Monday, November 29, 2010

Last Transfer of the Year

So I had my CD13 u/s on Saturday, everything looked fine my lining was at 10mm, which is good. My transfer will be on Wednesday and we're hoping to at least put back 3 if we're lucky. They'll be defrosting on tomorrow, since they were frozen on Day2. I'm sure my beta will be around the 15th or so. I kind of feel like I'm just going through the motions at this point. I'm neutral when it comes to how much hope I have that this last one might work. I think the more time that passes the more I really just want to say f-it and let's do donor egg. I just don't want to wait any longer to get pregnant. I met with a therapist this morning. She seems pretty nice, so I go back and see her again next Monday. She basically told me that with my up-bringing, all the shit with relatives, school, and IF, no wonder I'm depressed/anxious. For now I'm going to go without meds, but if it gets to the point where I'm taking a break again and need to be on something I certainly will. I'll probably post once more about transfer day, but after that I'm going to be MIA for a while until beta.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Deep Breaths

I appreciate all of your comments, it's been a rough few weeks to say the least. I was finally able to get in touch with a therapist and I have an appointment next Monday unless someone cancels before then. I can't say that I'm not going in skeptical, I just haven't had great luck with a one on one therapist before. I did find some comfort seeing our counselor at our church, but there's only so much she can say about it being in God's hands before I start to shut down. I mean yes, I know it is, but all of my emotional issues and depression aren't just going to go away if I pray alot. Since I can't go on meds right now, this is my only other option. So we'll see how it goes.

My parent's are on the way into town today. I'm happy to see them, but they bring alot of anxiety into my life. Being an only child has alot of down sides. They're extremely over-bearing and over-protective and sometimes forget that I'm actually an adult. So I'm just going to take deep breaths if my Mom gets on my nerves.

In other news, I don't think I've mentioned this yet, R and I are in a huge fight with his mother. The day that I found out our 2nd pregnancy wasn't viable, I called her to let her know, but I was basically hysterically. She kept yelling over me to stop crying. I didn't need someone to tell me that, I just needed her to let me cry. So I basically started having a panic attack and just decided to hang up the phone. I went to the back of the house and made a bath and just layed in it and cried until R got home early from work. I never called her back b/c I just really didnt' want to to talk to anyone. This was a Monday and on Tuesday night R found out he got a promotion he'd been working towards for a very long time. I didn't talk to her or R's dad but sent them my love when R told them about his job.

That Friday I had my committee review of my PhD proposal, basically they were going to determine when I could graduate. Luckily they agreed to let me go when my prof leaves the school this coming August. R and I decided to celebrate and go to a nice dinner. Before our meal came we called his parent's to let them know about my good news. His mom gets on the phone says a quick "That's good" and then chews me up one side and down the other. She told me she had never been so disrespected in her life and that she thought I had more respect for her than that, and that she didn't appreciate me hanging up on her and that I should never do that again. She said somewhat jokingly, "I don't know what I'm going to do with you, maybe next time I see you I should give you a spanking." Now during her tirade I didn't say anything but maybe a yes/no here and there. After yelling at me she started asking me all these questions about where we were going to move to, was I going to stay at FSU. I had just found out not 3 hours earlier that I was going to graduate early, but yet I was already supposed to know where we were going to be living and have a job lined up.

Needless to say I started crying at dinner after I handed the phone off to R. He didn't know what had happened until after he hung up with her. He was furious and said he would talk to her about it the next day. So he did and evidently she said, "So she sent you as her guard dog?" Are you kidding me? After that he got really pissed off too. The following week he called her during a lul at work, at the same time his boss called him on the other line, so he told her he had to hang up to take the other call. After he talked to his boss, he called her back 4 times and she wouldn't pick up.

Last Sat for my bday she send me a text, "Happy Birthday Love Mom." I wrote back, "Thanks Love You Too." That is all the contact we've had since October 22. At this point I know she is waiting for me to call her and apologize and admit that I was disrespectful and should never do that again, blah blah blah. Well, I've decided not to b/c I don't think I did anything wrong. It was in the heat of the moment and I was devestated and hysterical. For some reason she likes to take situations and turn them into all about her. This isn't the first time she's done something like this. Back when I was in undergrad and called her to tell her R and mine's wedding date she yelled at me and told me we were too young and that we both needed jobs and where were we going to live. I was in tears by the end of the conversation and thought she hated me. Planning our wedding was a complete fiasco b/c of dealing with her and my mom. From all that happened then, my parents and R's don't speak much at all. R and I have had to put our foot down and just alternate holidays b/c they can't stand to be in the same room together.

