So S. and I had our follow up appointment at Shady Grove Fertility yesterday and heard some great news! S has super sperm and I have an amazing uterus and super beautiful fallopian tubes. Well, he didn’t say that, but that’s what I heard. Anyway …
Looks like we are taking a step back from an IUI cycle – which I assumed would be the next step, and doing something oh so sexy called Timed Intercourse. I wish it had a better name, perhaps we will call it TI. Either way, it is basically the same steps (Clomid, trigger shot, ultrasound), but instead of an IUI, we have sex during the perfect time. This makes me very, very nervous.
I just don’t trust myself to get this right. There are lots of steps that require timing, and I just don’t think I can do it AND get it right. Plus … S. giving me a shot in my belly makes me queasy. I can handle a trained professional in a doctor’s office, with gloves and … such. I just wish we knew for a FACT this was going to work. I am not hopeless, just perhaps not getting my hopes up.
I’ve read a lot about couples dealing with infertility who are just desperate for a kid – ANY kid. Well, we are not there yet, but I can promise you, there are quite a few kids we would not jump at the chance to parent. Mainly from movies. Here’s our short list, I’ll think you’ll agree:
Damien, The Omen: I mean really. That one goes without saying. First of all, he is beyond creepy with the milky white skin and dark dark hair, but what can you expect from Satan’s son? The lesson? When a priest warns you that your kid is possibly the antichrist, listen.
Rhoda, The Bad Seed: One of my all time favorite movies! Rhoda was sugary sweet (enough to make me want to not like her, it actually creeps me out) until …. a kid dies at a school picnic and Rhoda shows up with the kid’s penmanship medal. Every parent SAYS they want to perfect, polite, loving child …
Henry, The Good Son: Along the sames lines of Pollyanna, a bad kid everyone sees as good. However, this little darling throws a dummy off an overpass, kills the neighbor’s dog and alludes to killing his brother (who ‘drowned’). Not a kid I would snatch up and take home to snug-a-bug with.
Sid, Toy Story: The mean bully next door not only steals toys, but he tortures them and turns them into monsters. Doesn’t that usually indicate a future sociopath? Or perhaps just ‘boys being boys’.
Cole, The Sixth Sense: I love this movie, but I can’t help but be a little creeped out by this overly mature, sad boy – aside from the fact he sees dead people.
Who has an “amazing” uterus and “awesome” fallopian tubes? This gal!
I had my HSG yesterday and it was, apparently, the quickest and best they’d seen all morning. The RNs at Shady Grove are ah-mazing. I made a big deal out of not having a partner go with me (why? it’s a 3 minute test), but was a little nervous when I got there and it looked like a fancy, expensive hospital. Lots of couples, all the ladies in paper gowns … but all I got was a fancy booties and a butt baring gown. In and out in 3 minutes.
What does all this mean? My lady bits and S.’s boy parts are ready for makin’ a baby. We are meeting with Dr. Greenhouse on Thursday to talk next steps. I am just feeling so relieved nothing else is going on aside from the lack of ovulating.
So it’s been a few days since I had my ultrasound (another step in the pre-screening process) and guess what? I have a crap ton of eggs! Apparently 15 is the average and I am housing 27. The doc was showing me on the ultrasound screen and pointed out the ‘cookie shape’ (aka massive blob) and then pointed out ALL the chocolate chips. I think when I finally get pregnant, I am going to call Baby W, I am going to call him/her ‘cookie’. It seems fitting.
Tomorrow I get to drive to Rockville during rush hour to have radiation shot into my lady bits. If you live in the DC metro area, you are probably struggling to figure out what’s worse – driving to Rockville in rush hour or radiation in the lady bits. Then …. THEN! We have our followup appointment with Doc Greenhouse on Thursday to decide the next course of action.
Things are moving right along. And by ‘moving right along’ I mean ‘moving at a snails pace’.
There is a lot of buzz in the blog world about television shows attempting to fictionalize infertility. I’ve seen lots of negative comments – not showing the emotion behind it, the financial distress, pressure on the marriage, the time it takes …. well duh. Why would anyone want to watch that? My journey is not funny (most the time) or worthy of an hour during prime time. Nor do I look to television to confirm I’m normal and my situation is normal. It’s entertainment, and I can appreciate that.
Here are some shows I discovered that have a story line relevant to infertility. I am sure there are more, but these are the ones I watch (I hear Grey’s Anatomy had a good story line going).
Parenthood – Julia Braverman struggles with secondary infertility and in this season, takes in a foster kid. She also was thisclose to adopting from the coffee cart teenager at work, but that fell through in the hospital. This is really the first show I sobbed with while Julia was going through everything.
Friends – Monica and Chandler struggle to get pregnant, find out they are both dealing with fertility challenges, and end up adopting twins. She also learned she won’t have biological children after watching Rachel have an unplanned pregnancy.
How I Met Your Mother – After struggling with not getting pregnant, they find out Marshall is infertile – a great plot twist, there isn’t much discussion around male infertility. Also, Robin learned that she won’t be able to have biological kids, and even though that was never part of her life plan, it was heartbreaking for her to learn she didn’t have the ability to change her mind.
Rules of Engagement – Audrey and Jeff explore IVF and have a surrogate. PS – I find this show insufferable sometimes. Even the infertility end of it is dragging on and Jeff is a moron. I can’t even tell you more about the storyline since I barely watch the show.
