Monday, April 27, 2009

Feeling Shy About Blogging

You know how if you go too long without having sex it starts to feel like a big deal doing it again? And you get all shy and awkward about it and come up with excuses not to do it that night, or the next night, or the night after that, because it just seems like it’s been too long and you don’t know how to break the ice again?

That’s how I feel about my blog. I’ve been on a forced TTC break since August, waiting and waiting and waiting to get back on the babymaking train, and drifting further and further away from my blog, my blog readers, and so many of my close online friends. I feel guilty, because I know many of you are in the heart of darkness right now, and while I’ve been gone you’ve been moving on with your plans, cycling, succeeding, failing, grieving. And it seems strange to pick up where I left off, to check in with your blog and try to reconnect while so much has happened.

So I feel shy. But, like ending a sex-drought (god, I hope I’m not the only one that experiences the sex-drought!), the only way to fix it is just plunge back in and do the deed. Because I need you all too much, and care too much about you, to let you go. So here I go.

Here’s my update (because, after all, the best thing about having a blog is that it’s all about me):

Our efforts to improve J’s sperm have been a total bust. Because of the insurance fuckup (see previous post), we have two more months of the very spendy hormone to give to J. But our RE says that most guys who respond to this do so almost instantly. So it’s now a long long long long shot that we’re going to see any improvement.

The most frustrating thing about this is that no one knows why this happened. When we first went to the RE, lo those many years ago, J’s sperm count was a bit low, but totally usable. They actually thought we had a great shot at getting pregnant with IUI. Then his numbers plunged, and then plunged again. Now there’s pretty much nothing. The hormones J is taking have his testosterone up, but his sperm production just isn’t there.

This means that we have to start looking at donor sperm, and I am completely overwhelmed by this. Not so much the fact of it—we’ve been gearing up for this for a long time. But the process of selecting a donor and figuring out how many vials to purchase and how many to keep in storage for (dare I think it?) a second child and whether we want an open-i.d. donor and what characteristics we want . . . it’s really daunting! So—on my return to blogland—I ask for help: does anyone have advice on how to do this? A checklist? A good book? I’m not going to lie, I’m freaked.

Of course, our last meeting with J’s RE (who looks exactly like Dick Cheney but is sweet and kindly) was also upsetting because he told us that he still thinks there’s only a 50% chance that the problem is J’s sperm. It still could be my eggs, he tells us. This is because almost all of my eggs fertilize (with ICSI) every cycle. Then the embryos die. Every time. (He even thinks that there was something wrong with the embryo that was ectopic—he thinks quality embryos don’t go into the tubes as often, but notes that it happens a lot with IVF.) Now, I assumed that since we know J’s sperm are pretty sucky, odds were much higher that the problem was his sperm. Right? But Dr. Sweet-and-Kindly Cheney says that eggs are so often the problem, he still lays even odds on my eggs being bad.

This doesn’t change our approach, of course. The only way to know which is failing, egg or sperm, is to replace one of them. And we can’t afford donor eggs, not if we want to have money left over for adoption. So the obvious choice is to go donor sperm. But now I’m less hopeful that even this will work. So fucking frustrating. I’m so tired of this shit. I so want this to be over. (Did I mention that we’re one month away from our we’ve-been-trying-for-FOUR-FUCKING-YEARS anniversary? Do you think they make a card for that?)

J showed his first signs of IF insanity after our meeting with Dr. Nice Cheney. In the meeting we decided to keep J on the bravelle for another month and a half, when we’ll have our final testing and meeting with the doc to make a decision on whose sperm to use. As we were heading out to the car, J told me that he wanted us to start getting ready to use donor sperm right away, and that he wanted me to already be halfway through my next IVF cycle when we got the final results. “I just don’t want to lose any more time,” he said, “I want to be doing something.”

Now, we all know that this is a little crazy, and luckily my cycle isn’t timed right to allow us to do it. The last thing I need is to have my body acting as a ticking time-bomb while we try to figure out our final steps of picking a donor and arranging for delivery. But I was kind of charmed by J’s little freak-out, even if it was delivered in his matter-of-fact, non-crazy tone. Because it’s just the kind of thing I would have said, were I in that place at the moment.

Okay, must work. (By the way, work is one BIG reason I haven’t been blogging as much—we’ve had an insanely busy late winter and spring.) I have lots more to say about lots of things: my crazy mom’s reappearance in my life (fuck!), my experience hiring day laborers to finish landscaping my back yard (yippee!), the possibility of losing my job due to recession (panic attack!), and my fabulous new tattoos (double yippee!).

