It’s Been a While

About 3.5 months to be exact. 

Here’s what’s happened…

  • IVF cycle 1 BOMBED ūüí£
  • My grandmother passed away 1.5 weeks after we got the above results. ** I remember being at my doctors office discussing next steps and thinking “we need to leave. I have to go home, shower, and get dressed for the wake.” My doctor kept saying how surprised she was that things went so badly, that maybe the medications were too aggressive, and that we should take off the time during the holidays because they’re already stressful enough. I had already made up my mind (and was truly prepared,) that we were starting again in December, so when she said this, I froze. I said “no. I’d like to start next month.” Just like out of a tv show, she said “that would be against my medical opinion. You have enough going on.” I bit my tongue SO hard, but I could still spew thousands of angry sentences. Like…”I paid you $13,000.00 and you couldn’t get your job done, so I’ll tell you when you get another shot.” **sidenote- someone had the audacity to say that “now that your grandmother has passed she’ll take care of things up there and you’ll get pregnant right away.” WHY DO PEOPLE SPEAK? 
  • Had follow up ultrasound at the hospital to get the cyst checked out, and there was nothing. Minuscule happiness. I had the pleasure of having a doctor (not mine,) review the ultrasound with me. She was kind enough to point out that my doctor certainly didn’t know what she was doing, we should have had better results, that a cyst in an IVF cycle does not go undetected, and she’d be happy to take me as a patient. Her nurse also shared that I should definitely consider changing doctors, as the doctor who just spoke with me “is really great at getting women of your age pregnant.” I’m 32…Shoot me. 
  • I hate this blog. So many of you have announced your pregnancies over the past few months & I’ve broken each time. Crazy because although I know your experiences, I don’t know you or see you on a daily basis…I’m happy for all of you, but if you’re reading this, you know what I’m feeling. 
  • Coworker had her baby end of December. Thought the excitement at work regarding babies was done…
  • Picked up supplemental insurance that was effective 2/1/2017. Period started 3 days early in January, and the next round of IVF because of that would have started 1/31/2017. We missed it by ONE DAY. 
  • Two coworkers announced their pregnancies, and they’re roughly 2 weeks apart. Announcements were made about two weeks apart as well. One word to summarize those weeks: Delightfullllll! 
  • Had previously emailed all of the new insurance information to the financial coordinator/insurance guru at my doctors office so that she could get everything all set to start in March. She never responded to anything I sent her, which I didn’t really think twice about. I called the office to let them know it was “day 1 ” in February, “ok, great we will be in touch.” I followed up a week later via email, anddddd got great news. (If you think that’s the case, you haven’t picked up on the black cloud that has me pinned to the ground.) I have to go back for day 3 labs and DH has to give a semen analysis, as our tests from 2016 have “expired” as of February and the new insurance won’t cover anything until they have those updated. Now if the woman at the office had done HER job, this all could have been done in February, but God forbid. 

Basically what it comes down to, is that I’m in the extremely angry stage of this infertility nightmare. And, that is exactly what it is…a fricken hellacious nightmare that I can’t wake up from. 

Advertisements

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. 

8.26 Pt. 2

I got my phone call from my doctors office yesterday (Friday, 8.26) at 2:10. Here’s how the conversation played out in my head: “you have a handful of mature follicles measuring between 18-20…do your HCG shot tonight…we will see you Sunday morning for your IUI. Things are looking very good.”
Here’s how the phone call really went: “you still have no mature follicles…you are going to do another Gonal F injection of 112.5 tonight and Saturday night…you have an appointment Sunday morning at 7:30am for another ultrasound and bloodwork…have relations both Friday and Saturday night in case we miss your ovulation.”

Here’s what I asked: “can you tell me what size the follicles measuring? As of Sunday I will only have 112.5 left of the Gonal F, will I need more?” 

Here are the responses: “they aren’t measuring at 12mm yet, we don’t record measurements when they’re smaller than 12…you should have enough, we ordered you 1,350units total (she must have done the math,) and then said, ‘oh, yes…you’ll need more. We have a sample pen at the office you can come pick up.'”

And…of course, here are my thoughts: “I hate this. Will anything go right? I don’t want to do anymore injections. Why aren’t my follicles growing? More damn bloodwork. Why isn’t my Gonal F dosage increasing? Another damn ultrasound. How can someone else think they might MISS my ovulation? This time I’ll get to drive over an hour one way for an appointment that will take less than 10 minutes. Nothing like scheduled sex. Why can’t I get pregnant?”

Deflated 


Sums up how I feel about today. This post won’t be inspiring, positive, or uplifting. Please feel free to closer your browser at anytime. 

