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.

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.

 

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.

Conversations with a Crazy Person

It’s Tuesday night. 6dpt. I started getting anxious to test today. Really anxious and I had to go to Target so that made it worse. I had to get some cleaning supplies, and some vinegar, and some other stuff for my friend’s birthday party that I am helping her with. I wandered by the pregnancy test kit aisle. Put a box of 3 in my cart and then proceeded to have the stupidest conversation with myself for the next 20 minutes while meandering around Target.

“You promised you were not going to test early”

I know but I can’t help it, I’m getting really anxious today.

“You PROMISED! Look at how crappy it’s turned out for you the other 2 times?”

I know but this feels different.

“It could just be the progesterone. It’s probably just the progesterone”

Yes. Possibly. Fine. God you’re an ass.

I remove the tests from my cart somewhere around kids toys. I then wander over to the baby section. The section of Target I always have avoided. I think for a minute, what it would be like to actually BE pregnant and be able to justifiably buy these items. I move on to another aisle.

The conversation continues:

“No you are not buying those! I’m not kidding. NO!”

Ok but the results aren’t going to change if I test early or not.

“No but you will wreck this peaceful happiness bubble of insulation you’ve worked so hard to create around yourself if you test early. Look how well you did at acupuncture yesterday. You didn’t whine or cry or act like a maniac. For Once.”

“You’re 11 days into all the meds, you are doing well. Don’t ruin it”

Always fighting between the logical and possibly insane me.

.I..

 

Guess what? I had my egg retrieval this morning for my perfectly textbook cycle. There was nothing there. As in, the follicle was still there but it was empty. Not even the cumulus cells were present. I knew I couldn’t trust that left ovary, in 11 cycles I’ve never gotten anything but teeny immature follicles, and 2 enormous cysts out of it. I think I’m going to go take a nap.
In case you were wondering, the title of this post is my emoticon for the proverbial finger. It’s not pointed at any of you. Its pointed at my left ovary.

 

 

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

A New Record..

 

 

for the worst cycle ever.

Yesterday was cd12 monitoring. Saturday there was a follicle on the right size 7.6. Yesterday, no view of my right ovary at all, so no idea if there are follicles or gnomes or whatever the hell it is growing in there.

E2 606, no that’s not a typo 606. W.T. F?

FSH 16.1 meh, but its better than 41 so I’ll take it.

LH 7.6
They asked me to monitor again today.

I went in CD13 monitoring no view of my right ovary at all, not vaginal and not through the stomach. Nothing. So it was decided to see how the blood work was going.

Blood Pressure was a little high, but heart rate was 39. So she took it again, blood pressure was pretty normal but heart rate was 37. Freaked everyone out. Everyone. I don’t know what it means but I know all of a sudden there were 5 people in the room with me and I was terrified.

E2 411.70

FSH 18.4

LH 20.4

I’ve been referred to an outside lab for another ultrasound tomorrow, and its confirmed that I have a vitamin d deficiency. Awesome. I wonder if all that is starting to add up to something seriously wrong with me or if I am the unwilling participant to a bunch of weird happenstances. Either way, just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they do. Significantly.

Dr Paul said “something has to change” and I know he’s right. I just don’t know what that is.

 

 

 

August and Everything After

My test results were given Monday morning. I was told stop all meds, in 2 days shark week will begin. It hasn’t. I feel bloated, disgusting and miserable. I’ve been lots of fun to be around. By fun, I mean no fun at all. I don’t smile I don’t laugh, I don’t eat, I don’t care.

This was the week we were supposed to go on vacation. My stepdaughter has been here, my husband has been *sort of* present but work emergencies keep arising. The dog isn’t really getting any better so we can leave him for long periods of time. We tried to go to San Diego for the day today, got halfway there the dog was whining so loud and didn’t want to be in the dog stroller we borrowed from friends.  Mother of Christ I will never ever own a dog stroller. Not that there is anything wrong with them, I just think that they are fundamentally stupid. Disagree? That’s fine. I still will never own one and cant wait to give this one back to its rightful, twee owner. Anyway, we got almost there, it became clear that we’d never be able to do anything much less have lunch or dinner so we just gave up and came home.
Knowing that this was a chemical pregnancy leaves me in a funny kind of limbo. It never was a “real” pregnancy so there is nothing to grieve, right? Except maybe another lost opportunity. But knowing that there is something that started out alive inside of me and died, and is still in there is excruciating. I didn’t find it so hard last time. It was awful last time too, but it wasn’t a blastocyst so I didn’t have such high hopes for it.

