Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lots (and Lots) of Doctor's Appointments

Sorry I haven't written much in awhile. I've been trying to set a new record for the number of doctor's appointments and diagnoses you can pack into one week.

So let's see...

Appointment #1 - Dr. R (Primary Care)
After the week from hell my therapist recommended that I get a prescription for Xanax. Dr R did me one better and prescribed Klonopin and an antidepressant. Yes - I am now "officially" depressed. I'm kind of bummed that IF has driven me to the point where my serotonin levels have tanked out. On the other hand, I am looking forward to feeling a little better. In fact, the looking forward to feeling better has already lifted my spirits.

I found out two interesting things from Dr. R. First, antidepressants do not look good on adoption applications. Dr. R wrote the prescriptions on paper and I paid cash at the pharmacy so that my insurance company won't have a record of it. Second, Dr. R did not have very nice things to say about my old RE and fertility clinic. Hmmm...

Appointments #2 and #4 - The Vagina Fairy (Physical Therapy)
Last Friday I had my physical therapy evaluation for my pelvic floor muscles. It was awesome. My physical therapist is really cheerful and positive and I am going to call her "the vagina fairy" because she is going to cure my pelvic pain in 15-20 sessions! I thought all the pain I was having during exams and treatment was endo pain and that I was just stuck with it for good. Turns out, that pain is from all the exams and treatment. My vagina has the equivalent of a massive tension headache. I also have bursitis in my hips and sciatica from sitting on the floor all day when I'm teaching.

What happens at vagina therapy, you ask? Well first I have to do a lot of pilates-type exercises. Then I get poked/massaged in the vagina for about 10 minutes. This part is a little awkward but the vagina fairy has such a sunny disposition that its really not so bad. Next, the assistant to the vagina fairy comes in and massages my inner things, hamstrings, and butt cheeks. Apparently I have a lot of tension in those areas too. Finally, I get hooked up to a little electrical stimulation machine that zings my lower back muscles and makes me really relaxed. Its all very strange but I am super optimistic that its going to make a huge difference.

Appointment #3 - Dr. B (Ob/Gyn)
esterday I had my first appointment with Dr. B since the PCOS/UTI fiasco. While it looks as though I probably had some anovulatory cycles in the past, for the time being he does not believe I have PCOS. I started BBT charting again this month and when I saw him yesterday on day 19 my chart was picture perfect. So I ovulated this month. Yippee! Too bad we didn't have sex. At all.

Dr. B thinks that maybe nothing is wrong with me after all. The endo isn't blocking my tubes and I'm ovulating now. DH's low morphology seems to have cleared up on its own - or at least we think its cleared up - does anybody know if the number they give you on IUI day takes morphology into account?

We are supposed to continue charting and doing things naturally for two more cycles. After that we go from "nothing wrong" to "unexplained infertility." Dr. B has another RE he'd like to send me to but first he is going to let me try Clomid for a few cycles. I have a feeling that he's going to be scrapping both of those diagnoses in favor of "luteal phase defect." This morning, on day 20, 6 days post ovulation, my perfect BBT chart took a nose dive and I'm guessing that I will start spotting tomorrow morning. I cannot understand how it is humanly possible to get your period on every single holiday of the year. Guess I'll be bringing old towels to sleep on at Grandma's again.

Next week I have a cystoscopy (ouch), two physical therapy sessions, and head-shrinking therapy. I figure I can cancel all my magazine subscriptions because I spend so much time in doctor's office waiting rooms. But the good news is that I'm feeling better both physically and mentally and I'm pretty sure that I will make it through Thanksgiving intact. I'm even looking forward (tentatively) to seeing my cousin's new baby!

I probably won't have access to a computer for awhile, but I'll be looking forward to getting back online ASAP.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Last week sucked. Big time. I am not proud to say it but I was a dreadful teacher last week. I didn't murder any of my students but I was definitely not all sunshine and sweetness. I really haven't let my infertility come to work with me before, but having a beaming pregnant lady next door made it hard to keep my composure.

I delivered my letter to my friend on Wednesday. I got a card back from her on Thursday. The note inside was nice but it did not make me feel much better. I wasn't really expecting it to. I only saw her once last week - she was coming out of the bathroom (those damn pregnant ladies - rubbing it in by peeing all the time!) and she said hello. At least she is giving me the space I need. I hope this gets easier soon because I really do miss her.

