Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Will May never end!

I know right another May post! I told you it was a long month.  Anytime you do anything with fertility, its long.  Its a process.  Nothing is quick, its a miracle really that anyone gets pregnant on their own.  The stars and moon and sun and the universe have to be just right.

May 19th, hubby and I had to know.  I knew if I waited till the 20th, and it was negative, I would be devastated.  He wouldn't be with me, he would be at work when I get the call.  It was like the times before, we checked the day before to help me get through this.  Again, no romance, no happiness, when you pee on a stick after a fertility treatment.  Its pretty much a holding of your breath, and hoping you can breathe.  Again, it takes forever for the stick to turn too.  So I did it, and hubby stayed in there with me, and I handed it to him.  We waited, I couldn't look, but then I wanted to, and we just looked together.

Positive!  We started crying at this point.  It didn't mean we were out of the woods, it was the beginning of who knew what.  It just meant, I would go in and feel good about my May 20th appt to give blood.  And then, we would have to wait 2 days for another test for levels to rise or fall.  So that second test would be the day of our cruise.

I went in the following day, for a screening, and then I would have to wait all day long for the results, a phone call.  They would call before 4:00.  And they called, at like 3:30, to tell me it was positive.  A 179, which was good.  It needed to double or more in 2 days.  I went home from work, nervous, excited for a minute, but nervous.  I started packing for our cruise which was in less than 2 days.  

Another day at work, and I had to keep quiet.  I mean I would be keeping quiet for weeks if this took.   I  finished packing that night, and in preparation, I took pads and liners, worrying that I would start to miscarry on the cruise, and I would need heavy flow gear, along with my bathing suits.  All my suits were one pieces, as my stomach and butt were pin cushions, and looked as though I had been in several odd fights.  I was black and blue, and swollen.  One pieces are in style, why not right!  
Friday came around, and we went in first thing in the morning.  We were told we would get called by the afternoon, and knowing our afternoon, I needed to have the call prior to us leaving port.  We would be leaving around 4 pm into international waters, with no cell reception.  Can we get any more complicated!  

We made it to the port, unloaded the cars, and started our journey to the ship.  Sweetie wouldn't let me carry much, so it was getting obvious to family what was going on.  His parents knew but my brother and sister in law did not.  We started to relax onboard, unpacking and changing into our cruising gear.  Sweetie and I explored the boat, and tried to be alone if we could.  I knew if I got that call and it was bad news, I would not be doing well.  We waited, and waited.  I finally called about 2:30 wanting to know the results, and I was told I would have to keep waiting, they would call me.  Soon, we were called to our muster stations for practicing an evacuation and we were told all cell phones to be off.  I think not!  I am about to find out some of the most important thing in my life I will keep my phone on thank you very much.  I started to get very anxious and panicked.  It was almost 4, and we were jammed packed in the muster station.  I will never forget this as long as I live, here we were, surrounded by Indian folk, it was hot, I was short around all the tall men, it was loud, and there wasn't a breeze.  Hubby stood behind me, I gripped my cell phone in my hands, and it rang. In the middle of the hot, uncomfortable muster station, surrounded by strangers I was going to get my news.  He grabbed the phone, as my heart sank to my feet, and raced through the crowd away from me to answer it.  I was alone, and I couldn't see him.  I was literally surrounded by hundreds of people and I was alone.  I started to cry under my glasses.  I couldn't see him, where was he.  Why is this taking so long, I know that was the call.  I strained my neck and stood on my toes, no sign of him.  He ran away with my fate.  OMG!  I can't take this, I am crying at this point, and praying I can get through whatever is coming my way.  I am praying to stay calm, to keep cool, I was praying for a breeze at least.  All of a sudden, arms wrapped around my waist, and he whispered in my ear, 440.  440!!!!!!  I grabbed his hands, and he kissed my neck, I kept crying.  It doubled and then some.  He had made our first ultrasound appt for June 4th.  We would get to see the baby and hear the heartbeat. I was over the moon.  Around those people, we were the only ones, I heard nothing more, but him talking to me.  We had made it farther than we did in the past, with high numbers.  Now, to make it through the weekend.  Now to make it to June 4th.  Due date, estimated was January 25th.  Now we could celebrate, at least this one victory.  We were not out of the woods yet.  

