30 April 2010


I wasn't terribly impressed with the urologist this morning. I wanted thorough, I got quick.

There was nothing wrong with Jakobe's hormones, testicles, vas defrens, or prostate.
He's 90% sure that Jakobe has Retrograde Ejaculation - but he's not going to do anything to confirm that.
He had absolutely nothing to say about morphology or motility.
He did say that we wouldn't be able to conceive naturally, we would need either IUI or IVF.
When I said I was concerned about not having enough for IUI, he basically agreed.

Other than that - he said that there's one fertility doctor in Spokane, but he recommends that we go to Seattle instead.  (5 hours or so away)  He said we could try the Spokane Doc for a consultation, but that we should really think about it before actually doing any treatment here.

When I asked if there was anything he could do to confirm the retrograde, he said that we'd have to talk to the fertility specialist about that.  It seems he's washed his hands of us.

Anyway - I figured all of that out using "Dr. Google" months ago.  (okay, except for the first line...)

I was doing okay at the doctor's office, and basically until I was away from Jakobe.  He was having a hard time, and I guess subconsciously, I didn't want to add to it.  I started to fall apart a little while I was driving to work - and it's gotten worse since then.  It news wasn't worse than I had expected, but it wasn't what we wanted to here.

Good News:  I actually avoided the whole emotional eating thing when I got to work.  I got here, and there was a whole plate of muffins free for the taking, as well as a sausage/egg/potato thing.  I took some of the sausage stuff to eat for lunch, but did not give in to the temptation to eat one of those huge muffins...  I think I get a gold star.

Here we go.

I'm still working on what to title this post.  I've got a variety of random thoughts jumbled around in my head.  Part of which is feeling a little bit nervous about the urology appointment tomorrow.  Yikes.  It's here. 

In other news:
  • My uncle has a 3 week old oops baby we're just finding out about now.  In the Phillipenes.  For a little perspective - his other two daughters are 28 and 26, and his granddaughters are 7, 5, and 3...  OOPS.
  • My mom is moving in with her boyfriend.  She'll be moving about an hour away (not too bad) but since in the nearly 3 years they've been dating he still hasn't managed to divorce his wife.  I'm not sure how good of an idea moving in together really is.
  • It's raining.
Anyway, I wrote this last night, and didn't  post.  It's morning, and we're off to see the urologist.

27 April 2010


 So it's not really funny, but it seems that the closer we get to Jakobe's appointment on Friday, the  more I feel like it's not really going to do anything for us.  It took quite some time to get the appointment, and we've been patiently waiting for it.  At the same time, I don't know what the urologist is going to be able to tell us other than "We need more tests."

Jakobe hates the doctor - nothing good ever happens to him there.  And I certainly haven't helped with that feeling.  I made him go in for a physical last fall (after more than a year of nagging, sorry honey - I love you) and what happened?  He was diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes.

I didn't make him go in for the SA, but it *was* my idea, since I'm the one who wanted kids more, and I wanted to know if I should go ahead and have another laparoscopy (it would be my 4th).  And we all know what happened there, and it wasn't good. (If you don't know - the results are over on the timeline)

In any case, I'm less and less sure what this appointment is going to do for us, other than being a stepping-stone toward having a plan. Don't get me wrong - I want a plan.  I just feel like the whole thing is glacial right now.

26 April 2010

What If?

What if implies possibilities, hopes, fears, what might be, the end that we don’t know yet, or even a stop along the way.  What if invites us to explore the land of the unknown, to stand up and look our fears and hopes straight in the face.  What if is scary.

My life is full of What if’s.  I share most of them with other people waiting, wondering, hoping - what if this is our month, cycle, whatever?  What if the option we tried this time is the right one?  What if it works?

Honestly though, these are the happy, hopeful, positive what ifs.  They’re few and far between, and there’s a whole room full of the dark, scary, unpleasant what ifs.  The ones that make us wonder if we’re worth it, the ones that make us feel like terrible people, the ones that we can’t even bear to say because just saying it admits that it might be true.  Today, I’m going to pick one, take it by the hand, and walk a mile in its shoes.

What if I have to learn how to live childfree with a smile…forever?

