Archive for June, 2009

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Ten weeks post miscarriage. Finding my way.

June 28, 2009

If you get hit by a paintball you won’t die but at the time of impact you feel you just might. The bruise aches for days to come.  Last night I went to dinner with some friends and Tricia (who I wrote about here). All the women were either pregnant or new mothers. I knew this was coming and had tried preparing for the onslaught to come. The onslaught came. Sitting at the center of the table the conversations swirled around me like swarming bees threatening to sting. The talks about labor, feeling a child kick inside you, motherhood’s triumphs and burdens and the joy a child brings to your world.

I was fine. I prepared for these conversations. I felt like a soldier standing on the front line. Until. Until, Maria said with a smile the time that you hold your child within your womb is the most magical time . It’s so amazing to know you are sustaining them and that you both share a unique connection. Sting.

I felt in an alternate universe as the conversations continued around me. I held Maria’s ten week old baby and all I could think as I looked at her cherubic face was ten weeks. Ten weeks since I lost you Speck. I lost you for as long as I held you.  I must sit with this smile plastered on my face while my heart crumbles inside my chest as I remember you. I saw you on the ultrasound. I felt the exhaustion and the nausea. You were real but you didn’t make it. You will never know these babies. I will never hold you. Maybe other babies, but not Speck, not my first.

Our friends followed us to our house for dessert and I cried the entire way home. I felt empty. Luckily dessert went much better. We ate chocolate cake and laughed and conversed until three in the morning. She made me smile when she said,  Sometimes I just sit and watch her sleep. Then she said with a dreamy look Labor was amazing. I felt pain but I couldn’t help but think, wow I’m bringing a being into this world. I turned to her, and with a raised eyebrow said, labor was amazing? She laughed and said, Kate, I thought I would never be a mother. I wanted to be one so badly that every minute of pregnancy and now every minute of motherhood is a complete and utter blessing. I love hearing her cry. I love waking up at 2am to feed her. I don’t take a minute for granted. Wow- I got goosebumps.

As they were leaving Maria said to our husbands, Give us a second I need to talk to Kate privately.

Turning to me, she said Are you considering IVF. I did a double take. Was I that obvious? The huge IF stamped on my forehead? Or maybe IF sisters can recognize one another better? They notice the subtle clenching of cheeks or imperceptible sighs. I’m not sure. As we walked to the car she said Kate, consider this time a test from God. Consider yourself singled out to be drawn closer to Him. You have a good life, you met the guy of your dreams young, you went to law school, you have a house and great families, we can get stagnant spiritually when life is going well. Consider this struggle a blessing. It’s a time for you to grow stronger and learn a lot about yourself. Just remember if He wants it to happen, it will. I got pregnant naturally after four failed IVF cycles. He just has to say BE and it is. Consider yourself blessed and grow from your pain.

For the past few years I felt so conflicted about God and spiritual matters that though I believed, I kind of packaged it all away, observing some rituals but not really letting it enter and settle into my heart. But when moments like the one I shared with Maria occur. Those out of the blue moments where someone tells you exactly what you needed to hear . . . seeing Maria after two years and her opening up to me and sharing her infertility struggles and then, just when I reached my emptiest moment to pull me aside and advise me…. I can’t help but wonder if perhaps she came into my life when she did for a purpose.

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Meeting hope incarnate

June 27, 2009

I had not seen my friend Maria since 2007. She just had a baby. Her baby was born the day after my miscarriage. She was in Atlanta with her husband to attend a mutual friend’s wedding. We hugged and chatted and in my most nonchalant voice I said, I hope I’m not prying but I remember you told me in ’07 that you’d been trying for a year. What did you end up doing?

She smiled, I had four failed IVF cycles since we last met. The day after my fourth failed cycle, we began filling out the paperwork to adopt a baby from Morrocco. We were in Paris, en route to Morocco to interview with the agency and I got pregnant naturally.

You must have been so stressed I said shaking my head Four failed IVF cycles, I don’t want to imagine. She shook her head, I promise you, I didn’t stress about it. I trusted this was God’s will. He tests those he wants to draw closer to him.

Infertility as a test from God to be borne with absolute strength and trust. I read a book recently in with the author, Steven Luxenberg said fear destroys trust. I am so afraid of the path ahead I have no room to trust. I look at Maria and I think, for 2.5 years she endured what I am enduring, and she took it easy and relaxed. The cynic in me shakes my head and wonders if she is looking back with rose colored glasses, I mean who can endure four failed IVF cycles and say Coolios no big deal? Granted she is filthy rich so affording treatment isn’t the issue . . . but regardless, I am sure she remained faithful during her struggles to conceive. I look at her gorgeous little girl. She is ten weeks old. I did not need to ask, because I know, I will always see her and know. She is hope incarnate. She is proof that I can wringe my hands and give up entirely, but its not up to me what the end result will be. I must move my feet and keep on doing what I must, but I do need to accept that despite my best plans, that I must accept when it comes to TTC, I am not behind the wheel. I want to be where she says she was, that good place where you trust completely and as a result remain stress free. I’m trying to get there. It’s an upward climb but hopefully it will get easier the more I climb.

Tomorrow we’re going out to dinner with a group of friends. One of those friends is my ex-friend who is loud and vivacious and quite pregnant. [I wrote about it here] I know it will be an evening of all about Tricia and I feel very uncomfortable about it. What makes it more awkward is we’re having the dinner folks over to our house for dessert after, and I’ve heard Tricia and her hubby may come TO OUR HOUSE. I hope she doesn’t have the nerve but knowing Tricia she just might. I’ll try to adopt Maria’s philosophy. These difficult times are there to make me stronger. I will sit and smile tomorrow, I will make it through, I will look at Maria’s miracle and remember that I am looking at hope incarnate.

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Untangling my fears of childlessness

June 26, 2009

I want to warn anyone feeling fragile about infertility that this post might be a bit strong. I’m going to talk about some beliefs I am trying to untangle, but I just hope it does not tangle anybody else’s thoughts.

