Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Sometimes I find myself wondering what being a mother would be like if I had not gone through the dark road of infertility, miscarriages, waiting, doubt, and despair.  Sometimes I try to compare my reality as a mother to other mom's who got pregnant easily, on schedule, or even ahead of schedule.

I know there is no comparison.  It is isn't possible to compare. Because I only know my own experience. But I still wonder.

My nephew was visiting last week and we enjoyed ourselves as a family being tourists for the week, seeing the sights in the city that we don't usually take time to enjoy.  There is a huge fountain downtown that I have walked past before, or stopped to watch it spray water into the air, but hadn't given it much more thought than that it was nice to walk by.

At the end of a long hot summer day in the city, we passed it on our way to the car.  When M's eyes lit up when she saw it, we put her in a swim diaper that we happened to have in her bag and let her loose for some spontaneous fountain play.  As I sat on the edge of the fountain watching DH and M splash and squeal, tears welled up in my eyes, catching me by surprise.  
The gratitude I feel that I am a mom, that I am M's mom, still overwhelms me at times.  I can't help by think What if she never came in to my life?    I can't speak for other moms and how they feel about the way their children came into our life, but I know for me, for my journey, this is the gift that infertility gave me.  I know that I do not take it for granted that M is in my arms.  And an unexpected run through the fountain stirs up that gratitude from the deepest of places -  because I know what it was like to walk by that fountain before I had M.  And I am beyond grateful for the chance to spontaneous let her get soaking wet in the fountain on the way to the car.  

Because I came so close to not ever having that chance.

M sleeps a lot.  It has worried me for a while.  But there were no other red flags to really give me reason to worry.  I brought it up to her dr. in late winter.  She wasn't concerned, as she was on target and developing well during her awake times.  Last week I took M to her naturpath to talk nutrition because her quantity of sleep is still off the charts for "normal".  I was just tired of worrying.  She took some blood work, just to check a few things.  We found things she wasn't looking for.

We have been referred to a couple of specialist.  More bloodwork was taken today by M's other pediatrician (MD).  The docs are alarmed, but clearly trying not to alarm us.  It could be a perfect storm of several minor things that look worse on paper than they really are.  But it could be scary stuff too.  The doctors aren't being casual about following up on it.

I am scared.  I am trying not to be.  

I know it may be something that will be a game of watch and see before we know if it is anything to be afraid of.

But I am scared-   I am the most afraid I have been since I found out I was pregnant with her. The doctor asked during today's appointment if I have any questions and I said no.  No because I don't want to know anything more right now.  I know the scary stuff they are concerned about.  And until we have more information from this round of bloodwork, I don't want to hear them say out loud what they are afraid it might be.

 Updated:  We got the bloodwork results back today, earlier than expected.  Almost all of the abnormalities are back in range.  No real reason why.  Possibly a virus that she was fighting.  One lab value is still concerning so we are being referred to a hematologist, but for now the scary stuff is behind us.

This is one week i'd rather not repeat.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Coming up for air

I am coming up for air since the grief of our negative FET.  It was rough.  Rougher than I expected it to be.  But healing from it, and coming up for air, isn't nearly as tough as in the days before my daughter M was in my arms.

Babies are being born ALL around me right now    I have gained an amazing community of first time moms with children the same age as M.  But the consequence of that is that they are (almost) all starting to have #2.  Three have been born in the last 4 weeks.  Two more are due soon.  and three more are due this Fall.  That familiar feeling is still pretty close the the surface-  that feeling of your breath being pulled out of you when a pregnant woman walks into a room, or when I watch M gently stroke the back of a 1 week old baby in adoration.  I feel the old grief lurch in side.  But it most definitely has been healed some by the joy that M is in my life.  I delight in her.  I delight in being her mom.  And i find peace in that amidst the fertility that surrounds me.

For a while after our negative FET, I had to step back and give myself a space from all the bellies and babies.  But as time goes on, now I find myself in a space where I see my friends with bellies bursting, chasing toddlers who are throwing tantrums, and those with newborns trying to breastfeed, and recover from the birth, and meet the needs of their toddler, and I find myself NOT wanting that. It makes me tired just thinking of that being our life.  I am guessing that it is only a defense mechanism.  Maybe it is my emotions way of telling myself that it is okay in the end that I didn't get pregnant.  It is probably just the way my heart is finding a way to cope.  But right now-  I am not longing at all to be pregnant or to have another baby.

Part of me is grateful to this coping mechanism, as it is allowing me to just go on with life.
Part of me finds it disturbing to loathe the idea of pregnancy and a new baby so much.  What kind of infertile person loathes the idea of getting pregnant and having a baby!?  

When we got the result, I immediately went into goal setting mode telling myself that I was going to lose another 15 pounds before our next FET.   Seven weeks have passed, and I have accomplished nothing.  My motivation has been non existent.

