My CCRM IVF Journey

Our successful journey through IVF #2 at one of the world's top fertility clinics

Archive for the ‘Struggles’ Category

7w2d

Posted by auntiem10 on February 14, 2011

We had a great time shocking family and close friends with our news this weekend. : ) On Saturday we traveled a few hours to my hometown to tell my mom, sister, grandpa, aunt and her family, uncle and his family, some cousins, and two of my closest friends. We consider all of these people “core” members of our inner circle, so we wanted to share despite the fact that it’s still pretty early in our pregnancy, and we’re not yet ready to be totally open about it.

My sister had the most volatile reaction–she began crying hysterically (happy tears), to the point that my BIL and niece ran out to see what was wrong! She is already discussing baby showers and gender predictions–yikes. We are really just focused on getting through the first trimester, but it’s neat of her to be so excited. She’s been waiting quite a while to be an aunt!

My mom had a funny reaction–we bought her a Valentine’s Day card and taped an u/s picture inside. The card addressed “Grandma and Grandpa,” so that threw her off at first. She said, “Grandma and Grandpa?!” and I said, “Just open it!” She slowly processed the u/s photo but still didn’t read the part where we had signed the card “From your twin grandchildren.” I had to direct her to read it and after a few seconds, she yelled out, “Twins!!!” She cried and hugged us, and it was just a great moment–the moment for which we waited for so long.

Everyone else seemed shocked! My two close friends were both teary-eyed and thrilled for us. We expressed our wishes to keep this news quiet until we’re out of the first trimester, and everybody is respecting that so far. Saturday was a wonderful day.

On Sunday, we drove 20 minutes to my in-laws’ house. My MIL and FIL have known about our news since the day of beta #1, but my hubby’s siblings and grandma have been in the dark because we wanted to confirm heartbeats first. We gave his grandma a V-Day card in which my hubby had written inside, “P.S. (Auntie Em) and I are having twins.” She glanced at the card and thanked us, but she obviously hadn’t read the inscription. My hubby told her to read what he had written, and she read it to herself and got very emotional. He finally asked her to read it out loud so everyone else could hear. His siblings were shocked! I grabbed the u/s photo from my purse, and we passed it around. It was a great moment; however…

At some point after our announcement, I realized that my SIL was very upset. I am not referring to the SIL who just delivered a baby last week. I haven’t written about this on here, but my other SIL is at the very beginning stages of IF treatment. She’s been trying to conceive for several years but just began seeking treatment in the last six months or so. Her OB prescribed Clomid last fall, and she went through several unmonitored cycles without ever ovulating (as far as she could tell). Late in the year, she finally established herself as a patient at a fertility clinic, and the RE prescribed her Metformin. Currently she’s waiting for AF after taking prometrium, and then her protocol involves taking Clomid from CD 3-7, and then having an u/s on CD 12 to see if she ovulates. The next step up would be an IUI. So as you can see, she’s at the very tip of the iceberg with treatment options.

I spoke with my MIL a week ago and asked her if we should alert my SIL beforehand so she wouldn’t be blindsided by our announcement. My SIL is so quiet, I just can’t always figure her out, so I sought advice from the person who would know her best–her own mother. My MIL thought SIL would be just fine with our announcement. She predicted that my SIL might briefly think “I wish it was us,” but that she wouldn’t be angry or anything. I also took into account the fact that SIL was SO thrilled when my other SIL announced her pregnancy last Father’s Day. She talked incessantly about our impending niece throughout 2010 and never displayed any sadness about it. Based on my MIL’s advice and my SIL’s happy reaction to last year’s pg announcement, I went along with the plan to surprise SIL along with everyone else last night. But when I saw my SIL’s very-clearly-upset expression while everyone else was talking excitedly, my heart began to hurt. I had done the exact same thing to this SIL that happened to me last year–I blindsided her.

This morning SIL admitted that our announcement hurt her deeply last night–she cried all the way home from her parents’ house. I find myself intermittently feeling angry, hurt, and terribly guilty. I have endured many pregnancy announcements in the past few years and understand the pain that comes along with it. But why wasn’t she upset with my BIL and SIL last year, who tried for only one month before their BFP? She had been TTC then for 3+ years already, even if she hadn’t yet moved to an RE. Why doesn’t she take into account how much effort went into this outcome that we achieved, now that she knows what it took? Why does she make it seem as though she’s been through soooo much, when she is only at the tip of the iceberg? Why did she have to give me the guilt trip she gave me this morning? I am just hurt and feel so guilty.

I did what I could do. I apologized profusely (for what though??? I’m not sure). I told her that we all think her time is just around the corner, even though in my head I’m not sure since anything less than IVF never produced good results for us. Then I called my hubby at lunch and sobbed. Last year, I cried on my way home almost every time we visited his parents and got bombarded with baby talk. So to know that I have/will be causing his sister the same pain, I can hardly bear it. He just reminded me that finally, after this long wait and all this hard work, it’s our turn to be happy, and we shouldn’t let anyone ruin that. He said we shouldn’t feel guilty because we did seek advice about how best to spread our news, and we weren’t intentionally rubbing it in her face. He is right, but I’m still just so sad to have caused SIL any sadness. I am so incredibly thankful for where we are today, but this part of announcing our news was not easy!

Posted in Pregnancy, Struggles | 7 Comments »

Nerves Nerves Nerves

Posted by auntiem10 on February 8, 2011

I am so, so nervous about our ultrasound tomorrow morning. I’ve been attempting to stay positive, but the fear creeps in and overwhelms me. If you would have asked me at what point I would start to feel a little more reassured that this process worked, I would have told you that I would feel pretty good after Beta #2. Now I know that’s a total crock! : ) I don’t think the worrying ever ends for some of us.

In my head, I’m continually reviewing everything that gives me hope that we will see a heartbeat or two tomorrow: my HCG level doubled easily and then skyrocketed to 11K+ at 23dp0, we transferred two embryos instead of just one, we transferred CCS-normal embryos which decreases the risk of miscarriage, I’ve seen absolutely no spotting or bleeding of any kind throughout this entire process, I’m nauseous (but not today which freaks me out), and staying up until 10 p.m. seems like a chore these days. These thoughts revolve round and round my head, but I still worry that somehow, we will end up on the wrong side of the statistics. Please let tomorrow get here quickly!

Yesterday our niece was born almost three weeks early. I have written at length here about struggling tremendously with my SIL’s pregnancy, since my DH and I started treatments first and therefore, in my head, should have had the first grandchild. The pain of that day last year when we found out the news still cuts me like a knife, because I literally felt like the wind had been taken out of my sails. I had never felt so defeated, even though conception is clearly not a competition and my SIL is the world’s sweetest woman. As the months progressed and my SIL’s belly swelled, I accepted the idea of coming in second, and I took comfort in the hope that this IVF cycle would turn out well and we would see a heartbeat before our niece arrived toward the end of this month. I was sort of counting on seeing the heartbeat before welcoming their baby into the world, honestly. Even with our apparent BFP from this IVF cycle, I still struggled yesterday. On the way to the hospital, I cried to my DH that I felt like such a jerk for continuing to feel jealous and a bit resentful that they were first and had it so easy. I wish I could just get over it! Our BFP still does not keep me from feeling resentment toward those women who conceive effortlessly the first month of trying, like my SIL. There is just a bitterness in my heart that I don’t want to be there, but it is there. And I’m owning up to it in the hopes that you will all understand.

That baby is beautiful, though. I haven’t held her yet because I’m still recovering from my sinus infection and don’t want to spread bacteria, but I’ve watched my DH dreamily hold her and admire her tiny fingernails, wrinkly feet, and long fingers as she emits little squeaks. He told me last night that holding her gives him great hope for our ultrasound tomorrow. Please, please, please just let us see a heartbeat in the morning!

Posted in Pregnancy, Struggles | 10 Comments »

One Patch Two Patch Three Patch Four

Posted by auntiem10 on January 5, 2011

This morning I removed the three patches I had placed on my lower abdomen two days ago, and applied four new patches. From here on out, I will place four new patches on my skin every other day until (hopefully!) approximately Week 9 of pregnancy. One box contains eight Vivelle patches, so I’ll be using one box every four days for the near future. That’s a lot of hormones (and $$$)!

