Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This Ain't My First Rodeo

RE #4 was a nice silver-haired German fellow who smiled knowingly several times when I quoted him my exact lab numbers from the past several years without once referencing the thick stack of records sitting in my lap (that comprises less than half of my time in the stirrups). FSH, AMH, specific procedure dates. Whaaat? I just like my numbers, Mr. Doctor.  He smiled a little more at my ease with the IF lingo (I swear I wasn't showing off-you all know how it comes naturally after some time) and then when it came time to answer how long we had been TTC, no one could count around the years very accurately, so he decided that 'too long' was the appropriate answer.

Yes, we've been doing this 'too long'. This ain't my first rodeo, buddy. And you know it. There's no deer in the head lights "my God, what have we gotten ourselves into?" look on these faces. We had that look about 7 years ago. Not today. We're now sitting back in our chairs, arms draped over the back like we own the place. We're years past the shell shock (still lingering in sticker shock land, though). No, we're more of a road weary bunch here, fatigued, too familiar with the ropes and wondering when we can get off the ride cause this stuff here, well, it's getting old and we're getting tired.

As I mentioned before, RE#4 is technically RE#2, but he wasn't there when I was doing our IUIs. However he is out of the same office, so it was bizarre to come back and recognize all the faces, faces I was sure I would never see again. But boy am I in a VERY different place than I was the last time I was there. They asked and I told them. Yes, I have a son. He's three. And he's amazing. And being in this spot right here and right now takes me back and makes me that much more grateful, if that's even possible. I remember where I was a little over 4 years ago. It was the last time I sat in that waiting room chair. It had been a year of constant treatment, loss, failure, and heartache. I walked away in pieces. Hope was so much harder to gather. And the more we talked yesterday, the more I recognized how superb lady luck had been to me since then, especially given all that was standing in our way.

And then I laid it out on the line. I made my agenda transparent because obviously that sales pitch I launched a little over a week ago with the OB/GYN didn't work, so I tried straight up honesty. I explained that I was considering both clinics, but in the very least, I was looking for a second opinion. I wanted it straight, from someone who had no incentive to get my patronage (I actually said this). He explained (as I knew) that both clinic's success rates were almost identical and that both were excellent. He, however, was different in that he would receive a paycheck at the end of the day regardless of how many patients he brought in. His honesty was nice and welcomed. So, with the being said, I wondered aloud, am I wasting my time even considering IVF here?

According to RE #4, IVF is not out of the realm of possibility, but it will take A LOT of drugs. My FSH is borderline (while my AMH is hovering around 'fine'). But even 4 years ago I took more stims than you would expect for a 30-year-old. This part was nothing new. He continued and said that for all intents and purposes, I have a 75% implantation rate. 3 of 4 of my embryos stuck around, one as a vanishing twin, one as an early loss, and one for 40+ weeks who is now a living and breathing child. Per this guy, that's better than average. But consider this- I also have virtually the same miscarriage rate as implantation. In fact, he coded our appointment under RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss), which will save us a few bucks, but was eye opening. I mean, it's not like I didn't notice that I've had multiple miscarriages, but hey-that's where the issue mostly lies now-not as much in getting pregnant, but staying pregnant. I hadn't thought of it in that light.

I wondered aloud, have I left any stones unturned? (cue knowing smile from doc again) As RE #3 also noted a few months ago, no. In fact, RE#4 was surprised that I got the full RPL panel after my first miscarriage (I guess I had a better sales pitch back then). Thank God I did! I must have had some foresight. Based on our early testing, no genetic or immunolgical issues were found-nothing was out of the ordinary for either one of us. But still, he wondered, there must be something genetic. Now, genetic issues could have very well been sheer crappy, crappy luck. A big percentage of embryos are chromosomally abnormal, hence the 25% miscarriage rate in all pregnancies. And I fully understand that you could throw test after test at us for years on end and never discover what it is, but I've always felt--always, that there was something more, that MFI didn't explain everything. For once I heard someone say it out loud. (in fact, he didn't think that our MFI was all that significant in explaining our IF-at least from a treatment/miscarriage standpoint. IVF is the great equalizer for that, I suppose.)

