Three Infertiles Walk into a Room…

Standard

Today was an interesting day. It was my cousin-in-law’s baby shower (is a cousin-in-law a thing?). She had twin boys in June, about 8 weeks early, so they were unexpectedly early, and had to spend some time in the NICU. Now that they have been home for a while, and are now healthy and settled my other cousin (sister-in-law to the one who had the twins) decided to host her a baby shower.

The shower was held in the evening, which I was sort of happy about since it is a weeknight, I could try to excuse myself early if needed. I tried to think of an excuse not to go at all, but I couldn’t come up with anything good enough. My mom and grandma were going too, so it would have been a bit harder to beg off without them wondering about me. Plus I like my cousins, and I wanted to be there, even if it was hard for me.

I had thought about it now and again leading up to today, hoping it wasn’t going to be terrible. I wasn’t sure who all was going to be there, and I was certain there was going to be talk of who was going to be next to have a baby, and other such ignorant comments. Surely my mom would coo over the babies and wish that she had some grand kids of her own, whether she verbalized it or not.

I had an appointment with some clients just before the end of the day and they ended up staying a bit past close, Murphy’s law when I am trying to get out on time. So then I was stressed and rushed by the time I left work, not the state I wanted to be in for the evening. I went to pick up my mom and then grandma on the way to my cousins place. Luckily my mom didn’t say anything to me about babies on the way, and I breathed a sigh of relief for surviving the car ride.

When we arrived at my cousin’s house I was relieved to find that there were no silly party games planned, just a few little things like guess how many jelly beans in the baby bottle, write on a diaper, leave your wishes for the babies. Mostly it was just visiting, and gift opening. There weren’t too many of us there so luckily the gift opening was pretty short-lived. There was some cute stuff but mostly it was toys and activity type things, not so much for clothes. Plus she had two little boys, and as much cute boy stuff there is out there, I want a little girl so bad, and I swoon for all the adorable girls stuff.

So all in all, it started out not being so heartbreaking. Her little guys are cute, and I can appreciate that, I’m not a cold-hearted monster. I didn’t hold either of them, for fear of the “looks good on you” comments, and also because I am still getting over my cold and I didn’t want to cough all over them. My cousin who was hosting the shower has just been married for one year (it was their anniversary yesterday) and my mother of all people made a comment to her about having a baby. I gasped, “Mother!” at her when she said it. She knows better than to do it to me, why does she think it appropriate to do to other people? A few of the older ladies with daughters my age lamented about the fact that they didn’t have any grandkids yet.

There was a mother-daughter duo there who are relatives on my aunt’s side of the family and not technically related to me, but I have known them all my life. After the discussion of the moms wanting to be grandmas my aunt’s sister mentioned that she might get to be a grandma soon. At this point she turned to her daughter, A, who stated that her and her husband had been trying for a couple of years to have a baby but have just recently started down the path for adoption. Everyone was really supportive, offering her congrats, asking well thought questions. It was really nice to see.

I went to school with A for a time, she is laced throughout my childhood and such a sweet person. I don’t see her nearly as often anymore and don’t keep up on her life but as soon as I heard the words come out of her mouth I felt I had found a new friend in infertility. She has been married for 7 years, a pastor’s wife, and somewhere deep down I wondered whether they weren’t having problems.

So in a room with only 5 women of childbearing age (the rest grandmas, great grandmas and grandmas in waiting), let me break it down for you. There was myself (infertile), A (infertile), and another relative who ended up having her daughter via surrogate after she had three 2nd trimester miscarriages due to an incompetent cervix (different kind of infertile, but still, infertile). One cousin, who, so far as I know has not tried to conceive yet, and the other who is obviously super fertile and got twins naturally. Pretty interesting odds. I had the thought that if anyone pushed me on the baby issue I might spill the beans, but after A made her adoption announcement I didn’t want to steal any thunder. Plus I’m still not entirely comfortable speaking up. Although everyone in the room was tactful and respectful of her adoption decision I know it’s not always going to be like that.

