Monthly Archives: November 2012

Maybe “Out” is not enough

When it comes to infertility and loss it sometimes surprises me how in the dark society can be in this day and age. I know that the IF community often gets an a bad rap in the media. They seem to only publish articles about the fanatic and wealthy thus giving the impression that all that go through this are the same way. They do it because it sells and the money is what keeps the word going round.

It is also because for some reason infertility is treated like some sort of shameful act. To admit that our bodies can not perform the most basic human function makes us feel useless and broken. So we hide it away. As we suffer loss we hide that away too. Partly because we are afraid of the ignorant comments that opening up will get. You know the ones: “Maybe God just has a different plan for you”, “Why don’t you just adopt?”, or “Just relax and it will happen”.

It is not easy to exposes ourselves to the world in this way. This journey brings out the most dark and raw thoughts that we could experience, and to admit those makes us feel weak. But how else will the world ever learn? If those of us who suffer through this pain never open up and educate?

I consider myself pretty “out” of the infertility closet. I’ve never made a big grand announcement on Facebook or anything, but anyone in my life who talks to me and cares enough to ask how I am doing knows what we are going through. I’ve never hid that we struggled for a year and now I don’t hide away our losses. Sometimes it is hard, I can feel the awkwardness in the air whenever I refer to MB as “him” or “my son”. Most people just don’t see it that way, they hear that I lost a baby at 10 weeks and wonder how I could ever talk about him like he was “a real person”. But I refuse to refer to him as if he was no big deal. Because to me he was, and always will be.

As J and I are starting to try to change directions in our family building plans I’m realizing more and more how few people truly “get” infertility unless they have gone through it. I tend to think the best in people and it is hard when they disappoint.

The other night J posted a comment on Facebook regarding adoption. He was asking for advice from anyone who had experience with it and made a comment on how expensive it could be. 95% of the comments were supportive and full of love. But then there is one…one ignorant person who has to go and say something beyond stupid. One of his co-workers said “What is crazy…is making one of your own is much cheaper!”.

Knife. To. The. Heart.

I don’t go on Facebook very often. After my 2nd loss I went on a strike and I know it was the right decision. I still log in from time to time, mostly because some people still message me and I like to make sure that people don’t think I am ignoring them. That being said I log on maybe one every 3-4 weeks. Of course I happened to log on right after this guy posted the comment.

J got frustrated about how upset I was about it because this guy had no idea what we have gone through. I told him to imagine he had posted asking for advice about chemotherapy. In doing so he is not saying he has Cancer…but he is very much insinuating it. Then imagine that someone came along and made the comment “Well you just shouldn’t get Cancer then!”. This is an extreme example I know, but if that was the case people would be beyond upset. There are just certain things you don’t say. And this is how this guys comment felt to me.

I didn’t reply. Only because he was a co-worker though. I’ve never met the guy and even J isn’t very tight with him and the last thing I want to do is cause J issues in the work place. But if it had been anyone else believe me, I would have had said my fair share.

This is the problem though, I didn’t just want to educate this guy…I wanted to bite back. I wanted to make him feel stupid and small. I wanted to tell him that not everyone lives in a rose-colored world and that some of us lose 4 babies and have no other options. I wanted to hurt him like he hurt me.

But that is not educating. Maybe he would have felt bad but it most likely would not change his perception overall of what infertility is. So how do we change that? How can I as an infertile teach society that this is a real disease that hurts and affects more people than most realize? And how do I leave my personal bitterness and resentment out of it?

Please don’t misunderstand me, I do not judge anyone for keeping their journey quite. This is an extremely personal decision and I don’t expect for a minute that it is the “right” thing to do for everyone. Only you know if you are ready for this step or not. And if you are not that is okay. For me though, I feel like it is time for me to do more.

I want the world to understand. I want them to know that children aren’t something that just come along and I want them to know how hard it is for those of us who struggle. I want the hurtful comments to start. I’m taking a vow to be more proactive in trying to educate those around about what infertility really is. For me it is a way to honor my lost babies. And I refuse to be made to feel like they, or all of this, isn’t a big deal.

trishasig

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Filed under adoption, Infertility, Miscarriage, People suck, RPL

Coming to a Bitter End

This weekend was a bad one. Little did I know when I posted last that things were just getting started. After that post the bleeding picked up. And when I say picked up I really mean picked up. I have never in my life bled so much. Every time I moved I could feel my body hemorrhaging. I try to enjoy an evening with friends but end up in the bathroom every 20 min trying to keep myself feeling clean and acceptable. The blood loss made me feel sleepy and lethargic. Not to mention the emotional shit that made me feel like a zombie.

