Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bad Santa

Hey everyone, hope you all had a lovely lovely X’mas. Mine was not so lovely because all I got from Santa was AF. Santa has a bad sense of humor. I tried convincing him about how good I’ve been all year, but he thinks I’m not quite there yet. This holiday season hasn’t been fun. Last Christmas, we were just a few months into trying, so I was sure that by next X’mas, I’d either be pregnant, or celebrating with a new baby! Ha, what was thinkng? This year, I have no such dreams.

Infertility is such a lonely lonely journey. Having a supportive husband is absolutely wonderful and makes it easier to fight the battle. But I have shut myself off from the rest of the world. I usually call or email friends to wish them New year. I haven’t had the heart to do so this year - I don’t want to hear about their babies’ latest achievements, I don’t want to hear about their pregnancy symptoms, and I don’t want to answer questions about our baby making. Sadly, I haven’t even spoken to my grandparents in India. Both of them are not in the best of healths, so I feel guilty for not calling to enquire. But they do ask the dreaded baby question, and I don’t have an answer. I feel like I’m letting them down. I feel like I’m letting my family down for not being able to give my grandparents their first great grandchild, my parents and in laws their first grandchild, and my sister and brother in law their first nephew/niece.

One of my friends had her second baby in Dec, and I haven’t paid them a visit, or even called! I just a sent a congratulatory text (thank god for email and texts). Last month, N was on the phone with his friend, who told him his wife was pregnant with their second baby.  I could hear only one side of the conversation, and I could hear N saying “wow that’s wonderful blah blah”. And I knew, I knew what that meant. I burst into tears...just endless flow of tears. I started sobbing so loudly that N had to leave the room lest the friend heard me. I feel horrible for feeling so jealous - but I am jealous! Can I please have my first baby, before others go on to have their third and fourth babies? Any way, the point is, I need to meet these friends as well, but I have been avoiding it. So basically, we are doing a pretty good job of shutting the world out.

Before I sign off (and to anyone who survived this long and pointless post), wishing you a Happy happy new year! May we all meet our beautiful babies that we have prayed for so long, in 2011.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Am still around

If any of you have been wondering if the Gulf of Mexico swallowed me whole during my trip to Florida, no it hasn’t. And my silence does not mean I am pregnant, and therefore am waiting for the right moment to announce my pregnancy, either. Our trip was wonderful, and the other two girls who were with us got AF during the trip, so I was blissfully happy knowing that I am not the only non-pregnant person in this world.

I am constantly formulating blog posts in my mind, especially when I am feeling down, and need to tell the blog world that the fertile world JUST DOESN’T GET IT. But I never actually do get around to typing out my posts. I have realized though, that creating a blog post in my mind is a form of therapy for me. Its helps me to reflect and realize that life isn’t that bad after all. One of the reasons I refrain from posting “I am so sad” posts, is because I know there are so many people out there who go through so much more. I live a blessed life - I have a loving family (sans a child, of course), food to eat, a roof over my head, and a healthy body. But all these thoughts are usually shadowed by a constant feeling of general unhappiness that all of you are sure to understand. I do feel guilty and self centered, feeling sorry for myself. But I am entitled to feeling that way, right?

Moving on, my first FS appointment was on Nov 29. We waited 2 hours before I finally got to see him. I feel like I didn’t get much out of the appointment. I realize, though, that this is how it probably works. The doctor turned a large computer screen towards us, and began listing out all the possible treatment options. He had a neat little table with statistics for IUI, IVF etc etc. Basically, he just summarized everything that I already knew, and asked us to decide. I understand that IF is such an abstract problem that you can’t really treat it with specifics. In my mind, I kept wondering why I was paying him 300 $ to hear what I can easily get off his clinic’s website. I do know we have to start somewhere, so this is probably a start. The one thing positive that came from the visit was that  it sort of turned a switch on in my husband. The doctor said something about BD on days 11, 13, 15 etc. And this cycle he insisted we try on those days! I am 99 % sure I ovulated day 12 this cycle, but he insists we continue because after all the doctor said “days 13, 15... and day 12 is just too early”. I think its kinda cute when he takes the proactive role.

