Sept 20 – Life Changes

o-RAINBOW-facebookIt’s been a while since I’ve written, waiting on our upcoming urologist appointment, but big changes have been happening. I recently was finally offered the position I applied for at my company this week. I start next month! They didn’t offer me what I wanted money-wise, but the future potential is greater than staying in my current position. I wanted a change. I didn’t want to be stuck. My goal was to get out of the current position within 3 years. Goal met!

In my new role, the hours will be longer and I will be required to travel twice a year. In light of this, I think we may not be able to foster anymore. Daycares by us are only open until 6pm. If I work until 6, that presents a problem. Travelling would leave my hubby alone to take care of the dogs and a baby. He is perfectly capable of doing that, but I don’t want to put him in that situation.

In addition I decided I have had enough of my mother and mother-in-law. We are no longer speaking with both. That’s right, both! I couldn’t take one more day of multiple texts from my mother complaining that she was “dying” when I spoke with her doctor the previous week and confirmed she was fine (the paperwork was on file for me to get her medical information – since I was executor to her will). This is the last time I am going to emotionally support her through another crisis that doesn’t exist. I am done!

I have been doing research on her mental illness and I am quite certain she is a narcissist. She is using medical illnesses as a way to manipulate and control all of us. My brother (yes the one who I haven’t spoken to in 2 years) cut my mom out earlier this year. She used to complain to me that he was a “cold fish” cutting his mother out like that. I used to try not to laugh because I was just waiting until my other brother was old enough that he didn’t need my monetary support anymore. He is now 16 and working. He can do what I did and pay for his own stuff. It’s not great but I have decided I am done taking care of my mother’s children.

Next week is our urology appointment and I am anxiously awaiting the results. I saw a onesie in Target this week that had a rainbow on it and said “oh hello there rainbow.” I bought it. I kind of took it as a sign from the universe that maybe, just maybe, we will get a rainbow baby at some point (a baby that comes after miscarrying a baby). Maybe I am just being optimistic. But I am in a great “getting-rid-of-junk-in-my-life” place. After cutting my toxic mom out, I am feeling better. Not perfect, guilt is a little in there, but I am free to do whatever I want without her voice in my head.

I’ll let you all know how the results pan out! Wish us luck!

 

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August 2 – Halfway through Tests

153741144While trying to figure out our next steps we are doing some urological tests for my hubby. So far we did one where they will be checking his dna fragmentation in his semen. That one was an easy one for him. But it was not so much fun for me. The non-glamorous side of infertility. My hunny, um did his deed, into a cup. Then he went to work. I had to wait for an hour for it to liquefy. Then I had to use a dropper to distribute it between two vials. Then I had to wait for the dry ice shipment. I put everything in the dry ice shipper and then had to return ASAP to a FedEx that accepts hazardous matters. Closest one was twenty minutes away at the airport.

Next test put my hubby in a not so great mood. It was a ultrasound of his testicles. That was uncomfortable and they only had a female on staff. He was in a pretty crabby mood the rest of the day. I tried to gently remind him of all the stuff I had gone through, but I think it was more of a pride thing than actual discomfort.

We still have to go to our RE to do the regular semen analysis. Then the blood work. We are about a month and a half from our follow up appointment with the urologist. I really don’t know what to expect. I guess I was hoping for some magic bullet or miracle fix. Anything to avoid more IVF.

If the result is bad news, such as the fragmentation is high and not good, we might just switch over to embryo adoption. Our clinic does an in house program that is anonymous for it, which is ideal.

As far as fostering our bed is still on hold since I have not yet heard back on the new job I applies for. Two and a half months after applying, two interviews in, and they tell me interviewing stalled and it is just starting back up. UGH!

 

July 20th – Vivid Dream

Before bed I wanted to be what I call an emotional cutter and pee on a stick. For some reason I was really hopeful we were pregnant. We did it during the right time. My hubby has been choking down those vitamins I was making him take. We were on vacation during ovulation. I don’t know why, but I was dumbly optimistic. I thought the test was a dud, it took so long for the test line to show up. It was negative.

