Archive for May, 2006

Throwing myself a pity party

May 30, 2006

I’m sad, I’m tired. I’m sick and tired of feeling sad and tired. I know most of you can relate to this, we all hit this bump in the road, at some point. How can we not? I am laying low waiting for it to pass. It usually does, but never fast enough for me.

C. and I have been at odds. For some couples infertility brings them closer, but I am guessing for most it at least strains the marriage. We all have different ways of coping. It feel rather disconnected from him right now, but then I feel rather disconnected from myself too.

I am finally, now facing the what if of this never working. What if I never have a child? What if I am never a mother? What if this what if becomes my reality? What then? I have geared my whole life towards this goal of motherhood. It was to be my full time job. I suddenly find myself unemployed in a matter of speaking. I dead ended my “real” career (OR nurse) to putter around in the family business in order to have a schedule compatible with motherhood in the near future. Now the near future has come and gone, so has my desire to be a nurse again and in another 1-2 years my father retires and then that job is over as well. What will I do then? I have no idea. I had never thought of a plan B for this because motherhood was a given. Well, I ASSumed it was. Never assume.

So, I am trying to come to grips not only with another failed IVF, the financial mess that the attempts so far have created and the dim prospects ahead. I am also trying to come to grips with the idea of redefining myself and my life if motherhood is not in the cards for me.

I have spoken about adoption at various junctures. We have not ruled it out. C. was never very excited about it and if we do pursue it, it will be 95% my job, just like IVF has been. So it is a matter of whether I can and / or want to summon up the energy to tackle something as challenging as the adoption process on my own as well. (Forgive me if, now and again, I wonder why I am married.) Parenting an adopted child appeals to me as it always has. Jumping through the hoops to get there with my current state of emptiness is hard to imagine. Our counselor suggests a year off to “Mourn” before embarking on the next challenge. The thing is, I don’t feel like I have that kind of time to spare.

Maybe the passing of a few more weeks will heal my heart enough to see this all in a new, fresh light. But for now I am really tired and I can’t think much beyond getting through the FET and the next failure that is sure to follow. (Yes, I might want to summon up a better attitude in the next few weeks!) Hope has been so cruel lately, that I have not invited her back to my house since her last nasty trick.

I want to wish you all well, but I know it’s a mixed bag out there. Some losses, some wins and some holding on to hope as best they can. That’s all we can do. Such a cliche . . . but take it one day at a time.

In my more mundane news: I dragged myself to the gym this morning and guess what? They are going out of business! I was so bummed about this. There are other gyms in town, but they are more expensive and also none of them are small and comfortable and women only type settings (while still being a “real” gym). Then later in the day I called to see if I could get into a pottery workshop that I wanted to take but did not sign up for sooner “in case IVF#2 worked!” and now it is full. I could really have used that escape from life and also the creative boost. Oh well, there goes that plan.

So, I cried. Sad, but true. These sorts of things make me cry right now. I feel like I am not allowed to have a break on anything fun. This is not really true, but from here in my pit of despair, it “feels” true.

Brief cat update: poor Oscar is still sick. Sneezing feline snot everywhere. I keep him isolated most of the time, but it is hard, he cries so pitifully. He must not feel as sick as he seems. When I let him out he runs full speed everywhere, sneezing all the way. I get the heebie jeebies when I allow my mind to imagine the germs all over my house. The vet promised they are not people affecting germs but I have my doubts. A germ is a germ is a virus in my book. Tomorrow is his last antibiotics, so I will call the vet again and see where we go from here if he is not better in the morning. Sigh.

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FET Schedule

May 26, 2006

This is mainly for my own reference. I would be curious to know from those who have done / are doing FET, how similar is this to your own protocol? Anything I should ask RE, before this starts, at my failed IVF#2 rehash appointment?

