Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wow

It's been such a long time, I'm a horrible blogger.  I don't think you could even call me a blogger at this point, I'm just a random internet poster...

Life is good right now.  Different than what I think it should be, but good. 

I'm not running.  I decided that a) I mean wow, it's a lot harder to run with an extra 20lbs and b) I don't think wrecking my body right before starting IVF is a great idea anymore. 

Yes, you heard right.  Still have that extra 20lbs.  The lbs I put on "because of the IVF drugs"...they never melted away like I wanted them to after all the meds stopped.  I kept eating, and they kept clinging.  So I'm now at a "comfortable" 20lbs over my goal weight...which isn't great.  But I'm learning to live in this skin right now.  I want to be happy mostly right now.

Work is making that last statement a little difficult.  My job isn't boring, that's for sure.  And if you heard what I do, you might think it would be.  But the position I'm in is a lot of responsibility, which I like.  But 15 hour days as much as I've done isn't healthy for anyone.  I know that when February rolls around and I'm taking off lots of time for procedures, tests, and scans...I'll be struggling.  But at least I can say I did my time!

In the midst of the madness, B and I decided that we need another getaway!  So, you know what we decided to do!!! We're going back to Vegas!!! We seem a little addicted, no?  But this time we're actually gonna go to Disneyland beforehand for a couple of days and then head to V Town.  I'm so looking forward to 10 days away from the office.  And this is another last hurrah before we jump on the IVF rollercoaster.  Hopefully this is our last Last Hurrah...hopefully it works next time.

So I just found out about a week ago that a friend of mine just had a miscarriage...her second one in just a few months.  I didn't even know she was trying, and I definitely didn't know that she was struggling as much as she is.  We chatted about it for a little bit, as much as we could in the state she was in (it was about 4 days after her miscarriage).  I just hurt for her so bad...I hate that I can relate, but I really value that I can relate.  Ya know? 

I've had a few people over the last month or so (especially at the office) throw the whole "just wait til you have kids and you'll see how easy you had it" thing at me.  I'm mostly over those comments...until I fall down that dark hole of "what if it doesn't ever work for us?"  I don't really believe that, I believe we'll be parents. I just hope we don't have to go through too much more to get there.  And I wish people would understand the pain that goes along with that. 

But I didn't.  I didn't understand.  How could I? ...and now that I do, I hope I can offer a little hope or a little understanding to those that are in the same painful boat.

...

Now I'm just a ranting random internet poster.

I don't know that I'll be back all the time until we start back on the rollercoaster.  But I'll try to stop by a little more with updates.  For instance- I went and saw my old endocrinologist...big mistake.  He kept me in the office for 2 hours, said I needed to do another thyroid ultrasound because he was concerned...and then gave me a script for a ridiculous amount of bloodwork.  I have to do another 24 hour urine collection, awesome.  And I've got a brain MRI I need to get done now, too.  I knew that one was coming, I want to check on the pit. tumor to get a baseline before we get pregnant (we WILL get pregnant).  Hopefully it shows that it's all gone!!!!!!!!! That's my goal!!!

I miss everyone- I hope things are well and happy and carefree! Oh I do hope for a carefree holiday for everyone, although I know how hard that is.  I can hope, can't I?

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Checking In

Just wanted to drop by to say WTF is up with my body??!?!?!?!

I'm back on the pill of course, continuously.  But I hadn't been on the pill for even four weeks when I started breakthrough bleeding. Of course. So that's my life right now. Lovely, thank you body.  Always a pleasant gift.

On the flip side- I'm running again. And I'm not doing half bad.  I got up to 4 miles last weekend. That's four miles, straight, without stopping! I've got 10 weeks until the half marathon though...a long way to go.

I also started ZUMBA! Who's done it? C'mon!? Who's been sucked into the amazing beats and the ridiculous dance moves? You know you have...

It's glorious really. I love it. And I look F'ing ridiculous. Really, it's horribly embarrassing. But good times! And now I tend to start my own little zumba class in my bathroom when I'm getting ready.  B may or may not like it. The jury's still out.

Halloween was good times as well! B and I dressed up as Spartans! Did I tell you that? I can't remember- but nonetheless, it was pretty stellar.  The best part about the whole costume dinner party that we dressed up for was that B was the ONLY guy who actually dressed up.  And he had full blown costume in lock down. We're talking head band, arm bands, wrist guards, shin guards...and a sword. :) Sorry, B.  But I loved it. 

A lot of people were there that we didn't know and we got to talking.  Of course they see B and I together and comment on how tall we are and how tall our kids are gonna be.  We started talking about baby halloween costumes.  My nephew went as a chicken this year. He was unbelievably cute.  But B saw the picture and said "Our kids won't ever be going as chickens.  Whatever they dress up as, it has to be sleeveless and it has to include some sort of arm bands."  Yeah. That's my husband.

What else is going on? Oh, work is a little less crazy. I'm only working 9 hour days most of the time now which is awesome.  But of course I have a co-worker who's my age...got married just about a year before B and I...and she has the most adorable huge baby bump.  I see her all the time.  And I try so hard not to stare but there's some sort of magnetic field.  Awkward.

Alright- go root for Stanford this weekend...just cuz I said so.  And go Colts!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home

I'm here. I'm back.  Not to say that I'll be writing every day (or even twice a day) like I was a couple months ago- but I've missed you! 

We're in a holding pattern for baby making right now. I'm on birth control and hoping to get my life (and weight) back in order.  Picking up the pieces has absolutely commenced and I'm feeling better.  Good, even.

Vegas was glorious. Seriously, I don't think I could have asked for anything more. It was perfectly perfect and everything that both the B and I needed. And wanted. ...and deserved maybe??? :) too much?

So now we're home and feeling a little post-vacation depression.  Every time I hear a sound that even remotely reminds me of a slot machine I get sad.  Ha.  But we're feeling much more stable emotionally.  We can talk about IVF finances without wanting to scream at God (that's not good, try not to do that...) or scream at Dr. Z or whatnot.  We can talk about how many more chance we have at this without feeling a total sense of "why me?".  We're getting back to where we were- knowing that this is the path we're on, and that's that, and we've known that for a while now...so suck it up and smile.  Keep battling, cuz there's no point in wallowing forever.

Now there is something I'm still wallowing about...my big fat belly.  I would oh so love to blame this big fat belly on a beautiful little baby (no I'm not even gonna try to go back and figure out how far along I would be right now, I'm not in that place...which is a good thing).  Nope, my big fat belly is all pastas and vinos, and glorious super buffets.  I mean, for the love, we had two all you can eat LOBSTER buffets in Vegas.  God bless.

So now I'm sitting here, 6 pounds heavier than I was AFTER all of the awful IVF hormones, and feeling like I've got nothing to blame but myself. And I hate having nothing to blame but myself. Boo.

I was running still, before our vacay.  I got up to actually running 30 minutes straight.  Yes, STRAIGHT! Without stopping. Like a damn rockstar.  And then we went to Vegas and now I'm sure that my first run back will leave me crawling on the sidewalk like a fool...

Just hope no one stops to offer help. That would feel sad.

My half marathon is in 12 weeks.  I've got to get my ass in gear in 12 weeks.  This time last year I was still on my honeymoon, I was 28 pounds lighter, and I was uber super awesome fit.  But I still didn't run even one time on our honeymoon (cuz who does that??).  So when I got back I sorta had to start from scratch training for the half.  And I did it. In 11 weeks.  Which totally means I can do it this time, right? Right? RIGHT?!

Those extra 28 pounds aren't TOO heavy...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hello Endo

I went to see Dr. Z yesterday.  It was unplanned, I honestly was considering just not going in again...maybe ever.  Maybe just not until January.  But I woke up yesterday morning and started to feel some sporadic little pains in my lower abdomen.  Then some bigger pain.  Then I got to work, had to rush to a meeting I was running, and started getting some "oh no, holy sh*t, not right now I can't start crying again in front of my co-workers" pain.  I was hunched over in my chair and shaking.

Luckily after about 30 minutes it dissipated to a bad ache and I was able to walk around a little easier.  But it still felt like I'd been kicked several times right in the ovaries...the right ovary to be exact.  So I decided it might not be a bad idea to actually schedule that follow-up appointment.  They said they could get me in that day. So I did it.

Sat down with Dr. Z, reviewed the fact that there was "villi" in the tissue removed from my uterus (it was a pregnancy) and next steps.  They didn't have the genetic testing results back yet, that can take a while and might not even come back with any sort of result. I'm just at the whatevs stage now, I can't really bother myself with caring anymore. Sad.

But Dr. Z felt pretty certain the pain was just endometriosis rearing it's ugly head.  Maybe mid-cycle stretching? Ovulating in a horrific fashion? He wanted me to stay off of BCP until I'd gotten some follow-up liver function tests.  And this is my body's way of saying "did you not learn the last time you were off of birth control, dumbass?"  So he did another liver function test and I'm going to start back on BCP with my next cycle.

