Monday, October 26, 2009

Miscarriages- each unique and heart breaking

I started this post a few days ago, but can't seem to finish vetting it out. So I'll just post what I got... but forewarning, this isn't a complete coherent post.

See, I feel like the second loss is in some ways easier to deal with (since I had something tangible to see on the screen) and in some ways harder on me (because I had something to see when I miscarried...) My first miscarriage was a chemical, so I didn't have anything visual to hold onto in any regard- and this last time, it was different. And I still don't know exactly how to feel about it, except to keep grieving and let it roll in and roll out in waves, until I can be at peace with it.

But it's not so simple as that, there's also dealing with what the second one meant. One miscarriage may be bad luck, but two consecutive losses (even if they were a year apart)... some days the first loss of innocence seems like it was the hardest, and then others it was the complete loss of innocence that seems the worst.

Most days, the second one seems like a dim memory. Conceived the day before my birthday, too good to be true... the miscarriage itself was slightly blurry from the vicodin (but not enough of a blur, because it is very vivid and I try not to think about it at all if I can help it... I have never been in so much physical pain in my life) It went slowly, yet it is all one lump in my memory... and I think part of the problem about it anymore is that I am just so jaded.

I really am. I believe that I can not ovulate, can not get pregnant anymore, can not carry to term- and I need to believe this, otherwise I will just get hurt more when they come true. And they do, they keep happening, and I can't handle these extreme measures of failure anymore. I know it sounds callous to not believe, not have any faith- but I can't do that anymore. I can't get my hopes up and have them crushed, time and time again.

Here we go... again

Thanks for all the supportive comments, I really appreciate it.

First of all, the cycle is a go. She said my ovaries look much better, there are still itty-bitty cysts, but that's to be expected... it's called PCOS for a reason I suppose. I guess we're doing one last final (for reals) injectable cycle. I still have a little bit of meds left, and will likely have to supplement with some out-of-pocket but we decided on one last try by these means...

So my cocktail this cycle will be:
- Metformin, which was increased to 1500 mg a day
- Dexamethasone 2mg from CD3-Ovulation
- 81mg Aspirin
- FSH 225iu CD3-6, then a follicle check on CD7

Yes, CD7... which just so happens to be Halloween.
Hmmm... I wonder if it'll be a trick, or a treat.

And about the last two posts (*In response to Birdsandsquirrels' and Penny's comments*)

The headaches/migraines I've had since I was a child are just treated over the counter. I used to take Ib.upr.fen (which didn't help much at all) but had to stop when my doctor became concerned over my long term use. I was taking the maximum dosage OTC a day, every day, at the time. I now either ignore them as best I can, or rotate between using Ib.upro.fen, Acet.amino.phen, and Nap.roxen S.odium- on medicated cycles I try to just stick with Ac.eta.minophen. I was prescribed Im.itrex once, but ended up spending all day in the E.R. because of it (I'm allergic, apparently.)

Most of the time they go away after I go to sleep, so that seems to work-but not always. Sometimes I wake up and I still have the migraine- those days suck. My pain threshold is pretty high for them though, so I usually just grit my teeth and deal with it. If you ever meet me and I'm squinting alot and seem really agitated- now you'll know why.

... And what did I buy... hmmm, books. I always seem to be buying books... I need another bookshelf already. And I also bought dark chocolate with mint candy... yummm. See, perfect planning on this combination- curl up with the books and chow down on some candied goodness!

Retail therapy is useful in a myraid of situations. Like today- I consoled myself about having to do the injections again; I went and bought new paints and paper, because I was running low on acr.ylics. Yes, retail therapy- not good on the wallet, but so good for the heart.

I suppose I ought to give my poor belly a pep-talk. It's not going to like me tomorrow. (*sigh*)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


If you remember, I talked about possibly going to my local resolve support group meeting- well, weeks ago I emailed the contact listed on Resolve's website- but never heard back.

I guess it isn't for me after all.
Maybe they stopped having the meetings, or didn't update their information, or something.
Who knows.
I can't wait to be off these stupid birth control pills. They used to be a godsend for me, because they helped so much with my PCOS symptoms. But, I think they are the cause of my recent headache issues. See, I normally get one migraine a week (if I'm really lucky, I get three or four) and then I get headaches on the off days, normally mild. I've learned to live with it. As a child they did all sorts of testing, tried surgery on my sinuses because of a birth defect I had, but the headaches just came back. I'm used to those. Over the years, you just sorta learn to cope with chronic pain. You have no other choice. So I did.

