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…






Look What I Got in the Mail…

I suppose this is to welcome the new baby I'm supposed to be having on Oct. 12th 2013

I suppose this is to welcome the new baby I’m supposed to be having on Oct. 12th 2013

Wasn’t I just talking about how I’m dreading my October 12th due date?!

Seriously?! WTH am I supposed to do with this? I’m apalled and since I’m obviously (from my ranting posts) coming unglued (I’m going to blame the Clomid) I feel like I dared the Universe to push my buttons…and the Universe sent me a double-dare in the form of a 5lb. box of formula. Well played Universe, well played.

My Medical Bills (and their direct impact on my marriage and my sanity)

Oooooooo, I’m so fuming mad! And I don’t know exactly whom to direct my anger towards. I’m definitely going to “have it out” with my insurance company. I was just sitting here adding up my stack of medical bills, intending to pay a big chunk of it before we move–do my best to wipe the slate of this tumultuous last year clean, both physically and financially. My husband doesn’t know that the weight of all these bills keeps me up at night. Because I can’t talk to him about it without a fight. He will say sh*tty things to me like “you didn’t even need any of that stuff you just don’t care about wasting money”–do you know how furious that makes me? Do you know how that makes me want to divorce him??? I cannot believe how ignorant he acts when he’s angry (about money).

I didn’t ask for any of this:

1. To move to a place where I cannot find a decent job that treats me with respect and is willing to pay me $12+ per hour (when they can underpay underqualified people $10). We moved here for HIS CAREER and he makes six figures. I found a job and suffered until we were on our feet (we were broke from paying for our wedding) and then I quit (to go back to school). He supports that….until things like my medical bills come up and then he is mean and disrespectful. Predictably.

2. I didn’t ask to get pregnant. I don’t regret it and I’m thankful it happened even though it ended sadly, but at the time it happened our marriage was shaky and I intended to wait until it was stronger, plus I had plans to start nursing school and get most of the way through before we started ttc. Technically, he is responsible for ALL of this, because he didn’t pull out (during sex), which is why I got pregnant, and the pregnancy is what caused me to get so sick (necessitating all these bills). This is how my husband fights–with finger-pointing and shaming/blaming. So he can chew on this (yes I do sink to his level, can’t beat ’em join ’em).

3. I didn’t ask to have my doctors scare the sh*t out of me when I got my post-partum diagnostic tests back…I had NO idea what was happening to me and I was scared for myself and scared for a future pregnancy (as I desperately wanted to be pregnant again). So of course I let them take the 30 viles of blood for that autoimmune panel. And then I got a bill for $857 that I hadn’t bargained for.

4. I didn’t ask to be referred from doctor to doctor to doctor, but that’s what kept happening…I was bounced around like a pinball, and I didn’t know until afterwards how USELESS some of these doctors and some of the tests they ordered were. I’m not psychic.

If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve avoided some of those doctors and tests–I have regrets. But at the time, I decided to be proactive and pursue all testing in the name of answers. In the name of not having a second (or more) miscarriage–which ended up happening anyway.

Yeah, so, I didn’t ASK for my immune system to go berzerk and then require all kinds of diagnostic testing to pinpoint WTF was going wrong. I surely didn’t ASK for my miscarriages–they broke my heart.

But now I have to ASK my husband for the money to pay these $2200 of bills that have accumulated (on top of at least $2000 we’ve already paid). And really, since I’ve probably racked up closer to…well I’d say closer to $50,000 worth of medical bills, maybe more, just in the last 12 months…I think we need to count our blessings instead of our bills–that I’m ok, that we only have $2k instead of $50k hanging over our heads.
But my husband will only see the $2200. He will accuse me of squandering his money like I’m buying a fur coat. He will not even consider that NOT ONLY have I had to go through the wringer of chronic illness and miscarriage, and NOT ONLY do I feel horribly stressed and pained to part with the money, but yes, he fails to see how sh*tty and futile it is for him to take it out on me.

And then the next day, he will be like “so tell me how much money you need in the account”, no apology. Why does he have to make me scream and cry and shout and say mean sh*t back to him? Why can’t we just skip that part of his repertoire and go straight to “lets deal with this”??? WHY DOES HE HAVE TO MAKE THIS SO HARD?

I’m going to show him his medical bills FIRST, because his total about $1000, so maybe that will curb the finger-pointing “you racked up these bills because you just love going to doctors” lunatic bullsh*t that he pulls. He “squandered” plenty himself.

