Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Living in the moment

This isn't easy.

Maybe I thought it would be, but to date, this is one of the most emotionally trying times in my life. And I just have this feeling that it ain't gettin' any easier.

I was all excited a few weeks ago, going to Orlando to have my first IUI (Inter-uterine Insemination). You always think the next time is gonna be "it". Trying something new has got to be the ticket. Switching things up. Sticking a tube up you-know-where and injecting clean, happily swimming sperm directly into my uterus. Seems foolproof and ridiculously easy. Oh, and mind-numbingly expensive.

Then, it's the wait. The dreaded two-week wait. Do I have some wine or not? Do I feel pregnant? Question everything. Is anything different? Eventually, I'm convinced I'm gonna have my period. Eric isn't so convinced, but I remind him I'm the expert on this subject, after all. No more questions.

I was right.

I took a pregnancy test a few days early because I couldn't stand it (and I read somewhere online about a woman who did an IUI and tested 6 days later... pregnant). I figured it had been 12 days, why  not give it a try. It was negative. Of course, I think, it's too early.

Test again on the 14-day mark, which happened to be a Monday, and it was still negative.

Eff.

Truly, that was one of the worst Monday's ever, and there have been some real shitty ones. I call it my "$600 period" because I could feel that money we spent on the IUI and shots just flushing down the toilet. Tears my heart up. Isn't fair. Makes me angry. Hopeless. Question my resolve, my desire to keep trying.

Funny thing is, two weeks earlier, we had made an appointment to talk to the doctor about "next steps" on that same Monday, just in case. If my test was positive, obviously, we'd cancel the appointment. If it was negative, at least we had it on the schedule. Seeing as it was negative, I told my boss I'd be out for half the day Monday at a doctors appointment.

Sunday night, Eric tells me he can't go because he has class at that time. Immediately, I'm furious. He was standing next to me when we scheduled the appointment weeks earlier. The other part of me feels guilty because I'm the one who pushed him to go back to school. I decide it's not worth arguing about (or making him skip class), but I do consider not going, because I really didn't want to go without him. I already feel enough like this process is all 'me' because I do most of the work, and by default he's enjoying this process because he gets to do the fun stuff. Ya know.

Monday morning, I'm still on the fence and in a terrible mood, so I decide to text my mother in law, who lives in Orlando (about 20 minutes from the doctor) and see if she can come with me. Mind you, she is a midwife and knows a lot about babies, and is super cool. I figured she's a good runner-up. Turns out she can go, so that makes me happy.

Regardless, I really wasn't in the mood to talk about 'what to do next' when I just found out that what we've already done hasn't worked. But, I'm a big girl so I sucked it up and had the big girl conversation. That doesn't mean I didn't have a good cry on the drive over and blast the music to dull the pain, but that's to be expected.

The doctor, of course, is awesome and explained things from the beginning for my mother in law. Then he talked about what we should do next. He said I'm his first patient to not respond to Letrozol (progesterone med) so he is going to switch me back to Clomid. Asked if I was still taking Metformin (insulin/blood sugar) and I said no... which got me a lecture. He wants me to be on 2000 mg of it, so I gotta catch back up because apparently it's super important (like I knew that?!?). Said something about how they're sure I have PCOS because a normal "level" is 2 or 3 (of something, can't remember), and mine is 6.9. I have too many eggs, and that's not a good thing. Go figure.

So this month, we're not gonna do an IUI because he doesn't think it's necessary. Eric's "stuff" is more than fine and it probably won't make a difference anyway. That'll save us a bunch of $. The real difference is we're gonna do some FSH shots this time, which is Follicle Stimulating Hormone. Basically gives you more eggs to work with, increases the chances of multiples (and a ton of other not-likely risks), and a bunch of other technical things I can't explain. The combination of medications, shots, and monitoring are the key. He said something about having over 20% chance of getting pregnant with this shot, and a 12% chance of twins.

So am I excited? Not yet. I've gotta be honest, I really wanted to quit. I wanted to take a break. I felt like I would be more "relieved" to get pregnant than excited, because this whole ordeal would finally be over. I feel very stressed out and am beginning to wonder if there really is something to those people who "stop trying" and get pregnant.

Sometimes I feel alone, because very, very few people really understand what this is like. Not even my husband does, to be completely honest. I get why he doesn't, but it doesn't really help me at all. I feel guilty for my negative, pessimistic emotions, but also don't feel that I should fake anything just to make other people comfortable. I go to parties with all of my friends, which means hanging out with an 11-month old cuter-than-life baby girl, a 2-week old tater tot girl, and a 37 week pregnant mom due to have her girl any day. It's a crazy mix of jealousy and motivation to keep trying.

I can't say that I'm in a good emotional place right now. Truly, I'm not. I'm stressed out (not with just this... work and school are a factor too), doubtful, scared, and unsure of the future. I am a planner by nature, I like to know what my next step is and what I will do in every scenario that could possibly happen in the future. The problem with that is that I can't really even know what to do more than a month in advance because the doctor doesn't know what is gonna work and what isn't. While that doesn't help my emotions much, I can accept it and just try to take it one day/month at a time.

