Friday, December 26, 2014

My Gossipy Mom At Christmas

I had imagined telling my parents about my pregnancy right before Christmas.  They already knew about the IVF, so that was the natural next step.  I was going to make a 2014 Christmas ornament.  Santa stork! Twin toy soldiers! After that, I knew my mom would tell anyone anywhere about the pregnancy, just like before my fun ectopic, and I was prepared for that risk.

I wasn't prepared for her to tell everyone and their dog about my OMG SO SAD FAILED IVF cycle.  At Christmas, everyone feels sorry for me and gives me "the look."  I accidentally stole the thunder of a relative who actually is pregnant.  Family who shouldn't have known have a bunch of sciency questions.

This is now my mom's most favorite topic, even in my presence, even over my dad's cancer, and even when she knows I doesn't want to talk about it.  I'm sure she's told everyone from her hair stylist to any neighbor willing to listen to this sad tale of medical failure and lost grandchildren.

I told mom we have to take a three month break.  This is a lie.  Mom has now decided to tell everyone that we will get pregnant naturally in these three months.  You know, like people who adopt or hire a surrogate and then get pregnant.  Ha Ha Ha!  Great story, mom.  Got any more jokes?

Now I have to decide whether to cut my mom off from future IVF information.  In the big scheme of things, I can handle people knowing.  This is my family.  I'm not going to break down in tears, and it wasn't that bad I guess, people were respectful, but it this a betrayal of my trust.  I am pissed she decided she could do whatever she wanted with this information, like always, but it makes me really sad for her to behave like this in something this crushing.  This isn't like "trying" for a while.  This is a fucking failed IVF cycle I put months of my life, money, effort into.  For fuck sake, my mom of all people should know that.  That said, I don't know if I can make it through another IVF round without my mom.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Failed IVF: The Gift That's Still Giving

After I failed at IVF, it just kept on giving me wonderful Christmas gifts.  I got another period, a yeast infection, and the flu.  Yay!

Well, now I got another gift.  IVF hormones reversed the laser hair removal that I got done years ago.  I knew pregnancy would, and I guess IVF has early!  I had to go dig a razor out of the back of the closet since it has been so long.  Weirdly, it's in these gross clumpy spots like a dalmation.  I guess it's not terrible, but big change.

Now I have to decide whether it's worth throwing down a few hundred bucks to get laser treatments when surely I'll be pregnant any minute.   Like always.  Free Beer.  Tomorrow.  I hate the idea of being a stirrup frequent flier with dalmation spots, ugh.

Oh, and please let me know your thoughts on my plan for next cycle on my WTF post.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WTF Appointment and a Plan

Here I am back at this clinic Christmas tree covered in ornaments of twins.  Baby's First Christmas.  Days before Christmas, when I am seriously doubting if the universe is ever going to allow me to be a mother, we had our WTF appointment about our failed IVF #1.  I never wrote out "IVF #1" before and just said IVF, because I didn't think this would happen.  So, yea, WTF for IVF #1.

The WTF was what I expected in that there was no WTF.  Everything was textbook perfect.  Embryos, lining, hormones.  We have five near perfect frozen blasties.  Everything perfect except the part where it didn't work.  Oh, and whatever those cramps were after implantation.  No biggie.

I told the doctor my plan:

I want two babies.  (HA!)  Let me rephrase, universe, I would like to maybe try to have two babies someday if that is maybe ever possible, please, someday.  If I got pregnant with one of the frozen blasties this year-ish, by the time I came back again I would be 34-35, with some amount of frozen blasties left.  If that didn't work, it might be too late to do a fresh cycle?  I'd rather do a second fresh cycle now, at 32 1/2.  Then I'd have like 10 in the freezer from when I was 32, and it wouldn't matter if a cycle or five failed.

The doctor didn't like this plan.  He said to just use up the frozen, maybe get my twins and be done.  Maybe do a fresh round at 34 or whatever if I have to, that 32 and 34 isn't a huge difference statistically.  But, as has proven true in reproductive concierge medicine, it's my call and I can always go fresh if I want to and have the cash.  Haven't made a decision yet.

I'm also seriously thinking about just transferring one at a time for all this.  I'm thinking the risks of twins are not worth it if I can avoid it.  I didn't spring this one on him this because I know, stats, less successful, blah blah blah.  But I am seriously thinking that I would rather do a fresh cycle with one and then have ten in the freezer and do them one at time too.  I definitely need to talk to my crazy OBGYN about this one.

I asked about the video showing the embryos grow like Pregnant in my Forties had.  I thought that was just the coolest thing!!!  He said, yes, it is cool, but it does not improve your likelihood of getting pregnant and they do not do anything that does not increase your likelihood of getting pregnant or add any unnecessary increased risk or complication.  Well then, fun police.  Guess you can't buy whatever you want in concierge medicine.