I got my blood work done, and my FSH is 9.3 (which the nurse said was higher than normal, but ok). From what I read, I think the slightly higher levels are more important for ovarian response in an IVF cycle. Also, my prolactin levels are high. The normal upper limit is around 24, mine is around 35. I need to go in tomorrow and give a fasting blood sample so recheck the levels. Any ideas what this could mean?

The doctor doesn’t think much of clomid cycles for unexplained, but I feel like I don’t want to go through IUI just yet. After all, almost everyone tries a few rounds of clomid right? Now, the doctor doesn’t want me to do an unmonitored cycle. What do you all think? I don’t like the idea of going in to the clinic multiple times for U/S (and paying 20 $ copay every time!!) just yet. I am sure we’ll have to do it eventually, but not yet. So, I was thinking, 3 rounds of clomid with intercourse. And then, maybe after that we can consider IUI with trigger.

What would you do if you were in my situation? Clomid with or without monitoring? Other than the copay, I think my insurance covers the U/S (thank you the state of Illinois). I would love any advice you have.

I had plans to write a scientific piece about something, but this post is already too long. Maybe next time !

Friday, November 19, 2010

Florida calling

We are off on a week long vacation to the beautiful beaches of Florida!! We are traveling with two other couples who don't have kids either (so yayy for that).

Although I can never let go of all the thoughts that whirl through my mind 24/7, I plan to have a good time and relax as much as my mind will allow me to.

I am in my two week wait, but I have decided a drink here or there will not matter. After all, what are the chances that I may actually be pregnant? Probably 2 - 4 %. I am willing to take that risk.

I will of course, continue to stare at the toilet paper, and inspect my boobs. But that is secondary nature to me now, you can't let go of these things quickly. My co-worker said that the best thing about not having kids is that you can drop everything and leave on a vacation just like that. I do agree with her. However, I hope that next thanksgiving, I will not be able to go on a vacation because I'll be too busy caring for my new born! I come!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanks, but no thanks

People love doling out advice. Whether it is about career, family, beauty, or relationships, whether you want to hear it or not. I was at the receiving end of advice yesterday, when two of my colleagues caught hold of me. I was in the break room, innocently heating my lunch, when both of of them jumped on me. Their advice? "Keya, you need to have kids, NOW".

First I stared at them, rummaging through my head for a suitable answer. I couldn't come up with anything, so I gave a big smile and asked, "and what made you say that?". Apparently, they were talking about another colleague, who had kids quite late. Their calculation was that when his kids went to college, he'd be around 60+. They thought it was extremely selfish of the parents to wait to have kids. They thought it was unfair to the kids that their parents would be too old to run after them, or interact with them as friends etc etc. Never once did they think about the people who probably had kids late because, maybe, just maybe - they couldn't conceive them any sooner! I preferred not to educate them on this matter, because if I mentioned my situation, then that would become the next topic of discussion for them.

My colleagues also talked about how wonderful it was to become a mother, and how it had changed them. I was awkward the entire time. Little did they know that just wanting kids does not guarantee that you can have a baby. Finally, I wriggled out of the situation by changing the subject and fled from there as soon as I could.

I wish I could explain to people my situation. I wish I had a good answer for them when they asked me when we were going to have kids. I wish I could say to people when they gave out free advice - thanks, but not thanks, this is personal and we'll decide when we want kids.

In other news, I am expected to ovulate any time now, and my dear husband is out of town. He left a few days ago, so there in no point thinking "but the sperm can survive at least 5 days". I doubt he'll be back in time to catch the egg. The sad part is, I will continue to hope and pray the entire two week wait. I know that this may not happen naturally for us, but I still continue to hold on to the hope that maybe a miracle will happen, and maybe we won't need the doctors after all.

Our first RE appointment is on Nov 29th. This will be the beginning of the next phase of our journey. I already feel so exhausted emotionally, I am not sure how I will continue on this journey. From what I know, part 2 is going to be far far more emotionally and physically demanding. I guess we'll just have to wait and see....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Diwali!!

According to Wikipedia, "Deepavali  or Diwali, popularly known as the festival of lights, is an important five-day festival in Hinduism, Jainish and Sikhism, and occurring between mid-October and mid-November. Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman from his fourteen year long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers."

