Sunday, November 30, 2014


I hope this post finds all of you well!  It was supposed to post on Thanksgiving day but for whatever reason it didn't....I'm still figuring out the ins and outs of Blogger, I guess.  We had a busy holiday, hosting my parents from Wednesday-Saturday, and my sister and brother-in-law last night, so it's nice to have our house back!  I also cooked (from scratch, of course) an entire Thanksgiving dinner for 19 people and I must say that I did a pretty darn good job!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.  I can't really describe why, but I've always loved it.  There's something about getting together with your whole family for the sole purpose of spending time together and eating good food that makes me really happy.  In addition, Thanksgiving gives me the opportunity to reflect on all that I am thankful for.

I'm thankful for my husband.  We have completely opposite personalities.  We love passionately and we fight passionately, but we compliment each other, we are strong where the other is weak, we embrace each other's differences, and we challenge each other intellectually.  While I can't say that I'm thankful for infertility, I'm incredibly thankful that he is the one I got to go through it with.  We are perfect for each other and I wouldn't want to go through life with anyone else by my side.

I am thankful for our health.  Allergies (me) and high blood pressure (hubs) aside, we are a relatively healthy couple.  Not everybody gets to be healthy, so we are very lucky.

I'm thankful for family.  I have three wonderful sisters who are all strong, independent women.  I'm thankful for my dad who showed me the value of hard work.  I'm thankful for my mom.  Things with her haven't always been awesome, but I've made peace with her and we have a decent relationship now.  For such a long time she had an uncanny knack for making me feel like I was the biggest failure on the face of he earth, and that hasn't changed too much, but now I recognize how she operates and I no longer react to her games.  I'm thankful that I finally figured it out.  I'm also thankful for my inlaws.  I really did luck out in this category.  I like them, they like me.  While I won't go as far as to say I want to be their neighbors or go on vacation with them, but we do have a good relationship.  Not everybody gets a good relationship with their family and I'm thankful for it.

I'm thankful for our financial situation.  We're not rich and we never will be, but we can afford to pay all of our bills, we live in a nice house, we drive safe cars, we have food in our pantry, we have excellent medical insurance, and we can afford a few extras.  We are a lot more fortunate than a lot of people, and for that I am thankful.

I'm thankful for my job.  I have a job that I love, essentially my dream job.  I worked really hard to get where I am today and it required a lot of sacrifices for both me and my husband, but I'm here and I love it.  I feel like I make a difference with my work and most of the time I can't believe that they pay me to do it!  I realize that not everybody gets to go to a job that they love (or even like) which makes me even more thankful.

I'm thankful for the little things in life.  I love to savor a leisurely cup (or four) of coffee in the morning, before hubs rolls out of bed, while I read the news, check blogs, etc. I'm incredibly thankful for that alone time.  I'm thankful for a glass or two of wine with dinner or to help me relax in the evening.  I'm thankful that I have the time to exercise regularly.  I'm thankful for friends who support me and make me think.  I wish I got to see them more often

I may not have kids, but I do have a great life.  I have so much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Year of Change

So this post is going to talk about periods.  If you're not comfortable with that, you should probably just skip it.  Don't say I didn't warn you! ;) 

November of last year was when everything started to change (reproductively speaking).  This time last year my husband and I had pretty much lost hope that we were going to be able to get pregnant without help.  We'd been trying to conceive for long enough that if it was going to happen, it probably would have.  During that whole time I didn't even have a single late period, that is until last November.  I've always had 28 day cycles so when I hit 29 days I thought something might be up.  I told hubs.  He got excited.  I was scared and a little bit excited.  We got pregnancy tests, the good ones, and waited until the next morning to test.  Hubs got up early with me and I tested.  After the longest three minutes of my life I looked at it.  Negative.  He was still hopeful that it was just too early.  I knew that if a test wasn't positive by 16 days past ovulation that it wasn't going to turn positive or if it did it probably wasn't a viable pregnancy anyway.  The next morning there was still no period so I tested again, even though I knew what the result would be.  Negative, as expected.  I went back to bed and we laid there and cried.  I think that was the day that TTC broke us.  I had to wait two more days before my period finally arrived, and arrive it did, the day hubs and I were hosting Thanksgiving dinner for approximately 15 people.  To top it off, it was a very "memorable" period, and I'm a person who has had really bad periods for my entire life.  

