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Tag Archives: Miscarriage

Second Verse – (Pretty Much) Same as the First

26 Apr

So we went in for our second opinion yesterday, and Dr. Second Opinion: I officially re-dub thee Dr. Sunshine!

Seriously, the guy was AWESOME. If he didn’t practice over an hour away from here I would transfer.

It’s not that I don’t like the Russian. But THIS GUY, seriously. Is it possible to have a completely non-sexual crush on a 70-ish year old doctor strictly because of his awesome bedside manner?

Evidence of Dr. Sunshine’s awesomeness:

  • When recounting my story, and saying my water broke at 22.5 weeks, he sighed and said “just shy of the promised land” yep. You get it. *swoon*
  • When I started conversing with him in Infertile-speak, or in other words, giving him terms and information no normal woman would know, rather than looking at me strangely, he was freaking impressed. Loved that.
  • He started talking about “our next steps” then caught himself, and said: “Oh, right, you live more than an hour away. I don’t want you making that drive all the time.” Then he helped me figure out a way to tell the Russian what he said without actually telling the Russian that I went for a second opinion, so as not to hurt his feelings.
  • When I told him this is our last shot as far as I’m concerned, he yelled at me, saying: “Don’t say that, you WILL have a baby. I can tell what kind of woman you are. You’re way too strong to give up, and there’s no reason why this won’t work out.”
  • Finally, and this was my favorite part – the man gave me his personal cell phone number and offered to be my “Phone Friend” whenever I had a question.

Eh-hem.

Also, nothing he said really contradicted the Russian, and he agreed that the Russian is a good doctor and there’s no reason for me to leave him.

Wow, I feel like I totally just had an affair on my doctor. Ahh well.

As for what happened, he went into a bit more detail, from a different perspective. He said we’ll never know for sure what happened, and it could have been contractions, it could have been the cerclage failing, or it could have been the cerclage itself. We’ll never really know.

So, Dr. Sunshine’s recommendations:

  1. Slight medication change for the first trimester, and progesterone shots starting at 14 weeks (that’s to keep any contractions at bay).
  2. Cerclage at 12 weeks, same stitch as the Russian recommends.
  3. Bed rest, of course.
  4. He sent me in to get my glucose levels tested and my TSH tested again, just in case.
  5. He convinced me to skip the HSG, because he too doesn’t see a need for it, and two docs saying not to have that painful bit of hell is enough for me.
  6. As far as he’s concerned, we can jump in again right away.

So basically, not so different from the Russian’s prognosis.

Another thing that came up was a bit of a validation for me. He pretty much confirmed that they effed up my first D&C and that’s where all the problems most likely started. No point in getting angry about it all over again. But finally a doctor confirms what I’ve been saying all along.

Shmerson and I left the appointment feeling hopeful.

I can’t say the fear has disappeared. I don’t think it ever will. But a bit of hope creeped in thanks to Dr. Sunshine, my new Phone Friend.

AF should show her face in a couple of weeks, and then, we hold our breath and jump in.

Holy crap.

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Don’t Think

5 Apr

I’ve noticed a kind of theme emerging in conversations I’ve been having with newly pregnant/newly TTC/newly babylost women lately. I figured it was time to make it into an actual post, and it’s pretty timely, considering I’ve been living by this mantra since we lost Nadav, and even more so the past week or two.

How many of you have been told the following:

“Think positively, and everything will work out.”

How did I not come up with this on my own? Of course! That’s the magic solution! Think positive thoughts! I’m sure all of the crap that has happened to me is entirely my fault because I didn’t think positively!

Don’t you all just love that little gem of advice? Useless and guilt-inducing all at once! It’s the whole package.

The fact is, that this journey sucks. The more loss that happens, the greater the trauma.

Allow me to paint you this picture: someone tells you that there is a present for you, and it’s inside a dark room. You step into the room. You get slapped. You step out, your cheek raw from the pain.

Somehow you are convinced that this slap was a freak accident. Step in again and everything will be fine, you’ll get your present. You take a deep breath and walk in. SLAAAAP!

At this point, you’re kind of pissed. “They” tell you that this hardly ever happens. Surely, if you step into that dark room again, you will get that awesome present.

So you step in for round three. Guess what happens?

At this point, stepping back in for a fourth time would make you a fool.

I’m a four-time fool so far. Somehow, insanely, willing to go in for round five. Will I get slapped again? I think I’d be an idiot if I didn’t flinch a little bit just thinking about it.

Trauma is trauma, and I’ve been through more than I would wish on my worst enemy. So no –  I can’t “think positively”.

It’s a miracle I’m functioning at all. And now that we’re starting to talk about round five, anxiety is a given. How can anyone possibly be positive after going through all of this? You’d have to be an idiot. Or get a lobotomy. Maybe a lobotomy would work.

So the way I see it, I’ve got two choices, and neither of them is “thinking positively.” Attempting to “think positively” and the inevitable failure of that attempt will only lead to wallowing and guilt.

So I either think negatively or I don’t think. Period.

I’ve opted to not think.

Or in other words, keep as busy as possible at all times.

Content clients have been falling out of the sky and I’ve been saying yes to everything.

I’ve been working 60 hours a week, sometimes more.

Two days ago I laughed so hard I cried. It was the first time I’ve truly laughed since we lost Nadav. I even found time to hang out with friends between meetings. I had a freaking amazing week.

Then, a couple of hours ago I finally finished what I had to do before passover tomorrow. I sat down at the computer and opened the blogs for the first time all week. Immediately I was hit with sadness again.

Because reading the blogs right now makes me connect to everything I’m dreading, and everything I’ve lost.

Because tomorrow will be another passover without a baby.

Because I was looking forward to having a huge belly right about now.

Because another year has gone by, and nothing has changed.

So I don’t care if some people would say I’m repressing. All I know is that working so hard I don’t have time to think is what’s keeping me from being sad. It’s allowing me to have fun. It’s allowing me to live and not to wallow.

Oh, and it’s making me some pretty decent money.

So that’s my mission looking at round five and everything leading up to it: keep my brain blissfully babyloss free at all possible times. Don’t think, and I just may survive this with my psyche at least partially intact.

It’s not denial. I’m dealing with my fears and my losses – but in small manageable doses with my therapist, with my husband, and with my friends.

But if I stop running even for a second I know I will sink into a grief and fear abyss.

And there’s only so much of the abyss a girl can take.

So I choose to run. And that’s the best piece of advice I can continue to give myself. And you for that matter.

 

Wherein I Use Lots of Track and Field Metaphors

17 Mar

I’ve talked a lot about giving up the race. About living my life for me and enjoying it for a change.

But what happens when you’ve got a ticking clock to get to the finish line?

A tug-of-war.

(See? Lots and lots of track & field metaphors.)

Lessons are wonderful. Revelations are great. But what happens when you have to stand against reality and actually put them into practice?

Two weeks ago I went in to see my OB/GYN – The Russian – for a follow up after losing Nadav. For those of you that have been following along for a while, you already know that The Russian is our 5th doctor, and the only one who took active steps to fix our problems. I give him full credit for the fact that Nadav even made it to my uterus.

He’s also bluntly honest. When the IC diagnosis happened, he very clearly stated that it could be that we caught it too late, and I have a 15-20% of losing the baby. He always gives it to me straight, and I appreciate that.

So I knew that when I walked into his office I’d get the truth about our chances for another go-round, when and if we were ready for it. Well, more like when, because we can’t afford surrogacy or adoption, and I can get pregnant relatively easily (at least so far).

