Sunday, 25 September 2011

Eggs and Duckies

I have been checking my BBT every day for the past six cycles. Each day I enter my BBT and CM into a program called Taking Charge of your Fertility. Every cycle I've seen the message "TCOYF has been unable to determine ovulation and it is likely that ovulation didn't occur this cycle". Every cycle I keep going and hope that it will be a successful one the next cycle.

About three days ago I experienced a half-degree spike in temperature. For the past two days it has stayed high. I should mention that I'm on CD 38 right now :S I went back through my previous five cycles and checked and my BBT always spikes a day or two before AF shows up. So, I expected to see AF rear its ugly face soon. Yesterday, I entered my BBT and up pops a message from TCOYF saying "Congratulations, your long luetal phase and temperature shift indicates that pregnancy is very likely". The calendar portion changed to bright orange and the word Pregnant. And on my temperature chart, a little nest with an egg appeared on CD 19, and on CD 38 a little yellow duckie.

I've been dying to see that egg and nest, and to see a duckie is a dream come true. But I wasn't absolutely sold that this was true. I know that the program says that if you have 18 days past ovulation, then it's nearly a guarantee that you're pregnant. However, that is supposed to be accompanied by higher temperatures after ovulation - and my temps this cycle were all low and it looks like a true annovulatory cycle to me... until the past few days when the temp spiked.

To top it all off, I've been REALLY emotional lately - the lastest episode of Grey's Anatomy nearly killed me I cried so hard. And just now I'm watching the season premiere of Sister Wives where they are talking about infertility (more on that the next time) and I'm bawling away. So, if pregnancy isn't the culprit, then PMS is being a total bitch in the emotions area this month!

So what's a girl to do. Well, I tried not to think about it too much, and I went out and bought a pregnancy test yesterday. I waited until I got home from my inlaws this afternoon to take it. I really didn't want to take the test there and then find out it was positive and have to share with them right away. Maybe that's selfish, but if it turns out positive I wanted it to be about me and my husband and our baby...just us, at least for a few days. Just enjoy it, our little secret.

So, we got home and I dodged into the bathroom.

Unfortunately, it came out negative. :(

I don't know if it's too early to be positive, or if I should just take that negative as a for-sure negative. I'm thinking that I'll wait another week and if there is no AF, then I'll take another test.

It's so frustrating. I just want this cycle to be done already. Either I need to be pregnant or have AF show up. The waiting is SO frustrating. When you are trying to conceive and have to wait for the start of the cycle, waiting a mere 28 days is torture. I'm at 38 days and could go much longer than that. My longest cycle has been 45 days. So, another week and hopefully I will know more than I do right now.

So for now, the duckies will have to wait

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

So mad I could spit!

I woke up today with a quick reminder of my current state of infertility. Canada AM was showing a story about how at a conference for fertility specialists in Ottawa, they are considering making it impossible for women with a BMI over 30 to get fertility treatments.

They claim that:
"Some studies find obese women face higher risks of medical complications while trying to become pregnant through in-vitro fertilization (IVF)."

Due to this, they say that there are some women who are at an increased risk when undergoing treatments. The main part of the article deals with IVF, but there has been mention of including any type of fertility medication because of how the hormones work against the body when it's overweight.

What really bothers me is the claim that is made by someone who is supposed to be raising awareness for infertility:

“If you are more than 100 pounds overweight, that issue must be addressed before you start a family,” said Beverly Hanck, executive director of the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada. “Get off your 50 pounds or so and exercise and then see where your fertility is at. A woman can lose 20 pounds and conceivably become pregnant…It could take a year, but it could result in getting pregnant naturally and save thousands of dollars.”

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???? It's not bad enough that women have to deal with others out there who don't understand how horrible and emotionally crippling infertility is - how it's often due to an uncontrollable issue or condition. Yes, it's true that sometimes simply losing a few pounds can fix everything, but let's be honest, would any of us choose to go through the painful procedures and waiting and failures if all we had to do was lose a few pounds. For Beverly Hanck to say something as insensitive as lose 50 lbs and you might be pregnant naturally, while representing the Infertility Awareness Association... it's complete bullshit.

There is no line that says 'if you are over this number then you are unhealthy - guaranteed'. My BMI is over 30. I have had bone scans and numerous body scans for density and due to my skeletal size, it would actually be unhealthy for me to have a BMI much below 30. For me to be at 30, I would need to be 210 lbs. I have had three doctors tell me that if I drop below 200 lbs, they would be concerned because I would be unhealthy. Right now, I know that I need to lose weight. I'm not an idiot. I'm fat. I admit it. But here's the thing... my blood pressure is perfect, my cholesterol is perfect, every blood test (other than my iron levels) are perfect, and the anemia is something that I've dealt with since childhood on and off.