He didn't feel the need to do another ultrasound because a) it'll cost me money and b) he has an easy out with the endometriosis diagnosis for any random abdominal pain complaints, so why even bother?  I mean, I guess I would agree. They can't really do anything about it anyway.  And if it was a ruptured cyst or something, it wasn't as bad as it could have been and there's nothing we can do about that either. 

He did another HCG test as well. I'll get all of these results back next week.  He wants to see a negative HCG for at least six weeks before trying IVF again...but I think we're probably gonna take a little longer than that.  Not much longer, but a little longer. 

We discussed some of the other next steps before we try again.  He wants to do another hysteroscopy to check out my uterine cavity now that I've had a D&C, check for any scarring, etc.  We'll do that later, closer to when we're ready to go for round 2.  I also need to go get another MRI for the pituitary tumor to get a baseline size reading. It's been a year and a half since I've checked it, that's not good.

I also haven't had an annual exam in a couple of years...so ridiculous with all of the checking of my lady business that's gone on in the last two years.  And there's still more checking to do.

So B and I went out last night for an awesome dinner and a movie, it was perfection. Lots of vino at dinner, but not before I stopped off for a little happy hour after work with my boss, my ex boss, and some other coworkers.  Needless to say, I woke up hungover this morning.  ...what? I needed a drink!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RUN!

Ok sorry, no need to yell.  I'm just so friggin proud of myself! I actually woke up Monday morning at 5:30am and went for a run!  My first run since June.  And I've never died so hard on a run in my life. It was utterly pathetic, honestly.  But I'm stoked I did it.

I was supposed to have my follow-up appointment with Dr. Z today to a) find out about the D&C lab results and b) test to make sure my liver isn't gonna fall out.  However, I ended up not going yet again because they thought it was perfectly fine to call me the day before my appointment and move it back an hour.  Do they think women who are going through IVF just don't have much else going on? I had a meeting I needed to be at 30 minutes after the new scheduled start time, so it's back to the reschedule for me. Whatevs.

So back to the run... I was planning a good 30 minutes but after about 15 I felt like a chain smoker so I had to stop.  I limped back toward my house feeling rather defeated and spunky all at the same time. I'm wicked sore today, and not really looking forward to getting out there again tomorrow morning. But I've got three weeks before our Vegas anninversary trip, so I'm hoping to drop a little weight before I go putting it all back on with margaritas and buffet dinners.

ps- have I told you all how amazing our wedding was? I looked damn good, too. But anyway, it's a year ago in just a few weeks so I've gotta think of something awesome to get B for our anniversary. I'm racking my brain here...and nothing. But let me just throw this out there so you get a little taste of the (faceless) awesomeness one year ago...






















Glorious.  Just glorious.

...watermelon...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

B and I

B and I went out to dinner last night at Ruth's Chris...sooo good! It's restaurant week so we decided to take advantage of it.  And I was craving some wine, so what goes better with wine than an extremely overpriced steak???

We were sitting in the middle of the restaurant and I saw a group next to us fawning over this adorable baby. He was so cute, and one of the friends of the parents walked up to try and hold the baby and he turned away and swatted at her.  She laughed it off and tried again and he started crying.  This is my nightmare.  I have this awful fear, which I've written about before, of making another person's baby cry.  It's the reason I don't ask to hold babies or try to play with them.  Deep down I'm always dying to hold them, but good lord when I make them cry it's like the world is ending. I hate it. I really felt for that woman in that moment.

And then out of nowhere I had this feeling.  See, B and I are going to Vegas- this time for real.  We booked the hotel (which we had done last time) and we're super excited.  We're going on our 1 year anniversary and I can't wait.  And in that moment, I felt for the first time that maybe we shouldn't have kids.  ... 

Never in my life have I really contemplated the idea of not having children.  When I was younger it was a given.  I'd have dozens of them.  Then I got older and it was something I just knew I wanted, no matter what.  Maybe a few, maybe a couple, but definitely more than one.  And then the endo diagnosis and the doctors and the surgeries.  Then the other diagnoses and the complications.  And then it was like I knew I'd have to work at this but I would. I'd do whatever it took.  Then I met B and he felt the same way, and he was completely understanding of the situation, he was right beside me, ready to do what we needed to do. 

Last night for the first time I actually thought that maybe we'd be ok just the two of us.  It only lasted a few seconds. I thought about the trips we'd take, the money we'd have, the things we'd do...the flexibility.   It looked pretty nice.  I felt a little wrong, a little guilty.  Selfish.

I decided to tell B.  He seemed kinda shocked but kinda not.  He agreed to a point, talked about all of the trips we'd take, the money we'd save, the things we'd do.  But then he told me that he thought we would have amazing children.  And we'd be amazing parents.  We would raise kids to understand how much potential they have, how good they could be, and how to reach that potential.  He was excited about the idea of that.  And then he told me that he can't stop thinking about the time he was playing with my nephew out back at my brother and sister-in-law's house. He was trying to teach him how to play t-ball...and the kid was like a year old.  He can't stop thinking about that, and he wanted that. 

It really brought me back down to earth, because I want that too.  I want to see my B out back playing with our kids.  I want to teach them how to play, how to love, how to push through the hard times.  I want to hold them...and know that they're mine, ours.  I think we would be happy just the two of us.  But I know that we were meant to be parents, and we will be.  Somehow.  One day.


So I saw this survey on another blog and thought I definitely needed to let you all into our little world- just the two of us.  So here are a few tid-bits...

1. When is your “engagement” anniversary:

April 17, 2009



2. When is your “marriage” anniversary:

October 17, 2009



3. How long have you known your spouse:

2 and a half years (I can't believe it's only be that long...in a good way. I feel like I've known him my whole life...)



4. How long did you date/court before you were engaged:

About a year



5. Where did you meet your spouse for the first time?

Happy Hour! At a bar/restaurant right by our office



6. What is your spouse’s full name:

B :)



7. Do you have any children:

Not yet



8. How many – boys/girls:

...not yet



9. Do you have any house pets:

Yep- our hilarious grey cat



10. Do you own a house or rent:

Own ... bought it just before we got married



11. Do you live in the country or town/city:

city, the suburbs



12. What is one of your favorite activities together:

Hmm...probably exercising of some sort.  Hiking, throwing the frisbee, running... or of course there's the laying out, watching movies, eating, drinking delicious vino



13. Do you have a favorite vacation spot:

San Diego or Vegas... or Mexico~!



14. When did you first kiss?

Happy Hour! haha



15. What church do you attend?

We go to my church that I grew up in from time to time.



16. Is this the church you were married in:

Define church.  We were married outside at a resort.  But my pastor married us.  And pretty much my whole church family was there.



17. What town is your current address at:

P Town



18. Do you work or stay at home:

Work...a lot



19. Where did you go on your honeymoon:

Cancun for a week and then Disneyworld!!! (He proposed at Disneyland) :)



20. What was the funniest gift you gave when dating?

I got him a pullup bar!



21. How long have you been together?

About two and a half years



22. How long did you know each other before you started dating?

Well, our first kiss was on the night that we met. 



23. Who asked who out?

He asked for my phone number and then texted me to say that I was gorgeous and we have a lot in common so we should go out sometime.  I don't believe in text dating, so I called him and made him ask for real... :)



24. How old are each of you?

He is 28 and I'm 27



25. Where do each of you go to school?

We're both done for now.  I went to Stanford and he went to the University of Evansville in Indiana.



26. Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?

Hmm.  Hormones? Can I say that?



27. Did you go to the same school?

Nope.



28. Are you from the same home town?

Nope. We had very different childhoods. He's from a tiny town and I'm from the big city...suburb style.  Our families were very different.



29. Who is smarter?

Haha, we're both pretty smart.  I think he'd say he's got more common sense though. ;)



30. Who is more sensitive?

Oh man, I really want to say him but c'mon.



31. Where do you eat out most as a couple?

Sweet Tomatoes! LOL- he hates that. 



32. Where is the farthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

Florida, I guess



33. Who has the craziest exes?

I don't know, probably me.



34. Who has the worse temper?

We have very different tempers. We both have our own snappy sides though.



35. Who does the cooking?

Both of us.  But he's better at it I think.



36. Who is more social?

Definitely me.



37. Who is the neat-freak?

Definitely him.



38. Who is more stubborn?

He would say me and I would say him, does that tell you anything?



39. Who hogs the bed?

Refer to question 38



40. Who wakes up earlier?

Me by a long shot, but he's starting to wake up earlier



41. Where was your first date?

A Mexican food restaurant by our office.  It's gone now :(  But don't worry, the place we met and had our first kiss is still right across the street.



42. Who had more boyfriends/girlfriends?

I think we were pretty equal as far as serious relationships go.  He was a little player though... hehe, sorry B. Love you!



