Archive for the ‘Infertility’ Category

h1

Becky and Mabel: The epic struggle

September 9, 2009

Pregnancy discussed.

Lately it feels like I have multiple personalities, and they don’t get along. There’s Becky. She has two ponytails laced with ribbons and wears a pink cheerleader outfit. She has two giant pom poms and loves daisies, springtime, and kittens. Then there’s Mabel. She wears black, paints her fingernails purple, smokes cigarettes in the girls bathroom. She loves beating up freshmen, killing bunnies, and glaring. A typical day:

Becky: Nausea! I have nausea! This is good!
Mabel: Uh yeah, sure. If you didn’t eat so fucking much you’d feel fine.
Becky: The ultrasound will be so exciting!
Mabel: (Yawn) Because seeing a heartbeat means something right?
Becky: Ooh I’m getting stretchy feelings in my uterus, it must be growing!
Mabel: Or you’re about to have a miscarriage, you idiot.
Becky: Katery put up pictures of her crib. I can’t wait to crib shop.
Mabel: You are not her. You have no business dreaming.
Becky: But this could be it!
Mabel: But it’s probably not, so burn the damn pom pom before I stuff you in a locker.

For the past two weeks I’ve been doing pretty good about keeping Becky stuffed in the boys locker room. But Jack, he’s so hopeful lately and as much as I try to resist its contagious. He’s named it sunflower. He’s figured out the approximate due date. He talks to it. He didn’t do this last time. After we lost Speck he said he’d never do it again so I don’t get why he’s doing it now. I don’t want to tell him not to because seeing him excited fills me with so much warmth, but at the same time the fucking pom poms come out and I actually start looking at the gerber ad on TV and think I’m gonna hand make my baby food. These thoughts are always followed by a quick reprimand to Becky to stop this silly hope business. I’m fine with you sitting in a corner emitting gentle rays, but to leap up and start doing the macarena? No! No! No! You’ve had two losses and you’re at higher risk for a third. Protect your fucking heart. What the hell is wrong with you?

So yes, it seems that multiple losses leads to multiple personalities. I’m doing my best to manage both sides of myself, but if you see Becky jumping rope or flashing a toothy smile, trip her down the stairs, m’kay?

h1

A post about sperm and eggs, I think

September 8, 2009

We spent the long weekend with Jack’s uncles in Arkansas. Unlike, Jack’s parents, his uncles are the sweetest people. They had a huge birthday bash for me with homemade cake and gifts piled on the dining table. I don’t have a real relationship with my relatives, and Jack’s parents think I’m a pesky squirrel that somehow slipped in while they were napping, so to be around caring people who made me feel loved felt good.

Later, his uncle showed us to our room. The room was large with an attached bathroom and expensive hand soap. But I couldn’t focus on this. As he showed us the towels and how to adjust the thermostat I found myself transfixed by the artwork hanging on the wall:

IMG_8856

Am I the only one looking at a portrait of confused sperm? Uncle Ben caught my expression and smiled proudly, its made by a well known local artist. I can tell you’re blown away by it. After he left, I turned to Jack, don’t you see it?! He squinted at it for a minute and then laughed, yep, looks like we’re sleeping under a portrait of sperm. Then glancing at the bedspread he shook his head, and looks like we’ll be sleeping under a blanket of eggs:

IMG_8859

Maybe infertility has seriously fried my brain, but all I’m saying is its a strange feeling to pull up your eggy blanket and look up at 3-D sperm floating above your head before you go to sleep.

h1

The paradox of hope and fear

September 1, 2009

Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback on lovenox. I know that many of you brave women inject yourself regularly and I’m in complete awe. I sat with the shot for a good hour until Jack walked in and insisted on doing it. The pain of the needle going in isn’t horrible, it’s more this strange burning sensation once the medicine is inside. And the bruising! I look like someone kicked my stomach in. Still, I am grateful if it’ll help this one stick.

I feel funny today. I’m scared to call it nausea. It’s saliva and its constant and it makes me feel funny. I keep trying to attribute to something else, perhaps I didn’t drink enough water, or slept too little, or maybe its just the way the moon is orbiting. But maybe just maybe its a symptom of pregnancy. A real, live symptom, imagine that. I’m scared to imagine.

My friend said to me I’m not saying its related, but your negative attitude of not accepting congratulations, not wanting to talk about it, saying ‘if’ in terms of the viability of this pregnancy isn’t good. You could negatively affect the outcome. I hope that’s not true. I think its hard for someone who has not dealt with loss to understand my emotions. I don’t like talking about it. I try to find other causes for symptoms I might get. I’m not even signing up for ICLW next month because you have to submit three words to describe your blog and I can’t bring myself to write the P word. I mean, ICLW starts towards the end of September, I don’t know for certain where I will be come September! That probably sounds absolutely horrific, but its true.

BUT-  underneath the doubt, the fear, the anxiety, and the sadness, there is hope. It is a candle on low burning in the darkness. The flames are so small you could doubt its existence were it not for the quiet nights when I lie still and can feel its warmth radiate through my body.  So yes, I am afraid.  I’m deathly afraid. And yes, I don’t want to fucking talk about it because there’s something about hearing my voice travel the sound waves that amplifies this fear in my heart, but no, I’m not feeling hopeless. Why else would I have dared to try again? Each and every one of us IFers are living proof of this paradox. I may live in fear, but I float on hope.

h1

Lovenox *gulp*

August 28, 2009

After my first loss I asked my doctor to run any tests she had to find out why. She was kind of enough to oblige though I’ve heard some docs won’t run these until three or more. While waiting for these results I got pregnant again. She called me 5 weeks into my pregnancy and asked me to take a baby aspirin because I tested positive for lupus anticoagulent and referred me to a maternal fetal specialist to discuss lovenox. He ordered a series of 15 tests on me.  In the meantime I lost that pregnancy. A few days after the loss I learned my lupus anticoagulent was now negative though there were other numbers that were borderline high. She said next time I got pregnant to get lovenox immediately upon a positive test. True to her word as soon as I called in she wrote me a prescription for lovenox.

I waited to fill my appointment until the next day because I had an appointment with a hematologist. He said he didn’t think lovenox was medically necessary for me and that I should wait two weeks for him to run some more tests on me. I asked him why did I test positive for lupus first go around, and then negative the next go around. He said sometimes lupus anticoagulent follows one pregnancy but not another. I asked him if now I was safe in this pregnancy, he said I can’t be certain. So while he said I didn’t need to take lovenox he did say that if my OB  felt I should, I can go ahead and take it. I began leaning towards taking it since the thought of this lupus thing coming and going like an apparition trying to steal my pregnancies freaked me out. But I still hesitated. Dr. F said not necessary and he’s an expert on all things blood. Jack thought I should wait out the two weeks.

After fretting for sometime someone advised me the obvious: ask you OBGYN. The hematolist may be a blood doc but he works with cancer, this is a recurrent pregnancy loss issue, you should trust the people who work with the preggo people. So I e-mailed my OB-GYN last night and she said she wanted me on it on the advice of the maternal fetal specialist.

