Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The New Back Seat

My husband and I finally decided that it was time to put his 1997 Toyota Avalon out to pasture.  We had been warned about a year earlier that the breaks wouldn't take a long road trips (apparently stopping on short journeys was still ok).  The rear suspension was gone.  The car was getting rusty.  We had put off the upgrade because at least the Avalon was paid off, we didn't really need any new expenses with the possibility of fertility treatments breathing down our infertile necks.  Finally we broke down.

The Avalon was a pretty luxurious car with a huge back seat.  So big that it led one friend of ours to lie in the back seat with her arms and legs in the air and pronounce that  this would be a great back seat for having sex.  It was so roomy.

Strangely, i never though of that car as a good car for a family.  Possibly because the image of my girlfriend with her legs akimbo and her panties flashing at me turned that car into a sudden symbol of depravity, or maybe just because the seats always seemed too big... it never seemed like the kind of car that should hold car seats.

 My husband commutes nearly an hour to work every day each direction, i commute 15 minutes.  My car is a little tiny Yaris which is not comfortable to drive in for any period of time, but is fantastically fuel efficient.  I have used every trick in my power to get my husband to drive the Yaris as much as possible so we can save to pay off bills and put some money aside.

Part of the plan in trading in the Avalon originally was to find a car that my husband would willingly drive but was more fuel efficient.  The selection of a new car was protracted. My husband finally decide on Honda CR-V.

"It'll be great for when we have kids", he told me.

"But you realize it isn't more fuel efficient" I responded. "I'm still going to try to trick you into driving the Yaris."

So back to the drawing board, more searching and researching and reading of reviews.  He finally decided on a 2009 Hyundai Sonata.  We found one at the first dealership we went to, a standard transmission to boot, making it a fantastic deal.

The first time I looked into our new back seat I realized this was a back seat I could picture putting car seats in.  Every time I drive the car I look back, and think of what this back seat is going to see.  Hopefully it will be the site of sibling rivalries and fights and "she touched me!" being yelled at us. I can't wait to fill that back seat.

Monday, 29 April 2013

The most powerful words are: Me Too.

This past week I participated in a fabulous thing called International Comment Leaving Week.  A great even sponsored by Stirrup Queens.  I love this idea because it is all about getting us to connect in what is a normally very solitary event...writing my blog, usually in my office or basement when I'm by myself.

I started my blog because I needed to connect with people.  And my first comment excited me because it meant someone, ANYONE!! actually read my blog.  And having gone through my first ICLW I was thrilled with the opportunity to read and discover so many new blogs and new people.  I was confronted with new thoughts and new information.  New ideas on how to build a family or what a blog means.

Each of us is on a difficulty journey.  There are many differences.  Some women use surrogates, some adoption, some egg donation, or they get pregnant all on their own in the middle of taking a break from IVF.  There are women who get pregnant without being in the same room as their husband when "it" happens.  T

It is filled with little moments of happiness, many moments of tears. There are women here with injectable drug habits in the thousands of dollars a month. The thing that each of us shares is the love and the longing for a child.

I noticed though as i read through so many wonderful stories of hope and work is the number of women who at some point say "Why... what did I do wrong... "  Every time I read this it breaks my heart.  It is usually following a failed IVF, or a miscarriage, it is at a time of incredible pain, and loss, and expense. 

I have a 9 year old nephew who like most kids says to me "That's not fair".  I agree with him.  And proceed to point out that if life was fair he wouldn't have a pool, or his own iPad.  If life was fair then he wouldn't have a family that takes him to Disney world 3 or 4 times a year. He wouldn't have video games and wouldn't have his own room.  I want him to realize that life being unfair has worked out in his favour.  But not because he is an extra special good kid.

I mean I love the kid, but he's devious, and he acts out and he can be a punk sometimes.  He tries to get out of chores.  He always tries to sneak in some extra videogame time when you aren't looking and is generally a... well... a kid.  And he just got lucky. 

By the same token I think of women who, like myself, are facing infertility.  But it isn't because you are bad.  Not for any of us.  It isn't because we have let down God, or didn't believe enough, or pushed Brittany in the sand box when we were just wee.  Not one of us knows  how awful infertility sucks just because we were bad people.  And yup... it is completely and totally unfair.  it sucks.  And it is awful and there are no words to describe how absolutely off -the-wall horrendous some days are.  There is a cost emotional, financial... well look at me preaching to the choir... this is what you live, and you live it every day.

I don't believe in platitudes... i think i've said this before.  Don't tell me that God is not giving me more than I can handle,  Don't say just relax and it will happen.  I don't believe that it will happen when it is meant to happen.

But I also don't believe it is my fault.  Or my husband's fault.  Or your fault.

I believe that the world is random.  Ass holes will win the lottery.  People will lie to get their own way.  Good people get Cancer. Wonderful mothers-to-be are sitting out there wondering when it will be their chance to get pregnant.

Sometimes I feel like if there is a plan for the universe then whoever drew it up has a wicked sense of humor.  I mean why else would there be pregnant bellies everywhere on my CD1?

I try very hard not to ask why or to look for reasons.  I try to remember that the universe is filled with random moments.  And that those random moments are filled with pain.  And then, when you least expect it those random moments will be filled with joy.  But not because I paid my for my sins.  Just because that is the nature of random events. 

I want to share this Ted Talk.  It has one of the most powerful endings and seems on point:  If you douse shame with empathy it can not survive.  The two most powerful words when we are in struggle are "me too".  

And that is why blogging works.  Because we find a community filled with empathy.  And hopefully we can stop blaming ourselves.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Couples Therapy

I love my husband.  He is the person that I look for when i have news - good or bad.  He is the arms I want to cry in.  He is the chest I want to curl up against.  He is my pillow.  He is my security blanket.  He is my source of strength.   He is my everything.

He loves me.  He laughs at my jokes.  He pulls me into his arms.  He showers me in kisses.  He nibbles on my ears.  He calls me his little lunatic - which to me is the most wonderfully romantic thing he can say, and it is all in the way he says it.

Still... I have to face up to the fact that it is time for us to talk to someone else.

When I first met my husband he was in therapy.  He had been in therapy for over a decade.  He had a difficult childhood and spent most of his adult life processing those facts.  He is not good at expressing himself.  He is learning to communicate.

