Do Y’all Have Any Idea WTF Is Up With This…???

I just posted my protocol for IUI #3 (click here) or you can click ‘IUI #3’ on my menu. I’ve used an INSANE amount of Bravelle. I have a high AMH (4.57). Yet…I still only grew 2 follicles…please read my protocol and give me any insight you can about how the f*ck you can have “high AMH” and “poor ovarian response”–this seems to be an anomaly. And, my right ovary flatly refuses to produce a viable egg–Dr. Angel says most people have a ‘dominant ovary’–do y’all have a dominant ovary? Anybody else have a protocol that got you less-than-stellar results (what was it)? And then, what did you do that worked? I mean, seriously, I want as much information as you’re willing to offer about what drugs you used, how you responded, and anything else that might make me understand how 23 viles of Bravelle can yield 2 stubborn follicles? Anyone??? I bet you I am the only blogger on here with an AMH high enough to be PCOS-ish BUT barely responds to injectables…I said I wanted to be ‘unique’ NOT ‘special’. Dammit. *Sigh*

Burn

“Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who/what we are.”
― Charles Bukowski, ‘What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire’

Tis the season of pregnancy announcements. More specifically, two of the most gorgeous, most sweetest girls you ever met–girls who’ve never had a legitimate ‘fat’ day, who never needed braces, who never rub anybody the wrong way. I’m pleased for them both. But, I had a moment where I felt insecure like I did back when I was on the track team in junior high school; a talentless misfit who excelled at sucking. I didn’t mind training but I hated sucking…I think I kept doing it (track) because I was hoping I would magically morph into a thin, popular, athletically talented young woman (with boobs).

That never happened. I didn’t “morph”.

What did happen, was that I got really lost (sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll). And then I started to realize that “fitting in” is highly overrated. And I let my colors fly. And I made lots of friends. And I got (bought) boobs. And when I found a sport I loved I realized that I am a very talented athlete. I learned my strengths. I reconciled my weaknesses. I stopped wanting to be someone else.

I surely didn’t “peak” in junior high or high school (or even college). I’ve had to work hard and roll with the punches to become the person I wanted to be, mind-body-soul.

I’m never surprised when things don’t come easily to me. Things like boobs, athleticism….pregnancy…babies. But honestly, I’ve adopted the motto that “something is only worth what we must sacrifice to attain it”. And I’ve found it to be SO true–the things I’ve had to work the hardest and sacrifice for are the things that I’m proudest of–the things that ultimately define my character.

And dammit, I’m fighting like hell for motherhood. I’m up in Dr. Angel’s office EVERY day, getting my shots and monitoring, for 14 days per month (3 months in a row now). I won’t put anything in my mouth that might contain gluten–no matter how hungry I am. Even when I’m tired I force myself to do 30 minutes of cardio because I’m convinced it helps my “follicles grow”. I bicker with Freedom Pharmacy at least once a month. In the last year I’ve spent thousands of dollars out-of-pocket to see specialists and run tests, all in pursuit of justice for my lost pregnancies and the desperate need to protect another pregnancy. I f*cking stick an enema up my butt every night to quell the inflammation in my colon. There’s really nothing I won’t do to have a baby.

So while those two beautiful, blissfully ignorant ladies (swans) announced their pregnancies on facebook at barely 11 weeks gestation (as only a fertile would)….

I proudly walk through fire on my path to motherhood. I see myself as a Phoenix that will rise from the ashes. Swans are simply beautiful. But the Phoenix is the epitome of strength, beauty…and (re)birth. And Phoenix’s don’t do pregnancy announcements–that sh*t is for swans.