I’m freaking out now. I am hoping by listing my fears they’ll seem less scary:

1) Lovenox costs $1,000/month. My insurance covered it this go aroud but I’m switching insurance in October because my job ends. What if the new insurance gives me problems?
2) I got a positive pregnancy test TUESDAY at 13dpo. Now its FRIDAY 16dpo. I didn’t start too late did I? I’m so upset that I waited. I should’ve gone with my instinct and just started stabbing myself with the needles as soon as they were ordered. The hematologist just confused me. UGH. It’s always better safe than sorry.

Nope, still scared. Please don’t let it be too late. Please don’t let it be too late.

Anyone have any advice on how to take Lovenox?

h1

Oh Cavity, why now?

August 28, 2009

When I get pregnant my gums and teeth start acting funny but this time the pain was slightly more acute and I knew I had a cavity. I went to the dentist and when I signed in I said, just so you know I’m pregnant. The receptionist looked at me and smiled I remember you! You thought you were pregnant last time you came. I stared at her with my jaw hanging down to my knees. I wrote about this May 2008, over a year ago. How I thought I was pregnant and had to do the walk of shame and say nope, just a crazy IF dreaming. It’s been over a year and she remembers. I felt like one of those mentally unhinged women who pretend they’re pregnantl. No really, I said shaking my head, I really am this time.

The dentist thinks I have a cavity but he can’t do any dental work until I’m in my second trimester. Come back when you’re four months pregnant, he said. It is a really fucking sad fact of life that I stared at him confused at how he could just say that. Shouldn’t he say instead if you’re still pregnant and don’t have a miscarriage, then come back in month four. I mean, really, that’s where my mind went instead of understanding the normal assumption that women who see positive pregnancy tests have babies at the end of it! I find it amazing how loss factors into even random ordinary interactions such as a dentist appointment.

I hope and pray the cavity stays a wee little cavity and doesn’t morph into root canal. I don’t know how one survives that for months on end. <– Look at me! Months on end! Hope: you are a sticky little sucker. (fingers and toes crossed)

h1

It lies under the surface

August 26, 2009

4am today Jack shook me awake. You were yelling Why?! over and over again, he said with a bewildered expression.  I have no recollection but Jack told me I’ve been having outbursts like this the past few weeks.

I thought I’ve been dealing with my second loss better. I don’t cry daily. I don’t sit and fixate on what happened. I felt relieved that somehow I’d manage to hurt less this go around. Today as I made an appointment I turned a page in my agenda and bug’s u/s picture drifted out and landed in my lap. It’s been a month since I lost bug.  Her presence in my womb while my numbers tanked shocked my doctors, but there it was, a fact I will never forget: My bug was a fighter. She wanted so badly to survive. For the time she lived, she beat the odds.

I keep telling myself not to mourn this loss. Missing bug makes me feel I’m missing a mirage. But apparently subconsciously I am missing bug like crazy. I’ve wondered for some time why I showed my mom the u/s pics when she visited me after my loss. She saw it and burst into tears and kissed the picture holding it close to her chest. I felt a weird sense of relief. Now I think I know why. I think its because I wanted someone else to care. If someone else cared, bug was real, bug mattered.

Today at my hematology appointment the doctor said how far along were you when you lost your two children, I’m sorry, I meant, your babies? I felt like someone jolted me. It took all I had to not to bite my lip from crying, not of sadness necessarily but relief. He got it. He didn’t try to negate my pain with neutral words such as “losses or incidents”. He called them my babies. No one IRL ever called them that before.

Long story short, the hematologist ordered THIRTY different labs on me. He said the current results don’t indicate there is a medical need for lovenox so wanted further testing. The results come back in two weeks. As I was leaving the med tech who drew my blood approached me. Listen, he said, I read your chart. What’s happened to you is horrible. I really hope that whatever is wrong we here will find out and fix it for you.

I’ve been so busy trying to move forward I haven’t really looked back. Yes I’m jolted by grief from time to time but I try not to look at it too deeply. I run, or put on music, or turn on the TV. I’ve learned something today: you can run from the past but it catches up to you, releasing from you like the steam from a volcano. What you hold in will either come out or destroy you from the inside. I’m grateful for being the P word again, and despite the past I remain hopeful and grateful for the opportunity to try again. Still, I will never forget who I lost, and today on this one month anniversary I’m allowing myself a moment to grieve my little fighter.

h1

Planning

August 26, 2009

Thank you for your well wishes on my previous post. I’d be lost without you.  My coping mechanisms surprise me. I expected to panic. I feel a bit pensive but very calm. I hope this feeling remains.

I see the hematologist tomorrow to talk about Lovenox. My OBGYN already called in the ‘script. I’m scared of side effects but we’ll see what the hematologist says. Jack thinks I should get my HCG and progesterone drawn to determine the viability of this pregnancy. A part of me considers this, but a larger part shakes its head no. Waiting for those results, the lack of sleep, staring at the phone, anxious shallow breathing- it was brutal.  I don’t want to go through it again. True the results could comfort me but I dread that wait. I don’t know if I can do that wait. The OBGYN’s office asked to schedule a confirmation visit. I stalled. Confirmation visit: pee on a stick, get brochures on pregnancy, have a pelvic exam where you’re told its too soon to see a heartbeat on the u/s so come back in two weeks. No thanks. I’m already getting the meds. I’m considering scheduling a visit in three weeks when we’d find a heart beat. My goal is to stay as peaceful as possible. Any tips on how you find peace much appreciated.

I e-mailed the RE to cancel next week’s appointment. My two word response: ok. canceled. I felt taken aback. No good luck? No, that’s good news? They deal with IF day in day out so I thought they’d give a friendlier response. I never felt more like a canceled business transaction before.

The evening is drawing to a close and I glance at my pregnancy test. I’m struck by the first thought that comes to mind as I look at the two bars. Will this time be it? Have I paid enough? Am I absolved? I’m surprised by these thoughts, but this year has felt like a sort of purgatory where I sit and wonder what I did. I hope the lovenox works. I hope an earlier egg is a fresher egg. I hope. I hope. I hope. I hope my penance is complete.

h1

Thoughts While Climbing K-2

August 25, 2009

Spain in July is sizzling and after eight days of blistering weather, we decided to drive up to the Sierra Nevada and its snow capped peaks. Chilly weather guaranteed. The guide book directed us to one mountain in particular promising a mere 100 yard hike to reach the summit from where the ocean and Morocco would be visible with the naked eye. Eager, we began our hike uphill. But the mountain was deceiving for it curved. The further we hiked the longer the horizon of mountain stretched before us. Jack took long strides while I stayed further behind taking baby steps, pausing to catch my breath (little did I know I was pregnant with loss #2). After an hour we looked at each other puzzled. Certainly we’d walked 100 yards. Finally I asked a hiker coming downhill, How much longer? She smiled, not much, about two hours. Our jaws dropped. We never knew it would be so far. Want to keep going? Jack asked. I nodded. I’ll keep going until we get there. We hiked another hour and finally Jack turned around The sun is setting and we still have far to go. I think we should turn around. I protested. I wanted to keep going. You look drained, we brought no water, how do you want to continue? I shook my head. I didn’t know why, but we had to see the ocean. Gently he put his hand on my shoulder we had no idea it would be this far. The guide book was wrong, we need to stop.

