Monday, November 15, 2010

Crying...A Lot.

Even with starting this new post, I am crying as I listen to The Frames: Falling Slowly and Cold Play: Fix You on my itunes. I've been crying a lot lately. I don't know if it's just delayed mourning over my failed IVF from 6 months ago or what....? My crying spells always seem to happen during my lunch break. Luckily I live 2 minutes from work, so I'm home for lunch, and my crying episodes. I get about 20 minutes to let it out, touch up my make-up, pull my self together, and head back to work. I feel like I'm in auto-pilet, emotion-less, moving through my day. Then the littlest things will set me off. I'll admit it, I'm mad at God. I wonder if I've done something to offend Him. I hate being at church. I've wanted so many times to just get up and walk out of there. But I don't want my husband worrying about me. I think about the horrible little details of my IVF that make me cry. The horrible thing my mom said to me after we found out we miscarried with IVF. The stupid scripture I read the night before we did my embryo transfer, trying to seek comfort from God and all I got was a panic attack. Isaiah 54:1. You know, when you try to seek guidance from God, so you open your scriptures, and read the first scripture you come across. Yeah, that one Isaiah 54:1. That's what I read. I can't bring myself to read scriptures anymore because of reading that stupid scripture. And I wonder: can Satan use the scriptures to bring you further from God? Was it God or Satan trying to tell me something? Was God trying to tell me that I have to adopt? Or was Satan trying to tempt me get me further from God? Reading that didn't bring me any peace and sent me straight into a panic attack, but I knew then that our IVF wasn't going to work.
The stupidest thoughts will come to my mind. Seeing something on the news about little Ethan Stacey murder trial...thinking why did he go to that family and not to me. Then I think about adopting or taking in some foster children. I think about those children being abused. I think about those kids trying to stay together and not being broken apart by the system. But I think I'm not strong enough to take care of a child whose had so many issues. I went to a Adoption website for Foster Children the other day, just to look. I saw these pictures and a video clip of these two brothers. 10 and 12 years old. I shouldn't have done that because just thinking about it makes me cry. I cry because I want a baby. My own baby. Then I cry because I know those little boys are wanting the same thing I want...a Family. But I know I'm an emotional wreck right now, and doing anything rash like adopting foster kids will not solve the problem.

My mom and my aunt Linda came to stay with me this weekend. My other aunt LaVonne and her husband, who live here in Ogden, returned from their mission. My grandmother and aunt Charyl stayed with LaVonne. We had dinner Sunday night at my aunt LaVonne's house. There I was again, surrounded by family, all bragging about their children. Being asked by extended relatives if I had any children again. Awkwardly, in the same room with my aunt Linda announcing that my cousin is pregnant with her second child. My mom and aunt Charyl joined in on the pregnancy talk, reminiscing their own pregnancies and bragging about how early they felt their babies inside them. I wanted to scream inside. All I could think about was how lucky they were because all I ever felt were my two babies dead inside me. All I could do was to watch my aunt LaVonne, who couldn't join in on the pregnancy conversation, just stare down and play her dulcimer and try and draw strength from her. She and my uncle Evan couldn't have children of their own and had adopted two children. She was the only one in the room who would understand me. Looking back at that conversation, I wish I had the nerve to speak up and say "Lets change the subject, there are two people in this room where this conversation is hurtful to listen to." I wonder how many of those uncomfortable conversations she had to sit silently through with having four sisters. But like my aunt, I sat silently too. My uncle John, (married to Charyl, who I believe doesn't know about my infertility struggles) made a comment saying "Oh, I 'm not worried that Ra'Chelle will have any trouble getting pregnant." But I didn't feel like giving him the 3 and 1/2 year infertility/miscarraige history story. Then my abrasive grandmother had the nerve to ask me if I was still affected by my failed IVF and had gotten over it yet. I was so upset at her. She is SO tackless!!! Really Grandma? (Because something like this will change your whole perspective of life and how you look at the world. I will never get over this. It's changed me forever. Imagine never having children. What and who are you now?) It was like the whole night I was bombarded.
The only positive experience I had this weekend was when I took my mom and aunt Linda to this place called Rainbow Gardens. It's a gift shop kind of place, with lots of holiday decor. What caught my attention was this little pink Christmas tree, set up in the window as a display, with beautiful white beaded-sequenced bird ornaments. It felt like I had seen that display before, but it's been years since I've been to Rainbow Gardens. It was almost like my little angel Ava, who is in heaven right now, was trying to tell me that she was waiting for me. It's moments like those that help me to have hope. But I don't know if it's really her or just me wanting to believe.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Okay, so here we go's Fall

