I'm putting my thoughts together about what I need to ask the RE when I meet him on Tuesday.
I had taken the appointment on June 30, when it was confirmed my pregnancy was not viable, and DH had asked me "Aug 5? So far away? Maybe you should have asked for an earlier date" and I had thought it would be better to wait a month or so, and get emotionally into a better place. HA! Did I know that one month later, I would STILL be waiting for my hormones to come back to normal, and I would still be miscarrying?
Anyway - the one month is over, and my appointment date is coming close.
On the testing front, I want to request all the immune tests, any reason that my body behave the way it does. I am going to spend the next couple of days reading up on the various tests.
On the next steps front, DH and I have been talking. If the RE does additional testing and IF something comes up which is "treatable" or "fixable", we may proceed with our final IVF. If not, we will ask him if surrogacy makes sense. I don't think we can afford to use a surrogate in the US, so we will need to evaluate options overseas.
If these don't make sense, then I guess we take a break from everything for a few months, focus on our business, try and get some happiness and normalcy back into our lives. When we're ready, think about what next. Do we choose to accept and lead a childless life, or will we be ready to adopt and if so, start that process.
Those are the thoughts so far. I am excited to see the RE and thrash some things out. I'm not sure I am emotionally ready yet for more failure (I am ready to do an IVF, but not ready to deal if things turn out like they have in the last 3 attempts. Once I have some emotional strength back, I will be in a better position to move on)
Even if we do decide to proceed with an IVF, it won't be for 3 months because of the Methotrexate traces that may still be in my body. So I'm in suspended state till then anyway....
Yesterday after I posted my poems out here, I was thinking to myself how I had no words for my third baby. I was thinking if I had to write, what would I write. The only line that came to my mind was:
"How many babies must I lose, before I get to have one living one"
That reminded me of Dylan's "Blowin in the wind" - The answer my friend, is blowin' in the wind. The answer is blowin' in the wind. Hmm. I don't know how to read the wind, or get the clues from the wind. So I think maybe I'm not looking for the clues and they are all there. So I think I should watch out carefully, and decide to do that.
Here are the "clues" or signs thereafter:
First I get a call from my dearest cousin. She and I are closer than sisters. For the last few weeks I have been getting a feeling she is pregnant. She has been unusually silent through my drama in the last month, and that reinforces my belief that she is pregnant and doesn't know how to tell me. Sure enough she called, she cried, I asked her if she was pregnant, she cried, and she said "Yes". I cried. Not because I'm not happy for her. But because she is not able to enjoy her pregnancy because she is feeling my loss and asking herself "Why me" - she said people say "why me" when something goes wrong, but she has been asking herself that since she found out she was pregnant. I know she is hurting for me, and I don't know what to do. Clue # 1 - Life will not stop. Others cannot stop living because my life is messed up. I need to be able to deal with it. I will need to get strong because people will continue to get pregnant and deliver babies. Today it's my cousin. Tomorrow it will be my younger sister, and then my younger brother and his wife. I have to prepare my heart to deal with all this. How? I don't know....
Then I got in the car to go meet some extended family for lunch. I turn on the radio, and what do I hear? "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton. The line "Beyond the doors there's peace I'm sure, and I know there'll be no more tears in heaven" resonates with me. I cried again, and I really want to go to heaven and be with my babies. Really. Clue # 2 : This is it. I am here. My babies are in heaven. What do I do? I don't know....
We go to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. Afterwards my fortune cookie reads "Health and Happiness are in your destiny". I threw it away saying "Yeah right"
Does anyone make any sense of what I'm saying? If you do, tell me, 'cause I have no idea what I'm rambling about :-)
Lisa nominated me for the Pink Rose Award today. Thank you so much Lisa!! I am honored and touched :-) You've been such great support and such a good friend. You are so simple, honest and transparent, and that makes you so special!
For those that are wondering what this whole deal is about, here are the rules:
On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: "pink is my favorite color". There's a story of Pink Rose Award and other graphic to choose from.
Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs (if they have one), and explain why you have chose them.
Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.
If you are selected, pass it on by giving the Pink Rose Award to others.
If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.
You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else.
And now it's my turn to announce my list of Pink Rose Award recipients. And the nominees are:
1) For her strength, courage and hope, I nominate Lauren. She and her DH have battled severe odds and their love and hope inspires me. Her blog makes me think how small my pain appears compared to hers.
2) My second nomination goes to Tori. She has tried again and again to get to complete one IVF cycle, but her body does not cooperate. She is figuring out other options, and is showing tremendous will power!
3) My third nomination goes to Jewels. I don't know Jewels very well yet, but I have been reading her blog of late, and she makes me want to reach out to her. She needs healing and loving, and she inspires me with her honesty of emotions. Her writings touch me and make me cry for her. I am losing a baby at the same time as she is, and I feel like reaching out to her and helping her so much!
I do also want to mention my friends Kaila and Angela. Kaila for her strength and will power, and her constant support despite her own hard times. Angela because she needs hugs and prayers from all of us. They don't have blogs but they are Pink Roses! :-)
Thank you all for touching my life and for letting me be part of yours. You are all terrific!
When I lost my first pregnancy in November last year, I was in so much mental pain and agony that I never thought it would be possible to heal. I wrote this to my daughter then (Testing revealed it was a girl). Only DH and one cousin have seen this before, and today for some reason I feel brave enough to share it with you all.
"Empty Arms" - written on Dec 16, 2007:
You came into our lives
We thanked God for you each day
God had different plans
And He took you away
You were our biggest ray of hope
That so far we had seen
You made us Mommy and Daddy
Though short your stay has been
Your eight weeks were short
So quickly you were gone
We are left remembering your loss
When we were imagining you being born
We are left with empty arms
That were longing to hold you close
We are left with shattered hearts
Wondering why it wasn't us God chose
We hold on to your memories
With tears in our eyes
We wish we could turn back time
We wish God would hear our cries
Be safe, dear Angel
You were loved by Mom and Dad
We miss you and are so so sorry
You would have been the biggest joy we would have had.
