Oct 23, 2011

Feeling alone...at church

In the world of infertility I have felt no more alone than while at Church. Not during mass, per se, but while in the church. And the more I think about it, the more it makes me sad. Of all the places in the world that is the last place I should feel alone. 

(Please let it be known before you read on that I do not feel abandoned by, forgotten by, or without God and Jesus - that's not what this post is about. I did feel this way at one point but I have long since moved on from those dark thoughts)

Churches are built around a sense of family. Family. If you ask someone to draw a picture of a family, what do they draw? 99% will draw a mother, father, a kid or two and dog, probably with their house as the background. If I showed most people a hand drawn picture of a man and woman, most would say it's a picture of a couple, not a family. We, Mr. Slick and I, are by social confines not yet a family. And sadly, our Church parish, like many others also conforms to this social norm. 

Following mass recently (due to a lovely stomach virus we did not attend mass this weekend) I was reading the bulletin for possible groups for Mr. Slick and I to join. We're feeling alone and wanting guidance so we thought first to turn to our parish. 

There are groups for the following: First time Moms, Mom's of two or more, Mom's of preschoolers, Dad's group, Seniors group, Knights of Columbus, Homeschool group, Little Saints and Scholars, Catholic Daughters, and Newlyweds. 

There are only two groups dedicated for couples of childless parents (or at least those who don't have children at home); the Seniors group and the Newlyweds group. We don't fit into either category. And I actually met a few of the people in the Newlyweds group - all of which were already pregnant. 

Sadly, this is the norm. I looked to a neighboring town's parish website for possibilities and they had many many more groups as it's a larger parish and town but with more options of groups did not bring more options for childless couples. We don't fit the mold of what most churches define as family and that makes me both mad and sad. Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. Sometimes during mass I look around at all the other families there and sometimes see a couple, clearly married and always wonder if they're infertile too. Or if their kids are just visiting grandma and grandpa's for the weekend. 

One day I might fit this mold but someone will always be left out. 

Oct 21, 2011

Celebrities and Infertility

Yep, it happens to them too. It probably happens to many more than we're aware of. However, it's none of our business. 

Many people in the IF world complain when suspected famous IFers don't open up about their struggles but I'm always left wondering, why they owe that to the rest of the world? 

IF is a deeply personal and emotional roller coaster. No one wants to be in that position, no one wants to be and feel like a failure. No one wants to feel less womanly or manly, no one wants to disappoint their friends and family. But that's what IF does to you. It does all of those things. And I'm sure having your picture with the words INFERTILE plastered all over magazine covers and the internet isn't easy to see and experience. 

Opening up about infertility is something one must do in their time, not when it's convenient for you. It's something a couple must grieve and struggle through, even after treatments have been successful. I've never experienced success but I don't see these feelings of hurt and failure instantly disappearing as soon as I see two pink lines. That's something that sticks with you. 

Sure, things would be much easier if all celebrities who have/will struggle with IF would open up and talk freely about it. But did you sing it from the rooftops as soon as you received your diagnosis? Most people need some time to digest this, most people need some time to deal with it, most people need to adjust to it alone or with their close family/friends. I don't blame them for this. 

And some of you will claim that they have it sooooo much easier than we do. No, they don't, at least not emotionally. Yes, they have many more financial resources than the average person but think about it, it's the emotional and physical parts that are the toughest, right? Well, money can't take that away so celebs don't owe us anything. 

Oct 10, 2011

Questions to ask at your first RE appointment:

Many people are nervous prior to their first RE appointment and want to go in, armored with questions. A good RE will leave you with few questions but here are a few in case they don't offer the information. Of course there might be more information that you want/need but this will tell you mostly what you need to know. Enjoy :)

1. What does your typical monitoring consist of with the treatment plan you have for me? 
2. What are your operating hours? Weekend hours? Holiday hours? 
3. Will I be seeing you or a nurse usually? 
4. How long does it take to get lab results back? 
5. Do you repeat tests after a certain amount of time? (some clinic's have patients do repeats of CD3, 7DPO, and SA's every six months or year)
6. Do you have a website with information for patients? 
7. What is the best protocol for contacting you/your office after hours? Is there a charge for this if it's not an emergency? 
8. Do you have your own surgery center or will surgeries/procedures be done elsewhere? 
9. Will I ever meet with the other doctor's in the practice (if there are other's)? If no other doctors in the practice - How do you handle your own personal absences since many IF related appointments are time sensitive? 
10. Do you have an email address where I can directly contact you if needed? 
11. What are payment options? Is all payment due at time of service or can we do payment plans? Is there a discount for paying in advance? 
12. Do you have a list of preferred pharmacies for IF medications? 
13. Should I still go see my obgyn for my regular appointments (pap smear, yearly appt, etc) or will you do all these exams? 
14. What is your waiting room policy? Can I bring more than one person with me to appointments? For those with children - Do you allow children in your office/waiting room? 
15. Can I have a copy of your most recent statistics studies? (typically only for IVF patients)
16. What is your opinion on drinking during treatments? Should I alter my diet? What about caffeine? 
17. What is your opinion on chiropractic care? Acupuncture? Herbal remedies? 
18. Are OTC prenatals good enough or do you require a rx prenatal while doing treatments? 
19. Do you have any letters (or emails) of recommendation? 
20. Do you ever have trials/studies done that someone with my diagnosis could participate in? Will I get any compensation for these studies? 

For more information on IF testing/treatments/costs, see this.

Oct 8, 2011

Dear Uterus,

You need to get your act together. 9 days of AF is unacceptable. And it doesn't look like you plan on stopping within the next few days. 

Please get your shit together. 

Kind regards, 
The management

Oct 5, 2011

Cheat day.

I cheated today. It was glorious. Cheat days are good for the soul. 

I had a grande White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks. 

I had homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. 

I had a 7Up with lunch AND a mini Reese's. 

I also might have had macaroni & cheese with another oatmeal chocolate chip cookie for dinner. 

I'm sure this won't help my still bloated belly, but oh well. It was worth it.