Okay, so here we go again... it's Fall...Holiday Season officially starts now. As much as I love the holidays, I also kind of hate them too, for mocking me. With Halloween just around the corner, also lurks the two year "anniversary" of finding out about my first miscarriage. Yes, I went in for my first ultrasound on Halloween 2008, (a.k.a. "Day of the Dead"-ironic?) and found out we lost our baby at 6 weeks when we were suppose to be 10 weeks. I braved through that day, opening the door for small children, handing out candy. Now I get to be bombarded by little cute kids in their costumes at my door with proud parents in the background saying "Trick or Treat" again. Yet another reminder of what I would be doing this year: I would have had a little youngster about a year and a half old, toting them around with me in their Halloween costume. Ugh! I know I don't have to hand out candy, but a part of me still loves Halloween enough to do it. I'm crazy. And then of course there's Christmas: The Miracle that Jesus was born. Where's my miracle baby? Now I get to see a bunch of nativity scene's with "Baby" Jesus everywhere. If God can create Jesus without natural conception, which is mind boggling, can't He help a girl out? (I hope I'm not being too sac-religious) Christmas morning is always hard too because I think that I should have a child here, opening gifts, not my dogs. (who are my child surrogates) If you think about it, holiday's are really just for children, and for adults to have a reason to get out of work and be with "Family." (Another word that bugs me because I can't have one.) But for some reason, I still find myself decorating my home for the holidays...why?

And with it being the fall season, typically I plant my tulip bulbs around this time of year. But this year I declare that I'm boycotting tulips!!! Why you might ask? Well, when I was prego with my first miscarriage, I planted tulips out in my yard, dreaming about my due date which was in May. I remember thinking to myself that "by the time these early spring bulbs blossom, I will have a baby bump that would resemble the shape of a tulip. And when my late spring bulbs blossom, I will be bringing my baby home." I imagined myself walking to my front door, walking past those tulips, with my baby in my arms. The other reason why I hate tulips is because they remind me of this past May when we did IVF. And the day that we found out about our second miscarriage, was the day that my last tulip died. Symbolic? I guess the tulip represented hope towards the future for me. Knowing that I had something to look forward to to help get me through the winter. Now I have little hope for the future. It also represent's a prego belly. I hate prego bellies! It's shaped like an eggs are soggy! What else...oh yeah, if there's a late spring storm with lots of wind and hail, it ruins them. Waste of money! I hope there's a late spring storm this upcoming year, and it will destroy everyone else's tulips so I don't have to look at them! Am I being a little dramatic?

I know, my blog is a little pessimistic today. I guess I'm just a little perturbed about a comment that was made to me yesterday by a patient. We were sharing about our hellish nights that we had: His was that his window well was leaking water into his basement from the storm we had and mine was that we were woken up by the sound of our fire alarms blaring loudly at 2 am from dead batteries...(oops! forgot to change those.) I admit, I'd rather be woken up by false alarm than having a flood in my basement, but his comment to me was "Did your fire alarm wake up your kids?" Did you catch with an "s"...plural...meaning that he not only assumed that I was a parent, but that I would be so lucky like everyone else and have more than one child at my age. What the hell? And then I was approached by another patient yesterday about that stupid question...." you have any kids?!" And I know I shouldn't have watched that episode of Guiliana and Bill on Style network last night either about them finding out about their miscarriage with IVF. That just brought back a bunch of bad memories...anyways. I guess I just needed to rant tonight and blow off some steam. So there you have it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

If You're Not a Mommy, Then What Are You? Addition Type 6 & 7

So after I posted my last blog to facebook, I got a comment from one of my friends. I had to publish this to my blog. This is an addition to my last blog "If you're not a mommy, then what are you." And I can't believe I didn't think of Jennie's type 7: the Smug Mom! I run into the Smug Mom all the time!

Jennie Teel Wolter: I'd like to add Type 6 and Type 7:

Type 6 is the Overly Anxious person. This person just adds to your stress by constantly asking how you're doing, what your doctor said, if you're ovulating, and if you feel pregnant this month. They think they're being supportive but you just wish you never told them you were trying to get pregnant. Type 6 was my second least favorite after the Know it All.

Type 7 is the Smug Mom. This person says things like "Wow, I got pregnant on my first try." Or, "I can't imagine, whenever my hubby looks at me I get pregnant, hahaha!" Laugh all you want smart-ass, you're not funny and there's a special little place in hell for you. I had a Type 7 as a nurse when Ted and I were visiting fertility doctors. I'm literally getting prepared for an ultrasound and she says to me, "So, you're having trouble getting pregnant? Yeah, I had all of my five kids on the first try. I couldn't not get pregnant". I switched doctors.
October 13 at 4:46pm · · 2 people

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"If you're not a mommy, than what are you?"

You know, I feel like the instant I was born, I was trained to become a mother. It's like they immediately through a doll into your arms and tell you that your whole purpose in life is to become a mother. I even planned my life around becoming a mom with my education and career choice. You go to an LDS church and that's all you hear about growing up; is about your divine role to become a mother. You do what you're told, wait till marriage to have sex so you don't get pregnant, and then when you get married and want to get pregnant, you can't. It's not fair! The LDS church is SO overly family oriented. (Not that that's a bad thing.) But when you don't have kids of your own, or still single for that matter, you sort of feel like an outcast. At least most bible stories about women are those like Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah, who also, like me, struggled with infertility. I like to think that because I struggle with infertility, that one day I will also have and important child like Issac, Joseph, or Samuel. A kid who becomes a world leader or a Prophet. Haha...I can only wish. I can relate with Rachel, seeing other women pregnant. Genisis Chapter 30 vs. 1 "And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die." I've been through sorrow and tears like Hannah. 1 Samuel Chapter 1 vs. 6 and 10 "And her adversity also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord shut up her womb. And she was bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord, and wept sore." What's funny is that society is still SO ignorant today about infertility as they were in biblical times. Why haven't we gotten further with Infertility Awareness out in the public yet? We as women are made to feel as though we have no purpose without children. People look at you differently if you don't have children. And for those woman who chose not to have children, society has to question why. "What's wrong with her?" Like it's a bad thing that she doesn't want to have children. People are so judgmental...I'll get to that in a minute.

