Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend roundup

It's been a busy weekend. Friday night we went to my sister's as my mom arrived and is staying there. I didn't tell them about our IF problems then b/c my sister actually threw together a last minute slightly late 2nd birthday party for my nephew and there were lots of people there. It was a good night.

Although I still can't escape IF discussion. During the night, my sister was telling a story about my BIL's cousin and his wife. We've never met this cousin before, but my sister is always mentioning them b/c she thinks we have a lot in common with them. After her story, she mentioned that they just adopted a baby b/c they couldn't have one on their own. On the way home, DH was like "yeah, we have in common with them then she knows."

Saturday we painted one wall of our kitchen red. The others are yellow and the red wall is the one you see from down the hall and it makes our long hallway look shorter, which is great. I decided a few months ago that if I can't have a baby when I want, at least I can have a pretty house. So each month after AF I'm going to paint some part of our house. And since we already had the paint from when we painted our fireplace the same color, it was a no-cost makeover! I'll post pictures once I get the kitchen back in order today.

Saturday night we bought tickets to a play. Now, I didn't know the topic of the play before we bought the tickets, I just read that it won the 2006 Pulitizer, so I figured it must be good. Turns out, the topic was about a couple that lost their 4 year old child. Yeah, just what we needed to hear about. I realize of course that as bad as seeing month after month of BFN is, losing your child is even worse, but still. And then to make it even worse, the second major plot point in the play was that the mother's irresponsible younger sister was pregnant! So it had all the feelings of sadness, jealousy, etc that I'm feeling now anyway. Despite the subject matter, I still enjoyed the play and the acting was superb. And I cried my eyes out, although the good news is that it was mostly feeling the actor's pain rather than my own. That was actually quite refreshing, as it turns out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A new niece

Welcome to ICLWers! My background is on the left.

Life is not fair. Things could be so different for us right now but yet our life continues the same pattern of working, dinners out, adult-oriented activities, house cleaning, etc. It's not that I don't enjoy what we do together, I just wish it was different.

We started our journey nearly 9 months ago. If things went smoothly, we would be having a baby right now or at least very soon. We would have had family and friends dote on us and make us feel special. Instead their attention is elsewhere.

We would have had a chance to make a big announcement of a pregnancy. Instead someone else made everyone excited and looking forward to the future.

We would have had a chance to show off an ultrasound and make another announcement, this time of a baby's gender. Instead someone else is being showered with pink dresses and blankets.

My family would be gathering around us as the end approached to wait anxiously with us. My facebook page would be filled with anticipatory congrats from friends eager for our next announcement. Instead each of your new status updates is another reminder that this is not my time. A reminder that I don't know if my time will ever come.

Welcome to the world, Mackenzie. I promise to love you as much as I love my other nieces (and nephews, too). But right now it's a little hard to feel happy.

Monday, March 16, 2009


When I first started looking online for information about conceiving, I thought I would mostly informational websites or tools. But once I found a community of women like me I knew there was so much more. These are women that I know. Maybe I've never met them in person, but I know them. Perhaps at a deeper level than most people I interact with everyday. They are me.

I've stayed around the message boards not just because there is good information, but good friends. I relish hearing about their joys and daily lives and feel heartbroken with them during the trials. Their joys are my joys and their trials are my trials. I want us all to get our BFPs and have beautiful healthy babies.

And I feel privileged and honored when they get excited about my happy news or upset about my bad news. So few people understand what IF is like that is is gratifying to hear others who understand, or maybe not quite understand but know when support is needed and how to provide it.

So that's why I'll be spending tomorrow with my friend here. I want to get to the jump up and down exciting part of this with you. Good luck.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


OK, I've always prided myself on not stressing over my weight. I say pride b/c I've had anorexic and bulimic friends and the constant worry over weight is not worth it. I do try to eat healthy and walk to work when the weather is tolerable. It's not like I'm terribly unhealthy. But still, I'm overweight for my height.

I also find my battle with my weight slightly ironic. First I gained about 10 pounds when I started hormones to avoid getting pregnant (birth control pills). I was very excited to see some weight loss when I stopped BCP, but of course no dice. Now I've gained 5 pounds since starting hormones to get me pregnant (clomid). I can't win either way.

