Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Parent with No Child

It’s almost ironic when you never consider yourself a parent- but during IF you become a ‘mother’ almost instantly. You worry about your eggs, often giving up caffeine, extra sugar, and alcohol so they (hopefully your future children) are the best they can be. Then you hope they turn into embryos and you worry about them. You worry if they will keep living. You worry that they will not do well on tests. You worry if they can recover from traumatic experiences, like freezing and thawing. You worry about your body the entire time. Every test is nerve-wracking. The further along you get, the more worry you have. From what I hear- the worry never really goes away. 

Infertility : All of the heartache and worry of parenthood… none of the joy

Friday, April 25, 2014

Today's NAIW Post:

National Infertility Awareness Week Post of the Day: Knowing that 1 in 8 couples struggle with fertility, it is almost surprising that it is kept silent. First off, it is everyone’s right to keep his or her own medical information to themselves. And no one should have the right to ask about such personal information. With that said, I am thankful of the few celebrities who have shared their very intimate and personal struggle with the rest of the world.   Celebrities include: Brooke Shields, Celine Dion, Jimmy Fallon, Nicole Kidman, Aisha Tyler, Tom Arnold, Dixie Chicks Sisters (Emily and Martie), Hugh Jackman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Giuliana Rancic, Disney for expressing it through Dumbo (Mrs. Jumbo the elephant) and Up! and many others.

Blurb from Time Magazine:

"We should applaud (Jimmy) Fallon — along with his wife and other high-profile women willing to share their stories — for going public with facts so many would prefer to keep hidden.

While celebrities take a lot of flak for exposing their private lives, these are important gestures of support to all the families who are suffering in silence. Such honesty is also welcomed by fertility doctors who struggle to educate patients about the challenges of getting pregnant in your 40s, when popular culture makes it look so easy. What’s more, these announcements go a long way in changing the public perception that infertility is a source of shame. In 2011, Redbook magazine and RESOLVE, a national infertility-education group, launched an online video campaign called “The Truth About Trying” to chip away at the stigma. “It’s crazy to me that this topic is still taboo,” Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s Pregnant in Heels said, “In Hollywood, you can talk about your drug addiction or divorce, but not infertility.” Perhaps that’s starting to change.”

And the most touching scene about infertility in a movie:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reproductive Immunology Vents

So, after a little research I'm feeling a little down in the dumps.

I decided to see a Reproductive Immunologist (RI) after my chemical pregnancy in September and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Autoimmune diseases exist in my sister and half-sister- who are both roughly the same age as me- so I know there is a strong chance something autoimmune could be going on with me.
Because I am more of a scientific mind and there are fewer journal articles supporting some of the practices of the RI, I decided to find one that would work with my current clinic. This meant traveling to NYC to get a flight to Chicago to see this doctor. The testing was pretty thorough, but some of the diagnoses she gave me were based on previous tests- which I guess is fine.
Some of the medications, which I look them up, seem like they may be doing the opposite of what I expect them to. After some research I found out that Metformin (an insulin resistance drug used to treat diabetes) can be used to lower egg counts for women who have too many eggs (PCOS). I have like no eggs- so I am a little freaking out because less than like no eggs is no eggs at all... How can I have no eggs?? I am hoping that isn't the case and someone can explain a good benefit for this drug.
But the whole world of RI is so different. There are so many more drugs- like IVF alone doesn't have enough drugs?
Seriously my upcoming IUI has more drugs than any IVF cycle I've ever had (and I was on max doses for IVF).
And the diagnoses- I have a laundry list of them... All of that alone makes me feel so depressed.
I wish I knew more and I wish I could bother my RE about this- but he doesn't buy into all of this. (My RE and I talk in terms of medical journals- so if there aren't many journals on this topic- and if they aren't published in infertility journals- he probably couldn't answer my questions anyway.)

I just found an online group for patients of RI. Maybe this will help. Feeling alone is the worst feeling in the world.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spreading the Word

Now that I am out, I feel it is my obligation to spread the word about infertility- at least during National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). I am feeling pretty good about coming out and have lined up daily posts to make sure I cover a few different topics, It went something like this:

Friday: Article "The Question That Gives You a 1 in 8 Chance of Being an Insensitive Jerk"

Saturday: Picture with feeling associated with IF and explain that Chris and I have been dealing with it for 3 years and that I am open to questions

Sunday:  Since it's Easter, I was posting Pinterest images explaining how some holidays are hard for those with IF

Monday:  2 Links What to say and what not to say and You're Infertility is Safe Here

Tuesday: The hurtful things that many people with IF have heard and how mean it is

Wednesday: Financial Struggle- how many people do not have insurance that covers infertility

Thursday: Cost of "Just Adopting" and why that isn't always a solution

Friday: Celebs and Infertility- trying to give recognition to those breaking the silence

Saturday: Infertility isn't just about getting pregnant- its about having a baby. Still thinking of this one but maybe letting people know that pregnancy loss is associated with IF and if someone is struggling with repeated pregnancy loss, it may be time to see an RE

   To me, it was a good list. More organized than most of the things I've been doing lately. I was feeling really good about it.

