Emotions

Kinship

The past month I’ve found myself watching “Giuliana and Bill“.  And usually as I watch, trying to choke back tears, I wonder why it is I subject myself to a show that reminds me of our struggles, our loss, and brings to the surface a range of emotions that I’m not hormonally equipped to deal with.

I don’t know for certain, but I think it’s because I feel an affinity, a kinship, to this couple.  I understand the pain, disappointment, hope, and love that they have shared (this is also true of my friends who have/continue to struggle and those who share their stories via blogs like mine).  It is hard to put into words, but there is a connection weaved through struggle that binds those of us who struggle with infertility.

Their struggles remind me that I am not alone and that I am stronger than I believe myself to be.

Their success gives me hope.

And as odd as this may sound, I was excited to see that they were having a baby.  A couple I never met, who has faced so many struggles, is finally able to hold their dream in arm gives me cause to smile.  It is uncomfortable to see others struggle, and my thoughts and prayers begin to include others who trudge down the same road I am traveling.  So hearing somebody who has been through the muck finally has good news allows a little weight to lift from my heart.  And it doesn’t matter if I know them or not.

What bothers me each and every time I watch the show is how unfair infertility really is.  It does not discriminate, affecting all races and socioeconomic levels.  And while Giuliana and Bill would have the financial means to undergo as many trials as age and science allow, a huge portion of those who need ART are not in a financial place to do so.  Dreams die because money inhibits moving forward.  We were lucky to have family and friends willing to help out financially.  But even so, our credit cards have been hit and our savings depleted.  If this round does not work, I am not sure when we will be able to try again.  It is not fair that this human right has been taken from us, and in an attempt to take it back we have to pay an astronomical price.  There is no haggling, no deals.  Those with the ability to answer our prayers hold the purse strings.  I hope that someday I am able to do something to help others in this position; provide the chance to try to build their families.

I am grateful that Giuliana and Bill have shared their story with the world.  Unfortunately, struggling with infertility is often a silent and isolated struggle.  I know first hand that the more you speak about it the easier (for lack of a better word) it gets.  For bringing awareness to the struggles those of us with infertility face, thank you Giuliana and Bill.  You will forever hold a special place in my heart for bringing this struggle front and center.  Maybe someday, with people like you, me, and all those who speak out, we  can change things so that everybody is given the opportunity to have the family they dream of.

-R

Categories: Emotions, Frozen Embryo Transfer, Infertility, IVF | 2 Comments

It’s Official

This morning marked the official start to our FET cycle.  Baseline blood work (including a complete blood count) and ultrasound began my day.  My lining was nice and thin, my estradoil at 13, and my ovaries silent.  All news that provided relief, because despite how frequently I go through these “baseline tests” I always get nervous.

Tonight I find myself in emotional limbo.  I am neither happy nor sad that this FET cycle has begun.  I find that, like before my fresh cycle, I find myself feeling a little flat.  It’s difficult to put together the words capable of explaining how I feel.  Underneath my anxiety, excitement, and happiness is a lot of fear.  Our fresh cycle brought good news that ended in something I never truly believed would happen…that pain still lingers and encourages more fear than I had in our previous cycle.  Every emotion that I had in our fresh cycle has resurfaced tenfold.

I am hopeful that our preparations will lead to a family, but I was before.  So in order to cope, to make it through the day, I think my brain has sort of  “turned off” the reality of what is happening.  The fact that we have to take this road continues to feel like a distant dream and less like an all too present reality.

With hope and fear in my heart, we move forward and place our possibilities in the capable hands of the RE and his team.  I pray that come Christmas I will have the gift I’ve waited for since I was a young girl.

-R

 

Categories: Emotions, Frozen Embryo Transfer, Infertility | 2 Comments

It Is Okay to Cry

The past few weeks have been a challenge…and more so the past few days.

Sometimes something as trivial as a stomach bug can bring you to your knees; particularly when it comes on the heals of a month of  hormone replacement and a phone call from the RE’s office saying they had bad news.  Wednesday night brought trick-or-treaters and then night sweats, nausea, and vomiting (the nausea continues as I type, 6 days later, though to a lesser degree).   Then Friday afternoon I received a call from my RE’s office stating that they had bad news and we wouldn’t be able to get in for our FET before the close of the embryology lab in December.

WHAT?

I told the nurse that there had to be a mistake because we changed surgery dates and medication protocols to ensure the transfer would be complete before the end of the year AND would be completed by my RE (not one of the others who work in the office).  She told me she would double check with the RE and call back on Monday.

So on top of untouchable nausea (nothing seems to help), I was anxious about the fact that our “perfectly planned” cycle was a possible no-go.  What would this mean for our chances?

