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!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back to Basics

Yepper.... I seem to have much more luck getting pregnant without my doctor. *laugh*

Between him being gone for my August cycle and not triggering me in time, causing me to miss that entire cycle, to him forgetting to book my IUI and destroying the sperm.... well I had a lot more chance of conception when he wasn't around. Which makes me have hope for this month... since I called first thing on Monday morning to schedule my ultrasounds and found out he's gone for a month. Jezus. It's a good thing I never started my meds again before I called to book the ultrasounds. He never had a message for me, never told me he was going..... *sigh*

So David and I discussed it and even considered taking the meds anyhow and triggering on our own, but both realized that would be pretty stupid and most likely a sure way to piss off the doctor. So we thought we'd just relax, give my body and his nerves a break from the body and roller coaster of emotions.

Our big plan this month doesn't include timing and monitors and injections and ultrasounds. It does include beer, laughter, perhaps some lingerie and having nobody involved in our baby making except. for. us. :-)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Upwards Sidewards Whateverwards...

I am in more acceptance than ever. That might sound defeatist, but it's actually pretty good. Accepting that I have two more years to have a baby with my amazing husband... accepting and re-realizing that I have excellent chances of pregnancy... accepting that this isn't our month, and accepting that what is, is.

Got another bfn yesterday at 12DPO....and am just happy to confirm what I already knew and get off the freak train that the hormones put me on.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yeah, well...

What can I say. I was upset. Really. Really. Really. Upset. No real reason, nothing has really changed from two days ago until today. Maybe it's the approaching reality that I'll have to face my period once again. Maybe it's the guilt from screwing up the IUI. Maybe I'm just human and have every right to a pity party, as long as it's short, and I can scoop myself out of the litter box without getting too much bitterness and grit in my teeth.
So I was thinking.... get a gawd-damned grip, woman! Stop feeling sorry for yourself! Adding drama and anger and bitterness (even though you feel them from time to time - you're no saint, ya know) to a situation that is far from hopeless and extremely exciting and can only enhance my life if successful... is STUPID! And rationalizing. I can feel the emotion from the hormones and still maintain dignity and strength and grace. I know that being a person, a woman, a mother, is sometimes not about getting what you want, but dealing with what you get with grace and gratitude.
And there is nothing quite so healing as warm hugs and encouragement from friends and a good chuckle in the face of a challenge. I have made it my own personal decision that I'm going to keep up the baby path until I'm at least 40...... that's two more years and girl, you better find a way to keep your chin up because there's going to be more challenges, more fear, more questions, more pain and more pregnant women parading thier beautiful bellies arond your store in the next 24 months!

I can do this... I can't say for sure that I'll give birth again, but I know I can do everything in my power to give this life that I want to birth the best chance in the world of becoming!

So I dug around and found some humor to spice up my depressing blog! I have to admit, it also spiced up my own attitude. I actually got a chuckle out of many of these cartoons.. these were a few that really stood out. I hope you enjoy them, and get a smile or two.

First Real Non-Pregnancy Breakdown?

Yesterday was a joke. I started out the morning thinking about how to write about 'getting over the pain of a miscarriage'. I wanted to talk about living in the present, focusing on the future and all that crap. Instead I ended up bawling my eyes out, hunched over the sink in our tiny bathroom, missing my lost, never-known baby-to-be. And as with any good pity party, anger heard the noise and made an abrupt, unannounced entrance. Party crasher.

Through tears and ruined makeup I started at myself in the mirror. I couldn't stop crying, and I couldn't stop staring at myself. Wondering why I am doing this. Why I am putting David through this.... realizing how quickly I am losing hope, and how I have begun to accept the fact that each month I will be 'looking forward to trying again'.

Planning a nursery, checking out cute onesies, anticipating those first flutters and kicks, bringing the wonder of being a parent into my husband's life. What used to be happy conversation has turned into something 'better left unsaid'. I don't often indulge in those dreams anymore. It's been downsized to only being able to fantasize about being pregnant, I think about David being a father, I sometimes stand in the shower and place my hand over my stomach, trying to imagine being full of baby again.... but they're Fantasies, not Hopes. They are dirty, secret thoughts that I know I'll never 'really' get to experience, but the sick wanna-be-mommy part of me gets off on. I don't admit openly to them anymore.

