Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Infertility Myth: IVF Works for Everyone

Hello, all.  Today I am commemorating National Infertility Awareness Week, and I would like to bust an infertility myth - IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) works for everyone.

This is a sad truth, but I am one of the women for whom it did not work.  I have diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), which means that my ovaries aged - unexplainably - faster than the rest of my body (yep, the rest of me is just so young, baby!).  I was diagnosed at 33, and more than likely had this condition from birth.  My RE (reproductive endocrinologist) told me that the medical community doesn't know what causes DOR.  It can be caused by things like taking cancer chemotherapy or smoking, neither of which I participated in.

Medical research is needed to determine possible genetic factors and increase access to egg freezing, but until then, women like me must walk this road nearly alone.  Resolve, the National Infertility Association, gives a voice to women like me, and I have found their information helpful and informative.

In case you can't tell, I have one of the more devastating infertility diagnoses.  My RE was so kind to me, and never once told me I might as well give up, or doing a 2nd IVF wouldn't lead to success. Each time we did an ET (embryo transfer), I was given chances of success in the 30 to 40% range.  I appreciate his positive thoughts, but 4 ETs later, I have no take home baby.  I have had 3 miscarriages and carried 11 embryos in my womb.

My DH and I are nearly broke for the money we have spent to participate in non-covered procedures.  We have had multiple IUIs (intrauterine inseminations), 2 IVFs and multiple FETs (frozen embryo transfers), where embryos from a previous IVF cycle are thawed and used.   And now, we are pursuing domestic adoption, yet another VERY expensive venture. Government subsidies are needed to help those of us pursuing domestic adoption, whether in the foster care system or through an adoption agency.  We don't need government regulation of adoption, but we DO need more help than just the adoption tax credit (which will be very helpful AFTER our adoption is complete).  But we have to pay the money upfront, and I wonder, where will it come from?

I am sad to say, that no, IVF doesn't work for everyone.  And no one wants to hear that.  I know I wouldn't have wanted to hear it, but now, it is my experience.

For more information on infertility, click here.  For more information on National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), click here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Family

We have 2 cats, Patch and Jersey.  Patch is my calico 'baby girl' - as I call her - and Jersey is DH's little best buddy.

This is a picture of each of them, Patch on top and Jersey, in our nursery, on the bottom.  It's hard to tell, but the nursery is a very pale green.  That chair isn't in there now, but the angel still hangs on the closet door.  I have 3 stuffed angels in the nursery, one for each miscarriage I have had.

It's amazing how smart animals are.  We have had Patch for 11 years, and Jersey for 13, going on 14 years now.  They can tell when I'm down, when I'm stressed and they know when I'm relaxed.  Their unconditional love has meant the world to me.  And when I have very little in my mind, in their mind, I am everything.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why The Blog Title

Hey, all.  Well, I've never said, and you've never asked, but this blog title is all about contrast.  It's about conflict, as well.  Infertility creates some powerful storms in our marriages, in our hearts, souls and minds.  Let's face it, it's just 'not the way it's supposed to be', this inability to create physical life in and through our wombs.

I originally named this blog Something I'm Not.  I am not...
- a mother to a living child
- defined by my infertility.

Then I changed the blog name, some months ago, to Someone I'm Not.  It seems to reflect how I feel more accurately.  I am not...
- bitter (angry, sure)
- controlled by my life circumstances.

It can go either way, the blog name.  But the controversy exists within me, so I decided to go with someONE I'm not.  Someone I'm Not also refers, perhaps more importantly, to how set apart I feel.  I feel lonely alot of the time and I don't think it's by accident.  But I'm no pretender.  If I don't have something in common with you, and we just don't 'click' as friends, you'll know, but I'll love you just the same.

I feel terrifically conflicted in my heart, yet I will keep loving.  I feel very lonely at times, but I will reach out.
Contrast.  It's my life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hello, all.  It's almost Easter.  Sigh.  The good news: snacking on pastel wrapped mini Kit-K$t's, making Easter baskets, donning new shoes, sitting outside comfortably for hours on Sunday afternoons.

The bad news: I am really grieving our last miscarriage.  We would be due now, in late April. Spring, with its new beginnings and beauty, never fails to sadden those of us experiencing infertility. With fertility literally dripping from the trees, how can we feel any other way? I went to Sunday school and maybe shouldn't have on Sunday.  There was a baby there, as usual, but it got to me more this time.  We sit in a big circle in our class, and I have no idea why.  I hate that.  If I have something to say, I'll say it, but sitting in a circle isn't going to get me to open up.

Maybe I should petition for a change.  Hmmm.

I always end up sitting exactly across from this couple with the baby, so if I want to look straight ahead, I'm faced with them.  I believe that what you look at is your focus.  I do my best to look away but it gets hard.  Finally, mom needs to feed the baby since he's getting so fussy, so she takes him to another part of the room.  Whew.  It's all so weird.

I've asked DH before about finding a new church. Sometimes I get really tired of the we-live-for-our-kids banner of our church.  That is our society, however.  It would be so great to have couples as friends who are also waiting for an adoption match.  It's a uniquely painful process.  While everyone else is moving on in life, so to speak - what is junior wearing for Easter Sunday and where is Sally going to preschool - we are stuck in waiting land like we have been for 14 years of marriage.

This Land of Waiting is vast.  It stretches as far as the eye can see and as far as the heart can feel.  Imagine that.  There is no end to it.

Which is why I just didn't feel like socializing at Sunday school.  All the ladies were surrounding the mom with her baby, and I had less than nothing to say.  I just headed out the door.  I told DH I'll see you in 'big church' and left.  He wanted to talk with people and eat.  It just emphasizes the lonely feeling I have, but if I'm sadder than sad, and have nothing to say, what to do?

I feel like a square peg in a round hole life.  I don't fit into this life - the one apparently God is giving me - yet.  And it hurts.

That's a good potential post - The Life God is Giving Me.  All I can say is why?  It looks so bad right now.  Not having a child from my body feels like the biggest curse of my life.  Accepting myself feels impossible right now.  I just don't want to be me.

One day, I will perceive it differently.  One day, I will understand some of this.  One day, some of the pain will be lessened.  One day.