Hey, and I am NOT looking for sympathy here–believe me I stick up for myself and say what’s on my mind (and if I’m really pissed, I break his beer mugs). I guess what I’m looking for is…well…does anybody else’s husband try to guilt and shame them about their medical bills? Or am I the only one? And, have any of you argued with your insurance over diagnostic tests? Any advice on arguing with insurance companies is appreciated, cuz I’m not sure where to start. The lady on the phone was no help at all–suggested I write a letter of appeal. Thanks in advance ladies. XO

**UPDATE** I just talked to Mr. MLACS on the phone, and just came right out and told him that I had been sifting through our medical bills but that I don’t have the energy to fight. He asked how much, and I told him his and then mine, and told him we don’t need to pay the 2 or 3 most expensive bills now, but it would be best to get rid of many smaller ones that have added up. Shockingly, he just said…”OK”. I don’t know if this indicates that we are growing as a couple or that he read my blog (he probly didn’t read it) or what…but that’s a relief. Now we’ll see what happens when he sees the bills and it’s time to write the checks…

A Miscarriage is still a Miscarriage (no matter what you call it)

Yeah, so, to get all Shakespeare on you: a miscarriage is still as painful by any other name (chemical).
I thought it would be “just like getting a period”, as chemical pregnancies are thought to be extremely common and are not accounted for in miscarriage statistics because most women “don’t even know they’re pregnant” (of course they’re not trying) and they get their period, business-as-usual.
I was wrong. Again. Or perhaps, I was atypical. Again.
Inspired by my extreme misery and feeling like I was finally ready to introduce myself to the IF/RPL communities, I wrote my first blog post on 8/01/2013–but I didn’t want my first blog post to be all “doom and gloom” cuz that’s not what I’m about. However, I’d like to share it with you:

“Lets begin with current events: I’m curled up on the couch with a heating pad stuffed down the front of my pants and a box of tissues on the table next to me. A short while ago I got up to pee and wiped and the tissue was pink and I knew this was “it”. I wimpered. I looked at the 5 hpt’s with the faint positives laying on my bathroom counter, and unceremoniously dumped them in the bathroom trash, which was full of hpt’s/opk’s and their packaging so I emptied it into the big kitchen trashcan…at the very bottom were tampon wrappers from my last period, and oddly (or maybe not) they upset me: back to square one.
I knew this was coming; today my period is due and it is like clockwork; my hpt was so faint the untrained eye would never see the line; I was cramping; but most of all I had my betas drawn yesterday and the verdict: 5, which is the absolute lowest you can have and be considered “pregnant”. I was barely pregnant, a “chemical pregnancy”, and upon hearing of my pitiful betas yesterday I had counted my blessings: that I had gotten pregnant unassisted, that it’s happening early (no heartbeat), that it likely wouldn’t throw off my cycle and I could continue ttc uninterrupted…
So I was fucking blindsided by the flood of grief and panic and the physical pain that overwhelmed me as I felt my flow begin. I sobbed uncontrollably. I called my hubs and when he failed to comfort me I texted him like 6 angry pages of texts and dared him to engage me in a fight. He was at work and I swore to him that if he came home and was anything but sweet and supportive that I would break EVERY piece of glass in the house (and I pictured myself actually doing it).
I thought I would be relieved to start my menses on schedule and giddy-up to the next cycle.
But I was awash in emotions and physical pain–worse than my recent miscarriage at 7w2d. WTF. I was so unprepared to feel like…I am losing a baby. Again. Are you ever prepared? I hope I can never answer that question.
So yeah, here I lay, pacified by crappy chinese delivery food and 1/2 a Soma. Nice to meet you ladies. Hope your Saturday sucked less than mine did.”

Everybody’s Pregnant But Me (and you)

When I first found out I was pregnant for the first time in February, I didn’t keep it a big secret, for a couple of reasons. First of all, Mr. MLACS was SO excited that he told everyone at work. Second, I didn’t realize how common miscarriage is. Third, I am so blatantly honest about things in my life that I figured I’m not the kind of person to keep secrets. So at 5w5d I invited two of the wives of my husband’s coworkers over to our neighborhood park to play, so the wives could meet each other and introduce their small children to each other–we are not military, but the company moves us a lot and none of us live near our families so we tend to flock together. One of the wives, we’ll call her Dee, is my friend. The other wife, we’ll call her Meme, is not my friend. I told them about my pregnancy and they both talked about their pregnancies and expressed their uncertainties about having another child. I felt like I was finally “one of them”, you know, a SAHM, instead of just a (mediocre) housewife. I would have a new way to bond with other women and make friends, through my pregnancy and then through play dates, soccer games, PTA meetings…I loved feeling part of “The Mommy Club”.
Two days before I had my miscarriage, the hubs came home and announced that Meme is pregnant with their third child! Just a couple weeks behind me! I was slightly irritated for no particular reason. Then I had my miscarriage at 7w2d. I didn’t really mind that Meme was preggo, because I had already decided I didn’t like her and now I had an excuse not to ask her to hang out–I’m sure she just assumed I was devastated that I lost my baby and she was pregnant–so I left it at that.
For whatever reason, I didn’t hear from Dee very much for awhile, and I sensed some apprehension from her in our conversations. I didn’t read much into it. I had offered many times to babysit her 2yr old son if she needed or wanted me to. Finally she took me up on my offer. She said she had to go to the OBGYN and I didn’t even ask why…but after I got to the apartment she was just acting weird–nervous. And I began to suspect but I didn’t ask. My heart sank as the thought crept in, that Dee had been avoiding me for weeks because she was pregnant and didn’t want to tell me? That hurt my feelings. My suspicion was confirmed when Dee walked in the door after her OBGYN appointment, holding the very same prenatal goodie bag they had given me a couple months ago. I said “So you ARE pregnant! I thought you might be” and she blushed and said “Yeah, I am”. I felt a little betrayed…and how strange that two women who had lukewarm feelings about having more children became pregnant almost instantly right after I announced my pregnancy? From what other IF bloggers have written, it seems to be part of the curse of IF…everybody will be pregnant but you, and probably announce their pregnancy either during or right after your miscarriage, while you still have a maxi pad strapped to you.
Now Meme and Dee are getting ready to have their babies…my EDD for my first miscarriage is October 12, 2013. Even today I had coffee with Dee and since we are both moving soon and she is in the 28th week of her second (and final) pregnancy, she gifted me two pregnancy books as a well-intentioned parting gift–encouraging me that I will “need them soon!” I used to think that bloggers who “woes me” about the passing of their due dates were being a touch melodramatic. But now as my own due date approaches, and I’ve lived through 2 miscarriages and several more pregnancy announcements…I am going to be quite inconsolable on October 12th. I dread it, actually.
On the bright side, me, kitty, and the hubs will just be getting settled in our new place, and we will be living in my hometown where I have friends who will not constantly remind me that I am not pregnant–there’s my silver lining.