And the worst are the women who were trying and trying and trying and get pregnant. They're like reformed smokers. Caution, here's the anger part. Sorry to any of my trying and trying and trying and now pregnant friends who are reading this - I am happy for you, and you are most likely more considerate and understanding than most if I consider you a friend. But my friends aside, those women are the worst. They remind me of reformed ex-smokers. It's like along with pregnancy they've totally forgotten what it was like to want, to wish, to be let down again and again. They're the ones with the smug, holy advice to just keep trying, it'll happen, or relax and stop trying, it'll happen.... and you hope you're not actually tilting your head and looking at their glowing faces and swollen stomachs with as much disbelief as you are feeling. You don't want to rain on their little pregnancy parade, after all.

I'm not cruel. I would never take those pregnancies away from those wonderful women. They deserve it as much, and sometimes more, than I do. After all, I do have two beautiful grown sons who are sure to produce grandchildren one day. Babies will still be part of my future. I just mean.... why can't I be one too? One of those smug, relaxed, happy swollen souls. I'll even bear the cross of facing my still infertile friends if it

Okay, today's not proving to be much better than yesterday. I'm crying so hard I can hardly see the screen. I need to go to work. I need to forget about wanting, about wishing, about hoping, about those stupid lines on pregnancy tests that seem to disappear even if I do manage to coax my body into producing one.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Post Non-Perfect IUI Pregnancy Tests

So I tested this morning. Bah. I never get early bfp's in the morning, mostly because I wake up about four times a night and my 'fmu' is about as diluted as you can get. I've sworn to only test every second day, but honestly, I am going to waste another test and do a 'real' test tonight when I get home from work. There "might" be a bit of a color change, but I'm calling this a bfn and will until the line is easily visible at the ten minute mark.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Post Non-Perfect IUI Daily Updates

The progesterone is really kicking in. I was confrontational last night, I have waves of nausea, and my bbs were very heavy and sore. I can't even start to think these are pregnancy symptoms because I have been down this particular path before.

More of the same. Moderate aching in the boob type area. Some lower back discomfort. A 'pulling' sensation in my uterus/ovary region, to the point it was uncomfortable to walk... that passed after a few moments, came and went throughout the day. Still kinda gassy. Lots and lots of peeing at night and during the day - I feel like I have to go really bad all of a sudden. Still not a lot on the old hope horizen... but you never know, right?

Okay. Not a hell of a lot to report here. My boobs are sore. Not killingly sore, but after months of looking for any sign of soreness and finding naught (I love using those fancy-ass words), well, I know soreness when I feel it, even if it's just a little bit.

And. I have lower back pain. Of course, sore boobs and sore back are also right up there with progesterone side effects.

Is gas? I mean I'm pretty active in the toot department lately. And peeing three and four times a night.

Know what I hate? This could all be NOTHING. Could all be because of the little yellow pills I 'supposit' every night.

I guess I have to admit I'm hopeful this month. Not a lot, but at least a little. More than I was last month, when we weren't allowed to have sex during ovulation.


Well I will chalk it up to the progesterone, but I am weepy. Weeepeee. I even cried in a restaurant today.... David, as always, gets this cautious/amused/concerned look on his face. He humors me, he comforts me, he waits for me to gain control. And then I laugh. Embarassed. And explain for the twenty-second time that day that it's the hormones. I'm peeing a LOT, but I did last month as well and I think it has to do with the drugs as well - everything swollen and over-productive in there. So nothing really to report for 3 dpo except time in pretty much crawling by. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Ti.. you get the picture...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

This is what a BFP looks like.

Unfortunately, it's not real. I got a shot in the ass of hCG, the 'pregnancy hormone' last Wednesday, two days before we did the IUI. It forces a timely ovulation. It also makes you feel pregnant. You know, sore boobs, bitchy moods, absentmindedness, and, oh yeah, positive pregnancy tests.

I have to 'test out the trigger' which means I test every couple of days until either:

  • It goes totally blank, which means if I get another line, I'm pregnant;

  • It starts to get darker, which means I am getting more hCG than was in the shot, and I'm pregnant.

Of course, if it goes blank and stays that way, well.. you know what that means. That means I have a few days of feeling sad and empty, and gear up to do this again next month. Anyhow, this is my 2DPO report.

Not What I Expected..