The only side effects I can report are that I feel really good and that I’m having a lot of CM (TMI, I know). Adding estrogen back into my body has provided complete relief from the hot flashes I was experiencing with Depot Lupron, and the 5 units of regular Lupron I’m currently injecting daily don’t affect me at all. I’m assuming the abundance of CM is normal????? Hopefully it just means that my body is prepared to handle this little embryo next week.

I’m working on my mental attitude toward this transfer. I am somewhat of an optimist by nature, but I struggle with that when it comes to IF. I thought by this point–after CCS testing, Depot Lupron treatment, and great-quality embies–I would be feeling super-optimistic about next week’s FET. But suddenly, I’m worried about whether something is fundamentally just wrong with ME–a clotting issue or some other problem that hasn’t yet been identified. I feel like everything up until now has gone way too easy and textbook for us, and something big is about to go wrong. I guess I’m afraid I used up all my good luck during the ER and CCS results?! Or maybe my brain is protecting itself from possible failure. Pregnancy is all we’ve been striving toward, and I feel like we’re not lucky enough to have it happen for us. The idea of experiencing pregnancy seems about as likely as winning the Me.ga Mill.ions jackpot right now. I’m just bracing myself for the rug to be pulled out from under us. I am pretty freaked out about everything, but am trying to find my normal positive nature in time for next week. The stakes are so high, but we already won the lottery in part by having four more normals after the one we’ll transfer next week. I need to remember to count my blessings and trust in fate.

Eight more days! And, we leave for Denver one week from today!

Posted in FET, Struggles | 7 Comments »

Go Time

Posted by auntiem10 on January 2, 2011

Many Gifts stacked in the car… Check.

Much Food prepared and resting on the kitchen counter… Check.

One Diaper cake created and in the car… Check.

Three Games ready to be played… Check.

One iTunes library filled with baby-related music… Check.

One heart steeling itself for an emotionally draining day… Check.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The baby shower starts in three hours. So happy for them, so sad for us, as always. We’ve come so far and are so fortunate to have such great results so far, but we all know that “perfect on paper” doesn’t always translate to a baby bump. At least I can take comfort in the fact that we leave for Denver NEXT WEEK. Oh, and I can come home and watch my beloved basketball team play tonight (priorities!). I can also remind myself that I’m amassing a patchwork quilt (from Vivelle patch residue) beneath my waistline as I’m typing this, and before long we’ll cross the finish line of this long looooooong cycle. Eleven more days. All of these things should help me as I face the oohs, the aahs, the squeals, the tiny clothes, the ducks in the punch bowl, the pink and purple M&Ms (picked up specially in Times Square in November), the big belly, the looks of excitement. It will all be over in five hours, and I can then focus on 1/13/11.

Posted in Struggles | 4 Comments »

One Foot in Front of the Other (Baby Stuff Ment.)

Posted by auntiem10 on December 28, 2010

On Christmas Day, I glimpsed my cousin’s four-month-old daughter for the first time. She was born in August, but for selfish reasons, we hadn’t scheduled a trip to meet her yet. With the exception of my local friend who was successful at CCRM last year and now has a son, we’ve pretty much avoided babies like the plague. I don’t remember the last time I held a baby. 

When we arrived, I noticed that my cousin proceeded with caution, slipping the baby out of the room, presumably to be sensitive. I think I shocked her when I asked to hold the baby right off the bat. She plunked her down on my lap, and I gently held her underneath her armpits and talked in a singsong voice to her. It felt surreal to be holding something so small. She loves to be in a standing position, so I pulled her up so that her small little sneakers grazed my thighs, and I gently swung her to and fro so that it looked like she was dancing. She flashed her dimples at me as she grinned… perfect little circular indentations on either side of her perfect smiling little mouth, and my heart both soared and ached simultaneously. How is a mixture of these two emotions even possible? Before long, I held her out for my hubby to hold. Tentatively, he pulled her onto his lap and mimicked my singsong voice. To see him with a tiny baby, even one who isn’t ours, made me love him even more. We are so ready! Please, just let this work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Later, I fed her a bottle. She is moving toward being able to hold the bottle herself, so her teeny tiny little fingers gripped the sides of the bottle, which looked huge in her hands. I rocked her, and her eyes grew heavy. I thought about the FET that is rapidly approaching, and found myself praying with all my might that my hubby and I will be doing this same thing next year, only with our own child. What an amazing miracle that will be for us.

But for now, Christmas is over and I’m focused on another miracle: the baby growing in my SIL’s belly. Her shower is this upcoming Sunday, and it’s all my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law are discussing these days. I can’t wait until it’s over! Yesterday’s Christmas brunch with the in-laws was filled with way too much baby talk, and I found myself on the couch with all the guys, watching football instead of gabbing with the women in the house. So sad that I can’t just feel genuine happiness for her and instead feel traces of jealousy and resentment. They are such nice people and deserve every ounce of happiness, and I just can’t go along with it. Considering the ease with which she and my BIL conceived, I’m sure I will be enduring more pregnancy announcements in the future, so I hope I can find more grace to deal with these situations as time passes.

In FET news, I’m placing one Vivelle patch below my waistline every other day. When I stick on a new one, I remove the old one. This Thursday morning (two weeks pre-transfer), I have my first blood draw to check my estradiol level. The following Thursday (one week pre-transfer), I’ll have more bloodwork and an ultrasound to rule out cysts. If I pass these hurdles, I’ll be cleared for the FET on 1/13/11. No side effects to speak of, thankfully–besides all this baby chatter, things are pretty quiet right now.

Posted in FET, Struggles | 6 Comments »

Coming Up This Week

Posted by auntiem10 on December 20, 2010

Sometime this week should mark the beginning of Week 1 of my pregnancy! : ) The embryo won’t be transferred until approximately Day 20 of my cycle, but if all goes as planned, Week 1 of being pg starts with the arrival of AF. I may be jinxing myself by writing that, but this is my attempt to stay positive.

I’m still on BCPs and Lupron, but I will swallow my last BCP tomorrow morning. Then I start waiting for AF, which I’m hoping will arrive on Friday at the latest. I’ve been concerned this entire time that I won’t have a “real” AF, since my body has been in menopause for the last two months. My calendar states that I must have a full flow before I can start the patches, but I’m wondering what I can expect. I’m only taking 12 BCPs, the minimum allowed by CCRM (b/c I’m impatient and want to move forward with this process), and I’m wondering if that will be enough time to build a lining to shed. Fellow DL patients, would you care to weigh in? Hopefully my lack of patience won’t result in a canceled cycle.

Also, if AF started before the estimated date on your calendar, was your FET moved up?

Once AF starts, I’ll wait until CD 3 and then start slapping on the Vivelle patches. I’ll also reduce my Lupron dosage to 5 units/day. And then we move forward from there. Only 23 days until we will be flying to Denver. Finally, after this incredibly long wait, our transfer is just around the corner!

In other news, diaper cakes are the devil. I spent Saturday rolling up size 1 baby diapers with my non-pregnant SIL to create the three-tier diaper cake that will be displayed on the gift table. Shopping for supplies in the baby aisle surrounded by boppys and onesies gave me a feeling of dread. Rolling up the teeny tiny Elmo-covered adorable diapers made my heart ache. My DH helped a little and exclaimed, “Wow, these are so small.” I think his heart may have been aching too. Even though our transfer is quickly approaching and our excitement is building, the sadness still lingers. Thirteen days until the baby shower–Lord give me strength and acting skills. : )

Posted in FET, Struggles | 5 Comments »

FOUR WEEKS AWAY

Posted by auntiem10 on December 16, 2010

If all goes according to my calendar, our FET will take place four weeks from today! We are busy counting down the days. Even my hubby has gotten really excited, joining me in my countdown, whereas before he’s always acted a little guarded and nervous. He’s even been tolerating my nonstop pregnancy and FET chatter without annoyance–he’s a saint. Whenever the next step in this long journey is looming, all I start thinking about is babybabybabybabybabybaby. He’s been enduring it all as one of the most patient and understanding husbands alive.