43. Do you get flowers often?

Sometimes! :)



44. How do you spend the holidays?

Oy sticky subject.  We split up the first year. Then last year we did a pre-Christmas in Indiana and then Christmas with my family.  This year we are bringing his family out here for Thanksgiving and then we'll do Christmas out here with my family.



45. Who is more jealous?

Oh me for sure. I hate that.



46. How long did it take to get serious?

It was pretty quick as you can see! :) We started talking about marriage within about 3 months.  But in the first few weeks he actually told me he didn't really ever want to get married.  I guess I changed his mind ;)



47. Who eats more?

Well, he does if we're counting calories.  But that's just because he eats these horrific 1000 calorie breakfast "shakes" every morning to up his calories.  He's a big beefy man and likes to eat raw eggs.  Are you getting a picture of my B yet? Is Rocky coming to mind?  Yes, exactly.



48. Who does the laundry

We both do our own laundry, he just does his more often!



49. Who’s better with the computer?

I don't know, I guess him. But we're both pretty savvy.



50. Leave a piece of advice for the other couples.

Learn to love eachother the way the other person needs to be loved, not the way YOU need to be loved.  We all speak our own love languages. You just have to learn to speak your spouse's language!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shadows and Sunlights

B and I got out of the house last night for a fabulous dinner party.  It was my brother and sister-in-law and two other friends that we met through them.  The two friends cooked a beyond delicious meal and we ate and laughed and played ridiculous games that embarrassed every last one of us in a perfect way. We really needed that. Plus, I had a few glasses of wine!!! Not to say that this was at all allowed or even the best idea, but it's done and there's nothing they can do about it.  Funny how I seem to think my poor health will only hurt "them"... but it makes me feel better dammit.

No actually, I got a call from Dr. Z that my last liver enzyme test came back better. Only two or three times the normal high rather than six.  So it's heading in the right direction and therefore screaming for me to go ahead and F it up.

I'm supposed to be going in for my last ultrasound for a while plus our follow-up with Dr. Z on the lab reports from our D&C on Tuesday. Unfortunately I am scheduled to be conducting interviews at that time and can't really miss it.  So in an effort to reschedule for later that day we ended up being reschedule for the following Tuesday.  Eh, it won't matter how soon we find this out.  Dr. Z's not too worried about anything it seems, so we'll wait.  This will be the first week without a doctor visit for me in...wow, two months maybe?  And a lot of those weeks were two or three visit weeks.  What a mess.

We talked a little about next steps last night at our dinner party.  Our friend kind of squirmed and squinted as she asked what we were planning to do now.  I always feel so bad for making people feel uncomfortable.  I offered a little more insight into the whole story, they only knew bits and pieces.  And then I said we've decided to wait for a little while which of course got the resounding "oh good" from everyone. That's what I've heard almost every single time I say we're going to hold off for a bit and just chill.  No one in their right mind, it seems, would recommend us diving back into ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology...IVF for us) too soon after the ectopic/not ectopic debacle of 2010.  I get it, I mean, I obviously get it, I'm the one deciding to wait.  But there have been a couple of hurtful comments thrown about as well...

There are a couple of women I work with who know our story.  One in particular who knows pretty much everything because a) I needed someone to talk to during the 12 hours I was at work everyday... and b) she and I work very closely and I was always bailing out on her to go to appointments. I felt the need to over-share so she understood.  Well, last week after giving her the run down on our D&C finale she asked what our next steps were.  I said we were gonna wait for a little while before trying again.  She looked at me puzzled.  I thought maybe she would encourage me to get back on the saddle sooner, try again, "you got pregnant, you were so close, do you have to wait???".  Wrong.  She kinda looked at me for a minute and tilted her head to say "You're going to keep trying?" I froze for a second and then smiled to hide my inner WTF and said "yeah, in a little while. We're not ready to give up."  To which she said "Well with all you've been through I would start looking at adopting. I don't think I could go through that again. At least look into it". I think she said something about with how bad it went for me and how awful it was, I really shouldn't go doing it again.

I started to feel sick. She went on to tell me that she would be livid at this doctor and the entire process and wouldn't be able to even consider it again.  I told her that it was a lot but hopefully it wouldn't be like THAT again, and really it was just our first try.  She said that there are so many babies who need adopting.  I mean, what do you say to that?  Yes, I agreed, but we really wanted to try for our own for a while. I wanted to be pregnant one day, if I could.  Then she told me that "it's not all that it's cracked up to be".  That she wouldn't recommend it.

I kind of zoned out at that point.  She ended up staying at my desk for another 30 minutes talking about other things, her kid, her cousin's kids who are living with her parents because her cousin split, our problems at work, whatever.  I was just so numb. I try to be reasonable- honestly, I understand- I never know what to say. I feel like I ALWAYS say the wrong thing, so I understand.  It's an unimaginable process and even harder to imagine how to respond to someone going through it.  But she really dove into my nightmare on that one. She even swam around in it for a bit.

There are always the comments on pregnancy being a lot worse than people making it out to be. I get that.  There are the comments about parenting being incredibly difficult and how lucky we are to just be us right now. I get that, too.  They hurt, but I get it.  But please don't push adoption on people who are struggling through ART.  We obviously have decided to go through IVF on our own terms rather than adopt at this point. Not to say that the future couldn't change that, but if we're going through IVF or IUI treatment, we've made that decision for a reason. We want to try and get pregnant right now. Period.

I just wish some people, fertile people, could feel this for one second.  Not for very long, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.  But just for a second, feel what it's like to not know if you'll be able to create a child.  To not know if you will be able to carry a baby to term, give her life- real life.  But let me clarify- it's not to KNOW that you WON'T be able to create a child. It's the not knowing that really hurts.  Maybe we can, maybe we will.  Maybe we won't.  How can I not try if there's a chance? How can I muster the courage to try again? It's a fragile line to walk, and it burns. Pieces of me are dying off everytime I think about it, important pieces that I don't think I'll ever get back.  Pieces that made me smile and laugh big belly laughs back before I knew or even cared about fertility.  Those pieces that other women get to keep forever are slowly fading away for me.  There will always be an empty space where there used to be a bit of innocence in me, a bit of naive optimism.  I just want some of those other fertile women to know what that really means, just for a second.  A tiny moment.

But this is my journey to walk, not theirs.  Everyone has their own line, their own shadows and sunlights.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Don't You Worry About Me

So I like country music.  Yeah, that's right B. I said it. I enjoy country music no matter how much my hubby hates it.  It makes me feel like I could go frolic in a field somewhere and everything else will just melt away because it's me and my field, and my down-home melody...




I was raised on Sting and The Police.  So I love that.  Then I, for some reason, started listening to hip hop and thought I was a little thug princess at the age of 10.  I ended up actually listening to rap here and there, and enjoying it. Then my Junior or Senior year of high school I met a boy who liked country.  He made me listen to Tim McGraw's "My Best Friend" and it was like my world had changed forever (I mean, I was 16...pretty much anything that happened was like my world was changed forever...).  Then of course I found Tim's "Something Like That" and I was hooked.  It didn't hurt that this boy was kind of cute and a couple years older than me, I'll admit that.  Sorry B, but this IS my journal. ;)  That boy faded away, but Tim McGraw lasted.  And he introduced me to some of his friends (hello George, Kenny, Johnny, Keith...). I ended up going to a bunch of country concerts throughout my college years.  And I still love it.  The fact that B cringes anytime it comes on the radio makes me drive alone a little more than I'd prefer, but I have to get my country fix sometime!

So when I heard Carrie Underwood's "Mama's Song" for the first time this week, I was blown away.  I hated it.  I kept listening to it because I was like, this song is hurting my ears. I have to know why.

Then about three hours later I was singing it.

Now I find myself searching all over the internets to hear it again, and again and again.  And the lyrics are beautiful, and I heart the melody. 

And I thought about my mama. Everything she's been through just because she's devoted to being there for me. Her daughter.  She's one of my best friends. I talk to her pretty much everyday and hang on her words like they're going to be that final piece to the puzzle that will fix everything.  I can't stand when she puts me in my place, especially when I really need it.  And I love how she tries to stay strong and keep her voice from shaking sometimes and then breaks down and cries with me others.  My mama is one of those moms who make you realize that having children is the most amazing thing that could ever happen.  I heard somewhere that having kids is like allowing your heart to walk around outside of your body...and my Mom reminds me of that everyday.  Her love reminds me that I'm her heart, and she's watching it navigate this world, hoping and praying that it doesn't shatter to pieces.  I'm so much a part of her, and I always will be. 

So mama, I know it's been a rough few months.  I know you had to let me fly just to watch me nearly drown...but don't you worry about me.  You gave me everything I need to make it through this, and anything else that falls in our path.  You taught me about love and how much that can mean.  And I found my B to hold me up, just like you always prayed...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UCq0Xb0rBU


.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's Over!

