Friday, August 31, 2007

Oh the trickery....

Lovely to see you all offering support to the Preacher O cause! Maybe, just maybe, I'll get a response. And I encourage you all to submit letters too! The more the merrier=)

So the 2nd part to my "Pay it For.ward" duties: I am on the quest to start a RESO.LVE support group in my area-one does not exist, let alone ANY support group. I live in a pretty big area, and while the eastern part of my state has done its job, there is nada over here. So I am going to change that. I have already spoken to a representative, and have all the info I need to start the quest. I'll be working on that a bit this weekend...wish more of you lived near by!

Speaking of near by, I am so very excited to be meeting up with Samantha from Southern Infertility this weekend! We dont live far enough away for it to be burden on the gas-money, so we are going to have coffee Sunday-I can't wait!

And can I just take a second to say: how come I don't have the luck of THIS woman....

So what is the trickery, you ask? Well I will tell you. But very quietly--because someone might be listening (that someone is my least-favorite aunt).

She's not here...and it's the longest cycle yet. BUT, please talk me down (there is a 2% chance it happened this month ladies and gents) and tell me that after an IVF cycle, your body can be a little screwy, right? Anyone else experience this? And no I will not be POAS...I can't take that heartbreak. (edited in for Jenna: zilch on the symptoms-other than I think I just O'ed really late this cycle...had strong cramps on CD 24, and then it's been EWCM since then. Knockers aren't sore. Only sign is that AF isn't here...)

Ok, that's out of my system....I have NOT been good to my body this past month--but heck, I wanted to indulge a little: wine, coffee, wine, some chocolate, did I mention wine? Working long-ass days...I mean really stressful long days. So that has to add to my body being off a bit...

I love me some long weekends...and I tend to enjoy them to the fullest! I start my first Happy Challenge tomorrow--good to start these things on a weekend=)

P.S. Check out our "One step at a time" list. You will see our contemplating has brought us to a decision (for now)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MF Clicker AND JJ vs. O!

Good afternoon! I am reporting to you LIVE from the Blogosphere! I am JJ, your Male Factor / Donor Insemination clicker! I am here to serve YOU! Breaking news I need to know about? Have an issue that needs a tissue? Let me help you get the word out! I have about 12 MF blogs I read regularly, but there may be more out there that I don't know about. Is it you? Or do you know someone who needs to be "clicked"? Leave a comment or email me! I will get the news over to Mel for the Lost and Found Connection!

Now back to your regularly scheduled programing....

In other news:

I have had time over the past few days to think about "paying it forward" after watching the O episode...and I am doing 2 things. One I am still working on, but here is the 1st attempt in my goal to educate. Let me know your thoughts...

Dear Editors,

I am one of many.

Many that need support.
I am speaking on behalf of a group of women and men that are dealing with the big "I" word: infertility.

I recently watched a re-aired segment from January of this year on Women in their 30's where you profiled a young woman, Jenna who wants nothing more than to be a mother. I am a woman who has been touched by her courage and strength to come on the Oprah show to talk about her journey.
My husband and I are also dealing with infertility. For us, our story is a little different-but yet our goal is the same as Jenna's and her husbands: to become parents. My husband and I are dealing with male factor issues being the main cause as to why we are struggling to have biological children.

My request is that the team at the Oprah show and magazine let our voice be heard. I want to help educate and offer support to any woman and/or man struggling to have a child and to educate people about the hardships infertile couples face.
Please consider contacting me to do a feature story. I am very willing to share our journey through the road of fertility treatments.

My husband and I believe that by educating people about a condition that affects 2.1 million couples in the United States will help those who might not know what options (such as ART treatments/adoption/foster care/child-free living)would be best for them.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Response from O's team:

Dear JJ,

Your message is important to us. Unfortunately, due to the volume of e-mail messages we receive every day, we cannot guarantee that you'll receive a personal response.

Thanks again for writing to us!

The Staff

Cross your fingers I get a "personal response"....

Friday, August 24, 2007

Preacher O

Did you all know that Opr.ah was a preacher?

I just finished watching Jenna on the O show (thanks to the DVD Tour!) and she sure wanted to (and did) preach to Jenna and her husband during the after show...

I am posting this only minutes after watching--and I have to say I feel motivated to educate. This show, as well as the segment on the Show, reaffirms my belief that there is still such a lack of knowledge about the feelings and experiences we all go through. I will continue to give more thought to how I can play a role in this...(any suggestions welcome!)