Speaking of being trained to be a mom: I grew up with a mom who ran a "second generation daycare" out of our home. My mom chose this career because that's what my grandmother did and she could still be home with her kids. My mom's motherly talents wore off on me as I honed my own skills; babysitting other families kids and working for her daycare throughout high school. Though I became just as good as my mom is with kids, I was determined not to be the third generation daycare provider. And thank goodness for that, I would have hated my life caring for other people's children, meanwhile not being able to have my own. But back then as a teenager, I had other plans. I didn't want to become a daycare provider because I didn't want my house smelling like dirty diapers forever. I also didn't want my child to have to worry about accidentally leaving a small item like a pencil from homework in my room, have some daycare kid choke on it, and then threaten my license for daycare. I became a neat freak because of that. But like my mom, I also planned my career choice around becoming a mom, because I knew how important it would be for me to spend time with my children and have flexibility with my job. Becoming a dental hygienist offered me that flexibility. Even if I eventually decided to only work part time or even one day a week, I could have that option. I knew it was important for me to finish my education, heaven forbid anything like unemployment, sickness, or injury befell my husband. (haha) I didn't want to be one of those LDS girls who got married at 19 and got pregnant right away. To be honest, that scared the crap out of me. I know of some girls who did get married straight out of high school and got divorced later on, and three children later and no what? I guess I just didn't want to be like my mom who never finished her education, got married young, and did daycare for a living. Don't get me wrong. I love that age group of 0-5 years of age. I just wouldn't want to deal with it for 30 something plus years. And my mom is EXCELLENT at what she does. I only wish she could live closer to help when I finally have kids.

So getting back to people being judgmental and/or ignorant. I came across a website on insensitive comments and infertility. Anyone going through infertility will come across some dumb idiot who wants to tell you what they think, without regard to your feelings. And the things that people will say are SO insensitive and they don't even realize it! I know most people mean well, but there are ways of saying things without being hurtful. I just want people to be aware of what they say to me and other's going through infertility. This website categorized four types of people and their comments: The Know-It-All, God's Messenger, The Miserable Parent, and The Blamer. I'd also like to add two more types of people of my own that I've come across with: The Joker and The Innocent Child.

Type One: The Know-It-All. This person thinks they have all the answers to your infertility problems. They will say things like: "It will happen." (Really? You actually know it will happen?) "You just need to relax." (Hello! I am relaxed; I don't have kids yet! I spend my time doing whatever I want...getting massages, going to the gym, spend my money on nice expensive clothing, travel on luxurious vacations. Trust me, I am more "relaxed" than you are!) They are the ones who will say things like: "Have you tried this/that?" (Yes, we've checked into everything and the Doctor's are still scratching their heads.) Type Two: God's Messenger. This person will say hurtful things like "Maybe having children isn't in God's plan for you." "Just Adopt." "If you adopt, then you'll get pregnant...I know a friend who...." You are selfish for wanting your own children. Their are foster kids out there who are abused and need homes." (Let me tell you something. Not everyone is cut out to handle foster children or has what it takes to be a foster parent...more power to those people who are able to do this. Adoption isn't right for just anyone either. I'm sure after struggling with infertility, and then having the mother change their mind about placing their child for adoption, after you've already taken that child home and bonded with them, and gotten everything else ready. Don't you think getting your hopes up for another adoption would be difficult and jaded?) Type Three: The Miserable Parent. They will say things like "Be careful what you wish for." "I'm so jealous of you with all your free time." (Yeah, you better be jealous of me like I am jealous of you. We always want what we can't have...and never appreciate what we do have. So you better appreciate your kids and treat them well! And yes, I do enjoy my free time, but with all that free time, it gets kind of lonely...I really do want a "mini-me.") Type Four: The Blamer. According to them, it's your own fault that you are having fertility issues. "You waited too long." "You need to gain/lose some weight." "Maybe you wouldn't have miscarried if you didn't drink caffeine that one day, or ate deli meat or sugar, or taken those hot showers." "Maybe if you did get pregnant, you would have a handicap child, because of bad genetics. You wouldn't want to take care of a handicap child for the rest of your life." (That one came from my own grandmother, believe it or not!) It's like they validate everything you've thought bad about yourself. I would like to add my own type now. Type Five: The Joker. These are some of the most hurtful comments anyone can make. They will say things out of feeling uncomfortable and are completely ignorant. They say things like: "You know you have to take your clothes off first, right?" "You know it goes in the hole, right?" "What's wrong with you? Can't your boy's swim?" I was listening to the radio one morning and heard a caller ask a guest fortune teller on the morning program about wether or not she would have children. This woman had struggled with infertility for four years. Thankfully the fortune teller said that she would get pregnant, but the radio talk show host were making fun of this poor woman saying comments like those mentioned above. I was disgusted and e-mailed that radio station...I still haven't heard anything back from them. Surprised? Then finally Type Six: The Innocent Child. They, like most kids are taught about mommies and daddies, and don't understand anything different. They say things like: "If you're not a mommy, than what are you?" (Yeah kid, I don't know what I am or who I am for that matter. Thanks for pointing that out. I simply don't fit in with everyone else.)