But I am telling myself again, that I am going to find my motivation to commit to losing this 15 pounds that I had gained during our infertility journey.  I am proud of my success in losing all of the pregnancy weight.  I just want to be a bit more healthier.....if....when...we try again...for the last time.

We are aiming for our last FET in September.  I told DH that I needed some time to have my body back. To grieve a bit.   And I also wanted to lose this weigh.

Part of me worries we are waiting too long-  as the clock is ticking.  And if it DOESN'T work we don't have any easy next steps-  adoption or a fresh cycle would both take a lot of time and a lot of money to put into gear.

But the other part of me has ZERO interest in dealing with anything related to IVF.  ZERO.  I am tired.  I want to play this summer, and I am plenty content with life right now.

So we will see-  I have yet to actually schedule the date-  but that is what we are aiming for. Hopefully my heart catches up with my brain by September.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Another life

I was married once before.  It seems like another lifetime.  It seems like it was someone other than me.  We got married 15 years ago this summer.  15 years!!!  Our divorce happened two years later.

I have not seen him since he looked at me on the steps of the courthouse the day our divorce paperwork was submitted before the judge, and he turned and walked away without saying a word.

I saw him today.

It brought up a lot of emotions.  Not about him.  But about the journey.  I think about where I could have been in life, about where I have been and where I am now.  I have gone through some of the toughest times in the past 15 years, and yet I can honestly say i love my life today more than I could have ever dreamed of.

We were young-  too young.  We married quickly-  too quickly.

Seeing him brought up deep rooted emotions not about him, but about who I was and who I am now.  It would be tough to say which journey was harder-  the darkness of the divorce and recreating my life afterwards or the darkness of infertility and miscarriages.  By far they are the two darkest times in my life.

At the time I met him, I was longing to be in a relationship.  I was longing for family, as my immediate family was in dishevel.  I had just moved 1400 miles away from home for the first time.  And he had this great big gigantic extended family.  Aunts, and uncles, and cousins, and grandparents, and in laws and the list continues.  I felt like I had found home.

I also lost a sense of my identity, of who I was -  because I never never imagined i'd be divorced!- but I also lost all the family I had come to love and be loved by.  Almost overnight.

But like the journey of infertility/miscarriages the strength that grew up in me during that time fundamentally changed who I am.  And I have no regrets of who I have become.

I saw him at a funeral today.  It was the funeral of my best friend's father.  My friend is his cousin.  She and I became instant friends when he introduced her to me at a family gathering, and the divorce never affected our friendship.  She without doubt will be my life long friend.

And I realized at the funeral today, as I gave hugs and was hugged by the great big gigantic extended family that I used to officially be a part of-  I realized that I am absolutely more at home in my life now than ever before.  And the family that has become our family-  through cancer, and miscarriages, and birth of our daughter-  is indeed a great big gigantic extended family.

It is not the life I thought I would live, but it is so much better than I could have ever imagined.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

And so it goes

Stark white.

Gah, I forgot how absolutely glaringly white a negative peestick is.  Just stares at you. 


I haven't cried.  If anything, I feel angry.  Pissed.

Pissed that it costs so much money to get pregnant in our reality.
Pissed that I don't have control in my life in this area.
Pissed that my friends are going on without me-  having #2, and yet again I watch from the sidelines.
Pissed that I don't feel great about my body right now.  I feel like it has taken a beating.  I feel old and tired.
Pissed that I have to do the FET prep all over again.
Pissed that we only have one more chance. 
Pissed that we are that much closer to having to wrapping our head around the idea that this one in our arms may be the only one.

Well, wouldn't you know it-  that last sentence triggered the tears.  Deep breath.....

Two frozen embryos never sounded like enough.  But it was always enough to know that I had two chances.  And that second chance was just the extra cushion I needed so that I didn't yet have to consider life with only one child.  .....becuase I still had 2 chances.

But 1 more chance-  1 more frozen embryo-   puts me so close to having to face the fact that there may never be a sibling.  may never be another pregnancy.  may never get to experience giving birth again.  

So much closer to having to close this chapter.

And damn it, I'm not okay with that.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tomorrow I will know...whether I want to or not.

I don't want to be in limbo anymore.  The not knowing it hard.

But I don't want to face the truth either.

Wish I could fast forward to tomorrow.  And if the answer is a Negative, I wish I could fast forward in time until it no longer hurts. 

I have POAS twice now.  I said I wasn't going to until Wednesday morning.  But I caved.  It was compulsive really-  I didn't even stop to think about it.

Monday afternoon, 7dp5dt, after an impromptu nap-  I got up, unwrapped an expired test from my drawer and peed. Didn't even think twice.  It was negative.  But i could handle it because I intentionally peed on an expired stick and it was afternoon pee, not morning pee.  So, it allowed me to keep hoping, while still getting my POAS stick fix.

