Last Post Ever.


So.  I am coming up on the three year anniversary of my blog…and I’ve decided not to continue paying the oodles necessary to keep the site name, etc.  I’ve simply printed out the pages, and hope to put it all together in a binder for the boys (and me) to read some time down the road…you know, in case they wonder “why is Mommy so crazy?”

 

It was bittersweet to re-read old posts as they came flying out of the printer, recalling the heartache of trying for A, and the subsequent tries for a third (one try wasn’t ever even documented; last September I did a final frozen transfer of four embryos, and did not wind up pregnant).  So that was three decent tries for number three.  And then we moved a few states away, so we’ve stayed busy with all that entails.  I still have baby three on my mind and in my heart…but this past June I turned 36.  Not thinking those eggs I’m still releasing are doing much more than dissolving upon release (ok, who am I kidding, I still kind of think every month may be our “miracle month” that we get pregnant from great sex at the right time.  But I can’t help that).

 

If we do go forward, it will be a return to a new and less amazeballs clinic than the ones I went to back up North, and therefore my hopes aren’t high.  But I do still dream of it.  I dream of giving the boys (P is turning 6 this fall, A turning 3) a sibling…and I know they want one too.  There are pros and not-so-pros to having a third, I know: but right now, I still kind of only see the pros.  Time will only tell.

 

This blog saved my sanity, my heart and my soul so many times, and I am so grateful that T had the foresight to see that years ago.  I am so grateful that I can go back and journey through those years again.  I am so grateful, so blessed and going forward, I am only hoping that the path of our life leads me to true inner peace.



Nervous.


That’s how I am feeling right this second.  I have no idea why.  But I’ve been so NERVOUS this afternoon about this cycle.  No good reason…nothing new to report…and I know in fifteen minutes I could likely feel different.  But I’m just feeling the nerves. The whatifitdoesntworkthenwhat nerves, the whatifIletmyselfgetexcitedaboutitandthennothing nerves…good thing my h is out of town, because I’ve been trying to act all nonchalant and easygoing this cycle, as it drives him crazy when I worry.  I’m a worrier by nature.  It’s for sure in my DNA–if you ever met my mom or her mom, you would realize I’m not all that bad based on what I come from!  But the nervousness has commenced.  And I have just under a week left of meds.  This is why I LOVE the time period between the retrieval and the transfer, when my body is responsible for NADA.  It is all up to science and technology and whatever else I may believe has a hand in things…I finally relax during those days (until the day of the transfer, when I sit with shaky hands, sweaty palms and a desperate constant thirst as I wait for the doctor to come in and tell us what we have to work with).  Sisterinlaw today commented on the “hurry up and wait” aspect of IVF.  Ain’t it the truth.  Though I may amend it to “hurry up and worry and wait.”



Bloodwork #1 (aka a really boring post)


labor_day_2001Blood draw this morning.  After 4 nights of stims (but day five of stimming…so which do I say?  Four days of stims or five?) E2 318, LH 2.1.  Delightfully high dosing will continue tonight and tomorrow night, and I will go in Wednesday morning for bloodwork and an ultrasound.  I have no basis for judging if these numbers are good or bad or whatever (In the past I haven’t recorded the numbers as cycles progressed) but I guess since my doctor didn’t change anything, they must at the very least be “okay.”  (Baseline E2 on the start day was 52, so there was a clear increase). 

 

Yup.  I was right.  This really IS a boring post.  But I’m in that “blah” place at the moment–just kind of going through the motions…I hate how the meds mess with my psyche.



A Brief Musical Interlude


I love music.  I am one of those people who always has the radio on in the car, sings along unabashedly (even these days to The Best of Barney and Thomas’ Greatest Hits).  I would have a blast creating the soundtrack of my life, though I’m sure it would take the rest of my life to get it just right.  There are so many songs that have had an impact on my life–songs that I can immediately associate with a person, place, event, or time.  Indiana, by The Samples, was my wedding song.  My h chose it, and I can still clearly remember when we were driving  from campus to Chicago  Valentine’s Day during senior year of college…it was the first time I heard the song, but after that trip it became a large part of my memories of  those early years with my now-husband.  There are songs that remind me of a summer fling (Billy Joel’s To Make You Feel My Love), songs that remind me of my best friend from college (Now and Forever by Carole King, Baton Rouge by Garth Brooks…anything by REO speedwagon), songs that remind me of a college boyfriend (lots of Tom Petty and Bruce), the song that linked my mom and I across the miles when I was away at school (This Is Me, Missing You by James House).  I could go on. And on.  Andonandonandon.

