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