Sunday, January 31, 2010

NY Times Article

In today's New York Times, there is an article that unfortunately I can relate to. The author, is a thirty one year old who has just found she is in Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) and unable to have children. This is so familiar. Although, I have never been formally diagnosed with POF, I have many of the common symptoms. Reading this woman referring to her hot flashes and wanting to "put her cheek up to the germ window on the subway" is something that I remember well. In fact, there have been many cold winter days where I do not need a jacket because my body feels like an internal oven. There is one difference between the two of us, she has a diagnosis for why she is POF, she has Turner's Syndrome.

When I was still in my investigating phase of my infertility, I made myself get tested for literally every condition. I would spend hours researching and obsessing over all of the possible things that could be wrong with me. I thought I had a pituitary tumor, Fragile X and Turner's Syndrome as I had elements (or thought I did) of each of these. Turner's Syndrome was the one that I was sure I had. Why? Because I am short and it occurs in short women. I am 4"11 on a good day and do not ovulate on my own. My antral follicle count is very low and so are my hormone levels. But alas, I do not have this. I know I should be happy about this and I am, but sometimes I wish I had something/anything that would explain the why me?!

I would probably end on the same path regardless using Ms. Perfect with or without having Turner's Syndrome or something else, but at least I would be able to understand why me, a thirty year old otherwise healthy woman would be infertile.


Saturday, January 30, 2010


I spent the morning with two girlfriends, both of whom are mothers. We had early morning massages followed by brunch; it was a very relaxing morning. At brunch the topic of money came up in reference to working. One friend, is a stay-at-home mother by choice (she feels this is financially better for her) and the other is in the process of settling a maternity/back to work suit (her boss is changing the terms of her employment, very illegal) and I have recently given notice that I will be looking for a new school in September. We all have money issues right now.

I want to focus on the second friend. Her son is now thirteen months old and she is off maternity leave and is now unemployed. She is undecided about what her next move will be career wise. She would like to find full time employment so that she can hire a nanny (it should be noted that this friend lives in a million dollar house and her husband is very successful in his job). Her option right now, is a one-year contract which would be four days a week. Not exactly full-time, but more than enough to get childcare. I also informed her that it be enough for her to rack up more hours to take another maternity leave for when she becomes pregnant again. She then went on and on and on about how she needs money and that we can't always plan on when we get pregnant (REALLY? That is definitely news to me!) and so she can't rely on that.

A. and I had a financial plan before getting pregnant too. We wanted to have enough money saved to cover the loss we would take with maternity leave and be able to cover the new expenses as well. Infertility treatments did not factor into this plan. I'll admit that we are so fortunate that we have been given help from our families as we are entirely out of pocket, but we still spend a lot of this. We are no where near where we wanted or thought we would be, and we don't care. All we want is a healthy baby and we will figure out the rest. We want this so much, that I actually quit my job (before finding a new one) because I was so stressed at work and we thought it was not good for me. I have doubts all the time about money and how we will be able to survive, but we will. Of course we will, we will readjust what are priorities are, just like we did to pay for our many treatments. Why can't my friend do the same?

This morning at brunch I realized that I am lucky in some ways. I have been given clarity about what is really important and it is definitely not how much money you have.


Friday, January 29, 2010

A Vent About TV

I am addicted to TV. I watch numerous shows on a regular basis and have even been known to 'chat' on the soap opera websites. I find that I choose the show to watch based on my mood, although I do have my staples. If you were to ask me my favourite show, I would say Young and the Restless. I have been a loyal follower since I was a young girl and I have never missed an episode. I am not sure what it is about the characters in Genoa City Wisconsin, but I feel like they are real people and I connect with them (not in a weird way, I know they are not real...). Until now that is. I am finding it difficult to use TV as my escape as my top shows all have elements of infertility, pregnancy or new motherhood.

1) Young and the Restless- Lily, who has ovarian cancer and had a hysterectomy, miraculously had two mature eggs that were able to be salvaged and her surrogate is now pregnant with twins.

2) Glee- Quinn, who is the captain of the cheer leading squad (in high school) had an oops pregnancy.

3) Private Practice- Violet the psychiatrist had an oops and didn't know who the father was for many months. Now after a horrible attack, she longer wants to be a mother (however I suspect that will change this week).