But, I've been having pseudo-migraines since I started the birth control, every day. It's annoying. They aren't quite migraines, but they aren't quite as mild as headaches either- they're nasty bullies.

The other issue the birth control gave me, was lots of spotting a week ago. I took birth control off and on for years and never had spotting on it. I called the clinic, no help there. They said it could be my body adjusting, or perhaps the cysts- so I was told to keep taking it. So, a week after my period ended, I got doubly blessed with a second pseudo-period.
Yay me.

I am just so ready to be done with this. I mean, I normally love being on birth control pills- but this is grating my last nerve. While I know that is could possibly be the brand in specific, as I had no other issues with my previous brands- there really isn't a point in switching it when I was only going to take it for a month- and I have less than a week left now. But, I can certainly bitch and complain.
I know I touched on this last post, but my insurance picked up a significant part of our bill last cycle- and I am still super stoked. So many reasons. One, I'm not paying as much money for failure- yay! Two, we can put that money into savings towards other means of family building- that was the biggest relief of all.

So, we'll see what are able to do this month. After that, we may try another round of Clomid with maybe two if I manage to ovulate on the first. And then we plan to quit trying to concieve on our own- and instead we'll call the clinic we found out of state in regards to their embryo adoption program. If that goes well, we can get on their waiting list (which they claim the wait time is anywhere from 6 months to a year).

Of course, I can talk about our plans all day long- it doesn't mean they'll happen.
But, it's good to have a clear idea of where we're going, at least for now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lingering in the shadows

I should have been due this week. My birthday surprise was due on the twenty-second. Even though I was on my sixth Clomid cycle, it was still a surprise, because I'd only ovulated one other time while taking the Clomid. I didn't think my sixth cycle would be any different than the other four rounds that hadn't worked. But it was... thanks to my unexpected use of Predni.sone for whiplash, a most fruitful coincidence it was.

And yet here I am, seven months later.
Still no closer to being a mother.
Missing my little blob of promise.

I have ovulated once since then.

This reminds me of the first miscarriage.
I reached the EDD for it, and I only had one ovulation under my belt as well.
With no resulting pregnancy.

It's kind of depressing really- to have tried so hard, paid so much money, and yet nothing works. I mean this in the sense that the treatments don't seem very effectual for making my ovaries do anything. Not just in the sense that I am still not a mother. Although that is something to consider as well.

I should be due soon, but instead I'm on birth control pills.
Ain't that a cruel kick in the pants.

I had some mild relief today though.

Amazingly enough, if things are coded smarter my insurance will pick up some of the tab. Go you Dr. Incredulous (and damn you Dr. BlowsSunshine) I got my insurance not-a-bill forms today, and I jumped up and down like a school girl. So I didn't get pregnant- but at least I'm not paying as much money for not getting pregnant, as I had to last time. I am extremely thankful for that.

It's one thing to face the fact that the treatments didn't work, but it's another to get smacked upside the face with a large bill that just reminds you that should it have worked you would have gladly paid the bill- but as it were, there really isn't much of an upside to it... other than knowing you did everything you could. But, that bill is still salt in the wound despite that.

So, I am thankful... but still so sad.

I miss the two I tried to carry, but failed.

You know, I don't really have faith in a biological child anymore.
I don't really have faith in fertility treatments anymore either.
I question the whole institution of conception and pregnancy... at least, for us.

Still I am thankful for a reduced bill, finally.
I am thankful that I can stop the birth control pills next week-
and that we can get this show on the road already.

I don't have faith in it working (as in ovulating, getting pregnant, or a pregnancy resulting in a baby) but I am willing to give it another try. For now. Well, if we are able to. I guess we'll have to wait to see what the ovaries have been up to first. They are stubborn bitches.

I can't believe how much time is just flying by- yet how it somehow crawls, and remains completely stagnant at the same time. I don't feel like it's already been two and half years since we decided to start our family. I don't feel like time is moving at all, these three weeks have seemed like torture. Yet, in a mere three months I will be twenty-five already. Yet... I still feel like I'm twenty-two...

I kind of feel like I'm in a time paradox- you know, where you suddenly yell, "Stop, this can't be happening!" because time has unwound and reorganized itself at random intervals and in no particular order- and you're just along for the ride. Of course, no one outside the time bubble can see this- only you. So you watch as time contorts your life and you have to go at random speeds, with random hurdles and jumps with no rhyme and reason, but everyone else's life is on a smooth straight line heading right where it should be, just the way they should.