Had another UltraBlood combination this morning. Good takeaway, I was able to get blood done prior to my ultrasound as there was no wait and my doctors office hadn’t opened yet. Bad takeaway, it was a different ultrasound tech. Not that it was bad, but I feel like I should start charging a viewing fee for the office staff. At least I could recoup some money. 

Clockwise from upper left hand picture: Bandage from bloodwork this morning; updated injection tracker, which I also have in an Excel format but keep a hand written copy too; my daily update sheet; and my needle marks from my bloodwork. 
The call this afternoon from the doctors office went like this: “you have no mature follicles but your hormone levels are starting to rise which is a good thing. Same injection dose tonight and Thursday evening, and then 6am ultrasound and bloodwork on Friday.” My immediate reaction: “fuckkkkkkk.” 
Today, I’m over it. I’m annoyed. I’m aggravated. I’m deflated. Injections were fun and exciting (not really, but I made myself believe it,) and now I hate them. I want mature follicles. I’m sick of having blood drawn. Having an appointment at 6am on a Friday is NOT my ideal way to start the day. I’m tired. I want a baby.
…because of those four little words…I do not have a damn choice in the matter. I’ll keep stabbing myself with injections and having blood sucked out every other day. I’ll keep smiling when others announce they’re expecting and go home and cry because it’s just too much for me to handle. The whole state will probably examine me or get to do a transvaginal ultrasound on me before I ever end up pregnant. I’ll go on some prolific tirade when I read about some woman who has abused or abandoned her child, of course it’ll be her 4th or 5th. My weight will continue to be like a seesaw as medications are altered and the different side effects take their toll. The proverbial chess match of “us vs. infertility”will wage on, and we will constantly be chased around in fear. And…what if we never have a child? What does this “journey” get called if it fails, a tortuous experiment? Life shattering misery? Sheer hell? I can predict that there are no positive outcomes from going through this, and not having a child at the end. 

For those of you that have been going through years of treatments, I bow down to you. Truly, I’m impressed with your strength and determination. I can’t do this for years. Better yet, I won’t. When I say I would go off the deep end, that is a statement made with 175% positivity. I’m not even a year into treatments and I want to be done. Horrible, but this is where I am today. 
Life with infertility has knocked me flat on my ass today. 

Cinco ‚úĒÔłŹ

20 minutes ago was my fifth injection of Gonal F at the dosage of 112.5. 

Tomorrow morning, I get probed and punctured. I’m officially undecided if I’m sarcastic because it’s funny, or sarcastic with this topic specifically because it’s a level of self protection. I suppose I’ll call it both when it comes to the infertility journey. After the ultrasound has been reviewed, and the labs are back, the “team” will consult. From there the dose will get adjusted; up or down, it’ll still be injections. 

I survived the first five! Here’s my “basket of trophies.” HCG injection was from a previous unsuccessful cycle while taking Clomid. I know that there aren’t many needles in there compared to others, but this is where we are during our struggle. 

Shut The Front Door

Let me start with this: thank you to all of you that are following this journey, sharing yours, and helping me keep my sanity! For those of you that are new to my blog, you’re in good hands. There’s a fabulous group of women that will lift you up when you need it, and be there with you in your darkest moments. If you ever have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me. This is an open blog! If my story and struggles make things easier for you, allow you a tiny smirk or chuckle, then I know I’m doing something right.


—————–
Second ultrasound of the week was this morning. No, there was no excitement. I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay at home, sleep later, and not deal with the anxiety. Alas, I rolled out of bed, showered, and was out the door. On my drive to the appointment I had this overwhelming since of dread, and knew that again this month, it failed. 
Upon my arrival the receptionist kept commenting how great my hair always looks, how I seem so nice and tan, and that she loved my dress. Ok, this I could get used to at 6:45am, especially since I am not a morning person. After checking my vitals (down a few pounds!!) I was ushered into the ultrasound room. I knew from my appointment Monday that my doctor would not be there today or tomorrow, which didn’t bother me.  The ultrasound tech is probably one of my favorite employees. She is always so nice, and has truly proven to be someone  I can talk to, and don’t feel uncomfortable around when I have a moment of emotional waivering. We were chatting about weekend plans, how our weeks were going, etc., she commented that my lining looked “nice an plump,” and unlike my bloodwork yesterday, these are good things. Then the conversation abruptly ceased. The ultrasound was finished, and she said “if I have to, I’ll see you tomorrow, otherwise have a good weekend. Someone will call you later today with results,” and walked out of the room. 