He said I'm required to do at least a six week break.  I'm thinking even that isn't enough.  I'm going to take that vacation I put off.  I'm going to drink a whole bottle of tequila.  I'm going to ski.  Maybe I'll get a spray tan.  Maybe I'll get a new job.  I'm open to input on my plans.  I'm open to anything life has to offer right now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gambling on Starting Over

Failing at IVF has been life altering to me.  Life had to punch me in the face for me to see it.  This could take YEARS, and this might never work.  I'm a giant ball of doubt.

My sperm donor was dropped by his major client, and my clients are boring and mostly on the phone.  And now, other than our families a few hours away, we have nothing holding us here.  I got offered a pretty sweet job in Las Vegas six months ago that I turned down -- obviously  I would be pregnant any second.  Now Vegas is starting to look more appealing.  That's why gambling has been on my mind.

I've been to Las Vegas twice, and I don't remember much of either time.  I don't like gambling, but I do like booze and food and shows.  I don't know much about Vegas.  But I have priorities, you guys, so I know Las Vegas has two IVF clinics that reported their SART data (what????) and they're nowhere close as good stats as the good clinics in this giant city.  But Vegas does seem to have like twice as many tubal cases, go figure.  Maybe it's the super gonorrhea.  And yes, I am allowed to make jokes like that because obviously my tubes are jacked too.

This Vegas job is a big-shot-career-woman job, like the one I left, with a nice office.  The kind where you would never see your fancy  Las Vegas apartment -- or your kid, if you had one.  But I don't have a kid.  And I won't have a kid for at least a year.  If I can ever manage to have a kid, I guess.  So what's stopping me from taking some big shot career woman job now?

I planned my life and dialed back my career for something that didn't happen.  I made IVF my life, and I acted as if pregnancy were the certain outcome.  I can't be on hold for years.  Next IVF round, there's no reason I couldn't take off a couple days and keep working.  If I keep sitting on my butt in my half-ass job and never manage to have a kid, then I will have nothing at all.  At least if I take the job, I'll have my career, at least until I can actually figure this kid thing out.  And if I can ever manage to get pregnant, we can work it out from there.

After so much failure and heartbreak, I am kind of drawn to starting all over in a place where I don't know anyone and would have a totally new, demanding job.  At least I wouldn't be thinking about what could have been all the time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Failed IVF: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Well, my IVF cycle failed, so I got to stop taking my estrogen and progesterone.  I had no idea what would happen after that.   Why didn't they warn me?

I guess that awful period I had exactly 14 days after my trigger was not good enough, because I had ANOTHER period, though this one seems milder so far.  And then I got a yeast infection from the progesterone, haven't had one in years.  That's what I get for joking about buying Monistat.  And then I got the flu.  Well, the flu was probably not from the IVF, but you get the point.

My poor body has been through too much.  I am so exhausted.  I feel terrible.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Beta 4 and A Run In

Beta was 4, which is awesome because it is dropping and almost zero.  Still have to come in next week.  Of course I do.  This means I can probably avoid methotrexate or a D&C or anything happening to my other tube.  I am now off of ectopic watch and I can stop taking these awful meds.  Good.  I mean, not good because it means the entire IVF cycle failed.  But good that at least I avoided that nastiness.

At check out, I saw a former co-worker (male) with I guess his wife.  In any other context, I would have said hi.  Hell, if I were buying granny panties and Monistat at the Wal Mart check out, I would have said hi and tried to catch up.  But the fertility clinic.  After a failed IVF cycle...

I hid in the bathroom like a boss.  It had three stalls, and I was just messing with my iPad at the sink, after I got sick of sitting on a toilet.  Check out can take forever sometimes.  The lady who came in and left must have thought I was crazy.  But the fertility clinic is a terrible place to run into someone you know.  Actually, I'm shocked that has never happened in the last 18 months!  But this is a big city with a lot of clinics.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ectopic Watch

A new, bossy nurse called back on Saturday.  I guess they ran my blood again???  Bossy Nurse asked me about my medicine, progesterone suppositories and estrogen patches, times, dates, witnesses.  Have you been taking your medicine???  I admitted to pulling off the damn patches and skipping a day of progesterone after I got a 2.2 beta and told to come back for the zero.  But I took them again on Wednesday, even though I hate progesterone, so it should have been fine for my Friday draw.  I'd rather be on Lupron than progesterone.  And these estrogen patches are gross and sticky.  I did myself a favor and didn't even bother to google the side effects of estrogen.

So, yes, more or less, I have been taking my stupid medicine that will not work.  I then got a whole bunch of instructions that I didn't get at my emergency ectopic scan yesterday.  I guess I am now on something called "ectopic watch" which is a lot less cool than it sounds.  I'm not allowed to travel.  I got a new phone number to call if I have "sharp, shooting pain" or "heavy bleeding" or "dizziness and lightheadedness."  Fun.

