Friday, December 30, 2011

miscarriage thoughts

I'm still in a bit of a surreal state a day later. I don't have any cramping and barely any bleeding. I can almost make myself believe it didn't happen. But it did.

To me, it felt inevitable. Like a rite of passage. So many of my friends have got through this. So many of you have gone through this. It was just something I had to do. I'm not lucky enough to never experience this.

Oddly, I feel too young for this. I know that's strange. I am 30 and Max is 29. We often talk about how young we still feel. I can't believe I'm old enough or in real life enough to have this kind of suffering.

I got on etsy on Thursday and impulsively ordered a necklace. A green peridot, the August birthstone. I feel stupid for that. Like its going to help. Who knows? Maybe it will. I guess I will see when it gets here.

After our ultrasound on Wednesday they gave us a little sympathy packet. A book with lots of info about the emotional and mental side of this and a little stuffed lamb. It almost made me feel sad for them. A realization that they have to walk so many women through this that they have those at the ready.

We are doing the chromosome testing on the baby. Anxious to see if they will find any answers. If I understand correctly, they can also find it if it was a boy or girl. I can't decide if I want to know. I know that if/when I get a baby I won't care. But I've been so obsessed lately with having a girl. I'm afraid it will make me sadder if it was a girl. I feel crazy for that as well.

Sorry for the random nature of this post. I'm just trying to get some thoughts out in a safe place.


Well it's over. It's been quite a surreal couple of days.

We ended up calling to talk to our regular nurse practitioner yesterday because we couldn't get the doubt out of our mind. She reassured me and had all of the right things to say. Based on the pictures she looked at, the baby measured right at 8 weeks and the sac measured 6w1d. She obviously couldn't tell anything about cardiac on the pic, but trusted the other NP. She did say that if it would make us feel better, we could ask for an ultrasound before the surgery to ease our minds. We thought about it all day and couldn't decide. That has been the theme of the last 2 days. No decisions. Max has been in charge of all of those.

Shortly after the hospital called to tell us what time to arrive, the main clinic office called to tell us our doctor wanted to do a follow up ultrasound before the surgery without us even asking. Thank you. Took the decision out of it. And showed me that he understood our position and was being conscientious.

So we did that this morning. We didn't expect to see anything different, but are glad we did it nonetheless. I was able to stay calm and understand everything on the screen. We were then able move forward with no doubt we were doing the right thing.

The d&c really wasn't that bad. Obviously I could still have bad cramping, but I also have pain meds. I cried several times through the process, and most of the nurses were very compassionate and understanding. Except for one. Oh well. When I woke up the first thing I remember was asking "Is it over?" The recovery nurse said "yes darlin it's over" and I burst into tears. (for those of you unfamiliar or surprised at the use of the word "darlin", welcome to the south).

All in all I'm doing ok. My mom went with me too and I'm so thankful. First she's been through this before. Second, she's my mom.

Thank you so much for all of the kind words and support. It means so much.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

no heartbeat

We are heartbroken. Literally. I go from feeling intense pain to paralyzing nothing in a matter of minutes.

We are out of town for the holidays still and went to another satellite office of our clinic instead of our regular. It was about a 1.5 hour drive. To be honest, about halfway there I knew that's what the results would be. I kept trying to talk myself out of it. But I knew. I started crying almost immediately after the pic came on the screen. Last week I saw the heartbeat right away. Before she even pointed it out. So I knew today it wasn't there. Max tried to calm me down and tell me to wait, but it didn't matter.

We have both tried to desperately bargain that maybe she just missed it. It wasn't our normal nurse practitioner. Sometimes my stuff has been hard to find. But I know the baby has never been hard to find. The sac only measured 6w1d. I should be 7w6d.

After she was done we waited on a video conference with one of the doctors at the main office. He talked us through the process and talked about our options. We decided to do a d&c on Friday. Of course now we are panicking again and wondering how we can be sure.

Honestly, this was probably harder in the moment on Max than me. I have been guarded this whole time. Waiting for the worst. Knowing that things weren't quite right. He has been so optimistic. Believing that things were perfect. His reaction was a bit delayed this morning, but when the emotions came they came strong. He just keeps saying it happened so fast.

