Of fingers and dikes

June 16, 2013 § 29 Comments


I’m not sure where to begin. I think I’ve been missing for nearly 5 weeks.

It was not a premeditated absence. I planned to keep up with everyone while in Ecuador. And then I planned to write about the trip as soon as I got home. Instead, I forgot (mostly) about the fact that I am a person who is trying to have a baby and who can’t. And I withdrew entirely from this infertile world.

And it felt so freeing. I felt so light.

Not the part about being ‘away’ from you guys. That part I felt guilty about. And I wondered about you all. In fact, I lurked. Reading on the periphery but hesitant to dive back in, as if one comment here or there would be like removing my finger from the dike and would result in me (and those close to me) drowning in a wave of my infertileness.

This was not the only reason I was absent. I have also been the outofcontrol holy-shit kind of busy. Aside from two weeks in Ecuador, I was in dissertation boot camp for a week, writing for 10 hours a day in a semi-organized fashion in the library of the university (jealous?), had two friends staying with us for 10 days, and just got back from an extended weekend in Ann Arbor. We’ve been in the company of a good number of the members of our mishpocha. I have not been to yoga since pre-Ecuador, which is a pretty good marker for how off my schedule has been, since that is something I do rather zealously. The Artsy Engineer and I actually counted the days where we’ve had more than an hour to ourselves since May 14th, when we haven’t been sharing rooms in hostels in Ecuador with friends or sharing our home with friends or sharing our family’s homes. It comes out to 5.*

I’m not going to go into any crazy details with this post. I feel the need to just break the silence. Remove my finger from the dike.

But. I will tell you that I am very much not pregnant. And I am doing remarkably well. IUI #1 was a bust. I snuck into the bathroom first thing in the morning, while our friends slept in the bed right next to ours, and took the test, then crawled back into bed and whispered to Bryan the negative result. We were momentarily (and, oddly, superficially almost) bummed. Then we got up, had rich coffee on the porch in our pajamas, and spent the rest of the day rappelling down waterfalls outside of a town situated in a valley where the Andes and the Amazon rainforest meet. It was hard to stay disappointed about anything. IUI #2 took place exactly one week ago, while we had friends staying with us. They are very close friends, and they know about our whole infertile history, so I didn’t have to make up any stories about going out to get bagels on Sunday morning when, in fact, I was being inseminated. They even watched, wide-eyes and jawed, as the Artsy Engineer gave me my trigger shot. These friends are the kind who say all the right things, ask all the right questions, and who have never tried to give us advice of any kind. You know the kind. They were a breath of fresh air. They are also psychologists, so I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that they know how to talk to people about difficult things. And even appear not just interested, but also curious and almost excited about the process. It was just so terribly nice.

Despite my attempt to avoid it, a lot of things have been happening on the fertility front. Last Friday, when I had the mid-cycle ultrasound to monitor follicle growth, I learned that I had three mature follicles (!!) and beautiful, thick lining. Letrozole and I, we clearly get along. I also scheduled and attended my first “what’s next” appointment with my RE, during which she was extremely pleasant and easy-going. She spent 40 minutes with me, which I thought was huge. And she answered every last one of the questions I had prepared without the slightest bit of annoyance. And she seemed to respect my thoughts and take me seriously. I was so relieved.

Right now I am 7dpiui and I have the most sore boobs I’ve had maybe ever (but that makes sense because I also had the most mature follicles I’ve had ever and, thus, the most corpora lutea to produce progesterone I’ve had ever). I’m hopeful. But we also are trying to devise our plan of what to do next. And IVF it is.

We haven’t decided the ‘when’ part, though. The thoughts on this will be included in another post, because this one is becoming a bit of a tome.

We have a couple of what I guess one could call possibilities. We’re on the waiting list for the New Hope IVF Clinical Trial, which would allow us to pursue IVF for the cost of several trips to New York. That is option #1. Options #2 is less good, I think, but we are incredibly lucky to have it. We drive janked up cars from the mid-90s. Mine died mid-left turn this afternoon after we picked up the dogs from kennel. We cannot afford IVF on our own. My parents have graciously (god, that word doesn’t do it justice or even anything close) offered to pay for the entire treatment, stating that they “cannot think of anything better to spend [their] money on.” But this idea is incredibly hard for us to swallow. My parents have some savings, but they are by no means wealthy. And IVF with our clinic is going to cost close to $20,000 when all is said and done. They pay for dinner when we go out together and it makes me uncomfortable. How am I supposed to accept a gift at this level of bigness?

