Monthly Archives: June 2012

Real

This is real.

This is really, truly, REAL.

My hopes and dreams of being a mother to a biological child are placed in the hands of a team of individuals I hardly know, most of which I would not even recognize if I came across them at the grocers.

In two weeks I start Lupron (for me it is being used to inhibit ovulation) and Dexamethasone (to help with egg quality, kind of protect them from harm potentially caused by follicle stimulating drugs).  In three weeks we start follicle stimulating injections which include Menopur and Gonal-F (these are to stimulate development of each follicle in my ovaries in hopes of getting LOTS to retrieve and  fertilize) and Saizen (human growth hormone, used to help with egg quality).  7-10 days later I will use Novarel to trigger ovulation and 36 hours after that injection is the egg retrieval.  I have to be put under for this procedure, but I’ll know before leaving the building how many eggs they retrieved and how many where ready to be fertilized.  Then comes the first “waiting period” that I’m sure will bring anxiety…the fertilization and growth phase.  For five days the embryology team at Conceptions Reproductive will fertilize and care for my embryos in a way my body never has been able.  I will get updates on development, and I pray by day five we have enough embryos to transfer 2, freeze 2.  Day five brings on the transfer that is quick and easy.  Followed by three days of bed rest and the dreaded two-week wait!

During the time from retrieval through 1st trimester or a negative pregnancy test (please let this not be the case) I will be taking Progesterone in Oil (ouch, this one goes in the butt).  Several other medications to help with implantation, infection, and hormones.

It’s all a little overwhelming.

Okay, a LOT overwhelming.

-R

Categories: Emotions, Infertility, IVF | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Fires and Fear

Most people who live in the US are probably aware that Colorado is in dire need of  moisture and nearly a dozen large fires threaten thousands of lives (both human and animals) and homes; many near the Denver  area.  It is disheartening to see the flames, smoke, and devastation the flames have left behind.  As I watered my tomato plants I felt guilty for complaining that we have to water nearly every day to keep our grass from dying.  At least I have a home that is not threatened by these fires.  Please send prayers, and if you are able, a financial donation to the Colorado Red Cross to help the thousands of people who have lost their homes, are displaced, and those who risk their lives to fight the fires.

(photo found on the  9 News Website, click photo to see more)

With fires on the horizon, the fear I have around IVF has bubbled up and formed tears born of fear and, at some level, excitement.  I’m not sure how this whole process will play out, and that is hard to handle.  I am angry at the injustice of this diagnosis – socially, emotionally, and financially.  I called my husband as I drove home from work and told him it was time for me to call the RE and let them know my cycle has started and to get further instructions on when to start birth control pills and then get medications ordered and my calendar mapped out.  As I told him, tears filled my eyes and I had to choke back tears in order to keep from running off the road. My husband assured me we would be fine, and could face whatever we are handed.

I haven’t made the call to the RE’s office.  Making that call turns this dream into reality.   At this exact moment I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

-R

Categories: Colorado Fires 2012, Emotions, Infertility | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Official Freak Out

I am officially FREAKED OUT

…by this upcoming IVF cycle.  I wonder if its possible for you to comprehend the exact degree of freaked out I am?  My heart is racing, my breathing  is a little labored, and all I can do is think about all the things that can go wrong!

At approximately 3 PM today I began feeling mild cramps.  Which undoubtedly means that the one period I want wanted to come is officially just around the corner.  I generally get mild cramping 3-5 days prior to my period beginning, so those minor cramps are a promise for the beginning of a very scary endeavor.  I made note of my cramps around 3 PM and thirty minutes later I was on the internet searching for information regarding progesterone in oil (I am dreading these intramuscular shots), embryo development (what if my little babies don’t grow), ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (yikes), and follicular counts.  As I searched I could feel my anxiety raise and my stomach turn.  After three hours of internet searching to only produced more anxiety and blood-shot eyes, I told myself I HAD to stop!  The information I found failed to provide me with any relief, and if anything, gave me permission to question everything I am doing!

 

Living with worry and anxiety is NOT healthy…but I don’t know how to change this!

 

How can I not wonder if I’m going to produce enough mature eggs for a retrieval?  What if my eggs don’t grow properly?  What if I get through the retrieval and the day before embryo transfer they call to tell me that ZERO embryos are viable and my IVF is a failure?  What if I only have two good embryos?  Do I transfer them both or do I transfer one and freeze one in case the IVF doesn’t produce a BFP?  What if we transfer and still get a negative?  How the hell am I going to handle my hubby giving me shots in my butt for 2-12 weeks (praying for 12, because that means we are pregnant)?    What if the follicle stimulating hormones cause me to get ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome?  What if we can’t come up with the $2000 we lack in funding?  What if, what if, what if?

