Archive for September, 2009

Lower case “w” – whew

Thanks for all the support. I wanted to report that the conversation with SIL went well and I feel as though I have cleared a hurdle. The air is somewhat clearer and I can now do what I needed to do all along – be genuinely happy for her and excited to be an aunt! Her reproductive situation has little (physical) bearing on our reproductive challenges – and just as I can be happy for her AND focus on what I need, she can be excited and scared about her pregnancy AND be supportive of us.

As I knew would be the case, we always do better in person, alone. I picked her up and we went to a diner (the cleanest I have *ever* seen!) on the water in Hoboken. The first 20 mins or so were getting settled in, getting a table, etc. So, I finally broke the ice by giving her a ‘trinket’ for protection. Something to keep her safe and let her know that I am excited for them and ready to be a part of this.

Overall – a really important use of my Saturday morning – followed by a traffic filled drive to an engagement party and then dinner with some out of town cousins.

Tonight begins a 25-hour period of reflection, Yom Kippur. It falls this year on the eve of our IVF#2. AF should start soon since I just finished the active BCPs – and now that the air is cleared with SIL, I have found a good acupuncture clinic and am taking steps to find an IRL therapist, I find I am in a good place.

Despite the gloomy rain in Brooklyn, DH and I are going to do the last thing that we need to before sundown – a ceremony called Tashlich – where you cast away sins from the past year by tossing bread crumbs into a body of living water (in our case, the stream in Prospect Park). I plan to try to cast off some of the negativity that has been weighing me down and spend some time with my thoughts to get back to the person that I know I am – not the person that seems to be posting all of these angry pieces on my blog. Like so many other IF blogs that I follow, I too struggle with the fact that the blog, while serving as a valuable outlet, really only shows one side of me. You all know a one-dimensional gracieinbrooklyn – and at the same time – the struggle TTC affects everything else that I do.

So, on this eve of Yom Kippur, thank you all for the community that we make up on line. For letting me share my fears, anger and struggles. For following my journey.


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The conversation

Quick update on a Friday night. Tomorrow I am taking a tour of the tri-state area. Brunch in Hoboken with my SIL, followed by an engagement party in Wayne, NJ (which Google maps tells me is an hour away), followed by picking up DH in the City, followed by dinner on Long Island with my cousins.

For those following my postings, moods, etc. – my SIL is the very same one that is now pregnant. She and her husband were at our house when we had everyone over last weekend, but there were plenty of others around and I was *very* busy hostess-ing. Okay, so I did way more than I had to because I wasn’t ready to deal.

Well, it’s time to talk about this in person. I want to be excited for her. I really do. But I am still hurt that she 1) didn’t tell me (still hasn’t) and 2) chose to tell DH at a time that was convenient for her and that didn’t take his feelings into account. Here’s the story.

So, in the spirit of  a new year – and clearing the air – SIL and I are going to have brunch tomorrow. Just the two of us.

I’m nervous, but also glad that I forced it.

That said, protective walls going up to guard my feelings…

And in IF news, AF is due to start any day – which means that IVF#2 is around the corner. Now that we have a new acupuncturist (and an appointment with a therapist next Friday), I’m feeling like we have built more of a support system.

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So. Much. Better.

After a lousy experience with my first acupuncturist, I did some research to find an acupuncturist with experience (and a specialization) in IF-related treatment. Turns out that there IS everything in New York.

The old acupuncturist was located in a charming (read: creaky) brownstown 5 minutes walk from our apartment. The ‘rooms’ were really just partitioned walls with open ceilings so you can hear everything in the next room. While the acupuncturist was fairly nice, he just didn’t inspire confidence and seemed to be giving me the generic treatment. Not that I’ve been before, but nothing seemed related to my reproductive organs or where I was in the IVF cycle. Plus, he claimed that he had a partner, but I never saw her or any of her patients. So much for the recommendation eh?

Anyway, in what now seems to be a really obvious move (but during IVF #1 seemed inconceivable) I found a new clinic, fairly conveniently located to my office — and (wait for it) was able to book an appointment online! The practice is lovely. A real infrastructure – waiting room, receptionist and, most importantly, a wonderful practitioner who asked really smart questions, was empathetic, talked extensively about her experience with this.

So. Much. Better.

So, now I feel like one critical support is in place for IVF#2. According to the BCPs, I should start monitoring and injectables next week.

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Pause, reset

After some good advice, I am reminded that there are in fact many people who read this. Who are interested in following our story and genuinely hoping for a good outcome. Thank you.

I am an action-oriented person. After some wallowing (see previous post), I decided to start creating the IRL support network that I need. I located a highly regarded new acupucturist, and made an appointment for Monday evening. I called a few recommended therapists and have a few options for an appointment (alone or with DH). I made time for exercise (watched Never Been Kissed at 10 p.m. at the gym, but hey, at least I was at the gym!) — and realized that my religion is telling me to pause, reflect and start anew.