On Monday I did not go into work. I couldn’t with how much I was still bleeding. So I called my doctor’s office and explained what was going on. They told me to come in for another beta and we would see what was going on from there. I was initially fine at the appointment until they stuck my arm…and no blood came out. Because I had been feeling so down and crappy that I had forgotten to take a sip of water all day. So another nurse came in and decided to try with my other arm. For some reason this sent all my emotions loose. I’m not sure why, I have had more blood sticks than I can count and they don’t bother me, but this time I was fighting tears the entire time. Then the nurse asked quietly “How many is this?” I choked out “4” and the tears started streaming.

Numbers came back the next day while I was at work. To my utter shock and dismay my nurse informed me that my numbers had not gone down like I had expected, in fact they had gone up. Beta #4 was 1190. Not even close to where it needed to be, yet still a doubling time of 70 hours. At this point I was pissed. Last thing I need right now is for this to drag on for weeks on end. They also asked me if I had stopped taking my progesterone since mine was only at 3.8. Uh oh. I told them yes and I could practically see the disappointed looks through the phone.

They had me go back in today for another beta and an ultrasound. First thing my doctor came out and scolded me for stopping the progesterone. He told me “It can only be one way…either I’m the doctor or you are. You can’t decide this is over before I tell you that it is.”

Whatever dude. You try having your uterus kill 4 babies in 9 months then come talk to me about knowing when it’s over.

Anyways as predicted the ultrasound showed that there is nothing left to hope for. No sac, no fetal pole, no baby. Just a thinning lining that will continue to thin out. Joy, more blood for me. Let me clarify…my doctor is not a bad guy. In fact he is extremely nice. Through all of this he was not mean, and I do see his point, I’m just also say that the one thing that has come out of all this is I KNOW my body. I am so in-tune with it now. And I KNEW without a shadow of a doubt that I had miscarried. Should I have called them before stopping the progesterone? Probably. But do I feel guilty about it? No.

After the ultrasound we talked. Pretty much at this point there is not much else he can offer me. He still feels that I will get pregnant and carry a baby to term, he just doesn’t know how many more losses will come before that baby. He could offer more aggressive treatment but he knows it is something we are not willing to do right now,  I.E. IVF with genetic testing on the embryos. I don’t feel in the current situation this is a solution. We HAD a normal embryo. And we still lost him. So why would I pay 30 grand to risk that happening again? I just can’t.

He looked at me and said “The important thing right now is that we aren’t going to give up”. I sat there silently for a moment before telling him “Right now, we are”.

I don’t know what the future holds or if we will try for a genetic child again. I fully recognize I am not in the mindset right now to make that decision either way. Right now what is important is taking time to regain who I am. I’ve lost so much of myself this year. I need to focus on getting through the holidays, taking time for my marriage, and finding joy outside of a child right now. Bare minimum I need 3 months before I even consider another pregnancy.

This does not mean we are stopping our journey to have a family. Far from it. It just means that our perception of how our family will come to us will have to change. That is what I am going to do for the next 3 months. That and have sex with my husband because I want to. Not because I have to.

I’m severely damaged right now. Unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss. I never thought my year would end up this way.

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Filed under Betas, Crazy? I'm not crazy!, Infertility, Just my luck, Miscarriage, People suck, RPL

Lost

Yesterday was hard. I knew the upcoming holidays were going to be much more difficult to get through than usual but I wasn’t expecting the gloom that settled over me whenever my mind was not actively engaged in something. It probably didn’t help that the night before Thanksgiving J and I had a huge fight that I still wasn’t over. It didn’t help that I felt nauseous every time I tried to eat, resulting in a pretty lame Thanksgiving meal for me. But most of all it didn’t help that the bleeding truly began.

I’ve been expecting it for days. The spotting has been increasing in intensity and times where it has been bright red. I knew there was no chance of this working out at this point. My last beta number came in at 286. Which was a doubling time of 52 hours. My doctor tried to play it off saying there is still a possibility of this working out. But he was not taking into consideration the amount of spotting I’ve been having. Now there is no doubt. I’m wearing a pad and passing tissue. This is over now I just have to wait for it to all go down.

I’m supposed to go in for a final beta and an ultrasound next Wednesday as I would be 6 weeks. I think I’m going to call Monday and try to cancel the ultrasound though. Really there is no point. Plus I have PTSD regarding that ultrasound room and I don’t need another reason for that to continue. I also really want to stop taking my Lovenox injections. I’ve continued because I felt it was the responsible thing to do but now I just feel like I’m sticking needles in myself for no reason. Thoughts? I’m worried if I stop I’ll feel guilty until we confirm my levels are decreasing.

