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I had my first 10 unit dose of Lupron last night in preparation for our upcoming FET.  Problem is, I was supposed to have taken my first dose the night BEFORE.  So, naturally, I panicked.  Then realized it was out of my hands and, after all, I only missed one day so what is the harm?  I mean really now.  Yet, I still feel like a ding-dong for the mistake.

In my aim to shift focusing so hard off these cycles to retain a sense of normalcy, maybe I let the pendulum swing a bit too far?  I mean, I am full steam ahead on work, classes AND the Couch to 5K.  I have to admit it’s been wonderful being so busy.  It has done wonders in helping me focus on the future and not have it always be about babies, babies, babies.  Now it’s shin splints, homework, looking for a better job and naps when I can get ’em.  I love me some naps.

So, anyway…I got the shot done and damn-it if I don’t ALREADY feel a migraine coming on!  Oh Lupron…suck it.  I’m giving this cycle over to the forces of nature.

I feel amazing since we started training.  Four weeks ago Chris and I couldn’t get through 30 second runs without wheezing.  Now we can sail through 5 minutes at a clip!  We are eating AMAZINGLY well (I might give birth to spinach if not a baby soon), and we feel so good.  So much better than before.  So, I know I’m doing what’s right for me and my body.

It’s your ball Mother Nature.

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Yeah, I’ve been hiding. There is really no other way to put it.  Sorry about that.  I really need to post here as I tend to turn inward during times like this and it’s better I get it out and share it, rather than hold it all in.

Our second FET did happen on February 10th, as planned. They put 4 totsicles in. One of which was a perfect 8 cell, the other three not so hot. (I think it was one 6 cell and two 4/5 cells). Either way, they had lost cells in the defrost and it didn’t really hurt to just pop ’em in there anyway.  They were probably not going to survive.

I feel nothing different from the last FET. Actually this one is a bit physically easier thanks to the Endometrin suppositories I have to take 3x a day. This has been a welcome change from the PIO shots, that’s for sure. The only thing I feel is tired.  This happened last time and is a side effect of the Progesterone.  Tired and emotional.  The “Weepie/Sleepies” as I like to refer to them.  That Progesterone is such a bitch in how it mirrors pregnancy symptoms.  It’s so, so frustrating.  Other than all the side effects, I feel nothing except that this second FET did not work.  This basically means we need to revisit IVF again and start this long process alllllll over.

On another note: I just found out one of my dear friends gave birth today.  What a strange mixture of joy and sadness I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I could feel.  One one side, I am thrilled for my dear friend.  She and her husband deserve every happiness and I couldn’t be more elated for this new journey they will be on together.   Her joy is my joy and this is truly and exciting day.  On the other hand, this event forces me to reprocess the idea that we may never really be able to have children of our own.  We are not at the place where adoption is an option, as so many goofy idealists like to offer up as some “cure-all”.  It’s just hard.  No way around it.

Events like this never fail to shine a bright, hot light on  that painful dark place.  No matter how hard I try to fight all these conflicting emotions, I always end up in tears as it snowballs into a frustrating pile of fishhooks that cannot be untethered from one another.

Anyway…beta is on 2/22.

De.cem.ber (dĭ-sěm’bər) n.   Abbr. Dec. : The 12th month of the year in the Gregorian calendar

December 2009:  An awful, horrible, no good month in which I was rejected from college, our FET was a failure, my Aunt passed away and, on Christmas Eve, my sweet husband’s mother lost her long battle with Alzheimer’s.  Each event exponentially worse than the one before.  By December 30th, Chris and I were looking at each other with baffled amazement that we hadn’t lost our minds.  Pain and suffering are relative.  There are always those who have it worse.  This is a given and it is not lost on your humble poster here.  But having acknowledged that, please allow me to say…that was probably the shittiest month we have ever had.

There is lots of selfish guilt that is tied up in all the loss.  I felt a deep shame that we were unable to at least tell my MIL that we were pregnant.  That her son was going to be a father.  I really felt so at fault, more than ever before, for being so damaged by endo that I could not produce this simple thing for her before she left us.  This news.  This event.  The BFP.  The Baby.   It feels very selfish to have wanted to deliver that news. Who knows if she would have understood?  She was so far gone at the end.  Maybe it would have given us a modicum of comfort that we were able to give her this before she was gone.  Who knows?

It’s a dark place when you get deep into it and you start questioning all kinds of decisions you make.  It’s so easy to self flagellate when you struggle with infertility.  It seeps into every event, every aspect of daily life and alters your perspective on it.  No matter how you try and push it into a box and store it out of sight, it always sneaks out and is standing there when you turn around.  And there it was; in all the sadness, standing there at the end of December 2009.  Back again.

But…

It’s now a new year and thank goodness for that. Chris and his family are doing as well as can be expected.  There are moments, and will be moments, but if I have learned anything from my wonderful guy, it’s that life carries on.  You have to live your moments truthfully and honestly…the rest takes care of itself.

We have lived our lives around injections, pills, doctor appointments, transfer dates, luteal phases, periods…you name it.  In 2010, we are going to try and be better about letting that run things.  The goal is to carry on with our life.  Still trying, but not obsessing.  So, yeah “I will have that cup of coffee”.  Thanks.  “Oh wait, I have to be home for my Lupron shot…oh, bother…I’ll just pack it in a bag and take it with”.  We’re drinking wine, taking time and doing fine.

So, having said that…we are on track for our second FET on February 10th.  I finished my BCPs on Monday and am currently doing the 20cc Lupron shuffle.  We go in for bloodwork/ultrasound on the 22nd.

I have also finally started taking college classes!  Woot!!

