Thursday, May 31, 2007

IVF and Adoption...that is what is left

It has taken me three days to write this blog. I have had more trouble writing this blog than any other blog I have written.

I had my follow up with my RE on Wednesday. Doesn't look good for me right now.

He told me it was too risky to move forward with IUI. There would probably be many more cancelled cycles either due to lack of follicle maturation or having too many mature follicles. (Finding the happy medium between the two is going to be very difficult) The risk of multiples (more than 2) is very high and I would probably be faced with multiple miscarriages. *Boy doesn't that sound cheery*

So, our options are adoption and IVF (InVitro Fertilization). One IVF alone costs $16,000. Granted, Dr. R said he feels very strongly that I would get multiple embryos (which we could freeze and use at a later date) which kind of softens the financial blow a little bit...but...$16,000!!!

It isn't just the money either. It is everything. I haven't been able to allow myself to mourn the last cancelled cycle as well as this news from Dr. R. I am sick of being sad! I am tired of being bitter. I went to the grocery store last night and every pregnant woman I saw, I made a face at. (not to her face, of course cowardly behind her back) Every pregnancy test commercial on TV I flip the bird to. It is childish, immature, and ridiculous but I don't know how else to handle this.

Every time I see previews for the movie "Knocked Up" I want to put my fist through a wall or throw up all over our 42" T.V. I don't want to watch T.V. because I am scared I will see a baby or pregnancy test commercial or birth control commercial. I don't want to go in public because I don't want to see pregnant women, newborn babies or just kids in general.

I just want to dig a tunnel to some deserted island and go there. By myself. So I can kick, scream, cry, throw my temper tantrum, cuss, bite, throw sand etc. I want to have a full on two year old's temper tantrum. I want to bang my head on the wall, stomp my feet, cry until there is snot covering my face, and hold my breath until I pass out.

Because I don't how to handle this. I don't know how to handle the sadness and depression I feel, I don't know how to handle the inadequacy I feel, I don't know how to handle the shame I feel, I don't know how to handle the anger I feel, I don't know how to handle my church and my *tested* faith, I don't know how to handle the fact that I don't feel like a woman. At all.

I have started doing research on both IVF and adoption. We will be attending an IVF orientation class either in late June or July. I have also contacted some local adoption agencies and have requested information packets from them. **sigh** Sometimes I wonder if all of this shit is worth it. I don't know how much more of this I can handle emotionally.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I've been tagged...

First of all, I want to sincerely thank Melissa @ The Opposite of Knocked Up for tagging me. For giving me something to get all my mind off of this infertility crap!!! You, my dear are wonderful!

1.) I, like my friend Melissa, also have an anxiety disorder. If I try to call Mr. Clinger and he doesn't answer, I always think the worst. He was in a car accident, he got hurt at work, he is leaving me for someone name goes through my head. I do this constantly, multiple times a day. Last weekend I couldn't get a hold of my mom (she lives in Kansas) and I automatically thought that a tornado had gone through my family farm and destroyed my childhood home along with my parents, then I had to keep telling myself that if that was the case, I would already know about it. Someone would have called me. *Pretty sick huh?* I am finding that as I get older, this is actually getting worse. I freak out in large crowds (like baseball games, shopping malls) My heart starts racing, palms begin to sweat and my breathing becomes very rapid. It is ridiculous!
I absolutely HATE checking the mail! It seems every time I check the mail, it is just bad news. I actually have a tiny little panic attack each time I check the mail.
Same things goes for people knocking at my door (unless I am expecting someone) When my doorbell rings I panic. I even go as far as putting *no soliciting* signs on my door in an attempt to keep solicitors from ringing my doorbell sending me into a frenzy...they still ring the doorbell...assholes.