I don't need anymore drama in my life, especially with everything going on right now. So my method of dealing with it, is to leave it up to her to contact me. I refuse to apologize for being upset, so more than likely we won't be talking anytime soon. I hope we can come to some short of agreement before Christmas. I've also decided not to tell her anything about our latest FET. All I need from her is some support, but somehow it's my fault that things went to shit. More deep breaths.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seeking Help

So I guess there weren't too many of you that read my last post or maybe you just didn't know what to say. This morning I called a few therapists and will hopefully be able to get an appointment soon. I'm doing better than I was a few days ago, but going to church yesterday was difficult. We normally sit with my friend who just told me she's pregnant with her 2nd, but I just couldn't. We even skipped sunday school because I knew she would be announcing it to the class. R went up to talk to someone after the service and I just went back to the car. He ran into them and told them it was just too hard for me right now. She told him she understood and would be waiting if I wanted to talk again. At this point I'm just feeling surrounding and over-whelmed with pregnant women, I just want to avoid any situation that will cause more pain. I know this makes me a horrible friend, but I've got to save my sanity especially since I could be facing more disappoint after we get the results of our 2nd and most likely last FET.

I know in my heart that I just want to be pregnant and have a child, but at the same time the thought of never having a child that is truly mine and my husband's biologically scares the crap out of me. I think I just need to talk through it with an outsider, so that's why I'm seeking some help. I went to counseling about 2 years ago and it just wasn't right for me. I don't know if it was the therapist or just her methods that made me uncomfortable. The only thing I got out of seeing her was a 1970s book on how to get pregnant. I couldn't believe a therapist who knew that we had been trying for almost 2 years at that point thought a book like that would go over well. So needless to say I'm skeptical of all therapists.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bottom of a Pit

So I went to San Diego last week for a neuroscience conference. It was fun and I had two interviews for post-doc positions. One for a university in TN and the other in SC. It was a good experience and both professors left it up to me to contact them if I was still interested, which I took as a good sign. I still have alot of time to try and find a position, but it's important to me to have a plan in place especially since we probably will have to move, sell the house, and find a position for Rob. I celebrated my 28th birthday while I was gone, and wished the same wish I've wished for the past 4 birthdays. Will it come true before I turn 29? I don't know.

Rob's bday was two days after mine and it was hard to not be able to celebrate our bdays together. I got home on Wednesday to find that he had completely tiled our kitchen floor by himself, something we've been talking about doing for a few months now. There's still alot of finishing up to do, but it looks really nice and he worked really hard.

The next day I opened my laptop that I had left at home to find porn plastered across the screen. I think I sat there for a moment with my mouth hung open and tears forming in my eyes. I called him at work and told him we had some things to discuss and left it at that. I was livid, hurt, upset, and felt completely worthless. Our roomate came home and asked if I wanted to go to the triple Harry P. feature, so I went without asking Rob if it would be okay. I didn't want to see him or even be in the same room. I didn't get home until 3am in the morning and didn't say a word to him until he came home the next morning after an early meeting. Evidently a few months back I had given him "permission" to take care of business. I don't remember doing this, but whatever. Because I haven't wanted to be touched let alone have sex, I guess he's feeling neglected. But instead of telling me he needs some attention, he goes behind my back and rubs one out while I'm out of town. He came clean and said this wasn't the first time and that he's done it while I've been at school too. He then yelled at me and said I better not tell anyone and let alone post it on my blog, because what happens between me and him should stay between me and him. I don't like being told what I can and can't do, so needless to say I'm not listening to him. I will try and keep him out of blog after this post, but I certainly won't stop discussing my feelings especially if he's the one that's hurting me. I still haven't gotten over it. He says he won't do it again, now that he knows how much it hurt me, but I can't help but listen to the voice inside my head telling me he probably will.

