pregnancy

Suicide, Depression, and Triggers

The title should make it obvious but in case it’s not I’m going to be talking about suicide and depression so please skip this if you need.
I’m also going to mention pregnancy so if that’s a trigger you can skip this too.

Several bloggers I follow, both infertility bloggers and others, have posted about depression in the wake of Robin Williams’ suicide. Many have said far better than I the things I want to say so I’m going to keep this brief rather than cluttering everyone’s feeds with more talk of this subject.

I have a history of depression and suicidal thoughts as well as self-harming behaviors. I have never attempted suicide although I have been so close that I’ve been handcuffed and taken to the hospital against my will.

I have suicidal thoughts. Sometimes they are rare, sometimes they are frequent. They are not something I am in control of. They just are. When I tell this to people it scares them, they hear suicidal thoughts and think suicidal intent. For me, they are two very different things.

I currently have no intent or desire to hurt or kill myself, but lately I’ve had suicidal thoughts daily.

I have a great deal of guilt around being depressed while pregnant. I don’t want my depression to cause any harm to this baby, but it’s not something I’m entirely in control of. I have taken steps to manage my depression including medication and therapy with a social worker. The other night during a really difficult talk with my husband I sobbed into his arms swearing that I didn’t want to hurt myself or this baby and that I was scared they were going to lock me up again.

Since the death of Robin Williams I have had an extremely difficult time being on social media. Facebook has been the worst but Twitter and blogs have also proven triggering. I made the big mistake the other day of reading an article which included some details of the manner of death and the way he was found. I really wish I hadn’t because I can’t get the pictures out of my mind.

I’m choosing to practice self-care and stay away from these places as much as possible right now. I was already in a fragile state before this. I wanted to explain in more detail why I’ve been so absent. It’s just too hard right now. I’m sorry if I’ve missed important posts about things going on with everyone but I have to take care of myself first.

Think of it like infertiles unfollowing or muting those who become pregnant or even stepping away from the community altogether. We all have to put our own oxygen mask on first before we can help others. Right now I’m just trying to keep breathing.

// //

Quick and Dirty

It’s been a long while since I’ve updated so I’m making this one a quick and dirty bullet point list. Sorry, not sorry. Also, it’s basically all pregnancy stuff.