... ... ... Then again, maybe I just need to lay off the sci-fi.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15

A day to remember;
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.


There is this poem by Seamus Heaney, called "Elegy for a Still-Born Child", that I would like to share. I of course don't have the rights to post it all here, but you can check out this link to read the whole poem.

The story goes like this; Seamus Heaney had a friend who was expecting a child. But then, the child passed away before it was born. Heaney, though he did not experience this directly, still mourned for that child. He mourned for his friend, and what they went through, and all the things that went wrong, that never should have.

There is a section of that poem that always catches in my throat, it sums up the emotions of child-loss so well. It says,

"On lonely journeys I think of it all,
Birth of death, exhumation for burial,
A wreath of small clothes, a memorial pram,
And parents reaching for a phantom limb."

The loss of a child is the loneliest journey of all. Things that we don't normally think about in unison, come colliding together with painful clarity- birth and death, joy replaced with sorrow, objects that should have been brought to use, now bring the pain of stasis- the child who had made it's home within us, tragically leaves us.

And the child, the child we never get to see, touch, hear, caress, for the rest of our lives- we always reach for them- like a phantom limb. Nothing ever seems right, because that child is gone, and it was such a part of us- and even once gone, will always be a part of us. No matter much time passes, you still remember what it was like and keep reaching for them, because that kind of love never goes away.

Today I am remembering my two lost ones, gone far to soon.
I'm remembering my neice, whose heart beat one day, but not the next- stillborn at full term.
My aunt who was stillborn- who my grandmother never stopped loving and missing.
Today I'm remembering the losses of all my friends online, and in real life.

I will be lighting my candle at 7pm in their honor.

Please, take a moment and remember with us.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Mir.riam-We.bster tells me that 'ineffectual' means "not producing the proper or intended effect" See also, "Futile"

Yeah. That's how I feel about fertility treatments right now.

Two and a half years. I've done 7 rounds of Clomid, and two rounds of injectables. All this over the course of 16 months... I've only ovulated 3-4 times during that time. I got pregnant once during treatments, and I miscarried promptly (Well, the baby stopped growing promptly. I had to wait 3 weeks to finally miscarry.)

You do the math- but no matter how you look at it, my treatments have been ineffectual. I mean, my ovaries can't even seem to perform a basic task. My uterus, don't get me started about that... two miscarriages, really?

But, I digress... where was I?

Oh, yeah- ineffectuality. I went into fertility treatments hopeful, worried but mildly hopeful. Well, I thought I may need bigger guns than the majority- and I did- but I was still tentatively hopeful that one day the fertility treatments would bring me my heart's desire.

I was naive- or stupid- depending on how you want to look at it. I thought fertility treatments worked. Well, I thought they did for most people.

And I was naive- or stupid- enough to believe that lightening couldn't strike twice; I had some small semblance of faith that the treatments would work eventually. I mean, seriously, infertility and having the treatments not work? How could something so messed up happen?

But, it did. Lightening does strike twice. I have had to face the fact that infertility hit me hard- and now, to also face the facts that the treatments just aren't working. I hate wasting all that time, all that money, all that emotioanlly energy, on something that just isn't working- and yet we keep doing it. It makes me feel like I'm delusional at times, and I ask myself why I bother.

I don't ovulate; I was 21 when my ovaries went on strike. I will be 25 in three months. Look at all that time, that immense struggle, all that I've been through, and yet... and yet... I still fear throwing in the towel. I fear letting it go, because for so long it has been the only thing I clung to- my last shred of non-existent hope. I thought, 'the treatments will work'- 'one more cycle'- 'one more try'... but, how I want to let go. I think that, one day soon, I will. And I will cry, and I will scream, and I will finally be free of these shackles, and I will fly again- I will be able to smile again with all my soul, instead of with just half of it.

I have two weeks and two days left of birth control pills to take. Almost one whole week down- it's been a long week, and I've been tossing and turning internally. I can't shut off this part of me that always thinks about infertility and what we're going to do about it- but I have been trying to think about it less, and trying so hard to just be in the moment. It's hard, after spending so long in one mindset to try and shift about to another.

I'm not trying to get pregnant right now- yet even when I'm not trying I am trying. I am contemplating, prepping, preparing, my pills are to reduce my cysts and normalize my hormones, I keep taking my Metformin with hope that my body will be ready next month, I take my aspirin, I research adoption, we save money for procedures and hopes- when I took a break after a miscarriage it was to let my body heal, one for my physical health, two for my mental and emotional well being, and finally to be ready to try again. Alway, always, with the hope of moving foward- of realizing our dream.