Early Saturday morning I woke to a wicked sore throat; partnering with my nausea.  I cried many times this weekend, mostly because I didn’t know what else to do.   I felt, and continue to feel, week, lost, confused, confined, afraid.  I question how I’ll make it through all of this.  My body, mind, and heart are tired.  I fear the worst, and hope for the best.  And on top of all this personal turmoil, work has me stretched in a million directions.

With my husband in Texas for work, I was dreading the phone call from my RE’s office on Monday.  Simply for fear that what was reported on Friday would remain true.  But my fears were for not, as the call on Monday provided me with a tentative transfer date and a plan to move forward.  Relief has settled and now comes a whirlwind of appointments, medications, and finally the transfer I’ve waited for since having our miscarriage.  I pray this time all our preparations will yield the results I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl.

The next 4 weeks will be a challenge, my emotions will likely get the best of me.  But I’ve learned that it is okay to cry.  And without doubt, I will.

-R

Categories: Emotions, Frozen Embryo Transfer, Infertility | Leave a comment

Progesterone Start

Tonight starts 7 days of oral progesterone. The final step in clearing the irregular lining from my uterus and replacing it with a happy, healthy lining capable of welcoming new life. This also marks the the end of our waiting, and the start of preparation for our FET. Acupuncture starts in 2 1/2 weeks, consent forms need signed, calendars filled with appointments, and another medication regimen will begin.

I am ready for this to move forward, and more so to get the news I have waited for my whole life.

-R

Categories: Emotions, Hysteroscopy with D&C, Infertility | Tags: | 1 Comment

I May Just Be Loosing My Mind

Since starting Estrace after my D & C it has become increasingly clear that my “word-finder”has gone into hibernation! I find my self stopped in mid sentence with no idea where to go. Names and words slid from my tongue before I am able to articulate them and seconds (that feel like minutes) pass before I can regroup and figure out what I was saying and finish my thought. Not good for a teacher during parent teacher conferences! My brain hurts from trying to sound like I know what I am doing for the past 12 hours!

Thankfully just two more weeks!

-R

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

Overwhelmed

As I sat in the RE clinic listening to the nurse go over my medical history, procedural information, and consent forms I was flooded with a an overwhelming number of emotions.  The reality of our loss resurfaced and the inequity of our situation settled in my stomach.  I was angry, and sad, discouraged, and hopeful.  Every step of this process reminds me of the one thing we don’t have – a baby of our own.  And though I am moving forward, I can’t help but struggle with the fact that nothing has been easy in this journey.  It seems once I’ve tackled one battle another looms on the horizon.

My hopes are that the hysteroscopy with  D&C next week, followed by 28 days of intense hormone therapy, will prep my body for 9 months of change.   I felt fine with the decision when we made it, and I will do anything within my means necessary to make this happen, but after my pre-op consults I am finding myself nervous, or fearful, of what could be found.  My track record has not proven smooth.  I keep telling myself this is procedure is more preventative then corrective, but that uncertainty is still there.

So as begin to prep for my surgery, order my medications, and prepare myself for this FET cycle I will likely continue to feel overwhelmed.  But I look towards the possibilities, and that moves me forward each day.  I prayed for the gift of life for my birthday…I will do the same this December for Christmas.

-R

Categories: Donations, Emotions, Hysteroscopy with D&C, Infertility, Procedures | Leave a comment

The Quiet

The past few weeks have been fairly uneventful.  There is a lot of waiting for answers to questions that can’t be addressed until October.  Although I am eager to get this FET started, I realize there is a lot that has to happen next month in order to prep my body for the transfer.  However, when I got an email from my IVF nurse stating that she was uncertain if we would be able to do the FET before the labs close for the holidays my stomach lurched.  I’ve waited long enough to start  my family, and waiting until the end of January for our FET simply adds to the injustice of infertility.

Today I responded to the email and was informed that the labs are closed from December 20 – January 2nd and in order to do the FET before the labs close they have to start my cycle before November 30th.  This may not be possible.  I will wait for another day or two to hear back from the nurse as she works with my RE to come up with a tentative plan in hopes of getting us in before the holidays.  I pray they can work my cycles to make it work.

In all the waiting and prepping I have to remember that there is a scientific method to the all this madness.  My body will have time to build a beautiful lining and I will be in the best possible situation for a successful FET.  The wait will also provide us with a little extra time to come up with the$6000 necessary for meds, acupuncture, and the FET cycle.  Despite knowing all of this, it is hard to wait…and sometimes knowing how long the wait is only makes the quiet just as difficult as the storm.

-R

Categories: Emotions, Frozen Embryo Transfer, Infertility, Procedures | 2 Comments

I Wasn’t Prepared

Days have passed and still it doesn’t seem real.

