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I’m Still Alive, Just Barely

27 Nov

Hello Ladies.

I hope you will excuse my absence. Dealing with this ectopic pregnancy has took a bigger toll on me than I ever thought it could. But I am back now. I’ve been reading all of your posts despite my lack of commenting. I have read each and every email, comment, and shout out that you have sent and I am so thankful for each and every one of them. It wasn’t my intention to ignore these things, but somehow that was less taxing on my emotions than reliving the experience each and every time I replied.

So, where am I in this process? Well, the first dose of methotrexate didn’t work so I got a second dose last Wednesday. My period started on Friday despite my HCG levels still not dropping. Friday night/early Saturday morning I made yet another trip to the ER with terrible pain and heavy bleeding. I was eventually discharged with directions to stay off my feet as much as I possibly can and to come back if the pain got any worse. As of yesterday my beta level has still not dropped sufficiently. Tomorrow I go in for one final beta test and if the number hasn’t dropped by 15% then it’s surgery for me.

I keep thinking that this baby must get her stubbornness from her mother. And in an effort to think positively (or delusionally, the choice is yours) I tell myself that clearly she wanted me just as much as I wanted her. This didn’t really hit me until I saw the blood. The experience was akin to every other month of TTC when I was hit in the face with a BFN–the reality of that never really set in until my period started. That’s how I knew it was really over. And this was no different. Mentally, I was well aware that this pregnancy was in no way viable, and yet, there was this small part of me that held out hope for a miracle. If my beta kept rising then eventually I would see the tiny flicker of a heartbeat on the u/s screen. Nevermind the irreversible damage the methotrexate would have caused. Those are minor details in the face of a miracle.

Then the bleeding and cramping started signaling to my heart that it was time to accept what my head already knew: this is over. I wept. I screamed. I moaned. And I think I’m still in the process of grieving my loss. I have also decided that I want to commemorate this experience. For however long it lasted, this will always be my first pregnancy and incidentally it will always be my first loss. This has changed me in a way that few things ever have.

My husband wrote to me, “I can’t stop feeling the weight of all this. The tragedy of it. Never have I experienced a more permeating and profound sadness. Time I guess. Only time heals wounds this deep. It’s the most bitter cure, but it’s the only one that really works. I wish it would leave a big scar, that everyone could see and wonder and ask about. I wish for people to know the seriousness of the trauma I have experienced.”

So I have decided to leave my own permanent scar on my body. A symbol of this trauma that everyone will see and ask about.

I haven’t decided where on my body I want to put it.

I considered my front hip, close to where she lived for a brief moment in time.

I considered my ribcage under my breast, somewhat close to my heart.

I considered my wrist where I could and would look at it every day.

I considered my back, on my shoulder blade so that I wouldn’t have to look at it every day.

But it’s permanent placement in still up in the air, much like the fate of my left tube. Maybe once this is all over then the solution will become clear? Until then, I am open to suggestions.

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Spermination Is The Name of the Game

20 Oct

Just a quick little update.

As of 10:00 am this morning I am officially sperminated. The IUI went off without a hitch. Husband produced 79.1 million beautiful little swimmers. He always had been an over achiever.

Unfortunately for me, yesterday’s happy hour turned into quite the happy night and I was probably the only hungover girl getting an IUI this morning. But, whatev. Why should fertiles have all the fun? I went out with a bang before I officially kicked off the 2ww.

We are going out again tonight for Oktoberfest at a place called Blob’s Pleasure Park. And no, it is decidedly not what it sounds like. I (and my hopefully freshly conceived eggs) get to be the DD and I am totally okay with this!

See ya’ll on the flipside.

Somebody Got It Right For Once

19 Oct

A few days ago I told you all how I was not having a very good day. I mentioned briefly that I had called and balled my eyes out to my mom about my fears of IVF, the worry over never having children, and the state of my marriage. She listened intently, but the conversation still ended with her telling me that I just need to relax. You all know how that goes. I got even more upset and told her to please never say that to me ever again. If it were a matter of “just relaxing” then I would have 15 kids by now.

Fast forward to this morning when she called me on my way to work and managed to say all the right things.

