Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Permission to feel

I spent the long Memorial Day Weekend sort-of low key. I feel somehow lighter, my worries are beginning to melt away just a bit. My Grandpa is doing well--he gets to go home from the hospital today!
I also read (or skimmed) several books about infertility this weekend. Some were personal stories and others were technical manuals. The more informed I become, the more I realize what a total crap shoot this whole process is, and yet it gives me hope, peace.
I know that millions of other couples struggle with this too and I am a member of an online support group that does help a lot, and I have noticed among all of us in the group there seems to be a sense of guilt and shame not just because of the infertility, but also because of how we FEEL about our FEELINGS.
I have shared that my 1st cousin is due to give birth very soon and that my sister in law is pregnant and due in November. These will be the first babies of our generation in our family and I am very happy them, however it causes tons of conflicting feelings. I DO sometimes feel envy, jealousy, pain, and I simultaneously feel ashamed, guilty, and angry at myself for feeling that way. I notice that many other women have similar experience, but none, me included, seem to know how to resolve the conflict. Explaining it helps some-confession, I guess. I do NOT want to be a negative person, or someone who wallows in my own misery, but I feel like I might as well give myself permission to feel like I do, since I'm going to feel it anyway. It's not just pregnancies that cause these conflicts, but my own Hope for a successful treatment causes them as well. I want to be positive, yet I try to to "get my hopes up!" I also actively struggle to force myself to have a life outside of my infertility-I cannot remember a day that I haven't thought of it and I sometimes have guilt about that too! It is such a crazy, disturbed almost, way to live.
I am happy, but this seems to CONSUME me and I cannot imagine how my life might be without it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Near Miss

I have been absent this week because of a family emergency. My Grandfather had open heart surgery to remove a tumor the size of a large orange from his heart. He is 73, and up until about a year ago he was vital! He walked his little chihuahua Bruno up to three miles a day. He had a fall and broke his wrist, nothing major. Then he had a minor surgery on his knee followed by a total knee replacement. He then had spinal surgery and has never totally recovered. No wonder with a HUGE TUMOR ON HIS HEART!!! He is at Riverside Hosp in Columbus and doing well.

As usual, my family has pulled together and rallied around him. I am so thankful for this blessing in my life! It's really easy to take it for granted--until something bad happens! There have been a minimum of 5, maximum of 20 family members with my Grandpa at all times. Other patients don't have anyone with them-I can't imagine that.

My grandparents began a family with difficulty-they were poor and unprepared, and while there was always LOVE there was strife as well. They raised four daughters, who gave them eleven grandchildren (plus spouses). I know that there are other large families, but ours is large and super close! I see them ALL several times a year and it is easy to forget that not everyone has this kind of support.

I know I will survive infertility and have a family of my own somehow; but it will be thanks, at least in part, to the "family of my own" I have now.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

CDC Couples Survey and Fundraising Part II

Dave and I agreed to participate in an oral study that the CDC and Resolve is doing about couples experiencing infertility. The researcher called last night and was really great! She asked basic questions about our diagnosis and insurance information, so I was thrilled to vent my rage about the lack of coverage! She said that she was getting TONS of other responses similar to mine. It is so sad that money, or lack there of, forces people to choose between whether or not to have children.

Enough of that!

We have decided to try another tack with our fundraising efforts! We are holding a 1/2 and 1/2 drawing on July 4th. From now until then we will sell numbered tickets for $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00, we will draw a winner and contact them on the 4th of July. The winner will receive 1/2 of all of the money collected! So the more tickets we sell the bigger the pot!

Once again our super supportive family will help by selling tickets and one beloved family member (who is in the accounting field) has agreed to be treasurer so that there is nothing improper about the money. We could not have made it this far without all of this terrific support!

Tickets are open to anyone, if any reader wishes to purchase tickets, please email me at lovesbabyhopes@yahoo.com

Hope is back with a vengeance now--I am sure we will find a way to have a family of our own! I feel like myself again.

Please feel free to contact me with questions or fundraising suggestions!



Monday, May 12, 2008

In the spotlight. . .well, sort-of

Our story was featured in our Local paper yesterday, The Zanesville Times Recorder. We were pleasantly surprised to find it on the FRONT PAGE! Here's a link to the article.
I sort-of thought that our phone would ring with "I saw you in the paper!" calls, but it didn't. We're pretty open, so most people that know us know about our struggle. I thought that the reporter did a great job of telling our story! The only addition I would have made is information about the fact that our health insurance can choose not to cover our medical condition. That part still makes me nuts!
Our saga continues, we keep scrimping and saving and we hope that those who can give will, and those who cannot will pray for us.
Time will tell.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hope creeping back in

Since my mini-meltdown on Friday I feel new! I feel like I have taken control of my treatment, my life. I still don't like that I'm not pregnant, but I have hope again that it will work, somehow. I feel once again that it's just a matter of time.
We have decided to go ahead with a few cycles of Clomid starting next month while we're saving and raising money for another IVF. I honestly don't expect that it will work, but the doc thinks that it's worth a try so I'm up for it! I have continued my eating plan from "The Fertility Diet" and am still feeling pretty good. I am really trying to get more exercise, but I get bored easily, so it's rough.
On Monday evening the reporter came from the Zanesville Times Recorder. She was great, really professional. I was very glad that she seemed shocked and sort-of outraged that insurance can choose not to cover our medical condition. I really think that the general population does not know how all of this works, and if more people knew something might finally be done about it! Our story will appear in this Sunday's (Mother's Day ;0) edition of the paper, and I'm sure she will tell our story well. I will post a link to the article here if it appears on their website.
Once again this year there is a bill going NOWHERE in the US House that would require infertility coverage at very little cost to consumers. Please go to http://www.resolve.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ta_fedleg_home to contact your representative and ask them to support this bill. It should at least get a vote!! Even if you already have coverage, please go for the rest of us--it's important!


Monday, May 5, 2008

Follow-up with RE after failed IVF

Heartbroken. . . I finally felt it. Friday I went to a follow-up with Dr. Williams armed with about 30 questions regarding the failed cycle. I have been sad about the failure, but until I sat down in there and started discussing it I hadn't really felt the loss. As we went over the cycle and he gave me positive recommendations for another cycle, IF we can ever afford another, I finally felt my heart break by the defeat. Everything he said was positive, he would be more aggressive with my stimulation, he would increase the Lupron. He says that I am still an excellent candidate for IVF. He suggested that since I had a pregnancy (miscarriage) from Clomid 3.5 yrs ago we could try a few cycles of that while we try and save money for another IVF.
I spent the rest of day crying on and off, and felt better for it. Dave was great, compassionate, as always. I didn't realize that I was holding on to all of that pain and I was glad to have let it go.