Friday, May 30, 2008

Reunion of the Pregnants...and Me

Tomorrow my childbirth class is having a reunion. A reunion at which we'll exclaim how much bigger everyone's pregnant bellies are. A reunion at which we'll ooh and aah over the babies who were born between then and now. A reunion at which good news of new pregnancies will be shared.

Yep, I'm in for some fun times tomorrow.

I tried hard to think of a way not to go. Except the problem is, it's being hosted by a friend who lives in my building. So it's kind of hard to come up with an excuse for not being able to take the elevator downstairs.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm trying too hard not to appear infertile or affected by infertility. We don't talk about it in concrete terms with anyone, except my friend T, so no one but her knows that we are definitely struggling and have been trying actively for more than a year. But it's fairly obvious. We've been married for almost three years, and all our friends who are at the same place that we are have had kids, so of course they know that we are probably trying too. But somehow, it seems as though if I don't talk about it, it won't be real...

Then another part of me just wants to stop hiding. No, I can't make it to the party on Friday because I have my hysterosonogram that day! No, I'm sorry, I can't go into class on Monday because we're having a follow-up with the fertility clinic then! Yeah, I'm sure you're really tired because you're pregnant, and I'm really tired from peeing on sticks every few hours! (Okay, so maybe not that one.)

I want it to be normal to talk about what we're going through. I want to not have to feel like I have to hide it from people. I want to share it with people because that's what friends do, they talk about what's going on in their lives. And IF is what is going on in our lives right now.

Yet at the same time, I just can't. I feel like I'm not supposed to be so open about IF. That people don't really actually want to hear all about what we're going through. But also that if I don't acknowledge it openly, maybe it won't be as real as I'm afraid it's becoming.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

IF Illiterate

After all those lovely supportive comments and great advice on how to deal with the HSG, I realized (feeling super embarrassed now) that I'm not have an HSG after all.

Don't laugh too hard at me please. :)

Back in March, when we first went into the fertility clinic for the initial consultation, part of me was in denial that any of this was happening at all anyway. Going to the clinic was admitting that yes, we are suffering from infertility. And I wasn't supposed to be suffering from infertility. I was supposed to have 5 kids by age 35 and have a nice, big happy home-schooling family.

I suppose it's still possible, right? :)

Anyway, the visit was kind of hard for me. I was glad to finally get the ball rolling and keep moving forward, but it was hard to acknowledge that we actually had to walk down this path at all. When I came home, I called my mom right away (in addition to being the best mom ever, she's a physician) and told her about all the tests I was supposed to be having. They all seemed fairly self-explanatory, except for the last one.

"It says hysterosonogram and in parenthesis, saline infusion sonogram or hysterosonographic contrast sonogram," I told my mom.

"Do you mean hysterosalpingogram?" she asked.

"Yeah, that's probably what it means. I guess Canadians have different terminology or something."


In my defense, in the last three years, I have come to realize (and not always the easy way), that there are some variations in common words and spellings between the US and Canada . My friends here write their exams and use washrooms, but I always took my exams and went to the bathroom. There are many more examples, but you can see where my mind is right now.

So anyway, in the spirit of pretending like I wasn't really suffering from infertility, I filed away all my papers after talking to my mom and didn't bother looking at them too closely again until yesterday, when I went to retreive the prescription for the antibiotics to be taken before the HSG. Which is when I actually read the pamphlet more closely and discovered it isn't really an HSG after all. It's a hysterosonogram (saline infusion sonogram or hysterosonographic contrast sonogram), whatever that is.

I've had a bit of trouble trying to understand exactly what this procedure is, and how it differs from an HSG. From my google research, it seems like the difference between an HSG and this test is that in this test, saline is inserted, not a dye, and an ultrasound is done, not an x-ray. Hooray. Another chance to have a wand up my you-know-what.

