Friday, July 24, 2009

The fallout and the definition of insanity

I'm truly amazed at the difference between having a "natural" miscarriage and a D&C. Perhaps I just lucked out or something, but it was astonishingly easy. I barely bled, barely cramped. On some level, it really just should not have been that easy.

It's funny, on Monday when we got the news and when Smirky recommended the D&C, I said to hubby that I just wasn't sure whether I wanted to do it. I felt, on some level, that I wanted to feel the miscarriage, like that was the only way I'd really face all of the emotions of this whole debacle.

In the end, though, I talked to my sister-in-law (the surgeon I have a TON of respect for and love dearly) and she highly recommended the D&C. She explained that it reduced the chances of infection and that, with the natural miscarriage, the chances of having a D&C in addition were actually fairly high. And, it's more predictable. We had no way of knowing when I'd miscarry on my own.

So, physically, my recovery has been fairly uneventful.

Time will only tell what impact that will have on me emotionally because, frankly, I haven't faced the full emotion and weight of all of this yet. Hubby and I blew off work for the whole week and just spent time together. We buried our feelings in retail therapy and tasty food. I'm sure a shrink would have a field day with those coping mechanisms.

I can't say I regret it, though. We spent a lot of time, just the two of us. And it was nice. We talked a lot and tried to sort out some of our emotions. Hubby is really sad. Both of us really felt like this FET was our best chance for a third baby. And we felt so lucky that we had gotten pregnant. We couldn't believe our good fortune--we had the chance of a third child before I turned 35, we had the chance of a brother or sister for the stickies. We were genuinely so excited.

And now...now we don't know what to do. We feel like someone has broken their promise to us. And now we're just staring down the barrel of empty milestones.

We also now have to decide what to do next. We weren't just doing the FET because we had the stickcicles; we genuinely wanted another baby. And so we've been all over the place about what we should do next. One day I said "I'm done. We have two kids, let's just get away from this infertility crap. I don't want to open this can of worms again."

Another day I said, "Forget it, I'm totally up for IVF. I know we risk multiples, but we wanted a big family, we have one more insurance cycle and it's our best hope."

Then, most recently, I had the most ridiculous thought of them all.

"I think we can get pregnant on our own," I triumphantly declared to hubby. "I think we should take six months and just really give it a go. No caffeine, perfect timing, do everything 'right'."

Good fucking lord, do I NEVER learn?

We of course have a month (at least--until my next period) to decide for real.

We will schedule a follow-up with Smirky to talk about next steps and what his recommendations are. I don't really know why we need to do that, I sort of know he's going to recommend IVF, but it seems silly not to have a conversation at all. I'd also like to take the opportunity to ask him, in the unlikely event that we get pregnant on our own, would he still monitor my levels, give progesterone, etc. Who knows what our problems is, but if low progresterone has anything to do with it, I'd like to leave as little to chance as possible.

I fucking hate being back here. I want to hope for luck, but part of me curses hope. I remember how many months I "hoped" only to come up empty and I don't want to set myself up for that again.

I'm so conflicted.

Anyhow, Sarah asked if the stickies make all of this any easier. It's a good question (and, no, I don't mind questions).

The long and short of it is, right now, yes, they do. (Ask me again after lord-knows-how-many failed cycles.)

It's still painful, but it's not the same raw, aching, "will I ever have a family" pain. And, I get how different that is. They are beautiful and sweet children. And I hope they will eventually have a sibling, but if ended up being just the four of us, we'd of course be okay.

Hence the conflicted feelings, though. If we'd be okay, why don't I cut my losses?

But why should I have to just because of reproductive challenges?

And so the vicious cycle goes.

So, for now, I'm just hoping AF shows up sooner rather than later so that we can move on, one way or another.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

D&C

The D&C today was physically pretty uneventful. I'm not really even in a hell of a lot of discomfort right now, which seems sort of strange to me. I guess the whole experience has helped with my denial plan in a lot of ways, though I'm not entirely certain that should be chalked up as a "pro."

