Monday, September 25, 2006

Hazard Zet Forward

This is the motto of my alma mater, which also happens to be the oldest diocesan Catholic university in the United States, was founded by Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley and named for his aunt, who was the first American-born Catholic saint. It was a great place to spend my university "career".

I had a wonderful experience there. Among the highlights is meeting the lovely Sean in the Corrigan Hall chorus room as a 17 year old freshman. I also met some amazing people there, got to be a part of theatre and music programs, pledged a sorority. Yes, I did things other than party, drink my face off and.....other things- I also somehow made it to classes and managed to graduate, so it can't be all bad.

Hazard Zet Forward, translated into English means "through adversity we will move forward". Some of the religious community on campus also used to say "Forward Through Faith", which is also nice, but I like the literal translation better. I never thought that it would apply to my own life, but, circumstances being what they are, it aptly parallels my life at this point in time.

I've been thinking of a lot of things for the past two weeks or so, since the FET didn't work. I've thought about whether or not this IVF path will ever work for us, if we should just give up. If, perhaps, I'm meant to do other things besides being a parent. But, mostly, I've thought about faith, and if it's possible that I'm starting to lose mine.

What has been fueling this is because, for the past two weeks in church, the readings were all about putting your faith into God and to trust that you'll be cared for. Of course, it was getting me a bit teary-eyed at one point, since I feel that lately I have so little faith in anything, let alone God. One of the pieces the choir sang at the Communion Meditation was "O Lord, Increase My Faith", which was written by Orlando Gibbons (there's an audio link here, in case you want to hear it):

O Lord, increase my faith
strengthen me
and confirm me in Thy true faith.
Endue me with wisdom, charity and patience
in all my adversity.
Sweet Jesus, say Amen.

At rehearsal, A usually starts everything off with a prayer-he's got this great book on "choral prayers", and it was so appropriate to the text of the Gibbons piece-it spoke about how, no matter how bad things are in your life, or whether or not you think that you can bear any more, to just say "Amen" and leave it up to God. It frightens me to even have to give up any semblence of control that I think I have, because it means putting my faith in God to help me through this. But, what if it doesn't happen-is it God's will? Do I just accept that? Does it make me a better, more spiritual person for it? I really don't know anymore. It's scary to give that burden up and leave the details to God (or fate, destiny, karma, whatever you believe), because I'm so afraid that He's not listening anymore. That the reason He's not given me children is because I'm not meant to have them. I've prayed, begged, pleaded, visited shrines, you name it. Up until now, my faith has remained. So, why now is it starting to waver?

Well, let's add into the mix my upcoming 34th birthday. I know that, in comparison to many in our world, I'm a young'un, but with each passing year I feel like my window of opportunity has gotten smaller and smaller. I have no fears about being an "older" mother, but my greatest fear is that, since we've not had a successful pregnancy in the four years we've already been trying, my age will start factoring into the mess of my infertile life, and tip the scales hopelessly against me.

I've been so discouraged lately-I hate that I can't think about anything else but infertility. I hate that it seems to intrude with every part of my life. I hate that I don't feel "normal". I hate that it's affected my physical relationship with my husband (because, let's face it, there's no such thing as "fun" sex anymore). And, I hate that I feel that I have nowhere to turn, that even God isn't listening to me anymore. It's like God and I aren't speaking anymore, much like two teenage girls who are in a snit over a Justin Timberlake poster. How do I change this? I don't know. It's not like I can to talk to a priest or religious about this, since what I'm doing is against Church Law ("Hey Father, can I unburden myself to you about my failed IVF cycles and fertility treatments? Oh.......I'm committing a mortal sin, huh? And I'm going to Hell? Okaaaay.....well, thanks for reminding me-sorry to have bothered you...."). I feel trapped, like I have nobody to listen to me-I mean, if even God isn't listening, who will, right?

Hazard Zet Forward. But, where exactly will I end up?

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Dirty Little Secret

that RE's don't tell you when you've had a failed FET..

Is that your period, when it finally decides to show itself, is a lot like the Hoover Dam being released across Nevada.

