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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Becoming Unstuck

This week has been one of the hardest for me in awhile. I have felt emotionally stuck. I have felt stuck on our journey to become parents. An emotional rollercoaster does not even describe it. Ever since Thursday I have found myself crying every time I am alone, and even sometimes trying to hide my tears from my coworker I share an office with. I have had thoughts flooding my mind...negative thoughts, harmful thoughts, but honest thoughts.

I've been angry at this journey and the affects it has had on my life. I've been angry that I have 4 angels and not 4 living children like I had wanted and planned to have. I've been angry that Mother's Day is coming up and I will spend it yet again celebrating everyone else but myself. I've been angry that my most recent due date is approaching and I will not be giving birth to our daughter Audrey. I've been angry that we are not currently pregnant from our IVF attempt. I've been angry that I have had to endure so much emotional pain along this journey. I've been angry that we bought a house that needs so much work done to it. I've been angry that my husband doesn't see how completely exhausted I've been with this entire process. I've been angry that my husband won't consider adoption unless we go through another failed IVF cycle. I've been angry that I haven't just been able to have a baby on our own, and angry that we won't be using my own eggs for another IVF cycle because of our poor results from the last cycle. I've been angry that even if we get pregnant and have a baby in our next IVF attempt-the baby will be 100% my husbands but not 100% mine in the sense that the other half that made the baby was my sister. I've been angry that we could spend another $15,000 and not become pregnant at all. I've been angry that we could become pregnant and still lose a healthy baby because nothing is ever guaranteed.

It has felt like all this anger has attacked me at one time and has sent me into a
downward spiral of depression.

I have been anxious about my sister's chromosome testing results. I have been anxious about meeting a new OBGYN and fearful she would not agree with ordering any more tests for us. I have been anxious my period being late and the possibility of having ovarian cysts when I've never had ovarian cysts or late periods before our IVF cycle.

I thought things started looking up on Saturday night when I finally started my period on day 39. I felt good on Sunday afternoon when I met with a local couple to give them information on the support group that I facilitate and talked to them for 2 hours like we had known each other for years. I felt like things were going to be okay for us. I was looking forward to meeting with the OBGYN on Monday.

Monday's appointment didn't go as plan and I think it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I drove an hour to see my new doctor and when I got to my appointment the receptionist informed me the doctor went home sick and I could reschedule or see the nurse practitioner. I opted to stay to see the nurse practitioner, since I had already made the trip, but when she came into my room and asked why I was there and said "you don't just need an annual exam?", huffed at me, and then told me see read my history and it's too complicated for her so I should reschedule to see the doctor-I was more than just annoyed. Especially when I had to cancel a training that I was scheduled to go to on Wednesday to be able to see the OBGYN before my appointment with the fertility clinic on May 14th because there were no other available dates and times. Then to top off my first impression of this office, I asked if I was going to get billed for my appointment and was informed yes I would because the Nurse Practitioner wrote a note stating she had a consult with me. I informed them telling me she read my history, without discussing my history with me, and then telling me I needed to reschedule was NOT a consult and I will not be paying them for only taking my weight. When I left the office I was hotter than a jalapeno. I felt like nothing has gone right in the past and this just set the tone that nothing is going to go right in the future either.

I met with Alex for lunch on Monday to make the early trip to Dayton worthwhile at least. During lunch I brought up to him how I've been having a difficult time emotionally recently and how 60% of me wants to focus on getting our house back together and then apply for adoption next year because I am just getting so sick of this rollercoaster ride, all the twists and turns, the upside down loops, and the abrupt endings just when we are starting to relax and enjoy the ride. I told him that other 40% of me doesn't want to surrender my dream of giving birth but that 40% is still filled with so much anxiety that it makes me nauseous. He informed me that he didn't agree with me and that he believes we haven't "exhausted all our options yet" for us to jump to adoption. He told me he would never get any work done if he thought about the things I do, the way I do, and as often as I do. He said he wanted to wait to see what all the doctors have to say over the next month and he didn't want to discuss it any further. I haven't cried so much in just felt like he wasn't listening to me, that he didn't care that I felt like I couldn't handle any more uncertainties and that I didn't want to keep putting myself through all these appointments and procedures anymore. Then as I'm sitting in my car bawling my eyes out a song came on the radio that was speaking to me plain as day:

In some ways it made me all the more angry because I feel like we've been fighting a battle that I don't know if we are supposed to be fighting, and I just wish there was a way to know what our future is supposed to look like, and because there isn't a way-we may continue to add to our hurt with every option that we try that isn't in the plans for us.