So back to the preaching: O did a lot of it. Especially in the after show--she spent a good 5-10 minutes harping on the notion of "letting go, and letting Go.d" I do believe in this statement--I have Christian beliefs, but I don't agree with how it is used to be a shield-statement when someone may not fully understand how to respond to a situation. Infertility is one of those "situations." It is a taboo subject to talk about-a hard topic to admit dealing with. I felt that O was using this method of telling Jenna to "let go" and not really listening to the pain and void it causes her. She told Jenna she needed to relax-that dreaded word. She tried to tip-toe around that word too, saying she wasnt using it in the way we all know and love, but to tell her to accept that Go.d may have another plan for Jenna, and that until she fully lets go of the dream of being a mother, she will not realize her full potential. I wanted to scream...

Yes, I admit--I get wrapped up in this journey--we ALL do. But it's not fair to tell me to let go of that journey just to "see what else MAY happen in my life" I have a hard time with control issues and living in the now--I realize that I need to appreciate the life I am blessed to live each day. I do my best not to take that for granted. But I CANT dismiss the feelings of wanting to ADD to my life. But I don't know if and when that will happen...

O says over and over that Jenna needs to "be at peace" and to be at peace for many of us, that will be the day we have a child in our home. It should be enough for anyone, even the mighty O, to understand that peace can have many definitions.

For me, it was hard to watch the show segment--I saw it when it aired-and it broke my heart to see that Jenna was still left wondering when and if she will have children. The other 2 women did have children after adoption and one had a child the month before going forward with IVF. I wanted so bad for Jenna to be able to share that she had crossed over the IF threshold...

Since we are dealing with male factor, my hope is that someday soon a man (celebrity or not) will feel comfortable enough to express their feelings and challenges they face of being part of the statistics. I've been blessed with a husband who communicates with me, and have read some great male perspective blogs, so I know that these men (mine included) deserve all the support we can give them.

Thanks again to Jenna for being so open about her journey-and continuing to be a great resource to us all! I'll send the DVD back on its journey when I get the next recipient!

To read Heather's thoughts on the segments, go here: BigP and Me
And for more info about the DVD go here: Jenna

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rockin' and Rollin'

Many thanks to Caro for giving me a rock-n-roll shout out for being a Rockin' Blogger! Be sure to head over to offer her a congrats and support as she has recently gotten a BFP and waits in limbo for more concrete answers...

So now the hard part. I have to pick just 5 of you to rock this bling on your blog--but I have faith that this will get around to all of the awesome blogger girls through the connections we all have.

My girl Leah (Tales from My Dusty Ovaries)--she is fairly new to this thing called blogging, but you would never know it...she has been an awesome addition to my support group, and I appreciate her wisdom and calming words she always has for others.

Ms. Sticky Bun -she's so connected. That is the best word for her-she is concerned for all her cysters and really shows compassion in her posts and comments. She has recently been blessed with a BFP (twins!) and she continues to be compassionate to those waiting for a BFP.

LJ (Looking for Two Lines)-what a powerhouse! She organizes blogger get-togethers, worked with a world's worse boss (she should have won!) puts in time at work and home-and still manages to post thought-provoking ideas and feelings. I would be pulling my hair out...she's great!

My Reality-she's my buddy=) She's been so willing to help me organize Picture Pages (coming back soon!), has been such a support to MANY bloggers, is so honest in her posts, and continues to push ahead with her quest for a baby--she's got positive determination, and I admire that!

Lastly (and not least) Kristen at Sticky Bean. I am fairly new to her blog, but I already feel so pulled in by her honest posts and the connection I feel. She has been through the ringer, and I am inspired by her courage and willingness to move forward!

Truly, I am inspired by each blog that I read--I could not imagine going through all this without each of you! So to these 5 ladies, a BIG hug for the inspiration you give me--now go nominate your 5!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Umm...2 steps forward....2 steps back

Remember that Ab.dul song? Man, those were some good tunes back in the day....please tell me there are some of you out there that frequented a roller skating rink in the 90's--that was ALL the rage in my town--I could skate circles around ya=)

Whew, I could have gotten really off topic there--but the title of my post is true. How do we begin to move forward? What are our next steps? I am a planner....I need a plan. So Mook and I have discussed our next steps quite a the point where we need a break. I go back and forth about doing the FET before the end of the year--but the more I look at our calendar, and with the holidays, I dont want to put even more stress on ourselves. I am currently stressing about the cost of 'babysitting' my three frozen babes--I don't like to think about that cost coming in soon. I also don't want to rush into that decision just for cost alone--that won't be good for all involved.

So the stepping backwards part: going the good ole DIY road. Oh it just gives me the heeby-jeebies when I really think about it. Isn't that how we started this whole process? It seems almost silly to think we should go back to no meds, no doctor appointments...and what I am debating is how 'technical' I should get with our DIY's--I dont want to mess with the temping--that just makes me crazy. So my question is for all your gals *and a few gents* is what is the best ovu.lation test I can get--and where--is E-Ba.y too weird?? I am willing to go to the big guns as far as monitor, IF that is the best thing to do. I know that I DO ovulate...I just need to know when so we can get Mook's swimmers there at the right time!

