Saturday, November 21, 2009

What not to ask

I had a lot of fun last night and today spending time with my nephew.  This morning, my brother asked him how old he is now and he says, "I'm terrible....3!"  Too funny!  He's always being goofy and brightens my day. was mom had to go and piss me off.  After the birthday party we all went back to my bro & SIL's house and were just trying to relax.  And my mom just flat out says, "So Ruth, this is your 3rd year teaching.  After this year, are you going to get pregnant?"  >:(  No matter how many times you try to "rehearse" a response in your head, the emotions take over.  I was so pissed and just snapped,
"That's a personal question mom, you don't ask this kinda stuff!"
"But I'm your mother"  (!)
"That doesn't matter, it's a personal question!" And I made my escape to the bathroom.  And she's saying something like "Well, I wasn't the one who said...."  I don't know what she was trying to say that I've said.  Thank God for my brother for interjecting and telling her to just stop and leave it alone.  Maybe I shouldn't have been so....mean about it.  But I just knew it was coming.  Every time I see my mom she has to randomly bring up baby or pregnancy stuff and I have to try to politely get her to change the subject.  And I am not ready to tell her about IF/azoo, not until at least we know what's gonna happen.  Because for one thing, I know she will tell everybody about it when I don't want the whole world to know.  And then she will be constantly trying to give us her (usually very unhelpful and rude) advice. 
(WARNING: EXTREMELY bitchy rant coming up next)
I know everyone who has gone through/is going through IF has the pain in the butt of dealing with people asking stupid questions.  I don't know what it is making me feel so agitated today.  If you are reading this and you have ever been one of those people that asks somebody "When are you gonna start having kids?"  or especially a random "Are you pregnant?"  Maybe you think you're just having an innocent conversation, but please: DON'T ASK!  Regardless of who it is you're talking to, because:
  1. It's none of your business!!  If they want to tell you about their personal life, they will tell you
  2. Have you ever stopped to think just how stupid such a question is in the first place?  "When are you gonna *start* having kids?" Or in my mom's case "Are you gonna get pregnant after this year?"  Like anybody, IF sufferer or not, can tell you when they're going to conceive like the weather forecast?  As much as people would like to think it's as easy as just having unprotected sex, we DON'T have control over what happens.  So ask a stupid question, expect a stupid answer.  And,
  3. If the first 2 reasons weren't good enough, you may not know the circumstances surrounding the person you're talking to.  Maybe they haven't really thought about having kids and think nothing of such a question.  But maybe they really want to have kids but know it's not their time to "try" yet.  Or maybe they are trying and it hasn't happened yet.  Or maybe they just found out they have serious IF issues and need treatment.  Maybe they had or keep having miscarriages.  When you ask them that question, to them it's like you're implying that they must not want children and need to *start having kids* when it's the exact opposite case.  Or if it's a friend you know that is dealing with IF, please don't be that person that keeps asking "So are you pregnant yet?"  It only makes the pain worse. I feel a little bit better after all my bitching.  I hope I have not offended anybody who reads this.  Bottom line, I just wish everybody could understand there are some things you just should not ask about unless given an open invitation to discuss it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Last night DH and I went on a little date.  Had a very interesting talk about this whole IF/azoo thing.  A lot of things have been going through my mind.  DH has been so busy with schoolwork as this is his last semester, and has been applying to different grad schools for the 2010-2011 school year.  It's funny looking back to when we first started thinking about TTC; I was SO determined to have an Oklahoma baby and be able to stay here for a while before moving to wherever.  But now I realize that if we are to have our own child at all, the odds of us having a baby in Oklahoma are very slim.  And now with my work environment getting more and more stressful, I don't think I even want to stay for another year.  But then, I don't know how things would work out if, for instance, they are able to find some sperm and freeze it to use for IVF.... It's not like we could just do IVF here and then move halfway across the country while I'm pg.
On the other hand, I think I hypothesize too much.  I told DH I really don't want to get my hopes up at all.  Especially since with the reading I've been doing on azoo, it seems most couples I've read about end up doing donor sperm.  And then DH just said "If you want to do donor sperm, I don't care, do what you want, because it's still gonna be my kid."   Wow I was not expecting that.  But we talked about it.  I still personally would not want to do donor sperm.  At least at this point, I feel that if we can't both have a biological child, I would rather adopt a child who needs a good family than to have a child that's only "half" ours.  Still very weird that DH thinks he would be ok with it before I would....

I really wish I could keep my mind off of this, but it's hard waiting in limbo.  At least, I'm gonna get my "fix" this weekend.  I'm going to my brother's this weekend for my nephew's birthday (turning 3 years old!) I've talked with my SIL about problems I've had since TTC, but I haven't told her about azoo.  But I feel I may need to confide in her & my brother since we are so close.  Not looking for pity, but I feel I can trust them, and I may need their help if my mom does what she always does- going on and on asking me/talking to me about kids/pregnancy. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Me in the Corner