I saw my therapist today and we talked about my plan. I told him something I’ve been scared to admit to myself, I am so scared to start the plan. I’m frightened to take Clomid, to do IUIs, etc. Why? Because I’m afraid they won’t work. I’m scared to explore my options because if the doors close I dont know what to do with myself. He told me I sound like someone whose given up before I’ve begun. I told him I’m trying really hard to make peace with the possibility of never having children and then promptly burst into tears. He asked me what made me so afraid of the prospect of never having children:

1. Did you watch Sesame Street? I remember when Maria and Luis got married and found out they were having a child they sang a song about now becoming a family. At four, I remember feeling confused. Weren’t they already a family? I asked my mom who responded, No, once they have a baby, then they are family. This seems to be a common perception to this day. I see people announce pregnancies on twitter with X and Y are becoming a family! So that means that Jack and I alone, we’re just two people, we’re a couple. We are not a family.

2. When we eat dinner together, or watch TV, or sleep in, or go for a bike ride, I think of my friends who remind me oh you’re lucky to go on vacation . . . we have kids and can’t do that! Ha! you’re so lucky you can sleep in, we’re lucky if we can get four hours of sleep. I COULD have worked the corporate lifestyle but I have kids and they are my priority. I can’t speak for all infertiles, but for me, these comments and attitudes make me feel they are better than me by virtue of having a working womb and children to show for it. They are doing important stuff. They can’t sleep! They can’t relax on vaca! Sometimes I feel like they are really doing the important job while  I’m sitting here in never never land flying like Peter Pan.

3. I’m afraid of  ending up alone. I haven’t seen the movie “UP” (and if you haven’t seen it be warned a spoiler is to follow): from what I’ve heard the movie touches on infertility. A husband and wife suffer a pregnancy loss and then never have children. One scene shows the husband old and alone attending his wife’s funeral. I haven’t seen the movie, but that movie touches on a huge raw fear of mine.

4. I know people who are older and never had children and I hear what people I know say about them. The looks of pity. The whispers that they waited too long to start trying. They tsk tsks as they sigh and watch them, who do they have to live for? Their legacy their name ends with them. I already know for a fact certain people do this with me. My mom told me once I got pregnant, I didn’t want to tell you before, but your aunts would always call and say they were so worried and praying for you. My other aunt blatantly told me You are really tired due to pregnancy because you waited too long. Thank God you got pregnant. Now that I’ve miscarried these word haunt me. I am one of those people you look at and tsk.

5. The obvious, I want to be a mother, and even though I am not a mother, it is part of my identity and because I do not have that status yet, I’m in an identity crisis. I never thought it would be this hard to become a mother and I know I would be a good mother. I want the opportunity to try.  I want to feel her kicks in my womb. I want to push through labor. I want to throw her a huge first birthday, and cry as she goes off to Kindergarten.There is a part of the need to be a mother that is a raw human urge that defies logic or human rationale.

I don’t know if I should try to accept that I might never be a mother and thus sit down and tackle all the issues I listed, or if I need to block them all out and try to make myself hope focused and not consider failure as an option. I dont know which is the healthier  perspective. I’ve heard that if you prepare and accept the possibility of the worst you can be at peace and then be pleasantly overjoyed when the worst does not happen. I’ve also read studies that positive thought and visualization can go a long way to helping your dreams come true. I don’t know which way to go. I need to think about it because being in limbo is not an option for me anymore. The biggest issue I am trying to answer is: If I am to not become a mother, who am I? Who will I be?

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If children are a reward from Him, where does that leave me?

June 25, 2009

You probably heard about the recent scandal of the governor of South Carolina. He left town for five days without telling anyone. Turns out he was in Argentina with his mistress. I read the statement his wife Jenny, mother of four, made to the press, and it was fine until I came across this: Psalm 127 states that sons are a gift from the Lord and children a reward from Him. I will continue to pour my energy into raising our sons to be honorable young men.

I read the first sentence at least five times. I would be okay if someone said that children are a blessing from God. A gift from God, sure.  But a reward? Those with children are rewarded by God.

Reward: re·ward // (r-wôrd)n.Something given or received in recompense for worthy behavior.

So the crack addict mother I’m representing who has six children was rewarded for worthy behavior by God? God rewarded the kids in the backseat of the car after prom? Do you Jenny, think that you are better than those who cannot conceive since you quote to us that children are a reward from God?

She didn’t mean to say it like that of course and its probably the lawyer in me deconstructing her statement as I did. I don’t mean to offend any Christians who believe in this verse. It just really struck me, the casualness of the statements and the silent implications her simple quote carried for me.

Disclaimer: I’m joking about the title. I don’t really think I’m being punished. I’m just feeling a bit reflective as I considered her words said with such absolute certainty.

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OBGYN Update and advice

June 23, 2009

Thanks for all your well wishes and for your advice. I went to a different location to see my my doctor.  This office is located inside of a bigger building, a pediatrics building. Babies, everywhere. I was seated for my consult and looked out the open door. I was sitting across from the Ultrasound room. 22 weeks is about how far I would’ve been. You can guess the thought that went through my mind as I sat waiting.

The meeting went fine. She gave me  a progesterone  ‘script. She’s running blood work to check on what caused my miscarriage.  She told me to get an HSG done and for Jack to get a sperm analysis. Here’s my question: I got pregnant. So clearly the sperm is swimming and my fallopian tubes are open . . . right? Is this standard operating procedure? This is my tentative time line:

July: Get a period and get HSG test and SA done.

August: Get next period and start Clomid. Three Cycles on Clomid.

November: Clomid +IUI. Three Cycles.

February: Fertility Specialist.

She told me to exercise and watch what I eat. Check, and check. She told me to calm down and not stress too much [don’t you LOVE that nugget of advice] because that can affect when I ovulate.

