Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Not Completely Misanthropic After All

Good news today for a former cycle buddy of mine. We cycled together in April at my former clinic -- both of us receiving BFNs. It was her third and final cycle, and she and her husband moved to adoption. Their profile was active with a local agency at the end of August, and last week they were matched. Today they were able to take their baby home after the 7 day revocation period ended. About 2 months from start to finish! I am SO happy for them! And it makes me so happy to be able to say that. I can't remember the last time a baby announcement didn't trigger envy and bitterness. I'm relieved that I am still capable of feeling happiness for others.

Amazingly my old clinic provided my medical records in less than a week. I need to drop them off at the new clinic this week since my appointment is next week. I don't know if the new doctor will have a chance to look over them, but it's worth a try.

I hate endo. I had a lap in January to remove an endometrioma and laser off more endo implants. I was on lupron for 2 months before cycling for IVF and after 1 month of BCPs, the cyst was starting to re-form. 9 days of stims later, and the cyst was back. Great. Fast forward to now. More cyst pain. It's not horribly painful (more like a dull throbbing), but the right side of my abdomen and the right side of my lower back ache. Worst of all, it feels like it did before my lap in January. My own clinic planned to drain the cyst, but I have no idea what the new clinic will do. Obviously they'll have to do something because they probably won't let me stim like this. My previous doctor refused to do another lap while I still wanted to cycle because of the damage it could do. When it throbs like this, all I can think about is removing my right ovary and tube. Would that bring me relief? My previous RE mentioned that I would likely need a hysterectomy one day. Nice. What's funny is that the pain isn't really all that bad right now. It's constant, but I've had much, much worse. It's like my threshold for pain has been lowered by all this. Or maybe it's fatigue. I'm just tired of it. I'm tired of all of this.

And now for a bit of shameless vanity. I pull my hair back when I am getting ready in the morning, and as I looked closely in the mirror this morning, I noticed gray hairs in the under sections of my hair. Lots of them. I FREAKED. I just turned 30 in September, and I swear they sprouted overnight. I've always been very vain about my hair (it's my best feature in my opinion), and it just crushed me to see the grays. I've never dyed or highlighted my hair before, but I guess I'll have to start if the grays become noticeable. Ugh! I have to admit that my first thought was that my hair was one more thing that was being taken from me. I already feel humbled and less of a woman b/c of IF...let's just take my one beauty too. Humph. Nice and melodramatic :-)

Monday, October 29, 2007


It finally feels like fall. I love it! It's going to be in the low 60s today, and it's quite chilly right now. I even had to wear a jacket! I still can't believe Halloween is this week. Husband and I carved two pumpkins last night, so we're ready. We don't have candy yet, though. We usually get a fair amount of trick-or-treaters. Our house is set back from the street a bit, though, and our street is in the middle of my large neighborhood, so we don't as many as we might. I love my neighborhood because the families really get into the holiday spirit. Drive down any street and you'll see fall decorations: lots of mums, scarecrows, and pumpkins. Many houses decorate for Halloween as well, ranging from basic jack-o-lanterns to full-out haunted houses. It's great!

In surrogacy news, I talked on the phone with the potential surrogate last week. It went well, and I really like her. She is down to earth, and we agree on a lot of things. We talked for an hour and a half, which is amazing since I really dislike the phone. We're planning to meet on Nov. 17.

I have been asked by several people how I feel about using a GC. I feel good about it. Of course I wish that I could have the pregnancy experience. Not carrying my own child was something I had to come to terms with. I have had several good cries over never POAS and seeing two lines on the damn thing, never having morning sickness, never watching my stomach swell and never feeling a baby kick--all those iconic, Hallmark moments of pregnancy. It gutted me when I first realized none of that was going to happen once we decided to stop pursuing treatment with me. However, what gave me hope and comfort was the thought that even if I were unable to experience pregnancy, I could still pursue having a biological child, and to me, that was the more important thing. Focusing on that has helped me deal with the pain of not experiencing pregnancy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Moving Along

I feel like I finally have some progress to report. We have been talking with a possible surrogate. She is local and currently pg with a surro baby. She's due in December and would like to cycle again next spring. We still have a long way to go, but things seem like they are moving in the right direction for now.

