It’s Not All About Me

That is one of the valuable lessons I learned yesterday.  I was feeling great trepidation about seeing one of my two pregnant sisters-in-law (sister-in-laws???)  for Thanksgiving.  Ok, I wasn’t nervous about SEEING her, I was nervous about seeing her PREGNANT.  (I will admit that the combination of the good-fsh news from Wed, combined with the fact that she isn’t yet A Giant Belly worked in my favor).  But once I got there, and we hugged, everything I was worried about went away.  And it was just she and me again (odd grammar there, but I believe it is correct), and I was HAPPY for her.  Happy that she is going to be a mommy.  Happy that she was finally happy.  Unlike many holidays past, I wasn’t wondering if she was watching me with P with wistful sadness or if seeing her nephew was bittersweet…because I know she is well on her way to her own sweet child.   And I love that she and my favorite brother in law will both know the joy of being a parent.   Am I jealous?  Envious?  Ummm…yes.  You bet your ass I am.  I would really really really like to be in her shoes right now.  Really.  Reallyreally.  I have been given this next chance to try, and for that I am so thankful.  I will give this cycle my all, because I have learned the hard way that the “next cycle” is not necessarily just a month away. 


 But yesterday wasn’t about me, I wasn’t sitting in the corner thinking “poor me.”  I was sitting there, thinking, Wow. I am so happy for them.  (ok, here comes a liiiiitle bit of me again…I desperately want to know that joy again.  I want to wake up every day, touch my belly, and know I am growing a part of myself and my husband. I want to know that feeling).  But for yesterday, for those few hours we were together, I was just Happy.  Infertility can sometimes make it hard to see that it isn’t always about ME–and I am so glad that I was able to step out of that for a little while, and be happy for and with someone I love.  Yet another Thanksgiving gift, I guess…


That is the FSH of a “normal” person.  And today, at the start of this next cycle, it is mine.  Happy Thanksgiving to me.  I am filled with gratitude right now–I now have the chance to try one more time for a pregnancy in 2009.  Happy, happy thanksgiving.

Nothing to do but wait.

While I KNOW the 2week wait after an IVF is just torture (well, for me, it is like a 5day wait, as I know pretty early on if it worked or not….yay me for being so experienced in artificial reproduction!), this 2ww until the next post-pill baseline is also reaaaallly long.  I took my final pill last night, and will be going in for the baseline Wednesday morning.  I know there is nothing I can do right now to make it get here any faster, and that there is also nothing I can do now to ensure that the results are as good as I am hoping for.  So I wait.  I will be giving T’s phone number to the nurse on Wednesday morning, because I don’t think I can handle the news coming across my own phone line…my heart would likely explode once I saw their office number pop up.  I am also tired of  learning the crappy news first.  I am always telling T the bad news–and it sucks.  So in order to relieve the afternoon of stress, I’ll have them call him.  And then he can call me.   Perhaps this change in protocol (chuckle chuckle) will be just what we need.  Until then….you guessed it.  Waiting.


And I wait with some mighty nice acne, thank you VERY much, DHEA supplements.  As my husband said, I am beginning to look like a German Olympic swimmer (odd choice for a comparison, but I guess it does the job).  I’ve heard what these supplements can do to you—and yep.  They’re doing it.  Sweet.  Hopefully I have some clearing up before I need to see family on Thursday–don’t need to be thought of as Infertile AND Pimply.  Though a lot of it is disguised under clothing (yes.  it is THAT grody.)

