Sunday, September 30, 2012

War and Peace

My mind is constantly at war with itself in these last few weeks leading up to the IVF.  Some days I'm so amazingly optimistic that it will work, as I consider all the changes we are making leading up to it.  Some days I'm more pessimistic (I prefer to label it as realistic), and know that most people out there have had at least some form of pregnancy by this point, even if it didn't result in a "take home" baby.  Ultimately, we'll just have to wait and see, but I think this wait has been more tortuous than any past ones.

But that comes to the peace part.  I'll ultimately be okay with the outcome, no matter what it is.  Not right away.  If we find out it is another negative, we will probably both be broken on the floor bawling.  I will need several weeks of therapy (although note I said weeks, not months, not years) to truly grieve for our loss.  Because we know we can make life.  We made Artie and Herkie and I think about them all the time in all of their perfectness.  But if my body just isn't made to carry that life, it is what it is.  I do believe there is a plan for everyone.  Not that you just sit back and the plan plays, you do still need to try and make decisions and put effort into your life.  But when you simply have done everything you can do, that is the point you put it back in God's hands.  And if this doesn't work, it does not mean our journey is over.  It just means we are at a fork in the road and choosing another path.  And I am very much at peace with that. 

That being said, it seems everyone around me is getting pregnant.  I'm now up to 7 announcements just in the last couple weeks.  For those of you that may read this blog, please know that I'm honestly ecstatic for you.  I'm so happy that you have been blessed in this way, whether it is your first or second or third (or second and third at once!).  But also know that it is hard for me, and if I avoid you for awhile, it is not personal at all.  It is just helping me work towards that peace that I know is around the corner. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Strength in numbers

On somewhat of a whim, tonight I attended a fertility "peer group" that my acupuncturist puts on monthly.  I really didn't know what to expect, but I met a group of lovely gals that are in various stages of infertility issues.  A couple were pregnant and able to tell stories on how they "got there", a few were just starting out, and a couple, like me, were in the midst of cycling for IVF.  I read different message boards a lot on the interwebs, along with blogs that I've stumbled upon.  And while those are comforting, it definitely was very nice to hear the stories of others live in person.

I have a horrible confession.  Sometimes when I hear that other people have an IVF failure, it makes me feel better.  Not happy, but a little relieved.   I just don't feel so alone, as it seems like it happens on the first try for EVERYONE online.   But I really would be very disappointed if it doesn't work out for the gals tonight. 

T and I are currently antibiotic-ing (totally a word).  He has two pills a day and I have four.  They totally make you sick and gassy, and just generally not enjoying life.  It is pretty sad that I can't wait until we start stimming, as I can't wait to not take this crap anymore.  On the good side, one of my other pills is my new allergy medication for the APD - and it works phenomenally.  It totally knocks me out, so it is very much a night time drug.  But as long as I take right before bed, I'm golden.

So the pill rundown for this week:

Baby aspirin:  standard protocol for my RE.  Helps thicken the lining for some nice burrowing embies.
Prenatal vitamin:  Helps for a healthy body and hopefully a healthy pregnancy
Extra folic acid:  'Cause everyone likes healthy fetal poles
Zyrtec:  This OTC allergy pill can get me through the daytime which is not usually as bad as the night
Flagyl:  A chalky, crazy icky antibiotic pill that is always hard to swallow.  Leaves a horrible taste in my mouth all through the day.  I have to take this sucker twice daily :(
Doxycycline:   Another antibotic that is a killer in disguise.  It pretends to be all pretty and easy to swallow.  But underneath that turquoise smooth exterior is a pill that wreaks havoc on my stomach.  Last IVF, I didn't eat enough one morning and was puking my guts out in the deli next to the elevators at work one morning.  Lesson learned.  Face now stuffed.
Hydroxyzine:  The magic wonder pill for my itchy feet
Birth control pill:  The trusty tool to any infertile.  Makes no sense, I know.  I get it , but I still just feel so counterproductive every time I take it. 

That's about it for the week.  T is so happy to be back on the bicycle, and is participating in his first cyclocross race this weekend (maybe - he's not sure yet).  I'm pretty excited for him, as long as he doesn't go breaking every bone in his body.  That seems like it would halt our IVF proceedings a bit.  After the IVF though, you know, whatever happens, happens :)

My husband saw me typing and just asked "is it going to be a good post?".  I wasn't sure what constituted a good post, and he said the ones that I say what a keeper he is.  So I guess this won't be a good one :)

(just kidding.  I was reminded at my peer group tonight what a fantastic husband and partner I have.  This whole fertility thing is truly a team undertaking.  Go team go!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The seven-year (or in reality 21 day) itch

This blog gets about 30-40 hits a day.  That's actually pretty crazy to me.  I'm fairly certain I do not have 40 friends - or at least 40 friends that would read my rants on a daily basis.  Therefore, it must be people checking multiple times per day or to people who don't know who I am.  To either of which, I say welcome!  Stalkers and strangers alike!

