ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 30, 2008

I know the term is sooooo overused (especially by me, or any other infertile for that matter), but life really isn’t fucking fair sometimes.  I’m not really talking about what Jeff posted below, although putting our life and plans and vacations and “what ifs” on hold for infertility sucks donkey balls.  I’m talking about friends who struggle to get pregnant and finally get pregnant after months and years of trying, only to lose the baby weeks (or months) later.

I mean, a miscarriage is bad enough (I’ve been lucky enough to have never had one, but I can only imagine).  Multiple miscarriages are beyond devastating to hear about.  A miscarriage after struggling with infertility is incomprehensible to me.  Losing twins at 23 weeks is a sick, cruel joke that a couple should NEVER have to go through.  Ever.  I mean, how much can we infertiles be expected to go through before we get what we so rightfully deserve?  I just don’t get it.

I was talking with my Dad the other day about all of this, and he told me that the one thing he’s really worried about with all of this is that it may not work.  Or if it works, but ends in miscarriage (or stillbirth).  Of course, he is holding out that it will work, but he did say that he was worried what I would do/say/think if it didn’t.  I hate that my Dad has to worry about that, but I definitely understand.  It’s something that Jeff and I have discussed at length, and we both agree that it’s beyond our control so we cannot allow ourselves to worry about it.  And besides, this is GOING TO WORK, so we don’t even need to worry about it.  =)

This post is dedicated to my friend, Tarah, her husband, and their little angels.  I’m so sorry, buddy.

Kerry 

So Kerry and I were talking earlier and a comment was made that “this is putting a damper and a hold on our life”.  Kind of sums it up at times. 

We were invited up for a birthday weekend in the mountains the weekend after the 4th.  We would have been climbing a 14er and having an all around good time with a few other couples.  Turns out that we may be needing to go to the RE that weekend instead.  As much as I want to go to the mountains, I have to put things in to perspective.  Having a baby has been the one thing that has caused the most stress in our marriage, and I would gladly turn down a weekend with friends (sounds bad, but I know everyone understands) to spend the time with my wife at the RE.

Many times we have had to cancel plans or leave early because of what we are going through.  A lot of those times was because of money – I guess that happens when your insurance doesn’t cover ANYTHING.  Lukily that isn’t the case any longer, but now we may still have to cancel.  Again, I would gladly…it’s just hard at times when you feel like you cancel plans all the time.  I know I get sick of saying, “sorry we have no money”, or “we have an appointment early the next morning”, or “we’re too tired because we had an appt this morning”…  One of these days all of this will be behind us and it will have all been worth it.  I just hope everyone understands.

Jeff

Oh goodness.  Last night was…errr…interesting.

Last night was my friend, Liz’s, bachelorette party.  I was having perpetual anxiety attacks all day long because I really, really don’t like male strippers, and I knew part of the night was going to be at a strip club.  After getting up at 4:30 in the morning yesterday (I set my alarm for 4:45, but woke up on my own at 4:30 to take my friend, Tara, to the airport), I slept pretty much all afternoon.  I don’t know if I was just catching up on some ZZZZZ’s, or I was just putting off the inevitable – that I was going to have to go to the party whether I wanted to see skeevy guys take off their clothes, or not.

When I got to the hotel room where we all met up, I was bombarded with questions about what happened with our last IUI.  At Liz’s bridal shower last month, I was in the middle of our 4th IUI cycle, therefore I wasn’t drinking at all (which as you all know, is a little weird for me – ha).  When I walked into the hotel room, I immediately went for the booze, as I knew it was going to be a looooooong night.  That’s when the questions came.  I didn’t mind at all, but I wish I could have just said, “why don’t y’all just read my blog,” so I didn’t have to repeat what happened (or didn’t happen) for like, the twenty-fifth time.  As I was telling everyone about our decision to do IVF, one of the bride’s friends asked me about the probability of multiples, and then said to me, “I want to do fertility treatments so that I can have twins!”  Ummm, WTF?

