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A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name

This is my 300th post.

By fuck, I talk a lot. I mean, everyone in my real life already knew that. But the evidence is in black and white when you log into Blogger and it tells you that you have 299 posts…

I started this blog at the very end of June–June 25th. 300 posts in a little under seven months.

Here is the story portion of this post–I go to this bookstore/coffeehouse a lot. It’s an independently-owned bookstore and the advantage to an independently-owned bookstore is that the sellers actually know their stock and they get to know recurring customers. So I go in and they say something like, “oh, I remember how much you liked that Ishiguro book. This new book is similar–take a look at it.” And it makes me feel special that someone gives a crap about what I read and takes the time to point out another book I might like. When I lived closer to this bookstore, I was there so frequently that they named a drink after me in the coffeehouse (the “Mel” was similar to a chocolate egg cream with seltzer, syrup, and a shot of half-and-half). And it feels good to step up to the counter and have someone nod and start your drink before you’ve even ordered.

I know this will sound strange, but my RE’s office felt a little bit like that bookstore. Not to idealize the experience of having someone stick a transvaginal ultrasound wand in your hoohaa at 7 a.m., but I really love my clinic. Even in the beginning, I’d walk in and they’d immediately greet me by name (how could they not know me? I was there morning after morning for blood draws). The sonographer would ask me about our house-hunting situation. My RE would give me a pep talk every few months (“it’s okay to be disappointed, Melissa. It’s not okay to be discouraged.”). I knew the names of almost every staff member–from the billing person to the receptionist to every blood technican. They served bagels and coffee on the weekends.

And I think that made all the difference for me. It was hard that it only existed in the early morning hours and all emotional venting had to take place during an appointment or a brief call to my nurse. But I always felt like they had my back. Like we were all in this crappy boat together and they were willing to pass along any information they had that could get me to the other side. Even though I am well-aware how much I lucked out with my RE, I still wanted more. I wished I could find the empathy and support that I had in my RE’s office outside the building from other stirrup queens and sperm palace jesters. The vast majority of people who worked at my RE’s clinic were not stirrup queens themselves. They were simply people who had been in the world for so long and heard the stories of so many women that they had grown the empathy vicariously.

I tried going to support groups, but when I could barely get my shit together to make dinner, I was hardly up for getting back in the car and driving out to speak to strangers face-to-face. I tried the bulletin boards, and they were helpful, but people dropped in and out so quickly that I never got a sense of anyone else’s story. They were great about answering questions or offering some sympathy during a vent, but I rarely knew anyone else’s story beyond where they were in their cycle or their current protocol.

Enter blogs.

I’ve spoken before about why I started this blog and why I will continue writing mine long after I’ve finished the book or finished building my family. But the other side is what this blog has become for me–a cozy space where everyone is welcome (as long as they’re not making anyone else feel like crap–it’s okay to disagree; it’s not okay to be cruel). Where you can sit down after a crappy day and just cry. Where you can come running in and shout out good news (“no OHSS!”) and everyone will cheer along with you. Where you can ask your questions or give your opinion or admit to your fears or examine how you really feel about infertility.

In other words, the freakin’ infertile Cheers of the Blogosphere.

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.

Those lyrics feel like they were made to describe my infertility experience. I just want to go where people get it. And maybe this speaks to your feelings too–to be in a place where you’re not fighting upstream against sensational articles or have relatives telling you why you shouldn’t adopt. Where people care if the anniversary of a loss is approaching. Where you can set your mind at ease by reading that thirty other people are thinking the same thing that you’re thinking. At my bar, there is no pain olympics because “you wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same.” We are all on this island and it doesn’t matter if you’ve decided to forego fertility treatments and start immediately on the adoption path or if you’re in the middle of your third IVF attempt. You are hurting. And I am hurting. And we are all on this island.

At least, that is how I hope people feel when they come here. It is, at the very least, how I feel as I write this and read comments. Because those comments connect me to your blogs and your experience. And a conversation is born. A conversation that is albeit sometimes meandering due to the logistics of the Internet. But a conversation nonetheless.

We can make life on this island easier for each other. Not necessarily “easy”, but certainly easier. Being at a clinic where everyone knew my name and knew my personal story made things easier. Being with you guys and hearing that I’m not the only one beating myself up makes things easier. Hearing another person’s point-of-view makes things easier. Knowing that I’ll be there for you and you’ll be there for me makes things easier.

I started this blog because it was what I wanted to find. A place that had information (Operation Heads Up or the Peer Infertility Counselors or the blogroll) but also brought people together (the book club or the creme de la creme) for discussion. A place that wasn’t constantly changing and moving away from its original feel. Maybe it speaks more to my stick-in-the-muddiness, but I’m not a big fan of change. I like being able to go back to a place and have it “feel” the same. This is a place where no one has to feel alone or not welcome. Where you can feel like a regular from point one. At least for me, this spot has become my cozy place where there is a drink named for every stirrup queen or sperm palace jester in the Blogosphere.

So in the vein (no blood draw jokes intended) of Cheers, pull up a seat and I’ll pour you a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated drink (unless what you need right now is a shitload of alcohol–we have that too). And just let everyone at the bar know what is happening with you. I’d like to do this every 300 posts or so–just start an open thread where everyone can sit down, catch each other up on what’s happening, ask a question, celebrate,
start a vent, have a good cry. Consider the comments section on this post a seat around the bar. Sit down and start talking

I’m pouring drinks–talk to me.


1 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 12:37 pm }

I’m pulling up a bar stool, but I will have to settle for a soda since my newest med bans alcohol for awhile. Seven more days and I can enjoy a glass of wine again, hooray!

Here’s my main whine of the day. I’m tired. I want to hide under a down comforter and sleep forever. I want Winter to be over, right now! And I want to feel secure in either my job hunt or my fertility, I have neither at this point and I am sad.

2 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 1:01 pm }

I’m in the 2ww, so I’ll also have an NA, how about a peach Italian soda?

