Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Still going....

So there was drama last Friday. Thursday night I started having cramps, and then I noticed that my boobs weren't hurting anymore...then the worst...I started getting that feeling that something was wrong (which has happened every single time). By Friday morning, I was extremely emotional, still cramping, still no sore boobs. I called Terri at Dr. Mac's. They told me to come in at 3pm. Patrick met me there.

Apparently everyone at Dr. Mac's had been upset since my phone call. Dr. Mac came in the room before my u/s and hugged me and said we'd figure it out no matter what. Everyone was waiting to see...and as soon as we started, Patrick saw the heartbeat from across the room. He was fine. My uterus was contracting a little though (they said from the stress), so they told me to take it easy over the weekend. So I did.

I went back yesterday (they had me at 7w2d and hey, they're experts, so I'll go with their dating), and he was measuring about 7w. The heart rate went up again (it was 122bpm at the first one, 138bpm at the second one, and 152bpm yesterday). We could even see the cord and see him floating around in there. The heartbeat was really strong and loud. They said all looked well, and now I have to sit and wait. My next appt isn't until Jan. 4th.

I told Patrick that normal women would have the u/s I had yesterday, the dr. would say they looked great, and they wouldn't have another appt for like a month and probably not another u/s until 20 weeks. We're happy, but still cautious. We're trying to learn to enjoy everyday, and let go just a little bit.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The good with the bad...

So according to my RE's office, the ultrasound went great. We saw the sac, the yolk sac, the embryo, and the heartbeat at 122 bpm. But (and there's always a but with me isn't there?) the embryo only measured 6w when I know I should have been 6w3d. Yes, I know that u/s are +/- like 5 days, but worries me.

Seriously, Terri couldn't have been more positive about it. She said there's nothing to worry about, but then said she knows I'll worry anyway.

It's less about measuring 3 days behind and more about the fact that we're in the danger zone. They always stop growing at 6.5 weeks...we can't ever cross that hump. I feel like everything rests on these next few days, and that's an awful lot of pressure.

I'm absolutely terrified, and I'm finding it hard to concentrate on anything. My ultrasound will be Tuesday, and time couldn't possibly go any slower...I just need to know.

Surely God wouldn't do this to me 2 Christmases in a row....I just have to keep believing that this is finally the one that was meant to be...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Less than 24 hours....

Less than 24 hours until my ultrasound tomorrow, and I've never been more terrified. I've joked that it's like post-traumatic stress disorder, but I'm not really joking. I've had so many bad much devastating news delivered to me as I lay there staring at the screen. I know that this is just part of the process, another step along the way, that in order to get there I have to have GOOD ultrasounds...but it's hard. It's hard to put aside the pain of the last 3 years and keep believing that this is really the one. I know everything is different this time...
Why not me?
It's been so many other people so many times...why not me? Why not this one? Why not now?
Please let this be everything that we've ever dreamed of, let this be the one that gets me through this, let this be the one we've waited for. Please...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Just keep swimming....

I went for more bloodwork yesterday. My hcg has climbed to 13,380 and my progesterone is at 40. They said not to worry about the drop in progesterone, that it fluctuates, and that there's no concern when it's up that high this far along.

So now I wait for my ultrasound in exactly one week....going to be a long week.

I truly believe that this is it. Every part of me believes it, and I can see that Patrick wants to, too. Please don't let me be wrong...

It does help that I'm having a few symptoms. Nausea is fun, I really mean that. I love having a reminder that things are as they should be.

One day at a time...
Just keep swimming...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Could this be it?

Things are going well....really well, I'm kind of freaking out.
First, the betas...
I had one with Dr. Mac on Monday at 16dpo. Hcg = 560, Progesterone = 53 !!!
I cheated and had them run one in our lab downstairs today at 18dpo and hcg was 2047 ....Patrick keeps asking about twins! We'd totally take them!

My numbers are excellent...better than they've ever been.

One more important thing...on Monday, I started having this feeling about heparin. That maybe I just needed to ask them if we'd considered it. It's the only thing we're not trying this time, and if I lost this one, that's what they'd add next time. I just kept thinking that I needed to at least bring it up. I called Terri Tuesday morning, and 30 minutes later she called back. Dr. Mac reviewed my history again and said that other dr.s would probably go ahead and treat with heparin. He said it wouldn't hurt, and if I was up for it, we should go for it. So this morning, I picked up my heparin, and Kara showed me how to give myself the shot...I get to fill the needle and everything, which of course, I think is fun because I'm a nerd. : ) So 10 pills every night, a pill up you-know-where twice a day, what's a shot in the stomach once a day right? ; )

I just didn't want to look back a month from now facing another loss and wondering "what if".
Now, especially with the amazing beta today, I know that I'm an doing everything in my power to make this work. Maybe God put that heparin idea into my head for a reason...and now I'll leave it in his hands...for once...and try to enjoy this.

I go back on Monday for more bloodwork with Dr. Mac.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Well, I got my beta results late Tuesday afternoon, and I haven't really been able to focus since. My beta was a 9 at 10 days past ovulation (with 32.2 for progesterone). It's very low, but it's positive. From everything I've read and heard, it seems perfectly reasonable for 10dpo (when some people haven't even implanted yet). Throughout the holiday weekend, I continued to take HPTs. One Wed morning, the lightest line in the world, Thursday was darker, Friday darker, Saturday even darker, and Sunday way dark. On Saturday, I even decided to take a digital. It said "pregnant" in less than 30 seconds. I think I'm done taking HPTs now. ; )

So today I go for a repeat beta. I'm hoping for great numbers. Terri at Dr. Mac's had said we want to see over 100, but I want to see over 200. I also want to see a great progesterone number....

