Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Sometimes you don't.

Up and down, up and down, goes the never-ending roller coaster of emotions surrounding my (in)fertility.


Yes, I've been in the doldrums lately. And, at times, down right sad. Also despondent. A little anger and self-loathing thrown in for good measure.

I think a large part of my mental state may have to do with being totally exhausted. The wedding season is coming to an end, but, the slow-down isn't coming soon enough for me. I've been going balls-to-the-proverbial-wall for about 3 weeks straight now. (Well, six months, but the last 3 weeks in particular have been loony-toons). I'm at the point where I'm so tired, I can't sleep for crap. (Does this happen to anyone else?). Sort of an on-going cycle of sleep deprivation. Enough to make a rock-solid, emotionally stable person crack up a bit. For me, it's down-right dangerous territory.

My poor husband.

Also, I'm having a lot of anxiety regarding our upcoming (and now, postponed) IUI. We were going to do it this cycle (and I'm on cycle day 2 now, so I would have been starting the Clomid tomorrow) but we decided to wait one more cycle because as bad luck and timing would have it (natch') we'll be on vacation, with friends who are coming from out of town, next week. And, at the end of next week, we have planned a baptism for Baby Boy, with family and friends in attendance, and yes, as luck would have it, that would probably be the exact day that I would have to go in for the IUI. Too hectic. Also not fair for Baby Boy. That should be his day, with no interruptions or side-trips to the RE so Mommy can get a catheter shoved through her cervix. (As much as I enjoy the thought of that).

But the good news is: We're going on VACATION! I can not express to you how BADLY I need it. We are staying local, and renting a house up in Wine Country for a week! A divine, lovely, wine-filled week. And, I guess it's also good I'm not doing the IUI this cycle, because then I don't have to feel guilty about all the drink, and indulgent food. Or the spa treatments that could potentially include hot mud baths or some such craziness. If we were cycling, I might feel afraid or timid about participating in all of the above.

Hopefully, I'll be so relaxed and in such a good place after my vacation, that it will make my body all that much more receptive to getting pregnant when we do go forward with the IUI the following cycle. I am just a little bit bummed to have to put it on hold, though, because I was looking forward to finally attacking this problem and feeling like I'm doing something about it.

See? Up and down, up and down...silver lining, black hole, silver lining, black hole. It never ends.

It will end.

One day.

This will end. Somehow.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I've Been Schooled

Today was my IUI class.

I got up at 5:00 a.m., got dressed, woke up Baby Boy, gave him a bottle, packed his bags, and got in the car for the long drive into the City. I dropped Baby Boy off with my dear friend Susan around 7:30, and headed to the hospital for my mandatory class. The class started at 8:00 a.m.. I was early. The first one there, actually. As the rest of the people filed in, I couldn't help surreptitiously looking at each of them, and wondering about each woman or couple; how long have they been trying? What is their diagnosis? and, Will they or won't they get pregnant?

Most of the stuff in the class was pretty basic: The different kinds of cycles, (natural, Clomid, or Injectibles) procedures, risks, etc., etc.. As the nurse went through the information, I kept sneaking looks at everyone else in the class, as we were all seated around a big conference table. Maybe it was because it was early in the morning, but everyone looked sooo (what's the word?) sullen. Or were they just sleepy? One very well put together, gorgeous, blonde, young, fashionable woman (who was there with her suit-and-tie-business-man husband) had a look of down-right indignance on her face. As if to say, "why am I here? This should not be happening to ME." Granted, she looked young (too young to be 'infertile' perhaps, in her mind), and I got the sense everything else in her life had gone according to plan up until this point. I imagined her having gone to the 'right' school, belonging to the 'perfect' sorority, meeting Mr. Young Investor, and having the perfect, lavish, beautiful, stylish wedding. I imagined their perfect home and their perfect friends. Everything perfect, except for the next step. The perfect baby, at the perfect time. I felt badly for her, but I also felt, somehow, vindicated. I thought, "See? Infertility doesn't discriminate. Even the Perfects over there are susceptible." Of course, I don't wish this on anyone. It's awful. And, I also got the sense that young Mrs. Perfect was in a lot of pain over there, and holding it all together. Or, maybe I am projecting. That's totally possible. Either way, when she looked my way, I shot her a smile. A smile that hopefully read, "Hey, this sucks, huh? Good luck to you guys." Or something like that.

Everyone seemed so sad. It was like we were all there to begin a death-march. Maybe that is why I waited a year to do this. Maybe that is why we adopted first. Today, I was not sad. I was excited. I was feeling like, "This is good! We're infertile, but we're trying! We're doing something about it." I wanted to run around and hug everybody in the room and say, "Hey! It's going to be ok!!" But, maybe if I had started this a year ago, right after my diagnosis, I'd be in death-march mode. I was so depressed back then. I was in shock. I was angry and confused. I looked like a lot of those people sitting around that conference table today. Of course, I don't know how I'll feel about it as we get further into it. I am aware that there may be disappointments ahead. I am not sure how I will take those disappointments. But for now, I feel pretty good. And, I don't feel so desperate. I'm already a mom. I just want to get pregnant. I reeeally want to get pregnant. But, either way, I am a mom.

