Friday, June 22, 2012

Peace Out!

I opted not to join in for this month's IComLeavWe because I am leaving tomorrow morning bright and early for a week-long vacation in Florida! I'll probably drop in on the blogs here and there, but my main focus next week is going to be sipping margaritas and coronas on the beach, running on the beach, laying out on the beach, playing with my niece on the beach... you get the picture.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Father's Day Part II: I Am a Stalker

Last post I talked about the first half of Father's Day. And all of the faith-questioning implications involved in it. The second half of the day led to more self-digging and another realization.

Back to Father's Day...

After buying a completely unnecessary and unplanned new set of living room furniture, Hubs and I went to my parents' house to celebrate Father's Day with my Dad. I was really dreading seeing my brother and his wife (SIL). I am scared shitless that they are trying to get pregnant or that they are pregnant. They are a couple years younger at 27 and have been married about three months longer than Hubs and I (I will always be annoyed that he beat me to the altar. I have no right to be annoyed. But I am.). They also just bought a house, so really it's just a matter of time before a big announcement is made.

Knowing this, I have been avoiding them for the past few months. Very mature, I know. But Sunday was the second time I'd seen them in about 8 weeks, and they live only about a half hour away. Both times, I watched my SIL like a stalker, looking obsessively for any signs that she might be pregnant. I found myself being consumed with my thoughts racing... every time she or my brother spoke, my heart beat a little faster, worried that it would be a big announcement. The whole evening was very uncomfortable.

I realize I sound like a crazy person. This cannot be normal. I have now had THREE nightmares about them being pregnant. My reaction is always akin to an announcement of someone dying - I either burst into tears or run out the door, or scream in front of everyone "NOOOOOO!" I'm avoiding my brother and sis-in-law, thinking about them being pregnant far too often for comfort. 

No announcement was made. But as soon as Hubs and I got into the car, I was ready to dish about what I observed - she didn't drink a drop of alcohol, but she's not a huge drinker to begin with. No intimate, telling facial expressions between her and my brother, but they might be good at hiding. She doesn't look pregnant... but nobody does if it's early...

Hubs seemed a little unnerved at my rambling. He asked why I am more concerned about my brother and SIL than anyone else getting pregnant.

And I had to think about it.

There are several reasons, I think. One, all the normal reasons it's shitty to be around pregnant people. It's a reminder of what I can't have. It's a slap in the face to be around it. Two, I know they are probably in a position to be trying. The timing is there. Whereas my sister and her husband are still newlyweds and have basically told me they're going to wait at least another year before TTC. Three, I've always pictured MY babies being the first grandchildren of my family. I'm the oldest. My brother has been a screw up for much of his life (though he's sorted it out and is fine now) while I've done everything right. Four, I've always been super competitive with my brother. And he with me. Five, a pregnant sister-in-law means I'm going to be around for every step of the way. I'll hear about it all the time. My whole family will be consumed with nursery plans, baby showers, name guessing, getting updates... It's going to change my family forever. And we all live within a half hour of each other (and after my brother and sis in law move into their new house, we'll all be within 20 minutes!) and we see each other all the time. I will hear about it all. the. time. 

So here I am, continuing to obsess over something that hasn't even happened yet instead of enjoying the way things are now. I used to rationalize these emotions by thinking that maybe I'm just preparing myself for the blow when it does come. I'm getting all of those wildly inappropriate reactions to the news out of my system in my dreams instead of real life. But I'm not so sure that it's helping all that much. I'm really just feeling crappy about it.

The good news that came out of this weekend was that it helped me realize that I'm really pretty effed up on my handling of this situation. On top of what is probably straight-up depression, I am allowing my relationships to be affected. I know none of these things are great for trying to coax my body into producing some quality eggs and getting knocked up. So I finally, FINALLY called a counselor and I'm working out a schedule with her to hopefully go every other week and try to sort out the mess in my head and heart. And as hard as it was to make the call and awkwardly explain my situation, I am really looking forward to being able to unload on someone and to start feeling better. Here's hoping it works!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

I'm struggling today.

