I was introduced to online communities when I started researching on the internet about charting your cycles. That was back in 2002. I found a site dedicated to fertility that had a bunch of message boards, and started posting desperate, freaked out posts with tons of drama wondering if the few degree change in my temp was ovulation, or just because I had sat up and thrown my legs over the side of the bed before taking it, rather than taking it while still in bed. All because my cat had knocked over my thermometer and I couldn't find it without sitting up. And anyone who has been a little consumed with bbt's, cervical fluid and research, knows YOU MUST TAKE YOUR TEMP AT THE SAME EXACT TIME IN THE SAME EXACT POSITION HAVING GONE TO BED AT THE SAME TIME the night before, otherwise you will be compelled to roam the message boards for hours and hours looking for other people who: went to sleep at 10 when they usually go to bed at 9:45 and just had to pee at 3:10 in the morning so crawled there trying to trick their body that they weren't actually up and out of bed to interrupt the continuous number of hrs you need to sleep for your temp to be accurate, but then got 6 hrs of sleep-so shouldn't your temp be accurate? story. Oh man you should have seen those boards during the day when the time changed. I am not making fun of myself as much as I am rehashing one of those stories that is so sad and horrible that you laugh and cry at the same time.
Luckily met a lot of lovely supportive hormone raging, utterly pissed off at the world because they can't have a baby the normal way, amazing women, that knew a heck of a lot about the ins and outs of fertility issues. They were my rock in a very very stressful time. I cruised those boards for the almost 3 years of fertility issues until I got pregnant with my son. Then I was displaced. Anyone who is a veteran infertile ( I am making general assumptions based on my years on the fertility boards and my own personal feelings, this does not mean there are not exceptions)knows that no matter how much your infertile friends want to be happy for you-when you clear that heartbeat check with flying colors-your updates will only hurt them-no matter how much they put on a front, it will hurt. They went to those boards to find comfort and solace a place away from a world full of fertiles where they have to watch what they say for fear of being misunderstood or judged about how they are feeling about this shitty process of trying to have a baby. I am not saying that infertiles aren't genuinely happy for their friends and family and other infertiles when they get pregnant. It just means that, the simple fact that you have achieved what they have worked so hard at and failed, hurts.
So getting pregnant suddenly leaves an infertile out on her own so to speak. There is no longer a built in community ready to discuss gross bodily fluids, temperature shifts, mood shifts, body changes, Dr's, nurses, husbands, family etc. And believe me there are a lot of these in early pregnancy. I felt like I needed to be strong-since I was now considered a lucky one. But the transition was hard. I missed that community, the friendships, the closeness that comes from sharing all the ugly bits.
Then I decided to start a blog. I had gotten used to writing out my feelings and thought a blog would be good. I would be anonymous (that didn't last so long) and people could read if they wanted to or not read if what I said hurt them. It was different than a public message board where people were coming to gather medical information and solice from the fertile world. I am so glad I did this, for I found an amazing community of writers, artists and photographers. You became my rock. You acted as a surrogate mother/sister and many of you have become close friends.
This last loss left me feeling on the outside of a community again, but this time because the grief was too much. I felt like a warm body with very little to share.
Since in a fit of trying to make this blog more business like I erased months of posts I will try to give a bit of backstory:
What amazes me is I actually don't remember all my stats anymore. It shocks me how fuzzy all the details seem.
To the best of my recollection I have done 5 cycles of clomid, 2 rounds of injectable IUI, 2IVF's. Then got pregnant for the second time naturally-had the remains genetically tested and discovered I have a balanced translocation between chromosomes 4 and 16. Then we changed fertility Dr's (thank goodness because that first one has since been banned from performing fertility treatments since he was a pathologist not a endocrinologist and put many women into ovarian hyperstimulation and subsequent seriously life threateningly illnesses). The new Dr-Dr. Anya-tested us for everything he could think of. In addition to the bt, I am heterozygous for MTHFR (as is 60% of the US), do not respond like the avg person to avg levels of progesterone, and had low protein C and S. So we worked with him for a few months monitoring and watching my natural cycles. This equated to spending 2 hrs in the waiting room of a fertility office, getting a blood draw and then an internal stir the soup with a ultrasound wand exam, every two days, then waiting like a lunatic for the call with directions from the clinic in NJ-who half trhe time claimed it didn't get the fax from the clinic here. FUN!
