Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What's Your Vote?

Wed., June 15th at 10am we traveled to Dr. Larry King's office for our follow up appointment.

As soon as I walked in, Dr. Larry King asked me how I was truly doing.  He really is a nice guy.  I told him that I had my days.  He said that we were average straight down the line as far as response to medicine and number of follicles.  I finished his statement by stating that we just "fell on the wrong side of average when it came to the results."  He agreed.  The Doc pointed out that this happens all the time in the real world and people don't even know.  He said that there could have been something wrong with the 2 embryos that stopped them from implanting...or it could have been nothing.  There just isn't an answer.

As far as next steps, he said we could either do a frozen cycle with our 1 frozen embryo, or we could start all over with a fresh cycle.  He said that the frozen cycle would be a lot easier on me, require less medicine and trips to his office (an hour away), and be significantly less expensive (around $2,500).  Our other option would be to start all over with a fresh cycle, which would be the whole process all over again and another $8,700.  In either case, we could begin the process as early as July, but he suggested waiting until at least August to let me heal mentally and physically.

The downside to a frozen cycle is that we only have 1 embryo.  Doc pointed out that it would not be classified as a Grade 1 blast because it grew late, which diminishes our chances.  Also, the process of freezing and thawing is hard on the embryo and there is a possibility that I get totally ready for the cycle, get on the table, and the 1 embryo doesn't make it through the thaw. 

The downside to the fresh cycle is that it's hard on my body, there are no better chances for a 2nd time, and it is very expensive.  The Doc did point out that if we don't end up with enough embryos with a fresh cycle, we could put the frozen one with the fresh ones.  If we end up with too many to use during this next cycle, we could freeze them to put with the one we already have frozen to make for another cycle.

We asked the Dr if there was anything that he'd do differently if we tried another fresh cycle.  He said that he had plenty of room to play with medicine dosage, so he'd probably increase the dose of Bravelle.

He told Hubby and I to think it over and take some time to figure out what we want to do.

What's your vote?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pity Party

OK, here's a run-down of the weekend after I got my BFN:

  • It was the 5th anniversary of my Dad's death.  I miss Dad and find it hard that he's really been gone five years.  Makes me want to have children as soon as possible so I don't rob my Mom of knowing her grandchildren, too.
  • It was Father's Day weekend.  My Dad is gone and Hubby isn't a Dad.
  • All you-know-what is going down at work between my boss and Board of Directors.  Lucky me, I'm in the middle of it all!  (yes, sarcasm font)
  • Allergies are awful and I'm fighting with my own face.  Ever had an ongoing battle with your own face?  You don't win.  I haven't been able to wear my contacts in a week.
  • I've put on weight since not being allowed to do anything vigorous the last 2 months.  There's no way I'm getting my skinny jeans on anytime soon.  Guess I'll have some ice cream or maybe a beer to make me feel better...
  • We are going to have to do some major renovations to our previous home in order to get rid of it or even be able to rent it out.  This will take the money that we've saved for IVF attempt #2.  (I asked our insurance agent if I'd be in trouble if I burned it down and didn't turn it in for insurance.  She said that, while it would not be insurance fraud, it would still be arson.  And for that, I'd go to jail.)  Well....don't they pay for all your medical procedures in jail?  I could kill two birds.....
  • And IVF-ICSI attempt #1 failed.

I'm feeling sorry for myself.  Insert pity party dance here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Good News, Right?

First, I must apologize.  I haven't written in a while.  I needed some time to deal with my emotions.  Also, I must apologize because of my recent saddening posts.  I guess that's part of this process, though, right?  And I started this blog as therapy for myself and also to help someone else out there going through this process who is as clueless as I was.  I didn't want to be a big downer and make everyone feel awful or sorry for me - there are a couple sad posts coming.  But I didn't think I'd be true to myself if I left out some of the hurt from a BFN.  And that's where I am right now.  So bear with me.

Now, on with the post:

"You have good news to share, right?"  These words have come to haunt me during the last month.  I think I'd be OK with them if I knew they were coming.  But no, it can't be that easy.  Those words have to smack me in the face, leave a sting in my eyes, and embarrass the crap outta me.

