Monthly Archives: July 2012

You Are Getting Sleeeeeeeeeepyyyyy…..

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I am going to go to a hypnotherapist.  It feels like this weird, crazy secret to admit.  So, there.  I said it.  I am going to a hypnotherapist.

I’ve been talking to my shrink about wanting LapBand surgery, and she suggested that I take a look at Hypnotherapy virtual gastric banding.  Ok, I am willing to look at most things to see what they are about.

So, after much reading online, I call a local practitioner to learn more and see about a consultation so I can get a feel for what it would be like.  We’re going to call this guy, Dr. Douchebag.  So, Dr. Douchebag calls me back and basically says, “Did you read my website?  Then what else could you possibly want to know?”  And I explain that before I give him $700  for this, I want to experience it and understand how it works.  AND, if it’s as effective as I read online, I want to know how it gets handled if someone gets pregnant.  (Because with real lapband, they completely loosen it if you get pregnant – it’s not healthy for you and the baby to eat like that).  So, in my moment of fertility optimism, I wanted to know.  And it was at this time that he truly became Dr. Douchebag.

He first explained that I would just have to eat healthy if I got pregnant (OHHHHH, really?  Thanks for the insight.) and then explained that I probably haven’t gotten pregnant yet because I am too stressed out about it.  I explained how incorrect that was and gave him the 20,000 ft overview of my fertility challenges.  He still felt that any sort of hypnotherapy would cure it because it would make me relax.  And the inability to relax causes infertility.  Haven’t I heard of people getting pregnant on vacation, or right after they adopt a child?  I was pissed at how dismissive he was being by then and asked him if hypnotherapy was more effective than IVF, donor embryos, and if  it could prevent repeat miscarriage due to genetic abnormality of the fetus?  If so, then maybe he was onto something.  But if not, perhaps this conversation was stepping out of bounds.  But, Dr. Douchebag stuck to his guns saying I just needed to relax and it would happen.  Oh, and if I wanted to try out hypnosis before plunking down $700, for a mere $150 he would do a consult with me.

I then explained that I was not comfortable with the price point and the service, so I would pass, thanks for his time.  And I got a small monologue about how when he travels the world speaking at conferences, he charges $1,000 per session for his services, so $700 for 4 sessions was really nothing.  I explained to Dr. Douchebag that maybe it was “nothing” in the market, but in my bank account, it was something.  And I thanked him for his time, at which point he made a comment to the effect of, “Well, if you want to stay fat, that’s your life and your loss”, and I hung up.  Fuck off!

The I found another place locally that does hypnotherapy, and they have incredible Yelp reviews (and a lot of them), and they seem much more professional, just based on their website.  AND they offer a free consultation.  They don’t do the specific “lap band hypnotherapy”, but they do address weight.  And maybe that’s good enough.  I spoke to the woman who runs the place on the phone, we’ll call her Dr. Nice, and set up an appointment for next week.  Dr. Nice had a soothing manner, listened, answered my questions thoughtfully and was overall…nice.  I trusted her.  So, I set up an appointment for next week – I don’t know if I think it will work.  I think it can work, and I think I am interested.  And I suppose that’s all that matters at this stage of the game.

In other news, I am seriously beginning to wonder if I have Adult ADD.  I have thought it before, but I forgot I was thinking about it.  (Hmmmmm….ADD anyone?)  I was reading about it earlier today and I really think I might have it.    This will make for some interesting conversations in the coming week.

Aside

I’m a good person.  It’s true.  I really am.  A friend just got pregnant.  On her first try.  And I am all at once so relieved and happy for her, and sad and bitter for myself.  I would not wish this on anyone.  But it still feels a bit like salt in the wounds.  The wounds I can’t seem to heal.  I always wonder when it’s not going to hurt so much every time a friend gets pregnant.  When I am going to stop begging the universe and asking why that can’t be me and just be happy for other people?

I wonder if that will ever happen.  What I do know is that it hasn’t happened yet.  I’ve watched so many people get pregnant and have babies in the time that we’ve been trying – and it used to not bother me so much.  But now it does.  Now it’s just heartbreak, after heartbreak, after heartbreak – watching all of these people get the one thing that I can’t.  And then I feel shitty for being so sad and bitter – because I sure as hell wouldn’t want any of them to have to go through this.  I guess it’s just jealousy – in it’s purest, most ugly form.

 

I’m a good per…

And We’re Moving On…

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To another IUI cycle.

We officially ended the conversation with the embryo donors.  That conversation degenerated to the point that they were specifying the language we would be expected to use to explain genetic origins to any potential children.  They also informed us that they would require 2-4 in person meetings so they could “evaluate and assess your communication style and fitness as parents.”  And they decided that they were going to require us to allow children to meet prior to adulthood.  They wanted any children we had to be raised with their children.  And that was all just not workable for us.  So, we gave them some feedback and wished them luck in finding people who would be able or willing to co-parent with them in that way.

