Thursday, April 17, 2014

The morning of my 32nd birthday there was a package waiting on our doorstep. A cake packed in dry ice? A fabulous pair of shoes? Nope. A whopping-filled-to-the-brim box of fertility meds. I'm taking it as a good sign. The universe is clearly trying to give me a baby for my birthday. I mean, there are just some messages you can't argue with.

Things may be moving a long a bit faster than I had initially thought, too. After my bloodwork and ultrasound on Monday, the nurse called with my stats. Everything looks great - estrogen, progesterone, LH, FSH, HCG. Check, check, check, check, and check. All numbers are excellent. Follicle count at 16. This always gives me a moment of pride. Then I have to laugh at the ridiculousness. I'm pretty sure I have minimal control over the goodness of these numbers. But then I tell myself to celebrate. Celebrate every little, tiny, silly shred of good news. Enjoy feeling hopeful, right? The nurse scheduled me to come back on May 2 and mentioned something about starting Lupron then. Oh! I thought that was happening in early June. Complain, I will not. I'm all for moving forward.

So on Tuesday, I celebrated 32. I want this year's birthday wish to come true more than ever before.

Monday, April 14, 2014
I can't tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start

So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn't know I was lost

Did you ever watch Ally McBeal? Remember how she had theme songs for moments and life events? I love that. I totally do that. Around college graduation I blasted "99 Red Balloons" on my car stereo. Annie Lennox has carried me through some serious break ups. When we conceived Baby Fix-It my get-pumped-up-for-injections song was FloRida's "Good Feeling". And this winter, during a trying fertility process, I kept coming back to "Wake Me Up" by Avicii.

Last week we met with our new fertility doctor. I liked him. I really needed that boost of confidence. He was kind, responsive, and gave us no sense of being rushed. I especially appreciate that last part. This new fertility clinic we've been using has often left us with a feeling of being hurried and unimportant. Sure, we are one of hundreds of couples they treat each year (maybe more, I have no idea). But also, this is no small physical, emotional, and financial commitment. So taking the time to really understand our history and wishes was deeply appreciated.

I went into the appointment with thoughts on our next steps. And I was relieved the doctor was on the same page. Last Tuesday we signed paperwork to move forward with a fresh IVF cycle. I'm a bit disappointed we have to go through the entire process, but we have done it before, and we can do it again. The thing with fertility treatments that has always stuck with me is this: your eggs will never be as young and healthy as they are today. So no time like the present.

Today I was already back in the stirrups. We still have to wait a bit while my uterus recovers from the D&C, but things are progressing. My body is back on track (if you know what I mean). So today they checked my HCG (it was hovering around 1 last week), estrogen, progesterone, uterine lining and did a follicle count. I'll start birth control today. This means that next month, when we start the IVF cycle, the timing will be predictable. The doctor also explained that birth control helps keep your system calm. Calm is good in the fertility world.

And so calm it is. I'm at peace with where we are in this process. At  peace and simultaneously pumped up. I'm taking the next several weeks to take care of myself. Going to the gym, eating well, sleep, yoga, balance. Calm. And excitement.

I'll let you know when I find my next song of the moment.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Life goes on. Recently we traveled to Rhode Island to celebrate my Grandma's 90th birthday. It was going to be the weekend we planned to tell my family about Baby 2, which was on my mind a bit. I felt a subtle sadness but also enjoyed a few heavy pours of wine. I'm a terrible drinker actually. I would say 1 out of 10 times I feel totally fine and normal. And 9 of the times I end up with a raging headache and a general feeling of malaise. Oh well.

Anyway, we traveled. We saw family, friends. We celebrated my Grandma. We enjoyed what started to feel like the start of warmer weather in New England. It also rained. I slept terribly the whole trip. My Dad was recovering from double pneumonia. My Mom had issues with her eye (turned out to be a detached retina). And we left with sore throats and head colds. Face it, you're jealous.

I've been so hum-drum lately. But honestly, it feels like we can't catch a break. We have almost fully restored our condo from water damage. Today the marble vanity top arrived for the bathroom. Oh wait, it's cracked. You know when you just feel like you're stuck under a bad cloud? The annoyances are hitting the point of hilarious. And also really, really, really not funny at all.

And about that water damage. We had toyed with the idea of putting our condo on the market sometime in March. That clearly did not happen. More waiting. More sitting in suspended animation.

Baby Fix-It it is definitely the best thing we have going on. He is so sweet and delightful and funny and wonderful. He has so much of my husband's personality, it's unbelievable. I also like to think he's got a bit of me. But then when I try to put to words in what ways he is like me, I'm often left stuttering. "Well...we both...uh" Nevermind, he's all Daddy. And I couldn't love either of them more.