Before me he was alone, mostly by choice although he made that choice unconsciously.  He tried to push me away for many years before he finally succumbed to my charms.  In the year that we have been married he has gone off antidepressants, he has stopped seeing his therapist, he has made huge progress that he is proud of.

But lately I've been seeing the signs that make me think we need to bring in some big guns.  I suspect the infertility is at the heart of it.  He wants to make me happy and doesn't know how to give me the baby we want.  He took a week vacation.  A week later he called in sick.  This week he called in sick again.  He is starting to get blue, and I need to find him the help he needs before it gets worse.

We are both struggling with the negative HPT's every cycle, the fear that we will never get there.  He is having trouble watching me deal with my father's illness.  He hates hospitals and it stresses him out to visit.  I don't know how to get him to talk to me about what he's feeling, maybe because he his trying to be strong for me.  But we definitely need some help so we can keep being strong for each other.

I feel like it is admitting failure in our beautiful love story that we can't navigate all of the paths alone, we aren't fighting really, but I don't want to start.  In my clear mind I know this is prophylactic, preventative so that we can learn to talk to each other.  But I will always wish it wasn't necessary. 

Friday, 26 April 2013

Sigh. Oh Daddy.

My Mom called.  She was back at the emergency room last night with my father at 11:30 pm.  He was admitted 3 hours later.  Although only days ago he was so dehydrated, he now has to be given water pills to get some of the water out of his system.  His belly is swollen and distended.  He was in such pain he couldn't sleep anymore.

Part of the problem is that he doesn't seem to be able to regulate his electrolytes anymore.  His kidneys, both of which had the original cancer, are frail from having been cut down to size to remove any trace of the tumor.  They don't seem to be functioning the way they should.

I hate this, that he's suffering again.  Back to the hospital with the Acute Care of the Elderly ward on one side and the mother and baby ward on the other, and the elevator ride down 17 floors separating them.

But, I also hate the idea of his cancer lingering on, weakening his bones until they snap every time he sneezes.  I hate the idea of keeping him alive another year if that year is spent in agony.

"Don't tell the kids" he admonishes my mother.  "Tell them I went to hike the Bruce Trail."  The Bruce Trail, up and down the Niagara escarpment was a passion of his, he had a goal to walk every kilometer of that path.  Now the wilderness and beauty of the trail represent tripping hazards and threats to his safety.  He will never hike the Bruce Trail again. 

My father doesn't want to worry us.  He doesn't want us to replace the childhood memories of him teaching us to read with the adult memories of watching him suffer.  And people will give you the platitudes.  I fucking hate platitudes.  "Just spend as much time as you can" they will say.  But those people don't understand that this isn't what my father wants.  He doesn't want to see us when he is ill or weak or frail.  He fears that very new encounter will supplant a memory from our childhood.  That memories of home and safety are being erode in the wake of memories of hospitals and illness. 

It is a fine line that we walk as we accompany a loved one on their final steps.  His final weeks or months on this earth will be pockmarked with indignities and loss of power.  He wants comfort and yet the instinct as a parent is to comfort in return.  To protect his children from the pain he is going through, to tell us that everything will be okay.  That Daddy will fix it.

The truth is that Daddy can't fix this.   And neither can I.  And so we sit.  Helpless at your bedside.  Watching shift after shift of bubbly nurses do what I can't.  Bring you some relief from your pain. 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

My ICLW introduction post 4 days late (just like i wish my period was)

This week I am participating in International Comment Leaving Week for the first time.  I am new to blogging and this week has been amazing to get to read so many other peoples journeys.  Each of us is at different places and have different struggles.  I have found some incredible new blogs to read and have read parts of each and everyone one on the list so far.

This has, however, made me realize that I FAILED EPICALLY because it seems that it would have been nice to take the time to actually introduce myself to anyone stopping by for the first time.

We are at the start of our journey.  We have been TTC for 13 heartbreaking months.  For my 39th birthday we got the gift we were waiting for. 

You know that really irritating home pregnancy test commercial that starts "Don't you wish you could know you are pregnant as soon as it happens?"  Well I did.  On my 39th birthday I had the most vicious awful cramps.  I had some light bleeding.  It was all exactly 7 days post ovulation.  Then the bleeding stopped.  I felt every single symptom I should.  I just KNEW I was pregnant.

When I finally took a home pregnancy test 6 days later, 1 day before my period my husband actually NODDED AT ME AND WENT BACK TO READING HIS BOOK.  Because as far as he was concerned, we had known for a week already, he couldn't understand why I was telling him again. 

That was my momentous reveal.  

We are no longer pregnant.  But he has learned that if we ever get pregnant again that nodding is not an acceptable response.

My husband and I are older, I am still 39 for a few months, my husband is 44.  We are aware of the constantly ticking clock.  Our time is passing.  We found each other late in life and have been married less than a year.  We both want children.  We hope that we will be one of the lucky ones.

We have consulted with an RE but because i did get pregnant within 6 months of trying she wants so to try for a minimum of another 7 cycles after the miscarriage before we start anything more  intensive.  We are in the middle of cycle 5.  Our next appointment with the RE is at the end of July. 

Our fertility struggles are complicated by my diagnosis and treatment for adrenal Cushing's and now it looks like hypothyroidism. 

Currently we share our home with a small black cat who begrudgingly allows us to use the bedroom between 11pm and 7am... but going to bed early or waking up late results in caterwauling like you wouldn't believe.    

So, that is my introduction, my story in a nutshell.    Thank you to everyone for sharing your stories with me.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Empty Circle means empty uterus

When i was responding to comments on my blog yesterday I was struck by two comments...  one person suggested that the circle was a fill in the blank... leaving us to put our own emotions on the lack of ovulation.  Another suggested that it was because it best expresses how you feel with negative test after negative test... that empty feeling inside.  As a result all I can think now is that the emptiness of that circle will lead to another emptiness in two weeks time.

Despite the continuing negative tests and the absolute lack of a faint line at all on any ovulation test at all I am playing the second guessing game:

1) did i miss it?
2) is it going to happen late?
3) did it happen early?
4) maybe I didn't do it right?
5) my boobs are sore, so I must have ovulated right?
6) my BBT is a little higher than normal but not as high as post ovulation - what could THAT mean?
7) maybe I am already pregnant, and what I thought was my period was actually just break through bleeding and i watched this show where this woman didn't know she was pregnant until she actually gave birth so it could totally happen even though there was a wand looking at my uterus on day 3 of this cycle and they took blood and they saw follicles growing for my next cycle... it could still happen right?