May continues....it seemed to be a long month!

The days leading up to May 9th seemed to be the longest days.  It was the anticipation of another FET.  I had so many emotions, I was nervous, scared, happy, worried, excited, and so forth.  There really isn't words to describe how you feel when you are going through fertility treatments, and the days leading up to a procedure that would change your life, no matter what the outcome.  Thats the crazy part, no one really talks about the way you feel.  Of course, I can't even describe it.  And thinking back, it was like 2 days before Mother's day, of course thats like the worst time to do it.

Something I did different this time, was I went the night before for a massage.  I figured, you know, it wouldn't hurt to be extra relaxed.  I also painted my toes and nails, plucked my eyebrows, I could at least look good doing all this to myself.  It was for a good cause, it was a gamble but the gamble could produce a beautiful baby one day.  That was a gamble we were willing to take.

We went in, like normal.  I drank a ton of water prior to the procedure, as part of the protocol.  That way your uterus is in the right position.  And I sat in the waiting room with other couples, doing the same thing, drinking water, and waiting for their fate.  Its the worst wait, having to pee, and waiting to get pregnant.  Its not romantic at all.  They give you a time to come in, so they can thaw out the little popsicles, and get things ready for the transfer.  No romance at all.  And to top it all off, you feel just empty.  You have been taking medication all month to shut your system down so that you don't ovulate or have your period.  But you aren't alone, the waiting room is full of others in the same boat. Thats how I would get through things.   Then called back, about to pee in your pants, having to gown up and get ready.  Having to pee that bad is bad enough as it is, when you know you are about to have about 5 people look at your private area, stick a probe inside and hope for the best....its the weirdest feeling really.  I was getting used to this, but you never get used to wondering if you are pregnant or not.  Thats the worst.  Then in 10 days, you go back in for a blood test to see if its positive or not, then 2 days later to check your levels, to make sure they double.  So you wait for 2 weeks in agony.  Oh yes, this was how it was going to be.  

We went home, feeling hopeful, ready to rest for the next two days, on my back really.  And then for 2 weeks just relax and not do alot of activity.  Only one girl at work knew I was going through all of this, that way if I needed her to carry something for me or help me in general get through a day of spotting or bleeding, she was there.  I had to think the worst, I knew nothing else.  

The cruise was coming up.  That was something to look forward to.  However, I counted the days, and 2 days prior to the cruise was the day I would find out, and then the day of the cruise, I would have to go in for another blood test.  Then I would not have any access to phones for the entire weekend.  It was Memorial day weekend and our anniversary weekend.  Oh good grief!

The busiest month ever, May 2014

The winter was sort, but thats the way it is in Florida, short and sweet.  I was busy with work, trying to get one of the biggest projects I have worked on underway, a healthcare clinic.  For once I had a project that was high level!  I was busy with Etsy, since all I had been doing was crafts to keep my mind off of everything going on in our lives.  My marriage was strong, and we were happy.  I was even happy with my weight, which was something I spent the entire year of 2013 on due to PCOS.  Overall I really had things good, the only thing missing was the start of our family.  But, May was coming and that was when we were going to do another FET, end of the month.  I got a all end of March, the nurse said they had openings on May 9th, and she wanted to encourage me to take that day instead.  I was hesitant but I figured it was a sign I should say yes.