I know he loves me and that he has "needs" that I and I don't think any women can understand. I feel as if I drove him to this point. I've realized that I've been traumatized by all of this. I cringe when he or anyone touches me when I have my back turned. I've lost all of the sexual drive I had, it doesn't interest me at all and so I know he's taken this personally, even though I've told him how I feel. I've felt like less of a woman for years now, like I'm broken and not whole. I see now that every aspect of my life at home and at school has been affected by IF.

And so yesterday I get a call from my only friend from church who has shown any interst in following me through this journey to motherhood. After we'd been trying for a year, she got pregnant very easily with her daughter. Her daughter is now 2 and 1/2. We talk at least once a week and she told me that she'd be trying for her 2nd starting in September. Well she didn't get PG last month, but she did this month. I was waiting for her to tell me, I just knew it would only be a matter of time. I could tell when we were talking that there's was something in her voice that wasn't quite right. She said she wanted me to find out from her and not while at church. They'll probably be announcing it this Sunday. You see she never had a problem with her first pregnancy so she told our class the day she got a positive test. There's no reason for her not to tell the whole world now that she's pregnant again, because she has nothing to worry about. I started crying when she told me and she started crying because she knew how much I'd be hurt. I told her that it wasn't her fault I was upset, I was just upset with the situation and jealous that it comes so easy to her. She told me she'd continue to call me and when I was ready to talk again let her know. She said if I don't want to hear anything about her pregnancy she would respect that.

I feel so alone right now. The two people that I talked to the most about this IF shit are both pregnant. The one couple that Rob and I know that are still trying are alot older than us. She already has 3 grown boys, and this is her second marriage. So even though she knows the pain of going through every month with another AF showing up, she can't begin to feel the pain I feel because she already has children. It's a different kind of hurt for her. This would be the first child for her current husband, but I've realized that husbands deal with IF in a very different way than we do.

There's no one left for me to talk to IRL about all of this. There's no one left to sympathize with me. There's no one left, except Rob, to give me a hug and let me cry when I've gone through another failed cycle. All I have is all of you out there somewhere. And even though I find a small comfort in that, I still feel like I'm at the bottom of yet another pit with no way out.

I'm already in the midst of my 2nd FET. I have an ultrasound check next Saturday morning and our transfer will most likely be the first week of December. I'm going into this cycle with absolutely no expectations. I have to. We have our plan in place, but time is of the essence right now especially if we are moving sometime next August/September away from our RE. I'm willing to give our remaining embryos a chance, but our horrible track record remains at the forefront of my mind. I know that without any hope this cycle will certainly fail, so I need some help and reassurance from all of you, that I will be ok even if this transfer ends like the past 3.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Other Side

I relate infertility to a brick wall. Sometimes it's several hundred feet high and I can't even remotely fathom what the other side is like, but other times it's only a few feet high and it seems like one day I might be able to climb over it. For now, I can't see the top of the wall. The wall is thick and tall. I can't blast threw it and there are no peep holes to the other side. There is a single ladder that I can use to climb over the wall, but there are hundreds of others waiting to use the ladder too. If I consider the three transfers I've been through, I've gotten to start the climb using that ladder three times. One time I made it a few steps off the ground, but immediately fell off. The other two times I've almost reached the top, only to fall hard back on the ground. Currently, I'm trying to mend the broken heart that I suffered from the last fall.

I can sometimes hear those of you that have made it to the other side, but most of the time you've moved so far from that wall I can't hear your voice anymore. Every now and then I can hear a voice telling me, "You're time will come." But sometimes all I hear is a whisper saying, "You won't believe what it's like over here, wish you were here to see it." I don't know what it's like on the other side of the wall. I've never seen it and I've never experienced it, so I don't know how to relate to those of you that have already made it to the other side. Maybe when my heart begins to mend again and I get to step back on that ladder to try and make the climb again, I'll be able to hear again. I might finally catch a glimpse of what the other side is really like. Maybe you'll even be able to chip away at the wall and make a peep hole for me to see what the other side is really like. Maybe one day that hole will be big enough for you to grab my hand and reassure me that all of this heartache is really worth going through to make it to the other side.