I sometimes wonder if delusions is a symptom of infertility.  I so desperately want to be pregnant that I am willing to play mind games and engage in a complete suspension of disbelief.  But, I should probably accept the reality... this is not going to be my month.  But, to be honest, I'm still going to play the maybe it happened game.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Happy Face and Sad Face

Cycle Day 19, for me, usually the day that I get that digital happy face on my ovulation prediction kit  but not today.  I am pretty sure that any of you who are also trying to conceive know exactly what I mean.  Clear Blue ovulation kits are brilliant because they give you a very clear indication of if you are ovulating or not.  A happy face means an LH surge, it means a reason for baby dancing and hope for the two week wait.

The makers of the kit were smart enough  not to actually use a sad face if you aren't ovulating, they just use an empty circle.  But it translates into a sad face anyway.  I am going to try again tonight.. but i am worried that I am not going to ovulate this month... (although, i think i worry about this every month, I could be just paranoid).

On a happier note, and a reason for a happy face, my father has been discharged from the hospital and is going home.  The medication that he is on to prevent metastases has a lot of side effects, he is on for 2 weeks and off for one week to let him recuperate.  This past week, his "good week" as he calls it he didn't recover at all and has spent 4 days in hospital... today he has to start the medication again.  I hope that they can adjust his medication enough that he isn't hospitalized again by the end of this two week period.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by from ICLW and who has sent me best wishes for my father.   It is so amazing to feel your kindness. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

The Doctor's Wife

We were visiting with my father yesterday in the hospital, sitting in the visitors lounge.  My sister was there, my mother, my husband and I.  My mom told him that my brother, the only one of us with children, would be stopping by later with the elder of his two sons.  My father's face lit up immediately.

There is no doubt in my mind as I watch my father's expression that this news, the impending visit by his wonderful, kind, funny, ADHD!!!  grandson was the best visitor he could possibly have.  My nephews don't know yet that my father is dying.  My brother and sister-in-law are working to protect the boys from this tragic news for as long as possible.  When C. arrived in the hospital he began to quiz my father for information.  "Why are you here, when did you start throwing up, did you eat something you shouldn't"  he's quite precocious for a 9 year old. 

The visit did something for my father.  He helped in healing in a way that our visit just couldn't...  But it also brought me to tears.  Even if I were to get pregnant this cycle... this very minute... there is a very good chance that my father will never meet our children.  No matter what our children will have no memory of him. 

My father is the man that I love to tease more than anyone else.  My favorite story is as follows:

My father had taken us skiing that day and on the ride home he began to experience chest pains.  It turns out that he had pulled a muscle in his chest, but at the time he thought that he was having a heart attack.  Despite that concern he drove 3 hours with his three children in the back.  When we got home my mother was livid for putting all our lives in danger... but she took him to the hospital.  There he went through triage.

"Name" said the nurse.
"Paul" he replied
"Doctor's name?" she asked
"Dr. Tan"
"Do you know his first name?"
My father barked back "no, I don't know his first name".
"Christopher" my mother supplied.
"Wife's name"asked the nurse.
"I don't know his name, why would i know his wife's name" came my father's incredulous response.
My mother looked at him.  Rolled her eyes and supplied her own name, "Jill".
My father looked at her... "How do you know his wife's name?"

That is my father.  To a T.  He is always on a different wave length from anyone else.  And I want for my children to meet him.  To sit in his lap and hear his stories first hand.  I sort of feel like they might not believe me if they don't get to see it for themselves.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Baby Dancing and Emergency Rooms

Oh what a weekend this has turned out to be... and not in a good way.

I had such high hopes for this weekend.  The little flower had appeared in my fertility calendar, signifying a weekend filled with long hours snuggling against my husband, dreaming about making our future family between bouts of baby dancing.

Unfortunately the world had other ideas.  My weekend started early, with a jolt, when my mother called me at work.  See, usually Friday nights belong to the in-laws.  They are conservative Jewish and we attend the Shabat dinner every Friday and out of respect I turn my phone off so that neither facebook nor text message should disturb the prayers.

"I'm with your dad at the emergency room.  You need to keep your phone with you tonight."

My husband and I rushed to my mothers side to see what was wrong with my father.  My father was diagnosed with clear cell renal carcinoma about 3 years ago.  He had a 1/3 of a kidney removed and we were told he would be fine.  A year and a half ago we learned it had metastasized to his bones and he and 1-3 years to live.  There was no chance of survival.

To date he has been in reasonably good health.  He is on a medication that costs $7000 per month to prevent further metastases.  He goes in to the hospital regularly to have his bones strengthened.  He has been doing okay until recently.  Now, the side effects of his medication are making him feel worse and worse and in recent days his health has declined quickly.  He has been vomiting for a week and has a partial bowel obstruction caused by inflammation in his colon.  His thyroid is being shut down.  His blood pressure is regularly in a dangerous zone.

It is hard to see... my father was a marathon runner, he was a world traveler, he was a writer and an archivist.  He taught me to read.  He made me laugh.  And now, today, I am going to visit him in the Acute Care for Elderly ward where he has become this frail sick man.  The hair he used to vainly comb in grocery store security mirrors is now snow white; the arms that used to carry me are painfully thin twigs that jut out from his hospital gown. 

In an especially ironic twist my father has been admitted to not only the same hospital where I hope one day to deliver my child, but the very same floor.  As we left yesterday there was a pre-birth tour just finishing and our elevator ride down all 17 floors made me feel like the only barren uterus in the world. 

We are off, back to the hospital.  Back to the expectant bellies and the ill father.  And when we get home we must baby dance... whether we feel like it or not.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Still surprising me

A few months ago we had dinner with a good friend of mine who is engaged and due to be married his summer.  Hers was a world wind courtship.  They were engaged after 3 and 1/2 months.  Thankfully the engagement period has lasted longer and allowed them to catch up to most couples in getting to know each other.  They will have been engaged for 18 months by the time they get married.

At the dinner my husband revealed something about himself that I didn't know... it was inconsequential really, a type of food he liked or a country he had visited... hardly earthshattering really in it's revelation.  My friend was suprised.  "Don't you know everything about each other yet?"  There was a certain condemnation in her words... like we don't talk enough to each other to get to know all of the details about each others lives.  I shrugged my shoulders "I hope I never do know everything".