2.) When I am alone at home, I turn on music and sing and dance around like I am a famous artist at a concert. This started when I was in Junior High and I still enjoy it to this day. My common music choices are Britney Spears, Allison Krause, Alanis Morrisette, Jodi Masina and Jessica Simpson *I know...pathetic) (Although I don't do it very often since we have a roommate and she is always at our house)

3.) I still sleep with a stuffed teddy bear. I know, it is a little pathetic, but please revert back to number one and my anxiety disorder. I got this bear from my parents when I was very sick in the hospital. It is my security bear and for some odd reason snuggling up to my bear always makes me feel better.

4.) I am the youngest of six, my mom is the youngest of six and my father is the youngest of six. (Yeah, I am an infertile living in the land of the fertile) I always thought it was kind of cool that we were all the youngest of six.

5.) I love doing crafty things. I love to paint, scrapbook, sew, take pictures, build things you name it, I love crafts!!! In our previous house Mr. Clinger built me a special crafting bench and I had my very own craft room. I kick myself for not using it as much as I could have. Now that I don't have it, I miss it terribly! (Again this is something I don't do very often)

6.) I love changing my "image" I like to change the way I dress, my hair style (or color) the way I wear my makeup, the shoes I wear, you name it. I like to change things up.

7.) I am terrified of the water. I have never had a near drowning experience or anything, I just don't like the water. When I was younger, my family used to go canoeing down the Illinois river every Labor Day weekend. On one of these trips, the canoe I was in scraped on the rocks at the bottom of the river and I completely freaked out. I started screaming to my dad (who was in a different canoe across the river) "Save me daddy, save me!" To this day my family teases me about this. I haven't been in a canoe since. I also didn't learn how to swim under water until about 6 years ago when my niece and nephew (6 and 7 at the time) taught me how. (Very humbling experience) I live near Phoenix AZ and in the summer time everyone goes floating down the Salt River. I have never done this. I will never do this. No matter how much my husband or friends beg me to do this...I never will. You couldn't get me drunk enough to float down the river (where people drown every year) in a flimsy black rubber tube ! :-)

8.) I have this desire and passion to help women in need. Right now, as I struggle with infertility, I am a counselor for women who are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Most of them are unmarried teenagers. (my youngest right now is 15) It tears me apart, sometimes leaves me emotionless and cold for days, but I just can't stop. I love being able to use my past and my experience to help other women even though sometimes it absolutely destroys me.

Emily @ Weber family, Dawn @ The life of a Miracle Baby and Kelly @ Do you have any kids? you have officially been tagged!

Rules: (The first) Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. (The second) People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. (The third) At the end of your blog, you need to choose some folks to get tagged and list their names.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm still here...physically anyway

Just wanted to check in. Don't even know if anyone reads this anymore, but just in case...
Barely it seems. I am still on a much needed (although much loathed) trying to conceive break. That's right. No shots. No hoo ha probing. No Exam Room 4.
Just me in all of my overweight, anovulatory, infertile glory.

I feel very isolated right now. For the last 4 years I have belonged to a "group" of some sort. When Pace and I got engaged I was the "bride" in the Wedding Planning group. I surrounded myself with women who were picking out there dresses, colors, ministers, music, etc. It was great to have that connection with other women.
When we first started trying to conceive, I belonged to this TTC (trying to conceive) group. A group of people who were traveling down the same road as I. Starting out on this amazing quest to become a mommy.

Then, when I was unable to become a mommy, I moved on to the TTTC (Trouble Trying to Conceive) group. Ahhhhh, I belonged again, I had a group I could call my own. Women who were facing the same struggles and adversity as I.

Now...I don't belong anywhere. Not in the wedding planning group, not in the TTC group, not in the TTTC group, not in the mommy group, nowhere.

I haven't been able to bring myself to go to church for the last 2 weeks. I used to love going to church. That was my pick-me-up for the week. That is where I felt alive, revived and in control of my life. Now I just feel guilty for not going, guilty for not wanting to go, guilty for not tithing and am just waiting for my punishment.

