Friday, December 26, 2008

December is the Cruelest Month

December is the cruellest least for Barren Babes. The month is full of gatherings between family and friends, which opens up the possibility for catching up on those you haven't seen in years. With this comes news of pregnancies and birth announcements. So far, for this Barren Babe, the score is: three pregnancies and one birth announcement. Of course, there's still a week left in December so one never knows...

Will write about my mini pre-Christmas 'breakdown' when I'm back home and not blogging at my in-laws. Yes, December is the cruellest month for Barren Babes as we attempt to receive these announcements with courage and grace while keeping our pain and broken hearts hidden away. Chins up. Be strong.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mother Dearest

I should have known better than to have confided in my Mother about our upcoming treatment in January, but she seemed so supportive in previous calls. We actually bonded a bit over my pre-hypertension blood pressure -- as she battles high bp -- and chatted about the dullnes of a low-sodium diet and eating lots of potassium rich foods.

When I spoke with her about going on bcp for the upcoming treatment today she got a bit, well, weird. She started grilling me. Then she asked if this is what we really wanted and if I knew what I was getting myself into. Ummm, yes, Mother, that's why we've sunk tens of thousands of dollars in treatment. (Okay, I didn't actually tell her this, but one would think this would be obvious.) Then she proceeded to tell me that babies cry all the time and you have to get up at night and feed them, and was I ready for that? Jeez, my Mother is treating me like I'm 18 and trying to conceive. Yes, babies cry and wake you up but usually that's for the first four months, right? Plus, I have been waiting to hear a baby cry for six years and I will remind myself of this each time I get the honor of waking up to feed it, that is if I get the chance to have one myself.

After the call I turned to cleaning therapy and got all my frustrations out on the vacuum. Then I went to the gym and now I'm blogging. Starting to feel better, but unfortunately I was reminded that I cannot count on Mother Dearest for any emotional support. She wasn't there for me before and she won't be there for me in the future. I do love her, but unfortunately I cannot count on her. Not sure what disappoints me more, her lack of emotional support or my foolishness in thinking that maybe this time I just might be able to count on it from her.

Now I must prepare myself for the next couple of weeks at home with her this Christmas. Perhaps I should start building up the walls again to protect my feelings and definitely pack the journal.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Less News Feature on Facebook Rocks

I must send a special thank you to reader katedaphne who commented on my Facebook lament. Thank you for letting me know about the Less News option. I've just used it on a couple of acquaintances. One is especially annoying since her baby was born a couple of months ago. This person posts a new picture and/or update on her baby everyday and it's getting really tiresome and annoying for this Barren Babe. Happily, I think I'll be getting less of these in the News Feed. Thanks katedaphne!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

High BP...Who Me?

Yesterday Darling Husband and I made our way to the clinic so the doctor could give me an exam. You know...the kind that involves a speculum. Like other women, I dread it. It could be because I have had quite a few crappy docs that couldn't figure 'me' out because I have a retroverted uterus and have used the wrong size instrument. hurts just remembering.

Need I mention that I was anxious going into the examination room and had to run to the restroom. Anyway, I completely forgot that the nurse had to take the usual vitals: weight, pulse, blood pressure. Not happy with my weight situation as I've been working out for six weeks and I have not dropped any pounds -- apparently muscle weighs more than fat, so I guess it's equalizing at the moment...That's my weird logic. Pulse was fine, but then there was the blood pressure. Apparently my blood pressure was quite high. I reasoned that it was my 'white coat' anxiety.

High blood pressure runs in my family, although it's not something that I really wanted to inherit. Guess I really do take after my Mother and her side of the family. The doctor took my blood pressure before I left and it had come down, but not low enough...So, now I must find a GP (another fun thing about relocating) and see if I can get this BP lower.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Learning to Bite My Tongue

Just a few days ago I finally dragged myself to a hair stylist to have my roots taken care of. One of the annoying aspects of relocating is searching for a new stylist that is talented and somewhat close to where we live. Well, I've found someone close to where we live, but as for the talent...did I mention she is close to where we live?

The new stylist was great with the color, but the cut was scary as her English is not the best so communication was tricky. Luckily I had brought a photo from a magazine to give her an idea, so it was somewhat similar to what I wanted.

Hair styling aside, I got the usual question, "Do you have children?" Hmmm...yes, it's not my favourite question, in fact I hate it, but at least I don't breakdown when asked now. I kept my chin up and said no, but that my Darling Husband and I were trying. Then I was asked how long. I replied six years. Surprise, surprise I received 'advice' that I don't really believe works. You know the one, I know someone who was trying for 13 years and 'just got pregnant'. Yeah, right.... Then to top it all off, I received the infamous, most annoying advice ever given to any woman suffering from infertility, "Just relax!" Argghhhh!! "You're going to Hawaii in a couple of weeks, you never know what may happen while you're away! hahahah" I just smiled politely and nodded. Honestly, I just don't have the time or patience to deal with people who have no understanding of the medical reasons behind infertility. Now I need to find myself a gay male hair stylist...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fertilty Clinic Frustration

Today is the day I decided to try again. More specifically, to try getting on the fertility clinic/ART merry-go-round again. After doing some internet searches on doctors I made the pick. Discussed it with Darling Husband and we agreed to meet with the 'white coat men' (aka Reproductive Endocrinologists).

So, I picked up the phone and called the number on the clinic's website to set up an appointment as a new patient. I was put through to the person that coordinates new patients. Unfortunately, I did not get to speak to a 'live' person and was put through to voice mail. I hate voice mail and answering machines, but I did leave a message stating my name and phone number three times.

