Friday, September 25, 2009

A "CAT"astrophe in fertility?

I've noticed something while trolling around the infertility blogosphere - an awful lot of infertiles have cats, and I am the proud mama of two fantastic felines, too. So, I'm wondering if there is a direct correlation between owning cats and being baby-making challenged. I think this warrants some research by the NIH or at least the Humane Society or an investigative report by Cat Fancy.

A couple of theories here, mind you, I am not a scientist or a psychologist, but indulge me a bit:
1. My cats are so happy being "only" children that they have some kind of curse on my uterus that renders me infertile.
2. There is something in cat dander, pee or poo that escapes into the air that deems some people infertile.
3. Infertiles who want children have a lot of love to give, so they have furbabies to parent, spoil and adore, until the human version arrives.
4. They're so upset by being spayed, that they curse your uterus so that you can't have babies, either.
5. The hours of cats sitting on my lap and making biscuits on my stomach over the years has smashed my uterus into an inhabitable place for a embryo to grow.

I'm pretty sure that the answer is #3, but I think it's still worth some research. I will happily sign up to be studied.

Any other theories?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fertility Clinic Faux Pas

Has anyone else heard about the fertility clinic in Ohio that implanted the wrong embryos into a woman? And, she got pregnant! I can't even begin to imagine the wild range of emotions that you'd feel from finding this out. The clinic said she had two options (how about the clinic doesn't get to say anything from making this tragic mistake?). One option was to abort the pregnancy and the other was to have the baby, but give it to the biological parents.

This amazing woman has decided to give birth to the baby boy and then give it to his biological parents.

I almost can't think of any worse scenario. Not being able to get pregnant sucks, but having the dream of being pregnant with your own child stripped away while you're pregnant is unthinkable.

If it were me, I probably would've caused bodily harm to the embryologist or whomever made the mistake. I'd be seeking some major vengence, but this woman was very calm when I saw her interviewed. She's trying to work with a gestational carrier to carry her rightful embies.

Crazy stuff.

Sorry for the short and somewhat unimaginative postings of late. Lots and lots to do with our move to Shanghai quickly approaching (less than one month!). I hope to get at least one good posting in this week. I won't be able to ICWL in October because that's the week I'll be working in our son's orphanage in Vietnam.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How old is too old?

Back when I didn’t know about my fertility challenges, I always said I wouldn’t try to have a baby after turning 35. Little did I know.

I’m just about five weeks from my 37th birthday (and three weeks from my 12th wedding anniversary), and I’m technically still trying, albeit, not trying that hard. We’ve kind of given up on the hard core fertility treatments (ran out of embryos) and are now just keeping it to the ol’fashioned nookie-in-the sack. And, I’m waiting until I get to Shanghai to give some Chinese medicine a go.

It’s funny how your perception of what’s old changes the more you age. I can’t say for sure when or if I’ll be a mom, but I’m cool with trying for at least another year or so. After all, I’ve waited this long

Still, it makes me feel crappy when I think about people ten years younger than me with newborns and my girlfriends who have kids who are just a year or two from middle school.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another fertility gadget

Yet another gadget to help us with our fertility issues, but I'm still trying to figure this one out. The new FIRST RESPONSE ® Fertility Test for Women claims that it "is an accurate test of FSH level to assess ovarian reserve (egg quantity and quality) – one of the leading single indicators of a woman’s ability to get pregnant."

I didn't realize that we were getting so fancy with our at-home testing technology that we could self-diagnose whether or not we could get pregnant.

It goes on to say, "FSH level assesses ovarian reserve, one of the leading single indicators of a woman’s fertility potential and now it is possible to gauge your fertility potential through a simple at-home test with over 95% accuracy."

You mean that I've spent thousands and thousands of dollars at my fertility doctor when I could have figured out my infertility at home for a mere $24.99?

Gimme a break.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guest Blogger - Where did I come from?

Lily Hay, a friend of Fertility Foibles, wrote something that I though was hilarious, so I asked her to post this:

Not long ago I found the old book “Where Did I Come From?” my mom used to teach me about where babies come from in the 80’s. Then I was going through some of our books in the Resolve library and the one titled “How to Get Pregnant” stuck out to me because it is SO thick. After thinking about the two I had a good chuckle at how simple the original teaching was when I was probably 7 and how complex the teaching became in my 30s. I thought someone else might appreciate the irony so I’m posting a photo of the two books and their “stats”.

“Where Did I Come From?” by Peter Mayle - approx. 22 pages with big text and lots of illustrations (still available, by the way)

“How to Get Pregnant” by Sherman J. Silber, MD - 457 pages, small text and very few photos

I thought that was one of the best juxtapositions I'd seen in a long time. Thanks, Lily!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My version of health care reform

We’ve all heard an awful lot of talk about health care reform lately. I think some of the premises have merit, while others seem like they’re just throwing money at a problem without a strategic plan or full bank account.

