Posts Tagged ‘PCOS’

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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Fears of insomnia, etc. **Updated**

July 30, 2009

All my life I’ve been blessed with the ability to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.  Lately I toss and turn each night and then relocate to the couch watching reruns and researching miscarriages, PCOS, lupus anticoagulant, anything and everything I can find. I havent slept before 3am in over a week and its catching up to me. It’s approaching midnight now and I know it will be another sleepless night. I hate the dark thoughts that whisper to me in bed, and I fear the uncertainty of not knowing what the morning will bring.

Today was a tough day physically. I’ve been having sharp contractions. I’m taking Lortab a painkiller and its having wonky side effects. I took it last miscarriage and felt fine, but this time I’m feeling nauseous, dizzy, tired and very drugged. I couldn’t drive to work, so I thought at least I’d clean up since my parents are coming into town tomorrow, but I couldn’t do anything except curl up in bed. I am afraid to take Lortab again, its a debate at the moment between the painful contractions as tissue is expelled through my body, or the feeling of being heavily drugged. I have an appointment with my OBGYN tomorrow afternoon. We spoke yesterday when she called in my pain killer prescription she said I’m afraid I won’t be able to tell you for sure what caused your miscarriage but next time you’ll get Lovenox from the get go. We’re still waiting for lab results for a comprehensive test the Maternal Fetal Specialist ran on my blood to determine what other disorders I have. I want to know if there’s testing that’s available to know if I have low progesterone levels, and what can I do if I do have low levels considering most experts say you must start supplements as soon as you ovulate and me with my PCOS never know when/if ovulation occured.

Emotionally I’m doing better. I’m trying to battle my dark thoughts. I’m telling myself that 30 is not too late, I still have time and shouldn’t lose hope (right??).  My parents are coming tomorrow. I’m afraid of crying too much around them. I just feel like I’ve disappointed them and seeing them reminds me of this. I know that’s not the case but just thinking about it makes my eyes well with tears. I wish I could kick this unhealthy guilt.

Finally, I’ve been humbled to read Michele‘s blog. She’s been commenting on my blog as I wade through my darkest days and only today did I realize how much more she herself is going through right now.  Every day I’m amazed at how strong you all are. You comfort me and give me support in the midst of your own fears and unique heartaches. I don’t think I can say it enough, thanks.

**Updated to Add**: Holy shit. I woke up this morning around 6:15 to take a shower and see my therapist at 7am before going to work. I woke up feeling a weird coat of sweat on me and kind of shivering, then suddenly I had an overwhelming desire to vomit but I couldn’t, but I wanted to, its the most terrible place to be. So I think to myself that a shower will help so I turn the shower on, and the next thing I know I’m lying on the floor and Jack is on the phone with 911 screaming wake up wake up honey wake up. Apparently I passed out in the bathroom but fell backwards hitting my head against the bathroom doors and landed with a thump on the floor. I don’t know how long I was out for but apparently long enough for Jack to rush over and see if I was okay and call 911. I still remember hearing his voice as I was coming to, not knowing where I was, what was happening.  I looked up the side effects of Lortab and one of the serious ones is nausea, dizziness, clamminess, and fainting. Clearly I won’t be taking any more of these painkillers but I wanted to post this for anyone considering taking Lortab, monitor yourself closely or ask for a different pill.

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Climbing

July 28, 2009

Cupcakes are a comfort in times of grief. Finishing off the last of our cupcakes, Jack turned to me and asked, do you want the ring on top of the cupcake? I smirked ofcourse! He raised his eyebrows and brought it to me, the little plastic ring with an Ice Age logo. I’m kidding I said. You know, he said looking at the ring, when we have kids and buy cupcakes, they’re going to wake up in the morning and see their parents ate them all. I responded, well maybe they won’t like cupcakes and just be happy with the trinkets on top. And there, I felt an imperceptible gasp as I dared consider our future children, and the cupcakes they may someday eat.

I feel lost at the moment but I have faith that one day I will find my way. I’m seeing an RE September 1. Days before my 30th birthday. Jack urges me to put away the past and look to the future. Take my thirtieth birthday as a fresh slate, to start a new decade with better understanding of my conditions and perhaps hope, hope against hope, that we will find a way to make sure it won’t happen again.

My journey in infertility and loss feels like a climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Every few steps a strong wind shoves me down, but each shove, each fall arms me with more knowledge of the patterns of the wind, the slipperiness of the slope. One day I will reach the summit. I might need to take a break as I learn more about my journey and there will be days I will doubt I have the strength to continue, but I see my little girl or boy at the top of the summit and I know I will continue climbing.