If I'm honest with myself, I know I've blamed Max a little bit through this process. The only diagnosable problem we have is with him. But this miscarriage is all me. There is nowhere else to look. No one else to blame. I failed us.

I don't know where to go from here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ultrasound #2 and other things

We had our second ultrasound on Monday. Again, we got to see a strong heartbeat and growth in the baby. The gestational sac is still measuring small, which concerns me a great deal but we just have to wait and see. The dr says all we know for now is that we see a strong heartbeat, a fetal pole, and growth in the baby. We just hope the sac catches up. Honestly, she didn't seem too concerned. She was very positive and excited for us.

That brings us to our next task of finding a regular obgyn. The first problem is that I really want to see a woman. Why are there so few female obgyns??? It doesn't make sense. We are looking at 3 practices and each of them only have 1 woman. We also currently live between 2 cities so we need to decide where we want to deliver. The practice that is probably our first choice has one woman, but she is a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), not an MD. I honestly have no idea what that really means and what the difference is. Anyone have experience with or knowledge of DOs?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ultrasound today

We saw the heartbeat. It was unbelievable. The sac was a little small but the heartbeat was strong. I will go again Monday for another ultrasound. There is still so much to be scared about, but for today I will be happy. I will be thankful for this gift and do the only thing I can, pray for another day for this baby.

Slight change of plans. Last night I was feeling my stomach to try to figure out the exact tender spots and I felt a little knot on my left side. I went ahead and called the nurse message line this morning to let them know. My nurse practitioner just called back and after hearing me describe the location, thinks it's probably to high to be baby related but wants to go ahead and check things out so that if it's not I can get it checked by my GP.

So, I'm headed that way now and will go ahead and have blood work and the first ultrasound. Praying so hard that we see everything we are supposed to and my fears can be momentarily calmed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I'm still here. Just waiting for what comes next. I have an appointment Friday morning for another beta and an ultrasound. Hoping this week moves fast.

I have a new fear today. The left side of my stomach is slightly tender when I press on it and I've had some very light pain there when walking. That, combined with my low-ish hCG levels is causing me to fear an eptopic pregnancy. I'm not planning on doing anything unless I am in actual pain, so I will just wait until Friday and see what we see.

I've never done well with uncertainty, but this takes the cake.

Friday, December 9, 2011

bfp for a friend

I have a childhood friend, May, who has been struggling with infertility for years as well. I haven't talked to her in a while, but her mother is one of my mother's best friends. It has been helpful for them to share things with each other through this process. I lean on my mother so much and have really needed her insight, wisdom, laughter and tears to get through this. It's been great for her to have another source of information and understanding and for the two of them to figure out together how they can help us.

May had her 3rd IFV two weeks ago. They had decided this was the last time for them. Just talked to my mom and they got their positive! So happy for them and praying that things go well for her baby, my baby, and for all of you!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

third beta

Just got the results back from my 3rd beta. hCG went from 74.4 to 718.8. It's not as high as I thought it would be with my own calculations, but the nurse says it is fine and we will just keep moving forward.

This whole process is just so crazy, and makes me feel so crazy. The nurse actually said that it is a bit of a double edged sword. We know so early and know so much that it can make things worse. Especially when we are reading things all over the internet and analyzing every bit of information in 15 different places.

I have finally quit the message boards. The last straw was today when the title of a post was "Jealous". The poster continued to talk about how jealous she was of the people who post that they've gotten to go the doctor so early. What she doesn't know is that the people talking about that only "get" to go because they've been struggling with infertility for years, or have had 4 miscarriages, or have a health concern that makes them high risk. It's not like we're specially chosen people, or lucky. I would give anything to wake up one morning, realize I've missed my period, take a hpt and OMG, I'm pregnant, on our first try! Little does she know, (who happens to be pregnant with her 6th child), she's the lucky one.

I've been reading all of your blogs this week and getting so angry that this can't just happen for all of you. No more trying. No more money. No more fighting. Just blessings. It really pisses me off it can't be like that.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I'm still here. Waiting for Thursday when I go back for another beta.

