Her eyes were just peaking over the top. I had decided to go all the way to the boat house that day, but about three quarters of the way there, LB was getting a bit too unhappy so we turned around. Still getting progressively less happy, I thought I would remove her from the sling and turn her around to face out. I unzipped the coat, lifted her up a bit and . . . she was happy. She couldn't see out well enough with her head tucked in the way it was. To be fair, I took my hat off (she had a little cotton cap on) and we spent the rest of the walk giggling every time Ender ran by and getting cold and wet. It felt wonderful.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cross Pollination Post

For more Cross Pollination Posts click here

Hi, all... I'm M, and I normally blog over at Mystery Blog. (No, not the real name. Guess who I am and then click over to see if you are right). I'm a wife, mother of two (son H age 4; daughter M, age 2 months), and a youth pastor in Central Florida. I know many of you are wonderful supporters of Kami and of SO many other ladies who struggle, mourn, rejoice, and celebrate together in this amazing community. During our path to conceiving our second child, I discovered this world of women who were in my shoes, and had been for some time; a sisterhood who needed each other and were able to count on each other for support. It was so tremendously helpful.

Because my blog is one which my family, in-laws, RL friends, and even a youth group member or two read, I have a hard time being as open as many of you are able to be. Although I don't use our last name or city on the site, our first names are unusual enough that it's not hard to figure us out. I started blogging in March 2006 primarily to communicate day-to-day goings on with our son to our families since we live far away from everyone. Light stuff - you know, funny stories, photos, silly things that were going on. We didn't tell many people that we'd started trying to get pregnant again, and I certainly didn't blog about it. I miraculously got pregnant after about 10 months of extremely irregular cycles, no ovulation, a PCOS diagnosis, and was 2 days away from starting Clomid. And when I had bleeding early in the pregnancy, and needed progesterone supplementation, I found solace reading posts about that, too. While I was so saddened by how many women were struggling, I was finally feeling not so alone.

I wish now that I had been more open. Only after I made it to 12 weeks and shared the basics of our story on my blog did I learn that my mother needed Clomid to conceive two of her three children (including me). I also found out that both my older female cousins have had reproductive struggles, including miscarriage, using Clomid, and having years of unexplained infertility. I now know that this is nothing to stay silent about. Even saying that, I'll probably not broadcast the nitty-gritty details of our reproductive plans to the world, simply because of my readership.

I hope you don't consider me an "infertility poseur." I'm not boasting when I say that I know my struggle doesn't compare to many of yours. You women are warriors in a battle no one deserves to fight. I honor you and pray for all the families struggling to conceive, stay pregnant, recover from loss; those who've made it to the other side; those who've chosen different paths to parenthood; and those who work to make peace with living without children. Thank you all for inspiring and comforting me, even though you had no idea I existed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Make No Mistake

The lovely Bee Cee left a comment on my previous post, "Hoping 2009 is our year." It is one of those statements that seems so simple, but makes your mind twist a bit - like the punch line of a good joke. Although this line didn't make me laugh, I felt my brain trying to wrap itself around it.

Make no mistake, I have had my year and it has been wonderful. I am thrilled to be where we are at in terms of family building. Bee Cee, on the other hand, is still trying for her first child. While I appreciate her comment and certainly hope to be successful with a sibling, trying for one child and trying for a sibling are two entirely different things.

I know the 'primary fertility vs secondary fertility' debate has been discussed (often heatedly) many times before and the politically correct answer is either "they are the same" or "you can't compare them" I am going to cross the line and be politically incorrect. Stop reading here if you wish.

There is some truth in "you can't compare them" because everyone brings their own experiences and beliefs to the point where they are having difficulty conceiving a child. The first time someone has truly had to face not getting the number of children she wants, it is devastating. There is pain and disappointment. And really there is no way to compare one person's pain with another's. One person may shrug her shoulders over not having a single child and another may fall apart over not getting the third child she always dreamed of.

But still.

