Sunday, May 31, 2009
I put away groceries (which means I placed the unpacked bags directly into the refrigerator). I noticed in the fridge that Tony had bought a bottle of my favorite margarita mix. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Why did he buy that? He doesn't drink margaritas.
Then I went to find Tony and give him a tongue lashing "Kate Plus Eight" style. But he didn't have the phone for a good reason. He had already gotten the call. "We have four petri babies." Per Peggy the coordinator, who my husband called Betty, they look good. I'm pleased that she said they look good, but I can't imagine she would say, "You have four, but they look crappy."
Four! Four! Can you f*cking believe it?!?!?! I teared up a little bit, I was so happy. I'm thinking of cranking up the Hope-O-Meter, but I'm still feeling cautious. Another hurdle cleared...
Now we wait for the three day report. It seems so far away. Can I have a margarita tonight to celebrate or would that be a bad petri mommy thing to do?
Saturday, May 30, 2009
My trigger shot was at 2AM Friday morning. My coordinator apologized for the time, but quite honestly I was not sleeping well at all and had been up at 2AM in the morning all week.
After the trigger shot all felt quiet from an ovary perspective. It felt too quiet. By Saturday I was sure I had already ovulated and that they would find nothing at retrieval.
Waiting for a 4PM retrieval was a real drag. No eating, no drinking, nothing on TV...and no one really blogs on the weekend so no distractions there. However, I did some JUMBLES and here was one...
So we FINALLY leave for our 4PM appointment. We were instructed to be there an hour early. We take two highways to get to the doctor's office. On highway number one there was an alert that there was an accident on highway number two. I inform hubby of this, but he says that since we are only going one exit on highway number two, he's not concerned. I'm sure you can see where this is going... We got stuck in traffic, but we were still an hour and fifteen early so it all turned out OK.
When we got to the office they were ahead of schedule and I barely sat down in the waiting room before my name was called. I didn't even get to read about Katie and Suri. From that point on I would swear that the crew was trying to beat some sort of retrieval land speed record. My husband barely had time to rub one out before they were calling him back to the recovery room.
I awoke to someone yelling at me to breathe...which I was doing, but I wanted to sleep too. Instead I had to get up and get out of there. It was like dawn at a frat house. I was groggy, trying to dress myself, and I had a vague feeling that something had penetrated my vagina.
Seriously though, my husband had to help me dress. I have no memory of getting in the car or to my bed at home. I guess they were busy and ready to get me out of there.
For tonight Tony and I are thrilled. Considering the cards we were dealt this cycle, this is the absolute best thing we could have hoped for at retrieval. And as my husband likes to remind me, we have never been this far before. Of course tomorrow we will get the fert report which could be more bad news, but for today the news was good and we are celebrating that!
I didn't talk to the doctor, but my husband said that they got five eggs; three "good ones" and two small ones.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Now that I am older I am able to satisfy more of my wants. Of course not every want is satisfied, but the line between wants and needs has been blurred. Sometimes wants seem more like needs, but they are not. They are really still just wants.
So how did I want this IVF cycle to go? Well, quite obviously I wanted lots of mature eggs leading to lots of viable embryos leading to two healthy babies.
That’s not going to happen.
So what do I need? I only need one follicle, leading to one egg, leading to one embryo, leading to one sweet baby.
Update: Still have three growing follicles. Retrieval will be Saturday.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Disappointment doesn't really fully describe my feelings, more like devastated.
My doctor wants to move forward with IVF, says it would be foolish to do an IUI and hope for more next time.
My husband says that this is far from what we want, but farther than we have ever been before.
I'm now just along for the ride. We'll see what happens.
Update: The reason my doctor does not want to do IUI is that he doesn't think we will EVER get more eggs than this. With my husband's male factor issues he thinks that IVF is the best chance of having a baby even with few eggs retrieved.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Let me back up a minute.
Before this weekend if you had asked me to characterize my infertility I would have said this. “We have some male factor infertility problems that probably could be overcome naturally given enough time and persistence, but due to my husband’s age (40) we are going to do IVF. We realize IVF may not work the first time as anyone can have bad luck, but eventually it will work. Then we will have our only child or hopefully twins.”
