Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Entering the wait-

IUI went quite well this morning. Way better than last time, that's for sure. So, count was 21 million, with 80% motility... not bad.

No issue with getting things done this time either, it went pretty smoothly. It was a huge relief all around.

Sooo... now we wait!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Soooo... shock and surprise, there were two mature follicles lurking on righty! I was not expecting that... I wasn't expecting one, let alone two. My body just likes driving me nuts... So, the extra dose of Femara did the job. The upped dose of Metformin may have helped. Who knows... but, there you have it.

We triggered, of course. And we ended up deciding to add the IUI afterall. We were going to save the money for next cycle, since we planned on the injectable cycle... but... but... there were TWO follicles... so I didn't want to regret not adding the IUI. Money will be tight this coming month, but... we're going ahead with it.

So the plan is IUI in the morning (after I get off work... that should be fun... except for not). Then start progesterone on Friday. So... yeah. There you have it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Still alive, I think-

It's been such a long month, not as in time is dragging but rather that physically I am exhausted. I am looking forward to next weekend, hell I'm looking forward to Wednesday evening, because I go back to my regular days at long last. I hope I go back to them and stay there... really hoping my boss doesn't get it in her head to switch things up on me. I can't work graveyard shift every other day of the week... I'm getting too old for this crap.

Soooo, I'm exhausted.

I'm in research and planning mode, weighing all options against odds of success, financial risks, and our desire to pursue. Budgeting, which we already were, but I'm reevaluating yet again (the whole saving money thing would be going swimmingly if it weren't for us throwing away so much money on fertility treatments each month... imagine that). Trying to think about where we're going and about when/what/if we talk to family about what we're thinking/pursuing. Just, lots of things being processed and evaluated right now. But, still planning on our current tentative plans as of now, and just trying to work out other details and make sure this is what we want to do.

And I'm waiting to go back to the doctor on Tuesday. I'm really not expecting anything there though, just want to get it over with and start progesterone if I need it. Even if there's a follicle, I don't think I'll throw the money away on an IUI this time... we'd rather save that money for the possible injectable cycle next month instead. I mean I can't say for certain that's what we'll do, but that's what I'm thinking right now.

I upped my dose of Metformin this past week. My doctor let me choose to either use 1500mg or 2000mg, but I thought I had a little trouble handling the higher dose. Well, I decided to up it after the last mid-cycle, just to give the higher dose a try again. It's been going pretty well. No gastrointestinal issues really, thank goodness. I have been experiencing some hot flashes, which aren't really associated with Femara for me, so I don't think it's from that. I'm wondering if maybe it's from the Metformin... or perhaps the recent sleep deprivation... I'll mention it to my doctor on Tuesday, just so she's aware.

Still haven't gained a single pound this year. Yay! I'm sure that's not such a huge feat for a lot of people, but with fertility treatments and PCOS, and everything... it's actually pretty awesome for me. For reals. I would love to lose weight, but not gaining any is pretty good. I'll take what I can get.

Trying to be hopeful that next year is going to be better... I told myself in the car tonight that this is the final countdown, we're almost done. I'm going to live my life for today, and hope for tomorrow again. Next year will be a different journey, a different beast.

I'm hoping a friendly, tamer, beast... but I suppose only time will tell on that one. Right?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Long night, err day?-

Graveyard shift kind of sucks sometimes. I'm stuck at work until 8am. Then today I get to come back at 10am for a few hours for a training session... on active listening. Yay me... trust me, I don't think my listening will be very active after this sleep deprivation. But I'm sure I'll be fine, I normally am. Just going to be very tired.

And of course today, being today, holds a little bit of a bang. Not a huge one, but enough to sting. It's the anniversary of the estimated due date for the second pregnancy. That one lasted the longest, looked healthy, betas were beautiful... I started to think it might last. And then it didn't. The estimated due date coincided with the same week of one of my nieces and one of my nephews birthdays, oddly enough. So I get to mail out their cards, visit with them, but never see my own.