One thing I haven’t heard discussed is ensuring that fertility treatments are covered by private or public health care. I think that some states like Illinois and California allow for automatic coverage of fertility-related costs, and a very small number of private insurers do, but they are few and far between.

I have had pretty decent health insurance, in general, and since I started working 14 years ago, but not one of them would cover fertility treatments. Why is that? How come they’ll cover rehab for alcohol or drug problems, but not my fertility drugs?

Or, they’ll cover therapy sessions and medications if you’re depressed because you can’t get pregnant, but won’t cover the fertility treatments, that, if they worked, would cure that depression.

It makes no sense to me.

I had a horseback riding accident this summer and fractured my pelvis. My ER visit, MRI and X-rays, physical therapy sessions, and even my crutches were covered, but not my broken uterus.

Just this week, I got a hospital bill for my last IVF transfer, which was almost two years ago. It’s dated 11/07/07 – why am I just now getting this? And, it’s for $2,530! It says on the invoices “Our records indicate that this service is not covered by insurance.” How long does it take to determine this? Apparently, almost two years.

I really appreciate the hospital system adding insult to my injury, by sending me a gigantic bill almost two years after the fact. Since it didn’t work anyway, I feel like I should send them a note that says that I won’t be paying since they didn’t come through on their end of the deal.

Just wait ‘til I’m president, infertiles, you will be taken care of.

And, Happy Anniversary to my parents! 42 years on 09-09-09!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Instead, instead - a fertility aid?

Have you ever seen those Instead Softcups that women use during their periods? They are an unpopular alternative to tampons for period protection that look a little like a diaphragm, except that the “cup” part is a little deeper. Personally, the thought of using one of those small inserted cups during my period turns my stomach a bit, but to each her own.

Anyway, I ran across a fertility tips and tricks Web site yesterday that actually promoted them as a fertility aid. I guess the idea is that instead of using them during your period, you can use them after having sex as a way to hold the sperm in around the cervix. The other way to use them is by having a man directly deposit his semen into the cup and the woman inserts it herself. I guess it’s like an at-home version of an artificial insemination.

Adding even more interest to this potential baby-enhancing method is that there were 41 testimonials of people who sang its praises for working. One woman even commented that she’d been TTC for four years and got pregnant using it.

Who knows if it’s real or fake, but for $5.95 plus shipping and handling, I might be willing to give it a shot.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good morning, Vietnam

So, the other big news is that I'm going to go to Vietnam to help care for the babies in our orphanage, or at least I think I am. I've already bought my plane ticket to Ho Chi Minh City, but no other moms in our group have committed yet, and I can't go by myself.

There is still no resolution with the paperwork or Vietnamese officials to get our babies home, or word that we ever will. So, we're going in hopes that we're helping out with the care and development of the babies, many of which are already two years old, and maybe spread a little goodwill, too.

When this opportunity came up, I was on the fence about whether I should go. I was being selfish thinking how hard it would be to leave that sweet pea's precious face and how upset I would be. And, I still do worry about that, but outweighing that is the thought that if I can make even just a little bit of a difference, even just for 8 days, in these 29 young lives, I should do it.

So, I'll be packing up my anti-malarial and anti-nausea pills, a list of key Vietnamese phrases and extra Wet Ones and leaving for a remote little village at the Southern tip of the Vietnam peninsula in 7 weeks.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shake it up

I have been an MIA blogger for the last several days, so now I feel guilty and am just writing to get something new posted. Rest assured, this will not be the most profound, long or eloquent of my writing, but I do have some major, and I mean major, news.

Jack Bauer and I are moving to China! Yes, China, as in half-way around the world; China, the country that only allows for the birth of one child; and China, the country with 1.3 billion people (which maybe will help me past all of this wanting a child thing and I'll focus on zero population growth).

Jack was presented with this work opportunity (after all, even the Chinese need their counter-terrorism consultants) around the same time that our journey with our Nest didn't work out. Between that and the continued bad news on our adoption, we decided it was time to shake things up in our lives a little bit - and this was just the thing.

It's temporary - only for ten months. We leave in October and will be back next July. We're thrilled and excited. If we can't have a child, we'll just move to China! So, we're off on an Asian Adventure.

Of course, in the back of my mind, I keep thinking that there may be some mystical 100-year old medicine man lingering in some back street of Shanghai who can cure my infertility with an odd concoction of Asian herbs and some chanting. I'll let you know what I find out.

Oh, and I have some additional big news, but it will have to wait until later this week. Stay tuned.