Thursday, March 25, 2010

More answers? I know...I know.

OK so these answer posts end up being a lot of words...but I must answer all questions. I must.

So here goes part III.

QUESTION 1:Anon. asks how I feel about readers who have children who haven't experienced infertility.

I love having readers of any type. I read Mommy blogs, regular blogs, weight loss blogs, adoption blogs, etc. etc. I think we can all learn from each other. And I'm really sorry for your loss--it's traumatic and significant, regardless of whether or not you already had children or were planning on having more. To have a choice taken away from you, that's what truly hurts.

Libby--thank you for saying that IF hasn't sucked all the life out of me. One thing I know for sure: I am not the same woman I was five-plus years ago. There is no way to go through this and not be. But I try very hard to continue to live life--in the end, what choice do we have? And honestly, I just want to be a good person and feel good about the life I have lived. Many days I'm bitter and mired in the muck of IF and I don't like that person. I don't apologize for it, but it doesn't sit well with me. It's not who I want to be so I have to find ways to dig out from under the weight of it all.

Now on to your questions. I think I answered the CCRM one in the first post. I don't have unexplained--I have endometriosis stage IV, less than stellar egg quality, uterine lining issues, and we have male factor as well. It's like we hit the IF lotto!

Yes, I'm always tempted to fund one more IVF. Then, as I mentioned before, I think about the emotional trauma of an IVF cycle and I'm not sure my heart and soul could do it again. Yes, it's tempting to think that the sixth one might be THE one. Then I laugh out loud thinking about a sixth cycle. I guess if tomorrow I found one million dollars I'd do a cycle. But every day I check my mailbox for that one million dollar check and every day it's just bills and junk mail. Damn.

No one has ever asked me why we waited. I guess that's one of the insensitive comments I haven't received. But there's always some clueless person out there just waiting to pounce with a stupid comment, so I'm sure I'll get it eventually.

And I do love to bake and I do love to eat. I also like (not love) to exercise. Maybe that's kept my weight gain somewhat in control, but I know exactly what I need to do to lose those eight pounds.

R asks if I could do my whole infertility journey over, what would I do and why?

One thing I would do is pay more attention to my uterine lining. In reading over my medical records (a fascinating read!) my local RE's partner made a notation of my abnormally thick uterine lining when he did an IUI for us. He wrote, in black and white, to get it checked out. I don't recall being told that, I only recall the comment on the thick lining. Nevertheless I mentioned the thick lining time and time again but was mostly met with "yay! it's thick!" It was only on the fifth IVF that I insisted that the CCRM doctor actually look at my films and she sat up and took notice. We decided on a frozen transfer to get stims out of my system (high E2 stimulates uterine hyperplasia) and also to do the biopsies to disrupt the lining a little. That was our only cycle with any implantation at all. I always wonder if some of those earlier on-target embryos were transferred into a bad lining. So I would have insisted on that from the beginning.

I also would have gone to IVF sooner. We wasted time and money on IUIs. Mostly we wasted emotional reserve..I thought for sure they'd work. Joke was on me!

I'd also be easier on myself during those cycles. When I look back on the totality of our journey I'm overwhelmed. I'm not trying to be a 'poor me' here but seriously? Five IVFs? Two out of state IVFs? Biopsies? Surgeries? Sitting around looking at finances trying to find money to fund it all? All the emotional crap? It's a lot on anyone. I thought I had to be so strong (except after the BFNs, when I fell apart on Mr. LC). Why did I have to be strong? Why couldn't I cry with my friends? Why couldn't I invite my girlfriends over to sit with me and hold my hand and eat chocolate? Why did I have to go through so much alone?

SillyHille asks about my faith and how it has affected IF or vice versa.

This is a complicated question but maybe it has a simple answer. Simply put, I basically still have the same faith I had before. My faith in science is shaken, but not God. Sure, I've been angry, I've raised my fist in the air and asked "why us?" but I have also listened to the very wise words of my very dear friend Gail. After the horrible, devastating loss of her twin girls she told me she had to 'renegotiate' her relationship with God in order to keep loving him (forgive me Gail if I'm mis-paraphrasing here). I agree. I don't think God is controlling the cells of my embryos or the lining of my uterus. I don't think God is intentionally putting me through this pain, intentionally choosing for Mr. LC and I NOT to be parents. Because if I think that's the case, then I would have to believe the converse: that God is choosing for that Dad to be a father, you know the one who microwaved his tiny baby to death. Or choosing for that couple to be parents--you know the ones who beat their child to death and then put her in a box and set her out to sea in Galveston.

