Friday, December 20, 2013

Invalidated

If I share my experiences with infertility and those I share with validate these experiences by saying they, too, had their own experiences, does that then invalidate my experience? I feel lucky that since going public with my struggle, many women have shared their own experiences...my fear is that infertility will become so common that individuals will get lost in the process of sharing. I don't want women to feel the need to "one up" one other (I have heard countless times from other women that I should just be thankful that at least I have my daughter). Of course I am thankful but please don't invalidate my sadness of not being able to have another.  Why can't women just listen to each other.. really hear one another and just provide open support? Why must it always be so hostile even when it comes to something so personal as fertility treatment?
Honestly, and personally speaking...I don't want to be lost.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sick...and Tired

You know that feeling you have the day after a good workout? Your stomach muscles are aching and you feel so proud? Well, that is NOT what I a feeling right now. My stomach muscles are sure sore but it is from the excessive coughing, not from any workout. I have been sick for a few days. The cough is now painful as my stomach muscles are yelling at me. I have not slept in a few nights as the cough is at its worse at night (of course). Last night was a bit better with longer stretches of actual sleep but today I am coughing much more and it is daylight. I am taking a prescription med from my PCP and will wait until tomorrow to be seen if it is really not better.

When you are sick your defenses are down, you are more vulnerable and you are an emotional moving target. That is me this week. I am feeling very down, have baby on the brain and am beating myself up (again) about not being able to become pregnant and give my daughter a sibling. While I know that these feelings will ebb and flow, it is just a difficult week for me. Being sick is one thing, but to add emotional stress certainly does not help.

I just keep thinking of what my mom always says when something bad or hard happens: "As Nana (my grandmother) used to say, 'these are all things in life.'"
It is actually providing some comfort.

So for now, it is back to bad daytime TV (the Today show has really gone downhill!!) and taking care of myself.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Things I Have Learned in the Last Few Weeks

The last few weeks have been daunting. I will not sugar coat or lie. It was difficult to hear the words, "I'm so sorry but your embryo did not survive the thaw," but its aftermath is just as painful. I went through the stages of grief as follows:

1. Denial: I seriously thought I would get a call saying, "so sorry, we made a mistake, your embryo looks great and we are ready to go!"
2. Anger: I was angry at my body, angry at the world.
3. Bargaining: If I am a really good person then G-d will make it so that my "denial" wish would come true.
4. Depression: I was not clinically depressed, but I was sad, so so sad. I could have burst into tears at any moment (and sometimes did). I looked horrible and felt lost. I heard lots of different stories and some advice (some appropriate, some not) which did not always help my mood.
5. Acceptance: I think I am just getting to this stage now. I accept that the embryo transfers did not work but also wonder what could happen in the future. I was holding onto being 39 years old and thinking it is too late, but in today's world, it really is not. This does not mean I am focusing all of my energy on getting pregnant, as I was with all of the treatments. It does mean that anything is possible and I am beyond happy with my husband and daughter and can see us moving through life together. If that number increases, then that would be wonderful...if not, I fully and completely know how lucky I am and am at peace. In Hebrew the word shalom has three meanings: hello, goodbye and peace. I have been through each: I was eager and welcoming to each embryo transfer attempt, I had to say goodbye with each unsuccessful attempt and now I feel a strong sense of peace in my life.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Poor Form

To my great surprise and horror, I received a call this afternoon from my nurse at my fertility clinic asking me why I did not come for my pregnancy test this morning.

Yes...exactly.

I said, "don't you remember that my embryo did not survive the thaw?"

Oops...to her credit she was very apologetic, but that was simply poor form. My clinic was amazing and is one of the best in the country and people make mistakes...but this was a biggie!
I broke down a bit but was able to get through (my co-workers make me laugh!). Bad timing, I guess. While I am still tired and my body is a bit weird as it reacts to the hormones (or major decrease of hormones), I am certainly not as emotional as I was last week and am beginning to piece together this new reality. Again, bad timing.