Holy shit-it was like a crime scene in the toilet. If I had some chalk and police tape I'd have had to cordon off the bathroom and drawn an outline around the bowl. Not to be too gross (who am I kidding, it's an infertility blog, right? You all can handle it), but I was spotting for a day or so leading up to what I like to call "Bloodapalooza 2006", and when I sat down on the throne first thing Wednesday morning, it literally poured out of my whoo-ha. I'm totally serious-it just fell out. Blood, huge clots and all. I could have probably gotten a half-pint out of it and sent it to the blood bank, it was that much. It was the second most disgusting thing that ever happened to me (we won't discuss in detail the most disgusting thing-suffice it to say that it involved a seven-year old me, poop, a locked front door at my great-aunt's house, and a pair of ruined panties). I have to say that it's one of the few times in my life that I've regretted being female.

Apparently, it's "normal", due to the Estrace/PIO cocktail. Isn't it funny that what is considered "normal" in the IF world means "freak" to the rest of the child-bearing world?

Well, at least I more than likely raised the stock value of the company that makes Tampax. See, there are some benefits to infertility. Now, if I could only get my hands on some shares......

Psycho Hose Beast Checking In.....

And now, back to our regularly scheduling blogging.....

So, what to do now that the second FET failed? Besides eating crap
food, drinking a lot of wine and sitting my fat ass on the couch?
Well, it's time to make the dreaded lets go into graphic detail as to why we think your uterus is fucked up "follow up" appointment. Ours is set for October 6th. The day before our 6th anniversary-who loves ya, baby!?
Sean wants to ask Dr. Pipsqueak
whether we should try the timed intercourse thing for a little
while-apparently, he feels that perhaps we (read: he) didn't "try hard
enough". After I recovered from shooting Pepsi-Free out of my nasal
passages, I told him that it wasn't worth it, knowing that we have a
snowball's chance in hell of it working. He disagrees, but I think
that it's because he 's being a typical male and just wants the nooky.
Urgh, just what I want to do-start using the stupid fertility monitor,
and schedule baby-(un)making sex. I'd rather watch paint dry, frankly.

I've been feeling a little bitter lately (uh...can ya tell??), and am vacillating between feelings of sadness, apathy and....dare I say it....the "H" word (nah, I don't dare-I'm a wimp). I'm finding that I have an extremely low bullshit tolerance. Here's an example of how a social situation might unfold for me lately:

On Saturday we met M and Sexy J at a local restaurant just to hang out and have a pizza and booze. Now, I must say firstly that M is impatient. Extremely impatient. So impatient that she wants everything yesterday (at least she acknowledges this). So, they get to the restaurant first. The town that we're dining in has a really shitty parking situation, so we are playing the "circle like vultures for a parking spot" game like nobody's business. In the 15 minutes it takes for us to park and walk the 100 feet to the restaurant, she calls my mobile three times. THREE TIMES. I didn't bother to pick up the phone, but it just put me on edge.

Then again, the wind shifting from an easterly to southerly direction would make me edgy, but I digress.....

So, we get to the restaurant, and meet them. There is a table right next to us (very close to ours), with a father and young son sitting there (they looked as if they were waiting for their waiter to bring the change). The boy was about five or so, and he was banging on the table, shouting and generally being unruly in public (this is a pet peeve of mine-if you're going to bring a kid to a restaurant at 8:30 in the evening, or at any time of the day, make sure that they know what's expected of them). M was trying to ask me a question, but I couldn't hear a word of what she was saying, because of the loud, unruly devil's spawn child. Finally, I said (in an obviously annoyed tone), "I'm sorry, I can't hear what you're saying". The father looks at me as I sit down, and actually has the balls to say to me "Yeah, you'll see, having young kids isn't easy".

Them's fighting words, as far as I'm concerned. I retorted with "Well, perhaps if I could have kids, I'd be able to see that", and turned my back to him, but not before seeing his mouth drop open. Fucker. He beat a hasty retreat after that, and I was able to enjoy myself for the rest of the evening.
Of course, I shouldn't make others feel bad to make myself feel good, but fuck it. I was in a great mood after that.

So, suffice it to say that I'm acting like a psycho lately. And I really don't care.

