Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Phoebe 101

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Phoebe...

Ok, this is no fairy tale, though I wish it were. Here are the basic things you need and want to know about me. My blog is about my baby making journey, cooking, gardening, natural living, and whatever I feel about blogging about. Phoebe is not my real name, but I think it's kind of a cool name.

I am now 43 (updated 8/2009). It took a while for me to find Mr. Magic, and we got married two months shy of my 39th birthday. My first RE visit was just before that 39th birthday. I always knew I would need high tech means to get pregnant with Magic, my husband, but I was very naive about what that meant. I thought, yeah, I'll just do IVF. Little did I know how difficult it would be and how much agony and pain it would bring me.

Magic had a vasectomy 15 years ago after the birth of his second son, thinking he was done with baby making, but saved some of his sperm, just in case. In that 15 years, he was divorced and we were married. A reverse vasectomy now will have little chance of being successful because the amount of time that has lapsed from his original vasectomy directly correlates to the amount of the antibodies that are produced against Magic's sperm.

My baby making journey, which has so far resulted in no baby, has consisted of:

1 IUI
1 IVF converted to IUI
1 IVF
1 FET

I have had my own reproductive problems myself. I had surgery for uterine fibroids, a half a pound's worth, before any RE would touch me. Fortunately, changing my lifestyle and getting serious about taking care of myself have kept anymore fibroids away.

High tech fertility treatments are completely against my own personal philosophies, but since it is the only way I can get pregnant, I suck it up. At this point, it feels like a very expensive hobby.

I did get pregnant from IVF #1 redo (IVF #2?) at age 41. I had serious fucked up problems with my pregnancy that was directly related to doing IVF. I know I would not have had these problems if I got pregnant naturally. One of them was that I had severe prenatal depression and anxiety and was not getting treated for it. I did try taking Pro>zac, but I had a paradoxical reaction to it, meaning it made me more anxious instead of calming me down. In retrospect, I should have been on anti-anxiety medication and a different type of anti-depressant, not an SS.RI type anti-depressant. However, because I was so out of it, I didn't have the energy or will to find the right kind of psychiatrist to treat me, and Magic didn't know what to do. It's difficult when your normally in-control-assertive wife suddenly turns into a withering mass of protoplasm. The doctor who did prescribe me the Pro>ac was my RE, and he did not monitor me. Big mistake when treating someone for mental illness, which is why I could not go back to him, and why I eventually changed fertility clinics and moved my frozen embryos. I probably should have been hospitalized, except on the outside, I was functioning. On the inside, I was falling apart. Even after I eventually got better, I have found it extremely difficult to find psychiatrists and psychologists who treat prenatal depression and anxiety, let alone any doctor or health care professional who understands it. Mental health care is seriously fucked flawed in this country, especially for pregnant women.

Unfortunately, my pregnancy had an unhappy ending, and I do not talk about the details of my loss on my public blog. I was traumatized by the whole experience, and the less I have that trauma out there in the world, the better it is for me. I know that my story could probably help someone, but I get nothing from retelling my story except re-traumatization. I do have a private blog that has my story that I created as an outlet for myself and my healing. I only let longtime readers/commenters access. You have to get to know me first before I will allow you access. If you request access to my private blog first to get to know me, I will have to respectfully decline your request.

I love receiving comments and I love the support I get and give by conversing with other bloggers. I do moderate all my comments. I usually publish all the comments I receive. On rare occasions, I will remove any comments that I deem nosey, mean-spirited, or unsupportive. If you return to my blog and see your comment gone (really, why are you coming back to check on your comment?), that should probably be your clue that I thought your comment was nosey, mean-spirited, or unsupportive. Rather than write another comment that is nosey, mean-spirited, or unsupportive that I will also remove, please simply click away from my blog.

Most of what you really need to know is here on my public blog. Thanks for joining me on this crazy ride.

18 comments:

Retro Girl said...

Wow, Phoebe. Thanks for sharing a lot of your story - although I feel privileged to have known most of it already, given our IRL meeting :-).

I completely agree with you about the lack of psychiatric care for pregnant women - and also for women post failed fertility treatment. That was the thing I was pissed about most with CC.RM after our last cycle. There was no discussion about how I might feel once the meds are were cold turkey after our cycle failed. Obviously, some of the depression I experienced was a result of the BFN, but I now know that a vast majority was biological. It would have been helpful if CCRM at least made that "click" for me.