The few people I did tell about it keep asking me how I’m feeling. Like I can explain it in words that don’t include expletives and foul language so atrocious even I’d be ashamed to say it. Its easier to just say, “I’m fine” and when they ask follow up questions firmly shut them down with “I really don’t want to talk about it” because I don’t. I just wish I’d bleed this thing out and that it will be over. I want it to be over. I NEED it to be over.

I had to hire a personal injury attorney for the wankster that rear ended me and gave me whiplash and screwed up last months egg retrieval before the transfer.

I guess if I had to sum up my feelings, Id say I’m just angry and sad. But mostly angry. The anger is what is allowing me to continue to function through this, its whats keeping me focused on the next steps forward. Dr. Paul said I just need to put down all the baggage and hurt I carry. I’d like an instruction manual please. If I knew how, I would be more than happy to dump it off anywhere that accepts toxic waste.

Between the problems and cost of the dogs surgery, the car accident and this failed FET, I can safely and with tremendous certainty say, I really want August to be over.

Confession

Confession time. I went silent or mostly silent after my friend told me that sometimes things are better kept to yourself and low-key until after the results are known. I decided she might be right. I didn’t mention it on my blog, or in any of the IVF message boards I belong to, or even the one I created. I didn’t tell my friends, I completely cut myself off. Or well, I almost did.

Friday August 10th I had a transfer of my lesser graded embryo, it was unfrozen Thursday evening, a small hole was made in the zona, and it hatched and expanded fully upgrading itself to a 6AA quality embryo. It was growing so quickly that they called me and asked me to come in early for transfer. According to my embryologist, ” it was ready to implant now!”

The transfer went smoothly, and I decided that this time:

1. I wouldn’t test before hand to find out the results. *this failed miserably*
2. I would actually take it easy during my 9 day wait, actually 10 because my 9th day was on Sunday the 19th and they are closed on Sundays.

As promised my husband refused to help me with the progesterone in oil shot. Which was mostly easy to do and I very much prefer over any of the vaginal suppositories. Until the night when I hit a vein. My bathroom looked like a crime scene, blood all over the floor, all over me all over everything. Yes my butt cheeks are bruised and sore. But I will take that over the suppositories any day. I’ve tried both kinds and for different reasons they are both equally disgusting.

I was so happy to have a rest from the Clomid, so happy to be doing something different, something that felt hopeful. I can’t begin to tell you how much relief I felt at not having to deal with an egg retrieval and just focusing on something entirely different.  I felt so relaxed for a few days. By day 2 I felt some cramping mostly on the right side, by day 3 I had implantation bleeding, which also left me happy and hopeful. Day 4 the cramps turned into pinching and continued for the next few days. By day 6 I was anxious, and by day 7 when most people begin to get positives albeit faint ones, I tested. It was negative. And devastating. I’d had so many symptoms, heartburn, gassy, sore boobs, constant “something is happening in there” feelings.

I kind of melted down at the BFN, but on Day 8 at 4:30am I got up again and tested again. Negative. Day 9 (today) negative.

I suppose that there is a snowball’s chance in hell that the beta will turn out positive, however if it is positive and the number is really low, as in too low for an HPT to detect at this point, chances are it will fail. If there is no sign of HCG in my blood tomorrow, then I was never pregnant and all these symptoms were in my head. If there is some trace of HCG in my blood tomorrow, but not enough to declare a pregnancy then what it means is the embryo probably implanted, and then died. Which indicates a chromosomal abnormality. The logical part of my brain knows that this is ok. Its better to end sooner than later. But the part of me that has had 9 egg retrievals with so little success, and been through so much over the last 10 months is sad.

My gut feeling is that it was a chemical pregnancy and I will soon be experiencing a very early miscarriage. Tomorrow I will know. If I am right, then I need it to be over and to move forward.

I guess if I had to pick a silver lining, then Id say, even though I’ve been on enough progesterone and estrogen to choke a horse and am bloated like a balloon, I’ve lost 7 pounds in the last 5 days.

I don’t have enough distance from it yet to be philosophical, hopefully it wont take me too long to get there.