Thursday, September 29, 2011


My homework assignment...

1. When will you stop?

When Dr. D and possibly a second opinion suggest we do so.  I don't want ovarian cancer any more than I want to live child-free.  I know people think we're crazy, or even worse, when they tell us, "Maybe it's God telling you to adopt." My reply, "God bless you, but **** off."  (OK, so only in my head...)  It's not about you or what you think you know. Right now, I'm as young and healthy as I'm going to be for the rest of my life. Let's take advantage of it.  Dr. D thinks it's totally possible for us to have our own baby and we're trying lots of new stuff.  So my final answer to this is...Why give up?

2.  What if you never get pregnant?
Remain continent and not have to wear funny looking pants? I guess that's when we look more seriously into adoption.  Sure I'll be extremely sad to never have that experience.  Everything from hearing a heartbeat for the first time, feeling the baby kick, and actually having something big enough to see on an ultrasound will be a hard experience for me to lose.  There's a ton of stupid little things, too.  For instance, friends throwing a baby shower for you which is a kinda selfish thing to want to experience, but still, it's part of the experience. I want to be able to laugh at how nervous BJ was on the way to the hospital.  I want to see if he really will pass out. If a pregnancy doesn't happen, I'll hurt, but I know I'll survive. I seem to manage these situations somehow, some way, and occasionally with a little help.  It's not going to be an easy thing to accept by any means, but in then end...I want to be someone's mother.  If it is meant to be for me to adopt, then it is meant to be.  God, BJ and I will come to that decision together.

3.  What if you never have children?
I will have a huge void in my life.  I'll have to find a way to fill it.  It's still too hard for me to think about not fulfilling this dream.  I guess we could travel, but it just doesn't thrill me like the idea of being a parent.  I must say I'm still really lost on this one because I've not thought about actually living a "child free" life.  I can't imagine a world where BJ will never get to be a father.  I can't look at our little Emma Grace and not think about a toddler tugging her ears and tail, and Emma Grace just loving it. (No attention is bad attention for E.G.) It's a ways off before we have to make this decision. So I'm not going to spend time spinning my wheels because you just never know.

What have I learned from this?

I don't feel hopeless anymore.
I am stronger than I give myself credit for.
I am not near as scared as I thought I was.
I have an amazing family already.  Surely, there is a little soul that would like to join our chaos.
You get a discount on the 2nd round of IVF at my clinic.
Bromocriptine can make you dizzy, but not dizzy enough to make me want to carpool at 6:30am.
BJ can now swallow really big pills.
Men CAN get baby fever (lotsa love to Reese and Teigan).
Dogs can take the same fish oil pills that their adoptive parents take.  (The family that takes vitamins together...)


So this is my normal now.  I'm back to getting regular emails and phone calls from the fertility clinic.  The last one being focused on trying to figure out when I can start Lupron.  It went like this...

Nurse:  What day of your cycle did you ovulate this month?
MK:  21st
Nurse:  Hmm.  We will probably start your Lupron early, then.
MK:  This may be a stupid question. Now that I know enough to be dangerous, will the follicle (cyst on my ovary that normally would release an egg) that was developing dissipate when I start Lupron?
Nurse:  No, probably not. We may have to drain it.  We do it all the time.  It's a simple procedure that doesn't require anesthesia.
MK:  Of course it doesn't.
Nurse: [Laughing].  Well, what's one more needle at this point?

Ah, the thrill of fertility treatments...

Peace, Love, and Balls that are Rolling,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I am infertile, hear me roar!

[That was my roar...It's my favorite word, after all (Sorry Mom, but it is...).]

Yes, it's a fact.  BJ and I have unexplained infertility.

Wait a minute!  You said you had endometriosis and BJ had mighty morphan sperm...or whatever...

True and true, but neither of them are significant enough to explain the problems we had with our embryos. Any-some-how, it's where we are.  It's what I am...unexplained...although lots of people would probably have said that about me before Dr. D did.

I got some more blood drawn, because I had some free time on my hands, and I hadn't been to the fertility clinic in almost a week... I'm kidding, but I did have a thyroid panel run for fun and giggles...and possibilities.  It's past all it's previous tests, and I would suspect it would still be fine, but you just never know.

I also started acupuncture again, because I'm addicted to needles. So I have a new acupuncturist with a new philosophy and a travel schedule that is less demanding.  I already feel better because he's just as much of a philosopher as he is a healer.  He asked some hard questions.  "When are you going to stop?"  "What if you never get pregnant?" "What if you never have children?"