And I could change my mind tomorrow...who knows. We had a few tense moments this weekend when we really weren't on the same page--and thats hard for me. It's got to be the both of us being 100% committed to whatever the decision is. He is the one that suggested putting off the FET (we were thinking October) and just letting it be....he's admitted that the stress and unhappiness that this failed cycle has put on both of us (esp. me) has worried him--and he thinks we need more time to heal. One smart man I've got. I want SO BAD to move on and have our baby. He's being the calm in this storm...we just have to "ride it out...and get to shore eventually."

But then I want to throw myself on the floor, kicking and screaming that "I don't wannnna wait!!!" And I don't. But he and I have got to make it through this together, so we'll come to an agreement, and then move on...that decision may not come today, but soon...

So any suggestions/advice/etc would be much appreciated. Help me feel more at ease about making this FREE time (and I mean free from meds, wandmoneky's, etc.) enjoyable and maybe even....... successful?(wow, is that you my long lost friend hope?)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Arrivals & Departures

I drove home in quite a haze the other night (I don't recommend this).

I had just had a pretty tough day at work, an unresolved issue with my sister, and had just finished dinner with a friend IRL that is starting IVF in September. To say I was feeling "trapped" is an understatement....

We live close to a major airport, so I pass by it every day to and from work. As I tried to blink away tears while driving (again, I don't recommend), I looked upward--you know that useless trick to try to stop yourself from crying which never works--and saw the same scene I see on many occasions: a pl
ane taking off on it's way to somewhere-land. But this time it hit me a little different. So as I blinked back to clearer vision, I imagined being on that plane and flying off to another life...

Ok. Let's stop right there--before anyone (especially Mook!) thinks I'm running away, or am in a serious state of unhappiness, just bare with me and keep reading.

I departed life as I knew it in my "comfort zone" the day I left for college. I arrived not knowing a soul, but guess who I met the first day. (a hint: he's the handsome fella in my life). We became fast friends. We ran into each other many times over the next few years and had some of the same friends. When we both arrived to the first class of our senior year, we began to realize we were meant to be much more than "pals".

I departed college without Mook. We went in separate directions to live life...we remained good friends, but knew we needed to experience life outside the college walls. So life went on. But one day, Mook arrived at my doorstep to visit. Both our lives changed for good that day...

I departed the life I had been used to, and began my life with Mook. I arrived in a new place, a new job, and knew that one day soon Mook and I would be nice and settled in with a family of our own.

We departed on the journey to become parents. We arrived at the decision together that no matter what happened, we would have each other-and that was most important.

And here we are...still desperately trying to arrive. We aren't ready to depart the idea of having children....but when will we get there?

We have endured layovers, long ticket lines, lost luggage and again, we sit and wait in the terminal. We sit next to others who are waiting like us. We don't talk much about why we are waiting, or the pain it's causing us, but we understand...we share a half-smile during eye contact. We also watch people board the plane--they look so happy! Their journey is about to begin, and we want so badly to run to the door before it closes.

So that "other" life I was flying off was a miserable one. A life where I didn't have Mook. One where I had made other decisions that took me away from the things that I cherish most: my family (even when we fight), friends who love me, and the strength to go through this journey with my best friend.

Yes, infertility sucks. Really sucks. But I wouldn't trade my life for a plane ticket to somewhere-land. That's not where my heart is. It aches right now for what we are having to endure, but I know that I am a better and more connected person today than I was a year ago. And I'm meant to be here. Meant to be with Mook--everything that brought us together, and the fact that we are growing stronger through this.

I'll wait in the terminal as long as it takes...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Tunnel Vision

Definition: In medical terms, tunnel vision is the loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision, resulting in a constricted circular tunnel-like filed of vision.

(long post ahead...walk with me through the tunnel)

Wow. You all are amazing...I have been away from blogs/emails for a few days, and to come back to see 100 comments simply brought tears to my eyes. Thank you from the bottom of both our hearts. The virtual hugs and support we have felt from all of you have been a big part of our beginning to heal-seriously. So thank you many times over...

Where to begin....I guess beginning at the end is appropriate. I'll never forget that moment-all the imagining and hoping becomes so final when that call comes in. I didn't cry on the phone, since in a way I could tell the moment she said my name...and I felt my heart break into a million pieces--that was literally what I saw as I closed my eyes to listen to the rest of the conversation. "We just are at a loss....everything went so very well with your cycle." Everything but the end result. I went ahead and asked for a follow up, since I'm a person who needs closure. It happened last Wednesday...and I'll get to that.

