Riding the Infertility Crazy Train

how I'm muddling through infertility, loss, and perimenopause

Dang You Aunt Flo!!!!!!!

Aunt Flo –

You SUCK!  I can feel your evil presence hovering all around me, and you’re so stinking hateful you won’t just knock on the door.  I’m sure you’re going to wait until after the results of my beta tomorrow to pounce!  That’s just typical of you.  For ten years now you have been pulling the same stunt.  I wait until I am a few days late to take the good old HPT which of course is negative and within hours you and your flaming red self show up!  Heck, there were times I took the test just so you would show up and I could get on with my month.  You’re so predictable.

Two years ago you really screwed with my head tho.  After IUI #2, I waited the correct time and took five, FIVE, HPT’s that were all positive, number 6 was negative then three days after that I my Beta showed I was already losing my lil sprout, and BAM! three hours later you show up.  What exactly is wrong with you?  I’ve tried to be nice about your stupid little visits, but I’m getting way too old and too near the complete end of your visiting to deal with these surprise visits.  STAY AWAY ALREADY!!!!!

If you want to visit, the least you could do is wait about nine months.  Seriously!

TTFN you crazy hateful hag!

Izzy

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Fading Hope….

You know that point in your cycle when you start to feel “normal” and that “normal” completely freaks you out because your normal is the LAST thing you want yet again?  Who wants to feel normal?  Honestly, we want to feel pregnant, with child, in the family way, the bun in the oven NOT NORMAL!!!  Normal is an extended four letter word!!!

Well, I started to feel that on Sunday and it has increased with every hour of every day since.  My normal PMS consists of crying continually at nothing, shooting pains in the netherworld, and extreme exhaustion.  I would include swelling in that list, but thanks to all the hormones, I popped out of my jeans a week into injections, and my bra two days after the transfer.  In my freak out of the norm, I confided in a cousin and a sister-in-law.  Not terribly surprised that they both said that’s exactly how they felt while prego.  Great.  I wanted to argue that this is different because I can feel that damn Aunt Flo is lurking around the corner, but I was too tired to argue.  I appreciate the encouragement, but it’s not helping.  Those sweet encouraging words felt like an uplift for a huge downfall more than anything else.

Is it that freakish IF self-preservation telling me in that dark whisper “you’re not pregnant” or is it Mother Nature doing her thing and me being smart enough to know what she is saying?  Every time I have to hit the ladies room I start to panic anticipating what would signify the loss of my babies.  I find I’m pleading with God to let me babies grow and live in me with some naive notion that there’s still hope.

So many questions fill my head…  When is it too late for implantation?  What could I do to make AF stay away from me?  When did I lose my babies?  Why did I lose my babies?  Did my RE do enough?  Did I do enough?  Since I had 11 eggs, 8 fertilized, and 2 viable for transfer, is it worth another shot?  Another shot since I’m sure I’m not pregnant?  Where would we go for the cycle since my hubbs and I are living in two states 1500 miles apart?  And I’m terrified I’m going to have to make the call before my Thursday PT appointment.  The call to tell the nurse I’m bleeding and is there any reason for more blood work.  Ugh.  Ugh.  and triple Ugh.

TTFN – a pitiful and sad Izzy…

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Embracing The Two Week Wait…

Being no stranger to the dreaded …dun dun dunnnnn… 2ww, I have been anticipating this time for quite a while.  I expected this 2ww to be worse than any other since it is my first with an IVF cycle.  Maybe I thought it would be worse because so much more went in to this cycle.  More money, more emotion, more hormonal craziness, more needles, more time, more calendared efforts, more knowledge that I’m nearing the end of my biological time-clock time on the ride…

I, like the majority of IF’s, spend the 2ww busying myself with work, cleaning, exercise, reading (not googling!), chatting, visiting, texting, talking on the tele, checking the calendar every 45 minutes, and whatever I could come up with to keep my mind busy and not obsessing over the impending date a mere 14… 13… 12… 11…. days away.  No matter how I occupied my time, my nerves were on constant overload with the big MAYBE looming over head.

