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Worst mom ever?

Beyond the fear of the highly unlikely (that Nina would just stop breathing in the middle of the night, or that someone would break into our house and steal her), my biggest nighttime worry is that she will wake up needing something and I won’t know it for hours while she is left all alone in her crib. It’s something that I’ve pondered every time that I’ve put her down in her bed and went to sleep in our room (which is a shockingly low number, by the way, but that’s another subject for another post). I don’t want to even THINK about my baby girl crying alone in her room waiting for god knows how long for someone to come and help her.

It just happened. I just woke up to the sound of my husband bringing little Nina into our bedroom. He said he got up to go to the bathroom and she was screaming bloody murder in her crib.

“But how does that happen? Don’t you have a monitor?” I can hear you asking the most obvious questions there are. The simple answer is yes, we do have a monitor. The unfortunate answer is that for the monitor to work, you have to recharge the batteries every once in a while.

I know that our monitor has a warning when the batteries are getting low…it’s one of the things I looked for when I picked out what monitor to get. However, it appears that a the sound of the humidifier and fan in our bedroom are loud enough to make the low battery warning completely inaudible to a tired and happily sleeping mama.

I immediately knew something was wrong when I heard my husband come in the bedroom…it was through the main bedroom doorway, not the bathroom doorway as is normal for a middle of the night awakening. In a panic, I asked what was going on. He replied that she was in her crib screaming “something fierce” and didn’t I turn the monitor on? Of course I did! My fear of this exact situation has left me double, triple and even quadruple checking that damn monitor to make sure that:

a. It’s turned on
b. The volume is up (on one occasion the volume was accidentally turned down all the way…thankfully this happened during the day and I was just in the other room and could still hear her without the monitor)
c. It’s on the right channel

Despite trying to do everything right and feeling like there was no way it could go wrong, it sure did. Note to self: if not using the monitor in a location where it NEEDS to be cordless, it’s best just to leave it plugged in.

And the part that makes me feel even worse is that we have a monitor with two receivers. The first is in the living room and is the one that we use the most often. Sadly and ironically, the second receiver lives in our bedroom…unplugged. Yes, the whole situation could have been avoided if I had not been so lazy and actually searched out a plug in our bedroom that continues to be powered even if the light switch isn’t on. It something we’re running really low on (two alarm clocks, a fan, a humidifier and my heating pad pretty much used up all of the available outlets) and I’ve been too lazy to properly investigate the situation and remedy it. So we’d just been carrying the living room receiver around with us wherever we needed it. Rest assured that project will be top of my priority list tomorrow.

So the good news is that she had only been in her crib for a little over two hours. It’s not unimaginable to think that she had been sleeping most of that time and had just recently woken up. My husband was also able to calm her down just by picking her up and holding her. I have to believe that had she been really, really upset, it would have taken a lot more to settle her down. And finally, she was not super hot in the face, which she always is if she has been worked up for a while. (Can you tell I’m trying everything I can to make myself feel better about the whole thing?)

I know it’s a rookie mistake and one that lots of new moms probably make. I also know that this will not guarantee years of therapy down the road because she has repressed feelings of abandonment (not to mention the fact that we’ll likely be the cause of way bigger things to need therapy for down the road). I know that she’s sleeping happily and contentedly in my arms right now and any thoughts of being alone in her crib are likely completely erased from her memory by now. I know that it’s not the end of the world.

But none of that stops me from feeling like the worst mama ever, for right now at least.

So yeah, blogging with a newborn is not nearly as easy as I thought it would be. The first few days with her were a piece of cake and I mistakenly thought that all the days to follow would be similar. I guess it’s that adrenaline thing that they talk about…you’re on such a high for the first week or so after having a baby, but then you crash and crash hard. While I definitely crashed, I wouldn’t say my crash was too hard, but things definitely changed for me around a week or so.

