Friday, September 28, 2007

Step 4 (edited)

Remember this post?
Particularly the part that goes a little something like this:

Step 1: Stop freaking bleeding. (After passing everything, thank you.)
Step 2: Start bleeding again.
Step 3: Lots of tests.
Step 4: Find some simple, easy to fix problem.
Step 5: Fix said problem.
Step 6: Start bleeding again.
Step 7: Get pregnant.
Step 8: Have live, healthy baby.

Well, I need to amend it a bit.
Steps 1-3 are done.
Step 4 has gotten a little hinky.

It seems I have a septum.

I had my saline sonohysterogram on Tuesday. It wasn't so bad, really. I was a little nervous. A lot of people don't think IUIs hurt, but honestly, I usually get fairly crampy. The thought of another catheter & a uterus full of saline didn't sound great.

As it happened, I was probably ovulating the same day as the test. That worked out in my favor (IMO) because my cervix was fairly open. The cath pinched for half a second. She started pumping the water in and asked how I was doing. Honestly, other than a slightly cool feeling, I didn't feel anything.

We're all (Me, the doc & the U/S tech) staring at the screen intently. My uterus blew up a little and she said "let's see if we can get a better look." Then she started pushing the saline a little harder. I got one good cramp out of that. I said aloud "Oh yeah.. I feel THAT." She apologized but right away said to the u/s tech, "do you see that?" The two of them jibber jabbered in speak that I didn't quite understand. They poked around a bit more and focused in on a couple of bright white spots trying to decide if they were air bubbles. Lots more fluid. No more cramps. They decided the white spots weren't bubbles.

And then it was over. Honestly, I'd say it was probably less than 10 minutes. Other than the one medium-strong cramp, I felt fine. The worst part of the whole thing was my soaking wet bum. They let me get up and get cleaned up (read: dry off) and dressed. I felt mildly crampy (way less than even period cramps) for about 20 minutes afterward.

The meeting with the doc actually surprised me. All the stuff they'd been talking about was apparently secret code for "septum and 2 small polyps." The polyps are tiny. If I can remember what I saw on the screen they were 2mm & 4mm, respectively. They probably wouldn't do anything about them if that was the only problem.

The septum is more troublesome. She said it was partial. I didn't get the full double barrel thing, but it was definitely there. She pulled off a couple of screen shots and in most it looks small, but the other it looked pretty thick (even to my untrained eye.)

So- lucky me- another surgery. The plan is to call when I start my period and from there we schedule a hysteroscopy. Of course, given the trouble I had waking up last time, the minute she said surgery, I wrinkled my nose. I told her about the trouble last time (she didn't know) and she offered to do it in the office. She said she prefers to do it in the hospital because while the risks are small, if I should bleed unexpectedly, there are resources available. She also said doing it in the office means a lot of pain. I opted for the hospital. Woe is me.

It'll likely be the 17th of October if things go as I expect. Three days off of work. Then next cycle we can start trying again.

Honestly, I wasn't thrilled at the news. I know that logically, it's good news. She told me that a septum is the #1 cause of recurrant pregnancy loss. Okay, I've got one, we fix it, that's good. But honestly, it just seemed like yet another fucking thing wrong with me.

My ovaries are fucked, my husband's sperm is fucked, and now my uterus is fucked, too. And the idea that maybe one or both of our babies would have made it if this had been discovered sooner really bothers me, too.

Years and years ago I had a 12 week period. I had a ton of tests and was at one point scheduled for a hysteroscopy. The day before the surgery, I stopped bleeding and they scratched the whole thing. If only we had done it then, maybe they'd have seen it and fixed it then. Who knows.

I know rehashing things that can't be changed is pointless, but it does eat at me a little bit. My body may well have killed our babies. Add another dose of pointless guilt.

But.. we know now and we'll fix it. It's a minor surgery and a relatively easy fix. Let's just pray it works.


New list.

Step 1: Stop freaking bleeding. (After passing everything, thank you.)
Step 2: Start bleeding again.
Step 3: Lots of tests.
Step 4 (edited): Find some obvious, not-so-difficult-to-fix problem.

Step 5: Fix said problem.
Step 6: Start bleeding again.
Step 7: Get pregnant.
Step 8: Have live, healthy baby.

Onto step 5.


P.S. I apologize for the delay in this post. I was having some issues signing into blogger.

