"Self pity is our worst enemy, and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in the world."
- Helen Keller1880-1968, Blind and Deaf Educator

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fellow Blogger- Please Visit

A fellow blogger is celebrating her one-year anniversary of blogging. Yippie for Ashley. What a milestone. Not always the milestone we hope for. But we get to support each other and keep the hope and prayers coming, even if we don't have the strength to do it ourselves. Anyway, go take a look. I am sure she would be thankful for a visit.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Some Knit, Others Scrapbook...

What seems to most women like such a natural part of life has become the challenge of my life. I am consumed with it. "Don't you have a hobby you can do?" a friend asked me earlier, trying to coach me to get my mind off this ever-present task. Working on getting and staying pregnant is my hobby. And it takes so much time out of my day, I really don't have time for anything else.

I like to read, and often read more than one book at a time. Currently, I am reading two books on fertility, one Wayne Dyer book on being present in life (like that will happen any time soon), and I just finished An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, a book on a woman's experience of delivering a stillborn baby at term. I'm not nearly the fun, cool woman I once was, am I? Jeez- I don't think I would want to hang with me at a party. How depressing would that be? Don't worry- I won't be at a party near you. I can count the number of social gatherings I have been to since the baby died on one hand. Ok, actually, half a hand. 3 in six months.

Where has my life gone? 4 years ago, I was happy as a clam (what does that even mean anyway?). I was filled with hope, and knew that life was going my way. Now I am here, at this cross-roads, and I don't know how the fuck I got here. Life is so short and I wonder how I will feel down the road at all the pain and suffering I put myself through. Will it be worth it? Will I regret it? Now is not the time for these sort of questions.

I want a baby. Is that too much to ask for? I want to nurture and love and teach- I want to mother children, watching them grow into men and women. I want to pass on the legacy that was passed on to me. Is that legacy biological, necessarily? I don't even know any more.

I carry around a box of "miracle cards" that a friend gave me for the holidays. Every time I get to this point, I reach for one and pop open the surprise little saying that has the power to make me smile or cheer me up. Here's the one I opened today:

"How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now, and that there will never be a time when it is now now." Gerald Jampolsky (founder of the center for attitudinal healing, aka CorStone)

How fitting. I know it's just a choice, but it doesn't seem so easy right now.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Reflections from the other side of fertility

There is a certain deference I feel to fertile women. It's subtle, but definitely present. It reminds me of the class system in India. Fertiles flock together, infertiles stay with their own kind.

I passed a pregnant woman the other day. Almost unconsciously my gaze looked down as we passed, as though I somehow shouldn't be looking directly at her. It was almost a feeling of shame- that is, until I caught myself doing it and overanalyzed the incident.

Last week was a very happy week for me. Today- not so much. I was inseminated on Thursday, January 15th. On 8 dpo, I had a slight amount of spotting. I really felt pregnant. I was convinced that this was my cycle. My husband, normally a skeptic, jumped on the hope bandwagon and we were riding that wave of exhileration. That is, until Day 11. I awoke to a bloodly mess. Yes, aunt flo had shown up with a whole party of clots. I'll spare the details. The bottom line- I'm not having a baby just yet.

When I went into the doctor this morning, a bit hungover, Dr. T noticed a cyst in my ovary, leftover from a follicle from last cycle. My unterine lining was quite thick as well. Given my spotting on day 8 and then the short luteal phase, his opinion was that I may actually have gotten pregnant, and then miscarried. He ordered some bloods and cancelled this cycle. Better to wait and let my body come back into balance.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cathing Up

Well, it has been a bit since I have written. I just haven't felt like it. I have been working long hours and I chose to read other blogs rather than to sit down and write in my own.

My visit to the fertility center in PA was great. The baseline ultrasound looked good so I began another IUI cycle. The pharmacy overnighted the meds I needed and I was off.

When I returned to Boston for my day 7 ultrasound, I was happy to find that my RE was the doctor of the week. This was actually the first time she was doing the ultrasound for me. Anyway, it looked as though I was responding well to the medication. "Looks very good" she said.

