Thursday, April 7, 2011

My A to Z of Infertility

Fawn’s Infertile A to Zs
Lindsey stole (her word, not mine) this list from a non-IF blog and altered the questions to apply to life as an infertile.  I’ve decided that I really like her idea of us “infertiles” passing this around and getting to know one another even better.  I won’t be posting until after the weekend with my sister is over, so I hope you gals don’t mind that this is a little long.  I'll miss you. 

Okay…so here’s my list…

A. Age Age when you started TTC:   29…officially.  The Prince and I never used birth control during the few years we dated.  I stopped taking Lupron for endometriosis (which had me in a perpetual state of suppression since age 16) the May before our August wedding.  

B. Bed Size Baby Dancing or Sex: I have to agree with Lindsey…I HATE the term baby dancing.  We actually don’t say “sex” either.  It’s more like “Let’s do it.  The OPK says it’s time.”  It’s really romantic.

C. Children Children wanted: The Prince and I agree…2 kids.  I’m a firm believer in not being out-numbered by my children.  I’m okay with us having an only child though.  I was an only child until age 8…and I was NOT happy about sharing the attention when my sister was born.

D. Dogs Dogs/Cats/Fill in Children: Two furry little pugs (Josephine and Napoleon).  My mother calls them her “grand-doggers.”

E. Essential start to your day Essential Oils/Vitamins/Snake Oils: I’ve got the old lady pill keeper – the one with the enormous lettering and even bigger compartments.  I take baby aspirin, DHEA, a prenatal vitamin, folic acid (an addition from my neurologist because I have to take anti-seizure meds even while trying to get pregnant), fish oil capsules, melatonin, vitamin D3, and ginger root (when I’m sick to my stomach from the meds).  I also use castor oil during my maya abdominal massages (to stimulate the blood flow in the uterus) and have tried a bunch of Chinese herbs, which I ditched when we decided to go the donor route.

F. Favorite color Fertility Meds I’ve taken: Lupron, Menopur, Follistim, Dexamethasone, Zythromax, Ganirelix Acetate, Luveris, HcG, Birth Control Pills, Glucophage (Metformin), Ovidrel, Novarel, Progesterone in Oil, Prometrium, Estradiol tablets, Delestrogen, Doxicyline, and (soon) Intralipids.  The Prince has been on Clomid a couple of times for his issues and he has to take Zythromax each IVF cycle.

G. Gold or silver Gain: I’ve gained lots of weight!  I’ve gained an appreciation for how unfair life can be.  I’ve gained a respect for the fact that I am not able to achieve anything I put my mind to just by working hard at it (my preschool teacher lied about that one).  I’ve gained a lot of friends and insight into who I am as a person being challenged by something much bigger than I am.

H. Height HSG (Hystosalpingogram): Actually, I never had the pleasure of having one of these.  I’ve had so many laparoscopies and laparotomies that there was never a need to do an HSG.  I have had fluid pushed through my tubes during surgeries, but not dye and just to open up the clubbed left tube, before they finally took it out.  I was out when they did it, so it really doesn’t count. 

I. Instruments you play Infertile Pet Peeves: Oh…where to begin!  Mothers taking for granted the gift they’ve been given.  Facebook status updates about every aspect of everyone’s pregnancies.  Pushy preggo’s who insist that they know what you need to do to get pregnant.  Infertiles who forget how being infertile feels once they’ve become pregnant.  People who tell me that perhaps infertility is God trying to tell me I’m not meant to be a mother, or that I should adopt.  Seriously…one more person tell me that they can’t understand why I don’t just adopt!  I dare you!