Friday, September 21, 2007

bitter ramblings

My puppy doesn't have cancer. *phew*
The vet called this morning and all is well. I wasn't entirely worried, but there's always that nagging in the back of my head anyway. I'm relieved.
He still looks funny with shaved spots & stitches all over the place but he doesn't even seem to notice. I think he heard the vet say "E collar" and decided to behave. Stitches come out next week.

In the world of infertility, pretty much nothing new. My period came and went w/o much incident. My cramps were actually lighter than normal. Not sure why, but I'm certainly not complaining.

We're strictly forbidden from TTC this month since I have my SHG on Tuesday. That's likely the day I'll ovulate, so it's pointless anyway. We'll live.

Emotionally, I'd say I'm somewhere in the middle. My thoughts are filled with what it would be like to be a mother.

On the way home from work I was remembering a conversation I had with my husband probably 2 years ago. I don't even think we'd started TTC yet. I asked him if he thought he'd cry when our baby was born. He's the strong silent type. He looked at me like I was crazy. Of COURSE he wouldn't. When I mentioned a friend of his who still tears up when mentioning his son's birth, he scoffed. His friend is the sensitive type. David would never succumb to such nonsense.

Of course, we didn't know the path we'd be traveling then. I've since seen my husband cry simply seeing our first baby's heartbeat on a screen. I've listened to him ask about our wee grain of rice and tell me how he loves me and our little bean. And of course, we've never made it past 8 weeks. If he's such a sap already, I have a feeling he'll cry if/when we manage to actually birth a live one.

I got so emotional just thinking about the possibility of that day I started bawling in the car. Of course, I got home and he promptly annoyed the shit out of me and ruined the moment. Such is married life.

I did have an amusing bitter bitch moment at work yesterday. A coworker is pregnant. (Isn't EVERYone?) She'd informed me they were trying for #2 about a month after my first miscarriage. She was actually the first person that I ever had verbal diarrhea with. She heard all about how we'd been trying and I just had a miscarriage - all in a span of about 10 seconds. I walked away feeling like a moron. She lost her first baby as well, so I think that's what made me spew senselessly.

Anyway, she had come to tell me it didn't work 1st try (as it had with her first two pregnancies) and then I hadn't heard anything else. I assumed she was pregnant based on her silence. Three months later I was proved correct. She's now about 7 months pregnant.

The two coworkers on either side of me were debating how far along she was. I informed them she was 7 months. They both looked at me as if to say "And how do YOU know?" I just laughed and said "I'm acutely aware of all pregnant women. Ask me anything." I got a twisted amount of pleasure in the uncomfortable silence that followed.

Sometimes I do enjoy my bitterness. I figure I'm uncomfortable all the time. Let some other people be. I also find it amazing how uncomfortable just the allusion to my infertility can make people. Fuck it.

Speaking of bitter, I'll be spending the weekend with my MIL. (I'm bitter, not her.) I think it will be okay. I do believe she's sensed my discomfort with some of her comments (and lack thereof.) She's actually written me two letters in the last month. In both she mentioned how we hadn't had the chance to talk recently.

The last time we did talk, she questioned why I was off work for so long and I said quite flatly "I was having the never ending miscarriage." with that tone that says "are you stupid?" Apparently she's in the no-big-deal camp.

Again- Fuck that. Honestly, for all the hell I'd have to go through to get off work for as many doctor's appointments as I had, it was pointless to go to work. Never mind the fear of hemorrhaging at any given moment since they kept saying it was imminent. All of which I told her. That seemed to get through to her. She softened and said she didn't know it had been like that. Only her sad tone kept me from adding "That's because you didn't ask."

I know she's never experienced a miscarriage herself, but you'd think she might recognize that as sad as SHE is, we're 1000 times sadder and cut me some slack. Perhaps that's what the letters are about. Maybe she feels the distance between us and knows she's responsible for a good chunk of it and is trying to heal? I guess we'll see how the weekend goes.

In less bitter news- my friend has decided NOT to use the baby girl name we want to use. We had a very, very good talk. The last thing she said to me was that she loved me and would have never considered the name had she realized we wanted it. "Friends don't do that to friends." (This, of course, made me sob.) I may be a bitter bitch, but damn I've got great friends.


Monday, September 17, 2007

The cycle continues

It's all getting to me again.
Really, I think partly because of the miscarriage(s) I've been more focused on my sorrow than on my infertility lately.
But the infertility is starting to get to me again.

