Monday, August 11, 2008

Lost But Found

I was lost for awhile.

I am now ready to continue sharing my fertility journey with you - that is, however, if you are up for it.

I hope you are well.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Three Months

Three months.

I wish I were blogging about the first trimester, but no, we do not even know if we will ever get to a first trimester again.

We have decided to push our second IVF back by three months. Specifically, I will start stims three months from today, approximately. We were originally going to try for April, but that came up on me a little too fast (welcome to March already) and I need some more time: time to get the courage up to do IVF again (I'm scared shitless by the way); time to get healthier (more on that later); and time to make a little more money.

I feel so distanced from feeling hope for a baby and from motherhood and from the pursuit of fertility treatments. It all seems, well foreign, to me now. Like some alien universe that I only see on TV. I can only surmise that my unconscious decision to remain stand-offish about motherhood is a protective measure, since I have lived with the ups and downs of trying to conceive for two years (ups and downs include: one pregnancy; termination of pregnancy because it was ectopic; no baby; and a failed IVF).

So it will be interesting, to say the least, to find out what the next three months brings. Will I become less detached in trying for a baby? Will I embrace the process again, only to get my heart broken? I do not know.

I am going for my second IVF but it seems as though I am reaching for some impossible dream.

Friday, February 22, 2008

No Barack or Hillary Love

Quick update - I started running a fever last night and had to give away my precious tickets to the debate watch party! I was so bummed, but I had to face the fact that I would have probably passed out if I went. Well, M and I ended up watching the debate on CNN, and we both thought it was very good. I gave my debate watch tickets away to a co-worker for free, and incidentally, tickets to the event were going for $500 on Craigslist (since Obama and Hillary were going to speak there).

That should get me some good karma, right? Now if I can just direct that karma to where I need it, i.e., my uterus, that would be fantastic.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sicko Politco

I am sick as a dog today. (I don't understand that expression, since my dog is just fine and does not tend to be sick, but you get the idea). Very, very sick I am. I do not know if I have the flu but I hope not. I think it is just a really bad cold. I slept for 10 hours last night and woke up feeling like I had not slept at all (don't you hate that?) and I can't breathe and my head feels like it is in a vice. Ugh.

The only good news is that since I am in Austin, the national campaign for President is coming my way today! Obama and Clinton will debate tonight in Austin, to be aired live on CNN. Although there are no tickets for the public (well, they had a lottery of 100 tickets for which 40,000 people signed up, so effectively, there are no tickets for the public), I will go the a debate watching party sponsored by the Texas Democratic Party and Obama and Clinton will stop by after the debate! To say I am excited is an understatement; I just hope that my unexpected illness does not keep me from attending.

Please forgive my brazen political excitement - I respect and honor everyone's political affiliation. Republicans, Independents, Democrats, the Non-Labeled - all are welcome here! I just love the process of politics. Have to say, however, that this year, since everyone is jumping on the election bandwagon, I feel like singing "I was political, when political wasn't cool..." Seriously, the fact that so many people are engaged in the election makes me so proud of my country. Regardless of what happens.

Aaagh, a day without hardly thinking about fertility issues. How nice. These days are not many, but when they come, I am very grateful.

I do have to wonder, though, should I ask Hillary and Obama whether their universal health care plans will cover IVF?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Song I Want to Sing to My Child No. 2

I am sad today.

I have no baby. I have no child to love.

Sometimes the emptiness in my arms is too heavy for me to bear.

Will it ever happen for me? I am too afraid to even ask that question out loud, but believe me, the question is always there -- like an uninvited guest or a rude usurper of my heart.

As I told you before, I often think of songs I want to sing to my child when he or she comes along. Here is another one, dear and close to me, by Sinéad O'Connor (if I play it I end up in a puddle of tears; but you can hear it here):

My darling child

My darling baby
My darling child
You gave life to me

My darling child
My darling baby
My darling child
You came and saved me

My darling child
My darling baby
My darling child
God gave you to me

Me little ninja
My little dancer
Me little streetfighter
Me little chancer

Me lovely boy
Me lovely babby
My pride and joy
Me little puppy

Me little wolf
Me little lamby
My favourite boy
My angel babby

Me little ninja
Me little dancer
Me little streetfighter
Me little chancer

Me love me boy
Me love me babby
My pride and joy
Me little puppy

- Sinéad O'Connor

I want to believe I will sing this song someday.

But today, I am finding that belief and faith belong to someone else - certainly not to me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

It's been a week full of wonderful things and not-so-wonderful things.

First, thank you so much to all who commented on my work situation. I have decided to "take control" and cut back on work. Work be damned. I will not go into my IVF in April stressed out. And I am looking around for more opportunities, particularly in-house, which would be quite nice. I am also looking into a position in the federal government. And who knows, maybe I will start my own practice! We will see what happens.

But I would rather work at a lower capacity right now and concentrate on the ultimate goal: getting (and staying) pregnant. Unfortunately, we rely on my income (my husband, M, works for a non-profit) so I cannot simply quit work, which is my all-time fantasy. Since I decided to take back control of my life and make work a far distant second in my life, however, I have been much happier. And much more stress free.

Another good thing that has happened this week: M and I had some really good communication. We have been fighting a lot lately - for lots of reasons - but mostly because of the stress of our failed IVF and what we will do in the future. He's been depressed and I've been depressed, and then I felt guilty that he was depressed because I blamed myself for his depression, and it was a never-ending cycle. Well, we had a really serious talk this week about what we want and what our goals are. And we found the intimacy and closeness that we have not had since we learned the IVF did not work. We are both scared for the future and not sure what will happen. But we know we have each other. It is simply astounding how stressful infertility is and how it can impact a relationship. We have to work at it right now because it is not easy for either one of us. But the good news is that we are working on it.

