Thursday, May 29, 2008


I recently came across this video that brought tears and hope.
(You'll have to pause the music on my site to hear the music from the video).

Tears: I'm in the midst of wondering when my time will come. When will I be a mother? When will others understand I am human and am struggling immensely with infertility? When will I actually admit to myself and others how greatly I am affected? When will I forgive myself for this infertility that cannot truly be faulted? When will others get to end their struggles? When will the peace come for more than short snip its of time?

Hope: There are babies all over the world that need mothers. There are women that get pregnant daily. I am worthy. I know it will happen. I will be a mother. I will be consumed with peace some day. God is my hope; and He knows my heart's desires. I am loved, despite my infertility. I have faith.

"Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep believing, the dream that you wish will come true." (Anonymous)

Thursday, May 22, 2008


My husband is currently "emotionally unavailable." As in not taking calls. As in "Don't talk to me or ask me about infertility or babies right now." As in "talk to the hand."

Babe and I got into a huge fight Tuesday evening before and about my Wednesday afternoon consultation appointment with Doctor B. I had asked him to go to this particular appointment on multiple occasions, reminded him of the date and time, and requested his presence so he could give me his personal opinion of the doctor in consideration. Repeatedly, Babe told me he could not make it because of work obligations.

Our Tuesday evening bicker came down to him not wanting me to go see another doctor because he didn't want me to be more confused than I already was about what to do next. And, I, of course, needed him there for support and his clear emotional state, albeit emotional unavailability. Hmph. It was a doozy of a "discussion," but one in which I realized that his train and my train are going to two different destinations at the moment.

Mine: Destination Baby

His: Destination I- have- too- many- other- things -to- worry- about- right- now

Granted, he is quitting one job and starting his own company. He has been working his tail off from the wee hours of the morning to the wee hours of the next morning. He is up to his eyeballs in work. He is trying to be here emotionally, but he is hardly ever here physically. And yet, I need him, want him to be focused on me, and am still aching for that one thing I desire most- Destination Baby. No wonder we argued.

After consulting with various sources, I wasn't sure I would like Doctor B. On the way to his office, I decided to make a mental note of everything I was feeling and the specifics of the clinic as opposed to Doctor A's. His office was a bit more congested and more difficult to find than Doctor A's, his check-in staff not as friendly, and there were pictures of twins, triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets on the wall, but all that aside, I really liked him. He had what I call "kind eyes," and his bedside manner was remarkable. He was very open and encouraged me to question him and communicate with him at all times. He talked with my husband (he came to the appointment despite out argument) and me for more than an hour and told us things similar to what Doctor A had told us: "It is not time to give up hope. Do what you feel most comfortable with. If you like your other doctor, stay with him. Pregnancies and positive statistics are higher for IVF, but you still have frozen blastocysts you can exhaust. If you proceed with the frozen transfer, stay with Doctor A because you'll have better chances. You need to decide what is right for you, but Doctor A and I are basically clones of each other."

Guess what? I went in thinking I didn't like him, only to find that I did! I liked what he had to say. I liked his kind eyes. I liked his opinions. I liked the tour he gave me of the clinic and procedure rooms. I liked his nurse. I liked that he gave me his personal pager number. And what I liked even more was that I had another option, another choice in this infertility dance. What more could I ask for besides the overwhelming peace of mind I also felt and needed?

After mulling things over, I decided and settled on a plan for Destination Baby. I talked to Babe about my course of action and decided that since he is emotionally unavailable (and for very valid reasons) that it would be best to wait and do IVF only after we have exhausted the frozen blastocysts; he agreed. So, with his emotional unavailability and my current (and rare) emotional balance, this is where we are. This is the new-found plan. This is why our trains are on two different adventures at this moment in time. This is the reason we have options. This is the reason I needed a break. This is the "feeling" I had prayed for and discussed with God that I wanted to have about the doctor. All this, my friends, is it. "It." The fertility journey!

"Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently." (William Arthur Ward)

Sunday, May 18, 2008


My heartstrings are playing a game with my mind. It's a game of hide and seek- my mind winning one round and my heart winning the next. I usually try to listen to my mind since it is the logical part of my being and take notice of how my heart feels since it is the emotional part of my being... and we all know how emotions can change from one second to the next.

My husband likes to give me credit for having "good intuition" about people and situations. He thinks I can pick up on peoples' energy and make solid decisions based on my gut feeling and personal intuition. No- I do not believe I have special powers or premonitions, but I do think I am in tune with myself and my surroundings.

A specific example of my intuition is one that occurred about three years ago. "Babe" (the name I'll use to reference my husband from now on) and I were trying to decide if we should take a vacation. Babe's dad was very ill, and we weren't sure if it was a good time to go away on a trip. I didn't feel like we should leave the state, but Babe decided we needed a break. Babe promised to keep his cell phone on and near him in case the situation with his father worsened.