I couldn't believe it. It was 9 a.m. on Friday morning. I was at my mother's house, enjoying a wonderful breakfast of soft boiled egg, crispy bacon and buttered toast. Why does everything taste better when your mom makes it?

We had successfully collected the *ahem* sample and gotten it to the lab. I felt really awkward because there had been people waiting there for over an hour, and I bullied my way to the front of the line, wanting to get the swimmers processed as soon as possible. That's when the trouble started.

My doc had given me a requisition for a sperm wash about two weeks earlier. It didn't have a label on it, so I didn't fax it in right away - which I usually do with all my requisitions. I had collected the label from the doc in a hurried appointment the previous day, and it was buried safe and deep in my purse. I had planned on going directly to my office, getting the req, slapping the label on it and faxing it over to the lab. I told them at the lab that the req would be on it's way shortly. They smiled, took the bottle, and moved onto the next person.

Now, somewhere between leaving the hospital and getting to my office, my mind wandered. I don't know if it was all the drugs they've been injecting into me, or the anxiousness of the day, or some deep seated refusal to get pregnant, but whatever the reason, when I left the lab, I decided I was hungry. Really hungry. I didn't want to go home, because I would get tied up in chores before work, and I didn't want to eat in a cafe alone, so I called my mom and tested the waters for a 'mom breakfast'.

Notice I did not return to the office, with the precious label and put it on the precious requisition and fax it to the lab? Yeah. Glad you noticed. I didn't.

I was at mom's when the blood drained out of my face. No, my entire system was drained. I felt a sinking horror when I realized I had forgotten to follow through. It's not like me, I am hyper sensitive to all my numbers, my levels, my timing, my meds. And when it came down to the wire - I totally fucked up.

Freaking out, trembling, I dialed the lab and asked if they had started processing the sample. They assured me that they had. And.. I asked... they knew it was for a IUI scheduled at noon, right? No, they said. There was nothing on the board for that day. They had started processing the semen for analysis. It was destroyed. Unusable. The tears started.

I didn't know what else to do. I called my doctor. I called the lab back. I got the main lab tech on the phone, imploring how upset I was, how stupid I had been, how I had spent nearly two thousand dollars in meds, taken injections, and had been trying for so long... how upset my husband was going to be.... After assuring me that the sample was truly destroyed, she went on to tell me that my requisition was only a backup... that the doctor was supposed to book the IUI in, and the lab would be alerted and ready for the sperm wash. There was nothing on the board. Nothing at all. She said they didn't know what to do with the sample, so they assumed. The guy never called to confirm anything.... my mess - up was one of three.

Then the doctor called, or at least his secretary did. I was supposed to get David back and get another sample. David, who was already over an hour away, on his way to work, and had already lost major brownie points for taking part of the morning off and his crew waiting around. David was supposed to turn around, drive an hour back, and manage another sample before 9 a.m.. David, who was really seriously annoyed at the news that this was being asked, I'd say pissed off, but he doesn't display anger towards me, so annoyed is about as strong a word as I can honestly use.

I wondered how potent a sample would be only 3.5 hours after the last one was taken. I wondered if my already work-stressed and sperm-released husband could even manage to produce enough of a sample to take to the lab. I wondered if the lab, which closed at 11 a.m. would even have time to process the sperm, if we managed to get one. I wondered, I felt like crap, and spent the next 45 minutes doing some serious beating up on myself.

After my strong spout of self-abuse, David called and said he was on his way home. He was going to give it another go. I couldn't believe it. I called home, and asked my teenagers to vacate the house for an hour, no questions asked. I told them they had 30 minutes to leave... they were more than happy to oblige, as long as I didn't tell them why David and I needed to be alone in the house. I figured that if my superman was going to try and pull this off, he would need total privacy and lack of distraction. Pun totally intended.

So we arrive at the house at exactly 10:55. I had put in a call to the lab, asking them to hold off on closing for half an hour. The head tech, who by now knew my voice, agreed, and again said it wasn't really my fault - that the doctor should have booked the procedure, and agreed towait for our sample.

The teenagers, (arg!) were still in the house. Still half dressed and half awake. One was putting on her makeup. I announced they had to get out - now. No putting on makeup, no getting teeth brushed. They had to LEAVE. David at this point is already in the bedroom. The clock is ticking, and I don't know if we even have a chance of doing this. The kids, freaked out and not wanting to know what was going on, left. No makeup, no clean teeth, just gone.