On a non-fertility related note, Obama and Hillary are virtually tied for the democratic nomination which means my primary in Texas (on March 4) will actually mean something this year. As a Democrat living in Texas, I have often felt that in national races my vote means nothing. Obviously I live in a red state, so when I vote for president I know that it's not going to really make a difference. As for past primaries, the democratic nominee is usually chosen by the time mine comes around, so it has never felt like I even had a say in choosing the democratic nominee. Not this year! It's all up for grabs, and even more exciting for me, my vote will really make a difference this year. To top off this wonderful turn of events, I will be attending several Obama and Hillary rallies, which for a political junkie like me, is like porn : )

Oh, and some wonderful news! Tracy is having twins! Congratulations Tracy!

Some not so good stuff happened this week also.

First, my new and dear real-life friend, who shall remain nameless, had an IVF cycle recently. I met her through my infertility support group and she has been a great support to me. To my dismay, I learned this past weekend that her IVF yielded 4 eggs, none of which fertilized. Needless to say, I was devastated for her. She is much stronger than me. She has picked herself up and has this amazing spirit which propels her to keep fighting onward. I am just so sad for her. It seems as if the doctor did not give her enough stimulation medication until it was too late and did not do ICSI, which in hindsight would have been the thing to do. She is going to do another IVF and is getting a second opinion. I am lucky to know her and have her support, but I feel helpless right now. I don't know what to say to make it better.

Denise at Freezer Buns had a negative FET cycle. Please go visit her and give her your support. Denise has been a great support to me and her blog is really great. I am just so sad for her. I know that things will work out for her, but I am sad for her.

(Why does IVF seem like a fucking lottery?)

Luna is having a tough time. Her writing inspires and is amazingly beautiful and poetic. She captures the feelings of infertility so, so well. Please visit her and give her your support.

Finally, I received a really difficult email this week. I am not sure how to take it. Essentially, it was from a friend who tried for three and a half years to have a baby. Her first IVF worked and she had a son, who is about a year old. She is a poor responder and only had one embryo transferred in that cycle. (Again, the mystery of IVF confounds me - I had 25 eggs). Well, I have noticed that this friend does not really want to talk about infertility issues and has even distanced herself somewhat from me over the past few months. I could not figure it out. When our IVF failed, I did not hear from her.

This past week, however, I received an email from her. It was nice and she wished me well, but then the kicker came. She said "As you know, we tried 3 1/2 years with no good news. But it all works out in the end. You will see. I've been trying to find the right time to tell you this, but, we actually had another IVF cycle, and we are expecting in May."

This email threw me for a loop. I was shocked. She is almost 5 months pregnant and I am just finding out. I burst into tears. Not because I am not happy for her - I am. And I know that she had good intentions in keeping this news from me. But in keeping the news from me for so long, I feel even more isolated than I already am. Like a leper. Like "she's the one with infertility." Everyone knew about this but me. I know that she probably could not win either way, but I wish she had told me earlier and not in an email. Still, I know she was trying to protect me. I was gracious and responded that I am for her (which I am) and how she doesn't have to stay away or protect me. The thing is, I think she is staying away. Infertility is confounding - the relationships are weird even with people who have been through it.

I just hope that this next week brings more of the good and much, much less of the bad.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Legal Troubles

Besides being so incredibly excited about Super Tuesday today (Go Hillary and Obama! I don't care who wins I just want a Democrat to win the White House; well, OK I really secretly hope that Obama wins the nomination, but I'm actually very torn because I like Hillary too), things are so, so tough right now. I am buried, swamped, and overwhelmed at work. Did I mention that I am a lawyer? Probably not because most people hate lawyers. (I promise you that I am one of the nice ones). I make a concerted effort not to bring up my profession to most people because I don't think it defines who I am as a person.

Lately, however, my job has been causing major upheaval in my life. While I love the work that I do, it is incredibly hard handling work, enjoying a quality life, and going through infertility. If a client, another lawyer in my firm, or a court says "do this" (and at least one of the three is barking orders at me on any given day), I have to do it, whether I am sick, tired, in pain or going through a rough spot. I cannot call in sick. Supposedly I am allowed to take "vacation," but I never know if I will have to cancel the vacation. Plus I have to meet a crazy billable hour requirement. All of this is causing me an undue amount of stress and I'm questioning whether I should do something else.

Since my IVF failed, I have been working all kinds of crazy hours and have not been taking care of myself mentally or physically. My husband, M, and I are not doing things together because I have been so busy. This is not helping me get pregnant. I keep thinking that tomorrow I will lay off work and work on me and my marriage. But every day seems like a blur of stress, deadlines, and sleeplessness.

In my saner moments, I dream of going to yoga, getting a massage, making an acupuncture appointment, etc. But I have not made any time for me, or for that matter, M. I have taken on too much work. Today is a good example. It is almost 4 am and I will work another 10-12 hours today.

I spent a lot of time getting to this point in my career (well, not the stressful part of it), but you know what? I really believe that I could leave it tomorrow and never look back. I just want a family. I just want to be pregnant. I just want a baby. I really could care less about work right now.

I love working - I do - but not the way I have been. I need to recover the quality in my life. I need to get pregnant. I need to be close to my husband and enjoy my life. It is just not easy to have a quality of life in my profession, but then, it is not easy for any woman who works and deals with infertility and pregnancy and parenting.

I am sure many of you have the same issues. How do we balance work and life?

If you find the answer, let me know, because I would really, really like to know.