 

Since this is my infertility blog, I thought I’d share all the songs that have either gotten me through rough patches, have helped me “be tough” as I got ready to inject myself for the trillionth time, have helped me wrap myself in my sadness and just cry, have helped me try to see the light at the end…you get my drift.  I highly recommend blasting music to help get pumped and in a good mindset for giving injections.  Try it.  Just one time, even.

  • Better Things:  Dar Williams.  This song became a part of my life way before infertility did, but it took on new meaning as I started the treatments and dealt with failure and loss.  This song brings hope into your heart–my latest favorite line is “Accept your life and what it brings.”
  • It’s So Hard (When It Doesnt Come Easy): Dixie Chicks  This is about two of the members’ struggle with infertility.  So clearly, they hit it spot on.
  • Oh Sheila: Prince A ridiculous addition to the list, but when my husband would be getting me into my “betoughbetoughbetough” mode to psyche me up to inject 450 units of the gonal F pen a few years ago–that was one song that always seemed to be on the 80s music station on the tv at the exact time we would be gearing up for shot-time.  So it is a bit of a joke, because obviously it isnt really a pump-up song.  But it was for us, and let us be silly in a stressful time.
  • Viva la Vida: Coldplay Not as upbeat a memory–but it was always on in the car as I drove from NY to CT for my appts the first IVF we tried for baby#2.  I thought it was fate, and that it meant I was meant to succeed.  Newsflash: it was just really overplayed that fall.  Finally, now, a year later, I can hear it without cringing…
  • Moving On: Rascall Flatts The lyrics are enough.  After the miscarriage it held so much more meaning for me.
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Pat Benatar Also a college memory, but took on new meaning as I used it as a pump-up song (for obvious reasons)
  • I Would Die for That: Kelley Coffey The saddest, rawest infertility song I have ever heard.  But sometimes we need to hear those songs.
  • Bad Day: Daniel Powter This was my theme song for a really long time.  Now, not so much.  But it was there for me when I needed it the most.
  • Not Ready to Make Nice: Dixie Chicks Although it’s about their fury concering politics…I used it as my “angry song” after the miscarriage and other failed attempts.  “I’m not ready to make nice, I’m not ready to back down, I’m mad as hell…”
  • The Hard Way: Mary Chapin Carpenter I’ve always loved her folksy music–and again, this song reappeared in my life after about 1o years…and this time with a different meaning for me.
  • How Far We’ve Come: Matchbox Twenty It just provides a gentle reminder…but not so gently!

Writing this has made me extremely nostalgic–songs from runs with friends in high school or college (Break My Stride, Eye of the Tiger), songs that remind me of my dad (Landslide, any John Denver or Moody Blues), and songs that remind me of P–Godspeed by the Dixie Chicks, Beautiful Boy by John Lennon, You Are My Sunshine, Somewhere Over the Rainbow…I think this could be the entry that never ends.  In order to speed the ending along, let me close with some (how cliche) lyrics: closing with the song I started with–I hope everyone who reads this will download it and adopt it as her own…

 

Here’s wishing you the bluest sky,
and hoping something better comes tomorrow. 
Hoping all the verses rhyme, and the very best of choruses to
Follow all the drudge and sadness
I know that better things are on their way…



Not looking for understanding, looking for…?


My parents have been here visiting these past few days, and usually, on its own, that is the condition for the Perfect Storm.  I grew up as the Perfect Child–good grades, feared and loved my parents, involved in the church, probably even was a bit of a goody-goody.  I was the typical First Child.  My younger brother was the party boy, the cool kid.  So after 22 or so years of pleasing my parents, I finally grew tired of that.  My brother didn’t give a rat’s ass what they thought (love that phrase) and they didn’t treat him any differently or love him any less…so what was I doing?  There were a few skeletons in my closet that were no doubt linked to my childhood and teen years at home, and as I grew older and grew up, I began to pull away.  I saw in my husband’s family how husbands and wives should treat each other–and that was something different than what I had seen growing up.  I always knew that deep down my parents loved each other–but they too had skeletons that affected their relationship….

