Sunday, April 30, 2017

Privacy

Yesterday I lost my marbles.

My husband was talking to his family after shabbat as he usually does on Saturday nights. As he was giving them a run down of this week's adventures in his life, he mentions, "She's still pregnant."

Thinking back now, I can see why he didn't think it was a big deal. At the time, however, I just completely lost it. At first I gave him a sharp look and as he's on the phone he's mouthing out to me a confused, "What?" while smiling. When he got off the phone I started yelling at him.

I was upset that he referred to it so casually. I was upset that it was mentioned off-hand in the same highlight reel as the weather. I was upset that his parents continue to get up-to-the-minute updates about the goings-on of my uterus. I was upset that I felt referred to as a piece of meat. I was upset that it sounded like the rest of the sentence could have been, "...and hasn't failed us yet."

Obviously at least half of those things are ridiculous. I know that he doesn't take any of this lightly or that he thinks anything remotely disrespecting about me. At the moment I couldn't see past my feelings and really let him have it. Confused and upset, thinking I'm asking him not to share this news with his parents, he yells back and a shouting match ensues. In the decade we've been together, I can count on one hand the times we've ever yelled at each other like that.

I wasn't asking him not to tell his parents. I told mine. I actually don't care who he tells as long as they're discreet because it's obviously very early and anything can happen. I cared that it was mentioned so dismissively. The truth is I mostly cared because they never ask how I'm doing or feeling. They get to know intimate details about my life and body but never once asked about me as a person. It's just not fair.

Once we calmed down, my husband asked me what I want him to do. Clearly there's a larger issue here which is that there's zero relationship between me and my in-laws. It's not strained or complicated - it's just non-existent. They are lovely people who would mortgage their house in a heartbeat if we needed bail money, but are not the type to send presents for birthdays or special occasions (anniversary/holidays/etc). They love their son very, very much and would do absolutely anything for him. They are culturally different and socially inexperienced so none of that connection ever spilled over to me. They don't call me directly, not even for birthdays or when I had any of my surgeries. I never pushed it when we first got married and it just stayed as is. The most I get is "send regards" once in a while through my husband when he talks to them.

I do feel partially responsible for not making more of an effort throughout the years. It's also partially my husband's fault who doesn't see the value in a connection between me and his family and so never really made the effort to be the go-between. All that aside, I understand that when we have news he wants to share it with them. I just hate that I feel like people who don't care about me at all, whether that's true or just my perception, are getting my most intimate information.

I don't think there is anything to do. Even if I ask my husband to say something to them, what would it be? It would just make everything awkward and uncomfortable. They don't think there's an issue. It's not going to change them. I'm not looking to change them. What do I want at this point? It would be nice if they cared enough to ask me how I'm doing. I know they're not doing it maliciously, they just don't think of it. It would be nice if they sent a birthday present or a hostess gift when they come visit, but how do you tell someone you want them to buy you a gift? No, I'd never ask him to say any of that. I'd rather he just stopped telling them stuff, but I know that's not an option either.

In any case, it was a full-blown fight at my house last night. I have to admit it was nice to release some stress at the top of my voice. These hormones are something else! The whole thing lasted about 5 minutes, if that. After some conversation and lots of crying on my part we all calmed down. I know we don't have an answer and that it won't get easier with time, but for now not having a solution is just what it is.

Friday, April 28, 2017

FET 5: Beta 2

Thankfully, good news.

The call came at 1:30 PM, a full two hours later than the call earlier this week. It doesn't seem like a lot in hindsight, but when you're checking the phone every 30 seconds or so it feels like an eternity #shpilkes

My nurse directed me to make an ultrasound appointment for late next week so they can measure something? Sac placement? I'm not sure. Too early for a heartbeat, so definitely something else. When she specified "when you call the front desk to schedule, specify that it's an OB ultrasound so they put you in for the right amount of time," to which my immediate reaction was, "Shhhhhhh don't jinx it!" though thankfully the filter caught that one in time and it remained just a thought in my mind. The anxiety is real, daily, and insistent. I'm trying to keep superstitions at bay - what will be will be - though that's easier said than done. I know it can end in a second.