I've made an appointment with another clinic in my area. I was already thinking of using them since I know they have worked with surrogates before, but it helped the decision discovering that the potential surrogate cycled there last winter. The clinic added a new doctor, and I'm seeing him on Nov. 9. Hopefully my old clinic will cooperate in sending me my records in a timely manner. It's sort of amusing b/c this new clinic will be the third clinic I've used since May 2006. I'm running through the local clinic quickly LOL. There is only one more university-affiliated clinic that I have not used LOL.

My parents visited over the weekend. It was a pretty good visit. I think everyone was on their best behavior. Well, my mother did get a little, well, rather inebriated, but that's pretty normal for her. We went to the state fair, and it was horrifically crowded. I was instantly reminded of why we attend only every decade or so! Our families have started to surprise us by volunteering to contribute to the surrogacy fund. I know that Husband and I are adults and should not pursue any avenue that we cannot afford to pay ourselves, and normally, I would rather die than ask our families for money. We've always been the self-sufficient ones. Lately, however, it's been a bit of a source of contention with us b/c our families hadn't offered to contribute. I know that's an awful attitude, but our parents didn't pay for our educations. We paid for most of our wedding, bought our houses ourselves, etc. I guess it frustrated us b/c we kept getting the impression from them that we were somehow living "high on the hog" as my MIL said. Yeah...we have no insurance coverage for ART, so we have to pay for IVF ourselves and are still paying off April's cycle. We haven't bought anything for the house or worked on any house projects in 2 years b/c we couldn't afford it. Our vacations have been a couple of days at the beach at most. I could go on and on as I'm sure all of us on this rollercoaster could. But at the same time, we've been getting a lot of pressure from them wanting to know what our next steps would be. So, yeah, we really appreciate that they have offered to contribute. In some ways it feels like they are saying that they finally understand the gravity of our situation and the decisions we have to make and the path we are on. It feels like validation and that they are saying we can depend on them. It's nice!

We ran into my aunt, uncle, cousin, cousin-in-law and my cousin's baby at the fair. My aunt hugged me hard, and I felt like we had a moment. I had forgotten that she had several miscarriages after my cousin was born because of RH factor...no one thought to test my uncle. Anyway, I just felt that she understood and could empathize with what we are going through. It was nice to feel like someone in the family had an inkling of what we are going through.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Need a Nudge

I think I'm depressed. Actually, I'm pretty sure I'm depressed with a dash of anxiety thrown in for good measure. I feel like I should be happier. Or at least relieved since we have a plan. Hell, we may even have a surrogate. We've been talking with a local surrogate, and things seem promising. I think, though, that I've just reached a point emotionally where I'm stuck not feeling great. I need a nudge to get me moving again. It's probably time to see the ol' therapist again. I saw an IF therapist briefly over the summer, and I hated her. If I need someone to minimize my pain, I can save $40 and call my mother!

I wish it would feel like fall. It's friggin' 90 degrees today! That's definitely not October weather. Happily, the temps are supposed to approach something fall-like later in the week. I love fall. I adore fall. My mums are blooming, and they are huge. I don't feel like my mood is stable enough to enjoy fall though. Somedays I think about buying more mums and pansies and making a harvest scene on our lawn like the neighbors do. I think about buying Halloween stuff to lure the trick-or-treaters to our house (our house is set back from the street a bit). But then I wonder what the point is. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, but is it pathetic to derive so much enjoyment from it when we don't have children and who knows when we will? I feel like such a fraud.

I saw my newly-pg friend K on Sunday. She's looking pudgy and cute. Actually, she looked like hell, but at least she had a reason to, n'est-ce pas? I ended up trying to vent to her about how I was feeling--irritated by family, hurt by everyone's lack of concern/interest, lonely, etc. and I'm not sure she even paid attention. She definitely didn't get anything I was saying. She did offer to be our surrogate in a few years though. Nice gesture. It came out of left field, so I'm not sure we were appropriate grateful. Things seem a bit awkward and vague with her. I can't decide if it is her pg brain, her acknowledgement of the awkwardness of her being so easily pg while we are not, or if I'm just being paranoid. My big fear is that things with K and her husband G go the way of our other friends J&J. However, we need to keep K and G as friends, so I've decided to try to ignore any hurt feelings or discomfort on my end and plow on.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Absurdistan Part 2

Back from my meeting finally. I still need to finish my morning coffee. Microwaved coffee= yum!

