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

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.

Hounds of Love

Yesterday was my first ultrasound. It went well, according to them the embryo is measuring about 5 weeks and 5 days, so I didn’t see a heart beat or fetal pole yet, it’s just too early. Most people see it about 6 weeks 2 days. What I did see was a gestational sac and a yolk sac. According to my Dr everything is “excellent” so far. I will now get a scan every week, until I’m 10 weeks, and then I will have graduated from my clinic and will move onto an ObGyn.
I saw my regular Dr this week and I asked her for a referral to a high risk Ob because of my age. She then said “I have someone really good in mind for you, it will be a good match.” She then proceeded to tell me generally people don’t see a high risk Ob unless they have had a kidney transplant or something equally serious. But that since I was so concerned about the age thing, she would refer me and that it might take some time for my HMO to approve it. They approved it by the time I got to the car so that’s in place should I need it. He wont see me until after I’ve graduated from my clinic.

It’s weird how I expected that my symptoms would be more consistent. But they aren’t. Yesterday For the last few days I’ve been convinced that it died because my boobs were a little less sore, and I haven’t had the nausea that’s been fairly consistent “so far” I didn’t blog about my ultrasound immediately because I’ve been really anxious about it. Last night BLAM! My backs killing me, uterus feels like its stretching Stretch Armstong and saltines and water are all I can choke down. Unless you know, you’re old, chances are you don’t know what a Stretch Armstrong is, but I’m OK with that.

My most obvious pregnancy symptom is I must drink ALL. THE. WATER. I went to a work lunch yesterday and people kept looking at me funny because I didn’t eat much but I drank at least 6 glasses of water just at this one lunch alone. I drink plenty of water normally but now, I’m some sort of nauseated camel. I can smell fruit from 3 rooms away. I can smell BO from about 100 yards and blargle. It makes me gag. Husband says my nose is like a bloodhounds now.  Its been warm and windy the last few days so I opened the door to the backyard last night and I could smell the ammonia from the opossum that peed in my side yard last night.

It’s the closest I’ve ever come to having a superpower. While a lot of smells are super disgusting, it’s really weird to be able to identify random things like fruit, or opossum urine or someone who hasn’t uh bathed recently from a football field away.

Next week I hope to see the fetal pole and the heartbeat. Right now the embryo is about the size of a pea and it has a TAIL! Grow little pea, grow! But lets dial it back on the superpower. It’s really weird and sort of unnerving.

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.

 

 

 

La Bamba

My body is sensitive to the medications given for IVF. I become a crazy person on Clomid. I cry easily and often on Estrace and Provera, I can feel follicles growing on Menopur. All of them make my lower back hurt. I don’t know why, but I’ve learned to deal with it.

A full 9 days into the progesterone, the Estrace, and the progesterone in oil shots, my lower back is aching. It’s 3dp6dt and I feel good, as in I’m happy to be thinking I could am pregnant until proven otherwise. Other than a bloated rumbly feeling in my stomach, I’m doing fine. Except it feels like my transfer was eons ago already. How can it only be 3 days?

Maybe its midterms, or that I’ve been busy with lots of other things. My stepdaughter took her SAT’s today. She’s been taking PSAT classes since the summer she finished the 7th grade and she’s now a Junior and 16 years old. I didn’t think it was a good idea either, but her mother is one of those Tiger Mom women, where nothing she does is ever good enough. Don’t get me started. So Stepdaughter is upstairs sleeping it off.

I haven’t been sleeping that well, my mind is restless and uneasy.Which I’m a little worried about. I wanted to meditate today but some our neighbors across the street are having a Mariachi band on their front lawn this evening, as well as a party. Ugh. Not. A. Fan. I have half a mind to blast Leonard Cohen and just base boom them out, but our neighbors to the left of us already hate me so I don’t need to make anymore enemies.

My husband keeps talking to my little goldfish before we go to sleep “You are wanted little Jinyu, and you have been extremely expensive, in fact I could have had a brand new expensive car, so swim, and grow and become a little person.” Which I find to be weird, and sort of charming. I do have to admit, I laugh when he’s said it.

OMG they are starting to sing La Bamba, which is intolerable. I might start blasting to Foo Fighters. The last thing I need is La Bamba as an earworm. If I have just given it to you as one? Well then my work here is done.

 
You’re Welcome.

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?

The Best Laid Plans, Never get Laid

This is actually the title of a song by “The Bears”  from a CD called  Rise and Shine who are mostly member of King Crimson from the 80’s. Admit it, none of you have any idea who I’m talking about….

My plan has worked well this last few weeks. I’ve felt genuinely peaceful and content for at least 10 days in a row.

Until last night when the husband lost his shit over me getting him a new iPhone 5. Everyone Anyone else would be like… “YAY!” but he was all “OMG I hate technology, I hate this thing, nothing is where I left it and its all your fault”

Whut? Normal husbands would be like..”OMG you are the best wife ever, you ever transferred everything over and set it up for me how can I be a better spouse to you?” Also, I didn’t get one for me. I just got one for him because he hasn’t had an upgrade to his phone in 3 years.

Nope! None of that here. Instead he texted me, and then called me and yelled at me for an hour until I solved his problem and then he was all…”Whoa you are like the iPhone whisperer”

SERIOUSLY? seriously?

Please visualize those two words being said with 2 HUGE eyes, A pale blue face, racing heartbeat,  high blood pressure and a look of complete disbelief. Assuming you know what my face looks like.

