Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
And a thousand kisses to those of you who write to inquire about how I am. This blog world means so much to me.
The break itself was helpful because it allowed me to stop writing about the TTC I think I felt pressure to write stuff, even if I really had nothing important to say. And then, of course, I started to stupidly believe that it would determine if I would be a good parent or not. Thank God I fell down the rabbit whole last week and was able to come to my senses.
Now just because I stopped writing doesn’t mean that my TTC obsession went away. It is quite the contrary. In the past few days, I have spent countless hours watching Birth Day on the Discovery Health Channel. It’s quite addictive. I highly recommend it if you are recovery from surgery.
In other news, Nadia and I have attended some adoptive parenting classes. As a break from the TTC, we are checking out various adoptive agencies in the city to see which ones are queer friendly. Any advice from who know would be helpful. She would like to adopt an older child (above 10 years of age) and I am undecided, quite frankly. We are not planning to adopt for at least a couple of years, so this is just an information gathering stage. Hopefully, it will lead to hours and hours of fruitful discussion.
Ah, the joys of marriage.
Next week I will have my second (very painful) saline sonogram to see if there I have any scarring on my uterus from the surgery.
And, I will, of course, keep you posted.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The taste of this new stuff is not as bad as the last set of herbs I was on but it could taste a lot better.
I will try it for at least the next month until I start my injectible cycle #2. I hope it works but even if it does not ultimately have an measurable impact on my fertility, it is definately making me feel better.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
I hate feeling boxed in by expectation. On the other hand, I've convinced myself that if I can do this I will be a reliable parent. I know that my logic is extremely faulty but I determined to blog everyday this month no matter how insipid or boring my entry may be.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
One thing that struck me throughout the ordeal was the way that the doctors cared for her. I mean they were so loving, so sweet, so understanding. Additionally, they spent lots of time with us answering our questions no matter how insipid they were. And the whole time I was thinking about how different things would be if medical doctors had the time and resources to care for humans in the same way that the Vets cared for our cat.
What is up with that?
Friday, November 16, 2007
Besides, I had my first visit with my new acupuncturist today and she seemed to know the ins and outs of the in/fertility treatment world here in New York City.
I liked her because she was unassuming yet informed. I don't ever see her mixing up IVF with IUI like my former acu. In fact when I told her that my former acu used to get confused, she seemed appalled. She has a calming way about her.
I feel like I can do this.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
At first blush, it might seem strange that I love this book as much as I do because Orenstein is Jewish and straight and I am African –American, Christian and lesbian, but if I have learned one thing recently, I have learned that the TTC journey peals back layers of difference, revealing a core of connection and hope.
I also need to also say that Orenstein experienced much more than I have during the course of her four year TTC journey, including several miscarriages, cancer, IVF and FET.
Yet her story still profoundly speaks to me.
I picked up her book again last night not only because nails the TTC journey, and not only because her book is one of the few that makes me cry tears of sorrow and laugh out loud. I revisited Waiting for Daisy because Orenstein adeptly deals with two themes I have been thinking about lately: TTC addiction and self-doubt.
Earlier in the week, I wrote that I had a love hate relationship with the TTC hamster wheel, but I think it can also be classified as an addiction.
I don’t know exactly how I got here. For Orenstein, Clomid was her gateway drug.
“Clomid was my gateway drug: the one you take because, Why not—everyone’s doing it. Just five tiny pills. They’ll give you a boost, maybe get you where you need to go. It’s true, some women can stop there. For others, Clomid becomes infertility’s version of Reefer Madness. First you smoke a little grass, then you’re selling your body on a street corner for crack. First you pop a little Clomid, suddenly you’re taking out a second mortgage for another round of IVF. You’ve become hope’s b*tch, willing to destroy your career, your marriage, your self-respect for another taste of its seductive high. Here are your eggs. Here are your eggs on Clomid. Get the picture?”
Even though I can relate to feeling like ‘hopes b*tch’, I don’t think that Clomid was the gateway to my addiction. For me, it was my very first visit to my RE’s office where I was filled with possibility. I thought it would be easy to get pregnant and I didn’t even consider what would happen if I didn’t. I could say, though, that Clomid kind of cinched it for me. After my first clomid cycle I was open to injectible cycles and surgery. And please stay tuned for what comes next. I have definitely fallen down the rabbit hole. And I would like to get out, but I am not sure how.
