Sigh of Relief

I was about to respond to all the comments on the last blog post, but I figured I’d give a quick update here. The evening of the bleeding, I sent my ob/gyn a message on our portal. The fertility clinic has already passed it over to them since I live 4,000 miles away from the fertility clinic. I figured I would just have to wait and see how things looked at our ultrasound appointment on the 30th. The next morning, my clinic called and had me come in. The nurse practitioner that did the ultrasound (he’s done a follicle scan for me before) was excited we were pregnant but concerned about the bleeding. He mentioned that his son had to do IVF and he saw how nerve-racking it can be.

So we went ahead with the ultrasound. Right away, we saw a heartbeat. Shane and I started to cry, it was so real. The nurse said he was so relieved to be able to give us good news because he was worried it wouldn’t be good news. He also said that we can come in anytime we need to get some reassurance and to see the baby. Our next appointment though is the day before Thanksgiving – unless we have another scare, then I’ll be hauling my butt in.

After that, I went home and was able to finally sleep. This is going to be a long few months.

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Begining of the End?

We are a full six weeks and five days into this pregnancy, and I started bleeding yesterday. Not spotting but bleeding. It has slowed and stopped with no clots passing; I’m acutely aware that some women naturally bleed during pregnancy, but this is also a sign of a miscarriage. And there is nothing we can do but wait.

Last week I bought some science onesies. Shane and I talked about baby names. I started to dare to dream about the future as parents. It was like the universe needed to remind me of my place in this world, that I’m not allowed to have hopes and dreams like the rest of humanity. Our hill is always a bit steeper than the next guys.

I’ve been awake since 3 am, writing this blog post over and over in my head. Amazed how the possible impending miscarriage is easier to write about then the exciting news that we have finally got a positive pregnancy test. Or that we have been optimistic and happy. Truly happy.

I then had the realization that I had another fuck up. There have been too many fuck ups this week. On Monday, my car wouldn’t start – nothing, wouldn’t even try. Frustrated that I had just had it in the shop, I woke my husband and let him deal with it while I took his car. I called him later to see if he needed a ride or if he fixed my car. He had fixed it. It turns out it was in drive, not park and therefore wouldn’t start. That is a funny fuck up. My work fuck ups have me a bit more stressed. Also on Monday, I got my DNA sequences back when I realized that two of my sample plates were short sequences. I had forgotten to finish out the computer templates I had sent the lab, so those samples were not run. Luckily for me, they were able to run the samples yesterday. I felt so stupid and apologized profusely.

Well, this morning as my brain thought about the bleeding and each twinge sent me to the bathroom to see if the bleeding had picked up again, I thought of the pretty rare samples I sent out on Monday to Canada and how I need to check today to ensure they made it. All international loans (up until this one) are sent in a buffer, so they are temperature stable for the times when they get held up at customs. Doesn’t usually happen because I have all the permits and paperwork in line. I’m good at my job, and I do this often. The FedEx people love me; the customs folks love me. The loan that I sent on Monday was on dry ice since the samples couldn’t be put in a buffer. This alone has made me a bit nervous (thawing = very bad) but should be fine since I had all the paperwork and permits in order. This morning I realized that I forgot to include one of the permits in the customs paperwork envelope with the loan. I’m beyond frustrated with myself. I don’t make these kind of fuck-ups. Right now, I don’t trust myself to do my job which is a pretty low feeling. I cannot do my job, and I cannot hold onto this baby.

I knew that I needed to reserve my blog space for my dark and angry place. Someplace where I could ramble at 4 am and let it out into the world. I feel as I can’t go into work today, I don’t trust myself to do my job. I also feel as if I need to go into work today to deal with customs if the samples get held up. I’m crying over the bleeding. I’m crying that I cannot do my damn job. I’m crying because I can’t fucking sleep. I honestly thought life was getting easier for us. That it was going to be smooth sailing and we’d welcome home our baby in June. I just wanted for us to catch a break this once.