Remember a few weeks ago when I was bragging about how I hadn’t really been affected by pregnancy hormones and wasn’t emotional at all? Yeah, well I guess this is payback for my lack of emotions during pregnancy. It was almost exactly one week after Nina was born that I started getting anxious and weepy. The anxiety seems overwhelming at times. I worry that the anticipation of having a baby was overshadowing some problem in our marriage that we just buried in our excitement about our daughter. After all we’ve been through, I am all of the sudden terrified that my husband isn’t happy with our family, or more specifically, me. Now that the excitement and anticipation of our baby’s arrival are over and sleep deprivation and a dramatically different schedule have set in, I feel like there is a certain hollowness to our relationship. I feel as though all my husband can feel is his love for Nina, and I’m completely lost in the shuffle. Because I’m nursing Nina, I often find myself all alone as she eats while my husband does things in the office or plays video games. It’s a bit isolating and lonely at times. I know in my heart that is not how he feels, but sometimes that’s just how it feels to me and that’s hard to handle.

I’m also absolutely in awe of my daughter. I tear up just looking at her and marveling how we could possibly be so lucky as to have her as a part of our lives. In turn, I’m absolutely terrified that something could happen to her. After all we went through to get to this point, my heart absolutely breaks when I think of anything happening to her. I don’t know how I could possibly carry on without her.

On more than one occasion my husband has found me in tears and questioned what was wrong. The first time I told him that I really didn’t know what was wrong, and it wasn’t really untrue at the time. I told him that I was just emotional and I didn’t know why I was crying. It was mostly true, I was just feeling emotional about everything and anything that was going on that day. The second time he found me in our bedroom quietly crying. I tried to explain to him that I am terrified that something, anything could break up this family that we’ve so desperately longed and wished for.

He quietly reassured me that he couldn’t be happier with our family. That all he’s ever wanted as an adult was to be a dad and now he has that. That he couldn’t be any more impressed with me as a mom. That he always knew I would be a great mom, but I’ve completely surpassed his expectations. That I shouldn’t worry and should instead enjoy this special time we have together as a family. That he loves me so much. (I did note that he no longer says he loves me “more than anything in the world.” How quickly I’ve been happily displaced by our beautiful daughter.)

And I know he is right. I know he is right.

It’s just the baby blues and it will pass soon. In the meantime, blubbering mess it is…

Yup, I’ve consulted Dr. Google and diagnosed myself as having SPD. I’d never even heard of SPD before Existere was afflicted with a particularly horrifying case of it, so I’ll assume that unless you’ve suffered from it yourself, you probably don’t know what it is either. Simply put, SPD is pain in the pubic area, attributed to both high levels of the hormone relaxin and also misalignment of the pelvic structure. I remember reading her blog and hoping that I would never have to endure any kind of hell similar to that. Well, in no way does my seemingly minor case of SPD even begin to compare, but it is pretty darn painful nonetheless. In my case, only my left side seems to have the problem, which I guess makes sense since my baby girl is lying so awkwardly in my belly. Her butt is typically down near my left hip, so I suppose it puts some extra strain in that area.

I first started noticing the pain around 34 weeks. It was nothing serious, just some pain that seemed to creep up particularly at bedtime and while trying to put my pants on. Gradually I noticed it at other times of the day as well, like taking off my shoes or getting in and out of the car. Currently, it is absolutely at its worst when I want to roll over in bed from one side to the other. The pain is excruciating and I feel like my left leg may literally just snap right off of my body. It’s progressed to the point now where walking is taking a toll on me as well.

I’ve finally adopted the pregnant lady waddle. Not because there is a little baby sitting low in my pelvis, for I assure you that is not the case. I have no pressure of a little head wedging itself lower and lower, no sensation of a bowling ball in my crotch. No, instead I just have an intense pain on the left side of my groin, which seems to be eased only by adopting a slight waddle when I walk.

My chiropractor is doing what she can to help the situation, but it really doesn’t seem to be improving any. Perhaps maintaining the status quo should be the goal, rather than reducing the current level of pain. That seems a much more achievable goal at this point.

Part of me thinks that had I simply taken the advised section at 39 weeks, I’d have only 2 more days of pain to endure (until a whole new pain takes over, that is). Then I remember what a blessing this little girl is and how I would do anything for her. This pain is temporary and it’s for the best that she stays inside of me and grows nice and big for as long as she can. Having said that, the official countdown is on…only 9 more full days until we meet our little girl!

It’s a subject that nearly every infertility blogger writes about at some point. The reason why is simple: there is no avoiding it.