I took my seventh BCP this morning, so I have five more to go. Tomorrow I start Lupron. I’ll take my last BCP on Tuesday, and then the wait begins for AF. I’m not sure what kind of flow to expect. My reproductive system has been shut down by Depot Lupron since October 17th, and I’m only taking 12 BCPs, so will my body really have time to build up enough uterine lining to cause a full flow? I’m not sure if I should just expect spotting or a real AF. As long as something happens by Christmas Eve, I’m scheduled to start sticking on the Vivelle patches the day after Christmas. And then we go from there, with hopefully ZERO delays! I feel like my heart wouldn’t be able to take another postponement, but I know I would just have to deal and adjust. I am stronger than I give myself credit for. Nothing has knocked me down yet.

My hot flashes are totally gone after a full week of BCPs. TGFE! (Thank God For Estrogen) I’m still waking up hot at night, but I think that’s because my hubby opened the vents more to let additional heat circulate through our house. I’m feeling crampiness and pressure in my reproductive region, which I guess means my ovaries and uterus are coming out of hibernation. My uterus has a big job ahead, so I’m glad it got some rest. : )

Another weekend is approaching, full of baby shower stuff. My non-pregnant SIL is coming to my house, and we have to buy materials and then build a diaper cake to display on a main table at the shower. I am not looking forward to this project for obvious reasons, but I’m just going to take a deep breath and go along with it. It’s weird to me that I have good days and bad days regarding SIL’s pregnancy. Earlier this week, my eyes filled with tears when my non-pregnant SIL sent me a word scramble she had created as a game for the shower, and I ended up feeling sad and bitter all day. But then yesterday, I was excited to mail the invitations and start planning out some of the food that guests will eat. I know that the only reason I’m even halfway okay with everything is because I believe that our turn could be just around the corner. Think of me as a bad person if you wish, but it’s the truth. If our FET fails, it will be devastating for me to meet that baby at the end of February. Oh, please just let this work. All of my hopes, dreams, and happiness are riding on January 13th, 2011.

Posted in Depot Lupron, FET, Struggles | 4 Comments »

Tick Tock (Baby Stuff Ment.)

Posted by auntiem10 on December 13, 2010

Thirty-one days until our FET… time is moving along. I’ve taken 4/12 BCPs and will start Lupron on Friday. My feelings about the FET are all over the place–I feel anxious, excited, and terrified. I want to fast-forward to January 22nd (our scheduled beta date), but if things are going to turn out badly, I want to pause time now so I can hang on to this feeling of hopefulness. I want a freaking crystal ball so I can know how this will end. I wish I could produce some kind of zen attitude about events to come, but I just don’t trust my body or my luck. I am trying, though!

This weekend was very baby-centric, and I only wish this was because we had our own baby. I have talked quite a bit on here about my sister-in-law’s pregnancy, and now her baby shower is rapidly approaching (20 days). I purchased her gifts online and paid extra to have them shipped so that I could avoid any baby aisles, but then I ended up having to go to the store and switch out a couple of things anyway. I spent way too much money, and I think the reason why in part is that I’m attempting to buy her patience and understanding due to my obvious struggles throughout her pregnancy. That is an awful way to think, and I hate myself for it.

I’m also in charge of invitations for the shower, so I spent part of Saturday carefully addressing the envelopes and preparing to stick them in the mail. And yesterday, I spent many hours wrapping my gifts to SIL, talking about the upcoming shower with my MIL and other SIL, and looking at the decorations and gifts that they have purchased. Oh, and talking to the pregnant SIL and looking at her belly, too. I dread the shower. I’ve come to accept that this baby is coming in just a few short months, but acceptance does not erase my grief or sadness. I feel like a very jealous and selfish person, but I am doing my best to keep these feelings private. I try to treat her as I would hope to be treated, even though our situations are different: she got pg her first month ever trying, and I will always be infertile. I actually didn’t cry on the ride home last night for the first time in several visits, so that is improvement.

Two weeks ago, SIL invited us to attend her 3-D ultrasound. The entire family went, except for us. My hubby ended up telling his brother that it’s too difficult for us to do that kind of stuff because of our fertility battle. He didn’t even ask me if I wanted to go before he sent his response, so he must have felt very strongly that this would be upsetting for both of us. This is really the first time he’s acknowledged our pain to one of his family members. Apparently his brother was very understanding about it, which is good. Later we saw the photos on FB, but viewing them at home in private was much easier than it would have been to attend the u/s and feign excitement. We are excited for them, of course, but the sadness we feel for ourselves puts a damper on things, and his family doesn’t really seem sensitive to that.

So we are just plugging away, wishing that time would move faster so we can conclude this very long IVF/FET cycle. And hoping that 2011 starts out for us with a big bang in the form of a definitive BFP.

Posted in FET, Struggles | 6 Comments »

Flashback

Posted by auntiem10 on November 18, 2010

I’ve been trying to take each day one at a time, counting down the weeks until our FET and knowing that each Monday means we’re one week closer to concluding this odyssey. If our IVF journey is a mountain, we feel at peace with the fact that we are approaching the summit. We are so extremely grateful that we have five CCS-normal blasts frozen one state away–results better than we ever dreamed.

But last night, a very hurtful phone conversation with my mother brought it all back to me–that pain associated with badly wanting a child and not being able to have one (hopefully not for much longer, though). My hubby and I have felt hurt for a while because my mother seems to drop everything when my sister and her family (including her two gorgeous daughters, ages 10 and 3) visit. When we decide to visit, she never carves out time for us. We always have to work around her schedule or drive out of our way to visit her at a campground (where their RV is parked). I have kept silent for months, and even my husband feels hurt by her wishy-washiness.

Since we’ll be in New York over Thanksgiving, we decided to drive to her town and visit her this weekend. I told her about our plans about four weeks ago, and she kept telling me that she wasn’t sure what she had planned.

So last night, I called her to see if she had figured out her plans yet. We plan to have lunch with my grandpa also, so I needed to let him know what time to expect us. Her reply was that she would be busy… unless we want to drive out of our way to visit her at the campground. I just lost it on her, finally, after all this time. I told her that we feel unequal because she seems to drop everything when my sister visits but never makes time for us. We both live 2+ hours from her, so it’s not like I live close and can visit anytime.

Her defense?

Well, when your sister comes to town, we like to be able to see (Grandchild A) and (Grandchild B).”

And there it was. We don’t have children, so are clearly one step below my sister on the proverbial ladder. Just like that, I was back in the land I inhabited for 16 months before we traveled to Denver–back to those horrible feelings of inequality, lack of confidence, and bitterness. When we received our amazing CCS results, I began slowly healing. And with that one sentence above, I suddenly felt torn down once again. My former RE was the first to tear me down, but I never expected my mother to be the second.

My mother knows about our infertility (although she knows nothing of this year’s events). She listened to me bawl my head off a few days after my sister-in-law announced her pregnancy. I would have hoped she would be a little more sensitive, but I guess it’s true–fertiles just don’t get it (most of the time).

After she said that, I ended the phone conversation as quickly as I could. I called my husband and burst into tears (maybe the DL didn’t help, but I have carried these hurt feelings around for some time). I won’t let her or anyone else send me back permanently to that bad place where I resided before October of this year, but today is a rough day for me. Even 15 hours later, I feel like my tear ducts are armed and ready. : ) Thanks for letting me vent.

Posted in Struggles | 6 Comments »

Support

Posted by auntiem10 on November 13, 2010

This week has been very rough for a few of my fellow IF bloggers. Please visit R. and offer her some virtual support. She has been through more hell than anyone should have to endure.

Posted in Struggles | Leave a Comment »

Unfairness

Posted by auntiem10 on November 10, 2010

If you haven’t already, please head over to Mo‘s blog and flood her with some support. Infertility is difficult, there is absolutely no question about that, but when you have done absolutely everything you possibly can to achieve that bun in the oven, and fate just spits in your face… well, that is just devastating. Infertility is so unfair.