Hubby and I have started talking about next steps. It's too early to decide, but we're at least contemplating IVF. I don't know yet if it's the grief and disappointment talking or something more. Time will tell, I suppose.

For now, we just feel like we've been taken. And we're both just sad and angry about it. If only that helped.

*sigh*

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It ain't just a river...

I'm in denial. I suppose I'm going through the stages of grieving, though my denial isn't a denial of our situation. I get it; this pregnancy isn't viable.

Instead, I'm in denial that it's bothering me. Serious denial. I haven't let myself feel anything. Outside of the initial reaction at the clinic and just outside, I've been pretending nothing's wrong.

Hubby and I went to the mall both yesterday and today as a way of getting away from it all. (As if to add insult to injury, it was pouring rain, so our options were limited.) I replaced my grief with some retain therapy. I bought a new iPh*ne (which I love), we got the stickies new armchairs (which they LOVE), and we went out to two fairly decadent lunches in a row.

It's all an attempt to ignore my pain. I know I have to feel the pain, but I just don't fucking want to. I want to go back to 8 weeks ago, to the day before I started the cycle when I was still feeling quite distant from infertility and miscarriage.

So, I'm pretending that that's what I feel like.

Except that, sometimes it creeps up on you when you least expect it.

Today, for example, I had to go to my ob/gyn to sign a consent form. This pissed me off. Why couldn't I just sign the f'ing thing tomorrow at the hospital? How am I supposed to deny my feelings if you keep making me face them? Today was supposed to be about denial, damnit.

So, I was irritated to begin with. The rain didn't help. I felt like it was an additional F-You from nature. I've taken two weeks off since maternity leave. The first was when we went on vacation about a month ago and it was chilly and rainy most days. The second is this week. In between both weeks, the weather has been absolutely glorious. But as if to mock my pain, it is going to rain all week.

To add insult to already serious injury, nobody in this god-forsaken state knows how to drive in the rain. And so I sat in TWO HOURS of traffic on the way to the doctor's appointment that I didn't even want to go to to begin with.

I kept my sense of humor for a while, but after an hour and a half, I couldn't do it anymore. I lost it.

"WHY CAN'T WE CATCH A BREAK?!" I cried, as if the traffic and the rain and the infertility and the miscarriage were all part of a grand conspiracy against me.

The traffic was, of course, not the problem. Rather, the traffic presented a rather inconvenient roadblock to my grand denial plan. Two hours to sit with my thoughts was too much; I couldn't ignore my feelings for that long.

Now, as I get closer and closer to my D&C tomorrow, it's getting harder and harder to ignore. I'm scared, really scared. And I'm sad, really sad.

I know there is no answer, but I still find myself wondering, "WHY?"

It's a stupid question, really. It doesn't matter why, it only matters that it is. This is our reality.

It makes me mad, though, because I feel like we were just greedy for trying again. Why couldn't we just be happy with our beautiful stickies? Why did we have to tempt fate?

But, really, fuck that. Why the f*ck shouldn't we try? Are we less deserving of a big family because we are reproductively challenged?

*sigh*

So, the D&C is tomorrow at 12:15. I'm very grateful to have a friend who's the nurse manager at the hospital. I called her and let her know I was going to be there and she sprung into action to ensure I had the best team and got the VIP treatment. I hope that will help, because I'm scared of anesthesia and surgery.

Reassuring D&C stories appreciated. And, please, wish me luck. I hope at least this goes smoothly.

Also, a HUGE thank you for all of your support. I'm humbled and grateful to be surrounded by so many wonderful women who just fundamentally get it. Thank you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sad and Confused

I was so nervous about this morning's ultrasound. I mean, I know I'm always scared about these milestones, but for some reason my fear kept growing as we got closer and closer to the clinic.

"I want to say that this is the most nervous I've ever been, but that doesn't make any sense, " I said. "I must have been this nervous before the Stickies, right?" I asked hubby.

