“I have a baby”

A friend of mine, who knows about my struggle with IVF and adoption stuff, can be somewhat of an arse.  Today, he was trying to get out of some work thing we all hate, but we all have to go to. When I said, “why do you think you don’t have to go?”  He replied, “I have a baby.”

I laughed and told him that he also had a stay at home wife and to get over his self.

What I should have said was:

I had to go to this exact same function last year, with my purse full of tampons and pads that were barely keeping the menstruation cylce that I’d paid $15,000 for from ruining my clothes and announcing my failure to get pregnant to the world, all while trying not to cry and smiling at everyone’s lame jokes and mild complaints about being there.

Okay, so I guess my first reply was better.  But sometimes, writing mean thoughts down helps.

I saw a quote today at yoga that I’m going to try to remember:  “Before you speak, ask yourself, Is is kind? Is it necessary?  Does it improve the silence?”  Seems like a good thing to remember.  Now, if i could just keep my brain from thinking snarky replies.

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#*^@#&@%*^$@^#@*#^*@#^

If I didn’t want to come across as completely crass, then my title for this post would just be a bunch of curse words, all one right after another.  I’m frazzled.  My dissertation is in full-court press time.  We have a big trip coming up and DH keeps telling me “we’ll figure it out when we get there” which offends my planning sensibilities.  My house is a mess.

AND!

I can’t find some paperwork that I need to finish up all the foster care stuff. I had it in March. I know it’s in this house SOME WHERE. SOME PLACE.  So, I’ve been looking at Every Single Piece of Paper in my entire house.

I teach English.  My DH is a packrat. I’m also a full-time student.  Can you imagine how many pieces of paper are in my house?

It’s driving me crazy, maybe even more crazy than Clomid mixed with PIO mixed with DHEA.

IVF #2, WTF Appointment

I’ll write this post in two sections — the before and after.

BEFORE:

Tomorrow, we go for our WTF (Why The Fail, a translation for those faint of heart) appointment.  I have some prediction for what the RE will say/recommend:

  • Donor eggs
  • Surrogacy (technically, gestational carrier)
  • Just do it again — it’ll work… eventually.  Blather, blather, 66% of couples, blather, blather, 3 IVF tries.

I just don’t think I’m going to do any of those.  Here’s my reason why, in order:

  • Why would donor eggs help?  It’s my body that’s killing my perfectly good embryos.
  • Yes, surrogacy would increase our chances.   But I’ve only made 3-5 eggs, which means it would be a ONE SHOT deal.  That’d be fine if it cost a reasonable amount of money.  It doesn’t.  We’d be paying completely out-of-pocket, which would be about $50,000 from what I’ve seen online.
  • Do it again?  I don’t think I can.  Emotionally, I’m done.  I have zero hope and positive energy left for my body’s ability to carry a child.  Physically, it’s really hard.  I hate the hormones raging and falling.  I still have lumps in my butt.  My skin is flaring, though thankfully not as bad as last time.  Monetarily, we’re wiped.  I can’t justify spending one more penny on something that has so little chance of success.  We’re not millionaires, and we don’t have money to keep throwing into my ovaries/butt. 🙂

So, there’s where I am today, the day before.  I’ll update once I see the RE tomorrow, though I think not much will have changed.

I have already had my period, which was a relief.  Last time, it took over a week to start and it was REALLY painful.

I’ve also spent hours and hours reading books about adoption.  I am completely overwhelmed.  I can’t even make a basic decision about domestic vs. international.  I have no idea if I care about age or gender or sibling groups.  I don’t know what special needs really means.  I’m not sure how I feel about transracial adoption (I know I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t know how I think the child will feel).  I wonder if fostering is a terrible idea.
Some days (most of the time, I’m not), I feel really bitter about women who tried for a few months and then got pregnant and never every had to worry about any of this stuff.  Today is one of those days.   See the funny/wonderful e-card to the side.  I’d like to have that message in a t-shirt.  Or, maybe I could have it as a business card, which I could pull out, then slap someone who tells me that I’m not pregnant because it’s not part of some completely f-ed up plan or something equally ridiculous.  I saw that e-card over on JJiraffe’s blog and you can find the link to the card here.

AFTER:

Well, I was right.  Those were the three suggestions.  For the do it again, the RE said that if I did it again, I’d do the lupron stuff in addition to the antagonist protocol. I don’t know what that means.  Also, the spotting I had on both that went away probably indicates that the embryos tried to implant and then stopped growing.  As I expected.

Once we mentioned surrogacy, that was it for the discussion of me getting pregnant.  I really think the RE doesn’t believe my immune system will let me get pregnant.  It’s just stopping anything from growing and developing.  Damn you ridiculous immune system.  Didn’t you get the memo?

