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.

 

 

Advertisements

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.

319225

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.

5e4741184ba007ae4c1fc26fc4613f5b

Feb 14 – Valentine’s Day

tumblr_o6q632vtQs1qzzhjgo1_500

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!

cheers-holiday-party-new-year

Dec 22 – Surgery Postponed

We were all set to have my hubby do his varicocele surgery. They were also going to take some sperm while they were in there and have us freeze it in a procedure called TESE. That is where they cut a tiny hole in the scrotum and take sperm directly from the testicle with the theory that sperm inside the testicle is “better” than ejaculated ones. It took two weeks of playing phone tag with the scheduler woman, we’ll call Kitty (not her real name).

A few days later she calls my work phone and cell phone and leaves messages saying that they haven’t been able to move my hubby’s surgery to earlier in the day (they had it scheduled for 7:30 at night) and that they were worried we wouldn’t be able to get the surgery done that day. Now this is why I am confused. Why can’t we just do it in the evening and skip the TESE part (since the infertility clinic wouldn’t be open for me to drive the sample over to them to have them put it in their freezer area). Well the assistant they scheduled cancelled and they can’t find a replacement.

I say just cancel the surgery. We will reschedule next year. She calls me 7 times to confirm that it needs to be cancelled because other people want his time slot (huh? I thought they couldn’t do the surgery?!?!?!). Whatever. I just cancel.

We are now going to have to wait until next year. Not only that but my hubby’s insurance changes next year. Instead of covering 80 percent of any procedure it drops down to covering only 50 percent (ouch). Plus the deductible doubles from 3k to 6k (double ouch).

In addition to that, we made the tough decision to close our foster care license. One of the other foster parents in our Facebook support group, who received the last baby we had, sent us some updated pictures of her. They were so great about thanking us for taking care of her until they were able to receive her (they had her brother already). It was so nice of them to share that with us and it made me cry. I wish we had been able to get a baby of our own to adopt. It just didn’t work out that way for us.

Another co-worker said this week, why not just adopt? I had to explain how expensive it is, the home study process, the law where the mom can change her mind and take back the kiddo, how the costs don’t get reimbursed when that happens, how international adoption is more expensive than it is used to be and all the red tape due to the issues in other countries where babies were stolen and put up for adoption. After all that she said “Oh wow, I thought adoption was free.” I laughed at her. I didn’t mean to. It just came out. Luckily we are friendly so she understood and wasn’t offended. I explained it could be “free” after the tax credit reimburses you if you adopt from foster care but we were wanting a baby and it is very difficult to get a baby without first fostering them (hence the path we took).

I am trying to hold it together but it has been a tough month emotionally. December used to be my favorite. Now with the knowledge that our baby would have been due Christmas Eve, it hurts. My birthday is also this month. I turned 35. I have never been upset or wishing I was younger until this year. Due to my extensive research trying to convince my work to add insurance coverage I know that 35 is the beginning of the end for fertility (according to research – obviously there are plenty of women who have babies into their 40s). If I believe my mother -who is a compulsive liar- she went through menopause at 38-40ish. Which means we are running out of time for me to have a baby.

My hubby’s holiday party was this month too. There were 2 pregnant women and one couple that brought their newborn (even though it is a kid-free party). That was the toughest night. Thank heavens for my hunny. He made me some coke and rum drinks and was my designated driver that night. During the white elephant gift exchange (where people take turns opening gifts and you can “steal” a gift that was opened on your turn – up to 2 steals and then it is safe). I got this beautiful throw blanket. It was soft and fuzzy and a nice grey color. One of the pregnant women “stole” it from me and said it was to keep her and the baby warm. I had a very hard time being nice to her after that.

I am not going to say that 2018 will be a better year. I just don’t believe stuff like that anymore. I can’t. I feel like I have become a very dark person since IVF. Hope is a dirty word. I hate anytime I feel hope because I am always let down by it. Hopefully that is something I can work on in therapy.

