Archive | May, 2012

A hard conversation

27 May

I’ve been a bad IF blogger lately. All week I was away in New York for business. Not the best week to sign up for ICLW, I know! I’m so bad.  I completely forgot when I signed up. Sigh.

In other lame news, AF is still MIA. I’m so frustrated with her! I was supposed to be starting Lupron soon. As it stands now, even if she comes tomorrow, I’m still 21 days away from even that. And my guess? She’s not coming tomorrow. We’re out of state now for the long weekend but I’m going to insist on bloodwork and possibly an ultrasound as soon as I get back. Bloodwork to see WTF is going on and if we can jumpstart AF. Ultrasound because I’ve had these off and on nagging pangs in my right ovary and I want to make sure there’s not some monster cyst setting up camp there.

Other than that, my mind has been wandering toward adoption a lot lately. I just feel drawn to it, and up until this morning, I couldn’t really explain why. But then, lying in the guest room in my parent’s house this morning, DH and I engaged in one of the hardest conversations we’ve had yet since dealing with IF. I’m not sure why, but I rolled over this morning and just kind of blurted out, “I want to adopt.”

He waited a painfully long time before finally whispering back, “Right now?” Turns out, he isn’t so sure he wants to adopt at all, and he certainly doesn’t want to until we’ve exhausted IVF. Which is a perfectly fine feeling to have, and I had an inkling that he felt this way for sure, but this time it was harder to hear. It set me off crying and, after a lot of back and forth, finally I realized why.

I have very little faith that IVF will result in a take home baby for us. I’ve been wrestling with this on a semi-conscious level ever since I found out that was our next option. I want so desperately to be positive. I look at all those couples much older than me who struggle to conceive and struggle with miscarriage for a long time before IVF finally helps them. But I just have this hunch that whatever is causing us to have so much trouble conceiving and whatever is causing us to have so much trouble keeping pregnancies, is connected. It seems to me we’re just too young to not be having something more serious going on. Something genetic or perhaps something in the way our stuff combines, or doesn’t combine, is effed up.

And so, if IVF isn’t going to work, I have to know that there’s a Plan B (or I guess at this point, it’s really a Plan C, or a Plan F, depending on your definition of plans). I have to have my baby and I no longer care where she comes from (in my mind, she’s a she for some reason?). I don’t care what she looks like, what color her skin is, what shape her eyes are or what texture her hair is. I don’t care if she looks absolutely nothing like me. I just need someone to hand me a little person and say, this perfect child right here is YOURS to love and to raise.

One area where DH and I really differ is, he hasn’t let go of that desire to see his own genetic material furthered in another human being. And if he can have biological children, he sees no need to adopt. I don’t want to keep turning adoption into this “last resort” because if we do end up permanently vacationing at said last resort? I don’t want it to feel that way. And I’m scared of how long it takes and scared of not even beginning the process until after cycle upon failed IVF cycle (could mean at least another year of failure and waiting before even starting what I’ve heard takes at least two years). Unlike him, I’d be happy to have a blended family of both biological and adopted children. I can’t see any reason why not to pursue both paths simultaneously. Bottom line? I want my family. I’m sick of waiting. I want my family.

But we differ. And I guess that’s okay. I mean, it has to be. The way the conversation ended, I told him that I needed him to at least tell me that adoption is not off the table for the future, and he promised as much. He also asked me to try to be more positive about IVF and I told him I would try.

So here we are. We are here.

 

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May’s IComLeavWe Welcome!

21 May

Hello! If you’ve found your way to my little corner of the IF blogoverse thanks to Stirrup Queen’s May IComLeavWe, I’d like to say welcome and invite you to learn a little more About Me and check out my Timeline to get the scoop on our TTC journey.

I’ve only been blogging about infertility for about a month and a half now, but it feels like so much longer! When I started this blog we were going into our second IUI cycle. That cycle ended up being cancelled, ironically one month ago today on the first day of April IComLeavWe, due to overstimulation and the risk of multiples. I was pretty devastated as everything had been going so well otherwise. So, we decided to go “rogue” and have sex on our own, even though my RE encouraged us not to.

That was a total waste of time because my five pretty follicles ended up painfully bursting on their own, causing me two days of bleeding. My RE said it was because I didn’t trigger that the eggs never released on their own. His recommendation for us was to move forward with IVF. Since I respond so well to the drugs, IUI is a risky process for us. IVF is much more controlled and he believes, will be much more successful.

