Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

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My hematologist, etc

September 10, 2009

I saw the hematologist today and it took him over an hour to see me for what was a two minute consultation. He said I’m fine. Some stuff that was positive before is now negative though he doesn’t know why the change and he said that my miscarriages are not because my clotting issues. He said lovenox is pointless for me. I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this but these are the three areas that still showed up as issues, and his don’t worry about it mantra just isn’t sitting well with me:

MTHFR: This is a gene associated with higher risk of nueral tube defects and miscarriages. I have one mutation (C677t). Dr. F said since its only one mutation not two he’s not concerned. But- there are doctors who recommend lovenox and increasing folic acid and B6 and B12 for one mutation. Plus, Jack could have a MTHFR mutation, which when combined could give me two. He said there are no known ways to treat MTHFR. But, there are! Maybe the effectiveness is in question but there is a protocol.

Factor VIII Activity: Normal is 50-150. I’m 164. He said its okay since this clotting factor rises in pregnancy, except the lab results he gave me say these numbers may be elevated in late pregnancy. I’m hopefully six weeks today so how is this elevated due to pregnancy?

Plasminogen Activity: Normal is 78-130. I’m at 150. He said this nixes the Factor VIII so no worries.

I’m going to talk to my OBGYN about this but Dr. F said he’d tell my doctor I don’t need Lovenox. I strongly disagree and hope she maintains her stance. The veins and arteries the uterus are often microscopic and so clots that would be inconsequential to me would be huge to a growing fetus and if this can save this pregnancy I am taking it.

(The random aside):You might have noticed in my many blog posts about my friends- it seems I’m not having the best of luck. We were having a small dinner at our house on Saturday and four people are bailing TODAY out of eight people. We thought about who we could invite now and could think of no one. While I believe that quality matters in friends, not just quantity it makes me sad that I have no one else I want to invite. I could definitely be part of the community if I wanted but all the girls I know talk about are things I don’t care about and, this is just me, but I don’t feel they are genuine and what’s the point of being friends with people who aren’t sincere. I am sure I have a ton of flaws that people could point out, but one thing I am is a genuine and sincere person. I don’t fake it, and if I care about you and you hurt me I can’t get over it. I’m not sure if its hormones making me weepy, but I just feel sad. I quit facebook because I got tired of the constant birthing announcements and updates on every little thing junior did, but quitting facebook is akin to social suicide these days. I’d like to think a good friendship will survive deactivating facebook but it turns out I have few such friends. Add to that not attending baby showers for about a year- yeah. IF killed my friendships it seems. And today, this makes me sad.

(The self check): After that huge pity party I threw for myself (thank you for attending) I need to get a grip. Susan at sprogblogger does a daily days of grace list on her blog and I think I need to do a similar thing just to help myself get out of my funk, so here goes:

1. Having dinner with Jack at my favorite steakhouse to celebrate my “retirement” from work today.
2. I no longer have to work at my toxic work environment.
3. I can sleep in tomorrow and not feel a lick of guilt.
4. Today, I am six weeks along and as of now, to the best of my knowledge, I am still the P word.

Okay, that helped. Thanks for listening.

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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.

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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?

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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.