Fertile Schmertile

April 8, 2008

Would You Like Some Cheese with That WHINE?

Gosh, I’m getting tired of seeing my own writing be so durn depressing all the time.  But apparently, its not time to quit, because here I am whining again.  If infertility has done nothing else for me, it has allowed me to relearn how to wallow in a foul mood and spew on about it all endlessly.  Ask anyone IRL, they’ll tell you I’m an endlessly “perky” person with a sunshiny disposition.  They don’t know me like you, the priveleged ones do.

The past few weeks have been hard, but seem to be letting up, finally, in some areas.  I’m no longer a “single parent,” which is immensely helpful.  DH came home from a Texas business trip way sicker than he was when he left. Looking at the calendar, he started getting sick wayyyyy back at the beginning of March, but it just kept gaining momentum.  Came back and tried going to work, but ended up coming home with 103 degree temp, breathing problems, no umph, cough–and stayed that way for days on end.  Finally he went back to work on Friday.  So, single parenting, trying not to get sick, and working full time doesn’t lend itself well to grieving, decision-making, reaching out, discussing plans for the future, etc.  Its left me in this emotional black hole waiting for something to make me just snap.  So, yes, I’ve been somewhat avoidant of everything I could possibly be avoidant of.  I’ve been TIRED.  I’ve been SAD.  I’ve been MANAGING.

And after most of all this time has passed (this is all since Easter) my mom calls.  I already heard from my best friend that mom is “worried about me” because I’m not calling her and ttalking to her about everything.  Because I’m not “dealing with things.” (I’m dealing with PLENTY, thankyouverymuch!).  She tells me she’s worried about me, because of all the things she’s already shared with my friend.  My pat reply is “I’m fine.”  I tell her how there hasn’t been a blasted moment to “reach out” because I’ve been so busy and stressed out and doing things.  Her:  “But you need to ask for heeeeelp, why don’t you ever ask for heeeeelp, people want to heeelp,” and on and on forever–because browbeating me about why I don’t ask for help is JUST. SO. EFFING. HELPFUL.  I mean, what has stopped her from just picking up the phone and saying, “hey I’ll be over in a bit to pick up Woob for a few hours, okay?  Go do something you need to do.”  THAT would be helpful.  Or, “I know you’ve been dealing with a lot lately, let me come straighten up the house a little,” or “I’m bringing over a pizza and beer for dinner, don’t dress up.”  THAT would be helpful.  But those things will never happen.  So, when she stops criticizing my coping style for a second and breathes, I say to her, “You really want to help?  How bout you take Woob Saturday morning for a few hours so I can do a few things–don’t know what I’ll be doing yet, but it would be nice to have a break.” And she accepts.  And tells me about everyone we know in the whole world who is pregnant right now.  Whatevah.

And it was helpful to take her up on her “offer”, I suppose, despite the weird feeling of not having an active two-year old attached to me for a few hours.  I honestly had no idea what to do.  I was uncomfortable.  I was sad.  It was the first most beautiful spring day of the season and I had free time to spend how I wanted and it made me feel weird and sad.  What kind of freak am I?  So I killed some time at the phone store asking about phones, getting ticked off that the little cute college student “helping” me, wasn’t explaining things to me in a way I could understand–rebates, upgrades, PDA’s, plans, etc.  I finally left, thinking that either I was too old to figure it all out, or they were sheisters trying to confuse me.  I figure if I have two college degrees and can’t figure it out, then I’m just meant to keep my little, easy old-lady phone for a little while longer.  And I got tearful. 

So I went to the movie theater and bought a ticket to “Fool’s Gold” with The Beautiful Matthew McConnahey and Kate Hudson and nachos, large Coke and some Reese’s Pieces.  Because that is the best, most mindless thing I could think of.  Any other time, it would have been bliss.  But it wasn’t.  Too many things catching up to me in the dark that I hadn’t had time or energy to deal with before.  So, again, I cried a little, which I needed to do, but really–who does that?  That only lasted through the previews and the first few scenes, though, and I was able to enjoy the rest of the movie with minor pangs of missing the Woob or feeling like there was something I was missing doing.  And I was able to get to the grocery store before going to pick up the baby at my mom’s.

