Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We’re the kind of lesbians that go both ways…

   It has come up quite a few times throughout our journey the assumption that I (the more visually feminine one in our relationship) am the only one who has been actively trying to conceive… I’d felt prior to our new found openness that it wasn’t my place to discuss my wife struggles with infertility… I’d just say “Well, we both plan to carry” and leave it at that… And even still when starting this blog and our donation site wasn’t sure if my wife was comfortable having the FULL story… She is a very private person and I respect that… She recently gave me the go ahead since we are being as open as we are being and  we  both think it’s time to put it all out there on the table…

                                                          So from the top, here goes……

   When my wife and I met she was 18 and I was 21.. We both knew we’d wanted to have kids, but it was definitely only a pleading thought back then.. About 1year into our relationship my then 19year old wife decided she had baby fever.. I didn’t think we were ready.. I thought then that it took tons of money to raise a child and that I wanted to be further along in my career.. It truly was I just wasn’t ready for so much responsibility.. I was happy in our little 1bdrm apartment close to all the clubs.. Yeah, I cared about that sort of thing back then..

     The years passed and my wife would often mention her urge to start to expand our family.. By this time the wife was about 22, it came up that my wife has quite a few issues with her inner workings.. She’d always had problems as long as she could remember having her period.. But it finally came to a head when she went to go see her Dr for her yearly, and the Dr was concerned by how much discomfort my wife was experiencing during the exam..  She was then referred to an OB for more in depth testing and they discovered a cluster of cysts on her ovary..  The 1st OB she’d seen injected my wife with a Deprovera sort of shot to prevent her from having her period for a while, so no more cysts would form.. My wife wasn’t fully aware of the full side effects of the shot and allowed the 1st of the shots to be administered..  This same OB then mentioned that maybe she should look into getting a hysterectomy in the sort of near future because the cysts were so severe.. We both were like WHOA, WAIT, WHAT.. That was her 1st and last appointment with that OB.. Even with just the 1st shot she ended up not getting a period for a good 3-4months, thank goodness she didn’t go back for the other one.. This whole experience opened my eyes that it was about time that we started having serious discussions about our future family plans.. It immediately put me mentally where she’d been for 3+years..

       We then started working towards our goals, saving money, taking trips, just doing all the things that you supposedly are no longer able to do once kids are in the picture.. We’d during our preparation/party time discussed our expectations.. That we wanted to use a sperm bank and would prefer to do at home inseminations.. We both wanted to carry and didn’t care if we carried at the same time.. We wanted to move out of our condo and into a house.. Then BAM, the wife’s severely painful cycles returned..

    We thought this would halt all of our plans, but instead it made us even more focused on the health of us both.. I’d started tracking both of our cycles at this point and learning about TTC, inseminations, etc.. This time she went to see a new OB, who was really cool.. She did an ultrasound and found that my wife not only had more cysts then previously (the others resolved themselves since she spent so many months not ovulating), but she appeared to have some other shadowing in there.. This could be polyps, endometriosis, or who knows.. She then set up the wife for immediate exploratory surgery, or a laparoscopy.. Within a week of her 1st appointment with her new OB, she was being wheeled into a hospital room and put under..

    The surgery went well, though they did confirm that she has PCOS as well as a severe case of endometriosis.. During the surgery she removed a few cysts from her left ovary and was able to also scrape her uterus to remove some of the endo. scarring.. As we were leaving the hospital we got to talk to the OB again, she confirmed that it is known that pregnancy can actually help endometriosis.. If you are able to achieve pregnancy, that is.. Recovery was quick compared to other surgeries she’d had (my wife is like a Operation Game life size, forreal).. We knew then it was time to stop thinking about it and start trying.. Within a few weeks we found a house we loved AND finally picked a donor..

   Since we’d already been tracking our cycles we knew what had to happen when.. We decided since swimmers are so expensive to try one at a time.. I’ve already written an entry about the horribleness that was our 1st cycles trying, so no need to get into all of that again.. After I miscarried I was a little bitter and broken and looked to my wife and decided it was her turn..