Poor form.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mourning

I am doing okay...it hits me at different parts of the day. My daughter helps a lot.  She will be the reason I will get through this.
For now I will allow myself to grieve.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The End of a Chapter

I made it to my parents house this morning in MA ready for this embryo transfer with all I have. A little while later I got a call...I thought it was the "the embryo thawed great and you are set for later today!" but it was not. It was "I'm so sorry but your embryo did not survive the thaw."

Silence.

I was speechless...I did not know what to say or do.

The nurse said my team would call me later today to discuss options. 

Then the tears came...I called my husband and his tears came. He said, "you are stuck with me and "I" (our daughter)!" I know how lucky I am but the pure sting is there.

I simply can't go through more fertility treatments: financially, emotionally and physically. I am 39 years old and would be worried about medical problems for the baby. We would have to start over with IVF and both my husband and I know we need to move on with our lives for our sake and for our daughter's. 

I felt a bit lost for a few minutes but then I rallied. My best friend to the rescue! She will hang with me for a bit this afternoon and cheer me up before I drive back home to CT. 

I am still in shock right now. I know with the coming weeks that getting off of all of the hormones will help my mind heal. I always wanted two kids...it was so important to have siblings. Now I need to create a new reality for my daughter. My job now is to give my daughter the best life possible.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Change in Plans

The transfer was supposed to happen on Tuesday but things don't always happen as planned. This past Friday I had my last blood test and an ultrasound. The ultrasound was fabulous...the blood test, not so much. Apparently my estrogen was not high enough, so I had to increase it over the weekend and go back on Monday morning for a repeat blood test and ultrasound. While I held my breath all day waiting for my doc to call me I was wondering if this was a bad omen. I got the call with good news that everything is where it should be. So now I am readying myself emotionally for tomorrow's transfer. I am making soup right now and watching bad TV (I took off from work today, tomorrow and even Monday).
I am feeling zen-like and am very hopeful. I am a type-A personality person so when things don't go according to plan, it is difficult for me. I get over it though, luckily!
Onward...tomorrow will be a great day to get pregnant...I can feel it.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sunshine Award

Kasey, from StupidBrokenEggs, nominated me for a Sunshine Award! How lovely! Here are the answers to her questions:
My 10 Questions-
 
1)You could choose any 1 person to spend a day with – dead or alive- who do you chose? What do you do? 
Well, hands down it would be Barbra Streisand. I love her! That is second, of course, to my hubby and daughter!
2)What is your most cherished memory? 
Probably sitting at the kitchen table at my Nana and Papa's house peeling and eating oranges with my Nana.
3)If you win the mega millions do you still work as well? 
Definitely, but maybe part-time.
4)Are you where you thought you would be 5 years ago? 
I never think that way: to wonder where I will be in the future so I just try to be happy in the present.
5)If you had a chance to redo one thing in your life without it effecting how anything else in your life turned out- would you?
Yes. I would have been more open with friends when I was going through a crazy adolescence.
6)Do you enjoy cooking for others more or having someone cook for you?
I do enjoy cooking but having someone else do it for me is always better!
7) Do you have a go to travel spot? Some place that you have or wished to visit more than once? 
I wish I could get back to Israel. I was there once in college and it is such an amazing place of history.
8) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? 
Two answers: One home in New England, one in New York City and one in France...obviously I would need to win a large lottery first!
9)If you could redo school would you? Would you study something different or just study more? 
Probably study more...go for my Ph.D.
10)What or who makes you smile the most? 
My 3 1/2 year old daughter for sure!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cranky, Tired and Hopeful