  • I am 15w2d. We are officially out on Facebook. It’s still weird having everyone know about this pregnancy.
  • I created the new blog. If you are interested in following and don’t have the link because you aren’t on Twitter or my Facebook friend, send an email to the email address on my about page. Please let me know who you are. I want my fellow infertiles to be able to follow but it’s a much more personal blog (names and pictures and stuff) and even though it’s technically public I don’t want to share the link with just any random internet person. I am not posting the link here because I don’t want to link it to this blog in any way.
  • My latest OB appointment went well. The midwife was running behind and pretty manic but she still took the time to listen to and respond to all my questions (and I had several). No ultrasound but she found a heartbeat with the Doppler right away. We shared our news on Facebook that day. The biggest thing that came out of the appointment was that I swallowed my pride and asked for a Zoloft prescription. So I’m now back on a very low dose of Zoloft.
  • I’m missing the first group appointment because of our family vacation. Which means I won’t have my next actual OB appointment until September. The midwife did ask that I do a phone consult with her before my trip. I’m really nervous about the group appointment in September. One of my biggest social anxiety triggers is coming into a group where everyone else already knows each other but nobody knows me. But there’s nothing I can do about that now.
  • I had my genetic counselor appointment last week. Long story short they aren’t terribly worried about genetic stuff. They told me a bit more about the inv9 and are going to do a blood test to confirm that I have the standard deviation that is considered benign. There was also a concern about spina bifida because my half-sister’s daughter has it, but because she’s my half-sister’s daughter and not my full niece they said my chances of having a baby with it are the same as anyone’s. I have to go in this week for the second part of the SIS blood test and that inv9 test. If anything is abnormal they’ll call me. Otherwise we wait until August 25 when I have my anatomy scan. Depending on the results of the blood tests and anatomy scan we will determine if further testing such as an amniocentesis is recommended for me. Fingers crossed it’s not.
  • I also met with a social worker but it didn’t go exactly as planned. I had scheduled to meet with the OB social worker after my genetics appointment so I didn’t have to make a second trip to the hospital. She called me that morning and left a voicemail that she was not going to be in because her kid was sick, but I hadn’t listened to the voicemail (I mistakenly thought it was something else, my bad). So when I went to the OB desk to check in and they told me she wasn’t there I was all kinds of confused. I was already feeling really raw from the genetics appointment dredging up some family stuff. They had a back up on call and they called her to come talk to me. I really felt I needed to talk to someone so I waited for her. She was nice (she usually works in L&D and NICU) but not entirely the right fit for me. I still need to call the regular OB social worker and schedule another appointment.
  • Speaking again of swallowing pride, I broke down and asked for help on Facebook last week. Thanks to that a friend of a friend is going to be driving hubby into work for the rest of this week. I still have to pick him up because of his half-day schedule but it cuts my driving in half and allows me to sleep in a bit in the mornings. We are hoping that by next week he’ll be able to drive himself. He’s had some major changes at work that I can’t discuss here but I’ve been doing my best to just be there for him and support him with everything.
  • Hubby also dropped a bomb on me that it is possible that he might get orders to another base before he has the surgery on his other foot. My understanding had always been that they were keeping him here until he’d recovered from both surgeries because we have here one of very few MTFs that do that particular procedure. So now I’m paranoid that he’s going to get orders in the fall and we’re going to PCS when I’m 7 or 8 months pregnant.

// //

Fatigue and Frustration

So I knew pregnancy fatigue was a thing, but I had no idea how awful it could be. Add onto that the fact that the fatigue got bad around the same time as my husband’s foot surgery and it’s been a very stressful month. I don’t know how you women with full-time jobs do it. Just taking care of me is more than enough but also taking care of him and having so little help means I am overwhelmed 24/7. I’m not sleeping well and when I am sleeping at all it’s from like 1am – 11am, intermittently. I know I said I wasn’t going to complain here but I don’t know what else to do with this feeling.

I’m getting very stressed out about Monday. My husband is supposed to go back to work. Aside from the fact that he is not really ready but his shitty clinic hasn’t even scheduled a follow-up appointment and his leave is up, the surgery was on his right foot and he’s still in a cast so he can’t drive. Which means I will have to drive him to and from work every day. At best it’s about 35 minutes in one direction, at worst it’s over an hour. So that’s 140 – 240 minutes of driving every day, mostly in shitty rush hour traffic. Can you tell I’m a little bitter about it?

I’m mostly mad at his clinic. He should have had a follow-up this week to clear him to return to duty or extend his leave. They also might have taken off the hard cast and switched it to a walking cast. I’d still have to drive him but he’d be more mobile at home. But honestly both he and I agree that he’s not really ready to go back full time right now. He still gets exhausted really quickly. Even on desk duty he’s going to wear out working full days very quickly. Which means he won’t be working efficiently and will be more prone to mistakes. We are hoping his supervisors allow him to work half days for at least the first week. He called today to talk to them about it but the office was closed early for the holiday.

My worst nightmare is him working full-time right away. Because right now he is able to help out a tiny bit around the house. And that helps so very much. But if he’s working all day he’s going to come home fucking exhausted and probably cranky. And after all the driving I’m going to be cranky. And that’s just a recipe for disaster in this house. His supervisors have been really accommodating in general (and he’s crazy lucky to be in a work center where that’s even possible) so I’m crossing my fingers that he can start with half days for a while.

