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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Its Gotten Completely Out of Hand

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Q: Since you work for Girl Scouts, do you get free cookies???

A: NO. And there is no secret stash in the office supply closet, either.


Q: Do YOU sell Girl Scout cookies? Can I order a box????

A: NO. Adults do not sell Girl Scout cookies (at least they’re not supposed to!). But I have been around a LOT of girls this year who do. And I have been a good customer. A little too good for my waistline.

I am the Web Master

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Today I felt like I could not possibly do our regularly scheduled house cleaning if my life depended on it. Luckily for me, I have a partner in crime who graciously stepped in and offered to do my portions of the chore for me. This is happening way more than it should this month – I have absolutely NO drive. So while Randy was toiling away on the house, I tried to make myself useful by completely revamping our Spotted Elephant website. It was my first time ever fiddling with the website and the MacBook Pro (we call him Mr. Macky because we tend to anthropomorphize EVERYTHING in our lives) made it super easy. I know the web site is not amazing or uber professional, but for our purposes I think it turned out pretty darn great. It also now features our newest staff member and male model – our nephew Daniel. Get used to seeing his face under our hats. 🙂

Go check it out…..and while you’re there, order something (if you want to)!

Click here to go to The Spotted Elephant Website

First Photo Shoot

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The Spotted Elephant had its first official photo shoot today! Its fun to have a model and to play with my new camera. Here are a few of the photos – some featuring SE products and some just for fun.

Yeah…What He Said

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I’d Blog…..

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I’d blog and tell you about the eventful week we’ve had, but the estrogen is making me feel like a shell of a person who doesn’t care about blogging. I have zero motivation for just about anything, including writing. So instead I think I’ll just sit here and stare at the lovely lanterns Randy’s parents (and brother and sister) brought over to help bring a bit of brightness to our lives during this dim period. They are helping. 🙂

Estrogen: Invented by Satan

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With no time to come up for air we have already started drug stimulation for our LAST IVF cycle – transferring the two frozen embryos that resulted from last month’s egg retrieval. While the drug protocol is much simpler for a frozen cycle, it impacts me much more severely. I am taking estrogen three times a day to prepare my uterine lining for the transfer. Estrogen turns me into a stereotypical woman with PMS X 10.  I do things on estrogen that I never do under normal circumstances.

  • I cried while listening to a song in the car today. When the song was over I replayed it twice, crying the entire time. (A cover of Bob Dylan’s To Make You Feel My Love) I don’t cry at songs in real life.
  • Yesterday I spent two hours sitting on the couch trying to decide if I wanted to take a shower or not.
  • Today I really wanted a turkey and sun-dried tomato bagel sandwich from Bruegger’s but settled for Arby’s because it meant I didn’t have to get out of the car.
  • Today I had to take frequent bathroom breaks not to answer the call of nature but to have a “cry break” in private.
  • This afternoon/evening my abdomen felt worse than it did right after retrieval/transfer. It felt like all my internal organs were bathed in acid and ballooning up to the point they were going to burst out of my skin and I didn’t know why. Randy read that bloating and stomach pain can be a side effect of the estrogen.

Needless to say, I (and probably everyone around me) will be glad to to bid good riddance to this poison forever more.


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Strangely enough, the baby commotion over the weekend was a good distraction from our failed cycle.  Who would have predicted that? But now that the party has died down we’re back to reality and back to facing our failed cycle and all of the emotions that go along with it.

Empty Crib from

I feel like I’ve written until my fingers are numb about the emotional impact failed cycles have had on me – I’d link you to some posts here but there are so many – if you are curious you can click on Baby Envy in the categories to the right to see more posts than you’d ever want to read on the subject. So instead of writing the same post on a different day, I thought I’d present a wider perspective and tell you how failed cycles and infertility affects women/couples across the board. It sometimes helps me to see these statistics because it reminds me that my pain is valid when much of society is not set up to treat people experiencing infertility with the compassion they need. (You guys are all awesome  and very compassionate- but to see what I mean, just find any online news story about infertility and read the comments. You’ll probably give up hope for the entire human race after a few minutes of reading those gems.)

  • 13% of women had suicidal ideation following a failed IVF attempt in a study by Baram, Touretelot, Muechler, and Huang.
  •  “It’s like a death. Procreation is one of the strongest instincts in the animal kingdom.”  –Dr. Alice Domar Ph.D
  • Women failing to conceive often have clinical depression rates similar to women who have HIV or cancer, according to Andrea Mechanick Braverman, PhD
  • A study from Uppsala University in Sweeden found that three years after the end of IVF treatment, most men and women were still processing and had not adapted to childlessness, indicating that the grieving process was still unresolved.
  • Emerging from fertility treatment babyless, broke and in need of professional support to get back on the rails is a common experience, according to the British Infertility Counselling Association.
  • After a failed IVF cycle, women experienced a further lowering of self-esteem and an increase in depression relative to pre-treatment levels, according to the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health.
  • Dr. Lisa Tuttle encounters many women who say they can’t stop thinking about it, that it haunts them even while they’re sleeping.
  • 71% of women experiencing infertility feel that they are flawed, according to a study by GfK Roper.

So please – the next time you are buying a gift or attending a shower or making a meal to support a happy, healthy, pregnant/new parent friend or family member- think about these statistics and try to also send out a little love and support to someone you know who is facing infertility’s depression, self doubt, and grief rather than the anticipation and joy of a new baby.

I  have appreciated the support I’ve gotten during this time more than I can even articulate.