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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

What Not to Say to an Infertile

I have decided to keep a log of every insensitive, mean or downright ridiculous thing anyone says to me about ttc or infertility, and what I wish I had said back to them; hopefully it will be somewhat therapeutic -_-

(After a failed cycle)
Me: I'm so upset the Clo.mid didn't work, I'm going to be the only one left who isn't pregnant :(
My mum: Nevermind, you have a wedding to plan!
Yes I do, and obviously that precludes me from thinking about, wanting, or needing anything else in life! THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!??>£"$

(During my "off" cycle due to a cyst)
Me: Luckily I've had all the honeymoon arranging to take my mind off of it
MIL-2B: Well sometimes that can work to your advantage
REALLY?! So my body is going to magically start working for the first time just because I've been thinking about something else?! AMAZING! What was I bothering with all those drugs for??

(From my pregnant SIL-2B when she found out I had PCOS)
SIL-2B: Well I was once told I couldn't have kids so I know exactly how she feels
Apart from the bit where you got pregnant without trying you mean?!

(My dad while I was playing with my BFF's baby)
My dad: See, all you need to do is get your ovaries sorted out and then you can have one of those!
Ahhhhhh is that all? Why didn't you say so before! 

(Pregnant friend who would complain incessantly about not being pregnant even though she and her husband only had sex once or twice a month - she finally got preggo after about 8 months of "trying" even though for about half of that they didn't have sex at the right time. Her benchmark for ttc lengths was her sister, who got pregnant first time on both tries)     
Chum: I know it took us a bit longer than most people, but you'll get there
Good grief, how did you honestly cope ttc for 8 months?! You deserve some kind of medal. And of course, you got there - and against all the odds it would seem - so that means I will too, I'm obviously making a big fuss out of nothing!

(Me fussing about on the sofa because of lumpy cushions)
Me: I just can't seem to get comfortable today
Dad: Are you pregnant?
Me: long pause No -_-
Dad: Oh, coz I've been hearing recently that that's a cause of it (He was referring to my nearly-8 month pregnant sister, who I haven't seen or spoken to since the news broke)
That's a cause of it if you have turned into a gargantuan heifer because you've been stuffing your face throughout the pregnancy.   

(During my "off" cycle due to a cyst, and after 2 failed Clo.mid cycles)
Chum: You never know, you might just get lucky and be pregnant in May. I have a friend who also has PCOS and she got pregnant on her first try when she came off the pill - maybe your first try after the treatment will be similar?
Well, I have a friend who has PCOS who hasn't been able to have a child despite years of trying and many different drugs; how do you know I won't be just like her?

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Easter Egg?

Cycle number: 10
Cycle day: 32
Meds: No change
Outlook: Intrigued

So I went for my appointment today...saw a very lovely doctor. The most excellent news is the cyst has gone! And the strange news is my lining was very thick - to the point that she even suggested early pregnancy - and I had what she thought might be a corpus luteum on the right. And in an odd twist of fate, I did actually have a few little twinges on the right last night, so I'm wondering if it's possible I did ovulate (none of the usual signs that it's happened yet though..)

They did a pregnancy test there which was negative (surprise!) and she asked me to do another one tomorrow - but obviously if I did O, and by some miracle get preggo, it wouldn't show up until at least a week's time. Either way, I got a script for Pro.vera, so I can take that if it ends up looking like I didn't ovulate. Now I'm not sure how long to wait...

I also picked up my Meno.pur and trigger. The Meno.pur looks so weird, I didn't realise it actually comes as a powder which you then have to mix! No sign of whatever I use to inject it with so I assume I will get that when I go in for my first dose. 

I'm feeling a lot more positive about this next cycle, pleased to be free of the cyst and excited to see how well the injects work =D I would be interested to hear anyone else's experience on Meno.pur....

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Cycle number: 10
Cycle day: 31
Meds: The usual suspects
Outlook: Relaxed

My my, it is lovely and warm here in London today, and I'm hoping it lasts as I will not be back in work until next Tuesday. Nothing much going on but a couple of little updates:

Tomorrow I go to the fertility clinic for a scan and if all looks well I can start Provera and get cracking on a new cycle. I'm really hoping against hope that the cyst has gone and I can get on with injects at the beginning of May.

I was pleased to see that PETA finally saw sense and removed the reference to NIAW from their vile promotion - reassuring to see that people power does work occasionally!

