30 June 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Fog and Sun

Okay - almost wordless.  The early morning fog - and waiting for the mists to clear - really speaks to me right now.  There's a whole bright and beautiful day ahead of us - it's just hiding.

27 June 2010

I've been thinking...

About blogging.  About what it means to me, and about how the blog community seems to have given me a lot of the support that my in-person relationships really can't.  I can't express everything I'm feeling to the people around me all the time.  I'd be a one note horn.  At the same time, having everyone out here to talk to had made me feel a lot more free about sharing in general.

Thinking about blogging came together because of several different things all at once.

Part one comes from my husband starting his own blog.  He really felt like it was doing me a lot of good, and thought that he could use an outlet himself.  I'm not sure he understands that having all of you out there reading is a big part of what helps.  Knowing I'm not alone.  Knowing that there is hope.  This blog is also a line of communication with him that is sometimes easier than talking.  He reads all of my blog posts, and so I know sometimes when I'm talking about him, I'm also talking to him.  

Part two was reading another blogger's post about how difficult it is for her to read the blogs of people who are pregnant right now, and then reading a post in response.  It made me think about how I feel about the blogs that I read where the writer is pregnant, or parenting.  Some days they're hard to read.  Most day's I'm pretty okay with it.  Part of me is jealous, but most of me is happy for them.  They're the hope part of the blogging world.  Fulfilled hopes, that allow all of us with as-of-yet unfulfilled hopes to look out and see that Yes, it can happen.

Blogging is good for me, and so is reading other blogs.  Even if I sometimes write a post like this one - get distracted - and neglect to post it for a week or two (or three).  I still feel like I did then, and it's all true.  Maybe we all just need to let it out from time to time.

26 June 2010


{Warning - parts of this post are strange and disturbing, I'm not sure how I feel about sharing, so feel free to pass it up and read another post.}

I've been having strange odd dreams and nightmares for several days now.  Dreams that don't make any sense, or dreams where I behaving in ways that are completely counter to how I usually behave.They're falling into several categories:
  • Strange interpersonal relationships and activities.
  • Cheating Dreams
  • Straight-up nightmares
Category 1 includes things like trick-or-treating, but being invited in to hang out with the guy whose door I knocked on and give him advice on mead-making or picking up a friend on a street corner, and he being glad I did so because she had called an ambulance for a ride and she felt bad.  Just nonsense stuff - usually in between the other dreams, but there all the same

Category 2 is really bothering me.  I don't know why I'm having the dreams, and I don't like the way that they make me feel both in the morning and during the dream.  I've made a bit of a joke out of them because I don't know what to do with them.  In my dreams I'm cheating on Jakobe, or have cheated on him.  I could almost understand if I was having dreams that resulted in me getting knocked up, but right now, in my dreams, when I cheat - it's with women.  While I'm dreaming I feel guilty, and I feel like I have to confess and tell Jakobe hat happened.  In my dreams I wonder if he can forgive me because more than anything I don't want to lose him. But in my dreams, I'm cheating anyway.  Then I feel guilty when I wake up.  I wonder why I'm dreaming this stuff.  I wonder what it says about me that I'm unfaithful in my dreams.

Finally there's Category 3 - the nightmares.  I cant say that they're all that scary, but they're horrifying.  Most recently: I was at a friends house, and his cat was following me around, meowing piteously and when I turned around and looked at the cat, it was trying to walk, and to follow me, but it was also carrying one of it's paws with it, and walking on the sharp ends of it's bones.  I started screaming for my friend, trying to do something about the cat, knowing that we needed to put it out of it's misery, but unable to act, only to scream for help, and no one could hear me, no one was coming.  And then the alarm went off and I had to get up.

Needless to say, my sleep hasn't been all that restful as of late.  I'm having all of these types of dreams, together, almost every night.  The ones I shared all happened on the same night.  Maybe I need to find some way to really knock myself out so that I don't dream, because I don't know what's coming next.

