Thursday, October 27, 2011

Me & G

As you may or may not remember, after my laparoscopy, John and I decided to hold off before trying Glumetza. We wanted to give my body a chance to recover, and we wanted to see if the surgery alone might do the trick.

Three months and three cycles later, we felt ready to give the Glumetza a try.

I was a little worried about the potential side effects. The super friendly Internet advised I might be in for "gastrointestinal upset."

I’ve been taking the Glumetza for about 2 ½ weeks, and I definitely feel weirder than usual. Nausea and stomach aches come and go. But it hasn’t been that bad, and I’m hoping it gets better.

Glumetza (Metformin) is actually a diabetes medication, and I’m wondering how I could better support its effectiveness through nutrition and exercise.

I know what I should be doing --- avoiding sugar, refined carbohydrates, caffeine and alcohol. I just have trouble doing what I know I should do.   

In the meantime, I’ve been walking about four times a week. I’ve been taking Vitamin B Complex and Chlorophyll pills every day. And I’m looking for a prenatal that doesn’t smell or taste disgusting.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The way of things

We are status quo since the miscarriage. Since then, I've had many bottles of wine and many delicious mugs of coffee, read almost the entire Sookie Stackhouse series, and pondered my next move.

And actually, I haven't had a period yet. It's been over five weeks. I could be pregnant again, but I think it would be a long shot. The internet tells me it could be a long time until I get a period again, which is just fine, I say. I was never fond of the Red Tent. The internet also tells me there is no medical reason to wait for a period to try to conceive again. But I still want to wait.

Another thing I've been doing: Working on weight loss. I say "working on" instead of "losing weight" because while I've lost a few pounds, I don't feel that I have enough momentum to say "losing weight" yet. Maybe after 10 pounds. If I feel that I have that momentum by the end of the year, I may wait a few more months to try to conceive again, so that I can get to my desired weight. This isn't purely selfish: I believe the excess fat is affecting my hormones. And, it will be easier to carry a baby if I'm more fit.

I have other projects in the works, as well. I'm finishing my novel, which will be done by the end of the year. The other option is for me to walk into the ocean and drown myself, so probably I'll be finishing the book. And, we're working on a few home upgrades that have yet to get liftoff. I'd feel so much better about getting pregnant if all this stuff were behind me.

I admit I'm a little scared of pregnancy now. I know statistically everything will probably be OK if I get pregnant again soon, but ... Ugh. I just don't know if I could handle it if I had another miscarriage. And I don't want to be pregnant. I know it's basically impossible to have your own natural child if you don't get pregnant, but oh lordy. I didn't enjoy the small taste I had. That sentiment is either selfish or reasonable. Maybe both.

Anyway. Those of you that have miscarried: How long did it take your period to show up? How long did it take you to get pregnant again? Tell me your stories. Tell me pregnancy is better in later trimesters. Tell me it's beyond worth it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The age factor

I'll be 33 years old next week. It's shaping up to be one of those birthdays that gives you chest pains because you can't come to grips with the fact that your body continues to age despite your lack of accomplishments.

I'm not saying 33 is old, guys. But what I've absolutely come to accept is that as it relates to fertility, my age is not ideal. I know people older than me are having babies every day and I haven't reached that evil age cutoff of 35, when your eggs suddenly turned into powdered milk. But science is science. It doesn't matter how healthy you are or how awesome your skin looks -- every year that goes by is another year older, and your eggs are as old as you are. You don't make new ones. It's a real bummer.

All of the eyebrow-raising from my doctors used to irritate the living hell out of me. They'd ask if I was planning on having children soon. Ages 27, 28, 29, and 30 slipped by, and I told the doctors I wasn't planning on it. And they, without fail, told me that the sooner I did, the better.

There is a section in Making Babies titled "Be Aware of Your Age." This section also irritated me to no end; if I had a time machine, maybe this section could have helped me. Nonetheless, it cuts to the chase immediately: "If we had to pin fertility on just one factor, the most important would be age. The older you are, male or female, the more likely you and your partner are to have problems conceiving and carrying a pregnancy." The book goes on to say "the best advice is to have children sooner rather than later." Sounds familiar.

Here are some more fun statistics from the book.

Women under age 25 have a 96 percent chance of conceiving within a year. That figure drops to 86 percent between the ages of 25 and 34. The odds decrease again for women at age 35, with further drop-offs at 38 and again at 42.