I'm sure I was, but today's nervousness now seems to live in my memory as a tragic foreshadowing of what was to come.

I knew almost immediately that it wasn't good news. Smirky inserted the wand, and we saw the sac and a rather large, circular yolk sac, but no embryo. No beautiful heartbeat.

Still, I waited. I needed to hear him say it.

He did, of course. In his quiet, awkward way. Some people would find his social awkwardness off-putting. I find it refreshingly honest and endearing.

He took a few measurements as I choked back tears. Then, he said I could sit up and told me that, once I got dressed, we could go to his office to talk more.

The nurse irritated me. She's new this year and has always turned me off. I missed my two favorites and wanted nothing more than their familiar faces in the room with me.

You had to appreciate this one for trying, I suppose, but I just found her attempts to soothe me invasive and annoying. She didn't deserve to see my pain, I thought. She doesn't know me well enough. She hasn't been there through they ups and downs.

When smirky and the nurse left, hubby and I just hugged and I just cried.

And then the nurse knocked to come in and offer us water.

Again, I'm sure she was being nice, but all I thought was, "Get OUT."

I pulled myself together and got dressed and we went into Smirky's office.

The three of us knew that there was really nothing to talk about.

"It's not a diagnostic dilemma," Smirky said. It was his way of saying, "there is, sadly, no hope. Let's discuss how to move on."

Again, I've always appreciated his candor. And, while his words could be seen as cold, his demeanor was anything but. He was genuinely sorry.

He recommended a D&C and I told him I wanted to think about it. We gathered our things, and I got some "pre-op" blood taken and left.

On the way out, hubby asked if I wanted to get some coffee and breakfast. And I lost it. I miss my coffee desperately, but I wasn't supposed to be able to have it today. I didn't WANT the coffee, damnit. I wanted the baby.

I scheduled the D&C for Wednesday. I still don't know if I'll do it, so your thoughts and experiences are much appreciated. How awful is a 7-week miscarriage? Are the risks of the D&C worth it?

I'm feeling such a flood of emotions right now, it's hard to sort it out.

On the one hand, I feel so very lucky to have Monkey Girl and Sweet Potato. I've always known how lucky we were, but today, hubby said to me, "I guess those were our miracle babies."

After that successful pregnancy and then this positive HPT after this FET, we began to wonder whether our infertility experience before IVF was the anomoly. "Perhaps getting pregnant is the more difficult part?" we wondered. Sure, we've had at least one confirmed miscarriage, but our bigger problem was actually getting pregnant after that. So, once we crossed the pregnancy hurdle, maybe we were destined to fall on the right side of the odds?

Today, we're left thinking that there's something else going on. Something larger and more onerous.

What's more, I'm left with all of those familiar feelings. Those empty promises and those plans that will never come to fruition. I was so looking forward to another baby. I was so looking forward to closing the door on the infertility chapter of our lives and of moving on. I was looking forward to talking to Monkey Girl and Sweet Potato about their little brother or sister, of having a small, smooshy baby to hold again. It's all gone by so fast! I never pictured doing this only once.

I'm so grateful that we have Monkey Girl and Sweet Potato. They have taken some of the sting out of the day. When I came home right before their naps, I went into the playroom, and Sweet Potato ran up and jumped into my lap for a cuddle. He doesn't do that a lot, but it's like he knew I needed it more than anything.

And so for them, I can't let this get me down. I can't lose sight of what we have and focus on what we don't.

But I also can't pretend that I'm not sad. And angry. And scared.

I'm sorry, my sweet stickcicles. I hope that nothing we did sealed your fate, and even though I barely knew you, I'll miss you forever.

That old familiar feeling...

Gestational sac measuring behind. Large yolk sac. No embryo, no heartbeat.

Now I decide: D&C or natural miscarriage.

I fucking HATE infertility.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Still waiting...

