Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Nemo

Here is a picture of our one normal egg.

  • One egg is better than zero eggs.

  • This road is not getting any easier or any shorter.

Friday, May 23, 2008

And the anticipation builds ...

So I contacted my RE yesterday indicating that I understand that the polar body biopsying of my eggs should yield results in 4 to 6 weeks (and for those of you who've been counting we're on 4 weeks and 4 days (man, how I wish I were referring to a pregnancy duration rather than an 'extended 2ww' like duration!) and I politely suggested that perhaps the reason they hadn't contacted me was because I recently changed my cell phone number (I got an iPhone - yippee!) and they couldn't reach me.

Although I was really concerned that they had tried to call but couldn't reach me - I was also just trying be the squeaky wheel that I'm so good at being. I've heard that some women who wait for CGH results can wait up to 2 months ... and I've had enough anxiety fits in the past 4, we don't need to drag this on any longer ;-) a girl has to sleep you know.

So the lab responded to me and my RE letting us know that we should get results "next week"

So I guess I know where I'll be this holiday weekend ... on pins and needles!

Friday, May 16, 2008

This is not how I imagined my 15 minutes of fame

Ok, so the newstory about fert.ility pres.ervation has aired!

Berilac and I are very pleased with the piece.

Because they used personal information about us - we're only going to share the link with people that we know or have been in contact with.

If you have posted a comment on my blog, if I know you via FF, if I have posted a comment on your blog - please email me and let me know how I know you ... I'll be glad to forward you the link to the story.

My email address is now in my profile on the right hand side.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Polly (the infertility star)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What the heck did I say?

Anybody ever do an interview, a toast, or any sort of public speaking engagement and wonder afterwards ... what the heck did I just say?

Immediately after the hour long interview I bopped over to next door neighbor's house and she asked me how it went and what they asked and how I responded ... and quite honestly - I DON'T REMEMBER!! Ok, I remember some of the things I said (like she asked me if being able to use this technology brings me hope - or something like that - and I said "like any good infertile, of course I have hope that this will work ... otherwise I wouldn't be doing all these treatments")

And I remember telling her there's no silver bullet in fertility treatments. (That's why our RE's make so much money, right?) I told them about how Berilac and I waited to have babies and how we later learned of my early menopause and how we regretted not starting earlier - but what can you do, you can't regret stuff like this, right? We told them about the miscarriages and the advantages this testing has over embryo screening - but they didn't bite on those questions/answers. She asked me what I would say to women who are waiting to have children and I said "don't wait!" ... I mentioned that fertility preservation gives women who are older - who've found themselves trying to have kids alone (as single moms) the opportunity to freeze their eggs and wait until they've found a spouse - I didn't sell it hard, but the advantage is there. They asked me if this was our last resort and I told them I've only been at this for two years - I know plenty more women that have been at it longer. I discussed donor sperm, donor egg, donor embryo, and adoption as options we haven't even gotten to yet - I told them our path could be much longer. They asked me where I wanted to be in a year and I smiled and said that I wanted to be about 4 months pregnant - see, there's still hope.

As I write this post I remember snippets of things I said.

And of course I'm worried about how my hair looked, whether my clothes were twisted up awkwardly, if my makeup was even on both sides of my face ... I'm so vein.

I did talk about how fertility declines after 35 years of age - not to discourage any of my "AMA" friends who are trying to have children - but rather to warn young whipper snappers who think they have oodles of time before they can start trying.

I think I smiled. I think I didn't make a complete @$$ out of myself. After she left I realized that my RE will watch this. Great, now I'm going to look all self-righteous and "well informed" (or so I think!) ... I just know he's going to razz me for any medical data type of statements that the reporter might take out of context! He already thinks I drive too much of the treatment! (cuz, well, I do *blush* or at least I try to ... I'm such a control freak)

They interviewed Berilac first and then we got an action shot of Berilac and I turning the pages of our "dating" scrapbook album (I'm a scrap-booker, in case I hadn't mentioned it). Then they interviewed me, then they took a few shots with me and my neurotic dog JD. I'm kind of bummed they got the shot with the infertile and her dog ... I don't want to be thought of as the stereotypical "bitter dog lady" ...

So that's it - they are gone. The reporter said the news story should come out within a few weeks. So we'll see how she slices and dices it. It'll be interesting to see if it ends up looking anything like the story our responses told.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm everywhere!