I wonder what it's like to not think about it, to actually take a break without ulterior motives. I know we used to live like that, at one point... but I can't recall it. I went to college for the sake of my future children, saved money for the sake of my future children, I became a better person for the sake of my future children- they're not here, yet almost everything I've ever done has been for them.

Yet... they're still not here.

Sometimes I think that I need to learn to live for myself before I will find them. But, as a child, I did have to live for myself- it was so hard. No one else was there for me, just myself and everything I ever wanted. I had no hand to guide me, no one to look out for me, no one cared if I came home at night or not. But I wanted to love, and be loved, and to care for others. And I did, from my little brother, to my husband, to my small animal army. I need to love, I need to nurture- it's an integral part of me. I spent the first half of my life finding a reason to live, a reason to not give up- and now, I spend my life trying to fullfill that reason.

I wonder what it will be like, finally having that reason in my arms...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Real life

I have an immense community online who have supported me through this terrible tumble down the rabbit hole. Yet there is, of course, only so much people online can do for me. Writing out what I am going through, writing down what I am feeling, allows distance to what I'm feeling.

And while sometimes that is good, as it allows us to put it out there and sort through our myriad of emotions without getting lost- it isn't always a good thing. Sometimes we need to say it out loud to release it, we have to give it a name.

Sometimes I keep it all inside, and I let it simmer. I write it down, but it comes out muted and incomplete. And then, eventually, I dare to utter it out loud- and my house of cards comes crashing down. As happens every now and then, late at night, when I can't take it anymore- and I say what I'm thinking to my husband. I open the box where I keep all my fears. And I bawl for several hours, late into the morning, and though nothing is resolved- I feel better. Not the next morning, and maybe not the next day, but I feel better eventually. Maybe that week, or the one after that. It's like shaking a bottle, and finally twisting the cap off. I feel spent, but so much lighter.

But I know this probably isn't healthy to keep doing. I know I probably should say these things out loud more often. I should scream them in the car from time to time. I should curse them out.

But, the thing is- to who would I tell them, other than myself, my husband, and my cats. My husband has heard it all before, he's been through it. My cats just nudge me and nuzzle me- and while that's nice, it isn't enough. I need to know I'm not alone, that my husband and I are not the only ones drifting through the dark trees of the forest, where the sun doesn't shine. That we're not the only ones that hear the laughter, and see the light through the treeline, and know that it's not for us- not now, and maybe never. And I appreciate that online support is, well, awesome (and so sad because so many of us have been in these shoes)- but I can not speak it out loud here- it's not exactly the same. I don't know how to explain it.

The only person I know in real life that gets it, I mean actually gets any part of it on that basic deeper level, is my sister. And she understands the losses, since she has had a still birth. But even she admits she can only imagine how painful infertility must be for us. She never had a problem getting pregnant, it was delivering living children that kept her up at night. And also, she lives across the country from me, all the way out west- and I am out east. She can talk to me, listen, but the whole time I can hear her children calling her in the background- and most of the time she can only half listen because her attention is always elsewhere. I don't blame her that, I understand that her kids need her. It's just hard because then, who does that leave that I can I talk to?

I have been thinking about going to the local resolve group that meets once a month. Well, if you can call it local- it's an hour drive! But, there are no local support groups here in my community. I've already checked. I am interested in going to this meeting, but I just don't know. One, it's an hour drive. Two, I am afraid of crumbling in a heap of tears if I open my mouth. Heck, I mean, I don't know what goes on at these support groups- and maybe I should at least email about it. I just don't know. I've got a lot on my plate, but I know I need to take care of myself emotionally at the same time. And I think making a personal connection, meeting up with fellow infertiles, would be good.

At the same time, I am not a social person. I don't like crowds, being around strangers, speaking in public, and I always feel like people stare at me. I was a very unsocial child, we never lived anywhere long- I was always the new kid, and also the class nerd (I got bullied a lot). I eventually gave up on making friends after we moved so much (one time we moved three times in one school year). I still don't make friends easily, I am too shy. The friends I have, well they always approached me first- so I am an introvert surrounded by extroverts. Well, my husband is a shy introvert too, and doesn't talk in public (or at doctors appointments, or around my friends... at least not until he's known them for a year) Don't even ask how two extremely introverted people hooked up, ha ha. Awkwardly- that's the best way to describe it.