He suggested that we consider PGS. Unlike PGD where a known genetic issue is tested, PGS is a general screening for chromosomal abnormalities. We didn't get a chance to talk at length about it, but I've since looked into this. I could write many blogs about my findings and feelings on the matter, but at this point (and based on studies that don't necessarily find the screening to increase live birth rates as well as lower than wonderful accuracy rates), we're leaning away from this for now.

So, we've met with RE#4. He seems like a nice guy, a good doctor, but I felt that he evened the score even more. I could go either way at this point, but I'm feeling like (as he mentioned) continuity of care wins here. So, RE#3, let's have our last go around. Soon, it will be time.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Post in Which I Barf Stream-of-Consciousness (and over-analyze dragging my feet)

If you must know, I am stuffing my face full of ridiculously pungent and overpriced cheese as I type this (literally, I have one hand typing, another shoveling).  And that's just one handy tool I have in the box of self destruction I use to handle life. I also have a bottle of wine and bitching, best used together. Sometimes I have self pity, jealousy and sitting immobile for hours on end while I stare into a computer screen. I'm not sure it's what the folks over at W.eight W.atchers had in mind, but for the moment, it's getting me through.

So, yeah, I've totally fallen off the wagon. I was doing really well with the weight loss thing for a short time. In fact, I might have been doing too well. I had dropped 7 pounds in 2 weeks (not nearly what I had gained in the solitary month of December), but I think I wasn't in the place to maintain starvation-mode so I dove head-first off WW and into things like chocolate macadamia nuts and stinky cheese. I can't say I'm incredibly proud of myself at the moment.

Although it was never suggested by my RE to lose weight (but really need to), our cycle was the main catalyst prompting me into that one (and only) WW meeting. It was run by two nauseatingly bubbly women who were obviously drinking the koolaid and I wasn't sure I could stomach that every week, so I never returned. And then I started to question: is losing weight right before a cycle really a good thing? I mean, we've all heard about the body shutting reproduction down when times get too lean (in fact, I have a personal story to this effect). I guess this wouldn't have been a question had I approached it with more moderation, but obviously this reasoning was actually my attempts to find an excuse to abandon my post. And abandon my post I did. It began with a bowl (and I mean BOWL) of guacamole and descended from there.  I'm just wondering how I'm going to have the emotional restraint to put the breaks on this descent.

Because that's exactly what it is. Emotional.  I am an emotional eater. You can always tell when things are really tough for me by the numbers on my scale.  And then part of me questions just how badly I really want this cycle. Am I sabotaging my chances by binge eating? Is this actually an expression of my ambivalence of going into the cycle at all? I know I will not go forward unless I have uncovered every stone because, from where I sit, this is it. The last chance, the ultimate gamble. If I don't do acupuncture or am a handful of pounds bigger than what I think I should be (or other factors in my control), I don't know that I will have enough peace of mind to go forward. That means that with every bite of stinky cheese, I am that much farther away from the cycle. As far as I'm concerned, I am making the choice to keep moving that date out. But is it really that simple? And am I really doing it all that consciously?

I think I am scared of the day when this cycle comes to be. Not because I fear the cycle itself, but because this is it. All hope will either blossom or end there. With our FET, I talked about the frozens as being suspended possibilities. For 3 1/2 years I held onto them and just like that, whatever future they might have promised was gone. But for those 3 years I drove past my clinic's exit with the secret hope in my heart that my child or children were waiting to be realized and in what seemed the blink of an eye, that long-held hope was gone. But I knew at the end that there was more possibility to see another miracle happen. This is different. There likely will never be another chance after this. So much weight on one moment in time. And it really is just one moment. A moment alone with the E.PT. A call from the doctor. All of it, your heart suspended for so, so long, hanging on just tiny seconds. I almost don't want them to come.

And then, at the same time, I want it to be over with. I want to live my life again. I want to grieve or celebrate, whichever is meant to be. I want this hell of infertility to be more subdued because right now it's tearing me to pieces again. I had a reprieve with the pregnancy and birth of my son, one in which I was ready to wear the "I kicked inferility's ass" t-shirt loud and proud, until I realized I actually hadn't. Not yet. As long as I still had a bone to pick with IF, as long as I wanted to still add to my family, then the fight was still on. For a little while I got a chance to step outside of the ring, but here I am again, bloodied and bruised. I'm certainly in better shape than I was before I had G, but in a way this one took me by more of a surprise because of an unspoken message that once you have a baby, IF rolls off your back like rain. Not so. I was broad-sided this time, not expecting the punch to the gut with all of the recent pregnancy announcements because they certainly hadn't smarted nearly as much when G was in his infancy.