I am now at the point in this crazy process when I am very tired, cranky and yet I am hanging on to hope. Today started my highest dosing of estrogen which is just not a normal amount of a hormone for any human being (as many of you other infertiles can understand!). My transfer date is next Tuesday, the 15th and I am readying my body and soul for that day. But, I still need to get through the next 7 days which is made more difficult when everything and everyone is pissing you off! Luckily my patience with my 3 year old daughter has been good but my poor hubby certainly suffers. He knows from experience what the hormones do to me but sometimes I wish he could experience this for himself...how utterly horrible it feels. Not that I wish this on him, but it could bring more understanding. The bruises on my arms from my blood tests are nothing compared to what is going on inside of me. I do worry about the long-term effects of being on these high doses of estrogen all these times. I will need to ask my doctor about this...of course, I hope it is all worth it but if it means a bigger problem in the future, that is scary. I wonder if the doctors even know yet what the long-term effects are since the technology is rather new, especially for women who have been trying for years and years.

I will keep trying to keep my emotions in check and get through this week, even if it means eating more chocolate!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

And We're Off!!

So it now begins...the official last hurrah. I took my first Estradiol pill this morning and therefore have begun our fourth frozen embryo transfer attempt. I am trying to remain calm and not stress too much. The past couple of weeks have been difficult as my moods have been all over the place and now I am concerned of the long-term effects of taking all of this estrogen and progesterone. I will need to discuss with my reproductive endocrinologist.
I am relieved and excited about this attempt for it will give my husband, daughter and I closure, one way or another. Of course I want to become pregnant from this and complete our family, but if not, I will know we did all we could mentally, physically and financially and we can then move on. That is what is calming me a bit more in this attempt...there is light at the end of the tunnel and the light is bright and positive, no matter what happens. It is not about already having a daughter, for whom I am beyond thankful. I will still need to mourn not having another child and not giving our daughter a sibling. I will make it all okay for me, for my daughter and my husband, for the three of us.
This is my focus and my serenity.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Forward Thinking

It's been a while since I wrote and there has been a lot going on. We had a big family event last week which was wonderful and it was great to see my daughter have so much fun with her family. I am getting ready for our last FET in less than 2 weeks and I am nervous. I hate what the hormones do to me and they make me feel simply horrible. That lasts for several weeks and I just want it all to be worth it. I feel more positive about it all right now, whether we get pregnant or not. I will still need time to mourn if it does not work again, but I know I will make it through. Of course that is easy to feel now when I am not on any hormones, but it is good to know that I can try to hang on to these more positive feelings. 
Right now I am trying to focus on the things I can control in my life, which are not many with a 3 year old! I am trying to put positive energy into my work and trying to make fun plans. When you are going through fertility treatment, nothing is under your control and it is important for me to take some control before I start the process again.
I will continue to look forward, move forward and think positively of my future, whatever that may be.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Is Nothing Something?

My post title may be confusing but it should be! I had my sonohysterogram today (yeah, that was crampy and uncomfortable!) and everything looked clear and perfect. Of course this is good news! I have a history of fibroids and would not have wanted to go through their removal again. But, at the same time, it would have been a possible explanation as to why the last three embryo transfers did not work.
So, we will continue on. In another three weeks or so, we will have our last attempt with our fourth frozen embryo transfer. The only things I will do differently is eating more red meat and starting my prenatal vitamins earlier. I really don't think there is a lot one can do to increase the chances. I eat healthy (most of the time) and walk regularly for exercise. I am normal weight for my height.
I am feeling positive and that is all I can do. My husband and I are looking for closure, either way. We have been at this since October of 2012 and we are tired. This is hard on a relationship and it has been hard on my body, physically and emotionally. We look forward to being pregnant and at the same time, we look forward to moving on with our wonderful daughter.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Looking Forward

I have been having such bad cramping for weeks now and and finally "it" came. I have my sonohysterogram on Monday and I am a little anxious about it. I have a history of uterine fibroids and polyps and have had major surgery for this. Because I have had such ongoing cramping and fullness feeling, I am worried. They can come back, even when not invited.
I am trying to stay focused on other things now. Just got back from a work trip to Miami, which was fun and now focusing on getting through the next few days until the appointment. I am going to try to focus on the good things in life.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Roller Coaster

My poor, poor body! It is a few weeks past my last failed frozen embryo transfer and in the past, my body would have straightened itself out by now. Not this time! I had a good week last week but now I am crampy and a little crabby. I have no idea where I am in my cycle which is always interesting. I don't know if I am going through this because I used progesterone injections for most of the last cycle (for the first time) or what, but this simply sucks!
I am hoping that my next try in September will be better, and of course give me that POSITIVE I've been waiting for.
Now, get me off of this roller coaster...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Boycott Facebook!

