Monday, July 22, 2013

The Stroller

Well first, my calendar appointment went off without a hitch or a tear.  I did so well.  It was almost just an ordinary day.  As the nurse took my blood she said "You must be so numb after going through all this."  I replied.  "Yes, numb days are the good days.  I like numb".

Last year, as I embarked on my first FET after having my son I found a great deal on my dream stroller.  The Britax B Ready double stroller with 15 different configurations.  I thought it was a great idea because it was perfect for twins, or for babies 2ish years apart like mine would be.  So I was covered no matter the outcome - except for the outcome that actually happened.  The stroller ended up up sitting in its box collecting dust in my spare bedroom, the one that had been where my twins would reside.  So unused stroller, sitting in empty bedroom for a year, and still not even a pregnancy in sight.  Every time I walked in that room I'd see the stroller in the corner.  I'd give it the slit eyes and walk out.

For my own emotional health I decided to sell the stroller to my sister who is having a baby in just a few weeks.  (Days apart from one of my prospective due dates.)  She had had a miscarriage with her first pregnancy which was really, really sad.  It was a blighted ovum and she was nearly three months along when she finally started bleeding.  She called me in the middle of the night from the ER.  The ER doctor had done an ultrasound and found nothing.  NOTHING, and began to treat her as though she were crazy.  They insinuated that perhaps she had imagined she was pregnant.  She said "No, I was just with the OB last week.  Call him."  Upon confirming she really did have a whopping amount of HCG in her urine they were incredibly apologetic.  (Morale of of the story - same as I have always preached - regular doctors know NOTHING about pregnancy, OBs know NOTHING about infertility.  Beware.) 

My sister does hair, so I got a couple years of cuts and colors out of the stroller swap.  So no babies yet, but my hair is lookin good.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Will Seven Be My Lucky Number?

I am headed in to have a water ultrasound and receive my calendar for my 5th fresh IVF today (plus two FETs = 7).

I began my subconscious, yet ritualistic reading of fertility blogs yesterday, the re-hashing of past woes, and my assessment of both my mental state and outcome probabilities. 

All of this mental preparation is in hopes of having a smoother ride each time I do a round.  The reading (crying) over blogs yesterday was in hopes of getting the sadness out of my system prior to my calendar meeting.  I've had epic weep-fests in front of the nurse at the last two. At the others  I at least made it into the car before catastrophic meltdown commenced.   Strangely, these meetings (which often don't even involve shots or medical evaluations) are the toughest I face in each cycle.  There comes a point each time as I  contemplate my new calendar where the grief surges up from my stomach to my throat and nearly chokes me - I am not being metaphorical here.  This really happens.  I think my body physically attempts to vomit out the pain.

This appointment is the hardest because I am acutely reminded of how terrible this really is, and as I sit in a shell-shocked state the little voice inside me screams "Why are you doing this again!"

I'll have to mentally rattle off as many answers as I can to that question over the next few hours.  For now, the quick answer is I am hoping seven will be my lucky number.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