So, we have survived another month of 2014. That sounds like the most depressing and lowest bar - "survived'. Life really hasn't been that bad lately. It's just that we know things have potential to be so much better. And they will be. For now we carry on.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I need a plan. Something. Something to focus on as time simultaneously marches on and stands still. Waiting is the worst. I really, really, really hate the waiting. Fertility cycles are allllll about waiting.

A week from today we go back to meet with a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Same practice, new doctor. I need a fresh start. Our previous-new doctor was nice enough, but she has failed to get me pregnant. So there's that. When we met with her and discussed our first failed cycle, she showed little interest in our responses. The message was, "I'm going to tell you what works, and that's what we'll do." I'm eager to have a different set of eyes on our case. I'm sure we'll review our two failed cycles (god, last time we were in that office we left knowing our baby didn't survive...) and talk about ruling out any unknown issues. In my heart I don't believe there are any problems on my end. I think we've just had a streak of bad luck. But I guess better safe than sorry. Sometimes, they say, after child birth there may be trauma to the uterus. I had a saline ultrasound back in November that looked fine. But maybe they'll dig deeper. Lovely.

After that, to my knowledge, it is advised to wait two full cycles before undergoing fertility treatments. After a D&C your uterus is scraped clean. Two cycles is believed to be enough time to "build things back up". This is all what Dr. Google tells me. I'm guessing our RE will tell us something similar. So, best case scenario, based on my half-knowledge and guessing, we'll have another shot in June. That is, assuming my body is back on track.

I had my follow up with my OB/Gyn yesterday. My body has physically healed and the pathology on the fetus and surrounding tissue came back normal. The fetus appeared to be "typically developing". I found this comforting and annoying. Of course, I'm relieved to hear that everything looked healthy and my body was properly developing a pregnancy. But also, what does this mean? The baby didn't have to die? I hate that thought. I'd almost rather know there was a severe issue which meant there was no way the fetus could survive. I also have another thought I come back to: did the baby's heart just stop beating? Like one second it was there and the next gone? Or was it a slow progression? Did it beat slower and slower and slower and eventually stop? Why this swirls around my head, I don't know. I'm guessing the latter.

Mr. Fix-It and I did not opt to do any additional testing on the fetus. We did not believe that we needed any genetic information, and finding out the sex would just make the loss harder. The knowledge that we lost a little boy or girl would always stick with me; I'd always picture our family differently. The part that does stick with me, though, is this permanent mark on future pregnancies. I hate that I'll have to say the words "second baby, third pregnancy" someday. I mean, I'll love that I might have the opportunity to say those words, but you know what I mean. It's as if any future joy will be coupled with the reminder of this loss. In fact, that was one of the first things I said in the room after our ultrasound. "I hate that we'll always remember this".

So, as we remember, and wait, and hope, and look to the future, I wear this. It's just a tiny reminder of better things to come. Sometimes it's just what I need.

{Alex and Ani // "Tree of Life" // Hope, Conservation, Growth}

I have a pile of Alex and Ani bracelets on my nightstand. This morning Baby Fix-It was playing with them. He put two on his own wrist and then handed me one. Which one did he hand me? You guessed it.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
{photo source: @hidinginhere via instagram}

In the wake of everything that has happened in the last two months, I come back to the words "at least we knew" over and over. We knew, just days after a positive test, that the pregnancy might not be viable. The day my HCG didn't double, I prepared myself for loss. Mr. Fix-It remained more optimistic. I think for him the real loss happened the morning of the no heartbeat ultrasound. Either way, we knew that the worst, a loss, was a possibility. It always is, but this was different. The other words I came back to were "bracing for impact". I was. Week after week after week.

It's funny - well not funny - but when I heard clients talk about miscarriages I always had this feeling. I had thought to myself, many times, that I was sure it was nothing I would experience. I believed in the adage that the universe will never give you more than you can handle. And I believed that I could truly never, not ever, handle the heartbreak of a miscarriage. I told myself that it would destroy me. It would be a level of pain so unimaginable I'd never be the same.

Then this crazy thing happened. It happened. It happened to me. And I survived. I was actually ok. I was sad. So deeply, painfully sad, but also full of hope. The morning of my D&C I felt a profound sense of relief. All the stress, all the worry, all the anxiety of this maybe-hopefully-cautiously-optimistic pregnancy was gone. Hope. Hope told me that our next baby, the one that is meant to be will come in due time. And my HCG will double, and the gestational sac will be the right size, and the baby will grow to be strong and healthy. That is the baby we will take home. And I know we will. We are meant to have more children.


A Therapist and an Engineer take on Marriage, Home Ownership, and Parenthood. One project at a time.

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