Thank you for all the love. I've gotten several emails and fb msgs from people saying that Blogger is giving them trouble with commenting. I'm touched not only that you're interested in my saga but that you also took the time to find a way to reach me and share your good wishes. Thank you! If it's easier, there's an anonymous post option where you can just sign your name at the end. Either way, I love hearing from you. I've opened a complaint ticket at blogger so maybe they'll be able to shed some light on it.

Hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pep talk

I originally wrote this out the night before first beta when I couldn't sleep. I still have similar symptoms, like cramping and nausea, but I'm back to worrying. Worrying about numbers; worrying about next beta; worrying about whether we'll make it to ultrasound.

Today was a busy day and I had an event in the evening which required a lot of coordination and walking around the building throughout the day. I tried my absolute best to "take it easy" while not compromising event integrity but I had my priority and that was making sure not to rattle anyone loose.

Tomorrow is second beta. The day of second beta at the last transfer was the same day as the Wegmans incident which happened later that day. I had major spotting and then next beta showed that the numbers plummeted for no apparent reason. I'm freaking about getting past third beta with numbers that are still good. In the meantime, this pep talk helped.

Dear self,
Regardless of what happens with results, remember that it's all part of Hashem's plan. He knows what he's doing. If it doesn't match up with what you want, your challenge is to accept it. It may not be easy.

Just because one day the answer to your prayers is "no" doesn't mean the answer will be no tomorrow. You have another chance to try again. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and hold your head up high.

You didn't do anything wrong. It's not your fault. There's nothing you could have or should have done differently. This is the plan. You may not understand it, but everything happens for a reason. This is not the end. This pain is not forever. This will make you stronger and wiser. You may never know what happened. Sometimes the answer is that there is no answer.

You may be reading this through a curtain of tears, just like it's being written the night before beta when you can't sleep. Remember that no matter how much it sucks now, there is hope. There is good. There is a future. There is tomorrow.

Remember to be grateful for what you have. Don't be blinded by the grief of what you lost to lose sight of the blessings around you. You are a warrior and you will get through this. You deserve happiness and just because it didn't happen today doesn't mean it never will.

Take the time to be sad. Feel the way you want to feel. It's ok to be dejected when things go south. One day you will look back at this time and wonder how you got through it. The answer is one step at a time, lots of determination, and many tears.
 
It's part of the Master Plan. Keep the faith. Believe that there's a greater plot line out there. Know that it happened this way for a reason. Find your peace with it and let that knowledge guide you forward.

4/24/17 at 11:42 pm

It's raw and unedited but it's a helpful message to keep in mind while waiting between appointments. It was a necessary reminder the night before first beta and it's helping to keep me calm tonight. Praying for good results and a doubled beta.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

FET 5: Beta

It's good news!  

No adventures for bloodwork - no traffic, no waiting. When I got to work I turned my phone on silent and left it in my purse. My husband and I agreed to wait until the end of the day so we could listen to the news together.  Of course I kept checking my phone all morning, but once the doctor called at 11:30 AM and left a message I felt calm and completely at peace. I had the info at my fingertips - knowing a few hours before or after wouldn't have changed the outcome and I wanted to hear it for the first time together. It wasn't an easy challenge, but the practice of staying away from HPTs prepared me well.

We're cautiously optimistic. We've been here twice before so we know there's still a long road ahead. Continuing to take it easy. Continuing to stay hydrated. Continuing to daven and hope for the best. 

Tonight starts Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish month, and this news reminds me of a particular phrase:
 זֶה-הַיּוֹם, עָשָׂה ה'; נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בוֹ
"This is the day which Hashem has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

So often in fertility treatment it's difficult to be present and live in the moment. This phrase teaches that it's ok to do just that. I've officially graduated from pupo to pregnant. There's a lot to be worried about, and the what-ifs don't automatically go away, but for today, it's good news. 


