Saying Goodbye to the Circus

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately, about people’s successes, and truly I am so happy for each of you who has toiled and suffered and worked so hard for the shimmering happiness that comes with getting a longed for positive, with each week that passes that brings you closer and closer to the safety zone. I do not begrudge your obsessive pee sticks, your burgeoning belly shots and your tentative steps toward a cautious joy. I  happily root for you. I sincerely hope that each of you finds that. I hope I find that.

But the posts about resentments have always made me wonder if I was a good fit for this community. How different my belief systems are, how much older I am,  how different my experiences have been, and all the ways those experiences have shaped me.  I don’t understand how you can wish like crazy for a baby and resent someone who has been on their own path through hell, a positive pee stick or a belly shot. Even in my current state of grief, I can’t grasp this thinking. I can’t wrap my head around it. I understand it. I’ve felt those twinges as well, but I have never given in to them. I never will allow myself to.

To be completely clear, I do not judge you if these are your feelings, they are yours. But I do not understand them in the grand scheme of things.

“Coming out” on Facebook has been nice, sort of. But embarrassing and kind of humiliating. The truth is I don’t think most of my “friends” really want to read about the misery I am currently experiencing. To be honest, I’m not sure I want to continue to share it. If I am brutally honest, I think it was kind of pathetic on my part, to call attention to it. Clearly it was me reaching out into the void, looking for support. I’ve said all  along I don’t have a support system. That has never been clearer and more “in my face” than since my embryo died. I call it an embryo because by medical definition, it wasn’t a fetus yet, and I can’t handle calling it a baby.

Yesterday, someone I respect said to me, “You are right. You really don’t have anyone in your life, like a best friend or a spouse that supports you, so you can’t afford to fall apart. You’re going to have to be stronger.”

This statement made me really angry, because after all I’ve been through, I feel entitled to be weak for a minute. I feel like I deserve to be allowed to fall apart. The truth is, he was right. I have no one that will pick me up again so I AM going to have to be stronger. I am going to have to keep putting one foot in front of the other because there is no one else to do it for me. No one to share my burden.

This most recent series of posts that I’ve read and posted, has made me wonder if I have lost the purpose of this blog. When a Circus becomes a Horror Story perhaps its time for the Circus to close down.

That’s what I’m going to do.

I will not be taking the blog down. I will be reading and responding to comments, but I no longer think this is a positive means to express my feelings about my journey. I have decided I will try IVF again, but I have a lot of ugly to get through first. I think its best sorted out in private, so this will be my last post here.

I have found I really love writing, though I’m not terribly good at it,  and you will now be able to find me at The Luncheonette.

It’s still under construction, but I think it will be a more complete representation of who I am. I will be sharing a menu of my travels, photography, food, my husband and stepdaughter, things I think are funny or inspiring, books, music, movies, my observations of the world, and my immature shenanigans.

I want to thank the IF community for being kind to me, for supporting me and tolerating my sometimes controversial posts. For reading even when I’ve been a bitch or my posts have sucked. I know in my heart that the day will come for each of you when you hold your baby(s) in your arms and feel happier and more complete as women, and as part of families.  My email address is jlko@att.net if you want to stay in touch.

I hope it’s not goodbye, I hope it’s just so long, and I hope to see you at the lunch counter!

Jeanette

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An American Horror Story

I can’t get warm. I live in Southern California,  and even though just about everywhere is colder than here, I can’t get warm.

I’ve spent the weekend waiting. Waiting to bleed, waiting to stop crying, waiting for something to feel normal or logical. I haven’t, started bleeding, I still cry easily though for shorter durations and thank god, usually in private. I’ve been waiting for the pregnancy symptoms to subside, they haven’t either. What has happened is that everything has begun to feel really surreal. Like it’s happening to someone else.

Saturday my husband spent the day with a client so I wandered around trying to do errands I wasn’t able to get to during the last few weeks when I’ve felt so ill, and tired. At some point I started to feel like I was so desperate and crazy that I couldn’t stand the idea of having a dead embryo inside me anymore. It was like some sort of surreal anxiety attack that just went on and on and felt bigger and bigger. I texted my acupuncturist on Saturday afternoon, to see if he could help me get the miscarriage started. He was shocked. He thought I was accusing him of hurting me. I wasn’t. I said “No, I want you to help me start bleeding”. He kept asking me over and over if it was true that there wasn’t any more hope, said there really wasn’t much he could do, got kind of annoyed with me that I haven’t seen him in 3 weeks (due to work, and just being overwhelmed with adjusting to being pregnant and the expectations my husband and family have of me) so I agreed to see him this afternoon. He says the best he can do is help calm me. I am not sure how well this appointment is going to go because I’m not sure anything except strong drugs will help calm me at this point.

