Thursday, 31 December 2015

Good riddance 2015!

2015 was a year of change for me and my husband. New city, new jobs, new friends, new hair color, new tattoo (first tattoo I should say), and a new outlook on life. We're never short on challenges being "infertiles", but yet always full on love and support. I couldn't have chosen a better partner to navigate this amazing, albeit rocky at times, adventure called life. I'm so thankful for all that I have, and yet at the same time, hopeful for all the things I'm wishing into fruition right now. And of course, the biggest of all, is a starting a family.

I met this lady at the dog park. We kept running into one another and eventually (after knowing each other well enough) we started talking about more personal things. She is an "older" mom (not really, but she did consider herself older than the norm) due to her struggles with infertility. One thing she said to me really hit home:

"everything started shifting when I stopped hating and blaming my body for not doing its job. Once I started thinking (more importantly, actually believing) it WAS capable, I was able to think positively about the experience" 

The thing is... when you deal with infertility, its so hard to not become protective of your emotions for your survival and well being. Unfortunately, in doing so, we often prepare ourselves for a negative outcome, only aiding to the likelihood of a self-fulfilling prophecy, really. I mean, no one in their right minds LIKES needles, or taking crazy amounts of drugs, and going for check-ups every other day... but it is what we infertiles (or individuals who are struggling) need to do in order to make our dreams a reality. But when we hold such resentment towards these experiences, or feel like no matter what we do our bodies will fail us, then we set up the energetic reality to follow. 

This is all a very metaphysical take on things, so I'm sorry if I've lost you or sound hokey pokey. I feel very strongly that energy plays a large part in life. Everything on this earth is in fact made up of energy (kinetic or otherwise) and that's a scientific fact. Yet, we forget that we ourselves are energy, and that we connect to others and experiences energetically as well. That negative feeling we can get reflecting on our situation, permeates our being. 

It's funny, because I was really hopeful the first time around doing IVF. But at the same time, I didn't want to fully believe it could work for fear of a bigger let-down. Then we had a difficult transfer and I convinced myself it didn't work... even going so far as to stop my progesterone before beta. I was CONVINCED. Then the second time around I just started the whole thing out with negative thinking because the first time didn't work. My negative thinking was a habit, I had been doing it so long. But thinking something, believing it, is actually a choice. You can choose to believe what you want, but unfortunately, sometimes it can make turn it and make it fact. There is a difference between FACT and BELIEF. 

I'm not asking you to believe anything this guy is claiming (ie. where the message comes from etc), but I thought his analogy of the yin/yang for beliefs was really poignant. 

Basically think of a belief like a yin/yang. The white is a positive, the black is a negative belief. The opposite coloured dots are like doors to the other side of belief (positive to negative, negative to positive). When you are in a positive belief you see the door. The light is on in the room, and you know you can have access to the negative belief, but choose to stay positive. You leave that door closed... but you know its there and made the choice to stay in the positive side. Now when you are on the negative belief side, in the dark... you cannot see the door. You are blind to it. Its there! You just don't know that it is, or where to find it. 

We get so caught up believing we're infertile... assuming that as part of our identities - heck! I've labeled myself femme infertile! But there is harm in believing that of ourselves. Especially for those of you like me who are unexplained, we are in fact CAPABLE of getting pregnant. We just have no evidence yet to support it. And because we've tried and tried and tried, this belief has become cemented in what we believe to be reality and thus fact. But it is not FACT... it is a BELIEF. 

So what's my point? I'm preaching again.. 
My point is that as many of us enter new cycles of IVF, we need to be preparing ourselves financially, physically, emotionally and mentally. And most of us do that. We go on the necessary diets, cut out alcohol, reduce stress levels, meditate maybe. But what many of us don't do (myself included in past cycles) is take time to work on our beliefs and thinking. This doesn't mean simply saying I believe I'm going to get pregnant, and then it happening. You have to actually believe it, not say it. 

But how do we do this? Well, I'm still trying to figure that out. I'm doing meditations. Saying positive affirmations. Connecting as I'm able to my baby's energy (and in turn raising my own vibration). Letting go of any latent resentment, anger, jealousy, fear, despair etc. Like REALLY letting it go. Fully! And finally actually visualizing myself pregnant. What I look like, how it feels, what changes my body will go through. All of it! 

All aspects of my thinking need to be directed to BELIEVING that I can get pregnant, even if its not tomorrow (there should be no timeline attached to this). Our current reality, is not our necessary and inevitable reality. 

Okay. If I haven't lost you already and you don't think I'm totally cuckoo crazy by now, good on you! Open minds right!? New year, new mindset, new cycle. I can't wait to get started. 

ps. check out Alaya and Oshira of Vibrational Child. She is AMAZING and her mediations etc. are fantastic! Also good, is Circle & Bloom for while you're cycling.

free fertility relaxation to try out from circle and bloom too if interested but not wanting to commit to the investment!

