Holy Triggers Batman

April 7, 2014

What a truly bizarre two week wait.

I expected some of this. But not all of it.

I know how I felt during my FET.  It was WAY WORSE than I imagined it would be (even though I didn’t write about it all until later).  I thought that this time, since it’s not my body, it would be easier. And it is. At least in the fact that I’m not worried for my physical self. I thought I might be worried for B’s physical self.  But I’m not. Not yet, anyway.

What is happening is that I’m reliving the 2ww from my IVF (PTSD much?). My first injectibles cycle.  The one I postponed because Pops was in the hospital.  And then he landed in the ER at 4dp3dt. Which was yesterday for this surro FET cycle. He recovered fairly quickly from that ER visit.  Thankfully, he was at home doing fairly well by the time I landed in the hospital a month later.

And of course his cancer came back while I was still recovering from that pregnancy. And then he died.  And then I was cleared for FET.

And now my almost 16 year old hyperthyroid renally challenged kitty seems to be boycotting both food and the litterbox.

So.

The two week wait.  Pregnancy.

They STILL equate – in my brain – to death and dying. Even when it’s not my body.

So yeah.  This is tons of fun.

NOT.

It is a truly bizarre thought process.  My headshrinker says it’s completely normal. Memories are stored chronologically and when you access one you tend to get all the ones around it. Particularly if they are traumatic. So apparently I am not a raging lunatic for equating pregnancy (or even potential pregnancy) with death.

A negative beta will end it most likely as that will be a different outcome from the past. 

A positive beta (or home pregnancy test) will likely keep the triggers coming for a few more weeks.  This is not about the outcome of this surro FET cycle.  I mean, it partly is but it’s about so much more.

I should have seen this coming.  I suppose I did to a certain extent. But it’s proving to be far more powerful than I anticipated.

At least I’m not having panic attacks. I am not literally terrified like I was last time.  I just can’t stop the emotions from coming. Instead of abject terror engulfing me I’m staring at a tidal wave of grief. Preferable, yes. But still quite large and consuming.
 
I miss my Dad. I want to talk to him. I want to cuddle my sick kitty but she won’t let me.
 
I will be OK.  I always am. But this is going to be rougher than I anticipated. But also, once again, reaffirms that those embryos are way better off with B right now.

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The New Math of Loss

March 30, 2014

You may recall that last Fall submissions were being taken for a book about miscarriage. I mentioned it here. After the movie Return To Zero came out they decided to do a book – an anthology of stories of love and loss to raise awareness.

Well that book, Three Minus One, is now out. My submission was not chosen to be in it. But someone I know on Twitter is in it. Both her Twitter and her blog are private so I won’t link here but I do want to give a big shout out to Lauren! So proud of you! Congrats!

Three Minus One book cover

I had hoped to be a part of this since I still struggle so much with my first pregnancy. But I don’t think the world at large is ready for the darkness that was the Zombabies. Nobody wants to hear about how hard it was to kill your much wanted babies over and over again. I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately as we get closer and closer to SurroFET. I worry that these last two embryos, the rejects of the crop, will not take. And then all my babes will be gone. And then I think about the first two. I think about how beautiful the RE said they were. I think about how hard they fought me to stay alive. And I hope their siblings are just as strong… but with a better sense of direction.

[Also, why are embryo GPSs still not a thing?!]

It’s never been Three Minus One for us. It’s been 2 + 6 -2 -1 -1 = 2. Soon we will find out the end of that equation. Will we be three? Or four? Or will the Six Return to Zero leaving us as two?

I started writing this post a year ago. WordPress tells me I last updated it in December. I may actually finish editing it and publish it this year. And I’ve scheduled it to post while I’m off doing something that will hopefully make me forget all about it.
————————————————————————————————
Jesus. I just wrote the title and realized it’s a double entendre. I was intending to write about Pops’ death one two years ago. But… I suppose it applies to Right Guy and our losses as well. Fuck. That’s another post. Or not. Since he doesn’t talk.

Anyway… here’s the disclaimer. Death is not pretty and neither is this post. Seriously, stop reading now if you think you might not want to hear about what it’s like to die. In this case, of lung cancer. But I think the end process is similar regardless.
Not every death is like this one. I’m sure there are people who go peacefully in their sleep – really and truly. Someone more flowery than me might have described Pops’ death as just that – if they hadn’t been there in the hours just before, they might have said he died peacefully in his sleep. If you had found him in the morning that’s what it would have looked like. But he didn’t.

At least, not from MY perspective. Right Guy says different. I suppose he’s seen more horrible deaths. In the grand scheme of things, perhaps he’s right. But I have no basis for comparison. To me, my father’s death was traumatic.

