Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baselines and Questions-

So- new cycle started yesterday. Baseline today- Clomid tomorrow.

Well really it's- Clomid 150mg, Dexamethasone 2mg, Metformin 1500mg, Vitamin D 1000iu, Prenatal, Low-dose Aspirin, and DHA Omega-3 Supplements. I just love taking pills, don't you?

My doctor said my ovaries are ripe for the picking- okay she didn't really say that- what she said was that they look "good". Okay, if she says so. I think they look as crappy as they did before. But no large enormous cysts like I got after injectables, so we'll count our blessings. Oh, and I had a 14 day luteal phase. That is totally new for me. I even stopped my progesterone supplements early, and it still held off. Crazy.

She liked the protocol last time, hence no changes. She was happy I had two mature follicles on it, which is still a shock to me because I thoroughly expected having none at all. We'll see what happens this time.

Sooo, I am questioning things and obsessing. I am thinking of declining the Lovenox if I get pregnant. I don't have a major clotting disorder, *just a very minor one*, and for all I know the losses could have been because of the septum and only that- more about that below, join me in obsessively looking at old ultrasound photos- and the risks of it scare me. I know with just aspirin I have more bruising, and when I got sick I popped a shit load of blood vessels in my eyes from throwing up. How much worse could that have been if I'd been on injections? I am just concerned and have to think about it- I mean, this is hypothetical because who knows if I will even ever get pregnant again anyway?

Okay, so the septum thing... my doctor won't say yes or not, but that she wasn't leaving it to chance or taking risks. Okay. But many people I talk to are convinced it was the cause of the losses. I am starting to wonder, thinking it had more to play with it than I originally thought.

First of all, there is the continuous spotting from the moment of implantation. I didn't have that with the first miscarriage, but that one could have been chromosomal or low progesterone related (I ovulated on cycle day 44 and we hadn't done the deed for 4 days before I ovulated... odds were against that one) But pregnancy number 3 had tons of spotting before it went down to zero. Pregnancy two had lots of spotting, but high progesterone. It implanted high up in the uterus (ultrasound picture below) Then the bleed happened. Now the embryo stayed attached for weeks after it stopped developing, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything does it?

Here's an unaltered photo of the pregnancy-


And here's one I edited for you. 1 is the bleed, 2 is the embryo, and I'm wondering if the thing in between is the septum. We've never seen it on an ultrasound, didn't see it on the HSG, doc said it was tiny so that's probably why... so I don't know if it could be or not. But the uterine lining was super thick here because of pregnancy, and the womb had expanded slightly... so maybe that could have made it noticeable? But we didn't notice it because we were focusing on the bleed and the embryo? I am just spouting crap that I know nothing about right now, trying to get opinions... what do you think? Any septum smarties out there with insight?


And if you think I need to stop obsessing and being a complete nut, feel free to tell me that too- I can take it ;)

Bah. See, that's the thing- What if it was the cause? There's no way to know for sure, only guesses. But what if? If it was, and I knew I had an even chance at a successful pregnancy- as even as the next person- I might be more optimistic about this shit. But I can't. So we have to either quit or keep gambling.

Too bad we can't up the ante.

**ETA: My clotting disorder is very minor- it's one normal/one abnormal gene on the PAI-1. So it might, or might not cause issues- originally we were just going to do the aspirin, until I had the 3rd loss (all before the resection) and the doctor offered the Lovenox for next time, but left it up to me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On watch-

This secret was shared on the PostSecret blog this week-

dear anonymous secret sharer- you are not alone.

14 days past ovulation, the pregnancy tests still say no. I stopped my progesterone supplements and we are just on watch for a new cycle.

Once that happens, I guess we'll see if there were any leftover cysts and see about starting Clomid... again.

(*sigh*) We're almost done-

Sunday, April 18, 2010


So, 12dpo and the tests say no. Not just any normal tests, these are new super sensitive ones, they can detect HCG at levels as low as 10 (I know, that's nuts) And since that test says no, I feel confident that I am out.

I should get a new cycle started tomorrow or the next day, even on progesterone it should start up. Soooo... I guess we'll go from there. I will probably have a baseline, and if things look okay we will probably do my Clomid-combo cycle again.

