Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Story

Before Hubby and I were married we discussed having children. We were both certain that neither of us wanted kids. Yup 100% sure. In fact we were married for nearly 10 years before I started to change my mind. Maybe it was being surrounded by pregnant friends, or maybe it truly was the tick-tock of my biological clock, either way, I was determined. I even had a name picked out!

I told Hubby that after being on birth control since I was 19 that I was done. It can't possibly be healthy to have all those hormones added to my system for so long. So I said that the responsibility of birth control was now his.

It was like that for nearly 18 months. I wasn't charting or anything like that - in fact looking back - I was blissfully ignorant of all things TTC! But I was getting impatient. I had always tracked my cycles and kind of guessed when I was ovulating. So in February 2008 over Hubby's birthday weekend, I made sure that we had sex a few times.

2 weeks later my period was late. It had been a couple of days late before so I wasn't thinking anything about it. I finally went and bought a home pregnancy test and lo and behold there was a second line! I was pregnant. I was excited and scared all at the same time. I was nearly 35 and had never been pregnant before. Hubby was surprised and happy too.

The next 5 weeks we read books on pregnancy and planned out ways to tell our families. I joined the online community (which has become my online family), and if you're TTC, expecting, or a mom I urge you to go to: Just Mommies. Mother's Day was right after our 12 week ultrasound and we had planned to send copies to our moms.

But I was never sick or nauseous and this worried me. My mom was horribly sick for both her pregnancies and I had assumed that I would be the same. At my 8 week appointment I told my doctor my fears. I said that I no longer had any symptoms and that I didn't feel pregnant. She suggested that maybe I was one of the lucky ones, but she did order a couple of blood tests for me. This was on Friday.

On Sunday I had some brown spotting. I had assumed that I had overdone it that day and tried to take it easy. But I was still spotting on Monday. On Tuesday I called the doctor's office. The nurse said that brown spotting is okay and not to worry. On Wednesday night I had bad back pains. On Thursday I woke up to red blood, I wasn't spotting anymore. We went to the ER where they confirmed that our baby had died somewhere around 6 1/2 weeks. They scheduled me an appointment the following day at the Early Pregnancy Loss Clinic and gave me 6.

On April 11, 2008, only an hour before my appointment, I had my miscarriage at home. Let me tell you it's nothing like you see in the movies or on t.v. I've never felt such pain - it was horrible and the pain medication did nothing to help. I finally called Hubby and said "come home NOW!" He did, he saw me and wanted to rush me to the ER again. I said no, we have our appt soon. The nurse at the clinic confirmed that the worst was over and ordered an ultrasound to make sure everything had passed.

The next week I walked around in a daze. I barely remember anything. My boss gave me the week off (thank goodness). I went to the mall to walk around for some exercise and I very nearly bought a puppy - I wasn't thinking straight!

I racked my brains trying to figure out what I had done to cause the loss. Was it the new face cream that I had tried? Was it the 1 drink that I had before I knew that I was pregnant? Was it because I had cleaned the cat litter box? Maybe it was the green tea that I drank each night... I almost wished that I had caused it so at least I could prevent another one.

My doctor gave me the go ahead to start TTC after my period showed. Which was only 23 days later. We did start, this time charting, using OPKs, and anything else that we thought would help.

We have been actively TTC for 19 cycles now. The grief from our loss has faded, though I'll never forget the pain (both physical and mental). I thought that we would conceive again right away since we were actively TTC now. Wrong! I've learned that infertility is a whole new type of pain.

Before the sight of a pregnant woman would remind me of my loss, now it's a reminder of what I can't have.

However, the support that I found in others after my loss was amazing. I sought out one co-worker who I knew had had 3 losses for her support, 2 others approached me to tell me about their losses. My online friends have been there to listen to me whine and to support me when I'm feeling down. There are still days when I am low - our loss date (April 11) and the baby's due date (November 8), but we're healing.

I believe that our loss and subsequent infertility will make us better parents in the end. We will have a greater appreciation for our child(ren). When we look at them we will remember what we had endured for them.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Freaky Friday!

On Tuesday I twisted my foot. I was hurrying across the street with my arms full, in heels, and obviously not paying attention to where I was going. This is the result:

I'm actually pretty thankful. It's only a mild sprain and an ugly bruise. My ankle is okay. I can bend all of my toes, but it hurts to try to spread them.

If nothing else, it's something to keep my mind off the two week wait!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

First RE Appointment

So yesterday Hubby and I made our way to our first appointment at the fertility clinic. I didn't know if I should be excited because we were finally getting help, or nervous at what they might tell us.