But for now the wall is big. My broken heart and I are on one side and y'all are on the other. I can't see the top of the wall and there are no peep holes to take a glimpse at the other side. My ears don't work very well so all I hear are muted whispers. So if y'all have the time to wait for me on the other side it would make all the difference, but if y'all don't, I'll understand that the beauty and happiness on the other side is too great to pass up and getting further away from that wall is what is best.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gypsy and Answered Questions

So I went to the fair yesterday, basically to gourge myself on fair food. I chose to eat away my sorrows with fried vegetables (okra, pickles, and green beans), a corn dog, chili fries, and a huge chocolate dipped rolled in nuts frozen banana. And yes, I ate every bit of it and loved it! At this point trying to find something that will make the hurt go away is pretty much non-existent, but eating fair food helped.

While at the fair I came across a fortune teller booth. I paid $10 to have my palms read and to do a tarot card reading. Now I'm not a firm believer in this stuff, but I do find it pretty interesting. So the lady read my palms and said I'm going to live a long life. Well that's always nice to hear, but do you really think she would tell me that I have a month to live? Probably not. She tells me that I've already found my soul mate, true, but I'm sure she caught on since I was wearing my wedding ring and my husband was waiting outside the tent. She then tells me that I have been pulling away and disengaging from my marriage. Uh, ok interesting, do I have something on my face (maybe some leftover mustard) which told her I'm suffering from IF and my marriage and relationship with my husband is not what it used to be? She then says that I will have 2 children very close in age, possibly twins. I like the sound of that.

She then asked me, "Have you recently gone through a miscarriage, abortion, or still-birth?" I almost started crying at the stupid table. I was wearing sunglasses at the time, so I don't think she could see the hurt and horror in my eyes, but I answered yes I've had 2 failed pregnancies. She told me my journey will continue to be hard and that I have an abdominal issue that needs to be taken care of before things will turn around. She tells me that a curse or hex has been placed on me from a person(s) in my past and that I need a spiritual cleansing. She then tells me I can pay $75 for her to do it right there in the tent. I walked away with one of her pamplets in my hand and a little bit of shock.

Now I know these women study your mannerisms and look for clues to what's going on in your life, but why the hell would she have asked if I recently had a loss, that's not something you ask someone you've never met before in your life. I don't put alot of stock into what she said, but it still makes me wonder. I'd like to think her prediction of 2 children possible twins is right, but no one knows the future but God.

Questions Answered:
Alot of you have commented that I should seek a second opinion or continuing doing more IVFs before moving on to other options. For now I am stuck in a contract with my current RE. We signed up for the shared-risk program and forked over $18,000, so we aren't leaving anytime soon. If this next FET doesn't work, then we'll do that stupid biopsy lining test and proceed from there. At my current frame of mind, I'm done with IVF and ER. We've produced 34 embryos over half of which were Graded 1 at either Day 3 or Day 5. I've had 3 transfers, and ended up with 2 chemical pregnancies. My hormone levels are always normal and my lining had been thick as can be with all of the transfers. I'm tired of going through the heartache and physical pain of ERs. Both times I've hyperstimmed and had really long and hard recoveries. Both times we've ended up with tons of embryos, but they all start dying.

My clinic has over 20 years of experience and was once rated among the Top 10 best clinics in the country. I trust their expertise and I trust my RE. I may not like what he has to say about our results or about his views on my eggs, but it is what it is and I'm prepared to be okay with that. Many of you have gone on to do 3 or more IVFs, but most of you ended up with fewer than 8 embryos at any given time. Some of you even ended up with only 1 or 2 by the day of the transfer and none to freeze. That didn't happen to me, I've had ample opportunities with all of the embryos I've ended up with. My embryos may look nice under a microscope, but something genetically is seriously wrong with them. You will always have some death among the embryos, but not like what we've had.

As far as doing PGD testing on the embryos we have left that would cost us an extra $3000 because our lab can't do the testing in house. The embryos would have to be shipped elsewhere for the test. Yes I would love to finally have a definitive, "You're embryos are not viable and are chromosomally abnormal," but at this point I pretty much already know that by the way they've reacted when developing and from the 3 failed transfers. Also I don't really feel comfortable with having a cell taken out of the embryos for testing, at the rate we are going even if we had a viable embryo I don't think it would be strong enough to survive the testing. To us, using that money for another option is better.