So, I'm not sure what the next step is regarding our surrogacy journey. I think we are going to try to do it without using an agency since agencies usually add an extra layer of expense. We'll see though. I'm not ruling it out if we can't find any matches on our own. I don't know if I should set up a meeting with a different local clinic soon (my own clinic seems reluctant to participate in surrogacy) or if I've got lots of time. Should I go ahead and start advertising? Ack.

I'm scared to death, but at the same time I feel like this is something we need to do. No, must do. Do I think it will work? Maybe, but I'm already thinking about how we might be moving to adoption at the end of 2008. But then again, I'm always a bit of a pessimist.

Change of topic: relationships.

I've been thinking a LOT about my behavior the last two+ years as Husband and I have tried to deal with infertility. I'm trying really hard to think about what I could have done differently to preserve relationships. It's hard because I still believe and always will that Husband and I have done what we needed to do to get by, even if that meant living a hermit-like existence. It's frustrating and sad when I sense that our friends and family attribute our hermitness to being self-centered, self-absorbed, etc. when the reality was that there have been many, many days and probably will be many more days when just getting out of bed and coming to work was all I could do. I've tried to stress to people that IF causes actual psychic pain. Would you rather I see your baby even though it would cause me excruciating pain? Do you think less of me because it causes me excruciating pain? Do you believe that it causes me pain or do you believe that I'm simply jealous?

With one friendship, I'm slowly coming around to accept that I have tried to explain the situation to her. I have apologized profusely. I have told her that this is not how I wanted it to be. I've told her that it's not personal. I've grovelled. And yet, it's not enough. I ask myself if it would have been better to see her baby, get it over with, suck it up. Maybe. Yet I couldn't. But maybe I should have. But I was so raw then. Husband and I were so raw with finding out my definitive (not good) diagnosis, accepting IVF was our best, only real option, dealing with horrific pain from the cystectomy. Now I won't see her baby b/c I don't like having it held over my head as condition for resuming "normal" interaction with them. I don't like how they took everything we have told them about WHY we couldn't see their baby and what we were going through and essentially said, "yes BUT...". I don't like how acknowledging their baby and happiness with a visit is somehow worth more than our pain and problems. Again, if we don't acknowledge the shit we're going through and scream how awful it is, who will?

I am in a much better place than I was a year ago or even a few months ago. Not a hugely better place, but I have made progress. In light of how everyone ignored Husband's birthday, I really am trying to examine our behavior and trying to be a better friend and daughter. I've invited my mother and stepfather to come up for the State Fair. I called her even though last week was one of those weeks where getting myself dressed and to work was the best I could do. I'm not looking for a medal, but I am going to try to be less self-centered.

But I'm concerned b/c I still find myself avoiding pg women, babies and baby-related events. I'm not sure if that's healthy or lazy. At what point does my "suffering" become self-indulgent? Those things are still painful to me.

I do find it amusing that I likely spend more time reflecting on our behavior and attitudes than anyone else we know does. I'm sure J (friend with the baby) is not thinking about us or whether her behavior was unreasonable.


Wow, I've been quite the slacker at posting lately. First of all, I thank all of you who have commented on various posts. I've been really bad at acknowledging my visitors and visiting back, but I hope to do a better job from now on.

I think that Husband and I have decided what to do. We are going to try surrogacy. There. I said it. This post is pretty much the first time I've admitted it out loud. I'm mostly happy with our decision. This is the last avenue to explore to have a biological child. If surrogacy doesn't work, we will be able to commit ourselves to adoption 100%. I think that's fair.

Husband and I both agreed that we cannot wait a year or more to try surrogacy (one of my main sticking points), so we will likely cycle in spring 2008. Probably May-ish. That will give us time to finish paying off the IVF and FET cycles as well as save a little money to get us started. May seems doable but at the same time seems sooooooo far away. I am not a patient person, and I am already feeling antsy and like I'm crawling out of my skin with impatience. I'm not sure how I'm going to get through the next several months. Hopefully school will help. I signed up for two courses next spring (I'm in graduate school), and this year will be over before I know it. Argh.

Like I said, I'm mostly happy with our decision. I would regret it forever if we never tried this. We're not rich by any means, but with some careful saving, surrogacy is manageable. Plus, we likely would be unable to try surrogacy if we adopted first, and who knows what will happen with my eggs in the next few years, so it's logical to try surrogacy first. There are times when I still want to smack myself and ask, "WTF are you doing?" I've often referred to our considering surrogacy as descending into the absurd. Well, I guess we are moving to the land of the absurd...Absurdistan.

Off to a meeting...more later.