I caved and bought a pack of Wondfos.  Two Wondfos on Thursday, when my beta was somewhere between 6-15 were negative.  So I took another today, hoping it would be negative and maybe this would be over.  Nope, got a squinter.  Ugh.  I'm way beyond thinking this could work, but that would definitely require a screaming BFP by now.  So I was hoping for negative.  The one time I actually want this Wondfo to be negative, it's a squinter.
  And all those pre-Thanksgiving Wondfos white as the driven snow. 3 Wondfos down, 47 to go.

EDIT:  On Sunday, I got another squinter first thing in the morning, and it's just as squinty as yesterday's squinter, in most light you can't even see it.  4 Wondfos down, 46 to go.  Guess I'm getting methotrexate next week.

EDIT:  Got barely a squinter Sunday night, and a negative on Monday morning!  Maybe this will go to zero on its own, and I will avoid a bunch of nastiness tomorrow!  44 Wondfos to go.

EDIT:  Another negative Monday night!  Maybe this is going to be OK.  43 Wondfos left.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ghost of Christmas Future

My beta was 15.  This combined with my estrogen was of grave concern.  I'm on estrogen patches, so I don't get it, but whatever.  I'm done trying to figure out betas or pretend like I have any kind of control in this.

I went in for an emergency scan for an ectopic.  Scan showed nothing.  Come back next week and we will come up with a plan, assuming I don't bleed out and die before then.  So maybe I get an abortion for Christmas!

Sometime between Wednesday and Friday, the clinic put up a giant Christmas tree in the waiting room covered in Baby's First Christmas ornaments.  And of course the ornaments all have pictures of smiling twins in matching Christmas outfits.  Twins dangling just out of reach.

It occurred to me that Baby's First Christmas won't happen for me this year.  And then Christmas Future punched me in the gut.  I was trying really hard not to cry in the waiting room but did not quite succeed.  With how badly this has gone, and with how much time it will take to do something else, it probably can't even happen by next Christmas either.

That means Four Christmases as a grinch who just wants what comes so easily to everyone else.  Four Christmases waiting for my baby.  God, I'll be looking at this giant Christmas tree again next year covered in even more twins, while my heart is two sizes too small.  Hell, I might be looking at this same damn tree for years.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fear of the 6

My beta was 6.  I was very confused by the nurse.  I'm supposed to keep taking my estrogen patches and progesterone, even though the nurse said we just have to keep watching for it to drop to zero.  And I guess the worst period I've ever had means nothing?  WTF???

But my thoughts immediately went to waking up in the recovery room.  Wouldn't it just be a swell Christmas present if I could both fail at IVF AND blow my other tube at the same time!  Still a couple weeks for 2014 to punch me in the face a few times.  And now I'm so scared I'm going to pass out on the kitchen floor alone and bleed out.

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's Really Dark in Here

It's really dark in here.

I knew IVF was a coinflip, putting all my money on red.  But somehow sitting for a 2.2 (WTF) beta in front of a corkboard covered in pictures of smiling twins after a "perfect" cycle with two "perfect" day 5 blasties, it all feels like a trick.  Like they are dangling some scant hope just out of reach for what I want the most.  And I know that as long as I have the money, I'll play another hand.

I hate gambling, and yet here I am at this beautiful, expensive poker table where it smells nice and drinks are free.  But make no mistake, the house always wins.  Failed IVF.  I can't even say it out loud.  The casino isn't this nice because of the guy who busted the dealer and left.  It's the guy who played blackjack all night and blew all his money hoping for that next hand that would be the big win.  The clinic makes more money the more I keep showing up.  That's why I have to throw down fifty more bucks to make sure my 2.2 drops to zero.  That's why I have to double down on another hand next month.  The house always wins.  I read someone thought they had a 75% success rate at IVF, which is higher than any clinic in the world.  I guess we believe what we want to believe.  And boy did I buy what they were selling.  I am most upset at myself for letting myself believe this would work.

While I'm mixing gambling metaphors, this casino's comps suck.  The nurse didn't care.  Hell, I'd want to get off that call too.  Haven't even heard from the doctor.  I would have asked him for a few days of Valium so I can get through my client meetings without hysterically crying.  I'm not ready to talk to anyone, especially my mom, ugh.  I texted a few people.  I got a frowny face.  I got a "that sucks."  A couple didn't respond.  I got some sympathetic words, some words of wisdom, some digital hugs.  But I can't feel it.  I get it.  What is there to say?  It won't help.  And, again, I find myself wishing I had told fewer people.   That I was less exposed.  My friend with a failed cycle was helpful, but what are you supposed to say?  There's no way to be prepared for how this feels, even if I had tried.

The thing about grief is that you just have to plow through it.  No one can do it for you.  It's even more fucked up when that grief took all this time and money and effort.  I canceled my vacation.  I quit working out.  I changed my job.  I lost my sex life.  I have put my whole marriage at risk.  I have given up on my life for this.  It's really dark in here, and I have no idea where I am going.