I’m actually celebrating. I found out that I had a manuscript accepted with minor revisions today and experiments that have been extremely frustrating and inconclusive are finally starting to work. Finally, we lost electricity in the winter storm earlier this week and it came back on last night. While I feel completely at sea about my IF, other areas of life seem are behaving if only for today.

3 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 1:22 pm }

Let me tick it off for you in no particular order:

3 confirmed miscarriages
2 IUIs
2 dIUIs (currently starting #3)
1 very incredible 5 yr old son
10 years in June married to a very incredible man

Infertility fills me with rage, ineptness and lonliness. If it wasn’t for the two people in my home and the hundreds on my computer, I would have surely lost my mind months ago.

Make mine a double.

4 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 1:39 pm }

i’m here. i’m here.
prolly no caffeine for me; i’ve had my one dose today and i’m already jittery and all over the map. i kind of want to sit quietly and listen. but i also want to pour it all out. i want to laugh and i need to cry.

i want to be the ‘me’ i was before all of this. the ‘me’ that could mostly stay positive and see the bright side. i want to talk about infertility all day and i never want to talk about it again. wierd how it’s everywhere. i’m reading a mystery right now…as it happens, the main character telling the story is in his second marriage and they are struggling with infertilty. it’s a sidestory but of course, to me, it’s the story.

my new oprah magazine arrived (my guilty pleasure, courtesy sariel)…there’s an excerpt from peggy orenstein’s book “waiting for daisy: a tale of two continents, three religions, five infertility doctors, an oscar, an atomic bomb, a romantic night, and one woman’s quest to become a mother”. this book was written for and by all of us cozying up to this bar. i’ve only read the first page of the article and she’s already telling my story. i want to weep with the relief of reading about all of us in this mainstream magazine.

i want to tell you about all my great plans for rediscovering ‘me’ while i’m on my medical leave.

but i think i’ll just sit back, sip my chai latte made with soy milk, and bask in the glow of hanging with my friends who ‘get it’. i love this place.

told you i was all over the map.


5 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 1:57 pm }

I’ll take a virgin strawberry daiquiri. I’m in my 2ww and even though it would take a miracle for me to get knocked up on this cycle (unmedicated) I’m still full of hope. I know I will be crashing and burning soon.

We tried something new this cycle. Since I wasn’t on meds, BigP got me all good and drunk on the day I got a positive OPK and we had lots of sex. It worked for a lot of girls in high school…

I also feel like the blogs are an extension of my home. The people here I hold more dear than most of my family. I am understood here – no matter what mood I am or how onery I am behaving.

I know this is a virgin drink, but…I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

6 TeamWinks { 01.17.07 at 3:11 pm }

Um, I’ll take champagne please. (I can now say that with a smile, instead of a curse!) Your blog has given us all a common place to gather, discuss, and draw strength from each other. How you find the time, is beyond me! Keep up the good work dear!

7 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 3:15 pm }

*Sitting down* A beer for me, please… am loving our ART break because I can drink whatever I want- whenever I want.

Today I’m celebrating the resurgence of hope as it relates to our infertility. I have a brand-new clean uterus, an unbelievably healthy red AF, and, after two years of BFNs, the hope that this time IVF might in fact work for us.

It’s a little scary, actually, to have so much hope. Because if in March or April we get another BFN… it’s gonna hurt pretty bad.

But in the meantime, I’m going to try and stay hopeful. Cause it’s been a good long while since we’ve had some.

And I love you all too. If it weren’t for my blogging friends, I’d probably be curled up, rocking in a corner somewhere.

8 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 3:16 pm }

Hi, my name is Stacie, I’m “IVF barbie” and I’ll have the house red.

I feel this ongoing guilt that infertility was so EASY for me. No clomid, no IUI, right to IVF and one cycle gave us b/g twins.

Of course, I don’t quite fit in in the fertile world. I mean. I laughed through my tears when the midwife asked what form of birth control I planned to use once I wasn’t pregnant anymore. “How about NOT sticking giant needles in my ass; I think that’s going to be my birth control of choice.” She tried to do a spiel on how the hormones of pregnancy “cured” a lot of infertility, and I cut her off and pointed out that no hormone shifts on my part would do diddly for the MFI. And I would love more children. People say “Oh, you’re done now” and I want to snap, “Yes, but not for the reason you think.”

On the other hand, I don’t really feel like I “rate” in the infertile world because my experience was, like I said, easy.

Damn, that wine is already hitting me.

9 ms. c { 01.17.07 at 3:37 pm }

Wow, the bar is busy and it’s not even 5! I’m taking a seat on Shlomit’s lap (which is something that, if walking into a bar IRL, I would actually do.) And I’ll take an ameretto and diet coke. (Try it, it’s good. A round on me for all those taking alcohol today, and plain cokes for the rest.)
It’s so wonderful to be here and have a place to go after (and thank goodness during) the shitty and sometimes not so shitty days of this journey. I don’t know what I would do without you guys. You are my sanity, information source, and my support. (Ya, I think I need another…)
Though I’ve been in a holding pattern the last few weeks, today we had an appointment with the urologist. Our IF is primarily attributed to my PCOS, but my husband’s sperm is not fantastic, so we’re trying to attack this from both ends. The biggest cause for concern is his being born with undescended testicles (which was corrected by surgery at age 7). Even though we may have “sufficient” sperm to do IUI or IVF, the urologist still wanted to be sure that everything is alright down there.
Today marked the day of role reversal for us as my husband climbed up on the exam table with his pants down and produced his privates for an ultrasound. It was interesting indeed being in the non-participants’ chair during this exam, and amusing to hear the doctor refer to my husband’s testicles as “nuts”.
I guess I’ll take another drink in celebration of everything being normal for my husband. A relief indeed.
(ok, that was a bit longer than I intended.)

10 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 3:43 pm }

Cheers to you Mel! I totally agree with all your reasons for starting the blog – that’s why I started mine too!

