Friday, March 2, 2012

When the future is now...

Mason is growing up so fast. He's mobile now. Not quite walking yet, but he's a champion crawler. He is the light of my life. I can't even believe I had a life before him.

In the past few months since I last posted I was diagnosed with PCOS told I'd lost a fallopian tube to my postpartum infection and lost another baby. A friend of mine that I would consider a sister lost her baby at almost 9 weeks and that really put my loss into prospective. We didn't even know we were pregnant until it was over. It hurt, but it could have been much worse. It was strange. My heart grieved for her loss and barely recognized mine. I guess another early loss is far more tangible in the scheme of things. Two years ago I'd be a inconsolable mess, but life has changed. The Earth moved on and so did I.

I guess my biggest news is that we are starting treatments again. My doctor believes that my endometriosis is getting worse very quickly so it was suggested that we start trying again now if we are thinking about having another baby. Realistically I would like to wait another year or so, but plans change and I've learned to roll with the punches.

It's slowly becoming real to me. The meds are ordered and my insurance company just approved them. So within the next few weeks I commence my status as a human science project.

Looks like I'll be posting more often now. Lucky you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You never stop being infertile

So the past year has been a whirlwind. I'll give you a brief update. Finally got pregnant, found out we were having a boy, found out I was having a kidney stone, multiple hospitalizations for kidney stone and preterm labor (scary stuff), gave birth at 39w 1d, almost hemorrhaged to death, OB saved me, I got a uterine infection, brought home baby boy, and lived happily ever after. Well except the last part isn't completely correct. See you think that the cure for infertility is having a baby.... well it's not. I love my son beyond belief. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I enjoy every moment I get to spend with him. See the problem is every beautiful smile, tiny giggle, poopy diaper makes me happy, yet sad.

What the fertiles of the world don't understand is that if they decide down the road that they miss those 2am feedings, or those ridiculously cute little toes they only have to have sex a few times and BAM they can enjoy it all over again. They can do this again and again until they decided they are tired of being spit up on and tired of not sleeping for more than 2 consecutive hours.

What having a baby didn't do was fix my infertility. I still don't have reproductive freedom. I can't say to my wonderful husband hey do you feel like not sleeping for another three months in say about 9 months? You do? Okay let's go make a baby!! For we infertiles it doesn't happen that way. Perhaps there is the honeymoon phase where you think well maybe having a baby fixed whatever was wrong with me. Maybe we'll have a pleasant little "oops" like the majority of the population. I mean after all everyone knows someone who knows someone who adopted/had a baby through assisted reproduction that got pregnant naturally right? We it's like six degrees of separation. We all must know the same people because this only happens in 5%-7% of the population. The rest of us are doomed to re-enter purgatory for our next babies as well.

I'll admit it is hard to be sad about my infertility with my son around, but when I sit here watching him sleeping I remember what it was like when he was born, 2 months old, 3 months old, etc... and think will I ever experience this again? Let alone will my son have to grow up all alone? Before anyone jumps down my throat about the whole "only child" experience I will say I was an only child and I hated ever moment of it. I longed for a little brother to constantly bother me or an older sister who tattled on me. Even now as an adult I wish I had a sibling to share things with and to sit back and talk about how crazy our parents are or to even have someone share our parents end of life decisions with. Sure as an only child you get more "stuff", but how can you measure "stuff" on an emotional scale. I had tons of "stuff" growing up, but you can't play board games by yourself, hide and seek is no fun with just one, and there is nothing worse than sitting in a room full of toys alone wishing there was someone there to play with. Even now as an adult I watch my husband' sisters together and I am jealous. I want that. I want that for my son.

I read an article the other day that said that women suffering from infertility suffer from the same rate of depression as women who had cancer or fatal heart disease. That statistic isn't entirely uplifting. So today I am feeling particularly sad. It's been 7 years since my Granddaddy died and a year since I found out I was pregnant. 9 months may sure seem like a long time, but believe me it went by too fast. Despite everything I went through I miss being pregnant. I miss it terribly and lament what I must do to be pregnant again. In the end I know I will do it again. I'll get my box of meds in the mail, I'll go to the fertility specialists office, I'll repeatedly poke myself with needles, feel awful, and I'll pray we get lucky again. I'll do it again only because when I look at my beautiful sleeping child I can't imagine my life without another one.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pregnancy after infertility...

After 4 years and putting my reproductive system through WWIII my uterus finally surrendered and conceived. OMG YAY!!!! Right? Wrong... They forget to mention after years of infertility and seeing negative home pregnancy test after negative home pregnancy test how I am supposed to feel when it finally happens. Am I happy? Yes! Am I scared? Yes! Am I petrified? Hell Yes!

I believe that most hardcore infertiles are informed infertiles. We knew what we were getting into when we started this: nightly shots, fun suppositories, blood work and that wonderful wand-like probe to explore our nether regions... We all dreamed of the day when we would finally get the good news YOU'RE PREGNANT. Notice I said dreamed because for some of us we never believed it would happen. Not that we didn't hope like hell it would, but after all we've been through how could it possibly work? So when it finally does we just wait for the other shoe to drop. So it feels like every day is a hurdle. Nothing is normal about an infertile's pregnancy from day one. We don't even get to think of cutesy ways to tell our significant other because THEY KNOW when your beta is and THEY KNOW if you are going to use a home pregnancy test. Some *might* be able to surprise their hubbies if they go to work before you wake up to take a home pregnancy test, but not me... I had the perfect opportunity, but I was too impatient to wait to see if the test was actually positive. It darn well looked negative to me. DH found it hours later barely positive, but it was there. So in this case he knew before me. Isn't that just ironic? Here I am carrying this child and I have no idea I'm even pregnant. But I digress...