Obviously we don't need these kind of comments. What we need are comments like: "I'll be thinking of you." "If you want to talk about it, give me a call." "I'll be praying for you." And if you don't believe in God. "I'll be praying to the fertility gods for you." I know most people mean well. And I do appreciate people's concern, and ideas from people with their own experiences with infertility. I had a friend who told me once: "I won't tell you that it will happen, because that's what everyone always told me, and I hated it. The truth is that it might not happen, but hang in there." I really appreciated that from her. :)

Friday, October 1, 2010


Luckily over the last month or so I have been distracted by wedding stuff. I am pleased to announce that my sister is now married! Wedding stuff is now officially over. :( Oh how I love weddings! And my sister's wedding was absolutely beautiful. I could do it all over again. Helping pick out wedding dresses, bride's maid dresses, flowers, cake....etc. I love it! I think this time, with it being my sister's wedding, I was able to enjoy helping her pick stuff. Where as with my own wedding I was a little more stressed. I kept telling my sister the best advice that was given to me: "Enjoy planning your wedding, even though you just want to hurry up and get married, you only get to plan your wedding once." (hopefully just once) Enjoy the ride.

I think that's the problem with life. We are always wanting to hurry to the next step or chapter in life that we don't slow down to enjoy what is going on right now. As a kid, I wanted to hurry up and be 16 so I could drive. When I was 16, I just wanted my independence so I could do what I want. When I was dating Marc, I just wanted to get married. Obviously now, I just want to hurry up to the next step and have a baby. Maybe with my struggle with infertility is trying to teach me patience to enjoy the moments before they pass me by. Maybe by the time I do have a child, I will be better at appreciating the moments of raising them, rather than trying to get them to hurry through their steps of growing up of "first steps, first words, first grade, graduation, married....grandkids."

Now that my sister is married, and my brother soon to follow next year, my worry is that they will start having kids before me. And that I will have to watch them move on with their lives with families, while Marc and I continue to struggle. It's already hard to see friends pregnant, ( I avoid them more because they are prego) I don't know how I will handle having my own siblings have babies. Not that I wish infertility on anyone. I'd hate to see my sisters go through the same thing I've gone through. But I don't want to avoid my sisters because they are prego.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"What about Adoption"

Today ended a little weird. It first started off when on my way home from work, I was going to stop by a scrap booking store before I headed to cash my check. Or so I thought it was a scrap booking store...well it was 10 years ago, when I went there last. It was now called "Pollywogs to Tadpoles", I thought they must have changed the name of the store. Oh no, I get it now. What I found was a BABY Boutique!!! How embarrassing. Of course I was the only one in there, so I was bombarded by questions...ugh! "I'm just looking." I said. I stayed long enough to see the baby bedding, and then bolted out of there. Hey, at least I know they carry some of the couture baby bedding brand that I like, you know, if that day ever comes...sigh. At least I can laugh at myself today. Two weeks ago, I would have been bawling in my car after such incident.

Then later on tonight, my TV show got interrupted by a telephone call. I hit pause. And after I took that phone call, I hit a pause in a different way. On my life...something that could change my life, but I wasn't expecting it at all. A friend of mine from my ward (church congregation), who knows about our little infertility struggle called. Her mother works for an adoption agency and they have a little boy who will be born around Christmas time, and the mother is looking to place him for adoption. She has two other children of her own that she has kept, but for some reason, she can't keep this little one. My friend gave me her mom's phone number, and if we wanted, we could send her some pictures of us and a letter...etc. I still have yet to tell Marc this, but I really don't know how I feel. I guess we could always send her the info, and say no if we don't feel it's right. But that's the thing. I don't want to adopt unless I know in my heart that it is right. I don't want to adopt if I don't feel ready to. And I don't know if I am. I guess it would be different if I knew my only way to have a child was through adoption. Say if had to have a hysterectomy, for whatever reason, and that was it, then making that decision to adopt might be easier. But I've been pregnant!!! I don't want to give up on that. And just because I adopt doesn't me I have to give up on that. But there is still more testing that needs to be done to find out what's wrong. Expensive testing, and paying for a $20,000 adoption would halt us in proceeding in finding out what is wrong. If the doctors know what is wrong, there are ways around things to fix the problem. If there isn't anything that can be done, well then maybe yes, adoption may be considered further.

So I know what most of you are thinking when you see someone struggle with infertility:"What about adoption?" Obviously we have considered adoption, anyone experiencing infertility will face this question. Not only face the question themselves, but from others as well. (We infertile's get asked this question a lot, by the way.) This is just the first time adoption has come up as an actual possibility for us. Honestly, I don't know how I feel about it yet. Adoption is a totally different step in a different direction. I consider adoption such a sacred process and whom ever goes into adoption has to be ready to face it head on. For both the mother and adoptive parents. I have the utmost respect for any couple who has decided to or has adopted, and likewise, any mother who places their child into another couples arms. I don't know how they do it. And I just don't know if I'm ready to head that direction right now. If you asked my husband, he would be ready to adopt the second I was ready.