The last few days really have been slightly unreal. I stopped spotting on Friday night/Saturday. Which is basically when a normal cycle should have stopped. I felt a few pregnancy symptoms over the weekend, but feel basically normal now. I did do another hpt yesterday and it was positive. I know that doesn't guarantee anything. I also know that although my hCG tripled, the number was still so low compared to other people. At 17 dpo, mine was 74.4. I've read about other women who were over 500 on the same day.

With all of my concerns, it is hard for this pregnancy to seem real to me. I guess it may not be. Numbers will tell on Thursday.

The progesterone injections are torture. I have knots on my hip and it's sore to walk and lay down. Combine that with the disgusting nature of the 3 x a day suppositories and you get one crabby girl. I actually left my bottle of progesterone on my desk at work yesterday and didn't realize it until I got off of the interstate after my 30 minute drive home. I was scared to not do the dose at night, so decided I would go change clothes and drive back. I stopped at the church to tell Max what I was doing and as soon as I saw him I burst into tears. He of course immediately said he was going to get them which only made me cry harder. He kindly pointed out that although his dad book recommended not pointing out every mood swing and emotional breakdown, he thought my reaction may have a bit to do with the pregnancy and that I should just go home and relax and he would be back in about an hour with the medicine. He's a good one.

I downloaded a few apps on my phone. One is Baby Bump and I've been reading a lot and posting some in the community there. The problem is, I don't think it's all that healthy. Every other post is about miscarriages, fears, comparing symptoms and freaking out when they're not the same, and other similarly scary things. It's almost like I'm addicted. I read every single detail about someone's miscarriage and compare it to where I am right now. How do I stop? It's definitely not making me feel better. If anything it's making me depressed.

One of the hardest parts about this right now for me is that this all makes me feel so dark. And that's not me. Not this time of year anyway. I've been in no hurry to put up a tree. Max finally made me go get one yesterday, and it's up but with no decorations. I've barely bought any Christmas presents, something that I normally spend hours and hours on, making sure to pick out the perfect things for my family. I'm just sitting and waiting. For permission to be happy.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Where to start. I guess I'll say this first.

I'm pregnant. It feels so weird to say.

But things aren't quite right. From Monday to Thursday, my hCG tripled, exactly like it was supposed to. 23.6 to 74.4. That's great. But I'm bleeding and have been since late Monday night. Not heavy. Very light, but fairly constant. Monday my progesterone was 6 and Thursday it was 12.9. We've added daily progesterone shots to the mix and are hopeful that it will increase. But everything I read says it just needs to be over 10 at this point.

There's so much information out there. It's hard to filter it all, plus my emotions, and feel at all sane. Anyone have experiences they want to share? Good or bad?

I'm allowing myself to get slightly excited. We've told a few people. Our parents. A few close friends. My boss. People that if something happens would know anyway. Every time I say it out loud, I get a little more excited. And then the nerves come crashing in. I'm so scared.

Really scared.

But excited. And hopeful.

Monday, November 28, 2011

in between

Got the call.

So hCG of <5 is negative. hCG of >25 is positive.

Mine was 23.6. In between. The nurse said semi-congratulations.

I go back on Thursday morning to see if it has increased.

Three more days of waiting.

Like I said. Excruciating.

an excrutiating day

I went in for my beta this morning.

And I've waited all day for the phone call.

I missed it. I was finishing a meeting and didn't hear my phone vibrate. Left a message. Said they would call back soon.

I can't make myself say the words, but I don't think it's good news. Just a feeling.

This is excruciating. Beyond.

Friday, November 18, 2011

the dangerous hope

I have been incredibly overwhelmed and crazy busy at work the last week or so. I wish I had written things down earlier in the week to really record how I was feeling. But I continued to run out of time.

We did our first IUI on Tuesday morning. According to the doctor, everything went well. We also got Max's last analysis results back and his numbers had improved significantly. To "normal" levels. So we felt really good about that.

I consider this to be my first official two week wait. And it is tough. If I thought infertility was all-consuming before, I was unprepared for this. I can almost literally not think of anything else. This is the first two week wait where I actually felt a shred of hope, that there could actually be a chance that we are pregnant.And that question, are we or aren't we, is all that goes through my mind.

As I'm walking down the hall at work, my mind changes with each step I take. Pregnant. Not pregnant. Pregnant. Not pregnant. Pregnant. Not pregnant.

