Asshat

CD12 Monitoring Appointment, Cycle 8

I was up at the crack of dawn this morning showering so I could go to acupuncture before this appointment. I showed up early with raspberry preserves for everyone, both at the acupuncture office and for my RE’s office.

Im sitting at the clinic using their computers to write this post. After 4 days off Clomid and on Estrace my numbers are better, I’m not sure they are good enough but there is definite improvement and this cycle may not be lost.

E2 149.8, FSH is 23.2, LH is 13.9. 1 follicle on the right side measuring 9.4.

The E2 is closer to where it should be, my FHS is more than 10 points lower so that’s a big improvement in 4 days, ideally though it’s not quite low enough, in my non professional, unmedically trained opinion. Because my FSH has been so high, my LH is also artificially elevated. So I’m waiting now. To see what happens next.

The plus side of this is for the first time since last Monday, I’m pretty calm. We also get to see my little Peanutgirl today so that’s a very happy thing. I’ve missed her a lot since she’s been in Hong Kong for the last 2 weeks. It feels like forever.

We will do some more work in the yard, Husband is building some kind of a fountain so I cant wait to see how that turns out. Our Neighborhood 4th of July block party is tonight. They have a fireworks show, a kids bike parade, a live band, dancing, face painting, pony rides the whole place comes out for it.

Good things. Things to look forward to and be thankful for.

Sorry I have been an asshat this week. Seriously. I’m sorry. My approach was abrasive.

Just spoke to the Dr. He says continue Estrace Monitor again on July 3rd.

My RE is going to some big IVF convention in Turkey for 3 days, and will be back on July 5th. He expects that if I get a retrieval it will be that day. When he was in China last month, I’m pretty sure my retrieval was also his first day back. I have no idea when this man sleeps. Seriously.

As an aside for everyone who comments on my controversy post, thank you for your input your opinions your thoughts support and even though I was abrasive in my approach, your kindness. I really enjoy being part of this community, even though it’s a club no one really wants to belong to. I’ve met some of the brightest most talented writers, kindest women and most genuine people even virtually than I ever expected.

I hope you all do something fun that’s NOT fertility related this weekend!

Wrecking Ball

After yesterday’s soapbox rant where I seem to have hurt some people’s feelings, I wanted to take a moment to apologize for my abrasive approach for a topic that his highly sensitive to this community. I am sorry. I don’t know how else to discuss it except head on.

I still want better for all of you. And I still want you to give FB or whatever less power over your feelings.

Some of the comments that came from the post were so supportive and so kind, and so incredibly appreciated. Thank you.

To be crystal clear, infertility sucks. Period. Exclamation point. Elvis has left the building. No matter what your age, diagnosis or circumstances are.

After 2 days of feeling like I’ve been flying apart, I feel better today. Yesterday was one big emotional train wreck and I made the decision to go to bed at about 9pm with as little interaction between me and other humans as possible. Again, I lay there for a long time trying to blank out, and finally fell asleep. One of the recurring themes has been that pretty much everyone knows that hope and faith are important, but no one really knows where to get them, keep them and find more of them.

If anyone does know, please tell me. PLEASE!

In the meanwhile I am a wrecking ball. Psht. Like you haven’t figured that out by now.

Sigh. Another blogger, whose feelings I am absolutely positive I hurt, sent me a book. A gift I didn’t open until this morning, because I thought Amazon was just sending me more copies of another book I ordered ( they have sent 3 copies so far) which if anyone was wondering made me feel like even more of a dick. A gift, for no other reason than because she’s amazing. I admire her, now SHE is brave and strong and someone who I wish I was more like, Daryl sent me a book that she chose herself, and as someone who works with kids, its knowledge I appreciate being privy to, a book called“Whole Child Whole Parent”  It’s a book I wouldn’t have chosen on my own but its a book I will read and relish its sights. And I thank Daryl for 1. sending it to me and 2. for her intention which I am sure is clean and pure and amazing. The same way I see her.

Lets talk about her for a moment. I love her bravery. Her quiet strength. Her ability to be articulate herself without hurting anyone else. I wholly admire her, and I wish/pray for some of her strength and bravery every day. So after a post that I am sure hurt her, I want to apologize. With a song that’s not nearly hardcore or dark enough for her, but a song that talks about the redemption we all wish for through this journey.