I can't answer a single one of those questions because I'm scared shitless.  That was my 'aha' moment. Sure I'm sad that it didn't work, but I can try again.  I'm scared to pieces of it not working, of not having children, yadda, yadda...What I realized, today, though, is that I'm completely consumed by fear.  When you are buying organic, $1.05 a serving yogurt at the grocery store and have a mini-meltdown because you think of all the crack-addicts that get pregnant, you realize that this stuff is starting to get to you.

So my project for the next little while is to accept my fear and start enjoying my life again.  I'm doing all these things to have a baby, but really I need to do it for myself and let the baby come when and how it's going to.  I can't just talk the talk and go through the motions, I have to do these things with the right frame of mind.  Instead of being angry at my body for it's failures, I need to accept it for where it is.  We've gone through a lot together...and all-in-all, it's held up pretty well.  I bounced back from ACL reconstruction on either knee, I was running and exercising less than a week after my laparoscopy...I've been pretty darn healthy.  So it's just this one thing that I've not been able to do on my schedule.  I have got to forgive myself of that and remember that I'm making these changes for me and that is enough.  The rest of the time I need to live. Not just countdown the days until my next IVF cycle.

So, SHIT, this sucks, but I'm not going to sit here and let infertility steal any more of the good things happening in my life.  Infertility is a thief and will take anything it can.  Your marriage, your happiness, your ability to be happy for other people, whatever you let it have it's gonna take.  Well, shit!  I'm going to take it back.

Peace, Love and Merde, (SORRY MOM...again)


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Getting back on the horse...

So today I filled my first prescription for the next cycle.  I can't help but be a little bit excited.  Partly, it's the first prescription to help with conception that I've gotten since I started this process that actually only cost me $5.00 with my insurance. It's the little things...

Tomorrow, I take my first dose of bromocriptine which is usually used to treat Parkinson's disease and hyperprolactinemia. Neither of which I have.  As with most fertility drugs, along come bizarre side effects.  With bromocriptine, it's simply dizziness and fainting.  In fact, I quote the paperwork the drug comes with, "You should immediately lay down after taking the first dose of this medication."  Sounds like fun...BRING IT ON!

So, while I am taking bromocriptine, this is still pretty much a resting cycle.  BJ and I are free to "try naturally".  BJ is happy as making love with a specimen cup is still not his preference.  Me?  I'm on board...crazier things have happened!  As painful as failed fertility treatment cycles are, the pain is dulled by focusing on the hope of another chance.  I guess it's similar to childbirth.  Your pain subsides and you go for it again.

Anyway, even though I'm "resting", it's still a pretty complicated day of supplements/medications.  I wake up and take a spoonful of royal jelly on an empty stomach.  I get ready for work.  On my way to work I drink a bottle of water with my co-enzyme Q10 supplement and Juice+.  I make oatmeal with flax seed at work to make sure the royal jelly has plenty of time to absorb before I have food in my stomach.  I take the L-Carnitine with my oatmeal.  About an hour and half to two hours later I take my prenatal vitamin with a bottle of water because it's supposed to be taken between meals.  I take my second dose of L-Carnitine and Juice+ with dinner. A few hours later, at bedtime, I will take another spoonful of royal jelly and my bromocriptine. All of which is approved or prescribed by Dr. D.

Let's not forget yoga, acupuncture, Mayan abdominal massages, regular exercise, counseling, and support group meetings.  So yeah, I'm "resting"...fertility is the furthest thing from my mind. [I crack myself up.]  Oh, and I still work full time.  (Yes, boss, I really do!)

So, yeah, I'm back in the saddle of the crazy infertility horse. I feel comfortable here, though.  Maybe not uber-confident, but I don't need to be because Dr. D is.  I am feeling good enough, and this tells me we've made the right decision for us.

Peace, Love, and a little Craziness,

~Pround to be here on Patriot's Day.~

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"And here we are again."

This is what Dr. Donesky opened our follow-up/debriefing/give me hope/whatever else you want to call it appointment after shaking our hands. 

*SIGH* Yes, here we are again.

It has been a long, terrible, and painful week.  This is the first day I've made it until 6:49 pm Eastern Time without breaking into tears.  [Pats self on back.]  You go into an IVF cycle full of hope.  You know things are going to work...Hell, it does work for 65% of couples.  Besides, would you really pay your child's first full year of college tuition if you thought, 'oh, there's probably no chance.' No, that would be absurd.  So you're so excited for your future, for your possible children, for your family.  You think this is going to be a cake-walk and then...

NOTHING. Notta, zip.  Not even a frozen embryo to try in a few weeks.