"Phoenix from the ashes" by Christoph Jaszczuk

“Phoenix from the ashes” by Christoph Jaszczuk

I’m Rambling Cuz I’m On Drugs…

So, to quote myself from my last post “It can ALWAYS get worse”, and guess what–I’m not f*cking kidding about that. Mr. MLACS has a big diesel truck that is the apple of his eye, and yesterday his clutch was being impossible, and we had to accept the fact that…on top of EVERYTHING else…we are going to have to repair or replace his clutch (anywhere from $500-$1500). That was really the last straw for Mr. MLACS. Another gem is that his company (for whom he is invaluable on their multi-billion dollar projects) is nickel-and-diming us on our last move–they want US to pay off the $3000 on his expense account for our move…in what f*ing universe is that acceptable?! This is on top of expenses we paid out-of-pocket AND we lost a MONTH of wages because their HR pulled him off his old job and didn’t have his Visa ready to go to his new (international) job–that completely screwed us over after we had only JUST gotten on our feet after the LAST move (which they also screwed us on). It’s maddening, and we are both sick of this BS from this company. Thing is, he has stayed with the idea-in-mind that he was fast-tracking it to management$$ and other companies can’t offer him the salary. But I had to level with him: it would be better for him to take a pay cut and for us to stop losing money on moving, than for us to continue this way…and it’s hurting our relationship–the stress of moving causes fights…the money situation creates tension…I’ve given up several jobs due to the moves…overall, we’ve got to make a change. And look at us–we could try naturally this month but that’s not an option because his work switched his schedule and he won’t be home. It hurts Mr. MLACS that his 5 year plan is being blown to smithereens, and that the company that he’s given his blood, sweat, and tears to (literally he works from before dawn until well past dusk–he’s got stamina) is still so quick to f*ck him (us) over. And then he’s also devastated that I’m not pregnant. And he’s concerned about the money (me too) that we’ve been shelling out for these IUI’s–with Dr. Angel giving us false hopes by saying “watch out for triplets!” it makes ZERO babies a harder pill to swallow. And really the last 18 months have been SO much drama, with his last project being a nightmare and the miscarriages and me being sick, etc. and it has FINALLY caught up with Mr. MLACS (it “caught up” with me LONG ago, and I’m burnt to a crisp) and he said to me, with sad eyes and quivering lip “I just want it to be done…I just want it to stop…I’m tired of EVERYTHING being SO HARD”…and for once I comforted him. It will be ok. It really will. I’m glad he just gave in and allowed himself to be vulnerable so that I could show him that I can take care of him too–we take care of each other. And we have been like peas ‘n carrots.

What else…been packing up the house to move. We are moving to a new unit that is exactly like ours but in a different building (one street over in our development). I don’t really mind moving and setting up house all over again (ok, YET) but packing is no fun. And that reminds me–maybe I had an intuition that this was going to happen and maybe that is why I was so disgusted with all the “stuff” I got for Christmas–what I wouldn’t give right now to have the money instead of the stuff, because now I have to do something (pack or donate) all the stuff I got, and it would be a brilliant time to have gift certificates or money to use for the expenses of this ordeal–maybe I just knew in my soul that all hell was about to break loose and maybe that is why I was so disillusioned with Christmas (far fetched but interesting, eh?)

Also, it’s SO much fun packing when you’re having some of the worst cramps of your life, right?! No, no it’s not actually. Today is CD1 and I am in PAIN. I took a Soma a little while ago and drove Mr. MLACS to go pick up (gluten-free) pizza for dinner, and I was driving like a ditz but for the first time in…oh hell who knows…I felt pretty damn good! Mr. MLACS and I have had some good laughs today. It was maddening:

1. Get up, eat breakfast and go to our apartment to continue packing and wait for the maintenance guys to assemble to help us after lunch

2. It starts pouring rain. We decide to take some of our stuff to the new place. The driveway is a mess of ice/snow/slush. The garage is being used as storage for the maintenance guys and they’ve yet to clean it out. Uh…

3. We are informed that we will postpone the move until Monday, we are told the hotel will not be comped tonight but we are invited to stay in one of their model homes until then…but it’s already PAST check-out time at the hotel…seriously?!

4. We RACE back to the hotel to plead with them not to charge us for tonight. They agree (whew!) I trick the cat into his carrier and we lug everything (and kitty) through the rain and load the car (again), Hillbilly style. The cat commences to scream, because he HATES car rides. Awesome.

5. We go buy liquor for the maintenance guy and wine for the management–they have been helpful and a little PR goes a long way.

6. We go the the model home to settle in and…it’s actually COLDER inside than it is outside…Mr. MLACS messes with the thermostat while I let kitty out of his prison. Turns out, the thermostat doesn’t work! We call management and sit there and wait for the maintenance guy–who comes and informs us he’s got to replace the thermostat, then leaves.

7. F*cking figures. We sit there shivering and then make the executive decision to return to our old apartment–where there’s heat and cable tv. Ambush kitty AGAIN and both of us get scratched in the process–I don’t blame kitty, because this is BS.

8. Return to our apartment–they’ve removed the noisy fans–we breath a sigh of relief. Kitty is happy to be in his familiar home.