     The 1st cycle she tried to our surprise she got a BFP.. We didn’t think it was possible considering all of the issues she had, but there it was.. Soon after however, she started cramping.. Those severe cramps that she knew where her period.. And sure enough, she miscarried.. Once both of our cycles returned to normal we continued to try with us both inseming, in hopes that one of us would be able to have a baby bean stick.. But no such luck, even still…

      I said before that we both felt it was time for us to put the FULL story out there.. Us putting our journey out there for everyone to see isn’t us asking for “ideas”.. We know we’ve done everything possible outside of IVF in order to conceive.. We’ve exhausted all efforts financially, emotionally, and mentally.. At this point we just need your love and support..

   *** If you would like to help us turn we into three by donating, please click the following link: ***

Monday, October 22, 2012

Is this the aftermath of TTC failure….???

    After being engulfed in all things TTC for almost 2years, starting with preparing our minds and my body.. Then to prepare financially and rearrange our living situation on top of all the researching, it now appears that the fact that our lives just aren’t were we’d expected to be by now, is definitely taking its toll.. Both the wife and I are breaking down and infertility is the blame.. My wife tells me often she misses my smile.. The genuine one I used to radiate at everyone no matter what I was feeling.. I guess the optimism behind a high wattage smile I was once able to share with the world has been dimmed..

    The other night I had nightmares of watching multiple women get pregnant over and over again while I sat infertile, barren, childless.. I woke up and cried in my wife’s arms for a good 20mins.. So you’re saying I can’t escape the harsh realities we're living, not even in my dreams..?? That is definitely a scary thought.. This is bringing a list of questions to mind that seem to not have answers.. How do you move forward from here..?? How do I again enjoy being around friends/family..?? When if ever will I be able to see a baby or even children and not feel intense heartache..?? Why isn’t there just some button where I would be able to rewind the last 24months and un-know all that I know..??

     I don’t need coping mechanisms, tried them, they don’t work.. Not for this.. The feelings I have are different from any I’d ever thought where possible to feel.. I do well with coping with the loss of a loved one.. As odd as that may sound.. I have always had a “Everything happens for a reason” sort of outlook,  and felt that there has to continue to be death in order for there to be life.. That we have to let our loved ones go for this reason.. That grief was a selfish feeling since our loved one is no longer hurting, or stressed, or tired..    

    I now on an almost daily basis feel a sort of grief for a loved one I never met, a life I never experienced.. To me it makes no logical sense, yet I am unable to kick the seemingly uninterrupted depression that is felt nonstop.. Unable to kick the constant feelings that I am less than a woman.. That “God” must hate me.. I mean everything SUPPOSEDLY happens for a reason, right..?? “God” obviously feels that the crackhead on welfare who has now given birth to her 5th child addicted to drugs and going home to an abusive, unstable, and toxic environment was more deserving of motherhood than my wife and I are, right.. As much as I don’t want to believe it’s affecting how I function, or made me different from who I once was, or dare I even say bitter, I know it has..

             Final question.. Will this get easier, ever..??

I guess I'm living through the aftermath of TTC failure..

   *** If you would like to donate, please click the following link: ***

    Thanks so much for reading.. Knowing that our very emotional journey is finally out in the open actually brings much comfort..

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No longer silent.. No longer afraid to ask for help..

    I recently decided to stop being embarrassed by my infertility, to speak up and stop allowing people to say hurtful things while I sat silently, and finally to realize that in order for us to be able to make our dream of having a baby come true I am willing to ask for help.. I searched the web, and found a site set up to assist people to get the word out about their causes and to ask for help/donations.. So I decided to try and summarize my story and set up a page.. Pregnancy and parenthood apparently doesn't come as easily to all of us.. So maybe there are kind hearts out there that would like to help possibly make pregnancy/parenthood a reality for my wife and I..

    It brought back a small glimmer of hope, that for the past few months has been nonexistant.. Here's to hope..

    *** If you would like to donate, please click the following link: ***

    Thanks so much for reading.. Knowing that our very emotional journey is finally out in the open actually brings much comfort..

So 1st came love, then came marriage, then came INFERTILITY..!!

      Luckily, we realized through our loss that the nonchalant manor that we'd been taking wasn't going to cut it.. That fertility was much more complex than we'd originally thought.. We knew for sure that we wanted to be mommies now more than anything.. Seeing the BFP only to have it fade away is definitely one of the hardest things we've ever been through.. We made the decision to start getting more aggressive medically, that's where things get REAL.....

