No Rest For the Weary

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So much for getting any rest on vacation, although that’s probably too much to ask from Las Vegas. We flew in last Friday (Oct. 24) and it was a whirlwind weekend spent seeing the sights, walking the strip, and eating. Our friends got married on Saturday (Oct. 25) and it was a lovely, low key but intimate wedding. We indulged too much and slept too little. I found I was very moody all weekend. I would be having fun one minute and irritable and grouchy about something the next. I had a little fit the morning we were leaving for Vegas because I couldn’t find my phone. I would get hungry and tired during the day and it made me crabby. I still had a good time but I was having a hard time controlling my mood swings.

I stopped my suprefact last Tuesday and the nurse told me my next period should start a week or two after stopping the meds. I hoped it would come sooner rather than later so we could make our next plan. I woke up Saturday morning in Vegas to find my period had started, the day after we had arrived. I had been feeling sort of off ever since I stopped the suprefact, and more than likely due to the fact that my hormones went on a bender after the suprefact stopped suppressing everything. I was surprised and a little bit annoyed at getting my period so early. So much for any fun hotel romps.

I also realised that I needed to call the clinic and advise them of CD1. Needless to say I wracked up some long distance while I was away. Once I called the clinic and left my info on the IVF message line I counted the days and noted that my CD3 was going to be Monday, and we weren’t due to arrive back until just before midnight on Monday night/Tuesday morning. I told the nurse my predicament when she called me back and she said she would talk to Dr. M and if it was going to be a problem she would let me know. They wanted to check my lining and my cyst to see that I a) did indeed shed all or at least a majority of my lining and b) to see if the cyst was gone. From there we could determine the new plan of action.

So after a long weekend in Vegas, and a late flight home I got about 4 hours of sleep Monday night before I had to get up to be at the clinic for 7am Tuesday morning. I was the 4th person to be monitored so I had to wait a little but not too long. When I went back the monitoring doctor looked at my chart to see what it was he was to be checking for. I don’t like this doctor, I may have mentioned him before, he’s retired but still just does the monitoring ultrasounds. He just irks me for some reason. Anyways, moving on; he checked my lining and it was looking good and thin beside a bit of blood that was still being shed. Then he moved to my left ovary, all quiet and over to the right. The cyst was still there, and not diminished in size. Fuck.

He made some measurements printed them out, and when he was done he told me I could return to my change room and the nurse would be with me shortly. The change rooms are open on the top and the bottom, and the nurses station is maybe 10 feet away so I could plainly hear them talking when I was getting redressed. The doctor was telling the nurse the cyst was still there, and she was discussing the fact that my doctor (Dr. M) had suggested a natural cycle, but that it may not be possible due to the cyst.

I was put in one of the other exam rooms so that the nurse could come and discuss the next steps with me. This was becoming a bad habit, being the special case who gets put away in a room for further instruction. I waited probably around 15 minutes, as the nurse was finishing with the other patients still waiting for ultrasounds. The wait was painful, I was exhausted and felt kind of ill because I had been chugging water on the way to the appointment in anticipation I would need to do bloodwork as well (I have slim veins that get smaller when I am dehydrated), only to not have any bloodwork after all. (I am now wondering if that was an oversight, you’d think they would have wanted my estrogen levels…). When the nurse finally came in, she sort of seemed at a loss for words, tsk-ing and shaking her head. She told me that Dr. M had left me two choices; either to do a natural cycle (if the cyst was gone) or try a medicated cycle, possibly with different meds. But, she said it would not make sense to do a natural cycle with the cyst interferring, and she wasn’t sure what Dr. M’s plan of action would be for a medicated cycle, again because of the cyst.

I need to redo my SHG, because my clinic needs an updated one every 6 months (and me being an eager beaver did mine back in May when we decided to pursue IVF, in August) so the nurse booked me for an SHG on Sunday (as in today, now) and she said her and Dr. M will discuss “what to do with me”. Great, that sounds really hopeful. So not only do I get to have my uterus accosted (again) I may very well be getting the bad news that they are going to delay me another cycle, and surgically remove my asshole cyst. To be honest I sort of hope I don’t have to do a natural cycle because I believe it would probably end up requiring more monitoring, and more stress due to the fact that we would be relying on my body to do it’s job, correctly and in a timely fashion (yeah, right). We’ll see how that all plays out.

Besides dealing with the unknown of our next transfer cycle, we’ve spent the rest of the week continuing renovation on our new place. After a long days at work, it was evenings spent working on paint, and flooring, trying to reassemble everything so we can move soon, as our new tenants take possession Nov. 15. I am utterly exhausted, both physically and mentally.

Occasionally I have a feeling of heavy, deep sadness for all the time lost, and burden carried. When we were shopping in Vegas I had a moment of pain as I had previously thought we would be pregnant by the time we were on that trip. Before we found out we weren’t doing a fresh transfer, I had hope that we would even know the gender of our baby by the time we went to Vegas (I am planning on doing early genetic and gender testing) and that I might be able to purchase a few baby items. I think it was lurking in my subconscience and sprung on me when I realised what I wouldn’t be buying that trip.