On that note... on to a meditation myself! Hope you all end your 2015 with open hearts and minds, ready to embrace all that 2016 has to offer us! Much love!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Biopsy, SHG & Trial Transfer

So, first off... holy crap is the US different than Canada. In Canada, I had to wait something like 6 months after being refered to an RE to actually get a CALL to make an appointment. Then the next available appointment was months and months away. Ridiculous. Then communication was very limited during the treatment and you never (or rarely ever) had your actual doc. It was whoever was on shift.

Now the US experience is completely flipped. Now, I have good health insurance, so I know I'm lucky as a lot of it is covered, but private health care is substantially more patient centered than public. I can contact the clinic directly and get an answer right away. I can email my doctor directly, and get an answer back within 24 hr (usually much faster), and I have a lot more control over my care.

Anyways, that was just a rant because I kept emailing my doc and he kept emailing me back with smiley faces, like it was no big deal. I was blown away. Probably seems small and insubstantial, but a new experience for me.

I was all confused about when I was supposed to be doing my biopsy. At first I thought it was mid Jan, then my cycle before got all messed up and I was thinking it would be in Feb, but after this chain of emails, I now realize it IS mid-January. But the kicker is... darling hubby is going to be out of town so I'm flying solo.

AHh :s

So I'm having a uterine biopsy (Scratch) done, along with an SHG and trial transfer. Because of my difficult transfers in the past, they are sedating me (or putting me to sleep... can't remember). No idea what this will do to me, or how I'll feel upon waking, so I'm freaking out that I'll be completely alone. Wondering if I should have my mom come into town and take care of me.
If anyone has experienced anything similar I'd love love LOVE you to comment with suggestions.

Anyways. Excited to get a move on and get started. Looks like my biopsy etc. will be around January 16th to 19th ish.... thats a big ISH since my cycles are totally wonky and you just never know when I'll ovulate.

Anyhoo... I'm gonna go mull on all this and stew in my fear. Wish me luck! :s

Monday, 21 December 2015

No Shame!

So I was part of a holiday thread on infertility - some of you reading this may have been part of that thread too.

A couple girls were dreading the holidays with their families because of fear of breaking down, or embarrassing themselves when asked when they're going to have kids. I wrote a paragraph, and then subsequently decided to bite my tongue and erased it.

I'm outspoken. I'm honest... sometimes brutally. From the very beginning we were very open to everyone about our situation. I mean everyone. I never once took on the responsibility of whether what I said was going to make someone else uncomfortable or embarrassed. Why should I? That's not my responsibility!!!

 I believed from the get go, that there was no shame in my struggle. I think perhaps thats what makes it so hard for me watching others struggle with shame and embarrassment on the topic. Watch others be so closed off in sharing their experiences. Its amazing once you open up the amount of stories you hear from others going through the same. (I have a rant on this in a different post re: why more ppl aren't open but I'll let you find and read that separately).

Now, I'm not saying being open is for everyone. I consider myself an incredibly strong individual who can take peoples moments and comments of "idiocy" or "insensitivity" or "naivety" and let it all slide off my shoulders... most of the time. At least in the long run ;)
Being open is not for the feeble or weak, sure. But I believe we should all stand strong in the face of infertility. It is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Here is the initial post:

Is any one else really fearful of family gatherings this year? I have been having a lot of anxiety regarding them. We go to my husbands family this year and though a few people on that side know of our struggles, I do not think most do - they are a very private family when it comes to things like this, which is the complete opposite of my side - everyone knows what is going on. Yesterday all I could think about is how I would react when some one inevitably asks when we are going to have kids or when someone announces they are having another one. I am trying to have a script, but right now I can not think about it with out tearing up. Basically I am scared, and do not want to embarrass myself or anyone else. Any one else in this boat and/or have some advice? This is our 4th Christmas season while struggling with this infertility thing and it only seems to be getting harder.

then another response: I'm nervous about it, too. Neither my nor DH's family knows we are struggling to conceive, and neither family is especially nosy, but I'm just worried about how I'm going to react. We have 3 babies less than a year old in the family, and of course I love them very much and I'm excited to see them on their first Christmas. But since we're fresh off an unsuccessful cycle (AF starting any time now), I think I'm probably going to feel pretty melancholy. Basically I don't want to break down in tears at a family event and like you said embarrass myself or other people!

Now... this is where I had to bite my tongue. I already erased the response I typed unfortunately... lost forever, but it was to this effect:

I really want you ladies to know that infertility is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. It is something that is completely out of our control, and something that a lot of people don't understand, yes, but try to! I have had many social gatherings where I had to retreat to the bathroom to cry... even sometimes in a room of people who know my situation. If you don't walk in our shoes it can be hard to understand. But that being said, I find so much comfort in knowing that a friend who is aware of our situation, can intuit and know when I must be hurting in a given circumstance. I don't even have to say anything, yet they are there to comfort me, hug me and empathize to the best of their ability without hesitation. 