I’ll have an extra big glass of a big, bold Turley Zinfandel – my favorite wine in the world, and if all goes well in the next couple weeks I won’t be getting any for a very long time!

My brief history & update:

We started out with male factor (DH had a vas reversal that didn’t go so well) with very low counts, motility, etc., and after 4 fresh IVF cycles, with 1 miscarriage in the mix, and 1 failed FET – we have succomb to the egg quality diagnosis.

So we have moved on to donor eggs. But we are fortunate that I have a 25yr old sister (can you say accident?!) who was very willing to give me her eggs.

Retrieval is tomorrow!!

I have run the full roller coaster of emotions with this IF over the last few years. The second half of 2006 was the lowest. I really go depressed and just felt downright sad all the time. I felt that sense of being lost at sea and feeling tired that others describe.

But I’m on the upswing lately. This donor cycle has me feeling really positive. I feel like I have found myself again, and I am able to be happy like I used to be. Mr G and I both have been acting like we did before our first ever IVF cycle – total optimism that it will work, talking about what we’ll do when the babies come, etc. Hopefully that’s not naive like it was at IVF #1.

But I also agree with Serenity that this hope is a little scary sometimes. If (God forbid) this donor cycle doesn’t work – the BFN is going to be the hardest ever. It’s a bit easier when you’re expecting the worst, but when you’re high on hope it’s a long hard fall.

I’ve learned a lot about this experience, a lot about loss and about myself and how I deal with things.

And cheers to all the rest of you! The internet and all your blogs is definitely helping to keep me sane!

11 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 5:35 pm }

First of all, thanks for visiting my fledgling little blog and offering up some words o’ support! It’s funny how much a few words can brighten my day.

I love, love, love the Cheers analogy — especially the part about “our troubles are all the same”. That is absolutely the best thing about the infertility abyss (if I can even say there is anything good) — that there are all of these amazing people out there who Totally. F’ing. Get it. I could not do this without all of you anonymous stirrup queens, who daily show me that I am not alone in this…

My stats:
Stopped getting my period when I was 19. Went on BCP. Went off BCP at 23 (1997). Didn’t get my period. Went back on BCP. Went off BCP 12/05. Say it with me now…didn’t get my period! Because I wasn’t ovulating! And no one is sure why! Grrr…

9/06 Clomid/timed BD cycle with OBGYN. BFN.
Went to RE 10/06.
Clomid/HCG/IUI #1 BFN
Clomid/no IUI #2 because the Clomid didn’t make me ovulate that time.

Currently on: Clomid/Follistim/HCG/IUI/Prometrium cycle — triggered today, IUI tomorrow.

As far as the drinks go, make mine a nice glass of sauvignon blanc & let’s hope it’s my last drink for 9 months!

12 Lisa P. { 01.17.07 at 7:45 pm }

I’ll second the champagne request, Mel… it’s pre-O for me so I’m drinkin’.

And confused. I think I left a comment a few months ago about not wanting a different diagnosis or problem every time I went back to the doctor… well the RE appointment today told me I have 6-8 antral follicles. (At least I think, I am not entirely sure if that’s what he said because he also said my left ovary hides behind my uterus… wha??). We need to repeat my husband’s SA, confirm with my PCP and the liver guy I am seeing that it’s ok to take injectibles, and then I get a trial of Follistim or Menopur or something, to see if my 11.9 FSH back in August ’05 is really an indication of something bad or if my 6.1 this month is the real deal.

Much more to sort out that I was hoping for, but unfortunately I can’t say I’m surprised. 🙁

I’m glad you started your blog, though; I’m learning a lot.

13 Cibele { 01.17.07 at 8:31 pm }

Thanks for inviting me Mel. I definitely need a good red wine! I am having those days that I feel so disconnected form everybody else that once knew me and it is so good to come here and feel normal, welcome, understood. After 1 m/c , 2 clomid cycles, 3 cycles of prometrium, 2 years of TTC , no diagnosis and no baby I feel the pressure and the pity eyes over me.
I am under lot of pressure. I have one more week to decide where to go after graduation. I think Bethesda will be my next destination though. That means though that I am officially off TTC land until the end of this year. But I am excited to move to a place where I will better access to IF treatment due to much better ins. I hope I find my old self during this break time!
I am happy that my mentor liked the first chapters of my thesis, 3 down, 2 more to go!
Jackie, congrats on your paper, I know how it feels!

Cheers ladies!
Nice to meet you all

14 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 8:39 pm }

Ahhh…if this is a bar, then I’m a lush because I visit every day (at least once, often more). You can serve me something sweet and non-alcoholic, just because I’m not a drinker anyway (never have been, and when we were TTC everyone always thought that meant we were PG…unfortunately for me, it meant nothing.)
Mel, this blog is amazing- raw, eloquent, heartfelt, honest…all at the same time. I’ll gladly hang out at your bar with all of these friends any day, because it’s always nice to feel like you’re in a place where you belong.

15 decemberbaby { 01.17.07 at 8:50 pm }

I love how this bar is so open to newbies like me. Thank you thank you thank you!

I’ll have a sex on the beach, please. Sounds like more fun than the sex I’ve been having with the dildo cam.

Here I am in my first medicated cycle. We’ve been trying for over a year, got pregnant and miscarried (that was a bitch and I’m still bitter 6 months later). I have polycystic ovaries but not any of the insulin resistance or irregular hormones that usually go with it.

This cycle we’re doing femara, an HCG trigger, and then progesterone suppositories. So much to look forward to… I wish I could say I think it’ll work, but I’m too cynical now. I’m digging my heels in for the long haul.

My left ovary has 4 follicles and my right has 2. Does anybody know if that’s good? Also, how thick should the lining of my uterus be on day 7 with Femara? And will it catch up if it’s oh, say, 0.3 mm?

