Happily Ever After

Archive for October 2011

Someone in my family sent me an email today and it had some awfully hurtful stuff in it. I wish I had never been open and honest about our IVF and adoption stuff. If I could go back I think I’d keep my mouth shut and just say “we can’t have kids” and leave it at that. And if people ask questions to just tell them “thats personal”.

Unfortunately today was a prime example of why woman don’t talk about their infertility. I just had a miscarriage and it’s apparent that this person doesn’t really understand how awful this has been for me. This has been the hardest thing I have ever been through.
Apparently the bitterness that is sometimes felt towards fertile woman is unacceptable. Granted yes it’s not a very nice feeling…and even though I may come across that way to my closest family I’m always very very nice to my pregnant friends. I promise if you asked any of them they would tell you how kind I have been. Baby showers, gifts for their kids, asking them how they are feeling, listening about how tired they are, how much pain they are in ect ect.
I am not one to minimize other people’s pain but it’s obvious that this is how I come across to this person which really hurts my feelings. I am very kind to people. Yes I may vent in private but anger is normal. it’s a part of the grieving process.

In the event that any of my readers don’t know the stages of grief here they are: This web site lists them in general terms: http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html

And this web site lists and describes them from an infertility point of view. http://www.examiner.com/infertility-miscarriage-in-allentown/7-stages-of-grief
Both basically say the same thing but because I am suffering from infertility I’m going to list the one’s from that site:

1. Shock and Denial
Shock provides an emotional disconnect from the events that have transpired. It is like a buffer that keeps you from the outside world. You are safe as long as you are in shock. You feel as though you can avoid the pain as long as your are in denial. If you have just experience pregnancy loss or got a medical diagnosis about infertility, you may experience disbelief. Other people won’t know what to say or how to help. Be patient with yourself at this time.

2. Pain and Guilt
After the shock wears off, you are hit with excruciating pain. It’s important that you feel this pain fully. If you don’t embrace it now, it will come back. If you find that you are getting through the pain with drugs or alcohol, please seek a grief counseling. They are just a crutch to get through this very important step. Life can feel chaotic and out of control at this stage. You may feel guilty about things you did or said.

3. Anger and Bargaining
You may question “Why me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” The answer is that there is nothing you did or could have done to change what happened. You may become angry and frustrated. You might lash out at those closest to you. You might feel anger and bitterness towards other pregnant women. You may become desperate trying to change things.

4. Depression
By this time you have realized what exactly you are missing. Well meaning friends and family may ask you to “Get on with things.” or ask “Why aren’t you over this yet?” The truth is you may never be ‘over this.’ They may think that it has been long enough and that it’s time to get on with your life. Because of that, you may isolate yourself. You begin to put up walls and push people away to focus on the past. You feel like you won’t be truly happy again.

5. The Upward Turn
Things start to become a little more stable now. You start to adjust to your new normal.

6. Reconstruction
You start to put the pieces of your life back together again.

7. Acceptance
You accept that your life turned the way that it did. You accept life without what you are missing, and you begin to move forward with some hope. It does not mean that you will be happy or that you are forgetting, but it means that you can accept it and start to figure out this new life you have created. You will never be that blissful, somewhat ignorant, carefree person that you were before, but you are a new YOU.

If, at any point in time, you feel that the grief is to much for you to bare please do not be afraid to get help. There are a number of qualified counselors and doctors in the area.There are numerous online support groups geared to infertility and pregnancy loss as well. If you do a simple search you will find one that meets your needs specifically.

Remember: We would not grieve so hard had we not loved so deeply.

Stage 1 for me was the day I found out that my baby was dead. I was laying on the table while the u/s tech was measuring my uterus. When she got to the point where she was looking for a heart beat I knew something was wrong. She put her hand on my knee and I just knew…but no tears…no sense of sadness. Just a feeling of utter shock and disbelief. NO this is not happening…not to me…not after all we have been through.