So since then I’ve been waiting, waiting, waiting and waiting some more for AF to arrive. She still hasn’t. I’m on CD40. ISN’T THIS THE MOST EXCITING BLOG, EVER!? At first I welcomed the wait as a chance to relax a little before launching into IVF, and to get in a little better shape, but now I’m done waiting and I just want to start already! We’ve been approved for three IVF cycles with our insurance (we’re incredibly, hugely fortunate in this regard). Our meds have been ordered but the prescription stands waiting to be filled at the fertility pharmacy until AF comes since Lupron has a short shelf life.

So that’s my story right now! I’ve got a busy week of work travel ahead of me and then we’re heading home for the long weekend, but once I get back, if AF hasn’t arrived I’ll call my RE’s to get some bloodwork drawn and get started. Oh, and in case you were wondering (I know I was), no I’m not pregnant. Checked that. Nope. No such luck.

Anyways, I hope you’ll stick around as we enter this first IVF cycle and follow along with our journey. I’m glad you’re here!

Harder.

14 May

This weekend was hard. Much harder than I expected it to be. Mother’s Day always sucks for the infertiles and this one was no different, but yet, it was. It was much more of an emotional, anxiety-ridden clusterf*ck.

Didn’t help that I was in the wedding of one of my best friends, already setting myself up for emotional heaviness (in a good way, but still). Didn’t help that my mom was in town to babysit the dog and to celebrate Mother’s Day with me, making it impossible to forget it was happening like I wanted to do. Especially didn’t help that during the reception, the bride’s new 2-year-old niece, cute as a button, decided to make me her new best friend. She just came over to me on the dance floor, put her arms up, and from that point on didn’t want to let go of me. Even when her mommy (25, 3 kids, gorgeous, skinny, happily married – wah!) tried taking her away, she curled her little fingers around my arm and continued reaching out for me even as she was carted away. They thought she was bothering me, and it’s true my arms were aching from holding her and dancing, but my heart was aching so much more and something in me broke.

I wanted her. In the least creepy sense possible, I wanted to go off and snuggle her close and kiss her face and tell her stories and teach her lessons and show her the world. Each time after they’d take her away (she kept finding me, again and again), I’d dance with DH and bury my face in his beautiful shoulder and cry. Cry for everything we’ve been through, cry for everything we want and don’t know if we’ll ever have. I know there was probably nothing special about me. Sometimes little ones just latch on to someone. But she helped my heart so much and forced me to touch everything I was really feeling around Mother’s Day, in a way I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Even though it was hard and I was crying at my best friend’s wedding, I’ll be forever grateful to that little girl for the love she showed me on Saturday night. And now I know for certain that I could love any child, no matter how they came to be in my arms. I just need them to be mine and then maybe my heart can rest.

And as I sat there at the bridal party table, teary eyed and choked up, I thought, this is infertility. This is the ugly, brutal face of infertility. If anyone was ever wondering, they could have just looked at me in that moment and known the whole of it.

I never outed myself in full during NIAW. DH wasn’t comfortable with it so I didn’t push it. But I did post this one Facebook yesterday: “To those who have loved and lost, and for everyone still waiting for their own little miracle, to anyone for whom this day is bittersweet, my heart is with you all.” To my surprise, 17 people liked the post, people of all ages, people with kids, and people without kids. Maybe the pain of Mother’s Day isn’t as misunderstood as I thought. Or maybe they were just being nice. I appreciated it nonetheless.

I think this is going to get progressively harder, each Mother’s Day that passes without a child to call my own. This was my third. The first time, I wasn’t even considering myself an infertile. It was two months after my D&C and I didn’t realize going in how hard it was going to be. It wasn’t until I saw people wishing other pregnant friends on Facebook a happy Mother’s Day that I realized, that should have been me.

And now we’re two losses, two dozen failed cycles, one failed IUI, one cancelled IUI and one IVF plan into our journey and it’s heavy. It feels like I’ve been carrying a heap of cinder blocks for miles and I just want this to end. I need this to resolve, some how, some way. I’m ready for my resolution. It’s time to find a way out.

My love

9 May

I haven’t gotten too personal on here yet, just because I’m still feeling out how “out there” I want to be on this blog.

But I’ve decided to share with you all a photo of my precious pup, the light in my days, my Ava. Just because she’s the sweetest ever and is sending love and alloveryourface kisses to all the worried newly pregnant and all the harried, tired, hurt and grieving still trying, and all the hopeful and all the waiting.