So the first hurdle is your first beta which tell you pretty much nothing other than the fact that you are pregnant. The second beta is what you really are looking for. So here you are freaking out wondering if the number doubled in the allotted amount of time. The number comes back and phew! Another hurdle down! Then comes the first ultrasound. My doctor is a bit anal about it and wants one at 5 weeks instead of the normal 6 weeks. I'm totally okay with that. I needed a little reaffirmation that I was pregnant. Got to see the sac... another hurdle down. The next hurdle I am still working on... the heartbeat! It's not game on until you get to see that tiny flicker of light. Once you see the heartbeat over 100 your chances for miscarriage go down to about 10%... wahooo! Another hurdle! Then it's making it to your 13th week of pregnancy or your second trimester. Once you make it out of the first trimester your chances for miscarriage drop even more. Keep us readers we are doing marathon hurdles not a sprint! There's another whole trimester to make it to without any gross chromosomal abnormalities and for us IVFers the increased risk for preterm labor.... So you can see why the next 8 months for me is terrifying.

I think we informed infertiles would give anything to have a completely stress free pregnancy. Ignorance of the dangers is bliss. Infertility is almost like surviving a war. It never leaves you even in times of peace and prosperity. It's always there lurking in the back of your mind. You can quite relate to those who haven't been through it. You can't join in on the pregnancy gripe sessions because this is something you wanted worse than anything and it almost seems sacrilegious to complain about horrible morning sickness. Then after the baby is born it's hard to join in the conversation of "Oh when will you start trying for another one?" 18 months, 2 years, oh... yeah When the magical fairies come and leave us $10,000? Some women will conceive naturally after an IVF childbirth. Generally it's those who have unexplained infertility, but they are few and far between. So either you go through another IVF or your first child becomes an only child (unless you adopt, but if you have that kind of money most people will opt to try IVF again because "it worked once").

So I'm done ranting... think it the hormones. 3 days until we jump another hurdle and 241 days until the marathon is over (hopefully).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Men are from Mars and Women are from....

some other solar system. The way we deal with emotions is so incredibly different I sometimes wonder how we can even be the same species. Nothing has made me realize this more so than our struggle with infertility. Females have a biological urge to reproduce and rear children. Men have the biological urge... well to spread their seed. They were not biologically programmed for child rearing, and although some do an exceptional job, it is not their biological clocks ticking away.

Last night, however, changed my opinion. I was feeling particularly emotional. Could be from a host of different things, but it is probably a combination of the hormones I am on and the unusually large number of pregnant women I know right now. I read a status message of a friend of mine's on facebook and was soo happy for her, but so sad for myself. I told my husband how I was feeling and he really didn't have anything to say. I mean what can you say? But I needed him to say something... anything.

The same old "you don't know how this feels" fight started, but for once I saw a glimpse of someone that perhaps isn't so different from me. He finally opened up to me. He said he tries to be the strong one, the positive one, but it's not how he feels. He said he feels hopeless and helpless. He says it kills him to see me so depressed that I don't want to get out of bed in the morning. He hates that no one understands what we are going through. He hates it even more when they pretend to. He hates their perfect happy ignorant lives. He hates that he can't remember what our lives were like before infertility. He hates that he is jealous of his sister for having our niece. He hates that we keep throwing money at "it" because the doctor says here try this one more thing, but we can't stop because stopping is giving up hope. He hates how it constantly feels like someone is dying. Like this infertility is cancer, but instead of killing us physically it is killing us emotionally and eating away at us until we are nothing but empty shells of people. He hates getting up in the morning and pretending everything is okay to everyone around him when he'd rather just not do anything.

I have wanted to hear that he felt something and now that I know how he feels I don't know what to say. I've been so caught up in my own grief and pain that I don't know how to comfort someone else. I feel like a cracked piece of glass just waiting to break into a million pieces under the slightest pressure. I just keep telling myself you don't have time to break down because when and if you do you'll be in the hospital for quite some time and there is no way you can afford to take that much time away from your life. You have appointments with doctors, and you do have to work.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a normal life. To come home to a house that isn't empty, to trip over toys in the floor, to hear a baby coo in their sleep in the middle of the night, to not feel so empty.

Hope is waning. We have our frozen embryo transfer on Monday, and one more IVF left. After that we can't afford to do anything else. We're flat broke and for all intents and purposes I am jobless. I am only per diem and physically/emotionally I can not work that job more than 3 days a week. I went from having a stellar work record to being afraid I'll never get another job because of the time I missed. I feel like I can not breathe, but at least I'm not alone.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hello and Welcome to My Blog!

My name is Olivia. I am 28 years old and have been married to the love of my life, Gary, for 3 and a half years. We've been together for 10 years this coming July and have been trying on and off for a baby for almost 4 years. We got pregnant in May of 2004, but lost our little one that June. We thought that since I had already gotten pregnant that it would be easy for us. Unfortunately nothing is easy for us. We've been through 5 cycles of clomid, 1 cycle of femara, 4 IUIs (intrauterine insemination aka artificial insemination), and 1 failed IVF. We are currently struggling to afford our next IVF because our insurance company doesn't cover any of it.

I intend this blog to be a place where I can be completely honest about what I am going through and hopefully our journey will be able to help someone else in the same situation. Infertility isn't easy, it isn't fun, but it is survivable.

I've been blogging on my livejournal account on and off for quite sometime, but I felt it was too isolated. I may once in a while repost something from there as I look back over our journey. Feel free to comment or ask questions. I'm a very open person and not at all shy about what I've gone through to try to become a mother.