Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Breath Holding

My wife is the most wonderful person in the world. We were going to her parents this weekend (which is fairly routine) for a Memorial Day party. We parked up the street at a relatives house and walked the final 150 yards to her parents. Before getting there I saw a man in the street and said "Hey, that looks like my cousin Pete!" (which was odd, because this event was with my in-laws, not my side of the family) I quickly dismissed it as we walked into the yard - then, the big crowd of people which contained members of my family AND my wife's family yelled "Surprise!" - then the Michigan State fight song started playing as I slowly realized my wife had thrown a surprise 30th birthday party for me (2 months before my actual birthday) I was shocked, and completely surprised. I had no idea she was planning this. I had so much fun - one of the best times I've had in a really long time - members of my family were there, several of my friends and my wife's entire family. I can't believe she pulled this off, and in the midst of everything we're going through and her busy schedule. I am so lucky, and I love my wife more than words can say. Thank you sweetheart - I will always remember that.

Update on Femara month four: Spotting began today. Bummer. I think my wife is at the point of exhaustion with this whole thing. True, sincere exhaustion. The hope is gone ... and you know what? We're sort of glad to see it go. Hope brings anxiety, and disappointment. It is tiring. It is blinding. It doesn't make the situation any easier. But when you get to that point where you have no more hope left you can look around and realize there is a whole lot of life to live outside of infertility, and a lot of it is really cool. Our plan is to move, enjoy a small house in a cool city, save some money and, God forbid, enjoy ourselves a little. We might even have a few drinks along the way. And hopefully Cooper will stop biting us, and pooping in our house.

We're coming in for the final approach with the sale of our house. Moving into a rental this Friday and closing the sale of our home next Friday. Very nervous, and very hopeful that this sale will stay on track. Posts will be sparse this next week.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


You know when you work a lot of hours and you think you can do no more, then you get a second wind and become incredibly efficient and motivated? Well, I'm there right now ... it has been a long week, and we have a lot going on in our lives (working in consulting, wife in grad school, selling our home, packing, moving, changing addresses, setting up new services, parents in town this weekend, attending black tie events requiring tuxedo purchase - which is stupid, incredibly busy work week requiring 14 hour days all week, etc.)

Why can't my sperm get in this mode? They don't do anything! They just sit there all day waiting for their release and then, they swim sideways / backwards / slowly / into each other / in circles ...

Their job is very simple. I don't understand why out of 300 million, not a single one can find the time to do his job.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Barren Neighborhood?

Our house and neighborhood might be cursed. Not sure if I've posted this before, but now that we're packing our things after a 3-year stay, it seems appropriate to elaborate on our home/neighborhood and its history of infertility issues.

The people that lived in our home before us struggled with infertility, but we didn't learn this until we entered the land of the infertile last summer. When we moved in we found a few needles in the bathroom drawers and assumed they were required for diabetes, or heroine or something like that. At that point in time we had no idea what IVF was, and had no way to know that needles would be required to conceive. My, how things change in such a short time. During our introduction to IVF one of our neighbors told us about the former owners of our home and their dually unsuccessful attempts at IVF - that explained the needles. We're not sure what happened to them since, but we hope things worked out for them (they seemed like nice people at the closing)

Our neighbors on one side have a single child that they refer to as their "Miracle baby". They tried to conceive for a really long time and had given up hope long before they received their positive pregnancy test.

The couple two doors down have a teenage boy (Junior in high school) and two twin boys in 3rd grade. The gap between them never seemed odd to us (let me restate that - never seemed odd to ME ... my wife was always aware of this oddity) until we were diagnosed as infertile and were directed to pursue IVF - at that point we asked the husband of this household (referred to behind closed doors as "Putz") ... he told us that they did IVF and were successful in conceiving their twin boys. The twins are referred to as one person while Putz screams for them across the neighborhood in between swear words: MitchellShane!

The house two doors down the other way is occupied by swingers - pretty sure they're not all that concerned about being fertile ... in fact, they are likely concerned with NOT being fertile. Wonder if there are blogs in the swinger community about such topics ...
The "couple" four doors down adopted a little girl from Russia, and promptly got divorced afterwards. No word on why they adopted, or why they divorced, but we can only suspect infertility played a role.

So, there you have it - cursed neighborhood? Perhaps not, but there seems to be an unusually high concentration of infertility issues in our corner of the universe. Hoping to find better soil in Birmingham (where we'll be living for the next year)

Good Post

Great post over at Faith In Fertility - made me think of something I'm not sure I've shared on here yet ...

A few weeks ago I was walking Cooper to his favorite poop spot (one of our neighbor's front yards) and a neighbor and his wife were outside with their little dog (Louie). After Cooper said hello (consists of jumping around like an idiot, hacking and coughing at the end of his leash, peeing on the neighbors shoes and pant legs from sheer excitement) we began talking about our house being on the market - a natural starting point to any neighborly conversation. I was describing to them our reasons for wanting to move, which included being closer to my in-laws for the day when our family begins. This naturally lead to a brief description of the trials we've been experiencing on that front. At that point, the lady took my hand and began saying a series of prayers asking God to give us the patience to accept his plan, and to help us get the pregnancy we want so badly when it was our time. This had a huge impact on me ... it was so courageous of her to just dive in and do this without knowing that I was of a religious disposition. I walked back home with a smile on my face to tell my wife ... it was a very nice interaction, and I will not soon forget it. In fact, I think it will be one of those memories that sticks with me for the rest of my life.

I saw this same couple again yesterday and told them that we managed to sell our house - and I said it looks as if their prayers helped (only on a slightly different front than we would have ideally liked the help, but selling the house is a piece of the infertility puzzle, as described in previous posts) These are great people - we will miss living next to them, even if our exchanges were brief and limited. It's just good to know that people like this are out there, and even better that they are in the neighborhood.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Departed

Most of the blogs I've been reading of late are written by people who have departed the land of the infertile, and are in the midst of pregnancies, or parenting. There is a common thread that runs through each of these blogs - and it is one of regret and shame. I think it's understandable, but I wanted to contribute my USD 0.02 to those who might read this post, and have written of the things I describe.

I know it's hard for some people to deal with others getting what they want. Every time we hear a pregnancy announcement, my wife breaks down in tears. For me, it stings, but I can handle it - I get down for a bit, then get up very quickly and worry only about what we can control in our own situation. I am of optimistic composition (or at least I try to be) When I read blogs describing people as they carry out their IUI or IVF procedures, I genuinely want them to succeed, and can feel their pain when they don't (we've all been there). The feelings we infertile experience as a result of our affliction are shared amongst all of us - why else would we read and write blogs about it if there weren't some common denominator amongst us? I find it puzzling, however, that when people achieve their goal, they actually feel bad about leaving the infertile herd for greener pastures. I can't wait to jump over that fence! When we do, I intend to cautiously celebrate, and savor every second of the experience. And I will feel no shame when telling others about it.

So, a message to those of you who have become pregnant, or parents: Enjoy it. There are a lot of people who would love to have what you have and many of them are happy for you even though they don't.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back in the USA

I'm back from my two weeks in Germany - I'll spare you the whole "sorry for not blogging" post that is all too common amongst infertility bloggers and get right to the point:

  • My wife is not pregnant this month

  • We are going into our 4th month of Femara assistance - it's now or IUI

  • Germany is a beautiful country - you should go

  • I like the Russians, and French people are actually pretty cool

  • We have a bid on our house - only need pass inspection and we'll be moving (likely into a rental home in Royal Oak)

  • I am tired and sick

  • Baby-making should commence in ~6 days

  • It's good to be home - I really missed my wife