Thursday, March 31, 2011

i am in love...

...with our new RE. she is amazing. I am so so so glad we switched. the very first thing she said to us when she led us into her office was, "I am so sorry for everything you've been through." and just hearing that from a doctor was like lifting a weight. our previous RE was so stuck up it was like we were supposed to feel lucky he would even speak to us. Not the case here. The offices are like night and day. It may sound sexist, but i don't think I'll ever go back to seeing a dude. There was this oppressive male energy at his office and everyone was so brusque and impersonal. not even a hint of some gynic solidarity.

When i was dealing with all the records and HMO stuff i got a chance to talk to the receptionists in the new office and they are just so chatty and friendly. one of them was like, "i went through 7 years of fertility treatments, my file is like a phonebook!"

That's the other thing, most of the women in the new office have actually been through infertility treatments themselves. Even the new RE talked about her miscarriage and how devastating it was for her. There's a real sense of comraderie and understanding. It was so great! I feel so relieved. i've been perpetually on the verge of a nervous breakdown every time i even thought about starting over and how hard it would be to jump through all those hoops again.

She laid out a very clear plan for us and even drew us a map (literally, a roadmap, with pictures) while she explained it. 3 cycles of clomid w/ IUI (required by our HMO) followed by one cycle of injectibles (with timed intercourse) to gauge my reaction to the drugs, then IVF. she included which days i'd have to go in for monitoring and how long that could take and how big they expected my follicles to be. she said clomid should solve my low progesterone problem and if it doesn't we'll do suppositories.

it just feels so amazing to have an actual real plan and steps to take. I feel like our baby is so close! I can't explain it and I know it sounds crazy, but it's almost like everything clicked when i walked into the office- like "ooooh yeah, this is the last stop"

I've had the worst insomnia this week, it's like my brain keeps trying to figure this out and solve it like a puzzle. i know the end is near, i can already see that little pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel, but when? and how?

At least now we're on the train instead of standing on the platform. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

mind power- astrology style

Capricorn Mar 29 2011
You're more powerful now than ever, celestially speaking. That means the universe is ready, willing, and able to transform your dreams to reality. Sound too out-of-this-world to be true? If so, you need to work on your concept of what's possible in this life. You have a strong mind. But you probably don't thoroughly understand how your very thoughts and the words you choose can change your reality for the better... or the worse. Enlighten yourself by doing some research into visualization and the power of positive thought. You're a practical sign, but tapping into this deep vein of power could help you to make magic happen in your life - especially now.

--Copyright (c) DailyHoroscope. Download it now

the underworld

in case you can't tell by the poem i posted yesterday, i am really feeling the myth of Orpheus. particularly the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, a married couple who love each other very much.

in the myth, Eurydice get bitten by a snake and dies and Orpheus is so overcome with grief that he decides to travel to the underworld and resue her.

everything seems to be going perfectly, Hades agrees that Orpheus can try and lead her out of the underworld, but under one condition: he must walk in front of her and not look back until they are both back in the upper world.

miracle of miracles Orpheus finds her down there! He sets off with Eurydice following, and, in his anxiety, as soon as he reaches the upper world, he turns to look at her, forgetting that both needed to be out and she vanishes for the second time, but now forever.

i'm trying to figure out why that particular myth is aching me these days. maybe it's because i feel like i'm going through hell right now, and my only way to get out of this is to look forward. of course i relate to the husband/wife dynamic. hubs has had to pull me out of my depression any number of times now and i do the same for him.

i keep trying to imagine that moment when Orpheus, so relieved that he's made it back to the upperworld, glances back at his wife only to see that her feet are still on the other side. the anguish in that. i imagine getting another bfp will evoke similar feelings in me. elation followed by dread.

i will never see those two lines and say "we made it out of this." but unlike Orpheus i will keep my gaze focused forward and look to the future. otherwise my babies will keep vanishing.

the only way i'm going to make it out of this is if i can manage to lead my babies into this world without anxiously looking back at them constantly. i need to trust that they are following me and i need to trust that they will make it to this side soon.

my favorite part of that Rilke poem i posted yesterday has to be this line : "What locks itself in sameness has congealed. Is it safer to be gray and numb? What turns hard becomes rigid and is easily shattered." because it reminds me that i've been going about this all wrong; by making myself numb (not hoping and perpetuating pessimism so i won't be disappointed) i've become rigid and that is what makes me prone to shatter. i need to be the change. i need to pour myself out and flow like water.

time to focus my eyes to the future and lead us out of this dark place.

