Tuesday, 29 September 2009

One of those days

Yesterday was one of those days. No, not one of THOSE days. One of those days that are just perfect for a bunch of little special reasons. I woke up surprisingly rested at five thirty in the morning to find that D had left the coffee on (he normally doesn't and I normally don't have coffee in the morning) and left just enough creamer for one large cup. So I had a rare luxury cup of coffee on the way to my doctors appointment. I arrived  early for my "womens wellness" appointment - read pap and boob exam - and got to see the doctor right away. Exams went well and this new doctor (I've had too many of them lately) didn't argue my explanation to why I have lumpy breast and instead asked me to keep track of what lumps are normal for me. Usually when I see a new doctor they insist on sending me first for a painful mammogram and then for an ultrasound just to tell me what I already know. That I have a bunch of cysts in my dense boobies and that it's nothing to worry about. I then walked over to the Exchange to kill some time while I waited for the Commisary to open and found a new cover for the ironing board. I had completely forgotten I was looking for one until I saw it. Then I walked back to my car, opened the front door and saw this:

Apparently D was going to wish me luck before my appointment but he was late leaving the gym and missed me. When he saw my car parked he went and got a bouquet of flowers and put them in the drivers seat. What did I do to deserve this man? 

When I got home I took the Dogster for a long walk. While walking around one of our usual fields I spotted the same blind bunny we had seen on a walk two months earlier alive and kicking. Still blind, slow and somewhat disoriented, but doing good. Go bunny! 

For dinner I made lasagna that turned out great. Very happy about that. For some reason it tastes different every time I make it even though I'm certain I follow the recipe to a T...  My adventures in the kitchen has been many and of varied outcome since last year when we decided I was to take over Ds position as head chef in this household. With a little help from my friends Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson I have slowly extended my kitchen knowledge beyond the boiling of eggs.

After dinner we went for an evening walk outfitted with fluorescent vests and flashlights and managed (in spite of me walking on every crunchy leaf visible and giggling uncontrollably when shushed by D)  to spot two roe deer and three red deer gracing in the fields down the road before the sun set. Walked home in the dark (no street lights in this English country village) with a little help from our flashlights.

Then we slipped into comfy clothes, Dr. Seuss fleece pants for me, moose print fleece for D, curled up in the couch and watched the season finale of House. Went to bed and tried to get busy but realized quickly we were both too tired and settled for a long kiss godnight instead. Yep. Pretty much a perfect day.

Monday, 28 September 2009

My husband swallowed the key to the IF closet

We are so out of the IF closet now hardly anything is embarrassing or awkward to talk about anymore. For us. For complete strangers that get an earful of our upcoming circus performance when asking if we have kids, maybe.

We went to a BBQ at a friends house on Saturday. The hostess is a new friend of mine and we hadn't met each others families yet. D is a social butterfly and loves meeting new people so he was excited about the party. We get there and I know one person, the hostess. After introductions are made and we're outfitted with drinks D and I start mingling. The first couple stepped on the IF bomb simply by asking if we have any trips planned this fall. D happily announced that "Yes, as a matter of fact, we're going to Sweden in a couple of weeks to do IVF". Insert sound of crickets. D was oblivious of the awkward silence and gave a few more details about the trip before he pulled me over to the next couple. This young couple with new baby on their arm unsuspectingly asked us if we have kids. D answers merrily that he has grown daughters and that we're hoping to expand our family with the help of an upcoming IVF trip. The man gave us an unsure smile and wished us "Good luck with that" while his wife picked up her dropped jaw off the floor and busied herself by fussing with the baby. 
By the end of the night I think the story of our upcoming trip to Sweden to have IVF was mentioned to all the guests at least once and as people started getting a little tipsy they seemed to be more relaxed about the conversation and actually started showing interest and asking questions. 

I think the closer we get to our first IVF the more it is in the forefront of both our minds. And I feel fortunate to have a Hubster that has no scruples about being open and verbal about it. Don't know if I would talk about it to strangers if I was on my own but it actually makes me feel good when he brings it up. I guess with the hostess' group of friends we'll be remembered as the circus couple. But that's OK in my book.

Why should we be the ones that feel awkward when asked if we have kids. It's nice to have it be the other way around for once.