Shmerson and I were thinking 6 months at least before we start trying again. At least. But I did want to know what The Russian thought.

So I sit down with the Russian and he says that he is “very optimistic” about me carrying to full term (or at least very close) next time. No bad numbers. Just “very optimistic” as long as we take the right steps (full bed rest, preventative cerclage, progesterone supps).

That made me feel good.

I knew even then that I had one more try in me. But after a decent break.

Then The Russian said we have to wait three cycles.

I laughed. Three cycles? We’re going to wait way longer than that. I told him as much.

Then he made a face.

The kind of face he makes when he delivers bad news. I know that face.

Ruh Roh.

Yeah – so he doesn’t think we should wait more than 3 cycles to start trying again. In fact, he thinks the sooner we start trying again, the better.

His reasoning (yay! A list!):

  • I still have PCOS, and have a history of going as long as 10 months without a cycle. My first pregnancy is what “jump started” my ovulation. Right now, he’s not sure how my cycle will react after this pregnancy, since this one was so much longer than the others.
  • With all of the planned intervention, he still can’t guarantee I won’t have any more early losses because of chromosomal issues, so it may take a while before we get to a viable pregnancy again.
  • I’m three years away from “Advanced Maternal Age”.

In short: tick-tock, tick tock.

Or:

So yeah – that certainly threw a wrench in our “enjoying our marriage and letting this go for a while” plans.

You know what the worst part of it all was? I was actually kind of relieved to get an excuse to try again asap.

I may want out of the race, but my biology is aching for a child more than ever before. I’m a mother with empty arms.

How can I ignore that?

Granted, I no longer want to “make up” for any losses, but that doesn’t lessen my longing for a child. In fact I long for one even more after losing Nadav.

That is a longing I can’t ignore.

But another side of me wants to ignore it. The last two years have taken a huge toll on my life.

Plus, I’m terrified of getting pregnant again.

And I don’t want to deal with SIX MONTHS of bed rest.

And I want to live my life and take care of myself for a while.

And I miss my Nadav.

But the tick-tock is there. Not just according to the Russian, but also ingrained into my biology.

Today I got a massage (another perk of this whole “taking care of myself” kick).

As I lay there, I was mulling over the tug-of-war – something I’ve been doing on and off since my appointment.

The unending longing to hold a baby in my arms, the ticking of my biological clock.

The need to take care of my body and soul. To give my mind and my body a break from all of this.

Finally, somewhere between my feet and my temples, I came to a realization. I think I know what will win in the end. But for now, I can take comfort in the fact that I don’t have to make a decision today.

Three cycles. Three cycles to mourn, to heal, to think, and to enjoy my life for a change.

Three cycles until I find out which side will win the tug of war.

Disconnect

30 Oct

So I know I’ve been away. Yes, some of it has been due to the craziness of the move. Some of it has been because when I’m not packing, unpacking, or working, I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open.

But there’s another reason, a more honest one.

I feel like an imposter.

Today, I’m 6 weeks, 2 days pregnant. During my last two pregnancies, this is about the time I started noticing blood, things going wrong.

This time around, I’ve got progesterone. Which means if things aren’t going wrong, I won’t know it. I have to sit around and wait for our next appointment to see if I have snowball’s chance in hell of carrying this baby to term.

I’ve never seen a heartbeat, not once. And I’m so used to that, I kind of feel like there’s no chance I’ll ever see one. Everyone here has been so happy for me, so supportive, and that’s great. But the fact is that I’m scared out of my wits. Because I had a good feeling about this from day one. Because Shmerson did too. Everybody did, really.

That scares me. Because if we lose this baby then where do we go from here? I don’t know if I have anything left to go yet another round. I don’t know if I have the strength.

And I don’t know how to blog about it. And I don’t know how to comment on everyone still in the trenches. Because I know some of you guys still going through this are in pain, because I’ve managed a pregnancy. But I’m not over the hump, not even close. And I feel like all I can do right now is complain about how scared I am, and count down the days until our next ultrasound. And that makes me feel even more guilty, because I should be happy about this, right?

And when the ultrasound comes, all I can do is hope against all hope, that this time we’ll see a heartbeat.

And hope against all hope that seeing that heartbeat won’t make me more afraid than I am already.

Lessons of Loss

19 Sep

I’ve found myself leaving the same comment in different variations on a bunch of different blogs lately. It always seems insufficient so I decided to write a blog post. I have a blog, so it seemed fitting. 🙂 Anyway, I apologize in advance for getting all deep and sappy on you guys.

The last couple of months have brought me clarity in a way I never thought was possible. As chaotic as life has been lately, I’ve found myself in a state of relative peace. I think that embracing my desires rather than fighting them has made a huge difference in the way I view things. I want to share some of my newfound perspective with you.

These last 15 months have been filled with heartbreak after heartbreak. I have yet to achieve my dream of becoming a mother. I have yet to carry a baby past 8 weeks.

I’ve always thought of myself as a strong woman. Yet, in this last year I have felt pain beyond pain and my weaknesses have been exposed. That strength I thought I had was not real. It came from a place of emotional detachment. It came from a place of self-delusion and denial.

If there’s one thing that my losses have done, it’s been to force me to look myself in the mirror and find my true strength. They have snapped me out of the bubble that was my reality. In hindsight, that reality was a lie. It was repressed depression and anxiety. It was a lack of confidence and a lack of focus. Having to face down tragedy on such a big scale, having to deal with so much grief in such a short time finally brought all of these repressed emotions to the surface. I have realized that I was never strong. I was a ball of anxiety. I was going through the motions of life rather than living. I was on auto pilot. I spent most of my time in an un-feeling haze, never letting my true emotions break through the surface.

Until they forced their way through because I couldn’t hold them any more. They were too much to bear. I broke into a million pieces over and over again. I had to find a way to put myself back together.

I have spent the last year in a constant existential crisis. Always trying to find meaning, constantly trying to understand the “why” of all of this.

But something has changed in me. I don’t know whether I have that “why” yet. All I know is that I’m finally building myself back up, piece by piece. I am no longer trying to put a roof on a building with no foundation. I now realize that first you need to pour the cement.

Recently, one of my closest friends went through a pretty serious medical scare. She had to have a scan done at a hospital. I immediately volunteered to go with her and hold her hand through it.

A year ago, I may have just emotionally detached. I most definitely wouldn’t have entered a hospital voluntarily. But today, I’ve faced hospitals. I’ve faced scans. They don’t scare me any more. I am stronger, and therefore I could be strong for my friend when she needed me. I realize how much of a blessing that really is.

I’ve found true compassion for others. I have found the peace and fulfillment that comes from helping people who are in pain. I have found that my passion in life is for giving to others, and not creating for myself. I have found out what true love is, through an amazing husband that has held my hand as I fell apart, and stuck around to help me pick up the pieces.

I think that all of us in the ALI community are lucky. As much as life has dealt us a crappy hand, we see the world as it truly is, and we make it through. We don’t operate on auto-pilot. We have known loss and tragedy, and we are stronger for it.

Happiness can’t be appreciated if you haven’t felt pain and despair. Those around us that go through life having not known loss, can’t appreciate what they have as much as we can. We are lucky, because our losses and our grief has come at a relatively early stage in our lives. This means that we can spend the rest of our lives appreciating what we have. This means that after getting through this difficult time we will be able to look around and be grateful. We know what it’s like to be empty, and therefore being full is a reward, not a fact of life that is ignored.

The truth is that everyone will suffer loss at some point in their life. It is inevitable, it is part of what life is. These losses help us re-evaluate who we are, re-focus our goals, and truly appreciate the good things that we have.