I'm not sure if it's just that it's Father's Day or that we hung out with my friend who has a five month old last night, but I'm in a world of hurt today.

Last night was fine - it really was. A few girlfriends from work were there, and we had snacks and cocktails and sat by the fire until 2 am. The hard part was when the baby was up. I held him and cooed at him and pretended to bite his toes. He really is a cute little baby.

When we were driving home, Hubs said he thought it was kind of tough to be around them (my friend, her husband and the baby), especially when my friend's husband was talking about how excited he was for his first Father's Day. I didn't think Hubs was really thinking about Father's Day too much, so I was a little surprised to hear that it was affecting him. I was already feeling pretty melancholy about the night too. They're a little family. Their life seems so much more filled with the little one. They seem so happy, so proud,  so ... well, everything you should be when you have a five month old. And we drove home to our cat in our dark, empty house.

Today I woke up feeling very shaken. Frustrated. Bitter. Jealous. Angry. I started to really mope around and decided rather than make Hubs feel bad and have to console me, I'd go for a run. And it was another very tearful run. I had basically no control over myself, and when I came back I sat on the back deck, sobbing quietly, looking at the sky.

I'm not a very religious person, but I think infertility almost forces you to think about God more than you normally would. And sitting there on the back deck, I felt like screaming, cursing, and throwing stuff at God, at the Universe, at myself. Why????? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY??? Why THIS? Why ME? What did I do??? Why do I deserve this??? Why aren't you helping???? If this is some "plan," then CALL IT OFF. I can't handle it. I'm losing my grip on what's good about life. I'm losing myself.

Have you ever felt that frustration rising in your chest and throat? It's like if you don't scream at the top of your lungs, you will collapse in on yourself? Today on the deck, I felt that. I'm SO. EFFING. ANGRY. And on top of a million other emotions going on through this infertility "journey" (doesn't the word "journey" imply that you're going somewhere??), today I realized I felt betrayed. Betrayed by God. Because even if being fertile is a "gift" and I don't "deserve" it, I am not equipped to handle this kind of devastation.

I was just about 18 years old when my aunt and uncle were going through infertility. I remember thinking, even then, that that might be the actual worst thing that could happen to me - to never have babies. I have fantasized about being a mother for as long as I can remember - I am MEANT to be a Mom.

And then Premature Ovarian Failure happened. And it feels like God said "EFF YOU, JEN. You're on your own. Have fun with that."

I'm sure this is all blasphemous or something, but I'm taking the stance of Infertile First Mom. If God already knows what's going on in my head, why hide it?

After about a half hour, I picked myself up and went in to shower. Hubs was none the wiser. I went with him after that to return a saw to a local hardware store and we ended up buying a new couch, loveseat and chair for $1,000. We were not in the market for said furniture, so it may or may not be considered an impulse buy. But it made me feel better for a few hours and these couches are pretty awesome.

I'll write more about the rest of my day in the next couple of days. It's too much to delve into now.

Friday, June 15, 2012

AMH Test for Sis

Thanks for the advice on calling the doctor's office about the insurance - I called yesterday and they are putting a hold on my bill (so it's not due anymore) and are looking into it. I'm hoping they can get this taken care of and they will re-issue the bill to the insurance company.

Not much is going on this week, aside from being really busy at work. I presented at a conference yesterday, so there was a lot of prepping for that.

I am a little weirded out that I haven't gotten my period yet. I took my 12 days of 10 mg. of progesterone on the first 12 days of the month and I thought I'd have a period for sure by now. Last time I got it on the10th day of the month and here it is on the 15th with no sign of it. Why is my body so weird??

In other news, my sister went to her OBGYN yesterday for her annual appointment. Her doctor, coincidentally, is the same one who diagnosed me. I know Premature Ovarian Failure has a higher incidence among family members, so I told my sis a long time ago to get her AMH level tested. She is recently married and although she isn't quite ready to start TTC at this point, she'd obviously like to know if she has the same condition as me (I certainly wish I would have learned at 25 instead of 28). According to this site, the AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) is a way to get an idea of the number of antral follicles in the ovaries, or more plainly how many eggs are left. Unlike FSH (the normal way to tell if you are in ovarian failure), you can test for AMH anytime - it doesn't matter if you're on the pill or where you are in your cycle. It's supposed to be the newer, more accurate way to diagnose Premature Ovarian Failure.

