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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Lumps, My Lumps, My Lovely ....

LADY BUMPS!

Harry sang this song to me this morning as he shot me up. Oh yes my friends my ass is a lumpy bumpy mess!

Well, I made it through the injections only to be tortured by their aftermath. I am not complaining (well maybe a little) but my hiney hurts! It's bruised and sore. But I'll survive I am sure.

I read an awesome post this morning.
Bea is suffering from a "Chance Event" and offers some perspective on loss and grief for those of us in the midst of the turmoil. My heart goes out to her.

We all deal differently with our IVF cycles and have very different view points and perspectives. Some of us use our heads and logic while others use our hearts and emotions. Neither method is right and neither is wrong. They're just different.

Well, tomorrow is the day. I am strangely calm but could freak out at any moment.


EEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK


**** UPDATE ****

Got the FET Thaw report! We have 3 --count them 3 lovely embryos at 100% a total of 6 were thawed - so three didn't make it. Getting excited now! Beta is scheduled for June 12!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

BIG Chicken Little

Why am I such a freak?

I know the injections don't hurt. In the past 5 months I've been injected hundreds of times. And yet, on Sunday as I was starting my PIO injections I had a freak out of Biblical proportions.

So, after reading dear
Julie's post, I totally identify myself as a Newbie or at least a slightly tainted Newbie. I do carefully read and reread and give dear Harry step by step instructions because you know he may forget one very important and irreversible step. I am a control freak..this is know.

On Sunday we went to my folks house in beautiful southern Maryland and had a nice barbecue. It began as a small twinge in my tummy around 4 o'clock--- only 3.5 hours to injection. I had to show my dad my honking needles --which he quickly said


"GET THAT THING AWAY FROM ME"

Of course it was cruel of me considering he has a deep needle phobia. About every 20 minutes I had to tell someone I was getting anxious and rethinking the Prometrium suppositories.

Harry really was a jewel! He kept reminding me that I've had a PIO injection with a bigger gauge needle and know they don't hurt. True but that injection was given with Valium and a highly trained medical professional. Poor Harry can't win.

Harry did tell me he was very proud of me for going the extra step to try and insure a successful cycle and he knew how hard it was for me. I think I'll keep him.

I've been asking on message boards about this PIO thing and had a few suggestions which I'll share with you.

1. Warm the oil by placing it in your bra under your boob. The warm oil is easier to jab into your poor defenceless muscle.

2. Ice the area until your fingers are so numb you can't grab your husband's wrist to stop him from injecting you.

3. Lie on the opposite side of your injection to allow the muscle to relax and so your husband can jump on you and hold you down should you try to escape.

4. Close your eyes and sing LA LA LA LA LA LA repeatedly, high pitched, and loudly. *

I did all 4 and they helped.

So... 7:30 rolls around and I am lying there numbing the area when I had a panic attack. My heart rate soared, I began to sweat and I couldn't breath.

BIBLBICAL FREAK OUT!

I had to get up and walk around. It was scary and completely unnecessary. I don't know what the deal was. When I finally calmed down and allowed Harry to give me the injection it didn't hurt and I couldn't feel a thing.

To top it all off I forgot my alcohol pads and was freaking out about germs! Then I thought WWJD - What Would Julie Do. Then the solution was clear as a bell - use spit! -- No thankfully my mother had alcohol pads laying around for such a time as this.

Why am I so weird?

On the FET front
Things are right on plan. Thursday is the day. So I'll have two days of blissful motherly thoughts followed by panic stricken depressing thoughts of failure and futilely.

If you're the praying type please send a word to the man upstairs for my babies and if you're not do a fertility dance or something.

-----

* #4 is my own personal addition to the PIO Injection steps.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

You WILL NOT WIN!

Get back you Demons of Despair!

Retreat you Thoughts of Surrender!

Away from me you Destroyers of Hope!

YOU WILL NOT WIN!


YOU WILL NOT DESTROY ME!

I Will Survive!

I have 10 frozen embryos waiting for the chance of life

I have 2 more "fresh" insurance covered cycles and thus all the frosties said cycles create

Though I am weary, mournful, and burdened . . .