Then in April 2008, I had a chemical pregnancy. At first I didn't feel anything, but over the next few weeks, there was an intense realization that I needed to acknowledge the fact that I had just lost a second baby. Even though it was a very early loss, it was a loss. That's when I wrote this. This one has been seen only by DH so far:
"Unborn" - Written in April 2008
Whose eyes would you have had?
Would you be like Mom or like Dad?
Would your hair be light or would it be dark?
No matter how you would be, you'd still be our spark
Are you sister and brother
Taking care of each other?
Or were you two little girls
Your Mommy's two little pearls?
I wish we could touch your tiny feet
I wish we could hear your heart beat
I'd give anything to be able to kiss your fingers
You left unborn, but your memory still lingers
There is no healing, time dulls the pain
Time can't stop me from thinking of you again and again
I've cried tears in silence, I've cried myself to sleep
Nothing to hold on to, only some memories to keep
You're in a safer place, is what Dadda tells me
But I want nothing more than to have you here with me
To hold, to love, to cherish and nourish
To finally see our dreams fulfilled and see our family flourish
We'll meet in heaven some day
When we can all get together and play
Till then, watch over us and see us through this fight
For sometimes we falter and it's hard to see the light.
This time around - no poems for the baby. I feel so dead inside. I feel numbed and shocked. Maybe it will all come back some day. Till then, there's prose!
After the last few days of being extremely restless and ruffled, I feel calm today. I feel a little peaceful. I don't think I'm at the "acceptance" stage of the "Stages of Grief" yet, but I feel better than I have for a while.
I have my next blood test on Friday, and I feel my HcG will be lower - I hope it is significantly lower. I need it to be low enough so I can start exercising. I cannot deal with being out of control of my body anymore. This has GOT to change.
This week I have a lot of soul searching to do. I meet my RE next Tuesday. I have to think about what I want to ask him. I have to think about the tests I want to request. I have to think about whether I should do that last IVF. I know most of you suggested I should go ahead with it, but I need to see what I'll do. Even if I don't do that last IVF, I need answers.
The question of adoption - somehow that seems to be a topic that doesn't get discussed between DH and me too much. Its probably because we're still grieving and are not ready to make such big decisions yet. Or is it that we have not "accepted" our "inability to have a biological child"?
I think what describes my mindset is this: I've always believed there is nothing you can't achieve if you really try. And honestly, I've never failed at anything in my life so far. Or if I have, it may not have been something of consequence, or at least not something that made me question my ability as a human being. This has shaken everything that I was. It's very very hard for me to deal with the fact that my body is failing me again and again at something which is so basic and easy for other people. It is very hard to be out of control, and not know what to do. I guess I'm your typical Type A personality. And now, infertility has thrown me into a spiral - completely out of control spinning looping spiral!
I can't help but wonder why it is easy for so many others. What have they done differently that I haven't? Why do they deserve something I can't have?
My friend Angela is currently 7 weeks pregnant, and on her appointment on Friday, they did not see a heartbeat. She has a repeat ultrasound on Tuesday, but needless to say, she is worried that this won't turn out right.
She has had 3 losses before, and will be devastated if this pregnancy does not work out either.
I want to request everyone to pause for a moment and pray for Angela and her little bean. I hope things go well for her. I have been in her shoes, and I know how her heart is hurting currently.
First, my HcG update. It is falling - it is down to 380 today. Not down far enough, but we'll live with it. I asked the nurse if I can start exercising, maybe going to the gym or bicycling. She said no. Not while the HcG is in the hundreds. She said I can start going for walks though.
Second - where am I today. Yes, Simba is wagging his tail, and DH is hovering around, and there is so much to look forward to. But there are still levels at which my life is shaking. At what levels?
This is my third pregnancy loss in the last 8 months. 3 angels in heaven, 3 children that I could have given birth to. I am grieving their loss.
This particular loss started out on June 27, and has dragged on for 4 weeks. Today, 4 weeks later, I am in chaos of whether this was a miscarriage - or wait, no, it's an ectopic. So it starts out as a great pregnancy, then turns into one that is not viable, and we wait for my body to pass it on it's own. Then they do a D&C, then I take a shot to "kill" the tissue, ending in an "induced miscarriage". I am confused, and frustrated and grieving my situation. We still haven't reached the end of it - I still have to keep going back for blood tests till my hormones are in control.
Talking of hormones - NEVER EVER step in the way of a woman dealing with out of control hormones. All rationality is out the window, all reason is blah! I can feel the hormones ravaging my sensibilities, and I am completely at their mercy.
Physical level - I STILL cannot fit into my clothes. Do I wear maternity clothes? Wait, I'm not pregnant. Do I wear sweat pants and pajamas everywhere? The thought of that is torture at a whole new level - a body confidence level. Do I buy bigger clothes? Am I never going to get back to normal? What can I do? The frustration and the depression that my body issues are causing me is a different battle altogether.
I feel what I feel. I cannot control my feelings. Maybe I can (if I were a saint) but why should I? If I feel like I have failed, I am feeling it intensely. If I weigh my self worth or lack of it by what I have failed in, I am feeling the loss of my self worth. Yes, it will come back some day, but today, I am feeling the loss.
I agree IF is nowhere as bad as cancer or HIV - I never said that. I said the "psychological stress that a person goes through is said to be similar" and even that I quoted, I didn't say it on my own. It's an article - and actually several articles that say that. While I will not die from IF, sometimes I wish I would. I went to bed last night telling DH I wish I don't wake up tomorrow. But I did - tomorrow is here, and here I am, awake, alive.