In the meantime I’ve been having a really difficult time eating. It’s not nausea mostly, although sometimes it is. Food just doesn’t appeal to me most of the time. Until it does and I gorge and make myself feel really sick. This is not good for Blobby and I’m trying to keep eating at least something but the energy issue isn’t helping. I am at least taking my prenatal vitamins, so there’s that.

The really big news, however, is that my sister is also pregnant and due in January. I’ve known for a few weeks but she was very private about it so I’ve been keeping it under wraps. I’m so incredibly happy for her and excited about us having kids around the same time. My sis announced her pregnancy on Facebook last night. I was really glad she did, I want to give her some time to get all the love and attention before we announce. If everything goes well at my next appointment on the 17th I want to do it after that.

Unfortunately a relative almost ruined that and basically outed my pregnancy on Facebook. After my sister made her own post, I made a post about her pregnancy. This relative, who has known about me for over a month and probably assumed it was public by now, commented on my post about me being a mother too. Luckily I saw it right after she posted it and deleted it. The only person I know for sure saw it already knew. But she also posted something on my sister’s post that was more vague (about my dad being a grandpa twice close together). That got deleted after a while (not sure if it was her or my sis) and I’m just crossing my fingers nobody noticed. My sister’s post had so many comments (last I saw over 200 likes and over 100 comments) that it probably got lost in the shuffle. But it still makes me nervous and feel out of control. I really didn’t think this was a person I needed to warn about Facebook etiquette where pregnancy is involved and now I’m concerned I need to make sure other relatives know not to say anything about me yet. Sigh. Life on the internet is so complicated.

Pregnancy After Loss

I owe you all easily a dozen or so posts. Sorry. I’ll catch up at some point. I just haven’t felt much like sitting in front of my computer lately. Probably because my office is a terrible mess and being in here makes me feel guilty. But I digress. I wanted to talk a bit about my experience with being pregnant after a loss and the seriously amazeballs midwife I saw today. This is going to be a pregnancy-heavy post so skip it if you need.

For some people, namely my husband and my mother-in-law, it has seemed like ever since we were confident that this pregnancy was in the uterus and especially since we saw a heartbeat that they are absolutely certain that this is a pregnancy that will end in a take home baby. I’m not that certain. I have hope. I have a lot of hope and it increases every day. But I’m still scared. Even though I’ve only had the one loss and we are like ten steps further than we ever got with that pregnancy, I’m still scared. Leading up to my appointment today it had been three weeks since I last had an ultrasound and I was scared of a missed miscarriage. I had no logical reason for that fear. I still have all the symptoms (they come and go but some are here daily). The statistics at this point are in my favor. But I’ve known too many people who have lived in those tiny, scary statistics to count on something like that.

So I’ve been anxious, worried, stressed. My husband doesn’t get it. He’s so sure everything is okay this time. And it has been. But my fears are there.

Today I had my first regular OB appointment. The orientation a couple weeks ago was mostly paperwork and and overview of the process. I met with one of the midwives and she was fucking fantastic. I can’t even explain to you how great she was. She totally understood that I was scared without me even having to say anything. Well, I did fill out a form that mentioned that I’d had a lot of anxiety lately. She had clearly reviewed my chart and knew all about the ectopic. She was so comforting with everything she said. She not only acknowledged that I had the fear, but that having it was normal and okay.

I wasn’t due for a formal ultrasound today but one of the first things she said was that I wasn’t leaving without first seeing the baby and/or hearing the heartbeat. So I had my first external ultrasound. Blobby was moving all over the place, which was so amazing to see. The movement meant it took a bit for her to finally get the heartbeat but I eventually got to see and hear it. She didn’t do any measurements but just seeing Blobby moving like that made everything okay. When she was having trouble getting the heartbeat she kept telling me that the baby wouldn’t be moving like that without a heartbeat. Just so comforting.