As I type I still feel the tightness in my chest and my stomach in my throat.  Will this anxiety ever go away or am I do deal with it until my first BETA test?

Uggg!

-R

Categories: Emotions, Infertility, IVF | Tags: , | 5 Comments

45th Post

After 45 posts WordPress offered me this:

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” – Stephen King

This is my truth, but I’m facing it head on!

-R

Categories: Emotions, Infertility | Tags: | Leave a comment

Something Gave

For years I’ve found myself cringing and searching for air each time I heard the words, “I’m pregnant.”  It’s embarrassing and painful to choke back tears and try to congratulate somebody on the one thing that eludes you.  In that moment it does not matter that you would never wish this lot on others, your heart can only see the void you are forced to embrace.

For years this reaction has been the only one I’ve known.  No matter how happy I was to know that another life would be brought into this world, I was unable to stop this feeling.  Choking back tears, forcing a smile, and providing sincere congratulations while crying inside had become my reality.  I had fully expected this to be true of me for the rest of my life, but this week something gave.

For the first time in six years my heart did not drop, knots did not fill my stomach, my eyes did not well up with tears, nor did a cry lodge in my throat.  This week I was able to experience that announcement without resentment, fear, or personal sadness.  This is HUGE!

Something finally gave, and maybe it’s because somewhere deep down I know that soon my babies will be here with me.

-R

Categories: Emotions, Infertility | Tags: | 10 Comments

Please, watch your tongue.

In my 6 years of trying to achieve a pregnancy I’ve heard a LOT of thoughtless things pass the lips of people who just don’t understand.  In the beginning I would smile, shrug, and try to fumble my way through the situation…today I’m a little more vocal in sharing my opinion.

As I share the comments that I’ve had the luck of receiving, please understand that as they were spoken I hid my shame, fear, embarrassment, anger, and sadness.

I realize now that the majority of the time people say things, they don’t mean harm, they just don’t understand that one single word can feel like the edge of a blade slicing through your heart.   In sharing these comments, I hope to educate people on the things they should think about before saying…and not just to individuals you know struggle with infertility, but all couples.  You really never know what people are going through.  And I can almost guarantee you that 90% of couples who struggle with infertility do so in silence because of shame, embarrassment, and fear of being judged.

1.  “When are you guys going to have babies?” –  Seemingly harmless, but for somebody who has been trying without success, or struggles with repeated miscarriages,  it can be a gut wrenching question.  This is a highly personal, and if people are willing to share then they will.

2. “All we have to do is look at each other and she’s pregnant.” -I think this one is self-explanatory.  Though this was said in jest, it hurt.  All I could do was laugh it off and quickly remove myself from the conversation.

3. “You better be planning on having a baby within the next few years.  You’re not getting any younger.” – Nobody understands my biological clock more than I do.  Please don’t remind me that my failed attempts the past six years guarantee more challenges.  Most people had no idea how long we have been trying to have a baby.

4. “Maybe God has a different plan for you.” – I refuse to accept this and so would you if you were in this situation.  Although this was probably said to comfort, it brought resentment and anger.

5.  “Relax and it will happen” – If this was the case I would have been pregnant 6 years ago when things were not stressful!  Relaxation has no outcome on our infertility issues.

6.  “Why don’t you just adopt…people always get pregnant when they adopt” – While this may be true for some people, it’s not a guarantee.  Additionally, adoption is totally different then becoming a biological parent (I’m not saying its bad, because it is an awesome thing to give another child your heart, it’s just different).  In a later post I will talk about adoption.

7.  “Maybe you aren’t trying hard enough.” – You have no idea how hard we try, NONE!

8.  “Maybe you weren’t meant to have babies.” – Would you accept this?  NO!  Then why should I?

I’m sure I’ve been told or asked many more questions but at this point it is hard to remember every thing that has been said.  Today when somebody asks a question like, “When are you having kids?” I tell it to them straight, “We’ve struggled for 6 years and are having to try IVF in hopes of a baby.”  Sometimes all the person says is, “Oh.” and drops the conversation.  Sometimes I get condolences and more “comforting” words that do not comfort.  Sometimes I get stories from others about their struggles.  Whatever I receive, I feel  100% better about the outcome then when I pushed the feelings inside and bit my tongue.

So next time you’re talking to a newly wed couple, please watch your tongue.  The odds are they will not have to endure the issues I have, but you just never know.

-R

Categories: Emotions, Infertility | Tags: | Leave a comment

Love Flows

Today, when I woke, I knew the answer to my blood flow issue would be given.  My stomach was in knots and I was unable to eat prior to my appointment.  I was cautiously optimistic about a change in blood flow, but looking at how things have turned for me in the past, I wasn’t ready to accept the possibility of the results I wanted.