After a week of watching me cry myself senseless, DH decided it was time for a weekend getaway. He splurged and got us a fancy hotel room in a charming little town in the western part of the state. It was only a two hour drive but it felt as different as if we'd been on the moon. There were beautiful rolling hills and farmhouses and cows and every second of it was just so wonderful. I actually felt like myself for the first time in months. I really had forgotten who I am and it was so nice to laugh again and enjoy spending time with my husband.

While we were gone we came up with a plan. After the school year is over we are dedicating ourselves 100% to infertility. That means we get whatever jobs we need to get in order to have the right insurance. If we get pregnant, great. If we don't, then we are going to sell everything we have and leave the country. Since we're getting hosed on the parenthood front we've decided not to let any of our other dreams fall by the wayside. We've always talked about joining the Peace Corps so maybe we'll do that.

As it turns out its a very good thing that I'm not too attached to my job. Apparently my boss is freaking out now that my friend is pregnant. We had a sub lined up to cover my maternity leave should I ever need to take it but now she is going to cover my friend's leave. My boss seems to think that hell might freeze over and that I might get pregnant too, requiring two leaves back to back. She has started hinting that my contract might not be renewed if I'm not willing to agree to stop trying for a few years so that parents won't be upset by all the turnover. Last year when this happened I was very upset about it. This year I really could care less.

And now I must go. DH is home and I am determined to be a good wife this week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Quick Note Before I Start My Therapy Homework

Just got back from therapy. I have "homework" that is going to be pretty time consuming and emotionally draining so I'm afraid I'll have to rip myself away from the computer for the rest of the evening. I was hoping to spend tonight visiting more blogs and trying to spruce up this page with links but I think it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Today turned out to be harder than yesterday. I woke up to a radio commercial about the local birthing center. The alarm clock got a well deserved thrashing. And then at work - more pregnant people! A little girl in my class gave me the "mommy has a baby in her tummy" news. I'm not friends with her mother so its not a huge deal - just proof that this follows me everywhere.

I couldn't bring myself to talk to or even make eye contact with my friend today. Its very obvious that I'm avoiding her and I know she thinks I am angry with her. Well, I am angry at her. Irrational anger, yes, but I'm rolling with it right now because the alternative is uncontrollable sobbing and I just cannot take the chance that I might lose it in a room full of small children. So I am doing the best I can in the present moment but I am not at all proud of the way I am dealing with this. It might take a week or two but I am determined to summon the courage to get through this gracefully and compassionately.

So therapy rocked my world. And I have homework tonight. Here it is:

1. Write that letter to my friend explaining that I'm avoiding her out of self-preservation.
2. Spend some quality time with DH.
3. Find a hobby.
4. Get some Xanax.

Yes, Xanax. I'm not sure how I feel about that one. Don't get me wrong - I would love to get all sleepy and drooly and obliterate huge chunks of short term memory. I'm just afraid that it would be addictive. I took Klonopin during an especially tough week in college when my parents were divorcing. A few weeks later I started getting term papers back that I had no recollection of researching or writing. I went to movies that I couldn't tell you the first thing about. Wiping this week from my mind is way too tempting. Of course, now that I have this blog I could just come back here and relive the suckiness whenever I wanted to. And I wouldn't have to worry about renting the same movie twice.

Oh well. I'll have a little while to decide about the Xanax. In the meantime I am putting off writing this letter.

Thanks for all your support in the last few days. I'm looking forward to returning the favor. Of course I wish none of you were suffering with infertility, but boy do I appreciate the company!

Monday, November 10, 2008

So If Infertility Has a "Glow," Apparently I've Got It...

First things first. I still haven't figured out the technological aspects of blogging. I don't know how to link to other sites yet and I'm not sure how to list the blogs I'm reading. After I finish this post I have plans to get out there and send some comment love to everybody who has been stopping by and supporting me. I'm also going to see if I can find some nuts and bolts information so that I don't feel so computer illiterate. The funny thing is that I'm usually not this computer illiterate. I'm starting to wonder if my brain was just so addled last week that I missed some really obvious things. Oh - and for some reason my posts all show up with only one space after a period and its driving me BANANAS. Maybe its got something to do with the font.