ramblings about faith

This is not some lovely, well thought out post.  Just the ramblings of someone with a brain full of unfinished thoughts.   I am naturally a very spiritual person and that colors the way I look at life and my experiences.  I love to pray and am so grateful I have that outlet to express my daily joys, happiness, sadness, frustrations, really almost anything.  Something that is becoming a deeper mystery to me as life goes on is faith.  How does it really work?  I believe that real faith is a belief in something bigger and grander than yourself that serves as an anchor in life.  For me, I believe in God and Jesus.  I love them, and have had some sweet experiences that have convinced me that they love me, and I have had even better experiences that have convinced me of how much they love others.   So that FAITH (the kind in capital letters) comes easy to me, and is not very mysterious.  The other kind of faith, faith to make things happen...I don't get it.  I may have the concept wrong altogether.  I already mentioned that in relation to my infertility and treatments I feel I have used every possible algorithm of faith, and I don't feel like the outcome has ever been contingent on my "positivity" or belief of outcomes, or prayers.  Incidentally,  I do not believe positivity is the same thing as faith and I hate when they are used interchangeably.   So seriously, what is my problem?  Why am I not able to strong-arm an outcome with my tremendous faith (AKA hope)?  One little thought I had was regarding the bible verse that says that faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain.  I feel like I have had mustard seed sized faith - so why can that move a mountain but not make me get pregnant?  The thought I had was that one does not have faith in her ability to move mountains, or part the red sea.  One just possesses faith in God - and he moves that mountain.   So maybe there really aren't two kinds of faith.  Maybe faith to have a baby isn't actually a real thing.  It is just a hope.  Maybe there is just one kind of faith, and my desire to force outcomes with what I am labeling "faith" is really a lack of it.   But then how do I reconcile that I have been taught to pray for every good thing I want.  And I believe I have even been told that this can affect outcomes.  I am so confused.   Really, really.
This faith confusion is exacerbated by the fact that we are also suffering because my husband works for    one really bad dude.  Cruel.  Dishonest.  Dastardly.  We have been praying/begging for a new job for almost two years now, and though I am trying so hard to be thankful for ANY employment, and also trying to practice patience, the cumulative affect of the infertility set-backs and the job drama that I am totally understating have caused me to really want some relief.  Now please.  Thanks.  Again, am I focusing too much of my efforts on an outcome?  Again, I feel we have tried so many different variations of "help us endure this better"  "help us get tougher"  "help things get better"  "help us get the H out".
I will say that when the chips are down, and I remember to pray for some relief, I have always gotten it.  Always.  For me that wonderful comfort is so real and so surprisingly immediate at times.  I am just so down and so tired of this and feel if the real key to my own relief is having some personal epiphany than I am in big trouble because my confused mind feels closer crazy than to some gem of truth that will magically deliver me from these problems.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Pain That Remains

Back again with so much to say and no idea where to begin.  I begin with the sadness that is eating me up.  I alternate between three things: wanting to die (don't really be alarmed) wanting to drive through the night to Seattle to anonymously smoke pot until I feel better, and pondering for hours on end what I am truly craving.  The vat of caramel corn I just made and killed wasn't it.  Why is it I must eat the whole thing before determining that wasn't it?

Here's the good news and why the food craziness is the only outlet I will use:  The Mule did indeed have a baby!  He is fifteen months old and does my soul so much crazy good it is dizzying.  I have to reluctantly declare that the peddled idea of a baby's healing magic (that I despised hearing) is indeed true.  I still maintain that it should be NO baby's responsibility to heal me, yet I have to admit that his magical little soul did just that.  Well sort of...

It was a shock to me that I really did take a live baby home.  I think so many years of bad trained me to not trust good.  It was hard to imagine a happy ending when I had no experience with things working out.  But they did (trumpets sounding) and holding our two week old in our bed, we both admitted how much we wanted another baby.  Right then.  So when my baby was 11 months old, I embarked on thawing his two embryo siblings.  I decided that since I now had banked one experience of fertility trials working out, why the heck not try the dangerous experiment of having joy, hope, faith, prayer, fasting, and more concerted positive thinking than I have ever before mustered?  I had it in me at the time, so I gave it all.  I even drew a poster of me with my two little embryos joining the family.  I hung it on the fridge. 

Only one survived the thaw.  One was implanted and (according to my HCG levels tested at nine and eleven days) sat around like stale bread on the counter until it was tossed out with my period.  Screw you positivity.  This loss was so hard to take because I had dangerously turned the embryos into my children.  They were from my baby's same batch!  They were his embryo twins.  Adding insult to injury was the incredible hope that we could pay the 5K or so for this procedure and poof!  - be the happy parents of three healthy kids, have a crazy few years and be done with the fertility induced state of stress and poverty that has gripped us for the last 9 years. 