This is the blessing of loss and infertility. That this appreciation comes so early for us. We know heartbreak, so our own hearts fill more easily. We know loss, and therefore we know and appreciate love. We have been helped, so we know how to help others.

Even now, with my damaged and scarred body, with all of the grief and pain that this last year has brought me, I can truly say: I am lucky. I am lucky to have had these experiences. I am lucky to have been kicked out of auto-pilot at such a young age, because now I can truly work on leading a fulfilling life. I am lucky to know how fragile life is, so when I finally create a life, I will marvel at the miracle more than I ever thought possible. I am lucky to have been through pain, because now I know how to hold someone else’s hand when they are in pain.

I am lucky. I am grateful. I am humbled.

I may not be whole, but I think I am slowly finding my way toward being content. And that is a gift that most people don’t have. I hope I can continue to embrace it.

It Ain’t Over ‘Til the Red Lady Sings (only sometimes it’s not over then either)

17 Sep

So, of course I couldn’t hold back any longer. I used my second (and only remaining) Rolls Royce FRER this morning (I blame peer pressure! And JM! And Marie! But mostly my lack of will power when it comes to pee sticks). It was a BFN, and a couple of hours ago I started spotting. It’s all over, right?

Wrong. Allow me to share with you how ectopics can mess with a girl’s head:

Aunt Flo is about a day early, at least according to my 100 or so iPhone tracking apps (Ok, I only have two. But still).

So any of you guys remember what happened the last time the biyatch was early? No? Well, let me refresh your memory: It turned out to be implantation bleeding. And I was preggo without knowing it. And it was ectopic.

So yeah, looks like Niagara Falls coming out of my cootch is not enough to convince me that I am not knocked up.

***Note to Self: Book idea. Memoir. “Me and My Cootch, My Cootch and I – Tales of a Crazy Infertile” It could be a bestseller, don’t you think?

Ehem. Sorry. Anyway, if I’m not knocked up, that’s fine. Really. Things are so crazy with the new apartment it’s probably for the best. Plus, each time we’ve managed a knock-up on the first month of trying it’s ended badly. And implantation this late in the cycle has also always ended badly. Different is definitely good in this case.

So yeah, no tears or anything. My new sense of zen is proving itself (as are the new happy pills. Yay drugs!).

But the paranoia is there for sure. One day early = false negative until proven otherwise.

So yes, I will be peeing on a stick one last time tomorrow morning, just to be sure.

Better safe than sorry I say.

(Now I just need to figure out how to get a hold of more FRERs for next month. Quite the conundrum. If I were a drug addict, these things would be like – premium grade heroine or something. How can you go back to crack after that? And how inappropriate is this metaphor? I believe I have hit a new metaphor low.)

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Wherein I Do My Impression of David Caruso’s Career

11 Sep

If you don’t get the reference in the title, please click here. (Really? Pilot episode of South Park? And you haven’t seen it? For shame.)

Or in other words:

IT’S MY TURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I’ll skip the taking a nosedive part for now. Hopefully that won’t happen. We’ll know more at around 9DPO.)

Ok. So I’m 7 DPO and I haven’t peed yet. As you probably know, this is a huge accomplishment. And I’m waiting until 9DPO. Honestly, I would tomorrow but my FRER’s, which I’ve been so curious to try, will only be arriving tomorrow evening so circumstance forces me to wait. Which is a good thing, I think. Probably.

I’ve been pretty good this TWW. I don’t think I had “the feeling” this time (but considering past experience, that’s probably a good thing), but my score on the scavenger hunt is pretty high. My boobs are sore, I’m feeling nauseous, and I almost puked today when my students had lunch because of the smell.

But it could be that I’m just feeling under the weather. We’ll see what happens in a couple of days. Not going too crazy in the meantime. Kind of.

Ok, I kind of am, but I don’t have much time to go crazy. Things have been nuts! I’m back to teaching, and we finally closed the sale of our current place on Thursday. Now we’re running around applying for mortgages, and I’m jumping head-first into renovations of the new place.

Heady-explode-y.

Heady explode-y helps with the TWW crazies for sure. But still:

Sorry that was gross. But I kind of feel like that guy right now. Ahh well.

But I’m rambling and getting off topic. (Surprising, I know.) Focus… Focus…

David Caruso.

No no. Quoting an episode of South Park making fun of David Caruso. Right. That’s where I was. I was at “It’s my turn!”

Saturday was my nephew’s 7th birthday party. I’d been dreading it. Every year, we go to this party, and see the same people. Last year, we were post-miscarriage #1, and just about to enter miscarriage #2 (though I didn’t know it at the time). Every child there made my uterus hurt.  Made me want to cry.

This time, it was even harder. My brother is divorced, so I only really see my ex-SIL and her family at these birthday parties. My ex-SIL’s sister gave birth three months ago. She was married two months after Shmerson and I. She gave my nephew his first cousin. That stung. It stung even more to see her there with the baby.

But that wasn’t really the worst of it. I mostly stayed out of the fray, sitting on the side playing “Fruit Ninja” on my iPhone and detaching myself from the situation, because it was the best way I could come up with to deal. Still, my ex-SIL, her parents, and her sister were obviously aware of our current situation. They gave me the sideways, pity-look “how are you?” When they saw me. I shrugged it off. I joked.

Then her mother and my mom had this sort of grandmompetition, where my mom was congratulating her on becoming a grandma for the second time, and she was giving my mom all of these “oh! this and this couple just went through IVF!” BS lines. I knew my mom wasn’t enjoying the party. Because she knew I wasn’t enjoying the party and had no interest in IVF stories, thankyouverymuch.

But the worst of it came at the end. My ex-SIL’s sister came over to say goodbye. I once again congratulated her (hopefully genuinely) on her little boy. Then, she tilted her head once again, and said the two words I hate most in the Hebrew Language: Bekarov Etzlech.

This isn’t an easy phrase to translate. Kind of like “havaya metakenet“, this pair of words has a whole undertone of meaning. Literally, it means “you’re next.”

Culturally, it’s a world’s worth of pressure on your back.

For example: Your older brother is getting married. People come up to him and say “Mazel Tov”. They come up to you and say “Bekarov Etzlech”. And at the age of 24, and very much single, you feel depressed and have a few too many vodka-spiked lemonades as a result. (This didn’t really happen. Ok. It really did. I got smashed at my brother’s wedding. Sue me).

This pair of words is even worse for an IFer or an RPLer. Literally you can say they mean “this will be you soon.” Bekarov meaning “soon” and etzlech meaning “with you”. It’s the “soon” part that’s the problem with me.

So I go say goodbye to my former SIL and her new baby, I tell her mazal tov, and she answers “Bekarov Etzlech.” I immediately give her the “Infertile stare of death” and she realizes just how wrong it was for her to say those two words to me. She didn’t mean it in a bad way, nobody does. I’ve found myself saying it to people sometimes too. It’s a saying with good intentions. But man, does it hurt in this context. I just wanted to tell her:

“Soon? Really? Because we’ve been at this for 15 months now, and three miscarriages in, I’m not so sure about the soon part. So please go take your baby and be all happy and leave me alone. I want to play Fruit Ninja and detach emotionally from the situation. Kthnxbye.”

It’s my turn. In two weeks I’ll be turning 31. On my 30th birthday I was pregnant with what would turn out to be my first ectopic. I want to be pregnant on my 31st birthday. And I want it to stick. So that in about 9 months, I can blissfully look at the people coming to congratulate us on our new baby and tell them, with a smug look on my face: “Bekarov Etzlech”. It’s. My. Turn.