Bottom Line: I’m not the problem. He’s the problem and in the grand scheme of things his problem is not that bad. We will overcome!
I believed this even though my last FSH test results were 14. I believed this even though my AFC was 8 at my baseline. I believed this until my monitoring appointment on Friday; two follicles on my right ovary and six follicles on my left. Mentally I started subtracting two for immaturity, two for non-fertilization, two for not dividing, and suddenly I realized that I might end up with nothing to transfer.
How did I get here? Why was my perception so different from reality? Well, for one thing I have always had very regular periods. I have never failed an ovulation test. Then there was the pregnancy (and subsequent miscarriage) after four months of trying which seemed like a long time at the time, but was quick in retrospect. My FSH in June was 7. My first IVF cycle was cancelled for overstimulation. (My current RE thinks this was a misdiagnosis.) I thought I was more than fertile. I thought we just had an egg meets sperm problem.
I can't wrap my head around the change in my ovarian landscape this cycle, but maybe it isn't really a change. Maybe the problems have always been there. I have always had low inhibin B results, but my first RE never raised it as a cause for concern so I dismissed it. Maybe my pride wouldn't let me admit that I might be part of the problem.
There have been some tears this weekend as I have adjusted my expectations for this IVF cycle and beyond. I started this whole IVF thing thinking I would have lots of eggs, leading to lots of embryos which I would donate to all the truly infertile couples of the world once I gave birth.
Now I’m hoping that I will have something to transfer, something that will implant so that I don’t have to face the really big questions. Is it worth doing IVF again if my ovaries are failing? Should I move on to donor eggs? Should I move on to adoption? Should I quit? I have never seriously entertained those questions before. This is the first time I have seriously considered that this whole thing might not end up with a baby.
I feel like infertility is a parasite in my life. It just keeps taking and taking and taking…
I am incredibly nervous for my monitoring appointment tomorrow. Just once it would be nice to leave an RE's office without tears in my eyes.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
My days would be so much easier if I didn't have to look at pregnant bellies, newborns, or cute baby things. I need this...
These glasses will change all heart breaking, tear inducing, potentially depressing baby related sights into something more benign.
Without the glasses this is a too fit woman working out with her newborn. Not only is she fertile, but she's in better shape than you too. She hasn't had to eat her disappointment time and time again.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Step 1: Get Pregnant
I couldn’t believe I was holding a positive pregnancy test. It was a Friday. Normally my drive home from work is like an arrow from a bow; no errands, no shopping, a straight shot to the bulls eye; my house. That day in traffic three things occurred to me. My period was due. I had no period symptoms. I could use a snack. I exited the highway and headed to the drugstore for pregnancy tests and chocolate.
My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for four months. The ratio of foreplay to penetration in our lovemaking had taken a turn for the worse (less foreplay, more penetration). We were over it. I was frustrated that the process was taking so long.
But now the digital display said, “Pregnant”. My bluff had been called and I was scared. I didn’t feel ready to be pregnant. I called my husband away from the contractors installing new wood floors in our house. He was shocked. We sat on our bed while the contractors worked, Mr. Shocked and Mrs. Scared.
We went to dinner and I had water instead of Diet Coke. We called the baby TPB; tad pole baby. We talked about it all the time. My husband sent flowers to my office and when people asked if it was our anniversary I coyly answered, “Oh, he sent them just because.”
Step 2: Start Bleeding
It was another Friday four weeks later in a bathroom stall in my office. The toilet paper was tinted the lightest pink. I stared at it in my hand. I studied it in disbelief while I sat on the toilet with my pants around my knees. I wouldn’t have noticed it if my body, particularly my lady parts, hadn’t been acting differently the past few weeks. I wouldn’t have noticed it if I wasn’t eight weeks pregnant.
I walked back to my desk somewhat dazed and did what anyone with Internet access would do in this situation. I started Googling. “Bleeding while pregnant.” “Bleeding in early pregnancy.” “Should I be worried if I am bleeding while pregnant?” “Miscarriage.” “How do I know if I’m having a miscarriage?” “Early miscarriage signs.” “How to prevent a miscarriage.” I turned my computer monitor so that no passersby would see what I was doing as they walked by my cubicle situated annoyingly on a busy footpath in the office. I couldn‘t find a website to tell me “It‘s all OK. You are overreacting. Your baby is fine, and by the way it‘s a boy like you always wanted.”