As much as I love Springsteen, he will never be the same without Clarence Clemons. RIP Mr. Bigman.

Controversy

I hate the term “bump” and wish we, as an English-speaking people would strike it from our lexicon. While I’m at it I also hate the term “hubby”, “preggo” and “fur baby” and many others. I have dogs. I love them. They are not my babies. I also have a husband who I also love, and if I ever call him hubby please feel free to punch me in the face. I am not now nor will I ever be “preggo”. Because it’s a freaking canned spaghetti sauce for the love of all that is holy.

I’m probably a little raw to be writing this today but I’m in a fuck it mood.

There are things about the online IF community that really bother me.

1. That some of you call yourselves infertile because you started trying 6 months ago and weren’t pregnant in the first month you wanted to be. The definition of infertility does not include you. I’m sorry.

2. That people have such a fit over pregnancy announcements. Yes it hurts. Quit bitching about it. Everyone else’s lives should be put on hold because you are having trouble conceiving? Get over yourselves.

On a kinder note, how can you possibly expect to have a grace bestowed upon you when you resent or have envy at someone else? I do not understand this thinking. Yes, it stings. Sometimes I have flashes of jealousy but actually letting it ruin my day? No. Its past time we put on our big girl panties take it on the chin and actually open our hearts to the new life they are beginning, weather or not we perceive them or judge them as deserving. If it’s really that awful for you, terminate your Facebook account and don’t look back. Become a hermit, let it define you, lay down and get comfortable in your misery. Actually don’t do any of those things, take your power back. Don’t let some unknowing person take your strength or your compassion for others.

3. That people avoid the mall because they don’t want to see other pregnant women. See bullet two.

I know that this post does not show the compassion or empathy that some of you deserve. I know it does not change how long some of you have been trying. But here’s the real truth. Most of you are barely in your 30’s or are in your early 30’s. You have at least another 10 years to keep trying. Trust me when I tell you as a 44-year-old woman, my time is fucking short. This isn’t what I wanted for myself, it isn’t ever where I thought Id wind up. But it’s where I’m at. Every month I face some new ugly surprise that makes continuing down this path scarier and scarier. Every month that’s failed costs me roughly 3k plus, and that doesn’t include meds. I have 2 blasts, that it’s taken me 7 months to make. The truth is I need 5-6 so that I can PGD testing them to make sure there are no chromosomal abnormalities. Statistically, the chances are of the 5 or 6 that are tested, maybe 1 will be normal or maybe none. If there is 1 that is normal and transferred, there is no guarantee that will become a live birth. Stare that in the face for a while. Because those are the cold hard facts of my situation.

My other choice is to carry on. To keep trying, to try to make light where I can, because no matter how this ends, it will not define my life or who I am as a person.

I didn’t want to be an old mom, but if I am given the opportunity to be one, I will be. People say… “well just adopt then”.. only no one wants to give a child to a family where there is someone who is over 50. My husband will be 50 in October. So that’s out. Fostering? Same thing.

This is my only option, aside from Donor Eggs which will mean having to find someone, and it costing another 30k. It’s still on the table but its a last resort for me.

I do not have the ebb and flow of even normal IVF cycles. I do not have the comfort of the same thing happening month after month.

I read so much misery and despair in your blogs. I see so many women sad and getting used to that misery. I want you to want better for yourselves. I want you to open yourselves to the grace of being happy for others who are receiving the gift you want so much.

In my 20’s I miscarried at 5 months. I know about loss. In hindsight though I was married at the time to an abusive alcoholic so it was probably the best thing for all of us. But it took me 2 years to get past it. And every year on the date of my miscarriage I count its age and wonder what that child would have been like and how different my life would have been.

I can’t change any of this. I can’t wish for things to be different, for me to be younger, for my life to have turned out differently, because it won’t. This is my reality. Its hard. In fact its the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Some of you have called me brave. I’m not. I’m terrified, I am scared out of my wits. To be completely honest after yesterday appointment, I did some writing on a project I hope will turn into a new job, talked to a friend for a few minutes and went to bed. At 7pm. When my husband got home around 9:30, I was still awake, but I didn’t talk to him about it, I just lay there with the covers over my head and tried not to think. Tried to numb the overwhelming feelings of fear. I eventually went to sleep, but “brave?” no.