I don't know about everyone else, but I really feel this way.  There's a certain joy in finding new things about the man I love.  Whether they be small and unimportant like a flavour of ice cream or even more significant i sort of love it.

My husband surprised me last night twice and it makes me love him even more.  I had written a post earlier this week about helicopter parents.  I had written the post because I wonder if i am going to end up like that, and I hope not.  I hope I will teach my children how to succeed and the consequences if they fail.  I think I am a better parent that way.  I was complaining to my husband about how much of my week had been consumed by the cleaning lady and her quest for graphs for her daughters math project and made him promise that we will never be like that.  This is where he surprised me:  "Actually, I've found a few articles I think we should read on raising children".  I was sort of floored.  I guess I expected that, like with our fertility treatments where i am the one taking the lead, understanding the tests, figuring out what the next step should be that parenting would be like that.  I had assumed that my husband was keen to "HAVE A BABY"... but maybe hadn't actually considered all of the implications straight through to raising a teenager.  But my husband is in it for the long haul.  He has ideas on family time, and homework and punishments and it was exciting for me to watch him unfold his parenting plan.

The second time my husband surprised me last night was for date night.  Thursday night is always date night and we decided to go see The Croods.  I didn't know what the movie was about but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  However, the movie made me cry.  My father is quite ill and watching the relationship between the father and the daughter made me reflect on the difficult relationship we have often had.  It isn't a surprise to my husband that I would cry.  I cry to express a lot of emotions.  When I passed my comprehensive exams for my PhD I cried so much my supervisor asked me if I understood that I had passed... but it was the only way I could express my relief! 

By contrast my husband has never cried, not since I have known him.  But he cried at The Croods.  If you are looking for a nice date night movie I recommend this... but bring tissues.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Social Ninja

I used to date this guy, many years ago, called Nick.  At the time I thought he would be the man that I would end up with.  We shared a dark sense of humor.  We are no longer in touch, and I am a bit sad for this, not because I have any romantic feelings or feelings of having missed my chance with him.  Just because he was a funny, smart, interesting person to count in my life.

Nick used to describe himself as a Social Ninja.  He was a bit...err... socially awkward and loved to make others around him feel as socially awkward as he did.  On more than one occasion, while at a party amid the laughter and the fun he would suddenly blurt out "My father died last year".  In fairness to Nick, his father had, in fact, died last year.  He wasn't lying or anything.  But it wasn't that he was suddenly overwhelmed by a need to be comforted.  He just loved to see the reaction when in middle of a night of fun and drinking people suddenly had to cope with an uncomfortable truth.  That every night isn't about fun and laughter.  That people do die.  And that life does suck sometimes.

I was thinking about Nick because I feel like I have become this same social ninja.  Although i my case it actually isn't because of a desire to make others feel uncomfortable, rather, it is simply because I am trying to protect myself.

I have been married for less than a year.  Nine months and 17 days to be exact.  But, those nine months have been among the last 9 months of my thirties and this information is not lost on anyone.  I have alluded briefly to the ongoing struggles with my in-laws who are hoping everyday that we make a pregnancy announcement.

My husband's cousin and his wife conceived within the first two months... her advice to me was to drink a bottle of wine and forget about it... (uh.. .yeah... thanks... tried that... come back when you have gone through a loss, when you have gone through months of negative tests... sorry, but you aren't an expert).

A very dear friend asked me at New Years why I wasn't drinking... "Are you pregnant?" she asked hopefully... i looked down and away and said no.

We have dinner nearly every Friday with my in-laws and I have been consuming less and less wine everytime...  but, still, there is always a small amount of wine in my glass as part of the prayers.

The day that we learned my hcg levels were dropping was a Friday.  We went to our dinner, tears held in check by sheer tenacity, and I was surrounded by the pregnant bellies of two in-laws.   We ate our meal, smiled artificial smiles.  We said nothing.  We got into our car and I cried the whole way home.  The next day the miscarriage started.  At the time I was determined to be stoic, to not tell anyone of our missed chance at a family.  Those days are gone. 

One night my in-laws seemed to think it was funny to chide me about not being pregnant yet by teasing me that I was drinking while I was 'pregnant'.  "I'm not pregnant".  But it stuck and became an in-joke.

Every week.  "She's pregnant!  What a bad mom stop drinking"  "I'm not." 
"She's pregnant!  You are so irresponsible drinking while you are pregnant"  "Please stop"
"She's pregnant!"

Then I lost it...
I became a social ninja and finally understood Nick.  "Stop it, stop.  It isn't funny.  It's hard and we've tried and you need to stop.  We've already lost one and it is worse when you laugh about it."

They have stopped teasing me, but the social ninja inside remains ever alert.  Now when someone tells me that my husband and I "need to get on with it" I tell them about my miscarriage.

My goal is to make them aware of how incredibly painful what they are saying is by making them feel uncomfortable.  Making them aware that if a couple doesn't have children they either don't want them or can't have them for some reason, and that this is not a topic of conversation for the casual acquaintance. 

It is not graceful or elegant... but then neither am I.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

To hunt or not to hunt that is the question

Job Hunt that is....

Let me begin by saying how much I LOVE my current job.  I adore it here.  I love my boss.  I love the support staff and coworkers.  I even love what I do.  It has been my dream come true ever since this job fell, quite literally, into my lap about 2 days before I was supposed to start looking for work.

My current boss is a contact from my last job.  A job that was a 4 hour commute (each way) from my home.  It was a commute I did on a weekly basis which meant that from 4am Monday morning until 4pm Friday night I didn't get to see my boyfriend cum fiance.  When we got engaged things started to get tough at my job.  They were pushing for me to move to the far away city and I flat out told them it would not happen.  My fiance had been in the same job for 24 years, a union job, good pay, excellent vacations and benefits, he was not going to start again.  And while I enjoyed many things about my last job the hours were not on the list.  When I left I was gifted with my overtime payout.  It equaled a month for every month I had been employed.  I worked a minimum of 70 hour weeks.  This I do not miss.

Unfortunately my current job is a contract that is going to expire at the end of July.  I know my boss likes me, but I also know that there are funding issues and cutbacks and all the rest.  I have to be realistic about the fact that he may not be able to keep me around.