Friday, 25 September 2009

True OCD behavior

Normally in our family, D is the one that has a serious case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have a rare outbrake every now and then but more often I'm accused of being so laid back I'm horizontal. However, I just finished commenting on number 135 on the ICLW list. I'm still in my unflattering Dr. Seuss fleece pants, the house is a mess, my doggy has given up hoping for an early walk and my hair is in desperate need of a wash. But I'm an iron commenter - Yay! And I was just about to open the bottle of champagne (or at least have breakfast) when I realized I can't email Mel to get on the honor roll because my default mail is not set for gmail, I don't know how to change it, and I can't find her email adress written anywhere... (insert cartoon running for the hills screaming) -NOOOOOOOOOO!
What to do? Can I leave a comment commenting on my commenting on her latest post maybe?
Meanwhile, I'll just make my own badge and pretend it's the real deal...

Update X number of hours later: I got the real badge - Yippee! Thanks Mrs Bee and Mel for helping this digitally challenged girl :-) I feel a little silly being so happy about this feat, but this week has given me a jump start in this whole new world of blogging. And when I later saw the warm recognition Mel gave my "The What if Not List" post in her Friday Blog Round Up I was so happy I picked up the phone to call D. But I quickly had to remind myself that I want this to be an anonymous blog where I can be completely honest and not worry about what any of my loved ones think and promptly put the phone down. I did a little happy dance in my office instead. Then I cleaned the house, took one happy dog for a long walk, jumped in the shower and put on some jeans. It's Friday, the sun is shining and I feel pretty good. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Show and Tell - Five strange objects that live in my house.

I collect weird things. Always have. I also collect perfectly normal things. Like rocks. But today for "show & tell" I thought I'd show you some of the strange things that I've saved over the years. Quality of images may not be top notch, I basically threw these items in the scanner so bear with me.

First we have a piece of wallpaper. It used to live on the wall (where wallpaper normally belongs) in our bedroom at the cabin by the sea in Sweden that my Morfar* built. It represents a happy childhood and I blame this specific wallpaper for persuing my current profession as a graphic designer.

Second is a rose that I got from my first love when I was twelve. His name was Daniel, he had brown eyes, curly hair and wore his dads cowboy boots to school. Need I say more?

Third is a swedish five krona bill. They replaced it with a coin more than 30 years ago. Is it worth anything? I think not. Great design though.

Forth is when it starts getting really weird. It's a dried up gecko I found behind an outlet in a Kailua house after getting zapped with 110V. I was working as an underpaid, and paid under the table, electricians assistant while I studied communication arts. In Hawai'i geckos are a symbol of good luck.

Fifth is evidence that I treat my pets as the children I don't have. Yes, those are puppy teeth and kitty nails. Sick and wrong? I know.

I'm bummed out because I couldn't find what I really wanted to show you. When I was in my early twenties I found a four leaf clover during a lovers quarrel... Anyway, I've searched high and low and turned my already messy office into something out of a disaster movie but it's nowhere to be found. Bullocks! 

To see what other bloggers are showing today - click here.

The "what if" list? Still not written, turns out D just really needed to talk and the only way he knew how to start a conversation was to suggest making a list... He's homesick, misses his girls, paranoid about the big b-day coming up and isn't really happy at work. We had a long talk while we walked the dog as the sun set over the fields and he started to feel a little better. It seems I've dodged the list making once again. Just as I was starting to think it might be a good idea.

* Maternal Grandfather 

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Everything is possible

With ICLW starting yesterday I'm happy to have "met" so many wonderful women and men through their stories and I'm looking forward to the rest of this week. I also have a sore hand and tired eyes from spending too much time in front of the computer (a combination of working, writing and surfing I think... not just blogging and leaving comments). So instead of writing a long story of who I am I thought I'd share this video about Kiwi the bird with one of my favorite bands from Sweden. It's a beautiful story of hope and struggle and it really speaks to me while I'm in the midst of my own "impossible" journey. 

Oh, and to follow up on yesterdays post, me and D ended up not writing our life lists last night because it turned out to be an unexpected perfect evening for a BBQ so we seized the moment and cooked up a storm. Tonight is the night of list making and I promise to post them as soon as possible.

Monday, 21 September 2009

The "what if not" list

My Hubster writes lists. Excessively. It helps him organize his life and feel like he's in control. I don't. I'm more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. As a matter of fact, lists scare me a little, because if I did do lists and I didn't stick to them (which in my case is very likely) there would actually be proof of the things I didn't do. 

