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What if I’m that girl?

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This thought crossed my mind this morning: What if I’m “that girl”–the one who gets pregnant on her second round of Clomid? Let’s not kid ourselves here: the odds are not “ever in my favor” on this one, but we all know “that girl”, and I have to say that although I want so badly to be happy for “that girl”, if I read a blog entry written by “that girl” I’d probably grumble, “Oooh, wow…so you’re pregnant after two ovulatory cycles…you’re soooo infertile.” all the while beating myself up for being such a jealous ninny. I know in my heart that the year of “trying” that was spent unsuccessfully praying to the Gods of Whole Foods and all things “acupuncture and herbal” to make me ovulate naturally still counts for something. There was a lot of pain in that year…those of us with PCOS or other anovulatory disorders can attest that not cycling, never knowing when to plan for sex, or whether your body will ever produce another egg is a level of stress that is absolutely horrible to deal with on a day in, day out basis.

But this brings me to another question:  why should we ever have to justify our infertility?  This “logic” that if you get pregnant quickly with fertility drugs, you’re not “really” infertile makes absolutely no sense. Would pregnancy after two medicated cycles and a whole year of anovulation make me “less infertile” than someone who gets their period every month and has had 15 BFNs? Or someone who has had to go through a miscarriage? Or repeated pregnancy loss? Is there a sliding scale of infertility? Or is it all just painful as shit?

I remember reading one blogger a while ago, who was confronted with angry anonymous comments about her BFP. After suffering from very unpredictable cycles/PCOS  for a long time, she was pregnant after a couple of rounds of Clomid. But according to this commenter she wasn’t “really” infertile–even though she suffered a miscarriage during one of those rounds of Clomid. She “easily” got pregnant after the miscarriage, and so she had no claim to infertility anymore. Logically, this doesn’t make any sense, I know…but that comment really opened my eyes to the level of pain that others feel about being left behind. Why does Clomid work for some and not for others? Why does Sally get pregnant on Femara, but Suzy only achieve pregnancy through IVF? It all seems like a big crap shoot to me. Some people get lucky and walk away quickly with their winnings, and some have to keep sitting at the table till the coked up club kids stumble back into the casino at 4AM. I feel like there is a part of everyone who is still struggling every day with countless needles, RE appointments, and baseline ultrasounds who wants so badly to be happy for those who make it out of this shit storm alive, and yet still feels sad for themselves that they couldn’t be the lucky one who got the lifeboat.
Katie, at The Cornfed Feminist wrote an amazing post a while back. It has stuck in my head ever since she posted it. My worry about survivor’s guilt has been coming up for me a lot lately, even though I am still in this shitty situation. She sums up my feelings so perfectly: “Part of me is always relieved when I get a period.  Not because I’m scared of pregnancy and parenthood and constant worrying, although all of that is true. No, I’m relieved because once I start to bleed, I don’t feel like an infertility fraud.  I can continue writing my “infertility sucks” blog posts and I don’t have to experience the dreaded PIF “survivor’s guilt.” 

Yes. Exactly. Survivor’s Guilt. Not only does IF make you feel like shit during the time you can’t get pregnant, it damages your unbridled joy at getting the fuck OFF the crazy train, and being elated about your pregnancy.

Katie wrote an amazing pledge at the end of this post, and I have decided that damnit, whatever happens this month, next month, or whenever I’m lucky enough to get off the crazy train, I’m taking this pledge here and now.

I, Sunny (insert your name in place of mine), do solemnly swear not to feel survivor’s guilt if I ever get pregnant.  I promise that I will be happy for myself and will accept all congratulatory comments with graceful guiltlessness.  I know that I will remain an “infertile” til the day I die and pledge that I will not feel like a fraud when I read and comment on ALI blogs.  I pledge to minimize my feelings of relief when I get my period and allow myself to be pissed and have a crazy moment or two before getting back on the horse. 

Today is Friday, November 2, 2012. I am 5DPO on my second ovulatory cycle in over a year. I am still infertile, and I always will be.

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My bread is leavened–again.