Today was my first day back to work since finding out about my friend's pregnancy. It wasn't great but I managed not to cry in front of anyone. I think my brain has decided to deal with this by being really angry with her for filling our friendship and my work with so much tension. Let me make it clear that I know my anger is completely and horribly irrational. I'm pretty sure that I will get a grip on it in a few days. In the meantime I'm just going to allow myself to feel whatever I need to feel and try to be an impartial observer of my own thoughts. "Observing non judgmentally" is a fancy little thing I've been working on with my therapist. I think I might even write her a letter. I think she understands that I've been avoiding her out of self preservation but I want to make sure. Deep deep down I am happy for her but its all twisted up with sadness and bitterness for poor little me. If I sit down and write I can untangle my feelings, have a good cry and only put the nice things down on paper.

God this sucks.

About the "glow." There is another teacher at my school who is infertile. She and her husband had their struggle many years ago and decided to live child-free. I haven't really talked to her much lately because she thinks IVF is unethical and I don't want to have to tell her that we are headed in that direction. Today she pulled me aside to ask how I was doing. Apparently she recognized the look in my eyes and remembered it from when she was going through all this. I knew exactly what she was talking about. I went through a little phase where I thought that skipping straight to adoption would be easier than taking a chance on failing infertility treatment. I started watching Adoption Stories and I could tell that the women who were adopting after infertility all had this funny look in their eyes like they were afraid to get too happy about anything.

I feel like its too early for me to have "the look." Medically speaking, I really haven't been through all that much. I've only done one piddly little IUI and I haven't even tried Clomid yet. I am well aware that we've had it easy so far. I guess I've got "the look" because I'm afraid that it might be years before we can even afford to start treatment. I'm such a pessimist that I won't even allow myself to think we've got a 50% chance of conceiving but I'm still just dying to start jabbing myself with needles every day. The faster we get through our three lifetime IVF's the faster this is over, whatever the outcome. At least that's how I feel right now.

Wow. This blog is really depressing. Sorry - and I promise it won't stay that way. I can already feel myself getting a little more positive and today I even did some laundry (yipee!) so these blues can't stick around much longer.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Urogynecologists are Saints

So remember last week when I had the UTI that wasn't a UTI and then was a UTI and then wasn't a UTI again? That, combined with the fact that I strongly suspected my friend was about to tell me she was pregnant, proved to be just too much for me on Thursday morning. Somebody at work asked me how I was doing and I just fell apart and started sobbing. I was fine by the time the children arrived but crying in front of coworkers was really scary. I've cried almost daily this year and I've fought back tears at work a few times but I've never ever lost it in such an inappropriate and unprofessional way before.

Thank goodness my boss was wonderful about it. She knew that I wasn't myself and she called me to suggest that I see a father at our school who is a very good Urogynecologist. She also knew in advance that my friend was going to tell me she was pregnant so she came to my house and left a basket on my back porch with soup and cookies and DVD's. I just can't get over how nice that was.

Anyway, today I saw Dr. G. Last summer I showed Dr. G's kid how to add. Today I showed Dr. G my vagina. He was very professional about it but I think it might have been even more awkward for him than it was for me. I got to talk in detail about my sex life (or lack thereof) and then I got to look at a chart with pictures of poop on it and point to the ones that look like mine. Then he put a catheter in my bladder. Parent-teacher night will never ever be the same.

I can think of about a million things I would have rather done on a Saturday but in the end I am SO glad we went to see him. He thinks that my UTI symptoms are a complication from all the surgeries and procedures and that physical therapy will really help. He did not sound terribly impressed with my RE or my old Ob/Gyn and said he had some other people in mind for me to see if my endo has indeed returned and invaded my bladder. We'll know more about the endo next month when he does the cystoscopy (ouch!). I feel like someone is finally taking us seriously. Too bad he's not an RE.

If anybody out there has ever wondered about seeing a urogynecologist and wants to know more about it please let me know. They are wonderful wonderful people. I never used to have pain during pelvics and ultrasounds and when it started I really thought it was just psychological. I guess in a way it is psychological but he told me its a very normal consequence of infertility treatment and that its very treatable. I don't care how embarrassing that visit was if it helps me get my life back and feel like less of a freak.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thank You, Blogosphere!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the people out there who left comments and messages. Infertility must come with some sort of sixth sense - how did all of you know that today was going to be the day when my best friend told me she is pregnant? I cried all the way home because instead of being happy for her I am utterly devastated. I feel like I'm drowning. She teaches in the classroom next to mine so I can't just gracefully avoid her for the next nine months. I'm going to have to watch her get bigger and bigger and hear all about her pregnancy at staff meetings.