This wait is different.  The time frame is the same, but this time I’ve decided to embrace the wait!  I figure I can eithephoto (2)r be a complete frantic wreck on a wreck (my normal 2ww state of being), or frolic in the joy of what I know to be a truth.  Truth being that I have empirical proof of life which means there are two little living growing organisms inside of me.  Regardless of what happens in the next seven days or nine months right now they are here with me, and they are adored and wanted babies in my once vacant womb.  It’s actually quite simple and so very calming.  I talk to them (yes, that might borderline on loco) often throughout the day.  I keep my little prayer candles lit for them.  I have one of their pictures next to a beautiful bouquet of daisies from my hubbs.  When I look at his picture I smile a deep warm smile that certainly must originate in my soul.  I’m “eating for the boys” now.  Nothing Jessica Simpson crazy, but I generally don’t eat enough, so I’m making sure I eat 3 squares a day with plenty of protein and veggies.

Life is very peaceful, oddly peaceful time, and I’m so very thankful for this experience.  Not the IVF experience, but the chance to experience this joy in life.  I had a similar experience two years ago when had a pregnancy with an IUI.  I had home-tested and was pregnant for only a few days before I lost it.  Should these boys continue to grow and say hello in nine months, I will be thrilled to know the start of their life was nurturing and warm not frantic and anxiety ridden.  Should the Good Lord decide for those tiny souls to join Him and not say hello to me, well, then it will be nice to know what precious little time we had together in this 2 week wait I gave them love and every bit of my joy….

TTFN!

Izzy

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The Big Day – IVF

The Big Day was Saturday….

As it turned out, out of the eight embryos, we had two viable for transfer.  Now even though I have said all along that I realized all eight might not make it, I was a bit shocked to hear only two were good.  There was an IF euphoric belief dancing thru my head that there would be a plethora of embryos to freeze for a perimenopause rainy day…  But, dumb luck and good fortune being what it is, both lil blastocysts are male which is what we were hoping to have.

So, YEAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Now for the dreaded 2WW…….   Here’s to keeping peaceful sanity!

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My Whirlwind IVF Cycle

I had this great witty little ditty I was working on for my first sono/bw.  Seeing as how it was Valentine’s Day and my husband was out of town, it was easy to make the start of the cycle funny.  Boy oh boy did things take a turn from funny!

My Valentine’s sono showed two large cysts on the right side, so we may be screwed this cycle.  Did ever mention Peri-Menopause?!?!?!  Time is critical!  After work, I went home with a massive migraine which I’ve been accustomed to since childhood.  If I’m actually laid up, you can bet it is a doozy!  So my romantic dinner and chocolates consisted of Coco Crispies with skim milk.  (See, funny-ish!)  Sometime around 9:PM the doorbell rings and I get a dozen red roses that looked like they had been used to beat the neighborhood cats off the trashcan.  It’s totally the thought that counts, and we are currently residing in the South Texas ghetto, so I was thrilled with what I got and happy that my hubbs remembered!

Friday following Valentine’s Day I awoke feeling the dreaded migraine hangover but padded off to work like the good little worker bee I am.  Oh, and this was day one for Lupron injections.  By 2:30 I was out the door trying to get home before the stars and hurling started.  Barely made it, but made it I did!  I had plans to head to my folks after work, but that had to be cancelled for obvious reasons.

Saturday rolled around and UGH!  Still with the migraine.  (Lupron day 2; Gonal F & Menopure day 1) At this point I said to heck with taking only IF approved drugs, and I hit the Excedrin Migraine, Afrin, and Aleve Sinus with a vengeance.  By noon the spots and dizziness had subsided, and I had this urge, need if you will, to pack up me and my 16 year old Chihuahua/Rat Terrier and face the three road hours to Houston where my folks live.  I would have been happy to stay on the sofa, but that little voice in me literally screamed “GO!”  So, I went.

My sister and her husband came over and after dinner my mom says, “Well, now that dinner is over…”  To which I said “Oh $#!t…” as my sis and I looked toward my pop who is a two time cancer survivor (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Prostate).  Mom says it’s not dad (What the What?!) it’s her.  Hello uterine cancer, let’s fast track to surgery the next Friday.  Ugh.  Mom has a consultation Monday to receive PET scan results which should determine if there is more to it that uterine cancer.