On the car ride home I could practically hear my mothers thoughts churning, I’m sure she wanted to discuss A’s adoption choice, my own family building progress and when I was finally going to give her a grand baby. I am so glad my grandma was there to, unbeknownst to her, keep my mom at bay. I dropped them both off, and headed home myself. My head was buzzing the whole ride home. My heart finally felt the weight of the baby shower, and the sadness I was trying to stave off while plastering a smile on my face all evening. I felt sad for both myself, and A. I felt buoyed to find someone else in my camp. Not happy for either of us to be in this position but hopeful to gain a new comrade in the fight.

Once I got home I sent her a Facebook message telling her I understand the struggle and that I am happy for her taking the steps to adoption. I wanted to reach out to her, and let her know there is someone else who understands. Whether she wants to discuss her journey with me or not, I felt comfortable putting part of mine out there to her. It’s a bit of a risk me opening up to her, because it may get back to some of my family. I don’t particularly care and I’m sure she understands the private nature of it and say nothing at all. But, my time to tell my family may be coming soon.

On a treatment note, the Suprefact is going steady. I missed a dose by an hour and a half this weekend, but just took it as soon as I remembered and carried on. I get a nose bleed every day, whether it is due to my lingering cold, the fall dryness in the air, the Suprefact or a combination of all three, it is annoying. My cough from my cold will not go away, and I have a feeling the Suprefact is aggravating it. I feel like there may be other symptoms it’s contributing too, but it’s hard to tell, what’s from the cold, or tiredness, or stress. It’s sort of like squirting perfume up your nose. I dislike it, and the frequency of it, but so far tolerable. Should be hitting CD1 of my next cycle by the end of the week, or the weekend. For now, sniff, sniff…pass.

Advertisements

Return from Hiatus: It’s Go Time

Standard

Yet again I took a brief, unintentional hiatus from blogging. Mainly because I’ve been too damn busy, not because I’ve had nothing to say. I just returned this past Sunday from my Alaskan cruise that I went on FOR WORK. Yeah, I have to admit, sometimes I have a pretty sweet gig. It wasn’t all fun and games, I did have to attend a few seminars, and J doesn’t get to come with me on these trips so I had to room with someone I had never met before. We got on well enough, but at times I went off on my own because I needed a break. It was a bit lonely, but overall, a pretty good trip. Alaska was very scenic, but a bit chilly for my liking. Especially seeing as the weather back home was fantastic while I was gone. I managed to bring a cold back with me, so I’ve been sick since I got home and it makes me miserable.

Just before I left J and I submitted a formal offer on the condo unit we want to buy. As of today, the offer is accepted, our mortgage is pre approved and the paperwork is pending. So for all intents and purposes, we expect to be taking possession in mid-October. We then have two weeks to renovate the new place and move upstairs so we can get a renter into our current unit… I’m thinking the renos are not going to be finished in time, so we may have to live in it while we redo the floors. I am looking forward to a blank canvas, we are looking at paint colours, flooring samples, light fixtures and more. It is fun, and exciting but the situation itself is a bit stressful as we are trying to make it happen very quickly, and have a million other things going on at the same time.

Even though I just got back, we leave for Vegas in a month. I’m excited for a getaway with J, and a bunch of our friends will be there as well since we are going for a wedding. Although, it will cut into our precious reno time, being away right before we have to be moved out of our place. Tomorrow is J’s 34th birthday, we have no big plans but I am excited to give him his birthday present; tickets to Jersey Boys while we’re in Vegas…and yes, it is for him not me. Jersey Boys would not have been my first choice. I also got him a new special edition Seahawks cap. Go Seahawks!

The woman who runs our condo building is finally back next week. There have never been so many issues as there have been this month while she’s been away. Can’t wait to turn everything back over to her.

Probably the most important thing that is coming up for us is our frozen embryo transfer. I got my schedule in the mail a couple of weeks ago, I picked up my Suprefact on Monday, and I start using it tomorrow (CD21). It is a nasal spray down reg. medication that I have to use 5 times a day (7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm, 11pm), for close to a month. Not looking forward to that. For now that is all I am on, but once I start my next period I am to call the clinic CD1, and they want me in for a baseline ultrasound around CD7. On CD8 I will start Estrace, the normal start day is CD3 but they are pushing it back so I can make sure the transfer happens after we get back from Vegas. I will have another monitoring appointment just before we leave for Vegas to check my lining, and most likely I’ll have to start Progesterone (suppositories) while we are in Vegas. Yet again infertility will put a damper on my ability to have fun hotel sex.