I also love Orenstein’s book because she grapples with her feminism in the face of a burning desire to have a baby. For most of my life, like Orenstein, I never wanted to have children. It just didn’t resonate with me. I didn’t want to be tied down and I did not want the responsibility. I told myself that I didn't need to have a child to feel complete. I told myself that that idea was something that they told women of my parent’s generation so they would stay at home and be dependent on their husbands. I was determined not to fall for that trap. And then suddenly when I turned 37, something in me changed. I don't exactly know how or why. But I do know that it has developed into a full obsession. I think that’s why it’s so hard for me to accept and get a handle on because I am not one of those women who ‘always wanted to have a baby’.
Orenstein writes, “at one time, I would have told a woman like me that childlessness was not her problem; it was her inability to recognize the value in all that she had; in all that she’d built for herself. But I had become the woman I once pitied, the one who was easily swayed by gross oversimplifications that collapsed all of life’s complexities into the convenient box of ‘waited too long.”
And just the other day when my RE was explaining to me yet again about ovarian reserve and what happens to a women’s body after age 35, I started thinking, “have I waited too long?” Is this going to happen for me? Even though intellectually, I know for a fact that I can and will feel fulfilled no matter what happens on this journey, it’s hard to keep sight of that in the fact of more sonograms, needles and bloat. And I understand that those needles in some way represent some form of hope and that I should be grateful for the opportunity to try again. And I am. But I am a long way from the finish line.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I also know that the TTC really is a marathon, but if I knew how much farther I had to go, it would be easier to hunker down and push through to the finish line.
In the midst of my angst, I am trying to figure out if I have a fear of success or a fear of failure. I guess I will have something to talk to my therapist about when I see her next week.
I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The results were surprisingly positive. I don’t really know hoe to interpret a tarot card reading but the highlights include:
THE CHARIOT symbolizes the ability for you exercise control by focusing on what you want in your life. There is a sense of increasing confidence, and this will attract success into your life. The Chariot indicates positive change.
NINE OF SWORDS indicates that it is time to allow yourself to grieve for what has been lost in the past. Through this, healing can be facilitated. It is important that you receive any support that is offered to you.
The final card, the card that represents the outcome, was the best:
TWO OF STAFFS - The Gateway. You are standing on the threshold of new experience. Give thanks for what you have learned, and for any gifts which have transpired from that. You can then move towards the new opportunities which are being offered.
So I took this as a good sign.
In other news, I think I am going to take a break from the flaky acupuncturist that I have been seeing since August. Not only was I annoyed when he asked me why I was in a rush to get pregnant, he doesn’t seem to remember the specifics of my case. Our interactions go something like this…
Flakey: You were on Lupron before your surgery, right?
Lupron is a drug used to shrink large fibroids before a myomectomy.
Me: Remember, I told you that fibroids were so small that I did not need to take it?
Flakey: Oh, oh, okay.
Also, he keeps talking to me about my imaginary IVF treatments.
Flakey: So, when are you going to start your next round of IVF?
Me: No, remember, I am not doing IVF but injectable IUI cycles?
Dr. Flakey: Oh, oh, that’s the same thing.
No, actually it’s not! Can’t he at least read my chart before he calls me into his office and pretend to understand what is going on with my Qi!?!
So, yesterday I got a recommendation for a new accupuncturist from Thwarted Repeatedly and I called immediately. I explained that I was looking for someone to help me recover from surgery and with fertility treatments. I also told the new accupuncturist that I would probably start an injectible in December and she immediately said, “Oh, so you are doing injectible IUI cycles?”
And at that moment, I knew that all was right in the Universe.
Monday, November 12, 2007
So we went to the RE today and I guess he gave me some good news. He said that I could start next month. The back drop to this is, of course, the fact that I was scared sh*tless and all stressed out about seeing him today because I thought he might tell me that I had to wait, but when he said that I could start ASAP, I got even more nervous.
I guess I have a love/hate relationship with the egg drop drama. It’s one of those sick relationships where you can’t get enough of it but you hate the fact that you are even in it, if you know what I mean.