I don’t respond to stress like a maniac! Also I may or may not have mentioned he’s not technology er… savvy. Which is the nice way of saying he’s a moron when it comes to every single thing that makes sense to me in this world. I *might* have just projected a lil anger onto him, but come ON! Most people would pee on themselves to get the newest best model Apple product.

Plus I stayed up until 2am to order it for him so he’d better step off! Lastly, he asked for it. He denied it last night, but he asked for the new one because of its larger screen. Aside from perfection, nice paintings, old expensive architectural books and perfect grades from both me and stepdaughter this man doesn’t ask for anything for himself. So when he does. I listen.

I also know his limitations and his tolerances so I (wrongly) thought that me transferring everything over, and handing a new phone completely synched and working with all his favorite apps in the right order would be enough.

Next time, I will just buy one for myself and call it a day.
I had meetings this morning, acupuncture this afternoon and the radio show Facebook thingy I host tonight.

Then I will meditate on my single follicle and tell it to behave itself and to do its job. Tonight, my weird retrieval cleaning and routine. I admit it, I’m slightly OCD about the retrieval thing.

Tomorrow, If I haven’t ovulated the little effer early, the first dominant follicle from my sad little left ovary ever.

The Bears Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLtWj4S3Vy8

Whorehouses and Underpants

That’s a title that will get your attention.

Last Wednesday I had my Endometrial Biopsy. After my protocol was 10 days of Estrace and 10 days of Provera. Then shark week, and the circus begins again.

The Husband and I had a nice weekend, we spent Saturday trying to see a movie which didn’t work out so we went to go get his hair cut, and I tried out one of those weird Chinese $15.00 for one hour of foot massage places. If you live in or near a city with a large ethnic Chinese population, you see they are everywhere. Personally I’ve always been afraid to go in one because it might be some kind of whorehouse or something that involved a “happy ending” and I don’t want anything to do with anywhere like that. Because its weird and creepy and obviously my mind goes to the perviest of all places. I only went in because husband was with me and said it wasn’t a secret prostitution ring.

Oh Mah Gerd. I’ve paid 100.00 for massages that didn’t feel as good as this. It was not weird or hinky at all, and the person that did mine really worked some of the meridians used in Chinese medicine. I wondered briefly while I was getting it done, if this would undo anything my acupuncture Dr. has been doing. Mother of all that is holy, there were some areas that freaking HURT! But once it was done, I was so sleepy and felt so much more relaxed, it really was amazing!

You sit in these lounge chair thingies, it’s all very hygienic and you stay dressed because its like one huge room of people getting massaged. There was pleasant music, and a TV on, showing some weird Chinese TV show with Caucasian people speaking fluent Mandarin, talking about eating weird foods. If you know anything about authentic Chinese food, then you know they eat some weird shit. The TV show was sort of surreal but whatever, you’re missing the point. After, Husband took me out to dinner, and we went home. By then it was about 10pm Saturday night. We settle in to watch TV, and SURPRISE! Shark Week is early. I’ve been on 2 separate meds to keep exactly that from happening. It was between 6 and 10 days early, and I still had 6 days of meds left.

Are these 2 things related? I don’t know, my acupuncturist says no. I just know he’s been telling me that my chi (energy) is really stagnant in some areas and that was one of them. I will see him today, so lets see if that’s still the case.

Which makes yesterday CD2. Blood work, ultrasound, all that jazz. Oh and the results from my Endometrial Biopsy. I have one follicle on my under performing, wallflower of a left ovary that CD2 is 6.1, right ovary is “quiet” for once. Natural cycle for now (no meds yay!) see him again on Day7 which will be Saturday.

While I was waiting without pants for the ultrasound tech, I started wondering why it is that I always hide my panties when someone is going to look at my vagina. Do we all do this? Why? I mean, someone is about to look at a part of our bodies that most of us have only seen a few times anyway. Or is that also just me? My ultrasound tech has seen my junk more than I have in my whole life. My RE has seen it even more than the ultrasound tech, but doesn’t matter, if there is a paper sheet involved, my panties must be folded and hidden underneath my regular clothes. Predictably irrational, anyone?

I’m feeling pretty good about my new plan. In fact I’ve felt better in the last few days than I have in over a month. I keep reminding myself “one thing at a time” “Control what you can left everything else go” I know, I’ve had about as many plans as I have had cycles so yes I know my “plan credibility” is poor. But I’m trying. I really am going to try to stick with this one. My numbers yesterday were not fantastic but whatever, I’m not going to let it bother me which is why I’m not bothering to post them. I’ve had better numbers and gotten nowhere, and I’ve had worse and gotten a blast so I’m not going to let one days blood work dictate my response to the rest of the cycle. New for me, and shows some improvement in my attitude, to toot my own horn. vvg

Dr is going to “wait and see” this cycle to see what happens since I had to stop meds because of the early period. Normally this would stress me the hell out, but I’m ok with it. Lets see what my body does and go from there, it’s still early so, no reason to start thinking negatively.

The results of my Endometrial Biopsy were perfectly normal.
On a completely different note, there have been a lot of women in the Infertility Blogosphere talking about peeing on things lately. A large number of posts about it in fact. I know there are lots of you waiting for BFP’s and I just want to make the blanket statement to all of you that I’m here, each of you are in my thoughts, my fingers are crossed and I hope you get them. But for the love of the sweet baby Jesus, stop peeing on things early. All of you.

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.