One decision that is.
As some folks here and lots in other places noted, I’m clearly not ready to give up on this pregnancy/baby lark.
I had some New Age Time with my chiro (rolling my eyes at myself), after which I realized my fear about trying again stems from how terrible I felt for, really, two years after my last failed IVF. Hence, in hindsight, my friend’s order to examine how I’d feel if I tried and failed again. Which is, obviously, within the realm of possibility.
Here is the deal. Things were bad there, for a while, y’all. Not like thoughts of suicide, but generally just not good. But then, last summer I started to feel better and now, as evidence by several things (my energy level for cooking and gardening most prominent among them), I feel, well, like my normal self. No longer broken! Fixed! It’s nice.
Even if I fail miserably at this, even if that failure makes me miserable, it looks pretty clear that I’d be able to, given time, come out the other side and feel ok. It might take a while. It might be really hard. I might alienate *all* my friends this time. (That’s a joke.) But I’ve done it before – with complicating factors – and so I trust I could do it again.
Done and done. That part at least.
Aiming for once a week for the rest of the summer is do-able, don’t you think? I mean, I’m hardly working. And then perhaps I could also do things like clean up my blogroll, which is sadly out of date, and maybe log my lunch everyday. Really, I have no excuse.
It’s been a hard couple of years, y’all. But I think I am feeling better. Time. I’ve taken two years of it and now I am calling you, though not in the morning.
Here are things:
- it is hot as fuck here, again, and there has been no rain and the plum tree has lost about 1/3 of it’s leaves. Jim Waive saw fit to remind me that I like to freak out about the weather in July.
- I am gearing up for (yet another!) embryo transfer, avec steroids and lovenox, which is said not as if you planned on marrying an ox, but as if you started to sing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and then changed your mind and wanted to talk about vans and oxes.
- there is Neighborhood Dramaz. Really. More than one drama. One neighbor is concerned that my cats mistake her front flower bed for a litter box. Oops. Not much to be done but apologize and give her some eggs. Production has improved slightly since my last post, btw. Other neighbor, previously featured on Caved as a Serious Cat Person, is very upset that another neighbor has vicious sounding big dogs that are not supposed to be at his house but for some reason keep coming back. Written out, it sounds so silly, but she is truly distraught. To the point of sounding irrational. And the offending neighbors do nothing, which is the shame of it, I think. Starrhill is pretty tight; there are really only a few of us in the place and this is how we usually handle shit: if you’re upsetting somebody, go talk to that somebody, hold your damn hand out and try to make some compromise. I fear it has gone on too long for that at this point. And that the actual owner of the dogs seems to be the sort that thinks she doesn’t need to hold her hand out.
- LB and I are splitting a share from Appalachia Star farm again this summer and it’s pretty great. The tomatoes are about to come rolling in and I am very excited. In other food news, I have pots of herbs that I am actually using for the first time in years. It’s like being born again. Sort of. Being home to make a lunch is like being born again.
- I had another miscarriage awhile back – whee. This one didn’t hurt, which was nice. The sliver lining is that it put me up to the magic number of three miscarriage, which makes my insurance company willing to pay for the Big Giant Pannel of Autoimmune tests. I do love a good visit to my lab people.
- my old neighbor, who should just move back to Starrhill, solving all the Neighborhood Dramaz, loaned me the book about running everybody read like 2 years ago, and which I also happened to give my dad but never read myself, and for about 5 minutes I was all “I could run!” And then I laughed at myself. Because the part of the book about eating beans and tortillas is really much more up my alley than running.
- one of the search terms I just saw in my stats is tiny tits. Hahahahahahaha! Sorry, wrong blog.
I have been thoroughly enjoying Twitter and Instagram. We can blame that for my lack of blogging, but didn’t everybody have that particular crisis like 4 years ago? Only my laziness to blame, as per usual.
Oh, well, hello there!
Are you even still here? Did you think I’d given up on having a baby? Yeah, me, too. But no! I didn’t! Why give up when I can torture myself more? Woo and hoo!
So a week or so ago, after a big, long break, I had a “counseling” session with my re, who was his usual great self. He wanted to recheck my thyroid* and was cool with my plan to put off the mega-pricey battery of auto-immune tests. If I hit the magic number of three miscarriages, my insurance will shell out mega-bucks. As I’m just one blood-bath short, I think I’ll wait. If this next try works, score! No need for testing! If it fails, well, at least I get the million mega-pricey battery of tests for free. See? Win, win.
Anyway. My thyroid checked out just fine, thank you very much. (Now, let us sing the praises of the lab people. Who not only remembered my name after all this time, but also remembered that I like a bit of gauze and a piece of tape rather than the big, stupid colored wrap that is the norm these days.) And so I was cleared for take off. Note the metaphor. It’s a Journey, y’all.