Even though I’ve been ready to have a baby for a long time, the idea of starting those injectibles again does not make me happy. I hate the hormones, the needles and the effect on my body. On the other hand, this forced break has caused me to think about nothing else but hormones, needles, and my body. I think about it all of the time, even when I am not thinking about it.
I know I am not making any sense, but the question looming in the back of my head is: what if I start this crap over again and it does not work? It’s hard not to go there, but at the same time I have to remain positive, right?
And the last thing my doctor said was that I have to have another Saline Hystereosonogram to see if I have any adhesions in my uterus now that I’ve had the myomectomy, which sucks because that test really, really hurts.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I wish I could disengage completely and have a rest from my egg drop neurosis. But, I can't do that.
The fact of the matter is that as soon as I am able I will brave the elements at ungodly hours to endure countless sonograms, inject myself with fertility drugs and, ultimately, open myself to all of the vulnerabilty and anticipation that comes after every insemination.
I hope that tomorrow brings a new and improved TTC timeline.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
9. Good health insurance. I had a friend who recently had a hysterectomy and got a bill in the mail for $27,000.
8. My fuzzy, wuzzy cats and their undying love.
5. Draw string pants and other clothes in the back of my closet that don't aggravate my incision.
4. The Repro Blogosphere. I am so glad that I am not alone in my madness.
3. Surviving Surgery. Let's hope that my doctor is right and that we eliminated the root cause of my infertility.
2. My friends and family who put up with me.
1. Nadia, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
I want to thank the universe for all of these wonderful things in my life.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I can't even make up a good egg drop drama. I just know that waiting sucks. And I am a bit tired of it but I have a few more months to go.
I am trying to get used to waiting.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
So I went to my acupuncturist yesterday. It was quite an adventure since I have been cooped up in my house since my surgery. I was happy to be out in the fresh air, even though it was a bit cold.
At any rate, I was telling my acupuncturist that I don't have a definitive answer from my RE yet, but I think I will be able to re-start the TTC in January 2008. And his response was, "what is the rush?"
Now that seems like a simple question, right?
I wanted to bite his head off.
What is the rush? What is the rush? What is the rush?
For those of you who have been reading my blog and know my story, I don't want to recount everything that I have been through so far. And believe me, I know my story could be a lot worse, and I don't want to seem insensitve, but here is a brief recap:
- 8 vial of sperms
- four IUI cycles (each consisting of two consecutive days of inseminations for good measure)
- one Clomid cycle
- one injectible cycle
- one surgery
- mandatory time off from work
- excruciating boughts of pain during recovery
- countless sonograms and doctors visits
- And let's not even get into the cost of all of this
January 2008 will represent my one year TTC Anniversary. Believe it or not, I am ready to get pregnant.
I think his point was that I may want to may sure that my body is healed but I have done a lot of research (I have a Ph.D. in Google) and spoken to several people who've had the surgery as well as medical professionals and they all told me that three months off is enough time. Now, obviously, I am not going to do anything to jeopardize my healing, or my chances of getting pregnant, but if my RE says I can start in January. That is exactly what I am going to do.
Sometimes I feel frustrated by the fact that ‘well-meaning’ advice from different sources can be contradictory. It's hard to know what to do, especially when you want something so badly.
At any rate, I am going to try to remember to breathe. And take advantage of the time I have left before I jump back on the hamster wheel.
Thanks for listening.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The author, Virginia Smith, started out wanting a known donor who would be a part of her children’s lives. She fantasized about her kids having a relationship with their ‘father’ even though she was fully prepared to be a single parent and pay for everything. She even kind of ‘fell in love’ with a potential candidate, named Andrew. She writes “And so we began our odd seduction a courtship that was not about sexuality or marriage but nevertheless involved many of the same concerns…” Eventually, she changed her mind about using Andrew’s sperm out of fear.
Fifteen years ago when she started her TTC journey AIDS was everywhere. The fear of AIDS touching her family and her children lead her to withdraw from Andrew and use an anonymous open donor. She writes, “I couldn’t take it any more, the overwhelming fear that AIDS could devastate our lives and the lives of the children we might have together. Even continuing the friendship was too painful.”
I was glad to see this topic featured in Modern Love and I choose not to judge Virginia’s decision because choosing a donor is so very complicated.
