Our options widen…but not on the kids’ parties front

I had a great email today from our legal department.  They told us that the US government forsees no legal impediment based on our visa status for adopting in the US, either domestically or internationally. They are also aware of two other families from my organisation who have previously adopted successfully, however one family had a few complications over the legal issues.  However, it sounds like if you have money to burn, the legal issues will disappear.  I don’t mean in a corrupt way, but rather the more you pay the more you get in terms of service.

We asked our legal team to help us look into our visa status so we would know if it was actually possible for us as ‘legal aliens’ to adopt if we decide to stay in the US.  It took about three weeks for everything to be double checked, but it was worth the wait and now we know….we can adopt!

I also had a phone call from our IVF nurse co-ordinator today.  We have an appointment next week with her to go through the whole process in more depth than the doctor did – apparently it will take about 1.5hrs!!  She sounded very friendly and helpful (I guess you have to be do that job!)  She also informed me something the doctor forgot to tell us last week.

The Embryology lab is going through a refurbishment in late June/early July!

Fortunately it sounds like it won’t affect us as we would expect an egg retrieval in mid July.  I hope they don’t over run their re-furb or delay it because that would suck going through all that just to have our cycle cancelled because of some lazy painters!!! But I’m sure they wouldn’t let something like that happen.

I’m currently on Cycle Day 19 and I’m feeling great.  I have had the odd pain, but nothing like the sharp pains from the last two IUI cycles.  Fingers crossed they don’t come back that it was just a side effect of the progesterone and nothing else nasty causing them.  Our break from trying to conceive has been quite fun; next weekend we are planning a trip to our local beer festival and Bush Gardens to try out their new roller coaster ‘Tempesto’!

Physically the break is doing me good.  Mentally, I’ve still had a few odd moments.  This last weekend we didn’t go to our friend’s daughter’s 3rd birthday party at the petting zoo.  Now, I love animals. Love love love them, and who doesn’t love to pet animals!  But I freaked out at the last minute about going someplace where everyone else will have a kid with them and we would be the odd ones out.  I mean, why would anyone go to a petting zoo without a kid in tow?  If it had been a party at their house or somewhere more neutral in that sense I wouldn’t have had a problem. It was just the idea of feeling like we didn’t belong, with the potential for random strangers asking ‘oh which one is your kid’? Or, like the time a random granny noticed us at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, told us ‘It’s OK that you don’t have a kid’. Yeah, I’ve been there before….and right now it is not for me.  I felt bad that I couldn’t pull myself together to go, I hope they can understand.  I’m sure they do.  I just wish I didn’t feel like this.

So to end this post on a positive note…here is a picture of a cheeky goat that we know.

Who wouldn't want to pet this cheeky goat? Oh that would be me, big chicken pants.

Who wouldn’t want to pet this cheeky goat? Oh that would be me, the big chicken pants.

Facebook: The sad truth of the matter #NIAW, #YouAreNotAlone

Facebook – you kept me awake this morning contemplating giving you up.

I have 423 friends on facebook.

40 of my friends liked this picture of me drinking beer….almost 10%!  That’s pretty high!

Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Mmmm Beer!

Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Mmmm Beer!

The irony being that in this picture, these were not my beers, and I was drinking non-alcoholic beers that night because I’m trying for a baby!

However, only 17 liked this photo and blurb about National Infertility Awareness Week (incidentally only 2 of the 17 were men, I salute you because this is not just about women)….

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples you know may suffer from infertility? Did you know that 1 in 100 births in the US are made possible from Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF? Infertility IS a disease, it is a hidden disease. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, so please share the message and remember friends ‪#‎YouAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎WeAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎NIAW‬

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples you know may suffer from infertility? Did you know that 1 in 100 births in the US are made possible from Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF? Infertility IS a disease, it is a hidden disease. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, so please share the message and remember friends ‪#‎YouAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎WeAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎NIAW‬

So why do I feel judged or failed by sharing this photo and message?  Why do I feel like the number of ‘likes’ is a measure of my success in sharing the message about Infertility Awareness Week?  Maybe people read it, but felt awkward to like it or share it?  Did I make people feel uncomfortable?  Was it not interesting?  Did they know these facts already?  Was it too boring?  Do people not care? Was it not controversial enough?  All these things I wonder….but they are silly.  If I hadn’t posted the picture of me with the beer last week and got so many likes, would 17 ‘likes’ have satisfied me that I had some success in sharing the message?

I have thought about ways to raise awareness.  Before we started this journey, the hunt for the great pudding club, I had no clue about infertility.  I knew it happened, I didn’t know how many people it affected, and how differently it affected people.  The pain and suffering of these people were hidden from me.  It is a personal journey so it shouldn’t have to be shared with me and the whole world, but I feel like I should have been educated in it.  When I was at school and I learnt about conception, the biology behind it, the sex education classes I was unaware of quite how truly each conception is a miracle.  The events that have to occur all in line for conception to be made possible is amazing.  I only learnt about all of this over the last year.