the dark and the light

This weekend I had a few downs.  For no “good” reason(other than the overarching one, of course…). I didn’t hear any crappy results from anything, I’m not in any pain, nothing really should be bringing me down.  But I had another taste of The Fear.  I am very good at imaging worst-case scenarios.  I have conjured up scene after scene in my head about each of the upcoming holiday days, and what they may be like.  And in mind, they always hurt.  I don’t want to be pitied by people, but I don’t want things glossed over.  I don’t want to be a downer for the holiday spirits of celebratory family members and friends, but I also may not want to be celebrating myself.  Sometimes I feel like if I could just shut this sad part of me down, I could just be happy and joyful and not even think about it at all.  But then I think, why?  Why close down the sadness that always sits here in my heart?  It is part of my experiences these past few years.  Holidays always cause me to reflect a lot about the previous year.  I get ANGRY and SAD when I think about this past year in terms of fertility.  I want to shake someone or something, and ask why, why why.  I hate being jealous.  I hate being envious.  I hate being full of self-hatred–hatred for the fact that I have this problem, that I cost my husband so much monetarily because of this, that I have all that jealousy and envy and whymeness.  I want to curl up in a room with my husband and son, and just be with them, because they are the only ones that really get what it’s all about.  With the exception of this last converted cycle, I have always been a good responder.  A good fertilizer.  A good lining-grower.  Always made it to day fives, with some to freeze.  Annoying pause for a recap:  (Baby two, take one, was a fail ( that could be the odds.  Or the fever I had for 24 hours after the transfer).  Baby two, take two, was a miscarriage of twins (I had enough blood pooled in my abdomen post-retrieval to supply a local ER for a while, and then my body had to recover from that as well as nourish twins.  Coincidence, or…?)  Baby two, takes three and four (cancelled due to dr error, then failed FET).  Baby two, take five (converted to IUI) Baby two, take six (cancelled due to elevated FSH).  So why don’t I have that baby yet?  Even with my diagnosed issues, a baby should not be out of my reach.  Yet it feels like it is.  Now here is the scary part:  part of me thinks this is the one.  And that is really SCARY.  To let yourself think this may be the one.  To admit that you think this might be the one.  Because what happens if…?


I have found myself talking to God a lot these days.  Out loud, even.  I’ve mentioned before how my faith has certainly faltered, and I am nothing like the church-going, pious Catholic I once was.  But this past week, I have been having quite a few one-sided conversations with God.  Asking Him to please help relieve me of this sadness and this burden.  Asking Him to make sure He is certain I have the strength for another failure, if that is how it is going to end up.  But also, I have broken the Cardinal Prayer Rule–I’ve been asking for this cycle to be It.  I’ve asked Him to please, reflect on the hurt and sadness I’ve already experienced, and to take it into account going forward.  I’ve asked Him if He thinks the experiences of the past several years have led to me to a place He wants me to be, and now, finally, I am ready to be pregnant…For keeps.  I know God doesn’t “operate” that way, because there are a whole lot of terrifying, awful, sad, catastrophic things in this world that make my own hardships seem minute in comparison.  But I can’t help myself.  I am reaching for anything and everything, and I guess I kind of hope God will remember our old relationship, and take that into account.  I don’t know.  I know it is grasping at straws, but I am afraid that’s all I can do right now.


 My small, sweet family is the light of my life.  I know this so completely.  So please, God, help me leave the darkness behind.


I could kiss my acupuncturist.  I usually get blood draws on day 2, so I was afraid that today, day three, it would be a bit higher than I’d like to hear it at…but I am quite happy.  Also, I asked Dr Dubs about my antral follicle count, and it seems it was about 14 or so.  He then flipped back to my (many) previous pre-bcp baselines, and they were all at 7 or 8.  So this is definitely good good news.  Now, of course, I am going to have to get through the next 12 days of pills and then wait til the baseline on the 25th (thanksgiving eve) and see if the number is still low.  Will all those antral follicles hang out til then?  Is that the point of the pill?  Or do they die off and new ones come up?  Forgot to ask about that part. Anyone know? 

Also I did get a few answers as far as Where We Go If the Next Number Is Higher:  if it is below 15, it is game on, and happily so.  If it is between 15 and 20, it is game on, but iffily so.  If it is 20 or over, no dice.  However, it seems it IS possible to do a stim cycle, retrieve and fertilize whatever comes from it, and if the embryos don’t look great or whathaveyou, we could thaw the frozen ones, and then look at them all together and put back the ones that look the best.