I understand the choice to not share openly. That is a choice. But know it is a choice. When people continue to ask about kids/family plans, it is because they care about us, and want to know about our lives and plans. They have no clue we're struggling unless we tell them! Many of them want to know, many of them are already guessing... I have found so much peace in sharing, and am not trying to say its the only choice, because again... it is ONE choice, and one that I made long ago and have never once regretted. But that being said, we are so much more than an infertile. We are beautiful, kind, compassionate, intelligent women who have so much more to offer this world than the identity of conceiving and carrying a child. Hopefully one day we all get to, but we should not feel ashamed of how that one aspect of our lives is currently playing out. 

Everyone struggles in their lives... at differen times... in different areas. Maybe its career, relationships, health, whatever it may be. When we only share the good, we are closing the doors to receiving compassion. When we are willing to be vulnerable and open, not only can we receive compassion, but we open the door too to others' struggles and the ability to give compassion. My friend will cry on my shoulder about heartbreak of a lost relationship. Why is it so inconceivable to do the same about my heartbreak of infertility? I seem to be preaching here about openness, and that was not my intention. It is a completely valid decision to keep your private life private. Everyone is different and you have to choose what is right for you. This is just from the perspective of someone who did the opposite and feels so light and free. May 2016 fulfill all your hopes and dreams!

note: please feel free to share your honest thoughts or comments about this topic. How do you feel about this topic of shame or embarrassment?

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Future Unknown

Oh gosh... where do I start. So my husband works in finance, and is always on the edge of his seat feeling like he'll get fired. The horrible thing, is that it is very common in that industry to have a bad week and get put out on the street. So he's often stressed and very nervous about that. It doesn't help that we packed up our lives in Canada and moved to New York (a VERY expensive city to live in) where I can't legally work. So really, our livelihood rests on his shoulders unfortunately.

Well the last week or so has been bad. For anyone who follows the markets, you know its been a volatile year. His pod has lost of a LOT of money. He, individually, has done well and made some good calls, but it's a team environment and unfortunately, if the ship goes down, there's no lifeboat.

Today he texted me very upset. He generally bottles a lot of that stress up, as he knows I don't handle not being able to contribute very well. I hate him feeling so responsible, but also, of course, don't want him to not feel able to talk to me about it. It's tough... Anyway, the point is, that today he really let it all out, and feels like its very likely he'll lose his job.

Now I don't know what that means for us personally, whether we get deported immediately, or if we have time for him to get a new job... but fertility-wise, without insurance... we're out of the game temporarily. I don't mean to turn this into something selfish, but after five years of working towards a family and wanting it so bad, I naturally think of that first. It's my priority and my focus right now; getting healthy mentally and physically in order to do our next round in January.

But now its all up in the air. I feel lost. Scared. Confused. I was so hopeful to be moving forward on this journey only to be told that maybe we have to put a pin in it all... again! I'm 30 now, and though still young, wanted so badly to be a "young" mother. I wanted to be DONE having children by 30, not be starting... or TRYING to start...

I feel like time is getting away from me, and as silly as that may be with a full life ahead of me, am feeling the pressure to move along. And yet now? Feel stuck in the mud, unable to move. Life has thrown us some curveballs, and I know we're strong enough to overcome whatever happens... I guess I just don't want to have to.

Ohhhhh wellllll....

Friday, 11 December 2015

Due Date Season

Do you ever have those spells where it feels like everyone is pregnant but you?

Well when my hubby and I got back into a routine of actively TTC, it seemed like everyone else got the urge, but yet they were all successful. Well guess what!? Now its due date season. I have literally about 6 people I know due within the next 2 months. Salt on the wound thinking I could have been too... regardless of knowing I'm "infertile."

What sucks even more is that I'm on hold until after the new year fertility treatment wise. The clinic I'm going to is undergoing renovations, which is quite nice actually... new offices to get check ups etc. in... but that means for the next month I'm at a stand still. Never feels good to be frozen in place. Movement forward in the direction of our dreams is what keeps us infertiles sane. Speaking for myself at least...

The holidays are extra hard. All that's on my christmas wish list is a positive pregnancy test. Although I may not feel like that's so much to ask, I know it is. I often really wonder what my destiny is. How does everything turn out. So I ask... Who? Well I have a little secret ... I read tarot cards and am an empath and intuitive. I have guessed genders with pretty astonishing accuracy. I told a friend worrying about getting pregnant that she would get pregnant at 4 months... and then she did, another that she would struggle but eventually conceive (wrote this one down... never a good idea to tell someone its going to be hard), numerous times known others were pregnant before their announcements, and even gone so far as to know the instant a friend went into labour! I'm not trying to convince you of my gifts, but to give a little merit into why I believe in myself at least. And for whatever reason, I've been blessed with extra-sensory surrounding pregnancy and births. Really? Not like... lottery numbers or career or love advice... babies!!?!?!!?!? Of course! Because that is where my intention in life is currently. That's where my mind and focus goes. So naturally, that's the strongest.

So I've been asking my tarots for a long LONG time about my family situation. I never get the answer I want. For a long time I bargained, claiming that it would be unfair to see my own future, and  I know in general its difficult to read ones self as we're so subjective and biased, so perhaps its wrong, I'd think. Doing so at least kept me from losing hope, and continuing to try.