Monday, March 28, 2011

i'm loving this poem

The Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XII

Want the change. Be inspired by the flame where everything shines as it disappears. The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much as the curve of the body as it turns away.

What locks itself in sameness has congealed. Is it safer to be gray and numb? What turns hard becomes rigid and is easily shattered.

Pour yourself out like a fountain. Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of a separation it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming a laurel, dares you to become the wind.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

i dont normally do this (cd23)

But I had horrible lower back pain yesterday. And for the past few days I've had really fitful sleep, can't fall asleep at night, can't sleep in in the morning... curiouser and curiouser.

Last night I had a dream I went in my doctor to get an ultrasound (I was pregnant) and while I was there they told me it was twins. What a cruel trick that would be, huh? To avoid fertility treatments for so long because I'm afraid of multiples and then to conceive them naturally right before treatment. Sheesh... still deciding if the dream was a good omen or a nightmare...

Thursday, March 24, 2011


As infertiles we are always looking for signs. fortune cookies, milestones, serendipidous due dates, we're always looking for a guidepost, an indicator that this is it. this month it will happen.

"my due date would be DH's birthday!"
"it's the anniversary of my grandmother's passing!"
"i found a halloween onsies in the bargin bin at target in february!"
"my horoscope says prepare for changes in your family life!"

no one outside of our infertile support group can fathom why or how we get hope from these tenuous "signs." it sounds insane on the outside, but it's all we have. thus when your friend sends you a message saying, "this month would be too perfect! we'll be at a family reunion the first day of my second trimester, the baby would be due on my late mother's birthday, AND my horoscope this morning said "you will get a long-awaited surprise!" the only thing you can respond is, "OMG that's PERFECT, you're so getting pregnant this month!"

and what's worse, you're honestly shocked when it doesn't happen. because everything was soooo perfect.

and what's more, it's embarassing when it doesn't work. how could you possibly think that any of that meant anything?! how idiotic of you. delete delete delete. then repeat repeat repeat. every month. ad nauseum. but this month is different! "DH got a promotion, my mom found my old baby book, my sister friend's wife got pregnant when she..." sigh

yesterday i was browsing baby gear online and saw an advertising for monogramming. there was blanket with 12/12/11 monogrammed on it. that would be my due date if we got pregnant this month. is that a sign?

of course, this is the one month we are kind of indifferent. my birthday is on xmas and i've always hated it. i really didn't want a december baby. is that a sign? will we be sighing and saying that when we tell people, as if our infertility never existed. as if our biggest worry all along was what month the baby would be due. riiiiggghhht...

so, here we are again folks. same game, different name. "but there was a super moon! the vernal equinox! i had 3 positive opks! my cervical fluid was amazing! we BD constantly!" it has to be different right?

and to totally discredit myself as a rational thinking woman, i'll say it feels different. something feels different.

we're hopeful?

how weird is that? my husband and i, beaten down infertiles that we are, have this weird hopeful feeling. i don't care, i'm not even embarassed of it. maybe it's because the last time we made an appointment with an RE we got our BFP the day after our consultation (my eggs, like me, are procrastinators). maybe the acupuncture is working and my anxiety levels are way down. maybe it's that a few long-time infertile blogs i follow got their bfp last month... i don't know what it is, but i feel like our baby is close. i dream about him. i can almost feel him in my arms. there is some weird over the shoulder feeling like we'll be out of this soon. i want so badly to just believe, but my pessimism keeps slamming doors and breathing down my neck. it's ridiculous really, after 2 years? after our losses? why do i feel so hopeful all the sudden? is it the support groups? the burgeoning spring?