I still can't adequately describe the pain I've been in for the past 11 days. There is the physical pain, which I had a good 48 hours of excruciating cramping.  At one point I couldn't even sit up to take medicine because I was doubled over, and I couldn't bare to straighten.  Then, there is the emotional pain. I've been blessed enough to never have had a boy break my heart. [Translation:  I was an ice queen (ok, bitch) who never let a boy get in close enough for me to be attached enough to break my heart...until I met BJ :)] Well, I think I've caught up and surpassed that kind of broken heart.  Mine was/is shattered.  Everyday I seem to find a piece in something.  I totally thought I would have spent the last week staring at myself in the mirror thinking 'Gee, I'm pregnant.'  Instead it's been spent trying to accept the reality that I may never get to be pregnant.

As if it wasn't bad enough that the cycle failed, the problem we have with our ailing embryos is devastating news.  As Dr. Donesky says, "It's not what you want to see."  So, since the transfer, I've had to try to deal with the fact that this may not work, EVER.  I can't tell you what it's like to think that you may not be able to create a little being with your soul mate that has my eyes and his hair (or, hopefully, vice versa).  To not get a chance to see all the great things about BJ and myself made into a precious little being...  To not get a chance to roll my eyes at all the traits and qualities that we didn't really want to pass on...  This has been a huge blow, and no one can really tell you anything you want to hear because all you want to hear is "You're pregnant."

I've quit crying on my way to work as of yesterday, but after sitting through a student support meeting about getting homebound services arranged for one my pregnant students, and then listening to her complain about how awful she feels, how she wishes she could go back in time, blah, blah, blah...I lost it.  Ruined my record of the day before which was 11:30 am before I started crying.  Instead of keeping track of HCG levels, I've resorted to how many hours I can go between tears.  I've had to grieve, because I've had significant lost, but at what point do you say enough?

I don't know if I've been that harsh with myself, but I did come to the conclusion, that I can parent.  Whether it be a successful IVF cycle, using donor eggs, using donor embyros, or adopting, I still have plenty of opportunity to have a child.  I HAVE time, I have opportunity, and I have my beautiful husband.  Oh, and I've still got the best RE going, in my opinion, not to mention family and friends. 

So, today, we met again with Dr. D.  He opened with the above statement, and then we got down to business.  He said over and over, it just takes one embryo, and that we have it.  He's changing my protocol completely.  We're going to do a bromocriptine-rebound along with a long-lupron protocol.  He told me to keep taking a new supplement I started called coenzyme Q10 which is an antioxidant.  I'm back on the gluten free train.  BJ and I are both going to start a new supplement called Juice+ which is like eating 17 fruits and vegetables in a day, which, I'll be honest, I don't do, nor anywhere close.  Basically, we are trying to increase cell stabilization by reducing free radicals in our systems. 

I start taking Parlodel on Monday, which is the bromocriptine.  The idea being that it will supress my pituitary from making any prolactin (hormone you produce in large quanities while breast-feeding).  Then I'll stop taking it a few days before I take the stimulation medication, and my prolactin levels will increase to higher than they were before (hence, the rebound). Scientists know prolactin is in the fallopian tubes.  They don't know what it's doing there, but they know it has some affect on the embryos.  There have been a few studies that show improvement in overall embryo quality in patients who have had poor embryo performance in previous cycles i.e. ME. 

The long-lupron protocol will shut my pituitary down more than the birth control pills did.  In fact, I won't be taking birth control at all this time.  It does mean more shots, but this honey badger don't care. I'll start lupron shots some time toward the late middle part of my next menstrual cycle, which considering this is the first unmedicated cycle I've had in 6 months...should be exciting.

Actually it is exciting.  It's another chance for that one embryo which is all we need.  I believe BJ, Dr. D., Susan, and I can do it. We will do it.  Am I a little more fearful? Yes, but who wouldn't be?  Am I ready?  Definitely, you can't accomplish anything if you never make an attempt.  So here I am, AGAIN, holding BJ's hand, and ready to take down this beast which is infertility.

"Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow'."
~Mary Anne Radmacher

Peace, Love, and a Little Courage,

Monday, September 5, 2011

Falling Slowly

Have you ever had a song on your iPod for forever and then something in your life happens and all the sudden the song strikes a whole new chord? So yeah, that happened...

Ladies and Gentlemen, Glen Hansards's song from the Motion Picture, Once: 

Falling Slowly
I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react
And games that never amount
To more than they're meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You'll make it now

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice

You've made it now
Falling slowly sing your melody
I'll sing it loud

I also want to say thank you for the continued prayers and well wishes.  I'm a pretty lucky lady to have so many wonderful friends and family members sticking by my side through what has easily been the most difficult and painful experience of my life.  

To BJ,
I have no words to express how grateful I am that I have you in my life everyday.  You are my hero, and I could never have survived this without you.  I am so proud that I get to call you my husband.  You are truly an amazing person.  I love you so much and I want you to know that I still believe.

That is all,