Eli's Corner


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“tired of being sensitive to my infertile friend”

I joined Twitter today for the express purpose of sending some tree penis pictures to Barren Betty (@Elis_Corner if you want to see them). I discovered I’ve been missing out on all the fun. I officially love Twitter. It felt like showing up to a party where everybody was expecting me. Infertile women are the best. Also, came across this gem, which Fertility Doll tweeted. Brilliant.

Forever Infertile

This was an actual search that brought someone to my blog. Sadly, it wasn’t the only one along that theme. It makes my blood boil! Oh, boo hoo, you’re tired of exercising sensitivity toward your friend? Your friend? Well, let me tell you some things your friend is probably tired of:

  • She’s tired of hoping and praying, month after month, that this month will be, by some miracle, THEMONTH.
  • She’s tired of her body letting her down, month after month.
  • She’s tired of feeling broken.
  • She’s tired of crying herself to sleep.
  • She’s tired of invasive and painful tests.
  • She’s tired of medications that make her ovaries work overtime and take her on an emotional roller coaster ride, month after month (not to mention all the fun side effects, like nausea, fatigue, sleeplessness, hot flashes, night sweats, and headaches)
  • She’s tired of watching her savings account being drained…

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another kick in the gut

I haven’t written any updates in a while, as I’ve been taking my first self-imposed break from babymaking since November 2011.  I was going to write a post about how awesome it is to not take a thousand supplements and vitamins everyday.  To not have a single fertility-related appointment for an entire month.  To drink wine and not have guilt and to not have sex when you’re ovulating because frankly, you’re not in the mood.  And then to have fabulous sex a few days later just because of sex.  How you start to feel like a person again, rather than a mere vessel, and you find yourself making time for other pursuits, pursuits that make you feel a little more like you again.  This was going to be a whole post about that.  But then yesterday happened.

I was very much enjoying my time off, so much so that I was contemplating extending it.  I had in my mind that I would let my ovaries rest up for the holidays and would just enjoy personhood during that time.  If I felt like having sex while ovulating, I would.  If not, I wouldn’t.  There was a vague thought of doing IVF in January.  But I didn’t need to think about that now.  In the midst of this heady freedom, however, I remembered that my RE gets booked up months in advance, and I thought I had better call and set something up now for January.  Come to find out, she was already booked through January, but she had a cancelation yesterday.  So I broke my “no babymaking appointments” rule and headed over with my husband to talk about next steps.

My acupuncturist/doctor of chinese medicine advised me to get my AMH tested a while ago, based on the fact that my mom had her last period in her mid-30s.  I talked to my RE about this, and she said that it was unlikely to be an issue in my case, since I respond pretty well to fertility drugs.  I pushed the issue, and she obliged me and ordered the test.  I had the requisition sitting on my desk for months, expecting one of the IUI treatments to work and for the whole ovarian reserve thing to become a non-issue.  After my fourth IUI failed, however, I got the bloodwork  done.  This was over a month ago, so one of my first questions was if those results were in.  She hadn’t even checked.  I asked if she could please look and pull them up.  She reiterated that she didn’t think it was an issue, but when she did pull them up, she was visibly shocked.

My AMH level is 0.47 – which, if you’re not familiar with AMH levels, isn’t even inside the low range for a woman of my age.  She started to brush past it and talk about IVF, saying that since I respond to drugs well, this doesn’t really matter.  I stopped her and asked what this meant in terms of early menopause.  She just said flat-out, you will have an early menopause.  You probably have a year or two before you lose fertility.

I’ve had a handful of moments in my life where I’ve received news that kicked the world into slow motion.  This was one of them.  Clearly, this wasn’t a total shock to me, as I was worried enough about it to press the issue and get the test, but having that nagging base-level fear confirmed was like a punch in the gut.  Then we continued talking as if someone had not just taken a decade of childbearing years away from me with one sentence.

Suddenly turning 35 next month (which I was half-dreading, half-grieving) was a non-issue, since in reproductive years I’m already about 46. This of course also means I’m on my very last eggs right now, which from everything I’ve come to understand, is not a good thing in terms of the chances of bringing a healthy baby to term.

The plan now is to kick off the IVF process in January.  I’m realizing I don’t have time for this not to work, don’t have time for another miscarriage.  The window is closing, the stakes are getting higher, and the hits just keep coming.  The list of ways in which my body betrays me continues to grow.  The sense that I’m broken, defective is hard to shake.

The odds of my having a child (let alone children, as I had once hoped) are moving solidly into the “miracle” category…a place where I am uncomfortable leaving them, not because I don’t believe that God can do it…I just don’t know if he will do it.  I have no assurances to that effect.  I told my therapist recently that I know I will be able to move on with my life if this doesn’t happen, but at this point I just have no idea how.  I’m terrified at the thought of picking myself back up after losing all hope of this dream – having that door solidly shut, possibly very soon.  At the same time, it would probably take full-blown menopause to give me the closure I would need to ever be able to walk away from this, so in some sense, there is some comfort in knowing this process won’t last forever.  It’s a small comfort, though.

I’m trying to trust, but I’m finding it almost impossible.  I know that by entertaining worst-case scenarios, I’m only adding to my own torment, but I just don’t have that solid faith that I used to.  If I get my miracle, I’ll be like the guy who was dragged to Jesus on a mat by his friends.  I’m hoping it’s enough.


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Pumpkin Smackdown 2013 – the Results Show!!!

Stop the presses!! My Mutant Uterus pumpkin has won something!!  No less than the coveted “Best Infertility / Fertility Related Pumpkin Award” in the highly competitive Pumpkin Smackdown 2013!!! I am overwhelmed. I would like to thank Immotileturtle and her family for bestowing this honor upon me and Barren Betty and Fertility Doll for creating a space for this kind of work. I would also like to thank my fellow nominees, by whose work I am both humbled and challenged. Finally, I would like to thank my uterus for inspiring this piece, as well as my husband who looked at it, grimaced and said, “I can see how this is funny, but this is not at all my sense of humor” – but was genuinely pleased (perhaps shocked) on my behalf upon learning of this victory. A big congratulations goes out to overall winner, New to IVF, for her heartbreaking and clever Pumkina, as well as Subfertile Chick, You Can’t Choose When, Barren Betty and The Infernal Infertile for your well-deserved victories in your respective categories. I’m off to the after party, b*tches!

Immotileturtle's Blog

It’s the moment that you’ve all been waiting for, the highlight of the year, the reason you got out of bed this morning. I am about to announce the winners of the #IFPumpkinSmackdown 2013!

If you don’t know what I’m talking about (Who are you? Where have you been?!) you can read all about it here and you can read about some of the awesome prizes on offer here and here.

This totally awesome competition was the brain child of Barren Betty and Fertility Doll and I am honoured to have been named “Grand High Judge and Priestess”.

There were 36 entries in total… yep, you read that right, thirty six. Each and every single entry was absolutely brilliant. I hope that you all had as much fun carving them as I did judging. If you haven’t seen Betty’s post from last night, which showcased all 36 entries…

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