It's been a really rough week emotionally speaking. Someone I care about has decided to use the girl name we wanted. (Well, I wanted, and David was okay-but-not-in-love-with.) This lead to some unpleasant emotions on my part and I'm afraid I've upset her, too. This isn't someone who is part of my social circle so we COULD use the name if wanted anyway (and David says we will) but I feel weird about it now. And as completely irrational as it is, I feel like something ELSE was stolen from me.

I don't think that I feel that SHE stole it. I feel like life did, if that makes any sense at all. I should have already had a baby _______. (She doesn't wish to disclose the name, so out of respect for her, I'll keep it to myself here as well.) It's just all so much. And the idea of seeing her name on a regular basis, well, frankly, it stings. As I told her, I will get over it. I know I will. But for now, it hurts.

I also had a work meeting with a very pregnant coworker. She and I actually went to high school together and showed up our first day on the job and caught up a bit. She lost her first baby, so she's not one of the smug fertiles. But she did conceive the first try twice. And this one was on her 2nd month. Sitting next to her in the meeting I felt like there were lights and beacons pointing to her belly. Someone with a bullhorn was screaming in the back of the brain "YES, TRISH YOU ARE STILL NOT PREGNANT. LOOK WHAT SHE HAS AND YOU DON'T." Suffice it to say, I didn't hear much of the meeting. (That MIGHT have been a good thing.)

Today I went to a local get together for moms & TTCers. I know that some of you think I'm insane for going, but I've always been a bit of a masochist. The women are really great, though. And I'm not the only infertile member of the group, so I'm not the only odd one out.

I started to cry on the way over. I don't remember what lead to the thought, but I started thinking about what a great husband I have. That lead to wondering how he got to be such a great guy and I started thinking about his dad. I was thinking how he was shown how to be great because his dad was so wonderful. (He sadly passed away about 3 years ago.) All of that lead me to think of what a great role model David would be for our son, which made me smile. Reality quickly set in and I realized he may never have that chance. That's when the tears came. It was quick and I think I shook myself out of it realizing how stupid it was to be driving down the highway crying about something so hazy.

The get together was good. My friend who had her daughter at the same time I was due the first time was there with beautiful baby Clare. How bitter sweet that is. I got lots of time to hold her and talk to her and really enjoyed myself. It's funny how I worry so much that I'll cry when I see her, knowing I should have one, too. But really, it hasn't happened. I did have a moment where I thought how fun it would have been to have had them both there - probably a few days apart in age. But it was only a fleeting thought. I was distracted from my wistful thoughts by children laughing. If only my own children's laughter could distract me as well.

Tonight I watched "Tell Me You Love Me" on HBO. It's a rather melancholy show about relationships. One of the couples is TTC and in the beginning stages of an infertility dx.

The technical parts are really awful. In tonight's episode, for example, the wife is shown peeing on a stick and runs to announce "I'm surging!" (accurate, IMO) but then says "I'm estrogenic!" A first month charter knows that it's LH that surges, not estrogen. They really need an infertile advisor. Screw paying a doctor, I'd do it for free.

The emotional aspects are actually pretty good. They seem to be building up to a male factor diagnosis and as that's a large portion of our problems, I think they've nailed a good bit of the emotional impact it has. In the pilot (last week) there is a scene where the wife is giving the husband a hand job (did I mention the show is EXTREMELY sexually graphic?) and after he finishes, she's staring at his semen as though she's perplexed and maybe angry. God is that familiar.

I've honestly found myself angry with my husband's balls at times. Insane, I know. But there it is. They let me down. It was never anger at my husband, oddly enough. Specifically, it was his sex organs. I'm sure a shrink would have a field day with that. Fortunately I'm MOSTLY over that. I think the IUIs helped. The wash has helped his count a lot and I'm not so fixed on what I need coming from them. A lot better, all around. (Of course, I'm quite angry with my ovaries and I'm not remotely over that, but you know, what's a girl to do?)

The most interesting part of the show is after it's over. They have "real couples" commenting on the episode. There is one particular couple I'd just love to smack. One of the aspects that is shown quite well is the toll TTC takes on a sex life. How sex becomes a chore. The man in the "real couple" keeps talking about how he'd never be resentful of having to perform on command. And the wife defends the character saying "well, she made him that way!" (To which the man responds that he'd like to have his problems. *insert hearty guffaw here*) I love the dismissive attitude about the whole thing. I'd love to see a real infertile couple there.

They do have a lesbian couple there talking about their plans to have a child and the worries they have about being able to conceive. But they are looking forward. They're not embroiled in it yet. So it's still not the same. But funny how the two lesbians gets it more than this dipshit in the heterosexual "real couple."

