Posts Tagged ‘infertility’

Zebra on 75 North

Wow. I really have neglected my little ongoing ramblings for a while. I started attending my own lecture in my mind tonight about how the longer I go without posting, the fewer people stop by. Even worse, the hits I have gotten in the past week have been from sites like “sex911,” “credit-score -something-or-other,” or really random ones like sites for mechanics, getting your taxes done, and the occasional X Rated site with a very uncreative moniker. All these automatic web hits to try and get me to go to their sites….um, HERE IS A TIP, Mr. “SEX911” –  You Are Hitting On A Boring Fertility Blog.  I am not intrigued by your futile attempts to draw me over to your racy, porno site. You know why? Because people that are trying to get pregnant are actively having sex. We’re not exactly lonely, and we are too busy shooting ourselves in the ass with incredibly large needles to have time to surf naughty web sites.  Sex is not new for us. You missed the mark. Maybe go try to hit on the mechanics site. Know your audience.

After my self-berating, internal monologue died down, I realized it is kind of a good thing that I have not posted lately, kind of a great thing, actually. It means I have been focusing on other things besides pregnancy tests, giving blood, and spending 3 days in a week in stirrups. I have been too pre-occupied with keeping my mind on one track, so I decided to get away for a bit. I took a solo road trip at night from Orlando to Atlanta last weekend and ended up having a series of spiritual experiences. It is a whole blog post of its own, and after I enjoy the alone-ness I am still savoring with it, I will probably write it out all here, for those of you that are interested. The only thing I am going to say is that things happened on that trip that were so noticeable and grand, and their timing so surreal, that I really felt the tight coil inside me fall open in a sort of relief and peace. As a side note, I saw a zebra in a pasture on a random stretch of land on 75N. An actual zebra. Grazing with two horses. Like he did not even know he was a zebra. In Florida. It makes me smile.

We have also just been enjoying the few weeks in-between being re-introduced to our frozen blastocysts. I mean, the waiting still sucks, but we have had some good times. My husband also jumped out of an airplane at 14,000, and I think it was as much as a thrill for me (when he returned to Earth, of course) as it was for him. It reminded me that I don’t want to be so scared of living as I get older. Fear can really hold us back, and the ego will run away with it if you let it. Does that mean that I am going to strap myself to a stranger and throw myself out of a plane any time soon? Hell no. But it reminds me to re-coup some of my spontaneity and joy I had when I was younger. I did many things and went many places when I could have just stood still, so it served as a nice, swift kick in the rear for me. By the way, here is the video. Nice 1:45 intro as to give props to Skydive Deland in Florida, to get things started off. If someone you love is planning on jumping, this is the place to take them. They were awesome.

* Video to come, experiencing slight technical difficulties. 🙂


The New Fertility Frenzy

I am just going to start by saying that, yes, I do have a subscription to Marie Claire magazine. But it’s not what you think. I have one to National Geographic, as well. Marie Claire was offered to me for $5.95 a year, and I like it when people send me things in the mail. Not that I am insulting readers of Marie Claire. It’s just that it is kind of like Cosmopolitan trying to dress up like a cultural advocate of women’s global issues. Printing an article about the plight of young prostitutes in a third world country back to back with the diet and dating secrets of a 17-year-old icon just feels wrong. 

I don’t hold a grudge against Marie Claire. I like to leaf through it just like any other girl and figure out which models have been airbrushed. (Spoiler Alert: All of Them) But as I thumbed through it tonight, I saw an article called “The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Contraception.” I thought I would take a gander at what single girl’s are doing these days; maybe there is some new, exotic contraception out there in the ten years since I have been on the scene. I was ready for a cool new pharmaceutical name like “Fertprotrex,” or “Spermishield.” But the article began with your standard “condoms and birth control pills,” and then do you know what the author did? She played the old switcharoo, “you better start to worry about your fertility because ALL YOUR EGGS ARE DYING.”  This is an article geared towards 20 somethings and it just has to take a trip down media-scare lane! I also love that the naked girl leaning on a huge cryopreservation tank is wearing only a huge Sex-In-The-Cityesque necklace and bracelet, and is probably about 23 years old. Do you think she is worried about her diminishing ovarian reserve? Not likely. And what about the young woman who is actually struggling with this issue due to medical issues? Do you think this girl feels trivialized now? Just a little bit? I don’t think I am being over PC when I say that I bet she does. 