I've been feeling particularly down in the dumps these last few days.  It's probably all these raging hormones since AF finally showed up after 43 days.  This is the first time that instead of feeling sad when AF shows up, I just feel extremely bitter.  Bitter knowing that this time around (and any time before) we never even got a chance to "try" like most couples do.  And I'm becoming more and more skeptic that we will ever get a chance at having our own all.
Lately, I don't even feel like being around people anymore.  I feel so separated and awkward, even though most people in real life don't know what's going on with us.  For some reason at work I am fine, but everywhere else I go I am constantly reminded of the harsh reality that is my life.  It's probably because most people in my small circle of friends have kids or are pregnant, and it just hurts knowing that many of these people take their blessings for granted without realizing it.  But I feel I can't really open up to them and receive any understanding.  How can you be understanding, or why should I expect you to "be there for me" if you never have and never will experience the pain I am going through?  I know there are good supportive "fertile" people out there.  But I feel I can't go certain places, even when I'm feeling positive and happy, without becoming the awkward one, the outcast, the "downer." 
The bad thing is my church is one of these places.  Going to church and being around other Christian people used to really lift my spirits.  I haven't even told anyone at church about IF, never even told people there that DH and I had been TTC.  But for some reason lately when I go, I feel like I am somehow being judged by those around me.  Maybe there's been a change in my persona or my attitude that needs working on.  If so, that will take some time.  Right now I think I just need a little break from "people" until I'm ready to handle these awkward situations.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A TTC Journey

So here it is.  My debut into the world of blogging.  Despite the fact that I absolutely HATE writing, I thought I would start this blog to share my story, my thoughts, and my feelings during this long and difficult process called "trying to conceive."  Here is my (very long, sorry) story up until now:

I guess you could say my "journey" started in the summer of 2008.  My husband and I had talked about having kids, but it wasn't until then that I actually got the "baby fever."  I was thinking about kids all the time.  I started doing all kinds of research online whenever I could.  I found myself planning out when should be the best time to start trying, HOW to try (for specific genders), even down to what kind of birth I would want and what facilities in my city offer that. 

I knew it was too soon for us to start trying, but I decided to get the ball rolling by seeing a neurologist. Background: I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 14, after having several "absence" seizures and 2 grand mal seizures.  After that I was put on Depakote ER to control the seizures, and had been taking it ever since without problems.  While Depakote is good for seizures, it is VERY bad for women who are pregnant.  Every doctor I ever had highly stressed the importance of using birth control while taking Depakote.  So I knew I needed to take some action regarding my medication before even trying for children.  My neurologist ran several tests, and monitored my condition while weaning me off of the Depakote.  I was officially finished with Depakote by early December, with no problems.

Now, the original "plan" was to officially start TTC in July of 2009.  But at the very end of December '08 I just stopped taking my BC.  It was kind of on a whim and I guess my rationale at the time was it may take at least 3 months anyway, and we will still be OK if I have a baby in late '09.  Perhaps it was a selfish decision at the time, as I didn't really take a relaxed stance and instead started pressuring myself and my poor hubby.

That may have at least partly contributed to what happened next.  It's a good thing I had learned how to chart my cycles so I knew exactly what was going on.  First 3 cycles off BC were relatively fine but come April, all hell broke loose.  I wasn't ovulating.  Weeks and weeks and weeks went by without any clear temperature shift.  Frustration city!  And I couldn't even talk to friends about my frustration without an ignorant "Ooh! Maybe you're pregnant!"  Sorry folks, you can't get pregnant without an egg.  Even when I went to my doctor for help, she wasted my time doing a blood pregnancy test (which of course, turned out negative).  Well that monstrous cycle finally ended after a very emotional 3 months.  But it didn't get any better from there.  It was obvious I still wasn't ovulating and on top of that I was having all kinds of unexplained spotting.  I finally decided it was time to see a specialist when I had 2 cycles that were both exactly 16 days long....16! So tired of feeling broken, feeling like a failure.

September 15th was our first visit to the fertility specialist and boy was it overwhelming for a first visit.  The RE (reproductive endocrinologist) went over all the plans and options for us, ordered a lot of blood tests from me, wanted DH to do a semen analysis later that week.  After the nurse took several vials of blood from my arm, it was time for an ultrasound to make sure I didn't have any cysts or fibroids.  The RE got REALLY excited when he saw 2 mature follicles; I guess he has a lot of fun when it comes to fixing wacked up reproductive systems.  So it was a change of plan: they wanted to give me HCG to trigger ovulation, estrogen to build up the endometrium, and DH and I had a "homework assignment" for the next couple days.  The s/a was put off until the week after.  A few days later my temperature chart showed a clear shift; we were so excited to finally get in a real "try" after so long. 

The next week I had to go in for a progesterone test to confirm I ovulated, and also had to bring in DH's fresh "sample."  On the way there I just started bawling, thinking what if something is wrong? What if he doesn't even have any?  I kept trying to tell myself Oh come on, that is very unlikely.  Probably there is nothing wrong, and even if the count is low, it's not that bad.  I was still choking back tears while I was at the RE's office and people kept asking if I was ok.  I felt like an idiot for crying for no legitimate reason.  That afternoon I got a call that my progesterone levels indicated ovulation (of course), but they did not have the results from the s/a yet.

September 28, I got what was possibly the worst phone call of my life.  When the doctor started off by asking if I wanted to hear this over the phone or in person, I already knew what was coming.  The words "no sperm found" kept ringing in my ears as he went on and on explaining the possible causes for this, and what testing/procedures they might do from here.  Of course, DH was absolutely devastated as well.  It really slapped us in the face even harder when I started a new cycle the next day, our would-be test date.  We did a repeat s/a a few weeks later but the result was the same.  Now the RE has referred DH to a urologist, which we won't start seeing until January. He will probably do some hormone testing to try to determine if this is obstructive or non-obstructive azoospermia.  If there's a chance he has anything, they will probably do a testicular biopsy or some other type of sperm extraction to use for IVF.

So that is our story so far.  Right now we are just hanging "in limbo."  Waiting to find out if our problem can be fixed or not.  This just might be the most trying part of our journey.  Wondering: why us?  Why are we cursed with this affliction when we love children so much?  Perhaps it is because of our love for children that we are meant to do something greater.  Only time will tell.