Let’s Break (It) Down

  • I did my trigger shot Tuesday evening on 11/1.
  • Thursday, on 11/3 was my egg retrieval.
  • Roughly 36 hours after the retrieval, Friday, 11/4, I got the call at work from my doctor. 

Now I’m going to break it all down. 

Thursday morning we arrived for my egg retrieval. Despite being completely nervous about the anesthesia I was feeling alright. We were taken back into the surgical area where they had me change, and informed me about the anesthesia. Top picture is of my IV of saline. Interestingly enough or, if you’ve been following my blog, this won’t surprise you: they had an extremely difficult time finding a vein they could work with. 

 

Below was my view,  prior to the retrieval. It was ominous. I watched the woman before me who was also having a retrieval walk in. I also saw her on the recovery side. 

The one thing I don’t understand? No makeup, no nailpolish, no hair scrungies (as they called them) are allowed. But yet I walked in that day IN these socks…had the procedure with them on…and left with the socks never being removed. Logic? None as far as I’m concerned. And that, is my lovely hair net thing. Yuck. 

 

The doctor then came over to introduce himself. (I knew it wouldn’t be my doctor performing the procedure, which I was perfectly fine with. We were informed of all of these factors at our initial consultation.) Until he spoke to us, time truly felt as though it was standing still. He was calm. Soft spoken. Shook our hands. Started talking about what he was hoping would happen,”I should be able to get 4-6 eggs today. So well hope for the 6. I’ll see you back there.” 
…I broke…
Sunday I was told there were 8 follicles. HOW WAS HE ONLY PLANNING ON 4-6?! I looked at DH and in a completely unflustered voice said, “this isn’t going to work. This is a loss. I can tell this isn’t going to work.” Tears slowly started welling in my eyes. Immediately I chastised myself about crying, took a deep breath, and was overcome with coldness. 
Rigidly sitting there in my chair, my fingers kept frantically edging their way around the hair cap or whatever it is called. Less than 20minutes later, the nurse came over. I was up. I’ll spare the details of walking in, the conversations once in the OR, and my other memories. Fast forward, well I don’t know how long exactly…and I’m in recovery. 
I felt good. Surprisingly good to be quite truthful. The nurse checked to see if there was any bleeding, none; and then asked if I wanted something to eat and drink. My choice was that of a five year old, animal crackers and apple juice. Listen, we were stopping at Starbucks afterwards, so I wasn’t going to fill up on crappy coffee or a bad pastry. As I was sitting there, I could overhear the nurse telling prior egg retrieval patient how well her procedure went, and the medication outline for the next few days. She then popped into my curtained area and asked if I wanted her to get DH. Yes, obviously. Minutes later he was sitting beside me asking how I felt. 

She seemed to reappear shortly thereafter, and indicated that the doctor was going to come over to speak to us. I looked at DH and said, “this is bad. This is very bad. Something is wrong.” From the split second she uttered those words, it was like I was having an out of body experience. The soft spoken and calm doctor was back. “How are you feeling?” he asked. “Ok.” I responded. “I’m afraid things didn’t go as we were planning.” Cue my usual direct and questioning attitude floating away. With that my fiery temper also seemed to instantly disappear. “Unfortunately, we were only able to get one egg. I was planning on 4-6 but it just didn’t happen. I’m so sorry. Also, one of the follicles that was measuring on the left, was not a follicle, it’s a cyst. I don’t know who was doing your ultrasounds or what your doctor was looking at, but this definitely shouldn’t have gone undetected. You need to follow up with your doctor about that. Again, I’m so sorry that things didn’t go the way you or I was planning.”
I really want to say the world stopped spinning, but it didn’t; it fell out from underneath me. I was white hot with unparalleled rage. HOW was there only one? WHAT were they counting? WHO told me there were 8? HOW was this cyst missed? HIS coworker is my doctor, and he was surprised she missed this? WHAT the actual fuck? WHO do I trust, him or my doctor? And my last thought, “I knew from the beginning this wouldn’t work.” This time no tears formed. I was borderline psychotic and completely paralyzed with shock, and immediately launched myself into the statistics. After a few minutes of mental calculations, I knew this round was over. I wouldn’t need the follow up call the next day, there was truly no need for it to take place as there wouldn’t be any good news. We finally we able to leave. I got in the truck, tried to fall asleep, and immediately started sobbing. Here’s a visual for you, I looked like a St. Bernard covered in slobber. I called my mom. I called my MIL, and texted those that knew what was going on. Everyone said the same thing “it only takes one.” After a few explanations that we were already at a negative starting point, all I wanted to do was sleep and forget this entire experience. Upon arriving home I did sleep after watching two hours of TV. Physically I felt alright, just a heaviness like pre-period cramps, but was exhausted. 
Well…that one didn’t take per the phone call Friday afternoon with my doctor. So for the sake of my sanity, please never say that to me again. Was I surprised absolutely not. Did I cry? Nope. Did I want to punch a wall? Certainly. The call sucked, the rest of my day sucked, and that entire weekend sucked. I don’t think I cried anymore after Friday evening and talking with DH. 
Until Saturday, 11/12 when I sat down to write this blog. I completely crumbled into a billion little pieces. I’ll get into that another time. 

