Wednesday, January 03, 2007

How I'm Doing (and a Plea for Advice if You're Patient Enough To Read Through to The End)

Charlotte was kind enough to ask how I'm doing with the decision to take a break. And it's a well-timed question.

I haven't been posting on this blog much lately. Co has been nagging me to post, but I haven't felt like I have much to say. Co delivers the TTC news, both because, well, it's her body, and because she works from home and has the chance to blog (I am so not blogging at school).

But another reason I've felt kind of silent is because I've been feeling like this is Co's journey. I'm the one who started the blog, and from the beginning I've been engine behind our TTC adventure. Not that Co doesn't want a baby -- she definitely does -- but because that's the way we work. I'm the planner, the organizer, the one who found our apartment and planned our wedding. So I started out last January (oh yes, almost a year has passed; but that's another post) seeking out donors and researching sperm banks and reading books about how to sperm up your loved one.

And then Co started inseminations. Our single KD insem felt very mutual, because that KD is my cousin and the three of us did a lot of talking, and I was the, uh, inseminator. I got to research methods, and procure needleless syringes, and sneak around my cousin's wedding. Since then, however, the insems have been all about Co: measuring her follicles, and the RE inserting the sperm in a stressful and painful environment over which I have no control. Don't get me wrong, I'm not jealous of Co, but I am feeling cut out of the process. It's not about US anymore, somehow. Each month she goes through anxiety and stress about the size of her follicles, and then the increasing slap and ache of the negative. And I comfort her and hold her and assure her that everything is going to be okay, while quietly I keep losing hope, and need someone to tell ME it's going to be okay.

And the external pressures have been wearing at me, making it harder and harder to be there for Co. I went in this journey towards parenthood full of optimism, knowing it would be long and circuitous and might not end up how I expected. But the crushing disappointment of the perfect KD who said no....and then the agony of being lapped by my younger sister...and then the perfect KD who lives half a world away....I've lost the sense of my own timetable. I feel like I'm running as fast as I can but I'm still helpless, I'm still falling hopelessly behind. I've lost the feeling of having time and choices and joy.

All of which led to my breakdown yesterday. I told Co repeatedly that she could take a month off (and meant it every time); when she actually decided to do it, I dissolved. The increasing depression and pessimism of the past 6 months suddenly overflowed, and I had a huge bratty sobbing tantrum. *I* *don't* need a break. I need the continued hope that in two weeks, we could be trying again to make a baby. This month would have been my last try to have a baby before I turn 33, a silly personal goal of mine since my own mom was 32 when I was born. Co needs her break, and she shall get it. But I just couldn't keep my own pain under wraps any longer.

Today I feel better than I have in months (like, since July). I think it was really, really, really good to finally be honest with Co, to admit that I have feelings too and have been so unhappy.

Which brings me to the advice portion of my post. We've thought of a compromise idea: trying at home with sperm from the bank. It seems like an awful longshot, given that IUI with Clomid hasn't worked (twice)...adding the extra impediment of the vajayjay, and our non-expert defrosting and insertion skills, hardly seems like good protocol. But on the plus side, Co would feel relaxed about because she wouldn't have go to the RE to get her follies checked; I would feel good because I would be inserted back into the process, as sperm-wrangler (and researcher). And I would get to be active this month, instead of taking a break that (to me) is unwanted.

There is also a guy we have toyed with asking to be a KD. However, I think (?) it would be too soon to try with him this cycle, so while we may or may not pursue this latest thought, we wouldn't have fresh sperm for a try this cycle.

But is that an awful lot of money for something that seems sure not to work?? Any thoughts?? (And, you know, I'm more than open to comments about the rest of the babble that has suddenly burst from my floodgates...except for that stuff about "You'll get your baby." I really don't believe that crap.)


e. said...

It's nice to hear from you, Lo.

Sounds like Co's breaking point (no pun intended) may have helped her prioritize what she needs right now which in turn helped you verbalize how you are doing. It can't help but think that's a good thing. I know there have been times when I've been stressed about ttc but kept pushing the feelings away, until I was just crying alone, because I couldn’t begin to verbalize them after so many months of sadness. When I am finally able to put them out there and talk with A., I feel so much better.

But back to at home insem could very well work. Or a break may be just what Co needs to regroup and start again soon. It may also be just what YOU need to feel that you are a part of the process again (if the break includes an at home insem or through the conversations you've been having). Which makes me wonder if there are any other ways you might be able to become more a part of the process. Some things I've heard of are:
-charting so you know what the experience is like.
-asking the RE is you can be the one to push in the sperm if/when Co goes back to IUI.
-Being the main person to communicate with the sperm bank/storage facility (I love that A. picks up and returns the tank for each IUI. It helps me feel like she is sharing in some of the work).

I really have no idea what it's like to be the supporting partner and I do a pretty good job of thinking I am doing all the work, so I really can't imagine how difficult it is for you and the other partners that support the ttc process. You are all strong women to walk this journey and I am not sure you get the credit you deserve.

Sophia said...