Hey, I saw you guys got dumped on with a bunch of snow again! Lots of hugs your way.

geeksinrome said...

Oh Phoebe. I cherish being let inside your introductory course "From Dante's Inferno to The hellhole of ART."

But I also love having known you since 7th grade and knowing the smart, loving, caring, warm, sensitive, courageous, ballsy, hilarious person that you are. which def. comes out in this blog, but god, doesn't it suck that there's supposed to be more to all this than trying to make a baby and yet, oh, and yet...

i found some old journals of mine when i was trying to get preggers and it is obsession with a giant O! it rules your life. it sucks. it's being before a crossroads and wanting to go forward but someone has bolted your boots to the road and you just can't move!!! you can't even really chose which path right away because you can't even go one inch forward.

I am learning so much from you and about you. I love your courage and honesty. xx oo

just me said...

Hello there, I love ICLW because I find wonderful people like you. As I am turning 40 in less than 2 months, I find myself drawn to others in my age group. I wish you happiness and success in your journey, I look forward to following along.

WiseGuy said...

Oh Phoebe...what hard basic facts have you got there!

Emily said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I love reading your blog. I am so sorry for all you have been through...

"IVF - a very expensive hobby" - LOL :)

Rela Pantaleon said...

We all have our own private thoughts that we owe no one to share but thank you still for sharing what you do in this blog!

Arpee @ The Saga of Becoming Fruitful

Mr. Shelby said...

Thank you for sharing your story - I'm glad to have found you through ICLW.

-Mr. Shelby

onwardandsideways said...

Wow, your IVF/IUI process was very similar to mine and at the same age. I remember thinking, 'ah, I'm 38, soon to be 39... sure it will take longer, but I'll make it.' Oh, the things we did not know.

I love the name Phoebe. I would name my child Phoebe if the DH would allow. He will not. Ah well.

I hope you are doing okay and finding your way through the fog. You will get there, one way or another. I wish you strength and courage.

DAVs said...

Comments and blog support are essential. Support through all of this crap is essential.
Thanks for sharing your story.

Lost in Space said...

I'm sorry you were let down by so many, Phoebe.

From one of your long timers who is so grateful to have found you....

Heather and Jase said...

Damn, Phoebe. I am so sorry you had to go through that personal hell. I agree that too much crap that a pregnant woman goes through is just written off as hormones. Doctors need to LISTEN more to women as they know their own minds and bodies and quit writing us off!

ICLW

Duck said...

So you totally left out the bit about being amazingly strong, the bit about your determination and strength and self awareness that most people are not aware of.
Most people think get pregnant or get baby and it's lolipops and kittens, that's just not reality.

in many many ways I totally wish that we live closer, oh well, someday (my husband sometimes has to travel to your fine state for work).

wereyoulookingforme said...

Hey Phoebe, thanks for posting this summary. I've picked up on this by reading but I think it is good to have it down in once place for easy reference. :)

Just wanted to tell you I do sometimes go back to posts I've commented on - not to see if my comment was posted but to see if you responded to what I said. I don't get an email to let me know if you replied to something I commented on so that is what I'm doing!

As for those FSH tests - I think we should stay far, far away from them. How much do they cost? All it will tell you is if it is elevated and I couldn't find anywhere on that website where they say what they consider normal. And I know I am elevated so I wonder if there would be any value.

Hope your well and looking forward to the next gluten free recipe.

wheresmy2lines said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Your story sounds very sad, I am terribly sorry for your loss.
Take care and I will be back soon xx

lostintaipei said...

Hi Phoebe... DAMN IT!!! I didn't have the heart to check on you and find out any negs about your FET. DAMM. I'm coming out of my cocoon and so bummed to find out it didn't take. Have I mentioned, DAMN?!?!?! This crap w/ IF AND w/ mental health is such a struggle. I'm back on my meds and my normal dose wasn't working anymore so up I'm going. Fun times.

You have learned so much that WILL, WILL (Universe are you listening?!) be what guides you to a successful preg. + birth + motherhood. Stay strong.

jenn said...

Hi Phoebe! I love how you refer to your IF treatment as an expencive hobby. That's pretty much how I feel. It becomes such a part of your everyday that well I hate to say it becomes normal. Thanks for sharing your story!

Jenn ICLW # 93

Lucky Jones said...

Thanks for sharing your story.. Never give up your dream!!!

Parenthood For Me said...

I have posted about my mental health issues. I think that is appalling that you did not receive the care you needed while pregnant.
Erica
ICLW