Anyway, back to real life. My SHG is scheduled for next Tuesday, the 25th. I had hoped to have it and then have her induce my next cycle so we didn't have to wait. But since they're doing it so late, it's quite likely that I'll have either ovulated the day before or will be ovulating that day, so it really wouldn't speed things up much, so I won't even bother.

They're not going to do the full HSG. Since I've gotten pregnant twice- both in my uterus- they don't think there is a problem in my tubes. I've heard the dye hurts like hell, so I'm thankful to be spared something, at least.

I'm trying to get back into the swing of charting and pill popping this month. I had stopped my Metformin & extra folate etc etc after the miscarriage, mostly in protest. So now I've got to build back up again and remember to take stuff regularly. The old lady 7 day pill organizer is back in my purse. Another 3 weeks and we're back in the game again. I'm sure you can feel my excitement.

Hope everyone out there is well. I've really appreciated your comments and support despite my infrequent postings.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Update to the update

AF is officially here. Cramps and all. She arrived less than 45 seconds after a digital read "NOT PREGNANT" this morning.

Sneaky bitch.


Well, when I said I was spotting, I guess I over spoke. Turns out it was A SPOT. Not spotting. I haven't had so much as a tinge of pink since then. I don't know what to think now. Stupid body.

My dog did well today. Thank you for your prayers & good wishes. He had several spots removed including 4 big enough to require a stitch each. They're being sent off to pathology to make sure they're not cancerous. He's doing well except very sleepy tonight. Pretty much to be expected.

The vet was an interesting trip. Not only did Kenzie get dropped off for surgery but my cats were all due for shots. One was AWOL this morning and didn't go with us. The other is so overweight that they couldn't decide if her lymph nodes were swollen or just covered in fat. And the best part, one freaked OUT at the vet and peed on all of us and tried to bite everyone. I felt like a bad pet mommy.

All in all it's been a fairly stressful day and my body's whackiness really put me in a funk. Been wallowing all day. This is the roller coaster of infertility, I suppose.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of my bad ass fur-kids.


Valentine (fatty)

Johnny Cat (AWOL)

Contessa (peer/biter)


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Next Step

I was a depressed teenager.

I was going to say I was a melancholy teenager, but honestly, I was depressed. I had plenty to be depressed about, but that's for another blog. My point was that I was not a happy kid.

Depression as an illness isn't unlike infertility in that people are forever telling you what you SHOULD do. "Just relax" is pretty much the same thing as "look at all you have to be thankful for." And "Are you sure you want all THIS? *knowing look at children's chaos/noise/mess across the room*" isn't any different than "But you are in the prime of your life."

People tend to think both are just someone blowing things out of proportion and if you'd just pull yourself up by the boot straps and get the hell over yourself, you'd be just fine.

Well, fuck that.

I don't think I'm clinically depressed, don't worry. I'm really just saying that this struggle has reminded me a lot of my teenage years.

Anyway, that's not what this is about. Really, it's just that one of the things that got me through my adolescence was music. Mostly angry stuff. I really should write Tori Amos a letter and thank her for Little Earthquakes because it probably quite literally saved my life back then. We actually considered honeymooning in Barbados (and will likely vacation there sometime soon) because of the song "Me and a Gun." I almost never listen to that particular album as an adult because doing so takes me back about 15 years and I find myself very angry again.

And now that I'm dealing with so much sadness & frustration....and yes, sometimes anger, I find myself turning to music again. If you've been with me since the blog beginning (or have read back through- God bless your soul) you've seen me reference several songs that have moved me. Mostly from the Dixie Chicks, though not because I'm any HUGE fan of theirs, it's just worked out that way.

The last few weeks I've gotten hooked on facebook. A friend got me hooked on one of the applications- iLike. It's basically just musical trivia from iTunes. They play a clip and you guess the artist or song name. With that has come a trip down memory lane and an introduction to some new songs. The clip is short (the quicker you answer, the more points, and I'm a point hog, so I don't get to hear much most of the time.) but sometimes if it's something I haven't heard and like it, I'll look it up.

That's how I found I can't unlove you by Kenny Rogers. It's clearly not a song about miscarriage. But, of course, I see infertility, miscarriage & pregnancy in everything. The clip I heard was just a few lyrics so I went and looked them up.

These words got me:

Interstates and old songs: like time, they go on and on
I guess I could learn to do the same
I could wake up without you
These two arms not around you.
Tell myself: "It's meant to be this way."
No matter how I try, some things I can't change.