J. Job title (I left this the same since we can’t say SAHM): Government Attorney

K. Kids Kid’s names you’re afraid will be taken by the time you can use them: Eden and Ella  (OK…What I am about to write is not responsive to this question, and I know I try not to use names in my blog…but I can’t help myself on this one.  I was always worried my sister would take a baby name that I want…imagine my relief when she informed me that she was naming my nephew “Harriot Lucian Mattias [last name] the Third.”  No crap!  And…even better…there is no Harriot Lucian Mattias the first…or the second…and the dad’s name is not any of those names.  Classy, right?  Sorry if she stole the name you were hoping for…although, under her logic, you could use it and just stick a new number on the end of the name)

L. Live for _____ Length of time TTC: 3 years, plus.  It’s about time to stop counting. 

M. Most embarrassing moment Miscarriages: None.  The only thing I can think of that would be worse than the constant disappointments The Prince and I have faced is the possibility of finally getting that second line on the pee stick, only to have it disappear.  I know there are a lot of you women out there who have survived it…but I have a hard time believing that I could endure that disappointment and pain.  My strength only runs so deep.

N. Nicknames Number of times you’ve switched OB/GYNS, REs, FSs:  If you count all of the OBGYN’s that I’ve had for endometriosis treatment and my RE’s, the number is 13.  Generally, someone works on me until they can’t think of anything other than a hysterectomy, and I get a referral to someone else and start all over.  Plus, I’ve moved around a lot.  I’m a pretty chaste girl, but a lot of people have seen my nether regions at this point.  It’s embarrassing really.

O. Overnight hospital stays Ovarian quality: Bad is an understatement.  I only have one ovary left and it just won’t produce eggs for me.  Even with estrogen priming and doses of meds like 1200 IU of Follistim with 600 IU of Menopur as a chaser…my poor lonely ovary has pretty much puttered out…although it occasionally kindly blesses me with a cyst or endometrial lesion.

P. Pet peeves POAS or wait for AF:  POAS!!!  I am always on lots of progesterone supplements during our cycles.  I don’t start AF until I’ve been off the progesterone for a few days, so the choice for me is never wait for AF or POAS, it is always wait for the beta or POAS.  My blog is called “The Princess and the Pee Stick.”  Enough said.

Q. Quote from a movie Quote from an obnoxious fertile: Hmmmm…so many to choose from, again.  I would have to say that my ultra-Catholic aunt telling me that I was “interfering with God’s plan by trying to make a test tube baby” might be the winner.  That may not sound like such a bad quote, but we were at my grandmother’s funeral at the time and I had never told my aunt that we were trying IVF, she had just heard it through the grapevine.  So, the bad timing, the surprise of her even knowing about my personal issue and the insensitivity of the comment created a trifecta that I think makes this one my winner. 

S. Siblings Sperm: The Prince’s swimmers swim in circles.  He has about one-fifth as many swimmers as he is supposed to have (I tried convincing him that means we have to have sex 5 times as many times as everyone else…but he, unfortunately, is not that naïve) and only 8% have healthy shape and motility.  And yet…the Prince takes such joy in letting me know that “his problem” is eliminated through ICSI.  Men!

T. Time you wake up Time you tried naturally: None…sort of.  Like I said…we didn’t use birth control because I was on the Lupron and we assumed there would be problems.  My first RE had me go off Lupron before we got married, but my AF never came and my cycle never started on its own…so we pretty much went straight into medicated cycles after marriage.

U. University attended Uterus quality:  According to my surgeons, the inside of my uterus is lovely, but the outside frequently has endometriosis on it.  Also, my uterus is severely retroverted and it adheses itself to the bottom of my abdominal cavity in an inverted position.  So, I have had to have three uterine suspensions, where they cut it loose and then tie up the ligaments…sort of suspending the uterus higher up inside.  Still…no one seems to think that is going to cause problems with me getting or staying pregnant.  It just causes a lot of pain and abnormal bleeding.  Who knows?  Maybe between my uterus being in the wrong place and The Prince’s swimmers swimming in circles…the comedy of errors will someday result in an “oops.”  A girl can dream right?