We each had to fill out and bring a 4 page questionnaire. On top of that I printed out 6 months of my charts and I had a few questions to ask.

I think we saw the doctor for a grand total of 5 minutes! I was not impressed. She asked how long we have been TTC - I told her actively since our miscarriage and we were not preventing for about a year and a half before that. She asked if I had had a D&C. I said no. She asked Hubby if he had ever impregnated anyone else. And then she went on to explain "the fertility cycle" complete with a diagram! Hello!? Do you think that anyone with an internet connection in this day and age who has been TTC for over a year doesn't already know every single detail of TTC and fertility treatments?

I sat there and tried to look interested as she pointed out the stages of the menstrual cycle. But all the while I was thinking "get on with it, get on with it".

When she was done I asked her what the results were from my FSH and progesterone tests and also Hubby's SA. She flipped open the file and said "good". Then she said that she'll order more tests and then based on that we'll probably try Clomid and possibly an IUI or we could try IVF and get a better chance of conception.

Overall - I was not very impressed. I realize that they are insanely busy, but come on! At least seem more interested in us.

There was definitely a shinning moment though. Hubby was looking at the papers that they gave us. He saw that for IVF there is a 3 - 6 month waiting list. He figures that we should register for that now to save time later. I was quite surprised that he would be so game for IVF. I told him to finish reading about it and make sure that he's ready to live with me when I'm full of hormones and we also need to figure out our finances.

Our next steps: On CD1 I will call them to book an HSG - to be scheduled on CD7. I get to go for another FSH test on CD3. I also need to book a transvaginal ultrasound to look for cysts and polyps. Hubby gets to go for another SA where they will test for antibodies. We also booked a follow up appointment on December 15th.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

In honour of my first RE appointment today:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm Out of Patience

You know how in March Xmas seems so far away, but yet you're still thinking about it? How you let that excitement build for the next 9 months? How you build up the day so much in your mind that you almost hope it never comes in case it lets you down?

Well that's how I'm feeling about my appointment at the Fertility Clinic tomorrow. I had first asked my GP about a referral after we were actively TTC for 6 months after our loss. She said that we had recently been pregnant and it can take a while, plus, even though we're over 35, we're healthy. She said to wait until we were TTC for a year. So after 12 cycles (not quite a year) I went back and said that I wanted to see a specialist. She ordered some tests and said that she would write up a referral letter. She did let me know that it could take up to 6 months for an appointment.

Fast forward to today. That appointment is tomorrow! My emotions are ranging from excitement to anxiety. Excitement because we can take a more aggressive approach to TTC. Anxiety because, what if they find something? What if it takes forever to get our tests done? What if we do treatments and they don't work? What if...? As you can see there are more anxieties.

I am glad to finally be moving forward. But I'm an impatient control freak and I want results NOW!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A New Lease On Life

I'm back from visiting my grandparents and I seem to have brought a new lease on life back with me. My grandmother just turned 95, and my grandfather is not far behind at 93. While visiting I wondered how many other 30-somethings still have grandparents, let alone 2? They have been married for 72 years.

I thought of all that they have experienced and overcome in their lives. Certainly they had a lot of challenges, but they're still here. Their first child was conceived with little effort - but was born breach. Then there was a miscarriage. Then they were separated for 5 years while my grandfather was away for WWII. Then, like so many others, they had a baby after the war. And then nothing for nearly 10 years. Then they had a 3rd child, unexpectedly, 9 years after the 2nd child, and while my grandmother was 41.

Do I think they would have been unhappy if they had not had children? No. I think that my grandmother would have been everyone's favourite aunt and she would have been very happy.

I realized that for all that time they were most likely never charting, certainly not using OPKs or a fertility monitor, and were so busy living life that TTC never took over. I want my life back.

I'm young - so what if I'm in my mid 30s? 3 of my grandparents have reached 90 and the 4th was in her 80s when she passed. Based on that I'm barely middle aged! I'm no longer going to stop doing something that I enjoy simply because "I might be pregnant". Darn it, I used to have a really flat belly and it's going soft! I need to start going back to the gym - I want my flat belly back!

So here is my pledge:
  • I will no longer avoid buying new clothes in case I might be pregnant. Pregnant or infertile I still need to look good!
  • I will no longer avoid physical activity in case I might be pregnant.
  • If I'm craving sushi and I haven't seen a BFP - I'm eating it! (same goes for soft cheeses and wine)
  • I will not let my chart dictate my love life
  • I will not avoid planning a vacation
  • Regardless if Hubby and I ever have a child, we will be happy with our lives.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - On Tuesday

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cycle # 19 - Cycle Day 13

We all know that not every woman has a 28 day cycle, and certainly not every woman ovulates on the 14th day of her cycle. It seems that in the land of infertility I score an A+ when it comes to my cycle. I am one of the lucky ones with a 29 day cycle (average) who ovulates between cycle day 13 - 15.

