Monthly Archives: January 2012

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I’ve been forcing myself to try to be upbeat.  I’ve been forcing myself to try not to get emotional and to just be ok.  And so far, it has seemed to work.  Until tonight.  And I almost had a complete meltdown about kindergartens for my son next year.  I mean, my level of anxiety and stress was really disproportionate to the situation.

First I was annoyed because we were re-districted right after we bought this house.  And we were put in a low income district because they needed a solid upper middle class neighborhood in the district.  Yay.  Now, not that I generally have an issue with income brackets, but in terms of the school environment, schools that are generally in low income areas tend to have poorer performance.  Period.  So, we have a single school in our district within 15 minutes of our house.  We have 4 schools now in another district within 3 minutes of our house.  But, that district won’t take transfers.  Which means we only have a single option for public school.  So, we have also applied to all of the charter schools around in hopes that we can get into one of those.  Which isn’t likely because we are out of district.  So, I was contemplating renting an apartment just down the road from my house, which is in the neighboring school district, so we would have a residence there that we could use to get into the schools.  It took about 20 minutes for me to discard that idea.

The I realized that the public school in our neighborhood only goes to 5th grade.  And the middle school we’ve been assigned to now is in a BAD area.  Then I REALLY started to get upset.  Angry.  And I was on the edge of complete mental breakdown.  Seriously, my kid is starting kindergarten in the fall – but I was FREAKING out about 6th grade.

And then I felt shat upon by the universe again.  And I spent some time (and still am) wallowing in self pity as to why, WHY, can’t something just go right????  All of that emotion and outrage and sadness and everything that I’ve been “keeping in check” redirected itself towards the school dilemma.  I guess it was going to come out one way or the other.  So, for the rest of tonight I am having a pity party.  No one else is invited.  But, lest I have an emotional outburst at some really inappropriate time, I’m gonna need to work through this.

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See, this is what happens when I am waiting.  I get antsy.  I just called the IVF clinic to find out about donor embryos.  I want all of the information up front so I can make my plan, so I have something to hang my hat on.  So I can stop being so antsy.

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I called the adoption agency today.  They are a not-for-profit that partners with the county to place children.  I have to start really solidifying my thoughts on this because every time I think about it,  it just becomes a big blur of “OMG I have no idea what I am doing with this and I am scared and excited and scared of being excited”.  So, pros and cons.

Pros:

Potentially having a child closer in age to our son.  He can have a playmate in his sibling, which I have always wanted for him.

It’s an option that does not involve us having to try to come up with an exorbitant amount of money. which we do not have.

It would help me feel like I am being proactive to start down this path and to know, definitively, if this option is a possibility for our family.

It doesn’t involve me injecting or otherwise subjecting my body to mass amount of hormones.  There is no “wand” involved.

We have some control over the process and the decision making – we are not simply waiting to see if my body is going to cooperate and if I manage to produce a usable egg.

Ultimately, we would be helping a kid who needs it.  And while it would be truthful to say that my motive is not to help someone who needs it, my motive is to grow my family, it’s a bonus.

 

Cons:

It’s foster to adopt.  Concurrent planning.  While we have a child in our home, they are trying to also place that child back with his/her birth parents or a family member.  I’m not wanting to be a foster parent.  I don’t have the mental fortitude AND that’s just not where I am in my life right now.

So, even if we could come to terms mentally with the idea of a child being taken away from us, our 4.5 year old will not be able to.  We can rationalize it – he cannot.  All he can do is love.  He doesn’t know how to care without loving with abandon – it’s all or nothing with the 4-5 year old crew.  I can’t bear the thought of the heartbreak he would experience if a child he has come to love is taken from our home and placed back with their birth family.

The children generally have some sort of disability or have been through some type of trauma, hence being removed from their parents.  This can create a lot of the unexpected.

Parenting classes, homestudies, etc.  I understand this on an intellectual level, but it is frustrating to have to go sit in parenting classes when I am raising a beautiful, smart, funny, well adjusted, 4.5 year old.  The part that bothers me about it is that I will have to give up time with said 4.5 year old to sit in classes that may not be beneficial to me.  This is a small con, and would never be influential on decision making.  So, I suppose it’s more of an annoyance than an actual “con”.

So, next step is to get a packet of information and go to the first class “Exploring Permanency” in early February.  I never saw my life leading me here and it doesn’t really feel real.  I wonder at what point it starts to feel real.  Maybe it’s because I know we are not quite done trying on our own and as of now this is the “back-up plan”….I’m not sure.  What I do know is that it’s just not where I expected life to lead me and, today, that’s a hard pill to swallow.  Yesterday it wasn’t – but today it is.