I love you guys…

16 Melissa { 01.17.07 at 9:30 pm }

I’m sad. Sad that we really don’t have an IF bar-I mean, IRL. I want to be somewhere where I am loved and accepted-and not thought to be a bitch just because I am feeling extra sorry for myself because of another BFN. (0r in my case, having to wait ten years for my family…) It seems that at work, I either fake it like I’m CHIPPER! Or, I tell people how it really is, and they hate me for it. That’s my rant. I just want to be accepted. Even on my bad days. Oh ya…I’ll take a Vodka Red Bull…YUM!

17 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 10:51 pm }

I don’t have much to add today, but I felt like dropping in for a red iced tea.

Thanks for doing the roundups, info pages, etc. I don’t know how you find the time either, some days, but I’m glad you do.


18 Anonymous { 01.17.07 at 11:16 pm }

I’m Allison.

I’ll have a shot of tequila, please. The good stuff, aged smooth, good enough to sip. I’m hoping for a little drunk-n-dial so I can get past my mental block and call the RE for my first IVF consult.

I’ve got PCOS, complete with insulin resistance, weight gain, hair loss AND hair growth. It only took 13 years to diagnose. I’ve had a busy 15 months. There were the three cycles of clomid-with-sex with the Ob-Gyn. Then the referral to the RE. A cycle of clomid that was suppposed to just be clomid and sex until the SA came back low and we got switched to IUI until the HSG didn’t work because of cervical stenosis. A lap and hysteroscopy later, and with much better sperm counts, we did two more clomid IUI’s, then two IUI’s with injects. Then, the flex spending account ran dry, so I’m waiting for the insurance year to restart in April to give IVF a try.

For the time being, I just am.

19 sarah { 01.18.07 at 1:09 am }

Sorry I’m late! I had a crazy day at work…My manager is about to take paternity leave to spend time with his wife and their upcoming first baby. Fun!

I’ll have a decaf coffee since its so late and its freezing here. I’m so glad you let me join you! I read tons of blogs but haven’t made the leap myself yet. Kinda scared to.

My quick story is we’ve been trying for two years as of the first of this month. I was one of the those annoying women who charted months before TTC and used OPKs even on our very first try. We spent a year with our RE before breaking up with him and in that time did 5 cycles of clomid (including one that was a chemical pg), 2 of femara, and one injectable — all of those with IUI. We are unexplained though for a while my docs totallly blamed me and accused me of having 40 year old ovaries (even though I’m 33 and could pass for 25). So mean! LOL. The worst part of IF for us has been our siblings — 3 have managed to have 4 kids in teh time we’ve been TTC and while we love the kids, it is like a knife in the back some days. We want some of their joy and sweetness and light in our own house.

Anyway, we are currently on a break while I lose just over 40 pounds before doing IVF. I’m down more than 10 with 30 to go. I’ve been going to the gym, and eating well, and cooking at home with hubby (five new recipes this week!). I’ve been going to the chiropractor to deal with neck pain and am getting ready to start accupunture at hub’s request (damn stats got to him!). We have joined a mind body infertility class for couples which starts in March.

Lots of good things happening and I realized this week that I feel like the old me. I hope the old me can stay. I like her a LOT better than the crazy crying freak that lived in my house last year.

BTW, what happened to Manuela? I tried to check on her and its password only?

20 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 7:54 am }

Well, now it’s morning, so I’ll take a latte, please. :o) sorry I missed the hang-out last night! Mel, this is a great idea. I have seen all of your names and read your comments, but having one place to read everyone’s story is awesome.

I’m 34 and have been trying and waiting for baby since I was 21. Officially, I have PCOS. Unofficially, I have been sure since I was a teen that my reproductive issues were related to childhood abuse. So, my journey has been as much about the hard work of infertility and all that comes with it combined with feeling like I wouldn’t be well until I’d cleared out my emotional closet.

And you know what? I think I’m pretty much there. Even with the last 4 years of trying with lots of drugs and intervention, even with the ectopic and 2 miscarriages, NOW I feel ready in a new way. Now I think that I can get pregnant on my own. I’m ready.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve also shifted in other areas of my life. Last night, I started classes towards a Master’s degree – something I have put off for years because I wanted to be a SAHM. So, even with working full time, expecting to be expecting, and a New Year’s resolution to come out of my isolation and spend time with friends, I am taking 2 evening classes.

This morning, I’m with Nicole, though… I want to go back to bed, snuggle in and sleep…

I’m so thankful for Mel, and for all of you who share your stories with so much honesty. It’s really a gift.

21 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 8:53 am }

Congrats on the 300th post! I thought I was posting a lot since March/April – you take the cake, lady!

I need non-alcohol, please (the lovely Lexapro/Xanex combo would not be good with a martini or such).

Thanks for being such a great repository for all of us – it has brought people together with a common plight, and it has been so nice to get to know people through their ramblings and rants and happiness. It is somewhere I can go where people truly understand.

Oh…a suggestion. I think you should make a pic for the Barren Bitch Brigade Book tours, like you have for the Infertility Book list. That way, us who chose to participate in the brigade can link it to our blogs. 😉 sariel & shlomit s’ comment on Peggy Orenstein’s book “Waiting for Daisy: A tale of two continents, three religions, five infertility doctors, an oscar, an atomic bomb, a romantic night, and one woman’s quest to become a mother” sounds like it could be a good one for a future book tour!

22 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 9:39 am }

This post made me tear up, and I’m in desperate need of some booze. Anything you’ve got; I may as well just start an IV drip of alcohol.

I’m afraid our adoption match may fall through. Our potential birthmom hasn’t contacted the agency again since signing with them mid Dec. I know that’s not much time, but she’s due in less than three weeks.
Truly, and I know I’ll have to, but I don’t know how I will get through it if she doesn’t place. I’m at the place in this struggle where I can’t stand the hurt and the fear and the intense rage.

23 royalyne { 01.18.07 at 9:46 am }

Mel, you always know what I need before I do. Any liquor, as strong as it gets, but can you make it taste yummy? I don’t like the burn.

