Thursday, December 17, 2009
Sometimes I feel so guilty for not being invested every second of the this time. I feel like a terrible mom for not showering on these babies the attention I devoted to my girls.
Sometimes I feel awful and prickly because the most harmless comment will set me off. But, honestly, no, May will not be here before I know it. I will sweat out every damn minute until this babes are safe.
Sorry I've been gone for a bit. Just nothing much to share. I think mostly because I've kinda of put everything on mute about pregnancy for a bit. I'll turn the volume back up at 24, 26, or 28 weeks. I just have to make it that far.
We are entering the Danger Zone. (How bad that I have that song from Top Gun in my head right now??) This time between showing and having something to show for it. I've walked this path, I've been 18 weeks, and I still have a silent house. Empty arms. Broken heart. How did I convince myself it can end differently? But it must. It just has to. I know more. I've taken more precautions. I'm more careful. It must be different this time.
For all that I'm disconnected... I do already love these children so much. My beautiful babies. My perfect little girl and boy who for right now are healthy and happy and growing strong inside me. I promise I'll do everything in my power to keep it that way for you both.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
It was all pretty intense emotionally, but surprisingly not too bad physically. I'd never had an epidural (just Demerol when I delivered the girls) and so I was pretty good & freaked out about it. It certainly wasn't fun...but it also didn't suck quite as much as I thought it would. It was totally weird to feel things that you know should hurt, but that didn't. I actually think that the worst part of it all is right now with this nasty medicine they gave me that is making me insanely nauseous. Yuck. That and the bleeding. I know there should be bleeding as the cervix has blood flow, but it is still disconcerting to see.
The emotions came into play because I had to talk about by history... Many many times. In a setting that reminded me of the worst part of my pregnancy with the girls. Plus, while I'm glad to be doing something proactive to save these little ones, it's also a little bittersweet... Could things have gone differently last time if I'd only known then what I know now?? I know that's a terrible road to walk down, and I do try really hard not to think like that. But sometimes those thoughts sneak in.
We go back in two weeks, and I'm hopeful that we'll be able to find out the genders at that point! Until then, I'm using my little Doppler for reassurance that all is well inside. Also, I'm pretty sure I'm starting to feel the little 'flutters' of movement now. That's pretty damn awesome too.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Then Friday night hits and I find myself at 2:30 am bolt upright in bed with cold sweats and shakes. Now, of all the things I could be terrified of, could be remembering... What is it that woke me in a panic? The dream of a baby shower. Yes, that's right, I dreamt that my colleagues, who just found out that I'm expecting, threw me a surprise shower before the safe arrival of the babies. I can laugh at this, but only a little, and certainly not that night. Or really, the rest of the weekend.
I dread the idea of having stuff again. Because I dread the idea of having to pack it up and it joining the other sad sad box of belongings that reside in my attic. Adorable pink & purple outfits to wear home from the hospital. Handmade blankets from my mom. Gifts from my students. Nighties from my best friend. Things that are wrapped up in dreams which will never come true. Things I can neither use nor get rid of. How can I face boxing up my dreams again? How can I survive that?
Shaken by my night, Saturday slipped by in a whirlwind of guilt over not being happier, more connected, more able to plan. Then bam, my old friend Sunday Worry about school shows up and sends me head over heals into panic attack mode. I became totally convinced that every single thing was going to go wrong, always, with every aspect of my life. My heart wouldn't stop racing, my hands shaking, my breathing was labored. All the way to school Monday morning. I thought I was going to explode. It was awful.
I've managed to calm down since then. Monday I taught. I wasn't the most prepared I've ever been, but it went alright. I spoke to the teacher who would be organizing anything, and she said she'd never thought to do anything until after the safe arrival. (Of course she did, she's amazing like that. She knew without me even having to vocalize it.) Today I talked to my therapist a little. He said that I was doing alright. Anxiety is to be expected. I should stop beating myself up for feeling it. (Easier said than done of course.) Tomorrow I have the day off. I plan to sleep in, have lunch with a friend, and try to relax a little more. It should be a good day.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Riding that high, I decided to tell everyone while I was feeling so good about things. People jumped, screamed, and I won't lie, there were a number of tears. These women that I teach with are amazing, kind-hearted people, who saw and experienced with me the heartache of losing my girls. It was wonderful to bring joy into their lives and to see their happiness beaming in their eyes. I felt loved and protected. My next hurdle is telling my parents (ugh)... Sorry, not my parents (they know) the parents of my students! Mostly they will be happy, but being parents, they consider their children first (as they should) and I will be leaving them come April (dare I hope to make it to May??) Sometimes parents can get a little snippy about it. However, we have 'visitation day' (otherwise known as torture your teacher by standing in the back of the room while she teaches and make her exceptional anxious) coming up next week. One real look at me, not in a winter jacket, and the gig is up! I'm definitely showing already... So, I'll bite the bullet and let them know this week or next.
More thoughts on my prior post of friendship. A fellow RESOLVE board member wrote me with her thoughts on what I wrote... And it made me realize that one of the reasons I'm okay with life how it is, is because I have her and the rest of the members and the community here in the blogsphere. I may never meet any of you IRL, but I can't discount what your friendship has meant to me this past year. At first I was hesitant to call it Friendship, but as my Good Friend pointed out... That's exactly what it is. In some ways I feel closer to you than I do to people who surround me in everyday living. So, thanks for that :) I owe you so much and I hope that in some small way I can fill that void for you too and repay that debt.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Now, I'm realizing that just isn't me anymore... I realized this as I was trying to find an excuse for not going to a birthday dinner of someone who is in my closest circle of friends. I'm just too tired, I say. This week is insane with work. But really, I just don't want to go. I feel like every social interaction is a potential minefield to be navigated. If this were a smaller gathering, I'd be more inclined... But it's a large affair, complete with friends I haven't seen in years. It means driving 30 minutes into the city with a girlfriend whose relationship is strained and awkward. Staying up way past my bedtime. *Sigh* Making small talk. How I loathe small talk now.
I know that part of it is because our lives have all become more complicated, with more people grabbing parts of it. But, I got home from school and watched 3 hours of television. I could have called any number of people, but I just don't want to anymore. It used to be that an afternoon like that would make me feel lonely. I honestly don't even notice it anymore... Not until E pointed it out.