On Tuesday I continued to feel anxious, depressed, and angry. I was worried about my doctor's appointment on Wednesday since my first impression of the practice was not a good one. I was worried about my sister's chromosome analysis knowing we should be getting the results any day now. And then me and my husband got into another disagreement about how we are going to afford another IVF cycle and possibly then adoption if the IVF cycle fails to work for us again. I probably cried more on Tuesday than I did on Monday.

Wednesday finally came and thankfully my trip to the doctor was worth it this time. I met with Dr. Sharma, who apparently thought I was going to be a bitch because she made a comment that "you weren't as hard as I thought you were going to be." She either thought I was going to be hard on her based on her staff's opinion of how upset I was with her office on Monday or because of the amount of medical records I had copied and organized in sections for her to review between Monday and Wednesday. While I do think she agrees that the translocated chromosome is our primary cause of miscarriage-she was at least willing to work with Dr. Braverman in New York to order the immunological testing to be sure there is nothing more going on before we spend another 15 grand on another cycle with or without my own eggs. She also prescribed me a prenatal vitamin specificly for my MTHFR gene mutation. Dr. Sharma gave me a fourth explanation of what COULD HAVE caused Riley's death-she said due to my amniotic fluid being so low when I went to the hospital and was told her heard had stopped beating, I could have either been leaking fluid or there could have been a lack of blood supply coming from the placenta causing her to use all the blood she was getting to fuel her brain rather than fuel her bladder and she could have stopped peeing causing the low amniotic fluid. I honestly had no clue that amniotic fluid was fetal urine. I do now! So because of Riley being stillborn and not having any signs of Down Syndrome or Trisomy 13 from ultrasound, Dr. Sharma said she would monitor me very closely throughout my pregnancy, doing cervical checks often and starting me on weekly progesterone shots at week 17 to prevent preterm labor. She agrees that using donor eggs from my sister would be the best option for us to prevent another miscarriage due to chromosome issues, as long as my sister does not have the translocated chromosome. Everything else that I've done in the past and plan to do during a future pregnancy she agrees with-the Synthroid for my thyroid, daily Asprin prior to conception and during pregnancy, and daily Lovenox or Heprin shots during pregnancy. I also asked her about Ovarian cysts due to my cycle starting so late this month and discussed my suspician of Endometriosis. She said she wanted to wait to see if my next cycle is on time or late, and if it is late again she would look into the Ovarian Cysts. As for the Endometriosis, she did not think it was necessary to do a laproscopy and go digging around for an issue that really isn't an issue that wouldn't affect the success rate of another IVF tranfer...which is true. So all in all-I actually liked Dr. Sharma and really liked that she even teared up when talking with me about our history of recurrent loss. It made me feel like she cared about me even though she just met me.

My appointment with Dr. Sharma made me feel like I was becoming unstuck. It made me feel like we had a better plan for our future. Then today me and my sister got the call that she DOES NOT have a translocated chromosome....meaning we can move forward with a donor egg IVF cycle! While I am still very sad that we won't be using my own eggs...I am happy to know that there is still an option that will allow me to carry and give birth to our child. Now we just wait for Dr. Braverman to respond to my email and send the information about the needed bloodwork to Dr. Sharma before I can move forward with getting the immunological testing. We still plan to meet with Dr. Awadalla at Institute for Reproductive Health on May 14th and Dr. Hoffman at Bethesda Fertility on May 28th to compare both doctors and clinics so we can decide which clinic we are going to go with.

As we progress forward on our Baby Quest I will continue to update. The good news is I haven't cried since Wednesday morning on my way to my doctor's appointment. The bad news is I know there will days inbetween now and our next step where I will have breakdown after breakdown. That's just how the journey goes when you are dealing with infertility and recurrent loss-its a cycle of hope and hurt that continuously weaves in and out of your life. I got my Origami Owl necklace today and it is a perfect representation of this journey-one locket representing my four angels and the love I have for them, and the second locket representing my hope and faith in God to bless us with a Rainbow Baby, along with a tag which states "Find Joy in the Journey." While some days are incredibly hard to get through and I am suprised at myself for making it through them...other days I am reminded that I am strong and beautiful and will get through this. I find joy in sharing my journey with others because I know many can relate to these same emotions and feel either understood or empowered by our story.


Anonymous said...

Thank you! I really needed to hear that today.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad she'll order the test and there is some hope! I'm reading the book "Is your body baby friendly?" Which talks about a lot of immunological issues. It might be interesting for you too.