Other things that were amazing: There are apparently social workers at the hospital who only see pregnant women. She put in a referral for me to see one of them, so now I have a chance to talk to a professional about this all and process all the fears with him/her. I’ll call tomorrow and set up my first appointment. The midwife also said told me not to be a hero, if the depression gets really bad that it’s safe to go back on Zoloft. I feel okay right now but we’ll see what happens when my husband goes back to work and I’m still routine-less. Then she set up the referral for my anatomy scan to be with the Maternal Fetal Medicine (high risk) clinic instead of radiology. She didn’t say why but I’m pretty sure it’s because they have more experience dealing with extremely anxious pregnant woman during those scans. She asked about past physical or sexual abuse and when I briefly told her about my ex she told me not to minimize it, that it was abuse. That was important to hear. I also had to have a pap smear today and she kept reminding me that a little spotting after would be totally normal and okay, but luckily I didn’t even have any spotting. We talked about genetic testing and she told me I won’t hear anything until the second set of blood work is taken and not to focus on and stress about it in the meantime, which I would so do. Just a little nudge that there’s nothing I can do and it’s okay to let it go during that time.

Finally, they have this thing called “Centering” where you meet up for your appointments with a group of women all due during the same month. So you have some private time but it’s also a group conversation and classes about pregnancy and birth and stuff. And they just started having a group meet at the military base that’s closest to my house rather than this main hospital. I’d still be giving birth at the main hospital, but all these appointments (except the anatomy scan) are much closer to my house. I think it will be good for me to have other pregnant women to bond with, even if I’m a bit scared that they will all be young and fertile. And the midwife got me into a slot in the group by my house, so yay. That starts in like 3 weeks.

I can’t explain in words how validating it was to have someone just get how scared I am, without me even really saying so. I never thought that someone outside of the RE’s office would understand like that. She was a little miracle. It’s too bad I can’t request specific people when I go into labor and they are cutting the hours of the midwives in L&D. But that’s okay, just having her today was enough to make a huge difference. I am eternally grateful to the Universe not only for this pregnancy (oh so very grateful for that) but for the little things like this appointment. I feel so incredibly lucky, more than I could ever say.

// //

Blobby

I’m just going to get this out of the way from the start. I am six weeks pregnant. Actually six weeks + three days going by my last period.

I haven’t written about it here for a few reasons. The biggest being that we were waiting until we told our families. A couple family members know about the blog and it would be irresponsible and frankly cruel for them to find out here. I’ve also been stupid busy. I graduated this past weekend. My mother-in-law was in town staying with us and one of my aunts is in town staying with my parents. I have had very little down time to sit and write (or read, still catching up).

I have about a million feelings about this pregnancy. I actually ended up in the ER a couple days after the first positive test. I was having a lot of cramping and that morning I started spotting a little. The symptoms were so similar to the ectopic that I freaked out and went in to the ER because the RE clinic wasn’t returning my calls. But it was crazy early (I was something like 3w3d) and so the ER really couldn’t tell us much. The RE clinic, when I finally got them on the phone that night, said it was probably implantation.

I’ve had two ultrasounds now and we know there is a pregnancy in the uterus. The first doctor was still concerned about the possibility of a second pregnancy in the tubes, but the second doctor was not. However the second doctor was awful so her lack of concern wasn’t exactly comforting.

The main things I am feeling are: overjoyed, guilty, and terrified. They are all probably self-explanatory but I’ll break them down for you anyway.

Overjoyed. Duh. I’m pregnant. We know it’s in the uterus, not the tubes. At our ultrasound next week we should get to see/hear a heartbeat. Our family is, for the most part, really happy for us. My mother-in-law’s joy and optimism were contagious while she was here. My husband is so freaking thrilled he wants to tell way more people than I’m prepared to tell yet. He has christened the embryo “Blobby” after I tried to explain what the yolk sac looked like after the first ultrasound. We are so much further than we ever got last summer, it’s hard not to feel hopeful that this good luck will continue.