25 June 2010

Photo Friday

That's right - Two Photo posts in one week.  This one has a bit of a story - get me out in nature with a camera and it's almost impossible to get me to stop.  I took this picture while Jakobe and I were on our honeymoon in Alaska last summer.  We had gone on a bicycle and brewery tour, and we biked out to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.  The Visitor Center was the halfway point - and we were running late to get back to the bikes - because I couldn't wouldn't stop taking pictures of almost everything that caught my eye.  Jakobe is very very understanding... to a point.  We make it back to the bikes on time, and had a great day, but I'm very very glad that I stopped to take this picture.

24 June 2010


Last week as I was wandering the blogosphere I came across a lot of posts about the amount of money we all spend in infertility.  And it's a lot of money.  No so much us personally - I've managed to get a lot of stuff covered by my insurance because it was basically for something else, and not for infertility specifically.    In any case, because I'm kind of an anal-retentive, details-oriented person, I just had to sit down and figure out not only what we've spent on infertility treatments/diagnosis/etc. already - but the possibilities of costs for IVF.  I think that posting our costs is a good idea in general.  It gives others an idea of what they might be looking at if they're just facing this themselves.  It also allows us to look out at others in this world and see where we are on the continuum.

I still have couple of other things to add - but I was thinking of adding them as they happen.  It's still possible right now that we're done.  Jakobe's worried that he won't feel ready to move ahead or make a decision as much as a year from now, and until then I'm in limbo.  For now - I'm just including the definite costs and estimates.

Here's the scary part:  The absolute cheapest it could be - for IVF/ICSI alone - If we were completely optimistic (And - we were right) is $13,260.  That number is more than my car and Jakobe's car put together.  It's more than our wedding was.  It's more than we owe my mom for 10% of our house.  And, if I'm honest, we're not that hopeful or optimistic.  The universe has spent enough time shitting on us that I don't think that it's about to stop and all become sunshine and roses.  So, more realistically, if we hedge our bets a little bit, the smallest amount of money we're going to spend on IVF/ICSI is $19,400, and likely to be more than that.

If you pop on over to the Money page you can see the complete breakdown.  It's big, it's bad, and it's a whole lot of "I don't want to think about that."  But I have to - because you have to walk onto the path knowing where it might lead.  And it could lead to spending a whole lot of money we don't have right now - and still having to figure out how to live our life without this dream.

22 June 2010


I wasn't sure how I was going to write about this.  A lot of it isn't my story to tell, it's Jakobe's but I'm not sure that he's ready to tell it yet.  We've been to two counseling sessions now.  The second one was Sunday.  Every time we go I learn something about how Jakobe is feeling that I didn't really understand before.  And - our counselor is willing and able to ask questions that I can't, either because I'm afraid that they'll hurt him, or because I'm afraid that the answers will hurt me.

The one that stands out this week was the question of if, divorced from the infertility, and divorced from what I want, he wanted children.

He couldn't answer the question.

I don't know how this makes me feel.  Part of me feels like this is something I should have known, and part of me feels like this is something he should have told me.  But, I think that sometimes he tells me what he thinks I want to hear.  Sometimes I think I do the same to him.

He told me Sunday that he wished that we knew about this before we started dating.  I don't know how to tell him that there's no part of me that wishes the same thing.  I don't trust myself enough to think that I wouldn't have made one of the biggest mistakes of my life, and passed on the life I have with him.  And that makes me feel like a horrible person.  I know that he thinks that it just means that he would have had more time to deal with this - and that he wouldn't feel like he was letting me down because I would have known what we were getting in to.  I guess that's one way to look at it.  I can't look at it that way.  I'm glad that we didn't know, because I'm glad every day that I gave him a chance, I'm glad every day that I fell in love with him, and I'm glad every day that he felt the same way.  I am thankful every day that he loves me.

