Why Does This Have To Be So Hard?

Yesterday I had an appointment with the RE for my mid-cycle ultrasound. First, I’ll rant about that, then tell you how it went. Let me start with, I have a life. I may not have a job, but I have classes and meetings that can’t be missed. So when I make an appointment, I choose times specifically because they fit with my schedule, however, every appointment I have had with the RE’s office has been changed last minute. I got a call Monday afternoon saying that Oh, the nurse practitioner isn’t going to be in in the afternoon after all, and I needed to come in that morning. Not an option! There’s a reason that I chose the afternoon appointment. And why don’t you know when the doctors or the nurse practitioner are going to be there? It just feels like such a lack of respect for me and my time.

Secondly, my wife thought I should share with you my feelings regarding the nurse practitioner. She’s incompetent! Every time I go in for an ultrasound with her, she can’t find my left ovary. Really? And each time, she pulls the ultrasound thing out, saying she needs to re-apply the lubricant, and applies so much that it ends up everywhere. Needless to say, I’m frustrated with this office.

So, the appointment. I have one follicle this cycle. Which may be enough for normal people, but obviously not for me. I’ve taken statistics before, and I know enough to know that my experimental odds are not good. Like 1:15 (or 16?). And really, if you’re just looking at the odds in cycles with one egg, it’d be more like 0:14. I’m so frustrated, and bitter, and depressed. I know we’re planning to do more next cycle, but the thought of even one more month of not being pregnant puts me into a panic.

We’re definitely not thinking it’s going to happen this month. We’re going to start the process for using our known donor in IUI. So that means lawyers and counselors, and a plethora of doctors’ visits for our donor. Why does this have to be so hard?

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Another Month, Another Try

I haven’t posted in awhile, mostly because there hasn’t been anything to update. Partly because the last two weeks, after NOT ovulating (thank you very much follicular cyst), I wasn’t analyzing every little detail of my body’s existence, or making myself crazy over “Am I pregnant?” “Am I not?” questions. It was really nice, for the first time in a year and a half, to not be thinking about those things.

Miss Maggie (our new pup), is doing amazingly well. She is the sweetest puppy I’ve had thus far! She is super attached to me, which is just what I needed, and cuddly (although still kind of a snappy alligator). Maybe the attached part is in part because she is deaf? She doesn’t like for me to leave her sight. So cute! Here are some pictures from her first beach trip.

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I saw the counselor, in an hour-long, draining, sobbing session. I talked a lot about how angry I am with the world and my friends for (what feels like) abandoning me, but I left without a clear picture of how attending counseling might be able to help me deal with the loss of our baby. She was validating, but would I have to rehash things week after week? It seemed like what I’m feeling are some of the stages of grief, and people are always saying you can’t rush people through those. So I’m not going back. Oh well. That one session was so exhausting that I kept nearly falling asleep at the wheel on my way home.

In TTC news, we are on track for a try this month. The follicle with the cyst was back to a somewhat normal size, and they didn’t think it would hinder ovulation this month. The nurse briefly discussed upping my Clomid dose again, but since I’ve had three eggs on 100mg twice now, she said “We don’t want triplets!”. To which, I of course responded, “I really don’t care at this point!”. I go in for the mid-cycle ultrasound on the 23rd (CD12), and should be shooting up with the goods a day or two after. If we don’t get pregnant this time, I guess the next step is Letrizole. Clomid time after time has felt very stagnant. Like, “This isn’t working, but let’s just keep trying!”. IUI with frozen donor sperm may be on the menu as well. I’m just happy we are moving forward! What try are we on again?

Taking Time

Sunday we went back for my second mid-cycle ultrasound, and the news wasn’t great.  The follicle they saw is indeed a cyst, although it does seem to be shrinking.  It was 8.9mm this time, down from 12.7mm on Thursday.  So no ovulation this month, and no try. And the hormones from the cyst could throw off my cycle for the next try.  It’s so frustrating!  I’d like to at least have the opportunity to become pregnant.