Guilty. I think most of the women in the infertility community who I know who have gotten pregnant have dealt with guilt for the pregnancy alone. I’m feeling extra guilt on top because this was relatively so easy for us. We just used Femara and did timed intercourse. I feel so incredibly lucky. I won’t even get into how lucky I am about the money part too. It’s so hard to see so many amazing, deserving women and men in the community who are having no luck at all. Every canceled cycle, failed treatment, or god-forbid loss breaks my heart. I’m at a loss for what to say to people. How do I say my heart is breaking for them and have it be sincere when I know that I have inside me right now what they want more than anything? People keep telling me not to feel guilty. And I get it (aside from the whole don’t tell me how to feel thing), but that doesn’t change anything. I know people are happy for me and wishing me good things as I have done with so many others. I just wish I could take whatever magical unicorn dust got me here and spread it around.

Terrified. Like I said, we are so much further along than we ever got a chance to be last summer. But it’s still early. I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was telling my mother-in-law that one of the difficult things about this community is that I have heard so many stories of loss. It’s hard to feel confident in any pregnancy when I know how easily it can all be taken away. My hope increases every day but I really do have to take this thing one day at at time.

The other big issue has been the pregnancy side-effects (symptoms doesn’t seem right when I know for sure I’m pregnant). I have been having a really difficult time with “morning sickness” that has been more like all-day sickness. I haven’t actually vomited, thankfully, but I feel nauseous all day long. It’s exhausting. I had no idea it would be this hard. Which sounds naive and crazy, maybe. But damn. I’ll still take this over not being pregnant in a heartbeat. And people keep pointing out that it’s a good sign. I refuse to complain about it on Twitter because I know how hard that is to hear. So my husband bears the brunt of my pain and whining.

The internship I was hoping to do this summer isn’t going to work out in the way I had hoped because of the pregnancy but they are still trying to find ways for me to come into the studio and be around my fellow artists and such, so I greatly appreciate that. My husband is having surgery on his foot next week so I’ll be highly distracted by taking care of him for a while too.

In the meantime I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do about this blog. I want to keep blogging but it feels weird blogging under this name while pregnant and even weirder if I become a parent. So chances are I will start another blog in a few weeks where I will blog about pregnancy, birth, and parenting after infertility. I will absolutely not forget where I came from. Said blog will also likely be more personal, with names and photos. It will also probably be something I’ll share with friends and family, so less raw honesty. When I set it up I will let you all know so you can decide if you want to follow me there. I fully expect most of you won’t and that is totally okay. I get it. In the meantime here is my promise to you. When it comes to this blog I will never post: ultrasound photos, bump photos, pics of any sort of baby items, or lengthy complaints about side-effects. I’m also not going to post the whole weekly breakdown thing, because honestly, nobody really cares about that stuff. I will talk about the pregnancy. I probably won’t post very often. And I will absolutely keep reading and commenting and thinking of all of you.

Unicorn dust for everyone!

// //

Pregnant Infertiles

There has been quite a bit of talk in the infertility community lately about a recent apparent surge in infertiles finally getting that elusive positive. The talk has centered a lot around the themes of guilt and jealousy. Are other infertiles jealous? Should these newly pregnant gals feel guilty for their good news? I’m going to talk about my own personal response. This is mine and should not be considered as anything else. Are there others in the community who think the same way? Probably. But I’m not here to speak for them.

I’m going to be brutally honest. Yes, I am jealous. It’s a different kind of jealousy than what I feel towards typical fertiles. It’s also generally a different intensity. But it also varies within this community. There are three factors that seem to come into play for me that impact how I feel about an infertile pregnancy.

1. How long have I been following their blog and/or Twitter? This is not a hard and fast rule, but in general the longer I’ve been following your journey the happier for you and less bad for me I feel. There are some who I haven’t known long who I felt instantly connected to and for those women the bad feelings tend to be less pronounced too.

