Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holy Decorations Batman!

Yes. In my family we celebrate early. I'm actually a day behind! We would always set out Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. That's right folks, my mother was bonafide Christmas-aholic. We would then proceed to take it all down Christmas day because by then she was sick of it. :)
Back to the decorating. My mother did it with style. She had been collecting things for years. I do mean years. Her birthday is December 12th, so every year we would get her a new Santa for her collection. We made popcorn garlands, cookie ornaments, construction paper garlands and wreaths. It was fun. It was magical. About 8 years ago our shed got broken into and everything was taken. Including all of my mom's Christmas stuff. Why someone would take homemade decorations (poorly done I might add as they were made by a 3 and 5 year old) is beyond me. This devastated my mother. Christmas has not been the same since.
I noticed this year as I put up all of my decorations with my  son...I was my mother. My house looks like Christmas threw up! There is something on every surface! Garland graces the kitchen cabinets in elegant sweeps, lights twinkle and dazzle every dark corner. The Christmas tree is alight with homemade ornaments, Cian's first Christmas being my favorite. I carried on the tradition of having a Christmas lives in my entertainment center for the season; complete with "hills" and trees and it even snowed fabulous glitter all over the little tableau of a village I had created.
My house hearkens to a Norman Rockwell painting; and I love it.
I've been a little stressed out this cycle. Thanksgiving (which was wonderful by the way my food was TOTALLY better than my mother's!) was a test in my adulthood, my first year of cooking. I also can't help but feel that this is my last cycle on medication. I've been thinking a lot lately and I just don't want to do it anymore. It's too much and too hard on my body. I need a break. My husband needs a break. I feel if I don't get pregnant this cycle that this may be it. I will only ever have one child. Perfect though he is.
I have decided to stop obsessing as of right now. No more testing. No more checking my favorite pink website. I want to spend the last part of this terrible year with my son and husband. Making memories and enjoying the season.
Time to deck the halls people!  (I think I will even do a little decking at my mothers).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Support:and Not the Kind You Get From Good Pantyhose

I feel it necessary to broach this subject given that November is traditionally the time to look back and remember those people and things that you are thankful for. Especially the people.
2010 has been a hard year for me, and subsequently my family. I was diagnosed with PCOS in Feb after a little over a year of trying on our own. I started out hopeful, assuming that the drugs would do their jobs and *poof* I'd be pregnant. Nine months later instead of looking at a bawling, pink face; I'm staring at the business end of yet another round of fertility treatments, mounting debt and a sex life (and sometimes marriage) that's in the toilet.
There are so many things, however, that I am thankful for this year. I feel the need to list them, mostly for my own benefit; so that I can see the many good things that have happened to me and all the amazing people in my life:
1. My son turned 2 this year. He is healthy and happy and thank the Lord potty trained!
2. Potty trained. Nothing more need be said :)
3. My husband. He has put forth a gallant effort to get me pregnant all while super commuting, working a stressful job and pursuing his dream job. He's my shoulder to cry on, my vest friend, my greatest enemy, my lover, and my fellow infertility warrior. I love you.
4. My family. I don't know what I would do w/othem. My mom is my best friend, my Nana is my hero and I have a few really special cousins that are always in my corner.
5. My brothers. They deserve their own number b/c they have been my best friends and biggest support over the years. I wanted sisters but you guys are ok.
6. My "TTC" friends. You know who you are, I would not have been able to get through this year w/o your support and understanding. In particular my friend Kate, whom I have never "met" but feel as if she was a sister. A soul-cyster. Thanks for making me feel better about being bitter, thankful for my blessings, and a good laugh never hurt either. Good grannies girl I'm so glad I met you!
7. My health. In this journey trying to get pregnant over the last 20 months I've lost 50 lbs, quit smoking, got off of blood pressure meds, and get daily exercise. I have more energy, feel better about myself and if nothing else I'll be around longer for Cian.
8. Baking. There are just some days that I would not have been able to get through w/o a cookie or a brownie or something that I know I shouldn't have eaten. In particular those God-awful days when AF shows.
Sometimes you get the obvious support, the kind that you ask for. The "I'm sorries," and "it will happens." The obligatory hugs and "sad faces" online.
Then there is the support you don't ask for. The random call from a good friend just because your text "seemed a little off." The unbidden hugs and kisses from my son and husband and mother because I looked like I needed one. The incredible feeling of love and empathy that pours out of a computer screen when 100,000 women that you've never met are rooting for that second line.
I am truly blessed and sometimes I need to remind myself how wonderful my life really is. So I implore you, this year when sitting around the table with family and friends, don't bemoan the things you don't have (yet) or feel sad about the faces you don't see. What matters is the tangible and very real love and hope that these holidays represent.
Happy Thanksgiving blogland, thanks for listening.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Carbonara and Other Beat Up Eggs