So not only was I not pregnant that cycle, it soon became apparent that my textbook 28 day cycles were a thing of the past.  My periods were changing, in duration, in intensity, and in flow.  None for the better.  My regular OB/GYN wasn't the slightest bit concerned because, while abnormal for me, everything was still in the range of normal.  We were referred to the RE who was also unconcerned.  So I decided that if they weren't worried about anything I shouldn't be either.  We went through all of the testing, got shit results, and my periods continued to be inconsistent and weird.  They are still weird and heavy, and near crippling cramps a year later.  Oh, and hot flashes, can't forget those.  The solution seems to be to put me back on birth control, but that's not an option that I'm really open to exploring because I'm one of those people who didn't do well on birth control.  At this point I don't know what's up.  I know that something isn't right but I don't know what to say to make them take me seriously.  My fear is that this is the beginning of peri-menopause.  Is that illogical or are my concerns founded?  All of my female relatives had hysterectomies in their mid 30s so I don't even know what my family's average age for menopause is.  If anybody reading has gone though/is going through peri-menopause/menopause I would love to hear your two cents.  (I should mention that given my test results, early menopause is expected, I just didn't expect it this soon.)

A lot has changed since last Thanksgiving.  At this point I'm just going with the flow and taking things on as they come up.  Mercifully I will not have to deal with my period this Thanksgiving.  As an added bonus I should be in the clear for Christmas too.  There's not really a point to this post, I've just been thinking a lot about how last Thanksgiving was when it started to sink in that kids probably weren't in the cards for us, and how this Thanksgiving we're firmly there.  Thanks for sticking with me through this less than pleasant conversation about my biological functions.

Monday, November 17, 2014


A few years ago, back when I thought I would/could actually get pregnant, I bought a crib.  It can be categorized as an impulse buy.  I was at IKEA one day, it was on sale, and it was "the one," so I bought it.  It's different, quirky (it's bright green!) and perfect.  Ever since then it's been stashed away in the guest room closet still in the box.  It was a silly purchase and I never should have bought it.  I should get rid of it.  But I can't.  Not yet.  It doesn't make sense.

I talked to my sister yesterday (the one who is due in February) and she mentioned that they needed to buy a crib.  I usually buy a car seat for all of my nieces and nephews because all of my sisters are terrible drivers and I want their babies to be safe.  I've already been shopping for one as I can tolerate looking at baby stuff because I want to find a good deal.  I offhandedly mentioned their need for a crib to Hubs, who suggested that we give them the crib taking up space in our closet instead of buying a car seat.  Totally blindsided.  I felt the sob growing deep in my chest as the tears started to roll down my cheeks.  I collapsed on to the couch.  I couldn't speak through the tears, sobs, and snot.  I cried until I didn't have anymore tears left in me.  It was intense.  It was visceral.  It was ugly.  All over a stupid crib.  

My reaction surprised me.  Poor Hubs.  It surprised him too, obviously.  Now, I'll admit, this is a good idea, and the logical/rational side of my brain knows this.  It would give them something that they need, would clear out space in our closet, and we wouldn't have to spend any money on the gift.  Hubs definitely wasn't out of line to suggest it.  But that crib was for my baby, our baby, not somebody else's baby.  I just can't handle the thought.....

I wish I had some reflections or growth or something better to share.  I don't feel like I'm making much progress in grieving.  I'm in the thick of my grief right now and it's ugly.  I'm trying my best to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Today is better.  Hopefully tomorrow will be too.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Laughing at the absurdity of it all

In my last post I wrote about how two of my sisters are currently pregnant and how I suspect the third is as well.  As I've processed all of this I've tried to see things from their perspective.