Below are some of my journal entries from around that times, these are published on one of the many sites that I frequent regarding fertility :

My TTC Journal

Keep a journal of your trying to conceive journey

10/25 - Another Wacky Cycle This Month
Posted Oct. 25, 2011 8:50pm - Public - 34 views - 0 comments - Edit - Remove
This has been yet another month which my cycle has been extremely wacky and unpredictable.. This after almost a whole year of 31day cycles on record.. Then last months cycle a mere 28days w/ ovulation recorded smack in the middle (cd15 w/ no 'O' pains and a short LH surge).. I'm thinking that the shorter cycle last month was due to the chemical pregnancy from August..

Now this month, I'd had little to no CM so close to actual 'O' time.. Had watery CM around CD14 which I thought would be the big 'O' day.. Temp dropped, darkish OPK line, even had 'O' pains on both sides (which I'd attributed to the Soy Iso taken for the 1st month), but oddly no 'O'.. I even had a progressively darker and darker OPK line leading up to cd14 then nothing after CD14, for 2 days.. All of a suddenly, BAM, on CD17 an undeniably +OPK.. Didn't think it could be since I'd figured I'd already gotten my + but because I was using the First Response OPK this month, that I'd just not interpreted the not SO dark darker line correctly (admitting to the possibility of user error)..

So here I am now sitting at CD18,  hoping that of the 2 insems 1 good swimmer survived the storm and found my egg(s).. I'm still not sure that today is my definite 'O', as I'm not quite sure of anything with my cycle now.. But here's to blind faith and wishful thinking.. We want this so bad that it's hard for me to even breathe anything else at this point.. Oh, and the constant 'Are you pregnant yet?' are really no help.. Please let this super rollercoaster cycle be our ticket to our dream..

11/11/11 - Luteal Phase Defect she says....
Posted Nov. 11, 2011 12:44pm - Public - 37 views - 0 comments - Edit - Remove
After telling my Dr. for a good 3months that I felt I had a short luteal phase AND experiencing the horrible and harsh reality of a Chemical Pregnancy, I'd called in to set up another appointment . On this call I had the nurse ask me a series of new questions which I'd never been asked.. I did the bloodwork and cultures of a preconception exam and passed with flying colors.. Or so they'd said.. Lol.. Here she is now asking me questions regarding lactation and specifically about the length of each cycle since my confirmed chemical..

*Just a side note * I really think I experienced another CP this past cycle as we saw another faint BFP at 10dpo which faded and 3days later I was greeted by dreaded AF.. * Back to my story*

She then starts to tell me a few things that I kind of already figured and she throws out the term Luteal Phase Defect.. She expresses to me that she thinks that it would be a good idea for me to have a monitored cycle in order to rule out any major fertility issues.. She did let me know that if I am as sure about my cycle and charting as I sound then she really thinks it is just a Luteal Phase issue and nothing related to the Follicular Phase of my cycles.. Which is a good good thing..

Now.. My Dr is a really awesome guy, but he ia also a really 'lets just see what happens' kind of Dr.. And we all know that with TTC'ing that is just not something you ever want to hear.. You just want your BFP like last month and thats that.. I'm going in on my cd10 in order to have a ultrasound to ensure my follicles and lining are looking good and on time.. I will be requesting that I be prescribed Progesterone suppositories as well, since I have a REALLY strong feeling that a lack of progesterone is whats keeping me from having my sticky baby..

I've been doing ALOT of researching since the nurse mentioned LPD to me.. I did really want to keep things as natural as they possibly can be considering I am a lesbian and using cryogenically frozen donor sperm.. Lol.. So I started supplementing with B6 daily and again using the Soy Iso cd's 2-6 this month.. The Soy Iso did cause me to ovulate 2 whole days earlier than usual last cycle, I unfortunately also had a shorter cycle, so it didn't lengthen my luteal phase that go around.. I know that it could be so crucial to me to make sure I 'O' no later than cd17 this month which would have me potentionally end up with a longer luteal phase..

Who would of thunk that TTC would be such a course in chemistry and statistics for me.. I feel like 'Hey, umm.. I don't think I signed up for this class'.. But I'm willing to stick it out and do what I gota to expand our family.. Now on to the Dr. appointment and what that may hold.. FMFX'd that the vitamins work all my funky issues, and that I will never have to see another BFP fade away..

May our Leo be in the stars this month.. Can't wait to meet you our little dream baby..