Anyway, DH and I talked about the surrogacy option, but it just seems too complicated.  Using an agency is too expensive ($25 – 50 grand).  Finding a family member or friend sounds great, until you think about how that would really work out.  What if she got pre-eclampsia?  What if she blamed me for some issue that was created during the pregnancy?  What if, and this is the big one, we spend another $15 – 20 grand and she still doesn’t get pregnant?  Or miscarries?  What kind of guilt and hard feelings might that create?  It’s just too expensive and too risky.

After a brief, but good, conversation with DH, I think we’re going to move towards adoption and adoption through fostering.  This is a new plan and one that I need to spend more time with, but it’s a plan I feel most drawn to right now.

So… after is just like before, except this time, I feel like I can actually make a plan. That plan may change, my world may take over my plans, but I can at least make a plan and move forward.

Now… to figure that plan out!

 

IVF #2 6dp3dt (6 days past 3 day transfer)

So, I’ve felt terrible today.  I woke up from a nightmare where I was driving a Jeep with my baby in my lap.

Except that my baby looked like the creature from Little Big Planet (I’ve never played the game — only seen the commercials).  And, the baby was hungry but I couldn’t feed it… because I was driving down a mountain in  a Jeep with a baby on my lap.

Is is too early for Pregnancy Nightmares?  Are pregnancy nightmares a real thing?

After that auspicious beginning, I’ve felt cranky, nauseous, tired, constipated, and bloated for the rest of the day.

Damn the Progesterone!  I guess my hormones levels are changing or being off the higher doses of steroid, or just a general feeling of overwhelmedness has taken over.

I’m trying to stay focused on positive thoughts and happiness outside of this process and as part of the process.

I would also like to write about post about NIAW, about not ignoring infertility, but honestly, all I want to do is ignore it right now. I think I need a nap.  I bet a nap would make everything all better… unless I have the dream again about the little big planet hungry baby!

IVF #2, Pi Day

How wonderful is it that we have an entire day devoted to Pi?  It’s one of the coolest things that I just found out about.

In IVF about to start land, I’ve forgotten 2 BCP and 2 Metformins this cycle, including the ones last night.  Actually last night, I didn’t forget.  I was just so tired that once I was in bed, I couldn’t make myself get back up to take the pills, no matter how important they were.  Today, I was SO ANGRY and upset and frustrated (over nothing.  really). that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to stay at work. I’m really worried that if I already feel this emotionally distressed, and I haven’t even started stims yet, that things are going to be pretty awful this cycle, in terms of emotional health. Maybe I can get a prescription for calmness and happiness too.  Does that come in a 1 X a day shot, like the PIO?

I only have 14 more days of BCP, then it’s time for stims starting on March 31.  That seems so, so soon.  I am haunted lately by the first IVF and its failure.  I keep thinking of how maybe I did something wrong after the transfer–I really, really, really had to pee. It was so awful that I was almost in tears.  Even using the bedpan didn’t help because I was so embarrassed and worried about overflowing the bedpan that I didn’t let enough pee out.  Plus, I’d done the acupuncture, which (and I hope I don’t offend anyone here) felt silly to me, so I was covered in tiny pins, completely stressed about having to pee, and fighting back tears and shame all at the same time.  Is that what made the embies not stick?  What if that happens again? Can I ask to not drink all the water?  My uterus is backwards (retro or something is the real word, but I forgot what the doc called it) Oh, the joys of infertility.

I think I’m going to watch Captain Kirk now.  He can fix anything (eventually).

Oh, go check out Jay’s blog if you want some fun and happiness today.  She’s so wonderful.

 

Puking and Peeing… and now Pissing and Moaning

I’ll start this post by saying that I’m not often given to writing a TMI warning ’cause I figure you wouldn’t be reading this kind of blog if you couldn’t handle a li’l bit of raw information, given in truthful way without any glossing over.  But, as the title of this post should indicate, this is not just a li’l bit of raw information.

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So, I didn’t start my BCP on time (Saturday) because I forgot to pick up my prescription.  First thing Sunday morning, though, I dutifully drove to the pharmacy, got the meds, and popped one in the parking lot.  In the instructions, it says take the one you missed as soon as you remember.  So, that’s what I did.  Then, last night (still Sunday), I took my 2nd one on schedule.

Well, what a mistake that was.  At 2 AM, I woke up DH telling him that I really didn’t feel well.  He offered to get me a water, then went back to sleep.  I kept thinking that I’d go back to sleep myself and that my bad feeling would pass over.  At 2:30 AM, I found out just how wrong I was.  I was puking for the next 2 hours or so, in that kind of gut wrenching awful way, so hard that I actually peed on the floor while throwing up (how sexy is that??!).  I’ve had a headache and felt really, awfully tired all day since then.  I’m giving these darn pills 3 more days.  If I don’t feel better, I’m calling the RE’s office back and asking how necessary these things are.  I mean, really, it’s not like we have to worry about me getting pregnant.  Plus, my period is almost like a clock.    It was awful,  just awful, last night.  I know, I know, pregnant women throw up and probably go through much worse feelings than I had last night.  I guess the difference will be that that will seem worth it, where last night just felt completely unnecessary.