I pulled away from everyone, from life really, after our girls died. I didn't know how to live and move forward. I lived a robotic life, just going through the motions. Then when I did start trying to reach out to people, I found hurt more than help. Not on purpose, no never intentional, but always these sharp corners of misunderstanding and insensitivity. I was too raw and I learned not to trust that rawness around others.
Eventually, I found my footing and I tried to rebuild those bridges, those relationships... But for some reason or another, it just wasn't the same. Perhaps I was too much changed? Too quiet? Too sad? Too vulnerable? Perhaps they had moved on, past me while I was stuck? Filled the hole of my friendship with the friendship of others? Too much survivor guilt? Was it too hard to be around me? At some point, I felt I was the only one trying, so I stopped.
My therapist was asking about my support system these days. It's good, I told him. I have E, my sister (who just moved here), and my best friend (also an E). That's it, he asked. I know he was wondering about the plethora of others I've mentioned from time to time. Yes, that's all. And really, that's okay. I know that if I really needed someone, any of those three would drop everything and run to me. So, while I don't talk to them everyday, and I have absolutely no idea what they are doing right this moment (except E who is playing the guitar downstairs), it's enough for me, for right now.
Perhaps my idea of friendship was changed, perhaps it would have morphed anyway as I grew up but was speed along by tragedy and self-imposed isolation. This is my life as it currently is, and, while 5 years ago it would have made me crazy, I'm honestly okay with it now.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
My appointment with my MFM went great. I really really like him. Although, then he told me that he didn't need to see me for another month and I panicked. Really? A month?? I haven't not gone to the hospital for a whole month since October!! I'll have withdrawal! At first, it was alright, but as I've reached the halfway point I find myself going a little crazy. E actually had to pull out the last u/s pics because I'd convinced myself that we weren't really pregnant after all, it was just a big joke. Then I got worried that my belly was shrinking. (I did manage to refrain from calling about that one... But only barely!!)
Speaking of the belly, it is definitely making itself known. I'm happy for the turn to cold weather because I can pull out the puffy vests without people getting too suspicious. I know it's probably time to get out the old maternity clothes, but I'm not sure I'm emotionally ready to handle that box (and the memories contained inside it). Hmmm, shopping anyone?
I'm scheduled for an u/s on the 3rd and if all goes well then, a cerclage on the 17th. While I'm really glad that I'll be getting one, I feel the nerves starting already. It sounds pretty intense and horrible! I'm definitely starting to freak out about it. I just keep reminding myself, if it can prevent loss from happening, it is worth it. Anything is worth that. If you can find your way back from that, you can handle a little physical pain. But, yikes, I'm not going to lie here, I'm scared!
On a last note, if you know Meg, and even if you don't... You should head over and wish her congratulations on her impending nuptials!! She's one awesome lady and I'm feeling so happy that she's found someone who realizes this :)
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Our last u/s went well, and we were able to see two strong steady heartbeats. We've been graduated from our RE (with strict instructions to come back in 9 months to show our the fruits of all our labors... but absolutely no sooner!) and this Tuesday we'll meet our MFM for the first time. I'm pretty nervous about the appt. I really really want to like the practice and this doc because I definitely need someone who has experience with high-risk and prior losses. I also don't want them to be upset with me for showing up with twins...
I'm working through all that with my therapist though, and I think I'm making progress. He also really helped me come up with something to say to the two responses I'm worrying about hearing when people find out I'm expecting twins again. (Really, just two sides to the same coin...) That people will think these twins can possibly replace my baby girls and that this will be different because my prior pregnancy (and babies) were wrong in someway. It's all from that same 'Everything happens for a reason' train of thought that I can't stand. We worked on it and I've decided that when people start down that path, I'll merely say "I will always love my first two girls." I like the simplicity and non-confrontationalness of this statement. Plus, it feels good to say, because it is true.
On a last note, I told my fellow first grade teachers because I will be relying on them heavily in the coming weeks and months. (Plus, we're a pretty tight group.) They were thrilled for me, and it was nice to feel that happiness! One is a very young teacher, and after I told them it was twins again she said 'Oh! What are the odds of that?' I just had to look at her and laugh... I replied 'About 20% chance each time I cycle!'
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Guilt and Worry vs Happiness and Excitement.
On the one hand, I'm so unbelievably excited to finally be pregnant again. I have to pinch myself to make sure that I'm not dreaming. I want to shout it from the rooftops. I want to spin in circles and laugh out loud. I want to go skipping down the halls at school. It's happened!! My broken battered body finally pulled it together! Our chance at children is within reach.
Of course, then we go sliding over to the other side of the scale. The one chock full of worry. What if it's the same this time? What if I tell people only to find out that I'm losing my babies again. What if I lose them again?? What if my body freaks out in the 2nd trimester again? I know more this time around, and I feel more prepared, but it could still happen. Worry, worry, worry.
But worst of all is the Guilt. (That's how I think of it, with a captial G.) My head knows that I made good choices with the information I had last time. I was given permission from my OB to fly. I know that no one had any inkling of the disaster my trip would turn into. I know all this, but sometimes, my heart still cries out that it was my job as their mother to protect them and nuture them... I wasn't able to do that.
But here's the thing that is keeping me up nights... I had all the resolve in the world at the start of cycling again, to only transfer one embryo at a time. But I got worn down. Negatives and cancellations and 5 cycles in 8 months. I was so tired. I needed it to be over. So I transferred two. Now, if I lose these babies again in my 2nd trimester, there will be no avoiding the guilt. I made a choice. I chose my sanity over their health. What kind of mother does that make me?
Saturday, September 19, 2009
It's early, really early, so there isn't much to see or really no conclusions to draw from what we did see! But, so far, things look good and are measuring on timeline.
We were able to see two little gestational sacks, both with yolk sacks inside. One at 5.5 the other 5.3 weeks.
Like I said, it's too early to know exactly what that means... Other than there is definitely something growing and I'm still pregnant. Whew! Now I just need a way to stay calm until my next ultrasound on the 29th when hopefully we'll see heartbeats. Suggestions anyone?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
It doesn't help that I'm in this weird No Man's Land at the moment. Yes, I'm pregnant (yay!) but I have few to no symptoms (very different from last time) and I haven't seen any tangible proof yet. I only have to hang on another day and a half... I can do that. At least, I don't really have a choice but to find a way to cope with that! As it is, I'm already going in way early for an u/s.
