Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I try to keep my blog as light-hearted and funny as possible, but today that's not going to happen -- I need to vent. I'm sure I am hypersensitive right now because our adoption is not going well, at all, and I'm full of stress and raw nerves. Two separate incidents just about sent me over the edge. I'm close enough as it is.

Running is one of my favorite free stress relievers. I love pounding the trails and the pavement - even if I do nothing else during the day, at least I ran. So, I went out this morning for a 5-mile run to get rid of some of my nervous energy. Running worked wonders when I was hopped up on fertility drugs - helped my tension and my weight gain.

A lotta good that did... I was running on the sidewalk ready to cross the street - the WALK sign lit up, when a woman in a beat-up car, who was not paying any attention, talking on the phone, almost ran over me. What really set me off is that she had a toddler in the back seat and he wasn't strapped in properly. I'm going to be very judgemental here, but she didn't appear to be someone that should have a child.

The second incident was at Starbucks. I was sitting peacefully at a table doing some work while sipping a iced green tea latte, when two women at the table about 2 feet away started talking about childbirth. Apparently one of them had a baby 8 weeks ago and brought her friend pictures. I must've heard her friend say "what a beautiful baby" three dozen times in 30 minutes. Then I got to hear about how she was so tired because the baby wasn't on a schedule yet and how big her c-section scare is.

I really wanted to turn to them and make a snarky comment, but I restrained myself.

I had a Frosty for dinner, so now I feel a little better.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What would I look like pregnant

I'm really not that much of a fashionista, but I am all for cute, summery shirts. And how appropriate for us infertiles that all the rage are the "maternity look" tops. You know, the flouncy little shirts that look like they could be hiding a bit of a belly.

I have a couple, but haven't worn any yet this summer, but yesterday, I pulled one off the hanger. It's a really cute top, but I really look prego in it. It is fitted snuggly across my chest and makes my A-cup boobs look bigger and then the empire-type waist flares out around my hips. It's super cute, but I totally look pregnant in it. All day, I wondered if people I passed in the hallway or rode the elevator with thought I was expecting.

I always wondered what I would look like pregnant, and this gave me a little bit of an idea, but this shirt would make me not more than 4-5 months pregnant. I wonder how much my butt would grow and how big my boobs would really get. I was never one to stuff my shirt with a pillow and pose in a mirror to get an idea.

Maybe we should all take a field trip to "Motherhood" and put on those fake prego bellies and try on pants with panels and oversized tops, though that would probably result in gallons of tears and running out of Kleenex.

Maybe a trip to get ice cream is a better idea, and that's one way to make our stomachs and rear ends grow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I didn't know they made TV shows that were so bad

Have any of you seen the new TLC show "I didn't know I was pregnant"? Oh man is it bad - and truly unbelieveable. Are there that many unknown pregnancies that a TV show can be built on the concept? There are 7.2 million infertile women in the U.S., I think we have a much, much bigger market.

I watched it today purely as research for my blog and also to see what these fools were doing to get pregnant and not even know it. After all, maybe they ate only pinapple for a month or dipped their toes in mud or something and ended up knocked up without even knowing it. From the two episodes I watched (again, only as research), no such luck. Most of them forgot their birth control and were just so hyperfertile that the one time they forgot. One woman was on antibiotics while on birth control pills, and BOOM preggers!

The show itself is actually pretty comical. They intersperse interviews with the mothers, dads and medical professionasl with re-enactments done by actors. Totally, totally cheesy.

One woman already had three kids and then mysteriously gave birth in the bathroom at the restaurant where she worked. Really? You had no idea?

Another said she only gained 10 lbs and craved pickles for some reason, but otherwise had no clue.

My favorite part was a pregnancy-related quiz before each commercial break. One of the questions was: Pregnant women produce an excessive amount of gas. True or False. Really?!?! This is TV people want to watch?

I think a much more interesting and provacative show would be titled "I didn't know I couldn't get pregnant". They could show money being thrown down a drain, blood drawns and ultrasounds with an empty uterus, and the highlight would be the rampant mood swings and hormonal outbursts to husbands, pharmacists and employees. Now that's a show I'd Tivo.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Soothing the savage beast

I haven't had a very good week - it's all adoption related. More delays, more questions, more heartache. I take most of the adoption bad news much worse than I ever did when I get negative HPTs or betas because our adoption was pretty much supposed to be a done deal. And, all along, I have been realistic about my changes to get pregnant.

