Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sweet Child O' Mine

Since I went ahead and let the cat out of the bag regarding our struggle with infertility a few weeks back, I figure I might as well continue to write about our journey.

It was really great to read everyone's comments. And equally helpful to put into writing a lot of what I've been thinking and feeling. I was also able to make a pretty significant decision which I'll go into more detail about at the end of this post.

Thus far, we've attempted IUI (inter uterine insemination) three times. The most recent time I pressed my doctor to be more aggressive, telling him that we'd be fine with multiples if it meant that we got pregnant. He reluctantly allowed me to increase my dosage of medication and I ended up with three mature follicles, which ended up not even being enough.

This most recent attempt was really frustrating: I was convinced that it had worked. After the procedure, the toughest part is waiting the two weeks before you can take a pregnancy test, but this time the two weeks just flew by because I was so sure that I'd be getting good news.

The next step is probably IVF (in vitro fertilization). My doctor has scheduled me for a hysterosalpingogram next week. I've tried to envision circumstances where we wouldn't proceed to IVF and honestly I can't think of any: if the test shows a problem, that means IUI will probably never work and if the test shows no problem, we've already tried IUI three times and the odds are that it should have worked by now, especially with us stepping up my medication dosage this past go round.

In any event, we're losing a month, which is frustrating. Back in August, I thought we'd have a baby by April and now a best case scenario is by April, I won't even be into my second trimester. Two years ago, I envisioned telling my family at Christmas that we were pregnant. Then I reluctantly acknowledged that perhaps it would be this past Christmas that we'd have good news for our family. Now we're less than three weeks into 2011 and I'm starting to worry that if we don't have some success soon, I might be looking at not having a baby until 2012.

Which is irrational...I know that. Like I said, we're three weeks into 2011. There's no need to discount the entire year already, but in my mind, I'm already starting to think that way.

When I spoke to the nurse on Friday, and she confirmed that the last attempt had not worked, I asked to speak to the clinic's on site psychologist. She's not currently taking patients, but she recommended another local psychologist who was. They both specialize in working with women and couples dealing with infertility.

Husband had suggested that I look into seeing someone several weeks back. All my life I've been someone who succeeds when I've set out to accomplish something and now there's this relatively simple yet monumental thing that I just can't seem to get right. I think about how Husband would have kids already if he was married to someone else. And I glare at my clients who seem to get pregnant at the drop of a hat only to have the baby promptly taken away.

I don't think my line of work helps matters much. Every day from 9am-5pm, I'm surrounded by children and parents having children, losing children, and children being returned home after years in foster care. I wake up in the morning and think of what's in store for me at my office.

And I don't want to go.

Recently my sister-in-law had ankle surgery. She's been on a variation of bed rest for the last few weeks. I told Husband that sounded pretty good to me.

Husband tells me that I don't have to work through a pregnancy and if I want, I can quit whenever.

To do what? I asked him. Be a stay-at-home-Kathleen?

So in an effort to actually make going to work, to a job that I formerly loved, bearable, I'm meeting with this psychologist for the first time on Tuesday morning.

We'll see how it goes.

In any event, we're losing this month. Between doing the histerosalpingogram and attending an IVF training session, it's going to be mid-February before we can attempt anything, IVF or otherwise.

Hopefully I can take that time to take care of myself. I'm not doing anybody any favors by being an emotional mess throughout this process.

I really do appreciate everyone's support and comments. It helps to know that I'm not the only person out there going through this and honestly, it's beginning to amaze me that anyone manages to get pregnant since it seems like everyone has some story to share. I don't intend to post every aspect of our journey here, but I can certainly share the big decisions and milestones.

And in an attempt to not make this post a total bummer, I'll leave you with one thing I found today that did make me smile: a performance of Brent Spiner, best known as Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Chita Rivera, of too many Broadway shows to name, singing An English Teacher and Rosie from one of my all time favorite musicals Bye Bye Birdie.



  1. aw don't get discouraged, kathleen! i think it's a very good decision to see a doctor who has lots of experience talking with other women in similar situations. he/she will be able to give you that added perspective of having seen both the ups and downs! <3 <3 <3 i am sending happy, healthy thoughts to your follicles. :)

  2. Oh Kathleen, I somehow missed your last post and had no idea you were going through all this. I can understand that it must be so frustrating and stressful! I do hope IVF proves to be a more successful option. Sending you lots of good vibes and good luck wishes! Thank you for sharing with us.

