Monthly Archives: April 2014

What does strength look like?

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I feel stronger. Slightly. Maybe not but I should feel a little more badass after reading this. Thank you!

A Calm Persistence

You know, after a text conversation with a friend and then today one of my fellow IF bloggers emailed me, I started to reflect about strength- I haven’t been feeling very strong lately. Am I strong?

What does strength really look like in the midst of infertility? So, here’s my take on it:

Strength….

  • is trying just one more time when all logic tells you to quit..
  • it is trusting yourself that you are doing everything you can…
  •  it is injecting yourself with a needle or allowing your better half to do it..
  • it’s finding that place on your stomach or butt where there isn’t a bruise to inject just one more time…
  • it is giving yourself a trigger shot in a bathroom stall..
  • it is tolerating someone who complains about their children or being a parent…
  • it’s not actually taking a child when their parent jokingly says, “You can…

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I am 1 in 8

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Infertility, why me?


NIAW2014

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Be part of the infertility movement, learn more about infertility. Resolve to know more. Knowledge is power!! Infertility is more common than you may think, one in 8 couples you know struggle with infertility. I am 1 in 8.

Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. One third (30%) of infertility can be attributed to male factor (like us), and about one third (30% can be attributed to female factors. In about 20% of cases infertility is unexplained, and the remaining 10% of infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners.

I found this article on RESOLVE’s website, and thought it was really good….so I wanted to share. It’s a list of “Top 10 things I learned about Infertility” (from a retiring volunteer support group leader):

  1. Infertility is linear…you don’t know how you’re going feel about any treatment…

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Bye, bye Birdie.

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Yesterday we had our second “viability” ultrasound. There was no heartbeat. The baby had not grown from 6 weeks, 4 days, in fact, it got smaller to 6 weeks and 1 or 2 days.

I stopped all meds… No more heparin, no more progesterone. We’re assuming the septum is the cause of the demise, but no one can really say for sure. Little Poult didn’t even have a fighting chance.

Of course I was given the option of letting it pass naturally or having a D&C. The only reason for doing a D&C is so they can “test the product.” For now, I’m choosing things to happen on their own time. I haven’t started bleeding yet, but based on the way I feel, I’m sure it’s coming soon.

As I type this, I’m at a loss for words. There’s so much to say and yet, nothing at all. Upset and devastated just aren’t strong enough. Where do we go from here? Talk of another septum resection surgery… freezing my eggs until we have a surrogate… getting a vasectomy…

How did I even get here?

When did I become someone who couldn’t give my husband the most basic, primal thing? When did I stop wanting to try again? What the hell is this feeling? Is this postpartum? How did I climb out of this hole three times before? How did I become an unpregnant pregnant woman? How did I become a mother to no one? Why are there no answers? How the fuck did I become someone who has another dead baby inside of them?

Tomorrow’s my 34th birthday. When my best friend and I were talking on Tuesday, she asked how I was going to spend my birthday. I told her, “I just want to spend the day pregnant.” I should have amended that and said that I wanted to spend the day pregnant with a live baby. Stupid me.

I don’t know where I go from here… I am going off of Facebook. I can’t handle another ultrasound/pregnant belly/first birthday/here’s my sick kid/Easter picture. I don’t want to work because some pregnant woman might come in. I might have to help yet another mom figure out the perfect shade of baby blue for the nursery. I might have to design a nursery or a kids room. I don’t want to read blogs anymore. I can’t hear about dead babies and potential pregnancies anymore. We try, and try, and for what? This? This, my friends, is shit.

I’m just going to have to do what I can do. Cry, sleep and wait.

 

 

Protect Against the Hungry Ghosts

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33path

As I started to meditate on what I should write about this week, the word “pain” rang loud and clear in my mind. I wrote the word down so I would not forget it. I was about to reenter my meditation when I remembered that I needed to check my email. Checking email is typically frowned upon during meditation. However, this time it revealed some guidance. My inbox had an email from Sue Fredrick with a link to a radio interview she had just completed. Sue is the premier intuitive coach and best-selling author of three books (I See Your Dream Job, I See Your Soulmate, and Bridges to Heaven). The interview was about healing from grief and pain. My guiding angels were being very clear. Write about pain, check your email, and listen to Sue’s interview. I delayed my meditation so I could listen to Sue’s interview and receive…

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My Modern Guide to Miscarriage Etiquette

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The Incredible Miscarriage Woman

It’s getting to the point where I need to tell people about what happened.

