Sept 26 – Future Fears

Since we have been talking about possibly doing IVF or embryo adoption again in the next year I have felt excited. The idea of not being able to try again was killing me. My depression has been strong while trying to digest the idea of a future childless.

But I guess my brain had other ideas. Two nights ago (as with my usual insomnia issues) I was having incredibly vivid dreams. It doesn’t help that my period is late currently (not pregnant just been super stressed with lack of sleep). I dreamed I was pregnant. I felt my belly and it was hard. I could tell where the baby’s head was. Then I dreamed I started to miscarry. Blood everywhere (sorry tmi I know). I fell to the floor screaming and crying.

I woke up almost sobbing. Needless to say it was a rough day after that. I was emotionally raw.

I am afraid. I am afraid that we will get pregnant again and miscarry again. I was not focusing on the fear but my brain brought it front and center.

Now will this fear stop me? Nope. Not even a little bit. But I am sure there will be more sleepless nights to come…

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Sept 18 – Possibly Maybe Good News

I have been fighting for my work to offer fertility benefits at my company since I joined three and a half years ago. Each year I present information and my pitch to the HR General Partner and she agrees to bring the information to the medical review committee. Each year I am ignored and barely updated.

The very first year I received incredibly insensitive comments that made me go to the bathroom and cry. I have tried letters, proposed cost budgets, powerpoints, suggestion box, survey feedback and everything under the sun.

Well today I reached out to the HR person and asked if she was able to provide any updates. She asked to call me. Which is unusual. Usually she ignores me or just emails me back. So she calls me. I ask her if there have been any updates for next year’s benefits. She tells me that she is not allowed to tell me anything yet since the benefits have not been put out. But then she mentions that I should make sure to read it when it comes out in a few weeks.

I thank her for the suggestion and propose having lunch the next time I travel to her location. I am filled with hope. I may be reading too much into it but I will take it as a positive sign. Even if I am wrong and it is not covered we have a plan to make sure we can do treatment next year.

I have been really in a dark place lately. This brings new life into me. Hope is a funny thing. If there is any sort of chance I feel unstoppable.

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Sept 16 – Saving Up

My husband and I have been talking about one last try. This is extremely stressful. We have been paying off all our debt and I have started trying to get into shape again. I figure it will be at least a year or two before we can afford it but it will take me a long time to get into shape (I’ve kind of let myself go and my depression and anxiety make it difficult to keep up any sort of regime).

We have been talking about doing one more IVF round or embryo adoption. My concerns are that since we only get a few viable embryos due to our issues we cannot do genetic testing on the embryos (with that few they may not make it to day 5 for freezing to send out for testing – plus with that few if they are abnormal we would have nothing). The cost difference between the two treatments is only a few thousand so that isn’t really weighing into my decision. With embryo adoption the embryos have been genetically tested so being abnormal isn’t a concern but that comes with its own complications.

I joined a support group on FB for embryo adoption and the people in the group make it seem like if you don’t tell the kid they are not genetically related to you that you are the devil. I would just like to believe that since I would be pregnant and give birth to the kid that I wouldn’t have to tell anyone. I mean I think we would tell the kid eventually but they say in the group to start telling the kid at 3-4 they are adopted so it doesn’t surprise them. Is it selfish of my to want to be able to carry a baby and not have to have that conversation? Maybe. Feels like either choice is going to be difficult.

Since our doctor at our last clinic retired I want to start fresh with a new clinic. By the time we save up for another try I will be 37-38 which puts our odds much lower. This just isn’t fair.

My husband’s best friend’s third wife is now pregnant. The senior on my team at work is due in January. Seems just about everyday there is another email going around notifying us of their happy news. I just want that for myself. But we also have other life plans to focus on too. We want to start our own business. We are discussing selling our house and moving to a smaller one on the other side of town. I just don’t know what I want out of life anymore. It’s all so confusing, and overwhelming.

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Aug 2 – Path Diverged

Lately I have started to wonder what my life will be like if in the end we do not have children. The idea kind of terrifies me. I joined a few social media support groups to try and get a sense of how to cope with the ending of the children journey.

I joined a few childless not by choices groups, an embryo adoption group and I continue to be in my IVF support group. I wasn’t sure what to expect from them. I was just trying to get my mind wrapped around all the different paths our lives could take.

The childless group was interesting. There is a range of reason people join this group, infertility, circumstances that never lead to a family life and others. The members run the gamut on their stage of grief or life. Some people just barely are dealing with their new future. Others are happy and accepted with the outcome.

My husband once said to me that we will be ok if we don’t have kids. He is right of course. We will be just fine without children. I won’t suddenly explode without one.