Today at work I clicked on a blog and was assaulted by the image of a lovely woman rubbing her belly with the words: Due date November 3. That was my due date. I pressed play on my answering machine. My insurance company congratulating me on my third trimester and wondering why I haven’t filled out sent questionnaires. I sat down, tired, and thought of my negative pg test.  The guide books lied. Sex and pre-natals and little fairy dust is not all it takes to have a baby. Lately it feels the longer I hike, the further the mountain stretches before me.  As the sun sets around me I wonder will I ever see the ocean? Will these blistered feet ever stop aching?

I’m trying not to let my infertility own me, but sometimes that bitch just tackles me to the ground. Still I trudge on because I’ve heard once you reach the summit the painful hike feels light years ago and you nod and say it was worth it. Will I get to see it for myself? Most days I think I will, but sometimes like now, I feel doubt.

h1

12dpo and negative pregnancy tests

August 24, 2009

We’re back from my in-laws. I spent the majority of the time curled up on a sofa reading books, or napping but I can’t complain because I did not bleed. Speaking of signs, my glorious signs hinting at possible pregnancy, they’re gone save the occasional needing to go to the bathroom at night. I took a pregnancy test today, 12dpo, negative. I’m telling myself its still early, that I woke up to pee twice last night and took this test an hour after my last bathroom visit, that I usually test way later for a positive,  so perhaps it means nothing, but- seeing the stark blankness where I twice before saw a dark line does wonders in bringing down my mood. I had spotting last Tues/Wedns, shouldn’t the HCG be detectable now?  I will re-test Wednesday, the day my period is due, but I can’t help but wonder what would change in a matter of just a few days.

Friday as we drove to South Carolina, we stopped for dinner. Having eaten too much we decided to take a walk in the little plaza so we didn’t feel queasy driving the two remaining hours. The Kohls looked bright and inviting so we stepped into the cool air conditioning and walked around. Just as we were about to leave I stopped in my tracks. The picture frame aisle. Rows of beaded frames with red stickers announcing markdowns and then, one frame, round and yellow, a huge sunflower frame. It transported me back to the field of dead sunflowers, and that one that remained alive and vibrant. My sunflower hope. I went to the register and told Jack when our baby is born, the first picture is going in this frame.

Seeing a negative makes you feel silly for such spontaneous acts of hope. Its the very definition of a burst balloon. The negative is a snide laugh ringing in my head whispering hurtful words you really thought you were? how dumb are you? We all feel sad when we see a negative, but the other feeling, of shame to have dared dreamed, of helplessness that nothing, not even EWCM and perfect timing guaruntees anything, those feelings sting at a baser level.

I will test again Wednesday and I will try to tell myself its okay if I’m not pregnant. It’s just tough to self-pep when you just felt so fucking sure.

h1

ICLW, Octomom, 9dpo, and in-laws

August 21, 2009

ICLW: Welcome ICLWers! This is my first time and I’m excited to discover new blogs. Blogging has helped me preserve my sanity in my darkest moments. Since my first miscarriage in April, I write a post nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. Through writing and reading your blogs I’ve learned so much about my conditions and how to be a better advocate for myself. I’ve learned that some things that feel crazy are normal in the world of an IFer. Writing helps me make sense of my world, and reading your blogs helps me remember I’m not alone. I can’t say it enough, thanks for writing and thanks for reading. Only we get we.

Octomom: I’m not proud of myself but I watched the Fox special. [Some think its wrong to call her octomom but she trademarked the name!] I’m not sure what the IF community thinks about her, but I watched with the idea that perhaps this show would reveal a sympathetic person. It didnt. The children looked depressed and angry. Not once did I see any child show affection for their mother though her two year old called her a bitch twice and one of the older children told her she was not the best parent. Not one volunteered to wish her a happy mother’s day.  She held one of the octuplets without supporting their heads, chatting with photographers with her manicured nails and the baby spit up and its coming down his little chin and she doesn’t notice because she’s too busy talking about how involved she is. What bothers me most is that IF is a hush hush topic in the US and the people who are notoriously IF, their struggles broadcast to millions is her and John&Kate +8. These rare exceptions sensationalize the topic of IF turning our issues into a circus show. I get that this draws greater ratings but the toxic comments left on message boards about these women are not directed solely at them, but to the IF community in general.

9dpo: Someone in my last post commented that 8dpo brings out the crazies in us IFers. Truer words were never spoken. The wondering of am I? Am I not? is now in full swing. Last night I got up to pee (only happens when pregnant) but then a part of me wonders Is this psychosomatic? Am I making this happen? I’m not nauseous, the boobs aren’t that sore anymore. . . time will tell, but time let me tell you something, thou are a bitch sometimes! And speaking of the tww crazies . . .

In-laws!: If you are new to my blog please read here so you understand my unique in-law woes. In brief though, every time I see them I bleed (i.e. get a period or miscarry). I know logically they’re not the cause of this but the coincidence is frightening. We’re going today to  South Carolina this weekend to see them.  I don’t have a choice. It’s a big event and Jack is adamant this is all in my head. I”m sure he’s right. There’s no rational way that my in-laws cause my bleeding. They want grand kids, they’re not sending evil vibes! I’m not even that stressed when I see them. I just don’t get it. He’s ordered me not to touch those pee sticks until we come back because he knows if it shows up positive I. will. not. go. I’m not due for a period until 8/26, so hopefully this means I’m safe. Right? Please tell me its all been a terrible coincidence? Please tell me to chill out and go for long walks and remain calm?

We come back Sunday and I’ll be without Internet while there. If you believe in prayers please keep me in them this weekend.

h1

Kate the Cynic

August 21, 2009

Just now as I perused my google reader I saw a post by a blogger I follow. In huge caps and pictures of the smiling couple with their HPT: WE’RE PREGNANT! The post followed with praises to God and relief at finally having made it to the promised land of pregnancy. No fears mentioned.  A certainty that the months would pass and that there would be a baby to show for it. I cringed because I remembered my own first pregnancy. That giddy high of finally. I wanted to warn her just because you’re pregnant does not mean you’re home free. Don’t let yourself get too high because it hurts harder when you fall. Ofcourse I won’t say anything of the kind. I pray she never knows this ache and I pray she sees a beautiful child at the end of her gestation. I just felt thrown off by this gut reaction as though its normal to have a miscarriage. As though its more normal to live in fear while pregnant. It’s not normal, everyone should enjoy and celebrate their pregnancies. I’m sad that I’ve become such a cynic.