What a weird exclamation point to type. Right? I know, this whole thing is so beyond me.  But I'm doing ok really.  Is that sad? Wrong? Honestly I'm so busy at work right now that I can hardly think about much else. This is One Day avoiding anymore "feelings" about this situation.  I felt so much, for too long.  It was a rollercoaster that wouldn't stop, wouldn't let me off.  As soon as I found my footing I was right back in the thick of it.  And now, now I can finally stop.  And I'm grateful.

I think I should be sad.  But I've put in my mourning.  I gave up this pregnancy twice already.  I can't stand giving it up again, not in my heart. So now I'm just me. It's just B and I again, and we're good. 

I've been thinking a little more about next steps.  I'll allow myself a minute or two to stop and think about it in the midst of my crazy ass job.  Or at the end of the day when I'm feeling that really crazy tired.  Or from time to time when I happen to talk about what's going on in my life with someone.  And really the first thing that comes out of my mouth or pops into my head is that we need some time.  We need to step away from the ultrasound screen.  I'm thinking about running again, about living. 

See, we know that we're not gonna get pregnant on our own. It's a funny little reality that makes life so incredibly difficult in one moment and so freeing in another.  I can't imagine going through the ups and downs of "maybe" or "what if" every single month.  That was never in the cards for us.  It's brought us one horrible ride so far, and I've gotta be honest- I doubt that's the last of our struggles.  But at least we can rest for a while and know that when we stop thinking about baby making, we can really stop thinking about baby making.

I don't know how long it'll be.  I can't imagine too long- I mean, I've had doctors telling me I should start trying since I was 19 years old.  And the fact that I've got low egg quality at 27 doesn't bode well for me.  So we'll take a couple months maybe.  Go away, relax, get fit, get tan...whatever.  No more methotrexate. No more cytotec.  No more ectopic/not ectopic/baby killing questions.  Just us.  Just be.

But of course, you can count on me to bring a little more drama to the scene on a regular basis.  We found out that my liver enzymes spiked to six times the normal range last week so it's back to the doctor for me.  Gotta figure out why I reacted so poorly to the metho, or maybe just that I'm a closet alcoholic.  And we've got another appointment on Tuesday for a final go-round with my favorite ultrasound wand.  At least for a little while.

I think my next post will be a little something about me.  This whole anonymous thing is tricky.  I've got a lot of my friends and family who read along with our journey, and then there are those who really know nothing about us.  I came here from another blog that had our pictures, our lives, all laid out for anyone to see.  When infertility comes into play and treatments start, things get a little sensitive.  But there's a lot here for you to know, and I think it's time I let you in...just a little bit. One Day at a time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It continues...

Of course the cytotec didn't work.  About six hours of the big D (I mean, bad, real bad), and pretty much nothing else.  I had sharp stabbing pains in my stomach pretty quickly after taking it (800 mcg), and then some sporadic pains around my uterus, but no full blown cramps like I've known all too well.  Nothing. 

I called the doctor's office at around 6pm on Saturday, about 12 hours after starting the medicine.  I left a message asking if the refill on the prescription was in case it hadn't worked. In case I didn't miscarry right away.  They called back and said unfortunately no.  The refill wouldn't matter, it's "treatment failure".  It either works or it doesn't. A double dose won't help.

So today I've been ok.  Thinking about how it will all be over on Tuesday. Really over.  No waiting and wondering afterward.  I'll take the day off of work and just be.  I'll close this chapter and then B and I will finally get to talk about our life without this waiting game.  We'll make some plans, we'll start to look forward.

My parents came over tonight and brought us dinner. They also brought my favorite homemade soup for Tuesday... and roses.  They sat with us and talked, watched football, smiled. 

I don't feel like Tuesday will be too bad.  They said it feels a lot like after the retrieval, some cramping but nothing too crazy.  I wonder how I'll feel emotionally.  I wonder if I'll cry.  I keep thinking there can't possibly be anymore reason to cry.  And then that fails.

But I'm doing ok today.  I'm ready. As ready as you can be, you know?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Reality

This is another one of those posts that will probably make you say WTF is going on.  I know, I feel you. I get it.  This is one gnarley situation that I can't fully explain because honestly I don't fully comprehend it.  But what I do know is that I feel better.  As sick and as wrong as that is.  I feel better in a way that lets me sleep at night and lets me contemplate putting one foot in front of the other...moving forward. 

I wrote a long sappy post. A wordy attempt at a poetic ending to this spiral.  I erased it.

Instead, I'll tell you what I'm living.  (although wordy poetry does tend to float around in my head a little more than I'd like to admit)

Here's a little catch up.  B and I got "pregnant". The reason for the quotation marks is that the first phone call where you reproductive endocrinologist tells you that your IVF worked and you're pregnant is not supposed to begin with "I've got good news and I've got bad news".  Ours did.  HCG was 12. Then 85. Then 115. Not good enough. Our doctor stopped progesterone and estrogen.  He knows what he's doing- he's done this before. IVF is an exact science.  12-85-115 is the equivalent of "No, no, really-no". 

We cry through a chemical pregnancy and wait for the numbers to go down. They go up. They go up. They go way up. We fear an ectopic. We see a "pseudo sac" in my uterus on ultrasound, nothing else.  Just an empty sac. We take methotrexate to ensure any hiding ectopics won't surface in a bad way.  My number goes down. Once. Then goes back up.  We take a second shot because WTF is going on. Then we get our first high resolution ultrasound which shows a gestational sac with a yolk sac and "something else" inside.

We are devastated.

We are more than devastated.  We are angry.  The ultrasound doctor comes in and says that she doesn't really deal with IVF, but with an image like this she'd think this was still viable.  She did not review my history, my labs.  I explain the HCG numbers. She says they don't matter. I explain the metho. She says that matters, and that it's over...

I am inconsolable.

That was one week ago, yesterday.

Yesterday, I met with my doctor in person for the first time after the ultrasound. The one who gave me the baby killing drug. 

I was angry, but defeated.  I was desperately needing to tell him he was wrong. But desperately needing to move on.  I was ready to listen.

Then he told me that he called the head of the imaging center. He asked why a doctor would tell me that HCG doesn't matter. He asked where she came up with that.  The head of the imaging center froze.  He apologized.  And then he explained that the ultrasound doctor was fired the morning of my appointment.  That she had been fired for not properly reviewing patient history before discussing their case, before discussing their options. She was not supposed to have any patient contact that day.  I was the last appointment.  She hasn't been back since.

WTF is going on.

He explained that with IVF, HCG numbers do matter.  It's an exact science. We know exactly when the egg was retrieved, we know when it was transferred.  There isn't wiggle room. He explained that when we did methotrexate, we should have seen a heartbeat if anything was viable.  We did not see a heartbeat, we didn't even see a yolk sac. I would have been six weeks along.

I demanded an ultrasound. I needed one right then and there. I wanted him to see what I saw. I wanted him to understand. I cried.  He held my hand.

As soon as he started the ultrasound he saw it.  He agreed.  It did not look like it did before the metho. It was "bigger".  There was a yolk sac.  He agreed. 

But then he told me that it was already too late before the first metho shot.  No matter what came of it, it was too late.  I asked about stopping the progesterone early.  He said it was already too late then.  This baby was never going to be ours.

I know you may think I'm crazy, you may think I'm wrong and stupid.  But I feel better. It's all so f'd up.  There's nothing right about any of this.  But that's just what it is. And if I try to figure out what's up from down, I'll never move on.

I believe him.  At six weeks, we didn't see what we needed to see.  I agree.  Should he have sent me for a high res ultrasound to avoid the metho? Yes. Should he have checked to make sure? Yes.  Should he have stopped the progesterone? I have no idea. I feel like no, but where does that get me? He has a protocol.  He follows it everytime. He doesn't go changing things on a whim, and I can't blame him for that. I can blame him for not giving us the chance to feel our own loss.  For not allowing me to be pregnant. For forcing me to grieve, right off the bat.  But I can't blame him for following the numbers, no matter how much I want to.

Wow, so there it is.  I hate ...  well, pretty much everything about this.  But it's our life, it's what we're living in. I can't change it, I can't fix it.  I have to keep living it.  And put one foot in front of the other.  At least for now.

I started Cytotec 6 hours ago. Now we wait and hope that I can miscarry on my own.  D & C is scheduled for Tuesday, in case.

I have no idea what's next, where to go, what to do. But I know we're not done.  And I know I don't hate Dr. Z anymore. At least not right now.  And I know that I could have never made it through this without all of you.  Everyone who has read through this shit storm, who has felt for us and felt with us.  Everyone who has commented, called, emailed, and held us.  I felt so alone, and then I wasn't.  Then I was alive again, because of you.  Then I had a way of standing, walking, making it through this when I honestly wasn't sure if I'd be able to simply breathe. Thank you. Really, thank you.




To the life that I wanted but never got. You were, in my heart, the most real thing that I'd ever felt. You will always be my real, no matter what they say.
I love you.         I'm sorry.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blown away

I don't know what to think right now.  First, I can't believe the outpouring of love and support. Thank you. You won't ever know how important it has been to me to feel like I'm not alone. I never thought that people could care so much about someone they've never met, or a girl without a name. You're all so much better than I could ever be.  You're making me better.