9. I commence to call doctors to see if my appeal has gone through for my meds yet (as we’ve been spending all sorts of money out-of-pocket) and…nope. I made an appointment with a new GI at a well-respected hospital about 2 hours away (same city where take Mr. MLACS to the airport). Dr. Angel was supposed to have called in a script for me but Walgreens says they don’t have it, so I call Dr. Angel’s office to report CD1 and to ask about the script. Dr. Angel never calls me back, and I begin to wonder if he hates me for being such a needy pain-in-the-ass. Mr. MLACS calls about his truck and they haven’t even looked at it yet. (*&^%#@$

10. I have SO many things I want to do, places I want to go, people I want to see, and DEBT I want to pay off. I’m fully committed to the idea of getting a job (preferably not full time) and I perused craigslist. There’s some medical office stuff I’m interested in. Everybody has been RAVING about Dave Ramsey (financial guru), so I talked to Mr. MLACS and told him that, though there’s a lot of things I want to do, I’m wiling to commit 100% to getting our finances in order in 2014 if he’s willing to make and stick to a PLAN with me (because goals mean sh*t without a plan in place–he’s an engineer so he should understand that you have to plan life goals just like you have to use a blueprint to build a house…but he’s a guy and he hates directions…I digress…). For my contribution, I want to get a job so we can save up and do some fun stuff, while also paying our debts (credit card, medical, etc.) AND, I can still go take night classes even with a day job (though I’m not taking classes yet–planning to start in March).

11. Here’s some good news: My Grandma’s breast cancer is Stage I, and she’s scheduled for a lumpectomy at the end of this month (an outpatient procedure) and then radiation for a month. This is GREAT news!

12. A couple of my blogger friends have offered me their leftover drugs. For this I am SO grateful and I just cannot even thank them enough. Seriously, I’m sure I don’t deserve their kindness but I’m in no position to refuse. Bless you, thank you, R. and Steph.

13. I feel SO FAT. Like, I looked in the mirror in the horrible lighting of the hotel bathroom and was almost moved to tears. How did THIS happen?! I was already not on top of my game due to all my health issues, but these last couple of months of hormones have just…the cellulite…my friend (who hasn’t seen me) asked me if I wanted to do a boudoir photo shoot with her–make-up, hair, everything included (for her portfolio) and I had to be like “GURL, I don’t even like pictures with my clothes ON”, but it made me SO SAD because when she saw me 18 months ago during my wedding, I looked and felt AMAZING! I am going to be a bridesmaid in two weddings coming up and intending to attend a baby shower (yes Steph I want to look good for your baby shower) and I feel like an absolute TROLL. I’m really ready to reclaim my body–why can’t I be one of those women (like you Steph) who takes the hormones and sees absolutely no change in her weight or attitude?! Instead of morphing into a ‘superhero’ I morph into a ‘villain’ (fat and evil) and it suuuuuucks. Plus, I was starting to get on a role but this whole flood/moving thing just ruined it, and now I have to start over again. Uhg.

So…finally my cramps became unbearable and since I can just sleep in tomorrow I did myself a favor an popped a Soma, then Mr. MLACS and I went and picked up pizza–we were going to dine-in but the place was like a daycare with no supervision where all the kids are high on pixie sticks–kids were screaming and running circles around us while we were in line, so we took it home and ate it on paper plates (cuz my plates are packed). The drugs and the (gluten-free) pizza are a nice end to a stupid day (Stupid WEEK).

Thank you ladies for your support–I’ve been b*tching A LOT lately–I hope you get a laugh or two out of my rants and lamentation.

 

Nope.

Today is 12dpo, I took a FRER this morning…do I really need to tell you how that turned out? Nope. I haven’t even cried–but I bet I will when AF arrives–if it’s anything like last month I will be glued to the couch with my heating pad.

This opens up a whole new can of worms. Do I stick to my idea to take off January to re-group? Cuz now I don’t want to take a break. I feel desperate to just get this (trying to conceive) over with already. And I don’t have the option of trying naturally, because Mr. MLACS’s schedule has changed and we physically will not be here during my fertile window–I don’t like the idea of not trying at all. Plus, I’ve been doing acupuncture with the lovely Star, and maybe it’s starting to work…but I can’t afford to keep doing this for months on end so since I’ve already invested in this treatment I don’t want to “pause” it in January (and backslide) and then “resume” in February or March–that seems counterproductive. What if the Remicade is the reason I haven’t conceived these last 5 months? My last infusion was October 24th and I was due for another one in December–which I declined–and I’ve managed to keep my Ulcerative Colitis in remission without it…I can’t take this for granted…next month or the month after that I could find myself VERY sick again, and my docs are always impressing upon me that it’s important for me to be in remission while TTC. There’s a lot of reasons to push forward and do an IUI in January.

Although, I would definitely like to change my protocol–I want MORE follicles, and I believe the way to accomplish this is to dispense with the Femara altogether and begin Bravelle CD3, with a healthy dose at 150iu, in the hopes of recruiting more follicles to begin with. Then, I’d like to trigger no later than CD14 (preferably CD12 but that’s probably not realistic for me). And I want to do a double IUI with Mr. MLACS’s “spermcicles” (frozen sperm) since we won’t be able to have sex.