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The follow up beta results are in and HCG has dropped to 2.2.  We officially have a chemical pregnancy that is self resolving.  I am stopping the vivelle dots and endometrin immediately and expect AF to arrive within 3-5 days.  I’ll start BCP on CD 3 and we’ll be moving towards our next transfer immediately.

I know it might sound awful, but I am relieved.  I know that everyone knows someone who has had a successful pregnancy with a low beta, but I never have.  I have had a lot of low betas and every single one ended in a miscarriage.  I’ve had to go through weeks of waiting, being tortured because of the uncertainty of not knowing if this was the one that was going to make it, just to find no heartbeat and end up in outpatient surgery with a D&C because the miscarriages were not happening on their own.  I am relieved that we have a clean break.  There are no weeks of not knowing.  There’s no surgery.  There’s no sitting around waiting to do another cycle.  It’s just done.  We can just move on.  If you have to have a failed pregnancy, this is the sanest way to have to deal with it.

After all of this time and experience, you just start measuring things in bad and worse.  Worse than an immediate negative answer is weeks of uncertainty ending with a loss.  Worse than that, carrying to almost the end of the first trimester, seeing a heartbeat and walking in for a routine appointment to find the heartbeat is gone.  Bad and worse.  At this point, I am relieved to only have to deal with bad.

Perspective

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I think the universe is trying to make sure that we are prepared for the bad news that we are likely to receive from today’s beta.  On the way to work this morning, my wife saw a car hydroplane across four lanes of  highway traffic, hit and fence, flip over and roll.  No one stopped, so she pulled over.  The woman driving seemed ok, but she was trapped in the car.  My wife called the ambulance and they came and took over.

Then, I got to work and one of my co-workers was found collapsed on the bathroom floor and unable to move.  She will be fine, but went to the hospital in an ambulance.  I went with her until her husband could get there.

Perhaps this is the universe’s way of saying, “Look.  I know that what you are going through sucks and is going to continue to suck.  But, your car did not flip over and you did not collapse, alone and unable to move, on the bathroom floor.  You are healthy and safe.  And today you should be grateful for that because not everyone has those things.  You’ve seen it firsthand.”

And maybe it’s all just a crazy coincidence and I attributed some larger meaning to it to help myself maintain some perspective in light of the impending likely bad news from today’s beta.

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Well shit.  Shit, shit, shit.

I had my beta today.  12.5 – so not negative, but not exactly positive either.  At this point, I would have been fine with a negative.  I already expected it and was making new plans for the next cycle.  And not that a negative beta is easy, but it’s clean and I was expecting it.  No waiting, no wondering.  No fear of heading towards another D&C.  No worries about ectopic.  Just clean.

I am remarkably numb about it.  I’m not happy.  I’m not particularly sad.  I just don’t feel anything about it.  At all.  And I don’t even know what to say about it because what is there to really say?  We’re in limbo.  But in my mind the thing in limbo is if this will resolve itself or if I will end up with yet another D&C.  With a beta of 12.5 of 9 DP 5DT, I cannot imagine there is any possible way this could be a viable pregnancy.  We’ve down this path before, we know where it leads.

Yet, I remain remarkably unaffected today.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been this shut down before.   I suppose for now that’s a good thing.  Repeat beta on Monday.

Realization

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I had a realization today – and one that was so unexpected that it’s hard for me to even write it.  But here it is.  After 2 years of miscarriages and repeated failed IUIs and now failed IVF, I am not only agonizingly depressed that the end of our fertility journey is in sight, but I am also somewhat relieved.  For two solid years, we’ve been climbing an uphill battle.  I’ve put both my body and my psyche through so much.  So much.  Our lives have been on hold.  No vacations.  No home improvements.  No new technology.  No spending money on anything.  Every penny had to be spent on fertility treatments and medications.  We’ve loaned against our retirement plans and maxed out credit cards to try to get pregnant.  We’ll be paying for this journey long after it’s over even if we don’t end up with a baby.  We pushed ourselves to the brink financially, mentally, and in my case, physically.