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Another couple of months….another yeast infection. I had a meltdown in bed yesterday and broke down sobbing about it, mainly because I’m just so damn sick of my body and everything that seems to go wrong with it, but also because with the dry, itching, burning I was feeling, I knew that there was no way that I could remotely attempt to have sex in the next week if I didn’t do something about it quickly. I was worried that Diflucan isn’t safe to take while TTC, but after doing a bit of poking around on the internet, Hubs read on multiple sites that it leaves your system in 3-4 days, which is fine timing wise for us right now. So I popped yet another Diflucan this month, and this morning my symptoms have magically disappeared. I should be happy, right? The truth is, I’m just pissed. I’m pissed at the whole situation. My body feels like the rusted 1988 Toyota Carolla hatchback I drove in in high school that would only go 45mph up hills on the freeway, and whose transmission was so shot that the car jerked every time it changed gears. I remember driving home on the freeway one day, and just seeing all of these cars whizz past me…this is what it feels like to be left behind.

To add insult to injury, I spoke to my mom on the phone yesterday, and gave her an update on where I’m at with all of the fertility meds and stuff. I should preface this by saying that my mom’s remarks are never done to be malicious, spiteful, or know-it-all. She feels incredibly bad and anxious for Hubs and I, and is genuinely concerned with how I’m coping with this. The problem is, my mom is fertile. At 53 years old, she gets her period like clockwork every month, and it’s still as heavy and crampy as it was when she was 20. She tries to put herself into my shoes, but it’s an impossibility. When I was first trying to figure out my PCOS and any sort of natural remedies for it, her advice was to “relax and eat whatever I wanted. Gain some weight, and you will ovulate.” Thanks, mom, but I’m well within the normal weight range, and have 25% body fat. I’m not some gymnast or Olympic sprinter or something.

Last night, after telling her about my second round of Clomid, the HSG, and how stressful this whole thing was, she tried to be helpful by saying that I should try not to put a lot of pressure on having sex at all the right times. I should just “relax and have sex when I feel in the mood, and see what happens.”

Advice for the two fertile people who read my blog simply because they are riveted about my cervical mucus: This is not. I repeat. Not. The advice you want to give an infertile who has just finished 100mg of Clomid–or any person struggling with infertility, to be precise.

Needless to say, I unleashed.

Me: Have sex only when I’m in the mood??? In the mood? Gee! I didn’t think of that! Maybe then,  a magical mood baby will appear in my uterus.

Mom: Ummm…

Me: So you’re telling me that after pumping my body full of ovulation inducing chemicals, getting my uterus scraped, and doing everything I can to figure out when I can actually catch an egg, because FYI–there’s about a 36 hour window that this can happen, I should scrap all of that, and cross my fingers that these magical 36 hours my egg is viable match up with my mood?

Mom: Hmm. I guess that wasn’t a good idea….

Me: No. No, it wasn’t. I can’t expect you to understand about this. You didn’t even know what a two week wait was. (she didn’t, by the way. Did you know that many fertiles don’t know about the TWW? They just miss a period and then take a pregnancy test.)

Mom: I’m sorry. You’re right…that was a bad idea.

I know she’s sorry. I know she doesn’t know what the fuck to say to me that will make it better, and she’s grasping at straws here to try to connect with me, but it just makes me so damn sad. If she had one iota of a clue about how much I miss having sex with my husband when we’re relaxed and in the mood, she would never have said that. Hubs and I are struggling right now to keep that spark alive, but it’s so hard. He had to jizz in a cup in a cold jizz room at my RE’s office a couple of days ago to get his sperm checked. This is not the kind of association he wants to have with sex, but there it is, staring at him from the bottom of a plastic cup and a chair diaper (did you know they make the guys jerk off on a big chair diaper in case of spillage?) I miss my marriage the way it was, and I want it back. I want my sexy husband back, too.

CD20–Am I really typing “20”??

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I’m so used to typing CD 286, or CD 79 that I am still walking around with my jaw on the floor in disbelief that I actually ovulated. One year. One entire damn year I’ve waited to ovulate, and man, am I enjoying it. It feels kind of like that first hot shower you take after a week of camping with no soap, toilet paper, or toothbrush. 100mg of Clomid, I doubted you, but you pulled through, son, you pulled through.

This is my first 2ww EVER. I am meeting it with a sense of excitement, possibilities, and also the fear of let down, which, let’s face it…ugh. I can’t go there right now. I have to keep positive. 4DPO, and all is well.