There are a lot of issues surrounding adoption that I don't agree with or like. For instance: I know how much I want a child and how much it hurts me that I am experiencing difficulty in the fertility department. But I couldn't comprehend how hard and how much it would hurt to place your own child for adoption. I don't want to be apart of hurting someone else to get what I want. That poor mother will face a lifetime of pain every time that child's birthday comes up every year, or mother's day, etc...there will always be little reminders for that mother about the child she gave up. Second: I don't want any mother to feel as though she "HAS TO" give up her child. That child is first and for-most hers. I wish there were more help out there for teen moms to keep their babies. And I don't want to put myself in a situation of getting my hopes up for an adoptive child, and then have those dreams shattered again if they change their mind. (which they totally have the right to.) Third: I don't like how adoption agency's make perspective parents write up a synopsis of themselves and try to "sell" to the perspective mother their lifestyle. I don't want to have to feel as though I am selling myself and my husband to some poor, scared and confused teenage mom, and then turn around and pay money for a child. Fourth: Do you know how extensive they have to do background check on couples? My sister in-law, who is adopting again, showed me the fat paper work she was filling out for catholic family services. Did you know you need an FBI background check? And have Social Services come to your house and evaluate you and your spouse? It's like they are looking at you from under a microscope! Obviously they want to make sure those perspective couples are, well, you know, "with it" enough for a child. Fifth: there are emotional factors surrounding this subject. Too many to count. Not that every adopted child turns out this way, but I have four adopted cousins myself. Three out of the four had children very young and out of wedlock. Some were also heavily into drugs and alcohol. One of them even left his wife and kids, soon after he found out that his wife had a degenerative disease that caused her to go deaf and blind. No kidding. They all have a lot of issued between their adoptive parents. I have seen how much hurt my aunts and uncles have gone through with them. I know they do open adoptions now, which may have made all the difference in my cousin's cases. But then again, I don't want the mother too involved. I don't want to send pictures, letters, or updates. I think just making sure we always had an address and phone number so when the child was mature and ready, say 18 years old, then they can make the choice if they want to contact them. Sixth: How would I handle having an adoptive child? There is no doubt in my mind that I would love the child, but would I emotionally withdrawal myself? How do I explain to that child they are adopted so that it doesn't screw up their self worth? And what if I did finally get pregnant and have another child? Would I treat my own child any different than the adopted child because of that special bond formed in the womb?

Maybe the whole point of this blog is to talk myself out of adoption at this point. Or maybe reiterate to myself that I'm not ready yet. It's definitely something I will have to talk to Marc about, and pray about.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Infertility: An Addiction Recovery Process

I had an Ah-Ha moment! It happened last night when I took my husband out to dinner for his birthday after we exchange his birthday gift: jeans that didn't fit for the right size. I was already feeling horrible because I had ruined his real birthday, which was Sunday, by sinking into another deep depression spell over the weekend. We got into a long discussion about how my infertility was affecting me. He thought I should at least seek a counselor, which he is probably right. But I had real reason to be upset this time. I was 10 days late for my period!!! I've never been that late before. And of-course, I got my hopes up. Day by day, as that stupid period wouldn't start, I started believing that maybe this time was for real...maybe we would be one of those lucky few that do all the fertility procedures, have them fail, and then miraculously get pregnant on our own. And wouldn't it have been cool if I could have surprised him on his birthday with the news that I was pregnant? Only if...

Anyways, he and I got to talking. He made a profound comparison: "A guy dealing with a pornography addiction is like a woman dealing with infertility." He said "No matter what you do, it's always going to be in your face. It's how you decide to cope with it and let it affect you." I never thought of it that way before, but yes! Sex is thrown out in there in the media so much, it's hard not to see it. For someone dealing with an addiction to pornography, it only gets amplified, because that's all they see and think about. I get it! Well, now I guess I have to admit here that I have an addiction to getting pregnant. It's all I see and think about. I'm constantly thrown into situations were all I see are pregnant bellies and babies. Media throws "Motherhood" in my face all the time! (Right now it's "Back-to-School time.") In fact I think about it so much that I dream about it. I've become so condition over these last few years of trying to conceive, that month by month, year by year, it has grown into this addiction. I can't escape it. I can't help but think: "I'm probably ovulating or I might be pregnant." Not that it's a bad addiction to have, or a sin, (hello! I'm trying to fulfill a commandment to "multiply and replenish the earth"), but it has affected me so much that it has also affected others that I care about. i.e. my husband. It has affected my relationship with friends and family.

I tell you what, Satan really does know what he's doing...coupling infertility with pornography. Unfortunately, when seeking help for infertility, pornography inadvertently gets thrown into the equation. And no matter how careful you might try to be, well, let's just be honest here. It's sucks for the do the walk of shame down the hallway to that little room. Everyone knows what they are doing. And if they are recovering from an addiction from pornography, God help them. It's so hard for us as women who are already suffering from infertility, to now feel inadequate, due to pornography. That was one of my biggest concerns going into doing Artificial Insemination and Invitro Fertilization. But what can you do? It's there. In your face.