Or maybe it isn’t. Maybe I won’t be knocked up this month. Or worse, maybe I will be knocked up but it will be another ectopic. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Urgh. Two more sleeps and I get to pee on some sticks and see where this 31st birthday will take me.

PS – Group Therapy Thursday was a raging success in my opinion! Can’t wait for the next one! Send those questions in!

More Facebook Action – In Defense of Infertiles

6 Sep

So – for those of you who don’t read Elphie’s blog, please check over there for some context. In short, her very eloquent post about the problem with the so called “breast cancer awareness game” received some pretty nasty comments from some ignorant people. People were calling those of us offended by this game “selfish”. Accusing us of not being able to be happy for our pregnant/mommy friends.

I’ve decided to take this discussion as an opportunity to explain why it is that women with fertility issues have problems with FB pregnancy announcements. And trust me, this has nothing to do with being selfish. In fact – it’s quite the opposite.

In the year and three months since my first pregnancy, I’ve seen pregnancy announcement after pregnancy announcement. I’ve seen birth announcements. I’ve seen pictures of happy mothers and fathers holding their newborns. These have come from my friends and acquaintances. On every one of those announcements I gave a hearty congrats. In some cases, when possible, I went to visit baby and mom in the hospital. In one case, I even spent several days keeping a friend company while she was going crazy, because she was overdue and getting VERY uncomfortable.

I did all of those things happily. I was happy for them.

I was sad for me. Sad because each one of these kids was a potential playmate for my lost children. Sad because I could have had that happy announcement five months ago. And again 3 months ago. And again three months from now. I would be holding on to a huge bump now. Or holding my child. Their happiness is a reminder of my losses. Of my sadness.

So I rejoice with them. But in the privacy of my own home, in front of my computer screen, I have every right to cry. They don’t see my tears. They don’t see my sadness. Some of them, who know my situation, are sensitive enough to acknowledge it and allow me to show them my sadness. But most either don’t know, or, frankly, don’t care. That is their right.

Just like it is my right to cry in the privacy of my own home when I am reminded of my losses by a barrage of happy baby pictures. I don’t complain about those much. I’m sure I’ll be the same when hopefully I bring my own baby home. That is their right. Just as it will be mine some day.

But it’s not my lot in life yet. Now I’m faced with my losses, and nothing more. So yes, a picture of a baby, in certain emotional states will send me off the edge. Other times I’m ok. I don’t comment on their photos and say that they have no right to post them. I “like” them as often as anybody else. Because that is the part I show – the part that is genuinely happy for those newly minted parents.

So why is this stupid meme different? Because it’s cruel. Not only to women in my situation. To every mislead friend and family member. But yes, especially to people suffering from infertility.

Because seeing one pregnancy or birth announcement a week on average is enough. Seeing ten at once, not knowing the true motives behind it, is enough to send anyone in my situation over the edge. That’s a reminder of my losses ten times over. All at once. I didn’t comment on these “announcements” cursing the “new soon-to-be-mommies” out. I took a moment to breathe, and to cry, and braced myself. Ready to congratulate them all.

And then I found out they were fake. Each and every one of them. So all of that emotional turmoil was for nothing. For a stupid meme that is supposedly “to raise breast cancer awareness” but doesn’t send anyone to a foundation. Doesn’t give any helpful information. In fact, it doesn’t even have the word “breast” in it.

I’m not mad at the women who posted it. I’m sure they meant well. I’m sure they did it all in good fun.

But that doesn’t make THE SITUATION any less offensive. It’s not the individual act, but rather the collective effect of it. It did NOTHING for breast cancer awareness. What it did was make 1 in every 16 women cry. Or at least feel a little stinging pain in her chest. It’s the RANDOMNESS of this, and the UNINTENDED cruelty of it that is offensive. It’s the MISGUIDED intentions behind it. That’s what is causing the uproar.

It has nothing to do with my or my fellow infertiles’ “bitterness” or “selfishness”. We did not choose our situation. We are women (and men) desperately wanting to have children, being reminded on a minute-by-minute basis of the failure of our own bodies, and having to put on a strong happy face to the world.

We don’t begrudge our friends their happiness. We mourn our own struggles. We are not “bitter” about our friends’ luck. We are jealous sometimes, yes. But even this is something we don’t share, because we know it’s not our friends’ fault that we are infertile, or having repeat miscarriages.

So we smile. We click on “like”. We congratulate and go to baby showers and attend the bris, and come to the hospital with flowers and chocolate.

But it is our right to mourn our losses quietly when we go home. And it’s our right to be offended and hurt by a barrage of fake pregnancies. Because for us it is a cruel joke. Crueler than it would be for the potential grandmother who sees her daughter’s status and cries tears of joy before finding out it was for “breast cancer awareness”. Or the sister who was offended because she wasn’t told in person of this “pregnancy”. It’s crueler because for us, it stung to begin with. And to find out that it was for nothing makes it sting all the more.

Again – I don’t blame the individuals who posted this. I’m sure they thought nothing of it at the time.

However, I reserve my right to be angry at the collective situation. And that’s not selfish. That’s self-preservation.

Broken Until Proven Otherwise

30 Aug

Today was a wonderful day. Nothing big happened. I went out, washed the car, bought myself a summer dress on sale. In the evening, Shmerson suggested we take Luna out for a long walk. We’ve been trying to take walks lately – it’s good for health-type-stuff, so I hear.

The walk started a two hour conversation. I love it when Shmerson and I talk openly and honestly about our relationship. We do it often, but each time we do, it’s proof once again that I have married the right man.

I haven’t been doing well lately. I’m trying, but it’s hard to push forward and put on a happy face. I want to “live my life” but I can’t. This last year has been holding me back – keeping me trapped.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out why this is. Why I can’t break free from this and just LIVE until we get our baby. I’ve realized that it’s something that’s ingrained in me. You see – I have this thing about me, which in the past I’ve viewed as an asset, but is now a liability. When I get my mind and heart set on something I go for it like a guided missile and don’t give up until I reach my goal. I’ve always been this way. For example, both my graduate and undergraduate thesis films were deemed “impossible to pull off” by my professors, because they were too ambitious. And in each case I gave said professors the finger and made them happen. This is who I am. When I want something, it consumes me completely until I achieve it. Nothing else exists. It’s not something I can control. It’s just how I do things.

So the missile that was let out of the gate three miscarriages ago is still flying, seeking its target. And it won’t stop until it gets there. Everything else be damned. No matter how hard I try to fight it. I’ve come to realize that there’s no point in fighting it, because it just makes me feel like a failure. So instead, I’ve started to embrace it.

In our talk tonight, Shmerson and I were discussing this very clearly. I wanted to share a part of this conversation with you, despite its intimacy. I share this with his permission. I share this because this is the part that no one talks about, and it needs to be talked about. This is the part where things get really ugly and complicated. I talk of course of physical intimacy. Also known in some circles as “Sex” (any real life friends reading this – feel free to skip the rest of the post if it makes you uncomfortable).

Our sex life hasn’t exactly been fireworks lately. It’s not Shmerson’s fault. I mean, seriously – he’s a hottie. It’s all about me. Every time we make love I see my physical scars. Every time I feel the weight of my losses. I feel broken.

So I don’t initiate unless I get a positive OPK. I’m scared to. It just makes my insecurities bubble up to the surface.

But of course not having enough intimacy makes me feel just as bad. Because I love my husband. I want to want to be intimate with him. I don’t want him to feel like our sex life is only about making a baby. It shouldn’t be.