I called the doctor's office this morning before work and asked for a call from the nurse or the doctor or something.  I got a voicemail about 6 hours later from the doctor saying that we should move to a D & C and that he'd call me back.

Then I got a call from the nurse saying that she'd gotten a chance to show the doctor the ultrasound report and wanted to let me know.  I started to ask her some of my questions and she said I should ask him when he calls back.

About 3 hours later I heard from the doctor again.  I actually got to talk to him this time, and I had written down some questions that B and I came up with.  He started by asking me how I was doing.  I said I'd been better.  He chuckled.

He proceeded to spend the next ten minutes circling around the same answer over and over.  He was very upset with the doctor that saw me at the imaging center for discussing my "case" without doing any research on my history or situation.  He said he'd be calling the head of their center to report it. He said she was wrong. Then he told me that he wasn't convinced this isn't an ectopic still.  What? He said that it seemed very similar to what we had seen on the low res ultrasound, a "pseudo sac".  I told him that's not at all what the doctor told me at the imaging center.  He said that I had the benefit of actually seeing the images- he hasn't seen them.  He has a report that said there was a gestational sac and that he felt as though they weren't "sure" what was in the gestational sac.

I was blown away.

I told him that they were certain there was a yolk sac when I was there - that it was obvious even to me, someone who had never been pregnant before.  He said "oh".

I asked why we stopped progesterone so early, now that we know that something developed.  He said my numbers were too low and slow to increase for anything to actually work.  He "had never seen anything work with numbers that low".  I just kinda froze at this point and didn't really push or ask my other questions. 

He said that he wants to "evacuate" the cavity and see what the HCG numbers do.  If they go down he'll feel comfortable that this was a "missed abortion", if not, then we're still looking at an ectopic.  THEY DIDN'T SEE AN ECTOPIC ANYWHERE.  He feels that it's probably not ectopic, but isn't "convinced". 

I'm still blown away and I have no idea what to think.  I feel like I can't trust any of this.  The ultrasound tech, the radiologist/OB, my RE...none of it.  Who do I believe? What the hell is going on???

Anyone else confused yet? yeah, me too.

He said that it's not viable. No shit.  I've been on methotrexate for two weeks. 

I so want to believe that this was just an "F"d up natural miscarriage that we happened to misdiagnose several times but actually was over before any of the "unnatural" parts started (stopping progesterone, metho). That would be so much easier to take.  But this is insane- does he really still think there's a chance it's ectopic? What the heck is he talking about? I have this deep down feeling that he's covering his ass and it's all just fluff and bullshit.  My life = fluff and bullshit.

Sorry again Dad, but you've gotta admit it's kinda bullshit. 

I wish I could fully explain what's going on. I wish I could just chalk this up to bad luck and move forward.  I wish that it was two months ago and B and I decided that maybe we should wait another month before IVF...

I'm scheduled for a D & C next Tuesday morning.  He's hoping my body will miscarry naturally.  If not by next Tuesday- he wants to go in before I develop an infection. 

Blown away.  Just kinda floating through this right now- I have no idea who or what to believe.  I don't want to get out of bed in the morning, I know that.

one.day.at.a.time.

Monday, September 6, 2010

thank you

I keep sitting down to write something.  I sit down, I stare at my computer.  My eyes well up, I try frantically to push the tears back because I can't stand even one more. My eyes burn and sting, they're so swollen they could pop.  I try to think of something else, anything else, and then I leave this room that for some reason hurts more than any of the other rooms right now. When I'm here, I can't escape it.  B finds me in here staring at the wall. He hugs me and asks what's wrong.  I tell him nothing, because how do you explain that for the 3000th time you're thinking that you let them kill his baby?




I decided that this morning I needed to write.  First for myself, to allow myself this much needed outlet, this thing that has pushed me through a tragedy or two before.  Never something like this, but things that stung in their own way. But second, I needed to write for those people, the ones who took the courage to say that they're sorry for us- that they wish it was different, better.  For the people who have tried to hug us, to hold us, to tell us that they're there. What unimaginable courage it takes to offer another human being support. 

I'm weak.  I fear that I'll say the wrong thing at every turn.  Maybe it's because I've had the wrong thing said to me from time to time. That's why I understand those who can't comment, who can't say anything. I get that. And as I read through the comments from my last blog, each and every one of them touch me in a profound way.  Everyone said exactly the right thing, something that gave me a little more strength. And as I talk to my parents, my family- I know how hard it is to know what to say.  And yet they do, they muster up the courage to say what they're not sure will be the right thing.  And it feels so warm.  I could sit here for days, months; alone in my thoughts.  Feeling desperate and confused.  I would drown in them.  I would suffocate in my own anger.  But letting you all in, letting your words give me air was the best decision I could have made.  And I want to say thank you.


I haven't heard from the doctor yet. I was hoping he would give us a call on Friday afternoon or evening when he got the report.  And then I secretly hoped he'd be man enough to call over the weekend.  Now I'm hoping that he didn't see the report so that I don't have another reason to hate him. I wonder if we'll hear from him tomorrow or if I'll need to call.  They didn't schedule me for another blood test to monitor my HCG after this last MTX shot.  They always need to do day 4 blood work and day 7.  That'd be Tuesday and Friday.  They also need to monitor my liver function since it's still been high, and a double dose can't be good for that.  ...  ...  an unnecessary double dose. ... of the stuff that can be damaging to your liver.  unnecessary.

I'm still not in a good place. I think bad thoughts too often.  Guilty thoughts from time to time that even I know shouldn't be there.  I know it's not my fault.  I know that.  But they creep in, that feeling that I knew.  I should have said something. I could have done something.  ...I know that's "wrong", but tell me what about this isn't "wrong"?

Also, I know some doctors.  I have good friends who are doctors.  And they're good people.  I want to curse the entire profession right now- but I know that's wrong. There are good doctors out there who I need to trust again one day.  I'm just in a bad place, and it feels better to blame the whole lot of them rather than ...  well, myself.  For picking this one.  For listening to this one.  For believing in him, for standing up for him, for giving him our entire world. 

We'll have to decide what to do next at some point.  We'll need to make plans for another round of IVF, or a laparoscopy, or just several thousand trips to Vegas.  There will have to be large steps forward.  We'll need to decide whether we stay with this "doctor" or go to another.  Start all over trusting someone new.  Putting all of our faith into someone else who hasn't proven anything to us.  I'll be interested to see if Dr. Z shows any remorse.  Maybe he would be extra cautious with us next time. Maybe he would tread lightly, feel fear for a wrong move. Maybe he'd do a free round? no. probably not.  Maybe he won't care and we'll have to pull another name from a hat to see what happens.

But right now I still have something inside of me. I don't even know what to call it, what to say about it. I'm just waiting for it to "flush out" or something.  Nothing's happened yet.  Will I have to have a D & C?  I'm guessing yes.  Or will I have to see it myself? I honestly can't tell you what would be better.  Oh f, not more tears. I can't do this right now. Not again.

Friday, September 3, 2010

please. please no.

I honestly don't think I'm in the right state of mind to be writing, but I just had to. I need this therapy. Or I need to pretend like I'll get over this. Or I just need.  This can't be real.

Went in for another HCG test this morning to make sure it's still going down like it's supposed to.  Remember it dropped to the 1900's last time (Monday, a week after the initial shot).  It went up to 2500 today (almost two weeks after the shot).  That's not normal.  That's not even close to normal.  They were dumb-founded.  And that's not a good place to be, with your doctor dumb-founded. 

So they said I needed a second shot of methotrexate immediately.  And they wanted me to go get a high resolution ultrasound to see what was going on/make sure that I didn't have a massive ectopic about to rupture a tube or something.

B and I left work to go together to get the shot and get in for an ultrasound right away.  My nurse was super nice, saying she was sorry this was going on and on.  Offering to be there this weekend if I needed to call about symptoms from the MTX, etc.  Of course, telling me to stay away from sex, exercise, alcohol, green leafy vegetables...the usual.

Then we went to the imaging place.  This is where One Day's world falls apart. This is where I realize I will never be the same. 

There is no ectopic.  There never was an ectopic.  There is a gestational sac.  And there is a yolk sac.  This was, at one point, a viable intrauterine pregnancy.  And we killed it...we're killing it.

As soon as the picture came up on the screen and I saw the sac, I started crying. I asked if that was a yolk sac. She said yes.  I asked if it was a "pseudo sac" like our doctor told us.  She didn't say anything.

They brought a doctor in to rescan me.  She spent a lot of time talking to us, handing me tissues, trying her hardest not to say the wrong thing about our doctor and his "protocol".  But she told us that HCG levels don't really matter- as long as they're going up, that's what matters.  She said that she would tell me, if I was her patient, to come back in a week to see if they can find a clearer fetal pole.  I told her I was just administered a second dose of methotrexate...and then she said nevermind. 