I know, it's just a date. I probably wouldn't have had her around then, or anything like that. But the day still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I hate what I went through with that pregnancy. I hate how it turned out. I hate that I should have a baby turning one this month, but I don't.

That pregnancy has a lot of heartache attached to it, for so many reasons. Not just waking up to all that blood, at the beginning of the end. Not just the physical pain and horror from using Cytotec to induce it when my body refused to let go. Not just the waiting to confirm the worst. The useless bedrest, the defeat. Not just how far along I was that time. Not even because I got to see it, that little starter placenta on that perfectly intact and yet broken gestational sac. The physical pain while recovering, which I couldn't have imagined.

Those aren't the necessarily the worst things though... I think right up there, is the piece of me that died inside. I always knew that nothing was guaranteed; I mean, good grief, my niece was stillborn at 42 weeks! But now it's completely and utterly solidified in my heart- perfect betas mean nothing, doubling tripling, even getting over 5,000... means nothing. A good indication, maybe. But it doesn't promise anything. I know that measuring on time doesn't mean you'll continue to measure on time either. I know that hope is better put in other things.

I wasn't so naive as to believe that things would work out, but I hoped they would. I started to believe they might. And afterwards, I knew I'd never have that again. Not that hope. Not that belief.

Instead I'm left with a nightmare forever engraved within my heart. Some days it really does feel like that, a living nightmare. That miscarriage haunts me more than the other ones. They were all hard, in different ways. But this one brings a lot of grief, a lot of pain, a lot of horror. I don't think about it every day, it doesn't haunt my every waking thought, but it does still haunt me.

I miss her. I miss who I was when I thought she might live. I miss what I lost with her, everything I lost. Losses I'm only still beginning to recognize, losses I've felt since the day it began, losses I might not even fully recognize for years yet. Grief is like that, always lurking in the shadows, waiting. I let her in, I embrace her, and then we part. She doesn't walk with me through every breath, but she's always a step behind.

Just... reflecting a bit today. Remembering the future we lost, and what happened instead.

But life goes on and all that. Sometimes it's really hard though. I'm trying to be optimistic about where we're going, I'm making plans, I'm letting myself get hopeful... but I'm not just facing the grief of infertility at every tug and pull. I'm facing loss, I'm facing a future I almost had but inevitably lost. And all these losses sting of something bitter, and each grief is unique and painful in it's own way. I never thought I'd be here today, having went through what we have. I couldn't understand what it was like for someone to keep going through this, to have gone through this, to survive it. Now, I can imagine it perfectly. And I realize I lost a great many things along the way, but... shock and surprise, I'm still here.

I'm surviving.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Artwork being shared on Still Life 365-

I have a painting being shared on Still Life 365 today, if you feel like heading over to check it out:

It's the design I mentioned here. The one representing all three miscarriages, and myself. The colors all represent to the birthstones for the months I lost them in, and the middle one is my own birthstone. All intertwined.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Changing course-

I must be one of the most indecisive infertility bloggers out there. But seriously, there's only so many options left we're willing to try, or that even seem worth trying, coupled with financial risks and our own craptastic treatment history. Making one decision may nullify another, if we do one and it fails it will take that much longer to pursue a different one, what we need to do and what we want to do don't always match up... it's dizzying the things we must consider.

Oh dear, I'm rambling.

We'd already decided that we would finish this cycle. We already decided we would try the injectable cycle next month too. We decided we would see about taking December off and perhaps doing another Clomid cycle in January... unmonitored, just for the hell of it.

But after that things were... foggy, and overwhelming.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. My husband wasn't sure what he wanted to do anymore. Neither of us were sure if we were ready to stop trying to conceive altogether, look into more options, stop trying and start saving, or what. We've spent a lot of time talking things over this week, to evaluate what we wanted to do, what we felt we needed to do, where we're going, when we're cutting ourselves off.

We've come back to some tentative plans, which may change (they're always, always, subject to change). While we are still interested in fostering, and infant adoption, we did decide we want to look into embryo adoption again first. Honestly... when we researched it last year we were both very interested in it. And we're both still very interested in it. If we hadn't had the third miscarriage, we probably would have tried to already. But, that third miscarriage really put a damper on things. There are risks with frozen donor embryos, and it may not work, and it does have financial risks, but we do want to at least look into it more. There are a lot of things to consider, and we're not jumping into anything, but we're going to keep looking into it.