Have any of you had a hysterosonogram before? Is it similar enough to an HSG that I should follow the same general recommendations for painkillers and preparation before and after?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm Still Bleeding, and Thank God

I never thought I'd be so glad that my period hasn't ended yet.

The universal recurring theme of IF is the waiting game. Waiting for the BFP that was supposed to happen naturally after you first start trying. Waiting out your six months or one year before you can go to the doctor. Waiting for an appointment at the fertility clinic. Waiting for tests. Waiting for test results. Waiting for CD1 to begin afresh. Waiting for estimated O day to start peeing on sticks (OPKs). Waiting out the 2WW to start peeing on more sticks. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

At any point in your cycle, you're waiting for something or the other. And I know that it doesn't end even after the long sought after BFP. Then you're waiting to make it past the "safety gates" when the chance of miscarriage goes down. The wait doesn't end until the baby comes home...

Currently, I'm at a very early stage in the waiting game, and I'm getting impatient. It feels like so much time has gone by, but so very little has happened, because we've had to wait for so long at each step of the way. Our family doctor wouldn't refer us to the fertility clinic until we had been TTC a full year, even though I knew we shouldn't have had to wait so long, because I had been temping and charting and checking CM, and I know we weren't missing our "good days," as we affectionately like to call them - we definitely had good timing. After we finally got our referral, it was waiting for Day 3, then Day 24 (which happened in reverse order for me) for blood tests, and then Day 5 for the baseline ultrasound. And now, we're waiting for everyone's favorite, the HSG.

After googling HSG to learn more about it, I was totally freaked out. Worse than giving birth to twins vaginally??? Now that I've been trying to schedule the HSG for 3 months, I am actually looking forward to it. I'm not looking forward to the pain, but I'm looking forward to just getting it done and over with and moving on! I'm so anxious to have that follow-up appointment with the doctor so we can set a game plan and just get started, but the good ole HSG has to be done before any plan can be made.

So that's why I'm glad that I'm still bleeding today. My HSG was actually scheduled for today, but AF showed a day later than I thought it would, and so I had to reschedule it AGAIN for next Friday. Yesterday, when I stopped bleeding, I was so mad I could have cried - I just rescheduled for nothing! Today, I'm bleeding again, and for the first time, I'm glad I am, because at least I'm not waiting for nothing.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

For the Love of Blogging

Two years ago, a relative of mine told me how she had met the person she wanted to marry through her blog - they had become commenting buddies. Back then, I thought I had a progressive marriage - DH and I met online too, but we met through one of those sites like eharmony - a site designed with the purpose of helping people meet. When she told me how they had met, my first thought upon looking at her blog was why in the world would anyone want to post their private thoughts, in essence, their diary, online for the whole world to see? Didn't people used to guard their diaries with their lives to protect them from anyone seeing them, let alone potentially anyone with access to the internet?

Well, two years later, I guess I've changed my mind. : )

IF can be such a painful and long and lonely journey when you're on your own. Early last year, when we had begun actively TTC-ing, I used to frequent message boards like ovusoft, but I never did end up joining any of them...they just didn't seem right for me. I thought blogs were for "young" people like my cousin...I had no idea how big blogging was. Later in the year, I stumbled upon mom blogs by accident, through an email someone sent me, and while I enjoyed reading some of them, they were constant reminders of what I didn't have. Only when I finally had my initial appointment at the fertility clinic did I find IF blogs - I was trying to prepare for the first visit, and google led me to the mother of IF blogs - the Stirrup Queen herself :), through Operation Heads-Up, and I'm so grateful I found my way there.

Blogging has the power to connect people who would never, ever have met in real life and bring them together to support each other. I'm still pretty new to the blogosphere, but I'm really impressed by the number of people that stop by and read my story and share words of support and encouragement with me - thank you to you all. :)

And in honor of those commentors, and commentors all over the world, it's NaComLeavMo. So for the love of blogging, everyone go forth and starting commenting!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Growing up, I was one of those rare children who loved long plane or car rides. Even till today, I find myself sad when the journey is close to ending, when it's almost time to land or get out of the's like the end of a dream world and entrance back to reality.