here's my horoscope from yesterday:
Capricorn Mar 23 2011
There may be an odd yet endearingly quirky aspect to your day today, Capricorn. You may feel as though you are wandering about in a dreamy state, with unexplained expectations for some kind of very happy outcome. That's because your intuition is telling you that something quite wonderful is soon to occur. You can count on receiving a uplifting message, or a happy ending to a sought-after goal. Just be sure to keep your feet planted in reality so that when you manifest that moment you have the wherewithal to enjoy it.

my husband and i laughed when we read it. "oooooh no, not you again." we said. "you can't fool us this time!"

but here we are. 3DPO and uplifted.
come soon baby.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

family and gratitude (and shmaltz)

today i am feeling very grateful.

i know, i always get all emotional as soon as i hit the 2ww, but today i'm feeling especially emo. it's tempting when you're dealing with loss and infertility to focus on everything that gets taken from you, to get this laser hypersensitivity on everything that has gone terribly wrong. but today i can't help but feel like things are on an upswing.

for a long time i kept our fertility struggles private. no one knew we were trying and we liked it that way. slowly but surely as we started to crumble under all this pressure we started reaching out more and more. after my second chemical pregnancy i couldn't stop crying. i felt so defeated and i had no idea what was going on. my mom knew i was depressed but couldn't figure out why. one afternoon she asked me if i needed to go to Whole Foods (we're both organics and vitamin junkies so going to whole foods is a pretty expensive event for us). i was covered in stress hives for weeks after that loss. i finally had to take steroids to get them to clear up. i remember exactly how i told her about the losses. we were looking at vitamins and i reached for some of that money-suck "natural" progesterone cream and she asked me why i was interested in that, it was for menopause not hives. and i just said it, "i keep having these weird pregnancies that go away." she was quiet for a minute and then said, "it's pricey, let me get it for you."

i still cry when i think about it.

that's just how my mom is. we're not very emotion sharing people. we rely very heavily on nuance and intuition. after i told me mom i managed to tell my sister. then i managed to talk to my friends. then i managed to see a doctor and tell him what was going on. it was a trickle down affect.

it's tempting for me to say, "no one understands" because really, no one in my circle of friends really does understand. they have no frame of reference for this. but they try. my huge irish-catholic-constant-baby-having family tries very hard to understand all of this. my older sister even said to me after my last miscarriage "i feel very stupid talking to you about this because i have five children and i have no idea what all these hormones are" (i'd been explaining progesterone deficiency and failure to implant and lagging hCG levels). it meant a lot to me that she admitted that.

i found out a few days ago that my little sister told all of our aquaintances about our loss and told them not to bring it up unless we did. without us asking her, without any provocation. she just went into the toystore we love and the cafe i get coffee from and when they asked how i was and how they hadn't seen me much in my pregnancy she told them. i'd been avoiding these places since november because i couldn't bear the thought of facing them.

whenever people in the Miscarriage Support group i frequent on babycenter ask about how they can possibly face "untelling" everyone i always give the same advice: lean on your family and friends. let them do the dirty work. they are mourning too and trying very hard to figure out how to help you (often in misguided ways), so give them this job. send them to all your local hangouts and places where people recognize you. tell them to spread the word. lean on them.

yesterday my inlaws sent us a picture of the garden they're working on for our baby. they'd mentioned after the miscarriage that they planted a holly tree for us and in my fog i'd kind of discounted it. there was so much drama going on and i was so depressed and angry. i knew they were grieving too, but i couldn't see anything outside of myself. and when my mother-in-law called me crying i was enraged that she felt she could intrude on my grief. i'm not proud of it. so yesterday they sent us a picture of the garden. it's spring and things are starting to come up and grow. a bad storm downed a couple of trees around there and they hired a carpenter to make them into chairs.

i feel so overwhelmed knowing there's a place for our babies. and the tree they planted is a holly which means it stays green year round. it was important to them that there be something that would bloom and grow even in winter. in the midst of all the snow and starkness our tree would stand like a constant reminder that even as things were desolete, something was growing and alive and blooming. and even as a mighty oak tree was knocked down, we can still make something beautiful out of it- something comforting, a place to rest. they live in another state, so we don't see it very often, but the thought that it's there and growing is very comforting.

