Tomorrow

I’m all set for tomorrow – physically anyway. I’ve filled my script for percoset, antibiotics and pherengan (which is spelled wrong and I can’t be assed to look it up). The last drug is an anti-nausea anal suppository which I will not be using. Wanna know why? Because the last time I used it (when I was in the hospital for preterm labor) I vomited! I have the Always maxi pads (with WINGS!!) and 10 xanax. I have not used maxi pads since I was 15. Cannot wait!

We go in at 10:15 to give blood – pre op and karotype on both me and my husband. The procedure is scheduled for 12pm. I’ll probably get hooked up to an IV with fluids and that is when I’ll beg for the valium. They will give it to me – nobody wants to deny psychological pain relief to a woman who has just had a pregnancy loss.

So, I’ve been loading up on oral progesterone – to the point where I am walking around feeling high as a kite – kinda like I took 10 valium. So far I’ve had only a few cramping episodes but I’m all too aware that my body is trying to rid itself of its inhabitant. I’ve been waking up every morning and having to remind myself that something has changed – that I’m not pregnant anymore. It reminds me of the times when I have lost my grandparents – waking up is just proving to be a rude reminder that all is not well…and that things aren’t the way they used to be.

I had a friend say to me “well at least it was early”….and I know he meant well but it pissed me off. This pregnancy loss represents 1 year of trying, around 50K dollars, probably over 50 blood draws, 25 ultrasounds, 3 egg retrievals, countless hopes, dreams and now tears. It isn’t just a mass of cells that I will expel – it had eyes, the beginning of arms and legs, a heart that was beating! This was going to be my child. So please, if you are reading this and you are my friend IRL – don’t try to make me feel better by minimizing this. It will only piss me off and I’ll say something rather nasty.

I’ve mentioned that I am a member of an IVF board – where all sorts of women meet to offer support and knowledge about their journeys with infertility… So many women on this board have had such horrible struggles – the kind of thing that is just imaginable. Some can’t even bear to read posts where the word pregnancy or baby are mentioned. Some are bitter and even claim to hate fertiles for taunting them with their pregnant bellies. I never could understand that, really. I swore I’d never feel bitterness toward a pregnant woman or saddened by the sight of a newborn…until this happened. As soon as I walked out of the RE’s office on Friday I saw pregnant women everywhere – and little babies in strollers, being held by their fathers. I swear it – I must have seen about 6 of them in between the office and my car…and then I finally understood. I felt angry and bitter and pissed off…at people I don’t even know.

Ah well – tonight I am taking my wee son to meet Santa Claus…and then I will stay awake until midnight drinking glass after glass of water….because there is nothing worse than a mid day operation. I’ll be thirsty and starving all morning, dammit all.

One thing – I pray to God that this embryo is abnormal…because if it is normal then it is going to open up a whole new world of hurt and worry for me.

Advertisements

….and that was that.

I met with my RE today…when I called them yesterday to tell them about the scan at the hospital they decided that waiting til Monday would be a bad idea.

At this practice ultrasound technicians perform all the scans and the doctor is never present (which is a first for me). This particular technician is a nice woman but doesn’t like to get into the details – which, to be honest, annoys the hell out of me. I suppose she is just doing her job and would probably get in a bit of trouble for sharing the information with me ahead of my meeting with the doctor….but come on. I knew better than to quiz her so I asked only one question ” does it still have a heartbeat?” and she said, “I don’t think so, I’m sorry”. (“I don’t think so” – WTF?) Before the doctor came in to meet with me I started crying. I couldn’t help myself. It really pissed me off – the last thing I wanted to do is sit and cry in front of my doctor. Luckily I found a great little trick – if you are ever in a situation where you need to dry the tears up quickly just dig your fingernails into the palm of your hand. Works like a charm.

So….I’m no longer in limbo. A D&C is booked for Monday. I feel sad but relieved. The stress of wondering, waiting, hoping against hope was getting to me. My body is already indicating that something is not right – I’m starting to have light cramping. I just hope and pray that I don’t miscarry before Monday as that would not only be very unpleasant but I need the embryo to be tested. I want to know if it was a boy or a girl – and I want to information about its chromosomes.

