Tag Archives: Infertility

Changing Perspectives

21 Aug

I remember reading a blog post of an infertile scolding a fertile’s post about her attitude towards what is and is not considered ‘help’ after you give birth to your child. While I wasn’t enamored with the whole way the post was framed (cowardly attacking somebody else’s blog post without posting a proper link, starting a big discussion behind the person’s back), I agreed with most of the snorting going on.

Now that I am pregnant and I am reading books about pregnancy and giving birth, I find out that through all the bitterness we might experience while waiting for that BFP, we never stop to think that, well, we don’t really know anything about being pregnant or postpartum or a mom. And so our judgment is often skewed.Everything past BFP seems to be roses, no thorns.

Pregnancy can be a very scary and painful time – you do need love and support through it! And encouragement.

Announcing the news is not an insensitive thing to do. You do have to announce the news sooner or later, whether the news will hurt those still struggling. I mean, we aren’t expected to hide the babies forever, even after they’re born? So all of a sudden you realize that updating a facebook status is not an insensitive thing to do. It’s normal. And we are striving to get pregnant and be normal. Although I have to admit my facebook yet has to see this “pregnant!” update. I don’t know why, but I still withhold the news from the broader public.

And then postpartum… I read today that it really is important to have help in the first week or two with cleaning the house, cooking, and changing the diapers – it is very likely that the new mom will barely have the energy to breastfeed the child and take a snooze every time the child snoozes. That’s all!No other activities!

I did not expect that a new mom can be that helpless. But hey, that’s a government-approved book, not a ‘fertile’ blogger saying that. Learning more makes me look in a different way at what those ‘fertile’ moms put on their blogs.

We are often too quick to jump to conclusions that those complaining about things are ungrateful or whatnot – but, in truth, they’re often simply reflecting the facts. They just don’t constantly excuse themselves by saying “yes, I am VERY grateful I am pregnant/I have a child, but…” – they just put things as they are. I think it goes without saying they are grateful to have kids – why wouldn’t they? But that doesn’t change the fact that that’s the way things really are – hard and frustrating, oftentimes.

Now, you can say I feel this way only because I haven’t struggled through years of treatments and was waaaay too lucky to got pregnant on the second cycle at the clinic. That might be so. Still, I think we should be all more tolerant towards each other and not just go about assuming that if someone didn’t mention “I am so grateful” somewhere in their post, that they aren’t.

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Pregnant Art – Symptoms of (In)Fertility

23 Jul

Alright, enough of these discussions whether people had the right to judge my blog or not. Let’s move on! I am happy many of you became my virtual friends, and let’s let all the others be.

Today, I wanna share another spread from my pregnancy artbook. This one I painted while still going through the fertility clinic treatments, pondering all the pains women go through – whether fertile or not.

As always, the image is clickable to see more (and read… some texts get too small to be read when image is compressed to fit the blog size)

On the left, it says: Pregnancy is not a disease, but it has symptoms. Infertility is a disease and it has symptoms, too. It’s ugly.

On the right, the female figures are marked with symptoms they’re experiencing, starting from top left, going clockwise: Widening hips, Swollen feet, Elephant feet, Growing breasts, Excessive hair, Belly kicks and hiccups, Nausea and vomiting, (moving to centre) Back pains, Mood swings, Crazy cravings, Feet up.

Oh, how I dreamed to experience the right-side symptoms! Today, I would’ve added bloating and round ligament pains. But I didn’t know about these symptoms back in May…

Why Am I Being Ridiculous?

29 May

So I was thinking to myself, why am I being so ridiculous? Yes, I am pregnant. Like millions, billions of women were before me. And those women went on with hard manual labour, carrying heavy stuff (their older kids, for example!), some even working in inhuman conditions.

For centuries, there was no distilled water. Water was mostly contaminated and drinking beers and wines was much safer than just water. So alcohol consumption was really big.

And they all did it!

