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People at work think I’m stuck up because I don’t go out for drinks.

Isn’t that nice of them? And since they’re dudes I don’t want to say “Hey dudes, I’d love to go and pound some brewskies but the lining of my uterus could be compromised by excessive drinking and given all the vaginal ultrasounds, suppositories, injections, not to mention sperm samples my husband has had to produce in shady men’s rooms I’d really rather not take the chance and bugger up this in-vitro. So, no thanks.

Instead I say, sorry, can’t. Really gotta work. Lot on my plate. Later.

So I’m a goodie too shoes who works too much, doesn’t want to get to know anyone outside of the office and who is kind of a buzz kill.

I can only imagine how talk of a trans-vag ultrasound would kill the buzz.

I’m not stuck up. I just think my uterus is at the center of the universe right now. So just f$#* off, alright.

Ok, so I may not be stuck up. But maybe I’m kind of a bit.c.h.

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Keep Calm and Carry On

So there are a thousand things running through my head all the time. The injections start next week. Will I be able to do them? Will they hurt? Will I mess them up? Can I get all my work done without stressing out? Am I eating well enough? Am I sleeping enough? I’m I thinking positively enough? Am I over-thinking this? Will it work? Will it work? What if it doesn’t work…

It just doesn’t stop. I think this going to be the longest month so far on this journey.

The running, running, running in my head is wearing me out, and we haven’t even begun yet.

I need to calm the f#^* down. I need to breathe. I need to let myself believe in a future after TTC – whatever that is.

I need to put one foot in front of the other. Live each second, then minute, then hour, then day as though it’s just a small step to a big finish.

I need to keep from losing myself in all this mess.

I need to breathe. Have I said that yet? Breathe.

The thing about a journey is remembering that it’s as much about the getting there.

I need to have faith that we’ll get there.

I need to keep calm and carry on.

Injections start a week from today.

7 days.

My husband and I are about to start trying to have a baby. Well, trying something new anyway.

When you say it that way, it’s almost exciting!

And I am sure as hell ready for something exciting.

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And then I cried at work…

Ok – so here’s a rather personal story that is adding to my up-and-down mood. This is kind of disjointed. My apologies.

So my Dad died in 2000. A heartbreaking turn of events that wasn’t unexpected but devastating just the same. He got Hep-C from a blood transfusion in the early 90’s and eventually it killed him. Very sad. Very frustrating. And it made me very angry.

To add insult to injury, due to the date of his transfusion, he was ineligible for the major compensation packages that were offered to other folks. Until now. So after 8 years, he’s (well, my sister and I have) finally received the go-ahead for compensation for the gross oversight on the part of the Red Cross that resulted in his death (and the death of thousands more).

What does this have to do with IVF?  Well, today said cheque arrived – exactly one week before we’re due to pay for IVF #1. So after all this time, my Dad has provided for me once again. He was a single parent of two girls – an unusual position to have found himself in during the seventies. He took me to Mother/Daughter banquets, Mother’s Day Teas, took me to get my first ‘brassiere (I don’t even know how to spell brassiere)…and by took me I mean delivered me into the arms of the busty, glasses on a string around her neck sales woman at Sears, handed her his credit card, stuttered a bit and went off to find a coffee. When I was thinking about it the other day, I realized I never needed anything while he was around. I had a roof over my head, a car to drive when I needed it, clothes, food, an education, cool stuff I wanted more than I needed.

But starting a family. That’s a need I feel in my very core. It’s more than a want. And figuring out how to make it work moneywise was hard, but we had a plan. Little sacrifice here. Cut back there.

We’ve been waiting for this to be finalized for 8 years. Could have come any time. But the cheque has come now. In my time of need. And I am grateful for the timing. And I am thankful that the folks responsible have stepped up and taken responsibility.

But dammit – it’s also made me angry all over again. I miss him. Still. He’s the best Grandpa a kid never had.

He was Santa Claus and Superman in one. And has swooped in to rescue me and my husband (who he never had the pleasure to meet) again. Eight and a half years after we said good-bye for good.

I’m not a big one for signs. But if there was ever a moment to say ‘it’s a sign’ – this is it!

