Friday, September 28, 2007



Sometimes I wonder if it is a good thing or a bad thing to have. On one hand it is good to have to help propel you to keep going in the face of trying, stressful times. I hope that my day will go good so I get up each morning. I hope that I will find a new job, where there are no pregnant people, and no one knows about my loss so no one looks at me with pity, so I continue to search the classified ads. I hope that one day J and I will have our baby so I keep cycling.

But, that could be the bad part too.
It is not impossible for J and I to conceive naturally –so the RE says. Not impossible, but with such low odds, not likely either. But that 2% chance is something. It’s hope – hope that maybe one of these times it will work and we will be one of those miracle couples. The ones you hear about all the time. “Oh, they tried and tried for years and finally when they stopped trying they got pregnant!.” My rational mind knows that statistically it won’t happen for us that way but hope keeps me wondering each time we have sex what the outcome will be.

With doing the IUI cycles again there is hope each month. And with IUI’s there is not much time to lose that hope if you’re doing back to back cycles. Within a few days of getting AF you have to muster up the hope all over again for the next cycle. I think of it like this – my IUI cycles are kind of like the Tower of Terror – the constant high’s and low’s. My IVF cycles are more like a huge roller-coaster, with a big slow climb to the top and a quick drop back down to the bottom.

Sometimes that little bit if hope is all that keeps me going each day. I worry though – does my inability to ever stop cycling come with that hope. Will having that hope make me keep trying and keep trying until I go through menopause? And would that really be good for my sanity? Plus if we keep trying for that long will we lose out on a chance to adopt because at that point we’ll be too old? Will that be the price I pay for having hope?

I hope not…

** Side note ** Getting closer to cycling again next month. I know that I ovulated this week sometime. So it should be only a few more weeks. I think we are going to try again this month – we’ve had a few weeks to save a little for it, and I know I can’t wait another month. Too torturous!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Infertility strong hold

It's still amazing to me how much infertility can take hold of your entire life. It encompasses every part of your being - from your job, to you health, to your marriage and everything in between. J and I have so many more arguments as the years drag on ttc than we did in the past. It's like a constant thought in the back of your mind. Everything is centered around ttc. The stress of the negatives each month causes stress related health problems, the time off you have to have for RE appointments and making up excuses about why you'll be late or absent from work again, how much it costs to continue treatment with limited insurance coverage, having to deal with pregnant people in everyday life. Sometimes I feel like if we already had children we wouldn't have half the arguments we have today. People who don't struggle with infertility everyday do not and can not understand what we go through.
Because of his medical issues J needs medication each day to function. Right now he has no insurance coverage for that medication. All I can think about is how that will affect my ttc. What if I don't have enough money to pay for the co-pays, the medication? What if I have to postpone ttc for another month because my money is going toward his prescriptions, doctor's visits, whatever? That makes me feel like a complete bitch. Like I don't care about my husband's health. But I know the longer I wait the harder it will be to get pregnant.
So what does one do? Continue ttc and neglect other financial responsibilities? If it works and I am able to have my healthy live baby in the end it would be so worth it - because that's all that really matters in life anyway right? Family, friends, people, surely not money or other material items. But I could potentially be neglecting my husband's health, or destroying my financial future. And that is important - because whether we eventually have children or not J and I are together - for life.
It's not always an easy decision - whether to ttc this month's chance or not. I just wish that I didn't have to make these difficult decisions. I wish that no one ever had to make such decisions.

On a side note - I think I'm getting close to ovulation time again. The EWCM is starting to build up - not that it matters with our 2% chance of conceiving naturally. But that means I am that much closer to starting another medicated cycle. I am thinking that I'll use the gonal that I have leftover from IVF cycle #1 - it's expired but I stored it properly and I'm sure it works just fine. I think they put expiration's on the drugs to make more money anyway. That will save some $$$. Only about 2 more weeks to go until we can start again if we choose to.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Topic for the Day

It's definitely a record for today - the number of times someone at work made reference to pregnancy. I know that I have an office-mate who is currently 20+ weeks pregnant, but (and maybe I'm being selfish here but I no longer care about that) it is my office too. Why do I have to be subjected to all the happy, giddy, pregnant talk? Maybe I don't want to hear about it. For God's sake they all know what I've been through with the loss. Can't they at least have the conversations when I am out of the office. Bad enough I have to go there everyday and watch as the belly grows. The constant reminder of what I have lost.

So the topics for today were:
Have you felt the baby moving yet?
I gained too much weight for this doctor's appointment so now they are watching me closely for next month.
I have to go and buy maternity bras.

I feel like a complete ass, not to mention extreme guilt, because I can't share in the happy conversations. I mean she's entitled to feel excited. I don't begrudge her her happiness. I like her and consider her a friend. And other people are entitled to have conversations with her on whatever subjects they like. But when you're having conversations while I am sitting right there please try to remember that my baby died, I never got to feel it moving, and that I didn't get a chance to buy maternity clothes. And also remember that I may never get that opportunity - because of J and I's infertility diagnosis. So, have a little empathy and try to imagine how those conversations make me feel.
I would never have a conversation about how terrible cancer is and how many people I have known who have died from it while sitting next to someone who was recently diagnosed. I guess I just don't understand why people have such a hard time putting themselves in someone else's shoes.