I went back to the bathroom. White. Maybe I hadn’t seen pink after all.
I tried to work. It was a big day. It was an exciting day. It was a morale building day. A barbeque was planned. Tables and chairs had been set up in the parking lot. We were given hats to wear.
Smiling and hatted, I stopped by the restroom again just to be sure. There it was like a bad rerun. Pink. Definitely pink. I called the doctor, but of course the first trimester of a pregnancy is ruled by fate and not science. Nothing could be done. I should go to my regularly scheduled eight week appointment on Monday and call if it got worse.
The lost weekend began. Lie on sofa, go to bathroom, wipe and look. Repeat. White and pink, white and pink, hope and despair. By Monday my crotch was raw.
Step 3: Have Ultrasound
Hope springs eternal. On Monday morning the bleeding had stopped. I signed in for my afternoon appointment at the doctor‘s office. My husband came along for his first gynecological doctor’s appointment. I explained to him that he should stand near my head and not look below my waist. I didn’t want him developing any gynecological equipment related sexual fetishes.
I filled out the patient questionnaire. “Why are you here today? Pregnant? Check. Bleeding? Check.” I waited as obviously pregnant women, who probably were not bleeding filed in and out of the waiting room. I excused myself to use the restroom one last time before my name was called. Pink again. Darker. Possibly Red. Bad Sign.
A nurse called my name, weighed me, measured me, asked me to pee in a cup, and put me in an examination room. The nurse walked in and chirped, “Well, you are definitely pregnant, the test turned positive right away!” She proceeded to tell me that we would be receiving a pregnancy care package before we left. My husband and I stared at her blankly. She looked at my questionnaire where I had indicated my bleeding and I think an “oh” escaped her lips as she excused herself from the room and saying that the doctor would be in shortly.
We waited and played the maybe game. Maybe it would be OK. Maybe we were worried over nothing. The doctor came in and performed an internal exam while my husband squeezed my hand thinking I was in pain. The doctor gave us hope, she said my cervix was closed and sent us off for an ultrasound.
It was my first ultrasound, my only point of reference was television shows where ultrasound jelly is applied to rotund bellies and happy couples find out, “It’s a girl!” This wasn’t like that. This was an internal vaginal ultrasound which was quite a surprising experience if you aren‘t aware such a thing exists. I was penetrated and I waited, and waited. Even with my inexperience in reading ultrasounds I know what nothing looks like. I was waiting for something, anything to show on the monitor suspended from the ceiling, as long as I was still being probed there was hope. My silent ultrasound ended. No baby. No dead baby. Nothing. Blighted Ovum.
I felt like a fool. I felt like my body tricked itself into thinking it was pregnant. I felt like I had a mental illness. It had to be mental; physically there was nothing. How do you lose nothing? How do you feel pain for nothing? How do your mourn nothing? How do you ask for sympathy and empathy for nothing? Even today, two years later, I am reluctant to call this a miscarriage. I haven’t earned it. Others lost something. I lost nothing.
We were not given the promised pregnancy care package. Instead we were given options, the miscarriage trifecta; go natural, take a pill, or D&C. I wanted this to be over as soon as possible. I scheduled a D&C for Friday.
Step 4: Start Bleeding More
Thursday night it happened. It started with bleeding and cramps like a period. Then it intensified into more bleeding and stronger cramps like a bad period. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I made an appointment for a D&C to ensure this didn’t happen. I was paying money to ensure this didn’t happen.
Two simple instructions swam through my mind, Number one: “If you are bleeding through a pad an hour call the exchange.” Number Two: “If you pass any tissue, save it for analysis.” This was my blueprint for how to have a miscarriage, but in my analytical mind nothing is simple. I started new pad at 6:45 pm and watched and waited.
There seems like a lot of blood. Is it enough blood? Do I count the blood that drained from me as I sat on the toilet? Do I call, do I not call? What happens if I don’t call? What happens if I do? What did they mean by tissue? Things seem to be getting stringier and clumpier. Is this what they mean by tissue? How am I supposed to collect this?