I've come a long way since we first were diagnosed and yet years of processing and even one child later and I am surprised to find that IF is still not something that my 'veteran' status can easily handle.

PS. The stinky cheese was uh-mazing.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

ICLW February 2013

It's probably been literal years since I participated in ICLW, but here I am! Thanks for stopping by! As per the typical IF blogger format, my long and ongoing IF journey can be found on the right hand sidebar, but beyond that my previous year has been a bit challenging with the loss of my mother and our second miscarriage in October.

We have one beautiful three-year-old son via IVF/ICSI and are considering pursuing one last IVF to add to our family in the next few months, except we're well aware of the uphill battle it will be considering we face both MFI and borderline FSH. We have also strongly considered open domestic adoption and may pursue this once we feel we are 'done' with treatment and have somehow recouped our $$.

This space is where I moan and complain about the ridiculous costs of treatment and various other life circumstances. Welcome!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Without Her Still

There is this saying (which I'm probably wildly misquoting) that the lead-up to a loss anniversary is much worse than the actual day of. God, I hope that's true because this lead up is torture.  I can feel it looming over me like a shadow as the sky keeps growing darker with every day that pushes me toward it.

Saturday, February 24th, my Dad will have been gone for three years.

The following Saturday, March 2nd, my Mom will have been gone one year. An entire year. 365 days, 12 months since I last heard her voice. I used to count her absence in days, then weeks, then months. Now is where I begin to count it in years. Just that word, YEARS, arrests in my chest, makes me cough on almost-sobs.

As you can imagine, the end of February/beginning of March will never be the same for me.

They say it will get easier with time and while this is supposed to be of comfort, part of me fears that. Easier means farther away. Does this mean I will have forgotten her voice, her face, her words to me? It will only sting less because my memory will have faultered at that point. The bad will be lessened. The cold drifiting through the open sliding glass door as I held her hand in those last few lonely moments will be dulled. That I will be grateful for. But at the same time, this means that the feeling of a mother's embrace will be that much less present in me.  So, for that, I don't long for easier. 

I dread this year anniversary, too in that I have wracked my brain for something that is a worthy way in which to remember her. I can't find anything and I'm desperate.  At first, we planned to go to Vegas (she loved Vegas). But then the reality of the cost of treatment and my Mother's ever-frugal voice of reason ringing through my brain changed that. I knew I wanted to plan something, so we decided on a weekend away in San Francisco just to occupy my mind. Logistically and financially, it made sense. But then I was reminded that my Mom didn't even like San Francisco. Grief is leaving me completely uncreative, but with an incredible need to mark this day, one of the most instrumental of my life, and above all, remember her.  March 2nd will never be 'just a day' for me. Never.

In fact, I'm so fearful of this date that I don't know who I'll be on March 3rd. Sounds crazy, right? I'm sure that life will go on, that this one particular day will not change me anymore than any other day (especially the original March 2nd), but to be that much farther away from her is too much for my brain to comprehend. Geez, I'm sounding melodramatic. It's kind of like infertility. You write the words to your pain and they sound completely understated and yet so melodramatic they could end up in a crappy YA romance novel.  And unless you've walked there, descriptions will always fall short. They'll always be simultaneously too much and too little.

I suppose when March 2nd comes I could share a few pictures, tell a few stories, but the truth is, not a lot of people really knew my Mom, so I'm not sure how much I care to do that. And my Mom was a private person, so I don't think she'd care for that, either. I've had necklaces made, and her pictures line the walls of my house but I have no gravesite to visit, no place to leave trinkets. I do have a journal to her, so I know I will open that. As I search for something, I'm beginning to realize that no matter how I plan to remember her, it will not be enough. The enormity of her loss will not be made right with trips or fireworks or trinkets or even a gravesite to visit. She will still be gone and nothing will change. Yes, that it what I fear the most. That I know exactly who I'll be on March 3rd. I will be the same as I am today and as I was on March 3rd of last year. I will be without her still.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

RE#3 VS RE#4 and...Gambling Sucks

Well, no dice. I was never meant to be in sales, so all efforts to convince the OB/GYN (who I am not thrilled about, which may or may not be related to the outcome of my efforts) that I need a saline ultrasound for non-IF purposes were for naught. As my three-year-old would say, "that's a bummer."