Earlier this week one of my co-workers who has infertility and recurrent miscarriages had her 6 week ultrasound because she had gotten pregnant off her latest IUI. I am so happy for her but she is so nervous (rightfully so, I would be a wreck with 5 miscarriages under my belt). Since I am the only person other than her hubby to know what is going on she talks to me about it a lot. Which is an honor, but also really tough on me.

Anywho, so last night I had a really vivid dream. I dreamed I peed on a stick and it did have two lines. I was so excited. I told my hubby that I just knew the vitamins would work. I started getting ready for work and I texted my co-worker who is pregnant about our positive test (because I should be able to share it with someone after all). Shortly after the alarm started to go off. I got up to pee on the other stick (again dumbly optimistic). And then I wiped, sorry I know TMI, and my period had started. A bit early considering this year’s track record. It was just deflating since I was still coming off my vivid dream’s high of seeing pink lines.

Needless to say, it wasn’t a great mood kind of day. Then I get a call from a local number I don’t know. They leave a voicemail. It is from the social worker (the lawyer assistant) from our first foster kid trying to schedule a meeting to see them before court! I called back and I was probably more annoyed than I meant to be. I explained that the kid hadn’t been with us in almost a year and she was pretty quick to hang up.

This frustrated me greatly. This is the kid’s lawyer. They are supposed to know what is going on with them! And they don’t even know that they are not with me anymore!

Yesterday someone decided to tag me in a video on Facebook. More unsolicited advice. It was a video about infertile people who couldn’t have kids even with treatment who were on the waiting list to adopt. They got a call about a kiddo with down syndrome. The people didn’t think they wanted to do it, blah blah. Then they felt they should, and did. Then they adopted two more. It is a nice heartwarming video BUT I feel like the intention of tagging me in it was to say you should do this. It is basically saying you should adopt. Not only that, but you should adopt kid’s with downs. I am not saying either way whether I want to or not. That’s not the point. The point is they are telling us how to treat our disease. Not every solution works for every family. It is so rude to suggest how to grow one’s family. That is SUCH a personal decision. Drives me nuts.

ok, rant over! I just wish sometimes people would mind their own business. I know that opening up and sharing our story to help others who suffer in silence opens us up to unsolicited advice and opinions, but I wish it didn’t.

July 4th- Independence Day

It’s Independence Day here in America. A day for families to get together and celebrate the freedom of our country. Families. There is that word again. If you are infertile you can’t escape it. It follows you everywhere, like a dark cloud.

My brother in law is visiting this week and asked us if we had a foster kid. We haven’t gone back on the list since our last little left us due to my interviewing for a new position at work. I didn’t want to try and find a last minute sitter. I informed him we didn’t.

I wish our families weren’t so messed up. A week of struggling with my mother’s hypochondriac-ness again. She texted/called me 15 times in 4 hours, while I was AT WORK. She claimed to have liver failure. Then my father had a health scare this week (prostate cancer biopsy) to which my mother misinterpreted the results and started telling everyone my dad has cancer. I had to spend days talking to everyone in the family to clarify that was not the case.

My mother-in-law hasn’t spoken to us since telling us we were mean and scary people right before mother’s day. But she felt the need to suddenly take herself off the family cell phone plan and then proceed to apologize and say she wanted to mend the broken bond.

One reason I keep my phone on silent overnight is because my little sister used to drunk call me on her college campus and then hang up on me and I couldn’t get ahold of her for a few days after. She was texting me at 4 in the morning last night because she couldn’t get ahold of my mother. What am I going to do from across the country?!

Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason we don’t have kids. The crazy can only be shielded so much from a kid. But I know this is not our fault. I laid in the nursery watching the ceiling fan go round and round. I couldn’t help but wonder, should I sell all the baby stuff and clean out the room? Do we continue to foster if I don’t get this new position at work?

I knew I was slightly depressed, but I didn’t realize how much it was affecting me. This week we have had one or two activities planned each day and I am so exhausted. I have been sleeping 9-10 hours and sometimes taking a couple hour nap. Clearly I am not used to being up and about. Playing video games is almost a perfect cover for depression. I don’t have to think about anything and I don’t have to move.