I read an article that described infertility loss as a ambiguous loss. You feel the hurt constantly because the future is uncertain. If someone died, the outcome will not change. You can heal from the loss and move on. Infertility is a constant battle because you don’t really know what the future holds. I can try everything under the sun to have a baby and there is always going to be that hope in my heart. That means the wound never heals and you can’t really move on. I don’t know if we will be able to afford treatments. I don’t know if my work will suddenly offer infertility coverage. I don’t know if we will end up adopting. I just don’t know what the future holds. Therefore I can not mourn the loss of a future that I don’t know, because I don’t know if that path is truly closed.

Some days are just going to be better than others when it comes to dealing with my infertility emotionally pain. Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball….

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June 25 – Work is Misery

In the last week the senior on my team has announced her pregnancy. She called me before she made the department wide email. I am happy for her. She did IVF to get her baby number 2. But the pushing work onto me because she “doesn’t feel well” has already started. She was complaining to me that our meetings were running long and she had to pee and eat something or else she feels sick. I don’t mind listening to some complaining but she knows that we can’t afford IVF and had a miscarriage. I don’t want to listen to her whine.

I know that sounds harsh, but I will still have 6 long long months to listen to this crap. Not to mention I have to fly to that office in December. She is due in January. It is going to be all about her pregnancy.

Ugh.

May 6 – Mother’s Day

letting-goIt’s May once again. Sun is shining, birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and everywhere you turn you are confronted with ads for Mother’s Day. Jewelry, flowers, clothing. Hell I went to the shooting range today and there was fucking Mother’s Day t-shirts for sale there.

This month is particularly painful for me since when we lost our baby from IVF round 2 it was a week before Mother’s Day when I went in for the D&C. A time of rebirth is a source of pain for me.

My therapist wanted me to try and make plans to celebrate myself or a friend that I consider a good mother. I have been trying but honestly I would rather just honker down and hide that day. Honestly I can’t even find anything that I would want to do that day.

Recently my husband was approached by a woman he knows at work to see if we wanted to adopt her baby if she decides to give it up. My hubby was all for it. I am ok with it too. I am not getting my hopes up because as she gets further along she might change her mind, especially since she hasn’t made it up. But I do feel hopeful. With how things are going right now we actually might be able to adopt or do embryo adoption in the next two or three years. Which has actually started to help with my depression about the whole thing. It like the darkness has a light at the end of the tunnel. If we want to keep trying, we will finally be able to afford it again.

I wore my homemade memorial necklace the whole week of National Infertility Awareness Week, and the necklace just broke this week. I feel like maybe that is a sign to me. A sign that I am ready to heal from the loss of our baby. That no matter what happens, whether we have kids or not, I will be ok. I need to let go. Now I will never forget and every Christmas I will think about how old our baby would have been, but I think I am ready to move out of the “entertaining misery’ phase my therapist says I like to hang out in.

 

 

March 29 – Hope Floats (not the movie)

Since my last post I went to the gyno and had them check me out. I was still getting negative tests and still no period. I was not pregnant. I started my period the day after I went. They would have jump started my period with progesterone. They did  a blood HcG test too. Checked out my cervix.

While I wish the outcome was different, it made me think. I haven’t given up hope. I still want kids. I am not ready to change to thinking about living childless.

If we do not have the money to do embryo adoption or IVF again in the next five years, we will adopt. I am trying to get back into eating healthy and losing weight to get down to a proper weight for any treatment.

I guess in the midst of Hell you find out what you really want.

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Feb 24 – Exhaustion

Today marks cycle day 49… and you think I would be excited because per normal people, I should be pregnant. Four horribly negative pregnancy tests later and I can assure you that is not the case.

It really is our own form of personal hell. Late cycle days when everyone just assumes you will automatically be pregnant if you are late. I even let myself get caught up in the hysteria. I googled due date calculators and in case you are wondering, my non-existent baby will be born mid-October, which honestly I would love. But there is no baby.

I scoured the internet and that is never a good idea. My diagnosis varies from stress to cancer to pregnancy that isn’t producing hcg. You can pretty much justify anything with random internet forums LOL. Even a former member of my IVF Facebook support group said she was hopeful I was pregnant.

Zero to one percent chance. Those were the odds given by our RE. It is pretty much impossible. And while there are plenty of amazing stories out there that people achieved their miracle, I just feel like that will never be us. I can’t even fake hope anymore. I got excited for the time it takes the liquid to absorb across that little pregnancy test window. Just enough time to see the stark white next to the damn control line.

I am however, legitimately concerned that given I had low AMH 3 years when going through IVF that I am entering premature menopause (which is a woman under the age of 40 going through menopause and affects about 1 in 100 women). Thanks again internet.