8dpo. No more spotting. Last night I woke up twice to pee. I’m super hopeful. I’m sure its nothing. I bought a pack of  pregnancy tests but I’m scared to test. I’m scared to see a negative and we’re seeing the in-laws this weekend and I don’t want to freak out if its a positive. Besides, its too soon right now for a reliable result, right?

h1

Its not sign hunting if the signs hunt you!*

August 19, 2009

7dpo: mild cramping and then, spotting. I think. I wore pink  so its ambiguous. Asked Jack for a second opinion. Never saw a man flee so fast. I will not buy a bucket of HPTs. This means nothing. Yep, that should do it. Sigh. *If its implantation bleeding is it normal to spot for two days? And when could I take an HPT for accurate results?*

h1

Slapped

August 18, 2009

Sara and I have been best friend since 8th grade. Though we went to different colleges, and now live in different cities, we remained close talking on the phone every week and visiting at least twice a year.  I don’t have many close friends and I cherished her presence in my life.

Sara is an OBGYN resident. In January 2008 when we began TTC I told her my fears of PCOS. She brushed the idea away and told me to wait a year. She was my best friend and an OB-GYN so I said okay. A few months later I told her I planned to switch doctors because progesterone induced cycles seemed pointless if I had a deeper issue. I didn’t think the doctor knew what she was doing. I wrote about it here but to sum it up Sara got pissed and told me that there’s nothing I can do about what’s happening. I should stick with the doctor and maybe in a year seek diagnosis and if I can’t have kids so be it, its just not in our control what happens to us. I was thrown off by this conversation. In 17 years she’d never snapped at me like this. I told myself she had my best interest at heart and agreed with her. Luckily some IF bloggers e-mailed me vehemently disagreeing with my friend and urging me to switch doctors and try getting diagnosed. Thanks to these bloggers I met different doctors until I found one I trusted and was diagnosed with PCOS.

I felt confused by Sara. I had textbook PCOS and she’s an OBGYN. After the diagnosis I told her I had PCOS. Her response was oh, followed by silence. Then she said she had to go. Okay, fine. She’s my friend, not my doctor, but I felt hurt by her response. No words of sympathy, just awkward silence. I told myself I shouldn’t hold this against her but I found it harder to call her or return her messages.  Four months went by. In the meantime I got pregnant and had my first miscarriage. The day of my miscarriage she had left a message saying it’d been a while. I thought of her and how close we’d been. I called her back. She said she was sorry to hear and I knew she genuinely felt bad for me even though she didn’t know what to say. We changed topics to other things such as what she planned to specialize in once her residency ended and that’s when it happened:

Sara: Sometimes I consider going into RE. Its good hours and lots of money.
Kate: You should definitely do it!
Sara: But then I don’t know because I don’t believe in it. I can’t practice RE in good conscience.
Kate: Why not?
Sara: Because if you can’t have a kid you shouldn’t and I’m sick of people trying to fight nature, living unhealthy lifestyles, and then coming to me to try and get pregnant.

I felt for a few moments like I could not breathe.You have to understand Sara. She has a gentle lilt in her voice and wears pink skirts and has a hello kitty phone. Never could I imagine these words coming from her mouth. She made this comment so nonchalantly I just sat there like an idiot unable to formulate a sentence.

That was in May. She’s called a few times since then and left messages but I have not returned her calls. I know she’s upset that I’m bad at keeping in touch. She has no clue how her words affected me. Jack asked me the other day You and Sara were so close you haven’t called her in the longest. I told him what happened but he said Sara is a good person and I shouldn’t end things with her. Maybe in this one area she sucks as a friend but that doesn’t negate her as a whole being. He said she’s all alone in Chicago and maybe she’s frustrated and took it out on you. Besides she doesn’t understand because she doesn’t have IF issues that she knows of yet.

But if my friend gets hit by a truck I’m not going to say people should be careful where they walk because I don’t know what it feels like to be hit by a truck. I don’t know what to do.Thanks to her I wasted a lot of time TTC in vain but I could get over that since she isn’t my doctor so I can’t blame her for giving me bad advice. But her last comment, I don’t know how to get past that. I really don’t want to let a 17 year old friendship go down the tubes but I don’t even know how to confront her and frankly, I don’t want to confront her. She called and left a message today, annoyed that I hadn’t called her in months. I know the right thing to do is tell her how I feel but I’m under enough pressure as it is with everything that’s happening, the thought of that ugly confrontation wipes me out before I begin.  I wish I knew what to do.

h1

My helpful insurance company

August 18, 2009

When I went to see the maternal fetal specialist they wanted to draw my blood for ten different tests. I asked if they worked with LabCorp since that’s the only lab my insurance approves. They said no but said it was okay if they sent my blood work to the Quest lab. I felt hesitant since I read the fine print of my HMO and it said only LabCorp of America for blood work. It’s hard to read that wrong. Still, the doctor’s office was adamant so they began the blood draw. As they filled the vial for my HCG I asked them if they could fax the other blood draw orders to my OBGYN who  uses LabCorp. They looked at me like I was insane but agreed. The next morning my HMO confirmed we  only cover LabCorp. You’ll be responsible to pay for the HCG blood test.

I’ve been waiting for this bill. I’ve been like a boxer prepping for the good fight. Today I got a letter in the mail. It was thin and white, from my insurance company. I looked at Jack and sighed Here it is! I considered the arguments I would set forth and shuddered at the confrontation to come.  I ripped open the envelope and pulled out the letter: Dear Kate, Congratulations on reaching your third trimester! By now you’re feeling your baby’s kicks and getting ready to prepare for giving birth. Enclosed with this letter are tips and frequently asked questions about labor and delivery…

I’d rather have gotten the bill.

h1

Co-existing with infertility

August 16, 2009

Sitting in the doctor’s office after my last miscarriage, Jack on one side of me, the doctor on the other, I felt as if I was part of an intervention. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Jack said shaking his head and patting my hand. Dr. D nodded, In your life when you put your mind to something you’ve accomplished it, but in this matter there’s a lot that’s out of our control. She’s right. Since I was a child, the lessons imparted to me by my parents, teachers, society, was If you work hard enough you can achieve your dreams. And this was true, until now.

In the realm of infertility and pregnancy loss, I can take my Metformin to keep my insulin in check. I can pop the baby aspirin to thin my blood so it won’t strangle a future fetus. I can take the prenatals and make sure I’m eating a balanced baby friendly diet. I can try Clomid. IUI. IVF. I can jump on to lovenox after a positive pregnancy test. I can work as hard as I can and while I should keep my feet moving I have no control over whether any of this will work. This is hard to accept. Perhaps this is why I start sign hunting by checking my boobs, debating the degree of nausea and exhaustion during each two week wait. But sign hunting won’t give me the end result, its just a maddening way to waste two weeks (and in my case often longer) of your life.

Things such as sign hunting and the devastation that follows when you see blood made me think of stepping out of the baby making game for a while until I had my head in the right place emotionally. I told my therapist this thinking he’d agree because if anyone knows how much of a wreck IF has made me, it should be him. I was surprised when he disagreed. You’re in the game and I think you should keep moving, you need to learn to handle the challenges better but I don’t think you will take a time out. I think its an intellectual exercise to debate whether you should or not, you’re too deep in to step back. I think he’s right. I could never stop. The challenge for me is not taking some time off, but learning how to co-exist with my infertility. To walk side by side with this challenge and not let it wear me and turn me into a one dimensional person.