Monday, April 24, 2017

FET 5: 10dp6dt

Well, we've hit double digits for days post transfer. It seems like the days have taken forever while whizzing past at the same time. It's the last night before beta. Suddenly I'm scared for the 2ww to end. If we don't get good news tomorrow then this closes the chapter on FET 5, something we've been gearing up for, talking about, and preparing for for so long.

I've been trying not to cry all day. As distracted as I was at work, I still managed to get a few things done but not much and I don't have high hopes for tomorrow's productivity. I kept going over the possible outcomes in my mind over and over, good and bad. I kept going over things we did and wondering if there's anything we missed or anything we should have done.

Symptoms have changed which concerns me. No nausea anymore, not for a few days now. No sore boobs. Ever-present cramping, similar to period cramping. Bloating. Last night I googled "fet 2ww no symptoms bfp" to try and get some reassurance that symptoms or lack thereof don't mean that it didn't work. It was somewhat reassuring. I'm still worried.

I cried as I prepared the dosage for this evening's shots. I don't want this cycle to end until a healthy baby comes out. That's not up to me, though. Whatever happens is in His plan and I hope to have the strength to get through whatever comes next.

It's our hope that the next step is a good beta tomorrow. Wish us luck.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

FET 5: 9dp6dt

My moods go up and down. Yesterday was an up day and I even allowed myself to daydream about calculating a possible due date. Today, not so much. I woke up feeling some period-like cramps which really bummed me out. It could be fine, it could be the end. The unknown is maddening.

I haven't tested yet. At this point I've thoroughly convinced myself that it would do more harm than good. Since I haven't taken any HPTs until now there's nothing to compare to see if the line is getting darker or not, so a negative would be awful but a positive won't quiet my mind either. No matter what I won't get any guarantees.

The what ifs are mentally exhausting and slowly driving me crazy. It may also be the hormones. Something is making me feel insane, though I'm told I'm putting on a good show. I snapped at my husband yesterday. I still think I'm right, but I recognize now I may have overreacted. I asked him to give me some wide space as a compromise. 

I'm tired of this game. I don't like this ride. I want the magical ticket to exit the merry-go-round and move on with my life. Can we just do that? 

Two more sleeps until beta.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Survey

I came across FertilityIQ from another blogger who describes this site as a central clearinghouse for information-sharing related to fertility treatments, to make sure that people seeking doctors and clinics “won’t waste time, money, and emotion on the wrong doctor for them.”

I've browsed their website and I wish I had access to it several years ago when we first started treatment.  I agree that the site on its way to becoming a great resource. They’re looking to build up their collection of doctor reviews. If you are currently, or have in the past, worked with a fertility doctor, please submit your review (whether positive or negative) so others can learn from your experience. According to Carrie, the original blogger whose site I saw this on, if you fill it out by Thursday, April 27, you’ll be entered into a drawing for up to $10,000 toward an IVF cycle. I didn't see details about any drawing so I can't verify that, but I did take the survey.

If you have 20 minutes to burn and feel like helping someone else, please take the time to fill out the survey. So much of the information I got over the years was from people who have shared their experiences, so this is one way I feel I can pass it forward.

Friday, April 21, 2017

FET 5: 7dp6dt

Haven't tested yet. Very mild symptoms today. I woke up feeling completely refreshed and lacked any kind of symptoms. Compared to yesterday's discomfort I found this surprising and mildly concerning.

Then I was just getting settled at my desk this morning when a wave of nausea hit, to the point that I couldn't do anything but let it pass. I had a bite of my lunch sandwich which helped. While I can't say I was thrilled about it, it was a welcome sign. At the very least it meant I remembered to take my gross medicine this morning. At best it could be a sign of better things to come.

Fresh challah
Other than that no news. I haven't felt any cramps or heaviness, though I did spend some time in the kitchen baking challah and working up a sweat kneading the dough. I sat down for a social media break and when I stood up I felt my uterus - nothing major just, "Oh yeah, that" kind of reminder. 

