The Birds and the Bees

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I woke up early today as DH is on call and had to troubleshoot some computer problem. His ringtone is really super loud, and there is no going back to sleep after it explodes in my ear.

So I used that time to think about the bees.

In the weird twisted way my mind travels, it made me feel a little bit better that it looks like we are going the Childfree route. I’ve never been one of those preachy environmentalists or a militant childfree activist that thinks by having a baby, you are just dooming them to death and despair. But it got me thinking.

I also got a response back from one of the two IVF clinics that meet my needs (a recommendation from my RE and NOT the Houston Fertility Institute. Seriously, if you just wandered over here to this page because you were googling HFI, please rethink. I’ll write a post in the near future over why I refuse to be seen by them, but in the meantime, find a new clinic.

In any case, the initial appointment with the clinic is going to cost us $200. That’s just to find out what we need and how much it will cost us. Let me repeat for emphasis: It’s going to cost us $200 to find out how IVF will cost us. And I’m not even sure I’d be GOING to that clinic. How can I shop around and find the right clinic for me if it’s going to cost me as much as an IUI (if I go for a consultation at two clinics) before I even START treatment? I am now pretty particular with my doctors. I want to find the right fit. I am not going to waste my money by handing it over to someone I don’t like.

That $200 really pisses me off. More than the thousands of dollars I’d be spending on IVF. To me, that $200 is a kick in the teeth. An insult. Seriously, after all the damn money I’ve spent on fertility over the past four years, you want to milk me out of ANOTHER $200?!?! For what? An hour long wait in the reception area for you to tell me what I’ve already figured out on the internet, from my friends, and from my own experiences?!?

I knew I was going to pay – these fertility clinics don’t give a shit about my family – they only see me as cash patient. An inconvenience. They don’t look at me as a person – they only look at my age and test results.

I think I am getting to the point where I am no longer jealous of parents – I just despise them. I don’t want to hear about your children, or your childbirth experience, or your pregnancy symptoms. I don’t care. I roll my eyes when my students talk proudly about being parents, and I just leave the room when co-workers and friends talk about their children. It’s isolating. It’s kind of like that one year when everyone at work watched Dancing with the Stars, or The Real Housewives, and I didn’t, so while everyone else participated in the conversation, I just sat on the sidelines, unable to comment, not belonging.

That’s what it’s like being infertile in a room full of breeders, except this is way more personal than some rich woman’s fake tits or elimination time.

The thing that bothers me the most is when people flat out say that because I’m not a parent, that I’m don’t understand things. They don’t come right out and say that, but they’ll say things “when you have kids, that’s when you really get what love is.” Thanks for just saying I don’t know love. Thanks for just demeaning my relationships and my family.

Argh. This whole post is just starting to piss me off even more, so I’m just going to stop while I’m ahead before I end up sound like a bitter, barren woman.

Counselor Part 2

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Saturday morning, she called me back.I was polite, but I said because of my background, I was a little concerned with her work at churches and at pregnancy centers. I flat-out asked if she was pro-choice.

This is what I found out: she’s a Christian, but that doesn’t come up (or have to come up). She’s not a faith-based counselor. I don’t have a problem with anyone’s faith, but I did not want faith-based counseling.

Then, she gave me the name of the “pregnancy center” – and it was a crisis pregnancy center. She interned there. I really don’t know how I feel about that.

I told her I tx’d for medical reasons, but I’m not sure if she really understood what that meant. She then said in a little bit that if I needed to know where she stood, that she was pro-choice. I got the impression that she is like most normal Americans and think that they are easily preventable with birth control and that there are exceptions to rules. She specifically said that she thought terminating for medical reasons was ethical (not using that phrase though – it seems the only ones who use that term  are people who have gone through it themselves).

She still seemed unsure that she was the right fit – infertility and abortion and childfree futures seem to be pretty specific fields, but grief is grief, right?

She also seemed really willing to work with our schedule – that means DH doesn’t have to take off anymore work to attend. Between infertility, OB visits, the tx, and the follow ups from the tx, I think he’s getting embarrassed asking for time off.