Recently I came across a book with a pie chart that showed how infertility can take over your identity. I had three major components to my identity before this started: wife, teacher, and friend. I feel like I've lost all three now that she is pregnant. I already felt like a failure as a wife because I can't have a baby and our sex life has been obliterated. Now I am a failure as a friend. I can't even look her in the eye because I am so ashamed of how jealous I am and I don't want her to see me crying. Since she is my coworker, her pregnancy means that infertility is taking over my teacher identity, too. This year I've been throwing myself into my work and I didn't realize until now that I counted on school to be the place where I could forget all this crap and feel good about myself.

I guess its time to get some hobbies.

So thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came to this site and left comments. They saved me. I'm looking forward to being able to return the favor.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I really suck at the depression stage of grief. I'm much better at the bargaining stage. The bargaining stage is the best because you can convince yourself that you actually might have a hope in hell of turning this whole infertility thing around by:

1. Spending a week eliminating every shred of clutter in your house (clutter in the house meaning clutter in the tubes) until every last toenail clipper has its own clear pocket in over-the-door organizers.

2. Eating exactly seven baby carrots every day for lunch. Seven is a lucky number and baby carrots are supposed to be good for cervical mucus. When your husband decides to tease you by putting less than seven carrots in your lunch you actually get really upset.

3. Buying expensive loose-fitting clothes that will fit you when you are pregnant. Think positive and enjoy the benefits of self-fulfilling prophecies!

4. Buying expensive tight-fitting clothes because you figure that you can't get screwed over twice and maybe the Finance Fairy is more vindictive than the Fertility Fairy.

5. Avoiding alcohol like the plague. Maybe only responsible people get pregnant.

6. Drinking like a fish because you realize that irresponsible people get pregnant ALL THE TIME. Britney Spears becomes your new inspiration.

I am really looking forward to that bargaining stage coming back around. I'm starting to get so depressed that I'm relieved when I manage to put together a matching pair of socks to wear to work.

Hope this was more fun to read than my last post.

The Current Situation

This has been a crazy couple of weeks.

I decided to switch to a new Ob/Gyn named Dr. B. I liked Dr. T but he always seemed like he was in a huge hurry and he was always brushing off my questions with "You're fine!" and "You'll be pregnant in to time!" When things got a little tricky he didn't want anything to do with us anymore. Dr. B is in the same practice as Dr. T so I hope that Dr. T isn't really ticked.

I saw Dr. B two Mondays ago. He was super nice and listened to everything and took me seriously. He says he thinks I have a problem with ovulation because my periods are so irregular. Guess what - nobody ever bothered to check that out before! I guess everybody just made assumptions based on one semenalysis and the fact that I have endo.

Here is what my life has been like since:

Monday: Appointment with Dr. B. I have an ultrasound to check for cysts on my ovaries. I also get referred to a physical therapist to work on my pelvic floor issues. I always assumed that it was endo that made pelvic exams so painful lately, but Dr. B thinks it may be tension from having so many surgeries and people poking around down there. Who knew they could do physical therapy on your lady parts?

Thursday: Dr. B leaves me a message saying the ultrasound showed several small cysts on my ovaries. I am probably not ovulating and I might have PCOS. Since he is leaving town for a week and half, he says he will try to call me Friday morning.

Friday: I wake up with all the symptoms of a raging UTI. I freak out, leave work right away and go to Dr. B's office to leave a urine sample. On my way back to the car, Dr. B calls me - probably from the the airport (did I mention he is WONDERFUL?) and tells me again that he thinks I am not ovulating. He calls in a prescription for Clomid and tells me to go back into the office and have some bloodwork to check my thyroid, prolactin, and progesterone. I am super super psyched to try Clomid. Finally - something that is affordable and might actually work!

Friday afternoon: The nurse calls me and tells me I have red blood cells in my urine but that otherwise there is no sign of infection. I figure that they're probably right (I have a crazy bladder).

Saturday morning: Once again I wake up feeling like I'm going to pee my pants any second. I pick up the phone to call Dr. B's office again. Turns out the nurse that called me Friday called me back an hour later and said that the urine was retested and that this time there were both red blood cells and white blood cells and so now they think I do have a UTI after all. Supposedly there is a prescription for antibiotics waiting for me at my pharmacy. My husband goes to the pharmacy. He picks up my Clomid, but no antibiotics have been called in. Hours of phone tag go by while I try to deal with Dr. B's horribly incompetent office staff. I had finally given up and was ready to go to the ER (my UTI's are really really bad) when the pharmacy finally called me to tell me the prescription was ready.