Shabbat shalom!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

FET 5: 6dp6dt

Today was the first day back from vacation. It was a challenge to be dressed and awake for 10 consecutive hours! I woke up feeling nauseous and burping which made me nervous to take my gross morning pills. I didn't want to taste that the rest of the day but with breakfast and water it subsided.

I got to work on time and it was nice to be back to routine. I went through nearly all but a handful of the 238 emails that were waiting for me. Throughout the day I was actively working to stay hydrated. I also had another issue that I was gassy. Between managing a filling bladder, being gassy, and the occasional cramps things got interesting. The fuller the bladder the more intense the cramps got. It was a lot to keep track of  down there which made for an uncomfortable afternoon. I ate so healthy today and I'm not sure what caused the gas - fruit for breakfast, big salad from home for lunch, and no crappy snacks at all. I had a yogurt at some point and maybe it was past its best. Maybe it's another glorious side effect of these meds.

At one point during our afternoon staff meeting, someone asked the pregnant coworker if she's planning to get her cute belly cast. It's normal for my team members to make personal comments. As they were discussing belly casting and how fat they each got with their own pregnancies I was thinking to myself how difficult these conversations will be to keep hearing if our FET doesn't work while her pregnancy progresses. I don't wish anything bad happen to her c'vs, I just hope mine succeeds.

I've been trying to stay positive. This morning I called to schedule my beta test. I haven't felt the urge to take a HPT since yesterday morning. It doesn't get easier because I know that by now if anything stuck it would show up on a pee stick. But every day I avoid it gets me closer to beta. In the grand scheme of things I know it's "only" two weeks. It's worth the challenge to help stay positive. I'll take any help I can get.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

FET 5: 5dp6dt

It's using up all my willpower to stay away from the pee sticks. The urge to test got really strong yesterday afternoon and I convinced myself not to since it wasn't fmu. I woke up this morning and held my bladder for a full 5 min in bed while I contemplated whether or not to test. Previous logic finally won and I didn't test.

In the past two transfers it wasn't getting a positive beta that was the issue - it's getting the numbers to continue rising and the pregnancy to stick around for a baby to grow. Peeing on a stick now won't tell me the future. If it is negative on the pee stick (falsely or not) then I'll be upset and have a harder time all the way until beta. At least not knowing lets me believe for a little longer and gives me ammo against the negative voice telling me it probably didn't work.

Thankfully Sunday's cramping subsided with rest. I still canceled Monday's lunch plans. I stayed home and relaxed throughout yom tov. Today is my last day of vacation and while I'm happy to go back to routine I still need to remember to keep taking it easy.

Last pregnancy at this time I had what felt like micro-cramping, sort of like butterfly wings. It had started right after the transfer and was constant until the pregnancy ended. This time it's more of a full/heavy feeling which started around day 2. When I move or twist I feel a sharp pull in my side, near the ovaries, depending which side I twisted to. Otherwise it feels like a light weight on my lower abdomen regardless of whether I'm standing or sitting. I noticed that drinking regularly prevents the cramps from getting stronger so I'm keeping a water bottle nearby at all times and take a sip whenever I notice it.

Also new this time is the nausea, likely due to the meds. It starts out as hunger and within seconds turns to nausea. I've tried to get ahead of it by not getting hungry but it happens no matter what. It usually hits around 10 or 11 am. I read online that prednisone can cause nausea and insomnia in some people. So you can take it in the morning and be able to sleep or take it at night and sleep through the nausea but wake up at like 3 am wide awake. I don't think there's a winning combo but we do what we have to just giving this embryo the best chance possible as best we know how. It's gross to force down water while nauseous so I take small sips and hope it adds up. 

