Ethan's Age

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2 Week Wait Means You Win!

Hey guys!  It's contest time!!!  To thank all of you current readers, encourage you to follow me, and join me on the facebook page... I've created a contest/giveaway!

This month I'm giving away one of the following options:
1.  A Pregnancy and Ovulation Test Pack from Early Pregnancy Tests.  I've not used anything other than these, and they are dead on (to the point that I don't even have to temp anymore!  Freeeedom from the ball and chain of morning thermometers!!!
2.  A 20.00 Item from You get to choose how awesome your prize will be!! (So people who are reading that aren't trying to start a family can still win something cool!!)
3.  Or a really sweet infertility "Believe" necklace from Bugaboojewelry.  (I want this one for myself. HINT HINT!)

How do you win, you might ask?

There are several ways to have an entry!!!
1.  Follow Me on this blog page.  You can find a "Follow Me" button over there to the right. (That's right, you hundreds of people who read my blog in your reader without following me, I've GOT YOU KNOW! :)     )
2.  Friend the Facebook Page,  "Just Relax."
3.  Promote my blog (including this give-away post.)  You will need to post a link to your promoting blog post, please!  Any new people coming over can then participate in this contest too!!

You MUST comment on this post to be entered.  
(Even if you are already following or on the facebook page)

"Hey, I've followed your blog, friended the Facebook Page and here's the link to my promotion!"  

Each thing you do will equal one entry in the contest.  I will then reply to your comment with what numbers you have for the drawing. 

I will random generate a number at the end of the time period! 

The winner gets to pick what item they want.

Contest Closes:
Friday, April 15th at 5 pm PST.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This Week's Meal Plan Includes: Newborn Rack of Baby.

As time goes on, me sitting here (not pregnant) and the girls of the world there (popping out babies like tic-tacs)  I've noticed an alarming theme.  I feel as though there is a strong propensity towards endorsing a cannibalistic lifestyle. Let me es'plain.  No, there is too much, let me sum up.  (Anyone, anyone?)

Why?  You might ask?  Well, all I have to do is sign on to Facebook.  This is where I see this:

Since when do we start comparing growing zygotes or fetuses to fruit?  Everyone is now a plum, or an apple, or a lemon, or delicious honeydew melon. Makes me think of eating.  Makes me think of eating a banana.  Your baby is a banana.  Maybe I will eat your baby.

Now, don't get me wrong... if we are on a deserted island, and the only choice for survival is to eat your baby, I will.  I mean, I would be hungry for a while, and try to forage, but if there is a baby there, it might as well look like this -------->

Do I even need to say anything here?

Your babies have always been edible, from the minute you announced it on Facebook... Your baby has been compared to something I can eat. So, if it walks like a duck, and acts like a duck... It must be an edible baby. When the times comes where you invite me over, and I break out a fork and napkin right after you ask "Want to hold him?", you'll know that you set me up to have a great meal.  

Save the babies, save the world!  Stop promoting cannibalism, pregnant women!
(I think what is most disturbing is the lack of life this baby has.)

 The problem lies even deeper.  If you continue down this path, the entire human race will be extinct, as we all run around searching and sampling to find that baby with just the right flavor profile.. Not too sweet, not to savory, something with a bottom note that doesn't smell....

Sadly, though... While looking for apropos pictures for this post, I realized this "babies as food" fetish goes deeper than I thought.  Here are some of my favorite main course babies, brought to you by a website called "Crazy Costume Corner: Babies As Food".

(Don't Worry, it's "100% USDA Inspected" Baby Meat)

I'm not going to lie, I had about 10 of these babies last weekend alone.
I never thought I could use my tag of "Cooking a Baby Can't be THIS Hard" so literally.

I'd like to think that your fetus is more than a edible garnish to a lovely piece of salmon. But really, all I can think about is how delicious your baby that fruit would be in a alcoholic coolie, which (ironically enough) you couldn't enjoy if you wanted to.  Enjoy pushing out that honeydew melon honey!

So while you revel in your pregnantness, I will be here... sipping a zygote margarita, preparing for my next meal, newborn rack of baby. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Driving My CRV of Infertility

 I got such an amazing response to the post where I talk about my most recent experience, where we miscarried. I was moved by the love.  Apparently you were moved too, as the post brought more than 1,000 individual hits.  I suppose some of the most moving responses were from women who had gone through the same thing, and felt a sense of understanding.  What surprised me most was the dozen or so emails I got from men, who couldn't fully understand what might be going through the heads of their significant other during their battle through infertility.

