Posts Tagged ‘IUI’s’

You’re Infertile? Ok, Take My Dog

Wow–it’s been almost a month since I last posted.  I’ve wanted to.  I’ve also wanted to comment on more of your blogs but. . .

I just couldn’t.

Maybe because I’m bitter, maybe because I’m sad.  Maybe I am trying not to give infertility the dominant place it has in my life.  If I don’t talk about, if I don’t blog about it, maybe it won’t exist.  I’ve actually done a decent job of convincing myself of this the last couple of weeks.  It isn’t healing.  It isn’t strength.  It’s about denial and that’s the safest place for me right now.

Don’t get me wrong–I’ve endured endless FB pregnancies, real-life pregnancies (including my best friend) and have had babies rubbed in my face constantly.  I don’t fall to pieces.  I just feel detached.  Like none of it is real.  I suppose this is better than the alternative–emotional breakdowns and constant tears.  The only place I really cry is church when a baby is baptized.  That gets me every time.  It absolutely tears my heart to pieces.

Today, though, the sadness returned.  I talked to my best friend last night who is pregnant with number two.  She is one of the few people who knows about my trouble TTC.  We chatted a lot about work and her impending baby (impending baby–lol–I have no idea where that came from).  I know she means well and really has no idea the extent of the hell I’ve been living through, but did she really have to mention that this was an “oops baby” that was conceived because she was on antibiotics?  Did she really have to tell me that it must have all been part of God’s plan because it wasn’t something she had planned for herself?  I honestly love her with my whole heart, but after she put God into the equation, I felt like I had been stabbed.

In other news, my husband and I have had some canine and feline issues lately.  Not with our own animals.  Other people’s animals.  For the sake of loyalty, the identity of the people in question will remain anonymous.  To give you a quick back story, we have three animals: two small dogs and a cat whom we cherish, love, and spoil.   They are a handful at times, pee/poop on the carpet and do other insane things, but they are our world.   Recently, we found out that for reasons that I can’t go into, certain “people who we are very close to” are having issues with their own pets.  For some reason, these people thought it would be fitting for my husband and I to take in their dog and cat.  After all, we are childless.  We must be overly eager to  nearly double our pet population in our tiny town-home, right?  After throwing thousands of dollars down the drain on IUIs and medications, we surely must be rolling in the money to care for more animals, right?  If we gracefully decline the offer of a pet surely we must be cruel and selfish people, right?

God knows my husband and I love animals.  We can’t stand to see them mistreated or hurt.  But. . .why is it our responsibility to constantly pick up the slack of others?  Pets are blessings, but they are also commitments, just like, dare I say it, children.  You have to take the good with the bad.  Trying to guilt someone into taking the pet you no longer choose to care for is just plain wrong.  I used to let people guilt me into things.  All the time.  Over little things.  Over big things.  However, things changed somewhere between IUI#3 and IUI#4.  I learned I can’t save the world.  I just can’t.

We managed to get out of having to take the dog.  Strangely, it felt like an enormous victory for me.  I am so used to things not turning out right for me, I am shocked when something actually goes my way.  It feels 100% utterly amazing.  Like I have a sliver of control in what happens in my life.  Of course there is a lot more to this story (my husband actually committed us to the dog a few weeks before without my agreeing to it–boy, did he get in trouble with me for that one) and the verdict is still out on the cat.

And to end on an even crappier note, I just passed my 2 1/2 year mark of TTC.  Happy freakin’ anniversary!  Maybe I’ll celebrate by buying some Pre-Seed and ovulation test strips.

Where Do Babies Come From?

Seriously, I want to know.

I once heard this ridiculous rumor that a man and woman have intercourse and a child is conceived.

Really?

Dream on!

Despite giving it our best efforts, things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped (I hate that word).  I had my 4th and final IUI about two weeks ago.  The procedure went really well actually.  I was very happy that the IUI was on a Saturday which meant my husband was there.  I was also pleased that the RE, not the weekend nurse, performed the procedure.  My husband’s sperm count was also great.

For some reason, the RE said that I had a good shot this time.  I guess I misunderstood.  He obviously meant I had a good shot at it not working.

I don’t regret doing this IUI.  I don’t regret the money spent or the time invested.  However, I do regret having hope (there’s that word again).  Originally, I planned to go into this with a “This is a last-ditch effort, so don’t you dare get your hopes up or even think about it afterwards” attitude.  Well, I turned my back for one minute and hope took off like an airplane leaving the runway.  I wanted to retain some sort of control but once again I am reminded that I have no control.