Tonight I put my cards out on the table. In embracing my status as a missile I very plainly told him: I know this is a problem. I hate that this is how things are right now. I also hate the fact that there is only one thing that will fix this: A baby.

To say anything else would be a lie. I could be a hypocrite and say that it’s wrong to put all of this on a baby. A baby won’t make things better. It won’t solve problems. It’s unfair to put so much strain on a child. It’s bad parenting.

But in this case – this would be a lie. The fact is, that I feel broken. I feel like my body has failed me. And until my body proves otherwise by carrying a baby to term, I’m going to continue to feel this way. That has nothing to do with a baby and everything to do with me.

I know what I’m saying here may seem controversial, or TMI, or whatever. But it’s my truth. My body is broken until proven otherwise. There is nothing I can do to control that. I know that the only solution in sight is a successful pregnancy. Maybe there are others. But the missile won’t let me look anywhere but there for the time being.

There’s no use in fighting it. I’ve tried to do that for over a year now. It is what it is. So for now – I’m giving in. I’m surrendering to it. I feel broken. I am broken until proven otherwise. So I’d like to prove otherwise as soon as possible.

Saying this so bluntly to my amazing husband scared me. I was afraid he was going to tell me that I shouldn’t feel this way and we should stop trying until I feel differently. But he got it. He understood. He knows that this is the situation until we reach a healthy pregnancy. And he’s ok with it. He’s not bitter. He’s not angry. He understands.

And boy – do I love him all the more for it.

I can be an asshole of the grandest kind 
I can withhold like it’s going out of style 
I can be the moodiest baby and you’ve never met anyone 
who is as negative as I am sometimes

I am the wisest woman you’ve ever met. 
I am the kindest soul with whom you’ve connected. 
I have the bravest heart that you’ve ever seen 
And you’ve never met anyone 
Who’s as positive as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part 
You see all my light and you love my dark 
You dig everything of which I’m ashamed 
There’s not anything to which you can’t relate 
And you’re still here 

I blame everyone else, not my own partaking 
My passive-aggressiveness can be devastating 
I’m terrified and mistrusting 
And you’ve never met anyone as, 
As closed down as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part 
You see all my light and you love my dark 
You dig everything of which I’m ashamed 
There’s not anything to which you can’t relate 
And you’re still here 

What I resist, persists, and speaks louder than I know 
What I resist, you love, no matter how low or high I go 

I’m the funniest woman you’ve ever known. 
I am the dullest woman you’ve ever known. 
I’m the most gorgeous woman you’ve ever known 
And you’ve never met anyone as, as everything as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part 
You see all my light and you love my dark 
You dig everything of which I’m ashamed 
There’s not anything to which you can’t relate 
And you’re still here 

And you’re still here 
And you’re still here...

Third (or is it Fifth) Opinion?

23 Aug

So some of you may know by now that I set an appt. with the “#1 RPL specialist in the country” for Sept. 12th.

This would be the 5th OB/GYN I’d be seeing in the last year, and a visit with him isn’t covered by the public healthcare system, and it will cost us $300 bucks.

I’m seriously wondering if it’s worth it.

Today I went in for my post-lap appt. with The Russian. He and I had a long talk about my current situation. This talk has pretty much lead me to believe there’s really no point in going to yet ANOTHER doctor.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: So – do you think I may have another miscarriage?

The Russian: I don’t know. There’s really no way of knowing. You’ve been checked for clotting disorders?

Me: Yep.

The Russian: Chromosomal issues?

Me: Yep. Should be getting the results this month.

The Russian: Well, then there’s nothing much more you can do.

Basically he laid it out this way: IVF is too invasive a procedure for our situation, and will not reduce the risk of an ectopic. By all appearances Ole’ Righty seems to be working fine. The only solution at this point is to just keep trying. He also pointed out that if I have a 4th loss then he would recommend losing Ole’ Righty and going straight to IVF.

But for now he says the same as Twofer. Try, try again.

After coming back from the appt. Shmerson and I had a talk. Shmerson said something that seemed very on-point. He said that he thinks I’m trying to find a reason for our losses, and if there was a clear-cut reason, we would know by now.

I really do think he’s right. The fact is that I’ve had suspected ectopics and a blighted ovum, and no actual proof of where the ectopics were. Every doctor has said that we could very well have fallen on the bad side of statistics and there’s nothing we can do. There are no magic solutions for us. And I don’t think the RPL specialist will deliver any type of different news.

So I’m thinking to myself – what’s the point? Another 300 bucks spent to most likely get the same answer we’ve been getting from everyone. Progesterone supps, extra folic acid and B12, and try try again.

Twofer has said before that chances are we’ll never know what actually happened. Maybe this specialist guy is just a way for me to try to weasel some answers? I mean – I’ve done the testing. What else can he really contribute except an extra-large hole in our bank account?

If we have a 4th loss, and it’s another suspected ectopic, then it’s off to IVF we go. If we have a 4th loss and it’s not ectopic, then we go to the experimental stuff. Immunology, etc.

So maybe we should just save those 300 bucks and try try again? If there will be a 4th loss, just get it over with and move on? And if not – then we get a take home baby. With only one tube going for us it may take a while, whichever way it goes.

I’m going to take advantage of ICLW to put this question out there – what do you ladies think? Should we just jump back on the wagon and try try again or spend the money?

Would love to hear your take on it. Because you know there can’t truly be a decision without hearing from you guys. This is how I roll.

Tomorrow…. We Wear Pants! (and other musings about what’s next)

8 Aug

Well, I’m going a bit stir crazy. On one hand, I really feel like getting up and doing things. On the other, I just want to sleep. I’m not in much pain anymore. Mostly the tic-tac-toe game on my abdomen itches like crazy, and I get a periodic stabby-type pain every once in a while. But since I’m used to stabby pains, it’s not really a big deal.

I haven’t worn pants since leaving the hospital on Friday morning. That’s right people! No pants! I’ve also seen every single stupid reality TV show on the planet, played way too much Angry Birds, and watched some pretty good movies (Source Code – thumbs up!), along with a couple of absolutely horrible ones (note to everyone: the Red Riding Hood revamp is a piece of crap).

But with all the stir-craziness, I can’t seem to bring myself to function. There’s a lot of real world stuff that needs to be done, but I’m not ready for it yet. I think I’ll give myself one more day. I think that’s ok.

Here’s the thing: The last couple of days a certain unease has set in. I get that Lefty was non-functional, and I’m glad he’s gone. But I have spent the last 6 months CONVINCED that something is up with my right side. The doc who performed the lap observed that one part of the tube is “slightly thickened” and removed a couple of adhesions around it, but that’s basically it.

And I’m not appeased. I’m not calm. I still have a sinking feeling that something is wrong and I’ll have another ectopic.

This is the sucky thing about all of this: I know exactly what happens next. We go back to Twofer, and he tells us to try again. That’s it. Try again and cross our fingers.

And when we are ready to try again – I’m afraid this whole cycle of fear will start all over again. I honestly kind of wish they had taken Righty too and we could have gone straight to IVF. I know that’s kind of a crazy thought, but considering that IVF is virtually free here, I would much rather just bypass the tubes altogether. Just get a good looking embryo in my uterus, even if it comes with the price of injections, more general anesthesia, and hormonal hell. I’ll take that over another loss any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

But I know we would never get approved for such a thing. For now, I’m 100% sure we’ll just be told to “try again.”

And I’m not happy about that. I’m not ready to deal with that.

But tomorrow, I’ll start by putting on a pair of pants.

