Coming out of the infertility closet

When I first got pregnant, I was open about the IVF on Facebook because I wanted to post all my ultrasound pics from egg to baby. But I didn’t tell the whole story and how much of it was a long struggle and I had never mentioned anything about even trying to get pregnant before the big news. So this morning I decided to share the story and posted this:

Just sitting here this morning, with my belly almost blocking my keyboard, thinking about the long road I took to get here and the long journey I have ahead.

Around this time, eight years ago, I was pregnant for the first time. It only lasted seven weeks, but it was enough to make Sean and I realize how much we really wanted to start a family. With the first time being a total surprise we had no idea we were about to endure seven years of struggling and the heartbreak of repeatedly failed cycles.

We tried everything- timing, charting, fertility drugs, IUI’s. We even tried not trying. With Sean’s long deployments our efforts would be derailed, sometimes a year at a time. We finally sought the help of a fertility doctor who diagnosed me with endometriosis. I had surgery to remove it, along with a battery of tests that concluded we shouldn’t have any problem conceiving. But we still did.

Over the next year I quickly got over any fear of needles and learned to give myself shots, though I still preferred to shut my eyes and have Sean do it for me. I tried multiple drugs to ramp up my follicles. We did several rounds of IUI, where sperm is injected directly into your uterus through a catheter. It’s as fun as it sounds.

And still nothing. Not even a “maybe” line ever showed. Stark white tests. So we gave up again. Thought about adoption. Thought about maybe another dog. Sean got deployed for another 6 months.

I considered maybe I didn’t really want kids. I wondered if I was doing this because it was expected. I imagined us growing old, traveling the world and not worrying about raising a kid. As appealing as that sounded, it also seemed like something was missing. It was a little nagging feeling I couldn’t shake. I knew there was one thing left to try and at 38, time was running out.

So we tried a new doctor. By now my test results were dismal. We had a 15-20% chance of success. There was no sugar-coating this time. No “you got pregnant once, you can do it again” BS. Age plus years of endometriosis had left me with low ovarian reserve so there wasn’t much to work with. The doc suggested we get started on IVF right away. After years of disappointment, we both went into it with the last shred of hope we could muster.

The shots were brutal. Every day for over two weeks, all in the stomach. Twice and then three times day. We were running out of spots I didn’t have bruises. Sometimes the shots left large red lumps as well. I was bloated and miserable, but most of all determined to get through it.

The results of all that work were pretty crushing. I had managed to produce one mature follicle. A follicle does not even guarantee they can get a decent egg out of it. Most IVF patients get five or six. Some get as many as 20. I had one.

So they gave me the option to cancel the cycle and try again the next month with hopes I could produce more eggs. They said most places would go ahead and cancel the cycle anyway. I thought about how hard we had worked to get that one follicle and all the shots I had gone through and that there was no guarantee I could even make more. We held onto the mantra “It only takes one” and decided to go for it. The egg retrieval was a success and when we got the call to let us know it actually fertilized, I couldn’t keep the shock out of my voice. When the embryologist commented that I sounded surprised, I could only think to respond “We’re just so used to disappointment.”

With our first couple hurdles cleared we let ourselves get a little excited. Our little embryo grew and divided and reached the crucial stage for implantation 3 days later. We may have had just one shot, but it was starting to look like a good one and we were about to put our only egg in our only basket.

Throughout that last seven years I had grand ideas of how I’d surprise Sean with positive results if we got them. All that went out the window with the first hint of a second line on that little white stick. I think I just ran into the bedroom with a big smile waving the wet stick and asking him to squint at the little hint of color that was starting to show.

And now we’re here. Anxiously awaiting the day that little egg, who grew into our little son, will make his first appearance in the world. Sean calls him our lion among the sheep, and I can’t wait to hear his first little roar.

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The Infertile and the Baby Shower Guilt

Seven years. It’s a LONG time to shun baby showers and announcements. And to mostly avoid friends with babies all together. After the MC seven years ago and the years of infertility issues that followed, any desire to be around babies and pregnant people just shriveled up and was shoved deep down in a place of grumbly indifference with a touch of jealousy. I was reduced the compulsory “congrats!” on Facebook immediately followed by a blocking of all subsequent posts.

I did at least send gifts (by mail of course) to a few good friends but I avoided all showers. These same friends have gone on to have 2 or 3 children who’s names I don’t even know and who’s announcements barely made it through the door before they went in the trash.

And now I’m pregnant. And I want to announce it, and have people celebrate with me and bring me presents and send out cute little baby pictures. And I feel like a TERRIBLE person :-/

How do you handle this? What’s the etiquette? I don’t want to leave anyone out, yet I feel bad sending invites to people I basically ignored. Should I look at it as a chance to make amends?