Friday night I had a little melt down and a good cry. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the two big glasses of Cabernet I had before dinner. D is not a big fan of me crying and wants to immediately make things better and "fix" the problem. But what made me cry is equally a good thing as it is a bad thing and not really a problem that can be "fixed". I cried because we're about to join the circus. Full on, no going back, joining the circus. We're going straight from ttc on our own to IVF/ICSI with sperm aspiration. No IUI. No regular IVF. The full monty. And it scares the living crap out of me at the same time as it fills me with this overwhelming feeling of hope. What scares me is that this is it, this is our chance to have the baby we long for, and what if it doesn't work? What if it's not meant to be (and I truly hate that expression but it does have an unarguable meaning of faith).

Being faced with my dual emotions and my hardly comprehensible sobbing attempts to explain, D resorted to just giving me a big warm hug. And then he turned to his one reliable solution to most problems. List making. So somehow I've now agreed to writing two life lists if you will, one "what if (we have a child)" list and one "what if not" list. In my head the "what if" list is a very long already written list whereas the "what if not" is completely blank. Tonight we'll try to start that worst scenario list so we at least have a backup plan, something to fall back on if our circus careers don't work out.

Am I looking forward to it? Not so much. Unless I can send my "what if" list to Santa.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Don't try this at home

In our quest to try to find ways to spice up our sex life while trying to make babies me and D have tried a few crazy things. This is not a post for the faint hearted or the prude-ish so if you belong to either of those categories please stop reading now. 

One of the things I do is to "clean up the playground" each month, i.e. give the nani* a good shave. This is much appreciated by the Hubster but the downside is that you have to keep shaving it about every third day or there'll be some less pleasant "roughage". Usually that's fine but if you find yourself in a heated moment at the right time of month and realize it's been three or more days since you shaved... let's just say, things (i.e. his man parts) can get ugly (as in red, sore and puffy). So I had this brilliant idea. It's spelled b.r.a.z.i.l.i.a.n b.i.k.i.n.i w.a.x. I figured I'll wax the nani once a month and things will stay nice and smooth. I jump online, do some research and find Gigi's brazilian wax for this specific use. I throw one in my shopping cart, head for check out and wait for delivery. Five days later the box arrives. Complete with wax, heater, spatulas, cooling lotion and an instruction video.

The night of our premiere waxing we're like two kids on Christmas eve. We watch the instruction video to see how it's all done salon style. We heat up the wax for forty five minutes as required, put out towels, turn on some music and get ready to start the treatment. I lay down on the towel laid out on our kitchen table (D needs to have a good working position right?) and get ready to be pampered. D checks the consistency of the wax, puts some on the spatula and applies a small strip on my nani. He leaves it on for a while and makes sure it's not sticky and then quickly RIPS IT OFF!!! OMFG!! I've had my legs and bikini line waxed before but this does not compare. Well, D's not a beautician and somehow he forgot the part of stretching out the skin before ripping the wax off! Ouch! After catching my breath and wiping tears of pain off my face I tell him as nicely as I can to please stretch the skin next time before ripping. D is now looking a little worried and not as excited anymore but he bravely agrees to try again. So he repeats the procedure, check consistency, wax on, wait, check stickyness, STRETCH and RIP! Still extremely painful but manageable... kind of... We try a few more times but when D tells me we probably need to repeat this at least twenty times PER SIDE we look at each other and shake our heads. I climb off the table and wander off to take a shower while D cleans up the kitchen. My poor nani has taken a beating and still has pieces of wax attached to stray hairs even after the shower. The cooling lotion didn't do much good to my damaged goods either. Needless to say there's no action that night.

The moral of the story is that I'll leave the brazilian waxing to professionals and keep shaving every three days. 

* nani = short for the hawaiian word "puanani" meaning "beautiful flower" and is slang for vagina.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

My Sister

I have the best sister in the world. We are less than two years apart and have been best friends since the day she was born. Even though at times we've been thousands of miles and oceans apart we've always been very close. We are also lucky enough to be married to men who have become best friends over the years.

When D and I started trying for a baby in the summer of 2007, my Sis' and her Mr. decided to throw out their birth control too. Two months later she calls to tell me I'm going to be an Auntie. I cry with happiness and we both talk about the possibility of us being pregnant at the same time (these were the hopeful early days of TTC). Months go by and for every picture she sends me of her growing belly it's more obvious how flat and empty mine is. When she's 9 months pregnant I finally get to see her in person and feel the miracle of a little person kicking from the inside. June 11, 2008 my Nephew is born. He's the most perfect little thing I've ever seen and I fall deeply in love with this little man. That same week my younger cousin who has a 1-year old son discovers she's pregnant again. I get this achy feeling in my chest and have a hard time knowing how to deal with the unexpected baby news. Suddenly my family is literally exploding with new life and my arms are blatantly empty.