Tuesday morning 8dp5dt,, with my addiction in full force, I peed on a brand new FRER with morning pee.

Sigh.  I think it is negative.  Although, it was very very reminiscent of two years ago with this episode of 8dp5dt.  Maybe there was an invisible line?  Maybe?  But so freakin' hard to tell.  I swear I was making it up, wishing it into a hallucination of a line.

Sigh, ...

My back hurts, my boobs feel full, I feel bloaty, and very very cranky.  Which I know well enough to know it means nothing-  it merely means I am a hormonal mess.  Which I am.  I just don't know WHICH hormones are causing the mess....the progesterone suppositories and estrogen patches, or pregnancy hormones.


I am afraid to find out tomorrow. 

I don't like this.

Monday, April 8, 2013

FET #1

I have bad memories from my 1st embryo transfer.  It was a fresh cycle.  I was overstimulated, bloated, in pain, and they couldn't get the cathether thingy thread through a tough angle in my cervix.  It seemed like it too a lifetime.

I was in pain.  I was terrified something was going to go wrong.  I covered my eyes and I wished for it to be over.

Sure there were glimmers of the amazing miracle in the works-  seeing the embryo on the screen- amazing.  My husband by my side, taking it all in in awe, the collective sigh the room took when the embryologist gave the all clear that the embryo was officially in me and not in the syringe- all amazing.

But it was rough.

Today's transfer was down right fun.  And mind boggling quick.

My appointment was at 3pm.  I was to arrive at 245pm.  I go there at 240pm and they had me back, bladder checked by u/s, talk with the embryologist, and legs in the stirrups by 255pm.  By 3pm, the embryo was in and it was done. 

The staff was excellent.  The embryologist answered all kinds of curiosity questions that I was too out of it to ask the first time.  She clearly loved her job.  The u/s tech was great.  My bladder was perfectly full (which no matter how much I drink i have NEVER in all my treatments been able to get my bladder sufficiently full).  The Dr. got the catheter to curve through my tough spot no problem (certainly having previously birthed a 7 pound baby vaginally helped him out).  and they added a heating pad to the table, which made it oh so much more comfortable then last time.

And I was in awe.  To see that embryo on the monitor, that embryo that was conceived in the same batch with the 24 pound wiggly toddler I know get to call my daughter-  it is just insane.

I am in awe.  In awe that a bundle of cells like that created her.  In awe that as I type this we have been given another chance to do it all again.

In awe.

Tonight as I type this, I feel calm.  I feel like I can handle whatever comes my way.  I feel grateful for the gift of those 15 minutes in the embryo transfer room-  to be in the presence of something as amazing as that embryo.  And even to be given the chance.  I feel like I can accept whatever is to come.

I hope.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My crystal ball

I have found it to be interesting how naturally I have gravatated back to my blog as we have moved into our FET journey.  I didn't plan to be away.  I didn't plan to come back to blogging.  It just happened. 

The longer I have been on this journey of TTC, infertility, reading blogs, and blogging, the more I have come to be aware of the fact that the blog world for me is my crystal ball.  I started reading blogs 5+ years ago.  I know this because some of the bloggers I stumbled across back then's first borns are 5 years old. 

We had barely started TTC back then.  Maybe we hadn't even actually started.  But we had no  idea the path of loss and reproductive medicine that would be our road.  But I found myself reading blogs-  blogs about infertility and loss.  Why?  I don't know.  I just don't know.   Sometimes the superstitious side of me thinks that by starting to follow IF/RPL blogs I caused my own destiny.  .....  I know that is silly, but ....

But I do think that in an unconscious or subconscious way blog reading was a way to seek control for me-  it was my way of trying to see into my own crystal ball and know how my story would go.  I read blogs to feel like I could figure out what my story would look like.   

Would our IUIs work...would I get pregnant with endometriosis....would we get pregnant with low morphology...would we get pregnant after 1 miscarriage....2 miscarriages....would we get pregnant with IVF....would we stay pregnant....would we birth a live baby.....

How would my story go.....

It was futile of course.  But it, at times, gave me what I needed to hang on.

If her  IUI worked, maybe mine would, if SHE got pregnant after multiple losses, then maybe I could, if SHE had a baby after years of infertility, than maybe, just maybe that is how my story would go.....

And then I had my baby.  She is here, really here, in my arms.  And my longing to know how my story would go subsided.  The longing was fulfilled in so many ways, and I stopped wondering.

This upcoming FET has triggered that wonder again.  Wondering how this part of the story will unfold, but it is far less intense than before.  More than anything, I am finding this blog space to be a place where i can talk out loud -  I can talk about estrogen patches, and vaginal u/s, and FET transfers.  Being back in the fray, I am remembering how there just isn't space in our public lives to discuss these things.  Staff lunches, family Easter dinner, playdates at the park-  there are very few real live people that know about this FET.  It just doesn't easily come up. 