Here’s how it’s all going to shake out: oral estrogen starting on CD 2 (Have I missed counting cycle days? No, I have not.) and then prog (By vagina! Because that’s how we roll.) and some wandings and one blood draw and then off I toddle to Richmond to get one of my ten – yes, that’s 10 – embryos popped back up in there. There being my uterus.
So let’s beat this motherfucker into the ground this time. Hand me my stick.
*What? You didn’t know there’d been thyroid trouble? Well, that’s a story….from the Fall When Everything Fell Apart And Then My Cat Died. But we are living in the now, y’all. The. Now.
I love a thesaurus, don’t you?
IVF 1.0 failed. Or, rather hung on like a tenacious fire ant whose betas won’t rise and then flamed out brilliantly in a painful hour of horrid cramping bleeding that I like to call a miscarriage. The medical world likes to sugar coat it with the name Chemical Pregnancy, but that sounds a tad formal for something I’m so up close and personal with, don’t you think?
It’s been a particularly crap past couple weeks. I’d like a do-over.
Yes, friends, that’s a doubling time of 77.something hours or a little more than 3 days. Not great, but not nothing.
And for your continued amusement:
Beta at 9dp5dt is 13.6
Lower than low. But not not pregnant (all y’all not pregnant people would get a beta of 5 or less). But really, lower than low. Lower even than the last time.
Here are some fun facts to keep you busy. We love Julie. Because she’s funny and she sites her sources. Lower betas for 5 day transfers? For here, please.
More blood on Friday. Cross ’em if you got ’em.
Interestingly, I’ve never written a Mother’s Day Post. It seems sort of the sine qua non for infertility blogs. Ah, maybe *now* I’ve arrived!
I must say, prior to anything else, that my own mother wins – supportive and loving and willing to let me make my own way through things. My current struggle with Mother’s Day has nothing to do with her. Nothing.
Back in the day, when I thought I was just ttc, not actually infertile, I would read about how some people found Mother’s Day too hard to deal with, how they hated it. And I was all, “Aw. Poor them. I’m *so* okay with all this.” Totally cavalier and shit. At the same time I was nurturing fantasies of at home insems, no medical intervention, rainbows and unicorns and chocolate bacon and all that sort of shit.
Oh, how far we fall….
Last May, it hit me. Oh, yes, I should have seen it coming. I’d already become one of Those Infertiles – you know the ones: the ones I used to sigh and shake my head for. Poor them. Only it became poor me. Somewhere along the line, it became poor me. And the crowning moment was that Mother’s Day. It bit.
Was it because had the miscarriage not happened, I would have been a mother then? Or was it simply the slow erosion of my sense of self? Or just that 5 years is too long to do the same thing over and over with no success? Whatever it was, I think it marked the moment when I began to think of myself as infertile. Not just lacking in sperm, not just unlucky or impatient. But infertile with a capital IF.
The kind who has friends they don’t really talk to any more. The kind who hides behind newspapers so as to not see acquaintances with babies and feels small and stupid for not being big enough to deal. The kind who uses a medical diagnosis as an identity. The kind who can’t speak with hope anymore because that line’s been disconnected.
We’re still here, though. Us infertiles. It almost feels like coming out. You get to put a name to how you feel. You get a community of people. You get to swap stories and use acronyms nobody else gets. You get to hope that by telling your story, somebody somewhere will feel a little less alone. But the difference between being infertile and being gay is there’s no joy in infertility. I’d not wish it on anybody.
Since the miscarriage, I’ve taken to referring to “when I was pregnant,” with increasing ease. If I were to pick it apart, and clearly that’s just what I am going to to do, there are several things going on. Oh, let’s make a list. Just for fun.
- civic/social duty. Lots of women have miscarriages. Fewer talk about it. Even fewer will talk about how it went. So I should step into the breech, yes?
- it happened. So it’s worth mentioning. I could glance down and look away, or I could say, “yeah, when I was pregnant, I…..” Or “… right, that was when I was pregnant, so….”
- healing. The more times I talk about it, the easier it gets to talk about. Also, see #1 above as the corollary to this.
- shock value. Self explanatory, also relates to #1 above.
- truth. I was pregnant once. I might never be again. I want to remember.
Maybe that was the closest I’ll ever get to motherhood. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not. I know that’s a very narrow definition of motherhood and not one I really subscribe to, but, for real, y’all. Maybe that’s as good as it gets for me. Maybe those 7 weeks and a handful of days are it. I don’t even count it as a baby – it was too early and too hard to believe for that. But I was a mama, just for those couple few weeks.
And I’m still here. Scarred and scared and very, very low on hope, but still here. No stronger, no smarter, no better – worse, I think, in a lot of ways. But still here. Struggling with my motherfucking baggage as I climb back on the train one more time.
Happy Mother’s Day.