What do you guys think? How have you or how will you handle it?

An Infertile Mind

While grabbing my progesterone under the bathroom sink I saw a big bottle of Naproxen. (it’s like prescription Aleve for bad cramps) It was going to expire in about 5 months. I immediately thought, well I can give that to my friend B since I can’t use it while pregnant. I grabbed it and somewhere on the way out of the bathroom my arm slowly moved it back into the cabinet while my mind whispered “what if…”

Dammit! I wish I was past this. But after a 7 year battle with IF I guess I can’t expect to conquer my fears overnight.

On a positive note, I did finally allow myself to sign up for TheBump.com! I also didn’t grumble and change the topic when B. asked me questions about baby stuff at work today. I even shared my ultrasound pic 🙂

Beta Blahs and Bleeding

I usually enjoy rollercoasters, just not when they involve my emotions and mental stability. My beta results were crappy. They said they’d like them to be over 200, mine was 134. I got home from the doc and immediately started bleeding again. I have to go back Wednesday for my 3rd beta.

My mom gave me some helpful advice: don’t do anything strenuous, like using the foot peddle on your sewing machine. And don’t raise my arms over my head.

I can run my machine with my big toe, so I wouldn’t exactly call that strenuous. And I don’t think my plans involve dancing the YMCA today, so we’re good on the arms.

I just so wish we could get on some solid ground and start enjoying the excitement. All I can do right now is say “I’m pregnant. Today.”

Monday cannot come soon enough

Who’d ever think they’d utter those words? lol

My thoughts are really all over the place this morning.I keep thinking how if I wasn’t the obsessive testing type, I’d not even know I was pregnant because my period arrived right on time. I’m like freakin clockwork! I mean, this wasn’t spotting, it was full on light flow.

I spent all night cramping and bleeding and comparing it to the first time it happened. There is definitely a difference. This time it is light and not too crampy. Mostly pinkish with some red. And arrived right on time.

The other time, I was 6 weeks along and woke up in the middle of the night with horrendous cramps. One trip to the toilet and I immediately knew it was over. It was BAD.

So that gives me hope. And while searching for quotes about hope, I ran across this, which made me smile because I am a huge Star Wars fan. (If you have Netflix, check out Jedi Junkies. That’s me on the cover and I do an interview later in the film. Yes that kind of blows my “anonymous” blog thing, but I feel like I’m getting to know a lot of you and I’m no good at being undercover)

a_new_hope

So today is a new hope for me. I read that bleeding around the time your period was supposed to arrive is pretty common. Reading everyone else’s stories and comments on the last post helped a lot as well. And it slowed down today to spotting this morning. Also, I took a test this morning and I think it looks a little darker than yesterday’s!

11dp3dt

Anxious to get to Monday and get those numbers tested to confirm all is still good. Got to make it to Episode VI for the return of my little Jedi. 😉

Still hangin in there, progression pic

Tested this morning and it looks a smidge darker. Maybe half a smidge. But I’ll take it! 🙂 8AM tomorrow cannot come soon enough. It will be my first beta ever, which is quite  a milestone in itself. I don’t even know what they do. I’m guessing take blood and call you later? or the next day? Hope it doesn’t take too long! Is there an ultrasound involved? Wondering if I need to shave my legs and pick out clean socks.

I’m currently 9 days past my 3 day transfer, so 12 DPO.

I’m trying not to obsess over the constant weird crampy feeling and on and off pinchy feeling. I keep having to go stare at my stick collection to reassure myself there is a line there.

I finally told my mom and grandma, because I couldn’t keep it in any longer. But I also cautioned them to not get too excited. I also cautioned my mom that if she keeps referring to the baby as “egghead” then we aren’t speaking anymore.

*The DPT written on the sticks is Days Past Transfer (not trigger)

9dpt

 

It’s for reals! Day 2

Tested this morning with an EPT test and a wondfo. Wondfo is getting darker! EPT showed a decent positive but then it kind of faded about 30 min. later before I could get a pic. I’m used to the cheapy ones getting a little darker as they dry, so that’s weird. Anybody else experience that?

But there is no denying it now! Right now all I can think is 2 days! It lasted 2 days! lol

I left the nurse a message this morning letting her know about the positive test and whether I should come in early or do anything different. Monday seems like forever away.

Taken after the EPT test started to fade a bit-

day2

UPDATE: I spoke with the nurse and she said my actual test date should have been Saturday but they were closed on Sat so scheduled me for Monday. But since I got a positive they are having me come in on Friday 8AM 🙂

I will pee on many things between now and then…lol