Uncharted Territory

*trigger warning*

I have been working on this post in my head for along time. Long before I ever got the two double lines or the results of my beta test as I saw how others broke the news to IF bloggers. I wondered what would I write, what would I say, would I say anything at all, when would I say something, would I include the “trigger warning” tagline at top (turns out, yes)? Though I thought I’d never have to actually write this post. But now I’m writing the post I thought I’d never have to write. And I have put off writting this post because a lot of people that I care about aren’t at this stage and have some pretty open wounds. I know how it feels and I do agree the blogsphere is full of pregnancy right now. I got upset at a Facebook pregnancy announcement today because I know she didn’t have to “work” for her pregnancy. It is natural and a gut reflex. It is what it is and we are allowed to feel how we feel. Plus do what we need to do to protect oursevles. While I feel overjoyed, I also feel very protective of my friends I’ve made on here. I do not want anyone to hurt because of me, even though I know a few are already. Is it bad to want to lie to your friends to protect them? Isn’t that considered a little white lie?

So with that said, we are pregnant. Four years, three rounds of IVF, so much money I’m embarrassed to say, lots of physical and mental anguish, and an ocean full of tears but we have done it. I honestly never thought I’d be pregnant. Ever. I wish I could say I’m enjoying every minute of it because I’m at a place where I never thought I’d be. But I’m terrified of it all vanishing. I have pretty constant cramps that have me worried then I get worried when they let up. I had two spontaneous orgasms that resulted in horrible cramps, I lost my shit. We will not be having any sex any time soon. I’m constantly checking for blood and calculating my miscarriage rate. As of right now, we are really pregnant with about a 80% chance this will result in a take home baby. Every day that goes by, our odds improve but Google is not my friend right now. The odds are finally in our favor for once though it doesn’t mean it will go our way. Time will tell and I’m one impatient SOB. Trying to take it one day at a time and looking forward to our ultrasound on the 30th.

As for where this blog is going, I have no idea. I started it because I needed a place to vent my sadness and anger at the world. I don’t plan on blogging about my pregnancy or raising a kid (if we get to that step, still quite a few hurdles to get over), it really isn’t my thing. I probably will stick with dark and angry when needed with more on gardening and science. Though gardening is pretty much done for the season since it is currently snowing outside. I did get the small herb garden started this weekend.

We have entered uncharted territory, it is absoloutly terrying but absoutly wonderful.

Good things only happen to some people. They don’t happen for people like us.

On Thursday, we received notice that my husband’s endocrinologist was leaving his practice at the end of September. Due to the rarity of my husband’s disorder, finding a replacement endo is going to be a huge challenge. Add to the challenge, we live in Alaska.

Our insurance company has yet again switched their prescription plan, so we have been spending several hours getting everything sorted out. On Friday, yet another script was denied, and we paid out of pocket, left to argue more with the insurance company more this upcoming week.

We have been gearing up for a natural embryo transfer for the end of this month. Friday before we left for the cabin, the transfer was canceled for this cycle. I know it is for the best; you want everything to be perfect so better chance of it being successful, but it is still disappointing (that is putting it mildly).

I honestly feel at this point that this is how our life is going to be. Good things happening to others, but we will never catch our break. No matter how hard we try. The title of this blog comes from a text I sent my husband when we was talking about “our children”. I felt bad being the downer when he was trying to be positive. I’m scraping the bottom of the hope barrel right now.

This morning, I found the journal I started on 07 August 2013 when we first began to try for a child. I think of all the heartache and struggle we’ve endured since then. My marriage is stronger than ever, a rare disorder and infertility will test your strength as a couple. Right before I found out my transfer was canceled, I had lunch with co-workers. One had a baby in May, and she was there with her baby. An adorable and happy baby. It made my heart hurt, while I’m happy for her, as much as I try, they simply remind me of what I cannot have. I have another friend coming into town this week. She is very happy and very pregnant. I’m very depressed and very not pregnant. I simply do not want to be around that. I want to be left alone, to cry my tears in peace in my garden with my animals.

My mother-in-law has mentioned how aloof I’ve become the past few years. Reading that journal to my baby started in 2013, I realize how much more jaded, cynical, and depressed I’ve become the past four years. I look at our wedding photos, the happy and hopeful couple that had no clue what the first few years of marriage were going to hold for them.

We appear to be a very average couple. Very few people have any idea how often I cry, how financially stressed we are, or how tired we are from arguing with the heath insurance companies. It is hard for me to be happy for others when I’m working through my never-ending grief. It is hard for me to want to go out with friends because I simply don’t want to hear about how wonderful their life is. I don’t want people to say things they think are comforting, but they aren’t, they make me angry and more likely never to go out of the house again.

