The crazy woman is back and she is living in my house!
Today is 8 days past IUI and HJ is emotional.... I mean REALLY emotional. She's angry easily followed by utterly remorseful. She's irritable followed by optimistic. She cried because I found a potential home for Barney... no pressure just a thought (Come on he IS a foster dog!). She ended up sniping at her student then apologizing after class. If this is a pg symptom then Katy bar the door! It's gonna be a loooooonnnnngggg 9 months! I have to be uber careful not to offend her at the moment and I am trying not to take her mood swings personally. This is not her normal personality. Perhaps the stress of the 2ww is wearing on her....or could it be new hormones?
We have the FR hpt and I have talked HJ into using one tomorrow. We have 2 others in case the 1st one is negative. I think I am getting nervous. I still want this to work.
If it is positive, does anyone know of anything emotionally calming that preggo women can do?
Hj's temperature was a degree higher than normal today!! For those of you thinking "So...?," a raised temp is sometimes an indication that your body is exerting extra energy for a pregnancy.
Okay. okay, I know that I am grasping at straws here and HJ keeps telling me not to get so excited until we know more. But dang it, I am excited and I really really need this attempt to work. A year of failure (sorry to those of you who have endured more than that!) is wearing on my optimistic streak. I see pregnant women and babies everywhere and I am ready for it to be our turn..... I am beginning to feel as though my ovaries are old and shrivelled... and that I will never carry a child. So if HJ's white trash genes can give us a child then, yee haw, bring it on! LOL
So today HJ found some pink on the tp.... I am just sure this is implantation bleeding and I am very excited. However, she is both excited and now a bit nervous. She has been asking me to do a million little tasks, fluttering her eyelashes and say, "Please I might be pregnant?!" This is so cute that I cannot resist doing whatever she asks. But now that she has seen the pink, this is getting more real for her. She might actually carry our child!! I am surprisingly excited and she is wigging out.
If she is pregnant, this is the perfect weekend for it to happen. The weather is bright and sunny with a bit of a nip in the air. HJ and I have completed the most mundane tasks of shopping, house-cleaning and yard work. We have also visited with friends and snuggled alot. Surely this is how lives should be started.
HJ and I just got off the phone. She has completed IUI #2. I'm amazed. HJ tends to be a bundle of nervous energy, but today she is calm and reflective. She was talking about the book she is reading, The Shack, which has apparantly changed her views on God in a much more expansive way. Also she and my brother also had a talk about the possibility of him being our donor if this attempt does not work. She said that the topic of having a known donor came up naturally in conversation and that he is open to donating. She said that his main concern is that he does not want the responsibility of a child....bonus for us! So now HJ is in an emotional place where she is saying that she can even see the blessing if this IUI does not work. I have to admit that it is refreshing to be able to try to conceive without the lingering sense of panic I had during my last IVF cycle.
I am also a bit amazed at our rapid change in attitude. We were both pretty determined that we wanted the same donor for our children (if I ever can conceive). But the possibility of my brother being the bio father of her children hit us both as an easy solution. So if this round of IUIs does not work, then our children will share my DNA no matter what.... interesting!
HJ got everything sorted out. She is staying with my brother while she has back to back IUI's for 2 days. I am covering for her at her job--- thus I can't be with her :-(. She called me and our Dr Pal has completed the 1st try. HJ also said that Dr. Pal was super-excited about the number and activity level of the little swimmers we bought! HJ is scheduled for the second IUI tomorrow and she said that the whole thing was not too bad. This whole process feels surreal. Can it really be that in 2 weeks, we may be expecting a child?? HJ and I are good at waiting hopefully.... but actually knowing that we have a good shot of being moms?? THAT will be a new feeling!
I am going to buy some First Response home pregnancy tests this afternoon then I just have to talk HJ into taking them starting in 1 week.
A few musings on irony: Irony dictates that this IUI will work for the following reasons. 1- I want to be pregnant. HJ just wants the child part. 2- We have spent in excess of $30,000 on my uterus and just $1000 on hers. 3- We decided to try this IUI on a whim-- spur of the moment. 4- I have gone to 3 renown Reproductive Endocrinologists--- no baby. She is seeing a friend I used to get drunk with! (Who IS an OBGYN) 5- We have talked about several reasons we would like to pass along my genetics rather than HJ's. 6- It will be much easier with my job to take off for prenatal appointments and to take FMLA time.... much harder with HJ's profession. 7- HJ has to do this IUI without me there--- I won't even be present when our child is conceived! 8-The universe has a wicked sense of humor!