Ok, More later. I have several things to expand upon. The Artsy Engineer and I have different ideas of when (and how) to move forward with IVF. I am beginning to think about which internship sites I will apply to, which is exciting and also terrifying. My parents are moving away in a month. My sister is dating a guy and I don’t like him and I feel like an judgy asshole about it. The dogs spent their first weekend at doggie daycare/boarding and I’m so proud of them for not freaking out and being miserable. Andonandonandon. Progesterone test is tomorrow. Conference in Chicago on Thursday. Beta is Friday. And go.




*I am an introvert in the sense that I love to be around others, but I find it physically and emotionally exhausting if I don’t get a good deal of ‘me’ time in order to recharge. So this has been a wonderful but draining month.


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§ 29 Responses to Of fingers and dikes

  • I’m glad you’re back! I’ve been thinking about you and hoping things are going well…sorry about iui 1, but fingers crossed for this cycle!

  • ladyblogalot says:

    Taking a break from the infertility world is like running around naked and yelling. Very cathartic. With the bonus of not even being arrested for indecent exposure.

  • Daryl says:

    You have been busy! That trip to Ecuador sounds amazing! My in-laws (Hubby’s dad and uncle) have given us what amounts to an assload of money for IVF. Like you, I am grateful and humbled, and at a loss as to what we’ll do if this doesn’t work with all the money they’ve given us. Hopefully, you won’t have to get to that point. Fingers crossed this cycle is it!

  • Aramis says:

    Funny you mention the introvert thing. I’m like that also, and a friend recommended the book “Quiet” to me which I just started yesterday. I’m hoping that it will help me understand this stuff a bit better and know how to deal with others. I’m really glad you’re back, and sorry that the IUI didn’t work but that trip to Ecuador sounds absolutely amazing. You should post some pics!

  • SM says:

    Ecuador sounds amazing! Those breaks from the IF world are great and renewing. I’ve missed you! I’m glad you’re back now!

  • I have been wondering how you’ve been!! I was worried you dropped completely off the map. I really, REALLY hope this IUI works out… but if it doesn’t, TAKE the help, smile, say thank you, give them a hug and go get knocked up! my parents helped us buy our house, it made me feel insanely guilty, and then I accepted they just love us and want to help.
    Anyway, glad you’re back 🙂 want to come to SD and write my final proposal for grad school???

  • Sunny says:

    So glad you’re back. I was wondering! My fingers are crossed for you on this iui. I also totally and completely feel you on the introverted thing. I love my friends but feel completely drained if I have too many social obligations and can’t get time alone.

  • Amber says:

    Rappelling down waterfalls? Wow. I am totally envious of your travel experiences! That sounds amazing! I am crossing my fingers and toes for this IUI and hoping that you won’t have need of moving on to IVF. I understand wholeheartedly being uncomfortable with your parents helping financially. My Hubby’s parents have helped us a little bit, but we weren’t willing to ask for a lot. His parents are absolutely wonderful, but we also didn’t want to have that debt over our heads in regards to our potential children. My tfingers and toes are literally crossed for you! So nice to have you back and glad you had such an enjoyable break from ttc.

  • nickeecoco says:

    Oh man, I can totally relate on having very little alone time with your husband. This past weekend we spent our first weekend night together in our own house, without guests, since his mom passed away nearly 6 weeks ago. We like to keep busy, but are cherishing our down time alone so much right now.

    Good luck with your progesterone test and beta. I really hope you don’t need to move onto IVF, but am really happy for you that you have found some options to make it work. I’ll be thinking of you Friday.

  • LisaB says:

    I am thinking of you and hoping this cycle is the one!

  • lydiaseeks says:

    Here’s to hoping you don’t need to decide between option 1 and 2. Good luck!

  • Gypsy Mama says:

    Oh my gosh do I ever understand the need to check out from this reality for a while. I went so far as to delete my blog, assuming I would permanently check out, but then I missed the support. I have been thinking about you and I’m glad you’re back. I’m glad you had a wonderful trip too, you should post some pictures!

    I truly hope this cycle was the one for you. Sore boobs is a good sign! I look forward to reading more updates from you 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    Boo to IUI#1 failing. I’m also 7DPIUI, so lets just hope that IVF never enters the picture for either of us.

    But if it does, be so, so thankful (and accept) the charity from your parents. You are not alone. I would guesstimate that well over half of the ladies receive funds from one or both sets of parents. You are not unique that you can’ afford it… you are normal.

    I would kill for more than a passing question from my inlaws about our situation… they have offered ZERO financial help, and that really hurts. Do not feel guilty about it. Figure out a plan you can work with… 25%, 50%, a loan with interest that you’ll pay back, whatever, just figure out a way to make your dreams come true!

    Hopeful you’ll have good news very, very soon!

  • knalani says:

    Welcome back! And I second Aramis’s call for pics!