I got off the phone with Jack and he started whining: I don’t want to get an SA. I almost broke down and started bawling. Really? Jacking off into a cup is too much for you? You want to get the HSG done?!? Then when I explained the process he was like Um, do you really want to do all that to have a baby? What the FUCK? I tried to keep my cool and said You told me you were fine with me seeing an RE. What did you think they were going to do? Read my tarot cards and give me herbs to wear on my head while I danced around a fire pit? He said he didn’t know. We’re supposed to talk about it over dinner tonight but I’m really afraid because I don’t want to fight. We’ve been really strong and together on this IF front and I don’t want to break down.

So I have a few questions to throw into the blogiverse:

1) If I have a chance for insurance to cover more if I stick with my OBGYN, what is the increased benefit that an RE would provide. I know that they’d be more knowledgable but if they’re going to give me clomid, IUI’s etc, then why not stick with the doctor I have and let insurance cover some of it?

2) Did any of you have HSG and SAs done post-miscarriage? I’m confused as to why I’d need this see we can clearly get a baby into my belly.

3) Have any of you had to convince your significant other to go through with procedures, etc? I hope I don’t have to go through any convincing, but if I do, do you have any advice for me? I think he’s just overwhelmed. He also doesn’t want it as bad as I do. He’s point blank told me: If we never have kids I’m okay with it though having a child will be wonderful. Some say this should comfort me, one person needs to be the rock. I don’t know, sometimes I agree, sometimes it makes me feel alone.

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My upcoming OBGYN visit

June 23, 2009

3:15 today I go to see my OBGYN. I’m nervous. Why are you nervous? Jack asked me this morning. I’ve thought about it. Why am I nervous. I don’t get any test results today.  It’s a consult. We’re just talking. I’ve thought about it and these are some of my reasons:

1. I’m afraid she won’t give me progesterone to induce my period. I’m on CD43. My longest cycle to date. In December when my period was delayed and I called to ask for it, she said no, that because I have PCOS I needed to just wait it out.

2. I’m afraid she’s going to tell me to wait three more cycles before giving me Clomid.

3. I’m afraid I’m not going to like her timeline for me in general.

4. I’m afraid she will retract her promise to test me for auto-immune issues, etc to determine a possible cause for my miscarriage.

5. I’m afraid that even if she agrees to work with me her time line is going to be very very long. It’s difficult to get fit in for appointments with her.

6. I have been having the weirdest things happening. Lower back pain. Things rumbling in my ovaries. My boobs swell from time to time. I’m afraid she will dismiss this all and give me no explanation.

7. I’m afraid I will break down seeing pregnant women around me, and remembering I’d be in my fifth month right now.

and . . .

8. I’ll  POAS and she’ll likely do a blood test to make sure I’m not pregnant. I know I’m not. I can tell myself this until I’m chanting like a Buddhist monk saying nothing but these words as my mantra, yet still, when she tells me: Negative. It’s going to sting like a slap. Am I the only one who not only feels sad when they see the BFN, but also embarrassed?

I am trying to accept my infertility, and the feeling of no control. The doctor has the control. She is my key to the one thing I want most in this world. I stare at her, a prisonor in my own body, asking for her help. We are so vulnerable at the doctor’s office. I know I will see an RE but today, its just a little stressful.

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Accepting Infertility

June 22, 2009

My posts reflect I reached a low point last week. I felt like my infertility had trapped me into a corner and I could not find my way out. When I sat with my therapist I blurted out in tears I can’t keep going on like this. If I continue feeling this way the results could be bad. He looked up with concern asking me what that meant. I hastened to tell him, I didn’t think suicidal thoughts, but the future seemed so frightening and bleak from where I stood in my journey that this blank space terrifed me to the point of emotional paralysis.

Friday, I decided I needed to do some soul searching. I took the day off work. I worked out. It felt good to sweat away the adrenaline. Each step on the pavement felt like I was pounding away my demons. I showered and then I lit some candles and prayed. Through my tears, I asked for a child. More importantly, I asked for peace. I warned God that my infertility has shaken my concept of Him. That though I prayed, my faith remained weaker than it once was. Then I meditated. I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply and breathed out. I focused on my breath, the sound of the fan in the distance. The candles burned in the distance casting a beautiful glow in my shady afternoon bedroom.

Then, I felt it. Peace. A stillness in my heart that has eluded me for months. I felt no pain, no grief, just peace.

Later that evening as I read a book, a thought struck me with the force of a hammer thrown across the room. I saw my path. Yes, I thought, I am on the fourth week of my two week wait.  Yes, the pregnancy test Jack asked me to take this morning still says negative. But- I *will* get a period eventually. I will see my OBGYN Tuesday. Then I’m going to see an RE. I’m going to get a plan. I need to get out of the moment. The now in which my reality is: no period,  a missed month of trying, hormones that are not helping my emotions.

I think that this past year of TTC I have not accepted my condition. I have PCOS. I am not normal. I want children and my condition, without the right treatment, precludes that. I have been angry about my diagnosis. I have grieved each monthly cycle and the loss of hope it brought. I have felt like less of a woman. Less of a wife. Less of a daughter. I feel I have failed everyone around me. I have lamented my condition, but I did not accept that for better or worse PCOS is my condition to own. My doctor indirectly tries to put the blame of PCOS on me telling I should lose weight and it will magically disappear. But I’m only 10 pounds from my ideal BMI. I’m sick of carrying this guilt. I’m ready to let it go.

Coping with infertility is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I’m sure along the way I will fall. Thanks for reading and being there to lift me up.

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This and that

June 19, 2009

Thanks to advice I received from my blogging community I talked to Jack and we’re seriously considering seeing an RE. I know a good one who worked wonders (i.e. two babies) for a friend of mine with PCOS, so I know he’s good. The only problem has been insurance doesn’t cover it and its a helluva pricey bill to foot. I felt if my OBGYN is giving me Metformin and I got pregnant under her watch, shouldn’t I just stick with her? I tell myself this but then I also feel she isn’t moving me along as fast as I would like. I have an appointment with her on Tuesday so we’ll see what she has to say. Jack said he supports me seeing an RE if I’m not pregnant this cycle, so we may do that depending on Tuesdays meeting.  Thank you so much for giving me advice guys. It’s thanks to this blog that I went to a new doctor when all this began. People told me to ditch a doctor who insisted I didn’t have anything wrong with me and be my own best advocate. Thanks to that I got diagnosed. So I appreciate it so much.