Today I am 4 whole weeks into BC (and on my second pack, since the crap they had me on let me ovulate and then AF- or TC if you prefer- came an entire week early). Man was it a bitch trying to get them to switch, apparently they wanted me to spend 3 months “getting used to it.” Ummm, hello, my cycle got completely screwed up and my endo was not happy. AF was 9 days long instead of my normal 4, and the cramps lasted for 7 days instead of 2. Not happening. As if a 12-18 month break wasn’t hard enough to cope with, my dr (at least his nurse) is a jackass and not nearly proactive enough about my care. I spent 2 1/2 years knowing when I O, when AF is due, making a mental note of every symptom I did or didn’t have, and now I get an arguement when I ask for a different pill? Dammit, I thought I had found a dr that stayed completely out of it, just let me do my own thing and blindly followed my orders (if he can’t be good, he’d might as well be a good little bitch), but then his nurse had to step in and screw up our harmony.

But, awesome news: I had to find a new GP to look at some wonky bruise on my leg with a lump in it. Totally normal, ran blood tests just for fun and they all came back great. And, this new GP (we’ll call him youngish-and-slighty-attractive YASA) actually studied with my old gyn (before-I-moved-to-this-crappy-town or BIMTTCT) and knows my GP from down there too (gonna call him Dr. Elvis, since they actually are related and there is a family resemblance). As I sat there in a little paper skirt waiting for him to prod the suspicious lump on my leg, we chatted about BIMTTCT and just went on and on about Dr. Elvis. It was like Cheers, just hearing Dr. Elvis’ name made me feel like I belonged. And YASA ran all sorts of blood tests just to make me feel better instead of just blowing me off or waiting for me to demand them. And his nurse did nothing but talk him up while she was taking my blood pressure. I want to bake them cookies or something, because I am going to make appointments with YASA every chance I get, I love that place!

Hmmm, looks like the drink worked, once I got that little vent out I became the happy drunk I love to be. Thanks Mel!

24 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 9:56 am }

I only recently found your blog and haven’t had time to fully digest all of it, but I love what I’ve seen so far! I am amazed at your fountain of knowledge (or sources of info), your openness, and that this is a place for everyone to share.

So on my way to the IF bar to order a Bloody Mary (that’s a morning drink right?), I feel like I have to confess that I’m not quite officially IF yet. (Brief history… freaky fertile, got pregnant on second month of trying, uncomplicated pregnancy, but complications in labor resulted in my daughters death and left me with a ‘hopefully’ functioning uterus.)

I’m now on month 11 of trying for baby number two. So far I’ve had one month of blood tests the suggest I’m not ovulating very well (whatever that means), and an HSG to double check that scar tissue from my delivery didn’t do anything crazy and interfere with my tubes (tubes were clear in the test).

A week from today I have an appointment with my OB to discuss starting Letrozole next month. I waffle, moment to moment, from being convinced that Letrozole will help me get pregnant easily, to being certain that I will not be pregnant… ever… again.

So even though I sort of have to use a fake ID to get into the IF bar, I do feel like you are my people.

25 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 10:20 am }

Thanks for the invite Mel. I’ll take a Reisling.

Where do I start? Been trying for baby number one for two years and four months. Never been pregnant. Heck, I only have proof of ovulating seven times within 2006. Think that I may actually ovulate this cycle (craziness), maybe relaxing is helping :).

When we started medicated cycles in last May, well, I was so HOPEFUL. All of the doctors told me, there is no reason to think I wouldn’t be pregnant in a short time. I’m young (just turned 30) and my only problem is ovulating because of testosterone. Well, that is a big problem in my book. And after four failed medicated and sex cycles plus the death of my cousin, I was a puddle. So a break was necessary before the next step of medicated IUIs.

It was all you ladies and gents that helped me get thru it. Well, I should also give some props to my husband and the referal to the counselor. But all of those things have left me in a better place. Thank you!

And now, well I think I am closer to figuring out how to have hope without it destroying me. Afterall, that was the worst thing for me to truly believe that this could be it – a baby – only to have the BFN in my face month after month. Who am I kidding….I’m sure that I’ll be balling my eyes out in the shower in a few weeks. But for now, I feel good. So, I’ll take it.

26 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 10:31 am }

Wow, I missed this post yesterday so I missed happy hour, but I’ll start a little early today. Hey, Its 5 o’clock somewhere! I’ll take a pomegranate margarita.

I’ve been in a funk lately. We found out right after Thanksgiving that what I feared for many years was real-my husband had zero sperm in his fisrt SA. He had cancer as a teenager, was told it may effect fertility, we started trying 2/05, saw an RE 2/06, put stuff on hold for my job, and started back up with diagnosis in November.

We’re seeing a Urologist and last week he had a second SA with a urinalysis and bloodwork. We go back on Feb 2 to get the results and we start back with the RE on Feb. 7.

I feel like even though we’re 2 years into things we are just at the beginning of our journey. I’ve kept a very positive attitude through it all, but I think it is beginning to take a toll on me. I can’t imagine that anything the docs tell us next month will be positive-the options will just be choosing between the lesser of evils.

To add to the IF crap, I’ve been very dissatisfied with my job lately. But, on the bright side I was called in for an interview on next week for a job I’ve wanted for 2 years.I’m so excited and really hope I get it!

Thanks for being there for us, Mel! It’s amazing how I feel so deeply connected to so many of you and have never met you. I can honestly say that blogging helps me get through.

27 mandolyn { 01.18.07 at 10:46 am }

Good to see it crowded in here. Usually I would have whatever’s on tap, but today I’ll have a Dr. Pepper. Which sounds lame, but this time around has a reason.

I’m understanding the origins of the pomegranate string right now. There isn’t a word for how overjoyed I am right now that the little girl inside of me is thriving. I’m getting better at accepting that this time won’t end in heartache, that good things can happen- to me. Most of the time I can’t believe it’s real. But I also feel the inevitable pregnancy guilt that comes along with it. For every milestone that I pass, I think of so many of my blog friends and acquaintances and those that I haven’t discovered yet…and I know that there are so many that are struggling with the ugly beasts of infertility…and my heart aches.