I don't know that I tell him that enough.  I know that I'm the one who needs to talk, but at the same time, I'm the one who has a hard time talking.  I'm an action person, I want to fix things, or deal with them.  I want to make a plan and move on - and right now, that's not what Jakobe needs.  He needs someone who can help him walk through the labyrinth of feelings and cultural values, someone who can help him avoid pitfalls and land mines, and come out whole on the other side.  I'm trying to be that person, and when I suck at it, I'm hoping that waiting, and letting the counselor help us will make up for my lack.

21 June 2010

Just a quick Hello

I wasn't sure if I was going to do IComLeavWe this month.  I'm not sure of too much around here.  The last two weeks have been on the difficult side.  Jakobe and I really aren't talking much about infertility.  I can't say that we're spending much time talking about anything of importance, except for when we're with the counselor. So - I haven't necessarily had much to share.  For ICLW visitors - Welcome... Please check out the page I have just for you.

Last night was rough.  And I'm a bit stuck.  Jakobe doesn't want me to censor myself here, but at the same time, since I know he'll be reading, I've been holding back on a couple of posts.  Even posting feels like pushing the issue right now. I think that they'll be forthcoming anyway. As I was preparing this post last night, he came and read it over my shoulder..  He said we could talk, and we did, a little bit, but I'm still lost.  I guess I'll leave you all with a question, and hope that you can help me answer it.

How can I help him deal with what MFI means for him?

17 June 2010

The Poop Monster

My dog is a sweetheart, great with kids, loving, and absolutely adorable.

She is also a poop monster.  We can take her for a walk, and she'll stop 3 different times.  When she stops you can't believe what comes out of her.  The piles look like they came out of a Great Dane - or a big hairy fat man.  The dog can poop.

It gets worse, because after I get home from work, I let her out of the crate and take her outside, Where she poops, just like a good dog.  Then, only an hour later, she comes and pokes me with her nose.  And - I'm busy, in the middle of something, and besides - she only went out an hour ago - she can't have to go already.  (Very, very false logic on my part).

What does the dog do?
She poops. 
 In the house.  
On my hardwood.

 And then she goes to the door and spins in circles, asking to go out.

14 June 2010

A year and a day

It's a little bit of a stretch to call it a year and a day, but it seems right.  One year ago Jakobe and I were starting on this journey.  We had thrown out the pills and were waiting (not so patiently) for our honeymoon.  We'd been married for 5 months, and were splitting the difference between how long I wanted to wait to start trying for a family (not at all) and how long he wanted to wait (one year).  Part of me was hoping that my worries and fears about my ability to get pregnant were unfounded - and we'd have a honeymoon baby.  I was hoping that my endometriosis hadn't screwed things up, but I felt like I was prepared for it to take a while. That was my whole argument for moving up the timetable: It probably won't happen right away or easily, so even if we start early we probably won't be pregnant before the 1 year mark anyway.  I really wanted to prove myself wrong.

I was happy and excited.  The idea of us starting a family that was larger than the two of us make me very happy.  I was tired of waiting, and thought that even if it wasn't easy, it wouldn't be that hard.  I went out and got a short term disability policy at work, confident that it would pay for itself even it it took us a year to conceive.

What has followed is a year of ups and downs.  I spent months hoping that I was pregnant, eating carefully, not drinking for two weeks a month, taking pregnancy tests from about 10-11 DPO onward.  Jakobe says that I spent the last part of every cycle looking like someone had kicked my puppy as I came to grudgingly accept that I wasn't pregnant, yet again.

In the middle of all of this, Jakobe was diagnosed with Diabetes.  and not just type two, you need to watch what you eat diabetes, but Insulin-dependent, give yourself 4 or more shots a day, and watch what you eat diabetes.  The kind that comes with lots of risks: short term ones like low blood sugar, and ketoacidosis, and long term ones like heart disease, stroke, and losing the feeling in your extremities.  Saying all of that makes it sound terrible, but it wasn't that bad.  He got right on top of it, and has it so under control that his doctor is very pleased with him every time he sees us.  We deal with the lows as they come, and even those are usually few and far between (except this weekend - he was low a lot!).