Thanks Dad. For everything. For every day I had the pleasure of your faith in me. Cross your fingers for us ok? I hope I’ll have the opportunity to be half the parent you were.

I miss you. Still. Every day. Especially today.

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The Glass is Half Full – say it with me now…

So I’ve been bitching and moaning all week.  And it’s a sad truth that the more I bitch and moan, the bitchier and moanier (?) I get. So today ? Today is my glass half full day.

For starters, the wait for my first IVF is almost over. Thank god. The wait has been killing me. All the uncertainty and the fear of  screwing up the injections and having the cycle canceled and so on and so on only get worse when it’s all I think about day after day. So – wait almost over. Time to stop worrying and start channeling positivity. There is a chance this is going to work. I need to focus on that chance – and not the chance…never mind. Not even going to say it.

Next – I really like my new clinic. My last one just made me feel worse and worse at time went on. So if I’m going to have to spend lots of time in compromising positions it will be at a place I like.

I have a great partner through all of this – I’m very lucky to have met my husband and to have his unwaivering support on every step of our journey.

Not everyone I know is pregnant and the ones that are? Well, they’re all getting pretty chunky… It’s not nice – but it’s true. And  if I’m ever pregnant and someone around me isn’t but wants to be, I hope I have the courtesy to pack on a few pounds so they can glean a little joy from the situation.

I really like babies. And I’d really like to have one now. And I have done everything that was asked of me, and I have waited my turn (not patiently but waited) and I am ready to be loving, caring and nurturing. I am ready to take on the task of taking a tiny little person and parenting him or her into a great human being. I’m ready be up all night. I’m ready to worry that I’m f#(%ing them up. I’m ready.

For some months last year I lost hope. I couldn’t see a future that included a new member in our family. I couldn’t imagine it finally working. I was ready to give up. But I have hope renewed. Energy to channel into a positive outcome. And a dream of being a mother that I won’t let go of. Not yet.

THE GLASS IS HALF FULL. Maybe one day it’ll fill all the way to the top. Though a full glass is a lot easier to spill. And I can’t afford to let any of this hope run out.

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Something sad about friends you pay for…

So I was sitting at Sta.r.bu.cks this morning doing some work and a woman and her little girl came in and sat in my chair cluster. Now, I’m sure they have their moments – the little girl looked about 2. But from where I was sitting, they were buddies. They had private jokes. They had games and dance moves and they were having a grand old time. And despite usual urge to send angry at the universe eye daggers at them, they made me smile.

Until I came to the realization that I was only going to have a buddy like that once I had paid thousands, potentially tens of thousands of dollars. And an emotional price too high to name. Now maybe she did too. That I will never know. But I’m irked today that almost everyone I know paid for the bottle of wine, maybe the dinner. Heck – maybe there was lube. And that’s it. They didn’t pay the emotional toll…one ticket to the infertility rollercoaster – that’ll be 2 or more years of your life, part of your relationship with your husband, your relationship with all your pregnant friends, some of your self worth. Oh, and a big chunk of your sex life please.

I am not a fan of roller coasters. And I am not saying I care about the money more than I care about finally adding to our family. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take this next step in our journey to become parents.

I’m just grieving having missed out on an experience that is just about happiness. Just about two people becoming three. Sure, once baby comes, most couples experience a bit of money trouble, relationship trouble, some loss of self for Mom, some loss of sex for both of them. But until the stork comes – it’s happy, happy, happy.

Not everybody has to pay for a ticket to happy. And I would like to be those people. Dammit.

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Curl-up-and-cry-under-the-covers-o-meter

So there are ratings for explicit content, violence, graphic content, foul language but no one has figured out the rating system for unexpected pregnancy reference.

Take Bride Wars- I know, go ahead and mock me for having seen Bride Wars – now back to the curl-up-and-cry-under-the-covers-o-meter. I have to admit I was enjoying the mindless dribble until – (caution – Bride Wars spoiler alert…) guess what – after the wedding part is over the girls meet and guess what- pregnant! Both of them! Due the same day! Gosh – doesn’t that just make you want to CUACUTC (curl up and cry…). Bastards.