My husband sent me a text wishing good luck and assuring me that regardless of the results we would get through this.  That little text seemed to calm me as I sat on the examination table along side an ultrasound machine.  As soon as the tech began the procedure I heard a noticeable difference in the sounds coming from the machine.  A strong cadence reflected seen visible through blips on the screen.  The tech informed me that my left side (which was originally the side with the worst readings) was completely normal (a score below 3)! I was thrilled, I smiled with relief!  Finally, another appointment where good things were found!  If this side can move from 6.2 to below 3 then I have nothing to fear for the right (originally 3.6).

As she moved to reading the right side I knew things would be fine.  However, as the tech tried to get a reading my relief turned to fear as the strong cadence I heard earlier was a little erratic.  I asked why it had changed and the tech said that sometimes the right side is harder to “find” and that she would do several readings until she got it right.  After about 5 minutes she found the spot and came up with a reading just over 3 – 3.06 to be exact.

What does this mean?  Things are pretty much normal, and with continued acupuncture, baby aspirin, and lack of caffeine things will be perfect come time to transfer!  One hurdle dealt with!

In my journey to motherhood, the dedication and love that I have for the little person I’ve yet to meet, I have overcome one obstacle and plan on doing the same with the others lining my path.

Thanks to the love that flows from me, my husband, and those around us, we are moving in the right direction.

-R

Categories: Doppler Utrasound, Infertility, IVF | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Unreal

In approximately 5 weeks I will begin daily injections intended to stimulate my ovaries in an attempt to produce as many eggs as possible, have them retrieved while I sleep, place them in the hands of an embryologist who will fertilize and care for them in a way my uterus never could, and then transfer them back into my uterus made homey through various injections, patches, and pills.

It all seems so unreal.  My life has veered down a road I never expected and sometimes I wake from sleep uncertain of what is real or not.  Am I really struggling with infertility?  Do we really have to start an IVF cycle in hopes of having a baby of our own?  Am I really faced with multiple issues surrounding fertility?  Am I really almost 35 and motherless?

At times the moments in my life move forward in slow motion.  Hours feel like days, days feel like weeks, weeks like months.  The closer I get to the actual start of the IVF cycle, the slower the days seem.  I often feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning…the only difference is I’m not sure my gifts will appear.

Unreal as it seems, as difficult it is for me to realize the dreams I have are not yet reality, I know momentum and desire will carry me through this time and help me move on through to the other side.  And hopefully on that side will be ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes.

-R

Categories: Emotions, Infertility, IVF | Tags: , | Leave a comment

When Tomorrow Comes

When tomorrow comes and you’re not here, I wonder what I’ve done.

Have my actions forced your absence?  No daughter, no son.

My heart is heavy with mourning, for you cannot be found.

A challenge made for me to take, painful all around.

 

Months have come to pass, your voice not yet heard.

Though on the horizon I can see, soon to come, your first word.

Medical magicians mix potions, preparing for the war.

Battle scars are worth it, if only we should score.

 

In years, I pray, I’ll find you, sleeping in your bed.

Warmth escapes my heart and soul, shared through kisses on your head.

I’ll know it all was worth it, the waiting and the pain.

So when tomorrow comes, I will say, “With waiting comes the gain.”

______________________________________________________

I love you and don’t even know you.  I’m not even guaranteed you will ever come to me, but you will always be a part of me.  Something I tried so hard to achieve.

-R

 

Categories: Emotions, Infertility, IVF, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Knock On Wood

In approximately 2 weeks I will start my period…and for once I want it to come.  With the beginning of this new cycle our chance at building our family moves forward with promise and fear.  This is not the road I had envisioned, but it is one I am welcoming with an understanding that it IS the road we must travel in order to achieve our dreams.

As I wait for this process to begin (although I’m already doing treatments to help prepare my body), there are plenty of things for me to consider.  Each day I wonder if things will get easier, if my prayers will be answered.  I wonder how much money my medications are really going to cost, when will our bills for the appointments we’ve already had come in, and will I be able to pay for everything without taking out another loan.  I wonder why we’ve been handed this unfair hand, how we are going to handle the procedure (hormones suck), and the news (positive or negative).  I wonder if when I get a positive pregnancy test if I will really believe it.  I wonder if I get a negative, how I’ll recover. I wonder every day about a million things, and then I wonder some more.

I am the type of person who is afraid to feel or say things out loud, both positive or negative, for fear of jinxing myself.  There are times I am so certain that this will work I want to cry from happiness.  Yet, there are times when I just know that I will only be disappointed and I want to cry from a broken heart.  I’m afraid to speak these because either way, I don’t want to chance the outcomes on superstitions.

So, each day I say my prayers, look for positive things to fill my life, and knock on wood that the things I say will not influence the outcome of my life.

-R

 

 

Categories: Emotions, Infertility, IVF | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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