Then stage 2 quickly set in (and by quickly I mean stage 1 only lasted a few hours…heckI went right back to work after.-with my failed placement shock lasted month’s. I didn’t mourn the loss of our son for month’s. I was in shock and went back to life as if nothing had happend. Month’s later I fell appart)

Stage 2 lasted a week or so…it’s kind of a blur. All I did was cry. I can’t tell you how many times I had to get up from my desk. I came home and was a total wreck. All I could do is lay in my husbands arms and cry and cry and cry.

Stage 4 kicked in for me next. Depressed isn’t really a term I like to use. I have been chronically depressed before. I suppose for all intensive purposes I was severely depressed but only for a few days. My therapist calls it “in despair” vs depressed. I didn’t want to do anything. I couldn’t be alone. I wouldn’t let my husband leave me alone in total fear of…well….let’s not talk about that.

Stage 3 kicked in soon after that and I seem to be flopping between stage 3 and 4 at the moment. Anger, rage, why me? Why not someone who can get pregnant easily? If I could get pregnant on my own the grief would be easier to deal with…but combined with infertility it’s just to much to take.

I seem to be morphing into stage 5 now. I feel a little bit more like “myself”…which brings me back to the email I got today. I love my family i really do but this email broke my heart. I can’t even describe how much it hurt. I had to get up from my desk and call my sister in law and cry to her on the phone. My husband has been in denmark since Sunday on business so I don’t have him to talk to or to comfort me this week. I’m grateful that my sister in law listened to me. She has been really supportive through this loss. She brought me and my husband dinner at least 2 times. And she did it with out asking because she knows me and she knows that asking for help is really hard….I really could use some compassion right now. Especially by my loved one’s.

I know my family cares about me and how I’m doing but some times I wonder. Most of them have asked how I’m doing but some, not so much. I know they care. I know they love me and I know it’s just who they are. But it really does hurt. It hurts a lot.

Anyhow, I could go on and on about this but I won’t. I’m kind down in the dumps right now and I miss my husband so I’m going to bed.

You know the worst part? The guilt I felt when I was angry and jealous. Contrary to what some people obviously think I’m a really nice person. And when I’m angry, jealous or down right mean to people behind their back or think not nice things in my head I have an extremely high amount of guilt.

I really am trying to be a better person. trying to not be angry. I’m not really bitter these days. I used to be very very very bitter. And you know what…that’s normal. It’s not good to act on it but it’s normal to feel that way. I would FEEL That way but I NEVER EVER acted on it. The worst thing I think I’d do is stop hanging out with my friends but I’d NEVER say anything to their face that would hurt their feelings. Not intentionally anyway.

Honestly given the fact that I just lost a baby I think I’m doing quite well and frankly so does my therapist. So folks, anger and bitterness is a NORMAL part of the grieving process and unfortunately for me if it’s not one loss it’s another type of loss. But such is life of an infertile.

And please don’t misconstrue this post as a “pitty me”. I’m not a pitty me kind of person. That’s why I never ask for help. While on one hand I would like people to actually ask me how I’m doing when I go through a loss like this I don’t expect someone to pitty me or to sound like my problems are worse then others. UGGG I’m so beyond frustrated and hurt. Today is the first time I’ve cried all week. I was on such a good streak too.

FET #2

Posted on: October 18, 2011

Well I have yet another big update to do. Ever since I posted my blog on Facebook I have been hesitant to post. I guess you’d say that’s something I regret. This blog is my “safe” place to vent my frustrations and share my infertility journey. Sadly it’s way easier to share with strangers then it is with friends and acquaintances.

So as you know my first FET failed. When I had my follow up consult my RE (Dr. Hummel from SDFC) said he thought maybe I was missing integrin B. Integrin B is vital in order for an embryo to implant. I had 2 options. Pay nearly $600 for the integrin B test and if it came back negative I’d have to go on 2-3 month’s of lupron depot. Or go straight on lupron depot. I chose to go straight onto lupron depot because it’s free under my insurance. Let me just say that I am NOT looking forward to the change of life and I have a new found respect for woman that are or have gone through that change. The hot flashes would get so bad I would feel sick to my stomach. As in run to the bathroom sick. And cuddling with my husband at night. Forget it! Just a touch from him would throw me into a hot flash that made my body feel like it was suddenly on fire.

