Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Reaching Out

Last week I had the best conversation with my estranged friend J that we have had since her baby was born. Quick reminder...she is the one who dealt with some slight IF at the same time I have been dealing with it, got pg on her first Clomid cycle and had her baby last year. We haven't been talking much because Husband and I couldn't bring ourselves to meet the baby (b/c it was painful), a fact which hurt and angered her, and we felt she and her husband were completely lacking in any empathy to our situation, which sort of prolonged the estrangement.

Anyway, we had an nice email conversation. She seemed truly happy that we are moving on to surrogacy and things seemed if not normal, more normal than they had been in a long time. Buoyed by good feelings, I somehow accepted an invitation to her daughter's 1st birthday party. It wasn't quite as impetuous as it sounds. I thought about it for a long time and finally emailed back that we would love to be invited and would try to attend. In some ways, I feel like I had no choice but to accept the invitation. It felt like she had extended an olive branch b/c she was saying all the right things about how she would like to invite us but didn't want to make us uncomfotable b/c she understood that we might not be ready...and I felt like if I didn't respond appropriately, that was it for the friendship.

I don't mean to give the impression that I was in any way coerced. I wasn't. It amuses me, though, because a few weeks ago during a sleepless night during my blue period, I fantasized about the scathing response I would give to such an invitation: lack of empathy, how alone we were, how the friendship apparently doesn't mean much to them since all the effort has come from us, etc. And when the opportunity arises, what do I do? I cave. It seemed like she really was making an effort and cared about us. I've been burned before, though.

I think we will go to the party. It's going to be a big party, so maybe meeting her baby will be easier with a lot of people around. I'd be lying if I said I was looking forward to it, but I think it's something we need to do. Maybe we can get in and out quickly. I'm trying to get back to that state of mind in which I understand and accept that people have children and that my life is good right now and eventually, my life will be different.

In non-IF news, Husband and I saw There Will Be Blood over the weekend. I'm not sure what I thought of the movie, but Daniel Day-Lewis was great. He truly deserves the Oscar.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It's sort of surprising, but I feel like I have been procrastinating since we and the surro agreed to match. I don't know why. I'm excited and thrilled, but I've been putting off getting the ball rolling. I finally emailed our surro today and took her up on her offer to start the contract. So, yay! At least something is getting done.

Maybe I've been procrastinating because the contract phase has been the part I've been dreading all along. I've always hated money talk and negotiating, but now we are getting to the nitty gritty, and such talk is necessary. Maybe this is where Husband gets involved. He is much better at that sort of thing than I am. Not that I expect the contract phase to be rough or combative, but I'm more squeamish about that sort of thing.

I met with a new therapist on Saturday. So far, I really like her. She isn't trained specifically in IF, but that's ok because I had a bad time with the IF-trained therapist I saw previously. She diagnosed me as dysthymic (mild, chronic depression), which wasn't a surprise. I really need someone with whom I can talk objectively and who is there to listen to me, and if I have to pay $40/session for it, then so be it. I'm going to try to see her twice a month. I'm hoping she can also act as a behavior/reality check for me. It's so easy to become caught in your own world when dealing with the IF stuff, and I need someone who can pull me back and tell me when I'm obsessing too much.

Other than that, not much else is going on. I'm doing school work and reading quite a bit. Work is insane, but what else is new?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

No Snow :-(

I admit it: I love snow and wintry weather, so I was disappointed that our winter weather event kind of petered out this morning. Oh well. I'm not really ready for a day off from work due to snow yet. February or March would be great! I have a feeling it is going to be one of those winters in which we don't have much wintry weather. NC is due for a big snow, though, but I don't think this is the year.

So it's business as usual for me. I'm at work for now and have class this afternoon. And I'm counting down the hours for it to be Friday. This is the first full week I've been at work in my office in 2008, so it is taking some adjustment to get back in the groove.

I talked to my pg friend yesterday, and I couldn't believe it, but she actually asked how our surrogacy journey was going. Granted, she didn't ask until I asked how she was doing, but since she almost never asks, I was shocked. I'm sure that will be only time she asks for a while *visualize me rolling my eyes*. Which brings me to a pet peeve. I HATE it when people pretty much ignore what you have written in your email and send back like a one-sentence response. Example: After she asked about surrogacy, she didn't comment at all on what I replied. That response makes me feel like she really didn't care what I had to say. There's no sense of dialogue or conversation. That is bad enough, but it's really irritating when I ask question and they aren't answered. Maybe I'm looking at email differently. To me, it is a legitimate communication medium. I wouldn't ask if I truly didn't want to know. I'm not asking just to fill up space or to appear to be interested. Argh.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I think I can stop calling our GC our "possible" surro! She told me that she wanted to work with us as well, so I guess that means we are matched! It feels a little like I sent her a note and asked her, "Do you like me? Check Yes or No" LOL.

She and her husband want to start working on the contract right away, so that's our next step. She gave me contact info for her last couple so that I can contact her previous IM with questions (they cycled at the clinic we will use). She also told me that she plans to stop pumping at the end of this month or early January, so yesterday I spent lots of time Googling when cycles resume after lactation ends. It could be soon (heck, they could have resumed now) or it could still be a while. I don't know why, but for some reason, I think it will be soon. Maybe it's just because June is in my frame of reference and is halfway through the year, but I feel like we will get started by then. I don't know if "getting started" means starting testing or actually cycling or even having transferred, but June feels right. God, I hope so.

