Friday, August 28, 2009


What if it works?

Getting to the point

I'm fucking scared to death.

Maybe scared isn't the right word. I don't know what is. Sad. Anxious. Apprehensive.

Afraid to hope.

Thanks to all of your comments/info/suggestions -- and some conversations with nurses and my sister -- I decided to forego the Foll.istim and ordered the Bra.velle. With insurance, our cost was about $750. The cheapest of the medications.

$750 just to try. And assuming the first cycle won't work, $750 just to get started on this path again. Then, another $500 or $750 next month, and the next. The old familiar roller coaster. Again. And again. BFNs. Chemical pgs. God knows what else.

Some of the tests we did didn't come back with great results. Not disastrous, but enough for me to know that this is going to be another long road.

And, once again, considering my age... I just want to hide under the covers.

Or eat a lot. A lot. I was doing WW, and lost 5 lbs, which, while not a lot, has made a little bit of difference in the way my clothes fit. I'm not quite as uncomfortable. or at least I wasn't until I had a twis.ted frosty for lunch the other day, and pizza and about 15 Sta.rburst candies. To start with.

Anxious? Yeah, well, I guess so. Me? An emotional eater? You think?

Classes started this week, and I seem to have a nice group. So far. Fingers crossed. A good start anyway. The classes I'm taking start next week.

I have an acupuncture appointment at 5:30 today. I finally got up the courage and the focus (been meaning to for days... weeks) and called. The first session is always an hour, I guess, even though one of the nurses at my clinic said I would probably only need a half an hour, since he's familiar with me. Ah well.

I'm afraid I'm going to completely fall apart at my appointment. I mean, it's not like he's never seen me cry. I've just been getting progressively more and more...anxious and sad and afraid as we get closer and closer. With each step. I expect my next cycle to start in the next week or so.

I can't think of the metaphor. With each step we take toward starting this process again, I feel both hope and dread.

I don't think there's anything I can do about it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

You know it's bad when...

I'm willingly watching a Ha.llmark movie late on Saturday night. And crying.

The one where Rosie O'Don.nell plays a woman who is retarded*. The dad dies and she rebuilds her relationship with her sister, played by Andie Mac.Dowell, who I really don't like anyway. It's a horrible movie.

Anyway. I'm sitting here with the dog laying against me and I'm crying.

I laid in bed under the covers for a couple hours today (with dog and cat, of course), just feeling anxious. Dozing. Then did 6 loads of laundry.

(Oh, good, now, the Da.wn commercial with the ducks covered in grease.)

Just feeling everything. Loss. Fear. Anxiety. Pressure. Loss. Rinse. Repeat.

Too much to detail right now. Just had to get that out.

God, I hate this

*And sterilized without her permission, mourns her ability to have a baby.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thanks! and more questions...

Thanks, folks, for your suggestions -- I have taken names and followed links. Tash, you know bourbon is always welcome :-) If only that's all it took...

Okay, new question: My understanding is that Follis.tim and Go.nal F are exactly the same thing. But their generic names are slightly different ( alpha vs beta). Is that just because they're different brands?

Also, my clinic has suggested possibly using Br.ave.lle, which while cheaper than both F and GF, appears to be slightly different. While I do have ins, I only get $10,000 per lifetime, and only 50% of meds and treatment/appointment costs are covered. I may pay out of pocket for these, if only to same $ for treatment.

I'm feeling kind of neurotic, and wanting to use the exact same stuff I did last time (in which I got pg 2 out of 3 cycles, the 3rd with the boys) so I can have a similar outcome, at least as far as getting pg successfully. Though, GF is cheaper than F, and B is cheaper than both. Though maybe I would respond even better to GF or B?

Augh. This is what makes C nuts.

Tell me your thoughts? How much does this matter? I generally stim pretty well (got O.HSS with Cl.omid, 50 mg, but the ovulation is stronger and luteal phase is more productive with injectables). But I've only used one kind of injectable stim.

Of course, it's been 2 years. My day 3 labs came out fine -- good, even -- last April.

Also, this is way easier to obsess over than how stressed I am at the prospect of trying again. At least, I would think so.

Thoughts? About any of this?

Can you hook a sister up? *

*forgive me, it must be the hour...