I have become more social, to an extent, since starting college and getting my job at the shelter. I've become more confident, if you will. But I still tense up and fear social things. It's ridiculous, but I can't shake it. I just don't know what to say, where to look, what to do- maybe I am over-analyzing it all. But, I never had much experience. My heart catches in my chest, and I freak out in a mild panic.

Let me give an example of me in a crowded room... I was asked to be a guest poet at a book store last year, because of the literary awards I won on my campus. I went, and I read. And my voice shook, and my hand rattled... the paper I was reading from shook lightly. I got cold and clammy, and read fast to get through my two small sections of my short stories, and one poem. I was asked to read again this year, and I did much better. But man, it was still bad. Thank goodness I only read two poems this year. I want to be a writer, but a reclusive one that is mysterious and ambiguous... who doesn't do book readings and signings (at least not often!) I guess the best way to say it, is that I'd rather be in the shadows than the spot light. Which makes me feel even more self conscious, because almost everyone seems to want to be in the spotlight.

Maybe a group isn't going to be good for me. I feel like I keep making excuses though, because I also feel like it would be a good thing for me at the same time. I just don't know.

If you've gone to a support group, tell me... what did it do for you?

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Do you remember what happened last injectable cycle? After the epic fail, and subsequent baseline ultrasound?

Yeah. That totally happened again. I can't say I'm surprised.

So, I have many large cysts that need to just go away. And so, I am on a forced break. I opted for contro.l pi.lls (BCP) for now, I am hoping that it will help things along.

See, my body loves BCP- I blame the PCOS. BCP regulates my hormones (so less hair growth where there shouldn't be hair, I can lose weight easier, less pimples, less oily skin, it's nice) and it totally helps with cysts. I didn't have cysts at all while I was on BCP that I am aware of. At my ultrasound with the first miscarriage I had clear ovaries- I had just came off 4 months of BCP. I also ovulated that cycle coming off of them (on cycle day 44, but hey- I got pregnant that cycle) I always ovulate coming off of them if I've been on them long enough.

So, as annoying as this is, this could be a good thing. It's not like I would be ovulating this cycle anyway, I don't ovulate on my own- and I have cysts- it ain't happening.

Don't get me wrong- I'm still pissy. But I can't do anything about this, so I am just going to have to go with the flow for now.

We may also be getting more testing, because when my doctor ordered all that other blood work at the beginning of last cycle- most of it was in, but not all. My 17 Hydroxyprogesterone apparently came back a little higher than it should have been. So, as a precaution she would like me to go ahead and get tested for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia if possible. She believes it will come back negative, but wants to make sure. Understandable. However, since the likelyhood of this is low given the level being barely elevated, I am going to check into my insurance coverage before agreeing to this. My insurance sucks, they are supposed to cover fertility testing but they usually weasel their ways out of it- they are sticklers for how things are coded. Bah.

(*sigh*) Yeah, we still haven't got any of the bills from last cycle. Those should start rolling in anytime now. So, we will need to deal with those this month too.

And I think I may just go ahead out and get that memorial tattoo done sometime this month too. October 22 was the EDD for my second loss. So, this month would be a good time to do that- fitting almost.

An entire month off of trying... what am I going to do with myself?

Friday, October 2, 2009

My body = My enemy

So today is exactly 14 days since my trigger shot.
It also happens to be cycle day one.

Last night, I noticed some spotting... okay, I thought, could be just normal spotting or something. I'd had a negative pregnancy test earlier in the day, so I seriously doubted it was implantation spotting. But, I went ahead and used my progesterone supplement like I was supposed to, and went to bed. And then I woke up to full red.

So, even though I was on progesterone supplements, my body just decided it was going to go ahead and just do whatever the hell it wanted to. It figures.

I gotta wait until I hear back from my doctor, and then go from there. We don't know what we're doing next cycle, if anything. Last time there were huge cysts and I had to take a forced break, I don't know if that will be the case this time or not. And why I didn't respond better to the progesterone... who freaking knows.

Hopefully I will know more by next week. For now, this weekend, I will try to relieve the tension. A Sp.ace Co.ast to C.oast marathon with friends, a couple of drinks (of the alcholic variety, because I haven't had a drink since Christmas) And then I will do my homework studiously, and then... try not to crumble in a heap of tears, not just from the failure but more from how much money I just wasted. Paying out of pocket sucks. Failure sucks. My body sucks.