It's been almost two hours and I haven't heard from this person. Have I mentioned that it drives me nuts when people don't return phone calls? After dumping my frustrations on Darling Husband, he suggested that the person probably wasn't at work today and they'll phone me tomorrow. Well, I'll wait until tomorrow and I'll try phoning again. This is the part that I hate most of all about relocating: trying to find new doctors and/or specialists. Guess I have to be stronger and more patient...But it is frustrating when today I am ready to try again...I want to get the ball rolling...I want to set up an appointment.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Avoiding Facebook...Again

Happened to log on to Facebook the other day and was bombarded with baby photos. An acquaintance on my friends list just had a baby and excitedly posted a dozen photos of the newborn. While I am happy for the couple and their new baby, I really don't need to see all these photos of a 'fresh' (yes, just minutes old with blood and other stuff I can't describe still clinging to it) newborn staring at me when I go on Facebook. So, I think I'll be taking a break from Facebook for the next week...or, until I can bear to see more baby stuff.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mad Men Addresses Adoption

Last night's episode of Mad Men had the fertility-challenged couple of Peter and Trudy Campbell contemplating adoption. I love seeing how couples dealing with infertility 'coped' back in the early 1960s before ART was available. (Really, think about it: how many of us take ART for granted?)

The Peter Campbell character initially was repulsed by the idea of adoption, but his wife pointed out that one can love a baby that is not genetically related to you. His mother's reaction to adoption was to threaten to cut him out of her will. Gee, I had no idea that adoption was not widely accepted back in the early 1960s.

On the flip side, it was funny to hear Peter Campbell's brother say that he and his wife 'hoped to become one of those childless couples that everyone invites over for dinner.'

Here's hoping that the Mad Men writers continue to feature how these characters cope with the challenge of infertility.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where Do We Go From Here?

Ever patient Darling Husband and I are settling into our new place and trying to unpack a mountain of boxes. The guest room/office is looking more like a storage area with a laptop at the moment. Moving is always exciting, stressful, and invigorating.

One of the more difficult aspects of moving to a new city is finding new doctors. I especially need to find a new acupuncurist as this relocation was so stressful on myself that I completely missed a 'cycle' in August....after dropping cash on a handful of pregnancy tests. Need to find a GP and I'm thinking about finding an RE as well. Not sure in which order I should do that one. DH and I have been thinking about trying IVF. I really don't know if I want to finally throw in the towel with ART. A big birthday is fast approaching and I'm not sure how the ART community treats women over a certain age. Funny enough, the older I get the stronger and more confident I become. I feel more capable of being a mother now than when I was in my twenties. If only my ovaries would cooperate!!

Gabby Now Fertile???

If anyone caught Desperate Housewives last Sunday night you might just be as confused as I am. The characther Gabby was supposedly unable to have children -- not sure on the specifics, but it was discovered after she suffered a miscarriage. Now, as the show has jumped forward five years, we discover Gabby with two young children. Is anyone else curious as to how these children came to be? Was there an adoption, a surrogate, or was her inability to have children conveniently forgotten for the current storyline???? Enquiring minds want to know.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fertile Friends

My ever-patient-Darling Husband informed me last night that he had some bad news. As if on cue, I replied "someone we know is pregnant, right?" Sure enough he replied yes...but, that it was on the funny side. Hmmmm...that could only mean our Truly-Fertile-Friends from back home.

You see, our Truly-Fertile-Friends are expecting their third child. That means three children in three years. And, yes, they are Catholic. Do married Catholics really practice this no-birth-control thing down to the letter? Seriously, this couple is not 'rolling in the dough' -- at least from our perspective. So, why do they keep having children? The world knows they can procreate.

Yes, I am on the jealous side. Although I was more jealous with their first child as it was born just a few months before my 'ectopic' pregnancy was due. (It was like daggers through my heart when I saw the baby for the first time at a dinner party -- really had to fight the tears and put on a smile.) With their second child I was a bit sad, but not devastated. Now with their third, I feel nothing, although I was 'gob smacked'. Shocked. Three children in three years.

My big question is: why are some people 'blessed' with seemingly boundless fertility and tons of kids, and others can't even have one? Why? My only answer is that life is difficult and far from fair.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Last Sunday's MM Episode

There was a great scene in last Sunday's Mad Men episode involving the couple that is having difficulty conceiving. It was interesting to see the two at the OB's office trying to discover why they are not getting pregnant. But, when Peter arrives home from work to discover that the doctor's office phoned to say that his 'sample' was viable it produced an argument. For myself, the argument hit close to home and it's an argument that most couples dealing with infertility face: whose 'fault' is it. The husband suggests that their life is wonderful the way it is and perhaps they shouldn't have a child, but the wife calls him immature. The scene ends with the wife asking, "If we don't have a baby then what is this all for?" to which he replies, "I don't know." Infertility must have been an even greater struggle back before Assisted Reproductive Technology emerged.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mad Men

Just added 'Mad Men' to the list of television shows with a Barren Babe. The character Pete's wife appears to be having problems conceiving. During the season premiere there was a touching scene where she lamented that everyone was getting pregnant but herself. She likened it to a 'club' that you joined when you became pregnant and she felt left out. I can relate to that. It will be interesting to see how the writers will handle this situation and its affect on their marriage, as back in the early 1960s options were limited to fertility-challenged women/couples.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Life is crazy at the moment. Darling Husband received a job offer on the Left coast. So, our time has been consumed by: DH negotiating relocation, dealing with lawyers regarding the visa transfer, moving companies visiting and giving bids, packing, apartment hunting via the internet, and trying to decide when to give notice to our current rental and DH's job. He doesn't want me telling people yet, but this is my 'secret' blog, and I doubt anyone he works with is aware of this one (unless they're going through infertility)...although I have been forced to write nothing about this on my other blog -- which is killing me.

