Monday, September 24, 2007

Analysis Paralysis

I am feeling really, really down this week. I felt kind of down and "blah" last week, but I developed a head cold and chalked it up to that. However, the downness persists and has intensified. Some of it is due to PMS and AF...yes, for the third time in two years, I managed to ovulate on my own. Ovulating on my own would have thrilled me a year ago, but now that I know my uterine situation, ovulation is meaningless. And it was accompanied by the typical few days of pre-AF spotting but was more red than brown...a novelty for me. And now the cramps are starting to start, which remind me of the endo and how fucked up my body really is. Nothing like a few days of pre-AF spotting, horrific cramps and back pain and spotting that linger for several days after AF ends to clarify your situation.

Basically, we don't know what the hell we're going to do next. Husband and I keep discussing surrogacy like it's a viable option...for a mere $50k (at least), we might be able to have a biological child! I have a big problem with the money involved (geez, who wouldn't? We don't have that much just lying around), but my biggest problem is with the time involved. The earliest we would be able to try surrogacy would be likely be early 2009. We'd try to cycle a few times, so I'll give it a year. If it doesn't work, we'll move to adoption. Adopting domestically would take around 1-2 years, so that means that it could possibly be 3-4 years before we had a baby.

Because I'm a pessimist, all I can focus on is the worst-case scenario of it not working and that we could have 3-4 more childless years ahead of us. And if surrogacy failed, would we even be able to afford to move to adoption right away? I'm just not sure if I can wait that long. Ideally, we'd adopt first and then try surrogacy, but what are the chances that we would be able to save up the money once we had a newborn?

I'm just feeling lost. Two women I know are pg from their 3rd IVF cycles, and one has problems very similar to mine. It almost makes me want to try one more cycle on our own. Should we give up on my body after only 1 fresh and 1 frozen cycle? If my body's response to ovulation is any indication, then yes, we should give up. I'm very, very happy for those women, but I don't know where I fit. I'm not cycling. I'm not adopting (yet). We're not moving to surrogacy (yet). And we don't want to be child-free.

But I'm tired of waiting (stamps foot like two-year-old). And then I found out from a coworker that a former coworker's daughter is pg. This daughter had IF and apparently found success on her first IVF or something. And that makes me feel even lower because it reminds me that IVF does work for some.

I watched a special episode about Dr. Addison Montgomery from Grey's Anatomy as the character transitions to Private Practice. After Addison discovers that her eggs are bad, she breaks down, sobbing, "I'm barred and all dried up." I started crying too b/c that's EXACTLY how I feel. Barren and dried up.

Monday, September 17, 2007


It's been a while since I posted! First of all, I had a good birthday. 30 isn't as bad as I feared. Husband and I met with a local adoption agency last week, and the meeting went well. We're still exploring our options, though, and the "S" word (surrogacy) keeps coming up. I believe that we have declared a moratorium on baby discussions for a few days.

Mothers. Mothers are tough. My mother and I have a tenuous relationship. She knows about everything we are going through and tries to be supportive but has a talent at saying the wrong thing. I think it comes down to the fact that she and I are very different. She's very demonstrative and open; I am not. There's also a bit of emphasis on her way. I don't feel comfortable confronting her because she can turn on me in a second and say some pretty hurtful things.

The problem is that I think we both want a closer relationship but can't. Something has changed between us lately, and I think she is mad at me and considers me to be self-centered and spoiled. Like I want to avoid her. Well, some of that is true, but I also stay away because she can be very hurtful. When we visit them, it usually takes less than 30 minutes before she says something hurtful that makes me wish we had never come.

I will admit that we pulled away from most of our family the first year of our IF. We kept thinking a resolution was just around the corner and that we wouldn't have to share the info, especially since we know our family and how they respond to things and provide comfort. I think my mother resents that separation but can't understand why we pulled away. I don't think she understands the isolation and bitterness of IF, and it doesn't help when she says awful, hurtful things.

So, as usual, I am left feeling guilty. I'm very good at feeling guilty. I just feel like something is wrong and she is irritated but I can't confront her about it b/c I know she won't understand and can't understand...she's of the "suck it up" school of dealing with adversity. I can only hope that once we have a child somehow, things will change. Until then, I guess I will feel guilt, guilt and more guilt.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pausing a Friendship

We all know that relationships can take a beating when you are IF. I've been surprised at support received from people from whom I didn't expect it and just as surprised at the lack of support received from those from whom I did expect it. I think that Husband and I are going to have to press "pause" or even "stop" on our friendship with a couple of our best friends. These friends have a lot of history with us, so it surprises me that it's come to this. The wife even suffered with a little IF herself before getting pg via Clomid.

Our friendship has been on the rocks for a while. I would have said the rockiness started when I told her we couldn't see her baby after our IVF cycle failed last spring. However, I have learned that apparently the rockiness started when she was pg and felt that she had to bend over backwards for me and be overly sensitive to my needs instead of my being sensitive to hers as well as not being able to share her life-changing event with me. That's not exactly how I remember things but oh well. I guess it's easy to write off as insufficient the numerous daily emails we exchanged during her pg. And we discussed her pg often. We just couldn't see their baby. It was too raw. It hurt too much. But it was never personal, something I tried to explain over and over.