So I’ll have my Dr. Pepper (which is caffeinated because I’m such a rebel) and I’ll raise my glass to all of you in this community. I stand behind you. I would certainly be lost without you. And Mel, thanks for posting 300 times. Here’s to another 300. And another, and another.


28 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 12:54 pm }

Hey there — Got your comment & I fixed my RSS feed settings so you should be able to add me to the blogroll. Thanks!

29 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 1:22 pm }

I’m in my 2ww for a IUI with injectibles cycle. Not feeling very hopeful as I am not experiencing any kind of physical symptoms. I have one miscarriage and one failed IVF cycle under my belt.

Also in the process of adopting from China. Looking forward to a referral (fingers crossed) in 4-5 months.

Thanks for having this blog!

30 Meg { 01.18.07 at 1:56 pm }

Mel, thanks for inviting me to “cheers” I’ll take a cranberry & ginger ale.

This is a great community of people and I love having this support system. Of course I wish none of us had to experience this at all.

My short story. 6 IUI’s all BFN’s. 4 IVF’s 3 BFN 1 chemical pg. All my IVF’s have been fresh cycles since we havent been able to produce any embies that have made it to freeze.

I am on lupron now for IVF #5. As you can see I am not a quitter. I have this silly notion that it has to happen eventually. But I think if the next 2 IVF’s dont work I will have to face the harsh reality I did all I can and we need to move on. That will be a very hard time.

Hi to all my “new friends” and I hope we can all celebrate our journey one way or another.



31 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 2:27 pm }

*pulling up a bar stool*, Mel make mine a virgin pina colada – I am in the 2WW and promised hubby no drinking.

I’m a new to blogging, so I’m glad to find your bar!

My story… I am in the 2WW for my 4th round of trying – this round is Follestim inj and IUI. I only had 2 eggs on one side, so the outlook isn’t too great. I’m very frustrated…

These 4 rounds have taken over 15 months because I have PCOS with Thyroid problems and Insulin Resistance. I get about 1 cycle every 3 months, or so. I get cysts after “trying” cycles (no pun intended) and have to go on BCP for a month to let my ovaries “rest”. We’ve had 2 miscarriages along the way.

Before I started my blog I was unaware that the IF community was available to me in a format other than chat rooms (not my thing really). So, I was dealing with all of these fears, feelings and dissappointments on my own. I was just about to my wit’s end when I found you guys.

I am soooo greatful to all of you for sharing your stories. You have proven to me that I am really not alone, yes – it can get worse and sometimes does, and a good number of people really do make it through this thing with a baby to show for it. Most importantly, no one here is gonna judge me harshly if I never make it – they will understand how truly hard I have tried.

You all give me hope…

32 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 2:32 pm }

Well, I’m not a drinker, even when I’m not cycling, so… I’ll have a diet caffeine-free Dr. Pepper.

I’m 30, husband 32. TTC for 2 years and some change now – went straight to Dr. after exactly 12 mo. of trying on our own. Quickly diagnosed with severe male factor infertility. (Nothing obviously wrong with me.) Moved right along to the local RE.

Two failed fresh IVF/ICSI cycles with an additional surprise – not a lot of eggs for a 30 yr old – put one embryo in the freezer on cycle #1 – and currently close to the end of stims in our third IVF… still hopeful but not terribly optimistic.

Thanks for your blog. It is definitely a meeting place for many IF and family-related topics, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for it. Like others, I’m impressed and amazed that you can keep up with it.

33 KD { 01.18.07 at 2:59 pm }

I’ll have a decaf cinnamon latte, please. With extra whipped cream!

After 2 RES, 8 months and 7 IUIs with Clomid and Metformin and umpteen vials of blood drawn, I’m finally pregnant with #2. We thought after the first pregnancy success that we had my reproductive system figured out. Obviously not. I’m happy to be where I am and I cherish this pregnancy for however long it lasts, but I will always define myself as IF.

I won’t ever forget the years of physical and emotional torment I went through to get where I am. I will always feel a little bitter when one of the easy breeders claims that hubby just breathed on her and she was pregnant. I will always appreciate the love and support I’ve received from so many of you in the IF world.

I will always appreciate sites like this one that gave me the encouragement I needed and helped me realize that I am not alone.

34 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 3:29 pm }

I can’t thank you enough for your support, Mel! I so appreciate the comment on my blog. The support of you women is my main crutch right now; nobody else GETS it! 🙂

35 Anonymous { 01.18.07 at 3:31 pm }

I’m back for another drink today – this time I’m looking for a good margarita. On the rocks, with salt, please.

So today’s not such a good day… I’m bleeding again. I had AF last week. But again today – red blood. A lot of it. Which makes it 2 full weeks I’ve been bleeding since my septum resection. *sigh*

Dr. HIT called me back and told me that it’s probably just “the healing process” as a result of my surgery. And if it didn’t stop in the next week, he’ll want me to go back on birth control.

But I have to tell you, it’s VERY disconcerting to see that much red blood on a pad each day, given I had 20 years of periods that were almost black.

Anyway. Thanks again for giving me a place to vent! I’m feeling a LOT better right now. 🙂

36 The Town Criers { 01.18.07 at 4:32 pm }

Someone needs to take over pouring for a minute. I’m on my 15-minute break and I’m going to sit down and have a mojito. I’ve never actually had a mojito, but since it makes everyone dance so mechanically in that commercial, I have to assume that it is a potent little drink. And we’re not trying this month.

The first time around, we made the decision to spare no expense and spare no path. We were going to become parents, damnit, regardless of what it took. I was literally willing to do anything if it brought me to parenthood.

But this time around, it feels like I’m walking a minefield. And I’m holding my breath whenever I move my foot. How strange is that? Where is the old Melissa? The one who was willing to try anything? I have all the same desires at the same intensity without the same drive.

