It’s Been a While

About 3.5 months to be exact. 

Here’s what’s happened…

  • IVF cycle 1 BOMBED 💣
  • 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. 

Shots, shots, shots. 


Not exactly the type of shots I was thinking of, but how the times have changed. Above is the listing of what I’ve been doing since 10/13. Excuse the sloppiness, I have three different tracking lists. Crazy, yes. Obsessed that I’m going to goof something up, YES!

So far this week I’ve had an UltraBlood combo Sunday, at 7:15am, over 45 minutes away from where we live. Funnnnnn. The woman that was doing my blood work couldn’t find the vein in my left arm, so she fished around for a while, but was kind enough to ask me “does this hurt?” My response, “after inejcting yourself every night you kind of become numb to needles.” Which is the truth, it didn’t hurt, and I’m a human pincushion. Eventually she withdrew the needle and over to the right arm she went. Had my ultrasound, and it was time to drive home. Again, Monday morning, I had another UltraBlood. The heat wasn’t on in the office yet as I had the first appointment, so that made the ultrasound that much more comfortable. Went over had my blood drawn, and that was that! 

My dose on Sunday was reduced, and it’s been down to 75 of the Gonal F since then. I return for another UltraBlood combo tomorrow. The bruising on my stomach has almost completely disappeared. I still have little scars, but I am hoping that they heal or at least fade, right now it just looks like I have random brownish colored pin dots on my belly. 

Last night while puttering around on Pinterest, I discovered this gem:


I’m about one more injection away from bursting. I have seven follicles that are measuring, meaning that they are 14+. Until today I haven’t really given much thought about what could be happening over the next few weeks. 

Here are my top 5 concerns…these are providing that everything goes smoothly, and there aren’t any unforeseen changes. 

  1. Anesthesia at the egg retrieval. I’ve never had any. Ever. I’ll be in a twilight sleep, sounds all sparkly (hehehe,) but this is really bothering me.
  2. That this is considered a surgery. That freaks me out. Again, I’ve never had surgery. So now we are taking two things I’ve never had done, and I’m getting both done, at once, on the same day.
  3. That I have to actually have the embryo transfer. Sounds ludicrous, but hear me out. Isn’t those little containers/Petri dishes or whatever they are stored in, they are safe. They are growing. They are, truly alive. Once the transfer happens, that can change. Once the two embryos are transferred into my body, they can not take. 😱 …and there’s a chance of this, a pretty decent chance. (Please don’t tell me to be optimistic. Obviously, if we didn’t want a baby we wouldn’t be doing any of this. I have to stay level headed. I have to know the statistics and keep them in mind. I can’t be blind to the fact that I can leave that office pregnant after the transfer, and then shortly thereafter, learn that we aren’t. 
  4. The 10-12 day wait to find out if we are actually pregnant. 
  5. Nothing takes. By that, I mean the fertilization doesn’t work, and we have to do this all over again. (Again, I’m fully aware that there’s a very probable chance of this.)

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 ✔️

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…

Good News. Bad news. Good news. Bad news. 

Let’s play a game today! Kind of like “he loves me…he loves me not…he loves me” but we will call this “good news…bad news…good news.” Easy enough to follow along. 

Good news: today is Monday, trust me there’s enough bad news coming where this sounds like it is over qualified for good news.

Bad news: I had an ultrasound this morning. This my dearest readers is where I spend most of my time these days, on my back, feet up: 



Good news: I have a FDMF (fertility drug migraine friends,) buddy! Basically, we are only 1 CD (cycle day) apart, we both get bad headaches/migraines with our meds, and we get “news” that is eerily similar. Even in this shittastic world of infertility, it’s nice to have a buddy! 

Bad news: I have ONE follicle. 

Good news: There were NO MORE baby mugs shots on the wall. The picture has been rescued in sized, color edited, and stickers placed over the two baby mugs. I know it sounds harsh, but I despise having to walk past this everytime I go into an exam room.


Bad news: The one follicle is barely measuring at 11. 

Bad news: The other follicles are “too small for any chance of significant growth” he informed me. 

Bad news: “The follicle should be bigger then it is currently measuring. Strange.” said my doctor. 

Bad news: I’ll be going back for another ultrasound Thursday or Friday. 

Bad news: The day before the ultrasound I will have bloodwork done, based on those results, I might not even have to have the ultrasound! 

Bad news: My doctor kindly shared his opinion: he thinks this round has failed as well. Interestingly enough, the first round when I actually had the IUI one follicle was at 11, and then grew pretty quickly. Since then though, we’ve had nothing but shrinking follicles. 

Did you notice I ran out of good news? Me too. If you’re ever looking for that, reading this blog won’t help you! I mean the track record isn’t exactly favorable. Today from 7am on was long. Aggravating. Annoying. Exasperating. This couldn’t be more accurate as to how I felt around 12:30pm today:

Now…we wait. 

Just sit and wait…and wait…and wait. 

Maybe I should hose myself down with some Miracle Grow as my follicles barely grow 1mm/day, and ideally it (that one lonely follicle,) needs to be at least at 16mm. 

Old Faithful

So today is Clomid round 3, day three. It’s Thursday, and of course that has me feeling much better about the day. This morning at work I went for my morning coffee walk, the sun was shining and it was going to be a great day! Although the day was moving at turtle speed, we are one day away from the weekend and no Clomid side effects! #winning

Wrong.

Exactly in the middle of a two hour meeting, there it was; it couldn’t leave me alone and let me enjoy not expericing side effects. My head was pulsating. It felt like a bass drum was inserted in my skull. 


When your skull feels as though someone is smashing it repeatedly from the inside, you want to crawl in a hole and smother yourself with anything to nullify the pain.   I could tell from the onset, this was going to be a nasty mother… I popped some pain relievers, crossed my fingers, and sat there fists clenched and head throbbing. After lunch it hadn’t gotten better, the pain had only amplified and I felt as though my head was being crushed. As someone who gets migraines,  this pain today was unparalleled. Minutes ticked by and by the end of the day, I was on the brink of tears. 

My drive home was excruciating. Finally, after what seemed like the never ending commute, I was walking through the door. I started sobbing. 


My.head.hurt.so.badly. 

I immediately changed into some comfy clothes, down two ibuprofen, chugged a glass of iced tea, and crawled into bed hoping that throughout the previous actions I’d knock myself out cold so I wouldn’t have to deal with the pain. I mean who wouldn’t run into their REs office and beg for Clomid after reading about this?! As I lay in bed with tears streaming down my cheeks, and in an intense amount of pain my only thought was “get through the night.” 
About 4 hours later, as I sit here in front of the tv, I am feeling like a different person. While I’ve knocked the headache out completely, I am exhausted. I told my DH It felt like someone had sucked the life out of me. Let’s talk about irony. I feel as though I’ve been drained of all life due to this medication, and I am taking this medication in hopes of carrying a life. How’s that for a brain teaser? These headaches have become my ‘old faithful’ throughout this experience. 

Knowing my Clomid headaches are back, tomorrow I’m sure will result in another doozy. 

Clomid, Round 3, Day 2

No headaches.

No nausea. 

Nothing!
Hip hip hooray for tiny miracles. I know it’s only been just over 36 hours, but by this point in the prior months, that headache has been there. Dull. Annoying. Endless. I will call this pleasant surprise, or maybe it’s just the fact that my body has now adjusted to taking this every month. 

Other than that I supposedly don’t have much else to report or say tonight. With that being said I would love to hear what all of you do to cope with your bad days and what you do to celebrate your good days! 

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?