If I don’t get my period soon I will be making an appointment with my ob-gyn to see what might be going on. I am technically 17 days late. If I was pregnant, it should be showing up on a test by now (unless you believe random internet forums that say a woman was not diagnosed pregnant until 20 weeks because all her blood tests and urine tests were negative).

I was also on strong antibiotics and steroids two months ago for bronchitis. Maybe that impacted? Who knows. Ah the mysteries of periods.

When I talked to my husband about possibly being menopausal he was so calm. He was like, oh then we will just adopt. I kind of laughed inside at how easy it was for him to process the data and change our plan. I wish it was that easy for me. We also joked about how women have the raw end of procreating deal. Periods, pregnancy, births, menopause. Really is a cruel joke LOL.

Also found out our insurance won’t cover any fertility testing (even though it states it is covered) after a diagnosis is received. So all the testing we had done for the hubby wasn’t covered and the surgery would not have been covered either. So we cancelled that. Which is unfortunate. But it is what it is. Disappointment seems to run rampant in the infertility world.

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Feb 14 – Valentine’s Day

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Ah, Valentine’s Day. A day for love, and a secret baby pain day? You might be wondering how? How could an overly commercial day dedicated to love hurt my heart?

Social media. It is a real bitch. All day long people with pictures of their babies in “My First Valentine’s” onesies or “My mommy is my valentine” t shirt. Blah blah blah. Or the pregnant ladies holding their belly saying they can’t wait to meet their valentine. bleh.

God dammit, can I get one fucking day or holiday where it isn’t rubbed in my face that I can’t have a baby?! I mean when will it fucking get easier?!

Sorry. I am just hurting today. It was another day where I was emotionally cutting. I am on day 39 and even though I know that damn test will be negative, there I was peeing on a stick. Like an idiot.

Naturally, it was negative. I may be two rum and cokes in while posting this. Normally not my reaction, but I felt like I needed it today.

So here is to more drinks… and staying off facebook.

 

Jan 2 – New Year, Same Nightmares

The holidays are a bit stressful for us infertiles. All the pressure about family. The focus on kids. The revolving door of relatives, well meaning but insensitively joking about not waiting too long to have kids. Not wanting to explain over and over that you want a child more than anything but you can’t.

Luckily the holidays were low stress for us. No family came into town. We sent our gifts to family early. We video chatted with our friends in Colorado, as they are the only people in our lives who actually exchanged gifts with us (what I mean is our family takes gifts from us, but doesn’t send anything back). We don’t do gifts for each other. We did Christmas Angels instead. It was just us and the furkids. Playing board games until midnight and relaxing.

New Year’s was much of the same. We stayed home with the dogs. Which turned out to be a good thing since they opened a fireworks tent about a mile away and we could hear people popping off fireworks all night (from like 9 pm) and our rescue furkid was very unhappy about that.

But deep in the back of my mind, despite all the smiles and fun and low stress and low pressure, I am still hurting. I tried to glaze over Christmas Eve, our missed due date, only to cry when packing up the Christmas decorations.

I tried to ignore the hurt when I scroll through my Facebook feed of all my friends and their kids. The baby’s first pictures. The two women who just had babies last year were both in my IVF support group. I am so happy for them, but it hurts so much. It seems like most people I befriend in my group end up with their miracle baby, while we sit and wait.

The more I try to avoid thinking about the pain, the worse my sleep has been getting. I have stress dreams about tornados. Usually I spend all night running from tornados. This weekend I tried to hide in a “safe” place but the tornado “got” me. I woke up immediately as I was being swept into the tornado (yikes). Last night’s dream was one of the worst ever.

In the dream my hubby and I were watching his sister’s baby (full disclosure his sister passed away about 6 years ago so I don’t know why she was in this dream). We were in our master bedroom bottle feeding her (a little girl) with our beagles around us. It seemed very much like when we had foster babies. A little later in the dream, his sister walked up to me took the baby from me and put her in the stroller. She waited at an elevator (no idea why we were now in a building with an elevator). As she is about to get in the elevator she says ‘I shouldn’t be trusted to watch her baby since I had lost my own’ (referring to my miscarriage). In my dream I slink down and cry and say ‘why would you say that?’

Ouch. That one hurts. His sister, when she was alive, was the nicest person I know, so it was extra hurtful to have the nicest person I know say that about me. I know the miscarriage was not my fault, but now I wonder if I am ignoring those feelings. I am a master avoider, according to my therapist. I don’t even notice I am doing that sometimes.

With the pressure of the holidays gone, I hope that my anxiety will die down and I can actually get some sleep. Night after night of nightmares is exhausting and getting old.

I hope your holidays were less stressful than mine and here’s to a better year than the one before! Happy New Year!

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