My Cat Ate My Clomid

Well sort of…he tried to…
I am Mother to an exclusively indoor American short-hair male calico cat. I’ll wax poetic about him later. Although he is an indoor cat, he loves to ‘hunt’ bugs and he has a bunch of toy mice that he will bat around the house, and when he’s done with them he ‘drowns’ them in his water bowl, as if to say “game over”. He occasionally drowns found objects in the water bowl, such as my ponytail holders or recently a valuable string of pearls (that were left on the counter–where he is NOT allowed and he knows this).
Last night I was on cd6 and I’m taking 50mg Clomid cd3-7. I have an arduous nightly routine that includes taking about 20 pills (meds & supplements) and then shoving something (either suppository or enema) in my rear-end to keep my Ulcerative Colitis “quiet”. I was having Clomid-inspired hot flashes last night and getting ready for bed seemed like a particularly big pain in the butt (no pun intended, but ha ha). Right before I was to decide between suppository (easier but less effective) or enema (always works but I always worry I will accidentally soil the bed). I had bloody diarrhea, which means my UC is “angry” and so I sucked it up and did the enema.
I was feeling sorry for myself because I know that the hormones (Clomid + Progesterone) are wreaking havoc and “flaring” my autoimmune issues: Ulcerative Colitis (UC) + Lichen Sclerosus (LS). My va-jay-jay is still sore from sex two nights ago because the LS is causing scar tissue inside and out, plus the Clomid is causing me to have brown discharge and I can’t use a tampon since my vagina feels like it has rug-burn…I was having a moment where I felt totally awful and wondered how much longer I can keep doing this to my body (miscarriages & hormone therapy). I laid down and realized I was having UC-inspired lower back pain, and I thought “f*ck it, I haven’t taken any Vicodin in a long time” so I went back downstairs and broke one of my (coveted) hydrocodone pills in half and took 1/2 a pill. I was sweating bullets as I huffed-and-puffed back upstairs and flopped down in bed.
Just as I got comfortable I realized “I forgot to take my Clomid!” I sat bolt upright. Geezus, how could I have forgotten?! So I stumbled back downstairs, opened the medicine cabinet and fished around for the little silver packet of Clomid pills…found it and took #4…and decided to put the package on the counter so I wouldn’t forget it the next day. The Vicodin kicked in and I slept like a baby.
Woke up to Kitty meowing in my face and jumping all over me and the hubs, figured he was hungry and came downstairs to take a look at his bowl…and saw there was something silver and shiny sitting next to it. I gasped, “You didn’t”?! It appeared as though Kitty had jumped up on the counter and decided to play ‘mouse’ with my package of Clomid…”please tell me he didn’t ‘drown’ my last Clomid pill!” The package was beside the water bowl, not in it, and when I picked it up it was dry and the last pill was still sealed properly, thank God! I was sitting there thinking “what if I had to call the pharmacy and tell them my cat ate my Clomid? Would they even believe me?” And also I tried to imagine my cat having hot flashes…luckily neither scenario played out. I shook the package at Kitty and he got a spanking–that’s what kind of parent I am–the kind that spanks (not maliciously though, the only way he knows the difference between playing and punishment is the tone of my voice).
So cheers! to the completion cycle #2 of Clomid pills…now the fun part begins…will I ovulate on-time or will it be late again? Baby aspirin? Check. Metanx? Check. Endometrin? Check. Mucinex? Check. Preseed? Check. Fabulous SA results from the hubs? Check. Remicade to mediate my NK cell activity? Check. Now all I need is a good egg.