I wish I could unremember
Everything my heart's been through
I'm finding out it's impossible to do, oh whoa
Oh, it's no use: I can't unlove you.

And of course, I cried. I wish I could unremember everything my heart's been through. Hmmph.

It doesn't help that I've had what is apparently a severe case of PMS. I actually almost convinced myself I was pregnant again for a few days. My boobs hurt a bit and my uterus felt weird. And tonight I was very, very cranky. Which is pretty much a perfect description of my first pregnancy. I don't normally get PMS, (and I'm a moron) so my mind didn't go straight to PMS. I started thinking maybe I should go buy a FRER. An hour or so later it hit me that it was more likely PMS than some magical conception. In 2 years of not conceiving from sex, you'd think I'd get it, eh?

Anyway, I started spotting just a little bit ago, so yes, it was PMS. Funny how even though I REALLY needed AF to show so we could get a move on, I was still bummed to see her. I really, really would love to be that bitch we all hate who "suddenly" gets pregnant after years of trying. So much for that.

So, we move on. I'll call the doctor tomorrow and see about scheduling the SHG. After which, I'm hoping to convince her to induce a period rather than having to wait for another to start trying again. This is assuming, of course, that things are fine in my uterus. We'll see what she says.

In the meantime, my dog goes in for minor surgery tomorrow. He's having his teeth cleaned and some moles removed. He's 9 1/2 and has quite a few. His breed (boxer) is prone to a particular kind of cancer that can look like anything, so we're going to err on the side of caution and have them removed. I worry, cause he and my 3 cats (yeah, I'm THAT girl) really are my family. So if you've got a moment to say a prayer that everything goes & is okay, I'd really appreciate it.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Waiting Game

I am apparently entering a new stage in our battle with infertility.
The point where people who started TTC when we did are now TTC their 2nds.
It's not an entirely great feeling, I must say.
It's another of those moments where I want to stomp my feet and say "NO NO NO, You're not allowed to have another baby until I have one!" Completely irrational, but the urge I have, nonetheless.
I"m sure it will eventually get easier, just as all the first crappy things did.

In other news, I had my post D&C appointment last Wednesday. Everything was good. I was actually ovulating. she couldn't quite tell if I'd already Ovulated or would that day, but there was a nice big follie on my left ovary. I wasn't entirely surprised as I'd had a ton of EWCM & accompanying pains on my left side.

The lining of my uterus looked good, triple stripe and all that. She described it as "beautiful." (To which I replied "Well, my uterus thinks you're pretty cute, too.)My lady bits seem to get lots of compliments. Too bad that apparently means diddly.

Anyway, they did another beta, which came back below 5, which is, of course, good news.

Dr. M said everything looked good but that my uterus looks a little wide which could indicate a septum. She definitely wants to do the saline sonohysterogram.

The pathology and cytocryology reports were back. Pathology showed products of conception and the presence of villa something-or-other that is usually associated with a chromosomal abnormality. Cytocryology failed. So no real answers, but likely a chromosome issue, which is, overall, good news. That's bad luck which had to surely run out eventually. Theoretically.

So at this point I'm just waiting for my period. We've not been preventing this month, but we all know the chances of me getting pregnant w/o drugs and IUI are pretty much nil.

The u/s tech had asked if I'd had any trouble since the D&C and I explained I had some spotting after intercourse the night before. When she saw my follie she said "Oh, last night was a good time to have had sex!" which sort of embarrassed me, but was funny, too.

Dr. M pretty much told us we should probably wait a month to try again but said it in such a half-hearted manner, that it didn't seem like a big deal.

My old doc saw me in the hallway and said howdy, then came to find me before I left and asked how I was. I nearly started bawling right there. She has such a motherly way about her. I answered the standard "You know, hanging in there. What can we do but try again?" and she gave me the look that said "Don't feed be bullshit." and said "Yes, but how ARE you?" Fortunately the receptionist handed me my receipt just then and I was able to turn away before I completely lost it.

It was a reminder that I really do want to switch back to her. I have no problems with Dr. M at all, but Dr. Keller.. well, she's set the bar awfully high. I just don't know when to do it. Or how, for that matter.

The nurse (for both of them) told a friend that I should switch simply because Dr. K is in the office 4 days a week vs Dr. M who is more like 1 or 2. So I think I'll pick her brain next time I talk to her and see what to do.

Anyway, nothing major. Just wanted to give an update.

When my period starts, I schedule the water-balloon-ute exam, then we go from there. Come on AF.

-- Trish