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

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.

 

 

A Call to Arms

Thank you to everyone for your comments and kind words, thank you for thinking of me, when you all have so many other things and more important worries of you own. Thank you.

After whats been a devastating weekend, one of me crying and not leaving the house and hardly getting dressed, yesterday I wrote an email to my RE asking why it is I have to carry this dead thing inside me until next week.

To clarify, at the appointment last Friday, he was not even a little encouraging, and his exact words were “Its very likely this pregnancy will end in a miscarriage” said “I’m sorry” and left the room.

It seems my email upset him. Last night he called by me and my husband and said “It’s not dead, you must finish all the medications until next week, and the chances are poor, but you still have a 30% chance of hearing a heartbeat next Friday and the pregnancy being viable. We did find a fetal pole but it was not clearly visible so we were unable to measure it, it may have been too small to show a heartbeat. Your gestational sac is about on target, and the yolk sack if perfectly placed and visible. It’s just too soon to call it.”
Which brings me to what I am about to ask from you now. Please send my little goldfish good vibes, to please grow, prayers if you believe in them, positive thoughts and I guess hope. I don’t know what the outcome will be and it may all be for nothing, however this embryo has been a fighter, and I hope it’s just a little slow and runty, that it hangs in there and continues to fight.
Thank you in advance, the support of the last few days has meant the world to me.
Jeanette

 

 

 

Beta #3

My first beta was 71.5. The second one was 96 hours after the first because the office is closed on Sundays and honestly, while still within normal range (31-72 hours) it was close at 69.8 hours of doubling time. So the Dr asked me to come in for a third beta. Which was this morning.

748.2

Dr was looking for about 720.0. Which now puts me at 46.41 hours to double. OMG It’s better than normal!

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about HCG is the hormone they are testing for, the “pregnancy” hormone.  At the clinic I go to, anything over 5.0 is considered pregnant. Most pregnancy tests show a positive at 15.0 or 25.0 depending on their sensitivity.

Its my humble opinion that Clear Blue Easy digitals are expensive and depressing. First Response Early Response or FRER are known to show positives very early, and I think are the pregnancy test of choice for IVFers. But you may have your own thoughts on this. Anyway, ideally you’d like your HCG to double in about 48 hours. But these numbers can vary wildly depending on who you speak with and as I said, the range is 31 to 72 hours.

Ive made it past the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th hurdle for this pregnancy, there are still a lot more ahead. I’m happy, still extremely cautious but very happy.

 

 

 

The Shape of Us

I am pregnant.

The results of my beta are: 71.5

I’d be lying if I said I was thrilled and exited and scared to death, all at the same time.

I’ve actually known since Tuesday when I was having that absurd conversation with myself, the conversation went on for quite a bit longer than I documented. Including where I finally said “Fine go ahead and buy the tests, but you are definitely not testing today!”  So I went home took a nap and peed on a stick.

Now before anyone calls me out on my crazy, 1. I acknowledged it a long time ago. 2. I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions in multiple posts that I give FANTASTIC advice that I then proceed not to follow.

As the results became visible, I kept blinking and thinking do I see a second line? Seriously? Is it there or am I imagining it?

Since then, I admit it. I’ve peed on all the things. 3 FRER tests, 1 digital test, and 1 test from the $1.00 store.

Because I knew early I’ve had lots of time to worry about how my beta would come back. And next will be if the numbers double properly. There is a long road for me and my goldfish, of making it through all the markers and milestones. I am not sure I will be comfortable for a while. A positive test doesn’t indicate a viable pregnancy.

But it gives me a reason to hope. Today, for that I am grateful.

Today

I went to my clinic to get a final blood draw, and ultrasound this morning to see what my levels are and what my Endometrium (lining) is. Dr Yelian did it himself.

Results: Endometrium 12.4, E2 185+, P4 26.87. My PIO dose has been increased to 1.5ccs. Ow! The transfer is tomorrow at 2:15pm. I will need to be there 30 minutes early, and I will be having acupuncture both before and after the transfer.

I stopped by the Temple today to light candles, meditate, pray, I asked a monk for a blessing, I asked for strength and grace, for this blessing to become a reality, and for happiness good health and harmony for my family. I also asked for forgiveness because I’m a tremendously flawed person. But I am becoming someone I like.