I went to see my therapist today and it helped me deal with how I’m feeling. I want to share some of it because I know many reading are dealing with IF and surely have felt as I do, and maybe some of this might help you. The first thing is I need to stop taking a HPT every day. The new rule for me is twice a cycle, one week apart, and I can only buy off the internet to prevent myself from going to CVS and buying a three pack. The effect of BFN every single morning can single handedly ruin my day. I should also limit my internet “researching” to 30 minutes a day and try to make weekends “research free” days. By research I mean googling for signs and symptoms, and scary stories and hopeful stories. To a certain point its good to know, but once you pass that point, you are not helping yourself, you are stuck. The most important one was not to talk about this incessantly with your spouse because if you stop and just fixate on one thing you are harming your marriage. A marriage is multifaceted and to make this the entire center of your life is unhealthy. He also said to find some peace through prayer, meditation, etc. I’m struggling hard to find my way back to spirituality. I once was strong but lately I am weak, this makes it harder to accept this as meant to be, a test, happening for a reason. I know I need to find a way to center myself. He also said exercise helps burn adrenaline and should be incorporated on the daily. I was exercising regularly but when you get depressed, you don’t want to do anything. I plan to resume again tomorrow.

I’m reading a book called “Get Off Your ‘But'” and this quote really struck me: Pain is inevitable. Eventually, it touches us all. Suffering, however, is optional. Lately, I’ve been suffering a lot. I accept that infertility is a pain that is my reality, but the suffering, I need to get a handle on it. I’m not sure how to do this yet, but I am starting to actively try.

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Tired. So Tired.

June 17, 2009

There is a constant ache in my heart. I can smile, I can laugh, I can behave like a functional member of society, but the truth is, inside I am constantly splintering into a million different peices. Rebuilding, then crushing like dust once more.

My body is playing tricks with me. Still exhausted. Still no period. Still sore boobs. Still thirsty. Still strange discharge. I woke up at 4am last night to pee. Only did that when I was pregnant. I took another test, BFN.

I know that PCOS means wonky cycles, but Metformin was supposed to fix that. The first few months on it, I had regular cycles. This troubles me: out of 12 possible cycles, my lengthy cycles give me around 8 chances and of those, with PCOS, who knows when I ovulated, if even? My doctor will fight me on progesterone to jumpstart this cycle. She will fight me on Clomid. If I can convince her I’ll need to first get an HSG test done, and Jack will need to get a Sperm Analysis. This will take many months. I won’t be on all of this until at least August.  The thought of this, of all the obstacles, and all the time, and all the uncertainty its tearing me apart.

I scheduled to see my therapist tomorrow. Jack was so happy when he found out. Ask him what I should do? Ask him how I can be a good partner for you. I asked him, Are you getting frustrated. He said, Honey, I love you but this is killing me. Your constant pain, your tears, I just don’t know what to do anymore. He said it with love and it broke my heart. I’m hurting. I’m hurting Jack. The thought of hurting this good man brings tears to my eyes.

I can’t keep doing this. I can’t live my life this way. I need to do some serious soul searching. I need to find a way to make peace with the facts of my life, with my condition, with the reality that I don’t know the future and that I may never have children. I wish I knew how to do this.

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CD35, EWCM, WTF

June 16, 2009

I woke up today ready to puke. I tested again, this time in the morning, and it was again a BFN. I step in the shower and (warning TMI territory coming up, don’t read on if you’re squeamish) EWCM in abundance I have never in my entire life seen is there. It frightened me to see so much. On CD35? What the hell does that mean? The right side of my lower body around the ovaries is hurting like never before today. My lower right back is hurting. My back NEVER HURTS. No period to come, not even a hint. I don’t understand what’s going on. Is my body just misfiring post-miscarriage? Sigh. I hate PCOS. My two week wait is now into week three with no end in sight.

I found this on FertilityFriend:

Why do I have eggwhite cervical fluid after I have already ovulated?

Some cervical fluid after ovulation is possible because the corpus luteum, though its main function is to produce progesterone, produces estrogen in small amounts. This may cause you to see some fertile-looking cervical fluid, even after ovulation. If your temperatures and other signs show clearly that you have already ovulated, then you can be confident that you are no longer fertile. It is also not uncommon to confuse semen and eggwhite or watery cervical fluid. Some women also notice some fertile-looking cervical fluid just before menstruation.

I’m betting that’s me. Oh well.

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Hit the crack pipe- again

June 15, 2009

Before I tell you, let me explain why I did it:

1. I had to pull my car en route to work because I felt so nauseous I was convinced I’d puke.

2. I’m sprouting acne. I NEVER had acne except when I was . . .

3. I’m on CD 34 and still no period.

4. My boobs are tender to the touch.

5. Oh yeah and I’m on CYCLE DAY 34 AND NO PERIOD!!

I was resolute in my plan to wait until Friday CD38 but the symptoms, I just couldn’t WAIT. I thought of Jack who has told me in no uncertain terms thou shalt not test until Friday, but waved it aside telling myself yeah, but when its POSITIVE then he won’t be mad! [I realize my reasoning is beginning to sound more and more like a 60 year old lady in a straw hat and yellow slippers hitting the slot machine]. I bought the test- a three pack. I sat around at work for approximately ten minutes and then POAS. And yeah, BFN.

Cycle Day34. It should be accurate today . . . right? I try to remind myself that I tested on CD33 when Speck lived in me, and didn’t know his presence until CD38. I’m so unsure which way to talk to myself. Do I talk myself into hope. Or begin mourning the loss of another missed opportunity this cycle. As an infertile, I find it quite difficult to hold the middle ground. It’s so difficult in fact, that I cannot see the middle ground.

So here I am, CD34. Annoyed. Sad. Frustrated. Curious. Hopeful. You name it. I’m it. Though the biggest fear is this, its’ not even the not being pregnant, its more the oh shit, I’m going to have to go through this again next month… and the next… and the next.