The positive that has come out of my struggle with fertility is that I have found myself surrounded by an amazing group of women, both on the internet though my buddy group and blog, and in my everyday life, through my real life support group. While all of the women who have been a part of my infertility journey have added something special and unique to the experience, it’s the women in my real life support group who have made the biggest impact on my life.

These are women who have been with me through thick and thin and can relate to the struggles that we’ve endured. We clicked as a group, in a way that I didn’t think was possible for a group of women brought together by one small common link. They were there to provide listening ears, arms for hugs and humor and invaluable laughs when I was down. They were there for me when I felt like there was no hope. There were there when it felt like no one else in the world could possibly understand. They provided hope and they understood. They picked me up when I was down and provided me with something to look forward to every two weeks. They became my friends. I always left our meetings feeling uplifted, refreshed, renewed and with the energy to face our next infertility battle.

And one by one, miracle by miracle, babies were conceived, grew for 9 months and were born. One by one, women realized the dream that they had been wishing for for months and sometimes even years. One by one the number of those still waiting for their miracle slowly decreased.

It seemed crude to compartmentalize the women into “haves” and “have nots,” but in reality there’s no other way to do it. The “haves” still wished and hoped for miracles, but this time for their friends, not themselves. The “have nots” desperately wished that it would be “their turn” next. Eventually the “haves” outnumbered the “have nots.”

Shortly before I became pregnant, I was discussing with one of the two remaining “have nots” how things were different with our group. While I knew that everyone was still rooting for us and I still felt supported, things just weren’t the same. I missed the common thread that we all had: trying to have a baby. We discussed potentially recruiting new members who could provide more of the “still in the thick of it” support. We discussed trying out a different local support group. We discussed meeting as just the three of us. In the end, we didn’t do any of those things. We agreed that our group, as it was in the past, as it was at that very moment, and as it would be in the future, was most important to us. The relationship that we had formed was unlike anything we thought that we could replicate with new members, a different group, or just as the three of us.

Eventually, and seemingly miraculously, I crossed over from the “have nots” to the “haves.” This meant that there we only two women left in our group still trying to become pregnant. Even though I never believed it would be possible, the pain and sorrow of the past two and a half years slowly started to fade away into the background. While I don’t think that I will ever forget how awful that time was for me, I can no longer feel with the same intensity what it was like to go through each and every day wanting and waiting. Unconsciously my heart has moved to a different place, a place that has forgotten the mire of infertility, a place where hope has replaced fear and dread. My heart aches for these women, but I can’t honestly say that my heart aches WITH them.

And that is what makes me feel so guilty. I always thought that if the day came that I was actually pregnant, that I would never forget. How could I? But now here I am. I’m finally on the other side, and everything that I thought would be true just isn’t. I feel like a traitor, like I abandoned my friends. It’s as though I traded what I wanted the most and sacrificed knowing, understanding and having the ability to support my friends who are still trying. And the part that makes me the saddest is that the two who are left are the two who have been trying the longest. One woman for the entirety of her marriage, nearly six years, and the other woman somewhere between four and five years. And both are nearing the end of their rope; ready to give up entirely on having children in any way. Sadly, none of the rest of the women in our group have ever been where these two women are now. Yes, we all dealt with the emotions of infertility, but none of us for as long as these two women, nor were any of us ever at the point of seriously considering a childless life. While I was never able to relate to the length of time that they’d been dealing with infertility, at least I was able to share in their emotions and feel the camaraderie of still being in the depths of infertility together. Now I can’t even provide them with that comfort.

I feel like a failure in that respect. I feel guilty that I have what they want, and even more than that, I feel as though I’m not able to bring them the comfort and support that they brought to me over the past year and a half, and that hurts. Every day it seems more and more apparent to me that the scars of infertility, while seemingly invisible, reach deeper than I could ever imagine.

Last night, for the first time, I had to get up in the middle of the night to go pee. Finally, I thought, a new pregnancy symptom. I was quite happy about it since right now all I have are the occasional cramps. I know it’s still too early for most symptoms to kick in, so this was reassuring to me.

