Archive | August, 2010

Still on the edge

31 Aug

I had my second ultrasound yesterday and still saw nothing, just a sac.  The good news is that the sac was twice as big as last time.  Now it is 2 cm instead of 1.  Woopee!  I should be happy that there is progress, but I REALLY wish I could see something in there.  My doc said that she has seen it work out for some people and I guess I am just hoping I am one of these people.  Apparently it’s better than my previous pregnancy which had a tiny embryo but a slow heart beat.  In her experience really slow heart beats are really unlikely to result in healthy babies.  So I am either having a miscarriage for the third time or maybe a pregnancy.  My gut feeling is that I am progressing for now but I will hit a wall in couple weeks and the progress will stop and I will repeat the whole thing again- another slow motion miscarriage that takes weeks.    Either way, I need to get comfortable being on the edge like this.  You’d think I’d be good at it by now, but my gut tells me that if you don’t have good news on your 6 week visit/1st ultrasound, you may as well throw in the towel.  Dragging it out week by week really is torture.  It would help to have some statistics of how likely it is for this to turn around.  My suspicion is that it is not more than 50%, since my doctor didn’t want to get my hopes up.

My visit was a bit surreal.  I started out totally grumpy back at the OB office, head down, avoiding any glances at those annoying Parenting Magazines they leave everywhere or pregnant bellies that I expected to see.  (Ironcally I’ve seen more pregnant women at the YMCA and farmer’s market than in the OB office- the one place I am mentally ready for it).  I kind of dismissed the receptionist who asked me to fill out all sorts of forms.  Anything that wasn’t necessary I just skipped like ones related to future visits and tracking pregnancy.  I really felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there and was feeling a bit ticked off that my RE suggested  go there for ultrasound # 2.  It was intense being back there.  As part of the paperwork I had to fill out the same crap as always about possible family history, etc.  It seemed like such a big waste of time.  I really wanted to just say to them- “I have an empty sac and I am just waiting for confirmation that there is nothing there!  I don’t need to start planning for a baby that probably won’t make it!”.    It was hard not to be pissy to the chipper receptionist who deals with the “general population” that gets pregnant and actually gives birth a baby later.  I would LOVE to be in that “general population”.

So they called my name and I went back already knowing what to expect and just wanting it over with.  It’s one of the most awkward experiences to have with a doctor.  A weird reunion if you will.  So I saw the same assistant who was happy to see us back and asked how we were doing.  I just played along while wanting to say- it has been a sucky year and a half trying to get back here and we still aren’t ready to be here.  In fact I felt like we should’t be there.  That was for normal pregnant women and I was meant to stay in my RE bubble of problem people.  I feel more comfortable with the problem people.  They get me.  She was nice enough and still much nicer than the witch who works at the other clinic I went to for my first pregnancy.  That lady had no people skills and didn’t understand the concept of sensitivity.

So we waited nervously and my OB, Holly, finally came in.  She was the one who congratulated me just a few weeks earlier and made it feel like it might be real this time.  She handled my last pregnancy so I wanted to stay consistent and she was patient with our millions of questions.  I learned this time that they just don’t know the answer to 90% of them, so I stopped expecting answers.  They only know what my body is showing them.  In this case she came in very serious as she had already read my chart seeing the empty sac recorded in my last ultrasound.  She admitted to being surprised to see us at all as we hadn’t really “graduated” to her yet.  I couldn’t agree more and I was regretting taking my RE’s advice and scheduling the appt in the first place.  But we were there, and I did appreciate the other perspective, even though she was comparing me with the “general population”, instead of the “special population” that I am now in.

She set right to work with the ultrasound, understandably wanting to have something to talk about.  But it was the same.  I didn’t even look this time as I figured they’d let me know if there was anything worth seeing.  When said the sac looked empty I felt a little relieved, like – well, it’s over, I can move in.  However, we learned it grew.  That is good news, but it means the verdict is no verdict.  Wait some more and come back is the verdict.

