Archive | November, 2011

Tales from my High School Reunion

30 Nov

So last Saturday was my 20th high school reunion back in Boston and after MUCH debate on whether or not to go I took the leap.  The tipping point was that Mr. Star actually said that he wanted to go.  In his words “I want to meet all these losers you went to school with” (smirk).   I warned him that I wouldn’t know anyone and it would be totally lame, but figured I’d go since I missed the last two and happened to be in the area for Thanksgiving.  To my complete surprise it was actually a blast.  My worries were completely unfounded.  I felt genuinely happy to see folks and they seemed to be happy to see me.   20 years later it was hard to remember and recognize anyone, never mind worry about social awkwardness and competitiveness.  I didn’t expect the familiar feelings and warmth that filled me.  People I thought I’d hate to see because of whatever grudges from years ago, I actually was thrilled to see and magically could only think of our positive memories.  It helped that we were all well supplied with drinks and it seemed like people had already gone way past the inhibition state by the time I arrived.

What I learned was that just walking in the door I sent the message to my classmates that were there that they mattered enough for me to show up.  I had no idea how grateful people (some I barely remembered) would be to see me.  When we did get to talking I felt an instant level of acceptance and understanding that was completely surprising.

When they did ask about children I didn’t break or fall apart as I’d feared.  I’d seen their Facebook profile pics choc full of kids.  Since it was SO loud in that room I had to yell it like this -“NO KIDS, HOW ABOUT YOU?!”  I got a surprised look back and it seemed like people were eager to change the subject afterwards.  I am sure we were the only couple there that didn’t have at least one.  By age 38, that is kind of what people expect.  Many of my classmates had 3 or more.  One of my classmates told me she had 5 boys!  At the time I was genuinely happy for them, but you know how that stuff feels as it marinates in your brain for a day.  It stings.  I wanted to answer differently and they wanted to hear that I too had kids and that we had that in common.  It was just weird.  But we didn’t have time to dwell since we were mingling among so many people.

Now that a few days have past I look back and feel really proud, like I climbed a mountain.  Despite all my insecurities I lived through my 20th high school reunion and even enjoyed it.   Hopefully I’ll have some better news about new family members by our 25th.  ;  )

Back East

29 Nov

For Thanksgiving Mr. Star and I went back to Maine to be with my parents and siblings in Portland.  I had to tear myself away at the end because I miss them painfully.  I spent a lot of the flight just torturing myself with thoughts of what a mistake it was for me to come out to the West Coast almost twelve years ago.  Total regret.  I moved here to go to get a Masters in Education back in 1999 thinking it was a short term way to experience life in the West.  In some ways it was also a way for me to run away from my problems at at the time, close the door on some bad relationships and start over.  I always thought I would move back.  But here I am feeling like I am on an island a million miles away from the family and friends who really “know” me.  

What keeps me here is my marriage with Mr. Star.  He loves it here more than anywhere in the world and he is still the love of my life.  However, if he went away for any reason, I’d be moving back East in a heartbeat.  I just find myself longing for the familiar and to be understood and connected.  I spend way too much time feeling lonely and isolated.  When things get me down I tend to withdraw myself and move away.  Even though I’ve lived here for twelve years I still feel like home is back East and I struggle to feel “settled”.  When I hear people talk about living near family and being near where they grew up I get so jealous.  It is just one of many things I wish I could change about my life right now.

 

We’re back!

28 Nov

So after a long hiatus from trying and failing we are back to trying again to get this family started.   Since it’s been so long since I’ve posted I feel like I should give a recap of what’s been going on.  After 5 consecutive pregnancy losses (each at 8-10 weeks) we dragged ourselves to the Alan Beers Center in August to look at possible immunology causes and treatments.  According to their nurses they have an 85% success rate, that is IF you follow all their recommendations.  So we bit the bullet and went for it.  After spending thousands on blood tests we were told I had elevated Natural Killer Cells and low Leukocyte Antibodies.  Based on this we were advised to go to Mexico twice for Leukocyte Immune Therapy to treat both issues.

We did it (see previous post) with two trips to Mexico and got retested to see if our levels improved.  Our test results came back today and (drumroll) our numbers are excellent now!

  • LAD
    Before :19.7
    Now: 95.9 (Excellent!  We were just shooting for 50 to be in the “healthy” range.)
  • NK Assay 50:1
    Before: 21
    Now: 14.5 (normal, no longer elevated)
  • NK Assay 25:1
    Before: 11
    Now: 7.1(normal, no longer elevated)
The only test number that is still in the problem zone is my CD56 ( These are the NK cells in the uterus) They went from 19 to 17.8 (and should be 12 or less).  Because we have elevated CD56, they want us to do an infusion of IVIG if/when I get a positive pregnancy test. This is supposed to help”calm” my killer immune response in the uterus during pregnancy.  I am not at all excited to do this one as IVIG still creeps me out a bit plus it is pricey, $2500 per infusion.
I started Femara this month to up my odds (my last three pregnancies happened in month 2 on Femara).  Here’s hoping we get lucky in the first few months again.
On the emotional front I’ve just been crashing.  The anxiety from waiting for all the treatments and tests and wondering if any of this makes any difference and if we we will EVER have a healthy baby is back in full force.  Sometimes it was even hard to read others’ blogs on the subject which is why I stayed away.
January will mark our four year anniversary for trying for a baby.  With each loss I felt my own level of confidence and satisfaction with life just plummet further.  Four years later, this whole thing has gone from fun to a complete nightmare full of humiliation, heartbreak and a constant fear of time running out.
Right now I am trying to think positive, relax and get into a low stress mode that is more conducive to baby making.  According to my fertility friend calendar my peak day will be on Thursday of this week.