4) Brothers and Sisters- Kitty and Robert experienced infertility and adopted a baby.
- Tommy and Julia experienced infertility and used donor sperm from Tommy's brother Kevin.
- Kevin and Scotty are using donor eggs and a surrogate.

5) Modern Family- Mitchell and Cameron adopted a baby girl from Asia.

6) Accidentally on Purpose- Billy a film critic in her late 30s, early 40s has a one night stand with a much younger man and gets knocked up.

So here I sit on the couch and in my usual TV viewing spot, and I feel like watching...nothing. I rely on my television to distract me from my infertility, but lately it feels like one big slap in the face laughing at me. I miss TV, I miss getting lost in the stories and the feeling of vegging out on the couch. I can't believe this infertility mess has taken away the one thing that I always relied on for pure enjoyment. When will this end? When will a sitcom just be a sitcom again?


Thursday, January 28, 2010

It Came!

Finally. I have a calendar and a plan. Finally.

It came by email around lunch time and I'll admit, caught me quite off guard. I guess I did not believe that this would actually be happening. Now I know I still have a long way to go, but at least I am making a step in the right direction. There is a plan. It is on paper. It may result in a pregnancy. The nurse (who is so sweet), put a line in her email reminding me again, how excited our donor is. She's excited! I'm excited! Could this really be it, the answer A. and I have been not so patiently waiting for? I hope so.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I feel like lately all I do is wait. Wait for the weekends, wait for the next vacation, wait for my next doctor's appointment, wait for the next friend to announce their pregnancy and now, wait for my IVF calendar. It should be here by now. I hate waiting. I am anxious all the time and constantly watching my blackberry to see the flashing light, indicating I have an email, always hoping the email is from the far it has not been.

Tonight I should be on a plane home from Denver with my precious cargo on board, but instead, I am home, bitter and waiting.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

5th Times a Charm

Tonight I had a sentimental moment. It should be noted that the word sentimental would not be in the top ten words that I (or anyone else for the matter) would use to describe myself.

Growing up, I was very involved in summer camp. I went every summer as a camper, and eventually became a staff member. It was at this particular camp, where I met A. So, this camp is extremely special to both of us. My father also worked at this camp (both me and while I was there) as did my sister and other family members. In total, there have been fifteen of us, who have benefitted from this camping experience. The director of the camp will be celebrating sixty years in camping, next February and there will be a party. As a save-the-date email, a committee thought it would be nice/funny to have previous staff members create a video of how this camp and the director have changes their lives. My father, and sister and me created a video for this occasion. We brainstormed for what seemed like hours and went over all the details from the minute details like our costumes to the more important decisions like our script. We were finally happy with our piece, and ready for taping. Tonight, we went to tape our bit. It took us five takes before it was perfect.

This winter will be our fifth IVF attempt and I hope it will be perfect too.


Monday, January 25, 2010

On Being a Cynic

On the final taping of his Tonight Show, Conan O'Brian made a plea to the world, specifically the 'younger generation' to not be cynical. Conan has obviously not experienced infertility.

I never would have thought of myself as a cynic. I prided myself on looking at the glass half-full, however the past three years have changed me. I am now a cynic. I have cynical thoughts running through my head daily. I see a pregnant teenager and negative thoughts magically appear in my head. I think, "why her and not me?". I see an older lady who is pregnant and I instantly think how unfair it is. I think about the Duggars and their many many children and I get enraged. Yes, I am cynical.

Now, I do not think that Conan was talking about this. In fact, I am sure he was referring to his professional situation with NBC, however it did make me realize how I have started seeing the world. I look at life with pregnancy blinders on. All I see are bellies, babies and bugaboos. I just want to join that group already. Will it ever be my turn? I often think of myself as a good person: I work with children with Learning Disabilities, I volunteer my time, I am good wife, daughter, sister and friend, but yet I think, maybe I need to do more so that I can be rewarded with the gift I so desperately want. But what?

It is so hard to not be cynical when the world seems to pass you by while others are enjoying the ride. I HATE that my infertility has turned me into this person. I am trying to think positively. I am trying to pick myself up off the floor each and every day, however, it is very difficult. I am cynical, but I am trying to change.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Invention of Lying

Lies. We all tell them, from the very innocent to the more elaborate; but we do ALL tell them.