In the past I did not understand the duality of the blessing/curse that "May you live in interesting times" implies. I used to think "Interesting is good!" But now I am certainly having second thoughts about that view.
This morning, with trigger shots a mere 1 1/2 hours away, HJ checked her fertility monitor to find that it denoted an egg-- peak day, nearing ovulation. The plan was that if this happened then HJ would not take the trigger shots as her body was about to naturally do its part in conception. The plan seemed simple and made perfect sense to me, however, my poor partner can't see a simple change of plan as just that. Her mind now decides that she is NOT going to ovulate despite the LH surge denoted by the monitor. We had a lengthy discussion about how we had no evidence that she might not ovulate and that this attempt at an IUI should be viewed as an adventure.... if it works this time, Great! If it does not work this time, Fine! But HJ has switched over to hyper-control mode. She called Xytex but they were not open yet. She called our trigger shot friend to cancel and consult about fertility monitors--- which our friend also uses. Finally, she went outside (I should have gotten suspicious) and called out OBGYN friend.
FINALLY, HJ felt that all her bases were covered and that she could relax a little. The plan remains mostly unchanged. She will do an IUI tomorrow and Thurday to increase the chances of catching ovulation. The only change is that no trigger shot is needed. However, I refuse to be lulled into a false sense of calm by the plan we have agreed upon for the 2nd time... I am still waiting for HJ to have another melt-down.
I love her....goodness knows that I do and that she will do anything for me but I am finding that using her uterus is more stressful than using my own. And now I have a second worry.... will our child be as high strung as HJ? If so, I need to find a doctor who will prescribe me some good tranquilizers because things in this house are certainly interesting!
BTW: the dog at the top is Barney... our newest addition. We found him wandering down the highway... skinny, scarred, sick and collar causing an injury around his neck. HJ promised to find him a good home and she has.... ours is great!
So have I mentioned that HJ is a woman with a mission?
Well today she arranged to see a new OBGYN--- one in the same town we are in- and she had an ultrasound of her follicles. The point of the new OB was to have a yearly exam and make sure that she is not over-producing follicles on the Clomid. The OB said that she had 2 same-sized follicles that look "spectacular" and her lining looks perfect as well. Well, hearing all this fertility-type stuff gets her all excited and in a rush. So HJ calls our friend the OBGYN -- who lives 3 hours away and has offered to do the IUI for free! HJ and our pal talk and decide that there is really no reason to wait until December to do the IUI. HJ calls me in that frantic, excited, I-have-a-new-idea voice and Next-- I made a quick trip to the pharmacy to get the trigger shots. HJ made some rapid calls to arrange for one of our friends to give her the shots. (Nope I can't... call me a weenie). So HJ will have our sperm shipped from Xytex tomorrow and she will have her 1st IUI on Wednesday.
Is that alot to follow?? It is for me!!! My head is totally swimming at this point. I am freaking out a little.
On Saturday I had to take a long drive by myself. The day was perfect-- sunny, warm and leaves changing with few pressing responsibilities for me. An unexpected happy feeling washed over me as I drove. I thought about my life, fertility issues, HJ, God and nothing at all. I listened to old Indigo Girls CDs and felt at peace with the world. The day truly was perfect!
As I revelled in the unbidden bliss, I had an image of HJ and I celebrating as we look at a 2 pink lines on a hpt from her IUI. I could feel how very happy we will be if she is indeed able to get pregnant (which I no longer take as for granted). I could imagine myself watching her growing belly and getting ever more excited to hold our child. I now know that something has shifted inside me. I am not worried that I won't be a good support to HJ if she get pregnant rather than me. Of course I still want to carry a child, but I can accept any path the child may come to us on... not just accept, but embrace the path! I don't view my "vision" as prophetic but I do see it as my subconscious saying, "relax, we're fine!"