Thankfully, this big change in our lives has taken my mind off of the recent cover of a certain gossip rag with 'you know who' and the twins. Although I have read on a gossip blog that AJ has denied using IVF...yeah, and most severely underweight women conceive twins easily. Grrrr! She is just part of the Hollywood Stroller Brigade (eg. Julia Roberts, JLo, etc.) with twins who deny use of IVF. There is nothing wrong with using IVF, and 'stars' who use it to get pregnant should not be ashamed. Are we that use fertility treatments abnormal? No, I think we're more of the 'norm' today as more women delay starting families.

Anyway, with this upcoming move I've started thinking about maybe...trying fertility treatments again. Perhaps it's because there will be new doctors who may have other opinions/options, or maybe it's because of the acupuncture -- which has made me feel brave, strong and regulated my cycles. And so it continues. Just wish I would have a 'miracle' surprise without injections and without a medical team of doctors and nurses.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Boycott Mags With Celebrity Babies on the Cover

Finally Brangelina had the twins. It's a boy and a girl. Hopefully now the gossip magazines, blogs, and television shows can move on to another subject.

What is really sickening is the amount of money that these magazines are offering the Pitts just to put these babies on the cover. Why? Because people buy these magazines in droves. Why? I really have no idea. These are babies plain and simple and that is all. Their claim to fame is that they were born to famous parents.

Let's all stop this Hollywood-baby-mania by boycotting all magazines that feature photographs of babies and/or toddlers on their covers. Let's refuse to believe that pregnancy is glamorous, and having a baby is the latest 'fad' and 'accessory', because this is what the gossip mags are selling.

Cheap Invitro

Still not sure how to comment on news stories that I link on the blog. Thought that one from last week was bizarre but hopeful: Africa getting cheap invitro. Sad that barren babes in Africa are stigmatized by their failure to produce offspring. The hopeful part is crazy, but perhaps this cheap invitro process will be a success and find its way across the Atlantic ocean. Even more bizarre would be desperate North American couples making a trek over to the Arican continent for cheap invitro. It will become a fad and 'vacations' will be planned around cheap invitro in far-flung countries.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fertility Treatment In Developing Countries; A Cycle Of IVF For Less Than $200

ScienceDaily (2008-07-09) -- After 30 years of IVF, the rewards of treatment are still largely confined to industrialized countries and those who can afford it. Now, a Special Task Force of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology has set about the immeasurable task of making fertility treatment more accessible to developing countries through a program of pilot projects, professional awareness and involvement of government and non-governmental agencies. ... > read full article

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Adrienne Barbeau

Just caught an interview with Adrienne Barbeau on the Today Show. I can't believe that she is 62! She looks amazing. What really surprised me is that she had twins at 51. She claimed that she had lots of energy and could keep up with them. Then I started thinking about myself. Could I keep up with a baby at 51? At the moment I am 39 and I am not quite sure I could do it. Then I see someone like Adrienne Barbeau and I think that maybe I can. But, do I really want to go through all the hormone injections again...and possibly the use of donor eggs...Things to think about.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Last night's episode of The Bachelorette was an emotional rollercoaster. When Jesse's parents told DeAnna how they had tried for years to get pregnant and gave up after twelve years, only to find themelves pregnant with Jesse, I found tears welling in my eyes. They explained, although it needed no explanation, that he was a blessing to them and that his name means gift from God. Yes, I was crying. I thought it was wonderful that they opened up to her and shared their trying to conceive struggle with the world. Guess it didn't help that right before the show I read the 'vows' article in the Sunday Times about a couple that first met in 1972 who went their separate ways only to reunite and marry over thirty years later. It was emotional for me when the article touched upon the woman's miscarriage and inability to have children and the death of the groom's son years before. Sometimes Mondays are sad days.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I love going for acupuncture. It makes me feel relaxed without a stress in the world. Well, it did until today. Honestly, I'm still somewhat relaxed but feeling slightly down after hearing that my acupuncture guru is packing his bags for the suburbs. Yes, he's leaving urban life for a medical building surrounded by chain restaurants. Can't blame him for trying to expand his business, but I may have to look for a new acupuncturist...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Okay, I Bought It

Yeah, I caved in to my obsession with buying the latest Conceive magazine. Yeah, I am a weak woman. After just a glance at it I am reminded of all the advertisements aimed at other women like myself. Infertility means big bucks for the pharmaceutical industry. Think of all the money being raked in with just the home pregnancy and ovulations tests. Do they really cost that much to manufacture?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Hubby and I paid a visit to Borders this weekend. I love checking out the new hardcover books and Borders usually features some great deals. Love finding books that I want to read as well as looking at the marked down books as you never know what treasure you might discover.

Must confess that for the past four or five years whenever I go to a bookstore I usually find myself drawn to the 'Women's Health' shelves...more specifically the 'Inferfility' section. Most of the books I have purchased over the years are now in a box in my closet, but I keep looking for hope in the pages of the latest book on the topic of overcoming infertility. This time I just spent a couple of minutes seeing if there are any new editions to the shelf and then I wandered away. Perhaps my mind is just not into reading another book about infertility.

After grabbing a copy of 'Chasing Harry Winston' by Lauren Weisberger -- because I need a light, frothy novel after reading a Janis Joplin biography -- I went to check the magazines for the latest Conceive issue. I've been buying this magazine since I discovered it about three years ago, and so I added a copy to the other magazines I was about to purchase. Then I had a change of heart. Did I really want a magazine centered on getting pregnant? So, I didn't buy it. I felt really proud of myself at the time and told Hubby about my decision. He commended me and reminded me that maybe it was time to 'move on'. Yes, I suppose it is time to 'move on'...but why am I now obsessed with buying that issue of Conceive?