Responding well?

Poor response has been my middle name since I started this journey years ago. Poor response was why I would no longer be a candidate for IVF. Poor response- sounds so insulting, like I have done something wrong.

I was responding well to the meds- it looked like 2 follicles were nearing maturity, with several more just a hair behind, and even a few more labeled "small." When I came back two days later, three were ready to go with others still very close to maturity. This one could really work! Even the one that got me pregnant last year only produced 2, so I am feeling quite good. More mature follicles means more chances for success.

Today is 4 days post IUI. I can't tell if I am getting false symptoms due to my newly found optimism, but my girls were quite sore when I got up this am. My hubby, kind that he is, doesn't want me to get my hopes up and be hurt again.

So I will just play the waiting game while hoping for the best and remembering to breathe.

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's Raining Blood

Well, I'm not pregnant. Not only that. I was bleeding so bad, I bled through my pants at work- think sieve. As you may be thinking- the implantation bleeding
was not. Or maybe it was, and it was another miscarriage. I'll know soon enough.

I am in Philly on business and needed to arrange to go to a different hospital for day 3 work up. My meds are being overnighted to me here. "Don't you want to just take off a month?" says the nurse from my hospital in Boston. "About as much as I want to cut off my arm and have you eat it."

My saving grace was definitely the coordinator at U Penn who helped me get this thing going. I called them in a panic- should I take a 1K plane to Boston? Should I fly into RI and drive the hour? What do I do????????????? Can you help me???????

"Take a deep breath," she said. "Take a calm, deep breath. We can help you here. We can even give you a patient discount if your health insurance won't cover it here."

I love her. She made me feel so much better. It's people like her- and like all of you- that help keep me sane. She even followed up to check in on me later. I think when this is all over with, I want to be someone who works in the office who can help others like me, who become lunatics with grief and stress and frustration. I want to be the one who says, "I am here for you, whatever you need."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolution-Renewed Hope

The Definition of Hope
"A confident desire: a feeling that something desirable is likely to happen; likelihood of success: to want or expect something: to have a wish for something to happen or be true, especially something that seems possible or likely." (Encarta)

It is tough to stay in that place of hope. I have been down it so many times before. I am currently waiting on the two week period between IUI and discovery- today is day 10 post insemination. I wonder- when will it be my time? Is this my time? I have almost become numb from the process.

I started spotting yesterday- I can't tell the difference between implantation bleeding that I experienced last April and the onset of my menses. All will be known soon enough. I think I may take a pregnancy test tomorrow.

I guess what's different now is that I feeling a bit run down. It's been almost 4 years since I began this journey. Someone recently said to me that it is easier to think about DE when your back is up against the wall. I know what she means. If I had agreed to DE three years ago when it first came up, I would have a two year old by now. My mother would have met my baby before she died. Ahh, would of, could of, should of. Silly me. No need to go down that road again.

This "doom and gloom" I am sharing is not what it seems. My new year's resolution is to get back on the hope bandwagon- to believe that I can have what I want, even if the picture isn't exactly what I had planned. What I truly know now is that this year I will become pregnant, no matter what it takes. I am not quite ready to move on to DE yet, but I am damn close.

Let's not forget 2008. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I had my dreams answered with the surprise pregnancy. Wow I was so happy. G*d how happy my baby daughter made me. Then the loss of Sally Ann was definitely the worst thing that has ever happened in my life. In an instant, my hopes and dreams were gone. G*d that really sucked ass.

The only thing I can hold on to is what she taught me in her short life within me- things like unconditional love, my willingness to protect my child at all costs, the utter love between myself and my husband. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that she also taught me that I can get pregnant when I had pretty much given up on that possibility. And her death uncovered a rare clotting disorder that I have. That knowledge could have actually helped to save my life.

The legacy of my Sally Ann will live on in my heart forever and my best tribute to her is to be the best mom I can be. That is how I will honor her memory.