I didn’t bother to turn the light on since I know where everything is and we get some light in the bathroom from our neighbor’s lights which are on all night long. I peed, and as I was doing so, I realized that the gentle reassuring cramps that had been putting me at ease at a pregnancy symptom, had all of the sudden given way to a deep, heavy, “I’ve got my period” type cramp. I wiped, and as I always do, checked the toilet paper. It was dark in the bathroom, so I couldn’t be sure, but it almost looked like there was some color on the paper. I got up and turned the light on and saw in horror that there was dark pink/light red blood on the toilet paper. I wiped again, and still more. One more time and still a little bit more.

My heart was pounding and thoughts were racing through my mind at a mile a minute. I know that while spotting in pregnancy is not normal, it is most certainly common. However, that comes with a caveat, and that is spotting without cramping is OK. Here is am in the middle of the night with major cramps and blood on the toilet paper. I thought for sure it was all over. I gave in to my fear and put a panty liner on, but wasn’t willing to make a full concession and put on a pad. I returned to bed fearing the worst and hoping for the best and tossed and turned for the rest of the relatively short night, having terrible dreams about chemical pregnancies and miscarriages.

I woke around 5am and couldn’t fall back asleep. I was terrified. I didn’t want to get out of bed for fear of what I would find. Eventually I couldn’t stall any longer. I got out of bed and went into the bathroom, only to find my husband was already in there. He asked what I was doing up, but I didn’t answer and just turned around and went back to bed to wait for him to finish. He came into the bedroom and asked me what was wrong. I tearfully explained that I had been bleeding the night before and that the bleeding combined with the cramps didn’t look good. I told him that it could be something completely innocent or it could be a very bad thing. I know I broke his heart. I just kept repeating over and over again “I’m sorry” even though I knew it wasn’t my fault and there was nothing I could do to prevent or cause this. I asked him if I should try to get in to the hospital or something to have another beta done, just to see what’s going on. He asked if we could do anything to help the situation if something were wrong, and I told him no, and he said he didn’t see the point in that.

Eventually we decided I had to get up and investigate the situation. I went to the bathroom and to my relief saw that there was no blood on the liner. After peeing, there was no blood on the toilet paper either, only light brown spotting. So far today, nothing more than tan colored mucous and the gentle cramps that I’m used to.

Like my husband mentioned, there is absolutely nothing that we can do at this point. The best we can do is to wait it out and hope for the best.

Five is all we have, once again. Over the past six months I’ve had 53 eggs sucked out of me, and only 13 of them made it to the next day. That’s not even a 25% fertilization rate. Typical rates are 60%-70%. I’m not even at HALF of what’s typical.

What is wrong with my body? Honestly. I’ve done everything right. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on acupuncture, changed my entire diet and am otherwise a healthy young woman. I’ve never smoked or done drugs and didn’t wait too long to try to have kids. I can’t possibly fathom what I could have done to have made this go any better. Why is my body betraying me like this?

I tried really hard to not set myself up for disappointment, but my reaction to this news clearly shows that I failed at that. I knew that based on the past two cycles that we probably wouldn’t get a whole bunch of embryos, but I still hoped that the five months of DHEA that I’ve been doing along with my diet modifications would have made a slight difference. Apparently not. It was all just a big waste of time, effort and money.

And I know that anything can happen, but right now I’m just not in that frame of mind, so please don’t tell me that things could still work out. I’m well aware of that and know that crazier things have happened, but for right now I just want to mope and complain and whine. This is the same crappy, disappointing news that I’ve gotten every other time and I’m just so sick of it. For once I just wanted it to be good news. GOOD good news. News that brings a smile to my face instead of tears to my eyes.

Don’t I deserve better than this?

I’m so looking forward to this being over and done with so that we can move on. I’m so over all of this and ready to move on.

She heard the heartbeat last week and they’re officially out of the first trimester. Nothing better than hearing a friend talk about how nothing tasted good and how she had to go out and buy new bras since the girls were getting too big while you’re busy bleeding through a super plus tampon from your second failed IVF.

I love you Chardonnay (actually, I don’t really love Chardonnay at all, it’s just the only white wine they had on special today).

Alright, enough moping. Moving on with life.

Tonight is Girls Night Out at the Melting Pot with a couple of my friends from high school. We aren’t super close anymore, but try to get together once a month or so to catch up and keep in touch. While I should be looking forward to yummy fondue (yeah, that “you can’t eat anything that tastes good” diet of mine is out the window!!!) and good times with my friends, I have a hunch that one of them is going to announce her pregnancy tonight. The cryptic Facebook status updates and her calling up out of the blue to request we get together for dinner has me convinced she has news for us.