We killed this baby. They killed this baby.

I want to scream. I want to die.  I've never been so lost in my life.  This is the most horrific pain I've ever felt.  To think that the doctor stopped my progesterone a week after my initial beta test.  And it still hung on.  To think that we poisoned it with mtx...and it still hung on.  They have never seen HCG rise after two weeks on MTX.  It rises after 4 days, then it's supposed to drop (and keep dropping). It doesn't rise.  That's unheard of.  All I can think is that it was trying to hold on.  ...and then we did it again.  Right before I found out. 

How could he not have sent me for a high res ultrasound before the first shot? How could he not have waited for the second until after the ultrasound? WHY DO I TRUST DOCTORS? never. again.

I'm not in a good place to be writing this. I'm not in a good place.

This can't be real.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's working!

Such a weird feeling to be excited that this pregnancy is on the downhill slope, but after all of this I'm glad that resolution is finally a possibility.  I wish we could go back and have "baby" be a possibility, but since we can't, and it's not, I'm glad that there's an end to this.

My HCG went from about 2400 on Friday to 1959 today.  It's down 17%, and according to Dr. Z's protocol that's good enough to not have another MTX shot today. I'm definitely grateful for that, I wasn't looking forward to another one and the possibility of more nausea and more dizziness!

Now we just have to hope that it keeps falling and doesn't stall, because this could be a long road to the finish line.  Pleeeeeeease don't let this be a slow end.

We've definitely decided to cancel Vegas because my liver enzymes went up again.  My ALT is now 110 with the normal range of 1-40.  Anyone know much about this??? Dr. Z wants me to go see my internal medicine doctor when we get a chance...but all I know is that liquor and MTX don't mix...especially if my liver's not all shiny and pristine. So no Vegas for me, and no vino either. booooo.

Work is a mad house right now.  I have an outrageous amount of projects I'm working on, and more are piling up.  Plus, of course, I still have all of my other core responsibilities that are kinda getting the shaft right now. Not good. One of my bosses said to me that he knows I've got a lot going on personally, so if I need to off load some of my work, that would be fine with him. This makes me panic a little bit. I don't like the idea of my bosses thinking I may not be able to handle whatever workload they give me. I don't like that my personal drama could affect my work performance.  They all keep saying I'm still doing well and handling everything fine, but I get really worried when I hear things like that...  I know, I'm spastic. I should be happy that I have the opportunity to let some things go if need be. But I'm a pusher, what can I say?

PS- for those of you who are endometriosis sufferers with me, go check out www.endometriosisstories.blogspot.com for a survey on your experiences with this disease.  Jessica from Endometriosis Stories sent me a comment yesterday with this link as a cure for my lazy/bored blues, and it was terrific.  I spent about 30 minutes filling out the survey and writing my endo story (the majority of the time was to write my story, you could probably finish it much faster than that if you wanted to...) and it always feels great to share my story, especially if it may help our cause in the future.  So please, if you've received a surgical diagnosis of endo, go fill out the survey!!!  It was actually therapeutic.

I don't have to go in for another blood draw til Friday which is nice.  For those "infertiles" who are getting ready to start another cycle, good luck!!!! I'm holding strong hope and lots of positive thoughts for you :) We deserve this!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Riding It Out

I haven't talked much about how this MTX ride has been.  Just in case others are out there looking for what I was looking for- someone else's experience after taking this drug - I thought I should post mine.

I got the MTX injections on Monday of last week - so five days ago.  Dr. Z had called it into the pharmacy a few days earlier in case we needed.  When I got the call, he had me go pick it up and bring it into the office so a nurse could administer it.  It only cost $8, which was awesome, because our insurance covered it.

The nurse did one injection in each butt cheek because it's a little too much for one area.  The injections didn't hurt in the slightest, especially after the PIO shots I'd been doing daily.  Those are wicked...

I went home with instructions to not eat any leafy greens (starting back before I took the shots because of the folic acid), no pre-natal vitamins (again, folic acid), and take advil if I got bad cramps.  I'm not supposed to be doing any strenuous activities (exercise, sex) for fear of my tube rupturing as well.  They expected that I might have some mild nausea, but offered for me to call if it got bad so they could write me a script for some drugs to help.  They also said I'd hopefully have a bleed so that my uterus would flush out at some point.

So the afternoon after the injections, I got a little nauseous and experienced some light headedness and a little dizziness as well.  Nothing to write home about really, not as bad as the "morning sickness" I was experiencing on the progesterone (which wasn't all that bad either). 

The day after the shot I was pretty good, not much as far as symptoms go.  I think it was later that night (day 2) when I started to bleed again a bit.  I got some cramps and a little nauseous again.  But the bleeding didn't last. 

Day 3 and 4 were much of the same.  Nauseous here and there, but really not bad at all.  Last night I started getting some cramps again, and then some kind of bad gas pains.  I've had a little bit of pain in my lower right quadrant for a while now, but that's pretty normal for me with the endo.  That got a little worse last night.  Then the cramps got really bad out of nowhere.  I ended up pretty sick to my stomach and had the big D late last night. Yuck.  I started bleeding kind of heavy, bright red, with just a few little clots.  Nothing big.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night with really sharp pain in my lower right side, like a sharp side cramp, that made it difficult to breathe and that radiated up into my right shoulder.  I was worried that something had happened...especially with the shoulder pain (if you have bleeding in your abdomen, it can radiate up to show as pain in your shoulder due to irritation on the diaphragm), but after a few minutes it subsided and I was able to fall back asleep.  Not really sure what that was, but with stage 4 endo, I just kinda get used to randomness like that. 

I've lost my appetite a bit since the MTX shot.  Haven't been able to act like a garbage disposal in my normal fashion (at least like it was when I was on the progesterone and stimming drugs, yikes).  So that's been a welcome feature! I've lost a couple pounds (which could be me losing muscle since all I do is sit around at work or lay around at home, ugh). 

Other than that, haven't really noticed any problems.  I've been staying out of the sun (doctors orders) and not drinking alcohol (I hate you Dr. Z).  So weird, we went to dinner last night and all I wanted was a cocktail and an F'ing salad...

I'm a bit nervous about Monday's results.  I'm thinking with my recent luck, I'm gonna need another MTX shot.  Which I've kind of given into at this point, but it still sucks. I feel better now that we've pretty much decided we're postponing our little vacation.  We'll enjoy it much more later, when we can do what we want to. Vacation with restrictions is no good.

B and I keep laying around talking about how we need to get up and go do things. Yesterday we sat on our couch for a good thirty minutes talking about what we could do that didn't involve any sort of exercise or being outdoors.  I said we could go to a museum and he laughed at me.  If you knew B, you would understand why.  He's too cool for school... ;) Just kiddin' B! I love you! (and you know you're too cool for school...).  We talked about shopping, but all we'd be buying is fat clothes for me or things we don't need for the house...neither of which is a good plan.  We ended up going to dinner and a movie.  Our standard date night.  We seriously COULD NOT think of anything to do.  What's wrong with us??? We need help.  For those of you who know us (and where we live), do you have any ideas? We're getting a little bored with the Red Box movie rentals and real estate tv shows (that's my fault, I just friggin love those shows...).  And don't tell us to go to a museum, you'll get laughed at as well...

Friday, August 27, 2010

yikes

2,367.  That was my HCG number this morning. 

Granted, they said that the number can go up before it comes down by day 7, which will be on Monday, but I don't like it one bit.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see on Monday.

We retested my liver enzymes again.  I got the results from last time. Really not that bad, just a bit above normal for the AST and a little more than double the normal high for ALT.  But after doing a little research, it has to be much higher than that for anything serious by any means.  There's the possibility of a "fatty liver", gotta love that.  But I really don't think I'm an alcoholic...and I'm not really obese (yet), which are both contributing factors to fatty liver.  Who knows though, my body really loves to piss me off.

Work has sucked my life away right now. I'm working on two huge projects as well as several other lovely little time suckers. So it's been hard for me to get out of the office before 8pm.  Thus, difficult to sit down and write anything when food is the number one thing on my mind...and of course, my husband.

I'm just plugging away over here though, not really much to report.  Other than the fact that we're probably not going to Vegas.  I think it'd just be such a horrible waste to go to that beautiful city without the prospect of drinking excessive amounts of liquor by the pool.  No offense to those who enjoy not drinking or sitting indoors...it's just not what I'm looking for right now.

I miss feeling pregnant.  I hate that I still am pregnant and feel so utterly not pregnant.  I'm looking forward to ... well, moving forward.  One day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Grey Area

I didn't post all weekend because what was I gonna write about? Every time I think at all about this "situation" I can only muster up a bizzarly quizzocal look and a grunt about "waiting".  Writing something even remotely real, let alone profound or entertaining in any way, just wasn't in the cards.  But of course, the story has to have a climax.  Or at least, another "result" of some sort.