Well finally the tides shifted, and I seem to be closer (according the cards that be). Doesn't claim anything immediate, but makes me feel like it may be sooner than later. It was pretty exciting, as I do my best to not see what I want or hope for in the cards, but instead, what's actually present. But that won't make the holidays any easier. The christmas cards of all my friends' families (who started trying well after we began trying and now have 2+ children...) are flooding in. I put them on my fridge because I love my friends and I love their children... I don't want to miss out on these memories and precious years. But it does hurt. Crazy how a person has such a capacity to hurt so badly and yet love so fully all at once.

This year its just hubby and me. We're staying in New York and I hope to make the absolute most of it. Because I know my real true wishes are nothing short of miracle worthy, I'm throwing in a back-up wish of a White Christmas. I'd love nothing more than to go Ice Skating and drink hot cocoa on Christmas Day surrounded by a white winter wonderland with the man I love. I figure that's a doable wish to fulfill to those wish deliverers up above...

What are you wishing for this year? How do you handle the holiday season? Whatever it is... I hope your dreams come true and you start 2016 with a happy and full heart. Blessings to you all!

Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and/or Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Things you learn being an infertile...

So I came across a post today "10 Things I never knew before experiencing Infertility". You can see the original post here:

Anyways... It got me thinking about what I've learned since starting this journey. So here's my list:

1) My husband is my rock
He is experiencing the same pain as me, and no one knows my struggle better than him. Something can happen or be said, and without words, he'll look at me, and I know he understands. This support is crucial to my sanity.

2) Life is NOT a movie! Or a TV show! Or anyone else's life for that matter....

A lot of movies and TV shows have accidentally pregnancies with happily ever afters! And often the story lines are insanely unrealistic and idealistic. This is not only painful to watch, but a total piss-off in general when we see/hear enough of this in real life already.  Life is not a movie people! We are all on our own journeys, and we all have our own stories to tell. Everyone struggles, but maybe in different ways and at different times. You, me, we... we're not alone!

3) It is possible to be simultaneously happy and insanely jealous at the same time
No joke... I always thought it was one or the other. Truth be told... I can physically cry happy-sad tears. So weird.

4) My moods are so much more linked to my reproductive cycle than I'd like to admit.
Okay, so we all know we get cranky at "that time", but did you know that you also feel "sexy" at one time, and more "attractive" at said time, and somewhat more "hungry" at this time. There are a LOT of "times" in a cycle... and become pretty predictable when you chart for years.

5) Hope is cruel and yet a complete and utter necessity.
If I didn't have hope, I wouldn't break down like I do. But if I didn't have hope, I'd also have given up a long long time ago. Hope is what keeps me going, moving towards my goal. But it is also what crushes me time and time again.

6) When you stop and focus on yourself, you learn so much about who you are as a person
I always knew I wanted to be a mother... this was a goal of mine since I was 16. I knew I was meant to be a parent, and wanted to do it young. But there is so much more to me, and I let that slip away little by little. Re-focusing on myself allowed me to rediscover just how awesome I am. Take my word for it... I'm awesome. And so are you!

7) You have to love yourself before someone there is space for others to love you.
Okay so this is a big one... For starters this is linked to #6 above... that's step one. But the more you learn about yourself, the more you need to accept, honor and love yourself. I believe had I been successful right out of the gate, I would never have had such a fulfilling and happy life. Taking this time to know and love ME, has made me realize that I want that for my child always and forever. I never want them feeling like they NEED something or someone to MAKE them happy. This goes for love, a job, and one day, for them too, children. Do I believe having a child will bring so much joy and fulfillment to my life, ABSOLUTELY! But that alone is not enough. I need to share my joys and passions with them when they do make their way into this world, and I need to model self-love... so I need to develop that in myself first!!!

8) Being vulnerable does NOT mean being weak. 
For me, it means being honest and open to support. Without my support network, I would not survive. Opening up, and admitting when I'm feeling hurt or sad, has allowed a level of respect and empathy from those around me I never expected. 

9) Once you reach one goal, a new one feels out of reach. 
So this has only recently popped up for me. For some random reason, I have this deep rooted feeling that very soon I will be a mother. I have no founded reason for this. It's just an intuition and I could be embarrassingly wrong. BUT, my point is, that now that I believe I can get pregnant, I'm worrying about pregnancy and the child I will bear. What if something goes wrong? What if my child has a disability. There is ALWAYS something to worry about. so......

10) Life isn't lived, but if lived in the moment.
Further to the above, I've learned that above all else, looking and reaching forward stops me from living in the moment, being present, and having gratitude for all that I do have and cherish. Yes I want a child, and I will never stop working towards that goal. But I chose to live for today, and make the most of it while I'm here. 

bonus #11 - If I would want it for my child, I need to want it for myself. Practice what you preach!


Monday, 26 October 2015

Testing Testing 1 2 3

Overload of information at our appointment! Long and short? Public health care sucks. Or our previous clinic did... take your pick! Basically he confirmed that we really knew nothing about our care... and not only that, but he really had to read through the lines at the information included in our file. 