So, I think I’m willing to give her a chance (even with the history with a CPC). We just need to figure out a time when we can do it.

Not too much else happening. School just started back up, so I’m sure I’ll be distracted. However, this is the time when I got pregnant last year, so I’m sure I’ll be facing some triggers in the coming months. I’m feeling pretty healthy right now, but I know from experience that triggers can come up quickly and without warning. So, while I’m not working myself up, I’m just trying to prepare for the next year. Which is a big reason why I’m eager to get to a counselor.

I think it’s one thing to mourn a loss while you are currently pregnant, but I’m a little scared to face January without hope of a rainbow. To be honest, I don’t think that there is an easier path, just different paths. I guess I just want to find mine.

Counselor Part 1

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So, I contacted my first choice therapist and heard back from her today: not accepting any new patients. She suggested that I see the icky one. Great. Besides, she charges $250 an hour for couples. Yeah. I didn’t pay that much with my reproductive PSYCHIATRIST.

After talking to a friend, I thought that perhaps I didn’t need to see a specialist and just find a therapist that I could deal with. A friend recommended a “hippie” one to me, and I really dug that idea. So I went to her page and saw that she has experience with “pregnancy centers” and “Christian agencies and churches”.

It may just be paranoia, but that screams pregnancy crisis center to me. I absolutely don’t want to support her with business if this is her ideology, and I don’t think I could trust her if I suspected that she a person who has worked at those places. So, I called her and left her a message asking her to call me back because I had a few questions to ask her. I’m going to ask her if she worked at a crisis pregnancy center and let her know that I’m looking for someone that I can be comfortable talking about my history.

I just want to find someone that I can feel comfortable talking to. With DH.

I feel horrible that I’m so paranoid. I’ve never been antagonist towards the church or religious people (though I’ve never been fond of organized religion), but this whole experience has jaded me. I understand that a person can be pro-life and be a decent human being, but my experience with them is that they are not kind individuals who care about repercussions. They think the world is black and white.

I refuse to listen to lectures about how my choice (with the underlying message being that I’m going to hell).

I don’t want to go to therapy and talk about my past to someone who spread lies about infertility, cancer, and abortion. I don’t want to go to someone who is silently condemning me.

Also, I don’t want her to focus on the termination. Yes, it was a traumatizing experience, but I’m more worried about how IVF or a childfree future will affect my relationship with my husband. I know the tx will come up, but that isn’t the focus of my life. I feel like I have dealt with that as well as I could have. I don’t want her to blame all of my problems on that.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with protecting myself from the vultures.

The Talk

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So DH and had THE TALK tonight. The RE gave us three options at the last visit:

1. Go straight to IVF

2. Have another lap to see if the endo has come back and to check for scarring from the D&E

3. Or, we could talk her into doing a few more IUI’s (since I got pg from an IUI and we had that one really low sperm count)

This is what we discovered tonight: we are both done with IUI. If we are going to do this, we’re going to do IVF.

If we don’t do IVF (right away or otherwise) I’m going to get back on birth control. I don’t want to have the endometriosis come back in full force.

We are not convinced about IVF, though. He’s only about 20% ready for IVF and I’m only around 50%. But, that’s enough to get us in to come clinics to talk about our options and statistics. We are both worried that the past four years has taken its toll on us. In many ways our relationship is stronger than it was when we got married, but but in many ways, its more fragile. That’s four years of resentment, guilt, and sacrifice that we have been dealing with, and we have no idea what will happen if we start venturing into the land of IVF.

The most important thing to me right now is my relationship with my husband. I am not going to jeopardize that. I mean, he’s the reason I want to have a baby. But, I know there is more to us than this. I know there is more to being a woman’s worth than reproducing. I know that I’ll be happy, but it’s just this period right now is kinda sucking all the happiness out of me.

So IVF. We are planning on doing some research the first week of September, right after my last IUI. I have two clinics I want to look into, maybe three, but the third is the BAD place that forgot about me. Do I compromise my personal values for convenience? Could I even trust that clinic?