We did learn a lot from this and in July of 2004 got pregnant with my son. It was a tough pregnancy in some ways. I had battery acid constantly coming back up my esophagous due to a hernia-this was pure fucking hell I must say. It was so bad that if I layed flat I would throw up. I took daily lovenox shots that stung like bee stings and left huge bruises all over my stomach. I was put on bed rest at 33 weeks due to a thinned out cervix and preterm labor. My son was born at 37 weeks. It was worth every single part of it, and to be honest I enjoyed my pregnancy. I was soooooo grateful to be having a baby-I could tolerate it, maybe with a few tears but I could tolerate it. Embrace it even.
Since then we have done 2 FET's, 1 fresh IVF, have miscarried one baby conceived naturally (slow heartbeat stopped at 8weeks), and have had 2 chemical pregnancies. Then we got pregnant with the second FET, and at 13 weeks found out the the baby had anencephaly. The ending of that pregnancy, as many of you know, nearly did me in. I poured myself into my business. I wasn't really dealing with the emotions, as much as trying to keep one step ahead of them. I closed up because I didn't know what to say. I didn't know how to open up without the world caving in. So I turned this blog business like. I know it was a huge change in energy, and I wish I could say sorry to each person that felt strange about that shift.
A few months ago I had a faint positive pregnancy test. I couldn't believe for the first time in so many years I wasn't ready. I didn't feel strong enough emotionally to deal with it. The tests just got fainter and I got my period. I was relieved.
A month ago my husband and I spoke about our future and the very real fact that I will go back to teach someday, and that trying sooner than later would probably work best for us. Something felt stronger in me. I was able to stop running so hard. Some feelings caught up with me but I feel pretty strong. I think I am ready to do our one last frozen cycle with the last 6 embryos. We could split them up but the past 2 FET"s we defrosted 4 and only got 1 or 2 that looked really good. Also we think we only have one more managed cycle left in us. Being poked prodded, spending hours every other day on the phone tracking tests being faxed, getting instructions. It is a pain literally and figuratively.
So a couple days before the appointment yesterday I was getting some pretty intense cramps. I have been pregnant enough times and have watched my body for enough cycles that I am pretty clued in to my specific symptoms for all womanly cyclical things. It was early for menstrual cramps. I decided to take a pregnancy test the day before the appointment and it was positive. We had blood drawn yesterday and my beta is 109 That is pretty good for so early. I am thinking this probably won't be a chemical. Now I get pretty sick to my stomach almost the minute an embryo implants in my uterus, so waiting for that ultrasound for the heartbeat can feel like forever. I called my obgyn right away and had them call in nausea meds. I am going to try to get through this as oblivious as possible.LOL. That was another one of those jokes that makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I don't even know how I feel about this. I am writing this here, because I always have written about this stuff here, and the fact that I almost didn't write about it here was what made me realize how much I miss being open here. Was that run on sentence or what?
Back to the appointment yesterday.
So yesterday we had an appointment with Dr. Anya (this is not his name but he always has Anya playing in the background so I will call him Dr. A. If you found this post because you are having fertility challenges and would like his name you can email me. I just feel like I am going to write from my own experience not from a medical standpoint.) So Dr A, drew a diagram of what cervical cells should look like before ovulation (being acted on progesterone) and after ovulation (being acted on by progesterone). He said by looking at the cells on my cervix he would be able to tell if I needed more progesterone. So he did this smear of my cervix and then showed us what the cells looked like. There were too many cells in the pre progesterone state. Which is consistant with the data obtained long ago-that even with normal blood levels of progesterone, my lining doesn't convert pattern as well as it should. So I got a progesterone shot in the office, and was sent out with lots of progesterone.
This is the longest email I have written in a long time. I will write more tomorrow.
It feels good to be back:)