Dropping the ball

So the every day posting thing isn’t working out so well for me. Big surprise! There is only so much time in the day and even fewer topics to muse about. Let’s see. Lately I’ve been thinking about the autism rate. A lot. 1 in 55 boys? I’ve been reading a lot about bromide in flour, the neurotoxins in pesticides and their role in killing the honey bees in vast numbers and more. I’m on a health kick in anticipation of a dual transfer and am scared to death of what I put in my mouth. I’m also wondering if my missing period has anything to do with my diet. Eating in the UK was not only easier but healthier. Their labeling systems are pretty incredible and I love the fact that villagers burn down GMO crops when introduced. Can you imagine that kind of thing happening here? Take the time to read the packaging..for example smart balance…the stuff lasts for a year..that simply is not food. Food does not last a year. I tried to explain that to my son when he got out the “butter” to put on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich (remember that sandwiches always have a layer of butter then mayo or whatever when you are in the UK so…I had to disabuse him of that idea).

I am glad that people are becoming aware of the food they put in their mouth. At my preschool parents think nothing of packing lunchables and m&ms for their kids which always boggles my mind.

I’ll try to be more creative as I make this an active blog – until I hear back from CCRM, I am in a state of perpetual worry. Afraid to ask and afraid not to ask (because the plan is not formed). If I get rejection, there is no firm plan B (very unlike me). Guess I’m becoming a little superstitious.

Ugh.

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Stop the presses. That is if I have any readers left.

I’m just terrible with this blog. I started it to get my feelings out while I travel down the lonely road of infertility. I have been waiting and watching as friends have babies, as they give birth, have sibling for their children and I remain stuck. Stuck. Stuck. Time is ticking. My periods have long since gone. Menopause? I’m not sure. I think my body just can’t ovulate. I’ve been under so much pressure and I don’t take good care of myself. I forget to eat. Sometimes I don’t know what day it is. I started a preschool. I might have mentioned that but….it was the hardest thing I ever did but also I have never been happier. I have kids who give me hugs, who love me and the love flows right back. I’ve been so happy lately even though I work very hard and have little time for me. I was sitting in the Inverness Hotel in 2009, reading a book about the importance of education in the first five years of life. I glanced from my 3000 dollars of meds, to the syringe I just used to make my follicles grow, back to the book and then came the idea. A preschool. If I have one child…well, at least I’ll know what he is learning AND I will have dozens of children to love. So I am very happy but also the big fat void remains. The siblings on ice. The would be siblings except, my womb is over it. I can’t get it to grow. I have not tried again but I know. I’ve been friends (randomly) with a woman who has been a surrogate in the past. We started talking and one day I thought….well, why don’t I ask her. To my utter delight she agreed to be my surrogate. I cannot tell you what a dream come true this is for me. She is without a doubt a thoughtful, caring and loving person but get this, she wants to be a part of my child’s life. An Auntie for lack of a better word. That is just the icing on the cake. I would so love to share my child with a sister but sadly I have only a brother. He loves my son but there is nothing like an aunt that just loves you to pieces. I am one of those types of Aunties and, well, I just hope she will love my son as much. Hold on, no baby yet but we are hoping that this is what my embryos need. A womb that is proven to give life unlike mine. I say this without a hint of sadness. The only thing I worry about is that she will somehow be harmed by the process. If both were to take I would worry about her carrying twins, the burden on her and her family. So I may try to see if my uterus will grow enough to have a double transfer of the embryos. The higher quality for her and the lesser quality for me. Schoolcraft suggested that I transfer both to her and told me “why waste one”….as if he knows that I can’t carry another child. I don’t know what to do. I’m torn. We are in the middle of waiting for his approval. So that is the news. I feel happy, worried, stressed…but somewhat relieved that there is a plan and we have the right person on the team. I don’t think there could be a better person to carry my child (ren) than this woman…she really cares and I know would do the right thing. She is ethical, honest, caring, devoted and I think I could learn a thing or two about organization from her. And I love her already. She gave me hope again. For that I owe her so much already…

To be continued!

It has begun.

I don’t like new years resolutions for a variety of dumb reasons but this year I think I am doing it. Sorta. It started about two weeks ago. I cut out coffee (well, went from 10 to 2 a day). 10 cups of coffee a day (no joke) and I was wondering why I had high BP. As high as 145/95 which is very high for me. I went to a new doctor recently – friend of a friend. I can never get in to see my oh so amazing doctor in ATL so I figured, why not. Why not! The guy was great. He went over my history and told me that he agrees completely that I should be on IVIG during pregnancy and my failure to be on it for the last miscarriage was probably why I lost a genetically normal female. Ugh. She would be 2.5 years old. I try so hard not to think about that. That was a tough one. In fact, it is probably something I have yet to deal with – it comes out in little bits. Like when the doctor says to me, how many miscarriages and I mumble “um…like 6 or 7 or 8…I’m sorry” and then the tears start and I feel stupid. Like right now…few more tears. They are always right there at the surface. Should I sit my ass in a doctor’s chair and talk about it for 190 dollars a month…the answers is damn well no. Enough of that. I’ll get my bucket of tears owed to that little girl in soon. Maybe I’ll make a weekend for her – just to get it out because, I would have been fine had the karyotype been “trisomy male” blah blah but not “normal girl”. At 8 weeks he didn’t just get my tissue – it was true.