How do I feel about this... pretty sad, honestly. I expected it, but still- it's disheartening. A positive would have made me nervous and anxious and stricken terror in me, made me cry for all the possible ways it could turn out. A negative can only turn out one way, so while that is easier- it is still a negative.

Even if it had been positive I wouldn't have had any guarantees- I know this. And I would have a totally different emotional spillage today.

But it's been 3 years and I am just so tired of all this. I look back and I can't help but take a moment today, and cry it out- how much longer will I have to wait? how much more heartache and failure must I endure? I'm not just talking about trying biologically to conceive here, I mean in the broader spectrum of things, the bigger plan, how much longer? Even if we adopt, that's years off. I am so tired of waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I am testing this weekend. I will be 11 days past ovulation (dpo) on Saturday, and with all three of my previous pregnancies I always had a positive test by 11dpo. I am not supposed to test until the 21st per my doctor, but we all know I can't wait that long.

It's not that I'm looking forward to either possibility right now- how sad is that- but rather that I want to know what I'm up against. Am I facing a quick end with a fairly boring cycle, or is it to be riddled with a positive and then the dread of another miscarriage. Should I prepare for the worst, or prepare myself for the possibility of more heart ache.

A positive test for me is not sunshine and rainbows like it may be for some women. For me a positive test is now riddled with sentiments that run more along the lines of "fuck, now what?" Because a positive makes me wonder if I am going to lose another month from my life, am I going to end up doubled over in pain screaming, am I going to lose another baby and another chunk of my heart?

The possibility of a successful pregnancy flits about in my mind, but it doesn't settle. It doesn't last, because I know- I know- how the odds are against me. Memory eats away at that far fetched idea of me pregnant this summer, me giving birth to an honest to goodness living child, it eats away at thoughts of a growing belly and ultrasound screens that show heart beats- No, memory offers me other things to fill my thoughts with. Condolences, dropping betas, no heart beat, no yolk sac, contractions and a perfect golf ball sized gestational sac passing while I scream alone in my bathroom.

Sure, I would love to get pregnant again- if you can give me a guarantee, a promise that this time would be different- that this time I would get a healthy living child out of this- my heart would explode with joy then. But only then.

I know- I don't have a guarantee that it won't end that way either. What I have is a history and statistics that say it very well could. And the weight of those are overwhelming.

I'm not looking forward to a positive test, but I am not looking forward to a negative test either.

I know most people don't understand this, I barely do- but I still don't know what I want. But I wanted to give it a try, and put it out there for the universe- I wanted to take a chance, to make sure I knew I have done everything I could. I didn't leave a stone unturned in this pursuit, I have given it my all.

And soon enough, we'll know where that's taken me this month.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cynicism in the everyday-

I respond less, keep more quiet, hide the awful things away- I'm sure there's even cynicism in my silence though.

I didn't ask to be this way, and I certainly don't practice it. I just am, with everything I've been through.

And I suppose that's part of the problem, isn't it? I can tell my story until I'm out of breath, until I'm winded and blue, but people still won't really get it- not unless they've been in my shoes. And I would never ask that.

Why is it so hard for some people to understand that sometimes, for some of us, it is a far better thing not to hope. I don't like hoping for things, I don't like expectations- they usually just set me up for another let down. I fall like a wilted flower, the mere wind enough to knock down my house of cards. I'd rather be surprised when things go right, it makes them all the more ecstatic because I didn't expect it. But when they don't go right, I am all the more prepared.

Is it normal to think this way? I doubt it. But trust me, it got me through all that trauma of being a neglected and abused child- and it is getting me through infertility and my losses. Yet just as when I was a child, hope has a funny way of creeping back up when you least wanted it. I would hope that my parents would remember my birthday, every year, and more often than not I was let down. I would hope that this new guy in my mother's life wouldn't be such a loser, but he would just be another abusive alcoholic, another pot head, another one who told us constantly that we were inherently bad children. I would hope that my father would love me, and he wouldn't. I bludgeoned hope to death more times than I can count, but it always tried to creep back up on me. It's no different with my current situation- except there is less hope to resurrect. Most of it died, without my willpower, with each pregnancy loss. Yet even that tiny bit that remains keeps trying to come back and haunt me.