Yes, I am having the same problem many infertiles have...Facebook is not our friend. Facebook is where our friends post adorable pics of their kids. I admit, I do too. I will post pics of my 3 year old, but it is those baby pics that really get me right now. I have one friend who will post pics daily of her baby. Now I am not one to judge (oh, hell, of course I am!)--but everyday. That seems a bit much, don't you think? I mean, don't get me wrong, this baby is adorable, but find a hobby, go for a walk, do something not on Facebook please! When I see these baby pics all I think is, that is supposed to be me from my last three (failed) frozen embryo transfers! And yet, it is not me.
That's it! Why should I have to boycott Facebook? Why don't these women who are so damn lucky to have babies take a break from their daily postings? Why do we, the infertiles, need to constantly be the ones making changes and altering our lives? We do it to our bodies with pills, injections, suppositories, tests, etc. Why can't it be someone else for once? Don't we deserve a break?
and i force myself to like every status... and try not to covet

Friday, July 26, 2013

Good Results

So, just got the call from my fertility doc and my blood test results were all normal. Good news. Glad things are normal although I was hoping for a quick fix..."increase this med and you will get pregnant." This phone call came while I was getting my hair color done listening  to several women lament about how horrible pregnancy can be.
Fabulous timing!
Have a good weekend!

Infertility is REAL

Funny Cry for Help Ecard: 'You had one child, you aren't infertile. You don't need another. ' Secondary Infertility is real.
I think this sums up so much of what I am feeling right now. I worry that many people think this way.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hope

My husband, daughter and I moved to where we now live 2 years ago. This move was due to my husband's job and I completely supported it. I love where we live: very friendly, family oriented. The one issue I have is that I have no support here. While I have made some friends, they are not like the friends I have where I lived in MA. I am left feeling alone at a time when I really shouldn't. This is a hard time. When I see pictures on Facebook of my local friends out for an evening, I feel alone and sad I was not invited. I know, get over it, right?! But this is hard and I love being around people and hanging out and laughing. I just haven't connected with enough people, I guess. My husband does not seem to have this issue: it's a guy thing I guess. He is happy with his few friends and me and our daughter. As a woman, I want more relationships in my life. Am I selfish? I don't know.
Sorry this is a bit gloomy, but this is where I am right now. Feeling a bit alone and cut off. I can't go to MA every weekend to see my close friends and have been trying to create the next chapter of my life where we are now. It just seems to be taking a little longer than I had hoped.
I am hopeful that things will turn around and more connections will be made. I am always hopeful.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Patience is not a Virtue...It is Impossible!

So, here we are a couple of weeks after our third failed FET and I am in a funk. I am angry, moody, sad and irritable. Sounds like fun, huh?? The hormone torture does not end when we stop taking the meds, the body needs weeks to recover and I am in that phase now. It simply sucks to be me right now.
I am still waiting for my blood test results from last week and may wait another couple of days. I am trying to focus on next month's SHG, as that is something active I can do and feel a part of this crazy process. That's the thing, when I am taking meds and doing tests, I feel empowered that I am an active participant in the process; when I am just waiting, well, that is the difficult part.
So, I will continue to wait, take some ativan when I need it and get through this phase of the process. I am exercising again and eating better than I have been and I know that will help, as well.
Maybe this last fight is over, but the battle continues and I am not done yet.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Waiting Game