I first heard them at a big church conference just three days after we got the phone call telling us that my blood test was negative.  We saw our former preacher, who keeps up with us through some mutual friends.  He walked up to us, gave me a big hug, and said, "So I hear you have some good news to share?"  I couldn't even answer him.  All I could do is shake my head and try not to do the "ugly" cry.  You know the one - where your lips are curled and your face shows just how bad you're hurting.  It hit me hard because I wasn't expecting it.  I didn't even know that he knew we were attempting IVF-ICSI.  It seems that if I'm not prepared for the "smack," it hurts badly.  He fell all over himself apologizing and I told him it was OK - that it was still just very new news - that I would be all right - and that I was happy that he cared enough to ask.

The next time I heard those words was on the phone about a week later.  A friend called me at work to talk to me about several charity auctions with which we were helping.  As soon as she identified herself, I knew the question was coming....and sure did.  But I had the feeling that it was coming, so I was ready.  I could tell there was sadness in my voice when I told her that it didn't work, but I didn't bawl all over the place.  She gave me some sympathy and words of encouragement to not give up.  I handled this one better because I was prepared.

I wish I had better news to share with everyone.  And, since I don't, I wish I was better prepared to tell people that IVF-ICSI attempt #1 didn't work.  Wasn't one of my first posts titled, "No is the hardest answer"???  Boy if that's not irony.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Made A Fool of Myself in Public

On Sunday, June 3rd (2 days after the Nurse called with the BFN), I was due to sing in church with our praise band.  It just so happened that this weekend, I was singing by myself because the other singers were on vacation.  Not good timing.  I was pretty apprehensive about it, since I was having trouble even praying, let alone singing praises to God when my heart is hurting.  Hubby, who is our worship leader and guitar/piano player, encouraged me to get through it and I said that I'd try.

When I arrived at church, I managed to really avoid any conversations.  Just under the surface, I was still ready to cry at any moment and I was trying very hard to keep it together long enough to sing.

As the service started, I made my way up the aisle to take my place on the stage.  A friend's Mom grabbed my hand and asked how things went.  All I could manage to do was shake my head and continue my walk.  Breathe.  Get through this.  Don't lose it in front of everyone.

I took my place at center stage while the associate pastor made the announcements.  At the end, he stated that he'd been visiting family this week and found out that he's going to be a grandpa.  This was more than I could take.  I looked at Hubby and just lost it.  You can probably picture this one:  Pastor standing down in front of me smiling and happy about the news he just shared with the congregation.  Then, behind him up on stage, I begin to cry.  I walked off the stage and tried to compose myself.  Thank goodness he went into a long prayer before our music, so I had the time to calm myself down and rejoin the band on stage as the music began.  How in the world was I going to sing?

Somehow, I sang better that day that I had in a long time.

And as soon as the music was over, I left the sanctuary and cried.   It was so unfair.  I was hoping to have an announcement of my own that same day.  I was also embarrassed that I lost it in public.  If anyone wondered what was going on, there was no question after my public display.  Way to go!

Monday, June 13, 2011

What Not to Say

Many friends have asked about the results of our recent attempt at IVF-ICSI.  I've had friends hug me, express how sorry they are, cry with me, and search for words to help me feel better.  While I know they are trying to help and there are no words that can help, I wish they'd just remain silent sometimes.  The following are things that you should not say to anyone in a grieving situation:

"We just don't understand God's plan."  As I've said to friends, this infertility crap, as well as failed IVF are not things that come from a loving God.  God would not plan for 9 little embryos to die.  God would not plot for such sadness and grief in our lives.  I refuse to believe in that kind of cruelty, especially from God.  If a human planned to end 9 lives, we'd call him a murderer.  My God is not a murderer.  I can get mad.  I can ask God why.  But I am not blaming God for things that are not his doing.

"Everything happens for a reason."  There is no reason for all this to happen.  If there were a reason behind it, that means there is some plan behind it.  See above for my thoughts on that.

"Let's pray together."  I just can't right now.  I bowed my head the other night and had nothing to say.  While the time will come, I just don't have it in me right now.  You can pray for me.

"When will you try again?"  I just need to be sad for a minute.  I'm not at the next-step phase yet.  I'm still grappling with the medical bills, physical exhaustion, frustration, and sadness.  (And did I mention one of the worse periods that I've ever had?!)  I don't know next steps yet.  When I do and I want to share, I'll let you know.  Until then, please don't push ahead without letting me get over what just happened.