I think back to High School and college and am frighteningly aware of this cycle. This cycle I remember so well. I have been down this road so many times. For many different reasons, but so many times.
She's back.
I really am miserable to be around right now. I pity those who have to be around me. I try to put on a happy face as much as possible, but inside I am just writhing in anger and frustration.

I'm smoking again. I lasted five months and then broke. I can't tell my family cause they would be so disappointed. (then probably tell me that smoking is probably the reason I can't have kids) I don't smoke a lot, one or two in the evening in my backyard with Pace. Just something to take the edge off. Something to make me feel like I belong somewhere. The best part about it is that Pace doesn't judge. He never has. Even after all of the times I have screwed up, after all of the emotional rants, the tears, the screaming, the yelling, he has never judged me. Just loved me and accepted me for who I am.

I do have my dr. appt. tomorrow. I haven't really wanted to put in a lot of time or energy into creating a list of questions to ask. that I have procrastinated that down to the last minute, I will have to do that tonight. Sit down and figure out what I should/need to ask, I have to dive back into that open wound and explore it, at least for a little while before I can cover it up with dirt again and pretend it isn't there.

So, I may not be blogging much, but I am reading your blogs, I am still here supporting and cheering on my fellow infertile myrtles who are vicariously carrying the TTC torch high and proud in my absence. Please know that I love each of you and am hoping and praying that this current cycle you are on will be THE ONE!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Boats and Europe

I haven't posted in a while just cause I haven't been in the mood. I probably won't be posting much over the next couple of months. We have a dr. appt on the 30th to meet with our actual RE (not a nurse) the REAL dr. Hopefully at that time we can figure out what/if anything we will do with future cycles.

I am hoping he doesn't say IVF. There is no way we could afford it.

The more I think about it, the more I think maybe we should just live childless. Save the money, tour Europe, buy a boat, a new truck, some jet skis, a cabin in the mountains.

Hmmmmm. Doesn't quite seem right does it? I always had this vision of buying a little quad or little dirt bike for our son so that he and Pace could go out and Pace could teach him how to ride. nope...all of those toys just wouldn't be the same without kids to enjoy them with.

Except the trip to Europe. That would be perfect without kids!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I choose to lump it.

Well Ladies and Gents, I have done it again. I have survived a Mother's Day and failed a cycle in a matter of 2 days. My appointment yesterday didn't go well. I still have lots of follicles, but they are all small. Actually smaller than they were on Saturday.

So...cycle cancelled...
After spending thousands of dollars on ultrasounds and meds (even WITH some of them being donated)...
after lowering myself to beg for meds so we could afford this cycle...
after taking 16 injection shots to stimulate my ovaries...
after getting my hopes up that "third time is a charm."
after all of this...

I am beyond pissed. Pissed doesn't even come close to describing how I feel right now. The last thing I wanted to do today was drag my lazy ovary ass out of bed and go to work. No one understands, they don't know how it feels, sure they may look at me with pity, but they have no idea that my heart has just been shattered.

I am so ashamed to look at my husband. I feel like I have let him down, I have let everyone down. I have to accept the fact that I may never carry my husbands child in my belly. I may never have the opportunity to put Pace's hand on my belly as he waits to feel our baby kick back at his hand, I may never have the opportunity to watch my husband rock our baby to sleep. Meanwhile there are women getting pregnant and having abortions every day. Women who are addicted to drugs, women who have no desire for children, women who have no business procreating. They have no problem getting pregnant, multiple times even.

And people say to me...It's God's will. Oh, ok great thanks. That makes me feel a whole lot better! Why didn't I think of that before? It totally makes sense. God would MUCH rather the meth addict that lives under the overpass give birth to and raise His children, than Pace and I...yep. I get it. Perfectly Clear.

So God just wants to torture me and watch me writhe in my own pain, devastation and self-doubt? Is that God's will? Maybe that is how YOUR God plans the universe, but mine does not. I have no idea why this is happening to me, but if it is God's will for Pace and I not to have children, why does he make us want them so desperately?