My Farmor (paternal grandmother) is the matriarch of our family and the only living grandparent. She's ninety six, brutally honest and not very diplomatic. Shortly after Nephew is born, me, Mamma and Sis' visit her to introduce the latest addition to the clan. Farmor is happy to see us and thrilled to meet her new great grandson. She tells my sister how great she looks and then takes one look at me and asks me if I've gained a little weight (here we are, my sister with a somewhat pregnant looking belly 2 weeks after delivery and me looking my normal self). I brush it off and change conversations back to ooh and aah's about Nephew, drink my coffee and eat one cookie less than intended. Later when Sis' and Mamma are in the kitchen, Farmor looks from baby Nephew to me and asks: - Have you found out what's wrong with you yet? Are you going to end up with a test tube baby? 
I quickly pick my jaw up off the floor and flee to the restroom with tears welling up my eyes and I'm for once thankful that Farmor is not very mobile. The rest of the visit I'm quiet and not another word is uttered on the issue. But in the car on the way home all of it comes gushing out, all the tears, all my fear of not getting pregnant, all of which Farmor's words have brought to the surface. My wonderful Sister stops the car and for the first time I get to talk about what's going on, our struggles and hurdles. Mamma and Sis' listen with open hearts, give me lots of big hugs, and tell me everything is going to be alright. 
From that day our infertility is all in the open, nothing is too embarrassing to talk about and even D's "cup dates" are discussed over dinner. Being out of the "IF closet" is such a relief and takes a lot of the pressure off.

Last time we were in Sweden visiting my family was a big milestone for me and D. We met with the RE for the first time, decided on a treatment plan, and got an arsenal of medication. I visited Farmor at the hospital (she broke her leg again) and told her about our plans to "try and make a test tube baby". She wished us luck and actually apologized for being "a little blunt" about the issue. Although her words hurt so much at the time I can't help but think that a lot of good has come from it.
Over dinner one night Sis' and her Mr. told us that they are going to start trying for baby number two. Maybe this time we'll get to experience pregnancy together.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Trapeze-ing while IVF-ing

Lately I've started a good routine of exercising. I walk the pooch every day for at least an hour and then I either do pilates, yoga or bums, tums & thighs for another hour. I'm not a fitness freak by no means and don't run unless I'm being chased but it makes my body feel good and greatly relaxes my anxious mind. I also feel like I want to be in good shape once we join the circus. 

When we went in for our consult with the RE she told me to stay fit and live a "normal" life until I start the meds. Once I start taking them though she said to not exercise excessively and no drinki da vino. OK, no wine is fine, but what's excessive exercise? Will I be able to walk the Dogster? How will I be able to control my weight? I eat well and healthy now but I'm not loosing any weight in spite of my 2 hour daily exercise... So do I eat less? And what about during pregnancy, is it safe to exercise? I'd rather be safe than sorry even if it means packing on a few pounds but it would be nice to stay at a healthy weight... I've asked Dr. Google but it seems the jury is out on this one. If anyone reading this have any advise I'd be most grateful :-)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Cancer Monster

Patrick Swayze has passed away. He lost his struggle with pancreatic cancer leaving Lisa, wife of 33 years, behind. No children. A 30 year legacy of movies, but no children. 
A small hand of fear grabs my heart. Fear of leaving this world, or being left in this world, without children. Alone. Is it a completely selfish thing to want to have kids, of becoming immortal in a way? Or is it just the basics of life: live, love, procreate and die, and if one of those things doesn't happen is it all wasted? Can you replace it with something else? Can a great career or a big unselfish deed fill that emptiness? 

I've always had a fear of dying. Or rather, a fear of everyone else dying and leaving me behind.  I've searched for a belief or religion to help me find the meaning of life. I've tried finding a logical sense through science. But for every question to which I've found an answer two new questions appear. The one thing I find comfort in is love. That great big love I have for my husband and family and the wide love I have for the world in general. Love doesn't disappear with time and it grows bigger when loving more and when you're loved back. The only thing that makes love smaller is fear. So there's a catch 22. Love to not fear. Fear to not love. 

I'm rambling. I do that a lot. Most of it nobody gets to read or hear and that's probably for the better... The story of Swayze's passing reminded me of two things I fear. A childless future and the Cancer Monster. I'm picking up the phone right now to call and schedule my annual pap.