I'm hesitant to make my weight public. Society has drilled in us pretty strongly the idea that being overweight makes us unattractive and undeserving. I don't buy into that (at least not consciously). But I don't want my weight to serve as a barrier to our ultimate goal, having a baby. So if losing my extra pounds will make it even a teeny tiny bit more likely to get pregnant, I'm going for it. It certainly isn't the oddest thing we area doing in this process.

So I'm putting my starting point out there. I need some accountability and figure this is the best way to get it. Let it begin.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I did it.

I told someone IRL about our IF problems. I didn't intend to. I don't even really know the person I told. We are colleagues who are definitely friendly with each other and I enjoy her company, but we don't really know each other well enough to approach the level of friendship.

There we were, talking about the project we work on and I was giving her advice about graduate school and the big conference for our field that is coming up. And then she dropped the bombshell.

She charts.

The only people I've tried telling about charting IRL looked at me like I was crazy and were utterly confused about the whole thing. Who just drops that in casual conversation? She is making her trip to the conference as short as possible because she predicted her next two cycles and doesn't want to miss her fertile period. Now, I have that same concern and usually am bursting at the seams to say something when this topic comes up.

But there I was telling myself to not go down that road and trying to change the subject. And she kept talking about it and said they haven't gone too overboard with charting yet and just have been having lots of fun. So I decided to take the plunge.

It felt really good to get it out the open with someone. I finally felt like I wasn't lying to everyone. My family is always on our case about having kids. And academia is not exactly the most supportive field for having a baby. Even when people are not asking specifically about babies, I feel like I'm lying when I make plans for conferences or data collection trips several months in the future when I'm really thinking, "well, if I'm pregnant by then..."

Now it's out there. Well, I guess the fact that this colleague lives in another city and has a very small chance of bringing up this topic with the rest of our project made it possible for me to open up to her. But still. Someone else knows.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Reproductive news

I don't know if there's been a spike in news related to reproductive issues or just that I notice them more now. But it seems every day there is a new article in the mainstream news about reproductive rights. The big news today, of course, was President Obama's executive order allowing stem cell research. This was a much needed victory for science and chances for finding cures to diseases like this one that affect my family.

There is also the recent bill in Georgia to restrict IVF. This bill is so short-sighted and I hope Georgian legislators don't cut many responsible women off from IVF just because of the media farce that is octomom.

Even American Idol has stories about fertility!

My personal favorite is from my own state. A state legislator proposed this bill which would create a constitutional amendment that says:
Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to a vasectomy. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding how and when a vasectomy may be obtained, especially related to situations involving the knowledge and consent of a spouse when the person requesting the vasectomy is married.
The wording of the bill suggests it is the legislator's tongue in cheek way of pointing out that this bill is just as ridiculous as a similar bill about abortion. Nothing like changing the state constitution so we can enact laws that can't be implemented due to Roe v Wade.

Now that we are realizing how difficult it will be for us to have a baby without assistance, we've begun talking about what steps exactly we are prepared to take. Things like IUI and IVF are no longer abstract concepts, but procedures we may actually use. Does that make me change my mind about them? No. I still think that couples have the right to make these decisions for themselves and if anything am coming to realize how difficult these decisions are. It just puts them in a different perspective.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Scratch that

Maybe I spoke too soon about that last one. I just calculated our taxes and we owe quite a chunk of change. Oy vey! We've always had a refund in that past, so this was a surprise. Can't wait for that Obama tax cut!

Friday, March 6, 2009


I try to remind myself all the things I have to be grateful for. Dwelling on just the negatives of IF can start a downward spiral that I don't want to do. So there are two things I'm particularly grateful for now.

1. Loving and supportive husband: He is the best thing I have. He is just as eager to find a solution and have a baby as I am. I hear so much from others suffering with IF that their husbands are only going through this for them and are not really eager to keep moving forward. But my hubby is there 100%. In fact, he seems to be doing more research online than I am! I know he also feels guilty that he is the cause of our problems and I wish I could take that away.

2. Relative financial stability: It seems odd at this time in our economy to talk about financial stability, but in general we are doing OK. We are not worried about losing our jobs right now, although we both got notices that no one in our companies are getting raises this year. Still, we are not hurting for money now. We were already preparing for the added expense of raising a baby, but now we have to worry about how expensive it will be to get a baby. So it is nice to have a little bit of cushion as we proceed.
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