It happens to me all the time. Seems everyone on TV – in the movies – at parties I’m attending – in my office – in my damned Starbucks are pregnant. Come On! A little warning please…

So if I had the CUACUTC-o-meter I would know whether a TV show or movie was just going to make me well up a little, or cause me to cancel my plans so I can wallow and good. They show those little warnings before TV episodes. How hard would it be to add a little ‘may contain unexpected pregnancy’? A movie rating PREG 13. Accepting a party invite? Let me have a look at the RSPREG list so I’m prepared.

Juno – got it. Baby Mama? Ok – likely a little pregnancy there. But Bride Wars – I had no freaking idea. And a fun night out to take my mind off things just made things worse. Made me feel less normal. Made everyone feel bad about taking me to that movie. Made it all about me being the one who can’t have a baby. Again.

If there was a rating I could live a completely pregnancy free life while we’re going though this IVF. And that wouldn’t make me a freak at all.

Not at all.

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Ready to hit play.

One of the things I find most discouraging about being infertile is how it’s like someone has hit the pause button on my life. Do I want to go on vacation? Hmmm, well I’d love to but…I could be cycling. Could be (please let me be) pregnant. Could be mourning a lost cycle. Might need tests. So no to vacation. How about a new job? Well, I might be interested except – Try a new sport? Well I’d hate to spend the money then find I couldn’t…

It’s like everything that moves me forward, personally or professionally is on hiatus. Maybe I’m too cautious. Or maybe I haven’t quite grasped that I should just live my life and see what happens. It’s so frustrating. See, if we were expecting, all the concessions would seem totally worth it. No drinking. No taking up something new and potentially harmful, mat leave’s coming – no need to change work.

Instead I feel like I’m living month to month. And every month it feels like it’s ok because it’s all going to change and then it will be ok. And then it doesn’t change. And then 3 months, a year, two years have gone by, month to month and nothing has changed.

I realized at the last party I went to that I’m boring to talk to. I used to be interesting – trying new things, returning from grand adventures, running marathons and meeting the man of my dreams.  Now – don’t want to talk about babies, family, no babies or anything that might lead to talk of babies and the like. Haven’t done anything or been anywhere due to constraints around making babies the new fashioned way. Have been consumed by my laser focus on finally having a positive cycle – I’ve keep my eyes on the prize with unwavering tenacity. At great cost.

Cost to the tune of having lost just about everything that used to make me – well, me. I’m not sure which is making me sadder today- the fact that we haven’t been able to conceive up to this point and find ourselves at IVF’s door. Or that I’ve lost just about everything I used to love in the process.

-running, ulitmate frisbee, exploring, ice skating, roller blading, snowboarding – (wouldn’t want to be too active…)hanging out with my friends (with kids), hanging out with my friends (about to have kids), hanging out with my friends (trying to have kids), hanging out with my friends (who might be thinking about trying to have kids), having too many drinks on a random night for no good reason, going to work events to catch up with past colleagues (for all the reasons above in the friend categories), shooting the shizz about the future with my husband.

I had a good life. And I loved it. And I miss it. And yes – I want a baby more than I want that life. But I’m not sure how much longer I can stand having no baby and no life. I don’t like feeling frozen in place. On pause.

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The results are in…

See that dot dot dot up there? That’s because my DH got a call this AM that the clinic has the results back from his SA and they’ve booked an appointment on friday to discuss. DISCUSS? This cycle is supposed to start in 2 weeks. Is there something we need to talk about? I am completely freaked out.

I have been waiting. And waiting. And waiting for this cycle to start. Could they not have given some indication of good news or bad news on the phone? Sheesh.

Sent them an email. Stay tuned.

Sorry to leave you hanging there. Sent an email to the clinic basically telling them I was freaking out. Then got a response asking if it was ok for them to call and for the best number to reach me at?!!!

At that point my head was surprisingly close to spinning off my body.I sent the number and received a call about 10 min later. The first thing the nurse told me was to calm down. From there, the jist of it is that DH has a lower than normal motility on this test, and that they call everyone with results under norm in for an appointment. The take away for me was that because we’re doing IVF it won’t be a problem. Just wanted him to be aware. All in all, I felt really good about the exchange. Glad that I could freak out a bit and that they took the care to calm me down. It was miles better than any interaction I had with the previous clinic we were attending.