This is the Part Where I Get Angry

3 Aug

I think everything kind of crashed down on me today. Anticipating tomorrow, and whatever prognosis it will bring, I’ve had a swelling of anxiety, but today at my shrink’s we got to the heart of the matter.

I’m pissed. I’m pissed because just over a year ago today, I had a botched D&C, and I know that’s what started all of this. One doctor, which I trusted, which came highly recommended, who didn’t think to prescribe antibiotics, or make sure that my uterus was left unscarred, caused all of this mess. A 5 minute procedure that has irrevocably altered my life.

I can’t sue him. There’s no way to prove that this was the cause. But I know it is. I know that I had a healthy uterus before this. Healthy enough to hold on to a sac for 8 weeks. An empty sac, but a sac nonetheless.

So I’m scarred. I’m scarred not only physically from those 5 minutes a year ago. I’m scarred mentally, emotionally. This was a doctor I trusted. He came “highly recommended”. He was “the best” in the area.

He fucking messed up my body. And here I am, one year and two additional miscarriages later, about to go under the knife of yet another doctor, who is “the best”, who comes “highly recommended.” Who’s to say everything will go as planned? The last time certainly didn’t. How am I supposed to be calm when the last time I was put under sedation my body was permanently damaged, and my life path was altered forever?

I was supposed to have a baby in my arms by now. Instead, by this time tomorrow, I may have no fallopian tubes. I may have internal organs REMOVED because one fucking doctor didn’t do his job properly. How can I trust that this one will? How can I be calm?

People keep telling me it’s a minimally invasive procedure. So is a D&C, and look where that has brought me.

So I’m pissed. I’m pissed and I’m scared. And I can’t be grateful for “the path” or “answers” right now. All I can do is be bitter and angry at the fact that one incompetent doctor screwed up my body forever. And hope that this doctor will fix the damage, as much as it can be fixed, and not do any more.

This fucking sucks. And I’m fucking pissed off.

I want to make sure this one does the job properly. I want to come out of this with at least part of my fertility intact. And I feel helpless to do anything about it.

Dear readers, you have been so amazing and supportive through all of this. I need you to come through for me one more time. I need your comments, your love, and yes, even prayers. Even as a heathen, I know they can’t hurt. And tell me if I’m forgetting anything. If I should insist on anything being done. If there’s anything I should be asking for to at least try to make sure that no more damage is done.

I go in for the lap in 23 hours. I probably won’t post again before it. If I’m conscious enough after I promise I will, and if not, I may just have Shmerson do it for me.

Thanks. Love you all.

The Hardest Year of My Life

7 Jul

In July of 2010, at 8 weeks pregnant, I found out I had a Blighted Ovum.

In July of 2011, I went in for a blood test, hoping against all hope that this time things would work out perfectly for a change. I was wrong. I’m not pregnant.

Yes, the doctor said to go in again at 13 DPO just in case. But I seriously doubt the outcome will be different.

This year has sucked. I have spent most of it in limbo, depressed, on the verge of non-functioning. I don’t know how much more of this I can handle. I feel like I’ve climbed Mount Everest, and somehow still found myself at the foot of the mountain.

I don’t know how long it will take until I ovulate on the left again. I don’t know if it’ll work next time. What if my left tube just doesn’t work properly? What if there’s something wrong with me that we haven’t found yet? How much longer will I have to go through this?

Will I be right here, in this same exact place next July – only more tired, more desperate, and more hopeless? How many more two week waits? How many more losses before I either say enough is enough or I get to hold a baby in my arms?

Tonight I’m making sushi for dinner and having a nice long cry. This will be another night of hopelessness. One of hundreds that have already happened, one of who knows how many to come.

Of Course I Did

4 Jul

Yep. I’m 7 DPO and I’ve already used up 2 of my pee sticks. Both BFN’s, of course. I mean, seriously, what am I thinking? I think the thing is I’ve always had BFP’s at around 10-11 DPO, but the only times I’ve tracked have been ectopics. So maybe it’s just wishful thinking, that if I’m knocked up and it’s a proper pregnancy, I’ll know sooner. Ahh well. Three more pee-stick mornings followed by a Beta blood test on Thursday, and then we’ll know for sure.

We interrupt this blog post for a message from our sponsor:

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Do you miss those days, before you started miscarrying, when you were crampy, bloated, tired, and nauseous? We know you do! Try our product! It’s a mind fuck all wrapped up in a gel encapsulated dose of hormones! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll sleep, you’ll want to puke your guts out! Progesterone suppositories! All the pregnancy you could possibly hope for, without the promise of an embryo digging into your uterus!

Warning: progesterone suppositories do not in any way guarantee a pregnancy, nor do they guarantee carrying a baby to term. Sanity not included. 

Ehem. Right. Where was I?

Thanks to everyone for the reassuring comments on my last post. Good to know I’m not alone in the cramping department. I just hope some of them are implantation cramps. I want a BFP so badly this month. Just so if I have another loss I can get it over with already. Does that make any sense?

I know I’m being paranoid. I guess it’s because my “answers” aren’t really clear cut. I mean, there’s no proof that the second pregnancy was ectopic, so of course I’m still paranoid that I have a yet-undiagnosed condition and we have a long road still ahead. I guess we’ll know soon enough…

Not much else to report really, except that tomorrow Shmerson will be coming home! Finally! I’ll be spending the day being the happy housewife, finishing up the cleaning, and planning something yummy for dinner. Fun and happy times all around, 50’s style!

Hope all of you US-Americans had a happy 4th!

Change of Perspective

2 Jul

I know I’ve been silent, there’s nothing really to say. I’m here, I’m waiting. I’m waiting for Shmerson to come home already (three days to go!) I’m waiting to POAS, I’m waiting to see what’s next.

I do have something nice to share with you guys today, but before I get to it, I have a TMI question for my sisters in progesterone suppository land: I’ve been having some major cramping. Is that normal? I’m starting to be paranoid that it’s another little guy digging into my tube (I mean, of course, because cramping always equals ectopics right?). So yeah – any info on this would be awesome.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

I haven’t really written about it much on here, but I’ve been feeling like I’m in a state of crisis when it comes to my career. For those of you not in the know, I work from home, partly for my dad’s business, and partly as a freelance writer and content producer. I’ve been trying to move the “dad’s business” half from “partly” to non-existent for the last few months, and though there has been some level of success, I’ve been feeling really stuck. I like to call it “throwing the clutch while going uphill” for those of you that are stick shift savvy.

I just haven’t been able to get going on anything, and I’ve found it really frustrating, not to mention a whole new reason to self flagellate. And you all know how much I like doing that. I should write it down as a hobby on my FB profile I do it so much.

Anywho, yesterday I went over to a friend’s house who I haven’t seen in a while (hi Rolig!). The nice part about this blog is that it cancels out the need to give long detailed updates about the state of my tubes to my friends, so he was pretty much up to date (though I admit, quite a bit of discussion was had around my plumbing anyway). We delved in deeper and I shared with him my frustration with my career trajectory or more like the lack thereof.

Then I told him how mad at myself I was for not appreciating and building on what I have. I mean – I’m really very lucky. I have a steady paycheck, a happy marriage, a nice new home…

He stopped me in my tracks. He told me that none of those things were due to luck. They were because of me. And in fact, I should be darn proud of myself. He said that plenty of other women in my situation wouldn’t be able to hold it together as well as I am. Their marriages wouldn’t survive, they would definitely not be able to support a household. The fact that I’m functioning at all is a victory, and I should cut myself some slack.