I feel like I don't really fit in anywhere yet... Or maybe it's that I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like I don't want to get too comfortable yet in case this turns out to be a cruel cosmic joke. I've made appts for a high-risk OB (MFM clinic at my hospital). I'm excited about it, but a small part of me is wondering if I'll really need that appointment.
Last time I bought baby clothes online after my positive betas. (I justified by saying they were on big sale from my favorite store and would be the right season for the EDD.) It never even crossed my mind that those clothes would go unworn... Or even unwrapped. Now I'm hesitant to book appointments and buy prenatals??
Don't get me wrong, I'm still thrilled. I meant what I said earlier, I do already love this little collection of cells mightily. I'm overjoyed to be pregnant.
But there is worry there too. I want this so much, I'm afraid of the thought of losing ground after fighting so hard to get here. Just please, let Friday come quickly. Let everything be OK.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Sorry to not share earlier, but I wanted to make sure that it was really real. First beta was 235 and second was 598. WooHoo!!
It's oddly surreal. It took so much longer to conceive this time around, I was starting to doubt that it would ever happen again. But it did!!
I thought I'd be all freaked out when I first found out... But I'm not. I'm feeling great & wonderful & just overjoyed. I can't stop smiling. It's not that I'm being naive, I know the shitstorm that can occur. I've lived through the worst scenerio already.
Knowing all that though...
I'm still happy.
Friday, September 4, 2009
This is easily the LONGEST wait I've ever had. I feel like I can hear the seconds ticking by... and they aren't going quickly!! I'm only 6dp3dt... Why are the days taking sooooo long to pass?
It doesn't help that I have little to do with myself at the moment. School started back up (yay!) but now I'm out for a looooong four day weekend (Fri-Mon). I know, I know, I can't believe I'm complaining about that either. See, I told you I've gone crazy!
In other unrelated good news, I have what looks to be an AWESOME class this year! Yippee! I needed that are last year totally shook my confidence in being a teacher. I thought by the end that it just had to be something I was doing wrong. However, I've already got these kiddos whipped into shape, they know the routines already, and we're ready to start learning to read! I can't wait. If only I could be there today...
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I know funny, right? Since I wasn't even sure I liked it before... But now I would give anything to have that sense of well-being and confidence that accompanies leaving the acupuncturist. I want to go daily. Maybe not even leave, but live there, on that table, until beta.
I'm shaken. I'm having doubts. I've entered the downward spiral of the 2nd phase of WUB, that phase where you've become convinced that it didn't work and you did all this for nothing and you are still months away from actually conceiving.
I know that I shouldn't. I've said all these things to other women before. It's too early for symptoms. You might not even get them anyway. You've got good odds. Keep positive. Blah, blah, blah...
Where's my Magic Eight Ball?? It this cycle a "It is decidedly so" or more of a "Don't count on it"....
I want to know. I want my nice peaceful feeling back. I want this cycle to be the one that works.
I'll be at the acupuncturist if you need me.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I can't complain though. This whole cycle has been too good to believe. It's like I was saying to the wonderful RN, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Looks like it is still on though! Transfer went incredibly easily, even though I seem to have developed a curve in my cervix all of a sudden. It was actually the least painful transfer yet! Plus, the embryos we transferred were beautiful. I mean, I know I'm biased and all that... But seriously, these were gorgeous. (As a side note, I think it's funny that I can now identify good embryos by sight. I actually gasped when they showed us the photo before describing the quality. The embryologist was concerned, but I followed up with saying "They are beautiful" and she smiled. She said they were too!)
So, here I sit, with my two lovelies back inside... Sending them good nurturing thoughts and love and hoping to hell they decide to stick around for the long haul of nine months. Please little ones, I love you already, stay with me.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I was the only retrieval today, which is wierd as normally my clinic is super busy. But that fact combined with the fact that everyone knows me now from my many prior cycles this year, made me feel a bit like a celebrity! (Which is kinda cool) They got 19 eggs (yay!) but some were on the small side, so they suspect were immature. Now, it's just a matter of waiting for that fertilization report.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
My hands were full during the commercial break (currently crocheting an afgan for a long over-due wedding present) so I was unable to mute/change the channel when First Response popped up. *ugh* I thought... But I'll just grin & bear it. Then I heard them saying these words "Can I get pregnant? Here's the first ever test for FERTILITY" (my emphasis, not theirs.)
WTF??? I ran to the computer and looked it up and apparently it is true! Except (as the NY Times points out) it only measures FSH levels. So I, along with many other infertiles here, would actually pass this test. (Hey, I just realized... There's a pee stick that I could actually get a positive on! HA! The irony is killing me.)
I'm truly flabbergasted. I don't even know what else to say... Just when I thought pee sticks couldn't get more heartbreaking...
Monday, August 24, 2009
It looks like I'm getting close to trigger though... I'll know for sure this afternoon, but my RN said it will likely be tonight or tomorrow. Which is very good as then transfer will come before the first day of school. Whew! (**UPDATE-Trigger tonight and ER will be Wednesday morning!)
Oh, side note, those that remember the mean b/w nurse... She was there again today! So, I was petty, took my slip out of the tray after u/s and ran upstairs to the other lab. I just couldn't face her again, esp since my arms are so beat up and I knew it would hurt today even with the nice nurse. Man, I sure hope she goes back to where ever she came from though.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
We talked a bit, then she put the needles in. (I was much less nervous this time... I think it helped that she was breathing in deeply with insertion and I said I could join in-which I did.) Then she left and I practiced my 'ocean breath' (can't remember the yoga name) and my meditative mindset. It was nice, all warm and peaceful. I was like, sure this is worth the cost.
BUT, the best part came when I was walking back to my car... GET THIS- I wasn't all bloaty & uncomfortable!! I'm still more conscious of my ovaries, but it's no longer like I want to lie on the floor because walking is hurting me. I'm floored... I wish I had known this in my previous cycles!