I'm in pursuit of medication for my injectible cycle, and though my insurance pays 50 percent, I will still likely be responsible for about $1000 or more for the foll.isti.m alone. (900 & 600, or 900 & two 300s)

Got some recommendations from my sis, but I'm terying to cover all the bases. Anyone know of a relible, inexpensive pharmacy in the US? My cycle will likely start around September 2 or 3, so time is starting to be of the essence.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Of Course...

Despite all that positivity, it's been 4 full days and I haven't called to make an appointment with the OBs or for acupuncture treatment. Yet.

Back to Life

(or, "fee.ling stran.gely")

Writing from school. I came in to try to get some stuff done, but I'm not being productive. The "bullpen," as we call it, is totally empty, and re-arranged, somewhat. A good excuse to be distracted.

Argh. Trying to get motivated. Perhaps getting some words out will help.


So. Last Monday, C and I met with the RE. Whom we *love.* Well, not *love*, but you know what I mean. Sitting with him in the consult room, it's oddly comfortable. We can joke a little, he can tease, to lighten the tension that must be coming off me in waves.

He was great, very sensitive to what we went through, and my reaction to it. We talked about everything related to trying again, from what meds I'd been on, to the seizure, to what we should do about trying again, 2 years later. He's running tests, getting me new scripts, putting me back on all the stuff I was on before, when it worked. Here's hoping. And "I just want you to get pregnant."

When we got there, I was pretty anxious and distracted. C and I had a stupid argument over coffee, and I was futzing with my "Trust Women" wristband. Since I'm not taking anything for anxiety or sleep anymore (not officially, anyway - still working on the sleep thing.) RE told us he's doing acup.uncture now. He had been ill around the time we lost the boys, and found it really helpful, did his research, and learned the practice. He thinks it would be a good idea for me to start doing it, even before we start cycling. Kind of an emotional reset, he said. Well, I'm open to it.

He gave me a sample by putting a needle in my scalp. I don't know if it was the needle, placebo effect, or just being in good hands, but I relaxed A LOT. Put down the wristband. I felt better. for most of the night, and the few days following. Plus, insurance will cover it. Also, he suggested coming to see him for the a-p during the pregnancy, to help with nausea, if I need it. Sign me up.

He gave us some OB names from a group he trusts implicitly (my shrink has heard great things about one of them, too), so we need to call and start setting up meetings to see if we click.

I left there feeling kind of high. Hopeful. Like I did at the beginning of many cycles when we were in the thick of treatment. Really scary. On the way back, after picking up 3 of my 5 prescriptions, C and I were talking about "if this works..."

Of course, I have a great history of conceiving with RE's help -- 4 out of 9 cycles (44%). Only the pregnancy with the boys stuck, though. I lost the others around 5 weeks, give or take.

But we're going in much more educated about what we need to make a pg happen, and stick. We're going to cycle the next time I get my period, which should be very early in September. Figuring the first cycle would be a bust, that gives us October and November to try to get a summer baby. Yes, that's right, we are trying to control and plan for something. Does that totally jinx us? Probably.

We talked about a lot of things in that meeting. I guess after all we've been through, and getting treatment from this doctor for almost 2 years before getting "successfully" pg, I feel comfortable with him, and confident in him. And I feel like I can ask for what I need. If he doesn't agree, or is not comfortable with my request, he talks to me like a person and tells me why. He even uses "big words." And I like the idea of being able to see him during the pregnancy, because I feel like, if I have concerns, I can ask him about them. He's not perfect, but he treats me like an intelligent human being. I appreciate that. And, the more care, the better.

So, I guess I'm feeling hopeful. Possibly even...optimistic. It's weird. And scary. Considering the mind-fuck that is pg after loss, I guess I need to go in as strong as possible. Did you hear that? Pregnancy after Loss. I'm assuming I'm going to get pg. Sigh. Who the hell am I?

School starts in 10 days. I have to attend a training, do some more work for my summer studies and put my syllabus together. Oh, and start working on my readings for the beginning of the classes I'm taking. Gearing up and getting invested. It feels like a lot. And yet, here I am, taking it all on. Who is this person?