Except the worst, but hope for the best. It’s an old saying, but when you’re doing equal parts of both for 2-3 weeks straight, its enough to make you wish you were expecting and hoping for nothing at all.

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Thoughts while awaiting a period

June 14, 2009

I’m on CD32, still no period. I’m determined not to take a pregnancy test until Friday. That would be CD37 and by then any results will be accurate. It’s funny, I’ve been wanting to drink a lot of water lately, I have an unquenchable thirst. This was my first symptom of pregnancy last time though at the time I did not think of it as a symptom but instead just got weirded out at my high level of thirst. Later I read its an early preggo symptom. That’s the one and only symptom these days for me, if it is a symptom at all.  I tell myself I dont think Im pregnant and I tell myself not to raise my hopes, but then when I feel a twinge down there, I tense wondering if my period is coming, and when I tense the thought that instinctively comes to mind is no no no, please no, please let me be pregnant. And this thought sounds so whimpery and pathetic I feel slightly annoyed that I am so vulnerable to the monthly workings of my body.

I’m debating taking my prenatal pills. I avoid taking them lately because taking them reminds me of Speck. I am someone who focuses a great deal on the small things, for better or worse. When I was pregnant, I took the pills and I imagined its nutrients nourishing my speck. I imagined it so well, now I feel strange taking it on an empty womb. But today, I am tempted to resume taking my prenatal vitamins. I’m only afraid it will hurt harder if come tomorrow I bleed.

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Two Months Since My Miscarriage

June 13, 2009

Is it strange that the day I lost my baby is the day my period is due? It’s like my body chooses to honor this loss with the letting of blood within me. I guess that’s kind of a sweet tribute. Kind of like raising a flag half mast in remembrance. It’s been two months today since I lost my baby. I can’t believe its only been two months. It feels as though this ache in my heart has always been there since the beginning of time. It feels it will always remain. I’m doing okay today. Thursday was a bad day. So bad I did not want to get out of bed so did not. Somehow I made it through and today I am fine.

My period is due today, CD31. But since Metformin I’ve only had two cycles and they were 32 and 33 day cycles so my period could come Sunday, or Monday. I can’t even tell if my boobs are sore now because at this point I’ve prodded them so much I can’t be sure.

I took four pregnancy tests during times when a positive was completely unlikely. Now, that its more realistic, I don’t want to take it. The desire to test has completely left me. I guess I know that as the days get closer I can’t wave away the result as being too early. The result will be accurate and though there’s that slim chance of a BFP. . . if I were in vegas I wouldn’t be betting any substantial sum of money on it. At this point, I will likely test on Friday because by then whatever the result it will be pretty accurate.

I’m going to put away the dishes now. An author I love agreed to re-review an excerpt of my manuscript so I need to revise that. Then I will finish a cute book I’m reading [B as in Beauty]. Jack and I might go out tonight to a cute restaurant or chill at home and rent a movie and make pasta. My goal is to be doing doing doing. Moving moving moving. If you stand still the demons inside your head may come out to play. That’s my one goal today, to keep them at bay.

On a random side note, I finished a novella by Steve Martin, Shop Girl [which is surprisingly not bad]  I found this quote interesting: It’s pain that changes our lives. Well infertiles, would you not agree? This constant lingering pain has changed our lives hasn’t it? It’s tilted my world off its fucking axis.

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Einstein says: TTC while Infertile = Insane

June 12, 2009

Einstein defined Insanity as repeating the same behavior over and over again and expecting a different result.  So by definition, I a perpetual infertile, TTC for 19 months, am… yeah, color me crazy! Seriously though, we’re not doing the same behavior over an over again considering we’re changing timings, seeing doctors, popping pills, but this quote really struck me since essentially it feels like you are doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result. So though, I wager I am not infact, insane, I think I understand just a little bit more why I sometimes feel like I’m going batty during these two week waits.

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A perfect portrait but for the hole

June 11, 2009

Jack asked me today, Help me understand: You have a loving relationship with your brothers and parents, you and I get along wonderfully, you’re quitting a job you hate to pursue a dream, we travel the world together, and eat lots of delicious chocolate chip cookies. Your life is the same as it always was. Yes you want something, but even if you don’t get that, what you have, isn’t that good?

This is how I can explain. Imagine a drawing, a cartoon drawing you make as a kid. The portrait has a stick figure boy, and a girl, a big heart between them. Next to them is my parents and brothers all cute stick figures with big smiles. There is green grass and a lake nearby and fish swimming with wide grins. You see a house in the back with a little chimney, and I’m holding an album of “Our travels” in my hand. Now imagine a hole. A rip on the top right hand corner of the page. It’s a large hole. It does not take away from what’s drawn on the page but its there, and you can’t help but notice this ugly hole just there. The more you try not to look at the hole the more you see it. Soon its all you can see.

That’s where I am right now. I’m trying to learn how to co-exist with that hole. I’m trying to appreciate the rest of the picture. The difference between Jack and me is this: Jack thinks I see the world mourning for what was never there. I look at our world and I see something missing. There is a difference.

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PMS post miscarriage and dark thoughts

June 11, 2009

I once had a friend. She was my best friend. We did everything together and I trusted her completly. Our husbands were friends. We had standing invitations to one another’s house each weekend. I felt grateful to have them so dear to us. One day out of the blue she stopped speaking to me completely. She made new friends. When I saw her, she would turn her back and ignore me. One day her friends tore up pictures of me in her home and stuck them on the fridge. To this day I have no clue what I did. In the beginning I’d call and beg her to tell me what I did wrong. Our friendship was worth more than a misunderstanding, or if I made a mistake, worth more than ending over a mistake. At least, I asked, tell me what my mistake was. She refused. She as a bubbly vivacious girl attracts friends like honey and bees. I withdrew from all the social circles because it was uncomfortable to be in a corner while all the people crowded around her.  She hurt me so badly. She is pregnant.