I know I will get past this phase. Today everything is a mountain to me. I will not deny that. Objects appear smaller in the rearview mirror once you have past them by. Tomorrow, and in future, I know I will be able to look back and this may be a mole hill then. Today it is not. It is my complete reality.
The volatility of my emotions are what I deal with on a day to day, hour by hour basis. What makes each of us individual is the way in which we react differently to the same situation. There are situational differences, gender differences and just "wiring" differences. I know that any woman in my situation would probably go through the same phases I am going through. There are good days and then there are extremely rough ones. Practical and pragmatic views may be those of "Snap out of it" or, "You've got to deal with it". Sure I will deal with it, but at my own pace.
My heart is hurt, and I will not push it's healing process. It can take it's time. I will allow it to cry when it wishes to - I owe it that much. My heart has been very strong with me for a long time. When it is hurting, I will acknowledge it.
2 calm days, and then suddenly this volcano of emotions and grief erupts and explodes inside of me. There is molten lava of broken dreams, emotions, grief, self hatred and accusations everywhere.
I read somewhere that the psychological stress that someone dealing with infertility goes through is similar to the stress of a person dealing with cancer, HIV or chronic pain. This article talks about this stuff:
Yet I am wondering if I am over-reacting to my situation. Is it a mole hill that I am imagining to be a mountain? I cannot think of anything else at all. I am again and again reminded of failing - I feel like I failed DH as a wife, and his family as a daughter in law. I have failed as a woman. I am ashamed even thinking of meeting any family members ever in future.
I don't feel like I have failed DH as a friend, as his companion, as his partner. But I feel like I failed him as a wife.
Am I over reacting? Or is it not that big a deal to struggle with trying to have a family for so long, and fail again and again. First I could not get pregnant. Now I can't stay pregnant. How many walls do I have to run into to finally be able to jump over one and succeed?
Am I over reacting? I am not answering my phones, and I am avoiding people because I feel like they don't get my pain, and that makes me wonder if I am behaving abnormally. They are normal, and I am all engulfed in my failures. Am I over reacting?
Why is this affecting me at levels of my self confidence and self esteem? Am I doing wrong by letting all this take over who I am? How do I control it and do anything differently?
I know I'll be more sensible tomorrow. I know I will be able to laugh again, but ask me one sensitive question and I start crying. Am I being able to cover up and laugh so people think I am coping well? How does one cope? Why am I not being able to find peace in anything? Restlessness and impatience rule my days. Why can I not concentrate on anything?
Or momentary lapse of reason? Or momentary return to normalcy?
I have been laughing since the morning. Actually since the nurse called with my HcG numbers yesterday. Something snapped then - I was suddenly beyond being upset and beyond being hassled with everything going on. She sounded a little nervous when I laughed on the phone yesterday :-)
Since this morning I have recounted several silly incidents from years ago, and have been telling DH. Making him laugh and laughing uncontrollably myself. He thinks it's good I am feeling "normal". I am wondering if I am going insane!
We are meeting some friends at a Mexican place for happy hour today. I think my laughter marathon is going to continue on!
Now I feel like using some bad language. F*** it! My HcG is up from 475 on Friday to 505 today! What on earth is happening?
I asked the nurse. She said it happens sometimes that the first HcG test after the meth injection shows a higher level than before. This is because the cells are bursting and releasing HcG. I feel no bursting anywhere!!! I feel no pain, no cramping, no nothing!
"Come back on Friday. By then your numbers should definitely be dropping"
OK then - that's what I'll do. Not like I have a choice in how I want this to turn out!!! CRAP!!!
Another blood draw this morning, and now I wait for the call from the clinic with my numbers. I don't feel any different from last week, so I don't know what to expect. I can't say with confidence that my HcG would have fallen, but I sure hope it has!
What else is happening - so there was a new phlebotomist at the clinic today who was being taught how to draw blood. She appeared so nervous, and once the needle was in my arm, she realized that she had not struck my vein because no blood came gushing out. She almost froze. The older person who was training her was giving her step by step instructions. "Move the needle, feel the vein. Yes, there you go. Watch the volume of blood in the test tube. Release the vacuum, now remove the needle" etc etc etc. I was sitting there feeling like a little guinea pig, and thinking, I could have told this girl all that. I've had this done SO many times, that I could have trained her.
And before that, while I was waiting in the lobby, the receptionist (who is a temp from the doctor's office part of the clinic) told me that the regular receptionist was not in because her husband was killed last Thursday. I was shocked. I had been in on Thursday and had spoken with the receptionist! I said "I'm back" and she said "I know, I'm sorry you're having to come so often, but I like seeing you". She was sitting there doing her job, smiling, talking etc, and she didn't know that was the day her husband was going to die! I heard that and sat there thinking how hard that must be.
We all take life for granted. Yet, one moment can turn this life upside down. I was thinking what if something like that happened to DH. How would I survive or continue to live? I would totally not know what to do or where to go. I would be shattered into little pieces, and never be able to collect myself again.
My heart goes out to the receptionist and her family, and my resolution or thought for the day is to rejoice in what we have. Celebrate the lives we have, and don't forget to express our love to our loved ones. Life is too precious and too short. I have been tending to spend my days in silence, thinking, moping. And DH has been fantastic. I think I need to enjoy what I have and not whine so much about what I don't have. I could not have fought this battle so long and so strong had it not been for DH.
So DH - if and when you read this, Thank You. The strength you instill in me is part of why I love you so much and why I am willing to fight battles like IF so easily.