Last night, A. and I went over to friends where we played with their kids, ordered a yummy dinner and watched the movie, "The Invention of Lying". For those who are unfamiliar with the movie, Ricky Garvais and Jennifer Garner star in this comedy about a man who tells the world's first lie and how his life changes after that. This movie hit theatres last summer at exactly the same time that we made the trek out to Denver, Colorado or as our friends and extended family were told 'Mt. St. Anne'.

It is quite ironic that this movie about lying came about during the onset of my chronic lying phase. It is true. I am a liar. My lying has become so bad that I am not even sure who I tell what to anymore. I have code names for doctor appointments, travel destinations, Beta tests and hormone injections and there have been a few instances where I have even lied about my lie, confusing isn't it?

Watching this movie, I realized that one of the reasons I lie, is because it is just so EASY. No one questions you when you speak confidently. For example, A.'s parents asked us when we were going out to Denver in front of some family that knew nothing of our plans and I very calmly relied, "we are not going to Denver". End of story, no one questioned, thought it was strange and the immediately the topic was changed.

When we first began trying A. and I had many code words for the different stages and we often referred to our situation as, "the supermarket was out of eggs". In the beginning, I'll admit that it was funny for both of us, as we never dreamed that we would be in the situation we are today, with 'no eggs', but here we are. I fondly remember the early times as I now call them, where we were hopeful about our prognosis and making jokes about the process. Now, our jokes sting a little, but they are still there and after having little hope, our prognosis is finally improving. We are SO hoping that Ms. Perfect will be the answer.

As I sit here and write, I laugh remembering many of the lies we have told over the past three years to cover up why we were late attending a party (giving hormone injections), needed to postpone a vacation (needed to be around for cycle monitoring), couldn't help clean up after a party (in the 2ww and needed to follow dr's orders) and the many many other lies as well. It has been fun, coming up with new and interesting ways to avoid telling the truth, but I am done. I don't want to lie anymore. I want to go to Denver and return pregnant and have the lying stop. Just like the character in the movie learned, lying isn't always fun and doesn't make life easier. I am ready to stop the lies.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Tell Camp

I spend A LOT on the infertility chat boards. Probably too much at times. I can't help it. I am somewhat addicted to the stories of inspiration woman battling the same "disease" as me. I often find my own strength from the others and I am so thankful for that. Not only do I find friendship, but information as well. Today I stumbled upon an article that reassured me in my decision to be of the "Tell Camp".

A. and I decided that once we entered this path of ED that we would want to tell our child(ren) as we are not ashamed and feel honoured that we are/were given this amazing opportunity. Yes, I am petrified about the logistics of telling and how I will react, the child will react and how others may react, but in the end, we both feel it is the right thing for us. We are comfortable with our decision and it was not made lightly. We spent many hours reading, talking and counselling to reach this decision.

This morning while reading this article I felt a calm fall over me as I realized I had thought of the many possible scenarios mentioned and feel even more confident in our choice. I am so thankful for the information I have been given and can only hope to do the same for others.


Friday, January 22, 2010

I Am a Believer

I have turned over a new leaf. I now believe.

Let me start off by saying that I was feeling very ill yesterday. I had all the classic flu-like symptoms and basically wanted to crawl into bed and sleep the night away; and then I remembered about my acupuncture appointment. Yuck! I think I have mentioned before that I HATE needles, however I am starting to enjoy my acupuncture sessions mainly because I like my practioner. So off I went, bundled up and in my comfiest of clothing, remembering that I am doing this for 'the cause' (studies show that acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus as well as having other benefits). As soon as I walked in the door I explained how badly I was feeling. Aside from working on the fertility stuff, she was going to help with my flu symptoms. She must have put in twenty five needles, and I was lying there for a good half hour with her massaging my head (I LOVE that part) and then I got up and went home, still feeling sick. When I woke up this morning, POOF, I was better. Yes, I have the tiniest headache and a bit of a sore throat, but this is nothing compared to yesterday. I no longer feel feverish, or achy or yucky all over, I feel like me. Did acupuncture really cure me? I'm not sure. It is important to note that I am a firm believer in western medicine (hello, 4 IVFs), and sometimes think acupuncture doesn't do anything, but today, I feel like a million bucks and I didn't take any medications. It must have been the acupuncture! I am now a believer.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Aunt Flow

I just want to start off today, by saying how truly blessed I feel to have you all for support and offering your words of encouragement. Thank you.