I love the fall – and the heady anticipation of the holidays. We are hosting DH’s entire family and the leaves in Brooklyn have just started to change. I worked from home today to prepare (and sneak off for a long overdue haircut). As I walked down the commercial street near our apartment, it was invigorating and energizing to feel others preparing for the holiday (and weekend of course), shopping, running last second errands. Our landlords, who live below us, have been cooking all day and so our apartment upstairs – by extension – smells delicious. I received a frantic call from a friend’s husband – do you rub the Lipton’s onion soup directly on the brisket? I felt useful and flattered that he is making my grandmother’s brisket recipe for his wife.

So as the sun starts to sink and I prepare to shut down the computer, I enter into this weekend excited to reflect, to recharge and start anew. This year, I hope, will contain health, happiness and a way to help us grow from a couple to a family.

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Feeling blue

I’m trying to more regularly update this blog. One of the reasons that I started blogging was to have an outlet for my sadness, frustration and difficult IF journey.

After much thought (and some great advice from some of you) I emailed my SIL a congratulations along with a little bit about where DH and I are coming from. As it turns out, she was emailing me at the same time – sort of apologizing about how she shared the news. So, crisis averted.

The next hurdle is having DH’s whole family over for the Jewish holidays this weekend. I plan to be super busy in the kitchen and hostessing so I don’t have to discuss anything detailed with SIL, BIL or my in-laws.

We are a week or so out from starting IVF #2. On BCP, injectables and all supplies being delivered on Wednesday. This time around there is no fear of the unknown, but I am also not terribly optimistic.

Instead, I just feel very alone.

Our parents tried to be supportive last time – but in their own ways screwed up. When we got our BFN, it was just too exhausting to tell everyone we had let in – even though the circle was pretty small. This time around we are being incredibly vague with timing and protocol.

I think that what is really bothering me is that I don’t feel like anything is connected. To my RE and clinic, I am a number – and fall out of the system as soon as they aren’t controlling my reproductive system. To my acupuncturist, I’m just another back to stick with needles.

Take tonight. I had my first acupuncture appointment since I got the BFN. I mentioned the acupuncturist that I’d like to better understand what he is doing – and how he is tailoring the treatment for my situation (vs. just doing the ‘standard’ treatment – if such a thing exists). I’m naturally a curious person and have been asking tons of questions all along. After a frustrating exchange he spent more than an hour putting needles in my back and *starting* sentences – he literally never finished a thought! I am planning to see who else is out there…

Bottom line, New York can be a wonderful place, but it can also be incredibly lonely. There is no cohesive community. It’s up to me to knit it all together.

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I’m angry – upset and angry.

We had our WTF appointment with the doctor. Despite all that we had heard throughout the IVF cycle (large number of follicles, perfect lining, day 5 transfer, etc.) turns out that they think that my eggs mature early and that there is an egg quality issue. He seemed really certain when he said ‘a few years ago we would have done a day 3 transfer and thought that the cycle went perfectly’ – so now, since they know so much more, they can tell that despite the large number of follicles, only the two they transferred were any good. Nothing to freeze.

I know – it only takes one – but everyone else that I saw was so much more upbeat.

Then, the kicker. He said – if you want to go ahead for another cycle of IVF, you should have seen me earlier. WHAT!?!

When I called to make an appointment *the day of the BFN* I got the FIRST available appointment. I’ve said before that now that I am not in the middle of a cycle, it’s like I don’t exist. The WTF appointment should be *standard* with a BFN.

So, the upshot is that since my estrogen was still really low, I am back on BCP, gearing up for IVF#2 – likely start end of September. New protocol will have an earlier retrival and supplemental estrogen throughout (as a patch).

So then…

We went upstate to deal with some family issues with DH’s family this weekend. On the way up I was feeling really optimistic. Nice weekend, lots of bonding time with my in-laws and then…

This evening my SIL called to ‘get something off her chest’ – she’s 8 weeks pregnant. I’ve mentioned before that she and I were going through IF together, but after heeding DH’s advice to ‘fess up and seek their support – it has been one way. All about her.

That’s not unusual. I had a sneaking suspicion that she’d be successful before me, but it was how it was communicated to us. They were taking a break and her acupuncturist just gave her some tea and voila! They’ve been trying for a little more than a year and somehow had jumped right to IVF. While I (intellectually) know that this is difficult for everyone, there is something so unfair about how this played out.

She just dumped it on DH (who is currently playing guitar to vent his frustrations) because SHE needed to. There was no thought to 1) when the news was delivered, 2) how the news was delivered or 3) if she even bothered to tell me directly.

So now I know. She knows I know. But what to do? I feel like a horrible person because I am not thrilled for her. I want to be happy for her and excited to be an aunt. We were with her parents ALL weekend and no one thought to give us a heads up? To give us time to have the *right* reaction?

So do I email her? Wait until she tells me? Ignore her until she goes into labor?

I don’t know what to do….and feel really, really alone.

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