I think dealing with infertility gives us a much heightened sense of maturity and sensitivity. Our sensors towards others are sharpened, and we know how to lend support without offering advice or suggestions or "prescriptions". We are also sensitive to other people's struggles, and try not to ask insensitive questions or make hurtful remarks because we KNOW how bad it hurts inside to be on the receiving end.
Something happened on one of the message boards recently that has stayed in my mind, and I wanted to write about it. One of the members received an invitation from a fertile friend to a "Baby Splendor" party. She was infuriated that the friend who was hosting the party had been so insensitive to her situation and had sent out a very upbeat and peppy email inviting her to attend. Needless to say my friend from the board (I will call her J1) was upset. Not just upset, but incensed! She posted a message on the board asking if she was over-reacting, and if we agreed with her being agitated. Of course everyone agreed that she was justified in her emotions and anger. People also suggested how she should respond back to her friend. Most of us were over polite. Then one other member (I will call her J2) typed out a whole email that J1 could send to her friend. While the email sounded direct and very frank, I think it put the point across very very well. I will paste the contents of the suggested email here:
" It really took me by surprise that you sent me the baby party invite. It also really hurt my feelings because we are having so much trouble getting pregnant, and I did not feel that you were being sensitive to that. This has been an extraordinarily painful process for me, and I wish you understood that better. Is there anything that you want me to share with you to help you understand? Imagine what your life would be, if given the same challenge. There are a lot of things we can talk about. The exasperating cycle of hope and disappointment, the feeling of my body failing me, wondering if I may ever be able to get pregnant even after all of this stress, the hormone fluctuations and the physical ways the treatments are painful to me, the scheduling my life around my irregular cycle and doctor's appointments, the incessant waiting, the expense of the treatments and the sacrifices that we are making to do them, never knowing when this is going to end or how. If there is anything I can do to help you understand, please let me know.
I have some websites you can read - about giving support to people you know with infertility. I promise that most of the time, it does not take much. It would mean a lot to me if you would look into them, because I think it would help you better understand the breadth and scope of what we are dealing with daily.
Needless to say, I will not be able to join you for the party. I know that you will have a great time. You will be a terrific hostess"
I read this again and again, and wished that somehow, some way, all the friends of all of us battling infertility could get a little sensitivity training. I know it's impossible to expect everyone to be sensitive, and in a lot of ways, the ways in which our community reacts to our struggles and losses makes it very clear to us which of our friends care. I have seen that in the last 7 months. I know very clearly who rose up to help us and reach out to us, and who didn't bother (or maybe didn't know what to say - but in those cases I would say you don't have to know what to say, you don't even HAVE to say anything, just reaching out and giving us a hug means a lot)
On another topic - meanwhile, my body is still in limbo. I am waiting for the methotrexate to kick in and do something. I was told the site of the ectopic would pain for about a week. It has been 3 days now, but I haven't had much pain, but for a few twinges here and there.
I go back tomorrow for another blood HcG test, and we'll know more then. Till then, hanging.....
My HcG this morning fell, but fell only slightly. It was at 475, down from 496 yesterday. But Dr M did not feel comfortable with it, and didn't think it was a significant enough drop. So he wanted me to come in and do the Meth shot.
I went back and got 2 injections (I am apparently too big to get dealt with in one shot!)
I have been reading several message boards, and it seems like many many women have taken this shot, and they sound fine about it. I am thinking that once this is "past" I may sound fine about it too, but today, it is the complete and total reality of my day. There is nothing else that I can think of. The last couple of days - or maybe this whole week I am having sort of an "out of body experience". I don't know what is happening with me - there are phone calls and updates, and repeated visits to the clinic, my arms are poked mercilessly, I have visible red holes in each arm now, my uterus has been scraped, my body has been injected with methotrexate and the syringe had a big sticky on it saying "High Alert". So essentially I have a high alert substance in my body, and nobody knows where the embryo is.
What is all this? Why do I have to experience so many weird things? All I want is one child, and all I get is heartache (and right now a butt-ache :-) )
The saddest part of this entire thing is, I have not felt the deep despair and sadness I felt with my miscarriage in Nov. You may think it is good that I have not slipped into depression again. I wonder if it is normal to not grieve the loss of a child. I wonder if I have not become too bitter and hardened. Something to think about...
Quick update - Dr M called me a short while ago. Here is what he says:
At the D&C yesterday there wasn't much tissue in my uterus, so chances are this is ectopic, unless the HcG today was "lower" than yesterday's. Yesterday we didn't take an HcG test.
He wants me to check tomorrow morning and if it is significantly lower (like 150 or so) then it's fine. But he doesn't think it will fall so dramatically tomorrow.
I asked him why we can't see where the embryo is. He says at levels of around 500, they can't see anything even inside the uterus. For them to see anything inside the uterus the HcG has to be around 1000 or more. For anything to be visible elsewhere, like tubes etc, the HcG should be much higher. So unfortunately at this time there is no way to check where the embryo is.
He feels it is "good" that this is ectopic, vs a regular miscarriage, because this gives a prognosis of "eggs and embryos are not necessarily of bad quality". Had it been a regular miscarriage, then egg/embryo quality is in question.
I told him it was very hard to keep going through this again and again, and he said he knows that, but he wants to deal with taking care of me right now vis-a-vis this pregnancy. He said let's discuss that later - let's first deal with what we have in hand.
The drug they give me tomorrow is used in patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases. It basically kills rapidly growing tissue / cells. Here is a link with some interesting information:
Before I go on, let me confess that now I am scared. Really really scared. They can't find the embryo - it wasn't in my uterus. It is not coming up on ultrasounds, and I am STILL pregnant as far as my body is concerned. It is now seeming more and more likely that it is ectopic - but where??
Today's HcG - get ready for this, has gone UP - it is now at 496.
Did I mention I'm scared?