I’ve dreamed about dead babies. The box the Dr gave me to collect a “sample” of the tissue has very graphic pictures of what is the right tissue to send and what is not the right tissue to send. Its like something about of a sick science experiment. It will need to be “collected” thoroughly washed, and placed into the sterile jar. A vial of the miscarriage blood must also be collected. once collected they are both to be wrapped in a “bio-hazard” bag, placed back into the box and sent to the lab. The box also says that while it can be used by a patient, it’s created specifically for the use of medial staff after conducting a d&c. No gloves come with it. So let me get this straight, I’m supposed to collect the sample from the toilet, wash it, identify it, and place it in a sterile jar? I’ve done a lot of things to become pregnant. I’ve gone through a lot but I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I am brave enough to do this.

I woke up from a nightmare about doing this last night drenched in sweat, heart racing and shaking at 1:30am last night. I didn’t go back to sleep for a long time.

There is only a 50% chance that I will miscarry naturally. On Friday if I still haven’t started then I am to call the Dr who will give some vaginal suppositories that should bring it on. There is a possibility that also wont work so the Friday after that if I still haven’t miscarried, then he will tell me to get a d&c from my own Ob. I honestly don’t know if I can wait another 3 weeks for this to be over.

Overwhelmingly, sharing my story on Facebook has been amazing. Except for a few comments like ” You know if you really want something it will happen, so you must not have wanted it enough” and a God is punishing you, I never really thought you were cut out to be a mother”.

Why is it that I can get 50 amazing, caring, supportive comments, and the 2 that aren’t just bring me to my knees?

So where am I now? I’m about to get ready to go to work, dizzy, light-headed, shaky, anxious and with tremendous back pain that started on Saturday. I’m about to step back into my life, feeling more disconnected then I’ve maybe ever felt, and wondering if this was my last chance at my own biological child.

I know I need to thank everyone for their wonderful comments and support, but please be patient with me, I am still in the thick of this and just putting on foot in front of the other is proving to be as much as I can do.

Answers

Its been confirmed that the embryo stopped growing. The dr. would like me to have a natural miscarriage so I have that to look forward to.

I was told to stop all medications, and sent home with a box where I can send a sample of the tissue to confirm it was a chromosomal abnormality. If I don’t miscarry naturally in a week then I move on to some sort of pills that will make it happen. If that doesn’t work then I get a d&c.
Thank you for all the kind wishes, thoughts and prayers everyone has sent my way, I appreciate them. But as I said to Belle this morning. I am no ones miracle.

Uncertain

Its been a terrible week.

Time has crawled. I’ve gone over every single worst case scenario and I have no idea what comes next. If the pregnancy continues great, it means every week until week 16 will be terrifying. If it doesn’t, I am back literally at square one. I have nothing frozen, so I will starting from zero. If the embryo has died what happens then? D&C tomorrow? I have no idea.

I’ve continued my meds as requested. I’ve not bled at all. I sometimes feel more pregnant than others, and sometimes feel almost not pregnant except for sore boobs and the feeling like my uterus is full. Nausea has abated, I am still drinking a lot of water, I’m not really hungry, I’ve lost some more weight and according to Dr Google I may be experiencing something called a missed miscarriage. Or not.

Does anyone know if symptoms lesson if the embryo dies? One thing has changed this week, I can’t get through the day without a nap when I get home from work. Which means, I sleep for 2 hours and about 2 hours later go back to bed. That’s definitely new. I’m a bad sleeper on the best of days. In fact this morning I was awake at 4am. I don’t know if this means something, or if I just WANT it to mean something.

I did one brave thing this week. I came out on Facebook about my fertility struggles, and my IVF situation and mostly have had the most incredibly kind responses. In fact, on my blog this week I’ve had some unbelievably kind people leave comments that they have read for a long time, never commented before and are rooting for me. Its been amazing, and its made me cry more than once. Thank you to everyone that took the time to write to me and to say you’re hoping for me. Its appreciated since I’m not sure I have it in me now to hope for myself.

I only have a few family members on Facebook and of them, only one said anything about my news. My brothers daughter, my 21-year-old niece. I didn’t hear a word from my younger brother or his wife, so I guess it says a lot about who you can count on and who you can’t.

One thing I have noticed, is that some of my friends who are now pregnant via IVF (in person real life friends) have suddenly dropped off the face of the earth, like miscarriages are catching. That’s been…upsetting.

Overwhelmingly this week has been lonely. Hopefully tomorrow I will know, and this horrible limbo will be over.

 

 

By Law

Its been about 6 hours since I found out that my embryo didn’t grow. I am at a crossroads. Some people are already telling me to try again, and the truth is I just don’t know if I have it in me.

