Pregnancy Envy

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I still can’t look at infants or pregnant women. Or ultrasounds.

How long is this going to last?

A co-worker got pregnant this summer and resigned, and I am so grateful that she quit. I don’t know how I would have handled a pregnancy so close to my own. Am i ever going to recover from this?

I know that if I got pregnant myself, it would probably make it a little easier, but what if that never happens? What if i am destined to sitting in the lunchroom year after year listening to people tell stories about their children and grandchildren? Am I going to have to use anxiety meds to get me through work anytime I’m confronted with a pregnancy? Supposedly, it’s so acute right now because the grief is still so raw, but I’d rather this process just hurry up.

I see lots of childfree sites for people and couples who CHOOSE to be childfree, but there aren’t that many like this RESOLVE page.

I’ve looked up a few IVF grants, and I suppose I could apply for them, but it just seems like so much effort to just continue this fight.

I think regardless of what we decide to do, I’m going to need a break for a few months, even with my advancing maternal age. This process is more emotionally draining than fertile people realize. The invasion. The embarrassment. The fact that you get asked every single frakkin’ month about being pregnant. That lack of privacy. The limitations (financially and otherwise). Being stuck to the city in case of ovulation. The days off from work.

Honestly, I’m looking at the whole childfree thing, and it’s just making more and more sense, even if it’s just for six months.

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Kevin Tunell and Me

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Do you remember that guy back in 1982 who was convicted of killing a woman named Susan while drunk driving? He was sentenced to write her parents a check for $1 a week for 18 years. I know, I’m showing my AMA here, but his story has been haunting me ever since my RE and I talked about my two remaining IUI’s.

All I can think about is doing IVF and getting a negative test – of what it would be like to pay off (at least) $17,000 over the next five years and not actually have a healthy take home baby.

I would be reminded of that at least once a month for the next five years.

Reminded of my barrenness.

Reminded me of my failure.

Reminded of the guilt that I’d feel for wasting that much money.

Reminded of the pressure that I put on my relationship with my husband.

Reminded of the daughter I so desperately wanted but lost.

 

Maybe I’m engaging in a bit of self-denigrating by comparing myself with a drunk driver, but there is a huge amount of shame and guilt for the infertility AND the termination.

If I took out a loan for 20k and had an interest rate of 6%, I’d be paying 386.66 a month for five years.

A small price to pay for a child (or two!), but could I live with that and still be childless?

We can afford the monthlies – it would be tight with the house refinance (15 years!) and the two car loans, but we could do it. It’s less than the $500 a month we are coughing up now for IUI. Granted, we’d be living paycheck to paycheck, and I’m scared to death of debt. I hate the idea that we’d be screwed if one of us lost our job, or if the AC goes out, or the foundation needs repairing.

It just that out of eight IUI’s (not consecutive), I’ve only gotten pregnant once. 1/8 aren’t great chances. I still have unexplained IF, so what if there is something wrong with me that makes IVF not work?

If I was guaranteed a child from IVF, 386 a month for five years would be worth it. Hands down. I’d pay happily – as long as I had a healthy baby. Every payment would be conformation that I did the right thing.

But there is no guarantee.

I think the big thing that I’ve realized is that my biggest fear is not the financial investment, but the emotional investment.

Maybe I really do need to start looking at the Healing without TTC after TFMR board.

Sorry my last few posts have been downers. This hasn’t been the most optimistic summer for me. I’m going to go back and litter this post with pictures of happy cats from the internet.

This cat has a carrot on his head. How quaint!

1 in 10

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I’m going to share my story with 1 in 10, a new blog about late term termination, but I just haven’t been able to write anything else down. It took a lot out of my to share my story with the Senate, get interviewed, keep up with everything on Twitter, and then have to face nasty comments on my blog.

I really think that I know why my last IUI didn’t work.

In any case, I feel the need to share my story, perhaps because I need justification. If anything, this whole debacle has taught me that:

A. People have no idea what an abortion is or how it is performed. They make assumptions based on what left or right winged news source they most closely identify with. I’m tired of being heralded as a brave feminist fighting for women’s rights. I’m tired of being accused of being a heartless, slutty, murderer. I’m neither of those things. I’m just a woman who did what was best for her family so that her daughter didn’t suffer.

B. People who can’t/won’t feel compassion for others will never be able to, even if tragedy befalls his or her own family. They either make personal exceptions or live in denial. Like my father.

C. I’m tired of people telling me that they know of a little kid with (insert disease/disability) here who is happy and healthy. You have no idea what life is like for that family or that child. You have no idea what it means to face $10,000 of medical bills. You have no idea what it’s like to have to figure out how, as the primary breadwinner of the family, pay for everything if you are going to bed ridden for four months.  You have no idea what it’s like to have to think about DNR orders for a baby. Even if you have been faced with similar situation, you have no idea about the details of my life, my situation, and what my daughter faced. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: your reality is not universal.

D. I’m tired of feeling like I’m not allowed to mourn the loss of my daughter since I “caused” it. I’m tired of people thinking they know what I went through because they had a miscarriage at 6 weeks. (Please don’t think I’m belittling those losses or saying that I went through MORE grief – they are just different).

E. I’m frustrated with people who think that six months is enough time for me to have “gotten over it”. Not a day goes by without me thinking about her, missing her, wondering what life would be like if we had CTT.

