When Nature Is Not Enough
IVF will hopefully bring us the miracle we are waiting for.
I'm 37 and have been happily married since Sept. 2002. Ivan is truly my companion in life. Our TTC journey has felt like a never ending roller coaster ride. We had an ectopic PG in Dec. 04 and in April 05 found out my IF is due to tubal abnormality. We were told IVF was our only hope. July 05 we did IVF # 1 and it was a chemical PG. We did IVF # 2 in Oct. 05 and it was a BFN. In Jan. 06 we did a combined fresh and frozen embryo transfer and it was a BFN. We were determined not to give up our dream of having a baby. IVF # 4 was in April 06. The cycle worked like a charm and on December 20, 2006 we were blessed with Hannah and Matthew.
Friday, April 29, 2005
I went to an IVF seminar last night...very informative and I'm feeling more optimistic. As the doctor discussed all the testing that is involved I just sat there thinking "there's more, what else can they do to me". I hadn't realized all the probing and prodding they've done. Here it is:
HSG - Dec. 04 and March 05
D&C - Jan. 05 & April 05
Endometrial Biopsy - Jan. 05 and April 05
SHG - April 05
Hysteroscopy - April 05
Laparoscopy - April 05
Chromopertubation - April 05
Then there's the countless sonos and u/s that I've had....will it ever end.
It made me think just how much more I could actually take. I have my 1st of 3 appointments with infertility specialists next Wednesday. (Yeah, I want and need 3 different opinions, especially if we do IVF.) I'm eager and very anxious. I also know there will be more probing involved.
The seminar yesterday was great! It felt so good to be around people who have similar problems but most of all who understand. There were so many different causes for infertility and at times I felt as if my problem was minor compared to others. I found myself having hope and strength to go on and face what lies ahead. Yeah, I might need tubal reconstruction but that woman's body keeps rejecting her embryos and she might need a surrogate....that is worse!
If I've learned anything from this is that it could always be worse. Infertility makes you step back and try to find something positive to hold on to. We find strength when at times there is no hope but we go on because we want a baby.
The doctor yesterday asked how many times we would try IVF. I hadn't thought about that. I guess I secretly wished that it would happen the 1st time but it might not be that way. Ivan looked at me and I just shrugged my shoulders. On the ride home we spoke more about it. He said he couldn't decide because it would be unfair of him to ask me to go on if I could not, so in the end I decide. It's a tough call...so many different things to think about. The two main factors being emotional and financial. I've decided I will definitely do 2 cycles and if we can I will do a 3rd but that will be the last. If after 3 IVF cycles I have not gotten pregnant then I will accept that it is not meant to be. I'm feeling hopeful and I will pray that I get my BFP and in the end a healthy baby.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Trying to be Positive
Sometimes life just sucks....there's no other way to put it. This weekend I felt so low and alone. Sometimes it's easy to pretend all is okay. Sometimes I can "block out" what's missing and what I want so much but for some reason I cannot have. I've gone through the processing, I've tried to understand why this is happening. What did I do? Is this a punishment? I've gone through it all and I know that I will never know why this is happening. I must accept this and deal with it but as we all know INFERTILITY SUCKS. Yeah, that will be my new blinkie but it's not hopeful is it and I'm trying to be hopeful or at least pretend that I am.
It's all a game, a charade. I wake up every morning to the same thing, to that emptiness inside. I hate that there is nothing I can do to fix this. I have to rely on others. I have to hope that what ever we do we will succeed but it's so hard. For the control freak that I am, having no control over this, not being able to do anything is very hard for me. Right now it's all about waiting and we know how we feel and deal with waiting...it's not easy.
I hate that I really can't talk to anyone about this. They just don't understand. Ivan tries but it's hard when he is also trying to deal with this and he tries to comfort me but I'm not looking for comfort. I guess for now this will do.
So the charade continues and my life is on hold....yeah, that's how it feels.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
My TTC Journey
I can't believe how different my life was a year ago. I knew I wanted a baby and I just assumed it would happen. I never imagined that it would be a long and at times very lonely and painful journey.
So here's how it begins......
Ivan and I started dating on Nov. 10, 1993. After many years of "putting it off" we began our life together on September 22, 2002. It was a beautiful day and I was glad to start a new chapter in my life. Most of all I was glad that I would be sharing my life with him.
We both knew we wanted to be married at least 2 years before we had a child. We tried for a couple of months but I never thought there was a problem. I just assumed the timing was wrong. I was disappointed when in July 2004 we didn't conceive a baby in Spain or Portugal. I got really excited because our 2nd year anniversary was coming up and thought it would be great if I was pregnant and could tell him then. It worked out that I would be able to test that day.
I should have known from the way that day started that it was just the beginning of what would be a riddle of disappointments for us. We received a telephone call at 3:00 AM that Ivan's mother was being rushed to the hospital. She had been ill for a while but in the past week had gotten worse. My first thought was "she's going to die on our anniversary". What a horrible and selfish thought...yes, all about me. We went to the hospital and she was in stable condition in ICU....we could breathe and prayed that she would get bettter.
There was no celebrating that day. I got a BFN but my concern about Ivan's mother overshadowed my disappointment.
Ivan's mother passed away on September 27, 2004 at 3:45 AM. Ivan wrote a beautiful eulogy for his mother and expressed his anger and disappointment that she will never see our children. Our children will be the only grandchildren she will not know BUT I know she will be their guardian angel. In the midst of his sadness he asks that we name our 1st daughter after his mother. We agree that the middle name will be Stella. I know she smiled when she heard this.
Obviously there was no TTC during this time. In November we started again. My prayer partner, Cat, introduced me to the prayer to St. Gerard. In December I did the novena to St. Gerard. I prayed and prayed that I get pregnant.
Dec. 9, 2004 I get a BFN. I start telling myself "I'm infertile" it's been over 6 months and I'm 35 so I am considered infertile. I go to see my doctor and she schedules a HSG.
Hold on....this is where my emotional roller coaster begins.
Dec. 22, 2004 I have my HSG. The procedure was not painful BUT the results were very painful. I have a blocked tube and the doctor tells me "there's no way you can get pregnant". Yep, my nightmare has come true.
I had irregular bleeding for a week after the HSG and I go to see my doctor. Dec. 30th I find out I had an early miscarriage. WHAT?!?! I am flooded with so many different feelings...I am confused, sad, angry, disappointed....I don't know what to think or how to feel.
I get my levels checked every other day for 2 weeks. Levels are dropping....but then I get a call from my doctor....my level doubled. What, how could that be....I don't understand. She states that I must not have fully expelled and on Jan. 17 she does a D&C. Again not too painful but when I see the tissue I just want to cry. All I'm thinking is "that's my baby, that's what's left of what was my baby".
I want to be numb, I don't want to feel anything. I start telling myself that this is closure and I need to heal and move on. I get another phone call....the pathology that was done on the tissue indicated it was not pregnancy tissue. WHAT????? I'm so confused. She explains it was an ectopic pregnancy. I go in on Jan. 26 for the methotrexate injection to expel the pregnancy.
I again start telling myself okay this is closure....I have to go on. It was a long and emotional month. So many ups and downs...it truly was an emotional roller coaster. I have to wait until my cycle begins and then have a repeat HSG.
March 3rd I have my HSG. I am so nervous and Ivan is a nervous wreck. He's supposed to be my rock he can't be nervous but this is taking a toll on him. I don't want to look at the monitor...I'm afraid the dye won't come out. I hold my breath and then I see it....ah....I can breathe. One tube is okay but I don't see dye coming out from the other one. The doctor states he sees it. I don't but he's the doctor. He smiles and tells me "everything looks good". I must be honest that's not what I was expecting.
I'm so happy! I want to celebrate but most of all I want to BABY DANCE!!!!
Just when I'm feeling hopeful and positive it happens again...another phone call. March 18th the doctor calls to tell me that she got the pictures from the HSG and it shows I have some polyps. She scheduled me for a SHG. March 23rd I have the SHG and it showed I had 2 polyps on my left tube and some abnormal growth around my uterus. All I'm thinking is this can't be happening, WHY?!?! The doctor states I need a hysteroscopy and laparoscopy.
The days prior to the surgery were very emotional. Obviously I'm nervous about it but I have to pretend all is well. Ivan is wonderful. He's attentive, supportive and just wants to make me feel better. By now he knows not to say "relax" or "everything will be okay". He knows these are triggers. I'm scared, angry, sad, did I mention scared.
April 4th I go in for a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. The surgery goes well. The doctor removes the tissue and polyps but there is something wrong with my tube. I was drowsy from the anesthesia but I distinctly remember her telling me "under no circumstances should you try to get pregnant". I overhear her talking to Ivan. She mentions problem with tube, specialist, don't try to conceive until you see the specialist. I'm drowsy and just drained....I don't want to feel anything.
During my initial days of recovery I am trying to block it out....easier said than done. By day 4 I need to think about it and talk to Ivan. He's trying to be hopeful and optimistic....I love him for that but sometimes I just want to scream that it's not going to work out.
I start thinking maybe I should be optimistic but reality sets in. I'm infertile, I can't get pregnant without assistance. I go online and get info. It seems IVF might be our only option. Ivan doesn't want to hear it. He tells me not to think about it but that's all I do.
April 20th I go to see my doctor for a follow-up. We go over the pictures. I kept thinking that my right tube was blocked but she explains that my tubes are not normal. Wait...did she say tubes....YES!!!!! My right tube is tangled/crumbled up. That's the best I can put it...of course she explained it much better but that's what it looked like to me. My left tube is curved at the bottom. What are my options I ask. They can do surgery to cut the end of the left tube but she does not think they can repair the right tube. I ask her what she would do if it was her. She responds "I would do IVF". She explains the surgery might not work and it might only increase my chance of a repeat ectopic and it will only drag the process. She states I'm a wonderful candidate for IVF. I'm healthy, have good eggs and I'm only 35.
Ivan and I discuss what I just learned. Again, he's supportive and wants to be hopeful. He wants to see what the specialist will say. He is hoping that the specialist will be more optimistic and reassuring about the surgery working but all I'm thinking about is we will need IVF.
So this is how I got here. It looks as if we will have to do IVF, hence the name of my blog:
WHEN NATURE IS NOT ENOUGH
As we were having lunch today I tell Ivan I want to start a blog and explain that maybe I can print it and when we have a baby and it is older we can show it and the child will know just how much we wanted him/her...ooh maybe them and know that even before it was conceived it was loved very much.
So my journey begins... WAITING FOR OUR MIRACLE