Sorry for keeping you hanging for almost the entire 2ww! Work has been insane to the tune of working weekends, ridiculously long nights, etc. And, on top of that, I've never been more exhausted in my entire life, so on the rare occasions I haven't been working late, I've been asleep on the couch at 7:30.

Wild times, chez Sticky...

That said, I have found more than enough time to worry about Monday's u/s. I'm nervous. It's not a crippling, all-consuming fear, but rather a dull ache that surfaces when I remember that I'm pregnant.

I've been having some uncomfortable cramping, which hasn't been helping my state of mind, frankly. I just have to hope its nothing, but I can't escape the fear.

And, just to confuse my already muddied mind, I've also been having really vivid dreams that I'm having identical triplets.

Yes, I realize that's impossible (or, at least I think it is), but I'm clearly f'ing terrified of having multiples again. Not that I don't LOVE being a mom of multiples (MoM), I really do. They are so fun. But, the idea of four kids under 2...well, what the F*&K would we do with that?!

Anyhow, I realize I already had an ultrasound and I realize there was only one gestational sac, but because of what happened to Anna during her first pregnancy, I'm taking that u/s as inconclusive until I see what happens on Monday.

It's weird to be terrified about two polar opposite realities at the same time.

Have I mentioned that I hate the uncertainty of early pregnancy? I mean, I prefer it to the alternative, but...well...you get it.

And so, I'm just trying to distract myself between now and Monday morning. I realize there is essentially nothing I can to to alter the outcome. My fate is sealed and my reality will be revealed to me. All I can do is wait. And hope that the PIO shots are not in vain.

Fingers crossed! I'll update as soon as I can on Monday.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Il y en a une

I have to admit that I had a breakdown this weekend. It's not that I was rooting against one of the stickcicles. On the contrary, I wanted to give them both a safe and toasty home for nine months (ish).

But, when I saw my last hcg numbers and when it started to dawn on me that we might have two sets of twins in two years...well, I freaked. I wasn't sure how the hell I would even handle that. I mean, seriously. Like, how the hell would that work?

Then I felt bad for thinking that way. I mean, didn't I want both Stickcicles to nestle in?

To say my emotions were all over the place would be an understatement.

Which is why when we saw one gestational sac on the u/s today, I was definitely conflicted. I mean, on the one hand, I felt, in some sense, relieved. On the other...well, you get it.

In any case, we did see a gestational sac where it should be (the uterus). I couldn't see a yolk sac, and actually left thinking that there was none, so have been pretty nervous about that all day. But, when my favorite nurse called later in the day, she explained that Smirky did actually see a yolk sac, albeit a small one (2mm).

I've tried Google-ing all day to see if that was normal, but can't find anything specific on how big yolk sacs should be. So, I'm just left feeling...okay.

All in all, I suppose we're in a good place. We are pregnant. Things seem to be progressing "normally." Whatever that means at this point. I guess I feel a little nervous again because I left feeling a little tenuous (because I was worried about the yolk sac), and now I'm having a hard time shaking that feeling. It's silly, I get. But what can you do. I'll just need to distract myself until the next u/s--the BIG one, where there must be a heartbeat--in two weeks.

TWO WEEKS!

Ugh.

Here's hoping our little stickcicle hangs on and grows, grows, grows! Come on, l'il buddy!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Moving right along...

I got another beta yesterday afternoon, right after I got back from the beach, but didn't get the numbers until today. Things still appear to be looking solid--3900 on 22dpo.

Um...wow. Way to go, stickcicles!

I'm feeling pretty lucky so far. I was really nervous but am feeling happy about the numbers and the way they're progressing. We'll have an ultrasound Monday. I have to confess to being the teensiest bit nervous that we'll have two lurking around in there. My mind won't even go there yet, because it seems so unlikely (they didn't even think one of the embryos was really viable). So, we shall see. And, frankly, I'll just count myself lucky no matter what as long as we have an uneventful pregnancy with a happy ending.

Fingers crossed.