I spoke to the embryologist at our clinic and brought her up to date on that situation.  She’s so level headed and great.  She was vigilant about maintaining her neutrality in the conversation, and explained that after hearing about the process from our end, she is thinking that the couple just isn’t ready to part with the embryos, despite saying that they are.  And she said she was glad that we were clear headed enough to know our boundaries up front and not just accept any arrangement, even if it was not comfortable, in order to have another child.  She knows – after this long and this much heartbreak and this much desperation – it takes a lot of resolve to walk away from something with so much potential.  She said she would let the team there know to keep us in mind if anything at all became available – I truly do appreciate her.

I also spoke with my nurse about starting our new IUI cycle.  I requested NOT to see the  IUI coordinator after the last disastrous experience with her. So, my IVF coordinator volunteered to continue with me – and she’s great.  It’s such a relief not to have to work with the other person – my stress levels just dropped significantly!  I also asked about getting meds from IVFMeds dot com.   I told her I needed to cost save as much as possible at this point, and she offered to see if she could get me samples from the drug rep for the injectibles for this cycle.  I truly appreciated that, too.  It may not happen, but that she offered to ask was very nice.

Now, in the meantime, I am going to go back to doing all of those things that are supposed to improve egg quality.  Though they have not seemed to work so far, they also haven’t hurt.

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I move quickly once I think I have some certainty about things.  I’ve finally scheduled an appointment at another Fertility Clinic for a second opinion.  They had a cancellation and were able to get me in on July 25 – far sooner than the original date in September they had available.

We also have chosen a new sperm donor and will pursue another IUI cycle with a new donor – as soon as we can.  I am feeling certain this cycle is a bust because 1) BFN yesterday  2) Tender bbs are gone  3) Massive face breakout

Does that mean I am done POAS?   Of course not!  I will POAS tomorrow, just because.  It’s somehow comforting to have a continued affirmation of where I am even if it’s not the news I wanted.

I’ve got this under control, right?  Right?

 

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I knew it wasn’t going to work.    When my uncle had a heart attack the day of the transfer, I just had a feeling.  Then the blastocysts were poor quality.  And 2 days later, a different uncle got laid off. And he called me – because he couldn’t get hold of my Aunt, who was with her brother who had the heart attack.  And he wanted to know if I could reach her – but she just was incommunicado at the time.  Anyway, he was worked up, as one might be after being laid off.  And he was ranting about bad things happening in threes – first the heart attack, then being laid off – and what was next?

And I somehow, sort of already knew what was next.  I knew what number 3 would be.  I have never been so damn superstitious in my life.  But here it is.

And despite my need to just be done with all of this, I find myself looking at sperm bank websites for a new donor to keep trying for a few cycles.  I hate this so much.  I hate that I can’t just let go.  For my own sake, I could walk away.  But when I think of my son being an adult, and an only child, it breaks my heart.  I hate this.

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Well, I guess tomorrow is test day.  At least POAS day.  It will be 7DP 5DT…equivalent of 12 DPO.

This cycle has been a little different.  But at this time, I am guessing it didn’t work.  Typically on failed cycles, I get sore boobs around 8-9 DPO.  This time it kicked in at 10 DPO.  They are a little sore – not the kind of sore I am used to where if anyone even tries to hug me I want to punch them in the face because it hurts.

And this morning I have developed some pretty notable cramps.  I keep looking for AF to start, but I am on progesterone, so I know that won’t happen.  I’ve also got a small breakout on my forehead.  And that’s it.  It’s interesting, but I feel oddly peaceful that I will probably get another BFN tomorrow.  I mean, there’s a part of me that doesn’t, and can’t, believe it will be negative.  But I am so used to it now, I mostly don’t believe there’s any chance it will be positive.  And when I say positive, I mean real positive.  Not, here’s another chemical pregnancy positive.

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There’s been an element of the TTC journey that I have not yet posted about here.  Partly because I haven’t found the energy to do so, and partly because I wanted to maintain some privacy around this in case I was able to be identified in real life from this blog.

For a number of reasons, I feel compelled to post about it now.  Over the past 4 months, we have been speaking to a couple with embryos they want to donate.  When the clinic told us about them, they said this couple wants an open donation, and I said that I was really only looking to have any resulting children able to meet their siblings at adulthood.  The doctor said, “I think it’s a good fit.  You should talk to them – I don’t think they are looking to have Christmas together or anything.”

Turns out, he might have been very wrong about that.  In the first emails to this couple, I outlined what kind of relationship we wanted to have – which is that the children can meet siblings as adults if they wish.  They told us they were still thinking about it and just wanted more information about us.  Understandable, so we have spent 4 months telling these people pretty much everything about us.  They’ve been receptive and said that they liked us and were just wanting to nail down some details and they were asking the clinic what papers they needed to sign to give us the embryos.

And that’s when things started derailing.  They wanted to meet in person, which is fine, but we still didn’t know what they were looking for in terms of how involved they felt they needed to be with any kids we might have from these embryos.  I asked that before we met in person, they please let me know what they were seeking in that area.  So, eventually we got a document outlining possible scenarios that ranged from a simple agreement to maintain contact information over the years so adult siblings could meet if they wish to an “extended family” type scenario in which the kids are raised together, knowing each other all along and knowing that they are genetic siblings.  They even outlined the language we would use to explain this to the kids.