I contacted my school’s student counseling department today to hopefully get someone (albeit a counseling student) to talk to.  It’s been almost three months since the miscarriage, and I still cry about it nearly every day.  I don’t know what “normal” is like in these situations, but it doesn’t feel good to continue carrying this around.  Maybe I haven’t fully dealt with it.  I cried in class today over a video of a mom interacting with her baby.  And half my cohort still doesn’t know what happened.  They must think I’m a weirdo.  =)  Anyhow, I’m keeping busy with our new pup, Maggie, and maybe it’ll be nice to not have the wondering and the awful two week wait this cycle.  (That’s me trying to convince myself to look at the positive… and really not succeeding at it.)

I wish there was more we could do…  The RE hasn’t offered a next step, so I feel like we’re stuck.  Clomid, trigger, at-home insemination.  I wish they would work with us and our known donor so we could do an IUI.  The Clomid was working, until this cycle, but I’ve been on it for awhile.  At what point do we do something more?

A Baby-Sized Hole

I had a mid-cycle ultrasound today, with not so good news. The previous two cycles that I took 100mg of Clomid, on day 11 I had three follicles, both times around 18mm, 14mm, and 13mm. Today? One. At 12.7mm. Seriously?!

When I pointed out my previous cycles’ numbers, she said that it’s possible this one isn’t even a growing follicle, but rather a cyst left over from the last cycle. Again… Seriously?! It was bad enough just being back in that office, staring at an ultrasound and thinking that the last time I was in there, I was finding out that my baby had stopped growing. But to come out of this appointment with so little hope…

I go back in on Sunday (CD 14) to see if the follicle is growing or if it is indeed a cyst. Even if it is growing, clearly my cycle is screwed up. Is one piddly little follicle enough? Is it even worth trying this time? I’m so depressed… I started reading this book about miscarriage after infertility, which really was more informational than emotionally helpful, but one piece really stuck with me. Couples without infertility often “get over” their miscarriage by getting pregnant again. But what about for those of us that took so long to get pregnant the first time, with the help of fertility specialists and drugs? Without the assurance that it will ever happen again?

There’s another couple we know who got pregnant just a week before we did, and because of their updates, I am constantly bombarded with thoughts of “this is how far along we’d be”, and “that’s what we would be feeling/doing/seeing now”, and that this is the time we’d be finding out the sex of our baby. I don’t begrudge them their long-awaited pregnancy, I just wish we were there too. It’s so unfair.

I was watching the show “Modern Family” tonight, and after the gay couple’s adoption fell through, they were talking about getting a cat. Mitch said, “So basically, you have a baby-sized hole, and you’re trying to stuff a cat into it”. Well, folks, that is what I’ve done this week. We adopted a puppy! She is a Great Dane/Dalmation mix, and deaf. She’s so adorable and cuddly! There were a lot of responsible considerations that we should have given more thought to, but I just felt like I needed some kind of baby. We spent a whole day discussing adopting her, and most of it was spent crying about the fact that she wouldn’t be what we really wanted and couldn’t replace our need for a baby. But she is very cute, and a distraction at the very least.

Depressed

So, I’m forcing myself to post and update all my loyal followers and friends.  While I have been busy, I think the real reason is that I have nothing good to share.  This month, we did everything exactly the same as the cycle I got pregnant, and nothing.  100mg of Clomid, baby aspirin, ultrasound, trigger shot, insemination at 24 and 36 hours after trigger, and the addition of 400mg of Progesterone, and nothing.

We just got back from a wonderful trip to Southern California – Disneyland, California Adventures, Universal Studios, Sea World, and finally a few days in Tahoe.  It was a good distraction while waiting and finding out the bad news, but it was a constant reminder of others’ fertility and plethora of offspring.  It is so hard to keep myself from judging everyone.  Why them?  On TV, people like the “Honey Boo Boo” family?  Unhealthy, overweight, uneducated, and popping out those unhealthy, overweight kids.  Universe, I do not understand your design!  And how is it that so many people (it feels like everyone, at the moment) just get pregnant and Ta Da! they have a baby.  Why do we have to deal with infertility AND miscarriage?  I think we’ve been saddled with more than our fair share here.