I do appreciate all the love, comments, and text messages that I get letting me know that I'm not alone and when I'm ready, I'll emerge a stronger person.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Reactions

I've had a mix of emotions running through me since getting the BFN last week. I'm going to attempt to summarize some of them.

I feel sad.  I had hope that we had found out all the problems and had taken steps towards the solution, finally.  I felt good prior to the BFN.  I followed every direction to a tee and tried to make sure that it was successful. 

I feel cheated.  February 8, 2012 would've been my due date.

I feel confused.  After all this bad has happened, aren't we due for something good?  Did I do something wrong?  I feel like I'm back at last August wondering what I've done to make God angry with me or why I wouldn't be a good parent?

I feel mournful for the loss of little lives - 8 to be exact.  I feel very strongly that life begins at conception.  We had 8 little lives - little beings made up of Hubby and me - not make it.  We have 1 frozen and I've read that it may not make it through the thaw.

I feel mad.  I bowed my head to pray at dinner the night after my BFN and I found that I had nothing to say to God. The other singers in our praise band at church were all on vacation this week.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to sing Sunday morning. 

I feel irritated.  A girl at my Youth Center told me that her sister is pregnant with her 3rd by a 3rd man.  Did I mention she's 19?

I feel embarassed.  My Mom helped us pay for IVF.  I feel like I've wasted her money.  I feel that same feeling as when my father passed away and we got the medical bills from him being in the hospital several days after his funeral.  What good was it then?  What good did it do for us now?  It just feels like a giant waste of time, procedures, and money.  And we have nothing to show for it all except all these used needles and track marks on my stomach, hip, and arms.

Monday, June 6, 2011

9dp5dt - The Answer

I got up really early on Thursday, June 2nd to go to my morning Rotary meeting.  I poas - my last test.  I thought it looked a little questionable.  I couldn't tell if my eyes were playing tricks on me or if there really was a very faint line there.  I even got Hubby up to look at the thing.  He really couldn't tell either, but I could tell he was cautiously excited.  Maybe my HCG level was finally detectable.  That would mean it had to be around 25, so I felt good as I left for my meeting.

Of course the speaker at Rotary went over his time limit and then we had to have our individual pictures taken for the new roster.  I thought I was never going to get out of there to get my blood drawn for the beta.

Finally at 8:30, I got to the blood draw station and was told that I could call in 3 hours and get the results.  I was ecstatic that I didn't have to wait till evening.  I'd have an answer.  Soon!

I went to work and managed to keep myself busy until 11:30am when I called the lab to get the numbers.  I had a busy day with a tour at 1pm and a potential employee coming for a job interview at 2pm.  I had things to get ready prior to both of those.

At 11:30, the lab tech told me that my beta came back at less than 2.4.  I am not pregnant.

The rest of the day, I was a mess.  I called Hubby who left work and came to sit in my office and cry with me.  My staff members all came to check on me.  My Mom even came to be sad with me.  I texted friends a simple message - It's a no.  That's all I could manage.  Some called, but I just couldn't answer my phone.  If I opened my mouth I just cried harder.

I tried to pull myself together to get through the rest of the day.  I know my eyes were puffy and I looked funny, but it was as good as it was going to get that day.  I gave the tour and got several new volunteers and donors.  I hired my Summer College Intern.  I managed to get through the day with the children at the Youth Center.  It was the last day that we were open for the school year.

Friday, June 3, 2011

8dp5dt - Giant Question Mark

Wednesday, June 1st was 8 days past transfer.  I got up, poas, and it was negative.

I went to work and was busy most of the day.  I still had discoloration all day going on, which made me nervous.  AF:  Either come or don't.  But make up your gosh darned mind already!

Tonight we had our end-of-year cookout and party for the children enrolled in my Youth Center as well as all of their families.  One of the mothers had texted me on my cell phone while I was at home the night before transfer.  Normally, if a parent wants to talk to me, I will talk, even if I'm "off the clock."  However, this particular mother is one of the type of people that thinks mainly of herself and is quite the drama queen.  I just didn't think it was good to talk to her at that point.  I had texted her back that night saying that I was unavailable - that I was going in for out-of-town surgery the next day and I'd be on bed rest and off work for the next week.  I told her that I'd be happy to talk to her when I got back to work the following Tuesday.  Well, at our cookout on Wednesday night, I got cornered by this mother that asked if I was OK and for what I had to have surgery.  I was really put on the spot and wasn't sure what to say, so I told her that Hubby and I are trying to have a baby and are having to go through IVF.  She put her hand on my shoulder and proceeded to tell me to just adopt some and then I'd get pregnant because that happened to someone we both know.  My Mom (God bless her) was standing behind me and piped in saying that it wasn't that easy - that's not how it works - that it'd never happen naturally - and that that was not our plan.