So I'm on the rollercoaster again, and so grateful to be here!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


It's only 10dpo, but I went for my beta this morning. The office is closed the rest of the week, and they all wanted to know before the holidays. Theoretically, we should see something, mind you, it might be a beta of 7!

I'm pretty pessimistic right now. Two days ago I was convinced this was it! But since last night, the pessimism and reality of it all has set in. I think it's just a defense mechanism, but I've been pretty glum today. It's hard to put all that hope into that one little vial of blood. I just feel like I'm going to disappoint everyone yet again today...

So I wait...

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Courage to Believe Again...

Well, here I am...hopeful again in the middle of the prettiest cycle I've had in almost 3 years of trying. Femara is WONDERFUL!! It turned me into a normal girl!

On my cd 13 ultrasound, they found one beautiful juicy 20mm follicle and a luscious lining of 8.2mm. My body was ready! We triggered last Thursday...were "busy" Thurs-Sat, and now we wait...

It's hard to think about the possibilities. We've only had maybe 3 good chances this whole year (I was pregnant this time last year). People like me wait for even the opportunity to have a cycle where they might get pregnant...and here it is.

So we wait...and we hope.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hell week

Please, please let this round of bad luck be over! I won't call last week the worst week ever...but I will say that it was a really, really, annoying, no good week. Let's see.

* Patrick broke his ankle in our soccer game, but thankfully he can walk with a brace and is still able to do things for himself.
* His starting setter on his volleyball team dislocated her kneecap and is out for the rest of the season.
* One of the girls he used to coach with was in a horrible car accident, and while thankfully she will fully recover, went through the windshield and broke her neck among other things.
* One of my co-workers is accidentally pregnant (she's getting married in May) and is leaning on me heavily for support (she wasn't ready, didn't know if she wanted kids, is upset her dream wedding is ruined, but is also concerned about some cramping/spotting she's been having). Thankfully I've never shown her how much it upsets me, and she has been wonderful enough to let me know that she knows this is hard for me, but that she just needed me.
* Apparently, we're not as financially stable as I thought we were....stems from Patrick being unable to tell me "no" given all that has happened the past year and a half...had I known this I certainly wouldn't have gone on a shopping spree at Ann Taylor Loft last week!
* And the capper of the week...all the stress over all of this managed to give me my first yeast infection in 7 years...lovely. Although it seems there have been major medical advancements during this time, and all I had to do was take a single least something was easy!

So I'm really hoping that we're turning a corner and that we had to get all this bad luck out of the way to move forward!
I'm currently waiting on my period, and when it shows, off I go for my cd 3 ultrasound...if I get the green light, we've all decided (me, Patrick, Terri, Dr. Mac) that we're doing 5 mgs of Femara. The starting dose is generally 2.5mgs, so I'm happy to start at a middle dose. Not to mention, all the research I've done is suggesting that this may work MUCH better for me than Clomid. Clomid dries up your fertile cervical mucus...and I've always had a problem with that because of the LEEP procedure I had on my cervix 10 years ago. Clomid also thins the uterine lining...and I've got issues with that given the surgery to remove my uterine septum. SO...Femara does none of that, and it just seems like it might be the perfect fit for me.

So I guess I should stop pouting and start taking all my meds again to get my body ready!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Natural Selection is dead...

No response to 100mgs

I was pretty upset on Monday....but Happy Hour and a serious heart-to-heart with Patrick made it all better. I'm okay. Frustrated, not sure what to do next, but okay.

Sounds like we might try to up it to 150mgs for a cycle...and then we'll see where to go from there. They're talking about a new drug...Femara...could be the key. Or we'll be looking at injectables.

I was feeling very broken, but Patrick was great to remind me that this is only one tiny piece of our lives...I need to approach it that way, as a side project. And so far, that's going well.

I have decided however that Natural Selection is more survival of the fittest. Patrick and I are stronger, faster, smarter than these people we see trying to get 5 kids into a minivan at McDonald's...but we can't seem to do this. How is that supposed to make sense to this scientist? I understand that I have issues, but why so many? Why us? Why wouldn't the world want us in the gene pool?

Maybe our kids were meant to take over the world or something ; ) and someone's poisoning our drinking water to keep us from procreating...hahaha. Yep, that frappucino went straight to my head! At least I'm having what I call a "well adjusted week".

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Here we go again

Well I managed to go 2 weeks without missing a pill...yay for me.
And my body managed to get rid of that pesky cyst...yay for my ovary.

So I took my last birth control pill last night and Saturday...CLOMID. Only it gets better...we're doubling the dose...which means I'll be EXTRA "pleasant" this weekend and next week. Patrick's already looking forward to it (or planning his escape).

I'm still not totally into it. Don't get me wrong, I'm ready. I'm just grouchy for some reason. I think it's just the anticipation, and the knowing that we're about to put ourselves out there again...I just need to this to work so badly.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Negative Nancy

No good news...that about sums it up.

No I am not pregnant...thought I was, damn drugs thoroughly had me "feeling it" was a cruel, cruel joke. I got over it though, and went for my start of the cycle scan...which revealed a HUGE (37mm) cyst. Freaking LOVELY!!!

So what now? Oh yeah, that's right, I'm on birth control pills to try to shrink the cyst. Do you know how freaking insulting it is to have to be on the pill when the last thing I want anyone near me is any form of birth control???? It's such a bunch of crap.

You name it, it happens to me. It's always something, and I can't catch a freaking break.

That being said, I'm on the pill for another week and a half...then we'll check the cyst. If it's gone, then here we go again with the Clomid. Oh but wait, we're doubling the dose, as if it's possible for me to be even more unpleasant while I'm taking it. There's not enough wine in Texas.

So I'm around...just trying to forget that I ever even wanted a baby, and trying to forget that all of this crap happened to me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Personal Record

Well, nothing like a little hope to make the time CRAWL by. My 7 dpo progesterone check came back....32.6...a new personal record for me. It was never that high even when I was pregnant. Not that a high number means that I could be...just that if there is a little zygote floating around, it might actually have a shot.