I started getting back to the gym this week to try and combat my mood. Eating healthier hasn’t really been happening. Seems I can’t get the energy to manage both food and activity. Hopefully someday I will break out of this funk permanently.

I am not looking forward to go out and watch fireworks tonight. Surrounded by families. All happy. Little kids running around with sparklers. Parents chasing them as the kids squeal little happy giggles. Can I just go back to bed?

Thursday we have an appointment with a urologist. I have been forcing the hubs to take a ridiculous number of pills to see if it improves his count. At this point I am willing to do anything that doesn’t cost 15 thousand dollars. I am hoping against hope that there is something we can do.

Have a safe holiday everyone!

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June 13 – Topsy Turvy World

Last week we went from having a bundle of joy to losing hope on affording IVF. We had applied for a grant and we got the rejection email on Thursday.

Right now I am an emotional mess. Fostering has it ups and downs. Every time a placement leaves, it hurts my heart. Especially when they imply you might be able to keep one. It is hard when you lose hope of ever having a child.

We can’t afford adoption. Fostering breaks my heart. IVF is just so expensive. What if we don’t end up with kids? Do I need to start grieving the fact that we may end up childless?

I have been trying everything. So many different different avenues. I have tried to get coverage at work (4 times in 2 years). We have tried fostering with hopes of adopting and never even got close to having a kid long enough to even really having that a possibility. The cheapest place we found for adoption was sixteen thousand and they went under! We have done 2 IVF rounds with a miscarriage. Tried to win a grant for another try at IVF. When does the heart ache stop? When will we actually get our turn?

Sorry for the really depressing post, I am just really struggling this week. I’ve been exhausted, sleep- deprived and just going through a lot. Hoping you are doing better than me.

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June 5 – Things Change Just That Fast

Yesterday I posted about our new little one, and today I received a call that the kiddo is being moved to be with a sibling. That is great that they will be together. But my heart breaks a little every time one leaves. I knew in this situation it would happen. I tried not to bond, which is hard. Not bonding makes those crying screaming fits at 3am harder to bear. When you are bonded with the kiddo, those moments feel so small compared to the love you have in your heart. When you are trying not to bond they become the annoying things you have to put up with until someone else decides to take them.

I still cried. Just another day in the fostering world.

June 4th – New Placement

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Well I think I jinxed myself LOL. I told my boss we were back on the list Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, and my week long staycation, and I jokingly said “watch we will get a placement Friday and it will change all my vacation plans.” That is exactly what happened. Not that I had anything special planned: gym, video games, painting my nails, going to see Wonder Woman. Nothing fancy. Well Friday morning we got a call for the kiddo we have now.

So my week has been spent changing diapers, midnight feedings and endless meetings. One of the things they never tell you about fostering is how many fucking pointless meetings you have, every single month. The first two weeks are the worst. You get seen by your licensing worker, pediatrician, the behavioral health people initial meeting and then the referral to actual behavioral health people, the kid’s lawyer, and then visits if the parents have rights. That is a lot of meetings when you are still trying to get into the swing of the new kiddo and their routine, personality and such.

Our kiddo was not named by the parent before being taken into custody so we had a unique situation with us. The case manager told us we could pick something out to call the kiddo instead of what the state puts on the paperwork, which is “baby girl” or “baby boy” when they don’t have a name. Saddest thing ever. I went through the baby name book, picked out about 20 names I liked and then ran them past my hubby when he got home from work. We landed on one and are using it now. We haven’t been able to name a kiddo before so that was new.

We are still adjusting to having a baby again. Since I was on vacation last week I did all the overnight stuff too. Hubbs helped out on the weekend so I could finally get more than 3 hours in a row.

Our licensing worker (the person we work with through our agency) brought some people with them for our meeting this week, and it was uncomfortable having three people asking me questions. One of them was of course, pregnant. Now it is strange, I can be standing there with a baby in my arms and still feel the dread of having to talk with a pregnant woman. She stood there asking questions, rubbing her belly and I just wanted to slink away. Fostering is hard because people don’t view us as “real parents.”