I have been going to therapy for a little while now. My therapist is of the cognitive-behavior school of thought. Not my favorite, but she is right about some things. Things I need to hear. I don’t focus enough on myself (I am terrible at self-care). I focus on the negative a lot (who can blame me). We went no contact with several family members this year and it has been difficult to say the least.

I hope you are having a better holiday season than us! Wishing you all the best during this holiday season. May 2018 be a better year for all of us!

happy-holidays_2014

 

 

Nov 29 – The Ugly Side of Infertility

main_champion-studio_shutterstock_237581392You may be thinking what is the ugly side of infertility? The jealousy of random pregnant women you see? The tears streaming down your face when you get another negative test? Having to go through with a D&C because you miscarried?

Well, yes to all of those. But there is another ugly side most people don’t talk about. Money troubles. Since we have done IVF treatments we have been struggling to keep up financially. I was laid off after we shelled out the 10k (after insurance) for our two rounds. Then my husband changed companies and they put him in a lower position than he interviewed for, it was only supposed to be temporary.

I was bait and switched at my job when I took it and promised a promotion for almost two years. For almost three years we have been struggling. We are still 14k in credit card debt. Let our second vehicle go and have put my student loans in forbearance.

The final insult, since we haven’t been able to keep up we have not made payments on any of the credit cards and we are now getting sued. We are paying two off right now and already paid off two since I got my latest promotion. But if they continue to sue us we are going to lose. We can’t keep trying to pay them all off at the same time. We are struggling. Emotionally, financially, spiritually.

 

Nov 5 – Nothing Interesting

Another month passing without much change. We won’t do the surgery until the next year and we have decided with my new job that we should not be fostering right now. Especially since I have to travel to the main headquarters next month for a few days.

The holidays are always hard now. I was so excited for Halloween. I organized a department-wide costume contest and potluck at work. I decorated the house. I watched the family friendly Halloween movies (I am a wimp and can’t handle truly scary movies). I organized an awesome costume for work. I was a witch. I custom decorated my hat with glitter tulle, feathers,  and spider ribbon. I bought a spider jeweled pin and a spider necklace. I even had a realistic crow I carried around as my “familiar” all day. I bought candy to put out for the kids. I couldn’t bear to actually hand the candy out.

Then, of course, my period is late. The department near mine did a small trick-or-treating event for young children. I wished I was pregnant, knowing that I was not. I was not. I left work early one day to avoid breaking down at my desk. I even let myself daydream about if I was pregnant when I would be due. Cruelty to myself. Or my ’emotional cutting’ as I like to call it.

I wish so much that we had kids. I missed our foster kiddo from last year, the one we took trunk-or-treating. I missed being part of the holidays the way other people are. It was hard to be on the outskirts of social circles once again. “Bad Moms’ Christmas” is coming out and the ladies I saw the first one with have not even brought it up. Actually the neighbor we used to see all the time hasn’t been over since the last foster kiddo we had almost 4 months ago.

On a different note, I recently started therapy. I don’t know if it will help but I am willing to try. Only had 2 sessions so far. I am hoping to figure out what to do if we end up without children. Also we decided that we are cutting contact with my mom and his mom. We decided we are more important than the societal standards that you must always honor your parents. So I have some things to work through. It has been hard since we cut contact. My mother is telling everyone she is the victim. His mother is saying the same. We are the evil ones. We are the bad people. How could we do this to them? It’s laughable honestly.

Looking forward to next year, we plan to pay off our debts and save up for our last IVF round. We will have the hubby do the surgery next year and see if it helps at all. I am going to try to get in better shape. Which I am currently failing miserably at LOL. I put on 10 pounds this month! Sort of the opposite way I was wanting to go. /sigh.

I hope you had a Happy Halloween and have a great Thanksgiving!22792380_10214352648039321_3604155877681742849_o

 

Sept 29 – The Results are In

We went to our urologist appointment for our results. I was incredibly nervous about it. We even left early so we could wait at the office instead of at home.