With all of the frustration and sadness that I'm feeling right now, I harken back to my failed ovulation induction and IVF cycles that didn't work. The feeling of being tired all of the time, keeping my head down so that I don't have to say "hello" when passing someone in the hall in my office, weeping at radio commercials of a private school discussing their commitment to a child's imagination.

And, while I don't think my bad moods are particularly constructive, I do think it's good to get it all out.

However, I also think there is something to be said for indulging yourself and doing something fun to take your mind off of things. Food and alcohol quickly became some of my therapies of choice. My preference: Oreos and white wine (chardonnay). I didn't say I had the most sophisticated taste, but I will say that polishing off a sleeve of Oreos and half a bottle of wine would make me happy for that moment.

The other quick fix for me was retail therapy - buying something I wanted with no abandon. This was typically not a great idea because infertility treatments were always at last $3,000 and some were up to $14,000 a piece. So, the last thing I needed was a $250 purse. Again, it made me feel a little better.

One of my favorite and most constructive things that makes me feel better is horseback riding. Horses are truly therapy to me - grooming them, cleaning stalls, riding, the smell of alfalfa. I love it all and it makes me feel good for a long period of time.

One girl I know even bought a BMW in her fertility-induced haze to ease the pain.

So, infertiles, what do you do besides cry when you get a negative result? How do you soothe the beast? Skydive, watch a rocom? Let me know!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why wasn't this around when I was going through treatment?

For the last two days, I feel a little like the Infertility Enquirer - delivering the latest infertility news.

There is a new test that some researchers at Stanford University have created that can help determine the success of IVF. It factors in several different criteria like uterine condition, hormone levels and embryo development. According to the Reuters story, the researchers "have founded a new company called Univfy to develop and commercialize the test. The company has licensed the technology from Stanford and has applied for a patent. It is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to market the test by this fall."

Another interesting tidbit of info in this article was that there are more than 80 million infertile women worldwide.

I could've saved tens of thousands of dollars if this test was out back when I was doing my IVFs. Of course, it wouldn't surprise me if, in my lifetime, a homegrown uterus is developed and babies are created in pods a la Gattica.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A $1.2 billion market

Yes, "B" as in billion. I just read an article about a deal between two biotech companies that are working on a biosimilar follistim drug that hopes to be better than the current medication. As I understand it, biosimilars are "follow-on" drugs that can be made after a drug's patent expires.

The company said, "this product offers significant commercial advantages over currently available pen injectors in terms of patient convenience, safety, and ease of use.”

That's great and all - in my opinion, the more good drugs on the market to help, the better. I guess the stunning part to me was the fact that the infertility drug market was so large. And, that's just for the drugs. Imagine what it is when you factor in all of the tests, procedures, hospital bills, acupuncture, etc.

Personally, I would rather have a baby and a bunch of money to take a bath in vs. all of the liquid that I injected in my body that didn't work (and will probably make me grow a beard when I'm 80), the $$$ worth of blood drawn to check a hormone level, and the oodles of Ben Franklins that it cost to hire surgeons and anesthesiologists for ectomies of various natures and egg retrievals. And, it really is depressing to think about the fact that I could've bought a plane ticket to Hawaii for the cost of five years of pre-natal vitamins and negative HPTs.

I once bestowed the virtues of buying HPTs and ovulation test sticks at the Dollar Store. Really. If you're lucky, your Dollar Store carries them. The HPTs that I've found there are pretty clunky and the directions are only in Spanish, but I'm pretty sure that the language of one-line is universal. Besides, if I'm going to get a negative result. I'd rather take the $12 I saved on the Dollar Store test, and buy something like a bottle of wine or 5 pounds of Twizzlers to soothe my crappy mood from bad news.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Too young to be a grandma

This goes in the "you've got to be kidding me" category. So, get ready.

My sister works for an orthopedic surgeon/rehabilitation group. She texted me earlier today and said that she just had a patient come in who is 5 months older than me (I am currently 37 years and 9 months old) and HAS A GRANDCHILD!!!

A few posts ago, I commented about women having babies in their old age, which I believe is completely irresponsible and ridiculous. I even think I mentioned that people who are old enough to be a grandmother, should not be giving birth. Guess I need to eat those words.

I know that I'm not exactly a young babe anymore, but I'm also not an effing granny.