Went to the doctor this morning and got the ultrasound before my bloodwork.  B came with again, he's only missed like 2 visits, both of which were only blood draws. He's a rockstar. But then again, I haven't missed any. So that puts me at supermodel status or something. ...

I had a pretty heavy bleed this weekend. Started on Saturday.  Had some gnarley cramps, and passed some even more gnarleyness.  Yes big brother, you may not want to continue on for the rest of this paragraph...  I thought for sure I had miscarried when I saw the second huge clot in the toilet, it was intense.  The cramps lasted most of Saturday.  I felt much better on Sunday, had just a little more bleeding but no more big clots or anything. So I thought the ultrasound would show that it was gone...

Nope, there was still an empty sac of some sort in my uterus.  Dr. Z felt pretty confident that it hadn't shrunk much.  But he also felt pretty confident that this is an intrauterine miscarriage.  So he gave me three options, with the caveat that if my HCG number went up a lot we'd start over with talking about an ectopic.  He didn't think that would happen, so here were my choices.  1) Go home and wait it out for a week in hopes that it takes care of itself, but if after a week we're still in the same boat, we move on to the other two options for fear of infection. 2) take Cyctotec which is a drug that dilates the cervix and causes the uterine lining to shed. This has some not good side effects for about 24 hours and only works about 50% of the time in my circumstances.  3) a D & C which for those not in the know with the infertility buzz words, this little gem is used to clean out the uterus via "scraping" if you will. Sorry, that was a little harsh.  It's actually quite common and is used to obtain uterine lining samples for tests and such outside of infertility as well.  It's an outpatient procedure, and I'd be under anesthesia. Unfortunately, it can cause scar tissue in the uterus which can affect future pregnancies, so not my favorite.

I mean, none of these options are optimal. It's a miscarriage, nothing is optimal.  But I honestly have no idea what we would have chosen to do because about an hour after we left the office we got the call about my HCG, and it went from 600 to 1500.

1500! ... Remember when it was 12?

 So yeah, not exactly "down". No?

I don't know WHY I keep thinking it's not going to rise significantly or that it's going down. :: Enter image of One Day's head ramming into the same wall over and over again. ::  I just really thought this was going to be the one mildly less complicated thing. 

So Dr. Z, with way too much surprise and wonder in his voice, explained that he needed me to come into the office for the methotrexate shots because he feels this is ectopic.  With a 1500 HCG, he should be able to see more in the uterus.  My little uterus sac looks far too much like a "pseudo sac" linked to an ectopic for him to feel comfortable.  My question, if you should be able to see something in my uterus, then wouldn't you be able to see something in my tubes or elsewhere? The answer- No. "It's a grey area".  A mother F'ing grey area.  They don't want to wait and see what happens when one of the options is me ending up in the emergency room being prepped for emergency surgery because my tube ruptured and now I'm dying...blah blah.

I got the two shots of methotrexate this afternoon. I go back in on Friday for a follow-up beta.  Then on Monday again. If my HCG doesn't decrease 25% by Monday, I have to get another two shots.  We will keep monitoring at least once a week, if not twice, until my HCG is below 0. I have a feeling that's gonna be a loooong time from now.  Thoughts?

Oh, ps- Dr. Z took my liver function test last week to determine if it was ok for me to take this MTX shot. I guess if your liver's not doing so hot, this bad boy can really do some damage.  So he tells me today right before the needle is injected into my right ass cheek, that my liver function test had some kind of high numbers.  He wants to test again on Friday.  Not high enough that he wouldn't go ahead with the MTX, but high.  I asked if it's still high on Friday is there anything we can do to help? He said no.  Um. Ok. Yeah, that sounds about right. WTF???????????????????????????????????

I swear I'm not an alcoholic, no matter what my blog and blood tests show.  But I mean, honestly. I want to go to Vegas and party like a rockstar and pretend like my life is still mildly drama free and the only thing pseudo about me is my dance skills.  But alas, me and my pseudo-sac will be sitting our asses at home, drinking some water, and using this as an excuse to gain another three pounds.  I mean, it's not my fault I can't eat salad or exercise. My doctor made me do it. I have a note!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

consult. ultrasound. beta. repeat.

Had my repeat repeat repeat beta this morning.  I had kinda decided that even if it went up I didn't want the MTX yet because it just freaks me out right now and I'm worried about how my body will respond. I'm sure it will be fine, but I don't know. It's probably just the desire for alcohol...
While we were waiting for the blood results to come back, we had our consult with Dr. Z and then he decided he wanted to do an ultrasound just to see what he could see.

So the consult was...well...sorta devastating.  He wants to try again obviously.  But we didn't do that shared risk program cuz of insurance, so I'd be shocked if he didn't want to try again.  He walked B and I through our entire last cycle, right down to each of our 17 eggs' little journeys. 

He started with my estrogen levels.  Before we did the retrieval, he'd like to see between 200-300.  Mine was 144. At retrieval, he'd like to see about 200 per follicle retrieved. I had 17 follicles retrieved.  My estrogen was at 1400...you do the math. No good.  So he said that this basically means we only really had 7 mature eggs out of the 17.  If that. 

He went on to walk us through the Day 1 to Day 5 embryo debaucle of 2010.  The "Awesome! to Damnit. to Oh Yay! to WTF? to NOOOOOO!" debaucle.  He said that at the transfer, he was extremely pessimistic about our odds.  I knew that.  He said that with the egg quality (and estrogen levels) at day 1 he was surprised at day 3 when things were looking good.  At day 5, he said it made sense based on what he saw at day 1.  But if we did the transfer at Day 3, there would have been a very low chance that they'd pick the "right" embryos as so many looked falsely good.  He kinda explained that embryos run on battery power for energy for the first three days, then when they have to transform into blastocysts, they have to create their own energy to keep developing.  That's when we saw the truth about my eggs. They couldn't make the cut. Sad.

So he said that he'd like to up my stimming protocol the next time.  Two injections per day.  He for sure wants me to do acupuncture to try and help stimulate blood flow to my ovaries, he thinks that's definitely a factor.  But unfortunatley, he thinks that my endometriosis is the biggest factor. He thinks it has infiltrated my ovaries and is affecting my egg quality pretty significantly.  And he doesn't suggest another lap because messing with my ovaries is a bad, bad idea.  It can absolutely affect blood flow and there's too high of a chance to impact my ovarian function.

It was a sad appointment.  But we're going to try again.  Just when.

That's when the next bit comes into play.  He called me in to do an impromptu ultrasound. He said that if my lining is thin then that's not a good sign, that's what he wanted to look for.  As soon as that lovely wand was in place, I could see something in my uterus. I thought maybe it was really thick lining, that maybe that was good.  Then he said to the nurse that it looks like a sac.  An empty sac.

So I got confused.  He then reminded me that we had earlier talked about how ectopics can present as a "pseudo sac" or something in your uterus but actually be in your tube.  This is bad beacause some people get tricked and do a D&C to clear out the uterus and then think all is well.  And then BAM. You're in the hospital with a ruptured tube because as Dr. Z put it, "It was still festering in there".  **shutter**

He actually said this could be really good news though and that the numbers might tell us that it's not an ectopic. His gut reaction now is that it's not an ectopic, but an intrauterine miscarriage.

I asked what a normal pregnancy looks like at this stage.  He said "much bigger. with a yolk sac". I got sad.

Then he removed his wand from my lady business, let me regain my dignity, and waited for me outside.  When I walked out he said the numbers came back.  My beta was 617. It went from 400 on Tuesday to 617 today.  I definitely wasn't expecting that. I really thought it would be 420 or something.

So he said it could still be an ectopic with that pseudo thing.  Or it could still be a miscarriage. He didn't want to do the MTX today. I have to go back on Monday.  I'm an F'ing regular. F!

Today hasn't been a good day. I've been up since 3am. I was at work til 8pm. B and I are disagreeing and arguing right now...about kinda everything. We're just both so devastated and stressed and trying to be positive and hating ourselves at the same time. It's gross.  That's the word for it. The whole thing is gross. 

Get me off this f'ing ride, man. Seriously. Dr. Z said it could take months. Hopefully  not, but it could. And when my number gets back down to zero someday, then we have to wait 6 weeks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I fail.

Grammy...stop reading now...

Doobeedoobeedoooooo...

I don't want to write an enormously depressing blog again today about the sh*tstorm that is our life right now. Really, it's fine.  I mean, everything's not like "fine" and all, but we're fine. You know? We'll find out tomorrow if I have to take the metha-whatever.  Let's call it MTX from here on out because I honestly can't remember what it's called...

Is it really really bad that one of the big reasons I don't want to take the MTX is that you can't drink on it? I mean, I know that's bad, but is it really really bad? You can be honest. If you think I have a problem, it's probably best that you tell me now and not wait to see what comes of me.