Plus, when I told her about my risk of OHSS (and previous cancelled ET), she recommended that I come back one more time before ER and they can help minimize the risk! I'm seriously on cloud 9. That might just be the best $75 I've ever spent =)
Friday, August 21, 2009
Now, I'd been feeling pretty smug this cycle actually. I've been administering my own shots because I'd found a secret... Well, it might not be a secret, but it was a revelation to me. It hurts less when I know when the needle will be contacting skin! Plus if I felt that prick of the first contact, I can move the needle to another spot and my tummy (sorry Pin Cushion) won't bleed...or bruise up! Now, you may remember that above I have already given it away by saying that I am currently sporting two enormous ugly splotches. Turns out, this doesn't work with my Cetrotide. It doesn't hurt going in at all, but I've consistently bleed removing the needle. What is up with that?? I suppose I was getting too cocky and needed to be taken down a peg or two...
Oh well, hopefully it isn't for too much longer. Although it looks like it will be just long enough to need refills of the Gonal-F and Menapur.
Oh, and welcome any IComLeavWe(ers)! This is my first time participating, and I'm looking forward to discovering some new and exiciting peeps (and their blogs!)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
However, I did have a very unsettling experience today. My u/s doc (who I'd not met before) was amazing... She was fast and I swear I barely even felt the wand! Crazy since I've already got that full bloaty feeling that accompanies stimming. Unfortunately, my regular b/w nurse wasn't in. (I love her.) Instead, I had this crazy lady. Now, most of our blood work folk are older, larger, black ladies from the Caribbean with full on thick accents that I love, but don't always understand. I don't know why this is, but it seems to be holding true with every new one I meet. This one was no exception. However, while I normally like the lab nurses, this one I didn't. First she took forever to get everything set, and I was stuck with that stupid rubber band constricting blood flow for like 3 minutes while she puttered around labeling stuff. (May not seem long, but it feels like FOREVER.) Then she poked around with her finger...HARD! I said 'ouch' because it hurt and she was like I didn't even use the needle yet. I told her that I knew that. Then I muttered to myself that I wish you'd hurry up with this and stop hurting me.
Now, I'm the first to admit... I'm a big wuss. I used to pass out whenever a needle appeared. However, since IF, I've gotten worlds better. Hey, I even give myself shots now!! I still get quite queasy though at the thought of someone sucking blood out of my arm, so I close my eyes well before and keep them closed the entire time. I don't think I'm in the minority here...
So, she starts in on 'oh, you gonna faint?' And basically makes me feel like an idiot for not liking needles. She's chuckling away about this when all of a sudden she's like 'no baby yet?' My mouth actually dropped open at this. She went on to tell me that pregnancy requires many blood draws. Really? No, shit Sherlock. However, having experienced both pregnancy AND treatment, I can tell you that treatment requires MANY MANY more blood draws. This ain't my first ride on the ferris wheel lady. I didn't answer, just stared coldly as I wished she would shut the hell up. I mean, did no one explain to her that in the morning she was covering INFERTILITY patients only??
The kicker of it all? She totally left a giant bruise. Gee, thanks a lot.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I'm not entirely sure what is responsible for my turnaround, but I'm sure it is a lot of things adding up together.
I'm back at school, and I'm getting excited about the upcoming year. I love when everything is all fresh, new, and shiny. I get an odd *thrill* from my basket of freshly sharpened pencils, clean name tags, and neatly arranged desks... (I could go on and on) It's been nice to have something to focus on that isn't about myself. That definitely helped.
I had seriously one of the best weekends of my life. E and I decided to have a mini-vacation in our own city. We pricelined a fancy hotel, chose the chef's tasting menu (with wine pairings!) at a wonderful restaurant I've wanted to go to for awhile now, and then drove up the coast to spend time in my favorite little beach town (completed by eating some really really good lobster rolls). It was spontaneous and wonderful. It made me remember how good our relationship is and why we are together.
I've settled into this cycle. I'm (dare I say it?) feeling hopeful! (Perhaps inspired by this wonderful video from Megan and how she cranked her hope-o-meter up to 5) I also realized that it's okay to be scared about negatives, but it isn't the end of my world. I can try again. I can keep trying until I get the result I want. There is no end of this journey until I say The End. I know IVF can work for me, it already has once. I know it will again. (I just really do hope it is this cycle!)
Friday, August 14, 2009
Sure wish someone had told me that because I almost passed out in the mall, so giddy with relief I was to find out that we can move forward. (I actually had to sit down with my head between my knees! Mind you, I didn't get the call until 2pm... and I'd been worrying myself sick all morning. I was convinced I'd have to postpone this cycle.)
So last night, 75 of Gonal-f and this morning was my first ever shot of Menapur. Does that Q-Cap thingie really make it easier for you guys?? It seemed to be more difficult than a needle to me... Of course, I freaked out a little when I couldn't get the damn thing off the vial of fluid! In the end, I think it worked out alright. I go back in Tuesday.
I'm just really hoping that the third time's the charm.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
1) My shadow baby's first birthday party is next weekend. I feel obligated to go because I have bowed out of every single other thing of importance to this child and I don't think my relationship with his mother (who was one of my best friends) would survive my absence.
2) A good friend at school made the surprise announcement of her pregnancy at a small gathering. Doing the math, she conceived at the same time I had my last FET. So now even if I didn't want to, I will be tracking my chemical pregnancy with her real pregnancy. Oh, did I mention that she's been married only 3 months?
3) I'm terrified about this upcoming IVF. I feel a lot of pressure for it to work. I'm worried that ER/ET will run into the first days of school. I don't really understand my new protocol and my wonderful RN is out on her maternity leave, leaving me with someone I don't really like/trust. She still hasn't mailed out the outline of what meds will be happening when. I also just found out that my RE will be on vacation during my ER/ET. Which she wasn't happy about that timing either... Apparently I've become that patient. The one who is watched closely.
4) I think I'm becoming warped and jaded and, well, sinister. I've spent so much time living in my online world here that I have forgotten that we are the minority. Other people can have SEX and get pregnant. Other people have no idea what an RE or MFM is. Other people tell about pregnancy at 8 weeks without fear! Other people don't have to wonder if they will ever get to experience parenthood.
