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.

Advertisements

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?

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.

 

Procrastinating

I haven’t posted much this week. I’ve been waiting for shark week to begin. I finished the Provera and Estrace early this week and while I have lots of cramps and back pain, no period. So I’m waiting. I never thought Id be one of those people who actually wanted their period to start, because mine are painful, with a lot of um, yucky symptoms and discomfort.

Normally in July we go on vacation, but because of a screw up in schedule (by his ex-wife) we’re technically not supposed to go on vacation until August. I’ve booked the hotel, but not the flights. Because I don’t know what this cycle is going to look like or where I will be within it, I am afraid to commit. For once in my life I am the procrastinator. If I am completely honest I don’t feel like I can go on vacation this year but after what will be 9 cycles of this my husband DESERVES a vacation. Between the pressures from his work and everything we have been through we both need some time to get away and have a change of scenery.

I’m not sure I can do that though. I told him when it looked like my last retrieval would become a blast that if it did I would take August off and we could go and do whatever he wanted. It didn’t. So I’ve been struggling with feelings of guilt since then. Struggling with feelings of trying to be the balance between the IVF crazy and my husband and family. Of what I want, and what he deserves. I still have no clear answer and the longer this period takes to come the less likely it will be that I go on vacation with him and his daughter.

Whats worse is his daughter knows nothing about any of this because if it fails why bother telling her?

It would be the first time we didn’t spend this time together and we are both uncomfortable with it. He says well then we just wont go, but I tell him he should plan on going without me and if it works out I can make it then ok. His face shows his disappointment and while he doesn’t say much about it, I know how disappointed he is. I know he feels like he’s taken a backseat for the last 9 months. I don’t really know what to do. Normally I can make decisions about this sort of thing really easily but I’ve been told by my RE that if I take a break “there may not be follicles when you come back”.

That’s such a definitive and scary statement. There it is. The truth. I’m scared to stop.

Logically I know missing a month shouldn’t be that big a deal. I mean in theory no meds mean my ovaries would get a rest and maybe things would look better in September. I don’t know. The what ifs and the what might happen make me so anxious that it becomes very hard for me to make a good decision.

There is no fortune-teller at my Circus to tell me that it will be ok no matter what I choose but I really wish there was.

Mother of all that is holy. I am a person of science, I cannot believe I just wrote that sentence. I don’t believe in fortune-telling. I believe we make out own luck and we make our own choices.

But here I am still frozen.

If it comes this weekend I can monitor on Monday and maybe still make the vacation window. If it waits longer than that then I’m going to have to find a compromise with my husband because he doesn’t ask for much and I have a really hard time saying no to him.
In my last post I promised a picture. Here’s today’s. It’s a pie chart with my blogging/work/life process. Enjoy.

低调

Its been a tough week. Thank you to everyone who commented on my arrested post. I loved your willingness to be vulgar and awesome all at once! For some reason, the thought of women I’ve never met cursing on my behalf so I didn’t have to was really comforting. I’m not kidding. Thank you.

3 more days of Provera and Estrace, and a few days after that a new cycle will begin. The 9th one. I bought a new package this week. There will be 3 more attempts, at least. I never thought I’d be one of those women that goes through this month after month. I never thought I’d be someone who would be willing to do anything to have a child. But apparently I have become THAT person.

It’s just one more way my life is unrecognizable to me.

People ask me how I keep going. The truth is, I don’t know what else to do but keep trying to move forward. I try to focus on the future, and hope for the best. More and more I try to make my mind quiet, and with some practice maybe eventually, I will get good at it.  There are days though that I fail epically. I had at least 2.5 epic failure days this week. Including crying so much during acupuncture the Dr. put little wads of tissue in my ears so that the tears didn’t pool there. While useful I’m certain it wasn’t my best look. But then crying with my nose running and my eyes streaming red isn’t my best look either. I admit it. I’m a really ugly crier.

2.5 is  better than 7 but I’d like to do better.

Its hard, but I’m trying to get into the habit of allowing myself the grace to dream and hope. I can’t always see it and that scares me a lot. But if I focus and let my mind wander, I can see myself, and my completed family.

There it is again. Those words, hope, dreaming, and an implied faith. While all of this sounds suspiciously cheesy, I will take that over cynical, bitter and angry every day of the week. With every single fiber of who I am, I do not want to become that person.

I was that person for 2.5 days this week so I’d like to issue a blanket apology to everyone who saw me, drove near me, talked to me or had to interact with me in any way during that time.

Someone said something to me today that resonated with me.  低调.  The translation is something like “blessings arrive in tune”  like music, but what it really means is “low-key” as in good things happen when you’re not shouting the house down. It’s a Chinese proverb that I need a lot more practice with. A whole lot more.

I’m going to keep practicing, and continue trying to quiet the cacophony of noise, thoughts, anxieties and worries that are in my head. Someday, the silence is going to be peaceful and amazing.