11/15/11 - The Night Before....
Posted Nov. 15, 2011 8:35pm - Public - 42 views - 0 comments - Edit - Remove
I'm excitedly nervous about my appointment tomorrow.. I can't shake the feeling of "This is it" that keeps coming over me.. I really don't feel I have ever wanted anything more in my life.. I'd say except my wife, but that seemed it was a different kind of want.. I'm ready to hit the showers, calm my nerves, and hop into bed.. I just want tomorrow to come and to get this appointment done and over with.. I want to know my next step.. I want to be PREGNANT and have a H&H9.. So this is it, and I'm ready to take it all on to get what I so desperately want..

11/16/11 - That Was Easy...
Posted Nov. 16, 2011 9:35pm - Public - 58 views - 1 comment - Edit - Remove
The Dr's appointment was nowhere near as painful as I'd thought it would be.. Turns out there are 15 follie's total growing.. 4 Left - 11 Right.. Lining is right in line for this time of my cycle.. Donor shipment is set up and ready to go for next week.. Now just hoping that the rest of this cycle can be as easy.. The Dr did mention the dreaded word I've been trying to avoid since I started this journey "CLOMID".. I know that I really have to do what is best for my body and what would help me get that sticky BFP NOW..!! The Dr says that because of the length of my LP that if come the end of this month I'm not PG that we may need to move on to a more medically assisted approach to things.. I do also have a bit more testing for this month.. I'll be testing @ 7dpo for my progesterone levels.. Which I'm very sure will be low since I've been tracking things so many months.. But now I'm feeling more like I'm so ready to do this, so bring it on..

12/23/2011 - Halfway Through My Fertility Cleanse
Posted Dec. 23, 2011 9:46pm - Public - 57 views - 0 comments - Edit - Remove
It's been a while since adding an entry to my journal and since then A LOTS happened.. I got my 7dpo progesterone results back.. They where merely 5.9.. Now according to my RE anything less than a 4 would be an annovulatory cycle, so a 5.9 means that I barely even ovulated.. Ideally he would like to see a 10 or higher.. I do attribute this partially to my Soy Iso being taken cd's 2-6 last month, my mistake.. But even still a level that low is just no good.. So my RE did prescribe both Clomid (probably will not be taking that, I'm still wanting to get and stay pregnant naturally) and Crinone Gel..

This month we've decided that we would take a break from the TTC thing.. Besides, I'd be ovulating in the next couple days say I had taken the SI's cd 3-7 and well, no bueno with the holidays upon us.. we also felt that both our minds and bodies needed a break and boost.. On to the part about the Fertility Cleanse..

This month I decided that I would do all I can to try and help relax, as well as boost my chances at a sticky BFP next month.. I'm now halfway through the cleanse and it really has made quite the difference with my hormones, and this has been seen in my temps.. They have been the most consistent they've been in many months.. I've also added acupuncture to my routine and can feel an over all difference.. I am still having this cycle monitored even though we're taking the month off, and my RE brought to my attention at my last ultrasound that my uterus and lining look "outstanding" (his word, not mine).. Lol.. So having a awesome response so far to all things natural.. Lets see how Phase 3 of this cleanse treats me..

  The entries stop in December because, well I was just really tired at that point.. It had only been 6months and so much was different.. We where different from when we'd started the journey..

   In the 8months that followed we tried "naturally" ATTC a few more cycles.. I say "naturally" because I was taking different vitamins, herbal teas, doing acupuncture, using OPK's, and tracking my BBT.. Though we I wasn't taking any intense western medicine fertility drugs, having to do all of the things I mentioned daily is far from the "I didn't even know when I ovulated, I just guessed, insemed and now I'm pregnant", that I'd heard about.. 

  I finally broke down and tried Clomid, over responded to it and experienced a mild case of OHSS.. On top of that in that same cycle the Clomid caused a cyst which went to just over half an inch.. When you're talking about a cyst the size of a pea hanging off of a organ the size of a grape, makes it quite a big deal.. Dealt with that for a couple months on both ends doing both acupuncture and meditation as well as working with my FACOG to help with the physical pain and depression I was then experiencing......

     In the midst of all of the TTC going on I had the bright idea of starting a TTC GLBT group.. Ultimately, I am now the only one from that group who is NOT pregnant.. I'm also the least contacted out of the group.. Guess there is no room for the infertile in a baby play group..