I've come to solidify some thoughts in the past three years, the foremost being that some things are just not meant to be, and one of the hardest things in life is to realize when to keep trying and when to move on. It's a lesson I had known, but living it has driven into me an even harder clarity. And once realized? Laying hope to rest, burying it in a way it won't ever come back- I'm starting to think it's impossible. And maybe that's okay.

I've also got to say, that sometimes it is not enough to be a strong person, and having survived something doesn't mean it was ever okay or will ever be forgotten. And sometimes prodding, persistence, and encouragement from others, is actually hurtful. People constantly telling you not to "give up", telling you that they are sure it's going to happen for you, telling you they just know it will, that such and such is a good sign... while at times that can be uplifting, some days it is downright debilitating. Or maybe it's only like that after you cross a certain threshold... I feel like I am toeing the line of that threshold.

On the forums I stay silent more and more, not answering questions that I know the answers to. For many reasons. One, their naivty is so strong- and I barely remember it, but remember it I do. I miss it, but at the same time I don't. Also, often my experience with the question is less than satisfactory and I have to explain that this is not normal- I'm a rare case. I hate being such a freak show, having been through so much with so little to show. I hate not ever having a positive story, because even my positive stories are tainted with loss and bad things. I want to help the women who were as lost as I was, but sometimes it really is better to say nothing at all. When I do answer I try to keep my answers short and concise, utilizing what I've learned, read, experienced, but keeping it to the point.

I don't often post any questions I have, because with all I've been through and learned, my personal journey is too convoluted for most people to make heads or tails of, let alone find someone with similar experience to answer the questions. I see women come and go from the forums, and in the first year that was great- I hoped I would too. Now, they keep coming and going. And coming and going. And I'm still there. I see new batches of women come in and see how upbeat they are, see their excited posts, their eagerness for that elusive BFP (big fat positive), I see the posts where women get frustrated that their first Clomid cycle didn't work, or their IUI was a failure, and how they feel like they can't handle this- I say nothing, because I know how frustrated I was back then, even though now I think about it and realize I hadn't seen anything yet. To them this is new and fresh, for me it's bitter and stale.

I keep going to the forums though, to help others if I can. I go to get support from other women who have experienced losses like I have, who know that pregnancy isn't the end of the journey, who can offer me reassurances that my testing is appropriate, my results good or bad, who can relate. But I've realized I probably won't be on the forums much longer.

The cynicism doesn't end at the forums though. It takes control over my everyday life, my blog even. I can't tell anyone about my experiences with pregnancy, relate to them, because what experience have I had really? Most people would rather pretend they never happened. I can't even quip my dark humor in the real world, the other day I started writing a FB status saying "You know, if I keep having miscarriages I am going to have the absolute most beautiful yard- so far I've planted a cherry tree, a rose bush, and now a lilac bush"- but then I realized it would make people uncomfortable, so I just posted that we bought a lilac bush in memory of the third loss.

Most days I don't have a real status to post anymore, so I post something stupid. Then I wonder why I post anything at all. For the hell of saying something? Because I want to know someone is listening? They aren't. They can't hear the echo of my cries in my posts. Isn't it strange how you can be on the hardest journey of your life, have been through so much heartache that you wonder how your heart's still beating- and yet, no one even asks how you're doing? I am glad for my online support because if it wasn't for them I wouldn't ever get that.

How am I doing? Honestly- not good.

That is to say, I have a heavy heart and am filled with sadness about my losses, but everyday I feel the sunshine on my skin and smile at it's beauty. I look out on the yard and admire the thriving cherry tree, the hearty rose bush, and my heart is settled. I clean my house, cuddle my kitties, and relax on the couch- it's a good life. At night it is quiet, my husband and I watch television, play online games, surf the web- the nights are long, and heavy with everything we're missing. Every day trivial things knock me down, my car constantly throwing fits, work drama, something in the house needing replacing, a pet needing to go to the vet- and little things uplift me, a stupid video, dinner with my husband, getting the cats high on catnip, and letting the dogs frolic in the yard. But over everything is this permeating knowledge of how life could have been, should have been, otherwise.

And one day, it will. Even if it's not in the way I had originally imagined.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Still here-

It is now one day past ovulation. I think.