A few days into our trip, I decided to sleep in while Babe went exploring. He called a bit later to see if I wanted to meet him downstairs for breakfast, which sounded great to me. As we sat down, I asked Babe where his cell phone was. He told me it was in the car, and he would go get later. We finished our breakfast, and Babe decided he wanted to go upstairs to our room to relax for a bit. I told him he needed to go get his cell phone first. Annoyed, Babe told me he would be downstairs later and would get it then. I nagged him, told him I thought he needed to go get it or let me go get it, and we got into a huge fight about the stupid cell phone. He stormed off, and I headed back up to our room. Ten minutes later, he came into our room, cell phone in hand, and said his aunt had called; his father was not doing well, and we needed to fly home immediately. I truly thought he was joking, but the look on his face told me otherwise. He proceeded to tell me that his cell phone was ringing as he was opening the rental car door. Needless to say, we did not make it home before Babe's father passed away. It was one of those "feelings" I had where the silly cell phone seemed like a fight worth fighting. Intuition.

As I write this post, past emotions come back to me and chill bumps cover my arms, but I am reminded that my intuition is needed now. Like I said in a previous post, I have been seeing an infertility specialist for almost a year and a half- let's call him Doctor A. This guy is very nice and patient with me and my five hundred questions. His clinic is small, and the entire staff seems to know what is going on with individual patients. When I leave a message or have a question, I always receive a call back from the doctor or the doctor's nurse by the end of the day. Doctor A is a godly man; he prays for us, and he errs on the side of caution, which in my mind, is a sign of a great doctor. He would rather play it safe than put my health or the health of babies at risk. His bedside manner is not the best, but he is a walking statistic. Doctor A feels my next step in this infertility dance should be another blastocyst transfer since we got a positive pregnancy test in March (ending in a chemical pregnancy) and because our blastocysts were high-quality. Doctor A's IVF and blastocyst transfer rates are very high- in fact, higher than the national average. Alas, I am not pregnant (after all this time seeing him) and am beyond frustrated!

A few weeks ago, I scheduled a consultation with another doctor, Doctor B, to get a second opinion. When I was trying to schedule an appointment with him, I was transferred three different times, and I didn't really have a good feeling about it. I made the appointment anyway. I googled Doctor B and have even asked around about him. What I have discovered about his clinic is that it is much larger than Doctor A's, his staff is impersonal, and it is pretty much a baby-making factory. People are in and out like a revolving door with little effort made to really get to know you. I have also heard from some of his previous patients that Doctor B has a much better bedside manner than Doctor A, but his main goal is to get you pregnant. He will do everything in his power to make that happen, even if it means getting you pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets, and quadruplets). His IVF rates are comparable to Doctor A, but his blastocyst transfer rates are pretty much non-existent.

My husband doesn't think I should even go see Doctor B because he worries I'll have one more decision to make, a weakness that erupted when the infertility treatments started. So I have come to a crossroads- my mind is telling me to stay with Doctor A and give him more time, and my heart is telling me to go see Doctor B and get on with this process. My intuition is to stay with Doctor A because he is first and foremost a scientist, even if I have left his office in tears on multiple occasions. My heartstrings play up the desire and desperation to have a baby, something Doctor B might be able to give me more quickly, but at what or whose expense?

So, my heartstrings play like a violin while intuition juggles my desires. Which crossroad do I take- Doctor A or Doctor B? The scientist or the bedside manner? The personal or the impersonal? The prayer or the hope? The intuition or the heartstrings? As I type this, I think I already know my answer...

"Listen to your intuition. It will tell you everything you need to know." (Anthony J. D'Angelo)

Monday, May 12, 2008


As a little girl, I dreamed of things most little girls dreamed of- the white picket fence, Prince Charming, being Snow White, a beautiful green lawn, and five kids running around the house. Yes, I did say five. Perhaps this is why there are fairytales; because it isn't often that any of these things all happen to make one perfect life story.

As I've grown older, my fairytale ideas have changed. Have they changed because I know they can't exist, or have they changed because I no longer want the same things I wanted as a little girl?

Are fairytales dreams or are fairytales unrealistic dreams?

My adult life (and part of my childhood fairytale) begins with meeting my Prince Charming. My hubby is fantastic! He is my complete opposite, my soul mate, my parallel. We have been married nearly six years now and started our trying-to-conceive-adventure about two years into our marriage. After a year of "trying" using only basal body temperature charts and home ovulation predictor kits, I went in for my yearly OB/GYN exam and started voicing my concerns. My OB/GYN recommended we do a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG). This dye test detected no visible problems, minus the tilted uterus, which I was told would not hinder a pregnancy. For three months after the HSG, we continued trying to conceive with the basal body temperature charts and home ovulation predictor kits. Still no pregnancy; my OB/GYN then recommended a laparascopy. The laparascopy revealed "significant amounts" of endometriosis, but she cauterized and removed all that she could during the surgery. She did not feel my endometriosis was severe enough to keep us from conceiving, so we tried for another several months.