Imaginations...those lovely daydreams about your perfect future that you indulge in when you should be working or listening to your professor. Hence why I loved those long rides above the clouds or staring at endless trees and long as the clouds and trees and mountains kept going, so could my imaginations, without being cut short by a deadline or question from the prof.

Early on, the imaginations were about the perfect husband I would meet someday, how he would romance me off my feet, and my perfect married life. Then, as time passed, and the perfect husband became a reality (note: while I do love my DH dearly and we have an amazing marriage, let's be real here - he is not the incarnation of those imaginations, he's just the IRL version of them :)), the imaginations moved on to what would naturally seem to be the next step...children.

My imaginations aren't long drawn-out fantasies or anything like that - they're more like snippets, peek-holes into the perfected version of the life I should be living. They're almost the middle of class, I'll find myself imaging calling up the clinic to say I have to reschedule my HSG because I didn't get my period yet, and then going in to the clinic and finding out I'm pregnant so I don't need the HSG after all...or announcing to my childbirth class at our reunion party next weekend that I'm finally going to be able to put into practice what everyone else already is because now I'm pregnant too...or calling my mom and telling her that all her prayers have finally been answered...or putting a pregnancy ticker on DH's computer to surprise him with the good news...and on and on...

They're like lovely little short video clips of what's supposed to be happening, which are great fun to indulge in, but the fun only lasts as long as the movie's on. And now, I wish I could just turn the mental movie player off. Because how long can you keep dreaming the same dream, only to have it not be fulfilled, again and again?

I just feel silly for allowing myself to indulge in false hopes again and again, only to keep meeting AF and being disappointed again and again, month after month. But what to do? The imaginations won't go away...AF only keeps them at bay for a week or so, and new imaginations begin afresh each month...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Vacation from TTC and Preganoia!

I'll be on vacation with DH and my family for the next couple of weeks...a much-need break from the world of IF, TTC, charting, EWCM, OPKs, and of course, preganoia! See you all, my new bloggy friends, when we get back!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I just woke up from a strange dream in which I was talking to my closest friend from college (university for the Canadians :), who I haven't talked to in a really long time. She had called me, and I had a feeling where the conversation was going...of course she announced her pregnancy, and I had to control myself and react appropriately and congratulate her and pretend like I was a normal person.

(I think afternoon nap dreams are the worst.)

I've been feeling this sense of paranoia for some time now...that everyone around me is pregnant, they just haven't told me yet. I guess after being convinced to take a childbirth class because it would be "fun" and "good for future reference" by my friend who was actually pregnant at the time but just wasn't telling me yet kind of started it, and it's been a chain reaction ever since.

Sunday night after ice cream with some friends (DH's childhood friend and his wife), DH gets in the car and starts the conversation with a serious tone of voice, "Well actually, the thing is..." "Is she pregnant?" I blurt out, trying not to sound too desperate and inappropriately interested in his friend's wife's possible pregnancy. He looks at me confused. "No, I was saying, the thing is with the Mazda 3...". Of course it would make logical sense that we would be talking about cars since we had just been test driving, and being pregnant had had nothing whatsoever to do with the conversation about getting a new car.

Same thing a few days best friend from home calls, we haven't talked in a while, and while she's talking, all I can think of is, Is she pregnant? She just said her daughter is finally potty-trained now, so maybe that means she's ready. Maybe she just hasn't told me yet...and the thoughts took over my head so much so that I only have a very faint idea of what we talked about, because during most of the conversation, I was debating about just asking her outright whether she was or wasn't pregnant. The call got disconnected before I could make up my mind.

And so it's been...for quite a while now I guess. I hadn't realized just how bad it was until this weekend. It's normal to be curious if someone is pregnant, but for me, it's turned into this crazy's like I have to know so I can mentally prepare myself for the announcement so I don't freak out and go crazy at that time.

