Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Weird Dreams

I had a dream last night that my oldest friend threw me a baby shower and I didn't go because I felt like a fraud. It was not clear if I was actually pregnant in my dream, I must have been if she was throwing me a baby shower. 

I got 5 things. Two of them were dolls and the others were really weird things that I'm not sure I can even describe. She did have a onsie decorating station thing, and two types of punch: one pink and one blue. I dreamt that I went over to her house after the shower while she was at work to write her a note as to why I didn't go.

It was kind of unsettling... I can only imagine what my subconscious is thinking...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Year Later

This day last year I was being rushed into surgery for a rupturing ectopic pregnancy. It is surreal to think about what all was happening at this time a year ago and how really, not much has changed. What has changed is me.

With my last post, I had come to terms that our trying every month and failing was just not helping us. I had to make the change, not let my cycle or a pregnancy test be the deciding factor of my feeling positive or negative. It was the best decision I could make for myself.

 This new school year brought with it a whole new set of challenges that combined with negative pregnancy tests month after month would have just completely driven me insane. I have been able to focus on what is actually right in front of me, instead of an idea or abstract thought or wish. That break has made me sane again. I feel like I can breathe and that I don't have to live in 2-week increments. It has been a relief.

Now, saying that of course brings me to deciding that I wanted to try again. How nice it is to have a husband so willing to go with the ebb and flow of my emotions! So we tried last cycle, and of course it wasn't meant to be. But at least we tried. We'll try again, but I don't really have any expectations that we'll be able to do it on our own. The greatest thing is coming to the realization that this time that we're not failing at trying to have a baby, but we are succeeding in staying on our journey as a couple.

We knew this time would be difficult and giving it a go to change our feelings about this time of the year has been really helpful. Too many things have happened around the past few Christmases that they have kind of been ruined for us (pregnancy announcements, surgery, due dates of lost babies), but this year is different. We can move on and make this time our favorite time of the year again. Whether we have kids or not, we have each other, and that's not so bad at all.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Coming to Terms with When Enough is Enough

We have come to the end of our journey for now. We have been trying for 8 months after my last pregnancy and surgery and still can't get pregnant, even though we have had the perfect conditions to conceive a child.

Our last cycle I had two great follicles on my tube side and paired it with and IUI. Stu's numbers came back better than the first time and we had so much hope. Consequently, I had to test on what should have been my due date and still ended with a negative pregnancy test. In those moments, I knew that I could not possibly keep doing this month after month.

In the IUI process, we decided to get another aspect of Stu's swimmers analyzed and the news has been less than optimal for us. We found that even though his counts were ok, his morphology came back at only 7%. Which means 93% of the swimmers in that sample were malformed in some way. Normal morphology ranges should be between over 15% normally shaped sperm.

We know that this is just one sample and one test and that each month those values can change. We would have to have another sample taken to confirm low morphology issues to be sure. But as it is, with my lack of being able to get pregnant quickly, we know we are dealing with an additional male factor  issue. 

So, when we look at the odds of us getting pregnant and keeping the pregnancy on our own, our odds are very low. Chances are I have problems with implantation, and he has sperm that are abnormal which could very well be causing the miscarriages as well. We won't know for sure.

So when the doctors are telling us that our best chances are in fact IVF with ICSI, we have to take that as the truth now. The hardest part is coming to terms with letting go of the hope that we can do it on our own. 

I just want to scream when people say "well you never know, don't give up hope!". But I DO know! I have been hoping for 3 years for just that very thought! I have to let go of hope in order to move on with my life.

Could it happen? I guess, sure. But if I keep living my life two weeks at a time, what will that give me? Only heartache each and every month.

So we are done. We did not try this month at all and I am finding it harder than I thought I would to deal with my giving up. I feel anxious that I could have wasted a perfectly good chance. But then I remind myself of all the other perfectly good chances we had this year that didn't yield even the faintest of pink lines and I feel only slightly better. But the thoughts creep back in... The what-ifs.

