Peace OUT 2012!

December 29, 2012

For those that often read my blog, I always talk about how horrible/unnatural opposites can feel when they collide.  Fire and ice.  Black and white.  Hope and fear.  Basically 2012 has been just that: Joy and pain.

This year has been amazing and horrible.  Only horrible in the sense that so much revolved around infertility, so much money, tears, emotion, hope, loss, pain, fear, stress, anger, and deep deep sadness.  After 7 IUIS (this year) and a POSITIVE pregnancy test after round 1 of IVF all to end in miscarriage basically brought me to rock bottom.  But this is the beauty of fresh starts, a new year.  So in regards to the rough patches, I say "peace out 2012."

But one can't complain about the ugliness without seeing the beauty.  2012 was also amazing.  Darren got to go to Paris for free (incentive through the program I planned our school Spain trip to) and then we went to Spain, Morocco, and Disneyland together. 

Darren graduated!  This was a 12 year process and he walked!

We paid his entire school as he went (22 K) and managed to knock out a whole bunch of extra student loan debt.  When we got married, he had acquired 127,000 in LOANS!! He had made some bad choices as an 18 year old and took out big time debt over the next several years.  However, we have been doing Dave Ramsey and after 3 years of marriage only owe about 30k.  This is a miracle.  (It also made it easier taking out the IVF loan, we are experts with them ;).  Darren just got a 10,000 raise/promotion so God is definitely providing a way to pay our debts.

We've been able to remodel a bit in the house as well which is always a great feeling, and I ALMOST met my goal of reading the whole Bible in a year (I'm on November 27 in the daily year Bible). 

I'm so grateful for the beautiful life God has given us and for such a caring/supportive husband.  I have to remind myself to dwell on these things instead of the heartache.  To be honest though I am at a weird spot spiritually.  I'm not mad at God at all but I have lost some desire/purpose to pray.  I figure, He will do what He is going to do.  I know it's a bad attitude and the Bible says to knock knock knock knock but my HANDs hurt from knocking.  I don't want to say I'm complacent, but I'm so "hard" from all the loss/negatives that I have to guard myself even though every single day I think about our "snow babies" and February.

We do have 3 more tries with IVF left.  As I said before (stolen from a fellow blogger) I'm praying two things:
1.  God's will.
2. My heart's desire and God's will to finally be the same. 

Kicking a Dead Horse

December 20, 2012

So many sayings out there but tonight I am experiencing the "kicking of a dead horse."

I have been surprisingly well since the D&C 10 days ago.  I didn't even have to take any pain pills after the procedure.  I had one rough day (on Friday I had bad cramps and heavier tissue) but other than that smooth sailing.

I've hardly cried since the procedure and I keep telling myself it's all behind me.  I'm moving forward.

But then tonight happened.  I fed my sister's baby a bottle (he's 9 weeks old) and came home to work on projects.  My chest had been sore for almost the entire pregnancy and it recently stopped hurting.  However, yesterday they were sore again.

A few hours ago, I realized I'm producing milk.  I'm lactating.  If I squeeze my nipples, warm, white milk comes out.  Food for a baby that I will never feed.  A strange and painful reminder of what I thought I had possibly overcame.  A wave as sadness hit.  If this isn't kicking a dead horse, I don't know what is.

However, the other part of it made us laugh.  It's almost funny.  It's nuts.  I was only 8 weeks pregnant but Darren just figured since the baby is out, maybe my body thinks I gave birth?  WEIRD.  I was also happy to know that I CAN nurse down the road.  2 cousins that are blood related don't produce milk and I've always wondered if I will be able to (in comparison to infertility that's like the least of my concerns).  But, at least I know I will. 

So I sit here typing, with wet spots on my shirt letting life give me one more little kick.  What doesn't kill us makes us stronger right?  :)

Graduation, 3:40, and Disneyland

December 18, 2012

This weekend Darren and I flew down to California for his graduation!! Darren has been in and out of school since he was 18 (he's 30) and has had the longest journey ever to getting his degree but he made it.  Watching him walk was so so so cool!