At least now I know we are done for this year. Possibly done for good. It seem very obvious to me that none of this has been “bad luck”. Something is very wrong with my body. Based on how early I’m losing them I think there is something wrong with implanting. But there isn’t much more we can do to help that. And I don’t know if I can do this again. One thing this pregnancy has really taught me is that I’m not healed. Because the pregnancy that I am mourning right now is not the current one. It’s MBs. He was my fighter, the one who somehow got past the implanting stage and made it. Yet he still died. And the fact that I don’t know why he died hurts so much. Yesterday all I could think about was wishing that I still was pregnant with him so that he could be the thing I was grateful for. I’m still too damaged from his loss to embrace a new pregnancy.

Of course my doctor will bench me for a month, then he will encourage me to try again. Of this I am sure. But I’m benching myself. I’m not sure if it is a permanent bench or not at this point. I just know right now I can’t do it. I used to hesitate about adopting because I wanted to be pregnant. I wanted the whole experience. Now pregnancy no longer holds wonder and joy for me. It will be nothing but terror and anxiety. And I am not sure that I want it anymore.

Sorry for the bummer post on the weekend that it supposed to be all about gratitude. All I can do is hope that next year my story is a happier one, even though I have no idea what the hell is going to happen.

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Filed under Betas, Depression, Infertility, PCOS, Pregnancy, RPL, Sickness

Waiting

Thank you to everyone’s comments on my last post. Yes, right now hope is looking pretty slim. Not that I really had a lot of hope about the whole thing, but you know what I mean. It has been interesting. After my post I had a couple of hours where I was spotting dark red/brown blood. That started to taper off and throughout yesterday it was exclusively brown. However during the brown I also passed a decent sized clot (also brown). The brown continued throughout the day yesterday. So far this morning…no spotting at all.

But let’s get real. That does not changes things. It just prolongs them. With as much as I’m spotting and with the clot, this pregnancy is not going to work. And truthfully…I’m okay. My awesome coping mechanisms continue to work. Am I disappointed that I am here again? Yes. Am I sad that it is looking less and less likely that my body will be able to carry a baby to term? Yes. But I know who I am. I know what my relationship is. And I know we will have a family. I wish I could tell myself when or how but that is the hard part.

I got the chance to meet up again with Tami yesterday. I can’t tell you how much I love this girl. I am so incredibly grateful for her friendship through all of this. We sat and talked for hours. We laughed, we cried, we shared our fears and our hopes. I told her one of the ways I’m dealing with this is by repeating words about serenity that people use while in AA.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I know in my heart that I did everything right. I took all my vitamins. Folic acid, baby aspirin, viatmin D, pre-natals. I injected myself daily with a blood thinner. I took progesterone twice a day*. I did everything a good pregnant person should do. So when this pregnancy fails I know it is not due to my shortcomings. Its biology. Something is wrong in my body and I desperately wish they could figure out what. But I know that if positive thoughts and good intentions created a healthy pregnancy and baby, we’d all have a dozen babies in our homes right now. Unfortunately the world does not work that way though.

In the meantime this pregnancy joins the ranks of numbers 1 and 3. Pregnancies that I am sad I have lost, yet for me none of these have made the impact of #2. MB. My boy. He is the one I still mourn today. Maybe that is heartless considering I technically am pregnant still with a different embryo. But when I think of loss I think of him. That is what I lost this year. The others…well maybe they are just pushing me in a different direction. For now though we wait. We wait to move on, even if we are unsure what the future holds.

 

*Yes I am still taking all my vitamins and injections. I will not cease until the miscarriage is confirmed even though I believe it to be inevitable.

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Filed under Depression, First Trimester, Healing, Infertility, Miscarriage, Pregnancy, RPL

Over

Started having some light reddish-brown bleeding today after a bowel movement. The exact same thing that happened during pregnancy number 1. No there was no straining and yes I am positive it was from my vagina. It is now there every time I wipe. Once again I’m losing a pregnancy.

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Filed under Depression, Miscarriage, Pregnancy, RPL

Onward we go

I walked into my RE’s office yesterday with my head held high. I was determined for them to see how my low beta number had not destroyed me. They had just gotten back from lunch so when I walked in my doctor was standing at the front desk talking with the receptionist. When he saw me he gave me a big smile and shook my hand. He asked me how I was doing and I was honest. I told him I was good, all things considering. Then he looked straight at me and said “I’m excited”. I must have looked at him like he had 4 heads. I asked him why he was excited and he told me he was excited about my positive. I said to him “It is such a low number…”. He told me it didn’t matter that it was supposed to be low, because we caught it so early. He told me as long as it was doubling, the number didn’t matter and again…that he was excited.