So back to the resolutions malarky. I started with the coffee and now I’m taking prenatals on time and eating with them! Duh. I’m bumping up the folic acid. I don’t drink too much but I take anti anxiety meds. I’ve halved my dosage (that is also a big thing for me as I tend to be over anxious, imagine that). Drinking will cease from 2x per week to about none. I’ve started my daily baby aspirin, am drinking lots of water and going to about five more doctors – pap smear, mammo (all required by Schoolcraft to do an embryo transfer) and then the doctor to give me IVIG who my doctor made a referral and “recommended” that he do whatever I want. Hoping insurance will take it or it is 3K a pop and I need at least 3 of them if not 4.

Wow, exciting post!

The doctor did tell me that it was pretty clear that I have an autoimmune disorder but that it was also a good thing because I’ll probably never get cancer. Oh doctor, don’t worry, my body has ways of surprising!

So that is it. Countdown begins. I’ve started thinking about what will happen if it doesn’t work and the idea is grim but I’ll survive but I won’t give up. I won’t have a lot of options at that point but I’ll find a way.

So there it is – my new years resolution. To get healthy enough to have a baby in 2 months.

Off to sign up two new students – TWO! And I signed up three more for May. So we are growing and I can’t be more happy about it. My teachers are happy, I’m finally happy with where we are headed and what we are doing. I no longer feel alone in the process but like a team is behind me – a team of really great teachers who promise me not to give me any stress during the month of March and onward (ha).

I’ll tick “a whole lot of nothing” as a category for this post. Certainly it was nothing like my post for http://www.waitinginsunshine.typepad.com. THAT was a post.

Happy New Year friends. I can’t believe I have loyal readers after I basically post ever once in 6 months.

And lastly, may babiesornot.blogspot.com be healthy in the New Year. I have some amazing cyber friends.

Someone once said….if you keep looking for trouble you are going to find trouble.

Whoever said that is an asshole but true.

So yesterday must have been my 1000th hysteroscopy. I told him that there is no way I will stay awake (like a certain doctor once did to me – hell, I was awake for a d&c with just a little valium and that was not right).

This time the uterus was fine BUT the doctor asked, “so did anyone mention that your uterus has a sort of cliff or a bulge to it”. What? A bulge. So it was explained as more of a septum. After all these tests and laps and hysteroscopies (which isn’t even a word so says my spell check). After all of that. I’m talking 300K.

300K and now I get this.

The good doctor explained that it probably wouldn’t impede any implantation but that it probably was the reason for my preterm labor. He told me I could probably hold twins but not triplets.

Funny. I just want to hold anything.

So I’m in a funny spot, doing the buildup of my lining to see how it will grow. Using the vivelle dots (or strips as I would rather call them) and seeing where all of this goes. I want to put the embryos back in by early October. It is time.

I’m so scared it won’t work and so scared that it will and I’ll lose them. Why can’t I just get pregnant and, well, be like everyone else? It is still a mystery but I’m piecing it together. The completely crazy chromosomal disasters that are most of my embryos take two to tango. I can’t blame that on just me and I am still making normal eggs at age 41 so that is good. The fact that I have two normals on ice is even better but typically they only work with women with a normal uterus. Do I have a normal uterus? I’m not sure anymore.

I do have normal, open fallopian tubes. How nice.

Change

Things are changing around here. I’ll elaborate more but for now, I’ve added my music. The reason being is that I’m starting a drive to raise money for a cause I love – no, a passion. It is late and I’m excited so I wanted to post. It has been so wonderful to not have to think about IVF but tomorrow I’ll have a consult and go over “the file” with a new OB GYN. He is my friend’s husband sounds great. He gave me some interesting facts…that there is a higher miscarriage rate for women with psoriasis. I have psoriasis and never knew that. Today I had a foot doctor appt and he told me not to take anti steroid non inflammatories (motrin, etc) as they can lower the chances of implantation. Nobody ever tells you this stuff. I mean, I had no clue and at this point I feel like I know way too much. Yes “way too much information” about this process.

I’m putting a link to my songs. A few that I wrote and sang in my life before I started to do IVF. Some day I will look back on this time in my life and it will seem like a dream. Right now, I’m about to reenter the nightmare portion of the process. The FET. It is going to happen in the next five months. Or sooner. I need to be ready for it.

Anyway. Short one. I’m coming back tomorrow to tell you all about what I’ve been doing that has given me a spring in my step and, for about 7 months now, helped me to not focus on IVF for the first time in five years.

Night, night.

PS. Please listen to the songs – when you do they pay me ad revenue and it goes to a great cause (which you’ll know all about tomorrow!!!).

What happened this summer – why I went away

So I left this block rather abruptly. Right smack dab in the middle of my CCRM story. There was a good reason – actually two good reasons.