After two years of trying and no darn luck, we finally decided to see an infertility specialist. We have been seeing him almost a year-and-a-half and have been through many procedures. In short, my husband has been checked and is fine, and I have been checked and am fine (minus Mr. Endometriosis). I call the endometriosis a "Mister" because only a man could cause that much pain every month!

We started at the bottom of the procedure ladder and have been climbing ever since~
Rung 1- As with most infertility specialists, we started with a few rounds of Clomid and IUIs. None produced a pregnancy.
Rung 2- After the preliminary tests and a few initial Clomid cycles with IUI, we underwent several rounds of injectables and IUIs. In October of 2007, we received our first positive blood and urine pregnancy test. Unfortunately, this turned out to be chemical pregnancy #1. I can remember that devastation like it was yesterday. My poor Prince Charming- I was worse than the wicked stepmother from Cinderella for a while. Looking back on it now, it was terrible and horrific (in my eyes), but it was not the end of the world.
Rung 3- In December of 2007, we underwent in-vitro, producing seventeen high-quality embryos. Two were transferred in December. January 2, 2008 I received another positive blood pregnancy test. Within the week, however, we learned this was chemical pregnancy #2. Again, a pity party and temper tantrum ensued. And again, I learned it was not the end of the world.
Rung 4- I needed a physical, mental, and emotional break, and we took one until March of 2008. In March, we transferred two of our seven frozen embryos. The transfer led to chemical pregnancy #3. But guess what? I didn't act like Cinderella's evil stepmother, I didn't throw a temper tantrum, and I didn't put Prince Charming through hell. Instead, I cried and decided I needed to get better at moving forward.

So, here I sit physically while waiting for my mind to tell me how to move forward mentally. I'm not going anywhere. I just need some time to recoup, regroup, and repossess my physical and mental self. Alone with my thoughts, I am also realizing my adult fairytales are perhaps my mature childish dreams- a wonderful marriage, babies, a cute house, and friends and family full of love and support. Quite honestly- I have most of my adult fairytale. But a void sits and resonates through me on a daily basis: Babies. Where are the five babies I dreamed of as a six-year-old fairytale princess?

This goes back to my original question- Are fairytales dreams or are fairytales unrealistic dreams? My answer? Whether realistic or unrealistic, dreams are dreams. And a girl has got to have dreams to keep going!

"To dream anything that you want to dream. That's the beauty of the human mind. To do anything you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed" (Bernard Edmonds).

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you.

I remember jump-roping, hopscotching, and chanting this phrase to my elementary-aged friends many years ago on the playground. But the part of it that rings in my ear, especially on this Mother's Day, is that words can hurt you- sometimes even more than sticks and stones. Words are the emotional torment, the unseen hurt and pain. Words are afflictions and agonies that you try to forget but end up tucking behind your heart; afflictions and agonies that penetrate your mind-
words are never truly forgotten.

I had a co-worker tell me, "Happy Mother's Day," on Friday. While he will never know how badly it hurt me, those words are stuck in my mind, cutting deeper and deeper as this Mother's Day slowly expires. And yesterday, while at my own mother's house celebrating the holiday, my grandfather said something even worse. "Wow, honey, you look like you are gaining some weight, getting the middle-age spread. Are you pregnant?" If he only knew my longing to actually be pregnant, to be able to make that joyous announcement. If he only knew his words cut through my soul like a newly-sharpened knife.

As I write this, I am in mourning. The tears fall from my face. Aching and longing for the hope of a child. Mourning the losses I have already endured. Praying the devastation will soon stop.

How can one day bring such emotion? I am proud. Proud that my mother chose to have me, despite being a seventeen-year old parent. I am happy. Happy that a good friend gets to celebrate her first Mother's Day with the recent birth of a beautiful son. I am hopeful. Hopeful that I will one day celebrate the same. I am sad. Sad that this day brings such pain for me personally.

While I may not have a babe in my arms to celebrate this day, I must remain hopeful that one Mother's Day I will cry tears of joy and bow to a God that has granted me my heart's desire. In that hope, I must remember that I am human, my emotions are very real, and that it is okay for me to feel all that I do on this sensitive day. It is Mother's Day, after all, and I will one day celebrate this day for all that it is meant to be.