Stay strong, my friends.

On waiting and weight.

8 May

I am so impatient sometimes, it’s ridiculous. Actually, I always have been, with most everything in life. I hate waiting. I hate wasting time. And infertility has brought out the worst of this quality in me.

I literally can’t wait for this IVF cycle to start. I’m getting obsessive about it. We’ll begin Lupron on CD21 of my next cycle but that feels like a lifetime away. First of all, I have to wait for my period, which – where is she? I don’t think she got the memo to stop by. We messed with everything so badly this cycle. Forcing my poor ovaries to grow five eggs and then abandoning them to burst and die. I think she’s going to play hide and seek just to spite me.

And then I get mad at myself because I realize how lucky I am just to be able to say we’re starting IVF next cycle. Lucky that life events aren’t making us wait a few months. Lucky that my body is physically able to move forward, as far as we know. Lucky most especially that I live in a state where we have IVF coverage. Otherwise, forget it. We couldn’t dream of affording even one IUI cycle, let alone IVF.

So every time my brain goes into impatient territory now, I’m going to try to coax it back to normal by reminding myself of how lucky we are in so many ways. And when that doesn’t work, I’m hoping to channel all that impatient energy into exercise.

I’m so sick of my infertility weight. My miscarriage and chemical pregnancy weight. My depression weight. It’s become too much to bear. I just had to go up another jean size a couple weeks ago. It makes everything somehow so much worse. I tell myself sometimes, this all wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to be fat too. Of course I don’t HAVE to be fat but it’s hard.

Here’s what a typical TTC cycle is like for an infertile:

Week one: AF is here. You feel pretty crappy, physically and emotionally. You’re so tired of trying, tired of another failed cycle. You hit snooze as long as possible in the morning and then come home and crash on the couch at night.

Week two: Time to rally and get into the routine of having sex every other day. Which is hard for lots of reasons, including the fact that all this newfound infertility weight makes you feel the opposite of sexy. It’s such an effort that maybe you work out, maybe you don’t. But you better do it this week because…

Weeks three and four: The dreaded two week wait. Wherein you may or may not be pregnant. Just in case it’s your exercise routine that’s been keeping you from getting knocked up, you “take it easy” on the workouts or maybe probably just skip them, just in case, just to be safe.

Then it starts all over again. Or at least that has all been my experience. It’s even harder during an ART cycle because during week 2, my one work out week, I’m stimming and going in for check up appointments at the crack of dawn a few mornings a week, so it’s hard to work in gym time too.

As a result, I’m up 20 lbs. since my wedding day nearly three years ago. SIGH. So in a way, there is a little part of me that’s glad for this little break before IVF. I’ve told myself I’m going to use it to get back to the gym, and maybe shed a few of these pounds I’ve been carrying around. Of course I know I can’t lose all twenty, or even ten, or even maybe five. But if I could just lose a few, I think I’d feel so much better going into IVF.

We joined a new gym recently so I’ve been going as much as I can push myself to go without making myself crazy. (That’s a whole other story for a different day.) In the past two weeks, I’ve gone swimming four times, done one Zumba class, one yoga class, and one regular workout on the elliptical and treadmill. I’m pretty proud of that! Hopefully I can keep it up and arrive at IVF’s door a little slimmer, a little happier and a little more confident.

That should do the trick, right?

Distractions

3 May

With our first IVF cycle not due to really start for a good month, and the actual transfer almost two months away, I’m going to need some distractions to keep me busy while I wait.

Here’s what I’m planning…

-Fitness. I have really, really let this fall by the wayside this year. I had lost 10 of my IF lbs last fall and now I’m right back where I started, which is a little over 20 lbs heavier than I was on my wedding day. Wah! I don’t feel like me anymore. I really want to get back to the gym and am already making a big effort to do so. We joined a new gym about three weeks ago that we can go to together (I was belonging to an all-women’s gym before). This new gym is AWESOME! It has lots of free classes, a pool, a big work out room, a gymnasium for DH to play basketball, even a rock climbing wall and a cafe! I’ve already been swimming one night this week (a good exercise that I can continue into pregnancy, should we be so lucky) and to Zumba last night! I plan to go swimming again tonight. I just feels so. good.