The DNA fragmentation results were normal. Which is great. I was partially worried that our miscarriage was due to a quality issue with the sperm. So that was a big relief. Our miscarriage was just a miscarriage.

The blood work was mostly normal. Two of the tests were high, I think it was FSH and LH. They are the ones that regulate the production of sperm. So his brain is already telling the boys to step up production but they just can’t.

The semen analysis was about the same as before. Count was very, very low. Less than 1 million. Motility was good which is better than last time because it used to be low. Morphology couldn’t be measured due to low count.

Lastly the ultrasound showed he has a varicocele, grade 2. What that is, is an enlarged vein in the scrotum.

So what does this mean? Well the doctor said basically that clomid and vitamins wouldn’t help. His body is already trying to get the guys in line, they just can’t. We could try the varicocele surgery. It would involve going into the veins right above the scrotum and dropping a coil in it to get the blood flow to stop/reduced. They usually do the surgery on grade 3. They said it may or may not help. In general it can help. The doctor did say he does not believe it will bump our numbers enough to not have to do IVF. Which is kind of a bummer. It would be great if we could do IUI instead.

So basically we can try the surgery and it may or may not help. But it was nice to find out that we can still pursue IVF. We are deciding if we want to pursue these and IVF or just go straight to embryo adoption.

The surgery will be covered by our insurance. So that is at least good. They also want to do a TESE surgery during the varicocele one. TESE is where they take a few pieces of testicle with sperm to freeze. The doc said that for every 1 sperm ejaculated, there is 300 in the testicle. We could get better/more sperm from that procedure.

Hubby already said he is willing to try the surgery just to see if it will help. I think our plan is to try the surgery, see what it does to his numbers and then go from there.

test_results6

Sept 20 – Life Changes

o-RAINBOW-facebookIt’s been a while since I’ve written, waiting on our upcoming urologist appointment, but big changes have been happening. I recently was finally offered the position I applied for at my company this week. I start next month! They didn’t offer me what I wanted money-wise, but the future potential is greater than staying in my current position. I wanted a change. I didn’t want to be stuck. My goal was to get out of the current position within 3 years. Goal met!

In my new role, the hours will be longer and I will be required to travel twice a year. In light of this, I think we may not be able to foster anymore. Daycares by us are only open until 6pm. If I work until 6, that presents a problem. Travelling would leave my hubby alone to take care of the dogs and a baby. He is perfectly capable of doing that, but I don’t want to put him in that situation.

In addition I decided I have had enough of my mother and mother-in-law. We are no longer speaking with both. That’s right, both! I couldn’t take one more day of multiple texts from my mother complaining that she was “dying” when I spoke with her doctor the previous week and confirmed she was fine (the paperwork was on file for me to get her medical information – since I was executor to her will). This is the last time I am going to emotionally support her through another crisis that doesn’t exist. I am done!

I have been doing research on her mental illness and I am quite certain she is a narcissist. She is using medical illnesses as a way to manipulate and control all of us. My brother (yes the one who I haven’t spoken to in 2 years) cut my mom out earlier this year. She used to complain to me that he was a “cold fish” cutting his mother out like that. I used to try not to laugh because I was just waiting until my other brother was old enough that he didn’t need my monetary support anymore. He is now 16 and working. He can do what I did and pay for his own stuff. It’s not great but I have decided I am done taking care of my mother’s children.

Next week is our urology appointment and I am anxiously awaiting the results. I saw a onesie in Target this week that had a rainbow on it and said “oh hello there rainbow.” I bought it. I kind of took it as a sign from the universe that maybe, just maybe, we will get a rainbow baby at some point (a baby that comes after miscarrying a baby). Maybe I am just being optimistic. But I am in a great “getting-rid-of-junk-in-my-life” place. After cutting my toxic mom out, I am feeling better. Not perfect, guilt is a little in there, but I am free to do whatever I want without her voice in my head.

I’ll let you all know how the results pan out! Wish us luck!