I'm making carbonara tonight for dinner. It's that wonderful, creamy combination of parmesean cheese, cream and eggs. It's silky and decadent and I'm way too excited about it!
For some reason, probably because I am obsessed, carbonara brought me to think about TTC. Maybe it's the common denomenator of the eggs?
On my favorite TTC website a friend has been having a hard time. There is basically a huge debate/argument over whether or not she is pregnant or it was the fading of her HCG trigger. I personally, do not care. Either way it must be devestating. We don't know for sure if she is/was pregnant but she is in my thoughts today.
It got me to thinking about my eggs. I have them. Plenty of them. Seemingly healthy. They just don't want to come out. I know that if I can get my body to ovulate regularly I will get pregnant. it's getting to that point that I have trouble with. I can't say the same for a few friends who are struggling with poor egg quality and diminished reserve. These women have gotten pregnant, where I haven't, but they went on to lose the pregnancies.
I've been reading about how these women are dealing with their losses. Some cry, some laugh, some pretend that it didn't happen or shake it off with admirable optimism. "At least I know that I can get pregnant."
I, thankfully, have not had to deal with a loss; early or otherwise. I find myself unknowing of what to say. Should I give condolences? Should I make a joke? (Not to be mean but if you know me then you know that humor is my answer to everything. I joked during my C-Section b/c I was so scared). Do I congratulate them on at least getting pregnant? Do I grieve with them and bemoan the unfairness of rotten eggs?
I digress and ramble. I struggle with this everyday. What is my egg doing? Am I going to ovulate? Did my egg fertilize? Did my egg implant? I think alot about eggs.
The linguine alla carbonara just makes me giggle. Out of a delicious egg based sauce I get the reference of beaten eggs. My eggs are beat up. Often forced out of a comfortable situation by mass amounts of hormones. My friends' eggs are whipped and beat as well.
So, I say this unto my egg-cellant friends, let's all combine our beaten, whipped, sad batch of rotten eggs into one perfectly balanced, truthfully delicious carbonara sauce. If we can't get pregnant with our eggs, at least we can eat them.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Love Machine"

I sit here writing this at 8:00 am, no one is up but me. It's peaceful; just myself and my coffee cup. The little wisps of steam bring me wonderous java scents as I sip contentedly. It's a sham. I am up because I had a monster fight with my husband last night.
About sex. I, apparently, make it feel mechanical by reminding him during key days, or talking about it with him or whatever. I truly don't understand why this makes it mechanical; because the thing is if I DON'T say something to him, it falls by the wayside.
I'm sure most of you are aware that intercourse equals baby. No exceptions. You are only fertile for about 5 days each cycle and 4 of those are before ovulation. So it's a big deal to time it right. When taking fertility drugs, charting and generally driving yourself mad with it, it's even more so.
I can't help but feel resentlful. This is his only part in it really. I'm the one that has to take the medications, I'm the one who has to chart and get blood drawn and undergo ultrasounds. I'm the one that feels icky because of the damn medication most of the month. I realize that this is a selfish and egocentrical way to look at this; we are in it together. I know this. I just wish that he would act like it. Make an effort. Show some initiative.
It makes me feel guitly because it's MY body that doesn't work. It's MY fault that we can't conceive.
I don't want him to feel like a "love machine," so I vow; as of right now, to leave him be. Hopefully he will see how important this is and that I'm not trying to pester him (his words not mine). I just want to give us every chance possible to make all this struggle worth it.
Word of advice: don't have fertility problems. It's hell on your sex life.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving and Other Musings

