Sunday, September 30, 2007

thoughts in my head

A little voice inside my head as I took my shower earlier today - You're not pregnant. I stopped mid-shampoo to listen, even though I knew it was in my head, a thought only. I hadn't even been thinking of it, so the thought took me by surprise.

Truth is, there's no way of knowing. I'm on so many medications that any of my "symptoms" could be side effects. I've learned from experience that there is just no way to know for sure, not until you get that BFP or AF.

Still, I hold out hope. I place my hands over my womb, and pray. I meditate, and wear the bracelet a friend made me, claiming the stones in it would attract fertility. I have shunned caffeine and alchohol, soft cheeses, and all the other things we do when we think we might have a chance at being pregnant. I'm not even bracing myself for disappointment after the shining disaster that proved to be last cycle.

I thought of a RESOLVE meeting I went to a while back, and one of the women who was there for the last time. She and her husband had decided to adopt, and their child was to be born within the next couple of weeks. At the time I felt sorry for her, in a way, thinking how hard it must be to come to terms with the fact that she would never feel her child grow within her own body, she would not give birth herself. But today, I envied her. Her struggle is over, her joy is here. She is a mother, and tonight she holds her little one to her chest, cherishing the gift she's been given. That child is no less hers for being born of another's labor - I never thought it was. But perhaps she treasures the child all the more for the labor she did go through to get to motherhood.

I wonder how I will arrive at motherhood. Will it be through injections and catheters filled with washed specimens? Will it be when we least expect it, after we've given up all hope and stopped trying? Will it be through another's labor pains and tears, the grief of a mother who can't raise her own child?

I do not know. I pray to find out soon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

so *this* is what hope feels like…

I have been to the doctor early in the morning every day since last Friday. Wait… not Saturday. But I've watched the sun come up these past two days, and besides Saturday I've been up way before I'm accustomed.

But it's okay. I'm actually having a good week. I've been confident and hopeful about this cycle. I've been feeling much better about this journey. I believe this is a combination of the Clomid leaving my system, my stressors being reduced, active work at relaxing and dealing with what I'm going through, and my natural response to the beginning of a cycle. Prayers and support of friends and family play a HUGE part, I will not overlook that. Whatever the absolute reason for my change in emotions, I'll take it.

Over these past several days, we were told we'd have three to four follicles release with the trigger shot. This morning, two of them had released. I liked my odds better with three, was slightly nervous about four but willing to go for it, and am somewhat discouraged by two. I never do ovulate from my left side…

I made the mistake of asking the doctor what my chances were, and he said that at my age with two eggs my chances are 10%. Which is a big difference from the 60% that the paperwork we signed for the drugs claimed. Still, DH's count was great, and now they have twice the targets to aim for. I'll be thrilled if they can find one of them this time.

Last cycle I tried to guard my heart. I tried to brace myself for the disappointment that was sure to come. I had no faith in the procedure, in my body, in the doctors. I had no faith that God was going to let this happen for me, not this time. I thought that by being cautious, I would be protected from the pain when my cycle ended.

Yet the end came, in all its crashing devastation, and I was not protected after all. Not only did it hurt just as badly, I was already depleted from not having any hope through the preceding weeks. The crash came, and I was pushed under a wave of despair and depression.

So a different approach this time. I choose to believe in this process. It's a numbers game. Maybe I have a 10% chance, but with two eggs I figure my un-medicated, un-helped odds are doubled. I've got twice as good a chance as I would with one egg. And if not this time, we have two more ahead of us. The odds may not be in my favor, but I've always believed in the underdog. I'm a Cubs fan, after all.

Two weeks of hoping, letting my heart be open to the idea that this could work. Two weeks of enjoying the possibility. Shoring up my energy, buffering the storm that's possibly coming with two weeks of relaxing, letting myself be happy, choosing to be positive.

I test on October 9, blood work at the clinic, anywhere from 7-9:30 am. I get the results about two hours later. Perhaps I should take the day off. Either way the test goes, I am going to cry and have a very emotional day. That's okay. If it's negative, hopefully these two weeks of positive thought will help me weather it. If it's positive, there will be MUCH rejoicing.

(As a side note, this particular clinic has a success rate of 50% with IVF, with a total of 47% of IVF patients bringing home a live baby. Should we end up going down that road, at least the odds are much more in my favor.)

Friday, September 21, 2007


Today was my ultrasound to see how many and what size follicles I have. At first glance the doctor thought I had way too many – then he measured them and discovered that there are only three viable follicles. We'll probably have two or three when the time comes to trigger. I like those odds.

