Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Well, That Could Have Gone Better

Well, my uterus has been fully scoped, and I am home recovering. We had to be there at 12 yesterday, and spent a lot (a LOT) of time waiting before my 3:30 surgery. We didn't leave until after 7 yesterday, so we got home about 8:30 or so, and I was not feeling so hot.

There was a lot of manipulation up in my nethers.

The good news: No polyps. Not a one. Not sure if pathology will come back on what was removed and show any polypoid tissue, but polyps are the least of my worries right now.

Instead of polyps, annoying but easy to remove polyps, they found scar tissue. Adhesions. A lot. It was not what they expected to find.

Here is a picture of the scarred up portion, the top half, of my uterus (I promise, no gross ones this time, just uterine scarring):



When doing word association upon seeing these pictures, at 9:30 at night on Bryce's phone and not when I was squirming in pain before the drugs kicked in, all I saw in my head was Freddy Krueger. This is not a good association for any part of your body, especially a uterus, let alone mine.

I saw that hole looking thing in the top left and bottom right pictures, and was like, "that's my fallopian tube opening, right?" and Bryce sighed and said, "No, honey. I thought that too. That's where there's an absence of scarring. That's your normal lining. They had to remove the scarring to find the opening of your fallopian tube."

OH HOLY JEEZUM.

Not that it matters about the tube part, they aren't needed for IVF whatsoever and I've only got the one anyway thanks to the Ectopic Experience, but it's that extensive? WHAT THE FLIPPITY FLAP?!?

Apparently, this is all new, too. Here's a photo of the banding from last time, evidence of some scarring, that was removed last hysteroscopy. I thought that was scary, but look how minimal in comparison:

Oooh, look at the scary line. 

Nothing. It's like nothing. My new uterine accoutrements are much more...prevalent. Much more...significant. Much more...terrifying. And of course, much more...upsetting.

They did remove it all, but apparently scar tissue comes back within 3-5 days if it's going to. So I'm on a benadryl regimen, on the Pill, and hopefully that will keep my body from being its inflammatory self. This is not infection-related. That was my first thought -- what about antibiotics? Am I somehow getting infections that are causing this? But nope. No infection, just a very weird response to a very weird unknown trauma.

And it's bad. It would definitely impact a healthy pregnancy. Even if my embryos found a non-scarred up portion of my lining (and the bottom half looked just fine), that scarring could impact normal expansion. Or bloodflow. Or something. It's just bad.

So, it leaves me wondering, WHERE THE HELL IS MY GOOD NEWS??? I mean, there are silver linings: a) I asked for this surgery to make sure all was good in there before doing this somewhat experimental, crazy stimming frozen cycle, and boy am I glad I did. b) because if we hadn't, those embryos wouldn't have had a real chance. c) while I have to wait, more, it's to make sure I have a beautiful landing pad, and the lost time is worth it to have optimal conditions, assuming that can exist in the hellish landscape that is my womb.

So what's next? What's the new plan, since I can kiss a late October/early November transfer buh-bye now?

1) Benadryl for a week, twice a day, to try to hamper any inflammatory response and hopefully curb more adhesion creation.
2) Pill for 3-4 more weeks, to keep estrogen going to my body and do something related to calming my lining down so that it can grow nice and evenly after the scarring is gone for good.
3) HSG, my FAVORITE of the uncomfortable tests, to see if the scarring has returned at the end of the Pill time. That's the dye test that's typically for seeing if dye spills over your tubes and they're open, but it's also a cavity test. If the scarring has returned, the top of my uterus will be all jaggedy and asteroid-like, not the smooth baby haven it's supposed to be.
4) If the scarring returns, another hysteroscopy. But how do we make sure it doesn't return again? A question I don't have an answer to.
5) THEN, and only THEN, can we proceed with our cycle. Which may very well land during the holidays. Wheeee. But whatever, at this point, whenever it's good, that's when we go.

Not the plan I was hoping for, but a plan nonetheless, so that's good I guess. My doctor is really upset about all this. It's not what he was expecting, either. I mean, zillions of women (maybe a slight overstatement) have hysteroscopies, and do they create thick scarring afterward? Noooooooo-ooooooooooo. Why am I so special? He was nearly in tears talking to my husband about the plan, the delay, the extensiveness of the adhesions, the dangers of a repeat performance. That's something we can be so grateful for -- our doctor truly cares and we are a priority case. He is going to an industry conference next week, and he is going to peddle our case all over, looking for reasons, for answers, for treatment plans. He is on the case. I did ask, "Does this mean we're done? If the scarring continues, are we done?" And he didn't think that was necessarily the case, but that he is worried. Which makes me want to vomit.

Here's hoping he can find the answer. Here's hoping I can hold my shit together through ANOTHER bump in the road, another way that our case is complicated, another instance of my body doing everything it can to ensure we can't have a baby. I swear, am destined to carry the next Hitler or something? Is the antichrist coming my way and so the Universe is throwing roadblocks down to prevent horrible events from coming to fruition in the future? BECAUSE THAT'S HOW IT FEELS TO ME. There must be some "greater good" reason why we just can't catch a break. Because otherwise, there's just some serious cosmic sadism happening here.

