Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Still here, still freaking out

Just a quick update. I'm 16 weeks, everything is looking great. All measurements, ultrasounds and heartbeat checks have been perfect. We told our families the news on Christmas Eve and put everyone in a tail spin. No one was expecting this news, it was a lot of fun to watch the reactions, especially considering that we thought that the idea of a surprise pregnancy announcement was never going to happen.

Now that aside, I can't get rid of the feeling that it can't be this good, and certainly not this easy. I lie in bed trying to feel movement and freaking out when I can't. There are days when I feel gross and huge and I'm reassured...then the next day I will feel physically great but mentally stressed because I'm sure the pregnancy has ended because I feel TOO good. And then there is the guilt, feeling awful about complaining when I am in the middle of a healthy spontaneous pregnancy. But I know that I can say these things here....because I know you understand...thanks for being there.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stop me if you heard this one....

It is a story about a 41 year old woman who has been trying to get pregnant for almost 4 years. She has had two surgeries, dozens of tests and blood work, 3 IUIs, 4 IVF cycles resulting in 2 pregnancies with heartbeats and one chemical pregnancy, all without the success of bringing home an actual child. Then after lots of soul searching and financial planning, decides that she is ready to move on to DE, following an FET. She is waiting for her period to start so she can start BCP and begin the process of FET. She goes on vacation, her period should be starting the day she leaves, although it never comes. She spends the next 8 days on vacation obsessing every time she goes to the bathroom...where the hell is AF? When she gets home from vacation she takes a pregnancy test...positive. Has a beta drawn the next day: 10,300. Has an ultrasound the day after that: baby measuring right on target with an adequate heartbeat. Twelve days later (7w4d) has another ultrasound that is spot on perfect with a great heartbeat.

Yes, I have become an anecdote. Now, let me clarify that we did not "relax" or "just forget about it for awhile". We did OPKs during that cycle and had very timed se.x. It was still stressful, the big difference is that I had no hope that it would work - why would I? I spent the first few days of vacation taking all sorts of cold and flu medication and stuff to help me sleep.

I am freaking out. Part of me wants to just be thrilled, but the infertile part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Thank you, thank you, thank you. You all give me strength!!

The D&C went pretty well...as well as a D&C can get I suppose. One of my friends just started working in same day surgery, so she was the nurse that took care of me (she is also an infertile with beautiful twin girls via IVF). It was such a relief not to have to put on a brave face or tell my story. There were only two glitches today. One was when I was in the waiting room before the D&C and a woman parked her double stroller with her two kids under the age of 2 right in front of me....I promptly told C I needed to move and we went to the opposite side of the waiting room. And the second was the nurse anesthetist arguing with me on whether or not I really had aspiration pneumonia from an exploratory lap back in 2007. He was challenging me saying things like "well how do you know for sure that it was aspiration pneumonia?" Well, idiot, it is because that is what the doctor told me it was...I'm sorry that I didn't bring the medical records from that particular surgery to prove it to you. Then he says "well it sounds like the doctor was grasping at straws for a reason for the pneumonia". My DH, my rock, speaks up and says "you know what, my wife is having an emotionally difficult procedure this morning, could you please be sensitive?" What a guy!

I feel pretty run down, but physically mostly okay. I'm planning on taking an ambien tonight as I slept most of today and don't want to be up all night. As long as I continue to feel alright, I'll probably be using some of my time off from work to visit my parents on Cape Cod...as well as drink a fair amount of wine.

Good night all!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Out of limbo and into a new kind of hell

Today's ultrasound was traumatic. The news was as bad as we thought it might be...no heartbeat. But unfortunately that wasn't the worst of it. Let's just say that I will be communicating my experience with someone of authority.

I was crying..bawling actually, after the news of no heartbeat, ultrasound wand still in place. The RE was patting my leg, and saying over and over "I'm so sorry". Being sensitive to how I was dealing with the news and yet still being in stirups with a wand up my chickie, the RE asked the tech if she was finished with the imaging.