In an effort to co-exist with my IF I decided to focus on things in my control, so I can keep on moving on in this journey but not be paralyzed emotionally while I do so.

No more Sign Hunting. What do I get out of checking my boobs and gauging my levels of exhaustion? If I’m pregnant I am and I’ll find out soon enough. Some people say its good to have your hopes up and be positive. Maybe this works for some, but for me getting my hopes up means they are crushed in a bloody heap at the end of the cycle. Most people get that a miscarriage is sad, but most non-IFers don’t get that the end of a cycle that did not work is heartwrenching too. It is also a loss. I’m not sure how I’m going to succeed here but I’m not googling for signs and symptoms anymore and the goal is to firmly tell myself not to read into things when the urge strikes. If that means chanting a mantra you’re not pregnant, stop it! or Google is not a fortune teller. So be it.

Focus on the things I have control over like . . .

My fitness and nutrition. Exercising burns adrenaline and calms me but when I’m stressed or depressed the last thing I want to do is go for a run. My neighborhood is full of rolling hills and my plan is to stick on the iPod and power walk. I’m also considering yoga. With PCOS losing weight is challenging but its possible. Its time I took greater control.

My hobbies. I love to read. Scrapbook. Try new recipes. Write poetry (of questionable merit).  Instead of imploring Dr. Google to predict my future status of motherhood I will do things I enjoy.

My writing. Though my writing is technically a hobby at the moment since I’m not paid to do it, I have a finished manuscript that I’m revising one last time before submitting to agents. Since the miscarriage issues I’ve neglected it entirely. I need to update my query letters, and pursue this dream.

Reflecting. A dear friend reminded me how important it is  to take advantage of silence and down time to contemplate and reflect. When she first suggested this I wondered what I needed to reflect on or contemplate, but after a few days of plugging out for a few hours from TV, music, cell phone and internet and just taking a walk, or making dinner in silence I saw what she meant. The world comes into sharper focus. I realized its hard to really think clearly when you’re always plugged in. This act of taking time out for silence each day is helping me in ways I could never have anticipated from the simplest areas of appreciating things I never thought to appreciate such as the brilliant orange of a carrot I’m cutting for dinner, the sound of its crispness as I slice through it, the sweet flavor of homegrown tomatoes. Being plugged in, you can end up just doing things by rote and not realizing.  It’s not always easy to co-exist with silence because sometimes thoughts that are unpleasant that I’ve tried running from also make themselves known, but now at least I can begin tackling these thoughts instead of pushing them away, because the truth is, even if we don’t think about things and reflect, they are still there, poking us under the surface, stealing our peace of mind.

My Marriage. Its easy to take Jack for granted. He’s my best friend and he’s always there for me. While I’ve gotten better about dumping all my IF issues on him, I still can’t forget when he said he wanted his wife back. I hope as I try to flesh out the other parts of me that go beyond my desire for motherhood, Jack will see his wife returning. I cannot control all aspects of my marriage but I can control my end of things.

I hope by focusing on the areas of my life I have some measure of control over, I can take away the tunnel vision on IF that has taken over my life. I accept that no matter how much control I take over my life, IF sucks and failed cycles will always hurt, I just hope that I will bounce back faster and not allow IF to take over all of my life. The best I am praying for is it to co-exist with my infertility and not let it wear me as it has for two years.

h1

My conversations with God lately

August 15, 2009

Squeaky wheels get the grease right? Can’t say I’m not tempted to give this a whirl 😉

h1

Two Week Waiting- again

August 14, 2009

This is perhaps the first true two week wait I’ve ever had since I seem to be (I think) certain I did in fact ovulate. The weird thing is  yesterday, and today my boobs are sore. I fall kerplunk into bed and pass out for the night like I had gone out dancing and drinking ’till 5 in the am. I’m fine with the konking out as that’s kind of been happening for the longest time but why are my boobs hurting? My nurse told me that my Wednesday beta was negative, its not possible to have preggo signs before HCG levels rise right? I thought I’d ask since I’m in the company of the IF experts who have the degrees I trust: street smarts in the land of IF. You’ve all gone to grad school (albeit unwillingly) and got the doctorate in all things IF so your advice, well it matters.

I really am not freaking out about it. I’m too tired to get worked up. Getting pregnant will be good but you won’t see me painting a nursery until the baby is out and in my arms and I can feel its warm baby soft skin against my breast. Until then, I remain hopeful but skeptical.

h1

A day in the life

August 14, 2009

Kate: My birthday is less than a month away.
Jack: How should we celebrate?
Kate: I think I’ll crawl into bed and wish the day away.
Jack: No, we have to do something special!
Kate: Like what?
Jack: Hmm, we could go out for dinner, or I know, I’ll throw you a surprise birthday party!
Kate: Yeah?
Jack: Yeah, surprise birthday parties are the best kind.
Kate: Okay, just make sure I don’t find out about it.
Jack: Exactly, that’s the hardest . . . Oh . . .

I realized I’ve never written a non-IF post here. Ofcourse, this is my infertility blog  but I thought I’d share because I could use a smile, and perhaps you could too. 🙂

h1

Officially Unpregnant

August 13, 2009

My HCG results were so low they’re negative! exclaimed the nurse. When I get sick I bounce back very fast. The doctor used to say your body reacts fast to pathogens, it won’t tolerate any intruders. I process this information, and marvel at how good my body is at this thing, like a bouncer at an elite club dealing with an undesirable mess, quickly ridding itself of all evidence of the dirty deed. Next time around I’ll have to put my little bean on the “all access VIP list” and hope my body parts the velvet rope.

h1

Thoughts from the hamster wheel

August 13, 2009

Have you ever had a moment of clarity where suddenly you are looking at the world, the same world you saw yesterday and the day before, but suddenly its as though you are truly noticing everything for the first time? Last night, after we discussed extensively about whether to go for it or not, we decided to go for it and take our chances. This morning I woke up and it hit me, I’m going to have to two week wait again. I started thinking of all the cycles since January 2008. Check for CM, try, wait, spend $$ on tests, get period. Start over. I suddenly felt like a hamster running on a wheel. It’s like going on dates and then never getting a call back month after month of meeting new guys, and then you meet two guys back to back who say they love you, give you a diamond ring and promise to make you their girl forever and then each time they ditch you at the alter.

The thought of getting pregnant, then waiting for betas, waiting for ultrasounds, panicking over lack of symptoms, wondering if I’m miscarrying, though right now I think I could handle it, I’m just worried about myself. I’m almost at two years of trying to conceive without success. This entire year is a series of pregnancies and losses. Next pregnancy I will be high risk pregnancy. It will be more stressful it will take a greater toll. A possible loss will hurt more. The mere thought of doing a Clomid cycle, of weighing pros and cons, makes me want to curl up in bed and take a nap.

All these thoughts make me wonder if perhaps I need to jump off the treadmill for at least one month. I’d like to think I still appreciate the rest of my life, but many days it feels like background music and all I see is this obstacle, this hurdle I must climb, this race I need to finish. But the background music is my life. Perhaps its time for a time-out to tend to my other gardens. I’m not saying I’m going to stop moving forward because I’m not sure its possible for me to take a time out, but I’m trying to think things through. I’m trying to use my heart and head though my heart is pretty clear what it wants.