I've been somewhat intimidated by the amount of comments, emails, phone calls and cards that came during that period of time immediately after that post went live.  What could I blog about? What could I write that could possible have the same emotional impact with so many readers, female and male alike? 

I started this blog as a way of leaving some sort of record for our future child.  What it was like to be waiting for them, what it was like to feel a little alien-like blob kicking my liver around like a soccer ball... But, my journal slowly evolved into this forum where my inner most thoughts (and body parts) were exposed for the world to see.  I've not sensored my feelings, the good, the bad and the ugly.  At times, writing here has made me emotionally raw.  Trying to have a child isn't all cotton candy and balloon animals.  It's sometimes those scary carnies with small hands that smell like cabbage.

Jesus, that was a horrifying metaphor.  Here's a picture of some puppies to help you move on.
I think that when it comes to infertility, the females bear (feel) most of the responsibility towards making a child happen.  I mean, other than the act itself, most things in our quest to have a child, happened to me.  How hard can it be?  Let's look at my last two years, and my husbands, shall we?

My Last Two Years, At A Glance:
1. OB/GYN visits- including an experience where a OB just dismissed me, inspiring a complaint to the Oregon Medical Board.
2. HSG from Hell- where the tech obviously hadn't performed one of these tests in a LONG time, and caused a spasm in one of my tubes which was in my top 3 most painful things I've ever gone through. (Behind a spinal tap, if that gives you some perspective.)
3.  Countless RE visits- where I find out awkward situations just can't be made better (I'm looking at you; Internal Ultrasound!) The positive here is that my RE rocks.  I really like her.
4. Clomid- I don't really have to elaborate past hot flashes in snowstorms and huge mood swings
5.  A surgical procedure where we find out that in fact, the person from item 2 totally messed up the HSG, and I don't actually have a blocked tube, like he diagnosed.  I get some endometriosis burned off, and am given a clean bill of health.
6.  The highs of those positive pregnancy tests.  You know the ones that you don't actually have to squint to see (or imagine). Is that a second line?
7.  The lows of that time when I had to face a miscarriage.
8.  The cocktail of medications I had to take to actually end my own pregnancy (even though it was already done.)
9.  Testing.  I'm ALWAYS testing for something.  Ovulation, Pregnancy, Ebola.  All of it, I'm testing.  I think there are about 10 days when I don't have to test.  (Don't even bring up the crazy experiences I've had BUYING those tests.)
10.  Charting-  I chart EVERYTHING.  The countless hours I've spent analyzing my "symptoms and signs."  I could probably have invented another dimension of reality in the amount of effort I've put into charting.
11.  Everyone seems to think that any girl 20-30 years old should be knocked up, and should respond happily to nosy questions.  The next time someone asks me about whether I'm knocked up... I'll ask them the status of their private parts. "You know, I've not been successful thus far with conception, but let's talk about you. How are your testicles doing?"

The boys?
1. SA (the Semen Analysis.)  Given, awkward to an extent... but let's face it, they get to be alone doing it... rather than having their legs up in the air.
2.  Scheduled romantic encounters.  I'm going to leave it at that.
3.  Putting up with a wife who is on Clomid and mood swings like monkeys through the trees. "Who cares if it's 25 degrees outside with a blizzard in full force, let's keep the windows open in the bedroom for you, my crazy hormonal wife!"

And.... that's it.   In addition, we bear the emotional burden of responsibility for when another cycle passes without a zygote to celebrate over.

While talking with my friend, she was saying that after 2 years, her husband was going to finally get a SA done.  "I'm tired of feeling broken." She said.This struck me, and really made me sad. But, the truth is.. she just verbalized what all of us women think from time to time (or on a regular basis.)... that it is our fault. All of it.

Michelle Duggar and Her Procreation Machine

It's true, and I'm not sure why... but women tend to take it personally when they can't conceive as naturally as the Duggars. Making a human should be as easy as making easy mac, right?  (Why can't she just give me one of those babies? I mean, would she really miss just one kid?) 

Who would have thought that all those years of being SO careful, taking those Birth Control pills regularly... would come back to bite you in the ass? (No pun intended.) Apparently, not taking those obnoxious pills would apparently have been just as effective of a method of birth control.

Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, gear on up, it's ovulation time!
 The ultimate failure moment occurs around 14 DPO when we are assured again by mother nature that we yet again failed.  As if a pep talk to our uterus would have made it function better.

I picture a Cool-Runnings-Like Speech happening.  "We might be from an infertile land with no snow, but we are going to cross that finish line, even if we have to carry our fallopian tubes once the whole reproductive system breaks down in the middle of the bobsled course!"

Did you mom ever tell you the story about the dot on your forehead that appears when you are lying?  I don't recall my mother saying this to me (possibly because of her uncanny ability to see right through any of my lies when I was little) but while working with kids, I've heard this story frequently. (Usually from kids who always seem to be scratching an itch on their forehead at the time they are talking to me... "clever" kids.)  I wish there was an infertility dot that would appear when women are around each other and feeling alone.

It's a silent struggle, and I feel privileged that I can share in that struggle with you, and that through our sharing... we are able to feel for just a moment that we aren't alone.  We could throw up that knowing wave, and give you just a fleeting moment of being a part of something larger than our individual infertility struggles.

 I have to admit that when my husband's SA came back with less than perfect scores... I felt... well, relieved.  Suddenly the inability to procreate like the girls from Sister Wives wasn't solely on my shoulders. (Could they not just give me one of their kids?  I mean, would they really miss one?)  You want to exclaim to the husband: "It's not just my fault!  Your boys can't swim!"  But you don't.  (*Mostly because you are a better human being than that.)

Much like when you buy a car, you suddenly see a gazillion people driving that car around too and feel some sort of comradeship. "Oh hey there!  You drive a car just like me?  Let's be BFF's!" (And by friends I mean, let's throw up a little wave and give a knowing smile.  Maybe even a lame comment like "Hey, nice car!")  Sadly, infertility struggles are not visible like those thousands of Honda CRV's I now see driving about town. Everyone around us is currently pregnant and complaining about it, no doubt.  "Accidents" and "Oopses" happen all the time, an inordinately disproportionate amount.  EVERYONE IS PREGNANT. Including your 75 year old grandmother.


I realize that I will never meet most of you.  So maybe this blog will be our little wave.  So, hey there fellow infertile! I'm driving a CRV of Infertility too!

"Nice Car Ovaries!"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Health is a Lifestyle

This post is inspired by a line I read in Carlia's Blog today:
"I love my life and having a child would be the icing on the cake."

This past week I've worked my butt off, and joined Weight Watchers.  I've embraced the extra time that I have, and I'm going to work as hard as I can to get as healthy as possible.

I'm assigned a daily point goal, and a weekly allowance of "fun points."

In one week, I lost 3.4 pounds.  Wow.  That's most excellent.

I've started the road to health, and I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks and seeing my hard work continue to pay off.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Be Your Best Advocate

I've never been accused of not having strong opinions.  I am very passionate in what I believe, and who I believe in.  I am fiercely loyal, until I'm crossed, then I become your worst enemy.  It's one of my best qualities, and one of my greatest weaknesses.

I finally got a call about my final beta blood draw to confirm that my body has gone back down to pre-pregnancy levels.  My beta number was 2, which meant that my body was pregnancy free.  I was advised to wait one full cycle to start trying again.  I chatted with Jon tonight, and though it pains me to have to wait, the consequences (rare as they might be) would be unbearable. My RE wanted me to go through yet another ultrasound.  I said no.

I just don't want to keep subjecting myself to more and more tests (which have become more and more invasive.)  I suppose the taste of pregnancy has spoiled me.  I know what my body can do, and I just don't want to wait! But I will, because I should.

As a sexual assault survivor, the whole journey of TTC is compounded by unwanted ties to a horrible event in my life.  The irony, that the act that I avoid the most is the act that produces what will make me feel complete.

So, one month off it is.  I'm impatient. I'm also lacking any filter in getting what I want.  Tests that I don't need are out.  Doing things my way is in.

I strongly encourage all of you to ask lots of questions when it comes to your own journey, whether it is TTC or just in general life.  Through asking questions, I've avoided thousands of dollars in tests and unneeded medical procedures.  Try not to be intimidated.  Ask why a test is needed and what the consequences are if you don't have it.  Then make your own decision.