Tag Archives: infertility

So…

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Tomorrow is D-Day.  And I would be lying if I didn’t say that part of me thinks there’s a chance this really worked.  I’ve tried hard to be realistic about the chances of this working, but I am human.  And my heart is in it.  And I want it really bad.  I had a crazy wave of nausea tonight, and I remember that happening with my son.  Of course, it could have been anything.  It could have been the unholy stench practically growing off of my child’s feet.  Maybe I was dehydrated.  Maybe I was hungry.  Maybe it was a side effect of the PIO.  But, it’s hard not to think everything means something when you are in The Waiting.

I did, however, today manage to go all day without thinking about the fact that tomorrow is D-Day.  I kept busy at work, and it wasn’t until I was leaving and realized I needed to let people know I would be in late tomorrow because I have a doctor’s appointment, that I remembered.  Right.  Tomorrow.  9DP 5DT.

 

Back-Up Plan & Healing

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Today a friend told me that she was impressed with all of the work that I did mentally and physically to prepare for this FET process, and that she wasn’t sure that she would have been so dedicated to getting healthy for it.  The interesting thing is that my mental and physical work on myself was never about trying to get pregnant again.  It was actually about recovering my life and myself from 3 years of being emotionally, physically, and financially destroyed by infertility and pregnancy loss.  It was about moving on, and moving forward.  It was about finding a point of control again and not feeling like everything I cared about was slipping through my grasp and I had no way to change that.   It was about conquering the encompassing  the depression that owned me after 3+ years of infertility treatments, failures, and losses.  It was about healing, and becoming whole again.  It was about taking back control of something in my life.  Because I took the time to heal, I finally felt like I could try this without falling back into “The Dark Place” if it does not work.  Don’t get me wrong, I will be distraught, sad, disappointed – I probably can’t come up with enough of those words to describe how I will feel if this didn’t work.  But I won’t fall back into “The Dark Place”, where the feelings own me.  And I was relatively sure of that before I started the process this time, and that was the only reason I went forward with it.  I had finally healed enough to not be broken by it again.

That being said, with the dreaded beta looming on Friday, I realized I need a back up plan.  I know, most people are excited about their beta day, but I have just had too many bad ones to think of it as exciting.  I dread the idea of having my hope smashed, it makes me a little sick to my stomach to even think about it.  But, I’ve had so much history with even getting a positive and then loss, that I know I won’t stop being worried even if it’s positive.  Hell, I’ll probably worry even more.  Because then there’s really something to lose – not just hope.

So, I need a back up plan in case this didn’t work and I don’t have additional worry to keep my mind occupied.  My back up plan will not involve making babies.  I was thinking about what I could do to challenge myself.  To occupy my mind and body, and have something to work towards.  I also know I need timelines.  So, I have decided my back up plan will be training for a 10K in January.

I was always the fat girl who thought that I could never possibly run a 5K.  Those were for other people.  Not for people like me.  But then the running industry got smart, and decided to make these events fun, low pressure, and accessible to people like me.  So, I did it.  And I’ve done several of them now.  It’s not problem – I could do them multiple times a week, and there for a while I was running about 5K about 4 nights a week.  Since I’ve been on the fertility drugs that has slowed substantially – my side effects from these things are intense.  These days I am lucky to be able to stay awake until 8:30 PM – I’m pretty sure the PIO shots have knocked me on my ass.  I have to set an alarm in the evening to wake me up so I can do my shot – all I want to do is sleep from about 7 PM onward.  But, I digress.

Since I conquered my fear of running, and being around “skinny” and “fit” people, I think this would be an excellent challenge for me.  I’m not intimidated by gym regulars, or people who are skinnier or in much better shape than me.  Who gives a flying fuck what they think?  And chances are, they don’t think anything at all – I’m just projecting my own insecurities.  So, a 10K it is.  And after that, a half marathon.   That’s going to be quite an accomplishment for a formerly painfully insecure, self conscious, fat girl.  I may still be a fat girl in progress, but my self esteem is recovering from a lifetime of negativity about my body – both externally and self imposed.

Back-up plan.  Check.

