Just when I thought I had control…

WHO THIS POST IS FOR:

  • My IVF comrades
  • Everyone

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I was punched in the gut and reminded I have none. I realize I can’t control this whole thing  (being pregnant) BUT I thought I figured out how to manage my schedule. But here I am, anxiety ridden and waiting for test results yet again.

I was supposed to get my ERA test results last Wednesday. This is a key detail because I am once again on my meds gearing up for a transfer (slated for next week). While with the doctor, not 5 minutes after my ERA test I asked if I was going to start my meds when I got my period. He told me I wouldn’t start meds because he didn’t want to get me going and then not get results in time.

Five days after my test I got my period and got a call saying it was time to get things going. I thought it was a mistake, I was told explicitly that they were going to wait. After a number of emails and calls I was told it was not a mistake, I should start taking my meds because we would have the results.

Fast forward to today and we do not have results and time is literally ticking. I was told things may work out, I may have to cancel  my cycle, or push back my transfer. The last two options are unacceptable and incredibly upsetting. I naively planned a trip for next weekend to help me “relax” after the transfer but that seems to hang in suspension.

I am tired and beat down by this process. I wish I could say, “Yes XXX I will be there with the utmost certainty.”  Just when I think I have made gains I take a few steps back.

I know the women who are reading this know what this feels like. I am here with you, once again waiting and wishing this was over.

-Annie

 

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Dear Pregnant folks and Parents,

WHO THIS IS FOR:

  • My comrades going through IVF or the adoption process
  • Fertile people who post all over Facebook, all of the time.

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Dear Pregnant Couples and Parents,

I am writing on behalf of my infertile friends and allies. I can say with the utmost certainty that your lackadaisical comments and behavior drives us mad.  So instead of screaming I am going to bestow upon on you a few nuggets of wisdom and hope that you savor every word and let it marinate. This are not to say its not okay to have feelings, what I am saying though is you are privileged. Be aware of your privilege before typing away, while in line at Starbucks, at parties, etc.

STOP AND SAY THANK YOU

Making a baby required you to have sex, tough times. Following the birth of your children you post about how much your life sucks.

Next time your kid shits on the wall, or you haven’t slept all night, stop and look at your baby/kid and say thank you. Give him or her a kiss and appreciate you have the privilege to manage those new experiences.

PREGNANCY SICKNESS

You are sick because there is a living being in your body who is growing. You are beyond privileged. Say thank you to your belly each time you throw up. This may sound insane but I would do anything (and I am) to have that privilege and I know so many women who are in the same boat.

FINANCIAL WOES

Next time you post about how much a kid costs, stop. Go into your kids room, take out a book, snuggle and read together. Having sex to create your kid was free. If finding a nanny is too much for you, we don’t want to hear about it.  You didn’t have to put up 10s of thousands of dollars just to create your baby. Say thank you to your body.

VENT

If you feel the urge to vent, call a friend. Do not blast social media.

Think of it like this, if you had a friend with cancer or diabetes or any other health issue, would you post on Facebook about how tough it is to be healthy? Because infertility is so hush hush people don’t give infertility the same thoughtfulness. “Infertility is a disease that results in the abnormal functioning of the male or female reproductive system. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize infertility as a disease.” (Learn more here)

I beg of you to be more thoughtful. You have no idea who is crying when looking at their computer screen. I am just one of millions who are experiencing infertility, be aware of who and how you  are impacting people.

-Annie

 

In case you missed it: Best of Infertility Awareness Week

WHO THIS POST IS FOR:

EVERYONE!


Last week was National Infertility Awareness week, the internet was booming with awesome articles about infertility. It was excited to see folks engage in dialogue and feel a little less alone in all of this. Below is some of the best articles I read this past week. I hope you can share continue to spread the word outside of this designated week.

The Loneliness Of Infertility featured in Elle Magazine ->Absolutely beautiful piece- poetic.

The Pain of Infertility Never Goes away featured in Scary Mommy

Why Infertility Awareness Week Should Matter to Moms  featured in Romper

The Tale of the Clueless Resident

WHO THIS POST IS FOR:

Everyone

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So there I am, laying with my feet in stir ups. My ultra sound tech had to run out of the room to double check something on my chart. The resident stood across the room silently,  I decided to fill the silence with noise.

I asked her how long she was working at the office and what her speciality was in. I explained my lining, the usual office chatter. She let me know she was going to work in high risk pregnancies and that she appreciated learning more about what she was seeing on the screen.