He’d had a great time and we loaded all his stuff together to get ready to go.  Mom asked what I did through the morning, so I told her and got the most unexpected response:  “Uh, I thought we were watching him because you had things to DO.”   WTF.  I love my mother and I know she loves me, but sometimes her ability to figure out the appropriate response escapes her.

Get home and DH knows I’m sad, asks why.  So now we get to start the conversation that’s weeks overdue.  What to do next.  Long story short…we aren’t yet on the same page, so I’m in limbo.  And it made me even sadder.

Sunday, I was feeling better.  Another beautiful day.  Not gonna let anything get to me, and don’t have a whole lot of control over any of it anyway.  Go to church and am greeted by my former sis-in-law:  “Did I hear good news about you??? ” (lingering expectation for me to say something exciting like, well, you know, that I”m preggo..). How to reply to that without (1) crying, or (2) making her feel like a schmuck.  I chose to just meekly say, “no.” and the subject quickly changed.  She felt like a schmuck, and I felt sorry for her, but what else is there to say to that?

I dunno…I’m fine.  Really I am.  I just need to whine a little and I choose not to whine to my mom.  I want help only if its really help.  I want to come to a consensus about our family once and for all or some peace within myself about whatever happens or doesn’t happen next.

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March 26, 2008

Weird Relief

Never thought I’d say this, but Thank God, the RE office called today with a negative result on the beta. I started my day with bloodwork to make sure everything’s going down as it should.  It was bad–the nurse stuck my right arm really painfully and got no blood so we had to stick it again.  She was asking me questions about how low the last beta had been and how long ago it was and I started crying and she gave me that pity look which made me want to cry more.  I was able to suck it up, but then she said that if it didn’t go down to a negative reading (<5), then we’d have to keep doing the bloodwork and/or do a D&C, neither of which I felt really compelled to follow through with.

Anyway, today I’m down below 5, so I’m off the hook.  Just a tad bit more relaxed.

March 25, 2008

Some Final Thoughts

Filed under: anxiety,early miscarriage,grief,infertility,IVF — by M. @ 1:40 pm

Okay, you’ll be happy to know I haven’t offed myself over the past few days.  I’m still on the edge of insanity, but I understand it and know it won’t always be this hard.  Everything has been swirling in my head the past week and its been really difficult to truly grieve given I haven’t had a single minute alone in my home or otherwise since receiving the news…literally.  My brother in law has been at the house from out of town from Friday until yesterday afternoon.  We hosted DH’s side of the family on Saturday for late Birthday and early Easter celebrations.  We were at my side of the family’s all day Sunday.  Crying is simply not an option these days.  Perhaps tonight, after Woob goes to bed, I can allow myself a few moments. 

It is amazing, though, how your mind can make a space for a little person in just a few short days.  I am surprised at how much visualizing and projecting into the future I had already done–renovation to the “junk” room, maternity clothes, minivan shopping, planning maternity leave, picking names, naming Godparents, getting Woob through the transition, and on and on.  I guess that’s what mothers do naturally to prepare and care for their little ones in those nine months, which turns out to be not that long.  Every time one of those transitions hits me with, “Oh, I guess I don’t need to do that after all,” I get a little misty eyed.  It was also rather easy to remain in a little bit of denial for a few days, though, as numbers and labs had been mistaken before.  But that was short lived.  The bleeding started in ernest on Easter Sunday and there was no mistaking the truth.  I have to go back tomorrow morning for another beta, and will have to continue until there is a true “negative” reading.  If that negative reading doesn’t come, then they’ll have to do a D&C.  I pray it doesn’t come to that, but hey, THAT would be the definition of Finality.

I’m certainly not blind to the blessings I have, even in the disappointment of not having things go my way…I really hit the jackpot when it comes to people who care, the kiddo I get to take care of and love, my hubby, my work, all the little mundane things I have to focus on.  If a person has to be malcontent, it might as well be at a time when you can watch Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Lost, and How I Met Your Mother, all in one week!  Sounds trivial and stupid, but to me, TV has healing powers.  It gives you something to focus on outside of yourself, something mindless and safe to talk to your partner about when too many land mines are lurking around.