So why do I feel the way I do? Overly anxious and worried and uncertain?

Today, it hit me.

I know lots of people who just got pregnant. Pretty much like “you wanna have a baby? let me see… oh, I am ovulating tomorrow, let’s get on with it” – and then BAM! – they report they’re pregnant 2 weeks later. I am serious, this is a real story.

And then I have a few friends that are fighting infertility, multiple miscarriages, unsuccessful IVFs, stillbirths and so on.

I DON’T KNOW ANYONE WITH AN INFERTILITY PROBLEM WHO GAVE BIRTH!

So all I know from my immediate surrounding is that either you’re perfectly healthy and get pregnant fast and easy on your own, or you do have a problem and all you see is follicles not growing, body not responding, ovulation not happening, chemical pregnancies, miscarriages, disappearing heartbeats… And no success stories. For years and years.

I really want to be the one to break through this IF muck – and hopefully start the lucky strike for my friends.

But right now these stats are taking their toll on me. I’m afraid it will be like them. Something going wrong as opposed to me greeting a perfectly healthy baby in early February next year…

From Ejaculation to Fertilization – How Long?

23 May

I watched this awesome documentary from discovery channel – The Great Sperm Race (eighteenyears, thank you for the reco!)

It’s not your typical youtube video – it’s much longer, with commercial breaks – but so worth watching!

But – I have a question now. In this video, the fertilization happened 36 hours after the ejaculation. THIRTY SIX HOURS!

So now I am absolutely confused: how long does it actually take for the sperm to reach the egg?

I’ll explain my concern.

In the last cycle, I was given an ovulation trigger and got the ovulation confirmed 48 hours later. So it’s safe to assume it happened withing those 48 hours (they say it usually happens within 24-40 hours from the trigger).

Last cycle, I was told to have sex the same day as the trigger – and the following day. Hmmm, if it takes 36 hours for the sperm to reach the egg – then they all missed the ovulation?

Now, even more mysterious. This cycle, the doc said to have sex on the day FOLLOWING the trigger day and the one after that. In plain English – he suggested we have sex 48 hours after the injection. Which, as we know from the previous cycle, is waaay past the ovulation time. WTF? Especially if it takes that long for the sperm to reach the fertilization zone?

I am glad we had sex the night before the trigger. I am banking on those swimmers.

But seriously – how long from ejaculation to fertilization?

Progesterone Suppositories Disaster

19 May

So you know how yesterday I said the “pussy pills” weren’t all that bad?

WRONG.

Yesterday evening I went to the bathroom to stick two pills way up inside me. Only for whatever reason, I couldn’t. Maybe I was too tense, maybe too dry… whatever the reason, I could only push them about half an inch or so in – and they would immediately get squeezed out, peaking out of… there.

I changed poses. I did mental exercises to relax myself. I lay down on the floor.

No matter what I did, every time I pushed, they squeezed right back out again, immediately.

At some point they decided it was melting time. My whole “area” got itchy and promptly started to burn and chant “u-ri-nate! u-ri-nate!”

I was freaking out. I got convinced I caught yet another UTI (urinary tract infection). It was all the same symptoms: burning, itching, inability to remove myself from the toilet seat for my bladder ached with the feeling of fullness (even though there was nothing in it).

After about HALF HOUR of struggle, I was able to push the pills just past the pelvic bone and they stayed there. It wasn’t all the way at the cervix as it’s supposed to be, but after 30 minutes of sweating and swearing, and jumping from toilet seat to the floor, pushing the god damn pills back in, and then back on the toilet again to pee or “imagine myself peeing”, all the way dealing with burning and itching, I felt that “just past the pelvic bone” classifies as “as far up as I can”. As the doctor ordered.

It took me a while to relax and overcome the burning and peeing to finally fall asleep. And even this morning peeing burned.

Yikes.

The only positive: the pill went right in this morning, although the moment it was past my pelvic bone, it turned and got stuck at 180 degrees. Perpendicular to everything. I just left it there. Whatever.