After way too many of the damn things I finally got my positive OPK this morning! YAY! We have timed everything great, temps looks good....we just may do it this cycle!
My good friend also had a sucessful RE visit this morning. She is now to do 100mg of clomid, 1500mg of metformin and an ovidrel trigger. You go girl! This is our month! (We've vowed to get pregnant together so if it works for me it will theoretically work for her....right?).
On a different and much promised non-fertility related note: we are having over 30 people for Thanksgiving this year. It is such an overwhelming number in fact that the overlords of the Thanksgiving feast, aka my mother and grandmother, have seen fit to bestow me cooking rights this year. I get to roast a whole turkey and make all of the pies. According to the current deities of the kitchen, this is a big deal that I will most likely screw up.  :)
My illustrious foremothers are tradtional in the most hardcore of ways. Traditional turkey spices, stuffing, pies, and sides. I plan on making a turkey, that while by no means "weird" or unappetizing in any way, is an obvious deviation from the aforementioned tradition. I, in my rebellious second generation way, have decided to put herbs in the turkey! I know, I know, take a moment to gasp and collect yourselves.
Better? Now that you have hopefully recovered from that most heinous of all ideas, I give you this: I also plan to make FRESH FRUIT pies. Oh yes, I will peel and slice and mascerate fruit. I will knead and press and pre-bake homemade dough. Renegade as it is I think this is how I want to represent myself as the newest member of the reigning Queens of Feasting.
Plus I wanna show up my mother.  :)
Any ideas or opinions would be much appreciated as I am open to any way, shape or form that will irritate and worry my mother about my abilities and level of sanity to complete this most holy of missions.
Wish me luck in all my endeavors, for I sail now into waters that are choppy and dangerous. I WILL get pregnant this cycle, and I WILL totally make my mother look like the cook from Little Orphan Annie.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

An Exercise in Futility

As I have previously posted I am a notorious repeater. So much so in fact this cycle I completely ran out of OPKs and had to go buy more. Not. A. Positive. In. Sight. UGH! I'm so frustrated. I honestly believe that temping and going on that damn TWW site make it worse for me. I haven't done this in months.
The worst part is that I know, because I want it so bad, it won't happen. It just won't. I've done all the right things this cycle; even if I ovulate tomorrow instead of yesterday. Yet I know that it just won't work.
I'm mad, and hurting and just feel icky and I don't know how to stop. I don't know how to pull myself out of this depression. It's been a hard day. My son practically destroyed the whole house. I mean that in all seriousness. He broke: a picture frame, the entertainment center drawer, his curtain rod; he unrolled all the toilet paper, wouldn't nap and has generally just been difficult today. I think the actual walls might be next.
I realize that I need to "stop trying." I know that the stress at this point is as bad, if not worse, than the PCOS. I need to find an outlet for all of this and I'm hoping this blog will help. If not...maybe I need to abandon the whole damn thing. Give up.
On a better husband is moving right along in the process of becoming a sheriff! Well, deputy sheriff. All he has left to do is the psych eval which happens on Monday! He passed his drug/physical test this morning. This is truly a blessing. He got hired on w/CDOC in Sept. of 2009 and he has been commuting 4 hours a day everyday. He's never home, always tired, and to top it off it's a super stressful job. If he gets the job with the sheriff's dept. he will cut his commute down to maybe an hour a day and will have 4 on 4 off. Better benefits as well. He deserves it. He tested and applied almost a year ago and we heard nothing for MONTHS! I'm so proud of him. The poor, wonderful man, he's even kept up with my demanding "performance" schedule. Bless him. he is truly a saint. :)
I want to end this on a good note...out with the bad in with the good. I'm so thankful for my family, in particular my son and my husband. I'm also immensely glad for a certain friend, Kroda, that helps me get through all my insane, clomid and pee stick induced hysteria; on basically a daily basis. Thanks for being there.
I've decided to deviate a bit from the infertility laden posts and try and focus on other things. So, in addition to some cut-back rantings about my busted plumbing, I'm going to make a true effort to make my life about something OTHER than this miserable existence I know call life.
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~ Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fetus Envy