So... we'll see how that goes, how things pan out until then, and if we have second thoughts again. But that's what we're thinking right now. Tentatively. We'll see how viable this option is in the upcoming months, think about it some more, but for now- one day at a time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Giveaway @ Parenthood for Me

Parenthood for Me is having a giveaway of some lovely pieces of artwork from the recent fundraiser artshow. Check it out! For more details and/or how to enter go to:

Even if you aren't interested in entering, you can still stop by and check it out :) There have been some pretty cool things happening over there.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The usual-

My mid-cycle yielded no surprises for us- not a single maturing follicle. Lots of little PCOS classic bastards, but nothing standing out. Ungh.

Going to treat today as CD3 and start 7.5mg Femara again... just to see if it does anything. If not... well, we may be doing an injectable cycle next month. Maybe. Not sure yet. Depends on how much donated meds my doctor has put back for us, and how much we'd have to pay for ourselves.

I feel like such a freak show sometimes. Most people find a medication or dose that works for them, and it keeps working. Not me. My body sees everything as a challenge... it resists with all it's might. It says, "Fuck you bitch, I don't want to be pregnant!" I mean, it doesn't ovulate. It doesn't respond to fertility treatments. And my womb of doom makes short work of any pregnancy that occurs.

I am screwed.

Oh well, off to stuff my face with delicious comfort foods! And maybe I'll have an impromptu date night with the husband too. We'll see.

Life goes on, and I'm not going to let this crap ruin my weekend though. That's for sure.

Friday, October 15, 2010

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

It's October 15th again, you know what that means- It's National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I invite you to join me, and spread the word.

At 7pm I will be lighting a candle for my three lost ones, as well as my niece who was stillborn, and all the other children we've lost. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost.

Our children are always remembered, and forever loved.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I get little things every now and then, things that remind me of my lost ones. Like my pendants, my tattoo, the tree and two bushes in the backyard, the sleeping angel, the three little birds statues... I've always associated the first one with birds, hence my tattoo for that one being a sparrow. And ever since then, it's just been a thing... birds make me think of my babies. So those three little birds were just so perfect, on sale, three different colors, unique, adorable. They watch us from the mantle, and I adore them.

I've had a tattoo design in mind for all three since the last one. It incorporates all three of my losses, intertwined. The colors I chose to use are the birthstones for the months I lost them, as opposed to when they would have been due. I have since painted that design, and am just waiting until we take a break from treatments or move on altogether. It looked better than I imagined, and I can't wait to get it done.

I didn't realize it until just now though, but those colors are the same as my three little birds. It was quite unintentional. I bought the birds on a whim, and there were three colors- so I got one of each. This was after the last loss, during the winter still. I wasn't even thinking of the new tattoo design quite yet, or about what colors it would be. I didn't mean to buy birds in corresponding colors to the months I lost my little ones, but I did.

When I looked up there just now, it made me smile as I realized this. Something so small, purely coincidental, but so right.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What would make the week complete?

Two pregnancy announcements- of course.

Recently married co-worker (which was no big shocker, she had a pregnancy book a few months ago- I knew it was coming). But A-s boss also announced that they're expecting their 5th. Lovely. That I did not expect... I kind of thought they were done.

It's good that some people's reproductive ability is still intact, but geesh. Was there something in the water that I missed out on?

Self pity is ugly on me... so, back to my Femara and adoption books! I will be a mother, one way or another... at least, that's what I keep telling myself.

I just really wish I knew when. I'm so tired of waiting... always waiting.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

So yeah-

I am very frustrated, but we'll be fine. Money is just flying out the door this week. Plumbing was all backed up, toilet yuckiness was coming up in the basement. Ewwwwwwww! Tree roots were growing into the pipes, making everything get all backed up. Lovely, right? There went a pretty large lump of money.