This whole progesterone thing has really got me thinking, too. Maybe that was one of my problems. I never started the progesterone in the last pregnancy until 5 weeks (when it had dropped a little from the previous weeks). I know that falling/low progesterone can signal a "doomed" pregnancy, but low progesterone contributes to bad lining, bad circulation, bad implantation which of course could be what was "dooming" the pregnancy to start with, right? So what if this stupid little pill I put you-know-where twice a day is all I needed?

Is there such a thing as too much hope? Geez, I'm setting myself up for a fall again...I need to get back to reality...

Monday, July 31, 2006

Unnaturally happy's creeping me out. I was such a superbitch with the Clomid last week, but since Saturday, I've been this positive, optimistic, happy person that I don't recognize!

I seem to be so well-adjusted to my situation. I didn't flinch when no less than 3 people asked the "kids question" this weekend. Patrick and I are all giddy about trying again (remember the giddyness of those first cycles trying...). We're making jokes about embryos and sperm and all that mess that used to be fun. We're confident that if this isn't it, we'll figure it out soon.

I don't know where it's coming from, but I just feel great. I have hope...I really believe that this will happen for us sometime...maybe not this cycle, maybe not this year...but that sooner or later our time will come.

I had let go of that thought a few months ago...but it feels so amazing to truly have that hope in my heart again.

Also, I've finally come to realize that there are so many people rooting for us...people I never would have thought that keep asking other friends how I'm doing, and other people telling us that they're praying for us. It means more than they'll ever know, and I'm grateful to have those people on our side...

Ok, little miss sunshine signing out for now.

Oh crap...maybe I should actually update something besides my pleasant demeanor...we got the green light this cycle. On Friday (cd 12) I had a 15mm follicle on my right ovary (nothing on my left, but fine by me, that side scares me since the ectopic). I had 2 others at 10mm, but those probably won't mature enough. Anyway, I triggered yesterday (cd 14) since my RE estimated they would be over 19mm by then. My lining was also 7.4mm which is excellent for cd 12 and being on Clomid. SO we're "busy" for the next 2 nights...hehehe. They did say that they'll bump me up to 100mgs IF we need another cycle (I love Terri...she was so sure to say "if we even need another one"). They just want me to move a little faster and maybe get 2-3 follicles instead of 1 dominant one. So game on!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


OK, that's it, we're ready. I'm ready, he's ready, my body's ready, the world better be freaking ready.

Baseline u/s yesterday showed that everything looked good. Tonight, I start Clomid again. Wonder what that's going to be like? It's so weird to think that it's been over a year and half since the last time I was on it. And I can't wait. I want to feel like I'm doing something. There's something so exciting about a monitored cycle. Yesterday, the u/s, now today through Sunday, I take my pills, then next Friday, here we go, we check follicles and go from there. I hope it will go by really quickly. I'm ready to do this, finally ready to really try, and really hope again.

I'm just ready. It's my turn, I've paid my dues, I've suffered, I've believed, I've lost hope and found it again.

It's time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Her day...

She was due today. "She"...that's all I can bring myself to call her. The twins are referred to as...well..."the twins", and the early miscarriage last Sept is referred to as the "hurricane baby" since I miscarried during Hurricane Rita. She was lovingly called "the chicken"...until we found out she was a girl when they did the testing.

She doesn't have a name. To name her would open up a wound I couldn't face. I know naming is something that helps some people cope with the loss. I'm not one of those people. Naming her makes it too real. Naming her means I'd have to admit how much I still hurt.

So what am I supposed to do today? Pretend like I don't want to throw up everytime I inadvertently see the date? I came up with the short list of things that seem appropriate: cry, scream, throw things, drink until I fall asleep, run until i throw up...but I did all of that when I found out we lost her...what am I supposed to do now?

Am I supposed to be "adjusted" by now? Because I'm not. This is the first real due date I've had to suffer through. The due date last month of hurricane baby was just fleeting sadness...there wasn't ever enough time to get attached to that one. The due date for the twins would have been really rough...but Oct 31...that morning was when I found out I was pregnant with her. I was supposed to mourn that day, to feel the way I do today...but instead I found out she was there. What a miracle right? Surely a sign from God that my sadness was over, that I had carried my burden far enough, and that my reward was finally there.

But then more sadness...far worse than before. Because of that word..."she"...

Patrick and I had a weird little discussion on the way home last night. He knows that my anxiety has been growing, so he took me to go see Pirates of the Carribbean last night at the Movie Tavern (beer + real food + movie = happiness). On the way home, he said it was a full moon. I couldn't help but make a stupid drunk comment
"Great, then I probably would have been in labor right now."
We talked for a little and I did the usual
"I could do this, I could keep going, if I knew that it actually would happen for us sometime. But the constant fear that this is never going to work, that no matter how many times I get pregnant, this may never work...that's what I can't deal with."
To which he said
"You know why we keep going....I know you just say it. Why do we keep doing this? It starts with an H."
I said "hell" of course to be a shit,
but he said "hope"...
I'm just not in the mood to hope today though...I just need to let myself be, and get through the day however I can....
I'll hope again tomorrow...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Good news, bad news, and everything in between


So I was totally ready to do this again! I felt re-energized, I felt healed from all of the losses, we were ready to go. But as usual, my body has failed to cooperate. I went to Dr. Mac's yesterday for my mid-cycle u/s...on cd 15. Not a single follicle over 10mm, and my lining was just under 6mm...this cycle is a bust. I was frustrated, and Terri knew that. She was honest and said she thought it was time to try something else. Patrick agreed, too, so we're back to Clomid next cycle. We haven't done it since I lost the twins over a year ago. I was on 50mgs then, but Terri said they might bump me up to 100mgs just to get an even better response. Whatever...I just want to have a chance again! So we wait for my period...the usual "call on day 1". I'm so sick of waiting.