If you are a friend reading this, please don't tell me to lose hope... my hope is already lost. Please don't tell me to not give up on my dream of being a mommy... I don't dream about babies anymore. I have to give up my hope in order to live my life. If things work out that we can somehow do IVF next summer, then that is what I have to look forward to. In the meantime, I have to come to terms with the possibility of never getting to become the mother I so desperately want to be while I watch those around me living my dream.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

IVF Consultation- yeah, I did it...

I had an IVF consultation June 4th with Dr. M the second. It wasn't as informative as I would have liked, but he did say that our best option for having a baby, and having one stick, is IVF with ICSI and PGD. Lots of acronyms, I know!

IVF is in vitro fertilization (test tube baby) and ICSI is intracytoplasmic sperm injection where they take only the best sperm and inject them into the eggs to have them fertilize. PGD is pregenetic diagnosis which involves screening the fertilized eggs for any chromosomal abnormalities before transferring them back into the uterus.

Given my history, IVF will increase my chances of getting pregnant in general. The ICSI will help out with lowish sperm count and takes away any of the duds that would normally be in the mix. The PGD will help with making sure I have the best embryos possible and that if I were to miscarry, it wouldn't be because of the embryo quality.

The kicker will be the cost. How much will it really cost for me to to have a baby? It is the unknown that is the scariest thing. Sure I may get pregnant (up to 60% do) but then of that 60%, only 40% go on to deliver. And with my 0/4 average birthing rate, what happens if I miscarry a $10,000+ baby? I'm not sure how one could come back from that.

So, lots to think about, especially the financial aspect of IVF.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day... Again

There are no words for what people like me are feeling today, but these come pretty close...

"I am writing to you from heaven, and though it must appear ... A rather strange idea, I see everything from up here.
I just popped in to visit, your stores to find a card A card of love for my mother, as this day for her is hard.
There must be some mistake I thought, I saw every card you could imagine Except I could not find a card, from a child who lives in heaven.
She is still a mother too, no matter where I reside I had to leave, she understands, but oh the tears she's cried.
I thought that if I wrote you, that you would come to know That though I live in heaven now, I still love my mother so.
She talks with me, and dreams with me; we still share laughter too, Memories are our way of speaking now, would you see what you could do?
My mother carries me in her heart, her tears she hides from sight. She writes poems to honor me, sometimes far into the night
She plants flowers in my garden, there my living memory dwells She writes to other grieving parents, trying to ease their pain as well.
So you see Mr. Hallmark, though I no longer live on earth I must find a way to remind her of her wondrous worth.
She needs to be honored, and remembered too Just as the children of earth will do.
Thank you Mr. Hallmark, I know you'll do your best I have done all I can do; to you I'll leave the rest.
Find a way to tell her, how much she means to me Until I can do it for myself, when she joins me in eternity"

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hope Floats

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Well, it has been awhile. For my March cycle following my "cancelled" cycle, I got to see my favorite Dr. M for my baseline ultrasound. He wanted to bump up the Femara from 7.5mg to 10mg (eek!) to get the follicles on my left side to "get off from vacation". Normally 10mg is not prescribed. I ovulate on my own, but to be able to have the better chances of getting more on the correct side, upping the dose made sense.

So, it definitely helped. At my mid-cycle ultrasound, I had a total of four mature follicles, 2 on the right (20.6 & 18mm) and 2 on the left (20.4 & 16.6mm). Dr. M the second was optimistic about this cycle and was kind in saying that he couldn't wait to get me to my first OB appointment. Now whether he meant that as "I can't wait for you to be done at my office to get out of my hair" or a genuine feeling of helping me get pregnant and helping me carry to term, I don't know. It doesn't matter, the end result is the same.

So I triggered that day and we did our duty. I was so hopeful... I don't know how many "please, please, please's" I said. After a long two week wait, my pregnancy tests never turned positive.

To say I was upset is an understatement. I got my stupid period again and went in for another baseline, again. After coming home with prescription in hand for another round of 10mg, I sat in utter disbelief. How the hell was I sitting there with yet another bottle of ovulation drugs? Why was I still doing this? When is enough?