My schedule for FET is as follows:

May 22 – start BCP
June 6 – IVF#2 follow-up appointment
June 17 – start Lupron 10 units
June 21 – last BCP
June 26 – Call with any bleeding / cd1 for baseline bloodwork U/S
June 27 – Decrease Lupron to 5 units and start estradiol valerate (IM) every Tuesday and Friday
July 3 – E2 level
July 6 – E2 level and U/S to check EL (endometrial lining)
July 10 – E2 and U/S
July 12 – Start antbiotic, start PIO (.5cc), stop Lupron
July 13 – E2 level, PIO 1cc, start (dreaded) progest supps
July 15 – Start Medrol (for ICSI embies)
July 18 – Embryo (we have 2) thaw & transfer
Continue EV, PIO and progest supps until beta or beyond (preferrably beyond)
July 20 – Progesterone level check (P3 bloodwork)
July 27 – Beta

And the walls came a tumbling down

May 25, 2006

No more fears about the lost tears here. Last night there was a flood of them. God this all hurts so much. What do I hate most about IVF? Failing. That is the hardest part of all: the “ending up with nothing to show for your troubles” part of a failed cycle.

I feel like crap today. I have a kind of crying hangover I guess. Today my Dad turned 61 so I had to pull myself together for a birthday luncheon with the parents. I think I managed well enough. I dressed up which is unusual enough for me that it *probably* distracted them from noticing my puffy eyes. We had Japanese at a new restaurant. It was yummy. I should have ordered an umbrella drink, but didn’t.

Oscar, poor Oscar, is sick. He’s still sneezing, but not quite as often. The vet says it’s the feline respiratory viral thing that the vaccine was supposed to guard against. But when they are this small their immune systems are not built up enough to ward off all those multi-cat germs you get in a shelter setting. So he’s in isolation (So I don’t end up with four sneezing cats!) and on antibiotics. He is not very good at taking medicine! I have come up with a routine of hiding it in his food. The vet did not charge me for the second visit in two days. I like our new vet.

So ladies of bloglandia . . . I hope you are all well. I am doing the best I can, which is pretty well considering. It’s all any of us can do.

Oscar

May 24, 2006

I think we have finally settled on Oscar for the new kitten. I liked a few other names as well, or better, but C. vetoed them all. So Oscar it is. We had “fun” at the vet yesterday for his first check up. He jerked his leg away halfway through his shot and most of the vaccine went all over his fur and on the exam table. Then they gave him a second dose with half the amount. (Not very accurate but what can you do?) Then they gave him the worming medication and he promptly spit most of that all over the vet. Well, technically he did not “spit” he just shook his head so violently that the yellow liquid flew in all directions including the vets white jacket. Oh dear!

Then at 3am, poor C. was rudely awakened by kitten snot. Oscar sneezed in his face. (Gross, I know!) Then the poor cat spent the next three hours sneezing violently on and off. What the hell? I have no idea what this is about. I have to call this morning to ask whether this is some odd side effect or what. I have never seen a cat sneeze like this. It is a whole body sneeze. The poor thing. Plus my germ-aphobic self is freaking out about all the germs flying everywhere in my house. Yikes.

So that is the cat update.

As for IF updates: I am on BCP, started Monday. RE’s nurse has ordered meds and mailed the FET schedule. Both should arrive by end of this week.

Mood Update: Still sucks. Not quite as bad this morning as the previous week. Talked to counselor about inability to grieve/cry/etc. Concluded that maybe I can’t grieve because this cycle is not really over until we use up the embryos that are frozen. In my mind they are part of this cycle. Not sure if that is what is really going on, but it makes sense in a way.

Creativity update: I have been unable/unwilling/unmotivated to make pottery since Christmas. I miss it. It would do me good, but my creativity is kind of at an all time low right now. Last night I participated in a group project with my local potter’s group. It was good for me, if a little hard to be upbeat and social. The project is a wall mural of a city scene and each person was randomly assigned a section of a row home and told to decorate it however they chose. Then they all get put together. It came out really cool. It was pretty exciting to see it come together. I will have to post a photo when it’s all done. Our group is doing a gallery show in August and this piece will be displayed then. If it sells the money will go towards bringing a guest artist in to do a workshop for the group. We do one such workshop every year.