My doctor is a straight shooter. I’ve always liked that about him. He tells you like it is, even if the news is bad. I expected him to brace me for the inevitable loss of this pregnancy. Instead he was there encouraging me and telling me that things are looking good. I felt as if I had jumped through the rabbit hole. How is a 18 looking good? But never the less it did make me feel better to know that someone was positive about the possibility of this pregnancy. Did it give me hope? Not really. But I figure someone better have some.

My number did not quadruple, it did not triple, but it did more than double. 2nd beta came back at 42. A doubling time of 39 hours. My doctor is pleased and is not having me back for another draw until next Wednesday after that we will schedule an ultrasound…something I really can’t even think about because I think I have PTSD from the last one. But I digress.

I am that “P” word that I don’t like to think about. I don’t feel any different. With my other 2 pregnancies from the moment I saw a second line I felt almost a transformation. Even though it was too early for symptoms it was as if my body and mind were already invested and aware of the tiny life growing in me. This time I feel same as I did last week. I feel no magic or wonder. I feel nonchalant. I haven’t even gone pee-stick crazy like I did with my other ones. I’m going to feel guilty as hell if this ends up being my take home baby because I doubted it like crazy. Talk about a downer. I can imagine telling my imaginary child “Yeah, I never believed you’d survive”.

Things are different now. There will be no bump-dates. No belly pics. No ultrasound photos. In the past I tried to pretend that I could be “normal” and enjoy a pregnancy. That is so far gone it is not even funny. I’m already trying to plan ways that I can avoid telling people about this until I’m 30 weeks if I am lucky enough to get there. With my nosy family it doesn’t seem very likely. My point is…don’t expect pregnancy rainbows and sunshine. Expect your normal bitching and moaning. For right now I am content to pretend that nothing has changed.

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Filed under Betas, First Trimester, Infertility, Living Life, Pregnancy

Numbers

I haven’t really known how to write this post. I’ve been muddling over it for 3 days now because I don’t want anything to come across wrong. When I said I didn’t want to know what the result of this cycle was I meant it. In fact I kinda wish that I still didn’t know. But circumstances led me to take a pregnancy a mere few hours after my last post.

Let me defend myself here: It was not my intention to test. But after my last post I went to the bathroom only to discover some brown spotting. The same brown spotting that I get every cycle that I am not pregnant a few days before my period. In my mind I felt that I should test to prove that I could stop taking my progesterone and injections. Part of me was very tempted to just stop since it was obvious my period was on its way despite the progesterone but I did the responsible thing and tested so there would be no doubt in my mind. Never for a moment did I consider that it would be positive.

There was no excitement or joy. I’ve become numb during this experience. It was probably the most depression pregnancy announcement made to a husband ever. Because what I did say to him was “There is a line”. His response: “Okay”. And then it was over. He asked me what I was going to do and I told him I’d get a blood test in the morning but other than that we pretty much ignored it.

We are too damaged. Too afraid of the outcome. I fear another loss, he fears my subsequent meltdown.

My doctor is good to me. I called the next morning, they got me in that afternoon, and I had my results by that evening. I told my co-workers I needed to step outside to check my voicemail. I pressed the phone to my ear and listened as my cheerful nurse told me that my blood results were positive for pregnancy…however my HCG was on the “low side”. As she said the number I merely nodded my head and thought “that sounds about right”. Because my number isn’t just on the low side. It’s shockingly low. I had braced myself for a lower number as I had always done betas on 15dpo in the past and this one was taken on 13dpo. But my number…I almost laughed at it. Because my HCG? It is only at 18.

My first pregnancy was a little low at 15dpo at 65. In order to match that number my HCG will have to quadruple. My second pregnancy was 233 at 15dpo. To match that number my number would have to multiply by 13. Mind you both these pregnancies failed. So I’m thinking my 18 isn’t looking to good.

My expectations are low. I am willing to bet that I go in tomorrow for my next beta, the number does go up, but does not double. From there we will pray it is not ectopic. Truthfully if it is going to end I’d rather it end now. I’d rather see declining numbers tomorrow rather than have this drag out painfully.

.My number 4. 4th pregnancy and it is looking like my 4th loss. I know some people would give their right hand to be as “fertile” as me. We have gotten pregnant almost every month we have tried this year. But truthfully right now it feels like a curse. To get a brief glimpse of what could be and then to have it taken away over and over again.

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Filed under Betas, Depression, First Trimester, Just my luck, Miscarriage, PCOS, Pregnancy, RPL