When I got up this morning, I hoped Id feel better. I don’t. I’m still scared, still afraid. Still don’t know what is going to happen this cycle or next or the one after that. What I do know is I will face it, keep trying to move forward, fight my tendencies to isolate and keep trying. With or without children I am determined to try to find a way to make my life meaningful.

If I have alienated you I am sorry. it’s not my intention. There are times though with the points of view in this community are very one-sided, and I think for the sake of an open honest discussion you have to hear both sides.

If you take issue with anything I’ve said here please feel free to comment. I welcome opposing opinions and challenging questions.

And thank you for taking the time to read my ranty post.

Faith

CD 8 Update

E2 was 40.9 still way too low. FSH was 34.1, way too high for any follicles to grow, LH 15.2 also not good, because it means I’m nearing my LH surge so I will soon ovulate whatever is in there. Or not. I don’t know what happens to immature eggs when you ovulate.

1 follicle now on the right side, 4.5mm the 2 on my left side have disappeared.

Its official, this month is even worse than last months cycle. I’ve been told to stop Clomid, start Estrace, and to monitor again on Day 12. Which is Saturday.

A high FSH for someone cycling as long as me is anything between 20 and 30, my lowest on day 8 was 7, the highest is 34 which was today. If your E2 is too low, and your FSH is too high, no follicles will grow.

I’ve tried to keep a good attitude today, tried to keep my chin up, because after this appointment I had a job interview for almost 3 hours.

I’m home now, it’s settling in and I’m tired, and sad. I know that things can still turn around but as usual, I lack faith. Sometimes I think lacking faith is a character flaw, that it makes me less of a person. But yeah I said it. I still and always really struggle with faith.

Dr Yelian said not to get too upset about it, but he is an eternal optimist. Something I love about him, but don’t have faith in. Because on some level I don’t believe his optimism applies to me. Where does one get faith? I even have a bracelet with that word on it, to remind me, but Id really like to know where faith comes from and where I can get some more.

So this months “new” thing is a new drug, another hormone something else to make me moody and crazy and weepy. Awesome. I’m looking forward to it.

 

 

Changes

Its 1:12 pm and I’ve been up since before 6. I have been to 4 meetings, acupuncture, made innumerable phone calls, scheduled the painter, the stone sealer guys and the gardner.

Last week we made 2 admissions to family. 1. was to DH sister, who we told about our IVF efforts. She said “Good, its past time you had your own” she also asked to see my embryo pictures and asked why we had waited so long. When I explained to her about Emily and so on, she got teary and said “you shouldn’t have wasted so much time, we would have evolved, things would have changed and a new baby brings so much happiness” To which I started crying. Finally. FINALLY some acceptance where I least expected it. To be truthful it made it so much sweeter. To think, after all this time they think enough of me to support me being someones mom. You have no idea how major this is for me.

We also told my sister-in-law, my younger brothers wife,  who said she would read what I’ve written, but seemed to reserve judgement.

We will see now what happens. Who will and who wont be here for us when the time comes.

Tomorrow is my day 8 monitoring. We will see if anything has grown since day 1/2 and it will tell me more about where we go from here this cycle. As I said before. I’ve decided to embrace the crazy and just let my cycles be what they will. I can’t make it different so I continue to do visualizations of perfect follicles perfect embryos perfect health and a perfectly happy body.

My acupuncture asked me today how much weight I’ve lost. It’s close to 70 pounds. I’m embarrassed to admit that but it makes my chances betters so ok. I will admit it. I’ve gone from a plus size 22 to a regular size 16. Now I just need to lose like another 50 to 60 pounds and for someone 5’8″ I should be in the size 6-8 range.

Whats funny is no one loses weight on the drugs I’ve been on. No one loses weight on Clomid. Everyone of a normal size gains 15 pounds or so. So Even though Im not where I want to be, it’s a good place from where I started from and in all likelihood Id lose another 10 pounds if I stopped the drugs altogether.