I've got so many things running through my head right now. Why didn't this work? Will this ever work? Is it worth it to even continue? How much longer can I take this roller coaster ride I'm on? I'm tired of taking tons of medications for nothing. I'm tired of half of the New Jersey chapter of the American College of Reproductive Medicine looking up my cooter, with nothing to show for it but an empty uterus. And I'm definitely getting tired of waiting. I've been patient-hell, four year is more than patient, in my opinion. So, when will it be my turn?

All questions that will hopefully be answered in a few weeks. That is, if there are any answers. Let's hope that there are, though-I need them desperately.

Here it is....

Thanks to Cat, here's the file (finally!):


Sunday, September 17, 2006


I am so fucking frustrated right now. I've been trying for two whole days to get the WSJ article to my blog, and, as you can tell, it's not here yet. That's because I have no idea how to get it here! I've saved it as an Adobe file, but I have no clue as to how to post the link. I suppose I could just post the text, but it's so much more fun to see the actual scan.....

Anyone out there who can help a techno-retard? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

I'll be back later to update you on all the various thoughts that have been milling around the vast space between my ears (also known as my brain).....

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Cooter Report

Thanks yet again for your kindness. It really amazes me that, although I know so few of you in my "real life", you are somehow closer to me than friends that I've had for years. Your words are healing, whether you realize it or not. It's because you understand where I'm coming from-you've all been there. You've all felt the same pain, the same frustration, despair and anger. So, even though you may think that words are ineffective in this scenario-you couldn't be more wrong. Yeah, it doesn't change anything; no, I'm still without a baby in my arms, but it still helps.

So, thank you.


In other news that is directly related to my cooter, I've made it into print. Last month I was contacted by Keith Huang of the Wall Street Journal about featuring my blog in their "BlogWatch" column. He asked me some questions, I answered them. And I hadn't heard from him, so I thought that it was the end of it. Lo and behold, I get an email from him Sunday evening, letting me know that the column was coming out the next day. So, if you have yesterday's WSJ lying around, you'll find me (and Alex over at The Infertile Gourmet
)-it's in the Journal Report:Technology section, last page. If anything, you'll find out my full name (hell, I might as well out myself.......nah) for shits and giggles. Seriously, though-I'm honored to be included with someone like Alex, and to even be contacted! I'll have to see if I can scan it in or something-it's pretty cool.

It was an interesting experience for me, to have a reporter contact me about this blog. In some ways, I still feel like a neophyte when it comes to the world of infertility blogging. Who the hell am I that someone from the frickin' Wall Street Journal would contact me about a feature in one of their columns? There are so many brilliant bloggers in "our" world, why pick me? Then I look at exactly how long I've been here, and I realize that I'm a crusty old veteran, in many ways. And, that was a bit shocking to me; that time has moved on (I "celebrated" my fourth anniversary as an infertile this past June), even though my infertile state has stubbornly remained the same, despite numerous attempts at the ART game. I started this blog as an emotional outlet, if you will-it was a hell of a lot cheaper than traditional therapy, and I didn't need to get either a referral from my insurance company or be limited to only 30 visits a year. I never thought that other people would actually read my blog. I never thought that I would find a sisterhood (and brotherhood-can't forget our Sperm Palace Jesters, can we?) who had the same hopes and dreams I did, and we've all shared the ups and downs of this wild ride.

And here we are, almost two years after I've started this blog. I've met some amazing people on this journey-some who have made it through the other side of infertility and are mothers (whether it be through adopting or pregnancy), and some who are still waiting for their children. I've also learned so much about myself in the process. I never thought that I could be this determined about something. I never knew that I could hurt as much, or want something so badly that it consumes just about every part of my life. Oddly enough, in a sort-of sick way I'm glad that this happened to me. What, you say, are you deranged? Are you sure that you're not still on the fertility drugs? No, really. I'm glad, because it has proven to me that I am a strong person. It's made me appreciate my husband for the special person that he is. It's shown me who my friends really are, in times of crisis-who I can rely on, and who's a "fair-weather" type of friend. And, most importantly, it's introduced me to all of you.

So, Keith Huang, thank you for giving us a spotlight. Perhaps it will help those of us who still can't find their voice in this crazy existence we call "infertility". Perhaps those people will see that they're not alone-there are thousands more out there, and we're all part of a bizarre family.