When I started the treatments with the OB/GYN I purposely asked if my weight would be an issue with regard to fertility. She told me that she would never tell me not to lose weight, but that she didn't see it as a barrier to conception. She said that she has had numerous thin women who can't conceive, and has had numerous patients who were not nearly as healthy as me who she treated. She said that she does not consider my weight to be an issue at all. So if the doctor who treats me regularly doesn't consider my weight/BMI to be a problem, why the hell should a stupid, random policy consider it to be so.

One of the comments in the article was about how people who are overweight have a lot of difficulty with anesthetic. Well, again, it's not a guarantee. When I had my D&C in January, the nurses said that they hadn't seen anyone who took anesthetic so well with no side-effects. I went under easily and came out easily, and had no lasting effects. So there!

I made the mistake of reading the comments on the Globe and Mail article. How stupid could I be. I went to work feeling like a completely loser. If the comments are representative of society - I will make a horrible parent and don't deserve to live... simply because I'm fat. I know that often people who post in those comments sections are extremists, but it still hurts to think that anyone thinks that way.

I just can't believe that in this century we are still judged on how we look. I can't believe that the target group is overweight people. We allow fertility treatments for those who are dangerously underweight, for those who smoke, for those women who's husband's use drugs, for those women who use drugs themselves - yes, I can't imagine a doctor treating a crack addict, but I personally know of one woman who was undergoing treatments all the while smoking pot nearly every night.

I'm just feeling really low right now.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Busy Busy Busy

It's been a few days since I posted. I've been swamped under all the planning of the new school year.

I was all ready for my classes, and then... as usual.... our schedules changes. I lost my grade 8 class and gained a 5/6 class. That pissed me off. I didn't want to go back to teaching elementary classes.

I know it sounds odd, given that I love kids and that I trained initially to teach the primary grades, but after my year-from-hell of Kindergarten I needed a break. Then I took on middle years (grade 6-9) last year, and this year was told I would have the same course load this year. I really enjoyed the middle years kids and didn't want to go back to the elementary way of doing things. But, as usual, our numbers were over-estimated and now we have to rearrange our classes to make the numbers balance better. So most of us ended up losing classes and gaining other classes. Much to my joy, I got an elementary class.

I'm not happy about this at all. Particularly since it's combined with a middle years class. How we do everything with those two levels is different: grading, report cards, attendance, etc. So now I have to double up on my work.

To top it off, I'm exhausted. I spent the entire weekend at our home volleyball tournament. So I put in a total of 19 hours of extracurricular time this weekend and then had to try to plan for these new classes. I spent all of Sunday sitting in the yard at the patio set with my laptop and books out, kitten on the leash chasing butterflies. It would have been the perfect afternoon if I didn't have all of this damned course prep hanging over my head.

I can't believe that September is more than half over! It feels like school just ended. Tomorrow we vote on our tentative contract. I think the contract is crap, but I have a feeling that the vote will pass it. I think it will barely pass. The whole contract offer is slap in the face, but some people are so uninformed that they are willing to take it because the government says "that's the best we can offer". Anyway, it's going to be a rough few days of waiting for the vote.

On the more personal side of things, I'm now CD32 and no sign of AF coming this way. This has been another annovulatory cycle. My temps ranged from 35.7 to 36.3. They go up and down and up and down... no spikes, nothing. It's so frustrating. So, now I wait for AF to show. The software that I am using to track my temps predicts that it should show up around Wednesday - we'll see. All I want is for it to start so that I can start taking the Clomid and get this whole thing going.

I hate waiting.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Staff (Pity) Party

Last night was our start-of-year staff party. We do this at the beginning of each school year, just to get re-acquainted and blow off some steam from the first week. We all tend to push a little hard in the first week to make it great, so we need to blow off steam. This year we decided as a staff to go to the home-opening football game for our highschool team. It was a good game, and our boys killed the competition. After the game I had two of my students come running up to me to ask "did you see that kick I made?" "What about that block in the second quarter". So cute.

The game was going great, and then my coworker's wife showed up... with their two month old baby. *sigh* Now, I want to be overjoyed for them. I want to be the person to rush over and tell them how cute their baby is... he is by the way! I want to hear all about the new diapers that she found that when the baby is wet the line on the diaper turns from white to blue. I want to hear it all... but I can't. I looked over when she came and sat down and I felt like my heart was in my stomach. I started to tear up, and nearly left the game to go sit in the car and cry... but I didn't. I stuffed those emotions deep down inside and started to focus intently on football. Just when I thought I was ok, I looked over at the person next to me as they were saying something, and I saw the baby's little toes peeking out of the stroller... again, my heart felt like it had dropped and I felt ready to cry. Over fucking toes!!