Growing up in India, Diwali was an especially special festival for me.  Diwali for me meant,

a) Sweets. Lots and lots of sweets of different sizes, shapes and colors. We would stuff ourselves till we couldn't look at one more sweet. India being so multicultural, you would always find a different of sweet in each house we visted.

b) Fireworks. In fact, my sister and I wouldn't bother buying too many of our own. Instead, we would sit out at night, and watch the brilliant display of fireworks over the entire city.

c) Diyas. These are little earthern lamps that hold oil and a wick. We would decorate the perimeter of our house with these lamps. It was hard work, but the result was breathtaking. These days people use lights instead, but there is something quite magical about the flickering light of oil lamps.

d) Vacation!! We got 3 weeks off from school which was like icing on the cake.

I do miss those lovely days spent with family. It is said that during Diwali, Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity visits your house. I hope She visits us this time, because we could use some wealth for fertility treatments!!

So here's wishing you all a time filled with happiness, prosperity and good health. Happy Diwali friends.

Friday, October 29, 2010

So touched

Thank you all ICLW commenters. I feel so moved and touched with your overwhelming response. I got some wonderful advice and feedback for my last post.

I do love ICLW :) (thanks Mel!). I've picked a clinic close to our place. There are two REs there. My latest confusion: should I go with the older experienced RE with whom its almost impossible to get an appointment, or should I pick the younger RE who might be easier to get hold of ? Experience vs accessibility?
I have been dragging on calling to book an appointment. I am holding off because a) I am scared, b) Insurance issues - annual deductibles, out of pocket maximum etc, since I can start with costs fresh in Jan.

Might I add - I am always this confused, whether it comes to buying clothes, or picking up a packet of candy. Two things I had no confusion over - my dear hubby, and the immense yearning for a baby. It's just that nature itself is confused if she should give me a baby.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Shame on me

I am such a terrible blogger. I give blogging a bad name. My last blog post was on Sept 23rd, so its been almost a month since I posted anything.

My first and foremost reason is that I procrastinate - a lot! "I'll do it tomorrow" is my favorite excuse. As we all know, tomorrow never comes :) Secondly, not much has been happening to really blog about.

Since we hit the year mark, we went to the OB-Gyn to get started on some tests. My dear hubby got his swimmers checked, and they seem alright (the count is low, but not lower than the prescribed minimum). I had my HSG done two days ago, and the doctor said the tubes looked open. I have to say, I was freaking out about the HSG, but it was not bad after all. And I was so excited to see my uterus and fallopian tubes! After all, how many fertile women have that privilege?

What I am unsure about, is what happens next. The doctor said her office would get in touch with me. I am not very happy with my current doctor. When she came in to do the HSG, I tried asking her about what next. She looked confused, as if she didn't know the details about our case, and gave a vague answer.

I assume we'll just have to wait for a referral to a fertility specialist. How does it all work? I am so lost, because so far the tests were something to look forward to. Now its back to the waiting and wondering what next.

I feel slightly relieved after the tests. But that also means we don't have a specific problem to tackle, and it will be like groping in the dark for a solution to a problem that is not defined. I guess I'll just have to be patient and wait to talk to a specialist.

I wanted to add, even though I don't write any new posts, I religiously read all the new posts that come up on my blog roll (and have been trying to comment as well). I know a number of people are currently in the middle of their IVF cycles. Lots of luck to them, and to everyone else who are at some stage of trying to make that wonderful dream a reality.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Problems trying to conceive always comes with its own set of frustrations, disappointments, anger, loneliness, sorrow and a general feeling of doom. But the one part I find hardest to deal with is pressure. Pressure from family, friends, loved ones and acquaintances. Every other person wants to know why we don't have kids yet, if we are trying for a baby, if we are having trouble trying to conceive, when they will get to hear "good news" etc. I am okay dealing with my own set of pain and anger, but I really would be so much better off without people trying to pry in to our private lives.