She called me three weeks ago after two years of silence and cold glares and left a message saying she wanted to tell me what happened. It did not sound like an apology (which I would have accepted so we could move on) but instead a time to rehash what happened two years earlier. No, I thought. I’m done with the past. I’ve moved on. I wondered why now?

My friend who told me Tricia was pregnant was not prepared for my face to go white. For me to get tears in my eyes. I told her about my miscarriage. Otherwise I’d look really weird wouldn’t I? It was uncomfortable. I wish I hadn’t shared though she is very supportive. I just have a very hard time talking about face to face I guess.

I told Jack. He’s out of town. He said he knew. My friend’s hubby [Chris] is still in touch with Jack I guess. Chris told Jack before Tricia called and left the message My wife has PCOS she finally got pregnant and she wants to call and apologize to Kate. Jack told Chris that it was up to me what I wanted to do. He didn’t tell me any of this because he didn’t want to influence my decision and he knew how emotional I could get.

I’m just thinking to myself: Why. Why two days before my period? As I sit on a heap of negative pregnancy tests when Jack is not here When I’m in a darkened home all by myself, WHY NOW do I have to hear this? This girl was downright mean. In the end she won by having all my friends. Now she wins the battle of fertility too.

That’s silly isn’t it? Were not competing? But she did win. She gets a room full of friends while I sit here alone. She gets to have a baby while I sit and mourn mine.

Why God. Why does it work that way? I’m crying. I’m feeling a mix of emotions. Jealousy. Guilt over my jealousy. Anger at the All Mighty. Self Pity. Grief. Hopelessness. A huge helping of hopelessness. Fucking hell, infertilyt sucks. I hate being powerless. I hate having no control. I hate this SO much.

I talked to Jack about it today and he says I’m darker than usual. He said that the level of emotionality that I’m displaying is like how I was weeks after the miscarriage. I’m wondering if this is because of the fact that I’m due for a period on Saturday (I think- you never know with PCOS). This is PMS times twenty. Is PMS post miscarriage more horrifying for everyone? I’d like to think my emotions are just my hormones getting the better of me. I hope so.

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Fuzzy Math: My attempt at being positive

June 10, 2009

January 2008: Began TTC with undiagnosed PCOS

February 2008: OBGYN insists no PCOS w/out doing bloodwork or ultrasound. Tells me to TTC on 14, 15, 17, 19 of my cycle.

April 2008: Switch OBGYNs. New OBGYN gives me progesterone to induce period. Tells me after two cycles he’ll give me Clomid. No mention of PCOS or investigating potential causes of infertility. [and yes though the official year hadnt passed to term me IF, I knew I was. Sometimes you just know]

May 2008: Give up on OBGYNs. TTC in futility.

September 2008: Switch OBGYN. New one begins blood work to determine PCOS.  Identifies based on blood work I have PCOS.

October 2008: Ultrasound confirms PCOS.

November 2008: Put on Metformin

December 2008: Begin therepeutic dosage of Metformin

February 2009: Get pregnant

April 2009: Miscarry at 11 weeks.

Jack says that technically all the months we TTC before getting medication for PCOS were in vain due to the fact no little eggies were coming out to play. So really, our journey began December 2008 when I began Metformin. So really, I conceived after two months of TTC. So really, there’s nothing to worry about. Getting preggers will be a breeze.

So many retorts are waiting to come out like, the meds don’t fix PCOS. I can still struggle to conceive despite it. There could be other stuff wrong. Um, did you forget i miscarried? It’ s not just getting pregnant I’m concerned with. And so on and so forth, but I will not say those things today!

I guess I can choose to look at the glass half full since my reality remains the same. If seeing a half filled glass makes it easier, maybe its worth it. This is how I feel right now. Ask me again when my period comes.

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Still Two Week Waiting

June 10, 2009

Last night I had one of those dreams where you wake up still unconvinced that it did not happen because it felt so real. I dreamt last night that I POAS and it was positive. I hugged Jack. I started counting down the due date and then- the alarm buzzed and I woke up. I woke up feeling sheepish that I had such a silly dream. It did help me not POAS for real this morning. It may help me from POAS until June 17. It felt so good to see that positive in my dream, but, remember I said I thought I was pregnant? Well, all the “Symptoms” are gone. No more exhaustion. No more nausea. My boobs ache a little but a period should be coming on soon. I don’t think I’m pregnant anymore though yes, I do wish and hope I was. So I’m going to do my best to not POAS until  its well past my period due date (since with me, as a PCOSer who knows when the period will actually come, I give it a week give or usually take).

On a random side note. Thank you to the people who comment. It really helps me feel less alone. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy… but knowing that its okay to feel so scared and upset at times helps me deal better with my condition. Thanks so much.

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Birth Control Pills and my crack habit

June 9, 2009

Watching a birth control pill commercial and I feel wistful. They don’t want no baby and they are in control. I want a baby, and I have no control. Can I possibly convince myself that being childless is my own choice? If I were a master at self delusion, what a charmed life I would then lead.

I’m on CD27 and took another pregnancy test: BFN. I tested on CD33 when I was pregnant and got a BFN. I tested CD 39 and got my BFP. I knew what the results would be. I feel like a crack addict. Like a junkie, I spend tons of money on something I know is no good for me, I hide in the bathroom to get my fix, Jack knows I dabble but has no idea how much of our hard earned money is flushed down that toilet. As soon as I’m done, I feel horrible, but i’m pining for my next fix.

I’m tired.

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“You’ve been married seven years”

June 9, 2009

July 4, 2002: I got married. I was 22. The thought of pregnancy terrified me.

August 22, 2004: I start law school May 2004. I was 24. Pregnancy makes me queasy.

May X, 2006: I suggest to Jack, maybe we should have kids. Jack turns green. I was 26.

January 1, 2008: Jack says he’s ready. I was 28.

June 9, 2009: I’m a miscarrying infertile PCOSer. I am 29.