So, I blog.  I write.  I ponder how this story will go.

Lining confirmed today to be nice and plush.  Estrogen is excellent.  Transfer is a Go! for Monday.

I am excited.  I am hopeful.  I am grateful for how easy a FET is compared to a fresh.  I am grateful that I feel good.  I am beyond grateful for my pudgy, happy, smart, strong-willed toddler that fights diaper changes and drapes her arms around my shoulders and presses her face into the crook of my neck when she is exhausted at the end of the day. 

I am a little scared how I will feel if we don't get pregnant.  Or if we get pregnant and miscarry.  I feel strong.  Centered.  Resilient.  ....right now.  But it has been a long time since I have been crushed by a BFN or by the red spotting that predicts the end.  I don't want to feel that again. I just don't.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Christmas Baby

I never wanted to have a baby born around Christmas.  I don't why.  Maybe lots of people feel that way just because of the hecticness of the holiday and not wanting the birthday celebration to get lost in the shuffle. Maybe it was from having a Mom with a late December birthday who often talked about feeling short-changed with a birthday that time of year.  I don't why-  but in all my dreaming and scheming in my head I have always avoided the possibility of a December baby.

Until infertility.  and miscarriages.  and life in the detours.

We have scheduled our FET.  We actually scheduled, cancelled and scheduled it again.  The first time the husband got cold feet.  We pulled back and he quickly came around and so we scheduled it again.  I knew in the back of my head that we'd be looking at a due date in late December-  but the priority was a) finding a day the lab had an opening, b) making sure it worked with my work schedule, the husbands work schedule, and arranging childcare. for our now 16 1/2 month old daughter.  And, I just am done being patient.  I want to try our luck with our Frozens and see what happens.  I was done waiting any longer.  I want, and NEED to know if we will ever have a second child.

Our transfer date is set.  Been cleared through all the steps.  Been taking lupron/birthcontrol.  Everything looked great at my suppression check yesterday.  A couple more weeks of prepping my lining, two more visits to the clinic for blood work and another u/s.  And it will be transfer day.

There is a hope, and a joy, and an excitement that is just bubbling in me that I  can't contain.  Maybe it is the relief that comes with actually DOING something-  sure, that something is nightly injections.  But we have a plan in place.  Maybe it comes from ill-placed confidence that the 1st time worked, surely the 2nd try will work. I don't know why the hope, but it is there.  And I just am excited.

There, as always, are so many hurdles between now and bringing a baby home that, even after doing this previously, I can't wrap my head around the end point yet.  We have no control over how this will go. None.

But what I do know?  What is certain, is that if, IF, this embryo sticks and thrives, its due date will be ......December 25th.

And in my mind, it couldn't be a more perfect day.  Oh, how infertility changes us.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Year Older

I am a year older.  I celebrated my birthday this week. 

It was my second birthday as a mom.  But to be honest, I don't remember much about my birthday last year.  My daughter would have only been two 1/2 months old, and i probably was, well I know I was, still in the fog of breastfeeding/sleep deprivation/new parenting.

This year, we didn't do much.  We just were together as a family.  And the gratitude spilled over in tears a couple times during the day.  I love my daughter.  I love my husband interacting with her.   I have loved every age so far, but this age (almost 15 months) is really fun.  She is just getting smarter and wittier every day.  And she is showing compassion.  Which melts my heart.  I am in love in a bizillions ways.

My husband has been less ready than I to embark on TTC#2.  He feels overwhelmed sometimes just keeping our family of 3 afloat.  And I agree.  Rationally, I agree.  It doesn't compute how we'd manage a second child.  But I really feel strongly about having kids close together in age.  I felt a distance with my sister (3 1/2 years apart).  So I have it in my head, I want (if possible) to have them closer.  I also feel like I have put my career on hold, just working part-time here and there, and some day I will need to return to more lucrative income, but hoping to wait until Elementary school age.  So having them close together makes good financial sense for us.  My husband and I are also getting older.   We just are.

He has come around though.  So much so that we have a date penciled on the calendar for our embryo transfer that he agreed with.  We have two frozen.  So maybe two tries.  And then we are likely done.  Likely.  I have typed and deleted this paragraph numerous times.  I am still not sure I am ready to return to it all- appointments, prodding, decisions, paying out of pocket, waiting, hoping, waiting...  I scheduled and then cancelled my required Hysteroscopy several weeks ago.  I called today after much procrastinating and rescheduled it for two weeks from now.  They could of seen me this Thursday-  but that was too quick for me.  I need to take this slow. 

If I can wrap my head and heart around this in time.  IF the hysteroscopy is normal.  IF my bloodwork is normal.  IF the lab has an opening, IF....then we are aiming for transfer on March 29.