Twice in the past two years I have lost upwards of 40 pounds.  The first time I gained most of it back. It was after my miscarriage that was near the end of the first trimester.  I was too depressed to do anything at all.  And I just ate whatever felt good because everything else felt so damn bad. And currently I am in the process of gaining some of it back from my second round of pseudo-anorexic weight loss.  Emotional eating again.  I’d like to get it under control, but these days it seems like it takes every ounce of energy and focus I can muster to wake up, do my job and be a good parent to my kid.  I don’t have anything left after that.  After that, this is all that is left of me:

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(Image from http://www.hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com)

And this is why, I think, there’s a part of me relieved that limited resources are forcing this journey to an end.  I don’t want to be the woman in that picture for the rest of my life.  I want lap band surgery.  I want to start going to conferences and business engagements again.  I’ve had to cancel all of my trips because you never know in advance when you are going to need to be available to be in the RE office for a cycle.  I want to think about next steps in my career – that’s been on hold, too, because I don’t want to start a new job and immediately go on maternity leave.  Which clearly has not been an issue, but you also miss SO much work going through fertility treatments, how would that look in a new job?  Plus, my next step is hopefully into a CEO position.  Can I really lead a company when I am going through all of this?  When I am the woman in that picture?

So, I feel like a traitor to myself and to all that I have put myself through when I say it, but there is a part of me that will be relieved.  There’s still a chance that this may end with a baby in my arms.  But it may not.  And I’m starting the process of learning to accept the latter possibility.

Long Day

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It has been a very long day.  I’ve jumped 10 steps ahead and then forced myself to come back to today and just focus on the now.  I’ve struggled to work through the emotion of the disappointment and at the same time, tried to mostly keep it to myself.

In the span of one day, I have questioned and cursed every fertility related decision we have made in the last 6 months.  I’ve cried.  And cried again.  And cried again.  I’ve plastered on fake smiles, mustered fake laughs, and plowed through all of my obligations.  And I decided to run for City Council and then changed my mind.  Tomorrow will be the same, with hopefully less crying, and less crazy  (ie: running for City Council.  Perhaps running for public office is NOT the best way to distract myself from all of this.)

I think I have worked through the disappointment for the most part, now it’s facing the fear of going forward.  We really are approaching the end of our journey.  Unless some power of the universe drops a large sum of money in our laps, we will attempt another FET with our last two frozen blasts, provided they survive the thaw.  And then we have a single vial of donor sperm left that is from the same donor as our son, so we will likely attempt a Hail Mary IUI as our last chance.  There’s no more sperm available from this donor anywhere, so it’s our last chance at getting our son a fully genetic sibling – which frankly, is becoming less important by the day.

I called a non-profit adoption agency that works with the county and spent a long time talking to them on the phone.  There are many, many reservations and serious considerations to adopting through the county, but after spending over $25,000 on IVF, that’s the only way we are going to be able to afford adoption.  So, I think we are going to start filling out paperwork, going to classes, get a home study, etc.  If we never need it, fine.  If we decide it’s not for us, fine.  But if we get to that point, and we decide it’s a viable option, we have used our time wisely in taking care of the formalities and time consuming pre-work concurrent with our last few tries at having a baby on our own.  A major benefit to adoption is that we could get a child closer in age to our son, so he would have the playmate I’ve always wanted him to have in a sibling.  So, pros and cons, and a LOT to consider, but no harm in starting to lay some groundwork.

We’ve also decided to talk to our clinic about embryo donation.  Their website says they have donated embryos available.  So, my thinking is that we are definitely headed for another FET.  If my blasts do not survive the thaw, then I wonder if we can use donated embryos instead.  We will already be ready and through the whole process, they would just out back different embryos.  I doubt it works this easily even though it seems like such a great plan to me, but, I will talk to the clinic about it next week.

So, to summarize this day:

-Accepted and started dealing with failed FET

-Decided to start the ball rolling on adoption

-Decided to explore donated embryo option

-Decided to run for City Council

-Decided NOT to run for City Council

One thing I love about myself is that even in the midst of some serious depression, I have a good dose of crazy that I can laugh about later.

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Still negative this morning.  Which means to me that we have our answer for this cycle.  This morning I started forcing myself to really think about and start trying to accept that this may be the beginning of the end.  We really might never have another kid.  Our son might end up an only child.  I can’t write or think or almost even exist without crying and I can’t cry because I’m at work.

 

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Who am I kidding?  I am not a reasonable person when it comes to this.  Oh yes, my logical brain is trying to talk me down – convincing me that everything could still be ok.  It’s early, I tested mid-afternoon, etc. etc.  But really, I am convinced that this cycle is a bust.  If we get a positive this cycle, I may fall over from the shock.  I’m trying not to be too sad.  I’m trying not to be too disappointed – that was the whole point of testing now rather than let myself get 3 more days invested in this before I found out.  I’ll keep testing and if something changes, I will seriously be shocked.  I was thinking back, and my blasts were actually frozen on Day 6, so 6DP 6DT = 12 DPO.  If I was going to get a positive, I have always had it by 12 DPO.  SO, this is me trying to remain calm and carry on.  Not the easiest task.  Deep breath.  Deep breath.  Deep breath.