my Self

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Fort St John, BC, Canada
My husband, David, and I had been trying to have a baby since November of 2007. After 'letting things happen', we got the amazing news that we were pregnant in June of 2008. Sadly, that pregnancy ended at 9 weeks with a natural miscarriage. After two more chemical pregnancies, we turned to fertility treatments in 2009. That decision was a disaster, with lousy medical care and poor monitoring. In December of 2009, we made the huge decision to move onto IVF. Things fell into place like magic and we began treatment on January 15, 2010. After a blighted ovum in March, we did a successful FET in June, only to endure another blighted ovum in July. We kept up and underwent another IVF in September/October of 2010 with the arrival of our son, Brogan in July of 2011! After our lovely success (finally) we decided to undertake yet another IVF treatment and hope for a sibling for our little red headed boy. Well... so far it's worked. Our story continues below!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Perhaps, maybe?

The neatest thing about trying to conceive (TTC) is that it's kind of like playing the lottery and having a 50/50 chance of winning every month. The crappy thing is that you only get to play once a month.

When you are TTC with fertility drugs, as I am, you get your mind messed with. Imagine someone reading out the numbers on a million dollar lottery.... one number each day.. and there's 14 numbers, and every day you get the right number.... closer, closer, closer.... 13 out of 14 numbers and a 50/50 chance of getting the last number correct.... oh gawd the emotional drain!

The reason I'm using that example is that the drugs mimic the symptoms of pregnancy. You get all the pregnancy signs whether you get a baby or not. So you are kind of miserable and happy about being miserable. And you're all excited as each number, each day, takes your chances of winning up.

And you look up the same stupid things online that you did the last month, as if reading about sore boobs and emotional swings will somehow change what already has or has not happened deep inside. It's happened. Give it up already! Or.. it hasn't.

I am invited to a friend's baby shower tomorrow. No big deal, right? I mean, I am overjoyed at a successful birth and happy that a friend is getting to celebrate, but this is when I was due. This is when I am really aware of *my* baby *not* being here and I'm not sure if I'm ready to partake in that particular event. I feel a little guilty about being so selfish, but it feels good to be selfish, too. Like taking a rest because you've worked harder than everyone else, but they're still working.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Touchy, Touchy!

That's me the last three days.... really quite touchy and not in a 'oh, feel me!' kind of way. I mean in a grrrrr kind of way. A confrontational way. A not-like-me kind of way.

Times like this make me really dislike the effects of the Clomid. I mean, the Clomid is doing it's job, but part of that job is to create a hormone whose effects on the body are very much like pregnancy.

Bloating. Gassy. Moodiness. Anxiety. Sore boobs. Lovely, eh? It's a good thing you get these symptoms AFTER you ovulate because there wouldn't be a lot of BD'ing going on with a bloated, gassy, anxious, pissed off woman with sore tits, would there? Thank God David's gone right now. I think I'd be more apt to a toe-to-toe i-told-you-so kind of interaction than anything he might have in mind.

And this isn't like me. I try to be so supportive of him when he's gone. Nothing a man likes more than to call home after along day and have his wife nag and tell him how lonely she is or how much she thinks his decision on the wedding bands wasn't what she wanted. But the last three days I've actually cried when he was on the phone. CRIED?! Once over the dog shedding in the house. Yeah. I admitted it. Laugh away.

I am hopeful about this cycle simply because the last time I remember being so bitchy was the last time I was pregnant. I was a freak. I called my oldest son and actually picked a fight with him. I *never* do crap like that. I have other symptoms, even at only 6DPO, but nothing that can't be directly related to Clomid. My little wonder drug. hehe

Okay. Enough rambling. It's late again. I'm avoiding sleep again. Goodnight to Jerry, way up North in some oilfield camp. Goodnight to Mason, working night shift on a water treatment site out in a farmer's field. Goodnight to David... way East in some oilfield camp. None of my men are in thier own beds tonight. I miss them all!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Other Woman.

It has to be mentioned. It's part of our life. David has another love, whom he lives with over half the year. Lovingly referred to as 'the Patch'. She's the first wife who has first rights to his time, his thoughts, his time his hands, his time, his attention, his time... Did I mention his time? For anyone who does not live in Mid-Western Canada and whose living does not to a great degree rely directly or indirectly on the oil that we suck from the earth... the 'patch' is the oil patch. Black Gold. Pipeline. Station. Rig. Roughneck. Inspector. The Line. Big Pipe. First Love. Money. Lifestyle.

This lifestyle has a huge impact on our day to day living. Financially it's like winning the lottery. Emotionally it's like claiming bankruptcy. Well. Not most days.. just some days. I counted (David finds it both sad and amazing that I do things like this) the past twelve months and he's been home less than five months.

I said something to him the other day, "We live together only four or five months out of the year," and it really bothered him... But I explained that I *have* to think like that. I have to wrap my head around the fact that for a great deal of time I do essentially live alone. I do all the shopping, cleaning, decisions, cooking, arranging of furniture, entertaining of guests, decorating for changing seasons, alone.

~Notice what she's looking that...~

I can't live like I have a husband at home, because I don't. I can't pretend that I have this happy couple life where I get the luxury of sharing meals, events, favorite television shows, my bed, on a regular basis. If I did pretend that, I'd get resentful because it just ain't happening. And this lifestyle has NO room for resentment.