Is there a cure for preganoia other than getting pregnant...because I need one fast!
*Note the term was not coined by me, I found it in Mel's emobloictionary, but it describes exactly what I'm going through right now. *

Monday, May 5, 2008


I was just thinking how no one other than a woman TTC-ing would have any idea what EWCM is or how happy it can make us when it comes.

I remember early last year, when I was reading about temping and charting in preparation for TTC-ing, trying hard to understand what in the world EWCM even was. I mean, who categorizes the types of cervical fluid they have?? Let alone actually look at it and touch it and stretch it between two fingers in order to determine exactly what type it is each day??

Well, those were my newbie days...and now I'm a seasoned veteran. I remember the first time when my CM stretched between my happy I was to know that I indeed have EWCM. Since then I've come to learn that in fact, I have about 7 days of EWCM each cycle, which is pretty good, but even such a nice, stretchy, sperm-friendly environment hasn't been quite enough to get us pregnant.

Still, I can't help but get excited each month at the first day of EWCM. :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I'm Not Always Depressed

Really, I'm not.

I just realized this black blog and all these depressing posts make me sound like a sad and depressed person...which I'm really not. Well I wasn't. Okay, I'm not, really. :) It's just that TTC-ing and the roller coaster of emotions makes it seem like I'm in a constant state of PMS. There are so many ups and downs, and the ups and downs are so very extreme sometimes. And the blog is black because, well, I thought it looked nice. :)

Sometimes it's hard to remember that I'm the same girl whose motto was "Every day is a good day"...the same girl voted "Cutest" senior year, known for never getting mad or upset or being unkind. Everyone used to ask me, "Don't you ever get mad about anything?", and I'd always think, hmm, I guess I don't. I knew that I was lucky though. :)

I still believe in my theory of every day being a good day, it's just a little harder to find the good some days, but I do believe it's still there, always. Without that, it would be hard to get through some days...

And black doesn't have to equal sadness or depression, does it? :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Oh the Ironies

Guess who just won a premium breast-feeding pillow worth $75???

Yes, that's right! Infertile old me! Who's never, ever won anything in her life! But has now won a $75 breast-feeding pillow!

So, for the last five weeks, every Sunday, I have been surrounded, and I mean literally surrounded, by pregnant women. Why would I put myself through this torture you ask?

Well, it's all T's doing. T is my friend who just told me she is pregnant - and my only IRL friend who I've shared our TTC struggles with. Another friend suggested we take a course on childbirth and early parenting with a new doula who just moved to town, since, you know, we were likely to be thinking about having kids soon (I hate that everyone knows that we're trying, though we've never said it!). I immediately dismissed the idea, knowing that I'd been trying for a year, still wasn't pregnant, didn't want to depress myself by reminding myself of everything that I thought I would have already experienced by now...

Let me tell you, instinct is always right. I didn't even take a flyer for the course, since of course I wasn't going to be taking it. But T convinced me, this is a really good opportunity, not everyone taking the class is pregnant anyway, it's good info to have on hand for the future...and she convinced me to take it. Well, I decided to take it only after I confirmed that all the non-pregnants taking the class were actually not pregnant, so that I wouldn't be the only non-pregnant in a childbirth class. And I figured T and I would be chatting about BBTs and CM and trying techniques during the breaks anyway.

Sigh...well, what can I say...we started out as 6 pregnants and 5 non-pregnants, which wasn't too bad. As in, I wasn't completely surrounded by pregnants, so I felt kinda okay. But now we're down to 5 pregnants and 2 non-pregnants. Two of the pregnants had their babies. Two of the non-pregnants dropped out/couldn't make it anymore. And one of them - T - became pregnant! Which, btw, is awesome, and I am truly happy for her. But now, I'm literally surrounded by pregnants.