In other news, tennis and soccer are still going well. I alternate moments of greatness is each sport...our soccer game was rough last night, but my tennis match the night before was a breeze. I'm just happy to be out there playing again!

Now for the most interesting news....we have a new member of our family. Here's the story that I wrote out to a friend....

So in the middle of the monsoon on Sunday night (we had massive flooding over the weekend and Monday), Patrick is driving home. He's getting off the highway onto the access road and sees something dart in front of his truck. I'm on the phone with him, and he says that he'll call me back. He thought it was a possum, but realized it was a very small kitten. He pulled over and looked for him. Found him cowered under a bush...wet, dirty, and covered in fleas. He looked around for a mama cat or other kittens, but he was all alone and there are no houses or anything where he was. He said he was small, I estimated 7-8 weeks, but he thought he was too small. He knew he would die (probably get hit by a car if the weather and fleas didn't kill him or he'd starve) if he left him, so when he called me back, the kitten was in the truck with him.
Now the #1 concern was Feline AIDS and feline leukemia (as a risk to our other 3 cats), not to mention the fleas. So first, genius kitten crawls into the console of Patrick's truck...after 30 minutes of searching for him we finally got him out! We wrap him in a towel and head to the store (this is at 10pm Sunday night by the way) and get shampoo, a flea comb, food, little bowls, etc. He's staying in the guest bathroom so we can keep him apart from the other cats. So we start shampooing him...the fleas are HORRIBLE. He's so irritated and is bleeding from how bad the fleas were and they were all trying to latch on....I started bawling. Patrick considered taking him straight to the SPCA instead of bringing him home, but after seeing all of the fleas, we know they would have just given up and put him down....Patrick worked on the fleas for over an hour...he wouldn't give up. We would take breaks and I would hold him in a towel. Finally, we used some flea spray that we just put on cottonballs. That helped, but they all ran to his head. We did the best we could, and left him in the bathtub with towels to snuggle, food and water (he ate like he was starving) and a litterbox made out of a shoe box (with a little doorway cut out).
Patrick woke up and took him to the vet first thing Monday morning. He weighed 1lb 2oz, and the vet said he was actually about 5 weeks old. He was negative for Feline AIDS/leukemia, but he had hookworms and of course the fleas. He got medicine for the hookworms, and he got the best medicine ever for fleas. It's called Capstar, and it worked so wonderfully!!!! He went to the vet at 7am. By 1pm, he had absolutely NO live fleas on him anymore...they were all dead and laying in his towel bedding. I sat with him for 2 hours Monday in the guest bathroom (studying for school...LOL!), and not a single flea was on him or me or in the bathroom at all!

Anyway, in less than 24 hours, he had gone from a wet, dirty, sick, flea infested, thrown away kitten, to a spunky orange tabby with the loudest purr and the cutest little pounce. He's playing with toys, eating well, using the litterbox like a champ, and is so loving. He's got a couple of scratches (one on a backleg, one in the corner of his eye, and two little raw spots above his mouth, we think he rubbed it raw from the fleas or it's from dehydration), but he's very good with his hygiene and they're looking great. We made him steps to get in and out of the bathtub (he managed to get out but then couldn't get back in...LOL!), so now when you open the door, he hops out and comes to greet you. Just this morning he started doing the rub against your legs thing....he's got such a good spirit...

Anyway, Patrick said he needed a name, so due to the massive flooding...his name is Noah. We had planned to find him a home, but he's just taken over our hearts and we can't imagine giving him away at this point.

Apparently about a month ago, Patrick was all the way over in the left lane on the highway and saw a kitten get hit by a car in one of the right lanes. He said it just made him so I think he needed to save this kitty. He was so amazing. He kept asking if he had made a mistake, if he was a sucker, or if I was mad because he could have risked our cats' health (which he didn't because we're smart enough to keep them apart which is all you have to do)...I told him that the fact that he did this is one of the reasons I married him...he has such a big heart...and to see him with this 1lb kitty makes me cry....he found him on Father's Day...and though I haven't said anything to him about it...I wonder if that had something to do with how hard he worked to save Noah....

So here's my new baby....

Friday, June 16, 2006

30 isn't so bad....

Well, I actually ended up having a very fun and relaxing beach weekend for my 30th birthday. We were laid back, I had martinis on the fishing pier, we ate good food (and an awesome b-day cake), and we danced...that's right, I said we. Patrick totally let loose and danced on my birthday and that totally made the night!

So now I'm moving on...SO much going on. Just call me Sporty Spice for the summer. I've playing in 2 tennis leagues (and doing pretty well!), and I did it. I'm playing in the Over 30 soccer league. I had what was probably the best game I've ever played last night. I scored!! I'm a defender so that never happens, but we didn't have any subs, so I switched to play forward and after several attempts (including a respectable penalty kick that went straight to the goalie) finally a beautiful shot went in. It made me feel good when patrick said "I saw the ball go in, and I had to look back and make sure it was you that shot it". : ) I'm sore today, but it's totally worth it!

So what now? Remember I said that we'd be out of the running due to timing this month. Well my idiot body decided to surprise me last month and ovulate early...either cycle day 18 or 19...earliest ever for me. I realized when it was happening but "things" did not cooperate and we missed the window...oh well, I drank guilt-free on my birthday. However, ovulating early meant getting my period early (early by my before cycle day 40!) which means we could actually try this month. So we talked, and decided to go for it. My mid-cycle u/s is Thursday....if there's a good follicle, then we trigger! I'm tired of waiting. I'm not going to stop living life for this anymore, but I'm also not going to sit on the sidelines!