Case and point, it stated poor ovarian reserve, but then contradicted itself saying poor outcome regardless of good ovarian response. 

Anyways, we were super happy with our new doctor. He seems extremely knowledgeable, and compassionate towards our situation. He seems determined to find what the problem is, and isn't just masking it with "unexplained" and let's throw some IVF at it. That's not to say he doesn't think IVF is the best route for us, in fact the opposite, but he's just saying that he wants to treat us as precisely and thoughtfully as possible. Exactly what we wanted to hear.

So step one is a lot... I repeat A LOT of testing. On the day of our appointment I got some bloodwork drawn, we checked my lining thickness, and took a look at my ovarian reserve (which was indeed low). We also found a cyst which wasn't super surprising. 

Step two is for me to get a  ____ test, and the husband to see a urologist to find out if he has varicocele. 

Then, on a cycle that the timing works, I'll get a uterine biopsy done. Since I have an odd shaped path to the uterus he's going to sedate me so I'll sleep for the procedure. While there, he'll also do an SHG, and a trial run with the catheter to know what to do on transfer day. This is necessary because we've had difficult transfers in the past, possibly contributing to our negative outcomes.

Then I might get tested for Killer attack cells, and then hubby and I will get tested for DQ Alpha match to see if our genes are compatible. If I have killer attack cells then I'll likely do intralipid treatments. These tests are paid out of pocket (and not cheap) and yet the intralipid therapy is covered under insurance. Makes no sense... so we're half tempted to ask if its worth simply going ahead with intralipids regardless if I need them. Though with all my immune issues, I'm pretty confident that I do!

Hubby can also get tested for his sperm DNA fragmentation. If there is high fragmentation then the doc will suggest doing PICSI on fertilization day. We're going to ask if we can skip the first test, and just do PICSI regardless since both are paid out of pocket. Seems silly to test for something just to confirm or deny that we need it... and if needing it pay more out of pocket. might as well just pay for doing it, right?!

Anyways. That's all the testing we're looking at right now. He says depending on what everything turns up, he'd like to maybe only put 1 back in. Of course immediately I'm hesitant since our last two rounds of IVF we transferred 2 embryos each time with negative outcomes. He says he'll agree to 2 if I'm adamant. I was... but now I'm not so sure... I really believe in him, and trust him, and would rather not have to deal with the complications that can arise with twins, so feel inclined to just do 1 if we really think it'll work. 

I dunno.. brain is exploding with all the info.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Planning Priorities

Okay so a little bit of a vent here..  sometimes (okay MOST of the time) being infertile really frickin sucks. Not only is the stress and pain awful, but we also have to schedule schedule schedule. First we're scheduling sex. Then we're scheduling appointments. Then finally we schedule the actual cycles. Then schedule all the needles and bloodwork and follow ups ... it goes on and on... Our lives start feeling like they're not our own anymore.

Case in point. A good friend of mine is getting married in the New Year. Great! Exciting! So since I'm a photographer she is all but begging me to shoot her wedding. Would love to do that, BUT... and here's the BUT. I don't know if I can!?

So we're meeting with our fertility clinic next Friday (t-minus 10ish days) which I'm freaking excited for ... side tangent- my hubby and I laugh about how far we've come from that first fertility appointment. We're so comfortable with our infertility now that we walk into the clinics like no biggie, we're joking and laughing and going about our business like it's no big deal. This is not meant to be diminishing for anyone who finds them stressful- trust me, we've been there! But rather showing that for us it's become so much easier and commonplace. That first time we walked in I remember being on the constant verge of tears, and avoiding eye contact with anyone and everyone else in the room, dreading seeing a familiar face. Now I see those poor individuals and am grateful for how much strength I've been able to find. That's my gratitude for the day.

Anyways, so what's frustrating though is having to 1) wait for this appointment and now 2) have to wait to chat at the appointment to find out cycling dates to then decide if my friends wedding is even something I can attend, let along photograph! Fingers crossed I'd be pregnant by then, but if first round is unsuccessful, then 3) when would we do the second round? It puts all plans up in the air. A normal couple can just do the deed anywhere they go. Us? We have to be bound to needle schedules and ultrasound and bloodwork appointments. It just feels really unfair sometimes.

Okay rant done. 

Friday, 2 October 2015

An Original Poem: Every Day

You say to me; enjoy this time,
but this time of mine, I don't need, I'm fine

You say to enjoy the freedom I have,
but freedom I lack, I do not laugh

You say be brave, be patient and trust,
but trust is lost, and question I must

You say you believe, and feel you know,
but promise, you can't, and faith is slow

You say you miss the life I lead,
but what when life I lose and bleed

You say you care, you understand,
but each time I fall I find no hand

So what you need to see, I say,
is I hurt, I hope, I blame, I pray

Every Day

-written by Femme InFertile

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Three Weeks

The countdown is officially on... and the wait is killing me. I knew that I wanted to choose a quality doctor with a long wait over a less experienced doctor with a short wait, and I feel good about my decision, but man alive is the wait torturous or what! I made this appointment what feels like months ago. I'm sure there's evidence in my blog to the contrary, but it definitely feels that way.