If you have one child, then you get to parent. If you have no children it is an entirely different coarse. If you don't believe me, pick a random infertility blog where the person has been successful with at least one child. Then pick a childfree after infertility blog such as Coming2Terms. Sit down and read for a bit. Notice how the former (assuming they don't avoid the subject of children alltogether) will have parenting stories like happy times around the holidays or a child's first steps or the unhappy call from a teacher or a million other events all centered around the child(ren). Notice how the latter will talk about not leaving a legacy, not having grandchildren, feeling left out in group discussions, enjoying a vacation that was made better by meeting another childfree couple. Notice also the lack of stories about parenting decisions, play groups and midnight feedings. Yes, the involuntary childless can find happiness and a life that does not involve their own children, but it is not easy. Take the latter scenario and add just one child and Poof! it is another situation all together.

Put another way, the difference between primary and secondary infertility is like the difference between adding oxygen to hydrogen and getting water or adding water to water.

I hope that we will be successful in adding another child to our family. I have always envisioned at least two children and I will be disappointed and sad if it doesn't work. Yet, I recognize that one is much better than none and two would be icing on the cake. Granted, that is some tasty icing, but icing nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Best Laid Plans

I thought I would record our plans for our attempt for a sibling - currently referred to as Little Butterfly Mark Two; Not Better, Just Different or LBMkIINBJT - so when things go awry we can look back and laugh (or cry - as the case may be).
  • Pre-cycle physical in March
  • FET in late April / early May (natural cycle if possible)
  • Fresh cycle in June if the FET fails
  • Continue to breastfeed LB throughout cycling and pregnancy (if we have one)
  • Homebirth (if we get pregnant)
We may not be able to pull off the two cycles so close together since I will need to get my cycle synced with Belinda's in about one month (if the FET fails). This is assuming we don't get pregnant and then miscarry. If we miss June, the next available cycle will be September, but Belinda may not be able to make that one so it will be November. What do you think the chances are that everything will go according to plan? My thoughts exactly - very slim.

What is not yet decided is if I will cycle one more time with my own eggs first (ha! Only kidding. Damn, I still wish . . . maybe I will find a spare $15,000?) **. Actually, we just need to decide if we want to pay "per cycle" or take advantage of the clinics "x3" price - allowing us to pay a higher fee for three tries. While I was pregnant, I told Brad I would be happy just trying once and if it didn't work, we would just have the one child. Now I am waffling. Of course, Belinda would need to be up for three tries too.

Speaking of Belinda, I have been in touch with her since the "I-met-my-donor's-mother" day. She apologized for how uncomfortable it made me, which I appreciated. One good thing about it was that I was able to more fully appreciate her relationship with her mother so in a way it was another means for us to get to know each other better. I'm still happy that we have a known donor. I'm still thankful for Belinda's kindness and willingness to help us not only have one child but two. In fact, I spoke with her tonight and she is excited about possibly cycling in June and will be scheduling her pre-cycle physical. It is likely we will need to pay for some things that we won't need if the FET works - like Belinda's physical and the legal stuff in order to cycle in June, but I think it is worth it.

For the time being, I will attempt to forget all about it for the next 4 months.

**I thought I would be better adjusted by now too.

A bit behind

There was a post up on Bridges from a fellow DE blogger regarding genetics. Pop over and check it out.

While your at it, Daisy at Behind Schedule could use some good thoughts.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Date Night

Brad and I have for the time being a scheduled date night. We decided before we got married that we would have a date once a week as soon as we had kids. In typical Brad and Kami fashion, it took us four months to get this arranged.

Our first date is my perfect moment for this Monday. We walked to the nearby bakery. It was a cool, but not cold October evening. The walk was wonderful - so peaceful. We held hands and talked. When we got to the cafe, Brad got a hot chocolate (into which he stirred his own Mexican chocolate) and I got an herbal tea. Then we read our book together for about an hour - just like old times. Yes, the same old times where I would sit in that bakery, stare out the window and wondered what it would be like to be a threesome - but that is another post.

It was a wonderful walk home too. It was good to reconnect. It is terribly easy to miss each other - and the good moments - when we are working and taking care of LB. I'm looking forward to our date tomorrow. Maybe he will kiss me good night this time.