I told my family on Monday.  Himself told his folks today.

My friends, however, are another story.  Some are wonderful.  Some aren’t – not because they don’t care but just because miscarriage is such dangerous emotional territory.  Anything to do with death is tricky but miscarriage is such an intangible type of bereavement.

So why tell people?

With each successive pregnancy and miscarriage, we’ve told fewer and fewer people (except when drunk). Fourth time round, I can’t bear the burden of keeping my loss a secret.  It’s going to be a while before I can put on my armour and face the world again.  I’m incapable of putting on a brave face anymore.  I feel vulnerable and isolated and I desperately need some support.  If I could surgically attach myself to Himself right now, I probably…

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Pregnant Woman Jealous of Pregnant Women

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So much has happened in this past week… I’ll try to recap briefly…

– Last Tuesday (4-8-14), a week ago, we had our first ultrasound. We saw a heartbeat! A sweet, little blip and a heartbeat! The baby was on the upper right side of my uterus and there was no way of knowing if it attached to my septum (fatal) or if it was attached to the side of the uterus. The heartbeat was not as fast as my doctor would have liked, but the ultrasound technician said that she believed the heart just started beating 8-12 hours before. My progesterone wasn’t going up the way my ob would have liked, so we switched from 300mg of progesterone to 600mg. I now am taking one pill twice daily and one suppository twice daily–MUCH more comfortable.

– On 4-9-14 my ob’s nurse called me and told me my HcG levels… This would have been from the blood draw on the 8th. They were 19,075. She said they weren’t doubling like my doctor wanted and that I would miscarry. Not might. Not maybe. Would. I was a little stunned, only because my husband and I were shooting for 19,000 because of what we have read online. Your levels don’t double after they get above 6,000. They start doubling every 96+ hours. Color me confused. I told her this, and she said, “No… I’m sorry. They aren’t doubling.” What. The. Hell. So I called my reproductive endocrinologist and spoke with the nurse. She said, “I don’t know whey they’re checking your levels every 48 hours… After we have a heartbeat and your levels are above 6,000, we stop checking the levels because they don’t matter.” I was heart broken. I didn’t know what to think of believe. After talking to my husband, we decided to disregard what my ob said and carry on as normal. P.S. The ob told me to stay on all meds… including heparin. If she really believed I was going to miscarry, why stay on heparin? P.P.S My best friend had her baby. Yeah!

– On 4-10-14 I had my levels drawn again and my ob’s office called me on the 11th. HcG was at 24,416… The number was what my husband and I were looking for. The nurse said, “Your numbers are still going up, but you will miscarry. If you start bleeding more than a pad an hour, go to the emergency room. If you pass anything larger than a plum, go to the emergency room.” Heart crushed again… My numbers were going up… and I’m not bleeding… why are you saying this??? I called my RE’s office again… The poor nurse there said, “I don’t know why they’re putting you through this…” That makes two of us. I told her that we all know how this can/could/might end, but if my numbers are up, why are they saying this? The RE’s nurse said, “There are only two ways of confirming that you are having a miscarriage… If you no longer have a heartbeat or if you’re bleeding. I sent texts to my husband saying that I wanted a new doctor and that they were just upsetting and confusing me by saying these things. He told me to find a new doctor and to not talk to my doctor’s office. Well. That’s a little difficult to do on such short notice… AND, I was still told to stay on all meds, including heparin.

– On 4-12 and 4-14 I had more blood levels drawn, but I do not know the results of them yet. I anticipate a call from my ob’s office later today. I don’t know if I will answer the phone. My husband and I had discussed just not getting the HcG numbers from the doctor’s office if the RE’s office puts no stock in the numbers anyway. All they do is depress me. I still feel ok. Only mild cramping some of the time (uterus stetching?). I’m still taking folic acid, prenatal vitamins, 600mgs of progesterone and heparin twice daily. I was 7 weeks as of 4-12.