Then there is the problem, the dream that so many of us face.  I am pretty sure, at some point, some how I have a chance of being pregnant.  There is that concern... how will it look if I find a new job and I get pregnant after only a few weeks?  What about the time I may need to take off for fertility treatments?  Is it fair to accept a job with the clear intention of trying to leave it almost immediately for a maternity leave?  It is entirely possible to blow off good reference and future employment possibilities this way.

It isn't that we can really afford for me not to work.  In fact I bring in a higher income than my husband does so he is not even completely sure I should get the maternity leave (in Canada this can be split by the parents - don't worry, he will be convinced otherwise... unless he is willing to try out breast feeding).  But there is this constant worry that if I do find a job, the next job and then get pregnant right away that there will be a lack of trust from my employer and create a difficult work environment.

We also can't afford to wait... even a month without trying.  I'm just getting too old... :( sad face.

I read a "Dear Abby" style column a few weeks back where an expectant father who was hoping to be offered a permanent contract should inform his current employer of his intention to take the parental leave before a contract was offered.  The advice was he needed to come clean with the employer so as to not put the employer in a difficult position.

In my mind this is poor advice.  If no offer is made then he has put himself at a disadvantage unfairly, perhaps jeopardizing the job offer.  I think he should wait until the offer is made and then inform his employer.  If the employer then rescinds the offer surely that is grounds for discrimination?  But having said that is it much harder for a woman to hide the fact that she is expecting a child and it is much easier for an employer to terminate a woman who is within her 6 month probationary period because of noticeably protruding belly.  He can easily dream up any excuse, in fact he doesn't even need an excuse just that she didn't "fit in".

So the question is... do I start looking for work?  Knowing Hoping that I will be pregnant soon.  Knowing that we need the money to bring our dream to fruition.  Knowing if I am not working it can interfere with my maternity leave.  In Canada we get 17 weeks of maternal leave at 55% pay and then 35 weeks of parental leave which can be taken by either parent.  HOWEVER, it seems that this is contingent upon having worked a certain number of weeks since the last unemployment insurance claim.

My best and most hopeful dream is that they offer me a job here, and it is permanent... and sure... throw in covered infertility costs as part of my benefits package... it is still just a dream after all.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Helicopters everywhere!

I often wonder if when I become a mother, what sort of Mother will I be.  The women who does the cleaning for our building has a teenaged daughter and the more I talk to her the clearer it becomes that she is a helicopter parents.  Today she is asking me for any sort of graphs, or figures that her daughter can use in a homework assignment.  The mother isn't really clear on the requirements for the assignment.  And she has been given multiple examples of graphs, but thinks that some of them are too complicated for her daughter.

I've suggested using The Google to find statistics on Justin Beiber (although most of them yield mocking statistics on Justin Beiber's ego or lyrics) that way she will be interested in actually doing her homework.  Seems to me that the cleaning woman is more concerned about getting her daughters work done that her daughter is.

The receptionist for my department has a son in university.  She spends most of her time worrying about whether he will get enough to eat, she reminds him to study for his exams.  She drives to pick him up on weekends.  She does his laundry.   She has found him a summer job. 

I worry about this.  As someone who may be limited to just one child, as someone who may be spending thousands upon thousands to make that child a reality, as someone who has built a lot of hopes and dreams into our future child will I be a helicopter parent? 

I have spoken with someone who works with students in a university and college situation and says the biggest problem they are facing today is that students don't know how to fail.  They are used to having their parents do their homework and tell them how and when to get their assignments done.  By the time students get to higher education they don't know how to do for themselves.

I was not raised by helicopter parents.  I found my own jobs.  I failed tests.  I ran up credit card debt and had to work and sacrifice to pay it off.  I paid for my own education.  Now, I am an obstinate, stubborn strong person... in both good ways and bad.  But I think a lot of my strength comes from being forced to find my own path and pay the consequences for my decisions.

I hope that my husband and I will be strong enough to resist the urge to be helicopter parents.  I hope that we will be able to resist doing everything for our child, but that we can still be close enough to protect them.  

I think it is a harder fight for me because of the struggles we are going through to conceive than it would be for someone that it happens easily for.  Then again, you look at the world today and it is easy to want to wrap your children in bubble wrap and keep them hidden from the evils of the world. 

My thoughts are with those in Boston.

Monday, 15 April 2013

A lesson in life

My husband is a bit of an introvert.  He is the sort of person who will go weeks or months or sometimes years without calling you.  He's not upset or mad... he's just content being by himself.  Things started to change when we were dating.  He would of course call me, I was working several hours away at the time and when i came back on weekends we retreated into our own little loved-up world.  We didn't see many of our friends during these days.

When we got engaged of course everything changed.  Friends demanded to meet the man I had chosen as a life partner.  His friends were the same.  But they didn't just want to meet me.  They wanted to vet me.  They had to make sure I was good enough for him.  My husband's friends were fiercely protective and fiercely loyal to him.  They had to make sure that I wasn't some awful person who was swooping in to pierce his vulnerable shell.

Fortunately for me, they approved.  Our wedding was allowed to proceed without protests.

Marrying my husband has allowed me to meet these fabulous people who cared so much for him that they wanted to protect him.  They have become close friends of my own and people who I admire and choose to have as my own friends, not just by association with my husband.

This weekend we hosted one couple in particular and she has reminded me how very fortunate I am in life, even though i feel lost without my own baby.  She has known my husband since she was about 8 and he was in his 20's.  He did work for her father designing computer programs to help his store.  She was pregnant when we got engaged and our wedding was inauspiciously close to her delivery date.  She gave birth 10 days before and brought her beautiful son to be our youngest guest at our wedding.  Of course by then she was already back working in the family business.

Within 6 months she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.  It had metastasized to her liver and to her spine. 

On Thursday of last week she finished her last dose of chemo.  This week she goes for a CT scan to reassess the state of the tumors.  Next week she undergoes a mastectomy.

She smiles without stopping.  She came to our house and played Kinnect adventures and Hole in the wall.  She jumps and jokes and plays.  She is amazing.  She reminds me that life is tough for everyone.  She continues to work in the family business 6 days a week, although she admits she takes off the day that she has chemo and the day after to recover.  Her energy is boundless and positive.  She is visualizing the cancer being beaten and all signs are pointing to that happening.

