Archive | May, 2011

Grrr… double negative

31 May

Well, no pregnancy this month.  I did the pee stick yesterday and today and no dice.  This breaks my lucky streak of getting pregnant early on with Femara.  Considering what a stressed mess I was and Mr. Star was all month I guess I’m not that surprised.  He’s been thinking about work non-stop and “scheduling” our timed babydancing was almost impossible as we had house guests for 3 weeks to boot.  In addition to ending my lucky streak (if you consider getting lucky, getting pregnant at all) I have scheduled myself to move on to IVF with PGD for our next attempt.  Fuck!  As great as it sounded, now I am in it.  As “prep” next month I am doing a round of injections.  I have no idea what i am getting myself into.  Up until now the only needles I’ve had to deal with were for lab tests (hcg, etc.).  And I already felt like a pin cushion from that.  I signed up for a class at my RE’s office to learn how to do it tomorrow.  Meanwhile I was REALLY hoping I would magically get pregnant this last month needle-free.  Well, huge disappointment there.

So many other bloggers have done it so I feel like such a wimp complaining.  I drag my feet to all of this stuff because research hasn’t shown it will up our chances of not having a loss.  It feels like I am needlessly punishing myself to get to the same point.  If I am lucky enough to actually get pregnant with these more painful and more expensive methods, I don’t have any better odds of actually keeping the pregnancy.   But there is the hope of learning something.  All for the sake of education.  Perhaps from doing this process I will learn what is up with my eggs and our embryos as we follow them along.  Before I can get to that point I need to learn how my body reacts to the IVF drug process.   The big baby in me just feels like this is all adding insult to injury.  Like somehow I’ve suffered enough and have in some way earned something with 4 losses that gets me out of having to start a whole new type of painful process.

I have a lot of fears about all this.  What if the results are the same?  I was able to get pregnant the last four times the “natural” way with good old fashioned sex.  I grieve losing that and also question why we’d change what was working.  The ONE thing that was working.    I fear all this medical intervention won’t work and it will be for nothing.  I suspect I am not alone in fearing that I am torturing myself for nothing.

My rational side says “Who cares?  The last 4 times didn’t REALLY work.  Why not try something different?  Being afraid to try new things is NOT helping.  You can do it!  Go for it!…”

For now my rational and irrational sides are just battling it out.  When I see the needles in class tomorrow and we start talking steps I can at least see what I am getting into.

Has anyone else dealt with the fear of injections?  Any advice for how to cope?  Any happy stories of how it helped?

Cycle Day 13

16 May

I head in to the RE tomorrow for another check at my downstairs.  Hopefully we’ve got 1 or 2 got follicles ready to burst!  I’m feeling extra pressure to make it happen this month.  I’ve made the decision that this is our last round of timed intercourse with oral meds.  Next month I’m going to try using injections and then in a few months, IVF with PGD.  I’ve decided I want to jump into it sooner rather than later.  While I don’t think I need to do IVF to get pregnant (given we managed the last 4 times), I do think we may learn something that could help us and maybe eliminate some of the bad embryos with PGD.  At this point I am starting to wonder if maybe we just have the wrong raw materials coming together and that’s leading to the miscarriages.  My RE can’t confirm anything and seems to think I should just keep trying naturally again and again and one of these days have a pregnancy that results in live birth.  I know so much of this is just chance, but I am eager to get some answers and ultimately less afraid of IVF than I once was.

It all started with our visit to the adoption counselor.  After talking with her and hearing about the complications of adoption and birth mothers and all the costs and legal hoops you have to go through I really felt even more committed to trying to have a child naturally, even if I don’t use my own eggs.  While I love the idea of adopting because I love the idea of giving a home to a child that needs parents, I was not excited about competing with all the other hopeful adoptive parents for a chance at the limited pool of newborns available through domestic adoption.  The complication of having relations with the birth parents and their families along with all the other challenges involved made the whole process seem incredibly difficult.  On top of it all there is the difficulty of bonding with a baby that is only ours because of a legal document.   I am reading more about both domestic and international adoption as they each have their challenges, but at this point I really feel like the costs and efforts are greater than trying for a child naturally and there are so many strings attached and so little control.  I can’t imagine what it is like to carry a child and then give birth to it and then give it away to another person.  How incredibly difficult.  I just feel so bad for the women who are stuck making this difficult decision.  What a huge loss for them.  IVF with donor eggs or donor sperm or even donor embryos sounds so much less complicated and painful in comparison.  There is more of a sense of connection with the baby from birth and less guilt that another mother carried the child and gave birth and is therefor the “real” mother.

Getting ahead of myself.  Fingers crossed for this month!  I need to just relax and get busy with Mr. Starfish over the next few days.  Praying this month we have success!

A new start (back to TTC again) and going on year 16 with kitty

3 May

Now that last month is officially awash I am back to square one.   Like magic I stopped taking the progesterone and my cycle started up.  Today is cycle Day 1, a fresh start.