So my sis called her OBGYN earlier this week to give them a heads up that she wanted to get that blood test, and they said just to request it when she went in for her appointment. During the appointment, here's the gist of how that conversation went:

Sis: Yeah, I'm not sure if they told you, but I need to request a blood test to check my AMH level. My sister was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure and she said that this AMH test would give me an idea of whether or not I would be looking at the same thing.
Doc: AMH Level?
Sis: Yeah, AMH.
Doc: I think you mean FSH level. You can't get that tested unless you've been off the pill for at least two weeks.
Sis: Um, my sister wrote down AMH, she said you can test this even when you're on the pill.
Doc: You need to be off the pill for two weeks if you want to test your FSH.
Sis: Yeah. I get that, but this is a different test.
Doc: Well I've never even heard of AMH, I'm sure you're just confused and are thinking of FSH.
Sis: So is there any way to find out so I can find out if I have Premature Ovarian Failure like my sister?
Doc: Like I said, you'd need to be off the pill for two weeks.
Sis: <<gives up>>

So annoying! I found it a little appalling that an OBGYN has never even HEARD of AMH.

Has anyone been in this situation? Is it typical that OBGYNs don't know anything about AMH? Any advice on how my sister can get this test? She has obviously been nervous about it for a long time and we are both looking for her to get some good news!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Coding + Insurance = SUCK

My doctor's office decided recently to start coding my visits at "infertility" instead of "premature menopause" or "ovarian failure." For no reason. And even though nothing at all has changed in the past eight months since I've starting seeing them. So I've been getting smacked in the face with some lovely bills from my insurance company. Apparently they cover "infertility" at only 50%, which is better than many places but kind of a shock to the system for the half-dozen visits I made during my May bout with Menopur. When I've not been getting charged a dime beyond my $35 co-pay since November of last year.

I spent a good half hour on the phone with my insurance company this morning trying to figure out why I started getting bill after bill after bill out of nowhere. The lady was a complete biz-natch. She kept saying the same things over and over, despite the fact that she wasn't making any sense. She offered to get the doctor's office on the phone for a three way call and when I enthusiastically said "yes, please, let's do that!", she blew me off entirely.

So I feel a little stuck right now. If I call the doctor's office, do you think there's a chance they would go back and code the bills differently and reissue them to the insurance company? I mean, insurance will cover at 100% anything coded as my CONDITION... which is the same as infertility... so I call foul on this whole effing system.


Any advice?

Also, my little sister (age 25) is going to her OBGYN this Thursday and asked me yesterday what test she should ask for to see if she has premature ovarian failure. There's a higher incidence of the condition within families. I told her to request an AMH level, which I guess gives an indications of how many eggs are left. Since she's on the pill, she won't get a "real" reading on her FSH and estradiol numbers. I'm sure she is freaking out and I'm hoping against hope that the test comes back with a stellar AMH.

Anyway, that's all I have today. I'm still feeling pretty blue. This weekend was better than expected though, with the wedding we attended out of town. I actually had fun! The copious amount of booze might have helped.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bad Wife?

Last night was my husband's last softball game of the season. I haven't been along to cheer him on the whole summer, so I was planning on sucking it up and going. But then last night came and I just didn't want to go. His games are on the other side of town (about a half hour) and the game wasn't until 9 pm. Plus I didn't want to make small talk with the other wives / girlfriends. I don't know them very well and none of them are in the know about our IF situation. Also, it was a little cold out. Can you tell I've rationalized it to death?

So I did what any unsupportive, selfish wife would do. I stayed home and watched Arrested Development on Netflix.