I had read another blog article that described it perfectly. We are completely unseen by other parents. People even ignore me when I give advice on their Facebook posts. It makes us feel even more isolated. We are struggling through parenting issues, foster care related issues and suffering from infertility, all while being shunned by other parents. Trying to figure out whether a newborn is suffering from withdrawal symptoms or regular baby issues. My hubby said that we might even have it harder than most parents (not including those poor souls with colicky babies) and yet completely ignored.

Anyway, enough with that. This week was also the week of our 16 year anniversary. I can’t believe we have been married that long! Doesn’t feel like it. We managed to get our neighbor to babysit so we could go out for a couple of hours just the two of us. That was nice.

Tomorrow is back to reality. Sleep deprivation and working. Going to be loads of fun! Still waiting to hear back from HR, the possible new job, and the grant application for IVF. Have a great week!

May 21 – Vitamins Galore

vitamins1I spent a lot of time doing research in the last week or so. I read the book “It Starts with the Egg” which gets rave reviews in my IVF Support group on Facebook. I can’t say I thought it was groundbreaking or anything. I have spent a lot of time researching vitamins and stuff so that information wasn’t exactly new. Also she mentioned vitamins to take but didn’t always say what dosage (I’m guessing to avoid being sued since she wasn’t a doctor per say). But what it did do was inspire me to start my own research.

Our main problem is male factor, which there seems to be little research on. That is kind of surprising since it accounts for a third of infertility. We are scheduled to see a urologist in July to see what, if anything, we can do to improve on that front. My hubby had surgery when he was a baby down there and we are pretty certain it is due to that. Probably scar tissue or something. We are hoping maybe they can do surgery to clear some of that out and maybe get better function. In the meantime I found some medical studies regarding vitamin impact on sperm count and mobility.

There is a study for this currently at select schools. The closest one to us is near San Francisco California at University of California. We asked if we could participate with monitoring here in Arizona. They said no. Oh well! Here is the information if anyone is interested to see if it is near them or if they qualify:

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02421887

I read quite a few medical journal synopsizes this week and hunny agreed to take a lot of vitamins to see if between now and the appointment in July if the vitamin increases his count. It will be interesting to see. I am also taking a bunch of vitamins on the slim chance we win the grant we applied for (super long shot but can’t hurt).

Also we went back on the foster care list. It might be a while before we get a call but that’s ok. At least we are out there.

Yesterday was the hunny’s work’s company picnic. We went to a lake nearby and they rented jet skis and barbequed. It was pretty fun. The only down side was the fact that we are one of two couples without kids. And the other couple is 8 months pregnant right now. By the next company event we will be the only couple without kids. Another painful obvious reminder of how isolating infertility can be. It is such a family oriented event and the only upside to being kid free was that we could go out on the jet ski together and not worry about who was going to keep an eye on the kids. So that is the silver lining I suppose.

Lot of balls up in the air at the moment. Just waiting to see where everything lands. I also interviewed for a new job within my company so we shall see where that lands us also. They are not as flexible schedule wise so fostering might need to change (at least our age group). I think we are getting better at managing the unknowns in life, which I suppose is a good thing.

So here is to seeing where the chips fall!

May 16 – It’s that Time of Year Again

It’s that time of year again. We celebrate mother’s and everything they represent. Unconditional love, supportive, caring, etc. It is one of the hardest times of year for infertiles. The pain in our hearts as we watch and celebrate others who have the one thing we want. The other hard part is being a foster parent. It can be so hard to watch a kiddo mourn the fact that they are not with their biological mother on this holiday. Everyone is making their moms’ cards in class, sharing stories and they are wondering why they cannot see their mom. They may act out or withdraw. It can be hard to be a mother figure for a kiddo who is hurting.

This is also the time of year where I become a fly in the boss’s stew as I drum up another letter pleading for my company to add infertility coverage to their insurance. The HR person in charge of benefits knows me by name. This will be my fourth request in 2 years.