I don’t know what it was about how he phrased it, but something about it made me feel better. Instead of “lay off, lord knows you deserve it,” or “you’ve had a difficult year, it’s ok that you’re not doing as much.” I got: “good for you, you’re doing awesome considering the circumstances.”  It was about what I was doing, instead of what I wasn’t.

And the fact that it was the second time I’d been told that in 24 hours (the other time was at dinner the night before with Squish, yay Squish!), well, it made me feel a heck of a lot better.

In fact – so much better that I actually managed to get stuff done today. I cleaned the house. I did 4 loads of laundry. I washed the dishes and even scrubbed the stove and cleaned the bathroom. And I plan on getting stuff done tomorrow as well.

It’s amazing what a change of perspective from a good friend (or two) can do to a girl. So I’m waiting, but for a change, I’m also getting ‘er done. Now if I could just get around to building myself a website and finding some more clients, I’ll be good to go. But you know what? It’s ok if I don’t. For now.

Very Superstitious….

25 Jun

Ok – so Operation Ole’ Lefty  has hit a bump in the road, because the last OPK in the house was faulty, and it’s Friday night, and no pharmacies will be open until tomorrow. I think I may have seen a trace of EWCM this morning but I have no idea if Little Lefty has popped or not, which is of course contributing to my crazy. Good stuff all around.

I met PM tonight – who is herself about to pop in a different way, she’s due next week! – and she was telling me about how she’s not bringing any baby stuff into the house until the little one comes out healthy. I totally get it, and it got me thinking about the weird little superstitions and crap I’ve been trying to hang my hat on for the last couple of weeks. It’s amazing what Infertility can do to an atheist, seriously.

So – since I’m on a bit of a roll with the list-making – here are the crazy things I’ve been latching onto in an attempt to convince myself that I will be knocked up this month and the little one will nestle itself in the correct spot. Yay lists!

  1. My mother is convinced that once we move into a decent apartment, I’ll finally have a healthy pregnancy. We’ve actually found a place and we’re hopefully closing the deal on Monday (more on that soon!). I’m trying to go along with that theory.
  2. There have been a lot of butterflies around me lately. I keep on noticing them. For some reason I’ve fixated on that.
  3. The baby psychic said we would find out about a girl in July. Yes, I’m resorting to baby psychics again. You’d think I’d learned my lesson by now.
  4. If I get preggo now, it means an april baby. 4 is my lucky number. (I know – I’m totally stretching here)
  5. it means I would hit the second trimester on my birthday. That would be an awesome birthday present.
Ok that’s basically it. I’m grasping at straws, I know. Desperate times… I’m still hoping I’ll be able to feel it if it happens, like I have before, but who knows.
Anybody else find themselves grasping at straws and stupid superstitions to get your hope going? Share in the comments!

The List

24 Jun

Well, Shmerson came home for a blissful 10 hours. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were baked, shrimp and spinach basil Gnocchi was cooked, a couple of “deposits” were made happily, much cuddling was had, and now he’s gone for almost two weeks.

After the second “deposit” Shmerson and I gave my eggs and his swimmers a nice little talking to. We explained to his guys that they have to swim to the left, and they have to hang out for a while. We explained to little lefty that she needs to pop soon, and go down Ole’ Lefty to meet the swimmers. Hopefully they were listening.

I’m up against two torturous weeks now. I know saying the word “torturous” may be a bit melodramatic, but so be it. I HATE it when Shmerson’s away. I have a really hard time caring for myself when he’s not around – something that I know I need to change. I think if anything, that’s going to be my mission for these next two weeks, ignore the fact that I’m on my TWW and concentrate on things like actually cooking myself meals, meeting friends, cleaning the house, and getting some work done.

I went to Dr. Happy Pills today and he upped my zoloft dosage, because it’s been evident that right now it’s not completely doing the trick. Hopefully that will help me in this endeavor.

For now – I’m obsessively using OPK’s, hoping that Shmerson’s little guys survive until my follie decides to pop, and everything goes smoothly. Most of my regular readers know I like to make lists, so I’ve decided to share with you my list of things that need to go right for us to actually come out with a baby from this month. I’ve italicized milestones that we’ve never reached before for easy understanding, and because I’m cool and organized like that. Now – on to the list! Yay lists!

  1. Shmerson’s super swimmers need to survive until my follie pops.
  2. This means that my follie better pop in the next 24-48 hours.
  3. Little Lefty needs to go down Ole’ Lefty, and meet the swimmers, to create an actual embryo.
  4. Embryo needs to nestle in properly, in the uterus.
  5. Betas need to double properly.
  6. We need to see a heartbeat.
  7. We need to make it past 8 weeks.
  8. We need to make it to the second trimester
  9. We need the scans to show a healthy baby.
  10. We need the baby to hang out in my uterus hopefully for a full nine months. 
  11. The baby needs to come out healthy and whole. 
  12. I need to stay healthy and whole. 
I know there are plenty of other milestones on the way that I’ve missed. Right now I’m hoping we make it to number 4. Then I’ll hope to make it to 5. If we’re lucky, we’ll hit six and seven. Hopefully from there I’ll be able to breathe just a little bit.
I realized the other day that I’ve been pregnant 3 times, and I’ve never once seen a heartbeat. I hope I get to someday, and hopefully someday soon.
Sometimes I close my eyes and fantasize about what will happen when I finally go into labor one day. I imagine the nurse asking me which pregnancy this is for me. I’ll answer it’s the fourth. She’ll smile and tell me that I must be an old pro. I’ll tell her it’s my first child and make her squirm. For some reason I’ve been liking the idea of making others squirm lately. Don’t know why. I just hope that it really will be the fourth, and we won’t have to say 5th, 6th, 7th, and so on. I don’t know how much more strength I have for this.
But for right now all I can do is convince myself that Nachos for both lunch and dinner are not a healthy nutritional decision, and that staring at the second line on the OPK won’t magically make it darker.
That, at least, would be progress.

My Ironic Day

21 Jun

This post was meant to be titled “Experiments in Social Awkwardness”. But alas, per usual, things never end up quite like I expect them to.

Shmerson is away, and I started the day off with not really doing much of anything. I’ve been hella-anxious, and doing my usual self-destructive over eating (always a blast, with the guilt and the doughnuts. Though I do love those doughnuts) and general restless lethargy.

When 5pm rolled around, I headed over to Twofer’s office for an U/S. Indeed, the left follie is still going strong, and it looks like it will win the race.

But of course, Twofer had to warn me that it doesn’t mean it’ll go down the right (as in the correct, as in the left) tube. To make matters more complicated, his estimate is that little lefty will pop over the weekend, and Shmerson will only be able to come home for some good lovin’ on Wed.

Well, since his sperm was apparently born and bred on krypton, we may still have a shot. But honestly, I’m not feeling too optimistic, because even if his guys do survive the two days until my estimated pop, I’m pretty much convinced I’m going to end up with another ectopic. So far, my plea for success stories has brought two abysmal failure stories instead. So yeah, I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that this is most likely a lost cause.

So I came home feeling rather bitter. Oh, and still sore over a week after that freaking HSG (seriously – is this normal? Twofer wasn’t surprised but it’s been 8 days! Give a girl a break!).

I was trying to get up the motivation to head to my yoga class, when finally, I let my bitter rise to the surface and left the house wearing my brand new badge of honor. Something I’ve been keeping around the house for over a week now, trying to find the right time to flaunt in public.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my Miscarriage T-shirt!

yeah, it's kind of a crappy pic, but it's all I could manage on my iPhone

In case you guys can’t make out the writing, it says: I had a miscarriage and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt.