{Fast-Forward 10 years}

It starts when the phone rings,  it’s my youngest sister, calling to say “It’s Time!” and she’s scared and excited all at once, and you can hear every emotion in the world flow through her voice with those two words.  I feel them all too, overwhelmed for a moment, by the vastness of all of the different things that I’m feeling. 

At 14 years my junior, she’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to a child of my own.  I got to answer the teenage questions about sex, and give her advice and lectures she really didn’t want to hear.  For a couple of years, while my mom was gone, my other sisters and I stepped in and did the best we could, We did it again when my parents split. It’s not the same, but it’s as close as I got.  Jakobe and I tried, hard, in our thirties to have children of our own, but it wasn’t meant to be.

In this moment, the whole family is preparing to descend upon the local hospital, to wait in the waiting room, to wander in and out of the delivery room, and to generally be there for her.  It’s what we do.  We did it when my first nephew was born 16 years ago, and have done it from time to time, for cousins and friends in the meanwhile, but it’s the first time we’ve been able to do it for a sister since then.  It’s been a long wait. 

I think that we’re all excited.  Not everyone arrives at the same time; I’m one of the first.  Jakobe even comes with me, he’s been there giving lectures and advice since she was 14, and it’s a big day for him too.  Her hospital room fills up with family, and we’re all there with advice and smiles: The three of us older girls, and my mom - the people who were there in the room when she herself was born.   After a while Meg catches my eye and we share a little wry smile – the only indication of that lingering bit of sadness we both feel, the moment when we acknowledge that we both wished to experience what Ro is experiencing, but didn’t get that lucky.  Then we move on.

The rest of the day is nothing but smiles, congratulations, and visible happiness.  My niece it the most adorable baby I’ve ever seen, and Ro came through the whole thing like a trooper.  All of the cooing, and snuggling, and “Can I hold the baby” draws to an end and we all head back to our homes so that Ro can rest and recover.

Once we get home, I let go a little bit, and Jakobe holds me while I let out the tears that even I forgot I was holding back.  It doesn’t take long, I mostly gave up feeling sorry for myself when I finally accepted that it wasn’t ever going to happen for us, but it’s still there sometimes.  I make dinner, and decide that maybe it’s time for us to go on another awesome trip.

{Return to the present}

When I started to write that, I didn’t really understand how hard it was going to be to actually imagine myself in that situation.  I knew that I didn’t really want to think about it – and the pile of Kleenex next to me attests that it was a painful experience.  Now I get to move on o the fun side of the What ifs:

What if we go to Jakobe’s urologist appointment on Friday and discover that things aren’t as bad as they initially seemed?  What if it means that we get pregnant this year, and our dream of becoming parents comes true without needing to dig ourselves a hole of debt?  What if we don’t have to wait for a year to be able to afford to attempt it?

And one for my sister Meg:  What if they can figure out why their beans don’t stick, and fix it?

This post brought to you by the letters N, I, A, & W.  National Infertility Awareness Week.
Check out Project IF here.
For more information about NIAW please visit: http://www.resolve.org/takecharge
For more information about Infertility in general:  http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

Updated to add:  My positive what if's (for me at least) were a pipe dream.  The urologist said we wouldn't be conceiving naturally and IUI was unlikely as well.

24 April 2010

And then for the real thing

It was definitely just spotting the other day.  Maintenance is here in force.  Endo Sucks!  And right now I'm not exactly sure what I can do about it.  It seems like it's getting worse every month again.  Even given how much I complained about the Yaz by the end of the time I was on it  - It gave me bad PMS, and I was having acne problems - I was doing pretty well on it.

Once you get away from pain, it's easy to forget exactly how bad things were, and while I was on the pill, I forgot, or at least it became less distinct.    Right now I'm wishing for something I can do to not have to deal with this, but at the same time, still be able to move ahead with whatever plan we have for getting knocked up, as soon as we have a plan.  I don't want to go back on the pill, just to find out that we have a chance if we do IUIs, and have to wait longer, besides, it take s a while for things to fget better with the pill, at nothing takes away my everyday pain, just the all out suckfest that is maintenance.

Plus there are things that I'm afraid of - like Lupron.  That was a miserable experience last time.  I understand that I get to take it again, if we go the IVF route, but it's not the same thing as when you take it for Endo.  Menopause sucks, and doing it 3 times would not be my cup of tea.  And I still want to put a lap as close to actually TTC again as possible, just for that lettle bit of extra fertility juice it sometimes provides.

