Daily Blessings

Throughout this fertility journey, no matter how much life has thrown at me, I will remember my blessings & affirmations each day.

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Just a Quickie?

A quickie… blog post.

As the evening quickly approaches, I am still waiting for my husband to get home from work. He was supposed to be home 2 hours ago. Fail. The suitcases are packed, I picked us up BOGO Starbucks, our huge snack bag is even in the car already. The only thing left is our dog & us.

I’ve never been a fan of waiting. I am a woman with a plan, a schedule, a timeline. I am very organized – this helps me remain calm even in the storm. I tend to arrive just on time or even a few minutes late to doctor’s appointments or parties just to avoid the wait! The anticipation of waiting gives me anxiety. My mind wanders, I get antsy, I always get the urge to poop for some reason. Its like when you have an OB/GYN or RE appointment… if you just walk straight into the exam room & get probed by the wand of shame before you have time to get scared, things tend to go a lot smoother!

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Let Me Be Candid

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Going to the post office is never a fun experience, let alone during the holiday season. It literally makes me want to bash my head into their cement walls.

I had to mail out 3 packages & a card yesterday afternoon, after arriving home from my doctor’s appointment. I grabbed everything I needed and flew out the door, knowing it would be a hellacious wait.

I considered myself somewhat lucky when I arrived because the line wasn’t quite out the door yet. A bunch of people came in behind me. Suckers.

It took about 3 minutes for me to get annoyed. I didn’t turn around right away, but a young sounding girl & what appeared to be her opinionated Southern mother started gabbing about her pregnancy. Now, when I first went into the building, I didn’t notice this girl was pregnant. So, when I heard her telling another woman in line that she was 8 months along, I wondered where she was hiding that bump.

The mom / daughter team & their newfound friend in line continued to gossip & complain about the woes of pregnancy, how they hated it, how miserable they were, etc for the next 32 minutes. This girl was 22 or 23 I think. The mother went on & on about having her first baby at 21, and how she can’t imagine having one when she was 10 years older, because “you just don’t have the patience for it. I was about to turn around & tell them to shut the fuck up, but I decided that wasn’t in the holiday spirit.

The line slugged along & we barely moved for over 20 minutes. Directly in front of me was the large, LED post office sign with the date & time. All I could do was focus on the sign & breathe. And all I could see that it was December 12, 2012. And all I could think of was that I was 10 days shy of my 3 year anniversary of my first miscarriage at 8 weeks. 3 years ago, I was pregnant & had no idea what was to come.

The hens couldn’t stop running their mouths about who they knew who was pregnant with their 4th baby, how the girl planned on having more since she got pregnant so easily this time, complains & more complains. I felt like I was in a freaking nightmare holding a giant flat rate box. All I wanted to do was tell them to just stop talking for 5 seconds and consider the people around them. But no one ever thinks about that, even though so many couples struggle with infertility.

So I guess we all have to suffer in silence from time to time & bite our tongues til they’re at the brink of bleeding. O

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I was so glad when my 35 minute wait had ended & I arrived at the front of the line. I got the eff out of there as fast as I could and hauled butt to the pharmacy which is right across the street. There is always a long wait in there as well, so I took my number & grabbed a seat. I checked a few things on my phone and when I looked up, you would not believe it, but the prego & her southern mama had come in.

“Are you freaking kidding me right now?” I said out loud. The old lady beside me gave me a look like I was crazy. I didn’t care. Lucky for me, they sat a few rows down so I didn’t have to hear their banter anymore.

The most ironic part? I was there to refill my birth control pills for my next injectable cycle.

Disney & CD10

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So far, December has been flying by. Emotionally, this month started off a little rocky. Holidays & TTC don’t always mesh together well. But I’ve been pushing forward, keeping myself occupied, & most of all, looking forward to a vacation.
We weren’t going to decorate or put up a tree since we would be out of town for most of the holidays. That all changed. I know my husband seemed to be having a hard time being away from his family this Christmas, so I decided we need a little cheer. I felt energized as I decorated our home, and found some joy myself.

spoiled pets

spoiled pets

You notice that we don’t have stockings this year, only the pets do! Hubs & I both decided not to spoil each other this season, but rather to enjoy ourselves on vacation. He has 2 gifts from me under the tree & there are 5 for me! Maybe I’m the spoiled one 😉

On a TTC note, I am already CD10. I’m not sure what this month will bring for us, but I’m keeping my expectations low. I’m trying not to have preconceived ideas of what should happen, but rather enjoy the time my husband & I have together. At my RE appointment tomorrow, I have a couple questions to discuss with Doc & am praying it goes well. Again, it’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 3 years since I lost my first pregnancy. Next time, I hope my body will have learned how to stay pregnant. Here’s hoping for a Christmas miracle.