These are the questions I’m going to ask the doctors:

  • If the endo did come back, could that negatively impact IVF? Should I have a lap if we are considering IVF? Or is that even needed?
  • What if I have an infection? Do they do a biopsy before the IVF to see if everything is normal? I’m worried I might have an infection that keeps embryos from implanting.
  • I’ve read about the money back IVF places. Is that an option? How much money would we really be out? What would happen if I miscarried or had to go through TFMR again?
  • What are the success rates of IVF for unexplained infertility (and my age)?
  • How much would IVF cost us a month?

Also, we are going to a counselor again. Not the one that I went to before (too damn far away), but one that specializes in infertility and grief. Not sure when we can get in, but I sent her an e-mail. I’ll see how it goes. There were two in my area that dealt with infertility, but one of them just seemed… icky. I don’t know why, but my hackles raised when I went to her webpage. Besides, she touted herself as a mother on her page. It just felt wrong to me to advertise to infertiles and then mention YOU are a mother. Maybe I’ve just senstive after four years.

I think I’m just ready to get this over with one way or another. DH would be find with the cost if we would actually get a baby out of it, but we don;t want to go through three attempts at IVF just to find out that we can’t have kids.

Open Letter to People Who Write About Infertility

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Dear People Who Write About Infertility,

I really appreciate you tackling the subject. It’s a subject that most people don’t talk out of fear and embarrassment. The only people who say that it’s not anything to be embarrassed about are those who either aren’t infertile or have a baby. If you are left empty handed, you don’t find yourself willing to open up about invasive and demeaning procedures at lunch with co-workers. So I welcome the attention.

That being said, I really don’t understand why you insist on using images of pregnant women to illustrate your article, book, or blog post. Really? Do you think that’s a good idea? The last thing I want to see when searching for costs on IVF are baby bumps reminding me of my useless muffin top.

Are you perhaps trying to use pathos to pressure us into fertility treatment? Perhaps if these pictures were only on medical sites selling IVF and IUI’s, but no, there are everywhere (and most clinics have pictures of babies rather than bellies).

Please stop. It would be one thing if all fertility treatments ended with happy endings, but they don’t.

From this point on, I will call you out on this, whether it be on Twitter or just in the comment section. Surely, you can find a better image to rally the infertiles around the world. To offer a positive replacement for your bulging bellies, I think a panda would be perfect. Pandas are only fertile for a day or two once a year. ONCE A YEAR. (Tiffany, I swear this has nothing to do with Susan, LOL!)

Plus, think of the marketing that could be done with panda mascot. Infertile Panda hospital gowns! Infertile Panda pill cases! Infertile Panda band aids! Infertile Panda pads and tampons! Infertile Pands fans for hormonal hot flashes! Infertile Panda alcohol! The list goes on and on.

Please. It’s bad enough seeing motherhood plastered everywhere, but I’m tired of seeing pregnant women when I’m reading about infertile women. It’s mean, tacky, and I’m tired of it.

 

Feeling sorry for myself.

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It’s one in the afternoon and I’m still in bed,  browsing Pinterest and Facebook.

I think I’m officially in a funk.

I feel a little like a cornered animal, desperate and full of misdirected aggression, like I’m going to pick a fight with the first person that talks to me today.

I think the thing that scares me the most about iVF is that since I have unexplained infertility,  I have no idea if the is even a chance of it will work. I was really just assuming that since IUI worked once for me,  it would work again. I can blame things like sperm count and stress, but statistically speaking,  I should be pregnant right now. I should have a baby in my arms.

I hate people.  I hate then for having what I don’t.  I hate them for having no idea what I’m going through. I hate them for judging me.

And I hate that I hate. This isn’t who I am,  but I don’t want to leave the house. I don’t want to go back to work and pretend like I’m okay just because I make people feel uncomfortable because their stupid ass positive attitude doesn’t work with me. Yeah, look on the bright side,  V. At least you aren’t (insert horribly shitty situation here).

So I have to continually create Wiest case scenarios in my had to make me feel better about my situation? At least I don’t have cancer.  At least my husband isn’t cheating on me.  At least I have a job. At least I know I can very pregnant (this is the fucking kick to the teeth right here,  and yes,  I have been told this).

Is this really supposed to make me feel better?