Speaking of moms. One lady came to the class with her toddler. If looks could kill, this poor lady would have probably been dead before she got to her seat. Of course she, for some reason, decided to sit next to me. Maybe it was random, or maybe she sensed on some level that I was the one person in the room who didn't want to kill her. I, having just dropped off my child with a friend, could totally understand how hard it is to be juggling motherhood, with pursuing treatment. If it weren't for my friend Susan offering to babysit (and it just so happens she lives not far from the hospital--convenient!) I might have been in the same boat. But, having spent so long being one of those people who looks at women with babies with jealousy and even anger, I would more than cringe at bringing a baby or young child into a room full of Infertiles. Yeesh. Ah well, whaddya gonna do?

The second half of the class consisted of being taught all about self-injecting. After we learned how to use all the different kinds of needles, pens, etc., the nurse asked if any of us would like to try injecting ourselves. Everyone was silent. The nurse urged, "Come on--you don't want to be sitting there at 10:00 o'clock at night the first night you have to inject yourself, and just not be able to do it because you are too scared, or because you're afraid of doing it wrong! This is your chance to do it with a nurse in the room!" Everyone was acting all sheepish and cringe-y. Finally, even though I am not doing injectibles (this time--and hopefully I won't have to, cause the Clomid cycle is going to work, right?) I raised my hand and said, "I'll do it!" (Gosh people, have some guts!) The needle was tiny, by the way. So, with the nurse watching, I stuck the darn thing in my belly (it was only filled with saline solution) and boom. It was done. I looked up, and Mrs. Perfect was staring at me like I was crazy. The mom next to me audibly cringed and turned away as I was doing it. I looked around the table, and, trying not to laugh, said, "It doesn't hurt. Really, it doesn't hurt." (Maybe I should have turned around, pulled up my shirt, shown them the big tattoo on my back, and said, "Now, THAT hurt!") Eventually, several more people decided to give it a try. And then, class was over. Everyone kept lingering a bit. I'm not sure why. But, being the first to arrive, I was also the first to leave.

I really, really hope that that will be the only time I'll have to jab myself. Not because I'm afraid of the needle, but because I'm ready for a break. Ready for something to work. It would be so incredibly wonderful if this first IUI just....worked.

And, hey, no offense to anyone out there who is afraid of needles. I understand. If the nurse had, for instance, pulled out a bag of spiders and said we had to stick our hands in there, I'd probably run out of the room as fast as my feet would carry me.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Not Sure You Want to Know, But...

My period did come early, but I eeked out a couple of more days after my last post. I wound up with a 23-day cycle, as opposed to my usual 27-28 day cycle. Distressing, but I am trying to get back on the positive thinking train, and tell myself that everyone has random weird cycles, even 20-year-old fertile women. So there.

And on to bigger things: Next month we will do our first ever IUI. I got my "packet" from my RE's office the other day, complete with lab slips for me (to get my FSH, TSH tested) and for Mister (to check his swimmers). Also in the packet is my prescription for Clo.mid. Feels a little deja vu-ish, (the Clo.mid part) but I am going with it. My RE wants to start with the Clo.mid, so I'm down. Hey, we might get lucky, right? I am opting for some extra monitoring (ultrasounds) though, to make sure we get a clear picture of how my little ovaries are responding to the drug. If I'm not getting enough good mature follicles, then I don't want to waste any time doing it again. I'd rather move right on to injectibles.

Of course, I am hoping that we get lucky with IUI either way, so we don't have to go to IVF. As y'all know, finances are an issue for us at the moment. And, if we find ourselves facing IVF, it opens a whole can of worms. Can we afford it? What do we give up in order to afford it? How many can we afford to do? How many can we afford to do if we want to have any hope of adopting again if it doesn't work? Are we willing to spend it "all" on IVF and risk not being able to adopt again if it doesn't work? How badly do we (I) want to be pregnant? Or is it more important to just to grow our family? And what about Donor Eggs? When will I give up on my own eggs? Should we just forget it all now, and wait a couple of years, when our financial situation is improved, and go strait to DE? Ugh. My little brain gets dizzy.

At any rate, I am trying to take it one step at a time. And, I am trying not to get too worked up over this first IUI. I am trying to think of it just as a fact-finding mission. Sort of like just doing more fertility testing. You know, see how I respond to the drug, see what my ovaries are doing, and get a better picture of what our options are.

I hope I can hold on to that mind-set as I'm actually going through it, and all jacked up on the hormones.