If I am ever able to get pregnant again, and if I am ever lucky enough to carry that baby to term, my pregnancy will not be a topic for discussion, except in my own home. I would hate the thought of unknowingly putting someone else through the pain I feel. My advice for the day: Always think about who is in your audience before you speak.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

When our world crumbled

After struggling with IF for so long it felt good to finally be pregnant. J and I were so excited! We wanted to run down the street screaming our happy news out to everyone. I just kept worrying though - what if something terrible happens? My friend S said not to worry, everything would be fine.
I was cleaning out our office one day and came across all of the paperwork I had gathered in my adoption research. For some reason I just couldn't throw it away. I placed it on the shelf - hoping I would never need it.
The pregnancy seemed to be progressing fine - except for some occasional spotting. My OB assured me that it was nothing to worry about at our 9-week appointment. Lots of women have spotting. Still it just didn't seem right to me.

One morning I woke up and the first thought in my mind was that I didn't feel pregnant anymore. I got out my trusty "What to expect when you're expecting" book and looked this up. It clearly stated that lots of women feel this way sometimes. Nothing to worry about. You can feel not pregnant and be just fine. Anyway, if I was having a m/c the book assured me I would have bleeding and/or cramping. I had neither and my spotting had subsided a week earlier too.
An old co-worker and friend, A, came to visit at the office and brought with her her new baby and her bag of used maternity clothes. I could have them if I wanted. And just in time, I was just starting to show slightly or at least I felt that way, being bloated and my pants felt tighter. I took the clothes, thanked her, and told her that I was making the announcement to the rest of the co-workers that Friday. I had an OB appointment the next day and Friday I would be 13 weeks so thought it was time to tell everyone at work.

The next morning I excitedly put on the maternity clothes and J and I were off to the OB appointment. 13weeks. We were going to be able to hear the baby's heartbeat.

Sitting in the waiting room was unreal. I couldn't wait to hear that heartbeat. And I had plans to go home that afternoon and buy my home baby doppler so I could hear it all the time.
When OB walked in the room she immediately put the thing on my belly. We waited while she moved it around. We waited for what seemed to be a very long time before she said she couldn't find the heartbeat. But don't worry - this happens sometimes. We go into the ultrasound room to find the heartbeat.
The ultrasound tech placed the wand on my belly and there was the picture of my baby. But something was wrong. The baby didn't move at all and the ultrasound tech said there was no heartbeat.

The rest of that appointment is a blur. I'm sure that I was in a state of shock from that moment. OB says that we can do a D&C but it won't be for another 5 days because that's the next time she does surgeries. Just go home and if I start bleeding heavily and cramping between now and Tuesday then go to the Emergency Room.

I can't remember much of that day after that. I know that J and I got home and neither of us knew what to do with ourselves. What were we supposed to do now?! Were we supposed to just go on with our day pretending it was normal? The world seemed to just go on - the traffic going by, the kids walking home from school, everything the same. Except for J and I. Our world was completely and forever altered.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

FET Cycle #1

We waited a few months after getting the second IVF/BFN before we were ready to do a frozen cycle. Heck, we mostly waited to come up with the cash to pay for the cycle. Much to my surprise the insurance company would cover the medication needed for a FET cycle.
How does this make sense??? They won't pay for anything associated with an IVF cycle but will pay for medication for an FET? Who am I to question though?
Dr. RE decides that since we only have one embryo to work with, and it is very precious, we should do one more saline HSG test to make sure the polyps haven't come back again. I went to that test that day convinced that they would find another and we'd have to postpone but again, much to my surprise the uterus looked great this time.

We started the FET cycle but didn't hold out much hope. All of the odds were stacked against J and I for this cycle, or so it seemed. We only had one frozen embie - with both other IVF cycles we had transferred 3 each time and none stuck. Why should we believe that one would? Plus our RE's office boasts a 50% thaw rate for blasts. Since J and I are always on the wrong side of the odds we were sure that our embie wouldn't survive the thaw.
Transfer day came and the RE's office called in the morning (I was sure to tell us our embie didn't make the thaw). Again, much to my surprise, it had thawed beautifully. It was even hatching! The transfer went perfectly and we were sent home to wait it out. I swear I must have done more research that week on the chances of a hatching blast implanting than I've ever done on anything else. About three days before the beta was scheduled I started feeling the familiar AF signs coming on and was sure that it was over but just couldn't POAS and face that reality again.

J and I decided that I would POAS the day before the beta. I woke up at about 6am that day and laid in bed for probably another hour, even though I had to go to the bathroom so bad I thought I would burst. I just couldn't bring myself to do the test. I cried - a lot. Finally when I couldn't hold it any longer, I went in the bathroom, and POAS. Within seconds the elusive second line came up and I stared at it in a complete state of shock. I swung open the bathroom door waving the stick and yelling to J that it worked, it finally worked!
Scared to death I went and got my beta which came back at 123 - a good number Dr. RE said. The next week was pure torture going for repeat betas and worrying about doubling times. But they were prefect. 123 to 524 to 1570. Our first ultrasound was scheduled and we were so excited.