I’ve avoided my opinions about FB pregnancy announcements and seeing bumps everywhere. I’ve avoided it on purpose because my opinion is likely to be controversial in the IF/ART community. I will address it in another post. At some other time.

Anyhow. I’m good. Been listening to the visualizations, doing yoga, working in the yard and trying to keep myself busy. Tomorrow is not the end all be all, but it will tell me more about this cycle.

Embrace the crazy is my new mantra. Embrace all the changes, the possibility and the nuttiness that have been my cycles. Forgive myself and move on to the next one. Let it all go, don’t let them stack up. It does nothing but hurt you.

50 Shades

For a few months now I’ve been hearing about this “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy of books, which have flown off the shelves and is now in pre-production to be made into a movie, rumored to be directed by Angelina Jolie. Que giant eye roll. Seriously? 6 kids and you want to produce that? Really? Ok then, Ive questioned her judgement for a long time.

Everyone and their idiot brother has done an article or a segment on how “these books are changing marriages everywhere!”

These books started as Twilight Fan Fiction, which should have told me already that they would be horrible and after seeing middle aged women’s reaction to the whole Twilight thing, I have to admit, I was embarrassed for my gender.

I read one of the Twilight books because my stepdaughter wanted to read them, and I was appalled by the poor writing, the stupid teenaged angsty plot and the general lack of good decision-making. But ok, who am I to tell someone not to read something so she read them. All of them. Shes also seen the movies. When I rent them for her she makes me leave the room because she knows I will make fun of them. Somewhere toward the middle of the movie she comes to get me and we make fun of them together.

My personal reading tastes tend to lean more toward history and classics and though I enjoy an occasional chick lit kind of book it’s not usually my kind of thing.

These books are straight up Mommy Porn. That include spanking, and other S/M type er.. other graphic stuff. Look I don’t care what goes on in anyone’s bedroom. Swing from the chandeliers for all I care, I just don’t really need it in excruciating detail.

The main character is a 23-year-old VIRGIN (again with the giant eye roll), who bites her bottom lip a lot, says “oh my” and “Jeez” every 3 sentences. She also can’t remember to take her birth control pills and is basically why we don’t currently have a woman as president.

The man is older rich, incredibly good-looking, misunderstood and a tortured soul. The girl, decides she’s going to try to change him. Because that always works out so well.

Anyhow. I’m not really sure the point of this post and I don’t want to discourage anyone from actually reading, but the fact that I’ve seen these books at Costco appalled me. It’s like “YAY for mediocrity!” Ugh. Cant we do better than 50 Shades of Complete Crap? Please?

And Were Off

CD2 Update

Is it really cycle day 2 if you started your Shark Week yesterday at noon and have an appointment for CD2 at 10:15am less than 24 hours later? These are the things that I ponder and wonder, “hmm does anyone else think about stuff like this?”

While Im asking these questions, Id also like to know why it is when I set my headphones down no matter how nicely I do it, they wind up a tangled knotted mess that takes me 5 minutes to untie. These are the important questions of the universe and Id like some answers!

E2 was <25. This has never happened to me before, Dr Yelian said its common though because it means that the follicles are not developed yet and so starting the meds means they have the chance of growing at the same time.

FSH was 17.2. Kind of on the high side but it fluctuates so I’m going to try not to worry too much. For now.

Right ovary, unable to view. Don’t ask me where it is, they have a map for it and everything but for all I know my stepdaughter packed it and took it to Hong Kong with her.

2 follicles on the left side both about 5mm.

Another month without having to mention the echoing emptiness of a Kardashian’s head. Thank God, or Buddha or whoever.

I got to meet Linda from Operation Baby C  in the office today while she was getting her second Beta. I waited for her, and of course it was good news, but its her news so I will let her share it. Love her, she’s sweet, pretty, funny and seems like someone I’d like to hang out with!

Clomid starts tomorrow yay. No. Not yay. There’s another word Id like to use but I promised my husband Id try really hard to stop swearing.

I’ve decided to do something a little different this month. Rather than struggle and fight for a normal cycle, I’m just going to embrace the crazy. I mean being mental actually kind of helps me in my life so rather than struggle against my anarchist hipster ovaries, I’m just going to try to roll with it. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Lets see how long that lasts.