So to all of you who have been following my tale and rooting for me…please keep the good vibes coming.  I need them so desperately right now–bad news on thanksgiving eve will mean a veeeery challenging Thanksgiving day on many levels, so let’s keep praying.  Please. Pretty, pretty please.

Day 1 (again…)

So it’s day one.  I made the appt with RE for Wednesday morning.  Which means Wed afternoon will be an interesting post–will I be happy about the FSH results?  Or what…?  Of course, I guess if it is still on the higher side, I have the couple of weeks on the pill to hope (and worry) about what happens to the number then.  This is it.  This is the last Take of ’09.  No pressure…right? (some irony AGAIN…last time I had a baseline and then found out the cycle was cancelled bc of FSH, SIL #1 saw baby’s heartbeat that same day.  This time, SIL #2 will be seeing her own baby’s heartbeat on Wednesday.  Will my own history repeat itself, as it likes to do?  Damn… But I will try to keep my mind positive!  As well as try not to puke on myself when I see the RE’s number on my phone Wed afternoon…)


I was thinking though–suppose I pushed Dr Dubs to stim me even if my numbers are higher than he’d like (this is all assuming they are not HIGHER than last time…in that case, I am sure we are doomed), and even if we don’t get a hell of a lot of eggs, could we do it anyway?  Could we do it with three?  And is it possible, if after a stim cycle the eggs aren’t that awesome…can it be converted immediately to an FET?  Or could we thaw-and-then-add the survivors to the mix? Can thawed ones exist in the utes with fresh ones?  We still have three in the freezer from January…a day five and 2 day sixes (recalling of course that a day six is actually in worse shape than a day five, as it took one extra day to get to the stage of “day five.”  Oh.  And why do people assume “embryo=life?”  If so, I should be living Mich.elle Dug.gar’s life right now.  Seriously.  OK. Digression over.)  Has this been done?  Can this be done? 


Gah.  I’m already so weary of thinking about all of this for so many years.  I honestly believe it has aged me–physically and emotionally.  Almost four years of knowing dates, guessing dates, imagining outcomes, gearing up for IVF cycles, cooling down after failures… now, I’m feeling the weight of it all.  Here’s hoping that things look/read well on Wednesday, and one of the 50 hurdles of this possible cycle is behind me…I mean, isn’t everyone tired of opening my posts the day after bloodwork comes back and finding more disappointment?  I am!  So here’s to the Golden Cycle.  The Last Hurrah.  Something ART-y Shall Be Done.  The Final Shoot-up of ’09.  The Last Cycle I’ll Ever Need to Do Because it Will Work!  (If you say it, it will come…)  My favorite childhood book was The Little Engine that Could.  So here goes: I think I can I think I can I think I can….

revisiting some thoughts

Last night, in discussion with my acu/holistichealer/whathaveyou, I was saying how I don’t have all that much hope right now, based solely on the fact that I don’t want to get hurt next week (I’m sure my perspective will change by next week, just in time for me to get slammed with news).  Maybe I am trying to under-psyche myself, so that if I expect bad news, but good news happens, then I can be happy. But if I hope for the best, I’m going to get smooshed again.  If you have ever had cancelled/failed IVFs/FETs, you know what it is like, trying to prepare for the next one.  I yearn to be the eternal optimist, but I don’t know if any She Who Has Tried and Failed Time and Time Again can ever really be that person.  I think that infertility, while clearly encompassing a wide group, is divided into many non-equal subgroups.  You’ve got the clomids, the IUIs, the first-time-was-the-charm IVF people.  You’ve got the no losses, the losses, the multiple losses.  The surgeries, the multiples surgeries, the constant-repeat-surgeries…the distinctions go on and on.  It is not okay with me if someone who was able to get pregnant on any place along the ”easier side of infertility” spectrum likens their experiences to my own or pretends we are the same.  Even I have the sense to know there are a crapload of people out there who have experienced more hurt and pain and sadness than I ever have, and I would never ever see our situations as the same.  (ok.  I wrote about this back in august.  about how we all only know our own pain, and that is truly the worst because it is the worst we know ourselves.  I still do believe this).  But.  I don’t believe that all infertility was created equal.  And after reading so many blogs of women slammed in the head with the Crap Stick, I can’t help but get angrier at the whole situation.  The stories I have become caught up in are sometimes more heartbreaking than my own, and I think mine is pretty damn rough (naysayers will say that because I have one already, it is not so rough.  I say, I believe you are mistaken.)