*very frustrated sigh*

I am Pissed

16 May

So today I went to FS to confirm ovulation. Ovulation confirmed, I am talking to the doctor, he says: “last cycle your progesterone was on the lower side, so we’re going to start you on progesterone”

Me, surprised: “so why didn’t you start me on progesterone last cycle?”

FS, flipping through the pages: “because at that point it was too late to start you on progesterone”

Me thinking: “so why did you schedule the PROGESTERONE TEST on the day when it was too late to do anything about my progesterone?!?!”

I didn’t ask that last question. I mean, he’s my doctor and I kinda don’t wanna make a scene and ruin the relationship (not that there is any real relationship to speak of).

But I am seriously pissed. I got even more pissed when I found out:

  • the price: over $100 a week ( have no clue whether insurance covers it)
  • the frequency: 1 stick to be inserted in the morning and 2 in the evening, DAILY
  • the mess: those consist mostly of wax, so I will have to wear pads all the time. According to my friend – daily thin pads WON’T BE ENOUGH. And we’ll have to have timed sex – when the morning mess dries up and the evening mess hasn’t started yet
  • the length: in case of a BFP, I’ll have to take these until 12 weeks into pregnancy! That’s a ton of maxi pads!
  • the symptoms: I might have all the pregnancy symptoms: nausea, constipation, tender enlarged breasts

Now, please understand me: I do want a baby and I am ready to do lots of sacrifices. It’s just that last month when I called to inquire about my progesterone test results, I was told everything was NORMAL and they’ll see me in a week for a pregnancy test.

And now they’re telling me it was NOT normal and I do need additional progesterone. I am just not sure whether I trust them. And the consequences of going along with what they’re suggesting are too big to just blindly follow them.

I don’t know what to do.

I am pissed.

How Much for a Baby?

6 May

There are those people that get pregnant on their own. The only expense they incur – is a pregnancy test. If it takes about 6 months for a healthy couple to get pregnant, and one test is about $15, then it’s safe to assume that it costs them about $90 to get pregnant (or, to be precise, to discover that they are pregnant).

Then you start using ovulation tests. These could cost about $50 a cycle. Plus pregnancy tests. $390 in total over another 6 months.

Then you go to fertility clinic. Now, my numbers are Canadian – we do have a pretty good medical coverage here. So far, the expenses we incurred were:

  • Initial exams for both of us – consultation with the doctor, blood tests for a whole number of things, ultrasounds of breasts, thyroid, whole abdomen and intravaginal ultrasound, sperm test – all free, brought to you by the provincial insurance
  • Once the diagnose is there, the clinic collects a one-time fee of $200 for an indefinite number of cycle monitorings (blood tests and ultrasounds and quick chats with doctors day after day after day). I have a friend who instead paid $35 for each cycle, and in her case she paid way more than that in the end.
  • Provera drug to trigger menses – about $20 (once you are ovulating, you won’t need provera anymore). 80% covered by work insurance.
  • Femara drug to trigger eggs growth – about $20 each cycle. 80% covered by work insurance.
  • Hormonal shot to trigger ovulation – $90 each cycle. Don’t know yet whether work insurance covers that.
  • And Pregvit vitamins – about $30 a month, 80% covered by insurance

So far, that’s it – $130 per month. I am not buying home pregnancy tests. The ones at fertility clinic are free. And more reliable.

There was no need in a progesterone shot post the ovulation or any other drugs (knock on wood). Not too bad.

IUIs, from what I heard, can run in $1000 per month ranges.

IVFs, from what I heard, can be up to $20,000 per try.

Adoption (now, this is really hearsay, I don’t know anyone personally who adopted) can be up to $50,000. Don’t ask me why on earth is it so expensive – they say that international agencies take tons of money to ensure that your baby was not bought on a slave market or something. I really hope this isn’t true. With so many lonely kids in the world, adoption should be free!!!