I sit at my desk and pray for God to tell me now. Whatever it is. Tell me.But there is no answer.

One minute I convince myself that I am pregnant. That all we needed was a little push, and that it worked. That 9 months from now I will finally have my baby.

The next minute I know for sure that I am not. That we will take December off and be ready to try again in January. And that that won't work either. And we will try IUI one more time. And that won't work either. Then we will have to decide. IVF or adoption.

One minute I am planning around the pregnancy I'm already sure I have. The next minute I say to hell with it. You can't plan around something that won't ever happen.

Hope is a bit of a jerk like that. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and like you're finally getting want you want. And then you know you won't get it simply because you want it so much.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


My mom returned home with me this week so I didn't have to drive back from Tennessee by myself. Max had to stay behind and preach a revival this week. It gave us an opportunity to have a long talk on the drive. I was finally able to voice some things that I hadn't allowed myself to say out loud.

My mom is great and absolutely my best friend (other than Max). She has dealt with depression in the past and is actually still on some medicine. After listening to me struggle to express myself for a couple of hours, she suggested I go see a counselor. It's something I've definitely thought about, but could never really bring myself to actually do it.

Well, like many people, November is Benefits Month at my job. So that's the time for Open Enrollment and when HR does a lot of awareness projects for benefits. One benefit I get is called Employee Assistance Program where I actually get 3 free sessions year with a counselor or psychologist in-network.

So, today I bit the bullet. I found a psychologist that has experience working with infertility and called to set up an appointment. They took my information and will call back to set up an actual time. I guess I will go some time next week. Which, ironically, is also when our IUI should happen. I am hopeful that I can set up a time after work because I already feel very guilty about all of the work I miss for doctor visits.

I would love to hear from someone who has taken this approach for infertility or other issues. I just don't know what to expect.

Friday, November 4, 2011

headed home

Max and I are headed home this weekend to see the family. We are both very excited. It's been a while since we have been "home". But it comes with its complications too.

My dad is sick and you never really know how he will be. Then there are all the babies. And the soon to be babies. And all of the family members who ask crazy questions about when we are going to have babies.

We are staying with my parents where my pregnant sister in law also lives. I new a whole post devoted to that.

A very exciting part of this weekend is that it is the Alabama/LSU game. If you're not a fan of college football, it's a big deal. I'm not a fan of either, but our beat friends are Alabama fans so we will be watching with them. Very excited about that. Today is also out god daughter's 13th birthday and we will celebrate that as well.

So, lots to look forward to this weekend. I am praying for a good attitude and emotional stability.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

long week and another paper sheet

As I mentioned, I've been out of town for the last week for a work conference. It was tons of fun, a lot of work, and exhausting. I got to see some really great friends that I don't get to see that often. But like I said, it was exhausting.

So I did Femera this cycle and began using Progesterone tablets. I knew my next cycle should have started on Monday. I expected it to happen all day Monday, but nothing. I began to get a little hope in my head, which for me basically begins freaking me out and making me act like an emotional fool. So, I got in my head that I had to get a pregnancy test right then. I was supposed to be meeting friends to head out to Bourbon Street to see the Halloween festivities. Yes, Bourbon Street. So, I go to Walgreens, 1 block from Bourbon. Do you know how awkward it is to buy a HPT smack in the middle of the crazy partiers? Madness.

Well, I run back to the hotel and realize I meant to get a digital test, but didn't. I hate the non-digital tests. They completely freak me out. I can't tell if there is a line there or not. I literally see a line one minutes, and the next I don't. I took both tests in the box, both of which I couldn't really tell the results. So then I was even more freaked out/hopeful. There was a CVS on another corner, so I ran out of the hotel down to the CVS (walking by myself in Nola on Halloween night). I'm in CVS, and I can't find the HPTs anywhere! I walk around CVS forever, no one is available to help me because the line at the counter is ages long. By this time I'm 20 minutes late to meet up with friends, so I begin walking back down Canal Street crying on the phone with Max. So I go out to Bourbon Street, in a horrible mood, and basically sit in the corner depressed all night.