Monday, June 2, 2008

I Survived the SATC Movie

Last Saturday morning I dragged Darling Husband to the new Sex and The City movie. It wasn't easy, but I reminded him of the countless sporting events I've attended with, tickets were $6 if we went before noon.

So much estrogen packed into one movie theater early in the morning...The theater was packed full of women so it was no wonder that DH was desperate for java. We arrived early and sat at the end of a row. For some bizarre reason I am a magnet for pregnant women. Yes, two pregnant women sat beside me. What could I do? The movie was about to begin in five minutes and seats were filling up fast. I squeezed DH's hand as the second of the pregnant bellies passed by me and he told me to relax and then reminded me that the movie would soon begin.

Loved the movie not only for the story, but really for the amazing fashion and product placements. It was like one long fashion advertisement. Oh, and that apartment they bought...where did they find the room to make that huge clothes closet? Yes, the closet that every woman salivates over. The closet that only exists in my dreams. Ahhhh. I'd move to Manhattan in a heartbeat if I could afford to live in that apartment.

My only complaint regarding the movie is Charlotte's miraculous pregnancy. Didn't her doctor tell her that she only had a 5-10% chance of conceiving? (Hmmm, or am I confusing her reproductively-challenged life with my own?) It's annoying that they are perpetuating the myth that barren women can conceive once they adopt a child. Is this a scientific fact that has been studied? No, it's just a tidy way to give a character a 'happy-ending'. Personally, I think they should have left Charlotte with her beautiful adopted daughter and added drama by giving her a crisis of faith by either: having her husband come-out as gay or having him suffer from a fatal disease. Thank God that Samantha, and hopefully Carrie, will never have children. Some lives are meant to be 'R' rated, i.e. Adult Only.

P.S. We actually saw someone bringing a girl about ten into the theater. What kind of mother would do that? Has she only seen the TBS version? I actually miss the HBO sexed-up series....maybe I'll have to breakdown and buy it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

SATC Movie -- Should I see It?

The highly anticipated Sex and the City movie opens this weekend and I have a dilemna: should I go see it? I have been excited about this movie since hearing about the filming last summer, that was until a photo of a very pregnant Charlotte appeared online and in gossip rags about the same time. Surely this would be a fantasy sequence, right? But, no, today I saw a tv ad where she declares 'I'm pregnant!'...and, I have also read a couple of spoilers that point to her unexpected pregnancy. Oh, dear God. Charlotte gets a miracle. Can I hand a miracle? Will this miracle make me miserable if I go see the movie? Why does she get a miracle? Will they explain the odds against a miracle like this happening in reality? More importantly, I want to know when will I get my miracle? Sheesh...and they say truth is stranger than fiction.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Will Survive

I would like to announce that I survived Mother's Day. Okay, I will admit that all did not go as smoothly as I had hoped.

Darling Husband and I spent most of the day relaxing by the resort pool...which was full of families with young children. Guess they decided to make a weekend adventure out of Mother's Day. Surprisingly it was most helpful to DH and I because the majority of the children were loud and unruly. One does not yearn after rude children.

Dinner that evening was a bit of a nightmare. We arrived at the restaurant around 7pm, thinking that this would be late for dining with small children, but we were mistaken. We were surrounded by tables of small children. They were everywhere. When I asked if there was a quiet table, I was told no unless we wanted to sit in the bar area -- which was a windowless room featuring a giant screen television. We decided to tough it out...with a bottle of red wine to ease the pain.

Another weird thing was that as soon as we were seated at the restaurant I was asked if I had children. Hmmm, let's see: I am there alone with my husband on Mother's Day....isn't it safe to assume that I do not have children? When I curtly replied that I did NOT have any children, I was wished a Happy Mother's Day. When did Mother's Day become a big holiday? Perhaps it's a Marriott thing, I don't know, but DH and I found it bizarre. Guess we should have stayed in our room and ordered room service. Let's just say that the bottle of wine helped me survive that meal.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's Day Sucks Sometimes

Mother's Day sucks sometimes. Ever since I miscarried over Mother's Day weekend two years ago I have come to hate this holiday. No, I don't hate my Mother, but I really hate the commercialization of a Hallmark Holiday. I loathe the ads that make anyone fertility challenged feel insignificant and inadequate because they can't have this holiday. "So sorry, but you don't belong to the motherhood club" is what I feel inside everytime I see a Mother's Day print ad or television commercial.

The coincidence of miscarrying on Mother's Day weekend is never lost, and each year I am constantly reminded of the grief and pain of that experience. Hopefully the sadness will subside with each passing year. Perhaps what really strikes me is that if I hadn't miscarried I too might be celebrating.

The bright side of this weekend is that Darling Husband has a conference out of town at a resort and I am going along with him. So, I will phone my Mother on Sunday, but after that I will hang out by the pool and get pampered at the spa. Maybe I'll even get wild and have a martini.

Yes, Mother's Day sucks sometimes, but sometimes you have to kick back and enjoy life. I'm taking back Mother's Day this year for myself and celebrating the joy of being alive. No one is going to make me feel crappy for not giving birth or raising a child, because I'm not going to let it happen.

Hair God

I went to visit my 'hair god' this week to get the highlights touched up and a trim. For four years I did not color my hair just in case I might happen to get pregnant. But, as the years passed I realized that it may never happen and I was beginning to look older than I actually am due to those pesky gray hairs, so a year and a half ago I decided I wanted to look glam (and younger) again.