We have been married for more than 6 years, 4.5 yrs of which I was in school. Now that I don't have school as an excuse, everyone, including our department secretaries want to know if we plan to have a baby. I usually smile it off, brush it way with some stupid comment, or just say "hmm ahh yeaa". I have said things like "yes I know, time is ticking and my eggs are getting older" to "I'm going watch everyone raise their own kids, so I can learn from their mistakes and be a better parent". I am not willing to share our difficulties and challenges with every other person I meet. But the questions never stop and I am running out of excuses and answers. If I do mention that its taking longer than normal to a friend, then I get the usual advice "relax, it will happen when the time is right" or "you know, my friend's friend had triplets through IVF - maybe you should try IVF" (like it was so easy and all you need to do is wave a wand). I understand that people say this because they have nothing else to say, I just wish they would say nothing in the first place.

Today's post is thanks to my wonderful mother. I love her to bits and she is supportive of everything I do, but she wants to know exactly how much effort we are putting in to have a baby. We live in two different continents, so I am spared of questions most of the time. I know she is genuinely concerned for us and wants the best for us. But its really hard having to answer her questions. She wants to know exactly what tests we are going through, when my tests are scheduled and so on. Because I am so close to her, its hard for me to lie about things. I try to give her some general information, but that is not enough. Once again, I know she is worried about us and is just trying to help, but its just doing more harm than good.

I felt so unhappy after speaking to her today morning. I wish I could tell her "mom, do leave us alone. Just pray for us that we can share the good news with you soon. Mom I really don't want to tell you if my husbands sperms swim fast enough or of i release eggs on time". I just can't get myself to say all this because I don't want to hurt her feelings.

I wish I could bury my head in the ground like an Ostrich so I don't have to deal with these additional pressures. How do you all deal with such well meaning but irritating interference?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jumping the gun

When I first began TTC an year ago, anything baby-related enticed me. I loved peeping into strollers to look at cute sleeping babies. I smiled at women sporting bumps and imagined myself with a bump. I cross-examined friends who had new-borns about their experiences feeding and caring for their little ones. Things are different now. I tear up at the sight of adorable babies, make a U-turn when I spot a pregnant lady from afar, and completely avoid meeting or talking to friends with kids.

In those days when the future looked bright and promising, I bought two baby blankets at an arts and crafts fair. And these are not just any baby blankets. These are the softest, cuddliest, most beautiful hand crocheted blankets. I bought one blue and one pink. The idea then was that I would give them to my friends who were expecting babies. But I fell so much in love with them, that I couldn't get myself to give them to anyone. I knew they were just right for our baby(ies). And I was sure that it wouldn't be long before I got to use them.

Now they sit somewhere deep in my closet...waiting. I knew I shouldn't have jumped the gun and bought anything baby related. I have not made that mistake again since the blankets.

Tell me about the little things that you have picked up on your TTC journey. I hope you and I get to use these things soon....very soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

In denial

As always, its that time of the month when I stare at the toilet paper, cringe at anything crimson colored, and feel sorry for myself.

My feelings cannot be better described than by this post by Naomi :

Of all the days of the month, this is by far the worst. It is the day of your expected AF*. I have a feeling of impending doom every time I need to visit the toilet. But it is also the day when I know there is one last chance that I could possibly still be pregnant. And I hold onto that hope and live in denial, till I know there is nothing I can do, but move on to the next cycle.

What are your "worst" days of the cycle?

* I am going to assume that everyone TTC for more than a year will know these abbreviations.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Who stole my fertility?

Someone stole my fertility. I am still looking for that someone or something. I guess I am just looking for a scapegoat whom I can blame. Meanwhile, I would love to blame:

Graduate school. I knew I was getting older, but I kept telling myself that I needed to start worrying about age only past 30. Now I know that my age is a factor. Maybe, if we had started trying for a baby when I was 22, it would have been easier? Maybe it wouldn't. Who knows, but its too late to tell.
Stability in work and life.  Our decision to wait till we both had stable jobs and steady incomes may have cost us an year. I was always worried that time was running out, but then I was confident in our procreational abilities.
Confidence. We believe we are young and invincible, and nothing can ever go wrong. Apparently it can!

How many of you have waited to start a family and realized you have lost time? How many of you feel guilty and wish you had thought about this sooner? I'd love to know.