Why can't we be the type of people that just hate kids. Why can't we see them as an inconvenience and a waste of money. Something to stand in the way of our goals? That would make life a whole lot easier and much less expensive! Then I could go back on birth control (to regulate my periods so my body isn't completely overcome by breast and ovarian cancer) and live my happy, skippy, childless life.

But Pace and I don't feel that way. We love children, and we can't imagine our life without them.
(Actually, I am beginning to imagine our life without children, this seems like more of a reality to me every day.)

Adoption is an option we will consider, but right now, there is no way we could afford it. So...I am just done for now. I just can't take pain like this. I battle depression when life is good, when something like this happens, it totally consumes me. Every inch of me. My body is lifeless and my heart hurts. Physically hurts right now.

We are going to take a couple of months off, no Dr. appts, no meds, no shots, no pregnancy tests, no nothing. I am going to eat sushi until I puke, smoke a pack of cigarettes and drink a case of beer or a bottle of wine daily. There. That is my therapy.

Like it or lump it. Cause that is what I am having to do. I choose to lump it.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Frustrated with a capital "F"

This roller coatster ride is getting to be a little too much. I have multiple follicles, but they are all still small. The largest ones I have is a 12 on one ovary and a 14 on the other. So, tired or not, I get to continue my shots and it is very likely I will have to buy more follistim next week. I can't even really be upset because of my appointment for a couple of reasons:

1. I have lots of follicles this time. Like 6 or 7 on the Right and 4 or 5 on the Left. That is awesome for me especially since I only had 1 last cycle.

2. The nurse did not charge me for this appointment. A savings of a whopping $250.00. The Lord is definitely answering my prayers!!! I couldn't believe it, when we were walking out of the exam room (ironically I was in room 5 this time instead of 4) she grabbed my arm and said "Let me see if I can get them to comp this appointment for you since you have had to incur so many costs this cycle and your insurance isn't covering any of it." I smiled and quietly took my seat, not expecting them to actually do it, but it was a very nice thought. The accounts payable lady (whom I know all too well) called my name and said "Hi there, you are free to go, we are going to cover this one for you." That is when the tears came. I couldn't believe it! I gave her a hug and gave the nurse a hug and cried all the way out to my car.
I was completely and totally humbled once again by the kindness of others. It kind of eased the sting of having to continue my shots for at least another three days (probably more).

Pace and I are throwing the idea around of just skipping the whole insemination process. After all, he has GREAT sperm count, so why shouldn't we be able to get pg on our own if we can get an egg to grow and ovulate using the drugs? It would definitely save us some money (and would be much more fun) :-) *blush* I am just trying to face the facts that if we have to purchase more meds and continue getting more and more ultrasounds, we won't be able to afford the insemination, so if this is a step we could do without...we will do so. Of course we will talk to the Dr. first before making our decision, but it is just something we are contemplating.

Something else crossed my mind as I was driving away from my Dr. appointment today. I wonder if my egg quality is going to be poor because of how long it has taken to "grow" I have friends on my chat board who are ovulating on CD7 through 11. Here I am at CD 16 and I am not even close to ovulating yet. If any of my fellow infertiles out there has any information on this, I would really appreciate your input. Maybe I should call my RE and ask? Or call on my trusty friend Dr. Google. I just don't want to waste anymore time or money.

So the saga continues. I feel like my ovaries are getting more and more stubborn with each cycle. They give a little, but then take a little back. Just so darn Frustrating!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"The Secret"

I did it! I made it through all of my counseling appointments without a breakdown! Woot Woot!
Either I am really handling all of this IF crap much better in recent days or I am becoming numb to the hurt, pain and frustration and just blocking it all out.

My guess would be the latter.