A few co-workers knew that I had to go for "follow up blood work" so I was prepared to leave whether good or bad...I packed up my desk as quickly as possible, and as soon as my car door shut with me inside, I cried like I never have before. To feel a new emotion like that for the first time is scary and uncharted--I have been extremely lucky that I have not lost someone close to me, but honestly I know what that must feel like. It definitely is a mourning process. Then making the call to Mook.......just so hard. Then I called my mom and we cried together...then I just went home and sat. Posted for you all to know what was going on...and then I just let it sink in. I needed to deal with it--so I packed up all the meds, the needles, the picture of Pearl and Jam and took it into our hopeful-nursery. I just laid on the couch and sobbed was like detox. Just letting it all go...

Mook came home from work...and we just sat, talked, I cried some more, and another new emotion happened. A positive one--a new bond in our relationship. I don't think we have ever felt so close--even on our wedding day. I hate that we had to experience a sadness like that, but I had never felt so close to him.

And of course I mentioned that our pet fish died...we bought that fish the night we got engaged. It sounds so silly...but that was just something that pushed me over the edge. The rest of the week didn't get much better...

I didn't take any more time off work...I know for me, I just need to get back into a routine. Not that it makes it any easier, but it got my mind back on track. One of the hardest things has been dealing with the feeling of not having a purpose or a goal-ART procedures in general get you so wrapped up in schedules and timing, and then all of sudden I wasn't taking shots or popping pills, and it became eerily still at our house. I don't deal well with still. I knew that it might not work. I knew that I might not have a baby in April of 2008. But I still wanted to look at the next 9 months with purpose...and then the feeling of "now what" dug in deeper and deeper.

I immediately wanted to know WHY WHY WHY WHY it didnt work. I started emailing a few of you about PG.D and FE.T's and wanted to soak up as much information to go forward. Especially since we were so "text book" this past time--that obviously meant squat: I no longer believe in "text-book." I got a card from Leah yesterday (thank you!) and she summed it up--all you can do is say "SHIT!!!!!" I wanted to spat that out at our RE, but as soon as I walked in the door, I was back to having a purpose: why didn't it work, and what is our next step. Of course they can't give you an answer, as all of you who have been through this, know. He said he was so pleased with all my levels, the follicles, the retrieval, the transfer...blah blah blah.

So some of the possible answers: the 2 they transferred ended up being in the "slower progressing" category and possibly not strong like the 7 that didnt make it to freeze. It's possible we need to look into PGD--Mook's numbers did not increase (I ended up calling to get the wash numbers) and the lower the count, the higher possibility he has for abnormalities-chromosomes, etc. Then there is just plain old mother nature--not meant to be, or other "unknowns"--and that is the hardest answer of them all.

And of course we have our 3 frozen blasts....could they be "the" ones? Our embryologist and RE suggest going forward with the FET before doing another fresh cycle (which I'll get to in a minute). One-it may get us to our goal. Two-it may answer if we really should try PGD.

Mook and I decided after the LONG week that we would go to our safe-haven: the beach. It was there that we talked about our next steps--we ranked them in level of interest. And we are spot on with all our choices. As we discussed these choices, a very cute couple walked in to where we were having breakfast, and the girl was very close to my age, and very pregnant. I heard the waitress gushing over her and asked when she was due: "October--and we can't wait" I. lost. my. shit. I had to basically RUN out the door....and I am usually "ok" with pregnant women around--or even little kids. I mean it's hard, but I have usually been able to smile and walk on--but oh my goodness, I will never forget her. She was who I wanted to be. Mook just held me, and we walked back to the beach house...I haven't seen Mook cry about this yet, but I know he was close at that moment. I told him as long as he held onto me in these tough moments, that I would cry for the both of us.........

Are we ok? Yes. Are we sad? Yes. Are we scared? Yes.Are we down for the count. No.

I want to catch up with all of you--I know there continue to be a lot of BFP's out there. I know I'm not the first, and won't be the last to say that I am happy for all of you--but please know it's hard for me to read and comment right now. I want to be you. And I want and need that jealousy to subside--but please know that I wish nothing but the best for you.

To all my ladies waiting with me-you are not alone. We will continue to hold on tight to each other and provide support and get everyone to that "other side of IF"!

I feel like I have more to say...but I'll save it for another day. I just can't thank you all enough for the love and support--and I hope that I can offer the same to you. Just know that I am here...healing, and couldn't make it through the tunnel without you.

I'm on my way through the tunnel...I see the light.
Now I just have to keep on walking...will you walk with me?