My pineapple got almost all eaten. By this morning what was left of it was looking a little sad so I skipped it and had scrambled eggs instead. Beta in 6 days!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Careful what you wish for

It's 30 min before chag starts and I'm frantically googling cramping symptoms. Late this afternoon I started getting severe cramping on my right side, like a pulling feeling. I promptly parked my butt and sat with my feet up sipping water while searching on my phone. The sharpness went away with rest but I still feel it, like a dull ache in the background (mainly because I'm scrutinizing it carefully).

My 15-month old nephew was here earlier and, at a hefty 25 lbs, I decided not to pick him up even though he kept putting his hands up and hugging my knee. I just don't want to risk it. When I was in a sitting position I pulled him onto my lap not thinking twice and now I'm worried I did something.

Google consensus is that it's probably implantation cramping or PIO cramps. I'm still nervous. I know if I call the clinic they'll tell me to take Tylenol and stay hydrated so that's what I'm doing.

It caught me off guard. I was alarmed enough to tentatively cancel lunch plans tomorrow. I'm not risking walking a mile there and back if I'm still cramping tomorrow.

Hope it's good cramping. Chag sameach.

FET 5: 2dp6dt

Chocolate Nut Matzah Toffee
Erev yom tov again so I was back in the kitchen whipping up some goodies for second days: turkey chops, roasted chicken, Moroccan salmon, quinoa kugel, cheesecake, and some Matzah Toffee. I still have a few things in the freezer and we're going out for one meal so along with salads and matzah this should be plenty.

If the embryo is going to implant (if it hasn't already) I think today is its last chance, at least according to various articles I've read online. I made sure to take breaks and relax between putting things in the oven. During one of my breaks I was getting off the couch and felt a tight pang around my left ovary. Not sure it means anything and in any case it went away quickly. When I felt my body was ready for a break, I took a break. I had my pineapple and some honeydew for breakfast. I davened in the yard - it's another beautiful (hot) day.  The time I spent in the kitchen was a fraction of the time I would usually spend in prep for a holiday but I'm fine with that. I'd rather give the embryo the best chance possible. Literally everything else is secondary.

Now I'm alternating between hanging out on the couch or in bed with my feet up for the remainder of the day. My husband cleaned the floors and set the table for tonight. We're not having company so that I can take it easy the next few days. I'm on vacation until Thursday and plan to chill until then.

I'm worried about the what-ifs. I'm concerned about the lack of symptoms. I'm worried about beta day being a work day and having to be at work when results come in. I have a low-simmer anxiety in the back of my mind. As much as I want to, I can't help the negativity cycling through my mind and it makes me tear up every time I think that it didn't work. I'm trying hard to swallow the panic and fear and work on trying to assume the best instead.

Whether or not you're celebrating a holiday today, hope it's a great day full of love, peace, and happiness.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

FET 5: 1dp6dt

Day 1 post transfer. Trying to enjoy pupo status.

I've been having intense symptoms for a few weeks because of the new meds, like nausea and cramping. I was told that my meds could hide pregnancy symptoms, if any, and so far that's proving true. I know it's too early for actual symptoms yet I was extremely nauseous this morning. I left shul early. Other than nausea I'm having mood swings. One minute I can be fine, the next I'm close to tears.

When I didn't feel cramping today I started to cry. My last transfer I felt light cramping nearly immediately and when I didn't feel it now I thought it meant the transfer didn't work. My husband made me feel better by reminding me that it's still early and the embryo may be taking its time implanting, beside the reminder about the meds hiding symptoms.

I decided to try not taking HPTs again, like last cycle. There's nothing a pee test will guarantee and knowing early doesn't prevent miscarriage. If I don't test then I get to hold on to the hope until beta when I'll know for sure one way or the other. I'm trying to stay positive and take it day by day. If I test and it comes back negative I'll be devastated and it might even be a false negative anyway, so why do that to myself.

This is honestly the hard part of any cycle. I can handle the physical pain. It's the mental game that's hardest for me. The 2ww; the not knowing; the what ifs; the fear of another failure. I read back some of my posts from FET 4 to compare daily symptoms. I made the mistake of reading past the betas into the heartbreaking days of when my pregnancy suddenly ended. It hurts my heart.