I wake up Tuesday morning sure that I will start. I go all day long and nothing. Again, it's dinner time and I'm desperate to take a test. I tell my friends to go on and I will meet them at the restaurant. Thankfully, one of my greatest friends that I get to see twice a year follows after me because she knows a tiny bit about the infertility issues and could tell that I was not doing well. She ends up walking with me back to Walgreens to get the test, then to the restaurant where I proceed to pee on the stick in the restaurant bathroom. The digital test is of course negative which really only confirmed what I thought. Hope is one thing, but I truly knew I wasn't. I went ahead and took one the next morning too, just in case, but no. And I started later in the day.

Oh well. I'm now looking forward to moving forward this cycle with IUI. This week was very emotionally draining, especially not being with Max. I'm thankful for my friend who knew me well enough to know to follow me.

I went for my baselines today and everything looks good. I will start Femera on Monday. We'll see.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Your comments are so totally like virtual hugs. I never imagined I could feel so comforted by words. Thank you.

I am out of town for a work conference. A bit of a big deal. I am on the conference planning committee and the board of directors. Also, some great friends are part of this association and I always have SO much fun and so far it has not disappointed.

I feel lucky to have this escape right now. It's nice to have good friends here, who with the exception of one or two have no idea what is going on with me. So it's fun.

I thought maybe that because I would be so busy and focused on work and fun, I could escape everything else. But babies are still everywhere! Colleagues from across the country are pregnant or just had babies. One colleague spent time yesterday talking about how she is such a planner she planned her children around her phd. Babies babies everywhere!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a sermon for children

See my previous post if you need to be reminded how much I love Max.

So, the husband is a pastor. And a pretty good one at that. He preaches great sermons, always knows the right things to say, loves people unconditionally, etc. He never lets on if/when his faith is wavering.

I, on the other hand, have always had a bit of a problem with faith. Of course, the issues have intensified with the infertility battle. This Sunday, the message was about prayer. We first watched a short video about the ways God answers prayer. Sometimes he says yes, sometimes it's delayed, sometimes it's denied.

Well, during the children's sermon (which precedes the actual sermon and is a way to dumb it down for the kids before they leave for Children's Church), Max stumbled and didn't say the right think. He used a very specific example to illustrate prayer to the children. He talked about when he was a kid, he prayed for a baby sister. He prayed every day for a baby sister, but he never got one. And now looking back he realizes it's because he wouldn't have been a good big brother and they weren't meant to be that kind of family.

Stab. Me. In. The. Heart.

Now, I know that a rational person doesn't make this connection. But I have infertility brain (I stole this from a new blogger, she writes about it here). For me, everything relates back to our infertility. And to me, when he said that, I heard "God isn't answering our prayer because Hattie won't be a good mother and we aren't meant to be that kind of family." This thing I've thought so many times, Max also thinks. Ouch.

I am not nurturing, in any sense of the word. I'm selfish, sometimes lazy, forgetful, sarcastic, and cynical. Those things do not make a good mother. I have a friend who suffered through infertility about 2 years ago. After trying to conceive for a long time and a few short rounds of test, they found that her husband is sterile. After a few heartbroken months, they turned to adoption and now have an amazing son. Through her adoption journey, the most common comment was "It will happen. She was born to be a mother." or "If anyone deserves to be a mother, it's her." No one has ever or will ever say that about me. So is that why I can't get pregnant?

I immediately started crying in the back pew of our small church. Church has been a real struggle for me for the past 6 months or so. It is so weird to be in a room full of people that love each other, conversations happening all around, hugs flying everywhere, and to feel so alone. So I sat on the back pew, surrounded by people, all alone and crying. I made it about 7 minutes until the next song started and I had to get out. I didn't hear the message. I don't know what else Max said about prayer. But I have been begging God for a long time for a baby, so I guess I have a lot to learn.

Obviously Max knew I left. He knew I was upset. But he doesn't know why. I don't know why I can't talk about this with him. I've always been able to tell him anything. But now, the only place I can say what I want is here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

to the max

I've started drafts of several posts in an effort to get some feelings out in a safe place. In a couple of the posts I may end up saying some less than amazing things about my bff (and husband) Max. I absolutely did not want the first things I said about Max on here to be negative, because he is beyond amazing. So, I thought I would write this first to remind myself why I love him and how lucky I am, and to make sure anyone reading this knows that I love him above all.

