Tag Archives: ivf

A House Does Not the Family Make

1 Dec

We moved the last of our belongings into our interim house last night.  I said a silent “goodbye” to our first house in North Carolina as we drove away.  It wasn’t as sad as leaving the house with the blue kitchen, but it was still bittersweet.

That was the second house I’ve lived in and expected to bring a baby home to.  When we moved here, I was sure the IVF would work and we would have a baby by the end of the year.  My due date is this week.  My two beautiful embryos, who gave me so much hope, should be here with us this week.  They should have grown into two beautiful babies.  They tried so hard and I love them so much for that.  They made it further than the two who came after, but hopefully not as far as the two still to come.  I love all six of them still.  I love the one before that.  I’ve known about seven of my babies and the fact that five of them are gone is still so heartbreaking to think about.

These four years have taught me that you just can’t force things to happen.  When we moved into our first house, the house with the blue kitchen, I thought the IUIs were going to work.  I thought that stupid yellow bedroom would be full of baby stuff before long.  I got pregnant and then I wasn’t.  A year later, I painted it and we replaced the flooring.  I refinished my grandmother’s dresser.  I knit and sewed for my baby.  I was determined to build it and confident that they would come.  But they didn’t.

And then we were offered the chance to try IVF, so we sold our house and left all the memories that never came true with it.  We moved to North Carolina and I unpacked all of our baby things.  The IVF was going to work.  I lined our baby books up on the dresser.  I filled one whole drawer with hand knit and hand sewn booties and socks.  I filled another drawer with hand knit sweaters.  I hung the dress my great grandmother made in the closet.  A box held fabric swatches for bedding and curtains.  The baby tub my mom bought us sat on the closet shelf.  I was so sure this would be my baby’s first bedroom.

And then we found out our first IVF transfer worked.  I was pregnant and so thankful and so happy.  But then they died. Again.  And then our next transfer failed.  Our lease was up on that house.  So I packed up every stitch of baby.  Every piece of maternity clothing.  I packed away the larger jeans I bought because IVF made me gain so much weight.  I pulled out all of my extra IVF meds to send to friends who needed them.  I put it all in storage, far away from our interim house.  Out of sight, away from me.  If I don’t see it, it won’t make me cry.  If we don’t have a room for it, I won’t try to get it out.  I won’t sew for our baby anymore.  I won’t knit for someone who might never come.  I won’t buy another house with those thoughts in my mind.

A house does not the family make.  Family is intangible.  Family is who you love, even when they’re far away or not even on this earth anymore.  I love my babies with all my heart, but I can’t make room for them anymore.  I can’t keep putting my life on hold and live with the “what if’s”.  They aren’t here.  We are.  I want to cherish the life I have.  I don’t want reminders of what I don’t lingering behind closed doors.  So in storage it will all stay.  Away from here.  Maybe one days we’ll need it all for real.

Everything is going to be ok.

23 Aug

Thank you for your kind words after last post.  

I think we’re doing better.  I know I’m doing better.  

I scheduled an appointment with Dr. M on September 10th.  While they told me I could get going on the last transfer right away, I asked if it would be ok if we took some time off.  Indefinitely.  Yes, we still have 2 embryos.  Yes, we still desperately want children.  No, we’re not going to work on adopting in the meantime.  No, we won’t be trying naturally.  I’ve been given the go ahead to stay on birth control until we decide that we’re ready to use our last 2 embryos.  I’m thankful they’re ok with this because I’m pretty sure the endometriosis I spent all of last summer battling has returned and is starting to make my life miserable again.  Birth control is my friend.  I will tell you that popping a birth control pill and a prenatal vitamin every night is it’s own kind of special weirdness.

Jeremy is hoping I’ll be ready to try again by the end of the year because we’ve met our out of pocket max on our health insurance this year.  If we transfer before December 31, we’ll only pay our normal clinic fee and meds, ultrasound, blood work, and transfer will be covered.  Part of me hopes I’ll be ready by then too, but a larger part of me knows I need more time than that.  

I don’t have any faith in these embryos or in my body and that’s not how I want to move forward with them.

With all that being the case, it is time for me to get out of the house.  I’ve been home and waiting for something to happen for the past 8 1/2 months.  I’ve been getting more and more antsy and anxious as time has gone on.  I’m not a homebody.  I like seeing people for the most part.

I mentioned I had an interview last week.  I got the job!  I start next Wednesday and I’m so excited.  I’ll work anywhere from 16 to 30 hours a week.  It will probably be closer to 30 as we get closer to the holidays.  It’s with a small custom fabric printing company.  I can’t wait.  I wish I could have started this past week.  This is just what I need to get out of the funk that I’m in.  I’m more than ready to settle into this company and enjoy my life as it is right now.  No doctors, no medication, no extreme ups and downs, no more wasted time.  I am sad that we’re putting our family aspirations on hold, but my hope is that by the time we both feel ready to try again, we’ll be able to afford to either adopt or buy a house depending on the outcome.  