We are hoping and praying this transfer goes down a better path.

Friday, April 14, 2017

FET 5: Transfer day

I wanted to make sure everything that needed to get done was taken care of before we left for our appointment. Took care of hauling the trash out for pickup, got some veg and fruit for shabbat, took food out of the freezer for dinner. I went to buy a few cases of seltzer so that we would be well stocked and I wouldn't be tempted to go get them during the next two weeks. While I was at the store I also got a pineapple. Why not. I took the time to daven and shower before getting ready to leave.

At 11 I emptied my bladder and drank my 16 - 20 oz of water. We got to the clinic at 11:30 for our noon transfer. After checking in, we were called back to the transfer room at exactly noon. As expected my blood pressure was really high 158/95. It always is the first time they check, though that's unusual so I think the tech did it wrong. Of course it is - I'm nervous and trying not to leave puddles on the floor. By noon my bladder was very uncomfortable. By 12:15 PM we were still waiting and my bladder was borderline distressed.

Just as we were debating whether or not to poke our head out the door, the doc shows up and we get the show rolling, checking IDs and signing forms. Doc put in the speculum and there was too much pressure from my bladder which made it keep sliding out, so they had to get a longer speculum. Once everything was in place they called for the embryologist and there was a minute wait while we waited for the embryo to arrive. The doc asked if we have any questions. At this point, what can we ask already? I wracked my brain to take advantage of this opportunity but all I can think of was that I just want the embryo to stick, just stick, let this be it. I also couldn't focus on too much because the nurse doing ultrasound was pressing on my belly and it took all my effort to not pee on the table. Embryo was transferred and we were given instructions for the next two weeks until beta test. Before we were released they checked my blood pressure again and it was 111/67 which made me happy.

We were released with a picture and wishes for good luck. Now we wait. Stick, baby!!! Grow, baby grow!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

FET 5: T-1

I was holding a newborn today and got sad when I had to give her back. I look forward to one day when it will be my baby and I don't have to give it back.

The blood thinner medication has been interesting. I'm on Enoxaparin (turns out the brand name, Lovenox, isn't carried in any of the pharmacies around). First, this injection burns. BURNS. I've taken to swearing like a sailor as it goes in. The burn goes away within a minute or so, replaced by a bruise. That's my belly now. Beside the burn, I noticed something horrifying. The medication includes porcine intestinal mucosa. In other words, pig.

When I first realized it, I freaked out. I don't like animal products in my optional cosmetics let alone in my mandatory medication. But beside that, avoiding swine is kind of a big deal in Judaism. We don't eat pork. Even kosher animals have to be killed in a certain humane way in order to be considered kosher for eating, but pig isn't even a kosher animal. I freaked out. I ran crying to my husband, who was amazing. He reassured me and calmly explained the halacha. In short, injectable medication is under a different category than food or oral medication and therefore if there's a medical requirement then it is allowed according to all rabbis. Even so, I called the pharmacy to see if there was an alternative but there isn't. It still grosses me out and I still hate this injection, but we do what we have to do.

I went to get a pedicure today. I did my errands and some laundry. My massage lady was back in time to squeeze me in and I had my massage this evening. All that's left to do is the transfer itself. We did the shots, I took the pills, and we did everything possible in our power to help this little embryo stick. Now it's all up to Him.

We're hoping this is it and we'll take any prayers and good vibes anyone wants to send over. We're so hoping this is it.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pesach 2017


It's a beautiful, gorgeous day and everything is calm and clean before the holiday starts. The only thing I have left is to do my nails. Well, whatever is left of them after the week of cleaning, shopping, and cooking. I love this holiday and I'm excited it's nearly here. 