I think in my process of trying to overcome this constant badgering in my head over my infertility, I might use the 12 step recovery program in helping me get back to normal. So here we go: Step 1: Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable. "I Ra'Chelle, admit that I am powerless over my infertility and my life has become a slave to my cycle."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Some Good News

So I apologize for not posting anything new in a while. I found a website called daily strength that specializes in grief support groups. And I have been spending a lot of time on there. They have all types of support groups from anything from depression support groups, to job loss, to of course, infertility support groups. I was also given a book by a co-worker called "But If Not. When Bad things Threaten to Destroy Good People. Both have been really helpful in helping me heal.

On the up side of things, my husband found a job!!!! Almost after a year of searching, it sounds like things may actually start falling into place for us. It's a job at Hill Air Force Base. Though the pay won't be near what he was making before, we will at least get benefits! Benefits that will hopefully pay for some genetic testing that we need...I don't know if they will, but fingers crossed! Also, they are really good about working with his school schedule. I was really worried that he would get a jog somewhere, we would have to pick up and move, and he wouldn't be able to finish his MBA program at Weber State. And once he gets his MBA, there is a chance he might be able to move up a couple of levels...and pay!!! He should be starting on the 30th of this month.

On the fertility side of things, I've been having all these weird dreams. Dreams that have brought up a lot of issues for me. One dream, I dreamt my husband had an illegitement child, and the mother was a terrible mother and we were trying to get custody of this little four year old girl. I remember feeling so much love for this little girl, even though she wasn't my own. Another dream I had was that I found out that my younger sister was pregnant, BEFORE me! And the last dream I've had was that I was pushing around a stroller with a newborn girl at OfficeMax, and my husband and I ran into an old friend. But the baby wasn't our, we were watching our new little niece, whom my sister in-law had through IVF, which worked for her. I have had all three dreams within the last three days. I don't know why, but I know all these dreams point to my fears. Like adoption, or my sister having kids before me, or never being able to have kids. It sucks!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dear Raley's and Bel Air,

Dear Raley's and Bel Air Supermarket Advertising Department,
I recently visited your Bel Air grocery store in California, as I was visiting my hometown of Sacramento for my sister's bridal shower. I needed some produce for a salad. As I walked up to the cash registers to pay for my produce, I came across several banners, hung neatly above each of your 15 registers. All staring back at me, repeating over and over to me the phrase "It's a MOM's world, we're here to help." These banners were not only insensitive and offensive to me as someone who can not have children and struggling with infertility, but also ignorant to the rest of your customers. I am here to tell you it is NOT (just) A MOM'S WORLD!!! As I looked around me in line. The customers in front of me were young collage kids, buying beer, chips, and a watermelon. The couple standing behind me in line were a gay couple with their little 3 year old daughter. And then of course there was me. Infertile me with the words "It's a Mom's world" glaring back at me, reminding me that I'm not allowed to join the club of motherhood. Please think twice about your advertising and your customers who shop there before putting up such offensive ads. It's already hard enough for those of us who are infertile and can not have children to make it through Mother's Day.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stupid Superstitions

I know it sounds silly, but when you are trying to get pregnant for as long as I have, stupid superstitions will haunt you. Like somehow starting a blog on infertility would ironically help me get pregnant. Haha. I wish. And with starting a blog, you have to chose a color and background. Oh no, here we go again...I never realized how colors like pink and blue now annoy the heck out of me.'s a good one: A greenish-yellow, like soggy eggs, like how I'm feeling, with cute swirls. Yep, that'll be my background.
I would say the best and worst time for me is during my "two week waiting period." During that time, I am always thinking in the back of my mind that "I might be pregnant." And depending on how I am feeling that day, it could be a bad thing or a good thing. The bad thing is when those stupid superstitions come into play. This thought of "maybe I'm pregnant" starts to rule my life. I think things like "Ugh, my back hurts. I need like 800mg of advil. Oh, I might be pregnant. Better take tylonol instead, even though it does nothing for me." "Oh, I better not eat that deli sandwich from Subway. I might be pregnant. I hear that the deli meat has a bacteria on it that can cause miscarriage." "I better not move that furniture or lift anything heavy...I might be pregnant." "Oh, no caffeine for me." This thought of "I might be pregnant" has literally cause a panic attack on a mountain, skiing once. It was my first time skiing at The Canyons so I didn't know my way around the slopes. (Trusting that my sister, who had been there several times, wouldn't take me anywhere too difficult.) Wrong. My sister's way of helping me learn how to ski better was forcing me into black diamond hills. I remember thinking "What am I doing here? I might be pregnant. I shouldn't be skiing." So on top of being out of my comfort zone with my skiing skills, I'm now being controlled by these stupid superstitions. I broke down right there in front of everyone on the slope having a full on panic attack. My husband was there, bless his heart, to try and help me, but my fear of going down a now icy black diamond hill and fear of being pregnant took over. It was embarrassing, but the ski patrol ended up carrying me down. It sucks, because it's always there in the back of my mind. Especially after having two miscarraiges , I'm worried about when I finally do get pregnant, if it will happen at all, about my well being. Am I going to be able to handle being pregnant without letting the stress take over? I think I will need some serious counseling if I ever do get pregnant for fear that I might loose it. (Both the baby and my mind.) I get pissed off when I hear of pregnant women doing stupid things like skiing when they are pregnant, going boating, four wheeling, or especially things like smoking/drinking! Hello!!!! It's like they have no worries at all about what they are doing when they are pregnant. They live care free like they aren't pregnant at all! I wish I could do that: live carefree and I'm not even pregnant!!!! It is impossible for me to just live my life and not let those stupid superstitions of "possibly being pregnant" take over.
But then there are good times when the thought of possible being pregnant help me. Like in yoga, during meditation. I try and imagine what is going on in my uterus. Visualizing the multiplying embryo finding a nice spot to grow. Or when I run into a friend or a patient at work who is pregnant, I have to think positively...maybe I am pregnant too. But to be honest, after more than three years of trying, that thought is permanently in the back of my mind. It's hard to just let it go and live my life. I wish I could do that.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Baby Shower: To go or not to go? That is the question.