I’m only 26.  My mom had me at 31 and adopted my sister a couple years after that.  “We have time” has become my mantra.  We have time.  We have time.  We have time.  And everything is going to be ok.

A New Normal

12 Aug

On Sunday morning, I made my way into Raleigh with my husband and mother- and father-in-law in tow to get my first beta of my second transfer.  I was so nervous that I was making myself just sick to my stomach.

We had some time to kill between the 8am blood draw and when church started so we grabbed breakfast.  I checked my clock and checked my clock and checked my clock.  They said they’d call by noon.

Walking into church was a relief.  It was a needed and welcome distraction.  I said “Hello” to a few different people and sat down to just breathe.  Not 5 minutes into church my phone vibrated that I had a voicemail.  It hadn’t even rung.  I walked out to listen to the message that told me that my gut had been right.  There was zero hcg present in my blood.  There was no baby.  The embryos had died somewhere between transfer and then.  The doctor who left the message was so compassionate and so sweet.

I took a few minutes and thought I had myself composed enough to walk back in.  I made it to my seat and then I couldn’t hold back the tears.  I’m thankful our church has a VERY long worship time at the beginning of each Sunday.  The loud music kept me from being too conspicuous.  By the time the sermon started, I had pulled it together.

Since then, I’ve been mostly fine.  As long as no one asks how I am.  I’m not ok with this.  But I have accepted it.

Jeremy and I have talked a lot about when to do our final transfer and we both agree that taking a bit of time off is probably the best course of action for now.  This last transfer was so emotional.  It was so hard to deal with from start to finish.  I may have been healthier physically for this transfer, but I was not healthier emotionally.  I need to get my body and my emotions in check before we do this last transfer.  These last 2 embryos are our last shot at biological children and I owe them the very best chance at life.

So I will continue going to the gym and strengthening my body.  I will work on my emotions and my faith.  My faith has been both shattered and strengthened in these past few weeks, if that’s possible and makes sense.  I will try to return to some kind of normalcy.  My life has been so up in the air since we moved to North Carolina.  That needs to change.  Our track record tells me that I won’t be pregnant or be having a baby any time soon.  It’s time to find a new normal.  A normal that works for our family as it is right now.  If and when our family moves from 2 humans, 2 dogs, and 2 cats to 3 humans, 2 dogs, and 2 cats then our normal will adapt and change with it.

I have a job interview tomorrow.  I applied on Sunday, just a few hours after negative beta and got an interview invite on Monday.  It’s part time, but seems exactly like the kind of job I need right now.  I’m hoping and praying this is the beginning of my new normal.

Embryos are Transferred!

1 Aug

We got up this morning and went for an easy hike.  It was a nice time to spend with my husband and our hounds.  It was nice to be outside and moving before transfer.  It helped with my stress levels to just be active.

10588191_730149073784_1199771008_oAnd then I took a valium and we were on our way to the clinic.  Last time, I was trying not to throw up on our way to transfer, but this time it seemed to be a lot easier to remain calm.  I convinced myself that if anything was wrong with the embryos we would have heard by then.

They took us back pretty quickly.  This time we both got to change into gowns.  We both had hair nets and booties. 🙂  And then they showed us our embryos.  The first two THAWED PERFECTLY!!!  Which means we still have 2 frozen. 🙂  I can’t be more thankful and more relieved.  Also, I’m pretty sure I was given a higher dose of valium this time. 😉
FET 2

We were so impressed with the facility and professionalism at UNC today.  The doctor was gentle and positive.  The nurses were compassionate and helpful.  The embryologist was thorough and cautious. The OR was super modern, clean and impressive.

The whole experience was a million times better than the last time at the last clinic.  I feel so much more calm and relaxed this time.

No bedrest this time.  I’m supposed to take it easy today, but I can go back to being active tomorrow.  The nurse said I could be as active as I feel comfortable with.  I think I’m going to stick to brisk walking and easy hiking.  No weights, yoga, or running for now.

Beta #1 is Sunday, August 10th.  Please pray for these two goldfish. We have so much hope for them. <3<3

 

Pre-FET Anxiety

31 Jul

FET #2 is tomorrow at 11:30.

Unlike last time, where time seemed to crawl, time has seemed to speed up this cycle.  I’m not ready for this.  I’m scared and anxious.  I don’t feel the joy and positivity I felt last time.   I haven’t slept for a full night in 2 weeks.  Whether that’s from the anxiety or the medication, that’s anyone’s guess.

I’m still having nightmares about the embryos not thawing or something going horribly wrong.  I had to put in writing yesterday that while the plan is to thaw and transfer 2 embryos, if neither of them survive the thaw the clinic has my permission to continue thawing embryos until they get 1 viable embryo.  That’s terrifying.  What if they have to thaw all 4 just to get one to thaw?  What if we don’t have anymore frozen?  What if this transfer is our last shot?