So that's it. I've got tons of schoolwork to do, lots of soccer games and tennis matches to play, I should manage to keep myself pretty busy until the end of this cycle....and we'll just see what happens.

I really feel like I haven't truly had the courage to try since the last miscarriage. We've only seriously tried once since then...just once...and even then, my heart just wasn't in it. But now I'm ready again...I really am. We both are. When we decided to go for it this month, there were no tears...just a mutual "It's time." The decision felt good...and I feel more at peace...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Letting Go....

I'm trying to let far so good.

We're on a break of sorts. The infamous 30th birthday is now...17 days away (the horror!), so we're going away for a beach weekend. I didn't want to ruin the prospect of a wonderful weekend (which is going to put me on the verge of a nervous breakdown anyway) with worrying about testing or ovulating or any of the crap that I've dealt with constantly for the past 2 years. I'm not worrying about cycle days, fertile stuff, timing sex....none of it, I'm done.

I'm letting go....for a little while.

As seems to always be the case with me, it's more complicated than a one cycle break. A break this cycle automatically forces us into a break next cycle because I'll be in Virginia for school. Oh well, not such a bad thing right? Right?

My body flat out told me it wasn't ready...and if I take a second to listen to my heart...she's agreeing.

So what am I doing to pass the time...EVERYTHING! I went to a class called Boot Camp at the hym on Saturday, seriously the name is self explanatory! I still hurt today. I've joined a tennis league, and I'm contemplating stepping foot on a soccer field again. It's been over a year, but all of a sudden, I want to play. There's a short summer season, and guess what? I can now play over 30! I never played the summer league because I didn't really want 20-year old college kids running by me with no problem. But over 30 : ) Now all of a sudden my speed and quickness matter a little more : ) This might be fun!

So that's it, we're on hiatus. And it feels really good so far. We had the best weekend we've had in a while...and the best part...I survived Mother's Day without a tear (well, you can't count the crying from Grey's Anatomy last night!!!). I don't really know how I did it, except that Patrick kept me busy. We just had fun...and didn't worry about anything else for just a little while. I'm hoping that it's just the beginning of a carefree summer!

Friday, April 28, 2006

A Breakthrough?

I smiled at a kid this morning. Granted it was at Starbucks and that always makes me happy, but I smiled at him all by myself. Now this past year...let me be honest...I glare at pregnant women and I sneer at children. I've become that fashionably dressed woman in her fitted clothes and high heels who obviously does not have children and by the looks of her doesn't want them, the one who acts annoyed by the screaming or running kid....but that's all it act.

I want so badly to pat them on the head, to smile knowingly to the pregnant woman, to laugh as the kid tells me an unintelligible story...but to open myself up to that opens me up to the pain of thinking that may never be me...

For whatever reason, this jealousy only applies to strangers...I'm finally able to rejoice when a friend is pregnant (although there is that initial pang of jealousy and a knot in my stomach when I see them start to show)...but thankfully, all of that goes out the window when the baby is here. Maybe it's because only she can enjoy the pregnancy, but I can enjoy the baby. There have however been 2 friends who's actual pregnancy did not bother me at all even from the initial announcement. One who's had 2 kids (which feel more like my niece and nephew!) and one who is halfway through her pregnancy right now (but who struggled through this with me....she gives me hope that this will happen for both of us...because that's how the story is supposed to end...).

What was I saying again? Oh yeah, so I smiled at a kid this morning...all by myself. He was just sitting there looking cute, and he just made me smile as I walked by. He smiled back, and then I saw that the mom had noticed this little exchange and she was smiling too...and it made me feel good. Not sad, not mad, not jealous...but peace.

Also this past weekend, I found out another friend (one who we don't see much anymore) is pregnant as well...and I didn't cry. Still haven't cried...haven't felt the need...

I think in therapy terms they would call this a breakthrough...I'm not quite sure where I've broken through to...but it's nice here...a little less bitterness, a little more tolerance, a lot more happiness. Maybe I'm finally learning to let go...and let it be.

Que sera, sera....for now.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Not so bad day...

There's not a whole lot going on, but I discovered that today I feel pretty's that for optimism.

Who knows what's going on with this cycle! We're just waiting a few days to decide whether we induce a period with meds or I let it come on it's own...which means I'm trying to figure out if I've ovulated or not based on a couple of days of temperatures...LOL! Can you imagine? After 2 years, I for once, have no idea if I ovulated or not...actually, it's kind of nice...almost liberating! Maybe I'll try the Britney Spears get pregnant quick plan and get wasted for 5 days straight...

Anyway, I think the reason I'm in such a good mood is because I have a new furry niece!!!!

So we went to Dallas this past weekend for Patrick's volleyball tournament. On Saturday, I went to lunch with one of my friends. We were headed to Starbucks afterwards, and I see this big black dog. I immediately knew it was a Great Dane puppy and I had to go pet it. When I got closer, I realized it was a mobile adoption site, and she was VERY skinny. They estimated her to be 6months-1year old. They found her wandering the streets of Dallas, and she had been at the shelter for 1 month...with NO ONE interested. I was so upset. She was super sweet, great temperament, and she looked like she could have been Tristan and Skylar's sister. So we went to Starbucks...and I called Patrick...and he didn't say no. We both knew it wasn't a great decision, but he said that he knew we had to do something because big dogs like that just don't get adopted from shelters. We figured we could contact a rescue group and somehow get her to them or something. Anyway, I went back and got contact information and told them I'd call on Monday to leave my information so that they would call us before they decided to put her down or anything (we would just take her before we let that happen)...but we wanted to see if she would get adopted that weekend.