I get giddy every time I think about ovulating. Hubs gets super giddy, too. Last night, he did a weirdly cute bow towards my uterus, and put his hands on my stomach. Somewhere in my body, there is a teeny tiny egg floating around which may or may not be fertilized at this point. My temps are still up nice and high, thus reinforcing the fact that yes, I did ovulate. Me. I ovulated. I STILL can’t quite wrap my brain around that.

I have been trying to see if I feel any early symptoms. I’m always tired (like, sleep-in-my-car-during-lunch-hour-because-I-can’t-keep-my-damn-eyes-open sometimes tired), so I don’t know if that would be a true test of anything. If anything, I’ve had more energy and less sleep the past few days. Boobs aren’t sore at all, and I don’t have to pee frequently. Only thing I have felt a lot today is the chills (no idea why, probably hormonal), and I have two canker sores on the inside of my mouth which is very rare for me. I have read that those can be caused premenstrualy.

We’ll see what the next few days brings. I assume 7DPO is too soon to test, which means I will be off to France and then won’t test until I get back home at 14DPO. Drats!  I can’t bring myself to test in France without being close to Hubs. Hubs said it would be all right if I did…I just feel weird about it. If I haven’t gotten my period by the time I leave France, there will be some SERIOUS cray cray on this blog, my friends. In a good way.

 

So, yeah. This happened this morning.

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This is an LH test, party people. NOT the other kind of test. Just wanted to preface that!

Ok, so forget the fact that my bed head looks like I’m a truck stop prostitute after a long night…

I just got my first positive OPK. I think. The test line may be like a millimeter of a shade lighter than the comparison line, but only if you squint.

Early this morning (CD 16) I experienced a very “full” sensation in my lower abdomen and cervix–the kind of fullness I get right around ovulation time. Which is weird, because up until now, I’ve had exactly zero symptoms. I’ve also pretty much given up on temping. I decided to give it a go and prove to myself that this was all in my head and give myself a cheapie ovulation test.

I come back into the bathroom five minutes later to find two solid, dark lines on the test…Three days ago, there was nary a whisper of a test line on my OPK.

Look, let’s get one thing straight. My body is still a freaking mess, and I don’t want to get my hopes up AT ALL, but this is the first time I’ve ever had two dark lines. I am too cheap to splurge on more expensive OPKs, so the cheapo pee sticks are all I have at home for now. I may swing by CVS and pick up a better one today.

Here’s where I do a mini freak out, because I haven’t ovulated in over a year, never once while we’ve been “trying”, and assuming that this isn’t my body’s cruel attempt to fuck with me yet again (which I’m still fairly certain might happen), I am in a bit of a panic mode about when Hubs and I need to sex it up. We didn’t do it last night, but we did it Monday night and Tuesday night. I get home pretty late tonight after my night class, so perhaps we should do it this morning before work? If something’s going to happen, I assume with a positive OPK, it happens in the next 24 hours?

Clomid can go f itself

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What has two thumbs and doesn’t respond to Clomid?

This girl!

No proof yet, but it’s CD13 and I’m experiencing no twinges, fluids, or body temps that would indicate anything is working. I just “feel” this cycle is a bust…my body still feels shut down (P.S: can I just ovulate ONE FUCKING TIME this year??? Too much to ask???)

So, today I made the first steps towards acknowledging that my problem is bigger (and more expensive) than I or my laid back gyno can figure out. I made appointments with 2 RE’s and will probably make two more tomorrow just to meet with each of them, see their clinics, and figure out who to go with. I’m ready to get this show on the road with someone who can actually make it their full time job to knock me up.

Goal is to have a doctor locked and loaded in November, and then some shit’s going down. Mama’s not playing anymore.

For those of you who have REs, what would you recommend I ask them in our initial meeting? What have you found is important in an RE, or in a clinic that you’re going to? Any advice would be welcome.

Ovaries…don’t MAKE me go Bald Brittney on your ass!

Bitches won’t ovulate with Clomid, 2,000mg of Metformin, and an absurd wheat/dairy/sugar/alcohol/caffeine free diet? I’m one head shave away from some serious cray cray.

 

One full year

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Hello peeps. Sorry to have missed ya for a couple of days, but I was celebrating the Jewish New Year in style. And by “style” I mean synagogue. Ok…I “may” have gone to the mall on one of the days that I was supposed to be at temple…but hopefully God will let that one slide.

