Archive | January, 2012

Back in the game

30 Jan

Thank you all so much for your support on my last post.  It just means the world to know that I am not the only one who feels alone in this.

After a cycle that was a complete bust (unclear if I ovulated at all, abnormal early bleeding) I am happy to report that my hope is renewed. We have a clean slate this cycle and a good start.  We got the clear to try again with Femara last week and we saw two big follicles on my right ovary on Saturday at our mid cycle checkup.  I know an OPK at home is really all you need, but there is something about actually seeing the follicles on the screen that just boosted my confidence.   After so many bad pregnancy ultrasounds these mid-cycle scans are the only ones I can honestly say I look forward to, proof that my body can do something right.  On a more optimistic side, I like to hope that if things work out I can have memories of my child before they were even conceived!

My RE said they looked ready to go any minute now, and sure enough the next morning my OPK gave me the double lines to confirm the surge.  I could even feel some aching down there in the ovary zone confirming something was definitely going on.  With three days in a row of trying, I’d say we’ve done all we can and now it is just up to time, fate and some higher power to decide if this month will grace us with a positive pee stick.  There is a lot of pressure on this cycle because we decided to move ahead with IVF for our next cycle.  I think it is the right way to go after four years of trying this naturally, but it’s a whole new ball game and not one I thought I’d  have to get into after having being able to conceive naturally five times already.  It’s not clear that we would have better odds with IVF to prevent miscarriage, but it would just (hopefully) speed up the rate at which I am getting pregnant.  Hopefully between the immunology treatments, the natural cycle and the IVF we’ll have a healthy normal pregnancy sometime soon and if we are really lucky it makes it out alive.  Two week wait here we come!

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Post Continued>

Thanks guys.  Just when I thought I had it all together I just got hit with another giddy pregnancy announcement at a group dinner.  Forcing a smile hurt as much as ever.  Do those announcements ever get any easier?

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Alone in Happy Land

24 Jan

We just came back from a weekend away from friends at Lake Tahoe.  It was both wonderful and really hard.  As the only couple without kids I struggled as they joyfully introduced their kids to snow and happily snapped photos of them in their extremely cute snow suits.  Meanwhile none of them know what we are going through for the past four years trying to start a family.  Since they’ve had kids we’ve kind of moved apart and stopped talking about real problems.  While it is great that they want to be so positive all the time and their lives seem to be zipping along nicely, it makes me feel completely isolated.  My choice is to paste on the smile and join the happiness or be alone.  It seems clear that if/when our story ever changes that they would be supportive and happy for us, but when it comes to pain and grief, we are expected to just deal with that on our own.  At this time I feel like I need supportive friends more than ever, and instead I find myself feeling bitter that I have to bottle myself up until I have good news.  Anyone relate?

Note- We are crossing our fingers again this month after 2 negative cycles.  Hoping this month (our last month of trying naturally) finally leads to a BFP!

Funny Friday- Check out these TITS!

13 Jan


“TITS” is a popular chain clothing store in Uruguay.  How funny is that?  We saw several during our trip.

Stay Sad Stay Angry

11 Jan

This was the lesson I got from my therapy session this morning.  Since about a year ago I’ve been seeing a counselor who has helped me process this experience and hold it together.  Today was my first time seeing her in three weeks and I had so much on my mind.  I shared how I am still stricken with grief over the death of my cat (who I miss terribly), angry and resentful at my in-laws (and husband) for dragging me to in-law-palooza in Uruguay for two weeks (not ready to forgive) and frustrated and scared about our (lack of) progress in building a family going into the new year.  Her advice: “Be sad, Be angry, Let yourself stay with the emotions instead of trying to avoid them”.  Her advice was oddly reassuring.  While I was blaming myself for not being able to be happy and “put on a brave face” for the rest of the world,  her take was that I don’t need to.  My understanding/hope is that staying with it will hopefully mean that I can go through the emotions and move forward as opposed to my usual response, repression (which we all know leeds to out of control emotional explosions at inopportune moments).  Anyone who reads or writes an IF/RPL-related blog knows what it’s like to have to stuff away emotions and put on that happy face in social situations.   For now I feel like I have a license to just shirk that off and be pissed or cry or whatever because that’s where I am.

What is up down there?