Beginning when men are in their mid-30s, miscarriage rates start to rise, enough to double by age 45, at which point about one in three couples with men age 45 or older had a pregnancy ending in miscarriage, regardless of the woman's age.

All of this kind of information used to bug me. How dare my doctor, or some book, or anyone for that matter, try to tell me when and how I should use my reproductive organs? I wasn't ready to have a baby and that was all there was to it. Should I have gotten pregnant and had a baby just because it was the right thing to do, biologically?

The short answer to that question is Yes. I never, ever imagined I would be the kind of person who said something like this, but I'm going to say it now and I'll keep saying it to anyone who listens:

If you think at some point you will want children, have them now. Have them in your 20s. You will never be physically, emotionally, or financially completely prepared for children. You will never take that trip to Italy before the kids get here. You won't lose the weight. You aren't going to be glad some day that you spent an extra three or four years indulging yourself by doing whatever you wanted instead of changing some screaming baby's poopy diaper. Have them now, if you can, and then your eggs can get old and turn into powdered milk. Have them now and maybe you won't deal with miscarriages, drugs, needles, IUI, IVF. The story of the 40-something movie star who gets pregnant with twins is a delusion, my friends. God only knows how many rounds of IVF she paid for. How much money and grit do you possess? How much heartache could you potentially save yourself?

Thirty-three isn't ancient, even in fertility years. The doctors still call me "young and healthy." They expect I'll be able to get pregnant and carry a baby to term, and I expect the same. But I admit I hear a clock ticking in the background. I admit I wish I'd listened more thoughtfully when my doctors advised me to think about having children sooner. It might have saved me some trouble.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Waiting for the Flood

It has now been 48 days since my last period.

Longer than Noah was out at sea.

Longer than Jesus was in the desert.

Longer than "The Playboy Club" was on the air.

I'm not pregnant. I've taken several tests and each one has glared at me with a single line.

I would like to say this is unusual, but it really isn't. I have had cycles that have been longer, though not by much. I was getting hopeful though that things were getting more normal. The six to eight cycles before this one were average, or even on the short side. I felt I was finally getting a handle on exactly what was going on, and when. And with the new progesterone development? I was actually starting to get my hopes up!

Now this.

If this doesn't prove that my body is just messing with me, I don't know what does.

If only I could trade it in for another model. You know, one with a working reproductive system.

Oh, and maybe longer legs.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


It got better, although I feel nervous about feeling better. Like a diaper commercial might send me into a twenty-minute crying jag. This hasn't happened; I'm just saying I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Maybe it's just like waiting for the other baby to drop. That sentence makes no sense. But you know how everywhere you go, there're babies? And how I almost left a cart full of groceries in the frozen food aisle when I saw a baby the day after my miscarriage? It's like that.

I cry pretty much anywhere, unapologetically, and not because I'm sad but because the emotion of almost every situation feels amplified at least five times. And yeah, babies make me sad for the time being.

On the other hand, having a few months off from trying to get pregnant is a relief, for lots of reasons. One being that it gives me a chance to try to be healthier, and lose weight. Lately I've been holding up my own clothes and thinking, Wow, this looks really big. It seems like there's no way a piece of clothing so large would fit on my body, but it does, and most often is even a little snug. That's not how I want to feel about my body when I get pregnant.

You learn a lot about yourself, your family, and your friends when you're going through a rough patch, and that's been interesting, too. Sometimes people are afraid to speak to you when you're at your lowest. Or afraid to speak of The Big Bad thing you're going through. I get it, really. And sometimes people think you should probably be over it a lot sooner than you're over it. I get that, too, although I think that attitude sucks. And then some people catch you off guard with how wonderful they are.

You know, selfishly I wish I could have life both ways. I enjoy my life the way it is; baby-free. I get to do what I want, when I want, without a second thought. That's fun! I know I don't take advantage of that the way I should, but to the extent that I do, it's enjoyable. But then I also really want my own chubby baby. I want to know what color eyes my baby would have. I want to put up cutesy decorations in the baby's room and sing Journey songs as lullabies. I want to carry my own cute baby around in the grocery store in one of those hippie slings like the women who've been torturing me all year do.

I can't have it both ways, obviously. So I'll enjoy it the first way for a while longer, and then hopefully the second way at some point down the road.