A little over 2 weeks ago I was so excited to see two faint pink lines that I thought for certain my life was finally turning directions.  A few days later the positive line wasn’t getting any darker and my gut told me something was wrong.  Nearly a week after the first positive the news of our inevitable early pregnancy loss was given while I was driving home.   This pregnancy was not viable.  Likely due to an abnormality that stopped its development days after implanting.  And no matter how much my gut told me something was wrong, I wasn’t ready to hear it.  I am still not ready to hear it.

I dream that the tests were wrong and that in a little less than 8 months this bad dream will end.  But, today I began to spot.  My period will arrive within the next day or two and with it that life that once grew inside, even for such a short period of time, will be lost…gone forever.

My heart is heavy and my desire to do anything is gone.  It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning, to go to work, to eat, to pretend my dream hasn’t been stolen.  There are a million “What-Ifs” running through my head.  And I often find myself on the verge of tears…and most of the time I’m unable to stop them.

Mornings are particularly difficult for me.  I have a constant reminder of our loss when I wake to the lack of progesterone injections.  And it’s hard for me to think of anything other than what could have been.

This lot in life I’ve been handed is wildly unfair.  Loss is difficult for all women, whether they deal with infertility or not.  But for women who do not have the issues my husband and I do, trying again can happen whenever you are ready.  That is not the case for us.  In order for us to try we will have to come up with another $6,000 and go through 6-8 weeks of preparations and procedures for one shot at a frozen embryo transfer (thank God I had plenty of embryos we could freeze for later use).  And as with this last cycle, no guarantee.

I’m in a weird place, and not sure how long it will take to grieve.  I’m not ready for phone calls.  It’s too hard to talk.

I realize there is potential for life in my frozen embryos.  And I’m thankful for that.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t need time to work through the one situation I wasn’t prepared for…pregnancy with no baby in the end.

-R

Categories: Early Pregnancy Loss, Emotions, Infertility, IVF, My History | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Progesterone Woe’s

The two-week wait is dreadful.

Every twinge and cramp has you thinking in extremes.  Implantation vs. premenstrual cramping?  Emotions run high.  And every single day you question if this whole journey has worked and how you will cope if it hasn’t.

Blood work continues.  Hormone levels are measured.  And sometimes you get a call like the one I received this afternoon.  Unfortunately my progesterone levels have dropped DRAMATICALLY since our transfer.  And when I say dramatically I mean by over 150 points.  Granted, my levels were extremely high at the time of transfer, but they are now below 20 and I should be at twenty or higher.

The game plan is to increase my dosage of progesterone and do a recheck on Thursday.

The excitement of our stellar embryos now leading to low progesterone has knocked the wind out of my sails.  What once was cautious optimism is now replaced with fear.  I know that we can deal with the progesterone levels via medication.  But what caused this to happen?  Does it matter?

I pray my progesterone woe’s will not continue and on Thursday I get not only good news regarding that level, but also a positive result on the HCG Beta test.

-R

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

Transfer

August 7, 2012

The morning arrived with yet another injection of progesterone. There is a bit of a learning curve here, but despite sleepy eyes and nerves, my husband has yet to miss. His concern for giving the injection properly helps calm my fears. I know I’m in good hands even though the shots themselves suck.

A little after 9 we grabbed our things and headed out for the planned transfer with the realization that we may not be able to go through with it. Before a decision could be made a few tests needed to be completed. Ultrasounds indicated that I do have mild ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS). The medication given to help prevent did it’s job and allowed my body time to begin healing. The RE agreed to allow transfer but would allow only one embryo to be transferred. When we started this journey I wanted to transfer two. I’m paying a lot of money and putting in a lot of time and emotion into something that was (and continues to be) unpredictable and in turn wanted the best odds of having at least ONE baby come from it.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about transferring only one. And it scares me. What if the wrong embryo was transferred? What if it doesn’t stick? What if we have to go through this again? Transferring only one scares me more than the complications of two. But I understand the decision and don’t want to put myself, and potentially my baby, at risk. So with a little relief that we could continue with a fresh transfer, we headed downstairs to prep for the big moment.

A decade of dreams found themselves at pause in the handful of moments the embryologist shared the positive outcome of our embryo development. In that instant I was unable to hold back tears of joy and anticipation. So much in my life has come down to the single, perfect embryo selected for transfer and my resolve found representation through tears. One perfect 5-day blast (rated 5AA) was to be transferred within the hour. And with it, the hopes of a new journey.

This microscopic grouping of cells holds within it the potential to build our family. And although it was nurtured in a lab, nothing but love went into making it.

-R

Categories: Emotions, ICSI, Infertility, IVF, OHSS, Procedures, Transfer | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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