I let them know that the extended family option was not suitable for us.  But that we were very interested in maintaining contact information and facilitating meeting between adult children so they can develop whatever relationships they want to have.   I noted that our ideal scenario allowed adult children to meet and have relationships, while allowing both sets of parents to raise their children with autonomy.

The response was tepid.  We were thanked for outlining our ideal scenario, and told again that they would like to meet and that they hoped that we could find an agreement that we could all be comfortable with.  Oh, and we would need to have an attorney draw up a contract with these terms.  I was taken aback.  The clinic has all of the embryo transfer paperwork, so why all of a sudden are we talking about attorneys?  In 4 months of discussion, that has never come up.  Not once.  How can I sign a contract dictating the behavior of children that do not exist yet?  Why don’t I get a chance to meet my kids and decide what is best for them without having some other people dictate that in advance?  It feels very Rumpelstiltskin – you can have what you want now if you give us your child later.  And that’s an exaggeration of course, but the feeling is similar.

And, why are we still “hoping to find an arrangement that feels comfortable for all of us”?  We’ve laid out our ideal parameters and it fit within what they told us was the possibilities – what is left to discuss?  Why are we still “hoping”?  Where else is there to take this conversation?

Here’s where I am struggling.  As I have mentioned, I am growing more comfortable with the idea of not having more children.  And now I am weighing that against potentially having a life that will involve other people who want to be involved with my kids, and who clearly want to have input in to the way these kids are raised.  That’s not going to work for me or us – in any way.

And honestly, I know this may sound selfish, but it is harder for me to understand in this scenario.  I sort of get if someone and their husband create these embryos from their own sperm and eggs and they feel this connection and tie to them – I get that.  But these embryos were from donor eggs and donor sperm, so the only connection is the siblings.  I have a much harder  time understanding, and acquiescing to them wanting this kind of involvement with children who will have no physical or mental ties to them.

I think I am on the verge of deciding we need to walk away from this.  After 2.5 years of infertility treatments, I am loathe to get into a situation where someone else is trying to dictate how I raise my kids.  And, this has been going on for 4 months.  4 months!  And I don’t get the sense that it’s going be be done anytime soon.

I’ve let them know we need more information from them and that we are not sure if we want to move forward at this point.  I did not set up an in-person meeting.  I need to know if we are on the same page, or even near the same page before we do that.  I need to know what things are “must have” for them, so we know if it works for us.  I don’t need or want to talk it out together.

I am frustrated.  Frustrated that the universe has put us in this position.  We are damn good parents and trying to convince people for the last 4 months that we are worthy has been humiliating and exhausting.  Frustrated that we have shared all we have to share, told all we have to tell, and we still have to just wait for them to decide if they feel like making a decision.  Or if they’ve changed their minds about how it should all work.

This, I think, is far more painful and challenging than adopting a baby.  At least in this situation.  Certainly not all embryo donations play out like this.  But, with frozen embryos, there is no timeline.  The baby isn’t going to get born, forcing people to make their peace and make a decision.  In this situation, prospective parents can have this uncertainty dragged on and on and on.  And even if you get the embryos, there’s no guarantee that they are going to work, so your uncertainty continues even if you can get through this part.

So, I don’t know where it goes from here.  I am tired and sad from all that we’ve been through trying to make this work.

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The transfer is complete.  I am not hopeful.  Upon thaw, we had one blastocyst that had lost its zona pellucida.  I could not seem to get any explanation for what that means in terms of outcomes.  My doc said the blast didn’t look great, but that it had a lot of living cells, which is the best predictor for successful outcomes.  The other was a thawed, compacted blastocyst.  It had not yet started expanding.  It has viable cells, but since it was not expanding, that was not optimal.  Both the embryologist and doctor said they have had pregnancies with this quality blasts before, so we’ll see.  Like I said, I am not hopeful.

Actually, I am tired.  Exhausted would be a better word.  But I am back at work and will get through this day.

The Heart Attack and Superstitions

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I am not generally superstitious.  But, I am today.

 

I got a call this morning that my uncle had a massive heart attack.  He is alive and was awake.  Apparently the paramedics arrived quickly and they saved his life.  But, at last call, I heard that they are putting in a pacemaker, they have unblocked one artery and have found more blockages, but he is not stable enough right now to have them fixed.  It is very touch and go and no one knows yet if he is going to pull through this.  I cannot even let myself imagine that possibility.

I also have my embryo transfer today.  And this is where the superstition kicks in.  It shouldn’t be on the same day as something this catastrophic.  The transfer should be a calm day, a day when the energy in the universe is smooth.  Not when the energy in my world in in complete upheaval.

I considered cancelling the transfer, but I think they have already thawed the embryos.  I need some positive thoughts and energy, but at the same time, I want every ounce of healing ad positivity going to my uncle.

I’m going to close my eyes and hope the universe has enough to go around today.