So how weird is this ... I'm going to be interviewed by a reporter about my fertility treatments - who would have thought?

Today I got an email from my fertility clinic coordinator asking me if it would be alright to share my contact information with a local news agency that's wanting to do a news story on fert.ility pres.ervation - being the ever so shy person that I am, my response of course was ... "I'd love to!"

For those of you that don't know ... this blog started out as a means to update my long distance friends on our life. At that point in my life I had just moved away from all of them, and Berilac and I had just started going through our miscarriages - I was finding it hard to keep track of email updates and repeat our painful status over and over again to my very loving friends. So I created a means to shout it from the rooftops - this blog. Since then, we have been very open about our struggles. We share our struggles with our entire extended family - who ever wants to know. I met a whole new group of friends at my new church and I have been very open with them about our ongoing struggles. I have shared my situation with many women at infertility supports groups, and even with all of my colleagues ... I guess you could say that my life is an open book. This blog has also become a means for staying in contact with my fellow infertiles that I have met through message boards, google searches, or shared resource sites. So this blog community is filled with IRL friends as well as Internet friends. Hey, if it's good enough for it's good enough for me! So as you can see, we are not shy about sharing this information with friends or with strangers - so it's probably good that I was the infertility patient that the news reporter found on the other end of the telephone line - many do not share their stories publicly.

So now that I'm given the opportunity to move from communicating this struggle from web to TV - I'm so excited. I think that getting people thinking and talking about infertility on a local television program, is the best thing that could happen ... well, ok other than being on Oprah and discussing it there - ha!

So the reporter called me for a pre-interview and I think she was a little shocked to hear my story. You see, she's doing a story on "fer.tility pres.ervation" typically "fer.tility pres.ervation" is for women who want to delay their childbearing years by freezing a stash of eggs for later on in life when their careers are in place, they're no longer single, and they have finished doing all of their travelling and playing around ... I think you get the idea. As you probably already know, I'm doing it so that my eggs can be maintained while we wait for chromosomal test results - and it's just an added bonus that Berilac and I would *like* four kids ... but not all at once mind you! So this gives us an opportunity to hold onto 30-year-young eggs from this year - to use in X number of years when we're ready for kids #2, #3, & #4. And because I'm going into early menopause - it's really a natural solution (to a problem we really weren't looking to solve) (oh and btw: we know we're shooting pretty high to be wanting 4 kids when we're having trouble getting started with just one - we know we're shooting for the sky - but what does it matter - we're just ganna keep on trucking til we can't truck no more.)

The reporter was very shocked to hear my age and my diagnosis. She seemed very empathetic to learn of our four miscarriages. The one card she did pull (that no infertile likes) is when she asked if I was open to adoption. I simply explained to her the slippery slope to infertility and described the many stages between where we're at now (doing fert.ility pres.ervation) and adoption - I told her that if and when I get to adoption I want to CHOOSE adoption, not feel forced into it. She thought that was an interesting perspective and a good point.

So now, we wait. She's coming to my house with her camera crew tomorrow night (6pm Pacific) for an on-camera interview. I asked her where she'd like to do the interview and she said she only needed a couple of chairs. And get this, she wants to do a couple of action shots - you know like me: cooking, walking the dog ... the kind of stuff I do around the house in my free-time. I almost asked her if it was ok to get a shot of me sitting on the couch watching TV with my laptop on my lap as I blog and catch up on message boards. Though I'm not sure how much "action" there is in that. I wish I was less depressed and more motivated ... and I wish that I actually had any sort of "action shots" to give her. She's caught me at a bad time.

And seriously, I HAVE to shower, do my hair, and put on makeup (other things that have been neglected for the past ... oh, I don't know ... two years!!) And what am I ganna wear? So many decisions to make.

Well, I'll have to think about these things while I clean up my house. I can't believe I'm having a television crew in my house in less than 24 hours and I'm sitting here blogging ... people I have to get going!!

Please pray for me that I'll be transparent and honest. That the piece would reflect our honest situation - that it might touch the lives of other women who are going through infertility and loss. That it would honor God. And for my attitude with the reporter - when she asked me if I was open to adoption - I asked her if she has any friends going through infertility - she said there is one friend who's going through it, I asked her if she knows much about what it's like to be going through infertility and I chuckled (at her expense) as she shared that she didn't know much about it. She could tell I was being curt and rude with her ... I'm still trying to get back to hormone-free Polly, but I'm not there yet. I'll try to play nice tomorrow.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Emotions and hormones ... an ugly combination.