At 11:09, David was back in his truck and headed back to the pipeline. His bosses never even knew he was gone. I had a surprisingly good sample... and a new respect for David and his ability to FOCUS. I still felt miserable about cutting our chances so horribly, but at least we still had a chance...

The woman at the lab grabbed the sample as soon as I walked in and said.. there's not much.. but all we need is ONE! And so the process was at last underway. She said it wasn't as good as the first sample... but it was surprisingly good for such a short time between. They never did an actual count.

After three hours of wandering the hallway, my doctor, who had been in surgery, finally got time to perform the IUI. He said, men produce 15000 sperm a second, and all they needed was one. He said, if we didn't have a good chance, I wouldn't do this. He said, afterwards, go home and gestate.

So I went home, laid down, shook my head at the cluster fuck it had turned into, and hoped that we had a chance. Any chance. I figure... that even a few million really healthy, lively sperm, directly thrown on top of 8 beautiful, eager eggs had to give us more of a chance than normal intercourse with a normal cycle. I figure, we have as good a chance as ever. After all. It only takes one, right?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

8 Is Our Magic Number!

I was so freaked out and worried about the lining. I even meditated about it. I popped baby asprin (to increase blood flow), put a hot water bottle on my tummy (because it felt good), and did more positive manifestation than I have in a long time.

Speaking of the water bottle, I just asked my gorgeous baby boy to get me one... (sorry, distracted).
Okay. Why Eight. Magic number. Sorry. I'm a bit woozy from the day, not to mention all the drugs I've had injected into my system in the past week. Oh yeah. Eight. 8.

My lining, which if you read the previous post, was a concern, but it was a nice, healthy 8mm. And those five follicles... well we were up to a beautiful Eight. Capital E. Are we nervous about multiples. Yes, nervous and excited. We want more than one but not more than three. Three is our limit.

Anyhow, back to Eight. I am not sure how the math works and I haven't figured out how to google such information, but if I have 20% chance of getting pregnant each month with one egg, don't our chances increase if we have 8, that's Eight with a capital "E", eggs? I should.... hope so?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting Pregnant When My Husband is 2 hrs Away...

Okay. Let me catch you up. It's been a hell of a week. Yesterday I went in for my first ultrasound. I was told I had to have a full bladder so I drank 40+ ounces of water only to find out it was a transvaginal ultrasound (which I asked twice about when I got the appointment). So... after I went pee (whew), we proceeded.

The girl (yes, she was that young) who did the u/s was so quiet, wouldn't let me see the screen, or comment on generally anything at all, so I was a little uncomfortable, but it all went by easily enough.
After changing, Dr. L came in and said everything looked good but my lining was thin. 1.3mm. 1.3mm????? I was concerned. He went on to say it 'should be fine', and pushed forward. I have two dominant follicles measuring 1.5cm, and three lesser ones trying to catch up. Dr. L thought I would ovulate all five follicles - a great sign. I got put on two more amps of Repronex, one for that day, and one for today, and off I went.

I went. I went directly to my laptop and began googling every term imaginable to do with thin uterine lining. My findings were dismal. Horrid. Tear-bringing. There is no way I could grow a decent (over 6mm) in just a couple of days! Why bother fertilizing the eggs if I would just flush them out when I got my period.

Resigned, I called my doctor this morning, mostly to ask about delaying my trigger and just having sex naturally on the weekend. He was annoyed with me, and said my lining wasn't that bad.... and I realized we had miscommuncated. My lining was 3 mm, not 1.3, and the secondary follicles were 1.3cm. I am not sure how that happened, but I don't care. I have three days to get my lining to at least a 6 and I prefer 8. It can grow 2 mm per day, and with my growing follicles and injects, it could be 5 today, 7 tomorrow, and possibly grow a bit before the trigger hits.

I am beyond excited and hopeful about this cycle. And a cute FYI... my due date would be David's birthday!

And in regards to the title of this post? David 'contributes' to our adventure first thing Friday morning, then takes off to work as normal.. the sperm are washed, and kept safe and sound until the IUI at about 1 pm on Friday. So David will actually be in another province when we potentially get pregnant!