The sister with the baby due in February found out in September that her job would likely be eliminated and her company will close by the end of the year.  Even though it's illegal to discriminate against someone for being pregnant during the hiring process, I think we can all agree that she's unlikely to find a new job before the baby is born.  Right now I think that her plan is just to hang on for as long as she can and then collect unemployment while on maternity leave (so she will at least have some income coming in) and then start really looking for a job after the baby is born.  It must be scary to be facing a layoff while pregnant.  I certainly wouldn't want to trade positions with her.

The sister with the baby due in June, my youngest sister....I'll be honest, I'm having a hard time not judging her.  She's 24, hasn't worked in over a year because she got fed up with her previous job and quit without a backup plan.  Her husband is also unemployed and they live in my parent's basement.  They already has two kids, both unplanned, and yet weren't using any protection at all.  You would think that after two kids they would have a clue how babies are made, but I guess not.  It must be scary to be facing a third unplanned child (they'll have three under 4.5 when this baby is born) when there are no prospects for employment and you live in somebody else's house.  I wouldn't want to trade positions with them (though I can argue that I never would have put myself in that position in the first place).  Let's all keep our fingers crossed that after this baby is born that they elect for some form of permanent or semi permanent preventative measures so there isn't a fourth child that they can't support in the future.

As far as my third sister goes, I don't know if she's pregnant or not.  She's very private so the chances are good that if she is pregnant that I (or anyone else) won't find out officially until she is darn good and ready to share the news.  My Spidey Sense is telling me that she probably is though, and my Spidey Sense is rarely wrong.  My brother-in-law did share with my husband that they had an early miscarriage over the summer, so I just feel like the timing is right for her to get pregnant again.  While her pregnancy will hurt, particularly if I get the trifecta of sisters pregnant, hubs and I will be genuinely excited for them.

And then there's my situation.  It really couldn't be more different from my sister's situation.  Funny how that works.

I've been thinking about  how fertility is completely random, and there is no explanation why some people get pregnant so easily and some can't get pregnant at all.  I think that if logic or a higher power had anything to do with it that I would certainly be a better candidate for parenting than my youngest sister.  There is no good reason that someone addicted to drugs, who has had children taken away from them for abuse or neglect, or somebody who lives off of the taxpayer's dime is able to get pregnant easily but that someone who is educated, employed, and financially stable isn't able to.  There's just no explanation.  My default reaction for the majority of this week has been to just laugh at the absurdity of it all, because if I don't laugh, I'll cry (or drink).

Now if I could just get my mother to stop shoving fertility treatment and adoption down our throats.  Fertility treatment has a low probability of success for our situation thus we don't see it as being a good investment.  As far as adoption goes, it's just not an option that we have any desire to pursue, and I don't feel like we need to explain our reasons to anybody.  We're perfectly confident and secure in the decisions we've made, even though those decisions mean that we will never be parents, and I don't see why others are having such a hard time with it.  The last time I talked to her I told her that I wasn't going to discuss our choices with her and I requested that she not try to make our fertility a topic of discussion.  She said she'd continue to pray for us (she thinks prayer means something, I think it is a big joke, but my thoughts on religion will have to wait for another post).  Most days I regret even sharing our issues with her.