At the moment my focus is being pulled in so many directions that I have not spent a lot of time fretting over our FET (yet). I am hoping that the distraction of moving, renovating, ect. will continue to distract me throughout the whole FET process and help during the dreaded wait for beta. Although who am I kidding, I’m going to POAS well before the beta. So here we go, the Summer of IVF has continued into the Autumn of FET.

Calm Before the Storm

Standard

After our retrieval, once we had received the news that 5 of our embryos had made it to freeze, it felt as though life quieted down. I didn’t have to think about treatment, we weren’t constantly running to the clinic for appointments, or blood draws and I wasn’t in the pharmacy every other day picking up meds. I had some time for myself, to recuperate and even out from the immense highs and lows of the stimming process.

Once we got closer and closer to September I began to think ahead to my transfer (if it were to happen). But, trying not to get too ahead of myself, because even though CD1 in September would mean the beginning of the transfer process, nothing would even happen until CD21 of my September cycle and the transfer itself not until mid to late October. When my period was late, and I was looking at having to delay our transfer by a month, it just felt like more waiting again.

I spoke to the clinic on Sunday about my being out-of-town possibly conflicting with my transfer. The nurse said we could possibly have me coast on Estrace for a few extra days, depending on when my next CD1 fell, but that too many days and my lining could end up being too thick. She suggested that it may not be worth the risk if the transfer didn’t work I may blame myself for not just waiting another cycle. I agreed with her on this, and she suggested that she could speak to my doctor to see if he had any suggestion. I told her I would really appreciate that. So far, this was the most helpful nurse I have dealt with. She truly seemed to want to find a solution for me, and that she understood that it wasn’t just one more month, it was now going on 27 months. She told me she would speak to Dr. M and get back to me.

I made sure to have my phone by my side all morning. I thought she was going to call me back fairly shortly, but when I didn’t hear from her by noon (when she had initially called around 8am) I thought perhaps she didn’t mean today. Perhaps Dr. M wasn’t even working, and she would have to talk to him the next time he was in. A little after 1pm my phone rang, it was the clinic. She apologized for taking so long to get back to me, which I told her was quite alright, as I really appreciated what she was doing for me. Then she said the magic words; “we’re a go”. Dr. M said that I can stay on Suprefact (my down reg nasal spray) for 5 more days, to put me safely past the date of my trip. It will prevent me from producing estrogen so my lining should stay put until we give it the go ahead by starting the Estrace. Fantastic! She is sending my protocol in the mail and as of now I start Suprefact Sept. 26, my transfer should fall somewhere around the end of October. That still seems so far away, but with two trips between now and then, plus J’s birthday, I’m sure time will fly.

Since we got the go ahead on the transfer, the rest of life seems to have taken flight as well. At the moment J and I are the main contacts in charge of our condo building right now as the woman who normally takes care of any maintenance, ect. is out of the country until the end of the month. So far we’ve had 2 “emergencies” crop up and then this afternoon someone broke the glass in the secure front entry door to our building.  We had to spring into action, call the police, have an emergency glass repair service come out, and advise all tenants.

While we were dealing with the police, J got a call. The condo that we are trying to purchase (in our same building, bigger unit, higher floor) has just cleared probate. It was part of an estate, and it was looking like clearing the estate was going to take foreveeeer so we had kind of resigned ourselves that the opportunity may pass (we made an offer back in July). Well, it is a go, and the executor is speaking with his lawyer tomorrow about how we can proceed. Holy shit, all of a sudden we may have a new place on our hands (that needs about $15k of renos, mind you). I’m starting to freak out a little bit about the money, even though we really should be able to manage it (our mortgage was pre-approved back when we made the offer), and it would be a great investment opportunity.

So we went from a complete standstill to taking off at top speed. Hopefully I don’t get motion sick…

Déjà vu

Standard

My period has finally arrived, 4 days late. We can only hope the next cycle is also late, or the clinic can work around my trip. That is yet to be determined. We stayed in a hotel last night because we are out of town visiting family. So not fun hotel sex. Good thing I didn’t bleed all over the immaculate white bedding. I’m relieved to get the next cycle started, but nervous about what this cycle may or may not be the beginning of.