I would deifnately try to do some of the things that e. suggested and maybe add

buy and prepare fertili-tea or other fertility supplements/vitamins.

despite my snarky comments try out the group at the center. they meet thurs at 6:30.

I think you have to weigh the need for Co to take a break and the fact that an in home insemination may work. Remember this fact: One of the reasons you want a child is because of the amazing love you share between the two of you. Don't lose sight of that

kisses and hugs to both of you and to Steve.

Clare said...

Hello - it is nice to hear from you! I have been wondering where you were...

Hmmm - I wonder about the home insemm. It is really difficult because if Co needs a break - well she does. It is that whole control thing that is impossible to, well control, with TTC. I really understand why you feel like you just want to keep going too.

I have done/am doing the partner thing as you know and I know it is really hard work. Last time for example I was a good good good partner until Gaye decided she wouldn't go get the blood test at the very end (turning a 2ww into a 2.5 ww which tipped me over into a crying wreak - I had to take a day off work to cry!) the tension is just impossible at times.

Although I think the ideas above are fine and all, I don't know that it will actually help all that much. At least it doesn't help me. The dull boring matter of it is that your travels on the path are together but also seperate - like almost everything I guess. And it isn't about it being worse for one or another of you. It is worse and better in different ways. My advice would be to just keep talking and connecting but make sure you find ways (either with Co or for me I found it better to talk to others too) to acknowledge your feelings without feeling guilty about it (if I talked to Gaye about it I felt like I was dumping on her when she already was going through enough).

This goes on now during the pregnancy. I know Gaye found and continues to find it helpful to have me there and I love hearing her stories of how it feels and what is going on for her. I have snugged her plenty when she has been teary and lushed her lots with breakfast in bed and any other thing I can think of. I truely enjoy the wonder of her pregnancy and her in it. She tried for a very very long time and that it has happened - well I am so grateful.

But now as then I have had to walk my own path, find support for my worries and fears (sometimes with Gaye sometimes with others).

Anyway - that was a long post - which really just says - find sometime and places to be okay with where you are at with things!

And ... you were one of my first commentors and it is very nice to hear from you....

Juan José said...

It´s wonderful

J said...

Hey Lo.......
I'm in Co's "situation" more, so maybe I'll steer S this way and see what she can contribute but...
I agree with what e and sophia said. Breaks suck. They do. But they've also helped bot me and S regain our sanity, and we hope to have a much clearer focus when we start TTC again. Hugs.

vee said...

Thank you for posting about this. As the TTCer supported by my partner I feel humbled and a little ashamed as I read what you've written and draw parallels with my own situation.

I guess all of us carry our own unique heartache throughout this process but it's too easy to turn in on oneself and avoid potentially painful communication, but that doesn't seem to be an effective strategy if the comments on this post are anything to go by.

I've pointed jay in this the direction of this post. Thank you.

As for advice on what to do this month - tough call. I think others have offered good advice and the two of you will have to thrash it out. I fought tooth and claw NOT to have to take a month off, but now that chance has gone I feel quite relieved to be off the roller coaster for a bit if i'm honest, though I'm not in your situation, of course.

Good luck with discussions with this possible KD - that's exciting news!

Melody said...

Thanks for posting, Lo. It's great to get some insight on how it is for the "other" mom. Vanessa doesn't tell me this stuff, but I imagine she's going through a lot of the same feelings. On inseminating at home-- we did one insemination at home last month with frozen sperm and one at the RE's office. I think it did help get V feeling like she was involved in the process. It felt like we were in this together again-- for the first time in months even though she goes to every doctor's appointment with me. Even though it was expensive and, unfortunately, fruitless. I felt like it was psychologically valuable for both of us.

If you could get free fresh sperm from someone you trust, it seems like a no brainer to me to do one at home this month b/c the most stressful part for me is the organizing and the timing of inseminating with frozen sperm given its short shelf life. I don't know what the most stressful part of this is for Co, though. If it's the TWW, then you two won't be doing anything to alieviate her stress this month, and it sounds like she really needs that. If it has to be with frozen sperm, that adds a layer of complexity and stress-- physical and on the bank account.

FosterMommy said...

My thought is that you need to do what feels right and (unfortunately) somewhat sustainable.

Sure sounds more pleasant to me to get a home delivery and take it from there. No follie checking, no long train rides, no trigger shots, no painful insems. And you get to be a bigger part of it.
Obviously, if you had a KD, that's a no-brainer.

But even not, don't think about the money and the statistics. If you do what feels right, and keep talking to each other, then in the end, regardless of what happens, you'll have been true to yourself and all that good stuff. *hugs*

charlotte said...

I think you shpuld do it. Maybe just one IVI. Having you feel engaged in the process again is really so incredibly worth it...if Co is truly ok with it. I get how much is sucks not to drive. ANd I really think you feeling engaged again is so so so important.

I am excited about your new KD prospect. Do it! Ask! It is so funny...S has had 3 different men's sperm in her. If the new KD works for y'all, so will Co. Our wives are so slutty :)

art-sweet said...

Everyone else has stolen all my wise words.

So I'll just say, this is so eff'n hard, and I'm thinking of both of you and wishing you clarity