I watched him struggle to breathe for hours. It was painful to watch. I kept giving him more morphine with the hope of him not knowing he was struggling to breathe.

I was with him all night. I saw the labored breathing. I kept him as doped as possible. At the time I wasn’t even completely sure I wasn’t overdosing him. I was trusting Right Guy’s medical advice – not knowing whether he was abetting euthanasia (he wasn’t). I just saw how clearly difficult it was for my father to breathe and I desperately wanted to make it easier on him – in any way I could (can you imagine?). If euthanasia had been explicitly mentioned at the time I likely would not have said no, although, I couldn’t have done it myself.

I can only hope now, as I did then, that he was too doped to know what was going on. That he was, in effect, sort of asleep and not aware in any way. Unfortunately, I won’t ever feel sure of that. He struggled so much to breathe, I find it difficult to believe that he wasn’t aware of it on some level. But I hope. In the same way I #hope that I can become pregnant with one tube and old eggs I will one day have a child.

He died in the wee hours on a Saturday morning. The day before Father’s Day. Friday afternoon the Hospice nurse had said she thought he would make it through the weekend. Which was kind of disheartening actually. It was clear to me that he was suffering quite a bit at that point. For it to go on for the whole weekend seemed cruel. But death is often like that.

But it didn’t happen that way. He tanked. FAST. More or less. He was gone just about 12 hours after the Hospice nurse left. It didn’t seem so fast at the time. I had given the newly hired nurse the night off and taken the overnight shift myself. And Right Guy happened to have that night off and came to help.

Neither of us had any clue Friday evening that we would be awake all night. Or that 12 hours could feel like an eternity.

In the end, I did what he asked. What he had asked me to do eight months before. He had asked me to be there with him at the end. He was afraid of dying alone (I think). I don’t think he knew what a burden that might be for me. He just wanted someone there with him when he went. And I understand that. And I wanted to be there for him. But, just so you know, this is a MUCH more difficult task than it sounds like. It’s not only hard at that moment but it’s something you carry with you… forever.

Last year I relived that night. Apparently the date of his death matters less to me than the way it played out. I was up all night that Friday night with him. And last year, on that Friday night, I was trapped in a hell of living it all over again. SO many things are blurry in my memory after his death. But that night… I remember it vividly with remarkable detail. I’m writing this before Friday night. I can only hope that this year it will not be as bad.

There’s a lot more to this story. Maybe, one day, I’ll get it all out. But for now this is it. His last day. The day before Father’s Day. Forever imprinted on my brain.

Marking Time

May 9, 2013

Despite the fact that I always loved History, dates are not exactly my thing. I do a pretty good job of remembering birthdays and such but I typically pay less attention to other dates. Like anniversaries. Because of this I am likely to eventually forget exact dates of things that are painful – Like EDDs (Estimated Due Dates for those who don’t know) of lost pregnancies and death dates.

Given my propensity to forget these kinds of dates why does the universe choose to mock me by having them coincide with other dates or events that I DO remember (or am slapped in the face with)?

Pregnancy #1 – The Zombabies – We found out the pregnancy was ectopic on Right Guy’s birthday, which we spent in the ER. The EDD for that pregnancy? The day after Mother’s Day. This year, that date is today.

Pregnancy #2 – Tubaby – EDD was exactly one week before Father’s Day.

Pops’ death – He died the day before Father’s Day. Also, he and I had the same birthday.

astronomical clock, prague

Last year I tried like hell to reclaim Right Guy’s birthday and I think I did a decent job of creating new memories. I had spent his previous birthday away from him doing a long distance FET and was actually rather thankful not to have had to face that anniversary with him. So I tried to make up for that, and my body’s failure, last year. There’s hope for reclaiming that day.

As for my birthday, I’ve just decided to move it one day forward or backward each year – whichever is more convenient. That’s been working so far.

But Mother’s Day? And Father’s Day? Absolute shitstorms. Not only does it remind us of what we do not yet have, it’s also a reminder of all we’ve lost along the way.

Where are the holidays that remind you what you have right now?

Oh yeah, Thanksgiving. It’s a looong way off. And I always spent it with Pops.

Despite the negative tone of this post, I am not (yet) freaking out or despondent about the impending Mother’s Day. I don’t know whether that means I’m dealing with things better or if there will be a breakdown that comes out of nowhere.

It seems like infertility is all about time. Right now I just want to throw out all the clocks and all the calendars.

November ICLW

November 21, 2011

Hi everyone. I think it’s been over a year since I participated in ICLW. I’ve been… kinda busy. In the last 14 months I’ve had two ectopic pregnancies, cared for my dying father and moved across the country (which also meant quitting my job and trying to find a new one). So… yeah, just a little busy – with pretty much every major life stressor there is (and yet people still ask when we’re getting married – like I have time for that right now). Since it has been so long perhaps I should fill in any newcomers with a summary of my story.

