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My name is Julie. As of this writing, I'm 35 years old. I'm married to Paul, who's 48, and we live in a small town in New England. We conceived our son after four rounds of IVF. Along the way we experienced an ectopic pregnancy, a miscarriage, a complicated third pregnancy, and, finally, the birth of our son, Charlie, 10 weeks premature.

My diagnosis
We're not quite sure why it was so hard to achieve pregnancy. It could be any number of reasons: endometriosis, tubal damage, or male factor are all possible culprits. We hoped that IVF would lead to a definite diagnosis, but it seems to have raised more questions than it's answered.

This site
This site started as my personal journal during my first IVF cycle. As the days wore on and it became clear that this wasn't going to be a garden-variety pregnancy, I spent a lot of time scouring the Internet to learn more about what was happening to me. But I wasn't always able to find the kind of information that would have helped me.

This led me to continue my journal in a more public way. I don't know that anyone who stumbles across my highly opinionated account of my personal experiences will find it exactly useful, but I suppose it's theoretically possible.

Frantic disclaimer
I hasten to point out that I'm not a doctor. I'm not a nurse. In fact, I don't know jack about science. I have the murky idea that men make sperm and women make eggs, and that's about the extent of it. Any vague understanding I have of the medical details of my treatment is purely an accident, a result of way too much time spent on the Internet — unimpeachable source that it is. The comments I make about my experiences and my treatment are the result of my own flawed understanding. Do not take anything I say as medical advice, and do not assume I think I know what I'm talking about. Sadly, I know I do not.

Other frantic disclaimer
A lot of entries are rather graphic, and I am aware that my reproductive system is of limited interest to the general populace. What can I say? I lost my last vestiges of gynecological shame years ago — infertility treatment has only made me more brazen. At this point I'll pretty much open my legs for anybody in a white coat, which tends to surprise the nice people behind the deli counter at the supermarket.

Why I swear
My mother always told me that using foul language betrayed a lack of imagination and poor verbal skills. But you try having your uterus filled with glow-in-the-dark dye and then we'll discuss what kind of language seems appropriate.