That doesn't make any sense to me.

I think science and biology are what dictated my inability to have a child, nothing more and nothing less.

While I strongly dislike the pat answer that everything happens for a reason, I think that each of us have challenges to face and that it is up to us to use those as learning opportunities, to find the reason. I am learning to rethink my ideas of family, and to rethink my purpose here on this earth. It is clearly not to pass on DNA. It is clearly not to be fruitful and multiply in the traditional sense. But I do believe I have purpose.

And since I'm talking about faith here and God-ly stuff can I just add that still, to this day, one of the word choices that makes me bristle all over is the term "I'm so blessed with children" or "my children are a blessing from God." Okaaaaaay, so that must mean I'm cursed because I can't have children? It just irks me. I have said it before but the term I prefer to hear is "lucky." As in "I am so lucky to have my children." Because that makes the converse true (I'm all about the opposites folks!)--Mr and Mrs. LC are unlucky in that they can't have biological children. I would never say to my single friend who longs for a life partner "I am so blessed to have Mr. LC!" because that implies favor from God (in my mind, but maybe someone can correct me on this?). I will say "I am lucky to have Mr. LC." Because God, I am.

A haiku that sums up my entire life? Not gonna do it.

Quinoa? I got nothin'. I wish I did. I do like to say it, now that I finally know how to pronounce it.

OK, I swore this would be the last answers post but alas I'm still not finished. And this is too long already....

I'll leave you, instead, with a pic of some freshly baked jalapeno cheddar bread. Oh man. Yet another reason why I need to lose 8 pounds. EDITED TO ADD: I'm a bread by hand from scratch kind of girl. I did have a bread maker a long time ago but I really enjoy making it all the way from scratch.


  1. Oh yum that bread looks GOOD!!! I'm *lucky* I can't bake! LOL!

  2. I do not like the thanking God for personal gains either...I recently read on facebook (oh man now I'm going to get this ALL wrong) a friend of mine had written about how some natural disaster missed somehwere (I know my memory is stellar!) and she was thanking God for that saying that prayers had been answered and it made me wonder about the people in she saying THEY didn't pray hard enough...anyway, I just don't think God would pick and choose like that.

    Do you have a red table? I always mean to ask you when I see that red background because I love the way it looks and I want to see more!

  3. Can I say that that bread looks so YUMMY! I also love baking bread and trying new recipes, do you use a bread maker or are you one of those...the ones who kneed the dough with their bare hands? I'm definitely a machine gal.

  4. I am with my sister on the God stuff. I am a bit more a believer than she is, but I can't wrap my head around why some GREAT people get awful stuff and some AWFUL people get GREAT stuff. I can't believe that is how God would choose.

    And that bread looks divine.

  5. I have big issues with the "blessings from God" thang too! It outright pisses me off and it is one of the most insulting things to say or insinuate - not to mention the insensitivity to those who are "faithful" that end up wacked by a typhoon, earthquake or war. The God I believe in is just a crazy ol' drunk that sometimes presses the wrong buttons and forgets to tell every woman what line to stand in to pick up their babies... what can I say, my God has a sick ol' sense of humor!!

  6. I have heard you say before that "blessed" is the wrong word, because that would make you, conversely, damned. And I agree with that logic. On the other hand, "lucky" sounds like such a small word for such a big thing. You know? Like, I feel lucky if I get a great parking space. Maybe it needs to be flounced out with superlatives or something. And I think we all have seen enough to know that if God was handing out babies to nice people, and cancer to assholes, the world would be a different place indeed.