Friday, 11 September 2009

The big snip-snip

Yesterday I read a fellow infertile sisters newest post in which she talks about the risk of being seen as ungrateful. She worries about her new twin pregnancy and her toddler son,  conceived after years of infertility and several attempts at IUI. Completely normal thoughts like: Am I ready for this? Can I really take care of 2 infants and a toddler? What about sleep depravation, etc., etc. She then goes on to talk about how lucky they are to have the opportunity to have three kids in spite of their infertility. When talking about her and her DH's conversation about having their second and possibly third child she continues by saying: " I thought DH was just wanting to further postpone getting the big snip-snip". 

Reading this was like getting punched in the gut. I wanted to scream. I got teary eyed, angry, felt powerless and wanted to take it out on the author of the blog and had to physically remove myself from the computer to not write a hurtful comment. I didn't and I don't want to judge anyone for their thoughts or ideas but my feelings about vasectomy are darkened by our fertility struggle. What is wrong with other, less permanent contraception methods? Why destroy perfectly healthy baby making parts when so many of us would give anything for them?

Over 10 years ago my D had a vasectomy. He was single. He had three beautiful girls from two previous marriages. The two oldest daughters have the same mom, the first was planned, the second an "accident" while him and his wife were in the process of separation. His third daughter was conceived by deception. D was told by his second wife that she was on the pill when in fact she wanted and was trying to get pregnant. Shortly after his daughter was born they separated. Of course he loves his girls but it was never an uncomplicated love. Long story short, I think D had his vasectomy to get control of his life. He wanted to make sure no life changing decisions were left in the hands of others. And he was happy with his choice until he met me. Life  changed and he found himself wanting what he hasn't really had before. A family. After careful consideration he had the reversal and he says that it hurt a lot more and the  recovery time was longer than after the vasectomy. According to D sex got better and orgasms more intense after the reversal. We just recently found out, almost 2 years after surgery, that the reversal has reversed or "clogged up". D told me that he had known that something wasn't right, that the last month he had had a reduced sense of orgasms... That night after we found out he said with a voice heavy with remorse that he wishes he hadn't "mutilated" himself in the first place. 

I get it if you want to make sure no accidents happen. I certainly get it if hormones aren't the right thing for your partner. It's just such a permanent solution in a life that keeps changing. There are so many variables and hard questions you need to ask yourself. What if your marriage doesn't last? What if something happens to your children? What if? What if? What if?

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Can I pack my bags yet?

Last night I bought my tickets to Sweden. Non-refundable. Now that's a little scary. Let's just hope everything goes according to plan (knocking very hard on wood). I'll be there from October 11 to 25 and D will join me some time around the 17th. I'm trying to pace myself and not have my bags packed several weeks in advance. I've got to stay busy doing other things. Like yoga-ing, taking loooong walks and seeing lots of friends. (No, not eating ice cream and chocolate.) Like working on business ideas, updating my website and blogging. So here I am starting at the end of that list.

Thought I'd give you a little preview of the upcoming show. Imagine this read by Don LaFontaine: 
October 8, 2009 The IVF Circus starts rehearsal with Gonal-F and the Follicles. Five days later Orgalutran appears with the amazing egg juggling act. Suddenly Ovitrelle steps in for final preparations forty eight hours before the eggs exit to the petri dish. Under the influence of a double, triple, no wait, quadruple shot of happy juice all eggs are swiftly taken back stage. Meanwhile in another room The Swimmers are aspirated to make their call time. With very little introduction each of the Eggs are paired with a Swimmer and start their performance on the petri dish. Three to five gruesome days of try outs follow to see which embryo will be the star of the show. There will be many runner ups put on hold, but there can be only one little embryo put on the big womb stage to make magic. This lucky embryo will grow and develop for nine months before finally entering the world to standing ovations. One loving family's much awaited Circus Child. The one that's meant to be.

{And then we'll live happily ever after.}

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

There you are you little fcker!

She showed up, The Bloody Monster, and you'll be pleased to hear I didn't fall for the temptation to test. So I'm relieved and disappointed. A little less disappointed than the past 28 months, but bummed out none the less... But now we can book our tickets to go to Sweden for the circus next month. That makes it real. Holy shit! We're actually doing it. Yay! Is it weird to want to start injecting yourself with hormones? I can't wait. I'll jab that sucker into my belly without hesitation! Had I told my 10 years younger self this she would've laughed out loud and reminded me that we're very scared of needles. Not anymore.