The failure of IUI #2 is particularly frustrating because I got pregnant twice naturally in 2013, but since then I’ve done 2 rounds of Clomid and 2 IUI’s with Femara + Bravelle and NOTHING…it’s been 5 cycles since my last pregnancy (one natural cycle in-between Clomid and starting IUI’s). WHY? Is it the Remicade (that I started as I was having my chemical pregnancy at the end of July ’13)? Is it that my body hates the hormones and I’ll never get pregnant on medicated cycles? Is it stress? Are we TRYING too hard–do we “just need a vacation”?!!!  Is it Dr. Angel’s IUI protocol?? Is monitoring every day bad? Did we “miss” the egg by not having sex post-trigger and then doing the IUI post-ovulation? Is he making poor use of my preciou$ injectable meds? Is there something else…an infection in my uterus? Could I benefit from dexamethasone to further quiet my immune system? I’m gluten-free but do I need to quit dairy and grains? Do I need to eat pineapple core? I don’t even know where to begin…

This is getting expensive. Mr. MLACS is getting tired of the roller coaster too and he’s not sure he wants to do an IUI in January, but he says he just “wants to see me happy”. I don’t even know what will make me happy right now. I need a shower–I’m sitting here in clothes I’ve worn for 3 days with bed-head and I feel like a troll. Maybe I’m just so sick of doing my due diligence (taking meds day and night, etc.) that I’m subconsciously rebelling by not taking care of my other needs. That’d be redundant.

I worry about things…like “Myrtle’s” upcoming bachelorette party and the bridal shower I’m supposed to throw and then her damn wedding in April. I don’t want to go to the bachelorette party–I despise her when she’s drunk, the weather is awful, and I don’t want to spend the money, but it’s coming up mid-January and I don’t know what to say to get out of it. She point-blank asked me in front of a room full of people at her family’s Christmas gathering “SO HOW’S THE BABY MAKING GOING?” To which I, after a pause, calmly replied “Nothing to speak about”–let her wonder–she doesn’t even CARE she’s only asking to be nosey and because she wanted to see if I’d be weaseling out of her upcoming hen party or not fitting into the bridesmaid dress. I refuse to speak to her about any of what’s been going on with me–I still haven’t mentioned that my Grandma has cancer (though that may be my excuse for skipping the hen party). I don’t mind throwing the shower, but this means I’m going to need to start planning it for mid-March. And the wedding…but I wish I wasn’t in it. She doesn’t have a big budget, but she has enough, and for some reason she has decided that–instead of hiring someone–she wants her wedding party and guests to clean up the venue post-reception? I think that is ridiculous, but I’ve already been ‘snapped at’ for telling her not to pair black opaque tights with her navy blue eyelet lace sundresses for the bridesmaids, so I won’t be making any more suggestions. Uhg. Why do I worry about this BS? And “Myrtle” really wasn’t the point of this post. But…it’s sort of relevant because I was thinking “I’d be right at 16 weeks when the wedding rolls around” and now…I won’t. I may be zero weeks when the wedding rolls around, and I need to accept that instead of feeling panicked about it.

I conceived January 19, 2013, and after my 7w2d miscarriage, I never thought I would be here a year later, with no pregnancy and no baby. I may have feared it, but I never believed it would happen.

And so I’ll leave you with the ‘Serenity Prayer’–one which you’re probably all familiar with, but if you haven’t prayed it in awhile (as I haven’t) now may be the time. XO

God-Grant-me-the

In Case You Were Wondering…

hot dogs

Well, I haven’t written much lately–but I spent A LOT of time yesterday trying to figure out how to add IUI #1 and IUI #2 to my blog menu. I am proud to report to you that I am a genius I figured it out and you can now view my protocols for both of my IUI’s. I’ve found myself searching the internet for IUI BFP stories that give you real information (How many IUI’s did you do? How many follicles did you have and what sizes were they? What meds were you on? What were your first betas? Singleton or multiples? Etc.) and I found a good thread on a website, so for all of you ladies doing IUI’s, click HERE to view the IUI BFP thread I found (on fertility community).

In other news, I’m still in the TWW. I’ve decided not to test out the HCG trigger shot or to begin testing for an early BFP. I’m taking progesterone supplements, which give me pregnancy symptoms, so I’m mostly disregarding everything and not symptom spotting…but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping here-and-there.