The RE's office called me this weekend and we set up a "phone appointment" with Dr. Patton for "next steps."  The phone call was set for 3:40 pm.  It lasted 7 minutes. 

It was kind of an awkward call.  I get they kind of do this in "mass" production and they work as team (I actually had 4 different RE's do something to me).  He asked how the D&C went and then said I could start again in a month when I get my period to call.  I shot off the questions as quickly as I could.  Here is almost word for word our "brief" conversation.

I don't get periods on my own?  What should I do?
If you don't get a period within 35 days, call me.  I'll put you on provera.

What will the protocol look like?
Most likely birth control for a bit and then a drug called Lupron (hello, I know about Lupron)

I had a blighted ovum.  Is there a chance this can happen with the other frozen embryos?
Blighted ovums are random.  There is no reason to worry all the others are bad.

What is frozen embryo success rate?
25%-45% (HOLY CRAP it seems low)

Should I consider doing 3?
Are you open to selection reduction?
That's up to you.  You might it one doesn't survive the unthawing.

What are chances of frozen embryos not surviving the "unthaw"?

Should I consider genetic testing?
At this point no, if you have to do a frozen again, let's talk about it.

Okay, I'll call you when I get a period.
Okay, here we go.

I hung up the phone in a whirl wind.  Then ran to look at the calendar.  I want to start so soon but these things can't be rushed.  I'm thinking realistically we are looking at end of February or early March.  I really don't want to complain but I think the hardest part is the "slow motion" build up waiting and process to get to the Frozen Embryo Transfer.  But, this too shall pass.

Lastly, Disneyland.  It wasn't as magical as I had hoped.  It was super crowded and really rainy.  The kids didn't really get to me except once.  We were on Pirates of the Caribbean and the cutest family sat in front of us.  The couple was probably a couple years older than us and they had a 4 year old and 1 year old daughter.  They were clearly a happy family and they did such a good job of prepping their girls for the "hills" and the pretend pirates.  I couldn't help but look at the sweet girls in between the two of them and recognize that there was no one in between (or inside) us.  It stung, just because fear is rooting a bit deeper in my heart and I'm so scared that there will NEVER be even 1 in between us.
Out of the millions of faces I saw, I only remember theirs.

Overall, it was nice to get out of "reality" for a bit and spend time with Darren.  I am so very grateful I wasn't riding alone on that ride and that he was by my side.  When we got home, he had surprised me and hired someone to redo our bathroom counters/sinks into granite!  It was a fun surprise (I LOVE updating our home). 

Now I'm on Christmas break and time will fly because it's vacation.  That will bring me to the words of my short-winded RE "Here. We. Go."


December 10, 2012

It's funny because out of the trillion blogs/posts/forums/google searches I've encountered in this infertility journey, I always kind of skipped of the D&C.  I didn't really know what it was, and convinced myself mostly likely wouldn't have to "deal" with whatever it was.

What is a D&C Procedure? D&C, also known as dilation and curettage, is a surgical procedure often performed after a first trimester miscarriage. Dilation means to open up the cervix; curettage means to remove the contents of the uterus. Curettage may be performed by scraping the uterine wall with a curette instrument or by a suction curettage (also called vacuum aspiration), using a vacuum-type instrument.

Then, when I found myself in the unfortunate club of miscarriers, I still thought I wouldn't need it since I was losing the baby so early. 

However, for Darren and I it was the best choice.  I found out a week ago the pregnancy was not viable, and haven't started bleeding at all.  The OBGYN that worked with me today told me that she has a patient that has been waiting THREE MONTHS!!  Insane.  Mentally, I couldn't keep waiting. 

It was a weird feeling last night.  Although I know the pregnancy isn't alive/growing, according to HPT, I'm still pregnant, and the baby is still inside me.  I realized that this could be the closest I ever get to becoming a mother (I know that there is still a lot of hope, but I'm a "realist" as well) and it kind of made me feel sad.  I've been carrying the little embryos for over a month.

The drive to Oregon was long with lots of traffic.  I checked in at 8:30 but they said I don't actually go into surgery till 10:45!  I guess I was spoiled at the RE's office with the surgery being really fast. 