First, she explained that by “just relax” she meant I need to chill out for my own sake, not because that would get me pregnant. Then she went on to tell me that since she has known me my whole life that she probably knows me better than anyone else on this planet. And being my mother, we share a closeness that can’t possible resemble any other relationship I’ve had in my life. That being true, she said she just KNOWS that this will happen for me. She feels it in her heart and with every fiber of her being. I can’t stop fighting this fight just yet because it’s not my time. Then she said the greatest words anyone has ever said to me:

“I know that you have lost faith in yourself, your body, and this process. And that’s okay because I have decided to carry your burden of faith for you until you are ready to have it back. You just do what you need to do to make yourself happy right now. But please keep trying and know that I have faith in this even if you don’t.”

I had no idea what to say back to her, so I just said thank you. I mean, what does one say that could ever suffice when someone offers to carry such a heavy weight for you?

It was just so unlike my mom to say these things to me. She normally prefers to go the route of ignoring problems and hoping they will go away. Or suffer in silence until she explodes. Maybe this was her explosion? I have no idea. All that I do know is that I was wishing I had recorded that conversation because never has anyone managed to say exactly what I needed to hear in the face of my infertility and I’m not sure that it will ever happen again.

So like my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that I had on Wednesday, this morning also started with tears. But these tears were something different. Today I cried out of love, joy, and relief. I’m ready for my IUI tomorrow morning. I’m not going to worry about whether or not it is going to work–I’m going to let my Mom do that for me this time. I just hope that she knows that in my 29 years on this planet, this might very well be the greatest gift I have every been given.

Today Is Not A Good Day

17 Oct

You guys. Today is not a good day. I just can’t stop crying.

I had my CD 11 ultrasound this morning. I have a 19mm and 12mm follicle on my left ovary and a 19mm and 12mm follicle on my right ovary. I had blood work done to check my LH level to see if I will surge on my own. I already know I won’t because I never do on Clomid, so I will be going back bright and early tomorrow for another ultrasound and probably trigger with the HCG shot tomorrow afternoon. In the bathroom. At work…. All of which will equal an IUI on Saturday.

Sounds like good news, right? And it is exactly what I wanted–4 follicles, although only two will be mature enough to ovulate. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond thrilled that my body is responding as it should. So why am I tearing up as I write this? That’s a very good question, ladies. Glad you asked.

Most likely it has to do with the Clomid. This is my fourth medicated cycle using Clomid and typically I never experience any side effects. This month, however, is SO different. I had migraine-style headaches that lasted days. My face and chest are broken out in all these tiny red bumps. I never break out and now I am terrified that my skin is going to be like this forever. Well, let me qualify that–I do break out from time to time, but never in such quantity. There are probably about 50 zits on my face. My husband says they aren’t noticeable, but I see them every time I look in the mirror.

And the mood swings…Oh the Mood Swings. I have been straight up bitchy all week and I refuse to make apologies for it. That’s how I know it’s bad. I am more than aware that I am being unreasonable and I just don’t effing care. Then today came the waterworks. I barely made it out of my RE’s office before the tears started pouring down my face. I called my husband and cried to him for a bit. Then I called my Mom and cried to her for even longer.

You see, my actual RE was the one who did my ultrasound this morning and afterward she told me that I needed to make an appointment to sit down with her and discuss our plan again because obviously this isn’t working. It’s been almost a year, I’ve done 5 medicated cycles, and I’m still not pregnant. She said “we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it happens this month.” I know exactly what that means. This is doctor speak for we seriously need to consider IVF.

But I’m not ready. Neither financially nor emotionally. But especially not financially. How the hell does one pull $15k out of thin air?

I just don’t know if I can take this anymore. I am becoming ambivalent towards this whole process and I can no longer see it as a means to an end. To be honest, some days I feel so unattached from my desire to be a mother that I totally forget why I am doing this in the first place. I guess that’s denial. Then there are days where it consumes my every thought and I am overly emotional at the idea that this might just never happen for me. Most days I attempt to avoid triggers in any direction so as to fool myself into believing that I am blissfully happy with the current state of my affairs. Maybe that’s actually denial?