Here’s something weird. I’ve had cravings before, and then still came up with a BFN (many times, actually). But I’m still going to share with you that–while you’re all doing your ‘get healthy 2014’ thing–I’m over here consuming hot dogs (my go-to from IUI #1, weird) and steak salad with bleu cheese…I cannot get enough bleu cheese. I’m not even remotely trying to suggest that I am pregnant, I am simply sharing with you that, while I have been visiting the gym every-other-day, maintaining my 100% gluten-free status, and shying away from coffee and sweets…I have been inexplicably drawn to hot dogs, steak, and bleu cheese. Oh, and I may as well inform you that I made a big crock pot of Rotel dip yesterday (click HERE for recipe) which is basically fake plastic cheese, pork sausage, and tomatoes + green chiles from a can–totes unhealthy–and I ate it by the bowl-full, scooping it up with salty corn chips…I shamelessly ate this dip while I read your New Years resolutions.

I’m starting to feel anxious to find out if I truly am you-know-what. But, after the tumult of these past couple of months (much thanks to WHOREmones), I feel it would be unwise to ride the roller coaster of EPT’s…I am simply not mentally/emotionally stable enough (plus it’s a big fat waste of money, and then you’re left with a trash can full of broken dreams that reeks of piss). No thanks, I’ll just grab another hot dog and wait til the timer ‘dings’. XO

2013 Can Suck It (Take 2)

I just wrote the longest, bitchiest post I could possibly imagine. And I published it. And then I decided to un-publish it, because it’s slightly funny but mostly just insanely bitchy and I’m not doing you any favors by sharing it with you. So, it’s gone. But it was basically talking about how crappy 2013 was, and that is worth mentioning so I’ll list the offences of 2013:

1. Miscarriage: Feb. 25th, 2013. It was not a “missed miscarriage”. The bleeding started but an ultrasound revealed an embryo that measured within a couple of days of anticipated conception, with a heartbeat of 160bpm, at 7w2d. Yet (after a visit to the ER that night confirmed no heartbeat), it was dismissed as a statistic by my OBGYN, I was given Misoprostol to ensure complete ‘evacuation’, and told to give it a month and try again. Then I went on to have a chemical pregnancy on August 2nd, 2013 (there was a sac and if FELT worse than my prior miscarriage).

2. Chronic Illness: Ulcerative Colitis has worsened 10 fold this year. Post-miscarriage it was revealed that I have several other problems, including:

  • Hypothyroid (may very well have caused my miscarriage)
  • Lichen Sclerosus (an autoimmune disorder that causes the skin in my genital area to atrophy–it’s painful)
  • Elevated ANA’s (anti-nuclear antibodies–an indicator of Lupus)
  • Elevated NK cells (natural killer cells, which play a delicate role in implantation)

3. Horrible doctors (totally unsupportive and incompetent–when I was most fragile post-miscarriage)

4. Marital issues I’ve written about some of it in the past–it’s not easy to have marital problems on top of all this other bullsh*t in a town where you don’t know very many people and you’re scared sh*tless that you might be really, really sick. Oh, and you’re blaming your body for killing your seemingly perfect embryo and feeling desperate to figure things out to protect future pregnancies, while your husband tells you that you’re overreacting and wasting money. Things are different now, but they really couldn’t have been much worse for awhile.

5. Moving But not knowing exactly when or where. Mr. MLACS hated, absolutely HATED his last project. And he thought he’d get promoted to an upcoming project (a domestic job), but that did not manifest–he got dealt a lot of sh*tty hands this year. We decided to “abandon ship” and started looking at other companies, but no one could give us a solid offer with the pay he should command. We had to make a lot of hard decisions and in the end he chose to stay with his company and do a job in Canada (commuting), and we moved back to my hometown. But this process began in April ’13 and we did not know where we were going until August, then we moved abruptly in September. STRESSFUL. And for most of the summer I just felt frozen–I was watching life moving on around me while my own life was suspended in wait.

6. Finances Just when we think everything is going to be fine, something pops up. It causes us to fight and it caused me a lot of anguish on top of the other stuff I was dealing with. Part of it is medical bills, which is a bitter pill to swallow–first you have a medical crisis, then you find yourself in debt over it, often with no resolution. And I didn’t work–I went back to school to become a nurse and most recently I’ve been obsessed and single-minded about having a baby (which is getting expensive as well).