I think if I hadn't filled my prescription, I would not have tried this cycle or maybe even the next one, or the next. For some people struggling with infertility, there comes a time when you just can't take it anymore. I always thought I would not be one of those people because the wait will have been worth it. I became one of those people that day. I wanted to quit.

To see that my husband did not want to quit after coming so far was hard to take. He says that his hope lies with me and my hope. That I keep him going through this. If I give up, then he has to as well. He held me as I just cried.

None of the past two and a half years make sense to me. It doesn't make sense that I am not holding a toddler or a newborn right now. It doesn't make sense that I am missing an essential body part for making a baby.

So, after my day of crying in despair and being mad at the forces that be, we buckled down and started preparing for what was to come at my mid-cycle ultrasound. Truth be told, I was so busy with so many other things, it literally snuck up on me.

So, on April 20th, I went in for the ultrasound. Dr. N greeted me and got to business. He checked the right side, nothing. Checked my lining, nodded and said "good". He moved over to my left side (tube side) and there, right on the screen, were two HUGE follicles!!! So he measured the two and they came in at 25.2mm and 20.7mm. I told him 2 is good!! I'll take those!! But then he said "3 is better." What??!! Hiding behind the biggest follicle was another one measuring 19.1mm! The smallest follicle was the same size as the follicles on our first cycle that we got pregnant with the ectopic.

I almost gave up on a cycle that has been better than any other one. Hope came from despair and I have hope. I do not know how I will feel if this cycle doesn't work out, and I have decided that if it doesn't, we are taking a break. Maybe a month, maybe more.

However, I don't think we'll need that break. Having finally admitted defeat, I think that this cycle, the one I almost gave up on, will be our "happily ever after". I don't "feel" pregnant (I can't, it's too early) but deep down, I know it. Hope floats and I am not giving up.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

On to Cycle 3...

It's been awhile, I know. So the perfect cycle ended up just being a normal cycle for me. No positive test, just the week-long reminder of my failure.

During that time, I did get the results of the Factor XIII V34L test and of course, just like predicted, I am positive for two copies (homozygous) of the mutation that is clearly linked with early pregnancy loss. So, I was able to start the Lovenox (blood thinner) injections at 10dpo. The injections themselves were not bad... It was more knowing that I was sticking a needle into my abdomen area that freaked me out! I got pretty good at it up until I had to stop after AF came.

So, we went on to cycle number two of trying. Same plan, 7.5 mg of Femara cycle days 3-7 and trigger shot if we had any follicles. Well, went in for the mid-cycle check and had 6 follicles total ranging from 12mm-14mm.

I had to go back two days later to see what had developed and only two on the right side actually grew. So my cycle was "cancelled". Dr. M the Second said there was "no point" doing a trigger for eggs on the wrong side. Even if the eggs did travel to the correct side, I would be at an increased risk for another ectopic pregnancy.

So, like he predicted, my period started (today of course) right on time. I go in tomorrow for another baseline appointment.

I have to say, I don't think I'll be sticking with Dr. M the Second. He basically said that there wasn't going to be much luck using the Femara and that injectable medications or IVF would be our best options. Well, I already know that!! If I had thousands of dollars waiting to be spent, we would have already gone that route.

And another complaint. For both ultrasounds, he had NO IDEA that I didn't have a tube on the right side!! He asked me the first time, "you have a blocked tube on the right?" I said no (after trying not to laugh at him or kick him in the face) and said that I didn't have a tube on the right side. He said "oh that's right, I think I saw that in your chart". Seriously? Did you really read my chart at all?! The second time he started on the right and said "I don't see a reason to wait, we can trigger today". So I asked him "what about the left side". He totally forgot that I DO NOT HAVE A TUBE ON THE RIGHT SIDE! And there wasn't a mature follicle on the left side.

It is one thing to have to have gone though all the losses of pregnancies that we have gone through as well as losing two doctors that I have chosen to work with. Not having any faith in a new doctor doesn't bode well for a good relationship.

So, I'll be requesting a different doctor tomorrow...