Well, I saw my fertility doc today and I am so thankful for him. I have seen him for the past 7 years and began with him due to uterine fibroids. He performed my first "big" surgery to remove the fibroids and I will never forget him holding my hand as they were putting me out.
I was calmed as I walked into his office today, as I usually am. We talked about this last FET (frozen embryo transfer) and my weird reaction to the progesterone injections (severe pains, difficulty walking, weird red splotches on my leg). He said we may never know why these last 3 FETs did not take. What we did today was some blood tests: thyroid (I am hypothyroid and on meds), blood sugar (past insulin resistance). We discussed the protocol for my next FET which will be estrogen and crinone. I will also have another sonohysterogram next month to make sure everything still looks good (I had one in October 2012 but my doc wants to be sure nothing has popped up since then).

This is a good plan...it's the only plan. I don't mind the tests as they give me something to focus on, something to do. It will help me get through until the next try. Even though I would love to know why this has not worked, I will have to settle for this. This is the hard part as I am someone who likes clear answers that are logical. I just have to "sit" with this for now.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Changed Plans

Sometimes our best made plans do not go as planned. I was supposed to see my fertility doc today to get answers but on my way I received a call from my daughter's school that she had thrown up. My husband has a very busy day at work today so I turned around and went to get my daughter. Luckily I was able to reschedule my appointment for tomorrow.
I am thankful that she is okay, just an allergic reaction to a new food this morning. She has egg and milk allergies and now I am guilty of poor label reading. I looked at the package of the soy sausage and it clearly states "egg whites." I feel horrible. You can't see it in this picture, but she has hives all over her. Great job, mom! It is difficult to parent a child with allergies and you are always on your guard. Apparently, I was not on my guard yesterday when I bought this food item.

So, this is all not about me, my fertility woes...it is about this wondrous child I already have who counts on me and needs me.

I am truly lucky.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Really?!?!?!

I received a call this morning from my fertility doctor's' office telling me he can't see me in the morning on Thursday but can see me in the afternoon. Now, I am driving an hour and a half to see him and had the day planned (took the day off from work) and now I have to change my plans. To some people this is not a big deal, but for me, I am counting down the hours until I see him to get some answers, so this is a BIG deal! I wish this would not annoy me but it does. It worked out and I will still see him on Thursday but now I have to decide if I am still taking off the full day or if I am working a half-day before my drive to the Boston area.
I must be crazy to be this annoyed, right?!?!
UGH! Is this 95 degree weather making anyone crazy??

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Being Human

Well I am feeling a bit better now that my hormone levels have gone back down from horrendously high to moderately normal. I am counting down the days until I see my fertility doctor on Thursday and hope we can figure out why this is not working. I wish this was not such a taboo topic and I could be more open about it to more people. I just feel cut off.
Lucky for me, my daughter told me I'm her "best friend" and that just makes everything better!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend! It is beyond tropical here in the northeast.

Friday, July 12, 2013

No Fun Fertility

Here I am, 4 days after a negative pregnancy test after my third frozen embryo transfer. They have all been negative and I am devastated. Luckily, my husband and I were blessed through IVF in 2010 with our beautiful daughter. This is a difficult time for me. I just turned 39 (Whoa, very old!) and want to have another baby desperately. My daughter is aching for a sibling which is seen in her pretend play and when she wants to play on the swings. We have one frozen embryo left and will try again in September after I see my fertility doctor again and figure out why this is not working. My husband and I can't seem to get pregnant on our own, although it is unexplained.
My life right now is putting on a happy face for my 3 year old (not that hard to do with her!) and then trying not to grimace when I walk by a pregnant woman at the grocery store. I also have to deal with women who are not too bright, some of them friends. They say things like, "my husband just looks at me and I become pregnant." Well, goodie for you. In this age of information everywhere, if you say that to the five women around you, chances are, one of them has fertility issues! Let's try to be a bit more sensitive, shall we?!
I will keep trucking along, as there is no other option. I love my husband and our daughter more than life itself. The issue is if I can't give my daughter a sibling, will she be okay...will I be okay?