Like many women, I love going to get my hair done. I totally unload on my 'hair god' and he knows all about my fertility challenged life, not to mention that I always feel great with updated color, new cut, and styled hair. So, I was surprised when I arrived, sat in the chair and happened to notice the baby in a 'carrier' at the feet of the lady next to me getting her hair cut. Happily, I did not get emotional or teary-eyed. But, I was a bit annoyed because it took something away from my salon experience. Everyone spoke in hushed tones so as not to disturb the baby, thus making it next to impossible to chat and giggle with my 'hair god'. Then it was the 'baby talk'. I'm not going to get into it, but really annoying when you're in a very adult place. Not even the soothing new age music can keep a baby from crying.

Personally, going to a hair salon is a relaxing and enjoyable time away from my life, and having the baby there did not make for a wonderful experience. It makes me wonder why the mother felt the need to bring the baby. She could have waited for the weekend when her husband was home, left the baby with him, and then she could have some time for least, that is what I would do. Makes me wish there could be 'adult only' places. Hmmmm, wonder if there are any licensed hair salons that serve alcohol...for patrons only of course. Tipsy stylists could be dangerous, and make for some crazy hair styles.

Marcia Cross on The View

As I was channel surfing I this morning I just happened to find Marcia Cross on The View. It was refreshing to find an actress actually admitting how difficult it is to get pregnant after age 40. Not sure if anyone else noticed this, but when asked if either of her daughters looks like her she deflected the question by saying that they look more like their father. Hmmmmm, wonder if she did use donor eggs. But, if she did, who's business is it anyway? I wonder how women that have children using donor eggs/ or sperm react to nosey people commenting on who the child looks like.

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's Hard To Keep a Good Woman Down

Unfortunately, last weekend dear aunt flo came to visit. Of course, I am always somewhat let-down when this happens as I always hold out for the 'miracle' to happen...and I am always disappointed. Hope can be a dangerous thing.

When the disappointment strikes I comfort myself by indulging in sushi and alcohol, and so Darling Husband and I went out for sushi and I had a yummy lychee martini. We also went to see a couple of live bands. Nothing like raw fish, booze, and live music to boost one's spirits.

Must comment that I actually encountered a very pregnant belly (wearing a tight shirt...why do women do this?) at the music venue. I totally was not expecting to see a huge pregnant belly and felt a sinking feeling in my tummy when I saw her. But, what really made me happy was that Darling Husband instinctively knew I would be affected by this sight and reached out and put his arm around me and rubbed my back. It was his kind and empathetic action that prevented me from emotionally reacting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pam & Sue-Ellen

Just added the television show 'Dallas' to the list of shows with a Barren Babe. The first year of the show focused on the characters of Sue-Ellen and JR and their 'lack of children' after 7 years of marriage. I rewatched the first three years of the show a few years ago on the Soap Network and was surprised by that storyline.

Another 'Dallas' character with fertility issues was Pam who suffered from a couple of miscarriages. But then -- and I can't remember the specifics -- she was either told that she could not carry a baby to term, and/or she was the carrier of a genetic disease.

If you do happen to catch these episodes from the 70s, please note the way that infertility is portrayed as a type of 'hysteria' that affects the mental health of the 'afflicted' character. I wonder if this was really how society viewed the plight of Barren Babes just 30 years ago.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Brothers & Sisters & IVF

Last night's episode of 'Brothers & Sisters' made Darling Husband and I chuckle. Did you catch it? Kitty and her husband at the RE's office getting instructions on the hormonal needles. All the talk about needles and egg harvesting made us 'nostalgic' and happy that we jumped off that wagon. It was great to see characters in a popular televison show facing fertility treatments. Perhaps the writers will show a couple struggling with infertility, unlike the brother and his wife who seemed to get pregnant on their first ART 'try'. Kitty's earlier miscarriage this season mirrored my own as I also discovered that 'it' had stopped growing during my first ultrasound at the OB's office. The only flaw in this storyline is that I got the impression that her husband really does not want anymore children. When did he do a total turnaround?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Acupuncture Day

Today is acupuncture day. Okay, it's not an 'official' acupuncture day celebrated across the nation like Mother's Day. In my life acupuncture appointments are on Wednesdays and I look forward to each appointment.

It's been two weeks since my last appointment and hopefully this cycle will be more 'normal' than my last few: either too long or too short. I started going to regulate my cycles, but I've become addicted to the peaceful feeling that I get after an acupuncture treatment. It's a sense of 'balance' and that everything in life feels okay. It feels like I can face any adversity and all will be well.

Because I get that total sense of peace and relaxation after an acupuncture treatment, I try to organize and have household work finished before the appointment and always plan ahead and have leftovers ready to re-heat for dinner. Darling Husband doesn't mind too much because he knows I will be totally chilled-out tonight.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Facebook is About You, Not Your Baby

I was just on Facebook -- to feed my Scrabulous addiction -- and decided to check out my high school alumni page. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment, but I am feeling wonderful today and ready to take on anything. Although, admittedly I was not strong enough to check out the page of a friend who is pregnant -- lucky for me she is thousands of miles away and I will never bump into her on the street.

While on the high school alumni page I noticed the latest phenomenon on Facebook, namely people posting a photo of their baby where the mother's face should be. I understand people posting a photo of their family with parents included, or even the mother/father holding the baby. But, why put your baby's face where your face should be? People go on Facebook to keep in touch with friends and reconnect with old friends -- even frenemies. No, I do not want to see a picture of your baby on your Facebook page. If you want to post photos of your baby then bury them in the photo album section where those who are really interested can actually see them. What is with all the Mommy stuff on Facebook? Is it not supposed to be about you?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Another Pregnant Belly Part II, All Is Not What It Seems

Had a return visit to the dentist this morning, and I was feeling anxious about the procedure and a bit wary about the woman with the pregnant belly working in the dentist's office. The whole dental thing was uncomfortable but necessary and I could not ignore it, though I was trying my best to ignore the pregnant belly at reception. Basically, I did not acknowledge her situation and everything went well until I was almost at the door and noticed the acupuncture pamphlet.

