Friday, December 31, 2010

At Last, 2010 in Re(ar)view

My first instinct is to say "... and good riddance!" but I have to admit that we learned a lot from this past year. There was a lot of SUCK in 2010, but there was a lot of love too.
  • We are both gainfully employed, and even had a good year financially.
  • I got to see BFF(H), which doesn't happen nearly as often as I'd like.
  • I discovered the incredible IF community support, first on Twitter and then here in Blogland, without which I would certainly have run screaming mad months ago. Love y'all. Seriously.
  • All of our parental units are safe and healthy, and we got to spend time with them.
  • We are knocking out our debts one by one.
  • Given all that we've been through, the Professor and I are in a good place in our relationship. We haven't suffered in that respect due to this IF journey.
I would like to think that starting 2010 with the news that the pregnancy wasn't viable was an omen for the year to come, and this year is getting a better start already. I guess that's the silver lining to not being pregnant right now... I can't possibly start this New Year with a miscarriage!

I don't do resolutions, never have and I won't start now. We haven't cycled since September (wow - that's hard to wrap my mind around), and at this point it looks like it will be late January before we get another shot. I have been strangely at peace with this whole situation for a while now. I am doing what I can on the most efficient time line I can manage, and that needs to be enough. I need to stop dwelling on obstacles and failures, and focus on Life.

I would like to think of 2011 as the Year of Letting Go. Whatever your hopes are for this New Year, my hope for you is a spirit of peace with whatever your future holds. I know that is my hope for myself.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Wish for You

My Mom is in town for the holidays, and Prof's family will be arriving shortly, so I won't be around much for a while, my dear interwebs. I am so glad to get some time off work, and some time with at least a handful of my loved ones.

I hope you all find some peace for yourselves during what is undeniably a difficult time for us all, and may the New Year be better than the last.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Infertile Wonderland (or more WHY?)

I'm so weary.

I find myself wondering why I am continuing to push myself so hard (both physically and emotionally) to get knocked up. Why am I so single-minded in this pursuit?

Do I really want my husband's baby this much? Or am I just unwilling to admit there is something I can't do? I've spent so much of my life being told by people who love me that I shouldn't give up on some endeavor or other just because I was struggling, just because it was hard, just because I didn't see instant success. Always kinda made me feel like they thought I was being a quitter. Nobody likes a quitter, right?

Don't give up.

Keep trying.

You can do anything you set your mind to.

Have I reached the point that I'm just doing this to prove that I can? And to whom am I proving this... myself, the Professor, our families (who don't even know we're trying), the world at large? I don't know the answer to that, and I'm not sure I want to. But I do know that we haven't yet exhausted our options or our resources. We haven't tried everything we can. And I know that I don't want to look back in 10 to 20 years and regret not trying every possible option. So we continue... as soon as we get the all clear in January.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tis the Season

I've already shared my feelings on this time of year, and none of that has changed, but this has been a particularly difficult Christmas season. I can't quite put my finger on why this is. I'm hoping that writing things out will help me clarify things and maybe that will help me get past it.

Oddly enough, my gloom doesn't SEEM to have anything to do with the absence of offspring in my home. That is a fairly persistent, dare I say, permanent gloom. A not-so-low-level hum of sadness that rests like a wet blanket on my everyday life. But I'm not really dwelling on that any MORE than I was last month, or the month before.

So why does the pile of yet-to-be-wrapped gifts on the dining room table cause me to break into tears? (Actually, this one I know. Those gifts don't seem nice enough, creative enough, just plain good enough for the lovely people I bought them for. And that breaks my heart) Why can't I seem to get off the couch to put ornaments on the tree that Prof so sweetly set up and strung with lights? Why does the thought of the cookies and other treats I still need to bake cause my stomach to turn? Why haven't I been able to sign our names to the Christmas cards and put stamps on them?

I don't know what (if any) relationship there is, but I do know I have been feeling much less confident and competent for the last few months. I've spent two years now doing everything I know to do in an attempt to bring our child into the world, with no success and no explanation of why nothing has worked. I have failed at the most basic, biological level. I know this won't be a surprise to any of you IF'ers, but this fundamental failure is coloring my perception of every other aspect of my life. Clue #1.


If you back up a few lines, there's Clue #2. Two years. In 10 days, we will hit the anniversary of our one and only BFP, our one and only glimmer of hope that we might ever see success. In just over two weeks, we will mark the two year anniversary of throwing away the BCPs. And the one year anniversary of learning that our BFP wouldn't last. In just over a month, we will be at the one year anniversary of the miscarriage that ended that lone BFP.

That's a lot of weight for a festive season to bear.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Woke Up!

Obviously, or you wouldn't be reading this!