Suddenly I experienced a moment of clarity, a revelation, an immediate acquisition of knowledge I never wanted. I passed a quarter sized piece of tissue and there was no more questioning. This was a miscarriage. This was what it was all about. I collected that piece and another piece of tissue I passed in the night. Later I was told that it was placental like tissue, but it was something. It was validation.
I went to the medical center the next day for my D&C. I was angry that I had to experience this loss twice, once naturally and once medically.
Step 5: Have D&C
My first hospital gown. My first IV. My first surgery. The nurse was empathetic. She told me her own miscarriage story. She was sorry this had happened to me. The procedure was pretty much a non-event. I remember walking into a room and waking up in another room. I wanted my husband. I cried. A different nurse told me that she was thirty eight and she and her husband were trying to conceive and having a hard time. She told me she was sorry this had happened to me. Everyone was sorry. I was sorry too. It was all over, the finality weighed on me.
Step 6: Repeat Step 1
This is where I have been stuck for almost two years. We’ve tried ovulation kits, endless sex, pills, tests, IVFs, and nothing to show for it. I don’t remember what it is like to feel pregnant. I used to worry about having another miscarriage. Now I wonder if I will ever be pregnant again…and I worry about having another miscarriage. We will never celebrate the first trimester of a pregnancy again, with flowers and nicknames. We know better now.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tomorrow I've decided to post the story of my miscarriage to honor the closest we have gotten thus far to being parents.
I wrote the post awhile ago because I just needed to get it out.
I thought about posting the story of my miscarriage on the anniversary of my actual miscarriage, but I'm hoping that I will be pregnant on that day and I won't want to think about losing babies.
When I went through my miscarriage I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea what to do. This wasn't something I would talk about with my childless friends. I wish I had known more.
So fair warning, if this is something you don't want to read about, skip my blog tomorrow.
Monday, May 18, 2009
It's one of those Mondays. I've given myself eleven minutes to write this post, then I am forcing myself to go to work, emphasis on force.
It's one of those Mondays. I would call in sick to work if it didn't "look bad" in my office to call in sick on a Monday or Friday. Also, I will hopefully be missing some work in the next few weeks for retrieval and transfer so it seems important to show up now.
It's one of those Mondays. I didn't sleep well because despite having every bedroom window open and overnight temperatures in the forties, I sweated through the night waking to pillows and hair drenched in sweat. Nice.
The so-so news...
Today is my last one shot day. Tomorrow I start the follistim. I'm happy to be moving on in this cycle, not happy to add more pokes to my daily routine.
Now the good news...
I only have to survive this week, which will be followed by two four day work weeks (even without retrieval and transfer).
Post written, two minutes to spare. *sigh* Off to work.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Today I was not battling anxiety in the waiting room, wondering what new and wonderful medical procedure awaits me on the other side of the door while my husband calmly reads a sports magazine. Today, Tony (my husband) was the anxious one and I read a book.
Today I was not the one being poked and prodded while he sits in the waiting room watching daytime TV. Instead I was the one blissfully unaware of IVs, medications, and blood pressures; watching Matt Lauer while I waited to be called back to the recovery room.
Today Tony got probed.
He got probed through the front door; camera down the throat. Tony has acid reflux and a few months ago he woke up a couple nights throwing up blood. It took me one month to get him to go to his GP. Then it took me another month to get him to schedule this appointment that his GP suggested.
The good news is that he hasn’t had any blood throwing up incidents in the past few months (just the two times a couple months ago). The good news is that the preliminary results from today showed no causes for concern. The good news is that he was given a new dosage of his medicine that should help his acid reflux. Now we just wait for the results of some precautionary biopsies.
I have to admit that it felt good to be on the other side for a change.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
An innocent sarcastic comment, one of a hundred sarcastic comments we make to each other each day.
Those of you who have been playing along know that my IVF cycle was indeed cancelled that day. I thought I had brow beaten my husband enough for jinxing me before that appointment. But apparently not, because HE DID IT AGAIN!!!
Yesterday we were discussing prospective weekend plans, playing the how-to-do-IVF-and-still-have-a-life-game. Our anniversary is June 4th and my husband surprised me by booking a hotel room (actually a tree house hotel room) for a weekend get-away. If IVF “take three” goes to plan, we will go away for the weekend a day or two after our transfer. However, if the IVF calendar starts slipping, we will be having an embryo transfer instead of a weekend get-away (but I’ll get over it). And that’s when he said it. He said, “It doesn’t really matter, you’ll be cancelled by then anyway.”