But for now I’m going to post this, and see if I still have any friends/readers out there.

(Like that last bit? I threw in a bit of a guilt trip for y’all. Nice to know I still have that special touch, eh?)

20 comments:

Ms. J said...

I AM STILL HERE, DAMMIT!

But I may email you privately, there's so much to catch up/comment on ;o)

S said...

I think this is my first comment, though I added your blog to my Google reader a while back based on Google's recommendation.

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Good luck sorting it out.

Kate said...

Hey - I came across your blog via (Mis)conceptions. When I saw the Ender's Game series were one of your favourites, I had to come read. And if you like girly dance movies, I'm ashamed to admit how many times I've watched Center Stage at age 34 :)
I'm afraid I don't have any advice about DS, since my DH has basically refused to consider it no matter how IVF #1 goes (if we make it to ER and ET). But I wanted to say you're not alone with the occasional sex-drought (I can't remember the last time, given my anovulatory spotting-from-hell cycle right after a couple weeks on prometrium suppositories, and then the stress of IVF stim phase).
Anyhow, nice to meet you. When I'm done my licensing exams in 4.5 weeks, I'll be sure to read farther back in your blog!

annacyclopedia said...

Ok, I have a lot to say about the donor stuff, but where to begin? Jendeis at Sell Crazy Someplace Else wrote a great post recently about actually selecting a donor. My process was way less methodical than hers and mostly consisted of Manny and I putting in our requirements (open ID, Canadian compliant, Caucasian) and seeing what turned up and then going through them and really responding intuitively to the profiles and other info. The book "Helping the Stork" was hugely helpful to me when I first committed to going down this path and I'm finding myself returning to it now. As for open ID versus anonymous donor - for me, having read a number of blogs and stories from donor conceived people who were conceived through anonymous donation, I am very firmly convinced that open ID is the only way to go. All it does, really, is ensure your child will have the option to find out more about the donor if they wish. If they don't want to, they don't have to. And you as the parents will never be able to access that info independently of your child. I'm also convinced that full disclosure to the child at a very early age is the right thing for the child. But, and this is a very big but, I fully support others who make different choices and totally own up to the fact that those are just my opinions and what feels right to me. I guess I was fortunate enough to be stuck waiting for referrals while I sorted this stuff all out so that by the time we finally started trying, I had worked through a lot of my initial emotions and worries. I know you both want to be trying right away, but even taking a cycle or two to try to get some clarity on some of these things might be helpful. It is a LOT to process.

I hope that the RE's opinions of your egg situation aren't getting you down too much - sounds to me a bit like he's guessing at why your embies haven't done better. I don't want to say that I know more than your RE, but there is just so much they don't know, and if you've never had the chance to try with great sperm, it's pretty hard to tell what will happen if you change that one part of the equation. I'm hoping for both of your sakes that it is as easy as getting some primo sperm (preferably with reported pregnancies - our first donor didn't have any but we liked him anyway, and after 5 vials, I still wasn't knocked up), even though that brings with it a whole host of issues for both of you but especially for J.

I would be more than happy to email or even talk on the phone to you about this stuff - if you're interested, email me your # and I can call you.

Keeping you in my thoughts, glad you're back, hope the post-drought blog post was as good for you as it was for me, and I am taking this chance to send you a card to mark your 4 year anniversary. Here's what it says:

To a kick-ass blogger and friend who's been navigating the Land of IF for far too long...

May the way forward become clear and easy and lead you to your heart's desire very, very soon.

You are a trooper for surviving 4 years!

p.s. - hope that wasn't all too rambly. I didn't sleep very well last night and every cell in my body is crying out for a nap right now!

Ally said...

So glad you're back, friend. You were missed. :)

It sounds like you've got lots of "stuff" piled up on your plate. Good to know you won't be sitting around, twiddling your thumbs, right?

Take care of yourself. It's good to see your words on your blog again.

Shinejil said...

I check in nearly everyday, BChaser.

I am so sorry to hear that J's treatment isn't turning out so great. It's also a major fucking bummer to get the egg talk. I mean, can't wonky sperm also be responsible for unsuccessful embies? Just saying... I get pissed when REs always jump to that "oh, it's the eggs" stuff without any really overwhelming evidence.

I know there are lots of gals out there with advice for DS selection (see Anna's comment alone for a good rundown). But I just want to pass along my support. It's never too late to start posting again. :)

Peeveme said...

Seriously, don't give the non-blogging thing a second thought. I totally understand.