I AM NOT BEATEN

I AM NOT FINISHED

I AM NOT CONQUERED


YOU WILL NOT WIN!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Few Things on My Mind

I've had a few random thoughts running through my mind lately and am now deciding to post about them. They are mostly IVF related...cause you know I am obsessive about it! In an attempt to organize my thoughts I'll make a numbered list... ah, that brings me back to the days when I thought I could organize my life....

1. Why are pregnant women afraid of me?
Well it's not like they run from me.. but they sure as heck don't ring me up and ask for a date. Recently I've known two women who've conceived and have been afraid to tell me. Am I that emotionally scared that they think I may transform into a hideous monster and devour them body and soul? For the record...I am extremely joyful for any fellow women infertile or not who has the miraculous privilege to conceive and carry life in her womb. It is a joy and blessing. That said don't surprise me with the news right after my babies die and then expect me to hug you. People keep asking me, "Are you okay with so and so pregnancy"-- Like I can do anything about it! Seriously I am cool. I love babies -- thus undergoing the horrors of IVF. Just have a little class in letting me know...privately works best.

2. What will I do with my life?
Well well here is a biggie! For the past 18 months I've been struggling with either starting a family or going back to school for my masters. Due to Harry's advanced age (he is 11 years older) I've decided to pursue the family route....Well Hells Bells we know how that one has been working out.... So I always new I wanted to further my education but never knew which direction I wanted to go.... I'd been toying with some different options... I finally feel called and directed to pursue a direct path of higher education.. I am going to study psychology..specifically counseling-- women's counseling...Struggling with infertility has really opened some doors for me. Ideally I want to work with women dealing with infertility and other life challenges. I don't know how the heck I'll afford and education or when but I now have a direction. I am very confident and sure of this calling. It is even peaceful having a certain ideal for the future. I am not giving up on the family plan either.

3. Deidre Hall said it best:
One dreary day while sitting on my couch feeling sorry for myself I happened to turn to Lifetime (known by my husband as the women's victim channel). There was one of those cheesy true life movies on. This one was about Deidre Hall, a soap opera actress (I can't remember which one) . And of course it was about infertility-- so of course I watched it--big 80's hair and all. Well poor Deidre is infertile-- she's rich, glamorous, and a star but barren... so she goes the route of ART....anyway the part that stuck to me is a conversation she has with her surrogate...

Infertility is a series of broken dreams
First you give up the dream of conceiving a baby in the privacy of your own home
Then you give up the dream of conceiving with fertility medication
Then you give up the dream of conceiving with ART
Finally you give up the dream of feeling your child move inside your body..

She said a lot more but her monalogue was very moving and of course made me cry...

4. You gals rock my world!
Holy Smokes there have been some serious BFN out there in IVF blogland. So many of us hurting and disparing....but through it all we're able to scrap our wounded hearts off the floor to send a word of encouragment to one another. What a testiment to our strength and resolve! We are so much stronger than we believe. Really we are.

5. I am blessed...
Through this whole rollercoaster ride I've seen how many people in my life really care about me. Family and friedns have wept with me and offered words of hope and encouragement. I've seen my husband be supportive in his own way and believe even more firmly that I want to be the mother of his children. And I am blessed to have such a network of women inspiring, comforting, and encouraging me each step of the way.

Well those are all my ramblings for now. I am sure I'll brew some more up! I hope and pray you're all doing well and finding peace in whatever situation you're in. Now that doesn't mean that tomorrow I can't be a grumpy, melencholy beotch. :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Up and Down

You know I don't think this FET is going to work...

Why should it?

Why should something go right in my IVF hell? Seriously


The odds are against us...

What will I do with another failure?

Still... we're moving on... I am reading all these blogs of newbies starting their first cycle...so hopeful...so innocent....I wish them the best... I don't want anymore bitter women on the IVF FAILED Team.

So far in the cycle so good.... no new news.... A FET is much different than a Fresh cycle... Our only question is do we transfer 2 or 3 babies--doomed for death...

I know I sound completely morbid...but look at the stats!

For all my IVF sisters who have recently suffered a BFN, I am so sorry for you. Unfortunately I can't offer any sisterly advice or be an example of a sister who lived to tell about it.