We immediately jumped into another IVF.  This time my approach was that of a robot.  I had one exceptionally bad crying fit/meltdown when I went into the clinic to go over my plan of care, (it is just so freaking hard to even think of going through it all again) but after that, I was a lean, mean Arnold Schwarzenegger ala T3.  The compassionate robot.  Who knows why, but this time I stimulated really well, had great numbers at each stage, implanted two great looking five day blasts and had four good looking embryos to freeze.  All was well in the world.  And then I just didn't get pregnant.  It has been a week or two since this revelation.  I still maintain my robot composure on certain days, but Compassionate Robot is gone and Terminator the original lives in my body.  I want to drive into Target.  Right through the wall and past the Starbucks.  Sort of for the comic relief?  I don't want anyone to be hurt.  It just seems congruent with the circus inside me, so I dream that it would make me feel better. 

On to yet another embryo transfer.  Had yet another ugly cry meltdown when I went in for the plan of care yesterday.  I said to the nurse "I have had nine embryos put in me, and of those only one worked" and by the end of the sentence the emotional damn had broken.  It is so hard to think about and say, and it is so hard to describe to someone who hasn't been there why that is such a loaded sentence.  But those little embryos that hold so much hope for life die so quietly, taking so much of my money, so much of my heart, so much of my faith, and lately I fear, so much of my sanity and humanity.  I am the most scared when I wonder what of me remains.  

So about that healing I spoke of...it is real.  It has allowed me to wander Costco and linger in the toy section without the acute pain that such things once caused... I enjoy buying baby shower gifts now... I find myself thinking of how fun it will be to go to Disneyland together someday.   I am no longer childless.  That is the wound that my baby healed, filling it in with the best joy I have experienced so far in life.  The infertility pain stays with me because I still am, and always will be a mule.


Monday, June 6, 2011

This blog does suck!

It's not really a blog if you aren't bloggin right?

But I have to say it's been a great and necessary vacation to not think about fertility every moment of every day. And to my mother who thought a pregnancy that would be the magic that "healed me" and who drove me batty for insinuating such bologney - OK you were kind of right... That's all I'm willing to concede at the moment.

I am now 27 weeks along with no blips, problems, etc. I am even feeling confident enough that I am selling my leftover IVF drugs and buying a crib. This feels real people!

Here are some of my thoughts at the moment. Does a baby make all the stuff I've been through worthwhile? I am not sure, and though that sounds awful I will tell you why I hesitate to endorse these measures:
I have often heard smarty pants people call lottery tickets a "tax on the stupid". And I agree. Lottery tickets are an epic waste of money and I wouldn't dare admit I were buying them and consistently losing. However, does the winner consider them an epic waste of money? OF COURSE NOT. So there you have it. I won the IVF lottery on the third round, and I know my judgement is impaired. I feel the only advice I have to give on the "was it worth it front" is a resounding "proceed at your own risk".

Also if you happen to know anyone venturing into IVF land, I have some drugs I want to peddle to them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Return of the cramps

I have been wondering what is up with my strange periody feeling - especially since it has been going strong for about five days now. I feel my usual dull achy, crampy stuff going on plus strange sharp pain and stuff. It hasn't been worrying me too much, but it is surprising and weird that it seems to be gaining momentum.

Once again, I love the internet. I checked up about cramping in early pregnancy and found out that though cramping can mean bad things like miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies, it is also very common in people with endometriosis. Most endo sufferers said their symptoms got much worse for the first trimester and then chilled out after that. Though I am totally not loving how much its been hurting me to pee the last few days and the other nonsense, I must admit that I really like feeling something. Many people don't even know they are pregnant at a meager four weeks. For me some early discomfort is totally worth really feeling different.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Feeling...positive

Last night I was dreading getting bad news today. I was also dreading good news, because good news means an even bigger let down in the future.

Today I got the good news: I am officially chemically pregnant!

And I am going to take a cue from a very wise friend who had some losses and really feared getting excited about a new pregnancy only to wind up broken hearted. She figured you may wind up broken hearted whether you live it up in the mean time or not. She also figured that whatever time a little embryo or fetus is going to get, it deserves to be loved, deserved, wanted and celebrated. I just couldn't agree more, and am thankful for smart people who grapple with things before I ever have to. It makes things so easy on me.

Thanks for all your wishes and your prayers, and please keep em coming! Second blood test is in 10 days, and we can have the first ultrasound around Jan 16th to see if its one or two. I am voting for two. I figure if I am trying to be positive I may as well go all the way.