I used to be a member of an IVF support group. It was online, fairly active and I had posted there since 2005 when I began the journey of trying to have a child. When I say that this particular site was instrumental in having my son that would be a gross understatement. I learned everything I ever needed to know from the women on this site on how to cycle, how to keep upbeat, how to laugh and most of all – how to relate to people who were going through the same experience that I was. Because, let’s face it, until you have experienced infertility you just don’t get it. Not in the way that we do. The physical and psychological pain, the feelings of inadequacy, the anger at people walking down the street with a baby carriage – they just do not understand and sometimes nor do we. Finding this particular website at a point in my life where I felt helpless empowered me and allowed me to get through those rough times. For that, I shall be forever grateful. I developed some great relationships that remain to this day. But in July I had to leave.

There were a few things going on at that point in time. The board I posted to regularly was turning into a strange place. There were a few posters who had things going on in their life that were dangerous (to put it mildly) and a number of people were considering turning this woman into the authorities. I’d received several messages from different sources encouraging me to turn her in to child protective services. I’d considered it and then thought…..nah, I’m going to tell her what I think. Because, what if this was all a huge rant and this woman was exaggerating and then CPS goes in and yanks her kids. I didn’t think it was a bad idea if the stories were true but, because so many people were calling CPS, I didn’t do it. So, I wrote a post and called her out. She didn’t like that. Neither did her friends. They gave me what my grandfather would call a “licking” for it. Others wrote me private messages saying “thanks, I wish I had the guts to write what you did”. I didn’t think I was particularly harsh but in hindsight, probably should have just stayed out of it like I did with the CPS.

And then about 2 weeks later a post appeared calling me names and accusing me of trying to kill my husband. It was laughable. My friends on the board and I had a good old laugh about it – until people, people I’d known for ages started agreeing and saying “I believe this to be true”. It was like 8th grade….I can laugh about it now but it started to become very serious to me. For a start, I was applying for a job with a very well known and highly thought of company and did not need such disgusting words said about me….and then this person called CCRM and told them things about me. That is when I started compiling information for a civil and criminal suit. I have all the evidence but I have declined pressing charges for the moment. It didn’t stop there though – whoever this person and or persons were, they caused all manner of mischief and then would try to link it back to me….one day I looked and over 20 of my IVF friends had dropped me on facebook. I was stunned.

And then I figured it out.

A few months prior to all of this brouhaha I started a private, facebook group in support of a fellow IVFer to talk about her issue. She had a pretty big problem and didn’t want to discuss it on this open board. I still will not discuss her or her issue – not until she is ready. Let’s just say it was a doozy. One of the members of our “secret facebook” group decided to leave – in a huff, I’ll add because, well, she didn’t like the fact that a few of us didn’t like one of her friends. 8th grade. This person then decided to go and tell everyone in her social circle on this board about our exclusionary, secret group where we all made fun of everyone. Those were her words, not the truth…but she was a believable person and so…people I’d posted with, supported, held virtual hands with, donated money to in times of need and cried tears of anger, frustration and and sadness with decided that I was a very bad person. A very bad person indeed – a “mean girl”. But, due to the private nature of our friend’s issue, I was unable to defend myself, defend my creating a support group outside of our support group. I was labeled the scourge of our wonderful board. I was shunned. I had to leave – there was no staying around. When I tell you that it shook me to the core, I will not lie. I laugh about it now but at the time my husband was making me dinner, bringing me flowers and reminding me that it didn’t matter what some people on the internet thought – that it was our family that mattered. Again, he didn’t get it. Those women meant something to me that he couldn’t understand.

Those women.

So, lately I’ve started to post there again because I realized that I have something to give. I have something to add and if it helps a woman get pregnant or make a decision that might help her get pregnant or choose to adopt or….help her in any way, I’m going to post there. I won’t let the lies and destruction caused by a few idiots stop me. I’m far less interested in doing what I had originally wanted to do – raise money for cycling, meds, etc for those who cannot afford it but maybe that will change in time.

Hell, I raised 105,000 dollars this summer as the Chair of a non-profit whose proceeds go to planting trees and flowers – imagine what I could do to help women start or complete their families. I just wish July never happened or I’d probably be working on just that right now.

So that is the long and the short (actually the short for sure) of it.

Far more interesting than, say, headboard decorating issues, I hope!

Peeing on a stick….

Was just having a discussion with a fellow IVFer on home pregnancy tests. Listen. I’m a damned expert and I am going to tell you a secret. They all suck with exception of the FRER – First Response Early Result. That thing measured the tiniest beta in the world (beta for you non scientific babymakers is the measurement of the HCG given off by am implanting/implanted embryo in your bloodstream). 11 is very low and FRER got it.

All batches are different but I need to post this.

Tell the others to F off. Seriously…..the dollar tree brand told me I was not pregnant until I was 5 months along. I peed on every one of them just to spite them and then posted them on the wall and gave them the finger. I’m not making this up. I hate that brand – sue me, dollar tree.

I guess I need to tag this as a rant…..and advice. I am also not joking when I tell you that I approach people looking at the clearblue easy in the CVS pharmacy aisle and have convinced them to buy the FRER.

Hey, at least I’m passionate about something.