She sent me to take an hcg blood test immediately afterward.  I should hear some results from that today.  If those are higher than last week than that is also a good sign.  If not, well, let’s cross that bridge when we have to.  My hcg test was an added drama.  I got someone less experienced this time who really hurt me and then said that it wasn’t working and he’d have to do it again.  So we waited for someone to come stick my other arm (someone who knew what they were doing).  I got an audience of 4 during the second round- my husband, the new person, her new protegee she was training and the guy who messed up who clearly needed more training.  It was all way too much drama.  I left with a bandage on each arm so I looked like a suicidal patient.  After all these blood tests I felt embarrassed to be such a pain.  I blame it on the new guy.  It will be worth it if it gives us some more definitive info- hopefully a big change in my levels up or down.

I did accomplish a couple big things.   I got a letter of permission from doctor saying I was allowed to keep teaching my fitness classes.  The gym required it even to keep teaching my gentle low class for seniors.

The second thing was she gave us some ok for some sexual activity again.  I realized that abstaining (as recommended by my doc) has only added to the stress.  It felt like we were being punished- and I felt like I was punishing my husband.

This waiting with no end in sight feels infinite.  Part of me feels like maybe we should just wait a really long time until the next ultrasound, but the other part of me just wants some confirmation one way or the other as soon as possible.  It’s on my mind daily and I don’t want to waste time stressing and crossing my fingers longer than I have to.

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48 hours later

27 Aug

Only two days ago I went in for my first ultrasound and I got the dreaded news- we are not seeing what we want to see.  In fact this was worse than my two previous pregnancies, all we saw was a gestational sac, no embryonic sac and no “”crown rumpling”  This crown part sounds like the actual microscopic baby growing.  Of course it was a huge blow.  I was so thrilled to be pregnant at all after trying for over a year.  It is a good sign that I did get pregnant.  The letrazole may be doing something.  My body actually ovulated on day 14 which was pretty incredible and I thought a good sign that maybe I could finally be “normal”.

Technically there is still hope.  They have not declared that there is nothing for sure, because they need to see multiple ultrasounds over a period of weeks to see the decline of the pregnancy to “be sure”.

Since I am taking progesterone nothing will spontaneously come out, so the only way to know what is going on is with the ultrasound.  My next one is scheduled for next Monday.  My dear medical friend, Ilana, was very positive saying she’s seen this many times and sometimes it is too early to show, just wait a week.  Sergio seemed pretty confident that “nothing is in there”.  I’d have to agree.  Just a black blob on the screen.  It felt all too familiar to get bad news after a positive pregnancy test. If only the little + sign on the test could be a baby.  I’d have 3 by now!  Instead I am really on a roll with these.

The thing is this time I was really positive.  What are the odds of having a miscarriage this time?   I saw the healthy follicle that was about to ovulate.  My doctor confirmed it was ready to go any time and we did the deed as prescribed and on schedule.

Ironically that was probably the last good sex we’ve had.  Once I started the progesterone my downstairs became overly achy and painful, my drive dropped and then once we got a positive test my doctor officially told us to wait.  Of course now my mood is completely gone.

I guess the positive side is, yes, I got pregnant and I can at least have that.  Two weeks of cautious optimism and hope.  It was glorious.  I found something that worked so we can repeat and hope we get lucky yet again.  There is hope also that this time when I stop my meds I can just miscarry naturally.  Yes, miscarrying naturally is actually something I see as a plus because I hope to skip the whole D & C process for a change, plus it rounds out my experiences for trying something a little different.  I’ve done the knocked out D & C, the awake D & C, and hopefully this one will be a painless mega period as it is so early- not even 6 weeks based on my hcg test.

Getting off of progesterone is just a plus all around.  The stuff does make me crazy although, when I thought I was pregnant I was too happy to notice.    And finally I get to have more time in my support groups.  Despite my good news, it really hurt to no longer be in that group.  I felt like I knew them and I felt really alone with my anxious optimism that I couldn’t share with the fertile world.

This short period of being pregnant (so no longer qualifying for the support groups) and then going through the weekly ultrasound, bad news/ no news/ wait cycle is complete torture.  I think about it constantly!  I feel like a week has passed since that appointment and it has only been 2 friggin days.  I feel like every day is an accomplishment.  Getting out of the house and focusing on ANYTHING else is an accomplishment.  It is so easy to get sucked into the self pitying rat hole, counting how many times, how many months of trying, how old I am now, how old I was when I started, how many babies have been born and friends have become moms since is complete and utter torture.  These are automatic negative thoughts I need to run from immediately.