Saturday night: I get an email from Dr. B. Apparently my progesterone levels suggest that I did ovulate - maybe really early. He says he'll call when he gets back to town and to forget about taking the Clomid. I am devastated. I was excited to have something to blame for not being pregnant and I was even more excited to hold in my hands the pills that might get me pregnant. Now I am back to square one.

Wendnesday: I get an email from Dr. T. Since Dr. B was away, Dr. T was the one who reviewed my urine sample. He says that the culture was negative for bacteria. I did not have a UTI after all. No one seems concerned about my symptoms or all the red and white blood cells in my urine. I feel like an idiot. I also suspect that Dr. T is pissed at me for changing to Dr. B.

I am so tired of getting yanked around and around and around. Why does everything have to be so damn hard? The doctors can't make up their minds about anything and I can't even get a prescription filled without a ton of drama. And why does everything I try to do for myself lately backfire so miserably? The acupuncture catastrophe was bad enough but this is a new low. I'll never get pregnant without ART because sex is totally out of the question. It already made me feel like a failure because we are infertile. Now it makes me feel like a failure with a raging UTI.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Acupuncture - 10/08

After the IUI failed I did a lot of soul searching and decided that I couldn't live with turning over my life savings to a jackass like Dr. M. Currently, our stance is that if we are going to pursue IUI's and IVF we are going to try and do it on the insurance company's dime. We are pretty sure that I can get a job teaching at public school next year (even though I hate to leave my nice private school) but we are hoping that DH can find something before that. Our state has good laws - they just don't apply to the small businesses where we work. I know it won't be free even with insurance - but at least it won't be quite as bad.

In the meantime we decided to consult a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. TCM/acupuncture is supposed to be able to work wonders for endometriosis. I made the dumb mistake of forgetting that I am the unluckiest person ever and saying out loud that even if it didn't get us pregnant "it couldn't possibly hurt me."

At my very first visit, the very first needle hit the median nerve in my right wrist. The acupuncturist said I would feel a "zing" and boy, did I ever! I didn't realize that white hot burning pain wasn't normal and pretty soon the endorphins kicked in and I actually felt really really good and kind of drunk. A few days later, I could barely move my hand and my doctor told me I had nerve damage. NERVE DAMAGE. And it might be permanent. I wore a splint for a few weeks and felt like the most pathetic person alive. Luckily, it healed just fine.

I'm still going to acupuncture. I sincerely believe that it was just an accident. Even if it happens again I am perfectly willing to give my right arm to get pregnant. If it doesn't work then at least it makes me feel a little better.

The RE Is a Sadistic Bastard - 9/08

Since we are not millionaires, we were very upfront with the RE (Dr. M) about not having insurance coverage for infertility or testing. At first I thought he was being really nice by offering to do a natural-cycle IUI before moving on to clomid cycles. He said a natural cycle would save us a lot of money on medications. In retrospect I find this really funny because I recently filled a prescription for Clomid and it costs about twenty bucks. We were already paying for the Ovidrel and the Prochieve during this supposedly "natural" cycle so I don't think another twenty bucks would have killed us. I'm pretty sure we got hosed and I'll explain why later on.

In the meantime, here's another reason why I loathe Dr. M. Let me warn you in advance that this is going to be graphic and a little icky. I realize that a rectal exam is supposed to be a normal part of a pelvic exam and I have had a doctor or two in the past that did them. I do not enjoy them but I have always managed to be pretty stoic about that sort of stuff as long as I know its coming at least 5 seconds in advance. Dr. M apparently thinks that rectal exams are better when they are a complete and total surprise. He actually laughed a little at the expression on my face and said something about it "being better not to warn people in advance." I'll bet its "better" you sadistic bastard!

In all seriousness, that was a truly horrible experience - not because it was painful or uncomfortable (and it was) but because it left me without a shred of dignity. I walked around in a daze for the rest of the afternoon and for several days I kept replaying it over and over and over and feeling sick. I even had some nightmares. I don't know why it bothered me so much because at this point I'm used to whole teams of people poking around down there. I think it was just the way he laughed about it that made me think that this guy was definitely not trustworthy.

