Thursday, April 30, 2015

Brain Explosion Pending

My head is a mess today. I'm days away from beginning IVF. But what's really making things rough is work. I'm having trouble accepting and dealing with the idea of having to work elsewhere. No change in pay or benefits. Huge change in job description. 

When I got my first contract teaching Adult Ed in my school, I was in a different place than where I am today. I hadn't even met my husband face to face at that point - our relationship was limited to online and phone interactions. I had previously worked on call at this school and absolutely loved it. And when I got my first contract position there, I quickly learned that I wanted to stay there as long as I could. My contracts there ended several times, I got laid off, was reassigned, and was transferred, yet somehow, I managed to stay there. 

In the last eight years, so much has changed. Our toughest battle has been infertility. The shame, the fear, the pain. The longing. The wondering and waiting. The hope followed by disappointment, month after month after month. So much instability. But through it all, one of the things that has remained constant is that I've been teaching at the most amazing school. The staff, the students, the culture.. it's my home. 

And now as I get ready to face IVF, perhaps the most overwhelming thing I'll ever have to deal with.. and perhaps the one thing that might make up for four years and ten months of longing for parenthood... I can't even give any mental energy to IVF. My brain feels like it might explode from all the pressure from this job situation. I'm queasy and my head feels heavy and my neck feels stiff and I'm exhausted. And I'm still kinda hoping this is all a dream, and when I wake up, I'll remember this nightmare about losing my position and be very thankful to still have my place in Adult Ed.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


I began this blog three weeks ago, but my first post didn't get published until today. That day, I found out that I might need to leave behind my home away from home - the amazing school where I've been teaching for almost eight years. Before I read that email that evening, I had spent the day poring over our IVF consent forms.

The decisions seemed overwhelming... what should we do with our embryos if one of us were to die? Or if both of us died? Or if we divorced? Or if we finished using up as many as we wanted and still had leftovers? Mostly morbid questions that we didn't think we'd ever have to think about. Or talk about. Or make decisions about. And the most important question of all, one embryo or two? Assuming that we will get more than one egg at retrieval and many millions of sperm coming together to produce what we're hoping are multiple embryos, we needed to decide whether we want to transfer back one embryo or two back into my uterus.

There are pros and cons for both options. Putting back two embryos increases the chance of pregnancy by ten percent. TEN PERCENT! This number is HUGE considering the odds of getting pregnant with our previous treatments ranged from 15-20 percent. On the other hand, getting pregnant with multiples means a more risky pregnancy. Transferring one embryo will make it more likely we will have a single healthy child. Then again, another point to consider is do we want to have to go through treatment all over again when we want to try for a second child? But isn't it better to get two parental leaves instead of one? And it's definitely easier to raise one baby at a time than two at a time. Harder financially and physically with two. It would be pretty awesome and special to have twins though. And even if we put back two embryos, we could still ending up having a singleton.. or none. My head was a mess.

These were the questions that were flying around in circles in my poor achy head that day. And then I got the news about my position at work. It's not a matter of finances. I'm lucky to have enough seniority to be guaranteed work and full pay. But the thought of leaving Adult Education and my dear colleagues and students was simply too much handle on the same day as my whirlwind of IVF options had taken over my brain. And so I slept. 

A Tough Cupcake is Born

This morning, I told my husband that I'm terrifed of IVF. He said, "But you're a tough cupcake, so you will make it." And thus, the blog "A Tough Cupcake" is born. I'm new to blogging, but I'm hoping to share my journey from fertility treatments to parenthood. Thanks for joining me on the ride!

(Originally written Monday, April 6th, 2015)