Chowchilla, CA

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I forgot how these drugs impact me, but now I’ve been reminded.  I started Lupron, and within 2 days was thoroughly settled into the sulking rage that I had so conveniently forgotten that Lupron brought me.  That lasted about 7 days until I added the Vivelle dot estrogen patches.  Within a day, I slowly emerged from the sulking rage phase into the uncontrollably weepy phase.  Ahhhh, yes.  Sweet uncontrollable tears,  I had forgotten about you.  Look at me – I cry.  Breathe near me – I cry.  Shoelace tied too tight – I cry.  Unruly piece of hair that just won’t behave?  You got it – I cry.  I have to drink at least one extra bottle of water a day to rehydrate from all of the tears.  SAnd there are two other side effects from the Vivelle this time.  One oldie I had forgotten, and one new one.

I’ve never gotten sore boobs with Vivelle before, but holy crap!  They are big and achy!  I can’t even find a sports bra tight enough to keep these things from hurting.  That’s the new one.

But, the real other side effect is one I have never told anyone about except my wife. I feel like it’s time.  Because somebody, somewhere, needs to know that she is not alone.  Once, about 4 years ago, I was in this process, and I was in this same phase.  5 units of Lupron daily, 2 Vivelle estrogen patches changed every 2 days.  I was in the car, driving to a business meeting in Fresno.  The drive from Sacramento to Fresno is long and boring.  About 5-6 hours.  It’s directly down the middle of the state, on small roads, through farm country.  There are not a lot of stops, not many places to pull over, take a break, etc.  Just farms and countryside.

So, I’m driving to Fresno, all dolled up in a business suit for a fairly important meeting.  Well, about 4 hours into the trip, I have to go to the bathroom.  NOW.  It hit and needed to instantaneously be let out.  But, there was no option for pulling over, there were no exits.  No restaurants.  No gas stations.  No convenience stores.  Just fields as far as the eye could see.  5 minutes pass.  10 minutes pass.  Still nothing.  I started running scenarios in my mind on how I could pull over and go in a field….no.  I could not find a scenario in which this could be possible on this flatland as far as the eye can see.  But I had to go NOW.  I held it for like 20 minutes.  My colon was spazzing.  I was sweating, periodically groaning out loud, squirming in my seat, clinching as tightly as anyone ever has – it was seriously the most desperate I have EVER been to get to a bathroom.  And then I saw an exit…for Chowchilla.  Yes – they had a McDonalds!  There had to be a bathroom.

I jet off the exit, get into the parking lot, open the door and stand up.  And my ass explodes.  Explodes.  Not a little.  Explodes.  Not knowing what else to do, (I can’t get back into my car), I head into McDonalds, shitting my way through the restaurant, all the way to the bathroom.  It took me a good 20-30 minutes, and I did have to dispose of a few articles of clothing, but I eventually was able to get cleaned up.  I resumed my trip, significantly worse for wear, and held a successful meeting.

I had not forgotten The Chowchilla Incident.  It was such a substantial moment in my life, it has a name.  But, I had forgotten that it was Vivelle that caused The Chowchilla Incident.  So, this time around, I wasn’t as careful as I should have been.  You can see where this is going.  I was sitting at my desk at work, got the urge, and thought, “Well, I’ll just finish these last two sentences in my email and then go to the bathroom.”  Nope.  Big mistake.  I Chowchilla’d.  3 steps outside of the office bathroom door (which is incidentally no more than 25 feet from my office), with a co-worker about 4 steps behind me also headed to the bathroom.

So, other than the rage, the tears, and the pants shitting – I’m great!

And now you know my deepest, darkest, secret.

What are you saying?

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Well, the universe has been sending me some golden news on the baby making front, and my wife has been glowingly supportive.  All of which confuses me, but I accept it.

I finally found out from my clinic that they will transfer the one embryo our friends are donating, and they will only charge me $250 to do it.  Whoa.  So, we’re doing it.  It’s a slow process to get started because I am still waiting for the paperwork to come from my clinic so we can get the ball rolling, but as soon as it is here, we will be moving ahead.

I also got an email out of the blue from some people who used the same donor we used for our son.  They have 2 vials they are not going to need, and our donor was “sold out”, long ago.  They are willing to sell us those vials at a very reduced cost.  Yes, please.  That’s my back up plan.  I’m going to get those vials from them and have them stored as a next plan if the FET with the donor embryo for some reason does not work.

