Thursday, March 28, 2013

$39 thousand and significant change

Just did our taxes. That's how much we spend on infertility in 2012 alone. Holy. Shit. Here's to hoping for a tax CREDIT in 2013.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's game time!

That's right, in honor of March Madness and any other crazy sporting event going on in the next 2 weeks, I declare: THIS SHIT IS ON!

My lining ... oh, bless it ... decided to cooperate. Suddenly, when the nurse told me the first reading was 7.96 mm and the second reading was 8.07 mm, well suddenly those extra delestrogen shots and the sticky shit on my tummy from the extra patches (I'm wearing FOUR now) just didn't matter. My lining either cooperated or it got beaten, but either way, it's ready. It's game time.

Give me a T. Give me an R. Give me an A. Give ... well, that'll take too long. That spells: TRANSFER!

TRANSFER DATE IS SET, MOFOS! April 2 at 2:30 pm Pacific time, think of me, hubby and my frozen embryos. It'll be a bust or a success. It'll be "third time's a charm" or "shit, that didn't work." Whatever happens, we at least get that shot on goal. We get to march our asses up to Seattle. I get to spread my legs again and have my cervix manipulated. And two of our four beautiful embryos will be place in a plush, fluffy resting spot, hopefully for the 9-month haul.

Fingers crossed.

Now I have to try to get myself out of the slump I've been in. Try to keep Sky's passing separate from this. Try to get psyched up for this while quietly and still mourning her. To Sky.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Silver lining

I found a silver lining today.

Remember how my lining was delayed at least a week? Today, as I left an appointment with my general practitioner, I realized I am glad for this delay.

You see, I got the same infection as the last two times I was on this horse dose of estrogen. A Bacterial Vagenosis infection, which will be followed by a yeast infection from the BV meds. The BV meds are ok for conception but the yeast infection meds must be taken and completed by the day before transfer.

If I was headed to transfer this Friday, I would be FREAKING OUT. Instead, I am calm and ready to be better by transfer, whenever that will be.

Lining re-check tomorrow. Here's hoping for at least an 8mm lining!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

"I just want you back, happy"

That's what my darling husband said to me last night, just before our vet showed up at the house and we put one of our two beautiful dogs down. He said "I've had enough sadness, I just want you back, happy."

Two months before we started TTC, we put one of our cats down. That was November 2009. Since and including then, we have lost three pets (two cats and a dog) and five pregnancies. That is just too much loss. Yesterday I said to a friend "when does life get easier?" He said "don't ask 'when,' just know that it will." Another friend sent me "what the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly." Still, today I sit here, a one-dog family with no children.

The past three years have made hubby and me quite sure of the kind of parents be and the parenting style we will use. We will use a nursery from around age 6 months. That nursery is currently our office and, until last night, our two dogs have slept in there. My dream, which was crushed last night, was that the dogs would sleep in the nursery, keeping the baby safe. My other dog, who is old but healthy, may sleep in there, but who knows what life will bring. We could pass to a no-dog family and the office could stay just that: an office.

I feel broken today. The delay from my lining check on Tuesday seems tiny in comparison to the loss I am feeling today. Sky, my beloved dog, was with me for 9 years. She was a rescue, and came out of a criminal abuse and neglect case. She was so timid at first, literally scared of her own shadow. One of the first times I had her off leash, a crow cawed from the tree and she bolted to home. She managed to cross a very busy street and it was at that moment, almost 9 years ago, that I realized I had a very street smart, savvy dog. I stopped using a leash ever with her about 8 years ago. She stopped and sat at every crossing and waited for me to say "cross." We'd walk to get coffee, and she was "that dog" who sat outside, off leash, waiting patiently. I didn't know, until we got our other dog two years ago, just how much she would benefit from an old and very mothering and stable dog. Sky flourished under my other dog's companionship. It was a beautiful thing to watch and in a way, I am glad Sky went first. I don't know that she could have gone back to a dog on her own. She mimicked my other dog and watched her approach "scary" situations (like a friend who came into the house). When death did not become my other dog, Sky would monkey her and approach to say hello. She learned so much.

Sky went into the shelter as a nameless dog. She was named "Sky" because she was so shy. She took to that name immediately and by the time I met her, she knew it. She figured out being potty trained in a day and had a memory like an elephant (by that, I mean she'd remember where she hid toys or where gross things to eat outside were!).

