Friday, April 29, 2011

Random Fact Friday: Dipping

I dip club crackers in a glass of ice-cold Dr. Pepper. And it's sooooo good. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NIAW: A Manly Myth

Myth: "I am less of a man because I can't get my wife pregnant"

I have to be honest with you. When I read through the various myths that RESOLVE listed for our amazing community to bust and blog about, I had to sit with the statement above for a few days before I could put my thoughts into words.

You see, that myth almost became a reality for us.

No, no...I'm not calling Mook less of a man at all. 

But he almost let that statement define him as we launched ourselves into the world of fertility treatments. I can blog and talk about this easier in the now, but when we were in the thick of it all, I thought I might see the spirit of my husband overtaken by infertility.

Mook was diagnosed in early 2007 with crappy sperm. There's no sugar coating it--he's got bad everything: count, morphology, and motility. When we actually saw the numbers printed on a piece of paper, we were standing in our kitchen...and Ill never forget the expression on his face. I knew that if we were going to make it as a couple and through this journey, we had to address the male factor infertility as a WE and not a HIM. I have always referred to our diagnosis as just that: ours.  

We both went through a very similar process as grieving. We wanted to deny that his sperm couldn't do "the job" so we wanted to have another sample tested. The results showed the same numbers--actually a bit worse than the first. So then came the anger: why was this happening to us? Why couldn't we just get pregnant like everyone else? Then there was the bargaining with the doctors--if he ate a better diet, took vitamins and supplements, he'd be able to fix this "problem" and we could improve the sperm on our own. This brought our hopes way up for a few months--but after a third sperm sample came back with the same numbers, we both sank into a state of depression.

And that stage is where Mook and I took different paths...

I was welcomed with open arms into the blogging community and found a place where I could vent, ask for help/suggestions, and feel like I wasn't the only one going through this process.

Mook was of course supportive of the blog--he was aware of it from the very beginning--he read the posts, saw the comments and was grateful for the outlet. But it wasn't providing the same outlet and healing for him...

He seemed fine on the "outside" but was slowly pulling away from me emotionally. Things got really, really tough for us in December/January of '07/'08, and after hitting close to rock bottom, I sought out counseling and was very thankful and grateful that Mook agreed to come so we could work on us. This was not an overnight solution. But as we worked through our sessions, the communication became easier and more revealing of exactly what we were both feeling about the life we were living--focused on having a baby and forgetting that life was going on around us.

As much as I felt like I was being a supportive spouse, it became clear that I was being more of a coach than a wife. Not that it was bad to be positive and on a schedule, but Mook needed to not feel like our whole life was revolving around making a baby. He was feeling "like less of a man..."

We were lucky. Very lucky. We survived as a couple, and we learned things from the counseling that we still practice today. And my husband is an incredible man. Not to mention our 2nd IVF cycle gave us our precious O-man. He's the result of a lot of love, patience, communication, medical intervention, heartache, prayers, and support all rolled into one little miracle.

With this being National Infertility Awareness Week, my hope is that awareness about the male side of infertility will receive more attention. I started this blog 4 years ago noticing that MFI was still a quiet side of infertility, and I still think many men are suffering silently.

This myth is officially: BUSTED!

To learn more about the basics of infertility visit: 
Read more about the background of National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW):

Friday, April 22, 2011

Random Fact Friday: Socks

I wear my socks inside out because I don't like the way the seams feel on my toes.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday: Blast Furnace

I wonder if I'd ever be able to work in a library?

As much as I enjoy reading, love the smell of books, and people watching, the "sound of silence" is deafening to me. I have to have some sort of noise. Whether its music, a book on CD, or the TV on in the background, I enjoy sounds.

This sound-need proves to be a bit difficult when it comes to night time. I do not enjoy the sound of snoring (from the human or dog variety--and sad to say, there is plenty of both in my house) I am a perfect sleeper and neeeeever snore ;)

But there is still too much quiet at night. So for the past few years, I have been running a small fan in the opposite corner of the bedroom. It's the perfect white noise to keep out the bad sounds and let me drift peacefully into slumber. bed-mate loathes this fan. Or as he has always called it: the blast furnace. Poor guy. Gets to sleep in swanky king-sized beds with 500 thread-count sheets 3-4 nights out of the week, and he has to come home to a pesky white noise. (and it helps me block out his snoring that I have not missed)

Recently, after re-fueling my heart and soul with a wonderful estrogen-fest, I was able to quickly kiss Mook goodbye before he jumped on another plane.

Only later that evening did I go into get ready for bed and unpack when I saw this:

Its totally the small stuff that makes my world-go-round. This note will stay there to remind not only me, but him the next time I hear him grumble about my "blast furnace"

What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Bumper Sticker

Pulling up behind this car on the way to my appointment today with this sticker was just too ironic. I ended up doing one of those ugly laugh-cry combos that are only meant to be done alone.

Thanks, universe, for knowing I needed this today.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ninja Power

I apologize for not updating sooner--I realized today its actually been a full week since the appointment.

One of my many faults is I get lost in thought when things aren't going so well, and I loose track of time--so, I am sorry. I appreciate the awesome ju-ju that was sent my way and even the gentle reminder from a friend (ahem, areyoukiddingme) that I had not given you all the update.

The short version?

Its not great news but not terrible news.

Can you see where I might get lost in thought when faced with being in that limbo space? Uh huh.

And truthfully, I still don't have the full story to tell since another piece of the puzzle will be answered with an appointment tomorrow.

But first you must know about the wonderful company I had last Tuesday. Don't tell Mook, but I woke up next to another man on the morning of my appointment:

Meet my Pocket-Ninja, Mojo

This little blue dude came in the mail last Monday from my blog-IRL-twitter buddy, Suzy. He also has ninja brothers that are taking up residence in other blogger homes throughout the world. These little guys stay with us in our pockets to remind us of the awesome arse-kicking power of those that stand with us in times of trouble.

So Mojo was ready to rise and shine and get me moving the morning of my appointment. Too bad he wasn't tall enough to make the bed...

Breakfast of champions for a girl with a nervous stomach. Water & saltines

Sitting with me in the waiting room, propped by O-mans sippy cup. We all need some form of support.

Death grip on Mojo as my name was called...

Mojo volunteering to go through the procedure for me.
The photo-therapy treatment was not painful, just ironically looks like a bad sunburn. And it is still never lost on me that it happens to be on my va-jay-jay. Many have said it: could I be more of a Grey's An.atomy cliche?

With a portion of my lymph nodes getting a good laser zap and more skin/tissue left in a petri dish, I left the office with a hug from my doctor and a reassuring smile. So glad shes been fantastic with all of this.

And with the post-appointment news that she still did not reach clean cells, I will definitely have one more photo-therapy treatment next week, and more decisions will be made from there. I will also have my thyroid dye test and nodule biopsy tomorrow. If that comes back with anything more than my hormones being completely out of whack, I will move to the big guns: a PET scan.

People (who are these "people" anyway?) say that living in a state of denial isnt healthy. Its not that I feel that Im in complete denial, I guess its still surreal. What can you do but take it one day at a time, and hope that your body is working to defend itself. I go from extreme sadness to extreme anger, determined to use both emotions to keep on swimming.

Hey, nothing in my book is harder and more painful than the road I took on the IF journey. Not that this is a walk in the park, but I'll do what I've been doing for a looooong time: HOPE.