Bring on the acupuncture. I'm going to need something to get through this fall.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Re: I do not know, for Mrs. Spit

This post+ started out as a kind of long comment to a post written by Mrs. Spit. It turned into a long, kind of rambling post.

Mrs. Spit, you did it again. I have a lump in my throat and tingling behind my eyes. I have seen that same image, 10 years into the future, and it horrifies me every time. I try to get used to the idea, but it just makes me more sad.

Since my sister had her baby, alive and well, lots of people have told me I will be next. Or they ask me if her success gives me hope. Umm, kind of, but not much. We have similar, but not identical problems. They overlap with the IC. Even the doctor who did my TA.C suggested all would be well, just like with A.

I still have age, mthfr, and resources counting against us even conceiving again, let alone carrying to term.

I visited my sister a week after the birth, two weeks after she and her husband moved into their not quite completely built house. Contractors were there everyday, finishing miscellaneous projects.

One day, I was sitting in the family room, holding my sleeping niece. It was just the two of us, and as I held her against me (her head next to my heart, of course*), I bounced my knee to give her some motion, keep her comfy.

The General Contractor (GC), who was a nice, friendly, chatty guy, walked by us, and smiled.

"Aww, what a natural mom! You have kids?"

"Uh, no. Not yet!" Fake smile. Deep breath.

He kept walking. Thank goodness. But all I could think about was the boys, and that horrible night. And I wished I had something better to say. Everyday, I do.

I had to shake my head, and silently laugh at the time. I think maybe because these questions come from everyone. There I was, in this safe place, with people who understand what I've been through first hand. And it's here, too.

(Actually, I usually laugh - bitterly - when I recount the awful things people say. Maybe I'm smug, because I know how deeply these otherwise very nice people are putting their repsective feet in their mouths. And they would likely be horrified if they thought about it for a second.)

It seems like there's just no good answer. I just realized that Julia from I Won't Fear Love has a post at GITW today about dealing with questions and and inappropriate comments. She asks some good questions; I guess her post was in my head as I wrote today.

Mrs. Spit, when I was first married, I, too, talked about having a bunch of kids. Or at least 2 or 3. Now? Will we get one? Can we bear another loss? Our issues are not as clear and definite as yours. I can't imagine the pain of trying to beat those odds, the risk not only to your child, but to you. And for the Mister. The potential for loss is just...daunting.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your words often speak my thoughts about this whole rotten experience. And so eloquently.

I am not one to say a little prayer. But I will speak a wish for all of us:

May we all find some peace on this journey.

+links and formatting to follow when I can get to the computer.

*ramblings about being with the baby to follow...eventually.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Moving Through

(Please forgive the lack of links; I'm writing from my b.berry.)

Thank you all for your comments from my last post. They really do help. I'm feeling a lot better, if a little shaken.

As Tash and others suggested, I think I hit a bump in this pot-holed road of grief. God, does it suck. I knew I had been doing better, overall, but that I kept getting hit by twinges, and unexpected triggers of moments of sadness. I guess I mistook them for the bigger bumps in the road.

A few months after my mom died, I participated in a support group held at one of the area hospice offices. It was a decent group, run by a couple of social workers. One of the things I remember best was the concept of the STUG: a (seemingly) spontaneous, temporary upsurge in grief. These would happen forever, though less and less frequently, as we grieved and moved farther away from the loss.

I suppose I could say that this may be evidence of my progress, as -- even with all the stuff going on in my life right now -- I have not felt so bad in some time. Longer than I thought.

It was horrifying to go back to those feelings. The deep grief, the severe depression.

It was not spontaneous, though. Several bloggers had anniversaries reecently, or just shared their own feelings of continued grief, the process of moving on. Some wrote about triggers. (Tash, I had actually read the post you mentioned in my comments. I found myself affected more than I would have thought.)

So, all of that; the arrival of my niece and my visit to meet her, family stuff; my TAC and all that it implies/brings with it; school starting; memories of August 2007, and of the very long road since August 2008; the prospect of starting all that again. What else? You name it.

One huge trigger. Or a bunch of small, but potent ones.