Right now I feel worse for my husband. He is taking it hard. I think he is surprised by his reaction. But I suppose I’m not. We both got our hopes up. We sorted through Alex’s baby clothes, we decided where the baby would sleep, the nuchal scan was booked, we were in discussions about finding out the sex….we told all our friends….we contemplated and began loving something as much as we love our son…..but what we didn’t do is expect a result like this. And for good reason – gestational sac problems are not common. Only 1.9% of pregnancies will end with this result. I’m sad for us but I am even more sad for our son. He is such a good, happy, social boy and he deserves to have a brother or sister. The thought of him as an only child breaks my heart. And so….we’ll begin treatments again as soon as my body is back to normal.

I won’t give up – at least not now..

IVF #4

While I wait to pee on a stick…perhaps now is a good time to tell you about failures 4, 5 and 6!  Because I cannot wait to spread the cheer!

IVF #4 started in late April – just after my 40th birthday.  About a year previous, when I was 9 months post partum, our RE recommended that we begin IVF asap.  We were in the middle of a move to another city (Atlanta) and the timing was not great.  We did a number of tests to ensure that my FSH was still low (and indicator or ovarian reserve) and was told that the number was around 7.  My highest reading to date by then had been 5 but anything under 10 is considered normal.  We figured a few more months wouldn’t hurt and we’d definitely need time to get settled in our new town before adding another pregnancy/child.  Nevermind the fact that we added a labrador retriever puppy to the mix – (I had no idea that a dog could be more work than a baby but I, um, know that now!)

We agreed in April to begin treatments with an RE in Atlanta who formerly practiced at Cornell (the number 2 clinic in the nation).  Dr. S is a nice guy – young, matter of fact.  He changed around my meds – which, in hindsight, I should have questioned.  So much of this process is a crap shoot and the medication protocol is by far the most important factor, in my opinion.  We went from a tried and true protocol to the crash and burn protocol.  I had 13 follicles with 5 eggs in them.  Of those 5 eggs, only 3 of them fertilized.  We put all of them back in on day 2.  Normally IVFers will put the embryos back in the uterus on day 3 – and if they are growing well and there is a large enough quantity of embryos – waiting until day 5 (blastocyst cycle).  Our RE called us the day after our fertilization report on Day 1 and said that based on the look of the embryos, he wanted to get them in sooner rather than later.  This concerned me.

On the day of embryo transfer I was given a percoset and told to arrive with a full bladder.  I was very excited when I entered the room where they tranfer the embryos to see a large digital photo of our three embryos.  They all looked good to me – even number of cells, little fragmentation – they looked perfect, in fact.  When I quizzed the embryologist he told me that “it doesn’t get better than this”.  The embryos were transferred and I went home to rest.  My mother was visiting and helped a great deal with my son – I was instructed not to pick him up for 2 weeks which is almost an impossible feat.  I was convinced that the cycle did not work – no symptoms other than feeling extremely exhausted (but that was likely the cause of the massive amounts of progesterone I was injecting into my body).  Around 9 days past ovulation I was eating a salad.  I took a bite of onion and suddenly felt the urge to vomit, I was cold and clammy and nearly fainted.  C looked at me wide eyed and said, “well, this is a good sign”.  He was right – the next day I took a test and it was positive.  Suddenly I started to feel every symptom – I was tired, cranky, blue veins all over my breasts, crazy dreams, hot flashes….  The next day every symptom was gone.  I rushed in to the doctor’s office for an early blood test.  Two hours later I got a call telling me that my beta level was 50.  I was definitely pregnant.  Exactly (and I do not exaggerate) 30 seconds later I started to bleed…and I mean bleed.

30 seconds of happiness and hope!  That was all this cycle could give me.  The next few days I spent in bed, hoping that the bleeding would stop.  I had another blood test a day later and…the level of HCG was going down.  A chemical pregnancy.  Something implanted and then died.  Probably a chromosomal abnormality – who knows.

I was going to jump right back into another cycle but this chemical hung around – for a month!  The levels would not go down.  Just when my RE was going to schedule a D&C – the levels started to drop.

And that, my friends, was that.