Either way, I’m a damn mess. I’m scared. Anxious. Guilt-ridden. And so many other emotions that I didn’t even have names for.

Infertility effs with EVERYTHING! My complexion, my weight, and my emotions are just the beginning. Never mind how I see my relationships with my dearest friends changing right before my eyes. I know it isn’t due to anything that either of us is doing wrong, it’s just the way life works. We have different lifestyles and different priorities these days. Why would I even want to be invited to a play date anyway? I don’t! In fact, I can’t imagine anything more traumatic for me at this point. Yet, somehow that doesn’t erase the feelings of feeling excluded.

Then there is my marriage. I’m telling you, nothing is safe from the reach of infertility. There was a time not too long ago when I wrote about how infertility was bringing my husband and I closer together. That since we were the only people on whole, wide world who knew what it felt like to be us, our bond was further cemented in that unfortunate reality. However, I fear that is no longer the case. These days we barely talk about it. We face scheduled sex like homework. In fact, that’s how my RE actually refers to it. I know we could do better, we could try harder. But I really think neither of us has much fight left in us for that. Then there is the fact that this is my problem. He could go on and probably have 15 children with any fertile woman of his choosing. Logically I know this is backwards thinking. He has told me as much: I don’t get to make that decision for him. But, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a small part of me that considers letting him go for this reason. I just know how devastated I would be (and am) at the prospect of facing a future without my own biological children. This decision would probably kill me, but I see it as a gift I could give to him. Perhaps the most selfless thing I could ever do in my life. I hope it never has to come to that point, but these are thoughts that keep my up and night and in tears all day.

I’m just all over the place and I know even more difficult decisions will need to be made. And soon.

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day

15 Oct

My candle is burning strong. Love, hope, remembrance, and peace to yours and mine.

 

My Made Up Protocol for Cycle 22

10 Oct

Yes, this cycle marks 22 months of TTC. I am so dreading that 2 year mark for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons being financial. As of January 1st our extremely high insurance deductible resets which means everything comes 100% out of pocket until we spend close to 5k. 5k which we don’t have, so as of January (if we aren’t pregnant?!?!) treatments will be put on hold until we can save that money up for IVF. I guess this works out nicely since my RE will no longer prescribe me fertility drugs at that point anyway and IVF is covered at 0%. This give us 3 cycles (including this one) to get the job done.

I wasn’t going to go overboard this cycle and just see what my body does on it’s own, but it seems that I changed my mind. Or rather, Kristin at Return to Go changed my mind. She posted a list of things she did this cycle in order to aid her fertility and they seem to be working so far. Thus, I present you with my very own protocol that I borrowed generously from her:

1. 50 mg of Clomid on CD 2-6 along with monitoring beginning on CD 10 and most likely a trigger shot. And definitely an IUI.

2. A foot bath (which can read more about here) with epsom salts and myrrh, geranium, and clary sage essential oils. I will also listen to the Circle + Bloom meditations while I do this.

3. Castor Oil Pack, which you can also read more about here.

4. I also picked up Fertility-Preg Liquid Extract to add to my water 2-3 times per day.

I already splurged on all this items in a moment of impulsiveness, so why not? I can’t hurt.

Between these things, your wine suggestion and position suggestions, I believe my broken foot, fractured tailbone, and infertile uterus shall be no match for my husband and I. Fingers crossed!

In Other News (And My 200th Post!!)

8 Oct

I’ve been so caught up in my October Writing Prompts that I almost forget this is primarily an (in)fertility blog. It seems that I owe you guys some sort of an update in that department.

I finished my 10 day antibiotic regiment to cure the ureaplasma.

Today is CD 2, so I started my first dose of 50mg if Clomid. We’re doing an IUI this month and my monitoring will begin on CD 10. Between my broken foot and broken/bruised tailbone, I have a feel getting it on will be quite difficult this month. Alas, the deed must be done. And done. And done. Then probably done at least one more time for good measure. Tips? Advice? Positions that will make the pain (and awkwardness) any easier? Recommendations for a good wine that will make me care a little less?