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

Advertisements

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?