Not too long ago I dreaded my Aunt Flow. When she would come for a visit I felt it was if I had done something wrong or failed. Today, Aunt Flow decided to arrive, early and with a vengence! Today, I was so thrilled to see her. Today when I think of Aunt Flow, I think of new beginnings. I think of calendars and months and the amazing woman, Ms. Perfect, who I have never and will never meet. I believe that it takes a really special kind of person to give the gift that Ms. Perfect is giving to me and A. I think about her often and wonder what I would ever say to her if we were to meet? I'll admit, I try not to think of her too often, but everyday at some point or another, something will catch my eye and I will think of her. Today, seeing Aunt Flow, made me think of Ms. Perfect.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm a Horrible Person

It's true. I have become selfish and self obsessed with my infertility. I relied on friends to talk me off the ledge, but do I do the same?

Two situations happened to me today that have helped me come to this conclusion:

1) A very dear friend of mine has two beautiful daughters. Last April (IVF #3) when I was still sharing my journey with a select group of friends I found out I was FINALLY pregnant. I was thrilled, obviously. I had dreamed about the moment of telling friends and family our news and for once being the pregnant one. As this friend knew when Beta day was, I did not keep her in the dark about our amazing news. After she congratulated me, she dropped her bomb, she was pregnant too. Seriously! She couldn't give me just one day of being the pregnant girl? I pretended that I was not hurt and feeling overshadowed and we enjoyed the day of being two pregnant best friends. She started feeling as if something didn't feel right with her pregnancy and it was my job to reassure her. She started spotting and went home to rest. I went to her house and brought her fun snacks, magazines and movies to distract her while she was at home resting. That's when I got the call. Our second beta dropped and just like that I was no longer pregnant. I was pregnant for two days. Obviously, I left her house shaken, in shock and totally devastated. She called me two days later after she had emergency surgery as her pregnancy was ectopic. She wanted to bond over this, and I wanted to grieve in piece, however I felt I couldn't. I felt I needed to be there for her as she was fragile. This was difficult.

Fast forward six months and she is pregnant again (around the time of FET #1, BFN) and again it is not looking good. She continues to get monitored as her betas are increasing, but not at the rate the drs want to see. This goes on for two months and in this time, she is telling me how unfair this is and how no one can get what WE go through. Excuse me, when did she and I become a WE! Last time I checked, she had two children and I had none. I again tried to pull away, however again I felt sucked in and felt bad. As she was contemplating what her options were (either surgery to remove her blocked tube or the shot to end the pregnancy) I was secretly hoping for the shot. Why? Not because this was what was best for my friend, it was because you can't conceive for three months after the shot. I was selfish, I know, but I didn't care. I needed to know I had the security blanket of three months without an announcement. It turns out she had the shot and needed the surgery as well. Again, she cried to me about how unfair it is and how the decision for whether or not her family grows was taken away from her. Again, WTF! Seriously, this decision was taken away from me before I even started. I explained to her that she could always try IVF and our government funds IVF for people with no tubes. She wasn't thrilled with my suggestion. Luckily, they only removed one tube and she has good chances of conceiving naturally.

Fast forward to present day. It has now been three months since her shot and she had an "oops" with her husband. Today she found out, she is not pregnant. I was happy. I am a horrible person.

2) I am literally on the phone with a friend who is telling me that she is pregnant with her 5th child! All natural. Again, I'm a horrible person.

What has this infertility done to me? I have become a petty person who is selfish and unable to be thankful for what I have. Sometimes, especially today, I HATE myself. I hate that I can't be the friend to my friends that they are to me. I am a horrible person.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Countdown Begins

Today is my first day without hormones and I am waiting (not so patiently) for my period so that I can start my DE cycle. The nurse tells me I should expect a period anywhere from 4-10 days after stopping the meds. It has been almost one full day and I am already sick of waiting. I just want that calendar. I need to feel like I am actively working on getting pregnant.