The point that all of this brings me to is this: I’m not the worst infertility story I know of.  I am the worst infertility story I know of in my real-life-extended-circle-of- family-and-friends-both-near-and-far-facebook-included, but I am not the worst story I know.  (here we return back to the start of the entry…) Last night acu/holistichealer/whathaveyou told me of two women–one who did IVF 23 times, and got pregnant (for keeps) on the 23rd, and another who did IVF 16 times, got pregnant but miscarried, and is now gearing up to go again.  My head spun at the thought of that (let alone the bancruptcy that would ensue)!  There are two stories to rock my boat.  There’s some friggin persistence.  And perhaps even some optimism–one can’t go through this 20-odd times, all the while doubting it will work.  Yes, my reproductive life does suck, but it doesn’t suck as hard as some people’s.  I have to remember that sometimes, and remember to be grateful for what I do have…instead of being sad or angry or defeated because I’m not further out on the “easier” side of the spectrum.  There are so many heart-breaking stories, some that have ended well and some that haven’t.  It is in these stories that I find the inspiration and the drive to keep at this.  These women didn’t ask to be someone’s inspiration, and I’m sure many would rather not have to be, but they are mine.

Not too much new.

Really, what does one have to write in one’s infertility blog on day…(counting on my fingers now, wait for me…) 20 of a cycle?  Not a whole lot. I could write about how P is definitely being “two.”  His constant ups and downs that range from complete sweetness (more rare) to utter huge pissy-fits (more the norm) have been driving me bonkers.  I was joking today to someone that I need to take medicine to handle HIS emotional roller-coasters.  Which brings me to another point…

While I am not ready to stop trying for my own next child, I need to have some sort of “what next” plan.  To stay sane. In my last entry I wrote about my Zoo Moment, and I have even been researching embryo adoption/donation as of late.  I know this partly drives T crazy, as we are dumping well over a grand each month into acupuncture treatments and head-doctor visits…and why are we doing that if we are going to pursue something else?  But that “something else” is only so I don’t completely let my guard down and start to think that if/when I get my period next week my FSH will be hovering at basement levels and all will work out smoothly and I will have a Christmas-bfp.  I know the odds of that are, well, slim.  Especially since my body likes to really torture my mind, and I am sure it would relish getting to give me a bfn a few days before seeing my pregnant sister in law, or even not let me get to the bfn-point at all.  So I’ve looked into adoption.  Just to look.  Just to see.  Just to test my heart and see how it goes.  And here’s some awesome irony–due to the fact that about four years ago I was on a low-dose of prozac for about 15 months, and currently I have anti-anxiety meds that I use “as needed” (once every few weeks…before the dentist, etc) I am NOT ELLIGIBLE to adopt from South Korea.  Really?  So because I have had a prescription in the past, and have a minor one now that basically helps me get through some of life’s tougher moments…I am shut out from yet ANOTHER thing in life?  Does the irony of anxiety + infertility = noyoucan’thaveachildfromus strike anyone else as quite crappy?  Ugh.

I’m glad I have acupunture tomorrow night to give me that nice sense of calm, and then head-doc on Thursday night to keep that calm.  Because if I go in next week…and then have to wait all day for that call about my fsh numbers…that day is going to be rough.  Anti-anxiety meds, anyone?