Posted in Struggles | 1 Comment »

Twelve Weeks Away

Posted by auntiem10 on October 29, 2010

Yesterday I e-mailed our nurse at CCRM and inquired about whether there is any way to speed up our FET timeline slightly, by taking less BCPs or something. I know, I am crazy, but even moving it up by a week would make a huge difference for me psychologically. Why do I need to take 19 BCPs AND inject more lupron for suppression when I’ll just be coming out of two months of menopause thanks to Depot Lupron? I’m guessing she will roll her eyes when she reads my message, but I had to ask. But as it stands today, our FET is exactly 12 weeks away, and I start BCPs exactly six weeks from today (on my birthday!). Twelve Fridays from now, we should be in Denver, preparing to see our little embryos for the first time.

We are actually feeling hope and optimism, which is very new for us. We are glass-half-full kind of people, but not when it comes to this battle. We’ve recently instituted middle-of-the-week date night, because we both agree that we should soak up date nights together before our world is rocked by diapers and bedtimes. This is really the first time that we’ve acknowledged that an actual baby might result from this transfer. Wow, what a feeling.

Last weekend was a little rough for me emotionally. We attended a wedding with my DH’s family. Inevitably, there was plenty of discussion about my SIL’s pregnancy. The baby was kicking up a storm, and everyone was excited that they’ve chosen her name. Additionally, my BIL had felt her kick for the first time that day. The pastor that I previously mentioned in my cringeworthy post last month was also a wedding guest, and he congratulated my father-in-law on his impending granddaughter. My FIL thanked the pastor and gripped my shoulder and then gently said, “Now we’re just waiting for “Auntie Em” and “Auntie Em’s Hubby” to catch up.” My eyes uncontrollably welled up with tears, and I had to walk away. If only he knew how hard we are trying to catch up, and what we will have gone through when we (hopefully) do announce our own pregnancy next year. We will probably share some details about this process next year, but right now they have no clue that we’ve even been to Denver. The secretiveness is our choice, and we feel it’s the right one for us, but once in a while I wish they knew just how hard we’re working to win this war.

I did slip up a bit a few weeks ago, when my BIL innocently tried to thrust ultrasound pictures of their daughter in my face. This was right after we returned from Denver, and they had attended the gender reveal ultrasound while we were gone and wanted to share the detailed pictures of our new niece. When he tried to hand me the pictures, I abruptly excused myself and announced that I had to use the restroom. I just couldn’t look at those pictures right at that moment, but I’m sure it was so obvious. I stood in the bathroom for a minute, flushed the stool, regained control, and rejoined the family. But I feel terrible for not handling this better because they are so nice and deserve every ounce of happiness. Ugh. I’m trying, that’s all I can say. I cried all the way home, again. My poor hubby.

The day after the wedding, I met my MIL and non-pregnant-SIL at a restaurant for lunch and baby shower planning session #1. I’m choosing to participate in the planning because I simply don’t want to ostracize myself from the family or cause anyone to resent me. I sometimes feel on the bubble of the family anyway, since I was the last member to join and my DH doesn’t want to visit his parents as often as his siblings do. My coping strategy for the shower is actually to be absolutely as involved as possible, which sounds kind of ironic. The way this strategy plays out in my head, I will simply be too busy dealing with the details to dwell on my own infertility. I volunteered for SO many duties–penning the invitations, preparing all kinds of food, making the diaper cake, etc. I think being as busy as possible during the actual event will make it easier for me to handle. And hopefully, the effort I’ll be putting into this shower will help me to seem supportive, despite the few public displays of pain that I’ve shown since their announcement.

Tonight we are going to dinner with the family again, and tomorrow I’m heading to my hometown to visit friends and then the hubby and I are attending two Halloween parties in the evening. Sunday we’ll be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Last year at this time, I felt like we were so very far away from achieving our goal. And this year, I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is 12 weeks away. We’re over the hump, and that is a good feeling.

Posted in Daring to Hope, FET, Struggles | 5 Comments »

SIL Update

Posted by auntiem10 on October 7, 2010

While we were in Denver, exploring the downtown area, my pregnant sister-in-law and brother-in-law were at a local OB’s office, finding out the gender of their baby. It’s a Girl. The family is overjoyed, but I simply cannot find it in my heart to feel that way. Being over the hump of our long delay and actively cycling made this news a little more bearable for me, but it’s still difficult. Will the pain ever dissipate?

12.5 weeks until her baby shower. I must find some better coping ability before then so I don’t burst into tears or something!

Posted in Struggles | 5 Comments »

Nada

Posted by auntiem10 on September 16, 2010

Thank you for the vibes the other day! Unfortunately, AF is still MIA. Today is day 5 after stopping prometrium, and I’m getting impatient! Leave it to my body to refuse to cooperate. I just desperately sent an e-mail to the nurse inbox, asking if there’s anything else that can be done to induce AF. I know the nurse who reads it will most likely roll her eyes at me, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to make sure all bases are covered. The instructions I was sent explaining this protocol did say that AF would take 1-2 weeks to show after stopping prometrium, so I guess I should have expected it to take longer than a couple of days. Maybe the nightly lupron causes a little longer delay, or maybe my uterus is just stubborn.

Yesterday was a difficult day for me. It was very dark and stormy and yucky all day, the perfect analogy for how I was feeling on the inside. I was feeling upset about our delay, but the day was made worse by my DH’s sister talking to me incessantly about my pregnant SIL. The baby shower is scheduled for January 2nd. They find out the gender exactly 14 days from today, and everyone thinks it’s a boy. She is really starting to show now, with a huge difference from last week. My MIL plans to accompany them to the gender reveal, but she’s going to let them find out privately and then come in toward the end of the ultrasound so that they can celebrate together. And on and on. I am happy for them, honestly, but I wish it was us celebrating these milestones. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: happy for them, so extremely sad for us. It’s amazing how my heart can be so full of both emotions at the same time. I feel very optimistic that our time is coming, but it’s so difficult to hear about these things while feeling so frustrated about our seemingly endless delay. No one in his family seems to have any grasp on being the least bit sensitive to how incredibly difficult this is for us. They are truly wonderful people and mean us no harm (they love my DH more than I’ve ever seen a parent love their child), but they are just clueless about the pain of infertility. I think my DH has made it clear to his parents that it’s not a topic for discussion, so they never broach the subject, and it feels as if they don’t care. It makes me feel so resentful toward all of them, and then I feel guilty for feeling that way. It’s a vicious cycle. I don’t want to say anything because I’m afraid that they’ll misinterpret what I’m saying and will start walking on eggshells around me. Plus, I firmly believe that it’s my DH’s place to set the boundaries about this subject to his family. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I’m doing my best to stay positive. I’m wearing light khakis today at work, hoping that light-colored attire will entice AF to show! : )

All of the stars have to align for us soon!

Posted in IVF Take Two, Struggles | 3 Comments »

Cringeworthy

Posted by auntiem10 on September 12, 2010

This morning we decided to attend a new neighborhood church. The senior pastor of this church is the man who married us, and he and his wife have been encouraging us to attend a service since we moved to the neighborhood last August. When we walked in, the pastor recognized us and hurried over to welcome us. He turned to me and asked, “How are you feeling?” Quizzically I wondered, “What is he talking about???” He knows many members of my husband’s family, so I wondered if one of them had mentioned our infertility struggles and he felt he should be sensitive to our pain. I told him I was feeling great, and we took a seat.

Just before the service started, my hubby’s distant cousin and her husband sat down next to us. As she walked past us, she said, “I hear congratulations are in order!” Suddenly everything made sense. Horrified, I realized that both she and the pastor thought it was us who are expecting a baby, not realizing that the pregnant woman is actually my SIL. Meanwhile, the senior pastor was apparently pointing us out to regular members of the church and telling them that congratulations are in order.

I sat through the service with a knot in my belly. Once it ended, the distant cousin asked me pointedly how I am feeling. For a crazy split second, I fervently wished that I could just go along with the chirade and play the role of pregnant lady for a minute. Of course, instead I politely told her that it was actually my DH’s brother and SIL who are expecting. She felt bad that she had mixed up the information, and I told her it was no big deal. We then had to correct the pastor, who again looked at me pointedly and asked how I was feeling, and then appeared bewildered when we informed him that the pregnant daughter-in-law was actually my SIL. And then we had to correct other church attendees. By the time we walked out of the doors, we were both cringing. It definitely felt like a giant slap in the face, but I guess for a few minutes, I learned what it must feel like to be pregnant and get to talk about it with others.