Poor Bryce, he was upset, and he told our doctor that he was super worried about me. Because I would take this personally. (He knows me so well.) Our doctor said, "She's as responsible for this as she would be for getting the common cold." Which is helpful, and logical, but that's not where my brain is. I know I'm not shoving wire hangers up there, I know I'm not doing anything crazy that would cause that scarring. But it's just one more reason why my body is the failure. Why we can't get pregnant is up to a zillion factors at this point, but it's all coming down to my recalcitrant womb, and that makes me very, very sad. And then Bryce told me that he said, "I just feel bad because it's one more Christmas where Jess can't put anything on the card but us and the cats...she was so hoping to be able to announce on the Christmas/New Year's card." And I started to cry in the car, because I hadn't even thought about that piece of things. It's true, and it's sweet that Bryce knows me so well that that is definitely a side effect that will cause me sadness in a month or so when I start putting that together, but I hadn't thought about it. Because yes, it's true, I'd been doing the math to see if we'd be 12-13 weeks by the holidays and I could put "Happy holidays from Bryce, Jess, Lucky, Abner, and Baby T coming this summer!" Oh well. I can only hope next year there's a baby on the 2015 card, six years after we started the journey to have a little person join us in our house.

Well. Not to end on a sad sap note, although I'm feeling very sad sappy, here is a goofy picture of me, waiting in ambulatory to be taken down to the OR. There was no earthly reason to have us show up 3 1/2 hours early, because the pregnancy test pee (ha HA ha ha) and the bloodwork took maybe 15 minutes. So, we read. Note: it is impossible to look good with no makeup, bedhead ponytail, and the awkward gurney angle. So hilarious that the book I was reading is Awkward, a young adult novel one of my students has read. Perfect.

No good angle for a gurney shot... just use your mind to photoshop out all that jawline chub.

So, no door slammed in our face, but it felt like just another chip at our hope stores. I hope there's an answer lurking out there, an easy fix, something that will make my body a good home for those embryos for a while and not the Scorch Trials it currently seems to be (ha ha, YA dystopian lit reference, ha ha). I feel much better today and am laying low, super glad I took the whole day off today. Maybe I'll meditate all day on a nice, smooth, even uterine lining, as if I have any control over that. Maybe it will listen. Any good thoughts or intentions towards my uterus would be much appreciated, as we wait for our next steps and hope to clear this latest and greatest hurdle on our way to FutureBaby.

8 comments:

  1. Shit Jess, what sucky news. I'm sorry for the delay, I'm sorry for the more bad news, I'm just sorry. This is hard.
    I'm glad your doctor is using everything in his tool box to help you--and I hope the answer is an easy, quick fix. And at least you had the procedure before the transfer, because that would have been the worst.

    Lots of hugs, my friend

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    1. Argh! Why is it so easy to publish comments from my phone but not to reply? Totally deleted my reply.

      Anyway, thank you for your condolences, I truly appreciate it. Just got off the phone with our doctor and he really is doing all kinds of searching for answers. And absolutely, to have done the transfer without this procedure would have been awful, a waste. So, HSG in early November and THEN we can hopefully be on our way, without any pesky scar tissue in the way. Argh. Thanks for the hugs, I kinda need them. This just sucks.

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    2. I'm glad the doctor is doing everything he can to help you, and hopefully the benadryl will do the trick. I just want this to work out, not as much as you do, but I really want it. Many more hugs.

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    3. Thanks lady. Love all the hugs... Recovery is proving more painful than before, so hugs are most welcome! I hope a happy ending is lurking out there, waiting to jump out at both of us. That would be lovely.

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  2. Oh dear. There is nothing more frustrating than being put off a cycle or two because of stupid body issues. I remember having a Hysteroscopy to remove retained placenta after our loss and them telling me I had to wait at least two months to heal. We ended up waiting much longer for a few other reasons, but it was hard to hear when you feel ready. And then, after my son was born, they told me there was still some calcified 'products of conception' left that would have to maybe be removed before ever attempting another pregnancy. I haven't gone back in because I am so over invasions of my uterus. All this to say, I do understand where you are at and the pain that waiting can cause. I really do hope your body gets to a healthy place so you can have a real, honest shot at bringing home a baby. You seem to have a positive outlook and that will take you far. Best wishes!

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    1. Thank you--I am hopeful that the HSG will be clear and we can give those embryos a clear shot. It's just do hard to constantly have bad news and new developments that make all this even harder than it's been. But, hopefully the rest and the Benadryl and the Pill bring an end to the scar tissue nonsense. I liked how you put that--invasions of the uterus. I definitely feel invaded! I just wish for a pleasant invasion, or occupation I guess is more appropriate. ;-) thank you for your thoughts and encouragement, and sharing your experience!

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  3. UGh. I have no other words...but I definitely want to find something in the universe to kick for you. You know how violent I am. :) I'm so sorry there's another stumbling block in your journey. While I'm so thankful that you didn't go blindly in to another transfer, it sucks that there's more waiting to be done. I hope your doctor can find someone at his conference that has the magic fix to keeping your uterus nice, calm and ready for Baby T! In the meantime, I'm sending you a ton of hugs and warm thoughts for making it through the next few months.

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    1. Thanks for your UGH! Perfect word. I would love to channel your violence for good! :) I hope things are healing up in there and all will be just fine for holiday cycling. UGH again. "Baby T" cracked Bryce up, he was saying all he can see is a little mini Mr. T, a little baby with gold chains and a mohawk. :) Thanks for the warm thoughts and hugs, I appreciate them muchly!

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