Also on the creativity front, I am looking into going away for a week before the FET business to go to a workshop myself. Last year I went to one in Tennessee and it did me a world of good and really jump started the creative areas of my brain. I am hoping I can still find a space at this late date (these things usually fill up pretty early, so we’ll see)

On the marriage front. Things are OK between C. and I these days. Kind of subdued and sad but not at all divided. We have a week’s vacation in June and I look forward to getting away together again. We plan to do something cheap and close to home since we overspent our budget in Key West and well . . . then there are the IVF / FET bills rolling in!

So sorry this is not a real feat in creative writing . . . but that is my life in a nutshell!

Thanks for everyone’s continued support as I dig myself out of this hole.

Nameless kitty

May 22, 2006

The poor kitty is still nameless. C. and I are not in synch when it comes to names. All my suggestions get vetoed and he just keeps repeating “Bob.” This cat just does not look like a Bob to me. I don’t think I can call him that. My favorite ideas are: Ringo (for his tail), George (as in curious), Oscar (for the Key West cat show cat) , Swiffer (because you can use him as a floor mop) and Blackjack. I also thought Jamal would be kind of funny, and Senor Gato would be cool but too awkward. C. says he can live with George or Oscar if he can’t have “Bob.”

So for now he is just “kitty” or “hey bud.”

Nina and Meg have look-a-like cats . . . what are yours named?

The other cats have surprised me in their adjustment. The mean cat took to him first, the scared-y cat is scared, and the youngest playful cat wants nothing to do with him. Sigh. So much for rationalizing that I needed to get a kitten so she would have a playmate. Our girls are named (in order as described) Maggie (13), Mischief (12) and Mollie (2). They are also all gray tigers/tabbies, Mollie has a little orange thrown in.

Enough cat talk. Thanks for all the name suggestions. I’ll have to pick one by tomorrow when I take him for a check up at the vet. Maybe the vet can name him.

In other news . . . there is none. AF arrived Saturday. Today is cd3. I start BCP’s this evening. The RE’s nurse is ordering estrogen injections for FET and mailing me a calendar of events. FET will be somewhere on or around July 18th. I am not “ready” for this, but I am forging ahead because I figure if I don’t, then come July I will regret it. The next time my clinic “cycles” is not until fall sometime. Then when the FET fails, I am not sure what’s next. Choices are: take a mortgage to throw more money in the IVF pit of doom, try donor sperm, adopt, give up and take nice vacations like those chic double income no kids type people. But, I am not sure I could find joy in that last option. So . . . we’ll see.

The mood thing still sucks. I am in a bit of a hole. I guess I’ll be patient with myself and give it some time. I have not tried my sad movie idea. Life has been busy and so I’ve been busy pasting a fake smile on. Just getting through the days saying “I’m fine.”

Sorry to all whose blogs I am behind on. I will catch up soon. I promise! I’ve read many but don’t comment because I can’t say encouraging things right now without feeling like a fake. I can say good luck . . . but for the most part I’ve temporarily lost my faith in both good and luck.

They’re stuck

May 19, 2006

My tears are stuck. I have not cried. I know I need to cry but I just can’t. I cried Mother’s Day and I cried Monday too, but Tuesday when I got my negative results, I did not cry. I was (and am) in this numb auto pilot mode. “I’m fine” I say, when anybody asks. I even laugh and joke about how frustrating this all is. You can ask this fellow blogger, the only one I’ve met IRL. She called to check on me Tuesday which was very sweet. Thanks Leggy. I must have seemed absurdly chipper during that phone call. I think the blocked tears might have to do with being afraid that they won’t stop if I let them start.

If I have not cried by Sunday, then I am renting the saddest movie I can find and we’ll see if that helps. I am waiting for the dam to break and it is making me nervous. I’m afraid it will catch me off guard.

C. seems to be coping. On the surface. His work is very busy right now so he does not have that kind of dreadful spare time when you dwell on pain. He is frustrated, as am I. He is hurting, I am sure, but he deals by trying to fix my pain instead. So . . .