I still can’t believe I have to continue meds and check again in a WEEK to verify that it’s not growing.I asked how often embryos recover from this, but no one answered my question. It means I will be carrying a dead embryo for a week. The idea makes me sick, but it seems that by law they can’t give up now, they have to wait for 8 weeks.

I did everything I could, and I know that my Dr and Molly did as well. Maybe its time to give up, and acknowledge that I just don’t deserve to be a parent. I promised myself that if I ever got pregnant, I wouldn’t complain about the PIO shots or the symptoms or anything really. I haven’t. I promised that I would only care about the health of the embryo and that I would enjoy and embrace the changes I have spent the last weeks adjusting to. I kept my promise. I haven’t complained about anything. Not morning sickness, not the shots, not doing it by myself, not anything. I haven’t felt like I have the right to. If it meant getting a chance at a healthy baby then I would endure whatever I had to.

After the appointment my husband went back to work. I’ve spent the last 6 hours alone in a dark room trying to understand. Tonight I took my meds, gave myself the shot, my husband never administered a single one, was never in the room with me and never helped me with them. Mostly I think he just didn’t want to think about them. Like every night, he wasn’t here when I did it, and when he got home, he took my stepdaughter out for dinner.
I don’t know whats going to happen to this blog. I don’t know where I am supposed to go from here. I intend to mourn my loss privately, I do not need to feed the misery so many of you feel, and are still going through. So for now, I’m signing off. Good luck to all of you. For those of you that have my email address please feel free to contact me, but for now, I can’t continue to publicly write down my feelings. Right now they are overwhelming and almost too much for me to handle.

 

Heartbeat

There was growth of the gestational sack this week, but no growth of the embryo. No fetal pole, no heartbeat. My RE wants me to continue meds, and  monitor again in a week, but the chances of miscarriage are extremely high.

 

Tides

In less than 2 hours I have my last check to see if things are a go for tomorrows transfer.

I admit it, I’m nervous. Part of me want to move forward immediately and the other part of my want to yell slow down! Its my last frozen blast, I’m scared!

I ordered a rather expensive fertility bracelet 6 or 7 months ago, and I’ve worn it every single day, without fail no matter where I go for that entire time. I take it off only at night and at acupuncture. Last night after my class, I was taking it off and it broke. I froze for a second. Thinking is this a bad omen? Then I thought I don’t believe in omens, so I thought, maybe the universe is trying to tell me something? Then I thought, well that’s stupid. Always a fight between the rational and irrational me.

A bracelet isn’t going to make this transfer fail. An embryo with chromosomal abnormalities will. Chromosomal abnormalities that make it not compatible with life, that’s what will make this fail.

Maybe my hormone levels will cancel the transfer, or my Endometrium will not be ideal. I am ready for that to happen if that’s the case.

After my egg retrieval last Friday, my Dr prescribed Progesterone in Oil shots, progesterone pills and Estrace that started the same day as the retrieval. Last night because I had class from 7-10pm, I had to give myself a PIO shot with no mirror, in a public bathroom. Seriously?

Because the first night I hit a vein or something and caused a bruise that’s eggplant purple and about 4×6 my right side is out. The left side by last night had 4 little hard grape sized bruises so I just went for it, between them. It of course bled a bit but, I’m doing the best I can considering husband refuses to do it and I had to do it in a public bathroom like some kind of fertility medication junky.

There is absolutely no dignity in this process.

I don’t know if you guys remember my little “Luteal Phase Follicle” miracle, but this is it. This is the one that was retrieved post ovulation, fertilized normally, I was called on Day 4 that it died, and then it became a 6AA hatching blast. There is a series of posts written about it that I believe started with this one;l Circus School: Luteal Phase Follicle Edition.

There are a few more posts about it after, following me though the wait to see if it would fertilize and then live to day 5. This is the embryo that would be transferred back. Which I think is part of what makes me nervous, I’m a little afraid to let go of this embryo, a little afraid that it’s already had its magical moment and wont become a baby.

Thank you to everyone who gave me their opinions about this decision. Having been down this particular path before and failed, I’ve not been as much in a hurry as the rest of you, but I do have 3 additional retrievals and I guess that’s a good enough backup.

As you can see, I never made a decision I’m going to let the numbers and the professionals decide for me. It’s rarely been out of my mind since it was suggested to me 4 days ago. I’ve thought about it, meditated on it, and am giving it up to God or Buddha or the Creator, Science or whomever.

Consequently has anyone looked at the moon the last few days? September 30 was the Harvest Moon, and the Chinese Moon Festival, the time of the year when its closest to earth, its been beautiful and huge!

I will update once I find out which way the tide will be turning.