I know two thawed with no problem last transfer, but they’ve been moved and jostled since then.  What if our decision to move to another clinic ruined our chances to have our own babies?

I suppose it’s good that I’ve been so fixated on the thawing.  I haven’t given much energy to the thoughts of what come after that.  It just doesn’t seem as concerning to me for some reason.  It’s weird.  I know.

And I know that statistically, at least 3 of those embryos should thaw just fine. I know this.  But it’s not stopping the anxiety.

It’s probably not the thaw that’s really freaking me out.  It’s probably the whole idea of doing this again.  Of getting pregnant again. Of miscarrying again.

This is exhausting.  I am exhausted.  I want this to work.  I hope it doesn’t sound like I don’t.  I’ve just had so much experience with it not working.  Ever.

This has turned into a much more negative post than I wanted.  I’m going to try to spend the rest of the evening being hopeful and zen.  I promise.

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FET #2 is Scheduled!

11 Jul

EEK, you guys!  They scheduled FET #2!  Apparently, UNC skips the period part and goes straight to meds.  I guess that makes sense considering they had me take 26 days of birth control instead of the normal 14 days.

My estrogen got super high last FET.  Close to 1500.  Maybe starting like this will keep it a bit lower?  We’ll see.

I go in for my baseline tomorrow and start taking Estrace 3 times a day on Sunday. 🙂

Projected FET #2 date: Friday, August 1.  Which means our first beta falls on Sunday, August 10.

I’m excited.  I got so excited as soon as I found out it was scheduled.  I was worried I’d be a weepy mess for the next 3 weeks, but I’m so ready!

More FET Prep…

10 Jul

I know, I suck for not updating about the embryos the day they arrived at the new clinic.  But they did get there.  And the embryologist called me that afternoon to tell me that they looked fine and were the correct temperature, which is the biggest concern when shipping embryos.  We won’t really know if they’re ok for sure until they are thawed.  It’s nerve wracking.

I keep having nightmares about them.  I used to dream about babies and babies being taken away from us.  Now I’m just dreaming about dying embryos.  I’m not sure which is worse.  I was in such a good place a couple weeks ago, but it’s almost like the embryo move made things more real.  We are doing another FET.  I took my last birth control pill on Tuesday and now we’re just waiting for my period to start.

My meds are in hand…
IMG_20140701_134427  I’m so happy to report that I will have ZERO injections this FET.  Just estrogen pills and progesterone gel.  I’ve heard the gel is messy, but it’s got to be less stressful than the progesterone in oil….

When I think progesterone in oil now, all I can think about is the few days after my 2nd beta fell when we had to keep doing the injections even though we knew the babies were dying.  I remember bending over the kitchen island so Jeremy could inject the estrogen and then the progesterone.  I sobbed and sobbed through it because the whole situation was so horrible.  I know that was really hard for him as well.

So when our new clinic offered to let us skip the injections (they told us to pick the least stressful method… duh… no needles here…) we jumped on it.  I love them.  I love them. I love them.  I know I keep saying that, but I don’t think I’ll ever take a good doctor for granted ever again.

And so we’re waiting.

On a positive note, I’m still frequenting the gym a lot.  If you remember, I started going regularly right after we found out about our last miscarriage.  A few week later, I set a goal that I wanted to lose 10 pounds before our next transfer.  I’m not overweight, not really.  However, I’ve definitely put some weight on over the past few years with all of the meds and bad news.  I wasn’t comfortable in my body and I blamed my body for killing my babies.  So I wanted to change the only thing I could: my weight and shape.  As of this week, I’ve met my goal. 🙂  10 pounds down and boy oh boy do I feel better in my own skin! 🙂  I think I could comfortably lose another 5 pounds, but I’m not really going to push it.

I had said that I wanted to run a 5k this fall, but with FET #2 falling in late July or early August, I’m not sure if that’s going to be feasible.  I think I might play it by ear.

My question.  Dr. M does not require bed rest.  She wants me to take it easy the day of transfer, but afterwards she wants me to go about my regularly scheduled activities.  Including the gym.  Right now, I’m running about 4-6 miles a week and probably walking another 2-3.  It’s not a lot, but it’s a lot more than I’ve ever done before.  When transfer rolls around, I will have been running fairly consistently for close to 4 months.  I’m terrified to do more than walk the dogs post-FET, but I know it’s going to be better for me (both mentally and physically) and the embryos if I stay active.  For those of you who have gone back to working out post-transfer, did you tone it down a lot or did you just not tack anything new onto your workouts?  This is definitely something I’ll be talking to the doctor about, but I thought I’d pick the brains of everyone else first. 🙂