Being so timid, everyone absolutely loved her. Friends saw it as a quest to get Sky to accept them and when she did, by licking them or sitting with them, I could see the pride and heart swell in them.

From Sky, I have learned to be brave, no matter what. Every day, Sky took on the big scary world. She could have been angry and aggressive, a danger. Instead, every morning she woke up so happy to be alive, taking on the world with peacefully. Every night, she slept soundly, knowing she was safe. She trusted me implicitly. On walks, she'd often look back to make sure I was still behind her, and once inside, she always knew where I was.

She came to me before my hubby. She took to him but was always my dog. I miss her so much today and will remember her forever. Our house is so quiet today. Rest in peace, Sky dog, aka Sky the Wonder Dog, aka Sky Dog, aka Sweetpea, Pumpernickle Bread, Angel Face, Pumpkin, Sweetie.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lining check = a delay

I went in for my lining check today, feeling really positive about it. I've had a lot of CM and I figured that was a really good sign: lots of estrogen = lots of CM = thick lining. Nope, my lining is doing EXACTLY what it did last summer. My clinic is more conservative than the Portland clinic. Portland requires a 7mm lining to go forward to transfer, but my clinic requires at least 8mm. Last summer, I was at 7mm for 2 weeks straight before finally "graduating" to 8mm. That 3 week delay killed me and all the estrogen I had to be on sucked.

This time? I'm on injectable estrogen for the first time and STILL my lining is only 7mm. I'm assuming I'll have to go back for another lining check sometime in the next week. Between now and then, I'll probably be told to either take the injectable more often (I'm taking it once every 3 days now) or my 3-day dosage will be increased. Either way, I suspect more estrogen is coming my way and more waiting and more hope / disappointment.

I was really feeling excited and strong and happy about this cycle. I saw my triple stripe on the ultrasound screen and I was happy. And then I heard "7mm" and I about fell apart inside. The tears didn't come for about 30 minutes because I had to deal with paying for today's bad news and then also dealing with a rather incompetent front desk person who gave me someone else's payment history. I now know that Kristen with a last name of G-something (I immediately made myself forget the name) is a patient there. Thanks, Portland clinic.

I walked my bike from the clinic to downtown, trying to delay the beginning of my work day. I called hubby to open up to him about feeling like I was falling apart. He semi-yelled at me about how I told him I was ready for this cycle and all outcomes, and how if this delay is setting me off, then maybe we shouldn't be doing the cycle at all. I know this was his response to fear and disappointment, but it broke my heart. He made good points, but I reminded him that there really is no way to prepare for (1) the sadness of delay and (2) another week-9 miscarriage (response to his point about being prepared for all outcomes). If I do manage to get prepared for that, it'll mean my heart has completely turned to stone, and I'm quite sure my hubby doesn't want that.

I stopped at a coffee shop and treated myself to a caffeinated latte (fuck it, right?!), a croissant AND an apple pocket. All hand-made from a local bakery, all totally delicious, all really bad for my body and all really good for my soul.

I'm waiting to hear from my Seattle nurse about what happens next.

The support I get from blogger friends is just amazing. Everyone who has gone through IF knows what a delay like this can do / feels like. I reached out to Diary of a Mad Woman (who lives here in Portland!) and Life is Hard (who I have known longer IRL than I haven't known her!) and Here I Go Again (who is my long lost sister) and Million Baby Steps (who I feel so blessed to know and who reminds me, now that she's a mommy, that I can get through this). My two SiLs who are moms were kind and supportive, and my IRL friends felt my sadness with me. And my IRL friend who doesn't blog but who went through IF for years and now has twins from IVF was just amazing. Million responded to my "this is just like last time" with the very good point (the point that made me turn a corner and feel better) of: "last time you got PREGNANT." Why yes I did. Things can still go ok. I have to keep telling myself that.

And, thankfully, there is a RESOLVE meeting tonight so I can see my IRL IF buddies.

Thank you everyone for picking up this wounded soldier, cleaning off the new and comparably superficial wounds, and getting me back out to keep up the good fight.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Today is (one of) my due date(s)

March 17, 2012, was one of my due dates. I only know two of them exactly (today and April 7, 2013). My IVF due date, had it worked, would have been sometime in October 2012. My first chemical, which is the only chemical I bothered figuring out a due date for, was sometime in August 2011 (I have forgotten the exact date). I figured it out for that chemical because I had no idea it was a chemical and was naive and thought a positive pregnancy test would mean a take-home baby for me. By the time of my other two chemicals, no part of me was excited at the positive pee stick.