She says "just a couple more measurements".

I'm not sure what kind of measurements the tech needed that the RE couldn't have cared less about but, apparently she wanted to be very thorough about these apparently unnecessary images of my ovaries. The more she probed, the more I cried. And then I panicked, I felt violated, yet I wanted to be the good patient for "just a couple of more measurements". I finally wrapped my brain around the idea that I was going to have to be the one to stop this, but how? I was afraid that if it went on for another moment I was going to quite literally freak out. I was finally able form the words "I just can't"...and the torture came to an end.

I'm surprised that my RE let it go on as long as it did, but she told me afterward that she was getting ready to put and end to it right as I spoke up. I have no doubt that the tech will be spoken to...at least I hope so.

All of that said, I am relieved that there is a definitive answer in today's ultrasound. I'm having a D&C early tomorrow morning. I'll be taking some time off from work. As the nurse practitioner said today...this whole process has drained my cup and I need to take time for myself so I can fill it back up again.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

5 to 10%...

.....that's what the chances are that this pregnancy is viable. Thursday's ultrasound was dismal. Both the ultrasound tech and the RE welcomed me with hugs and smiles...yay! Then dildo cam went to work. I saw a sac and it appeared to be empty. "F**k." I said quietly and C reached for my hand (yes he did go with me). Apparently the RE's face was an open book, although I was too busy staring at the screen directly in front of me mounted to the wall. C was watching the RE and he told me later that her face clearly showed that she was not happy with what she was seeing. Then the craziest thing happened. I hear "there's the heartbeat". WTF? Sure enough there is an embryo (measuring at least a week behind) with a heartbeat of 100bpm. What is the cutoff for a heart rate at this age you ask? The answer is 100 bpm. They took a few more measurements and then we met the RE in the conference room across the hall.

I must say that I have the most compassionate RE EVER. I was slumped over the table with my head in my hands when she walked in. She walked over to me, gave me a kiss on the forehead and wrapped both arms around me while I cried into her lab jacket. We sat and talked for almost 30 minutes about what this could mean, the likelihood that this pregnancy will end, possible blood testing for next time around, and of course what to do about my antidepressant. Coming off the Paxil abruptly was necessary due to the risk of heart defects, but the "discontinuation syndrome" has sucked eggs. I am dizzy, nauseous, profoundly irritable, and having some GI issues that I won't go into now. She gave me a note to be out of work for 1-2 weeks...I think based primarily on where I work. The thought of going to work the next day and dealing with babies and pregnant women made me feel ill. The RE reiterated her feeling that this failure is nothing more that old eggs. I left the office after several more hugs and encouraging words.

Anyway, I digress. My next ultrasound is on Wednesday. I have a feeling that will be the nail in the coffin so to speak. There are other possibilities, it could have been a late implanter and is just behind. C is holding out hope that things will be okay. I can't say that I feel the same way. I know I shouldn't be thinking about next cycle yet, besides not knowing what is going to happen with this one, I'm in no state of mind to be thinking about the possibility of another cycle.

Never in a million years did I think I would be here. Pregnant 3 times from 4 IVFs and still no baby....and no diagnosis other than my age. I remember starting this blog and thinking there is no way that I will still be doing this in a year (that was over 2 years ago). I also remember being so gitty from our 1st positive beta and thinking "how lucky am I that it worked on the first try!" I looked on the "Veterans Only" page of IVF Connections today and thought "this is the message board for me". No more Pollyanna optimism of an initial beta, or even a good first ultrasound...no those rose colored glasses have been ripped off.

In the meantime, every moment with my daughter I want to hug her so tightly. I want to bring back the memories of kicks in utero, breastfeeding, and baby belly laughs. I know that I am so lucky to have had these in the first place, and I'm also so stupid to have not cherished those memories ENOUGH, as I never occurred to me that I would not have another child.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Am I wrong?