Sticks and stones will break my bones and words can surely hurt me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


My two favorite shows on television right now are Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. I love them for their mindless entertainment and meaningful talent. But the past few weeks I have found myself DVRing the shows and watching both the show and vote-off later in the week- after I have found out the results from another source. In fact, I actually had a co-worker ask me recently what I did on Tuesday and Wednesday nights that was so important that I couldn't watch American Idol (he often gives me a summary of the performances and results) because I hadn't yet watched them.

I honestly think I have been subconsciously avoiding the shows, performances, and results because I prefer to read what happens online or hear it from a friend after it actually happens. Then, I can truly watch the show for its entertainment purpose and not fret about who may mess up or what the conclusion holds. If I know ahead of time what happens, then I am prepared for the the outcome.

The anticipation of the shows and results are more than I want to deal with right now, much like the two-week window that follows most Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures. The anticipation precedes the outcome- no matter what happens.

The truth of the matter is that these shows are not worth the anticipation to me, which is why I DVR them and watch them when I want to watch them. But there is no escaping the two-week window that accompanies the reproductive procedures. How do you pass the time more quickly? How do you fly through those two weeks without making yourself sick with worry? How do you not anticipate the outcome? Does anyone prance through those two weeks without constant worry that something you do might affect the embryo(s)? Does anyone anticipate the results and the actual phone call from the hCG blood tests?

I have thought of the most minute details to the point that I am exhausted with worry:
~Did the dog jumping on my belly cause harm?
~Did that piece of chocolate cake hinder me from getting pregnant?
~Is my worry going to cause me to not get pregnant? And if so, how do I stop it?

I remember the doctor's office calling one day with the results of a blood test. I didn't answer- I knew the number. I knew it was the doctor or nurse. I knew I needed to answer the call. I knew I had to face my fears. I knew the anticipation would go away if I took the call. Yet I refused to answer the call because I didn't want to hear the news- good or bad. Deepak Chopra says, "Our thinking and our behaviour are always in anticipation of a response. It is therefore fear-based." It is fear-based: Anticipation causes fear and fear causes anticipation.

How do you break this chain? I'm not really sure how to get over the anticipation and fear of what may or may not happen, but I'm definitely open to hearing suggestions. I've prayed for God to take this anguish and stress away, but I'm not sure how to give it to Him. God doesn't anticipate; He knows. He knows before it happens. And He even knows how I will respond to whatever news I will receive, which helps me realize that I am going through all of this for a reason. He knows my anticipation is for a reason. And maybe my anticipation is to draw me nearer to Him through prayer. I'm trying. I'm really trying. I will continue to pray and ask God to release my anticipation like a helium-filled balloon, to "Let go and Let God." Since we're taking a break from the procedures for a month or two, there is nothing to anticipate right now. No good news or bad news from the test results. And the DVR can keep me anticipation-free until our next go-around.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I blame so many for not being able to carry a baby: myself, my body, my past, the doctors, my friends, my husband, God. My husband has no clue how I can even begin to blame myself for something I cannot control; I feel inadequate, so I place blame.

I think blame comes from anger and disappointment, from not getting what you want. It creeps through every fiber of your body like wildfire. And when it creeps, it encircles and drags everyone you know into the wildfire with it. I blame myself for not being able to produce a child for my husband and a grandchild for my parents. I blame my body for the inability to allow an embryo to cling to it. I blame my past because I feel something I did "then" is affecting my "now." I blame the doctors for not doing their jobs. I blame my friends for not saying the right things when the procedures don't work. I blame my husband for not relating, understanding and being supportive. I blame God for not giving me- His precious child- my heart's desire.

Is it logical? No. But is it my reality? Yes.

The problem with blame is that it causes doubt and insecurity, neither of which I need while trying to get pregnant. Blame "denotes a sense of responsibility for an offense" ( What offense is it that I blame myself for exactly? Is not being able to carry a baby an actual offense? Doubtful, but to those competing with infertility, it is a true offense, if only in our minds.

So how do you stop The Blame Game? In my opinion, I think taking ownership of the fact that I have choices is one way. My husband and I can create a plan of action, knowing we have alternatives; I can research our options. Another way for me to stop blaming myself is positive "self talk." When these nasty blame thoughts pollute my being, I can wipe the slate clean by assuring myself I play a minimal part in the outcome and a tremendous part of the experience:

I am doing the very best I can.
I am taking care of my body and mind.
I love myself.
My body is capable of carrying a baby to full term.
No one is to blame.
This experience is going to be a splendid one because I am choosing to make it great!

And I'll pray. I'll ask for supreme guidance and guardianship, not only of my physical, emotional, and mental state- but also of my conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind. I'll ask God to fill the void. I'll ask Him to whisper positive thoughts into my ear and breathe self-confidence through me. There is a perfect child for me. There is a baby that God is waiting to place in my loving arms, one way or another. Blame- be gone! Go find someone else to prey on, and leave me alone.

"All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy." (Wayne Dyer)