Then, after the holidays, when I was considering a laparoscopy because uncontrolled endo sucks, I asked Jakobe to get a SA.  I thought that we should know that there wasn't anything on his end to deal with before using up the post-lap fertility boost.  And we got knocked down again.

In some ways, it's been easier for me since we found out.  I don't spend every month hoping that I might be pregnant (at least I don't seriously entertain the thought), so I don't test, and I don't worry about making sure that I don't have a drink or two, and I think I get the "Kicked puppy" look a little less often.  BUT - It's also been harder.  I feel responsible for making Jakobe feel like it's all his fault.  I don't feel that way, in fact to some extent, I feel like it's my fault for wanting kids too so much.

One year later, and we're back to waiting, and wondering if it's something that will happen for us, at some time in the future.

13 June 2010

This weekend

I'm sitting here on the couch in the living room, almost to tired to think, but I figured I owed all of  you a bit of an update.  I'll share more about the laundry room renovation later, probably when it's done and we've got some after shots to go with the before in a in progress shots that I took this weekend.  Suffice to say we tore down and out several shelving units and in the end took about 850 lbs of stuff to the waste-to-energy plant.

The counseling session went well.  I think we were both able to say things while we were there that we haven't really been able to say directly to each other.  We go back next Sunday.  I know that we were scheduled for an hour this weekend - and we were there for two hours.  Lots of talking.  No crying, and then when we were done we've decided to table a lot of the hard stuff until next weekend.  We don't want to chance fighting about it, and it's still pretty raw.

I learned that even asking Jakobe to keep an open mind about changing his mind on DS is stressing him out.  It's off the table.  I won't ask him to think about it, and I won't ask him to do it.  It's not worth the pain and anxiety it's causing him.  I'm not sure he fully realized that I meant it 100% when I said it yesterday, but I do.  I won't tear him apart over it, it's not fair.

12 June 2010


There were two,
breaking a path.

There were two,
in the brambles.

There were two,
walking together.

There were two.



This really isn't a comment on where we are, or how our counseling session went, I'll likely fill you in later, when we're not remodeling the basement on the spur of the moment...  I wrote this last night, and it's more what I fear than what is.

11 June 2010


As I've shared before, Jakobe and I have been having trouble in the communication department.  Sometimes it's not any trouble at all, and sometimes it's nearly overwhelming.  This week - we've substituted lots of sex for communication.  Theoretically, not the best plan, but in our case, at least right now, I think it's the right choice. We'll actually talk to each other (and a counselor) about all of this stuff on Saturday.  In the meanwhile - we've been reconnecting with each other without talking.

We're both scared.  Infertility seemed to be tearing us apart, slowly.  It was a threat to us and our marriage, and while it still is, I think that taking a step back and taking it out of the equation in our dealings with each other was the right choice.  It gives him just a little bit more time to process things without my interference.

Monday, I felt like there was this huge chasm between us, and it was hard to even reach out and touch each other, hard to feel like we were a unit, and hard to see how things could get better.

By the time Tuesday rolled around - I wasn't even sure that Jakobe really liked me at the moment. I told him as much when he suggested that we have sex when I got home later that evening.  I think he was shocked, because he went to great pains to assure me that he always likes me, and always loves me.  The love part has never been in doubt.

It's hard to feel sexy when you're... (I'm struggling to find the right word to explain how I was feeling:  Alone, separate, disappointed, worried, scared, unlovely, sad, unreasonable, tired, discouraged, hopeless) .. all twisted up inside.  But somehow we managed, and it was good great.  And because we don't have any idea what else to do, and it seems to be helping, and shh.... we like sex, We've been keeping it up.

I wonder a bit if this is something that was built into humanity, a way to connect when all others seem to fail.  You can't always make love alone work, but you can use sex and love together as spackle until the cracks start to heal.