So the results are in. I am very glad we left the last clinic and am happy we’ve chosen them to help us in our quest.

Only 2 weeks till the ‘shoot ’em up begins. Time moves very slowly these days.

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Speed Bumps

So I’m having a little trouble navigating the tricky world of pregnant friends right now. It seems that yes,  pregnancy is the most important thing in their worlds and my world but, I tell you, nothing brings a conversation which includes a pregnant woman to a screeching halt like the mention of fertility treatments. Infertility. The anti-pregnant.

Now I am a big girl and can admit that pregnant strangers are people I don’t like. And pregnant acquaintances, co-workers, friends of friends and so on, well I’m not really keen on them either. So they have been easy to avoid. But my pregnant friends? I like them. Not even the writhing mass of the green monster I try keep quiet in my handbag can make me turn on them (though when they first tell me that they’ve joined the other side I generally need a moment or a day to cry it out – heck, I’m only human). But I’m having a hard time talking to them.

My days are filled with research on fertility treatments, mourning negative cycles, mustering hope for the cycle to come. Trying to figure where we’re going to find 10 G’s to fund our expansion from couple to family, oh and then the next 10 G’s if we want to try again. Thinking about needles, and needles and needles and that lovely ultrasound wand that has explored more of my nethers than the varsity soccer team that lived on my floor in second year and has yet to buy  me so much as a coffee in return.

Their days are filled with kicks and expanding waistlines and prepping for mat leave and baby names and should they teach sign language? and I’m just not sure what to say.

In a group of pregnants, me, the anti-pregnant, and the neutrals, everyone is uncomfortable. They want to hear how I’m doing but don’t want to talk about the dark side with the glowing in the room. They want to hear about the pregnancy but don’t want to upset the barren. Speed bumps in conversation at every turn.

I made a pact with myself to come out of hiding (these last few negative cycles took their toll on me) and get out there and spend time with my friends. Then I started this blog. Because after a couple of weeks of friend time I realized I had much to say – and it’s all stuff they’d rather not hear.

Now you may be thinking, that’s not true, they’re your friends and want to support you. But nothing makes someone who’s not going through this – especially someone who got pregnant the old fashioned way on month 2 of trying – want to talk about the weather more than the confession that you’re nervous about the egg retrieval because having a needle stuck up your who-ha, through your who-ha, into your what-nots is scary. And more scary is finding there’s nothing in your what-nots to retrieve.

Speed bumps I tell you.

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I hate my home office.

It’s a good thing I don’t work from home because I’d have to do it from the kitchen. You see, I hate our home office – the spare room – the other room – the 2nd bedroom. The room that caused us to move out of our one bedroom apartment so we’d have ‘room to grow’.

With no growing in sight it’s now the office, or the den, or the other room. The one that holds our desks and our books and our, well my, dreams hostage. When we first got the house last summer I’d sit in there and wonder how we’d decorate “the room” once it’s full potential was realized. Was there a draft from the window? Did it get too hot in the sun? Was the closet big enough?

We got the keys to the house while we were waiting for the beta from our first IUI. Got the first BFN the day we were picking paint colours. Maybe something neutral for now? Then we can repaint in a couple of months when the time comes.

Natural cycles. Medicated cycles. Two more IUI’s. Then cysts. Then a polyp. New clinic. Waiting for IVF #1.

Every time I walk past that room (rarely entering) there’s this funny pain way deep in some undiscovered place inside me. Some people can go out a buy cute baby clothes and put them away for someday. Have boxes in the garage filled with hand me downs just in case. They have a colour in mind for sweet bedding.  I’ve been known to cross the street to avoid the hip baby store in our neighbourhood. I seriously can’t even bring my self to walk past the store.

I love our house. I do. No really, I do. But I wonder why did I think it was a good idea to buy a whole house that would better suit a family? In a cute neighbourhood. Where kids play on the sidewalks. With a playground 50 meters down the street.Walking distance to the pool and the skating rink and a school, a good school.

And a home – freaking – office. That I hate.

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