It’s been a frustrating journey getting here…but here we are.  At the start of the new year.

Let’s recap: 7 months and 25 days ago, we started our first InVitro Fertilization cycle.  I hyperstimmed and we were unable to do the fresh transfer that cycle.  So we froze what we had and went on to do a frozen embryo transfer.  The first cycle, I ovulated.  The second cycle, I bled for a month due to a “confused uterus”.  The third time, we got to transfer and it ended with a BFN.  SO, now that we have been there and back again, I just wanted to look back at the madness of IVF and frozen embryo transfer for a moment.

Hormone pills and injections suck. Yeah, the Sub-q shots are not a big deal pain level wise, but after your stomach starts to turn black and blue and you find yourself craving cheeseburgers all the time, it starts to wear on you.  Also, let’s talk about how these synthetic hormones affect you emotionally, shall we?  They make you crazy.  Or they just take you to the precipice of crazy.  Just close enough to have a grip on where you are, awareness of how you feel, yet unable to get a handle on the level.  It’s maddening at times.

Blood-work. If something isn’t getting injected into you, it’s getting sucked out of you.  I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop with our blood draws.  Like we will get the call that my levels have gone off the charts and we will need to stop this cycle so I can go in for some strange battery of tests or something.  It sucked getting the call that I had ovulated halfway through our second try at transfer. You get so close sometimes and it just gets yanked away again.

Taking time off work. This one is a doozie.  Granted, I have been lucky as my employer is super flexible, but I am wondering how many cycles that good grace is going to last.  Early morning blood draws make me late and the transfer date is at least 3-6 days off.  With each failed cycle, I feel the pressure of all this.  Let’s also remember that it’s tough enough when your hopped up on hormones to stay sane in your private life.  Add a gaggle of work drones who have the sense of a spider monkey on top of that and it’s the patience Olympics.  I will confess I have been in tears more than once at my desk.

Cost. The choice between $500 Progesterone suppositories or Progesterone in Oil for injection (which is covered by insurance) was pretty clear.  Unfortunately, the PIO shots started to be a pain in the ass.  I mean that literally.  It started to hurt just to sit.  I had sharp pains in by my hip muscles whenever I stood up quickly or got out of bed.  It was bizarre, really sharp and painful!  I couldn’t have imagined doing that everyday for more than 3 weeks.  I am ready to eat the five hundred bucks and wear maxi pads next time if we can.

I have to give my husband HUUUUGE credit when it came to the cost factor.  He was on the phone with our insurance company and our doctor’s office trying to get anything that wasn’t covered, covered.  He called around to online pharmacies that specialized in IVF meds and found the most reasonable prices he could.  IVF / FET ain’t cheap, ESPECIALLY in a non-mandate state, so having him do all that hard work was a lifesaver.

THINGS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR US:

Injections: Ice the area.  Do it.  Even for the Sub-q’s.  It makes it easier and less painful when you inject.  For the PIO injections, use a heating pad after the shot and apply pressure to the injection site while gently massaging the PIO into the muscle.  It alleviates the knots and bumps somewhat.

Taking all those pills: I broke down and got two of those “Days of the Week” pill cases from Walgreens.   It helps keep you organized when you are taking Estrace 2-3x a day along with a Prenatal and goodness knows what else.

Taking time off work: I always get Dr.’s notes, make copies and submit to HR.  Yes, I feel like I’m back in school, but it’s worth the peace of mind in case anyone want’s to give me shit about where I was or why I was late.  Having said that, my work has been great about all this.  It helps that our CEO and his wife went through IVF.  Granted they were lucky and conceived with that cycle.  It’s obviously been a little tougher for us.

Taking mental health time & telling people about IVF/FET: It is absolutely ESSENTIAL that you treat yourself well during these cycles.  Be it IVF or FET.  IVF takes such a huge toll on your body, it’s no joke.  Looking back, I am glad that I napped when I was tired.  I don’t regret that mushroom and swiss burger, it was GREAT. That deep tissue massage didn’t suck, either.  Cook yourself a nice meal.  Draw a hot bath.  Meditate. Whatever works.

I screamed.  I cried.  I threw things.  It happens when you are a walking sack of hormones.  Just try to embrace it and control what you can.  Cry it out but talk it out.  Don’t hold it in. I am thankful each and every day that my partner in this crazy journey is the man that he is.  He has been an amazing co-pilot.  Always understanding and always ready with a hug and a kiss to make it better.  (Olive juice, babe.)

This goes for family and friends.  There is debate over the who to tell, when to tell, what to tell debacle.  Think it through and do what works for you.  We told our family every step of the way what was going on.  It gave us a support system. I told people at work.  It’s who we are.  Yes, it sucked when you get a BFN and have to tell everyone that, too.  But it also allows people to have data so they know what’s going on if maybe you glaze over with their story about how their 2 year old isn’t using the potty or something.  And yes, even if they know what you are dealing with, they will still pummel you with stories about their kids.   Lots of people just don’t get it.  Period.  Like I said, do what works for you.

Reading blogs, infertility sites and message boards: This is part of the mental health, but be careful.  You can go on obsessive overload.  I totally did.  ESPECIALLY in the two week wait.  There are tons of women, well spoken and very funny women, who have documented their struggle with infertility.  Go and read them.  Even if they were successful and are now blogging about pregnancy…GO back and read their history!  There is much to be learned from the struggles of others.  I am so, so, so grateful to all of them for sharing.  It made my own struggle a little easier.  It’s a part of why I keep this blog public today. Cyclesista has an updated blogroll and I have links in my sidebar but you can also get on the google train.

Facebook: There is a “hide” feature for status updates from over sharing Mommies and Daddies.  Use it.

Cyclesista

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