I have to go tomorrow at 7:30 AM for another HcG test which will be tested stat. While they draw blood they will draw extra to check on some liver enzymes etc. They will also take my height and weight (which I am also depressed about - I have water soaked up like a sponge in my body and apparently I am 6 lbs heavier than I was when I started this IVF!!!)
Depending on the result of the HcG test, - if it goes down, then we just wait. If it doesn't, then I have to go back at 3 PM to get a methotrexate shot. They gave me a whole low down on everything that I can expect with this shot. They also told me that I will need to be on very reliable birth control for 2 months after this. HELLO - I'm trying to get pregnant here!
More from me tomorrow. I need more prayers please. Each time I think I've seen it all, life says "Oh yeah? Here you go - eat this!!!"
Of late my gut has been talking a lot. It's also been talking a lot of negative things, and unfortunately, all those have been coming true.
I got pregnant, and could not for one moment relax and enjoy it because my gut kept whining saying something is wrong. Sure enough - we all know how that turned out.
For the first repeat blood test I didn't feel anything - thereafter I kept feeling this is not going to be easy. Sure enough we know how that turned out too.
On the weekend I told DH that Monday's blood test result would not be good either, and Dr M will call for a D&C. Sure enough - we know how that turned out too!
Today I have had another blood test - I am waiting for the call with the results, but my gut says - "Not much lowering of HcG" - PLEASE PLEASE prove my gut wrong!!
Physical symptoms since yesterday - cramping last evening, and in the middle of the night. Since this morning - no cramping, no bleeding, no nothing. All else is status quo. My body is really playing a number on me, and it makes me wonder what next!
I should know in under 2 hours from now what the outcome was. I told DH this morning about my gut feel, and he asked me to quieten my gut down. He says every time you "feel" something wrong, it goes wrong. Can you please stop "feeling" these things? What can I do?
The long term view that my gut gives me is a family with 2 boys and us. The 2 boys have rough hair like DH and will wear glasses like I do. I'm not sure if the boys will be biologically ours or not. Because I have always had this gut picture in my mind, I have always fought against infertility, because I KNOW that we will overcome in the end! So sometimes my gut gives me hope too - at least in the long run!
BTW - if I had a choice, I want girls - they are so much more fun and certainly cuter! Well, even ONE would do!!
I'm back, taking it easy, and feeling like a load has been lifted off my shoulders.
Dr M was there - and can I confess that I love him? He has all the makings of a great RE, and I can see why I didn't like his colleague who did my u/s and informed me of my miscarriage. He stood by my head while his assistant was doing the preliminary u/s today, and while they were starting my "conscious sedation" medication. He stroked my forehead while he talked to me. I had to stop myself from bursting into tears!
He said he doesn't think it's ectopic (considering the HcG went up, it MAY have been ectopic), but that it's obvious that it's not viable. He could have waited for my body to realize and let the HcG go down on it's own, but it's gone on for 2 weeks now, and he said he could understand my frustration and despair, and he thought it would be best to do a D&C and put me out of my misery. Once we have put this behind us we can discuss future plans. I told him I have an appointment with him coming up and he said we would sit and talk then. He said he was sorry for all the heartache I've been through.
There was still almost nothing visible on the u/s. My ovaries are still very very enlarged (that explains my bloating). The lining in my uterus was very thick and he said that looked like the only sign of conception. Removing the lining would itself cause my body to lower the HcG.
I go back tomorrow for a repeat blood test - if the HcG has gone down significantly, PHEW! Then I just get monitored down to 0. If it stays hanging or goes up - then we have a bigger problem. That could still mean it's ectopic, and being small is not being detected by u/s, though we've repeated u/s 3 times now. So fingers crossed for a lowered HcG tomorrow.
Man - I sound like a medico, don't I? We all end up reading and researching so much, and then we listen and understand what our doctors say, and to a layman, all us IFer's must sound like geeks! LOL!!
So either I am a sucker for pain and torture or am trying to be brave and strong. I have been through a D&C before, but at that time was in too much of a shock from the news of my miscarriage. So this time I thought I should do some research on what they really do there.
Can I say EEEWWWW??????? I went on Youtube, and looked for videos of D&C. I came across one which was in some other language (thankfully), but I watched it. GROSS!!!!! I am now totally and completely freaked out at what they are going to do to me tomorrow. There is no solace that I've gone through it before and survived!
Oh my god, I should have stayed clear of that video. Tomorrow when I get in there, I am probably going to ask for extra anesthesia or something!
On a serious note - I am ready for tomorrow. I am ready to move on. I am beginning to grow some hope in my heart, and am beginning to look ahead. I mean, that's who I am, isn't it? Cheerful, hopeful, and fighting fate. It's like that commercial on TV that says "I have cancer, cancer doesn't have me".
I will not let IF have me. I will not give up without fighting to the last ounce of fight left in me. I realize that I have made some wonderful friends in the virtual world - I wish I could meet some of you some day. That would be awesome right? Fight IF, get our families by any means legally possible (to steal Carolyn's quote). Once we've all done that, how about we have that Baby Splendor party that poor Joy got invited to so insensitively? We'll do it, and we'll invite only the IF's, to celebrate our strength and sensitivity!
On that note, I'm going to sign off for a couple of days. I don't know if I will be in any position to post tomorrow. But I will post when I am able to.
I had yet another blood test this morning to check my HcG. I am waiting for the call with the results and I am wondering about the possibilities of the outcome.
It has been a very frustrating last couple of weeks. I am neither here nor there with this whole thing. I'm neither pregnant, nor have I miscarried completely. My body is in complete hormone chaos, and I feel responsible for putting it through all of this.
