Monday, January 31, 2011

Surgery date is set

My surgery date is set for March 25. I was actually thinking about delaying it to April and getting my fertility specialist to do it, but I've come to the conclusion that there might be a small part of me that thought that out of avoidance.

I've decided to just go ahead with the original date. At first I was thinking that I wanted more time to try naturally before clipping my tubes and being done with natural fertility forever. And then I snapped back to reality. After three years, do I really need a few more months? I have just been fooling myself. My tubes are blocked. If I do get pregnant, there is a high chance that I will have an ectopic pregnancy, and that would just be awful. So bye bye tubes!

The doctor that will perform the surgery is from the same fertility clinic, and although I have yet to meet her, I'm sure she will be just fine to clip my tubes. I know someone that works at the hospital and she has nothing but good things to say about her, so that is good news.

I had a wonderful weekend including a dinner with my dear friend Sarah from The Rocky Road to Motherhood (who I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about since I talk about her every other post!) How can I not be hopeful for the future when I see her growing belly? She dusted me with baby dust and a belly rub, because that was done to her the month before she did her successful IVF.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I am obsessed

If men think about sex every 7 seconds (my husband confirms that fact), then I think about infertility every 3 seconds.

This is how my day goes. In the interest of space, I'll go in 20 minute increments rather than 3 seconds.

11:20 PM - 7:00 AM: Sleeping. Infertility is in my dreams. Sometimes it takes the form of babysitting someone else's child, and having something go horribly wrong. I think I have insecurities of if I would be a good mother. Before you comment, I know I would be. But at night, your mind defies using logic and for whatever reason, that seed is planted in there. It is never my child though. I don't know what that means.

7:00 AM: My alarm wakes me up. I hit snooze, take my basal temperature, copy it down. I take note of how I feel. Is this going to be a pain-free day or a painful day? Nothing aching. Fantastic. I go back to sleep.

7:20 AM: Snooze.

7:40 AM: Yawn. I pet the dog who has wedged into my side for warmth and wander to the computer to officially record my temperature for the day. I check my email. I get a weekly email from a fertility clinic in the States which can have some useful information. "5 Ways to Re-Think Fertility and Stress". Breath deep, huh? Mind-boggling. I think that one day the computer room will be a baby room, like the people we bought the house from. Maybe. Please?

8:00 AM: I look at the treadmill. I stand there and wonder, will losing 10 pounds really help my
fertility? I finally decide, what if it does? I become a mouse in a running wheel.

8:20 AM: Still a mouse.

8:40 AM: This had better be worth it.

9:00 AM: Shower. My collection of abdominal scars are still there. I think about what day it is in my cycle. I need to warn my husband if ovulation is approaching. He needs to know the schedule. After Day 10, those swimmers are MINE.

9:20 AM: Three cups of hot water and an egg. My acupuncturist says this is a perfect start to the morning. My friend who referred me to her described her as "the Chinese mother you never had" and she is right. I drink the water and eat the egg for fear of scolding. And I haven't seen her in months! She has that effect (but is a very sweet lady). I grab my pillbox and take my daily dose of CoQ10, prenatal vitamin, vitamin C, vitamin D, fish oil, royal jelly, folic acid. Maybe I should make an appointment with her...

9:40 AM: Heading out the door, I run into my little old Portuguese neighbour. I cringe a bit, because I know what is coming next. She starts crying about her son who passed away last year of cancer. Gods, I would rather not be pregnant than lose a child. I don't think I could survive. I am definitely not strong enough. I hug her, she sniffs, and I get to my bus stop.

10:00 AM: I'm on public transit. I manage to be wedged between two strollers. The babies are gurgling at me. I swear they always look at me. Depending on my mood, I either (a) look and smile at the baby/mother, (b) ignore them as if they don't exist, or (c) get up and run away. Most days it's (b).

10:20 AM: Arrive at work. Log onto my email and check my email. The email that I probably most look forward to is my friend Sarah. In the past, we've been each other's support in our infertility journeys. Now that she is pregnant, she is, of course, STILL supportive.

10:40 AM - 12:00 PM: Work, with a bit of fertility surfing.

12:00 PM: Head down to the dungeon (aka my work's basement) where they've squirreled away the microwaves in a tiny, smelly room. I go down with my co-worker, who is thinking about her fourth IVF attempt. We often use the walk down as a sanity check for the day.