Today, I will be attending my nieces’ joint birthday party (they were born on the same day, both by c-section. So, yes, it was intentional). I am having a sense of deja vu, because close to this time last year we were visiting my sister in law in the hospital just after she had my niece, her second daughter. This same weekend we were visiting their new baby, my period decided to show up, driving us closer and closer to beginning our journey with IUIs, and then IVF.

While we were staring down infertility treatment, my brother and sister in law had just added another child to their family and been discussing adopting two little boys. Because my sister in laws pregnancies had been very difficult, but they (she) wanted to continue to build their family, they thought adoption would be a good “solution”. I’m certain they knew nothing about adoption, how it works, and what it cost. It was just their newest fantasy, they had cooked up while enjoying their new sweet baby. But it led to me cry in a mall food court when J told me. Happy birthday to my darling nieces, the living reminders of my infertility.

The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Timing

Standard

All throughout the process of trying to conceive, naturally, through IUIs and now IVF, all I’ve really wanted was a little control. But, alas, not only do you lose your dignity being subjected to multiple wandings, pokes, prods and being treated like a science experiment, you also lose control of your entire life. Plus paying thousands of dollars for it. Fun, hey!?

So, with this upcoming transfer cycle, although I still don’t really have any control I felt as though I had overcome the major hurdle of IVF/retrieval, and the transfer would be a piece of cake. Back in May, we booked to go to Las Vegas for my friend’s wedding in October. Not knowing how our IVF cycle was going to go, we just booked it and decided we would sort it out down the road. I think we thought that we would have already managed a transfer by that time, so the biggest worry was being pregnant in Vegas. Then, I found out I would be going to Alaska for work in September, and was slightly concerned that having two trips within a month of each other might prove to be problematic.

Once I got my period after my retrieval I was able to start counting the days for the transfer. I didn’t have all of the details of the process, but I figured it should be ok. Once I got the schedule for the transfer and I started counting the days, I quickly found that Alaska would be fine. I may have been looking at starting the nasal spray (on CD21) while I’m there, but I could deal with that. Counting from my next tentative CD1 (somewhere towards the end of Sept. or beginning of Oct.), I would have to start estrogen on CD3 for 12 – 14 days after which point they would check to make sure my lining was at 8mm which is considered day “0”, then 5 days later, when my lining is in sync with the day 5 embryos, the transfer would be performed. This would put the transfer somewhere in the week of Oct. 19 – 25.

We leave for Las Vegas on Oct. 24, very early in the morning, so there wouldn’t even be a chance of transfer and then hop on a plane. We have non refundable flights, I bought show tickets for the evening we get in for J’s birthday this month, and my friend’s wedding is on the Saturday. The flights that weekend are super full so even if we could change them it would cost a small fortune. Obviously money is not the be all end all as I’ve thrown thousands at my uterus to no avail (yet), but I have a little more control over this situation. I just have to delay the transfer cycle.

Ever since the clinic gave me the protocol and I counted the tentative days I knew it was going to be tight, but do-able I figured. So long as AF cooperated. But why would she, why can’t one tiny fucking thing work in my favour!? I should have gotten my period Monday, or even yesterday (by normal standards). It is now CD29 going on 30 and she still hasn’t made an appearance. I have been feeling cramps since Saturday, and thought “ok, here we go”. And then nothing. So frustrating. I know my cycles may still be a bit jacked up from the IVF meds, and the fact that I was on birth control from February to July, which kept me fairly regular. But seriously, cut me some freakin’ slack here, Universe!

Now that my CD1 has seemingly been bumped and bumped, it is going to be near impossible to start the transfer process this cycle, barring some sort of miracle. I could cancel the trip right now, and go gung-ho at the transfer, or I could start the transfer process and wait to see if the transfer date will interfere with the trip, at which point I can either scrap the cycle, or the trip (last-minute decision). Or, I can delay by a month, take the trip, and get both things by sacrificing one more month of life to infertility. I’d rather that, than give up the trip to infertility. Maybe I’m being selfish, or silly, but I can control when I start the transfer process, so I am taking that and holding on.