Flutter was talking today about learning relaxation. And I think I need to go back to learning how to relax and do more. Get into a better head space. Stop feeling tired before any hope needs to be lost. What does that gain me? But also, how do I stop it? Domar was really helpful–but maybe these exercises require continual practice. They’re not relaxing me anymore. And since I can’t have Josh follow me around 24/7, rubbing my shoulders, I should probably get more proactive with this one.

I need a relaxation exercise that I can do while I multitask and do something else 🙂

I love you guys. This place and your blogs are like that bookstore for me. I can go in, see who’s around, vent, ask questions, comfort, laugh. Have an imaginary drink (which has fewer calories than real drinks). As many have said already, without you guys, I would be in the corner, crying. Thank you for taking me out of the corner–it gives me more strength for the rest of the day in the real world.

Okay, my 15-minutes are up. I’m getting back to pouring…

37 TeamWinks { 01.19.07 at 7:06 am }

Heya, Mel. I need a cup of seriuos java this morning. Make it a leaded one, I’m that tired. Sorry about showing up in my pajamas. Flicka did it, so I figured I could too. Does this bar serve chocolate too? (I know, it’s early, but I’m sick and grumpy!) Just felt like popping over here.

38 Mary { 01.19.07 at 7:37 am }

It’s chilly (for Arizona) and supposed to rain today so I think I’ll start the morning with a hot chocolate. Would love a shot of Malibu Rum in it, but I’m on my way to work and won’t know until later today if I am officially still pg.

I have been having a m/c since the beginning of December (etopic they are pretty sure) and hopefully my hcg is finally down to zero after yesterday’s bloodwork. This was m/c #4 for us. This one was our first after DE cycle. Two of the others were after IVF and the 1st after IUI. What has been getting me through this m/c was knowing we had 6 good frozen embies. But of course not, I got a call from the RE and they discovered our donor has a rare genetic condition (probably what caused my m/c) and we have to destroy all embies. So, now we are back where we were exactly a year ago looking for a new donor.

I think we are now our RE’s personal challange. He offered to do another DE cycle waiving all of his costs for us. But, the egg donor people are not being as generous. They only want to credit us $250! And then I have my mom (who means well) asking me if “someone” is trying to tell me something. I want to shout “No! I am meant to be a mom, it just wasn’t the right time for some reason.” Everyone tells me how strong I am (we have been at this for 7 1/2 years) and how determined, but really I am faking. I just know if I gave in to my true emotions I would be a hysterical mess and never be able to function long enough to have a baby. I WILL be a mom, I WILL be damnit!

Thanks for the drink and just being around to listen. Sometimes it gets pretty lonely in my world.

39 Carla { 01.19.07 at 8:49 am }

Mel, I’ll take a hot chocolate with whipped cream, thanks! And thank you so much for your blog and all of your insight and information. I’m Carla, and I usually hang out at Babycenter with Dianne (Flutter) and Melissa and some other gals. Been ttc for just over 2 years, so far we have unexplained IF. First IUI will be next month. I especially love blogland because I have no family or friends who have experienced IF. I seem to be surrounded by uber-fertiles. And since I will be 36 pretty soon, they have all taken it upon themselves to remind me that we had better hurry up, tick-tock, tick tock, what are we waiting for?? Grrr. My latest response is to tell them that I think life is tough enough without somebody kicking you from the inside. Then I go home and cry and think about what all I would give to have a healthy baby kicking me from the inside.

40 Kate { 01.19.07 at 9:05 am }

If you don’t mind, I’ll order a drink and then sit in the back and listen. I am relatively new to the IF field, with the diagnosis of unexplained secondary IF on my charts since June 2006 (TTC for baby #2 for 16 months). I am in a holding pattern right now, waiting for my first period after a m/c, with a subsequent D&C at 10 weeks. It has been seven weeks now, and I don’t think I have ever waited for my period with such anticipation. So I will keep drinking until it shows up. Then, we head to the RE to decide what’s next. For now, I will sit in the back and listen to your stories, knowing that I am not alone and also realizing that the road ahead may be a long one. Thanks for inviting me.

41 The Town Criers { 01.19.07 at 9:06 am }

Mary–wanted to write you back, but you didn’t have a link to a blog or email.

I am so sorry about this miscarriage (and all the other ones) and if you want to come back later for a shot of some imaginary alcohol, the bar is always open.

You will be a mother because you have that determination in you. I think it’s the same mothering instinct that turns you into a mother bear when you see your child in danger–your child isn’t here yet and you are doing everything in your power to either bring that child into the world or locate him/her if s/he is already born and needing a mother. And if that instinct works to protect a child already in your sight, think about how much more powerful it can be as it is building and building over the years (7 1/2!) as you try to mother your not-yet child.

Here’s to everything falling into place soon.

42 The Town Criers { 01.19.07 at 9:10 am }

Carla–why do you think I pried that damn clock off the wall 🙂 Look around this bar–no reminders of time because what is more annoying than people reminding you that time is passing? I’m sorry. Good luck with the IUI next month. Keep us updated.

Kate–feel free to sit around as long as you like (no one has to buy anything at my bar in order to stay), but talk whenever you’re ready. Secondary IF sucks. No matter what else anyone tells you. I’m so sorry about your loss and I hope your period comes soon.

43 Gil { 01.19.07 at 10:10 am }

Thanks for the invitation Mel! I’ll take a Bacardi and 7 please, seeing as I’m on a TTC break until March or April after two and a half years of trying.

Long story short: hubby had a vasectomy during his first marriage. Now he’s with me, and the reversal failed. A second reversal isn’t possible. Tried IUI (about 20 IUIs actually) with sperm extraction and got 2 chemicals; likely due to sperm quality. Blech. I had surgery to remove a horrid cyst. More blech. Our path now leads us to donor sperm to help us achieve our goals.

I’m grateful for the community and the friends I’ve made. I have hope for so many of us and I have lots of faith left.