So, I explained, I accept the fact that I am a married person living a single life (sans dating!) and it makes it easier for me. I accept that when he gets home in the spring I will have about six weeks before I start counting down the time until he leaves again. I accept that we will have to re-arrange our living habits again, like we do every time we start to live together again.

David is doing what he needs to do in order to provide and protect me and my children. I am doing what I need to do in order to help him accomplish that. I am grateful for his work, grateful that he is a man I can trust, even when he can't be seen. Grateful for my freaky attitude in dealing with this strange marriage that imposes itself like an unwelcome houseguest in our lives.

And baby making? Well I finally had enough last fall when I realized we would lose four months of trying as a result of his schedule. We did miss two. January and February were re-arranged to match up with my schedule, which is almost as hard to change as his! I don't mind if we don't get pregnant... but I sure as hell mind if we can't even try.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Weighed. Measured. Lacking.

So since this is supposed to be a pregnancy (or trying to get and stay pregnant blog) I guess I'd better write about that a bit. I lost our baby last summer. I went a long time thinking it was something wrong with the baby, that it was 'nature's way' of taking care of business, but then I went and got tested.

Then I found out it was me. I was responsible for the baby slipping out of me. My body was the imperfect one.

I had my FSH levels tested and they were a beautiful 6... "the eggs of a 25 year old, as my doc put it." Here's the sci-fi version of what FSH levels are:

"FSH stands for follicle stimulating hormone, and is one of the more important ways in which the brain talks to the ovaries. Simply, the brain releases FSH when it wants the ovaries to mature an egg; as the ovaries choose and mature the egg, hormone products from the ovaries signal the brain to decrease the release of FSH. This is an example of a feedback loop.

The FSH test is the simplest method we know of in 1998 to test the ability of the eggs to talk back to the brain. If the system is functioning the way it should, then the FSH level early in the cycle should be on the lower end of the scale.

FSH is reported in "units" and results from 2 units to 7 are probably normal in just about any lab.

Levels above 25 are probably abnormal.

The area between 9-24 may represent normal or abnormal levels, depending on how the test is performed."

I was happy. I had young eggs! Then my progesterone levels came back. Ugh. Here's what progesterone is and why you should be tested if you've had a miscarriage:

"One of progesterone's most important functions is to cause the endometrium to secrete special proteins during the second half of the menstrual cycle, preparing it to receive and nourish an implanted fertilized egg. If implantation does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, the endometrium breaks down and menstruation occurs.
If a pregnancy occurs, progesterone is produced in the placenta and levels remain elevated throughout the pregnancy

High progesterone levels are believed to be partly responsible for symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as breast tenderness, feeling bloated and mood swings. When you skip a period, it could be because of failure to ovulate and subsequent low progesterone levels.

A progesterone test is done to confirm ovulation. When a follicle releases its egg, it becomes what is called a corpus luteum and produces progesterone. A level over 5 probably indicates some form of ovulation, but most doctors want to see a level over 10 on a natural cycle, and a level over 15 on a medicated cycle. There is no mid-luteal level that predicts pregnancy."

My progesterone was a lousy 9.6. The doctor, knowing I was internet-educated and couldn't be fooled, admitted that there was a good chance that my baby was lost because I stressed myself out when I also had low progesterone. Schloop. Body releases uterine lining and baby right along with it. So while I dragged my ass with that knowledge, I was glad I had been tested. At least... now... I wouldn't have to do that to another fetus. Another son or daughter who *should* have been.

Here's the good news. Clomid. More about that when I blog again....

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's Late. I'm Exhausted. And Avoiding.

Avoiding sleep. Again. Not a good sign. Last night there were nightmares again. It's been a while since my old demons visited me, but my name must have come up on their list because they were fucking lined up to greet me last night. One after another, voices, places from my past passed around me, floated in and out, curled up with me in a strange bed, whispering strange ideas and draping me in unfamiliar memories.

Some of the nightmares are completions of goals, of ideals that I used to have. Strange contemplations of ideas on how I once wished life would turn out, leaving me confused and puzzled when I awake, questioning both my previous ideals and decisions. A taste of what I thought could have been left in my sleepy mouth and brain.

I always wake up pissed off and exhausted from those dreams. My body is tense from emotional strain, I never know if it's 2 a.m. or if I'm late for work. All sense of right, wrong and time are smashed together. And then the cycle starts. I avoid bed at night. Avoid sleeping. Avoid visiting old friends in my dreams who were never friends in life. Avoid the confusion, sometimes tears, sometimes screams that I know will sweep into my brain the moment my eyes close.

Sometimes I am shocked at how easily we sleep at all. I mean... we are so fucking vulnerable. Just laying there, basically helpless, bellies and faces exposed to whatever may wander past our lairs. What could be going on around our unconscious bodies while we lay in complete abandon of awareness? And yes, this is what happens when I don't sleep. Four, five hours of confusion or terror or some combination of the two.

Oh yeah... Day four of round two of clomid. I am starting to know the lingo. Starting to know the next steps and the reasons the last ones failed. Starting to think that a pregnancy is looming but the idea is still hard to process. So. Tired.