I am planning on calling the clinic anyways, once CD1 arrives, just to give them the rundown of the situation and hope they have some sort of hail mary plan they can throw at it. Unless my period is exceedingly late, then it may still work after all. But it would have to be like a week late, which in an of itself causes more questions, and possibly bigger issues.

Last crazy thought rattling around in my head…the 1% of me that thinks “holy shit what if I got pregnant…naturally!” But that’s ridiculous right? Because if it hasn’t happened in two years of trying, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen in one month of not trying, coming down from all sorts of crazy IVF hormones. So mostly I am being stupid even thinking it. Plus I would be livid if that happened! Is that weird, that an infertile would be irate at getting pregnant naturally? I have babies, they’re frozen and waiting for me!

So let’s hope for a CD1 around…Sept. 6 and then let’s delay CD1 in October too, just so we can leave Vegas out of the equation…mmmk?

What Will the Future Bring?

Standard

Last week J broke down and told me he thinks he is depressed. I can’t say I was too surprised, he’s not been himself recently. Since we had that talk, he’s seemed to be doing a bit better. I think for him just saying it out loud to me and having my support and understanding has been a good step. I would be willing to admit that I would probably be categorized as depressed as well. I grew up with a first hand view of depression in my home, I know what it looks like and I have been especially vigilant in monitoring myself, for fear that the hereditary link will eventually take me into that dark place. At the moment, I can see what’s happening to myself, and most of the time I can manage, deal with the darkest times, and realize what I am feeling is situational.

I have sought counselling when I felt I didn’t have the right tools to help myself, and I have urged J to do the same. Not only has infertility affected both of us, but he is also dissatisfied at work. I have had this feeling too, but I think mine stems more from the underlying depression and general melancholy. I think his feelings may be exacerbated by our struggles, but he truly is unhappy in his work. It is a desperate seeming situation for him. But he recognizes it, and agrees that a therapist would be beneficial.

In that same vein, he is considering a new position with his company, it would be longer hours, and more stress to begin with but it is a huge opportunity for him, and really is the next step in his career. I fully believe that he can take on the role, but I fear the timing is not ideal. We had a discussion about it, and how we have so much on our plate already, this new position would probably make life more difficult for us for a while. Once again I find myself being pissed that IF is forcing us to think very carefully about an opportunity that would normally be a no-brainer. In the end I told him I fully support whatever decision he makes, but that it is just going to mean more effort at work, as well as on the home front, if he decides to pursue it.

If he were to take the position, and if I get pregnant on our first transfer, it would create a perfect little two-ish year plan, but I have no hope that the universe will let me have even that. My plans have already been derailed too many times.

I just finished a book called What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty. It deals with a woman who loses ten years of her memory, so while she is actually 39 years old, in her mind she is living everything as her 29-year-old self. She is surprised at the direction her life has taken in the 10 years she can’t recall. I know the feeling, and I still have all of my memories. Another reason I loved this book is there is a strong side story of infertility, and it is spot on. I would highly recommend it, but be forewarned, it brought up a lot of tough emotions.

I also watched the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love this weekend and while it was a little cheesy it touched on a marriage falling apart because life got in the way. Right now, although we are in the midst of turmoil, I feel extremely close to J. But I have real fears that as time goes on, we may grow complacent and  take each other for granted, or become resentful of one another as so many couples do, out of the doldrums of life, and the petty annoyances that accumulate over the years. I am cognisent of the work that is required in a marriage and try to be ever vigilant to resolve problems and nurture our relationship, but I am afraid apathy may be like a slow creeping poison that we may not realize until it’s too late.

I don’t want to invite more stress and drama into our lives, but I hope being aware of what we are taking on and still making a concerted effort in our relationship and with our self-care will keep us on a good path.

On an actual IVF note, CD1 should be tomorrow. I’ve been feeling nasty and crampy yesterday and today. Once AF arrives I’ll call the clinic to start the process for the FET though nothing happens until CD21 when I start suprefact nasal spray. At this point I really need my period to show ASAP, because based on the tentative timeline it is going to put the transfer date exceedingly close to the day we leave for Las Vegas for a friends wedding. Just one more thing to stress about.