The blog itself is still a weird concept to me.  At its core, it is a very vain and self-absorbed undertaking.  It's all me me me, all the time.  It's not like I can carry on a conversation with you.  Me:  "How are you doing today?".  Silence.  Me:  "Let's hear about you, what is going on?"  Silence.  Me:  "Okay, nothing then?  Back to me in that case!"

I don't think of myself as a self-absorbed person.  Although, I could be completely wrong, and my husband may gently point out tonight that I am, in fact, a selfish shrew.  Which I'm sorry if that's true!  But generally, I don't feel that way, so it is kind of strange to take time every once in awhile to say, "I really need to blog that.  Because EVERYONE will want to know."  Oh, well.  You do keep reading, and you must have figured out at this point that the blog is about me.  Sorry if you were looking for actual recipes on a cooking blog.  I'll have to add some recipes some time.

Anyway, here's the latest:

My APD is in high gear.  I started my cycle last Friday, so theoretically I shouldn't have any issues (as it flares before my period in the latter half of my cycle).  I started my birth control pill that kicks off the IVF cycle, so I even thought I'd get to miss it entirely.  I'm not fully sure how BCPs work, but I don't think you ovulate on them -- and therefore, my body wouldn't produce progesterone.  So when I was crying myself to sleep the other day, for a brief moment, I thought I was pregnant.  That my period was a fake-out, and my progesterone kept increasing to support my newly implanted embryo.  On an entirely natural cycle.  Reality set in pretty quickly, and it dawned on me to check what was actually in my birth control pill.  You guessed it -- estrogen and progesterone.  Duh.  So now I get 21 days of hell.

I was able to go back to the allergist today since her initial treatment really wasn't helping.  She's now prescribed me this super concentrated Benadryl-type stuff.  I'll try that tonight and hopefully get this crap under control in the next couple days.  My super husband also ordered me these seemingly awesome booties that have various inserts for ice packs.  Icing my feet while I sleep has helped immensely, but I never had a good way to really hit the right places and keep it iced.  I'm super excited for these!  And, of course, they are very sexy:

Good thing getting pregnant naturally doesn't work anyway.  Not sure my husband would be interested right now.

The only other major thing is that I have my endometrial biopsy tomorrow.  Hopefully, they scratch me a little spot for my upcoming embryos to nestle in nicely.  And, I'm an officially old lady with a 7-day, AM/PM pill box to keep track of my medications -- which will be TWELVE a day here shortly. 

Injections start the first weekend of October.  It is going to go by so fast!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Big girls don't cry

Well, we all know that big girls do cry.  And I think especially during infertility, when your body is raging with hormones at even given point, crying is even expected.  So I don't feel so bad for my breakdown last Friday, but it definitely consisted of full-out bawling at work.

When we had last met with the doc, he counted everything out from my expected first day of my cycle and proclaimed us good.  He was heading off to a conference in late October, but assured us we would finish our cycle before he left.

Therefore, when my cycle started the exact day I expected (last Friday), I happily called the nurses to let them know and request my calendar for the remaining 5-6 weeks.  I missed the call back since I was in a meeting, but she nonchalantly tells me in a message that I couldn't do my cycle this month, because it conflicted with the conference.  She told me to just wait until next month.  Um, this was NOT going to fly.  While even having to wait a month was going to set me on edge, waiting until mid-October to start would mean the retrieval or transfer would fall right in Thanksgiving week.  We already have plans to fly to Texas for the week and spend with T's father and his wife in a rented house on the beach in Galveston.  We haven't seen them since we got married, so this was not something we wanted to cancel.  I then figured out the next cycle would also be a no go - it would be Christmas.  The tears started to roll. 

After finally being able to connect with the head nurse, I blubbered about how stressed I was and how I can't wait three months, and we had to do in 2012 for tax purposes, and this whole thing was driving me crazy, and, and, and...I finally shut up long enough for her to tell me that she would try to figure something out.  Apparently, the doctor wasn't wrong, it was just that the week prior to the conference was already "full". 

Fast forward several hours, and T and I are leaving work to head up to Minneapolis for a getaway weekend.  She finally calls back and lets me know that the other doctor at the clinic agreed to do my transfer, which I'm actually excited about.  He's supposed to be really good and I know lots of people had success with him.  I honestly could feel the stress leave my body upon this news.  We are moving forward!

So our retrieval should be on or around October 17th and our transfer would then be on or around October 22nd.  Ideally we should know our fate by Halloween.  Here we go again!
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