See, just because I may trigger with three follicles, and release three eggs, doesn't mean that all of them will fertilize. They could, there's a small chance, but I'm willing to take that chance with three. Because the bigger chance is that one of them will fertilize, and having three of them just gives the swimmers more targets to hit. Hopefully they'll find one of three, or even two of three.

I've always been disappointed when previous u/s have revealed only one follicle. I felt like it meant it wasn't going to work – and it never did. Self-fulfilling prophecy? Or maybe I just knew.

But hearing there were three… I suddenly have renewed hope for this cycle. I'm on a low dose of the drug, and three is a very respectable number for an IUI. As long as DH's count on the day of is good, we've got a really good chance this time.

Last cycle I tried not to get my hopes up. I really had no faith that Clomid and IUI would work for us. But I have faith in this cycle. And last cycle, despite trying not to get too excited and hopeful, I was still crushed when the cycle ended. Part of that was the way it ended – come on, four days late? So not fair! But part of it was that my heart kept hoping, even when my head told it not to.

So this time I'm settling in for the ride. I'm not going to fight it. I'm going to hope, and believe, and think that this could work for us. I'll be just as disappointed either way if the cycle does come to an end. I might as well enjoy this time while I can.

So the plan. Sunday morning we go back in to count the follicles and record the size. Trigger shot will probably be Tuesday, which will put IUI on Thursday. Then two weeks of waiting, and taking progesterone, and NOT testing because these drugs can give me a false positive. Then b/w, and a several hour, nerve wracking, nail biting wait to hear the results. Then I cry. Whether happy or sad, the tears are bound to come.

And the personal plan. Relax relax relax! Have some fun, enjoy some time with DH, stop stressing out about work and IF and all the little things I have no control over. Do the best I can at the things I DO have control over. Have some grace for myself, take care of myself, read a book, take a nap, get my nails done. Be kind to Me.

I'll gladly take any prayers, vibes, positive energy, happy thoughts, wishes, and baby dust that anyone wants to send my way or out into the universe on my behalf.

This may be just the right combination to get me pregnant.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

red box brigade

I woke up early yesterday, not sure how much time I'd need to do my first injection. The procedure itself wouldn't take long, getting the pen ready with the needle and the correct dose would only take a few seconds. But the actual doing of it, the talking myself into it, I had no way to gauge how long that would take.

I put it off as long as I could, and when I was ready for work, I woke up DH. I thought I wanted to do the injection myself, but I definitely wanted him there with me, for moral support.

We have to keep the medicine in the fridge, and it comes in a cute little case. The pen looks like colorful pen swag from a computer show or something, and the little vials of needles are individually packed. The nurse even gave me some alcohol pads to clean the injection site, so I was all set. It took me about two minutes to get everything set up.

Then my hands started shaking so badly, I almost dropped the pen. I quickly closed my eyes, and told DH "Here, you do it!" He didn't hesitate a second. Pinched the skin, inserted the needle, pushed the medicine through. I rubbed it in with a warm washcloth, then lay back on the bed and cried.

It didn't hurt, though. And DH was great – didn't even flinch, and I was worried about him being able to do it. He said it wasn't as hard as he thought it would be. We put the needle into our shiny red sharps box with the biohazard sign on the side, I went to work, and that was it.

This morning I got up early again. DH brought me the case, I set it up, and did it myself. They told me the first one was the worse, and they were right. It hurt a bit when I did it, but not much and I'm not squeamish about needles.

Today I'm feeling better about this whole thing. I always do a few days into a new cycle. Today is CD4, so AF is mostly gone and it's just life again. Waiting to O, waiting for IUI, then waiting for the results. Lots of waiting.

I started my meditations again last night. I've missed it, but I forget about it and how much I need it. This cycle has GOT to be about relaxing, enjoying life again, making my body as hospitable as I can. I can't grow new life if I'm all strung out and anxious all the time. And I don't want to live like that for my own sake, or the sakes of those around me.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


CD1 hit me with a vengeance yesterday morning, as I was on my way out the door to take an exam for my certification. Knowing I was going to be stuck in an exam room for one 3-hour test, and one 6-hour test, I threw on an overnight pad, packed a couple extra, and tried to not think about it on my way to the test.

The academic portion of the exam went fairly well. I feel like I knew about 80% of the information without a doubt, made good choices on about 15%, and guessed randomly for about 5%. I need 70% to pass, and they won't tell me the percentage when they give me the results. It's just pass/fail.