Monday, March 21, 2011

let's talk about sex

so one of my besties was visiting from boston this weekend. it was good to see her, but there were a few glitches i didn't anticipate. 1: the last time we saw each other i was telling her she had to go stay with another friend because i just found out my 11 week old fetus was measuring 7 weeks (yeah, definitely no more ultrasounds when i have a friend in town). 2: my very first chemical pregnancy, before i even knew what a chemical pregnancy was, was due on march 17th 2010. so basically i should have a 1 year old right now. 3: my friend is going through a brutal breakup (5 year relationship) and so is very moody and self-involved and wanting a lot of babying and sympathy. which is fine, except that i really have nothing to give.

i feel stupid even saying "chemical pregnancy." like it's a sham or something. we never argued over names or booked a prenatal apoointment or tried on maternity clothes. i never really got used to the idea. just about the only thing i got from it was the complete inability to trust home pregnancy tests ever again. but a few days before i got the bfp i was in Carsons at the mall and saw a little shamrock outfit on super sale. since it was july i took it as a definite sign that i was pregnant with a little shamrock. i bought it and tested positive a few days later. then i got my period a few days after that. i know it sounds ridiculous, but it's really tripping me up that i could have a walking talking child right now. toddling around and babbling in the other room...

anyway, back to my friend. she got in on wednesday the 16th and right off the bat the change was obvious. for starters she dyed her brown hair platinum blonde. wow. right away she started talking about where we could go to get drunk.

you should know i'm not much of a drinker anymore. i know it helps some people with depression, but not me. i come from a long line of alcoholics and i pretty much stay away from it except for the occational glass of wine when i'm feeling bad. i know how much of a slippery slope it could be.

anyway, we went out to a bar and she started eyeing this guy sitting alone. turns out he was waiting for his wife. then she starts chatting up the bartender. turns out he was gay. i then realized that the weekend's objective was to stay intoxicated and get laid a bunch. oy...

here's the weird thing though- as hard as it was to deal with her obliviousness and try to keep up with her, it ended up being a great weekend for me. not so much for her, since she never ended up having sex (despite following a dude home and sleeping on his couch) but i found something i hadn't seen in a while. my own sexuality.

before i get into it, you should know i'm not "hot" by any conventional standards. i'm overweight and i have this ridiculous ruddy hair, but i've always been confident. and funny. and therefore i've never had a problem finding boyfriends. i mean i got married at 24, so it's not like i had much time to get spinstery, but it seems like heavy women are always bemoaning that men are so superficial and i've never really had that problem. then again, i was off the market at 22, so take of that what you will.

the first thing to go, as any infertile will tell you, is your sex life. it takes a real nosedive. you began to see yourself a "less female" and then you start wondering what is wrong with you? and you feel past your prime and frumpy and the meds make you gain weight and give you acne... when you have a miscarriage your body confidence is really shot to shit. i mean really. your body has failed you in so many ways, and then in the most fundamental way. you sort of stop feeling like a woman.

this is especially hard for a woman like me. very into hair and nails and clothes and lingerie, very girly and sexual me. i lost myself. i flushed it down the toilet right with my pregnancy.

i honestly can't tell you the last time i felt sexual. don't get me wrong, my husband and i have been really good about having non-procreative sex, but i no longer feel desirable. i haven't gotten a haircut since i was eight weeks pregnant in october and told my stylist to cancel the colour, i was knocked up. i know i need to find a new salon, but what's the point? i feel frumpy, so it should show, right? i bought one new dress this winter and i wore it twice. i can't remember the last time i got my nails done. i can't even remember the last time i went to a dentist. seriously.

