Thursday, August 12, 2010

money really does make the world go 'round

Turns out it is not just a saying. Neither is "money can't buy happiness." Indirectly, money is where it all hinges. According to my doctor, the best approach to address recurrent miscarriage is with prevention. Since they cannot determine the cause of the losses, numerous meds have been added to my list from added hcg to blood thinners and progeterone in oil.

All dispense as written and all with a hefty price tag-even with insurance. Our hearts are in it, but the wallet is empty. The buck stops here...pun intended.

If only a turkey baster would work... or if I could just win that lottery.

Monday, August 2, 2010

i'm a bad blogger... and even worse at carrying a pregnancy

So after realizing the many things that have happened in this god awful infertility saga... it has only just occurred to me in my haze that I have avoided this blog for far to long. I suppose after life hands you a bunch of crap, you gotta shut down for awhile to regain some momentum-and when you regain that momentum... you get shut down again. Makes you just wanna hide.

I believe I left off with a miscarriage in February. It took about 6 weeks after the D&C to get my body back to zero hcg. The go-getter that I am went right ahead and entered into another IUI cycle. After 17 days of stims and a terrible lining to boot, this IUI was doomed from the day of insemination.

On to IUI #4... textbook cycle. Three great follicles and only 8 days of stims, with the addition of a little estrace to boost my lining... we got another positive hcg (97) but terribly low progesterone (2.9!). It was already a concern as I had what appeared to be my period 4 days prior to the beta. It was time to boost up the crinone suppositories to twice a day. Second beta at 48 hours showed a great increase in hcg (247) and progesterone bumped up to a more normal, yet low level (10.9). I was very realistic, but hopeful at that point. However, after spotting all weekend long, I asked for another beta, which revealed what I already knew... my numbers were falling. Another loss...

Where does one go when they are so open and willing, yet heartbroken and damaged. We want to continue... but are scared to death it will happen again. They joy of a positive test is now gone and has been replaced with the hope that after a positive test, can we get to 6 weeks-or 7 weeks. Each day would be a milestone, so much that I can't even think about 9 months from a positive test. I have to think about getting to tomorrow successfully. I can no longer announce joyfully to my family and friends. They cannot share in a joy that I cannot even share in. Don't get me wrong... I would love and cherish every moment of that little life inside of me. But truth is, I have to keep myself grounded... and not bring everyone on this roller coaster that is infertility. I would trade every ounce of knowledge I have gained about human anatomy, medications and diagnostic tests to be completely naive and be able to experience the exhilaration of being pregnant without counting the days, taking the meds, doing the tests and going for constant monitoring.

This journey has been so taxing. I just want it to be easy... just once...

Monday, May 31, 2010

waiting for the end... or beginning

The first week of this all natural, no preservative cycle was excruciating. I never expected the emotional retaliation i would get by ignoring the medicines and monitoring. It felt like withdrawal that comes with an addiction.

The second week brought renewed hope and energy. I realized if I sit back and wallow in poor odds and unlikely success... the cycle would be even more a waste than at least embracing the opportunity any cycle brings. So we gave that little egg a chance.

Join me in the wait for the end of the cycle here... which should end this Saturday with a welcome suprise... or a fresh cycle. Then will be the choice to commence treatment or continue naturally. I can only wish this was an easier journey than it is.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

just can't win

I find it strange to be spending a cycle not trying. I find it even more strange that while attempting to step away and not focus on trying... all I can think about is what we have lost. There is simply no escape from it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

my motivation

A fellow blogger has posed a fundamental question... and given the impending closing of what feels like a failed cycle... this is quite possibly the best time to remind myself. Just how do I approach it after a miscarriage. The simple answer-because I cannot imagine it any other way- and because nothing else would feel right.