Sunday I went to lunch with my little brother who goes to school in Denton. Patrick had noticed they were doing mobile adoptions at the same location, but we were convinced there would be different dogs. Nope, she was there. Patrick decided he had time to meet us there, so my brother and I went to have lunch. I told my brother that I knew it wasn't the best idea, but that I couldn't leave her there. Out of nowhere, he says "I think I'll take her sis"...and then proceeds to say all the right things...he's graduating in August, he has a yard, he has a flexible schedule, he just started a part-time job so he'll have the money, he's wanted a dog for a while, and he really likes her. We went back and spent more time with her (while other people were also looking at her...this really rude guy that was trying to do obedience training with her and being a jackass, meanwhile she would sit and lay down for me with no problem...LOL!). That idiot guy sealed the deal for my brother and he started filling out paperwork.

She got spayed Monday, and my brother picked up my new furniece Chloe on Tuesday!!!!! I'll have to get him to take pictures!!!! So far she's doing great, and I'm equally happy for her and him....he really needed this.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Getting Back on the Bike

So I recovered from the D&C, went off to school in January, passed my comprehensive exam with flying colors, and came back to real life. I actually went on the pill for the month of January...only to discover that it makes me a real bitch, so I went right back off of it in February. I had a random day of fertile stuff in February, so we went for it, but my period came on big deal.

During Feb 2006, we got the results of our testing. They had tested the last miscarriage....46XX...a perfect girl. This was good news since it proved that we were capable of producing genetically normal offspring. But the reality of it hit me, and I still hurt when I see little girls with dark brown wavy hair and big brown eyes...what would she have looked like?

Anyway, my thrombophilia panel came back as well. I'm a compound heterozygote for MTHFR. Could that have caused my miscarriages? Maybe. Regardless, it seemed to indicate that I needed more medication...mostly holistic. So now I take 9 pills a day...I hate taking pills.

March 2006, we decided to try again. Our plan: go in for a mid-cycle u/s, and if my uterine lining is good and there's a nice big follicle, we'll trigger (like what we did in September 2005). All went well, even though my progesterone was not as high as I would have liked at 7dpo (14.7). But no luck...I had a rough time with it. I know it was our first cycle back trying, but the weight of 2 years was getting to me. We talked about taking a break, but in the end, decided that it was best to keep trying.

April 2006, I was ready to go. And then my mid-cycle u/s sent that plan to hell. Even after getting a positive ovulation kit on day 14 (which has NEVER happened...the earliest I ever ovulated on my own was day 21), the u/s that afternoon showed NO dominant follicle and a crappy lining. I was nowhere near ovulating...

It sucks...a lot. So we're on a break of sorts (do you think GOd decided to make the decision for me?). When May comes, we'll decide whether I'll let this cycle play out or go get provera to induce my period. Next cycle, we'll do another mid-cycle u/s to see if a trigger is worth it. Just taking it day by day at this point I guess.

A New, just the same old crap

So after recovering from surgery, we were at it again! At my follow-up just before Labor Day weekend (early September 2005), the ultrasound showed a follicle that was ready to go. So that weekend I gave myself my first shot in the stomach (the hcg trigger), and we were off. Two weeks later, I had a beta....I already knew what it would be. I was still taking my temperature and had reached my "pregnancy temperature". It was positive...hcg was 113, progesterone was like 29 or something. Then 2 days later, I had another beta run at our was down to 67. This was in the midst of preparation for Hurricane Rita. Dr. Mac's office was already closed to prepare for the storm, but I knew there was nothing they could do. I went to the store to buy more pregnancy tests so that I could watch them turn negative...and know when to expect the bleeding. The hurricane passed through Friday night, and I started bleeding Sunday morning.

We couldn't do any drugs the next cycle, but we were told there was no harm in trying naturally. I ovulated late (cycle day 26), and I was pretty sure that I wasn't pregnant. Then the calendar finally showed the date I had been dreading for months....October 31....the twins were due on Halloween. So that morning (at 12 days past ovulation), I decided to take a pregnancy test. My intention was that I would get a negative, spend the day in mourning for the twins, and not feel guilty about the mango margaritas I intended to drink at my neighbors that evening....but the damn thing was positive.

The first words out of my mouth (as Patrick ironed and I brushed my teeth)..."You've got to be kidding me". Patrick thought he was in trouble for something...and then I showed him. Neither of us knew what to do. I remember sitting at the top of the stairs in shock asking what we should do now. We agreed to wait a couple of days before going to the dr. for a beta. Meanwhile, the tests kept getting darker. The next couple of weeks were textbook: hcg levels kept rising. I did end up having to be on progesterone suppositories (oh joy), but it was no big deal. My 5w ultrasound showed a perfectly measuring gestational sac with a yolk sac. My 6w ultrasound showed a perfectly measuring embryo...with a heartbeat. We actually got to hear the heartbeat and of course, I started crying as usual. Everything was going perfectly. We told the family...and everyone was so excited...everyone thought it was a miracle and a sign that I'd gotten the positive test on the twin's due date. But apparently it wasn't my turn for a miracle...

About 2 days before my 8w ultrasound (late November 2005) I started to have strange feelings. My boobs hurt a little less, something didn't feel right. I tried to shake it off as nerves, but in all honesty, I knew (AGAIN) that something was wrong. The u/s showed that she had stopped growing at 6.5w and there was no heartbeat. I don't even think I cried the first few minutes. I remember looking over and seeing this horrible look on Patrick's he wanted to throw something. Then I just started asking lots of questions (did the septum grow back, can we see where the problem was, does it look like I will miscarry naturally). I finally cried when everyone left the room...and I proclaimed that I didn't want to do this anymore...that I couldn't do this anymore. We also decided that it was best for me to miscarry could take weeks.