I remember this time last year having similar thoughts about everyone with strollers and bikes taking advantage of the beautiful weather with their kids. Last year things were looking up: we had just gotten great news that our cycle resulted in 6 blasts getting ready to be genetically tested, three of which turned out to be healthy and transferable. Little did we know then that two of the transfers would result in miscarriages. It's been a heartbreaking year looking back. Disappointments over and over. At that point I was thinking that next year things will be different.

Yet here we are. Not much has changed. We are on the brink of transfer #5. Bracing ourselves for the best and the worst. Emotions are all over the place internally as I try to keep my composure to face day to day life. Work still needs to get completed; errands still need to be done; life goes on.

Everyone has their own struggle. I know that. It's impossible to compare one person's life to another. Just last month I met a couple who got married a year ago and already has a 3 month old baby. Just today I found out that the husband has tantrums where he just disappears for hours at a time. That's terrible. It's not better or worse than my struggle, just different. Each person has his or her own challenges.

I try not to let the triggers get to me. I know that when ignorant people say things, unknowingly painful, that they're just being dense.  The other day I figured it was time to change my fb profile picture - it was long overdue for an update. I chose a picture at random from previously posted pictures. It happens to be a nice picture of my husband and I (which is why I chose it) but I didn't realize it would be added to everyone's newsfeed and announce this change to the world. I got several compliments and Likes.  Then I got a specific comment from someone: "How have you both not aged in a decade?!" to which someone else responded: "It's bc they don't have kids! I, on the other hand, have aged 20 years in a decade!!!"

I know it was meant in jest. I know I shouldn't give it another thought. I know some people can't give a compliment without putting someone else down. But it felt like a punch in the gut when I read it. I don't even need to list all the reasons why it was hurtful. I rarely post anything personal on fb. Between friending work people and acquaintances rather than just personal friends I have no expectation of privacy. Anything that's posted online, no matter what security settings are set, is now online for anyone and everyone to see. When that was posted on my picture, I felt like it was opening a wound for anyone in my world to see. I felt like it was exposing the most vulnerable part of my life to everyone.

Rather than making a big deal of it, I left it up. It's a part of who I am. I'm not one to air my challenges out in front of everyone but I'm also not hiding them. It's a fact of my life right now, one which I hope changes very soon, but for the time being I'm not ashamed or afraid to talk about it. It is what it is. I left it up because I know that if I saw that on someone else's wall it would give me an opening to start a conversation and reach out to them. Maybe it will help someone else, maybe it won't. I think there's already so much stigma around infertility and childless people that there's no need to add to the secrecy. People suffer in silence unnecessarily and I'm not interested in promoting that attitude. So it stayed up. Even when women go on to have babies, their past losses and struggles are still part of who they are. It's not a secret and it's nothing to be ashamed about. Still, a little tact. Sheesh.

Lovenox injections start today. I have a chart written out to keep track of everything - it's getting complicated! We also got a shabbos lamp for our room to do the PIO injections there instead of the living room where we normally do it since we're having company for the first days of Pesach.

In preps for FET I've tentatively scheduled a massage for Thursday. My usual person will be out of town but she'll try to fit me in when she's back. Otherwise I'll go elsewhere or skip it. Other than shots and vitamins I'm not really doing much else. Staying relaxed and keeping calm. I've already stocked the freezer with prepared shabbat and second days meals so I can just chill after the transfer. We're staying home for second days. We told people we're not going anywhere because need to recover from our first days company but it's really because I don't want to add any unnecessary stress for the first few days after transfer.

I'm feeling very mixed about this next chapter. I'm a naturally optimistic person so I want so much to let the hope spring forth and take over. But I'm also a realistic person and the past four failures are weighing heavily on my heart. "If it didn't work then why should it work now" creeps into my mind often. Even so, I still want to believe that it will eventually work for us, and if that's the case then why not now? I'm fully on board this train. I know that getting my hopes up may make it harder if there's another failure, but for me being hopeful feels more natural and comfortable. There are times to despair but now is not it and until I hear otherwise I'm eagarly anticipating what comes next.