5) I STILL don't get to make plans. I was with a group of friends last night and they were talking about a trip we had taken to NC years ago. They wanted to do it again. I sat there and played along, but the truth is that I have NO IDEA where I will need to be come November 7th and 8th.
*UGH* Okay, so my little pity party there didn't help much. I was very much tempted to just delete it all... Am still in fact. But I think I'll let it stand. More as a testament to my mental state than anything else.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I think that is the best way to describe my depression. I've become stuck in the sand. I can't move. I'm at the mercy of the ocean. Sometimes the waves are gentle and safe, but sometimes they are fierce and engulf me--swirling me around like a piece of seaweed unable to move because my feet are trapped in the sand. Sometimes I can't catch my breath before the next wave knocks me around. I start to feel anxious all the time and constantly scan the horizon so that I'll at least be prepared for the next big wave... Of course, I miss some and get caught unaware.
It starts to feel hopeless, like this is all I will ever experience, this is all I can ever remember.
The worst part is that no one else notices or can see the situation for what it is. To the people who walk by me on the beach, I'm just a girl playing in the surf.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I was incredibly nervous, sweaty palms and all that. She was very nice, if a bit chatty, and it really didn't hurt at all. It was, in fact, relaxing. However, I'm not sure if it was the needles or the 20 minutes of quiet in a warm peaceful room. I keep assessing my feelings and stress levels as the day progresses... and so far, I'm alright. I think that I will see this through this cycle. Probably one more appt and then a pre/post transfer appt.
I do definitely need to do something for myself. My most recent therapist appt was my wake-up call for that. I've still not been able to shake my moodiness and sadness. I mentioned that to him and so we filled out that depression questionnaire... and what do you know? Hey, I'm clinically depressed. He brought up the idea of anti-depressants but that is (personally) not something I'm comfortable with while cycling. Plus I'd like to see if I can shake this myself with with things like exercise, yoga, acupuncture, and the start of the school year.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
It's been invaluable to find people who understand... But I've been in this circle long enough to see those people I cycled with achieve pregnancy. In fact, the ones who conceived that first cycle are nearing due dates! I feel like a three year old throwing a tantrum. I'm on the floor kicking and hitting and screaming "When is it MY turn?!?"
*Sigh* I guess my post-vacation funk hasn't really lifted... In fact I'm beginning to wonder if it might be more than that. I actually cried in my therapist's office yesterday. I haven't done that in forever. I'm just feeling stretched too thin, except I can't figure out who is doing the pulling. I've got absolutely no responsibilities this summer. There's no reason to be stressed. Well, except for the biggest reason of all...
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Summer Camp in WA was a blast. I enjoyed every minute of it. It is so much fun to get to see my family & my Aunt's family too! There were ten of us there this year, and even though we are all so very different, we make quite the harmonious group. I'm already looking forward to next year.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I'm torn. I waver from believing one to believing the other. I'd love to be courageous enough to just pee on a stick, but I'm not. I'm more scared of HPTs now than I was of the monster under my bed when I was 6.
I'll just continue to fight my internal battle until Friday... When my blood will provide the winner the ability to say "Told you so."
Friday, July 10, 2009
I've only got a few precious memories to cling to... But nothing could ever make me forget...
The rush of love I felt right after transfer. I was so convinced that it had worked, I hugged and kissed E and we both teared up knowing that you were inside. We even brought tears to the nurse's eyes.
The wonder I felt staring at those two blobs at the first ultrasound, seeing you both for the first time. Watching your heartbeats flicker. Amazed at the miracle of the creation of new life.
Watching your growth from ultrasound to ultrasound. Tracking that progress in my pregnancy book. Seeing your personalities develop as the weeks progressed... As one snoozed happily while the other did cartwheels. Calling you Lefty & Righty until that amazing ultrasound when we found out you were both girls. We were so thrilled... We started whispering to you your names, Rebecca, Maria.
Feeling your movement for the first time. Looking into E's eyes as he felt your strong kick in bed at night. We joked that you were made for soccer.
But everything I thought I knew of love went out the window the moment I first saw you two. Even though I knew you were too little, you were so perfect, so beautiful. I never wanted to let you go. I still don't.
When I think of you now, I see you on your beach. The one where E and I went to say good-bye. We talked of our dreams for you, the futures you weren't allowed to have, but mostly we talked of our love for you. How amazing and powerful an emotion that was. We named you for the waves, the sand, and the world to hear and recognize. You existed. Rebecca & Maria, you are loved.
We left forever changed. Marked by tragedy, but also by unconditional love. A love as strong today as it was 365 days ago.
Happy first birthday my girls. Your mother loves you.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Yesterday I got the green light for the FET this Wednesday. We will be transfer 1 or 2 day 3 embryos (depending on quality and thaw). If we only transfer one we'll be doing a double transfer this Sat of a Day 6 blast. (If it makes it to Brigham... Seems like there is some hang up with moving it. Hopefully I'll iron that out today.)
This Friday is also my girls' birthday. I had been obsessing about that, but now with being so busy with my family... I haven't forgotten, but I'm not fretting either. More on this later...
For now, just think of me on Wednesday and wish me luck :)
Saturday, June 27, 2009
The great and fabulous lady Melissa Ford (aka Lollipop Goldstein) who is the glue that bonds this community has written a wonderfully informative book about infertility in all its aspects and complexities. You can read about (and purchase) Navigating the Land of IF by clicking on the title or visiting your local bookstore. (Just be careful when searching as there appears to be another Melissa Ford out there with a lot of, um, exposure...) I highly recommend this book as a reference to anyone journeying through the Land of IF, especially those new to the area.
Each member participating in the book club chose a couple of questions to answer, see my answers below and then click the link at the bottom to see what everyone else is saying!
In the appendix, Melissa volunteers a supportive note to get us through our journeys, particularly those hard times like baby showers. Because there are just as many emotional pitfalls for our partners and spouses that might not be as overt to us, what note would you write to your partner to also support them through their part of this journey?
My love, my dearest E,
You are an amazing person and a better husband than I deserve. You have never once laid any of the blame for this journey at my feet, even though it is my body, my reproductive system, that has failed us time and again. More than that, you stopped me from beating myself up for it.