Nadia and I have decided to go with an open anonymous donor because we want the child to be ‘ours’. We fear having a known donor who might one day fight for custody or fail to relinquish his rights when the time comes for Nadia to adopt. And even though I am confident our decision, I have to admit that I waiver sometimes. If we went with a known donor who wanted to be involved, Nadia and I could definitely use the extra pair of hands. And the child would benefit from that extended security blanket –you know, it takes a village to raise a child.
At the end of her piece, Virginia Smith seems to be a bit melancholy about her choice. She winds up googling Andrew only to discover that he is still alive and still with the man he introduced her to many years ago. Even though she loves her children, she seems to second guess her choice to go with an anonymous donor.
Right now, Nadia and I feel good about our decision to go with an open anonymous donor. I just hope we don’t have any regrets.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
For example, as soon as word got out around the office about my myomectomy, folks--who I normally don't speak to very much--would come up to me and converse with me about the “length of my periods”, the” size of my fibroids”, “my physical discomfort”. People assumed that I had fibroids the size of watermelons growing uncontrollably inside my uterus and that that was why I had to have the surgery. More often then not, they started confiding to me about their fibroid symptoms including: anemia; discomfort--due to their size; and the length of their periods, which in some cases lasted over two weeks.
I feel bad because I didn’t have the courage to set the record straight. And it's not because I am not an honest person or that I lack integrity. I just didn't want people to know the truth--which is that that the only reason I had the surgery was because my RE thought it was preventing me from getting pregnant. Given their size, location, and the minimal effect they had on my body, I could have lived with them forever, but for the fact that they were distorting my uterus.
I have to admit that I feel a bit guilty about the fact that I did not clarify, or set the record straight with my well meaning colleagues. In some cases, I even elaborated on a particular 'mythical' symptom because, in some instances, if I said nothing or refused to respond, it would have created more suspicion or, at the very least, lead to more agonizing discussion. And in most cases, I wanted the fibroid exchanges to be very, very brief, if I had to have them at all.
So, this is a kind of confession. Thanks for listening. I did what I did for a reason and if I had to do it over again, I would handle it exactly the same way, but I don't feel good about it.
Monday, November 5, 2007
I don't have the energy (damn my recovery!) to be interesting right now, but I promise to explore my issues in an upcoming post.
But I do feel good about the fact that I am honoring my committment.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Paula ran throughout her pregnancy last year. Apparently, she even ran the day before she gave birth to her daughter. And 12 days after the birth --nine months ago-- she started training again.
Gone are the days when women are treated with kid gloves during pregnancy. Closely watched by doctors throughout her preparations, Paula refused to slow down during her pregnancy.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Thanks for your early support, oneofhismoms. And Congratulations!
Friday, November 2, 2007
This is an important study because it is one of the few LGBT research publications to highlight families of color. Similar studies that come to mind were published several years ago. Both were co-authored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
The first is Black same-sex couple households in the United States: A Report from the 2000 Census, published (October 2004) with the help of the National Black Justice Coalition. The second is Hispanic and Latino same-sex couple households in the United States: A Report from the 2000 Census (November 2005) co-authored by the National Latino/a Coalition for Justice. As you can see, both of the studies use data from the 2000 Census because it was the first year the government asked people to report whether they were living with a same-sex partner. Both of these reports also site similiar economic disparities between households with children run by women, specifically women of color and their straight counterparts.
As an African American married to a Latina, my hope is that Baby Godot, will be bi-racial. And with that in mind, I want our family to be recognized as an important part of the LGBT community, the African American community and the Latino community, not to mention the world at large.
Even though this new study represents a drop in the bucket compared to the research and attention needed by queer families and, particularly, queer families of color on a national level, the fact that it was conducted, published, and highlighted recently in the SF Chronicle warms my heart.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Today is the start of National Blog Posters Month which means that I have committed to posting to my blog everyday for the month of November. Yikes!
Thank God that I have been working out my commitment issues in therapy for the last umpteen years.
In addition to joining NaBoPoMo I have also made a personal commitment to myself to incorporate more graphics into the site because I think it looks a little dull. For a technologically challenged Egg Drop Drama Queen like myself this quite an undertaking, so hold on to your hats folks!
More to Come…