Sunday I drive back to the South Texas ghetto.  Mom calls and her appointment is rescheduled to Tuesday due to a lab delay.  Tuesday is my second sono/bw.  Cysts are still there but haven’t grown and it looks like I have about five descent follicles.  Ok, five is better than none which is what I was half expecting.  Mom calls and three professionals at her consultation with MD Anderson asked if she had a heart attack.  Seriously?  So they sent her for a rigorous stress test before they would do the surgery.  Heart is good – to surgery we go!

Thursday after my hour drive to San Antonio for sono/bw I load back up and head back to Houston.  The four hour surgery turned into six hours due to how many lymph nodes had to be removed which was determined by the size of the tumor.  Yuck.  I stayed after the surgery until I got to see mom waking up.  So, I left MD Anderson at 8:PM, drove to the folks house, loaded my dog and my few belongings and headed west.  Got home about midnight…  Ugh.

Saturday, at my 7:30am sono/bw, I had the crummy news of, “Yay!  You have two good follies!”  Two?  Two?!  Two is not good in the odds bank EVER but with my new found state of Peri-CrapIt’sOver – two is even worse.  Ok, deep breath…  Mom is doing very well, and we at least have two…  And I had to give myself the trigger!  A double dose of trigger to hopefully release the eggs better/easier.  I sat on an ice bag from 11:45 till midnight when it was time to deliver.  I ROCKED IT!  Yeah, that huge needle in my bum was daunting, but I dang did it and I didn’t even yelp!  WooHoo!

Sunday the Hubbs flies in from Pittsburgh.  Did I mention that he’s been three weeks at a new job way the heck in Pittsburgh?  Probably just as well.  I really didn’t like him during the first IVF cycle.  I didn’t really like anyone actually, so it’s better my dog and I were alone in the house.  Trekking off to San Antonio we go at 6:30 Monday morning.  Since we live so far out my husband had to make his “deposit” at the facility.  Sorry hubbs, but you’re on your own this time buddy!  I was way too stressed already to go in that sterile little room in the hallway and lend a hand so to speak.

I get in my gown, and, yep, it all hit me at once…  The travel, the cancer, moms surgery, the two pitiful follies, the drugs, the fear, the despair, the everything, and I lost it.  Couldn’t stop crying while the poor sweet nurse was trying to start my i.v.  The anesthesiologist was so very kind and knocked me out as fast as he could.  Not sure if that was for my benefit, my hubbs, or his now that I think about it.

I thought I was dreaming when the nurse said 11 eggs were easily retrieved.  11?  From me?  Saturday I had two with some smaller ones they didn’t really count or think would make.  11?  11!!!!  Holy Smacks!!!  So, Tuesday I am of course dreading the call – “Sorry, Mrs Carter, but like before none fertilized.”  But I did not get that call.  I got the call that said I had EIGHT little sprouts from my 11 eggs.  It’s all so surreal even today.  Now I do realize that I might not end up with any to transfer and it’s all still very fragile, but right now there are eight little sprouts from me and my hubbs.  Something I feared never possible.

So, you can see why I haven’t posted anything till now regarding my cycle.   It has been a huge whirlwind so far.  Let’s pray it’s not over!

TTFN!

Izzy

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The Mom Factor

I don’t feel like I’ve slighted myself any by staying away from the big “G”.  I’m doing just fine not searching myself off the crazy train and into the looney bin!  And besides, there’s no reason for me to hunt up cures, statistics, and hope when I have the mom factor!   Oh yes, mom is on the hunt!  Vitamins, and Minerals, and Diets, Oh My! (Said like Dorothy in Oz.)

I thought doing  the searching was exhausting until mom got on the hunt.  The woman should have a degree in research analysis.   She’s a stinking machine!  Maybe she is just crazy smarter than me, or maybe my IF brain went into mid-hyperspace shutdown two years ago, but she will find multiple sources of the same basic data, compare and contrast, discover the most reliable sources, put the not so reputable sources on the back burner bucket, spit out the whose, whys, and hows of what I should try.  After numerous novel length text messages and hour-long phone conversations that all left my head spinning, I had to tell her to go buy what she thinks I need and I will take it!