I’m very unaccustomed to the universe giving me upbeat news on the baby making idea, but I’m just accepting whatever it throws my way right now.  My recent mental journey has been around getting myself mentally and physically healthy, and part of that is being open to the energy and opportunities that present themselves.  So, here I am, and there they are, and now we move ahead and see what happens.

Endometriosis Part II

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Good news.  I don’t have cervical cancer.  I finally got to see the OB and it turns out that the bumps on my cervix are Nabothian Cysts, which are harmless.  I have been freaking out about it, so this was really good news.

He’s also sending me for an ultrasound to rule out other problems in my lady parts.  Other signs of the C word, fibroids, anything unusual.  But after that, it’s probably laparoscopy to seek and destroy any endometriosis.  My symptoms are pretty well defined and the surgery would likely help significantly with the pain AND the infertility.

So…change of plans for a minute.  I think I have to get all of this stuff fixed….maybe THEN I can make a baby…

Endometriosis

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Let’s talk endometriosis….because I think I might have it.  Excruciatingly painful periods.  Like nothing else.  When I am on my period, it hurts to pee, and it hurts so bad to poop that I get lightheaded and almost pass out from the pain.  I can’t really use tampons anymore either – they also hurt.  Sitting upright for the first two days is pretty impossible because it hurts so badly to sit.  And now I have found some bumps on my cervix.  I know they could be anything – there are totally benign reasons they could be there, and there are the super scary reasons.  But I know for a fact they haven’t always been there, and that I haven’t always had this kind of pain.

So, tell me folks who know about this, what do I need to know?  And how do you manage the pain?  I cannot seem to get a doctors appointment any time soon, so I need the internet to tell me what to do.

Inadequate is Best

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We haven’t told very many people about our infertility struggles.  It’s awkward and uncomfortable and really, there’s not much anyone can say, so why bother putting people through that?  But we have told some people along the way and recently I have told more.  A fairly universal response seems to be, “Well, at least you have your son and he’s one of the greatest kids ever.  I bet this makes you love him even more.”

I know people are trying to be supportive and there’s really nothing to say other than, “Wow, this sucks.” And that somehow seems inadequate.  I get it.  But, I sort of resent the idea that I could possibly love my son any more and that he somehow makes it easier to not be able to get pregnant.  It took a lot of time and work to get him, too.

What I can say is that I am tremendously lucky to have overcome this once.  And I DO have an incredible kid.  And somehow, I do think that makes it a little easier for me than for people who haven’t had a child at all.  So, yes, if we are comparing, I am more fortunate than some and I never forget that.

But I do really cringe at the thought that I could possibly love my son more, or appreciate him more, just because I can’t have another baby.  As if he were somehow replaceable.    Or as if I only mostly loved him and had a little bucket of love I was reserving for some unborn child that I was withholding from my son.  But, now that it looks like I won’t be able to have another one, I can go ahead and empty that bucket and give him that love, too.  Or maybe it’s about appreciating him.  And people want to point out that he’s a great kid and he should and could be “enough” for me.

I DO already have a great kid, and I don’t want him to grow up alone and be alone having to deal with us when we are old, and be alone when we die – oh trust me, my quest for another child is for him as much as it is for me.  He will make friends, he will likely fall in love with someone, and have whatever kind of family (or not), that he chooses.  He’s social – my guess is that he will have a large chosen family surrounding him for most of his life.  But even if you don’t get along, siblings are irreplaceable.  You share a lifetime of experience and you take that with you into the world.  You can roll your eyes together at your parent’s quirks.  You can text ridiculous inside jokes from 20 years ago.  You will have someone who gets it…someone who you love, even if you don’t like.  Someone who will, in most instances, eventually forgive you even your worst behavior and still be there for you.

A note to folks out there in the impossible position of trying to find something comforting to say to folks like me:  Do not try to have us take comfort in the fact that we already have a great kid.  We KNOW we have great kids.  And having them does not make it hurt less.  It does not make losing a baby/pregnancy any easier.  It does not make the rounds and rounds of hormones and injections and mood swings and encounters with “the wand” and the waiting and the roller coaster of good and bad news – any less stressful or emotional.

Just say, “Wow, that sucks.  I’m really sorry you are going through this.”  As inadequate as it may seem – it’s all there is.