I thought of these things as I stood over my simmering marinara sauce for dinner and then- I felt a twinge. I frowned until I realized what that sensation was. My ovaries. Perhaps all that I have talked about is a moot point. Perhaps the powers that be are cooking in my body as we speak. If so I will no doubt be overjoyed, but so hesitant, so hesitant because now I fully get it, I need to protect me. I’ve been, but no longer should, underestimate how important it is to take care of me and not lose myself in this overwhelming process of cycling, and trying again and again.

How do you balance it all?

h1

Battling my deepest fear and desire

August 12, 2009

Thank you guys so much for your feedback on my last post. I really did not make the connection between my exhaustion and the fact that I’ve suffered two miscarriages, one just two weeks earlier. It seems obvious now that you’ve mentioned it but until then I really didn’t understand. I felt determined to find out the hormonal root of the issue when the truth is, I’ve been pregnant or suffering from a miscarriage this entire year . . . something’s got to give I suppose.

Speaking of pregnancy, I know I said in previous posts that I didn’t want to wait for my cycle to begin TTC again. We BD’d every day this week save yesterday due to back pain on my part, but today I awoke to discover EWCM. I know for many this is very ho hum sort of news but for me, this is perhaps the fourth time I’ve ever seen it in my life. The lovely sort, the sort that could be photographed for a textbook definition of EWCM. I don’t know if its real EWCM or if its my body misfiring post-pregnancy as it resets itself but its EWCM and its glorious.

I saw the EWCM and at first I was practically giddy with joy. I sat impatiently at work waiting to get home. And yet, as we drove home together the previous post began gnawing at me. I am so tired. If this is a manifestation of my physical and mental state due to the losses I’ve experienced then am I ready to try again so soon even though to my core I feel I am ready?  I mentioned to Jack that I seem to be ovulating and he felt mixed about it. I’m scared about your mental well being. I want you to enjoy your pregnancy. I had to laugh a little. Whether its this cycle or ten cycles from now I’m never going to enjoy my first trimester ever again. That innocence is gone. I know I will most likely be able to talk Jack into it if I assure him I’m confident but I’m sort of scared too. This would be an egg early in the cycle so it won’t be a “late egg” that some attribute to early miscarriage, and I’ll get lovenox upon a positive test. Two variables different from before. But. . . But . . . But . . .

I want a baby. I don’t want a miscarriage. I’m ovulating tonight. I never ever ovulate this early and with so much EWCM. I’m most fertile post-miscarriage so why not take advantage. What if things go wrong again and I blame myself for trying to soon. All these thoughts run through my head. I wish I knew the right answer. It could be that its too late and I’ve already conceived since we BD’d the day before yesterday and maybe . . . or maybe despite EWCM and all the perfect circumstances I won’t conceive… so many variables at play but all I know is this EWCM feels more precious than yellow diamonds and pint sized ocean pearls. It feels painful to think of letting it go to naught.

h1

Tired

August 11, 2009

Each morning  I feel so exhausted I doubt my ability to get out of bed, and on the weekends that ability crumbles and I find myself in bed until noon at the earliest, and even when I get up I know full well I could have slept for several hours more. During the day, I remain tired and though the amount of exhaustion ebbs and flows the common theme is a strange sort of exhaustion which affects me physically and mentally. I can’t figure it out, the hormones have surely left my body by now, why am I so tired?

I’m trying to lose weight and doing all the right things. I’m watching what I eat and working out but the scale won’t budge past 4 pounds. I’m going to continue trying. If you eat less and expend more, science tells me I must lose weight. I know have PCOS so this makes weight loss more difficult, but it shouldn’t entirely preclude weight loss.

Its been two weeks since my last miscarriage and I’ve channeled all my energy into losing weight and contemplating the steps to take for the next pregnancy. What to do when in-laws come. Lovenox versus Heparin. Timing of ovulation. I’ve been so busy trying to plan for the future perhaps hoping it will allow me to forget what happened in my recent past. But you can only run for so long and then the past, it catches up to you.

Today after days of being okay I sat watching TV and a beautiful name on television made me think I want to name my daughter that. That’s all it took. I gasped as it hit me as though anew: Yeah you’ve been pregnant twice, but what have you got to show for it? You don’t have a baby. You don’t know when you’ll have a baby. Will you ever get pregnant again? Holy shit, it hits me as though its some sort of revelation: I lost my babies. They aren’t here. They’re gone. I’m empty. I’m literally empty. I don’t know what will happen. The future is blank.

Before I met Jack I had bad luck in the guy department. When we married I remember waking up in the middle of the night sometimes in a cold sweat from a nightmare that I had dreamed it all, that I hadn’t met him, that I hadn’t married him, that I just thought I did and it was all a making of my mind. I’d wake up and see him with his head buried in the pillow and breathe a sigh of relief.

This is the opposite. My dreams are haunted by a little girl. She wears gold earrings and short black hair. She wears a blue dress with red frills. She is beautiful. I chase her around the room while she giggles and then I lift her up and kiss her. She flashes me a large toothless grin and I feel a love I cannot bear. Then I wake and its me alone in my darkened bedroom. No crib. No tiny shrieks of joy. It’s just me. No breath of relief  just a stifling of grief always waiting to carry me away.

I fight my grief, I promise you. When my friend Lucy called me today and as I told her I’m leaving my job she saidYou should just have babies and make them your life, I think that’s what you were meant to do [oh and yes she knows about my infertility, I know how to pick them it seems] I shook my head and told myself she didn’t mean it, I hung up and went on with my day. I say this to say I’m trying like fucking hell to not let my feelings own me, but sometimes like now when I’m feeling so physically tired, the emotional strain is more than I can bear. Some days like today it feels like my feet are made of bricks and heavy boulders weigh on my head.

I just want to rest. I’m so tired.

h1

The weirdest angst ridden post yet

August 10, 2009

In my previous post I said I planned not to wait for the next cycle before TTC since after miscarriage #1 the time frame until my first cycle was my most normal ovulation cycle ever and I regret not having taken advantage of that. It appears, I may have ovulated. It’s hard to know if its legit since it should only be about CD6 so I’m basing it on EWCM. Maybe after miscarriage it can happen at any time for no reason as the body readjusts to normal. I know its normal to be worried about a third miscarriage due to low progesterone levels, and the clotting disorder, and PCOS, but that’s not why I’m worried if it turns out I get pregnant this month or within the next three months.

I’m worried because there is a wedding on my husband’s side of the family in my city in November and my in-laws, all of them, will be staying with us to attend. I wrote a little about why I’m freaking out about this here, but to put it short, despite having PCOS and irregular periods whenever I saw my in-laws I’d get my period. Something about being around them (or some huge fucked up coincidence) causes me to bleed when they’re around. I had both of my miscarriages while around them. This past time I miscarried I hadn’t seen them since my last miscarriage when I was at their house (almost four months ago). My conundrum sounds silly but feels frightening. If they come in November I could be anywhere from 2 to ten weeks pregnant all within the danger zone and as tough as a third miscarriage will be anyways, to bleed when they come again will be awful beyond words. I mentioned this to Jack. He said he could fly me down to my parents for that weekend but then I’m afraid to be without Jack during the first trimester.