So, we wait, and do nothing.  I wouldn't worry about this too much - it could be the vicodin talking.

The work thing from the other day seems to be all worked out.  I need to remember to keep an eye on my absence statement - when it comes - and I'll dispute the time if it shows up, but It sounds like the bosses have it all worked out.  I can use makeup time, for an hour or two at a time - but not much more.  I think that means that I get to show up for about 45 minutes next Friday, and then go to the urology appointment, and then go back to work.  It's a pain, but whatever I have to do is what I'll do.

AND - I need to remember to talk about something good.  I worry that sometimes this blog gets all the yucky feelings from my life, and no one gets to hear about the good things:.

Jakobe and I have been out riding our bikes on the weekends, and it has been great.  I love to ride, and I think he's enjoying it too.  Last night I was thinking that I would go for a ride soon that just keeps going as long as I can, until I'm just wrung out.  I feel like it would be good to try and push myself to the edge.  I haven't figured out how to do it yet, and still be able to get home, but I'm working on it.

And, the weather this weekend is absollutely gorgeous, we've been cooking and eating outside, and I might even dicide to do some yard work - making the back patio someplace I actually want to hang out.  Might even make it a place worth having patio furniture (what an Idea!)

Okay - enough typing, better go live my day.

23 April 2010


So - Yesterday was a day to forget.  One of those days that you almost wish never happened, except that it just wasn't quite bad enough to make you want the erase a whole day.  

You could say that I got up on the wrong side of the bed, or started my day off on the wrong foot, but really, the first 15 minutes were okay.  I got up, got ready for work, and kissed my husband goodbye.  I'm almost over the jealousy that he's still sleeping when I leave for work.  I decided to check my e-mail on my phone, and got an ugly surprise.  My supervisor's boss sent me an e-mail saying that she has added more hours off to my absence report before turning it in to payroll, so I wouldn't have to worry about filling out another one.  This is a problem because:
  1. Changing my paperwork after I've signed it and turned it in, and without consulting me, is NOT OKAY.
  2. I had already worked out with my boss the fact that I had made up the time for my dentist's appointment, before I went to the appointment.
  3. This isn't the first time she's made a big fuss about absence reports, and last time it happened we were told that it was okay for me to make up time instead of using sick leave.
  4. I don't take lunches(almost no-one in my department does regularly), and often work a little bit more than my shift - for free - because I'm not really a clock watcher.  After last time, I started keeping track of how much time that really adds up to, and it's a lot, a lot more than I've had to take away from work for doctor's appointments.
Needless to say - I was very very upset and angry.  It's mostly resolved now, she and my supervisor have talked it out.  I guess she was under the impression that I had been taking half days with makeup time (I have taken up to 2.5 hours at one time).  But - I think she's crossing the line.  At least talk to someone - like maybe my direct supervisor,  before taking action that I'm not even sure is legal...  It certainly invalidated my signature at the bottom of the form.

In other news.  Maintenance started early - I think.  At absolutely the worst moment.  Jakobe was trying to cheer me up and make me less grumpy after work yesterday and we were surprised (and he was freaked out) because maintenance seems to have started.  My rule of thumb is:  Red = AF, Brown = Spotting.  So combining that with the temp drop yesterday, I'm calling it CD1 - and saying that we're on to a whole new cycle.  I could stop paying attention to my temp - but it does help me to predict when maintenance is due to begin - it just wasn't supposed to be until Saturday.

I can confirm that it's definitely easier to take CD1 when you really don't think there's a possibility that you're pregnant.  Here's to hoping that there are answers, or at least a plan, for us here in the near future.

22 April 2010

I should be blogging but...

I'll fill you in on my mostly craptacular day tomorrow.   Right now I'm going to snuggle in bed with my glass of Irish cream and a good book.

20 April 2010

No Change

It's funny, because I don't really have much of an update, but at the same time I feel guilty for not writing anything new.  Beginning in January, I promised that I would post at least once a week, and I thought it was going to be hard.  Instead, I've found that it has been incredibly good for me.  Having an outlet for all of my feelings, and knowing that someone is probably out there who understands helps me make it through the rough days.  Knowing that maybe my struggles will help someone else helps too.