Then I went and got my hair done, because you know what? I don’t want to spend the next few weeks looking at my dark roots. I’m such a girl (I don’t know where this vanity comes from, I’m not even a big makeup wearing person). On the way home, I stopped Costco and bought a big fragrant pineapple, some milk, and some nuts.

You know what I didn’t do today? I didn’t hide me knickers at the ultrasound. In fact I took a picture to prove it.

I even wore hot pink ones just to give my otherwise boring underpants choices a pop of color. I’m starting a knicker revolution. Not really but my blue skirt and hot pink underwear made me laugh and Dr. came into the room before I could shove them out-of-the-way. So here you are. My knickers. It’s not the full shot but its them all the same. Also notice I was not tidy and didn’t fold anything. Its been about 100 degrees lately so knit skirt, t-shirt sandals, I’m golden.

Meditations tonight, some happy thoughts, my first butternut squash soup of the season. A nice peaceful, quiet, evening.

Thank you to everyone that responded to my earlier post, What ever happens is out of my hands now. But I will be praying my little Jinyu snuggles in tight.

Lastly, I’m going to post my IVF song. Don’t look at the video just listen to the music and lyrics. It’s by Ian Britt, an incredible artist and a friend. It’s what I’d say to my imaginary baby. (Shameless plug) You can buy Ian Britts amazing work on iTunes.

Wish me luck. Thank you so much!

The Shape of Us

 

Decisions and Opinions

After yesterdays less than stellar egg retrieval, and a meeting with Husband and Dr Yelian, he said to us “There is good news and bad news about this retrieval. The bad news is that we didn’t get an egg. The good news is that your lining is perfect for a transfer. Since no egg was retrieved yesterday, I will monitor again on Tuesday before transferring on Wednesday, assuming I go through with it.

I left the office with progesterone in oil, syringes for the injections, progesterone capsules and another prescription for Estrace. Its kind of a terrible decision to have to make. Its one that I’ve flipped flopped about at least 4 times in the last 24 hours. Normally I am extremely decisive, so this is new for me.

Pros:

  • My impatience would be at least temporarily satisfied. I could be pregnant by the end of the year. Last night this is what I really wanted.
  • According to the Dr this is looking very good for a transfer.

Cons:

  • My Dr is an optimist. (this could also be interpreted as a pro)
  • In the cold light of day and a return to logic, I have 3 retrieval left, this is my last frozen blastocyst and honestly I’d feel better with a backup.
  • The last couple of cycles have been really disappointing. I am not sure there is enough distance between the stress and anxiety of the last 2 months and my previous failure.

I spoke with Dr Yelian today and he said that 1. everything look good, but that he wants to test my levels to see how things are the day before the transfer. If anything is even a little off the cycle would be cancelled. So why is this such a hard decision for me to make? Why am I struggling so much with this one?

He asked that I start with the meds last night so I did. But I’m not 100% committed to this transfer and I told him as much, I am still thinking about it.

You guys have heard almost every detail since March 1, when I started this blog, so I’d like your opinions. Assuming you were me, and were facing this decision, what would you do? Please do not pussyfoot around my feelings. I prefer honesty and I hope that you guys will be kind enough to give it to me.

What would you do? Throw caution to the wind and try, possibly fail again, or give it some more time, do more retrievals and still potentially fail?

101

My last post was post number 100. I didn’t even notice.

I went to the RE today for CD7 monitoring, I have 1 follicle still on the left ovary that is 12.1. FSH is lower, *weird* E2 is about where it’s supposed to be.  It’s grown exactly 6mm in less than 5 days with a natural cycle. Which as of this morning is no longer natural. I’m on a new protocol this month, where instead of Clomid, I’ve been prescribed Tamoxifen. Which I am only familiar with as a cancer drug. Because my mother took it for 10 years, before being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. That scared me a little, however it seems my RE has discovered that it acts (stimulates) similarly to Clomid but doesn’t thin your Endometrium or cause your LH to surge unnaturally. I monitor again on day 12 (Tuesday) to see whats happening. I imagine, since I’ve done this 10 or 11 times before, that I will trigger, and get a retrieval at some point next week if all goes well with the new meds. In 10, 11, oh who the hell knows, how many retrievals, I’ve never had a dominate follicle come from my left side. Ever. I’ve gotten a follicle or 2 from it before but they always wind up being the immature ones.