Have any of you watched "The Secret"? This quite phenomenal movie really has me perplexed. When I first watched the movie, I thought...can it really be this easy? You control your universe just by your thoughts? How can that be? Sounds pretty hokey and way too good to be true to me.


I tried it. It is harder than hell. All my life I was taught not to lie. Not to lie to others and not to lie to myself. Well..."The Secret" in life is that you HAVE to lie to yourself. Give thanks for all the things you want, but don't yet have and act like you already have them. Hmmmm OK.

So this morning after getting my daily injection of FSH, I looked up and thanked the universe for this baby in my belly. I thanked the universe for making this IUI work and for giving me this chance to be a mother and for this pregnancy.

Then I felt like an idiot. Because my current status is not pregnant, but here I am thanking the universe for my pregnancy so that I can "put my order in with the universe" and actually "draw" a pregnancy to me. Basically, lie to myself.

Another trick to "The Secret" is that you have to think positive thoughts. For example, you can't "will" yourself out of debt by saying " I want to get out of debt." You have to say "Thank you so much for giving me a surplus of money." (See the difference?) Same thing with losing weight. You can't "will" yourself down to your ideal weight by saying "I want to lose weight." You have to say "Wow, I am so happy now that I am at my ideal weight. I give thanks for being at my ideal weight and for being able to eat anything I want without gaining weight."

I have decided to give it the old college try. After all, it can't hurt and having a more positive attitude right? Either way, whether "The Secret" works or not, a good attitude is worth something and I have the tendency to fall into a "negative" zone. (I know you have already noticed that)

If you haven't read the book or watched the movie, I suggest doing so. I don't know if it really works or not, but there is something there that I can't quite explain that just makes sense to me. I am a little confused as to how this all fits in with my personal Christian beliefs. Is "placing an order with the universe" meant to replacing praying? Or is it pretty much one in the same, or simply a supplement to praying?

Very complex this stuff is...with the universe involved and all...I would love to hear your feedback and your opinions on the subject if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bitterness with some sweet on the side.

That is how I place my order, and that is what I get.

I went to the Dr. yesterday, but I felt much different being there this time. I walked into exam room 4 like I have done tons of times before, but I felt very distant. When the NP came in, I said hello - I had met her before, but I didn't connect. It was very routine, very methodical, very detached. I assumed the position and she started to measure the follicles. 5 or 6 on the right ovary and 6 or 7 on the left. If she had stopped there, that would have been great news, but she kept talking. "But they are still very small." Gee Thanks lady, I could have told you that and not spent $250 to hear it from you. So my 12-14 follicles are mostly in the 5-9 range with a couple of them between 9 and 12. I am actually a few days behind where i was last cycle, but with more follicles.

After the NP left, the tears started flowing. Pace was able to go to the appointment with me and I think my emotions surprised him a bit. Actually, I think it made him a little uncomfortable. The truth is...I am tired. I am tired of injecting myself with drugs every morning. I am tired of remembering to take my prenatal vitamin every morning (I have been taking these for over a year now with no freaking baby) I am tired of watching money fly out of our account towards these damn doctors and damn expensive drugs because insurance companies don't feel that I have the right to be covered for my illness. I could handle the emotional stress of infertility I think, at least handle it better than I am, but the financial aspect is just too much for me.

With much encouragement from Pace and a few tissues, I finally gathered myself together and left exam room 4 feeling devastated, defeated, frustrated, broken and damaged. We met the NP at the check-out desk and she wrote a prescription for my meds. 600 more units. $400 more dollars. I just can't believe this. The depression swept over me like a tidal wave. How could this happen to me? What am I being punished for? I haven't always had a close relationship with Jesus Christ, but even when I didn't have one, I really wasn't that bad of a person.