This particular friend told us in early 2008 that she and her husband were going to start trying one month after they got married, which was in June. We found out in November that she had been pregnant, but sadly had a missed miscarriage. When she told us about the miscarriage, which was when she first told us about the pregnancy at all, she said that they would start trying again as soon as they could. I knew it was only a matter of time before she got pregnant again, though I kept telling myself that by the time she was pregnant again, I would be pregnant too. Well we all know how well my plan to get pregnant has gone. Two IVF cycles after she announced her miscarriage and I’m still not there yet.

Anyway, the thought of her announcing her pregnancy makes my stomach turn. As I’m sure most who have struggled with infertility can relate to, pregnancy announcements are not something I look forward to. I hate that other people can so easily achieve what I’ve been trying to do for over two years. I hate that they get to experience things that I can only dream of. I hate that I’m being left behind by my own dreams, hopes and desires. I hate that I’m powerless to change my own situation.

Of course I will be happy for her, but at the same time I know that I will be absolutely miserable for myself. This announcement will bring to the surface all of the unhealthy emotions of anxiety, envy, stress, jealousy and unfairness that I have been trying to eliminate from my daily existence. Those are things that I still haven’t figured out how to successfully deal with in a rational manner. Who am I kidding? I haven’t even figured out how to deal with them in an irrational matter. My initial reaction is to avoid the situation, but that won’t get me anywhere. I can’t avoid reality forever. Mark pointed out that she’s probably less than three months along at this point, so she likely won’t even look pregnant yet, which is helpful. It will be infinitely more difficult for me to handle as the months go by and she gets bigger and bigger. For some reason, it’s the pregnancy itself which is the most painful thing for me to endure. Once the baby is born, things become easier for me to handle again. I guess maybe it’s just because I so passionately want to experience pregnancy. To watch others experience what I’ve been waiting for for so long is such a struggle for me.

And it makes me feel like such an asshole for feeling the way I do. But I just can’t help it.

Thank god for drink specials for Girls Night Out…I’m going to need it.

This is post 100.

100 posts ago I started this blog filled with optimism that we would soon become parents. 100 posts ago I was sure we were just one diagnostic test away from figuring out what was preventing us from getting pregnant. 100 posts ago I was sure that the next cycle would most definitely be our last cycle.

100 posts later and I feel absolutely no closer to having my one small wish granted. As expected, today’s test was negative.

I’ve often felt more like a casual observer of this cycle than an active participant. I can think of only three times when I actually had a real emotional reaction to something. Once at our first monitoring u/s when I saw how good things looked, again when I felt the disappointment of our fertilization report and once more when I found out that we only had one blast and one morula left at transfer. Other than those instances, I feel like I’ve been on auto-pilot for the rest of this cycle.

Perhaps it’s a self-defense mechanism – to not let myself get emotionally invested in the cycle means much less disappointment if it doesn’t work out. Of course if that was the theory, then it certainly didn’t work. I’m 99% certain that this cycle is a bust due to the recent appearance of spotting and complete lack of symptoms, and for not being too emotionally involved, I’m surprisingly sad. I was really hoping that the better quality of our two embryos this time around would lead to a better outcome, but it appears that is not the case. It seems this cycle will fall by the wayside along with every other cycle that I’ve ever had. Will this ever get any easier?

When I logged into Facebook this morning, I saw that one of my friends (it just happens to be on the one referenced in this post) had participated in a “note” called “Everything you always wanted to know about our first born.” The instructions read ” Here you go mommies – a different kind of survey for a change – it’s all about your first (or only) born! Just copy and paste it in a new note for yourself!” Of course I had to read it just out of curiosity. Interesting, nothing too exciting, moving on with my day.

I signed in to check my e-mail account later in the day and found out that another friend (the friend referenced in this post) had not only participated in this note, but also tagged in me in the note. WHAT? Seriously? I could be wrong, but last time I checked, I’ve never given birth, or even been pregnant.

The very interesting part of this is that the friend who tagged me in this post is one of very few people who know what we’re going through and that we’re doing IVF. She’s aware that we’ve been trying for over two years. She knows what a struggle it’s been for us. And she had to try for 11 months for her son, so it’s not like the struggle to conceive is completely foreign to her.