Friday, April 7, 2017

FET 5: Lining check

My appointment went super smoothly. I was well-hydrated and had my fav tech drawing blood so it was quick and painless. I was called back for the ultrasound shortly after and was back in my car less than 20 min after parking.

Lining is at 10.37 mm :) On the way there I remembered how it was just at the minimum of 8 last time and started worrying. I decided not to freak out until there was something to worry about and focused on traffic instead.

At around 2:00 PM I got the bloodwork results back that all is good to continue. I'm starting to get excited! Because of how we scheduled the transfer around holidays I have a night off and we start PIO shots in the butt tomorrow. Lovenox shots in the belly start on Monday.

So far I'm noticing two side effects from the Prednisone: energy/insomnia and nausea. I'm going to sleep exhausted and waking up at 5:00 AM completely awake and going nonstop all day. I've never lacked energy but this is more than I'm used to. No complaints. The other side effect is nausea. I've noticed that if I let myself get hungry then it can quickly become nausea. It passes quickly, even quicker if I have a snack handy. I notice it more toward the morning, which is usually when I take the meds. I'm on a very low dosage so I don't even know if these are actual side effects or just things I expect to happen and I'm noticing them. Next week I'll add another med to the cocktail and we'll see how that shakes things up.

I'm officially on spring break - hooray! So happy to have a few days off. I'm even excited for Pesach. I did all the shopping and errands. The only thing left is to flip the kitchen on Saturday night and spend Sunday and Monday cooking and filling up the freezer. My in-laws are scheduled to be here from Monday - Thursday.

I'm getting excited for the transfer. I oscillate between not wanting to get too attached and being sooo happy it's almost here. My husband is aiming for "cautiously optimistic" but I think the train has already left the station for me - I can't wait to see our embryo again!! I can't help but feel like this is it, regardless of all our past failures, regardless of the stats, regardless of what the little negative voice in the back of my mind says. I'm really hoping this is it for us. I hope these new meds are what make the difference between failure and success. I know we did everything possible on our part.

I haven't decided if I'll do the pee sticks this time. I've had false positives in the past and they just made the bad news harder to hear. On the other hand my clinic waits 13 days before doing the first beta and that's a really long time to wait! I already have the pee sticks so it's really just what I end up deciding. Hope is everything in these cycles so why shatter it unnecessarily with a possible false negative and freak myself out? If I don't test I get to hold on to the PUPO title just a bit longer.

See you soon, tiny embryo. I love you already.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Syria

Taking a break from the all-about-me theme of this blog, my thoughts tonight are with the people suffering in Syria. In the back of my mind I know there's an ongoing struggle in the region, but it becomes real and heartbreaking to see it happening in a senseless attack like this. 

I wish I knew of a tangible way to actually help because they need more than just my thoughts.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Second crazy week coming up

What a crazy week; one down, one to go. I had only Thursday night off - was out every other evening. Work was busy and intense. We had some drama with tomorrow's event and I spent almost half my time putting out fires. Grueling.

Friday night I was so tired and overwhelmed from the entire week. It was also a difficult week seeing everyone I know pregnant. It just is. I took some time to feel the feelings, cry it out, discuss with my husband, and went to bed exhausted. The world looks different on the other side of 10 hours of sleep and I'm doing much better today.

This coming week is also going to be busy but after that I'm on two weeks vacation. Tomorrow is my big event; Monday is my late night at work; Tuesday is my early morning meeting. After that I can focus completely on Pesach preps. I have my shopping lists and to-do lists all ready, just need the time to implement everything.

Shots are going well. I started the Prednisone yesterday - yuck. It has the most vile taste. I should've listened to the sticker that says to take with food or milk. I tried that for today and it was much better. I read up a lot about it and saw that everyone talks about weigh gain on this medication. They say it's due to increased appetite so I've taken to monitoring my calorie intake. If it was something about retaining fluid that's beyond my control, but if I know I've had my calories for the day and keeping track of them then I can try to limit any unnecessary gain.

Lining check is later on this week.

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