But it's a family, all the same. My family. You all rock.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


It's official. Not much else to say, I guess.

Stop all medications, wait for period (which I'm sure will be such a joy to have, considering all the drugs), call tomorrow to make appointment with Dr. Pipsqueak for a follow-up.

I'm really not surprised. Yeah, I'm sad, frustrated, and feeling more alone than ever. But I'm not going to think about it right now-I can't deal with it.

It really sucked to have to tell Sean-he's working one of the NYC fashion shows today, and I had to call him to tell him. Sorry babe, my uterus sucks big donkey balls. Better luck next time.

It's time to hit the wine, brie, sushi and Valium, and have a rip-roaring time. Although, I'd rather be up the pole, but beggars can't be choosers.

Same old shit, different flies.........I guess maybe I'm just used to the failure. Or perhaps my skin is thicker, who knows. All I know is that I'm not pregnant.

Yet again.

The Day of Reckoning

It's beta day. I went in this morning for the blood draw. It was busy there today, so I had to wait awhile.

I already know it's negative, so it was just a formality. Why, you ask? Because I tested this morning, before I left. One pink line-that's all. Yeah, I caved. I wasn't going to, originally, but I wanted to know so I could have some peace of mind.

That doesn't mean that it doesn't suck any less, but that I'm more accepting of it. I kinda had the feeling that it didn't work-it wasn't any one thing, but something was telling me that the test would be negative.

Of course, the fucking FRER'r could be wrong, and they are testing at 11dp3dt, so it could be a low beta, but I doubt it-it's easier to accept that it's negative rather than giving myself false hope, at this stage.

So, I'm off in about a half-hour for my audition-I'll give another update later when I get home with all the news......

Thursday, September 07, 2006

8dp3dt-To Test, Or Not To Test-That Is The Question

Well, here we are, at 8dp the transfer. I'm feeling good today. It's also a full moon tonight, which will mean that the kids at school will be off the wall (I have Killer Kenny tomorrow morning-can't wait!). Now, I'm not sure about how the moon affects cycles exactly (perhaps someone can give me the Moon Cycle 101 on that), but I'm feeling much more positive.

That, and the fact that Cat owns a candle shaped like a cooter-I LOVE you! But, people, it's not a favor from a porn party or anything, it's a fertility candle, so keep your panties on (although, I do think it's weird that the candle should burn out within three days-perhaps it's not a coincidence?). Anyone who has one of those is my hero, that's for sure!

Really, though, I seem to be a chickenshit about testing. Do I want to put myself in a shitty mood for the weekend, knowing that I'm going for a beta that is going to be negative anyway? Or, perhaps the peestick will be positive, and I'll be a nervous wreck about it all weekend, thinking "What if it ends up being a chemical? What if I miscarry again?" Plus, I have an audition on Sunday, which is beta day.....what if I get the call during the audition? That'll not be good.

So, it's difficult to open that box of peesticks and get on with it. But, as they say, curiosity killed the cat, so I'm sure I'll end up doing it as some point.

Because I'm just a glutton for punishment.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

7dp3dt-Back To The Grind

It's been a week today since Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern were squirted back into the cushy little condo that I call "The Love Shack" (aka, the uterus). Only four days to go. It will probably be the four longest days in the history of womankind.

Sunday's progesterone/estradiol check showed that all is well; so now, we just wait. No dildocam though........or, as Sean called it the other day.....the "Womb Wand".

And people say that I'm the funny one.

I did buy Evil Pee Sticks. And, yes, I even "tested" one out this afternoon-nothing there yet. Of course I could feasibly say that it's waaay to early to indulge in my addiction. Or I could say that it didn't work.

I'm going with the former-it's better for morale.

Let's see, is there anything on the "obsessing over symptoms" front yet? Well, I've been exhausted for the past few days, but that could be happening because I've gone back to work after sitting on my fat ass all summer. I've had a few headaches-I had one so bad this morning that it woke me up early and I had to grab for the Tylenol. I think that it's sinus though. I did feel nauseated after lunch today (due to headache, I think). I took more Tylenol, but the queasiness got worse for a bit, then went away-I actually thought for a split second that I was going to yak during my kindergarten class (which would have traumatized them, I'm sure), but it passed. Again, probably because of headache. No sore tits, though. A little crampy feeling at times, but not painful-it feels more like when you think your period is on it's way, but you know it's not time yet. What a mind fuck.