As the time line indicates we began TTC about 5.5 years into our marriage. The time we waited it kicks me in the butt you see because of the comments people make and the looks I get. Instead of me feeling proud to be happily married for nearly seven years, I feel ashamed that there is no offspring to show for it. I’m beginning to tire of the looks of pity. Instead of the scarlet letter A, I carry the dark cloud of IF over my head. Never mind that 12% of U.S. women struggle with TTC, we’re so silent were it not for blogging I’d think I was in it alone. Just yesterday I said something about how the cost of weddings has shot up since my time, and the girl retorted Um, you got married SEVEN year ago. That’s ancient history. I felt a wooly mammoth, never mind that this newlywed is just four months younger than me.

Jack said to me, if you wanted kids this badly why did we wait so long. I never knew it would be this hard. I actually remember telling friends when I was a teacher, I’m going to get pregnant in November to have a summer baby. They told me its not always that easy. I rolled my eyes. I came from a family of fertile women. They merely had to think about it, and they were pregnant.

I buried my head in the sand for a long while. I knew I had PCOS though I never knew its name. I knew there was something wrong but not until it was time to try did I actually start investigating. I should have started sooner.

Seven years of marriage. I should be proud, and yet because I let the things other say to me get to me, I feel partly ashamed to have nothing to show for it.

I’m trying hard to stand tall and with dignity with infertility, but some days that one comment can just cut you at the knees.

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Irrational yet justified fears of visiting my in-laws

June 9, 2009

I have PCOS. As  result I ovulate unpredictably and have irregular and infrequent periods. As a result I can never predict my periods based on calendar or cycle day calculations. However, I can often predict when I get my period based on whether or not I’m going to visit my in-laws. My in-laws live three hours from us and for some strange reason I began noticing about three years ago that whenever I went to see them, or they came here, I would get my period. I kid ye not. At first, I did not believe it myself, I joked to Jack, haven’t gotten a period in two months, we should visit your parents. But then, we would. And I would get my period. I half joked with Jack when I got pregnant, um since I always get my period when we visit your parents, how about not visiting your parents at least for the first five or six months of the pregnancy? I knew the fear was irrational. They did not cause my body to bleed. It was just a weird eerie coincidence. And then in their home, while visiting on April 11, 2009 I began to bleed. April 13, 2009 I lost my baby.

Jack wants to visit his parents this weekend. I’m due for my period on Saturday. Seriously. I did not plan it. It just is. Last night I explained this to Jack. How each time we go. I get my period. I told him when I get pregnant I’m avoiding them for at least seven months. This time he did not say anything in response.

I would feel mean but this irrational fear now feels quite rational to me (in an irrational sort of way). My mom said the body is a powerful thing, maybe its not just a coincidence for the past (at least) three years. I likely can’t avoid them for nine months after I find out I’m pregnant, but as Saturday approaches I’m really dreading going for a visit.

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My infertility versus my miscarriage

June 8, 2009

Last night my husband looked at me with an expression I never saw before. What’s the matter? I asked him. Nothing, he said, I just wish so much you could be a mother. You want it so much and each time I see you I see someone who does not feel complete. I so badly want you to feel complete.

I’ve been thinking a lot during this two week wait (incase the incessant posting has not made this obvious) about infertility and the nature of the emotions that course through me. My miscarriage was one huge blow, a hammer thrown from across the room tearing my insides in two. My infertility is a twisting around my heart every month. I grieve my miscarriage but it happened. It was a tangible thing that was. I can count down, two weeks since my miscarriage… three weeks… two months.. three months… but this infertility business- this is horrifying. It’s month after month after month of fresh new pain, fresh new disappointment and grief.

Being infertile makes me sometimes feel I’m trapped in a maze and I’m unable to find my way out. I am so tired of trying. I am so sick of two week waits. The prospect of months or years of more of the same is so daunting that a part of me wants to just give up. Just forget about having kids and accept being childless. At least I can move on. This infertility thing is a sentence to an eternal grounddog day.

I’m sick of being Charlie Brown. I’m sick of Lucy pulling the football at the last possible moment. I’m sick of falling for it each and every single fucking time. I’m really tired.  Part of me really wants to stop playing.

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I do love my brother, I do.

June 8, 2009

My brother, four years my junior just got married. I’ve been married for seven years. I had plenty of time to beat him to the punch on having a kid. So far, no cigar. Here’s the thought I’m fighting: What if he has a baby before me? I love my brother so much and I want him to have kids if that is what he wants, but seriously the thought of him having a baby first makes me feel like the biggest loser in the history of losers. Unfortunately, knowing my track record, they may beat me to the punch. Part of me wants to ask him if they plan to have kids right away so I can be prepared, but at the same time, accidents happen for some lucky fertiles so asking would not do any good anyways.

I’m Alice in wonderland twirling down the rabbit hole. Two Week Waits turn the sanest of us a bit neurotic.

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Don’t mind the neurotic infertile

June 7, 2009

I’m writing a novel and my character gets pregnant after having sex with her husband once. I’m re-reading the manuscript after having put it away for a few months. I came across this passage: She cursed her pregnancy. This child ensured she would remain bound and chained. Her womb an anchor within her, keeping her feet firmly planted on this soil. My first instinctive thought? What an ungrateful trollop. Instinctively jealous of a fictional character I created. Gotta love it.

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Thoughts on nail biting.

June 7, 2009

Since I was four years old I bit my nails. My mom says its due to a childhood friend who bit her nails. To fit in and be more like her, I bit my nails too. The friendship is long gone but the nail biting habit remained. For the past 25 years I bit my nails until April 13, 2009. I remember sitting at the drugstore at 4am, hours after my miscarriage, waiting for the pharmacist to fill the ‘script for my pain medication and staring at my nails. I don’t know why, but I resolved to stop biting my nails that day. Since then I have not. You would think after 25 years my nails would grow brittle and weak, but they instead are unyielding in their firmness. My nails are so tough I could not bite them now, even if I wanted to. I went for my first manicure Wednesday. The manicurist admired my nails, They are so long but they are so strong. It’s funny since I got my hair cut that day and my hair dresser made a similar comment about my hair. You straighten it with a professional straightner daily without using any product to protect your hair against the heat? I shake my head. I’m amazed how strong your hair is. No split ends, no damage despite the heat.