Here’s really what I’d like to say…

A massive fuck you to my first doctor. The doctor that told me in the beginning of 2016 that we had a 95% chance of being pregnant by the end of the year. Thank you for etching that into my brain. Thank you for constantly making me feel like a failure and a huge disappointment to myself, my husband, and my family. You have demolished every ounce of faint hope that I ever possessed in this year. I was convinced after leaving your office that day I’d be pregnant for my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Those were milestones I anticipated despite knowing there was a chance it wouldn’t happen. Well, now those times start a week from today, and I blame you for my misery, sadness, and the facade of happiness I have to display. FUCK YOU for making bold and brash statements that I allowed my sanity to cling to, and now I sit here with barely a shred left. 

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Father’s Day¬†

A laborious breakfast spread is laid on the table, as I wait for my husband to get out to bed. I’ve been up since just after 4am; homemade pastries, meats, homemade waffles, a quiche etc., are all waiting to be devoured. Sitting in the middle of the table is a small little card, in an unaddressed envelope. Upon stumbling into the kitchen he sighs with delight seeing the cornucopia of yummy breakfast foods in front of him. Still half asleep he reaches for his piping hot cup of coffee while side eyeing the card. I don’t make a fuss. I sit there sipping my coffee and feeling the heat trickle down my throat as anticipation and nerves rise at a monumental rate. I dab away the flakes from the buttery croissant and coyly say “good morning,” while sliding the card closer towards him. He meets my eye, and I can see the comprehension of me silently willing him to open the card. As he grabs the card, I can see his optimism and hope, the desire to be a father in his eyes. Meanwhile, I sit there knowing our lives will never be the same. 
Dreams my friends, are sometimes much worse than nightmares. 

I slowly roll over reaching out for my DH and realize once again, that dream sequence is not my reality. Not on any past Father’s Day, not on this Father’s Day, and not anytime soon. Begrudgingly, I haul myself out of bed, and plaster that academy award winning smile on my face to greet the world, or to just stare endlessly into the bottom of the coffee cup I know awaits me in the kitchen. 

I’m not a man. I will never be a father. But so badly, I wish that my husband were a father and that we’d be able to spend the day doting on him. Although not many of our friends have babies, this quote echoes in my heart on an abnormally regular beat: 


That is all I want. To call him a father. To hear a little voice call him daddy, dad, or dada. To pick out heinous ties and silly socks, and cards that talk about how great of a man he is, and how wondrous of a father he has been for our child. Br at this point in our lives, so I can’t shed tears over what isn’t. But, I do. 

My period started Friday. Two days earlier than it was scheduled. Ever since we’ve started these treatments, my cycle has been off. What are the odds that it used to be like clockwork and now it’s about as reliable as a New England snowstorm. Which basically means, it’s completely unpredictable. After texting my doctor throughout the day Friday, and hearing back today, tomorrow round three begins. We start with the baseline ultrasound tomorrow at 7:30am, and the commencement of Clomid on Tuesday morning. More ultrasounds this month. More bloodwork. More…more…more of everything because last month was SO off. 