I'll see my sisters for the first time since August in a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving.  So I have until then to process this enough to not have a public meltdown and fine-tune my 'shut-up' filter so that I don't say something that is likely to come across as judgement and/or hurt feelings. Thankfully we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner so I will be busy cooking for 25-30 and hopefully won't have much time for conversation.   I want to be in a position where I can be happy for my sisters, but I don't think that's going to happen before Thanksgiving, and I'm not going to rush it.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sometimes life sucks

I have three sisters.  I knew one was pregnant, I found out today that the second is pregnant, and suspect that the third is pregnant as well.  I want to move to the moon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Why egg freezing is important to me

For the past several weeks there has been a lot in the news about egg freezing. Specifically Facebook and Google announcing that they are going to add egg freezing to their employee benefit portfolio.  This caused an avalanche in criticism (e.g., this) as well as kudos (e.g., this, this) for the companies involved. Essentially there was a whole lot about how this is a huge perk for women because they can work hard in their careers without having to worry about potential future infertility as well as how it benefited the companies because they wouldn't lose employees to parenthood.  One thing that was glaringly absent is talk of the short and long term health risks for women who choose to undergo elective egg freezing.  Enter Pamela, an ever-present voice for women, who wrote this and this and a few days later Josephine Johnston and Miriam Zoll wrote this. All of these badass women wrote about these exact issues. For some reason the egg freezing debate really resonated with me.  It's an issue that I've been doing a lot of reading about over the past week or so, mainly in (nerd alert) bioethics and law journals with a few medical journals thrown in for good measure, and I can honestly say that the more I read the more infuriated that I get.

So why have I devoted so much time to an issue that has little impact on my day to day life?  Because it could have.  You see, ten years ago I was 23, two years out of college and had my first grown-up job and paycheck.  I threw myself headfirst into my work.  I wasn't in a steady relationship and babies weren't even on my radar (well, except in the sense that I wanted to avoid one at all costs).  Same at 24 and 25.  I started a Master's program and I was dating a guy who was nice, but I was nowhere near ready to settle down and babies still weren't a blip on my radar.  At 26 I met Hubs, quit my much loved job, moved to a different state, took a huge pay cut, and went back to school full time.  Preventing babies was again the only item on my reproductive agenda.  By the time we started trying in earnest, right before my 31st birthday, we couldn't have known that my ovaries had already all but crapped themselves.  So that brings me to egg freezing.  If someone had told me at 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 that I could freeze my eggs to potentially preserve my fertility later down the line I would have, at minimum, given it serious thought, and maybe even gone through with it.  If it were a perk offered by my employer I almost definitely would have taken advantage of it.  Most of the available, easily accessible information conveniently glosses over the health risks and success statistics, and 23 year old me probably wouldn't even have picked up on it.  I mean, it sounds like a good insurance policy, right?  Maybe it could have made the situation that we're currently in a little more manageable?  The likely answer to that question is a resounding no!

I don't think that's uncommon for someone in their 20s to make big decisions without carefully considering all aspects.  I know that I certainly didn't carefully consider all of my decisions at that age.  At the end of the day, I'm so glad that I didn't have the option to freeze my eggs and I'm glad that I didn't have to make that decision.  But women from this point forward do have the option to freeze their eggs readily available and will have to make the decision, and that's why it is so important to get the word out by whatever means possible.  Egg freezing isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Reflections

Friday night was my neighborhood's Trick-or-Treat.  Understandably I wasn't really looking forward to it, as I think most in my position can relate to.  I didn't want to do it at all but Hubs said that he didn't want to be "that house" so we did.  So I did what any self-respecting infertile would do and poured a big glass of wine (into a tumbler with a lid so as not to draw attention to myself) and went outside with Hubs to pass out candy.  Mercifully it was cold and started raining an hour into it so we got to go inside early and veg out in front of the TV.  Overall I handled it very well, better than expected, and I don't think it was the wine.  I won't go as far as to say that I enjoyed it, but it wasn't bad.  I think it was a small victory.  What I didn't handle well was seeing all of the pictures of kids in costume on Facebook.  I don't know if this is because I know these people whereas I don't know the trick-or-treaters or what.  I can't help but compare hubs and I to some of the people.  We could have kids as old as or older than their kids.  We never will, and it hurts.  I just hope I handle Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as I did Halloween, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I take one or both pretty hard.

Now my only problem is a bunch of leftover candy, but my plan is to pawn that off on my students!  I'm confident that won't be hard!