Physically my symptoms are slowly but surely improving. For instance - I am slightly less bloated. Of course I still am in no position to button up my jeans etc, but I feel lesser like a balloon than I did even last week. Till last week I couldn't even walk 2 blocks without getting tired. This morning I walked quite a bit, and didn't feel very tired. So those are the positives.
Needless to say, I wish I was not here counting the ways in which my body is realizing the loss of my pregnancy as "positives", but what do you do? You have to move on in life, right? How much can you cry and mope over things?
Which brings me to my other thoughts - I'm still wondering what I should do. I have 1 IVF left covered by my insurance. Should I do that? Or should I close this chapter and pursue adoption in a focussed manner? I'm finding it very hard to make the decision.
I have an appointment with my RE in 3 weeks. By then I want my mind to be clear so I can discuss things practically with him.
For anyone reading this - would you mind posting me a comment with your views on what you think I should do? I want to see what others would do in my shoes. For new readers, in short, my history is - 7 years of TTC, several Clomid cycles, several IUI cycles, 4 IVF's, 1 cancelled FET, 2 miscarriages, 1 chemical pregnancy.
Should I take the chance and see if that one last IVF will work, and if my body will cooperate in keeping the pregnancy? Or is it not worth the emotional trauma that comes with a BFP and a possible miscarriage or chemical pregnancy again? Thoughts please.....
This is a post to thank a friend who reached out to us yesterday. I'm going to call him T.
T and I did our MBA together centuries ago on a different planet. Life went on, and for some of us, brought us to live in the same area. T and his family live close by and over the years we have kept in touch. We've had some great times together. DH and I have always been the partying kinds - we've been known to have a lot of friends over all the time, and our neighbors say they envy our partying and fun times.
So over the last few months, we have sort of receded within ourselves. I know I have consciously been avoiding friends. Not because I don't like them anymore, but because of my own personal situation. It goes like this:
a) Most of them have what I don't - ie, either babies, or toddlers, or fertility.
b) 99.9% of our thoughts are consumed by our infertility and challenges and failures and losses. Therefore our conversations tend to revolve around those topics too. I feel guilty for overwhelming our friends and putting them in awkward situations where they have to step up and react appropriately, while to me, there is no appropriate reaction.
c) A lot of our friends don't know how to react in front of us. It's like there is this elephant in the room which nobody wants to point out, but everyone knows it's there.
d) I feel we have good memories of our friendships and good times with them, so leave it at that. I don't want awkward situations and conversations leaving behind bitter memories and souring our relationships.
So - back to the subject of the post. Mr T. He came by last evening, and we had a very open heart to heart conversation of where DH and I are, and how we are becoming reclusive, and how much our friends are worried about us. I never realized that our friends look at our silence as 1) Either we're too depressed and don't know how to handle ourselves anymore, or 2) We don't care enough about them to keep them involved in our lives anymore. That came as news to me and a lot of things that T said made a lot of sense. He told us our friends all care, and hope we're doing ok, but are scared to ask because they don't want to upset us anymore.
I gave him my blog address and told him that since my thoughts recently have been all dark and dreary, I do not want to smother others with them, but for those that are interested, my thoughts are documented here.
I thought about our conversation for a long time after that. Any such conversation now leaves me "raw and exposed and rattled" but I felt oddly comforted that people care. It made both DH and me feel loved and wanted.
So - THANK YOU T. Thanks for reaching out. We are not ready to come out and play yet - we may not be for a while, or may not be forever, but thank you for being there and listening to us rave and rant and vent yesterday. It meant a lot to us.
Now what? This is getting more confusing and frustrating by the day!
Here are my betas:
366???? It is higher today than it was on Monday 7/7, and it is higher than it was last Monday 6/30. What am I supposed to make of it?
The "good news" is that my RE is back from vacation, and he has reviewed my case. The "bad news" is that he also doesn't give me any direction - just wants me to come back on Monday and repeat my beta.
I'm very frustrated. I am not bleeding yet, I am still bloated - I cannot fit into my clothes and I am tired of that. My body believes it is pregnant, while the whole world knows the truth.
How do you know what's right for you as the next step? Where do you go from here? I have so many questions in my heart, and I don't know where to get the answers.
I wish there was an instruction manual to life, just like the ones that came with our dishwasher and washing machine and dryer. Where you could jump to "Troubleshooting" and read about your particular situation, get your answers and move on.
I'm doing a lot of soul searching - wondering whether I should accept to lead a childless life, or pursue adoption. We tried to conceive for 7 years - does that give me an indication of what my heart wants? Do I want to be pregnant or do I want a family? Do I want a genetic link with my child, or do I not?
I know one thing for sure - I don't want to make any decisions on a rebound. It's too early and my emotions are too raw right now to make proper decisions. But would my direction not be clearing up? I thought it was. Then I went and got a book on adoption. Reading it is making me more confused.
I really wish someone or something could guide and direct us at this point. I'm completely lost and confused, and I don't like to be so out of control of my life. It feels like there is NOBODY I can talk this over with - and I just keep waiting for "enlightenment"
We brought Simba home when he was 6 weeks old. This was right after our 1st IVF had failed. We had such a need to parent and nourish, and since we both love dogs, we went and brought him home.
He turned 3 a couple of days ago. He has brought us so much joy and love that it's unbelievable. He is almost human in his interaction with us. He has an amazing vocabulary of human words. You tell him to get his toy, and he brings a toy to you. You tell him to get his bone - he drops the toy and goes gets his bone. At 5 PM every evening he comes and whines at you to take him to the park so he can play fetch.
I spent a large part of this morning standing by his food bowl so he would eat. It's warm today, and when it gets warm, he doesn't like to eat too much food. But I worry that he needs to eat. I realize I am a normal worried mom - I worry about him like he's my own baby. And he is....