It was my sister's babyshower on Saturday but I wasn't invited. In fact I wasn't even told about it (I heard it was happening from someone who was invited). As you may have read in my previous post, my family didn't help me deal with news of her pregnancy in the way I would've hoped, and since then we had a falling out (something completely unrelated but also due to her selfishness and belief that the world revolves around her) which means I haven't spoken to her since January. I'm not sure why the whole thing was kept a secret though - I mean even my mum didn't tell me - not that I would've gone or felt sad about not being invited, but to not even mention it seems very strange.

And now there's an issue to do with my sister and our wedding. We cannot have tiny babies there for a variety of genuine, practical reasons (toddlers and above aren't a problem though) and we hoped this wouldn't be too much of an issue. The only people affected are my bridesmaid and my sister. My bridesmaid is fine with it, and her baby will be kept back at the reception venue with her mum for a couple of hours until we all get there. However, my mum recently emailed me to say that my sister and her husband wouldn't be able to come if they couldn't bring the baby. I flippantly said I wasn't expecting them to come anyway given the situation, but I'm going to invite them all the same. I'm sure if they wanted to they could arrange something, but my instincts say they are going to use it as the excuse they've been hoping for which gets them off the hook for not coming.

Finally, I've been coming to terms with the idea that I had a very early loss a couple of years ago. I brushed it aside for a long time, genuinely believing I must've been mad, but now I'm sure there was more to it. It was when I was NTNP with a previous partner, long random cycles and no charting. I didn't even know that I had ovulated. One day I randomly started getting twinges in my uterus, stretchy, pulling feelings that I had never had before. My uterus almost felt hard which was a very strange sensation. I thought nothing of it for a few days, until one evening when eating dinner I suddenly smelled everything very strongly. The next few days I had really bad nausea to the point that I thought I must've had a stomach upset or something. My CM was scarce and thick and white - unlike I'd ever seen before. I became convinced that I was pregnant, even going so far as hauling my sister how ironic down to the shop to get a pregnancy test. I was shocked when it was negative, and thought it was probably just too early to pick up, so I went away to visit a friend for a few days. Towards the end of my trip I noticed I wasn't feeling sick any more and the twinges had tailed off. When I got home I did another pregnancy test - still negative - and my period arrived a few days later. I felt so stupid for even thinking that I could be and put it down to strange hormones, or maybe my first ovulation in however long. But the last few months I've increasingly started to think that maybe it was something that ended before it could become anything proper. All the symptoms at the same time can't just be a coincidence - and the fact that I've never felt anything like that before or since, even when obsessively charting, so I'm sure it wasn't all in my head. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

While a shock to think that it could've been something, I'm glad it wasn't because I would probably still be with that ex feeling very unhappy and would never have met Bubble <3

Thursday, 14 April 2011


Cycle number: 10
Cycle day: 25
Meds: Met + supps
Outlook: Lonely

Now, I am not one to post a lot in open forums on the internet - it's part of the reason I have this (anonymous) blog. I lurk on message boards and am a people-watcher on Facebook, rarely posting status updates etc, but due to the PETA campaign besmirching NIAW I felt compelled to say something. So I posted a link to the petition against the PETA campaign which for me felt like quite a bold move, since hardly anyone on there knows that we are ttc, much less about my pcos and treatment etc (not that the post explicitely stated anything about our situation, but I would assume many people made the connection).

It generated rather a lot of comments - 42 to be precise! And I just thought for the benefit of the ttc and/or infertility community I would share some of these gems of "wisdom":

  • "Tbh I could get right behind that. The world is overpopulated as it is"
  •  "If you're infertile, it's nature telling you you're not meant to breed. Breeding is selfish as it is"
  • "The great thing about being human is that we can *choose* not to do things that are detrimental to ourselves and our environment, unfortunately it seems that, due to these detrimental effects not being visible immediately (we are after all used to getting what we want at the touch of a button these days); the fact that they are unlikely to cause the adults that are alive now too much hardship and also the inherent 'drive to reproduce' that is present in all of us; the lack of education about the overpopulation of the planet and the problems that this is causing NOW; the unlikeliness that many people are prepared to make themselves and their entire family 'cease to exist' (not to mention the other factors that come into play regarding murder and suicide), it doesnt seem likely that many people in our western society are prepared to do anything to reduce the harm we are causing our species let alone try to suggest that you don't necesarily *have* to have children."
  • "It's more the selfishness side of bringing kids into a world that's in this state that I have a problem with. Personally, if I could have chosen to not be born, and not to live in this world and be contributing towards it's downfall, ...then I would have checked the 'opt out' button. The fact that I also happen to be unable to have kids in my view is a positive. I understand people still feel the need to bring more lives into this world, but what with fuel prices rises, diseases, social collapse, political turmoil, price of living, etc.etc. I don't see why they'd want to inflict such an uncertain future on their offspring. I can choose not to breed, and nature can choose to tell you not to breed, but unfortunately we can't choose to have not been born."
  • "Personally, I'd like to see those unable to conceive take nature's sign that they're not meant to, and for adoption of unwanted churned out kids to be made much easier."
  • "If it's something easily solved with a quick procedure then fair play, but couples who put themselves through round after round of IVF treatment, endless miscarriages, or surgery on themselves in order to have a baby, sometimes I do just wonder why they don't take nature's hint and maybe accept it's not for them, it's not right
You can bet I responded to each and every one. I think it goes to show just how necessary something like NIAW is, because there are so many people out there who just don't understand what infertility is, what it means, how it affects people. The second quote up there, she seems to think that "infertility" is the same as "being infertile". As usual, adoption was rolled out as the solution for every infertile. The majority of the comments droned on about "overpopulation" etc without a thought as to the point of my original post - that those suffering through infertility would be hurt by it.  In one of my replies, I tried to explain that these kind of statements could be really hurtful to someone going through infertility, and that because there is a certain "stigma" attached to it, the hurter might not even know....so basically that it pays to bite your tongue about certain issues unless you know who you are talking to properly.

