Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year

Well, 2012 has come and gone. Gooooodbye, 2012. I hate that I seem like a party pooper, because it seems every year the New Year celebration comes and every year I'm like, "Adios, stupid year! You were a stinker! Next year will SOOOO be better!" And, so far, this is a repeating chorus. I am getting mighty tired of this song.

Now, I can't say 2012 was a total stinker. In the baby department it sure didn't meet expectations, to put it mildly. But there were many things that were good, if relatively good. Let's start with the bad stuff, so we can end with the positive.

Good Riddance, 2012 Things:
- A Christmas frozen transfer that was negative. First frozen blastocysts in my uterus, way to start the New Year horribly disappointed that even awesome quality frozen beauties wouldn't stay put.
- A fresh cycle with our best ever egg retrieval--something like 26 eggs (I count it as a good thing that I don't remember the exact number), and 6 usable embryos, 3 of which were frozen and 3 of which went into my uterus. Those 3 fresh day-3 embryos didn't stay, either. Cue 36th birthday hot on the heels of another failure, the fourth fresh transfer and fifth transfer, and 13th embryos to go in and decide it wasn't a good home. Good times, good times. Not my best birthday.
- A summer where we couldn't go to camp in Maine because the week we normally go wasn't available and we couldn't reschedule because we didn't know how the frozen cycle with our three last frosty hopes was going to go. Which meant a summer of stepping into the L.L. Bean and stepping right out because it made us cry.
- A frozen cycle with three blasts of varying quality (one beautiful, one that had better have had a good personality because it wasn't going to win any beauty contests, and one ugly duckling), that resulted in our first real BFP ever. A starting number of 60 something (again, so proud of myself that off the top of my head I can't remember the number) that doubled and doubled like it was supposed to, no mind games and no life-threatening tubebaby. A call from the doctor that we'd waited for for so long that lead to one of the best days of my life so far, where Bryce and I were full of so much joy and hope that we were truly on our way out of this reproductive hell. A beautiful dream that ended in a cruel, drawn-out way with a crazy bleed (that still has me trying to avoid my Grandma's bathroom like the plague and hyperventilating when I can't wait to go somewhere else), bed rest, rapidly dropping numbers, and an ultrasound that a week earlier showed a sac trying to hang on in the bleed but now only showed debris. By far the low point of the year.
- A delayed trip to Cape May, NJ with my best friend and her mom, aunt, and cousins that has been an every 2-4 year experience since we graduated high school, that became a trip I could not go on at all. At first because I was freshly pregnant and perhaps with all the close monitoring we infertile ladies get once we hit the jackpot, a trip down the shore wasn't such a good idea, even if one lady was a nurse who wouldn't flinch at giving me the PIO butt shots. Then it became a canceled trip because I did not care to miscarry all over the Jersey shore and be the ultimate shark protector, the sacrificial swimmer who lures the sharks away from her friends. (Usually this person is the furthest out, which actually doesn't matter to sharks but makes us feel better anyway, or the reckless person wearing sparkly nail polish which apparently does attracts sharks, or the person with their period, haphazardly swimming in sharky waters anyway, like a tampon is going to deter a bloodthirsty shark.) That trip that never happened was part of my loss because I was so looking forward to my time on the beach, a vacation in a vacationless summer full of needles. Oh well.

But, all was not terrible. Pretty much everything was fertility-related that was terrible, but there was plenty of non-fertility related stuff that happened in 2012 that was notable and good.

2012, You Weren't Entirely Sucky Things:
- We did not lose any pets this year. This sounds like a depressing positive, but seriously, we have lost a greyhound to organ failure, then lost a greyhound to relocation because the dog needed more attention and space to run than we could offer and frankly fertility had sapped all of my capacity to deal with anything the least bit stressful at home (a very hard but very good decision), then lost my beloved three-legged cat, Rocky, to a mysterious illness that robbed him of the use of his two back legs over a period of weeks and deteriorated further of course, the week of our Christmas frozen transfer, and so I had to put my cat down (which was horribly botched and traumatizing for all involved) two days before Christmas, the day after my transfer, and during a time where I was supposed to rest and relax and avoid stress. I'm sure hours of wracking, heaving sobs covered that. BUT, that was 2011! 2012 started with our rescue cat, Lucky, and while his namesake didn't rub off on our transfer, he has been an excellent addition to our home. He has been playful and cuddly and gets along decently with Abner, and curls up on your lap and purrs when you need some good cat loving. We have lost no one furry in 2012, and that is something to be grateful for.
- Bryce's job was very stable and excellent in 2012--he was pretty happy with all of his projects and he did an amazing job with everything, winning accolades like crazy. Good stuff in an uncertain economy.
- I received tenure in September! I have a somewhat new and, while exhausting, very rewarding and exciting job teaching 8th grade self-contained Reading and English as well as three 9th grade resource room classes. I have more job security (although how much more is questionable in these times where teachers are so villified by the public and budget cuts run rampant, cutting tenured teachers left right and sideways). So if I do get cut, or I do go out on maternity leave, I at least can get called back and have a job waiting for me when I return. Which is a huge relief. And a big accomplishment.
- We received a positive pregnancy test. Even though it ended in a heartbreaking miscarriage that is by far the most difficult of our losses to bear, it was proof that I CAN GET PREGNANT. In my UTERUS. Now we just have nail down the staying pregnant part.
- We have a new plan, something different. Our next cycle isn't like our previous cycles, and I am excited about that. After six cycles that all ended in heartbreak of varying devastating degrees, it is good to know that this next chance has a much higher rate of success and we are changing things up. I have had time in the fall to take a break and get used to this new plan. I am still terrified to put embryos in a place that so far has not hauled out the welcome wagon, but everyone medical believes that I truly do have a perfectly good, welcoming uterus that will seal the deal for us. And so I ended 2012 in a place of hope.
- We celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. Sad that there's still no baby or bump in sight, but grateful and happy that we have so much to celebrate in our marriage. We are a team. We are solid. We are awesome together. We can do this. And we will do it with grace under pressure, stronger as a couple through this horrific gauntlet that will one day, so help us, end in a child.
- We celebrated our Christmas in a wonderful, magical vacation in Vermont. A separate post about this vacation will come after, but wow, what a way to cap off the year. We reconnected (not that we had far to go, just this year has been EXHAUSTING). We romanced each other. We spent tons of time laughing and hiking and eating and drinking and acting like newlyweds. It felt like a honeymoon. If we weren't so horribly infertile and I wasn't on the pill, I would say it was the kind of vacation so magical you could totally get pregnant on it. Except that kind of story just doesn't happen for us, but maybe all the relaxation and romanticalness and wondrousness of this vacation set the stage for a terrific cycle in 2013.

So there you have it. The good, the bad, the ugly. No year is every truly all good or all bad, but this year was really a mixed bag. I can hope that 2013 holds the key to our family expansion project. I don't dare say "THIS is THE year for us, baby!" because I've said that too many times. My ability to be completely enthusiastic about a new beginning is...impaired. But not destroyed. I hope that 2013 is our time, and our time for keeps. None of this fakeout shit of 2011 and 2012. As long as our Good list is longer than our Bad list, I will be happy. And if that Good list contains the one item we have been longing and hoping for, for YEARS now, I will be freaking ecstatic. Bring on the ecstasy, 2013.

Lovebirds, ending the year in our room in Vermont.

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