This round I am going to try and take better care of myself- cutting back on caffeine (switching to decaf, or half-calf), doing weekly acupuncture, squeezing in at least 1 yoga workout a week, exercising more and even doing some meditation.  Last month I felt like I let myself go, barely working out, drinking way too much caffeine and just being a stressed lazy mess.  While I love my morning coffee, I think I am more addicted to the sweet kick and am going to try to have a fruit smoothie instead.  Yoga is one of those things I mocked for feeling like it was just a waste of time and didn’t make any difference.   I just went to a class this afternoon and my body (and brain) can feel the difference.    I can dust off my Anji  meditations and try to do a few of those, or just some non-fertility related ones on days that I need a stress break.  The beauty of yoga and acupuncture is they have meditation components built in, so it’s almost like a meditation bonus.

Another stress I need to manage better is my cat.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my cat, but in his old age he’s become quite high maintenance and more difficult to care for. Do they make diapers for cats?  If so, that is exactly what we need.   The poor guy, 16-years old, diagnosed with lymphoma has a lot of issues and one of those is randomly peeing.  Just now he jumped on my lap for love and I put the laptop aside so he could have my full attention.  As I was stroking him he relaxed and then jut let it go, right on me!  He’s peed in weird places before, but not usually ON us.  So I jumped up and ran him to the litter box and meanwhile had to clean myself up and deal with  getting the stains out of the chair I was in.  Clearly he didn’t mean it.  He is just losing control there and we are playing defense trying to catch him before he stains another rug or quilt. I feel pretty helpful to do much about it.

Despite his peeing habit he is doing much better, even gained 2 lbs!  He went from almost 6 lbs up to 8 lbs and 3 oz. in about a month.  I am so glad to see his weight up.  Watching him waste away was so painful.  Managing all his needs is a handful from daily meds to weekly blood tests at the vet to special food.  We do it because we are in denial that he’s going to leave us, but it is going to take a turn and pretty soon we will have to let him go.  Knowing we could lose him any day I’ve taken on the care, but it’s not easy.

Sperm DNA Frag

2 May

On the off chance that Mr. Starfish’s little swimmers are contributing to the miscarriages our RE recommended we get another test, a Sperm DNA Fragmentation Assay.   I just faxed in the request form to ReproSource Fertility Diagnostics.  According to our RE they are the only ones in the country that do this, so perhaps others have some experience working with them as well.

Meanwhile I got my final BFN today.  Ever since my late BFP on pregnancy #3 (I got a positive result two days late) I don’t completely trust those test kits to get it right on day 14.  I really have to rely on these test kits since I am taking progesterone supplements which prevent me from starting my cycle.  I have this little fear of ending the progesterone early and then ending what may have been a possible pregnancy by mistake.  Somehow testing a day or too extra and getting multiple negative tests makes me feel more confident stopping the progesterone.  I can rest knowing I gave this cycle a real chance and didn’t prematurely cut short another chance at a baby.

Day 14 was today (BFN)

1 May

I took a bit of a break the past few weeks from blogging.  I had a wonderful vacation last weekend in Maine celebrating Easter with family.  I was so absorbed in everyone else’s lives that I took a bit of a break from talking/thinking about what we are up to.  It was definitely a good break.  It is too easy for me to get into my self pity spiral and just assume the rest of the world (esp. the ones with the babies) have everything sorted out.

I took a test today and got the BFN.  I actually took one yesterday too as I was feeling antsy for results.  I guess it probably doesn’t work a day early so that was kind of a waste.  Since I am a doubting Thomas with these things I took another progesterone suppository tonight and plan to give it one last shot tomorrow.  Final test.  If it’s negative again, I’ll call it a definite no for the month, put away the progesterone and welcome cycle day 1.

I made a visit to the infertility support group I’ve been in since Feb. ’10 tonight as well.  I used to love that group, but more and more I feel like I don’t fit in.  It is a Resolve group and most of the participants are doing IVF cycles or IUI.  I’ve never done either of those and can’t follow along with all the lingo.  They are so filled with great advice and support for each other, but it feels like when I describe our situation there’s not a lot of suggestions people can offer.  One woman suggested giving myself progesterone injections in addition to taking suppositories.  Another suggested that maybe I am having girls and that boys are somehow easier on a woman’s body to carry.  Interesting ideas.  Another described CCRM, the clinic she is doing her IVF through in Colorado where they are doing the most complete pre-genetic testing prescreening available.  Since my sense is that our chromosomes are the problem (givin that the only conclusive test result we’ve gotten from a lost pregnancy has shown a chromosomal issue) I think we should keep this in the back of our minds.

Next Saturday we meet with the adoption specialist.  I am very anxious about it.  I  feel like I am going because at least I can say that I explored that option.  It gives me piece of mind to atleast knowing what the options are and also to be able to speak knowledgeably about it if it comes up.  I find that if/when I reveal that we are having any trouble having kids naturally, that the common response I get is, “well, why don’t you just adopt?”.  Now at least I can say we are looking into it.  Understandably my friends and family are getting fatigued hearing about my disappointments and walking on egg shells around me.  Outwardly it sounds a lot healthier and more positive to say you are pursuing adoption than to say you are waiting for a pregnancy that sticks after 4 losses. It’s just hard to believe #5 would be magically any better than the first 4.    That said, I couldn’t forgive myself for not trying, so here we are, ready for another try hoping for magic #5.