After our (practically immaculate) first conception in January 2013, I couldn’t have predicted that I’d be sitting here–not only childless–but not even pregnant a year later. I don’t think anybody would’ve predicted this–my doctors kept patting me on the back and sending me home until a couple months ago when I met Dr. Angel and we started IUI’s with injectables. I couldn’t have predicted any of what happened this past year. I was in a strange city trying to transition into a new phase of my life (motherhood), trying to build my (difficult) relationship with my husband, trying to forge my way to a new career (nursing), and trying to figure out WTF was happening to me and how to deal with it– all while fighting chronic illness and multiple miscarriages. I don’t know what I expected, but I was not prepared for what happened. I’m still traumatized. And, in fact, I think that I have gotten worse recently (in no small part due to the IUI hormones)–I’m fighting feelings of anxiety, anger, depression, sadness, insecurity, indifference, irritability…I’m quick to anger and I have NO FILTER (hence why I 86’d my initial “2013 Can Suck It” post). I don’t know if 2014 is going to see the resolution of the above listed grievances that I have against 2013. I could really use something to look forward to, but I don’t have anything. Yet…

 

 

 

 

 

86% More Hopeful Than Yesterday

Click HERE for the Attain Success Rates webpage….

As I’ve been (obviously from my ‘FML’ posts) fighting anxiety and depression like it’s my job (thanks hormones) and I’m determined to see the mf*ing sunny side of life again, I began searching for statistics. I don’t expect things from God–I pray more for understanding, acceptance, and comfort than I do for outcomes–so when I want to believe that something will go my way I look for a statistic that is in my favor. And as luck would have it (or God, maybe God was throwing me a bone here) I found some very encouraging statistics via Google search! I would like to thank Attain fertility for providing me with HOPE that I may yet find success with IUI’s…because according to Attain there is an “86% chance of pregnancy with multiple IUI’s”. It doesn’t say percentages like 40% pregnancy within 3 IUI’s or 60% pregnancy rate within 6 IUI’s…and I don’t f*ing care if this 86% includes people that have had 100 IUI’s to finally get pregnant. Obviously this statistic does not account for live births, but before I even worry about that I need to believe that these IUI’s and all the mf*ing hormones are going to open the door for me to begin to worry about the RPL factor…This 86% statistic calmed me and helped me to stop hyperventilating about this upcoming 2nd IUI and stressing about the future (IVF, childlessness), and I will be forever grateful to Attain for posting this (possibly fabricated) statistic so it was there for me to reference in my time of need. **And if this is a skewed statistic and your RE tells you it’s BS…PLEASE DON’T TELL ME…I need to believe in this like a little kid needs to believe in Santa Claus…I’m clutching this statistic like a little safety blanket and if you try to rip it away from me I’ll bite you. XO

CD1

Yep. I got the call from Dr. Angel that my beta was negative and stimultaneously felt the unmistakeable pain of AF making her appearance a day early. It’s actually a blessing in disguise to be moving on from grieving to hoping so seamlessly. Also, that would partially explain why I was so morose yesterday–PMS. But y’all really showed up for me yesterday and I truly felt embraced and comforted by your kindness, warmth, and tenderness–I really felt our kindredness and unity and it gave me strength when I was weak. You are such amazing women and I’m privileged to know you–I don’t need to know your names, addresses, or occupations–I know the best part of you already–your brave hearts. Bless you all. XO

Coping Mechanisms

I tested negative at 12dpo on a FRER.

I called Dr. Angel’s office and he returned my call and sounded truly disappointed and surprised that the IUI didn’t work this time, he just kept saying “everything looked really good”. I tried not to unleash my full crazy on him, but did throw out several conspiracy theories, “maybe my testosterone is high and I need metformin”, “maybe I need to ovulate sooner, since I didn’t ovulate until CD17, perhaps I need to ovulate closer to CD14”, “maybe my eggs are all bad”, “maybe there is something genetically flawed about my eggs or Mr. MLACS’s sperm”, “maybe it’s the Remicade, since it mediates NK cells and implantation requires NK cell activity, maybe my NK cells are overly suppressed and I need to get off the Remicade”, or conversely, “maybe my immune system is still too active and preventing pregnancy”. I told him “I just wish I knew why”, and “maybe I’m one of those people who won’t get pregnant and it’ll take years to figure out what is wrong”. I know my voice didn’t sound panicked but ordinary people who are not losing their minds do not have these sorts of schizo conversations with their OBGYN after one failed IUI. I am truly special. Dr. Angel ordered a blood draw to check testosterone, progesterone, and quantitative HCG–yes, he went ahead and ordered the beta today at 12dpo because he, like me, feels that the FRER’s are pretty damn accurate.