I couldn't exactly lie about the fact that we are infertile (especially since we went through this HMO for 6/7 of our IUIs, so it's right there in the file) nor could I lie about the fact that I've never had any uterine/tube issues, so she concluded that the bleeding/pain wasn't anything to really write home about from a non-IF standpoint and that if there was anything that would interfere with treatment, my RE would catch it. In fact, she indicated that the change in my cycle was likely due to 'hormonal issues' that happen to women in their 30's and 40's. I believe she even used the term 'as you get older'. Look, I would've taken this from most medical providers (I'm not immune to the fact that I am, from a reproductive standpoint, definitely getting 'older') but this doctor's delivery kind of sucked. Add in the fact that she didn't look a day over 29 and I can assure you that her words were not entirely well-received.

*sigh* That was a wasted office fee.  At least I know that I don't like her. And that I miss my old OB/GYN, who is no longer available to me because of insurance. He was a rockstar. First world problems, eh?

Anyhow, Mr. S went in for an SA last week (everything looks almost identical to previous SAs) and I will be doing my CD2 lab workup sometime in the next weekend. This doesn't mean we'll be heading toward a cycle anytime soon, per say. We still have stuff to sort out-financially and otherwise. Because of our Cadillac version of treatment (including saline ultrasound, labs, ICSI, PICSI, and lots of meds for high FSH), we're looking a $20,000 bill square in the face. I know I've already complained about this at length, but this is not something that escapes my feelings about this cycle for a second (if we choose to pursue it).

It seems like the financial piece of this is so rarely talked about in IF land. Is it because everyone that I know/read about has unlimited money and/or coverage? Or is it in poor form to discuss money at all? I figure if you know about how much my uterus sheds during mestruation than the status of my bank account isn't too far off. And even if I don't discuss the ins-and-outs of my personal finances, how is it nothing to mention dropping 20 grand on a one-shot 30% chance (at best)? I'm not even sure high rollers in Vegas are that ballsy. One shot. Seriously. That's what you get. And believe me when I say, I have never been a gambler, so this is not thrilling to me. (if I 'win', yes, that will be thrilling, otherwise, no--not thrilling)

I am meeting with RE #4 next week. Well, I guess in the most technical sense, they could be considered RE #2 as they are out of the same office where I did my IUIs, but I only met with nurse practitioners back then (WAAAY back when) so I consider this guy to be 'possible' RE #4. I don't know if he's a keeper yet. I know that's a lot of REs and I look like a fertility-challenged commitmen-phobe here. You see, I love my RE #3, but there's a few reasons why I'm considering switching:

1. Re #4 (who does work from the doc-in-the-box HMO) has the second highest success rates in the SF Bay Area, higher than RE #3. Considering this is a big place with a lot of clinics, there's something to be said for that. Apparantly, their embryologists are top notch (one of whom is my massage therapist's daughter-totally random) and they just received an award, beating out RE#3.
2. They are about $1500 cheaper overall when compared to RE#3. That's not a lot when you're talking $20,000, but it's something.
3. Not that I think RE#3 is 'lying' to me, but their clinic is privately run and so they have a stake in getting more clientele. They are 'for profit' while RE#4 is part of a larger network who is not, so I'm feeling like he's going to give it to me straight without any push to get more business. And in the very least, I feel that their second opinion might give me some direction and peace of mind.

There's also a few reasons why I wouldn't consider switching:

1. RE#3 historically gives me a lot of sample meds, which saves me a ton of money. They're already offering up some for my cycle, which means it's likely the $1500 cost savings would even out. Maybe the other clinic would too, but I don't know that yet.
2. RE#3 has great success rates, too. I believe they're #3 in the Bay Area.
3. Continuity of care. They know me. Well. Too well.
4. RE#3 gets back to me in 20-30 minutes if they're not immediately available. The doctors deliver all news (Betas, even labs) and they do it on a very predictable schedule. They coddle, so there's this mental health/comfort piece to it that I would be giving up. You're lucky to get a call back from RE#4 within a few days. Maybe that's different when you're cycling, but I think it's a bad sign up-front when a possible patient says they are considering cycling and it takes you that long to respond.