so this weekend, my friend dragged me in and out of bars all over the city. and i had to dress up for them. and you know what? men flirted with me. bought me drinks (it helps to have red hair on st. patty's day). they asked me for my number and made small talk. one guy even said i was a "goddess" (he was very intoxicated and at least 40). it was so good for me. every day i got better and better about getting ready and dressing up and just taking care of myself; i got better and better at feeling desirable. it was pretty miraculous. i know it sounds small, but i can't remember the last time i felt sexy.

of course i channeled all this into my marriage and my sex life with my husband. it was pretty amazing. there was this big perfect supermoon, and the spring equinox, and there was me: a fertile "goddess".

it was the best ovulation i've had since the miscarriage. we had sex every night, and 3(!!) times in a row on sunday. i wasn't even thinking about making a baby.

we may not get pregnant, but it's good to feel female again.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

acupuncture is amazing

seriously. maybe not even acupuncture so much as moxibustion. it is so so so cool. i haven't had my TSH tested this cycle, but i am sure my thyroid is functioning at great level. no more frozen extremities, no more hair loss or dry skin.

last month i was totally like, "i don't think acupuncture is doing anything." and my husband convinced me to stick it out "they told you it could take around three months." i am so glad i gave it another shot. especially because i go to "community" accupuncture and it's only $20 a session, so i bumped it up to 2 sessions a week which seemed to really have an effect.

this has been by far the best egg i've had since the miscarriage. i had a real, honest to goodness, positive OPK. i never get those. my RE always has to monitor me with bloodwork and ultrasound because i somehow miss my LH surge testing even twice a day. not this month! i don't know if it's the moon, the spring, or the acupuncture, but i'm basically begging the universe to let me have a good egg this cycle.

Friday, March 18, 2011

a poem for the full moon

These Hips (For the Full Moon)
-Adele Brown

They carry babies to term,
cradling them beneath ilium crest
until full moons rise over tide waters,
stretch long white fingers over the dark
horizon, and pull.

Lunar gravity bears down
and spreads the bones apart.
Pelvic plates press clean
against layers of glycerol flesh.
They stretch skin
wider than the wings of
a Rorschach butterfly,
leaving offspring behind
stained in dark reds and blues
of old blood and afterbirth.

As a river mouth
makes a bed of its own sand and silt,
these hips find softness in their own refuse.

such mixed signals, horoscope

Capricorn Mar 18 2011
When you try too hard to achieve something, it may seem perennially out of your range. That's because wanting something too much can cause a build-up of negative energy. When you are that eager, you might begin to imagine all the things that could go wrong. You might envision all the worst-case scenarios, and start to worry about them occurring to ruin your quest. Instead of letting your energy go in that direction now, Capricorn, try to imagine everything that could go RIGHT! Doing so will engage the best kind of energy, and get you to your goal much quicker.
Copyright (c) DailyHoroscope.
Download it now --

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

equinox eggs

So something interesting is going to happen this month. despite my protestations of "not trying!" and "taking a break!" and even inviting my best girlfriend to stay with us while she visits from boston so i don't go all ovulation crazy this weekend, the universe is nudging me.

This weekend, days 14-16 of my cycle, there will be a phenomenon known as a "super moon." The moon is the closest it's been to the earth in the last 2 decades and this will cause it to appear larger and brighter. not only that, but this weekend is also a full moon AND the vernal equinox. Pagans celebrated the vernal equinox as a celebration of fertility. The holiday is celebrated as a sign to welcome the beginning of new life. All the pagan/ naturalist festivals related to this month were themed on fertility, birth, and revival and celebrate the goddess Eostre (when Christianity got hold in Europe it was re-named as Easter). The female hormone estrogen is even named for the goddess Eostre.

Here's hoping that the vernal equinox and Ostara (the pagan name for the day) gave me a little bit of extra luck this cycle. I'm feeling pretty calm about the whole thing. I'll be busy entertaining my friend and drinking too much on st patty's day, and hopefully in the midst of all that one tiny perfect egg will be drawn out with the full moon and see fit to meet my husbands sperm and make us a winter solstice baby.

a hand -jane hirshfield

A Hand

A hand is not four fingers and a thumb.