  • YeahScience! says:

    So happy you’re back!! Don’t feel bad about the amount of posts you do or don’t write — quality over quantity, anyway. I think you’re on the perfect track right now: One more IUI result, then IVF. You should totally chat with Amanda at Burnt Toast about New Hope; I’m sure she’ll have plenty of advice or at least some feedback about what it’s like being in their clinical trial. I’m really hoping you have good news on Friday, but if not, you’ll find a way to move forward somehow. It’s always awkward accepting money from parents, but I’m sure they are more than happy to spend some of their savings on baby-making — better that they spend that money and get to see their daughter happy and have a shot at grandchildren than simply hang onto it until they die. My parents are all about helping us out in the present, and have just warned us that we’ll get next to nothing by the time they kick the bucket, which is FINE by me! Also, this community is really great for sharing leftover fertility meds at no cost, so there are ways to make it a bit cheaper.

    Can’t wait for more posts on Ecuador and nasty boyfriends!!! 🙂

  • nonsequiturchica says:

    Glad you are back!

    I’m crossing my fingers you get a good beta result on Friday so that you don’t even have to worry about doing IVF!

    Ecuador pictures please!!

  • Jen K says:

    Welcome back! Sounds like you had a wonderful…and much needed break. Fingers crossed for you on Friday. And I totally relate to being an introvert in the blogger world :o)

  • Jen says:

    So glad you’re back! Please keep us posted! im rooting for you and hope IUI #2 is it! Fingers crossed!

  • JenS says:

    Welcome back! Ecuador sounds like an awesome trip.
    I really hope you get good news this week and don’t have to do IVF, but if you do, it is amazing that your parents are willing to pay for it. My mother in law basically paid for 2 rounds of IVF for us and while I always considered it a loan, she will not take any money from us to pay her back. She saw it as an investment in her grandchildren and family. Now I am just beyond grateful for her generosity.

  • sarah says:

    So glad to have you back but also so glad you got away – it’s pretty refreshing and healthy to unplug from all of this sometimes. Not to mention, Ecuador sounds absolutely amazing! Sending good vibes – and sore boobs (always a good sign) – for IUI #2. I can imagine that the prospect of accepting such generosity from your parents is like heart-in-the-throat overwhelming/uncomfortable, but having had similar conversations with my parents, I was floored to know how much joy it would give them to see their savings used for something so amazing – and to be able to experience that while they were still around.

    • the end of this just brought tears to my eyes. and thank you, the boobs are still incredibly sore and swollen (gross word choice?). i recognize that it likely means nothing at this point, but i’m glad for it. sprinklings of hope here and there are always welcome.

  • bustedoven says:

    I have just been constantly stalking your blog waiting for an update, so no pressure or anything, but I’M SO HAPPY YOU POSTED! I was missing you.

    Love that you forgot about all this for a little while — how NICE must that have been.

    Also, I’m not trying to jinx anyone here, but I am just feeling 100% hopeful for the both of us this cycle. Really crossing my fingers for your beta on Friday.

    And finally, I feel you so hard on the “me time” thing. If I don’t get me time, my eyes start to bug out and my brain fills with cotton and I kind of shrivel into a tiny shadow of my former self. It’s no fun for anyone.


  • 2dognite says:

    While I was on a(n in)fertility break, I listened to Jay Z’s “99 Problems” at least three times a day. Why? Because it’s an awesome song? Not particularly. But I loved inserting the word for “fertility” for “bitch.”
    Mental breaks are so necessary.

    If you’re having girl problems, I feel bad for you son
    I got 99 problems but fertility ain’t one
    Hit me

  • J o s e y says:

    I’m hoping this last IUI is it for you and you don’t have to pursue IVF, but here’s my thoughts on the offer from your parents – accept it graciously!!

    My parents are by no means wealthy, but they gave us about $7k when we were going through fertility treatments with our daughter. Our insurance sucks and I’m a horrible slow responder, so our initial testing + 1 medicated, monitored IUI cost us $10k. Without that $7k from my parents, we never could have afforded it – and my parents tell us every day how they never regretted for a second giving us that money, even if a baby hadn’t resulted for it. They just wanted to help me with my dream and help their hurting child in the only way they could.

    If you have the type of relationship with your parents that it seems you do (just from reading your about page), I’d say go for it! (and more than anything, hopefully this is a moot point!).

  • Well, I really hope you don’t need advice at all since I really hope this IUI worked, but if you need to know anything about New Hope, I’m your gal. Waiting list? That’s weird.

    • yeah, apparently they are full. it’s the end of the study, i guess, at least for new participants. i was VERY disappointed. i got the sense that the likelihood of us ending up with a spot is really small.

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