10 Jan

I couldn’t take the weird bleeding anymore so today, CD 24, I went in to my RE for a peak downstairs and her best guesses.  It turns out that I still have a corpus luteal cyst on my left side.  What is that doing there?  She suggested that it is possible that I may have not even ovulated for the month.  Either way, if the cyst doesn’t go away I definitely can’t try next month with letrazole (Femara).  This is a big blow because I got pregnant on month 2 using that same drug for the past 3 pregnancies and this is month 2.  So that didn’t go as planned.  Mr. Star and I agreed to take it to the next level if we couldn’t get pregnant naturally after 2 months so now I am thinking about IUI and IVF, stuff I got to avoid because we were lucky in the conception area in the past.  Mr. Star has since said- “Let’s try for month three!” but I feel like I am just losing time and my clock is ticking louder than ever.  Throughout all this I felt very lucky to conceive naturally but I also knew that one of these days my luck would run out and I worry that it already has.  Sure we could try again, but if it doesn’t work, then what?  Another month lost, is what I am thinking.  It’s like how long do you keep pulling the slot machine arm before you just walk away from it and either quit or try something else. It always feels like I am just one month away from something and as you can tell by my tone I am worried that I am just burning too much time this way and freaking out that I have so little left.  IVF and IUI won’t solve my RPL but it might at least accelerate things that are going way too slow.  Either way I have another 7 days or so to ride out this cycle and hope my body goes back to normal again.

On a hopeful note, since my “real” period hasn’t started as evidenced by my thick lining there is still a chance that I could be pregnant.  Given the bleeding, my unusual ovulation timing and the fact I was told to stop the progesterone makes it seem pretty unlikely.   But one can always hope.

Back from Uruguay and Hope for This Month

7 Jan

We arrived back in California from our 2-week Uruguayan adventure on Thursday (20 hours of travel!) and I am SO glad to be back.  While it had its moments, I really struggled with being the good wife and daughter-in-law in a foreign country where I was expected to just fall in line and follow along everyday.  For someone who is used to spending most days alone (I work from home alone in my house) it was a real adjustment to spending every day with a minimum of 5 people and having to come to an agreement before doing anything like choosing a restaurant or when to go to the drug store.

As the only non-native Spanish speaker I was at a real disadvantage always requiring some assistance or translation.  For example when I wanted to buy pantiliners I needed to bring my MIL to communicate with the sales person.  The pharmacies there are tiny stores with all products behind the counter, so you have to go in asking for exactly what you want and then negotiate with the sales person-  boy , I missed Walgreens!  Thank goodness I wasn’t buying anything even more personal or embarrassing (like a pregnancy test)!  Fortunately I brought all my OPKs, prenatals, progesterone supplements and other supplies from the US.

To bone up I actually had private tutoring which did help quite a bit, but I still felt miles behind.  This isn’t my first time living abroad.  Actually in college I lived for a semester in Athens, Greece because I was passionate about Ancient Greek Art and Architecture.  The program was in English and I just used my English and basic Greek phrases from a phrasebook to get around with my other English-speaking American classmates.  I regretted not learning a foreign language though, so the year after I graduated I applied for a job in Duesseldorf, Germany to be an au-pair for a family with 3 kids putting my high school and college German classes to the test.  With no English classmates I really had the immersion experience and to this day my German is still better than my Spanish.  Looking back I remember how I was filing away lessons for the future noting how I would raise my own family completely oblivious to what was ahead of me.  So naive.

The good news is all the family drama in Uruguay kept my mind well away from the bigger matter at hand- making a new family member of our own.   This is our second month of trying since we got the green light from the Beers Center.  I still have another week or so before I will get any results, but I am already pessimistic as I’ve had some bleeding.  It started on the plane trip back and Mr. Star is convinced it is related.  My first miscarriage happened right after a plane trip and ever since he is convinced that the change in air pressure is dangerous.  Every doctor we’ve talked to has confirmed there is no risk, but you know how your brain can cling to these superstitions based on coincidental personal experiences.  Meanwhile I had Sushi for dinner last night and a cup of coffee this morning, so clearly I am not heading the do’s and don’ts list.

It is exactly 4 years ago that we started TTC.  I NEVER expected that we’d be still going at this thing in 2012.  It is probably better that I had no idea.  When I start adding up the years of trying and the number of miscarriages and then throw in that I am turning 39 this summer I go into MAJOR panic.  It’s my worst nightmare realized.  Now I am just trying to remind myself that maybe, just maybe, I am actually close this time, maybe it is just around the corner and there is no reason to panic.  Maybe this month will be the month.