08 June 2010


I didn't have fun last night at game night, mostly because Jakobe was upset, and everything anyone did seemed to irritate him.  Every time something didn't go exactly how he planned he would clench his fists, his knuckes would turn white, and his jaw would clench.  I could tell that something was really wrong, but I couldn't tell f it was because he'd had a bad day, or if it was because of something I did or said.

It seemed like it was more likely to be me - because he reacted more strongly to me than to anyone else.  I thought that the biggest problem that he was having with the idea of IVF was the financial one. I was wrong.  I'm not sure I know anymore at all what he's thinking and feeling about this.  I know that my looking for grants yesterday that could help us pay for it if we decided to go that route made him upset and angry.  But - He didn't tell me any of this until after we went to bed last night, after I told him that i felt like I was next to a volcano that was ready to explode.   I came to bed, and he wouldn't look at me.  When I told him I loved him, he replied with "I know that." and nothing else.  So I turned off the light, curled up and started to try to sleep.  Then he reached out.  He told me how angry he was with me (and to be honest, he also told me he felt like he was being a little unreasonable).  I cried, again.  We're just not in the same place.

He's rethinking the idea of whether he actually wants to be a parent.  It feels like all or nothing.  I don't want to push him, or make him feel like I'm pushing him.  I want to give him time.  I know he needs time to figure out where he stands.  But - I thought that he wasn't sure that he wanted to go to this much effort.  I thought that what it really meant was we were waiting and he was processing, but in the end it would be a matter of him feeling like it was too much money, or too much hassle, and that his being afraid that he might resent the process would be weighed against my fear that I could never accept not trying.

What does this mean for us?  How do we bridge this gap?  They're important questions, and ones I don't have answers to.  I feel like a horrible person, because he's stuck between a rock and a hard place, and I'm the hard place.  I'm asking him to accept, and to compromise, because I don't think I can.  I know I'll do my damnedest if that's what it comes to - but I'm not ready to give up on my dreams, which I thought were our dreams, but may not have been.

04 June 2010

And the Verdict is...

IVF with ICSI.

If we want to have biological children - that's our only option.  Dr. R thinks that we're very good candidates.  Given my age, and my FSH values the last time they were tested, he thinks our chances are about 60% if we did one cycle and a better than 90% chance if we did 3.  ( doing the binomial probability thing bears this out).  Our chances without IVF:  "As close to 0 as you can get without actually being 0."

He looked at Jakobe's SA and said that the volume really didn't matter, because everything else sucked. He described the motility as "every so often - one of them twitches."  I guess we've got twitchy sperm.  So - Jakobe wants karyotyping because Dr. R brought up the possibility of mosaic Klinefelter's syndrome. He doesn't think that it's likely - but Jakobe wants to be sure.  Thankfully - it looks like most of the screening tests are covered under insurance.  They don't have an infertility code attached at all - including the karyotyping.  So - Insurance should cover it.

I did my CD3 blood work again today - so we'll see what it looks like this year.  While we were there - He did a basic exam - determined what size catheter to use on my cervix, and got some good shots of my ovaries and uterus with the ultrasound machine.  I don't have any idea what look was on Jakobe's face during the actual exam - but he thought that the ultrasound was pretty damn cool.  I really just felt uncomfortable.  Exams during my period are a lot more painful for me than usual - so it was even further on the "not fun" side of things than usual.

The plan: We don't have one.  The cost figures didn't even start to sink in for Jakobe until we were sitting there in the office.   It didn't really matter that I had told him how much I thought it would be - it wasn't real for him until he saw it in black and white on the piece of paper there.  It's making him very hesitant.

We talked a bit at lunch after the appointment, he feels like I've already made up my mind.  In a way I have - I know that I want to do.  I also Know that what we do has more to do with what we both want, and what we can both accept.  I don't get to make these decisions on my own.  We're a partnership, and we have to make them together.