12:20 PM: Back at my desk. Munching on my no-wheat, no-red meat, no dairy, no sugary lunch. This would be the endo diet. It's supposed to help calm endo, since it seems almost everything we eat is an inflammatory. Not fun. The running joke with my friend: if I succeed with the endo diet, I can reward myself with broccoli! (oooh aaah)

1:00 PM: I grab a little glass jar I have and head to the washroom. I pee in it, invariably getting some on my hand. Ew. Sterile right? Dip my ovulation strip in and watch for two lines. Dream that it's a home pregnancy test. Snap back and flush and return to desk with test strip hidden in hand.

1:20 PM - 6:20 PM: Work, with a bit more fertility surfing. These days, it's ICLW blogs. And how to increase ovarian reserves. If it's very close to O time, then definitely more peeing into a little jar. I message my good friend of mine (and co-worker) throughout the day. He and his wife have been trying the same as us, and are just looking at fertility clinics now. Most days, we don't talk about it, some days it comes up. (Might I mention, I do have co-workers that do not have infertility. Just so happens that my close ones at work do - and they were my close friends before we all found out about each other.)

6:20 PM: Head out from work. I think about future blog entries. I can't use all of my good material at the beginning with nothing to write about later on!

7:00 PM: Get home. Make food for my husband, and something that fits the endo diet for me. Sometimes, I cheat. I don't know how people can do it 100%. When I open my fridge, I have $4000 in fertility meds staring at me, ready to be used for my upcoming IVF cycle. Let's see... milk... tomatoes... Gonal F... oh THERE's the cauliflower!

7:20 PM: Dog and husband arrive back from their walk. Happy to receive hugs and kisses from them both! The dog of course expects a second dinner.

8:00 PM: Dinner at the table. Dog looks longingly. Husband starts to bend. Strict rules apply: no feeding from the table! I will so be the disciplinarian if we have a child...

8:20 PM - 11:00 PM: TV/movies (possibly cringing when there is something to do with pregnancy or babies) or Xbox (where I am concentrating too much on shooting the enemy to think about fertility) with the husband. Or, if it's that time of the month, we may be doing other things!

11:20 PM: And the cycle starts over again...

To share or not to share?

I am an extremely open person. As such, most of the people in my life know about what I am going through... from co-workers, to family, to friends.

I decided to reveal my journey to them for two reasons. First, it stopped the potentially hurtful questions of "So when are you going to have a baby?" I know you women have come up with many fantastic comebacks that I dream I could say... but the reality is, all I could muster would be, "Oh, we're not in a rush" or "Not now, maybe later". Which would invariably mean they would tell me not to wait too long, how their kids are the joy of their life. I'd nod, and depending on my mood just ignore the conversation or wallow in self-pity on the way home.

So I decided telling people would be better. And it is for sure. I don't get scared at co-worker's baby showers anymore. When my brother-in-law announced her pregnancy on Christmas Eve, there weren't questions on where was OUR announcement. It has made things easier, especially since I can be extra sensitive about these things.

Of course, there are drawbacks. When someone makes comments that hurt and they know of your troubles, it's hard to excuse them. I try to remember that sometimes 'they know not what they say'. I do not need to be reminded three times in one sitting that you got pregnant on your first try. I am happy for you, but that simple fact is a dagger in my heart.

The other reason why I tell others is I think it's important to put a face to infertility. There is no shame in what I am going through. To many, IVF is a procedure done by crazy women wanting to have 8 babies and get their own reality show.

So I tell those that will listen.

My dilemma now is to reveal this blog to loved ones. I have a close friend who I share a lot of my thoughts with who has done IVF numerous times and is going to try one, final time before calling it quits. Do I share with her? I know I have many caring friends who want to know all the gory details. What about them?

My gut tells me not to reveal it. That I need this space as my own, where I can bitch and complain and curse and not worry about who is reading it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Godmother to a little one

Greetings ICLWers! As you can see, I've just recently started this blog so there is not much here. You can see my history on the left.

I suppose the biggest news of the weekend is that my husband's brother and his wife have asked us to be the godparents (and legal guardians in the worst case scenario) to their little one. His wife is due at the beginning of July. I had actually prepared myself in case they asked us (one of the benefits of thinking too much about every possible situation, I suppose).