I managed to get through the game, and then we went over to our secretary's house for a potluck and bonfire. It was a fun time. Lots of laughs. The moment that my boss said he was going to pee himself in one of the lawnchairs because then whoever owned it would have to give him the chair... well that was priceless!

However, of course my coworker and his wife and baby showed up to the potluck. I don't blame them for coming - it was his staff gathering too. I don't harbour any ill-will toward them. They are lucky to have three beautiful babies and not have any trouble having them. I'm not angry toward them, I'm jealous, not angry. Now, before anyone says that maybe they have problems too, I know that's not true. All three of their kids (all under the age of 4) have been born at the beginning of July. I mentioned to my coworker that that was great timing since school is out for the summer. He just looked at me and said "well yeah, that's why we planned it that way". So obviously no problem getting pregnant there.

Anyway, naturally the baby was the centre of the party for a while - that's fine. But then the older women started talking about how they had had their babies and it was time for us younger ones to start. Right away, I had three women saying "hurry up... you're next. when are you going to have one??". I just wanted to shout out "I'm infertile ok? You just made me feel like shit!! Are you happy??" But I didn't. I looked right back at the 24-year-old who was bugging me about it and said "me?? what about you??" She said, "yeah, in five or six years laughing". I knew that I could put it back on her because she had told me during the summer that they had decided to wait a few years before trying because they wanted to get settled first. I turned to someone else and started talking about something else before I had to leave in tears. The librarian looked at me and smiled - she asked me earlier this summer if I was going to be going on mat leave in the next year. I just told her "I hope so, but we've been trying for two years, so we'll see". So she kind of knew that the conversation was hard on me.

Anyway, the rest of the party went off without too much trouble. I left still feeling sorry for myself. I cried on the way home. I wanted to just crawl under a rock and die. I've been feeling all day sorry for myself and wondering why that couldn't be me sitting there with a baby in my arms. My husband tries to be supportive. He said "just think, maybe, next year, it will be you sitting there with a baby under a blanket. Yeah, maybe.

On the upside, my temp spiked a LOT today, so hopefully it stays high and my body is starting to realise what it is supposed to do.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

A Bit of Understanding

I'm obsessed with the TLC show "Sister Wives". I don't know why. I firmly believe that marriage belongs between two people, but I'm just enamored with this show. I love that they all seem so sure of themselves. I know people who think that the show is disgusting and that the people on it are evil. I don't agree. I believe that polygamy, when done in terms of the typical polygamy that we see on the news (sects with 12-year-old brides) is wrong. No matter which way you cut it, it's wrong. People should NEVER be forced into marriage and children... ever! But these women all appear to have entered this of their own free will. They have all said that they are in it of their own volition and can leave whenever they want to. I think it's because I loved the show "Big Love" so much that I like this show.

So, what's my point?

Well I just finished catching up on the second season of the show. Before I get to my main point, let me say this...

It is complete bull that these people were forced to basically flee in the dark of night to keep their family in tact. How the hell is following your religion and loving your family a crime? The fact that they had to flee to protect their family is just wrong - I actually cried when they drove off in the trucks. It just isn't fair.

But I digress...

At the end of the season, wife #4, who has been married less than a year to this man, announced to the cameras that she is pregnant. I was initially angry. I was mad that she didn't seem to have any problems with conception. I was mad that the show I like so much is going to make me sit through all the pregnancy talk, and that she gets what I want. I was mad, sad, and yes, jealous. But then it hit me... the show is going to have to tackle the infertility angle as well.

Here's the catch: Wife #1, who has been married 18 years, has one child, and has suffered from infertility ever since. Last season, they discussed the possibility of trying again using IVF, but she decided that it was too expensive and too difficult, and that she was getting too old to go through babies again. In the last episode of this season, there was talk about how she only had one child. The husband actually said that he didn't feel right spending as much money renting a house for her as he did for the others, because she only had one child to fill it. She started crying, and he was amazed that she was upset. The other wives attacked him for his insensitive comments, and he admitted that he didn't mean it to sound that way.

So, wife #1 and wife #4 are very close. Wife #4 is obviously very excited about her pregnancy, but then said that she is concerned that it will be tough for wife #1. She said that she desperately wants to do baby stuff with her, go shopping, talk babies, etc, but she knows that it may hurt her to even think about doing that. She said that she doesn't want to hurt her and that the pregnancy is bittersweet for her. The season ended with wife #4 going to wife #1s house to tell her prior to the announcement that she was pregnant. She said that she didn't want her to have to deal with the pain and feelings that it may bring up suddenly. She said that she understood that this may not be happy news for her, so she wanted to talk to her about it first. The show ended by wife #4 saying to wife #1, do you have a minute to talk?