Let me tell you, my body should win an Emmy for Lead Role in Showing Absolutely No PMS Symptoms.  Usually, I know when my period is going to arrive: mild cramps, upset stomach, acne from hell, and the appearance of melancholic, yet vitriolic emotions.  I had none of those.  I guess I psychosomatically erased them or something.   To make matters worse, when my period did start (which started off rather black-looking for some reason) I rationalized it away.  How dumb can I be?  A period is a period  no matter what color it looks like or how many cramps you do or do not have.

I wanted this.  Badly.  I let myself hope for it and once again hope has made me a fool.

I should know better.  If 3 IUI’s aren’t going to work, what on Earth made me think, for even one minute, a 4th one would?  Maybe for someone else, but not this girl.  This is me we are talking about.

If I’m being perfectly honest, my dreams haven’t been coming true for a while now.  Time seems to be standing perfectly still and flying at the same time.  My personal life (meaning establishing a family) and my work life (which is another post for another time)–I keep waiting for things to change and they don’t.  I just don’t have much to look forward to anymore.

I’m sorry.  I do not get it.  I have ovaries.  I have tubes.  I have a uterus.  My ovaries have eggs.   My tubes are clear.  My uterus is intact.  I’m not making this stuff up.

I have long since accepted the fact that there are no easy answers, but what do you do when there are no answers at all?  I can’t help it.  I have to have something.  I have to have a reason.  I have to have something instead of an indifferent universe. I can’t just sit in a corner and pretend that everything is just wonderful when it is not.

Sorry this is such a miserable post.  If I can get these words down, they have less power over me.  Then maybe, just maybe, I may gain an ounce of control in this world.

It Takes Two

It takes two to tango–two to make a baby!

Except, it doesn’t.  It takes a doctor, a nurse, the makers of Follistim, and a host of others.  No, I’m kidding. It takes God, actually.

All of my medicines have been injected (with the exception of tonight’s trigger shot–please don’t let me fall asleep and forget), all blood work done (why hello there bruised arms and stomach, you are looking lovely today) and ultrasounds performed (Thank goodness).

I have two follicles that are “ready.’  From my understanding, this means that these two have a good chance of being ovulated and fertilized.

I am slightly disappointed, though.  I can admit that.  Yes, I’m crazy but the point of this IUI was to have more follicles reach the mature size of 16.  I actually have two additional ones, both being 12.  They may or may not catch up to the dominant ones before Saturday’s IUI.

It’s ok, though.  I am enormously grateful for what I have.  I realize that there are many, many women who get no response from these types of drugs.  I wanted more because more follicles increase the chances of pregnancy.

But, I have two and maybe that’s all that it takes.

So that’s my update for now.   These days, I have made a lot of progress finding serenity with IF.  I try not to obsess and scour the internet for hours on end looking for the one cure that will fix me.  I’ve tried to come to terms with the pregnancies and babies around me, without feeling anger or negativity towards parents or parents-to-be.  This has been a huge challenge for me.  My negativity and worry do nothing for me or those around me. Most importantly, I am learning to trust God.  I try to thank him for everything I have each and every day and yes, I am blessed.  IF wreaks havoc and emotional devastation, but there are a lot of things that are worse in this world.

Thank you for your prayers and support and please keep those prayers coming.  I know they are being answered.  You are all in my thoughts.

Love,

C

It’s Getting Hot in Here

In the summertime, some places get warm, some hot, some humid.  Here it gets steamy.  Yes, I do think you could fry an egg on the pavement if you tried.

Actually, the last couple of days have reached high temperatures 105 degrees and higher, a few degrees more than what meteorologists were predicting.  Keep in mind that for most of the year, I am cooped up in a chilly room at work, so when summertime comes around, my mood changes for the better.  Typically, summertime temperatures are around 95 degrees and while it is uncomfortable at times, I can deal with it.  However, the last three days I’ve spent inside mostly napping and being irritable. It’s unbearable to walk outside and its hard to get anything accomplished inside without breaking a major sweat.  The house is something of a wreck–any time I get up to clean something I just want to sleep.

But the tide is turning.  I feel slightly better today and I also feel somewhat better in that one of area of my life that I cannot shut up about.