Monday, January 18, 2010

I Said What?

I am a very private person at work about anything personal...well that's not exactly true, about anything fertility related. No one at my work knows about my struggles to concieve or that we are even trying...until today that is.

I am pretty sure that I have mentioned before who I am unhappy at work. A. and I decided that it would be alright for me to take a leap of faith and not return to this school in the Fall. This decision was not an easy one to make. First, I do not have a fall back plan. I will now have to apply for a new job and go through the grewling interview process. Second, if my DE cycle works (and I have to be positive so WHEN my DE cycle works) I will only have to work for a few months and who would hire a PG woman? And finally, the obvious...what if I don't find a job?

This decision has been weighing on my mind for weeks and finally I decided to follow my gut and just do it! I had a meeting today with my Department Head where I informed her of my plans. She seemed genuinely shocked and saddened by my news. I explained that on top of the stress of not enjoying my job, I have other stresses in my life and I need to be in a better place. She told me this story:

"A collegue of mine was stressed at work and unable to conceive. She decided to take a leave of absence from work and she immediately got pregnant".

Here was my immediate response:

"I don't think that will be my case considering I have had four failed IVFs and that was without being stressed at work". Her jaw dropped tot he floor. Oh well, I guess I let my cat out of the bag. I have been thinking about why I blurted this out, and the only reason I an come up with is...I'm fed up. I am fed up with the stories of the women that tried Clomid, it didn't work and then got pregnant or the "relax it will happen" or "everything happens for a reason", I'm just fed up!

At least I have the memory of her face in my mind on replay...and what a face it was!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Time Is At a Stand Still

It was just one year ago today that I passed on the opportunity to join A. and his family at a birthday party for his cousin's one year old. Why? Because I had to get my Gonal-F shot and at the time, I wouldn't let anyone except my father (who is an MD) give me the needles. So I stayed home and waited for the dreaded needle and when the cycle was over...not pregnant.

Today is the cousin's daughter's second birthday and I am still...not pregnant.

What has changed over this past year? Not much really. I now let A. give me needles (even though I do not want to), I no longer take the Gonal-F as we have moved on to donor eggs and I have been to Denver, Colorado three times. Nothing else has changed.

Hopefully at the third birthday, I will be in a better place than today.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Get These Hormones Out of Me

I feel like I am going to crumble to a million pieces. I can't stop crying and eating...A LOT. For three years I have an injected and injested hormones and I think it is finally catching up with me. I am a physical and emotional mess. Just wanted to vent and share.


Friday, January 15, 2010


Why do people with infertility feel the need to keep it a secret? I cannot keep a secret. In fact, I am an altogether a pretty bad liar (probably the main reason I stink at poker), however I'll admit that when I want to, I can keep my infertility a secret. When A. and I first started trying to conceive, we told no one. We had these big dreams of calling our family and friends together to surprise them with our news. That never happened. It was only after our first visit with the fertility doctor (FD) that we told our immediate families. After a few months of failing with the FD, we told a few close friends about our struggles. After six or seven months with the FD I developed what doctors call a medium (however if you ask me it was severe) case of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). I was so ill that I was off work for over a week and did not regain my normal activities until one month later. It was because of this complication that our social circle of who was in the know expanded. A. and I felt we needed to explain why I was missing so many events and was unwell for so long, so we told. Everyone was very supportive and at the time, not many of our friends were pregnant or parents.

It is funny how people change and act towards you once they know your secret. I had friends tip toe around me, while others couldn't ask enough questions. There were some who were so frightened for themselves that they tried to avoid me like the plague (IF is contangious or didn't you know?!). And then there were the few who were genuinely concerned. Month after month people were invested in our journey and month after month they like us (well not exactly like us) were devasted with our failure. When we decided to make the transition from the kiddie fertility treatments (IUI) to the big guns (IVF) I decided that was time to regain some control over what we told and to whom. Our fertility journey needed to be private and I was CONVINCED that IVF would be the answer because isn't it for most people? So, I wanted to limit the people in our 'circle of trust' back to our immediate family. I cut the others out of our fertility journey. How? I just avoided the subject and did not offer any information about myself. Did the prying stop? Not at first, but over time it decreased.