I cried on and off all day. I felt alone (and I was). And I felt broken (I am). I just couldn’t find comfort in anything or anyone. I had an opportunity to go decorate a Christmas tree with my sister and her daycare kids, but I had to say no. Instead I went to Quest to have my blood drawn and argued with the phlebotomist because she said “now this doesn’t say STAT, so it’s not STAT” (very redundantly) to which I replied “well it oughtta say STAT because it’s a beta and I’ve never heard of a beta not being STAT” (sounding indignant) and then I proceeded to call Dr. Angel’s office to push my agenda, but it was a futile attempt because they were out to lunch. The phlebotomist got a little snippy and said “I used to do a lot of these and they were never STAT” to which I replied “well I’m used to working with RE’s, and they want things STAT” (like, lady, there’s one fledgling RE’s office in this damn town so I wouldn’t expect you to know) and she STFU. I looked and noticed that she had 2 viles for the blood and upon confirming that she only needed two I gave her my left arm because it’s slower–I’ve had so much mf*ing blood drawn that I have a system–2 viles or less you get the left arm, 3 or more the right arm, and I prefer IV’s in my hand. I had one of those “is this really my f*ing life? when did this become ‘normal’?” moments as I sat there watching my blood trickle into the viles, completely oblivious of the phlebotomist.

There was a lady who came in to the Quest office after me, a very frail lady with a hunchback and a walker–I opened the door for her and sat back down. She said out loud, “oh I can’t see this sheet to sign it (referring to the sign-in sheet)” so I jumped back up and grabbed a pen, and before I could ask she said her name was Bernadine. I thought, what a pretty antique name…and I loved her accent–she had a southern drawl–and she said “thank you honey”, and my heart felt a little warmer. I just adore sweet little old ladies. As I was leaving the Quest office I noticed a man on a cell phone standing over Ms. Bernadine, and as I’ve worked in several Dr.’s offices I assumed he must be her transportation. I walked outside and saw a van with the name of a retirement home on it, and my heart sank…does this sweet old woman have no one to care for her? Is she all alone in the world? I wanted to run back in the Quest office and scoop her up and take her with me. I was saddened. The point of this story about my brief encounter with Ms. Bernadine is to give you an idea as to my frame of mind…I looked around at gray skies and snow covered straw-like grass…and I got in my car with nowhere to go and no one to see…and the world seemed like a very cold place. I unceremoniously removed the gauze from my arm and stuck it in my console on top of the gauze from last time.

“What am I going to do with myself now?” I thought. First things first, there was a Starbucks right next to the lab and I always reward and self-soothe with Starbucks, so that was a no-brainer. There was a serious line at the drive-through because it was lunch time so I had a few minutes to ponder my next move. I have a list of things to do around our house but maybe I should try to cheer myself up. I find meandering around Barnes and Nobles to be my most favorite form of therapy, and I thought “maybe a book will distract me from obsessively trolling IF/RPL blogs and lamenting my failed IUI”. Mr. MLACS called while I was in line and he encouraged me to go, so I robotically drove myself to the mall.

Of course I cried on the way to the mall.

I walked in to Barnes and Nobles hoping that I didn’t look like I’d been crying, and could hardly manage a whisper to thank the person who opened the door for me. I wanted to be invisible. I took inventory of the place as I walked in, but my coffee was “kicking in” (and my enema and my milk-o-magnesia…constipated much?) and I had to run to the bathroom. It figures that I would be having a bad day and then be forced to take an epic dump in a public restroom. I cried silently on the toilet, but emerged from the stall feeling like a burden had been lifted (literally). The first book I noticed as I walked by the “New Age” section was by the Long Island Medium lady, Theresa Caputo…not sure that was a coincidence because I’m dying to meet her and get a message from my dear departed mother, but I kept walking.

And now it’s time for a confession: I like to read cheesy Christmas paperback books. You know the ones. They have titles like “A Christmas Miracle” or “The Gift of Hope”. My eye was caught by a Debbie Macomber book (that I hadn’t read) called “Angels at the Table”. Will Lucie Farrara and Aren Fairchild reunite after their chance meeting in Times Square last year on New Year’s Eve??? My educated guess is: Yes. But I’m going to read it anyways.

Then I began circling the “Books Worth Reading” display. And they were all worthy books–Pulitzer prize winners and such. But most of them were too ‘heavy’ for me or I just didn’t like the author’s picture on the back of their book…I discriminate based on this, because if the story is about a little girl’s family torn apart during the Holocaust, then I don’t want to see a picture of some yuppy-looking beatnik dude smirking at me on the back cover. It just ruins the credibility of the story for me, and it seems fame-whorish for authors to put their damn pictures on their books. Unless it’s a biography. Nonetheless, I spent at least an hour reading excerpts from books on this display. I finally settled on one called “Gifted Hands”, about a Neurosurgeon named Ben Carson who spent his childhood as a black youth in inner-city Detroit but ascended to become the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Now this, I give a sh*t about.