It turns out that Dr. R does have a shared risk program.  It's a 3 cycle package (no refunds) where you pay for slightly less than 2 cycles upfront - and you can have 3 fresh cycles. It doesn't include the cost of anesthesia, medications or ICSI, which we would pay for at the time of each cycle - but I think that if we go ahead with IVF - the 3 cycle option is what we'll do.

I'm thinking that now may really be the time for us to take advantage of the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and maybe a see a counselor.  Hopefully there is someone in our area who has some experience helping people to make decisions like this.

For now - we'll keep thinking, and trying to figure out what we're going to do.  And - maybe I'll have a good cry.

03 June 2010

Long weekend

It was a great deal of fun - we loved camping.  I don't have a whole lot to say - other than I'm extremely excited because Jakobe had a good time - and I think I'll be able to get back to one of my favorite hobbies - the Society for Creative Anachronism (check it out at www.sca.org).  Other than that - I may update you all more later - but I thought I'd share a couple of photos from the weekend.

02 June 2010

Seafood Paella

I'm starting this post in my living room after making this dinner - and I thought it was Yummy.  Jakobe refused to eat it - He waited until after I cooked dinner to tell me: "I don't like mussels or calamari."  Needless to say - I'm a bit irritated.  He was with me when I bought the seafood, said yes when I asked him if he would eat it, and when I brought up the paella, he said it sounded good - even when I was double-checking with him.  

I guess it means more for me, but at the same time... I'm really irritated.  He want's me to stop modifying what I'm cooking by taking out all of the things I like and he doesn't, so he's stopped telling me he doesn't like something until after I've made dinner.  Then he's "Not Hungry."

I told him once long ago that it actually hurts my feelings when he won't even try something (He humored me by taking a bite of mine tonight), but I don't think it's really sunk in.  I like to cook - I love to cook.  But, I'm not going to spend 2 hours after work making paella for just me most of the time.  (okay, most of the time wasn't active cooking time - but you get the point)

***This is the moment while I was writing this that Jakobe asked what I was doing - I said that I was writing out the recipe for the paella - maybe someone would appreciate it - a major fight ensued.

The fight was good for us - at least when we're fighting we're talking to each other - or yelling.  In any case, it almost always means that we understand each other better when the fight is over - and it's over now.***

This is not a fix it fast recipe - but it's very very good.  A bit on the sweet side, and very rich.

Seafood Paella
Serves 4-6 depending on hunger level.

3 slices thick cut bacon (I like the expensive dry-cured stuff)
2 chicken sausages (I used Aidell's Chicken and Apple)
1 lb Seafood Mix (Mussels, Shrimp, Bay Scallops, and Calamari rings)
2 sliced carrots
1 diced medium yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
2 diced tomatoes
1 T olive oil
3 cups hot chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4-1/2 t saffron threads
1 T dried tarragon
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 can White Kidney Beans (drained)
1 1/4 cups long grain brown rice
1/4 -1/2 t crushed red pepper

Directions:  In a large measuring cup combine hot broth, Lemon Juice, Tarragon, saffron, crushed red pepper, and black pepper to taste.  Let it sit.  Chop up the bacon and add to a large frying pan - Cook over medium heat until mostly crispy.  Slice the sausages and add them to the bacon. Let them brown, stirring occasionally. While the bacon and sausage are cooking, cut up the carrots, onions and tomatoes.  Mince the garlic cloves.  Set all the vegetables aside.  Remove the sausage and bacon to a plate or bowl, leaving the drippings in the pan.  Sauté the vegetables in the bacon grease over medium high heat.   When they're soft (about 5-7 minutes) remove them to a bowl as well.  Pour the olive oil into the pan when it's warm, add the rice and then let it cook and stir for about 2 minutes.  Stir back in the vegetables and meats.  Add the beans.  Pout in the liquid and herb mixture, stir once and bring to a low boil.  Cover and cook on medium low heat for half an hour.  Put the seafood mix on top of the cooking rice mixture, re-cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes.  Remove the lid, and let the rest of the liquid cook off.  You're done!  Enjoy.

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