Also, I signed up for International Comment Leaving Week (IComLeavWe or ICLW) and I feel like I need to do some sort of an introduction, so I guess that these needs coincide.  

Our Current News:  
  • We're still waiting.  
  • We're still not sure exactly what/how were going to tell Jakobe's parents about our infertility.  I just know that hearing "You know, if you and Jakobe decide never to have children, we'll love you anyway." again is going to result in me saying something I will regret, and/or making a scene.
  • I double checked with our benefits person yesterday and verified that none of our 8 options for health insurance plans have *any* infertility coverage at all.  
  • My head nearly exploded earlier this week when two of the people who were supposed to be in the office while we were at the urologist appointment decided to take that day off, meaning that we have almost no coverage if something goes wrong.  As bad as I feel about leaving one person to manage everything the morning of the 30th, I put my request in first, and if my two bosses think it's okay to take the day off and leave the office almost empty for half the day, then that's their call, not mine.  My personal life has to come before work sometimes.
And a welcome to ICLW visitors:

{Stepping up to the podium}
Thank you for stopping by.  I'm Jenni, and my husband and I are infertile.  I have endometriosis, which may or may not be impairing our ability to reproduce because my husband has crappy sperm so we've never really tested it.  I have always wanted children, in fact my initial plan was to get married at 19, and have 4 kids by about age 27.  That unrealistic plan was completely blown out of the water by that fact that I didn't even meet my husband until I was 27, and got married at 29.  

We spent most of the first year TTC hoping that we'd have good luck and assuming it was my fault that we weren't successful.  I had most of the testing right as we started, so the next step was a repeat laparoscopy for me.  I thought we should make sure that we had taken care of any possible issues on his side before I had surgery, and to our shock all of the news on his side was bad.  

Now I don't get a laparoscopy right away, which you might think of as a good thing, but I'm one of the lucky ones for whom endometriosis is not a silent problem, instead it's more of a screaming, tearing, ball of pain in my abdomen for a couple of days a month, and a gnawing, dull pain the rest of the time.

We're waiting to go see a urologist, and find out if there's a possibility that his crap sperm is caused by retrograde ejaculation (a complication of diabetes) or possibly some sort of ejaculatory duct obstruction, or even something we haven't thought of yet.  If so, maybe there's something we can do.  If not, we feel like we're most likely looking at IVF.

{stepping away, and finding my seat}

16 April 2010

Good News!!!

Okay - I wrote this post once already, and then I lost it.  GRR!

I finally got Jakobe's login information for his health insurance web portal.  I say finally because I've been wanting to do it for a long time, but hadn't yet acted on that desire, and not because Jakobe was holding out on me.  In any case, I logged in today to check his Infertility coverage - just to double check my belief that he didn't have any, and discovered that I was wrong.  This is what I found:
Infertility Services
Diagnosis and Treatment of underlying medical condition covered (e.g. endometriosis). 
Other examples in my book would also include: ejaculatory duct obstruction, retrograde ejaculation, other things I can't think of, but I'm sure are out there....  I'm pretty certain that this means that our upcoming urology appointments and follow up appointments will be covered under his insurance.  I expect we can probably get coverage for SAs needed as part of the diagnosis or treatment of the "Underlying condition" whatever that is.  This is a good thing, and it changes the picture for us somewhat.  It certainly may open up some options that we may not have been able to explore before.

15 April 2010

Truth (Lie and Bounce)

This it the explaination of my statement on the Lushary.

It's true, I did once date a king.  It was many years ago, when I was younger, skinnier, more foolish, and definitely more naive. 

Honestly though, we only kind of dated, and he was a special kind of king.  Some people might call him the make-believe, pretend kind of king.  Those people have never really participated in the totally strange and awesome world of the Society for Creative Anachronism. He was the king of An Tir, the kingdom where I live to this day.  He's certainly not king anymore, as a reign only lasts six months, but the title does confer some power and respect, and at the same time, can result in free flowing libations (and really cool clothes).