I am so glad that they asked us a month after they told us the news of the pregnancy because it took me a week to deal with the pregnancy news on Christmas Day. Had they sprung this at the same time of the announcement, I don't think I could have dealt with it.

My husband and I are very happy in our new roles. We are close to them, and we know that they have asked us not as infertile relatives but loving brother and sister-in-law.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My weekend

I had a pretty full weekend. On Saturday, I finally saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 with my pregnant sister-in-law. Soooo good. I love the darkness of it, and thinking how different the kids are from their first entrance into our world in the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Afterwards we headed to a nearby mall and shopped for maternity wear. She made sure I was OK (but even if I wasn't, I think I wouldn't have said so). I was alright with the exercise, as I am starting to get very excited about her pregnancy. I will not kid you though - there will be brief low moments. Even though my husband and I are an inter-racial couple, so too are my brother-in-law and his wife - so the baby will look very much like us. And that will be a bit hard to deal with at first.

Anyways - we were surprised at the lack of maternity wear in the massive mall. We then treated ourselves to a fancy dinner (all things that I have sworn off of, to come in tomorrow's post).

On Sunday morning, her husband (my husband's brother) came over to move our new treadmill to its final resting spot (in front of a TV, of course). I am excited that I will be able to use this, and I'm vowing this will be a much better purchase than the dusty elliptical in the basement.

The afternoon I spent with a co-worker and his family. He is a dear friend who I sat across from for many years before he switched roles in the department. I watched them go through male fertility issues, but with a little help from my clinic they have a beautiful girl and one more on the way. I feel like a dolt, but at one point in our conversation about infertility they revealed some of the stuff they went through, and I cried.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I'm feeling better today. I read some forum posts over at of women who have similar numbers to me and have gotten pregnant. Always helpful to read those positive stories and feel a bit more hopeful.

I'm looking into ways to decrease my FSH. One of the things is wheatgrass. I had been thinking about it for a while. One naturopath in Toronto can ship 200 0.5 oz frozen cubes for $179. The typical dosage they recommend is 2 oz... so that will last me 50 days.

Since I love to grow things -and- I have a grow-light stand at home, I am thinking about growing and juicing my own. It would be a lot cheaper, even though I would need to purchase a wheatgrass juicer.

Makes me laugh that I am thinking about growing grass.

I think I will also call my RE and see if she can schedule me in for bloodwork to test my numbers again on my next Day 3 (in a couple of weeks).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not a good day

I was thinking this morning that I was going to post something upbeat and/or funny, since it's been all doom and gloom so far.

Alas, today is not the day.

I had my followup appointment with my RE today. Not good news.

1. My Day 3 FSH was 11.0... It's never been that high! She would like to have seen it under 10.

2. My Anti-Mullerian Hormone test came back (this measures ovarian reserve)... and it's low. Low ovarian reserve.

She agrees with all of the findings that both my tubes are blocked, and recommends either clipping of my Fallopian tubes or Essure coils. The coils are inserted into the end of the Fallopian tubes, and the body naturally scars over it creating the closure. It takes 3 months for it to scar.

I've been reading about the coils since I got home, and I'm pretty sure I don't want them in my body. I've read stories where they failed to close the tubes after 6 months, where they've fallen out, or caused side effects and people have had to get them removed. Uh.. no thanks.

So it's a clipping we shall go. Next surgery date for my RE is April... she's going to see if one of her colleagues can do it sooner. Normally I'd wait for her but I think given my low reserve it's time to finally get this show on the road.

I was so upset after I left the doctor's office I almost threw up. I am at home now, 'working from home' because I didn't want to go to work and cry at my desk. As it was, I cried on the subway ride home.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Endometriosis and symptoms

So today I've decided I'm going to write about this horrible affliction I have called endometriosis (endo for short). Mainly because I'm in pain today.

For those that don't know, endo is when you have endometrial tissue outside of your uterus. When a woman menstruates, the endometrial tissue on the inside of the uterus sheds, giving us our lovely Aunt Flo. The thing is, women with endo have endometrial tissue ELSEWHERE.

They don't know why this happens. But it does, and it means then that wherever that tissue is, it bleeds. Bleeding leads to scarring and in my case, ovarian cysts, pelvic adhesions and PAIN!