I got that kitten. C. caved and said I could, so I ran right over to the Humane Society. It is crazy, because that makes FOUR. No one needs FOUR cats, least of all us. We have a small-ish house. But it is very hard to watch a kitten play and not smile. I’d like to run a “name the kitten contest”, if I can only find the camera. (Lindy you can’t play if you abhor cats! I am shocked!) (You do know I am kidding?)

He is 10 weeks old, black and white “tuxedo” markings with a tiny, thin ring of white near the tip of his jet black tail. His shelter name was Oreo, but we think that is too sissy for a boy. C. wants to call him Bob the Cat. Help! I need a better name than that! Our other three are girls: Maggie, Mischief, and Mollie. (His, hers and ours) So in defense of all the “M” names, 2/3 were named before we met. They are all black and tan tigers too. Three clone cats with “M” names.

On to more “important” topics: We think we’ll do a FET in July (next available cycle). We’ll see if AF cooperates and whether my psyche can handle it. Stay tuned.

Other than that, I am at a loss for blogging topics. Or at least, I am at a loss for finding the will to tackle them. So here’s a short-ish, lame-ish post just to let you all know I am still here and to thank you for your kind comments. I can’t come up with the words to express the depth of my gratitude.

Crushed

May 16, 2006

Not much to say after all.

It looks like IVF#2 failed.

I am stunned.

I really thought this was it. The embryos looked so good. My stress level was lower than any previous cycle, etc. I was cautiously optimistic and all that other psychobabble bullshit that they tell you matters so much. Most of all this was our last chance, financially, at a fresh cycle. The savings accounts are empty now. I wish to god we had not wasted all that time and money on Clo*mid, Repo*nex and IUI’s. They did not test for and find C.’s antibodies until we got to IVF. The money wasted on all the previous treatments would have paid for one more shot at IVF, not to mention the two additional years of advancing “advanced maternal age.”

I am not sure what is next for us. I guess we’ll do FET since we have two frozen, but I don’t feel too excited about that right now. The discouraging thaw statistics are not reassuring right now, never mind the actual pregnancy success statistics of FET. Adoption was always our next step but honestly I don’t think I can endure a home study right now, not to mention the waiting, the rejection by birth mothers, etc. Then there is the fact that C. and I can’t agree on international versus
domestic.

Hope’s funeral is scheduled for 4pm this afternoon, when they call with the “official” negative beta. Nurse M. was kind enough to acknowledge the loss now. Those 99.9% accurate tests are pretty good at 9dp5dt.

I have an overwhelming urge to get a kitten. We have three lovely cats, but the humor and energy of a kitten in the house would be so good right now. C. feels so badly that he even agreed to let me get one if I really feel that strongly about it. His limit has always been three. (He scoops the poop.) He’s giving in to me because he feels that sorry.

I feel ready to give up. I am pretty sure that that is just what I feel in the moment, in this pain of another failed cycle. I imagine I will want to keep trying at some point in the future. But right now I don’t see much point in banging my head against the proverbial wall.

It hurts too much.

It may even hurt more than being childless.

Well, no need to ramble on here. It’s over, I feel utterly crushed, and there’s nothing to do but wait for the pain to dull enough to move forward again. I called off “sick.” I’m off to spend the day hiding under the covers. I can’t even cry. The tears will come, but right now they are stuck in the shock of it all.

C. hugged me before he went to work and said “this is not the end.” I hope he is right.

I so wish I had happy news to post just this once. I really thought this time would be different.

Silly me.

5dp5dt: Here comes that sinking feeling

May 12, 2006

I woke up this morning all out of sorts. This was probably the result of a night full of fretful dreams. The worry does not stop when I sleep. Oh no. I think it intensifies.

I have no basis for this feeling other than past experience. That feeling of “It didn’t work, again.” I hope my feeling is wrong.