Navigation Guide

About a week and a half ago Jen at Navigating the Waters of Infertility & Beyond (her blog is private) was doing a giveaway of the book Navigating the Land of IF by Melissa Ford, with the help of Kristen from Dragondreamer's Lair.  I've been looking at the book with a covetous eye, especially considering that I'm one of th queens of :

  • Researching Things to Death

  • Information Overload and

  • Reading My Way Through Every Problem
I've been reluctant though, because part of me still doesn't want to feel like it's real, and part of me is feeling guilty for all of the pregnancy books I bought when I still thought that this whole thing was going to be easy.  In any case, I hadn't bought it yet, so I thought I'd try to win it.  The rules were simple, just plead your case.  Here's what I wrote:

I would say that we're definitely at the beginning of our journey. We tried for 9 months and then my husband had his first SA in February, and with every number being terrible, we're just floored. We're still treading water, we don't know where to go from here, and we don't know how to deal with where we're at now.

So that's a whole long spiel to tell you all that I'm excited because I won, and I'm getting a new book.

13 April 2010

Easier than it was

From my temperature this morning I'm pretty certain that I ovulated yesterday.  As far as trying the old-fashioned way - we missed the window entirely.  A couple of months ago, I would have been (and was) upset, adngry, and overly emotional about not having what I felt like was "good enough" timing during my fertile window.  This resulted in crying, and general crabby-bitchiness on my part.

Today - I still wish that we had sex more often, but I'm not at all worked up about it.

As a coincidence, I read an article in Slate yesterday, When Sex Becomes a Chore, about the toll that infertility takes on women's sex lives.  Unfortunately, it still focuses on fertility being a female problem.  It would have been nice if they had touched on the slightly different set of difficulties that face couples with Male factor infertility.  Thankfully for us, sex is again divorced from baby-making, but not entirely.  Jakobe feeling less like a man certainly has a detrimental effect of that part of our lives.  We're finding our way, and it's good.  Someday, it'll be great.

12 April 2010

Internal Debate

I've been going back and forth in my head about whether Jakobe and I should take advantage of the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) at work.  I've only used it once before - Two and a half years ago when my mom left my dad, and asked to move in with me while she was finding a place to live.  It helped me deal with things then, and I felt much better after the three counseling sessions that were included.  Now I'm not sure If I should try and talk Jakobe into taking advantage of it, or if I should wait until later.  Things could get a lot worse before they get better, and maybe holding off until we know more is a good idea.  

It feels like we're starting to dig ourselves out of the hole we got dropped into on our own.  Who knows how much more climbing we have to do, or if the sides are going to give way and send us plummeting again.  I guess I just don't know if it would be better to fall again after having stood up, or if the fall is easier if you're still trying to pick yourself up from the first one.

08 April 2010

The Old-Fashioned Way

Jakobe wants to keep trying the "Old-Fashioned" way while we're trying to figure out what we're going to do.  He says that there's no reason to stop trying, it just might work. 

BUT - he doesn't want to go back to all the testing, stress and disappointment.  

So we'll still do the timed intercourse thing, but I won't use OPKs and the HPTs will stay locked away in the closet.  With our odds where I feel that they are, I can't see getting the urge to give in to my POAS addiction - it was feeling like it might be a BFP that had me using so many tests in the first place.

Basically - it's all about making sex a priority, and giving it a chance, while not getting our hopes up. 

Sounds good to me.  

Fear and Bills

I got home from work last night to discover that Jakobe had put off paying his doctors bills long enough that they were in collections.  I was livid.  It's not like we don't have the money to pay the bills, it's more that he kept telling me that he would take care of it, and that he wants to show me how I can trust him to handle things.  Yesterday was a big step back on that front.  I do not gain confidence when you let things slide that far. He gets points for taking care of it before going to work this morning, but I still wish that he did it months ago.  I'd rather fight with the insurance company trying to get reimbursed than go to collections. 

All of this isn't to say that it hasn't happened to me - it has, and I hated it.  We all let things slide from time to time, but I'd been reminding him to take care of it for at least a month and getting reassurances that he was on top of it.

Enough bitching.

This all leads into the fear.  I'm afraid of the whole money part of infertility treatments.  I'm not going to let it stop us, and we should be able to swing it, given time, but being responsible for huge bills hanging over our heads doesn’t sound like much fun to me.  Plus - Jakobe tends to "put away" bills when he's cleaning.  and that could mean he put them in a random pile somewhere else in our house (Sometimes the storage room) and then I can't find them.  I appreciate that he's trying to keep the house neat, because we aren't the neatest people, but there's a point where it goes too far.