We all know my story that none of my IVFs ever took, so now that we are moving forward with yet another chapter I am even more secretive than before. I am NOT embarrassed or ashamed that I need help achieving a dream that many people do without trying. Donor eggs is different ball game.

A. had discussed that we would want to tell our child(ren) that they were conceived using donor eggs, but we do not want the entire world to least not before them. We both feel that it is their story to tell if and when they choose. We are comfortable with our decision and have had many therapy sessions discussing all of the possible scenarios and feel confident that this is the right choice for us. So, aside from our immediate families knowing, no one else knows that we have decided to try IVF with donor eggs.

As mentioned above, I am not good at keeping secrets so this has been very difficult for me. Once we made our decision to move forward with this step, I realized that I had to pull back even more. I am not sure why, but right now, I want people to think that we are taking a break from fertility treatments. Maybe it's because it is a way for us to have that "surprise" factor when we are finally expecting or maybe it is because I can't control how much information I share, or maybe it is a little of both. In any way, keeping our close friends in the dark has been difficult. I only hope that one day soon, we can stop pretending.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

You Can't Escape IF...

I am a TV addict and I admit that. It is definitly my guilty pleasure-especially
The Young and the Restless
(don't knock it 'till you watch it). On today's show, a couple found out they are having twins. Now on the one hand I feel happy for them because she has ovarian cancer and had a historectomy at a very young age and they retrieved 2 eggs during her surgery, but seriously, BOTH embryos implanted?! Now I know this is only a television show, but it is showing the world basically how successful IVF is. Yes, she is using a GC, but seriously, 2/2 took? I guess I feel short changed. I am okay with my decision to move on to DE, but at times I am still jealous of those who get to use their genetics. I wonder which I would prefer, using donor eggs or a gestational carrier... One the one hand, with DE you get to experience a pregnancy and birth (if you are successful) and on the other hand you get to keep your genetic connection with your children. Which would you choose? For me, the choice was made for me. I just got some bad luck in the fertility game. I was blessed with rotten eggs from an early age and have to live with that. I think the problem is the media...they inflate IVF and the success rates so much that it gives many people false hope. I admit that I had misplaced hope during my first IVF. I thought that would be the answer. We all know how that turned out. So now I look to DE with excitement and naturally, hesitation. Yes, the odds are in my favour, but it is still not a guarentee. I guess I just have to believe in the system and that miracles do happen. I mean they happen on TV and we all know that TV is real life-especially the soaps, so what I am really worried about? Hopefully for once, TV will prove to be a mirror of my future.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We All Need Some Music in Our Lives

I am an elementary special education teacher, but this year I am teaching secondary school and I hate my job. I decided to make the transition to highschool this year in the midst of the most emotionally draining, physically excruciating and spiritually challenging time in my life. Not my best idea. On top of the regular stress we infertiles feel, I have the added stress of a new job that I find both unsatisfying as well as unenjoyable...until today.

I was counting down the days until I left for Denver (I am a patient at CCRM) and oddly enough, that was bringing me some joy as it was a vacation from my personal hell. When those plans changed, I don't have to remind you have devastated I was. Not only, did this set me back months in achieving my motherhood dream, but also ensured that I a) had to stick out the school year and b) find a new job for September.

Since the news last week of the donor pulling out, I have been in what you might call a funk. I go to work, go home and that is pretty much it. There is not a lot of joy. BUT- today was different. Today was the day, that music entered the school.

I work for a private Jewish school and we are a fairly large institution. We have many speciality programmes including a music department. Today we were excited to host a Jazz Big Band of highschool students all the way from Israel. They performed for one hour and were fantastic. The concert brought smiles to everyone, including me. I found myself tapping my feet and singing along with the songs I knew (they were all well known English songs) and thinking of the determination and talent of these students. It made me realize that we all have to work for our dreams. These students go through an intense interview/audition process to become accepted into the school and it is no different from the intense medical discussions, procedures, letdowns and hopefully successes with infertility.