I consider my hair, and my nails. They prove to me I am made of hardy tough stock despite how fragile I sometimes feel inside. I am strong. I will face the verdict of this cycle whether I am crying from a broken heart or they are tears of joy and fears for my future, but I know one thing: I am strong. I may not feel that way all the time, especially when thoughts of my lost Speck cross my mind, but these nails, I will not bite them again. They remind me of my strength. They remind me to keep going on. Whatever may come, I am strong enough to handle it. I lost you Speck, and still I’m standing. That in and of itself is proof positive.

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PCOS is frustrating

June 6, 2009

When I got diagnosed with PCOS my doctor said to me this means you could ovulate at any time. Dont rely on checking for EWCM. I felt confused, So what do I do? How do I time? She laughed, don’t time it, just try whenever possible. This was cute in January 2008, its frustrating June 2009.

So you know how I was going on and on about how I felt pregnant? Well, it’s CD22 and I checked and I have EWCM. Yeah we did the BD just to be on the safe side, but if I did in fact ovulate today then what’s with all the funky monkey symptoms? I really forgot in the few months I was pregnant how aggravating TTC with a wonky cycle can be. In February, when I conceived, it was CD22. That month too, I had EWCM three different times that month.

If anyone is completely fertile and gets pregnant when they hit the sack and don’t understand us infertiles. Read the above. Then read a few posts below. Do you see how neurotic it is? Now multiply that two weeks a month, month after month, after month, after… yeah. I’ll be honest, I’m a little frustrated. Before the miscarriage I’d grown resigned to infertility. I stopped hyperventilating with anxious joy after each “sign” appeared. I remember my boobs felt sore and I knew I was ten days late, but I still refused to test because I was so tired of that damn negative.

Now I’m a fish with short term memory. I’m a puppy that refuses to house break. I’m so fucking ready to hope and believe and think this month is it, waving away the rest of the months filled with disappontment and pain. It. is. so. damn. frustrating.

I have an appointment scheduled for June 23rd to consult with my OBGYN and figure out what’s up. I refuse to test again until June 19th, which is CD36. I know a period will break my heart, but I’m not sure how much worse seeing a negative will be when this month began with such high hopes.

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These “symptoms”- advice

June 5, 2009

I’m nauseous. My boobs are sore [though this comes and goes]. I constantly feel the need to sleep. I’ve read this can occur just because you ovulated, not necessarily because you are pregnant. I’m not used to ovulating so maybe this is the case, but I was wondering if any of you could give advice one way or other on this? If ovulation is always followed by feelings of pregnancy, I have a rougher road ahead than I thought in the TTC journey. Any advice or insight from personal experience much appreciated.

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Doctor’s Appointment

June 4, 2009

Me: I’d like to schedule a consult with Dr. D

Receptionist: Consult for what?

Me: Um, I don’t know to talk about my situation…

Receptionist: Can you please elaborate?

Me: Well, I had a miscarriage… and I have PCOS… and I think I want Clomid… and-

Receptionist: Oh okay, an infertility consult.

Me: Yeah, an infertility consult, but could you list as abnormal periods, you know insurance..

Receptionist: Yeah, Dr. D can code it that but we label it an infertility consult internally since that’s what it is.

Funny how easily I write it on this blog but how difficult it is to say those words outloud. It’s like, saying them makes it real.  We are defined by what we are.  In different contexts we are one thing entirely. Dealing with a client I am 100% lawyer. Lost in a book I’m a 100% reader. Comforting my mother I am 100% daughter. At the OBGYN I am 100% infertile. It’s who I am. Its the label on the medical file. A Miscarrying Infertile PCOSer. Tis life I suppose.

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I think I am pregnant***

June 4, 2009

I’ve been hesitating to write this because a) It’s too early b) I’m always NOT pregnant (save once) c) I will feel really embarassed when I find out I’m not. But this is my private blog to be fully honest, and this really is the truth: I feel pregnant. I know that thinking this may lead to a harder fall when/if I find out I am not. I took the pregnancy test today as early as I did to help myself prepare for a possible negative come June 17, 2009 but the truth is that I do feel pregnant. My boobs are sore. I feel slightly queasy. I want to take a nap right now despite getting my rest. No amount of preparation will help ease the disappointment I will feel if I get my period.

*** Updated to add: I just read this about how post-ovulation symptoms can mimic pregnancy so maybe that is it. I feel ready to hurl. My breasts are growing increasingly tender by the day, and despite 12 hours of rest I wish to sleep. Here is what I think: Maybe because with PCOS I hardly ovulated int he past, now my body showing post ovulation symptoms is confusing me, tricking my mind? I want to be pregnant very badly, but I also do not want to be wishing on a false star.

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Pregnancy Tests

June 4, 2009

When pregnancy test manufacturers stuck “TEST FIVE DAYS SOONER” on the box they knew they hit the jackpot. For infertiles, pregnancy tests are our crack. Let’s be real, we tested before our period prior to them sticking that on the box, but now some of us (ahem) decide to try it even a few days after suspected ovulation thinking well, it’s almost five days sooner.

I should not have taken a pregnancy test. I’m only on CD22. If I did ovulate on CD11 its still too early to test. But you see, my boobs, they’re sore. I’m sleepy. I’m a bit queasy. And yes, I’m a neurotic infertile. So I tested. And yeah, it was a BFN [big fucking NO]. I know it will seem strange but I needed to see that no now while I knew it would say no as opposed to June 17, 2009 about four days after my period is due when I will test again. I needed to see the negative. I needed to ease back into the land of infertility where you feel stuck in a maddening groundhog day of tests that read the same: NO.

I’ve been putting off calling my OBGYN for a consult to discuss the next steps. I am not sure why but I think seeing the BFN reminds me I need to be proactive again. I’m trying to push my miscarriage out of my mind and the feelings of unfairness that follow, you know the whole why am I having to sit here in this silent bathroom staring at this test with desperate longing? I thought I was past this. Yeah, that. It’s a daily struggle, but I continue climbing.