So, I know success rates and money are not the only factors. It's likely it will all even out in the end, but it's totally worth the appointment fee just to explore it. In the mean time, I have to collect all of my RE#3 records and bring them to my RE#4 appointment next Monday. Anyone have a flat bed truck I can borrow? :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Post in Which I Over-share About my Menstrual Cycle (which is why we're all here anyway, right?)

Of all the crap IF has rained down on me, one thing I have always escaped is really awful periods. It's a rare cycle when I even ponder reaching for the tylenol, and the flow (this is where the over-sharing steps in) is always reasonable (from my perspective). I have found, though, that with every pregnancy, of which there have been three (only one lasting beyond a handful of weeks), comes changes in my cycle. There have always been extra-added 'bonuses', if you will, that make my periods just a tiny bit more potent.

That is, until this last pregnancy. The 'bonuses' during, and now after have multiplied tenfold, with nothing to show for but a beyond painful period. And the the flow is out-of-control. Folks, I'm thinking about getting stock in T.ampex now. What the hay?? It's been 4 months since my D&C and holy hell has my body felt it! Anyone well-versed in IF would automatically suggest: straight to saline sonogram with you! My RE of course requires it given the changes since my frozen, but the question is not whether I'll do it, but who will do it. You see, my insurance not only does not cover a red cent of IF treatment or diagnosis, but if I choose to abandon RE #3 and use them as RE #4, they'll still not count any of our treatment towards our outrageously high deductible (yup, not a dime of $18,000 applied), unless something like a saline sonogram were ordered by an OB/GYN for gynecological purposes.

So, on that note, do OB/GYNs even order saline sonograms for menstrual pain? (or worse, HSGs?) I'm about to find out tomorrow. I'd love to see how far my powers of persuasion go without making it completely obvious what my ultimate goal actually is, which is to get something from this process to count towards the deductible. It probably won't save me much in the end, but it's the principle of the matter. Seriously. Damn the man. Damn the man and his zero IVF coverage!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Where Am I Going? Heck if I know...

I'm a crazy person. Maybe not in the strictest clinical sense (although that too could be open to interpretation), but I'm definitely toeing the line of some interesting behavior lately.

I have about 5 different posts in draft form right now. I'm on a blogging binge, but I think my (undiagnosed, no, make that self-diagnosed) ADD is leaking out a bit. I get like this every once in a while (blogging like mad, but not landing on any one topic long enough to complete a thought or being completely indecisive) and I know exactly why this is. I am stuck in a deep mud pit in IF land trying to spin my way out. The only method I know to use for this is to process my ever-muddled thoughts here. This is my safe place, the place where I can lay a little bit of my crazy down. Thanks for that, fellow bloggers!

My thoughts have been scattered lately as I have so much going on, but at the heart of this is that I've been dragging my feet on this IVF matter. At first, right after our miscarriage, I thought I was done with treatment. No, I was sure I was done with treatment (besides something nagging in the back of my mind). I was nearly cutting a check to the adoption agency when I changed my mind on the spot and decided to give IVF another chance. Based on earlier posts, it seemed my mind was made up, right? IVF all the way, baby!! Except that now, I just can't stomach pouring that much money into a pipe dream.

I want a second child. I do. And if I could have made them show up yesterday, I would have. So, this is not my hang up. I will have another. I am a woman determined. But how??

You see, it's that goddamn financial infertility that can really define the path we take. I hate that because honestly, if money were no object, I'd be doped up on lupron as we speak, with one foot also in the adoption agency's door. Alone, IVF or adoption are both a financial stretch for us. As soon as one or the other is done, the other option is wiped off the table, too. We'll be stopped on a dime (probably quite literally). If we give birth to or adopt a baby, we'll probably be in the backyard right before they're born trying to construct a crib out of leftover twigs from our dying tree. (OK, maybe it won't be THAT bad, but in my mind's eye it feels like it will be)

With that said, some people would think we were freakin' bonkers for ever entertaining the notion of throwing that cash down. Hell, I think I'm nuts for doing it. But those people have never experienced what that kind of cash can bring. I spent far more than this in my pursuit of G and I don't regret it...AT ALL. But there's also the idea that I'm stealing from Peter to pay Paul, except that Peter is an actual child (my child, whose name is consequently not Peter) and Paul is just some fantasy child that does not yet, and might not ever, exist. I feel guilty. I mean, it's not like we'll be without a house or food or anything like that. All that will be gone will be a nest egg that provides a security we should probably have as responsible adults, but we are now responsible adults with a child. That's different. It was easier to drop a paycheck on meds back when all it affected was us.