Yes. I suffer from fetus envy. It has got to be the most shameful side effect of dealing with fertility treatments. For those of you who don't know, the term fetus envy refers to the unabashed hatred/jealousy/sadness that you feel when confronted with a pregnant woman.
My cousin's long term boyfriend's brother is having his baby today. It was "unplanned." Instead of feeling joy and maybe a smidge sentimental, as I would have 20 months ago, I feel this burning, raw pain in my stomach and heart. Sure I put on a good face, say all the right things, but deep down; maybe not even that deeply anymore, I'm seething. The inevitable phrases opo unbidden into my rage soaked brain "Why does SHE get a baby? They weren't even trying!" "This is their FOURTH child why can't I just get ONE more?" "Must be nice when it's so easy, I bet they don't even appreciate what they have."
Nasty thoughts. Unwanted and shameful thoughts. I have a running conversation with a good friend who is also going through infertility about this very subject.  I will randomly send or recieve an irate text message complaining to her and all of sundry how unfair and mean it is that that strange woman should have the audacity to walk in front of my car visibly pregnant, with another in tow in front of BabiesRUs. We then commence reassuring each other that we are not bad, hateful people, just angry at our situation.
I will sometimes blurt out loud "Oh my God ANOTHER ONE!" When in public with my family as we pass the seemingly 1000th pregnant woman at Target. It feels as if every person except me is pregant. Facebook is a plethora, a treasure trove of baby announcements. It seems that every day someone new is knocked up, or even more painfully declaring the woes of new babies when I sit sad and despondant at my computer screen reading their unhappiness with their new child and all I want is the opportunity to throw up all day, get sore feet and never sleep for 8 months. I would give anything, and I do mean anything to feel that again.
I was recently on one of my favorite conception sites and I read the saddest story. A woman was posting about how sad she was because she had been trying for 7 months and couldn't get pregnant. Ok I understand that, it's rough. I read on to find out that due to financial woes she had terminated a healthy pregnancy 10 months ago. Needless to say the TTC community was outraged. I logged onto the site today and she's pregnant. This will be her third pregnancy.
I'm having a hard time with this today, I know that today is O day, D day if you will. We ahve tried everything we could this cycle and I know that by tomorrow it won't matter. Then the waiting, the symptom spotting, the line interpreting will start anew. In the end though, it all comes down to today. I will either conceive or won't. I try to be happy and positive about my situation, but there is that niggling voice in the back of my head screaming the atrocity that is fetus envy all the time. Every tv show, news brief, post or fleeting glance of that ever elusive pregnancy taunts me. Drives me crazy. Makes me feel ungrateful and spiteful. I hope that this post will help someone who feels this know that we are not bad people that wish ill on anyone, or even that we don't want to know about friends' pregnancies. We are just hurting and, to be honest, jealous. Wish me is a day that will live in infamy. (At least for me.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Many Joys of "The Repeater"

So, my son has hit that most unfortunate of stages: repetition. As I type the word my whole body shudders and lines from the 2 most frequent films start to stream through my conciousness. "We're vikings, it's an occupational hazard," "You're FIRED-DUH!" Now, if you're lucky enough not to recognize those now infamous lines (at least at my house) they are from How to Train Your Dragon and The Cat in The Hat; respectively.
As I patter around the house, picking up an offending toy from the bottom of my foot, grappling another load of toddler sized laundry it hits me: I'm. A. Repeater. So it's not an unfortunate state of toddlerhood, it's genetic! My poor, unaware son has inherited this defective gene from none other than me! How do I know this?
I, in fact, repeated this very morning. I am an obsessive OPK taker. For those of you who don't know an OPK, or Ovulation Predictor Kit, is a test that looks like a pregnancy test that you tinkle on and it will tell you your two most fertile days. Well, OPKs being the fickle creatures they are are dependant upon many variables: urine concentration, time of day, cycle on and so forth. Therefore, as only a logical, obsessively trying to get pregnant woman would do....I pee on one almost hourly. All 14 from today were negative in case you were wondering, but we are getting closer :)
I do the same thing with pregnancy tests, although the time frame is much shorter being as you can only detect pregnancy accuratly from a few days before your "missed" period and on. Even knowing that, however, doesn't stop me from testing the day after ovualtion. Just in case. I also BBT chart, taking my temperature at the same time, in the same side of my mouth, everyday.
My name is Katrina and I am a repeater.
I just thought it was funny how something so irritating and incomprehensible in a toddler is justifiable and even encouraged in adults. I was told by my doctor to test "at least twice a day," so that I timed intercourse correctly. I go on a particular website *cough, cough* where sane, smart women just like me post picture after picture of pregnancy tests to try and decipher any tiny smudge of pink. Lord help you if someone sees something because then it becomes a frenzy of pee-sticks! Your post becomes this jungle of angles, color saturations and different backgrounds all to capture the elusive second pink line you have been striving for!
So....I now sit with my son, watching Cat in the Hat for the fourth time today, not as judgemental as this morning. Maybe a little more understanding how doing watching something that makes you happy over and over again; whether it be a movie or the emergence of a pink line, can happen to the best of us.
So I say unto you: My fellow not hide your idiosyncrocies....embrace them! Watch the movie again, take another test. You never know. The ending this time might surprise you.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Secondary Infertility Guilt: A View Into the Mind of a Mad Infertile Woman