I've been processesing the retrieval for two weeks now (can you believe it's been two weeks already?) and since then I've slowly been crumbling.

Because we only got five test-able eggs we definitely have to have another egg retrieval. We've scheduled that retrieval for August 28th or 29th. I start my meds in mid July ... (and look at me - I'm letting you all in on it this time. Pat on the back for me.)

And then it hit me ...

If we only have 0, 1, or 2 "normal" eggs with this first retrieval - we'll have to schedule a third retrieval and if we have to schedule a third retrieval ... we'll have to wait until November or December for that. And that means that a transfer of embryos couldn't happen until AFTER Christmas ... like meaning sometime next year. People, it's only the beginning of May. I'm not sure I can wait until next year, 2009, to start trying to get pregnant again! That's a whole lotta time to think about how pregnant I'm not.

This past weekend Berilac and I were excited to attend our all-church retreat. We were so encouraged that we'd have a weekend off from fertility crap. We were looking forward to building our community, worshipping our Creator, being with each other away from all the stuff that needs to get done at home.

At the retreat we learned that they had recently renamed the retreat ... it used to be called "family camp" ... can you guess why? Well, they may have renamed the event, but I'm thinking that the content of the event didn't change much - they just changed the name so that more non-families would feel welcome (college-aged kids, singles, and young married folks maybe?) It was a good idea for them to change the name - I just wish I would have had the foresight to know that although other young married are an appropriate target group for this previous "family camp" but infertile been-married-for-awhile's ... not so much. I think my hormones were peaking this weekend (as I am CD1 today) and I had a really rough time being surrounded by families. And side note here: "family" camp is not where you escape (in)fertility thoughts and struggles ... maybe you would have pieced this together - I, on the other hand, was like the blind being led to slaughter ... I blame them - they changed the name!!

I felt like I had no stories to share of cute little ones or progress reports on the development of my children ... I was trying not to look too blank faced when people said "oh well you know how it is with kids ..." (well, no ... actually, I don't)

And I felt very isolated. I felt like most people there (the ones we were trying to build our new community with) were unaware of our pain (except for a couple of our friends there who already knew) the pain that we are marching through. It's hard to build a community on incomplete truths. You can only nod, smile, and say "yes we've been married for almost seven years and no we don't have any kids" so many times. (especially when you've had four miscarriages - do I have four children or do I have none?) And I mean it when I said that we are marching. This weekend I felt like I was putting one foot in front of the other - just trying to keep it together.

I was sobbing through worship, sobbing - and usually I can control my tears. I was singing "How great, how awesome is He, and together we sing ..." and I just had to sob. I kept telling myself 'He is the same great God He always was; my Jesus has not changed; regardless of the bleakness of our situation, regardless of the looming thought that we may never have children - my God has not changed'

and I weep just typing it.

So I'm getting through. I want to be excited, but really I'm nervous, about what our results will reveal in two to four weeks. If the number comes back at zero, zero "normal" eggs ... I will be devastated. If it comes back at 1 or 2 I will be disappointed but greatful that I dodged the "zero" bullet ... and anything 3 or above will have me dancing on the ceiling.

In the mean time, I'm hoping that these crazy hormones chill a bit - so that I can not feel so overwhelmingly sad. I think the fact that our third baby would have been due in less than two weeks is also creeping up in my heart. Oh and hey, I'm getting even older soon too! And on Mother's Day no less (my birthday is May 11th) ... so I get another year of being older to celebrate - yippee. For those of you that don't know ... in infertility birthdays are markers for how little progress you've made growing your family - and Mother's Day is one of the least favorable holidays. So I get the one-two punch.

And the final kicker was today when a colleague mentioned to me that I was lucky not to have children because ... I can sleep in. If I hadn't been trying to have children for the past two years - then yes, I would agree with her. And I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box ... but I don't think I'd tell an infertile that she was lucky not to have kids - regardless of the reward. But that's just me. And yes, she knows our situation. I guess we all want what we can't have, huh? For me it's the miracle of procreation followed by the blessing of living children ... for her it's 20 more minutes of sleep in the morning. Yeah, that's about the same. Lucky me.

Did I mention that my hormones and my emotions are getting the best of me?