Speaking of being fine, I have now had 3 people comment on the change in my mood. My friend "Ashton" and his wife "Jewel" both noticed the change. In fact, Ashton came by my office today to say how glad he was to see me honestly happy again. He and I are very close so he has a pretty good handle on my emotional state-- also he's a therapist! He said that he and Jewel had been worried about me since the m/c because I lost my bubbly self..... hmmmm, I thought I was hiding my irritability better than that! In reference to my mood: I have felt as though I have known how to behave lately--- calm, happy and pleasant-- but none of those states have come easily. I had to work really hard to stay in my happy place; whereas, I am normally just a naturally happy person.
I feel as though the clouds may have passed for a time.
I'll begin with a little discussion of how HJ approaches the world, well perhaps attacks is a better word. She takes on any new task with a singular focus usually reserved for evil geniuses and maniacs--- but mind you that the task has to be one she deems worthy of her absorption: computer tasks, teaching, yardwork, our dogs and certainly fertility issues. Housekeeping tasks need not apply.
So when we are trying to use my uterus, I am in control and she fully embraces her supportive role. She will let me talk about my hopes and fears, and she gracefully puts up with the shifting sands that are my moods. She is also a champ at creating schedules for medications, professionally administering injections and making cycling as fun and comfortable as possible.... she is really a peach!
However when we are trying to use her uterus, HJ's focus kicks into a gear past overdrive. She is now obsessed with her own fertility. She read a book about taking charge of your fertility and she now keeps it with her as her field guide to life. She sets an early alarm and monitors her temperature (precisely at 5:30) every morning with the very expensive basal thermometer she insisted that we need. She also uses the really really expensive ovulation monitor every morning at 6:30. For the sake of getting the best "sample" possible, she sometimes keeps urine from an unexpected early bathroom break in a container until her 6:30 monitor schedule. Lastly she manually checks her CM for elasticity every day--- be glad if you don't know what that means!! Now after all the checks, they are entered into the database she uses from fertility software she bought. I see the point of all this but I truly don't have that level of perfection in my being. Not to mention that I just could not take the endless obsessing about whether my tempature was to high or too low this day or that.
Which brings us to today! This morning HJ had to leave the house at 4 am to get to the airport for a conference. So we have had many many conversations about how she might not be able to catch a rise or drop in her basal temp since she was taking it so early this morning. Followed by a very disturbing discussion of how she would follow her ovulation this morning. My vote was simply to skip a day..... her solution was to gather her urine at 3:30 then travel with it in a container in a ziplock in her carry on bag through airport security! You'll be happy to know that she and her urine made it to Boston and have tested successfully....yuck!
So I guess we are still gearing up for HJ to have an IUI in December.
A friend and I began having a conversation today about meditation and being able to stop the chattering monkey of the mind. So I began to think about how I can get uber distracted when I meditate. I was considering my "problem" from a very scientific standpoint, with ways I might improve my focus and such. And I had 2 insights: 1) Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. I am continually striving to be better and I think that is a good thing. But I think that I expect that gaining enlightenment will remove me from the frustrations and tasks of daily life (and there have been MANY frustrations of late). But the truth is that enlightenment might change ME but it won't change the nature of my life. Any amount of meditation will still leave me an imperfect person, living in an imperfect world.
2) If I can learn to stay in the moment, then there is nothing more I need to do. The moment is what it is and when I meditate, I need do nothing more. Nothing added: nothing removed. If I simply sit in meditation and accept what comes to me from within and without, then I will gain the insights I am meant to have. Which makes me think that the same is true for life. I tend to bring my own expectations to daily life, how things go and how I think people ought to act. But if I can learn to accept myself and others, then I can simply be in the moment: fully and joyfully.
Which brings me to another point: the same friend made me laugh and said something really kind about me today. I was not looking for those moments. They were completely unexpected and made me so happy. I think that not looking for special moments allows more moments to be enjoyable.
It is... very helpful to think of adversity not so much as a threat to our peace of mind but rather as the very means by which patience is attained. Dalai Lama
I know someone who constantly frets and carries on when her life does not go according to plan. She can admit that she has a wonderful life (child, partner, home, good income, satisfying job, etc) but none of those "things" seem to fill her up and make her happy. She always wants more, more, more. My initial reaction was to become angry with her lack of gratitude and self-centeredness.....trust me I fumed for a while. Then through my frustration, I began to have a second response: sadness. I am sad for her. She has so many blessings yet she still remains unfulfilled: she is empty. And I think she is empty because she never stops to instrospect and consider her real life goals.