First, Max is not his real name (and Hattie isn't mine for that matter). I didn't want to use our real names, but we are so much more than an initial :) so I just picked names. Both of them have some significance that I won't go into.

Max is the best husband any woman (or man :) could ever hope for. He literally makes my life worth living (ready to throw up yet?). We have known each other since the nursery at church and we were best friends long before we dated. We began seriously dating in college, dated for 3 years, got engaged, married a year later, and have had a wonderful 7 year marriage.

Here are a few words that describe Max:
funny, compassionate, handsome, intellectual, giving, empathetic, sympathetic, witty (different than funny), loyal, outgoing, safe, a talker, big picture thinker, life of the party, everyone's best friend, believer, faithful, memorable, dependable, awesome

Sounds pretty good, right? He washes dishes and loads the dishwasher (I unload), packs breakfast, lunch and 2 snacks for me every day, drives me 30 minutes to work some days just because, goes to the grocery and cooks dinner, puts up with my crazy, makes me laugh every day, loves my friends, coworkers and students, gives everything he has to anyone who needs it, puts of with lots of other crazy, prays for others without ceasing, is super good to his family, is a dream uncle to his niece and nephews, and will be an amazing father.

He is the ONLY reason I have survived this infertility journey thus far. (A coworker said thus far the other day. I thought to myself...who says that? So, I've decided to see how many times I can use it. That's 1!)

I love him very much. To the max, if you will.

the medical update

Thanks for all of the comments. I told myself that it would be enough to just get it out, to write it down. But it really does help to know that other people are reading and share in my struggles.

Knowing me, I will probably write more about the emotional side of things here, but I will also try to keep things updated with where we are medically.

So, though all of the testing, we haven't found much wrong with my system. My cycles are extremely regular and my uterus and tubes look good. I have tracked ovulation for 3 cycles now and each time there has been 1 mature follicle in my left ovary. My right ovary is really hard to find (translate - painful) and they think there was one there two this cycle. Honestly, I don't know if that's great or not, but each time the nurse practitioner says it's enough. Two cycles ago, my progesterone was low. So, this cycle I did Letrozole and an hCG shot. My progesterone test was this morning so I should hear from it this afternoon.We are just covering naturally this cycle, so I don't expect anything to happen but I will do an HPT next Monday to check.

Max has had a semen analysis several times and all of his numbers have been low at some point. The main concern has been motility. He has been on a supplement for a few months and will do another analysis this week. We did do a post-coital test at my last ultrasound and it was not good. Basically there were very few sperm and the ones that were there were barely moving.

So, the plan is to do IUI on the next cycle. CD1 should be early next week. I will be out of town for work so this week I need to do some investigation into what will happen if CD4 occurs before I get home. I will do an ultrasound and beta in New Orleans if I have to, but I'm not waiting another month to do this.

So that's the plan - IUI here we come!

Side note - my dad used to work full time selling bull semen to cattle farms for artificial insemination. In my early teens I was horrified when people asked what he did for a living. After a while it became funny to tell people and see their reactions. Who would have thought that one day I would be inseminated? ha!

Friday, October 21, 2011


I've always known I would have children. I'm not the type of person to crave children. Or feel like I'm born to be a mommy. Few people would describe me as nurturing. But yes, I have always wanted children. I've thought about names, saved pictures of nursery decor and thought about what a great father Max will be. After we got married, I was only on birth control for a few months. I didn't want to go back to the doctor and we were grad-school-poor so we just started using the natural way of family planning.

In 2009 or so, we decided it was time to start. I was 28ish and starting to feel the itch. So we reversed our way of thinking the the family planning department. For about 6 months we watched the calendar and "tried". Nothing happened. So, I bit the bullet and went to see an obgyn (for the first time in 5 years :). She asked us to try naturally for 6 more months and think about losing some weight (like I had never thought about it before). We followed orders. At this point, I was a little bummed it hadn't happened yet, getting a little more anxious, but in general, still enjoying the time Max and I had alone and feeling like I was both ready and so not ready to be a mom.

In the fall of '09, we went back to the obgyn, obviously not pregnant, and she began ordering tests. First on the list was a semen analysis for Max. Unfortunately, his numbers weren't great so we knew right away she would be referring us to a fertility specialist. We decided to give it a little more time, keep focusing on some weight loss, and get past the holidays without too much stress. We had our first appt with the fertility docs in January of '10, spent a long time losing 30 lbs and returned in March of 2011.