I’m feeling depressed, and not just blue, depressed.  I feel alienated from my friends; none of them can understand, and I don’t think many even try.  This whole experience has changed who I am, and I can’t relate to them in their un-complicated lives any more.  I only hate them for it.

Even Michelle doesn’t totally get it.  Certainly, she’s felt the disappointment and sadness, but it’s a little different from my perspective.  I’m the cause of both of our suffering.  The one thing I should be designed to do, and I can’t.  The only thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a mom, and I’m failing already.

Great Expectations

So I’ve finished my round of Clomid, and I spoke to my OB’s office again about getting an Ovidrel trigger shot from them.  The nurse said she would need to check with the RE about what it was, dosage, etc (doesn’t really inspire confidence), but after she did that, and I explained what day I would take it, that it was a pre-filled syringe, etc. we have a prescription!  I will go into the OB’s office for a mid-cycle ultrasound on Monday.  I’m not sure if the ultrasound tech is familiar with this type of ultrasound, or if she will know what to look for, but we decided we know enough to help her out.  I feel much better knowing that we’ll have the measurements of my follicles and be able to plan the trigger accordingly.

I know that my expectations this cycle are higher than any other because we are doing everything that we did the last time, and the last time it worked.  I’m not sure how I’ll react if it doesn’t this time.  We’ll be on vacation when we find out, too, and I’m not sure if that’s a positive (distraction), or a negative (potentially ruin the trip?).  It’ll be interesting to see how I feel even if I do get pregnant.  I would of course be ecstatic, but perhaps with tempered enthusiasm.  Who knows if we might have a repeat of last time?

I guess we’ll deal with that when/if the time comes.  For now, I’m just super excited to be able to try again so soon.

RE vs. OB

After a morning of crying my way through schoolwork in our graduate lab because of people who don’t know any better complaining about their past pregnancies, and those without kids meticulously planning how it will happen, and everyone seemingly ungrateful from my perspective, I started bleeding.  I thought, this is it!  I could potentially be pregnant again in a couple weeks!

It had only been two weeks since I stopped bleeding/spotting after the d and c, so I wasn’t sure it would count as my first period, or if it was just continued bleeding from the d and c.  And if that was the case, it would mean that there was tissue left behind, and a repeat d and c would be next.  So I called the RE first thing Friday morning.  The nurse said it could very well be a period (exactly 28 days after the d and c – I am crazy regular!), and asked if I had spoken to the doctor about the plan.  Ummm, no, he couldn’t even schedule the d and c for me like he said he would, or send my OB/GYN my records, let alone see how I was or talk about what to do next.

She said they usually make people wait one complete cycle until doing another medicated try, meaning waiting until after my next period in September.  WHAT?!  My OB had said that we could try again as soon as I got my first period!  So of course, I want to go with what he said, even though I know the RE is the expert.  The nurse said she would check with the RE and call me later.  Later I get a message from them that says, “Call us in September after your next period.”

My OB said the reason they often say to wait a few months is a slightly elevated chance of miscarriage in the cycle following a miscarriage, but that the data is biased because they’re testing a population that is obviously trying to get pregnant, and they’re looking for miscarriages so catching all the early ones that we may miss.  That makes sense to me, but I know I’ll believe anything that makes it so that I can try right away.  It already feels like it’s been a lifetime waiting.  All I want is to be pregnant again!  I don’t think I can wait another four weeks…

So if we try this month (and I can’t imagine not), it’ll be with no trigger shot or ultrasound to help us pinpoint the timing.  And I think that was the key this last time.  My OB prescribed Clomid for me already, and said he would prescribe the trigger shot, but I’m not sure I would feel comfortable using it without an ultrasound showing that the eggs are ready.  What to do!?  In my body there’s no question, but I’m not sure in my head.