I've asked for a change in duties at work. The changes aren't too major, but they would get rid of some tasks and interactions that are causing me anxiety and give me tasks that would provide new challenges. I really hope the changes are approved, so keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

An end to the January, post-holiday blahs?

I've been having a rough couple of weeks. My mood just will not recover. I've considered calling my doctor for an increase in my pharmacological support but so far have held off. I did make an appointment with a new therapist for next week, so I'm hoping it will help to have someone with whom I can talk. I'm feeling pretty lonely and silenced lately thanks to friends who seem to end the conversation when I try to open up to them about how I feel.

Anyway, something good actually happened this week that may help my mood. My organization is part of a larger national organization, and every year the national organization has a large conference in April at which awards are presented for categories like innovator of the year, practitioner of the year, etc. I received an email yesterday telling me that *I* am my organization's nominee for Unsung Hero of the Year! I was stunned and pleased. I'm not sure who nominated me (my boss perhaps?), but it's so great to feel recognized for once. The nomination means I get to go to the conference in April, which is nice since I was invited to go last year (my organization doesn't allow everyone to go since we have 100 people) but had to decline because I was cycling. I had wondered if not going had hurt my chances to be invited another time.

After I received the email informing me of the nomination, I started to feel so guilty about how I had been feeling. I really do have a lot to be thankful for, and I need to focus more on that and less on "woe is me." That's an attitude with which I have struggled for a long time, so I don't expect a quick adjustment. I have a close friend at work who is going through marital troubles, and I am trying to be there for her (unlike how my own friends have NOT been there for me). She knows about the IF difficulties and my constant anxieties, paranoia, depression, worries, etc . I just feel so spoiled. Yes, my situation is bad and I'm sure no one would want it, but hers is bad too. She's really worried about money right now in addition to what to do with her husband, and other than the IF, I have it pretty good. I felt bad complaining and whining to her, and I hope that I have been a help and shoulder for her instead of being self-centered and spoiled.

So, it's a lesson for me. Hopefully the nomination is the kick I need to get out of my dark place.

Oh, in surrogacy news, I've told the potential surro that we would like to match with her and asked what the next step is. Do we go straight to contracts or should Husband and I meet with a lawyer first?

Friday, January 4, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

One year ago today I had a laparoscopy that was ostensibly to remove the 40mm cyst on my right ovary but was also to investigate the problems suggested by my HSG film. The doctors did remove the cyst (which proved to be an endometrioma) as well as a uterine polyp, but unfortunately for me, the lap confirmed that I have a unicornuate uterus and Stage 4 endometriosis and also resulted in my only functional tube being cauterized due to its damage from the endo, rendering me officially barren, infertile, whatever.

The results of my lap were the worst-case scenario we had been fearing. Until the lap we had hoped that maybe the situation wasn't as bad as the HSG film suggested. Maybe my uterus was normal or at least that my right tube could be saved so that we could have a chance at conceiving naturally or with low-cost options like IUI (which had seemed really expensive until we started contemplating IVF). Unfortunately, that was not the case. I had moved from 5 cycles of Clomid and 1 injectable-IUI cycle (using my useless left ovary!) to IVF being our ONLY option to to get me pregnant. We had been thinking about moving to IVF anyway, but it's very different to move to IVF after exhausting your other options instead of discovering that it is your ONLY option. And truthfully, learning that I could still do IVF was the only good news to come out of the lap.

The lap and its results were a watershed moment in our struggle with infertility. Now we knew. We knew EXACTLY why we hadn't been conceiving and that we had wasted almost a year on treatments that likely never had any chance of working. I did ovulate twice on the right side with Clomid, so there was a small chance that my right tube could have been functional during that time though doubtful. That's what my fertility had come down to: 5 cycles of clomid (only 4 ovulatory) and 1 injectable/IUI cycle. I ovulated twice on my own before we started treatment, so that means that in almost two years, I ovulated 7 times of which 2 only had the tiniest chance of working. It sort of boggles the mind.

In some ways getting the diagnosis was good b/c it eliminated any opportunity for hoping that maybe, just maybe we might get pg naturally. I could throw the thermometer away. And who needs OPKs any longer? It's put me in a different place mentally as well. I don't have that hope any longer. I know it's not going to happen for me (or to me?), so I'm free to consider options like adoption or surrogacy.

But at the same time, the diagnosis was devastating. I've felt weird and out of place my entire life but never as much so as when I discovered I had an extremely rare uterine anomoly as well as Stage 4 endo. Talk about the universe sending you a message that you are absolutely, positively not meant to at least carry a child and likely ever have biological children.

Today may not be a day most would choose to remember, but for me it symbolizes the day my life changed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Back to work

Today is my first day back to work since Dec. 19. Humph. Why oh why can't I win the lottery and be rid of the need to work? Husband and I have stayed up really late recently, resulting in my being unable to go to sleep at a decent hour last night, and 5 am came too soon. I'm pretty tired today. Hopefully I'll go to bed early tonight so that I'm not so wiped tomorrow. I keep telling myself that it's a short week and to try to get through it.

I think my anxiety has lessened somewhat now that 2008 has arrived and that I am back to work. I hate January though. Am I the only one who greets a new year with pessimism? I feel like I should (ah, the magic "should") feel hopeful and new, but all I see is a long span of time with nothing to look forward to and no significant event or holiday breaking up the monotony. That's why I'm taking two grad courses this spring. Well, to break up the monotony as well as to try to make some progress on my graduate program. I'm almost halfway done. Right now the only thing I'm looking forward to is our annual beach trip in June. JUNE! That's freaking 6 months away! I've got to do better than that.