Nobody should ever want to do fertility treatments.  Ever.  When she said that, I could barely speak, let alone come up with something clever (or catty) for a response.  First of all, it’s not like your chances for multiples is 100% if you do fertility treatments.  I know with IVF it’s around 30% (if you transfer more than one embryo), and (correct me if I’m wrong, but) I think with IUI, it’s around 15-20%.  Not 100%.  I just wanted to ask her if it would be worth it to her to do the injections and have her ass bruise like she’s been beaten with a 2-by-4.  Would it be worth it to go through all of the mood swings that the Clomid makes you go through – not to mention the hot flashes, weight gain, and emotional distress?  Would it be worth it when you go through all of that, and then it doesn’t work?  Would it be worth feeling like a failure, and feeling like your body has let you down once again?  Would it be worth seeing your significant other fall to pieces because he had so much hope for this to work?  I know that she probably didn’t think that what she said was hurtful, but it kind of was.  I wouldn’t wish infertility on my worst enemy, and I certainly wouldn’t wish it on someone just because they wanted twins.  Again, WTF?

Anyway, the questions came and went, and I answered every one of them from “how much is this going to cost you?” (a lot) to “are you scared it won’t work?” (you bet we are).  Then we headed to the nudie bar.  Ew.  Ew, ew, ewwwwwww.  So dirty.  Again, I immediately made my way to the bar to order a Stoli Red Bull, and $11.25 later my 10-ounce cocktail was in my hands.  Yes, I’m serious.  $11.25.  I stood behind all of the girls (and Liz) who were sitting around the male stripper’s stage.  I looked a little bit, but mostly just to make the guys (who weren’t much to look at, in my opinion) feel like I wasn’t completely ignoring them.  I didn’t want to bruise their already enormous, over-sized egos.  LOL. 

I was really surprised that you can smoke inside the strip club, but I guess that’s because they sell cigars, so technically they can be considered a “cigar bar”, and therefore exempt from the state-wide smoking ban in bars/restaurants.  I have my hair pulled back right now because it still reeks like a big old ashtray, and I swear that my throat hurts because of being trapped in that dirty place for two hours.  Did I say ewww?  It really makes me glad (and proud) that Jeff and I quit smoking a few years back – I just cannot imagine still smoking…even if it was really only when we were drinking.  Yuck. 

Kerry

Storytime Saturday

June 28, 2008

Most of you don’t know this, but my Mom and Dad also had a really hard time getting (and staying) pregnant.  Thirty-some odd years ago there just weren’t many options for couples struggling with infertility.  That was back before the days of RE’s, IVF, and other assisted reproductive technologies.  My parents both endured their fare share of ignorant, insensitive comments from friends and family who just didn’t know any better, and when my Dad read this blog he shared an email with me that I thought was pretty funny.  Now I know where I get my sense of humor when dealing with something so very serious…

“Kerry,

I liked your “God’s will” & “crackhead baby” comments.  Sounds like
something I would say.  I can’t believe how insensitive some people can
be. Maybe you could try what your mom and I tried.

First, Jeff needs to get a job at a feedlot.  He can get there at 5:00
am to check bunks and set up the feed truck loads for when the crew
arrives at 7:00 am.  Then, at around 9:00 am, after dispensing feed to 4
feed trucks, with plenty of hungry cattle waiting for feed, you call him
and tell him “surf’s up” (like when your mom’s temp chart indicated I
should go home).  So, I run home.  We’re paying feed truck drivers to
sit in line and wait for me to get back, cattle are “moooing” for feed,
I smell like cow shit. I’m under tremendous pressure.  Ever heard the
expression, “slam, bam, thank you ma’am”?

Anyway, that’s how we got you.

Love,  Dad  (Hope the above made you laugh.  Laughter is good.)”

Yeah Dad, it made me laugh.  Hope it made some of our readers laugh, too.  Thanks! 

Kerry

Good God, I just can’t catch a break on Fridays!  This is the second Friday in a row that I have woken up at 3:45-4 in the morning and have not been able to fall back to sleep.  Hmmm, I guess I’ll just shower and go into work early.  I may as well get paid if I have to be wide awake!

Sleepy Kerry

…but this is mostly a vent.  Can I just say how damn annoying it is to hear that a couple is trying to conceive when their marriage is held together by a small thread?  ARGH!!!!!!!!!  Soooo annoying!  You know why it’s annoying?  Because, statistically they have a much better chance at getting pregnant than Jeff and I ever did, and it’s always our luck that these type of people ALWAYS get knocked up the first or second month (or they complain that it’s “taking too long, waaaaaah, waaaaaah, waaaaaah”)!

And one more minor annoyance if I may…

If you have a baby, or babies, please for the love of GOD do not tell me that I’m “lucky” because I don’t have to deal with baby puke, poop, pee, excessive crying, lack of sleep, or anything else that is synonymous with having a baby.  I’m not saying I won’t complain when all of this happens to Jeff and I (that would be anything short of a miracle), but thinking that this is something that’s acceptable to say to someone in my position is just plain ignorant. 