I stopped and blurted: "Oh, acupuncture.." while grabbing a pamphlet to take home and that is when our conversation began. She asked if I had tried acupuncture and then told me that she started going last year to balance her cycles as she and her husband had been trying to conceive for over two years. Then I told her that I had started going to acupuncture for the very same reason and that Darling Husband and I were having difficulty conceiving. It actually was wonderful talking to her and hearing about all the frustration she went through; all the stupid advice people give you (eg. go on a cruise or have a margarita) and the rude questioning about why you don't have a baby. She admitted that for the first four months of her pregnancy she didn't want to talk about it because she was in shock that she actually was pregnant.

Before leaving I asked her due date and wished her well knowing she had travelled down the same path as me and was now veering onto another course that I have yet to find the directions for...and maybe never will.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sliding Into Sadness

I was really doing well yesterday; feeling strong and optimistic about the present and future. So when Darling Husband came home from work and we were chatting I tempted fate and asked if he had heard if anyone from back home was pregnant, as he finally knows not to spring that information on me, and it is always better to hear such news when I am feeling good.

He replied that he had not heard of any news, but he discovered that a former workmate and his wife had a baby from checking out the workmate's Facebook page. (I am soooooo hating Facebook these days as people my age are using it as a tool to show pregnant bellies and track their pregnancy, but this may be another post.) Then he asked what date I wanted to move back home because he is really hating his job and misses old friends, and wants to start his own consulting company where he has more contacts.

Maybe I was ready to handle the baby thing, but not at the same time as the whole 'pick-up and move' thing. Just thinking about his old workmate and wife 'getting' my dream made me slide down the slippery slopes of sadness. All I could think was 'where is my fairytale happy ending?' let alone when to give notice at our apartment, and whether to pay people to pack our things -- I want to and Darling Husband does not. Ughhhhh! Shed a few tears and had my hour or two of sadness. Still, I want to know where is my 'fairtale' ending? This real life is difficult.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another Pregnant Belly

Had a dentist appointment this afternoon. Like most people I dread going to the dentist and I am always slightly anxious. All went well..okay, I must go back about a filling but that is somewhat normal for me. Okay, all went well until I went to set up my next appointment and there she stood before me with her pregnant belly right out there. Yes, the woman in the dentist's office is pregnant. Surprisingly I did not have a meltdown and I didn't react. Felt a faint twinge of sadness mixed with jealousy but it soon passed. I did not acknowledge her pregnancy by commenting on it and asking about it. Sometimes it's easier if you just say nothing at all, and I think I'll stick with that and ignore her pregnant belly when I go back again. Sometimes being a bitch helps you make through. There, I've let it out and now I can get on with my day.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


It turns out that my Darling Husband and I will not be moving away from the city. Negotiations fell through and he did not get the job. While he was disappointed, I tried to hide my relief while boosting his ego and making him feel better. Okay, I was a tad disappointed, but truth be known moving hours away from a city scares me. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a small town and spent my teen years counting the days until I could break free and move to a city. Now that I know the thrill of anonymity and take-out, how could I ever go back?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Birthday Parties

Today is my nephew's birthday, so I had to pick up the phone and sing Happy Birthday to him. He turns 11 today, and was brutally honest with regards to my singing voice. Thanks kiddo. He didn't want to speak for long and so I ended up on the phone with my sister, and she told me about the ordeal with the birthday cake. Of course, my sister forgot to order a birthday cake and ended up driving all over town to find a place with a plain sheet cake that she could purchase. Then I heard all about the sleep-over party that my nephew wants to have, but not tonight because he has an important hockey game tomorrow (play-off)....You know, it just hit me, I will never have to deal with kids' birthday parties, and honestly, I won't miss that at all. Still love being an Auntie, though. Maybe I will be a wild and glamorous Auntie Mame-type aunt.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Contemplating Change

Darling Husband is negotiating a job offer that he received over the weekend. It is far away from where we currently reside. We are already living away from family and old friends so it really won't be much of a change in that way. The huge change is that it is away from any large metropolitan area. I'm excited but a tad scared just the same. One of the advantages of not having a child is that you can pick up and move any time of the year and one can search for a place to live without checking out the school districts.

Facebook Heartache

Alright, I admit that I'm okay with not being a mother, but sometimes it hurts when you discover that someone else within your social circle is pregnant. A couple of days ago I was on Facebook snooping around at friends' pages when I discovered that someone is pregant. It's like getting kicked in the stomach...over and over again...and again. Just not ready to be happy for other pregnancies at the moment. Not just yet...maybe soon. Now I must remember not to be so inquisitive when it comes to Facebook. Stick to Scrabulous and all will be well.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Edith Wharton Monument May Close

Recently I discovered that the monument to Edith Wharton is facing foreclosure. Although I'm not positive that Wharton was the original Barren Babe, she did live a childfree life. She conceived great pieces of literature that will continue to survive long after we have turned to dust. Let's guarantee that she will be remembered and honored through contributing to keep her monument open to the public. Check out the website to discover how we can keep the monument to this great author, and childfree babe, open to the public.

It's Okay Not to be a Mother

Everyday it is getting better. The longing for a baby is slowly, ever so slowly, subsiding. This time a year ago we were doing fertility treatments. You know, spending thousands of dollars on injectable hormones and running to and from the doctor's office for ultrasounds and bloodwork. Oh, yes, and injecting myself at least once, sometimes twice, a day with hormones that may eventually cause cancer. The hormones always made me lethargic and miserable. Really don't miss that at all. Really don't miss the bloating or the mandated 'sex on a schedule'. I was desperate and reaching out for anything.