So 2 weeks later (mid December 2005), nothing was happening. My beta had actually gone up (94,000), so I went in for another u/s. Everything was still in there. After much discussion, we decided to try to induce the miscarriage with Cytotec. We got movies, firewood, dinner...and I started the pills. They gave my Vicodin as well since it was supposed to be very painful. There was bleeding, there was pain, but neither was as much as I had expected...and I had a sneaking suspicion that it wasn't over. Beta dropped, but not as much as they would have liked. One last u/s on Dec. 22 showed that everything was STILL on December 23, I had a D&C....

Merry freaking Christmas....

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Twins

It's eerie even writing seems like a lifetime ago...but it was just over a year...

We found out I was pregnant one weekend in mid-February 2005. We couldn’t believe it, we were floating in the clouds for a week since we'd been trying for a year at this point. That next weekend, we told my parents and my grandmother…gosh how they needed some good news because we were all still grieving so hard for my grandfather (we had lost him just before New Year's). Then that Monday, something happened…I can’t explain it, but I was just filled with this overwhelming feeling that something was wrong. I had some minor cramps, and my mom convinced me to call the dr. Wednesday (March 2) we went into the dr. Patrick wasn’t going to go (they were supposed to just be checking me for a bladder infection), but he surprised me and was there at the office when I got there. My dr. did a quick ultrasound, and I could tell she was worried. She saw no pregnancy sac in the uterus. She said it could depend on my levels, they would need to be over 2000 to see something on ultrasound. I asked her about the chances of everything being fine, her response “It’s possible”. She asked if I was going to be home alone that day, and I said no, Patrick would be with me…but I knew the fact that she had asked wasn’t a good sign. They drew my blood, and we left. Patrick and I drove home in separate cars, and I was crying so hard I could barely see the road. I remember my dad calling me on the way. Patrick had called mom, mom had called dad, and he had called (he’s better with these things than mom). He said some wonderful things, and it helped to calm me down.

Patrick and I sat at home for a couple of hours, he was doing research on ectopics and I was staring at the TV not really knowing what to do. Then at 2pm, we got a phone call. It was the nurse wanting to know where I was and how fast I could get to the hospital. My levels had come back at 3500, and they needed to do an emergency ultrasound to see what was going on. After all was said and done, the radiologist said “I don’t see a pregnancy in the uterus, but I do see one in the left tube. I’m sorry.” The rest of the night was kind of a blur. I’ve never seen Patrick so upset and worried. We were told to go to a treatment room, and before I knew it they were taking blood, asking me to change, putting more armbands on me, I didn’t understand what was happening. And then they told me I was being admitted. They didn’t want to take the chance of me rupturing the tube at home, and I had eaten that day so they wanted to wait to do the surgery the next morning. My dr. came and talked to us. She was as upset as we were. She said that they had to get it out…if they didn’t, I could die. It was that simple.

By the time I was settled in my room and had almost run out of tears, my mom was there. It gave Patrick a chance to take care of things at home…and to deal with his feelings. Later I would find out that when he had gone outside to call my mom about the surgery, he had lost it and was crying with her. Mom and Patrick went through a lot together those few days. The next morning I had laparoscopic surgery. We didn’t really know what they would need to do: excise it from the tube, take out the whole tube, even take my uterus. The incision could be the three small incisions that are common in lap surgery or it would be the type of incision they do for a C-section.

When I got back to my room, Mom and Patrick both looked pretty happy given the circumstances and they told me what had happened. I only needed the three small incisions. My tube was saved, and while they were in there, they found something else. I have endometriosis. We had no idea. It was pretty mild. Stage I maybe Stage II, but while they were in there, they got rid of it. In essence, I came out of the surgery more fertile than when I went in. I felt good, and except for the puking spell from the morphine, it wasn’t so bad. The next few days were annoying because I needed help going everywhere and doing anything, but all in all I felt lucky.

This is where the story changes. ….there is no happy ending.

One week later, we went for my follow up. The dr. said I was healing great, and that we would just need to monitor my levels. On the way to work the next morning, I got a phone call. It was my dr. They were very worried, my levels had not gone down, they had doubled (somewhere around 7000). They thought something was left in the tube and that it could be getting big enough to rupture. I was to go home, get Patrick (luckily he was on Spring Break), not eat or drink anything else, and head back to the hospital for an emergency ultrasound… again. I packed my bag at home, and we were fully expecting that I would be back in surgery having my tube removed by the end of the day. Once in the ultrasound room, the tech was really sweet. Then she says, “Well, I can’t say anything until the radiologist comes in, but I can tell you that it’s better than last time.” Patrick and I didn’t know what to think. Then my dr. comes barging in, and in the middle of saying hi to all of us, she looks at the screen and blurts out, “Is that a pregnancy in the uterus?” The tech smiles and says yes. My dr. is freaking out she’s so excited, punching Patrick in the arm even, Patrick is standing there stunned, and as usual, I’m bawling uncontrollably. The radiologist comes in and confirms that there is a gestational sac with a yolk sac. When I ask how it’s measuring, she says 5.5 weeks. I immediately start to panic. I should be 6.5 weeks. No one else seems concerned….but I know again, something just isn’t right. But everyone else is just saying what a miracle it is...a heterotopic pregnancy (one in the tube, one in the uterus)...a 1 in 40,000 chance...

Over the next week, my parents, the dr, Patrick, everyone tells me not to worry about my chart, that things just happen sometimes, that this isn’t an exact science. But I look at my chart, I see when I ovulated, I see the last time we had sex, and I see when I got my positive test…and I know…something isn’t right.

One week later, we went for another ultrasound. There we saw a pregnancy sac, a yolk sac, and an embryo with a heartbeat. But when I asked what it measured, they said 6.5 weeks…I should have been 7.5 weeks. Again, everyone said this was good progress, and not to worry about it. We were sent home with our first ultrasound pictures. So I stopped worrying about it, but in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help feeling that something was still wrong. Over Easter weekend, that feeling got stronger. My mom would talk about someone else that was pregnant or complain about wanting to tell people, and I would snap at her. My grandma would ask about names, and I would tell her I didn’t want to talk about it. Patrick tried several times to rub my stomach, and I would pull away instinctively...something wasn’t right.