A few weeks ago, C and I talked about the possibility of spending Christmas at his folks. We both thought we should make a point to try. Maybe a half an hour later, we were wastching a rerun of Bo.nes, the one where they are all stuck in the lab over Christmas because they might have been exposed to a communicable disease. At one point, all the characters' families/loved ones come to see them (through a glass, of course) and playing over the montage is some song about having a merry Christmas or being home for Christmas. You get the point. I started to cry. I asked C to turn the channel, I was so upset. Out of nowhere. Wasn't I just saying I was okay with Christmas? STUG, said C.

Yeah. So. Not as aware as I'd like to be.

Once I made it out of the initial grief over losing my mom, it was hard for me to really let go and cry. Not just tears, but *really* cry. Too hard to go to that place again. I was reminded of that in the last few days. Gof, does that hurt.

So, I think you all are right, and that this is a part of grieving. Another step in the process. I just need to go through it. No way out but through.

In those dark moments, it's hard to remember that. The STUGs. The triggers. It's hard to remember in the good moments, too.

Progress is not linear. Or maybe it is, and these dark, hard times are just more dark, hard times to endure in the process. No such thing as smooth sailing.

I'm sorry that you are here, but I'm so glad that I have you to light a match, lend a shoulder or a strong arm to lean on. I hope I can do the same for you.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What I didnt write about in the earlier post

I'm afraid it's coming back. I'm hoping it's just seasonal cues, the smells and the light of August. I find myself going back to posts from a year ago, when it was starting to get really bad.

I haven't been sleepng well since I got back from Chi. Either too long or not nearly enough.

I cried today -- just now while brushing my teeth -- like I haven't cried in weeks, months, really. I think it's been building.

Sort of an upsurge in grief in DBL. Or at least an articulation of it. Things are starting to trigger me, more easily, I mean.

Just here and there. I met with the pharma and with my shrink, both of whom seemed pleased with my state of mind -- as I presented it today.

Maybe it's delayed crap from my trips to CA and Chi. And planning in starting TTC again, in September or Oct. Meeting with the RE on the 10th to make a plan. Pharma has already talked to RE about use of A-Ds. So probably I won't have to make a change. Perhaps a reduction, based on how I'm doing at our next appt. Not looking good from here, tho.

Oh, I just want to sleep. I just want to curl up and cry.

Denial. Not just a river in Egypt.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This will have to do.

**Newborn baby discussed**

So, about that whole coherent post thing? Yeah. Not really gonna happen. I thought I'd just spew, instead. Each day I don't write, the list grows, so I might as well just go ahead.

First, the trip. Well, I got more and more nervous as the day approached ("freaked out" as C says, but I don't think I got that bad). My dad was late to pick me up at the airport. Now, most members of my family are usually late. No matter what it is, they will arrive late. C has done a pretty good job of training me out of this, and for the most part, I have gotten comfortable arriving on time, and uncomfortable with the chaos of last-minute running around. When I say he was late, I mean that when my flight arrived at least a half an hour later than scheduled, and I made it down to baggage, and found my suitcase and found a quiet-ish spot that didn't smell like cigarette smoke and left a message for my dad to let him know where I was, he was still not there. When I checked my messages a few minutes later, there was one from him saying "I'm just leaving now. I'll call you when I get close."

I received this message at 10:35 pm, Pacific time. That was 1:30 am to my Eastern time zone body. He finally arrived at the airport about 11:15, but the terminal was so clogged with traffic, it took at least another half an hour for him to reach me. I was LIVID. Hurt. Tired. My insecurities, I will admit, got the better of me for a little while. Fortunately, I was able to vent them with FB, and had enough friends in different time zones that people were still up. By the time my dad arrived (in BIL's crappy old Cadillac (yes, I said, "what was that noise?" crappy), I didn't care anymore, I just wanted to be home. Somebody's home.

We got to my sister's new place at the top of a hill in a very fancy gated (but not "gated") community near UCLA. Gorgeous. Layout, amenities, decorating. GORGEOUS view. Beautiful house. I could rant and gush about this house, but all I'll say is, shingles (a la Cape Co.d) and columns. Greek Columns. And, I will say, that after hearing BIL used the modifier "expensive," "custom-made," and "hand-crafted" come out of his mouth too many times to count (though usually just to my sister) it did take away from the experience of the luxury. Oh, and white wool carpets in all the bedrooms. Yes, the baby's room has white (okay, maybe slightly off-white) carpet. Expensive, custom-made white carpet in a child's room.