Fortunately I planned an emotional week was going to happen so I scheduled a session with my therapist.  It will be very different than our last session where I was totally beeming.  At this point I am seriously considering anti-depressant medications.  I just need my head to take a break until the verdict.  When they told me to wait a week and come back I felt like just waiting in the office.  What use was I going to be to the world during that week anyway?  I would just mentally torture myself.  Who wouldn’t?

Still Pregnant

20 Aug

July 10 Day 1 of cycle
August 9 Positive Test
August 20 Today
August 24 First ultrasound!

I am counting down until my first ultrasound next week, on Tuesday August 24. It is keeping me going and allowing me to let go of so much negativity and social stress. I’ve really let go of caring about things that used to haunt me like keeping up with my competitive friends and holding bitterness towards those who have hurt me.  I have reached a chapter of my life where I can find other friends that are more interesting and fulfilling, new friends, or just happily do things solo or with my awesome hubby.  I have already told so many people- my RE, my OB (and their assistants), Work DayCare (to get on waiting list), my YMCA manager (to explain my new limit that I can’t teach hi impact classes anymore), my therapist, my entire RESOLVE support group and I am tempted to say something tomorrow at our group reunion if the topic comes up (it may if alcohol is served). So many social gatherings just fill me with anxiety and I feel like, why bother with that? I am cutting that crap out of my life, esp. anything involving high stress, competitive people that make me question myself and my life choices.  I have been keeping conversations short and keeping my secrets to myself. I kind of want a new start if/when this is all over. How much I would like a better, healthier social circle of friends worth spending time with individually where I can be myself.

Meanwhile I am focusing on my new little baby. I am putting a lot more into this mentally. I have tried so hard to get to this point that I have to celebrate each day and just think of the end point, that I am having a baby. Everytime I say that/think that I feel like I have to knock on wood. I love going for walks to the park because I feel like I am going to really have a baby and be able to take him/her to the park for walks for real soon. I loved practicing with our house guests and their baby. It made it seem real and possible. And our little box of toys in the corner – makes me so happy I can’t put it away. Grow, little guy, grow! I am taking the prenatal meds, baby aspirin, progesterone, avoiding high impact exercise and just going for walks daily, meditating, and eating all the right foods with calcium, protein and folic acid. It is SO fulfilling I have not been as tempted to tell folks. However, I am going to be exploding after Tuesday one way or the other- something big is going to happen- good or bad, and if they say we are not sure come back- that is bad.

It’s been 12 days since the positive test and each day is an accomplishment. Each day I am praying to God that this time I will get good news and we are going to start our family. In the meantime my emotions are almost numb as I can’t feel great joy or pain until I know something for sure. I guess that’s why I can’t feel close to anyone right now. I am visualizing that we will go in and see a healthy heartbeat and I will be just burst into tears of joy! Then on to my OB the following week for more good news (knock on wood). When this happens it is going to feel like a new me and a new world. It’s been a long journey and I am so ready to get off of it and start this new chapter of my life without hesitation.

Unbelievable! Big Fat Positive (BFP)!

9 Aug

I took a second home test today (Day 16) and it says I am pregnant.  In disbelief I took another.  I really hope this is really happening!

In Laws and Home Towns and Progesterone- Induced Moods

9 Aug

While I love my in-laws I have no interest in spending a week in their house in the hot and humid midwest in the middle of August.  But that is exactly what we are doing.  My husband loves being here.  The memories of exactly where he parked to go to school and where he took the shuttle bus from here to there just fill him with joy.  I just see pavement and cheap, depressing buildings at his old school when I look.  This is a depressing town and even a depressing state to visit at any time of year.  We argued about whose parents house was worse and he claims he feels the same way at my parents’ house.  This ended with my saying this was my last time coming to this place and he followed with saying he didn’t want to visit my inlaws either.  So we are at a bit of a standstill on that.  Last Christmas we actually rented a place with his parents in Hawaii.  It was wonderful!  We could be together without having to stay at their place in the frozen tundra.    I seriously think he should just come here on his own next time.    He likes to do the same thing as his parents like shopping at Sam’s Club, eating at low end chain restaurants and sitting in a cave-like house with windows closed and AC blasting.    If they lived nearby, I think this would be a lot easier.  Instead, they are talking about expanding the house which scares me into thinking they want to live out here forever and I am expected to keep coming back to this depressing part of the country.

