IF is in charge

I have been so quiet lately! Work has been very busy. DH and I are trying to figure out when our next IVF cycle will be. We had hoped we would already be starting, but as you know IVF is a planned event. So we have been trying to find the best time where we can really focus on the next cycle. It has had me really reflecting on not just IVF and becoming pregnant…but staying pregnant.

After many years of trying and many rounds of unsuccessful IVF, you would think nothing would surprise me. There is one thing that always whacks me in the head….pointing out how unfair life can be. I have experienced it and I know many of you who have also fallen pregnant have also experienced…..the anxiety and stress of pregnancy.

IVF is a rigourous process of making sure all things out of your control meet perfection and timing. An insane amount of stress itself. Then if we do fall preggers….it is only a brief moment of celebration until something goes wrong and we are flung back into waiting, hoping and trying to stay hopeful. Once again, so many things are out of our control. We try so hard to fall preggers and when we finally do we are smacked in the head with all the things that can still go wrong.

In my pre-infertility brain, pregnancy was an exciting time. Now it leaves me feeling insane amounts of anxiety for all the things that go wrong. I guess this is the burden of infertility and miscarriage, the anxiety of failing. I need to focus more on the things I am in control of. Wait, there is nothing about infertility that is in my control. Hmmmmm……

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A very sad day

Where I grew up my aunt and uncle lived very close to us. There were four girls in my family and three cousins down the road…..all girls. So it was like growing up in a family of seven girls and we were all very close in age. My aunt was also my godmother. Yesterday she died. I had been home in December to say my goodbyes, as she was in palliative care so we all knew it was only a matter of time. Unfortunately I live very, very far from my family, so going to the funeral is not an option. I knew that when I was home in December that I would not be coming back. It was difficult to say good-bye then, and even more difficult knowing I cannot be with my family at this time.

I know this is going to be a tough time on my sisters and cousins, but especially my uncle whom she leaves behind and my mom who was very close to her sister. I am thinking of them lots and praying strength that they can move through these very tough next couple of days and weeks….and months. I have attached a video of Jimmy Rankin singing ‘Fare thee well’, he is solo nowadays, but in the 90’s was very popular with his brother and sisters as The Rankins. Jimmy stopped singing this song when his older brother died in a car accident in 2000. In 2010, he found the strength to sing this beautiful song again. My aunt and uncle went to see Jimmy and The Rankins sing live many times over the years. This was one of her favourite songs.

Fragile for 2012

Another year is coming to an end. I am happy to say goodbye to 2011, as it has been a very difficult year for DH and I. I have lots of hope for 2012, but this year has changed us. The first miscarriage was early in the pregnancy, and I am so grateful for that…but it still hurts. Even nine months later, I still have sad moments thinking about what could have been. The second miscarriage was even earlier, so I didn’t need a D&C…thank goodness. I never want to have to go through a D&C again.

My hope is that 2012 will bring us our miracle. We have suffered enough…I could not bear another miscarriage. I am so scared I would completely crack if I had another one. For the first time I am genuinely scared for the next IVF. Number 6….please go easy on me. I may be a little too fragile for a January start.

Numbers game

Infertility sucks the big one! I am caught in this horrible trap of counting. Counting cycle days, counting possible Day 1’s, counting how much money I need for the next IVF. Counting the pregnancy week I would have been in had I not miscarried in May. Damn numbers….

My due date would have been 27 Dec. I kept telling myself to not focus on something that will not be, but that date has always stuck in my head! It is so hard not to think about it. I can’t believe how much time I take staring at my calendar counting out 28 days. It is bordering on neurotic. Numbers…..go away. This Christmas is going to be a tough one….but only if I allow it. Therefore, I refuse. I will not let the pain of yesterday haunt my today. I will have a great Christmas holiday and I will focus on the future. Add a giant glass of wine and I will cope.

One glass of wine….mwah ah ah. Two glasses of wine….mwah ah ah….

Life and death – different or the same?

DH just arrived home on Friday after being away on business for four weeks…it was so great to have him back home. However, I am now sitting at the airport waiting to fly out for two weeks! I can’t wait for the travelling to end, it has been hectic these last two months.