So this line of thought lead me to consider my own life and whether I live with an adequate sense of gratitude.
Do I begin each day by saying a word of thanks? not always.
Do I think about all my blessings especially when I am feeling down? That is probably the time I think the most about all the gifts in my life.
Do I stop during the day to take a calming breath and refocus? Yes, when I am at work.
Do I respond to my partner in a way that shows her I am thankful for her presence in my life? too often I am irritable.
Do I tell the people in my life how much I love/appreciate them? Yes, that is probably one of my true strengths.
Do I end each day saying thank you for all the blessings I received during the day? not as often as I wish.
So my own gratitude report card would show a "C" at best, if I am kind to myself. Now the question is, " Do I really have any room to judge others who get fretful and long for more?" Of course the answer if "no." So alas, I am brought back to my own fallible nature--- the same one we all share, Yet the same fallible nature that shares glimpses of the divine as well. Namaste, indeed.
What am I grateful for today? The ability I possess to be happy and see the many good things in my life.
I have been reading posts on an IVF networking site I belong to and I find myself having strange thoughts and facing my old demon: jealousy.
For starters: we all call this IVF and infertility thing we deal with "our journey." I do it too!! But this journey business feels like a load of horse- sh---! A journey should be fun.... it should lead to someplace new and exciting. But at this point, it's getting a bit hard to see the end of the road for me..... I am feeling more like the Jews who wandered around the desert for 40 years....at about the 20 year mark. I guess my big fear is that we are truly only at the 5 1/2 year mark which means that I won't get a glimpse of the holy land for another 34 1/2 years. AND I am sure that some of the wandering Jews died before they even made it to their goal. I soooo do not want that to be me and HJ.
Rant #2: I see women who are trying for child #2 or #3, (etc) and they talk about how desperate they are to have IVF work for them. For that matter, I want IVF to work for them too!! But it is really hard for me to imagine being DESPERATE for IVF to work when they already have 1 or more children who call them "mom" and who they get to dress for Halloween and who they get to cradle and comfort.... I would do almost anything to have those experiences even 1 time. Desperate sums up my feelings about this completely.
How did I get here (thought #3): I was looking at my "IVF signature" today. Now my history consists of 2 IVF attempts, 1 miscarriage and 1 failure. How much longer will my signature have to grow? How many more attempts can HJ and I take emotionally? How many more times can we afford IVF? I just never thought that I would be a person who would HAVE to do IVF then I never thought I would be one of those women with repeated failures. But here I am feeling dazed and confused.... and honestly, more than a little bruised.
There: now I have shown all my nasty, mean feelings and I feel guilty that I even have those feelings. Good people are entitled to have the families they choose to create and modern science is the key for all of us! I also honor the fact that not everyone would even support HJ and I becoming parents. So, here I am now realizing that I ought to count my blessings rather than bemoaning the fact that I don't have all that I want. 1- I got pregnant through IVF--- so I can do it again. 2- HJ shares my desire to be a family of 3 or more. 3- God has provided for us so that IVF is even an option. 4- I got a new job just as we started trying to get pregant-- allowing us more money and me a flexible schedule. 5- My family is supportive. 6- HJ has agreed to be the "back up" delivery mom. 7- I am not going through this process alone thanks to HJ, my family and a wonderful online community. 8- various other IVF-related blessings that I cannot even think of at this moment.
With all the craziness that IF and IVF has been for us, HJ and I have talked several times about the possibility of her being the one to get pregnant. She is definitely in favor of having a child however she has no real desire to carry a baby.... there's a theme of not having anything inside that I just won't elaborate upon! I on the other hand WANT to carry a baby, desperately want to be pregnant in fact. So we have discussed that I should be the one to have the child unless I simply cannot do so. In the past, I could not even think this way and refused to have the discussion. Then I could talk about it but was not ready to act in any way. Then I was okay with HJ having herself tested for fertility--- wouldn't you know it, she's just fine! Now I have moved to a place where I am ready for her to attempt an IUI.
I still worry that I will react with jealousy to her experiencing all the joys of pregnancy when I have been unable to get to that place. I also worry that I will not by the rock of support for her that she consistently is for me. When I was pregnant, super-sleepy and a mass of mood swings, HJ was patient, NEVER pointing out that I was, in fact, evil and she even rubbed my feet and brought me special treats.... She's such an incredible person. I, on the other hand, appear to be the emotionally stable and giving one in the relationship but I think she and I know the truth. She's the real gem. :-) Hence, my concerns about her being the one to get pregnant.... how will I react?
Even beyond my jealousy though, my fear is stronger. Case in point, I saw a precious little newborn baby a few weeks ago. All my coworkers went to look at her and coo. I stayed across the room as though the baby were contagious. Babies make me weepy. When I am near them, the desire to be a mother is so strong that it chokes me at times. Then a few days later, I got my beta results.... big f'ing negative!!! Now the fear kicked into over-drive. I told HJ to call our friend the OBGYN. HJ is now taking Clomid for a couple of months to get her to really ovulate and will do an IUI in December. I think we're both baffled on what to pray for here.
Of course, we're still planning for me to attempt IVF again in January. But if she gets pregnant in the meantime, then I guess we will have to decide if I go through IVF in an attempt to get embryos to freeze. I could then be the back-up sibling provider..... before my eggs age anymore.
Reading all that I have written, I feel so incredibly selfish! Other couples would love to have a back-up choice for biological children. I know this is true but then again I have to be mindful to my own desire to give birth. sigh.
Soooo. I have tons of things to be thankful for and I need to remind myself of that. My family definitely tops the list.
My oldest niece, the 16 year old soccer star--- a certain Brianna Scurry in the future-- became very upset at the end of each IVF cycle. When I wasn't pregnant this last time, M (the neice) said, "It's not fair!" and she offered to have a baby for my partner and me. I love that she honestly wants to do that for us-- of course I would not let her. Can you just see my beautiful pregnant neice trying to continue on the soccer team? And I am sure her boyfriend would be less than thrilled about the possibility. How would she get her full-ride soccer scholarship if she were knocked up with my child!? So thoughtful.
Then there is my other neice-- the genius. Baby A is brilliant and quite athletic to boot! However, she has no real interest in completing any of the sports endeavors she begins. She can earn a spot on the cheerleading squad (and did for 2 years) but after the accomplishment is earned-- she's bored. Poor child. She really is very much like me. And she plans to be valadictorian-- of course she will. However, I doubt she will have a child for me. She went into deep contemplation about HJ and I having a child together. She had to decide if she could support such a thing. I love that everything has to run through her moral filter. And I love that in the end she decided that she can love and support any child we might create. Precious.
Then there are my parents.... my sweet WASP parents. Mom and I can pretty much talk about anything, although, she sometimes struggles to accept my life choices and my perspectives. My father is another issue. He is a wonderful, gentle, caring man (since he retired mind you) who really chooses to bury his head in the sand a good portion of the time. He doesn't talk about sex, has difficulty talking about feelings and is resolute in his decision not to define my relationship with HJ. She is welcome at family dinners and every holiday. We sleep in the same bed and bought a house together but dad chooses not to consider the reason she is 1st and foremost in my life. he he.
So back when I was briefly pregnant, HJ and I sat my parents down to tell them that they would soon be grandparents again (or so we thought). My mom cried as we expected and was soon hugging us both. My father was the real surprise. He went straight to giving us advice about how our lives would never be the same again and that our priorities would drastically change now. He was so supportive--- like he would have been if HJ were a husband and we were expecting a child. Both my WASPy, past generation parents made a swift jump to "Okay my lesbian daughter wants a child... so do we." Then they both grieved intently after the miscarriage. Now they both intently follow our attempts at procreation. My father still has information overload with the IVF process so my mom filters information to him.... and we all feel pretty comfortable with the process. :-)
I am a Southern lesbian traveling the winding path to motherhood (please please). My wonderful partner (J) and I are both 36 years old. For the past 3 years, we have spent most of our time, money and emotional resources trying to get pregnant. The road has been long to this point...I have done 3 IVF cycles: 1 m/c and 2 BFNs. We also tried several unsuccessful IUI cycles with my partner, J. At this point we have moved on to unknown donor eggs. Our first donor egg cycle ended in a BFN. We are now trying a second DE cycle but this time my partner will carry. We must be crazy.