You have loved and supported me through it all. You have allowed me to be focused entirely on the process because I know you are standing behind me looking out for me and our life.
Even though it may not always be clear to you (especially when I'm in a hormone induced rage) you are the best part of my life. I draw my strength from your strength. I can go forward only because I know that you are going on beside me. I know that one day we will achieve our goals, a baby to hold in our arms, and we will continue to move forward with life and love.
all my love, M
I kept wishing, as I read the book, that certain people could have read certain parts while I was going through IF. To help THEM understand better what I was going through. Which part(s) did you want to show and to whom? Your RE? Your nosy neighbor? Your insensitive co-worker? Maybe even your spouse/partner?
First, I kept wishing that I'd had this as guide from the very beginning of my journey. It would have been so helpful! I've already recommended it to several newbies who are just starting out.
Second, I still wish that my close friends, the ones I've confided in would read it from cover-to-cover. It's so frustrating to me that after 2 1/2 years of my journey, they still don't understand the simplest of terminology or the process of cycles. However, as they have ignored everything else I have sent along to help themselves become informed, I fully expect them to ignore this book suggestion as well.
One of the funniest parts of the book is the Q&A section about how to respond to inappropriate questions. Mel addressed several of the most common questions, but there are plenty more! Give an example of a rude, ignorant, annoying or inappropriate question you’ve been asked during your IF experience, that wasn’t already in the book, and write your own gentle, firm and free-for-all responses to the question.
I fully enjoyed reading that section, and it did give me some new ideas! Although, I'm not 'out' so I encounter fewer of these remarks. However after my loss, I encountered a lot of platitudes. I've now sworn to never utter one to another human being in need of sympathy and compassion. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand that these were people who genuinely cared about me and were doing the only thing they knew in the face of a tragic situation. They were not intentional hurts (see Picking Your Battles pg 83) and so I nodded and said "Thank you." But the one platitude that suck in my throat was "Everything happens for a reason." I mean, really?? What possible reason can you come up with that would make sense of babyloss (or really infertility in the first place)? At the time I just would make unintelligible grunting noises and frantically blink to stop the tears... But now, here are my trio of responses:
Gentle: I understand how thinking that can help ease some people's pain, but it doesn't work that way for me.
Firm: No, I don't believe there has to an explanation or reason for everything. Some things are just tragedies.
Free-For-All: Please then, tell me what you think the reason is? Am I just a terrible person and this is retribution? Or were my lovely babies going to grow up into monsters? I'd just love to hear you explain it to me.
If you are a reader of Melissa's blog, did you find the book to be a same or different style and why?
I'm an avid reader of all of Melissa's writings! I'm amazed by the amount of energy she puts into keeping our community running and together. It's a great resource as well as an amazing support system. I'm forever grateful that Stirrup Queens (and everything else!) exists and that I stumbled upon it. It's helped me keep my sanity, introduced me to others who Get It, and has made me feel less alone.
I think it is challenging to keep your 'voice' while writing a non-fiction informational piece. While I definitely hear Lollipop Goldstein throughout (especially in the special 'notes'), I do miss the sharing of personal information that keeps me coming back to Stirrup Queens. I miss the baking, the twins, Josh, and her conversations and the glimpse into her thoughts. However, I suppose that doesn't fit in Navigating the Land of IF... Perhaps she'll write us a memoir next??
Friday, June 26, 2009
Now, here it is...summer. School is finally over. And damn, I miss it already. I was counting down the hours until my hellion students were off to second grade. But now I find that I miss them!
I also miss the routine in my days... Already time is hanging heavy on my hands. My fellow teachers and friends have claimed big plans, but somehow I don't have faith that they will come to fruition. It will just be me and my computer for the next two months. *sigh* I guess I'm just feeling lonely... and I'm terrified about slipping back into that dark place of last summer where I didn't leave my house and I didn't speak to anyone and I didn't do or feel anything because it all was too much.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Last Wednesday I attended the craziest School Committee meeting where they FIRED our Director of HR... WHILE HE SAT IN THE AUDIENCE!! They also got all snippy with each other, but that is nothing new with our committee. Supposedly, this coming Wednesday at the next meeting, it will be announced who is staying and who will not be rehired.
This month has not been without some nervousness... but I've done a good job keeping it in check. Staying calm, floating above. Today I crashed down to the ground. I don't think that I'll be jobless... But nothing is guaranteed. Last time I had to go through this insanely intense job search, it killed me. I went into a huge depression. I'm not sure that I'm strong enough to face this summer knowing that I have to start looking all over again.
Please send some positive calming thoughts my way if you have any to spare. I could sure use them right about now.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wow. That was amazingly hard to type. There is something about seeing it in black and white that was a huge shock to me. I need a break to get my fingers back under control... I've just started shaking like a leaf.
Okay, I think I've got it back under control. I was talking to E about how different our lives would (should) be. I would be planning a birthday party! My girls would just be starting to babble those first precious words. My home would look like a toy store. I would be so proud of their new tricks such as pulling themselves upright. I would be exhausted from chasing them around all day. I would be looking forward to spending two wonderful amazing months where the only thing I had to do was spend time with my babies. They would be on their way to beautiful blond-headed toddlers... And I would be sighing sadly, "Where does the time go?"
Instead, I have a silent home and free time. I have morning lupron shots and evening BCP. I'm in the middle of 8 different craft projects just so I can keep my hands busy and my mind occupied. I'm rereading the Tom Clancy books because I thought they would be safe and instead find myself cursing Jack Ryan for his damn fertile wife. I cry on the way to work and not because I'm sad that I had to leave the girls at daycare.
OH! I miss what my life SHOULD HAVE BEEN! But mostly, I just miss my precious babies. My memories of their birth is fading... As memories do, even such important ones. The memories of our hour together is there, but getting hazy around the edges. Sometimes it's almost like the whole thing was a dream...
Girls, I miss you so much. Rebecca, Maria, I miss you.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
And, guys, when your significant female other bursts into tears at the drop of a dinner plate or turns on you like a rabid pit bull — whether she’s pregnant, having her period or in the throes of menopause — believe her when she blames it on the hormones.
Finally, a man who understands...