As it stands, Rob and I have decided to move forward with donor egg, if the time comes after another failed FET. I am not strong enough physically or emotionally to go through another IVF. I'm ready to be pregnant and I'm ready to be a mother, and if that means giving up on ever having a child with my genetic material then so be it. I don't feel like a failure, I feel like I've just reached my limit on the heartache of failed IVFs that I can withstand. We've decided on moving forward with donor because Rob said he wants me to be pregnant and he wants to go through a pregnancy with me. He said he isn't ready to give up on using his genetic material and I respect that. This isn't just about me, it's about us and OUR journey to parenthood. I finally got him to open up and tell me what he really feels and it actually made me feel better and took a load off of my shoulders. We have a plan that we agree on and that feels good. I know this may not be what everyone else would decide if they were in my position, but this is what feels right to us, so I'm going with it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Plan For Now

So we had our RE consult yesterday. It went basically how I thought it would. He told me that in all honesty, and he did apologize for the terminology, but I went throught 2 chemical pregnancies. It hurt to hear that. It hurt to realize that I never really had a baby growing in me, all it was were some embryonic cells. I'm dealing with this realization, but I can't say it makes it easier to handle, on the contrary it makes me feel worse. It makes me feel like I never had a chance at all. He says that he fully believes it's an egg issue. Basically when an egg develops there are several steps in which the chromosomes in the egg split and separate, therefore there are many times when something can go wrong. In my case, most likely, I'm either gettting too few or too many chromosomes in my eggs, which in turn is causing genetic abnormalities which in turn causes the embryos to degenerate or not be viable. I trust my RE, but I can't help but wish it wasn't true. I have to look at the facts though. We've gone through 26 embryos at this point. Gosh it hurts just saying that. In the scheme of things if I compare the number of embryos we've gotten compared to what most get during an IVF cycle, it's like we've already been through more than 2 cycles. I asked about the grading of the embryos and the RE said that we've had some excellent Grade 1 and 2 embryos, especially this time, but looks aren't everything. A really high grade embryo can still not be viable or have chromosomal abnormalites, whereas one that looks completely horrible under a microscope could yield a healthy baby. Of the 8 embryos we still have frozen we have several Grade 1 and 2s. I asked about how many we would transfer this next time and he nonchalantly said we can try 4. I'm thinking to myself that he "really" thinks this is going to work. What happened to you're too young to transfer more than 2 to we can do 4 without questioning it. I feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall right now.

I asked about more testing and brought up immunity and alloimmune disorders and he didn't go for that. He believes that there's too much speculation and not enough evidence to prove that there's any correlation between infertility and these things. I don't believe him, but he's not interested in looking into them any further. He says there just isn't enough medical evidence and research studies to prove to him that it's legitimate. He did suggest one test we can try. I would basically go through a mock cycle and once my lining reached a certain point, they would do a biopsy of the lining. The lining would be grown in culture and tested for beta-integrins which are specific proteins/receptors which help with implantation. If you're lacking in these, there's a higher chance for miscarriage. The treatment for this disorder is 3 months of Lupron, FML!!! However the RE said it's kind of a shot in the dark, the treatment isn't completely proven to be effective, but it's worth a try. He doesn't think this is our issue, but he thought he'd suggest it.

After talking with Rob, we've decided to go forward with another FET cycle. If the FET ends in another BFN, then we'll go ahead with the lining test and see what comes up. If the test shows some abnormalities then I'd have to decide to either move forward with the treatment or just throw in the towel and move forward with adoption. We've decided to wait to do the test because both of us just don't think that's what our problem is. However, we want to do the test before we'd ever consider using donor egg. If I can't carry a child what's the point of trying to get pregnant anymore.

I'm still trying to process all this information. I asked the RE about doing a 3rd IVF and he basically said the odds just aren't in our favor and he wouldn't suggest it. I don't know if we may push the issue if this next FET fails and we go through the lining test to find things out. I just don't know if I'm ready to give up on having a biological child. I'm got alot of soul searching to do and alot of praying. I'm just ready for some sort of closure, whether it be moving forward with donor or adoption or finally getting pregnant with our embryos, I'm just ready to move on with my life, because right now I feel like I'm standing still and everyone else is moving on with their lives.