After 3 month’s of lupron depot I started the FET process. We thawed 3 perfectly graded day 6 blasts and 2 made the thaw:

Wow sorry if that image is big. I tried to make it smaller.

Anyway…Just like with FET #1 I felt pinching the day after the embryo transfer. I tested at 5 days past my 6 day transfer and got this:

Here is my progression:

5 days past 6 day transfer through 9 days past 6 day transfer.

We had our first ultrasound at 6 weeks. My RE wanted me to wait till 6 1/2 weeks I can’t remember why…I pushed up the ultrasound. Anyhow…the ultrasound tech was awful. She didn’t really take her time. Just said “it’s to early to see anything” and told me the sac measured 5 weeks. I asked for a picture and she just printed the screen she left off on so it’s an awful picture:

I had another ultrasound at 7 weeks 4 days. Hoping that we’d be lucky enough to see a heart beat. We had the same tech as last time so the picture we got was pretty bad. The baby measured 6w4d so a week behind. The baby did have a heart beat but their machine wasn’t able to measure the BPM.

I was a little upset that the baby measured a week behind and when I got home from work I broke down in tears. I was happy we saw a heart beat but sad that they couldn’t tell me how strong it was. Call it intuition but I was just scared something was wrong. After crying on my husbands shoulders I quickly felt better.

Our next ultrasound was at 8w4d. My husband couldn’t be there but I chose to go with out him anyway. I really really needed to see our baby again.
8w4d was my first appointment with my OB. The other appointments was with a local clinic that does my monitoring for my California doctor.

I knew something was wrong by the look on the tech’s face. I could tell she was struggling to find a heart beat. The moment I knew was when she looked at me and put her hand on my knee. The look on her face said it all. Next she said “is your husband here with you?”. Sadly he wasn’t. Our baby still measured 6w4d and had no heart beat. I went in a few days later to confirm the baby hadn’t grown. My OB wanted me to wait a week but I just couldn’t.

At about 9 1/2 weeks (9/18/11) I started to bleed. Thank goodness I made my husband take me home early from church. Had I not gone home early I would have ended up starting to bleed while at church and needless to say it would not have been pretty.

That night the bleeding started to get heavier and the cramping was really really bad. I had a few friends that have been through the same thing tell me exactly what to expect so I knew it would be painful and that I’d likely go into labor. (yes you read that right)

The cramps got worse…I got no sleep and had to change my pad every 5 minutes. I started to pass clots the size of my hand. (that was unexpected). By 5 am in the morning (having been up all night with contractions) I decided I couldn’t take the pain any more and had to go to the hospital for relief. The contractions were pretty much non stop. They would stop just long enough for me to catch my breath then I’d have another one.

Thank goodness for morphine and zofran. I was sick to my stomach due to the pain and emotional stress of it all. The zofran helped with the nausea and the morphine made it so I no longer felt the contractions quite as strongly.

I was at the hospital for quite a few hours. They did all kinds of tests. Their ultrasound showed that despite the fact that I was soaking a pad/diaper every 5 minutes that I had not in fact miscarried the baby. My body was holding onto it.
On 9/23/11 at 10 weeks I had to have a D&E. I won’t even go into how hard it was for them to get a needle in my hand for the IV. I have small vains and a clotting disorder so between the 2 they had a hard time getting blood. I was all bruised for a few days….anyway….
When I woke up from the procedure I just started balling I cried to the nurse and begged her to bring my husband to me. Poor woman had to tell me he wasn’t allowed back there but I would see him soon. I just cried and begged and pleaded for her to go get my husband…then….the happy drugs kicked in and I talked her ear off. I don’t know what they gave me but boy it was like a 180.
Anyhow, this is bringing up stuff I don’t want to think about at the moment. My husband has been out of town for 4 days and won’t get home for another 2….so I’ll wrap this up.
I bled pretty heavy for about 6 days…and continued to bleed and spot off and on for 17 more days. I think I finally ovulated at around CD 29 and let me just say I will be happy when this cycle is behind me.
I’ll have to make another post later about the emotional aspect of all this. Right now I miss my husband and I don’t really feel like thinking about my baby.
you know….if I was actually able to get pregnant on my own it would be easier to move past the loss. But I can’t.