Here's the situation.  B and I were sad.  We were sad and depressed and lonely.  Ok, not lonely, that just sounded good.  But we were feeling the grief cycle in our own way and decided that because of our miscarriage, we needed a get-away.  And that get-away was obviously VEGAS! So we promptly purchased our trip for way too soon...and the very next day I get the call that this isn't over.

Enter disgust and horror at the thought of me as a mother...

I mean, I thought we were ok. I thought at least we could go and enjoy some bevvies and maybe a teensy bit of debauchery for one weekend.  I thought that we could at least lay by the pool and sip away our sorrow. 

MTX says no liquor and minimal sun light.

Vegas is laughing at me right now.  It's pointing and laughing and rolling around in our money.  We're coming anyway, Vegas! And we're going to zap any sort of fun right out of you! So shut the hell up!



Grammy, I know you kept reading...cuz you're like me. :) So I apologize for the debauchery.  But I'm your daughter's daughter, so you kinda had to figure... ;) xoxo

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not another boring "waiting" post...

What to write...what to write... hmm.  Wouldn't it be nice if this was one of those "I don't really have anything to write about because we miscarried after our first IVF cycle and now we're just waiting for next steps" post?  I mean, I know I love those posts.  But alas, I get to entertain you with brilliant musings by One Day's doctor's office and ever so pleasant Beta Results!

So I went in for my beta on Friday as you recall.  I didn't hear back from the office at all.  So I figured that just meant my HCG was going down like it was supposed to and who wants a phone call about that anyway (other than me, of course). 

Monday (yesterday) comes and I for some reason decide I don't need to have my phone on me at all times like I have over the past two weeks, but rather go about my day trying to be a mildly productive employee. Well it worked and unfortunately I didn't check my phone til 6pm, at which point I had two calls from Dr. Z's office and a voicemail proclaiming that I must come in immediately for a blood test, today.  It's 6pm. So I call the office this morning at 7:32am and I tell them that I've been bleeding and I started birth control on Sunday because the nurse told me to start on CD2 since this was a big fat failure and I'm a large mass of endometriosis and totally addicted to birth control.  So I asked why I would possibly need to come in for a beta. 

I found out that my HCG almost doubled from Wednesday to Friday.

They needed me to come in today for blood work because they're concerned at how weird my HCG is and they are worried about an ectopic. 

So I promptly put my hair in a bun and sprint to the office because I have a job that doesn't like when I just don't show up until about 45 minutes past my start time...blah blah. I get there, proceed to have my blood drawn, ask what my actual beta was and they say about 200. What does that mean, "about 200"? Whatever, I was swimming in a sea of WTF so I didn't even ask. Then as I'm walking out of the fun little blood draw room, Dr. Z pops out of his office yelling my name.  I turn the corner and he's standing there giving me this awkward "how are you feeling after this horrific ride?" look. He tells me that he's very concerned about ectopic at this point, that the numbers are obviously way too low for a viable pregnancy, but that he doesn't know if it's ectopic or an intrauterine pregnancy that's just gone wrong (something about implanting loosely...wtf?) He'll look at the numbers from this morning and let me know what he thinks then.  He explains that he likes to jump on these situations early rather than letting them play out...

I'm at work.  I get a voicemail (because I suck at being by my phone when the doctor's office calls...every time), when I listen to it I hear Dr. Z's voice which definitely isn't good. He says the number went up to 400.  Now, don't get all excited/scared/confused on me.  That's a doubling time of 96 hours. Fail. He repeats that obviously this isn't a viable pregnancy, and he's even more concerned about ectopic.  He wants us to set up a plan and I need to call him back today so we can decide whether I will start methatrexate tomorrow or wait to monitor a bit longer. 

I talked to B and he felt like a snap decision on that wasn't a good idea.  Absolutely.  So I called Dr. Z back and told him I'm not ready for methatrexate tomorrow.  So he said I'll do another beta Thursday.  Then if it goes up again, he's making me start the metha-whatever.  If it goes down we can keep monitoring.

Don't ever ask what the side effects of methatrexate are unless you are fully stable. Dr. Z totally freaked me out with his little "well, it's a chemotherapy drug" speech.  He said some women tolerate it really well, but common side effects are vomiting, nauseau, abdominal pain and cramping, dizziness, fatigue... glorious.

Please let me off this roller coaster.  It's nice and all that I got sorta pregnant...but I kinda want to stop now. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I think this is Peace

It's so weird to not be taking any medication. For the last several days now, it's been nothing.  I know I'm supposed to keep taking a prenatal vitamin, but I just don't feel like it.

But, alas, today I'm starting back on the pill.  I can't go long without her, without my insides turning against me.  So Dr. Z said to start it right back up again and then we'll decide where to go from here.  I'll be on it continuously again until we decide to do another round of IVF.  I know that's what we're going to do, I just don't know what comes in the middle.  Will we do another lap? B doesn't want me to because of what happened after the last one.  He doesn't want me (or him) to go through that again. Trips to the ER, painful breathing, couldn't walk... I was lovely. I don't blame him.

We have our WTF appointment on Thursday morning this week. I look forward to hearing what Dr. Z has to say, especially about the egg quality.  The concern in his voice on the day of our transfer was alarming. Obviously we're gonna try again with my eggs, but I wonder what he'll change. I wonder if he'll recommend donor eggs down the line. ... inhale.  exhale. good.

In the meantime, I need to get my shit* together.  (*Sorry Dad...everytime I feel guilty, but it just SOUNDS better. And it's what I'm thinking. You know I love you...and yes, we have bar soap at the house.)

I need to drop some weight. I don't know how much women normally gain in a round of IVF, but I'm creeping into that scary weight range (for myself). I'd like to lose 20 pounds...but that probably won't happen before we do another cycle.  I have to be realistic.  But B and I are gonna try to get away sometime soon, for a little non-baby thinking.  A little "late twenties we don't care about medications because we're totally normal" lifestyle. Man I wish I were normal sometimes. Sometimes.  Then there are those times that I'm super grateful that I've gotten to live outside the lines. You know? I have no idea what a normal med-free life is like. Haven't had one since the get-go. I've had plenty of bouts of trying to be normal, and it's worked for a while.  Those were fun.  (But I always paid for it one way or another)

And then there's B.  He hasn't seen a doctor for anything other than sperm...like ever. And that sperm things is only because of me.  I don't want to think about what his life would be like if he wasn't with me.  No doctor's appointments. No procedures. No waiting on a call from a nurse to find out whether or not our "pregnancy" is viable. He could have been normal.

But he's better than normal.  (At least in my eyes.  I hope he feels so, too. I think he does.) It's not easy on him. I can see it sometimes. But he has such an amazing strength about him.  Still, every time I say anything remotely down or scared or upset, he says exactly the right thing. And he stops what he's doing. He looks right at me. He holds me.  I'm blown away by him.

It didn't start out easy though.  Right before IVF we were butting heads on how to handle X, and how to feel about Y... pretty much everything. But when it mattered most, he stepped up big time.  When it was crumbling all around me, he knew exactly which pieces to pick up and which ones to let fall.  He's saving me every single day.  Every. Single. Day.

I always wondered if something devastating can really bring two people closer or if it puts this air between them. This space of doubt, guilt, disappointment. Blame. In B's case, he chose to take a step closer to me.  No, he didn't meet me in the middle. I can't give myself that much credit right now.  He walked to me. He met me where I was at.  I feel incredibly close to him, and I couldn't be more grateful for my husband. Have you gotten to a place where you really know what matters? In the grand scheme of things?  I just did. It's sad what it took to get me here, but what an awesome feeling.  (It's a little scary too.)

I'm a firm believer that God has a purpose. For everything. Yeah, even the shit things.  The awful, devastating, destructive things.  In the moment, I don't want to think for one second about His purpose or His plan. I want to think about what I need.  And that's natural. I think that's ok.  I mean, we're only human!  But in this moment, I'm seeing what I think He wanted me to see.  I'm feeling where I need to feel... I don't ever want to be here again, but I know my plan can't ever be as good as what's He's got cooking for me. For us.

For those who aren't there, that's perfectly normal. Honestly. I know so many good women who have felt disturbing loss over and over again.  I'm sitting here after one horrible circumstance and we're in different places. You need to feel how YOU feel. You need to be where you are. I'm hoping for each of us that we are made whole again, if that's possible. Or at least that we smile again.  That is possible.  (For those who don't know, I've been following several women go through IVF or IUI's or just the TTC journey right along with me in this little blog world. And so many have missed their chance this time. And it hurts like hell. And doesn't seem fair. And makes me want to vomit/hit things. But I think we'll smile again ... one day.)

I'm glad I'm where I am today.  I'll be in a different place tomorrow or two hours from now.  But I think it will be a place of understanding and peace.  I think it'll be a step closer to moving forward, one way or another.  And I know it will be a place full of support, with your wonderful words of wisdom, with my family there to understand, and with my B walking right beside me, waiting to catch me when I can't make it on my own.  Thank you. With everything that I am.