But by far the worst comment is one I haven't posted above in which the commenter stated that they were "surprised that an intelligent person" like me would hold such opinions. As if I'm somehow ruled only by my base instincts if I am in anyway pro-reproduction. That if I had a brain I would surely see that being staunchly anti-babies, anti-breeding, anti-hope is the only way to go. It was an awakening as to exactly the kind of people I know. Needless to say, they won't be getting a wedding invite...


Friday, 8 April 2011

In the News: PETA (Pathetic, Egotistic, Tactless Arseholes?)

Cycle number: 10
Cycle day: 19
Meds: Met + DIM, D3, chromium, B complex, folic acid O_O
Outlook: Grrrrrr

Nothing new to report on the ttc front. Haven't been temping but know I haven't (yet?) ovulated. Luckily I have been very busy the last couple of weeks with wedding planning and honeymoon booking which has been a great distraction as this cycle ticks past.

However, I was alerted to a campaign which instantly invoked rage via a friend's post on Facebook. PETA (USA branch), known for their well-measured, appropriate campaigning - ha - are offering a supporter the chance to "win" a vasectomy if they have also had their cat/dog sterilised. This in itself doesn't bother me - though I do consider it rather bad taste and simply a shock-tactic to gain more notoriety no change there then - but what really does is the fact that they are attempting to tie the promotion in with National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)

I am loathe to get too irate about this because I am sure that's just what PETA want - more publicity - but at best it is inappropriate, offensive and ignorant. Whether they really have misunderstood what NIAW is about is up for debate, but if that's the case then they really need to get some better publicity staff. NIAW is about raising awareness of infertility - with all its many and varied causes - and the very real impact not being able to conceive has on people's lives. Suggesting that removing someone else's ability to reproduce somehow honours this cause is deeply worrying.

They harp on about human life "crowding out animal life on the planet" and how "with a global population of almost 7 billion humans, more of our species could use a (voluntary) snip too". I will reduce my response to bullets otherwise I may be here all day:
  • without humans, there would be no dogs or cats or any other pets. They exist because we choose to have them - and in many cases, bred them for this purpose - and in a human-less world, they would almost certainly be extinguished by larger predators. This goes for chickens, sheep, cows etc too. They only exist because we do. And without people, there is no one to look after the animals that PETA seeks to protect
  • someone who is willing to volunteer for a vasectomy is likely to be someone who was not intending to reproduce in the future anyway. If PETA is really concerned about over-population of the planet, it would be more appropriate and effective for them to focus their efforts on providing contraception in developing countries, rethinking sex education for young people or seeking to simplify the adoption process.
  • people who are infertile, the ones who will get something out of NIAW, are not the ones "overcrowding the planet" - associating a campaign about such an issue with infertility is not only hurtful to those going through it, but also completely pointless. Tie it in with a "stop reproducing" campaign (if you MUST), but leave infertility out of it
As a side note, I have never, and will never understand people who go on about the planet being over-populated, and how humans are a scourge on the earth etc etc ad nauseum - if that's the case then stop moaning and cease to exist right now and take all your loved ones with you! No? I didn't think so. It's hypocritical in the extreme to be complaining about the problem whilst being part of it.

This hijacking of a supportive campaign is something PETA should feel ashamed of. I have always been pro-animal rights but there is no way I will be supporting anything PETA does from now on. I hope that this merely serves to alienate a huge portion of society rather than generate a lot of media interest as I suspect PETA hopes.

You can show your disgust at the campaign here - please pass it on.