I’m not prepared. I’m tired. I do not want to go through another month of aggravation, annoyance, and frustration. Despite my knowledge of essentially what is in our path, failure, there I’ll be tomorrow for a day 4 ultrasound. Again, for another month, my body is turned over to science. 

Originally when we started this nightmare, I’m done calling it a roller coaster, it isn’t. A roller coaster is exhilarating, after 45 to 60 seconds of insanity it ends. We are well, well beyond, 45 to 60 seconds of time. We are months in but it feels like years. Anyway back to this nightmare… We decided we would do three rounds of hormone treatments and IUIs. We are in our third month of treatment and we’ve only had one IUI, because the second cycle as I may remind you “failed.” Last night while eating icecream, I broached the topic, “what do we do after this? Should we go right to IVF? Do we do another round of drugs and hope to get to another IUI?”  To be quite frank, I do not know where to go after this. I need a mental break, but how does one break from something that is ALWAYS on their mind? My DH with nothing but patience and reassurance said, “we will do as many rounds of this as you want.”

Here’s what I want. A baby. None of this bullshit. No doctors. No bills. Not 3-4 ultrasounds on a weekly basis. But in order to “maybe” have a baby, we have to go through endless and heaping amounts of bullshit. I plaster that dumb vacant smile on my face because really, what the fuck else am I to do? 

Raise A Glass

Or in my case, the bottle of wine I’m drinking this evening. Tonight’s lucky winner? Not my uterus! But a bottle of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. With a Bendy straw. 


After the week I’ve had, with the optimism that was provided on both Tuesday and Wednesday, to only come crashing down around me on Thursday morning I figure, there’s no time like the present to indulge in some Vino. As well as french fries and a barbecue chicken pizza. Yes, there’s the slightest chance in hell that I might be pregnant from intercourse; however let’s review our record for pregnancies. Then again, if we were reviewing our pregnancies you wouldn’t be sitting here reading this blog. 

However on a night like tonight where I’m basically ready to crumble… Scratch that. OK. …truth be told, I already did. At my brothers place…it was uncomfortable, not the breaking down proponent, but putting it on him. God bless him: he’s patient, empathetic, and can truly understand how emotionally taxing this is on me.

So getting back to my point…tonight, this is what I’m thankful for…

  1. My husband. 
  2. My amazing group of coworkers that are coming over tomorrow night for girls night. *We’re kind of an exclusively assembled club…and we don’t necessarily play well with others! 
  3. My family, that allows me to go ballistic and then let’s me cry, and still wants to have Sunday dinner at our place. 
  4. And tonight…The wine!!! 

Reality Sucker Punch

This will be short and sour. With a side of bitter. 

My ultrasound this morning showed that my follicles have shrunk. I knew something was wrong before anything was said. The ultrasound took three times as long as it had. Then there was a lot of “pull that one, go to the next one, show me yesterday’s,” and a face that went from the Cheshire Cat monstrous grin to Peofessor Snape’s ever present frown. Did I mention that the new medical student that was observing is at least 5 months pregnant? That was a ______ site to see. You know me and my attitude well enough to fill in that blank accordingly. 

They are SMALLER today then they were yesterday. Which means, I’ve already ovulated, and it literally happened within the last 24 hours from my 6:45am ultrasound yesterday. I’m informed that I am to go for bloodwork immediately, and that the labs would be rushed. I’m also informed that depending on the lab results, DH and I are on standby for a potential IUI…today. This potential IUI would have been dependent upon the bloodwork. 

Everything this entire cycle was basically miscalculated, and my cycle is “not normal” according to my doctor, and my body “isn’t really responding the way it should be.” If I’m too far into ovulating, “this round is a bust,” a direct quote from my doctor who seemed stupefied that the two follicles were smaller. Funny how quickly his damn tune changed from Tuesday and Wednesday. Meanwhile I sit there on the table repeating my new mantra, “do not cry. Do not cry here. No crying. No crying in the office.” So I sat there with a tight smile and curtly said “ok” and “alright” to every statement that was made. 