On Tuesday (March 29), I woke up to a tiny bit of light spotting. I freaked out. Called Patrick. He called the dr. and met me at the office. We went through all the motions of a first prenatal visit, but all I could concentrate on was the ultrasound…I needed to know. I could tell from my dr.’s expression that it wasn’t good. Based on her measurements, the baby was a little over 6.5 weeks, meaning it had stopped developing shortly after the last ultrasound. I should have been 9.5 weeks. There was no heartbeat. I needed to go to the hospital for my third emergency ultrasound in a month to have it confirmed….but we knew what had happened. The ultrasound at the hospital confirmed it. It’s called a missed miscarriage. Patrick called my family and told them, and let them know that I wasn’t ready to talk to anyone. Apparently Mom left Dad a message that he couldn’t understand, so he ended up calling me while I drove home. Again, he said all the right things…instead of the consoling things he said the first time, this time he was angry. He was flat out mad, and I appreciated that so much. I didn’t need to hear that “God has a reason” or “It wasn’t meant to be”. I needed to hear him rant about how some women do drugs and have a baby and here I was not even eating peanuts or drinking Coke.
The dr. called the next morning and gave me my options: wait for it to happen naturally or do a D&C. The natural miscarriage could take weeks, and could lead to a D&C anyway, so she chose to do the D&C for both my physical and emotional well-being. Thursday morning (March 31), we were back at the hospital. The D&C was pretty easy compared to the previous surgery. I felt good enough to eat Freebird’s that night, so it really wasn’t so bad. I was out shopping by the weekend, and back at work that Monday.
In the recovery room after the surgery, they drew my levels. I found out at my appt that week that they were 29,000. The numbers were good, we’re not sure what happened. But both my dr. and I ran across the same statistics in the medical journals. In heterotopic pregnancies, the uterine pregnancy has a 50% chance of miscarriage.
Two months later we found out the real reason for the miscarriage. One of the radiologists had mentioned that she saw evidence of a uterine septum on the ultrasounds. An HSG in May 2005 confirmed it. In July 2005, I had laparaoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery to remove (resect) the septum and they also removed more endometriosis. We hoped that the septum was the cause of all of the problems (the endo, the ectopic, the miscarriage), but my journey wasn't over yet....

From the beginning....

OK, where to start...I guess it's time to tell the sad story. It really is one, too. A few months ago, I read through my medical records as I was changing doctors (going from an ob/gyn to a reproductive endocrinologist), and I seriously thought to myself...this is the saddest story I've ever read. If I'd only known it would get more depressing...

But I digress....

How about the short version for now and when the mood strikes I will elaborate on the various "incidents".

We've been trying to conceive (hereon referred to as TTC) since February 2004. I have long cycles...which sucks. So eventually they put me on Clomid (a fertility drug in pill form), and one the third cycle, I got pregnant in February of 2005. Turns out the pregnancy was ectopic (in the tubes) After surgery and the discovery of mild endometriosis, my tube was saved and we went on our merry way. Only to find out a week later there was a second embryo in the uterus...and then discover that one had miscarried as well at 9.5 weeks (stopped growing at 6.5 weeks). They would have been twins...

So then we found out I have a uterine septum...great big piece of nonvascularized tissue dividing my uterus in half...BIG problem, definitely caused the ectopic and the miscarriage. I had it removed in July 2005.

Our first try after surgery, I was pregnant again....but miscarried a few days later in the middle of Hurricane Rita (Sept 2005). The very next cycle, we threw caution to the wind and tried again...and got pregnant again. Everything was textbook...until we got to our 8w ultrasound only to find out that she stopped growing at 6.5 weeks and her heart wasn't beating anymore (November 2005).

Chromosome testing was normal...she was a perfect 46XX. My thrombophilia panel showed that I'm an MTHFR compound heterozygote though. It may or may not have caused this last miscarriage. So now we're trying again on a new medication regimen per Dr. Mac (my fertility specialist's) recommendation, we're combining medication with a holistic approach!*Prenatal vitamin*Extra 3mg folic acid*Metformin 500mg*Baby aspirin*L-arginine*Garlic*Grape seed extract

We shall see where we go from here....

That Girl....

So here's the poem that made me decide to start writing all this crap out....inspired by a girl who was drawing my blood who wished me "good luck" and gave me a pitiful look...and I realized I was "that girl"....

I’m “that girl”….
…the one everyone whispers about,
…the one everyone feels sorry for,
…the one everyone feels inclined to tell “If it’s meant to be, it will happen.”

I’m “that girl”…
…the one whose friends with kids don’t know what to say anymore,
…the one whose family has stopped mentioning kids,
…the one who looks at the overstressed mother with 3 kids with envy.

I’m “that girl”…
…the one who is the real-life anecdotal story of “infertility”,
…the one who is the medical mystery that doctors love to treat,
…the one who knows all the REs staff members by their first name.

I’m “that girl”…
…the one no one wants to be,
…the one everyone is afraid they will be,
…the one we wish nobody had to be.

I’m “that girl”….
But that’s not all I am…

I’m also…
…the one who chooses to talk about this instead of hide behind the pain,
…the one who is not afraid to say the word miscarriage in public,
…the one who is not afraid of what people think of her anymore.

I’m also…
…the one who realizes she is married to the most amazing man in the world,
…the one who has found true friendship through these struggles,
…the one who gets out of bed every morning when she has every reason not to.

I’m also…
…the one who will not give up,
…the one who is not finished with this battle,
…the one who IS strong enough to do this.