I'm quite excited to see what is going to be done with this. I'm interested to see how the relationship between these women plays out given that this is now in the works. I'm interested to see how TLC approaches the idea of infertility. So far they have done a good job with it on other shows, but we'll see how this works out.

Right now I'm impressed with wife #4s attitude toward the whole thing.

I don't harbour any ill-will toward my friends when they get pregnant, I'm just sad for me. I try to be supportive, but it's tough. It's nice when they realise that their joy brings pain to others and they don't rub it in, but that doesn't always happen.

Do I expect them to be miserable and not enjoy their pregnancy? No. Do I ask that they be understanding that I may not be as excited as they want me to be? Yes.

A bit of understanding... that's all.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Telling the Boss

How exactly does one go about something like that? How do I approach with my bosses that I'm going to be taking a lot of medical appointment days to get ultrasounds, etc for fertility treatments?

If this cycle goes 30-35 days, we're looking at the end of Sept, beginning of October when I have to go for follicle tracking ultrasounds. Right now the plan is a CD 10 ultrasound, and then following up every other day until they reach 20 mm. Since I have no idea when my body would normally ovulate (I'm pretty sure I haven't ovulated since I came off the pill), I don't know if that means that I"ll be good on CD 10, or if I'll have to wait until CD 18 or 20.

Normally something like this wouldn't be a big issue, but I'm living in the middle-of-nowhere. My doctors and the radiology clinic where the ultrasound gets done is 1.5 hours from work, so I have to take off either a morning or afternoon, or both if the appointment is in the middle of the day.

When I was diagnosed with the hyperplasia and was referred to the oncologist, I sat down with my principal and vice principal and told them that I had been diagnosed with a precancerous condition and that I wasn't sure what that would mean in terms of treatments yet - that I had to wait to see an oncologist. They were really supportive and when I had to rush out for treatments, they were supportive and concerned. I know that I will have their support in this.

But this just feels different. I'm not telling them that I'm sick. I'm telling them that I want to have a kid. I need to take a bunch of time off of work to have treatments to have a kid. I wonder if I'm underestimating my principal a bit however. I was thinking the other day about his family situation. He has a 28 year old daughter, and then twin sons who are 18. It makes me wonder if they didn't struggle through infertility, and perhaps even need treatments. Maybe he may be my biggest support through all of it. I don't know.

It just feels odd telling people about it. I have told my close friends, naturally. Some of them know more about my cycle than they ever wanted to know. But telling people you aren't really close to, people with whom you work and see every day in a professional setting - it's strange.

I don't know how to start the conversation.

I have a ton of sick days, the time isn't going to be a big issue, but it will mean booking subs and having sub plans - which I will gladly do. But it also interrupts the education of my students. I need to be in the classroom. My hope is that the radiology is open until 5:30 or 6:00 and I can get the last appointment of the day and not miss any work.... that's the hope, but I think it's probably a bit of a shallow hope.

Any suggestions on how to start this conversation? Anyone else been in this situation?

Saturday, 3 September 2011

A New Year Begins

I'm a teacher. I'm sure that I've mentioned this before. I love my job. I love the students with whom I work. There is very little about my job that I dislike.

Tuesday will be the first day that the students come back to school. A time for renewal, a time for a new year. A time to face the questions.

I have a deep, foreboding feeling about the new year. Last year, when I was new at that school I faced the barrage of questions:
Do you have kids?
Why don't you have kids?
Are you going to have kids?
When are you going to have kids?
You know, my mom is your age and had four kids!
I managed to laugh off most of those comments and questions. It is hard to get angry with a child for asking those questions - even if that child is 17. They mean well. They are curious and just want to know more about you. One girl in particular likes to say "tick tick tick" to me every time she sees me. Luckily she graduated this past year, so I won't have to see her everyday. She thinks she's being cute, and I've shrugged her off with the old "oh, I have lots of time". The whole time I'm crying inside.

I know that the kids don't mean harm, but it still hurts. It makes me feel less than human. It makes me feel broken.

The past few days I've really been feeling down. Part of it is that summer is ending and winter always makes me sad. Part of it is that now that the HSG has shown that my tubes are clear, there is only one reason I'm not pregnant - my body isn't producing eggs. Part of it is the wait for the next cycle and the lack of concrete knowledge of when that cycle will start. But a big part of it is the fear that I have about going back to work and facing the questions.

I wish I had an easy solution for this, but I don't. The feeling will be there until I can be sure that I am pregnant and that it will be sustained. Hell, it may even be there until I bring home a healthy newborn... I don't know. I don't think that pregnancy or a baby is going to seem real until that point.