So about the IUI. Yeah, it was a pain in the ass getting probed up the hoo-ha and stuck in the arm with a needle every morning for $250 a pop. But I don't dare complain because I know that IVF is much, much worse and I am pretty sure we're headed there at some point. The IUI failed but it was interesting for a couple of reasons:

1. We learned that I have several small cysts on my ovaries. I wish I could tell you what they are and why they are there but I have no idea.

2. DH may not have a morphology problem after all. On the big day, DH managed to whip up a sample with 400 million swimmers. I'm not sure if the nurse who did the IUI understood our question thoroughly but she did say that they were all "good ones." My new Ob/Gyn seems to think they would have had to be all good ones to make it through the sperm washing but I don't know who to trust these days.

Here's why I wonder if we were hosed from the get go. All the books I've read seem to think that you're supposed to get inseminated at least twice after you have the hCG shot. We only had it once. I've also heard there are supposed to be plugs put over your cervix to keep the sperm inside your uterus - they told me its a one-way valve which I find VERY hard to believe considering how well I tolerated the catheter. I don't think my cervix is that tight. Most importantly - it seems like other women's IUI's are performed only after they get a positive OPK. They told me the hCG shot would work in the next 24-48 hours. My IUI was at exactly 24 hours post-hCG shot. If washed sperm only lives 6 hours and eggs only live 1 hour and I didn't ovulate till 45 hours - well, you catch my drift... If anybody out there reads this and knows something about this please (please!) write to me.

In short - I think our RE figured that the longer he put off doing any real testing and the longer he put off doing any real medication, the longer he could charge us lots and lots of money for ultrasounds and IUI's that probably wouldn't work. We would have seen him again in three months after three more failed (and very expensive) IUI's and he would have looked really surprised and really sorry that it didn't work. And then maybe at that point he would taken his finger out of his own ass and gotten down to figuring out why we can't get pregnant.

Our Infertility Becomes Official - 5/08

Last May we made an "infertility" appointment with my Ob/Gyn, Dr. T. It had been six months since my surgery and a year since we started trying. DH was sent for a semenalysis that came back with just 5% less than normal morphology. At that point we were referred to an RE.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fun With Probes - 3/08

Last spring we read about this little machine called the OvaCue that is supposed to tell you exactly when you are ovulating. It has a little wand that you stick on your tongue every morning that predicts when you will ovulate and a vaginal wand that is supposed to confirm ovulation. It comes in a little black bag and probably confuses the hell out of airport security.

I'm not sure I ever got the hang of it. It kept telling me that I wasn't fertile and that my fertile days weren't until days 11-12, and then on day 10 it would tell me I already ovulated. I also managed to cut the software CD in half in my frenzy to open the box it came in so I guess I'll never know if my results were normal or not.

Work Drama - 12/07

Since I'm a teacher at a really small private school and I love my job I was very open about trying to have a baby right from the beginning. I knew it would be hard to cover my maternity leave and giving a lot of advance notice seemed like the right thing to do. At first that seemed like a huge mistake. My boss very kindly told me that my next year's contract would be withheld unless DH and I agreed to stop trying for 6 more months to avoid a mid-year baby. Obviously I was very very upset and stopping wasn't an option for us - those same 6 months were supposed to be our best shot. I prepared myself to look for a new job and told my boss that I was ready to leave if I had to. I guess I called her bluff because she gave me my contract anyway and said she hoped we got pregnant. I was really angry about this for a long time - and the whole thing was morally reprehensible - but I think that fertile people just really really don't get it and she was trying to act in the best interest of the school. I should note that since that happened she has been very supportive.

So I kept my job and we kept trying.

My Second Laparscopy - 11/07

After about six months of trying I went in to see Dr. T for my annual exam. He decided to do another laparoscopy to remove any new endometrial implants.

My first laparoscopy was a nightmare. I had a different doctor back then - and in the end he was a really great doctor - but at first I think he thought I was just a big crybaby about cramps. An ultrasound revealed a tiny cyst on my ovary and I kept raising hell about my cramps so he decided to do surgery. As it turned out, I was chock full of endometriosis! I was really happy to have a diagnosis that proved I wasn't a wussy but recovery was a lot harder and more painful than I had anticipated. I really couldn't use my abdominal muscles at all and so my husband (back then he was still my boyfriend) had to carry me back and forth from the bathroom and even lower me onto the toilet. He did this about a zillion times since I immediately got a bladder infection from the catheter they used during surgery. After about three days I decided to grow a pair and start behaving like a human being again. DH made me some soup and gave me a bath because by this time I smelled really awful. About three minutes in I leaned over and threw up all over the side of the bathtub and while he was cleaning it up I nearly drowned in six inches of water. Apparently you (or at least I) need your stomach muscles to hold your head up.