Hubby booked the annual cruise with the company, it was on our anniversary weekend, which would include his parents, brother and sister in law and their 18 month old son.  So here I was counting days till the FET, and realized that after May 9th, we would wait 2 weeks and find out yay or nay.  That would be about the time we would be going on the cruise.  So I could have a fabulous time with good news, or bleed the whole time on my period or miscarry along with an 18 month old by our sides.  Boy I couldn't wait!  Of course after our misfortunes we had had, I thought the worse, I didn't want to get my hopes up.  And it was our 4 year anniversary, so I guess I just had to keep moving and not think about it too much or it would consume me.

We started medication, this time, I added heparin shots every day since I had a clotting factor, and progesterone shots, which I taken before, but this time I was determined to take them the whole time, for a month, rather than switch over to the cream.  I was told that the shots were more effective.  I had a long spring ahead of me, well us!  Tons of shots, and medication.

This was a rose from our rose bush, one of 2 that we planted for our past miscarriages.  Oddly enough, both rose bushes bloomed the week of our FET, along with 1 purple Iris from hubby's grandmothers yard, and a white lily.  I really think it was too ironic, don't you think?  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

2014, another new year...

2014 had arrived.  I reflected on 2013.  It had been quite a year.  We did IVF, had a miscarriage, I had been to Neocon in Chicago which was something I had always wanted to do, we had been to the gulf coast, we had an FET, and another loss, and I landed a large clinic project at work.  My career seemed to be going so well, and our personal lives were good, minus the losses.  We got the bloodwork back that I did before the holidays.  I had a blood clotting disorder called MTHFR.  Hmm...interesting!  The doctor said he saw this a lot with reoccurring miscarriages, and if we did the procedures again, he would recommend being on heparin.  And so we then did our little surgery, to come to find out I had a septum in my uterus, which the doctor removed.  Another thing was that the embryo may have attached to the septum, which doesn't have any blood flow.  So we had 2 things we had found out in less than a month and after a year of heart ache.  I hate that we couldn't have found this sooner, but sometimes you try to do the least invasive thing before you go in and do more.  Its a conservative approach and I get it.

We had found some potential culprits, but I wasn't ready to jump back into the fertility pool just yet.  I needed to take some time.  My husband agreed, so I focused on work an the house for a couple of months.  End of March, we started talking about it again.  We wanted a family, we wanted a baby, it was looming. I got my nerve back up quicker than I thought.  So I called the doctor and scheduled an end of May procedure.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The group

After the last miscarriage, reality set in.  This may not happen ever.  We didn't have luck on our own, we didn't have luck with medication, and the procedures, I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with me.  (I know every girl says that, and they shouldn't, its the way your body is, its not something you can help).

So I wanted to find others that may be in my same situation.  Thats not easy to do, not many people talk about it, and definitely don't say on Facebook, hey guess what we are infertile!  So you have to search.  A friend of mine introduced me to a girl in NC over FB that had been through 5 miscarriages, but never fertility treatments.  She and I started chatting, and she mentioned that I should visit a group.  That felt like AA or something, a group to talk about my feelings.  I thought well, I guess it couldn't hurt.  Why not!!  So, she helped me locate one in Florida, and soon after the last miscarriage I went to a meeting.

It was so odd, I showed up at the church, and walked into a group of randomness.  There were all sorts of walks of life, all couples and I was alone.  I didn't think hubby would want to go, so it was just me.  In reality I wished he was there.  I heard everyone's stories, and I cried for them.  I mean my story seemed so minor compared to theres.  Loosing kids, loosing babies it was horrible.  It made me scared to have one.  I thought, there is too much loss out there.  I left the meeting so upset and so frustrated for those people.  I couldn't believe how much pain they had gone through.  The whole thing made me sick.  In theory, the idea of a group is good.  I think it helped me put things in perspective, but it made me sad.  This was real and I wished it wasn't.

Soon after that, we went back to the doctor to talk about options, and what had happened to us that year.  Doctor told us he wanted me to have a panel of bloodwork done called a miscarriage panel, and recommended surgery to see what was going on in my uterus.  All this scared me, but we figured it was best.  So we scheduled the surgery for the end of January and did the bloodwork right before the holidays.  We had done so much and come so far to not know.