Secondary infertility guilt. This is a thought/opinion/feeling of mine that I have often and verbalize rarely. Most of the people that I talk to about this either have not been cursed (thankfully) w/infertility at all;or are suffering from (sadly) primary infertility which means they have no kid(s). Both groups are equally hurtful, sometimes unintentionally sometimes not, and both creatE that irrepresable feeling of guilt.
Why the guilt? Well, I was recently asked by a close family member "Why can't you be happy with the one you have?" Hmmm. Why can't I? Am I some horrible, insenstive TTC monster that is so focused on getting pregnant that I ignore and don't appreciate the child I have? Am I going about this wrong? Should I just stop taking the drugs and let "nature take it's course" because I have a child? These thoughts race through my mind anytime that someone makes a comment even resembling that one. I am incredibly happy and eternally grateful for my son. I know how lucky I am.  I don't think however that should exclude me from wanting and pursuing more. The guilt strikes again. "What about those women who don't have any?" Or " At least your not one of those women who has miscarriages all the time." How do you respond to that? What do you say that doesn't come off as cruel or dismissive?
I feel guilty that I'm so sad that I'm having trouble getting pregnant again b/c of the ladies that can't at all. I feel guilty that people think I don't appreciate my son. I feel guilty when these things get said to me and all the while I'm screaming inside of my head "WHAT ABOUT ME?! I HURT TOO AND IT'S JUST AS REAL AS ANYON ELSES'!"
Thats what I want people to know with this post. I feel to the very depths of my soul for those going through this, for those who aren't yet blessed w/the child they desire so badly. I, however, do want recognition that it hurts just as bad when you say those things to me, when I'm told I should stop and be happy w/Cian it cuts just as deeply. I want those sufferng from primary infertility to know that those of us w/secondary DO feel guilty. Pain is pain. Whether you hurt from having none, or having the option to have more taken from you, it hurts.
That being said, everyone that I have met in this situation have been nothing but supportive and wonderful. Fingers crossed ladies....this is a lucky month. I can feel it. :)

Hello World Wide Web

So....this is my first ever blog and first ever post. I really don't care if I get readers or not; I just wanted a safe venue to talk about the things that are going on in my life. For some reason it's easier to type how I feel to complete strangers than talk to anyone in real life. I can't take the pitying looks, the rolling of the eyes or the glazed expression that tells me that people are tired of talking about my struggle with infertility. I don't blame them. I'm tired of dealing with it too.
Just so everyone knows, this month, Nov.2010, marks our 9th round of fertility treatments with the ovulation drug Clomid. I'm no 100mg cd 3-7 and also taking Metformin 2000mg daily for the last 2 months. This is our last ditch effort before we have to move on to IUI/IVF as per doctor's orders. I was diagnosed w/PCOS in Feb.2010. I also have suspected endometriosis. My husband checked out A-OK and my HSG was all clear.
I have a 2 1/2 year old son Cian. He is the light of my life and the joy of every one of my days. He is rowdy, mischevious, hell on wheels kinda guy. He's smart, funny and I wouldn't know what to do w/o him!
My husband Shawn, and I have been married for 4 1/2 years, together for 8. We met when I was 16 and he was 18. Love at first site and still going strong. He's been in law enforcement for almost 4 years and is currently attempting to get on w/a local sheriff's department.
Thats my backstory and a little current information. This blog is mainly going to be my rant and rave section for infertility, so if you don't wanna know...don't read :)
I'll post again soon!