I have to get used to not being so shocked that people are so flippant with their comments and say something back to them.  I can think of all these witty things to say after-the-fact.  "Thanks for that useless advice."  "Easy for you to say since you have many children with your ex husband."  "Perhaps you wouldn't say that to me if you knew the amount of heart-ache, money, shots, and procedures we've been through in order to have a chance at having a child."  Or maybe I should just stick with the whole, "I don't remember asking for your opinion."

Later that evening my father-in-law called to see how I was doing.  We updated him and told him that we hoped to have some sort of answer tomorrow with my 1st beta.

I felt like I was on the verge of tears all day.  Hate that all the symptoms are the same.  I feel like I have a giant question mark hanging over my head.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to get the numbers from my beta very soon.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

7dp5dt - Bloodwork and Back to Work

I got up at 9am and POAS.  It was negative.  This was my last First Response Early Response Test.

I was in the tub getting ready for work when I received a call from Doctor's office because they never received my progesterone bloodwork from Thursday and the nurse wanted my local lab's phone number.

I received a voicemail, later, that she got ahold of the lab, that my progesterone was 21.5 and anything over 15 is good.  The lab also decided to perform one of the beta tests, even though the lab clearly states that test isn't to be performed for another several days.  The lab told my nurse that I must've turned in the wrong paperwork.  I did nothing of the sort....

I called my nurse back and left a voicemail that they took ALL of my paperwork, which had dates on it for each test, so I'm not sure why they say I turned in the wrong paperwork.  Also, I said on her voicemail I was concerned about them saying I'd already filled a beta test and I might need another order from her since they already performed the test.

She called me back and said she called the lab and straightened them out promising to credit my account with the beta so I didn't need additional orders.  I laughed and said, "Shouldn't this be the easy part of this process."  She agreed that this should not be the difficult portion.

I went back to work today  It was absolutely crazy from being gone for a week.  All my staff wanted to know how the transfer went and how I was doing.  Apparently my emails had not been sent from my phone, so they were really worried when they'd not heard from me all week.  I was really busy returning phone calls and emails and trying to catch up with paperwork with the school year ending and summer programming beginning at the Youth Center where I work.

I noticed some minor discoloration on the toilet paper before I went to bed.  Not really bleeding or even spotting - just a little off-color.  I lost it.  This is what happens for several days right before my period.  Hubby came upstairs to give me my PIO shot and found me crying while still sitting on the toilet.  He told me that I just have to hold on - that it's not time to get upset.  He's right, but I was still rattled.

I took a bath, hoping it'd make me feel better, or at least cool down because it's so darned hot right now.  I calmed myself down, took my bath, and went to bed.  This process, just like a period, is becoming a necessary evil that I'm not sure I like.

6dp5dt - Escaped Out of the House

Monday, May 30th was 6 days after our transfer. Happy Memorial Day!

I had a good feeling about today. I got up, POAS, and it was negative.  Not going to let it bother me today.  I had enough of that yesterday.

I noticed a little acne on my chest.  Could just be from being so hot the last few days.  It gets hot there between the girls...

Was hungry from the moment I got up today.  I ventured outside and cleaned out a couple flower beds and trimmed a couple bushes.  I tried not to overdo it, but I was really tired of being lazy in the house.  It was super hot today, so I had to do the yardwork in small shifts taking many breaks along the way.  It felt good to get out of the house, be active, and make the yard look a little nicer.  I only took a half hour nap today!

Today was 11 days past retrieval, so I am allowed to take baths again.  No more showers, thank goodness!  It felt SO good to take a bath after all that yardwork today!  What a treat!

When I went to bed tonight, my ovaries hurt.  I don't know whether this is a sign of an oncoming period or if they're just still trying to heal from all that's went on.  They were still huge on the ultrasound the day of transfer, so I'm not sure.

Back to work tomorrow!  Let's hope I don't have to kill my boss for saying anything he shouldn't!