Yesterday was Z's birthday. She was a bit confused as we had a birthday party for her over the weekend. When she woke up I said "Guess what? Today is your birthday!" Z says "How old am I?" Me: "5". Z: "Still?" I guess five years old is quite boring and and 3 days of it was all she could stand. The original plans for the actual birthday included a family (including grandparents, aunt and niece) trip to the circus. Somewhere along the road it ended up being just me and Z. Apparently the rest of the family was just as bored with Z turning 5 (again) as she was. Silly me didn't reserve the tickets and it was sold out, so we didn't end up going anyway. There was a small "celebration" last night with a few more presents and a (that's right "a" as in a singular) cupcake. I was a little irritated with the way the whole day was turning out. Now here is the kicker. Toward the end of the "celebration" DH says to me "So are you expecting me to go with you to the ultrasound tomorrow?"


Here is what is going through my head: You mean the appointment that I talked to about, not only when I made it, but confirmed it earlier today? You mean the ultrasound that I have such anxiety about that I swore I was having a miscarriage the other morning? You mean the ultrasound where I might find out that there is no heartbeat and that this pregnancy is over and I will be such a mess that I will not be able to drive myself home because I will be such a puddle of mush?

What I said: Of course I do.

He said something else, but my head was spinning so that I didn't quite catch it. All I could manage to say was "You really don't want to have this conversation with me right now" After all we still had family over.

Later, I tried so hard to control my anger and yet express my feelings about what he had said and how it affected me. In return for my efforts to spare his feelings I received a blank stare and a timid "I'm sorry". He then left to go downstairs, I went to bed. No kiss goodnight.

Did I mention that I had to come off my antidepressant cold turkey and on top of dealing with the anxiety of waiting between ultrasounds, I am now going through withdrawal? What fun!

Ultrasound is today at 2:45. I'm almost tempted to go by myself......

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mixed emotions

Following the ultrasound I should have been thrilled. I should have run right home and posted my news. What did I do instead? I cried for about 15 minutes, then slept for the hour ride home. The scenario reminds me of a conversation I had with a fellow nurse. We had taken care of a woman who, following over a decade of infertility, finally gave birth to beautiful twin girls. The new mother was obsessed with every little twinge during her recovery (she had had a c-section), and did not seem to be fawning over the girls "enough" in my friend's opinion. I told her that after dealing with infertility for SO long, she was probably still waiting for the other shoe to drop. That with us IFers, there never seems to be a finish line, that there is always another hurtle to jump. Even in good news, there is a shadow of "what if?"

Anyway, so here's the scoop. Ultrasound was fine. There was a nice round gestational sac, a yolk sac, and a flicker of a heartbeat that they just couldn't quite capture yet. They saw everything that they were hoping to see...but it didn't seem like it was enough. I was greedy and wanted a strong, unquestionable heartbeat. I have relived the details of what was said and how, trying to ascertain whether the RE and the nurse (and the us tech) were really thrilled...as they flat out said they were, or if they are just trying to keep me in a positive state of mind until the next scan. They gave us a picture of our little nugget. They have never done that before, I've always gone into my own online medical record and downloaded it myself. So both DH and I are saying "this must be good, if they gave us the picture". So next scan is this Thursday at 7w2d. I was going to put it off a few days so that there would be more to see, but this is the only time that works.

In the meantime, I'm desperately trying to keep myself busy. We finally had two days of beautiful weather. (It has been lousy with rain and thunderstorms for WEEKS up here in the northeast). The sun came out for my daughter's 5th birthday party this weekend. It was an awesome party, just the right mix of some family and some friends...not too many of each. I dove head first into making my daughter's cake. A relatively new "hobby" that is usually fun and challenging and occasionally stressful.

It seems crazy to me that I feel like a Debbie Downer...and things are looking good! I have nothing but good news, but I remind myself that I have been here before and it all went to shit. I'm hoping that if we can get past eight weeks, I will loosen up a bit and actually say the words "I'm PG" (see...can't even write it).