I guess we were done. Why bother calling, I knew it was bad new and that the conversation would revolve around the next course of action. Begrudgingly, off to work I went. 
This afternoon, in the middle of thinking about how one affords multiple rounds of IVF (bank robbery?) my doctors office called. I was fully armed, and my body was rigidly braced in preparation of the news. The nurse was speaking…blah blah blah…”you need to come back in tomorrow for an ultrasound and then go for bloodwork immediately following that,” blah blah blah…”I just spoke with the Doctor and things are progressing along quite nicely, which is why we have to have you do both the ultrasound and the bloodwork.” Me, “WHAT?!” Her, “yes everything looks very good!”
Shut the front door! Shut the back door! Shut all the damn doors! Now do the biggest freakin’ happy dance you know how to do!!! He was wrong on Monday! Yahoo!! It hasn’t failed. Wahoo!! Fingers crossed that tomorrow continues along on this upward swing…

Day 4 Ultrasound 

Well well well, here we are again. Friday I received the monthly bulletin: “YOU ARE NOT PREGNANT. YOU ARE NOT PREGNANT. ENJOY THE NEXT 5-7 DAYS.” So I sat by the pool all weekend long, drank lots of Corona, and had a blast with my DH. Friday I had texted my doctor letting him know it was day 1 of my cycle, and after a few other messages were exchanged, he got back to me letting me know I had an ultrasound Monday, today, at 7:30am. I wish I could say that this was exciting news, but having done this twice now, I already KNEW that at some point on Monday, I’d be reunited with the stirrups. 

The ultrasound showed no cysts, which is good, and means we can move forward with the Clomid. My favorite little white pills start getting popped tomorrow morning. I can not WAIT for the 5 day headache!!! Ha. Ha. Ha. Anyway, today my doctor wanted everyone to know if I had any “serious side effects from previously taking the Clomid.” What is considered serious? No, I wasn’t an emotional lunatic, I wasn’t violently ill, but I had a headache that was untouchable, and midsection inflation to the point where I felt like I was going to pop.  But, no I guess I didn’t have any serious side effects. 

There was some new decor in the office, a 4’x 4′ magnetic board proudly displaying pictures of babies! Said board is in the hallway on the way to ALL of the exam rooms, so you can’t miss it. 

I don’t like it. 

Not at all. 

Not a little bit. 

I don’t even think it’s in the least bit optimistic. It’s another reminder that we are there because we don’t have a chubby half naked baby grinning ear to ear. It’s another red flag saying, “hey! You’ve failed at this for two months WITH medical help!” Am I happy that our doctor has had successes? YES! But I do NOT want to see the success of others, especially while I am in the process of trying to have my own. Once we have our own success, I’ll be more than happy to let him toss up a picture of my baby. But until then, my blinders are on. I will walk with my head down, a blindfold on, or with my back towards the baby wall; I don’t want to see more pictures being added.

So in less than 12 hours, round three commences. 

Although my hope remains tempered, I know that I have the courage to go through another round even though the odds aren’t favorable. However, because courage is something I admire most in others, here are a few quotes for all of you lovely ladies and gents smiling through the pain, battling the odds, and fighting month after month to have your babies. 




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? 

Humph. 

That’s not a word. It’s the noise I make in my head after a long day, a frustrating day, or on one of those days where I just don’t want to say much of anything…or when I’m full of ramblings. 

Lucky you, today is one of those days. 

I will ramble because yesterday was hard. Mentally, I would say that it was  almost crushing. There was a baby shower yesterday that I didn’t go to, but was firmly cemented in my mind, and it was Children’s Day. Thank you, Facebook for that fun fact, it’s one that I absolutely could have lived with out. There are some days where things go unbelievably well, and I have a wonderful day, like Saturday; which is followed by a day where I wish I could just scream all day long. Pause for a good sob session, and then start screaming again. 


YES…we want to have a baby.
YES…we are trying to have a baby.

YES…we want a family, preferably of 4, but 3 is proving to be challenging enough. 
Given that we’ve literally done nothing this month, because of incorrect timing, I feel like a sitting duck. We just wait, and wait, and wait for my period to come and then the roller coaster starts again. I never would have anticipated feeling helpless even when there’s nothing I am supposed to be doing. Truly, where’s the rationale there? 
Yes, I loved my spontaneous day away Saturday with my mom, and I know that when we have a child, I won’t always be able to pick up and take off for the day. I do know, that when we have a child, I will go out of my way to plan those days with my mom so that we can bring the baby/child along with us. Most people will think that I’m crazy, but I want my child to spend time with us, seeing what we love to do, and being part of those special days. 

There is no certainty in any of this. There don’t seem to be any answers. There is not a definitive amount of time that we will have to endure the medical treatments.

 It’s all a big fat “what if” followed by “When?” 


All I want is certainty. I want an absolute. I do not ever want to sit down and participate in that conversation in the above image. I want a yes or no answer to my question, “will I have a child?” Because if the answer is no, I’d rather figure out a way to start wrapping my head around that now, and not prolonging the inevitable crushing disappointment. Should the answer be a definitive yes, I will keep fastening that safety belt across my lap, and pulling the overhead harness down to ride that roller coaster.