Still not entirely sure how I feel about that. Glad I ovulated. Scared of getting pregnant. Scared of not getting pregnant. Scared that it was all a nasty trick and my body will have not ovulated after all. Worried that this is it, the end. Worried that we will get 'hopeful' of the treatments working, and keep doing them. Worried they won't. Worried they will give us miscarriage numero 4. Really worried about hope creeping in.

Hope- you demon bitch- please please stay away from me.

Of course, I already know what the estimated due date would be if I got pregnant with a viable pregnancy. I know, because it would be a week off from the first miscarriage. It would be on one of my older brother's birthdays. It would be between the winter holidays and New Years.

With the first pregnancy that all made me excited. It felt good, and new, and I was so hopeful.

My first miscarriage was almost two years ago now. One more month, and it will have been two years. The cherry tree we planted is blossoming again, and it's flowers are beautiful and bittersweet.

I can't even imagine how different my life would have been if that pregnancy had made it. I literally can't imagine it.

I wish I could.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

it's the little things-

The other night I was at work getting extremely flushed- hot flash central. Oh. My.

I got so desperate for something cool to put on my face that I went and got a wet paper towel. I was about to get ice, but I was cleaning the office and had a can of air to use on the key board. Mmm, those things get nice and cold. I was totally holding it to my face for a bit, before I looked up and noticed one of the women in the shelter walk by. Heh. Ignore the hot-flash-riddled-25-year-old-might-as-well-be-menopausal at the desk... I'll add that to my interesting stories related to infertility. Not as much fun as shooting up in the Starbucks parking lot, but still- awkward.

Those seem to have subsided now, I'm 3 days out of the Clomid haze- still getting my ass kicked by the Clomid migraines though. Ick.

Yes, it's cycle day 10. How exciting. (*crickets chirping*)
I am leaving tomorrow (unless something happens) and will most likely be off the grid (*evil grin*) until Sunday.

When I get back, I will be sure to update about the infamous ultrasound pronto. It will either be riddled with cuss words, or point blank with shock- I won't bother telling you which one I am expecting. Although, if it worked worked I would be over the moon- but I am trying not to bother entertaining that option at all.

You'll notice I changed my profile picture- here it is if you want to see it clearer:
It's from my favorite park. The man that owned the property was divorced twice, and never had children. He built this massive mansion and garden back in his heyday during the 1920's- when he died, his property was donated to the public for everyone to enjoy.

It is 47 acres covered with trails, brick paths, ponds, fountains- it's magical. There are several statues, and I believe I've seen them all now. This one I saw for the first time this year, it looks out over the lawn. It's a lady, or a servant, I don't know which. To the other side of her was a lord or other man servant- he was hunting, she was gathering flowers apparently. But they were both looking out of the front lawn waiting for something.

There was just something about this image that struck me, and I had to capture it. Here she is, crumbling, losing half her face to time- yet here she stands, forever looking over the yard waiting. Always waiting. And the sun keeps rising, falling, rising. While she waits. I don't know- I saw sadness and hope in this photo. If it was a real person standing there like that, it could be seen as hopeful since they are looking out before them and the sun is shining and things are beautiful. But here, she is a statue- and nothing changes for her, no matter what. Frozen in time waiting.

In other news- yeah, sister-in-laws pregnancy dealt me another whammy. Guess when she's due? Well, it's anywhere between her birthday and A-s birthday (they were born a year apart, their birthdays are two days apart) Yup- she's excited about how this is going to be the best birthday present ever.

I wish mine had been- the second one that I conceived on my birthday made me so excited. At the time I was over the moon and hoped it was a sign of good things to come-

Don't get me wrong- I really am happy for her, I am glad that she doesn't have to go through any of this. It's just hard having to face absolutely everything I don't have, never have, and might never ever have. Watching her go through all this just reminds me how it should have been. I should have gotten pregnant as soon as we started trying, my bleeding should have been nothing, I should never have miscarried, I should have been able to make plans and announce without worry about losing it, I should have... but I didn't. I don't. I can't. And things will never ever be like that for me.

It's the first real-up front-shoved in my face at every turn-pregnancy since the diagnosis and losses. And it's the first younger sibling since the diagnosis. I'm sure that isn't helping things at all. Even further reminding me how much older I am than when we started trying, and how very long we've been trying. It's one thing to say three years, than to really see it.

Three years. Officially this month, we've been on this path for three years.