I do have to say that one really good "side-effect" of the meds is the lovely clearing of my skin-I haven't had my skin look this good in AGES! I feel, if only big, bloated wobbly bellies were considered sexy, I'd be a veritable goddess of perfection....*snigger*

I've decided that I'm going to test-as to when I'll start, I'm not sure yet. I bought a box of tests that had a freebie in it, so I've now got three tests. I'm sort of scared to test, though. The last time I tested for a FET, I got a positive, and then later all hell broke loose. In some ways, I don't want to know. But, in another way, I want to at least prepare myself if it is negative, so as not to put Hope into that chair the morning of the beta blood draw. I don't need her ass in there if I'm not.....well, you know the word. I won't say it here....the word in the infertility world is like saying "MacBeth" in a theater (or, as we learned to say, the "Scottish Play")-just bad luck all around.

I'm starting to go a little stir-crazy with this wait. The jury is still out as to whether this worked or not-I just can't "tell" from my body right now, since it's hopped up with hormones. Just frustrating.

Time to take a catnap before the Sean-a-nator gets home (sans dinner tonight--I'm too beat to cook). I'll try to come back again with some sort of thing.....perhaps a 100 Things You'd Like To Know About Me?

Not that I think anyone gives a rat's ass about my life, but perhaps it will help in distracting me for........hopefully......four more days.

Four days.

Friday, September 01, 2006

September Morn......

I woke up this morning to the strains of my lovely husband singing the opening phrase of "September Morn".

I promptly started to whine and pull the covers over my head.

September 1st. Back to work. School "officially" starts on the 5th, but our contract requires that we go in the day before the kids start.


I walked into school this morning (my "crap school"-we had to report to what our normally scheduled Friday school would be), and it was like I hadn't left.........and it wasn't a good thing.

All the stress and aggravation and bullshit dropped down from the ceiling, where it's been hibernating since June, and decided to get a piggyback ride on me. I hadn't realized until that moment that I SO didn't want to go back. I wasn't ready. I'm not ready for the politics and nepotism and crap. I had to actually take a moment to center myself and de-stress, or else I'd be a wreck.

It's so hard to explain everything I find wrong with where I am-there's so much that plays into it, and plus I have no idea who the hell reads this (besides my Barren Bitches and Stirrup Queens), so I don't want to get dooced. Suffice it to say that this district is rife with gladhanding and nepotism, and if you don't kiss ass, you don't get ahead. Top that off with administration who will figuratively throw you under the bus rather than defend you, in order to protect their own agenda.

Yeah, I do know that the time is coming where I need to make the decision to stay or move on. I would ideally want to finish my Master's Degree in Education before I leave (to be more marketable), but I still have halfway to go. I'd also want to start my Masters in Music, but that could wait until I'd move districts. I need to find a place where I feel challenged and valued, where I can try new things (or have the opportunity to). I don't want to be in a place where "if you don't cause problems, you're okay" is the mantra.

Of course, I get the niggling idea in the back of my head that it would also be wonderful to get pregnant this time around, go on maternity and child-rearing leave and.....well......not go back for awhile. Unfortunately, it's not a realistic thought, due to finances. Plus, we want to eventually move, and we can't do that on only one salary. But, I did fantasize a bit about how we could manage it.....I could cantor and maybe teach piano and voice privately, I wouldn't have to worry about benefits because of Sean's benefits, blah blah blah. I do know that it's just a dream, but maybe if I hit the lottery..........yah, right.

So, today is 2dp3dt. Apparently, the embryos (named Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern) could implant (should they decide to) from anytime today onward. I don't feel any differently, other than being tired and nauseated, but that's from the Estrace and PIO (and the lovely bruises on my tush). I am honestly trying not to think about what's going on inside the ute right now. I'm trying not to obsess or stress, and so far, it's been working. Once we get to next week, then that's another story.

I have to find something to fill the time........