My strategy this time is to speak to the competitors who offer this coverage, while we do not. I am also asking people who supported me last year with this to write up something to submit with mine. I know they will continue to ignore me and try to sweep this under the rug, but I will not give up. All I can do is continue to ask right? I mean what’s the harm?

We all mourn this holiday in our own way. I mourn by advocating. I have to do something to not feel useless. If I can try to get coverage I feel like I am impacting lives of people at my firm that I have never met. I am hoping that I can help them and me!

In addition I applied for the Baby Quest Foundation grant this month. I am open to any avenue possible to try and have a baby. They do the grant twice a year.  A lot of people apply, but it has better odds than the lottery right?

We are still on a break from fostering. We did get a call for a kid, even though we were not on the list, but the kid was accepted by someone else faster. It is funny how fast you can feel attached to a little one that you have not yet met. In both pregnancy and fostering.

I hope you all made it through the weekend with your heads held high. Mother’s Day can be tough. But we are tougher! Infertility can’t keep us down!

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May 7 – Been a long week

This week has been a weird one. I had taken us off the open bed list for fostering a couple weeks ago as you’ll recall. We got a call mid-week about a foster kiddo and they were really, really pushing us to take them. We said yes, but I guess DCS (department of child safety) chose another family. They were really pushing us because there was a high probability that the kid was going to go up for adoption. I felt really bad that we did not end up with the kid.

My hubby’s best friend’s little sister (did you follow that?) had her baby and then needed her appendix out (rough week for her) sooooo we were morally obligated to go visit her and meet her baby. We brought lasagna and a leftover box of diapers (from fostering). It was an awkward visit. Her mom was there. They are incredibly religious and fertile people. The mom had 10 kids. They asked all sorts of questions about fostering, making inappropriate comments on the bio parents (which was not great). Then we mentioned our IVF and miscarriage. That is when it happened, the “maybe if you just relax, because we know this family that…” I looked over at hubby and tried not to roll my eyes. I thanked her for saying that. It took everything in me to not say “gee, my doctor says we have less than a one percent chance on our own” or “yeah after two rounds of IVF maybe we didn’t actually need it and should just relax.”

It’ll be a long time before we go visit them again. My oh-so-charming mother-in-law called and insisted we do something for Mother’s day for her. Now we are stuck taking her out to brunch. Ugh. She doesn’t know about the IVF and miscarriage so maybe if she did she wouldn’t ask these things but I am too afraid to tell her. She isn’t the most supportive person. In fact, she is quite insulting. I didn’t want to hear her say something about it being my fault or maybe it is God’s will.

We decided last minute to apply for the IVF grant again. Nine pages of bearing your soul to complete strangers in the hopes that they will give you one more shot at IVF. Trying your best to stand out against other poor couples who are in the same situation as you. I really hate the process, yet I still put us through it.

Next week is the dreaded Mother’s Day. I wish I could just bury my head in the sand. This year has been easier by far emotionally to deal with. I wish the constant commercials, Facebook ads, promotional emails, store signage and everything else would stop already though. I hope that with each year it will be easier. Or maybe hopefully someday we will have or get our baby.

My mother’s birthday was this week. I sent her a gift and a card and a Facebook post, but that wasn’t good enough. She wanted me to call her. I hate calling her. All she does is talk about my brother. My horrible example of a human being. And his baby. And his baby mama. And their drama. I have asked numerous times to not talk about it. No boundaries are listened to or respected. I actually haven’t spoken to her in a while. Per my previous posts I have been trying to cut back on speaking to my family for exactly this reason. After this month I won’t have to speak to her until … maybe my birthday? Wouldn’t that be nice? HAHA.

Well to all you not-yet mamas stay inside, hunker down, get some chocolate and wine, cry, laugh, snuggle your significant others and furbabes. Don’t let this “holiday” beat you down. Some day, we will be at peace. Either with our baby, rainbow baby, adopted baby, or being at peace with childlessness.

For you lucky mamas who got your miracle, enjoy the day. Snuggle that little miracle and your significant other. Enjoy the breakfast in bed, the homemade card, the gifts, the fuss. You’ve earned it.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!

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