I guess I'm just in the headspace to start really trying again. We tried naturally for a number of months again recently and it felt like beating my head against a wall. I mean, when more advanced techniques don't work and your odds are so low naturally you kind of want to laugh at yourself for even being remotely hopeful. But I was, and then the heartache came back each month. I'd say the disappointment isn't any less, but because it has become the norm and expected, the lack of shock of another unsuccessful cycle means one less emotion to work through at least.

I'm so curious about this clinic. About this doctor. I was so frustrated with my prior doctor and him thinking so confidently that we really didn't need help. I hope this one believe in our struggle and actively pursues approaches that will stack our odds. I'll get a sense when I meet him. While doing my research I definitely just trusted my gut but now of course I'm questioning all that. I really wish I could connect with someone who has had a personal experience with Dr. Drew Tortoriello form Sher NYC, so if you have message me up! Or if you know someone... send them my way haha.

Anyways. I'm trying to get in the headspace again. I'm in this weird rush, but I don't know why. I just feel such an urgent need to move ahead with my life. I'm sure this is a landmark in the infertility journey that others have hit and know what I'm talking about. I'm just fed up with the lack of control I have over my own situation and my own destiny. At some point I just have to put my hands up and say I hand over the power. I just don't know how to do it. And maybe I won't until I feel full heartedly like I've done all I can in my power before then.

Once we have our consult, I'm sure we're going to be sent for more testing, and THAT I'm NOT looking forward to. I'll be sent for another HSG no doubt... that was less than pleasant, but I'll manage. But what I'm most curious about is when we will end up cycling. Will it be this year? Next year? It's really hard to say. Where's a crystal ball when you need it?!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Shh.. JUST Shhh...

I consider myself a pretty tough cookie. Tough enough to openly share my experiences, my hurt with just about anyone who wants to know. That being said, I'm still human, and I have good days and bad days like everyone else. I've learned to let a lot of things people say roll of my shoulders, chalking it up to them not knowing better, and meaning well. It can be annoying though, sure, and sometimes you just want to tell them SHHHHH. Sometimes though, you feel like you have to clobber a person with a mallet to get through to them, and still they don't understand. It's not their fault really. How could they understand something they've never been through. But I expect a bit of empathy and for them to at least understand that they don't understand.

We've all been there. A friend who knows the pain your suffering and still offers their unsolicited advice. My most recent interaction of the kind was with someone I consider a new friend. One that I'm not inclined to have a super close friendship with, but someone I'm okay hanging out with here and there considering our husbands work together and neither of us know many people in this busy but lonely city. We were over at their place for dinner and game night (they have an 8 month old). Perhaps she doesn't know that it's just hard enough being around their child, but then on top of it talking about our upcoming IVF brings up a lot of emotions. So when I explain to her that for our next run we're planning on putting 2 day 5 embryos in. That's the hope at least. She decides its her place to tell me the risk of multiples, and how I should really put 1 in. Oh really? Have you done two rounds with 2 embryos each time and paid thousands of dollars, and been pricked hundreds of times, and visited doctors weeks on end? Do you know what's best for me and my husband given all of this information? I didn't think so. But yet she did. 

Now here's where I get frustrated. The cool, level-headed side of me thinks "She doesn't know better, calmly explain to her where you're coming from". So I do. She doesn't take the hint and advises me to see what the doctors say this time. I explain to her that we've made our decision and I would love her to trust in it and support me. She goes on to express that she strongly disagrees given the risks and that its irresponsible of me to make my mind up about something like that. Words.... cannot.... express the anger that boiled up inside me. I started tearing up, told her (mmm... yelled at her?) to stop talking about things she doesn't understand and to leave it. She did. I could see the fear on her face. I could see she finally understood she stepped over the line. But the truth is she is so far past the line that this interaction should never have had to happen. But it does. It happens to us infertiles ALL THE DANG TIME! WHy? Because it's not expressed enough. Because there is such a misconception about it all. The fact is, that most of the time the people who struggle with infertility only really start to talk about their experiences once they've moved forward. They open up after they have a beautiful family, and share their memories of that difficult time like a distant story. So rarely do we share when it is most painful, and this right here is why. 

I recently saw a clip of Christy Turlington and Tyra Banks talking about their struggles. It made me ugly cry (it will you too, be warned). But I felt so thankful for them opening up and sharing this with the world. We need more of this. People need to know where the line is and start respecting it. 

What are your thoughts? Any horrible experiences as of late?

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Another visit from my annoying aunt...

And by aunt, I mean that one we all share... Flow! Ain't she a bitch!
This was the last month I really "tried" to get pregnant naturally (for this round at least, and for a long while probably) expecting anything, and yet, with my travel schedule and watching my chart, I knew it wasn't likely. Somehow I still managed to get my hopes up... maybe not as much as other months, but I always just sit wishing MAYBE, just MAYBE. How can we get repeatedly beat up only to continue trying and wishing and thinking it will happen. I guess really wanting something that badly has its consequences. A lot harder to give up.