The whole truth is more a tightrope walk. I feel as though I was born to be a mom and it is an incredibly strong driving force. We spent over two years of trying on our own, being tested, poked, prodded, surgically explored followed by three cycles of IUI. We have experienced excitement, hope, anticipation, concern, fear, loss and devastation. The most common seems to be that devastation-month after month. So how is it we keep coming back to go through cycling all over again given the more likely outcome? The day I learned if the miscarriage, my first thought was that it was so devastating that I never wanted to try again. But as I went one day at a time, things got clearer and things looked a bit more hopeful. I would again be able to experience the sheer elation of seeing a positive pregnancy test-one of the best feelings, and one so powerful I cannot describe in words. Still, my heart hurts and my mind worries. Worry that we may never get pregnant has been replaced with a doubled fear that if we get pregnant again, it will not go to term. I can't trust my body and I have lost all faith in myself, but we continue because we can't see it any other way. To avoid it simply gives us less of a chance of having the joy of a baby in our lives. I yearn to experience it-to watch it grow and move in my belly, to meet it for the first time, watch first words and steps, to be a mentor and protector, to watch it grow and become the person he or she is meant to be. My future shows a family... one that I hope to someday meet.

This current cycle was one hurdle after another that has worn me to the core and I am beginning to question whether it was the right time to try again so hard. But I know that once this weekend rolls around and a new cycle starts, it will be with renewed hope. A completely unmedicated and unassisted cycle is in great need. We deserve to be parents and we cling to the belief our baby is out there. But while we are putting the "trying" in second place for this month, it will give us the chance to put "us" first.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

cautious optimism with a side of fear

My first and second IUI consisted of 9 days of stimulation followed by progesterone suppositories for the second part of the cycle. This cycle is already on day 15 of stimulation and the prospect of intramuscular progesterone daily scares the hell out of me. The IUI is finally forecasted for Thursday or Saturday given the dominant follicle is nearly 18mm and 2-3 are close behind.

Lord knows I will stick with whatever I need to do to maintain my own version of comfort, sanity, and sense of self-control of an otherwise uncontrollable situation... but the drugs are beginning to physically make me exhausted, nauseous and bloated. Emotionally, I continue to focus on the end result with a fantastic set of follicles developing. On the flip side, I am still scared to death that even if we are fortunate enough to conceive this time... will my body fail me again? Chromosomal reports revealed a perfect 46XX karyotype-meaning a perfect girl. Now I know there is the chance that the sample analyzed is of my own tissue and not of the embryo, but it is all I have left to cling on of my baby. It is all that remains from what all seems like a dream now. I think there is some comfort in believing that heartbeat belonged to our little girl.

The heart is willing and the body ready. I just need to find the confidence and positive attitude...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

just how many is too many?

So after getting the go-ahead to take the fun injectibles, my last appointment yielded a hefty possible 11 follicles. Although they are all 6-8mm right now and need to get much larger before being in the final follicle count, the truth is, all 11 could choose to grow - and that is bad. No RE in their right mind would throw caution to the wind and give an IUI to someone with 11 potentials for fertilization. Now this would be fantastic for an IVF cycle, but there is no possible way we will ever be able to swing the cost of one of those (but we did enter to win a free IVF cycle, just on the off-chance our luck shifts).

It feels like the hurdles continue to be put in front of me. First the miscarriage, then the cyst-and now too many follicles! Things certainly were more expected and normal pre-drugs and pre-conception. The one thing that is constant now is the frustration. My estrogen is too low, forcing higher FSH to be needed-and with higher FSH comes the possibility of too many follicles maturing. The conundrum...

I hope tomorrows early morning appointment gives some positive news and shows 3-5 strong follicles and the others have taken a back seat.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

today i give thanks for... incredibly understanding and supportive husband-otherwise our journey would be so much harder to bear.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

my decision

I have chosen to give myself the honor of being called a mother, if only in my heart. I will not shout it from the mountaintops or expect to celebrate Mother's Day like many would. In my heart, where my baby's memory lives, is where I will celebrate. After all, we worked so hard to get this far. That little one deserves to be remembered by those who wanted it in their arms. This is why it hurts so much-because we loved so much...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

late night philosophical pondering

Some people believe you are a mother from the moment of conception while others thinks of it as once the child is born. Can I consider myself a mother even though I had the honor of carrying for 8 short weeks? I feel like I do not deserve the title since I have little to show... but at the same time I feel like I would be denying the life we created if I didn't.