For those of you that follow my blog, waiting is the killer for me.  And today my friends, waiting is just what I did.

They took me back to this weird room with lots of curtains and told me to fully undress.  I can usually get away with them letting me where my own dresses but not today.  The nurse put the IV in me like at 9:00.  It was so strange to have it in so soon. 

Darren and I talked while I laid on the bed.  at 10:03 they asked me if wanted medicine to help me "calm down and relax."  Yes please!  Can  get some to go as well?  She said it would make me feel kinda loopy and I wouldn't remember a thing.  Ya, about that.  Didn't work at all.  I did feel a little less freaked, but I remember everything word for word (this is all prior surgery).

At 10:35 the OBGYN who will do surgery comes back to introduce herself.  She is the nicest lady I've ever met.  She is with another OBGYN.  They ask me a ton of questions about dates/IVF/egg transfer and say "the odds are really really low, but since your last HCG did go up last week, do you want us to do one more blood test just to be sure?"

"just to be sure just to be sure just to be sure."  The words echoed in my head.  "How long will it take to get the results?" I ask.  "1 hour" they reply.  I look at Darren.  He give me the why not shrug.

So 'just to be sure" they took some blood and left me for another hour (at this pt I've been in the pre operation room for over 3 hours).  The nice OBGYN said, I don't want to give you any false hope, but I'm sure D&Cs have happened where the pregnancy was viable. 

My own brain didn't even let one ounce of hope in.  I knew it my heart it was over, but I also knew, hearing the numbers would give me peace of mind I'm making the right choice.

An hour later, the BETA came back at 7,000 something.  If things had been doubling correctly since last week, they should have been FAR into the 30,000+  I wasn't even disappointed.  I wanted to get the surgery done with.

So, they gave me the "relaxation" medicine again and rolled me away to the operation room.  It was so cold!  They put the "sleeping potion" in via the IF and it actually hurt more than I had anticipated.  They said once it starts fading I would fall asleep.  I must have instantly.

About 40 minutes later, when they were rolling me to recovery and I was waking up, I was sobbing.  I don't remember that part but the doctor warned Darren that when he came back I would be crying.  That's really what I remember first, seeing Darren and me sobbing.

I've never in my life been drunk but I heard that alcohol can intensify emotions -good or bad.  I have a feeling all the drugs I was "high" on kind of attacked the sadness I've been trying to bury.  It hit me hard that my womb is now empty and it's over.  I did the hiccup type cry for a few more minutes and then was okay again. 
Here's my "lovely" self right after waking up.  Not a good memory but part of our journey for sure :)

The nurse asked if I wanted crackers.  I took some gram crackers.  She said "when was the last time you had gram crackers" and I said "I love them with frosting.  Do you have some frosting?"

Then I put on my clothes and they rolled me to the car, and now I'm home.

I guess I can take a few positives away from all this:

1.  I now have a crazy empathy for women who experience miscarriage. I get it.

2.  Jaden is no longer in my body.  I made the video.  I have closure.  I don't have to "wait" for the miscarriage to start, it's been removed.  I can now start to move forward in our fight for our children.

Found this on a friend's blog.  Makes me sob:

Goodnight My Angel: Video Tribute to Jaden

December 8, 2012

We decided that  a D&C is the best choice for us.  They get me in Monday. Since I have an end date, I decided that it was time to reflect, grieve, and say goodbye.  This video is 7 minutes.  It's happy and sad.

You will get to see my husband's reaction at 4:00 am when I got my first pregnancy test ever :)

I decided to name the baby Jaden (which means God has heard).  It works for a boy or girl, and I will know who to look for in heaven.  Jaden Benson. 

Thanks again for all the prayers and support.  The anger stage is passing and I'm praying for hope for frozen siblings.

You Tube Link for video:


The Anger Stage

December 6th, 2012

I know grieving has 5? steps?  I never really went into denial.  I guess I'm kind of doing that now, trying to tell myself it's just a period, it's just a period.   IVF in February.  A few more months.  You won't see anything, there is nothing to see.