Well that's all my ramblings for now. I'd like to know your thoughts on a 2 or 3 embryo transfer.

Blessings to you all.


*********

Okay I am back... been doig some FET research... Here's what I found



Well that's only a 8.4% difference....

Friday, May 12, 2006

Resurrected Hope

I still can't believe we're going to get to do our FET!

Harry and I decided on Wednesday to hang up our IVF hat for the summer. We prayed and cried (well I did the crying) about it and decided. I stopped my Lupron and called the RE on Thursday to let them know and schedule a consultation.

Apparently the whole clinic felt so bad for us and know what we've been through that they tried the insurance company one more time. And Tina got lucky!


Want to know the insurance company's rational and how Tina jumped through loop wholes to make it work? Well...

Insurance doesn't handle any cryopreservation. We paid to have our embryos preserved. So they won't deal with a FET. BUT Tina knew they would deal with a transfer. SO Harry and I pay for the thawing and the RE clinic bills it as a ET not an FET and they'll cover it! GEEEZ LOUISE!!

God bless TINA!! I did bring her flowers as per Spanglish's suggestion! - Thanks! She was very grateful!

So we're back on for our FET!

For all my lovely sisters who have the strength and enough hope to move onto a FET... here is what my protocol is:

*****
Decrease Lupron to 5 u - May 12

Start Femtrace - May 14 (hmmmmm any significance?)

May 14 - May 18
2 pills a day - morning and evening

May 19 - May 26
3 pills a day - morning, afternoon, and evening

See RE RN on May 26

FET is scheduled for June 1
*****
There is a whole lot less monitoring and medications with a FET. My RE RN says all the stars have aligned .... I don't know if that's a money back guarantee or not...

AND

I found out how our clinic defrosts the embryos....

They do it one at a time! I am SO THANKFUL! I was afraid they would defrost all of them and then only transfer 2!

So.....

Dare I say it...

I am feeling hopeful...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Why I LOVE My Clinic. . .

We're back on for a FET!!!!

I can hardly believe it!

Tina has been on the phone all day (unbeknownst to me) fighting with my insurance to cover the FET.

And guess what!!!

They're going to cover it! I can't believe it!

We still have to pay for the thaw but everything else will be covered!

Amazing.

I am a different kind of numb now...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Remember When...

Remember when I was happy and hopeful??

ha ha ha

Remember when I was anxious to get started???

ha ha ha

Remember when I actually believed IVF #1 might work...that I'd be one of the lucky ones???

HA HA HA HA

Remember when that door closed and I tried to climb through a window then that window came crashing down on me and crushed all my hopes and dreams and belief that my aching arms could one day nurture and hold my own baby...

Remember

Monday, May 08, 2006

When You're Down ...

... Life (Karma, Fate, God, etc.. pick the word of your choice) kicks you in the nuts!

Got a call this morning at 9:15 a.m. (I decided to take a sick day. Not particularly sick just feeling blah)

Caller ID : RE Clinic

Me: Hello
RE: Hello Jennifer this is Tina
ME: Hi Tina
Tina: Well we just got word your insurance won't cover a FET so we're switching you to a fresh cycle.
Me: What???!!!
Tina: Insurance doesn't cover FET but will cover a fresh cycle...
Me: What?? Well how much does a FET cost?
Tina: Why would you want to pay when your insurance will cover a fresh cycle
Me: How much
Tina: well everything total 3600
Me: Is that $36,000 or $3,600.00
Tina: $ 3,600.00
Me: Ok...(still in shock)
Tina: But you don't want to pay...
Me: but that means I have to go through another egg retrieval again
Tina: Yeah
Me: I don't....shaky voice...what is going on
Tina: I know this is a shock but you don't have to make a decision now
Me: They won't pay for a FET???!!
Tina: No.
Me: I have a week until my period starts..I call back
Tina: OK take some time to think about everything.
Me: Thanks...

WHAT THE FUCK!

Jesus Christ can I get a break! Can we all get a fucking break!

I really can't think of anything else to say.. Harry came home and we cried for about 2 hours together.... he's says he'll do whatever I want...but I know he wants a fresh cycle...