Meanwhile I am not sure if I am really bothered by this or it is my med making me crazy.  I am definitely angry, irritable and depressed.  I read another person write in their blog that they took Prozac when they were trying to get pregnant.  I am started to think I need it.  I have a hard time finding joy in anything these days.  Part of it is the fear that this is just going to go on and on and there is no end.  That hit me yesterday.  Up until then I pulled myself up for another try and mentally looked up, hoped for the best and refused to think bad things. This time it is going to work.  I know i need to say this every month, but I struggle to make myself believe it again next month and the month after.

Negative Pregnancy Tests and cute babies

9 Aug

I admit I was hoping that this month was the month it was going to happen.  I even delayed starting a blog because I thought I might finally be back on track.  This month I went in for the day 14 ultrasound after my doctor prescribed Letrozole and I felt like I saw something good for the first time.  I was about to ovulate!  My body was doing the right thing at the right time and my doctor was very positive that it looked healthy!  What a relief to feel normal!  We had timed intercourse and I thought finally it was going to work THIS TIME!  But yesterday all my optimism came crashing down.  I took a home test on day 14 (which seems insane to me since my body has been super late on everything up until now, so I can’t even imagine getting a positive test 14 days after trying to conceive).  Apparently some people do, so that must be why she said to do it.    Ideally I would like to just wait until I don’t get my period and even then wait a good month after that before taking any tests or talking to any doctors.    But with taking progesterone, your body has symptoms of pregnancy whether you are pregnant or not, including missing your period!  Joy!  So I have been a feeling weird crampy pains constantly, totally cranky and irritable, sleepy and nauseous.  Ok, I’ll say it.  I hate progesterone.  It’s making me a feel terrible and I feel like I can’t trust my body or how it feels as it is now lying to me.  Each pain or sick feeling I get I think, ooh, maybe I am pregnant or maybe it’s just the progestrone again!

So I am on “vacation” visiting family in Michigan and my 14th day arrived for me to test and to my disappointment it was another negative.  While I am reading my results yesterday my really, really cute 2-year old nephew is downstairs making noise with his toys and I am remembering that we have plans lined up with our good friends and their 9-month old boy and I am wondering if I am going to be able to handle it.  I cried in bed for a good 30 minutes while my husband used the bathroom.  I pulled it together as we kept busy all day but I just felt a wave crash down on me with emotion as I finally had a moment to myself again.

Last night I was supposed to stop taking progesterone and just let my body return to normal.  Instead I just doubted the test.  Was it really negative?  What if I am actually pregnant and the test didn’t show it.  I pull out the test (I kept the used home kit in my toiletry kit since I didn’t want to leave it in my sister’s trash bin for her to see).  After 10 hours the test looks different, maybe even pregnant (the other line showed up)  and so I let myself believe that just maybe…  I am living in the naive fantasy.  I take another progesterone “just in case” and delay the inevitable.  Why don’t I believe a home test after 14 days?  That is what my doctor said to do.  No means no, right?  I am feeling stubborn and in disbelief and I am giving it another try tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile I am arguing with my husband about this whole “vacation” to his hometown.  I am miserable and everything seems to upset me.  I was much more tolerant of the family stuff before the test, but now I am just angry.  Angry that I am still at this and my friends are having their second babies.  Angry that I have to pretend to be so happy when I am really sad inside and frustrated that I can’t talk about how I really feel.  Angry that I am left out of our social circle that all has kids now and angry that I have no baby to talk about.  I am also angry that my husband can find such joy in staying for a week in his parents house and town in August, windows closed, AC blasting, sitting at the kitchen table with a computer with nothing but pavement and big box stores around.