The reason I'm no longer considering myself to be actively "trying" is because we have our appointment at Sher Fertility here in New York. I think on some level I'm just ready to start that process. Ultimately we could try again this month (and we might) but I'm just so over it all again. I go through these waves... ebbs and flows of my willingness to torture myself and I've hit the end again. The definition of insanity (according to Albert Einstein) is doing something over and over again expecting a different result. I'm sick of being insane. Or feeling that way anyway.

The countdown to our consult is on... tick tock. Watching paint dry over here!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Our Story

We recently shared our story in hopes that others could feel a little less alone on their journey. Check it out here:

Going Home

So this past week I went back to my "hometown" ... well let's be honest, I don't have a hometown. My family is completely dispersed across the world, and I've spent my life divided in different cities/countries. But when I say hometown, I refer to my most recent "home" of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Anyways... going back is supposed to be super fun, visiting with all my old friends, catching up. But honestly, now that I've moved away, coming back is just plain hard. I go home and all of my friends are pregnant (some with their second), or busy with their young families/babies. Seriously. I have very few friends whose lives don't revolve around family now. That's not to say I don't want to visit with them, but as I'm sure many of you can relate to, being around it is a sore reminder of what we're missing. It's hard to feign excitement when you just want to cry. I love my friends, and I love their kids so so much, but I'm realizing now how toxic that environment is for me. On the one hand, I don't want to miss out on their lives, but on the other hand it stirs up feelings of resentment and jealousy, and that's never healthy.

So it leaves us infertiles in a sticky spot. I'm no longer excited to go home. Sure I'm happy to visit, but in place of excitement is hesitation and a pit in my stomach. Even my sister in law is pregnant. And that is so so exciting! I'm going to be an aunty! But all I can think about is the fact that I started trying so much earlier than her! Heck, we were trying years before she even got married! I know I'm going to love my first niece/nephew, but feel sad that I still don't know when I'll be able to give that love to my own daughter/son.

Blah! It's a blah kind of day, that's all I can say!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Old Bird - Wonky Swimmers

As I visit the forums again, I realize that although I'm not alone in terms of infertility, I am alone in the sense of how long. Most people who started trying when I did have since moved on, and have their happy families. Yet, here I am, returning to the infertility forums surrounded by individuals who have been trying comparably short time periods. I'm getting old.

Okay. So I'm not old in the sense of age. Well... depending who you ask I guess, but in my opinion 30 is the new 20! But it sure seems I've been around the infertility block a time or two more than your average infertile. I'm doing well.. moving forward. It simultaneously gets easier and harder as the months go on, but I'm definitely ready to start a family. More ready than I've ever been.

This is perhaps what has urged me to seek another round of IVF. As I fill out the paperwork, I'm flabbergasted (love that word!) at how little we understood about our own infertility. I'm sure the doctors don't want to overwhelm you, and when I think back, I remember being overwhelmed, but I also remember wanting more information and constantly seeking it. So understandably, I was a little frustrated to stumble on to a bit of information that led me through my search to a new realization. No matter how positive I am, no matter how perfectly we time it, and no matter how hopeful I stay, ultimately our chances of conceiving naturally are slim to none. GAh!

Okay so I remember being diagnosed "unexplained, possible male factor" but we were already at the fertility clinic doing IVF so they probably didn't feel the  need to elaborate on the fact that the "possible male factor" was going to be a valid factor if we tried naturally. Granted, we didn't get our hopes too high trying naturally after our second failed IVF... I mean if IVF isn't going to work, why would naturally? The truth is though, it just takes one good egg meeting one good sperm, and so I thought hey, you never know! Worth a try! Well we did, and we continue to, but when I looked back at our charts I realize that all these months were spent wasting emotions thinking there was actually a good chance I could be preggo when our monthly chances of conceiving were below 1%. Odds were NOT in our favour.

The word plastered on our chart that we had never heard uddered from a single doctor's mouth was TERATOSPERMIA. This is just a word that describes having a large abnormal count. But then in research we came across the causes and it listed varisocele which causes restricted blood flow and the sperm to not fully maturate. The symptoms were all there, so we're inclined to believe he has it. If you wanna know more about it just google it.

There is a surgery to rectify (we were never told about of course) but would mean abstaining from intercourse for another 9 months before being active again which wouldn't bode well for giving another try right away. And honestly, if we're going to do ICSI anyway (where they inject the sperm directly in to the egg), they're going to pick the best sperm so I'm not sure its relevant. Something to ask the doc though to ensure we have our best chance this round! But probably not worth wasting the effort trying naturally with expectations. One can always continue to try, but for me, being realistic at least will mean not being devastated and confused each month. I'll continue to try, but I'm definitely no longer naive about our situation and much more ready to adopt than I ever have been. If IVF doesn't work again this time around, we will definitely look in to it as an option. I feel blessed that my hubby didn't blink an eye before offering to do the surgery. A testament to his partnership in this who journey of wanting to be parents.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Appointment Made

Well. It's finally that time. We've taken a nice long break from acknowledging our infertility. Gave another stab at trying naturally with realistic expectations, and now we're back to pursuing treatment.