I do have to wonder though, how people do this over and over and over.  I understand getting pulled into the hope, and “maybe next time’s the time,” and how its really not THAT hard to go through the procedures.  But multiple loss, I don’t think I know how to do.  I guess the question for all of us here is how to know you fought a good, honest fight without getting killed in the battle?  At what point can you call it a day and be able to live with it?

Anyway, I don’t think I’ve properly thanked any of you for your kind thoughts, prayers, friendship and words over the past several days.  You have been the only people I can really talk to about this without just losing it…you listen, say just the right things, and you understand completely, and I can’t ask for more than that.  I’ll be watching along as you go through your pregnancies (so many this past week!!), or make other plans.  Feel free to look me up if you look towards adoption–I can point you towards so many good people–adoptive parents, adoptees, birth/first parents, who are kind enough to share their experiences.

And, lastly, I have unopened meds that I need to get rid of (Gonal-f pen and Ovidrel).  Email me at xxxxxxx if you’re interested.

March 22, 2008

Indulging in Anger

I feel the need to indulge in my anger a little and let it steep a bit…

  • I am angry that I fell for it yet again
  • I am angry that I am a hard core gambler…I mean who goes to the casino and puts down their whole life savings (haha–no savings, just whats left on a home equity loan…) on the number seven and thinks they’ll really win??  Someone with a gambling problem.  In essence that’s what we did.
  • I am angry at the nurse who called with the bad news started with the statement, “The good news is, you know you can get pregnant…”  I feel hatred towards her which is really wrong on Good Friday.
  • I am angry that I can’t stop moving very long before my mind wanders back to it and I feel like I’m going to cry ugly.
  • I am angry that the dr’s office seemed to assume that we’d be trying again.
  • I am angry at myself for not being emotionally able to try again, even if we could up some cash.
  • I’m angry that there will be looks of pity at my Easter gathering on Sunday.
  • I’m angry that when I tell people that I don’t want to talk about it, they don’t respect that, and bring it up anyway.
  • I’m angry that its the beginning of spring and everything is growing and blooming around me and I’m being left behind.
  • I’m angry that something so, so, so tiny can have such a big effect on me emotionally.
  • I’m angry that I used sick time and vacation time for a study in futility.
  • I am angry that I have to sit around waiting for the bleeding to start.
  • I’m angry that I have to go back to the dr.s office to retest my blood again just to see how low the numbers are going.
  • I’m angry that there’s no time to take to just back out of life for awhile without anything else to think about.
  • I’m angry that I’m getting older.
  • I’m angry that while I’m grieving, I have clients in my parenting classes who don’t have the ability to show their children nurturing care…I almost cried when a little boy came in to the class with his mom.  He had gotten a much needed haircut since the week before; granted, it was a bit uneven.  When I commented on how great he looked, he said, “Momma said I look ugly,” to which his “Momma” replied, “It IS ugly, you look terrible.”  That little boy is 5.

I’m sure there’s more I can come up with, but I’m just too tired to keep going.

March 18, 2008

Numbers Not Doubling

Filed under: anxiety,infertility,IVF,pregnancy test — by M. @ 2:33 pm

which really makes me nervous.  I went for a second beta today, 72 hours after the first one.  In 48 hours they like to see the original number go up about 60%.  Mine only went from 107 to 159.  The nurse was waiting to hear back from the doc to see how to advise me, so I have been waiting here all day antsy (I actually said at lunch–“they must wait til after lunch to give the bad news!”) and finally at 3 I called them.

The nurse said its not definitive either way…if it was staying the same or going down, they’d say I was miscarrying, but its just a wait and see right now.  So I’ll probably go in for another blood draw on Weds to see better what’s what. 

Pray for me and my beanie baby!