And then medicine (which insurance didn't cover), ATM errors (still waiting on them to clear that crap up, my deposit money sits in limbo until then), major insurance run around, and other shit... it's just been a crazy week.

I made the best of things last night and had fun with my friends, so that was good.

I think I have two days left of Femara, and I go back in a week to see what's kicking (or what's not). Tick-tock goes the clock.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

No offense-

My doctor walked into our room this morning and said something like, "No offense, but I'm ready to never see you guys again."

The feeling is mutual, although I will miss her. She is one awesome doctor.

No cysts, and we're doing 7.5mg Femara this cycle. We'll see how that goes.

She said she might have enough Bravelle saved up for me next month to do an injectable cycle... if she does, we plan to take her up on that. If not... we have all month to figure out what we're going to do instead, so I'm trying not to worry too much about it right now. Thinking about things, but not letting it get too consuming.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Passing of time-

Well, as you already know- the cycle was a bust. I've been feeling pretty down, and took two days to whine my heart out and type out some aggressions about last cycle. I did some paintings, and just processed. I feel much better now. Going in for a baseline this morning and we'll be talking to our doctor. More on that below, and more of that to come.

I've been thinking a lot about how much time has passed, and it always catches me off guard, like I can't believe it. It doesn't feel like that much time has passed, or that it was us who went through such awful things... but it was. It always catches in my throat, like a cry that never quite leaves me. Time and it's passing, or lack of progression. Sometimes it feels like time stopped, like we were moving along as everyone else does and we got sidetracked along the way. We never made it to the final destination, we just kept wandering in circles. But it's not that time stopped, it's that we stopped somewhere along the way and chose to ignore it's passing. Or to try, at least.

Three and a half years is a long time. I don't always think about it, but when I actually take the time to reflect... damn. That's a long time, and we've been through a lot in that time. It's different when you say it, than when you actually take the time to let it sink in... really notice it.

It's one thing when I say it's been three and a half years, but another when I say it's been three and a half years with three different doctors, two and a half years with fertility treatments, three miscarriages, four IUIs, three cycles of injectables, over 10 of Clomid, 3 Femara; and not to mention the surgeries, procedures, and countless blood tests, and well over $20k spent between our medical insurance and ourselves. We started trying when I was barely 22, and I will be turning 26 in January... ungh. Obviously being young did me no good.

I had a good cry last night with my husband, A-. I said to him, "I never thought we'd still be here." I've been reflecting on that statement. I realized, or remembered now, that I really thought we'd have a living child by now, or have moved on to adoption. I never planned on continuing fertility treatments for so long. Heck, after the first miscarriage I told myself that if we had three miscarriages in total, I would be done.

Yet here we are, still in the depths of fertility treatments. Yes we know more about what's wrong, and knowledge is power, but I still don't always respond to treatments- even knowing all we do now. And we still don't know if I'll ever be able to carry to term. My doctor is optimistic... we're, umm, not so much.

But we've kept going. It's so easy to say, "Yeah, let's do another month." Or "let's try this." When you look at things in the span of weeks instead of years. It's easy to just keep going along when you don't step back and look at the broader picture. When you do that it can get overwhelming, but sometimes you have to do it so you know where you're going.

A lot has happened in these three and a half years. I was going through some old papers last night, and I found my wall calendar from 2008. I leafed through it, and saw my notes on my positive pregnancy test. The date, the excited hand writing, the exclamation point. A week later, I saw the sad writing, "m/c confirmed". A few months later, my first fertility appointment with my ob/gyn, first failed round of Clomid, and so on. Later in the calendar, I saw where I had boxed off the week I was supposed to be due. Happy new year.

The next wall calendar, for 2009, marked my accident and subsequent whip lash, then Clomid, and surprise birthday ovulation. Pregnancy. A following of betas, reaching up into the 2,000's and in the end 5,000's. Then a month later, I marked the end of it. Then the calendar was filled with make-up assignments for school, because my professors let me finish the quarter with incompletes. I had three courses to make up, I still remember the courses; fiction writing, literary publishing, and medieval British history and literature. Time crept by the estimated due date, and I saw the frown and circled date. A month after the estimated due date, I was pregnant again. I could see the weak betas, the hopelessness, and the eventual m/c... the week of Thanksgiving. All of it pristinely kept in time within that calendar. The rest of the year was mostly unmarked.