It is hard for me to look at Pace sometimes after we get news like this. Sometimes I feel like he made a mistake marrying me. After all, he may never have his own biological children because he married me. I should have given him an out, I know we discussed my crazy cycles and how it might take a while to have kids prior to marriage, but he didn't sign up for THIS! Neither of us did, but I am stuck with it cause it is my stupid body that is preventing us from starting our family. I feel guilty and I feel like I am holding him back, I am holding everyone back and it makes me so DAMN MAD!

I drove home after my appointment in a daze. It is amazing that I even got home cause I don't remember much of the 20 minute busy highway rush hour traffic drive. I know... I know...real safe. I was trying so desperately to come to peace with what had just happened, I was trying to swallow that jagged little pill and accept the fact that we have spent more on IF treatments over the last 2 weeks than most people spend on a monthly mortgage (and that is a lot in AZ -house prices are RIDICULOUS here! Plus, some of my meds were donated to me so it could have been more)

I got home and thankfully Pace allowed me the time to have my breakdown. Not just a cute, little one either. A snot covering, dry heave inducing, sobbing, breakdown. And he just sat there, being lovingly supportive, handing me tissues and letting me just get it all out. Wonderful man he is...he loves me despite my entire face being covered in snot.

I know that the cycle isn't a total waste, and that the increased amount of follicles is a good thing, but the size is what is killing me. WHY CAN'T THEY JUST GROW? I know that I need to be patient, continue doing the shots, go in for more ultrasounds and just wait and see what happens. But...did I mention I am not the most patient person?

This morning is a little better, I am a little anxious about my volunteer work tonight. I have a pregnant 15 year old coming in with her parents for counseling and I wonder if I will be able to handle it without having a breakdown afterwards. Recent history tells me no, but who knows, I may surprise myself. Only time can tell.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Well, I have officially completed the 9 shots of follistim. My right thigh has turned into a calming hue of blue and purple. I am exhausted, ALL THE TIME, and beginning to have anxiety attacks about our appointment today.

I guess that is one of the most amusing things about infertility. There are so many hurdles you have to jump through and so many "defining moments" throughout this journey. It isn't just the anticipation of the two week wait. It is the anticipation of EVERY STEP!

You anticipate every single appointment, every single ultrasound, every single blood test, or HSG, or insemination, or pregnancy test. Everything we do during this journey carries with it a nice fat dose of anticipation.

You anticipate this pass WHEW...or... you fail SHIT... Change directions, start over, more tests....anticipate....pass WHEW.... then...BFN... SHIT....change directions, new protocol, follicles SHIT...cancel cycle ... change directions, new protocol...anticipate...shots...shots....shots... anticipate... 1 follicle...OK...IUI... wait.2.weeks...BFN...SHIT... change directions...

You see where I am going with this right? We are in a constant state of inconsistency. Oh...and we are not supposed to stress, cause that can affect your fertility...right.

I know I have lazy ovaries, they have proven their indolence for the last 15 years. They are quite successful at being lethargic. That is what they do best. I can't say it is all my ovaries fault. It is kind of a chain of command issue. I personally think it all started with the pituitary gland. Who could trust anything named "pituitary"? It just sounds like a rebel without a cause. I am not sure what happened to make my pituitary gland mad, but it was something big and "he" is holding quite the grudge.

Maybe now since I am taking the hormone he is supposed to be producing through a shot, he is realizing that he could lose his job very quickly if he doesn't change his attitude and increase his productivity! He IS replaceable. (By the way... I am not really sure why I decided that my pituitary gland is a man, now that I think about it, he is probably a she...after all...women are the only beings that could hold a grudge for 15 years!)

So here I sit, anxiously awaiting the results of my ultrasound. I am terrified that it will not be good news. If we have to stim for any longer, I am not sure we will be able to afford the meds. We have used up the meds that were graciously donated by one of my online friends. I have been praying extra hard for financial peace. I know that God will provide...He always does, but the fear in me is still there and not being financially "sure" is a scary place to be.

I guess I just need to turn that "fear" over to Him and let Him deal with it. It will work out, it has to. I am not sure I could face another disappointment.