I feel inspired by her to indulge in self pity a little less.  To remember how grateful that I am that I have my wonderful husband, my home, my job, my health.  I will continue to want our baby.  But I am determined that this month, if it doesn't happen, I won't cry about it.  I will remember how lucky I am that this is the only battle I am fighting.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Money, Money, Money... it's a rich man's world

My husband and I never fight.... truly... never...  but tonight was a different story.  Money is of course foremost in our minds these days.  We have some debts of course... and they all stem to a single event. Our wedding.

Our wedding was beautiful.. complete with horse drawn carriage and a wedding by a pond.  But was this because I was a demanding diva from hell insisting on everything being perfect?  Uh.. not a chance.  I was pushing to elope but my husband needed a wedding.  See, he comes from a broken home, but not just a simple parents divorced kind of broken home... his mother left the communist country that they lived in and he didn't see or hear from her for a decade.

Finally, she sent for him.  He moved in.  She left again two weeks later leaving him with relatives in a country where he didn't speak the language.  A year later she sent for him again... this time to Canada.  His third country and third language in a year he moved to CAnada at the age of 13.  He didn't see or speak to his father for a decade.

My husband needed a white wedding, he needed his Norman Rockwell moment that was picture perfect and I needed to make that dream come true.  And we did.

We have different approaches to money.  Mine is a save now buy when we can afford it sort of approach while he believes very much that we can just put things on credit and pay them off one day.  So tonight it comes to a head.  I am insisting on living quite abstemiously and paying of our debt and starting to put money away for our fertility treatments in the months until we start.  My husband wants to go and buy things that aren't necessities.  Please, tell me we aren't the only ones who fight about money!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Sucked Dry.

So here I was thinking that by waiting for my second set of blood work and having that and my STD panel done at the same time I would be saving myself a prick. 


14 vials of blood and 5 bruises later i look like a hit and run victim.  My veins kept collapsing under the repeated requests for blood, and doing blood work with a migraine always gives me more bruises. 

Today's wardrobe is a long sleeves!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

A little grossness for your day

May I begin this post with:  EWWWWWWW

It's amazing the things you will read sometimes.  Believe me, when I clicked on this article I actually thought it was going to be cocktails I could give my husband to improve his semen for conception.  I expected it to have things like wheat grass and zinc and not... well... what it has.

I am home sick again today.  The weather here is giving me horrible migraines off and on.  I am trying not to take any drugs, but I will be happy when the storm system clears our area.  My husband has also taken today off sick.  For me being sick still means I have to get work done.  I'm currently on a contract and so I don't actually have things like sick days and vacation time.  But I do have a really fabulous boss and a very flexible work environment.  I am doing some research that I can do at home just as easily as in the office and it allows me to control the light better and lay down when my head gets especially bad.

My second set of blood work came yesterday so my darling husband and I may go out and get that done this afternoon.  I would rather get my TSH done right away just in case there is a problem.  I think that with having had an adrenal gland removed already I am more susceptible to things like Hashimoto's disease and hypothyroidism because my hormones are unbalanced and my poor right adrenal gland has to work all the time and never gets to take weekends off the way your adrenal gland does.  For me there is always the threat of adrenal insufficiency and death if i get run down.

We also have to have our communicable disease blood work done.  I am not concerned about this, i know we will both pass with flying colours, but does anyone know what happens to couples who have something like syphillis or hepC?  Are they not allowed to use assisted reproductive technologies (ART) or does the staff just use special precautions when dealing with  samples from that couple?  My understanding is that it has much more to do with the handling of biohazards than anything else.

When I did research my last project that I worked on was on the bacteria that caused syphillis.  So hypothetically contracting syphillis was a workplace hazard... just me and the streetwalkers can say that!  We actually had one of the lab techs stab herself in the finger with a needle filled with syphillis once.  Imagine having to go home to your husband and explain that one.  Fortunately I never suffered and injuries of this sort.  So we should be good to go for IUI when our time comes.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Too Stinking High (TSH)

Have I mentioned that I love my RE?  If not it bears repeating.  I think I might have a little girl crush on her.

I should probably preface this next blog with a little medical background on myself.  See.... I'm what is known as a medical freak.  I'm a zebra... for those of you who don't immediately understand this reference there is a quote they tell young doctors:  When you hear hoof beats think horses, not zebras.  Well the problem with that is that some people actually are zebras and I am one of them.  The quote is meant to remind young doctors that there is a reason that diseases are classified as rare... that's because no body has them.  It is meant to remind young doctors that they are not the future Dr. House finding weird and wonderful, obscure diseases that are given only a paragraph in most medical text books.  Most people are coming to you because they have a cold.  The common cold.

The problem with this is that many doctor's will disregard all of the symptoms of a disease that is staring them in the face because they have had it beaten into their heads that it is just too rare... that they will never in their practice see a patient with such a rare disease.

About 3 years ago I was diagnosed with Cushing's.  This is a disease in which a tumor causes your body to produce a ridiculous amount of extra cortisol - the stress hormone.  It causes many delightful symptoms like weight gain, facial hair, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, infertility, etc, etc etc.  The problem is that a doctor will look at an overweight woman with high blood pressure and type II diabetes and tell her to just lose weight.  Wanna hear the craziest thing about cushings?  You can't.  You actually can't.  They have done studies where they have shown that looking at a picture of a doughnut will actually change your metabolism as though you have eaten it.  Now that's a messed up disease.

Cushing's is found in 1:1,000,000 of the population... but wait... there's more... there's an even rarer form called adrenal cushings which is found in only 1:5,000,000 of the population and this is the form i have.  As a result I have had my left adrenal gland removed, which can cause a lot of stresses on a body.  I wear a medical alert bracelet just in case i suddenly topple over.

Because of this diagnosis I want you to believe me when i tell you i have seen a LOT of doctors.  In fact I have seen a LOT of endocrinologists.  When I had my surgery the chief of surgery dropped by my room to see, in his words, the "famous patient".  No joke.  I'm a freaking medical marvel.

Despite all of this I am in awe with my RE because she did something that blew my mind.  She checked my test results the second they came in.  She called me because my TSH was too stinking high and wants a retest.  I find so many doctors will wait until their next consult before they look at your test results.  My father drove a car for 6 months after tests showed he was legally blind because his optometrist didn't look at the results.  So my RE looked at my results and took action.

