Do folks think faith that it will happen plays a role in getting or not getting pregnant? Sometimes I feel like I’m just going through the motions of trying to get pregnant. Deep down, I’m not sure I believe it will ever really happen. I’m not sure faith is something I can muster at this point– grim determination perhaps.
Cancer patients get encouragement to keep a positive attitude. In fact, they get chastised for not keeping a positive attitude, but studies have shown that a positive outlook actually has no impact on survival. A positive outlook does help keep you sane, perhaps, but it won’t keep you living. Maybe a positive outlook would be good for my mental well-being, but it still doesn’t help us get what we ultimately want– a baby. Or does it? Anybody have any thoughts on this? Are there any studies on fertility rates among optimists vs. pessimists? I’ve never been in the pessimist camp before, but months of unsuccessful TTC wear a girl down.
The doctor doesn’t want to do more tests right now. He wants to try a combo of Femara (Letrazole) and Follistim (an injectable). Fertility bloggers, spill what you know. Anyone been on this combo? Know anything about it? I’ve heard a little about Letrazole, and I’m currently freaking out over the fact that this is not an FDA-approved use for it (it’s a breast cancer drug) and that it has been linked with birth defects (although that seems to be only if it’s taken while actually pregnant), but so far it looks a little lessy scary than Clomid. I know nothing about Follistim yet, but I’m sure by the end of the weekend, I’ll have corrected that. This new regimen will come with extra monitoring– 2-3 u/s and one estrogen check. The estrogen level (post meds) is supposed to tell us something about the quality –instead of just the size–of the follicles we’re getting.
Because of the snow our consultation with the RE got cancelled twice this week, and we couldn’t get a rescheduled appointment until what will likely be Day 7 or 8 of my next cycle. I wasn’t really planning on sitting on the bench longer than one cycle, and if we’re going to sit another month out, I at least want more tests in the interim. I called the nurse practitioner and kissed her ass long enough for her to tell me that she would ask the RE to review my file tomorrow and see if anything jumps out at him, ie. more tests we should be doing. I got the whole “When a couple has been trying as long as you have and not getting pregnant, sometimes you’ve gotta take a step back, talk to the RE, and review the options.” How infuriating– like we are not wanting to review the options?! Like I am just being impatient and trying to force them to escalate me to meds I don’t need? I want to talk to the doctor! Vanessa reminded me that you get more flies with honey, though, so I gritted my teeth and explained politely that I realize we need to talk to the doctor before proceeding and that we’ve been making concerted effort to do so but that nature is kind of working against us here– no one’s fault really. She brought up injectables, which I am prepared for but not without some more bloodwork first. I asked what injectables will get me that Clomid won’t, since we know I’m getting good sized follicles, and she told me that sometimes follicles can be empty. There is no way to know if there are actual eggs in them without IVF.
Empty follicles. My mind is blown. From what I’m reading online, it seems like this is not all that common and that it rarely repeats itself month after month, so I doubt that’s our problem, but it does sound like injectables could net us a little more control (can we get much more controlled?), more follicles, and higher quality follicles. Chances of multiples goes up from 5% to like 25%, but at this point twins would actually be welcome. Vanessa and I are both thinking that IVF feels inevitable, but I think I’d like to try at least 1 cycle of injectables before-hand to see how my body reacts and how many follicles we get. It’s a “cheap” dress-rehearsal for IVF– same drugs. If we end up doing IVF, I want to make sure we’ve got the formula just right. Also on the table– Vanessa’s eggs, my body. That definitely requires an in-person consultation with the doctor.
In other news, I’ve finally gotten around to adding some of the TTC blogs I read on a regular basis. To those of you who comment here frequently– sorry it took so long for me to realize I could do this. Vanessa started the blog and has some rights I don’t have, and I just assumed that adding links was something I couldn’t do.
This photo is kinda fuzzy, but you can just make out the heart shape.
I’ve uploaded some pictures of the animals.