Anyway - at this point I probably do sound like a wussy. I promise I'm not. The back story is only important because I was really dreading my second surgery and it turned out fine! The worst part was that they made me do a bowel prep ahead of time and that was - for lack of a better word - awe inspiring. I didn't realize that I was supposed to dilute the laxatives in water ahead of time, so not only did it taste really nasty but the effects were a little more concentrated. I was still running back and forth to the bathroom five minutes before my surgery and I was really worried I would poop myself on the operating table. Maybe I did and they just didn't have the heart to tell me.

The hospital up here where we live is about the nicest hospital I have ever been to. Everybody, right down to the janitor, will stop what they are doing to ask you how you are and make sure that you don't need any help. That didn't keep a few mistakes from almost happening. At first the nurses kept telling me I was going to be awake for the operation with only twilight sedation. I figured I could handle that (see - I promise I'm not a wussy). Next, somebody walked in and said, "So, is this Dr. T's hysterectomy patient?" (!!!) But in the end it all got sorted out and everybody had a good chuckle and my surgery went swimmingly. I was hardly uncomfortable at all - I think afterwords I took a whopping two Advil. We drove six hours to Thanksgiving dinner two days later and I went back to my teaching job the next week. The worst part is that I guess the more times you have anesthesia the crazier it makes you and I really don't remember anything for about two weeks.

Dr. T removed some endometrial implants from the usual places and even found some on my bladder (which explained why I kept thinking I had a UTI every time my period was starting) but he didn't see anything that he thought would keep us from conceiving. So we went home and tried again.

The Journey Begins - 5/07

I guess I should write a little about who I am and what I've done so far to be a parent.

About a year and a half ago my husband and I decided to start trying for a baby. A laparoscopy before we were married confirmed that I have endometriosis so we were prepared for it to take awhile before we got pregnant. Of course we never really thought that "awhile" might drag on and start to look more and more like "probably never."

I dutifully made my "pre-conception" appointment with my ob/gyn, Dr. T. Given my history he decided to do a hysterosalpingogram before we started trying just to make sure my tubes were open. For anyone who doesn't know, an HSG is a really fun procedure where the doctor inserts a catheter through your cervix and shoots dye through your uterus and fallopian tubes. Its kind of neat because you can watch the whole thing unfold on X-Ray and everything is so much smaller than you think it will be! For a lot of women its really excruciatingly painful but I had a pretty easy time with it. I guess I have that to be thankful for. Anyway, my HSG was completely normal and Dr. T gave us the green light to start trying.

And we tried. And tried. And tried. I was starting to have cramps all the time so I was pretty sure my endometriosis was back. Also, I was trying to track my cycles using a basal body thermometer and I was getting funny results. Patience has never been my strong point and so I started freaking out very very early.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why I Started This Blog

I don't know if this blog will be read by anybody at all - but at the very least it will give me a place to rant and rave and at the very best maybe it will help somebody get through a tough day.

Last night, after an especially disastrous week that I'm sure will be described in later posts, I was busy torturing myself with infertility statistics and my husband was watching football. That horrible Volkswagen/Brooke Shields ad came on for what felt like the hundredth time in an hour and I completely snapped. In a fit of blind rage, I googled something along the lines of "Infertility is making me freaking insane!!!" and ended up spending the rest of the night reading the stories of other people who, like me, are trying their best to slog their way through infertility hell with dignity and sanity.

First things first. Thank you to all the other bloggers out there who have shared their stories. I'm sharing mine now because I don't believe that infertility is something to suffer silently and I want my suffering committed to public record in hopes that it will make life more bearable for me and for anybody out there who's going through the same thing.

I want you to know that I am blogging anonymously ONLY because I don't want my ranting and raving to hurt the people in my life who do their best to support me but sometimes/usually/always (depending on who they are) say hurtful things. My initials aren't really LB and if you do figure out who I am I hope you don't take anything here too personally.

Additionally, I want to help raise public awareness and change crappy health insurance laws. I'm hoping that this blog is my first step towards finding other like-minded individuals who can point me in the right direction. I know you are out there doing good work - if you come across this blog please contact me and let me know what I can do.

And that is why I started this blog.