But with all the ups and downs that this crazy life brings, you can be darn sure that yeah, it’s nice to go “where everybody knows your name.”

Cheers folks! *raises her glass* Together we will survive.

44 royalyne { 01.19.07 at 10:25 am }

I’m back! Can you throw some vodka at me this time? Absolutely not IF related, but DH had some issues last night trying to change the brakes on my car (something about a brake piston), so it will require more parts and money than we had planned on. The IUI fund gets drained before it even gets started! But he is starting his quit-smoking medication today, so health is on it’s way to our house. Maybe that will regulate his little spermies (SAs are all over the place, but much improved after I stopped letting him eat junk all the time). One small step for DH, one giant leap for our fertility! Hehehe, the vodka’s kicking in, I’m saying stupid things but thinking I’m witty.

Hey, everybody, I’m really buzzed at 11:30am, so Next Round On Me! Here, Mel, take my credit card, spoil everybody till you hit the limit!

45 Anonymous { 01.19.07 at 12:28 pm }

I am sorry I’m late (running , sitting down and hastily ordering a nice white wine)

I am 7dpiui, our 3rd and last Clomid IUI , if this didn’t work we are moving to IVF. I only have one tube, so instead of stimming me with injectables only to have my Right ovary make the better eggs and cycle cancelled, if I am going to stimulate with needles anyway might as well “go for broke” literally.
I have been researching some clinics in NJ (even though we live in PA) and getting ready to look into a Capital One Fertility Loan. While remaining hopeful that this IUI just might have worked.

I don’t have any symptoms, at least none I can’t blame on the progesterone in my body. I am just praying, every second, for this to be IT.

I love this place to come and catch up with all of you.

46 Anonymous { 01.19.07 at 12:33 pm }

Hey – ar eyou guys still open? Did I miss last call? Good.

How are ya. I’ll have a dirty Ketel one vodka martini, straight up. Instead of olives, please put a couple cocktail onions in there. Those things are so damn good.

I probably shouldn’t drink, I’m trying to get my wife pregnant. But just this one. You see, my wife is such a stress case about this whole IF thing that I need these little beauties just to COPE.

Any other guys in here? I need more guy friends. I lost all of mine, because they got their wives pregnant multiple times so my wife made me stop hanging out with them, said they were “evil fertiles”. (sip) Did I mention she’s a stress case?

47 Sami { 01.19.07 at 2:18 pm }

Always the last one at the party, sigh.. is anyone still lurking about at the bar? If so, I could go for a vanilla stoli and ginger ale. Couldn’t care less if it was the two week wait, don’t even know if it is.

Here is a short list of woes which will lead to my main whine:

~ After 8 unsuccessful months of ttc#2, come to find out the culprit is a fibroid that has become a squatter inside my uterus.

~ Have two surgeries to remove said fibroid. Umm, first surgery was a “success”, so much so that after the post-op recovery, drs. find out that they only removed half of it. Ends up that abdominal surgery is the way to go (which pretty much translates to the first surgery being a waste.. if they had done the ab. surgery first, it would have been removed in its freaking entirety. ).

~ Three clomid/IUI’s.
~ Injectibles/IUI. We are pregnant.

And now my major whine:
~ I miscarry close to 8 weeks. For no apparent reason at all. Charming. My betas are still “high” and dropping at a snails pace (33, 19..). DH and I- the rebels that we are- choose to forge ahead and try to reproduce naturally.

I am still bitter and negative (oh wait, that is how I am to begin with), which in turn turns to guilt when I look at our almost 3 year old daughter (who ironically was conceived naturally on our third month of ttc #1).

I could go on-perhaps about the friend who also went through IF troubles, but when she finally gave birth to #2 has apparently forgotten her IF experience and chooses to make my life miserable with how wonderful her life is, her children, how remarkably easy it is to breastfeed, lug two toddlers around and so forth, without ever even acknowledging my miscarriage- but I won’t rattle on..

Give me my drink, a large bowl of M&M’s and a Caphalon frying pan to hit friend upside the head and all will be good.

48 The Town Criers { 01.20.07 at 1:40 pm }

Sami–M & Ms and the vanilla stoli are on the house. Calphalon frying pan? Um… Well, we can’t be an accessory to a crime…

I am so sorry for your loss. And for the fact that your friend has forgotten what it feels like to be on the other side of the river. Maybe take the next few weeks as a vacation from said friend? Hang out in here. We don’t allow people to hit others with Calphalon frying pans, but we have a shitload of alcohol 🙂

49 Anonymous { 01.21.07 at 9:27 pm }

No calories, no cost, plus the excellent company – you can’t beat this bar! I’ll take a glass of chardonnay, please.

My story (abridged version)
We’ve been trying to conceive for 29 months. RE wanted to start treatment last March but husband and I weren’t ready, emotionally or financially. Got pregnant in September (on our own) and started bleeding less than a week after our positive HPT. Beta came back negative. The thrill of that positive test lasted a long time but now I just feel so tired of infertility. My patience and grace under fire is certainly wearing thin.

We’re currently 4 days into a Clomid + IUI cycle. My main emotion right now is fear that this too will fail and anger that infertility has taken the fun, excitement and innocent hopefulness out of conceiving a baby.

Thanks for opening your bar to us, Mel. (BTW, I’m also a Melissa that sometimes go by Mel!) Appreciate the wine but mostly, appreciate the community you’ve opened here.

50 Anonymous { 03.22.07 at 5:43 pm }

It’s so nice to hear other people express the exact feelings I’m having during this terrible process. I’m 31, same as DH, and we’ve been trying almost 2 years. Five unsuccessful IUIs, and one IVF that didn’t even make it to retrieval. Cancelled due to poor response to the meds. I’m wondering if this will ever work? I used to feel stronger, but the medications are making me feel tired. I want my body back. I want to smile again, and feel happy. Oh, I’ll have a caramel apple martini please. Thanks for the shoulder.

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