 

But I digress.  Fast forward to my late twenties when we start to have problems conceiving.  My parents have no.clue.what.this.is.doing.to.me.  My mom tried to show care and concern after the first failed cycle, but at that time we were separated by an entire continent, and this whole IVF thing was only something they had vague knowledge of (and as a Good Catholic Family, we all know where the Church stands on this matter…)  When I found out I was pregnant with P, my parents wanted to tell everyone they knew, buy things, talk about it, all the usual stuff grandparents-to-be get to do.  But I was so scared and worried the pregnancy wouldn’t make it, so I wouldn’t let them.  I wasn’t even doing it.  I wasn’t buying clothes or other baby things until the month before he was due–I was just so scared.  I know my mom didn’t understand that at all. 

 

And then with my pregnancy this past winter, I kind of let go of the fear.  I was determined to enjoy this pregnancy the whole way through.  I decided to tell people, and to be joyful and hopeful as we talked about if we would need a new house, or a new car or how I would manage the twins plus P.  And we know where that got me.  So if I am ever blessed to be pregnant again (IhopeIprayIhopeIpray) I will not be letting my guard down again for a while.  My parents were certainly crushed when they heard the news of the miscarriage, but even still, I don’t think they “got it.”  They knew I was sad.  They knew I was hurting.  But after a week or two, I was kind of expected to be better.  Even though I wasn’t.  Perhaps it is a generational thing, or perhaps because they were at a loss for words, but both sets of my current “parents” have often pointed out the miracle we have in P, even going so far as to saying Well, at least you have P.  He is truly a miracle.  Yes.  He is.  But what if you never had my brother, Mom?  And to my inlaws–what if you stopped after your first born, and never had the next two sons?  I think that is one of the most hurtful things to say to someone who is suffering from secondary infertility (have I mentioned yet how I HATE THAT CLASSIFICATION?  I am fighting Infertility.  It sure as hell doesn’t feel secondary to anything.  It feels like it is something I have been fighting like crazy for the last four years.  Secondary my ASS).  The miracle of one child does not make any loss any easier, does not make any failed cycles any easier–for me, anyway.  I love my son more than anything in the whole world, and I am even tearing up as I type that.  But I love him so much that I want him to know a brother (or sister), I want to give him a family, not just the crazed-overprotective-indulgent mom that I am afraid I will be if he remains an only child.

 

I don’t expect my parents to understand what I go through–just as I cannot ever really understand what it will be like for my mom when my dad has his heart surgery at the end of the year.  Or what it was like for my parents when they lost their own parents.  As in all life situations, we cannot truly understand the pain or the hurt or even the experiences of others, because everyone is affected differently.  So I don’t expect my parents to understand–I just want them to continue to try and learn what they can about what we do–to recognize that our experiences in infertility have shaped us in unique ways.  It affects the type of mom that I am, the type of wife that I am, the type of friend that I am (must remind myself to write future entry on the way this affects my friendship with Fertile Ones), and of course, the type of daughter I am.



A Crazy Daydream


Just imagine.  If having sex could make a baby.  Wouldn’t that be really swell?



We All Have It “The Worst”…Until We Don’t


That’s what I think, anyway.  Especially when it comes to infertility.  Sometimes there is a weird need to one-up others.  You know what I mean.  Oh, you are on clomid?  I’m on injectibles.  You’re on your second IVF?  I’m on my fourth.  You’ve never had a miscarriage?  I’ve had two.  It’s not really that we are mean-spirited towards others in the same boat, just that What We Are Going Through Is Worse Than Anyone Else’s Plight.  I have certainly fit that bill many times.  I think part of it is just human nature.  We only know the hurt we’re feeling ourselves–we only know our own disappointment, frustration, sadness…and we don’t think anyone else feels that way, unless they have done exactly what we have.  So how could IUI #2 for one compare to failed IVF #4 for me?  How could someone doing timed intercourse compare to someone doing an IUI with injectibles?