Ugh.  Vent(s) over.

Kerry

Oh! I almost forgot!

June 26, 2008

Happy 4th Anniversary to Marty and LeAnn!!!!!!!!

Hope you had a fantastic day!  We love you!

J&K

Where the hell is she?

Who, you ask?  Freakin’ Aunt Flo.  You know…the “crimson wave”, “monthly visitor”, “riding the cotton pony” (hehehe, that one takes me back to high school when I used to be immature, hehehe), “end of sentence”?  For those of you who still don’t get it – where the hell is my period?!?!?!?  Not once in the last three years have I actually been excited for my stupid period to come.  Moody, bitchy attitude?  Check.  Cravings for fat, calories, and grease?  Check.  Cramps?  Bring ’em on!  I’m ready!  Because guess what?  When my period starts, I get to call the IVF nurses at Conceptions to get our “game plan” for the the next few weeks.

I really don’t know much about what our game plan is going to consist of.  Our RE outlined everything on several crisp, white sheets of paper, but I was so overwhelmed (and excited) at the time that I really wasn’t paying that much attention to detail.  I got the basics, but the specifics are a little blurry.  I have asked my friend, Roxy, to tell me all about her time line with Dr. S, but she reminded me that every person is different, and what happened with her time line likely won’t happen with mine.  Dammit!  Why didn’t I pay closer attention?  Why didn’t I bring my little tape recorder?  Why didn’t I ask Jeff to pay closer attention to those details (the guy has a photographic memory I tell you!)?  Poopy.

Oh well.  I have plenty of stuff to distract me until that day comes (which will likely be this weekend, just so you know).  Work has been INSANELY busy the last few weeks, which is a good thing because (a) it means that my job is safe for now and (b) it makes the day go by really fast.  Lately, I haven’t been sleeping that well at night – call it practice for parenthood – my mind has just been racing, racing, racing.  Like, it won’t stop.  It’s annoying as all hell, but what do you do?  I did take this herbal muscle relaxant that my acupuncturist gave me both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and I slept like a little baby.  It was awesome.  Then today, I did a little research on Google, and found out that one of the main ingredients in this all-natural herbal muscle relaxant/sleep aid is no bueno if you are trying to have a baby.  But wait!  I dug a little more (to find another link on how bad it was for me), and I found research that shows that Valerian Root can be beneficial to those struggling with infertility.  WTF?  Seriously!  Don’t fuck with a girl who needs 8 hours of sleep every night to function at a normal pace.  So, if there are any doctors who are reading this, or if anyone feels like doing some “real” research for me, I would appreciate some feedback.  The herbal relaxant is called Formula 303.  Website is http://www.formula303.com/.  Thanks a million.

Crap, gotta run.  I forgot I need to fill out my performance review for work…jealous?

Kerry

F.A.Q.’s

June 25, 2008

What is infertility?
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs one of the body’s most basic functions:  the conception of children (definition on asrm.org).  Usually when a couple tries naturally to have a child for a year to no avail (or if she is 35 or older, 6 months), she is considered infertile.
 
Is it Jeff’s fault, or Kerry’s?
Infertiles get this question ALL THE TIME, and it is so rude.  Why we are talking openly and honestly about this, we’ll answer that question.  Jeff has a little issue with his sperm’s morphology (meaning the shape and maturity of the sperm), and Kerry has a blood clotting disorder that may or may not be making it more difficult to get and stay pregnant (there isn’t a lot of research on this yet).  So I guess you could say that it’s a shared issue, which we actually prefer.

Why don’t you just relax, and let it happen naturally?

If only it were that easy.  Guess what?  We tried that, the first year.  It didn’t work.  Unfortunately, because infertility is a medical condition, no amount of relaxing is going to just make it disappear.  This is one of the most hurtful, insensitive things to say to a couple who is struggling with getting pregnant, but a lot of people don’t realize that.  It’s okay though, we’re here to teach you!

Okay, what are more “hurtful, insensitive” things that people have said to you?

Where to begin…

If you just take a vacation, maybe it will happen…(yeah, if only we could afford a vacation)”, “it will happen in time…(uh…yeah…when?)”, “it will happen when God says it’s time…(so does that mean that God thinks it is time for all of those teens and crackheads to get pregnant then?)“, “I have a sister/friend/cousin/girlfriend who just stopped trying and – BOOM – she got pregnant! (that’s fantastic, good for her!)“, “I have a sister/friend/cousin/girlfriend who started the adoption process and – BOOM – got pregnant! (adoption isn’t for everyone)“, “if you didn’t think about it so much, maybe it would happen…(it’s a little hard not to think about it all the time, but if you have any suggestions on how to do so, we’re open to hearing them)”.  We could go on and on, but I don’t think you all need that.  Just know that the best thing to say to someone who is struggling with infertility is, “I’m so sorry for what you are going through.”