So, so wrong. On so, so many levels.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lurking in my bathroom vanity drawer

I just went looking for some triple antibiotic cream for a little cut on my face (I sound attractive, don't I?). I dug through two different drawers full of expired prescriptions, hair products missing the spray nozzles, some bikini wax that I'm too scared to try, and various tubes of half-used lotions that I have probably had since the Clinton administration.

And then, beneath a box of mineral-based make-up, I found an old box of Crinone progesterone gel complete with a bright green "for vaginal use only" sticker (just in case I decided to squirt it up my nose or in my ears.)

"Hello, old friend," I thought to myself. "My how you have failed me."

I picked up the box and checked the expiration date, and it still has about six months left, but it's been more than two years since I was using it during an IVF cycle.

I'm pretty sure I kept it in case I knew of anyone who was going through fertility treatments. I think it cost at least $50 for the box, so I was hoping to save someone some money. I once offered it to some people at a Resolve meeting, but they all looked at me funny. What?! I'm just trying to put some more bucks in your pocket instead of into your, um...well... you know.

So, there it sits. I couldn't bring myself to throw it away, knowing that it still has some life left. So, if there's anyone out there who could use it, let me know and I'll be happy to mail it to you.

I never did find the antibiotic cream for my cut.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pregnant at 70?!?!?!

Back in the U.S., I've found that I've missed loads of good TV. For those of you following along, I am a bit of a TV junkie. So, imagine my horror when flipping through the channels tonight and finding a show called "Pregnant at 70." Seriously?

I'm roughly half that age, so I can't say how I will feel when a few more decades pass me by, but I'm pretty sure that I will give up on having a biological a child way before then.

Why do you want to be a grandmother or great-grandmother's age when your child is born? Now, I'm the first one to say that 40 is the new 30, and 50 is the new 40, etc., but I really don't think that 70 is an appropriate age to give birth.

And, at least the cases mentioned on this show, they were all IVF babies. It would be a little different if they were conceived naturally, but this was a conscience decision by fertility doctors and the parents to go for it.

Of course, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm jealous of these antique uteruses. How the heck can they carry a baby and I can't? I didn't think they'd have any eggs left.

Modern medicine can be an amazing thing, but I'm not sure if this is where I want to see it go. I'd rather that they focus any reproductive research on those of us under 42.

And, I've Tivoed "I didn't know I was pregnant" or whatever that show is called, so stay tuned. You've got to be kidding me with that one.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Jet lag mimics pregnancy symptoms

In honor of my Transpacific flight on Friday, I though I'd re-post an entry about jet lag from a trip I made in February.

Happy 4th! Celebrate our freedom today!

Yes, it's true and leave it to me to be the one who discovers this. Flying back and forth from Shanghai to my midwestern city is at least a 17-hour proposition, on top of a 13-hour time difference. I've flown to Europe a bunch and am never affected this badly. But, it's a lot farther to Asia. Soooo... when I first did it in December, it totally wiped me out, but it wasn't until this trip that I discovered that the symptoms of jet lag are eerily similar to the early stages of pregnancy (not that I've ever been pregnant, but I've had enough fertility drugs in my system to understand and obsess over every little twinge).

#1 - you're exhausted. For me, anyway, it's an exhaustion like none I've ever felt. Way worse than the feeling of partying all night or pulling an allnighter in college. I can barely stay awake much past 9pm and there have been a couple of times where I literally don't remember falling asleep. I just pass out. Thank goodness this has only happened while I'm already in bed.

#2 - you're moody. It's probably a result of #1, but if you look at me funny right now, you are equally likely for me to bite your head off or for me to give you a hug. I have also cried at all Olympic footage no matter what the country or event, and I was sobbing at a story last night about a blind Husky who still pulls a dogsled because she loves it so much and can trust her teammates.

#3 - you're ravenous. Mostly it's because I should be eating breakfast at 8pm, lunch at 1am and dinner at 8am, and I can't override my body's feeding clock. I'll wake up at 4am, or 6am and be ready to eat anything and everything in sight. Yesterday, I think I ate almost every two hours. Thank goodness I've been hitting the gym.

#4 - your bladder fills quickly. I try to stay super-hydrated on flights, but the downfall to this is that you're constantly using the urine/disinfectant-smelling cramped toilets on the plane. I usually try to drink a lot a day or two after as well, so I'm running to the restroom as much as any baby-bellied babe.

#5 - you're achy and swollen. It's because you're cramped up for 17 hours. My feet puffed out like crazy and I almost couldn't get my shoes on when we landed. But should a plane ride, even for that duration, really make your boobs sore? Hmmm...

Case closed.