A year later I am beginning to realize that it's okay not to get pregnant. It's okay if I don't give birth. The big surprise I'm discovering within myself is that it's okay not to be a mother.

All my life I thought it was the most natural thing to get pregnant and give birth. Unfortunately, infertility robs any piece of natural order out of motherhood. Growing up we are led to believe that pregnancy, giving birth, and becoming a mother is the ultimate thing a woman can do in her lifetime. Now I am beginning to realize that maybe it is not. It's okay not to pin that motherhood star on your wagon. I have finally discovered that I really should not base my self-worth on my ability to conceive and bear a child. It's okay not to get pregnant. It's okay if I don't give birth. It's okay not to be a mother.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Open Houses

Last Sunday my Darling Husband and I went out for brunch at a local pub a couple of blocks away from where we live. After countless cups of coffee we decided to walk a bit and shake off the caffeine jitters. While out we happened upon a couple of open houses, and while we're not in the market to buy at the moment we decided to check them out.

The lure of open houses is that it satisfies a certain curiosity about how your 'neighbors' live -- especially how they decorate their homes. We saw a couple of gorgeous town houses. Ironically, we came across baby rooms in both. There must be something in our neighborhood that makes people want to flee once they have babies. I have noticed lots of baby carriages but nary an older toddler. Guess they're spooked to have children grow up in an urban environment.

Back to the baby rooms and baby paraphernilia. I must admit that it really did not bother me. In the recent past it would have provoked many emotions, from sadness to envy, perhaps even feelings of being incomplete or being inadequate as a woman. Yes, sometimes I did feel inadequate. You know the feeling: why can't I have this baby room and fill it with a baby? But, honestly, last Sunday I didn't have those emotions when seeing the cradles; I just thought how cute the items were and that was it! Darling Husband and I spoke more about setting up a home office where the nursery was. It wasn't until later that I realized that I had not reacted emotionally to all the baby stuff. Maybe the longing is on its deathbed, but I am so happy it's no longer consuming me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy V-Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all the Barren Babes out in the world. Tonight my Darling Husband and I will be ordering pizza and putting a java-log in the fireplace. Whether you will be enjoying a four-course meal at a white-glove restaurant, or ordering take-out like us, now is the moment to remember why you are a couple. Take time to remember what attracted you to your partner and how exciting it was when you the two of you started dating.

An infertility diagnosis can sometimes spell disaster for a relationship. We try so hard to get pregnant and have sex scheduled to coincide with peak times around ovulation that we lose sight of the romance. Now is the time to toss aside the baby-making focus and look at your relationship with warmth and romance. Let's bring back that loving feeling and nurture the intimacy that has grown through the infertility struggle. Life's a journey and it's amazing to have someone to share it with, through the laughs and the tears. OMG!! Sorry, I just realized how sugary that sounds. Perhaps I'm just caught up in the spirit of the day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Needles & Pins

Going for another acupuncture session this afternoon. Finally off the herbs and I feel good. Apparently the herbs were supposed to 'clear' everything, and last weekend I think they did indeed. Honestly, I don't know if this will help with the fertility and perhaps I should have more faith. Maybe believing in something will help. The only certain thing is that it is giving me relaxation -- a definite stress-buster. It's all about finding 'balance' and I think I may be finally getting off the 'hormonal see-saw', but the journey is just beginning. Oh, boy, I am beginning to sound like some New Age person.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pins & Needles & Herbs

Went for my first acupuncture treatment at the end of last week and I'm still feeling wonky. Okay, the whole wonkiness is not really due to the acupuncture itself, rather the herbal remedy the acupuncturist gave to me. Apparently I am to take these nasty tasting pills three times a day until they are finished and then no more. The treatment is apparently supposed to help shrink my tiny fibroid and help with infertility, as well as a list of other varied illnesses. Really. The only problem is that they are making me feel wonky and icky -- of course, that could also be PMS (as my Darling blurted to me yesterday evening).

Apart from the herbs, I love the whole acupuncture thing. There was a tiny amount of pain when he placed the needles, but then a certain amount of warmth if that makes any sense at all. Loved the relaxing asian music playing, but was a tad annoyed at how chatty my acupuncturist is. Afterwards I was incredibly relaxed and mellow and I had the most restful sleep I have had in a long time. Thank God my next appointment is tomorrow because I'm feeling very much like the poster-child of PMS today.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Penny Serenade

Last night I watched the 1940s movie 'Penny Serenade' with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. Darling Husband was on a business trip so it was me, a tearjerker, and a box of tissue. All barren babes will be able to relate to this movie no matter how outdated it may be. It concerns a couple on the verge of breaking up and their path toward parenthood when fertility treatments did not exist. The word miscarriage is never spoken and yet it is tastefully mentioned, while the yearning for a baby that she can never have is plain to see. Love Cary Grant's speech in the judge's chambers when he tries to stop the judge from taking away their adopted daughter. Tons of tears were flowing. Highly recommend this movie, so be sure to check it out the next time it's on television or get it on Netflix. The adoption process is outdated, but the feelings are timeless.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fertility Diet

Went to Borders today and bought the book 'Fertility Diet'. Hopefully I'll get around to reading it soon, although I have a big stack of books beside my nightstand that need to be read. Of course, I'm expecting that the acupuncturist will contradict everything the book says. I'm also in the middle of reading a book about healing through a macrobiotic diet. Soooooo....which diet do I choose to try first?