I was originally diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure while I was still on birth control. I was having hot flashes and night sweats. At the ripe old age of 35. When I went off birth control I rarely ovulated on my own. I did the clomid thing. And then moved on to injectibles. Right Guy’s swimmers are AOK so we were just doing timed intercourse. But it seems my ovaries decided to make a come back and I ended up with 6 eggs in play. With the choice of canceling the cycle or converting to IVF, we converted. We weren’t sure I’d ever be able to produce that many eggs again.

The IVF worked. But at 6w6d I went in for an ultrasound and they saw nothing. I was told I probably had a missed miscarriage and would start bleeding soon. They checked my beta for confirmation. A few hours later my RE called and said Go To The ER NOW. My beta was 42000 – right where it was supposed to be. Fast forward through lots of tests, a D&C and a laparoscopy and they determined the pregnancies were in the muscle wall of my uterus. Rather than remove part or all of my uterus I spent 10 days in the hospital (waiting to see if my uterus would rupture) and ultimately received 7 doses of methotrexate over 5-6 months before beta=0. That IVF was August of last year. I was officially UNpregnant in February.

During those months, Pops’ cancer came back. For the third time. It was difficult, if not impossible, for me to care for him while I was going in for beta blood draws 2-3/week. And I ended up having to get methotrexate shots the same days he had chemo. Three months in a row. The chemo kept putting Pops in the hospital so we decided to stop and call in Hospice. During this time I was forbidden from trying to get pregnant while my uterus attempted to heal. Despite the fact that I might have been ovulating. And I was trying to plan my move knowing that I likely couldn’t move myself until Pops passed. We moved for Right Guy’s job so I still had to coordinate everything for him to move on time. Which turned out to basically coincide with Pops’ death (Right Guy was driving across the country during Pops’ funeral).

Fast forward. I managed to get through Pops’ death and funeral, clean out both our houses and ship stuff across the country and drive myself across the country. Somewhere in the middle of all that my RE finally gave me the green light to try again. I scheduled a FET for September before my insurance ran out since it was partially covered. I thought creating life would be the perfect way to honor Pops. I rolled the dice. I made a bet that the universe couldn’t possibly hate me enough to give me another ectopic. I was wrong.

Since I had just moved I had trouble finding a doc to give me an early ultrasound. So my old RE ordered tests from across the country and there was an inevitable delay in getting the results. In any case, this time it was tubal. We tried methotrexate again, but I ended up in surgery and they removed the tube.

That was about a month ago. And here we are. The bills for surgery are just starting to arrive. And I’m waiting to see if I will ovulate on my own or not. The original diagnosis has been called in to question due to conflicting bloodwork. But when your RE uses words like “anomalous” and “wonky” to describe your body… and another RE agrees with the description… all bets are off.

So welcome. Life (and therefore this blog) has been a little tragic of late. But there’s some humor here. Somewhere. If nothing else there is crazy and that’s always good for a laugh. Click on something in the tag cloud on the right and explore.

Anxiety. I haz it.

November 19, 2011

Anxiety. I haz it. About Thanksgiving. And other things.

I kind of freaked out yesterday. More accurately, I freaked myself out. I went a little Rain Man walking around Tar-jay shopping yesterday. I don’t think anyone else really noticed. Cuz I’m that awesome. But I noticed. It wasn’t quite an anxiety attack. I never froze. There were no real heart palpitations or difficulty breathing. I didn’t pass out. I didn’t feel like I was having a heart attack. I just went Rain Man on myself.

I think, in order to avoid having an actual attack, I just had to talk to myself incessantly and make OCD hand gestures (I’m really not completely kidding about the Rain Man comparison). I had to talk myself through each aisle. “Just go get this item and then we’ll go.” But then the item wasn’t there. And of course I’m in the aisle next to Babyland. It seems everything I was searching for was located in the general vicinity of all the baby crap. *sigh*

Most of the anxiety wasn’t even baby related. I just knew I didn’t need to add to it. I was having to talk myself through each step of shopping. Yes, out loud. Muttering under my breath to myself but the lips were still moving and I was audible. And making weird gestures with my hands.

Here’s the deal. I may or may not be having hot flashes again. I’ve been a little sick lately but don’t seem to have a fever. Maybe I just overdressed for the weather yesterday. Maybe the covers were too thick. I AM, after all, adjusting to a new climate. Or maybe, just maybe, my body has AGAIN decided to do a 180. Am I menopausal or not? I can’t take this yo-yo crap. Dr. Google tells me hot flashes can be a symptom of anxiety. So now my anxiety is giving me… anxiety?