At the break before the 6-hour drafting portion of the exam, I hit the restroom. And discovered that I had leaked through my overnight pad. I had a huge red stain on my ass, and it was very noticeable. So I stripped down in the bathroom to try and blot it out, hoping that wet spot would be less noticeable. No such luck. And there wasn't time to drive home and change, so all I could do was tug down on the back of my shirt and bear through it.

The test was brutal. No one finished. They grade on the curve, and I got a very good start on every section, so I'm hoping they'll see it and say "She knows what she's doing, she just ran out of time." If not, I'll be back in March. Maybe. Depending on how stressed out I am at the time.

So after being exhausted after getting up at 6 after about 4 hours of sleep, the disappointment of starting my period four days late, the embarassment of bleeding through in a big way, and the utter difficulty of the exam, I cried all the way home. And I haven't seemed to be able to shake it since.

During the break between the exams I just happened to look at my phone to see what time it was, and noticed that it was ringing. I had it turned to silent for the test. It was my RE, returning my call from earlier to tell them a new cycle had started. They got me in today (Sunday - gotta love a clinic that's open every day). DH and I headed out this morning to have an u/s follicle check (can you guess how fun that is on CD2 of a heavy period?), and to get schooled in injectibles. I have a case in my fridge now of Follistim, ready for my first shot in the stomache tomorrow morning.

I came home from the doctor and just went to bed. Slept away most of the day. I only got up because I had promised my cousin that I'd go visit her dad in the hospital today. I am sad, I am discouraged, I am exhausted. I feel beaten down and trompled over.

DH keeps asking me if I'm okay. I keep telling him no, but there's really nothing he can do about it. He's worried about me. I'm worried about me too. I have no idea how I'm going to keep doing this.

The paperwork we had to sign today said that this drug has a 60% conception rate. I'm ignoring the part where it said that, of that 60%, there's a 25% rate of miscarriage. I can't think of that. I did see, though, that there is also a 15% chance of twins. That's higher than my chance of conceiving at all naturally.

Ever since I was a little girl, I've thought I'd have twins. I've had three sets of twins as friends at different stages in my life, and every time I met a pair of twins I thought "Yeah, that makes sense to me." DH's aunt is a twin - well, I guess two of his aunts are twins. It would be a very difficult pregnancy, very high risk, and I don't know how my body would handle it. But it doesn't scare me. I've been disappointed every time an u/s has confirmed a single follicle, and I've never really believed that any of them would work. DH is terrified of two at once. I told him today, though, that I'm going for it if they tell me I have two follicles. He agrees, we should go fo it.

So, tomorrow it's CD3 and my first shot of Follistim. I've given my sister shots before, but never myself. I can't decide if I want to just do it myself, or have DH do it for me. Or drive to the clinic so they can give me the first one. I think I'll do it myself, but have DH next to me. Maybe let him give me one later, but for the first one, I think I want to do it myself.

Then I take progesterone suppositories for two weeks after the IUI. They told me to under no circumstances take a HPT. The meds can give me a false positive, so they'll draw blood and call me with the results.

I have to find a way to seriously relax this cycle. I've been too stressed out, and that can't be helpful. I need to start eating better again, no more excuses about how hard it is to take care of myself right now. I need to reduce as much stress as I can. The test is over, work is settling down, I have nothing I absolutely have to do. I might look into accupuncture. Or get a massage. Anything to relieve some of this tension. If I don't enjoy living in this body right now, how can I expect new life to want to start here?

Friday, September 14, 2007

that bitch


I have no idea what the hell is going on.  Last night I peed, wiped, and *bam* AF was there.  Not spotting, not over reacting, full blood.  I cried my eyes out.  I used to think that was just an expression, but my eyes are all buggy today, puffy and swollen and red, I cried so hard.  Body-wracking, tears won't stop, "God must hate me and I'm letting everyone down and I can't do this anymore" crying.  I told DH "I can't even look at you, I'm so ashamed of my infertility."  Which made him cry.  Which made me cry even harder. Which I didn't even think was possible. 

Today?  Not a drop of red.  CM is white and creamy again.

So of course I tested.  BFN.  It's 13DO (12DPIUI). I've never made it to 13DPO before. Usually my LP is 10-11 days, 11 being "late" for me.

I swear, this is just cruel at this point.  AF is just fucking with me now.