Isn’t this a financial burden on you?

Yes.  A big one.  We won’t bore you with figures, but Kerry could have her student loans paid off, and be driving a much nicer car for the amount of money we have spent on infertility treatments.  Depressing?  Oh yeah.  But we had to try what we had so desperately believed would work.  The only regret that we really have is not moving forward with in-vitro a little sooner.  Thankfully, Kerry’s new job does have some infertility coverage (only $5K, but that’s better than the $0K that our old insurance offered us), so this is definitely the right time.  Thankfully, Kerry’s parents offered us a ring that has a very sizable diamond in it to try to sell to pay for our IVF.  It’s very depressing to think about having to sell the diamond from a family heirloom to finance the possibility of getting pregnant and having a baby, but if it works, it will all be worth it.

If we think of anymore questions you may want answered, we will certainly blog about them – and if there is a question you have always been afraid to ask us, now is the time!  We are an open book, ask away!

J&K

Hello =)

June 25, 2008

A little background on why we started this blog…

A little warning before we start – if you don’t want to know TMI (sometimes very personal and in-depth TMI) about us, I would just forget all about this blog.  We will make no apologies for any over-sharing or making you feel uncomfortable because we are talking about artificial insemination, sperm analysis, or how much Kerry hates feeling like a human pin-cushion.  For far too long, infertility has been this hush-hush, taboo thing that most people are too scared or too embarrassed to talk about.  Well, not us.  Sadly, infertility has become part of who we are, so why not educate others on what 1 out of every 6 couples face in their lifetime?

As most of you know, we have been trying for a baby for a while now.  A long while.  We tried the “old-fashioned” way for a little over a year, and began taking medication (prescribed by Kerry’s obgyn) to “boost” my ovulation shorty thereafter.  When that didn’t work, we decided it was time to seek the help of a RE (reproductive endocrinologist).  RE’s are highly qualified fertility doctors – they have all completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, and most have completed three additional years of training in reproductive endocrinology. 

We started with CRE (Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology) in the spring of 2007.  Our RE was Dr. Trout, or as Jeff calls her, “The Laughing Hyena” (she had the weirdest laugh…).  After an ASSLOAD of bloodwork, paperwork, ultrasounds, and a few SA’s (semen analysis), we tried three (orally) medicated IUI’s (intra-uterine insemination) to no avail.  We didn’t really like the quality of care (or lack thereof) that we were getting at CRE, so we moved about a block away to…

…CCRM (Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine).  Our RE there was Dr. Minjarez, and we liked her instantly (although she made Kerry cry pretty much the entire initial consult appointment).  We did several more tests with CCRM, and then we were ready to go with IUI #4 when Kerry went in for a baseline ultrasound, and she had two big ass cysts on her ovaries.  Cysts = no go for fertility treatments.  We had taken a 6-month break from fertility treatments (you know, just “trying to relax” like everyone suggested, and yes, you are sensing sarcasm here), so we were pretty bummed.  The next month we got the go ahead, and began the oral meds and intra-muscular injections for IUI #4.  Two weeks after we completed IUI #4 we got a BIG FAT “Not Pregnant” on a digital pregnancy test.  We were crushed.  We thought this was it.

On to RE #3.  Nope, we’re not kidding. 

We decided since we weren’t getting anywhere with IUI’s (and research shows that doing more IUI’s doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of success), we were ready to tackle the king (or queen) of all infertility treatments – IVF.  In-vitro fertilization.  Holy shit.

Last Friday, June 20th, we had our IVF consult with our new doc, Dr. Swanson, at Conceptions.  Several factors contributed to us switching RE’s, again.  One was success rates.  According to sart.com, Conceptions success rate for IVF in my age group was 11% higher than that of CCRM (which is supposed to be the place for IVF in Colorado) – 11%!!!!!  That’s huge.  Another factor was that we personally know several people who have seen Dr. Swanson for IVF – all of whom have had successful pregnancies and/or children to show for them.  That’s huge.  There are several other reasons that we wanted to explore other options, but you know the old term, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”?  Yeah.

More to come…need sleepy.

J&K