I went to the ‘Clearance’ section and kept picking up books with storylines that the mother is dying of cancer. WTF. I just can’t…I can hardly read books about mothers let alone mothers dying of cancer (as my Mom did) and I’m thinking “I probably need therapy”. And then I thought…”I’ll have to tell my infertile friends that (according to these books) being a mother is now synonymous with dying of cancer so maybe if we remain childless we’ll spare ourselves death by cancer, ha ha ha”. It sounded much funnier at the time. Obviously it’s not funny in print. Sorry.

I gave up and got in line. While in line I had the presence of mind to pick up a gift card for my MIL. I would say that Barnes and Nobles did not disappoint me today–I left feeling atoned.

I cried as I left the mall parking lot.

My brain felt fuzzy as I tried to figure out the next best use of my time…I just kept driving toward my house…and all of a sudden when I was one street away from my house I decided that I MUST go to Walmart to get the sh*t to make all the Christmas goodies that I’ve promised Mr. MLACS and to complete my vision of handing them out in cute little containers to Dr. Angel and other vital people in my life. I made a U turn. I know it’s ‘cheating’ but I parked by the Walmart garden center because it’s SO much easier to check out there as opposed to the regular lines and you don’t have to feel guilty about not donating to the Salvation Army bell ringer (there are none stationed at the garden center doors)–I should not be sharing this information with you because not many people know about this trick, but you’re welcome.

I proceeded to buy $120 worth of various forms of sugar and Christmas wrappings. Very therapeutic. For Christmas this year, e’rybody gets diabetes.

I cried on the way home from Walmart…FML

XOXO

 

 

 

 

Highly Doubtful

I tested with a FRER with FMU and BFN @ 11dpo, 12dpiui. I was still hopeful because my symptoms are persisting, but Mr. MLACS (from across the miles, via phone) informed me that, lucky us, according to the FRER stats there’s a 20% chance that this was a false negative! Oh goody! So that means (and I believe, because you know I believe in the power of FRER’s) that there is an 80% chance that I AM NOT pregnant. I should’ve seen at least a faint positive today–I saw a ‘shadow’ of a line at 11dpo with my chemical, and the faintest pink line at 12dpo, and my beta was 5, so it’s insane that I even saw a line. I squinted at today’s FRER, and I willed a second line to show it’s self, but there was nothing.

There’s an 80% chance that I am going to have to do this over again at the end of this month (during Christmas) while my MIL is here visiting with Mr. MLACS’s developmentally disabled (seriously AWESOME) older brother. I don’t want to explain any of this to my MIL. I don’t want her telling my SIL about any of this, because SIL had a miscarriage this time last year and is currently going through a veeeeery bitter divorce (was married for 1 year and 3 months before separating) AND she just turned 30 AND is changing her career…so basically, she has swallowed a handful of bitter pills after having her dreams fall apart this year. She admitted she had hoped we would have our first miscarriage (not to me, to her brother) and I’ll never forgive her for that–I KNEW that she felt that way, I could FEEL it, and I worry that her bad juju hurt my pregnancy. Mr. MLACS didn’t believe me that she felt that way until SHE told him. I just don’t understand how a woman who has lived through the devastation of miscarriage could ever WISH that on someone else. I mean, I can see wishing that someone wouldn’t get pregnant or wishing that it would take them awhile to get pregnant, but wishing for miscarriage is crossing the damn line. If you wish for someone to have a miscarriage then you’re an a**hole and I don’t want to know you. Oh and then she called me after my miscarriage and was like “I’m SO sorry I know JUST how you feel” and I wanted to be like “No b*tch, your hater ass does NOT know how I feel”, but I didn’t. In my head (logically) I know she’s (emotionally) just a little girl whose dreams of being married for 50 years and having 5 kids got ripped away from her and she was lashing out. It’s pathetic and should inspire pity. But in my heart, I’m grieving for the babies I lost and I want to STOMP anyone who dares to take an ounce of satisfaction that this happened to me and my poor Mr. MLACS. F*ck her. Uhg. Little sisters are such little haters.

What this all leads up to is, there’s an 80% chance that I’m going to have to do this all over again. There’s an 80% chance Mr. MLACS’s Mom and brother (but God willing NOT his little sister) will be here with us during this next cycle. And, even though Mr. MLACS says his mother would NEVER tell his sister if he tells his Mom not to…he has no idea how women operate, particularly mothers/daughters/sisters/friends…and you and me and GOD knows that there’s an 80% chance that my MIL is going to tell my SIL. And that chaps my ass even more than having to do it all over again.

I’m so frustrated I don’t even care that we’re finally getting the first snow I’ve been wishing for.