I keep trying to repeat to myself (as I said to Mr. S last summer in my efforts to convince him to do an FET): "We have all our lives to make money but our only opportunity to make a baby is now."

And it's true. Any RE would agree that my time, well, it's pretty much up. It's time to s* or get off the pot (my Dad's expression-he was a poet, as you can see). And my Mom left me money to do just this: have another. But why can't I convince myself to move forward in either direction? It's no wonder I can't decide the simplest of things, like which blog entry to finish. I can't even figure out which direction my life is going right now.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Great Divide Between IFers and Parenting IFers

Once upon a time, there was an infertile girl who wanted to find other infertile girls, cause ya know, sometimes being infertile together makes it suck just a little bit less. Anyway, this infertile girl emailed the group leader of a local support group. In the email, infertile girl thought it might be helpful to slip in that she has a son who was born by way of IVF, but was looking for support as she embarked on the daunting process again. She was very excited to receive an immediate reply and was ready to get her childcare in order for the Tuesday night meeting until she read the email. You see, apparantly, according to the group leader, infertile girl did not belong. While those weren't the specific words the leader used, the suggestion in the email for infertile girl to start her own secondary infertility support group instead was clear enough.

Just in case you were wondering, I'm the infertile girl.

This whole thing went down last year and I've been on that support group's email list since (and yes, this was through RESOLVE). I still see their group emails every other week and I've read announcement after announcement of group members who become pregnant and immediately bid farewell to everyone...for good. Look, I totally agree that it is bad form to show up to an infertility support group with a big, pregnant belly, but somehow I think that the message 'you are no longer welcome as soon as you get that first positive beta' is being fed to these members, based on my previous encounter.  Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the tone of the emails I've seen.

Because, somehow, becoming pregnant and having a child makes you a pariah to some in the IF community and that, my friends, is just sad. I've not lost complete sight of the stabbing pain I felt (and still feel) when someone announces their pregnancy (even if it is hardwon). It's a real thing and should be treated respectfully, but what message is this group sending to their IF sisters? We will support you as long as you are not successful? Instead of fair-weather friends, we will only be your bad weather friends? You must trade community and friendship for your heart's desire?

Pardon me while I get out my tiny violin, but sometimes the isolation that comes from 'crossing over' seems to be just a continuance of the isolation you felt from being infertile to begin with. And I fear that parts of our community are just pushing that cycle on.

I guess I'm guilty in a sense. There have been a number of blogs that I've followed for YEARS who became pregnant recently, many of them naturally with their second. And quite frankly, I just had to stop reading. It hurt too much. It was what I wanted and was denied. But while I would distance myself in person if we were friends in 'real life' to an extent, I'm not sure I would ever deny them community in the form of a support group. If they felt the need to seek our support, even after having their kids, I would never turn them away because IF is never cured, at least not emotionally. The scars run deep, so no matter where you are, if you need someone who 'gets' that, come back. I might feel a pang of jealousy as I glance at you from across the group, but I won't deny you entrance here. This IF community should be a place of healing, above all else.  Let's not be our own worst enemies.

I suppose I was a bit spoiled. I had and still have a real-life group of IF sisters who handled our pregnancies with incredible grace. And I say 'our' as there were four of us who got pregnant all at once. Can you imagine what that does to the dynamics of an IF group? Four pregnancies at once? (seriously, our betas were just a few weeks from each other's) In many cases, the group would likely fall apart. Well, it changed, but I can't say for the worse. In fact, we are all closer today than we were back then.  It was always due to a delicate balance of sensitivity-the workings of true friendship. In fact, I think that's all dealing with IF appropriately is-learning how truly to be a friend. I never expected any one of them to become intimately involved in the details of my pregnancy or baby unless they so wished. And they never denied me friendship because of it. And quite frankly, if they had turned their backs on me because I had G, I would've been lost.

I so wish that the IF community as a whole could function like that. And maybe we do, but it concerns me when groups like the one I reached out to feel the need to become exclusive. This IF stuff looks different for each and every one of us, but make no mistake. It always sucks.