Has anyone ever pulled a nutty in the doctors office? I was maybe a second or two away from sobbing hysterically or screaming at him. Round two was a waste. A literal take your money and light a match to it waste. I took pills for no reason, had three ultrasounds for no reason, dropped $100 on an injection I now wont and can’t even use, and went POSTAL on people all day today. I begrudgingly went for the bloodwork. Cry the entire time I am driving to the lab. Compose myself to get pricked and drained all prior to 7:50am. Cry the entire drive to my office.  Muddled my way through the day and my work. Currently, it’s 6:28pm and my doctor still doesn’t have my results. So much for that “rush” and the urgency to get me to a lab this morning. Great to know that this isn’t life or death situation. 

Before I left his office to get my blood sucked, he was kind enough to let me know that next month when we are “back at it again,” everything will be changed. The medicine, the dosage, the timing of my ultrasounds, and I will be going for blood draws basically every other day. Also that once changes are made “it’s really a learning curve to see how you’ll respond, and it’s typically not successful the first time we change it up.” Well that’s an overwhelming amount of reassurance provided by the specialist in this field. Seriously buddy, just do not speak. Keep your mouth shut. Silence is golden, but someone missed that memo. 


If I wanted someone to tell me “you’ll fail at this too,” I easily could have delivered the speech to myself. It’s only been years that I’ve had to perfect it, and it would have been much more eloquent than what you delivered. Between the lines that were spewed  Tuesday and Wednesday and these beauties from this morning, I’m really starting to question everything. 
You know when you just have a feeling, and it’s one you’d go to Vegas and bet your life savings on? (This is coming from someone who doesn’t even gamble.) Here’s that feeling which I’m betting is my reality: I will never have or carry my own child. 
Boils down to this: infertility 2, us 0.

Hopeless

The title sums up this weekend and how I’m feeling. I present the less than glamorous side of infertility. Struggling. Putting on a happy face and going through the motions because…well, that’s what one does in this nightmare. 


Yesterday took the OPK, and it was negative. That was miserable to process. I mean I had figured that at least this (ovulate) I can do! Not only do, but can succeed at! Dumbest thought ever. Per my doctors instructions, I had to take another OPK this morning. Fine, no big deal…until I was instantly able to tell that this stick was showing a negative result. So, we are into our second month and were hoping to do the same thing as last month (Clomid, HCG, and IUI) but now I’m not even ovulating. …but I’m fortunate enough that I get to have another ultrasound tomorrow morning. Woo-fricken-hoo. 

I’ve had to text my doctor the results yesterday, and today so that he could determine when we’d be scheduling the IUI. His response today was “ok, do the test tomorrow too, and I will see you in the morning!” REALLY? Another one? Pleaseeeee make the negative results stop. At this point I’m praying that I just ovulate that month. Forget getting pregnant, can I just get a mature egg to release?! I mean it’s not like I’m asking for a Herculean undertaking, but clearly I am. 

When we first started this journey, I jokingly said we are going to be the people that go through all of this poking, prodding, and everything else and never end up with a baby. Who says that? Me. Why would I say that? Because, well why plan on something happening when it hasn’t happened on its own in YEARS. A doctor is going to write some magical prescription, scan my uterus, and “fertilize” me…and poof, baby? Hahaha. Clearly you aren’t well acquainted with my body. I am firmly starting to believe that my uterus looks like this: 

Barren. Inhospitable. Desolate. Bleak. Arid. Unwelcoming. 


I have never ever in my life been more upset or disappointed with my own body. I know what you are thinking, “you are being ludicrous!” No, I am not. The definition of female is, “of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) that can bear fertilized by male gametes.” 
Go ahead and read that again. 
I can do half of that. HALF! But apparently this month, none of it. My body can NOT do what it is supposed to do, and so far, it isn’t even doing what it should be doing after medical intervention. This is and has always been one of the biggest struggles for me. My own body is refusing to do the ONE thing it SHOULD be doing. Females are designed to be able to procreate, but not me. The fact that I know people who haven’t used protection ONCE and have gotten pregnant makes me want to literally pull my nails out. …and maybe theirs as well. Every month for the last, I will call it 36 months (because it’s not like there is a star on the calendar for when we actively started trying,) my body has failed me. 


How does one remain positive, ok let me tone that down; “how does one remain neutral,” after YEARS of constantly failing on a MONTHLY basis?