Today I was a teacher who enjoyed going to work because the music made me smile. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a good day as well.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Letting Go

Tonight I was treated to an 'all for me' acupuncture session. Let me start off by saying that I HATE acupuncture. It's the needles that bother me. In fact, I only do it because the doctors tell me that it has been proven to increase blood flow and help with implantation. So, I go biweekly to get stuck with needles. Usually, I can't stand it. Luckily for me, I really like my acupuncturist and she entertains me with stories of her life while the needles prick my skin. Tonight was a special treatment. We abandoned those "fertility" points and focused on me. It was so interesting because for the first time, I was able to see how acupuncture works. One point (I'm sorry I don't remember which, lungs maybe?) is meant to take away sadness. I was tearing up almost instantly from when the needle went in. It was amazing. If I was alone in that room, I would have bawled my eyes out, but I contained my emotions and just tried to relax and focus on why I was there. When it was time for the needles to come out, I felt a sense of calm come over me. Being able to let go of my resentment and sadness was a much needed step. For once, I am thankful for the needles.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Everything Happens for a Reason

Whoever came up with this expression clearly never had any problems. Why do people think that by saying these magical five words that you will suddenly feel better about your situation?

I spoke to my nurse today about what had happened. She could offer no insight, however she did alleviate some of my fears. She assured me that Ms. Perfect was only too excited to donate for us and she promised that we would indeed receive her eggs. Phew. One worry on my list that I can now cross off.

I have many other worries related to this process. The biggest one is of course, what happens if this fails. I know that sounds awfully pessimistic, but when all you know is failure, it is difficult to positive all the time. A. tries to keep me positive. He is very supportive and optimistic that it will all work out, but I need some convincing. I try to think positively. I try to think about the reason that this is happening to us, but honestly that is where I am struggling. People tell me that God gives you what you can handle, but I don't want to handle this anymore. I want to be normal. I want to be pregnant. I want to be a mother.

What possible reason could there be for this to happen?


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh What a Night

Who says wine can't take your problems away? Last night we went to a wedding for one of A.'s oldest and dearest friends. I have to admit I was dreading it...A LOT. First of all, who wants to get dressed up, go out and socialize when all they really want to do is crawl into bed and hibernate? I needed a plan to get through the night...WINE! Let me start off by saying that while cycling, I am one of those annoying people who takes the doctor's orders very seriously. I cannot remember the last time I had alcohol, or chocolate or fun. This was going to be the night. It took all my energy to pull myself together and we went to the party. I enjoyed three glasses of white wine. Three. Well, to say I was relaxed would be fair, but to say I "forgot" about my struggles and infertility struggles would be least for a couple minutes here and there. I allowed myself to enjoy the buzz of the wine (which obviously didn't take much as I never drink) and then it began. The room was spinning and I could feel myself going into that drunken territory that one does not want to be in.

It is funny how being older makes you react to situations differently. I remember turning the legal drinking (19 in Ontario) and going out to as many bars in one night as I could. I ended up throwing up on a street corner, in a taxi and even my bed! I was told that I was loud (although not obnoxious) and extremely funny that evening. Last night was the opposite. I was a refined drunk. I quietly excused myself to the bathroom and did my thing-4 times to be exact, and then returned to the party. It did not ruin my night.

Now, almost twelve hours later what can I take away from this experience?
1. I am a cheap date (all this from three drinks)
2. I have matured in many ways since my 19th birthday
3. I can overcome any hurdle

Today is the day that I start anew. Today I will try and put the past behind me and begin to slowly move forward. This night turned out to be better than expected...I gained some clarity.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Surviving Through the Day

Surviving, when you have be beaten down is not an easy thing to do. I went to sleep last night devastated and I woke up the same way. It was if time had stopped. I thought about moving on with Ms. Perfect, but wondered how. How could I trust that this wouldn't happen again? I can't. I just have to believe in the process and believe in myself that I can get through whatever happens.