Brothers & Sisters – I miss this show so much. Kitty started doing infertility treatments, which were unsuccessful and ultimately adopted a baby. This show is all about baby making! The gay couple adopted an older foster kid, though he donated sperm to his brother who was infertile. If you think this soap opera-esque is hard to follow, just watch the show on Netflix. You will be hooked.
I’ve struggled with how to write this post for a variety of reasons. I’ve tried to be honest in my blog because all these emotions are honest. Also, it involves my sister in law, R., who is also my best friend, but the main reason I’ve struggled is because I am not sure how to articulate my feelings.
R. is pregnant! I am so excited to be an aunt, and S. is thrilled to be an uncle (funny aside, he is an only child and it never occurred to him that he could be an uncle). R. and my brother were pregnant once before and, sadly, had a miscarriage. They’ve been trying for awhile, so I consider this a hard fought victory. I have to say, I am a little relieved they didn’t ‘get pregnant by accident’. I am especially excited this little one is going to be born near my birthday. I know what you are thinking … there has to be more emotions around this. You are correct my friend.
I am mad. I am NOT mad at R., not even close. I am just plain mad.
I am mad I am in a situation where I have to work out all these emotions.
I am mad R. was worried about telling me – she shouldn’t have to feel that way during a happy time.
I am mad I had to say I needed a few days to process and couldn’t participate in her excitement in the moment.
I am mad my family has to walk on eggshells around me. I am mad I think that’s okay.
I am mad my body isn’t cooperating.
Today I am just mad. And that’s going to have to be okay. Another joy of my telework/flex hours job – I think I might take to the bed for part of the day tomorrow.
So …. the time has come (pun intended) for S. to do a semen analysis. We planned it perfectly – 7 days ejaculation free (which sounds like the signs they have in factories: Accident Free: 2 days), taking the sample within a 2 hour drop off window on a day that worked for my schedule … we were so happy to have this done. Well, S. was happier than me. We can leave it at that.
I jumped up with the alarm, dropped the dog off at day camp, then rushed over to the Shady Grove office. No one knew I had a cup of semen in a brown paper bag on the passenger seat. Thank goodness I wasn’t pulled over, imagine that conversation. “Sorry for speeding officer, I have a bag of sperm here that will go bad in 2 hours.”
I rush up to the office and guess what. I needed an appointment to do a ‘drop’. SON OF A CRAP! No one told us that vital piece of information. So … 7 more days ejaculation free and another trip with semen in my purse. What did I do with the sample? I put it BACK in my purse and threw it out at home. What was I suppose to do? “Sorry we didn’t make an appointment, can you dispose of this please?” … I felt it was too early for that sorta relationship.
In other news, my blood work came back fine and I am STD free and all my levels are consistent with whatever they are suppose to be. As my Mom said, “I bet S. is relieved you don’t have the clap.” – yep. It’s THAT kind of mother/daughter relationship. Also, Dr. Greenhouse gave me the go ahead to start back on Concerta until we know the course of treatment. Praise Jesus, it’s a tough month at work for unmedicated me.
S. is getting his blood work done on Saturday. I hope he doesn’t have the clap.
I would think that a blog post about the first trip to Shady Grove Fertility would be eventful and exciting. Sadly, it was just another trip to a doctor, which is why I haven’t posted about it.
The good news is S. and I both really liked Dr. Greenhouse (insert joke here about growing a baby) and the nurse we worked with. He was really laid back and interested in getting me knocked up – both things that are important to me these days. Based on our discussion, mainly our history, he thinks getting pregnant shouldn’t be a problem. Unless there is an issue that crops up in our pre-screening.
So what’s the next step? A billion pills. Including birth control pills – which is another counter-intuitive thing for women battling infertility. We have LOTS of paperwork outlining a timeline, all of which is way to overwhelming right now. I got my blood drawn, and now I am just waiting on the results before starting Provera. Remember that fun little pill? Right, here we go again!
So this is a boring post, even sitting in the office thinking about my next blog post I thought it would be boring. Stay tuned!
Here’s another little tid-bit about me. I’m a Unitarian Universalist! What’s that mean? Good question. I have yet to nail down the elevator pitch, but basically it’s an open and nurturing ‘church’ for people to explore what they believe. I was raised Catholic in a liberal household, married a loose Jew and want to raise our children with some sort of belief. The UU’s non-belief suited our lifestyle. Come as you are, you are loved and valued. ANYWAY … to the point.
I was never lucky enough to have one of those amazing moments where God spoke to me. For some it’s in the dark of night and for others it’s in a Bible passage or hymn. I never felt bad for the lack of divine inspiration, but hey, who wouldn’t want a light insight from a higher power?
A few nights ago, in a church Membership Committee meeting, I got my ‘hey, you, I’m listening’ message from God. Our pastor closed the meeting with a reading from Wayne B. Arnason, a minister at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Cleveland and it sat nagging in my head for a few days. It seems fitting since it was my last meeting so I could focus on baby makin’.
Take Courage Friends
Take courage friends.
The way is often hard, the path is never clear,
and the stakes are very high.
For deep down, there is another truth:
you are not alone.
I am so moved by this passage, I have read it multiple times and it has given me such peace. A little reassurance never hurts 🙂
Nothing really going on, didn’t ovulate and my period is late this cycle. We are off to Shady Grove a week from today for our consultation. Thought I would post another fun video from None in the Oven.