March 15, 2008

This Road is Coming to an End

Filed under: IVF,pregnancy test,Uncategorized — by M. @ 12:36 pm

…because, holy moly, I’m PREGNANT!  I’ll be traveling down a different road for the next 9 months!  🙂

Beta 107, Progesterone 40

As of today, all is well in the Land of Schmertile!  I’ll pop back in later when I have more time, but I “see” you out there checking to find out news, so didn’t want to keep you in any more suspense!

March 14, 2008

Counting Down

Filed under: anxiety,infertility,pregnancy test — by M. @ 2:47 pm

In a little more than 16 hours, I will have my first beta.  The clock is loudly ticking in my head and I am having a hard time thinking about much else. 

DH left for a golf trip this morning and won’t be back til Sunday afternoon.  I should be busy enough with the baby (my BABY just turned two yesterday!!) to keep the evening going along without it being too torturous.  Sleep tonight?? Maybe.

March 11, 2008

Hanging in There

Filed under: adoption,anxiety,infertility,IVF,parenthood — by M. @ 9:22 am

Waiting, waiting…I’m doing pretty good with the wait so far.  Mostly because we’ve been so stinkin’ busy around here that there’s not been much time to worry on it.  Having a two year old will do that to you.  Your days are over before you get a good handle on what you are supposed to be doing for the day.  You worry about tomorrow tomorrow.

Every last one of us is exhausted, from the treatments, the trip, the recovery, the toddler’s birthday party, preparing for hubby’s golf trip.  Friday’s beta will be here before we know it.  I have bought a few sticks to pee on, and could probably get away with doing one tomorrow, but I think I’m too scared to do it.  You think Target would give me my money back for something like that?

When I do have the luxury of time to think about it, I waver between the excitement of the possibility that it worked and the surety that it couldn’t have.  I haven’t had any symptoms of anything really…the progesterone is being kind to me so far.  I just have twingy things here and there that could be anything or nothing, most likely just recovery from all the trauma of retrieval.  I know I haven’t slept well, despite the fact that I am so bone tired this week, I should be able to pass out as soon as I lay down.

Oh, and I don’t think I mentioned in previous posts that I wanted to stay low-key on who we told we were even having IVF, both at work and personally.  Well, early on, DH pretty much told our whole friend network and his whole family, so that was blown in the water.  I told my supervisor and mgt. team, because I needed to be able to explain the sick time off work.  I told my brother and his wife because they had to care for the boy during our trips for the treatment. The night before retrieval, I finally told my mom, out of guilt.  And anyone I’ve spoken to, I’ve let them know I’m hesitant to tell because I don’t want to have to deal with questions about “did it work,” looks of pity if it doesn’t, and all that comes with it.  Just so you know, I am so, so sorry that most of the people on that list are in the know.  If there was a way to do it all again, where NOBODY knew IRL, I’d do it in a heartbeat.  I’m ready for questions about adoption, I’ve done that and have my responses down pat.  But for this, I’m not as prepared to deal with it.  But then again, if we hadn’t told anyone, and this happened to work, we’d constantly get the, “see, everyone always gets pregnant as soon as they adopt” BS that is just so untrue for the majority.  Or they’d think and comment on “see, I knew you just needed to relax and it would happen.”  Ahh, to be able to truly relax.

So that’s where I am today.  Its rainy, dark and I’m tired.  Blah.

March 6, 2008

The Lab Called

Filed under: Uncategorized — by M. @ 10:55 am

The other two embryos didn’t make it to freeze.  No frozen transfer for us if this time doesn’t work. 

Transfer Day (Or ~ “There’s No Such Thing as Bedrest”)

Filed under: anxiety,infertility,IVF — by M. @ 9:32 am

Okay, I just noticed that my last post is dated March 6 for some reason…its really only March 5, and the transfer happened on March 4.  Just to give you proper context.

So, after my last post, you’re stressed enough.  I know I was. 

Tuesday morning I woke up at the hotel feeling pretty good.  I still had the sore throat, but thankfully the snot had been held at bay at least for now.  We took our time getting up and ready so we could enjoy the lovely breakfast the hotel put out (that I couldn’t enjoy the last time–no food after midnight).  I had a few lingering fears:  first, I could just envision us getting there and them saying, “oh, we’re so sorry, none of your embryos made it…you’ll have to turn around and go back home now.”  Second, I feared that if we did have any “good ones” left, that my sneezing and hacking might just make them angry inside my uterus and decide they wanted nothing to do with me.

