10 Things I Learned About Myself at World Pride

1. I have amazing face recognition skills. I remember the faces (and names) of people I played hockey and soccer with and against about 10 years ago. I also happened to awkwardly bump into them at a beer garden… And it’s awkward remembering people and them not remember you. I promise it’s just my extremely good memory for social things.

2. My feet need to be toughened up quite a bit before I can stand around at a beer garden for 6 hours.

3. My ears are very sensitive and don’t like loud speakers (or loud talkers). They physically felt like they were being assaulted.

4. Shade is good. I am not from the squash family- I do not need full sun.

5. I only have eyes for my wife. Seriously, she is the most beautiful, sexy, and fiercely tough woman out there. And that’s just at-a-glance. I mean really, who can pull off a rice picker hat?!

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6. Despite my Asian-ness, I am quite able to tolerate large amounts of alcohol- AND I do not turn red at all! At $8 per drink- that makes for a frustrating expensive beer garden.

7. Mosquitoes don’t seem to bother me as much when I’m drunk (usually I’m terrified of them).

8. Despite going to bed at 3am, my body will still wake up at 6:20 am. On. The. Dot.

9. I cannot handle 2 big events on the same day. I’m such a doddler that I end up not even making it to the second event.

10. I am so very lucky to have the forever friends that I have.

Happy World Pride Toronto!

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I Feel Broken

Normally, I’d google a keyword related to the theme of my post, but today I don’t think I can even find a visual to convey how truly broken, destroyed, or despaired I feel. Nothing new has happened. I just think that the reality of the past 15 months has finally hit me. Like the denial has worn off. I’m probably in a bit of a mood as well, I suspect.

The past 15 months…..

has changed me

I no longer enter a room filled with optimism or a smile on my face.

I no longer enjoy each day like it’s filled with new opportunity.

I am weary of conversations with people because they always seem to ask when DW and I are gonna have children… And I hate lying, and I really really wish I could just tell everyone what we are going through because the burden of it is overwhelming me. I wish I could get some sympathy (different from pity) because I feel like I’m filling with sadness that is weighing me down and I need someone to carry my pack for a while so that I can heal.

I am no longer vibrant and interesting to talk to. I’ve had many moments lately where I contribute nothing to conversations, which is very unlike me. I used to be described as charming and very personable. It makes me wonder if maybe all of those really awkward people I’ve met in social gatherings were going through something painful like this.

I’ve got this baby snatcher vibe going on. No joke. I won’t elaborate, as I might creep out some of my mama blogger friends on here. But basically, my baby envy has increased significantly. I’m cradling and rocking my little dog like a baby, holding her body close to mine, hearts close together. I’m tearing up just thinking of how badly I yearn to hold my own baby, and how it’s taking too long.

DW is upset with me for being upset. She is going through her own grieving and blaming process. Blaming herself and her body for the two miscarriages, and grieving the fact that it is time to move on to using my body for the last 3 embryos. (Remember that the only reason we were doing IVF was for her to carry my embryos). She feels that she has more of a right to be upset because “[I] still get to try”, and she doesn’t. In a way, I do agree with her point of view, but I see us as a team who has failed. I feel like the odds have been against us. I feel like the game has been rigged and the rules haven’t been fair, and sometimes I wonder what the hell is the point in playing anymore.

Now I know there are many others who have been at this for longer, and I hope I am not coming across as entitled or whiney. I admire you for your continued perseverance and optimism, and for supporting us along the way (even if you occasionally roll your eyes), but my struggle is real. It penetrates into the depths of my core, to the point where I haven’t been able to enjoy life as it exists right now.

Baby making has broken me.

Gorgeous Babies Everywhere!

I’m at that age (32), where everyone around me is having babies. One of my closest colleagues (who I would consider to be a friend as well) gave birth last Friday. I was one of the first to know she was pregnant (when she was about 5-6 weeks along, getting her first bout of nausea), and have been there with her almost every day, throughout her pregnancy. She gave birth to two huge (7 and 6 lbs) and beautiful twin boys at 37 weeks, just before her scheduled induction with the OBGYN. She had acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, and a sweep and stretch to successfully bring on labour. Her boys are beautiful, and are so chubby that they look like 6 month olds already!

Another blogger friend and many Facebook friends have recently delivered their babies as well. And I’m noticing that this wave of babies are exceptionally cute!

Lunchroom chatter at work has been difficult, given that babies and conception have been a common theme. Nobody at work knows that we have been struggling to conceive for over a year now, and they’re all having pissing contests over how fertile they each are. One woman even said that she can’t even look at her husband for fear that she’ll get pregnant. The worst are the pity conversations that they have about people who are having fertility problems. Things like “it makes me feel so bad that they’ve been trying for years and I got pregnant on the first try both times…”, or “Yeah, but they’ll have so much money if they don’t have kids”. People at work call DW and I “DINKS” : double income no kids, and treat us like we’re rolling in dough. Little do they know that we’ve spent over $30, 000 this year on IUIs, IVF, FETs, medications, and investigations. It’s gotten to the point where I have to excuse myself and sit alone to eat my lunch.