  3. Like, goldenmeans, I missed the mention of this in your other post (I only venture a guess that since the title of the post had something to do with RUNNING, I skipped over since I do not run!).

    I in no way expect what I am about to write to make you feel better. Or to take away from how you are feeling.

    We, too, experienced infertility. After a year and a half of nothing (nothing!!) happening, we went to a specialist - where we received the dreaded "unexplained infertility" label. That period was a very, very dark time for me personally. I, too, sought the counsel of a professional to talk to. I'm glad that you will go the same route - it was very helpful for me (also do-list oriented) to have one hour a week where it was okay to break down, okay to talk all about me, okay to go to the worse case scenario, okay to just be. There were no pregnant people there, no adorable kids; it was a totally safe place.

    In the end, the 3rd IUI was the charm. We know have two kids (7 and 5) - and, just like in the days we were trying to get pregnant (that all consuming world) - time now moves fast and slow (oddly). I know sometime people say, "The long journey was totally worth it!" and, while that is true, it sucked every darn step to that baby.

    (I just saw the "Lawyered"! LOVE me some HIMYM.)

  4. Hang in there Kathleen - think about what you need right now and if that means taking a short leave of absence from work to just get a change of scenery, then do it. You are still young, you will get through this.

    Denise (Frequent reader, infrequent post-er)

  5. Life's so frustrating and unfair, and it seems peace of mind is always the hardest thing to find no matter what the circumstances, but you will get there. My very best wishes to you.

  6. Kathleen, you are doing all the right stuff, and feeling all the appropriate feelings. Pregnancy, unfortunately, is not something you can get right or wrong, it is really out of your hands other than working with specialists. Your lawyering is helping so many other children and parents, giving them another chance at having a decent abuse free life. In my book, you are already a mother, a mother to these needy kids.
    I wish you luck and peace,

  7. I am sorry to hear what you are going through, it must be very hard to have to work so hard for a baby when so many people who don't want them do get pregnant. I hope it pays off for you and that you will get pregnant soon. Don't let it get you down, I have had many friends struggle with the same thing and have a baby of their own now

  8. Kathleen: I don't know you except for your blog and I really respect your putting your experience and feelings regarding infertility out there. I especially applaud your decision to see professional counselling since it seems as if you are under a lot of stress over this situation and your expectations surrounding what "should have happened" by now, that it has to impact your body. Stress causes so many things to happen physiologically that we don't even understand until it happens. While I have chosen or happen to have not had children, I have many friends who also had similar situations to yours and they have children today and are great parents. Just keep positively focused on what's important in your life, take to a therapist and do the things you enjoy and try and relax a bit. I wish you much success in the near future! Stay Strong!

  9. My heart just breaks for you, we had trouble getting pregnant with our second child and I went on clomid for 3 months and had a miscarriage. That small struggle with infertility was so difficult and I cannot imagine what you have been through. I hope counseling helps because you deserve the best. Trust that God has a plan for you and your hubby and it will all work out in the end! I hope the best for you and will keep you in my prayers!

  10. I commented on your last post about your fertility struggles as an "anon," but I think I'm out of the closet, so to speak, here. I know how difficult and heartbreaking it is to think "There's another month down the drain" when you're unsuccessful. My husband and I are currently trying (for two years this month, with one miscarriage in between), so I understand everything you say and you're not alone.

    As support, just know that my brother-in-law and his wife were unsuccessful until their third round of in vitro. They now have a healthy 2-year old baby, and, surprisingly his wife is pregnant again naturally (after the doctor told them they had a less than 1% chance of that occurring). Everything happens for a reason, don't lose hope!

  11. I just wanted to say that I have no idea what it's like to go through what you're struggling with, but I absolutely commend your courage to put this all out there. As a therapist myself, I realize how hard it is for people to even be able to commit to seeing people like me and sharing their difficulties. I truly think it will be a great support to you, and my thoughts are with you and your husband.

  12. Kathleen, thanks for sharing this. One of my best friends is going through this right now - I really feel for her. Why is it the best and most deserving people struggle? She is incredibly successful and happy and she always says, "I've just been too lucky in life, something had to go wrong" It's hard to hear her say things and I hate that she thinks that but I just try to be supportive. I'm going to be 31 soon and it doesn't look like children are in my near future..I work in a school where 15 (yes 15) women are either pregnant or out on leave. It's all baby talk all the time. It's torture.

    Please continue to share- you have a supportive audience of strangers :)