– On 4-17 we have our second “viability” ultrasound. I don’t know what to anticipate. Obviously, I know that I want to see a faster heartbeat. I want to see a baby at 7 weeks and 5 days. I want my HcG levels to have gone up (at least a little). I don’t want to see the ultrasound tech’s face if she can’t see a heartbeat. I don’t want to see my husband’s face if there isn’t a heartbeat. I don’t want to feel my chest crush beneath me if there’s no heartbeat.

We all know how this still can end. No one knows the outcome.

I have found myself jealous of pregnant women. Like, vehemently jealous/angry. I have come across no less than a dozen pregnant women and I still find myself going, “Why not me…? Oh yeah, I’m pregnant.” No, I didn’t forget that I was pregnant, I simply realized that I probably won’t get to the point they are at. I told my husband this, and he said, “But you don’t know their struggle. Maybe they had miscarriages, too. Maybe those are their miracle babies.” Ahh. I can’t be angry at someone for being pregnant. I am pregnant. What the Hell is my problem.

I’m scared for the future. Every day is a blessing/struggle/hurdle. Every bathroom visit is a gift from God when I don’t see blood (I only swipe once for fear that if I swipe twice, I might see blood.) Every morning that I wake up and I’m not laying in a pool of blood is wonderful. I’m literally taking it day by day, minute by minute.

 

 

Still

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A short recap/update:

Here are the levels again (two new ones added):

 

March 24th: HcG was 430, Progesterone 16.61

March 26th: HcG was 1,066, Progesterone 16.16 (it went down?! After googling this, apparently this does fluctuate)

March 31st: HcG was 3,795, Progesterone 20

April 2nd: HcG was 6880, Progesterone 18 (down again)

April 4th: HcG was 9254, Progesterone 14 (down even further)

April 6th: Still waiting on results. Went to the immediate care to get blood work done. They want every 48 hours, no matter what.

 

When I talked to the doctor on Saturday the 5th, they wanted me to stay on heparin and triple my dosage of progesterone. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

A couple of things about progesterone:

I started taking it three days after I ovulated, just like my RE wanted me to. Once I had a positive pregnancy test, I was supposed to stay on it. If I had a negative test, I was supposed to get off of it and wait for my period. During this time frame, when I was taking the progesterone I discovered last month, when I was pregnant, the progesterone didn’t give me any side effects. I didn’t have the extreme cramping that I had in prior months. Conclusion: If I took the progesterone and I was cramping super bad, I wasn’t pregnant. If I didn’t have cramping, I was pregnant. Good to know.

What the doctor/nurses have failed to tell me is that if you’re taking suppositories, you HAVE to clean it out at least once a day. I found this out the hard way, after they wanted me to double my progesterone. I just kept putting it in, thinking that’s what I was supposed to do. Yeah. Imagine the build up. I was so swollen and sore a few days ago, so painful. My husband had to help “clean me out” because I couldn’t bare to do it. I felt so much better once everything was out. So, now that I’m on a triple dose, it’s triple the fun. I’m alternating between Crinone (the gel) and the Endometrin (the suppositories). I seem to do better with the gel (it seems to absorb much better), but for some reason the doctor wants me on suppositories only (which is 6 suppositories a day!). I’m so far beyond uncomfortable. I can’t have sex with my husband because I’m so swollen, sore and uncomfortable.

Tomorrow we have our first ultrasound. I’m so terrified. If I’m really 7 weeks, we should be able to see Baby Poult; we should be able to hear the heartbeat. I’m going to talk to the doctor about getting oral progesterone or getting shots. Or a combination of pills, shots and suppositories. My vagina can’t take too much more right now.

Going back to past pregnancies… The second baby made it to day 51… the third baby made it to day 45. Today is day 51. If I make it through the day, this will be my second longest pregnancy (the first one went to 12 weeks). My doctor was fine with my HcG levels for this pregnancy; they’re so much higher than past pregnancies… I’m worried about my progesterone, though. The fact that it’s going down is definitely not a good sign. I’m so worried and scared. The longer I’m pregnant the more chance I risk of having to have surgery if I do miscarry. I’m trying not to think about that, but obviously that thought never goes away. I’m so happy that the pregnancy has lasted this long. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully the numbers are good. Hopefully there’s a baby with a yolk sac hanging out in my uterus, comfy and cozy.

April 13th I should have been baby #2’s one year birthday. My best friend is due to give birth any minute. Life is so ironic.