The article says that “By age 30, almost 90% of a woman’s eggs are gone. By age 40, a full 97% have disappeared.”* Do you know how long this statistic haunted me as a woman having trouble conceiving past the age of 30? I know it is something to consider, but don’t you think we should also consider that we are born with between 4 and 7 million eggs? I just feel like the media makes a potentially difficult situation into a catastrophic dilemma. Or is the new age of career first, baby later going to cost us? Does the media tell us in one ear that we should go after the CEO brass ring, and in the other warn us that the baby dolls we nurtured as little girls were an exercise in futility?  There is a doctor who states in this article that she thinks 3o is a good age to consider having an ovarian biopsy. Meaning, if you are 30 and single, you should cut out part of your ovary and freeze it. Then, when you are ready to start a family, you can re-attach it onto the ovary. This way, as you look more like mama from Mama’s Family and less like Carmen Electra, your eggs will stay plump and healthy. Please don’t misunderstand me – I am in the throws of something as drastic as IVF and I would do it again in a flash. But where does being proactive end and being cajoled begin? 

Just one more thing before I get off my soapbox. I think I may be over-reacting to the Marie Claire article because other media sources have gotten me peevy. About a year ago I bought a book called, “Getting Pregnant.” Naively, I assumed this tome would tell me how to become with child. But most of it was what Meredith on “Grey’s Anatomy” might refer to as the “Dark and Twisties.”  Chapter after bone chilling chapter listed all of the reasons why I am NOT finding the second line of the pee-stick appear. If you are also getting inpatient with peeing on your hand to no avail, let me save you $16.95. ($21.99 for the poor schmucks in Canada who pay more for everything.) 

Your Culprits May Be: 

  • You are suffering from an immune disorder, scar tissue, an odd inflammatory condition, or thyroid condition. No?
  • Your partner’s sperm are dead beats
  • You have contracted an STD at some point in your life. Was it the toilet seat at that concert that you accidentally sat on?
  • You are abusing drugs
  • You are too fat. You are too thin. (As If)
  • You are stressed

    Occupational Hazard

  • Your workplace is constantly exposing you to radiation, low-oxygenated air, bad AC, bad heat, and chemical pollutants 
  • It’s your computer monitor
  • It’s the climate you live in
  • It’s your kitchen – too much heat while cooking
  • It’s a mystery and you will never, never, never know

See what I mean? I have determined that the best thing we can do for our fertility is to limit our exposure to the media. Of course we should take charge of our bodies and our health – and this means to self educate – but let’s not allow a magazine article or one book to strike fear in our hearts.  Because even though time does keep marching on, the strongest factor I believe we can concentrate on is our minds and our dreams…and the course of our journey. 

*Marie Claire, July 2010, Pg. 169

It’s Personal

Through me and my husband’s fertility journey, I have often searched online for information about what is going on with other people and how it might apply to me. I found chat room discussions, and even personal blogs, where women shared REALLY personal information about their bodies, their husband’s sperm analysis, their bedroom routines, their addiction to home pregnancy tests, their financial strain, and on and on and on and on. And I thought to myself, “I am a pretty open person, but who wants to read a blog about a stranger’s menstrual cycle or polycystic ovaries?”  Then, of course, I realized that I did. I was reading, searching, laughing, yet still surfing.  Because it is really BIG trying to conceive – or not trying to conceive, or trying to maintain a healthy pregnancy, or trying to prepare for birth, or adjusting to breastfeeding, or post- pardem whatever-you-develop, and so on and so forth. Most of my friends are somewhere in that last sentence, and not only do I find these to be extraordinary moments in a gal’s life – but some of them are just shamelessly funny. I mean funny in a horrific, no pride, no-way-am-I-ever-telling this to anyone way. Only, here’s the thing:  Fertility is a private matter. Which does not bode well with me, because I am not a private person. I just have to talk about most of what I am going through – it makes the sweet parts sweeter, and the tough times a little bit easier to smile at. Sometimes, even laugh. So I am going to write it, and post it, and hope I do not regret it. Because there may talk about self injections, swollen boobs, embarrassing OBGYN stories, etc. But I also want to share the real parts of this – so that if you find this link on my FaceBook page and you are or have secretly been through any of this, you can read for amusement and camaraderie. Just as I have done for the past two years. So…more to come.

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