I just can’t fathom why in the world she would tag me for something like this. I know that she only tagged me as a friend so that I could look at it, not participate in it, but it still feels like such a slap in the face. And to know that she’s aware of how much we went kids and still tag me just boggles my mind.

Sometimes I just have to scratch my head and say REALLY?!?

As a relatively new blogger, I have a situation that I’m not quite sure how to handle. So I’m asking all of you blogging experts out there what you would do in my position.

It’s been my experience that most people who decide to leave comments are those who can sympathize with my personal situation, and if they can’t, and still want to comment, they just say something simple and comforting like “thinking of you” or “hugs.”

A week and a half ago I received a comment in response to The Return to Dr. Ass Clown that caught me completely off guard. The commenter basically pointed out how much of what I was complaining about was routine as far as infertility timelines is concerned and how she didn’t think that Dr. Ass Clown was “out to get me,” essentially trying to prove my feelings as unjustified.

I did not approve said comment because it pissed me off. It seems to me that most women who blog about infertility do so as an outlet for the complex and varied range of emotions that they are dealing with. They do so knowing that most of their audience has struggled with the same things as them and that they can relate. They do so knowing that people who comment are their blogs will do so with support and empathy. They do so feeling that it is a safe place where they can say what’s on their minds without feeling attacked.

This commenter (who was a first time commenter to my blog and also appears to not be a blogger herself) just showed up, gave her opinion on how my emotions were invalid, and knocked the corn dog right out of my hand. I guess I felt like those who read and are a part of the infertility blogging community would have more tact than that. My mom was always reminding us as kids “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” and that was all I could think of as I read this comment.

I’m not quite sure what to do with this particular comment. It has been sitting in my “pending” folder since it was received, and it annoys me every time I log in and see it sitting there. Part of me feels like I should just delete it and be done with it, thus eliminating some daily stress of seeing it there all the time, but on the other hand it seems wrong to delete it just like that. Should I e-mail the commenter and let her know that the tone and content of her comment could have been better and that she should be more sympathetic if she chooses to comment on my blog in the future? Do I just post the comment anyway?

What do you do when you get comments that rub you the wrong way?

I’m not going to lie, the one thing I was afraid of most in the entire IVF process was not the emotional aspect of things, not the surgery that is egg retrieval, not the possibility of failure. No, the thing I was afraid of most was the PIO shots. It was the freaking huge needle that was destined for my butt. Seriously, the mere thought of it made me sweat with fear.

As it turns out, PIO is just like everyone says…it’s not as bad as you’d think it is. After the huge debacle that was my first PIO shot, things have been a breeze. I’ve got a system down and it works for me. The shots themselves are not painful and I really haven’t gotten any of the lumps, knots or welts that many women suffer from. I still have minor issues working myself up to actually sticking that mammoth needle in my butt, but it’s short lived.

By far the worst part of PIO for me is having to continue taking the shot every night even after a negative test and knowing that I’m not pregnant. Yes, I tested yesterday and there wasn’t even a hint of a line…not even an evap to tease me into thinking I’m actually pregnant. Nope…just a plain old negative test, just like all of the others that I’ve seen before. So here I am injecting a hormone into myself every night in an attempt to maintain a pregnancy that isn’t even there.

How insane is that? Really. It’s ridiculous.

So I have three more days of PIO shots until my beta, when I will no longer have to continue this charade.

My clinic requires a break cycle in between failed cycles (ugh, I can’t believe we failed!), so we’ll start BCP’s again sometime in February and get to the fun part of a new cycle in March. In the meantime, we’re taking a cruise in February and you can bet that I will be taking full advantage of all of the sugar, dairy and alcohol that I can get my hands on that week.

As disappointed as I feel like I should be, I actually feel ok. Which is slightly disturbing. What the hell is wrong with me? Seriously.

How do we go from having 19 all the way down to only three only a day later? I didn’t get a chance to ask any questions when I received the phone call since I’m at work with absolutely zero privacy, but we have only three embryos that they are watching. My guess is that a bunch were immature and therefore not candidates for ICSI and I guess that means the rest did not fertilize properly. What does that even mean anyway? How can a sperm and an egg not fertilize properly? Does that mean that there was a chromosomal issue? Any input on these questions would be so appreciated.

