Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We Have Movement

It's been over one month since my egg retrieval. Our RE wants my husband to go to a renowned urologist in Boston to figure out just what the f caused a significant drop in his production. We managed to get an appointment for this week, RE warned us that the urologist can be a bit of an aspy case; I'm totally looking forward to either winning him over with my charms or at least having some great stories for you all. 

My husband also went back yesterday -for a second time post-retrieval - to try to produce something for the cryobank. He called me on his way home, saying he'd waited for the lab tech to give it a look under the scope, and that the guy said that this time there was "movement" - something they hadn't seen for the previous three. I tend to be cautiously optimistic during this entire process: I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Of course, at the time my husband called me, the semen had not been fully analyzed so I just went about my day; it's hard to allow many emotions in at this point regarding the IVF process. On my drive home, RE called to say they did find "very little" sperm and that they are moving slowly, not sure how they'll survive the thaw, etc (insert many analogies that doctors seem to use when they assume that you're an idiot) but that they would freeze what they have and for Hub to come back in later this week and give another shot but keep the appointment with the urologist. 

At the end of the conversation RE revealed that there are two sperm (sperms?!) to freeze. It costs $250 for each cryobank sample. Husband claims he'll pay thousands of dollars to give as much of a chance as we can.  I think I'll keep him around for now. Someone light a candle or say a prayer to Buddha, or whomever to help us find some sperm please for the love. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

You're Young!

The two women outside of my marriage who know about our struggles and IVF have both said to me this week "well, at least you're young still" as a response to my ordeals with my husband's lack of sperm and my anxiety about not moving forward and desire to not waste any more time. Both of said women have had successful IVF pregnancies so what the actual fuck? 

I'm 30, that is not that young, particularly when you've been TTC for FOUR years already (I swear to baby Jesus this shit puts the aging process into double time). Both women were older when they got pregnant so is this just another case of "infertility pain Olympics"? A little it of condescension for my woes as a "fuck you" because I didn't wait even longer to try for a baby? If we're going to get out a pad and paper and tally shit up, I've been trying much longer than both of them did before they had successful pregnancies. 

I know deep down that neither person caused malice. I've heard "you're young" over and over from my RE and his colleagues but they have to say reassuring bullshit. Why can't, just for once, it be ok for someone to say "you're having a real shit time, I'm sorry"?

Monday, July 22, 2013

I Gave Myself A UTI

Remember that time when I had sex and, despite knowing damn well that you must get up and pee after sex, I laid in bed and convinced myself that I had a chance of getting pregnant if I just lay for a bit? Then I fell asleep and woke up with burning, stinking, urine. 

Let's go over the facts: 

-I was only on day 7 or 8 of my cycle, so even if my husband was not shooting blanks, I'm not really sure why I was telling myself that that fertility meds were going to make me super fertile this month (don't you love when the emotional overrules the logical part of you brain?). 

-My husband already had low numbers, motility, morphology, the whole MFI deal. Then we have the last three times he tried to give sperm for my eggs and the sperm was a big fat goose egg every time. Including one cryobank trip only a week before said UTI fiasco. 

-We tried to conceive for FOUR YEARS this way with no dice. We've been told we will never get pregnant without ICSI.

I'm now drinking cranberry juice and hoping that I can flush it out before the inevitable trip to my PCP. Because what would one week this year be without a trip to a doctor's office? I think our insurance cards should get those fun stamp squares like they have at coffee and ice cream shops only instead of a free doctor visit after 10, you get an ice cream. And not a cheap small soft serve cone, I'm talking like three toppings or a brownie sundae. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Dog, A Friend, and Some Hope

All of the above are items that have died in my life since I had my egg retrieval. It only took a couple of days for me to start building up hope again after feeling the disappointment of hearing I would not be having a fresh transfer. My retrieval was on a Friday and by Sunday, I was feeling mentally back to normal and hopeful about our future options. 

On Monday my mother called to tell me our family dog was to be put down. Something I knew was coming but still not a blow you can really ever be properly prepared for. This was also during the height of my discomfort from the retrieval, so I simply hung up in tears but went back to sleep and I don't believe the reality hit me until much later in the week: I never really got to say goodbye. 

The week went on and I went back to work, still feeling uncomfortable but welcoming the distraction of busy days. I scheduled an appointment for Husband to go to the cryobank, certain that the day of retrieval was a fluke and anxious to do something to feel as though we were still working towards our goal.  It was not a fluke. The cryobank called the minute Husband walked in the door with the bad news: no sperm again; I did not even get a few hours to think positively or convince myself that things would work out. The hit was hard to take, I cannot lie. I held in my tears until Husband was out, but once they came it felt as though a darkness washed over me. What makes it even more difficult is knowing that he must be feeling disappointment as well and I cannot be there for him if he does not show his emotions and when I myself feel as though I'm barely hanging on. 

The cryobank was on Thursday, and on Friday, I picked myself up and off to my job, again ready to welcome the distraction. While I'm working, it's nearly impossible to even get a moment to go the ladies room, let alone wallow in self pity, which is what I love about my job. Halfway through the day, however, my mother sent a text saying a good friend of the family had unexpectedly passed in her sleep. Not having any extended family living closer than a 4 hour drive away, my parents had built a family out of close, local friends whom they had known long before the idea of us kids. We spent holidays and birthdays and every reason in the book to party with these people, so it is akin to losing an aunt or other close family member.