The visit to the RE the other day was better than I thought.  No tears.  No running out the door crying.  It’s funny–the first part of the conversation was almost exactly word-for-word what I thought it would be.  The bottom line is that Mr. RE says that I “definitely qualify” for IVF at this point and he briefly talked about costs and insurance.  He also said that we could do another IUI if we choose, changing up the protocol quite a bit.

I feel good because I actually got to talk to the doctor for an extended period of time and ask every question I could think of.   Despite having mature follicles, is it possible that the eggs are just not dropping?  It’s possible.  Is the timing of the IUI perfect?  It’s not an exact science.  What were the chances of it working anyway? About 20%.

Despite months of frustration, I respect this man.  He’s been doing this a long time, so he has seen quite a bit.  I think there is something to be said for experience.  He doesn’t express a lot of  feeling, but he did acknowledge that any type of procedure, particularly IUI and IVF, are emotional experiences for those involved.  Though he thinks IVF is necessary for some, he thinks that it is pushed too much by doctors in the US.

Do I need IVF?  It’s possible, but not a given.  The one thing I took from my visit was that despite reproductive medicine/technology being a science, none of it is 100% certain.  Sometimes things almost guaranteed to work fail and at other times those that offer little hope prevail.  I finally accept the fact that we don’t have all the answers. We just do the best with what we have in front of us and pray.

I have ordered and received my medicines for my 4th and final IUI.  We decided on one last IUI because 1) The doctor said that it could still work with some changes in protocol 2) We feel like anything is still possible 3) I won’t have the added stress of working right now 4) It is what we can scrape up the money for at the present moment.

If this IUI does not work, we will begin the journey to IVF, possibly being performed in late spring or early summer of 2013, if we have the funds to do so.

So for now, I just need to find some sort of peace.  Not think about statistics, not worry about what-ifs, not worry about any day, except the present one.  I need to learn to let this go, let it be a small part of my life instead of the driving force that it has been.  For so long, I’ve let harmful thought patterns invade my existence.  I’ve lived, breathed and slept infertility.  I’ve let hours go by where I’ve stayed glued to the internet and, yes, even blogging, blindly accepting the detrimental aftermath being brought into my life.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped believing that I could get pregnant.  Maybe I did so because I tend to think the worst or maybe I did so because nothing seemed to work for me.  I thought that I would automatically be excluded, despite what I did.  Now, I need to start believing that I can have a child whether that is through IVF, IUI, or even naturally.  I need to see that child out in the universe and believe that God will bring her to me.

If you pray, please pray for me that I can find my place of serenity.  You all are always on my mind and in my heart.

What My RE Doesn’t Know

Tomorrow my husband and I go back to the RE for what I call our WTF appointment.  A WTF appointment is basically a consultation with my doctor regarding why my body won’t allow me to get pregnant, despite three IUI’s, rounds of oral and injected medications, and planned intercourse.  But I am kidding myself.  The RE can’t tell me why.  No one can.  I am in the unexplained infertility category, which means I have one giant hole in my life.

I honestly don’t know why we are even going.  I guess a week or so ago, like always, I felt the need for action–any type of action.  But, honestly, how will our conversation roll?  My guess is something like this:

Mr. RE: (walking through the door, flipping my chart):  Well, uh, I see here we’ve done a couple of IUI’s.  (Pause).  You’re, uh, what 34, 35?”

Me: I’m 36

Mr. REWell, hmmn. 

(Silence)

Husband: (insertion of some well-meaning quip to break the tension):

Me: (Silent, heart pounding, trying to be strong, but seconds away from tears)

Mr. Re: Well, uh we’ve tried a number of things here.  I mean, you know we start with the least expensive route before going to the most expensive.

Me: Oh, I know that.

Mr. Re: Well, I mean, uh, what do you want to do now?.

Don’t get me wrong.  I know my doctor is no fool.  I guess I should be thankful that he isn’t dashing my hopes and dreams, but I feel like he feels like there is no use getting to the root of whatever the problem is.  Yes, I realize that most testing does not affect what treatments are offered, but if I have endo or something, wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to remove it than to go ahead with more treatments?  Wouldn’t it be wise to find out why I don’t always ovulate on my own?  I know the ovulation problem is corrected with drugs but couldn’t the underlying cause of anovulation contribute to the infertility?  Has Mr. Re even considered this?