2. How long have they been trying to conceive? In general if you’re in the community you’ve been trying for a while. Probably years. Although we’d only been trying about a year when I started this blog. I’m generally happier for those who have been doing this dance longer than a year or two.

3. What stage of treatment are they on? The more invasive and expensive a treatment it took to get them pregnant, the less bad I feel. I would totally understand if I’m able to get pregnant on these Femara cycles and those of you who have gone through IVF resent me. I probably would in your shoes.

This doesn’t mean that I think anyone deserves more or less to be pregnant. I’m simply talking about how these pregnancies make me feel. My emotions aren’t terribly logical, even if these factors might suggest that. Every time someone in the infertility community gets pregnant, has a surrogate get pregnant, or adopts or fosters a child, I feel joy. Every single time. I also still feel jealousy. Because I am human.

I hope this post doesn’t make anyone feel bad. That is not my intent at all. But there’s been a lot of talk so I wanted to share my personal perspective.

Edited to add: I also feel less jealousy for those who acknowledge where the rest of us are. I think a lot of the guilt comes from empathy and that’s a good quality to have.

Finish Line

I survived the first week of classes. I feel like this semester is going to be a lot of work even though I’m only taking 12 credits and 3 of those are a class I’m a TA for and the professor is super laid back. I can’t believe I’ll have a bachelor’s degree in four months. It’s surreal. Then we have to figure out what the hell I’m doing next. Scary. I wanted to update everyone on what’s been happening over the past week or so since I last posted, but I’ll tell you now that if you follow me on Twitter you probably already know most of this. It’s so easy to pop over to Twitter and post a quick update about what’s happening, but I like to sit down at home and take my time posting here. So if you want up to the minute info about me, go there.

School

Like I said, I’ve had the first week of classes. I like all my professors and I’m feeling good about the classes I selected to finish this degree. I’m taking advanced steel sculpture, which is a little scary because of the possibility of getting pregnant. How am I going to weld or even just lift heavy steel if I’m preggers? Well, the good news is that the new lady teaching it (I had a dude when I took the intro class last spring) is really flexible about using steel. She calls the class “steel and other materials.” So I don’t even have to use any if I don’t want to. I actually spoke to her on the first day of class and mentioned that we were about to start fertility treatments and that while I prefer working with metal, safety is my first concern. I just wanted to give her a heads up. Turns out she went through IVF herself. While a grad student at my university. So she completely and totally gets it. I feel like her coming into my life right now is fated. She is the right professor for me at this time.

The professor I’m TA-ing for told me to get a book about health and safety for artists. It’s actually a really good resource and I’ll be happy to have it in my library. I was flipping through the other day and there’s a chapter in the back about reproductive safety. It addresses both hazards to fertility and hazards to pregnancy. It was fucking terrifying. Basically everything I do is super dangerous. It honestly left me wondering if some of my past exposures have affected my fertility. But at least I can go forward with increased knowledge about how to protect myself.

My sociology professor went to grad school as a single mom. Which is to say that she understands the life of the non-traditional student. And let’s be honest, when a military member is deployed the spouse with kids is essentially a single parent.

Liver

So, my liver. It’s not great news. I had the ultrasound on Tuesday and the follow-up yesterday. Everything came back normal. All the blood tests were normal. Blood glucose, tests for celiacs and autoimmune hepatitis, iron levels: all normal. The ultrasound showed normal liver and gall bladder, and normal kidneys and pancreas as far as what they could see of those two. So my worst fear came true: they want to do a liver biopsy. The doctor actually didn’t order a retest of the liver enzymes with all the other blood work (oops!) so I had that drawn yesterday and should hear the results Monday. But if they are still elevated he wants to do a biopsy to figure out what the fuck is going on. Considering they have been elevated to varying degrees for the past 2 years I don’t expect them to come back normal. So I tentatively scheduled the biopsy for Valentine’s Day. So romantic! I’m freaking out a little. The procedure itself is relatively minor, just a needle biopsy, they said it takes like five minutes. But recovering is going to suck. After the four hours recovery in the hospital I have lots of restrictions. For instance, I’m not allowed to lift anything over 10 pounds for two weeks. That is going to make school interesting. Not only will I be limited in what I can do in sculpture class, but I’m going to have to be careful with even just my backpack. And I’m not allowed to take ibuprofen for 7 days prior to the biopsy. I’m expecting my period during that week and ibuprofen is usually the only thing that keeps me functional. So that should be fun.