Friday, June 5, 2009
We are going for a wedding of an old dear friend of mine... A friend who is, in fact, the only ex-boyfriend I ever managed to stay friends with. I'm sure the wedding will be beautiful. And the weather this weekend is supposed to be perfect. I'm very much looking forward to packing everything (stress, worries, all negative emotions) away in a little box, leaving it here, and just ENJOYING the weekend.
I think I will actually be able to do that because we now (FINALLY) have a plan. Monday I'll start Lupron for a FET. We'll be transferring over the one little embie so it will be hanging out with the other frozen ones, giving us a choice of 3. Of course as nothing in my life is uncomplicated, the two are day 3 while the one is day 6. This could mean a possible double transfer depending on the thaw quality. It's like this huge ridiculous matrix of possibilities (which I can go into later) but the bottom line is that I can sleep easy again for two months because every possible scenario is mapped out! Man am I Type A or what?
Have a great weekend everyone! I'm pretty sure mine will be excellent!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
With the return of the beautiful weather, I've realized that my past-time has morphed into something completely different. Now, I no longer study the face, the clothes, the posture to read who that person is/wants to be. I look for only one thing... The belly.
And it seems to be everywhere these days. I'm not going to lie, I wince or sneer when I see one. I know I'm supposed to be able to control this reaction/emotion but I can't seem to right now. I don't know their stories, but I can't help resenting that one more person has what is denied me.
I hate that I've become this bitter ugly mean person.
I've always been one to 'judge' but that was totally superficial and I was the first to admit that I was wrong and go on to find the truth about someone. I never held onto any of my snap judgements, always instead viewed it as a game to see how close I could come to the real person. Now though, apparently, I can hate complete strangers for what is likely a happy occurrence and something they've worked for and treasure.
It's funny, for someone who no longer believes in 'fate' or 'reasons', I can still feel like the universe is out to wound me. How self-centered is that??
I guess for the time being, I'll just enjoy the weather from my backyard. That will keep me out of sight of things I don't want to see and protect others from my bad moods and nasty thoughts.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
So last year, for our cycle that created our girls, we were transferred to a different clinic because ours sprung a leak and they had to close their ORs. (I know, crazy, right?) After our ET, we received a letter saying that the one embryo they were watching didn't make it to freeze. I was slightly saddened, but as I was pg with twins, I was focused on other things. Last month, I get a bill from the other clinic for $800 to keep our one embryo around for another year... What?!? Apparently, it's just been hanging out over there, and no one at my clinic knew about it and neither did I. So now we have this dilemma about what to do with it! My clinic doesn't except transfers from outside locations because the mediums to freeze are different and my RE doesn't like doing cryo-cycles for only one embryo and I can't seem to let go of the idea that perhaps THAT is the egg. And that little popsicle is brother or sister to Rebecca and Maria. I also can't keep paying $800 a year!
Currently, I was waiting for my new protocol for a fresh cycle. Of course, once again, today, I'm replanning everything because my insurance said frozen not fresh as I still have 2 embryos at my clinic from my last fresh cycle that was cancelled due to ohss. Now, I'm thinking... perhaps I'll do frozen, but instead use that little one over at the other clinic.
What absolute craziness. Maybe I should just stop making plans altogether! I have an appt with RE next Thursday. I guess it'll all just fester in my mind until we make a decision then.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I'm going to be making plaster flowers with my class this year!! I tried it once before (2 years ago) and it was a disaster. However, I think I just fond the solution to the construction problem -- not enough support from the base so everything 'wilted' and refused to stand up. Now, I'm using a cup upside down with a hole cut in it. I tried it this afternoon with the plaster and it works like a charm!!
I think we'll start them next week and then move onto plaster then tissue paper... It so perfectly ties into our plant unit. It's going to be crazy and a ton of stress, but I just know the kids are going to love it! And really, that's what it's all about.
Friday, May 15, 2009
I really appreciate when other people ask, but unfortunately it also means that I have to answer. And really, there is no good answer. At first, I tried asking for what I needed that day. Sometimes it was to listen, other times to leave me alone, still others to ignore it and pretend life was normal. This was all great while I was in that moment, but the problem arose when I left that moment and they were still doing what I had asked of them. Then I was left feeling hurt and upset that they didn't understand... What I need shifts daily, or even hourly.
So now I just tell people, I don't know. It's true, I don't. And I value our friendship too much to tell you to do something that if you listen and do it, it will cause a rift. So now I tell people to do what feels right to them, with the caveat that I will tell them if it sucks for me.
Example, we all know that past sunday wasn't an easy day for most of us. If you had asked me as a friend, I would have said, please, don't talk to me about it. However, yesterday, I was catching up with a fellow teacher and she remarked that she had been thinking of me on Sunday. That's it, nothing big or gushy, but it touched me. She followed her heart, and it was the perfect thing to say.
I guess the bottom line is that I need to trust my friends. After all, they are my friends for a reason. Perhaps they'll know, better than I do, what it is I need.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I spent the weekend watching my little sister become a doctor of physical therapy. How amazing is that? Graduations are cool. I think that might have something to do with my mood. Plus, I wasn't left to brood about the result because I was surrounded by family and her friends who don't know we are cycling again.
I was really really down Thursday and Friday morning, but somewhere throughout the day, I picked up and recovered. I'm actually a little worried the disappointment is still hanging out there waiting to smack in the face... But I decided that since I'm okay today, I'll just go with that.
Beta on Friday confirmed the negative HPT. By the time I spoke with the nurse, I was already on the upswing and so the conversation wasn't as painful as I had thought it would be. My cycle will be reviewed this Wed, and then I'll know the plan going forward. My guess is that I'll probably start a fresh cycle, hopefully soon. I know some people enjoy the 'break' between cycles... Me, I'd rather keep moving. I get so anxious otherwise, it seems like the clock ticks louder when I'm not actively cycling.
Again, thanks. It's good to feel the support :) and it is much appreciated.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Tomorrow is beta day and we're going to be flying down to NC for my sister's graduation. I couldn't bare the thought of receiving our news in the airport, so I took a HPT this morning. (Even though I'm dead set against them and have never NEVER gotten a positive result from anything I've peed on.)
One line. One f*cking little line. I loathe pee sticks.