So with things happening in the last few months the way they have, specially more so in the last couple of weeks, I have another big urge to bring home another little pup. Simba is a German Shepherd, and he's pretty big now. I don't know if we can handle another big dog. Maybe a medium size one? I've started looking on Craigslist, and I even asked Simba what he thinks. He just whined back - I'm taking that as a YES! :-)
Watch this space - we may have an addition to our family soon. So what if it won't be human??
Even the end doesn't come easily! My beta is not going down as quickly as expected. Here is the list of betas so far:
Beta 1 on 6/16 at 8DP5DT: 81.3
Beta 2 on 6/16 at 10DP5DT: 214
On 6/27 I had a stomach ache, so I decided to panic and go to the RE. They found a small gestational sac but nothing visible in it. Beta on 6/27: 640.
They told me that wasn't high enough.
Beta on 6/30: 332. They told me it's falling so I should stop all medication and come back in a week for a beta so they could monitor me down to 0.
Beta today on 7/7: 299. WHAT??? It's not fallen as expected.
People on WebMD tell me it could take a while longer. I can't believe that even the end will take it's own sweet time! Not fair. I'm really trying to move on with my life here!! This means if I POAS today, I would still get a big fat positive!!! Not fair!
Today would have been the EDD of our first pregnancy. I lost our daughter during my 9th week of pregnancy in Nov 2007. Our world came crashing down around us and we did not know how to pick up the pieces and continue.
We thought the thing that would help us heal the most, would be to be pregnant by the EDD, ie, by today. We proceeded to do two more IVF's. However today, not only am I mourning the loss of my first pregnancy, but I am also dealing with the sadness of a chemical pregnancy in April 2008, and a second miscarriage, which is happening currently.
Ever since I found out about our last miscarriage last week, I have been dreading today. I have been dreading waking up today, and I thought I would not make it through the day without a breakdown. It is 6 PM now, and I have lasted. We went and bought a bougainvillea plant which we are planting in our yard in our children's memory. I am feeling a lot better after bringing the plant home.
I also want to try and make the blog a little more light. I realize that I write mostly when I am sad, and I tend to be very intense with my emotions. I am going to try and bring a little humour into my life. Let's try and find the Nikki that existed 7 years ago!
July 4th was good. We grilled some chicken, and our neighbors Jim and Carolyn grilled some burgers and sausages. We ate out in the front yard, then put chairs on the sidewalk to watch the fireworks. Our area is known for a spectacular yet completely private and illegal fireworks show on the 4th of July. Desert was a bottle of tequila - I couldn't make myself have any at all, because I kept wishing I wasn't allowed alcohol.
Then today DH and I went to the mall. It seems like EVERYONE else in the world is either pregnant, or has a little baby in a stroller. I am trying to get out of feeling mellow and sad, but visions like these just remind me of what I don't have....
Till then we had never seen a positive result on a HPT, and so it also had been the highest high we had been on. When the baby's heartbeat went missing, so did ours.
Every day was an effort - to get up, move on with life, go to work, and "pretend" to be normal. Nobody understands - nobody at all. Unless someone's been through this pain themselves, you can't even expect them to understand. They mean well, but right after you miscarry, someone tells you "You can always adopt" - that doesn't sit quite well.
We did not know how to get on with life. I would just want to curl up and die, but unfortunately that's not an option. You want time to freeze but unfortunately, that doesn't happen either. But time moves on. The pain never goes away. It just dulls and you are able to smile through it. People stop asking you how you're doing, and start expecting you to be excited about their developments in life.
The second time around you're hardened. You probably are also bitter, and therefore not as vulnerable. I am dealing with that now. Raw yes, but shielded and bitter.
Maybe some day this too shall pass. Till then, I'm sad, very sad.
I did not mean to not post anything for so long. Life has it's way of taking the steering wheel, doesn't it?
I've decided to start blogging again - my daily ramblings and thoughts.
I do want to document everything that has happened so far in our infertility journey. I'll just list events date/year wise, because there's way too much to go into details of everything.
2001 - I was turning 30, and we decided it was time to add to our family. A few of my friends said it would be wise to go see an OBGYN first, just to make sure all was well. All was apparently not well. The doctor told me I possibly had a "bicornuate uterus". I went through IVP, HSG etc, and was told I should not have a problem getting pregnant, but would be considered "high risk" when I was pregnant.
We started trying.
2002 - Still nothing. So I went back to the OB for "treatment". I got put onto Clomid, and did 3 cycles of that. After 3 months she said I should see a fertility specialist. The RE started us with Clomid too - 3 more months.
2003 - Moved on to injectables with IUI. Did 5 attempts of that - out of pocket, since insurance did not cover infertility.
2004 - Other issues cropped up - I injured my knee and had to go through 2 surgeries on that. So TTC was on back burner.
2005 - Back into the TTC game. Did IVF #1. I responded beautifully to the medications. We retrieved 29 eggs. 21 fertilized. 15 made it to day 3. We did a 3 day transfer of 2 embryos, and froze the remaining 13. 2 weeks later, BFN.
For the next year and a half, we fought with each other - could not come to terms with our struggles, and brought in a lot of strain into our relationship. Towards the end of 2006, we decided that we needed to be adults about this, and we needed to focus on it like a project. So we went back to the RE and asked for additional testing. Basically ANYTHING that had been missed. They suggested that we do a "karyotype test". Mine came back normal, and DH's came back with a balanced translocation.
2007 - Changed RE's - went to one that offered PGD, which would be required for us, due to the translocation.
July 2007 - FET scheduled. All embryos thawed and PGD'ed. All were abnormal. FET cancelled.
September 2007 - IVF#2 scheduled. 17 eggs retrieved. 10 fertilized and PGD'ed. 1 was normal. We did a 5DT of a good looking normal blastocyst. 2 weeks later - BFP!! I am pregnant!!!!