      Lastly, about 3cycles ago I went in for my overdue yearly womans exam w/ the same FACOG I'd been working with most of our entire TTC journey.. He then asked "Are you even still trying..??" when I answered "Yes..??", he mentioned "It seems you have unexplained infertility and it's time I refer you on to a RE for IVF consultation"... Again, devastated.. The infertility treatments with monitoring that my insurance wasn't covering for the last year+ had tapped us out financially.. Here we are now, confirmed infertile, baby-less, and broke.. I want to have the faith I had at the beginning of all of this, but this is much more trying than I thought was possible to handle for one couple.. I love my wife and though we are not sure if IVF will ever happen for us, at least we have each other.. We'll continue to live, that's all I'm ever able to say these days..

A loss is a loss.. Period..

  We made it through the 1st cycle trying.. We saw a BFN, cried a little, but I'd heard of it taking a couple tries.. But I definitely didn't think at that time it would be anymore than 2 cycle, tops.. The time of innocence  if I only I could be there again..

   We pushed steams ahead into cycle #2.. Still gung-ho on things being as natural as possible.. I mean I did everything right.. My pre-conception exam came back all gravy, I was pin pointing ovulation both coming and going, and I was taking prenatals.. I mean what else do you need outside of that..?? Lol.. Right..

    My August 2011 cycle we again insemed after our positive OPK, waited the recommended 2weeks, but this time "wham" BFP (big fat positive).. We where literally over the moon, and I mean it seemed like literally not figuratively.. We started making so many plans and talking about the hope of it being more than one, then discussing the 3 names we were going to need for the triplets.. I call to make an appointment with my new doc, but he couldn't see me for a couple days.. I wasn't worried though because I mean it happened 2nd try, we where golden.. We went in for out beta, only to find out that the numbers weren't good.. It was a chemical pregnancy or early miscarriage.... 

     Now, I realize I wasn't far along. and we hadn't even seen a heartbeat.. But we were already so vested in the fact that we would have a baby to take home, well have at home, in 9 months..  We were devastated to say the least.. Then to have it dismissed by even my closest friends because I wasn't as far along as they would have liked me to be hurt.. In our eyes " A loss is a loss".. I realized then that my wife and I were embarking on a journey that none of the people in our immediate circle could understand.... 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The natural order of things....

      With the natural order of things and the progression of life of course babies became our hearts desire.. In January of 2011, after 5+ steady years together we decided it was time to follow the nursery rhyme to the finish.. We planned us moving into our 1st house together.. And after our move in April 2011 I started reading every pregnancy book I could get my hands on, tracking my cycles, joining TTC groups online, met with and interviewed potential Midwives, and even started to look into the process of obtaining donor sperm from a bank..

        In May 2011 we started with the preconception exams and testing.. We just knew that when we did in fact finally try it was going to be a sure shot since everything came back with flying colors.. I mean its so easy to become pregnant, right.. I mean even the 15year old HS drop out can do it without a hitch.. Our 1st  ATTC cycle was planned to start end of June 2011, and we had everything set up and ready to go.. Or so we thought.. Come my final visit with my OB after getting my test results back.. After discussing in depth with her that we needed her consent  in writing to receive the "swimmers" to our house.. She ended up refusing to sign any of the documentation.. Go figure.. So that 1st cycle was a bust.. *Guess I should have known then that our thought of easy success was just a pipe dream* 

       We researched and contacted sooooo many Dr's in our area.. Some of which refused to see a woman who wasn't married TO A MAN, and expressed this fully over the phone.. Some of which who said they would be willing to assist, but since I was a lesbian they wanted all kinds of extra tests on top of the laundry list I'd already had done.. Mind you fertility testing isn't covered by insurance where we are, and we'd already come out of pocket quite a bit with my orginal OB.. This again was just their way of saying they wanted nothing to do with lesbians trying to conceive..  

        Then FINALLY in July 2011, just before my new cycle was to start, I got a call back from a very knowledgable and helpful office.. They where more than happy to see my wife and I, sign off any consent forms needed by the bank, and accept the labs already done from my original OB with no further questions asked.....

       The 1st ATTC cycle is such a roller coaster of emotions.. We went from being overwhelmed to anxious and back all in the same conversations it seemed.. Ultimately after all of the work that went into just getting to be able to try, it resulted in a BFN (which is a big fat negative for any of the non-TTC'ers).....