I said good riddance to prometrium after last night and am now playing the waiting game for AF. Tonight was Lupron Shot #5. If AF starts soon and everything finally works out with the suppression check, we may be in Denver next week!

Posted in About Me, Struggles | 7 Comments »

Moving Target

Posted by auntiem10 on September 7, 2010

I am really struggling right now with my emotions. After processing the sound clip of our new niece/nephew’s heartbeat on Sunday, I checked my e-mail and found a FB friend request from a very good college friend of ours. He got married the day after we returned from our ODWU in April, but we haven’t seen him since then. I accepted his friend request and clicked on his name to check out his profile, and the first thing I saw was an ultrasound picture. His wife is 22 weeks pregnant, and their EDD is January 10th. By doing some simple math, I realized that they got pregnant their first month of marriage–maybe even the month before. When I hear about women getting pregnant so easily (like my SIL and this friend’s wife), I feel like such a failure. Somewhere deep inside of me, I realize that our predicament is not my fault, but my immediate reaction is to blame myself.

This friend and his pregnant wife are going to be visiting our city from Thu-Sat and want to get together with us. We haven’t seen them in a long while, so I will probably just put on a happy face and agree to meet up. But as our delay seemingly stretches into infinity and beyond, it’s getting more and more difficult to feel happy for those who have it so easy.

I processed that news, and then left for a walk with my hubby and our dogs. On our return trip home, our neighbors who live two doors down were outside, and we realized that the wife was visibly pregnant with their third child. I had wondered why she hadn’t been out running in the evenings like normal but attributed it to the ridiculously hot weather we’ve experienced this summer. Seeing her big belly nearly sent me over the edge. I feel like a moving target, with pregnant women everywhere! And meanwhile, here I am, taking Prometrium and planning to start Lupron tomorrow. I feel like these baby steps are not getting me any closer to our ER.

I’m sorry this blog has been such a pity party lately. This delay has me feeling rather depressed, with no end in sight. Hopefully I will come out of this funk once AF starts in the next few weeks!

Posted in Struggles | 8 Comments »

Ouch

Posted by auntiem10 on September 5, 2010

Today is my hubby’s birthday. We had a great day and then drove to my in-laws’ to celebrate the birthdays of my hubby, his brother, and his sister. His pregnant SIL was wearing a baggy shirt so I couldn’t really see her bump. There were lots of baby-related comments tonight, but the worst moment for me was during dinner. I was munching on veggie fajitas when my BIL (hubby’s brother) pulled out his cell phone to show my hubby a funny ringtone. Then he played another sound clip… of their baby’s heartbeat. Everybody laughed and excitedly discussed how the child was going to be a tapdancer because of all the sounds going on inside the womb. All I could think was: Oh. my. god. And: Ouch. I felt my face flush and tears stung my eyes, so I stared at my plate until I could regain my composure. My hubby squeezed my hand; I knew that it hurt him too. I went through the motions for the rest of the evening, playing games outside and putting on my best face, but on our way home the tears spilled over. I am really trying to cope with her pregnancy because she is THEE kindest person alive, but tonight was a real struggle. And because this moment happened on my hubby’s bday, I don’t even want to ruin the day by confessing my immense sadness to him. He would hold me and kiss me and tell me that everything is going to be okay, but he will share in my sadness, and I can’t allow that on his birthday. Thank goodness for this blog and for all of you out there who understand–thank you for reading this blog and for leaving me comments once in a while.

Posted in Struggles | 5 Comments »

Babies

Posted by auntiem10 on August 30, 2010

We had a great time this weekend! It was great to leave town for a couple of days, enjoy each other’s company without a million other distractions, and do some sightseeing. I would have to say the theme of the weekend, for me, was BABIES. I was prepared for a zoo filled to the brim with children, but what I wasn’t expecting were all the new animal mamas–sea lions, gorillas, tigers, monkeys, and penguins! Everywhere I saw teeny tiny furry/feathery/whiskered/adorable little beings. We even saw a sign that talked about how this particular zoo is increasing the population of certain endangered species with in vitro reproduction!

On one hand, the baby animals really were adorable and brought a smile to my face, but on the other hand, it was yet another reminder of the mother/baby bond that exists in nature–the bond that I so badly desire but may never have. Gazing upon a sleeping mother gorilla in an enclosure cupping her baby in the palms of her hands, while I stood beside human mothers tending to their own children, I was struck once again by the feeling of void, the realization that life as “just the two of us” (my wonderful DH and me) simply won’t be fulfilling enough. I fight these feelings and stuff them way down because I know that I don’t have much choice in the matter. We can choose the best clinic, pay for all available technology, follow every instruction on our calendar, but at the end of the day, those embryos are either going to implant or they’re not. These feelings constituted only a blip of time during an otherwise perfect weekend trip, thankfully, but they were real and made me feel afraid of what the future holds.

The baby theme carried into the first day of the work week too… my non-pregnant SIL sent me this instant message this morning: “I emailed (pregnant SIL) for her to be thinking of dates that work for her baby shower. Thinking of January. Would you be interested in planning it with Mom and I?” Of course, I agreed to help with the planning and will  play the role of the dutiful and caring daughter- and sister-in-law. Could have said no, but my gut was telling me that I would have regretted being excluded. Sigh.

Posted in About Me, Struggles | 3 Comments »

Back to Waiting

Posted by auntiem10 on August 16, 2010

It’s been a few days now since our IVF cycle was cancelled. The first 24 hours were terrible because I was so disappointed. My dad and niece were staying with us, and we had a wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner to attend, but the tears just kept flowing. I could not make them stop. I cried on the way to the rehearsal dinner, on our way home, after crawling into bed, upon waking up on Saturday. I know it was dumb–it’s not like the world was ending–but I just so felt crushed.

At the wedding on Saturday evening, something came over me and I just kind of started accepting our fate. I watched my amazing hubby stand beside his best friend at the front of the church and thought about how lucky I am to have such an incredible life partner. At the reception, we danced and laughed all night, and I realized that the cancellation is just a small setback. We have a whole lifetime to work on this dream of ours, to welcome a baby into our home, and a couple of months is just a blip of time. Although the road seems so very long right now, there is an end in sight, and we will appreciate the journey even more because it wasn’t easy for us.

Posted in Cancelled IVF Cycle, Struggles | 5 Comments »

Cancelled.

Posted by auntiem10 on August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th was not kind to me this year. My IVF cycle is officially cancelled.

I wasn’t able to update until now because the CCRM nurse didn’t call until I was on my way to a wedding rehearsal after work. My estradiol shot up to 293.4 (from 146.96) since Tuesday. This morning a different u/s tech found a 15mm cyst that had previously been shadowed by the endometrioma. Just based on the u/s, I was bracing myself all day for the cancellation. When it came, I cried big fat tears for a little bit. I was so ready to make that drive, take those shots, swallow those pills, go through surgery. It’s just not to be, I guess, and it’s best to wait until my body is completely ready.

The new plan: wait until Cycle Day 1, and then e-mail CCRM. They’ll put me on BCPs for longer than this last time, and then I’ll start Lupron. Then we’ll “hope” that the cyst has gone away, according to the nurse who called me tonight. We’re looking at more of an Octoberish timeline now, unfortunately. I’m not really sure when to expect AF or anything, so I guess I’ll just try to focus on other stuff for a while. I can’t help thinking that this is never going to happen for us.

Posted in Cancelled IVF Cycle, Struggles | 13 Comments »

Part-Timer Problems

Posted by auntiem10 on August 7, 2010

Last week I e-mailed my CCRM nurse a couple of times, and she didn’t respond, which I found odd. Last night I received an e-mail from her, in which she told me that as of next week, she’s reducing her workload to part-time. This apparently means she’ll only be working two days per week. Instead of assigning me a new nurse, she just let me know that I can communicate with one of three other nurses for my questions. My heart sank when I read her e-mail. I feel that the potential for miscommunication or slipping through the cracks is much higher when not dealing with a dedicated nurse. I worry that Nurse A will tell Nurse B that she will call me, and then she will get busy and forget. Or that Nurse A will think Nurse B will call me, and Nurse B will think Nurse A will call me, and I won’t get called for dosage instructions. I’ve had a direct line of communication with my (now former) nurse since our ODWU, and it makes me really sad that this is happening literally the week before we start the most crucial part of our IVF cycle. Of course, she is human and I’m sure that is a high stress job, but the timing for me personally could not be worse. Figures!