V. Vegetables Vagina: Hmmm.  How to answer this question?  I try not to think about my vagina too much because it feels like a separate entity at this point…all of the poking and prodding it has endured…and the clinical kind, not the fun kind.  I am hoping that I one day have the pleasure of having a panic attack because I realize a baby’s head is going to be coming out of it.  What else can you say about the V word? 

W. What makes you run late What baby stuff do you already have?: None.  I am superstitious.  I do have a maternity shirt that says “Tax Deduction” on the belly.  It is how I planned to announce a positive POAS to The Prince.  But now I’ve found a t-shirt that says “The Situation” on the belly…and given The Prince’s irrational obsession with The Jersey Shore, I may have to change “announcement shirts.”  My new plan is to come out of the bathroom in “The Situation” shirt, with the positive pee stick in hand and say ‘Honey, we have a situation.”  This probably sounds so lame to you…but it fits the sense of humor in our relationship…a little ridiculous.

X. X-rays you’ve had X-tra X-tra Hear all about it! How many people know the ins and outs of our crazy TTC journey?  Too many.  I can’t keep my damned mouth shut and then I get all upset when people don’t respond the way I want them too.  Even now, after three years, I’ll go into a new situation or a new friendship saying in my head “Do not tell this person about your infertility stuff” and a week later, I’ve spilled the beans.  My boss knows in broad strokes…he is awesome and given that I am still in a one year probationary period at work (and he decides if I pass probation in May), I felt he needed to know about the random absences.  It was a good choice.  A couple of my coworkers know.  A couple of my former coworkers know.  The Prince’s parents and sister, my Mom and sister, and some old friends of mine know.  Apparently my ultra-Catholic aunt knows.  And, surprisingly, the Prince has told more people than I thought he would.  I’m still not “out of the closet,” but sometimes feel like I should be given the number of people who already know.

Y. Yummy food you make Yearly Exam (do you still go in even though someone sees your lady parts most months?: Usually someone just throws it in during one of the other procedures.  I laugh a little inside when I hear fertiles complaining about upcoming PAP’s. 

Z. Zoo animal favorites Zits: I was one of those blessed teenagers who never had a single zit in high school.  Pay back is a …well…you know.  It’s not on the list, but I also have facial hair that I never had before.  Sometimes, I feel like a billy goat.  Seriously…it sucks!  The other day, the woman waxing my eyebrows asked if I wanted my chin done too.  UGH!

So now you’ve read mine.  What are your IF A to Zs?  Thanks for this great idea Lindsey.  I hope it catches on.


aliciamarie911 said...

I'm with you on people telling you it's not Gods will for you to have a child. I hear it from people in my church and from my family all the time. I'm SOOOO tired of hearing it! No one understands until they're in our situation. People can be SO stupid!

Ants said...

This was a great idea for a post! I so hear you on the 'Infertile Pet peeves' agree with all of those! Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog! :)

Lindsey said...

HAHAHA, I was rolling when I read your sister's baby name choice!! I also love your Jersey Shore announcment idea! I can't stop watching that show, its like a train wreck where you can't look away... Thanks for completing the a-zs, its always fun to learn more stuff we have in common.

China Doll said...

Great post... will have to complete my own A-Z soon :)

New Year Mum said...

Sorry about my slow commenting this week :( Love this A-Z list... great idea :)) Will have to fill in mine soon :) Hope your w/end goes OK... thinking of you xoxo

mommie-to-be said...

Hi, I am a new follower to your blog and gotta say I agree with you most on the "infertile pet peeves." I also hate it when women use FB not only to announce their pregnancies, but also as a forum to complain about each and every symptom they have. Ugh! Makes me crazy! I always tell myself that when I DO get pregnant, I will be happy with every bit of morning sickness, etc. I have also had my mother-in-law say to me, that if it's God's will for me to have a baby I will. Seriously?! So, I can relate to a lot of what you've said there. Oh, and I have two pugs who are my fur-babies as well, Zoe and Xander. :)