We are new to New York City, so I definitely wanted to do a bit of research. I think I found the place: Sher Fertility. Specifically I'm excited to work with Dr. Tortoriello. He seems to get fantastic reviews and I love that you work with one doctor here in the states (or at least at this clinic). In Canada we got passed around from doctor to doctor, so there felt like no consistency in our treatment, and constant miscommunication over how to treat our case. Blegh. Anyways. Very hopeful this might be our happy ending. At least its a fresh beginning, and we're excited about that much!

Our consultation appointment is scheduled for mid October. Funny when I called that we could have gotten in next week with this one doc, but for him the earliest was October. I feel like that was quite telling. Worth the wait? Let's hope!

Feeling ready to embark on this journey again took a lot of time. We definitely hoped we wouldn't have to, in fact, I was somewhat in denial that we would. I kept saying, "I just have a feeling I won't need IVF anymore!" This was after huge changes in my diet, and thus overall health. Truth be told, my health is improved and I feel fantastic, but looks like this will just be extra helpful for our round of IVF, just not enough on its own to warrant a pregnancy.

I haven't really told anyone we're starting up again... I guess if they read this they will! The funny thing about infertility and sharing your story is that people are involved at the start and trying to support you, but over time, without really knowing how, they eventually go back to their own lives. They probably aren't even sure how to bring it up again. I don't blame them or judge them for this. I mean, I also think a lot of people just think we're doing so great that we're not worried about it, or are happy childless. And we are, but being happy and finding other things in our lives that are fulfilling could never replace the desire to have a child and a family. We have never for one day given up on that dream, and never for one day truly stopped trying in our minds and our hearts. So here we go again! Wish us luck!

We'll all be WONDERFUL

Saw this in a community thread. Thought it was worth sharing! note: I do not think we will be any better, and I believe we too will have days when we are grumpy, negative etc. BUT, I also do believe that we will have a different perspective earned through the sweat and tears of infertility.


So you've found me! I've so appropriately named myself Femme InFertile. If you want to know a bit about me and my husband, check out our about me page.

This blog is a long time coming. It takes a lot of courage to open up so publicly about something so taboo and personal, but I feel like its really important that we share our stories and struggles and make it less so. I think, I certainly hope ( turning back now), that I'm finally ready to share my story and open up to be a support to others on this same life path.

Infertility is a very lonely, very hard life path. When a couple first starts trying, most often they believe they will start a family no problem. We focus so long and so hard on NOT getting pregnant, that the thought of struggling to get pregnant when we so choose, never crosses our minds. Of course, that isn't always the case. There are certainly instances when individuals have medical diagnoses that they are aware of in advance of their journey to start a family, but I would argue that the majority don't see it coming.

Let's get something straight right off the bat. Infertility is not something that can be "cured." Sure it can be overcome to a degree, but there is most definitely not a one-size-fits-all approach to combating infertility. I think the hardest part of being labelled infertile, is the lack of support and understanding those labelled as such are able to receive from their existing support network. Unfortunately for us infertiles, we are often the outcast. We are the ones who often start trying before others, yet watch others go on to have multiple beautiful children and a home full of laughter, before we even get successfully pregnant once. Then if we do open up (often after being asked insensitively a million times when we plan on starting a family) we are offered innocent but unhelpful advice. This advice ranges from "Just relax and it will happen", "I have a friend who adopted and got pregnant after adopting, maybe you should try that", "stress is a big factor I hear, you should do yoga", "try accupuncture", "have you tried charting/temping/opks/bding on the beach/witchcraft/magic/chanting naked under the full moon?" Okay, so those last few never happened. But we're not far off there... I know and understand that people are genuinely trying to help, but the truth is, we most likely have tried EVERYTHING. You can trust we have done our research, we have read everything there is to be read. We know it comes from a good place, but often is a reminder of how naiive others are to the struggles we face. What an infertile needs to hear instead is "I'm so sorry to hear that" "I can't imagine what you're going through, but if you ever want to talk to me about it" "How are you coping, is there any way I can support you?" etc. Some excellent advice on supporting an infertile can be found here:

Okay, phew, now that that's over and done with, let's move on to the nitty gritty. What type of infertile am I? Yes, there are different types. We form mini cliques in the online community worlds, and I am part of the dreaded UNEXPLAINED group. We have possible male factor, possible endometriosis, or quite possibly we're simply incompatible genetically (if that's a thing.... I think it's a thing... is that a thing?). Whatever we are, we are determined to start a family. We are now embarking on a renewed journey towards parenthood after a long break from the process. I hope my journey can help some people understand, or at least be a source of support for others sharing in it.

If you have ANY questions about fertility/infertility, charting/temping, IVF, or the emotional journey, PLEASE let me know. I will do my best to always respond as quickly as I can!

Best wishes to you on your life journey, whatever it may be!
-Femme InFertile