7/16/10 So there's this baby shower this weekend. Ugh! Normally I don't go to these things, but it's a baby shower for a V.I.P. friend. Do I go? I know it's a little crazy to consider going after everything that has happened. But I do want to see my friend. Don't get me wrong, I gave up on going to baby showers a long time ago. In fact the last time I went to a baby shower (a couple's baby shower-husbands included) was a over a year and a half ago and it was torture. It was a few months after my first miscarriage, and the only reason why we went was because the couple the shower was for are good friends of ours. They were a couple we did a lot of double dates with. It was hard being there. What got to me the most was that almost every wife there was pregnant or toting around their little newborns and/or toddlers. Apparently, some people thought it was okay to bring kids. Screaming kids. Poor pregnant friend of ours had a wake up call of what was to come. Anyway, they all lined up together to take a picture of their cute preggy bellies. I remember thinking to myself "I would have been the ninth pregnant one up there taking a photo with all of them, had it not been for my miscarriage." I at least wasn't alone. I had my husband to hang out with so I wasn't bombarded with preggy talk. And there was another gal there who knew somewhat of what I was going through. She too, also wanted a baby. She has since had a successful IVF...or so I've heard.

I don't want to be rude or offend anyone by not going to their baby shower. So for a while I use to buy gifts and drop them off as a way to avoid going. But it got to a point where I learned to avoid going into Babies-R-Us all together. Then I use to buy cute baby books from Barnes & Nobles as gifts, but even buying books is hard for me to do now. I see books that I grew up with, and had hopes for sharing with my future children. The best way for me to handle baby showers, especially those forced on me, like the ones at work, is to simply buy a gift card with a card from Wal-Mart. I've also come to the conclusion that unless the baby shower is for someone I consider a "sister" or V.I.P. I'm not going to go. Nor will I get a gift. Period. And usually the invitations or baby announcements end up straight in the trash.

So as far as this weekend is concerned. I will probably go, depending on my mood, at least stop by with my card/ gift card. I know it sounds crazy, especially after an IVF failure so recent. But there are certain friends that come along and are considered a "friend for life" or VIP. Even though we get busy in our own lives and don't talk as often as we would like. Really, I'm going just to see her, not for the whole baby shower thing. It will definitly depend on my mood whether I go or not. If I start feeling at all like breaking down and crying on my way, I will turn the car around. There are certain times of the "month" where it is easier to handle these sort of things. I've noticed when I'm in that "two week waiting period" I can be a little more optimistic because I am always thinking in the back of my mind that I might be pregnant. That's how I've been able to handle going to church on Mother's Day so far. Anyhow, at least I have my sister's bridal shower next weekend to look forward to. I'll have more fun at long as no one asks me about when Marc and I are going to have kids.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Take that you stupid eggs!