You see why I'm a little bit in love?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

How can you not know you are pregnant?

This would be the TV show "I didn't know that i was Pregnant" that is on TLC, not unfortunately a miraculous revelation about myself.  Today's show is a 57 year old woman who undergoes IVF with a donor egg.  I'm intrigued to see how this is going to be a surprise pregnancy for this particular woman.  I mean honestly, if you pay someone to put fertilized eggs into your uterus then how on earth  is it supposed to be a surprise? 

I am home sick today.  I left work at noon with a horrible migraine and am still feeling the effects.  I spent most of the afternoon yesterday completely unconscious because the light was too much for me to bear. 

I have always been the victim of migraines, but ibuprofen always used to save me... now i no longer take ibuprofen on the off chance that I get pregnant, or because it might interfere with ovulation or any of the other things that we've heard.  I mean if ibuprofen was really working as a birth control method then I am sure lots of teen girls would be popping that when they couldn't get the real pill.  But, when you are trying to have a baby then apparently you will listen to just about any rumor that can have an impact on your ability to have a child... at least i will.

Back to the 57 year old she started to hemorrhage and was diagnosed with a miscarriage... and apparently no one bothered to check via ultrasound or pregnancy test??  Honestly... and she hemorrhages for months and no one looks to see if she's had any retained tissue?  Who are these doctors?

This show both intrigues and depresses me.  As a woman who is trying to get pregnant the idea that you could be pregnant for months and not notice that it was going on is a strange fantasy... and of course it leads me to play mind games every single month.  Even once my period has started i ask myself... am i actually having my period?  is it breakthrough bleeding?  Is this period lighter than usual?  It is crazy the number of ways i can pretend that even despite all of the evidence to the contrary I will take any possible opportunity to pretend that maybe, just maybe i will one day be a candidate for this show.  That despite the plethora of pregnancy tests within arms reach that i can take at any point in time i might somehow be pregnant without knowing it. 

Monday, 8 April 2013

Teeny Tiny Ovaries

Am I wrong?  I spent all day yesterday looking for the size my ovaries should be and my conclusion is that mine are tiny.  Teeny tiny.  They are not pleasingly plump.  This does not bode well for my future fertility does it.  Ovaries start off around 10 cm each from what i can tell and as you get older they get smaller, and smaller and smaller until they shrivel up like prunes... or something like that.

As I said to my husband through tears yesterday it is not just about this pregnancy, but about the next one too.  We would like two children, are we dreaming?  Are we just too older for that to be possible?  And now we have to wait three months before we see our doctor again and find out for sure what this all means for our chances. 

Then, of course, because life likes to mock me, we are going to be on vacation in Europe for most of August.  This is a combination of trips to visit my husbands family who I have never met and a week with my family in Spain.  My father has terminal cancer and wants to spend time with us all before he gets too sick.  But right now, in my head, it's just another month we will have to wait before we can get some treatment.

And another delay before our baby comes.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Rise and Shine little Antral Follicles

That's it... Day 3.  And my husband and I are requested to attend the opening of the fertility clinic.  7:30 am appointment for day 3 blood work and ovarian reserve monitoring.

Right ovary has 7 follicles with a volume of 2.7
Left ovary has 8 follicles with a volume of 3.6
No fibroids (yay - that much I know is good)
A XXXX cyst.  The doctor says this fast and i can't catch the word, so i'm not sure of what it means

Now, comes my date with Google as I try to figure out if any of this is good news.
I think my numbers are at the very lowest range of normal possible... is it enough?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

how do I tell them?

A few months back my in-laws hit my last nerve with their constant comments that we needed to be pregnant... or that I was an irresponsible mom-to-be because I was drinking while pregnant.... as I had recently miscarried I had no ability to deal with their poorly timed barbs.  I cried.  They started to apologize..

On Friday night my aunt-in-law told me about someone she knew who had lots of miscarriages and then had a baby at 42 after taking baby aspirin and progesterone...  how do I get the message through to them that I am not comfortable talking to them about this and they are not allowed to bring it up with me...

Anyone else struggling with nosy family?  

Friday, 5 April 2013

Our visit to the clinic. Part the First.

First, I want to say that I think I love, love, love our RE.  She is funny and nice and when she took my medical history and heard I'd had a miscarriage she said "that sucks" which to me is exactly the right thing to say, because it does and it did.  And there are no right words to make it better.

I am a little annoyed that she seems to be pregnant herself, but about 4 or 5 months along... I will try not to hold this against her as she pushes her 8 month belly into my face at our next appointment.

She wants us to try, with miliatary precision for the next 3 months again.  I don't know what it is about the 3 month waiting period but all the doctors seem to want to prescribe that first.  It is mostly because we did get pregnant within 6 months even if it didn't stay.  She was less enthusiastic about my AMH numbers than my doctor was, she thinks my doctor might have checked the wrong units, so she's ordering that again.  My husband is quite relieved that his sperm is very normal and he can go back to his Y fronts.... I think the ones I bought him are much sexier... maybe i can make an argument for boxer briefs.

Right now we have blood work ordered and I have to do a follicle test on day three.  So, i'm sitting here hoping my period makes an appearance early enough today that I can have the test done on Sunday morning rather than Monday.  I don't want to fight through traffic to get to the clinic on a weekday if i can help it and my husband would come with me on Sunday which would be nice.  I like when he's there.  He makes me smile. 

I don't think i've ever wanted my period to come so badly.  I mean I shouldn't be hoping right, until it does there is still a chance that I could be pregnant.  But I've pretty much given up that hope this month because my temperature has been a little bit lower the last couple of days.  I"m pretty sure it was 36.26 this morning... but i took it in the middle of the night and i sometimes dream that I do that.  And when I took it when i woke up this morning it was 36.5 but I had been awake for about 5 minutes and snuggling with my hot blooded husband.   He's nice to snuggle.

We decided to go out for dinner last night to celebrate the fact that we won't have to pay for any fertility treaments for at least 3 months and we went to the Keg.  The Keg is a Canadian chain that is sort of an upscale steak house.  My husband ordered prime rib but instead got brought a sirloin.  We only just politely asked what we had and they tried to replace his meal.  I pointed out that my husband didn't really care what kind of meat he had as long as it wasn't made of soy.  They sent over the manager to make sure we were ok and she comped us his meal and a dessert each for the mix up.  I want to say that The Keg has the BEST customer service of any restaurant that I have ever been to.  They bend over backwards to make sure you enjoy your dinner and that is one of the reasons my husband and I go so often.