March 2011 was a big month. See, I was born on my mother's 30th birthday. She calls me the gift that keeps on taking. It's one of my favorite parts of my world. I love sharing this day with her. I love that she is exactly 30 years older than me. 30 has always felt like the prefect age to have a baby. So, since I was in high school, I have been determined to have a baby girl on my 30th birthday. Sometime in the summer of 2010, it became a reality that it would not be happening. I turned 30 in March. And the rational part of me knows/knew that that was a ridiculous thought. That it was never probable. That even if I had no problems getting pregnant, it would be near impossible to plan a baby on my birthday. But this is the day that my struggle with infertility became real. Looking back, I know that March began my slide into the depths. It began my sadness, my withdrawal, and all of the other emotions that caught a ride. This was no longer something we had to go through for a time before we got pregnant. It was my life. It began consuming my every thought, every relationship, every part of my being. And it hasn't let go.

between the paper sheets

I've known for a while that I need to talk about my journey. I've tried to talk to the husband, I'll be calling him Max. But he has his own issues and he's not talking either. I've tried to talk to my mom, but she wants so badly for me to be ok that she can't just listen. And my friends fall into two categories: those that have kids, and those that don't and aren't thinking about it. Both groups are difficult to talk to. They either talk nonstop about their kids and know of nothing other than that bubble, or they don't understand the all-consuming desire. I've thought about seeing a counselor. But I can't find an infertility counselor in my area and I can't bring myself to do anything but call about pricing for anyone else.

So, I'm turning to this. Maybe someone will read it. Maybe not. Maybe it will help. Maybe not.

Anytime I open a new account (email, social media, blog, etc.), the biggest struggle is the name. It's so much pressure! I want it to reflect me, but do I even know who that is anymore? It should be funny, but not too cheesy. It should be easy to remember. Simple. So in this endeavor, I started brainstorming things that stand out in my memory over the last 2 years of this journey. The paper sheet is one of the first things that came to mind.

I have always been a bit of an ob-gyn-aphob (not sure how to explain that phonetically, but let's just say I've been a bit scared). In fact, I went to the "woman doctor" 3 months before I got married to get a prescription for birth control and did not go back until I began to suspect I would be having trouble getting pregnant, approximately 5 years later. I know, I know. I got plenty of lectures then and I don't need another. Besides, I've now been in the stirrups more than enough times to make up for it.

The paper sheet symbolizes a lot for me. For one, it's never big enough to cover what I want it to cover. And I know what people say about modesty. When you have a kid it's gone. And that may or may not be true for me eventually, but it's not yet. I still pull and tug and cover up as much as possible. I still almost break my neck trying to get situated and covered up on the table before that door opens. I still tear up and concentrate on breathing when the stranger in the room gets all up in my lady business. So it may barely serve its fig leaf purpose, but it doesn't cover my emotions. It will not stop my tears or wrap me in its arms. It is not a comfort. The paper sheet fails me.

The paper sheet is also an image that stays in my mind after I leave the office. First it's a symbol of hope. Clean and sharply folded waiting for me on the table. Full of hope. It's only a paper sheet, but we are about to become a team. Working towards a goal. And then a short time later, it's wadded on the table or stuffed in the garbage. An ugly reminder that I will probably see it again. That yet again, the bodies of Hattie and Max will not do what they are supposed to do and I will return to the room and see the sharply folded paper sheet again.

And finally, the paper sheets serve as book ends or time stamps in this process. The beginning of a cycle (I need a thesaurus; I'm beginning to hate that word) or maybe the middle where I may have a little follie waiting for fireworks. And surprisingly for me, as much as I hate paper sheet times, it's the time between the paper sheets that I'm most struggling with. Those times are lonely, dark and moody. They're emotional and emotionless. They are angry and hopeful, strengthening and heart breaking.

I wish this process of procreation could be about the time between the 600 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. About love, intimacy and trust. But alas, for some mysterious reason, this journey is about the paper sheets. About science, calendars and money.

Maybe one day it will be about love again. Love for Max and for our squishy new addition. Only time will tell.