I’m waiting to have a period after the ectopic. I’m supposed to go for bloodwork on CD21 to check my progesterone to see if I’m ovulating. And, just for the hell of it, my RE also wants to check my FSH (on CD21?). I wasn’t too worried about AF not showing up since I was having cycles earlier this year. I just wasn’t sure I was ovulating because AF was so short. But now I’m worried that I’m back to hot flashes, night sweats, no ovulation, no AF. Total reproductive shutdown. Just like 2 years ago. Good times.

It’s too early to worry too much about that. It really needs anther week or two. But adding that to my plate right now just tipped me over.

The anxiety I’m feeling is mostly not about all that crap. I’ve resigned myself to worrying about that stuff next YEAR. Or at least trying not to worry about it until next year.

It’s Thanksgiving. It was Pops’ favorite holiday. It will be my first major holiday without him. In the last 20 years I missed being with him on Turkey Day TWICE. Once because I was out of the country. The pain of his death has recently been surfacing – now that I’m moved, not pregnant and basically have nothing else to think about. I had thought the day, or maybe just the meal, would be difficult. I didn’t realize I would start freaking out about it in advance. It probably doesn’t help that I have four in-laws descending upon me next week. Two I haven’t ever met. They are not staying at our house thankfully (ooh, something to be thankful for!). We don’t have enough room. But I have to manage to get the house in order (still unpacking our own boxes and I have a garage full of stuff from my Pops’ house, some of which I need for entertaining).

Unpacking the boxes from Pops’ house really threw me for a loop. All I really wanted was to find a few nice red wine glasses. Maybe an extra baking dish for all the cooking I have to do. Instead I had a breakdown. A complete bawl-fest. Obviously I have not dealt with all this yet. Right Guy did his best. But I was, well… Hot Mess doesn’t even begin to describe it.

And two days later I went Rain Man in Tar.get.

I am not right in the head. Really. I’m being completely and totally serious. But, as I said to Right Guy, I can’t be that wrong in the head if I realize I’m not right in the head. Right? I know I’m not right in the head. I know why I’m not right in the head. Drugs might help. Talk therapy… I dunno. Like I said, I KNOW why I’m crazy. I don’t need a therapist to tell me why. And what can be done about it? I can’t bring my father back. I can’t undo my disastrous pregnancies. I can’t not ever unpack my dead father’s things.

I just have to grieve. And get past it all. And I think that must mean that I’ll be crazy for a little while.

I’m hoping it’s just the crazies talking (really the PTSD on this one) but I am now afraid of having a child. By any means. I think WAY too far ahead. What happens if I get my dream? Right now, I feel SURE that that child, whether my own or adopted, will die young. Probably of cancer (you know, cuz of the irony of Right Guy being a pediatric oncologist and all). The universe seems determined to take away what I love most. To make me feel constant loss. So if I defeat the odds and achieve my dreams… they’ll just be taken away at a later date.

Loss deferred.

I know that’s crazy. But at the same time… it isn’t. It happens every day.

[This is why I’ve been a little AWOL from twitter. I can’t be of much support to anyone else right now and although I know you all care, you can’t get rid of my crazies. Better not to bring everyone else down – not this far down. Oh yeah, also, twitter client FAIL.]

I have a confession

October 24, 2011

So… I have a confession to make. To you, my (few) readers and (many) tweeps. I’m afraid I had some not nice thoughts about all of you. I thought I could escape this Land of #IF. I thought I could escape you.

What happened with my first pregnancy was so bizarre I thought hoped I had paid my dues. Between that and the loss of my father I thought the Universe couldn’t possibly throw more loss and grief my way. Not so soon anyway. I thought this FET was going to be the end of all this bullshit.

I was wrong.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I ever thought I could just escape from all of you. All of you who have been nothing but kind and supportive. I’ve never even had any nasty blog comments like many of you have had. No one has ever been anything but kind to me. And yet, I still wanted to escape. It was never personal. Nothing against any of you. I just didn’t want this war. Or these battles. Or the wounds from them. Or even the strong bonds of virtual friendship formed during battle in the trenches. I didn’t want it. I still don’t want it.

(What I really want is to be fertile and one of those women who get drunk and get pregnant by accident)

But I suppose I have to now accept it. I thought I had accepted it before but deep down… I hadn’t. Perhaps I haven’t accepted ANY of it yet.

Too much loss in one year. I’ve been so caught up in all the loss that perhaps I have lost sight of all that is not lost.

Right Guy.
The Kittehs (see them).
Bro, nieces, nephew – all now only 10 minutes away
A new city. A chance for a new start. Even if so far it’s been a bad start. It’s still early.