Eric did suggest that we meet with the doctor more often than we have been (we haven't talked to him in over three months), which I agree with. It'll cost us a $50 copay, but I always get SO much out of my conversations with him and always feel more hope and direction... like I have a plan for the next round. So I plan to schedule an appointment at least every two months.

What will happen next? Hell if I know. I don't know if I care, quite honestly. I know I want a baby, that will never change. But as far as what "outcome" I want, I think I'm over trying to expect anything. Every month feels like a new month of possibilities, but also of deep disappointment looming just around the corner. The best I can offer is to take it one step at a time, to stop trying to think about all of the "what ifs". I'll take what I have at face value. Anything else really drives me crazy.

This really equates to me not feeling one way or the other. I'm not hopeful and I'm not pessimistic. I'm back to feeling nothing. I'm sure I'll get excited again when we get closer to the two week wait, but for now, I'm just gonna be honest and real. This is hard. I'm not gonna pretend it's anything else.

But, hard or not, God is still good, and He is faithful. This isn't His fault, nor is it mine. This is where we're at today. I'm not waiting for things to change, I'm choosing to live in the moment.

When that moment changes, I promise you'll be the first to know. :)

6 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for your struggle, my husband and I have a couple going through the same thing. Even though I'm your co-worker and were not close I am her if you ever need anyone to talk too. Keep your chin up.

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  2. I know exactly how you feel, minus the IUI part. I knew I couldn't handle both fertility treatment and adoption process; it had to be one or the other. But you're right: the disappointment is terrible and God is completely, overwhelmingly, loving and faithful. Catches all those tears and took all those negative emotions on Himself. I won't say "relax and it'll happen" (people don't realize how awful that is to hear) but I will say "rest, and all that you truly seek you will find." When that child comes, you will cherish him/her.

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  3. My husband and I are in the exact same place as you are right now. We just had the "next steps" meeting with our RE and are currently in the 2WW after our 5th attempt at IUI with Femara. Yippee.

    You explained my feelings better than I ever could have. I feel nothing. I have learned that getting my hopes up just makes for a more hurtful ending but being pesimistic isn't good either so I am almost emotionless.

    Our "next steps" are to do an injectable cycle with IUI. We just attended the class on how to inject myself for 7-10 days with Follistim and a trigger shot & planning the multiple blood draws and ultrasounds. I can't believe I am going to do this to myself.

    It is hard to talk to anyone about it because they don't get it. I have an aunt that is "supportive" but she just keeps saying, "It will work, I know it will." Is it wrong for wanting to punch her in the face? It is great for people to be so optimistic for us but why can't someone just understand our feelings and be sad with us?

    Sorry for the novel. The only advice I have is to continue seeing the doctor in regular intervals. That has been great for us! Even if you aren't changing your type of treatment it at least reminds you that you are doing what he wants and you know he's on your side. Our RE always gives me a pep-talk and that pep-talk can definitely be worth $50 some days!

    Take care!

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  4. Keep up your spirits. The more you think of it as a '$600 period' the more it's going to feel that way.
    I know it's painful, but it's unlikely to get a + on the first try. However, you never know what try is going to be THE one! So be bold. Try again, and AGAIN if you need to! You can do this!

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  5. I also agree with the end of Darcy's comment. To me, it's worth the cost to continue to go in and talk with the staff. It puts things in perspective, and made me feel like I had (if even just a bit) of control.
    This is hard for me to say, because I've gotten myself stuck in the trap too... and I don't want you to think I'm insensitive...
    but something that helped me is a quote I saw on Pinterest actually, lol.
    "If you keep telling the same sad small story, you will keep living the same sad small life"
    Don't allow yourself to be a victim here. You're going to be the hero that rises out of ash and tears with the strength of God with what you want. It could take a year. It could take ten. It could be the second try. It can take 100.
    But as long as you don't allow yourself to be a victim, if you're this hero that fights... there's always hope around the corner.
    Six months ago my husband and I celebrated four years trying with our very first IVF shot. You and I both now it failed, and I slumped down into a hole. But I couldn't allow myself to stay there long.
    Here I am, after fighting through IVF round 2, pregnant! When you're TTC you never know what 6 months can bring, keep that in mind! You may be low now... but just keep thinking it could be right around the corner.

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  6. Stephanie, my heart just breaks for you. I absolutely know what you're going through, and it sucks. Even the lack of emotion part. That's basically where I am right now. I refuse to even get my hopes up anymore because I can't handle the disappointment of another negative, but could totally handle the surprise/joy/miracle of a positive. So I'm just living my life now. And great advice, justjen, but I don't believe you're being a victim here, anymore than I am. You just have to do what you have to do to survive. Life doesn't stop just because we're devastated. And I don't know any woman that can continuously live through the two week high of "maybe this will be the month" followed by the two week low of "it's never going to happen" without breaking. Eventually, your mind just forces you to deal with what you are capable of dealing with and throws out the rest. :) And I'll pray that your "nothing" feeling very quickly turns into "holy toledo, I'm pregnant" feeling. Lots of love, my friend! :)

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