I sent an e-mail to the general nurse’s inbox, telling them that I have some concerns about this new arrangement. I hate to seem like I don’t trust their ability to communicate with me even though I don’t have a dedicated nurse, but I requested that they assign me a new one so that I feel a little more secure. It’s a big clinic, and mistakes can happen. I’m hoping that they’ll honor my request as a patient and want to make me feel more comfortable, but I am nervous that this won’t happen or that they’ll label me as a “problem” patient. This is stress I don’t need at the moment!

My cousin had her baby this morning at 2am, an 8-lb 13 oz baby girl. They live a few hours away, so I haven’t seen the baby yet, but I suppose we’ll need to make a trip there after Denver is behind us. Story of my life: I am happy for them, but sad for us. I wonder if that feeling will even go away after we are finally successful someday. Hopefully about a year from now, we’ll be welcoming our own bundle(s) of joy into the family!

Posted in Cancelled IVF Cycle, Struggles | 5 Comments »

Status Quo

Posted by auntiem10 on August 4, 2010

So far this week, I’m just plowing right through my calendar. I printed it out and am crossing off the days with a big X.

Here are the medications I’m currently taking daily as part of my protocol:

Morning
Synthroid (for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)
BCP

Early Evening
Prenatal
Lupron-10 units

Bedtime
Dexamethasone

I’m having no side effects yet, not even Lupron headaches. I was pretty worried about headaches because I’m prone to migraines, but I’ve felt great so far after the first three injections. Friday will be my last BCP, and I’ll step down to 5 units of Lupron daily next Wednesday (if AF arrives as scheduled on Sunday). I’m only a week away from starting stims!

My brain has been going crazy at nighttime with worries, bringing some serious insomnia and crazy, terrible nightmares. I know it’s pretty normal when the stakes are so high. I keep thinking, what if we end up with barely any blasts and no normals? What if we get a BFN after all of this? What if we have normals and get our hopes up, and then nothing implants? I know that I’m just one of thousands who has had these thoughts going into a cycle at CCRM. Most of us wouldn’t be there if we hadn’t previously lost hope  at a more local clinic.

My old RE’s voice is permanently etched into my brain, informing us that she seriously doubts that I have ANY normal eggs. (She encouraged us, a 27- and 26-year old couple, toward DE after only one IVF cycle b/c of the dismal drop-off of embryos in their lab.) During the day I constantly give myself pep talks, telling myself that CCRM has the success rates to back up their reputation, that the Internet is full of success stories, that my first RE was dead-wrong about everything else. And each afternoon and evening, I feel great about our chances. But at night… those sneaking suspicions roll in like clouds on a summer evening, and I find myself doubting that I’ll ever get that phone call telling me that we’re really, seriously, viably pregnant. I’m afraid I’ll get another call during which a nurse says “Congratulations, you’re pregnant! But… your HCG is only 16, so it’s possibly not viable.” That was one. of. the. worst. days. of. my. life.

We are so in love with each other, so settled in our home, so ready to be parents! Please let there be a light at the end of this tunnel!

Posted in Cancelled IVF Cycle, Struggles | 5 Comments »

T-Minus 13

Posted by auntiem10 on August 2, 2010

It was a crazy weekend, but all of our plans kept me from obsessing too much about our upcoming IVF cycle. Some of my family was in town, and the minute they left, we headed over to my in-laws’ to celebrate DH’s grandma’s 73rd birthday.

My pregnant SIL was at my in-laws’, of course. She has a very thin frame, and I’m pretty sure her belly was looking a bit rounder already. It may have just been her shirt, though. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel devastated about being around her this time. I winced a bit when they referred to my MIL as “Grandma” once or twice, and when they happily discussed who will change diapers, but for the most part, I was okay. I guess the fact that I plunged the Lupron needle in my belly in their bathroom helped me get through it–I know that we’re moving forward, making progress, in our own quest to have a baby. We’re doing everything we can, and that has to be good enough right now.

Regarding my last post, I found out this morning that ICSI is NOT included in the costs of CCS testing. Thanks to everyone who provided feedback. The business office only told me our remaining balance today. I should have asked for the breakdown, but I was in a hurry to get to my next meeting. However, the letter we were originally sent (for a freeze-all cycle) included all of the costs related to the retrieval process–monitoring, bloodwork, nurses’ coordination time, ER costs, ICSI, etc. We just had to add $6850 onto that amount to figure out our final total. My panicked post yesterday was the result of thinking ICSI was not included in the letter we originally received from CCRM. We are definitely near the very tail-end of our budget, so I was glad that I was wrong!

Breakthrough bleeding stopped all day yesterday and then picked up again in the evening. I thought it had stopped completely and stupidly went to my in-laws’ house without an emergency liner. I went into the bathroom to inject the Lupron and realized that I had bled through my khaki shorts. Ugh. I made an excuse and had DH take me to the store, where I bought liners. The stain wasn’t visible to anyone else, thankfully. Crisis avoided–but lesson learned! So far today there has been zero spotting. Hopefully it’s gone for the rest of this week!

The Lupron injection went off without a hitch last night. I nonchalantly walked over to my purse and stuck the syringe (which I had pre-filled right before we left) in my pocket along with an alcohol pad, and then went into the bathroom. I’m not squeamish about sticking my belly, so I was in and out of there in under a minute. I’m due for the next one in 50 minutes!

 This morning I made all of our appointments at CCRM while we’re in Denver, assuming the dates on my calendar stick:

Monday: IVF physical, u/s + b/w, cycle review
Tuesday: u/s + b/w
Wednesday: u/s + b/w
Thursday: u/s + b/w, DH’s back-up freeze
Friday: u/s + b/w, genetic counseling
Saturday: u/s + b/w

Time is moving right along!

Posted in Cancelled IVF Cycle, Chromosome Testing (CCS), Money, Struggles | 4 Comments »

How Infertility Can Even Hurt Fertiles

Posted by auntiem10 on July 16, 2010

During the past 14 months since IVF #1 failed, I’ve been really self-absorbed with how much pain infertility brings to my dear husband and me. Yesterday I got my first real glimpse of how our struggles affect someone outside of our little bubble, and it shocked me.

Yesterday my aunt (an amazing breast cancer survivor) was in my city, and I met up with her in the evening for a decadent dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. We chatted throughout dinner before paying and leaving. Outside, we talked about my cousin, who is rapidly approaching her August 4th due date. My aunt feels that my cousin chose to tell me about her pregnancy first because she was being sensitive to my infertility. I feel that was just a coincidence and she was simply dying to tell someone, and she got her opportunity when she rode back to my grandpa’s house with me. I don’t fault her for this or anything, but it’s just my opinion.

I said, “It would have been nice if my BIL and SIL had told us before making their big announcement.” My aunt looked surprised and I realized that I hadn’t told her their big news yet. When I explained that they are expecting their first baby, I was shocked when my aunt burst into tears–right in front of everyone, standing on the sidewalk outside the Cheesecake Factory! She wrapped me up in a huge hug and I could just feel the pain emanating from her. My eyes flooded with tears as she gripped me tight.

It was a powerful moment in my life. I understood then for the first time how our infertility can bring pain to others. My aunt is completely helpless as she stands by and watches us try to stay upbeat as baby announcements are hurled our way.  She had to watch me blink back tears while precious baby gifts were opened at my cousin’s shower recently. She hates seeing us in pain, and yet she can’t make treatment decisions for us. Basically, she has to stand beside us and watch us hurt, and is not able to do anything to make it better. Until yesterday, I hadn’t seen through my self-absorbed haze how infertility can even hurt fertiles. It was definitely a new realization.

Posted in Struggles | 4 Comments »

Hat Tricks

Posted by auntiem10 on July 6, 2010

Another day, another negative OPK. Arrrgh! Today is Cycle Day 22. Another box of OPKs is on my shopping list tonight. It just figures that this cycle would mystify me!