So when we got to the house it was about 12:30am. My sister was up with a warm but tired welcome; my BIL was not (sheepishly, A said she couldn't wake him -- thanks. So glad to see you, too.) She looked tired, still looked very pregnant. I asked about the baby, and A brought her out to me. Resting on her arm, against her, was this little peanut of a baby. The last newborn I'd seen was almost 10 lbs at birth, but SJ (my niece) was only a little more than 8 and a half. A looked completely at ease holding her, and she looked... well, she couldn't help but smile as she looked at her sleeping daughter. Her face was lit when she looked at her. When she played with her, waking her up to finish a feeding.

"You wanna hold her?"

Uh, sure. She was just gorgeous. She hadn't quite gotten back up to her birthweight, but her face was forming, you know? Not just the little newborn amorphous being. And the mouth -- I'm sorry if that sounds creepy, but you have never seen a sweeter, more expressive, pair of red, rosebud-shaped lips in your life. She slept for most of the time I was in CA, but, oh, the stretching and the expressions -- she looked like she was smiling in her sleep. You have never seen such a smile.

Okay, I think that's enough of that. Eyes are filling. I didn't really know it was possible to love someone you don't even know. One look was all it took. How cliche is that?

Anyway. Part of me wonders if the gushing doesn't have something to do with displaced motherly affection. I've never had a reaction like this before. And then I look at my sister singing a silly song to SJ, and I see happiness I've never seen on her face. And she says, as she rocks the nursing baby in the slider next to the windowseat, looking out at the view...she says, I've dreamed about this exact moment. Sitting with her baby, in the baby's room, feeding her, looking out at the view.

It took her almost 7 years. Countless failed treatments. A seco.nd tri.mester loss of twins. I honestly could not be happier for her.

Or more envious.

Okay, let me qualify.

I envy her resources. I envy her determination and confidence to go after what she desired so much, in the face of such...frustration and heartbreak. She is one of those people who is comforted by the chaos of the universe -- if there's no one in charge, no plan, then she is not being targeted, she is not without, well, resources. And I'll be honest, I envy the freedom the money allows. The opportunities for her and her family.

But I don't envy her marriage. I don't envy the responsibilities associated with the money. I guess this is a case of I'll take the bad I know.

But, god, do I want a baby. Or two. Now. I had no idea how much.


I don't remember what I posted while I was out there, but I'll just summarize the trip to say that BIL was hugely annoying and a great concern to me; my sister is taking to motherhood wonderfully, even with the hassle of BIL and houseguests and moving. I was able to help her a little, making her breakfast, giving her water, telling her to rest. Dad and I ran (all over hell and gone) errands and I was able to help her unpack a little. I also got to see great friends of C's -- they're mine, too, I guess -- and enjoyed being in a city environment again. Familiar places, bright sun, new family member. Time away. It was just enough.

Yes, it really did show me how much I want a child. But it also showed me that my reaction, at least the grief I felt, was not an over-reaction. If I learned anything about anything with this trip, with this new little person -- this is gonna sound treacly -- it's about the depth and breadth, the magnitude of love. What I felt for the boys. What my sister feels for her daughter. What my father feels for us. How protective he gets. How protective I got, both for my sister and my niece.

It's not the same as love for a spouse. Which is, certainly, something amazing.

I think, because the boys died, I never did feel like a mother. As much as others, as you, said I was. But I did feel like a mother. That intensity, the magnitude I couldn't even fathom as I experienced it.

I don't know how to end this.

p.s. I didn't talk to my sister about what BIL did. After consulting you and other friends, C and my shrink, I decided against bringing it up. If A expresses some concern, I may mention it. Before I left, we went out to dinner, and stopped at a little market, and BIL put the baby down and walked away again. A was there, a few feet away/around the corner of the counter; I said, "Um, who's watching the baby?" Honestly, I think she knows that he has no clue. I can't even imagine when she would leave him alone with the baby. Not likely to be any time soon.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Because I'm not on Twi.tter

Someday I would like to be featured on "I di.dn't know I was preg.nant.".