It's not supposed to be this hard.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
But, damn it, I feel GOOD about this cycle now. Why? I haven't the foggiest... But I am thinking that possibly it'll be positive news I get this time.
My therapist & I were discussing "expect the best, prepare for the worst." I know I have a tendency to focus in on the doom and gloom. I tell myself that I work through the negative sides so that if it comes I'll be ready. However, I used to also do that for the positive outcomes too. Since my loss, I've shied away from hoping for anything good. It's not that I think I don't deserve it or anything like that... Just that I'm not sure anything positive will happen again... Not since I had the worst possible outcome come true.
Logically, I know that doesn't make sense. I have a million little positive things that happen everyday that I should be so happy about. But with this, IF, I wonder if I will ever get lucky enough again.
Whatever. I'm probably over analyzing again! I do have that tendency... esp when time is heavy! See you soon, with good news, I hope!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
This is my first time participating in an online book club! I hope I do it right! (The directions and everything can be found on Stirrup Queens.) First and foremost: Congratulations to Tertia! Publishing is an awesome accomplishment!!
I had been following Mel for a couple of weeks, when she announced that you could purchase So Close (buy it here) written by a fellow infertile (see her blog here). She was so enthusiastic and since I was already ordering from Amazon, that I impulsively added it to my cart.
The book arrived and I devoured it in a couple of hours. It came to me at a time when I was just starting to realize that I wasn't alone in the infertility mess. There were others out there who knew about that world too. Not only that, but some of them could even relate to the horribleness of loss after the 1st trimester. Tertia was one of them. As I read her story, I laughed with her, panicked with her, and cried with her. Mostly, I was thrilled to rejoice with her in her positive ending. It gives me hope that after all I have been through, I, too, can end up with my dream fulfilled.
Throughout so much of the book, I found myself nodding. At parts I even shouted "YES! That IS how it is!" (To which my husband would sleepily say, "Why are you still reading?? Turn out the light!" I would hush him right back to sleep and go on reading.) It's amazing to see in print things that I've never been able to properly express and thought I was the only one experiencing. It was very cathartic. It made me feel not so alone.
There were two sections of the story that stand out so vividly for me even after a month, mostly for their bleakness and sadness. The first was Tertia dealing with her ectopic (pg71-73) and the second was the reduction (pg113). It's interesting to me that it wasn't the loss of Luke and Ben, which is something I could actually relate to, that stayed with me, but rather the experiences that I fear could come to pass that I remember. What sections stand out for you?
*** Mel's Question 4: Tertia has an urge to chat with the others in her clinic waiting room. Do you ever wish people would break into spontaneous, supportive conversation? Describe your ideal waiting room.
This was so funny to me because I'm always the one who talks to others or has no problem returning (or starting) conversation in waiting rooms or buses or restaurants, and yet, this question made me recoil in horror. (Which I remember doing when I read the section in Tertia's book too!) Only once has someone spoken to me in my waiting room and I was totally freaked out by it! It was some one's mom, and when my name was called for blood work, she told me that the lady was quick and competent. Now, this was a very nice thing to say, but I was completely weirded out by the fact that she was talking to me! It's against the etiquette! We sit around numbly and watch the tv or read... If you happen to bring someone with you, you only talk in whispers so that others can't hear. Why? I don't know, but that is how I like it! I'm not going to lie, I do speculate about the others in the waiting room. We are labelled by our folders (red = IVF and blue = IUI) and I wonder about their stories. Sometimes I wonder if any of my 'friends' from the cyber world are there too... But I've never wanted to strike up a conversation... Actually, that's not completely true. There was one time I spoke out loud. It was when the octo-mom controversy was raging and her damn interview came on the tv in the waiting. There was a rumbling of muttering and I said something to the effect of "Oh the irony of seeing this here when I've avoided it everywhere else" which was met by nods as we all proceeded to settle back into our books/magazines/blank stares.
My idea of a perfect waiting room? I can't even come up with an image... Because if anything in this world were 'perfect' not one of us would need this waiting room ever. May we all be out of them soon!
Friday, May 1, 2009
I know each pregnancy is different. I know that, but it's still got me feeling down.
I just so want this to work. I feel like Kristen from the Biggest Loser. Just as you finally admit how much you really really want it and damn it you deserve it, you're voted off.
I also just got back from a meeting with our Superintendent which was not so super. The cuts are pretty ugly. They think that they can handle it all without having to resort to a RIF (Reduction In Workforce--ie firing people with tenure) but they aren't sure. So basically I'm still walking on that ledge, and I won't know for sure which way I fall for at least another month...or more. I think that legally they are required to tell me by June 15th.
I just hate uncertainty!! It seems like my whole life is full of it!
Plus, I'm still not done writing those stupid journals! And class is tomorrow! I have 2 journals, 1 paper, 2 cubes to make, and 2 anchoring activities. Damn, that's a lot of work. I sure don't feel like doing any of it!! *Sigh* Guess I'll start on the paper & cubes and when I finish I'll reward myself with a little break...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
What is that all about? Am I just deluding myself into 'forgetting' so that on the 8th I can be like 'What? A pregnancy test? Me?'
I've also been doing a good job deluding myself about my job situation. They are cutting at least 10% of the school system's budget. I'm right on the borderline there... It really could go either way. I have professional status (basically tenure) but with only 4 contract years I'm still low man on totem pole. I could easily get bumped for someone with seniority. Again, though, even though the rumours are flying at school, I'm closing my ears and floating above it. It's not like there is a thing I can do to prevent it from happening if it is going to. Which is really just the reverse of what I'm thinking in regards to potential pregnancy.
It is what it is. It will be as it will be. It is no longer in my hands.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Oddly after all my nervous pacing and thoughts pre-transfer, I'm feeling very calm and centered today. I'm sure that will change as the days wear on... but right now I'm enjoying the peace.
On to the waiting game...
Friday, April 24, 2009
What if there is traffic and I don't get to the hospital?
What if I wrote down the wrong time? Can I call again?
What if I get there too early?
What if the embies don't thaw properly?
What if only one thaws?
What they all do well and I have to make the decision of what to do with them?
What if they don't implant?
What if they do?
What if two implant?
What if I'm pregnant?
What if I'm not?
To calm the mind I think I'll just go watch the puppies...