Now I’m seriously considering waiting to TTC until after November so I can be assured I won’t have to see them for a good long while before I conceive. But Speckie was to be born November 3. I’d really been hoping to be pregnant before his due date. This is a stinky place to be. Wanting a baby beyond belief. Wanting to TTC, but wondering if I should not based not on science but a coincidence that has haunted me for years with my in-laws.  It all feels so confusing to me as there is fear in waiting since who knows if I’d get pregnant anyways in these next few months, and fear in trying because if I do I don’t know how I can deal with his family. I mean, its a wedding, they’re coming, I can’t stop them from landing on my front porch. sigh.

h1

To TTC or not TTC, that is the question

August 8, 2009

The first time we tried to conceive I remember walking around with the satisfaction of knowing we’d conceived. 1 + 2 = 3 after all, right? I’ve since learned, I can’t do math.  Each month we tried and each month found me in the cold morning hours sitting on the tub staring at the HPT begging for that second line, thinking if I could will it, it would appear. It never did, not for 13 months and then on month 14 there it was, the second red line so faint but there. I miscarried ofcourse and planned for another long infertility filled road ahead, and then about 8 weeks after my miscarriage I saw the line again, darker this time, silly me thought that meant this one would stick.

My miscarriage seems over though a beta on August 13 will decide on that definitively and I noticed yesterday the beginning of what appears to be a normal cycle. And I have a confession to make. I cringe  but this blog is the one place I can be honest, so I’m going to be honest: I want to try. Now. This cycle. Getting pregnant is so hard for me that the fact that I got pregnant twice makes me want to try the party trick a third time.

Maybe its the latent addict within me. Fucking hell if those positive pregnancy tests are not the most beautiful thing that technology has ever created. I keep all my positive tests and when pregnant they lay on my table and I walk by from time to time just to marvel at the most beautiful line that ever existed. Damn I want to see that line again. Damn I really don’t want to have to wait.

I’ve done my research and it seems that doctors typically want you to wait a cycle because then they can figure out when your due date is, but with me we always have to determine via ultrasound. It seems my issue is clotting which my doctor has already set up a protocol for next time I’m pregnant, and I’ve decided that I would not try to conceive after cycle day 20 because I’ve heard that egg quality worsens upon late ovulation. Considering each time I ovulated it was past CD24 the odds of me conceiving even if I were to TTC now are slim to none because like I said, I refuse to TTC anymore on late ovulations if that means an increased risk of miscarriage.

But- what if this time I ovulated a bit earlier? What if the EWCM is glorious? Right after miscarriage 1, two weeks after my HCG went to zero I had an ontime ovulation. It felt amazing to have a normal cycle and sometimes I really regret ignoring Jack’s urging to go ahead and try. Maybe we’d have had a nice perky egg, maybe it would have made all the difference.  I don’t know. I could never be sure.

So that’s where I am right now, playing tug of war with my heart and mind. I wish there was an easy answer, a simple solution. Perhaps my PCOS and its nonovulating nature will take care of the answer for me but for now I remain the idiotic optimistic deigning to think I may ovulate and deigning to think I have any say on matters of my own conception.

h1

This is Progress

August 7, 2009

A married couple of two years came to our house with their three month old baby. They cooed and did the babytalk. They told us things like your life is meaningless before children, only once you have a child do you realize this. She is what life is all about. No love is greater than this. I let the feelings pass over me but I refused to let them own me. Though at one point when they told us we didn’t know what we were missing my nails bored into my leg, I maintained my composure and not once did I excuse myself to cry. Small stepping stones. I never knew I could be so strong.

h1

Disjointed thoughts on the path towards healing

August 6, 2009

If you are struggling with loss and infertility you should read Peggy Orenstein’s book Waiting For Daisy. Not only is her book awesome she’s awesome. After my first miscarriage I wrote to her thanking her for telling her story and she wrote back with wonderful words of encouragement and perspective. We wrote back and forth for a while and then after miscarriage #2  I e-mailed her  again asking for advice on how to get through this tough moment. She responded with great advice but one thing she said truly affected me: Treat yourself as you would a super close friend who was going through this. That one statement threw me. If I treated a friend the way I’ve been treating myself I’d have no friends. Cruel and hurtful thoughts even if towards oneself constitute emotional abuse which I don’t deserve.

Yesterday I came home early from work and flipped on Oprah for the first time in two years. The episode was about people coping with serious health issues. One person, a former ice skater, talked about surviving testicular cancer years earlier and then finding out he had a brain tumor. He said the first thing that came to mind was God, haven’t I done my time? I nodded  as so often this thought comes to me. Wasn’t the infertility struggle enough? You have to shove my lollipop into the dirt after I worked so hard to get it? Twice?! Yet the man who is certainly in a more difficult situation than I am, is coping, dealing, living. I must learn to accept the waves of grief and uncertainty surrounding myself but I must teach myself to float and not sink to the ocean floor.

One of our friends almost got divorced recently. It was horrible with the little boy dragged into the mix in ways that will certainly yield therapy bills when he’s older. They’re back together now. They still resent one another but they don’t want to leave for the sake of their son. Another friend of ours is divorcing after fifteen years of marriage and four children. Through tears he told us, In the past ten years there is not one memory I have of a happy or peaceful moment with my wife. I looked at Jack and considered his recent words where he told me he wanted his wife back. He missed the girl he married. Life is difficult, but I must appreciate and not push away the only things keeping me afloat. Even walls crumble if left unmaintained.

I’m lucky for many things. More things than I can name. Just as lucky as I am to have those good things, I have to accept that the flipside of lucky also exists in all our lives including mine. Yet even in the misfortunate of infertility and miscarriage I’m lucky to live in a day and age where infertility treatments, and medication exist to diagnose and possibly treat what ails me. I look at blog rolls like Baby Loss Directory and Stirrup Queens and am overwhelmed with the fact that the majority of listed links are those who are now parents. The odds are in my favor and yours that we will be successful one day and get the thing that feels more dear to us than anything. I must tunnel vision towards hope with the determination to block out darkness as best I can. I know there will be times of darkness to come in this road but at least I’ve made some realizations that will hopefully help me bounce back faster when I stumble and fall.

h1

Clomid. Progesterone. Bloodwork. Oh My!

August 5, 2009

My doctor called today with the results of the panel of tests my maternal fetal specialist ordered to investigate my lupus anticoagulant disorder. The results were funky. The lupus anticoagulant test came back normal which confused my doctor and me. Her theory is that either I’m borderline and the test got me on a good day, or the aspirin is helping fix that issue. Four tests came back bad and I wish I knew the names but they were so convoluted I got confused, however those four clotting disorders that were present increase the risk of miscarriage. My next step is to see a hematologist and go over the results with them and see if they recommend anything above and beyond lovenox or heparin and if this will affect me beyond just getting and staying pregnant. She can’t refer me to a hematologist since I’m no longer pregnant so now I get to go through some insurance fun to figure out my recommendation. Fun times!