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Doctor Visit Update

July 16, 2009

Thanks to all of you who left me well wishes and urged me to climb down from the ledge I somehow perched myself upon. It’s true the diagnosis of PCOS, lupus anticoagulent disorder, low progesterone are good things so that this won’t happen again. I do get that, thanks for the reminder. The doctor visit went as expected though I had a mini-scare at the start of it. When pregnant when you walk into the exam room, they usually have a congrats brochure with information for new mothers. This time it wasn’t there. The nurse came in five minutes later and apologized that she forgot to put the brochure there. So yes, the test at the doctor’s office also confirmed my BFP. I’m being referred to a maternal fetal specialist to discuss whether I’ll get on lovenox or not. That should be early next week. Based on my uterus I’m only 4-5 weeks pregnant. I guess that makes sense since I had implantation bleeding about 3.5 weeks ago. She offered to do a beta test so I’ll find out tomorrow what my numbers are, and I’ll go in again on Monday for a follow-up beta. Tuesday is my first ultrasound to date this pregnancy. I really hope they find a heart beat.

It’s hard to get seen by my doctor but she rocks. Whenever I meet her I feel lucky she’s taking care of me because I trust her. I feel slightly better after the doctor’s visit. She told me I’d feel weird up until I passed the ten week mark when I lost the first pregnancy. I guess that’s natural. Regardless of how many nicknames I come up with, in the recesses of my mind the fear is going to lurk. My goal is to keep it in the recesses of my mind and not to allow it to  jump up and take center stage doing the river dance.

But just for the record, I’m pretty sure it’s a girl. 🙂

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Meant to be . . .

July 15, 2009

Jack said something and immediately apologized explaining he didn’t mean it as it came out, but its stuck with me. We were talking on the phone and I said, So it hard for me to GET pregnant with PCOS and then when I do get pregnant by miracle of miracles my body has also seen fit to make it hard for me to keep my pregnancy thanks to this auto-immune disorder. Jack responded with Sometimes it feels like we are not supposed to be parents. If there are so many obstacles in our path maybe its just not meant to be. I didn’t get mad because he’s entitled to feel as he does and I said nothing. He called a few hours later and said he didn’t mean it that way. The fact that we want it and are doing everything we can means that we will appreciate it more once a healthy baby is in our arms. I believe him, I think he was frustrated for a moment, and we’re all entitled to a dark thought.

I don’t know. I mean as far as I know I’m still pregnant. Hopefully I will stay pregnant.  I guess if I had nausea or something else this would feel more real but I have no symptoms or signs so it keeps me distanced to some degree from this pregnancy. I have hope that I’ll stick it through pregnancy and have a healthy happy baby at the end of this but it’s just hard to hang on to that right now as I look at the odds stacked against me.

I was so good about not being impatient for tomorrow’ appointment and now that its less than 24 hours away, with this new diagnosis and the now increased risks of miscararriage, 2:30pm tomorrow may as well be two years away.

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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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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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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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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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“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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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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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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The two week wait for a PCOSer

June 4, 2009

So remember I wrote about having ovulated on CD11? That would be May 27. Early for a normal cycled girl, but even more early for me who ovulated on CD23 the month I conceived. I thought I ovulated on CD11 because of EWCM and pangs in my ovary region. Several days later my boobs got a tiny bit sore so I got hopeful as I’ve read that is a sign ovulation happened (not pregnancy necessarily though). I even had to fight back urges to buy a pregnancy test. Then, today, what do I see? EWCM- again. Pangs in my ovaries- again.

My doctor warned me not to focus too much on OPKs  or checking my CM because with PCOS my body does not give me accurate signs. It’s like an indecisive tease, yes! no. Well, maybe? Ha, just kidding.

This is frustrating in its own right but it makes the two week wait painful. In fact, it makes the two week wait inapplicable to me. The two week wait is premised on the fact that you will find out within two weeks of ovulation if you are pregnant or you get your period. But with PCOS you don’t know for sure when you ovulated. You could ovulate the day after your period ends, or three weeks later.

I tell myself who cares? In 2-3 weeks I’ll know if I’m pregnant or not. There is no need to obsess. I will find out sooner or later if I am. Easier said than felt. I think only a fellow infertile can really understand how excruciating those few weeks are, and how maddening it is not to even know when to begin the countdown of the two week wait.

I should have been about five months pregnant. Instead I’m back at square one. I know I should not feel this way, but I feel pathetic and tired and exhausted of this endless cycle.