 

And then.  And then you read about someone who is so much deeper into this than you could ever imagine being.  Someone who has miscarried every time she has become pregnant.  Someone who has done five or six or seven IVFs with no pregnancy at all.  Someone whose baby died in the 25th week of pregnancy.  Someone who lost his spouse in childbirth.  Stories such as these give me a perspective I desperately need at times.  There are days when I can put on my brave face and smile at the pregnant lady on the corner (Twin girls.  Due two weeks before my boys were due).  But there are days when I just want to cower in the corner and hug my little boy and think about how I may never get to raise another biological child.  But this is life.  This is my life.  And it’s never going to get easier if I constantly think bitter thoughts in my head about the Luck(ier) Ones.   Or if I compare my story to the stories of other infertilebutnotASinfertile people.  That is not a healthy way to live a life.  Instead, I need to realize that there are so many people out there who are so much stronger than I am.  That I have NOT always been handed the short end of the stick.  That comparing my life to Fertile Lives is not ever going to produce a happy outcome. 

 

I may not have the life I always dreamed I would have I always thought I would marry a professional baseball player.  And live in New England.  And be a lawyer.  And have three kids.  And a dog.  Okay.  So those were junior-high dreams.  And so far, I’m 0-for-5.  But dreams can change.   Granted, there are certainly many things I would change right this minute if I could.  But we’re not given the power to change the unchangeable.  We ARE, however, given the power to change the way we VIEW the unchangeable.  I write this today in the hopes that in a few weeks, when I am all hopped up on drugs again, or, heaven forbid, the weeks after, if I find out this IVF cycle was another failure, that I will be able to look back on these words and embrace the idea of this post.  I don’t have it the worst.  I am so blessed and grateful.  And I will make it. 

 

I admit now though…I may need some gentle (and perhaps notsogentle!) reminders of this in the weeks to come…



I’m Sorry…What Did You Just Say?


That was what I wanted to say to the un-delightful, un-courteous specialty pharmacy rep who called yesterday to inform me that my copay for the drugs for this upcoming cycle would be $6639.41.  Instead, I believe I said, I’m sorry, no that’s wrong, we have coverage.  After she un-sweetly told me that I was wrong, that was the total, I have no coverage, I handed her off to my Husband, who has a background in healthcare.  After a few short attempts to get our delightful rep to listen to him, he asked to speak with a supervisor.  Who was apparently quite polite and sweet and helpful.

 

Except.  We apparently have no coverage for injectibles.  We switched plans at the end of last year and had ordered our meds for the Jan cycle under the old plan, and then did the procedures under the new one.  So this is our first time trying to order injectibles under the new plan.  And that kind, loving woman who first called me was quite right.  We owe a lot of dough.  Recall my previous post in which I mentioned that needing a high dose of drugs meant more packages…um, also means more dollars. 

 

I am not complaining outright about this, I know that so many people have to pay completely out of pocket for allthingsivfrelated.  But when one is under the assumption that she won’t have to, the initial reality is a hard hit.  Who the HELL thought it was a smart idea to cover procedures (a trillion ultrasounds, retrieval, transfer) but not the very medication that makes said procedures possible?  Dumb.  Dumb dumb dumb.



Take Me Off The List (pretty please)


packagesWednesday morning, I’m just getting my mail, probably humming a little tune as I open the door…and proceed to trip over a large box.  I LOVE packages.  Love them.  My heart speeds up just a little bit each time I see a Fed Ex or UPS or heck, even USPS truck slow as it nears my house.  I even like getting my fertility meds–and my need for high dosing means lots more packages!  But.  I knew soon enough not to be excited by this particular package.  The outside was not brown and new and inviting or red white and blue…it had a little baby on it, cradled in its moms hands.  Free formula.  Great.

 

I grabbed the mail from the mailbox and left the package at the door.  When Husband came home nine hours later, he pointed out the package on the front steps.  I told him to look closer at it, and yet he still looked puzzled.  So I kindly informed him and that it was sent just in case I was having a really good day, not feeling sad or blue, not thinking about miscarriage or IVF or babies or whatever….it was sent just so I could remember not to forget.  I was able to say it with a wry smile, because that’s they way it’s easiest to handle.   Poor husband.  Sometimes he just doesn’t get it.  Okay, mostly he just doesn’t get it.  But that’s okay.  We’ve come to terms with that…

 

This is the second time I have received a large box of baby-goodies in the past six weeks or so.  I made the mistake of opening the first, only to note that the enclosed letter started out, “Dear C, As your pregnancy is coming to an end and you are beginning to think more about nourishing your baby on the outside….”  Argh.  So I knew not to open the second.  Or the free newborn diapers that came sometime in between formula box one and formula box two.