Every week we have a little quiz with a prize. Everyone loves prizes right? The first week, one of the girls who was about to pop won a book on child-birth. I told DH, that book would have been better off in one of our hands, she didn't have time to read it anymore anyway! Lo and behold...she had her son the next week! That week, we had a team quiz, and my team won. Yay! My team was me and 3 pregnants, including T. We won burp cloths. The 2 pregnants chose colors to match their babies' genders, while T tried to pretend like she was just picking one up based on the fabric (because no one else knows she's pregnant yet), and I chose something neutral so I could gift it later. It kinda hurt knowing that everyone on my team was choosing for their own babies, and I was choosing for one of their babies...

Then last week, we had a surprise quiz on breast-feeding. Well, obviously I knew nothing about that, having never been pregnant nor breast-fed. Well, I think those mommas-to-be should be worried if I know more about breast-feeding than they do! T and I tied for the quiz, so we had a tie-breaker, which I won. All along, I kept thinking, how ridiculously ironic, every single person in this room but me (and one other girl who's not even married so she's obviously not TTC-ing) is coveting this expensive prize that I have won, because they're all going to be needing one in a few months...while only God knows if I ever will...

So I'm kinda dreading going to class today and getting the's just another reminder that I'm still not pregnant, while most everyone around me is.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Alone...Yet Not Alone

One of the reasons I turned to the blogosphere was for support through this journey which seemed so painfully lonely at first. For a long time, I was a lurker, reading others' stories and sympathizing, learning, and gaining hope. When the only IRL friend I shared our infertility struggles with announced her pregnancy a couple of weeks ago, I knew it was time for me to step out of the shadows of lurking and jump in full force.

So here I am. Seeking support and hopefully offering support.

But today a thought struck me that the majority of us struggling with infertility aren't actually struggling on our own. We aren't suffering in isolation. Trying to conceive a child inherently involves...two people (for most of us at least). Then why is it that we crave support, we crave someone to share with, we crave an outlet, a release - someone who understands us? Shouldn't the one with whom we share the journey be that person who understand us?

On the way home from my in-laws this evening, the back seat of the car was crammed with suitcases, and my seat was pushed forward really far, so I had to sit at a strange angle, sideways almost. I turned around to take a look at the back, and a strange...deja-vu came over me. But it wasn't deja-vu at all, because it had never happened. It was like a futurized version of deja-vu...because though it had never happened, it felt so very familiar.

All of a sudden I felt a wave of sadness. There shouldn't have been enough space for two suitcases to be shoved into the backseat, because there should have been a car seat back there. And when I turned to see what was behind me, I wasn't supposed to see two large suitcases. I was supposed to be turning around to look at my baby, to smile and coo and reassure her/him that we were almost home.

I gulped back the lump that was forming in my throat. I didn't want to start crying right there in front of DH. Then I thought, why not? Why do I feel like I have to hold back in front of him? Why couldn't I cry and explain what made me sad?

I could...but then I realized, I couldn't, because he wouldn't understand.

Don't get me wrong...he wants to have a baby just as much (well, maybe almost as much) as I do. He loves children and always has. But infertility doesn't consume his life the way it does mine. He doesn't feel the waves of pain and sadness that can overcome me almost at random. He doesn't cry for unfulfilled dreams the way I do.

I feel like I'm the one who feels the pain of not having a child, and I feel it deeply, but he just...doesn't. He wants a baby, he wants to do what it takes to try to have one, but...he doesn't think about it other than on the days on which we're "trying." So it feels like he just doesn't understand the depth of pain that I feel, and therefore, I can't share that depth with him. Or I could, but who wants to share their innermost feelings and not have them understood? I am, turning to the world of blogging for release and support and understanding.

Am I the only one who feels like DH doesn't fully understand and feel what I am going through? Is it because we're still relatively "new" (we just started at the fertility clinic, no diagnoses or treatments yet)? I want so much to be able to cry and sob and talk about the dreams that haven't come true yet, but it just feels like it would be wasted tears.