A few second of silent passed and then…“I wish I could be in your spot?” she said. “What do you mean?” I replied.

“You know, without kids.”

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Immediately my brain malfunctioned.  Is this really happening? Could she really be saying this? I started to believe I was in the twilight zone.

“I am here because my body is failing. I don’t think you want to be in my seat,” I say.

She continues, “Uh I am just so tired. I have 3 kids. I am just so fertile, I just couldn’t stop having them.”

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DEEP BREATHS, DEEP BREATHS

“Sounds like poor planning,” I say. “You did have the option of this thing called, birth control. You should have used it,” I state.

SILENCE//Subject switched.

When I left I began to process what had happened. Was this woman for real? Do I tell the doctor? ::BRAIN SPINNING::

I went home, started working and forgot about the whole thing until surgery. Upon waking up from the anesthesia I saw my doctor and decided to spill the beans. My husband said it went a little something like this:

“Doc, you know the resident? You need to have a chat with her.” I then went through the exchange. He was mortified.

Unfortunately I have heard stories like this from a number of women. Where on earth do people get the idea that saying they got pregnant easily or having kids is annoying would be comforting to women who are struggling to get pregnant? I can not comprehend where this break down in understanding occurs.

Now its a funny story, but WOWEEE at the time!

-ANNIE

Ultrasounds: The Who, What, and Why

WHO  THIS POST IS FOR:

  • Any woman who ever needs a transvaginal ultrasound.
  • Women going through any sort of infertility treatment (IUI, IVF, you name it)

I am not a doctor. If I am going to bestow technical/medical information upon you, I want to ensure all information is accurate and thus I am going straight to the source. This post was a collaboration between myself and dear friend, Teresa. Teresa has been a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer for thirty years, she’s a pro.

On a personal side, Teresa is the gal who told me to come in for a check up. She started me on this journey and I am so incredibly grateful for all of the information she gave me each visit. Because of her care, I was empowered to read my ultrasounds at my new doctor and I feel confident I know what questions to ask each visit. She helped me learn the ropes and now she is here to help you! This post is a collaboration between us and it’s just the start. In the coming weeks we will have more about what questions to ask, what you see on the screen, and more.

THE WHY

You will have a transvaginal ultra sound most visits (along with blood work). You will visit the doctor A TON leading up to procedures (3-5 times a week) so its incredibly important you make buddy buddy with your sonographer. She (maybe a he) is going to be the first person who can deliver information to you. Side note:Buy (or make) them cookies.

The ultrasound gives the doctor a look at what the heck is going on inside of your ovaries and uterus. Your ovaries are the star of the show leading up to a retrieval. Your uterine lining is important if you are doing a fresh transfer (transfer just following a retrieval). During your ultrasound the sonographer measures your follices and your uterine lining. Both are important to help the doctor identify when its time for a retrieval or if your uterus is prime real estate for an embryo. If you are prepping for a frozen transfer, your uterine lining will be the main focus.

THE WHAT

Unlike the movies (transducer probe) this ultrasound isn’t going across your belly. Instead, the probe goes inside your lady business and uses high frequency sound waves to create images of your pelvic anatomy. The images are projected onto a screen, you will see each follicle as well as the thickness of the lining. The sonographer is a pro at measuring each part of what they see, gives this data to the doctor, and the doctor decides how to proceed.

WHAT TO EXPECT

You will undress from the waste down, so wear something quick and easy to change in and out of. If you are wearing a tampon, take that out before (for obvious reasons :)). Also, go to the bathroom before hand, you will feel way more comfortable. You will lay back just like you are at the gyno and the sonographer will prep the device. They put a giant condom like thing on it with some gel. You can ask to insert it yourself (I recommend). Then you lay back and watch the screen!

WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING AT?

This post is covering the basics so let’s start at the Antral Follicle Count (somtimes referred to as the resting follicles). Your follicles are the magical sacks inside of your ovaries that grow and house your eggs.  This test does not measure the quality of the eggs (a whole other beast for another post), just the quantity of follicles. The doctor can presume that your follicles are growing eggs, however they don’t know for sure until they go in for the retrieval.  

A high antral follicle count is associated with a higher risk for overstimulation and ovarian hyper stimulation (the absolute pits).

Teresa’s pointed out and its  a great thing to  remember,  the antral follicle count is not a predictor of your ability to conceive.

I am sure you are THRILLED to head to the doctor after seeing that probe, hooray for IVF!