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This part of the post has been added later because I need a moment of venting time.  Let me tell you a little story about my friend, let’s call him Jimmy.

Jimmy is pretty much a good guy.  He’s mostly nice, but he’s also pretty inept.  Like he constantly leaves his keys places and drops his electronic equipment in liquid (ponds, coffee cups, puddles, bath tubs, etc…).  Like he can’t EVER remember when we have to go to work meetings or big events, so I end up calling to remind him, every time.

Well, Jimmy is a pretty smart guy, has a postgraduate degree and works with me in a relatively stable, if not high paying, job.  He met, a few months ag0, a really pretty girl who is nice enough and all.  She’s also still married.  To her adulterous husband.  Who is still paying all her bills, since she herself is NOT well-paid and works in a career where money goes up and down based on services rendered.

Well, guess what Jimmy just called to tell me?  Yep.  Said girl is PREGNANT.  They are due in September.  She’s moving in to his house and so is her 8 year old daughter.   He’s super stoked, while also being completely scared. He’s going from confirmed bachelor to insta-family!

I know I’m just supposed to be happy for him/them.  Part of me really is.  But part of me just wants to re-enact that scene from Steel Magnolias where Sally Field wanders along behind the cemetery  yelling “I just wanna know WHY!”  Sometimes life just seems so unfair.  I know I should change the way I’m seeing this. I know I’m supposed to look for the positive.  I just can’t right now. I’m going to bed, with my kindle, and I’m going to read until I stop thinking about all of this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGZu8gwfpQc

Drug Companies and Denial

So, I’ve blogged about trying to lose weight multiple times on here because when I’m not obsessing about how much fatter I want my middle to be (pregnant), I’m obsessed with how much fat my middle already holds.  I carry weight in my tummy.  In the front.  Like a pooch.  Like a baby belly.  So much fun for this infertile girl to be asked if I’m pregnant over and over again by strangers.  I now answer, No, I’m just fat.  I’ve done everything I can think of. Modified Atkins diets.  WeightWatchers.  Fasting.  Exercising for >45 minutes every day.  Sleeping more.  And, I can’t seem to lose weight.  It’s really maddening.

When I tell people about it, their reply seems to always be, even if they don’t say it, that I’m not exercising enough or I eat too much.  I started out the week finding out that my extreme, I thought, diet of eating ONLY fruit and vegetables with small bits of nuts, yogurt and cottage cheese had caused me to gain 3 pounds.  My DH stopped eating bread, mostly except for 3 doughnuts, a cheese biscuit and a cheeseburger.  He lost 5 pounds.  He also only went to the gym 3 days when I went 5.  Maybe I am still eating too much and not exercising enough.  But maybe, just maybe, it’s not technically my fault.  So, I did a little research and found out that it might really not be my fault.

I called Abbott today, the maker of the wonderdrug, for me at least, Humira to find out what to do, since I’m not the only one who has gained weight while on these TNF blocker things (I’ll post the titles of 5 different studies that I can find and you can too, using PubMed… which means there are way more than 5).  I was hoping they’d say that maybe my body is storing fat differently, so any kind of fat is bad, or perhaps my metabolism is slower so I need to to something about that.  Perhaps, I react poorly to sugar.  You know, I thought they’d help me fix this issue so I could stay on my medication and still not be as pudgy.

They, Abbott, the maker of Humira, said, Nuh-uh, not us.  We’re not doing it.  I said, I’ve read studies that show TNF blockers are linked to weight gain.  Their response, We haven’t read those.  I said, well, you can google and read about real, live patients who report weight gain with Humira.  Their response, No, way, not us.  We’ve never heard that.  I told the Humira lady that I was surpised a medical company was less astute at doing research than a lady with google and access to PubMed.  She said, Oh, sorry, but our data doesn’t show that.

Whatever, lady.  Denial is not a river in Africa. I know you all don’t want to report that because all those commercials on TV won’t sound as good if you say, your psoriasis may get better… but you also might get fat. 

Anywho, I’m meeting with my trainer/nutrition guru guy tomorrow to come up with a plan, as good as we can, and here are the names of the studies, all of them showing an increase in BMI for patients with psoriasis or ankylosis spondylitis, who gained the weight while on TNF blockers for an extended time period.  Maybe I should email these links to Abbott, since they’re way too busy to research their own medications.

  1. Prospective assessment of body weight and bodycomposition changes in patients with psoriasis receiving anti-TNF-α treatment.
  2. Comparison of body weight and clinical-parameter changes following the treatment of plaque psoriasis with biological therapies
  3. Effect of anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha therapies on body mass index in patients with psoriasis
  4. Anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha therapy increases body weight in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis: a retrospective cohort study.
  5. Prospective assessment of body weight, body composition, and bone density changes in patients with spondyloarthropathy receiving anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha treatment