So, since I'm on cycle day 13 today that means that I will be ovulating in the next couple of days. You know that that means....

Bam Chicka Wow Wow!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's Our Anniversary!

Almost, October 18th is our anniversary. Our 13th wedding anniversary to be exact. Where does the time go? The first ten years breezed by as we were busy with our careers and buying a house or two, and traveling. The next 3 years (at least for me) can be sectioned off into my monthly cycles and then even further into 2 week increments.

It hardly seems like that many years have gone by. I'm so grateful that I met Hubby when I was young so I didn't have to waste much time looking for him. I look at my single friends and I'm so happy that I'm not in my mid-30s and still dating (mind you, many of them already have kids - they didn't put everything off).

No matter what happens as we TTC, I know that we'll be okay. We have each other and will be happy as parents or not.

I love you Hubby!

*Note: we actually eloped, so this was not our wedding cake! I'm "borrowing" it from Lindy Smith.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In Memory of Our Angels

October 15th is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day. Other than my angel's due date and the date of my loss, this is an important date for me. This is a day when all of us mothers, and fathers, and extended families can all lend support to each other and remember our angels. Our stories will be different, but the ache in our hearts will be similar.

I know that if you haven't experienced a loss that you might not know what to say or how to feel, and that's okay. All I ask is that you let us remember our angels.

Miscarriage and stillbirth is still so common (and unfortunately will never be 100% preventable). The sad statistic is that 25% of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage.

I guarantee that you know someone who has lost a child. Just in my office there are 4 of us (25% of our workplace).

So please, wherever you are, light a candle at 7pm tonight to remember our angels.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Oct. 14

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

If you're Canadian, today is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving - eh. Hubby and I celebrated yesterday with our turkey dinner and a nice bottle of wine (of which I got to also enjoy thanks to AF).

And while we've had our fertility struggles, workplaces issues (like Hubby getting laid off), and our share of money worries (thank you global recession) - we also have reasons to be thankful.
  • I'm thankful that hubby and I are both employed and working for good people.
  • I'm thankful that we are smart with money and while the savings account has definitely dwindled this year, we are not in debt (except for the mortgage).
  • I'm thankful that we live in a country that offers healthcare for everyone.
  • And ~ I'm very thankful for my Hubby. He is truly the yin to my yang. In other words, where I get all worked up and stressed out, he stays relaxed and calm. He has truly been my rock while we go through infertility.
It would be so easy to get bogged down in my negative thoughts and feelings, but I know that there are so many people out there whose lives are not as easy as ours. When I start to get down I think of the poor people of Indonesia & the Philippines whose homes have been washed away by flooding. Or I think of the many people here in Canada or in the USA who have lost their homes during the recession. And when I think about my angel, and how tragic that loss was, I know that there are families out there who have lost more than one child.

So yes, I am truly thankful. While things are not 100% perfect in my life, things could be much, much worse.

I hope that you will all take a moment to reflect on the things in your life for which you are thankful.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

An Unhealthy (and Expensive) Addiction

Women are usually "half glass full" kind of people. That's why, when we first start to TTC, we also can't resist buying home pregnancy tests (HPTs) when we're at the store. We count down the days in our cycle until test day and then we start testing.

But for many of us that first test, then the one the next day, and the next all result in a BFN (Big Fat Negative). This will not deter every woman. Many will continue to test with reckless abandon each new cycle, thus spurring the phrase in the online community of being a POAS Addict (pee on a stick addict).

For other women, each negative test result will act as negative reinforcement. And to them, just the thought of POAS is depressing. I call those women POAS Avoiders.

For the record, I'm an avoider. I'm also cheap. Every time that I have tested (since the loss) has resulted in a BFN. Each time I see that BFN I think to myself "I could have peed on a $10 and had the same results - BFN and $10 down the toilet".

Home Pregnancy Tests generally are not cheap. In Canada I've seen the prices range from $8.99 - $15 per test. I know that they are less expensive in the US and that you can also get better prices by ordering online.

Not all test are the same either. Some are midstream (the kind you pee on), some are dippers (when you have to collect the pee in a cup and dip), some are early detection, some are digital, all vary in the amount of HcG that they detect. The type that you use will depend on your preference and your pocketbook.