It was too much!  I could take no more!  I’m sadly past the point of believing in a magic bullet to get that BFP we all are longing to see.  Being the good daughter and ever hopeful mom-to-be, I’m taking my vitamins and eating the get knocked up food.

I’m jaded and tired, but I’m still hanging on to a few ounces of hope!

TTFN!

Izzy

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This Little Light of Mine

20130131_190925I am an avid amateur candle maker. In fact,  it’s my thing. I love candles!  I love simple candles and dramatic candles. They’re peaceful and radiate a solace.  It’s somewhat spiritual and medatative.  My candles are a-freakin-mazing!  I guarantee they are more aromatic than the best you can buy.   In fact, people have come to expect them as gifts and favors for any and all occasions.  It’s flattering actually.

But tooting my own horn is not the topic to this post…

This Little Light of Mine regards the snowflake candles I’ve been making just for me, myself, and my empty little womb.  I call them snowflake candles not for the starburst pattern of the wax, but for the unique perfection in every single individual snowflake.  It’s how I think of my baby.

In this infertile world, I find that I am more sentimental than pre-IF.  Jaded in certain aspects,  but so very tender and sentimental in others.  I make my snowflake candles with love, and burn them in reverence, hope, and longing for my unborn perfect little snowflake.   (Ok, yes, I know my unborn child is un-conceived as of yet! Details!)

In a nutshell, they make me happy. Happy to make. Happy to light. Happy to watch flicker and dance…

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Crazy Google Lady Banned From Google

Ok, not banned by Google but banned from Google by the hubbs…

Last year I swore off google for any and all IF purposes.  I was making myself nuts seeking and searching for something – anything related to my age, treatment, journey – anything.  Knowledge is power, right?  Finally I realized the search for knowledge was actually manic desperation for seeing the unknown.  I cut myself off cold turkey, and I was liberated!  Free to be okay knowing I had the knowledge I needed and was walking the charted course well armed.

Hearing from the nurse that my FSH is 13 which is definitely in the perimenopause category has sent me into an emotional tailspin.  …and the googling began.  This time I have been googling for hope.  Desperatly looking for any information about successful IVF with my numbers.   Unfortunately, all I have found is more despair.   Last night, after an hour and dozens of sites, I teared up (happens a lot these days) and curled up with the hubbs.   After a short paraphrase of how screwed we are, the big man laid down the law (or so he thinks)!  NO MORE GOOGLE!  He’s right.  I’m making myself crazier looking for hope in another persons experience, and my situation won’t change because I read about another persons life.

The truth is that we are all different, and women can and do have “change of life” babies naturally and medically.  It is possible that there is a miracle out there for me.  In our life we have faced worse odds and prevailed.  I insisted on the additional blood work which is why we have this information.  No one, including the hubbs, thought it was necessary since five months ago my FSH was beautiful and well below the norm for my age.  It is good that we know we are dealing with a more extreme situation than we thought.  With this new information The Good Doctor has changed my stim protocol.   Knowing the odds is hard, but I know we are doing everything medically that we can for success.

So for me NO MORE GOOGLE!!!!

TTFN!

Izzy

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Peri-what the what???

Since last week when Jenna and I discussed passing the Crazy Train torch to me, I have been rough-drafting my reintroduction, contemplating the format, possible outreach, ect.  Yesterday was the day to get my thoughts online!  The day to open myself back up to the WordPress world!  The day to share my ride since i bailed off the train last year!  The day to begin expression, coping, and healing! Or so i thought…

Perimenopause.  That’s what yesterday’s cycle day 4 blood work showed.  That’s the call I got in the middle of the afternoon while at work.  I was already having a bit of a time digesting the conversation I had with the nurse that morning regarding how confusing it was that none of my eggs fertilized during my first IVF cycle two weeks ago.  The numbers tell all.  Five months ago my FSH was in range of a 30 year old which was odd according to my doctor.  A year ago my levels were consistent with that of a 20 year old.  Talk about having hope!     Heck, I was old but my reserve was abundant!

In short, I’m 40, on bcp day 2, and walking toward our second and last IVF cycle.  I’ll post more in the days and moments to come regarding who I am and how i landed back here on the Crazy Train.  Whoever is out there reading, I wish you well with blessings abounding.

TTFN!

Izzy

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