We got to the clinic our required 1 hour and 15 minutes early, and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I lost track of time, and barely remembered to take my Valium in time enough for it to work.  Our transfer was scheduled for 11 a.m., and we were still in the waiting area at, um, 11 a.m. My irrational, worrying mind chalked it up to the fact that they were saving us for last so they could tell us about not having any embryos left.

Finally, Nurse Sunshine came and got us.  Said they’d been swamped all morning with transfers and we were, indeed, the last ones.  The doc came in to answer any questions we had, and thus verified, we DID have embryoS (yay!) to transfer.  We headed into the room where they did the procedure, which was just adjacent to the lab where all the little embies were housed.  Funny enough, that was the first time DH had ever been in the room where my “girl parts” were being examined or otherwise manipulated by a professional.  He found all the equipment fascinating, asked lots of goofy questions, but then realized that the way the table was positioned within the room, my hoo-ha was pointing directly towards the open lab door, where the lab techs were all busily working.  He looked towards my hoo-ha, and back to the lab and in an attempt to protect my delicate virtue, asked the nurse, “Can we close that door?  Seems like they could see her like that.”  Very sweet, but he was quickly told, “no, its important that the door stay open so that when we’re ready, they can bring the embryos in quickly and without anything in the way.”  Okay, my virtue continues to be questionable as a result, but at least he tried. 

The lab person came in a handed us the most beautiful snapshot of our two glorious embryos that we’d be transferring today.  One was determined “great” by the dr., and the other “really good, but still catching up a bit.”  Pretty amazing to look at.  The lab person told us that we had two more that they were going to keep an eye on.  They’d let us know the next day if they were going to be freeze-worthy.  One stress down…

Next came the transfer itself.  Which I might add, after reading others’ accounts of theirs, it hurt a little.  Like to the point of squeezing DH’s hand.  But it wasn’t enough to kill me, and we did think it was cool to see the embryos squirted into the uterus on the sonogram screen.  The nurses were both lovely through it, and the doctor talked all through it and made jokes.

(A total aside:  I’ watching Regis and Kelly and they’re telling the news story of a couple who did IVF with only one embryo transferred, and that darn embryo split and split again…they are the proud parents of triplets!!)

Okay, back to our program…

We were able to talk to the dr. some more.  He put some of my fears of the upcoming two weeks to rest.  He told us that the lifting restrictions only need to be in effect for the next 48 hours when it comes to our little one.  He said the implantation, should it occur would happen within 48 hours and we should be fine after that.  I still want to take it easy, but had such worries about how to do everything that needs to be done with a two year old, expecially since DH will be gone the latter half of next week.  He told us the embryos were perfect, the way they went in was perfect…everything looked as it should for success.  He said we have a 50% chance or more for this to work.  We left feeling hopeful and tired.

And on the ride home?  More rain and ice.  Me having to stop every 45 minutes to pee out all that water I had to drink.  Talking about our hopes for what happens next.  DH feeling better healthwise, but me starting to feel worse.  But both of us hopeful.

And then we got home, DH picked up the baby at daycare.  Any semblance of peace and quiet that might have existed in my house up to that time was dashed.  The Woob. Was. Pissed.  We had gone and left him overnight again.  He made it clear to us that he was angry and we must pay.  We must pay All. Night. Long.  We had the most miserable night, all of us exhausted, us feeling like failures as parents…we were trying for more children and we can’t even effectively deal with the one we have.  There was fussing and crying…by us and by the baby.  Those little embryos probably are wondering what the hell they’ve gotten themselves into.  It hadn’t been six hours, and already the “no lifting” policy was out the window.  Just twice.  But necessary.

The day ended with us all going to bed early and exhausted.

This morning things were better.  DH feels better, I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would with my cold, I didn’t have to lift the baby at all, and I am home alone in bed as I should be, watching tv and catching up on blogging, both reading and writing.

Any bets on how long that will last??

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