I don't really get angry.  Honestly, I hardly ever feel "anger."  I always joke that at work in a high school sometimes I should be angry so I "act" upset (aka if kids are messing around) but I'm usually more entertained.  However, when I do feel anger, it quickly turns to deep deep sadness. 

I don't want to feel the sadness, it's too ugly.  Uncomfortable. 

I read on a blog or article that some women need MONTHS to try again while others find the best therapy to jump on the baby makin' bandwagon ASAP.  I'm think I'm option 2.

Here is where the Deep Sadness Anger Stage comes in:

I had to schedule an appt with my normal OBGYN yesterday to discuss miscarriage options.  Of course there was a gorgeous glowing 5 month old pregnant women next to me in waiting room.

I went to check in, and went through the regular, "yes address still the same" and "no, no other insurance" and then the secretary got a sweet smile and looked up at me and said in a really happy voice "is this for a pregnancy?"  For some reason, that was the straw that broke the camels back.  Up till then, I had been really strong (aka no crying) yesterday.  I smiled back sadly and said "no miscarriage" and my voice cracked and I felt the tears.  Just not how I imagined it to be dreaming of being a mommy as a little girl.

I think the most shocking thing about this process is actually understanding the horrors of a miscarriage.  Oh sure, we have all heard of them.  They happen.  A lot.  I just always thought "how sad" and assumed it was a heavier period.  I even expected that with myself, before the appt. I had convinced myself that since the sac is so small, it will pass, naturally, easily.  I had been lying to myself.

The dr. came in and said there was still suspicion of an ectopic (growing in ovaries) due to a cyst on the ultrasound (something different then the sac).  She then asked if they could do ANOTHER biopsy (if you remember, I had a colposcopy about 2 months ago) instantly.  She said they would get some tissue from the lining and use it to rule out ectopic.

Before I knew it, there I was again, in the stirrups, getting pieces cut out.  I was alone.  My legs were shaking and I was staring at the ceiling and that was the first and only time so far I heard myself think "why me, it's not fair."  It is fair.  This happens to 1 in 5 women.  I'm not except.  I guess i had just convinced myself that I wouldn't miscarry out of God's grace since it took us 2 years and 9 treatments to get to the positive HPT.

Besides the biopsy, the worst part for me is the decision in how to move forward.  Here are our options:

1.  See if it happens naturally.  This one freaks me out.  A.  Because they don't know when it could happen.  It might be tomorrow, but it could take WEEKS.  I have a friend who went through it naturally and she said she had contractions (she was  few weeks ahead of me but not much).  We are going to Disneyland next weekend and I don't want that.  I don't want to see it.  I don't want to just wait.  I want to move on.  But the hard part is its natural.  Its at home.  I feel like I owe my body some type of break from all the drugs and treatments.

2.  D and C.  This is a surgery where they go in, put you to sleep and clean it all out.  It's done.  You bleed a bit but it ends the misery of waiting.  However, its a freaking surgery.  More anestia, more missed work.  There is a 1% chance I could have some scrapped too hard and seriously damaged.  there is a chance it could weaken my uterus.  Not exactly a good thing for us during this battle.

3.  Take a pill that helps me have it naturally and speeds it up.

I'm really really sad I'm facing these choices.  I hate them all.  I love my baby, but I am ready to get everything out and move on.  Tomorrow we will decide once we get biopsy results.  I've started spotting from stopping the PIO shots, but that doesn't guarantee the miscarriage is on its way.  They said I could bleed for weeks if I go natural.  The thought of holding on to this and the dreaded waiting kills me.

I'm not trying to scare people.  Friends and doctors alike said its a personal choice.  Some find healing in the passing of it natural where others want to be done.  I just didn't picture myself having to make these choices, and that makes me angry, which makes me so sad. 

For those that follow me, they know I'm not a "debbie-downer" I'm really not.  I've been smiling all day at work and I refuse to curse God.  This is just the reality of where I am now.  I will be better once I can close this chapter and move forward. 