I think he thinks it is an egg quality problem; I say this because I read between the lines every time he uses the word “age.”  Of course, the only true test of egg quality is IVF.  The big guns.  The pricy guns.  The guns that offer the highest chance, but still no guarantee.

Then the still-hopeful part of me thinks that there is no way it could be egg quality.  Sometimes, I wonder if these IUI’s are so well-timed after all?  Case in point:  (Past history) I go to the RE on a Saturday morning and am told that my follicles are mature and “ready.”  I go home and take an OPK at 5PM.  If it is positive, I should trigger at that moment and have the IUI the next morning, Sunday.  If negative, trigger at 10PM, and have the IUI Monday morning.  Of course, I’ve always gotten the negative and gone in on the Monday.  To me, it seems like a bad idea to wait 36 hours to have an IUI versus waiting only 24.  Hello?  Don’t you ovulate 24-36 hours after a trigger shot or am I just on crack?  If I trigger at 10PM on a Saturday night and ovulate 24-36 hours later, am I not cutting it very close by having an IUI at 9:30AM on Monday morning?  What does Mr. RE think about this?

These are the things that go through my head.  I hope I’m not so nervous tomorrow that I forget to voice all of this.  I hope Nurse Stilletto doesn’t tap her pointy foot because it’s closing time soon (tried to get the morning appointment, but couldn’t).

At least, I will have my husband there and let me tell you, that makes a huge difference.  Bless his heart; I know he has the natural optimism to believe IUI number 4 will be our ticket, just as he believed for number 3.  I’m weak, but he is strong.  I know IVF is likely our next step and will be recommended to us (if I don’t run out crying first) , but my sweet husband still has the innocence to believe in miracles and that makes all the difference.

 

 

 

But I Don’t Wanna Go Back to the RE

CD 1 means many different things for all of us.  For most, I suspect, it means our dream didn’t come true the prior month (despite several well-timed sessions in the sack).  For others, we may forlornly stroke our bloated bellies which would put any 7-month preggo’s tummy to shame.   For me, and countless others, we begin to mentally prepare our schedules for doctor visits, ultrasounds, and fertility drugs.

When I rolled out of bed this morning, my first thought was “I don’t wanna go back to the RE” (well, actually it was I don’t want to go to work, but my husband bribed me with cinnamon rolls and tulips, so I went).  My last visit to the RE left me feeling pretty awful (which lead to The Big, Bad Breakdown of the Month).

If I had to give advice to anyone who is visiting the RE for the first time, (or any time really) it would be this:  Never make a late afternoon appointment.  Doctors have a difficult time differentiating your left ovary from your right; nurses are tapping their pointy, black, stiletto shoes.  They have one foot out the door .

More than anyone, I understand working all day and being desperate to get out the door. What I don’t understand is scheduling patients for an appointment that you know is going to go well past your please- forgive- me- if- I-violate it- 4:30 walk-out time. 

Last month, I had a 4:00 appointment.  I wasn’t seen until about 4:15 for my baseline ultrasound .  Since my IUI didn’t work in December, my RE wanted to know if I wanted to move onto injectables (he also uttered in an oh-by-the-way tone that my age could be an issue.)  Of course, this and moving to injectables is a more involved and costly decision that surely warrants a conversation, right?  Not according to an exasperated Nurse Stiletto who is sighing and rolling her eyes and who is just so damn inconvenienced that she has to do a little paperwork before she heads out to her promising social life.  Yeah, she literally left the office less than one minute after I made it down the stairs.  I saw her in the parking lot and had to restrain myself from overusing my gas pedal.

Needless to say, I didn’t do the injectables that month largely for financial reasons, but also because I felt like I had been pushed out of the office and treated like a trespasser.  Honestly, I think Mr. RE would have taken more time to answer my questions if it hadn’t been for hell on heels.  By the end of the appointment, I felt so overwhelmed and emotional that I just wanted to get the hell out of there.   Mr. RE may have merely laid out options for me, but all that went through my head was “You’re going to need shots and it might already be too late.”

Maybe you can see why I’m not so eager to go back tomorrow.  I’m already an emotional wreck and any off-hand comment or gesture, whether intended or not, has the potential to lead to a breakdown. 

So there you have it:  Never make the last appointment of the day, and let me add, be wary of a nurse in black stilettos.