 

Here’s my question, world:  How did I get on The List to begin with?  Did my RE, all confident and assured as I left his office for the alleged final time back in February, call The Listkeeper of All Pregnancies and put my name down?  Doubt it.  And I’ve been back about twenty times since.  Just saying.  He’s only ever called ME once, and even that was a tough call for him to make.  It couldn’t have been one of the nurses, they’re so busy.  So who, then?  My mom does have quite a mouthpiece on her…but there’s a limit to the amount of people she could have told.

 

And this begs the next question: Why am I not CROSSED OFF the list?  It would’ve been common courtesy for the original caller to give The Listkeeper a follow-up call when things went awry.  You know, so he could x off my name or something.  It would benefit both parties–they could send their free samples to someone who might actually need them, and I could not have to see what someone out there thinks I have, but don’t.

 

For the record: I have not thrown any of the samples away.  That seems like tempting fate, or sealing the deal, or closing the door on future Listmaking.  They all sit in the corner of my garage, just patiently waiting.



Rewinding to August 8th: a pre-blog blog entry


when I knew I would be trying to start a blog, I wanted to get some of the initial feelings down, even before I figured out how to set it all up.  I’m computer-illiterate and knew it could take a while..so this was written at the “start” of this current cycle.

 

IVF…take five.  I had my baseline appointment yesterday.  For possibly the first time ever, I cracked a little bit when talking to my doctor.  I asked him to give some Great Reassuring Words about this upcoming cycle (He did not really live up to the challenge.  My doctor is not really a “Feelings” doctor.  He gets in there, does his thing, and then closes up shop.  Frankly, I usually don’t mind that method.  I don’t really want a motherly-type of doctor when my own mothering destiny is in question.  I’m sure this topic will come up again in a future entry titled “Why I am Sexist: My Thoughts on Why Reproductive Endocrinologists Should be Men.”)

 

Once I headed home, I broke down in the car.  I’ve been “artifically” working for Baby Two for a year now, and all I have to show for it are some outstanding medical bills.  Also have the ultrasound of the baby boys still–can’t bring myself to look at it, but can’t bring myself to throw it away, either.  I should be quite pregnant right now, complaining happily of indigestion and feet stuck in my ribs and feeling little baby hiccups.  Crap.  I stopped off at the pharmacy before going home to fill my prescription for the greatest irony known to an infertile, The Pill.  Will start that on the 10th and then finish on the 31st.  Hopefully enough time to shrink the inevitable cyst and keep the high FSH in check though hoping that the wheatgrass I chug nightly will assist in that too. 

 

This cycle has a lot riding on it.  I am so afraid it will be the last my heart can take.  I want to be so strong and keep going and going until it works again, but these days my heart is so much weaker than my head.  And this is IT until 2010 when we will have to find some new insurance.  So it is my last chance for a baby before P turns three.  And he is not even TWO yet! I will say though, that infertility has taught me to never say never.  But the reality of it all is still scary.

 

Another twist of infertile irony–my dear sister in law will be undergoing IVF at the exactsamefriggintime.  A sweet fate, or a hell for one of us?  We’ll know for sure in six weeks’ time.  I can’t imagine anything harder than going through something with someone…at the same time…and one (her) finding out it was a success and one (me) finding out it was a failure.  She is not only my sister in law, but a best friend–and we have already shared some of our fears et al about this.  We’ve decided to lean on each other, but also to realize when to back away.  Because while we are both going through this together, we are also going through this alone.  She is so strong–she believes The Universe can’t hate us both so much that it would cause something bad to come of this–me, I still harbor some bitterness towards The Universe when it comes to my fertility.  So I pray she is right.  One day at a time.  And while there is a hell of a lot riding on this for me, this is her first foray into The Big Guns of Reproductive Medicine.  So it is overwhelming and huge and scary for her too. 

 

My husband had some deeply reassuring words for me about she and I going through this together–”There’s a fifty percent chance you both have the same outcome, and a fifty percent chance you have different outcomes.”  Them there are such Words of Comfort, no?

So here goes.  I once again put my (tested) faith in God, in medicine, in my body…and hope that this time it works.