But then... After my post on Saturday I received a message which was mostly supportive but then had the line "maybe you could adopt" Now normally I fly off the handle (and since I'm still in bed, maybe my mood is a little sullen) and think "Wow, why didn't I think of that? In all my 33 years, why, I've never heard of adoption. Nope. Grew up in the 80's and never even seen "Annie" hmm..." I guess this is the 'price' for being open. Now I guess because I already knew I was posting about adoption, I figured it wouldn't get to me. I didn't realize that post is 5 days away... Ugh!

Keeping my FX that comments like that are rare- or I guess I'm just going to have to rearrange my order.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I'm Coming Out!

Well, I did it. I came out about my struggle with infertility to the entire world. I posted a blurb on Facebook that I borrowed from someone on "The Bump" forums. It read:
It's National Infertility Awareness Week! Infertility (inability to conceive after a year of trying) is something one in eight couples struggle with. Chances are, I'm not your only facebook friend either currently dealing with it, or has dealt with it in the past and has come to a resolution. It's a fairly silent disease as many feel isolated or shameful of the diagnosis. For those who suffer silently, this week I will help be your voice. Infertility is not your fault and nothing to be ashamed of!

This is why I came out- I don't want to feel shameful of this experience. I guess in the past I felt like I almost didn't have the right to come out. We were previously only diagnosed with MFI (Male Factor Infertility) and I felt as though it was more Chris' story than my own. Now that we have laundry list of new diagnoses for me, I feel like this is more my story than his. I hate that I think of some things as not ours- we are together in this battle but the struggles in my head, the acceptance I need to give myself, overcoming the shame associated with infertility- those are my battles. Chris is (not only amazing but) very open about the struggle and will tell everyone and anyone what's going on. I have selected to tell very few people. Most people I don't know in real life know the details, but my family does not know what we've been through. I have one good friend at work, one great friend at school, Chris, and my therapist for support. Now that I'm out- not only am I hoping I can be a support for others, but I'm hoping more people can help support me.

So after my big unveiling- some friends put the pink and blue infertility ribbon on their profile picture- I must say, I'm not overly emotional but it truly brought tears to my eyes. Amazed that people would be that supportive. One friend from Facebook even took the opportunity to come out about her struggle and now a lot of people are talking about it on her thread. This is the whole point- we need to talk about it. There is no shame.

I can't wait to see how this week of awareness turns out. Spread the word!

Monday, April 14, 2014


So I have been thinking about miracle cycles. There has been a lot of talk from other women about having some miraculous pregnancy just happen without any assistive technologies.
At first I was feeling really jealous because I want that glimmer of hope. Somedays hope is all I have to hold on to, so more of it seems AMAZING. Given our diagnosis (azoospermia) we will never become pregnant from having sex- ever. I came to terms with that years ago- but that little voice in the back of my head felt like it was reminded of that.
But then I thought- I never have to deal with the heartache of AF just being late and wondering if this is that magical cycle. I don't think I could handle that. I often see women go through horrific events and I don't know if I'm really cut out for that. Honestly, after a failed cycle, you just feel like pure shit. What if people felt like that every month? No wonder AF is a bitch.
So- I quickly went from jealous to humble. Some women have to be warriors every month. I hate that some people have to be that strong. Why do we have to be that strong to just make it through a few months?
This journey is not the the weak of heart... but I wonder where has all my strength gone?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

First Blog

I guess I should thank you for reading my blog. I'm more of a rambler in real life, so I figured blogging might come naturally, even though I'm usually socially awkward,too.

Until I figure out how to actually fill in the "About Me" part, I guess this will have to do.
I'm Nicole, 33 years old, from NJ. I've been married to my one and only, Chris, for over 5 years. Together we are unstoppable- but the universe isn't happy about that. We've had more heartache and drama than most people.

Our current and continuing battle is to have a baby. We have been trying pretty much since we got married. Once we found out assisted reproductive technologies were needed, we waited a bit and then put all our effort into that. Three years and 5 IVF cycles later, we are still in the battle.

Over the past year I have been coming to grips with new diagnoses and our early pregnancy loss. OK- that's my introduction.. Let the ranting and rambling begin...