It reminds me how naïve people are when it comes to infertility. They will never know how bad it truly hurts. This has been my life for longer than I care to admit. I’ve heard all the advice, received numerous pep talks, and have over thought it all. When I need or want to talk about it, I will. I’ll blog about it or I’ll talk to a friend of choosing. If I don’t bring it up in conversation with you, I don’t want to talk to you about it. Leaving my five-acre haven, I’m reminded constantly of what I cannot and do not have. So I hide away, separate myself from the rest of the world and watch from a distance as other live the life I wish I could have. Life looks a lot different on this side of the fence.

Perfect family

OPKs in FBKS

We are doing a natural transfer and I’m in need of ovulation prediction kitS (OPKs). I haven’t bought or used one of these in years. I hopped on Amazon since I’m needing them in bulk and to my surprise, you can buy them used! What?!?!

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I found a non-used one that seemed promsing. Turns out customers that bought this OPK also bought plastic cups. It took way longer than I’d like to admit why the hell people were buying plastic cups with and ovulation prediction kit. I’ve been out of this game way too long. The outdoor inflatable lounger chair and couch, I’m still in the dark. 😉

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A Somber Epiphany

I stumbled onto a new to me infertility blog and it goes back to 2013. I was like, holy shit that was a long time ago and they still are childless. It was discouraging, heart breaking, but I honestly felt a bit relieved that it wasn’t me. Then it hit me, we’ve been trying since 2013.

 

Recap and Game Plan

We are a little over two weeks post of our last egg retrieval. And I can officially say that that was our last round of IVF. There is no way in hell I’m putting my body through that again. Pretty much from the day after my first injection, I have to stop running because my ovaries go gangbuster on the hormones. I can feel my ovaries when I walk and have this irrational (perhaps rational) fear of ovarian torsion. No trampolines for me during IVF. Everyone, even fertility nurses, tells me that I’m doing so well and I’ll have plenty of eggs. Whoopie fucking do because that means shit.

Eggs out of here

On this third round, the protocol was modified yet again to avoid ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Yet again, I developed OHSS. I have no idea how people go back to work the day after the transfer. I’m large, uncomfortable, and in pain. By the time I went back to work four days post transfer, I was using a rubberband to close my pants. Beats the first round when I had to wear maternity pants.

When I start to deflate and piss out all that water I retained (8lbs of it this round!), all day daily migraines begin as my body crashes from the hormones. This is followed by the heaviest period in history. Ten days post retrieval, I went to my local clinic for a polyp check so we can start on the transfers. “Holy crap, your ovaries are huge,” the Dr. remarked. That was 10 days after retrieval, after deflating, and after my period. Yup, IVF for me is weeks of pure hell.

The best thing about this round is our clinic did not give us a blow by blow about how shitty our embryos were doing as our previous clinic did. They told us how many fertilized on day two then gave us a report on how many they froze on day five. We went from 26 eggs retrieved, 25 mature, 23 fertilized, to four to freeze. A bit crushing but better than the other two rounds where we got 1 to transfer and 0 that implanted.

While I wish we had more in the freezer, a part of me is glad that we do not. After watching others go through transfer after transfer, the heartache and the money spent, I’m glad this purgatory is limited to four.

FrozenSperm

It is hard to wonder as we start the embryo transfers if we picked the right path. A friend of my husband had their adoption finalized today. They started adoption process when we started fertility treatments. It is hard not to second guess our choices especially when our house seems oh so quiet today and a bit too clean. I need to accept that this is our journey and we are on the right path even if it is a bit longer then we’d prefer. The next hurdle is going to be doing a natural transfer while living 4,000 miles from our clinic. This should be interesting yet I’m so glad the clinic is willing to work with us on this. A natural cycle transfer means no progesterone in oil shots. None. Zilch. Kein. I’m polyp free as of this week’s check. Now waiting to hear back on my thyroid values. Then once my period starts in a few weeks, we are on.

womb

As a side note for a friend that is thinking about heading down the IVF path that reads my blog: While IVF has been no cake walk for me (though I have consumed a lot of cake on this journey), I will say I’m glad we have done these three rounds of IVF. And I’ll still be glad even if this 3rd one fails because I will never wonder if. I will know. Everyone has a different experience with IVF and how their body responds. I don’t want my experience to deter you from trying, if you want to try. It is hard but doable.