Til next time…

CD5-7 & furbabies

On Cycle Day 5 AF is slowly tapering off. I had to take my precious furbaby to the vet. The last time she got really sick, I was pregnant (and didn’t know until that evening). That fact was running through my head, along with other worries, as I let her bury her face in me on the vet table.

I knew it wasn't anything serious, but it's still hard seeing your pet scared. We walked away from the office with 3 pills & a bandaid (mine) from her scratching the shit out of me lol. What's most important is we're both going to be fine.

"Furbaby" is a fairly new term I learned when I began this TTC journey. I've been watching the Sher Institute "I Believe" videos this week & that term is in almost all of them.
One thing most all infertile (I hate that word) couples have in common is their pets act as their children. Most of us love them with all our hearts. They are an integral part of our family & we'd be lost without them. But as much as I love my cat who has been with me for 7 years, I know I have more love to give. Different love.

Check out the videos because voting begins on December 11th. These couples have put their vulnerable stories out there to receive the awesome reward of a free IVF cycle from Sher. I have no idea if I'll vote, but watching other couple's stories really breaks by heart & gives me hope at the same time. It's a strange yet familiar feeling… but that's what TTC is all about.

Friday, CD6 and AF decided to stick around for an additional day. Albeit light, my AF doesn not usually last this long. I contribute it to the lovenox + the hormones associated with the last cycle. I have to say that something got me in the Christmas spirit today. When I got home in the afternoon, I decorated the house finally. I also cleaned like a maniac!
I think where it started was… I own my own small craft business & was dropping off a final shipment to someone. We ended up talking openly about both of our fertility journeys. I found out that she too went through treatments 17 years ago. But she had chose a different route ultimately & adopted her 3 children. I had no idea! I guess when you let your guard down a bit with people who you trust, you find out that they are not so unlike yourself. She assured me to stop worrying, that God always had a plan for us. And that I was still young 😉 Also, one of my bff’s got her 2nd beta yesterday and it was so high! She has been through the ringer with infertility & her success gives me continued hope.

Saturday has just begun and *fingers crosses* the B is finally gone. My husband and I are going to get a small Christmas tree today. I guess its sort of silly, since in a week we will be on vacation. But I feel like we need a little holly jolly up in the house, since it’s been rather gloomy lately.

Til next time…

CD3 – Yet Another New Beginning

I realize I owe a update for where my last cycle stands. It was our first medicated / monitored cycle with the RE {Reproductive Endocrinologist}. Where I left off was in November after a few days of stimming. My e2 (estradiol) levels were a whopping 1500. My medication dosage was being backed off slowly, as to not overstimulate me. And by “overstimulate” I guess I don’t mean OHSS. Rather,  my doctor didn’t want me to produce more than 3 or so mature follicles by the end of my cycle since I said I wouldn’t “selectively reduce.”  That’s a whole other blog topic there.

So, my Bravelle was lowered & lowered again. And then my estrogen bottomed out.

It went from 1500 to 620 then to 217. Major FAIL. This all happened around a weekend. Now, I need to state that my RE’s office isn’t down the road from our house. It’s over an hour away. So for 6 days in a row, I drove back & forth to the office and the lab to figure out what was happening with this e2 level.

My medication was upped again to 1 Bravelle, then 2 Bravelle & 1 Menopur, then 2 B & 1 M. Lord Jesus, I could not wait until Monday came around to see what was happening on the ultrasound screen. Luckily, my husband was off for a 4 day weekend, so he was there to bear the brunt of the crazy with me,

Monday came & I prayed before the ultrasound (just as I did every time but once). I thought for sure that there would be nothing on the screen. That I had lost all my follies.

But they were in there!  A few huge ones & lots of other ones. I was shocked, relieved & very concerned all at once. With an estrodial level so low, how did I have all these follicles? Every mature follicle should produce about 200-300 (according to my own doctor’s stats) units of estrogen. Some doctors will say each should produce 100 units. Either way, my blood levels did not match what I was seeing on the screen. No one really had answers for me at this point, other than my e2 finally went back up to 590 & I was to trigger that night.

So my husband gave me my Lupron trigger & we did what we needed to do over the next few days, blindly hoping for the best. I started my regular supplements. A laundry list of hormones in pill forms, suppositories & patches. I had been doing my Lovenox injections every day since I started the stims, as well as my NeevoDHA, baby aspirin & folbic. It was a lot to remember. None of them I minded more than the Lovenox. It’s just such a bitch of a shot.

Well, we hoped for good news, but in my heart I sort of knew it wasn’t happening. The estrogen snafu threw me for a loop & I knew something there wasn’t right.

My hcg came back negative last Thursday, but it was expected. I had tested at home a few times beforehand, which originally I said I was not going to do. But in my heart, I needed to be mentally prepared for that news. When my nurse called, I did not cry. I was upset, but I had done my crying the days prior. I was ready to move on by this point. And I was happy to get a small break from the Lovenox to let my belly heal.