Craft fair, and pregnant...(November)

A good friend of mine asked me to display my Blue Chair product at her craft fair.  I gladly said yes!  It was going to benefit the humane society, which I thought was great!  So part of our profit would go to the dogs and cats!  So exciting!  So she asked me well, back in the summer, so I started getting my inventory ready back in June.  I knew I had a lot to work on, and I worked full time, and we were about to start all the fertility treatments.  I didn't know what would come of anything.  

Sorry this post is a little out of order, but at the time of this craft fair I was about 5 weeks pregnant in November, not knowing that the outcome of this one was going to be a loss.  I had literally poured myself into sewing and projects to keep my mind off of things from the previous loss.  Its just a blur, looking back at the whole process.  This helped at times, to just lock myself into the sewing room and not come out for hours during the weekends.  I didn't have to answer to anyone outside, or spend time with anyone, who would ask me why I wasn't pregnant or had kids yet.  Its just a crazy time, when you are going through fertility treatments, and not telling people around you.  Its heartbreaking when you get the news that it didn't work, or that it did and it was only a matter of time that you wouldn't have it anymore.  Its so sad, and so many women and men go through this struggle.  

Results from October

12 long days.  AGAIN!  Its literally the longest 12 days of your life.  You are trying to pay attention to your body, to figure out if you are pregnant or not.  We wanted this so much, we had come so far.  It had been 2 years, and we were exhausted.  I know some people try for longer, and we would have but we decided to go for the big guns.  I was now in my 30's and I knew that time would start ticking.

12th day, into the clinic, tested and waited for the call.  The call came, positive!  Got the numbers, and they were good, come back in 2 days, to see if the levels had doubled.  2 days later, came back the numbers had gone up, but not doubled.  They said that was ok, to come back in 2 days.  2 days later, numbers went up a little more but didn't double.   I was getting scared.  They told me that it was inconclusive just yet, to wait it out.   I was 5 weeks at this point, and I started spotting.  They told me that was normal.  A week later, I started bleeding more, 6 weeks now.  I went in for an ultrasound.  There it was, on the screen, the embryo in a little open space in my uterus.  I saw it.  But the doctor said, you know, its a little flat looking, which isn't good.  He said there was a chance of another miscarriage to come back in a few days.  In the mean time, go home, lay flat, relax, drink water.

The weekend came and went and I went back to work.  Then things started happening.  I started having contractions at work one day.  I know they were not as strong as labor, but I am pretty sure they were like mild labor.  They were worse than period cramps, and they were 5 min apart.  They made me tear up in pain, and couldn't breathe properly.  I was in a meeting, and I couldn't stand it.  I had to leave.  As soon as it was over, I took my manager aside, and told her, "I think I am having a miscarriage".  She immediately told me to go home, or do what I needed to do.  As hard as it was, I left, and I called the doc.  They told me to come in, they would work me in.  Hubby said he couldn't be there, but to call him when I went in, he would be on speaker.  Still contracting, and bleeding a lot, I went in.  Another ultrasound, and hubs on the phone, there was nothing.  It was gone, or leaving.  I burst into tears, they were truly the worst tears.  He was crying on the line, the nurse was hugging me, and the doctor was just telling me how sorry he was.  He was not happy either.  This was our 2nd miscarriage that year, and one IVF, one FET.  Again, devastation.  I went home, and my MIL drove from South Carolina to be with us.   That night, I remember basically collapsing on the bathroom floor, with my husband, in tears.  I was in so much pain emotionally, and I couldn't express anything but cry.  Luckily it was getting close to the weekend, so I took that Friday off, and just rested.  I bled for a month this time.  Then I went to NC for Thanksgiving.  We had talked about telling them at dinner about the baby, but now we just had to deal with the loss.  I was still bleeding while in NC.  I think I finally stopped around the first of December.