It is a conundrum to which I just cannot decide yet. Must grieve and heal more...

ovarian cysts and useless blood draws

Before I get into my appointment at the RE this morning, I would like to welcome you to cycle 28. Yes... hell froze over just after my last post. My cycle began in full force Friday morning.

My appointment at the RE was less than stellar. They drew blood, then did my ultrasound. On a positive note, the uterine lining is fabulous. Pending a good look at the ovaries, I would be in the clear for my IUI cycle #3. Then she took a look at the left ovary with a cyst that rivals a small planet.

And at that, my cycle will be delayed. I am now on birth control pills for 2 weeks at which point they will check things out again to see if we can get the go-ahead then. This brings 2 thoughts:
  1. Birth control seems terribly counter productive... but hell, who am I to object to shrinking the monstrous cyst faster.
  2. I want to put in a formal request to do the ultrasound first.... THEN the blood draw. After all, they will call you with the blood results later anyway. what harm can it do to check to see if the parts are in order before drawing a pint or two right?
Please pardon my cynicism... I just feel I have to get the evil out before my body will once again be in working order. And if I hear to old adage "It will happen when you least expect it" or "Don't think about it" one more time...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

this is the song that doesn't end...

...yes it goes on and on my friend. Everyone join in! I recall the song well from my younger years. I can't even remember who sings it... thinking Shari Lewis and Lambchop? But I digress.

I have come to the realization that it feels like while the world around me is screaming by me, I am still moving in slow motion. My day goes on forever as I sit in limbo waiting... and waiting. For a person like myself who has been fortunate to have a regular cycle every month, the waiting for a new cycle is excruciating. Every sign or symptom-every cramp or sore body part to me is an indicator day one is right around the corner. But it is all just my body continuing to revert to "0" and normalcy. Granted my hcg has been lowering fantastically (from 769 to 335 in just two days and then to 27 six days later), I fear it will hover at the elusive "above 5" until hell freezes over... at least that is what it feels like.

To top it off, my trouble sleeping that began at about 5 weeks along did not disappear with the pregnancy. That has worsened to a level of insomnia now where I do not sleep for more than an hour before waking, tossing and turning, dozing off for another hour- to repeat it all over again for the entire night. My kingdom for an Ambien.

Off to take my melatonin-the all natural equivalent to Ambien...

Monday, March 15, 2010

a long hiatus... and yet another loss

I have returned back to blogging to notice I have two followers to date. Yay me! I had no followers when I left. That is a 200% increase. However, it saddens me I have been gone so long without an ounce of an update. Must get a start on that...

We last left off with the laparoscopy/hysteroscopy. Lots of fun... little answers. Next step: wait for the next cycle to begin. That started on December 28th, 2009 without fail. The cycle brought three beautiful follicles that were maturing right on target followed by the IUI with the fantastic news of 95 million good sperm after the wash.

The god of fertility shined on us once again that cycle with a faint positive beta of 15 on January 27th, 2010 and a repeat beta on January 29th revealing a beta of 49. We were pregnant for the very first time after 26 failed cycles. We were on top of the world! The first ultrasound at 6w1d showed a perfect gestational sack and a beta came back at 6630. The second ultrasound at 7w2d showed a little heartbeat and little bean measuring 6w5d. No blood was drawn as everything looked right on target... in retrospect, I wish I had requested it regardless.

Our 8w1d ultrasound revealed no growth and no heartbeat... nothing was meant to be easy-and this was no exception. We faced the difficult decision of letting it happen naturally or have the D&C to ease the lengthy physical recovery, in the end opting for the D&C in an effort to get the tissue tested and to possibly offer some consolation in a more hasty recovery. The emotional aspects do not heal as readily... I spent a full week out of work practically living in bed watching television. It was the only place I felt safe enough to exist. Once I returned to work, things slowly improved, but are still not up to par. I have gone through the gamut of emotions... from disbelief, to sadness, to anger and even guilt. Questions and what-ifs still haunt every day.

We have decided to start trying as soon as my cycle begins again, both because we do not want to wait and because this is what we feel is best for us to move on. The memory and the stigma of this miscarriage will remain strong, and nothing will ever, ever replace the little one we never had the chance to meet... but we want to use what has happened to make us stronger and learn from it. It will forever be in my heart and in my mind.