My left ovary is all wallflower-ish and under achieving. Like me in High School. Kinda. It’s the one that’s most easily visible and isn’t in a weird place like my right one, but it’s generally kind of lazy. Who else has 1 lazy ovary? How do you get it to be less lazy? Tell it, “You’re grounded until you produce a follicle?” Seriously, is there anything anyone can do to wake the lazy one up? Throw ice water on it? Poke it? What causes one to be lazy? Is there a difference in the egg quality?

Its been a busy week. Remember how I took Chinese III (Mandarin) a few months ago? We this semester I decided since I’m at home alone a lot at night, to take Honors Economics and Honors Political Science and Chinese IV, for fun. Note to self: Stop making decisions while hopped up on fertility meds or in the middle of a depression after a failed FET. Most people would avoid making decisions during times like that. Not me. Bring on some school, and some homework, and some new pencils, and SHUT THE FRONT DOOR this is expensive! Yes. I am an idiot.

My new “plan” is actually going pretty well so far. I’m avoiding the people and the “friends” and the situations that don’t add something positive to my life or my day-to-day. Instead, I’m trying to focus on friendships and classes and activities like Yoga, that make me feel better about myself. I’m also trying to avoid added stress and while the classes “might* have been counter intuitive, I have to admit it does feel good to have my brain engaged in something intellectual. Add a little more exercise and I should have a good recipe for how to better manage the outside stressors in my life.

Since I had to get a scrip filled from the Dr, I stopped at Costco this morning after my appointment. Where I got the scrip filled and decided to bring home some flowers for no other reason than because I felt like it. Usually there has to be an occasion. But not today. Today I just want to be surrounded by pretty, happy, peace and serenity, and there doesn’t have to be a reason. Right?

Insulation vs. Isolation

 

Today was my Endometrial Biopsy. It went well, I got nervous driving over and my heart was racing by the time I walked in the door. It hurt. About the same amount as an egg retrieval does but it was bearable and I didn’t cry or make any noise during it. I’m not sure I was breathing though, and when Dr. asked “You ok?” I squeaked “yes”. It went fine. Finish Estrace and Provera, wait for shark week, and we will see you on day 2 or 3 at which point we will decide what to do next. I will be ready.

I’ve made a new plan. Because planning for things I can’t control is super useful. Not it’s not actually groundhog day, I have said that before. But before you tune out, this plan is different. This one is stuff I actually CAN control. Imagine that? Me getting smarter over time. I’m shocked at myself really.

Isolation is what I do when I’m miserable. Go off like a wounded animal to lick my wounds in private. Or you know, die. It’s not good. It’s really not healthy as I have done such an exceptional job of demonstrating over the last few weeks.

i·so·la·tion [ahy-suh-ley-shuhn, is-uh-] noun

1. an act or instance of isolating.
2. the state of being isolated.
3.the complete separation from others of a person suffering from contagious or infectious disease; quarantine.
4. the separation of a nation from other nations by isolationism.
5. Psychoanalysis . a process whereby an idea or memory is divested of its emotional component.

I’ve decided to keep working on my support system, try to nourish and grow those friendships, focus on myself and actually be selfish. *Yes. Dr Paul, I know you’ve told me this for almost a year, but I am stubborn and have a thick skull, doy.* Also I’m 9 and still use words like “doy” in fact, I think we need to bring it back.

The growing the friendships and support system part is Part I. Part II is: I’m  going to start insulating myself from things that add additional stress to my life in general. My husband and I talked about it again and he said he’s willing to help try to support me better. I’m getting rid of a lot of eejits from Facebook, avoiding things and people who upset me, and trying again to think pretty pink positive thoughts.

You have to give me credit for persistence, effort and tenaciousness. I keep trying.

Insulating yourself from negative influences, or things that influence you negatively isn’t a bad thing. Right? I mean I’m not saying I’m going to avoid my life, but I am going to stop trying to take on, or responsibility for every single thing alone, and I am going to try to stop isolating myself when I’m feeling particularly dark. It’s new for me, I’m not good at asking for help, but if I have learned anything in the last month, it’s that I am sure I will make mistakes, and its a step in the right direction.

I will decide when this is too much for me. I am still here, a little bruised and shaky, hoping to dust myself off and keep fighting toward my ultimate goal. A family of my own.

I heard this song last year once, and last night again. Its beautiful. And peaceful.