8″ of snow and counting since last night. On days like this I want the smell of something baking in the oven. For the past year I’ve been teaching myself to bake from scratch. Some things I’ve conquered so far:
- Angel food cake
- All manner of quick breads (pumpkin and banana bread, blueberry muffins, oat bran muffins, corn bread, etc.)
- Yeast bread and rolls
- and today biscuits!!
I’m intimidated by things I have to knead with my hands. I don’t like to get messy. I use the food processor (OK– this is cheating a little) for the bulk of the kneading on the yeast bread, and biscuit dough seemed like it was going to be just sticky-awful. Vanessa has been begging for homemade biscuits for years. The dilineation of kitchen responsibilities in our household is that she is mostly the cook, and I am mostly the baker.
On a snow day there are no excuses to avoid messy time-consuming culinary endeavors, so I just finished up making the Pie Queen’s Shortcake Biscuits, cut in hearts for Valentine’s Day (and b/c I couldn’t find a round biscuit cutter but have an abundance of cookie cutters in every other shape). I made them w/out the blueberry topping b/c Vanessa’s planning to make a cherry compote to top them with later, and they’re not so sweet that they wouldn’t also make excellent biscuits ‘n gravy biscuits.
The kneading was nothing to worry about. The other thing that always makes me wary of pastries is the cutting in of the fat to a crumb consistency, but whilst looking for recipes this morning I ran across a great suggestion of using a hand grater to do this rather than a pastry cutter (I own no such implement) or two butter knives. That worked like a charm and is making me far less wary of another baking nemesis– the homemade pie crust. Maybe on the next snow day.
This weekend Vanessa and I went to a concert with some friends at a local bar. The headliner was Melissa Ferrick. I’d never heard Melissa Ferrick, but I got the impression that her music was Indigo Girls-ish, and I figured I’d like it. After the first couple of songs it occurred to me that while this kind of music is lovely, I don’t crave it the way I did in college and for much of my 20s when I felt I was always struggling with something– struggling against my parents and their disapproval of my lifestyle, struggling against a partner who was not right for me and with whom I could grow no further, struggling against my weight, wrestling my own definitions of success, fighting something I mistook for shyness that made it difficult for me to relate to other people but that I now realize was not social awkwardness but the perfectly healthy response of an introvert to the extroverts with whom I was surrounding myself. In short, the music was angst-ridden, and I no longer crave this kind of music because I don’t identify with it anymore. I am no longer angst-ridden.
So ever since I’ve been feeling very satisfied with myself and the adult that I’ve become who is “comfortable in her own skin ” and no longer desperately (and fearfully) searching for identity. I feel successful, and I don’t have any problems that seem insurmountable. Like any other couple, Vanessa and I occasionally face challenges. Depression creeps in. Our jobs overwhelm us. There’s a family crisis. A car breaks down. We work through it, and the world doesn’t stop turning. No one threatens to break up. Drama doesn’t taint our relationship. I remain in love with her, and she could only be more perfect for me if the dishes were done when I got home (hint hint).
And then this morning I get in my car and turn on the stereo. Bursting out of the speakers comes Kid Fears by the Indigo Girls. Vanessa drove my car last– Vanessa, who only very rarely gets the urge to listen to the Indigo Girls. Because I am lazy I do not change the CD, and a few minutes later– Watershed. Watershed is the song that propelled me to leave the comfort of what I knew to accept the job offer at my current company 5 1/2 years ago, which has been mostly good for me:
Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize till your agony’s your heaviest load.
You’ll never fly as the crow flies, get used to a country mile.
When you’re learning to face the path at your pace every choice is worth your while.
Jeez. It’s so cheesy, I’m embarrassed to be so effected by it. Anyway, it made me wonder if I’m holding myself back (this time holding both me and Vanessa back) by continuing down this road of trying to conceive. Am I robbing us of time with our children by avoiding the adoption option? I allowed myself to consider it and then took a detour through the carwash to allow time to pull myself together before work, since I still cannot consider the possibility of not carrying a child inside me without sobbing. Perhaps there is some angst left after all.