I decided today was a day about me. I went and did one of my favourite things, I got a mani/pedi. Sitting in the chair I usually allow myself to dream and enjoy, but today I just enjoyed. I chose a colour out of my comfort zone, I think they call it "f*%k me red" and am wearing it proudly. (It should be noted that in Judaism, along with Kabbalah and other religions, red is seen as a colour to ward off evil). After the physical pampering, I realized that being at home, would make me obsess (and begin the crying fiasco) so I made a lunch date with a very good girlfriend. She and I met at sleepover summer came almost 20 years ago and we have grown up together. We have travelled the world and experienced many ups and downs in both of our personal lives. I should also mention that she has no children as of yet, so as always it is a child-free zone with her. We decided to really treat ourselves and so we went to the cafe housed in the nicest department store. We indulged on delicious food and I was able to forget for just a moment about the journey. (I should mention that although this friend is aware of our fertility struggles, she does not know about our decision to go the egg donor route.)

When lunch was over, it was on to retail therapy. I am not sure why buying a new pair of shoes (or a blazer in my case) makes us feel special or better, but it least for me. So now I am finally home from my 'all about me day', and it is like it never happened. I am instantly reminded of where I was sitting when I got the dreaded call from the nurse, and those same feelings came rushing back. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I DID NOT cry. Progress. The day must of helped me in ways I didn't realize.

Tonight A. and I are heading to the second wedding of his best friend since early childhood. I am thinking of the positives: 1) I will drink many alcoholic beverages that I otherwise would not be able to do, any suggestions? 2) I will savour every chocolate dessert served as I have been abstaining from it for over two months in order to have better blood flow. 3) I will try and forget about this struggle for the night and enjoy myself.

Today, like yesterday was hard. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.


Friday, January 8, 2010

The search for Ms. Perfect

Hello, I'm R. and I have been trying to conceive baby number one for almost three years. A. (my hubby) and I have done-it-all in the world of fertility thus far. We have completed 4 IUI cycles, 3 local IVF cycles and 1 top clinic IVF cycle all with no success. I have experienced every side effect you can imagine from OHSS to an esophageal ulcer from the steroid antibiotics. We have had one false positive and one chemical pregnancy. We have finally decided to take the plunge and move forward with donor eggs. This is where our journey begins...

Today was a difficult day. I had just been informed that my donor who was scheduled to start her medications in two days, just "flaked out" as they put it. To say that I am devastated is an understatement. I am crushed, numb and overall upset. After hysterically crying my eyes out and screaming into the air for anyone that would listen, I realized that life moves on and she was not meant to be the answer to our prayers.

Fast forward two hours; a new donor has been selected...yes that's right, two hours! The process of choosing a donor is unnatural and at times comical. In one respect it was similar to registering for china patterns. The first time we went to the china warehouse as we called it, we were overwhelmed and dazzled by the different settings and all of the accessory pieces that follow. The second time we went, A. choose his top favourites, I chose mine and then we thought about them. Could we see them on our table? What meal were we eating? How did our table look with the dishes? You get the idea, right? The third and final time we went, A. said to me, "who cares its only plates!" So we chose. You get them home and you are ecstatic, because in the end he is right, they are only plates.

Now, choosing a donor in some respects is a similar experience. The first time you log onto the donor site, you feel overwhelmed. Reading the twenty plus pages on family history, heath history and of course their looks, is difficult. Not many women (especially me) thought they would be shopping for an egg at 29 years old. The second time we searched the site we felt a bit more comfortable. A. and I came up with a list of "must haves" for the donor as well as "deal breakers". We searched for what seemed like an eternity, until we finally came across 'the one'. We were scared, nervous and excited at the same time. We wanted to think about it for the night because this is quite possibly the most important decision we will ever make. If any of you are in this process you know where I'm heading with the morning when we were ready to accept, we log on and see IN CYLCE, those dreaded words. We feel beaten and upset. Why didn't we jump on her? We needed this experience to help guide us through the challenging world of choosing an egg donor. So again, we got back on the horse, read through many profiles and when we found Ms. Right, we accepted, only we now know she is Ms. Flake instead!

Seeing as we have done this a few times already, and we already actively involved in our upcoming donor cycle, A. and I knew exactly what we were looking for in our perfect donor. Again, I got back on the horse, read through countless profiles, called the nurses for further clarification and after a strong recommendation from our clinic, we accepted our new and final donor (hopefully)! R. and A. meet Ms. Perfect!

Even though I am devastated about losing our first donor, I feel hopeful. I feel hopeful that we made the right choice, I feel hopeful that I will survive this obstacle and I feel hopeful that egg donation will be the answer to our fertility struggle.