Having said all of that, I am feeling eerily calm (about the uncertainty of our cycle at least). I didn’t flip out when they cancelled my cycle, I didn’t have a breakdown with my untimely period, I didn’t cry at my bad news monitoring appointments. I don’t know why, because I am certainly frustrated that nothing is working according to plan, that it is further and further delaying our transfer. Our imaginary due date keeps getting bumped ever forward. I mostly feel ambivalent, which is weird.

Here’s hoping for some good news today, though I won’t hold my breath.

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Bend and Not Break

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The past few weeks have been very difficult, and that’s saying a lot given what we’ve been through this year (and the past two years). We’ve been trying to find a renter for our condo since we just bought a new one. The thought of carrying two mortgages is a terrifying prospect and it’s been making J and I miserable. We have been stressed out about the money, that maybe we made a bad decision in doing this, all manner of negative thoughts. We initially thought “oh, this’ll be easy, we live in a desirable area, vacancy rates are at an all time low, and our place is beautiful.” Well yes, all of those things are true but trying to rent this time of year is statistically the worst. Maybe we were just being impatient but we started to panic a little. We dropped the rent once…and then again. It’s been pure torture. But this past weekend we finally found someone, they seem like an awesome couple. Although we are getting a bit less rent than we hoped, they only wanted a 6 month lease and then month to month after that so it gives us the opportunity to re-rent our place in the peak time of summer, or fall when university goes back (we live a few blocks from our city’s uni). I was so ecstatic after we signed the lease and got cheques from her. One less thing to worry about just before we leave for Las Vegas.

Last week we were still interviewing prospective tenants, ordering flooring for our new place, trying to find a painter that could start ASAP plus J and I have both been rather busy with work. We have so much going on and with the stress of this rental, and our FET cycle not cooperating, some days I’ve felt as though I am at my wit’s end, and can’t take anymore. But I always wonder, what would that actually look like? Would I cry, scream, go catatonic? I could do any one of those things, momentarily, but then I would pull myself together and go about my regular business. It would be a release but not a total mental breakdown. Some days I just don’t want to get out of bed, but I do, because I have obligations. No matter how sad, frustrated, depressed I have been I don’t completely fall apart*.

It’s a bit scary to wonder what it would take to truly hit that breaking point, and what that would look like. I truly hope I never find out, but what I have found is the depth of my strength is deeper than I could have imagined.

I’ve had to draw on that strength as we found out yesterday that our cycle is officially cancelled. My lining had thinned very minimally since my ultrasound last week, my cyst had doubled in size to 25mm, and my estrogen levels were way too high. Ultimately I wasn’t responding properly to my suprefact, and not being down reg-ed sufficiently. I stopped all meds yesterday, and am to call the clinic upon the start of my next CD1. They will be monitoring me more closely, and possibly changing up my protocol to make sure the same doesn’t happen again. They will check me on CD3 to see that the cyst has resolved itself (if not, it will have to be surgically removed, and that’s a whole other ball of wax), make sure my lining is thinned and I also have to redo my SHG as it will be more than 6 months from my last one.

There is a plan moving forward, which is all good and well except for a few small items. Based on my tentative upcoming cycle dates I would be looking at a transfer right around Christmas (if everything goes smoothly). This is not a total disaster as the clinic has skeleton staff for just such circumstances. The bigger issue is we are supposed to be in the mountains with J’s family for Christmas (about 4 hrs drive from where we live). If we had to cancel, we would have to tell them why. Which would mean we would also have to tell my mom as we would then be attending Christmas with my family instead. I know this doesn’t seem like the be-all and end-all, but I don’t want to tell them, and if we were to tell them I would want it to be on my terms, not because we have to break plans. But obviously if it comes down to it, I will do what I have to.

The bigger problem comes if my cycles are long, as they have been recently. This could then potentially push our transfer into the beginning of January. We leave for Hawaii on Jan. 1 and don’t come back until Jan. 13, effectively ruining any transfer cycle that falls in that time. As was the case of our Vegas trip, I could try and shift the Hawaii trip around to fit the FET schedule, but again we will not give up even more to infertility, besides time I suppose. So there is a possibility that we may not be able to start the transfer process until after we are back, putting a tentative transfer in late February or early March. I didn’t think I would see my next birthday (in Feb.) before even having attempted a transfer. It would mark 1 year since our last failed IUI. We’re so close, yet so far at this point.

I’m disappointed and sad, but for some reason I don’t feel as devastated as I thought I would and I don’t really know why. It’s pretty awful, and upsetting but I just haven’t really reacted all that much. I guess I am taking the unexpected hits from infertility better now… I am sort of just waiting for the other shoe to drop and have a breakdown or something, like I did when I thought my IVF cycle was cancelled. I guess because I know it’s not a failure, it’s just a delay. A really shitty delay, but it’s not costing me any embryos. Knowing that I have them gives me some semblance of peace I think. Maybe I’m just more malleable now, less rigid and expecting things to go just as planned. I have to be able to bend and not break.

*I know this is not always the case for everyone, especially those who suffer with depression due to chemical imbalances, not situational depression which I experience.