I have always despised those who count their losses and cry "why?" during times of distress but it is hard for me to take these punches and continue to say that they will make me stronger. It is true that this is life, and getting through the tough stuff is what makes the beautiful stuff so, well, beautiful. It is just incredibly difficult to see sunshine through the rain right now. 

                                          January 3, 2000 - July 1, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Day In the Life

I went to see THE Sir Paul McCartney last night at Fenway. Amazing. One of the best nights of my life. Took my dad as Father's Day gift but definitely gift for me too. I was an absolute check mark on the bucket list, since I was born I can remember being a Beatles fan; I still hear the way my parents' Rubber Soul album was scratched on a line of "Michelle" and "In My Life", and the day my dad bought me my first Beatles tape*. 

                                      I'm honestly still reeling from being in HIS presence

I didn't have to worry about getting my progesterone shot done somehow or sneaking the needle into Fenway or wether or not standing and dancing and ROCKING for three straight hours might upset the transferred embryo.  Despite having some residual ovarian pain and swelling, I was able to have an fantastic night. 

*Sargent Peppers, I was in the fourth grade and we were visiting my grandfather for the last time before he lost his battle with colon cancer. And yes, I said tape. 

**Title disclaimer: I know most of A Day In the Life was written by John but it fit the best so, suck it. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

That's It

It appears to be official that every woman I've been saying "as long as I get pregnant before her" about is pregnant. Everyone who got married after me - I was the first of pretty much all of my friends and everyone my age, for that matter, except for the extreme religious girls who got married and knocked up by the time the rest of us were collecting our college diplomas - is either expecting or already on her first or second child at least. 

I don't know why I bother to go on Facebook; I know it's the catalyst for all bad infertility feelings, but I just can't help it.  Particularly since I've been out of commission this week, it's as though I've become obsessed with keeping on top of all of the people I don't even care about. Today the one woman I secretly expected to see in my clinic waiting room one of these days posted a photo of an extremely pregnant belly, stating that she's expecting twins any day now. Did not see that coming.

 I would describe the feeling as a gut punch, for those who don't comprehend the desperate feeling of seeing people so easily achieve what you cannot. Yet a gut punch would be a welcome sensation compared to the physical and emotional reaction that washes over me each time I'm disappointed with my inability to conceive and the jealousy of those who can. I do not begrudge a single person for a situation so beyond human control, but it's impossible for me to be happy for these women or to even be able to see them at all. 

So that's it. Aside from the child-free crowd and the single & fabulous woman, it's just me. Even the lesbians I graduated with got knocked up during their closet days and now happily raise their children together. I am it. The cheese stands alone. 

                             Figured since this is a downer post it could use this.

Friday, July 5, 2013

One Week Post Retrieval

You can read about my retrieval experience  Here and   here.

It has been exactly a week and, while my mentality and outlook on the situation have done a 180,  I thought I would share my physical recovery experience that they just did not warn me about prior to the retrieval*.

                                          You'll want a heating pad for you recovery. Bonus if you have dogs that like to act as heating pads on top of heating pads. Mine have been rotating turns on the belly all week. **beware of jumping dogs**

  • If they end up retrieving eggs from you, you're probably going to develop OHSS and it's going to be uncomfortable. During an ultrasound I ended up having yesterday - more on that later - the tech informed me that my "ovaries are kissing!" Sounds wayyy cuter than it is. 
  • The follicles that you've been watching grow for the past week and a half will not start to shrink, rather they will fill with water and which will cause you to look like you're either already in your second trimester, or a giant boozebag. 
  • You will not be pooping any time soon. 
  • You will want to lie down, this will make it oh so much worse. Try to recline only, at all times, including during sleep. 
  • You'll be hungry at first and happy that you're being encouraged to indulge in high-sodium French fries and saltines. Then you'll realize that you aren't pooping any time soon and the novelty of eating altogether will wear off. I particularly enjoyed the nausea on top of the bloating that I experienced. 
  • The bloating is not going down in 2-3 days like they promised. Try more like 2-3 weeks. 
  • The novelty of having big boobs also wears off quickly. They're sore, you feel every small movement in them, and they just look gross when your body isn't meant for them and neither are any of your bras.
I really like to think that I have a high tolerance for pain, I'm a tough bitch, and it's not that my recovery has been painful past the first few days, it's just been uncomfortable to the max. The idea that I wasn't getting a transfer when I had planned also added to the annoyance of the pain: I can't say for sure, but I have the feeling I would've accepted the recovery process much more had I known that it was with the goal of getting a sweet, sweet, embryo into me on day 5. C'est la vie, though, and as 
 I'm sure I'll learn many other valuable lessons throughout this process, I wanted to share my experience for anyone else wondering what you might expect. 

*Bearing in mind that all experiences are different and that, because of the absence of the transfer-preparation hormones, my body is slightly out of whack and trying to produce extra progesterone, etc.