So now it’s a matter of focusing all of our energy on our three embryos and willing them to grow nice and strong. Strangely, the clinic is still shooting for a 5 day transfer, though that could change at any time depending on what the embryos are doing.

It’s strange because while I had my suspicions that we wouldn’t have a whole lot of embryos, I found myself completely unprepared for this news today. It’s an absolutely ridiculous roller coaster ride of emotions (to use the dreaded infertility analogy) to go from being elated that you have 19 eggs when you only had 9 before, to only three embryos, all in less than a 24 hour period.

Ahh, the emotional ups and downs of infertility. Nothing really compares, does it?

At 2:41 pm today my phone rang and it was my nurse telling me that we’ve been cancelled. Needless to say, I’m devastated.

But let’s back up just a bit so that you have the entire story.

I had my second u/s and b/w today to check on how the follicles were growing. My nurse came in and while she was getting everything prepped, I noticed that we had the granddaddy of all u/s machines in the room I was in today. I commented on it and she said that she wanted to use the newer one since it’s better and gives a clearer picture than the older ones. She mentioned that she had seen my results from the last u/s and thought it would be best to use the new one so we could get the best idea of what my ovaries are up to, which I definitely appreciated.

So she started on the right side and right away three sizable follicles popped up. Better than Wednesday, I thought to myself. A fourth one was easily found after that. Then she moved over to the left and there were six or seven visible there and they were of a decent size too. The nurse was obviously pleased and said how much better this was than last time and I immediately felt so much better. She was talking about how they would need to check my blood work and see how it looked, but that things were looking well. I asked her what the estrogen levels should be at this point and she said at least 200. She also asked if my husband has any male factor issues and I told her no. She said that was good incase this didn’t work out, we could convert to an IUI. I completely blew off her comment thinking that with 10 to 11 follicles on day 4.5 of stims there’s no way that things wouldn’t work out.

I left the clinic feeling really good about things, and even posted on my online buddy group about how relieved I was that things were looking so much better. Then my phone rang and the area code was from Iowa. My clinic operates on the “no news is good news” theory, so I was a bit concerned. There wasn’t any chit chatting or small talk; she just spat it out. My estrogen level wasn’t where it needed to be to continue the cycle and I was to discontinue the meds and schedule a consult with the RE. I asked her what my estrogen was and she said 195. What?!? Earlier she had said that it needed to be 200 and I couldn’t believe that they would cancel me for being a measly five points below where I needed to be. When I asked her about it, she said that I really needed to be closer to 400 at this point. She said that the goal isn’t to get me to retrieval, which they could do if we were to continue on. The goal is to get me pregnant, and chances of that just aren’t good with the slow start that I’m off to.

So that’s where we’re at. Cancelled.

On Monday I will call to make our consult appointment with our RE. I really hope that he can provide some insight and a revised plan for our next cycle. At this point I have no idea what comes next. Someone told me to consider the good that came out of this, which is that at least they know how my body responds now and can try something else for next time, which is a great way to find a positive from this situation. But right now I can’t seem to get past the fact that we never even got the chance to get pregnant, and that’s what hurts the most right now.

Well, after I posted the below entry, I started thinking about that OPK this morning that was so obviously positive. It kind of annoys me because I’ve never had a clear cut positive on an OPK before. In fact, I was so bad at reading the darn things (it can’t be THAT hard, can it?) that I bought some very expensive digital OPK’s a few months back when we were doing IUI’s. The plan was to continue using my cheapo OPK’s until the lines got relatively dark and then use the digital ones so that there was no confusion as to whether the test was actually positive or not.Well it occurred to me just now that I sadly never even got to use the darn things. My lines the past few IUI cycles have never even been close to positive, so it seemed a waste to use a digital one. Since this will hopefully be our last cycle before IVF, those tests are going to go to waste, and gosh darn it, I want to pee on one! So I just took one of them if for nothing else than to experience the technology of it all, and what shows up?

This little guy taunting me with his smiley face, as if he’s saying “Nah-nah-nah-a-boo-boo! You’re surging and your husband isn’t even here to take advantage of it!” Bastard. Add in huge ovulation pains on my left side that make even sitting down uncomfortable and Jess is not a happy camper tonight.