New Path

Yesterday I made an appointment for acupuncture. Tomorrow I will go for a consultation and see what is involved. Hubby is a tad concerned about the cost, but I assume it's no where close to the cost of fertility treatments. Part of me would like to try another IUI, but the big thing holding me back are the hormonal injections and how they make me feel. Here's hoping that the acupuncture will help me feel more balanced and relieve stress. I'm totally ready to take a new path in this adventure.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Boxes in Closets

Here's a wonderful article that appeared in the NY Times on Sunday, January 6, 2008, entitled "The Blank Space in Our Family Album", written by Catherine Macrae Hockmuth. It's a relief to know that I am not the only person that has a box hidden away in the furthest corner of a closet containing 'baby' books. Okay, to be honest the books I have are about struggling with infertility, diets to boost fertility, the old bible 'Taking Charge of Your Fertility' (hahahah), extending your fertility, infertility survival books, copies of 'Conceive' magazine as well as copies of a magazine about adoption.

The box also contains a folder of newspaper clippings of articles regarding, what else but infertility and adoption. It used to contain clippings about decorating nurseries, but I've tossed those. I've also tossed a copy of the magazine 'You're Pregnant!', which I bought when I was about 6 weeks pregnant and before 'it' stopped growing. That magazine just mocked me and my single follicle everytime I opened the box, so out it went. (Secret: sometimes at magazine stands I cover up the pregnancy mags with other periodicals because I can't stand to look at them.)

My box is hidden away in the closet much like my status as a barren babe is to most people we know -- aside from close family and very close friends (mine...hubby finally told his parents my barren babe status at Christmas). I never went as far as buying baby clothes, but we have names picked. The names are kept in my heart and mind, although I've never told anyone or been really possessive about our choices. Alright, I was saddened when a friend named her son the name we had chosen, but who am I to protest since the odds of my husband and I ever using it fades with time.

We also have drawers containing prenatal vitamins, zinc, syringes, some left over medication for IUI in the refrigerator, and a container of used needles underneath the bathroom sink. As of today we are at an impasse as to when to discard these last few items because then it really does signal that we are ending this part of our journey. In my heart I realize this part of the adventure is over, yet I can't actually bring myself to let go of these items.

The article ends with the couple pursuing adoption in China, which has the guarantee of a child at the outcome instead of the heartwrenching uncertainty of fertility treatments. We are still at the crossroads on this decision. Family and close friends suggest adoption, and yet that is not an easly decision, but the box remains in our closet.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Post Holiday Blues

Trying desperately to shake off the blues. Must confess that I was 'late'...almost 30 days late before "Aunt Flo" made a visit last weekend. I tried a couple of home tests but all were negative. Of course, that just makes it worse because I assume that I must be entering perimenopause since I am now in my last year before 40. (God! Did I actually write that number in reference to my age?) It's when 'Aunt Flo' is tardy that I actually start hoping that maybe my lonely follicle produced a healthy egg and was fertilized. Darling Husband tells me to forget about the baby thing and get it off my mind. I'm off the fertility drug train -- no more injecting myself with potentially cancer causing hormones. But, I still have hope that maybe I will have a 'miracle' baby. Am I nuts? Probably. Hope is dangerous because it stops you from moving on. Hope is all I have.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Not Another Celeb Baby Bump

Just read the news that Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are expecting their first child. You know you're a barren babe when news of celebrity couples being pregnant fills you with dread. The dread of months of tabloids filled with baby bump watches and entertainment shows noting progress of her pregnancy. This year I vow to boycott tabloid publications because it just isn't worth the pain. No more baby talk.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Topic was Baby

Over the holidays I found myself somehow seated between two of Darling Husband's former co-workers in a crowded pub. Of course, as one has a one-year-old at home she couldn't resist talking about the baby. Because I am not close to her I really did not care about the baby, and considering my barren babe status I really did not want to hear anyone talk about any baby. So, whenever the subject came up I would grab my drink and stare off into space with a glazed look on my face. It's a bit bitchy, I know, but it's a survival mechanism that really works. I just totally ignored the baby chat and it eventually died down. Do not feed the baby chatter by asking questions, just let it die by ignoring the conversation until it changes to another subject. A bit cold, but it worked! Has anyone else noticed that it is only parents that bring up the subject of babies/children? Other people really do not care about others' children unless they are a close relative or super best friend. So, if you find yourself in the middle of baby talk just look a way with a glazed look on your face...yawn even, but it will get you through. Sometimes you have to be a bitch to survive.

Britney Spears, Oh Dear

Britney Spears leaves me speachless. Here's a young woman who had it all and yet it was not enough, and she could not find happiness. Personally, I was envious of her fertility -- the ability to get pregnant without even thinking about it made me green. Does she have any idea how precious her two young sons are? The answer is obviously no as can be seen through her lacklustre efforts to become a better mother and say no to the partying. Personally, I don't know that she really, truly wants her children. If she were an ordinary person, those kids would never see her. Just because you can biologically have children does not automatically make you parent material.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I Survived Christmas

Yes, I survived the Christmas holidays. Luckily I did not have the discomfort of facing friends with babies/children. Okay, I didn't go out of my way and seek out those people. Rather, my Darling Husband and I have discovered that when some people have a child their priorities change, as they should I suppose. For example, one of DH's old friends from his hometown could not find the time to get together with him for a drink as he must stay close to the baby...or maybe it's that his wife has him on a short leash!!!! As for myself, I honestly did not try to contact a childhood friend who had a baby last year because sometimes the pain sears my heart. I'll be okay in a couple of years when the baby becomes a toddler. But, still, people with a baby do not realize that the world does not revolve around them. Having one is not a justification for letting relationships lapse.