Talked to my Mamma on the phone the other day. I think she's possibly more excited than I am. Not sure if it's the possibility of having a grandchild in August or me coming home to stay with them for almost 2 weeks while doing the circus performance. I don't care, it'll be good to have their support. I feel a little sorry for D who'd probably also enjoy being there with me. But somebody's got to bring home the bacon. And you do need a lot of bacon to join the circus. Maybe I should start making frozen dinners for him to eat while I'm gone... that's what a good wifey would do. And I am. Most of the time :)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Where's that Bloody Monster?

The one month I actually want her to show up she just won't! WTF? She's supposed to arrive today but so far not a sign, and I'm never late. Well, once in 2 years, which initially lit a bright beam of hope and then a black hole of disappointment when she showed, but otherwise no. No use in testing this time though since we found out there's just no way we can make babies on our own... so it's just really annoying... Should I test anyway, could a miracle have happened and one swimmer got through? (says little hopeful voice in my head) No, I'm pathetic and need to just chill out (says little realist with growling voice, also in my head). AAAAAARRRGGH!! Every day she's late postpones the circus another day. Good thing we didn't order our non-refundable tickets to Sweden yet! 'Cause then we would've really been SOL. Need. To be. Patient.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Stars that may or may not have joined the circus.

Allow me to speculate... A lot of stars nowadays have kids late. I can totally understand why, they were, you know, busy starring in various blockbusters, walking down a million red carpets, and simply being fabulous. But I can't help but wonder how their personal life looked when time came to start a family. Did they go through years of trying, worrying and hoping for a miracle? Did they too resort to joining the IVF circus when all else failed? I'm inclined to think so... My question then is: Why are they not talking about it publicly? Stars share all kinds of trouble they've gone through in their lives, failing marriages, trips to rehab etc. so why not infertility? We could sure use some famous role models here at the circus... Anyway, here's my list of "Did they or didn't they?":

Angela Bassett (twins at 47)

Beverly D'Angelo (twins at 49)

Carcelle Beauvais-Nilon (twins at 41)

Geena Davis (twins at 48)

Halle Berry (first child at 41)

Helena Bonham Carter (first child at 41)

Holly Hunter (twins at 47)

Jane Seymour (twins at 45) 

J-Lo (twins at the age of 38)

Julia Roberts (twins at 36)

Lisa Marie Presley (twins at 40)

Marcia Cross (twins at 44)

Nicole Kidman (new mom at 40 having adopted in previous marriage)

What do you think?

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Fall is here.

Looking out the window at the tall trees swaying in the wind and hearing the wind whipping round the house it's clear that fall is here. Just two days ago I had lunch in the back yard with a friend and got what will most likely be this summers last sunburn. 

We've almost been in England a year now. Where has time gone? Where did summer go? Too much time was spent reading blogs about infertility, following infertility threads in chat rooms and finding out about fertility clinics around Europe... Obsessing you may say. More like being extremely focused. Alright, obsessing. At least I've stopped watching the evil shows on TV. The ones titled "A baby story", "Bringing home baby", "Room for baby", "Babes in the woods" and "Portland babies".  Now I focus on quality shows like "Girls of the Playboy mansion" and "Kendra"... although since Kendra discovered she's pregnant I might have to stop watching that one too. I guess there could be worse vises to have. Like drugs (not fertility drugs) or copious amounts of alcohol (which I now only have every time the Bloody Monster arrives). 

Thankfully my dog is not put off by the weather and still insists on a long walk. Thanks to him I'm at least getting an hours sanity break every day. Being obsessive takes a lot of time and being infertile is hard work. Just imagine how much free time I'll have once I become a mother :) 

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Don't leave your keys on the table.

Being superstitious and infertile is not a good combination. Even though medical reasons have been established to actually cause our infertility I still can't help wondering if:
• The fact that I kept my lucky kukui nut in the drawer of tampons and not in my bed caused Lady Luck to misinterpret my wishes (said nut has since been moved around about ten times)
• That glass of wine I had last night caused the spotting I had this morning that assured me the Bloody Monster was on it's way and that I'm not pregnant this month either.
• D's habit of putting his keys on the table is causing his low/zero sperm count (this has not been verbalized with the risk of seeming obsessive and slightly crazy)
Anyway, right now my fertility medicine that doesn't require to be in the fridge is kept with my nephews baby wipes and left pacifiers in hopes that they'll get some magic baby dust on them. And I do believe my arsenal of lucky stuffed angels will have to go with me to Sweden along with the kukui nut when the time comes for egg retrieval. 
A good friend of mine who is also struggling with fertility told me she walks around with "lucky sunflower seeds" in her pocket. So there. I'm not the only looney tune.