Anyway, this friend and I had started to reconnect (all the effort on my end since apparently I was the "sinner") this summer. Things were tentative, but I thought we were making progress. I even received 1 email from her that I didn't have to initiate (it's the little things that mean the most you know). I hoped that soon we would even be able to meet her baby b/c Husband and I had decided that we needed to live life and not let IF live us as well as accepting that some people are able to have babies much easier than others. It's a fact of life. We decided we needed to "deal with it" a bit more than we had been. I had a bit of a relapse in the "dealing with it" department after our FET cycle failed and I had to accept that we were unlikely to have a biological child and had possibly reached the end of our treatment path.

I emailed my friend last week (initiated by me of course) and during the course of our conversation, I asked her if she thought whether our friendship would ever be the same. She replied and told me that she didn't think the friendship would be able to start to heal until we were able to see her baby. Ouch.

The more I started to think about it, the angrier I got. First of all, I am so tired of people trying to control how Husband and I respond to and deal with our's pretty implicit in a lot of what people say that they think we should just get over it or at least wish we would because our IF makes THEM uncomfortable. Secondly, I have been over backwards for this friend. I have groveled and apologized for not being able to be there for her during her pg, not being able to attend her baby shower, not being able to see her baby. I've felt guilty about everything. However, I don't see much support being thrown our way. Our phone doesn't ring. We aren't getting many emails from them asking how we are doing. Where's our support? I've tried to explain to her that just as her new baby is her life, so is our IF. It's our reality and couldn't be more diametrically opposed to hers. She said she's not taking it personally and is trying to understand, but is she really? If she were, I wouldn't think she would hold this over our head like she is. Why is her child more important than our pain?

So, after that email, I've decided that I'm not emailing her anymore. If she values the friendship at all, she can email me. Her husband can call mine. At this point, even if someone handed me a baby or I got miraculously pg, I don't think our friendship could recover. Maybe one day but not now. I will not have my responses dictated to me!

And I'm ok with putting the friendship on hold. It sort of surprises me because I'm usually the kind of person who needs to have the last word. I'm not saying I'm right. Maybe we should have seen the baby. We probably should have sent a card (Husband passed on our congratulations to them in a phone call). However, rightly or wrongly, our response to the situation we are in - be it not being around babies or doing something that might cause us pain - has been the ONLY thing we can control throughout this entire process. Everyone else is trying to minimize our situation. Yes, things could be worse. But we have dealt with a lot of crap and pain. And it hurts knowing that your dream of a biological child is gone. We have pictures of 5 embryos that didn't make it, and they are real to us. And when people try to minimize our pain, it makes me want to make more of it b/c if we don't acknowledge it, who will?

I always read that your friends will not necessarily be your friends at every stage of your life. Maybe that's true. I never would have thought that with this couple, but life has a way of surprising you.

I just want peace

It's been a stressful several days. Last week was one of those weeks when just as you thought it couldn't get worse, it did. My best friend is pg (which is not a bad thing but you know what I mean). My relationship with my other friend seems on the rocks because this person cannot understand why it is so difficult for me and Husband to see her baby. I keep trying to reassure her that it's not out of spite but that it is difficult to see her baby. And really, we think it's their happiness. Their happiness hurts us. We are in such a dark, dark place right now and their happiness is so bright.

Work was not fun either. A teammate with whom I have had problems since we hired her blew up at me last week and threatened to walk out. I learned that she considers me the cause of all her problems at work, believes I am actively obstructing her and trying to make her subordinate to me and has no respect for my position and my being in it. Niiiiice. This also coincided with discovering that my former manager had expressed doubts about my ability to do my job. Granted, he doesn't express himself well and I was hearing this thirdhand, but it still hurt because frankly, right now I feel like I suck at my job. And I dislike my job. And apparently my job dislikes me. But I feel rather stuck and unable to leave because I'm in graduate school and enjoy a fairly flexible schedule and would likely need to take a pay cut (because I have no skills). I know that right now my confidence is extremely low because of all the IF stuff, so the coworker double whammy hit me hard. I think I cried three times on Thursday.

Our weekend was good though. We finally crawled out from under the IF rock and bought ourselves an entertainment center AND a new tv. I also enjoyed a much needed long weekend. I felt so tranquil over the weekend. I can't remember the last time I felt so tranquil. It was exciting to spend money on things other than IF things! I really began to feel like everything is going to be ok. It's been hard maintaining that tranquility this week at work, but I really want to hang on to it. I felt like last weekend we met the ghosts of who we were before IF, and it has reminded me that all is not lost or as bleak as I think. It's weekends like that that make me think that maybe I can see my friend's baby and that maybe things will be ok with my newly pg friend. I'm not ready for the stiff upper lip quite yet, but it was nice to be reminded that we are fortunate in so many ways and that our IF is not the end-all, be-all AND that the realization didn't upset me.