The weekend will be tough, but busy enough to go by relatively quickly. (I hope.) Monday will be the killer day. If I manage not to POAS on Monday then I’ll really be amazed. I just hope (like we all do) that I don’t see any red before my beta on Tuesday. At least let me have that much.

I hope that my fellow ladies in waiting are doing all right. I hope that my friends with recent losses and disappointments are on the mend, one day at a time. And, I hope that my friends with happy news are able to allow themselves to soak it in and enjoy.

A speck of dust on a drop of water

May 10, 2006

Well, I’ve struggled with what to blog about these past few days. It’s not so much that I have nothing to say as that I can’t organize my thoughts well enough to say it! I’m also having trouble sitting still. Bedrest is not my favorite thing and since it was extended with all the bladder trauma, I was very antsy by the time I got to the “real” post transfer bedrest. I was not officially on bedrest for the bladder scenario, it’s just that you can’t really go very far tethered to a pee bag. By the second day of my “real” bedrest, bedrest included a trip to the grocery store to replenish all the junk food I was appeasing myself with!

One thought that keeps running through my mind is the line in my post title. A speck of dust on a drop of water. After my transfer (before I knew I was peeing blood) I was all worried about what effect all my coughing and sneezing would have on the embryos. My RE used that analogy to describe the size and stickiness of a blast. They don’t really float free in there, they stick on right away (which is obviously not the same as implanting). For the more science minded, it has to do with surface tension. What really struck me about this analogy was the size illustration. A blastocyst is so tiny. Life starts from just two tiny cells. That just blows my mind when I stop to think about it. All this fuss, worry, hope . . . based on something the size of the point from a medium ball point pen. All the photos of blastocysts are enlarged, obviously, and I’ve kind of come to think of it as more of a dime sized entity. But it is really more like a speck of dust. Amazing.

We all want to feel early symptoms and “feel” pregnant . . . but, is it any wonder we don’t feel much of anything this early on? I find the so-called two week wait* to be more of a let down than a relief. I mean, yes, the appointments, the wandings, the retrieval and transfer, and some of the drugs are behind you, but now what? After all the frenzy of “stuff to do” there is this huge void. Now all the “stuff to do” is left up to this tiny speck of an embryo (or two or three). How scary is that for a control freak like me??

So, I am just laying low here, trying to think happy hosting thoughts. Hoping beyond hope that my guest(s)decide to make themself(ves) at home for the next 9 months or so.

The other thing that the RE said to us on the day of transfer that has stuck with me is this: If it is going to, the embryo(s) will implant in the next 48 hours.** That is a big if, no? But what strikes me about that fact is that right now, I already either am or am not pregnant. It’s already succeeded or failed. It’s just that I don’t know which it is yet. Oh, ya, and then there’s the bit about how if it has “succeeded” we still have countless hurdles to jump before we have real success. As in a “take home baby.”*** But let’s not go there yet.

So, my only early pregnancy “symptom” so far is an inexplicable urge to knit tiny sweaters. I have not given in to this urge due to my new found superstitious ideas.

I will conclude this ramble with the only two concrete cycle related bits of news I have.

a) We have two very nice blasts on ice. The rest stopped growing.

b) Yesterday’s progesterone level came in at 26.41. I am tempted (but too scared) to stop the progest supps. I really think it’s overkill to do injections AND suppositories. But I’ll do whatever they tell me in case it helps.

* with 5 day transfers it’s really a 9 day wait not a 2 week wait for beta
** with 5 day transfers this is true because the embryo is already a blastocyst
about ready to “hatch”
***I find the terms “live birth” and / or “take home baby rate” to be so . . . well . . . disturbing!

Fingers Crossed!

May 7, 2006

Three beautiful embies have found their new home inside of me! They were a much better quality than last time and we actually have an extra two or three “worth” freezing. (They told us this before we told them we wanted to freeze no matter what the quality.) I’ll get frosty details tomorrow.

Feeling “hopeful.” Things look better than last time and that has to be good.

Back to bedrest before C. catches me!!

Now the wait begins.

Thanks for all the well wishes!