Years of trying

Thought I'd put together a little list of what we've gone through to get here. I'm listing the tests and medical procedures we've had done but I need to mention some of the psychological trials as well. My wish to start a family actually began soon after we got married. D however thought he was way past that part of his life after having 3 girls followed by a vasectomy. Hope is a weird thing, for over 3 years I was secretly hoping for a miracle, that somehow one of his "swimmers" would find a way past the cut parts and get me pregnant. Surprisingly that didn't happen... All the while I kept talking to D about the possibility of him having a reversal. I reminded him of what he had told me on our first date sitting under the stars on his front porch talking about regrets in our life: "-The only regret I have is never having a son". I asked him to reconsider starting a family with me and getting a second chance of having a son. And that's when our journey really started.

May 22, 2007 – D has a vasectomy reversal at Madigan Army Hospital 
May 24, 2007 – I have my first normal pap result in many years (history of abnormal paps after cervical cancer in 2001 treated with cone biopsy)

In June I start tracking my cycle, checking my temp, going through ovulation kits, testing mucus, you name it. We begin trying for a baby and have lots of fun practicing :) I try to increase our chances by taking robotussin and folic acid. Even stop drinking alcohol 2 last weeks of every cycle.

August, 2007 – I start spotting between periods, OBGYN tells me it's nothing to worry about and that it's considered a good fertility sign. Also experience extremely painful periods.
October 22, 2007 – I'm 3 days late. I'm never late and we both get excited! Pee on 2 sticks, both negative and the morning after the bloody monster arrives.
January, 2008 – I have a bunch of hormone tests taken, all come back normal... doesn't explain spotting or infertility.
March 6, 2008 – D has a "date with a cup" at Providence
March 11, 2008 – Results from sperm test is low count, low motility and abnormal morphology. Not good.
October 6, 2008 – Get a different doc at annual and tell her about my spotting and our infertility. Finally somebody listens and she gets me a referral to an ultrasound. 
October 9, 2008 – I have an ultrasound at Pacific, WA. Technician tells me I'll get some answers about our infertility from the results??

And then we move from Washington to England and everything medical is put on hold for a few months while we try to get all the other parts of our life sorted out...

February 2, 2009 – Repeat ultrasound at RAF Lakenheath, England. Polyp/cyst found in uterus.
February 9, 2009 – Hysteroscopy evaluation by Dr. Crawford, find uterine polyp. PAINFUL.
February 23, 2009 – Hysteroscopy, Dr. Crawford removes a 1.5cm uterine polyp under general anesthesia .
March 11, 2009 – Meet Dr. Ruch at RAF Lakenheath who takes the time to look over my medical history and decides to get me all the required referrals for a fertility work-up
April, 2009 – Do all the hormonal labs AGAIN. Still normal.
June 4, 2009 – Hysterosalpingogram (tounge twister). Balloon inflates twice and catheter is expelled but they're able to see that the left tubes are open. Can't handle the pain for them to insert catheter, refill balloon and inject fluid a third time so right tubes are still a mystery...
August 7, 2009 – D has another date with a cup - shows less than 2 million but isn't specific
August 21, 2009 – Meet with Dr. Wood at the Fertility centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. D meet his beloved "cup" again and we find out that his reversal has somehow reversed and that there is no sperm at all present. Talk about IVF with ICSI and sperm aspiration and decide that it's the right thing for us. Dr. Wood tells us we have a 35-40% chance of pregnancy per treatment. Sounds pretty fantastic considering the circumstances. 

I'm not talking about the cost of any of these tests, operations or consults but I'm sure you know it's quite steep. And that of course adds to the already high levels of stress. But we've come this far even if the road here has stretched across oceans and have been far from straight. In October we take another huge step on this journey when we join the IVF circus. Let's keep our fingers and toes crossed that we'll finally be able to start our family.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Diary May 23, 2007

Ball Games & Happy Juice
They rolled him in and his eyes were happy and calm, he smiled and slurred: - I'll be OK now.
30 sec earlier he had panic in his eyes and harrassed the anesthesiologist that couldn't find a vein in his arm until attempt 3. So we're here, finally, giving life a chance. Making parenthood possible. 