I am heading overseas for business for one week, then to my mother’s for an additional week. My aunt is in palliative care, so I am going home to say goodbye. So ironic…the last three years have been about creating life and now I have to say goodbye to a life well-lived. I know many of my fellow IF’ers have had to say goodbye to parents, family and friends during their IF journey. It is always a difficult event to walk through, but has me reflecting on the dichotomy of life and death.

Death is the end we all know is inevitable, but we all hope we have a long and fulfilling life. Also that the end is a peaceful transition. When you are ill, as my aunt is, you fight with everything you have to delay the inevitable. Sometimes even beating it. New life is a blessing, but with IF it is a miracle! The emotional journey through death and life for those of us who struggle with fertility actually has more similarities than differences. We mourn the loss of our fertile dreams and brave the challenge of fighting against all odds for our miracle. We go through the grief and loss cycle the same as mourning a loved one. We revel in the miracles of science the way those who are given an extension on life do.

I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to my beloved aunt. It will be hard and emotional. However IF has taught me to take challenge one day at a time…and sometimes one minute at a time. I will be grateful to have had this time to say goodbye to my aunt and tap into the strength I have built through my own many challenges.

Life is hard….it really is, but full of wondrous miracles that peep out every now and again. I will keep looking for the miracle in everything. Hope.

A small glimpse into the world of fertiles…

So I have a secret.   I didn’t want to post about it, because I thought I was being a bit crazy.  My period was late and I was feeling….pregnant.  Having been pregnant twice this year, I recognised that early feeling.  For me, it is like you have a bubble, or space in your uterus (which is what it is!).  My abdomen always goes rock hard pretty quick and I was having crazy dreams again.  I told myself that I would carry on as normal and would only do a test once my period was at least two weeks late.  I had some brown spotting that subsided…so was hopeful.  However, the day before I told myself I would test my period came in full force and has been extremely heavy and has not stopped.  Another confirmation to me that something happend with the heavier than normal period.  So I cannot confirm it…but feel pretty confident that something happend.

How do I feel about it?  I was convinced I was pregnant, so the thought of actually being able to conceive without IVF was for the first time ever…..an amazing feeling that miracles can happen.  I have been at this so long now that whenever I see those ‘spontaneous natural’ conceptions from other IVF’ers I was always a little pessimistic about the possiblities.  Now, I believe it and that is something I never ever imagined could be a possibility.  A small window of hope has opened…although it closed when my period arrived.  I told my DH when I was about 7 days late (I have a clockwork cycle by the way) because I just couldn’t hold it in anymore.  I shouldn’t have told him because he was so devastated when my period came, but I needed to share it.  We were both pretty sad with the outcome, but a little excited about the possibility that we could actually fall pregnant without injections and scans and our FS seeing my hoo-hoo more than DH.  Although we were disappointed when my period came…it turned on a little ray of light that we didn’t have before.  We felt normal, for the first time.

If we were pregnant, the fact that it ended early does not bode well for my eggs.  Since it would have been natural selection, the chances are that my eggs are just not good enough quality anymore.  It just reinforces for me that DE may be our next step.  On a positive note.  For the first time in many years…I am actually counting days and thinking about ovulation and timed BD’ing.  We haven’t done that since 2008!  So we’ll give it a whirl and see what happens…..of course with absolutely no expectations given our history.  But we will have fun with it!

 

Scourge of IF

Yesterday I really noticed one of my pregnant colleagues. She is around 7 months preggers, she is really showing now. I act all excited for her, but all I can think about is that I miscarried in May the same time she announced her pregnancy. I would have been almost 6 months by now.

So give me a moment, because I am feeling pretty down.

I hate that I am part of this club. I feel like I am a sad reminder of all the things that can go wrong. I know when I miscarried I resented all the pregnant ladies who sent me well-wishes – I know they really meant well, but it is hard when you are feeling so much sadness to be greeted by a ‘thinking of you’ from someone with a bean in their belly. I am sure the same applies to me. No one wants to hear from someone who is a walking miscarriage when they are waiting for their next beta, or to see the heartbeat.

I am a reminder that everything can and will go wrong. It’s like walking around with a giant flashing sign that tells people, ‘stay away from this gal…she will bring you down…she will make you think of miscarriage and nasty things that could happen to you.’

Where does someone like me fit? I feel like the scourge of IF. Everyone feels sad for me while thinking ‘I’m glad that is not me’.