WTF. Jinxed again. Finished before I have even started.
So what do I do now…walk around a pole backwards three times? Clip my toenails and bury them in the garden under a full moon? Tape my husband’s mouth shut and dip his testicles into cold water?
I’m really not a superstitious person, but I was seriously annoyed.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Tommorow I drop to 5 units of lupron and wait for my period. Thus far, I have had very few lupron symptoms. I have felt tired, but that is about it. In a way this is good, in a way I am concerned that the lupron is not doing its job. Poor little drug, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Next milestone: Baseline.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I don't remember birthdays. I have to think to remember my anniversary date. In fact, I have a hard time remembering numbers in general; dates, phone numbers, zip codes... I haven't used an ATM in years because I can't remember my PIN. (I must have killed that part of my brain in college.)
But this post isn't about my learning disbilities or college drinking etc. This post is about dates. One date specifically. Quite honestly if I didn't read blogs I wouldn't even know that this weekend is Mother's Day. I also am missing the gene that makes a big deal out of holidays such as Mother's Day as evidenced by the following conversation with my mother. (I don't think this is a selfish thing. I also don't make a big deal out of my own birthday.)
Mother: Your Aunt K is meeting your grandmother in Iowa this weekend and I'm wondering if I should go.
Me: That sounds fun. You should go, but I'm not. That's way too far to drive for a weekend and I have to work Monday.
Mother: Well, I was wondering if you were planning on coming to visit me this weekend.
[Confused for a moment, but then I put the pieces together and realize that this weekend is Mother's Day.]
Me: Oh, well, I guess I can come visit. Do you want me to?
I'm not going to visit my mother. We decided that she should go and be with my brother and her mother and we could celebrate Mother's Day another time.
So I will be at home tomorrow, treating Mother's Day like any other Sunday which is just fine with me. I hope that you get to do the same thing!!!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Now I just need a rug, coffee table, end tables, lamps, window treatments... Thus far I only have buy-in from the hubby for a rug.
Monday, May 4, 2009
I find that as I get older my life is turning more grey. I'm not talking about my hair (although whoever told me that redheads go grey early was right. I've been hitting the dye bottle since I was twenty-five). Rather my life is turning more grey as opposed to black and white.
Black and white Megan had very defined ideas about starting a family. Cliched ideas about "letting nature take its course" and "what's meant to be is meant to be". I remember saying of IVF, "I would never do that. If it comes to that I just won't be a mother." Of course when it became clear that the course nature was taking would end with me NOT being a mother, those ideas started to grey.
For black and white Megan adoption was not an option. Adoption didn't seem like the right way for me to start a family. I remember saying of adoption, "I would never do that. If it comes to that I just won't be a mother." Of course when my fertility treatments started going off plan, this idea also started to grey.
My life has greyed in other non-infertility related areas as well. I really enjoy this part of getting older. I am less enamored of my wrinkles and my inability to bounce back after a night of drinking. I equate the greying of my life with gaining experience, gaining knowledge, gaining wisdom. I like to reflect on my old "rules" for how to live life. I'm amused at how many of those rules have gone straight out the window. It makes me wonder which rules are next on the chopping block.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I haven't sewed for over fifteen years, since junior high. I borrowed my mother's sewing machine a couple months ago. Then I found this cute pattern on the internet. And I was looking for something to do this weekend. So I made this...
I cannot believe how great it turned out and how easy it was (seriously). I only had one snafu when I sewed two pieces together the wrong way. I then had to run to the store for a seem ripper (how arrogant of me not to purchase one when I bought the fabric). I tore the fabric apart carefully and then proceeded to pin it together the wrong way again. Thankfully I noticed that I had done this right before I sewed it incorrectly again.
I'm sending this bag to my sister. If you knew her you would know that this is totally her style. I had "sew" much fun making this (I'm so giddy I'm making bad puns) that I might just make one next weekend too. Although next time I think I am going to skip the buttons and sew ribbon around the top.
Thanks for indulging me in sharing my weekend accomplishment. Now go back to being infertile.