The best thing about a drought is that even a quicky seems great. But this was no quicky. With IF there are so many things to worry about, so many what-if's and all you can do is try something and then something else and start ruling things out. Too it all costs so much money.

I have no idea about DS but I know the good folks out here will have tons of great advise.

one-hit_wonder said...

I am happy to see you back. :)

Sorry about the DE talk and that the hormone therapy isn't working.
It's good that you and your DH are in agreement on what to do. That's an impossible hurdle for most other couples. I hope you find peace with whatever you both decide to do, in the end.

Thanks so much, too, for the encouraging comments on my blog.

Good Egg Hunting said...

Great to hear from you (honestly - guilt trip aside)! I wish I had helpful advice to share on donor sperm, but I know you two will find your way. I definitely think it's a positive that your husband had a little freak out of his own...I always think that if more were left to them, fertility treatments wouldn't get very far. But either way, don't be shy about coming back after a no-blogging "drought!"

Carrie said...

We've been on a sex drought for quite awhile now... :( You are definitely not the only one!

And, if you don't read this blog, she just did a post the other day about choosing a sperm donor: http://sellcrazysomeplaceelse.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-to-choose-donor.html

-Carrie
http://welayinrepose.livejournal.com

La La said...

Yes, we are still here! Sorry to hear about your hubby's sperm count dropping. My Hubby's always seems to go up and down as well, so frustrating! I sure hope the therapy they have him on helps - thinking of you!

Jaded Girl said...

i HEAR you about being sick of the same bullshit and something always coming up to rock the boat and complicate things.

...and i'm with J, i always want to be doing something, moving forward...somehow...

Malloryn said...

A couple of days late but still here! It's good to hear from you again. I'm sorry that you haven't had more encouraging news about J's treatments. I want to wish you the very best with whatever path you decide to take. You guys have had a rough road to say the least, and it's time for some good things to happen!

kate said...

I am here. I hear you. I have been missing you!

I am so sorry that the sperm news wasn't as awesome as you were hoping for. I am glad that J is up for donor sperm, and I really hope that Cheney-Doc is wrong and that the donor sperm will make things right.

Unfortunately, Hallmark does not make a card for such occasion as a four-year fuckiversary. But Kate does. Kate will have to see if she can find time to make you a card to honor this fucking sucktastic milestone. Hmm.

And yes. Sex-droughts happen to the best of us (and some of us are in total denial about living in the land of Few-and-Far-Between... we call it drought, but it's actually just a monthly due that gets paid, mostly on time, but it's not like anyone notices if it's late...).

Barb said...

Of course you still have friends! For my 2 cents, I think when you have bad sperm and issues with eggs, the two ADDED TOGETHER can be a huge problem, but hey.. if you take slightly iffy eggs and put them with good sperm, I'm betting your chances are much much higher. Besides, the getting pg thing is pretty encouraging right?

Me said...

I'm still here too.

Suzanne said...

I've nominated you for the Sisterhood Award! Please check out my blog at http://suzanne-myivfjourney.blogspot.com/ for the details. Thanks.

DAVs said...

Thanks for commenting and finding my blog.
We hit our four year TTC anniversary this month. Some days I can scarcely believe I've been living in this nightmare for four f'ing years. I'm sick to death of it. 70K poorer, and still nothing. Except egg quality issues, sperm issues, and now maybe uterine lining issues. I mean, seriously. What else, right?
I wish I was all alone, but it does help to know I'm not.
Wishing you lots of luck navigating through this hell.

K77 said...

I'm sorry the sperm didn't improve that really sucks. As does the impending 4-yr helliversary. I'm sorry.

There's a great DI book by Ken Daniels, he's a New Zealander. Can't remember the title though, might be something along the lines of Building Your Family with DI. Or something.

HypnoMummy said...

Hi there

I really hope you don't mind me adding a comment. I fell upon your blog when I was searching for any new fertility articles to talk about on my blog tums2mums.blogspot.com. I'm not here to try and sell your anything I promise but without having had the opportunity to read back over your blog I wonder if you've ever considered hypnosis. In particular I would recommend looking into a woman named Lynsi Eastburn who trains practitioners in HypnoFertility (www.hypnofertility.com). I particularly thought I'd write this comment because you said you couldn't understand why your husband's sperm has suddenly deteriorated. It has been proven that the stress of infertility can cause this and so I thought you might want to look into for both you and your husband.

Best wishes and I'm going to have a more detailed read of your blog later as I'm sure I'm going to find it interesting.