God DAMN IT! I should have stayed under my FUCKING ROCK.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Where Life Takes Us...

It all started out hopeful and dare I say even exciting. Isn't that how most tragedies begin.

There were three of us. In my mind anyway. Three women from different countries with different life experiences about to undergo the same emotional and physical roller coaster that is IVF. Three Amigos - too comical, Three Musketeers - too predictable, Three Cycle Buddies - too uncouth. Just three ladies embarking on three different journeys that are tied together by the yoke that is infertility.

Jenny, Nina, and I all started out giddy and full of excitement. Ready for some success, ready to finally make some headway in our search for procreation. Unbeknown to them I linked our journeys together. Subconsciously or consciously, I checked in each day to see how we were progressing. There are many other women/couples on the same road, journeying with us through this precarious experience. However, I connected to these two. The three of us, very different yet very much the same.

Where did our journey take us? To misery.

You'd think 1 out of 3 should find success? Not so for us.

I have no words to share, not whit to impart, no hope or excitement to give...

What we've been through, what we've felt...


the hollowness
the bitterness
the anguish and the grief

I am so sorry you're here with me... this rest stop of despair

Rest Up


May you find the shard of strength and a glimmer of hope in this brokenness to continue on . . .

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Out the Window

Well one door has closed and we're climbing through a window.

Or so it seems...

Monday night was our first Lupron injection for our FET.

It hurt.

Not physically...but emotionally. The injection signified that IVF #1 really failed. Harry and I sat on the bed holding each other for a while...needle in hand ready...Starting over means leaving #2 and #4 and acknowledging that it really didn't work. It was a hard pill to swallow.

I met with my RE RN Monday. As much as I love my clinic I often wonder if they have any idea who we are. I know my RE RN recognizes me but I don't think she knows me or my medical history. Many times I had to correct her about dosages and occurrences for IVF #1.

Is is wrong to be worried that you know more than the trained professionals? We discussed the value/success of Prometrium suppositories vs. POI. We're going with POI this time. RE RN wanted to know if I could handle the larger needle. My response...

"The physical pain, I can handle...it's the emotional pain that's killing me."

I think the POI is a good idea considering I started my period on the Prometrium suppositories...

Looks like FET will be around June 1.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Semantics

I am healing...

It's a long process but I am making it through to the other side. I have to tell all of you how much your support and sympathy have meant to me. You've given me something no one else can, empathy. Only those of us who have stared at the ugly face of infertility can know what it means to hurt in such a way. Thank you.

I think I've had some closure this weekend. My little button was baptised this weekend and Harry and I were able to spend some time with him. At his baptism the pastor said, "All of heaven, all the saints that have gone before us, are with us now as we welcome little button into God's family.." In that instant I new #2 and #4 were with me and I knew I would see them again. I saw them with my grandmother and my niece/nephew and new they were okay. I know there are varying opinions on the start of life and what constitutes life. I look at all my embryos as my children and would mourn their loss. They are my babies.

I talked to my friend J, for the first time post cycle. J asked how I was doing and I said, "Horrible" her reply:

"Of course, you've just miscarried two children"

I never thought of it that way. I guess I always thought you have to be pregnant before you could classify a loss as a miscarriage. But hearing her say that really gave me perspective and allowed me to feel and name my grief.

Our failed IVF #1 is so much more than "just not getting pregnant".

I tried to tell myself that in order to avoid disappointment but my heart wouldn't let me. The internal conflict was catastrophic. Mentally I was saying, "It just didn't work, try again" but my heart was saying, "You're children have died".

Two conflicting extremes and me caught in the middle...

I've accepted my loss and will always mourn Lefty and Righty but know they will always be with me and that we will see each other one day.

*******

On a tangent...what's with these word's we use to describe the death of a pre-born child?

Miscarriage - A quarterback can miscarry a football--but a baby?
I Lost the baby- We loose our glasses or our keys...how can you loose something that can't be found?

What do you say when a baby dies? Isn't there one word or term in the English language to describe the suffering, grief, or heartache for such a circumstance? Who can say? I have no words to offer, only tears.