I actually went ahead and posted about the biopsy on Facebook. Normally I don’t share medical stuff even if it has nothing to do with infertility but I was freaking out yesterday. I almost broke down crying in the hospital while waiting for them to draw blood. People have been really kind and supportive, but they don’t know that the only reason we know about this is because of the ectopic or that the main reason we are trying to diagnose it is so I can try to get pregnant.

Pregnancy?

It is within the realm of possibility that I could be pregnant. We managed some well-timed sex this month so if I actually ovulated then who knows. Of course I’m already totally symptom spotting. My boobs are all achy this morning so obviously that means I’m pregnant, right? Ha. I have a feeling I’m going to give in and buy some sticks to pee on this week. Unless the achy boobs are a sign of another short cycle and my period comes early again. Have I mentioned I hate my body? Of course, if I’m pregnant the biopsy is cancelled. They can’t put me under anesthesia while preggo. So I guess they would probably just keep a close eye on my levels during a pregnancy. I don’t know. I should probably have asked. I’m kind of kicking myself for mentioning the biopsy on fb before we knew for sure that it was happening. What if I have to cancel it because of a pregnancy? What do I say? But really, this is probably not the case. I just have my hopes up the same as every fucking cycle. I blame my boobs.

 

I think that covers the major things I wanted to share. I have lots to do today and should probably get off the computer, although I also want to catch up on reading everyone else’s blogs. Hmm. Oh well. Later gators.

Membership Revoked

A lot of the bloggers I follow are currently pregnant. And they all seem to be struggling with the issue of how one talks about pregnancy on a blog that was devoted to infertility. They also have discussed the conflicting feelings about just being both infertile and pregnant. They mention not feeling part of the mommy club and no longer part of the infertile club. I can only imagine those conflicting feelings right now. It’s got to be tough.

All that plus some Twitter conversations today have got me thinking about one friend whose membership to the infertile club I’m ready to revoke. This friend was one of the first people to straight up tell me in real life that she struggled with infertility. She has been one of the few people in my “real life” who I’ve felt like I can talk to about this stuff. But I’m feeling less and less comfortable talking to her about it.

She and her husband had unexplained infertility. She has told me that she thinks that’s harder than having a diagnosis. I don’t think it’s fair to label and compare. Both are hard. They were about to start treatments (I’m not sure what treatments exactly, she didn’t share) when they got pregnant naturally with their first. A few years later she gave birth to their second. And just a few weeks ago she gave birth to their third, an unplanned surprise baby. I get that they went through difficult times before conceiving their first, but I feel like once you’ve had three successful pregnancies without any medical intervention you no longer get to consider yourself infertile.

Is that insensitive of me? Probably. It doesn’t help that she has very strong opinions about how and where I should give birth if we are still living in this area when/if I get pregnant and those opinions are very different from how I envision things. So I just feel like I can’t talk to her about infertility or pregnancy or babies right now.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Is there anyone you would like to kick out of the infertile club? Am I just a mean girl?

Love the Fertile, Hate their Fertility

Excuse me for bastardizing a common Christian saying in the post title (and just before Christmas too! What a heathen!), but that’s how I’m feeling tonight. My cousin and his wife finally “officially” announced on Facebook the pregnancy that they have been hinting at for weeks. I’m sorry but when you grow your own hops and grapes in your front yard to make your own beer and wine and then start posting about drinking mocktails, you are being neither subtle nor coy.