I didn't keep a wall calendar this year. I'm glad I don't have it to reflect on as well. I keep forgetting what day it is, because I've graduated college and only work a few days a week. Time feels like it's creeping by, but in reality it's flying by without me really noticing. It's already October... and I don't know how it got this far already. Where did the year go?

We haven't completely decided how we're going to end treatments. We talked some last night, and all we know for sure is that we are going to do another Femara cycle. Well, if the beast hasn't left a giant cyst which might force the cycle to get grounded... we'll find out if that's the case of not tomorrow morning. We'll also talk to our doctor then, and try to figure out what we want to do.

I honestly don't think I want to take a break now, and I especially don't know if I want to return to treatments in the spring after said break. Part of me still wants to just push through and quit in April, the four year mark. And in spring maybe attend the counties fostering classes- they only offer them in the spring and autumn here. But part of me wants to keep going until I stop responding completely again, which may be soon since I'm getting more and more resistant. And another part of me wants to just walk away now. The only thing I'm positive about, is that I can't keep doing this for much longer, I want an exit date. I don't want a break, I want an exit date. But at the same time, sweet word, I don't want to stop. I want to keep pushing... I mean I'm ovulating, why am I suddenly not getting pregnant? I'm responding to treatments, so there's always that last chance at pregnancy, that last shot... but it hasn't happened yet, and the longer it keeps not happening, the more I'm convinced it won't happen.

I think part of me not wanting to stop, is because I know that once we stop it really is the end. I don't know if we'll ever revisit treatments, and I don't ovulate on my own. ever. like, for serious. never ever. I will have to take either progesterone or birth control pills the rest of my life to bring on new cycles, and it will be nearly impossible for me to get pregnant (unless I ovulate when I go off birth control, which does sometimes happen) But, seriously, my own body is the best birth control ever. We should bottle up my infertility and sell it the all the fertiles who never want to get pregnant. I might as well be freakin' sterile. When we stop treatments, it will be the end. All she wrote. Not a sliver of a chance at pregnancy. I know anything is possible, so I won't say it's impossible. But it's highly unlikely. And in any case, I won't be holding my breath on that one.

So where are we going... hmm, that's a good question. I wish I knew. My husband and I seem to be in slightly different places about what we want to do. He wants to continue with treatments for now because I'm responding. And I, for the first time in all this, really don't know what I want to do. I know I want to end treatments sometime next year, definitely. I can't keep doing this. But what do we do until then, and when do we stop... I don't know.

We're certainly not making any major decisions right now, spur of the moment as it would be. We'll think about it more this month, talk to the doctor in the morning, and go from there I guess. We'll just keep reflecting and thinking about the future until we reach a decision we're happy with for us.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Infertility is worse than a school bully- it degrades you and makes you feel like you're totally inept and worthless, incapable of the simplest tasks. Then it steals hundreds of dollars, sometimes THOUSANDS. So you're left there, humiliated in front of the world, and penniless.

In short... I wasted $500 last month. And for what? Another fucking negative test.

I've wasted more than that in the past, I have. But this month it has just really pissed me off. I'm feeling very BITTER. I'm feeling angry. I feel defeated.

I think most of it's because I would rather have put that money towards our savings. Instead, it was a total waste. The money has done nothing positive, I have nothing to show for it at all... except another negative test.

I know, I wanted to do a few more cycles so that I have no regrets. We wanted to give it our best shot. But I can't help but wonder if I'm going to end up with more regrets about pressing on. I could be $500 closer to pursuing adoption right now... instead my savings account balance is the same as it was the month before last, and it's not going anywhere, and I'm never going to see that $500 again.

I just feel pissy right now... I'll be less pissy in a few days, I'm sure. I always am. But right now... ungh.