At least I'm not crying anymore. At this point, I'm just pissed.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

faking it

Sometimes "faking it" really is the only helpful solution. I'm not a big fan of the phony, but when life gets this hard and any more pressure is literally going to make you crack, sometimes it's the only option. I'm glad that the girl I work with seems to be of the same mind. After our fight on Tuesday, yesterday was actually very pleasant. We were more than just polite with each other. We talked throughout the day, laughed at jokes, got our work done. It wasn't strained. I know I couldn't take another confrontation, and I'm pretty sure she's pretty much feeling the same. Today she's back to asking me what I'm working on, but it's still better than it was two days ago. Tuesday was bad. We each have enough to deal with in our respective lives. I know I can't handle work being one more thing that's out of control.

What is out of control is this cycle of mine. Not sure at all what's going on. AF was due yesterday, and there's no sign of her. Usually I have signs, which are also missing. I tested this morning, but even though AF is late it's still only 11DPIUI, so the test was inconclusive. I'm hoping that, if she's on her way, she'll at least hold off 'til tomorrow. If she comes today, then CD3 is Saturday, and because of my test I won't be able to get to the doc for b/w and the injections. I'm very curious to see what happens next.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

not yet

Looks like the answer to my prayer is still a "Not Yet." I have all the signs of PMS, including the migraine that tends to precede AF by two days. I got it yesterday, I'm due tomorrow, so the timing is just right.

My SIL just emailed me to let me know she's expecting her second in March. We're supposed to go to WA in October to visit the newly married brother and SIL and their new baby. This SIL is going to be there with my baby nephew as well. I just don't think I can do this. Spend a weekend with two babies and a baby belly?

I honestly feel as though I can not physically take any more strain right now. I have no idea if my stress at work is appropriate or blown out of proportion thanks to hormones, but it's wearing me down. This IF crap is wearing me down. I feel about ready to break, and there's no where to turn to get any relief. I feel trapped, and helpless, and just along for the ride they call my life. And I know a big part of that is the hormones as well, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Dear God,

They say you love us. The Bible and the Sunday School songs, they all tell us how much you love your children. I have never doubted your love for me, even when I've doubted your very existance. If you exist, you love me. If you're out there, you're a loving God. I believe you're there, I believe you love me, as you do all your children.

Dear God, think of how much you love your children. Think of how much you love me. And hear my grief, taste my bitter tears. Please, God. Grant that I might have a child of my own, to love as you love. I know your love for me does not mean you owe me this. But I pray that your love for me will spill over into a new creature for me to love, that I might teach my child of your love, and that I might learn more of your love through my child.

Please, oh God. Grant me this...

list for this week

Things to do this week:

  • Try not to break down and buy HPTs. AF is due Wednesday, that will be soon enough to know whether our last IUI was in vain or not. No need to spend the money to find out what time will tell me for free.
  • Study. I did a practice academic exam today, and passed. I did a practice drafting exam last weekend, sent it to the instructor for review, and passed. I finally feel as though I can do this, I might actually pass. So I attack the books with renewed fervor, to boost my passing margin by as much as I can this week. I'm done practicing my drafting though. I've drilled and drilled, and I get better every time. I think I'll be fine on the exam.
  • Work. Gah. I don't want to go tomorrow, I've had a hundred different snarky conversations in my head with the girl I work with. Yes, girl. I've started calling her that, when I avoided it before. She's a little girl playing at grown up, and I'm not interested in her games. Let her make her lists and complain all she wants. I'll be busy getting actual work done.
  • Besides studying, I have to get ready for Saturday's test.
    • get wet wipes for hands, for when I smear my pencil all over them while drafting
    • pack a lunch that is easy to eat while drafting, and not messy - think chicken sandwich, pre-sliced fruit, chips or crackers, nut mix
    • pack up my drafting supplies, making sure to remember the highlighters and calculator
    • cold drinks, large bottles of water, and prep coffee to bring with me as there's no drive-thru on the way
  • don't test don't test don't test don't test... Seriously, I will NOT pee on a stick! But if AF comes, I pray she comes before Saturday. Wednesday or Thursday will be fine, I'll have time to mourn and rant and wail and gnash my teeth in despair. (And if you think that's melodramatic, then you have never dealt with IF.)
  • Journal. Yeah, I actually bought a paper journal. I have this blog, but I want to get in the habit of expressing my emotions for no audience whatsoever, not even my imaginary one here. I have a workbook I want to work on as well. Perhaps I should wait on that 'til after this exam.

That's my week.