Today was especially hard last year, but the sting has been taken out it seems. I haven't cried and have only thought about it about a million times (I joke) leading up to today and only a few times already this morning. I could have a 1 year old / almost 1 year old if only my ectopic had implanted in the right spot (oh, and had kept growing for 9 1/2 months!).

I'm quite sure that being in the middle of a cycle is also helping to take the sting out of today.

But in general, due dates SUCK. As if the loss, sadness and disappointment isn't enough, the due date rolls around just in time to take that healing wound and scrape the thick scab off in a second. We know the due date is coming. It doesn't sneak up on us. Which is almost worse because (if you're like me) we think about it leading up to the actual due date. And, if your life is anything like mine, you can't talk about it with your hubby. I am 100% positive that my hubby has no idea today is one of our due dates (if you know him, PLEASE DO NOT SAY ANYTHING TO HIM). He has moved on from that July 2011 experience and while he knew at one point we had a March 17, 2012 due date, that date would have left his brain sometime in the summer of 2011. He is not a date / numbers person to begin with and he is also REMARKABLY good at moving on and forward from impossible places. While that is great for him and for us as a couple, it does mean I am feeling quite alone today.

I've stopped playing the what if game as much as I used to. But today a "what if" just went flying through my head as I type this. What if that summer had brought us a baby. And then the imagine goes crazy with all the cool things that would have happened over the last 20 months.

I leave you with a BEAUTIFUL video:

This couple, who is beautiful and almost certainly famous, talks about their 6 year battle with infertility. Around 6 minutes, he makes some awesome statements about feeling ashamed and then around 7:15 she talks beautiful things. They ended up using donor eggs, so this video is near and dear to my heart. It had me in tears for joy and also FEAR. What if this NEVER works for me. We did donor egg once and look what happened - complete disaster. OH SHIT what if this never works.

Lining check on Tuesday.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Three shots today!

You know you're a pro at these shots when, upon running late in the morning and realizing you haven't taken ANY of your shots, you manage to get three shots done in less than 5 minutes. And in different rooms in the house (I do my B12 in the kitchen because they're stored in the fridge and my other ones in the bathroom) and three different spots on the body (thigh, hip, tummy).

Having forgotten to take my weekly B12 yesterday, I took it and my Lupron and my Delestrogen today.

I can't remember if I stop Lupron when I start PIO, but if not, there will be a day when I have to give myself FOUR shots in one morning, two of which are IM shots.

Anyway, I felt somewhat like a pro as I rushed around "getting this shit done" (is what I was chanting). HA!

On we march. Lining check on Tuesday the 19th - that's approaching very very very quickly.

Provided things look good on Tuesday, we've asked for a March 29 transfer date - that'll allow us to take Friday off work to travel to Seattle, stay overnight and come home on Saturday, and then lie around the house all weekend.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm suppressed!

Had my official suppression check yesterday. I'm suppressed.

But that's not what I want to blog about. While lying awake early this morning with a pounding multi-day Lupron-induced headache, I had an epiphany. It involves my sister.

My thoughts of her getting pregnant first, it turns out, are NOT about me wanting to be first or jealous that it might come easily to her. I was cloaking it in those emotions and feelings, but at the heart of it is FEAR. FEAR that she'll get pregnant first and the monster that lives inside of me will return. Those of you who followed my old blog will remember me blogging about the temper tantrums I threw and how I literally broke and smashed things in my house a couple of times upon learning my SiL or friend was pregnant. That behavior was at the very end of a period of anger and sadness that overcame me and turned me into a rage-filled angry human (which I am not usually). That phase of my infertility journey ended shortly after then (the end was back in fall 2011) and has not returned even once or even slightly since then. I have felt free from the monster who moved in and lurked for about a year, ruining friendships and relationships.

My FEAR is that the monster will return and, instead of happiness or simply envy when my sister announces her pregnancy, I will become a rage-filled angry human again and that I will forever have memories of doing and saying terrible things about her and her annoucement.

I love my sister more than just about anything. I have never once before wished her ill and have always supported her and wanted the best for her. I do not want that to change. She is my baby sister, my only sibling.

Now that I recognize the FEAR, I think I can handle it. Cope with it. Put it to bed and bed done with it. That's the plan, at least.