This will be the fourth kid for the couple, but their first together (he has one and she has two from previous marriages). I love them. They are wonderful parents. But I’m so jealous. I’m so angry that they get to have four and I still have none. I hate being angry and bitter when people I love are pregnant. There is joy mixed in there too, so it’s all confusing and weird. It’s the worst.

It doesn’t help that I’m still overly emotional from the birth control hormones and simultaneously worried because my period is being weird (I’ll spare you the TMI details) and I’m concerned I’m still going to be bleeding on Monday. They said I can’t have the ultrasound if I’m still bleeding. The fact that my period is being weird after a short cycle is making me think of another time something like this happened. I honestly wonder if what I’m experiencing is actually a chemical pregnancy or something like that. But I don’t know, because I’m a terrible infertile.

I decided to make a list of all the ways I suck at this whole infertility thing

  • I almost never remember to take my prenatal vitamins. Like, it’s bad. I’ve been chastised by doctors for it.
  • I haven’t been bothering with ovulation predictor kits. They are expensive and we are still in this testing limbo so I don’t want to spend the money. Maybe if we ever start actual treatment cycles I’ll do it.
  • I also don’t take my basal body temperature. I’m not consistent with when I get up every day plus I suck at following through on doing things like that daily (see vitamins).
  • I barely chart my cycles. I keep track of cycle day 1 and I generally have sort of an idea of when I ovulate thanks to cervical mucus but I’m not out there calculating the length of my luteal phases and whatnot.
  • I’m not doing any complementary medicine. No acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, herbs, chiropractor, massage, or even (for the most part) yoga. That shit is expensive y’all.
  • I don’t stock up on pregnancy tests. I didn’t even know the dollar store sold such tests until I saw some of you ladies posting about it. Even at dollar store prices I always feel like I’ve wasted money every time a test comes up negative.

There seems to be a financial theme to that list. Hmm. A friend of mine who is a shaman did a reading for me I think just about a year ago (I’m pretty sure it was a New Years thing). She thought that maybe one of the things blocking me with fertility was a fear of not being able to financially support a child. I suppose I should really stop focusing on lack and think more about abundance. (No, I’m not talking about The Secret.) It’s interesting, bringing this whole post back around again, that the financial thing is such an issue for me. My cousin and his wife are not exactly rolling in the dough and aside from my general feelings of jealousy I also feel concern about their financial ability to support another child, but that is truly not my business. So the themes are the link between abundance and fertility. I shall be pondering that tonight. In the meantime I feel the need to repeat that I love my cousin and his family. I AM happy for them.

Unreal

So way back in June when the home pregnancy test came up positive I called my Primary Care doctor and he put in the order for the blood pregnancy test. When that came up positive they put a referral in the system for me to go to OB. That same night I went to the ER where I was told I was probably miscarrying. Some time later I got a call from the OB clinic to schedule an appointment. I think at the time things were still up in the air as to if I was going to lose the pregnancy or not. I told them that I might be miscarrying and that the doctors at the Reproductive Endocrinology clinic were dealing with it. They said they would remove the referral from the system. A few times since then I’ve gotten calls from the referral management people telling me I have an open referral. I always seem to miss their calls and they never said what the referral was. It’s my fault that I haven’t called them back, I just kept forgetting. Today I was taking a shower and missed a call. I just checked the voicemail. It was the referral management people telling me that they have a referral in their system from June for me to go to OB. And they gave me the number to call and make the appointment for OB orientation. So yeah, they think I’m still pregnant. And now of course it’s Friday afternoon so there’s no point in trying to call and sort this out today. But man that voicemail was less than fun to listen to. And I’m not looking forward to calling on Monday.

In happier news, I was finally able to schedule my HSG for this coming Wednesday despite the government shutdown leaving the clinic short-staffed. So hopefully I’ll have some answers about the state of my tubes in just a few days.

// //