Because we see different doctors, and have different insurance, the only thing that I can do on his side of things is try to keep an eye out for the bills.  I have to rely on him to try to talk his insurance into paying, or to work out things like that.  I'm afraid that we'll end up paying for more than we have to because he doesn't know how to get things covered, or he doesn't want to spend the time jumping through the necessary hoops.  He already hates the doctor, and the dentist, and so doesn't tend to deal with things until they're an emergency.

06 April 2010

Thoughts from Limbo

I'm more than willing to admit that I'm at the beginning of this journey, but it seems like it's one of the challenges that comes to be part of your personal definition either as an individual, or as a couple.  Infertility is seeping into all the different parts of our life, and coloring the way we look at and interact with the world.  

It's changing how I look at everyday things, how I interact with other people, mostly right now it's changing how much I interact with other people's kids.  I keep trying, but as much as I like them, and as much fun as it is, it hurts.  While driving to Easter breakfast at my aunt's house on Sunday, Jakobe and I chose a code phrase in case it got to be too much and one or the other of us just had to get out of there.  Thankfully, we didn't need it.  How long will we be able to keep that up? How long will I feel guilty about planning to go on vacation (which I know that we need) because we could be saving that money to pay for possible treatments?  How long will the pain of this keep us from the intimacy we were just starting to get on level ground with?  How much is too much?  How will we know when it's time to stop?  Haw will we be able to keep it from tearing us apart in the meanwhile?

There's a part of me that feels like I need to accept that it might never happen.  Even now, there's a part of me that feels like we shouldn't try too hard, because this is hurting us as individuals, and as a couple. At the same time, the idea of not trying is like looking out into a future that looks like I imagine Mars is: beautiful in its way, but empty at the same time.
That and just thinking about not trying makes me want to cry - So I'm sure we're not even close to there yet.  I just don't want to let this take over all of the good things we do have.

We still have 3 1/2 weeks before we see the urologist, and we can't expect him to have answers, just a new set of questions.

02 April 2010

And then there was none



My friend Ann

I just wanted to share this. My friend Ann has a piece on display in an art gallery downtown.  We went to the opening tonight and had a blast.

Where we stand

We're still in the waiting period as far as trying goes, there won't be much going on until after Jakobe's urologist appointment.  Unfortunately, there isn't much going on in the bedroom either.  I don't know if it's because we spent so much time having sex with getting pregnant in mind, and now that's not part of the equation, so we just don't - because I don't feel like I can/should/need to force the issue.

Not having sex is less emotionally difficult for me now.  I think that it's because before I felt like not having sex was Jakobe being passive-aggressive about the timing of having kids (Yes, honey, I know that's not really true, but I did feel that way).  Now I don't feel like I'm being deprived of anything other than the sex itself.  I've known all along that it was more important to me than it was to him, but for a while it was pretty damn good.  I thought that diagnosing his diabetes and treating it made all of the difference in the world - and maybe it did.  Unfortunately, the SA results and his "swimmers that don't swim," have reversed the progress we made.

It's not fair.

But, life isn't fair, and I'm old enough to know better than to expect fairness.  You go with what you've got.  So I'm waiting out whatever issues that Jakobe has - hoping that they'll resolve themselves somehow.  I don't want to push, because I think that just makes things harder.

It seems like knowing that there's a problem on his side has cut our legs out from underneath us and is turning into a vicious cycle.  The longer it goes on, the more of a problem we have.  Feeling like there's no point to sex makes Jakobe not want to have sex, and when he does want to, it interferes then too.  Every time it happens, it makes it more likely to happen the next time.

Added to that, I don't know how to communicate my feelings to him.  He likes to tell me that the order of importance goes:  1) Making sure I'm Happy/Satisfied  2) Getting there himself.  Unfortunately, because the priority is not the same for me, he doesn't really get that #1 is dependent on #2.  Because sex is about connection/intimacy/love for me, and if it's not about both of us it feels incomplete. But - telling him that after we've tried to have sex seems cruel.

I feel like a failure.
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