I felt really guilty about it when Hubs got home. I apologized for not going and he said it was no big deal, but then also made a few comments that let me to believe that maybe it was kind of a big deal. Darn it. There was a chance to show Hubs a little support and appreciation and I squandered it.

He hopped in the shower and I sat on the couch feeling bad about myself, wondering why I hadn't just sucked it up to watch him play. Because "not feeling like it" only goes so far. I started thinking then about what I DO feel like doing. And I couldn't think of ANYTHING. I am ACTIVELY DREADING almost everything in my foreseeable future. We have a wedding this weekend. Dreading. We're having a bonfire next weekend with some of my girlfriends. Dreading. Dinner with family next week. Dreading.

I'm going to Florida on vacation in a couple of weeks (with the in-laws, including the one grandkid on my husband's side - a three year old). I suppose I'm not dreading the trip, but the only part I'm really looking forward to is being off work. And maybe running on the beach. I love my niece to pieces and she's obviously perfect in every way, but sometimes it's tough to be around her too long. It's a reminder of the grandchildren I am unable to produce.

So here's what I feel like doing:
  • Reading
  • Eating
  • Watching TV
  • Running
  • Sleeping

Here's what I don't feel like doing:
  • Anything that involves interaction with other people (besides my husband)
  • Anything that involves me having to pretend to enjoy myself or be happier than I am
  • Working
  • Using my brain too much

This kind of thinking / outlook on life is pretty grim. I am definitely the most depressed I've been sans-baby-making meds while also on the daily estrogen that has stabilized most of my symptoms. Depressed enough to think "What's the point?" which I know is a dangerous and unproductive question to ask. No worries, peeps, I don't plan on cutting anything short. I think I'd rather accept unhappiness and stick around and prevent hurting people I love. Doesn't sound very fun, though.

Ugh, sorry for this post. But writing helps me figure out what's going on in my head.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I've been neglecting the blog this week because I've been SO SICK! I think it was the flu. It started with what I thought were simple allergies all day Tuesday to a full blown fever, chills, body aches, headache, stomach ache, sore throat and cough over the next few days. Yes. I think every part of my body has been in pain at some point this week.

The bad worse news is that it was a terribly inconvenient time to be missing work, so I could only manage a day and a half to stay home. But the good news is that I feel way better now and am taking advantage of the weekend (or at least my Friday night) by staying in, not drinking, and going to bed super early.

In other, more exciting (mm... not the right word) news, Hubs and I have decided that if we are not with child by next August, we are high-tailing it out of this crap Ohio city to live somewhere fun. We are giving it until next August because we bought a house here two years ago under that awesome $8,000 tax credit that stipulates you have to be there for three years or else have to pay some of it back (Um, no thanks. We spent that chunk of change a loooong time ago). And next August will put me at five years in my current job, which will also make me vested in the kickass retirement program (seriously, my employer puts in 14%!!). I'd hate to walk away from that, being only 14 months away.

We settled in this particular city is because it's where I'm from and my whole family lives here. Hubs' family is only an hour and a half drive. And it's where Hubs and I went to college, so we've laid some roots here. And we thought we'd be having babies by now and we'd need a supportive network of friends and family to help us out with free babysitting and what not.

But it turns out, a lot of our friends have moved away (to way more fun cities like Denver and San Diego and Portland and Charlotte), and the ones who are still here have had babies. Their lives are very different from ours and sometimes it's painful to be around them. We still aren't any closer to having our own babies. And I know my brother and sister are going to start having kids in the next year and I can't tell you what a mess I'm going to be then. I think I'll feel kind of left behind. Like all these people are moving on with their lives and we're still stuck where we've been for the past year. When my baby brother and even babier sister start to have kids, it'll hit me how really stuck we are.

Those are just my predictions, but I think it's reason enough to set our sights on trying something new. We've always wanted to try a new city but haven't felt like the timing would allow us to do it. And I don't care if it sounds like we're running away from our problems. Hell, I don't care if we ARE running away from our problems. Screw that. I'll run if I want to!

Anyway. I'm off to Indy this weekend to suffer through another baby shower. Yippee for me!