I’ve been thinking the past few days about the different metaphorical hats we wear in life, depending on the people with whom we spend time. With my husband, I can wear my Bitter Infertile Hat. Around my best friend, I wear my Teacher Hat and explain to her (a super-fertile woman with a 6-year-old and 2-year-old twins) the ins and outs of IVF. With my in-laws, I wear my Super-Supportive Hat. Whatever they are going through (even if it pains me), I lend a supportive hand anywhere I can. My true thoughts and feelings are just as valid as everyone else’s, but I hide them so that they won’t see my dark side.

Infertility has brought out a dark side to my personality that I hadn’t even known existed. It has made me jealous, angry, petty, and cynical at times. I don’t want to reveal that ugly side of me. All of you fellow infertiles out there know how difficult it is to plaster on a smile and act happy for a pregnant person when there is a thunderstorm brewing in your heart.

So it was with great trepidation that I drove to my in-laws’ house on Sunday evening, where my newly pregnant sister-in-law awaited. I knew that baby talk would be high on the list of topics, since her first ultrasound is actually today. I decided to show up just before dinner (using the excuse that I was whipping up dessert) in an attempt to head off some of the talk. The first baby comment made in my prescence caused me to stiffen. My husband must have noticed because he gripped my hand, but no one else seemed to catch my reaction. After that initial comment, I steeled myself and managed through the rest of the evening.

After dinner, I found myself alone at the dinner table with my two sisters-in-law. Metaphorically, I put on my Supportive Sister-in-Law Hat and joined the conversation. She mentioned that she had expected the conception of their child to take longer. I felt my stomach drop out as I asked, “If you don’t mind me asking, how long did it take you?” I knew the answer before even asking: their BFP took only one month. She went off BCP in March, and May was their first month of TTC. She actually said, “When I saw the test, I thought: Wow, that was way too easy.” I flinched and all I could think was: Ouch!!!

Now let me just say that my sister-in-law is the sweetest, most patient, and friendliest person alive. I know that she meant no malice with her words and that actually, what she meant semantically was that she’s just waiting for the other shoe to drop. But there is no doubt that her words stung and that I needed to wait a couple of days to type them out.

I am just filled with wonder at how different their experience is from how ours will be (if we even get pregnant). Even when we both experience pregnancy, we’ll be wearing two different Hats. How amazing must it be to feel unguarded enough to announce a pregnancy without at least one ultrasound first? We would never announce anything (except to you, dear blog friends!) without at least a few ultrasounds. How wonderful must it be to already be considering names (which they announced yesterday when asked) or to feel safe enough to already begin clearing out a room for a nursery? We’ll likely not feel comfortable discussing names or talking about a nursery until we are in the second trimester. They have already announced to friends on Facebook and are already attached to the idea of being first-time parents, but why shouldn’t they be? They are wearing the Fertile Hat. They don’t have any reason to think that things won’t work out. How amazing must that be? Wearing my Bitter Infertile Hat has felt a little heavier the past few days, now that I’ve had a glimpse of how great it must be to wear the other hat.

Posted in Struggles, Testing | 5 Comments »

Heading into the Holiday Weekend

Posted by auntiem10 on July 2, 2010

Whew, it has been one busy week for my DH and me. He is busy trying to sort out all the logistics that accompany the start of grad school, and we are both very busy at work. Our Boston terrier had hives one day this week and caused us some concern, too. I feel like time is flying this summer!

The upcoming three-day weekend is a much-needed break for both of us. Tonight we’re planning to kick off our shoes and cook a nice dinner in honor of our 5-year dating anniversary (which was yesterday). Saturday we’ll be preparing food for a Sunday BBQ Sunday at my in-laws’ house. DH is going to fire up his smoker and prepare ribs and baked beans, and I’m going to stay in the house and whip up some guacamole, homemade ranch dip, zucchini bread, and a strawberry pie. In addition, my mama is coming to visit for a bit.

On Sunday, we’ll be heading over to my in-laws’ for their annual party. My pregnant SIL will be there, but I guess she won’t be arriving until dinner time. I’ve convinced myself that the best thing I can do regarding her pregnancy is to hide my emotions. I know it may not be right, but it’s what I feel have to do because my in-laws just don’t really “get it.” To bring attention to my own grief will either cause a rift in the family or turn me into an outcast, I think. I’ve already faked excitement to my SIL, MIL, and FIL so that I appear to be cool as a cucumber about it. Yes, I will have to give myself a pep talk before driving over there, and yes, I may cry on the way home if the convo revolves around pregnancy/baby talk. And we may have to abbreviate our visits in the coming months as her belly grows. I just don’t want anyone walking on eggshells for the next 7+ months on my account.

Monday I plan to do absolutely NOTHING. I plan to get all of my laundry, grocery shopping, gardening, errands, and house-cleaning done at some point during the weekend. We may have a movie marathon or spend some time lounging outside, but I do not plan to do a single productive thing. I need a day to just unplug and veg out. I can’t wait!

Happy July!

Posted in About Me, Struggles | 1 Comment »

Waste of Time

Posted by auntiem10 on June 21, 2010

So, I woke up early this morning, drove to my local clinic, and prepared myself for just another in a long line of ultrasounds. My blood pressure was high, which was unusual but maybe no surprise after last night’s news (it was 129/93 I think). The u/s tech came into the room and promptly informed me that she felt this ultrasound would be best performed by the RE himself. He is out of town until tomorrow, so she agreed to just take a look at my innards to see if she could capture some images. She found one endometrioma, which was 3 cm or so (32 mm). She noted that my ovaries have a polycystic appearance. Then she told me that I would have to come back tomorrow for an u/s performed by the RE himself. She just didn’t feel comfortable stating that she had captured all that was going on inside of me. After my laparotomy, my reproductive organs were shifted around (my ovaries are touching, one ovary is partly missing, my uterus is shifted to the left), and she just wasn’t 100% sure that she was looking at the big picture.

What a waste of time. I will be going back in there tomorrow morning at 8:45 for ultrasound #2. Ugh.

Regarding my post last night, I’m trying to find some inner strength to better cope with the news of my SIL’s pregnancy. I was feeling a little better until I read my MIL’s big announcement on Facebook this morning, that she “is so happy she could just burst,” that she “can’t wait,” and that “a new generation is beginning.” Ouch. Then I read my BIL’s announcement, that apparently my SIL surprised him with the news on their second anniversary last Monday.  My hubby arrived home last night, plopped himself down on the couch, and burst into tears. The last time I saw this man cry was last May when the outcome of IVF #1 was declared biochemical. Seeing him cry was the lowest I have felt in a long, long time. I decided to torture myself and prodded him for details once he composed himself. I guess they gave my FIL a framed piece of paper that said “Happy Father’s Day! You’re going to be a Grandpa!” He and my MIL both cried tears of happiness, and the rest of the time was spent talking about baby stuff. Once again, I found myself SOOO thankful that I was not there. Although I feel bad that I wasn’t able to share that moment with his family, I’m 99% sure I would have burst into tears. I definitely feel that someone was looking out for me when I made the decision to skip the celebration and rest instead.

Posted in Struggles, Testing | 6 Comments »

Are You There God? It’s Me, Auntie Em

Posted by auntiem10 on June 20, 2010

I am not usually a fan of having a “poor me” attitude, but this weekend has been full of an unbelievable amount of hurt and pain. I honestly wonder today how my heart is able to withstand the heartache without shattering.

The baby shower yesterday was difficult for me, I won’t lie. I tried go into it with a positive attitude, but all the positivity in the world wasn’t enough to keep me from blinking back tears throughout the shower. Cooing over diaper cakes… hugging my cousin and feeling her huge belly… catching looks of pity (directed toward me) from my aunt (who knows about our struggles)… listening to my cousin complain about how bad she feels at this stage of pregnancy… watching with a heavy heart while adorable baby gifts were passed from person to person. The emotional pain was persistent and intense, and when I started my 3-hour drive home, I breathed a huge sigh of relief that it was over and then shed some tears.

