The Fertility Carousel

Reaching for the brass ring on the fertility carousel (again!). (Because I already caught the brass ring on the infertility carousel and I want to get rid of it!) Two years of trying to conceive, but I finally got baby E. Now we begin going around and around again. Infertility sucks.

Reverse the posts to view newest at the bottom (chronological order)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

emotional cycles

Have you seen the "depression hurts" commercials? They talk about how depression is physically debilitating. I don't have depression at that level, but I believe the commercial. I can feel depression wash over me at the strangest times. Driving home alone, not listening to the radio or other distractions, it's like a wave washes over me. The sensation almost tingles like déjà vu, but it's more subtle. At that moment I know I'm about to cry.

I'm not this emotionally unstable all the time. But a small wave can strike at any time. Depending on where I am hormonally, I might be able to control it or I might not. The difference of a few days can mean the difference between a slight tearing-up or a full-out cry-my-eyes-out bawl.

At the start of a cycle, I'm depressed. And why not? I have failed - my body has failed me - again. Yes, logically I know that I have done everything in my power to get pregnant, but that doesn't matter when you're dealing with the tangible evidence of failure.

On Day 5 I start taking Clomid. It's a wonder drug that makes me ovulate, true, but it does a number on my hormones and makes me extremely sensitive. By sensitive I mean ready to cry at the least provocation. I'm still slightly depressed (but coming out of it), and I continue to cry most days.

Mid-cycle is a moderately happy time. There's tons of hope that this month everything will work. It's not a totally happy time because I'm busy peeing on OPK sticks and trying to decide when we should have sex. And sex on demand is not fun. Not after two years.

Which brings us to the two week wait (2ww). Nothing to do at this point, it either took or it didn't. (Ok, that's not entirely true now because I have progesterone to take, but it's not much to do either). I try so hard not to get my hopes up, because I know how much that hurts when they crash back down. I try to hold on to the neutral thinking. I am less likely to cry during these two weeks than at any other point in my cycle. I feel extremely emotionally stable. (Which is why that Dr. Who crying explosion was so suprising). We talk about baby names. I day dream about babies. I have trouble concentrating on other tasks. The closer we get to the end of the cycle, the more antsy I get. The more nervous. Deep calming breaths. This is when I start wondering about every pain, every twinge. Is it something good? Something bad? Or nothing at all?

I am always thankful when the end of a cycle comes on a weekend. It gives me time to get myself together and get back to neutral thinking.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


So one week of progesterone later…

It's not too bad. Maybe an annoyance, but they aren't slimy or anything. They're made of cocoa butter, so it's solid when you use it, but melts inside (hey, melts in your ___, not in your hand!)

Doesn't seem to cause mood swings either. I've been feeling pretty solid emotionally ever since I made the appointment with the RE. Although I did have one crying outburst, it was over a TV show - so I'll just chalk that up to a Hallmark Moment that was perhaps intensified by hormones.

What made me cry? Something horribly touching? A classic movie? No… an episode of Dr Who. I don't even like Dr. Who. Rob was watching it, I was ignoring it and surfing the web. But when the guy died, I burst *loudly* into tears. Geez. Even as I burst, I was laughing at myself and recognizing the ridiculousness of it.

I keep feeling something in me. A slight pain - not quite a pain, not quite a cramp. But it could be a cramp, it could be a reaction to the progesterone, hell it could be gas and cosntipation. But can it be a good sign??? Implantation?? Part of me wants to believe, to let my hopes soar. But I have experienced the pain of crushed hope too many times in the past two years. I can not let myself dream like that. It's so hard to keep my feet on the ground.

But surviving this is all about the power of neutral thinking.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Meeting the Reproductive Endocrinologist

A reproductive endocrinologist (RE) is the real name of what most people call an "infertility specialist". Rob and I went and met with one yesterday.

Dr. Traci Desplinter was very nice. We waited ages to see her, but to be fair the city was flooding that day so she had a good excuse for getting to work late. After listening to what all we'd done and looking at the records from my gyno, she said that she'd like to do some bloodwork and an internal ultrasound to see if I ovulated. Turns out I did (as I knew from my OPK tests). Since I was mid-cycle when I saw her, I'm not sure there was too much she could do. But she did put me on progesterone suppositories. Ooh yeah, lots of fun.

So the next step is to wait until the end of this cycle and see what happens.

P.S. She thinks the cervical stenosis thing is a red herring. If blood can get out, swimmers can get in.

Monday, June 19, 2006

HSG test and cervical stenosis

So finally I have to go back in to the gyno so they can do checkup before they renew my clomid prescription. While in the office, I burst into tears. (Have I mentioned that all this stuff is a wee bit stressful?)

So the doctor starts talking about next steps. There's only a few things she can do before she sends me off to a specialist.

Two weeks later I find myself in the hospital for an HSG test. This test is to see if the fallopian tubes are blocked. A catheter is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. They shoot dye up there while taking an xray. We all watch the little tv screen and see if the dye goes through the tubes. Easy enough, right? wrong.

First of all, inserting a catheter is never fun. Second, if a tube is blocked, that dye has no where to go and will hurt like hell.

For me, it turns out that I have a "stenotic cervix". Which means it's too small, too tight and too stiff. So they use a little metal dialtor to open it up. Think about that. Here's a muscle that doesn't want to move, so it gets moved by force. Think of the worst charly-horse you've ever had in your leg - the kind that wakes you up at night screaming and crying. Now think about that pain in your twat. Yeah. It was that fun.

So the doctor thinks that opening the cervix might help. And tells me we'll see what happens this cycle (HSG is done pre-ovulation), and then we'll decide what to do next if this cycle doesn't take.

It didn't take.

When I called the doctor back, she said to just wait and see... keep trying for 3 more months.

Oh hell no. 3 more months? Because the first 24 months were so gosh darn fun? Because I probably need to be medicated to get my emotions under control? I don't freaking think so. I've spent months crying my eyes out on a daily basis - sometimes several times per day. I don't think I could survive 3 more months of inaction.

So I called a specialist and ditched the gyno.

Friday, June 16, 2006

My best friend had twins

June 12 - my 32nd birthday

June 13 - my best friend had twin girls


Now obviously I've known the twins were coming for a long time. And while I've been happy for my friend, it's also hurt a lot.

There's not a lot of logic behind emotional pain. I don't hold it against my friend. I'm genuinely happy for her. The babies are sweet and wonderful and frankly a lot better looking than a lot of newborns.

But over the months, it's hard not to think "it's not fair". It's not fair that she's already had her babies and she's two years younger than me. It's not fair that she got pregnant the first month they tried. It's not fair that... well, you get the picture. And in my hormonal stressed out state, these things have made me cry a lot over the last 8 months.

So while I've been happy for her, I've also been dreading the babies' birth. Because I worried that it would make me cry more.

But I'm happy to say that I actually feel a bit better now that the babies are here. Darn cute babies... it's just impossible to hold a grudge against them.

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