Yesterday morning Verna called me. Chocked and surprised I answered the phone knowing that I had actually forgot to leave my daily message for her this morning. For 2 weeks I had called every day wishing her good morning and leaving our phone number reminding her that we really want this vasectomy reversal. And here she was, calling me back. I started shaking when she told me they have an opening TOMORROW. My happiness mixed with fear that D would say no because of the short notice. So I told her we'd call back asap and then I called D. When he picked up I studdered: - she ca-ca-called and there's an opening to-tomorrow but we have to go in today for a consult! 
He didn't hesitate: -What time, what do I need to bring and where do we go? I started smiling and let out a sigh of relief. I told him to call Verna back and find out the details. 

A whirlwind of an hour later I had postponed my appointment with the orthodontist and called The Herald to tell them I couldn't start my new job there until Wednesday. We left the house at noon to drive down to the Madigan Army Hospital. Verna met us at the door and we got to shake her hand and say thank you. We then met with Dr. Nelson who will be doing the reattaching of the "pipes". He explained about the procedure and success rates and then examined D's "boys". He gave us his thumbs up and we were off for pre-op exams. Many pokes and probes later we left the hospital to make the 1.5 hour drive home. D called his girls to tell them the news and they wished us luck. We talked about babies and baby names and I felt a million butterflies spreading their wings in the pit of my stomach.

Back home D poured himself a scotch and I started dinner. Couldn't help thinking that I need to learn how to cook if I'm to be a mom. I tried the unfamiliar thoughts: -I could be a mom *wings flapping*. -I could get pregnant within 6 months *wild flapping*.

Had a hard time sleeping that night and woke up before the alarm went off. Made coffee, walked the dog and hit the road. We were early and D started getting an uneasy look in his eyes. As we got closer he got more and more worried. When we had arrived and he changed in to the hospital gown his worry peaked. We had a short laugh attack when he seriously added the "party hat" to his outfit. Next thing we know he's got a needle in his arms and he finally gets some "happy juice". He then made sure to thank the doctors, nurses, anesthesiologist and random cleaning staff for this opportunity to become a dad again. I kissed my saucy husband good luck and good night and they rolled him into theatre.

I'm writing this sitting in the family waiting room anxiously waiting while the doctors perform a miracle.

25 random things about me

1. I'm really swedish, not just "my-family-came-to-america-in-the-early-1900's-and-I-don't-speak-the-language-swedish", but born-and-raised swedish.

2. I'm also american. The naturalized kind that came-to-the-country-in-the-early-2000-and-speaks-the-language-with-an-accent.

3. My heart has many homes and I'm constantly homesick. 

4. I live in a house in England that used to be a barn. Horses used to live here.

5. I'm deathly afraid of horses. 

6. I'm a passionate feminist who swore to never get married. 

7. Every day I fall deeper in love with my husband. (Breaking the vow of non-marriage is the best decision I ever made)

8. I'm a domestic disaster turned temporary housewife.

9. My mom never let me help around the kitchen as a child and I'm learning how to cook in my mid-30's with the help of Jamie Oliver and Rachel Ray. 

10. Cleaning house, getting up early, and bad weather makes me grumpy. There should be laws against these things.

11. I wanted to be an opera singer and a ballet dancer when I was a little girl. -Hah!

12. I would do my job for free. And have. Too many times.

13. I'm really skinny. I'm just wearing a fat suit and can remove it at any time.

14. I smoked 20 cigarettes a day, every day, for 15+ years. Now I don't.

15. Fake boobs scare me. Men who love fake boobs scare me more. 

16. Cancer, tics, fleas and mites creep me out. I've had all four. 

17. I've discovered the irony in spending my entire youth trying not to get pregnant.

18. I'd choose texting or mailing over talking on the phone any day. But if given the choice I'd rather see people in person than text or mail.

19. Every time I try to organize my office I end up in a pile of old letters, photos, books, ticket stubs, and artwork. It's very time consuming and the finished product is always less organized than the original.

20. I have 3 bonus daughters and 2 bonus grandsons that I wish I knew better and lived closer to.

21. You can't choose your family but if you could I would choose mine.

22. I love my pets too much. But they don't seem to mind.

23. I always give people one more chance than they deserve. 

24. In spite of being spiritual I don't really care for any religion and think they too often defeat their purpose and that God/Allah/Zhu/Bhagavan/Yahweh is too big to fit in any box. 

25. I'm about to embark on one of the biggest adventures of my life. I'm joining the IVF circus.