Anyway, despite my personal sadness over no baby success so far, I am pleased that I feel extremely happy for all of those around me who have been fortunate enough to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and bring life into this world. It gives me hope that perhaps we can be lucky someday too.

Sono-nightmarogram Complete!

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So all is good in my uterus and Fallopian tubes. I got to see the little bubbles trace out the shape of my uterus and the flow through my Fallopian tubes.

Not that we were surprised.

Now, off to the cottage!

(Look at how polite the dogs are being- patiently waiting to get going.)

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Casa Wilhelmina

When DW’s grandmother passed away 8 years ago, her immediate family (her, her brother, and her parents) bought a cottage with their inheritance. Of the 3 groups of us, we use it the least. My in-laws are retired, and aim to spend as much of the summer there as possible, and my brother-in-law has 3 rambunctious kidlets who love swimming and exploring. However, him and his wife bought their own cottage last year, which frees up the cottage tremendously. Also, I will not be teaching summer session this year, so I will have all of July and August off…. Sorta.

DW will be teaching 4 weeks of summer school, and I will be taking a month-long extra certification which requires 5-6 hours of daily logged-in online time. So, we’ll be busy.

All I need is to figure out how to get internet at the cottage and then I’m all good….

Anyhow, we plan to relax there soon!

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Updated Plans

So I’ve got a bunch to update you on. We had a review appointment on Wednesday with the RE, to discuss DW’s two recent miscarriages.

The RE really didn’t have much to say. I brought all of my questions, typed into notepad on my iPhone, and we went through them all. He has no answers for why DW didn’t stay pregnant. He did say that it was unusual given our excellent conditions.

The embryos or the uterus, who is the culprit?

He looked at the embryologist’s notes on our 5-day-blasts, and they are excellent quality, and all survived the thaw, which is also an indication of quality. He said that genetic or chromosomal issues are weeded out very quickly in these early phases, and that since I’m young, the quality of the eggs is unlikely to be the problem. But of course, not all eggs were meant to become live births.

He suggested two possible next steps:

1. Aggressively investigating into DW’s immune system and uterine health through more blood tests (one of which costs $600, and can only be analysed in the States), and a hysteroscopy to visualize uterine abnormalities. If her immune system is found to be overactive (essentially attacking the embryo like it is a parasite), then a combination of immunosuppressant therapy (intralipids) might happen so that she could still carry. A colleague of mine has gone through this treatment (with the same clinic), 3 times I believe, and it didn’t work. If it’s polyps/fibroids or some scar tissue, we could probably have them surgically removed (my guess).

2. I carry.

Obviously, option 2 makes more logical sense at this point, given the circumstances. However, there is also the factor of DW’s feeling physically connected to these future babies, which is the whole reason for us going down the path of IVF in the first place.

So, we decided on both paths, concurrently. We will do the investigations and see if DW maybe has some polyps/fibroids/scar tissue/uterine abnormalities or too many natural killer cells or other immune issue, and we will get me ready for an FET at the same time.

Some of the ducks are already in a row, and some of them the clinic has taken out of the rotation so that we have to put them back. It is really frustrating because I’m sure that it’s just a money grab on their part.

For example, my endocrinologist called yesterday to tell me that my thyroid levels are right on target (so no adjustment needed). Yay! She basically gave me the green light to giv’r this cycle. Also, my period just started on Thursday, so I could’ve started on the estrace today.

But instead, the clinic wanted to repeat their big ass blood screening panel to test for everything under the sun (that they had done in May 2013 and January 2014), as well as another sonohysterogram.

Yes, I bolded that. Another SONOHYSTEROGRAM. I think it’s completely unnecessary because I had one done last year, and nothing has changed. I also think it’s unnecessary because he was just up in there in January during my egg retrieval, and the main reason for it is to check the patency of the Fallopian tubes, which isn’t even involved in an FET. Plus, it’s another hundred dollar cost out of pocket for us.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll remember that the sonohysterogram was extremely painful for me. I bled substantially on the paper sheet that covers the medical table, as well as in my underpants on the drive home. They said that it shouldn’t hurt and that I could return to work that day, but despite taking Tylenol before the procedure, I ended up sitting in the car crying from my angry cervix pain and uterine cramps, wishing that DW could drive me home.

I still get nightmares about that sono.

From now on, I shall refer to it as the sononightmarogram.

Anyway, since they insist on repeating this damn sono (booked for the 20th), we can’t do the FET this cycle.

So I guess I’ll continue to play ball hockey twice a week and party like a rockstar during World Pride, at the end of the month.

Meh. I’d rather be trying to have a baby….