We were finally pregnant.

Our first ultrasound was at 7w3d and it was prefect. Our little baby measured right on track and there it was - the prefect little heart beating. I had had some spotting and Dr. RE said that it was still early but the nurse said to go ahead and be excited. Some spotting was OK and our baby seemed to be doing fine. We graduated that day from Dr. RE's office. We were going to be seeing my regular OB from now on.
Finally I would not have to see Dr. RE or her office again - until of course I wanted a second child. Finally J and I were going to have our baby. I was finally just a normal pregnant person. We were happy.

Monday, September 10, 2007

How did I end up like this?

After our second failed IVF cycle J and I were, to say the least, devastated. I think, looking back, that's when I became the me I am today. The angry, jaded, jealous, bitter person I have become began the day I got the call about the second IVF/BFN. I think that's got to be when I started believing that a happy ending may not be possible for J and I on our journey to start a family. It's when I finally realized that things don't always turn out for the best - and experience has proven me right.
No matter how many times our friends and family tell us to keep trying, no matter how much they believe, no matter how many times we do try, there will always be the chance that I will get to the end of my childbearing years without a child.

btw - J and I decided on taking a break this month. It just doesn't make sense to spend money we don't really have, add extra stress to the cycle, etc. So, one month off and next AF we will start our injectible IUI's again. Maybe the new protocol will work eventually. Maybe not.
28 days to go 'til we start the next cycle.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Crashed again

Well, just like I thought it's over again. AF showed full force today. Stupidly I once again allowed myself to believe that maybe, just maybe, the spotting for two days wouldn't progress and I'd magically end this 2ww with a positive. Why, why, why do I always let myself hope like that?
So, now J and I are not sure what to do. Don't know if we have the money to do another cycle this month or if we should take a month long break to save the cash. It sucks that my ability to have a child is based on my financial situation. Plus I can't stand the thought of waiting another 30 days to start trying again. Something in my mind just keeps reminding me of how much older I am now than when we started this journey. Another month will just be another month older.
I hate the way J looks when I tell him that I got my period, again. I hate the way he looks when I ask him over and over whether we should take a break, and then in the next breath tell him that if I take a break I will most likely lose my mind (what with having to deal with all the pregnant people I know right now). I know that he's hurting because of all of this too.
I've got to decide by tomorrow so I can schedule the baseline ultrasound and start the gonal-f by day 3.

Friday, September 7, 2007

2ww ending soon

Today's 13DPIUI. I've done an awesome job of trying to ignore this whole 2ww this time. But today I just feel like it's another bust. Last night I started getting some slight AF cramps and this morning I had some slight brown spotting. I really just feel like AF is on her way.
I want to use the one HPT I have in the house just so I know for sure and I can have a glass of wine tonight. But the thought of that reality again, especially today, I just can't bring myself to do it.
Today's one year since that dreaded OB appointment when J and I were so excited to be going to the doctor. We were going to hear the baby's heartbeat - but when we got there there was none. Of course, AF would show today because that's my life. Maybe AF will be kind and at least hold off until tomorrow.

Looks like we'll be back on the injectibles again next month. I may need a month off though - I just hate the thought of prolonging this journey anymore. Why is it that everyone I know, except for me, gets pregnant on the first or second try? Why is the universe so cruel?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

IVF Cycle #2

So, after the first IVF cycle was a bust J and I pretty much didn't know what we were going to do. We had received financial aid for this cycle and weren't sure how we would ever come up with the money to fund another cycle.
We started looking into adoption, which by the way, is even more expensive than an IVF cycle! How in the world would we ever have a child?!?! Anyone who ever says to you, "why don't you just adopt?" has never looked into the details of adopting. The whole process is overwhelming. Aside from being cost prohibitive, you can be denied for medical reasons (which J has) and even for being overweight, depending on the country you choose to adopt from. Great, now not only do I have to feel inadequate because of my inability to conceive, but now I have to feel even more inadequate because another country considers me to fat to adopt their children. Still, I gather all of the information about adopting and even start talking to people who have adopted about how they managed. We even went to an adoption seminar.
I also took on a second job figuring that I was going to need the extra money. Can you believe that I had co-workers tell me I needed to learn how to better manage my money - that I shouldn't have to work two jobs?!
In November 2005 we got a call from Dr. RE who said that they had put us back on the financial aid list and our names had been drawn again. Did we want to do another cycle? YES! Of Course!!!
Some minor testing beforehand, and you guessed it, again they found another polyp which required surgery.

Our 2nd IVF cycle began in February 2006.
This time I did acupuncture, visualization, meditation, yoga. You name it, I did it. Ended up with 10 eggs retrieved this time as they were able to reach my other ovary but still only 5 fertilized.
On day 3 we transferred 3 grade A embies again. Surely this time it would work.
We got a call on day 6 that we had one blast that could be frozen and the other had arrested. We froze our one and only remaining embie pretty sure that we would be successful this time and wouldn't need it for a while.

At the end of the 2ww, again a BFN.