Nor is it palm and knuckles,
not ligaments or the fat's yellow pillow,
not tendons, star of the wristbone, meander of veins.

A hand is not the thick thatch of its lines
with their infinite dramas,
nor what it has written,
not on the page,
not on the ecstatic body.

Nor is the hand its meadows of holding, of shaping—
not sponge of rising yeast-bread,
not rotor pin's smoothness,
not ink.

The maple's green hands do not cup
the proliferant rain.
What empties itself falls into the place that is open.

A hand turned upward holds only a single, transparent question.

Unanswerable, humming like bees, it rises, swarms, departs.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

what to write...

i'm on cd3.

we're waiting for all our documents to be transferred from our old RE to our new RE. plus we have to wait for the referral to go through.

i'm kind of unclear about the etiquette of switching. i'm also afraid that we're leaving the devil we know for the one we don't. what if this RE is even worst than the last one? plus the new SART stats came out recently (for 2009) and our old RE has a much higher success rate than the one we're switching to. Is personality worth it? Also, what do we tell our old RE? do we owe them an explanation? I was checking out my husband's patient portal online and saw that he'd written dr. morris an angry letter demanding a treatment plan and specifics. it took dr morris a while to answer, but he did answer, and very cordially. he was well within his rights to totally call my husband an asshole for being so abrasive, but he took the time to write a very long and detailed reply. the fact that he did this has me questioning the entire switch. did i misjudge him?

what now? do i have to call them and tell them why i want my records faxed? or do i just go quietly?

this whole thing is turning out to be a lot more complicated than i thought. added to that is the inherent murkiness of unexplained infertility. there's no real reason why we aren't conceiving. i actually find myself jealous of women who have pcos and don't ovulate or have partners who don't make enough sperm. at least they have a reason and a clear problem to fix. i feel like all we can do is play guessing games and up the meds i don't really need. i also have this weird guilt that i don't know what to do with. there's nothing medically wrong with either of us, so maybe we're doing something wrong? or not relaxing enough? maybe this is a sign we're not meant to be parents... and even that thought isn't as terrifying as it once was, at least living childfree would get us off this rollercoaster.

what should our plan be? what do we do next? no amount of support groups or consultations can answer that. because there is no answer.

Friday, March 4, 2011


got my beta back already and it's negative. i'm so bummed. i guess i have to start looking for another RE, which is so depressing. it sucks to have to start over after going through all this. its even harder to do it because i know i can get pregnant on my own and i know that i ovulate on my own. i don't understand why it's not happening for us. my husband has this amazing sperm and i have decent enough eggs that pop out like clockwork. what's going wrong?

i feel like i shouldn't need help, it's so hard to go through all this knowing that i can and have done it on my own. i feel like i'm forcing nature or something. i feel like i'm being punished for wanting it so bad.

i keep wondering why i had to get pregnant at all last fall. why we had to see the heartbeat. why it had to last as long as it did. we were so hopeful once we made it past 6 weeks. it was farther than we'd ever gone. we saw the heartbeat! what was the point of all that? i mean, if we were just going to lose it anyway? now not only do i have my infertility but i also have to mourn our child too.

it's like the hits just keep on coming...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

shopping for a new RE

so, after last night's Resolve meeting I am more convinced than ever that i need to find a new RE. Plus one of my friends on babycenter just went to a new RE yesterday and i was all jealous of her glowy account of how perfect he is and how he actually listened to what she had to say.

So here's my HMO approved list of providers:
it's kinda slim pickings for sure. seems like everyone wants to recommend FCI or Advanced Fertility right off the bat. Plus most of these offices are way out in burbs which would be an insane hassel for monitoring twice a week.

I think I'm pretty much settled on Northshore Fertility. It fulfills my very narrow requirements of being a 20 minute drive away and a female doctor.

This is all such a pain in the ass. would it be too much to hope for a BFP at my blood test tomorrow to avoid all this crap?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Prayer -galway kinnell

Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.