A big warm fuzzy hug to all of my Twitter girls who checked in on me throughout the day yesterday! That was so heartwarming - thank you all!

The hysteroscopy is done and dusted. The pre-op nurse thought I was so very funny because of the expression on my face when she went to insert the IV. I didn't see any humor there.

I admit, I don't cope well with the pre-op experience. I have some pretty deep seated fears of the anesthesia. I am terrified of not being in control of my body, and equally concerned about the possibility of not waking up (though that, at least, would be painless). So there I am struggling just to stay in the chair, and not pull out the IV and break for the door, and I have to be interviewed by every freaking member of the surgical team in turn without breaking into tears (because they really don't like that). It was exhausting.

I remember laying down on the table and getting hooked up to the monitors, then my RE poking his head in and asking me to confirm my identity. Then nothing until I woke up in recovery freezing cold and shaking and with a damn painful need to pee. Turns out I can't perform on a bedpan... it's a toilet or nothing for this girl. I was in a fair bit of pain in recovery, so they gave me a perc.ocet with my ginger ale and I haven't had any pain since. I did not puke this time! Small victories.

I slept on and off for the rest of the day. Every time I tried to sit up for more than a few minutes, or eat something, I got nauseated.  Professor very kindly went out in search of cookies during the evening, when that was the only thought my stomach didn't rebel at. I eventually managed some chicken noodle soup and crackers with my ginger ale, and this morning I felt back to normal. Yay!

I got to take home three large, glossy photos of my polyp. It turned out to be just one, but it was long and twisty. The RE said it was a little bit bigger than expected (though still very small) and he had to use a different tool than usual to remove it, but he was happy with the end result. I did get a really flattering and surprisingly comfortable pair of soft, stretchy boy shorts to wear home. When did hospital undies get so fashion conscious?

Questions I asked before they put me out, that I do remember the answers to:

How long should I expect to bleed? 
Light spotting for 2-14 days, everyone is different.

When can we have sex?
No penetration till after the post-op appointment on January 6.

When can we cycle again? 
As expected, this depends on when I get my next period. And what I didn't realize, is that when you go under general anesthesia, your cycle can reset itself. There's no way of knowing where you are in your cycle when you wake up. So this is a wait-&-see situation.

Does the cervical manipulation involved increase the likelihood that I could need a rescue cerclage in a subsequent pregnancy?
 My RE doesn't think so.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More Food for Thought (Updated)

We attended the IVF orientation session at our clinic last Tuesday.

Just in case.

There were maybe 10-12 couples there (including a sister who was there doing donor egg). I was surprised at first, but then I realized that they probably schedule the sessions so far apart deliberately to get a larger crowd. It could get REALLY awkward with a much smaller group. The crowd was basically a bunch of couples just like us, give or take a couple of years either direction. Most of them looked a lot more stressed than I felt. The presenter was my own RE, who I had not realized just happens to be the director of IVF services for our clinic.


We toured the facility - and frankly didn't see anything we haven't already seen with our IUIs, but it was clearly new to many of the other couples. I guess some people do go straight to IVF without the extensive IUI tour we endured.

Judging from the questions that came out during the Q&A portion, a lot of the presentation was new info for some of those folks. Not surprisingly, my exposure to this community has given me an excellent window into what IVF is really all about. Prof did pick up some new knowledge, and then there was the financial portion of the talk.

Our clinic has their own IVF Refund Program. Pay for two IVF cycles up front (at $7,500 each - not including meds and a few other ancillary fees) get up to three fresh and three frozen cycles. If no take-home baby, get a 75% refund or 85% credit toward a donor egg cycle. Seems awfully tempting, but we don't even know how we'll scrape together the cash for one cycle up front, much less two.

*UPDATED: Sorry if that last bit was a little confusing! Didn't occur to me that my readers outside the US might not be familiar with the shared risk pricing scheme. Basically, the patient agrees to pay for two full cycles in advance and the RE agrees to provide UP TO 3 fresh/3 frozen cycles for that payment. The only way the patient gets money back is if they don't take home a baby after all cycles are complete. The patient is basically betting on the prospect of needing at least two cycles, and the RE is betting on the prospect of only needing one. To my way of thinking, this gives the RE an incentive to get the job done. The factor that makes this such a good deal in my eyes is that the pricing structure at my RE is so much less than the national average, that two cycles cost about the same as one at many other clinics.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Scheduled for Friday afternoon. I call in Thursday afternoon to get the exact time. No food after midnight Thursday, so I'm gonna be REALLY hungry.

Wondering what to expect afterward. How long will I bleed? How much will I hurt and for how long? When we can have Relations again? When can we cycle again?

What questions am I forgetting to ask?