So today is CD3. AGAIN. It’s the same old song & dance, isn’t it? I wonder how many cycle day 3’s I’ve had since I started TTC? Surely there have been a lot.

I visited with my RE yesterday for a follow-up & to get a gameplan for the future. It seems like just yesterday when I was walking into their office for the first time, but over 4 months have come and gone. My next monitored cycle will happen in February, with the commencement of bcp’s after my January AF (menstrual cycle). If we want to, we can try naturally this month while we’re on vacation (mmm vacation sex), but that means dragging along the bag of goodies (progesterone, lovenox, etc).  As always, we’ll continue patience & see what the future holds.

 

 

 

Coping with Conception on Christmas

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Or should I say, a LACK of conception around Christmas?

My first pregnancy was amazing. I got pregnant in early November of 2009, experienced my first Thanksgiving as a newly (& secret) preggo, and more than anything I looked forward to announcing it to our family at Christmas when we traveled the 800 miles home. I had photo cards made up with my digitial pregnancy test on it & a nice caption to give to our immediate family members.

That excitement, unfortunately, didn’t last long. On Dec 22nd I found out the baby didn’t have a heartbeat & that it appeared to have stopped growing 2 weeks earlier. I had no sign of miscarriage at all, except my hcg levels just stopped rising properly. So on Dec 23rd, I had a D&C performed. I ripped up the cards & threw them away the morning after the procedure. I couldn’t stand the reminder.

It was the most awful Christmas I have ever had in my life. And my life has never been the same since then.

Since then I’ve had 2 more losses, but none of them can touch the pain of the first one.

Since then, Christmas has always been a very bittersweet time for me. Christmas is a magical time (for us Christians). A time to remember miracles & the birth of our Savior, giving to others selflessly, being joyful.

So, how do I cope? I know I can’t speak on behalf of all the TTCers out there who are going through the same thing, but I can offer up some personal advice & what has helped me. As always, I don’t know if it helps, but if one person benefits, it was worth writing this blog. Getting my feelings out also helps me.

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I think its best to self-protect during vulerable times. For me, I tend to withdraw a bit from the social hussle & bussle. I also accept fewer party invitations or large social gatherings. a) because I am not drinking now because of TTC, people like to assume. And assuming someone is pregnant when they suffered a loss on the same day 3 years ago is beyond painful for me to deal with. b) putting on a happy face & acting as if there isn't a care in the world is not my style. I try to keep it real, no mattter where I am. So if I am sad or down, I don't particularly like to bottle up those emotions for the sake of others. That has never served me.

Take some personal, quiet time for just you. I like to reflect on what has happened in the past, how its changed the person I am today & pay homage to the love I once felt. Sometimes reading a special poem, lighting a candle, or even saying a prayer is a good way I commemerate that which I’ve lost. I always remember how thankful I am that I was able to be a mother, if only for a short time. That can never be taken away from me, even though the memory is becoming more distant.

Sometimes the holidays = giant family gatherings. That may include nosey aunts, drunk in-laws, new babies & pregnant cousins. This is never pleasant. Seeing glowing pregnant ladies or new babies in their Holiday garb around Christmas time is frustrating & painful at times. It all depends on my mood though, honestly. I’m sure for anyone who has been trying to concieve for years or those who have suffered multiple losses, seeing what you’ve always dreamed of for yourself (ie Baby’s First Christmas) is pretty gut wrenching & depressing. Somehow I try to drag myself out of the “why is that not me?” mind frame. This is NOT easy. Getting sloshed drunk may be a perk to not being pregnant at this point 😉 Or a more mature answer would be to lean on your spouse for emotional support. Have a “code word” when you’re out & about for when things get TOO real & its time to go. I am able to whisper something to my spouse or just give him a look when its time to leave.

holiday-drinks

This actually just happened Friday night @ a work function. I was being casually introduced to some of my husband’s work friends (one of whom had a very cute & very pregnant wife). The belly was slightly annoying, but I was able to handle it fine. As we were all filing out though, I heard the other women swooning over her, talking about how soon she won’t be sleeping at all when the baby comes, yadda yadda… It was time to get our of ear shot & go.

There are perks to not being hugely pregnant around the holiday season though. My hub & I are actually going on vacation & I intend to enjoy it, worryfree. Well, as worryfree as an OCD like myself can be. Cute party clothes, heels, a glass of wine, sushi, deli platters, egg nog, vacation nookie, etc. Remind yourself of the few benefits.

One day, if its in God’s plans, I will be enjoying a Very Pregnant Christmas. I will buy a baby’s first christmas ornament for my tree. When it happens, it will be extra special.

Til next time.

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