-Busy weekends. Our weekends are pretty much booked up from here til June. This weekend is pretty much the only one where we’ll be home until June. I’m planning to plant my deck and we need to paint the steps and the lattice on the front of the house. On Saturday night, we’re going to a Cinco de Mayo party at DH’s coworkers house. They are South American (not sure which country) and make the BEST “Mexican” food. YUM, can’t wait. Then next weekend, I’m in the wedding for one of my best friends. She’s getting married in an airplane hangar! I can’t wait to see her as a bride. The following weekend, we’ll be camping with our wedding photographers. So random! But we’ve stayed in touch with them since our wedding and they have a young dog too so it will surely be a blast. The following weekend is the long Memorial Day weekend and we’ll be going home to see our parents. Then bam! It’ll be June.

-More reading. I used to be such a big reader and I haven’t felt the motivation to do it much lately. So I’m trying to read at least a little bit every night before bed and on the weekends too. I just finished “If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin and it was excellent. I want to post a quote from it on here actually. Now I’m reading “The Crimson Petal and the White” by Michel Faber? It’s a big one but it has excellent reviews. I’ve only had it sitting on my shelf for… four years or so? I actually have about 50 books on my bookshelves that I have not read (yes, I counted once). I went through a serious used book buying phase after college. I had to stop myself!

How did you pass the time waiting for your IVF cycle to start? I’d welcome any tips and tricks to make the time go faster!

Onto IVF

3 May

We had our IVF consultation with Dr. B today and I have to say, I left there feeling pretty hopeful and okay with moving forward with IVF. I had mixed feelings going in. On the one hand, I know it has a higher success rate and I’ve seen it’s success in this community many times (especially recently!). On the other, it seems so serious, and like the last resort. If this doesn’t work, what’s next? I try not to go there but sometimes I can’t help it. And there’s that little voice in me that still can’t believe where we are. That thought we’d never come CLOSE to touching those three letters (not to mention scary words like miscarriage or infertility).

First things first, the appointment did start on a rocky note. We were scheduled to meet with Dr. B at 11. Around 11:15 we saw him coming into the clinic with scrubs on, presumably from a procedure. Okay, no problem. Then we keep waiting and waiting. At 11:35, I ask how much longer it will be because we had to get back to work. Not long, they say. We wait. By 11:44 I say, Okay we’re waiting until 11:45 then we’re leaving. Just at that moment they call us back. Then we’re waiting in the meeting room still! And getting really annoyed at this point, especially DH. It makes us start to question our relationship with Dr. B, how much we trust him, what our rapport is like, and even, whether or not we want to stay with the clinic (we can be a bit dramatic at times but we did feel like our time wasn’t being respected – and this was quite an important appointment after all!). We finally agree that if no one comes in by noon, we’re out of there. Finally around 11:55, Dr. B arrives and he was very apologetic. He asked if that was us in the waiting room when he came in and said the nurses didn’t tell him we were here and how he hates it when that happens, how he always tries to respect people’s time, how he was going to have a word with the nurses, etc. That made us feel better and we were able to open up to this discussion.

He starts by recapping our two IUIs. The first one worked, “we got you pregnant,” but it was a biochemical. This cycle, we hyperstimulated you and had to cancel. Now we have two options, another IUI with a lower dosage and Metformin or IVF. IVF, he said, gives him more control and would be his recommendation. We agreed.

So he said after this cycle ends, we’ll start Lupron on CD 21 of my next cycle. I asked him exactly what is going on with this cycle and he said the eggs all collapsed, that’s why I’ve been spotting, and that it will all be over in a week from now and I’ll get my period (again, he made it clear that I will not ovulate). Then we wait 21 days, start the Lupron (oh the stories I’ve heard about this drug! Can’t wait to sample the Lupron crazies for myself), get another period, then start stimming around early June! He’ll put me on 150 iu of Gonal-f, and when the eggs are ready, of course we’ll have the egg retrieval followed by the embryo transfer followed finally by the beta.

Then I pummeled him with questions. You’ve got to be your own advocate, right? I’m getting more and more comfortable with this. He won’t do a mock transfer, he doesn’t find value in them anymore. He’ll choose the best embryos based on how they look; he doesn’t do PGD because it can cause mortality, only if completely necessary. ICSI is not necessary in our case either. The live birth rate in my age group is 40-45% for this clinic. He believes our chances of success to be very good. He will transfer two embryos if possible, will not transfer more for someone my age. He does not do endometrial biopsies prior to transfer (unless necessary of course). The only supplement I need to be taking is the prenatal.

So that’s that! Now I just wait for my period. Hope it comes soon! I’m so beyond done with this funky cycle.