We already know that I'm a POAD Avoider, so why is it that I find myself wandering in the Family Planning aisle whenever I'm at the grocery store or the pharmacy? How wasteful is it to buy an item that you know you will not use, and that you know will also expire? What kind of person would spend money needlessly during a recession?

Ladies (and gentlemen too), I give you exhibit A: My stash of HPTs.

You'll note there are 10 IC's (internet cheapies), 3 digital tests, 1 FRER (First Response), and 3 drugstore brand. That's 17 tests! Plus, I've had the one digital test for so long that it expires this month! What a waste! Remember, Canada has public health care. I don't even need to buy tests. I can go to my Dr. or to a clinic and have a test done there - no charge (but a waste of time for the Dr if AF isn't late).

I wonder if there's some sort of HPT bank (like a food bank) that I can donate them to?

Are you a POAS Addict, or Avoider?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What If?

Do you ever regret waiting so long to have a baby?

Wow there's no easy answer to that question! Yes, I often wonder if it would have been easier to get (and stay) pregnant if I was 10 years younger. But the truth is, 10 years ago, I wasn't ready to be a parent.

I definitely think of the money and effort that I wasted on birth control over the years.

I've never been one of those women who goes ga ga over babies. Sure, I think they can be cute, and I love to hold a newborn, or to play with an infant, but I never pined for one of my own. Truth is, if I enter a house with a new baby and a new puppy, I'm more likely to go to the puppy first.

When Hubby and I were married we both agreed that we would be happy if we didn't have any kids. We were very focused on our careers and we love to travel. If we had had kids 10 years ago, we would not be living in the house that we have now, and we would not have been able to see as much of the world that we have.

So, truthfully, no. I don't regret waiting until my mid-30s to start my family. And over the past 3 years I've come to accept the fact that we may not have a family. And I'm okay with that too. We're not going to let TTC stop us from living our lives. We will still plan vacations (once the recession is over and we have money in the bank again), I'll keep cleaning the litter box, and occasionally I'll have a glass of wine.

Thanks for asking. Keep the questions coming! You can e-mail me at: pregnantyuppy(at)gmail(dot)com

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Moving On To the Next Step

On Friday the Fertility Clinic called to book our first appointment! In Canada we have public health care which means that unless you have a life threatening condition, there is usually a wait list to see a specialist. Plus, there are only 2 fertility clinics in our province that serve not only our population but also the population of a neighbouring province that doesn't have a clinic. So, it can take a while to get an appointment. My Doctor wrote the referral letter back in the spring. So it did take about 6 months for our appointment. Good thing I'm patient.

We meet with our RE on October 28th. In advance of our appointment both hubby and I have to fill out detailed medical history forms. Plus, hubby has to go for another SA since his original SA did not test for everything (eg. antibodies). At our appointment we'll discuss our history and more tests will be ordered. Most likely I'll have to go for an HSG (Hysterisalpingogram) - doesn't that sound like fun? A treatment plan won't be created until all of the test results are in.

Until then, I can pin my hopes on this cycle (currently 10 DPO) or the next cycle (I'll be around 7 DPO at the time of the appt), and while I do that I can relax knowing that I'll soon have a medical expert to help me.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Unless you live in a remote cave and are cut off from all modern methods of communication. You are most likely aware that October is breast cancer awareness month. A very noble cause, but one that I choose not to support. Let me explain why:

Cancer has certainly affected me. Like everyone else I have lost loved ones to this horrible disease (once called the plague of the 20th century). I do donate to cancer research, but not specifically to breast cancer research. Whoever was hired to be in charge of marketing for breast cancer has done an amazing job! No kidding, I am truly impressed. For what other cause can you buy a shopping bag or spatula and lend support?

And that is one reason that I choose not to support this cause. Why would I buy a pink kitchen mixer knowing that the actual researchers are hardly going to receive any money from my purchase? I'd much rather donate directly.

Being in the forefront with a great marketing campaign is great. Everyone knows you exist. But unfortunately other great causes get left behind. The actual #1 killer of women in North America is heart disease not breast cancer. But most do not know this.

I'm not going off on this rant to say not to donate to breast cancer. Absolutely not. If you are donating your hard earned money to any charitable organization that is awesome!

For me though October will always be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. We don't have any special kitchen appliances that you can buy. All I ask is that everyone be aware of how common it is to lose a child or a pregnancy. I guarantee that you know of at least one person that has suffered a loss.

Treat us with respect. Talk about their loss. Remember them on Mother's Day. Don't pretend like it doesn't happen or assume that it won't happen to you. It can. I hope that it won't, but it can.

On October 15th, light a candle in memory of a lost child.

My Chart

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