I want to raise awareness so I drafted a blog post as part of the National Infertility Awareness Week blog challenge under the theme of #YouAreNotAlone.  I drafted it last weekend, but I have not posted it yet because the tone of blog will be highly dependent on the outcome of IUI round 3 this week. I have written two versions of the post, the first version is aimed at inviting close friends and family to help us on our journey which is about to get more difficult or, alternatively the second version, announcing to friends and family that we are pregnant in the early stages, as a result of help and assistance from fertility treatment.  I’m still waiting to post my blog.  Here is how it has gone so far…

Sat: 10 DPIUI – I landed back in the US and made Chris drive me to the pharmacy to buy us some of the expensive early pregnancy tests.  I was feeling like I was pregnant 🙂  I took the test and there was the faintest of lines.  I even took apart the test to look closer because the reflection of the plastic made me wonder if I was imagining it.  But could this be the hormones left over from my Ovidrel shot?  I went to bed smiling either way because there was still a chance.

Sun: 11 DPIUI – I took another early pregnancy test.  Nope, nothing, nadda.  Saturday must have been from the Ovidrel.  Why did I take the test so early?  Well, I have never taken a test before my period was due, I was in experimentation mode and thought what the hell.  A sad Dani.  But it is still early and definitely not over til the fat lady sings (AKA Aunt Flow).

Mon: 12 DPIUI – Chris told me not to take a test.  I didn’t.  Chris came home from work sad, he had been thinking about it all day.  I was sad too. It was a sad evening with many hugs.

Tues: 13 DPIUI – I took a cheapy test.  I saw a very very faint line!  Well at least I really thought I did.  Chris took a look at it and told me there was absolutely nothing there.  I didn’t listen to him and went to be with a little smile.  This morning I woke up and looked at it again, he was right, there is nothing there, I was actually hallucinating.

Today Weds: 14 DPIUI…….No testing today.  I will wait for Aunt Flow to arrive.  She is rumbling.  Unless I am sorely mistaken.

Whatever happens, I will be posting my blog challenge for National Infertility Awareness Week very soon. #YouAreNotAlone, #WeAreNotAlone

Beer, Beer and more Beer!! Wait – should you really be drinking beer?

Beer – the cool, refreshing, golden nectar.  My first beer was admittedly at a young age of 13.  I hated it, but that’s what everyone else was drinking, so beer it was.  As my palette has grown accustomed to the varieties and tastes I have become a distant admirer of certain beers.  Particularly German Hefeweizen beers.  So during my 2WW it was difficult to come all the way to Germany and avoid the stuff…..so……here I am – two beers in hand!!!

Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Mmmm Beer!

Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Mmmm Beer!

Officially, Chris and I both gave up alcohol almost 17 months ago.  I say ‘officially’ because we have both had alcohol in these months as we have caved on occasion.  However, we have significantly reduced our intake of alcohol to maybe one or two beers/glasses of wine a month, if at all.  The reason?  Because ‘they’ tell us alcohol affects both fertility and the development of the foetus in the early stages.

It is logical, after all, if alcohol is capable of making you do silly things with your mind, then surely it can affect other things too.  I have no qualms in giving up alcohol, plus it saves on the purse, and reduces the calorie intake (never hurts).  There are many conflicting views about the impact of alcohol on fertility.

The UK Government suggests a pregnant woman, or a woman who is trying to conceive should drink no more than 1-2 units once or twice a week (ie one small glass of wine).  Their drink aware campaign (www.drinkaware.co.uk) website is quite informative about alcohol and fertility for both men and women.

One interesting bit of research I read about from Harvard University found that couples undergoing IVF found that women who drank more than six units per week were 18% less likely to conceive, while men were 14% less likely*.  Although this statistic sounds quite high you will only need to drink 3 times a week or more, that is quite a lot.  LAst time I drank that much was at University!!  Generally, I go with the school of thought that one small drink every once in while is unlikely to have any significant impact.  But as the stakes grow higher and more money is invested in our treatment, the more cautious I am about alcohol intake.

So what about that picture above with me holding two beers from Friday night?  Well they actually are not mine, they are the beers of my new colleagues.  BUT! I did enjoy three non-alcoholic Weizen beers!  Obviously the fact that I had three meant I must have enjoyed them.  It was only after one of my German students told me that he was taking a case of the non-alcoholic stuff back to Rome with him that I thought I should give it a go.  Usually, non-alcoholic beers remind me of the bitter taste of Beck’s non-alcoholic that was served when I was on my tours of duty in Afghanistan.  Beggars can’t be choosers, but that stuff put me off it all for several years.  Well at least until now that is.

The non-alcoholic beer definitely doesn’t give you that light headed happiness feeling you would ordinarily experience with the alcoholic version.  But throughout the night I realized that I felt comfortable drinking with my new friends without the pressure of feeling like I had to drink.  In fact near the end of the evening, one of my friends pointed to my glass and said to the waiter “I’ll have what she’s having”, I quickly pointed out it was non-alcoholic.  Obviously he immediately changed his mind, and looked disappointed at me.  He was disappointed because all along he thought I was keeping up with the lads without getting pissed and I was drinking them under the table!  But it was quickly laughed off and nothing more was said.

I think I will try these non-alcoholic options more.  In fact, a fellow blogger (the longest journey) came up with a cracking idea….to put some juice/fizz in a wine glass to give the impression of drinking wine.  Psychologically, that surely has to have the same effect as a non-alcoholic beer.  Well I’m going to try it and let you know 😉

At the top of Kofel in Oberammergau.

Bye Bye Bavaria!  Thank you for the beer discovery!

*Harvard University Website. Alcohol hinders having a baby through IVF, couples warned.

Accessed from: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/10/alcohol-hinders-having-a-baby-through-ivf-couples-warned/