With fall around the corner, shorter days, earlier sunsets, it feels like a good time to mark a transition into a new beginning. This September will be one full year since I’ve ovulated. One full year of hoping, tracking, worrying, celebrating, “trying”. It’s very hard for me to look back on this year and not feel defeated. Could I have done more to help Hubs and I conceive? Could I have dieted harder, or exercised more? Less? Is something that I am doing, eating, breathing causing my system to fritz? There has not been one. single. day that I have not woken up this year thinking, wondering, hoping, praying, worrying…that today could be the day things all turn around. I am trying to celebrate my small victories but they pale in comparison to the big fat failure that is my ovaries.

I don’t know if it’s possible for me to say, “This year, I will stop worrying so much about when or if I will get pregnant.” I can’t make promises like that to myself. I want peace from this, and yet, I cannot be at peace with a life without children. I have no answer for how to achieve peace when my internal world is going through all sorts of physical and emotional turmoil because of this. Accepting that I am not in control feels like an impossibility when all I read, see, and hear about are others who “took Metformin and cycled” or “tried Chasteberry, and it works!” In reality, who KNOWS what was going on with their bodies that made them cycle. Rationally, I know this…but hearing these stories makes me feel like there is a “right choice” out there for me, and I’m just missing it at every turn. Every choice I make about what I eat, when I sleep, what pills I take, or how much I sweat during a workout all feels tied to fertility in some way or another. It’s enough to drive a person mad, and you know what? I am mad. Pissed. Furious. I’m so damn mad that I have to be going through this.

It wouldn’t be true to say that this year, I’m turning over a new leaf and exchanging my toxic anger and rage for some blissed out peace on earth “one-ness”. I can’t say that this year, I’m going to let it all go and just “be”. And part of me feels that if I just learned to “let it all go”, I would cycle, and the fact that I carry this anger is fucking everything up. What is in my control, what is out of my control…it’s all confused right now, and frankly? I don’t want to be at peace with letting the Universe guide me. Who is this all mighty Universe, and if it’s so great, why won’t it fix my broke ass piece of shit reproductive system?

I wish there was a take-away from this post about how I’m going to improve myself this year, or 5 Easy Tips to Forgetting that You May Never Give Your Husband Children, but it all feels like bullshit right now.

Of course, maybe this gloom and doom is the Clomid typing. I finished my last round of 100mg Clomid last night. I’m on CD8 , fighting to be optimistic about this cycle. Puppies, rainbows, unicorns, ovulation.

Who’s your Famous Lookalike?

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Day 21 blood test results in:

Estradiol: 33

Progesterone: 0.4

No chance I ovulated (duh) and now it’s on to 100mg Clomid. I’ll first pick up some Provera today to induce a bleed (or, most likely, spotting, as my gyno said my uterine lining was probably too thin to have a full bleed. Thanks, low estrogen!). I have many other questions about estrogen levels (like, why the *f* is my body not producing any?), the use of estrogen patches, and Clomid’s effects on estrogen, but I will save that for another post.

I was thinking yesterday about all of the virtual friends I’ve made through the blogging process. I see the way we hold each other up in times of crisis, support our wins and our losses, and are just….you know…there for each other. For lack of more adjectives, this community is amazing. If I had to go through this with only myself and Hubs at the helm, I would feel so lost. So thank you to everyone who reads my ramblings. After one failed round of Clomid, I can tell that the further I go down this road with meds, the higher my hopes for each cycle  will get, and the more disappointed I will be if it doesn’t work out.

So, as I was thinking fondly about you yesterday, I realized that I may not get to meet many of you in person, ever. The anonymity that many of us keep on the blogs (myself included!) also keeps me from ever knowing what you look like!

Then, this morning, I came across a famous lookalikes site. Holy shit. This one may be my most favorite pic ever!!!

Millard Fillmore? Or Jack Donaghy?

So, my question is, who is your celebrity look-alike? I have a few I get pretty consistently.

As a girl, I would get: “You look like that girl from My Girl” at least a few times a month. Turns out, I still highly resemble Anna Chlumsky. And did I mention I love Veep?

Coming in a close second is, for some odd reason, Nicole Kidman. I have no clue why, but I think it’s simply the shape of my eyebrows.

Who is your lookalike?