My relief was short-lived. My aunt called this morning, suggesting that we host another shower for my cousin in a location closer to some of our relatives who weren’t able to drive to yesterday’s baby shower. My cousin is not sure that she can travel so late in her pregnancy (she’ll be 34 weeks on Wednesday), so she’s going to ask her doctor this week. If she can’t travel, then we may host one after her baby is born. To be honest, I don’t want to attend a second baby shower this year at all.

Then today, on what should be my husband’s first Father’s Day (had our first IVF cycle been successful), there was yet another bombshell… my husband’s brother’s wife (my SIL) is pregnant. His family is currently at my in-laws’ house (I stayed home to recuperate from my trip yesterday), and my BIL and SIL made the announcement. My husband’s sister wasted no time in posting a Facebook update that she will be an aunt, and that is how I found out. This is their first baby, and he/she is due in late February/early March. My first thought was: Thank God I wasn’t there, because I’m not sure I could have held in the tears. I called my hubby to make sure he is okay (he’s still there), and he said he felt sick to his stomach. He was hoping to just let me down easy with the news once he returned home tonight, so that’s why he didn’t call to tell me right after the announcement. I burst into tears but asked him to simply pass on my congratulations and to tell them I’m sorry I wasn’t there to celebrate.

I was selfish enough to hope and pray that we would get to announce the first pregnancy among his siblings. After all, we started fertility treatments just a couple of months after getting married, so I imagined that we would have the first announcement. Obviously, now that is not going to happen. My heart feels like it is breaking, plain and simple. I’m sitting here, imagining the anguish of watching her belly expand over the coming months… hearing nonstop baby discussions from my mother-in-law (who loves babies and has to be SO excited)… attending her shower while prepping for our FET… seeing the excitement on everyone’s faces as her due date approaches. How the heck am I going to handle this with grace??? I will just have to find a way.

I am so angry tonight. Every time I feel like I’m emotionally winning this battle, a weekend like this one comes along and knocks me flat on my ass. I feel like a failure to my husband for not being capable of providing him with a child without spending thousands of dollars. I feel humiliated that he’s sitting at his parents’ house right now, feeling sick to his stomach because my body sucks. I feel ashamed that my body doesn’t work correctly while women all over the world get pregnant without even trying. I feel embarrassed by my selfishness and self-centeredness. I feel so damn sad that we are even dealing with infertility. And now, to throw my sister-in-law’s pregnancy on top of everything else, I just feel devastated. ARE YOU THERE, GOD? IT’S ME, AUNTIE EM.

Posted in Struggles | 16 Comments »

The Baby Shower I Can’t Miss

Posted by auntiem10 on June 19, 2010

Despite my best intentions to avoid baby showers for the entirety of 2010, the one I’m attending today is unavoidable. I’ve been dreading it since my cousin told me about her pregnancy during New Year’s weekend. I know how rude and awful that makes me sound, but it’s true.

She and her husband got engaged during the fall of 2009. Her brother, a U.S. Marine, was scheduled to leave for Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in February, and they obviously wanted him to attend, so they organized a wedding on short notice. They got married on January 16th of this year, and it was a very fun weekend.

A few weeks before the wedding, my aunt, cousins, and I had a slumber party at my grandpa’s house to relive the fun times from our childhood. My cousin rode with me back to my grandpa’s house after a fun dinner out, and on the way she dropped the bombshell that she was unexpectedly six weeks pregnant. Her wedding was not for another two weeks, so she asked me to keep the news top-secret so that she could get through her wedding day without having to answer questions about her pregnancy.

She seemed a little shellshocked about her suprise pregnancy and was a little sad that she and her husband would never have time to enjoy married life as a couple. During that conversation, I was shocked by how opposite we were on the “I want a baby” spectrum.

She’s due August 4th, and the baby is a girl. Her name will be Abigail, a name I love but wasn’t considering for our child (if we’re lucky enough to conceive one). Throughout her pregnancy, I’ve struggled with the fact that Abigail will be born before our child. My cousin is five years younger than me, so it’s just sort of a tough pill to swallow that I couldn’t have a child first.

In my life, 2010 has been the Year of Baby Showers, and I have skipped them all. I’ve sent a gift and a card, but that’s all I could manage. I’ve skipped showers held in honor of both fertiles and infertiles. I’m not super-weak emotionally, but I just didn’t feel that it would be healthy to attend a shower while I’m still in the trenches. But this particular shower is non-negotiable.

So today I will go and celebrate the impending arrival of my newest cousin. I’m going to put my own feelings aside and think of someone else for a change. I will lock away my sadness and jealousy and will find the strength to endure the baby talk, adorable clothes, and cutesy games in honor of a cousin who deserves all of the love our family can give her. And I can only hope that when it is my turn someday, she will be supportive.

Posted in About Me, Struggles | 9 Comments »

Mocked by the Expectant Mothers Parking Spot

Posted by auntiem10 on June 10, 2010

Last night after work, I had a couple of errands to run. I dropped off a prescription, picked up a few items at the grocery store, filled up my car with gasoline, and then went back to the pharmacy to pick up my and DH’s prescriptions. The grocery store parking lot was totally full, and the only parking spot for a few minutes was the “Expectant Mothers” parking spot right next to the handicapped parking. Ugh, I hate that spot! I drove by cursing it a couple of times until a spot further down the row opened up. When I was on my way out with my groceries, a hugely pregnant woman just happened to be walking into the store from that spot. She was beautiful and glowing, and I felt so deflated. I just felt kind of like the heavens were mocking me!

Is anyone else perturbed by the “Expectant Mothers” parking spot at stores?!

Posted in Struggles | 6 Comments »

The Green Monster

Posted by auntiem10 on May 28, 2010

I am having a bit of a rough day. Fridays usually make me feel ecstatic, but not so much today. I apologize in advance for the bitchiness of this post.

Emotionally, I’m still reeling from watching the movie My Sister’s Keeper. I haven’t read the book, but I got sucked into the movie on HBO last night. As the credits rolled, I was sniffling and then had nightmares about my aunt (a breast cancer survivor currently in remission). Not a great movie to watch when you’re feeling emotionally fragile!

On Facebook, two of my former high school buddies are pregnant. Every single day, they complain about how they feel. I need to just “ignore” them in my news feed, but I usually check FB on my iTouch and am not sure how to do that on there. It takes every ounce of willpower not to write something nasty in response to their complaints, but I choose not to draw people’s attention toward my IF struggles. (I’m not ashamed of my infertility, but I don’t think it’s the business of all 200+ friends on FB.) Last night one of my high school buddy’s status was “Sitting here watching my belly move!” Talk about a dagger.

And to top it off, my family is starting to talk constantly about my cousin’s baby shower, which is coming up on June 19th. I had resolved to avoid any and all baby showers this year for my emotional well-being, but I cannot skip this one. I have six first-cousins on my dad’s side, and we are VERY close. This cousin got pregnant a month before her wedding, by accident. She told me on New Year’s weekend and asked me to keep it a secret from everyone else in our family until after her wedding. She’s due on August 4th, and it’s very difficult for me. She’s five years younger than me, and I can’t help but feel that we should have had a baby before her. I know that is very selfish, though. My aunt just texted me with the gift registry info, and I expect to receive the shower invite within the next week. I can’t describe how much I dread attending this event! I know I am a jerk because she is my close family, but I am not sure how I will get through the shower without crying.

One last complaint for today, and then I’m done: I’m worried about an impending layoff at my company. I work for a very large corporation that has been slowly laying off people since February. The president announced during the quarterly earnings call that they had set aside a certain amount of money for second quarter severance packages. There is basically no turnover on my team, and I’m at the bottom of the totem pole. I feel that I work harder and volunteer for more projects than many of my co-workers, but I’m not sure that’s enough to keep me safe. In February, the “weakest link” on our team was let go, but the remaining members are all pretty even regarding performance. If I am laid off, I feel better knowing that we have a chunk of money in savings, but obviously that money is currently designated for CCRM. Plus when I obtain a new job, I would have to build up two weeks of vacation to use in Denver. I would really hate to postpone things, so I hope that I’m just being paranoid about possibly layoffs.

I’m so glad the holiday weekend is on the horizon. Tomorrow I am getting a massage (a gift from my awesome mother-in-law) and a pedicure, and we’re having a BBQ on Sunday. I can’t wait!

Posted in Struggles | 3 Comments »