Since this is my anger stage post, I just got to say two more rants:

1.  I was once guilty of saying "at least you know you can get pregnant" to a friend that went through a miscarriage and I even said that to myself.  I know my body can implant an embryo, that is good news BUT for some reason, "at least you know you can get pregnant" coming from non-infertiles stings. Why?  Because I don't know if I can ever just go on and get pregnant.  We have 2-3 more shots with IVF.  Its insanely expensive and the most intense thing I can do to get pregnant.  So in a since, (read sarcastically) ya! great!  I know i can get pregnant . I just have to pay 10k each time.  No big deal...

2.  I know that everyone has their story and their feelings.  I used to be frustrated with women that were miserable and suffering from secondary infertility.  I mean, they have a child!!  My prayer is just ONE God. But I realized it was wrong of me to judge those emotions.  However, 2 people (I think had good intentions), with kids of their own, have tried to relate to me by saying "I had a thick period once and I'm sure it was a miscarriage" and they tell me how sad they felt.  We are talking people that never saw a positive hpt and got a period like a day late.  And you are trying to relate to me?  You know how I feel?  Try sobbing during sex because its so stressful.  Try 100 injections.  Try 8 failed IUIS. Overstimulated ovaries.  Surgery.  Biopsy.  1093839 vaginal ultrasounds.  8786 trillon blood draws. A CONFIRMED pregnancy and 7 weeks later losing it and then having to choose how to deal with the "thick period".  I get you felt sad, but come on.

All I know is that this is over.  There is hope for the future.  I want to move on.  I found this quote and I'm so not into "tupac" or the "f-word" but I love it.  It's almost like tough love.  And yes, my dear readers, don't worry.  I know I can be sad for now. I know I can mourn, and I am.  But there comes a point where you just have to let go and move the #$#% on.  Otherwise you get stuck.

Too Little, Too Late

December 4, 2012

Today God answered our prayers, it was just with a "not right now." 

The line between hope and miscarriage has been so thin, so intense, so scary.  It's caused me to cry, lose my breath, laugh, pray, hope, doubt, fear, trust, shake.

I'm 6 weeks, 6 days today.  And there was nothing but 1 empty sac on the ultrasound window.  The sac was too little, the hcg numbers went up too late. 

There is this song by Pink called "Try" and the lyrics have been stuck in my head: 
 Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You've gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try try try
It is so true.  When there is desire, there is flame, and the risk of being burned is high.  I feel like we got burned. It hurts, it stings.  But it heals.  I like the reminder that "it doesn't mean youre going to die."  Sometimes when life is kicking me and I'm feeling depressed (aka now), I need to remind myself I'm not going to die.

First off, I thank God that I was somewhat prepared for this.  I knew it would have to be a miracle but I also knew that things were not looking promising.   I can't imagine walking in all happy and joyful and then seeing the empty sac.  However, that doesn't erase the crazy sting of the words "that's were the baby should be." and "I'm so sorry."

Second, yesterday in my devotions I came across:

"Rather than trying to take control of your life, abandon yourself to My will.  Though this may feel frightening-or ever dangerous, the safest place to be is My will."

I am a Christian so I don't have much choice to trust His plans.  I don't think it's God's will for miscarriage, but we will in a fallen world.  He knew it would happen and He knows the master plan.  I have to rest that He is in control.

Third, I'm actually hoping it's a blighted ovum or chemical (though they don't think it's chemical since the numbers grew).  I don't want to see the baby when I get my period.  I cannot bear that thought.

My heart is really heavy.  I have been pregnant for awhile, for the first time.  I think the deepest fear is never becoming pregnant.  I mourn the loss of these babies, but I also fear that the next try and the next will result in this type of pain.  Amazing how IVF can produce some extreme emotions of joy and sorrow and amazing how in one shot, I've tasted both sides of it.

I'm trying to be strong, trying to look ahead.  Four frozen embryos, future, hope.  But I will also have to deal with the loss I am currently suffering.  I hated telling my husband.  That look of dissapoint is heartbreaking. 

We serve a God who GIVES and TAKES away.  Thank you so much to all of those who have held us in prayer.  We will hopefully be going after our little frozen babies in the early new year.

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: