Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Brick Wall With a Touch of Crazy

After my divorce I still had a deep desire to know what was "wrong" with me, especially after discovering my ex-husband was pregnant with his girlfriend.  Of course I had my doubts about the paternity of the baby (and still do), but it still left me with this huge looming mystery that plagued and tortured me.  Could I be completely barren?

A few months after the divorce, I went to my doctor because I wasn't feeling well.  I had a few "little things" that I thought she might want to look at and I thought it would give me the opportunity to sneak in a question regarding my fertility. It's like, "Hey Doc! How's it going? Well, let's see I have this knot above my eyebrow and this rash on my arm, and OH! By the way, I think I might be barren."  I don't know what I expected...

My doctor thought I was crazy for asking fertility questions when my marriage was very recently dissolved and I had no prospects, no place of my own, and a crappy job.  She was/is very aware of my personal history in addition to my health history. Her advice was to "come back when you're ready to start trying again and we'll talk about it then. Right now you need to focus on getting your life back on track."  Bullocks!

Yes. I know that sounds like excellent advice for a divorcee with not even so much as a "bed buddy", much less a steady relationship, but I had a lot of anxiety about getting into a new relationship to begin with, much less not knowing if I could have children or not.  In my eyes, what was the point in looking for someone new if I couldn't have children?  Let's face it, 50% of all marriages end in divorce, and I'm honestly not all that keen on the idea of remarrying anyway.  Men are gross. They pee in the floor, pass gas from both ends almost constantly, can rarely dress themselves for anything more than mowing the yard (which you often have to nag at them to do anyway), & they're completely clueless as to what women need/want from them.  We have to spell it out for them & I'm just tired of being the teacher. What is the likelihood that I will find a guy that doesn't need training?  

Okay, maybe I am being a little hard on those out there in the world sporting a "Y" chromosome, but you ladies have to admit that I'm not far off.  Relationships take WORK, and a lot of it!  I didn't want to have to work at it anymore. I wasted a third of my life with a 12-year-old selfish little boy trapped in Robo-Cop's body! Why the hell would I want to take the chance of allowing history to repeat itself?  What I really wanted to know was fairly simple - Could I have children naturally?  If the answer was "yes", then that "bed buddy" idea might actually be feasible!  Those of you who have been where I was, you know how sometimes the most unconventional ideas start to sound like GREAT ideas. I'm not sure, at that point, if I would have actually gone through with any of those crazy ideas, but I had NO IDEA what was to come, and it was far beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

In the meantime I had to figure out how to get my life back on track...


Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Blogging Miracle

JULY 16, 2012


I continued blogging. It was the ONLY way I could find any peace or encouragement concerning my IF.  EH's mom, though she was my greatest confidant and the only person who even pretended to understand, talked about it CONSTANTLY, especially after EH's sister came up pregnant in 2010.  I thought his sister being pregnant would get his mother off our case but it just made things worse.  I love his mom SO MUCH but it got to the point where I couldn't even be around her.  I even asked EH to talk to her about it because it made my depression about a million times worse. I had resigned to the fact that I would never have a child of my own, especially with EH.  I couldn't talk about babies or even walk passed the diaper aisle without breaking down. I was incredibly unhappy and I just didn't see a way out of it.

I decided my original blog was just a bland, ignorant heap of hodgepodged thoughts and feelings - not to mention the website I was using was difficult to use, especially as far as personalization and security options.  I decided it was best to just start over.  I had recently connected with two old friends from college.  They had married and had a baby who died from a very rare condition. They knew she would die either prior to  or just after birth.  As a means of dealing with the extreme anguish they had connected with several infant loss groups/websites.  The most popular recommendation for healing therapy was blogging.  The thought of reading my friends' blog scared me to death.  If I were ever lucky enough to conceive, I just couldn't imagine that kind of pain.  It was hard enough being barren, but to finally conceive and then to find out you were basically carrying a dead child, that would be unbearable.  I honestly thought I would kill myself if I found myself in that position.  However, I knew very little about "real" and effective blogging and I wanted to see what it was all about.  The blog was amazing, insightful, and BEAUTIFUL.  Their story was so touching.  It was sad, of course, but their hope and zeal for life was truly inspiring.  It revived me to see that if life was still worth living for them that it should be for me as well.  In fact, they were trying for another baby (and I should mention they are now pregnant with baby #3). At that point I decided that I would not only start a new blog of my own but find other want-to-be mother-bloggers and subscribe to their blogs.  I spoke to my friend about it and she said she couldn't agree more that I needed that kind of support.

I started the new blog sometime in 2011.  Things were NOT good between EH and I at all and we were admittedly treating each other very poorly.  We had both been exercising an extreme amount of indiscretion & disregard toward each other. I think we had both turned into bitter, angry, selfish people.  We were very hardened toward each other.  I'm not sure exactly when that started but it definitely wasn't something I was exactly aware of at the time.  Yes, there were definitely times that I was obviously angry with him, but the existence of prolonged, sustained disdain and resentment for my husband was not apparent to me.  I still loved him very much but I blamed him for our IF and I was blatantly lashing out at times.  It was getting very nasty.  We were both on the verge of a breakdown.

In mid-2011 a man named Josh Bellows began following my blog.  He sent a comment that simply said that he thought he might be able to help me with my IF issues if I was willing to do him a favor in return.  I know I could word that far better.  NO Josh was not offering to be my "baby daddy". Ha ha!  He was offering EH and I the opportunity of a lifetime, a chance at conceiving a baby on our own, together.  Josh is one of the owners of a company called Hive Naturals.  It's a family-owned company that specializes in (basically) natural supplements.  The supplement they are most known for is a bee pollen derivative-based product called Bee Fertile.  It's a supplement and royal jelly product that has worked for many couples to help them conceive.  In fact, it helped Josh and his wife conceive.  Josh offered a free 3-month supply of Bee Fertile to EH & I if I would simply keep them updated on our progress, give them a review of the product, and write about it all in my blog.

I should mention that my blog was 100% anonymous. EH didn't even know I had it. I explained this to Josh & he said that he would leave it up to me whether or not I revealed the blog to EH, but he did insist that EH know I was sharing our reviews & information and that he be okay with the the deal.  I talked to EH and he said we could try it...

Long story short, while both EH and I were taking the product and were noticing positive physical results, we were still fighting constantly.  The only time we didn't fight was during sex.  Even then we would sometimes argue.  Things were not going well between us but we thought if we could JUST get pregnant that perhaps we could put aside our petty differences, stop blaming each other, and finally look forward to the rest of our lives together.

I won't get into all the nasty details, but very shortly after we finished the 3-month supply of Bee Fertile, EH and I separated.  A few weeks later, I discovered that he was already seeing someone else who was nearly 10 years younger than me.  Shortly after that our divorce was final. The week of our divorce, I was looking through some bills and for some reason, a date on the calendar stood out to me. I stopped, did a count of days, and realized I had missed my period for two months.  I just couldn't understand how I missed for TWO MONTHS and didn't notice. Then again, with the divorce, moving, and losing pretty much EVERYTHING, I guess I just didn't have the time to notice.  I took three POS tests and all of them were inconclusive. The 2nd line on the test was so incredibly faint that I couldn't tell.  I called EH to tell him and he handled it much better than I thought. It didn't mean we would get back together. That bridge was already burned. However, it did mean our lives could change drastically & that my child could potentially be subjected the juvenile antics of EH's girlfriend. I made an appointment with my doctor in about a week and we waited. A few days later, I started cramping really bad and assumed I was getting my period but it never came. I went to the doctor. We did a blood test and my HCG count was 22 but that didn't necessarily mean I was pregnant. They said to wait it out two weeks and come back for another test.  In that two week time, I had a period and it was EXCRUCIATING! I assumed it was so bad because I had skipped two months. I went to the doctor two weeks later and had another blood test. My HCG level was zero so I called EH & told him it was over.  Shortly after, I received an e-mail from his girlfriend (Sassy) telling me what a lying b*tch I was and I had better stay away from "her man" from now on.

About a month later I discovered Sassy was pregnant.  I was devastated!  At that point, I just KNEW that our IF was MY FAULT.  There had to be something wrong with ME & I was determined to figure out what it was!

The Bee Fertile, I had thought, was my ticket to Motherhood.  It was going to fix all my problems.  I never saw myself as one of those naive, ignorant women who believed bringing a baby into an already-troubled relationship would fix everything.  I'm well aware of the stresses that raising children can bring. After all, I was raising EH's adopted daughter & helping to raise my nephew.  We had three other people (including my sister) to contend with in our household. I had a whole house FULL of people (& pets) to take care of (including EH, who seemed to think a 40-hour work week was his only obligation to the family).  Yet, for some CRAZY reason I wanted to bring yet ANOTHER person into this already dysfunctional family! I must have been out of my mind...

I was SO SO thankful I had started the blog and that Josh & Chavah from Hive Naturals had made the offer of the Bee Fertile kit.  By the way, I don't think they just go handing out free $300 kits to just anyone.  I don't want anyone to think that it's that easy for everyone.  However, I've done a lot of research and Bee Fertile seems to work for almost every couple that uses it.  (See the link to their website to your right.)  In fact, it turned out to benefit both EH and me down the road...


Back to the Drawing Board


EH was incredibly (and unbelievably) resistant to visiting the doctor(s) together. I'm not sure what his feelings were. I can only speculate that he felt it was an insult to his manhood to ask him for a seminal analysis (SA).   I started searching the Internet for alternative methods for diagnosing and treating infertility.  I called other doctors to see if they would proceed with evaluating my infertility without seeing EH (at least right away). I wanted to rule out anything that could be wrong with me, thinking it would push EH to go through with the SA testing.  

In  late 2008 I found one doctor who agreed to see me. She was a little unorthodox, but she agreed to do a pelvic exam and give me a full consultation for her standard office visit fee ($85).  She did a pelvic exam & sonogram/ultrasound of my abdomen.  It was her "professional opinion" that my chronically heavy periods, in combination with a "severely tilted" (retroverted) uterus and several years of trying without any success gave me about a 10% chance of ever conceiving without medical intervention.  She recommended getting EH tested & trying IVF (in vitro fertilization).  I made this proposal to EH and he (again) resisted.  A few days after the visit, I received a voicemail from the doctor's office telling me my Pap test came back with an abnormal result that gave them some concern. Upon returning the call, I discovered that the test results didn't necessarily mean anything at all. They were just reason for concern. They wanted me to go back for further testing, a cervical scrape, and a cancer screening.  I talked to EH about it.  He immediately asked how much it would cost (I didn't have health insurance).  

I'm not sure what made me give up, but I did.  I never scheduled the follow-up with the doctor and I never once questioned why I was getting an abnormal pap after being with EH for near five years.  I never thought it would be HPV or anything like that so I didn't really see a reason to make things worse than they already were. I just figured that since cancer ran in my family it was pre-cancerous cells of some sort.  Honestly, at that point, my mental state was not exactly stable.  I was severely depressed and didn't feel like I could talk to EH about ANYTHING anymore.  I just sort of shut down.

After several months of fighting about it, EH finally did agreed that if I would do the research, call the doctor, make the appointment, and go with him, that he would go for an exam and SA.  Basically, I felt that he wanted me to do ALL the work (including "helping" him to fill the specimen cup). When he complained about the cost of IVF, that was it for me.   I began to feel like he didn't want a baby as badly as I did and that he was basically trying to sabotage the whole thing.  I was really hurt. :(  I basically decided to do everything I could do on my own.  EH did agree to take vitamins and a Zinc supplement to "help out" and I nagged at him to quit taking long, hot baths, to eat better, and to get more exercise. 

Several months went by and things between EH and I were rough under the surface.  We tried working on our relationship and ignoring the "elephant in the room" (the IF/baby issue) for the meantime.   We wanted to remember why we loved each other, re-learn to be "in love" with each other, and just enjoy each other.  We wanted sex to be fun again, not work.  So, we focused on "us", but the baby issue was always on my mind.  I couldn't stop thinking about it.  In the meantime, I started back to school again to finish my bachelor's degree in 2009.  My sister and her baby also moved in with us.  Life just kept getting more and more chaotic and the distractions mounted. Life got so crazy that I just dropped the baby issue & began to pray for divine intervention. I figured it was my ONLY chance of ever having a baby.  I kept up with the blog, periodically, but I started to sound like a broken record, always whining about how depressed and angry I was about being "infertile".  BTW, if you don't already know, a couple is considered "infertile" if they try for a minimum of one year with no pregnancies.  At this point, it had been FOUR YEARS, almost five.  I hated sounding like a needy, whining bitch in my blog, but the blog turned out to be my salvation...


In The Beginning

JULY 15, 2012
I'm not 100% sure where to begin.  I should probably start with a disclaimer:  I am incredibly honest (to a fault at times), sometimes a little blunt/graphic, and often a little too open.  If that bothers you, I won't apologize but you've been warned.  ;-)

For a list of helpful blogging abbreviations, please visit this link:  The Stirrup Queens Blogroll is also a good resource for parents, parents-to-be, foster parents, and those facing infertility.

A simple request: I ask that everyone be open-minded and kind in your responses.  You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but please be respectful.  This is a sensitive subject matter (& my hormones are all kinds of crazy right now) so please keep it pleasant.

This is my story of struggling for YEARS with infertility, a brief synopsis of my experience with the product Bee Fertile (, going through a divorce, & then discovering the biggest surprise of my life - that I am PREGNANT.  I will start from the beginning when my ex-husband and I first started trying to conceive and then I will get the story up to speed, to the day I discovered my pregnancy just a couple of weeks ago.  I'll explain all of the complicated details having to do with the baby's father & then I hope to chronicle my pregnancy.  I don't want to forget anything about this amazing, emotional, sometimes overwhelming, and yet absolutely wonderful journey...


I met my ex-husband (EH) when we were children. For the sake of protecting his privacy, I won't say much about him.  All you need to know is we were together for 7+ years and tried for most of our relationship to conceive.  We grew up together, were incredibly comfortable with each other, and wanted to start trying for a baby right away.  I stopped taking my birth control pills (BCP's) in 2005, about six months after we moved in together.  We thought we would just stop the BCP's as our first step and see what happened.  After a couple of years, we began to believe something might be wrong.

I went for my first infertility visit with the doctor in 2007.  She suggested some remedies that I found rather rudimentary.  She suggested new sexual positions, a change in diet, stress relief technics, and (literally) standing on my head after sex.  It seems laughable. I know I certainly had a look on my face that said, "You're out of your damn mind".  She laughed and said, "I know what you're thinking, but we shouldn't just assume infertility right off the bat."  I was angry.  I walked out of her office and vowed to never return. I went back to my regular doctor and asked for a new referral.  The next visit didn't go much better.  I explained that we had been trying for two years with no results and wanted to look into our options.  The new doctor agreed to run a few preliminary tests on me, and if they came back okay, we would move on to testing my husband.

All of my preliminary tests for Endometriosis, PCOS, & every STD in the book (among about 20 other things that I can't remember) all came back negative.  My doctor said she wouldn't be able to go any further with me until my husband underwent a seminal analysis.  I approached EH about it and he instantly bulled up.  He didn't like the idea of "donating" his "stuff".  He wasn't the type to do that sort of thing on his own, even when he was younger. He was incredibly uncomfortable with that sort of thing. I explained we could go home, do it there, and rush the sample back to the clinic, but he still resisted.  He said he would like to look into other options before we went further with any infertility treatments, doctors, or tests. It would be another year before he would agree to let me return to the doctor to discuss our IF (infertility).