Plus if you say "How are you?" they respond "I am well, Thank you for asking", which is so cute it makes me giggle. 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

What goes well with stirrups?

Yep... .i'm nervous as hell right now.
Our appointment is today, at 1:30pm.

Getting dressed this morning was weird. I decided on a tank top to make taking blood easy, under a jacket to keep warm and decided to go with blue jeans.  I don't really work in a blue jeans kind of place.  But I can go days without seeing any of my colleagues just because of what I do, and since i intentionally didn't schedule any meetings today I am sort of hanging out in my office.

I wanted to feel comfortable as I walked into the office today, or at least look like I felt comfortable, and blue jeans will do that for me i hope.  My husband is leaving work today at noon and we are meeting at home to travel there together.  It's a bit of a backtrack for him....  He works North of the city and we live East, but i didn't want to try to deal with two cars there, and i need him to hold my hand through today.

And I want to be able to analyze and discuss everything that is said to us in the appointment on the drive back home, not being trying to fight through both traffic and tears at the same time.  Anyone been through this already?  Help!!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Baby on Credit

If there is one thing that I knew about IVF before we started on this journey it was that this wasn't going to come cheap.  We still don't know exactly what this will cost us of course, we don't know what treatments we will need.  We don't know how many it will take before they are successful.  So, even though we can look up and see that our fertility clinic will cost us about $1,500 for an IUI that basically tells us nothing.

My husband and I decided to go to the bank yesterday to see how much money we could arrange before our appointment at the fertility clinic tomorrow (Gulp!).  I know the clinic offers financing, and no doubt they will pretty give you anything since they are filling a space in your soul and you know you will pay anything to have that baby you want so badly, but we also wanted to know, financially what our other options were.  Who knows if the clinic will give you the lowest rate?  Maybe it's like a credit card at 20% where you will be required to send all of your frozen embryos out to work just to pay it off.

The woman at the bank was ridiculously happy for us.  "Fertility treatments!  How exciting!"  My guess is she is baby crazy, but still confident that her nubile body will produce the children she is going to have one day... she doesn't understand that fertility treatments are filling me with dread and fear not excitement.  

She notices the title "Dr." attached to my file.  I hold a PhD and it has been put on my file as such.  But she mistakes it for an MD.  "I think we can get you a business loan.  It has a much lower interest rate."

There is nothing more ridiculous to me than the idea that our baby making be financed by a business loan.  This is not an investment that is going to be paid off any time soon. This is a long term investment that is going to require repeated infusions of cash as our child struggles to define themselves throughout childhood and adolescence.  Unless our child is the next Justin Bieber (and i really hope not after watching his latest string of petulant tweets) there is little hope that this baby is going to post a profit margin in the first quarter of his or her life.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

How solving a mystery can result in pregnancy symptoms

I have no doubt that the phenomenon is well studied by any woman who is currently trying to conceive.  It is almost mystical the rate at which she can develop every symptom known to affect those in early pregnancy simply by reading a list.  Like the "communicated" wind turbine syndrome  early pregnancy symptoms are, no doubt in my mind, completely and totally caused by the nocebo effect.

In one of my many dozens of searches I have done over the years into "early pregnancy symptoms" I once came across this sage advice:

Remember, many pregnant women who were not trying to conceive do not even realize they are pregnant until well into the first trimester, meaning that symptoms are often subtle or nonexistent during the two week wait.

Oh, yeah... that is definitely advice i need to take.  It should help me to stop googling symptoms to see if that twinge in my back, that dryness in my mouth, that queasiness in my belly could herald the arrival of a baby.  Of course it never does.  Every month I announce to my husband "I'm pretty sure I'm pregnant.  Don't you think?  Do you think I could be pregnant?"  He wisely nods yes and we play this game for two weeks until my period arrives and brings with it a flood of tears.

So, this month when i was convinced that I had not ovulated  my boobs felt no bigger than usual for a period.  The nipples did not seem to mysteriously darken in certain light (duh... that's called shadows) and my cramps seemed to be nice normal run of the mill pre-menstral cramps... gearing up for the visit by the painters on Thursday or Friday.

That is until I ran a single Google search yesterday at lunch: "Can ovulation be delayed after a positive OPK?"  Well, as usual The Google Oracle spit out an answer and in summation the truth is that sometimes it can take as much as 3 days for your body to experience a thermal shift after ovulation has occurred.  And now my pattern is definitely biphasic... which means suddenly these damn breasts seem so sore... and I can't seem to stop feeling them (making them more sore no doubt).  And I'm definitely tired this morning.  Really tired.  And... damn... i'm playing that stupid two week wait game again. 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Coming out of the IVF closet

I suspect it all starts with the taboo of sex.  It is something that we aren't supposed to talk about.  We sort of vaguely know that other people do "it" but we don't want to know the details.  Especially when it comes to our parents. 

This is of course different with girlfriends.  They know I have a very raunchy sense of humour and love to joke about sex.  A friend has never started the sentence "I just have to download some..." without me finishing for him "porn" even if that's not what he has in mind.

As a young woman, having her first sexual encounters my parents were the last people I wanted to find out about it.  They never knew anything about my first.  Even with my husband I have trouble admitting that there were men before him. 

I suspect that is why it all seems so strange to have a conversation about IVF with those very people.  See, sex is what is supposed to lead to babies right, and the fact that we haven't yet, even though we are "TRYING"... that's something that is hard to say to my parents.  "Yes mum, even though we have sex throughout my fertile period we haven't had success".  "Yes dad, we tried all of the positions designed to put your son-in-law's penis close to my cervix during ejaculation".  Ug.  Not a conversation I can have.

Still... through a bunch of tears I managed to choke it out over the weekend to my mother.  Not the imagined conversation above... Not with that detail.  But yes, that we were going to go to an IVF clinic.  That it was going to cost us thousands of dollars to give them a grandchild. 

I wonder if we could post it on kick-start.  Anyone wanting to give a full round of IVF would have naming rights.  Anyone contributing a half round of IVF would have the baby's room named after them.  Anyone paying an IUI would be able to have his or her name embroidered on a bib.