A quick search of sidestep.com shows that flights to LaGuardia can be had for $302 and I briefly consider flying out there to conduct a little business with my husband, if you know what I mean, but quickly dismiss it in favor of putting that money towards our looming IVF cycle.

Here’s hoping that tomorrow is a better day.

1. Since it’s a special night for your and your husband, make sure that you take a test before you go out. If it’s somehow miraculously positive, you want to be able to celebrate, right?

2. When that second pink line miraculously shows up, faint, but definitely there, prepare a special way to tell your husband that after 18 months and 5 IUI’s, you’ve finally done it!

3. When your husband comes home from work, tell him in that special way and share a brief moment of sheer happiness.

4. When your husband asks how you know, you pull that test out of your pocket to show him those two beautiful pink lines, only to realize that the 2nd pink line has faded away to nearly nothing.

5. Assure husband that you know way more about pregnancy tests than he does, and a line is a line, therefore you’re pregnant! Besides, the pee you used to test with was REALLY diluted and most women get darker lines in the morning. Tomorrow morning’s test will undoubtedly be very obviously positive.

6. Be sure to chat about how great it is that you finally got pregnant the cycle before you were going to move on to IVF and discuss all of the ways that you can spend the money you were planning to put towards IVF.

7. Continue to celebrate and discuss all of the fun things that you happily won’t get to do now that you’re pregnant, like take cruises, go to amusement parks, etc.

8. If your husband is still a bit hesitant to let himself get excited about this pregnancy because of the “barely there” second line, just remind him that no matter what happens, for this moment, you are pregnant.

9. The next morning take a test using some super concentrated pee. When the line shows up even fainter than yesterday’s (or maybe it’s not there at all, you’ve just convinced yourself that it has to be there since you ARE pregnant, after all), chalk it up to the fact that some women get better results in the afternoons instead of the mornings.

10. Run to the store at lunch to get more tests so that you can see those two beautiful lines when you test again after work.

11. When only one line shows up after work, find someway to tell your husband that you must have been wrong somehow.

12. Realize how absolutely foolish you were to jump the gun and the pain that you have caused your husband and yourself. Promise yourself that you will never, ever get so caught up in two faint lines again.

So that’s my Monday evening and Tuesday in a nutshell. Why the second pink line? I have no idea. It’s definitely not an evap because the line came up within a minute or two and it’s definitely pink, just faded very much from how it originally looked. It could be a chemical, I suppose. If not a chemical, then I have no explanation.

I feel absolutely horrible for getting Mark all worked up only to have it taken away today. When I saw that second pink line come up yesterday, the feeling was unbelievable and I couldn’t believe how narrowly we’d escaped having to do IVF. But more than anything, I was looking forward to sharing my excitement with my husband. He was so excited and happy for us, despite the fact that he wasn’t completely sure if it was real or not. What hurts me the most is knowing the hurt I created for him. I cried today. Not for myself, but for the confusion, disappointment, and pain I created for him. I’ve learned my lesson and will not say anything in the future unless the test is blaringly positive or if a digital test says pregnant.

So I’m back into research mode since we will be moving on to IVF next. There are lots of small things that we need answers to in order to select where we will be doing our IVF cycles and it seems that answers are difficult to come by sometimes. But we will keep plugging away and know that someday we’ll get ours too.

 

Our History

Dec 2006 - Started trying to conceive
Summer 2007 - Semen analysis (great), progesterone test (normal)
Dec 2007 - SHG normal
Jan 2008 - 1st RE appointment
Feb - Mar 2008 - Diagnosed with elevated FSH levels, 2 rounds of IUI with 5mg of Femara
Apr - Jun 2008 - Seeing a new RE. 3 rounds of IUI with 12.5mg of Femara, all busts. HSG normal
July 2008 - Moving on to IVF at a new clinic
Aug/Sep 2008 - 1st IVF cycle - cancelled due to poor response
Nov/Dec 2008 - Retry IVF, transferred one blast and one morula, negative beta
Feb/Mar 2009 - 2nd IVF cycle - Antagonist protocol
May 2009 - 3rd and final attempt at IVF - Antagonist protocol
Feb 18th, 2010 - our One Small Wish comes true: Nina Adele is born.

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