    Also- it is a big regret of mine that I didn't force my way into your house with chocolate and hold your hand. You have always toughed it out in front of us, when I'm sure that's the last thing you needed. I worried that my presence would be annoying, being the most fertile freak you know. Every time we got together, the phrase "an embarrassment of riches" would come to mind, because that's just how I felt. Like I was flaunting something, albeit unintentionally. So, I am truly sorry if I did the wrong things. Someone (you) needs to write a guidebook about how to do this right.

  7. I also believe there is just a lot of luck out there in the world. Some people have it and some people don't. I also think we have to choose to live in a world of possibility, especially is you are battling any kind of obstacle in your life. There is not a blackboard in the sky that tell's us which way we need to go. Although I wish like hell somedays there was!

  8. Great answers!
    I agree w/ you on the God stuff too- he created us with free will, and honestly I think most the stuff I do on a daily basis he doesn't even care about... Anyway, I kind of agree w/ Meg on the lucky vs. blessed thing, I think (know) I have said that, never really thinking about the opposite meaning. Ignorance over insensitivity on my part I guess. Could I be blessed with luck maybe? Or am I lucky in my blessings?
    Regardless, that bread looks super yummy, and I would love to eat it. I'm craving carbs- and I need to let you know that you are SO, SO very right about weight loss & exercise regarding men doing it better than women. Stupid men. :)

  9. i still have sooo many questions :o)

    do you have any recommendations for any medical professionals that i should see before TTC again. i figure your personal and work experience are a plus in this area. do you think the lightheadedness and near fainting was just normal and due to BP like they said, or should i get a cardio check?

    im just trying to cover all the bases. thanks A. :o)

  10. I rank "miracle" right in there with "blessing". Another great post...

    Jalapeno cheddar bread. I think my heart skipped a beat. All my favorites in one. How have I not had this before?

  11. I do say 'blessed' - I guess because I'm trying to communicate that my children are an undeserved gift. I do'nt at all mean 'blessed because I deserve it' (because then it would be a reward, not a blessing, right?) but I can definitely understand your objection, and i hadn't thought about it that way before.

    I guess I used to get really, really irritated when people who had children would *not* acknowledge that their children were an undeserved gift - the impression I often got was that well,we've got these babies because we ate right and stayed healthy and are good people, and if you dont' have babies it must be because you didn't do one of those things. I'd much rather hear someone say they are a blessing.

    I guess my perspective is coloured by the fact that I believe that good things DO come from God (not according to what we deserve - AT ALL, obviously). I know most people will disagree with me on that. The interaction of that with human suffering is pretty tough, but I think when God tells us to pray 'give us this day our daily bread' it's because he has the power to provide it. LOL, I'd better not write an essay here!

  12. Just wanted to let you know that I'm still here and have been enjoying reading all your answers. I like what you wrote about God. I do see your point on the word "blessing". I'm sure I've said it before, but never meant any pain to anyone by saying it. I don't think that when someone says they are blessed with such and such that it ever enters their mind that the opposite it true for someone without that "blessing". I've actually said to others that conceived effortlessly, consider it a blessing that you didn't have to deal with infertility. I'd rather them consider themselves blessed than to just take it for granted or worse yet, complain about it. I think we just have to look at the context in each case. Anyway, hope you are doing well and enjoying your sweet dh!

  13. I love your comment on God. To say IF is a spiritual crisis is to put it mildly. It has been for me, anyway. However, I'm doing somewhat better now. I have a long way to go, but I can see that my perception of God is forever changed. For once, I can say that in a good way.

  14. I'm really sorry....I didn't know you had hit the IF lotto. It's all so much to wrap one's mind around, but I still think you process it all very well.

    The blessing thing is tough. I often hear the word thrown around by people who don't appear to have experienced much hardship which, to me, sort of cheapens the word. (But I do feel blessed to be the recipient of God's grace which in the end, and I do mean, IN THE END, that's what I believe matters.) I totally understand getting hung up on words though which is why I'm already thinking about skipping the Mother's Day service at church. I want to honor my mother, but at the same time, the sermons are always about mothers being held in high esteem by God and children being blessings from God, and I don't like how it feels when they try to hand out a flower to everyone woman on our way out because they assume every woman my age is a mother. Oh, and I don't think my husband likes to be around me when I refuse said flower :p