So I've taken up golf lessons. A good way (and bad way) to blow off some steam. Here's me, looking down at my golf balls, pretending they are my stupid eggs. Take that you stupid egg! I'm actually getting quit good. Still a novice, but I can hit a mean ball. That is what I am hoping this blog will help me do. Blow off some of my anger.
I heard somewhere that 70% of adult conversation is centered around kids. When you don't have any children of your own, it feels more like 95% and when you live in Utah, it's 100%. I work at a dental office as a dental hygienist. And unfortunetly since dental tools are in my patient's mouths, I am limited to small talk. Small talk is ofcourse centered around kids, jobs, and the weather. I had a soon to be grandmother in my chair the other day. She was going on about how her pregnant daughter was, and how horrible it has been for her living back east with the hot weather and how she has to stay indoors because of the humidity. I hardly felt any sympathy for her daughter, but faked it ofcourse, because if I said what I was really thinking, I would probably loose my job. I feel like people look at me, assume my age, and automatically think I have children and think I can relate on a certain level with their poor daughter, themselves as moms, or sister, or whomever. I feel like a lot of my conversations at work go somthing like this: "Oh, blah blah children...Sorry I'm late. My children....blah blah...Do you have any kids?" "No. Not yet." "Oh, well I love being a mother. It's the best thing! So.....(akwardly trying to change the conversation) what does your husband do?" "Well, because of the economy and with construction managment jobs not available, he's decided to go back to school to get his MBA. He's got about another year left." (Basically, using going to school as an excuss for being unemployed. And with todays economy, it's not like having an MBA will qualify him to have a job right after he graduates either. ) Anyway, not to be depressing, but that is what our life is like right now. I try to avoid talking about us not having kids or my husband's unemployment, because I really don't feel like talking about it. Usually at work, I am best at sticking to topics like the weather and teeth.
As far as a diagnosis, the doctors consider us at this point as "Unexplained Infertility." Basically they don't know why. And let me just say something right here. It's not my husband who has the problem. When we handed our fertility doctor his sperm anaylisis. The doctor's eye's widened, and he was impressed with his results. YES, my husband is a MAN! He also passed his hampster egg penitration test with flying colors. 100% When it comes to me...all my hormone levels are normal, normal thyroid, normal healthy sonohystogram, no clotting disorders were discovered. One thing the doctor did notice was my follicle count for someone my age was low. Let me explain here. Each month a woman has so many follicles. And out of those follicles, one egg will develop, and be released. With fertility meds, the follicles are stimulated to produce more eggs. Clomid or Femara will give about two or three eggs. And injectable hormones, like they use with IVF, will give you, depending on your age, many eggs. From what I understand. Someone my age should have about 18-20 follicles to hopefully produce 18-20 eggs. I only have 8-12 follicles. Out of the 12 eggs that were extracted with our IVF cycle, only 8 were healthy enough. 8 were fertilized thanks to my husband, but only two were left to transfer. The other embryos didn't survive. So the doctors believe that it is a genetic problem. Especially since our other embryos didn't survive. And the embryos we did use, well basically didn't develop properly. Genetic testing is not covered by our self-pay insurance and would cost us some where around $4000.00 which we don't have.
I also inquiered with my doctor about checking for endometriosis before we did IVF. I feel like screaming because this is what I think I have, but the doctors have been so conservative. I don't have the obvious symptoms of extreme pain with endometriosis. But my mother has it, and just recently my sister found out she has it. I have two aunts on both sides of my family who have it and couldn't have kids because of it. The reason why the doctors are wanting to be so conservative is because the surgery for it can damage my eggs/follicles. Possibly leaving me with no eggs. They say the only way to determine if you have endometriosis is by going in surgically with laproscopy. Once they are in there and discover if it is present, they cauderize it, (burn it off) Most of the time, endometriosis is found around the overy. Burning it off my overies is what can damage my eggs.
My plan at this point, it to obviosly wait and give it some time. Then when we are ready. Finacially ready. Have the genetic screening done, and consult my doctor, once again to see if they can still do the laproscopy and just not touch my overies. Down the road we could do IVF again. If there is an issue with the genetics, the next step is IVF/PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) Basically too expensive at this point.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just stuck. Numb and hopeless.

Hi out there! My name is Ra'Chelle and this is my first time blogging. My blog is about infertility, and yes, did I mention I'm Mormon? I was inspired after reading the book Silent Soroity to start a blog about my process of dealing with infertility. Living in probably the MOST fertile state in the USA. (UTAH!!!) I'm constantly bombard with fat pregnant bellies. Reminders of what I desperatly want and may not be able to have. I got the idea for the name of this blog from a friend, who at the time 3+ years ago, before we started trying to get pregnant, told me joking. "We better hurry up before my eggs get cold and soggy." I was 27 at the time. Late start for a Mormon chick.

My husband and I have been trying to have a baby now for over three years. This has included a year of trying, followed by four months of clomid and Suprise! I'm pregnant! Oh, but wait, it's not the happy ending to the story I was told I would get. MISCARRAGE! At 10 weeks, we went in for my first check up. (On Halloween) The Dr. told me there was no heart beat. The baby had made it to 6 weeks. Ironically, around that 6 week marker, I was in a fertility yoga class. The yoga instructor told us to meditate and place one had over our heart and one hand on our belly and feel the connection of our heartbeats. I remeber thinking "I don't feel a heartbeat...that's probably because I'm new to this whole pregnancy thing and I still don't feel pregnant." Turned out I was right on connected to my body and what my dying baby was going through. Despite the greif from this horrible experience, being the optimist that I am, I thought: "Okay, so I got pregnant, I can do it again." We tried another 9 months taking the clomid, then switching to femara after a wierd visual psycadellic reaction to the clomid. It got to the point that I would need a break, but my strong desire to try would return and we would try again. At that point, my Dr. refered my husband and I to a fertility clinic. We went to the University of Utah. This was followed by three unsucessful IUI's and so far, one IVF, that pretty much didn't work. Another MISCARRAIGE! An empty sac...This time, the pain was and has been intense. On top of that, none of our other embryos made it far enough to be frozen. I didn't get that second chance I thought I would get. I know for some of you infertility veterans, three years may not seem like much, but it has been three years of hell. (Dealing with other issues including my spouse's in-and-out of employment with the crappy economy.)

I have often found myself praying and asking God when will things get better? When will life start turning around for us? Please let my husband get a good stable job. Please let me get pregnant (and actually have a healthy baby.) But we've just been stuck in a rut. Life not moving forward. Just stuck. Numb and hopeless. I try to count my blessings, which are many. But for most people, things like getting a job and getting pregnant just come natural and easy. Not for us. But one thing I can tell you. I've gotten really good at faking a smile.