(though technically it should be “3 miscarriages”. Ahh well)

This shirt was made on cafepress and ordered on a day when I was feeling particularly Loki-ish (don’t know who loki is? google is your friend!) and bitter.

Today I decided to try it out at my yoga class, fully expecting to cause a scene, and get a really funny blog post out of it.

Well, needless to say, I was thoroughly disappointed. Maybe people don’t look at T-Shirts often. Maybe they didn’t care. Either way, I didn’t even get a sideways glance.

To my Yoga Instructor’s credit, I proudly pointed out the writing on the shirt and he laughed his ass off. But I always knew he was awesome like that.

So, I left yoga feeling a bit better, having worked off some of the doughnut (mmmm….. doughnut), and headed off to scrape myself up some dinner (I’m useless at feeding myself when shmerson is not around).

Waiting at the pizza place (yes! I’m depressed! I know! Bad me!) I ran into an old friend, and what started as a fun experiment ended up pissing me off to no end.

I got the sideways pity glance. I got the patronizing advice. I got the “oh, poor you” look.

Never mind that I was cheery and pointed out the shirt myself. Never mind that I did not show any signs of distress. I left there feeling disgusted with this person, and with myself – the latter, of course, for no good reason. Why does my frustration with my body always have to end in self-destructive behavior? You’d think I’d know better by now.

Now – the big question is  – will I wear the shirt again? And if so – perhaps to a family function? Or a Bris?

Your thoughts are welcome!

*sneaks off to eat a doughnut and self-flaggelate*

The Atheist Prays (and other musings on existential crises)

17 Jun

So I’ve been really down the last couple of days. I’m still pretty sure about our decision to count on Ole’ Lefty, but I feel like I’m already preparing myself for the next inevitable loss. I mean – my luck has been so crappy thus far – I highly doubt I’ll catch a break. The bottom line is I’m scared out of my wits.

I spent the day going back and forth in my head about this decision. Debating. Discussing. There was even an emergency call to my shrink to talk it over with her, in which as usual, she dropped some wisdom and perspective on my ass. Basically, she said I’m upset not because of the decision, but rather because neither decision is ideal. She also pointed out that on a lot of levels, what we have is good news, because my body has been deemed healthy enough for us to try again naturally. A wise woman indeed.

But all of that didn’t do much to allay my fears. I keep on googling incessantly to try to figure out what the chances are of a left side ovulation going into the right tube. And Dr. Google is failing me miserably.

I’ve written here quite a bit about my general heathenism. I have a serious issue with organized religion, and I don’t really know what I believe in. I would categorize myself as an atheist, yet today, I found myself trying to bargain with god, or fate or the universe, or something.

It was toward the end of my yoga class, where I’ve been avoiding twists due to the fact that my right side is still sore from the HSG (is that normal, BTW?).

We were sitting in a sort of meditation and I found myself speaking to the heavens:

“God, or Universe, or Fate, or whatever you are – please make this work. Please let me get pregnant through the correct tube and let this baby stick. I promise that if you do I’ll believe in you. Please prove to me that there is something out there by granting me this one humble request.”

This whole bargaining thing kind of caught me off guard. I surprised myself with this internal monologue. But Twofer’s words keep on echoing in my head: “God owes you one.” And “all you can really do at this point is pray.”

My shrink and I have been talking quite a bit about how this whole repeat miscarriage thing is a manifestation of this ongoing existential crisis that I’ve had for as long as I can remember.

At the age of 8, I realized that I was going to die, and that I didn’t believe in God, and I had my first ever panic attack right there on the spot (just like any normal 8 year old, right?).

Since then, I’ve been plagued with anxiety and a constant search for some sort of comfort or spiritual direction, with no luck. I’m a born skeptic. This may sound pompous, but I’m too smart for my own good. I out-smart myself all the time and go into fits of circular logic.

I know I’m kind of rambling here. But I do have a point – I think.

I wish I could have faith. I wish I could just plug my nose and dive in and be sure that everything will be alright, because “God owes us one.”

But instead, I’m back to Einstein. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Statistically, I’ve already been screwed in every way possible. there’s only a 5% chance of infection from a D&C, and I fell into that percentile. There’s like – what? a 1% chance of an ectopic? Check. About a 40% chance of a repeat ectopic? Double check. Not to mention that there’s only a 15% chance every month for a woman to get pregnant and somehow Shmerson’s super sperm have managed twice to swim up a partially blocked tube and knock me up against all odds on the first month out of the gate, not to mention his first bulls-eye which led to the Blighted Ovum.

So – the chances of Ole’ Lefty not picking up the egg from my left ovary and it swimming over to Righty instead are most likely slim. But I’m apparently a freak of nature. Statistics count for nothing.

So all I have left is prayer. And that’s kind of a crappy place to be when you’re an atheist who has been in a constant existential crisis for over two decades.

Today I sat there and begged the universe for proof of some meaning. I bargained. I hoped beyond all hope that there was something – anything – listening.

I wish I was a believer. Maybe then all of this would make sense on some level.

But for now, I’m stuck somewhere between Einstein and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, sitting in a Yoga class, begging for some faith, and making deals with someone or something that I generally don’t think actually exists.

Maybe that’s the definition of insanity.

Go Follie Go?

15 Jun

Well – this was unexpected.

We just got back from our appointment with Twofer. He looked at the film and said “Well – this is the worst case scenario”.

I was confused. “Why?”

Well – because there is no black and white in our situation. It’s a completely gray area. It turns out that my right tube is only PARTIALLY blocked, and everything else is fine. According to Twofer, if the right tube was fully blocked, then they would just remove it and we’d keep trying naturally. Because the left tube is completely clear, and we’re still young, there’s no point in IVF (we’d still be at risk for an ectopic on the left side and it’s too invasive for our situation).

Which left us with two options:

1) I go in for a surgery to block my right tube completely and then we continue to try naturally with the tube blocked, relying fully on Ole Lefty.

2) We monitor ovulation and only try on months when I’m ovulating on my left side, and cross our fingers that the egg doesn’t decide to wander into the right tube.

I pretty much knew what I wanted to do as soon as he laid down the options. But I asked him what he thought. He said that he hates invasive procedures as a rule, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster (ok – he actually said God) owes us one, so he thinks it’s better that we go for option two and pray.

I knew I wanted option two as well – sans the praying since that’s not my bag (though anyone out there who feels it is their bag is welcome to pray for me).

Here’s my logic: I despise general anesthesia (it scares the frakety frak out of me), and surgery is what brought me to this place to begin with (seeing as the pervasive theory is that the D&C is what caused the blockage to begin with).

When I hopped on the table and the U/S revealed that the dominant follicle is currently on the left side, my mind was fully made up.

Plug my nose, jump in feet first and hope for the best.

At least this time, if I get a BFP we’ll know immediately to monitor betas and make sure we’ve got a sac in the right place. If the embryo decides to jump ship to Righty and burrow in – then I’ll deal with surgery and we’ll go again.

The question is – do I have another miscarriage in me? Am I ready to take the emotional risk?

I wish I knew a complete answer to that. All I have right now is my instinct, and so far – through this whole ordeal my instinct has always been right.

And my instinct says to trust that little follie growing over Lefty, and hope he or she finds their way. I wish they made microscopic road maps. Or microscopic flashing neon signs with arrows pointing to the left tube and then the uterus.

So I’ll be back to Twofer’s on Monday to confirm that the little follie hanging out over Lefty is the one that’s gonna pop, and then we BD like there’s no tomorrow and hope for the best.

Go Follie Go!

So – what do you guys think? Am I making the right call? Anyone know of any success stories using this method? Would love to hear some feedback.

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