D. I’m tired of hearing about abortion regret and using that as a reason to limit abortion access. Sure, you hear about women who regretted their abortions, but you don’t hear about the women who regretted their children. It’s too monstrous to admit. Instead, they neglect their children, passing them off to other family members or just letting them raise themselves. Women with sick children often have to suffer in silence lest people think they want to currently kill their child. You can’t dictate laws because of regret. That’s not responsible.

Regretfully, I am 1 in 10.

The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything

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One of my first posts, I said it took me 36 months to get pregnant. Well, today I counted up the number of months that I have mourned the arrival of AF (sometimes with a negative pregnancy test).

42

I even took a month off for my laparoscopy surgery.

Even with the IUI’s, my success rate isn’t that high: I’ve had 7 (8?) IUI’s. Out of 7, I’ve only had 3 where the sperm count has been over 10 million. So I don’t know if my statistics are good or not. I hate looking at statistics because once you’ve been the loser in 1:1,000, percentages will never look the same.

I think I am going to have to come to terms with being childless. I can’t use “childfree” just yet – it still feels too much like a celebration. Maybe someday I’ll be able to accept it, but not now. Not yet. Not when I still desperately want a child.

As you can probably figure out, I got another BFN today.

Once again, I feel like a failure. Like I wasted 35 million sperm. Like I wasted $575 dollars. Like I set myself up for disappointment.

I wish I could get it together for my husband. I’m sure after 42 months, he’s tired of the same routine.

How long before he starts to resent me wasting money and his emotional energy? At least with the IUI’s he knows that I’m not just trying to have sex solely for a baby – obviously, I’m not getting pregnant with the traditional method.

I think that what got my hopes up this month were the numbers. I mean, 35 million! That’s nearly three times what we had when I actually got pregnant! DH says that I shouldn’t focus on the numbers, but that’s one of the few things that I can actually make sense of.

When I got pregnant, I had stopped worrying because I knew that we would start the move to IVF. I’m not sure if I can do IVF now. We have more debt than we had last year, and I’m not sure how we would handle ANOTHER loan. I also don’t think I don’t think I could handle the guilt if we DID spend the money and then I didn’t get pregnant. I think THAT worries me more than the money.

I wasn’t impressed with the cost of acupuncture, but I may try to find another place and focus on relaxation rather than fertility. At this point, it all feels like I’m just wasting money.

Imagined Pregnancy Symptoms

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Damn this Countdown to Pregnancy site! It’s the cruelest thing ever. As it I wasn’t crazy enough already.

I have to remind myself that I’m not pregnant. I’m not.

However, I keep mistaking my impending AF cramps as a pregnancy sign. My lovable cat sitting on my lap has turned into cats-sensing-pregnancy-hormones phenomenon. I keep groping my breasts to see if they are tender. I take my pre-natals on an empty stomach and convince myself that I’m having morning sickness.

What is wrong with me?

I’m terrified to take a shower because I don’t know hot is TOO HOT. I refuse anything with shrimp or HFCS in it to avoid mercury.

I can’t stop clenching my teeth.

I had a dentist appointment on Thursday, and refused the x-ray in case I might be pregnant, and they told me they couldn’t even do a cleaning during the first trimester without a dr’s note! What??? I had my teeth cleaned in October when I was still in the first trimester. I don’t know what gives. New policy?

Oh dear God. Could a tooth cleaning have caused my NTD?

Stop it. No. Plenty of pregnant women have their teeth cleaned and everything is ok. It was just a fluke.

Fluke has become one of my dirty words lately.

I cannot get enough of San Pelligino’s Limonata. Yum. I’m thinking about buying it in bulk from Amazon since I drink it faster than I go to the grocery store.

Maybe I drink/eat too much lemon juice and that changes my pH balance and makes my cervical mucus hostile?

What is wrong with me?

If I could just pee on a stick, get my negative test, and move on, that would be one thing. But you don’t believe it until you actually get AF. Even then, I still don’t believe it. Last month, the cycle was so light that I continued to look up “pregnant while taking clomid” up to my ovulation on CD 15. Even then, I still thought about asking my RE if my cervix was closed, but thought the better of making myself look like an idiot and kept quiet.

I’m scheduled to start AF on Wednesday. I think I can make it to Thursday without testing. Even if I get a positive, it’s not like I’m going to be able to relax!

Crushed

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One of my friends went through a horrible situation a few years ago when her daughter was dx’d with T13 at 26 or 28 weeks. She had to leave the state for her procedure. She was a huge resource for me when I first got my daughter’s dx. I may have mentioned her before – she was the first person I’ve known to fully come out and admit that she terminated her pregnancy for medical reasons on Facebook. I was so heartbroken for her that day – little did I know I would be in that same situation a few years later.

She contacted me today – she’s 17 weeks pregnant – to tell me that her unborn child has a 1:10 chance of having an open NTD. She has no idea what kind might be suspected. She has a level II ultrasound on Monday, so it’s going to be a long weekend for her.

I’m hoping that this is a false positive, but even just having this worry is cruel enough.

Supposedly, these birth defects are supposed to be rare, but how come I have two friend who have gone through this? (I don’t count my online buddies from the TFMR board on Baby Center since we are all there for the same reason).

This is just heartbreaking. One of my biggest fears now – that I’ll get pregnant again only to have to be faced with this same situation.

This just isn’t fair. It isn’t fair. Isn’t fair.