A list of symptoms from Wikipedia follows. I've bolded the ones that I suffer from. Sorry if some of this is TMI.

- dysmenorrhea - painful, sometimes disabling cramps during menses; pain may get worse over time (progressive pain), also lower back pains linked to the pelvis
- chronic pelvic pain - typically accompanied by lower back pain or abdominal pain
- dyspareunia - painful sex
- dysuria - urinary urgency, frequency, and sometimes painful voiding
- infertility
- constipation
- chronic fatigue
- heavy or long uncontrollable menstrual period with small or large blood clots
- gastrointestinal problems including
diarrhea, bloating and painful defecation
extreme pain in legs and thighs
- back pain
- mild to extreme pain during intercourse
- pain from adhesions
which may bind an ovary to the side of the pelvic wall, or they may extend between the bladder and the bowel, uterus, etc.
- extreme pain with or without the presence of menses
- premenstrual spotting
- mild to severe fever
- headaches
- depression
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- anxiety

Yeah, the adhesions are fun. My organs like to snuggle close to each other. My surgeon told me part of my bladder was attached to my uterus, and my bowel was attached to the back of my pelvic wall, and my rectum was attached to my cervix.

The pain during sex is FANTASTIC for TTC too.

Sorry for all the sarcasm. I am definitely more bitchy when I am in pain.

One day I will type out my operative report from my September 2009 surgery because I find it fascinating read. But then again, it's my body. Maybe you won't find it interesting!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Knowing when to move on

There is a remarkable forum in Internet land that started as a place where new brides could talk freely about life. It was a place that I could turn to for anything and everything. A place where I had a captive audience that would weigh in on my ups and downs.

The women on there have gone through a lot in the few years. The small group of regulars have been through it all. You name it, and it has happened to one of us. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

We rejoiced when there were births or job promotions. We cried at heart-breaking losses (I'm tearing up just thinking about them). We marveled at the strength of women who indured hardships. We held up those that needed holding up.

I have recently left this forum of love and support. I had thought about it for months before taking the plunge and saying my farewell. I know there will be days where I will feel like running back.

Why did I leave? The demographics changed. It became a forum of mothers. And I know that 100% they would welcome me back with open arms. In a heartbeat. They have been incredibly supportive of the members that are struggling with infertility.

But with the change in demographics, came the obvious chatter about car seats and daycares. The little things that their little ones had done earlier on in the day that made their heart melt. And while I had a choice to read or not read those subforums, it was hard not to be caught up in their world.

Their world. Not mine. Those that started on their TTC journey at the same time as I have now have multiple little ones. My womb... still empty.

So I made the difficult decision to leave.

The forum has given me lifelong friends. And I know my time will come. I hope to one day come back to them when I am ready (babe in arms or not). Until then, they've been invited to keep track of me through this blog and I am happy to see some of them following me already!

To those of you reading: thank you so much for all the love and support over the years. I am a better person because of it. Please feel free to let me know how you are doing by emailing or commenting on my blog. I still think the world of each and every one of you!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I am not alone

I have a few good friends who are going through the same crazy journey. The sad reality is that 1 in 6 couples in Ontario have suffered or are suffering from infertility.

There is comfort though, in numbers. I can't even count the number of times something has happened that I've had to vent. "Can you believe that person was so insensitive by barraging me with questions on why I'm not pregnant yet?" or "I had a rough night last night, and then today everywhere there were baby strollers."

And yes, there are those moments where the walls seem to be crumbling down around me and where I think that I cannot take it anymore. The days where I am emotionally and physically exhausted and I want to quit.

In those dark times, I am so lucky to have a couple of friends who hold me up. Because of their own journeys, they know what to say (and what not to say). They remind me of things that I have said to them in THEIR dark times. They keep me sane.

I will be forever indebted to their love, support, and understanding through these times. And I am happy to report that one of these dear friends is pregnant! It has completely filled me with renewed optimism for this long and difficult process.

She posted a special blog post for me and posted two videos which had me in tears (in a good way) after I had a difficult holiday. Love you!

I share with you one of the videos, and hope that those reading will be filled with optimism and hope for the future. It is, of course fitting, that it is a CĂ©line Dion song given her own struggle.