Week 6 of pregnancy - we see the baby's heartbeat, and all looks good. Week 9 of pregnancy - no heartbeat detected. I had to have a D&C. Tests came back saying the embryo was fine. I have MTHFR mutation.
March 2008 - IVF#3 scheduled. 14 eggs retrieved. 9 fertilized and PGD'ed. 1 normal embryo - but it wasn't a good grade embryo. But since we didn't have an option, we transferred it on day 5. 2 weeks later, a very very faint second line on HPT. My beta came back at 10.2. The clinic says it doesn't look great, but if the numbers go up, we're good. The beta HcG did not go up. This was termed as a "biochemical pregnancy"
May 2008 - IVF#4 scheduled. 17 eggs retrieved, 11 fertilized and PGD'ed. Joy of joys! We had 2 good looking normal blastocysts to transfer! 5DT done, and 2 weeks later - BFP!! Very healthy beta numbers, growing very well.
Then what went wrong? 2 weeks after the beta, I had a bad feeling that something is not right. Plus I had some strange pain in my abdomen, and some brown spotting. All that is normal, but because of my earlier miscarriage, I went in and got an early u/s done. Small gestational sac, no yolk sac, and falling betas.
After a 12 year long bumpy ride on the infertility roller coaster, DH and I have recently adopted a baby boy. We pursued open adoption and with this match, our family has been blessed and expanded to include a very loving birth family. This blog is about our adoption story and living life as a trans-racial family.
I am 42, and I live in San Jose, CA with my DH, son and our German Shepherd, Simba.
2003: Saw RE. 3 more rounds of Clomid / 5 rounds of IUIs (2 with injectables) - All BFN. Time to move on to IVF - but our insurance didn't cover it, and we couldn't afford to do it out of pocket.
2004: I injured my knee - had to have 2 surgeries to reconstruct it. So TTC was on the back burner.
Also got new job with IF coverage on the insurance.
2005: IVF#1. 29 eggs retrieved, 21 fertilized, 15 survived till day 3. 2 embryos transferred, 13 embryos frozen. BFN.
2006: Break from TTC.
2007: Went back to RE and demanded explanation for our BFNs. We were unexplained - nothing was ever off in our tests. Demanding additional testing pushed them into checking our karyotypes. DH's came back with a balanced translocation.
Changed RE - went to one that would do PGD for us.
Thawed our frozen embryos - PGD revealed all abnormal. FET cancelled. This was August 2007.
Oct 07: Fresh IVF #2. 17 eggs retrieved - 10 survived for biopsy. 1 normal after PGD. day 5 transfer - BFP!!!! Beautiful heartbeat u/s etc. Unfortunately m/c in the 9th week. D&C Nov 07. No frozen embies.
March/ April 08: Fresh IVF #3. 14 eggs retrieved - 9 biopsied. 1 normal - but not of great quality. Chemical pregnancy - first Beta was 10, then 5. No frozen embies.
June 08: Fresh IVF#4 - 17 eggs retrieved - 11 biopsied. 2 normal - BFP. Turned out to be ectopic which could not be found on u/s.
First they did a D&C, and when my HcG rose after that, they gave me a methotrexate shot. It took weeks for my Hcg normals to return to negative. No frozen embryos.
August 08: Our RE wanted us to talk to CCRM - "fresh pair of eyes" etc. Consulted CCRM and they called us for a 1 day work up.
Sep 08: 1 day work up in CCRM - they found my uterus to be T shaped (Why nobody saw it in so many years will always be a mystery to me)
Oct 08: Surgery to fix the shape of my uterus.
Dec 08: Post op Hysteroscopy - my uterus now looks normal. We can proceed with IVF#5!
Jan 09: Fresh IVF#5 - 31 eggs retrieved, 24 mature, 14 fertilized via ICSI, 6 made it to day 5. PGD done on day 5. 4 blasts normal! This was a freeze all cycle.
Feb 09: Preparing for FET - lining would not grow. After being postponed week after week for 3 weeks, we cancelled the FET.
Mar 09: Went to Denver for hysteroscopy to rule out any scar tissue / adhesions etc in my uterus. Currently on break from prepping for FET. Will decide in a couple of months and continue from there.
"Unborn" - Written in April 2008
Whose eyes would you have had? Would you be like Mom or like Dad? Would your hair be light or would it be dark? No matter how you would be, you'd still be our spark
Are you sister and brother Taking care of each other? Or were you two little girls Your Mommy's two little pearls?
I wish we could touch your tiny feet I wish we could hear your heart beat I'd give anything to be able to kiss your fingers You left unborn, but your memory still lingers
There is no healing, time dulls the pain Time can't stop me from thinking of you again and again I've cried tears in silence, I've cried myself to sleep Nothing to hold on to, only some memories to keep
You're in a safer place, is what Dadda tells me But I want nothing more than to have you here with me To hold, to love, to cherish and nourish To finally see our dreams fulfilled and see our family flourish
We'll meet in heaven some day When we can all get together and play Till then, watch over us and see us through this fight For sometimes we falter and it's hard to see the light.
"Empty Arms" - written on Dec 16, 2007
You came into our lives We thanked God for you each day God had different plans And He took you away
You were our biggest ray of hope That so far we had seen You made us Mommy and Daddy Though short your stay has been
Your eight weeks were short So quickly you were gone We are left remembering your loss When we were imagining you being born
We are left with empty arms That were longing to hold you close We are left with shattered hearts Wondering why it wasn't us God chose
We hold on to your memories With tears in our eyes We wish we could turn back time We wish God would hear our cries
Be safe, dear Angel You were loved by Mom and Dad We miss you and are so so sorry You would have been the biggest joy we would have had.