As much as I know I should avoid Dr. Google, he’s just always there for me. I’ve been doing some research on the link between PCOS and low progesterone and the results seem to be mixed. Some say that PCOS causes low progesterone which can cause miscarriages. Some say this theory is rubbish. My progesterone levels at 5 weeks pregnant were 9.5 which my doctor said was low. However, the question is: Did the low progesterone cause the miscarriage, or was the pregnancy doomed hence the progesterone low? The reason I’m researching is because I’m considering taking Clomid next cycle. Until now I’ve gotten pregnant twice on Metformin alone but my ovulations happened on crazy cycle days like CD29 and CD40. To be effective progesterone supplements must be taken immediately upon ovulation. Clomid would help us predict ovulation and thus when to take progesterone supplements. So my goal with Clomid is to be able to time my progesterone supplements.

In my OB’s opinion she didn’t think progesterone supplements did anything but it never hurts to take them so she fully supports a Clomid/progesterone cycle if it will ease my worries. She encouraged me to talk to the RE in September to get a more informed opinion.

I’m already taking more pills than an 84 year old grandmother so the thought of adding more pills if I don’t have to is causing me confusion. There are side effects to clomid I’ve read such as decreased EWCM and occasional implantation issues, so if I dont have to take it then I don’t want to [though my ovulation is so unpredictable there is a huge thought of comfort that with Clomid at least I’d most likely ovulate]. I’m just so confused about whether or not progesterone does in fact save pregnancies, or if my issue is just the clotting issue which lovenox could resolve.

Have you used Clomid? Or had low progesterone but successful pregnancies via Lovenox? Any thoughts or advice on any of this that you might have would be much appreciated.

**And by the way- My boobs are aching. I feel ready to sleep at 9pm and have to drag myself out at 8am. I have waves of nausea! Is this normal post-miscarriage? I thought all this stuff should be going away, not to mention I didn’t have them when I was actually pregnant!

h1

Solving puzzles and fighting bitterness

August 3, 2009

A friend likened my struggle to solving a puzzle. First there was the puzzle pieces of actually conceiving which appear to have fallen in place (knock on wood, throw salt over shoulder, any and all superstitions go here). Then we ran into the next obstacle of actually, you know, keeping the child ticking in my womb. We might know the answer to this puzzle and be able to kiss our third baby. [Which, by the way, for others who have miscarried multiple times, does it ever get less surreal when doctors ask you “how many pregnancies have you had?” to answer them with multiples when you have nothing to show for it? It blows my mind to tell them two, surreal]

I’ve decided I can’t wait to solve the puzzle. I’m still bleeding from my miscarriage so I won’t get my period until the end of August so September we try again.  I’m nervous because my job ends in September, the month we plan to try and I don’t know what that means as far as insurance, but as long as insurance stuff can be worked out and I can keep my doctor it will be September. I’m so nervous about losing my doctor and having to start this all over again with someone else. Hopefully it will all work out.

In the meantime I’m fighting bitterness which is threatning to close around me like a hollow shell. We went out to Target and as I passed the baby section filled with prams and baby seats I felt a tangible bitterness like biting into a mango peel. I had to literally look away. I saw my mother smile at a small white frock and run her hand over the lacy material and felt my insides turn. Every baby I see sends a hollow echo through my womb. The news of baby genders from people who conceived when I did the first go around are pouring in and they are frankly suffocating me with grief. Not bitterness towards what they have, just bitterness about what I do not. My therapist raises his eyebrows when I say I shouldn’t have miscarried. He says life has its own ways of working, we can’t say what should or should not happen. Should rings of entitlement which leads to hurt and bitterness when one does not get what they think is their right. But fucking hell, I do feel I’m entitled to carry the child I conceive to full term. I think that is my right. If I miscarry I think its a fucking crime and I think it shouldn’t have happened and if I could arrest someone and prosecute to the full extent of the law I sure as fucking hell would.  Still, though my feelings are understandable I need to fight this bitterness.  Bitterness is like the vines that wrap around abandoned buildings blocking the windows from light, cracking the walls, hiding all beauty. If I stand still and allow the seeds of bitterness to take root they will take over leaving me a shell of who I am. I don’t want this and I’m determined to fight the feeling that threatens to take me hostage.  How do you fight bitterness? How do you keep yourself filled with hope and joy despite the seeds of bitterness that fall every day against your doorstep?

h1

Reflections of grief and hope for peace

August 1, 2009

I can’t sleep. This is nothing new and its getting old- fast.  My friend’s announcement (from the post below) that she’s having a boy makes me miss Speck like crazy. Like her, I too would know now the gender of my baby. I’d be coming up with baby names and trying on maternity clothes. It should be my baby’s kicks keeping me up at night, not the hollow ache of grief. Sometimes I’m so proud to have shaken the shackles of my grief, to have moved forward towards a hope filled world but just as I feel myself escaping grief’s clutches she finds me, pulling me back into her lair. Is it possible to be hopeful yet at moments filled with the sharp stabs of grief?

My HCG is 60 today. I re-test in two weeks. I’ve lost three pounds. I’ve struggled for years to drop these nagging ten pounds that will put me into my target BMI, but now post loss, I need something over which I have control, and this eating business, at least its something I can do something about. My OB-GYN theorizes once I reach my ideal BMI my PCOS will self-resolve. I’m doubtful of this theory since I know PCOSers of all shapes and sizes but at least I can get her to stop saying that.

Lillyshephard reflects on her losses on her blog and refers to her season of grief. That term says it all. I’m still in my season of grief. August is here, pushing July, my month of joy and instant loss into a firm calenderical past. I normally cringe at a new month with nothing to show for it, but this time I’m thankful for August. Perhaps it will lead me closer to my season of peace.

h1

She’s Having A Boy

July 31, 2009

One of my law school friends is a fertile myrtle. She has baby after baby without a thought. When I told her of my infertility struggles she laughed and said don’t even think about it and it will happen, or other useful nuggets.  She began TTC for her next baby three months before me. Those three months were interesting as fertile myrtle did not get pregnant at her first try. By month two she was a mess and it was very difficult for me to find sympathy for a mother of two who has only been TTC for two months. When I got pregnant she was one of the three people I told. I asked her, did you get testing for spina bifida and the other stuff? She shook her head. You never worried if they’d be okay? She laughed Oh honey, God is good. He would never do that to me. She pointed her finger to the sky and smiled I know my God is great. I bit my tongue though my heart began twisting in my chest. She got pregnant three days after me. I better have another boy. I don’t want any girls, just boys. Girls are too much work. Again my chest constricted You should be thankful for what you get. I said with gritted teeth. She shook her head, I know that’s what I should say but I’m telling you, I’ll be so bummed if I have a girl. She just sent out a text I’m having a boy!

Is it selfish and wrong to ask why some ask and receive like they’re diners at a fancy restaurant?